What Used To Be

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Chapter 3

He definitely hadn't expected to be making this journey for a while.

Legolas Greenleaf was on his way to the Havens (accompanied by too many other elves to count) but he definitely didn't feel right about going. Before, he had had the sea longing, yes, but now he was actually going there, it was just...gone. In fact, the longing was more on the side of wanting to stay.

He hadn't expected to have to say goodbye to his father either. At least, not this way round. He should of been the one staying on Middle Earth. Not his father. There was absolutely nothing right about this situation, but there was hardly anything for Legolas to do about it now.

He was approximately half a day away from the Palace and already he wanted to go back. Although he couldn't.

He sighed.


Aragorn was waiting for his family to join him. Everything was pretty much ready, but they were just waiting for Halbarad to finish explaining to one of the servants about how to look after his pet chipmunk. Aragorn didn't know where it had come from, and couldn't be bothered to go through all the fights that would inenvitably result from trying to get Halbard to get rid of the chipmunk. It just wasn't worth it.

Meanwhile, Arwen, Eldarion, Laurina, Gimli and 10 of the royal guards were mounting their horses. Aragorn certainly hadn't wanted Arwen and Laurina to come, but then Arwen wanted to see Legolas again, and Laurina couldn't stay here by herself. She was only 12.

Finally Hal came rushing out to them. "I'm ready! Let's go!" He said, sounding breathless. He swung himself up onto his horse and Aragorn led the way out of Minas Tirith.

...

"How much longer until we get there, Ada?" Laurina asked. They had been riding for three days.

"I don't know, Lauri."

"Who are we going to meet again?"

"Legolas. Legolas Greenleaf."

"What's he like?"

Here Aragorn paused and looked to Arwenand Gimli.

"Well, he's the crown prince of Mirkwood." Aragorn began.

"Like me?" Eldarion asked, as he and Hal joined the conversation.

"Yes. Although he's an only child." Aragorn smiled a little as he remembered his friend.

"But he was always with Dan and Ro," Arwen put in. "They were an extremely bad influence on him."

"Really?" Hal said eagerly, and added, "Are they the same age?"

"No, the twins are, I think, 1000 years older than him." Arwen said.

"Is he younger than you then, Naneth?" Eldarion asked, interested.

"Yes, but I don't know the exact ages." Arwen replied.

"Some said he was the best archer in all of Arda." Gimli put in, and Aragorn and Arwen looked at him for this very un-Gimli like statement. Gimli shrugged. "He was."

The childrens eyes were round as saucers. "Really?" Halbarad said again. "Will he teach me to shoot?"

"And me?" Laurina added hopefully.

"And me?" Eldarion asked.

"You already know how to shoot, Eldarion. I taught you." Aragorn looked affronted.

Eldarion looked disgusted. "Exactly. But everyone knows your better with a sword, anyway."

Choosing to ignore this, Aragorn continued. "He has blonde hair-"

"And blue eyes that, whenever he was trying to get something he wasn't allowed, he would open them as wide as can be. When he was a young elf it used to make peoples hearts melt." Arwen finished.

"Did you know him well, Nana?" Laurina asked.

Arwen nodded. "I knew him quite well, like a sister would I suppose, but Aragorn and Gimli knew him as an adult a lot better. Gimli still does."

Now the three children turned to look at Gimli in surprise. "But why didn't you ask him why he left?" Hal asked.

"Er," Gimli said awkwardly. "Well, I don't see him all that much to be honest. But...er, I just didn't want to bring it up."

The kids didn't look particually satisfied with this answer but Aragorn saved the dwarf by steaming on ahead. "He has an extremely large temper."

"He got it off his father." Arwen put in. "I remember, once the twins left a bucket full of cold water-with-flour over his bedroom door, while we were visiting. You can imagine what happened."

"It fell on his head?" Eldarion suggested.

"No, actually, it fell on Legolas's head while he bounded in to wake his Ada up. A most unusaul wake-up call." Arwen smiled at the memory.

"I never heard Ro or Dan metion that." Aragorn frowned.

"Well no, they wouldn't. They spent the whole morning being yelled at by Thranduil and then Ada, and then Thranduil some more. It hardly something they'ed ever bring up."

"I must remember to ask the twins about that next time I see them." Aragorn laughed.

"Do Uncle Dan and Uncle Ro still talk to him?" Eldarion asked.

"Not that I know of." Aragorn replied. "It's just...I don't know why he left, neither do they. So, no I don't think so."

"What does Legolas mean, Ada?" Hal asked suddenly. "In Elvish, I can't think of anything."

"Er, it means...Greenleaf." Aragorn said, because he knew what was going to happen now.

"Greenleaf? You named me after him?" Halbarad asked incredulously.

"Um. Yes." Aragorn said. "He was, after all, my best friend."

"Halbarad Greenleaf sounds good together." Arwen said to he youngest son.

"Why didn't you name me after him?" Eldarion asked suspiciously. "Wasn't Nana pregnant with me when he left?"

"Yes. But we already had your name. Eldarion Frodo." Arwen smiled.

"Although it was very nearly Eldarion Boromir." Aragorn grinned.

"Ada..." Lauri asked, frowning.

"Yes?"

"When are we going to get there? I mean, will we get there in time to stop him, or not?"

"I hope so, Lauri."

"Why were you so surprised that he was sailing, anyway? He's an elf. You knew he was going to sail sometime." Hal added.

Gimli, seeing that Aragorn wasn't going to answer this (truthfully, anyway) answered for him. "Because Legolas promised Aragorn that he wouldn't sail until Aragorn died." He said cheerfully.

"Thank-you, Gimli." Aragorn hissed as the children pummelled him with questions.

"Why did he promise, Ada?"

"Didn't he think he'd get sea-longing?"

"So why's he broken the promise then?"

"Because," Aragorn said, "We were best friends, like I keep saying. He already had sea-longing...but thought he could put up with it. And because we haven't spoken in 17 years."

There was a little bit of silence as Dari, Hal and Lauri contemplated this.

"Do you think he'll like us?" Hal asked.

"Only if you take a bath every day." Gimli warned.

Eldarion looked at his father in horror. "Adar!"

"He has a thing about personal hygiene."Gimli continued.

"What's wrong with that?" Hal asked.

"He starts coughing if you smell the tiniest bit."Gimli grinned, now.

"Doesn't sound very healthy." Lauri noted.

"So natually he coughs all the time when he's around your father..." Gimli still wasn't done.

"Hey!" That was Aragorn, of course.

"That's the real reason I think he left, anyway. He just couldn't bear the smell." He seemed to be done as Aragorn glared at him.

Aragorn looked ready to kill Gimli, so she intervined. "So, why don't we stop for the night?"she suggested.

"Good idea." Aragorn growled.

...

That night, when everyone else but the guards keeping watch were asleep, Aragorn went to look up at the stars which his friend loved so much. A long way away, Legolas was watching them too.


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