Title: The Heart of Everything
Author: Sivan Shemesh
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Warning: Angst, violence. AU
Summary: Sending his son outside of his home for the first time, Thranduil feared he would lose him too…
A/N: Written for Teitho theme – Leave taking
A/N: I decide to continue it as it needs more... though Poor Thranduil...
there was in Thranduil's heart a still deeper shadow. He had seen the horror of Mordor and could not forget it. If ever he looked south its memory dimmed the light of the Sun... fear spoke in his heart that it was not conquered forever; it would rise again. Appendix B, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, UT.
There was a moment in every elf's life, when they had to send their sons to their first patrol or their first war, and now it was King Thranduil's turn. Though he only had to send Legolas to Imladris to let Lord Elrond know of Gollum's escape.
Thranduil was not yet ready to let him go.
It was as though the past was being re-enacted, and Thranduil could feel his heart aching at the mere thought of sending his son outside his kingdom.
"I cannot let you go, my son." Thranduil told him with a heavy heart, although he tried not to notice the disappointment that shone through in Legolas' blue eyes.
"But you told me yesterday that I needed to reach Imladris as soon as I can…" Legolas said to his father.
"I know what I said, Greenleaf." A frown brushed across Thranduil's brow.
Legolas noticed it and looked at him with a mix of curiosity and concern.
"What is it, adar?" Legolas asked, locking his gaze on his father.
"It is nothing, my son." Thranduil replied simply, and broke the eye contact with his son.
"I can see it is not nothing, please, adar, tell me what is the problem." Legolas asked him softly.
Thranduil turned away, trying to hide the pain from his son, not wishing him to know his greatest fear.
"Ada?" Legolas asked softly. Thranduil's only thought was that it was the exact same way his son used to call for him as an elfling.
Legolas stepped forward, not wishing his father to shut him off. He wanted to know what bothered him so much, because it was too unlike his father to be so troubled.
"You are the only one I have now, my son, and I do not wish to lose you," Thranduil started to say, and then he sighed heavily, turning to face his son, and then he continued, "You are my only heir, and I fear I will lose you the same way I lost every blood-bound kin I have."
Legolas tried to control the emotions that overcame him at his father's words, and only managed to smile sadly.
"You will not lose me, ada." Legolas tried to assure his father.
"I heard that sentence before you were even born, Greenleaf, and it frightens me to hear it again."
"How?" Legolas asked, frowning in incomprehension.
Thranduil walked toward the gardens, feeling the presence of his son as the child followed him. He sat on the welcoming green grass and watched as Legolas sat beside him.
"You will not lose me…" Thranduil said quietly as the memory tore him.
"Adar?" Legolas asked nervously.
When Thranduil looked at his son, the tears were shining in his eyes.
The sky was clear, no shadows covered it, neither did the trees spray across it, and Thranduil was glad of that.
His adar, King Oropher had spent the entire day with him. He had no councils to attend to, nothing else in his way, and Prince Thranduil was pleased to see that as his father was everything to him. He was always there for him, even when his mother left and never came back, and this assurance – and at times the only shred of hope – was never far from Thranduil's young mind.
The king and his son left the palace, heading toward the circle of trees, passing the bridge. Thranduil had watched as the guards banded closer, but paid everything else little attention. He had waited for so long for this day, and now it had finally come. His adar could finally spend time with him, and he could not wait to show him how much his sword-fighting had improved. He looked at him, then unsheathed his sword, watching as his father drew his own sword and followed his moves.
Thranduil locked eyes with his father as soon as the duel began, and the guards who were following them watched them closely, remaining alert of what happened around them.
Oropher was clearly impressed by his son and reminded himself that he needed to thank to his teacher for teaching Thranduil so well.
He withdrew his blade and they stopped. Oropher walked to his son, clasped his hands upon his shoulders and said with a large smile, "I am proud of you, my son. Mark my words, you will be a great warrior and a great king someday."
"Not too soon, I hope." Thranduil cheerfully replied.
Oropher only smiled at him, knowing that his son was not totally ready for a patrol, and yet even if he were, he could not bear to send him away as he was too precious to him. He only wanted Thranduil to stay close by forever.
The king and his son walked through the forests, enjoying each other's company as they spoke of all that had come to past.
When the light faded from the sky and darkness brought the shadows that surrounded them, they returned to the palace, only to grow alert at the sight of an envoy from Imladris and Lothlórien waiting for them.
Among them were strange elves Thranduil had never seen before and he stood closer to his father, having an ominous foreboding about their arrival.
King Oropher, however, walked forward to greet them and was welcomed by the representatives of the two kingdoms, meeting the elven warriors warmly. He turned to introduce his son to them.
"This is my son, Prince Thranduil," Oropher presented his son with pride, and then he turned toward him, "Thranduil, this is Lord Elrond of Imladris who is known for his superb healing skills. The elf standing beside him is Lord Celeborn of Lothlórien, a delightful place which would make your heart sing and be inspired."
"It is a great pleasure to finally meet you, Prince Thranduil." Lord Elrond turned to greet him, and Thranduil saw the sadness in the Lord's eyes, though he kept silent about it. He nodded at him and wondered what these lords were doing here with their armies.
"The war has started," Elrond said, and noticing the nervousness that gripped Oropher's son, he sighed heavily, "We need your help and your army against Sauron. He grows stronger every day and he must be stopped."
Oropher felt the fear radiating from his dear son and was hesitant as to how he should act. He knew he should follow the lords to the war, and yet he could not leave his son alone with no guardian.
With a heavy heart, the king nodded and did what he must. He turned toward his guards and ordered them to prepare to leave.
Thranduil stood unmoving, watching his father closely. He did not wish to lose him, nor did he feel ready to bear the burden of kingship upon his shoulders.
Then Oropher turned to him, noticing the frown that creased his son's face. He tried to find the right words, something that could assure him, but could not and that ate at him from inside.
"I do not wish to lose you." Thranduil said weakly to his father.
Oropher clasped his son's shoulders and shook his head. "You will not lose me." He said as assuredly as he could.
"Please, adar, do not go." Thranduil urged, not caring if the others saw him being so broken.
"I cannot." Oropher whispered. "As much as I need you, my son, the kingdom needs me to go to this war. Everything we have, everything we've done and all we are, will be gone if Sauron wins."
"I will lose you…" Thranduil cried, his voice choking.
"You will not lose me…"
"You will not lose me, adar." Legolas shook his head adamantly. "I will be back as soon as I can… you will see."
But Thranduil still feared in his heart, though he knew he should have confidence in his son, even if his heart ached in fear of losing him. He merely nodded, staying with Legolas for the rest of the day, enjoying what time they had together, and the next day, Legolas left.
Thranduil watched him as he walked through the gates, praying for the Valar to help his son return alive.