Title: Ohtareamin, A'maeleamin (My Warriors, My Beloveds)

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. They belong to J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien, respectively.

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Chapter 11: Time

Northern Mirkwood: 30th of March, 2969

Afternoon

"Good afternoon," Harry greeted as Prince Legolas walked into the healing chambers.

The younger Elfling was sitting up in bed, drinking some water and eating some fruit for lunch.

"Good afternoon," the blonde responded. "I…Thorongil told me that they are leaving for Rohan on the morrow."

Harry nodded softly.

"Yes, I know," he replied lightly.

"And you…you are not leaving?" Legolas asked desperately. "Healer Saerwen…"

"You do not have to confine me to bed rest," Harry interrupted with a small smile. "I am staying in Mirkwood."

Legolas let out a breath of relief.

"I promise I shall make it up to you. I will be faithful," the prince pledged.

The green-eyed Elf sighed.

"Legolas…" he trailed off. "I have no reason to trust in your promises. The last one you gave me did not last the night."

"I mean it this time," Legolas murmured seriously. "Seeing you in the arms of that Nazgul, your skin dulling, your life Fading…I would have gladly ripped my heart from my chest to save you from that pain."

Harry turned away from those earnest grey eyes.

"You are too good with words," he whispered. "You will need to prove them with your actions before I can believe you."

"What do you wish me to do?" Legolas questioned. "I will do anything you ask."

Harry smiled sadly.

"It does not mean as much if I tell you," the green-eyed Elf murmured. "I…I need time. That is why I cannot be with Thorongil. I am too young yet to commit myself to one person for the rest of my life, whether that life be mortal or forever."

"You…you would have chosen him had you been Man?" Legolas asked softly.

Green eyes locked with grey.

"We would never have met had I been Man," he reminded Legolas. "Gandalf never would have taken an interest in me, and I would have never met either of you."

"You know what I am asking," the prince persisted. "Had you been mortal, would you have chosen him?"

"Most probably," Harry replied seriously. "Can you live with that? That I did not choose him because I did not yet feel ready to sacrifice my immortality? That I did not bid him wait because I know his life is much too short as it is?"

Legolas did not answer.

"Legolas…" Harry trailed off, then gathered his courage. "I did not ask that to hurt you, but you need to know the truth. I did not choose Thorongil because he is Man, and we cannot be what the other needs. But just because I have not chosen him, it does not mean that I have chosen you."

"P-Pardon?" the blonde questioned, confused. "You…you are staying in Mirkwood?"

It was more a question than a statement.

"Yes," Harry confirmed. "I am staying in Mirkwood. I want to connect to my Elven heritage. I want to learn to heal and shoot a bow and make lembas bread and wield a sword. I want to read and write and study and talk with my elders. I am choosing to be an Elf. That does not mean that I am choosing to be with you."

Legolas shook his head.

"But…I do not understand…" he admitted.

"I am young yet, and I am not getting any older," Harry stated seriously. "I…I need time to figure out what I want. I do not have to marry and start producing babies immediately. I need some time for myself."

"Would you be taking this time if I had not…done what I did?" Legolas questioned, needing to know.

"Probably not," the green-eyed Elf admitted. "I…I would have agreed to stay, and Thorongil and the Men would have departed for Rohan. I am sure you would have wooed me in short order, and we would have married. But…I think I am glad for this. I do not want to wake up one morning a hundred years from now and wonder why I made the decisions I did. I do not want to regret marrying you and bearing your heirs, if it ever happens."

"Are you…you will be all right?" Legolas asked. "You were Fading…"

"I was forcing myself to Fade, because I did not want him to touch me," Harry replied, shuddering in disgust. "I…I used my guilt and grief over the supposed death of Thorongil to…to begin the process. But he is alive, and the Witch-king is gone from these lands. I will be fine in time."

"So that is what you are asking of me?" the blonde sighed. "Time?"

"And patience," Harry answered. "And for you to keep your promise of fidelity."

"You…you do not wish to be with me, but you do not wish for me to be with another?" Legolas questioned.

"I…I need to know that you do not need constant gratification," the green-eyed Elf responded. "If you can abstain, perhaps I can trust in your words. And I do not think I could ever consider you if I constantly had to face your lovers."

"I…I made a promise to the Valar," Legolas admitted. "When you were captured. I promised that if you were returned safe and well, I would never even look upon another in lust again. You are my only, even if you should forsake me."

Harry looked at him with shocked green eyes.

"That will be a hard promise to keep…" he murmured softly.

"But I shall," the prince declared. "I will prove to you that I can be the one you need."

"Perhaps in time," Harry replied. "I…I am not staying in Mirkwood indefinitely. I wish to visit to Rivendell eventually…"

"Visit?" Legolas questioned. "I would gladly take you there…"

Harry smiled at him softly.

"Glorfindel and I spoke for a while after Thorongil left," the brunette Elf admitted. "He believes…he believes that my grandfather is in Rivendell. If I find my Elven family, I may stay there."

Legolas faltered, looking at him with pain-filled eyes.

"Would you allow me to follow?" he questioned seriously.

"You have your duties here…" Harry trailed off.

Legolas shook his head and fell to his knees at Harry's bedside.

"How am I to prove to you that I am true if you are not here? Or I am not there? I will gladly follow where you lead," Legolas swore.

Harry looked at him, uncertain. He reached out a delicate hand to caress Legolas's smooth cheek.

"Then we shall see…" the Elfing murmured. "We have time yet."

Legolas sighed deeply, covering Harry's smaller hand with his own.

"We have forever," he replied softly with a relieved smile. "And I will wait forever if forever is what you need."

Harry smiled back softly.

Glorfindel looked upon the pair with approving eyes from his spot in the doorway. The two were so wrapped up in their conversation that they did not even notice him.

The blonde Elf-lord backed out of the healing chambers quietly, turning to walk to the great hall.

He would convince King Thranduil to give Harry the time he needed and stop pressuring the Elf to marry his son.

After all, Legolas was right.

They had forever.

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Author's Note: I am thinking that the next chapter might be the epilogue…or one more chapter and then the epilogue? Please review and let me know what you think. ^_^