A/N: Okie dokie! This our laaaassssttt chapter! What do all of you think about a possible sequel? I have a few ideas for one and a clip or two already written out, so let me know what you think. Should I write a sequel or leave it as it is?
~~Chapter Twenty Five~~~ Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.
Legolas stumbled at last up into the highest room in Minas Morgul. It had been a journey hard on his heart and with every empty room, his heart suffered another blow. He began to fear that he would never find Valo. How could he have shot the one he loved? It had been Sauron he had shot but it was Valo's form that he had aimed his bow at. It had been Valo who had stared out at him in shock and hurt as he bled out. Would he ever find Valo? And if he did…would he be alive? If he was, would Valo ever forgive him? He opened the last door in the black fortress, his breath held in anxiety. What if Valo wasn't here…What if he had been in Barad-Dur all along, buried in the rubble with his Master? What if he never saw him again? With trembling hands he opened the door.
~ o ~
Harry…Harry Potter. Harry Potter. That was his name in the Other place. There was an image of a beautiful woman with long red hair and bright green eyes. She was wrapped in the arms of a man with spectacles on.
"I believe your friends Misters Fred and George Weasley were responsible for trying to send you a toilet seat. No doubt they thought it would amuse you." Friends…He'd had friends. Even though he didn't know them anymore, there had been people who'd loved him before his Master.
"Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love." His mother…The woman with the green eyes. Green eyes just like his. He had family in that other place. A man with blue eyes and a friendly smile despite his haggard appearance and gaunt face.
"Kreacher is cleaning," a strange short knarled creature said grumbling. " Kreacher lives to serve the noble house of Black-" "-and it's getting blacker every day, it's filthy," said the friendly man.
"You are truly your father's son, Harry..."
A flash of green light and a young woman screaming amidst the sounds of battle and curses.
"Harry, no! What are you doing?" She cried in terror.
The sound of his Master's cackling laugh echoed through him but everything seemed muted as if his Master were inside his body again. He opened his eyes to see a strange enormous hall with the remains of a stone fountain scattered about the floor. An old man and several people stood around, shooting curses of every color at one another, caught in an endless battle it seemed. He was walking slowly toward his Master's form in the middle of the hall, the man's arms opened wide for him.
"Yessss, come here, my Harry. Come to me, my dear horcrux." He was enfolded in the man's arms, heedless of the bushy hair girl's cries for him to stop. His Master looked up at the old man who faced him, his eyes filled with sorrow and fear for him, "My faithful, to me!" His Master called and the man began to chant, looking around at the ground around them.
A circle began to glow in the stone surrounding them and only the Dementor Lord, Lucius and Bellatrix Lestrange reached them before the circle erupted in a doorway of light beneath them. All he could hear was the whoosh of air and the cries of people calling his name.
His vision darkened until he was standing in a strange place, an odd smoking crimson machine stretching the length of twenty healthy steeds easily. He was standing on some sort of stone platform though much of it was covered in some sort of dense fog. Where was this place? It felt familiar and with it, was a feeling of relief and happiness. Within the fog, he could half see the image of a child seeming to play hide and seek with him through the fog. The child wore large spectacles and strange large clothing. Beneath his short, chopped black hair was a pair of emerald eyes. The apparition ducked back into the depths of the fog with a joyous laugh.
"Strange isn't it? I thought the same thing once upon a time. You get used to it." Came an amused voice from beside him.
Valo turned around and saw a young man standing nearby. He was leaning against a pillar smoking some sort of short, white pipe or tobacco stick. It didn't take much for Valo to connect the dots between this man and the one features in his memories.
"Tom Riddle…" He whispered, turning towards him completely.
This was his Master when he was young. Tom smirked slowly.
"I was once. Just as you are no longer Harry Potter. For some time now, I've been you. Or at least, a part of you. I'm the one who keeps you from getting into trouble, it seems."
His eyes widened. Could it be? Could this be real?
"You're the voice in my head."
Tom nodded, take a long drag on the white stick. His hazel eyes surveyed the teen before him with a somewhat sad look, as if he knew something about what would come to pass that did not bid well for either of them.
"That's right. We're inside your mind right now, Valo. The Witch King healed your wound. It's up to you now when you wake up." Tom said carefully, watching him with a strange expression in his eyes, an expression Valo did not understand.
The Morgul teen looked into the fog once more but the apparition was gone. Only thick swirling fog met his gaze. The thought of Legolas's disdain of him, Theoden's dying hatred, and the Men he had killed in the battle were a crushing weight. He had killed their comrades. How could they ever get past that? How could they ever trust him again? How could he ever forgive himself?
"What if I'm afraid to wake up…?"
Tom tossed the smoking thing on the ground, crushing it under his boot. He gave Valo a soft look, a comforting gaze.
"All things must come to an end, Valo, even dreams."
The place around him began to dissolve into darkness. He was waking up and there was nothing he could do to stop it now.
Valo's eyes began to open slowly, his mind buzzing with the swarm of memories invading his mind. He couldn't move. His body refused to obey his commands. He had no energy left to live on. His throat burned from screaming, the trail of blood slipping from between his lips already congealing. Why had he been screaming? The gaping hole in his consciousness, his very body it seemed, struck him like an angry Mumakil. His Master…Voldemort…Tom Riddle…he was dead? A dull pain in his side beneath his ribs forced a strangled whimper from his throat. He could feel the Witch King's death as well, a weight on his already overburdened mind. His Master was dead. His Keeper was dead. But he had lived…why? What was his purpose now? What was he good for now? A soft voice whispered his name though he could not match a face to it such was the state of his mind. He didn't have to wait for long. A face came into his line of vision, a face that stirred his heart and tears of relief to spill down his cheeks.
"Valo…oh, Valar." Legolas touched his cheek, desperately reassuring himself that the teen was alive. His hand flew to the miraculously absent wound on Valo's stomach, "Come on, love. I've got you now. I'm going to protect you now…"
He pulled Valo into his arms bridal style, supporting his head lovingly. He could see the shriveled, desiccated remains of the Witch King near the stone table he'd been laying on. The wraith had given the last of his life force to heal his wound. A wound inflicted by the man who held him so tenderly. He tried to forget the sight of his keeper's corpse as he was placed in the saddle and carried away.
~ o ~
Legolas was watching him. He could feel his eyes even though he was turned away from the doorway. He had woken again in Rivendale, locked in a room alone. The sun was shining in through the window. Valo was glad that all of the people he adored would be able to live safe and happy now, but…without his Master, what was he supposed to do now? What was he living for? Before, he had had a purpose, a dark one, but a purpose none the less. Now what did he have? Nothing. No doubt he was just an unfortunate burden to his captors now that the Dark Lord was gone. He still hadn't been able to let that dreadful information pass through his lips. His Master had been all he had. Valo hadn't moved from the bed in the elvish city since he had arrived and no one had tried to convince him otherwise. Aragorn had come in at one time but he had been too weak to stay awake for long. He had heard the news of Frodo's defeat of the One Ring from the songs being sung all over the city. They filtered in through his window just as surely as the sun did now.
"Lord Elrond says that you are regaining your strength well. Won't you come out now? Frodo has been asking about you. I believe he is worried he will loose another friend." Legolas's voice flowed in like water in a brook.
Valo turned onto his back at last, looking over at the elf warrior. He wasn't really sure what to say to him. Legolas had detested him, and then he'd mourned his capture. He'd shot him and then he'd rescued him. What was going on in that head of his? In truth, Valo could understand being shot. If Legolas hadn't stopped him…he would have killed Aragorn. He would have killed the man who had stood by him no matter what. He had stood by him even when he knew what he was, when his Master had possessed him. But the other soldiers that had been there had not taken his murdering of their fellows kindly. He had been placed on a special guard so that none of them would take it into their own hands to dole out justice. Legolas walked over to him, sitting beside him on the bed. His face looked healthier than it had in some time but his eyes were brimming with regret. He stroked Valo's head tenderly, trying to show just how much what he had done was eating at him.
"I'm sorry, you know…for everything. All of it. How I acted towards you and for shooting you…Please forgive me. I was wrong to doubt you."
Valo sighed, sitting up for the first time in days. He fiddled with a strand of his hair nervously.
"It's alright…I know why you did it." His voice was low, a soft sound like the wind.
Yes, he understood why he had done it. He would have done the same thing, though it would have devastated him. Valo could see that it was devastating Legolas now. The elf took his hand from his hair, giving it a warm squeeze for comfort. He gave a long suffering sigh, running his thumb over Valo's pale hand for a long moment. The teen certainly wasn't complaining. It had been so long since Legolas had willingly touched him. He hadn't realized how much he had missed it…Once his Master had reclaimed him, his mind had constantly been bombarded with Sauron's presence and power that he hadn't even thought of his wayward love unless the Dark Lord wasn't in his presence. He had missed Legolas's soft kisses and his warm arms wrapped around him at night. He'd missed the sound of his soft breathing while he slept. Now Legolas was going to leave now that the war was over and their mission was completed. What reason did he have to stay? Tears pooled in his eyes out of his control. Valo felt like such an idiot. He was crying like a child in front of Legolas and for what? Because things weren't going the way he wanted them to?
"Valo? Valo, what's wrong? Are you hurt?" His voice was full of concern and worry.
Valo covered his face with his hands, too ashamed of himself to let Legolas see his tears. He found himself just sobbing like an infant in the bed, unable to stop himself. He shook his head in misery.
"Your going to leave now! Your going to go back to your home and I'll be left all alone and I don't know what I'm going to do because who wants a freaky little thing like me around now? What reason am I here now?" Valo cried, trying in vain to stem the well of tears so that he seemed a little less like a hormonal woman and more like a logical human being.
An odd sound filtered into his consciousness, a melodic sound that thrilled along his spine but took him off guard. Much to his complete mortification, he realized rather quickly that it was the sound of Legolas laughing. It was a low, amused chuckle that had Valo flushing and burying his head in the hands in absolute horror. Did the torment never cease?
"Legolas, please don't-" He began but found himself cut off by the silver eyes and quick tongue of the elf he loved.
"Valo, will you marry me?"
The question was so out of the blue, so unguarded and unexpected that the usually level headed youth found himself gaping.
"You-…you're serious? You want me? To be your bonded?"
He was so taken aback that he didn't even notice Aragorn and Gandalf standing in the doorway, both brimming with amusement at his plight.
"I couldn't want anything more. Will you be mine for good?" Legolas said, his eyes shining with pleasure.
Valo stared at him for a long moment before he flung his arms around him in a giant hug that would have startled a less agile man. He started to cry again but this time from happiness. He was going to have somewhere he belonged, really belonged, after all.
Aragorn's crowning would be tomorrow morning and he had already asked Lord Elrond permission to ask for Arwen's hand in marriage. All was as it should be. And so the days of peace descended forth for all of Middle Earth.
Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien.
Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn'
Out if the great sea to Middle Earth I am come.
In this place I will abide, and my heirs,
unto the end of the world.
Let me know what you think! Would you like to see a sequel?