Hello to my reviewers!!!!! This is an extra special treat just for you, or anyone else who decided they might want to read my author's notes for some reason. Welcome to the special edition feature of The Stone of Malinya. If this was a DVD, then you would have just reached the deleted scenes section. This is a scene I wrote, after the fic was done and purposely left out. If you liked the way the story ended, the conclusions reached by the characters and felt it had good closure, you probably shouldn't read this. Just a warning, for that reason, I'm leaving a large space between the fic and this little message. It's something I just had to do, wanted to be a little different with my fic, and also am addicted to DVD special features.
Now, the summary of this deleted scene: What really happened while Jarinel and Legolas left the camp during the last chapter. I warn you again, this may be a very controversial ending, so if you liked it the way it was, don't blame me if you don't like this. Well, if you're still reading, enjoy …
The Stone of Malinya: Deleted Scene
Legolas breathed in deeply, enjoying the fresh smell of the forest and catching the faint scent of water nearby. He and Jarinel were galloping through an open valley, with no true destination, just for the sensation of flying that came with the great speeds the horse was capable of. Technically they were supposed to be helping their companions prepare to set out on their own back to Gondor, since their Brelan escort was returning home, but it had been some time since the two had been able to roam aimlessly through the forest and they gladly took hold of the opportunity. Legolas knew that though Jarinel would take some time to tire, the sun's warm rays that day had to be uncomfortable for the horse.
"I believe there is water nearby my friend, should we go in search of it?" Legolas asked. Jarinel clearly responded in the positive when he brought himself up on two legs with a short whinny. The elf smiled and pushed him ahead.
They trotted through the woods for only a short time before they came to a calm river that cut the forest in two. Jarinel neighed in delight and shot forward, eager to not only drink but jump into the refreshing water. Just before he reached the shore Legolas removed himself from his back, not feeling it necessary to get soaked just yet. Jarinel splashed in the water happily, kicking up large waves in an attempt to get the elf wet as well. For his part the archer was content to watch the horse have its fun for now, they still had some time until they had to return to the campsite after all. But Jarinel had other ideas. Trotting out of the water the horse stood before his master and shook out his mane, making Legolas laughed as droplets of water cascaded over him from head to toe.
"Very well, I will join you," he finally conceded when the horse did not stop. Jarinel began to happily head back to the water while Legolas removed his weapons and placed them carefully on the ground, he then undid his boots and began to remove his tunic when Jarinel became impatient. Grabbing the elf's sleeve with his jaws the horse bodily dragged him towards the water. Legolas was too busy laughing to really protest and quickly found himself waist deep in the river.
"I hope you are quite happy now," Legolas remarked as he stood up. Jarinel splashed him once more to show him he was. Now fully soaked the elf knew he would have to play along and began to swim away, out of the horse's reach.
"You shall have to do better than that if …" Legolas did not finish his thought as a strange feeling suddenly came over him. It was a great mixture of joy and warmth, and though he was enjoying himself with Jarinel he knew that was not the cause. He realized it was a feeling he had felt before.
"No, that is impossible," He tried to tell himself, but it was all too possible. If this river was connected to the one near the rebels' base it was extremely possible, even likely. A sense of hope and dread filliing him, he decided he had to know for sure. Legolas took a deep breath and disappeared below the water's surface.
The river was clean and shallow at this junction, as well as calm; the current was of no worry to him. He swam near the bottom, his sharp gaze taking in every detail of the riverbed. Eventually he had to come up for air, but he quickly dove down again, intent to follow the strange feeling. Again he found nothing.
When he dove for the third time he went slightly farther upstream and found a bed of rocks along the bottom. He pushed himself forward and was almost blinded by his discovery. There, trapped between two large stones and shining with all its intensity was the Stone of Malinya.
Legolas almost gasped and pulled a small amount of water into his lungs. Needing to resurface quickly he made a powerful final stroke and reached the Stone. Grasping it tightly he made his way to the surface once more. Coughing slightly he swam back to the shore he had long ago left behind and, ignoring the still playful horse, trudged to the shallow water. He did not even make it to dry land, instead he just sat near the river's edge, in water deep enough to reach his knees while sitting, and stared at the Stone of Malinya.
"Its beauty is greater than I remembered," the elf whispered as he gazed into its depth. Despite the fall it had taken and punishment it must have suffered while in the water, the Stone was still perfect, uncracked and smooth as crystal. From inside the same light glowed its myriad of beautiful colors, overpowering most people's thoughts with its beauty. But now the question Legolas had to answer was what to do with it.
"It cannot be by chance alone that the Stone came to me," Legolas knew and wondered what reason the fates would have for taunting him with such a gift. If it had been Aragorn or Gimli the answer would be simple, take the Stone and bring peace to the lands forever. But Legolas had begun to think differently of the Stone. He had told Aragorn that peace that came naturally was the best kind of all, and he believed that. The Stone of Malinya was powerful but he now began to think the Elves of old had been arrogant to create such a power that could bring peace to wherever they wished it. To have harmony in the land there must be effort and struggle put forth, and it is through that struggle that lives are bettered and relationships strengthened. If there is no struggle, how can there be any true reward?
At this point and time Legolas did not even believe that the Stone was needed anywhere in Middle-Earth. The Enemy was destroyed, Elves and Dwarves were beginning to trust each other once more, though many of the Eldar were leaving for the Gray Havens, and Gondor stood strong as a nation of Men, with no enemies in all directions. Even Brelan was now free from controversy, having succeeded in stopping the rebels that plagued them, and having learned the truth about elves and their past. For what purpose could the Stone be used in this time, where peace and amity were managing on their own?
"Well, it makes a lovely decoration," Legolas finally decided. And he knew what he must do. The lands of Middle-Earth were not in chaos, they were in harmony. The lands and the races had fought hard and earned the calm in which they lived, and the elf truly believed that the knowledge and return of Malinya's Stone would only cause controversy and pain once more, as it had done in Brelan.
He could not return this treasure to the people of Middle-Earth, he could not even tell Aragorn or any one else of its recovery. The Stone had great power, but even it could not control the battles that may be fought over it.
And as Legolas thought these thoughts, decided his course of action, the Stone was feeling everything he was. Having been cured by it, and holding it as he now did connected him directly to its power, and when his hands began to tingle he looked directly into its core. A light beam emerged and caught him directly in the eyes, blinding in its intensity, but the elf did not flinch or turn away, instead he somehow understood that he had to look deeper. And the deeper he looked the more he saw.
He saw a land that he instinctually knew to be Brelan, and as he looked closer he could see the Castle of Hileris, and sitting on the King's throne was not Lord Vecery, but a Man of just as wise an age who cast a familiar face. It was Sorinth, many years from now, ruling Miscalanth in his final years. Around the king were advisors, captains of the guard, counsellors from the senate, tax collectors from the treasury, and elves. Dressed in fine robes as only honoured visitors would wear, the unknown Eldar bowed to Sorinth, who returned the gesture and invited them to sit with him in a place of honor. As the image pulled away Legolas could see that throughout Brelan Men were conversing with Elves regularly, drinking with them, and even inviting them into their homes.
The image pulled away farther and Legolas saw more; Middle-Earth, all of it. And it was beautiful. There was no war, no hatred and no hunger. Everything was as it should be, everyone was content, everywhere there was peace.
The pictures faded but their impressions in Legolas would last a lifetime. The Stone's power was greater than any of them had thought, for it had the power to see the very future, which it had shown him. And as the visions blurred away Legolas knew that the Stone had done exactly what was necessary. Legolas had thought that Aragorn, Gimli and himself had been responsible for the peace in Brelan, the rebels' capture and the diminished hatred of elves, but he now understood that it had been the Stone, the object they had come searching for that put all the events into motion. It had had a plan all along, and now that plan was finished.
As Malinya's Stone withdrew their connection, he knew that its work was done. The light from its core began to fade and the surface hardened and became cold until eventually Legolas held only a rock. Nothing more.
A smile graced his features; he understood now that the Stone had had a greater plan all along, as preposterous as that sounded. In the end there was peace, natural and well earned, and it would remain for some time. Chuckling softly Legolas took a final look at the rock he now held and threw it back into the water, watching as it sunk to the bottom until a time when it was perhaps needed again. He rose from the water, taking no notice of his damp state and whistled for Jarinel. It was time to return to his friends, his family, and leave Brelan to reach its fate on its own.
The elf rode back to camp, his smile never fading, knowing that he must never tell anyone of what he saw or did, but knew that he would take great comfort from it for some time. How could one not be comforted by peace, after all?
The end (really)
That's it. Stone did what it was meant to. I realize this ending may not sit well with some, others will probably love it, and either way, I'd love to hear what you thought. Once again, thank you all for coming and reading, it's been a great ride. Robinyj ^_^