Rating: PG-13 for some mildly implied sexual content between married persons

Summary: Thranduil takes his wife to their new home in northern Greenwood with a plan in mind that will change their lives.

Transformed

By Nieriel Raina

Northeastern Mirkwood

Year 1075, Third Age

Early Spring

"Come."

Laerwen followed Thranduil down a slope through a grove of young beech trees just beginning to shimmer with new green leaves. Beyond them, she could hear a river flowing. As they drew near it, the sun glinted off the rushing water flowing under a small wooden bridge. Further upstream she could see where the larger bridge was still under construction.

With her hand clasped tightly in his, they crossed the tumbling stream and climbed up a hidden path. It wound up the side of the mountain, and they traveled a good distance before he halted her, inserting some a key into a lock only revealed when a stone was pushed to the side. Then he quietly spoke a soft word, and her eyes widened as a door opened into the mountain. She had not even seen it! It appeared to be part of the mountain itself.

Dwarf doors, she thought, remembering Thranduil's explanation for the dwindling treasury. He had hired dwarves to delve the mountain halls that would be their home.

She followed him into the darkness, shivering as the rock slipped closed behind them. She could feel the weight of the stone above them, the pitch black choking the life from her so that she nearly screamed in defiance of being so far from the sky and the wind. But then Thranduil spoke another word and torches sprang to life, lighting their path down a roughly hewn corridor, and she bit back her terror of being so far underground. It was not natural, but had they any choice? She looked up at her chosen mate. And she had vowed to follow him anywhere.

Reaching up, she placed a chaste kiss on his cheek, but he turned and captured her lips in a far more passionate kiss. Breathless, she pushed him back. "Thranduil!" she protested, quite aware of his amorous state.

He chuckled deep in his chest. "There is no one here. This is a private entrance to what will be our chambers." His dimple flashed, warning her of his intentions. "But it's much more comfortable there than here."

He led her onwards, until they came to a plain oak door. He unlocked it with another key, and he ushered her inside. There, she found that the cavern she had seen only once before had been transformed into splendid accommodations for the two of them. Tapestries of forest glades and elves dancing under the starlight hung on nearly every wall, hiding the stone and making it feel as if she were in wide open spaces.

Above, sunlight trickled down from some complex system of lighting that Thranduil had devised with the dwarves using mirrors and crystals and the far wall held a wide open window that opened out to a balcony, hidden from view below and easily sealed off if they were to come under attack. It made the room feel far more open and more like the hall where they had lived in the mountains rather than a room beneath a mountain of stone.

Laerwen turned her eyes to the room itself, the furnishings of polished oak, and the bed… She gasped as her eyes came to rest on the deep green coverings that graced a raised feather bed. It looked so soft! So…inviting.

She did not protest when he led her towards it, his fingers nimbly unfastening her dress as they went. Indeed, she applied her own fingers to the task of undressing his powerful form, marveling at the muscles revealed as she pushed his tunic from his shoulders.

"I thought here," he whispered in her ear. "Here in this new place we might —" He swallowed hard.

She glanced up, catching a glimmer of something she had not seen in his eyes for many years. She had not thought to ever see it again, though she had dared to hope. "Are you certain?" she asked.

He nodded. "Only if you wish it as well." He dropped his eyes, his fingers stilling.

Laerwen smiled compassionately at his hesitance. He had been so cautious and somewhat distant with their sons, still feeling the loss of Faervel and his father during that horrible War so long ago. He had felt he had failed as a father and had feared to repeat such. He was different with Anoriel, and perhaps… Perhaps another child was exactly what he needed. "Anoriel will be ecstatic. There will be no living with her until the child is born."

Thranduil's eyes snapped to hers, hope lighting them. Tracing his jaw with one hand, she leaned forward and kissed him, as with the other she let her dress fall to the floor where it pooled around her feet. "Take me to our bed," she whispered, letting her hand slide down his chest. "And let us show our people there is yet to hope for in this, our new home."

His eyes sparked with some of the mischievousness he had once been well known for, and he swept her up into his arms, carried her to the bed and laid her down and once again made her his.

An hour later, she laid with her head on his chest, her gaze on a small sapling just in view of the window, a single green bud beginning to unfurl on its upper branch, and she smiled.