Greetings, and good news! Actually, two pieces of good news:

New story from me! Again! I am getting so many great plot bunnies!

The next chapter of Long, Long Journey is ALMOST READY! (Especially for you, midnight-chan!)

Title: The River Sings

Summary: Young Legolas wants to learn about the enchanted river that flows through Greenwood...but will he stop at simply learning about it?

Rating: K

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The River Sings

by Caelhir

Chapter One: Books

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Year 139 Third Age of Middle Earth

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Legolas hissed his frustration as his tiny frame reached, reached, reached for the book. He was just a little too small to be able to grasp it in his small hand. He frowned and retreated to stand firmly on the shelf that he perched upon.

He had spotted the book a week ago, when he had been polishing the tables and shelves, the ones he usually stood upon when he wanted to read books. He had to climb on the shelves, he thought, because he was too small to reach the books otherwise!

This book was not really like any other books in the library of Greenwood, however; this one was about the rivers of the great forest, a topic that interested the young elf prince greatly, for no one would tell him about them.

Every time he asked, asked about the enchanted river, the person he asked would tell him that he was too young to know, or that he wouldn't understand. This greatly frustrated the young elf, because he wanted to know about the river that made you fall asleep. It sounded so terribly interesting, from all that he had gathered. He had listened in on conversations, looked in every book he could find (save the one he could not reach), and had asked incessantly until his father had ordered him not to ask, and for no one to tell him anything.

That was silly of Ada Legolas thought, smiling, for now I know that there is something to be found at the river!

With that thought in mind, he jumped a little on the shelf to test its weight, then without any more hesitation, he leaped up onto the ledge that the book of his attentions rested.

Clinging to the shelf, he ran a finger along the embossed letters upon the book's spine, which read: The Rivers of Greenwood: A Comprehensive Listing of the Canals from the North End to the Southern Regions and a Collection of Maps and with a Revised Analysis of the Waterways of the Forest and Their Critical Importance to Greenwood. The author's name was not one that he recognized.

Legolas hadn't the faintest idea of what most of the words meant, but he had understood that "Rivers of Greenwood" meant that all of the rivers in the forest would be listed, because this book seemed very scholarly and intelligent.

Well, books aren't intelligent, he amended in his head, but if they were, I think this one would be smarter than Erestor all the way in Rivendell!

He smiled at how Erestor would react in he knew that Legolas thought a book was smarter than he was!

Reaching out, at last he was able to pull down the book. Holding it in his hands, he realized his mistake just a moment too late.

With the book in his hands, he wasn't holding onto the shelf anymore.

With a heart-clenching, gut-twisting realization that he was falling, Legolas gasped as he descended the bookshelf much more rapidly than he had gone up it.

Lying on the ground, dazed, he looked for the book, finding it laying not too far from him. But he noticed something else when he looked at it: the book was BROKEN!

The hard cover had separated from the spine of the book, and now the pages were laying under the book, falling out. The other cover has cracked right in two. This book must have been very old for a fall to have damaged it so! Legolas gasped in horror. What would he say to the librarian, Oronial? What would he say to his father?

Legolas felt a tear slip down his face. He had never meant to break anything! Suddenly he felt very small surrounded by all the tall shelves full of perfectly kept, unbroken books.

He straightened. His father would be so angry, and that was nothing as to how the book-obsessed Oronial would react! Legolas would be lucky to escape with his skin intact!

At this unpleasant thought (and accompanying image!) Legolas knelt next to the book, and gathered the covers, fragmented spine, and and as many of the scattered pages as he could carry into his arms. He would take them back to him room and try to fix it. Then it would be all right, and he would never, ever, EVER ask about rivers ever again!

On his way out of the library, he realized his whole side was bruised from his fall, and that it was becoming quite painful. He wanted to stop and put the heavy pieces of the book down, but the thought of being caught out of bed this late with a destroyed book (a very smart book, at that!) kept him moving his feet forwards until he finally got back to his room.

Once inside, he laid the book on his bed, and went to his desk. Ask he was retrieving his paste to out it all back together, he heard a roar shake the household, coming from the library.

"WHERE IS THE REST OF THE BOOK ON RIVERS! BRING IT BACK NOW!"

Legolas squeaked and dropped the paste on the floor. The bottle shattered, and the sticky mess oozed out onto the floor.

More tears leaked from the young elf's eyes. Another mess!

That did it. Legolas ran around his room, grabbing the first things that flew into his mind, determined not to think about the messes he was leaving behind.

He would have to run for it. Oronial would certainly slay him, from the amount of anger in his voice!

Still in tears, Legolas turned was getting ready to leave via the window when one of the scattered pages caught his attention. Stepping back to his bed, he read the heading of the page: Caimaduin, The River of Sleep.

Legolas seized the page, and the pages beneath it, for they seemed to be of the same section of the book that the first was from.

Stuffing them into his pocket, he leapt from the window. landing safely in an oak tree, and was away, running through the moonlit forest, away from his perceived doom at Oronial's hands.

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Three hours later, Legolas' frantic pace had subsided. For a while now he had simply been walking slowly along a path draped with moonlight and shadows intermingled. Now he lay lounging by a small creek, babbling softly in the pre-dawn stillness. He had pulled the pages out of his pocket, smoothed them out, and had begun to read them.

Now as he finished, his excitement at seeing the enchanted river again had flared back to life. He had worked his way through most of the text, simplifying it so he could understand it. As he had read he realized that, given the map on the bottom of the third page, he was not very far from Caimaduin!

He decided to follow the creek upstream, because his Ada had told him that he could find a larger river by following a small one upstream.

He folded the pages carefully this time, and tucked them back into his pocket before setting off again.

He hummed as he walked, very proud that he had been able to find his way to Caimaduin all by himself at his young age. He had never done anything like this before, and he hoped he would not be in too much trouble, but this was like one of Oronial's experiments, "for scientific researching purposes," the librarian always said, whenever Legolas asked what he was doing. This trip would simply be one of those experiments.

A short walk more, and Legolas was standing on the banks of a wide black river, sparkling in the sunrise. He gazed at it, and as he did, a crazy thought wormed its way into his mind: did the river really make you fall asleep? He had heard the stories, as had all the elflings at his home, of the mighty warriors who had fallen into sleeps for days because of this river, but were they true?

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Okay, now this is the part where you click the review button and tell me how it is. I think it will be about 2-3 chapters long.

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(review) Pleases and thank yous,

Caelhir