Thanks to kitine1, midnight13731, farflung (), general zargon, Aranel Mereneth (I LOVE your name!) for reviewing up through chapter two. If you reviewed and I didn't see it for some reason, thank you, I love you, and keep it up!
The River Sings
Thoronsul stared grimly ahead as he reached out to the trees, begging them for aid in finding his little Leaf, his little brother Legolas. Please, he begged them, keep him safe, until I find him!
Thoronsul didn't normally speak to the trees this way, but his figured his need was dire. He had no idea underthe heavens how the trees would keep Leaf safe (perhaps they would pick him up in their branches?), but he figured somehow, his trust would not go astray.
Thoronsul could hear the rushing river now. Faintly, but clearly, as though is was singing a song to him and his young brother, singing to them, about them...Thoronsul shook his head slightly and bent low over his horse's neck as it leapt over a fallen log. As the elf straightened, he felt a lurch deep in hid gut, and unconsciously, squeezed his legs against his mount's sides. Now he needed to hurry faster. Legolas was really in trouble now, for what ever reason.
Some distance behind his son, Thranduil was having similar thoughts. He prayed for both his sons, for he knew that if his Greenleaf, Legolas, should die, Thoronsul would be destroyed by the terrible grief that would follow his younger brother's passing.
He was lucky that the death of their mother Tauredhiel had brought them closer rather than pulling them apart, as could very well have happened instead.
His sons were as close as any brothers could be, and Thranduil was glad they had found solace in each other. He prayed that his tithen Las would be alive when they found him, for just as Thoronsul had felt, Thranduil now felt a twinge of panic and unease as he knew that his youngest son was in danger. He spurred his mount and caught up with Thoronsul.
"Ada," Thoronsul whispered, barley audible above the rush of wind in their pointed ears, ears that strained for the slightest hint of their kin, of the young elven prince.
Time was of the essence, and time was one thing they had not the ability to spare.
Under a tall tree by a rushing black river, a small elfling lay sprawled on the ground, yet unknowing of his surroundings.
He was not alone.
Watched by silent eyes, the elfling's activities had been carefully noted by a lone, lame wolf.
Now, as the little-alone-elf slept, the wolf edged closer, and warily raised his nose to the air. There was no scent of other big-tall-pointed-ears yet, but the wolf needed to be careful. Big-tall-pointed-ears were why he could no longer hunt with his family-pack, the reason why he was lame.
Now the wolf crept slowly closer to his victim. He could could smell the little-alone-pointed-ears, delicious, tender young flesh, yet surprisingly, unresisting it's slumber.
The wolf was wary: most big-tall-pointed-ears he had ever encountered were so tense they would have shot him dead by now.
This little-alone-pointed-ears did not so much as stir as the wolf padded unevenly closer and traced its nose across the little-alone-pointed-ear's chest, drinking in the smell of fresh meat, a meal all his, solely his. He didn't have to share this with his pack. They had abandoned him, and so he abandoned them.
He lowered his jaws to the throat of the little-alone-pointed-ears, but still there was no sign of responsiveness, or big-tall-pointed-ears coming to kill him.
Wolf-grinning now, the wolf growled deep in his throat, and prepared to sink his long fangs into the soft unyielding flesh of the little-alone-pointed-ears.
"Ada! We must find him!"
Thoronsul felt the urgency to find Leaf even more now. There was no doubt in his mind: Legolas was in terrible danger, and if they did not find him very soon, Thoronsul feared he would feel their brotherly bond snap.
Thoronsul shivered. That was one experience he feared more than any other, and prayed fervently to the Valar that he would not be alive to ever fell it happen.
Then, without warning, Thoronsul felt dizzy, and swayed alarmingly with his horse as it swerved around a tree.
Thranduil cried out and brought his horse to a standstill next to Thoronsul.
"Ion nin, ion nin? Are you all right? Thoronsul! Answer me!"
Thoronsul blinked dazedly and looked at his father.
"Ada...I know where he is. I don't know what happened...I just - know - now where he is! Come, we must away!"
And with that, the two elves sprang away from their horses into the forest on foot, hunting for their third member of kin.
The wolf's fangs were millimeters from killing the little-pointed-ears when he heard a faint rustling. He wouldn't have thought anything of it but for the fact that this little-pointed-ears gave him a nasty feeling, as though it might mean the death of him...
But the wolf's hunger won. He was truly starving now, and to have such a meal so close and easily accessible...
He lowered his head again.
"Ada." The words were barely whispered. "Ada, there's a wolf."
Thranduil quietly unshouldered his bow and drew an arrow, fletched with a bright blue and deep rich gold, from his quiver.
Implicitly, he trusted his son's word. After his strange realization of Legolas' whereabouts, Thranduil had decided just to trust him and ask questions once they were back home safe.
"Where?" he breathed to Thoronsul.
The younger elf squinted and pointed silently.
Leaning down so he was on his son's level, he looked through the brush. Thranduil felt a horrible lurch in his heart.
There was a wolf, its sharp fangs touching his baby son's throat!
Without further ado, Thranduil nocked, drew, and sighted in a smooth, unconscious movement, well-honed from spending many years in Greenwood's unit of archers (a privilege he secretly hoped both of his sons would follow his into).
The blue and gold became a blur as the arrow whipped away from the king's bow and straight into the wolf.
The wolf yelped and stiffened, and slowly, toppled over to lay still on its side. It was dead.
Thoronsul abandoned his silence and shouted now.
"LEAF! LEAF! Are you all right?"
Not two steps behind him, Thranduil knelt besides his sons on the ground, his face pale, and his heart pounding in his ears.
Seeing his youngest son, laying on the ground like this, like the boy's mother had done not long ago, Thranduil's heart was practically flipping out of his chest.
Thoronsul, meanwhile, had dissolved into tear, clutching his brother's tunic.
"Ada, he's dead, Ada! He's not breathing! Oh, Ada, that stupid wolf killed him! I'll kill all the wolves! Oh Ada-!"
Thranduil closed his eyes at his elder son's words and tentatively grasped both of his sons' hands, squeezing them both.
He could literally feel the world crashing down about his ears as he felt the coldness of his tithen Las' hand in his. So small, so young yet to have his life ended. Thranduil closed his eyes, a crushing, painful horrible, terrible grief begging to take him down, to sink him in his own despair. Thranduil knew he would never know peace if he didn't know what had finished his youngest son,
Dreading what he would see as the killing mark, Thranduil gently pulled Thoronsul, still wailing wildly, off of his brother.
As Thranduil cradled Legolas to him, his own tears streaming down his face, he was puzzled to see no killing bite of the small white neck. Nor was there any other kind of wound on him, Thranduil found, upon further inspection.
Frowning, thranduil looked around, and his gaze fell upon a small wooden cup laying a little distance from where his youngest son's hand had lain.
Feeling an almost ridiculous rush of dizzying hope. Thranduil picked it up and sniffed the liquid inside. Odorless, clear...
"Water..." Thranduil said wonderingly. He sat icy still for a moment, then leapt to his feet and ran to the riverside, where he instantly recognized the innocently beautiful black water.
He stood, staring down into the water, thunderstruck at what this meant...
...until Thoronsul gasped wildly and screeched, "Ada! Ada! He's a zombie! Watch out Ada!"
Thranduil whirled around to see Legolas stirring faintly on the grass.
With a wild, inarticulate cry, Thranduil hurled himself back onto the grass, jarring his knees sharply, but ignoring the sudden pain.
"Legolas! Tithen Las, you must answer me! Are you all right? Can you hear me? How do you feel? Did the wolf hurt you? Are you-"
thoronsul, who had figured out by now that his brother was not a reanimated corpse, tugged at his Ada's sleeve.
"Ada, stop! you'll confuse him!"
Thranduil looked at his son at his arm, then down at his youngest, sitting up now, and looking thoroughly confused. Slowly, grey eyes shot through with green turned to Thranduil and then to Thoronsul.
The small elfling, to the two older elves' shock, began to cry without abandon. Thoronsul looked at his father in panic.
"What's wrong with him? Why is he crying like that, Ada?"
Without answering his elder son, Thranduil scooped Legolas into his arms and cradled him again, but this time, comforting the sobbing elfling, who was now gasping out words like a dying animal might do (if dying animals were in the habit of speaking, that is).
"A-a-ada!" the little elfling wailed. "I-I-I'm s-s-sorry, Ada! I d-d-didn't m-m-mean t-t-to d-d-do that! I didn't m-m-mean t-t-to b-b-break the b-b-book! Adaaaaa!" His last word turned into a scream as his sobs overcame him.
Thranduil sat stunned for a moment, then began to laugh wildly as his son's words hit him.
Legolas had nearly died, and the little dear thing was crying over the book?
"Oh, tithen las," he soothed, "the book is hardly what is important! I was worried sick for you!"
The little elf looked up at his father as though he couldn't believe his father valued his young son's life over the book the little elf had destroyed.
Thranduil hugged him tighter, and Thoronsul slipped into the embrace as well.
"Ada?" Legolas spoke up after a while, looking sheepish and guilty now, as well as still terrified about the book. "Ada? When I drank the water...well, right before, I wondered if you had ever done that? Did you ever rink the water of the sleep-river?"
Thranduil snorted in laughter.
"Of course I have, Legolas. I don't know that there's a soul in Greenwood that hasn't!"
Legolas smiled as he though about this father toppling over in an undignified manner, just as he had done.
"Well, I haven't yet!" Thoronsul said indignantly.
Thranduil laughed as he stood, sweeping Legolas into his arms and whistled for their horses.
"Not yet, tithen thoron, not yet!"
"Ada, Ada! Tell me more stories about when you were young!"
"Yes Ada," Thoronsul joined in his brother's pleading, indignation forgotten.
Thranduil smiled as his older son hopped up onto his horse, and he himself mounted his own steed, with Legolas tucked securely in front of him.
It was a long ride back to the palace, and with the two elflings pleading for stories, the king was sure that there would be plenty of time for his sons to learn of his won misdoings of his youth..
As if they would really need the prompting to get into more trouble!
Yes! My first completed story! Reviews, s'il vous plait! Please, and thank you!