First of all, I have NOT abandonned 'The Tale of the Forgotten Angels'. A friend of mine is currently correcting it, and I will update the last two chapters as soon as the mistakes in my previous ones have disappeared.
That brings me to my second point: I'm not a native speaker. Google translater doesn't like me and Word corrector has the level of a 6-year-old. Short, there WILL be mistakes in this story, even though I can't see them. I would be extremely grateful if you would tell me if you see some; so that other readers might not have a heart-attack :P
DISCLAIMER: I do not own LOTR. Persons or horses you don't recognize, are mine though.
This story is dedicated to TheButterflyCurse996 and Alain.
To Lord Aragorn Elessar, King of Gondor and Lord of Minas Tirith
Please come as soon as you can to my palace. Legolas is in dire need of your healing arts. Make haste!
Thranduil Oropherion, King of Eryn Lasgalen.
At least he was clear about the haste, Aragorn thought wryly. Would that he would be as elaborate in his explanation. For days all kind of disasters that could have befallen Legolas was passing his mind.
He could have been trapped in a cave. He had been once, when they were seeking shelter for an unexpected snowfall. Aragorn had been outside, scanning the area for one more time, while Legolas, feverish of an poisoned arrow, was already setting up a fire. Mere moments before the Ranger would join him, an avalanche had come down with terrible force upon them. Aragorn had been lucky to be sheltered by a high rock, but the mouth of the cave had been closed of. It had taken hours to dig his friend out, and by that time, Legolas had been in shock because of the fever that was raging is his body, and the shadow that had lured around him. He never told Aragorn about the hallucinations he had had, and he never had entered a cave again before thoroughly checking every detail of it and seacrhing every danger that might be hiding around the corner, and even then he only entered the dark with the greatest reluctance.
Or he could have been surprised by orcs, and being severely wounded – or poisoned by spiders. Or he could have just fallen of a rock. It was impossible to even guess what had befallen his friend. And so he just had to bade his time, until he would arrive in Eryn Lasgalen.
Fortunately, he had making good progress. His faithful horse, Firefoot –a present of king Eomer-, had ran quickly and lightly, and, feeling the distress of his master, had not once delayed, although froth was beginning to cover his lips and sweat pearled on his toiling sides. They had passed the first line of scouts already. It wouldn't take to long to reach the palace.
He was right. Not an hour later, the space between the trees widened and revealed the Gardens that surrounded most of the palace. Covering the last mile, Aragorn saw an elf speeding away to warn the king.
Apparently Legolas' condition hasn't improved, if they are so eager to bring me to him, the Ranger thought nervously. And indeed, as soon as he had handed Firefoot over to a stable boy, a slender elf that was the youngest of all elf-kin on this shore of the sea, Thranduil appeared in the path through the large stables. His face was weary.
"Estel! What took you so long! Please come with me! You have to help him!" Aragorn couldn't be more shocked. King Thranduil had always been a quit distinct elf, always respectful and formal, but with little warmth or friendly feelings towards men. This greeting proved more than anything else how bad Legolas' condition was.
While he was following Thranduils long strides, Aragorn tried to get some more information out of the king.
"My lord, what has befallen Legolas? He is not… not… dying, is he?" Aragorn almost couldn't force his tongue about the dreadful word. Fearfully, he awaited the answer.
"I… don't know, lord Aragorn. He has no wound… at least not physically. Ah, here we are! See it for yourself! Aragorn," just before the door to Legolas' chamber, he halted and stopped the man. His sorrowful eyes seemed to pry in his soul. They had darkened a bit, of despair and grief. "Please, save him." Then he opened the door, and Aragorn stepped inside, a hand of icy blue dread wrapped around his heart and stomach.
At first, it was as if he had entered another world, a world of calm and peace. Everything stood neatly in his place, safe for some papers and a cloak that was draped carelessly around a stool, a sign that somebody has been living in this room. The only unusual thing was a book, spread out upon the bed, as if its owner had read it and then forgotten it, and Legolas wasn't usually that careless. Pondering upon it, he didn't see the figure standing by the window at first. He was staring absent-mindedly outside, and didn't turn.
Sharply, Aragorn examined him. He couldn't detect any injures, which was a good thing – but also disturbing. He could handle wounds. That's what Elrond had learned him. Hidden wounds were often far difficult to treat. And the fact that Legolas refused to acknowledge his presence wasn't encouraging either.
"Legolas?" The elf startled. Aragorn couldn't believe his eyes. It couldn't be true that Legolas hadn't heard him enter, not with all the commotion in the hall, and yet, his friend gasped and turned around with frightened eyes. Even more worrisome however, was the fact that he just didn't relax. He kept standing there in a vigilant position, his eyes darting from Estel to Thranduil in the doorstep, seemingly ready to reach for his knifes. For a moment, Aragorn was too aghast to react. He glanced quickly at Thranduil, but the elf-lord only wore a sad expression, as of he had expected all of this. The Ranger focused again on his friend.
"Legolas? Do you not remember me?" His friend didn't move a muscle. The most fearful were his eyes. They were frightened, with absolutely no recognition in it. It was as if Aragorn was a complete stranger.
"Legolas? Saes, mellon nin. You know me. I would never hurt you. Legolas, please? Say something!" And then, something clicked. Legolas looked at him, comprehension dawned upon his face and he straightened himself. A brief smile appeared, almost embarrassed.
"Estel! I'm sorry. I was… distracted. What brings you here?" Aragorn would have gladly retorted that he wasn't merely distracted, but something in his downcast eyes told him that it was not the right moment to pursue the matter, so he forced himself to smile back.
"It's… quit all right. Can a man not visit an old friend?" He did not the miss the quick accusing glare of Legolas towards his father, but again, decided not to speak of it. A painful silence descended. Aragorn just didn't comprehend it. How could his friend be so changed that he didn't recognize him anymore? Just as he began to think he couldn't take this stifling silence anymore, Legolas broke it.
"It has been a long time since I've been outside. Do you want to ride with me, Estel?"
"Of course," he quickly agreed. Perhaps now was his chance find out what was wrong. "If that's alright for you, my lord." There was a twinge of hesitation in Thranduils eyes, but it disappeared, and he just nodded.
"Please return before sunset. Even with Sauron defeated, the woods aren't cleared of his minions yet."
"We will, father. Come Estel! Or the sun will have set before we have departed!" Lightly, Legolas hastened out of the room towards the stables, but to Aragorns amazement, he didn't wait for the Ranger to join him and paced through the halls and corridors. It took some moments ere the Ranger had caught up with him, and even then, the elf didn't slow. It was as of he had totally forgotten about his friend.
His suspicion was confirmed. As they reached Gwilith and stopped, Legolas slightly turned towards Gwilith and stepped back in surprise, gasping. This time, it took a little less than a heartbeat for him to recover, but it worried Aragorn nonetheless.
"Aragorn? You startled me! When did you arrive?" These words gave him even more time to worry.
"About a quarter ago," he answered puzzled. "I came to your room." Legolas smiled incredulously.
"No you didn't."
"Legolas! You can't have forgotten that! You were standing near the window and you jumped when I addressed you."
"Oh." There was confusion in his eyes, followed by doubt, that the elf soon tried to hide.
"Well, I… must have been… distracted." Of course, Aragorn snorted. As soon as orcs ask asylum in the Golden Wood, I will believe you were merely distracted. But he waited, and didn't comment on it. Sooner or later, he would find out what was happening.
Again, silence stretched unmercifully. It pained Aragorn. Ever since they had met, words had flown naturally, and if they didn't want to talk, the silence had been amiable, but now it was asphyxiating and uncomfortable. Just as he began to think about something –anything- to say, Legolas motioned to the horses.
"Do you want to ride with me?" Having a strange feeling of a flashback, Estel nodded.
"We should hurry, or Anor will abandon us already." Quickly, they saddled the horses –at least, Aragorn did, Legolas gave Gwilith only a bit and reigns, as elves are wont to do- and some minutes later, they were riding out of the Gardens into the forest, that accursed silence still hanging heavily between them.
Mirkwood had much lightened. Most of the shadows seemed to have been lifted, and the elves they passed weren't looking as tense and vigilant as they used to be. Soon, Eryn Lasgalen would be worthy of his name again.
Out of the corner of his eye, Aragorn observed his friend. In his eyes a distant look revealed that Legolas was again not paying attention to his environment. Another point on the growing list of disturbing things. The Ranger tried to test him.
"The power of Sauron is clearly diminishing, don't you think." Sharply, he watched the prince's eyes. Alarm, confusion, realisation. It took longer than normal.
"Yes… yes it is. Many trees are waking again. Some are even singing."
"Are there still patrols near the borders?"
"Why, of course! Unfortunately, not all orcs were destroyed in Mordor. They are driven by a mad hate now, an ultimate wish to harm them if now they know they have lost. But their numbers are diminishing, and we can hold them off easier by the day."
"That is good news. Perhaps one day, the forest as I heard it once was, will be restored."
"Perhaps sooner than you think. Many trees are waking, and some are even singing." Confused, Aragorn turned.
"You said that already."
"You dream, Ranger," Legolas laughed. Estel didn't know for sure, but it sounded just a bit forced.
"No. Legolas, I didn't dream it. You said exactly the same just moments ago."
"Don't be a fool, Estel. I think I can quit remember what I've said and what I haven't said," Legolas suddenly snapped. Aragorn caught his breath. This was so unlike Legolas. It wasn't right. The elf seemed to realize that as well, for he bit his lips and looked at the man apologetically.
"I didn't mean it like that. I'm sorry."
"It's… alright. Perhaps I did imagine it." And they rode on in silence.
Near a pond, they halted. They had been riding quit hard, and Firefoot deserved some rest and cool water. Without a word, Legolas guided Gwilith to the pool, his face still troubled, yet his eyes were again absent-minded. Aragorn too, descended and followed his friend.
And that moment, something happened that the ranger never could have dreamt of.
Legolas must have seen him moving in the corner of his eye, for he stiffened, and too fast to follow, a knife appeared in his hand and at Aragorn throat.
Well, what would be going on here? Please review!