Meetings in grief

Disclaimer: They are not mine, they all belong to Tolkien. I don't gain money with writing this. It is for entertainment only.

The twins are 15 year. (about a century)

Legolas is 12/13 year. (50/55 year)

The moon was high in the sky but none of the elves could find the peace they normally got from the stars and moon. They had tried to go back to the north, but their paths were blocked by webs. The spiders were getting bolder, elves who strayed just a few steps from the main group became targets. Although the elves had managed to kill a good number they were running out of arrows.

Their group had gone from eleven to seven in a very short time. With Elrond stomping somewhere in the middle, being forced to walk there by Glorfindel and Erestor since it was the safest place. When he had complained, stating that he would not let others be in danger to protect him, the advisors had simply glared at him, grabbed him by his elbows and dragged him to the middle. The guards had immediately formed a tight circle around him, so he could not go back to his former place.

Somewhere in this forest were his sons and the crown prince of Mirkwood. Or the spiders have already got them and they are lying dead on the leaves, bloodied limps, eyes open, not breathing, deadly pale.. having died without someone to comfort them, their last thought about the spiders. Elrond resolutely shook his head, he should not think like that. But what if…

'I do not like this at all… It seems that we are driven forwards by the spiders.' Glorfindel muttered, casting a dark look at the dark leaves above their heads. 'I have heard stories about the intelligence of the great spider but never had I know they would be as smart as this, or as bold to attack a full armed company.'

'The creatures of the dark are ever becoming smarter, we tried to stop it many times but to no avail. There are always too little warrior and too much enemies. And seemingly that isn't enough! Now we were also betrayed from the inside! If we cannot find a solution to these problems very soon, Mirkwood will break.' Golben said. 'betrayal could not have chosen a worse day to stir it's ugly head.'

'Betrayal always chooses the worst time. Let us hope not all is lost yet.' Glorfindel answered.

Another arrow found its way into a spider's eye. It fell dead and joined the others. 'I think that was the last.' Panted Elrohir. 'Can you see another, Legolas?'

'No, they are all gone, is everyone all right?'

'A bit bruised, but otherwise I'm fine, you Elladan?' Elrohir turned around, searching for his twin. 'Elladan?'

He was nowhere to be seen. 'Elladan! Answer me!'

'ELLADAN!'

'We are being driven to their nests! From there on no escape is possible.' Glorfindel observed, casting nervous glances over his shoulders.

'What do you want us to do? We are only with seven, we cannot go another way!' Elrond snapped, irritated.

'This way leads to death only! We have to try!'

'Peace, both of you. This is not the time for arguing.' Golben gave them both a piercing glance. 'We cannot fight the spiders, but neither can we go on.'

'What shall we do then? I have no desire to die and my sons are still out there!'

'We shall hide, that which the spiders can't see, they can't hunt.'

'The spiders are all around us, how can we hide?'

'We are close to the old stronghold of the Silvans, which we made before Oropher came into the woods. The ruins are still standing. We can hide there.'

'Lead the way.'

They walked for a few more hours before arriving, if Golben hadn't pointed the stronghold out, they wouldn't have seen it. Instead of a great stone stronghold the landscape didn't seem to have changed but when they looked very close they could see that some of the biggest trees were in fact made of stone. 'This is amazing! I've never seen such stone craft.' Glorfindel whispered.

'Let's go inside.' They entered one of the 'trees' and were surprised again. weapons were neatly lined up at every possible place. Thousands of arrows, swords, shields and bows were still there. Golben fingered one bow thoughtfully. 'I never knew there still were this many weapons here, the king should be informed. We need every available weapon.'

Thranduil was pacing restlessly in his office. His work was, amazingly, all done. With no distraction he was worrying about his son, something was simply wrong. He had heard no word of any travellers and his feeling of dread increased.

He grabbed another glass of wine, trying in vain to relax. With a sigh he exited his office and went to his sleeping quarters. He had tried to avoid going there for long enough. The sleeping room was exactly as he remembered it to be. In a corner stood Legolas' cradle. He and Mirilya had never been able to dispose it. Every time he looked at the cradle he could see a small baby, with a blond wisp of hair on his head. Or a small infant toddling around in the great hall. He remembered with a soft smile how Legolas had once interrupted a very boring council and had brought smiles to all the councillors faces.

With a fond smile he looked around again, stopping by the mirror. A small table was set before it, with all kinds of things on it. He could picture his wife sitting there, doing her hair or dressing. How she would try to tame her wild red locks. It had happened very often that she would fling the comb through the room, exclaiming that 'her stupid hair wouldn't do like she wanted it to do.' It happened often that he would just enter the room and get a comb flung into his face. Thranduil suspected that she sometimes did it deliberately. He remembered the first time he had gotten a comb in his face.

Prince Thranduil was walking calmly in the woods, happy to be away from the councils. he was thinking how different his life would be if he hadn't been born as the son of Oropher. What if he was born as the son of a forester or a blacksmith? He looked up at some of the cottages, he would then probably live in one of those. An object suddenly appeared from one of the windows, accompanied with an angry cry.

He had no time to be puzzled because suddenly the object connected rather forcefully with his head. 'OW!'

He looked down to see what had hit him, a comb? He picked it up just as a head appeared above him. 'I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hit anyone!'

Thranduil looked up, just as the owner of the voice jumped out of the window. A beautiful maiden stood before him, her red hair slightly tangled and with her sleeping clothes still on. 'I am SO sorry! You are bleeding! Please come in. I'm so sorry!'

Before Thranduil could understand what was going on he was ushered inside and pushed on a chair. A bit later the maiden leant over him to deb is forehead. He tried to look straight ahead but found out that, with the maiden standing like that, he was staring right into her bosom. With a red head he quickly looked down. 'Here you go. I am so sorry! I really didn't mean to hit you.'

'No harm done.' Thranduil smiled. 'But why did you throw your comb away?'

She flushed slightly. 'My hair is just impossible, it didn't want to be braided.'

'Why would you braid it? Loose hair looks very good on you.' Thranduil felt himself become red again as he heard what he had said. 'I-I mean, not that my opinion matters but I-I just thought that..'

An awkward silence followed and suddenly they both were aware of the fact that she was still in her nightclothes. From the outside voices could be heard.

'My parents!' she whispered. 'Quickly get in here!' She pushed him in her closet. He heard her converse briefly with her parents and hoped fiercely he wouldn't be discovered. What a story that would make! The crown prince, hiding in a closet in a maiden's room!

After a small time she opened the door and he crawled out of the closet. 'Maybe you could better take the window.. I wouldn't want to explain to my parents why an ellon stands in my room.'

'Yes, of course… But, may I know your name before I go?'

'It is Mirilya, and yours?'

'Thranduil.'

Her eyes grew wide. 'My lord! I am so sorry! How can I- I mean how can I- can I do something to make it right again? I swear I didn't want to hit you, I swear!'

Thranduil smiled again, it was a reaction he was used to. 'Please, just Thranduil.'

She nodded. 'But is there anything he I can do to make it right, my prince? I mean Prince Thranduil? I mean Thranduil?'

'You could go to the ball with me tonight? I-I mean if you can, and want, and..'

She smiled happily 'I would love to.'

A voice from the other room sounded. 'Mirilya, are you almost done? We have to leave soon!'

'Almost!' She cried back. 'You have to go! I will see you tonight!'

With a grin Thranduil jumped out of her window. 'I will be waiting under the great beech!'

He was laughing aloud now, realising that this was the first time he had thought of his wife without feeling the overwhelming need to sit down and cry.

'Elrohir! Wait! Elrohir!' He didn't seem to hear Legolas. It took some time before Legolas finally had the chance to stop him. 'Elrohir! Wait for just a moment!'

Fuming Elrohir turned. 'Wait?! My brother is captured by spiders and you want me to wait!?'

'Please, just listen to me!'

'I am listening.'

'We cannot just run into a spiders lair. We would be slaughtered! We must approach it carefully, and use our brains to get Elladan out.'

'You mean you don't want to stop me?'

With a grin Legolas shook his head. 'I would if I had a force big enough, but I haven't. So rather than let you be killed. I am going with you.'

'What would you do then?'

'We should spy on the spiders, and when they are asleep, we will rescue Elladan and get out of there. I know an old place where we can get weapons. It is built by the Silvan elves long before my grandfather arrived here.'

'Well, lead the way!'

Elrond was looking through one of the windows when he saw a few persons sneaking to one of the stone trees. With a shock he recognized Elrohir and Legolas. He strained his ears to hear what they were saying.

'Legolas, this is amazing! They look so real.'

'I know, I've heard of them but I've never actually be here. Look, here's a door.'

They disappeared of a little time and came back fully armed. Legolas smiled grimly to Elrohir. 'Let's hunt some spiders!'

Elrond jumped up, grabbing weapons and telling what he had seen at the same time. It was not long before the others had joined them. Unconsciously he repeated Legolas. 'Let's hunt some spiders!'

I am so, so, so sorry for updating so late! It has been so hectic I didn't have the chance to simply sit back and write this chapter… I hope you will all forgive me and a big thank you for waiting so long!

Thanks for all the reviews Rachielle, Leoluin, Issy and Kasumi!