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)
'I am sorry for your loss. Know that whenever you need anything you can come to me. Malkarion was greatly loved by all.' With grave eyes Legolas watched the family bow and walk away.
'I wish father was back... He's much better in this kind of things. I never know what to say.' Legolas sighed.
'You did just fine, and our fathers can't be far now, there is no way Angasicil could outsmart them.' Elladan said, while his brother nodded in agreement.
'Aye, they are probably on the way home now. They could even walk inside the throne room right at this moment.' All three elflings watched the door, as if expecting that Elrond and Thranduil would walk in. They did not, however, so the elflings decided to leave the room.
On their way to the training field they saw Glorfindel and Erestor. The two tutors immediately dragged the three elflings to the training fields for their 'long neglected, very important lessons.' The (quite unhappy) elflings spent the rest of the morning studying the difference in tactics between Mirkwood, -'It's called Greenwood!' Legolas exclaimed- , and Imladris.
It was late in the afternoon that a messenger interrupted the 'long neglected, very important lessons.'
'My lords, a pigeon just arrived, the king and the lord Elrond are but a two hours' ride away.'
With glimmering eyes Legolas turned to the twins. 'Great! They couldn't have chosen a better time to arrive. Tonight is the night of the stag. We can plan a feast for their arrival on top of that for the night of the stag!'
'The night of the stag is more than just a party, it's the first full moon after the feast of the hunter. We honour the stags and renew our relationship with them. When it is night we all go in the northern forest, where the stags live. Every adult above one yén* searches for a stag that's willing to carry it at the big race. A stag will only carry an elf when it respects him. My father always wins the race, because the leader of the stags always carries him.'
Elladan frowned. 'But you hunt the stags don't you, why would they respect you?'
'Aye, but we only hunt the old or the unhealthy, not the young or those necessary for the stags to survive. But we also protect the forest, and in turn the stags warn us when they sense danger. We eat no meat on this day, and we light no fires, so the stags will not be afraid. We sing songs so the stags know we don't come to hunt them. We only ride stags on this night or when we want to impress someone. My father once rode a stag to Dale, you should've seen the reactions of the humans! They were stunned. It's truly a pity I'm not yet old enough.'
'You hear that, Elrond?' Thranduil asked. 'It is a pigeon send towards the palace, telling my son and yours about our arrival. The border guards have spotted us. Were we strangers, we would be surrounded by the warriors, weapons drawn and ready to kill.'
'Then I am glad we are not strangers. I still remember the woodelves fight during the Last Alliance, you were a fearsome foe and I was glad you were our ally, not our enemy.'
'Yet we were slaughtered. We were not prepared for fighting on a battlefield. My father thought he had enough experience, and my people were loyal to a fault. Clashing with the armies of the enemy is wholly different than ambushing them from the safety of the treetops. Curse my father's arrogance and my people's loyalty!' Thranduil said bitterly.
'Do not curse your father, or your people. The blame does not wholly lie on your father's shoulders. Foolishly we Noldor believed ourselves better than other elves. Never did we treat you with anything but contempt. You had no reason to fight united with us. The high king could have stopped this, but he didn't. It makes it at least as much his, our, fault as your father's.'
'Listen to ourselves.' Thranduil chuckled. 'Here we are blaming ourselves. Pride has finally be casted aside. Let our prejudices fade with it! No longer shall we believe the Noldor to be dishonourable kinslayers, this I vow.'
Elrond bowed his head as acknowledgement of the vow, before he made his own. 'Never again shall we call ourselves better than other elves, our pride has cost many lives, let us prevent it from doing so again. Every woodelf shall be hold in the highest esteem, this I promise.'
With an amicable handshake the two rulers confirmed the pack. Then they spurred their horses to a greater speed, and only when Elrond heard a song in a for him unknown language they broke the solemn silence.
While Thranduil was explaining the meaning of the song stags appeared and followed the two horses. Only when they reached the great doors that guarded the kingdom of the woodelves did the stags go again. But the lords did not care that the stags had left them, because before them stood their sons, beaming happily. Quickly Thranduil dismounted, vaguely aware of Elrond doing the same, and ran to his son.
Legolas looked like he was before his mother's death. He seemed completely healed from his injuries although his father could still detect a little weariness. But when he opened his arms and hugged him without hesitation he knew his son was hale again. When he hold his son at an arm length distance he realised Legolas was talking. 'Wish you were there… was absolutely amazing… the twins got drunk, Ada, DRUNK!... they had an headache for the rest of the day… trade negotiations with Imladris… good proposal.. the house of the Pines is satisfied… send more warriors to the eastern border… Golben is very angry with you… says it's not becoming a king… sneaking off in the night…'
Laughing Thranduil held his hand up. 'Calm down and breath my son. I believe a lot has happened in my absence. Let us worry about the woodland realm tomorrow. Tonight there's a race to win!'
A few hours later they were sitting in the great halls, eating all kinds of delicious greenery and salads. The king, one hand on Legolas' shoulder, the other holding a goblet of wine, seemed completely satisfied. 'My son, where did you say Golben was? I have no desire to speak with him tonight, or tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, at least until his anger has cooled down a bit.'
Legolas giggled softly, as if laughing at a personal joke. 'He went to his room, he had a long journey and he is no king, so he doesn't have to be present tonight.'
'A long journey?' Said the king, bringing his goblet to his lips. 'When did he leave, and where to did he go?'
This time Legolas laughed aloud. 'Why, father, I sent him of course! You did not think I would let you or lord Elrond go to fight him without a proper guard?'
Thranduil choked in his wine. 'Excuse me? Do you imply that he followed us?! Impossible, I would have noticed!'
'Noticed, young one? I do not think so! You and Elrond were so focussed on the hunt you wouldn't have noticed a group of drunken dwarves! Your son showed much more sense this time. You should have known better! You are the king, you cannot go sneaking off in the night just because it pleases you. Had Legolas not seen you, you could have walked right in a disaster!'
'Golben,' Thranduil weakly said, sending his son a dark glare. 'nice to see you this eve.'
'You should thank your son for being so responsible, it is clear he did not get that trait from his father! Mulishly stubborn you are! Were you still an elfling I would lock you up in your room, or better yet, let you muck out the stables! I cannot believe that you…'
'Golben, have a drink.' Thranduil hastily exclaimed, shoving his wine in the warrior's hand. 'Let us speak tomorrow in my office, in private, if you please. Just enjoy the feast tonight.' With a sigh Thranduil turned to his son, who was trying very hard not to laugh. 'Not a word about this to anyone, understand?'
'Yes, Ada.' Legolas giggled.
The following weeks were a time of recovery and friendship. Relations between the realms strengthened. The friendship between Legolas, Elladan and Elrohir encouraged the Imladris elves to befriend the Mirkwood elves. Glorfindel and Golben became fast friends, both happy to talk to someone of their own time.
When the day came that the Rivendell elves had to go home, it was met with much regret.
With a sigh Elladan and Elrohir bound their last packs on the horses, helped by Legolas. 'Farewell gwador. We will miss you.'
'As I will miss you. Mayhap I could come to visit coming summer?'
'You would be more than welcome!'
The three embraced briefly before the twins climbed on their horses. Elrond and Thranduil spoke briefly together before they too parted. 'Farewell, elves of fair Imladris!' The king said. 'May the waterfalls ever flow in your valley!'
'Farewell, Elves of the wild greenwood! May your kingdom ever endure!' Elrond called back, before turning his horse, and riding away. His sons on his side, and his warriors following them.
It is done… I finished it.
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