Disclaimer: I don't own LOTR
Breed of a different kind-1
Moria. Majestic in her beauty, queen of riches in her rugged stone, smouldering earth, and most of all darkness. The company of nine were in awe, all except one.
An elf, with long blond hair pulled elegantly back in a braid in elf fashion was among the fellowship. His stature was considered odd by most that looked upon him. But those who knew better didn't underestimate his strength. His bow, quiver, and twin knives sat ceremoniously on his back. His tunic and boots grey, leggings green, his blue eyes striking against alabaster skin, so fair. He was elfin royalty and few knew it, for he did not wish to brag about such a thing he found it more of a curse then a blessing.
The king of Mirkwood was very deceptive. Convincing all who were acquainted with him that he was considerate and fulfilled his duties with flying colors. In some ways he supposed it was true, but he was blood he was exposed to his father's true side all his life. The King of Mirkwood was a belligerent tyrant, callous and cruel not so to his kingdom but to his own son.
The prince snapped out of his thoughts when his close friend placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.
"Forgive me for I did not hear your words." Legolas quickly apologized
The ranger smirked. "Clearly, I asked if you felt anything unusual in these lands."
The elf scanned the area, ears picking up very little, the more and more they ventured into the dwarf territory the more it disconcerted him. The sky was just as dark as its atmosphere and as much as he wished it he heard and saw nothing, he looked back at the ranger.
"Though the area suggests the latter I can say that there is nothing sinister lurking in these parts." Legolas reported.
"Of course not master elf the dwarfs are known for their secrecy!" the dwarf Lord shot back an air of annoyance in his deep voice.
"I find it hard to believe. Your vocalization alone would alert any enemy miles away." the elf responded coolly earning an angry huff from Gimli
Aragorn smiled the amount of bantering between the elf and dwarf was not enough to make things uncomfortable among the group but oddly a source of entertainment. All kidding aside the dark conflict between the race of elves and the race of dwarfs ran deep over the centuries.
A proud exclamation from the dwarf caught everyone's attention. "The walls of Moria!"
Legolas frowned, the craftsmen ship was indeed amazing but it only reminded him what lay ahead. His heart ached for the sound of the leaves blown in the wind, the hush of the long green grass, the flowing roar of the river that encased his senses in a delicious cocoon of peace. The stone was ominous in its own way; it played a lifeless tune than the soft notes of the trees he was used to back home.
They finally stopped in front of the hidden door, watching as the moon graced its presence long enough to illuminate the doors secret with it's light. The wizard explained the password to the rest of the company confident that he knew what it was. After the first attempt and than much grunting and pushing the door did not open.
Several failed attempts later the fellowship soon found themselves stalled, Pippin and Merry threw stones in the body of water that Legolas thought barely passed for a lake. Though he did not utter a word of complaint he couldn't ignore the anxiety creeping up in the back of his mind. He looked from the corner of his eye as Aragorn held Pippin's arm fast warning him not to disturb the water.
Frodo Baggins eyes lit up with an idea as he read the riddle out loud. "Speak friend and enter….without turning to the mumbling wizard he asked… "What is the elfish word for friend?"
The wizard lifted his head. "Mellon."
On command the stone door ground open. Everyone became alert at that moment; Gandalf patted the ring bears shoulder a pleased glint in his old eyes. Boromir leaned closer to the ranger.
"You know what would have saved a great deal of time. If we asked the elf in the first place." he whispered
Aragorn grinned at the remark as the company entered the mine. Gimli couldn't hold back his boasting.
"Soon master elf you will know the true hospitality of the dwarves. Roaring fire! Malt beer! Ripe meat straight off the bone. And my cousin calls it a mine. A mine!" the dwarf's voice echoed eerily causing everyone to look closer.
Boromir eyes caught sight of the corpses strewn across the stair case. "This is no mine, its tomb."
Then everything seemed to happen at once panic, fear, yelling, fighting and soon they were all forced back into the place only moments before they wanted to flee from. All Legolas knew was that he reached Aragorn's side just in time to have darkness swallow them whole. His heart was racing his grip on his friend's shoulder was tight. As everyone's breath slowed, two thumps were sounded and light bit into the dark.
"So we are faced with the long dark of Moria. Careful now, it is a four days journey to the other side lets hope that are presence will go unnoticed." the Wizard solemnly said leading the group onward.
Aragorn straightened turning to the elf prince who still gripped the others shoulder. He raised his other hand and placed it over his. Legolas quickly removed his hand masking his fear from the rangers curious gaze, the man didn't have time to ask if he was alright as he swiftly brushed passed him and took up his spot between Sam and Gandalf.
No one dared to breathe a word for the better part of the night but hobbits were known to be very social creatures. Loud, and when they were not busy celebrating the odd special occasion they ate or sang. Being quiet for long periods of time was a lot to ask of them.
"How 'bout a song?" Pippin offered in a whisper to Merry.
"Pip, we are trying not to get caught. Singing is not a good idea." Merry replied also unhappy with the silence.
"Oh! I'm going nuts I need stimulation!" Pippin whined.
"No argument there." Sam shot back adjusting the pack on his back.
Legolas snapped his head to the right abruptly stopping causing Sam to bump into him. The wizard also noticed the lack of echoing footsteps turning around to see the archer's eyes locked on the black void. The elf's keen senses were always a blessing but sometimes it became his worse enemy. He wasn't sure if it was a trace of an echo on the air or something else.
"Mr. Legolas is something wrong?" Sam asked nervously
No something was here with them that he was certain. He fought the instinct to draw his arrow and bow but he would be shooting at a blind target.
Aragon passed the rest of his fellows coming besides the elf. "Am no ennes?"
Legolas tore his eyes from the dark surprised to see that all eyes were on him. "I am unsure this place is very irritating for my senses. I will let you know if something draws near."
The wizard looked at the elf with concern. He knew that elves were very sensitive to sudden change, but for a woodland elf to be thrust into a world of stone and darkness so quickly without adjusting to the environment was torture in it's self.
"Come we rest here tonight we have traveled for enough." the wizard announced
The hobbits sighed in relief glad for the chance to have a warm meal and to share a smoke with their friends. Gimli plunked down on a rock lighting his pipe he spoke around it. "So little hobbits you wish for songs but how about a story instead?"
Pippin bit into some sausage nodding his head eagerly. "Yes, we'd like that very much."
So the dwarf launched into a story of fire and war mining and stone. Boromir liked the idea of riches for it gave you power amongst other things the wizard watched silently from his perch on top of a stone enjoying the dwarf's tale. Aragorn dumped out his pipe shaking his head at the gawked expression of the hobbits, he looked up to see the ever watchful elf a few paces away from the group. He pardoned himself and walked over those who merely glanced at the elf prince would see that he was just doing what he did best silent and when needed spring into action in a moments notice.
But Aragorn knew better he could see the tension in his shoulders the way he crossed his arms along his chest, the slight flick of the eyes as they cast downwards instead of the ever looming darkness around them.
"Legolas are you alright?" the ranger asked
The elf flinched slightly turning to see his friend; his look was impassive as he looked at the man. Then a faint smile sat gently on his face.
"I am fine Aragorn… he glanced at the group than back at his friend…. "Gimli can spin quite the tale even I find it amusing. Don't tell him I said that or I'll never hear the end of it."
Aragorn smiled but his concern for his friend never left his eyes. "Legolas you do know that you can talk to me if you want."
"I know we're conversing now." he replied digging the toe of his boot lazily in the ground.
The ranger sighed. "You know that's not what I mean. You haven't been yourself since we descended the mount. I just want you can confide in me if your mind is troubled."
Legolas smile softened gently placing a hand on the rangers arm. "I know. Really I am fine weary are my eyes could you take first watch?"
Aragorn smiled sincerely. "Of course, go lie down."
The elf moved a few steps away then turned back at the ranger. "Aragorn. Thank you."
Aragorn nodded his head taking up the spot where his friend once stood. He frowned, Legolas was as stubborn as they come but it was in elfish nature not voice his tribulations. He could not help but sense that the anvil would fall and it would not fall kindly.