I wrote more! It's been awhile so I'm excited to continue this story. Now I want more and more reviews. Yes I'm greedy. But I need reviews to continue. Feed the beast people!
The sun rose magnificently over the last homely house east of the sea as Prince Legolas of Mirkwood rode through the gates of Imladris with all the proper decorum and grace. His envoys around him finally relaxed after the last few days of tense riding. Not only had Legolas insistent on arriving at Rivendale as fast as possible but the roads to Imladris had become rough and nearly impassable because of highway men and Orc packs preying on travelers. Legolas dismounted his steed as Lord Elrond descended from the stone stairway to greet him.
"Prince Legolas. It is good to see you again." The dark haired elf gracefully welcomed him into his home.
"Lord Elrond," Legolas bowed in respect to his host. "My father sends his regards and wishes for your continued health."
"I am aware, his messages say as much each time." Came his amused and slightly exasperated replied.
Legolas inwardly grimaced. He was aware how insistent Thranduil had been about news that concerned Ellas. Lord Elrond's eyebrow gently rose in a fatherly amused way.
"Ellas has been looking forward to your visit since I mentioned it. He will be pleased to see you again. Let us not delay to see him."
The woodland prince nodded and followed Elrond through the halls. Passing yet another guard Legolas commented to Elrond. "You have increased your security."
"Ellas has increased his restlessness." Elrond dryly answered.
"Has he?" the two elves took another staircase when Legolas' brow furrowed "Lord Elrond is this not the way to the healing hall?" "Yes it is."
Worry flooded Legolas. "Then is Ella's ill again?" "No, He did write to you of his injury, did he not?"
"Oh…yes he did." Legolas' pale face flushed. His concern for Ellas had led him to forget that the elfling had informed him of his injuries.
Before he could recover from his embarrassment they reached the door. Legolas entered first and Elrond followed close behind.
Elladan was lounging against the elaborate white wood headboard with Ellas curled up against his side. Both were listening as Elrohir read a book aloud. The opening door drew the trios' attention.
"Legolas!" the littlest elf squealed as he scrambled out of the covers and bounded off the bed. Legolas gathered the boy in his arms and noticed stark white bandages around his hands. "Ellas is this where you hurt your hands?"
"Yes. I cut my hands on glass. I dropped it so I had to pick it up."
"Who told you that you had to pick shattered glass up?"
"No one had to tell me. I learned to clean up forever ago."
"But-"Elrond interrupted the Mirkwood elf's questions.
"Soon. Gandalf is here and would like to speak to you"
Legolas peered at Elrond. His face was clearly telling the elf prince not to push Ellas. "Yes of course." The prince would listen to the silent order. He was now concerned on a different matter. Gandalf was here. It was doubtless that Lord Elrond had called the wizard in order to have his backing to keep Ellas in Rivendale. Legolas looked down on the little elf squished against his shins and laid a gentle hand on his shoulders. His determination to take him back with him to Mirkwood grew.
"Elladan, Elrohir if you would." Gandalf dismissed the two Rivendale princes. "Gandalf." Legolas greeted shortly as they left.
"Hello Prince Legolas. It is good to see you again." Elrond gently lifted Ellas to the bed. "Ellas I need to change the bandages on your hands."
"Ok." The raven haired boy gave a shy smile up at Elrond.
Gandalf led Legolas out of earshot. "Gandalf why am I here?"
"It is quite simple. Elrond has requested my help to find who is responsible for Ellas' past captivity. We have reason to believe that beings more sophisticated than mere Orcs."
"Then why do you need me?"
"Ellas is close to you and he already knows that Elrond and I are good friends. We hope that your presence will help with the difficult questions we must ask."
"Questions? Do not tell me you intend to interrogate him? Hasn't he been through enough strife Gandalf?! It is the height of idiocy to continue the abuse by forcing him to recall it. Gandalf you can not-"
"Come along Legolas, it is time." Gandalf strode passed the prince.
Elrond had unbound Ellas' hands and soothed healing paste on the cuts and slices on his hands. "Does that hurt?"
"No it doesn't hurt at all." The elflings' eyes were focused on the light green herb remedy Elrond was using on his hands.
Legolas sat on the bed next to Ellas. The little elf quickly wriggled onto his lap. Legolas smiled down at the child. Ellas beamed up at the woodland prince. Legolas isn't surprised at Ellas' affectionate behavior. Their correspondence had made the two elves very close and it wouldn't surprise Legolas that Ellas had never before known comfort from another living creature. Elrond gently pulled a vial from his robes.
He showed it to Ellas. "Child, Gandalf gave this to me. It is to help."
Trusting green eyes peered up at him. Elrond felt his middle squirm with guilt.
"Ok." Ellas tried to grab at the golden liquid; Elrond pulled it up out of his reach and admonished him. "Ellas your hands are too hurt to hold onto anything." Ellas pouted up at the older elf. "So how am I supposed to drink it?" Legolas could see Ellas becoming upset and angry. The child was straining up to grasp at the vial.
Legolas laid his hands on Ellas' shoulder and looked to lord Elrond. "Perhaps I could help?"
Ellas' face was a mask of confusion until embarrassment made him glow crimson. "I'm not a baby! I can feed myself!"
Legolas smiled at the cute pout Ellas gave. Elrond gently turned the elflings chin to make him focus on the older elf.
"In normal circumstances I agree with you but not now. You are hurt Ellas and you require assistance."
"But I'm not a baby!" Ellas repeated insistently and trailed off into a humiliated mumble. "-don't need help."
"Child, it is not a weakness to accept help from your friends." Elrond kindly advised.
Ellas glowed down at the floor but accepted the gentle scolding. "Ok. Um….Legolas can you help me?" he turned his eyes up to the larger elf.
"Of course Ellas." Legolas took the vial from Elrond and uncorked it. The blonde readjusted Ellas in his arms. "Ready?"
Legolas tipped the golden fluid into Ellas' mouth. He paused every now and then to let Ellas swallow and breathe. Vaguely Legolas wonder if this is how his father felt when he himself was an infant. Legolas felt warmth spread from his chest. He felt relied on and needed. It was a fine feeling. After the vial was empty Ellas slumped against the prince.
"Are you alright?"
"Hmm." With that non-comment Gandalf came forward and pulled a chair to sit in front of Legolas and Ellas. Sensing his dazed state Legolas began stroking Ellas' hair with one hand and cast a warning glance to Gandalf.
The wizard paid no mind. He spoke quietly to the elf. "Ellas, do you remember who I am?"
"Gandalf." Ellas mumbled as his head lolled against Legolas' chest sounding tired and confused.
Elrond felt shame surge up within him at the sight of Ellas drugged and helpless. But he justified it because the forces that did horrendous thing to Ellas were still lurking about somewhere. They needed to be caught.
Gandalf gently took the child's left hand and tugged the bandage away revealing the strange scar on his hand. "Child can you tell me what these are?"
"She made me write it. 'I will not tell lies'" Ellas told them with difficulty. His head nuzzled against Legolas' chest. Gandalf's withered face seemed to shatter in grief. The wise wizard seemed morbidly speechless.
Elrond's shoulders shook with repressed rage. He clenched his hands so tight that his nails pierced the skin of his palm. "Ellas, why would she tell you to do that?"
Ellas was limp in Legolas' arms but clouded emerald eyes wrapped around Elrond.
"I had to be punished for lying to her." He says this calmly. As though the act wasn't horrific, to be forced to carve words into his flesh. Legolas choked back a sob. As he held him, Legolas could truly feel how thin Ellas was, how small he was.
Gandalf forced himself together. "What did you write it with Ellas?" The wizard asked trying to understand what diabolical instrument could perfectly imitate handwriting. The scaring on Ellas was precise and unhesitant. Ellas' brow furrowed as he grasped through the haze of misty memories. "It was a quill. But it was different. It had a…curse?" he sounded uncertain and scared. Ellas shrunk back into the safety of Legolas' arms as he peered up at Gandalf in fear. "I don't know! I'm sorry! She told me t-to write without ink. But… but it had ink! Red ink, really red ink."
'Red ink' Legolas swallowed around the bile that rose up in his throat. 'She made him write in his own blood. How disgusting.'
Gandalf's blue eyes gave a mournful shine. A quill that drew blood. He had never heard of such a hideous instrument. And to use it on a child; truly whoever did this was pure malice.
"Do you know her name Ellas? Did you know? Can you tell us?" Legolas jerked his head at Gandalf hasn't he asked enough questions?
Ellas' emerald eyes were sliding shut. Legolas could feel sleep cling to the elfling. Why was he so tired? Is it time for Ellas to nap? Why did Gandalf persist in his invasive questioning despite Ellas' weariness?
But Ellas forced his eyes open and blinked wearily at the old man. "She was a…teacher…at my home."
Elrond shivered. The idea of a teacher torturing their student to teach them was shocking. He had many students in his life and he couldn't imagine the depravity needed to commit such crimes. Thinking of it more, Elrond is not surprised Ellas' vocabulary is so advanced. If using that quill or a similar device was his punishment then he no doubt tried his best, better than his best to avoid it.
But Gandalf pushed on. "Her name child, do you know her name?" If they could get a name Elrond could alert the rangers and other allies and Gandalf could alert all of the free folk to search for Ellas' teacher. A teacher who would mutilate her student. None in Middle Earth would stand for the torture of a child. Ellas pressed his lips together in concentration of Gandalf's question.
'He's struggling for a name' Legolas thought. The room was silent. All three adult watched as Ellas bit his lip.
"Delores Umbridge." The odd name forced its way out from his clenched teeth. The boy rapidly blinked against the vapid glaze in his eyes.
Elrond cocked his head in confusion. Although Ellas spoke Sindarin the name was not from any language he had heard before. Perhaps it was the same as what was scarred into his hand. It was filled with harsh clicking consenates instead of the flowing soft sounds of the elvish language.
While Elrond and Gandalf puzzled over the name its odd language, Legolas focused on Ellas. The child was pale and despite the sleepy look on his face Ellas' hand gripped desperately at his tunic. Legolas lowered his head closer to him and spoke quietly.
"Ellas? Are you alright?" the child looked up at Legolas his eyes were cloudy and calm; his face was lax and serene. But his hands clutched at his tunic and his voice shook when he whispered back. "I feel wrong. I don't want to talk to Gandalf anymore. Don't make me talk to him anymore."
"Shhh." Legolas tightened his hold on Ellas. "Lord Elrond." He called out. Both Elrond and Gandalf turned to him. "Ellas is very tired. I believe that it would be best if he takes his nap now."
Gandalf looked as though he was going to object when Elrond readily agreed. "Yes prince Legolas I believe you are right. Let us continue our discussion in my study."
Reluctantly Gandalf left for Elrond's study as he and Legolas tucked Ellas in. the elfling fell asleep clutching at the Mirkwood princes hand.
Elrond stormed into his own study like a furious tornado. His fury focused on h is longtime friend. "Gandalf what is the meaning of this?!" Legolas was stunned; the typically serene lord was shouting and raging against the wizard.
"Lord Elrond what is going on?"
But Elrond was not listening to Legolas nor did he seem to realize or care that he was in the office with them.
"Gandalf, you said that he would be calm! Instead he was scared and unable to express that!"
"'He?' Ellas you mean? What happened? Why was he unable to express fear? What is going on?" Legolas was demanding answers and was blatantly ignored.
"You assured me that his memories could not hurt him! That it would relax and ease his mind! All it did was suppress his reactions while his mind suffered!"
"It? What do you mean? Wait…the potion? That I-." Legolas trailed off softly. He remembered himself feeding Ellas the gold liquid. Holding him like a newborn babe. Having him lay trustingly in his arms. Was he feeding him poison? The thought that he was forcing a poison down Ellas' throat, unknowingly or not was sickening. Legolas felt weak and horrified. Remembering Ellas' wide, trusting emerald eyes looking up at him with endearment and that wary trust were that showed him just how rare the elfling trust is and how precious the blonde elf turned furiously to the wizard and began his own rage filled rant, to the wizard. "You made me drug him! Gandalf what possessed you to drug Ellas? He's an innocent child!"
"Would you rather he be left alone with his grief and misery?"
"No! But I would prefer if he told us in his own time!"
"The potion will have no negative side effects on elflings he will be fine after his nap. Although I wish we could have gotten more information." Gandalf calmly assured.
"More information!? Gandalf Ellas was scared! He didn't want to speak and you forced a traumatized child to speak of his abuse?
"Be silent Elrond! Do not make me the enemy here! I did not wish to harm Ellas but what if there are others?" Gandalf exploded at his friend.
Elrond and Legolas stared silently at the wizard. "It is possible that while Ellas was the only elfling there could be other children. Children of men, dwarves even. Who can know how many currently suffer under this Delorus Under-Bridge!"
Gandalf, Elrond, and Legolas turned surprised to the open study door. The tiny elf stood before them. He looked exhausted and grim. Legolas walked forward to scoop Ellas into the sanctity of his arms. He did but the elfling sleepily glared at Elrond and Gandalf.
"Ellas?" "You could have asked." Emerald eyes shot daggers at Gandalf. "You didn't have to make me drink weird stuff." Elrond's shoulders slumped in shame. "I am so sorry Ellas. It wasn't our intention to hurt you."
Boom! I know it's been an entire month but I promise I will make it up to you. The next chapter will be in Ellas' POV. I got some interesting things bouncing around in my head. I got the next two chapters written down and they should be out soon. I still need your reviews though so please give me more!
hat hurt?"s and slices on his hands. "