What an exciting time I've had! I know you're pissed, but I've been really really really busy! Hopefully this chapter appeases you a little! Please Enjoy!
The afternoon sun glowed merrily over the forest. Small shoots of gleaming sunlight filtered through the thick leaves overhead. Soft leaves and sun warmed moss cushioned the forest floor. A small figure was cradled among the thick roots. A small daisy shivered against the soft breath escaping the sleeping child. Loose green leaves covered them in a gentle blanket. Flowers and moss made a soft natural bed for the child. But even the softest bed cannot compete with the bright call of daylight. A shaft of light drifted from the thick canopy above and illuminated the face of the small child below.
"hmmm." The child moaned in soft awakening. A shower of leaves cascaded down and with a light yawn the small girl child shook the few clinging leaves off.
With her fluffy blonde puffed up in a tangle of bedhead, Luna stood up and surveyed the new place she found herself in.
The forest was clear and bright. The plants were thick leaved and deep-rooted. It was obvious that they flourished among the rich earth and hearty sunlight. Luna smiled, "What a cheerful place. There must be peaceful people nearby, for you all to be so lively."
Luna smiled as the flowers around her shivered in the breeze. It was such a lively place!
"I wonder if there are any thresals nearby?" she hummed and began wandering around the forest.
After a few hours of wandering she blinked. "I suppose I should find Harry now. I do hope he hasn't caused too much trouble." She plucked a few berries off bushes as she passed them, thanking the plants as she did. A small pond made her stop to take a few sips of clear, sweet water.
Luna paused as her reflection rippled. "Isn't that odd?" she waited for the ripples to settle as she twisted her head back and forth to catch site of her now pointed ears. "What a change." She sighed nonplused.
Looking around the forest Luna shrugged and began walking. She would find someone sooner or later. And that someone could probably lead her to Harry too.
Ellas watched as Legolas' father and King Thorin threw quips back and forth, each one more biting than the last. Legolas and Fili seemed resigned to watch the petty argument. King Bain seemed amused by it though exasperated, like he had seen it too many times. Which he had.
"I know we all find your conversations terribly stimulating my lords. But might we get down the original purpose of our gathering?" King Bain cut through another one of Thranduil's eloquent insults.
"Right, of course. But perhaps Ellas should await in another room. He would undoubtedly be…uncomfortable…with the topic." Thranduil settled back into his armchair like it was his throne.
Thorin opened his mouth to scoff but Bain cut him off. "Very well then, young Ellas can join in with my grandson's afternoon lessons if he would like to." King Bain nodded his head, his humble crown tilted crookedly. He turned to look at Ellas with eyes that were clouded with age but gleaming with kindness. "Would that be alright with you, Ellas?"
"Okay." Ellas let the old king ring for a maid with a little bell.
A pretty brunette woman opened the chamber door. "Yes, your Grace?"
"Maddie dear, could you lead young Ellas to Ulric and Amir's lessons?"
"Yes of course, your Grace." The full faced maid waited patiently as Ellas toddled over to her. She firmly closed the door behind her and left the group of nobility alone.
"Now that we have finally gathered. Could we perhaps hear the reason for this congress, King Thranduil?"
Thranduil curled a hand around his wine glass, peering into the deep burgundy liquid as he spoke. "As I said before Ellas was first found among a pack of Orcs as a prisoner. He was hurt heavily and while Lord Elrond did his best to heal him. It was skeptical on whether or not the child would survive." He took a long drink as his audience reacted.
"An Orc prisoner. By the Valor how did they capture him?" Fili gasped, looking pale.
"Yes, Elf, If your young are so rare; as you said before. How did Orcs capture him?" Thorin needled the stony faced Elf king.
Bofur quietly stewed in the background. His teeth gnawing away at his lips, peeling away the cracked skin and leaving sensitive, red new flesh that ached. His eyes were shiny and glimmering in the shadows of the room.
"Nobody knew of Ellas' birth nor of his parents. We cannot even say what elf settlement they hailed from." Legolas piped up, shifting forward in his seat, looking sorrowful. The question of his parents was tormenting him something fierce. Why had they stayed in hiding? What prompted them to hide their child's existence? "Ellas is young and has been hurt so badly that it is difficult for him to speak of his past. Understandingly difficult." Legolas stressed, wanting the dwarves to understand their reluctance to requestioning him.
"Indeed. But where could he have been. Orcs do not keep their prisoners long. Whether by torture or appetite, their victims usually don't last a day or so." King Bain's aged comment was aimed at Thrandiul.
"He was incredibly sick for days after his rescue. He fell into a deep sleep with a heavy fever. His sleep was only punctuated by nightmares of his ordeals." Thranduil watched as Thorin looked mournful on the child's behalf. "When he awoke he spent most of his time trying to escape Imladris, still under the impression he was a prisoner. He slowly became aware that he was not in danger and Ellas bonded with Lord Elrond's' sons and my own. While they did try not to stress him in such a delicate situation, Ellas did manage to answer a few questions. Including some about the adults in his life. Some unsavory figures that…tortured him."
"Torture!?" Thorin growled, half-raising from his seat. "A child!? Who would-?"
"He had a teacher that made him carve into his own hand. Horrid words in a language even Gandalf the grey couldn't translate." Legolas sighed.
"What were the words? Who was the teacher?" Fili questioned, leaning closer.
"Ellas translated it for us. 'I must not tell lies' was carved into his flesh, by his own hand. This is not the least of the travesties visited upon him." Thranduil was quietly furious. His voice was low and dangerous.
"This is a horrible crime King Thranduil, no one here will debate that, but why tell us. What do you have to gain from alerting us to Ellas' past?" King Bain tilted his wizened head.
"Because of what else he has revealed to us. The name of the teacher whom forced the punishment on him. Del, daughter of Orus." Thranduil steadied his eyes on Thorin.
"Del. Daughter of Orus…You believe that this so called teacher is a dwarf?" Thorin growled. "That is why you dragged us here?"
"It has been suggested."
"Suggested by you, maybe!" Thorin slammed his fist against his armchair.
"Be at ease King Thorin. This is a serious accusation you have brought King Thranduil. Why do you believe that this Del, is not only a dwarf but living in Erebor?"
"Lord Elrond and Gandalf-" Thorin scoffed at the wizards name, interrupting Thranduil. "- both believe that this 'teacher' could have other children under her control and Ellas escaped or was mistakenly released."
"More children… Where?" Fili breathed in horror.
"It is unknown." Legolas regretfully said. "Ellas can't or won't tell us where he came from. Nor whether there are any children still under her 'care'."
Thorin took a deep calming breath. "What else has he said? Anything could help. If this 'Del' truly is a dwarf than she must answer for her crimes. The harming of any child, of any race, is the death penalty. It seems scarcity of children is something our races share. The Dwarrow too, know the pricelessness of new life." Thorin looked at the prince. It was easier to deal with the younger elf than his irksome father.
" 'Del daughter of Orus from Under Bridge.' That's all that we have managed so far." Legolas reported.
"'Under Bridge' I know of no Dwarf settlement that goes that this name." Fili muttered thoughtfully.
"Perhaps it is a name Ellas came up with on his own."
"This is too much speculation for me to be comfortable with." King Bain pushed sipping his drink thoughtfully.
"Then perhaps we should ask Ellas." Fili twisted a loose thread around his finger.
"No. he's too delicate."
"I'm not saying we interrogate him." Thorin resettled in his seat, clenching his teeth. "But asking him gently will be better. If there truly are other children at risk than we must move quickly." Thorin pressed. "In the meantime, I will send a message to our other kingdoms. Del daughter of Orus must be found and brought to Erebor, alive."
"Alive?" Thranduil questioned. "Didn't you just say that harming children is a fatal offense?"
"I did. But if she has other children under her control than I want to know where they are, rather than abandoning them to a merciless death. I understand how that came seem a bit strange to you." Thorin couldn't resist a pointed quip in Thranduils' direction.
King Bain sighed, was it too much to expect a bit of civility in a royal meeting?
Luna walked confidently through the wild forest as she had all that day and the day before. But now there was no bright sunlight to cheer her way. Instead there lay a deep chilling wind to buffet her onwards.
"Brr…" Luna felt her jaw shiver and her teeth clank together. But she persevered and continued walking.
Her dress was no longer as pristine white as before. She had twisted and knotted the fabric to wrap around her. but a trail of white cloth gathered behind her and collected the leaves and twigs along her trail. Her feet were caked with mud and snags of silver moss. Her hair was tangled with vines and twigs. She looked like a bush come to life.
Luna wandered her own path through the trees. But hunger and wariness began to slow her gait. Tiredness made her feet drag and her eyes droop.
Her new pointed ears pricked at a strange sound. A whistling, low and gruff. She followed the sound quickly, hoping it would continue on.
Light appeared, flickering through the trees. Luna slowed down and cautiously peered around the closest tree, hiding in the shadows.
It was a man. He was bearded and gruff and dirty looking at first. But his dirty clothes were made of fine fabric and the sword at his side was made well. He was breathing sound through a small pan flute perched on his lips. He was leaning heavily against his saddlebags and Luna noticed that he kept a wary eye on his horse who was grazing nearby.
Luna quietly watched him for a bit longer. Then when he took quick breath to begin a new song, she moved ahead, the firelight caught her hair and made it glow silver. "Hello," She cooed.
He jerked around to face her, one burly hand gripping his sword. "What the-!" he cut himself off as his eyes met hers. His narrow grey eyes widened in surprise as he caught sight of her. He seemed to be in a state of shock. Luna noticed his voice was thick with a language that she didn't really know. How interesting! He seemed to realize that she wasn't a threat, lowering his sword and relaxing slightly.
"Hello" she giggled again, teasing him.
"What? Oh, uh…I'm not sure what you're saying." The man seemed backfooted by Luna. She was still standing close to the tree, but the flickering firelight caught her occasionally. The wavering light snagged the few pieces of her dress that was somewhat white. The man slowly made gestures to draw her closer. "I got food. You seem hungry, little girl. Do you like stew?" he reached over and lifted a small wooden bowl from the fireside, showing her the brown liquid inside.
Luna breathed in the heavenly smell. Her stomach roared at her to take the meal. She didn't see the harm. The man seemed awkward, but nice nonetheless. Luna could tell he was a good person.
Luna slurped the thick greasy stew as delicately as she could. The vegetables were wonderfully soft and tasty, the broth was thick and tangy, but the meat.
Luna was never a big meat eater before, but there had to be something wrong with this piece. It was hot, moist and chewy. Nothing wrong with the texture or type (she could tell it was stripped beef) but it just didn't sit right. It tasted off. In the way that spoiled milk did before one realized that it was expired. Luna ate the meal quietly, politely not mentioning the unsatisfying meat.
The gruff man kept of a conversation on the other side of the fire. Each word he spoke was less understandable than the last. She could tell he was uncomfortable with her silence and was trying to fill it with idle talk. An endeavor that failed due to her continued silence.
'He seems kind.' She inwardly noted. 'There is no telling where Harry is now, but so long as I keep looking, I'm bound to run into him sooner or later.' Content, Luna shuffled over to the man's pack and snuggled down with his bed spread.
"Oh, hey!" the man complained but relented when Luna looked up at him with her wide, crystal clear eyes shimmering in the dim camp light.
"Ugh…Sweet dreams." He sighed, resigning himself to an uncomfortable night.
What do you guys think!? The misunderstanding is getting bigger and bigger! This is so much fun messing with them! To be far, they are doing their best with the information they have.
Luna is now in Middle Earth! She's definetly going to be causing some trouble (what else can she do? Lol) I can't wait to write the reunion scene between her and Harry. Let alone all the 'revelations' she'll be bringing with her. Lol!
Leave a review before you go!