Hello my loyal readers, I'm sorry for being off the radar for over three months but it was a rough semester but it is done at least for a couple weeks, so I made some time for some Forever Yours writing. This chapter doesn't quite get to the announcement but it is a fun little chapter.
Chapter 10: Plans
We reached those familiar doors and Legolas reached up and knocked. I heard the king's booming voice bid us enter and that we did. The room had not changed since I was last in the King's study. He sat behind his desk, which held many papers and letters which I could only assume were official business.
"I am glad to see you both up and moving about, together. It is good for you both to be seen in the public eye a few times before such…an unexpected announcement."
"Tauriel mentioned that you wish to start plans." Legolas said getting right to the point.
"The feast to announce your betrothal will be tomorrow night at sunset and the wedding under the first full moon of autumn." Thranduil said looking at us smiling. That was in less than three months. My eyes widened but I felt Legolas take my hand and squeeze it gently.
"That is a lot sooner than expected father."
"Royalty is not held to the same expectations as common elves. Your mother and I were only betrothed for three months. You two will have had nearly nine by that time. You are ready. I have seen the love between you." He said smiling at us. His smile was unnerving but not because it was an evil grin or a unneeded smirk. It was just so unusual to see upon the king's face.
"Tauriel will assist you with finding a gown for tomorrow evening Maethriel. She should be outside waiting. I wish a few moments with my son to discuss some important court matters." I nodded and bowed gently before exiting the room to meet the curious eyes of the female captain.
"Ready, princess?" I could tell she was going to enjoy shopping for this dress more than I am.
"As I'll ever be, I was never one for shopping. I grew up as the only female in the family."
"Well, that's why you have me for then isn't it?" I roll my eyes as she leads me through the corridor. We left the palace walls and for the first time, I took note of all the life around the palace. The markets, the elves, the life outside of the dark and dreary walls, it is beautiful. How could Thranduil and Legolas willingly be contained underground?
"I recognize that look. You've never been outside during the day have you?" Tauriel stated.
"No I haven't the royals have felt the need to cage me in the confines of the castle. But I don't see why, this place is so full of life and beautiful."
"They are still living in the mind set of war. Not all is safe, what happened to Legolas is proof. So do not fault them for being protective." Tauriel had a point but to hide this side of Mirkwood was not helping me. This is the side of the people, I was familiar with from my own village. These were the people I could relate to.
"Here we are, my favorite seamstress in all Mirkwood, Raina. She did a lot of work for the Queen and Princess prior to their sailing and holds a very noble cliental. I am sure she will have something ready for you just in time." She said coming up to a small building that I could see several dresses through the windows.
"Ah, Captain Tauriel, what brings you to my humble shop?" An elleth with dark brown hair came out wearing a very plain worker's tunic and leggings.
"Raina, this is Maethriel of Lorien. She is a guest of the Prince and is in need of a gown for tomorrow's feast."
"Of course, what kind of gown was she looking for? I have several finished she could browse."
"We need something red and gold." She switched to the common tongue at the end. It was hushed and Tauriel looked around to ensure no on lookers were about. I saw Raina's eyes widen and a smile took over her face. She ran over and switched her sign to closed and pulled her curtains closed. What is going on? What's the significance of a red and gold gown? Was that what Legolas was wearing tomorrow? After all that, she came over and picked up my left hand.
"By the Valar! The boy has finally found a bride! Congratulations my dear!" She said pulling me by my hand.
"He even gave you his mother's ring! I am cannot breath! Tauriel, did you know?"
"I met her in Minas Tirith before he proposed. I was the one who delivered the ring with Moril." The red head grinned.
"Well, I must get to work immediately! I will make the most beautiful gown for you my dear do not worry. I will get out one of my old patterns I used for the Princess before she sailed but add a few new touches for you! Now stand up there so I can get your measurements.
She tied ropes around my bust and waist then marked them with charcoal. Then she brought out a silky material. The fabrics alone must have cost a fortune.
"I can't afford this Tauriel!" I said looking at the fine cloth in front of me, thinking of the small amount of coins I had brought with me .
"Of course not, that is why the King is having it commissioned for you." Tauriel said holding out a small leather pouch.
"This should be more than enough to cover the costs." She said to Raina and smiled. With that, the seamstress sat to work on a sketch. She showed Tauriel and the guard smile. I wanted to see but they hid the parchment.
"It is perfect." Tauriel said smiling.
"I will try to have it done by morning. I will bring it to the palace personally incase alterations would need to be done."
"Thank you Raina. I know it will be a dress they will be talking about for decades."
"Your words are too kind, Captain."
"They are well deserved. We will see you in the morning." Tauriel said nodding and heading towards the door.
We started towards the palace but I stopped.
"Can we just walk around for a little while? I just want to see what it is really like.
"For a little while, but we cannot be long. The king wants you and Legolas to meet with some people to discuss plans."
"Just a short stroll, I promise." We spent about an hour walking through the large market. It was nice to see people acting in their everyday lives, not sharpening blades or practicing with their bows. People buying and selling various goods; people talking and couples walking arm and arm. It was breath of fresh air. This is what a normal life would be like.
"We should get back." Tauriel said as we rounded a familiar stand selling bread and baked goods.
"Okay, but promise me, I will be able to come back out here. It's amazing."
"I'll try." She said smiling.
We returned to the palace where we met Legolas and another elf that I had not met.
"Maethriel, this is Amondos, one of my fathers close advisors. He as well as Areth, one of our head maids, will be assisting us with preparations."
"It's a pleasure" I said nodding to the elf. He looked older and, contrary to most elves I've seen here, has blond hair and blue eyes.
"Come we must meet Areth, she is waiting in the council room where we can discuss matters in private." He took off walking towards the room where undoubtedly we would start making decisions for our wedding. I looked over at Legolas a rolled my eyes. He simply shook his head and held out his hand.
"Shall we?" Legolas asked.
"I suppose." I said taking his hands. He leaned over and kissed my lips briefly before we made our way down the hall.
"You two are just too much for me." Tauriel said walking away.
We walked into the room and saw another blonde elf, but she had green eyes, much like mine. She smiled. I had seen her before in the halls rushing about but never had a name to her face.
"Prince Legolas, Lady Maethriel, it is an honor to be chosen to help plan such an important event." She said rising and bowing to us, which is something that will take time to get used to.
"Let's begin. The king has stated he wishes it to be under the first moon of autumn, which does not give us much time. But you two have very little to worry about at this point other than deciding who will be standing for you, who will oversee your vows of bonding, and your attire." Areth started.
"Traditionally, the mother of the bride and father of the bridegroom meet to give their blessings, but this can be altered given your situation, Maethriel. A female friend or relative could stand in, for you." Lady Galadriel was the first person that came to mind, but then I remembered her saying she would most likely sail by the time our wedding took place. The vision I had in the mirror surfaced and I recall Arwen being the one handing me flowers. She is the one who stands for me.
"Arwen, I want her to stand for me."
"My father will obviously stand for me."
"Who do you wish to oversee?" We both looked at each other and smiled.
"Gandalf the White." We said almost in unison.
"We will send word to them and in the meantime, Maethriel, I suggest start thinking of gown designs you would like. Your gown will be the center of the ceremony for the people. Sadly, that is something we have picked up from the mortals." Areth said rolling her eyes. That was something I loved about mortal marriage ceremonies. It made even the most common maiden feel like a princess on her wedding day.
So there you go. It's honestly more of a filler chapter. Next chapter is the big betrothal feast and formal announcement of Leggy's return. He's been basically hidden in the palace out of sight of the people.
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Until Next Time!