"Ai, Legolas... What have you done?"
Thranduil was unsure whether he should be focussing on the colorful miscreation on the wall, or on his son, who seemed so pleased with his own actions.
"I made art! This part of the palace is so boring... It needs color," Legolas reasoned. He looked up at his father, who did not look very pleased about this wonderful idea of his.
The king ran his slender fingers through his own hair, feeling his blood pressure begin to skyrocket. "No, Legolas, no... You can't just... My son, why did you.. What is this?!"
No elf, dwarf or man in Middle-earth could have given an exact explanation for this, that's for sure. No one except for Legolas.
"I based it off of the story you read me yesterday! The one with the... um... habbitses? Hollabotters? Hoebitters?" Legolas struggled to pronounce the name of the halflings.
"Hobbits," Thranduil corrected with gritted teeth.
"Yes, hobbits! I based this off of the hobbits from the Sherbet-"
"Yes, thank you father! The Shire! Hobbits from the Shire, and dragons, and wizzles and warts!"
"Wizards and wargs, son."
"Yes, wizards and wargs!" Legolas exclaimed, amazed at how smart his father was.
The elfling did tell the truth. The previous night, Thranduil read a story to Legolas. One that explained all of the funny creatures of Middle-earth, including the Hollabotters of the Sherbet and wizzles and warts.
And, of course, the art definitely showed all of the silly creatures. This would have been fine and well, if it weren't for the fact that is was colored on the grandest portrait in the whole palace.
The intricately-done painting that proudly hung on the wall was now covered in little doodles done by small hands, including paints made from crushed berries and various shades of brown mud.
"Legolas, my son... please... please tell me why you have added horns on my head..."
Legolas smiled, pleased that his father saw the rather devil-like horns on his head. "You said that dragons have big horns on their big heads!"
Thranduil looked closer, and realized that the horns were painted with the liquid remnants of crushed strawberry. "But why did you draw them on me?!"
"You look neater with horns!"
The Elvenking groaned. It would take hours of scrubbing to get that off.
"And I looked through that one book with the women in it, and I found out that human ladies wear things on their chest, so I gave you one!"
Thranduil didn't even dare look at the chest. Instead, his eyes widened and his cheeks were now changing to a blushing pink color. "I said you were not to open that book!"
"I forgot," Legolas excused. "And look, father! I even gave you furry feet!"
Yes, furry feet. Thranduil looked at the part of the painting where his feet would be, and saw that tufts of grass decorated the tops of his boots. And what was keeping the grass in place? Tree sap.
And everyone knows that tree sap cannot be removed from anything without tearing what it was sticking to.
"Why furry feet?! Do I have furry feet? Do any elves have furry feet?!" Thranduil exasperatedly demanded.
"Well, no. But the idea of hobbititits having fuzzy feet was so silly, I wanted to see what it would look like on an elf..." Legolas's voice grew meeker, seeing that maybe this wasn't a good idea after all.
Thranduil's face only grew more upset the harder he looked. The use of red leaves made it look as if he were breathing fire, like the dragon. His normal crown that was on his head was now totally covered with ink made from blackberries. Instead of the crown, a triangle was present. Perhaps this was a wizards hat?
And was that a dwarf beard?!
Just when things couldn't get any worse, Thranduil looked down at his child again, only to find that his hands and robe were filled with berry stains and unidentified sticky substances. A mess, he was.
It also seemed as if the berry juices squirted onto the walls of the palace. There was no way that stain was going to be coming out.
The king groaned again, slumping onto the floor, which was a rather undignified move for such a high elf to do. "Legolas... why do you do this to me?"
Come on Thrandy, don't get too mad, he thought to himself.
"Father, are you angry with me?"
Don't yell at him. Don't yell at him. Don't yell at him.
"I'm sorry if you are angry at me..."
A child is a child, no matter what race. Even elflings can wreck havoc when they don't mean to. Looking back, Thranduil thought of a few occasions in which he did absolutely ridiculous, non-elflike things. For example, he almost brought the downfall of Greenwood when he almost shot Oropher in the backside while learning the art of archery.
Or when he caused a fire in the palace kitchen when he burned some lembas.
Or when he burped while reciting his coronation vows and couldn't stop laughing.
Things definitely could have been worse on Legolas's part.
"I'm sorry..." Legolas mumbled, his eyes already watering.
Thranduil didn't even deliver the dreaded stern-talking-to-of-fatherly-disapproval, and Legolas was already starting to cry. It wouldn't make much sense to scold one who was already in tears, now would it? And it was hard to see Legolas this way.
"Now, Legolas, don't cry, come on, please, oh, don't cry," Thranduil coaxed. Why was comforting children such a difficult concept to master?
Thranduil quickly reached out and wiped away a tear with his thumb. Tears were such pesky things. "I am not mad at you. I'm just mad at your choice of actions. Why would you even..." Thranduil trailed off. That probably wasn't the best thing to say. "Oh, never mind," he sighed. "I'm at a loss of words, so let's just forget this whole thing ever happened."
The prince gave a relieved nod. A day will come when those dreaded stern-talking-to's-of-fatherly-disapproval are given, but it is not this day.
"Now I'd like you to wash up, and go elsewhere and paint something- with actual paint, on a piece of paper. Am I clear?" the king instructed.
"Yes, father. Very clear."
Then the prince bolted away, eager to escape potential paternal wrath that could emerge out of the ashes if Thranduil changed his mind. Unlikely, but still possible.
Thranduil looked at the mess of a once-great painting and shook his head. Children, he thought.
"Éol," he called, "please see that this creation is dealt with. You may do whatever you wish to it, though I'd be delighted to hear that fire was involved. I just do not want to lay eyes on it again!"
Out came Éol, who was simply amazed that the king did not totally go up in flames, or turn into an orc, or any other horrible method of near-destruction. "Yes, my king."
Now, in case you were wondering whatever happened to that old painting, I will simply tell you that it did not meet its demise yet.
It was not torched, nor was it used as target practice. No, that old painting is currently secretly residing in the darkest corner of the palace storage room, neatly wrapped up in a tattered old linen. Perhaps Éol will hang it up again someday, in a few thousand years.
But that would definitely bring death and destruction. He was sure of it.
This was such a fun thing to write. I do hope you liked it!
Hm... do you think Éol will hang it up again?
I think I'll consider writing more misadventures with elfling Legolas and Thranduil. They're just so cute!
Thanks for reading. Please review if you have a chance?