When Lord Elrond appeared with his twin sons and several armed elves behind him, Amina couldn't help but look at him in a new light. He had spent several years raised by the man that fathered her. There was so much he could tell her about him. But did she want to know?
Her curiosity would have to wait.
There was a host of orcs that needed to be dealt with before she could allow her mind to wander over all she'd learned. Still she didn't say anything to her close friends, not until she was able to come to grips with it all herself. The only thing she figured out was that the illusion of her sinking into the sea could be associated to her father casting the Silmaril away…as he had done with her. The connection was there so that was what she went with. She wouldn't know until she had another vision; and hopefully she wouldn't.
Word had been sent by Celeborn's elves back to the young captain Dorian still at the border-line, hopefully a host of men would come marching in time before the battle ended.
Once the elves of Rivendell had arrived in Lothlorien the march towards Dol Guldur soon commenced. Lord Celeborn, with Lord Elrond at his side, led their combined forces into the thick woods of the southern border of Mirkwood. She remained by the side of Legolas and Gimli, glad to be among her fierce warrior companions. Haldir, Elhrohir, and Elladan were not far from them either. Legolas; of course, was right at home. He was most familiar with this area, and she had to admit that seeing him in his natural environment was quite appealing. He was truly a prince of the Woodland Realm.
They were soon ambushed by an army of orcs and another war began. The elven army had been set up for the archers to remain in the back while the close-ranged warriors fought on the front lines.
Gimli was unsurprisingly making quick work of those vile beasts that thought it a good idea to cross his axe. In the thick of battle she found herself fighting side by side with Haldir once more. And the hidden smile in his eyes was hard to ignore when he saw her perfectly execute the twin blades he'd gifted her.
At a sudden shout from behind her she turned to see a rather large orc running at her only to be pierced through the heart with an arrow. The creature fell and her eyes moved to find Legolas still moving quickly towards her. Looking her over carefully he turned just in time to swing his own sword into the neck of an approaching orc. Soon the two of them were fighting back to back with Haldir, creating a triangle of certain demise for their enemy.
Long hours had passed but the orcs seemed endless, they just kept coming and coming. It wasn't long before day fell into dusk and then finally into night. And with the night skies brought out a few trolls that wreaked havoc on their forces.
At one point Gimli had joined them in their circle of death. But now with trolls in the equation the four of them were forced to break apart. Legolas quickly grabbed her hand and pulled her away just before she would have been hit by a huge wooden club. Readying his bow with arrows, he sent three into the side of the beast. Amina had to watch carefully and strike at the softer skin of his belly and sides when she had the chance.
Finally she saw her spot and ran in to pierce the same side with three arrows protruding out from the thick hide. In agony the troll roughly swung at her again, this time making contact and flew her back until she landed roughly against a tree. Ow. For a moment her vision swam and she tried to refocus her surroundings. Luckily for her Gimli was nearby and threw an axe into an orc making his way towards her. She nodded at him but had to get back on her feet. Shaking her head in an attempt to regain her sense of balance, she shakily made her way back towards Legolas, killing two orcs on the way.
She saw that he was constantly moving and trying to stick the troll with more arrows. His eyes found hers and again he looked at her in concern, waving him off she spun the swords in her hands. While the troll was distracted she jumped onto its back, bringing the two blades around its thick neck and mercilessly sliced through. It fell dead and she rolled off it, taking the offered hand of Legolas before they rushed back into the fray with the others.
On the other side of Dol Guldor more elves; wood-elves, rushed into battle themselves, with their king Thranduil leading them on. Now that they were even more reinforced, the war finally came to an end just before dawn of a new day began to rise. The battle had ended without one man of Gondor coming to their aid. To be fair though, it would a good three day's march from their location into the southern lands of Mirkwood.
Feeling breathless and worn out, she let Legolas drag her by the hand as he went to his father. With weary eyes she bowed before him and he nodded in kind. Father and son shared a quiet conversation before they were joined by Lord Celeborn and Lord Elrond.
"My lady wife is journeying here to purify the evil of this place," Celeborn told them.
"Very well," Thranduil responded, "I extend my deepest appreciation for your aid in ridding Mirkwood of Sauron's remaining taint."
"We lost many lives today," Elrond added in, "but it was for a worthy cause and their lives will be honored and cherished."
"Excuse us father," Legolas interrupted with his hand still holding tightly onto Amina's, "we will join the others in searching for survivors."
"You should get some rest," Elrond stated, "both of you."
They all could see how bloodied and exhausted the two of them were, no more or less than the others though, but still…Thranduil would not have his son and only heir go without rest, "Go to my tent and sleep, the wounded and dead will be taken care of."
With relaxed shoulders Legolas had to obey and lightly led Amina to the large tent just raised for the elven king of Mirkwood. He watched as she immediately collapsed to the ground and he found a large blanket to cover her with.
"You are much to kind to me, Legolas," she said with closed eyes.
While she couldn't see, a soft smile lit his face as he stared down at her. A hand moved up and brushed her hair to behind her ear, his smile widened as she leaned into his touch, "Have pleasant dreams, Amina."
She nodded and was soon asleep as he began to softly sing an old tale of elven war heroes of the long past. It was a song of victory passed down to him from his own father.
An hour had passed before Thranduil entered his own tent. There was amusement and happiness in his gaze as he peered at the sleeping form of his son protectively sheltering the body of the beautiful warrior. At last his son has found his mate. And what a match indeed! She was a half-elf, this he knew, yet she was a princess among the race of men. Both cherished and loved by the humans. She had more than earned her position; his dutiful son had told him everything about his adventures during the war of the ring. The lady was a constant in his conversations; it was obvious that he was taken with her. She was a proud, loyal, and trustworthy choice for a wife.
After all this doom and gloom with the orcs, there would finally be reason to truly celebrate in his woods once more. But for now, he would be patient and wait for the day when his son announced his intentions upon the lovely elleth. And would he dare to deny the desire of his only son and heir? He ruled with a strictness that came with being a king but never would he not welcome the choice of his son's heart, as long as she was of elven blood at any rate. Long had he been waiting for such an occasion of his son happily presenting his bride-to-be. He held respect for the daughter of ithil that fought for the freedom of his people. When the time came, he will gladly welcome her into his house.
For now though, he stepped back out into the night and came face to face with a dwarf. Not just any dwarf, but the very same dwarf his son had spoken so very fondly of. It seemed to Thranduil that his own grudge against him and his kin would have to be put aside for the time being.
"I just wanted to check on the lad and lassie," Gimli grunted.
"They are now asleep," and Thranduil pulled back his own tent flap and returned his gaze back to the dwarf that fought for the lives of his elven kin, "you may join them and retire for the evening. No one shall disturb you."
Gimli grunted out his thanks and made his way into the large tent. Thranduil, it seemed, wasn't so bad after all. He remembered his own father Gloin retelling the stories of old and how the elven king had him and the rest of Thorin's company locked away. There were still some bitter feelings but he and Legolas were slowly turning things around when it came to the old prejudices between dwarves and elves.
Gimli outright grinned when the flap closed behind him and took in the sight before him. It truly warmed his heart to see how close his two dearest friends were becoming. And so as quietly as he could he found a nice spot to curl up and fell into an easy sleep.
The familiar loud snoring of Gimli woke him up from a good sleep the following morning. Blinking twice to refresh his eyes, Legolas found that at one point during the night Amina shifted closer to him and was now still asleep with her head on his chest and had an arm around his waist. It didn't help matters that he had his own arm wrapped snugly around her, seemingly pulling her closer into him. So here he was now, the only one awake and surrounded by friends with Gimli's loud snores and the feeling of Amina's light breaths caressing his clothed chest.
He knew he should reposition her but felt content in the early hours of the morning with simply holding her. How he'd missed her while he was away. While he cherished the time he spent with his great friend in Fangorn, a part of him had felt sorrowful at his separation from her. Yet the dwarf proved a good distraction as he continuously battled his fears of the open forests.
Hours had passed yet Legolas simply allowed the two of them to remain close, wrapped up in each other. For a while now he'd known that it could be like this with her. Waking up while holding her in his arms, looking forward to the moment she opened those captivating eyes of hers and staring up at him, and with every second that passed them by he wondered why they weren't together.
The sun had long ago risen but he felt no particular desire to move or wake her. A subtle shift in her breathing alerted him that she had eventually awakened on her own. And sure enough her head slowly lifted from his chest as she gazed at him. Blue stared into blue. And in these precious early moments of the day everything that had been once guarded was now plain for both to see.
A quick blush stole over her cheeks rather adorably and she moved to put some distance between them, feeling a bit uncomfortable and exposed to his intelligent eyes. There was no way she could dare to hope that she saw her feelings for him reflected back to her in his gaze. Sitting up she rubbed at her eyes and stretched her arms over her head. His eyes taking in the bare hint of flesh at her lower back before her clothes settled once more in their proper place over her body. She turned to face him again, this time her blush under full control, and offered him a little smile in greeting.
His own gaze softened just as a small smile reached his own lips, "Morning," he whispered.
She nodded and let out a yawn, only to fall back at his side and closed her eyes, "I think we missed the dawn today."
Legolas's smile widened of its own accord at her honest words, "We fought long into the night it was bound to happen."
Amina released a breath and rolled onto her side to face him, propping her head up with her arm, "So," she continued to whisper, "I looked in the mirror."
His eyes searched hers, "Yes, I know."
Warmth and even a little bit of confusion and reluctance flittered across her face, "It showed me my father, the great mystery is finally solved."
Moving to also face her from his side he asked, "And you will tell me, won't you?"
Again she nodded and he reached for her hand to give her support, taking pleasure in the simple touches of companionship they shared as she told him, "His name is Maglor. Lady Galadriel said he was one of many sons of Fëanor, if that helps at all. As you probably know, my history on the elves is quite lacking. I only know what the lady has recently told me."
"Maglor? The second son of Fëanor?" he asked with surprised eyes, "I had guessed right, you are a descendant of a light-elf." At her confusion he clarified, "When you told me of your dream the other night, about the two trees of Valinor, I felt that had to be somehow connected to you."
She agreed with him, "So there is the big reveal and we finally know the truth."
He sat up and looked at her, "Yet you are still upset."
With a sigh she too rose and kept her gaze locked on her hands in her lap, "It doesn't change the fact that for some reason he left my mother alone to raise a half-elven child in an ignorant village."
Not being able to help himself he leaned closer to her and pushed some of her loose hair behind a delicately pointed ear, "Did the mirror give a reason as to why he left?"
"Well no," she told him honestly, "I suppose the mystery is not yet solved after all."
With a little grin he tugged on the end of her hair and she playfully pushed at his chest. They shared a laugh only to become startled when the tent flap flew open. The father of Legolas, the elven king of Mirkwood stared straight at them both before speaking, "Lady Amina, a company of your men have arrived."
"Oh, uh," she ducked her head slightly as though she was caught doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing. Only Legolas managed to catch the slight amusement hidden in his own father's eyes and wondered over it just as she continued on, "I will be right there, thank you my lord," she ended with a bow of the head.
Thranduil eyed her for a moment longer before catching the knowing and daring gaze of his son and so he simply tightened his own eyes at him. He then dropped the flap and waited for them to join him. The wait wasn't long as they left Gimli alone to his loud snores. Legolas led Amina through the tent opening and Thranduil led them towards Celeborn, Galadriel, and Elrond. They greeted the three of them with soft smiles and stepped aside for Amina to continue on ahead of them quite a few paces towards the reinforcements she had requested.
The good captain Dorian had apologized for missing the battle but there was nothing to forgive, they still arrived and that is what counted. They continued to talk even as a dark shadow seemed to pass through the hearts and minds of the gathered elves, none more so than Legolas. He stared after Amina as she continued her conversation with her men. A true warning was now eating away at his heart and knew instantly that danger was lurking near.
Just as Celeborn had taken a few steps to protect his lady wife, Legolas shot forward as he finally saw where the threat was coming from.
It was a lone uruk near death and well hidden. Legolas could feel his intentions and put everything into his movements to stop what he feared most in his heart from happening.
He pushed her out of the way just in time.
With a gasp as she caught her breath on the ground her eyes peered up to see what was going on when it felt like her whole world instantly ended. Tears pricked her eyes easily and her face paled in horror. Her heart felt like it simply stopped beating as she stared on at a scene that would haunt her for the rest of her days.