Disclaimer: I do not own 'Lord of the Rings', or anything from and related to that universe. Ealanol is an OC, and belongs solely to me.
The Woodland Realm was a place of many things. Its forests could be both dark and unforgiving, or welcoming and beautiful. Terrible secrets would be held in the murky depths, in the deep pits where not even the most daring ventured. Great sights could be found there also, displays of a purity rarely found but for those places nigh untouched by the advance of time. There were very few fortunate and unfortunate enough to know both, and to be welcomed by them.
But there was one, and her name was sung throughout the forest of that land. Ealanol Miluirîs.
She was the Elven queen who refused her title, who sat not on a throne, but at something more plain, and was more inclined to be a mother than a ruler.
Her blonde hair was so pale it seemed the moon and stars and breathed their light into it. It hung straight and long, cascading down her back, and was often bound back simply. Though beautiful as all Elves were, she possessed a height and elegance unique to her. The colour of her eyes was that of the grey of a stormy night, although greatly tempered. There were none who looked upon her and doubted, even for a second, that her spirit was anything other than gentle.
Even now, fingers tracing the lettering of a map, she seemed as if hatred had not laid a finger upon her.
"What of what lies beyond our borders?" Legolas, her son, stood beside her.
He was tall enough now that he could peer over the desk, whilst Ealanol sat comfortably. She smiled down at him, and the similarities seemed remarkable in that moment.
"What of it?" she replied simply.
From underneath the aged paper depicting a rough Greenwood, she drew a map of similar size. Black ink ran in many lines, stretching over the page. Small words written in graceful elvish labelled the lands.
"One day, I would like to see it all." Legolas declared.
"All of it?" she repeated, to which he nodded steadfastly. "That is a mighty task."
"But think of all of the tales I could tell. I would visit you, and each time, I would have another adventure to tell you about."
Ealanol's smile remained. "What of what I could tell you? I have lived long and seen many things, my son," she reminded him gently, "Perhaps we could visit Lothlórien together. The land is beautiful in itself, and brings with it something new each season. I remember the golden leaves there, on silver trees, and the beauty of the woods at the hour of sunset."
"I would like to meet the Lady Galadriel." He admitted meekly.
"And I think you will, in time." Ealanol assured, more than guessing this.
She leant back, tilting her head and closing her eyes. Long-past memories returned, fresh as the morning dew on her bare skin. The softest smile adorned her lips, and she suddenly then seemed younger than Legolas had ever known her to be. During the spring, Ealanol had always shone more vibrantly. As he had no wish to disturb her, Legolas returned to studying the map.
Though she wore a dress with sleeves that ended at her shoulders, a deep blue fabric that fell loosely over the body, Ealanol should have been in no way cold. The halls of the Elven king where consistently warm this time of year.
"Is it true?" Legolas wondered.
Though he did not mean to, he spoke aloud and startled Ealanol from her revere. "Is what true?"
He pointed to the southern forests of Greenwood, tracing the outline on the map. "They say something evil is growing there, taking root and casting a shadow over our land."
A strange calling echoed within Ealanol. It felt alike to a bell chiming, reverberating through her body. It seemed to her that her bones shook and her skin crawled as if she were being grasped at by invisible hands. Her fingers began to fold into her palm.
"Dol Goldur." She murmured.
Legolas glanced up at his mother in concern. Her skin had grown pale, her eyebrows drawn together. A strange light seemed to overcome her, a faraway look. For a second, and a second only, Legolas wondered if it was Ealanol at all. Before he could grow even more fearful, she blinked and bowed her head, returning to herself.
Something was wrong.
"Toltha lein ada."
"Ada! Ada!" Legolas cried.
He ascended the steps with the panicked speed of youth. He could see Thranduil at the top, not sitting on his throne but standing. He was conversing with a trio of tall Elf lords, expression both grave and proud. Legolas knew that he would incur his anger for interrupting them, yet also knew his duty was too his mother. He was far more afraid for her than he was of Thranduil's irritation.
"Ada!" he cried once more.
Thranduil's eyes were fixed upon his son as he appeared at the top of the stairs. The interruption was both unwelcome and inopportune.
"What is it?" he asked.
Legolas paused for breath. "Emel. Ealanol calls for you." He declared.
All at once, Thranduil's expression changed. The startling blue of his eyes grew dark, wide as realisation struck. Worry took a hold of his expressions, but passed to a deep frown before Legolas could study it for too long. He, Thranduil, king of the Woodland Realm, felt a cold vice settle around his heart.
Without a word, he stepped around his current company, and began to descend the stairs.
If she called, he would come.
Legolas glanced around at the three lords waiting. "If you must, wait here for the King's return." He bade them, before bowing and taking his leave of them.
Thranduil strode through his halls, unheeding of the surroundings. His silver robes brushed the ground, rustling as he walked. Golden hair hung around his shoulders, and a crown adorned his head. Tall and mighty, he looked. Powerful, if not for the weakness within.
It was said that if the Elven king had one weakness, it was for gems. He hungered for their beauty, and coveted especially those of silver and white colour. While this may have been true, it was not, however, his one and only weakness. Those who were closest to him knew the truth.
If Thranduil were to have a weakness, it would be that he had long since given his heart to Ealanol Miluirîs.
Many years they had walked the earth together, she at his side to offer the only wisdom he would listen to. He loved all that he knew of her. Her form, one of starlight embodied, and the fire of her spirit. She was kind, she was patient, and she yielded to no one. Thranduil considered it the greatest privilege to have her by his side.
"Ada, what is happening?" Legolas inquired, his pace brisk so as to keep up.
"You were there, where you not?" he asked in turn.
"She grew pale very suddenly, and cold. But how can she be sick?"
"Not all ailments are of the body, Legolas. However, I do not know if she is sick or not. Only Ealanol herself could tell us what has happened." He explained.
The elfling bit his tongue, knowing it would do nothing good to insist that Ealanol could not be ill. She was far too strong to become sick, even in heart, he thought. Doubt persisted as the young elf also reminded himself that even Thranduil had no knowledge of what was and had happened.
Legolas' nimble legs kept pace with Thranduil even as they entered the hall to his parents' quarters. When they reached the doors, Thranduil did not hesitate to push it open and stride through into the room beyond. Despite how he seemed to step, no sound was heard. Legolas was just as quiet when following his father inside.
Ealanol had moved from the wooden desk, and now sat on a long, elegant couch. She had donned a large, open-sleeved robe of silver and white, patterned with small flowers. Her back arched over, pale hair falling over her shoulders, and it seemed that she stared at her hands. So devoid of strength she looked, that Thranduil pressed forward with newly awakened urgency.
"Ealanol." He called out, and she looked up.
Before he could kneel at her level – and he would have, but only for her – she lifted her hands upwards as an offering. He took them, held them close and tight, before coming to a stop. Her skin was cold, so much so that it rivalled the chill of a winter river.
Ealanol looked up at him in such a way that he understood what she was showing him.
It was far too warm for her to be so cold, and so it was certain that something unnatural had affected her. Thranduil continued to hold her hands, hoping to warm them with his.
"It is passing." She declared softly.
He relaxed visibly. Eyebrows once knitted drew apart, and his expression calmed. "Ealanol-" he began, only to be cut off by the shake of a head.
"Like wind and rain, it is passing."
Her hands fell away, folding into her lap. Thranduil turned to see Legolas by the door, whose eyes betraying the odd mixture of concern and curiosity he felt.
"Leave us. You may wait outside, if you will." He ordered.
Legolas looked passed him, towards his emel–mother. She offered him a nod, agreeing with the king. It was reassurance enough that no matter what happened, she was safe. Legolas swiftly turned and left the room, dragging the door shut behind him.
As soon as he had gone, Thranduil took a seat beside Ealanol.
"All that we have known will one day pass." She murmured, "I have seen ahead, and felt it."
"I know this." Thranduil declared, keeping his head high. He couldn't resist the urge to take her hands and kiss them, in the hope it might bring some warmth to her body.
She continued as if he had not spoke. "This is no longer our world. It is being passed on to the hands of Men. Our kind has declined, as we always knew it would it. I have seen it, Thranduil. Fate has spoken."
"We need not heed it. The Woodland Realm remains strong, as does the power of Rivendell and Lothlórien." He argued.
Ealanol merely sat straighter, so that she might look at him more directly.
"That strength shall wane. I have seen it, felt it. There are dark creatures raising their heads, rising when they once had not the courage, nor power to. An evil has begun to grow, taking root in our world."
"The darkness in the south of our forest? You have seen this?"
"Middle Earth had already been poisoned by it, meleth. My heart aches as if the wound were torn open anew."
With that, Thranduil drew her towards him and held her in his arms. There was little comfort he could offer her, when compared to what she gave to him. He pressed his lips to her forehead.
"He is vanquished. Nothing is left of that great evil but the scars of memory." Thranduil insisted.
"A wound. That time left a deep wound in this world, and it is festering." She replied.
Thranduil then drew back, freeing his arms and standing. He began to pace, slowly wandering the room as he thought deeply.
"If what you say is true," he spoke hesitantly, "then what are we to do?"
"You are the king, Thranduil. What would you decide?"
"Strong though our people might be, we would not be enough to defeat it. I would have us remain, and protect the Woodland Realm as we always have."
Ealanol's eyes trailed him as he began to walk towards her again. "If that is what you wish."
"And what of you?" he wondered, although the answer was not something he might wish to hear.
She took a deep breath, steadying herself. "I think I would depart from this land."
Thranduil turned away from her, as if his word were final.
"I must." Ealanol replied calmly.
"No. You cannot leave."
"There is no other alternative. If I wish-"
Before another word could be uttered, Thranduil turned in a flurry of cloth and with an expression of anger. Two steps forward, and he was before Ealanol so that she might see just how much he resented her words.
"You will not leave. Not when there is no need to," he declared, "I forbid it!"
"Thranduil, cast aside your pride and listen!" cried Ealanol. "For me, can you do this?"
All at once, it faded. His anger, the vehemence settling within him, and the mask fell away. He was stripped raw, exposing what lay at the source of all his emotion. Fear.
"Thranduil," Ealanol repeated, placing a soothing hand against his cheek, "Meleth."
He closed his eyes under her touch. "I would see that you never leave my side."
"The war of the Last Alliance, Sauron's evil, weakened me. You saw this, and know the toll it took. I am weak still, and the growing darkness will be too much for me to bear."
"You are not weak." He denied.
Ealanol smiled, although he could not see this. Her hand began to fall away, only Thranduil sensed this and quickly captured it within his own, blue eyes opening as he moved.
"Stay with me." He requested.
Ealanol's reply was more a plea than anything else. "I am very willing to die for you, my lord, so please do not ask me to."
With those words, Thranduil was defeated.
A mighty warrior though he might be, and though many battles he had won, he had met his match in Ealanol.
"Do not think this will be easy for me as well. I have bound myself to you in every way you have to me." Ealanol murmured. "My heart is yours."
She wound her arms around his neck, so that Thranduil might seek solace in her embrace. He did, so drawn to her warmth and the light of her spirit that he could not help but bestow a sweet kiss upon her lips. She swayed under him, and he leaned down for her.
"This is your decision?" he sighed.
"Then I will say this now, as a promise to be kept until we meet on the Undying Lands."
Fingertips warmed her skin, placed under her chin, urging her not to look away. His heart sung her name, the starlit queen, Ealanol Miluirîs.
Ealanol - wise spirit
Miluirîs - loving/friendly/kind queen
The following phrases are in (hopefully) Sindarin Elvish:
Toltha lein adar - fetch your father
Ada - father
Emel - mother
Meleth - love
Gi melin - I love you
Please feel free to correct me any spelling errors with either English of Elvish. Thank you to all who read this, as I know 'OC' stories are not hugely popular (although in Thranduil's case, as his spouse was never confirmed, I think the only option is an OC in regards to Legolas' mother).
I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this, as I know it is neither good nor as long as Thranduil deserves. Please review with your thoughts, questions and critiques.