Beta: Erynlinia & Raina & Nautika & Tena & Oli & Aranel
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Tolkien. I just created the plot for my stories.
Spoiler: Total AU.
Note: The twins in this story are older, but only in this story. Estel is 12 years old, while Legolas is 9 years old, and only an elfling compared to the other elves.
Note2: Also written for Mellon Challenges 100 – Prompt # 054: Spirit.
"Iôn," Thranduil turned to his son and once he had his attention he added, "Elrond's sons will be here soon, so I will say to you only once… do not, and I repeat do not go anywhere near Dol Guldur! If you do I will not be responsible for my actions, do you understand, iôn?"
Thranduil knew he was being harsh but he did not want to feel that pain in his heart again. It had been bad enough when his wife died, he did not want to lose his son, too.
There was no answer from his son so he asked again, "Do you understand, iôn?"
Legolas nodded, tears in his eyes, and said weakly, "Fine."
"What did you say, iôn? I did not hear it."
"I said, Fine," Legolas said his lips trembling with fear and anger.
Legolas, himself, did not know why his father forbade him to go there. He loved to be there, something in that place made him feel alive again!
The Peredhil's come! Legolas recognized them by their giggles and the joy that seem to follow them everywhere they went.
Legolas hoped that Estel was with them, as he missed his friendship and wanted to talk to him about his father.
Thranduil stood behind his son and leaned down. "Remember what I told you before, iôn."
Legolas nodded sadly. He wished that he could run away but felt his legs freeze under his father's scrutiny.
Once the group drew closer, Legolas smiled once more. He ran to Estel and welcomed him warmly to his home.
"What about us, mellon-nin?" the twins teased the prince.
Legolas turned around, his smile disappearing as he bowed and formally welcomed the twins and their father. "Forgive me, welcome to my home hir-nin, welcome Elladan, Elrohir, and Estel."
Elrond looked at the prince and chided him softly, "Legolas, my dear elfling, how many times have I asked you to call me just Elrond?"
Legolas grinned and smiled at the lord, "Forgive me, Just Elrond, it will not happen again."
The twins and Estel snorted with laughter and Elrond found that he could not stop himself from laughing, too.
However, King Thranduil seemed ashamed of son's behavior. He turned to look at Elrond, silently asking for forgiveness for Legolas' words.
Elrond smiled reassuringly, "There is no need to apologize, dear friend, it was all in good spirit!"
"Are you certain?" Thranduil asked while he glared harshly at his son.
Legolas lowered his head, avoiding the look that his father gave him.
Estel looked to his friend then to his adar, sensing something amiss.
Elrond noticed the look that Estel gave him and motioned for Thranduil to walk with him.
"Come, my friend, it has been a long time since we last talked," Elrond softly yet firmly.
Thranduil turned to his son and warned him again, "Do not go near Dol Guldur! If you do…"
Before Thranduil could finish his sentence, Legolas finished it for him; his voice and manner tinged with humiliation at being spoke to like that in front of his friends. "I know ada, you told me that already."
As the Lord and the King left, Estel and the twins used the opportunity to coerce more details from Legolas.
"What did your father mean by his words, mellon-nin?" Estel poked him.
"Dol Guldur," Legolas answered without a smile. He had to take the warning seriously as he feared what his father would do.
"Show us the way?" Elladan asked with pleading eyes. The idea that Dol Guldur was so close intrigued the twins and Estel.
"I cannot," Legolas said sadly and lowered his head. He swallowed hard as he could still hear his father's words repeating in his head.
"What if we beg?" Elladan pouted, batting his eyes innocently as he cast a glance to his brothers.
"Please?" Elrohir and Estel joined in.
Legolas raised his head and looked at them. He knew that he would be sorry later but he could feel his resolve crumbling! The sight of Dol Guldur fascinated him, something about it held his heart and now with his friends pleading and begging him to take them….
Legolas sighed heavily in defeat and led them into the forest.
As they reached their destination, they noticed rainbows within the trees. They giggled at the melody of the birds as the feathered creatures welcomed them and stared in wonder.
Legolas smiled as he watched them ran through the trees and tried not to think of his father's words.
As they played and cavorted in the nature about them, they lost track of time. Before they realized it, the sky had darkened to night and the only light to guide them was the gentle faint glow of the moon and stars.
The King and the Lord became worried when they could not find their sons. Thranduil feared for his son, more so than Elrond who seemed to have entirely too much experience with missing children.
Thranduil was terrified that something had happened to his only son.
Elrond looked to his friend and noticed the frown and worried look that marred the fair face.
"Have you have any idea where they could be, mellon-nîn?" asked Elrond.
Thranduil looked at him and nodded in despair as a single thought echoed through his mind. 'Dol Guldur'.
"I truly hope Legolas did not do anything foolish," Thranduil muttered.
Elrond glared at him and asked, "What do you mean?"
"Before you arrived, I warned Legolas not to go near Dol Guldur. Alas, I am afraid that with his friends to back him up…! By the Valar, I pray he listened to my warnings and did NOT go there!"
"We can worry about their punishment later if indeed they did go there," Elrond stated.
Thranduil's fear made him angry and he snapped at his friend. "It was my son that disobeyed, not yours. I will deal with him once we get them home!
"He is only an elfling. They do foolish things at times…we all did," Elrond tried to calm the king. "He is your son…remember how much happiness and joy he brings to you."
"Yes! Along with aggravation and stress! But I will take your words to heart," Thranduil answered, his heart aching over fear for his ion.
While in Dol Guldur…
"What time is it?" Estel asked when he noticed how quiet it had become.
"The time, my little brother, is also known as time for you to sleep." Elladan teased Estel.
"What Elladan is trying to say is that it's past time we got back," Elrohir smirked.
"Oh no!" They heard Legolas gasp, fear in his voice.
"What is it, Legolas?" Estel asked his friend who seemed who seemed very worried.
"My father is going to kill me," Legolas answered in a panic, his head lowered.
"And why is that?" Estel asked, curiously.
"I… I was not supposed to show you…we're not supposed to be in Dol Guldur," Legolas explained, ashamed of himself.
"I am certain that your father will not kill you, he loves you… why would he do that?" Elladan asked his friend, noticing how pale he had grown in the moonlight.
"Because… because," Legolas trembled, wanting to share the burden in his heart but could not.
"It is alright, mellon-nin; take your time, no pushing," Elladan assured him, and kept watching him in concern.
The twins and Estel kept watch on Legolas, who sat on the ground in frustration; not knowing what his father would do to him.
"I am worried for him," Elrohir mumbled, eyes focused on his friend.
Estel was worried and sat down next to Legolas.
"Why would your father kill you?" Estel asked softly.
"Because… because I disobeyed him," Legolas answered at last, his eyes staring unseeing at the dark ground.
The twins and Estel could not see the tears falling from the princeling's eyes, as Legolas cried in quietly.
Somewhere near Dol Guldur…
Elrond and Thranduil wandered in the forest. They dared not raise their voice, not wanting to draw attention to themselves or their sons.
They walked and walked, carefully as they could as Thranduil led the way along the path to Dol Guldur. He prayed and kept hope in his heart that neither Legolas nor Elrond's elflings were hurt.
As they approached a road, they saw the twins knelt down by the princeling. The king hurried to his elfling as Elrond rushed to the twins and Estel.
"What is going on here?" Elrond asked softly, watching as his sons cared for Legolas.
"We do not know, Adar," Elladan answered. His eyes stayed on the princeling, fearfully watching to see what the king would do to his ion.
Elrond looked at Thranduil and hoped that he would not do something rash to his only child.
Thranduil knelt by his elfling's side and grasped him by his shoulder, lifting him to his feet. "I told you not to come here, and what did you do? You disobeyed me, Greenleaf, you disappointed me."
Greenleaf covered his face, not have any desire to look at his Adar. His heart was sick at the disappointment in his father's eyes and wanted nothing more than to hide in his bed and never leave it again.
"Let us go," Thranduil said to the others and glanced at the elfling in his hands. In a lower voice, he whispered so only Legolas would hear him. "Once we return home, you will get your punishment."
Elrond pitied Legolas. He wanted to comfort him, knowing the harsh words said by his father was only making his guilt, his inner turmoil worse.
"Thranduil," Elrond began but a look from the king stopped him, so they followed silently back to the palace.
Once in the safety of the palace, Thranduil ordered food for his guests then dismissed his own elfling from eating dinner.
Estel watched as his friend walked from the room, his manner of one defeated, broken. He looked up at his ada, questions in his eyes.
Elrond did not know why Thranduil sent Legolas away without his meal. He thought his friend loved his son more than that, despite his youthful mistakes.
Once the meal was served, they ate in silence. Elrond's anger grew at his friend's behavior as Thranduil appeared unaffected by Legolas' absence.
"Ada, why is Legolas not eating with us?" Estel asked his Adar while they ate.
Elrond did not know what to say to his son, so he found himself glaring at Thranduil, who turned his head away from his friend's gaze.
"I do not know, ion, I do not know," Elrond answered sadly.
'This is his son, his only elfling. Why would Thranduil act that way? Does he want to lose his elfling in the same way that he lost his wife?' Elrond asked himself.
Later in Legolas's room…
Silently, Thranduil entered and noticed his elfling curled up in his bed, shaking. Thranduil could hear him crying so he left the room. He could not face his ion, now…perhaps in the morning he could form the words he wanted to say.
After the king left, Estel and the twins hurried inside. Estel had sneaked some food from dinner and they piled carefully into Legolas' bed.
"Legolas… it is us, your friends… please," Elladan and Elrohir said as they snuggled beside him, trying to see his face.
When Legolas looked up at them, they could see his face covered in tears, his eyes red from crying so hard.
"Mellon-nin, saes stop crying." Estel asked softly, feeling his own eyes sting with tears.
Legolas only stared at them, wondering what they were doing in his room to begin with. All he could remember were his Adar's painful words, 'You disobeyed me, Greenleaf. You disappointed me.'
"Saes leave me alone," Legolas mumbled and turned away from them. He felt so ashamed and did not want an audience to it.
The twins and Estel stared uncomfortably at their friend with worry in their eyes.
Estel thought of asking his Ada to examine Legolas, but he quickly pushed that thought aside. He did not want Thranduil to find out as he might punish Legolas for it.
"Mellon-nin, I know that you hungry, I can hear your stomach growling from here, please eat with us. We will not say a word to your Ada, we promise!" Estel said hoping that his friend would eat at least.
Luckily, for all of them, Legolas turned to face them. With a shaky hand he ate, one little piece at a time. Everyone smiled but continued to watch him with worried eyes.
Once Legolas ate and drank all he could, they waited for him to fall asleep before leaving his room.