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The Healer and The Hunter

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 “Eärendil, hm?” Elrond mused as he steps into a small clearing by the banks of the river of the Great Greenwoods. There sat a young elleneth, grey eyes gleaming as bright as the first star of the night. Yet within the ellith’s presence, the she-elf did not flinch. The brown lapels of the skirt of Elrond’s tunic slightly swayed from the gentle, cool, spring breeze that greeted him in turn.
“The Feast of Starlight is yet at place, my lord. King Oropher would be displeased if he had known you had slipped away,” The lady spoke in a soft, quiet voice. But Elrond heard her words loud and clear. Elrond then only realised what outburst he might later on face and slightly chewed on his lower lip. He momentarily looked away before stepping beside the elleneth’s sitting spot and clasping his hands behind him as he, too, decided to forget his troubles and look up at the sky.
“Ah, I can always reason with him. He will understand. Are you one of the Sylvans, heruel nin?” Elrond asked silently as he lowered his gaze at the sitting lady and his fond, brown eyes, met the elleneth’s grey ones. Her long tresses flowed freely from behind her shoulders in smooth, straight, amber strands. It was slicked back with a circlet of silver sprigs resembling the humble antlers of young, red deer. On her forehead, on top of the joint of the sprig, sits a pendant of a smooth, round gem with a glow of pure starlight. Elrond then fell silent once the elleneth’s attention was drawn to him.
“I am none of the feasting elves in the palace, I’m afraid, my lord,” She let out a slight smile as she now moved to stand up. The elleneth was dressed in a light, green dress of soft material kept in place by a white sash with sewn diamond gems tied around her waist, with the knot on her back while the rest of the sash swept the grass along with the trail of her green dress. On the straps of her dress were golden pins with three, oaken leaves craved faintly, only distinct within close sight. And pinned to the straps of the dress is a thin curtain of white cape of very, light material that it would flutter within one breath of the wind.
Elrond then knew of who he had encountered that night.

“My lord?” Lindir asked in slight hesitation as he peered at the Lord of Imladris, staring into nothingness with nothing but his hand whose arm is on the armrest supporting his chin. “My lord.”
At once, the dark-haired ellith was broken from his trance and looked up at his steward, with letters on his hands. Elrond’s furrowed eyebrows then returned and parted his lips to complain, but the red seal on the envelopes stopped him. The lord of Imladris then closed his lips once more.

 

Dear Lord Elrond,

News would have already spread, that I am sure of. This letter does not deny the rumours, but is sent to you to confirm it. We will need your aid in this great battle, Lord Elrond. It is a battle for Middle-Earth. And if possible, we must hold council, upon my father’s request. Darkness is spreading, Lord Elrond, and this is our only chance of stopping it until many, many, many years. We hope to hear word from you very soon.

Sincerely,
Thranduil of Greenwood

“So now, the King uses his son for errands,” Elrond murmured gravely and put the letter away, folding it back into its three folds and slipping it back in the safety of the envelope. Elrond leant back on her chair with a heavy sigh and rested his arms on his armrest. Angmar. It must come to an end, the treachery it keeps. Elrond then lowered his gaze and stared at the band of golden ring on his finger. Valia. Elrond then returned his gaze forward and closed his eyes.

“The prophecy will be fulfilled, at last.” He murmured gravely and shudders as he lets out a silent, heavy sigh.

 

“My lord, you are troubled.” A young elleneth said quietly. She was dressed in a green tunic, with the skirts reaching her knees. She wore a belt around her waist with two, sheathed swords kept on both sides, along a leather satchel. On her back was a quiver strapped to her torso. The sleeves of her tunic reached only past the shoulders and showed the yellow shirt beneath. On her arms, she wore a pair of leather gauntlets pointed to the edge of her knuckles. On it were carvings of leaves of vines. The silver breeches were tucked in leather boots reaching half the leg.
“And what makes you think that?” Thranduil asked as he glanced at the elleneth quickly before passing the elleneth her bow and taking his own one. The prince was dressed in a silver tunic and grey breeches, with gauntlets and boots same as the elleneth. His leather belt only held one sword at the left side and a quiver on the left. The skirts of his tunic reached half of his leg with four slits up to the waist, dividing the skirt into four, silver lapels. The sleeves of his tunic covered his whole arms.
“Because we all are, my lord. There is no way of denying to tension.” The elleneth spoke once more as she spared the prince a quick glance before looking ahead. Currently, they were crouched by the thick branch of a willow tree, hidden by its shadow. It was midday, and the sun was high. The brighter the sun, the darker its shadow.
The elleneth looked around once more with her (e/c) orbs, ears keen for any rustle or signs of approach. But there is none, except for the sound of the lapels of Thranduil’s skirt fluttering with the wind. The elleneth rolled her eyes and used her bow to keep the back lapel from hanging off the branch like a banner of war. The corner of Thranduil’s mouth then slightly twitched which would have been a click of his tongue if they were not needed to be so unnoticed.
“Someone is moving west. Not more than a couple of miles. Five people in a single file. They are so noisy, I’ll wager my ada also hears their approach,” Thranduil suddenly whispered and the airy tone only made his distaste and scorn much obvious.
“They’re just dwarf traders, Thranduil. You should expect no more.” (Y/n) joked and shook her head with a slight chuckle. The Sindar prince only rolled his eyes before preparing an arrow.
“I cannot believe we are doing this. I could be doing something else much worthy of my time,” “You talk a lot, my lord, and that silly mouth of yours is what got us in this position.” “You dare speak to your prince like that?” Then they both paused, for the sound of hooves approached. Thranduil’s small, genuine grin faltered as he now moved to stand up on the willow branch and leapt down to the grassy forest floor. (Y/n), too, got down and joined the prince. She stepped not a few paces behind him as the horses approached and on their backs, mortal men rode past them whilst they shared greetings to one another. Once not several metres away, Thranduil only began to move and follow the track to the palace the men took. “Never in a million lives will I bow to any man, (Y/n).” Thranduil gave the elleneth a glance as she, too, followed the prince.

(Y/n) was dismissed immediately as soon as she stood by the front of the throne room with the prince and was ordered to resume her duties by another guard while the prince was led inside the hall. At the moment, the elleneth was at the stables, preparing to hand over selected horses to the retainers for the next patrol group.
“(Y/n)?” She paused from strapping the saddlebags on the chestnut stallion and turned to the door of the stables. There, stood the infamous lady of the Noldor elves, Elerrian. (Y/n) immediately reached for the dry rag nearby and wiped her hands on it before scurrying to the doorway and gently nudging the lady-elf as far away from the stables.
“My lady, you should not be here!” She exclaimed and the lady only chuckled and dismissed the distress visible on (Y/n)’s face. Elerrian is wearing pure, white garments. Thranduil would kill her if he ever found out that she let the lady be tainted by horse dung.
“Nevermind such, mellon nin. Do you mind accompanying me on a stroll?”

Rubbing her hands together, (Y/n) looked about the greenery as she and Elerrian walks down the wide, wide clearing of Rhovanon. It was not cold or whatsoever. The elleneth only felt much more tense than usual whenever around the lady. She doesn’t know how she ended up here, for she remembered refusing the lady’s invitation profusely with the lame excuses of ‘I have duties’ and ‘the king will be furious’ and such. But here she is, side by side with the princess. None of them had ever spoken a word ever since stepping out of the realm, but the princess seems much tenser than (Y/n) herself.
“Is… Is there something you wish to tell me, my lady?” (Y/n) asked, finally breaking the ice. Elerrian seemed slightly surprised before she nodded slowly and cleared her throat. No matter which angle one looks at, Elerrian is perfect. Long, dark hair shining like silk, fair, almost pale skin soft and warm to the touch, rosy cheeks, pointed nose, long eyelashes, bright, azure orbs, tall, slender figure… It’s no wonder she was the perfect pair for the prince, and everybody thought so. It was nothing (Y/n) frets or despises, but it was simply foolish of her to think that she has a chance.
“(Y/n), I… I bear a child in my womb.” (Y/n) paused in her tracks to look up at the princess. No matter what, Lady Elerrian was still a friend for her, and so is Thranduil. Their happiness is hers to share. The elleneth grinned at the flustered princess and almost held her hands, but immediately pinned them to her sides.
“My lady, congratulations! Does the prince know?” Elerrian only grinned slightly, unable to contain her own giddiness, and shook her head. (Y/n) gaped and chuckled afterwards.
“It’s been two months already and he still doesn’t notice, that silly-“, The lady then grabbed (Y/n)’s arms and held them firmly.
“It will grow into a fine elf, (Y/n). I feel it, I feel Eru’s soul flowing through him,” Elerrian took a quick breath. “And I shall let you name the child, and be its teacher.” (Y/n) blinked in disbelief and only let a quick breath. No, that can’t be. Nowhere in the heavens did she ever deserve to name someone’s child, yet alone the future king and queen’s. The elleneth blinked once more and tore Elerrian’s azure stare away to stare at the lush grass with her own (e/c) ones.
“I… I’m very, very honoured, my lady… But I don’t think I… I possibly can’t deserve such privilege. And-and my lord, Thranduil, will be upset! He would want to name the child himself!” Now, that took the Noldor elf’s attention. Elerrian pondered for a good few minutes, azure eyes squinted and averted as she pursed her lips.
“Well, you can tell me the name after you’ve decided and then, I will tell Thranduil that that is what the child’s name should be!” (Y/n) sighed. She knew there is no way out of this. The princess was determined, and it could not be mistaken from the bright orbs staring at her (e/c) eyes.

And so, months passed. Each day, (Y/n) would ponder on what name should be given to the child. Elerrian had waited patiently for her decision, while Thranduil grew impatient. He does not know of Elerrian and (Y/n)’s intentions, but he’s almost on his last straw. Especially when Oropher’s temper is affecting everyone. But one day, seated on a branch of a rowan tree, (Y/n) toyed with the butt of her arrow. Her eyes were pinned to the skies. Winter had passed and it is already spring. Everything was green and returning to life. It was lovely.
“The Great Greenwoods,” (Y/n) murmured against the crisp, midday air and the wind sighed in return. “Green… Leaves…” After a moment of silence, the elleneth then hopped on to the ground and landed with a gentle stumble forward before she sprinted back to the realm, arrow still in hand.
(Y/n) had to go past many maid chambers and guards to only know of Elerrian’s whereabouts. It was a vast kingdom, after all. But the last she heard, is from Elerrian’s chamber maid, saying that Elerrian is already on labour. Now, (Y/n) approached the royal halls carefully and quietly. Down the hallway, she could spot a tall elf pacing back and forth in front of Elerrian’s room. Whether it was Oropher or Thranduil, she did not know. But she still cautiously approached, making sure each step was silent.
“(Y/n).” It was Thranduil. (Y/n) let her tense shoulders drop and approached the king closer, and he seemed to stop pacing as well. Once several feet away, (Y/n) bowed before looking up at the elven prince.
“(Y/n), will she be alright?” She paused and blinked a few times. She looked away in thought, for she was not sure herself.
“I… I hope so, my lord. Let us hope for the best.” There was a moment of silence before Thranduil nodded and averted his gaze to the door. Pants were growing heavier and more painful, until they eventually turned into whimpers and cries. Thranduil was more than worried, as it was obvious from the crease on his brow and his frown. (Y/n) only remained standing by the doorway, providing the prince reassurance whenever he needs it most. The labour lasted thirteen hours before the midwife emerged from the room. Thranduil was relieved to hear the news of his wife asleep with their new born son sleeping by her side. Soon, he was allowed inside while the midwives left. (Y/n) stayed, almost unsure of what to do next. And after a very long, long while, her heart ached with jealousy and agony. But still, she felt glad. Should she turn back to her duties? Should she interfere?
(Y/n) sighed and turned to leave the hallways before she heard the silent call of her name. The elleneth pretended to ignore it and proceeded to walk down the hallway and slipped the arrow she’s gripped tightly it could have snapped back into the quiver before descending down the stairs.

Two centuries have passed and almost nothing has changed but the addition of a new elf. However, everyone now fears that many will be taken away for the councils with the Last Alliance have been getting more and more frequent. Visit from Gil-galad were now on everyone’s weekly agenda. Celeborn and Galadriel would also visit, and so did Lord Elrond. And sometimes, every of the latter would come at the same time. But most of the time, Oropher would ride to Rivendell for it is where the council is usually held. And during those times, Thranduil is in charge.
“How old are you, (nickname)?” A young Legolas would frequently ask, as if he would forget the same answer every day. To which he doesn’t. Perhaps the ellith was only making sure he doesn’t. (Y/n) sighed as she kept the daggers out of the ellith’s reach.
“A thousand and four hundred. How about you, hm, young prince?” She asked with tease as she poked the young elf’s cheek with the butt of an arrow.
“Two hundred.” (Y/n) nodded.
“So, the prince could count. But can he shoot a moving arrow?”
“Not yet, but I will.” The elleneth chuckled and shook her head. It was just as Elerrian said. He will grow into a fine, young elf, within watch or not, so she need not worry. Ever since the birth of the prince, (Y/n) had barely seen either of them. It was not like she wanted to, but she was quite unsure of what she should do next. But then again, all she had to do was continue her normal days, but as more days passed, the agony in her heart grew heavier. (Y/n) had even thought of running away.
(Y/n) sighed and closed her eyes. She lowered her head and put down the arm holding up the arrow.
“What troubles you?” The deep, velvety voice startled the elleneth and she opened her eyes. She turned to her left and found Thranduil between woods, head tipped slightly as his cerulean orbs watch (Y/n) tense upon his presence. It did not take (Y/n) long to recover. She shook her head and turned back to the targets and caught a glimpse of Legolas scurry down the path, perhaps sent away by the prince.
“Nothing, my lord. I was only thinking.” She excused and also kept her arrow back in its quiver and held the bow firmly by her side. Thranduil, however, did not move any farther from his spot.
“Is that so? What could you possibly be thinking about that you did not hear my approach? I have heard that you have improved greatly, and I wanted to see that for myself. However, I was disappointed.” (Y/n) winced and pressed her lips into a firm line. She turned away with a sigh and stood tensely on the same spot. Thranduil remained quiet, patient for a reply. The silence lasted for several minutes, and turned to eleven. And Thranduil was then certain that he will not get any response from the elleneth. So, he turned away without another word and returned to the palace. Once finally out of hearing distance, (Y/n) sighed and let her shoulders relax. She turned to look up at the orange sky and took a deep breath.
“I must get away from here.”