After a lot of hesitation Frodo entered the king's room. The hobbit did not know how the king would take his question, and he was afraid that he might come across as too rude.
But Aragorn had observed the approaching hobbit and he could tell that something was disturbing him, so he asked, "Is it something troubling you, my friend?"
"Umm…" Frodo started, not knowing how to start the conversation even after all they had been through together. It was difficult to talk about family, especially family that the man did not have.
"Frodo, my friend," Aragorn said, coming closer to the hobbit, "You know you can ask me anything, and I will try to help you."
Frodo nodded, and a deep sigh he asked, "Did you know your mother?"
"A little," Aragorn replied, "Lord Elrond told me that when I was three, my mother placed me in Imladris to save me, and I do remember her beauty – though not her voice."
The king gazed at the hobbit. Frodo was silent and he wondered what relation the question had with whatever was bordering Frodo.
"Frodo," Aragorn added, "What about you and your mother?"
"I never knew my mother, King Elessar," Frodo replied sadly.
Aragorn clasped his arms upon the hobbit’s shoulders and a thought came to him. "You wish that she would welcome you home after the quest and be there for you,” he said softly, “I believe that if your mother were here today, she would be proud of you."
"How could she be proud of me?" Frodo asked and then he added, "I almost gave in to the ring’s temptation."
"She would be proud of you, my friend, because you overcame it," Aragorn replied and smiling at the hobbit, he continued, "You are stronger than you seem to be."
Frodo stared at the king, but could not find the words to express himself. Aragorn, having noticed, gave the hobbit time.
"I…" Frodo started, and then after taking a deep breath, he said simply, "Thank you."
"You are most welcome, my friend." Aragorn told him.
"Do you know Legolas' mother?" Frodo asked abruptly, catching the king by surprise.
"No, I do not; he has never told me anything about her," Aragorn replied.
"Nothing? That is odd. On the other hand, I have overheard him speaking with pride about his father to Sam."
"I believe that something might have happened to her. Lord Elrond warned me not to speak with Legolas about it; he told me that it was a sensitive issue to that elf."
"I wonder why, though." Frodo said with curiosity.
"What do you wonder about, Master Frodo?" Legolas asked from the door, looking mirthfully at the man and the hobbit as they jumped at the sound of his voice.
"Umm…" Frodo started hesitantly yet again, sharing a quick glance with the king.
Legolas observed the man and the hobbit and that only made him more curious to know what they had been speaking about.
"Aragorn?" Legolas asked, turning to his friend.
"Umm… We have been wondering…about…," Aragorn stopped to glance at Frodo before deciding that he ought to be the one to ask – and hope that Legolas would not be angry. "About your mother," he finished.
"What about my mother?" Legolas asked, and then trying to make sense of it all, he continued, "What have you been two discussing about? And how is it related to my mother?"
"We were wondering if our mothers would be proud of us after the quest," Frodo replied, thinking that standing face-to-face to an orc was nothing compared to dealing with Legolas.
"Did you know your mother, Legolas?" Aragorn asked him.
"Nay, though from what my father told me, she had been murdered before his eyes, and I was his only reason to live," Legolas replied.
"Lord Elrond told me that my mother relied on him to keep me safe, as you know, Lord Elrond calls me…" Aragorn mused aloud, only to be interrupted by the elf.
"I know, and I am certain that Master Frodo has heard it from Gandalf as well," Legolas told the man and then he continued his friend’s tale, "‘Estel’, hope for all races…"
Aragorn observed the elf, reading the expression in his eyes; only now did he notice something. "You were also named for a new start, my friend," he said.
Legolas nodded, and seeing the hobbit’s confusion, he explained, "‘Greenleaf’, for a new beginning, or as the twins would say, 'fresh start'."
"Legolas, don’t you think your mother would be proud of you?" Frodo asked, enjoying the camaraderie between the man and the elf.
"Of course, as my father reminds me after every battle. I am certain that I gave him quite a scare when I joined the Quest and I kept imagining my mother whispering and asking me not to take any risks for father’s sake," Legolas replied, grinning in reverie.
"Like those risks…" Aragorn mentioned with a knowing tone.
"What risks?" Frodo asked curiously. Other than fighting in battle and his friendship with Gimli, Frodo didn’t think Legolas did anything particularly risky.
"Oh, he knows: standing in front when the arrows are coming at us, knocking me away so he could take any blow, those kind of risks," Aragorn replied teasingly.
Legolas could only give Aragorn a warning look before he sensed another presence. He turned around to see Arwen joining them.
"The twins and baby Eldarion are finally asleep; lower your voices," she reminded them.
"Have I missed anything?" Legolas asked both king and queen.
"Aye, you did, mellon-nin; you missed the birth of my children, though you can always still watch them grow," Aragorn replied.
"I will never miss that, now that I have a young Estel to play with and go on adventures with…" Legolas told him, grinning a little too innocently.