Tauriel knows she has done wrong. As she clutches her poor bow, sliced deftly in half by the king’s gleaming sword, she knows that she has only herself to blame for her fall from grace. She has gambled and lost. She has repaid six hundred years of kindness and trust with the most serious of all betrayals: treason. The laws of the wood demand severe punishment for such a crime.
She has never seen Thranduil so angry, so seethingly furious as he is now. She has never been afraid of him, but the white glimmer of his bared teeth and the blood spattered across his face give him a wild, ferocious appearance that makes her recoil. Paralyzed by his death glare - his eyes like icy blue flames, burning right through her - she feels the need to speak. “My Lord, I-“
"Where is Legolas?" His words are measured, spoken in a soft voice that belies his fury. "Where is my son, soldier?"
She tries not to flinch at the demotion. What did you expect? You stand to lose a great deal more than the captainship alone.
"We got separated," she tries to explain. "He was pursuing the large orc, but they were evenly matched. I lost sight of them near the Ravenhill…"
"You lost sight of them," he slowly repeats, still in that unnaturally quiet tone. "Why then did you not find them again? Why then did you abandon your prince? And why do you stand here making excuses for your failure?"
"My Lord, I tried, I did my best, but-"
"Your best is not good enough!" he booms, and she can see several bystanders flinching, as though his wrath were directed at them instead of her. "If you had obeyed my orders, if you had stayed on your post, none of this would have happened and my son would not be missing. Do you realize that? Do you accept the consequences of your actions?"
She swallows and nods. “Yes, Sire. I do.” She lowers herself to one knee and bows her head to show him penitence. “I will make it right if I can. Command me and I shall obey.”
"Find him." Thranduil bites out the words. "Bring back my son alive and unharmed, and I may forgive you for your wrongdoings. Fail at this mission, and you can find yourself another king to serve."
She glances up plaintively, in the hope of seeing something in his demeanor to reassure her, a remainder of the fondness he once bore her— but he has already turned away from her. The dismissal, however deserved, crushes her.
"My King," she hears herself crying out. "I am sorry for disappointing you."
She can tell by the tiny jerk of his head that he has heard her, but she is denied the consolation of a final glance as he angrily sheathes his sword and disappears into the ranks of soldiers with his personal guard in tow. They give her sympathetic looks, but there is nothing they can do for her now. She is a traitor, and traitors are shunned. Until she can find a way to redeem herself, she will be dead to all of her kin.
And thus, she stands utterly alone.
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