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Naledi
02/20/18 07:48 pm
Sunny but cold - Iím in the Czech Republic :)
Glorfindel
02/19/18 06:25 pm
I hope you are somewhere sunny, Naledi :)
Naledi
02/19/18 08:21 am
Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone! I had a lovely day and I still have a whole week of holiday to go!
Narya
02/18/18 06:09 pm
Have a wonderful day, Naledi :)
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02/18/18 05:31 pm
Happy Birthday. Naledi!
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02/18/18 01:15 pm
Many Happy Returns, Naledi :)
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02/18/18 01:15 pm
Many Happy Returns, Naledi :)
Gabriel
02/18/18 06:54 am
Happy Birthday, Naledi! Have a brilliant day! :)
Narya
02/16/18 10:17 pm
Have a great holiday, Naledi, and happy birthday for Sunday!
Naledi
02/16/18 10:03 pm
Thanks, Ziggy and Ysilme. My birthday is on Sunday. Iím on holiday at the moment, so not able to check in so often.
Shout Archive


Stars, Trees and Tricks by Naledi

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Chapter notes:

I wrote this fic some years ago - I just stumbled across it on my LJ and realised I hadn't posted it here. I haven't re-edited it, so please forgive the fact that it's a little rough around the edges.

The sound of raised voices drifted in through the open windows of Elrond’s study, causing the lord of the Last Homely House to shake his head sadly. The twins and the young prince of the Woodland Realm were arguing. Again.

Elrond had been prepared for disruption when he had agreed to Thranduil’s request for his son to foster with him for a year, to help him learn more of other Elven realms. His own sons, on the cusp of adolescence, were notorious for their pranks and Thranduil had warned him that Legolas too was a high-spirited youngster. But both had thought that their respective sons would be friends.

Elrond sighed as the sound of bickering drew closer to the window. How wrong they had been! They had loathed one another on sight and despite all that the adults had done to encourage them to get on, the twins and Legolas seemed destined to remain enemies. As they were required to take classes and weapons training together, they were not even able to avoid one another. As a result, Elrond’s tranquil haven had become a bitter battleground.

Picking up his quill, Elrond strove to block out the noise and return to transcribing the ancient volume of First Age poetry that lay on the desk before him. He vaguely wondered what the quarrel was about this time, and then resolutely pushed the thought from his mind. He was bound to hear about it from one of the increasingly frustrated tutors in due course. For now there was work to be done. He smoothed out a piece of vellum and bent to his task.

***

“You take that back!” demanded Elladan, as he and his twin strode after Legolas, all three of them on their way to the archery field.

The woodland prince swung round, his eyes flashing and his hands balled into fists. “Nay, why should I? I do not believe that you can talk to the stars and so that makes you both liars.”

Elrohir dashed forward and grasped Legolas by the arm before he could march away. “How dare you call us liars? And why is it so difficult to believe that we can talk to a star when you claim you can talk to the trees?”

Legolas fought to tear his arm from Elrohir’s grip, but the younger twin held him fast. “Get off me!” he ground out, but Elrohir only grasped him all the harder. By now, Elladan had caught up with them, making it two against one. Knowing this was a struggle he was destined to lose, Legolas shook his head in exasperation. “That is different,” he explained. The trees are here: they are alive and have a voice that even an ignorant Noldo could hear if he only took the time to listen. Ow!” he cried. That last remark was possibly not the wisest thing to have said, considering he was currently being grappled between Elladan and Elrohir. Elladan had sharply yanked one of his braids as a punishment.

Nevertheless, never being one to give up easily, Legolas pursued his argument doggedly. “But you can’t talk to the stars: it’s impossible! They are not living things and they are miles away. You’re both making it up.” He tried to pull away, but Elladan jerked him back sharply.

“I did not say we talked to all the stars, you Moriquendi dolt!” the elder twin hissed, “Just the one: our grandfather, Eärendil. And if you call us liars for saying so, then you implicate our father also, for it was he who taught us to speak with our grandfather, and his father who sails the firmament in his great ship. Are you calling him a liar?”

Legolas gaped at Elladan, painfully aware that he had backed himself into a corner. The tales he had heard tell of the Elder Days had always before seemed just that to him: tales. Although he had heard of the tale of Eärendil, it had never before hit home that Elrond, in whose house he was currently residing, was the son of that figure of legend. For the first time, he realised that Elladan and Elrohir could well be telling the truth. Unfortunately for him, he had not yet learnt that sometimes the best way out of an argument is to admit one’s fault and apologise.

“I do not call your father a liar,” Legolas began defiantly, “but maybe he told you that tale because he thought you were too weak to cope with the fact that your grandfather is dead.”

He did not get the chance to say any more, because he was promptly borne down to the ground beneath two extremely irate twins. If it had not been for Glorfindel, who chose that moment to go looking for his tardy pupils, Legolas might have received worse than the black eye and split lip that Elladan and Elrohir had already dealt out to him by the time Glorfindel managed to separate them.

The disgraced younglings were promptly sent to their rooms. As they walked off towards the house, Legolas completely missed the silent communication and sly grins that passed between the twins.

***

“Legolas!”

Legolas was wrenched from sleep by a deep, booming voice that seemed to reverberate around his bedchamber. Dazedly, he sat up in bed and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. A shaft of bright moonlight shone in through the open window, causing him to blink. No, wait, that wasn’t right, the prince corrected himself, it was the dark of the moon tonight. By rights the brightest light in the sky tonight should be – sweet Eru! Legolas leapt out of bed and promptly sprawled on the floor, his legs having become entangled in the sheets.

 “Legolas Thranduilion!”

Trembling violently, Legolas picked himself up off the floor, gingerly feeling his swollen lip, which he had knocked once again in his fall. Surely it couldn’t be? He blinked up at the light that streamed in from the heavens. “Who – who is there?” he quavered.

“Surely you have guessed? You think you can malign the name of Elrond Eärendilion in his own house and not go unpunished by the one who ever watches over him?”

Legolas took two hesitant steps towards the window and then suddenly stopped, his head cocked to the side as though listening. A ghost of a grin appeared on his face and with cat-like stealth, he crept to the washstand and lifted the large jug of water. Silently, he crossed to the window and then with a blood-curdling yell he flung the contents of the jug outside. Two shocked squawks greeted him, which then turned into alarmed cries, accompanied by rustling, clattering and then two distinct thuds.

“Take that, Orc spawn! Next time you try to trick a Wood-elf, don’t do it from within a beech tree!” Legolas yelled after the hapless duo, who had lost their footing in the tree outside the window in which they had been perched, and had fallen to the ground. Then belatedly realising that the twins might have been hurt in the fall, he nimbly sprang through the window and down through the branches, to kneel beside the pair, who lay on the ground in a tangled, groaning heap. Beside them was a smashed lantern and an odd device made with a hunting horn and what looked to be the twisted remains of a lute. This was clearly what the twins had used to make their voices reverberate so.

“Are you hurt badly?” Legolas asked hesitantly. “I am sorry – I did not think you would fall.” Reaching out, he helped the twins to sit up and then backed away cautiously, waiting for the tirade that was bound to follow.

Elladan fingered his left eye, which was bruised and swelling rapidly. He glanced at his twin who was groaning and nursing a split lip, then looked at Legolas who was poised for flight. Then quite unexpectedly, he burst out laughing.

“Ai, we must look a sight!”  Elladan gasped. “I suppose we’re even now!”

In a flash of understanding, Legolas lifted his hand and felt his own eye and lip, still spectacularly bruised from his tussle earlier in the day. “Aye, that we are,” he agreed, “thanks to my friend the beech tree!” Then suddenly he too was doubled up with laughter and the three of them subsided into a giggly heap.

Some time later, limp with laughter, Elrohir managed to sit up once more and propped himself up against the trunk of the beech. Patting the smooth bark, he said, “That’s the last time I underestimate a Wood-elf. I had no idea the trees could actually talk to you. Are all the Wood-elves so gifted?”

“Aye, it is nothing unusual for us. The novice masters tell me that the trees will warn patrols of approaching spiders.” Legolas scowled suddenly. “ I wish my father would let me go out with a patrol and see how it is done, but he says I am too young.”

“That is the same with us!” exclaimed Elladan. “Our father won’t let us accompany a patrol until we are at least forty-five. That’s years away!”

And without them even noticing it, the animosity was gone and they were chatting away animatedly as if they had been friends for years. Some time later, as they were engaged in a playful bout of mock wrestling, Elrohir suddenly straightened up and pointed to the sky, where a brilliant light blazed down upon them.

“Don’t be afraid, Legolas,” murmured Elladan, who had noticed the prince turn pale and wide-eyed. “It is our grandsire.”

Legolas watched the twins in awe as they raised their faces to the light and stood in silence. Legolas had no doubt at all that they were communing with Eärendil himself.

“What did he say to you?” he gasped, once the eerie light started to die away.

Elrohir turned to him, his eyes glowing with reflected starlight. “He said that he is happy we are friends now. A time will come when you will play an important role in our lives.”

Legolas gaped at them, unsure of what to say at first, but then a slow smile lit up his face. “Aye: friends!” he said. “I like the sound of that.”

As the three friends climbed back into the house, giggling over who was going to explain to Lindir that his lute had met with an unfortunate accident, the light of Eärendil shone out once more over the trio, bestowing his blessing on what would prove to be an enduring friendship.

The End

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