Summary: Legolas made Thranduil a promise to return in two days time.
They stood, overlooking the vastness of the realm. It was a beautiful autumn sunrise... the only sound that of the river, flowing through the cavern before falling away into nothing far below. This place, to the Elvenking, was a sanctuary within his halls. A location that few dared tread, for it was a chamber dedicated to thought... to peace... to memory.
Thranduil's long fingers tightened upon the staff in hand, feeling the smooth wood beneath his skin. Blue eyes kept watch on the horizon. It was so much easier... to look this direction... to see the world in this smaller scale... to not have to fear a stray glance to the south...
Thranduil never moved, though he heard his son join him upon that precipice. The archer came upon him on the right... always the right. Stopping when he knew the king could see him, only then, did the prince speak.
“Tauriel...” Legolas's words trailed off as he tried to figure out just how to ask the king this request. Thranduil had forbidden anyone to leave. He had to get permission. But if his father would not give that permission? Taking in a deep breath, the prince continued. “Iston den dandolthen.” (((I can bring her back.)))
Those were words that the Elvenking had feared would come. If he did not allow Legolas this opportunity, would his son go anyway? Would the prince disobey the orders of his king? But if he allowed it... would the archer return to him safely in the end?
Swallowing his own fears, Thranduil turned his head, looking directly to the son whom he loved dearly. “Gerig tâd oer.” he whispered, feeling in his heart a true fear. (((You have two days.)))
Perplexed, Legolas returned his father's gaze. “In two days... the last moon of autumn, and the first sun of winter appear in the sky together.” the prince replied, recalling his own studies. Such was Durin's Day. Even he knew that.
Thranduil's voice was soft but firm. “And the bells shall ring in gladness of the mountain king's return...” his gaze moved then, turning to look upon the sight of Erebor far in the distance. “...but all shall fail in sadness... and the lake will shine and burn.”
The Elvenking's gaze fell upon his son once more as he turned, walking forward before placing a hand upon the younger Elf's shoulder. “Swear to me, Legolas. This is not a hunt for spiders or Orcs... this is a dragon. Give me your word that you will return in two days time.”
Legolas nodded, “You have my word, adar.”
Releasing his grip upon the prince's shoulder, Thranduil nodded. “I will hold you to your oath. Now go.”
And as the Elvenking watched his son hurry onward, he could not help the worry that settled in his heart.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Why had he agreed? Legolas had given him his word to return... Why had he let this happen? How had it happened? The darkness was encroaching upon lands that he had kept safe, and tirelessly guarded and defended for hundreds of years. It was... sickening. Grotesque. A mockery of everything beautiful in this world. And it was moving closer, ever closer.
Blue eyes opened and the Elvenking turned his head slightly at the sound. Legede stood before his throne, just off to the side upon the steps leading down from that grand dais. Thranduil uttered not a sound, his gaze bidding the white-haired Elf to speak his mind.
“Word has reached our sentries.”
“Of Legolas?” Thranduil asked, sitting up a bit straighter upon his seat.
The captain however, shook his head. “That Smaug is dead, hir nin.”
If the Elvenking's expression was any indication of his thoughts, then it would have seemed that the blond cared not. However, the Mirkwood Captain knew his lord better than most, and he moved back down the dais almost automatically. Without any warning, Thranduil stood swiftly, his boots light as a feather as he descended from his raised throne.
“Ready the army.”
It was a simple order. A simple command.
But Legede balked, “The entire army, hir nin?”
Stopping, Thranduil turned to look back at him. “Did I misspeak, Legede? Ready the army.”
“But Thranduil, surely...”
“I am going to bring home my son.”
Glancing at the sentries nearby, Legede hurried after the king who was swiftly moving down the hall which would bring him to his chambers. After all, there was armour to don and certainly that robe would hinder any battle. He knew he had a few moments to attempt to change his lord's mind.
“Thranduil, you can not be serious.” his captain spoke behind closed doors.
Looking up, for the blond had been searching through an armoire. “Oh I am quite serious.” he spoke, taking the time to stop what he was doing and focus solely on his friend. “Legolas swore to return in two days. That time is up and a dragon lies dead. Can you possibly imagine how...”
“I know.” Legede replied, his voice soft. “I know, mellon nin... but to take the entire army and leave these halls undefended... If Legolas met with...”
Blue eyes closed and the Elvenking looked away. “Do not speak those words.” he almost hissed. “For two days I have thought of nothing but my son and a dragon's fire. Two days!” that gaze returned to the captain. “In our absence, the gates will be shut and locked. I will find him and then I will decide my next course.”
Thranduil paused, long fingers clutching the hem of a dark robe. “Those Dwarves still have something of mine. There are two things I ride to reclaim. Both precious.”
For a moment, Legede said nothing. But then... “Are they of equal import?”
When the Elvenking did not reply, his captain bowed and left the room to assemble the army.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Legede paled slightly as he stood beside his lord and the Elken steed Malthenras. The Elvenking was livid, and though that emotion could not clearly be seen... the captain knew it by the curve of the lip... the narrowing of the eyes ever so slightly. His friend was hard to read... but they had known each other for so long that such emotion was impossible not to detect.
“We continue on our course.” he spoke, pausing only to allow the wagons to catch up. “The people of Lake Town need aid... and if I am to assault the Dwarves on their doorstep, it would do well to placate the people nearby.”
Legede nodded. “Feren has told me that they are moving to Dale even now. We should arrive with the supplies by tomorrow morning at this pace. Are you certain that...” he paused, glad that they were ahead of the column and well out of earshot. “Thranduil, Legolas is young and...”
“And? Did his oath to me mean nothing?” the Elvenking replied sharply, blue eyes glaring at his second in command. “He gave me his word to return and I have been sick with worry for two days. It was by blind luck that Feren ran into him at all and if he had not I would still be worried. To think that he had been in this wretched ruin and...”
A gentle hand touched the king's leg and drew his thoughts back.
“If I had lost him to the dragon...”
“But you did not.” Legede whispered, trying to quell the rage in his king's heart. “He is with the men of Lake Town. Trust in that. We will bring him home.”
Nodding, Thranduil bid his steed onward.
~ ~ ~
The Elvenking had set out from his halls for two reasons of equal import. The first, was to find his son. Legolas had not returned in those promised two days, and Thranduil's scouts had been instructed to bring him back... Feren had delivered the king's message to the prince, but Legolas had refused to return, choosing instead to remain in Tauriel's company. Such a betrayal could be dealt with later however, for if his son remained with the men of Lake Town, and if Feren's report was accurate, then they would meet once more in the ruins of Dale. In that city, before the gates of Erebor, Thranduil would station his army to reclaim the second reason he had left his home... the Jewels of Lasgallen. The Elvenking was more than prepared to go to war with Thorin, provided the Dwarf still walked this world, to take back his rightful heirloom... by force.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Adar = Father
Iston den dandolthen. = I can bring her back.
Gerig tâd oer. = You have two days.
Hir nin = My Lord
Mellon nin = My friend
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
- First scene from Legolas saying “Iston den dandolthen.” until Thranduil recites the prophecy are from a deleted scene in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and can be found in the Woodland Realm section of the Appendices of the Extended Edition.
- Feren is the name of the Elf, or the name given in the subtitles of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” to the Elf who Thranduil speaks to at his tent about firing on Erebor. I believe he is the same Elf who relayed Thranduil's message to Legolas about Tauriel being banished. I turned him into a scout of sorts.
- Malthenras is the name I made up for Thranduil's elk. It means Golden Horn.