Secrets or The Wisdom of a Six Year Old by LegolasLover2003|
Rating: K - PG (just a mention of violence and the use, once, or the word
Characters: Legolas, Aragorn, Elrond, Elrohir, and Elladan
There were many things that the six year old Estel did not know.
Why was it that, evey year the mountains about Rivendell were blanketed in snow?
How come his elder brothers would never take him hunting?
Why was his father so good at chess?
These things, these secrets of the world, baffled the young boy, but they did not deter him from his day to day adventures.
Pouting, Estel looked out the balcony of his room, watching as thick storm clouds blew in over the valley. He had been ordered to bed after a very harrowing escape from Elladan’s wrath. Of course, Elrohir had been privy to the joke which the small human had played on the eldest twin, but he had remained quiet. That was, of course, until Elladan had begun to chase young Estel through the halls of their father.
Elrond was furious at the noise and the inevitable destruction which the two had caused. Overturned tables, discarded pillows, broken crockery and glassware; the two had made quite the mess.
"Ada! It was rotten eggs!" Elladan had shouted, glaring at the young boy who hid behind the Elven Lord’s robes.
Elrond however, did not take any excuse. "It was a harmless joke, pulled by a child, that was meant to make you look like an arse, Elladan." The Lord of Rivendell spoke. "And indeed you do! Look at the damage you have caused here!"
Elladan looked away, his hands clenching and unclenching into fists at his sides.
"Ion nin, the joke was cruel, I admit, and Estel will be punished…"
"Ada…" the young boy whined, looking up at the Elven Lord.
Elrond’s eyes landed on the child. "You will be punished, Estel."
"But ada, Legolas will come soon!" Estel’s grey eyes were full of anguish. "I want to be able to play and… and…"
The elder Elf shook his head, "No, Estel. You are to remain in your room for the entire next week."
"It will teach you to cease these horrid jokes once and for all." Elrond finished.
Elladan smirked, but the look of sheer despair in his little brother’s eyes made his own gaze soften. "Look, Estel. Just…" the Elf knelt in front of the boy who looked about ready to cry. "Just stop these jokes, alright? They will only get you into trouble."
"But you and Ro do them all the time…"
At this, one of Elrond’s eyebrows rose, but Elladan ignored his father’s glare. "Yes, but we do them to each other and then beat one another senseless afterwards." He smiled. "I can not very well get into a fight with you, tithen gwador."
So now, Estel sat on his bed, staring out into the darkness. The sound of a horse however, caused the boy to start. Running to the doors and throwing them open, Estel appeared on the balcony, looking about to see what was going on.
Not having the vision of the Elves hampered his ability to tell shapes in the darkness, but a lantern light caught his attention, and the boy’s grey eyes focused solely on it and the one who carried it.
"He’s here…" Estel whispered with a smile.
Half of him wanted to dart out of his room, down the stairs and hall, and simply tackle the Elf Prince to the ground. The other half of him however, remembered what his father had said.
"You are to remain in your room for the entire next week."
"He is here."
Estel turned quickly, seeing Elladan in the doorway. The boy’s face fell.
"I can’t go see him…"
The Elf shook his head, "I asked ada, and he said you may. Being confined to your room, Estel, does not mean you can never come out." Elladan laughed, "After all, I am certainly not bringing you your meals."
His eyes sparkling with happiness, the child ran to Elladan, leaping into the Elf’s arms and hugging him about the neck.
"Hannon le, gwador." The boy whispered before scampering off down the hall toward the stairs.
Elladan laughed, following after the child.
The blond Elf, having been laughing with Elrohir, was highly unprepared for the sudden assault. Estel came barreling into the room, leaping with all his might and landing on the prince.
Legolas fell back, crashing to the floorboards, a boy sitting on his chest, hugging him fiercely.
"Estel!" Elrohir spoke, but he made no move to get the child.
Rather… it looked as if the younger twin were trying not to double over in laughter.
"I… well…" Legolas was quite speechless for a long moment.
The prince suddenly burst into uncontrollable laughter. This, in turn, set both twins to laughing.
Thus was how Lord Elrond found the four.
"Estel, get off of Legolas." The Elven Lord ordered, reaching forward to pluck the boy from the younger Elf.
Legolas however, held up a hand. "Nay, I am alright. I… I just think he missed me."
"You have been gone for over a year." Estel spoke, looking down at the prince, his own grey eyes meeting the blue gaze of the Elf. "I… I thought you’d never come back."
The prince smiled, "Nay, tithen pen, I returned. I was simply busy."
As he spoke, Legolas maneuvered Estel to where the boy was in his arms. Standing, the Elf continued.
"I had much to do this past year, Estel. Forgive me?"
The boy smiled, "Always."
However, there was a silence in the room that the child found strange. He looked from Legolas, to his brothers, then to his father. When the boy’s eyes rested on Legolas again, he thought he saw a strange glint in the Elf’s eyes.
"Come." Elrond spoke, his father’s voice causing Estel to wiggle out of Legolas’ arms. "Legolas, I am sure you are weary. We can speak of the reasons for your coming in the…"
The prince’s blue gaze found Elrond. "I… I would rather speak of them this night." The Elf spoke, almost timidly, it appeared to the child.
The blond Elf’s gaze went to the boy standing next to him, "Have no worry, Estel. In the morning, we shall do whatever you want."
Estel frowned, "Alright… but I… I’m not supposed to leave my room."
Curiously, Legolas looked to Elrond.
The Elven Lord smiled ever so slightly, "Estel pulled a rather mean joke on Elladan today. His punishment for it,"
"And for breaking half of the crockery in the dinning hall." Elrohir put in.
"Is to spend the next week in his room." Elrond finished, almost as if his son had said nothing.
Legolas smiled, "And I take it a punishment was dealt for the other involved?" he asked, looking to Elladan.
The twin sighed, "Yes… I have to clean the stables for a month. Every morning."
"Bright and early." Elrohir added.
Elladan cuffed his brother on the back of the head. "Aye…"
There was a smile in Legolas’ eyes, bringing back to them the glint of happiness which Estel had seen when the Elf first arrived.
"To bed with you." Elrond spoke, looking at Estel. "The hour grows late, ion nin."
With much sorrow, the boy hugged Legolas. The prince, in turn, knelt down to envelop the child in a hug of his own.
"I will see you tomorrow, tithen pen."
Estel smiled before turning and heading toward his room.
"Come, Legolas." Came Elrond’s voice, drawing the prince’s attention from the boy. "We have much to discuss."
It was late, that much Estel was certain of. The boy’s eyes opened groggily to the light of the full moon. He sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
And he heard it again.
Looking around, the child knew he was alone in his room, but he also knew that someone was near.
Someone was so very sad.
Pulling the blankets from him, Estel slipped his legs over the side of the bed. Immediately a chill set itself in him. He could feel the cold icy breath of winter. Outside, the grounds of Imladris were blanketed with snow.
The boy shifted, grabbing a robe from nearby and placing his small feet into stockings. He tiptoed to his door, listening carefully. The sound seemed to come from outside the balcony however.
‘Whoever it is,’ Estel thought ‘Is outside…’
Estel crept through the hallway, which, even to his human ears, caused him to realize that any Elf listening would have heard him.
But none stopped the child.
Slowly, the boy made his way to a door. Beyond, he could hear the voice. Pushing open the door, Estel stood there for a long moment, simply listening to the soft sad voice.
Ias brun melant bannen
Rain nedh ninui laer
Trenari ho ten u-innas na anann
Ir e edrehen ho, edrehen ho
Ias i puig calan
Nu calad breitant vi gweth
A ir carant im thinna
Vi sen cuil, vi sen cuil
Where has that old friend gone
Wandering in a February song
Tell him it will not be long
When he opens his eyes, opens his eyes
Where is the pure day
Before light broke in shades
And when did I fade
Into this life, into this life
Outside, sitting upon the balcony, was Legolas. He sat, on the rail itself, with his back against a portion of the wall, his legs pulled up to his chest. The Elf’s eyes were upturned, gazing into the cold dark of night.
There even seemed, from Estel’s vantage point, to be the glimmer of a tear on the prince’s cheek.
"Le… Legolas?" the boy spoke.
Turning his gaze to the child, Legolas smiled sadly. "I thought you were supposed to be in bed." The Elf spoke.
"I… I was but… I heard you singing and…"
"Forgive me, tithen pen. I did not mean to wake you." The prince spoke, standing from where he was and returning into the room.
Legolas turned slightly, closing the balcony doors and, in doing so, hastily wiping the tears from his eyes. Most would not have noticed the movement, but the young human did. The moon’s light glinted off of the Elf’s blond hair, his silver garments giving him an ethereal look that Estel could only stare at for a moment. There were times when little Estel did not understand why this happened to Elves, even those of Rivendell grew fairer in the moonlight, making the boy feel somehow inadequate. Perhaps it was that most of those in Rivendell possessed dark hair. Estel did not know, though he had seen Glorfindel once, when the Elf Lord had ridden into Imladris during the night, and the moon's light shone down upon him much as it did on Legolas now. The boy had thought on this long and hard, but now seeing Legolas in the same glow, he realized what the Elf reminded him of.
It was almost as if he were standing before one of the Vala.
"You must be cold." Legolas spoke, seeing the child shiver slightly. He motioned to a large chair near the fire, "Come."
Estel nodded, walking the length of the room. Only now did he realize that a fire was burning brightly in the hearth, giving the room a warm glow that soothed the boy’s heart. He knew Legolas was sad, but something about the way that the Elf held himself, told the child more than that.
Sitting down, Legolas drew Estel into his lap, covering the boy with a blanket.
"Legolas…" the boy whispered, glancing up into the Elf’s blue eyes.
When the prince acknowledged him with a raised eyebrow, he continued to speak.
"Legolas… what’s wrong?"
The Elf sighed deeply, his gaze going to lock with the flames in the fire. "I am saddened, Estel."
"By what?" the boy asked, turning so that he was directly facing Legolas in the chair. "I… I’ve never seen you sad before…"
Legolas nodded, "Iston… But I can not help it, tithen pen. I am here, not out of… of happiness, but sorrow. My heart needs to heal, and here, amongst the beauty of Imladris, and the company of you and your brothers, it shall."
"But why?" Estel pressed. "What happened?"
"Do you know of the darkness in Mirkwood?"
The boy nodded, "Ada told me that all sorts of evil creepy things live in the woods now."
"And your ada is right. Long have those who live in Mirkwood fought for peace and an end to this darkness. This last fortnight saw such devastation, Estel. I…" Legolas stopped speaking, his eyes full of tears.
The Elf hurriedly looked away, lifting the boy as he stood from the chair. He set the child back down, covering him with the blanket, then took a few steps away.
"There are things, Estel… that one so young as yourself is not meant to know." The prince whispered.
Legolas sighed, trying to bring some form of composure back to his expression. He sat on the edge of the bed, burying his face in his hands.
Long moments passed, in which the only sound in the room was the crackling of the fire.
Suddenly however, he felt Estel near him. The boy reached out, hugging Legolas around the middle and resting his head against the prince’s chest.
"I’m not so young as to know you’re in pain, Legolas…" Estel whispered.
Tears slipped from Legolas’ eyes unchecked. A broken sob escaped him and he pulled the boy to him. Holding the child carefully, Legolas knelt on the floor, Estel cradled next to him.
"Alae!" the prince cried, his face hidden in his hair. "His blood is on my hands… I tried… I tried to save him, and yet in the end… in the end I…"
"Sidh." Estel whispered, moving the Elf’s hair to better glimpse his blue eyes. "Everything’ll be alright, Legolas. You’ll see…" the boy smiled sadly. "I promise."
There was such trust in those grey eyes. Legolas forgot his pain. He simply sat, staring into Estel’s gaze and thinking of the innocence of that child. The prince had wanted to spare Estel from ever knowing such horrible things… but already the boy proved that he was strong.
Strong enough to understand.
"Hannon le…" Legolas whispered.
"Will you tell me?" Estel asked after a time.
Legolas sat, holding the boy against him. He had pulled the coverlet from the bed and now both were wrapped up in it.
The prince sighed, closing his eyes for a moment before speaking. "I was in command of a patrol. Our destination was the boarder of Mirkwood. Halfway there, our small band was assailed by the spiders which run rampant through our woods. Many of the Elves in my command died… but there was one…" Legolas stopped for a moment. "He was my friend… one of my dearest friends… Morlan. The reaction to the venom of the spiders varies from Elf to Elf, Estel. I myself have been bitten, and merely succumbed to being paralyzed. I could not move for hours. But Morlan had been with me… he had saved me. This time…" tears came to the Elf’s eyes. "This time, it was he whom the spiders took. He fought with all his strength, but the poison became too much. We headed back to the palace, fearful of another attack. Already our number was thinned, for there had been hundreds of spiders, Estel…"
"I hate spiders." The boy whispered, taking one of Legolas’ hands into his own. "El and Ro always get rid of them when I call."
Legolas smiled, "Then they are wonderful brothers. I hate them too, tithen pen. I hate them almost as much as Orcs… And now…" the prince took a deep breath. "Morlan became so very ill. A day before we reached the palace, he begged me to kill him. Valar, my dearest friend gave me his knife and begged that I end his pain. We knew he would die before we reached home… but…"
"You killed him." Estel spoke.
The prince nodded, tears falling from his eyes once more.
Estel smiled sadly, placing his little hands on the sides of Legolas’ face. "It’s alright. He’s happy now. He’s in Mandos’ Halls."
Legolas tried to laugh, but it turned into a sob. "Oh, Estel… For one so young, you are very wise. Your ada said the same thing to me earlier."
The two sat in silence for a long time. Outside, snow began to fall. Legolas watched it until he could feel the rhythmic breathing of the child in his arms. Standing, the Elf carefully laid Estel on the bed, making sure the boy was covered up nicely.
A smile on his face, Legolas fell upon the room’s chaise. His eyes glazed over, and soon the prince was walking through the world of Elvish dreams.
The next morning found quite an amusing sight. Little Estel lay sprawled out on Legolas’ bed, the coverlet in disarray. Legolas himself rested on the chaise, one arm dangling down, his fingertips brushing the floor lightly. One of the prince’s legs was draped over the back of the chaise, the dying firelight glinting off of his delicate features.
Thus this was how Elladan and Elrohir found their little brother and the blond Elf, though neither had to the heart to wake them.
Estel walked in dreams of his own making. He and Legolas at the river, telling stories and passing the time by skimming stones.
Legolas’ own dreams reflected happier times. His dark secret, the blood stained hands which had haunted his mind for days, were no longer present. In his mind, the prince dreamt of the future. He saw Estel, Aragorn, as the king he was meant to be. He saw peace and an end to war.
With those sights, the memory of Morlan’s death was finally put to rest.
Where has that old friend gone
Lost in a February song
Tell him it won't be long
‘Til he opens his eyes, opens his eyes
Where is that simple day
Before colors broke into shades
And how did I ever fade
Into this life, into this life
-"February Song" (Josh Groban "Awake")
Words To Know:
Hannon le = Thank you
Tithen pen = Little one
Gwador = Brother (but not twins)
Muindor = Brother (twins)
Ada = Father
Mellon nin = My friend
Ion nin = My son
Thranduilion = Son of Thranduil
Iston = I know
Alae = Alas
Sidh = Peace