Memories by Zrik|
Summary- After Aragorn and Legolas have a conversation, Legolas reminisces on past times.
Disclaimer- I do not own any of the characters that you recognize from Tolkien’s novels. All other characters are mine.
A/N- I don’t know much about archery or horse races but I did my best.
It was almost dusk, night would be here soon. An elf sat, gently glowing, on the balcony outside the glass and wood doors to the room hugging one knee to his chest. The curtains gently fluttered outside in the slight, calming breeze. There were even still a few birds out that whistled their sweet tunes to the elf as he stared blankly at the setting sun that left orange and red trails across the sky, lost in thought. He was thinking about the conversation he and his best friend Aragorn had had earlier that day. They had been discussing plans and ideas for the upcoming Games for the youngest elves in the realms of Mirkwood, Lothlórien, and Rivendell, to be held in Rivendell this time around.
They had been out in the forest beyond the borders of Rivendell and were just talking, reminiscing of all the times they had once spent together and of all the tricks that Elladan and Elrohir had played on them. Legolas remembered one in particular that involved a squirrel, a bag of berries, and a few pieces of rope...
...Aragorn and Legolas were on their way home to Rivendell after Aragorn had been visiting Mirkwood. His elven brothers, Elladan and Elrohir, had been sent by Lord Elrond to bring his human son home.
When they were still two days ride away from Rivendell, Ell and El left Aragorn and Legolas and rode ahead for reasons unknown to anyone other than then twin elves. They were plotting to play a trick on the son of Arathorn and Prince of Mirkwood.
Elladan and Elrohir rode till noon the next day after they had left the human and elf. It would take till the next morning for Aragorn and Legolas to catch up. It took them well into the night to set up their trap, and then they waited.
The next morning dawned bright and clear with very few clouds in the sky and hardly any wind, perfect for their trick. They had enlisted the help of a young squirrel for their little ploy and had given him a nice reward, a bulging bag of his favorite berries.
Aragorn and Legolas were riding slowly along the trail to Rivendell when they heard something from a much smaller and less traveled path off to one side.
"What's that?" Aragorn asked Legolas.
"It sounds like a hurt animal to me. We should go check it out," he said and dismounted from his horse; Aragorn did the same.
"I'll go first," Legolas said and started down the path slowly and cautiously.
They came upon a small clearing and saw a small, young squirrel caught in a rope and unable to get away. It made pathetic sounding noises as it made futile attempts to gnaw his way out of his rope prison.
"Calm down, my friend. Calm down and I'll get you out of that rope," Legolas said calmly, speaking in Elvish.
After a few moments more, the squirrel headed the elven prince's words and stilled. Smiling, Aragorn made his way forward and stepped right into the twin's trap. His foot was yanked out from underneath him and flew into the air, upside down.
"Aragorn!" Legolas exclaimed and rushed forward to help his fried, caution and the squirrel forgotten. Legolas's foot too was snatched out from under him and the prince was then hanging next to Aragorn, upside down as well.
Then, a bag came flying out from the bushes and the squirrel clambered out from he ropes with ease, like he had planned it all along.
"Good work, there's your payment," a voice that sounded a lot like Elladan's said. Then, to add to and confirm that thought, Ell and El stepped out of the bushes, identical grins on their faces...
...Legolas smiled softly at the memory. Yes, that had been a good one, Legolas had to agree. But how he and Aragorn had gotten he twins back was even better...
...The party of three elves and one human had made it back to Rivendell. While Ell and El were still eating dinner with Lord Elrond, Aragorn and Legolas had snuck into the twins rooms and put dye in their shampoos.
The next morning, Aragorn and Legolas had been woken from the shrill screams of Ell and El. They had obviously found that their shampoos had turned both of their hair a hideous, florescent pink color instead of their natural brown.
Payback was sweet...
Legolas had spoken with Aragorn about all sorts of games from different cultures they had seen and visited through the many years they had walked in Middle Earth. For instance, the time they had gone to visit Eomer in Rohan several years ago...
...The sun rose on a cloudless day and proceeded to warm the earth as it rose high into the sky until it reached the noon point.
Most of Edoras had congregated outside the immediate vicinity of the town on a small spectator area, waiting for the horse races to start.
When the sun had reached half an hour past noon, the horses lined up and the crowd got silent and one young man took up a spot on the sideline behind the queued horses. The judges took their places also. The man behind the horses made sure they were all ready.
“On my mark, “he said loudly and clearly. “Go!” he shouted into the silent, still air and the horses took off, dust and grass flying everywhere behind the horses.
The crowd was suddenly very loud. They cheered and hollered for each of the individual horses that they were supporting.
The gorses galloped for a distance then turned as they came to a flag that designated where the track turned for the race so it could double back and use the same line for start and finish.
The crowd cheered louder as they got to the obstacle section and they started jumping over the hurdles and ducking under the overhanging obstacles.
The supporters of a dark brown horse made distressed and worried sounds as it stumbled over two obstacles that were close together and it fell to the ground, its rider rolling safely away from the felled horse. Luckily, it got back up after a moment and went to see if his rider was injured before horse and rider continued around the track.
The crowd then turned back its attention back to the other horses that were nearing the finish line. A grand looking gray horse and a determined white horse were tied neck and neck and were battling it out for the first and second places. The other ten were out for their own spots.
As the front two horses rounded the last turn, they tapped into their last reserves of energy for the home stretch. Each was determined to win and bring pride to their riders and owners.
About five yards from the finish/start line, the black horse got another small burst of speed and pulled ahead of the gray horse just enough to cross the finish line first.
The crowd went wild, screaming and yelling as a lot of them got to their feet and stormed the track to congratulate the owner and rider for such an amazing race. Aragorn and Legolas were among the few that stayed in the spectator area, watching the proceedings...
...’Yes, that was a very good race,’ Legolas still had to agree to this day. ‘But not as good as the blind-folded archery contest in Lothlórien almost thirty years ago...
...The crowd grew completely silent as the twenty-four elves of all ages and status took their places just behind the starting lines and waited for the contest to begin. Half would be eliminated this round so twelve would be in the second round.
“Draw,” came the command from one of the three judges. “Aim, fire,” they took their aim and fired, twenty-four arrows flying the fifty yards to the targets and sunk into them, some closer to the bull’s-eye than others.
There was only twelve that hit dead center, making it easy for the judges. The other twelve were eliminated, leaving with thoughts of training harder and hopes of winning it next year.
The targets were then moved to 100 yards away and the twelve elves took their places. Again, the judge yelled, “Draw, aim, fire,” and the eves repeated their motions of before. Again, only half had perfect shots, making it easy to eliminate the imperfect shots.
For the third round, the targets were at their hardest, 200 yards away. Again, the elves took their places and made their shots. Four had, what appeared to be, perfect shots, a challenge for the judges. They looked at the arrows more closely and found a slight difference in one arrow from all the rest.
Then, the judges came up with something that surprised the last three contestants, Hemet of Rivendell, Gondithen of Mirkwood, and Doragor of Lothlórien. The last three contestants had to face the targets which had been moved to fifty feet away, throw an apple into the air, draw an arrow and shoot through the apple, hitting the target as well. Blindfolded.
Gondithen of Mirkwood was first. He missed the apple by mere centimeters but still hit the target on the outer edge. Hemet of Rivendell hit the apple but missed the target by a long shot. Doragor of Lothlórien, learning from the mistakes of the other two, did everything necessary and hit the very outer edge of the target, winning the competition.
The crowd, which had been silent till now, suddenly burst into cheering and applause...
... ‘The younger elves would enjoy a gorse race and archery competition. I’ll inform Estel of this idea later. Maybe he would let he would let Eldarion join in the activities.’
Legolas smiled at the thought of his best friend’s son. He recalled something Estel had told him after he had helped Eldarion get back at a friend for a small joke that had been played on him.
“In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”
‘That’s a very true statement, mellon nin,’ Legolas thought to himself as the sun, like many before it that Legolas had seen, dipped below the horizon, taking with it slowly the last streaks of light in the sky. The fireflies also came out to combat the growing darkness. Aragorn joined Legolas outside and leaned against the stone banister that still remained sitting upon.
“Having a trip down Memory Lane, mellon nin?” Estel asked jokingly.
“Yes,” he said, smiling slightly as another memory came to him. “Do you remember that one time...