Add Story to Favourites March First by Eleiel
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Story Notes:

This story is sort of in reponse to Pentangle's Five Words in Winter, but my own take on how Legolas first encountered the child named Estel. Though this story can stand on its own, I want to give credit the the wonderful writings of Pentangle and express my sincere hope that she does not mind my different telling of this tale!

This story in in honor of Aragorn's bithday, and I hope tp have the rest of it up by then.

Ana o Eru!

(oh, and I do not own any of the character places or details mentioned, they all belong to someone else....all the usual stuff)

Legolas stood on the edge of the ridge and looked down at the scene before him. At his feet stretched out the valley of Rivendel, lush and green in spring foliage. Nestled among the trees were the pale roofs of the Last Homely House. Throughout the long days of winter Legolas has waited for spring and the clearing of the mountain pass with an impatience that was uncharacteristic of the quiet sylvan elf. That winter he had heard tidings of the strange child Lord Elrond Peredhel had adopted from the clan of the Dunedain. The child he had adopted and named Estel.




That name had breathed a new life into the dark world of the troubled prince; in the face of the terrible shadow, the existence of this mysterious babe seems like the breath of spring. But Legolas did not know why. Countless human children were born every year, true, not all of them were descendant from Numenorean blood, as all of the Dunedain were, but why did this child suddenly make such a difference? For the millionth time Legolas felt like a fool. Surely he had imagined that silent call this past mid-winter, that leap out of knowledge when had felt his fate intertwine with that of this strange human. Surely he had imagined it: yet he had come haltingly over the mountains, following the star of Elendil to see the child. The blood in his veins had been stirred and would not rest until he had seen him.


So here he was, standing on the brink of a valley that was a second home to him, but he felt strangely hesitant. Legolas smiled wryly, remembering the first time he had been here, at the very beginning of the age, for the naming of Arwen Evenstar. They had feasted the naming of the new-born elf-child and his father had imbibed a bit too much, as had many of the elf lords (the ladies had withdrawn, no doubt drinking tea and crooning over the infant). But Tharanduil did not hold his ale and wine as well as most others. He had embarrassed his son by trying to arrange a marriage between the young prince of Mirkwood and babe. Of course the next day he apologized to Lord Elrond and the Noldo had been most gracious. However Legolas, then still a young elf only just old enough to carry his own weapons and have his name put on the roster of warriors, had barely been able to look the elf lord in the face, let alone the young twins who alternated between teasing him and threatening him with his life if he ever got any ideas. It had given Legolas a new appreciation of the word ‘mortification.’ Needless to say it had not been the best visit.  

He had this returned to this valley many time since that unfortunate occasion and had, eventually, been able to leave that memory of humiliation behind and become fast friends with the exuberant Elrondion.


Yet, despite the warmth of those who waited in the valley, he was strangely loath to take the step that would eventually bring him face to face with the mysterious child and the equally mysterious fate that bound them together. In his heart a war was being faught by the strange hope the infant brought and his fear of what might be asked of him.

But he knew that was where he must go, so he tightened his grip on the horse he was leading and took the first step down into the valley.




As he approached the steps to the Last Homely house he smiled faintly; a whole welcoming party were waiting for him on the steps, Lord Elrond of course, Erestor, Glorfindel (with a wide smile plastered on his face; for some reason he took great pleasure in having someone else to spar with the twins. Legolas had been on the sharp end of their sparing swords many times before and did not really blame him, but still…), Elladan and Elrohir. No Arwen, thank goodness, he thought with crooked smile. But there was a human woman standing at Elrond’s side with a dark form in her arms. His gaze was drawn to the bundle of arms legs and body that she held; a small, dark-haired boy nestling against his mother’s chest, his rosy cheeks warm again her pale skin. Several thoughts flashed through is mind, it is odd to see such a still child. Is that that Him?


 Movement drew his eyes to the twins who were standing behind the woman; they were grinning and almost bouncing with excitement. Legolas returned their smiles. Though the twins were obviously pleased to see him and their eyes danced ominously with prospect of some new plan, they held themselves respectfully back until the formal greeting was over.


“Welcome Prince Legolas Thranduilion,” Elrond called as he neared the group, “I and my house-hold are pleased to once again have you among us.”


The blonde elf bowed elaborately, “Thank you, Lord Elrond. I bear you greetings from my Father and kin of Mirkwood.”  Elrond surveyed his stained and muddy clothes and marveled that he had been driven so as to cross the pass this early after the snow melted; there was still much danger from snow higher up the mountains and the damp mud and earth made traveling very difficult. But the elf had come, and Elrond could see in his heart the call that had drawn him to the valley. Since his first visit to Imladris the young prince had grown wise beyond his years, but while the growing darkness that surrounded his home had helped him mature in strength and leadership, it had given him very little hope to brighten his soul. “Come in, come in mellon nin.”said Elrond heartily, “Tell us the news of lands you have passed through and sing us your new songs; the spring is growing warm in our blood and we long for the fresh air you bring with you!”


Legolas smiled warmly, song and perhaps some food was all his tired spirit wished for right now. But he only had a moment of happy day dreaming before he was almost knocked off his feet by the exuberant rush and tight embraces of the dark-haired twins. “Legolas,” Elladan whispered breathily, “thank goodness you are here.” Elrohir whispered into his other ear, “We have an idea and we need your help!”


“Indeed,” Murmured Legolas as he slipped out of their entangling arms and wiped his damp ears, “What makes you think that I would want to be part of your hair-brained schemes?” He waited a moment for their merry replies as he pretended to pull his tunic straight, but none came. Looking up his breath caught in is throat; Elladan and Elrohir stood shoulder to shoulder and he saw something in their faces he had missed as they stood above him on the steps. A fell, grey light filled their eyes and they stood as ones who had lost something dear; it was an echo the loss and anger that had filled them at the injury and fading of their mother and the pain he himself had felt when his own mother left to cross the sea at the side of her beloved Celebrian. A slight line of concern creased his brow; “We have much to speak of, dear friends.”


The twins smiled and the look of loss and anger vanished, for the time being. “Aye, we do. But in the meantime there is someone we would like you to meet!” Elladan, ever the merrier one, danced up the steps, while Elrohir grasped Legolas’ hand and drew him into the house.


The three-some entered the large room together, the twin singing a merry (and very silly) marching tune and Legolas smiling at his friends; though new worries had been added to the strange cloud of doubt and fear around his heart, his low humor eased by the warm welcome and friendship offered him.


Light filled the long room that they entered, bird song and the damp smell of early spring flowed in from the tall windows that looked out across the valley. A bright fire burned in a large fireplace to take the lingering chill off the tiled floors and around it there was a jumble of chairs and rugs and growing things which harbored a warm and restful atmosphere. The others from the welcoming party were there already, except for Erestor who did not generally like loud gatherings as this one showed signs of becoming. Legolas was drawn into this welcoming space by the laughing twins and again he saw the strange woman. Closer now he could see that her face and form was that of a relatively young woman, but her dark hair was streaked with silver.


Elrohir came around to the side of her chair and gently helped the woman up. “Legolas,” said Elladan in the common tongue, “this is Gilrean; Hareth this one of our closest friends, Legolas of Mirkwood.”


Legolas made a half-bow of respect and greeting to the dark hair human woman as she stood at the side of Elrohir.


“I have heard much about you, Prince of Mirkwood, many tales from my husband and his clan as well as from these rapscallions.” Her voice was low and cultured, but slightly rough, as though she had just been though a long illness. There was laughter on her lips, but deep sadness in her eyes, and they were far away as though looking from another world in to this. The dark cloud drew closer around the young prince and fear clutched his heart. This darkness was everywhere and it seemed to him as though ghosts were walking the hall of Rivendel.


The lady smiled and drew from behind her chair a shadow the fair elf had not noticed before, it was a young boy with tussled dark hair and huge grey eyes, who had somehow managed to stuff his whole fist into his mouth. Gilrean gently drew the boy’s hand out of his mouth and gathered him up into her arms. “This is my son, er…Estel.”


Legolas looked down at the small child in Gilrean’s arms and was filled with wonder at the works of Illuvatar. He himself had only ever seen four other babies, all elven, and this tiny bit of humanity was to him a miracle many times over again. Wide, dark eyes stared up at him, but as Legolas took a step towards the mother and child, the boy hid his face in his mother’s chest with a small whimper of fear.


Shocked, Legolas stood still; what had he done wrong? Had he imagined the call to bind his life to his? What on Middle-Earth was he doing?


Gilrean shook her head, “He is young yet, milord, and these past months have been very hard for him.” Legolas nodded and murmured a suitable reply, but doubt, disappointment and fear fell again like a blanket on his heart. Awkwardly he took a seat and accepted the glass of wine offered him by Lord Elrond.


After a while Legolas relaxed again, the influence of wine, song and the mirth of his friends taking effect. He told them stories and news from his homeland, and they laughed at the funny tales and looked stern at the ill news. The day wore on and evening approached. The boy-child, throughout the proceedings, had alternately run off and returned with various toys to play quietly on the run, and had made his rounds, crawling into the laps of each of those he knew and cared for; his mother, the twins (not at the same time),  Elrond, and lastly Glorfindel. As he stretched out his arms to the ancient elf, Glorfindel smiled beatifically, as though he had been given a gift more precious than life. The child was affectionate with each of his favored ones, bestowing hugs and kisses before snuggling into their arms to suck his fingers. But he did not go near Legolas.


At evening shadows grew the group fell silent, comfortable enough in each other’s company that they did not feel the need for speech. Legolas felt so many questions press upon his mind and heart, but with a fierce shove he pushed them away; for the first time in many, many moons he felt relaxed and these troubling thoughts would wait until tomorrow. He sank deeper into the cushions that made his hard chair comfortable and closed his eyes.


A few moments later and sudden crash and cry caused his eyes to fly open and bolt upright. Gilrean was standing, the shards of her crystal wine glass scattered around he feet. Sweat stood out on her face which was now a very unhealthy shade of grey.


“Lord Elrond. Help!” she gasped. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she started to collapse. Instantly, the four other elves were at her side catching the woman as she fell and transferring her to her side, well away from the broken glass on the floor. Tumult erupted as stiff jerks spread through her limbs and she began to seize. Elrond rapped out orders to his sons and his marshal to get more help so they could protect the woman and get her safely to the infirmary.


Legolas was on his feet now, wanting to help but not knowing how. Elrond looked up from the floor where he held Gilrean’s head to protect it from banging against the floor as she shook. “Legolas,” he said calmly above the commotion, “take Estel, try and calm him down.”


For the first time Legolas realized that most of the noise echoing in the room came from the small child, whose terrified screams accompanied his mother’s violent shakes.

Chapter End Notes:

Hareth - Lady


This story is still very much a work in progress, so if you have any advice or critiques, please let me know!

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