Lord Of The Rings Fan Fiction ❯ Soulmates ❯ Ada ( Chapter 18 )
Thranduil didn't know where he was anymore. His sons had no idea either. They had been wandering for days, but it felt like they had been going in circles. All they wanted was their Legolas back. He had spent no time with them. At all. It hurt them. They wanted to know more about his discovered heritage. They came by a pool and they quickly stripped off and bathed, drinking deeply of the water as they were parched. They got out and dressed then made camp, which was nothing but a bedroll each and a fire in the middle.
The forest grew dark around them until the stars peeked between the boughs of the trees. They sat around the fire silently.
Merillyra, Thranduil's firstborn, sighed. "We are never going to find him, ada."
"We must," Thranduil said.
Sengwen, the second born, frowned. "Please, Father. Why must we? I miss him fiercely, and I need to apologize for everything I've done to him, but why must we find him? He doesn't seem to want us anymore. He's got five Soulmates. He needs no other company."
Merillyra frowned. "He is our brother, that's why. We need to be sure he's all right. After the fire incident, he was gone before we woke up."
"But the way he spoke to ada, brother," Riryan, the younger twin, said in a soft voice.
"Yes," Lelyan, his older brother, murmured. "He was harsh and unforgiving."
"You forget the way he spoke at the end," Sengwen said with a nod. "He seemed to want to talk more, but there was Elrond to deal with."
"We're never going to find him," Thranduil sighed, echoing his son's earlier comment.
"Not with that attitude you're not."
Everybody jumped at the deep voice, spinning to see an Elf. He had a faint silver outline. His hair seemed to contain moonlight in its very essence. He stood tall and proud, his piercing silver eyes gazing steadily at the Elf king.
"You are a Moon Elf!" Thranduil said excitedly, leaping to his feet, though he approached cautiously.
"I am indeed."
"Who are you?"
"I am Mormerilon."
There was a pause. "Legolas said that you were dead."
"We are, dear," said a female voice, and a beautiful female Elf materialized beside her husband.
"You are…Celeblessel, I believe Erestor called you."
"You are Legolas' parents."
"We are," they both said.
"So…he doesn't need or want me," Thranduil said, deflating a little.
"On the contrary, dear Sun Elf," Celeblessel said gently. "He does need you. And he wants you, as well."
"He does?" Thranduil asked, brightening.
Mormerilon nodded. "Something terrible happened to him on his journey with the Fellowship. His Soulmates and his other adas, Fangorn and Glóin, know about it, but they are all that know. He needs your shoulder to cry on. He needs to tell you. He needs a Sun Elf to understand."
"Will I understand?" Thranduil asked quietly.
"I believe you will. But keep an open mind and do not judge him. It was not his fault."
"How do I get him to talk about this? Legolas always was one for secrets."
"Firmly pat his right shoulder."
There was a pause as the Sun Elves stared, waiting for more instructions. Merillyra finally stood and joined his father.
"That's it? We pat his shoulder?"
"Yes. Do not be too alarmed at the reaction you get."
"What will happen?" Riryan asked.
"It is not my place to tell you. He will already be angry at me for doing this. But, as a father, I know what is best for my son."
"Praise the Valar on that point," Thranduil said with a smile.
"Come, put out the fire and follow me and I will take you to our son."
They did as he asked, making sure the fire was completely out, then rolled up their makeshift beds and hurried after the glowing Moon Elves. They walked for three hours, then came to a thick ring of trees. Mormerilon said a word in what sounded like a strange, Elven language. The Sun Elves gasped as the trees parted. They dashed inside when the trees began to come together again. The five beings could do nothing but stare at the city for a few moments. Thranduil turned to thank Mormerilon and his wife, but they were gone.
They turned to see Frodo standing there in a skirt. They ignored the odd attire when they realized that Mormerilon had been wearing one as well. Thranduil nodded as he approached Frodo.
"Hail, Ring-bearer. Are you well? You…I am not sure what you did."
"I…It doesn't matter. I am well. What are you doing in Ithralcilvan? It is impossible to find unless you are a Moon Elf."
"I had a little help."
"Did you finally listen to the trees?"
"I cannot understand the trees, Frodo. I am still unsure if they really do talk."
"They do. I take it you want to see Legolas?"
The five Sun Elves walked behind the Hobbit, drinking in the odd architecture. They gasped when they came into the garden. There were flowers of every kind, spread around the large area. But their eyes settled on the pale form sitting against a tree. His hands were busy. He would reach up and peel something from what was seemingly thin air, then his hands would dash back and forth across something that gleamed in his lap. Frodo gestured at him then turned and left. Thranduil and his sons slowly approached. Legolas glanced up briefly then did a double take, lowering the piece he was working on.
"Ada?" he asked, confused.
Thranduil felt a huge sense of relief. "Oh, thank the Valar!"
"You called me ada. That means you still love me."
Legolas snorted and began doing that thing with his hands again. They could now see that he appeared to be weaving an article of clothing from…nothing?
"I never stopped loving you, ada. I just had to confront you because of your lies." He paused. "I was too harsh. Forgive me."
"No, I deserved it. I should have told you. Even though you did not come from my loins, I love you greatly. Please understand that."
"I do." He pulled another strand of something out of thin air.
"What are you making that out of?" Lelyan demanded.
"Moonbeams aren't material."
Legolas finished what he was doing then he set the piece of clothing down. He stood, reached his hands up into the moon's silver light, and pulled down. A long piece of what looked to be cloth came free in his hands. He handed it to Lelyan. All the Sun Elves ran their eyes, then their hands, down the material.
"Fascinating!" Thranduil gasped.
"If you say so. But I've seen it for three hundred years. I don't think it's anything too different anymore."
Thranduil looked up and saw that his son's hair was silver. He sucked in a breath and reached over to draw his fingers over the silver strands. His brothers were soon doing the same. Thranduil was truly enthralled by the silver. He smiled and clapped his son on the shoulder to convey his approval, and realized belatedly that it was his right shoulder. He grew horrified as the beautiful silver was replaced with black, in both his hair and eyes. But the thing that made he and his sons scream was the way Legolas' skin, so pale and lovely in the moonlight, greyed.
Legolas flinched at the screams, and tears pooled in his inky eyes. He sobbed and shoved his family away, sprinting into the palace. They didn't have time to recover their wits as they dashed after him, calling his name. The Moon Elf king slammed the door to his room, locking it behind him. Thranduil stood outside and he and his sons heard his other son sobbing uncontrollably.
"Legolas, ion nin, open the door," Thranduil said, placing his forearm against the door and leaning his head against it.
Thranduil had dealt with this before with this same son, so he steeled his patience.
"Legolas, green leaf. Darling one. Open the door. We just want to help."
"Y-y-you'll p-pity me!"
"Let me in, ion nin. Let us in. We just want to help."
"It surprised us, silver one. We didn't expect you to do that. Now, come on. Open up. We just want to help."
There was sniffling from the other side of the door then they heard the lock turn slowly until it clicked. The door cracked open and black eyes were staring at them. He slowly stood back and let his family in. They quickly entered; it was well known to all of Greenwood how finicky Legolas could be.
Thranduil wrapped an arm around Legolas' shoulders as Sengwen shut the door behind him. He attempted to led him over to the left bed, but his son shook his head.
"That's G-Gimli's bed."
So they went to the right one and he was wrapped in a warm embrace. He pressed his face into his ada's neck, inhaling deeply. The scent of sunshine and warmth had become quite the comfort to him over the years. It calmed his fears and made him relax. Thranduil stroked his back.
"Better, ion nin?"
"You're touching them."
Legolas got up and lit two candles before facing his family and stripping his shirt off. He blushed deeply as he turned around slowly, reluctant to do it, but knowing that it had to be done. He needed to know where he stood with them. There were no cries as there had been with most of his Soulmates. Fingers touched him lightly, as if they would hurt him, but they grew bolder as they traced the vicious scars.
"You have ten scars," Thranduil said calmly.
"You didn't see the bite mark." Legolas said as he moved his hair. Merillyra nodded as he thumbed it. Legolas moaned, his legs giving way. He was caught and lifted onto the bed. Thranduil stroked him gently.
"There, there. It's all right. Ada's here. Ada's here."
"Brother, how did you come to bear these marks?" Sengwen asked.
"Yes," Merillyra said solemnly. "They look to be very old, yet they clearly haven't faded at all."
Legolas turned on his side away from them as he ground out the truth. "I was raped." He then hid his face as tears started to fall again.
"You were…" It was too horrible for Thranduil to fathom. His dear, precious baby boy had been raped?! He gave a yell of outrage, leaping up and pacing frantically, muttering in Elvish. Legolas hesitantly turned to watch. None of his Soulmates had been like this. They had been too horrified and scared to do much. Even Aragorn. Glóin had been compassionate. Fangorn had been understanding. But angry?
"Why are you angry, ada?"
"You have the audacity to ask why I am angry?" Thranduil boomed. "I demand to know who raped you!"
"An Orc who is long, long dead. Gimli killed him. He also took care of me. He's part of the reason I'm alive. The main reason. He is my best friend, and one of my six Soulmates. You cannot hate him. Nor can you hate Glóin anymore, ada. He was my father while you were away."
"Those two are Dwarves, correct?"
"Well…I suppose I can stand them, at least."
"Give Dwarves a chance, ada," Legolas said, wiping his tears away; more fell rendering the action useless. "I sincerely believe you could love Glóin as much as I love Gimli. He's smart and funny and he loves me deeply. As deeply as you do. He was so compassionate when he found out about what had happened. I'm the first Elf he ever loved."
Thranduil couldn't help a smile. "Then I shall have to get to know this Dwarf."
Legolas smiled then reached out, needing to be held. Thranduil pulled him close, wiping away his tears.
"It feels good to be a family again," Merillyra said, nodding sharply.
The rest of them nodded with him. Thranduil stroked his youngest son's back until he sat up straight and shivered.
"Your hair will turn colors again right? And your skin and eyes?" Riryan asked.
"It takes a while. The time varies greatly. Sometimes it takes ten minutes, other times ten hours."
"I just realized something," Thranduil said, running his fingers through the inky locks. "You have no braids in your hair."
"I just haven't braided it since I last bathed," Legolas said with a shrug. "Besides, I usually do Dwarven braids now. They're thicker."
"Nonsense. You need some braids. Some Elven braids. Here, let me just move over here…"
Legolas relaxed as his ada's fingers moved deftly, creating small, perfect braids. It was very relaxing.
"You know, it took Gimli fifty years to figure out how to properly do an Elven braid," he said absently. "Dwarven braids are easy, but his fingers are thicker, so he had trouble making them small."
"Dwarves weren't made to do this, son."
"They can do pretty much anything Elves can, and Hobbits and Men can, too, for that matter," Legolas argued. "It just takes them longer to learn it. You must be patient with them, guiding and correcting gently, not glaring or admonishing them for simple mistakes. Keep it up, and they will learn. I have taught my Soulmates much Elven knowledge and culture, traditions, arts, and hobbies. They can now do many things that Elves usually consider beneath their abilities."
"For example?" Lelyan asked.
"Well, Gimli is an excellent songwriter. He has composed several songs worthy of the Elves. Samwise has learned gardening techniques from Elves, and even improved them over the years. Merry and Pippin are excellent lorekeepers, remembering details that most overlook, including Sun Elves. And even me, sometimes. Frodo has learned well from you Sun Elves, and is a very rounded individual."
"That's only five."
"You said you had six Soulmates."
"I do. The other is a Man who does not wish for his identity to be divulged to Elrond and his children. When Elladan and Erestor came in, he went off on his own again as he usually does."
"So he isn't usually with you?" Sengwen asked.
"No. Most of the time, he isn't. But he's always welcome where we are, whether it be Erebor or Ithralcilvan or traveling through Middle Earth, and he knows that. He loves us, we love him, end of story. We don't always have to be together. It is just very nice if we are."
"Hm. Your hair is turning silver again. It's oozing down slowly, but it's there," Thranduil said, still braiding.
"Relaxing helps. Positive emotions help. Gimli usually sings to me. Frodo has take to brushing my hair. Merry and Pippin make me laugh with funny stories. Samwise grows my favorite flowers and gives me a big bouquet. Aragorn is really good at massages and—"
"Aragorn?!" they all shouted. Thranduil stopped what he was doing to spin his son to face him.
"Strider is still alive?" he demanded.
"Yes," Legolas answered reluctantly. "I didn't mean to say his name."
"Well, you must tell Arwen! She has missed him greatly, and—"
"He doesn't want the she-Elf that broke his heart. But Elves are different, so she still wants him. Do you know how much he hurt when her father convinced her not to marry him? He hurts deeply, and there is no quick, easy fix for his pain when it comes to her. Do not mention Aragorn to Elrond, Elrohir, or Arwen. That's an order."
They could hear the authority of a king in his voice, so they all nodded.
"If that's what you want, brother," Merillyra said.
"It isn't. But it's what he wants, and I must respect his wishes."
"Here, let me finish your braids," Thranduil said, turning his son around again. He completed his work quickly then ran his hands down the black and silver locks. "Son, you said you taught Man, Hobbit, and Dwarf."
"Can you teach an Elf?"
"Teach an Elf what?"
"I cannot teach you Dwarvish without a Dwarf Lord's permission."
"Not Dwarvish, though I'm impressed they let you learn that."
Legolas turned to face his ada, looking him over slowly. "But ada, trees don't speak."
Thranduil smiled. "Of course they do. I'm just too deaf to hear it."
The silver in Legolas' hair shot down to the ends so quickly that it made them gasp. He launched himself at his ada and hugged him tightly.
"So, you will teach me?"
"Of course, ada. Of course."