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Legolas walked through the halls of Minas Tirith. He had only
been down this passage once before and was hoping he had remembered all
the turns correctly. Somewhere down this wing of the great palace
was Estel’s private quarters. As he passed through the hallways
he committed the path to memory, his lips turning in a soft smile as he
realized that he would soon be very familiar with this place.
Estel’s coronation was in a few hours. Before the sun set today
his friend would be named king over the entire human race. And Legolas
would be there to celebrate it with the man, the man he considered his
brother. They had talked about this day for years. Now that
it was here he wanted to make sure Aragorn was settled with
everything. Not so long ago, in his elven mind, he remembered a
ranger who was very uneasy with a future that included such
responsibilities and power.
In Legolas’ mind there was no doubt that Aragorn would make a great
king. He had been preparing for this very moment his entire
life. By Legolas’ way of thinking all of the human’s past had
built up to this very moment. His diplomatic skills had been
tried and forged in the fires of adversity. His time with the
Haradrim had taught him to see those less fortunate and view them as
living beings, not possessions. The human’s tender heart had
united kingdoms, undone age-old vendettas and even worn through the
thick, battle-weary mantle his own father wore. The man, Aragorn,
would make a great king if he would just let himself be himself.
Rounding a corner in the passage the elf was brought up short by a
small contingent of armed men blocking a large ornate door.
Recognition returned the smile to the elven face – Aragorn’s private
One of the soldiers stepped forward. The man was a tall Gondorian
with dark eyes and hair that matched the color of sunlit shadows.
His bearing would have been intimidating if Legolas had not remembered
him. Jonath, yes he was sure that was the man’s name.
This was the captain of Aragorn’s new personal guard – a fact that
irritated the solitude-loving ranger immensely. They shadowed the
new king everywhere he went. Estel had already confided in his
friend that he would be making a point of learning how to slip away
from them. He had no qualms that it would become a game in the
man’s mind – his brothers were partly to blame for that one. That
and the fact Aragorn was used to being alone and having large blocks of
time to himself contributed to his unease with the new guards that had
been assigned to him. Adjusting to his new life was going to take
And some help.
And that was why Legolas was here now on his doorstep. The guard
stepped closer to the elf, blocking the prince's way with his
“These are the king’s quarters. He is not to be disturbed,” the
man spoke evenly. His gaze never wavered from that of the
elf’s. He remembered seeing this being around the palace grounds,
but there were so many new faces lately and so many different races of
peoples occupying the city that it was hard to remember who everyone
was. He had already offended the king’s adopted family more than
once he was sure, although they had been quite gracious. This
whole new position that he had been promoted to had him on edge.
He would be glad when things calmed down again and they could all
settle into their new roles. Chaos had marked their former
steward’s reign and the guard deeply hoped this new king would be
“Yes, I know they are Aragorn’s quarters. May I please see him?”
Legolas asked politely. He bowed his head slightly in deference to the
“Are you one of his brothers?” the soldier questioned. His tone
held the edges of hopefulness as he lowered his guard and stepped back
a pace. “I cannot keep track of everyone. I
apologize. Already today there have been elves and dwarves and
even a wizard coming and going from my liege’s quarters. It is
Laughing softly Legolas laid a hand on the man’s shoulder to calm him.
“You are performing your job well. I’m afraid your king keeps odd
company. Worry not. In time it will become second nature to
you,” Legolas assured. He stepped closer to the door as the
soldier fell in step with him.
“I hope so,” Jonath muttered under his breath. It surprised him when
the elf started laughing. He hadn’t thought he had spoken that
loudly. The fact that one more thing today had surprised him was
in itself no small revelation – today every time he turned around
something new shocked his knowledge of the world he had stepped into
and it wasn’t yet midday.
“Wait,” Jonath halted the elf with a hand to Legolas’ arm. “Are you one of his brothers?”
The question had never been answered. Who was this elf who wanted
access to the king? The soldier eyed the elf a little more
closely. The being didn’t appear to be armed, so he shouldn’t be
a threat to the king… but he just had to be sure.
“Yes,” Legolas replied somewhat truthfully, “I am.” The fact that
he didn’t explain himself further didn’t bother the soldier.
With a sigh of relief, Jonath opened the door.
“Good, because Lord Aragorn has been asking for his brothers all
morning long and I couldn’t find any of you among the sea of elves that
are present. I am not sure I would have recognized you anyway –
forgive me,” he apologized softly.
“There is nothing to forgive. Give yourself time,” Legolas
encouraged as he slipped inside the open door and quietly closed it
Aragorn was seated in front of a mirror, fumbling with his hair.
He had been trying in vain for the better part of the past hour to
braid his unruly locks and was having no luck with what should have
been a very simple task. His fingers caught in the tangles and
the braids were uneven and lumpy. His frustration was rising as
he roughly fingered out the braid he had just completed - again.
It seemed today the simplest things were impossible tasks. It had taken
him nearly an hour to just dress in his formal coronation outfit.
He pulled at the collar that still remained undone at the top
Hearing voices at his outer door, the new king desperately hoped his guard had found at least one member of his family.
“El? Is that you?” Aragorn called out without turning to look. “Ada?”
Legolas followed the soft mutterings of the human, tracking the sound
of his friend’s voice into a room on the left. When the elf
stepped into the bed chambers, he faltered on the threshold.
Aragorn sat on a small ornate bench, his hands trembling as he tried to
braid his thick, dark hair back away from his face in an attempt to
mimic the elves he had grown up with. He was already dressed in
his formal wear except for the flowing cape. That article of
clothing was laid out on the bed waiting for its’ master. Even as
frustrated as he was, Aragorn bore a regal bearing that Legolas had
rarely seen in the younger man he was used to being around. There
was no ranger in this room… a king of men sat before him.
Stepping up behind his friend, Legolas gently took the man’s hands in his own, stilling their frantic motions.
“Sidh, mellon nín,” the elf whispered.
Aragorn jumped and turned part way around at the soft touch, pulling
away from the hands that held his own. Recognizing the blue eyes
that smiled down at him, he sighed and slumped forward.
“Oh where have you all been? I can’t get this right,” Estel
muttered softly as he turned back to the mirror. He fiddled with
the catch on the stiff collar of his shirt. “And I can’t get my
hair to cooperate.” He flipped the ends of the strands that fell
back into his face. “No one knows where Elladan and Elrohir are -
leastwise, not the men that have been assigned to me. They think
all elves look alike. I’ve braided my hair a thousand times on my
own and I’ve done the twins at least twice that many times as
well. Why can’t I perform these simple tasks now? I can’t
go out there looking like this! I can’t go out there
period.” He finally stopped the worried tirade and glanced
sideways at the elf that eased down next to him on the small
“Yes you can,” Legolas encouraged quietly. Leaning around in
front of Aragorn he easily snapped the catch on the collar shut and
adjusted the cloth to be more comfortable and less restrictive.
“And yes, you will.”
“How many times have we had this conversation?” Aragorn asked
laughingly. He leaned against the elf and stared at them both in
the mirror. “I look like… like…,” His voice tapered off as he
screwed up his face in a half grimace.
“Like a king,” Legolas whispered, leaning into his friend.
“Not exactly the word I had in mind,” Aragorn countered. “And with hair like this…”
“No, that only makes you look like a ruffian. And we can’t have
you imitating your filthy rangers while you are up there in front of
all your subjects. You must look like a king. At least you
washed,” Legolas taunted lightly, laughing at his own joke. He
scooted gracefully off the seat before Aragorn could smack him for the
gibe. Legolas kept talking as he walked into the adjoining
refreshing room and hunted through the cabinets for a brush.
“Honestly, Estel, you look just fine. You look every inch a
king. Let me work with your hair and you work on relaxing.”
Having found what he was searching for, Legolas re-entered the room to
find Aragorn staring hard into the mirror at the reflection of his own
“Only you think I look like a king,” muttered the human.
“And those men out there guarding your door think the same thing.
And the serving staff preparing for the evening’s celebration and the
children who are playing in the streets imitating you and even the
vendors that…” Legolas’ recitation of every person in Minas Tirith was
cut short as Aragorn stopped him mid-sentence.
“All right, all right I concede the point. Everyone but me,”
Aragorn laughed and looked back into the mirror as Legolas moved to
stand behind him.
Slowly and gently the elf began brushing out the human’s long dark
hair, untangling the misshapen braids and snarls that had been worked
into the tresses.
“I still see someone who has a lot of growing up to do. Someone
who only just yesterday fell from a tree into the most extraordinary
journey he has ever been on. I’m still the same on the inside
even though the outside looks a lot older,” Aragorn mused.
“No,” Legolas corrected softly, “the inside has changed too. You
just cannot see it as well as those around you can. The young man
is grown and the recklessness has been lost to the tide of wisdom that
has replaced the shallow pools of youth. There is not a stretch
of Arda that you do not know like the back of your hand. And
there is no clan or peoples or race that you can not sit and converse
with without knowing their language or customs. You, dear human,
have changed more than you realize. You are no longer that young,
brash ranger that fell into my life. You have indeed laid aside
the boy to become who you were meant to be.”
Legolas kept talking quietly. He had deftly switched into the Grey Tongue as he brushed Aragorn’s hair.
“Your father was correct in naming you ‘Hope’, for that is what you
are. You should see the faces of the people in your city.
They are excited and fearful, hoping that you will be the one who will
rescue them and care for them, unlike their former steward. They
have long kept the tales of the one who would come and rule, passing on
the hope of a better future to their children, and now here you are.”
Legolas smiled at the reflection in the mirror. Aragorn’s eyes
were fixed on his face watching him intently as the elf spoke. “This is
what you were born to, Estel. This is why you are. And when
the time comes you will walk out there and up those stairs - without
tripping mind you, like Gandalf has teased you about - and you will be
the High King of Men. I know it.”
“And where will you be?” Aragorn asked quietly.
“I will be right in the front of the elven delegation, right where you
can see me. I will meet you as you walk down the stairs, my
friend, and take your first steps as King. I’ll be right where I
always have been - with you, at your side,” Legolas answered with a
smile. “There, finally the knots are all worked out.
However did you do that to your hair?”
“I can t go out there looking like this!” Aragorn protested touching the edges of his shoulder-length hair.
“And why not?”
“I wanted it braided like Ada’s always is, like the twins. Like
yours! I am and always will be part elvish in my heart and
soul. I wanted you all there with me in that one small way,” the
man explained hesitantly. He realized now how foolish that
sounded and stopped talking, his gaze quietly beseeching the
“We will all be there. Your hair matters not to us,” Legolas countered. “Besides, watch…”
With his hands the elf formed a circle, an imitation of the crown that
would be placed on Aragorn’s head. He slid his hands down over
the soft, brown hair pinning it in place where the token of kingship
“See? It will look perfect. Braids would only get in the way of
that circle of heavy gold you are going to have to tote around,”
Legolas teased, trying to ease the tension.
“Yes, well, I’m exchanging that for a circlet as soon as I can get my
hands on the resident jeweler. I think I’ll have one patterned
after the style of the ones our fathers wear. That crown will
break my neck if I have to wear it everywhere. Its only
ceremonial, you know.”
“Exactly. And that is why you can wear your hair down today and
look perfectly fine. Trust me. I would never lead you
wrong,” Legolas finished the thought. “So will you stop fidgeting
with your hair now? You remind me of an elven maiden with all
The elf jumped back as the man turned swiftly trying to catch the nimble being with a swift smack.
“You’re worse than my brothers!” Aragorn shouted with a laugh.
“Yes, well, about that…” Legolas glanced back at the closed door behind them. “I told the guard at your door that I am
one of your brothers. Poor man, he is very confused, Aragorn. I
think you are going to have to sit down and explain your slightly
extended family to him after all this is done – elves, Maiar and
dwarves.” Legolas raised his eyebrows as he recited the list of those
the ranger considered his closest friends and family.
Aragorn snickered lightly at the revelation.
“Jonath, yes, my newest shadow. One among many I am afraid.
He’s actually the captain of my guard now, so don’t be confusing him
anymore than necessary, he’s…” Aragorn stopped speaking and stood
to his feet in one fluid motion. He stared openly at the
elf. His gaze, reflecting a myriad of emotions, caught Legolas
off his guard.
“What is it?”
“Well, it’s just that what you said is true,” Aragorn replied
softly. He glanced down at his right hand. The faintest
line of a scar traced his palm. An identical one graced
Legolas’. “You are my brother.”
“Always,” Legolas agreed. He took the man’s hand in his own and squeezed it tightly.
Whatever else might have been said between them would never be known as
the door to Aragorn’s chambers crashed open and a mild ruckus erupted
in the ante chamber.
Walking quickly into the open receiving room, Aragorn could not keep
back his mirth as he watched his guards scuttle quickly back away from
the cantankerous being that barged into the chamber.
“You have a lot to learn about manners, young one,” Gimli charged the
soldier on his left. “Why I was in here earlier this
morning. And if you can’t remember that then perhaps you should
be relieved of your post so you can recover some of your strength and your memory! Now get out of my way; I was sent by Gandalf and he doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”
Aragorn realized that Jonath had only just changed the guard on his
door and the new soldiers had no clue what a dwarf would be doing in
their liege’s chambers.
“It is alright, allow him to pass freely,” Aragorn instructed the
men. He moved forward and took Gimli by the arm, placing himself
between the soldiers and the dwarf. “It is well. Please go
back to your posts. We will be fine,” he reassured the guards
while pressing the small dwarf back into his rooms towards the
elf. The contingent of soldiers eyed the three beings
oddly. He surmised that most of them had never seen a dwarf and
that the number of elves that had taken up residence in Minas Tirith
the last few days was a bit overwhelming. Thanking his men one
more time, he turned back to his friends and ushered them into his
Legolas couldn’t help laughing at the small being that followed
him. Gimli hadn’t stopped grumbling about all the incompetent,
uneducated youths he had encountered of late.
“They were probably trying to figure out if you are a male or a female of your species,” Legolas taunted.
The gibe worked as the dwarf sputtered and stammered for a proper response.
“You, yourself told us that it was hard to tell a male from a female,”
Aragorn kept the teasing going. It took his mind off of other
matters. It helped him to deny the reason why he knew Gimli had
It was time.
In moments Gimli was laughing heartily at the good-natured
teasing. He threw his own barbs back at the elf with gleeful
Before long, silence fell among the three friends. They knew what this moment meant and the weight that it held.
Finally Gimli broke the quiet.
“Well, laddie, Gandalf is waiting. He asked me to fetch you. It’s time.”
There they were, those three words that made his heart quicken and his
pulse race. Aragorn drew in a deep breath and closed his eyes,
centering himself in the quiet as his friends waited.
“This is what you were born to do,” his father’s words echoed in his head. And he nodded slowly.
“Then let us go, it is not wise to keep a Maia waiting,” Aragorn replied, smiling at the pensive faces that watched him.
Legolas helped him into his cape and with one last adjustment stepped back to appraise his friend.
“Yes,” he agreed with himself softly, “a king.” With a slight bow
the elf addressed his friend. “And now I leave you in good hands.
I must go find my father and the elven contingent or they will miss the
festivities and I can’t have that. I would never live it
down. I will see you on the steps my friend. And I will be there,” he reassured.
Aragorn followed the elf to the chamber doors. Before Legolas could leave, he pulled the prince into a warm embrace.
With a small nod, Legolas ducked out of the door before Aragorn had time to stop him.
The doors to the chamber were thrown wide and Jonath, Captain of the
King’s Guard, approached. Kneeling on one knee before Aragorn,
Jonath swept his hand out before him in an awkward gesture of elven
respect. It was something he had seen them do with one another
and he knew that his new king was partial to the elves.
Their king, he corrected himself.
The word echoed in his mind like some forgotten dream. Gondor’s
true king was finally in their midst. It was exciting for him to
be able to be part of such a historic event. He would never have
thought a few years ago that this would take place in his
lifetime. The prophecies were being fulfilled before his very
eyes. His children would grow up and know peace.
And today they were ushering in that new age.
“My Lord, your kingdom awaits you,” Jonath said as he stood to his feet and led the way to the grand terrace.
With a deep breath and a sideways glance at his small companion, Aragorn stepped after the soldiers.
“Well what are we waiting for?” Gimli questioned with a knowing
smile. “As soon as we get these dratted formalities over with, we
can go celebrate with a good mug of mead and drown all our
worries!” His hearty laughter rang through the hallways and eased
the tension in Aragorn’s heart.
“Yes, my friend, let us go,” Aragorn agreed. The light from the
open doorway ahead spilled down the passage towards them. The
very air was tinged with excitement and the crisp clean scent of
newness. With one more deep breath Aragorn, son of Arathorn, took
his last step as Aragorn, Ranger of the North, and crossed the
And so the House of Telcontar was born.
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