I have a tale to tell,
Sometimes it gets so hard to hide it well.
I was not ready for the fall,
Too blind to see the writing on the wall...
A man can tell a thousand lies;
I’ve learned my lesson well,
Hope I live to tell
the secret I have learned, ‘till then...
It will burn inside of me.
When Legolas woke he was no longer bound
and was lying fully clothed on his Uncle’s bed. The young elf
moaned softly in pain and rolled onto his side. He had only
passed out a handful of times when Doriflen was punishing him, but it
was becoming more frequent as Doriflen became more violent.
Legolas stared down at the muted shades of the rust-colored quilt
underneath him and realized he was shaking, but it wasn’t just from the
pain. He was scared.
Something was wrong. Somewhere in his heart he
was having trouble believing that his father and mother wanted him hurt
this way, this frequently. He still believed that some of what he
endured was normal, but he was beginning to think that his Uncle’s
unstable nature was making it worse than it should have been.
It hadn’t started like this... at first lectures and
lessons had been all there was, and Legolas was used to that from all
his teachers. Then when the abuse started... it hadn’t been all
at once, but introduced gradually and the young prince always believed
it was his fault. Lately though, Doriflen seemed to have no
restraint with him and Legolas was truly beginning to fear that his
uncle might go too far and kill him by accident one of these
days. It was a horrible feeling and a sickening fear to carry all
There was something wrong with his uncle. He
could see that now, some unbalanced fire in his eyes and his soul that
Legolas had learned to fear.
Besides all that though, there were also the
disturbing things he’d been hearing about Doriflen of late that made
him question just how much trust he should be placing in the elder
elf... it had been for a little while now. Yet... he was
afraid. He was afraid to question, afraid what Doriflen would do
to him if he found out, afraid that his parents would be angry.
And he was ashamed; ashamed of the secrets, of the lies, of the hurts
and humiliation, of what his uncle did to him and his own reactions.
Voices from the next room caught his attention, so
he just lay still on the bed and listened, not feeling ready to do
anything else yet.
“You have the brat secured?” Doriflen was asking
someone who responded to the affirmative and Legolas wondered what they
meant since he himself was no longer bound.
“Good. The last thing we need is more people
knowing too much. Amilon tells me that there are some who are beginning
to question my authority and who doubt the truth of what I say.”
“It is true, there are indications that some of our
following are beginning to doubt your claim to the throne. The
unrest is growing, we must move soon or I fear we will lose too much of
our backing. Words mean nothing without action.”
recognized the voice of the second elf as that of Melryn, Nynd’s
father. The things he heard Doriflen saying startled him.
What could they
possible be talking about? Legolas had heard the rumors that
traitors amongst them, but surely it couldn’t be his uncle.
brother couldn’t want to hurt him that way... could he?
prince’s brows furrowed at the disturbing and confusing words he was
It seemed he was coming into the middle of a conversation.
he pushed himself off the bed and made his way uncertainly across the
towards the door. He didn’t know what time it was now and had to
get back to
his rooms before he was missed, but something troubled him about
Melryn and his uncle were talking about. There was a light coming
the door to Doriflen’s study and Legolas quietly made his way down the
voices of the elves within the study grew louder as they argued and
carefully cracked the door, barely pushing it past the frame as he
that what they are saying?” Doriflen asked darkly as he paced
back and forth.
“Well I think I know just the thing to stop their doubts.” The
elf lord stood
perfectly still and smiled darkly at his captain. “In fact
tonight we will
have rule from within the palace and no one will question me again.”
lord, how do you propose to do this?” Melryn asked, shifting
Doriflen’s piercing gaze. “Thranduil is still king and his guards
stepped back quickly as Doriflen moved menacingly towards him.
is weak,” Doriflen spat with venom. “His rule is weak and he is
not the lawful
king. He is a sniveling usurper and I will expose him for what he
me, Melryn, have you found anyone with access to Thranduil’s chambers
we can trust?”
seemed a trifle disgusted. “No. No one goes in or out of
the King’s private
chambers at night except for his family and his personal
attendant. There’s no
moving Elrynd; he would cast himself into the fire before he betrays
were not too obvious with him were you?” Doriflen asked sharply.
really relish having another case like Umdanuë on my hands right
still searching for him. Someone like Elrynd would be too
conspicuous of an
absence. Dealing with that nosey child is going to be quite
my Lord, Elrynd suspects nothing.” There was a pause. “My
Lord, what was
done with Umdanuë?”
of your concern,” Doriflen brushed the question off with
voice had taken on a quiet, dark tone, his attention distracted by the
of unexpected sounds.
On the other side of the door, Legolas’ heart
madness of treason was this that they were speaking? With a quiet
prince realized that his uncle was the traitor he had heard
about. He almost
couldn’t comprehend this sudden revelation, yet it was all there, too
be ignored. It was true then; the ugly whispers he had been
hearing were not
rumors only. Doriflen did intend to try to take the throne from
Legolas still did not understand everything being said, but what he did
understand was quite enough to horrify him.
Melryn to silence, Doriflen walked soundlessly back to the far side of
room, out of Legolas’ view where he stood by the door. The
alerted the youth and he quickly turned to flee, but he was not fast
had just reached the hallway when Doriflen flung the door to his study
darted back into the bedroom, but he was sure his uncle had seen
tensed, listening – he had been discovered. He spun on his heels,
there was no
escaping now, he would have to admit he had been eavesdropping.
circumstances that would have been frightening enough, but now...
you are awake.” Doriflen walked into the bedchambers, his tone
his hands clasped behind his back. “Feeling better are we?”
question tossed Legolas off guard and he stammered slightly as he
Uncle, but I should be going or I will be missed. Was there
His attempt at innocence did not fool the older elf.
a feral smile that shot fear straight through Legolas’ heart Doriflen
to the young elf and placed his arm around the prince’s shoulders,
him back into the bedroom. He wondered how much the boy had
more than was healthy. They might just have to speed things up a
it’s funny that you ask, there is more to tonight’s lesson.” The
shown in Legolas’ eyes at this pronouncement delighted Doriflen.
Legolas, how does the King deal with those who eavesdrop on important
in his chambers without leave?”
the prince began to shake, he could not handle another beating tonight;
feared he would not survive.
me, child, don’t make me wait for the answer. You know what
happens when you
aren’t prompt with my questions.” Doriflen stopped walking and
younger elf towards him, lifting the boy’s chin until Legolas was
stare into his eyes. “Now answer me.”
are flogged,” the elfling whispered. He was trying hard to
breathing and contain his fears, but his stoic mask was slipping.
Doriflen turned his back on Legolas and walked to the far side of the
room as though
deep in thought. “That is what I was afraid of,” he
commented after a few
moments. “Then that is what I shall have to do to you.”
With a slight,
sympathetic smile he glanced back at his nephew. “You were
snooping near my
door, were you not?”
waiting for Legolas to answer, Doriflen picked up a coiled whip that
lay on the
chair near his bedside. Legolas did not want to consider why it
Doriflen slapped the leather handle in the palm of his hand, beating
steady rhythm as he walked back towards his nephew.
know how I hate to do this...”
as he might Legolas could not stay put as he was told. Doriflen
had never used
a real whip on him before and he was terrified senseless by the
backed away from the older elf, his hands in front of him in a
“No, Uncle, please. I...I am sorry, it was not intentional, it was...”
stopped pleading as he bumped into Melryn, who gently held the child in
Legolas squirmed lightly in his grip, petrified. He didn’t know
if his uncle
knew how much he had heard or not and did not want to let on that he
the treachery for fear that his uncle would never let him leave these
alive if he did. Glancing at the whip in Doriflen’s hands the
trembled; maybe his uncle did not intend to let him live through
had walked out into the chamber after his lord when heard the prince’s
and now held the boy’s arms firmly. He had been afraid that
this might happen. He had told Doriflen many times in the past
to turn the King’s son against him was reckless folly, but his liege
never listen to him.
Doriflen repeated Legolas’ request, twisting the word back on the
mimicking the prince’s voice. “Then perhaps you have a better
mind.” When the young elf did not answer, Doriflen continued, “I
You know I cannot let you go unpunished. You must learn and you
are such a
slow learner.” He tapped the handle of the whip against his lower
though deep in thought.
might be a way for you to redeem yourself without forcing me to flog
Doriflen gazed at the elf that held the child securely, a wicked smile
spreading across his thin lips.
the leather thong of the whip to Legolas’ cheek, Doriflen tormented him
the feel of the instrument of punishment, forcing Legolas to wait on
to continue. The prince closed his eyes tightly and evened his
as he waited. Anything that Doriflen could come up with instead
of his regular
beatings would be bad indeed.
the leather roughly along the line of Legolas’ chin, Doriflen walked
the chair and dropped the whip back into it, his tone of voice
once more. “Yes, there is another way.”
his uncle turned back to him, Legolas shivered involuntarily at the
light in the elf’s eyes.
“Have you seen the ring that your father
wears? The one
with the green stone set in silver leaves?"
nodded slowly. “The edsiria?”
he asked quietly.
the edsiria of the royal house that should have passed to me when
but did not,” Doriflen concurred darkly. The ring was old and had
a very long
history, most of which was unknown to Legolas.
many ages ago by one of the Mírdain of Eregion, the mithril and
emerald ring had
been one of their early essays into making rings that were more than
jewelry. The edsiria, as the ring was called, was not at all like
rings of power that had been forged by those elves, but it was special
same. The ring had no power in its own right, but it acted as a
channel, or a
prism that enhanced and focused the natural strengths and abilities of
edsiria had been given as a gift to Oropher before Sauron, calling
had come to Eregion in fair form and befriended the craftsman
skills that had made the edsiria and other lesser rings like it were
as building blocks for the creation of the rings of power although,
had been made before Saruon’s arrival, the edsiria was untouched by the
that tainted most of the other work done thereafter.
ring was the last known instance of one of those early rings that still
survived in Middle-earth and Doriflen greatly desired to posses
it. Not only
was it the official seal of Mirkwood, but it allowed Thranduil better
over the elf ‘magic’ at work through the woods, including the palace
many other measures of protection in their realm. If Doriflen had
it, not only
would Thranduil be crippled, but Doriflen’s own power would
expand. Getting it
was the only problem, and Doriflen had a plan for that.
you’ll be able to redeem more than one wrong tonight, Legolas. You
will take the
ring from his room and bring it to me.”
he realized what he was doing, Legolas was shaking his head, “No, no,
cannot. The ring is special and I am not allowed to touch it.”
you just refuse me?” Doriflen’s voice was cold and the tone shot fear
Legolas’ heart. He knew what it meant for him.
I mean yes. But no, I did not mean to refuse you.” The prince
stumbled for the
right words to assuage his uncle’s ire. “I meant that Father
never removes it
from his finger. I have not seen him without it, it would be
Legolas swallowed hard. He could not steal from his father; it was
sighed as though speaking to someone who was very slow, “Your father
always wear the ring, Legolas. Your father,” he bit the word off
as though it
were a slur, “is bound by tradition. It rules him, he believes in
and the old ways passed down by the ancients and therefore I know
father does not wear the ring at night. You see the ring used to
belong to our
father and he would always place it in a wooden box by his beside at
small, polished wood box with carvings on the outside. Have you
seen such a
Legolas simply nodded.
though the edsiria had never been touched by evil and indeed did not
power-retentive qualities that would have been needed for it to retain
evil even if it had been, Oropher had never felt completely comfortable
it after the revealing of Sauron and the destruction of Eregion.
He got in the
habit of not wearing the ring all the time and taking it off when he
rest at night. All this was unknown to Legolas, however, since
not considered the ring a topic for children.
was not struggling anymore, so Melryn released him and moved to the
led to the hall. He stood guard to see that no one
interrupted. The last
thing they needed was to be discovered now. The captain watched
surprise as Doriflen manipulated the young prince to concede to his way
thinking. It was always a bit of a shock how Doriflen could bend
people to his
will, even people like the prince who should have had deep reasons to
or distrust him.
you have seen the box, then you have seen where the ring lies at
is your final test, Nephew. Bring the ring to me after your
can stealing from my father be one of the tests, Uncle? I do not
The request felt wrong. Legolas knew that his father had told him
touch the ring. He did not know why, but had always been told that
in time he
would learn everything when it was necessary for him to know.
knowing the logic that Thranduil used on Legolas, as it was how their
father had treated them, turned the king’s words against his son, “When
time for you to know the ‘why’ of everything I will tell. But now
is not the
time nor is it yours to question me as your Saelon. All elves
must pass a
final test similar to yours. Do it and bring me the ring.”
He watched amused
as Legolas warred within himself.
father had rules. Doriflen had rules. The rules themselves
contradict each other and the prince was confused. Moreover,
having heard the
treachery his uncle was planning made him extremely hesitant to trust
he said. The words of his father’s caution rang more clearly in
his head and
with shame he dropped his gaze, his voice a mere whisper. “I
cannot, Uncle. It
is forbidden to me to touch it. I cannot disobey my father.
Let me tell him
of your request and then...”
will do as I tell you!” Doriflen’s outburst of anger caused even
flinch and step back, bumping into the doorframe. He winced when
the elf lord
slapped Legolas harshly.
a few moments Doriflen paced the room. This was getting him
nowhere and they
were running out of time. If persuasion wouldn’t work, he would
a little stronger. Stopping in front of the prince he
options. “Very well, Nephew. I had not wanted to do this, but you
give me no
steeled himself for the worst, but he knew he had chosen right.
He needed so
desperately to talk to his father about what was going on, but after
his Uncle he wondered if he would even have the chance.
friend, the taller one that you play with in the afternoons?
slowly Legolas glanced from Doriflen to Melryn, fear knotting once more
he interrupted your lesson this evening.” Doriflen smiled as
went wide as that information sunk in. “Very rude of him,
walking in without
knocking. He saw things he was not meant to see, and for that he
punished. I have him hidden away and if you do not do as I say and
return to me
before sunrise I will give him the flogging that you so richly
blood will be on your head, do you understand me? Now go get that
ring and bring
it back here. And do not think to go for help or try to tell your
I have done, for if anyone but you passes back through my door this
Raniean will not just be punished, he will be dead. If you tell
has passed between us, or what errand I have set you, your friend is
and he will not go easy, that I promise you.”
Legolas hesitated Doriflen continued, “Need proof do you?” The
stalked into his study and returned with a wadded up green cloth.
He threw the
bundle at Legolas, causing the young elf to stumble back
Legolas shook out the cloth. It was a cloak, a simple elven cloak
have belonged to Legolas; but the brooch that was pinned at the nape of
neck was not the royal insignia: it was the symbol that belonged to the House
of Randomir. Legolas thought his heart had stopped beating as his
gently brushed over the silver pin. Ran had been wearing this
only today; he
remembered it clearly. There was no way Doriflen could have
gotten this if he hadn’t captured Raniean.
was bringing you this.” Doriflen tossed Legolas’ own brooch at the
fell to the floor between the boy’s feet. “Really, Legolas, you
must be more
careful about leaving your things around. I do believe you have
already had a
lesson in that have you not?”
Legolas glanced from the glittering brooch near his boots to his uncle’s face.
his whisper was broken. “I will do what you ask, just do not harm
you had better hurry, you’ve already wasted precious minutes, dawn is
getting any further away,” Doriflen taunted. He looked to
Melryn and motioned
to the guard who quickly opened the door and stepped aside as Legolas
flew out into the hallway and headed for the upper rooms. He had
no idea how
he was going to pull this off, but Raniean was counting on him.
you think this wise?” Melryn asked softly after the child was
gone. He was not
convinced that the prince would not simply run crying to his parents
whole thing. But then, he did not know Legolas as well as
laughter of his liege sent chills skittering up Melryn’s spine.
walked back to his guard and closed the distance between them. “You
intentions and my command constantly, Melryn; that is not wise.
do as he has been told. Once I have that ring it won’t matter
what my brother
knows. I will be in control of all his precious defenses and he
will have no
choice but to step down. Now go, hide that brat of Randomir’s
where he can
never be found but by us; you know where I mean. Gather the men
and be ready
for my call. Tonight the throne will belong to the proper king.”
Melryn formally bowed at his dismissal, Doriflen was already planning
next steps would be. He no longer paid attention to the soldier
that left to
do his bidding. Thoughts of the future he had set in motion
flooded his heart
and mind and he hummed happily to himself as he entered his study to
wouldn’t be long now. He would have the ring, he would have the
rule, and elven
blood would run through the house of Oropher once more in payment for
foolishness of an old elf that had not the foresight to see the
inevitable – he
was the rightful ruler of Mirkwood, he had always been.
stopped running when he reached his own chambers. He gently set
cloak down on his bed. His knees buckled beneath him and he
crumpled to the
floor, crying. He felt trapped. There was no one he could
talk to, no one to
whom he could turn. He wouldn’t have time to reach Trelan’s house
and get back
before sunrise and even if he did, his friend could not help him, no
help him now. Every moment he spent crying was one more that he
afford to lose. He wanted nothing more than to run to his
father’s room and
tell him everything, but he feared for Raniean’s life. Doriflen
through on his threat, of that he had no doubt.
his knees up against his chest he tried to calm himself and formulate a
He needed to get the ring, deliver it to his uncle and then he would go
straight to his father and tell him everything.
that resolve in mind he pushed himself up off the floor and crept
out into the hallway. Of course the sentries guarding the passage
that led to
his parent’s chambers did not even look twice when the prince padded
by them. Legolas could come and go as he pleased as far as they
door to his parent’s rooms was open and, as Legolas approached, he could
father at his desk. Thranduil had been entering the last of the
in his journals and going over the kingdom’s records, trying to make a
between the need of the people and the supplies they were able to
was a tiring business and one he had gotten into the nasty habit of
before bedtime. So it was that he often fell asleep at his desk
and the task
had been given to Elrynd to wake him and send him off to bed.
was how Legolas found his father tonight as he stole quietly into the
chamber and stealthily approached his father’s desk. True to what
said, there was no ring on Thranduil’s finger. Legolas simply
stared at the
sleeping elf for a few moments, wondering what his father really
him, what he would think when he explained everything, wondering if
could ever go back to the way they had been between them before.
he reached out towards the older elf.
shifted in his sleep, the pen in his fingers rolling off the edge of
as he settled himself more comfortably. Legolas pulled back
perfectly still. He was afraid he had awakened his father; but the
a small sigh, the prince headed for his parents’ bedchambers, set just
the small study. The door was cracked open, wide enough to let
and closed enough so that Elvéwen could sleep. The Queen
had grown accustomed
to her husband’s late night habits, although she hated to see him
himself out in this way.
silently into the room, Legolas glanced quickly at his mother to make
slept and sidled alongside the bed. He hadn’t the heart to gaze
on her for
very long because he knew what he was about to do would hurt her.
He hated to
give Doriflen what he wanted, for he began to fear that it was somehow
his plot to injure his parents, but he did not know what choice he had
could only pray that they would understand when he explained himself
if he could.
The box sat on the small nightstand near his
of the bed just as Doriflen had said. The young elf’s booted feet
sound as he approached the table and quietly pressed the ornate
it wasn’t locked. Lifting the wooden lid he revealed the silver
ring that lay
in a pocket of deep green velour. It was a beautiful piece of
The silver band of the ring was fashioned like overlapping leaves and
intertwined branches that held a beautiful green gem. The stone
was like an
emerald, but cut so that it reflected all the colors of the rainbow and
its shining surface was etched the royal emblem of Mirkwood, making it
the most exquisite sealing rings in Middle-earth.
a deep breath, Legolas plucked it up from where it lay. Looking
into the jewel
it seemed that it had no end, almost as if it were eternal like the
had bore it. It was breathtaking really, but the young prince
could enjoy none
of its beauty at the moment.
never even thought of putting the ring on, but grasped it tightly in
as he made his way back to the outer chambers and into the
hallway. With a sigh
of relief he rounded the corner in the passage, thinking how easy it
and grateful that he had enough time to reach Doriflen before Raniean’s
ran out. Once he knew his friend was safe, then he could expose
that was being plotted. His thoughts were so intense and so
wrapped up in
formulating his responses to his uncle and the explanation to his
he was taken completely off guard when he rounded the corner and ran
into Elrynd. The ring flew from his open hand and clanked against
drawing the servant’s attention.
moon was bright and fully overhead this time of the evening
smiled softly to himself as he gauged the depth of the night about
was the hour that Thranduil had asked his servant to come and wake him
he have fallen asleep at his desk. Elrynd stirred the cup of tea
one last time
before placing it on the tray and heading for Thranduil’s rooms.
He had nearly
gained the king’s study when Legolas bolted around the corner and
young prince, completely startled, stumbled backwards and lost his
The tray teetered dangerously in Elrynd’s hands and it took all of the
servant’s skill to keep from losing the cup of tea all over the floor
recovered from the collision.
clank of metal against the walls of the passageway drew his attention
Elrynd bent over to retrieve the bit of silver that Legolas had dropped.
you all right, your highness? Here...”
prince scrambled for the ring but he was not fast enough.
scooped the trinket up and offered it back to Legolas when he suddenly
what it was he held. The prince did not reach out for the ring
horrified as recognition dawned in the servant’s eyes.
this is your father’s, is it not?” The fingers of the older elf’s
reverently around the piece of jewelry, “It is very powerful and is
only to be
worn by the King. What were you doing with it, child?”
was...” With a sigh Legolas stopped talking and hung his head, unable
the servant what was going on, not with his friend’s life at
Elrynd,” he begged with a shake of his head. He was in too
deep and there was
no way out now; if Elrynd stopped him, Raniean would pay the price.
think, young one, we had better go back and talk to your father.” Elrynd
an arm around the dejected shoulders of the elfling and led him back
soft sounds of Elrynd’s moving about the room woke Thranduil. He
smiled as the
servant placed the warm mug of tea near his hand and was about to say
when Elrynd gently set the King’s ring down on the open page of the
which he had been writing. The smile slipped from Thranduil’s
face as he saw
the jewel and he glanced sharply at his servant.
where did you get this?” His questioning was harsher than he intended,
with surprise at seeing his family’s heirloom where it should not have
He touched his ring finger absently, trying to remember if he really
it in the box next to his bed before returning out here.
am afraid I do not know why it is out of the box, my lord, but I do know
may.” Elrynd stepped aside as he spoke and Thranduil noticed for the
that Legolas stood behind the servant, trying to hide for as long as
prince had no idea how to explain any of this to his father. He
had thought to win
Raniean’s freedom and then come back with an explanation, but of what
hadn’t yet decided.
Thranduil stood to his feet and rounded the desk to stand before his
you take my ring from the bedside?”
sounds of voices in the antechamber had awoken Elvéwen and she
study, wrapping her slim frame in a thick robe.
love, what is it?” She walked up behind the King and smiled at
troubles you so this late at night?”
of answering his wife in words, Thranduil simply opened the palm of his hand and
revealed the edsiria, his gaze never straying from Legolas’.
Elvéwen queried the silent elfling, her eyes clouding with
need...it’s just that...” Legolas stopped speaking, he was near tears
with himself for the weakness. He desperately needed to tell them
happened, but knew that it would only end badly for his friend.
The fear of not
being able to answer correctly and the anger in his father’s gaze froze
place and he did not know what to say.
will ask you again. Did you take the ring, Legolas?”
Thranduil glanced up as
Amil-Garil stepped into the chambers, followed by his second in
Agitated voices from within his Lord’s chambers had drawn the Captain
Guard to the scene in concern. He was in time to hear the
Adar, I took the ring.” Legolas winced as his mother gasped
softly in shock.
would you do this, love?” The tenderness in her voice choked off
answer and he simply shook his head, biting back the tears.
gripped the ring tightly in his palm, a sinking dread pulling at
were few who knew about the edsiria, or his habit of taking it off at
Legolas would have had no reason to take the ring for himself, no
King could think of to want it... but Thranduil knew someone else who
have I or have I not told you to never touch this ring?” Thranduil
his stomach tight with fear and betrayal.
nodded miserably, he couldn’t speak. Of course Thranduil had,
even if he
didn’t know why.
why did you?”
answer. Thranduil had been trying to gather his calm, but Legolas’
silence ground on his frayed nerves. “Answer me, Legolas.
Who put you up to
this? Was it your uncle? Tell me, child!” he had no idea how
have gotten Legolas to be his pawn, but it both hurt and angered him
son would let himself be used in this way.
desperately wanted to say yes, wanted to explain the whole, sorry
that would seal Raniean’s fate, if indeed, his own failure had not
so. If he failed, Raniean would be flogged, but if he told...
Raniean would be
dead. The prince buried his face in his hands and did not answer.
lord, is everything all right? We heard voices. Do you
assistance?” Amil-Garil asked quietly.
penalty I would pass down for any other subject of this kingdom caught
from the royal family is imprisonment.” Thranduil ignored his
guard for the
moment. His tone was harsh; he was finding it increasingly
understand his son. Legolas’ willful disobedience and refusal to
even speak to
him made him question the boy’s motives even further. If Legolas
tricked that was bad enough, but if he was actively choosing
Thranduil did not want to have to consider that. It was easier to
the veil of power and duty than reveal the depths of his betrayed
you explain yourself? Do you have a good reason for the treason
you have done
here? Have you any idea what could have happened if this were put
in the wrong
hands?” Thranduil was almost certain he knew exactly who was
attempt to gain power over his house, but he wanted to hear it from his
He needed to hear it from him before he could take any action in
cannot tell you why, please Ada...” Legolas stepped back a pace,
his father cut off his explanation.
you can, as your father and as your king I command you to tell me. It’s
important, please Legolas,” Thranduil’s appeal was both firm and
the same time.
couldn’t breathe. He had never seen his father this angry and yet
nothing he could say. No way he could explain his hideous actions
forfeiting Raniean’s life. It broke Legolas’ heart to refuse, but
could do nothing but shake his head helplessly. “I’m sorry, Ada.”
stony mask fell over Thranduil’s face. “Very well then. If
you wish to play
the base role of a common criminal, you shall be treated as such.
it seems that I do have need of your assistance.” Thranduil’s voice was
and his eyes hard. Legolas had betrayed him and would not even
tell him why.
“Take the prince to the prison and put him in one of the cells.
He is not to
be released until I say so.”
remaining color drained out of Legolas face as he dropped his head,
stand the contempt in his father’s eyes.
tightened by her husband’s side. She would not openly cross him
in front of
the guards, but her gentle eyes burned hotly as they followed Legolas’
form out of the room.
waited for his liege’s nod of dismissal before following the sad little
out, a deep, troubled frown on his face. He did not understand
happening, but hated seeing the family he loved and served so torn
soon as the door closed behind them, Elvéwen rounded on her
husband with an icy
glare. “In all our years together Thranduil I have never
questioned you, never
contested any order you saw fit to give. But here I draw the
line. You are
not putting our son in prison! He is a child, a frightened
child. I don’t
pretend to know what is going on in his head that he would do what he
but you know he is not the one behind it.”
sighed and dropped down into a chair, clenching the edsiria in his fist
putting his head in his hand as she spoke. Finally he turned his
I know he is not behind it. This has Doriflen’s fingerprints all
over it. He
used Legolas, my love, he used him, and somehow Legolas let himself be
No, I don’t doubt that the boy’s reasons were good in his own mind, but
understand Elvéwen, if Doriflen used him once, he will try to use
him again. We
have no way of knowing what Doriflen has over Legolas unless the boy
which he seems unable to do, but whatever it is he must not be allowed
it again. Legolas is safe in prison because my brother cannot
get to him. I
do not lock him up only to punish him, I do it to put him out of harms
that decision I will not recant.”
heart twisted in her chest. She understood her husband’s reasons
but that did
not mean she liked the methods. “I will not leave him there
alone,” she said
heavy door closed quietly, but Legolas could hear the key turn in the
a distinctive click. The young elf pulled himself into the
tightest ball he
could manage, hugging his knees and burying his face against them to
sound of his shame-filled tears.
had lost everything. His parents' love, his father’s trust, maybe
few minutes after the guards left, Legolas heard a sound outside his
froze as a familiar voice hissed in through the grate in the
door. “You failed
me, Legolas. You failed me. And tonight Raniean shall pay
for your failure
since I cannot reach you.”
Legolas scrambled towards the locked door. “I-I didn’t tell
them! I didn’t
tell them anything. Leave Ran alone!”
dark chuckle that answered chilled the prince’s young heart.
“It’s too late,
little one. You’ve failed me for the last time. I hope you
told him goodbye
when you parted last.”
fairly flung himself against the locked door between them. “Don’t
don’t you dare hurt him!” the young elf half-raged, half-pleaded
“You used me, Uncle! You are a traitor to Mirkwood and plotting
father, I heard you! If you hurt him I will tell them everything
I know, I
just laughed softly. “Then you seal his doom all the more
swiftly. I will
destroy him. I will destroy your father and your mother and
anyone else who
stands in my way. Except maybe you, Nephew... you I may keep to
training, or discard you broken if you continue to prove
unworthy. Tell them
what you like, little princling. It doesn’t matter anymore.
After tonight, nothing
Uncle!” Legolas pounded his fists on the door, but Doriflen had already
“Hello? Is anyone out there? Help me! Hello?!” he
seeking anyone that could help. He had to tell someone the truth
before it was
too late, he had to try!
Amil-Garil was far away from there and the two sentries on either side
prince’s cell did not move as they watched their lord walk away,
cries of their young prisoner. After tonight they would no longer
serve Doriflen in secret.
Legolas realized that no one was going to come. He was alone,
forgotten, and utterly helpless. His shoulders shaking with sobs
he could no
longer contain, the young elf slid to the floor, leaning against the
wooden door and burying his face in his arms to hide the shameful flow