A Second Chance

Chapter 17

Thranduil paced back and forth.

A dwarf.

His son had brought a dwarf home. No. He would not stand for it! He would not stand for having a smelly, bearded, vermin dwarf in his palace. He just wouldn't.

He poked his head out of the door and told the guard to bring his son to him. After the guard had left, Thranduil resumed his pacing.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and fo-

"Ada?"

Thranduil's head snapped up and he directed an icy glare at his son. Legolas didn't flinch.

"If this is about the dwarf, Ada, then no, I am not sending him away. He is my dear have been through much together," Legolas said primly.

Thranduil narrowed his eyes, "I don't appreciate you bringing in dwarven filth without my consent, or even knowledge!"

Legolas blinked demurely.

Thranduil pointed his finger threateningly, "If he causes any trouble, any trouble at all, he will be thrown into the dungeons."

Legolas gave a sharp nod and turned on his heel, sweeping out of the door.

"He's even worse than he was when he was a teenager," Thranduil muttered sullenly.

oOo

Emma and Carl crept up behind Zippy, who was engaged in earnest conversation with a rather beautifulelleth.

"I'll take the left, you take the right, we drag him over to a tree and tie him to a branch," Emma muttered.

"Isn't that a little harsh? Couldn't we just tie him to the trunk?" Carl asked, feeling slightly sympathetic for poor Zippy.

"No. Branch," Emma finalized.

Carl shrugged and they crept out from behind the bush. Soon, they were directly behind Zippy and the elleth.

They pounced.

Muffling Zippy's alarmed shriek with their hands, the dragged him behind the bush and grabbed the rope. Dragging him (it was rather difficult, with all the kicking and flailing) over to the nearest tree, which Carl scaled quickly, they managed to tie him to one of the higher branches. As a finishing touch, Carl tickled him for a good ten minutes with both Emma and the elleth shrieking with laughter below.

oOo

Their next victim was Legolas.

They placed a trip wire in the door of his bathroom while he was taking a bath. Hiding outside of the door, they eagerly pressed their ears against it. Finally, the soft humming stopped, signaling that Legolas was finished. They heard water sloshing around and then the soft creak of the door opening.

Of course, that was followed by a startled screech and a wet splat.

"Welcome home, Legolas!" they yelled in unison.

It was silent for a moment and they burst out laughing, starting to run when they heard an angry bellow come from Legolas.

"SPLIT UP!" Emma manage to screech through her hysterical laughing. Carl was really no better off. They took two different hallways, Carl's leading to the barracks and Emma's to the garden.

She came to a stop near a bed of flowers that closely resembled orchids. Emma gazed at them fondly. She had always loved flowers, ever since she was a little girl. She could remember crying when she saw them dying in the fall. Emma gently ran her finger along the nearest one and to her surprise, it started to wrap itself around her arm. Her panic abated when she remember what King Sassyface had told her, that some elves could do continued to stare at the flowers and kept petting the one that had crawled up her arm.

There had been no flowers in Dol Guldur. No plants. The only living things were the… orcs. Technically, the Nazgul wasn't alive. And now that her thoughts had drifted to Dol Guldur, they couldn't help drifting to the amount of pain she had endured there. Suddenly, the flower wrapped around her arm felt much too constricting. As if sensing her unease, the flower unwound itself and went to it's original position.

"Why are you crying?"

Emma almost jumped a foot into the air.

"WILL you STOP sneaking UP ON ME!" Emma screeched.

"I was here the entire time," Thranduil deadpanned.

Emma paled. "Oh…"

"Yes. Oh," Thranduil muttered.

Emma noticed that he looked irritated and even a little fidgety.

"Is.. something wrong?"

His eyes snapped to her and he looked confused, "What?"

"I sa-" Emma began.

Thranduil waved his hand impatiently, "Yes, yes. I mean, why are you asking?"

Emma shrugged and sniffed a little, "Maybe I'm just trying to distract myself…"

Thranduil's eyes softened and he was silent for a moment. Emma grew uncomfortable and started to get up. Her face almost smacked into the hand he had offered for assistance.

"What are you- oh…"

"Yes. Oh." Thranduil's voice held more than a little sarcasm this time. Emma glared at him, but let him help her up all the same. When he didn't immediately let go of her hand, she raised an eyebrow at him. Thranduil looked at their hands for a moment before startling slightly and letting go as if he was burned. Emma didn't notice the blush spreading over her cheeks as she backed up a little.

"I am going to repeat my earlier question, why were you crying?" Thranduil asked.

Emma shook her head, "No particular reason."

Thranduil decided to drop it and looked at the flowers, "My head gardener has a skill similar to yours, maybe he can help you?"

Emma looked up at him and smiled weakly, "Yes… I will ask him…"

Thranduil did not return the smile and Emma felt her stomach drop slightly.

Emma turned to leave. "Thank you."

Thranduil just stared at her.

"Thrandy."

His eyes widened in outrage, but she was already gone. After a moment, an amused smile spread over his face.


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