No i brestanneth anírach tírad vi amar
A/N This is non-cannon, I know that, please don't send me reviews telling me it is. The best thing about fanfiction is you can create your own world with what you are given from someone else. It isn't an AU, it just isn't cannon.
Aragorn's mind would not be calmed. His thoughts raced, he felt as though his elven friend had slapped him in the face.
Legolas had lost hope. An elf had given up hope for their survival. It was nearly unheard of, elves were always the ones who you would go to if you needed reassurance. If you were close enough friends with one to go to them, anyway.
Did this mean that there truly was no hope left? Was there no chance of survival if even an elf could not see it? It must be so, there really is nothing that can be done. Aragorn reached for his sword finding it not where he left it but instead in the hands of the one his thoughts were on at that very moment.
"We have trusted you this far, you have not led us astray. Forgive me, I was wrong to despair." The elf said, calm visible in his face. His moment of fear had passed and there was nothing but trust in his eyes.
Even if there was no chance of survival his friends would follow him, even if it meant to their deaths.
Aragorn smiled. He took his sword and Legolas clasped him on the shoulder. As fair and beautiful as elves were they were not ones for gestures of affection. This little clasp on the shoulder was rarer than a hug between men, and the meaning behind it was far stronger.
Gimli chose at that time to clamor into the room. Complaining about his too big, yet too small coat of chain-mill. The two companions watched with amusement at Gimli's predicament before the elf heard something the others did not hear. Legolas lifted his head as though waiting for the sound to come again, to correctly identify it. When it did Aragorn and Gimli had no trouble hearing it.
"That is no orc horn." Legolas said with surprise. The elf ran quickly out of the room, Aragorn and Gimli followed, Gimli discarding his chain-mill.
Legolas stopped farther away than Aragorn, in nothing short of pure astonishment. Standing in front of them was more than a hundred elven warriors, standing straight and tall, as though trying to show the mortals surrounding them how a real army conducts themselves at wartime.
"We have come to honor that allegiance." Legolas heard Haldir finish his sentence, now speaking to Aragorn, though he knew Aragorn hadn't heard the entire conversation. Aragorn hugged Haldir in a way that made even a few of the elven warriors cringe. One of the cloaked figures beside Haldir spoke, his face visible under his hood.
"Why is it that even on the other side of Middle Earth we are called upon to clean up your mess, gwanur laes?"
Legolas' face turned in an instant from a look of pride to an angry frown and before anyone could even comprehend what was going on he was gone. Aragorn turned at the words of the stranger. "Baby brother?" He whispered. He was unaware Legolas had any brothers.
"Allendor, enough. There is no merit in such words." The other figure rebuked, pulling back his hood.
"I am simply saying, he is the one that volunteered for this foolish quest, so then why are we traveling for days to come save him, and these mortals," the one called Allendor defended.
"Even if there was any merit in those words you know the only reason you said them was to embarrass him, else you would have had no use of the common tongue. You are to leave Legolas alone, else I shall recommend you to father for a few years of prison guarding."
"Le úbertha, Elijah." Allendor turned to glare at Elijah.
"Oh, I dare. You will not publicly humiliate him again." Elijah's look was harsh and mean. It was a look Aragorn, as well as every other man in the area, hoped to never see on the face of such a beautiful creature ever again. For Elijah was beautiful, even more fair then Legolas. It seemed as though Elijah was at the peak of his years. Elves were always fair creatures, but there was about a thousand years when elves were at their strongest and fairest. The age changed between elves, though it was always when the elf was very old, by human definition anyway. It never happened before they'd seen their ten thousandth summer come and go.
"Delos" Allendor murmured walking away.
Elijah sighed, "He thinks I am annoying now, wait till we're out of earshot of the mortals." Elijah turned towards King Théoden and Aragorn. "Amin hiraetha, I apologize for my brother's rudeness. He takes after our father far too much than is good for him."
It wasn't until then that Aragorn noticed the circlet on Elijah's head. Elijah was a prince, and due to how ornate it was it was safe to say that Elijah was the eldest son of the king. If Elijah was the crown prince, and he was Allendor's brother, and Allendor was Legolas' brother. . . Legolas was a prince of Mirkwood.
Théoden replied before Aragorn could even begin to grasp this information. "It is no trouble, we are indebted to you for your help in our time of need."
"It is our pleasure, or most of our pleasures, to aid men in this dark hour. I cannot speak for those of Lothlorien, but my brothers from Taur-e-Ndaedelos, or Mirkwood to your people, more than know the trials you are going though at this time, for we are barely recovered from our own burdens."
"And yet you risk your numbers for our sake."
"It is because of this that we risk our numbers for your sake."
"We shall never be able to repay our debt."
"Debt? you owe us nothing. Until the last of our kind sails it is still our obligation to maintain peace in Middle Earth. After then though, my young friend, it is your duty." A few of the men laughed when Elijah called the King young. King Théoden looked like he could be Elijah's father.
"If that is what you wish." Théoden answered and Elijah nodded. Elijah yelled out an order to his elves before departing in the same direction Legolas left.
Legolas sat on the largest branch of the largest tree within a man's sight of the ancient fortress. Trying to get away from Helm's Deep, but trying to still be close by. He wasn't going to desert these men, even if they didn't need his help as much now as they did before.
"Legolas?" Elijah called from below, hoping his brother hadn't changed much in the time he'd been gone.
"Go away." Legolas replied.
Elijah sighed and climbed up the tree anyway.
"My brother, concern yourself not with his vain words. He is only trying to upset you."Elijah sat on the branch next to Legolas, it was small but there was no worry of it breaking, nothing broke under an elf's weight and the tree was more than willing to be strong for the crown prince of the wood elves.
"Well it is working." Legolas turned away from his brother. "I never asked him to come, I didn't ask anyone to come."
"We came because you are our brother and when Lord Celeborn sent word of your need we came to help. It may not seem like it, gwanur nin, but we are still a family, even if we do not act like it."
"Could have fooled me." Legolas asked switching to his native tongue.
"Legolas, you are still young. You do not yet understand the burdens of your family.."
"Don't treat me like a child. It is you who do not understand, I work hard for my people just as hard as you. Yet unlike you I don't have memories of peace to sustain me in the night, do not act as though I know nothing of war!" Legolas said angrily, his frustration trying to come out while he was trying to keep it in.
Just then, the elves noticed another coming their way.
"Aragorn?" Legolas commented. He began to climb down the tree, thinking that Aragorn may have wanted to discuss the upcoming battle. Elijah was quite surprised Legolas climbed down. "What is it, mellon nin?"
"You're a prince." Aragorn said looking as though he needed a conformation. Legolas sighed, he'd been trying to keep anyone from finding out.
"So? I am the youngest of three, it means nothing in reality."
"Why didn't you tell anyone?"
"Like I said, it means nothing."
"You insult us, gwanur nin. Are we that unimportant that you would hide your relations from your friends?" Elijah landed lightly on the ground and walked toward Legolas.
"I hide not my relation to you, I would have gladly mentioned you, had they shown an interest in my background." Legolas replied not looking at his brother. Elijah looked concerned.
"Father does care for you, Legolas."
"He sure has a funny way of showing it."
"He worries about you, with all the rash and foolish decisions you make it's a wonder he does not chain you to your own bed sometimes."
"I do not make rash decisions."
"Look at where you are, gwanur nin. Is this not the product of a rash decision?" Elijah waved his arm towards Helm's Deep. Aragorn opened his mouth to defend their quest but Legolas beat him too it, his anger flaring back up.
"No it was not, I thought very hard before I chose to come. I chose to do this because I knew it would be what is right. Just because it was not a decision you would have made does not mean I did it on a whim."
"This quest is foolish, Legolas, no one can survive such an errand. What do you intend to do, walk straight into Mordor and expect them to just let you pass?" Elijah said harshly, Legolas looked at him with suspicion in his eyes.
"So this is why Father sent you. To bring me back. Well you can just go, and take your army with you, go tell him I'm not coming back, if it is because I fell in battle so be it, but tell him that even if I do survive I will never return." Legolas turned and walked back towards the city, Aragorn followed, hoping to talk to his friend alone.
Elijah watched them leave in shock. He'd never expected something like that to come out of the mouth of his gwanur laes.
"Aragorn, I do not wish to talk about it." Legolas sat down on the grass just outside Helm's deep.
"That's good because neither do I," Aragorn responded, Legolas looked up at him.
"Then what do you want?"
"I want to tell you that no matter what happens, you're always welcome where I am." Legolas looked confused.
"I don't understand."
"I mean, If you don't ever change your mind about going back to Mirkwood, I will always be glad to have you with me, wherever I am." Aragorn sat down beside his friend, he knew Legolas wouldn't follow through with his threat, the elf was far too loyal to abandon his home, but if making such a promise could help in any way Aragorn would do it without hesitation. Legolas didn't respond for a while but when he turned back toward Aragorn, there was a tear on his cheek.
"Why can't they trust me to make my own decisions? If Elijah had chosen this everyone would be exclaiming how brave he is, if Allendor had done it half the army would have followed him. I just do not understand."
"Has it always been that way?"
"Ever since Naneth was killed. It was not my fault though, she told me to run."
"You're mother was killed? By who?"
"The dwarves, that's why Adar put Gimli's father in prison."
"Did Gimli's father kill her?"
"No, he did it because he had no one else to punish. Gloin and his company had simply been where they shouldn't have been and had nothing to do with it."
"No wonder Gimli disliked you so much."
"I have never been fond of my father's decision."
"Why didn't you tell Gimli that?"
"It wouldn't have helped."
"I suppose you are probably right." Aragorn agreed.
"Even so, if I had told him I do not believe this trip would have been as fun." Legolas said with a small smile on his face.
"Speak for yourself, the two of you nearly drove the rest of us crazy." Aragorn smiled when Legolas laughed.
Legolas laughed but didn't comment back.
"So why did you volunteer for this quest anyway? You knew they would get angry, why provoke them?" Aragorn said casually, trying to make it sound like it wasn't that big of a deal, that if he didn't want to he didn't have to answer. Legolas sighed and lifted his knees to his chest and putting his arms on top of them looking in deep thought.
"Naneth died when she was taking me to visit the river, she took me places all the time. I think it was because that by being the youngest she knew I'd be looked over by the others. It was in the middle of the war and she had weapons so it wasn't just cruelty on their part, in fact I think if they had known why we were truly out there they wouldn't have bothered us, as they let me go without a fight. Allendor is angry at me for not fighting, not trying to save her, I only did what I was told, I was only in my twenties at the time, fighting back was impossible. I didn't even know how to fight."
"I would think not, they didn't even like the idea of teaching me how to fight at twenty."
"Yes, well, he's never liked me all that much anyway. I took too much of Naneth's attention for him to like me, though she certainly didn't neglect him. He got plenty of attention. Father spent a lot of time with him because he's an amazing fighter, and makes an excellent general. Anyway, while we were walking she was telling me a story, I don't remember the story now but when it was over I asked her why the hero's in the stories even bother. Why, when they know chances are they're going to fail." Legolas paused. Aragorn wanted to wait for him to continue, but he was too curious to let the story just hang there.
"What did she say?"
"No i brestanneth anírach tírad vi amar. . . Be the change you wish to see in the world. They did it because they knew that someone had to and it was too important to them to let someone else do it. I didn't sleep for many nights after that, I thought about what she said and I thought about what had happened. I realized that I can't wait for someone else to volunteer there are somethings just too important to leave to someone else. I've tried my hardest to live by following that rule, I can't say that I have mastered it yet, but I have tried. Though it is hard when everyone acts like you're a child who can't make up their own mind. Adar says my decisions are rash and thoughtless, I do the things I do because I know no one else will and I'm not going to wait for someone else to try. Children shouldn't have to grow up without a parent, and fathers should not have to leave their wives and children behind to go die because their leaders can't get along. I will choose to fight battles I know I can't win, I will chose to darken my hair and pretend to be someone else to join an army that can't win. I will do it if I feel that is what I must do to make this world better for families to live in together, and to allow families to actually live in them together. That's why I volunteered for this. Not to prove something to myself or anyone else, or even to make them angry, I did it because someone had to, so why not me."
"That's why you didn't leave us, even though you knew Helm's Deep was doomed." Aragorn assumed, and Legolas nodded.
"Someone had to fight for these people, am I too good to protect them? I'm not afraid to die. I may not even now be able to comprehend death as well as mortals do, but I'm not afraid of it. Anywhere Naneth is I'm not afraid to go."
"After all we've been though, I think I now can say the same. Dieing for a cause such as this is nothing to be afraid of. Now death by dishonorable means, that is something to fear."
There was silence between the two of them as they watched the sun set.
"We should get back, the King may have information for us. He is relying on us more than I think even he knows, especially now that the elves are here. Few of them speak our language, I assume."
"Indeed, the common tongue is not as popular in Mirkwood as it is in Imladris and Lothlórien, mostly restricted to those of importance. Our lack of contact with others due to the need of numbers in Mirkwood have left us sadly ignorant of the world around us, and I feel that Allendor would not be too keen on translating," Legolas replied and they both stood and headed back towards Helm's Deep, ready for the war that was going to come.
Legolas stood with the army of elves, staying as far away from his brothers as possible. When the orcs came he knew he wouldn't care how close he was to them, but until then he wanted to be as far away from them as possible. He heard Aragorn approach from behind him.
"You could have picked a better spot." Gimli said from beside him, Legolas smiled. The dwarf turned his head to speak to Aragorn. "Well lad, whatever luck you live by, let's hope it lasts the night."
"Your friends are with you, Aragorn," Legolas told him not looking back to see the ranger's reaction.
"Let's hope they last the night."
"Fight strong, and we will not have to worry about that, Master dwarf." Aragorn responded before walking back, not telling them the purpose behind him coming there to them.
"Worry not, friend. Your back will be well guarded." Legolas told Gimli, still not turning to look at the one he was speaking to.
"A dwarf does not need an elf to watch his back." Gimli said, a few of the elven warriors shifted, as though angry at him for his comment.
"Needful or not it will be done." Legolas replied, ignoring the looks of his kin.
Gimli wanted to reply, but he could think of no words. He was honored by the elf's concern for him, but he certainly couldn't tell him that. No, that would be the last thing he could do.
"They are coming." Legolas said, as many of the elven warriors reached for an arrow, none of them drawing their bows yet.
"Let them come."
The orcs got closer and closer, before the elves could see the end of the army the men were able to see the beginning. None had ever seen an army so large. They were in ranks as one never expected a mutant army to be.
Gimli was bouncing where he stood.
"What's going on? What's happening?" Legolas smiled at the dwarf's comment.
"Shall I describe it to you?" Legolas, couldn't resist even with an army on the way and their end in sight he just couldn't resist. "Or would you like me to find you a box?"
Gimli looked at him and laughed, caring not that this wasn't the time for joking. Even a few of the elven warriors were chuckling in their hands.
Suddenly Aragorn yelled.
There was silence as everyone realized one of the men had lost control of an arrow. The silence was deafening, then the orcs began to yell.
Legolas grabbed for an arrow. "It begins." He told the dwarf.
Legolas didn't have a moment to think after this. Only enough time to choose a target and shoot. It didn't take the orcs long to get over the walls.
"Legolas!" He turned to Gimli. "two already!" he said proudly.
"I'm on seventeen!" He called back with a smirk, glad to have something to take his mind off death.
"What! I'll have no pointy ear out-scoring me!" Gimli yelled.
"Nineteen!" He continued to call.
The fight was a blur of motions, he didn't know whether he even hit them most of the time. The only way he could tell was the pile of bodies surrounding him. He was taken off guard when he reached back and nothing touched his fingertips. His quiver was empty. The orc he'd been ready to shoot took the moment of hesitation as an invitation to attack. The orc was on the ground before Legolas managed to even see an ax imbedded in his skull, Gimli's throwing ax. Legolas turned to him.
"I thought you were going to be the one watching my back!" The dwarf called.
"Hannon le!" Legolas called forgetting the dwarf couldn't speak Sindarian, and running off to find more arrows, using his twin knives when he encountered an enemy that couldn't be dodged.
"What'd you call me?" Gimli said thinking it was an insult.
It wasn't hard to find arrows in the area, what was hard was to find ones that weren't broken or could be taken from bodies easily, elven arrows tend to go deep. Normally he had objections to using arrows that had already killed something, it was disgraceful to the tree the arrows were made from, they had completed their purpose they deserved to rest in peace. Now though, things like that weren't important and the trees would have to forgive him.
Legolas heard Aragorn call to him. "Togo hon dad, Legolas!" *Bring him down, Legolas!* Legolas turned toward to Aragorn and looked where he was pointing. An orc with a torch. That could not be good.
Legolas aimed, aiming not at the heart, knowing the skin was too thick for it to kill, but for the hand, if the torch was dropped the water would put it out.
The arrow never left his bow.
Aragorn cheered, the battle was over, they had done it. They had won and he wasn't dead.
"Aragorn!" The future king heard from behind him.
"Gimli!" Aragorn said excitedly, his friend had survived as well. The dwarf hugged him, glad to see him alive as well. They looked around and saw the men celebrating. The elves on the other hand did nothing of the sort. In victory they grieved over fallen comrades.
Aragorn and Gimli walked over to Elijah who sat beside a fallen elf.
"Na gelir mellon nin, si en lû garo gell."
"You ask me to celebrate the death of my brethren?"
"No, celebrate the victory, my friend. They would not have you mourn so soon"
"We do not celebrate victory when victory is still far away."
"The battle is over and we have survived. No one else has to die."
"You are wrong, child. The battle, the battle does not end until your quest is complete. More will die, we do not celebrate when bigger battles loom on the horizon,"
"Celebrate because your people fought hard to survive this far and they deserve to be happy."
"Deserve or not, while we would be celebrating our brothers lie here to rot."
"Then let us bury the dead and celebrate the living." Aragorn said kneeling down to the prince and putting a hand on his shoulder.
"I would like that."
And they got to work. Everyone helped each other, men would carry elves, elves would carry men. Aragorn and Elijah were carrying the body of an older man when they heard Allendor scream.
Elijah dropped his burden in such a way that did not befit an elf, and turned to see Allendor running across the battlefield. Elijah and Aragorn followed.
They kneeled beside the elven general as he held their brother in his arms.
"He's still alive. Help him, gwanur." Allendor begged his brother, though Elijah didn't need to be told, he'd already pushed Allendor out of the way and started searching for the wound. It wasn't hard to find, a large, deep slash across his back. Someone must have tried to help him, as he was laying on his back, not the natural way to fall when hit from behind.
"What's going on?" Gimli called from where he'd been carrying, strangely mostly elven, bodies to where they were to be buried. Aragorn turned around.
"Legolas is injured."
Gimli wasn't the only one to stop what they were doing, every elf around did as well. Gimli though, was the first one to run over.
"How bad?" Gimli asked looking over his friend.
"The wound is deep and large. He has lost a lot of blood." Aragorn said looking at silvery liquid that stained the piles of bodies around.
"Elven blood is silver, been wondering what that stuff was."
"Depending on gender, female's is gold."
"They have something against normal red or what?"
"They don't age or die, and you are surprised to find their blood is a different color?"
"Looking around, I'm going to have to disagree about the dying thing." Gimli got a few dirty looks from some of the elves that had gathered around their prince in hopes of helping him heal faster somehow.
"Naturally, anyway." Aragorn corrected.
"Why are they singing?" Aragorn looked back to Elijah, who was in fact singing, in response to Gimli's question.
"Elven magic is based on the arts, it's much more potent when being connected to some form of art. Singing works best. That's why they spend so much time doing it. You noticed back in Rivendell, I assume?"
"I did, it was annoying."
"Annoying or not, if he's going to survive then it's going to be because of that song. He has no other chance."
"I love the singing." Gimli said changing his mind swiftly.
"As do I."
"What are the words?"
"Even I do not know." Aragorn answered, Gimli seemed surprised. "There are parts of their language they tell no mortal, no matter how close they are."
"Well whatever it is, it better work."
Aragorn turned back to Elijah just as he picked up his brother.
"I am taking him inside, no one may follow, with the exception of Allendor and our two mortal friends here." He nodded towards Aragorn and Gimli. They hadn't realized that such a crowd had gathered, and not all of them were elves either. Théoden had stood right behind Aragorn without him even noticing. He really must have been exhausted not to notice something like that.
Those that were allowed to follow stood and followed as Elijah took him, not to the place they had dedicated to their wounded but a small room off to the side.
"Aragorn you have training in elven healing, yes?" Elijah asked after setting Legolas back down.
"Are you able to identify herbs?"
"Are you able to find me as many as possible before midday?"
"You won't need them beforehand?"
"I can keep him alive until then."
"Alright." Aragorn said and left, leaving the dwarf alone with the three elves, with the only elf he was even remotely comfortable with being unconscious on the floor.
"I'm sorry, I am not aware of your name, master dwarf." Elijah said respectfully, trying, and succeeding to hide his distrust of the dwarven people.
"Gimli, son of Gloin"
"Oh." Neither of the elves could look at him any longer. They knew their father had acted hastily. "If you would please, Gimli" Elijah started, worried he'd get a no and still not able to look at him, "Could you please get me some cloth and water, preferably hot."
"Anything for a friend." Gimli left as well with them looking at him in surprise.
"Is he going to survive?" Allendor asked his brother switching to Sindarian.
"I cannot know, it may be too late,"
"If we had found him before, could we have saved him?"
"Do not speak such words, do not give up hope for our brother, he needs it now more than ever."
"How much hope is there?"
"That depends on how much you are willing to hope. Hope is not measured in pounds or inches, my brother. Hope is measured in how many souls are willing to risk it." Allendor had no answer for that, he didn't know if he was willing to risk hope.
"What are we going to tell father?"
"That depends on if he wakes up."
"What if he doesn't?"
"Then we tell father that he was determined to do what he knew was right, even at the result of his own death, and we failed to protect him."
"He's a fool, this is what he gets for such a stupid errand."
"No, you are wrong. There are somethings in this world that must be done, and it should have been done by someone older and stronger, but none of them would volunteer so the young was forced to. He was brave, far braver than I. No he is brave, he is not lost yet."
"If he had not gone then none of this would have happened."
"And he would be at home, miserable because you and father would not so much as speak with him without some form of anger or contempt in far more than your tones of voice. Ever since mother died the two of you seemed to have made it your goal to make him completely miserable. He already feels guilty for it, there is no need to make him hate himself."
"No, I never..." Allendor tried to defend himself but he couldn't justify his own actions.
"He thinks you both wish he had been killed instead of her. Tell me this is not true."
"Of course not! How could he believe I think that?"
"Your actions. You even told him that he should have fought to save her. He was a child Allendor, what would have happened if he had? He would have been killed with ease, even if he could manage to save her. How exactly is he supposed to interpret that in a way that does not end with his death?"
"I did not mean..." His voice trailed off, knowing Elijah was right. "I was angry, I did not mean what I said. Everyone says things they do not mean when they are angry."
"When have you ever heard Legolas say anything he did not mean when he was angry?"
"I do not know, I have never really seen him angry."
"Exactly." Allendor had no response to this so Elijah continued "I am not saying Legolas is perfect, none are. Yes he makes decisions that we would appreciate if he would enlighten us about even if he was not willing to take no for an answer, and yes he puts himself in danger, a lot. Legolas though, would never mistreat either of you, even as much as Father frustrates him, he loves you both, even though he wishes he did not. It hurts him endlessly to know he has brought your anger upon him, and even worse to know that there is nothing he can do to receive forgiveness."
"That is why he has to live," Allendor said finally able to speak again. "How else can I apologize for how I have treated him."
The door opened and Gimli walked in trying not to spill a large bucket of water. He looked around for a moment wondering why they had suddenly stopped talking.
"You've been talking about me behind my back haven't you. That's why you stopped talking when I walked in." Elijah laughed.
"I do not know if you have forgotten, Gimli son of Gloin, but we can talk about you behind your back right in front of your face. We have no need to be silent when you walk into the room." Elijah took the bucket from the dwarf and gently placed it on the ground.
"Oh, right, I forgot."
"You distracted us from our conversation, that is all." Allendor replied sounding as one would expect in this situation.
"Oh," Gimli gave Elijah the bandages, and Elijah went to work.
Gimli watched the elf fascinated by his abilities. Medicine was never a dwarven strong point. Dwarves preferred metal work better. Maybe he could learn something from these people, though he'd never be able to use their magic so there really was no point.
"Is he going to be alright?"
"That depends, probably, on what Aragorn manages to bring back." Elijah replied, trying to sound hopeful, but very few herbs had the potency he needed to save his brother. He was scared, scared that by moonlight tonight he may have to bury his baby brother.
"In that case there's nothing to worry about. He can find anything."
"I am glad." Elijah wasn't convinced. He had spoken so boldly to his brother, but even he couldn't heed his own advice.
Elijah finish dressing Legolas' wound before anyone spoke again.
There was a knock on the door. Elijah quickly opened it, ready to make whoever it was leave. He had told no one to follow. He was surprised to find King Théoden behind the door.
"May I ask what it is you require, Sir?" Elijah said still not letting the King in.
"I want to know how the lad is of course." Théoden said respectfully. Allendor laughed from inside the room and Elijah looked as though it was difficult not to do the same.
"I hate to break the news to you, friend, but that 'lad' is more than two thousand years older then you are, unless men have found a way to live for a thousand years."
"Older than me or not, you will learn if you ever have kids that you get to calling anyone who doesn't look as old as you a lad." Théoden replied ignoring the snickers from inside.
"I must ask, how long does it take for that to become habitual? My eldest is nearly two thousand, is that not long enough?"
Théoden rolled his eyes, "Well, maybe it's a human thing, but when I see someone who looks younger than my son I can't help it."
"I do not believe I have met your son. Why is that?" Elijah stepped aside to let him in, though he really had planned on turning the visitor away.
"He died, not long ago."
"Im naer. I am sorry."
"Best thing you can do for me is keep this one from ending up the same." Théoden motioned to Legolas.
"I am sorry? I do not see how that could help you."
Théoden sighed. "He reminds me of my son, his personally anyway. Quiet, tended to stay in the background, until there was something important he needed to say or do, then everyone wondered why they hadn't noticed him before."
"That sounds familiar." Allendor said, speaking for the first time since Théoden came in.
"Indeed. I understand better now, though I cannot say that I can try any harder to keep him alive." Elijah added, understanding now how the king felt.
"I am sure. It surprises me to just how different you and your people are than the stories I have heard."
"If you do not mind me asking what exactly have you heard about us that is different? I hope you are not disappointed, though I do not know that I could or would change anything."
"Oh no, I am glad you are different. I am sorry to say none of the stories were complementary. There is a forest not far from here that is occupied by elves, no one ever comes out of that forest alive. So I am afraid my people have been making up stories over it."
"Ah, Lothlorien. Yes they are quite strange down here, they are very protective of their home, it is one of the last truly perfect gardens left on Middle-earth." Elijah agreed, not entirely happy that those in the south were giving their race a bad name. "Haldir, the one who first spoke to you is the head general of the Lothlorien elves."
"I am sorry?" Elijah gave the man a confused look.
"He was the general, he has been killed."
The elves seemed speechless at first but Elijah managed to say.
"Hiro hîdh nen gurth ho."
"I'm sorry?" Théoden responded, worried that he was supposed to know what he was saying.
"May he find peace in death." Surprisingly it was Gimli that translated.
"A dwarf, able to translate our language?" Allendor poorly tried to hide his offense at the thought.
"No, I heard Legolas say it a couple times and asked. That is all, I wouldn't have known if he lied to me."
"When did he say it? Have you had men fall?"
"We have believed many of our number had fallen, only one stayed dead."
"They came back?" Elijah could not believe that someone could come back from being dead.
"They weren't dead to begin with, we just thought they were."
"You have been blessed to only have one of the nine die."
"And that's all we intend to let die," He turned towards Legolas, "You hear me, elf, you aren't allowed to die."
"I am sure he will do his best," Théoden replied. "I should get out of your way, a few of the soldiers wanted an update and I was curious myself."
"I am sorry to say there really is nothing new to report, at least not until midday. How are the other wounded? I fear I have abandoned them in my haste," Elisha questioned.
"The same as any war I fear, we have yet to get a count of those lost or wounded. It is still too early to say."
"I see. My brothers are helping your people as well, yes? Not just watching out for their own?"
"Of course, they have been a great help so far. We are very limited on supplies so your people have been a great help to us."
"I am glad. Anything we can do to finally put an end to this accursed war, we will gladly do."
"You have already done much for us, I just wish I could do the same for you." Théoden looked at Legolas.
"I thank you, but there is nothing that can be done until Estel returns to us."
"It is a long story."
"Right, and I have to go."
"Thank you for your concern and kindness, Lord Théoden," Allendor said from behind him.
"No thanks necessary, my friend." Theoden nodded to them and left.
Elisha sat next to his brother and began to sing again. It sounded different than the previous song, the magic in the previous song seemed to reside in the words, the magic in this piece was it's all together beauty. Even Gimli would have to admit he liked it.
After a time of just listening to the song the door came open interrupting the singing.
"Aragorn? You are early," Elisha exclaimed walking over to the clearly exhausted man.
"I expected it to take me longer to get back." Aragorn dropped his bag, it held a wide variety of plants. "A few of them I don't think could help in the slightest but you're better than me at it so I figured it couldn't hurt."
"Indeed it could not." Elisha dragged the bag to Legolas' side and began to sort through what Aragorn had managed to find.
"So why couldn't we use the stuff we've already got?" Gimli asked not even thinking about it before.
"Because man's medicines are strange to us and I would never be able to properly use them." Elisha answered though distracted.
"Gimli, I think we could be more help elsewhere." Aragorn said opening the door back up.
"Come." Aragorn insisted and Gimli followed, though he really didn't want to. They went back to help bury the dead. Most of the elves were already off the battlefield as it only took one person to carry an elf. They worked until the night fell before the bodies finally began to clear. The ground was a mixture of red, silver, and even a little gold. The elves allowed their females to fight, but very few of them actually did. Elven woman were made for battle even less than human woman.
It was nearly midnight before the bodies were all placed where they needed to be, King Theoden wanted to do a funeral for all of them, Aragorn didn't think it was such a good idea. Men and Elves mourned their dead in very different ways.
"At least ask them about it. I don't think it would hurt to try, they fought and died together they might as well be buried together as well." Theoden argued.
"The elves don't bury their dead the same way though, it might cause an argument. The very idea of our burial traditions is offensive to them."
"Then we'll do it differently."
"Will the men be okay with that?"
"I'm sure they won't mind. We can find something in between."
"I'll mention it, but I still don't think it's a good idea." Aragorn gave in, he called Gimli over. "Let's go see how Legolas is doing."
"It's about time, laddie." Gimli replied and Aragorn just laughed.
They made it to the room where Legolas lay, and Aragorn had to brace himself before opening the door. He was really hoping to not see them with sad looks on their faces.
He was delighted to see Legolas sitting up. though sitting against a wall.
"Legolas." Gimli exclaimed happily, though there was shock written on his face.
"You're alright." Aragorn rushed over to his friend's side.
"He still needs time to heal, but the healing process will go quickly." Elisha said with a smile. Allendor looked like he'd been crying despite the smile he was wearing as well.
"I will be fine, Aragorn." Legolas said knowing his mortal friends would have been worried. Aragorn hugged Legolas, making the latter stiffen a little though he tried to relax.
"You had better be. After I worked so hard to keep you here." Gimli said as though he was the one that saved the elven prince.
"What may I ask did you do?" Elisha asked with doubt.
"I saved him the first time." Gimli defended. Elisha was going to reply but Legolas unknowingly interrupted him.
"Indeed, and I am very grateful, this wound is minor compared to what I would have had, had you not acted so quickly."
"Oh, uh no problem really," Gimli said awkwardly, he had expected some sarcastic remark, that was a lot easier to deal with than gratitude.
"So? What hit me?" Legolas asked, sounding as though he was asking about something as trivial as the weather.
"An orc," Gimli said flatly, glad to be able to tease him again.
"Really? I had assumed it was a monkey. Thank you for clearing that up. I meant what happened." Legolas rolled his eyes, but his smile didn't falter.
"Well it was one very clever monkey," Elisha played along with a laugh. "We do not know exactly, we found you after the battle was over. It is easy to assume one of them was able to sneak up behind you due to the location of the wound and the noise of battle. Unfortunately, I no longer need to wonder why they put those hooks at the end of their swords, without it healing you would have been easy."
"Whatever they can do to cause more pain," Aragorn said with a dark look.
"Yes, this war must end and it must end quickly," Elisha said looking at his brother.
"Speaking of the war, how bad did this one end up?" Legolas asked, they looked at Aragorn and Gimli those two having been out recently.
"It was pretty bad, but not as bad as we feared. In fact that is why we came, King Theoden wants to know if there is a way we can work it out to have the funeral for the dead all together, instead of having your people do one and our people do one. He says they died together, they may as well be buried together as well."
"We will not allow our brothers to lie in the ground and rot the way your people do. It is filthy and a disgrace to the land." Allendor replied, with anger in his voice, Elisha looked angry as well, and Legolas didn't like the idea despite his comfort around mortals.
"I told him you would say that and he said we are willing to do that part your way."
"And what does he get out of this?" Allendor asked with suspicion.
"He get's to show that we are honored by your people's sacrifice as well as our own men's. He just wants to honor all those who gave their lives for this cause, no matter what race."
Elisha and Allendor looked at each other and looked at Legolas. Elisha sighed.
"I suppose something can be worked out." He moved to stand when he noticed Legolas doing the same thing. "Oh no you don't. You still are not well."
"I am not staying here."
"Yes you are. Do not argue with me, gwanur laes."
"What if I carry him?" Aragorn asked, he didn't want to make Legolas sit here by himself while his people were having a funeral for so many.
Elisha considered this. "Fine, but you have to go straight to the medical ward right after."
"I'll make sure he does," Aragorn promised picking Legolas up with ease. Allendor decided to help halfway through, though Aragorn didn't need it. When outside the elves were excited to see the youngest prince. Legolas was quickly surrounded by both elves and men. It took them quite a while to convince everyone that he was going to be fine.
Aragorn sat him on the ground and sat beside him, allowing Elisha, Allendor, and King Théoden to work out how to do the funeral, in the end they decided to burn the bodies and bury the ashes, allowing for both Elisha and Théoden to speak for their fallen comrades in turn. Allendor would not agree to doing the elvish part in the common tongue so they asked Aragorn to translate.
With the decision made both men and elves gathered around the pile of bodies most were grouped in groups of race, but many elves stood with the men and many men stood with the elves. It wasn't perfect harmony, but it was the closest men and elves had been in many, many years. Aragorn helped Legolas move a little closer to the gathering, a few of the others chose to sit along with him as Aragorn had to stand and they didn't want the youngest prince sitting alone.
To the men's surprise Elisha began to sing and Aragorn translated likewise.
In gwidh ristennin,
The bonds cut,
I fae narchannen
The spirit broken
Naur vi eryn,
The woods are burning,
Lanc i dalaf.
The ground lies bare.
Mathach vi geven?
Do you feel it in the earth?
Nostach vi 'wilith?
Can you smell it in the air?
Bád gurth vi ngalad firiel.
Death moves in the fading light.
Rim bell ed ardhon gwannen
Many strong have left this world
Tîn fie nar-hahn-nehn
Their journey has ended in darkness.
Hain gwennen na 'wanath ah na dhín.
They are not bound to loss and silence.
An hain gwennen na ringyrn ambar hen uin athan.
For they are not bound to the circles of this world any longer.
Boe naid bain gwannathar,
All things must pass away,
Boe cuil ban firitha.
All life is doomed to fade...
Boe cuil ban firitha.
All life is doomed to fade...
There were tears in every eye when Elijah finished his song, and there was silence as Théoden realized the elf was done, it was far shorter than he'd expected of the firstborn. Aragorn had known the song previously though he'd never actually heard it sung, let alone sung it himself. It was touching and the silence afterwards only increased the effect.
Théoden placed a hand on Elijah's shoulder and began to speak, struggling to control the emotion in in voice.
"Men, Elves, and our heroic dwarf," Théoden nodded to Gimli who gave an appreciative nod back. "As you are all sadly aware this war is not over, indeed I fear tis barely begun." Théoden paused allowing time for Aragorn to finish his translation. "But this day, this morning the battle has been won. Those who still draw breath with me, let us remember this day. Victory is sweet, but the death of a brother is bitter. Let us stand proudly for those who do not share our fate, we owe each other our lives now and to some that debt can never be repaid. The only thanks that can now be given is in honoring their sacrifice with further victories in the future that the cause they fell may be realized! The future may be unsure, tomorrow may be a mystery, even the end of this day cannot be known. But this night, this morning, this morning we have triumphed. This time yesterday defeat was inevitable, and look where we are men. We are standing on field of Victory! How many of you had the will to hope that you would be standing to see the sun rise once more? Even I could find no hope to last the night, but with the help of our new friends we are here." Théoden turned to Elisha and Allendor "And for that we are eternally grateful. I cannot express the sorrow that those, who otherwise would not have found death, met with their end for our sakes, but I will treasure the sacrifice as long as I shall live." He paused as a few of the men murmured in agreement. "Perhaps we may repay this debt owed someday, but until then," Théoden turned to grab a torch that had been prepared for the occasion and Elijah did the same. "Until then let those who died together be together in the grave."
"Hiro hyn hîdh ab 'wanath,"
"Let them find peace in death,"
They both said together as they tossed the fire onto the bodies of their fallen comrades.
Gimli aided in the burying of the ashes; Legolas felt the need to help, so Gimli offered to do it in his stead. Aragorn was surprised that the Legolas didn't fuss when being taken to the medical ward, he stayed with him knowing he would have trouble allowing anyone else help him heal. Elijah, Allendor, and Théoden came in to visit the wounded after the burying was finished. The elves were happy to see their prince and the men were happy to see their king.
Due to the quick healing of the elves the ones that survived were all able to return home long before Legolas was ready to let them go.
"I am so glad you are here, I have been long in need of a decent conversation." Legolas said, loud enough that it was obvious he intended for the the dwarf to hear him. Gimli huffed beside Aragorn, though they were on the other side of the room at the moment, and Aragorn gave a light laugh.
"So you have changed your mind on your threat then?" Elijah asked in his elvish tongue to prevent eavesdroppers, showing a nervousness that was not common in the crown prince of Mirkwood.
"Threat?" Legolas asked.
"You will come home when this journey is complete?"
"Oh... that one, it is likely that will not be an option, you know," Legolas said no longer looking at his brother. "I am sorry, that was really selfish of me, that whole argument was very immature on my part. Please forgive me."
"My brother you are not the one that requires forgiveness, I should have trusted you more, I suppose it is just hard to remember that you are a child no longer. Part of me wants you to still be our little elfling who runs up the tallest tree he can find when he's in trouble because he knows his father can not reach him."
Legolas laughed, "it worked though, none of you could reach me, you had to get one of the servants to come and get me."
"You know I should have been able to get up that tree just as easily as you, Allendor and I both should have. We have just as much wood-elf as you do in our blood, but no." Elijah complained with a smile. "You are too much like Mother for your own good, I hope you know."
"Thank you." Legolas said back, the words were said as though they were teasing, but they were meant as a compliment.
"No chance I can convince you to come home with us?" Allendor asked walking over to his brothers, speaking in the common tongue for the sake of the men around them. Many of them were uncomfortable with being unable to understand what the two elves were saying.
"I will return when I am no longer needed here, the only way I will return sooner is my life is no longer connected to this body."
"You know you don't have to sound all poetic about it. It isn't against any moral code to say the word 'die'." Gimli commented, returning to his favorite hobby of picking on his elven friend since he could use Legolas' previous comment as an excuse.
"Fine. If you so wish me to speak as you do then I will." Legolas laughed, beginning an almost embarrassing impression of Gimli that even the wounded men had to laugh at...
"There's two options, laddie. Ether I come back when I'm all good and ready... Or I come back in a body bag."
Gimli moaned in fake impatience. "Awful, simply awful." Gimli clasped Legolas on the back and began to lead him out of the medical ward. "Someday, lad, I'll teach you to be a real warrior." The dwarf said as the elf laughed.
Elijah shook his head at his brother's antics. It was good to know his brother had those he could trust with him in this fool's quest. For this quest held more at stake than nearly all of Middle-Earth realized.
"No i Melain na le gwadur nin. May the Valar protect you in your quest my brother, for I fear your company will need them far more than any other in the coming days."
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