Chapter 24: Finding A New Voice
Alright, so here is the next chapter, and I decided that I was going to do a more in-depth description of how Legolas actually created his language. I thought that since I really only mentioned it at the beginning, a little bit of a refresher might be in order. Please enjoy!
MuggleCreator: Thank you, and I know…you gotta have the feels for the worried father.
x Say x May x I x: Haha, just know that even though the response wasn't overly detailed and lengthy, it isn't a reflection of how much I actually appreciate each review you send me. So once again, I have to say thank you!
Cottoncandybeefalo: I know, you guys were asking for it for a while, and I finally caved. That is actually kind of what I was hoping for, because I definitely wanted to show how much strain was truly put on Thranduil at having his son captured. I know right! I always feel that people, sometimes myself included, show Thranduil as being stony faced, so I always like to have those moments where the mask comes down, seeing as it gives us a look into the elven-kings true character.
Mjg43: Thank you so much!
HelloDenmark: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I don't think that I could have written Haldir as one of those, it would have pained me too much…and yes, I think that I am going to have at least one scene where Rumil and Orophin are actually shown.
Doctorepic: Thanks, and I most certainly plan to continue on writing!
Teapot of Transformation: Of course! Thanks, I ended up being pretty happy with him myself.
Elf With Redbull: Why thank you! I am glad, I had received so many requests for the Thranduil reaction, so when I was thinking about what to write in that chapter, I caved and put that in. Yep, you shall be seeing more of Haldir, I assure you.
LotR-HP-PJ: I know, it is pretty painful, but necessary. Anyway, I totally know what you mean with the feels. They are freaking overwhelming sometimes! And I am I the only one who is totally stoked for the extended edition to come out?! I enjoy writing them, they are my way of saying thanks, quite literally, so thank you!
The Willow Maiden: Oh, I assure you I don't mean to make you cry, but I am glad that you liked the chapter. Thank you so much! That actually one of the greatest compliments in my opinion, because that is one of my main goals when I write this stuff. I hope you enjoy the rest of this story!
Guest: So I just used google translate, and thank you!
Schattenjagd: I know, you and many others. Thanks, I like to try and keep my writing as true to Tolkien as possible while not directly copying it, and making sure that my own original ideas are thoroughly integrated.
"Goodnight Legolas, and if you would like, my brothers and I would like to invite you to join us for another bout on the training grounds tomorrow morning. That is, if you think that you can stand the swarming maidens again?"
The prince shot the marchwarden a scathing look, but the teasing smile that Haldir was wearing softened Legolas' expression. He nodded his consent, placed a hand on the Galadhrim's shoulder, and then pulled out his ever-handy piece of parchment. A quick message was scribbled down before being shown to Haldir by a wood-elf, now wearing an equally teasing grin.
Don't act like you aren't jealous Haldir, and I would love to come.
The Galadhrim raised an eyebrow at the prince's remark, but burst into laughter mere seconds later. As the soldier continued to chuckle, Legolas smiled broadly and turned to walk the rest of the way back to the fellowship's pavilion. However, before he could take more than a dozen steps, Haldir grabbed his upper arm. The prince turned back around to face the other elf in confusion, only to find the Galadhrim smiling at him good-naturedly.
"Legolas, you do know that should you feel the need, you can seek me out to lend an ear. You were pretty caught up in your thoughts earlier, and I just wanted to make sure that you know you don't have to keep everything locked up so tightly."
The prince dipped his head in thanks and firmly grasped Haldir's forearm. The two made eye contact for another minute or two before Legolas made an over dramatic bow, causing Haldir to roll his eyes, before rising with a bright smile. He made a curt waving motion with his right hand, before signing a short message to test how much Haldir had learned the other day.
Goodnight my friend, and thank you.
The marchwarden mimicked the gesture the prince had made seconds before, and replied in kind.
"Goodnight indeed, and yes you should be impressed as of right now."
Legolas chuckled silently as Haldir smirk in triumph over his memory, before he swiveled on his heel and lithely bounded up the steps leading deeper into Lothlorien. The woodland prince watched his form disappear, before he himself turned, and leisurely made his way back to where the fellowship was staying. By the time he actually entered the pavilion, the sky was a deep navy blue, and the stars shone brightly through the tree branches.
The elven prince silently made his way through the groupings of beds, careful not to wake the soundly sleeping fellowship, and eventually Legolas reached his own pack and sleeping roll. He quickly rummaged through his pack for a clean tunic and leggings when he realized that he was still wearing the same clothes from the mines of Moria. The elf took a moment to marvel at the fact that he had been so scatter brained that he hadn't thought to change into clean clothing until now, before he silently striped and pulled the new silky fabric over his head and up his long legs. Once all of the various clasps and ties were finished off, the prince turned his gaze to the dirtied cloth before him. His eyes saddened as he picked up the well-worn tunic.
Idly Legolas rubbed the fabric between his pale fingers, for he couldn't help but think of Gandalf as he gazed upon the last thing he wore with the wizard. In some ways, this was his last tie to the beloved man, and that killed him. Oh how he missed Gandalf! Ivory eyelids slid over troubled icy blue as the elf calmed his breathing, and therefore his emotions. When he opened his eyes, Legolas quickly shoved the two pieces of fabric into his pack, no longer being able to withstand the overwhelming emotion that came along with the sight of them.
Legolas stared at his pack for another few seconds before shaking his head to clear his thoughts, and moved to lay down on his bedroll. Once he was settled on his back, the elf folded his hands over his chest and released a sigh. He gently closed his eyes and allowed the elven realm of reverie to overtake him.
The large wooden doors were extremely daunting to the single wood-elf who stood before them. They signified a physiological wall that the prince had been trying to pull down for nearly a year now, and while he was most definitely excited to finally break through, now that he was presented with an opportunity—even one as seemingly simple as opening a door—he didn't know if he could do it.
Nervously he straightened out his formal attire, needing something to do with his hands. When he was satisfied that he looked his best, the elf turned his gaze back to the metal handles that lay inches away from his pale fingers, yet he honestly couldn't force himself to move them the remaining distance.
A sigh left Legolas' lips as he stamped his foot in frustration. Why couldn't he just open the God damn doors!
"Are you ready ion-nin?" (my son)
The prince jumped a foot at the voice behind him, and the hand that clasped his shoulder. Legolas spun around and smiled gently when he saw that the voice was his father, who had a playfully concerned look within his eyes. The king frowned when Legolas didn't make any sort of sign that he had heard the question. Instead, the archer's blue eyes had strayed towards the looming wooden doors hiding the council room. Understanding flashed before Thranduil's eyes and he brought a hand up to Legolas' cheek, drawing the prince's attention back to his father's face. The king raised an eyebrow and smiled gently.
"It is alright to be nervous Legolas, I would be surprised if you weren't."
Legolas glanced up at his father and nodded mechanically. However, his eyes almost immediately focused back in on the wooden doors. He wasn't just nervous, he was absolutely terrified. This was to be the first council meeting he attended since he was captured. Sure, he had been to hundreds of council meetings in his life, yet this one seemed to be the only one that actually mattered. If he could make it through this, then Legolas felt he could survive integrating himself back into normal everyday societal life within Mirkwood. Of course the lack of his speech was still a large hurdle, but he was making it work through a rather complicated combination of scribbles on parchment, and mouthed words.
"Legolas, if you don't want to do this-"
Legolas cut his father off with a sharp shake of his head. He then looked at the king and released a silent sigh. Once again he shook his head, confirming the fact that he wanted to go forward with meeting. Thranduil observed him carefully for another moment before nodding and discreetly reaching down to grab his son's hand.
"Alright, just relax and focus. If it becomes too much, do not feel the need stay."
The prince nodded and gave his father's hand a squeeze, needing one more moment of reassurance. He then took a centering breath and made a move to firmly grasp the door handle with his free hand. The fingers of said hand wrapped around the handle, yet the appendage refused to actually push forward and open the door.
Legolas' brow furrowed in frustration when he couldn't push himself to move forward. A rush of hot air raced out of his nostrils, and he dropped Thranduil's hand to apply force to the second handle. Again he just stood there, his grip on the door firm, but he just couldn't gather the mental strength to enter the council room. Legolas felt anger gathering in his blood at his own weakness, but before he could lose himself to it, he felt another comforting hand wrap around one of his own. He turned to look at his father, and smiled thankfully. Thranduil returned the smile and applied pressure to his son's hand.
Finally the door opened and Legolas' breath left his lungs.
Inside the council room sat each and every one of his father's advisors, and they all turned to watch as the two royals entered the room. Some of them smiled, others looked concerned about whether or not Legolas would be okay to do this, and the rest just looked passive as Thranduil approached his rightful spot at the head of the table. However, he paused halfway there when he noticed that one, the elves in the room were watching the door with worried expressions, and two, no longer could he feel Legolas' presence at his side. He turned back towards the door and he released a heavy sigh.
Legolas was still standing in the doorway, a positively petrified look swimming in his blue eyes.
Thranduil silently and calmly walked over to where his son was standing, and when he reached Legolas, he placed both palms on either side of his son's face. The prince's eyes shifted away from the councilors, and towards his father's face. The two made eye contact and Thranduil smiled.
"Don't pay attention to them ion-nin. You're okay Legolas, you are okay." (my son)
The prince swallowed and nodded, moving out of his father's embrace, and quickly walked over to the seat at his father's right. He folded his hands on the table and straightened his back. Legolas then turned to look expectantly at his father, tilting his head to the side. Thranduil chuckled at his son's actions and swiftly moved to sit beside him. Once he was settled, the king turned to his advisors, and with a pleased smile he cleared his throat.
"Very well then, shall we start?"
The councilors smiled genuinely and waited for Thranduil to begin speaking.
The council meeting went on seamlessly, and soon everyone was filing out of the room to attend to other tasks that needed to be done. That is, everyone except for the prince and king. The two remained where they were sitting, Legolas staring intently at the table, and Thranduil staring intently at his son. The king was waiting patiently for his son to give some sort of indicator of how he was feeling, when suddenly Legolas grinned and bolted from the table. Sitting in shocked silence, the king raised an eyebrow and shook his head at his son's very strange behavior. At least Legolas was smiling when he left, the king thought with a sigh. The king then gathered up the stack of papers sitting in front of him, and wandered out of the room, casually wondering what on earth his son was up to.
In fact, the king didn't actually see his son until dinner later that night. The king was idly sipping his wine, when his son practically skipped into the room. Legolas was smiling ear to ear, and he was vibrating with excitement for some reason unknown to the king. He watched with confusion as Legolas raced over to his spot next to him, and looked up eagerly. Thranduil smiled and coaxed his son to continue.
"May I ask what has gotten you so excited ion-nin?" (my son)
The prince nodded and took a deep breath. Almost immediately his smile was back on his face, and the king couldn't help but smile himself. It had been over four years since he had last seen his son so happy, and he would do anything to keep such a smile permanently glued to Legolas' rosy lips. The king was drawn from his musings when Legolas thrust a piece of parchment—he consistently used nowadays—into his hands. He quickly unfolded the parchment, but what he read was quite possibly the last thing that thought he would see, 'Ada, I think that I found a way for me to get my voice back' (father).
Thranduil turned shocked eyes to his beaming son. He dropped his jaw, because for once in his life, he was at a loss of what to say. He gaped for another few minutes before he set the parchment down on the table.
"Legolas…I…How ion-nin? Even Lord Elrond was at a loss for what was given to you…" (my son)
The prince dipped his head in acknowledgement before reaching for the piece of parchment again. He quickly scrawled a message across the material before handing back to his father. Legolas then sat, not so patiently, while his father read, 'Well not in a literal sense ada. I figured it out this morning at the council meeting. Have you ever noticed that when your advisors speak, they use their hands?' (father).
Thranduil nodded and raised his eyebrow, still confused.
"Yes, I know what you are talking about Legolas, but I still do not understand."
The prince just smiled and once again wrote out what he wanted to say, before handing it to his father. 'What I am getting at is, what if instead of words I used my hands? Think about it ada, each letter could be symbolized as a hand signal, just like the ones that are used on patrols. Then I could also have gestures for common words like hello and goodbye. It could work, and of course it would take some work for me and for others around me to learn, but it would be a better way to live than constantly carrying a quill and parchment with me. I've already started creating them, I could show you if you want?' (father)
Thranduil regarded his son for a moment as he steepled his fingers under his chin. It was then that the king smiled with the traces of tears in his eyes. He moved one hand to grab the closest one of Legolas' before giving it a squeeze. When he spoke, his voice was somewhat strangled by his emotions.
"I would be honored if you showed me Legolas."
It was then that the king realized he hadn't ever seen his son as happy as he was in that moment, when the prince reached up and pulled his father into a close embrace.
The elf stretched languidly, his movements akin to that of a cat as a silent yawn passed his lips. He had to blink several times to clear the glaze of reverie from the deep blue of his eyes, but once his vision was clear, he slowly sat up and glanced around the area. Only the first rays of sunlight were filtering into the fellowship's pavilion, so everyone else within the fellowship was still asleep.
Careful not wake the others, Legolas gently rose and silently gathered up his weapons. He wandered over towards the exit of the pavilion, absentmindedly grabbing a piece of lembas from the forgotten plate of food brought in the night before, but just as he was about to step outside he stopped. The prince then quickly scribbled down a message concerning his whereabouts for the ranger—knowing from personal experience that Aragorn's mother-hen nature could come through quite strongly when he was anxious—and placed it next to the man's head so he could easily find it. Satisfied with the explanation, Legolas meandered towards the training grounds, hoping to get in some actually practice, because he knew that once the Lorien brothers arrived, nothing by mayhem would ensue.
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