18. Whispering Wind; Anger Unleashed
Whispering Wind; Anger Unleashed
The sun was slowly setting, sinking from the sky, filling the city with a golden light. She found him again in the tower. This time she did not ask what troubled him, she already knew.
"He only wants what is best for his son. His intentions are not to cause you injury. He is much changed, though you still see him as the king who harmed you. He is now the father he should have been all along." Arwen spoke softly as she walked up behind her husband.
"Yet he injures me all the same." Aragorn's voice was filled with grief. "I thought when Legolas declared he would not go back to the Greenwood, that would be the end of it. I was foolish to wish it so. Thranduil may want what is best for his son, but it is too soon to push Legolas to seek healing in Valinor. He suffers from the sea longing enough without the added pressure from his father. I fear it hinders his memories from returning. It forces him to focus on the call and I see him drowning in it."
Arwen closed her eyes, seeing again the past three weeks. She agreed with him, it was too soon. There was still much hope of Legolas being fully restored to them. The king of Eryn Lasgalen saw only his son's pain and agony from the call of the sea. It had never been so exposed to Thranduil before. If it had been, if Legolas had not concealed how deeply it affected him, the elven king would have ordered his son to sail long ago, instead of allowing him to bring elves to Ithilien.
"Do you think speaking to Thranduil will make him see his error? Nay, for it is not the loss of memory that drives him to see Legolas seek healing in Valinor. It is the call of the sea itself. Legolas must choose his own path. Whether he remembers or not, his choices are his alone to make, and it is our duty to support him in them." Arwen spoke her words holding much conviction.
"Even if that choice takes him from us, before he would have chosen to go if he remembered? I do not want to lose him, Arwen." It was one of the saddest tones she had ever heard coming from him.
"Yes," she answered.
The stone was closing in on him. He had remained here too long. Legolas had never liked being enclosed by stone, that much he knew. The few gardens in the city offered little comfort and too few whispers from the plants within. The wind spoke of a beautiful forest. There he could find some comfort. Perhaps there he would find some peace.
The elven prince made his decision, and went to speak to his father. Thranduil was not displeased with his son's choice but voiced his concerns and what he perceived Legolas was seeking.
"Legolas, if you are not regaining your memories here, among those you were closest to, why do you think Ithilien will be any different? I do not say, not to go, for I am sure Tathar and your subjects wish to see you greatly, and seeing them may help. I only think you seek answers where you will not find them. I do not wish to see your heart despair when you find no comfort under the trees. You will only find it in the West. I wish it were otherwise, but that is the nature of the sea. You will be in torment until you relent." The king spoke with much sadness in his voice.
Deep down Legolas knew his father was correct. There would be no peace for him any longer in Arda. Yet he sought it all the same, to find something...anything to bring comfort to his tortured heart that ached deeply. He sensed it was not only the sea that caused this pain and he looked to the trees and the forest of his home for some answers. Surely there, he would remember something.
"I am going nonetheless, Ada. I request that you and Anariel travel with me. I would not be parted from you just yet, and I may have need of you there." Legolas spoke hesitantly, needing his family with him to help with the adjustment in returning to his realm. A lord who did not remember his people, or his land.
Eowyn was angry. Very angry. She did not notice the servants and guards that gave her a wide berth as she moved through the halls. They had learned when the White Lady was angry, it was better to put distance between the lady and yourself. Even the king of Gondor was known to avoid her when she was in such a foul mood.
The lady turned a corner and almost ran into the party for whom she had been seeking. Her eyes flashed as they came up to hold the eyes of the king of Eryn Lasgalen. For a moment, she thought she saw him flinch. Inwardly, she smiled. Good, let him fear.
"King Thranduil, I would have a word with you." Eowyn did not ask.
The king did manage a small smile before replying, "Of course, my lady. How may I help you?"
"It is not I that needs your help! If you seek to help one, then I suggest you help your son. He is in dire need of your support, not your pushing him to sail or return to the Greenwood." Eowyn presented a fiery air and the elven king actually took a step back in surprise.
"My lady, I assure you I only wish what is best for my so.."
Eowyn interrupted, too upset to think about the political blunders she was making in speaking in such a manner to the King of Eryn Lasgalen. Indeed she was speaking to the father of her good friend, the father who was unknowingly hurting his son more.
"As locking Aragorn in your dungeons was in Legolas's best interest? Or have you forgotten the wedge that drove between you and your son? As was in refusing to give Legolas your blessing in moving to Ithilien to be near those he loved? Do you have any idea the pain you caused him? It would seem to me you hardly know what is in your son's best interest. So I will tell you!"
King Thranduil was getting the tongue lashing of his life. And by a lady, no less. The worst part was the fiery female was hitting the elven king straight in the heart. She had his undivided attention. Eowyn had stopped to take a breath before letting him know exactly what his son needed.
"Legolas is in enough pain without you pushing him to face it further. He needs someone to stand by his side and encourage him to fight for his memories, not simply run away from the pain. He needs someone to remind him of his love for Ithilien and his people, someone to offer a shoulder to cry on when the pain is too great. A father to realize that his son would be in even more pain, if he sailed and only remembered after it was too late, that he had broken his vow to those he held dearest to his heart."
The lady stopped and by this time her anger had faded. Tears ran down her face as she stood there, eyes no longer holding his, but looking off over his shoulder. She took a shuddering breath before looking up again.
"I'm sorry," she almost whispered. "I should not have spoken so freely. But it is still the truth, and you needed to know." Without giving Thranduil a chance to even respond, she turned and fled.
Thranduil turned around intending to go back to his room. He needed to consider what he had just been told. When he turned, he realized someone was standing just down the hall. He paused, taking in the form of the King of Gondor.
Aragorn had heard a raised female voice and headed quickly in that direction. Ladies in distress was something he knew how to handle, unlike the situation with his good friend. As he drew near however, he stopped and just stared at the sight before him.
Eowyn was telling King Thranduil exactly what she thought. He could not stop the small smile from crossing his lips. He had been on that end of the lady's wrath before; he much preferred watching others take the brunt of it. But the smile turned to a frown as Aragorn took in what the lady was saying.
Shock held him in place as the lady continued her tirade. How many times had he wished to say the same things to Legolas's father? But the man had not been able to bring himself to face down the formidable king, except for on two instances.
The first had been when he had caught the creature Gollum and had taken it to Mirkwood at Gandalf's request. He had been able to stand strong in the resolve that the wizard wanted the creature there. Legolas had stood with him and Aragorn had not been the young man he had been before when in the king's realm. The second had been the night Legolas had awakened, more than three weeks ago.
As the words came to an emotional end, Aragorn looked up and caught Eowyn's eye. The man would not say a word about her lecture to Thranduil, be it in bad political taste or not. But he could see the pain in Eowyn's eyes as she realized he had been listening. And he saw her realize her error. Her eyes went back to the elven king.
"I'm sorry. I should not have spoken so freely. But it is still the truth, and you needed to know." Aragorn watched her flee and the elven king turn. The man held his ground and met the eyes of Thranduil evenly. He would not apologize for the words that should have been his own.
The king of Gondor started to turn and just leave the elf standing there, but Thranduil stopped him.
"King Elessar." Thranduil walked up to the man. Aragorn held his gaze and waited.
The elven king regarded him for a moment, then smiled. "She's right, you know. I have not considered my son so much as myself." His eyes trailed to the painting on the wall, it was one of Ithilien.
"I have not been much of a father to my children since their mother died. I was not there for them when they needed me the most. Legolas especially." The elven king continued to study the painting. "My son was right in seeking friends who could support him when I would not." Thranduil brought his eyes back to the shocked king of Gondor. "Thank you for being his friend, despite the foolishness of a stubborn king and father."
Aragorn did not know how to respond, so he simply nodded.
"Legolas has expressed his desire to return to Asca Nen and has asked Anariel and myself to accompany him. I believe I can do that now. Though you do not ask it, I give you my promise I will be there for him. I will push him no longer. If Legolas decides to sail, it must be his decision alone." Thranduil searched the man's eyes and Aragorn smiled.
"I am glad." Was all the man could say as he nodded his head. He continued standing in the hall as the father of his friend walked away. His heart had lifted and once again he had hope.
Gimli stood in the courtyard outside the stable, waiting for his turn to say goodbye to his friend. Thranduil and Anariel had already taken their leave and were mounted and waiting with the king's guards for Legolas to do the same.
The dwarf had been willing to go with Legolas, but the elf had requested to go with only his family. That decision did not sit well with the dwarf, but he had to respect the elf's wishes.
So, Gimli watched as Arwen and Eowyn hugged him goodbye, and the dwarf smiled at the awkward, almost shy way the elf returned the hugs. Legolas clasped Faramir's wrist in the ways of men, then turned to Aragorn. The man and elf spoke a few words of farewell before taking the other's shoulder in an elven warrior's salute.
Then the elf turned towards the dwarf, and the others moved back. Gimli stepped forward and eyed the prince carefully.
"I don't like this, lad. Not one bit...but I'll respect it. I hope you find what you're looking for there. Tathar will take good care of you, I have no doubt." Gimli smiled. "He might even be able to get you to eat enough to put some meat back on your bones."
Legolas returned the smile. "I will miss you, Gimli. Thank you for all your help. I promise to keep in touch." The elf reached out and placed a hand on the dwarf's shoulder. Gimli lifted his own hand and grasped the elf's wrist, just above where the elf's hand rested on his chain mail.
"I won't be returning to Rohan just yet. The city builders have requested my help further with those caves. A group from Aglarond will be arriving in the next few days. I will be here for another month. If you need anything, Legolas, just send word." The Gimli looked up at his friend, sincerity in his eyes.
Legolas looked at him thoughtfully for a few moments. "I promise I will send for you if I get too bored." The elf smiled. "Goodbye Gimli."
The elf moved away and mounted Celedae easily. He joined his family and they rode down the street towards the lower levels. Legolas looked over his shoulder and lifted a hand in farewell. He turned back around, and was lost from sight as they rounded a corner.
The dwarf moved away with the others, heading back to the seventh level. But he did not go to the palace with them. Instead he headed past the white tree, to the jutting of rock that rose some six hundred feet above the city overlooking the Pelannor fields. From there he watched the group of elves headed towards Ithilien. He stayed long after they were out of sight.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.