Prompt # 64: Shadow
Silently, Legolas and his companions slipped from the secret corridor leading from the halls into the wooded hillside, where they quickly ascended into the tall trees and disappeared from sight of any watchers, or so they thought. Unbeknownst to them, serious and thoughtful green eyes continued to watch the place where they had melded into the greenery of the forest. He waited perhaps a quarter of an hour, then he slipped into the trees as well, traveling in a slightly more northwest direction from where the three conspirators had vanished, before angling back towards the others' trek.
"Where is it, Legolas? Orthoron asked impatiently of his little brother, looking around the small clearing northwest of the King's halls where Legolas had led them. They had been standing here for at least half an hour while Legolas searched the trees surrounding the small break in the forest. Turning his irritated gaze back towards his youngest brother, who was looking somewhat confused, Orthoron sighed heavily in annoyance.
"Legolas," Anoriel walked over to Legolas and turned him towards her with a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Are you sure this is where you left it? Many of these clearings look the same. Maybe it was..."
"NO!" Legolas pulled from her grasp with a look of severe indignation, backing away from both of his siblings. "I left it here. Just because I am the youngest does not mean I do not know these woods. Just because Naneth taught all of you the woods…" his voice cracked but he pushed on defiantly. "Just because she's not here to teach me doesn't mean I do not know where I left something. It's here!" he declared forcefully before his voice became softer, sounding a bit confused. "Somewhere..." His eyes continued to peer into the depths of the forest, but his shoulders had begun to slump.
Orthoron, having little patience for such things, glanced around the clearing once more before rolling his eyes and turning his feet back in the direction of the halls. "Great joke, little brother," he called over his shoulder. "You had me there for a while. I can't believe I fell for it." He stopped abruptly and turned to pin Legolas with a look. "I do not think you really took it, Legolas. It has to have been a prank by one of the king's captains. Tórchal especially would like to do something like this to make the king look less composed in the court. Now, I'm going home." He stared hard at his sister, bidding her with a look to follow.
Anoriel concurred with a frown. "This is not funny, Legolas. You could have just told Father that you didn't do it, instead of dragging us out here. Come on, we're going back." She reached for their adolescent brother, but fury flashed in his young face.
Gold hair tossed and grey eyes flashed in indignation. "You go back. I'm staying here until I find it again. And you cannot stop me!" Turning, Legolas quickly darted into the trees, swiftly becoming one with them in a way that startled his older siblings.
"Legolas!" Anoriel called irritably, "We cannot leave you out here alone! Come back here."
Orthoron snorted. "Like that will bring him back." A dark glare was his reward for that statement. "Oh, by the stars, let's go after him, if it keeps you from worrying, but I think he's fine out here by himself. It's time to let him grow up, Anoriel."
"I know," she whispered, "but the king would never forgive us if harm befell him. I doubt you can track him. I wish Belthul had come. Perhaps I could..."
A dark shadow separated itself from the trees near where Legolas had disappeared. Orthoron and Anoriel both paused in alarm, until the figure threw back the hood of his cloak, revealing golden hair and green eyes that glittered like emeralds. After holding them both speechless in his gaze for several moments, he spoke with authority. "Return to the halls. I will bring the little one home."
The siblings bowed their heads. "As you wish, my lord," Orthoron said, taking his sister by the hand and leading her quickly from the clearing and away from the cloaked figure, who disappeared once more into the forest.
To Be Continued…
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.