36. Feanor Reborn
The dwarf let her out the Eastgate and told her never to come back. So it looked like Aica was finding a new way home. Oh well. She'd always wanted to see how the southern lands of Middle-Earth had changed.
It was a short walk from the slopes of the mountains to where the forest started, and here was where Aica had to be careful. This forest was crawling with elves, and getting turned into an arrow pincushion was not in her plans.
"You stay here," she ordered her horse, hopping off. It was safer to continue on foot. Maybe the elves wouldn't notice her, although the rumors said that Galadriel had a ring of her own. She would, at least.
So Aica had to make this quick.
"You better find what you need real damn fast," Aica muttered to the palantir. If it came to a fight, it was going to be hard to fend off fierce elven warriors with one hand clutching the crystal ball.
As she hurried through the forest, Aica kept her eyes and ears sharp for any hint of sound or movement. She had the definite feeling that Galadriel knew she was here, but she didn't feel like she was being watched.
"I don't even know where I'm going," she mumbled as she jumped over a stream and crashed through a pile of leaves.
That night proved to be a lucky one. Hopelessly lost in the forest, Aica wouldn't have been able to find her way in the day, but in the night… Their city was lit up like the night sky.
Grinning, Aica moved toward the enormous trees that held Lorien's city. Nice idea, she thought. Although I wouldn't enjoy living in a tree. I suppose it must be an elf thing.
It was dawn when Aica reached the trees. She would've gotten there sooner but she was worried about running into a bunch of elves. However, recently, she had hit upon a brilliant idea.
Using the palantir, she would scout out the immediate area. If it was empty, she ran through it. If not, she waited for the elven patrol to pass by.
Now, she thought as she approached the huge trees, which one of these would most likely have something valuable in it? All of them, probably. But which one looks the best? Let's try the biggest.
All the trees were full of elves, but Aica was crouched in a crack in one of the trees and safely out of the way. No one could see her; she'd checked. As she looked into the palantir, she smiled as she saw the large tree was mostly empty. Most of its inhabitants were up near the canopy, having a meeting or something.
Good for me, Aica thought, scurrying out of her hiding place and scampering up a staircase in the trunk. Just move fast. That's the key.
~You're close,~ Feanor hissed in her mind. ~Keep going. There'll be something here. I can feel Galadriel close by though. Watch out for her.~
She's probably one of the people in the meeting, Aica thought. Got to be careful though. I do not want to run into her.
There were buildings built on platforms supported by the tree limbs. Seeing an elf approaching in the palantir, Aica ducked into the first one, hoping it was empty. If it wasn't, well, no one would find the body for a while.
It was a brightly lit room, but rather plain and empty. There was a bed along one wall, and a chest near it. A closet was on the other side of the room.
Might as well start here, Aica thought. She hurried over to the chest and opened it, scanning the contents. Clothes. Damn. She was hoping for something better. Oh well, maybe the closet would have something useful.
Dammit! Aica spun around, panic seizing her. She relaxed when she realized it wasn't some intruder, but only a pale elf in the bed.
"You don't look well," Aica muttered, drawing her dagger and approaching the figure. "Let me put you out of your misery."
~Don't even think about it,~ Feanor warned her.
Why not? He's in my way.
~I will not have any more elven blood on my hands.~
Aica sighed and sheathed her dagger. "You're hallucinating," she told the elf. He was horribly thin and pale. His bones stood out like a skeleton's though he was obviously just a child. His gray eyes were cloudy and his black hair was lank.
"No, I'm not your father. You're dreaming. Go back to sleep."
The elf quieted down and Aica walked over to the closet. It was empty.
"Dammit!" she muttered. Now she had to find another building.
As she was leaving, the sick elf started coughing.
"Stop it!" Aica hissed. "Be quiet!"
The elf coughed louder and Aica could see blood on his lips. As she watched in horror he convulsed and shook, blood gushing from his mouth.
"Stop making so much noise!" Aica hissed. He was dying. It was somehow more horrifying than actually killing a man in battle.
A glance in the palantir told Aica that people were coming. They were close by and running wasn't an option. So she had to hide.
Planning to hide under the bed, Aica ran over to the elf, but as she slid under the bed, the elf's death throes caused his hand to flail wildly and land on the palantir.
His hand stuck to it.
"Dammit!" Aica muttered, trying to pry the elf's fingers from the stone. But it was no use. They were stuck fast.
The door opened and Aica ducked under the bed, hoping she was hidden. She also hoped the palantir would stay stuck to the elf's hand. Maybe they wouldn't notice.
"Oh Elbereth," someone whispered. Aica winced. The word burned her ears.
"My son!" an anguished man exclaimed. The elf's father. Aica felt a twinge of sympathy for him. "No, no! He was doing so well!"
"It had to come sometime," the woman said quietly. "There simply was nothing I could do."
"No! I should've taken him to the Havens! The Valar could've healed him! I should've sent him over the sea!"
Aica noticed an irritable feeling in her finger and gasped in horror as she saw her ring was glowing. Clapping a hand over it, she wondered what could possibly be making this happen.
Oh. Of course. The woman was Galadriel, bearer of a ring herself.
"Shall I leave you here?" Galadriel asked quietly.
"Yes," the elf said. "Yes. I'll just stay here. With him."
"I'm very sorry for your loss. I thought –"
"I thought…my foresight is not often wrong."
"What did you see?" the elf asked.
"I saw a destiny for him."
"Well, it was wrong, wasn't it?" the elf snapped. "He's dead."
"I am sorry, my friend."
"When Elrond comes tell him to go back to Imladris. I don't want to see him and there's nothing he can do."
"I will, my friend."
The door closed softly behind Galadriel and Aica breathed a sigh of relief. At least she was with a less dangerous foe now. Probably.
The ring had stopped glowing as well. Things were starting to look up.
The palantir fell.
Suppressing a scream of horror, Aica lunged for the crystal ball and just managed to catch it. She wondered if the elf had heard the noise. No, he was probably too wrapped up in his private misery.
"What is this?" he murmured and Aica stiffened in terror. He heard me, she thought.
"It can't be!" the elf gasped, his voice joyous. "Galadriel!" he yelled. "He's got a pulse! My son is alive!"
The door flew open and Aica's ring started glowing again.
"What is it?" the Lady of the Golden Wood asked. "He's alive?"
"Yes, yes! He's alive!"
"He is," Galadriel murmured in astonishment. "It seems my foresight may come true after all."
"He's alive!" The elf was practically weeping in joy and relief. "Son! Say something! Please!"
"Father?" the elf's son mumbled. "Is that you?"
"Yes, yes, it's me! Oh, thank the Valar! You're alive!"
"Yes, I am." There was something in the son's voice that made Aica's spine shiver. There was the small matter of him actually dying – she was sure he'd died – and then waking up again. And the palantir had stuck to his hand. What did that mean?
Aica looked into the palantir, hoping Feanor would answer her questions. He didn't. In fact, there was no gray mist or anything. It was empty.
"I feel very tired, Father," the son said. "I need to sleep."
"Indeed, my friend," Galadriel said. "Your son is weak though I feel no presence of illness in him," she said, her voice warm and happy. "He will make a full recovery."
"Thank the Valar," the elf whispered. "Thank the Valar."
The door shut behind the two of them, and Aica wondered if she was going to have to wait until the elf was asleep until she could escape.
"You can come out now," the son said.
"What?" Aica gasped, so surprised she couldn't help it.
"Come out, Aica," the elf snapped. "I'm not going to wait forever. And I am tired. Magic like I just did was no easy feat."
"Feanor?" Aica muttered, crawling out from under the bed. "Is that why the palantir stuck to the elf?"
"Yes," the elf – Feanor – said. He already looked healthier. "The boy is dead, his soul is in Mandos now. But as he died, I was able to come in and take over this body. He's about twenty, I think," he said, smiling as he admired his new body. "A bit weak, but I can deal with that."
"So you're the son of a friend of Galadriel's," Aica said. "Won't she know who you really are?"
Feanor frowned. "Maybe. I wonder what this destiny is she's talking about. I don't want to die again. It was most unpleasant the first time."
"Maybe it'll be something good," Aica said. "Say, this place has a window." She walked over to the window and looked out. "I think I can get out from here."
"Go," Feanor said. "Someone will be back soon."
"Do you even know who you are now?" Aica asked.
"No. I'll pretend I have amnesia. That should work. I hope I'm important," Feanor muttered. He smiled. "I like this body though. I feel so young again!"
"Good for you," Aica said. "You owe me though!"
"Yes, yes, I'll remember it," Feanor said.
Aica doubted he would. He's going to conveniently forget everything tomorrow, she thought as she crawled out the window and down the tree.
Meanwhile, in the room, Feanor stretched, enjoying the feeling of a real body. As he relaxed, the door opened and an elf, his father, walked in. He's a Sindar, Feanor thought with a sneer. But then again, so am I, I suppose. Damn.
"I'm afraid you'll just have to sleep while I'm in the room," he said. "I can't let you die on me again." He was still shaking from the horror of having his son apparently die. Little did he realize that his son really was dead.
"Father," Feanor said, "I…I can't remember anything. My life…it's a blur."
The elf's face fell. "You only remember me?"
"Yes, Father. But everything else…"
"At least you're alive," the elf murmured. "At least you're alive. Nothing else matters."
"Father…who am I?"
The elf closed his eyes. "I am Thranduil, king of Mirkwood," he said. "And you are my son, Legolas."
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.