11. Chapter 11
Greenwood the Great: The Tomb of the Queen.
Thranduil was standing by the banks of the river, staring down into the soft, white foam of the crystalline water as it wound its way around the rocks when Adlanniel emerged from the entrance of the tomb.
He turned his head slightly towards her when he heard the tomb's door slide shut. He let out another deep sigh as he turned again to watch the water rush past the jutted rocks.
"There is a deeper pain that you feel..." Adlanniel began softly as she moved to stand beside the Elvenking. She could sense the weight that still hung on in his heart, and the heartache and sorrow that was so apparent in his eyes.
"The queen was not the only one you lost that day...." Her face became saddened and contrite. Through her gift of insight she was able to see the anguish that now grieved the king. It was an unimaginable loss, one that she herself could not bare if she were the one to have suffered from it. It brought an even greater sorrow to her heart to know that her beloved king had been made to suffer so much in his long, immortal life.
Thranduil nodded and looked down at her then.
"She had been with child..." He said softly. "Another reason as to why I had been so adamant on her not leaving our realm. Alas, as I had said, she would have gone with or without my consent."
"How far along had she been in her pregnancy?" Adlanniel asked as she placed her hand on his arm sympathetically.
"Only two moons."
"Does Legolas know of this?"
"No, he does not." Thranduil replied simply, looking back out over the raging current.
"After I had told him of his mother's passing, he fell deathly ill from heartache and anguish. I thought I was going to lose him too.....the only family I had....the only one keeping me alive in my own world of sorrow. Legolas had so been wanting a brother or sister to be brought into this world. That is why the queen and I had tried for another. We were going to wait for the festival of Nost-na-Lothion to part to him the good news, but she was taken before it came about. I could not bare to tell him he had been parted from a potential sibling as well. You already know of how long it took him to recover from the loss of his mother."
"But now that he has become the young warrior prince that he is, why not tell him? He is old enough to understand..." Adlanniel began. Thranduil looked back down to her.
"I have contemplated that thought for a long time my lady...but I know how much it would hurt him. Why would I want to ruin the happiness he now has with you being in his life? It would be selfish of me to take that from him. One day...when the time is right I will tell him. But that time is not now." The king's face suddenly turned serious, his eyes almost cold and unforgiving as he looked deep into her eyes then.
"You are not to say a word to him of the knowledge I have bestowed upon you. That is my burden to bare. Is that understood?"
Adlanniel swallowed her breath hard and gave a nervous nod.
"Of course not heruamin. You have entrusted this knowledge unto me, I will not dare break your trust." She replied honestly as she bowed her head in obeisance.
Thranduil smiled warmly then. He felt like he could entrust anything to her; he was not the type to trust easily. She had a warmth about her that drew in even the coldest of beings and he could not help but allow himself to be bathed in her aura. "Before we return I would like to show you something just upstream." He said gently.
Adlanniel changed her nervous expression to a more relaxed appearance and nodded kindly. "Of course." She agreed before he led her along the rocky banks of the river.
It took only a few minutes for them to reach their destination. It towered there, green amongst the grey of the small ravine they were in. It was a giant weeping willow, its long foliage reaching down into the waters as it stood directly by the river's edge. Thranduil pushed aside the hanging branches for Adlanniel to enter the small clearing that was beneath the magnificent tree.
"Legolas's mother loved to come here..." Thranduil began as he walked over to place his hand gently on the trunk of this most beloved willow.
"She would come here when the palace became too much for her. She would sit by its roots to read and listen to the songs of the wind."
"I can understand why here has such an appeal. It surely is peaceful. Did you come here with her sometimes?" Adlanniel asked, smiling as she looked up at the over hanging greenage of the lush leaves.
"When I was not busy with business of state I would."
"This is a rather secluded place. I'm sure you both were afforded privacy here." Adlanniel grinned a little, a teasing tone lacing her voice. The king had often made jest at her and Legolas's expense; she thought it harmless if she were to do the same. She was caught by quite a surprise when she saw the Elvenking's face flush red briefly. Thranduil grinned back at her, and not wanting to be outdone stated smugly, 'Our knowledge of nature was not the only thing to be created under this tree."
Adlanniel caught the meaning instantly and found her own face blush a crimson hue. Her attempt to stifle an embarrassed giggle failed quite miserably. She could not help but enjoy the moment; the king and herself teasing each other with innuendos of the sexual type. It actually made her feel a slight tingling warmth within at the thought that the graceful king and his queen had possibly conceived the heir of the Woodland realm under this gorgeous tree.
"Is that an honest truth?" Adlanniel asked then, still blushing. Thranduil gave a simple nod and replied, "It is a possibility." And not wanting Adlanniel to focus too much on that thought he continued, "But, hiril vuin, telling you that is not why I brought you here of course. I brought you here as I thought that perhaps this place of peace may be a place of refuge for you as well, if the palace ever becomes overbearing for you."
Adlanniel smiled again then, honoured by the kind gesture.
"Thank you, aran vuin for this warm gesture. I find life within the Woodland palace to be quite enjoyable and exciting. But I think I may come here regardless even if it is just to read and take in the memories and life of this place."
Thranduil smiled down at her in appreciation as he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"I do not wish for this place to be forgotten, nor the memories that dwell here..." He walked over to where the branches hung down into the water of the river, leaning forward to take hold of one strand of green leaves that hung before him. He gazed upon it with a type of affection.
"Each branch of this willow represents a memory." He said, letting the branch flick back into its original place.
"Of which there are indeed many." Adlanniel added, looking up through the thick foliage of the ancient willow. When she brought her eyes back down she was met by the gaze of the king. His eyes were filled with a benevolence for the young elleth he was looking down upon and she returned the feeling through her eyes in kind. But the sudden burning she felt within her again threatened to tell that it was not only benevolence she felt. But what this strange sensation she felt inside herself was, she did not know. It made her feel uneasy, for she did not understand it, but it also made her long for more.
Gazing down upon her flooded his mind with memories of his first love, for both she and Adlanniel were uncannily similar in personality. He thought that perhaps that was why he felt such a paternal affection for her. For within Adlanniel he could remember....but alas it also brought upon a longing, a longing to be loved by an elleth again; to be able to take in her being and beauty and call it his own. He was truly glad however, that his beloved son could now experience these things and understand the feelings of love and passion. But still, despite time and age having preoccupied his mind with other things, being in Adlanniel's presence made him feel a longing for a consort, the desire to feel the intimate pleasure of a woman's touch....
He knew then that he should stop these thoughts and desires immediately and withdraw his gaze. But with Adlanniel's gaze still fixed onto his own he could not. He could sense something within her, though what he could not exactly tell, but whatever it was made his heart swell with a burning heat. With this feeling he smiled affectionately to her and broke their gaze, feeling guilty of what they both may have begun feeling if they had continued. She was the love of his son's life, how could he possibly allow himself to feel anything else other than a paternal bond for her?
Adlanniel blinked a couple of times then like as if she had snapped out of a daze. What had she just felt then? Why had the king held his gaze for so long and why did she allow hers to do the same? What had they both been thinking; feeling? She smiled nervously as she took Thranduil by the arm.
"Let us return, my lord." She began. "For I am sure Legolas is wondering where we have gone."
He nodded in agreement, and smiling like as if what had just occurred was a distant memory he replied, "I am sure he misses your presence." And with that he led the way back to the palace; the two elves remaining in silent contemplation until their return.
Elvish - English translations
Nost-na-Lothion - Spring Festival
Heruamin - My lord
Aran vuin - Beloved king
Hiril vuin - Beloved lady
Elleth - Elf maiden (female)
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.