A Daughter of the King - Chapter Thirty-Two

"Ah," Legolas sighed, sipping his wine, "it is good to be in Imladris again."

"I would have to agree, Brother," Elwen nodded, eating some of the fruit.

Mandy listened to all of the sounds at the feast. The voices raised in song or talking. Occasionally there was ringing laughter, especially near the Hobbits. Mandy was enjoying the feast when all of a sudden, someone was yelling for a poem. Mandy's eyes strayed over the crowd, finding a Hobbit. He was very old but bore a striking resemblance to Frodo.

"Celebel," Mandy leaned over to her, "who is that Perian?"

"Him?" Tethcelebel motioned at the Hobbit, "Why, that is Bilbo."

"Bilbo?" Mandy looked questioningly at her.

"He is Frodo's uncle and has been living at Imladris for the last couple years. I have met him before, at Mirkwood. He is a fun old Hobbit. Quite famous for his writings." Tethcelebel explained, "Sh...listen."

"Well, my good elves," Bilbo waved a hand at them from atop his chair, "what would you like to hear?"

"Anything, my good Perian." Elrond smiled from his seat.

"Very well, Lord Elrond." Bilbo smiled back, thinking of a good poem, "Ah! I've got one!" Cheers and applause answered this statement.

"Three Elflings, one dark-haired like her mother,
One light-coloured like his father,
Another light-coloured also, like her
(Hoots and laughter came at the beginning of his poem because all of the elves knew he was talking about Legolas, Elwen, and Tethcelebel who had been inseparable since birth it seemed.)
"Adventures many they had together,
In Lorien, Imladris, and Mirkwood,
Along with a human girl, in whose blood flowed
The kingly line of the Dunedain.
Ohtarwen, she is,
A beautiful maid and strong,
Much like her mother she appeared,
While her father's warrior spirit
Is seen in her.
Elwen-Lothnar, graced with her mother's features,
Her dark hair falling like a cascading crown,
Her temper quick, her stroke swift,
A mighty warrior but a gentle spirit.
Legolas Greenleaf, brother to Elwen,
Hair and temper like his father's,
A warrior worthy of the name.
Tethcelebel, graced with her grandmother's
Eyes like jewels, hair like starlight,
Calm and joyful, though a warrior if need be.
Best of friends, these four are,
Loyal and willing to die for each other.
Friends, they define the meaning,
Just ask them all that they have been through,
And they will tell you about
Their adventures in Lorien, with orcs,
In Mirkwood with spiders,
And even in the Great Battle.
These three will always be there for each other,
And will even go to Valinor together,
Mayhap smuggling a human girl along with them." Bilbo sat down, drinking more of the wine.
Cheers, applause, and laughter answered this poem. Legolas, Tethcelebel, and Elwen exchanged glances, rolling their eyes. It seemed that every-time they came to Imladris, Bilbo would always do a poem about them. They got used to it, laughing along with the rest of them.

"That was an entertaining poem." Mandy laughed at their looks. She searched for Bilbo, spotting him talking with Elrond. She stood carefully, grasping the arm of a young elf who was stationed beside her to help her. He led her over to Bilbo. She sat down next to him, waiting patiently to talk with him. He felt her watching him and turned. She smiled at him, looking into his old but twinkling merrily eyes.

"Hello," Bilbo said, his eyes questioning, "who are you? I don't believe I've seen you here before."

"No, you haven't," Mandy laughed, "I am Aarien."

"You are the Erusen, then?" Bilbo shook her hand.

"Yes," Mandy looked puzzled, "but I didn't think I was that famous."

"Oh, well," Bilbo explained, "I have talked with Elrond, who has told me about you." He smiled, getting wrinkles around his eyes, "Besides, there are only two hurt maidens here. Elwen is one, so you must be the other. I am very glad you are feeling better."

"Thank you," Mandy answered, "I enjoyed your poem."

"Thank you," Bilbo chuckled, "I have a bad habit about embarrassing those three whenever they come."

Mandy stood, smiling at him and left. She walked by herself out into the garden. She breathed in the calm peaceful air. She sighed, knowing she only had a few more nights here. She came to a path that led down to the river. She found a swing in a large Mallorn tree. She looked at the tree in surprise, wondering how it came to be there. She sat in it, swinging gently, enjoying the soft sounds of the music and the animals in the trees. She sat there for a while, just listening to the sounds. She suddenly heard the soft footsteps of Legolas. She smiled to herself.

"There you are, Aarien," Legolas came over, sitting down beside her, on the grass, "I was wondering where you disappeared to."

"I was just enjoying the peacefulness of this night, Legolas," Mandy answered.

"I understand," Legolas smiled, "I come out here too."

"Legolas," Mandy questioned him, "how did a Mallorn come to be here?"

Legolas looked into the distance, "Lord Elrond brought it here as a seedling when he married Celebrian. She is the older sister of Celebel's mother. Celebrian was wishful for some Mallorns, so Lord Elrond brought it here and planted it. He put the swing onto it. I remember Lady Celebrian being out here, swinging or reading from the branches. She loved it because it reminded her of Lorien." Legolas's eyes were full of pain.

"Legolas," Mandy asked softly, "what happened to her?"

"She got ambushed by a band of orcs." Legolas said, his voice full of hate, "Lord Elrond did all he could, but she never regained her spirit. She left only a few hundred years later for Valinor."

"Oh," Mandy placed her hand on his shoulder comfortingly, "I am sorry."

"It was a long time ago," Legolas shrugged, "She is happier in Valinor."

"And Celebel's mother?" Mandy said softly, "What happened to her?"

"She was killed by orcs, along with Celebel's father," Legolas said, "Her father was my uncle, my father's younger brother. Celeblalaith was Lady Galadriel's only other daughter. It was hard for her to lose both daughters to orcs in such a short period of time. Celebel helped to heal her, though she still is in pain." Legolas's face was grave, his thoughts straying back to those times.

"I am sorry I brought up such a painful subject," Mandy murmured, standing up, "I think I will go to bed now. I am tired."

"Aarien," Legolas grasped her arm, "wait." He stood next to her. She glanced up at him. She never realized how tall he was or how lithe he appeared. She knew that he could be gentle enough to hold a butterfly, and as deadly in battle as a panther. She smiled, for that's what he reminded her of, a panther. Suddenly she shook her head, realizing that he was talking.

"I have something of yours," Legolas pressed into her hand an object.

Mandy looked at it, gasping in surprise. It was his necklace that he had given her. "You found it?" Mandy said joyfully, "I didn't know if anyone had!"

"Actually, Elwen and Celebel found it," Legolas answered, "Would you like me to walk with you to your room?"

Mandy was about ready to refuse, but then thought better of it. She nodded and took his proffered arm. They walked in silence, holding onto this moment of silence and peace. She gave a small sigh.

"What is it?" Legolas glanced down at her.

"Nothing," Mandy smiled.

Legolas didn't press the matter, for he could see that it was her own thoughts, and she wouldn't say anything. He watched her out of the corner of his eye, taking in her gentle, slightly limping, walk. His eyes hardened as they strayed across her back, seeing the white bandage that was still across it. His gaze flittered over the dress, but came back to her face. He could see the joy in her eyes, she had joy even though of all the things she had done to her recently. He shook his head, thanking the Valar for her. They came to her room. They both stood outside the door for a few minutes, enjoying the other's company.

"Well," Mandy slowly opened the door, "I need to rest."

Legolas laughed, brushing his hand over her cheek, "Yes, you mustn't get sick again. What would Lord Aragorn say?"

Mandy laughed softly, her eyes sparkling. Legolas tenderly kissed her, his hand resting on the back of her neck. She closed her eyes, warmth coursing through her body. She gently pushed him away, smiling.

"Go, Sir Elf," she teased, "I am going to bed."

"Goodnight, Aarien," his gaze held hers, eyes full of devotion and admiration.

"Goodnight, Legolas," Mandy turned away and walked into her room. She closed the door softly, leaning against it. She fingered her necklace, surprised and amazed at all of the emotions she had seen flashing though his eyes. Legolas lingered in the hall for a few moments, and then turned. He walked swiftly back to the feast.

see? no one got hurt i hope you enjoyed this more relaxed chapter.

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