The Awakening - Chapter 1: Hetaura

Title: The Awakening (Special Thanks to my mother for helping me with that.)
Rating: Ehh... PG, maybe bordering PG-13 later on, but we'll see. Nothing bad, only kisses. And blood.
Summary of the story: During a storm outside of Eryn Lasgallen, Prince Legolas finds a girl. No one knows who or what she is. Legolas watches her grow up and eventually comes to love her, but there is an impending and threatening doom upon all of them. There is a traitor within their groups who is controlling the spiders that are attacking Mirkwood and the Elves inside. In a moment's last hope, one person will change the future of everyone.

Chapter 1: Hetaura

(A quick note: After some though about the name for my main character and the scenarios in this, I decided that changing her name it in the middle of the story (after having it as Neenuvar for you guys, then changing it) would be far too confusing. So, I just changed it quickly to Hetaura before posting anything else. But, `Hetaura' means `great forest.' I just like the sound of it. The meaning is just...ehh, whatever. I don't know. Anyway, on with the story!)

"It was a miracle Legolas made it home in that storm."

"What were the chances of survival out in the forest with weather that bad?"

"Have you ever heard of a more fortunate Elf?"

Legolas covered his ears lightly with his pillow. A second later, he turned his face against the fluffy whiteness, much as a miserable child would when being disturbed from sleep. But it wasn't sleep the young prince was being deprived of. He had heard those same phrases and more since he returned, seven days ago! He had told the Elves that he was, yes, very fortunate to have made it back alive and in the condition he had. But he was feeling ill with how much he had told his advisors that same excuse over and over in one day.

So, as his stepmother let herself into the room, Legolas groaned in a pitiful manner. "Go away. I do not wish to speak with anyone," he growled, muffled from the pillow.

"Not even your own mother?" Sheelewen sat on the edge of Legolas' bed and rested her hand on his back.

Legolas, torn between loyalties to his beloved stepmother and his sanity, shrugged noncommittally. He muttered something into the pillow before turning onto his back to look up at his mother's beauty. She had long dark locks, a great contrast from his own, and his father's. Her eyes, however, were a soft blue, like the water in a stream might be on a warm summer's day. Her face was sculpted so that she looked much like an angel. There were such intricacies in her face that one could not count them on their fingers and toes alone, yet that only made her seem even more beautiful.

"My son," Sheelewen murmured, leaning down to kiss his brow lightly. There was still a slight bruise and cut where he had hit his head on the rock, but the angel-like Elf's butterfly kiss made it seem like there was no pain. "Why have you confined yourself to your room so often? You have been absent from dinner for the past five nights, always taking your meals in your room."

Legolas sighed and shut his eyes. "I am bored and annoyed with hearing the same phrases and questions towards me, countless times a day. Just last night, I had counted up how many times I had been told of my good fortune for safely arriving home during the storm. I was told that ten times. Then, I had been asked if I knew the average of Elves that had made their way home all in one piece in such a storm more than twelve times." Upon finishing his short monologue, Legolas heard a quiet and amused laugh. "What?" he asked, opening one eye to look at his mother.

"Has no one asked you of the young girl you brought to the halls of healing, or have they forgotten about her?" Sheelewen smiled and lovingly looked down at Legolas. It pained her only a small amount that she couldn't think of him as her son, but she loved him all the same.

"No, they have not forgotten!" An ironic smile flitted across the young Elf's features and he drew his knees in closer. "I had been asked about the girl at least twenty-five times!" He laughed at the strange humor he was seeing at that moment and shook his head.

"Have you wondered about her?" The Elven queen pushed her chocolate hair behind her delicately pointed ears. As a motherly instinct told Sheelewen to ask about his opinion of the girl, logic told her that the girl was entirely too young.

The blonde haired Elf mellowed his eyes to a soft blue. "Yes, I have. How is she?" He glanced at his mother expectantly.

"If you dress quickly, I will take you down to see her before breakfast," Sheelewen told him. She stood from the edge of the bed and looked down at Legolas. A smile crossed his features again as he sat up.

"Thank you, mother," he murmured to her as she left.

~~~~~

"Three, two one! You better be hiding!" a young girl cried in the bliss of hide and seek. She straightened from her bent position against a tree and turned in a quick circle. "Legolas? Where are you?" She ran towards a clearing and looked up at the tree branches there. When she saw no trace of him, even after her search continued in all of the places she was allowed to play in, the young girl returned to the tree. "Legolas!" Again, she looked around, but saw nothing.

When she heard something above her, the child looked up in the tree. She saw nothing of suspicion, so she sighed. "Legolas, where did you--Oh!" In the, oh, so sweet surprise only children can master, she lifted her hands to her cheeks as she gasped.

There, standing in front of her, was Legolas. The girl's jaw dropped in the awe of how he managed to be there in mere seconds. "How did you--no!" She broke off in a laugh as Legolas swept her up in his arms and began tickling her lightly. "That tickles!" she gasped through her giggles.

"Of course it does, young one." The Elf prince tickled her sides a moment longer before setting her back on the ground. "What else would you expect tickling to feel like?"

"Like this!" The girl suddenly threw herself against Legolas and knocked him down onto the grassy hillside. In seconds, the child had maneuvered herself so she was sitting across Legolas' chest and pinching his shoulders with her stubby little fingers.

"Aiya, that isn't fair!" In defense against the young girl's assumed torture, Legolas pretending to be struggling beneath her feather-like weight.

"Legolas! Hetaura!" a distant voice called.

"Mother," the prince murmured. "Just when we were enjoying ourselves, hmm Hetaura?"

The girl nodded and became suddenly entranced with a lock of Legolas' hair. The look of supreme concentration Legolas had come to know over the past three months etched itself onto Hetaura's features as she began to braid, best she could, the little bits of hair.

"It is time we should head back, anyway." Legolas sat up and held the child in his arms as he strode to his horse. He set Hetaura up onto the saddle first, then jumped up behind her. In seconds, they were off towards Palace of Eryn Lasgallen.

"Legolas! Hetaur--oh." Sheelewen smiled pleasantly as the two rode up suddenly on the white steed. "Legolas how many times have I told you not to ride so quickly with Hetaura?"

"Enough times to cause me to feel like a child being scolded." Legolas slipped off the horse, a discreet smirk on his lips, and helped Hetaura off as well.

"Sheelewen!" The young girl rushed to the Elven woman and held up a handful of flowers. "Legolas and I picked these for you!" And off the girl went with her endless chatter, despite the fact she couldn't speak Elvish fluently yet.

"Legolas, dear, Ainer wishes to see you in her study," Sheelewen murmured as she lifted Hetaura up and perched the child on her hip.

Legolas groaned, not looking forward to this meeting. "Must I really see Ainer, Mother? The last time we met alone, she tried to--"

"I know, but she says she has changed, darling." The queen kissed Legolas' forehead lightly. "Go, before she becomes a madwoman again!"

With that, Legolas rolled his eyes and started off towards the public part of the palace. He had to go through the library, and the dark, dank hallway that led to the long line of studies belonging to the official advisors and well to-do Elves. But once there, Legolas sighed and ran his hand over his face. He said a quick prayer to whoever was listening that his advisor wouldn't try to kiss or seduce him--again. As he knocked on the door, though, his mind raced ahead to think of ways to escape this real torture he was being forced to endure. He could run away now, and lie about something keeping him from meeting her later. Yes, that would work!

As he turned to sprint away as quickly as possible, however, the door to Ainer's study opened. "Ah, Legolas," the much older Elf said pleasantly. Slowly, the prince turned and, grimacing, nodded. "I was beginning to think you had forgotten about our meeting. Please, come in." She smiled and moved so he could enter.

"Of course not," Legolas said, clearing his throat. "How could I forget--" he paused when Ainer shut the door subtly "--about our meeting?"

"Oh, I just had an idea that you might since you have been forgetting for the past three months."

A false grin plastered itself along Legolas' features as Ainer made her way back to her desk. "Well...I have been busy...taking care of Hetaura," he excused himself with.

"Ah, yes, the young mortal girl you found during the storm. How is she?" She was doing it again, Legolas thought. Ainer was trying to be overly amiable and personal again so that she might be able to have her way with him. The Elf was nearly old enough to be his mother! Why was she thinking of defiling him? It was just...revolting.

"She is...well," Legolas murmured, taking the seat Ainer gestured to. "We were just out above the palace, playing hide and seek."

Ainer blinked, her smile still intact. That made Legolas want to laugh. She looked very silly at that moment. The corner of her lips twitched and the young prince had to disguise a laugh as a cough.

"Shall we go on with the meeting?" Ainer asked a moment later, catching onto Legolas' amusement.

He nodded. "Of course." Watching his advisor stand, he suddenly heard the door click. Ainer had obviously not heard it for some reason as she turned to look out the window. Legolas turned to look behind him at the door and saw it open a tiny bit. He blinked and turned back to Ainer when she began talking again.

"The threat the spiders are causing against the Greenwood has increased in the past three months. Their numbers have noticeably become larger since then, thus the threat. If they were to attack us suddenly, we may not be able to defeat their ranks," Ainer was saying.

Legolas felt another presence entering the room, and turned his head discretely. He saw the very familiar short, black hair and the slightly tan skin just outside the door. Half of a little face peered in and he saw Hetaura's mischievous grin. The prince's eyes widened upon this sight. He made a different, more serious face and waved his hand towards the hallway, desperately thinking, `Go, go, go away, Hetaura!'

"Legolas?" Ainer turned around again to face the younger Elf, who had moved quickly enough to go back to looking as though he had been paying attention.

"Yes?" he asked, lifting his eyebrows in question.

"What do you think?" the light haired Elf inquired.

"About...what?" Here was a flaw. He was stuck, and it was obvious that he hadn't been paying attention.

"About the giant spiders! If they were to attack, would you say our Elves would be ready to fight back as soon as possible and defeat their abundant numbers?" the advisor repeated luckily.

Legolas shifted in his seat, uncomfortably aware of Hetaura's presence just outside the door. "I...have confidence in the Elves...that we could defeat the spiders..." he mumbled, feeling as though he was unintentionally letting Ainer know that he hadn't been listening.

"Is your confidence in them enough, though, Legolas? Is that enough to boost their morale?" And again, Ainer set out on her monologue.

Legolas turned around again and saw Hetaura was still there. She was giggling very quietly and was motioning for him to come over to her. He shook his head, then gestured to Ainer. Hetaura continued to wave him over to her, though, smiling girlishly. When Legolas gave into her calls and stood, she covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. Quickly, the prince crept out of the study and into the hallway. He shut the door quietly, but nevertheless, there was the click of the door handle. He heard Ainer's voice abruptly stop.

"Run!" Legolas shouted gleefully and scooped Hetaura up into his arms. He ran down the hallway and turned a corner sharply as he heard the door to Ainer's study open. When he saw that the hallway was a dead end, but also dimly lit by one torch, he doused the light and dove towards the corner, Hetaura still in his arms. He covered her mouth with his hand as Ainer ran past the corridor. The scent of smoke began to infiltrate Legolas' senses. He prayed that his advisor wouldn't smell the deadened torch until she had past them.

What seemed like hours later, the hallway was empty, but for the two mischief-makers. Quiet snickers and giggles were heard, which gave way to full laughter.

End!

I am also in need of a beta reader, if you please, since I may be too busy some days to read it over before posting. So, if anyone would like that position, please email me at Angelof_Music001@yahoo.com. Many thanks!

LadyRiona

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