The Cry of the Gull (Chapter 20) - Lorien

DISCLAIMER: I do not propose to own any of J. R. R. Tolkien's characters, nor any places or names that before appeared in his books. Other characters and places, however, are mine, and are copyright © of Me-Elf.

Sort of short, and don't be confused, the end did already happen, but I'm changing the story so that it happened here (because the way I had it was not true to the books) Enjoy!

Chapter 20

The army continued to the north east, flying over the short, brown grass. To the notice of the Elves, every mile seemed to bring more light to the land; ever so gradually the darkness lessened, and once Legolas thought he could feel the sun shine through the clouds onto his armor. They kept the Emyn Muil to their left, following the bright shape of the gull in the cloudy sky. Every so often Aer would call down to the Elves to warn of some danger that lay ahead, and would lead them without fail around it.

At the end of their second day away from the rocky overhang, Aer swooped down and soared next to the heads of the Elves.
"I can see the Mallorns of Lorien on the horizon, we will reach it by midnight," he cried and returned to his position above the heads of the Elves. Legolas pushed Sleep to go faster, and he smiled as he felt Rayn tighten her grip around his waist.
The gull was right in his prediction. By midnight the Army had reached the boundary of the lost kingdom of Lothlorien.
At the very edge of the forest, Legolas whispered to Sleep, and the great horse slowed his run to a walk, and his walk to a halt. Legolas leapt from the back of the beast, and walked eagerly to the first gigantic Mallorn that stood magestically at the edge of the realm, a great sentinal of the gate of Lothlorien. The Prince ran his hand up and down the smooth bark of the grand king among creations of Yavanna. And Legolas understood the words of Námo, for he did love Yavanna, and the love that had been instilled in him from his youth would never be shaken.
Legolas's eyes flickered past the tree, and he stood aghast at what he saw. The other great trees of the forest, stretched out beyond number, were scorched, rent with gashes and hurts. Tears stung the back of Legolas's eyes and his mouth hung gaping at the destruction before his eyes. He leaned against the trunk of the untouched Mallorn as salty rivers began to weave their way down his cheeks.
"So they have been to Lorien," said Aer, walking slowly up to the opposite side of the tree. "I feared this, Legolas."
The Prince did not speak, nor did he move so great was his grief. Aer puzzled over Legolas's silence and soon realized that it could mean the death of the Prince if he did not act. He flapped around to the left of the tree and found Legolas frozen with horror. He cried out with his loud, grating voice; a sound that rang in the air around them and startled Rayn and Balved from their own stupor at the death their eyes beheld.
Legolas's eyes snapped to life, fire sprang into them. He felt anger well up in his heart, an anger which grew with each passing second until rage overtook him.
"We will not stop," he said. "Sleep!" he cried. The horse trotted up to the Elf and Legolas effortlessly mounted.
"We must stop," Aer said suddenly. "We must discover what has happened here!"
"And suppose they reach Eryn Lasgalen before we?" Legolas was indignant. "Come, Aer."
Without another word Legolas drove his heels into the sides of the horse. With a sorry look at Aeraew Balved followed on Rest. The first of the ranks of the Living had passed Aer before he shot into the air and surveyed the damage from above the canopy.

Below the charred bows of the trees Legolas was alone with his thoughts. The world around him became nothing. Sleep knew where he was going, but how he knew Legolas did not contemplate. The Elf's mind swirled with wrath and sorrow at the unjust ruin of Lorien.
Of a sudden, he felt a strange presence. A whispered freindship settled in the keen senses of the Elf-Prince, and his perception of his surroundings became clearer as his head was brought back to Middle-earth. He recognized the feeling, but it was cold and stale to him now.
"Legolas, what is it?" Rayn whispered into his pointed ear.
"I...I don't know," he whispered back. He slid off of Sleep as Balved pulled up next to the bigger horse. Legolas's mind pulled him toward a clearing on his left, to the west. Clear Elven voices seemed to ring from the very trees, a quiet reminder to him of the moonlight and the soft wind that used to play through the leaves of the dense forest, now silenced by evil. He walked slowly around a blackened Mallorn, and came into a sort of garden that sat in the middle of the clearing. His heart pounded within his breast, the pulse taking over his ears and his head. His eyes rolled slowly to the middle of the garden, against his will they focused on a shape of white in the center, lying upon a hillock. He unwillingly moved towards it, fear filling his heart.
As he drew closer, he began to see that the shape was of a fair Elven maiden, one whom he had know for years. With a cry he sprinted to the side of the Elf, but there was nothing he could have done for her. Arwen, Queen of Gondor and Rivendell, was dead.
"Who was she?" Rayn asked, coming up behind him in her silent way.
"She was my friend," Legolas replied. "When my father traveled to Imladris I went with him so I could play with her. We climbed trees and swam in the rivers. I took her hunting, and together we envied her brothers, Elladen and Elrohir. They got to go on quests to slay orcs, for they were of age, and we were always left behind. Indeed I think our fathers wished for us to wed, but we did not see each other often enough. After one visit I was not able to return for a thousand years. We came of age apart from each other, and near the end of my absence Elrond had taken in a human child and was raising him. When I returned, Arwen did not care for me, she cared only for the young man of thirty that Aragorn had grown to be. Remember the king in the tomb at Gondor?"
Rayn nodded her understanding, and Legolas went on with his story.
"I was grieved, for my purpose in coming to Imladris was to ask for her hand; I wanted only her happiness, so I left, knowing that even if she did marry her love he would one day die, and she would go on living. My hope was that she would turn to me when he left the earth. And, though I knew she was out of the line of Luthien; never did I expect she would forsake her immortality to follow Aragorn." Legolas sighed.
"You loved her?" Rayn asked. He nodded. "I'm sorry."
"She is a thing of the past now," said Legolas, rising to his feet. "How like her to come to Lorien to die."
"So much tragedy, so little celebration. What shall become of the world, Legolas?" Rayn sat upon a stone and looked with sorrow at the beautiful face of the Elven Maiden, whose eyes had shut forever.
"I know not, sweet maid, but we must not linger to find out."
Legolas sent a sharp whistle into the air and in a heartbeat Sleep was at his side. The two Elves mounted, and the army continued to sweep through the silent kingdom.

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