The Scarred One - Chapter Seven
Elflings are not. The impetuosity of youth affected elflings probably more than it affected humans.
Alak understood that he was to wait for Haldir from Lorien to escort him to Mirkwood, according to the elf runners Celeborn sent.
But after the course of a week, Alak could not take it anymore. As much as he would love to hang around and learn more about the humans, at the same time his mother and his people were counting on him to complete his mission.
What would Legolas Greenleaf do in a situation like this?
Exactly what Alakolas did one night after six days of his stay in Gondor.
All residents in the palace were in blissful slumber as Alak crept silently down the dark halls. He still felt slightly affected by his illness, but he ignored it. He left a note on a table by the bed, written in Elvish, thanking the royal family for their hospitality and kindness during his moment of vulnerablity.
He trotted into the garden, not so much as shifting the earth beneath his light feet. Hiding behind a tree, he looked up at the large wall where alert guards stalked. The guards were human but at each guard's post was a tiny tower, and there the elven archers stood.
Alak was so busy concentrating on how he was going to sneak past the archers, he didn't hear the person approach until she laid a hand on his shoulder.
Practically leaping out of his skin, Alak whirled around, his heart thundering in his ears.
Serenity stood behind him, wearing a dark traveling outfit, idenitcal to the one Aragorn wore for the Fellowship but more fenimine looking to fit her. "Hey," she greeted.
Alak blinked, then finally demanded, "What are you doing here?"
"I want to come with," she explained.
"I'm tired of sitting in the castle not doing a thing to make a difference in the world. I want to help you, Alak. I want adventure."
"I...I don't think that's a good idea, Princess," Alak told her respectfully. "I understand how you feel. I sat in a castle once, unable to do a thing for the world. But your father would not be pleased if you came with me. He will discover you're missing and he'll have every able-bodied man searching for you. He will find you and will punish you for disobeying protocol and deliberately risking your life."
Serenity felt flattered at the elfling's obvious concern for her and had she been a full-blooded elf, she would have heeded his warning and departed from him with a good-luck smile.
But the princess was not a full-blooded elf, nor was she like her brother, Kalyn, who acted like one. What Serenity lacked in her father's wisdom, she made up for with her mother's stubborness.
She stood right where she was, staring straight into his midnight eyes, not moving. "I'm going with you," she said firmly with a smile. "And you can't stop me."
Alak sighed in exasperation. He was suddenly faced with two drastic choices: he could spend all night trying to reason with her, she did not look like she was going to back down anytime this century, or he could shut his mouth and take her with.
Alak decided on the latter. He could use the company.
"All right," he finally replied. "You can come. But if we get in trouble for this, it's all your fault!"
Serenity nodded in vigorous agreement, her smile so wide it looked as though it would spread farther than her face. Her sapphire eyes seemed to glow so brightly, Alak was almost afraid the guards would see the glow from where they stood.
"Now, is there a way we can get past those guards?" Alak asked.
Serenity nodded again, grinning mischeivously, and motioned for him to follow her. The two crept silently among the trees in the garden until Serenity led him to a tall oak by the wall. She whispered a spell and an opening appeared in the trunk, an opening leading to the outside.
Serenity was pleased to see that Alak was impressed. "Kalyn created it because he has more magic than Theo and I do. The three of us used to sneak out at night to have our own little adventures."
So she was a master at sneaking out. No wonder she seemed so in control of the situation. Alak hoped she wouldn't be in too much control. This was, after all, HIS adventure.
"I trust you know the use of weapons," Alak inquired as they began walking down a trail through the outside forest.
"Which weapon?" Serenity asked. "I have been trained with most of them alongside my brothers, especially with the sword and archery." She grinned at his stunned expression. "Didn't think Gondor's little princess had such a tough hide, did you?"
"Well, actually..." Alak began uncomfortably.
But she only smiled wider. "It's all right. I'm used to people becoming shocked when I shoot a bull's eye a hundred feet away. I have three older brothers, so it is only natural that people should think Gondor's little princess could do nothing better than play the lute."
"Three brothers? I thought you had only two. Kalyn and Theo."
Serenity shook her head. "We have a brother who's older than Theo by two years. His name is Eldarion and he is currently on an adventure in the East."
"What's he doing?"
Serenity shrugged. "Don't know, and I know this will sound very unsisterly of me, but I really don't care, either."
Alak's eyes grew wide. "Why not? Don't you love Eldarion?"
"Only because I have to," Serenity replied softly. "I adored him when I was younger and so did Theo and Kalyn. Eldarion was so much fun and so protective of us. He had a wild imagination and would tell us stories late into the night when our parents thought we were asleep. But, a couple of years ago, he began to change. He became distant and would hardly speak to the rest of us, if at all. Then he left and, wellk, I don't know. Maybe I do care. It's just that right now, I guess I feel betrayed."
The two fell into silence as they continued walking down the path. Serenity seemed lost in her own sad memories and acted as if Alak wasn't there. But her blue gaze did flicker toward him when Alak slipped his hand in hers.