The Young Eldar - Part 4- Fear and Love

Legolas sat on a stone bench in one of the many gardens. It faced a small streem and an oak foot bridge that crossed into a path through a stand of ever greens. He looked at the water rushing off of a stone in the middle of the stream, but his mind wasn't there at all. It was on Astrid and her sudden rejection.

He didn't seem notice Aragorn's arival beside him, or he didn't care about it. He looked as if he'd been through a war all by himself and lost his only friend in it. Tears still slid down his face when the king placed an arm on his shoulder.

"I know a bit about how she feels right now." he said. "I also know what it's like to raise a child. Why, though? What reason did you have to keep that from her?"

"You didn't know?" Legolas asked in return. "She could be the Dragonfly, and I don't want to lose her. She may not be my blood daughter, but I raised her as if she were my own. Have you ever seen it, Aragorn? Has Eldarion given you such a look of betrayment that you couldn't stant to look back any longer without running?"

"No, but she will get over it one way or another. You can be sure of that. She knows that she'll have to deal with it or it will distroy her from the inside out. When Elrond told me the truth about myself, I hated him for keeping it secret, but when I came to terms with it, I understood."

"Then let us hope that she dosen't do what you did." Legolas grinned at Aragorn's sudden odd look. "Oh yes, I heard about that Beren stunt you pulled over Arwen."

"But Elrond isn't Tinwelint, andthere is no longer a head that will wear the silmarillion."

"Arnor is, also, united again." came an unexpected voice from behind.

"Cats also bow down to dogs more often than dogs to cats now, as well." came another.

Legolas and Aragorn turned to see Elladan and Elrohir, the twin sons of Elrond.

**************************************************

"So, what should I do?" Eldarion asked the other three boys at the table without any anwsers coming back to him.

He, Andon, Seredron, and Gillian had met for lunch that day at Andon's father's inn called The Fire Side Story at the prince's request for their help.

None of the commoners or the nobles believed a word those three said, and they didn't always want to believe Eldarion eather because he stood by them during manny of their pranks. That is why the four pulled together anytime one needed help or advice.

He looked to his friends, but none seemed to care. Gillian plaied with his food. Seredron had begun to draw on the table leg with the butter knife. Last his gaze fell on Andon who actually seemed to be listening, but his snores said that he'd really mastered the art of sleeping with one's eyes open.

"You guys!!!!" Eldarion gave the table a shake as he shouted. "This is important! I'm talkine about the girl who could become the next queen of Gondor and Arnor, for Iluvatar's sake!"

More attention came his way than he'd wanted. Manny in the common room stared for a moment. Another crash was heard in the kittion as the cook even spun around to see what his yells were about, but few listened verry long when they saw who it was. Those four had been known to yell at one another evry now and then just to draw attention to themselves. As a matter of fact, few of the regulars there even believed that Eldarion was prince. They thought that he was more of a patron who visited family evry now and then that lived in the city. Others who'd seen him more just thought that he was from a well to do common family, but those who'd been into the court knew that he was the pri8nce, yet they still barely cared for the boy even when he was well behaved.

"Now that was uncalled for." Andon scoweled at his shirt where his soup had spilt from the jolt Eldarion gave the table to wake him.

"Same for your snores." the prince sneered back.

**************************************************

Astrid pushed herself with the staff she'd found in the armory. In truth, she wasn't yet to be out of bed untill the next day, but she wanted to strech her legs badly and work with something. She just couldn't stand sitting around like a bump on the log doing stitches over the chatter of rumors and pure gossip. She needed a weapon in her hand or a horse to race, or a tree to chalenge her climbing abilities, or something other than the prissy snob things that commoners would expect from her.

Astrid had found her way into the armory within a coupple of minutes of walking the area and found a good staff about her own hight. Then she was able to find some room to fall into one of the more difficult forms taught to her by Legolas.

She loved him like a daughter would love a father even if she'd known that he wasn't her father at all, but he'd kept the truth from her... such important truth. 'How could he do that to me? How could Arwen? Did Eowyn even know?' she thought as she let out her anger through the swift and flowing movements of the form.

"Astrid Haldirianna en'Rhohan!" a voice called out behind her. "What in the world do you think you're doing!"

She spun to see an old friend of Legolas's. He snatched the staff from her hands with a jerk. He was so much smaller than him, but she always found herself cowering whenever he cought her not listening to things for her own good.

"Gimli?" she gasped as he broke her concentration. "What are you doing here?"

"Looking for Legolas, and finding you hurt and not resting as you should." he growled.

"I was going to see that she be let out of the Houses any way, Gimli son of Gloin." a soft voice said from the side. The queen steped out of the shaddows and looked scornfully at Astrid. "But you were not to be doing such things as this yet. I have learned things from my father as well as my other relitives on healing. Halflings can get out of such in a coupple of days, Eldar in a few days, Mortals in a week or so, Dwarves in a month, mixes depend on the blood in the mix. Still, you weren't supposed to leave untill Aragorn, Legolas, or I let you."

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