Bilbo rode on his small pony through the dingy woods. When he had visited here before it had seemed dark and foreboding. Now, with the tall, silent elf guard around him he felt less scared, but it still could not entirely banish the oppressive atmosphere. Gandalf rode at the front of the column, talking in low whispers with Kin Thranduil.
“Typical wizard.” Bilbo said to himself. “Goes of and talks with the high and mighty and leaves a poor little hobbit all on his own with lots of elves that don’t say a single word to him.”
But he plodded on. His head nodded lower and lower, sleep heavy on his eyelids. It was a shock when suddenly the pony stopped. Another elf had appeared out of nowhere. He was on foot and dressed in green, like all the elves, but not in battle dress. His long hair was loose and his soft tunic bore no resemblance to the splendid armour and high helms of the other elves.
“Father.” He said, and his voice was soft and low. Bowing, he turned to Gandalf. “Mithrandir” he acknowledged. Light blue eyes roved through the company until he picked out Bilbo. “Ah, but here is one who rides with our company who I know not of. What great deeds has one so small done?”
“Now, you should not press our guests so eagerly. All the news you wish to know will be revealed tonight. “Thranduil stopped talking to the strange elf and turned back Gandalf and Bilbo. “This is my son, Legolas.”
“Honoured, I’m sure.” Gandalf replied.
“I will go inform them of your safe return.” Legolas smiled slightly and then vanished into the trees.
“Stupid kid.” Thranduil muttered.
“I don’t think so” Gandalf answered, surprised. “He seemed to be quite nice.”
“Don’t you believe it. He’s probably gone to booby-trap the front hall.”
When they did reach the elven gate to the underground halls, Bilbo felt decidedly nervous. The elf hadn’t looked like a practical joker but some of his good hobbit sense had not deserted him and he did not know what to expect of elves. The doors swung open. They walked forwards. A huge water balloon swung forward and crashed into Gandalf. Dried old leaves piled down from the ceiling.
“LEGOLAS!” Thranduil roared.
“THAT WASN’T ME,” Legolas yelled back as he walked into the room. “Good idea though.”
“So who did?” Bilbo asked, spitting leaves out of his mouth.
A tiny giggle came from one corner.
“GIL-ROKKOCU!” Thranduil bellowed.
“Oh, but it was so funny.” Another elf came out of the corner. She was the same height as Legolas, with the same colour eyes and dressed very similar. But the girl’s hair was brown and slightly wavy.
“Gil!” Legolas looked shocked. “I know you’re my twin but you’ve never pulled any pranks before. I didn’t think…”
“That’s because I’ve spent so long making this one. Oh, Mithrandir, you look so funny. Your beard has gone all soggy.” And she collapsed on the floor, laughing her head off.
Thranduil tried to look stern but this was hard when he had a pile of leaves sticking out of his hair. “Well, it seems like I have two wayward children now.” Shaking his head sadly, he invited them to the main hall where the smell of appetizing food wafted towards them.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.