When Avnean returned to the room, still puzzling over her conversation with Galadriel, she was prepared to meet Legolas. She knew first-hand that he was probably sitting on his bed, arms crossed, with a deep frown creasing his forehead drawing his blue eyes together and looking at the door knowing every footstep that brought her closer.
Opening the beautiful wooden door with carven reliefs of birds upon it, Avnean saw just what she had predicted. “I wasn’t doing anything Legolas,” she said hurriedly. “I met with Galadriel and talked with her.”
“And before that?” Legolas asked, skipping around her evasion. “When you decided to get into trouble?”
“Me? Trouble?” Avnean smiled innocently, closing the door behind her. She knew full well that Legolas knew what she was evading. “No trouble. I assure you.” Her eyes jumped to her bed and saw that in her absence Legolas had straightened the covers so it looked as if she had never had her nightmare in it. The whimsy balcony doors were thrown wide open and the sweet air was dancing about the room with the wind. Her eyes finally traveled back to Legolas and saw him unmoving, she hadn’t expected anything different.
“Avnean there are certain things we can’t hide from each other,” he said. “And knowing you’re getting into trouble is one of them.”
“Does it really matter? I didn’t get scolded for whatever I did.” Avnean told him. “Take off you shirt brother I need to put that salve on. You’ve been neglecting it since we…we left home. You’ve kept that pain away long enough.”
Frowning at her evasions Legolas reluctantly did as she asked, slipping off his shirt, scooting farther onto the bed. “It’s in the drawer over there.” He jerked his head to a little corner desk that was stacked with a few sheets of parchment and an ink well and pen.
Avnean headed over to the desk opening the drawer and taking out the small jar of salve, heading back to her brother. The wind played with her hair but Avnean didn’t notice it much nor the slight coolness in the room. She sat down on the bed and frowned at the wound. Though she was no expert in healing she could tell that it was beginning to get infected and swollen with pus.
“Legolas you fool,” she breathed. “Legolas you fool.” He winced at her words and jerked away when she applied the salve. It was burning she could tell as a similar pain burnt into her skin.
When she had finished with the gentle ministrations Avnean replaced the salve to the drawer and returned to her brother. “Legolas, ah I’m sure you already know that something’s bothering me,” she started lamely. “Anyway it’s just that Galadriel said something about how we may be starting tomorrow on some training. She won’t tell me what it is though.”
Legolas sighed and looked up at the ceiling. “Avnean,” he said. “Whatever the lady had planned for us….if its something like mind block…”
“She won’t do that!” Avnean gasped frightened. “She wouldn’t dare.”
“If she does,” Legolas continued meeting her eyes. “We will refuse. We’ll run home if we have to. We won’t do it. I will not be separated from you for a second after what we’ve been through these few days.” He opened his arms and Avnean sank into his warm embrace throwing her own arms around him.
“I agree,” she murmured. “I don’t care if she’s the Lady. Of course this is only if she wants us to do something like that. We won’t let her, that’s not allowed.”
Unbeknownst to them, when Avnean had entered the room she hadn’t closed the door all the way. Galadriel stood just outside the door listening quietly to their conversation. Once they had stopped talking she turned around and headed back to her room and Celeborn, once more thinking that it would be nearly impossible to get the twins to do what she wanted. At least I have to attempt she thought resignedly. And I will win.
After Avnean had replaced the salve she returned again to her brother’s side. Wordlessly Legolas wrapped his arms around Avnean, drawing her into a comforting embrace. They stayed like that for some time, holding each other gently without speaking, thoughts enough.
At last Avnean stirred and pulled away from Legolas. “We’d best go to bed,” she said quietly, standing and doing to the balcony doors and shutting them. The scent of the Lothlorien air hung in the room however, long after the doors had been closed. Legolas nodded behind her, bidding her goodnight. He lay down and was instantly asleep. Avnean however returning to her bed, slipped under the covers and stared at the ceiling for a long time.
Thoughts swirled in her head and she was afraid to sleep .What would happen if she fell asleep? Would that dream come back? And if so would it be worse or better to handle? Or would she dream about her mother? At the last thought Avnean swiftly cut off her thoughts and lay there for a long time mastering her breathing and filtering the panic of despair from her mind. No, she could not think about her mother, that road led only to despair. Avnean could not take that risk.
Sometime during the night she must have fallen asleep because when Avnean next knew her surroundings morning light was filtering in.
“Ah the sleeping maid is awake! I can finally get out of bed and walk without wondering if I’ll fall asleep walking!”
Avnean grumbled something rolling over. She couldn’t remember falling asleep and was even gladder that no dreams had plagued her sleep again; despite this all though she wasn’t in any particular mood to joke around. Legolas took the hint easily and got out of bed, dressing quietly.
“Avnean?” his voice floated from the other side of the room. “Are you going to be okay?”
“Hmm?” Avnean asked. “I’ll be fine, don’t worry. I promise.”
“Are you…” Legolas trailed off. “I’ll bring breakfast up. How about that?”
“I don’t want to eat,” Avnean curled under her covers. “I don’t feel like it.”
“Well, I’ll just bring some up in case you change you mind,” Legolas commented softly and without saying another word left the room.
Once he had left Avnean allowed herself to uncurl from the tight ball. She did not however get out of bed, she stared at the opposite wall, unsure the cause of her sudden feeling of being down. Legolas was silently worried about the sudden change in behavior and while being scared respected the silence of her privacy. Avnean was grateful for that.
“What’s the matter child?”
Avnean was slightly startled at the voice of the Lady behind her and reflexively curled into a ball. “Leave me alone,” she grumbled. “I don’t want to talk!”
“It does seem that you don’t want to talk to anyone,” Galadriel commented sitting down. “Legolas is worried.”
“I know,” Avnean replied, shying away from the gentle hand on her shoulder.
“Is this about our talk last night?” Galadriel asked.
“No,” Avnean shook her head as best she could while burying it against the mattress. “I don’t know.”
Galadriel leaned back and lowered her hand. “What is wrong then Avnean?” she asked her.
“I miss home!” the words blurted from Avnean’s lips before she could gather them back. She realized what she spoke that it was the absolute truth, she missed home, the comforting walls of her underground home, the danger of lurking in the forest alone, like her and Legolas often did. She missed the maze of tunnels and how they would sneak down to the cellars to pillage wine when their father said no. It was her first time away from home and with the events that had happened she missed it even more, envying Legolas who seemed to carry it all with ease.
“You do?” Galadriel said. “It’s hard the first time. You’ll be going back soon, so don’t be worried.”
Avnean ignored her and buried under her covers, her cheeks bright now that she was caught missing home like a very young child. “Go away,” she muttered gruffly.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Galadriel soothed. “It happens to everyone the first time.”
“Not Legolas,” Avnean said and shied away from the hand again.
“I’m sure Legolas is paining away too Avnean. He just doesn’t want to cause you any more grief,” Galadriel told her.
“Avnean….Oh my lady! I’m sorry do you want me to leave?”
“No Legolas stay,” Galadriel bade him. “Avnean’s having it a bit rough here.”
“I thought so,” Legolas murmured. “I miss home to Avnean, you don’t need to hide that from me. It’s alright.”
Under the haven of gloom cast by her blankets Avnean found her cheeks flame red, realizing that her thoughts had not been guarded. “I don’t like it,” she mumbled.
“Neither do I,” Legolas told her. “But you said this is an adventure and we can tell father about it when we come home?”
Avnean shivered as she felt the gentle warmth and reassuring strength from Legolas. Hiding the blush on her cheeks she sat up, pulling the bedcovers away, Legolas was smiling gratefully. “I’m hungry,” Avnean told him. “Bring that over here.”
Relieved Legolas came quickly to the bed with the tray and setting it across Avnean’s legs; she also noted that his breakfast was crammed with hers. Beside them both Galadriel stood.
“After you two are done,” she spoke regally once more. “Why don’t you come out to Cerin Amroth? If you’re up to it we can start the lessons.”
Avnean and Legolas who had started tucking into their breakfast, and were now with full mouths looked across at each other. Their eyes met but it didn’t mean anything for the Lady who watched them. They both knew what they were thinking, the plan the night before running in their minds. Still looking at each other they nodded an agreement to something Galadriel couldn’t tell and she wasn’t going to pry their minds for it. She guessed however that it would have to do with what she overheard last night.
“I guess we can start, I’m over the dream now,” Avnean said slowly as she swallowed. “Ah, we don’t know where it is.”
“Celeborn will show you,” assured Galadriel said standing. “I’ll see you both there.” Turning she left them alone.
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.