Some years later-
Legolas bent and carefully traced his hand through the hoof print of the deer he was hunting, or rather trying. “No more then an hour ahead,” he muttered to himself. He was painfully trying to ignore the countless guards that were surrounding him, they were supposed to be protecting him, but so far had only succeeded in annoying him. The only comfort he drew was from his sister’s thoughts and feelings in the back of his head. She had promised not to bug him during his hunt, but still her furious thoughts kept coming through to Legolas.
//Etiquette!// she was fuming at the moment. //Embroidery! What am I going to use these useless skills for? This is pointless!//
From where he was kneeling and checking out the deer’s hoof print Legolas smiled into his knees. Avnean hated anything remotely related to women work, the worst was trying to get her to sit still for etiquette and embroidery lessons. `I guess that happens,’ Legolas mused, careful to keep the thought hidden from Avnean, `when you’re linked with a man.’ A thought came to mind and she shivered forcing it down. //Avnean// he called instead. //I’ll come back and rescue you, my position is no better. Once again father has arrayed me with too many guards. We’ll get away on our own hunt this eve.//
//Gracious brother don’t scare me,// Avnean scolded. //If you ever manage to get. . .oh mother’s giving me strange looks, bye!// Her sudden bye in all wasn’t really a bye, it was more or less the end of the conversation between them.
“My Prince?” Legolas raised his head up to see the Captain of the guard.
“Yes?” Legolas asked wearily.
“Were will you be headed now?” he asked.
“Away from you,” Legolas answered standing up. He ran his hand over the short-bow of Mirkwood and set off, scanning his feet for the tracks. He had gone no more then twenty steps, when he felt that Avnean was doing something wrong and positively not to do with etiquette and embroidery.
//Avnean?// Legolas asked.
//I’m sneaking away, shh don’t talk!//
Legolas pressed his hand to his mouth to keep from talking to her again, no doubt there was a guard standing sentry just outside the door, just waiting for the young princess to try and escape.
“My Prince is there something wrong?”
Legolas inwardly groaned. Would he ever get them away from him? “Nothing I was thinking,” he hastily lied to cover up his sister’s actions. As far as he was concerned it was succeeding, he wasn’t going to try to communicate in case he startled her, though it was unlikely. “I have suddenly become weary,” Legolas said standing up. “I’ve decided to call off the hunt, let the deer live one more day.
“As you wish my Prince,” the Captain gave a bow. With a wave of his hand twenty Elves emerged from the trees and formed a formation around Legolas.
He was having quite enough of this mess. “I can walk!” he snapped. He pushed through the ring and stalked off. “I don’t need fifty escorts!”
“My Prince!” a startled cry sounded.
Jumping Legolas looked up, in time to see a large spider descend upon its silken thread and then blackness in pain. His last thought was Avnean’s own pain.
Avnean leaned back against the wall in a hidden nook. Breathing hard she swept a hand over her brow and pulled irritably at the dress she was wearing. She had escaped! It was the wondrous thought on her mind. She grinned, the guard hadn’t suspected a thing, she would have to thank her twin for that, anymore time in that room would have destroyed her.
Leaning back Avnean put her head against the cool stone and listened. There was no sounds of pursuit for the missing student. Got to get out of here. To open air Avnean thought to herself. Carefully she stuck her head out of the nook. There was no one around, she was thankful that it was such a nice day and that most Elves were outside in the sun. Detaching herself from the shadowy wall Avnean slunk away down the hall. She jumped at every sound, determined not to get stuck back in that room, the comforting presence of Legolas helped her calm down, the reassurance in her mind.
It was about halfway back to her room that things terribly went wrong. Avnean was moving quietly, much quieter now that she had heard pursuit and had attuned to her brother’s presence even more to keep her nerves smooth and not jangled. Avnean had been shifting around a corner when screaming pain shot through her mind. Avnean crumbled to the floor screaming herself in the pain that flowed through her mind. Legolas! Legolas! Legolas she screamed. She grasped the sides of her head trying to push the pain away screaming in anguish. Something was happening; she had noticed that Legolas was irritated about something, probably the guards and now in pain. What was wrong? The pain intensified, she realized that they were bearing her brother back, but it was making her pain worse. Didn’t they remember the rules?
Avnean screamed again as pain enveloped her. “Legolas!” she screamed aloud.
“Avnean my daughter!”
Responding to the call Avnean opened her eyes, tears streaking down her cheeks. Her mother was looking at her in a concerned way. “Legolas mom! Legolas, Legolas is hurt!” Avnean cried, her hand shooting and grasping her mother’s dress. “He’s in pain!”
“Hush Avnean my child,” her mother soothed her. “He’ll all right.”
“They’re bringing him back! The pain’s getting worse.” Avnean sobbed. “Stop it mother stop the pain!”
She saw her mother’s eyes flash dark. “Do they not abide to the rules?” she asked darkly, before returning her attention to her pain-wracked daughter. “Rest.” She gently placed her hand on her brow.
Gasping from the pain now, Avnean turned her head and descended into the blissful silence and pain-free blackness.
Arrana, Legolas and Avnean’s mother gazed down at her two twins. Their screams had both ended once they had been placed side by side in the Healing House outside of the main Palace. Cheery sunlight spilled through the windows in the room, warming the two Elves lying in their beds.
“My children,” Arrana whispered smoothing hair from their brows. “This should not have happened.” She looked at Legolas, this is where the real poison of the spider raged within, Avnean connected him through mind was only feeling what Legolas feeling. Arrana was glad that she had fallen unconscious, it was better than the pain. This shouldn’t have happened, he was supposed to be protected! No, he was watched to tightly and it broke him in the wrong way Arrana corrected herself and her eyes fell upon Avnean and a smile broke out on her worried features.
She had to smile, Avnean the little rebellion of a child. She had always been rebellious and lately it had been worse, as Arrana had tried to curb it with more womanly tasks. She should never had tried, Arrana realized. It wasn’t possible for Avnean to be in those tasks.
Sighing she pulled her hand away. “Heal well my children,” she bent down and gently kissed their brows, both twins stirred. Straightening she turned her backs on them to find her husband. She was going to have a little talk with him concerning the amount of protection he was putting on Legolas when he went on his hunting expeditions. It wasn’t going to go well she knew.
Arrana nearly halted in walking as sorrow swept over her. I’ll leave a note and be gone. She thought absently to herself. The haunting call of the sea echoed insistently in her mind, now that she was refusing it with everything she had. Arrana couldn’t resist the call for the Valinor anymore, but couldn’t bear to see the pain on her children’s faces or husband’s when they discovered she was leaving and never returning until they joined her. It would probably hurt even more with a simple note, but Arrana couldn’t keep it off any more, she had to leave.
“Tonight,” she murmured resolved. Then stopping she looked upon her children as if putting their memory engraved forever in her mind. “Goodbye.” She whispered this and shut the door behind her. “Tonight,” she whispered turning to feet towards the throne room where Thranduil was giving audience with some woodman about the state of protection of his village
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.