Legolas entered his parents’ room to see that Avnean had stopped crying. The only tell-a-tale signs were the fact that that her eyes were red and puffy and she was slightly sniffing. His father had left the bedside was staring out a large open picture window; as the room was on the level floors of the large Elven Home.
“Avnean what is it?” Legolas asked, walking towards the bed. He knew from the set of his father’s shoulders to leave him alone in peace but even though Avnean had stopped crying he could tell she was still glum and wanted him near her.
“She left without saying goodbye,” Avnean whispered. She put a hand over a crumpled white sheet of paper laying atop a messy and strewn blanketed bed. “She didn’t say goodbye to us.” Avnean closed her hand around the crumpled piece of paper crushing it in her own fist, handing it wordlessly to Legolas.
With a trembling hand the prince reached out and took the note from his sister, who after giving it to him rolled over to their mother’s side of the bed and lay down. He could hear sniffled tears and feel her despair acutely in his mind, it was overwhelming and he wanted somehow to help her. But what was the cause of all this? Legolas gazed down at the note wanting to read what it said and all the time dreading it as well. After a few moments he smoothed the paper out as best he could from standing and looked down at it. The note was simple and to the point.
My children and love,
I’m sorry for not saying goodbye to you but this leaving is already hard upon me as it is. I am leaving this night for the Grey Havens from where I will set sail to the Undying Lands. Please I wish to make this journey alone and without reminders of the parting to take later, it is easier now. I love you all with all that I am and I’m sorry for this abrupt departure, but I must leave. One day maybe we can meet again,
Arranna, Queen of Mirkwood
Legolas looked down and the read the flowing script again, before like Thranduil and Avnean before him he crushed the note in his hand. How could she leave like that without saying goodbye! A few tears he found trailed down his cheeks, but for the most part he stayed calm and solid without emotion. Inside him he ached with anger and hurt about the abrupt departure and he knew as well that it was worse for Avnean. For now he knew what and where his mother was going after they had met and Avnean had come so close to thwarting the plans.
Without saying anything Legolas crawled over to his sister laying down behind her and throwing his arm over her shoulder seeking out her hand to hold in comforting gesture. //It’s all right Avnean, we are in this together. It will be easier; the Lady will keep us busy.//
Avnean sniffed. //I could have stopped her!// she nearly started weeping again and Legolas gave a comforting squeeze to her hand.
//No Avnean, if it really was the call of the sea then sooner or later she would have left us for good. It was easier now then later, when we would be expecting the departure. It easier now when we were not expecting and dreading it //
“What are you saying my children?” Thranduil asked as he turned his back to the window where the sunrise was creating its light after the darkness of night. “Is it anything to comfort your father?”
Legolas looked up, turning his head towards his father. “How did you know this time?” he asked softly.
“I know,” Thranduil gave a small smile.
“I just told her it was easier now then later when we would be expecting it and dreading it,” Legolas answered turning his head again. //It’s all right Avnean, everything will be fine. Do no despair.//
//Stop reading my thoughts,// Avnean shot back weakly in an attempt at humor. It was obvious however that she was still in despair about their mother leaving.
//I’m not trying to read your thoughts// Legolas said and squeezed her hand. //We both bear the blame of not noticing the difference.//
Avnean’s response was silence and even her thoughts had been mastered into enough silence that Legolas couldn’t discern her feelings. It made him feel slightly guilty and upset that his sister was doing that to him but he could understand the thought for that.
“Avnean, I’m going to talk to the maid about all those dresses. I’ll find out where she’s hiding them.”
At her father’s words Avnean untwined her hand from Legolas’s and sat up looking at her father. “Would you like me to come father?” she asked quietly.
Thranduil shook his head and looked back to the window. “No Avnean a walk will do me good. It will clear my head.”
“All right,” Avnean said quietly. She lay down again staring at the far wall, adorned with items on oak shelves that their mother adored and had determined they needed a place of honor. Dominating one whole shelf there was a long piece of wood, twisted and knotted, but strong enough to become a handy staff. This memento was an honor to the first time their mother and father had met when they were barely of age. They had somehow come together with each wanting the staff, both had started as a result arguing over who was going to have the staff to use and who was going home with nothing. A child’s argument.
“Come Avnean,” Legolas whispered, placing a hand over his sister’s eyes to hide the shelves from her sight and ignoring as her nails dug into his skin, a warning to let go. “Let’s go pack for Lothlorien. It will give us time to do something.”
“I don’t want to,” Avnean said shortly. “I don’t want to go Eru-cursed Lothlorien. I don’t want to do anything! I want to stay here.”
“Avnean,” Legolas said gently, he touched her shoulder, uncovering her eyes but she rolled away.
“Go away!” she snapped. “I don’t want you here. I don’t want you to be my twin. You’re always messing up my life! If it weren’t for you I could have stopped Mother from leaving. It’s your entire fault she’s gone. Get out of here! I hate you. I hate you!” Avnean slammed up the mind-block and Legolas recoiled as if he had been slapped.
Legolas literally felt like he had been slapped across the face. His sister had never ever in his memory been this angry with him about something and she had never purposefully shunned him from her mind. It hurt, it hurt a lot and Legolas felt alone, terribly alone. Nearly brimming on tears from the emptiness in his mind Legolas got off the bed and left the room. Once it had been of light and happiness now it was the house of misery and sadness.
In a dazed way Legolas wandered down the halls, his destination was unclear, all he knew was that he didn’t want to be anywhere near the places him and sister had spent. Her rebuke and words still stung on him and it hurt so deeply in more ways then one. It was so odd to not have Avnean there to comfort him, for once she was the one that had thrown him away.
“Eru Legolas what happened to you?”
Legolas brought his head up slowly, as if it were weighed heavily with the years. He was slightly surprised by his surroundings here, quaint wood walls of a house stood around him. In front of him with a narrowed expression was his best friend, the one mentor that had brought him from a young Elfling tripping over his own to feet with white knives to a dangerous fighter.
Legolas opened his mouth to talk but instead stumbled to a rush chair sinking down and hanging his head. Avnean was still shutting him out of her life. He heard his mentor’s soft footsteps-softer then even the lightest Elven tread and only the trained ears could hear them- come to his chair.
“Legolas, my prince Legolas, what is wrong?” he asked. He knelt in front of the Prince and touching his shoulder. “Legolas where is your sister?”
“Avnean…Avnean hates me!” Legolas cried looking up and gazing upon his mentor. “She’s gone!”
Horror fell over the mentor’s face. “Oh Legolas, why is this?” He looked at Legolas for a moment. “No wait let me get you something to eat and drink. You’re lucky I wake up this early in the morning.”
Legolas nodded. “I don’t feel like eating right now.”
“Nonsense, come on you’ll feel better.”
“I’ll feel better when Avnean talks to me again.”
“Don’t speak of such nonsense right now Legolas. Try not to think of it.”
“It’s a void!” Legolas cried looking at his mentor. “It’s a void inside me! You could never know what its like to have your twin shut you out of her life.”
“No Legolas I don’t but I do know that if you don’t calm down you’ll make it worse,” his mentor said going to the fireplace and stoked it up sending a flurry of sparks to fly up the chimney. “What did I ever tell you?”
“Not to panic?” Legolas asked him.
“Of course!” the Elf cried, looking at Legolas with askance. “You’re meddled right now Legolas. Why on Middle-earth was that a question?”
“I don’t know,” Legolas said weakly. “I didn’t know.”
“Didn’t know,” his mentor snorted and slammed his large knife on the countertop sending the blade ringing against the stone surface. “Legolas!” his mentor stalked over to him and cuffed the Prince so hard that Legolas fell from the chair with a wince. It was in a slight way a more reassuring pain the ringing in his head to the feeling of emptiness.
“I’m sorry,” Legolas muttered a half-hearted apology.
“You’d better be,” his mentor snorted. “Now get up and back in that chair.”
Legolas said nothing, but picked himself up and sat back down in the chair quietly. His head hanging once more. “I am sorry,” he muttered again. His mentor said nothing to the second apology, his back was turned away from the Prince as he started the morning breakfast.
“Legolas,” he said at last. “You know what you have to do. I really cannot stand seeing you sitting here like you just lost your love.”
“I have lost something more,” Legolas whispered. The aching pain was biting at him constantly. When was Avnean going to break down and pull down the mental block? Not for a very long time a small voice chattered in Legolas’s head. It was true, when Avnean was mad, it was best to get away fast and if Avnean and their father were angry it was best usually to leave the whole Palace empty until their anger cooled. She probably didn’t even notice the emptiness.
There was a clatter from the counter. “Legolas I really cannot stand seeing you this way,” his mentor was sounding thoroughly frustrated. “This is not who you are.”
“I’m nobody without Avnean!” Legolas cried looking up. “Avnean’s my other half, I can’t live without her.”
“Apparently,” his mentor said, frowning deeply. “Well then get up and say sorry.”
“She won’t listen,” Legolas mumbled, dropping his head once more. “Avnean never listens to anyone, even me, when she’s in her rage.”
“Well you’re going to anyway. Once you’re done that you’re going to come back, sit and eat with me. Got that?”
“I can’t,” Legolas muttered glumly.
“Legolas get up and talk to her. You aren’t doing anything looking like a miserable puppy. Say sorry and talk with her and if you don’t I want to see you out of my house!”
Legolas winced. “I’ll go,” he said quietly, knowing it was useless. Standing up he went to the door and paused. “It’s useless though. Avnean won’t listen and I don’t know if I can stand to hear her yell at me again.”