Chapter II – Of Love and Shadows –
For a very long time not any of the three young elves found out about the hidden secret of Thranduil and Laerunye. All three thought that they loved each other, but there was more to it. Laerunye dreamed about leaving, going back to Lúthien, but Thranduil would not let her go. In the end, after this long time of silence, Laerunye made a decision, to fulfill her dreams and go back to where she once came from. Thranduil really did not want to let her go, thus his own wife had died more than 600 years ago and for a long time grief and mourn had ruled his heart. And now he should let this beautiful woman let go out of his life? But of course, he could not make her stay, although he would have done everything to change her mind. Seeing her finally go made him turn mad, condemning her to a cruel fate. Laerunye did not care about that at all, the last thing she said was: “Take care of my precious…” With that she left, kissing Márovaí, Nalana and Legolas goodbye, and off she was, vanishing into the trees on foot. She did not look back, although tears were straining her face. From afar she saw Ewennir, bidding her goodbye. It was hard for Laerunye to leave her beloved ones behind, but she just could not stay in Mirkwood. The green fields of Lúthien called, stronger than anything she had ever longed for. She could not go on caring about the others, now it was time to get on with her own life, even if that meant to live alone. She knew, Nalana and Márovaí would have been willing to come with her if she had only asked for that, but it would be better for them to stay in Mirkwood. The elfin’s heart was sad but this time she had to do the only right thing and that was to go back to Lúthien.
Now Thranduil was a dangerous person to meet, so all the younger elves stayed away from him. Especially Márovaí learned how cruel the Elven King could be when he treated her mean and acted like being insane. Fear rose, and she avoided to get in contact with him. But time went by, and slowly they all found back to a normal life. Nalana, Ewennir, Legolas and Márovaí, again, scurried around in the woods, playing, cheering, discovering. And now, there was a lot new to discover.
Legolas was the first one to experience the change. He, of course, had recognized Márovaí’s overwhelming beauty, but, he always considered her to be a friend. Now, he saw the woman in her, and that made his heart crave for another playful touch or for just another smile. Márovaí felt that, too. Her point of view on Legolas had changed and her behavior towards him, as well. There was a sparkle in his eyes she dreamt of at night, and she wanted to look into those eyes forever. More often now they strolled through the woods alone, on horseback or on foot. Late at night they came home, whilst early in the morning they had been leaving.
Nalana begged: “Please, Márovaí. I want to learn the song of the Angel. It reminds me of my mother and Laerunye. It fills my heart whenever I hear you sing it. It makes me see things clear, when grief is still to near for me.” Her bright blue eyes smiled at the fair elfin. Márovaí finally agreed.
“But, dear elven girl, remember my words, this song can break a heart as well as it can mend it.” Slowly she started singing it, again and again, until Nalana joined her with her own light voice.
“Spend all your time waiting for that second chance, for a break that would make it okay. There’s always one reason to feel not good enough and it’s hard at the end of the day. I need some distraction, a beautiful release, memory seep from my veins. Let me be empty and weightless and maybe I’ll find some peace tonight.
In the arms of the angel, fly away from here, from this dark cold place you’re at and the endlessness that you fear. You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie. You’re in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort there.
So tired of the straight line and everywhere you turn, there’s vultures and thieves at your back. And the storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies that you make up for all that you lack. It don’t make no difference, escape one last time, it’s easier to believe in this sweet madness, this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees.
In the arms of the angel, fly away from here, from this dark cold place you’re at and the endlessness that you fear. You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie. You’re in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort there.”
Nalana smiled contently. Chanting the song she jumped up and scurried away, out into the dark, into the woods to Ewennir. Márovaí had to smile whilst watching her. How much she loved this child. Legolas had watched them the whole time and felt a longing inside his heart he had never felt before.
Thranduil watched them with rising suspicion. But Legolas and Márovaí did not care at all, they enjoyed their youth and freedom and experienced their newly discovered love towards each other. There were feelings that they both never felt before, a never-ending passion, a fire that burnt between them and within their hearts and souls. But then when Legolas became aware of the anger of his father, he began to see the danger and cruelty that would now lie in front of them. He clearly felt the pain that Márovaí would soon feel and his own, even yet, where she did not know about it all. The Elf did not let his father sense that he was knowing about the plans to separate them, and he did not tell Márovaí about his worries. This would only make things worse, he thought.
But as he had feared, things turned out to be worse ever. The king of Mirkwood lost his mind, seeing it all slip away from him, the woman that he learned to love and now his very own son, the only heir there was for the throne of Mirkwood. And he would not have let this all be destroyed by just one senseless decision of a wench. In the same instant he did not think about his own decision on the lives of Legolas and Márovaí.
When, the following night, Márovaí slipped into Legolas’ room, the king had already alarmed his warriors. More than 10 bows were aimed at the two of them. They glared at each other and Márovaí the perfectly knew what Legolas had been knowing for a long time. She was shocked but remained silent, when three of the Elves got hold of her, pulling her out of the reach of Legolas who was trying wildly to break free. But the men that held him back were stronger than him, so he had to helplessly watch them carry his love away. Thranduil then postured himself in front of his son.
“Legolas!” he spoke, his voice full of triumph. “You know that it has to be this way. There could be no other choice for you to be made. You may now think there would be, but, I know, there is not!”
“Did I decide? I did not decide!” Legolas cried out.
“No, because you would have chosen the wrong path. So I had to make a decision for you, to the best of my people, of your people.”
Legolas glared at him, a dangerous gleam in his eyes told Thranduil that his son would not obey to his orders.
“You better forget about that shier. If you stray to seeing her again, you both will suffer. I cannot cast her out, she is one of the last descendents of Lúthien, but if she leaves Mirkwood, then it will be forever and she will be seen as an outcast, not wanted anywhere. So, then try to get clear about what you want…Living alone or never-ending suffering!”
Legolas winced at the cruelty in his father’s voice.
“Hear me, son, there are rules.”
“Rules?” Legolas cried. “Old-fashioned traditions! Ancient ways, stubbornness of ancestors. Is this the way it should be and continue? Then, indeed, I choose suffer, thus I will not live without her!”
Thranduil laughed hard. “Then your wish shall become truth.”
Two men appeared in the doorway.