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A Matter of Honor

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Title:  A Matter of Honor

 

Rating:  K+ just to be safe

 

Summary:  An uneventful day in Rivendell takes a surprising twist.

 

Disclaimer:  I own none of the characters or the song line included in this story they belong to JRR Tolkien’s estate and Phil Collins respectively.  Unfortunately I’m making nothing for writing this but I did have a wonderful time creating this story.  As always any similarities to other works of fan fiction are purely coincidental.

 

A/N:  This story was written for the second TEITHO contest which is part of the MC world.  The challenge was to write a story about ‘the games people play’ and to include a line from the song “Son of Man” by Phil Collins.  This is my attempt to fulfill those parameters.  You should be warned that I was extremely stressed when I wrote this story and looking back on it now I think it shows.  Enjoy and polite reviews are appreciated.

 

 

A Matter of Honor

 

            Elrond finished the document he was working on and sat contentedly back in his chair – all was right in the world: he had managed to get his morning work done early, there was a soothing gentle rain falling, and his sons along with Legolas were in residence but uninjured.  The elf lord stood to his feet and stretched his aching shoulders before heading off in search of his sons who were capable of anything when uninjured.  On his way to the family living area he passed the dinning hall and paused because he heard a very familiar voice floating out of what should have been an empty room.  “Estel, try not to move because if you do something most unfortunate could happen.”  Intrigued Elrond decided to listen for a moment in order to find out just what his youngest son and the prince of Mirkwood were doing. 

 

            “That’s easy to say from your position, Legolas.”  The exasperated statement was followed by a swoosh and a dull thunk.  “When is the last time this thing was cleaned, mellon nín?” 

 

            “Oh Estel, do stop whining.  Its perfectly clean so if you do move and something unfortunate happens you’ll not suffer any additional harm.”

 

            “You say that now but what about when ada finds out what we’re doing in here?

 

            “You worry too much Estel, there won’t be any lasting marks.  Thalinar’s band of warriors did this in our dinning hall last year and once they are pulled out there isn’t a mark unless you look very closely.  Trust me, no-one will get that close so stop worrying – your adar will never find out.”

 

            At that moment Elrond decided he had heard enough so he pushed open the door and stopped dead in his tracks because against the far wall stood his youngest son with his arms spread to the side, his legs a part, and a dagger embedded in the wood to the left of his head.  The elven lord then looked to his right and saw the prince of Mirkwood in a throwing stance with a dagger held tightly in his upraised hand.  Although the elf lord had been struck momentarily speechless he quickly regained his voice, “What in all of Arda is going on in here!?”

 

            The room’s occupants had also been struck speechless but seemed to regain the use of their tongues simultaneously, “Ada, it”, “My lord”.  The elven lord held up his hand and both young ones fell silent, “One at a time if you please.” 

 

The ancient elf then walked across the room and stood before his son who offered an explanation, “Ada it’s just a game; Legolas was showing me how it’s played.”

 

            The elf lord narrowed his eyes at his son then pulled the dagger out of the wood.  He hit the flat side of the weapon against his open palm a few times before leveling a scathing glare at his youngest,  “Just a game?  Estel, two inches closer and this would have been in your eye!”

 

            During this discussion the prince had crossed the room and now stood next to father and son, “My lord”

 

            The elven lord turned toward the prince and froze him in place with an angry glare, “And you, young prince, should have known better.  What would you have done if you had hit him?  Could you live with his death on your hands?”

 

            Although Legolas had great respect for Elrond he couldn’t abide anyone insinuating he would ever hurt his friend so he narrowed his eyes and spoke through clenched teeth, “I would never endanger Estel’s life; I have impeccable aim.”

 

            In his anger Elrond broke protocol and disputed his young guest’s claim, “That’s not what Glorfindel said.”

 

            Aragorn’s eyes grew into perfect imitations of the harvest moon.  The human seemed to be forgotten for the moment and for that he was eternally grateful but he couldn’t believe what his father had just said.  Nobody was allowed to question the aim of a Mirkwood warrior – it was a source of great pride – so it was with trepidation that Aragorn looked into his friend’s eyes.  The man could have sworn that lightening bolts were shooting out of the prince’s eyes as the elf growled, “Are you doubting my aim, my lord?”  When Elrond didn’t respond but continued to stare straight at him Legolas took that as an affirmative and spoke in his most formal and menacing voice, “Then as diplomatic envoy from Mirkwood, once known as Greenwood the Great, I demand retribution for your dishonoring statement.”

 

            Elrond made no outward reaction to the young one’s words but sighed internally – he had never meant it to go this far.   Although this was not the route Elrond had in mind he knew he must abide the rules of protocol and asked softly, “So be it Legolas, what would you ask in retribution?”

 

            The prince became meditative for a moment then replied, “A wise elf once told me that ‘in learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn’.”*

 

            Elrond looked questioningly at Legolas, “And what do you mean by that young prince?”

 

            The prince smiled openly, “Why it’s easy my lord, in order for you to learn how good my aim is you will take Estel’s place on the wall and then after we’ve played our little game you can teach Lord Glorfindel the error of his ways.”

 

            Elrond momentarily closed his eyes in frustration then opened them and leveled a formative stare at Legolas, “In light of this supposed slight to your abilities I’ll concede to this course of action young one.”  Elrond sighed and pointed, “Down there?”  Legolas was busy arranging his daggers so he just nodded distractedly.

 

Just as Elrond had made it to the opposite wall Legolas finished his task and called, “Oh, my lord?”  Elrond quirked an eyebrow at the prince indicating he should continue, “If you have clothes on under your robe you should take it off.”

 

            Elrond looked indigently at the prince, “Of course I have clothes on under my robe but why must I take it off?”

 

            “Well you see my lord, the object of the game is to get the daggers as close as possible to the body and it will be much easier for me to do so without all the extra fabric.”  Legolas explained brightly.

 

            Elrond scowled at the prince but complied with the request, removing his robe and than assuming the same position Estel had been standing in just scant minutes earlier.  From his vantage point Elrond had a perfect view of the Mirkwood prince and his youngest son, the latter of which was calmly reclining next to his friend, “My son, you could at least look concerned for your adar’s safety.”

 

            The young ranger smiled cheekily, “I trust Legolas’ aim ada.”

 

            The elf lord was fighting valiantly to keep from walking over and shaking his son when Legolas called, “Are you ready my lord?”  Thankfully distracted from his former occupation Elrond nodded and Legolas immediately released his first dagger.

 

            Elrond was fascinated as he watched the dagger flipping end-over-end as it flew through the air.  He was startled when he realized the sharp object seemed to be on a path that would put it in his left ear but he resolutely held his ground, not wanting to anger the Mirkwood elf further.  Finally in what seemed like years but in all reality were seconds he heard a loud thunk.  It took him but a fraction of a moment to come to the happy conclusion that he could move his head and felt no pain which could only mean he didn’t have a dagger attached to his ear!   The elf lord barely had a second to celebrate his survival before another dagger struck on the right side of his head, coming close enough to cut a few stray hairs.  With the two daggers in place the elf lord noted he was no longer able to move his head; however, he was only given a moment to ponder this before another dagger embedded itself just a hairs breadth from his right side.  Then in lightening fast succession three more daggers landed:  one on his left side, one by his right leg, and one by his left leg.

 

Elrond immediately noted that all six daggers had landed so he started to pull away from the wall when Legolas’ melodic call stopped him, “Just a moment if you please my lord.”  Elrond furrowed his brow in question, all the daggers were in place what more could the prince want?  He got his answer as soon as he looked at the younger elf for there in his hand was one final dagger.  Elrond couldn’t help but stare at this weapon, he knew it wasn’t there before and found himself concerned about where the elf would place it.  Although one possibility immediately jumped to the elf lord’s mind he discounted it, Thranduil had instilled a respect for his elders in Legolas at an early age so there was no danger the younger elf would do that.  However, when Elrond looked in the eyes of the prince he saw an angry glint, “Be sure not to move my lord, we really wouldn’t want this shot to go badly.”  Seeing the hard to disguise fear in the older elf’s eyes Legolas smiled, “Fear not my lord you have three beautiful children so if my aim is truly as horrible as you say than at least you have your heirs.”  Elrond opened his mouth, intending to tell Legolas that he had mis-spoken but it was too late for the projectile was already in route and Elrond found he was mesmerized as the blade flipped over and over as it flew through the air disappearing out of sight just moments before it impacted the wall.  Elrond’s tight shoulders relaxed as he realized the blade had indeed missed him and had embedded itself deeply in the wall.  After releasing a sigh of relief he extricated himself from the dagger frame he was currently residing in and made his way across the room to his son and the prince.

 

            As soon as his last dagger hit its mark Legolas’ anger immediately dissolved and he was suddenly aware of what he had done.  Because he had known the elf lord for a long time he found it impossible to meet his eyes and instead mumbled an apology while gazing at the floor, “My lord forgive me, my behavior was inexcusable.  I’m  . . . .”

 

            The young elf’s tirade was interrupted as his chin was gently lifted and he found himself looking into the kind eyes of the lord of Imladris, “You are a warrior of Mirkwood and I dishonored your training.”

 

            Legolas, however, was not satisfied, “That is no excuse, my lord.  I must apologize there was no call to do what I did.”

 

            The elf shook his head, “I don’t hold you at fault, young one you were defending the honor of your people – a people which have managed to keep the dark forces at bay for such a long time – and you did Mirkwood great service by your actions.  Now tell me: do you feel your honor has been restored?”  The younger elf nodded which made Elrond smile, “Good that’s settled then” The elf lord was just about to leave the room when he turned back to the prince, “Oh Legolas, may I borrow your daggers?”

 

            The young elf tilted his head in question and responded hesitantly, “Of course my lord.”

 

            Aragorn moved forward from where he had been leaning on the wall and narrowed his eyes at the elderly elf, “What do you want those for ada?”

 

            Elrond picked up the daggers and turned toward the door, “To teach Glorfindel a lesson my son.”

 

              The end

* Phil Collins, from his song: "Son of Man"

 

Translations

Ada/adar – dad/father

Mellon nín – my friend