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Finding Yourself

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Title: Finding yourself

Author: Washow

Rating: G

Summary: There comes a point in everyone’s life when they must break away from the beliefs of their parents and decide for themselves what is right and wrong.

Disclaimer: I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story. Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental. I tried to remain as true to the books as I could but there may be a few discrepancies. This is not slash but a tale of friendship and family love.

Finding yourself

The first rays of dawn were just beginning to light the eastern sky as Elrond quietly made his way across the cobblestone courtyard and toward the sight, which had caught his attention from the balcony. After several minutes the lord of the valley reached his destination and watched with concern as the young elf tossed rocks into the stream. Elrond narrowed his eyes, something just didn’t seem right with Legolas ever since Thranduil had sent the message requesting the prince return to his woodland home. Elrond had subtly tried to get Legolas to open up about what was bothering him for days but had gotten no where so he decided to try the direct approach, “What troubles you Legolas?”

The young prince jumped at the sudden intrusion then blushed at being caught unaware, “Good morning to you my lord.”

Elrond smiled gently, “If you can call this early hour by that name than good morning to you as well young one. Now tell me what troubles you. Did your father say something which upset you?”

The prince shrugged, “Not per se.”

Elrond released a most undignified snort, did the young one really expect him to let the matter go that easily? The lord drew up his robe and sat down on the bank beside the prince, “What did your father say Legolas? What did he ask of you which has caused you to withdraw from my family?” Legolas looked up in shock which caused the elven lord to chuckle, “Don’t be so surprised young one your actions have shouted at all of us that something is amiss. Ever since Estel brought you to my home you have been inseparable but suddenly a letter arrives from your adar and now you barely acknowledge his presence. Estel is beginning to feel that he was nothing more than a diversion for you while you were away from home and since you are being recalled you have no more use for him.” The elf lord brought his dark gray eyes up to meet the blue ones of the woodland prince, “I may not know you well Legolas but I don’t believe you would use my son like a begetting day gift which is enjoyed in the morning but forgotten by day’s end. I could be mistaken but I believe the two of you have become friends and as such I don’t believe you’d just abandon him if there wasn’t a reason.”

Elrond gazed piercingly at the prince for several long moments before the younger elf finally broke under the pressure and exclaimed, “Ada wants me to bring home the elf who saved my life when I was in that hole” Elrond just raised an eyebrow so the prince continued, “What will he say when he sees the hero Thalinar wrote him about is human!? My lord you know that my father has held a grudge against the entire human race since the last alliance. He is still angry at Isildur for keeping the ring and thus, at least in my father’s mind, making my grandfather’s sacrifice meaningless. I can only guess what color he will turn when I walk into the throne room and tell him a human saved my life.” Legolas buried his face in his hands in expiration.

Elrond studied the young prince, “Legolas everybody makes mistakes, men and elves. Yes, Isildur made a mistake when he kept the ring, a horrible mistake which cost him his life and the rest of us pain and heartache but your father has made a mistake as well, he has spent his whole blaming an entire race for one man’s mistake.” The elder elf sighed as he studied the elf in front of him, he knew Legolas and his father were close so Elrond’s next statement was likely to come as a shock, “Legolas there comes a time in everyone’s life when they must choose to either follow the beliefs of their parents or to make their own decisions about what is right and wrong. What do you believe Legolas?”

The blond elf thought for several long moments then looked up at the elf lord, “I don’t know my lord, I just don’t know.”

Elrond smiled gently and gave the young one’ s shoulder a squeeze, “Than maybe it’s time you found out.” The elf lord smiled reassuringly than stood and offered a last piece of advice, “Search your heart young prince and the truth will be found.” Legolas watched as the elven lord disappeared into the shrubbery then leaned back against a tree and closed his eyes as he began to search his heart for answers. The one constant throughout his life had been his ada, his mother had sailed to Valinor early in Legolas’ life so it had just been the two of them but his father had always tried very hard to make up for the absence of his mother by giving his son extra love and attention. He remembered when he was just an elfling and afraid of the dark his father had come to him and held him close while explaining nothing could harm him as long as his ada was there. Then the prince remembered when he came home from patrol injured and how his father had sat by the bed side praying to the Valar for his son’s life. Then Legolas recalled the first time men from lake town had come to the palace to negotiate trade relations between the two realms. That first night, after the visitors went to bed, his father had spent hours filling his head with stories of how stupid and dishonorable humans were leaving him with the instruction, ‘never trust a human my son they will aid you for awhile and then when they have gained your trust will betray you. Never forget what Isildur did to all the elves left on Middle Earth.’ Legolas sighed, his father had always been there for him and had taught him so many things about being a warrior and a ruler but could his father have the wrong idea about humans?

Unbidden the prince’s memories of the last few months with Estel came to mind. He recalled how the man had rescued him from the pit despite the fact that the human was already injured and didn’t know the trapped elf. The prince also recalled that every time he woke up the one thing he was aware of through his fever induced haze was his savior, who he had thought was an elf, sitting by his bedside whispering reassuring words to him in the high tongue. The prince smiled as he recalled how shocked he was when he learned his rescuer wasn’t an elf but in fact the heir of Isildur and how patient Estel had been in allowing the elf to learn to trust him. Legolas then recalled the many hours the two of them had roamed the woods of Imladris while Estel released all the self-doubt he carried around about his ability to rule his people. While Legolas listened to his new friend he discovered that the two of them had many of the same doubts so the pair had spent many hours discussing their insecurities and pledging their aid to the other. When Legolas came back from wandering the paths of the past he tried to pinpoint a single time when the man was less than trustworthy but was unsuccessful in fact if the prince really thought about it the man was probably the most honest, open being (elf or man) he had ever met. He had to admit to himself that Elrond was right, his father had made a mistake when he had blamed all humans for Isildur’s folly. The prince beamed, he knew who he was and what he believed! Legolas opened his eyes and was shocked to see that night was quickly falling in the valley, it had taken him all day to figure out what he believed to be true.

Now that he had made his mind up his growing hunger made its presence known so the prince headed toward the Last Homely house and decided that tonight for the first time since the letter arrived he would join his hosts for dinner. When the prince pushed open the ornate door of the family dining room four heads immediately turned in his direction and Legolas found himself the target of a variety of looks; a knowing smile from the lord of the valley, questioning glances from the twins and an uncomfortable glance from the young human. The lord of the valley stood as Legolas drew nearer, “I’m glad to see you here Legolas, we have missed you greatly these past few nights. I trust you have found what you were looking for today?”

Legolas bowed his head slightly, “I have my lord, thank you for your help.” As the prince sat down the human across from him jumped to his feet as if a snake had bitten him on his backside, “If you’ll excuse me I just remembered I must send a message to Halbarad it may take sometime so go please eat without me.” Aragorn was almost to the door when suddenly someone grabbed his wrist and held him in place. The young ranger turned around and was slightly surprised to see the prince of Mirkwood clinging to his wrist with a sorrowful look in his eyes, “Estel please wait, I’m sorry I have been avoiding you these past few days. I’ve been so confused, my father asked me to bring home the one who rescued me from the pit but he hates humans Estel. He blames the entire race for the folly of Isildur so I was loath to tell him one of the second-born saved my life.” This statement caused the young man to cast his eyes to the floor but the prince reached out and gently tipped his chin up. “I love and respect my father Estel it was difficult for me to willingly cause him pain by bringing a human into our realm and especially his house. However, this morning a friend came to me and asked me what I believed to be true. It seemed like such an easy question but I realized I didn’t have the answer because I was still living by my father’s beliefs. I spent the entire day trying to find myself and in the process discovered how much you mean to me Estel. You are probably the best, most trusted friend I have ever had and I am willing to risk my father’s anger to have you at my side.” At this point Legolas released his hold on the ranger and sank to his knees, “Forgive me for ignoring you Estel, I would like to be your friend if you’ll have me.”

The human pulled the elf off the floor and pulled him close, “Oh Legolas of course I’ll have you, you’re my best friend.”

The embrace broke after several minutes and the elf addressed the ranger, “My father would like to meet the person who saved my life. I’d be proud to present you to the king of Mirkwood if you’re willing to make the journey.” The ranger started to reply but was cut off by the prince, “Before you answer remember that the king and many of his subjects aren’t fond of humans so your stay may not be pleasant.”

The ranger smiled brightly at the elf prince, “Of course I’ll go with you Legolas but not because I want any sort of appreciation for saving your life but because I want to see Mirkwood and meet the elf which is dearest to your heart. As far as the stay being unpleasant, my friend with you by my side no place could be devoid of happiness.”

The End