Gûr o Nîth
Gûr o Nîth (Death of Youth)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except for Legolas' fictional twin brother, Eirien. JRR Tolkien is the genius, not me.
The ground was red.
It was utterly silent. And the ground was red.
Legolas Thranduilion raised empty, haunted eyes to scan the opposite riverbank, but no one moved.
His naneth's eyes were closed, and there was a long crimson streak across her face, and that was very wrong, though he wasn't quite sure why.
Naneth was always clean, and she never closed her eyes. Only mortals closed their eyes to sleep, not eldar.
But Naneth wasn't sleeping, and neither were the guards, or the ladies that had come down to the river with them.
And he didn't see his brother anywhere.
Legolas whimpered, clinging tighter to the tree he'd hidden in, carefully avoiding the black arrow protruding from the trunk.
He huddled against the tree as the riverbank exploded with activity again, the air vibrating with exclamations of shock and horror in various elvish voices.
Legolas was trembling, and he was ashamed because he was 7 years old, and should be braver.
Princes weren't supposed to be so afraid that they shook, and they certainly weren't supposed to cry, like he was.
Even if the ground was red, and naneth's eyes were closed, and his little brother-by three whole
A familiar voice. A safe voice.
"Ada!" Except that no sound emerged from his throat, even though his mouth shaped the word.
He wasn't making a sound, and that made the tears come faster.
His insides hurt from the wrongness, and he didn't know how not to be afraid, and he couldn't stop crying, and he couldn't make a sound, even with his ada climbed the tree and carried him back down.
And he couldn't understand when Ada told him the orcs took Naneth and Eirien to the Halls of Mandos to stay with Manwë, and why couldn't they just come back if they wanted to, since Ada said it wasn't because Legolas had been bad, even if he did
lie about feeding lembas to Ada's horse.
Legolas was angry, because he didn't understand why Naneth and Eirien couldn't come back, and he was furious because when he asked, all of the adults got funny looks on their faces and wouldn't say. Sometimes they cried.
Mostly, they said he'd understand when he was older.
Legolas was pretty sure that meant they didn't really know, and just wanted him not to ask anymore, because he didn't think he'd be 'older' until he was in Valinor.
So, he stopped asking, and snuck out to the practice field when he was supposed to be taking a nap.
At first, even the practice bow was too big, and he could hardly draw back.
But, he was too angry to stop trying.
After several weeks, he could nock an arrow, draw back, and let it fly with no problem.
In another month, he could hit the center of the target with every shot, to the point that he was splitting the arrows.
The initial panic when he was caught shooting dissipated as Ada witnessed his anger-driven skill, and he was left to it, though a guard surreptitiously kept watch in case he shot himself in the foot.
He was 7 years old, and he was ashamed for not being brave, and because he cried, and Princes didn't cry.
But, he could shoot.
And, when he was 'older' and someone finally told him why
Naneth and Eirien couldn't come back from the Halls of Mandos, Legolas would understand why Naneth's eyes were open and the ground was red, and Eirien was gone.
Manwë-One of the Valar
Valinor-The Undying Lands
Halls of Mandos-Where Elves go after death
Eirien-Legolas' fictional twin brother, name means 'daisy'.(Though not in a feminine sense.)Author's Notes:
I'm following the elven aging calculation of 2.5 human years being the equivalent of one elven year, meaning that if Legolas was 7 years old, to the elves, he'd be about 3. Keep in mind that elves also reckon time differently than Men, and they develop differently, so while emotionally and as far as understanding death/consequences, he would very much be a child, as far as elven eyesight, hand-eye coordination and instinct is concerned, he may very well be capable of mimicking elven archers on a practice field, though he would hardly be able to take part in actual combat.
Also, please forgive any inconsistencies as far as the title and other elvish words are concerned-I'm nowhere near