Areli and Cinaed are 55 years old meaning they are 16 physically in this chapter.
Areli sighed as he walked along the edge of the trees. The air was warm and a gentle breeze danced along his bare arms. He wore a tunic that was sleeveless and a light brown colour along with leggings which were white- these were what Draco called his playing out clothes Areli thought with a chuckle.
Areli looked at the blue sky and the white fluffy clouds which were dusted slightly pink as the sun started to set. His feet were bare as he pushed his feet into the grass underfoot- the blades of grass tickling him as he moved. At 16 Areli had become more beautiful than ever- his lush dark hair falling in curls to his mid back and his pale skin had some colour from the warm sunny days they had been experiencing.
The years in Middle Earth had done wonders to the former Wizard and he didn’t remember ever having lived in such peace before- even with Draco. When they were running from the Wizarding World after the war they were constantly on edge and any peace they had the worry of the outside world was in their minds all the time. Harry would never trade the moments he had with his lover for anything but the peace, love, warmth and kindness the elves had shown him had healed parts of him that Draco could not heal alone. Despite their separation Areli had never felt closer to his soul mate.
Areli turned to his home as he heard the twins running from the building- their quick feet pattering against the stone floor as they legged it away and they had just dashed towards the stables when their Father came out of the Last Homely House with Erestor hot on his heals. They both were sporting a rather blue hair-do.
Areli smiled happily- his brothers reminded him of the Weasley twins so very much. It made him think of the time the twins pranked Draco whilst at Hogwarts and Draco had pranked them back. The twins had quickly learnt that Draco’s idea of a prank was not very funny and could be quite painful- after all setting pixie’s on the pair while the twins were showering was quite dangerous.
Areli turned back the way he was walking and continued on for a few paces happy to dwell in this contentment for a while longer- it was getting easier as the years passed to look into his past without extreme heartache. A hissing sound made Areli stop in his tracks and he glanced around before his green eyes settled on the form which lay on a rock.
A little garden snake was happily humming to itself as it caught the last rays of the sun before it disappeared over the horizon. The dark skin of the reptile gleamed brilliantly and Areli smiled as he remembered Cinaed’s fondness for the creature.“Hello,”
Areli hissed out smiling when the snake stopped humming and seemingly looked around for another snake before looking at Areli.“Are you talking to me, elfling?”
the snake hissed back in surprise. “Yes, I heard you humming before,”
Harry told the snake who was swaying on the rock in an almost pondering manner.“How are you able to speak with me?”
the snake asked stopping its swaying movement and looking towards Areli in an almost scared manner.“My name is Areli; I am the son of Lord Elrond. However, I come from another place originally and was attacked by an evil man who passed some of his powers unwittingly into me,”
Areli told the small snake thinking it was easier to give the cliff notes version.“Young Areli, a most interesting tale. My name is Cyril,”
Cyril introduced himself and gave a strange bow to Areli who smiled brilliantly at the snake.
There was a bang and some yells as his assumed the twins were captured and Areli gave a huff. Sometimes it was hard to find piece and quiet so near to his home. There was always so much going on.“Are you alright young one?”
Cyril asked.“I just need some quiet,”
Areli said with a smile.“I can show you a place which would give you peace and quiet but you would not venture too far away from your nest,”
Cyril offered and after a moments thought Areli nodded and scooped Cyril up into his pale hands and walked into the woods and soon disappearing from view of his home.
The foliage around him grew thicker yet his years could still pick up the sounds from his home if he tried- it would be easy to filter out any noise. After a few minutes of walking carefully, as Areli did not want to trample any trees or plants if he could help it, he heard the rush of water. Faintly at first but it got louder as he moved forward under the hissed instructions of his guide.
The area was denser than what he knew and Areli soon was carefully clambering over branches and plants so that he could make his way to wherever the little snake was leading him. The area was certainly rockier than the areas he was used to.
Areli pushed back some branches per instruction and stepped into a glen. The area was only small- a pool of water lie to one side; rocks littered the area creating a barrier from the outside world and shade from the sometimes heated sun. The water was coming from a nearby stream but Areli would guess that the water had some kind of magic which allowed the water to be very deep. Areli guessed that only someone over 6 feet would be able to touch the bottom of the clear pool.“Does this suit your purpose, Areli?”
Cyril hissed as Areli placed the snake down gently.“Oh, yes, very much so. Though how come no-one has heard of it before now?”
Areli asked somewhat puzzled. It was not too far from Rivendell and surely through the years someone would have come across it before.“This area belonged to the Istari when they resided in Rivendell- when they left for Isengard many ages ago they cloaked this place so that only someone with magical blood could come here,”
Cyril said.“But I don’t have magical blood? I’m an elf,”
Areli told the snake.“Yet you can speak with me,”
Cyril said looking at Areli curiously.
Areli sat down on the grass and stared into the water, aware of Cyril’s movement onto a nearby rock which still caught the sun. It seemed that their Wizarding blood still flowed within them. Yet Areli was not able to recall a area, besides using his mental link to speak with Draco, that he would have used magic. And even the link could be explained easily- it was done before they had changed into Elves and therefore would have withstood the change from human to elf and the link would have being maintained.
Legolas sighed as he walked from his Father’s office. As much as he liked having guests it would be the first time a human had set foot within Mirkwood since Cinaed had arrived. He knew that Cinaed had closed off to people every time an Elven party came to stay in the Golden Wood. Legolas admitted that sometimes they stared at Cinaed and it annoyed his little brother greatly.
However, they could not afford to have Cinaed unwittingly insult the humans who were coming. Lord Berach was a scholar who had been invited to use their library in his research. Legolas did not want Cinaed to react badly to Berach or his men. The treaty Mirkwood had with humans were shaky at the best of times.
Legolas moved swiftly down to his brother’s room and hoped that his brother would be awake at this hour since he brother usually rose early. He walked towards the door just to see the maid come out and close the door behind her.
“Morning, is Cinaed still inside?” Legolas asked with a smile. The elven woman nodded and stepped aside allowing the Prince room to pass and enter the room. His saw his brother coming into the room from his balcony.
Cinaed still wore his sleeping pants and had a light robe over the top of them which was open and showing his toned body. His blond hair which fell to his waist now was free and slightly rumpled from his sleep. Legolas stifled a smile.
“Brother, the maids will develop a crush on you if you continue to look such a way around them,” Legolas said teasingly and watched as Cinaed looked down at himself and then back at Legolas as if Legolas was mad. His brother liked to be well groomed and would bathe every day religiously. Sometimes he would even bathe more than once if he wanted to.
“Good morning, Legolas,” Cinaed greeted his brother while he sat down in a chair and eyed his elder brother, “to what do I owe the pleasure? It’s not even breakfast yet.”
“Ada just informed me we will be having guests in one week,” Legolas said feeling it was better to cut to the chase. He watched as his little brother’s face froze and before his eyes morphed into a blank mask.
“Elves?” Cinaed asked coolly and Legolas could no longer decipher what emotion was going through his brother’s head.
“No, a human scholar and some of his men, they will be using the Library,” Legolas said watching his brother carefully. Cinaed, however, gave no outward reaction to this.
“If you’ll excuse me Legolas my bath is getting cold,” Cinaed said politely and walked from his bedroom with a nod and into his adjoining bathroom.
Legolas sighed- he had a feeling that things were not going to go well.
Cinaed sighed happily as he lowered his body into the warm water and relaxed into the warm. One leg was tilted upwards towards the side of his bath while the other lay before him. He leaned his head back against the side of the bath and his hair was placed over one shoulder so that it wouldn’t get stuck to his back. His arms lay on the sides of the tub and Draco closed his eyes and with a breath opened the connection between himself and Areli.“Good morning, love,”
Cinaed greeted his green eyed love and smiled as Areli’s voice sounded through his mind.“Morning, what’s got you in a mood?”
Areli asked sensing his lover’s mood through their bond.“Some humans are coming to visit Mirkwood,”
Cinaed replied as he shifted slightly in the bath.“Er- isn’t that a good thing?”
Areli questioned and Cinaed couldn’t help but smile at the tone which had crept its way into Areli’s voice. Merlin he missed Areli.“It is good the treaty is still standing but they do not understand the elvish customs and therefore after the initial greeting will no doubt stare at me,”
Cinaed answered while his eyes opened and he grabbed his oils for washing his hair.“True, but you are incredibly beautiful, Dray, they would stare at you. They probably haven’t seen anyone as beautiful as you,”
Areli stated trying to give a reason for the staring which would no doubt happen. Areli had been well aware that Elves who visited Rivendell had stared at him but quickly had stopped once they had met him as it was rude. Humans would no doubt be in such awe of elven beauty they probably wouldn’t be able to help themselves.
Cinaed gave mental hum while he began to rub the oil through his hair and massaged the soaping liquid into his locks.“Tell me about your plans for the day,”
Cinaed commanded his little lover and smiled happily as his fingers worked mechanically through his hair as Areli’s voice filled his mind with happy chatter of his plans.
A week later Cinaed sighed as he pulled a robe on. His blond hair was free except for some braids which were plaited and pulled back and his circlet placed upon his head. His robes were a light blue which were accented with white trimmings. If you looked closely at the robes patterns of vines could be made out going up along the white trimmings.
Cinaed looked every inch the elven prince he was.
The sound of hooves filled the courtyard and with a sigh Cinaed walked slowly but gracefully from the rooms. He walked into the dinning hall just as the guests arrived and took his place on one side of his Father.
Thandruil was dressed in a rich green and looked every inch an elven King while Legolas wore white trimmed with a navy blue looking like an older version of Cinaed to many of the Elves in the room. Cinaed eyed the entering party with a critical eye.
The man who led the party was someone who wore thick furs despite the warm weather; he had muscular arms and plenty of facial hair that looked ungroomed. The men accompanying him were in no better state. And dear Salazar he could already smell them.
Outwardly though, his facial expression gave away none of his disgust for the guests, as his face seemed carved of stone as he watched with almost a casual air around him.
“Welcome, Lord Berach, to Mirkwood,” Thandruil greeted the man and benevolently moved forward towards the arriving guests. Cinaed noted with amusement that the grown men were looking somewhat childlike as they saw with their own the beauty that was Mirkwood. One of the men looked about ready to wet himself in excitement when he laid eyes on Thandruil though the men were trying to hide their excitement.
“Greetings, King Thandruil,” Lord Berach said in a gruff tone and inwardly Cinaed shuddered at the unrefined noise.
“May I introduce my sons to you, this is my eldest son, Legolas,” Thandruil spoke clearly and on cue Legolas gracefully moved forwards with a smile.
“Greetings to you Lord Berach, I hope your journey was pleasant,” Legolas smiled as the musical voice stunned the elves.
“Thank you, our journey was most agreeable,” Lord Berach replied.
“And this is my youngest son, Cinaed,” Thandruil smiled and Cinaed glided forward soundlessly stopping beside his brother.
“Lord Berach, it’s a delight to meet you,” Cinaed said with a nod though his face showed no delight at meeting the man.
For a moment, Lord Berach and his men were awestruck at the vision in front of them. Cinaed inwardly sighed and then arched one eyebrow when their silence persisted. Lord Berach visibly pulled himself together.
“Thank you, I have heard much about you and your family,” Lord Berach replied, his eyes not moving away from the blond.
“You will no doubt be hungry,” Thandruil spoke after a moment and Berach tore his eyes away from Cinaed though his men did not.
Cinaed inwardly frowned- he knew this would happen.
The next few weeks passed easily enough as Cinaed made an effort to avoid the human guests. Instead he doubled his training time and spent many hours down at the archery and fencing fields. Sometimes he even went for a stroll through the city but more likely than not he hide out in his Father’s office and he avoided the library at all costs. He would still see Lord Berach and his men at meal times and it seemed that whenever he glanced in their direction one of them was looking at him.
Sighing Cinaed walked into the library- he had asked his servant to see whether any of the humans were inside and they weren’t so for now Cinaed was picking some books out to read. As he placed the fourth book on the table and wandered back to the bookshelf and his eyes scanned the titles a shadow came up behind him. Cinaed turned around to see Lord Berach standing behind him. And he still reeked.
Berach placed his oversized arms on the bookcase behind Cinaed effectively trapping the blond between them. His breath was practically putrid and his overall smell made Cinaed’s nose twitch.
“And what do you think you are doing?” Cinaed asked coldly trying not to show the man he was intimidated.
“You are so beautiful- perfection,” Berach rumbled as his eyes roamed over Cinaed’s features.
“If you would move your arms now,” Cinaed prompted the man who didn’t move an inch.
“You would look lovely in my bed,” Berach said bluntly and Cinaed snapped. He lashed out with his knee and landed a solid hit to the man’s privates which sent Berach staggering back and effectively freeing Cinaed.
Cinaed then moved quickly and kicked the man to the ground and looked coldly down at the human. The Ice-Prince façade which he had perfected during his years at Hogwarts came to the fore- and for a moment it seemed that Cinaed was Draco once again. The mask was comfortable and Cinaed felt a protection from it.
“Clearly your intelligence is none existent if you actually believed I would want to sleep with you. I doubt you would be considered attractive among your own kind but among mine your looks equal that of a hog. Your status is lower than mine you simple human and even if you were royalty I still would not be interested in you. Now leave me, your smell is offending,” Cinaed snarled out the insult- the words rolling off his tongue with ease as the sharp wit he had used so much when young came back easily.
Berach scrambled up from the floor and left the library in a hurry. Cinaed smirked coldly and felt a satisfaction creep up on him. It did feel good to let insults go- in Mirkwood there was never really anyone to insult and Areli had warned him not to alienate the elves after they had taken him in.
Maybe humans should visit Mirkwood after all- it would serve as a release for his insults.
Cinaed collected his four books and walked from the library slowly not noticing the maid which scurried away to the Kitchen. Within the hour he had a nickname- The Ice Prince- and Lord Berach was escorted from the city along with his men for trying to coerce an underage elf.
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