Author's Note: Since I'm recently writing fanfiction again after a VERY long break, yet I've still left up my old stuff, I feel like I need to add a note to this story! Before reading this, please do note that it's a really old story (it's 10 years old this year!), and that I was 13/14 when I wrote it. It was also my first published angst fic. As such, it doesn't reflect any of my current writing ability or style, and it could certainly be written better. In other words, there are going to be inconsistencies and errors and some clumsy writing, I'm leaving it up for old time's sakes and because it's always been popular – but I do ask that you bear the above in mind if you'd like to read it – think before posting crit/hate – because believe me I'm aware and I probably agree with you lol. Other than adding this author's note, I'm leaving the rest of the story unchanged. If you'd like to see what I'm currently writing, rather check out my recent work :) And well, if you'd like to read this anyway - please enjoy it!
Disclaimer: If you have doubts as to who owns the characters, locations etc. in this story, go check the first publish date of The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954), then compare it to the publish date of this story, Captive by Dark Windsong (2005). It will very quickly become obvious which one of us used the characters, places names etc. first.
Legolas woke before the Sun. He yawned, stretched and got up. The Elf ate and packed up his belongings. He loaded them, all except for his bow and arrows and elegant pair of White Knives, onto his white stallion, Nimros, whose name in the Elven tongue meant White Foam. He rode with neither saddle nor bridle, the bond between Elf and Horse was so strong that Legolas trusted Nimros with his life. For the journey he had fitted a simple leather harness to the horse, which enabled him to strap his pack and bedroll on. He strapped his weapons onto his back, where he could easily reach them. As he did so, he was reminded with a horrible sinking feeling why he was so far from home. He had just passed Lórien, the Golden Wood, yesterday, but he had skirted it to avoid detection. He was not supposed to be away from home.
Legolas had snuck out of the palace in the dead of night three nights ago without his father's consent after a host of Moria Goblins had attacked his home in an attempt on King Thranduil's life. Legolas hadn't seen the entire fight, but in the end, the Goblins had been unsuccessful, and had instead taken one of his fellow Elves captive. King Thranduil had refused to tell his son who it was that had been taken, and had told him that it was no use risking his life by attempting to rescue the Elf – the Goblins would had have killed him long ago.
Defiant, and refusing to believe his father's words, the Prince of Mirkwood had cleverly drugged the palace guards and set off on Nimros at midnight. He was now camped on the borders of Lórien.
From the tracks Legolas had found, he guessed that the Goblins were heading for Dimrill Dale, the back entrance to Moria. They were probably planning to retreat back into the depths of the mines. And Legolas knew another thing: their captive was alive – he had discovered Elven footprints among the Goblin ones. He must stop them! He could see it now: he, Prince Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood, would free the captive and bring him home. Yes, he'd follow them into Moria if that's what it took!
Legolas leapt nimbly onto his horse and surveyed the landscape. No Goblins. The Elf sighed. The creatures had a good headstart – they had traveled fast in the one day that he had spent planning his mission. Even his eyes could not pick them up, although it was not yet dawn. Hopefully he would have better luck later. Legolas nudged Nimros with his heels and settled into the gentle rocking chair motion of the stallion's canter. The horse's gait was such that he seemed to effortlessly float across the ground, and Legolas found himself releasing the stallion's long mane – it was so easy to keep his balance that he need not hold on. He trusted the horse not to stumble, and so focused his attention on searching for the Goblins.
Nimros whinnied joyously, but Legolas silenced him.
"Baw, Nimros." He shook his head, though the horse could not see his gesture. The noise could attract unfriendly beings. In response, the white stallion lowered his head submissively. "Hannon lê, roch." The Elf scratched his horse's neck affectionately.
Once it was fully light, Legolas slowed Nimros to a trot, so that he might more easily pick up any signs that the Goblins may have left behind. It wasn't long before he found some – deep scuff marks, recently upturned rocks, the remnants of a campfire behind a clump of boulders and…blood. Mercifully, it was not red, but black – Goblin blood. The creatures were forever squabbling. There wasn't much of it, and no dead bodies were to be seen, so the fight could not have been too serious. Pity. It could have been a few less Goblins to worry about.
"Daro, Nimros." Legolas dismounted to closer examine the scene. Something caught his eye. It was an Elven brooch, half trodden into the dust. The Elf picked it up. It was made of a piece of moonstone, carefully shaped into the likeliness of a leaf (if it hadn't been white, Legolas could have sworn it was real – the Elven craftsmen were that skilled), and set in an exquisite Mithril silver base. A valuable item. Legolas rubbed away the dirt from its surface and stowed it in his quiver.
The Elf spent some time scanning the trampled ground and then sighed and mounted Nimros.
"Noro lim." The signs were old, which meant that the Goblins were far ahead of him. He had to catch them somehow. They didn't like light – he had that advantage over them. Ages spent in the labyrinths of Moria had made the Goblins eyes large to enable them to see in near total darkness, but they were ill – adapted to the light of day. They preferred to travel under cover of darkness. Legolas was perfectly happy to hunt them either way, come rain or shine, and Nimros, like all Elven horses, was sure – footed in even the darkest of nights.
When it was fully light, Legolas urged Nimros up a small hill in the hope of spying the Goblins, but he was disappointed. The land was deserted. The white Elf – horse snorted and cantered down the hill. Legolas and Nimros pressed on.