Home Sweet Home
Disclaimer - I own everything. Or will do next Christmas. *sighs*.
I love reading these kind of fics but there just aren't enough our there. So I decided to write one of my own. If you are interested in other stuff like this then check out my favourites, like 'This Means War' and 'Of Chilly Dwarves And An Angry Elf'.
This story is kind of AU, but I'm going to say that it happened after the two of them had left Fangorn Forest, and they went right on to Mirkwood.
A/N : 'Maegóre' is pronounced 'Mig-oh-ray', and it means 'sharp heart'.
"Are we nearly there?" Gimli moaned. He was extremely fed up. It had been weeks since leaving Fangorn, and days since entering Mirkwood, or Eryn Lasgalen as it was now called.
"We are nearly at the palace, yes." Legolas called back to his friend. Gimli, however, needed an exact estimate of how long it would be since Legolas's definition of 'nearly' was rather different to Gimli's.
"How many hours?" He asked, preparing himself for the worst.
"If I remember rightly, we have just passed the border now." Legolas informed the Dwarf, who practically fell off of the horse in shock. They really were nearly there then! "But it will be many more hours before we reach the palace itself. I suppose it will be another half day of fast riding."
Gimli slumped slightly. Still, half a day was not that bad compared to some of the other, longer journeys he had made. In any case, he would be sleeping in an actual bed tonight, instead of the floor. This thought made him feel better, almost on the brink of cheerful, but not quite.
It was at that point that, quite suddenly, a group of eight Elves dropped out of the tree's around them. They took Gimli by surprise. Legolas had known they were there, though, and when he saw that most of the group were some of his childhood friends he slipped off of Arod, beaming.
"Legolas?" One dark-haired Elf with deep, grey eyes looked at Legolas with a huge smile on his face.
"Kemen!" Legolas exclaimed, and with that, the group surrounded him excitedly. They threw question after question at him with a few exclamations thrown in for good measure.
"What happened, Legolas?"
"Why? Why did you do it?"
"Your father is going to kill you, Legolas-"
"Not him, but Lord Elrond!"
"Legolas, who's the naugrim?"
At the last question, the entire group finally stopped smothering their friend and gave him a little space. They all looked at him expectantly, and Legolas looked back at them innocently. He cleared his throat.
"This," The Elf said, moving over to where Gimli was standing, having struggled ungracefully off of Arod. "Is Gimli, son of Gloin. He represented the Dwarves in the Fellowship of the Ring, he was my companion and is my friend." Now he looked at his friends as though daring them to contradict him.
The Wood-Elves looked back at him.
"That is all very well," Kemen said. "But do you...do you really think this is wise?"
"Yes." Legolas said firmly.
Gimli found the whole thing rather tiresome. Maybe Elves did not tire easily, and Gimli was loathe to admit it, but he at least was exhausted with their journey and wanted nothing more than to reach their destination, no matter what came when they got there. Luckily, Legolas knew him well enough to see this and he moved on smoothly.
"As good as it is to be home, and to see you all again, we have had a long journey and wish to reach the palace as quickly as possible."
Kemen, who was in charge of the small group of Elven warriors, nodded. "I will come with you." He paused briefly, then turned back to his warriors. "Hathel, you come with us too...Aelin, you're in charge. Continue on the route we were already taking."
The Elves followed his orders, calling goodbye to Legolas, Kemen and Hathel as they went. Legolas's friends then took to the trees, Legolas leapt lightly back onto Arod and Gimli followed.
"Will they be able to keep up with Arod?" Gimli asked Legolas doubtfully as they began a fast trot. This question was met by the musical sound of Elvish laughter floating down from the trees above them.
Legolas smiled in spite of himself. "Mellon-nin, have you learnt nothing in your travels with me? Kemen and Hathel will almost certainly arrive ahead of us."
And so, they broke into a canter (which Gimli was really not pleased about.) and continued their journey to the Elvenking's Halls.
It had been late morning when Legolas and Gimli had crossed the border, and when they arrived outside the palace gates, it was early evening. Sure enough, Hathel and Kemen were happily waiting for the pair by the gates, which had been opened by the guards on the other side at their arrival.
As soon as they rode through the gates, some young ellons working in the stable came and immediately took Arod from his riders. First, the Elf and Dwarf removed their belongings from him, then turned to walk into the palace with Kemen and Hathel, who were once again throwing question after question at Legolas.
"Hathel, Kemen, please. There will be plenty of time for questions later. For now it is just good to be home." Legolas fended them off, as they approached the doors to the palace. Here they paused briefly and turned to look back at the long path they had just taken up to the palace doors. Gimli turned, to, and what he saw was really quite outstanding.
There were exactly 11 steps leading up to the doors of the palace, and standing at the top of them...first, you could see the palace gardens, on either side of the main path. There were trees, but there were many more bushes and flower beds, small little courtyards and large stretches of grass, even a few small little lakes and ponds. Scattered around you could see Elves wandering around and working on the greenery. There was a peacefulness, but not the same kind of peace as in Imladris or Lothlorien. Eryn Lasgalen had been damaged by the war, it was true, but the Elves had wasted no time in restoring it, and it now looked like it hadn't in thousands of years. It looked like Greenwood the Great, not Mirkwood. There was still damage across the realm of course, but the palace looked amazing. Imladris had a quiet beauty, Lothlorien a mysterious grace and Eryn Lasgalen was its own. There was a hushed noise from Elves talking to each other and from nearby animals. Extending from the walls of the palace were trees, nothing but trees. In all directions. Even Gimli had to admit it was something.
"Do you like it?" Gimli was surprised to find it was not Legolas who spoke, but his friend...the dark haired one. Kemen. The Elf was studying the Dwarf carefully, and so were the other Elves on the platform - Legolas, the other Elf and the two guards standing by the entrance.
"It's...certainly impressive." Gimli replied. To his surprise, both Kemen and Hathel broke into wide smiles at this. Legolas looked somewhat relieved.
"It is impressive." Hathel agreed. He had blond hair, like Legolas, and warm, hazel eyes.
He had barely finished his sentence before an Elf came rushing out of the palace and, spying Legolas, enveloped him in a hug. It was at least a minute before Legolas managed to escape this new Elf's clutches.
"Maegóre! Do you mind?" Legolas demanded, rubbing his right arm where he had been clutched too hard.
"No, I don't!" Maegóre retorted. "Do you know how long you've been gone, Legolas? We were-"
"Worried sick, I know, I know." Legolas finished. He had heard this all literally hundreds of times before.
"You are just lucky that Adar isn't here yet. He's in another meeting- which he wouldn't have to be in if you were here!" Maegóre accused.
"You do not seem to be particularly busy." Legolas pointed out a little icily.
"I was going through the requisition lists." Maegóre replied even more icily. "Then I was interrupted by the late arrival of my little brother."
"Little brother?" Gimli could not keep silent at this. Despite being good friends with Legolas, he had always just assumed that Legolas was an only child. He knew his friend's mother was no longer with them, and Legolas hadn't gone into details, but Legolas had never mentioned any siblings before and Gimli certainly hadn't asked.
"Yes. Although there is hardly any time between us at all." Legolas said quickly. The other Elf - Maegóre - turned and looked at the Dwarf too. Gimli used the time to study Legolas's brother.
Elves usually looked similar (although he was getting better at being able to tell them apart.) but he could see subtle differences and similarities between Maegóre and Legolas. The both had golden hair, although the older brother had a slightly darker tinge to his. But their eyes were different. Legolas's were silvery blue, and seemed to change shades with the light. Maegóre's eyes were green - pure, sharp green, the colour of the woods around him. Gimli could just pick out different facial features, and realised that Maegóre had more of a rectangular face shape than Legolas and Legolas's eyes were slightly larger.
"You brought home a naugrim? On top of everything else? Have you lost your mind?" Maegóre said in disbelief to his brother.
"Gimli is my friend." Legolas said, moving protectively in front of the Dwarf, just like he had with the Elves at the border. "Just like Kemen, Hathel Aelin, and Linnod. You don't have a problem with any of them, do you?"
Maegóre shook his head. "This is different. This is a Dwarf."
Legolas looked at Gimli, begging him to understand and not fault his brother for his intolerance, before turning back to Maegóre. "Ray, please. Aren't you happy to see me? Why can't you just be glad that I'm here?" Legolas inserted a slightly hurt note to his voice.
Maegóre's demeanor changed immediately. "Of course I'm glad you're home again. How could you even say that? We can talk about this another time. I'm sure you are both tired." He ushered the two of them into the palace and spoke to Kemen and Hathel. "Did you bring them here?"
"We met them on the border, my lord." Kemen answered.
"Thank-you. I'm sure you're both tired too...take some rest at your homes." With that, Maegóre followed the other two into the Entrance Hall of his home.
"Are my rooms ready?" Legolas asked him hopefully.
"They should be. They've been cleaned since you left."
"Gimli can take one of my guest rooms then." Legolas said. He looked his brother right in the eye. "Do you have any idea when Ada will be done? It'll be a surprise."
"Oh, he'll be surprised." Maegóre agreed.
Legolas understood the sarcasticness in his brothers voice but ignored it. "Fine. We'll see you at dinner, Ray."
"Alright, Legolas." He watched as Legolas practically pulled Gimli up the stairs and then smile at the Dwarf and start talking. He never took his eyes off of Gimli's back. He had no idea how this had happened, or what he was going to say to his father. He was overjoyed to have Legolas home again, but he didn't trust that Dwarf. Not one bit.
"You never told me you had a brother, Legolas." Gimli said as they entered the Elf's rooms.
"You never asked."
"That is not the point. You could of warned me."
"Warned you about what?" There was genuine surprise in Legolas's voice as he stopped to look at the Dwarf.
Legolas's chambers were nice, and comfortable. There was a sitting room with a desk, table, and many overstuffed armchairs and sofas. Lining the walls were bookshelves, that held more books than Gimli had ever seen in his life. Candelabra's lined the walls, unlit for now, but at the other end of the room, the wall was almost entirely made up of floor-to-ceiling length windows covered by elaborately patterned thin sheets of material that allowed plenty of light to shine through and light up most of the room. Leading off of the room were some doors, all identical. Gimli spared a moment to look around before answering.
"About what his feelings towards me would be like. I expected something of the sort of course, but your other friends - Kemen and the other one - seemed to accept it well enough." Gimli sank into one of the soft, soft chairs and shut his eyes.
Legolas, placing his belongings onto the desk, turned back towards Gimli. "Maegóre will come around, Gimli. He is no worse than how I felt about you upon our first meeting. Kemen and Hathel are very different to my brother, mellon-nin, but what did you expect?"
"All I can say, Legolas, is that if that is how your older brother feels about me then I can't wait to see your father."
Legolas rolled his eyes. "You underestimate them, Gimli."
"You can take that room Gimli, and go and get cleaned up. There is, obviously, an adjacent bathroom." Legolas hinted to the Dwarf who was practically asleep already.
"Right. Right." Gimli mumbled, stumbling into the room Legolas pointed him over to.
Thranduil strolled down the corridor towards the dining room. He had been in that meeting for approximately five hours and forty-two minutes, coming an impressive sixth in his 'longest meetings' list. The longest one had been a seven and a half hour one on what needed to be done to the border patrols, and in the end, they had decided that it was fine the way it was. Infuriating. This latest one had been discussing the restoration of Eryn Lasgalen. He was interested in this, but nonetheless he was relieved it was finished.
He was worried about Legolas. His youngest had always had the habit of going off for months at a time. If he had thought he had his hands full with Maegóre, he shouldn't of spoken before Legolas. That child had made him have more heart attacks than the rest of Arda's affaires altogether. But even Legolas had not been gone for this long before.
Lord Elrond and Mithrandir had a lot to answer for.
As he approached the dining hall he could hear the quiet but excited chatter going on inside. The dining hall was open to everyone for every meal, and most were already seated by the time he got there. Thranduil paused for a moment outside the doors. What for, he didn't know, but he just didn't feel like being with a lot of people right then. He was about to turn around and go up to his study when a voice stopped him.
"Ada? Aren't you going to eat?"
He could barely believe his ears. Surely it wasn't? But that could really only be one person. His eyes confirmed what his ears could not as looked over to where his son was standing.
"Legolas?" He asked finally in disbelief.
"Adar." Legolas took a few steps forward before finding himself in his fathers crushing embrace. Neither of them said anything for the moment, both happy just to rest in each others arms. They stayed there for a few minutes before both pulling away.
"When did you arrive back?" Thranduil questioned.
"About two hours ago. We went up to my rooms to get ready. You were in the meeting, so I guess it was a surprise."
"It was, ion-nin." He repeated what Legolas had said over in his head again and frowned. "We?"
Legolas considered how to tell is father then said, "I met many people in the Fellowship, Ada. I made some new friends, and there was one in particular that I became friends with. Maegóre has already met him. Afterwards I will be continuing on to his home, then returning to Minas Tirith."
"Who is he?" Thranduil asked. He didn't have a good feeling about this.
"His name is Gimli, son of Glóin."
Comprehension dawned on Thranduil's face. "A Dwarf?"
"My friend." Legolas corrected.
"Your friend." Thranduil repeated. "Where is he?"
"He's just coming now, I think. Adar...please give him a chance. Maegóre has already judged him on his race alone, just like I did when I first met him...before I got to know him properly. I'm sure he is uncomfortable enough here without..." Legolas trailed off, giving his father a pleading look.
Thranduil could never resist Legolas when given that look. So he would try, try and accept this Dwarf. He mentally corrected himself. This friend of Legolas. He would talk to his eldest about the proper ways to treat a visitor. He would try and get to know Gimli son of Glóin like his son had. For Legolas's sake.
He didn't think anything had ever looked as daunting as this before.
"I will, Legolas." Thranduil said anyway, then looked up because they could both hear Gimli coming down the stairs. Legolas watched as he came down, finally stopping a little way away from them. He didn't do anything, and he clearly had no idea what to do now. His gaze flickered over Thranduil for a second but them quickly moved on to Legolas, where he held eye contact for a moment and finally settled for looking at the closed dining room door.
"Gimli," Legolas said smoothly, making the Dwarf look back at him right away. "This is my father, Thranduil. Adar, this is my friend, Gimli."
"Gimli Glóins son, at your service." Gimli said with a stiff bow.
"At your and you family's." Thranduil replied tightly, then seeing the reproving look on Legolas's face did his best to look warm and welcoming.
"It's a pleasure to have you here with us, Gimli."
"The pleasure is all mine." Gimli replied. He wondered just what Legolas had said to his father to make Thranduil act like this to him. He had long since stopped believing that the Elvenking was the cruel tyrant his people had told him about for so long, but there was no denying the fact that there was a long history between Thranduil and Gimli's relatives, so he had expected something a little different.
"Shall we go in then?" Legolas suggested, and led the way into the dining room. Maegóre was already seated on what would be Thranduil's right, talking quietly to Tanthalas, who he was sitting next to. Everyone looked up as the threesome walked in and took their seats. Legolas and Gimli both had everyone in the room staring at them, but they both tried their best to ignore this.
"Mae govannen." Legolas said brightly to the table.
"Legolas...you're back." Tanthalas said after a pause in which no-one else said anything. Everyone seemed unsure of how to act.
"I am. This is Gimli, son of Glóin, from the Fellowship. I thought explaining our journey might be easier with two people than one. Right Gimli?" Legolas explained.
"Yes." Gimli agreed. He eyed the table. One of his biggest worries about coming to Mirkwood -ahem, Eryn Lasgalen- was the food. The food and drink. What did Elves have on their tables? That he could eat happily, that was. There seemed to be quite normal foods, though - meat and vegetables, mainly. He could deal with that.
Drinking was another matter entirely, though. All that was on the table was wine, with a few jugs of water. It was dorwinion wine of course, but it made no difference to Gimli. Wine was wine.
Legolas quickly spotted this dilemma and turned to his father. "Adar, is there any ale about?"
Thranduil, who had been taking a sip of wine at the time, nearly choked. It took him only a split second to recover himself, though. "Ale? I doubt it." He looked at Gimli and continued, "I dare say we could order some from Esgaroth, though."
"We'd probably be gone by the time it arrived here, though." Legolas admitted. "There's probably no point."
"Are you not planning on staying long then?" Maegóre asked, purposely not looking at the Dwarf.
"No. We're moving onto Erebor soon. Gimli, I'm afraid you're going to have to have water. Unless you want to try some of the Dorwinion? I'm sorry, I should of thought ahead." Legolas apologized.
"Water is fine." Gimli said.
"Erebor? Where the nau- the Dwarves live?" Maegóre asked incredulously, leaning forward on the table in order to stare at his brother in amazement.
"Yes. Do you want potatoes, Gimli?" Legolas said. Thranduil shot Maegóre a warning look. Legolas and Gimli clearly had a very deep friendship.
"Please." Gimli said. Words just could not describe how uncomfortable he felt right there. He was checking his body language, facial expression and speech for the slightest error. He couldn't speak or act freely as he would normally of done, but he supposed Legolas was a Prince and it would only be polite to show his face at the evening meal, especially after such a long absence.
No-one said anything for a few minutes after that. Gimli suspected that it would of been very different if he had not been there. There would of been chatting and laughter and smiles all around. Instead, everyone ate in silence, and even the rest of the hall was filled with only quiet whispers and murmers. No-one looked at anyone else and just stared at their plates, or occasionally their goblets.
Finally Legolas, unable to bear it any longer decided to start up a conversation. "Estel and Arwen have got married."
"Oh?" Thranduil asked, although he had known that.
"Yes. We stayed in Minas Tirith in time to see their wedding, and then went onto the Glittering Caves and Fangorn Forest."
"Fangorn Forest?" Thranduil asked. Legolas had written to him telling him the very basics of what he had to know, but hadn't told him that he would be visiting. "What was it like?"
"Oh, it was amazing." Legolas shifted slightly in his seat so he could glare at Gimli. "It was very open, free and fresh."
"Come off it." Gimli snorted. "Did you see the architecture in those caves? Magnificent. I've never seen anything like it."
"It was good. But there were tonnes and tonnes of rock above us, Gimli! How could you possibly breath?"
"Quite easily. That forest was just awful. Roots everywhere, and I never want to see the colour green again!"
This conversation carried on for the rest of the meal, while everyone else listened with interest. When everyone was finished, Legolas excused himself and Gimli to go up to their rooms.
"Aren't you going to tell us about you little adventure?" Maegóre suggested none-too-subtly.
"It's a long story, and I'm sure it can wait for one more day." Legolas pointed out. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight." Thranduil and a few other Elves at the table said in unison.
"Goodnight." Gimli said gruffly at a pointed look from Legolas.
Once again, Legolas and Gimli left the hall with every single pair of eyes upon them. Neither of them said a thing as they headed up to Legolas's rooms.
As soon as they were gone, Maegóre turned to his father. "What do you think?"
"What do I think, of what?" Thranduil asked.
"Everything. Legolas being back...that Dwarf."
"Maegóre, I understand that you are concerned about your brother, but I do not want you to say anything to either of them. They are obviously close."
"Too close." Maegóre muttered. Thranduil said nothing, but stood up. He didn't know what was going through Maegóre's head right now, and he didn't have time to find out. He had to go over and sign those requisition lists as well as all the border patrol reports, which would take well over an hour.
Maegóre got up and left the table shortly after his father. He loved his brother, but had seen him get hurt too many times in the past. He wouldn't let that happen again. He had to find a way to speak with that Dwarf. Alone.
Thanks for reading. Reviews would be wonderful (hint hint) as I would love to know what you thought (good, bad, awful, potential?) and concrit would be great too because I'm always looking for ways to improve my writing! :) :) :) :) :)P.S. If I continue with this, not all the chapters will be this long!