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Title: A Secret Revealed (08/20)
Arc: The Secrets Trilogy
Author: K
Rating: R (for later chapters)
Fandom: LOTR
Genre: Angst
Pairing: Aragorn/Legolas
Distribution: Just tell me where you put it
Notes: Legolas's POV
Disclaimer: Not mine! Characters, universe & so on belong to the Tolkien Estate. The only thing I own is my mind.


It pained my heart to see Aragorn's face when I announced that my Father wished me to wed Valrodiel. He looked mortified. I looked from him, to her, and saw the colour had drained from her face; her expression was that of someone who had been given bad news.
"This is not what you want?" I asked her gently.
She stared back at me, her eyes wide as she searched for a reply.
"No...well, maybe one day, I would want to be betrothed, but just not now...I have too much of a life to lead before settling down and starting a family...no doubt that is the reason King Thranduil wishes you to marry," she said finally.
"It is true, he wishes that my brothers and I all father many children, so that the family line can be carried on for many falls of the leaves after he has passed to the Grey Havens," I explained my Father's reasoning.
Aragorn had remained silent all this time.
"What do you think of this?" I asked him.
"I should offer my congratulations, I suppose," Aragorn stuttered, standing up.
"Now if you excuse me, I am sure you both have a lot of things to talk about," and with that he left before either Valrodiel or myself could say anything to make him stay. I wanted to go after him, but knew that I had to talk this over with Valrodiel; and I had many other things to tell her as well. Like how I did not wish to marry either, and that I felt nothing more than friendship for her, which was probably all I ever felt for her, that I loved her personality, but that isn't enough to wed someone, or even court them; that there has to be something more. But how would I tell her of this? She had now met Aragorn, would it be wise of me to tell her I was in love with him, and this was why I was going to go against my father's wishes and not become betrothed to any elf maiden?
"Do you wish to be wed?" she asked me.
"I do not," I replied, staring at my feet. "Do not take it as anything against you, Val, but I cannot be wed to you."
"I understand," she said, surprising me. "We are both still young, and yes, older than our parents were when they were wed, yet there is so much we both need to do before settling down."
I nodded. She didn't know the half of it.
"I want to study," she said. "All this knowledge in here, it will take hundred of years to read it all, to learn it all. I want to have the wisdom that lies on these pages, help unlock the wisdom that lies within me, for it lies within us all."
"You are already wise, Valrodiel," I told her, making her beam. She was very wise, although younger than me, and younger than those such as Arwen; she probably had more knowledge and wisdom than quite a few Elves older than her. And she wanted to expand her knowledge further.
"I think, maybe we need to plan a way of living our lives as we wish, not as others wish us to," I stated.
She nodded in agreement. "For us to avoid being wed, do as we wish, and let our parents think they have got us to do as they wanted," she smiled at the idea of defying her parents; she did not get along with them very well. I could identify with that.
"What is it you wish to do in your life?" she asked.
I thought about this for a moment, and said, "I wish to travel. I have not seen half of the wonders of Middle-Earth; yet have heard tales of many beautiful and mysterious places that I would like to see. But there are more and more Orcs around, and this causes a feeling of apprehension within my heart. Something important is going to happen, I can feel it. And I want to be a part of that. Places I hold dear in my heart are being threatened by the increased activity of evil creatures like the Orcs, I wish to defend them with as much force as I can. I would die for the things I love, if only to keep them safe."
"That is very noble of you, Legolas," Valrodiel encouraged, "I do hope you can fulfil your wishes, as I hope I can fulfil mine."
"You will, Val, you can be sure of it. I must admit it is not my will to ever wed, for in my mind I feel that such things would only bring heartache and broken dreams. But even if we are forced to wed, it is foremost in my mind that we both do as we please, for vows and an exchange of rings do not dictate how we live our lives afterwards, they do not demand that we produce offspring...that is one thing our parents cannot make us do."
"Your words are reassuring, for children are not something I desire, as you know; nor is marriage something I had planned for my future. But I suppose if we are forced to wed, we can still live our lives as we please. You can travel Middle-Earth, and I can study the ancient knowledge within these walls. Even vows of marriage cannot make us anything more than friends," she said.
Friends.
"We are no more than friends?" I asked.
"Legolas we both know that neither of us have feelings for each other beyond the friendship we have known since our childhood," she said matter-of-factly.
"That is true," I said, thanking the stars that I would not have to say such things to her as had been written out in my mind.
Then I was struck by a thought. The Elven race took such things as marriage very seriously. It was a joining of two who were in love. Not a means for which a father could ensure his son or daughter produces offspring. I told this to Valrodiel, and she gazed at the desk for a moment, her expression thoughtful.
"This is true...I believe you have a very good argument here, Legolas. Should people hear of King Thranduil's plans, this would cause much scandal. He would not want that, for it may cause his people to turn against him," she raised her eyebrows conspiratorially.
"Valrodiel, you are a gem!" I exclaimed, making a note of her words in my mind for when I next talked to my Father.
She grinned "Don't let King Thranduil hear that, he may want to lock me up in his treasury," she joked.
I laughed heartily at her comment about my Father, ultimately renowned for his love of gems.

We parted company a little later, and I was gladdened that I had not upset her with my reluctance to marry. She had been pleased! And now, due to her knowledge, and probably from being the daughter of one of the King's advisors, she had given me a perfect argument against his wishes that we marry. We felt nothing for each other besides friendship. It would be immoral for us to wed. Did he really want his kingdom to see him as being immoral? I grinned to myself as I left the dusty old library, and went to find Aragorn and tell him the good news.

***

It took me a while to find him, but I should have known he'd be outside somewhere. I found him, wandering among the trees, deep in thought.
"Legolas, you realise we cannot be together if you are to be wed?" he asked quietly as I approached.
"You do not need to worry about that," I said, falling into step beside him, "Valrodiel and I have talked, and we have the perfect argument; if that does not work and we are still to be betrothed, we plan to live our lives as we wish; children are out of the question," I paused. "I would not impregnate a woman when there is no love between us."
"You mean she feels nothing for you?" Aragorn sounded surprised. "She talked a lot of you earlier, it sounded as if she cared a lot about you."
"Only as a friend, Aragorn. Valrodiel and I have known each other since childhood, so we are very close. But not in a romantic way," I informed him.
"Yes, she told me she had known you all her life," Aragorn said, a faint smile upon his face. "So what if you *are* to be wed? Surely there will be some change?" he asked.
"We will cross that bridge when we come to it, my love," I replied. "But only if that is where our path leads."
A voice above us suddenly interrupted our conversation, filling me with dread. "What path are you on now, Legolas?"

TBC...



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