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Title: A Secret Revealed (12/20)
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: Aragorn's POV. Valrodiel, Tatharan and Cerilion are original characters.
Disclaimer: Not mine! Characters, universe & so on belong to the Tolkien Estate. The only thing I own is my mind.

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"Why is he in the dungeons?" Tatharan pressed.
"Orders of King Thranduil."
"But why would his highness lock up his own son?"
"It is not for us to question the wishes of our King, guardsman Tatharan," Antale chided.
"Well, thank you for the information. At least we know our Prince is not missing. Resume your post, guardsman," Tatharan said. The little window closed shut, and he turned away from the door with an anxious expression.
"He is safe, at least," he said reassuringly.
"Thank you..." I said "Well, good night to you, I shall beg audience with King Thranduil tomorrow, and hope that he will change his mind and release our friend." I hated to use the term 'friend' to describe Legolas, for he was so much more that that, but I knew how good elven hearing was, and that undoubtedly the guard on the other side of the door could hear our conversation.
"Good night, Aragorn. I hope that my King will grant such audience with you tomorrow."

Returning to my rooms, I readied myself for bed, but could not sleep. How could I, knowing that somewhere in this palace, my prince was locked away in a dark and no doubt uncomfortable cell, alone. I stared up at the ceiling, a thousand questions swimming in my mind. Why had King Thranduil locked up his own son? I had heard he had a temper, but this seemed ridiculous. I lay there thinking until sleep claimed me.

The next morning, following breakfast, I found my way to the throne room. Stopped outside by the two elves guarding the door, I requested that King Thranduil would speak with me. Quietly opening the door, one guard spoke to another who stood inside the door, before closing it again and telling me to wait.
A few minutes later, the door was opened again, and the guard inside told me to come in, leaving any weaponry outside. I removed the sword that I always wore, and handed it to the guard waiting to take it, then stepped through the door into the throne room.
Striding up towards where King Thranduil sat, I bowed low.
"Thank you, your Highness, for granting my wish to speak with you," I said.
"What did you wish to speak about?" he asked.
"His highness Prince Legolas."
The King gave me an intrigued expression. "Go on."
"It has been brought to my attention, your Highness, that your son Prince Legolas has been put into the dungeons."
"And?"
"I wish to implore you to release him, for though I am sure your orders were what you believed to be best, it is my belief that many disputes can be resolved in words rather than actions, for undoubtedly it is a dispute which drove you to place him in the dungeons." I picked my words carefully; unsure of how to tell a king I thought he was wrong to lock up his own son.
"Resolution with words, you say?" King Thranduil said.
"You think words work with my son? He is too stubborn for any words to change his mind once it is set!" he exclaimed.
"You could always try again, your Highness; I have found many times that minds cannot be changed at once, but it takes long talks in which to persuade a person to change his mind."
"I am aware of that, *human*, but I know my son, and nothing will change what he thinks."
"If you do not mind my asking, your Majesty, may I enquire what caused such a dispute? I am certain it caused you a great deal of stress," I tried to make it sound as if I was on his side, though I was unsure if he would be taken in by such a ploy.
"Such a matter is not your business, but I expect Legolas has already told you that he is to be wed; it is that which caused the argument. He has some foolish notion that a betrothal should be borne out of love rather than a means of keeping a family line successful...just the sort of idea that a *human* might place in his mind!" he exclaimed, glaring at me accusingly. "You! You have poisoned the mind of my son against his family! Before he knew you, he would do as his father and King wished, without a question or a second thought. Now he questions everything. As far as I'm concerned he spends far too much time with humans; you have influence him for the worse."
"Your highness, I have not done anything to try to change the way your son thinks," I countered his accusation.
"Only a moment ago you were talking of changing a person's mind merely with words in long talks; you could have easily polluted his mind with your inferior human ideals on your journey here!" he shouted.
"No, your highness, I would not do such a thing!" I protested.
"A liar as well as a foolish human!" He exclaimed. "Guards! Put him in the dungeon. *Away* from my son who considers him a friend. I do not want them to make contact with each other."
Before I could give protest, the guards had grabbed me forcefully, and were dragging me from the room. I could have escaped them, but knew it would be an unwise thing to do in a palace full of elves ready to serve their king. So I allowed them to lead me down a maze of steps and passageways into a dank cell. I knew not how long I would be there; nor if King Thranduil would banish me from the kingdom, and from seeing his son. My only consolation was that at least being here, in the dungeons, I was that little bit closer to my love.

TBC

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