“Because I’m King, and as King, I can and shall do what I want, and what I want now is to take the day off and spend some quality time with my son, whom I have not seen for many a long years, and that is final!”
The Elvenking sat back in his throne, arms and legs crossed, his soft lower lip protruding ever so slightly forward in what could only be described as a pout. His son stood before him, accompanied by the King’s advisor, trying hard to remain serious and not laugh at his father’s rather childish expression. The advisor sighed, smiling ever so slightly, knowing that he could not change his stubborn King’s mind.
“As you wish, my Lord.”
Thranduil cleared his throat, his face returning to its usual regal calm and he nodded his dismissal to his advisor, who quickly left, leaving behind the father and son. Thranduil’s expression immediately softened as he stood, smiling down fondly at the golden-haired elf before him who was chuckling.
“That was really selfish, Ada.”
Thranduil smirked, blue eyes sparkling as he made his way down the throne’s steps, long robes trailing out behind him.
“Oh, I do believe a King is allowed to be a little selfish once every couple of centuries.”
He reached the prince and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder before he strode past him, knowing that Legolas would follow right behind.
“Come, let us converse in my chambers. I haven’t had much time to hear your tales after you returned home, ion nin, and I am quite anxious to hear them.”
Some time later, the two were lazing about on Thranduil’s bed beautifully carved of cherry wood atop with a feather mattress and silken sheets, a tray full of sweets and seasonal fruits and goblets of the King’s best wine spread between them. Thranduil listened intently as Legolas spoke of his adventures with the Fellowship, how they had tragically lost members and split up, how he had eventually traveled through the forests of Fangorn, and how he had finally become reunited with his friends once more after the Ring had been destroyed and Aragorn had become King. Legolas finally finished his story and sighed, sitting back against his father’s pillows as he tried to regain his breath. He suddenly chuckled, taking a small sip of his wine as Thranduil fondly peered over his goblet at him.
“What is so amusing, ion nin?”
“Oh nothing, I am just remembering the times when I was an elfling and we would cuddle up on your bed at night, just like this, while you would tell me stories of times past.”
Thranduil smiled, reaching out to idly run a hand through his son’s long silky locks that so resembled his own.
“Yes, except this time it was my pleasure to be told a story, and a magnificent one it was too.” He glanced down, his heart swelling with gentle warmth that he had not felt in a very long time. “I am very proud of you, ion nin.”
Legolas felt his breath catch in his throat and he suddenly had to blink very fast, turning away slightly as he tried to regain his composure that had been broken by those simple words that meant so much because of who they came from.
“Le hannon, Ada.”
He sniffled, a fair hand coming up to wipe away at his eyes as he smiled bashfully, his cheeks growing pink.
“…….Gimli would probably call me his silly little princeling if he could see me now.”
Thranduil raised an eyebrow at this, and Legolas suddenly froze. He had told his father about the friendship that had grown between himself and the dwarf, but he had been careful not to reveal just how much they cared for each other. He knew his father’s past with the dwarf race had not been entirely pleasant, and how he still harbored distrust and ill feelings against them. As it were, the King’s blue eyes had narrowed slightly and Legolas gulped, suddenly fearing the consequences at this slip of the tongue. Thranduil noticed this and sighed, taking a sip of his wine before glancing back at his son with what he hoped was an open smile.
“This Gimli you speak of, he sounds like a nice fellow, strong, and loyal.” As much as one could be for a dwarf, he added in his mind, but would not say it aloud. He could see how the prince had stiffened and saw the distress in his son’s eyes.
Legolas relaxed slightly, a sweet smile spreading across his face, a smile that spread to his eyes, Thranduil noted.
“Yes Ada, he is a very nice fellow.”
The King’s eyes lingered over his son for a couple of moments before he smirked.
“Legolas, tell me the truth. How close are you?”
The younger elf suddenly stiffed up once more, fidgeting ever so slightly as he glanced away, his eyes darting around, refusing to meet his father’s gaze, a blush springing to his face and up to his ears, confirming the elder’s suspicions. Thranduil took a deep breath. Already he could feel his blood boiling, his mind instantly screaming out no. No, how could his son, his precious little greenleaf, fall in love with something as disgusting as a dwarf? No! He would not stand for it. Too often had the dwarves given him trouble, too often had they caused his people harm.
But….he gazed at his child, near trembling before him, his eyes filling with tears, anticipating the explosion and disapproval from his father he was sure would come….and Thranduil let out his breath in a gust of wind. He could not yell at him. Instead he busied himself with his wine, quietly fuming to himself, as he tried to process this information. After a long while of utter silence, which had felt like years to the poor Greenleaf, he hesitantly reached out for his father’s hand.
He half expected the King to pull away in disgust, to possibly disown him and throw him out, but instead Thranduil grasped his hand back.
“Are you happy, ion nin?”
Legolas sat in shock, confused. Of all the things that he was expecting to hear, this was far from it.
“Yes….I…I am happy….Ada, you’ve given me such love, a wonderful home, a wonderful life of-of course I’m happy.”
Why this suddenly? Was he really going to kick him out? If he said he was happy would his father respond with that’s good, now go? Legolas felt his lip tremble as his vision blurred.
Thranduil let out a soft snort, his eyes tender, grasping his son’s hand tighter in his own.
“That is not what I meant, Legolas. Does he make you happy?”
Legolas tensed up, biting his lip as he let out a soft sob, nodding as the tears finally escaped from his hold and dribbled down over his cheeks.
“Yes, Ada. He m-makes me…v-very happy…”
Thranduil sniffed, biting back his own tears that suddenly surged forth as he reached out and pulled Legolas close in a tight embrace.
“Then that is all that matters, my son.”
They stayed that way for a long while, Legolas sniffling and crying softly into his father’s shoulder, Thranduil gently rubbing his back, a few tears trickling down his face unchecked. Legolas was the first to break the silence.
“You…aren’t mad? I thought…I thought you would feel so betrayed…this is not how you raised me to be…”
Thranduil paused, biting his lip.
“I do...and I’m mad, so mad, and shocked, and confused, and quite honestly I’m scared, and furious….” He trailed off, feeling Legolas tense in his arms. “But none of that matters. It is my problem, not yours, and I have to deal with it.”
He smiled, pulling back and gazing into his son’s beautiful, teary blue eyes….his eyes.
“You are my son, my only child, and I love you so little Greenleaf. You are my most cherished treasure, and that will never change.”
“This is not what I would have wished for you of course….but it is no matter. I love you, ion nin, and I will continue to love you….even if I end up having to learn how to accept having a dwarf as a son-in-law.”
He laughed, and felt utter relief as Legolas laughed with him.
“However, please don’t be hasty, ion nin. I still need time to come to terms with all of this before we’re off planning a wedding.”
“Ada! Gimli and I haven’t even considered marriage yet, let alone talked about it!” Legolas giggled, wiping away at his eyes. “Now who is the hasty one?”
Thranduil chuckled, fondly smoothing back his son’s hair, then halted as his felt his stomach rumble.
Legolas glanced down as well, just as his own stomach let out a growl, causing both of them to giggle.
Thranduil sighed happily, pulling away and gracefully sliding off the bed, glancing over to the window with a soft turn of his golden head.
“I think we’ve had enough time catching up for one day. The moon is already starting to show its face.”
Legolas nodded, then stood as well, a hand rubbing at his tummy.
“Ada I just cried, I want something sweet.”
Thranduil raised an eyebrow.
“Dessert for dinner now? My little Greenleaf, you never change.”
Legolas playfully stuck out his lower lip, almost mirroring the expression his father had made earlier that day.
Thranduil smiled, shaking his head.
“Well, the woodland berries are in season….” He suddenly flashed a rare grin, turning on his heel with an elegant swoosh of his beautiful long hair and robes.
“Come, ion nin! Let’s go make some pies.”
- Fin –
Ion nin: my son
Le hannon: Thank you