The Elf and the Orc: Part 11
Not a week passed before Legolas and a company of Elves rode into Rivendell. Lindariel didn’t bother to look up when her brother entered the court yard, talking to Elrond about her condition.
“She eats, but only a little,” Elrond told him. “It’s difficult to get her to do anything, especially talking. Other than that, she is unharmed.”
“Your sister claims so.”
“It’s a pity we don’t know where her kidnapper went to,” Legolas said. “If he’s found, cart him to Mirkwood. I want to kill him myself.” Lindariel’s hands curled into fists. Legolas approached her and touched her shoulder, kneeling to her height. “Lindariel, how are you feeling?” Lindariel refused to look or answer him. “Father’s sick with worry. We’ll be leaving tomorrow morning. After you eat. When we return to Mirkwood, you’ll be introduced to your fiancé.”
Lindariel blinked. “Fiancé?”
“Glandur of Lorien,” Legolas said. “You remember him, right? You used to be good friends with him a few years ago.”
“I won’t marry him,” Lindariel said, standing. “Or anyone you or Father chose for me.” She left the court yard. No one stopped her.
“It could be the trauma of her ordeal,” an Elf that came with Legolas suggested.
Ordeal? Trauma? It was nothing like that at all! If they asked me about it, perhaps they’d hear how much I enjoyed the time I had with Morfang.
She remembered Glandur well enough. She bore no grudge against him. Glandur had always been kind to her. However, she did not love him. Lindariel stepped into the guest room offered to her and looked around.
She began to pack, slowly, but deliberately. “Why can’t I too marry for love?” She whispered to herself. “Like Arwen or mother? Why does my future have to be decided? Why does my husband have to be chosen by my family?”
The door opened and Legolas entered. “Linda, are you sure you’re alright?”
Lindariel’s hands shook. She was beginning to hate that question. “I’m fine.” She snapped. “If we’re leaving in the morning, I need to pack. I want to be alone right now, Legolas.”
Legolas didn’t leave, but took the cloth she was wrenching violently from her hands. “I don’t believe that,” he said, setting the cloth down on the bed. “Linda, can’t you tell me what happened? What the Orc did to you?”
“What he did to me?” Lindariel asked, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice. “What do you think he did to me? You’re the one who tried to kill him!”
“He tried to kill you.”
“They were all empty threats. Once far enough away from your archers, he released me and told me to go home.”
“Then why didn’t you?” Legolas asked.
Lindariel bit her lip. “I knew you and Father wouldn’t let me leave the courts if I did. I knew that my life would be confined to my room like a bird in a cage. It was my last chance to see the world.” Legolas shook his head.
“If given time, I could have taken you with me, Lindariel.”
“But how would that be any different? I’d have five guards posted around me all the time! I’d never be able to leave camp five feet without someone with me. I’d never see anything!”
“What is there that you would want to see? Unruliness? Murder? Death? The outside world is not safe.”
“That’s what makes it so magical,” Lindariel said, sitting beside him. “Legolas, we escaped Orc Hunters; my feet were injured from walking so long without shoes but he bound them for me and risked his life to find me shoes and fresh clothes to wear; we went inside the Heaths.” Legolas could not mask his horror. Lindariel didn’t notice it. Her eyes glazed over and she added, “Morfang fought a dragon.”
“That is his name. He fought a dragon, Legolas! How many can say that? And his people are not that much different from ours.”
Legolas felt Lindariel’s head, his face grim. He lowered his hand. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lindariel, but you’re to stay in bed the rest of the day.”
“Las, I’m fine. I’m not sick.”
Legolas stood and set her bag on a chair. “When I come back in, I want you under the covers.” He left the room, closing the door. Lindariel lay on the bed, tucking one arm under her pillow, thinking she forgot to mention meeting other Orcs and the Orc Mother. She wondered if she ought to have told her brother Igrim’s prophecy.
Thinking over it, she figured it was a good thing she said nothing of the prophecy or Mt. Gram.
Even so, she couldn’t get the words out of her head. Lindariel pressed her face against the pillow, thinking. The door opened again and she felt Legolas watching her for a few moments before closing the door again.
Lindariel sat up and looked through the window at the noon-sun. I suppose I should write and tell them I’m leaving for Mirkwood. Lindariel tiptoed to a desk and took a roll of parchment, a quill, and an inkwell.
Lindariel scrolled her message to Igrim, explaining that she had left for Mirkwood forest. Once the ink dried, she rolled the small message and went to the message tower to request a messenger dove. She approached one of the wooden doves and set the message in its mouth.
The sculpture came to life and Lindariel took it to the window. “Take that message to Igrim Shapogrataar of Mt. Gram,” Lindariel whispered to the dove before releasing it. She watched it fly what she hoped to be North until the white-wooden sculpture was far from her sight.
“What are you doing up here?”
Lindariel spun around and bit her lip. Legolas arched an eyebrow. “Why are you here?”
“I asked first.”
“I was sending a message. What else would I be doing here?”
Legolas stroked a sculpture’s head, “To whom?”
“I’m not answering that. You still haven’t answered my question.”
“If you must know, I saw you come up here. Was that a message to the Orc?”
“His name is Morfang! And I’m not going to answer that either.” Lindariel tried to pass by him, but Legolas grabbed her arm. “Legolas,” Lindariel said in what she hoped was a voice of caution, “let me go.”
“Lindariel, you’re not in love with that beast, are you?” Lindariel pulled out of Legolas’ grasp and jogged down the stairs. Legolas followed. “Are you or are you not?! That monster could have killed you!”
Lindariel stopped and turned around, glowering at Legolas. “He’s not a beast! Or a monster! You don’t know anything about him or what his people have gone through! If anyone’s a monster, Legolas, it’s you! You don’t know the first thing about Orcs! You don’t know what they’ve gone through, let alone what their really like!” Lindariel continued her descent, almost jumping steps to get down.
Reaching the landing, she ran for the stables. Legolas kept up easily with her. “Where are you going?” he demanded.
“Back,” Lindariel said. She went to a poster sized map of Middle Earth hanging on the stable wall.
“You’re not going anywhere but home. And what do you mean ‘back’? Back to the Orc? Lindariel, you’re mad!”
Lindariel ignored him, trying to find Mt. Gram on the map. She knew it was north, perhaps around the Ettenmoors, but that was all she could discern. Lindariel did not realize that Legolas had seen her trace her route.
“Tell father I’m sorry, but I’m not going home,” Lindariel said, saddling a stallion. Legolas pulled her away. “Let me go! Let go!”
Legolas easily hoisted her off the ground and carried her out of the stables. He handed her to one of the Elves he brought with him. “Rally an army. Send Rounien to Elrond and have him request as big a force as Elrond can spare. The Orc is somewhere around Ettenmoor. Perhaps more than the one we want. Send Maldor to Lorien to request further backup.”
“My lord, this might be much for one Orc.”
“There may be more, but I don’t want to risk him escaping.”
“Legolas! Please! Leave them alone!”
Legolas ignored Lindariel. “And my sister just confirmed that the more force we have, the better.”
“Legolas! No! They’re our kin! Orcs and Elves! We’re the same!”
“Take her to her room now and set a guard there! I don’t want her getting out!”
“Legolas! Their Leader is Galadriel’s sister! You can’t attack them! Brother! Listen to me!” Lindariel screamed herself hoarse and was locked in her room.
Lindariel looked around and approached the window. She looked down it and estimated that she might be able to escape by climbing down. Lindariel pulled the sheets off her bed and tied them together. She tied one end to a pillar and threw the handmade rope out over the wall.
Lindariel glanced at the door before grasping the rope and swinging outside. She inched her way down, but the rope didn’t meet the end, which she feared. Dangling on the end, Lindariel glanced around for something else to grasp. Vines were preferable, but a firm ledge is also good.
Lindariel glanced up and a black haired head poked out of her window. It was Maldor. He looked down. “Princess Lindariel!”
Frantic, Lindariel glanced around and tried to reach for a particularly large rock sticking out. She tried to propel herself toward it, but the rope began to jerk and she returned her hand to the safety of the rope.
Looking up again, Lindariel swore under her breath in a very unladylike fashion and looked down, wondering if she’d survive a fall.
There was a crowd gathering on the ground. Realizing that even if she tried to escape the crowd, she’d still be caught again and taken back to her room where dawn waited for her to leave Rivendell.
Grasping the rope tightly, Lindariel sobbed…
Lindariel was mounted on a horse which she’d share with Nendir, her family’s chief general’s son.
“How long will it take to get her home?” Legolas inquired.
“Not five days if we hurry. Which we may have to do if she’s going to attempt an escape again. Don’t worry,” Nendir assured Legolas. “I’ll get her home without trouble. Focus on getting the Orcs ready for the Hunters.”
“Good. I trust you, Nendir.” Legolas glanced once at Lindariel. His eyes communicated worry, but whatever was on his mind, he did not voice. “I’ll see you and Father again sometime later, Linda. Wait patiently.”
Lindariel didn’t answer back, but with a final word, Legolas watched Nendir and his men escort his sister back to Mirkwood.
Lindariel dared not speak at all during the time they traveled.
By Brittany Silverneko