The Moth & The Flame

BY : Avaloyuru
Category: +Third Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 2331
Disclaimer: I do not own any copyright to the Tolkien/Middle-Earth Fandom, nor his canon characters or languages. I do not receive any form of compensation for this fanfiction. Original characters are my property.

Tensions mount within Thranduils’ Halls as Elvändéruil gets closer to uncovering the plot against the throne and Legolas slowly begins to put the pieces together between his father and Tauriel.

~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~

“Why are we meeting in your mothers’ chambers?”  Ráerû asked curiously as Elvändéruil closed and locked the door behind them.

“It is the safest place to talk.  Mother is in a council meeting.”  He replied as he walked toward her wine cupboard.  “She dismissed both Táëglÿn and Tälileá when she left this morning.  Which means she thinks it will drag on through most of the day I’m afraid.” 

“I have no idea why he puts up with half of those buffoons!”  Ráerû complained angrily over his shoulder as he went to the hearth to add more logs.  “If you ask me everything should go back to old ways and just let the king run the kingdom.”

“The council is one of the reasons why the people love him so much.”  Elvändéruil laughed as he walked toward the hearth, setting one of the goblets on the low table between the two chairs then sinking down comfortably into one of them.

“It seems to me that if they love him so much one would think they would want him to be happy.”  Ráerû stated flippantly, tossing his head as he stood up sending his long dark tresses flying behind him.  “I’m not noble born so I don’t understand the need for all of this pretentious courting of a bunch of pompous fools.”

“What are you laughing at?”  Ráerû asked, narrowing his eyes as he plopped down in the chair opposite him and reached for the goblet.  “It’s the truth.”

“The truth is, my dear friend, the kingdom is still very much a monarchy.  Thranduil does have the final say.”  Elvändéruil stated, still grinning at him.  “He created the council shortly after he succeeded his father to give a voice to the people, Silvan as well as Sindar.  Something his father would never have considered.”

“I don’t remember much about King Oropher.”  He said quietly, a frown creasing his brow for a moment.

“Not many do sadly.”  Elvändéruil sighed heavily.  “We lost so many at the Battle of Dagorlad during the Last Alliance which is why Thranduil is reluctant to pledge the support of our forces outside our own lands save our allies.  It was only his pledge of protection to the Master of Lake Town that brought us into the Battle in the Shadow of the Lonely Mountain.  But none of us were prepared to face the armies of Azog the Defiler.”

Silence fell between them for long moments as each stared into the growing flames of the hearth, lost in their own thoughts.  Unlike humans and dwarves, elves had few children during their long lives, often only two or three.  It would take years, perhaps centuries for them to recuperate from the lives lost.  It was yet another reason that each life was so precious to them and meant to be cherished and protected.

“You did not ask me here to talk of council meetings and old battles.”  Ráerû said quietly, finally breaking the silence between them.

“Things are getting too complicated and I need your help.”  Elvändéruil stated, turning his gaze to meet the deep green eyes of his friend.  “But you need to keep all of this to yourself, not a word to anyone.”

“Of course!”  Ráerû exclaimed although his eyes narrowed as he studied his friend.

“For reasons I cannot explain right now, I cannot leave the palace.”  Elvändéruil stated, a deep frown creasing his brow.  “Healers are coming and going daily out of Lake Town, as one of them it will be easy for you to mingle with them and use my room at the Half Barrel Inn.  There are two men staying there, Ardara and Donagh who have been meeting with an elf I have yet to identify.  I need to know who he is.”

“This doesn’t sound good.”  Ráerû sighed heavily as he lifted the goblet to his lips, draining it.  “Am I to assume these men are not from Lake Town?”  He asked as he rose to his feet, reaching for his friends’ goblet to refill it.

“With so many flooding into Erebor right now, it is difficult to say.”  He replied, handing him the goblet.

“Why is this so important to you?”  Ráerû could not help ask as he refilled their goblets.  “And don’t tell me you can’t say.”  He added more forcefully than he intended as he turned back to the hearth.

“Look.”  He stated as Elvändéruil only stared at him.  “I’m not saying I won’t help you, you know I will otherwise you would not have asked.  I think I have right to know what I’m getting into.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry.”  He sighed as he accepted the goblet from him.  “I have reason to believe that either Tauriel or Eru (God) forbid the King himself may be in danger...”

“What?!”  Ráerû gasped, his eyes widening as he dropped down into the chair.  “You can’t be serious?!”  He felt his heart sinking to the pit of his stomach as he stared into the stoic expression that told him he was very serious.

“Ever since the rumors began that Thranduil wants to abolish the hereditary oath, there has been an uneasiness among some of the Sindar, including council members.  Particularly those who still hold to the old ways.”  Elvändéruil said quietly, pausing to take a long drink from his goblet.  “If the threat is to Thranduil it is because Legolas is seen as weak, they believe they can control him if something should happen to the king.  Even so, Thranduil’s reach goes well beyond our borders, as most of our alliances have been formed based his personal relationships with them, we could lose them if something were to happen to him.  So that leaves Tauriel.  At this point it is little more than palace gossip, but if they believe there is something between the two of them, they might try to use her to control Thranduil.”

“Is that why you have been acting like a love sick fool around her?”  Ráerû asked, arching a brow, his gaze challenging him to deny it.  “Is that what you cannot explain right now?”  He pressed him, knowing full well what was going on.  “You can deny it all you want.  I know you’re not interested in her but you certainly have the prince all tied in knots.”

“You are far too observant and you know me all too well.”  Elvändéruil sighed as he shook his head.  “I just hope the right people are fooled at least until this whole ordeal has passed.”

~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~

Silently, from his position at the other end of the council table, Lord Garävegión noted the slight muscle twitch in Thranduils’ neck.  It was the only outward sign of his growing frustration with the continued pointless arguing amongst some of the lower level council members.  The guarded expression was almost statuesque as his gaze swept over the faces around the table.  The fact that it well into the hour for the midday meal did little to cool the tempers of some of them.  It was unfortunately expected, the ruling Sindar believing they could sway the king to their favor solely on the pretense that their combined land holdings consisted of the majority and therefore felt they represented the best interest of the people in general.

“The truth of the matter is that your arguments are moot.”  He finally spoke up, having grown tired of the meaningless arguments.

“What do you mean moot?”  Lord Tulcë stated indignantly, his dark eyes narrowing as he all but glared at the Chief Advisor.  “The oath is clear in stating that the ruler must wed within their own class.”

“So it does.” Lord Garävegión stated.  “What has not yet been addressed is the fact the oath also infers that an heir can be so named provided they descend from his line.”

“Preposterous!”  Lord Tirithiáël stated in frustration, leaning forward as he turned toward the Chief Advisor.  “Oropher would never have allowed a bastard could sit upon the throne!”

“A bastard no, but the rightful child of a legitimate ruler yes.”  Lord Garävegión said quietly as a sudden silence filled the room.  “Stubborn and pig headed as he might have been Oropher was not such a fool that he would end his bloodline to the throne of the Woodland Realm.”

“I suppose you would have me believe that by rightful child you mean born within wedlock?”  Lord Tirithiáël stated more than asked as he struggled to maintain his composure.

“That is precisely what I am saying.”  Lord Garävegión stated as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table as he met the lords stare evenly.  “So long as the child can be properly traced back to him, the child is to be considered a legitimate heir to the throne regardless of parentage.”

“Nimloth.”  Lord Garävegión stated as he turned toward the young chronicler, smiling softly to lessen the sting in his tone.  “What you are being given is the full order as written by Oropher.”  He continued as she quickly moved around the table, handing each councilor a sheaf of papers.

“While it may pain some of you greatly.”  He continued, noting those who quickly scanned the pages of the documents handed them.  “Oropher’s only discontent was with the Noldor, not those of Telerin descent as are the Silvan.  The blood of the Vanyar weakens as does the direct line to the throne, it was as much his bloodline of the Vanyar he sought to preserve as that of the Sindar.”

Eru (God) forbid anything should happen to either the king or the prince...”  Lord Tulcë stated, nodding respectfully toward Thranduil as he spoke.  “We have suffered much in the way of lives lost on the plains of Erebor.  Should we be drawn once more to war with a half breed heir that would...”

“I have heard enough!”  Thranduil stated in his most commanding voice, his eyes moved slowly around the table as he rose to his feet.  “For well over four thousand years we have fought side by side, Sindar and Silvan, together we have shed blood and died in defense of this realm.  We are adjourned until such time as I have prepared my decree.”  Turning away from the table, he strode purposefully from the council chambers.

“Thalieth.”  He stated quietly but clearly as he continued his brisk stride across the wide expanse of the antechamber.  “Would you please let Galion know that I would prefer to have my meal in my chambers?”

Ben iest gîn, hîr vuin.” (As you wish, my lord).  The guard relied and quickly disappeared in to the rooms shared by the guards that rotated the duty of keeping watch over the kings’ private area.

Entering his private chambers Thranduil sighed deeply as he quickly unfastened the suddenly tight and restrictive collar of his formal robes.  Shedding the outer garment, he tossed it haphazardly over the back of one of the chairs at the small table as he walked toward his wine cupboard.  He struggled to clear his mind as he poured himself an ample portion of the dark red Dorwinion wine.  Taking a long drink, he refilled it before setting the carafe back on the shelf and turning toward the hearth.

“Tauriel!”  He exclaimed as he caught sight of her curled up in one of the tall wing backed chairs, his stride quickening toward her.

“I didn’t mean to intrude.”  She said, quickly rinse to her feet, suddenly feeling uncomfortable with her plan to surprise him.  “I should not have come.”

“Nonsense.”  He told her as he set the goblet on the low table before the hearth.  “If I had any concerns of you intruding on anything, I would not have shown you the passage.  No secrets, remember.”  He added, pulling her into his arms.

“Goheno nin.” (I’m sorry/forgive me).  She said quietly, snuggling closer to him as she slipped her arms around his slender waist.

“You have nothing to be sorry for.”  He told her as he leaned down, breathing in the comforting aroma of the lavender and lilac that clung to her has he kissed her forehead.

It was a bit unsettling as he was not accustomed to anyone being in his rooms without him being present.  Even Galion limited his comings and goings in such a manner that he usually knew when he would be there.  Unless summoned, he mostly arrived to take care of what he believed to be his duties.  Things Thranduil was quite capable of doing for himself yet he humored his old friend and allowed him to fuss over him for the most part.

“You seem so tense.”  She said quietly as she hugged him, pressing her cheek against his chest.  “I take it the council meeting did not go well?”  She asked, enjoying the feel of his arms around her.

“You know I cannot talk about it.”  He told her as he pulled back slightly to look at her.  “But yes.”  He chuckled softly at the slight frown on her face.  “They can be difficult to deal with at times.”

“I know.”  She said quietly, although her frown deepened as she pressed her face against his chest.

I need you so much!”  She exclaimed silently to him as she hugged him tighter, the ache deep within her growing as the scent of him filling her senses.

The stolen kiss in the meditation room had ignited a fire within her than threatened to consume her.  It seemed so long ago that she had felt the slight tremble in his lips when they first touched her own, only to turn hungry as he crushed her to him in a lovers embrace.  She yearned for his strong yet gentle touch, to be able to surrender herself so completely to him as he took her.  The faint scent of him still lingered within her rooms, filling her with a deep need to be near him, to be in his comforting arms.

“Galion should be here shortly.”  He said quietly, pulling away from her slightly to hide his growing desire for her.  “Will you join me?  You know he always brings more food than I could eat even if I wanted.”  He chuckled to lighten the mood between them.

“Of course.”  She said quietly, smiling up at him as she reluctantly released him, sensing a slight discomfort within him.

Chiding himself for his lack of control, Thranduil struggled regain his composure as he turned away from her to retrieve the goblet.  Taking a long drink, he futilely willed himself to relax yet the slight chill where the warmth of her body had pressed so tightly against his own made the task nearly impossible.  He wanted nothing more at that moment than to sweep her away to his bed and lose himself in her pleasures.

“Go!”  He stated in a hushed tone at the sound of the soft knock, pointing toward the more private sitting room.  “I will come to you soon.”

“Come.”  He called out as she disappeared into the darkened room that divided his public sitting room and his bed chamber.

“Since when do I need permission to speak with my own Adar?” (Father)  Legolas demanded, his tone as respectful as possible under the circumstances, his gaze scanning the room quickly as he strode purposefully into the sitting room.

“It is good to see you too ion nîn (my son).”  Thranduil stated, schooling his expression yet his narrowed eyes reflected his displeasure at his sons’ lack of manners.

“Your council meeting ran longer than usual today.”  Legolas stated as he approached his father, his gaze flickered toward the door of his bed chamber as he noted his disheveled state.

“I had not noticed.”  Thranduil commented as he lifted the goblet to his lips again, watching his son from over the rim.  “Please...”  He waved his hand toward one of the chairs before the hearth.  “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”  He added as he sank down into the chair previously occupied by Tauriel.

“I have been informed that Tauriel will be returning to the patrols as their commander.”  Legolas stated, nodding slightly toward him as he took the chair opposite him.

“Yes.”  Thranduil stated quite pointedly.  “She has proven herself as an exceptional captain.  She is more than up to the task.  Don’t you think?”  He asked, knowing full well the question would be more than unsettling to him.

“She is more than capable, but there are still things she needs to learn.”  Legolas replied, his gaze returning briefly to the soft ember glow emanating from the bed chamber.

“You too had much to learn.”  Thranduil said quietly, unable to hide the slight smile that curled the corners of his lips as he watched the play of expression chase themselves across his sons’ face.  “Eluandúnië will teach her just as Aldalómë taught you.”

“I would like accompany her.”  Legolas stated firmly, yet mindful of his tone as he returned the same studying gaze of his father.

“With Elvändéruil as her lieutenant, I am sure she will be fine ion nîn (my son).  He told him as he relaxed more comfortably in the chair.  “If you have changed your mind, there are other duties that will require more of your attention.”  He added, his tone becoming slightly more official.

“Come.”  Thranduil called out as Thalieth knocked lightly on the door, his gaze never leaving the face of his son.

“Just set it on the table Galion.”  He stated as he continued to watch his son.  “Thank you.”

Ben iest gîn, hîr vuin.” (As you wish, my lord).  Galion stated with a nod, sensing the weight of the tension in the room, he quickly did as he was bid and departed.

“You are my son first.”  Thranduil began quietly, choosing his words carefully.  “But you are also the Prince and heir to the throne of this realm.  I have allowed you your youthful freedoms far longer than I...”

“Is that why you have abolished the oath?”  Legolas interrupted him, finally turning to meet his fathers’ unreadable gaze.  “Is that why you brought Tauriel back?”  He continued, his tone was dry, almost accusatory as he continued to stare at him.

“It was you who banished her in the first place.”  He continued in the face of his fathers’ stony silence.

“You forced my hand in this Legolas.”  Thranduil stated, his tone was cold even to his own ears.  “I never thought she would fall in love with a dwarf or that you would choose to abandon me. You have set things in motion that cannot be changed.”

~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~

End Notes:

As always, thanks for reading!  As much as I am enjoying this story myself, I’m looking forward to concluding it so I can concentrate on other stories that are floating around in my mind! 

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