legolas and eowyn

“Perhaps, if you were to eat less, melmenya…” said Legolas, stepping past Eowyn and walking on ahead, his booted feet leaving no impression at the edge of the road.

Eowyn, tramping calf-deep through the rutted slush, stuck out her tongue—then, thinking better of it, she scooped up a handful of snow, formed it roughly into a ball, and threw it, hitting him just below his quiver.

“Agh!” Legolas turned, eyes narrowed menacingly, though the effect was somewhat ruined by the flailing of his hands as he tried to wipe the wet snow from his seat. “I will make you pay for that, woman!” he hissed.

Eowyn laughed and, as always, her laughter made her elf smile. “Come,” he said, drying his hands on his jerkin, and holding them out to her, “I will help you.”

Smiling back at him, she placed her hands in his, and—

Wait,” she said. “What was that?”

Legolas, assuming that she was trying to catch him out, grinned.

“No, Lassui, I really heard something. Listen.”

Legolas listened.

There,” she whispered.

The elf nodded. “Behind here,” he mouthed, pointing to the hawthorn hedge, north of the road.

Hand in hand, the couple crept up to the bushes, and peered over.

“Oh, dear gods,” murmured Eowyn.

The elfling was sitting in the snow, his little knees drawn up under his chin, and he was crying—or, rather, he was rocking back and forth trying bravely not to cry, and the sounds they had heard had been his attempts to snuffle back his tears.

“Oh, Lassui, go to him!”

The elf sprang over the hedgerow, and crouched down beside the boy. “Hello…” he said.

Eowyn, meanwhile, had drawn her sword and, with its help, was forcing her way through the hawthorn, scratching her face and hands, and ripping her leggings in her hurry.

The child stared up at Legolas with huge, round eyes. His little face was blank, and he said nothing so, assuming that he could not understand Westron, Legolas asked, “Man le?

The elfling gulped. “Melannen,” he said.

Legolas glanced back at Eowyn. “He says that his name is Melannen—take care, melmenya.”

“Ask him where his parents are.” She wrenched herself free of the thorns.

Mas i noss lín?” asked Legolas.


“He does not know.”

Eowyn re-sheathed her sword, and crouched down beside Legolas. “Avo ’osto, Melannen,” she said, softly. “We will not hurt you.”

The child looked up at her and, suddenly, he smiled. And, raising a tiny hand, he gently touched one of the scratches on her face. “El mae?

“He is asking if that hurts, melmenya.”

“Yes.” Eowyn nodded, smiling back—but the smile immediately turned into a wince. “Yes, it does, Melannen.” She took his hand in her own. “Oh, he is so cold, Lassui. And wet.” Her other hand went to the fastening of her cloak.

“No,” said Legolas, “he can have mine.” He slipped off his cloak and wrapped it around the boy’s shoulders. “There is no sign of any footprints except his and ours, so he must have wandered here by himself. Mas etholich, Melannen?”

Dôr chaeron.”

“He says that he is from ‘far away’.”

“To a child,” said Eowyn, carefully re-arranging the elfling’s cloak, “even the next house might seem far away.”

There was a little basket at the boy’s side, covered with a checked cloth. “Perhaps there is something in here that will tell us more,” said Legolas, pulling aside the cover and searching through its contents. “Some lembas; a waterskin; a half-eaten apple; a toy rabbit—”

Niben i eneth ín,” said Melannen.

Legolas smiled. “—whose name is Niben, melmenya; and a piece of parchment.” He unfolded the note and read its message.

“It says,” he said, “‘Please take care of this child.’”




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Next chapter: A Yuletide adventure
Legolas and Eowyn search for the child's parents.

Chapter 1

This takes place on 18 Girithron (18 December), three days before Legolas and Eowyn's wedding, and about two months after the end of Shadowland.


Some of the following are taken from the Council of Elrond's Useful Elvish Phrases, some from, and some have been cobbled together by me!

Man le? … 'Who are you?'
Mas i noss lín? … 'Where is your family?'
Aviston … 'I don't know.'
Avo 'osto … 'Don’t be afraid.'
El mae? … 'Do you feel well?'
Mas etholich? … 'Where are you from?'
Dôr chaeron … 'Far place.'
Niben i eneth ín … 'His name is Niben.' ('Small').