Legolas checked the cinches on his saddle. Though he had still never gotten used to them, they were convenient for carrying supplies, and they were actually more comfortable for long distance rides, he had had to admit. Touching his white mare’s jaw tenderly, he whispered words of comfort; she was a three year old, inexperienced thoroughbred; this journey would be part of her training experience.
She snorted as two elves walked into the stable. Turning, Legolas saw Bourmonth and Sagolind, the two archer brothers his father had sent as guards. “Are you nearly ready?” he inquired.
The twins nodded. “Your father is waiting for you outside,” Bourmonth informed him.
Wrapping the reins around the post, Legolas turned and walked through the door at the opposite end of the stable. Outside, the late autumn wind played with a loose golden strand of hair. Wrapping his soft grey cloak around himself, he walked to a birch tree where his father was standing, gazing into the distance. Turning as his son approached, Thranduil smiled at him, although it seemed tinged with concern. Handing him a letter, he said, “Give this to Lord Elrond; it is my greetings. He is expecting me in your stead, but he will understand matters of business coming up at inconvenient times.”
Legolas nodded, turning it round in his slender hands. “Thank you, Ada.”
Thranduil smiled sadly. Putting the loose strand of hair back behind his son’s particularly sharp ear, he said, “Your mother would have been proud.”
Legolas’ eyes met his father’s. Looking away, Legolas took a deep breath.
Thranduil shook his head. “I’m sorry.”
Legolas turned, trying in vain to hide a tear that sprung into his eye.
His father pulled him into an embrace. He was so much like his mother; kind, gentle, and brave. His golden hair was the exact color hers had been, and his blue eyes carried the same spark of life his mother had had that he had fallen in love with.
Legolas pulled away, all trace of the momentary lapse gone. The pain was still fresh, though it had been nearly a month. His good friend, Aragorn, had written him a letter of comfort, and though he was not expecting to see him at the council Elrond had called, he was looking forward to seeing the ranger again. Shaking thoughts from his head, he bowed to his father, smiled, and walked away.
Putting the letter into his saddlebag, he motioned to his two guards that he was ready. Taking the horses from their stables, they led them outside. Lightly swinging into the saddle, Legolas placed his hand to his chest in farewell to his father, turned his horse and set out at a jog.

That night, the three elves sat in trees around a small fire, the twins reading, glancing up at times as if to assure themselves that he was still there, and Legolas sharpening his white knives. Wiping them down with a soft cloth, he sheathed them again, and laying his head on a gentle slope in the branch, he fell asleep at once.

Legolas woke with a start. Dawn was just breaking through the trees, painting the leaves and soft grass translucent green. Filtered sunlight fell on his hair, which was muddled . . . something his father would not have approved of. In this distance, he could hear birds scraping the ground for their breakfast. And he could smell . . . fire?
Sitting up, he looked around. In the distance, he saw smoke. “My forest!” he exclaimed, nearly falling as he leapt from the tree, jumping on his horse and racing towards the flames. The twins, awakened by his shout, leapt up to follow him, but neither one of them stood a chance.

Legolas sat at the base of a tree, panting. Apparently, the fire had been an accident, as it had been right by a natural pool, but whoever had started it was long gone. He had quickly stopped the spreading flames, escaping with three singed trees and a burn on his hand that may attract some attention from Elrond. Standing, he wiped soot from his eyes and began the walk back to the campsite.
Upon arriving, the first thing he noticed was that his guards were gone. Shaking his head, he tied his horse to a tree and sat down. The second thing he noticed was a note pinned to the tree where he had been sleeping. Tearing it down, he let out a groan as he read:
Come to Dagmat. Tarry and they die.
Legolas shoved the note into his pocket, calmly gathering their things, loading them all onto his horse, and began to walk.

Dagmat was about an hour away, about three miles away from the Misty Mountains, at a place where he had planned on passing over anyway. So it had actually turned out quite convenient for him, except that he had no horse now, because it was carrying his guards’ things. Now he could be alone, under the trees, thinking. But his thoughts kept straying back to Bourmonth and Sagolind. For the two to get captured was certainly strange, but he had been on enough rescue missions for this one to not be too stressful. He smiled. On one journey with Aragorn, he had rescued him single-handedly from a band of Orcs with only his bow. Surely this wouldn’t be too difficult.

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