Nenel Ben Faun by oblifiac
Legolas had his plan all figured out. He would avoid all contact with the gathered company in Lothlorien. The Lady Galadriel loves to hear the woods filled with songs from the other elven nations, although she usually overdoes it. Elves were invited from everywhere in Middle Earth and beyond its borders. Legolas was not very fond of the elves from outside the boundaries of Mirkwood. They were different in many matters that were unfamiliar to Legolas’ eyes. He was not afraid of them, just cautious, and very nervous.
Legolas shivered as a group of them passed him on the path. He averted his eyes and stepped to the edge of the path to avoid a conversation. He wandered to a less used side trail to avoid everyone, even the elves he knew. He walked through the forest, taking in the ethereal light unique to these woods.
A voice floated through the breeze, a voice singing a strange, musical language that wasn’t native to Middle Earth. The voice was too beautiful to shy away from. Legolas followed the sound to a clearing near a spring.
A raven-haired she-elf sat beside the natural fountain, cradling a newborn in her arms. She was singing a sweet lullaby to the unsettled child she held. Legolas’ jaw dropped from the beauty of the sight. The lullaby ended and the child had stopped its crying and drifted off to sleep. The elf continued to rock the infant and didn’t stop when her hair fell from its place on the back of her head. Her black hair formed a frame around her milky complexion and covered her delicate, pierced, elven ears.
She started to sing again, but not in the same sweet language. She was singing a Silvan lullaby, the same one Legolas had loved as a child. The sound of her voice singing a song that hit a nerve deep in his heart brought tears to his eyes.
He stepped forward, entranced, but the she-elf halted her singing at the movement. Her head snapped up as she looked away from the face of the child. Her emerald green eyes pierced through Legolas, making him feel like a fool.
“Can I help you?” Her voice had an accent that was difficult to place. It was a mixture of many lands, but it was the most mesmerizing thing Legolas had ever heard.
“I’m talking to you!” she reminded him. Legolas was paralyzed by the sound of her voice, but the new harshness in it woke him from his reverie.
“I a-apologize for my in-intrusion, but I heard your singing…” Legolas was suddenly embarrassed. He felt his face grow hotter. “Your voice is very beautiful. And the language was one I have never heard,” he concluded. The she-elf laughed. It sounded like chimes in the wind.
“Thank you,” she giggled. Her eyes got brighter. Legolas continued to redden.
“You can sit and listen to more if you like. It would be a lot more comfortable than hunching in the bushes,” she offered, sliding over on the rock to make room for her new guest. Legolas waited to be sure this was real. He had put himself through enough embarrassment already. He crossed the distance to sit next to this enticing creature.
“I’m Kyliana,” the woman said. Legolas stared at his feet. Her name was foreign just like her accent, but Legolas still dwelled on his embarrassment and was afraid to say anything for fear he would further the damage to his perfect plan.
“Legolas… of the Mirkwood realm,” he muttered. She looked at him with caring eyes. She soothed his troubled mind with just a glance at the pools of green on top of perfectly set cheekbones.
“Hello Legolas. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Her voice brought goose bumps to his skin when she said his name. “Like I said, I’m Kyliana… from the Citsitra realm,” she said with a smile. Legolas blushed. He felt like an elfling again, always stuttering and shy. She smiled one more time before turning her face to look at the baby in her arms.
“Is it yours?” Legolas winced, immediately regretting what he had just asked. Kyliana giggled.
“No. He looks like me though, doesn’t he?” She held the baby’s face closer to hers and imitated the sleeping face. Legolas let out a strained laugh. “He’s my nephew. He’s only a few days old, but he’s already causing trouble. Auntie Ky is the only one who can settle him down, isn’t she?” she questioned the sleeping baby. Legolas giggled. He remembered doing the same thing for his first niece.
“Only one of my nieces liked me when they were small. She still follows me around like a little shadow.” Legolas let a genuine grin lighten his face.
“Only ONE of your nieces? How many do you have?”
“Too many… I’m the oldest of three sons. I have two older sisters as well.”
Kyliana giggled. “I’m the youngest of my family. My sister is older than me by FOUR MINUTES. She always used to mock me about how she was my ‘older sister’. Besides having a twin, I have two older brothers who are twins as well.” She stared at the elfling in her arms. “He’s the only one in the family to NOT have a twin.” Legolas chuckled. The baby yawned and opened his eyes. Legolas stared at the adorable infant.
“May I hold him?” He couldn’t resist. His whole plan was ruined when he stepped into the clearing. He figured he wouldn’t redeem himself. Kyliana carefully handed the elfling over to the waiting arms of the Silvan elf by her side. It had been so long since Legolas held someone so small. He had forgotten what it felt like, how natural, how right it felt. The elfling was only a few days old. His eyes were still trying to focus. Legolas giggled at the cross-eyed way the baby stared at him.
“His name is Dzieñ. It means day,” Kyliana stated.
“Dzieñ… that’s a very nice name.” Legolas started to rock the elf. He thought back to the times when he had held his niece. Legolas remembered the rocking motion, the sound of the baby’s breathing, and the song he used to sing her. He was humming an old song that was lost to many cultures, even the Elves. Kyliana joined in. The clearing was filled with the melodious tune, even when the song had ended. Dzieñ had slipped off to sleep again, leaving Legolas and Kyliana with silence. Legolas handed him back to Kyliana.
“I should go. The Lady is having another banquet tonight and my party is probably waiting for me.” Legolas knew the elves he arrived with wouldn’t care where he was. Legolas always wandered off in the woods and was almost never at meals with the royal family. He rose from his stone seat and rushed to the other side of the bushes to return to the path. Kyliana gazed after him. She had enjoyed his company and looked forward to seeing him again at the banquet that night. She started to hum the Silvan lullaby again. She hummed thinking of the stranger she had just met, with a smile on her face.
Legolas wasn’t at the banquet that night. There was a place left for him next to his father’s left hand. His queen sat on his right as was customary in Mirkwood. Kyliana wondered why she had not noticed them before. They were not like the other elves there. They were unique in an undistinguishable way. Kyliana hardly touched the spread that was set before her, she was so engrossed by these foreigners. They spoke only to each other in Sindarin, a language Kyliana knew very little of.
“Ky, eat. You’re being rude.” Kyliana shook her head to clear her mind. She stared at her sister, Mayliana.
“Sorry. Um, May? Have you ever noticed them before?” Ky looked in the direction of the Mirkwood elves. Mayliana glanced in that direction.
“Of course I’ve noticed them! But I wonder why there is always an empty space to the right of King Thranduil.”
“Me, too. Wait, doesn’t he have five children?” Mayliana stared at her twin.
“I think. Maybe one of them died, because there are only four Thranduilion children here.” Ky wanted to tell her sister that all five of the Thranduilion royal family was still alive, but was interrupted by King Celeborn.
“Thank you all for coming to join us here in our halls,” he started, “I would like to welcome you all to Lothlorien. We have invited you all here as a celebration of friendship, and now that all of the guests have arrived, we can have formal introductions.” The line of introductions went down the hall. Ky’s family stood as they introduced themselves. Ky’s introduction was shorter than the rest of her family’s because she was the youngest. Ky took her seat and paid no attention to the elves that were introduced after her. She waited for the Mirkwood elves to stand before finally showing an interest in the people surrounding her.