Disclaimer: I don’t own LOTR

It was a bright and beautiful day. The sun was bright and there were few clouds to be seen in the sky. All in all, it was a perfect day for an adventure, a fact that hadn’t passed three easily excitable young elflings by.

“Can I go Ada?” Legolas pleaded, “I’m not going to be on my own-the twins are going too…”

Thranduil thought for a moment, evidently the fact that the twins would be going was supposed to help Legolas’ argument. As it was, it just gave the elf king grave doubts. But still, what harm could come to them? They were just exploring the grounds, and had promised not to venture too far into the trees.

In his study, Elrond was thinking along the same lines. Elladan and Elrohir could be impulsive and a little reckless at times, but both were responsible and knew the dangers of wandering too far.

“Alright, you can go.” The two elves decided at the same time, causing three elflings to grin happily.

“Ada says we can go!” All three announced at once when they met at the front of the house, then burst into fits of giggles. After a few minutes, they were ready to go, and set off towards the trees.

“So, where are we going?” Legolas asked.

Elladan and Elrohir consulted each other for a moment then announced “We can go to this really tall tree. It’s brilliant because if you climb all the way to the top you can see everything.”

Legolas smiled-trees he knew. He had been worried he’d feel out of his depth, because he didn’t know the area as well as the twins. Trees were a different matter though. Being from Mirkwood, Legolas felt as at home in the trees as back in his room at the palace.

So they began the trek to the tree. On the way they talked, telling each other stories about themselves, sometimes heavily embroidered to avoid embarrassment. The wildlife didn’t go unnoticed and at one point they took a slight detour following a rabbit.

The twins were recounting a story about when both of them got utterly lost in the woods, and were just about to get to an interesting part when Legolas stopped.

“Legolas? What is it?” Elladan asked, confused as to why the other elf had paused.

“There’s something moving in that bush,” Legolas replied, “I think it could be a snake. Do you get snakes here?”

“I’ve never seen one before.” Elrohir stepped closer, trying to catch a glimpse of it.

“We shouldn’t get too close,” Legolas warned, “there are snakes in Mirkwood that my Ada said could kill you if they bite you…” He shuddered at the thought, and the elflings walked quickly on.

Unbeknownst to them, the snake had slithered out of the bush, and was following them, as it had seen a mouse up ahead. Elladan was the first to notice, and he pointed at it. “The snake’s right behind us!”

Startled by Elladan’s voice, Legolas span round, and nearly stood on the creature. Angered and scared, the snake decided that now would be a good time to use its best defence. It reared up and shot towards the elf.

“Aagghh!” Legolas cried out and dropped to the floor, clutching his leg. The snake hissed and slithered away into the undergrowth.

“Legolas!” Elladan exclaimed, and both twins knelt on the grass next to their friend.
“It bit him El, what should we do?” Elladan looked to the younger twin for guidance.

“I don’t think he’ll be able to walk like this…” Elrohir frowned, trying to think quickly. “We’re not too far from home, so one of us could run and fetch help. You’re the fastest so you’d better go. I’ll stay here and look after Legolas.”

Elladan nodded once and sprinted off back in the direction of the house.

“It’s alright Legolas,” Elrohir assured, “El’s gone to get help, and he’ll be back soon.”

“Hurts…” Legolas whimpered, still gripping his leg where the snake had bitten him. He was now lying on the ground, curled into a tight ball.

Elrohir tried to stay calm. To be honest, he’d have preferred to be in Elladan’s position right now-then at least he’d know he was doing something to help. As it was, he was at a loss for what to do.

He tried to recall what he’d been taught about snakes, and his brain seemed very slow to relinquish the information. He knew that some were poisonous, and obviously the one that had bitten Legolas was, judging by the pain he was in, and the swelling around the marks. He vaguely remembered hearing that the wound should be kept below the level of the heart, and it seemed to make sense.

Carefully, he got Legolas to sit up, and leant him against his chest. All the while he was talking to his friend to try and reassure him. “They’ll be here soon.” He promised.

Meanwhile, Elladan was racing towards the house, heart pounding in his chest. He was painfully aware of the time slipping by, and didn’t dare stop to rest. He wished that he were back with Legolas, because that way he would know what was going on. As it was, his mind what coming up with terrible thoughts.

What if I don’t get help in time? What if Ada can’t heal him? What if Legolas dies? What if it’s already too late?

He shook his head; dislodging frightened tears he hadn’t known were there. It seemed to take forever to get back to the house, but in reality it wasn’t that long before he arrived, breathless and with leaves and twigs stuck in his hair.

“Ada!” He called, seeing his father sitting outside talking to Glorfindel and Thranduil. “Ada please come quickly-Legolas was bitten by a snake!”

Thranduil paled instantly and jumped to his feet. Elrond dashed back into the house and appeared moments later with a bag slung over his shoulder. Glorfindel sprinted to the stables, and returned with a stable hand leading three horses.

“How are you feeling Legolas?” Elrohir asked.

“Well I have had better days,” Legolas sighed, shifting slightly and biting back a moan of pain. “I don’t feel that good.”

“I’m sure they won’t be long,” Elrohir stated, as much to himself as to Legolas. Things were definitely not looking good. The colour had drained from Legolas’ face, and tiny tremors were shaking his body. His breathing wasn’t brilliant either, and had been deteriorating for at least a few minutes.
“Hold on Legolas…”
Elrohir tried to stay calm, though not for his own sake.

“This way!” Elrohir pointed to the left, looking carefully for the route they had taken from where he was sitting on Glorfindel’s horse. They had made excellent time, and were nearing the two elflings, when they heard something that chilled them to the bone.

“Legolas! No!”

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