dolgoldur

Enslaved by a King- [Til Death Do Us Part]- Thranduil Fanfiction

The night she broke into his treasure room, the eternity Thranduil had resigned himself to fell away. His heart seized. His soul sang like he had been doused in starlight. He heard himself speak, but he barely knew what he said. From the soft blush of her cheeks, the nervous flick of the tongue across perfect, pink lips, the shiver of pinpricks dancing across her arms, he knew she was meant to be his. 




Elves fell in love for life, and his heart had already been lost to his wife. Destiny had been beyond cruel. But in the moment he clasped the girl against him, felt the way her body mold to his so perfectly, as if she was made for him, he knew he would love. He would lust. He would keep her as his own, despite reason, despite destiny.


His advisers shook their heads and muttered among themselves. His son thought him mad. He didn’t care. He had suffered an eternity of harrowing loneliness and despair, waiting for that break of sunlight through the clouds. And now he held sunshine in his embrace, soft and sheer, with delicate curves pressed so deliciously against him. They didn’t understand. No one ever would.


The ache of his soul he deadened with glass after glass of wine. But wine did nothing to temper the sweet, wicked madness now roiling through his being. He had told her he was patient. He lied. He had waited an eternity for her, and he could wait no longer. With her wrists bound loosely above her head with a silken cord, her flesh trembling under the torchlight, he took her innocence and made her a woman. His woman. She demanded more of him, arching her back and grinding against him like a flame dancing in his embrace. With her fingers in his hair, her mouth singing hungrily into his, she showed him what it was to be the object of her desire.


Night after night he clung to her as a drowning man clung to the shore. She was the honey in his mouth, the sunlight in his heart. She completed him, but he did not complete her. How her eyes shone when she spoke of her “companion.” How he desperately wished her eyes would shine as bright when she looked at him. His desire was steeped in self-loathing, his guilt eating him alive as he clasped her asleep against him.


“If I set you free,” he would whisper. “Would you come back to me?”


He lived in hope and fantasy; in truth it was self-deception. That was perhaps the cruelest trick of destiny of all, to have found love but in a mortal who would not love him back. Every time he thought he was a step closer to her heart, she pushed him away. Not even starlight could fully drown the familiar darkness clouding her gaze. 


Then that darkness took hold, killed his forest, and called him Melamin.



 As Thranduil treads carefully through the forest towards Dolgoldur, knee-deep in shriveled leaves, he is painfully aware that this is not the first time Greenwood has died under his care.


There was a time when his streams ran fresh, when the air was sweet in his lungs. Birds would flit from tree to tree in joyous chatter and birdsong. The Battle of Dagorlad had left him broken, but the Greenwood and its people took him in healing embrace and made him their king. He was not the wisest of the elves, but he ruled to the best of his ability, and his people loved him. It was during those years of peace and prosperity that he fell in love.


Anon.


Her voice was the soft chime of bells, her movements the grace of falling petals. Her hair was spun starlight, her eyes a haunting green. The emerald of Greenwood, the Silvan elves called her. The loveliest and wisest queen they had ever known.


She had been appointed as his handmaiden after his return from the war, the one who brought him his meals, his wine. It had not been her beauty that had caught his eye, but the thin, white scars that ran down mercilessly down the curve of her beautiful back and crisscrossed over her arms. Captured by Sauron’s army and held captive for many years, she exuded the strength and courage of a survivor who withstood nameless horrors. Such courage was rare. Striking. Thranduil did not know when his silent admiration gave way to affection, but his emotions inexplicably swelled and blossomed into love.


And such sweet, soul-filling love it was, the purest of joys he had ever known. He had never known sweeter happiness than her arms and long, long legs wrapped around him, ticklish whispers in his ear. She would feed him droplets of hardened honey every night, and he laugh about how desperately he loved her. He would do anything for her, and she knew it.


Despite his happiness, peace and prosperity did not to last. While Sauron had fallen, his influence had not. The ruins of Dulgoldur roiled with unrest, and giant spiders grew and multiplied. He withdrew his people from the outskirts of Mirkwood and tightened the security of his borders. He had already lost two-thirds of his kin in the fight for Middle Earth; he was not about to lose any more protecting what lay outside his lands.


It was during such turbulent times that Legolas was conceived and born. The night he cradled his fragile, newborn son for the first time, his wife gripped his hand and looked at him with dark eyes.


“I am fearful, Melamin,“ she breathed. “We have brought our child into a world of danger and evil. I have not the strength enough to protect our child.”


He kissed her damp brow and held her tightly. “I swear I will protect him. Whatever the cost, I will protect him.” And caressing her soothingly, he told her of the fourth elven ring.


Three rings of power were given to the elves; the Ring of Fire given to Cirdan, the Ring of Water to Galadriel, and the Ring of Air to Elrond. A fourth ring set with an emerald, the ring of Earth, was intended for Oropher, his father. But before the ring could be finished, the maker of the Rings of Power learned of Sauron’s intent to control all the rings with his One. The ring was sent to Oropher for protection in its incomplete state. When Oropher died, the ring was passed onto Thranduil, along with the grave warning to destroy it.


The ring was beautiful in its innocence, radiant and pure. It was perfection, even in its half-finished form, emerald against wood instead of precious metal. It shimmered in raw, uncertain potential, eager to be wielded to accomplish great things. Or terrible things.


He could not bring himself to destroy it despite his father’s wishes, and held on to it, in case Mirkwood was ever in dire need.


That night, Thranduil woke to the frantic pounding at his chamber door. The woods are dead, his guard cried hysterically. Everything is dead.


Instinctively he reached to clasp his wife’s hand next to his, but his wife was not there.


White limbs of dead, shriveled trees stretched out above them like skeletons under the pale harvest moon as he and his men searched frantically for his love. And they found her, damp hair fluttering in the wind, the fourth elven ring on her finger.


She killed all of his men, lifting them into the air with a strange, dark electricity and crushing their hearts. She breathed in their souls like wisps of smoke and dropped their lifeless bodies down in the piles of blackened leaves. He eyes gleamed green as she turned to him.


At first he thought her possessed or bewitched. This was Anon. His love. There could be no other reason his love could be capable of such evil. But then she traced the scars on her flesh and read them out to him, her voice clear as the ringing of bells. The scars were familiar to him; how many times had he had traced those faint white lines as they blissfully laid together? For the first time in hundreds of years, he finally recognized them as the name of her master carved in black speech. She had been no captive to Sauron, but his ever-willing lover.


He could not move. His breath had froze in his lungs. Denial was paralyzing. Mind numbing. She reached into his pocket and pulled out a smooth, amber lump. A piece of his favorite honey candy. Tenderly, she pressed it into his mouth. It melted on his tongue, filling him with a sickening, heart-wrenching joy.


“Look at that naive glow of starlight in your eyes,” she whispered, stroking his cheek with cold hands. “And you wondered why I never ate any of my own sweets.”


Starlight.


All this time, she had been poisoning him with starlight.


He tried to spit out the tainted sweetness, but it was too late. His heart raced with the thrill of first love, and he knew with a harrowing realization that he would do anything for her. Even die at his own hand, if she wished it.


“Perhaps I shall keep you alive,” she murmured, drawing his sword from his belt. “The return of my master is imminent, and he will want playthings in his new world. Or perhaps I should just have you carve out your own heart. That would be fun, don’t you think?”


She handed him his sword. He felt his heart betray him as he raised the sword to his own chest.


“Please,” he begged, not for his life but for her love. “…Think of our son.”


She laughed in his face and pressed his sword to his throat. “I only bore him as a failsafe in case you grew accustomed to the starlight. His existence will ensure my place in your heart. But once I am through with you, I don’t need him anymore, do I?”


And suddenly all he could think of was Legolas, his tiny hands, his wide, innocent eyes. His mother never loved nor wanted him. But Thranduil had. With all his heart.  


He swung the blade. And sliced her wrist off clean.


What happened next was a blur. He vaguely remembered reaching down and picking up the bloodied hand, slipping the glittering ring from cold, rigid fingers. He remembered his wife launching herself at him, screaming and biting like a frothing beast, trying to pry the ring from him.


Then he was back in his chambers, the bloodied ring on his finger and his heart crying out for his love.  


In her belongings he found withered scrolls of black speech burned onto human skin, secret messages smuggled from Mordor and Dol Gul dor. His favorite honey candies lay scattered among delicate glass eyedroppers filled with starlight.


He burned everything.


No one would ever know the truth. Especially his son.


It was made known that the Queen was attacked by orcs, and his men died valiantly trying to save her. The forest had died in grief. No one doubted his words, and why would they? He was their king; he had no reason to lie.


He and the Silvan elves cleared out the dead trees and planted new ones, but the very life of the land had been corrupted by the sickness of his wife. In the strongest of the saplings, a gentle oak, Thranduil cast a ward and secretly nestled the fourth elven ring in its slender trunk. The ring would help heal the forest, counter the death that his wife had brought upon the land. No elf nor orc would ever be able to pierce the magic bark of the tree, including him.


For the past year, he thought he had cheated destiny. That he was capable of loving again, and had overcome what twisted effect his wife had over him. But she had been there all along, staring back at him with icy darkness every time he looked into the girl’s eyes. No wonder the darkness had seemed so familiar.  


As he steps through the last trees that mark the boundaries of his land, an icy wind caresses his cheek.


“Mela en’ coiamin,” a voice whispers in his ear. “Have you missed me?”


She steps from behind a broken column, radiant and beautiful like the first light of dawn. How he loved her. His beautiful, perfect Queen. How he wishes he had the strength to raise his blade and sever her head clean off her shoulders. To be rid of her forever.


“Anon.” His voice is softer than he would have liked. “I thought you dead.”


She laughs, her voice like claws digging into his heart. “Come now. You would lie to your wife? You knew quite well in your heart that I lived.”


”…How long? How long have you possessed the girl?“


She vanishes in a cloud of black smoke, reappearing behind him. Her arms are wrapped around him. She is as cold and intangible as death.


"I brought her to Mirkwood to find the ring; you were the one who took her to bed.”


He wrenches from her grasp, his fists clenched at his sides.


“Was she a delight to you?” She whispers. “I taught her everything she knows. The secret passages through your halls. The enchantments to break your wards. The ways of pleasure, the ways you love to be touched. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? The woman you loved with such reckless abandon. How much of it was her, how much of it was me.”


He swallowed hard, his stomach churning in disgust. “What I had with her had nothing to do with you!”


“But it does,” she breathes, her words icy against his skin. “Do you not find it strange, that you so readily allowed an unfamiliar woman to comfort you in your loneliness? The elven king I knew would never look twice at a lowly Silvan elf, let alone a human. Your heart is mine, Thranduil. Mine alone. As it will always be.”


“The starlight has long since worn off!”


“Ah, but did I not bear you a son? He embodies your love, your trust in me. While he lives, your heart will always be tied to mine. I made sure of that.”


He draws his sword and slashes through her mirage mercilessly. She dissipates, cackling. Her true form lies hidden in the fortress, masked by enchantment. Red eyes are painted on every column, and they follow him as he storms through the ruins.


Legolas. His beautiful son with the eyes of his father, the deadly violence of his mother. He would never know why his father could never bear to look at him for long, why his father balked at any mention of his mother. Thranduil loved him too much to ever tell him the truth. Legolas was intelligent and wise, with nothing but kindness and goodness in his heart. He was everything his parents were not, and Thranduil was determined to keep it that way.


He finds Anon huddled in a wind-ravaged enclave, clutching a pale green sphere with her one good hand. Her skin is boiled over with warts, her back hunched liked a twisted tree. Her eyes are milky-white, the dark price she has paid to conjure shadows and possess minds with her Palantir. She is neither orc nor elf, caught in the slow descent from beauty to corruption. It is the fate of elves that have delved too deep in darkness.


“You think the human is safe, now that you’ve sent her back to Erebor?” She croaks. “Cumbersmaug is a dragon, not a sorcerer. If you think he has the ability to cleanse her of my control, you are more stupid than I thought.”


“…Release her, and I will let you live.”


A grey smile curls on her cracked lips. “Kill me, and I wield her flesh for the rest of her life.”


He wants to scream. Wants to close his hands around her neck and squeeze the life from her rotten form. But he knows he cannot. She is still the mother of his beloved son. His heart will never allow it, no matter how he desperately wants to end her. He wrenches her Palantir from her gnarled hand and covers it with his cloak. She hisses viciously, slashing wildly in the air at him, milky eyes unseeing. Her painted eyes are useless without her crystal ball.


“She had been saving herself for her love, you know,” she screams after him as he leaves her. “Whatever desire you thought you saw in her was my doing, to mask the venomous hate she harbors against you for taking her against her will! She never wanted you, Thranduil. Night after night you went to her, and every night she wished you were dead!”


Hysterical laughter echoes behind him as he storms from Dolguldor, shaking.



[posted 4.24.14]