Of a Frustrated Fanfic Author
Disclaimer: All the characters – except the main heroine – belong to Professor Tolkien. I’m just borrowing them for a while to play.
These independent little chapters have very little to do with my regular stories, except the fact that the Tolkien-characters appearing here will behave the way they do in my other writings. None of this is supposed to be taken seriously. :)
The old fanfic snipplets the characters are referring to actually existed once. Thankfully, they have been long destroyed.
Apologies: to all wonderful authors who write about Legolas’ family with respect. I don’t really think that Thranduil and his son would ever choose one particular setting – but our FFA really needed a serious ego boost. Poor woman had been through a lot lately.
Dedication: To Gemma, as nobody else asked for our favourite Wood Elf.
Eight: Legolas Greenleaf
The mood of our Frustrated Fanfiction Author (for new readers – hopefully lots of them – still dubbed FFA), the general mood from frustrated changed to Royally Pissed™. The new school term had started, with all the insane paperwork, protectionism and nepotism as usual, and she got the worst curriculum of her entire professional life, including the obligation to work in the afternoons, too, at least twice a week, successfully hindering her to earn some extra money to her miserable salary. An old lady friend of her family died, the school kids behaved worse than ever, her online friends partially vanished through a black hole (yes, she wrote Trekfic, too), due to Real Life issues, and she still wasn’t able to gain new readers. Which, for her weird sense of priorities (or the lack thereof) was the worst part of all.
So, after finishing four different teaching plans (which she would never be able to carry out), and adamantly refusing to care for the fifth, still unwritten one (there was still Sunday night, after all, and sleep was highly overrated anyway), she dropped onto the sofa, determined to check out next week’s TV programme. One needed to cloud one’s mind in order to endure the sheer pain of existence.
At that very moment, someone knocked on the door of her apartment. Which was a strange thing in itself, as no-one but the neighbours had access to the corridor in the first place (it had a front door that they kept closed all the time), and they would usually ring the doorbell. Still, it could always be that the blind lady from the opposite flat needed something and was too impatient to search for the buzzer. It happened sometimes. Too bad that aforementioned lady was a querulant and unable to tell anything in short, practical sentences.
Our FFA sighed, forcing herself to patience (one did not scream like a banshee at someone who needed help, at least not according to the standards of her family) and tore the door open.
The first look at her visitor very nearly caused her to faint on the spot.
Of course she recognized him at once. She had been a Legolas affectionado since she first read The Books some twenty years ago, long before the species known as “fangirl” invaded the Tolkienverse. And the tall, handsome Elf standing on her doorstep was a truly wondrous sight to behold.
Meaning, that he had nothing common with the movie version. At all.
To admit the truth, he did not look exactly like her imagination, either. Just like with Elrond, his true appearance was beyond her most vivid fantasies.
He had the high cheekbones and long, elegant eyes of a Sindarin aristocrat, but with the underlying, exotic wildness of the woodland folk in his sculpted features. Being the middle of November, his hair had a rich, dark brown colour with deep red highlights. His eyes, only slightly slanted to identify him as a Silvan Elf, were not green as in her tales – and most certainly not blue – but bright and brown like polished chestnuts. And he seemed to be in a very good mood.
“Greetings, Lady Scribe,” he said in a melodic voice that was deeper than she had expected, though. “May I come in? This floor is narrower than the tunnels under my father’s palace – it makes me uneasy.”
“Of course, Legolas,” she said hurriedly, stepping aside to let him in. It didn’t occur to her to call him “lord”, as he had done wih Elrond. Despite being the son of a King, Legolas never made an issue of his high status. Not according The Books anyway, and that was the only reference she really needed.
“Thank you,” the Prince of Mirkwood smiled, very nearly causing her to swoon.
She ushered him into the living-room, guessing that the Elf would feel trapped in the tiny adjoining study. Seven square metres were not even enough breathing room for a human being used to close quarters, not to mention for one of the woodland folk.
Legolas accepted the offered seat graciously and arranged his long limbs in the most elegant and graceful manner.
“Father sends his regards,” he told her amiably. “He had intended to pay you a personal visit, but affairs of state hindered him, so he sent me instead.”
She looked at him in suspicion. “Affairs of state? On Tol Eressëa?”
Legolas shrugged. “That is what Father said. Personally, I believe that he wanted to spend some time alone with Mother before Winter Solstice – why else would he send us all away on the most unusual errands?”
“All of you?” She asked in surprise. “How many of you are there actually?”
“Why, six, of course,” answered Legolas with a smile and a shrug. “You gave me three brothers and two sisters, did you not?”
“Of course I did,” she replied, a little impatiently. “What I want to know is how many of you are there for real.”
Legolas laughed again, but now there was sorrow in his voice.
“There are only Father and myself for real – as real as our existence is. The Professor, as you call him, gave us no other family. So, after having read many a tale spun around us, Father and I simply chose.”
“And you chose my settings?” she asked, finding it hard to believe. There were many other stories, a lot more popular than hers, that showed the royal family of the Greenwood in an equally positive light.
Legolas nodded. “We did.”
“Why? Why mine? Why not Jasta’s or TreeHugger’s or the other ones’ that are far more widely read and still handle you with respect? Those tales are wonderful and sweet and well-written. Mine are dark and gritty, most of the time.”
“Well,” Legolas said with an amused twinkle in those incredible eyes,” to tell the truth, for me it was the hair. You know that Elves are attracted to beautiful hair, do you not?”
“Of course I do. But all other writers give you beautiful hair,” she pointed out reasonably.
Legolas scowled – it was an extremely drool-worthy sight. He looked positively cute, but she had a good instinct for self-preservation and didn’t tell him. The Elf’s next words showed just how right she had been with that.
“Nay, they give me Orlando Bloom’s wig!” Legolas exclaimed. “I hate being described as… what do you mortals call it? As a ‘blonde bimbo’.”
“But your father does have golden hair,” she reminded him. “The Professor told so himself.”
“Aye, but that was before he decided that only Vanyar would have golden hair,” Legolas riposted, “and forgot all about Father and that nameless Galadhrim. Besides, what does look gorgeous on Father, would not necessarily suit me. Honestly, I find the colour-changing hair you invented for us, Silvan folk, much more proper. I am glad you let me inherit it from Mother.”
She laughed. “All right, you chose because of the hair, though I doubt that was your only reason. But what is your father’s excuse?”
Legolas grinned. “I cannot be certain, but I believe the wife you had chosen for him played an important role in his decision. Father had always been attracted to older women… older than him, that is. To women with wisdom and experience. Mayhap it was because of Melian.”
She had to laugh again. “You are devious, do you know that?”
Those gorgeous eyes twinkled once more. “I know. You write me that way. And I like it.” Then he became serious again. “Beyond that, you gave us a history that reaches back further into the sunless days than even Thingol’s realm in Doriath. You gave us a noble ancestry, a culture of our own, dignity and pride. You made us not less wise and valiant in our own ways than those haughty, kin-slaying Golodh. “His face softened again. “And you gave us Aiwë.”
“Whom I got killed by a spider ere she reached the age of twelve,” she pointed out.”
“That matters little,” said Legolas. “We all love her nevertheless, and now that we are reunited again, we could not be happier. Did you know that Aiwë had refused to be released from the Halls until Father and I came to Eressëa? She wanted to meet us in the same shape as we were separated by her death.”
“I know,” she answered gently. “It was my idea, remember?”
Legolas laughed merrily. “Oh, that is right. I keep forgetting what stands in The Books and what stands in your tales.”
“I take that as a compliment,” she said. “And not a small one.”
“You should,” Legolas agreed. “I rarely find what is written about us appealing enough to mistake it for… what do you scribes call it? For canon.”
“Well,” she said a little uncomfortably, “I doubt that you truly liked everything I wrote about you.”
“True enough,” admitted the Elf. “There is one thing that bothers me in your tales.”
She rolled her eyes. “Spare me, please! I’ve already got a thorough tongue-lashing about this particular topic from Lord Elrond, thank you very much.”
The mischievous twinkle returned to Legolas’ eyes.
“Oh, but I did not mind my apparent affair with the Master of Imladris,” he said with almost convincing serenity. “In fact, I would like to take the credit for saving his life after Lady Celebrían left for the Blessed Realm. Alas that I cannot – that would have been a greet deed and no mistake. But Lord Elrond was strong enough to deal with his grief alone.”
This reaction confused her to no end.
“You are not mad at me because I got you involved with Elrond?” she asked, just to be sure. Legolas shook his head.
“Nay; the book-Elrond, as you describe him, is noble and gorgeous and valiant and wise. I could have done much worse. Besides, you did not leave me pining after him forever.” He flashed one of those sly, seductive smiles at her. “You gave me Indreâbhan. You gave me her more than twenty years ago – that is a long time for a mere mortal.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. True enough, she’d been writing LOTR-related fanfic way before she had even known that a genre called “fanfic” ever existed. Then she reddened a little, remembering certain parts of that – fortunately long gone – story. As if he could read her mind, Legolas laughed, too. It was a deep, pleasant sound.
“I see you remember.”
“Yeah, and I’m not particularly happy about it,” she muttered, beet red now. Legolas shrugged.
“Why not? She has always been a well-established person in your tales that had nothing to do with Middle-earth – and she is beautiful. Even though I am more pleased with the changed settings now. She might be less powerful now than she used to be in your other tales… but I believe she is much happier.”
“That was my first youthful sin into the hurt/comfort thing,” she murmured. “Hopefully, it will remain my last one.”
“Oh, it was not that bad,” Legolas comforted her. “Well, for poor Indreâbhan, it was not pleasant, I am certain of that, but I liked the tree house on Tol Eressëa you give me to live in. And Gimli housing in a nearby cave. And the bath house you gave us.”
She smiled a little. “You still can have those.”
“I certainly hope so,” said Legolas. “I liked those settings better than the other tale with the red-haired elleth and her mysterious past.”
She shuddered visibly. “Don’t remember me! It’s most humiliating to realize that I’ve written a blatant Mary Sue long before I would hear that term for the first time.”
Legolas shook his head in sympathy. “There is naught to be ashamed of, Lady Scribe. Some very rare people make wondrous tales and songs at a very young age, seemingly without any effort. Other people work long and hard and with devotion on their tales and songs and pour the experience of their life into them. Who can tell which ones are the better and more beautiful songs? The more engaging tales?”
She looked at him in awe, understanding dawning on her but still unsure.
“Legolas,” she said quietly, “why have you really come? The truth, please.”
“You have been tormented by dark thoughts and self-doubt for a very long time,” he answered simply. “For too long for a mere mortal. We, who are in your debt for your love to us and your tales about us, were worried about you. So we decided that someone should visit you and comfort you a little. You deserve it.”
“And how did you get the job?” she asked, grinning again. Legolas gave her a mischievous wink.
“It was a close thing,” he admitted. “Faramir and Éowyn wanted to come, too. After all, you have been writing about them almost as long as about me.”
She groaned, remembering her first – and mercifully lost – Faramir/Éowyn story that had been just as… erm… colourful as ‘Legolas’ adventures with the red-haired Elf maiden’.
“You guys will never let me forget the sins of my youth, will you?”
“Actually,” Legolas’ grin was so broad it nearly split his face in two, “Faramir and the White Lady have rather… fond memories about that unfinished little tale. They still hope you might write it on some day again. They were most insistent to come and talk you into it, but I persuaded them that now would not be the right time for that.”
“Still, there was the two of them against you,” she said. “How did you manage to get your will against them? Éowyn isn’t one to give up easily, you know. She is nothing like that wallflower in the movie.”
“Oh, I know that, believe me,” the Elf laughed. “But I had an ace up my sleeve still.”
“You had? What sort of ace?”
“Father,” replied Legolas, grinning. “I asked him to give them the ‘Thranduil look’. Father loves intimidating mortals into obedience. And he had the older claim.”
“What older claim?” she asked in surprise.
“Well, it was him you had the first crush on, was he not?” replied Legolas. “Was it not the Elvenking of Mirkwood you fell first in love with? Did you not like me immediately when you read The Books for the first time, just because I was his son?”
“True enough,” she admitted. “But never thought that King Thranduil would notice such things. I’m not such a widely-known writer, after all.”
“Lady Scribe,” said Legolas, suddenly very serious, “My father has suffered vile atrocities from other scribes since those… movies came out. His good name has been sullied, his wisdom and nobility questioned, he has been accused of the most evil deeds against his own family. You have always defended his honour, you wrote beautiful tales about him, you even gathered many other peoples to defend him. You truly believe he would not notice you?”
She blushed again, this time in a good way.
“All right,” she said, “I see now how you gained the right to this visit. Now tell me, how do you intend to ‘comfort’ me? I’ve become a little suspicious about your ideas.”
“I am hurt,” declared Legolas, walking into the study and grabbing a CD showed it into the slit of the computer. Soft Elven music began to play in the background – she was sure that it was nothing she had ever had. “But I shall persuade you of the innocence of my intentions,” Legolas continued, pulling her to his feet. “’Tis almost Winter Solstice. My people dance during this festival. So, we, too, shall dance.”
She laughed. “Legolas, I can’t dance! I have two left feet as we say. And I’m clumsy beyond help.”
“That is not true,” he said, taking her into a light embrace and leading her around with swaying steps in the suddenly widening room. “You might not know how to dance with mortals. But you will most certainly enjoy dancing with me.”
“All right,” she laughed, feeling light-headed and more happy than she had been for a very long time. “But first you must tell me what is the one thing you don’t like in my stories.”
“Oh, that,” Legolas swept her with him in an almost weightless manner. “Nothing serious, truly. My only complaint is that I seem sometimes too grumpy. I am a Wood-Elf, you know. We know how to have a good time.”
The end – for now.