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Scattered Leaves (PG-13) Print

Written by Eldalie

21 April 2010 | 41380 words

Title: Scattered Leaves
Author: Eldalie
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Faramir & OFCs, Legolas
Disclaimer: Middle Earth and all that is in it belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien. And I don't think anybody wants to argue about that.

NOMINATED FOR MEFA AWARDS 2010 Six years before the War of the Ring, Faramir patrols Ithilien, and there meets Miriel, one of the Elves that used to live there before Sauron tainted the woods with his presence again. Miriel is back out of nostalgia for her birthplace, but has left her heart North in Mirkwood, with Legolas… or will the mortal Captain of Gondor, this Child of Men, make her forget everything that is past?


Chapter 1

Mirkwood

One last pull of the reins, and we were there. The mass of trees loomed above and around us, but we were not scared. When they are in woods, Elves never are. The long journey from Ithilien had taken us months – months, as we travelled through Middle Earth, our lives packed in small neat bundles. Ready for a new life. Leaving behind us not much more than ruins.

After the fallen Maia Sauron had left what had once been Greenwood the Great his shadow had partially lifted; lifted only to be cast on other corners of the Earth. What crevice the Enemy haunted with his presence no one knew; but the dead land of Mordor had stirred, the wind bringing past its harsh mountains thin ashes, a smell of doom. The water, in the clear streams of Ithilien when I had been born, had started tasting fouler. The world was changing again; and it was not a change for the better.

Of us Elves of the Ithilien forests, many had lived long enough to know the terror of Sauron’s ancient power; some had fought in the last battle that had brought him down. A few had seen the Man King Isildur take the One Ring, and be corrupted. They smelled the air, tasted the water, and as they flicked the ash off their pale skin, they said: we must go. We are Elves; we know when our time is over. And so we bade farewell to our secret houses among the trees and left Ithilien, for forever, we thought.

Myself, I was young. Barely five hundred years, the life everlasting of the Eldar strong in my veins, a keen thirst for the world in my mouth. My heart was breaking when I set eyes for the last time on the vales, the clearings that had always been my home; then I saw the spoiled shape of the tainted tower of Minas Ithil and my mouth set in a hard line. No more a place for us. Only the Rangers of Gondor that we had always avoided would have remained to patrol the empy woods. But they were Men: gifted with a talent for deceiving themselves. To Elvish eyes, the corruption of Ithilien was irreversible.

So we set our course North, towards Mirkwood and our kindred. The evil of the Necromancer had forced them to hide behind their mountains, but now they were slowly regaining ground, setting out to cleanse their home of the fell beasts that had crept within its bounds. We were ready to help them.

We had sent scouts ahead to warn king Thranduil of our arrival, and he had answered by sending a party to meet us. As our column advanced slowly, picking our way carefully on the rock-strewn edges of the Forest River, they emerged silently from the long shadows of the wood. It was then that for the first time I saw Legolas Greenleaf.

He was the son of the King, but this I did not know. And even if I had, it would not have mattered. Even if he had been the last of the Elves on Middle Earth, I would have seen him. Even if he had never looked upon me, talked to me, I would have loved him.

It sounds strange, saying it now, now that so many things have changed; but when I close my eyes I am there again, again in my ears rings the dark music of the water running, again my nostrils fill with the wild smell of decaying moss. And again I remember the pale countenance of the Prince of Mirkwood when I set eyes upon him for the first time.

He greeted us with gentle words, the cadence of his voice purer than that of most of Silvan Elves. His father was one of the Sindar; his mother a Wood Elf. From Thranduil he had inherited the eery, silverish shade of his golden hair; from the queen whose name nobody ever pronounced, murdered by Orcs before her son could remember her, the delicate beauty of his traits, the smooth quality of his movements. And the blue fire of his eyes.

I could never remember what he said to my people worn by a long journey; his words echoed in my mind like forgotten songs, the print of something lost and now, eventually, found. He could not see me, placed as I was with the other archers in the rearguard; but my eyes never left him as he showed us the way to his father’s palace beneath the earth. Like some of the great Elvish lords in ages past, Thranduil liked to dwell in caves.

Our guide took leave from us after leading us to the wing of the palace reserved to us; and I was not asked to accompany our lord Gelmir when he went to thank the king for offering us a new home. When I lay down to rest that evening, it was as if a new life flowed through me. I was full of the remembrance of the beauty I had gazed upon for too short a time. Nothing I desired as much as the possibility of doing so again.

So simple sometimes our desires appear to be; and truly the deadliest of passions like to cloak themselves this way, and thus become our undoing. But I did not know it then; all I knew was of a quiet longing being born in the recesses of my heart till then uninhabited by any that did not belong to my family. If this were love, then it was a poison sweet to take.

For long days I had no chance of seeing Legolas again, learning from a casual conversation that he had led a party of hunters to chase a breed of monstrous spiders, descendants of Shelob the Black Scourge, away from their lairs South of the mountains. I waited for his return, my spirit brimming with the white fire of my newly born affection. I did not hope for his love; only for the opportunity of seeing him again.

As one of our archers, I was charged with escorting parties of our people as they set out to explore our new dwelling. Mirkwood was treacherous still, King Thranduil had warned us; until we had found our way on its shady paths, better to use caution. On one such expedition I set out, ten days after our arrival; and when I had safely brought my charges back to the palace, as the Sun climbed to her peak at ease, I slung my bow upon my shoulder and made my way deep among the trees.

Thick was the foliage on their branches; a place made to hide and protect an Elvish realm. Closing my eyes, I listened to the voices of the trees, distinguishing anger and pain, but also a desire for new times. Yes, perhaps it had been better to seek for a new world, abandoning the old, loved one blemished and scarred by shadow and malice.

It was, I remember, a clear winter day; the air poked with cold fingers at my skin through the cloth of my tunic, and beneath my feet the ground was soft with dead leaves. I delighted in the richness of the air, in the pale light that filtering through the leaves tinged with green. My mind was empty, open to the soft talk of the world around me; empty until the wood became different, its silence sharpened, and I perceived that I was not alone anymore.

Silently, smoothly, I readied my arch; too carefully hidden was the presence to belong to monsters or blundering Orcs. Another Elf, perhaps? But the Enemy could take many forms and avail himself of different seductions.

I was in a clearing; as I moved towards the trees, towards my unseen companion, I perceived him to move, shift further from me. I followed; and again the elusive presence retreated deep in the leaves. Teasing me, it led me around in circles, out in wild paths through the wood. Always one step ahead of me, a much better hunter and tracker, clearly, but not caring much for hiding his trail. He wanted me to follow.

Half-worried, half-amused I delved into parts of Mirkwood till then unknown, I listened to the happy trill of freshly discovered brooks, inhaled the scent of different plants. If this was the Enemy, his devices and tastes were startingly similar to those of Silvan Elves.

For the better part of that day I allowed myself to go astray, always on the lookout for that imperceptible trace. Until the sky grew red, and the shadows of Mirkwood deepened. When the green light turned to an early darkness I looked around, and the trail had disappeared. I was far from home, and as a gentle wind rustled through the leaves and Mirkwood chanted with it, the slightest hint of fear crept upon me. Had I so easily been deceived, one of a long line of Elves to perish this way?

My heart trembled, and I urged it not to betray me, to sustain me in my search for way back. And just then, as the last remnants of light left the glade, a voice I already knew resonated behind me.

“You are a good tracker, maiden of Ithilien.”

I blessed the darkness that hid the joy in my eyes; my voice was steady when I turned and replied: “Your trail was far too easy to pick, prince of Mirkwood. If I did not know better, I should think you wanted me to follow.”

Even in the darkness, I could tell he was smiling.

“I played with you, my lady, and I ask your forgiveness for this. But I hope you enjoyed the beauty of Mirkwood, as I have shown it to you.”
I smiled myself.

“Deep are the shadows and hidden the paths in this realm, Legolas, son of Thranduil, but I do not fear them. In time, I may come to love them and accept them as my true home.”

There was silence for a moment before he replied: “And yet you regret Ithilien and its lost beauty.”

My answer was woven with sadness. “We always regret exile, however sweet it may appear.”

“You are wise, maiden of Ithilien.”

He drew nearer, stopping in front of me. His nex words were barely more than whispers. “And yet I hope you will lay down your sorrows one day, and know again joy.”

He did not wait for me to reply. He turned and led the way, and I followed again, this time without deceit in his wake.

We had almost come to the palace when he asked, his voice coming suddenly out of the darkness: “What is your name, my lady?”

“Míriel.”

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29 Comment(s)


NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

Ooh, you’ve got me intrigued now. I’m a little nervous to how Legolas might break her heart, but that’s just because he’s so cute. Faramir is my favorite though, and I cannot wait to see how he charms her.
Really good beginning, can’t wait for more.

— Anna    25 February 2010, 19:02    #

Love it very much. You are gifted with a poet’s sense of words, your words seems to come alive on my screen and I love it.
So beautiful
Thank you so much

— Fëawen    26 February 2010, 11:01    #

Very well done, Eldalie! I agree complitely with Fëawen, you are truly gifted! Write more!

— Anastasiya    10 March 2010, 17:36    #

Thank you so much, everybody! I’m very glad you like the story. I’ll try to update asap. And as you can see, Ithilien (and a certain Captain) are now drawing nearer…

— Eldalie    10 March 2010, 17:40    #

Oh God what a torture you put me through.
It is so wounderful that my whole body shivers, in a very good way.
This morning started of like shit, but now I sit here with smile on my lips
Thank you for this

— Fëawen    15 March 2010, 09:07    #

Thank you! Glad I helped making your day better. The Valar know Mondays are terrible as they are…

Everybody else: the road to Ithilien is taken. Faramir incoming.

— Eldalie    15 March 2010, 11:53    #

What a truly wonderful tale you are weaving here. I very much enjoy Miriel’s spirit. I admire her being able to leave that gorgeous elf behind. However, nothing could make me choose anyone or anything over Faramir. If only I were given the burden of that choice. I cannot wait for the fair future Prince of Ithilien to arrive. My heart shall wait impatiently for his presence. Ha ha

— Kelly    15 March 2010, 23:57    #

No!!! Don’t stop, not now. Don’t leave us hanging just as our beloved Faramir is coming aboard :)
Have you made it your personal quest to push me over the edge of what I can take?
Just kidding, but you write so beautiful and alive. Not to mention the intrigue, very interesting and nice. Love it more and more by each chapter.

— Ingrid    17 March 2010, 17:14    #

Ahah, am I not evil? giggles Seriously, though. I know, my fingers tingle at the idea of writing about our ranger (not that writing about Legolas was a strain. By no means. 0:)) but I’m sure we all want a nice chapter about that. I’ll give you a little sneak peak: the title will be: ‘Man and Elf’. Stay tuned…P.S. ‘Nimîr’ is the Nùmenorean word for Elf. Thanks to the fantastic site Merin Essi ar Quenteli! for providing it.

— Eldalie    17 March 2010, 17:20    #

Ugh! somebody get a me a rope! What a way to leave me hanging! I must have more. I am waiting sooooo impatiently.

— Kelly    17 March 2010, 20:32    #

Girls, I would feel bad about letting you wait…weren’t I already started on next chapter. Have patience…:)

— Eldalie    17 March 2010, 20:37    #

OMG!!!!
I am crying my eyes out here. Blow my nose and wipe the tears of my cheeks I have said it before but I must say it again. What an exceptionell auther you are. The way you build it up, the way you describe everything, so alive that it seems to be happening before my own eys. And the words, my God, the words. Beautiful does not give it justice. I have not been able to read for a while, exame time and sickness took all my energy. I was only suppose to check if something new had come up and find FIVE new chapters. I was suppose to have been in the therapy room today, but this was far, far better. Thank you so much. You have no idea what joy you give me
Hugs

— Ingrid    28 March 2010, 16:42    #

Thank you Ingrid! Now I’m the one who’s crying. blows her nose blushing Actually, I’m already working on the next chapter. Hope it’ll be up to standard! I feel quite inspired these days, so I’m pushing it. :) Hope your exams went all right.

— Eldalie    28 March 2010, 16:45    #

Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was perfect, as always. You do know how to make a girl cry, don’t you?

“No thought, no words could pierce the armour his grief had woven around him, and touching him I felt I was touching stone.”

Such a beautiful description, it spoke so clearly. Oh Valar, how I wish that I had your talent of writing. Thank you so much.
Gives a big hug

(My exams went fine 110/110 on the theatre history test, 148/150 on the art history test, 196/200 on the ancient religions test and 118/130 on the math test. I am a bit disappointed, I could have done better, but no use crying over spilled milk. Right?)

— Ingrid    29 March 2010, 09:45    #

Thanks again, Ingrid! :)

(Wow for your exams. WHich spilled milk, excuse me? Those are fantastic results! Wish I had that talent. ;))

— Eldalie    29 March 2010, 09:54    #

Thank you so much for this wonderful chap. I am siting here with tears streaming down my face. You say that you wish for MY talent. Pleace, I would give it all up if I could write like you do. My talents can be read and learnt, but yours come from your heart.
Thanks again. No I will hopefully have pleasent dreams, pretending I am Mìriel, and loved by Faramir :)

— Ingrid    7 April 2010, 23:35    #

Thank you, Ingrid! Your comments are always very beautiful to read. Glad this came out well. You can’t have a romance without DA love scene, now, can you? ;) Thanks again!

— Eldalie    8 April 2010, 00:21    #

I am very late in posting here and I apologize. I have been anxiously reading each new post and appreciate how quickly you update. I am totally enthralled in this story. I love it. While I read this story I can visualize it perfectly. Its like I’m in the center and it is happening all around me. Thank you.

— Kelly    12 April 2010, 22:33    #

Thank you Kelly! Please don’t apologize. Glad you like it, and hope you keep enjoying. :) Thanks again!

— Eldalie    13 April 2010, 05:56    #

Oh my! My stomach is in knots! My heart is racing. I so can’t wait to find out what happens. Thank the Valar you never make me wait long to find out.

— Kelly    13 April 2010, 18:22    #

Glad you liked it, Kelly! Hope you keep enjoying. I’ll be writing asap; next one is a delicate chapter indeed. ;)

— Eldalie    13 April 2010, 21:22    #

OMG! I thought my heart was pounding before! These last two have me on the edge of my seat! Wow!I can hardly wait for more! I so volunteer to take care of our dear sweet Faramir now that Miriel has left him. hee hee

— Kelly    19 April 2010, 15:59    #

Thanks for the comment, Kelly! By the way, chapter 19 was the second-last. Epilogue incoming…;)

— Eldalie    19 April 2010, 19:24    #

I am now well and truly drained. This has been quite the roller coaster ride. I enjoyed it very very much. It did not end the way I had hoped. However, in the end I think now that you knew best and it was as it should be. Thank you!

— Kelly    21 April 2010, 18:47    #

Thank you, Kelly! I know, I supposed we would all have liked her to be with Faramir. But there just was no way, given the person Mìriel is, and the kind of world they live in. However I’m glad you still liked it! Thank you.

— Eldalie    21 April 2010, 19:31    #

A litle late incoming- but i loved this. you wrote so perfectly! i really could feel every emotion Miriel, Faramir and Legolas felt… thats rare :) thanks.

— Liana    24 June 2010, 13:18    #

Thank you! I’m very glad you liked it. :)

— Eldalie    24 June 2010, 13:22    #

Thank you! I am very glad you liked it.

— Eldalie    24 August 2010, 16:15    #

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About the Author


Eldalie

I’m an Italian girl, who studies History at the university, writes novels and sometimes gets them published, and who firmly believes that fanfiction makes your writing better.

I have now been lost nine in years in Middle Earth; and I have no intention of coming back. My undying loves remains the Silmarillion (Tùrin, Feanor and Maedhros, to give you a few favourites; and Galadriel rocks it all); but when we come to the War of the Ring, Faramir wins the day hands down.

Yep, even before David Wenham came along with those sapphire eyes of his (not that this did not make things even more pleasant.)

My fic on this site is a Faramir/OC; where I’m quite proud of having invented a plausible Elven maiden. Legolas has a part in it, too, as the idea came originally from my little sister’s plead for a fanfic with a decent love interest for Thranduil’s son.

You’ll also find me archived under the same name at Fanfiction.net, OpenScrolls.net, and Lotrfanfiction.com ; on these sites I’ll be publishing a Maedhros/OC chaptered fic as soon as I’m done with ‘Scattered Leaves’.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to drop a comment. ;)

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