|Ebony, Argent, Aureate
||[Aug. 1st, 2006|05:32 pm]
Twenty Rings Fanfic Community
Title: Ebony, Argent, Aureate
Theme: Set #1, Theme #4, Hair
Genre (s): General
Pairing (s): Hinted Celebrían/Elrond
Summary: Small Elves can get funny ideas, and on this occasion it is up to Celebrían to set Legolas right.
"Why is mine different to everyone else's?"
At the sound of his voice Celebrían turned away from the window to find her smallest cousin had almost completely disappeared into a fountain of golden hair. Only the tip of his nose and a glint of eyes were visible through the curtain, and Celebrían was unable to stifle the peal of laughter that rose up at the sight of him. Pausing to cast only the briefest of glances back into the garden where her father talked with the master of the house, she walked across the room and knelt before Legolas, lifting his hair and smoothing it back into something resembling its natural position.
"Now it is more like other people's," she remarked cheerfully, sitting beside him and running her fingers through the silky, child-soft locks. Legolas shook his head impatiently.
"The colour, I mean, Celebrían. Why is mine goldy?"
"Do not you like it?" she asked, startled. Always before, Legolas had—when he paid it any attention at all—taken delight in his unusual colouring, and even more in the fact that he shared it with his father.
"You are not the only one with golden hair; Thranduil has it, and your grandmother, and my own Naneth—"
"But they are all old," Legolas explained. "And more people have black hair. Gold is—it is strange!"
Bewildered but sympathetic, Celebrían wrapped an arm about his small shoulders.
"Special," she corrected. Again Legolas shook his head, face puckering with frustration.
"Black is better—everyone says so. Gold is—it is for ellyth!" he burst out.
Ah. Comprehension dawned.
"Who says so, Legolas?"
He began to swing one foot back and forth, gazing fixedly at it.
"The other ellyn—Minastir and Telemnar and the others. They say all the greatest Eldar have black hair—King Finwë and Fingolfin and King Gil-galad and Beleg. And Cousin Elrond has black hair, too, you know," he added.
It was impossible, Celebrían reflected wryly, that Legolas could be nearly as innocent as the glance he cast in her direction as he spoke.
Nana is right. The Oropherionnath are far too perceptive.
"But you know what they say is not true," she said, keeping firmly to the point. Legolas shrugged once more.
"Of course you do! They may not be aware of the history of our people, but you are. Some of the mightiest warriors and loremasters have had the golden hair—tell me the first five people of whom you can think who have it."
Legolas squirmed up into her lap, the first time he had done so on this visit.
"Ada," he replied promptly. "And Daernana, and Galadriel and your Uncle Finrod, and Glorfindel—oh, and me."
"You see? There are few names spoken of with more love or renown than that of Finrod; your father is a noble king and warrior; Glorfindel slew a Balrog and saved the Gondolindrim, besides many other heroic deeds; your grandmother is both powerful and beautiful, accounted mighty among the Three Kindreds; my mother is among the wisest of the Golodhrim—and as for you, you are the heir of many kings and lords, and one day you will do great things also. Do not forget, either, that the golden hair is a sign of kinship with the Vanyar, the noblest of our race."
Legolas nodded slowly.
"That is what I thought—and silver is special, too, Celebrían: you and Uncle Celeborn and Nana are the only people I know who have it!"
Over his head, she smiled.
"Did they insult the silver hair, too, then?"
"Yes. But Elu had silver hair, so they cannot be right, can they?"
"Legolas, no colour is better or worse than another. It is part of one's appearance, and in our case is an indication of kinship, but nothing more. Each is beautiful, but the possession of a certain shade of hair does not affect one's—one's character or destiny!"
Even as she said it, Celebrían was struck by how ridiculous the words sounded, so obvious were they. However, although it had been many years since she had been Legolas' age, she could remember what importance small issues had acquired in her mind in those days—and small Elves had not been entirely free from jealousy in that time, either.
Legolas wriggled impatiently.
"I know that, Celebrían! I just thought…if golden is as beautiful as black, and ellyn can have it without being girly, why would they say such things?"
Once again, Celebrían smiled, a little sadly this time, mourning his beautiful naivety.
"I think, Legolas, that these ellyn probably know how rare golden hair is among the Elves of Middle-earth, and know that you are special; they know you are the son of King Thranduil and descended from many more great princes. They wish they were so, but cannot be, so instead they try to make you unhappy…and since they know nothing about you or your family that merits their insults, they invent ways to annoy you."
Now Legolas was frowning. "But if it is not true, and they are just saying that…Celebrían, that is not nice!"
She sighed again, resting her chin on the top of his head and gazing out into the waving branches beyond the window.
"No, Legolas. It is not. You will learn in time that the world has many imperfections—as do those who dwell upon it."
"Oh," he answered, very softly, apparently attempting to come to terms with the knowledge that anyone would purposefully try to wound his feelings. For a very sheltered, very loved little Elf, it might prove a difficult lesson, as Celebrían recalled.
"But, Legolas," she added, deliberately lightening her tone, "if they are not very nice to you, it means you need not concern yourself with their opinions. Your parents and grandmother and I, and all those who love you, think your hair is very beautiful and perfect for an ellon…and what we think should be more important than what any Minastir says!"
He grinned up at her. "So I can tell him that you said that what he says is not important?"
"Well, perhaps not in so many words," Celebrían cautioned, half-laughing. "I daresay he is not a bad ellon, Legolas—just a rather silly, thoughtless one."
Legolas nodded, scrambling off her knee and heading towards the door, seeming to have recovered from his emotional turmoil with the swift resilience of the very young. At the door he paused, turning to look back at her.
"So I should not cut it all off, then, Celebrían? I do think it would be fun to see Nana's face!"
Eyes widening in horror, Celebrían sprang up, but Legolas had fled at high speed; all she caught was an echo of childish laughter, and a glimpse of golden hair.