Legolas was becoming quite good with his watercolours; his favourite subjects were the young warriors who flitted around him and told him how talented he was. It did not occur to Legolas that the warriors flattered him because they wanted to be the one to pull away his loincloth; he thought he was really gifted. One day over Yule, Saruman, who was staying as a houseguest, asked Legolas to paint his portrait.
“I would be delighted to paint your portrait.” Legolas was overjoyed and ran off to tell his father about his first commission.
“Ada, Saruman says I am very talented and he wants me to go to his chamber and paint his portrait.” Legolas the eternal innocent beamed happily.
“Well he can bugger off; you’re not doing it.” Thranduil sat firm on his throne and folded his arms in a way that meant that he thought he should be obeyed.
“All right then,” Legolas skipped off without really listening and went to his bedroom to gather all his materials.
Saruman opened the door and invited Legolas in. Legolas thought that it was a bit strange that he was wearing a pink feather trimmed housecoat but he said nothing. The easel was set up and a fresh paper balanced on it. Paints and water were laid on a small table and brushes were arranged. The housecoat was taken off with a flourish and the wizard jumped onto the couch. Legolas stared with his mouth hung open. Saruman had a long gown that he had filled out at the top with two honeydew melons. He recognised it as one of his mother’s best dresses. Worse still were the diamond studded pink leather girly high heel shoes with ‘Thranduils’s bitch’ written on them in green ink. He wondered what it meant and he wondered if they were the same shoes that Glorfindel had worn on his last visit but without the writing.
“That’s my Nana’s dress,” Legolas accused. “Ada’s going to kill you.”
“Paint my portrait and I will give your mother’s dress back, I promise.” Saruman’s eyes glittered and Legolas felt extremely uncomfortable. “Come here Legolas let us get to know one another better before you start working on the portrait; come here and sit on my lap.”
Legolas looked in horror at the wizard. “I can’t paint you in my mother’s dress; I will get in trouble. I’m not doing it and I’m not sitting in your stinky lap either. You smell funny and you look weird.”
He ran through the corridor shouting for his Ada and then stopped dead. The young prince found that he could not say a word and that against his will he was being pulled backwards by an invisible hand.
Saruman said a few words that Legolas did not understand and forced a small phial between his lips and made him drink the contents. He dragged the prince to his room and threw him inside and told him not to leave. Legolas fell down on his bed and cried. He should have listened to his father. Before releasing him the wizard had gleefully informed him that he would get pregnant by the next elf he saw. Legolas did not dare look at anyone now and wondered how he could face his parents without looking at them. He daren’t look at them, the consequences were too horrid to imagine.
Saruman dressed in his normal clothing and stormed off to the throne room where Thranduil liked to sit and lounge a lot of the day.
“You son has insulted me Thranduil. Make no mistake I will not let this pass, and he now has a curse on him and serve him right.” Saruman whirled around in outraged fury.
“What curse Saruman?” Thranduil thundered and drew his sword.
“He will become pregnant by the next elf he sets sight upon.” Saruman howled with maniacal laughter as Thranduil raced toward him and then he was gone.
“That’s it! He can spend Yule somewhere else next year!” Thranduil stormed off to find his son.
The bedroom door crashed open and Thranduil shouted to Legolas to cover his eyes, which he did. The king took a strip of cloth from his pocket and gently tied it around his son’s head so the eyes were covered and he took the sobbing prince on to his knee and held him until he had calmed down.
“Please don’t be angry with me.” Legolas pleaded.
“I will not add to your troubles except to say that you should obey your parents because we know best, but you know that now, don’t you?” The young prince was held and he felt his Ada kiss him on the top of the head.
“I’m sorry.” Legolas hugged into his Ada tighter and stayed like that whilst Thranduil talked softly to him and told him how careful he would now have to be.
The next morning Legolas was escorted with blindfold insitu to breakfast. The residents had been informed of his misfortune so that he would not have to hear any comments and so that no one would take the eye cover from him. He managed his breakfast with very little assistance and wondered how much of his day would change because he was unable to risk taking the strip of cloth away from his head.
A permanent companion was assigned to Legolas and together they managed very well. Over the years the prince found that he gained in confidence and was able to find his way unaided in some of the corridors. Of course, his escort remained with him, but held back so that the prince could feel more independent.
One day Elrond and Erestor arrived with a group of warriors to visit Thranduils’s court. They always bought good wine and lots of food stuffs that couldn’t be found in Mirkwood so they were always welcome guests. Erestor slipped off to a small garden to throw up as he was travel sick and spotted the young prince sitting on a bench with a blindfold around his eyes. He marched over and pulled it off.
Legolas was not quick enough to stop himself from seeing Erestor even though he covered his eyes with his hand quickly. His companion who had left to collect a drink for the prince from the kitchen rushed over in horror and explained to Erestor why the blindfold had been in place.
The prince was sobbing and Erestor comforted him. “Legolas I am not going to make you pregnant. Don’t worry I will not touch you.”
Erestor was true to his word and resisted Legolas. Saruman, who was monitoring the situation from a spying device in his tower in Orthanc, became angry at Erestor’s self restraint and so he cast a spell that would compel them to make love.
Erestor went to his room after getting drunk with Elrond and Thranduil; he had resisted Legolas for two months and was glad that he would soon be departing for home. He knew that he was attracted to the prince but also knew that this was part of the enchantment. He slid the bolt across the door to lock it and fell into bed tired and happy. The king had proved an excellent host and he had enjoyed the time spent in the kingdom.
The bolt slid silently to unlock the door and Legolas walked into the room in a dream state. Erestor was fast asleep and did not notice that the prince was now in bed with him but saw him as a character in one of his dreams. It was so real but that is often the nature of dreams, and Erestor did not hesitate to make love to the willing young prince who had lusted after him since he had first set eyes on him. Legolas also shared the same dream state and was subject to many happy dreams that night and all involved the beautiful Imladrian Counsellor.
The next morning Legolas woke up in Erestor’s bed.
“Erestor what am I doing in your bed?” Legolas was stressed and poking the sleepy counsellor urgently.
“How…what…I locked the door…Oh shit!” Erestor sat up.
“My bottom’s sore.” Legolas whined so much that Erestor wondered if the dreams had actually been real.
Erestor looked at the blond prince and felt drawn to his lips. He kissed him gently and told him to go and get dressed and he would join him shortly.
At first Thranduil was angry but Elrond soothed him by saying that neither elf had any say in what had happened and that Saruman had proved too powerful to resist. It was decided that the counsellor would marry Legolas and that he would travel to Imladris with him. Erestor and the prince were happy to fulfil the wishes of Thranduil and Erestor at least was glad that the king had not carried out his threat to personally chop his balls off. It was strange, he mused; he was actually falling in love with the naïve blond.
After the marriage the elves and their party departed for Imladris. It was a new experience for Legolas who wondered how he would manage; he knew that he would try and do the best he could as he loved Erestor and felt guilty that he had trapped him into marriage. The fact that it was unwitting did not occur to him and it was this innocence that endeared him to the counsellor. The journey was hard to manage as the young prince felt tired and sick a lot of the time. Every morning Elrond would gather wild herbs and give them as a tea to him but they were not very effective at preventing the sickness but took the edge off the feeling of nausea. He did not see much of Erestor who was organising the forward scouting parties or discussing agreements with Elrond however the counsellor slept every night in the same bedroll as him but did not touch him. Legolas wondered why this was and his heart ached because he feared the answer.
One day the travelling was simply too much. Erestor saw that the prince held his head so that he was looking down. The horse continued with its forward progress and Erestor wondered if Legolas was asleep. He rode up beside him and lifted his chin so he could see his face. Tears streamed down the cheeks and Legolas looked away.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Erestor lifted him off the horse and put him on his own facing him. He put his arms around his husband and held his head to his chest.
“We are nearly home Legolas. I know you feel tired and ill and I wish I could have spent more time with you but now we do not have to be so careful now because we are within the borders of Imladris.” Erestor soothed the prince and stroked his head. “Everything will be better when we reach the homely house little one.”
They reached the house and Erestor carried Legolas up to their rooms and placed him on the bed. He was concerned, as was Elrond, because the prince’s abdomen was expanding at an alarming rate. It was expected that this pregnancy would be far shorter than the traditional year long one that female elves enjoyed. There was also the question of how the baby would be born. There was nothing to indicate an opening where it could be delivered and Erestor realised the awful truth that Legolas had never been meant to give birth but that Saruman had intended him to die an agonizing death trying to expel the baby from his male body. Not only would Legolas die but his baby would too.
Elrond wondered if Saruman knew that Legolas would end up in the only place in Middle earth where he would be safe and where the baby could be surgically delivered. He suspected that he had known no such thing.
Legolas grew so large that Elrond decided that baby should be born otherwise he feared for the princes life. He was pale and tired and had no energy and had stopped eating because he constantly felt sick. Erestor carried the prince to the healing rooms and held his hand and reassured him as Elrond put him to sleep. Elrond was amazed when he pulled the baby out. It was the double of Erestor and was born fully clothed in miniature black robes.
“I am glad that Legolas is asleep,” Erestor said. “I don’t think he could have coped with this.”
“Hello.” Elrond and Erestor both looked around at the baby with open mouths.
“He said hello. What sort of enchantment is this I wonder?” Elrond looked at the baby with suspicion.
“One I suspect we were never meant to see,” Erestor said grimly.
The weird baby babbled on for the next half hour with Elrond and Erestor looking at it dumbstruck.
“It is like he has got your brain.” Elrond commented after the baby had asked about a certain trade agreement that only they knew about.
Legolas was awoken gently. “Little leaf wake up. Our baby wants to meet you.”
“Is everything all right?” Legolas asked.
“Everything is fine except that our baby was born fully clothed, can talk and looks like a copy of me.”
The baby was handed to Legolas and he was delighted. He knew that Erestor had to be joking about the baby being born fully clothed but when the baby started talking he did start to wonder.
“Shall we call him Melpomaen meleth nîn?” Erestor asked Legolas whilst stroking his hair.
Legolas was thrilled. Erestor had called him ‘my love’ and so he agreed. It seemed that everything would be all right now.
“Hello Ada. It’s a bit strange isn’t it how both my parents are male. How does that work then? I want something to eat, I’m hungry.” The baby babbled on and Legolas looked at Erestor who just shrugged. Legolas uncovered his chest and offered his leaking nipple to the baby who refused. “Ada, don’t be so gross! Do you have any cake?”
The baby fell asleep after some cake and a drink of juice; he woke briefly and asked to be taken to the toilet and then fell back to sleep.
Both parents were amazed but decided that even though they now had a weird mini copy of Erestor they would make the best of it. The baby was easier to manage than an ordinary baby because there were no nappies and weaning was not necessary; he did not have to learn to talk because he already could do it and school was unnecessary as he knew everything that Erestor had ever learnt.
The couple were becoming closer and were looking forward to their first Yule together. Melpomaen had asked for a book on the history of Gondolin and a set of quills. He also asked for a toy boat to play with in the bath. This heartened his parents who were glad that not all of his childhood would pass him by.
Just before Yule an unexpected party of warriors rode into the courtyard with a tied up bundle that looked like Saruman. Thranduil got off his horse and kicked the huddled shape then dragged him through the door of the house. He did not stop abusing and kicking the lump of wizard until he had found Erestor and Legolas. He saw the child and the happy faces of his parents as they opened their presents and stopped dead in his tracks.
“Are you happy little leaf?” he asked as he hugged his son.
“Of course he is happy he has got me.” Melpomaen cheekily replied for his Ada. Thranduil looked like a village idiot as his mouth hung open in surprise.
“I am very happy Ada, Erestor loves me and my life is wonderful.”
Thranduil dropped Saruman on the floor and kicked him again. “I bought this worthless shit here to reverse the spell.”
“I keep telling him that the spell has ended. There is no spell now.” Saruman screeched as Erestor flew for him.
“You meant to kill my husband and our child by making it impossible for him to give birth. You die for that.” Erestor ran Saruman through with his sword and watched him as he expired. “Take him out and burn him.” He said to a couple of passing guards.
Thranduil looked surprised. “Don’t you think that was a bit over the top Erestor?”
“No, I will kill anyone who hurts Legolas or Melpomaen.” Thranduil stepped back and looked at Legolas who smiled lovingly at his husband. He felt reassured and made a note never to argue with the seemingly harmless counsellor.
“Ada; are you a kinslayer now?” A little voice piped up cheerfully.
“No Mel, he was a Maiar; it is ok to kill them if they are bad.” Legolas answered for Erestor.
“So, Thranduil, what have you bought me for Yule?” Melpomaen asked innocently.
The elves all looked at the elfling in surprised and then laughed; if nothing else Melpomaen would always make them laugh with his cheekiness.
Far away in Orthanc Saruman sat studying the scene, heartily glad that he had sent a clone of himself. He didn’t think it was all right for Erestor to kill him and vowed that one day he would get even. It had all gone horribly wrong but he knew that next time there would be no failure.
This story directly precedes Melpomaen the Elfling and is part od the Melpomaen Story Collection.
Written for Esteliel.
Disclaimer: all belongs to Tolkien - I make no money and do not seek reward.