The spark of light that once existed the elf’s blue eyes was gone, replaced by a demeanor that spoke of much suffering. His fair hair was streaked with grime and old blood, and was ragged from lack of hair. Heavy chains hung from his wrists; they were also caked in blood. He stood straight and still in the small room; the only movement he made was when he inhaled quick, small breaths.
Another elf stood in front of him, studying him carefully. Unlike the first elf, his eyes were grey and his hair as dark at the walls of the room they were in. When he spoke his voice soft, yet persuasive. “What is your name?” he asked.
The first elf did not answer. Instead, he looked away from the other elf.
The dark-haired elf roughly grasped him by his chains and pulled him close until their faces were almost touching. “What is your name?” he asked again.
He finally answered. “Legolas…” The voice was horse from disuse. “…Thranduilion.”
“And what is my name?” he asked.
When Legolas did not answer immediately, he raised his hand threateningly.
The elf flinched and reluctantly answered. “Daefuin.”
He released him, a smile curving on his lips. “Who do you serve?”
Emotions flickered through Legolas’ eyes. His chain clanked together as he tightened his hands into fists. Letting his gaze move across the room, he tried to delay his answer as long as possible.
Daefuin backhanded him. “Answer me, or suffer the consequences.”
Legolas only shook his head. Sucking the blood from his lip, he spat at Daefuin’s feet. “I serve no one,” he replied steadily, his face hard.
The other elf smiled, teeth glistening in the dim torchlight. He nodded to several figures standing in the shadows. “Teach him,” he simply said.
The fair-haired elf stiffened. Before he could move, many hands were laid on him. He struggled against them, but it useless. Forcing him down on his knees, they proceed to flog the life out of him while Daefuin stood watching.
It was hours later before they stopped. Collapsing on his hands and knees, Legolas gritted his teeth against the pain that was threatening to overwhelm him. Deep lacerations and wounds marred his back, the blood flowing freely and dripping down onto the ground. His face was white as he breathed heavily; he was near losing consciousness.
Someone pulled him up by his arms. He bit back a groan as Daefuin’s face came into his view. Legolas glared at him the best he could in his condition.
“Still so stubborn, Legolas?” he softly asked.
He did not answer.
“I suppose I will have to take more drastic measures.” He turned to one of the elves. “You know what to do.”
The elf nodded. Reaching over, he clamped a hand over Legolas’ nose. The Mirkwood elf tried to jerk away, but the other elves held him down.
As Daefuin approached him with a bottle, Legolas drew in a deep breath and shut his mouth, unwilling to comply with the elf.
Minutes passed. His lungs were burning, and his vision was wavering. But in Legolas’ opinion, it was better to die of suffocation than to become a servant of this elf.
Someone punched him in the chest, hard. Taken by surprise, he gasped. Daefuin took this chance and forced Legolas’ mouth open and poured in the liquid from the bottle. Legolas tried to spit out the potion, but Daefuin continued to pour it in until he was forced to swallow. The potion itself was dark-colored, yet it was as tasteless as water.
With a satisfied grin, Daefuin stepped back.
For a moment, he felt nothing. Then a burning sensation in his head made him close his eyes and clench his jaw. The pain continued to increase, blocking out all his thoughts. Tears stung his eyes—it felt as if someone was drilling a hole in his head.
“Can you feel the pain?” Daefuin’s voice came to him. “The burning?”
Legolas made no reply. What was the use of saying anything?
“Soon you will only know what I want you to know, what you should only know.” The voice continued to speak. “What you should hate.”
Don’t speak any more! Legolas silently screamed. No more! But he was powerless to resist.
As Daefuin continued to speak, his voice began to fade. Legolas welcomed the blissful darkness, eager to escape. His eyes rolled back, and he let out a sigh.
He did not realize what a fatal mistake he made. For it was exactly what Daefuin wanted.
Two days passed. The elf lay in a deep sleep, induced by the drink he had taken and by Daefuin’s voice. He had been taken to a small cell where he was guarded.
“How will we know if your plan is successful?” A brown-haired elf watched Legolas.
“Patience, Halwath.” Daefuin replied. “It is still in progress”
“If he sleeps any longer, we will lose him.”
Daefuin shook his head. “Nay, he is waking now.”
Indeed he was. The blue eyes flickered and focused on Daefuin. The dark-haired elf bent down so that no one could hear them. “Do you know who you serve?”
“You.” Legolas’ voice was flat and emotionless. “Only you.” There was a leaden look on his face.
The other elf grasped his chin in his hand. “What of Men?” he asked, a breathless air to his voice.
“What of Men?” Legolas replied, face still impassive. “They are a race that does not belong in Middle-Earth.”
Daefuin released him and stepped back. He glanced at Halwath, who stood in the doorway. “What did I tell you?” He laughed softly. “I have done it.”
He had made Legolas forget that he once had called a man his friend.
Legolas had been defeated.
Translations (All are Sindarin unless otherwise specified):
Daefuin – “Shadow night”
Halwath – “Hidden Shadow”
Thanks to Tyrhael at Peth Pêd Peth! (The forum at Merin Essi ar Quenteli!) for his help in providing names.