Matters of the Heart: Part III
by Amber Wood-Brasher (rogue)
For the next few days before her betrothal, Senia saw
the Prince only at dinner. She kept her head down and
barely glanced in his direction. It wasn’t hard;
Legolas certainly never spoke to her.
At night she stayed in her room, alone, trying
desperately to get used to the fact that she was going
to be here for the rest of her days, and she might as
well get used to the fact. She poured her true
feelings out only to a small volume, a book that the
Lady had given to Senia when she was a child, writing
very quickly as elves tend to do in delicate script.
“Only four days have I been here. The betrothal
ceremony is tomorrow. The King has had his best
seamstresses make me a dress, clothing more suited to
the styles of those that live in the Mirkwood. I am
not ungrateful; the dress is very beautiful. But my
clothing from Llothlorien is almost all I have left of
I wonder almost daily why the King chooses me to marry
his son. I understand that he wishes to take care of
me; he and my father were close. But my mother and I
never wanted for anything at Llothlorien. We were
I do not wish to sound ungrateful. I am a mature woman
now. I know it will seem to anyone who may ever read
these pages that I am a whining child. But I am afraid
I will not find happiness here…”
Senia put her quill up and opened a desk drawer,
carefully placing her book inside it. She left the
page open to allow the ink to dry; if she closed it
now, the ink would smear.
A gentle knock upon her door startled her, and she
slammed the drawer shut just as the door swung open.
Eowing stepped in, that same little smile she seemed
to perpetually wear on her face. “Lady?” she said
sweetly. “I came to see if you wanted a bath drawn.”
“I…Yes, thank you,” Senia said quietly. She eyed the
girl suspiciously; their last meeting had not been
pleasant, Eowing had seemed amused about something and
somewhat cruel to her.
“Of course!” Eowing said brightly. She looked at the
dress hanging in Senia’s room and that odd cruelness
seeped back into her features. “Why, how beautiful!
You will look lovely for your betrothal ceremony!”
”I suppose,” Senia said, reaching out and touching the
fabric of the gown.
“I believe it was Lelandra who helped to design that
dress,” Eowing continued as she flitted about in the
bath area. “Which I found very odd, but she is loyal
to the King…and to the Prince…so she’d do anything
asked of her.”
Senia’s brow furrowed. “I’m afraid I don’t understand;
why would it be odd?”
”Well, everyone knows she fancies the Prince,” Eowing
said with another fake smile. “And I believe the
Prince fancies her. But, of course, she’s a lowly
servant girl with no noble blood…”
Senia frowned, knowing this servant girl’s words were
meant to be cruel and hurtful, but refusing to be
baited. “Really?” she replied, letting just a bit of
an edge creep into her voice. “How very
interesting…Thank you Eowing, I require nothing
further from you.”
“Of course, Lady!” she said brightly, flashing another
smile. “If you need anything else-“
”I most likely will not,” Senia said flatly. “I wish
to be alone.”
She was pleased to see Eowing’s smile falter, finally,
and the elven woman curtsied and left the room
Senia stared at the closed door for a moment. She
sighed and rubbed her eyes, going back over to the
desk and carefully pulling her diary out of the
drawer. She picked up the quill and dipped it into the
ink, continuing her writing.
“And no one wants me here. That is most obvious. Now,
I begin to see why it felt to me at first that much of
the palace had a sort of animosity against me. Now I
see perhaps why the King was so bent on me marrying
Legolas…and I understand, and now almost sympathize
with the Prince…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And so it was done.
The exact details of the ceremony, Senia would never
remember. She had purposefully kept herself, her mind,
and her thoughts distant from that around her. She
remembered her brother placing her hand in Legolas’s,
remembered that neither of their grips were very firm
or welcoming, remembered her mother sniffling quietly
to one side of her, remembered the pride in
Thranduil’s voice as he announced that this was the
maiden his son would marry. She remembered Legolas
kissing her cheek, if one could call it a kiss. He did
little more than bump her cheek lightly with his lips.
Not that she would have actually wanted anything more.
She remembered how quickly they let go of each other’s
hand, after the ceremony was finally over. She
remembered her mother hugging her tightly and saying
she couldn’t be more proud of her as she cried
quietly, remembered Delithral also hugging her,
telling her that he loved her very much, but that it
was time for him to leave again.
That was when Senia had refocused, and came back to
“You could not stay at least another day?” she asked
pleadingly, reluctant to see one of the few friendly
faces in the palace leave.
“I am afraid not, my sister,” Del said with a sad
smile, squeezing her shoulders. “I am needed in
Rivendell, and soon. I will be back, though, that I
Senia swallowed, telling herself not to cry, that she
would see him again. “I love you, brother. Please, be
careful…I do not know what mother or I would do
“I will,” Del smiled. His expression grew serious, and
he pulled her over to the side, away from the ears of
others. “Sister…I am going to ask you this before I
go, and I want you to tell me honestly…are you happy
She contemplated lying to him, she truly did: anything
to give him peace of mind while he was away, in the
middle of a war against the Dark Lord. But the way
that he looked at her did not allow lying, no matter
how much she wanted him not to worry for her. “No. No
Delithral. I am not happy here.”
Del’s brow furrowed. “Why?”
Senia sighed, placing her fingertips to her temples.
“Would you like being forced to marry someone you did
not know? Living in a strange place for the rest of
”It will not be strange after a while,” her brother
insisted, his eyes full of worry, as Senia had feared.
“You must at least give it a chance-“
”The Prince will never love me, Del,” she said softly.
“The best I can hope for is that after I bear him a
child, an heir, he will let me be.”
Del shook his head. “No. I know Legolas. That will no
Senia was silent, and Delithral touched her face. “The
war will not last forever, and when it is over, I will
return here…Make no mistake.”
“I know,” Senia said, smiling. “I know. Go on, my
brother. I know you are anxious.”
Del hugged his sister again, and then made his way
over to Sothiel to say his goodbyes to her.
Senia waited until he was well out of eyesight, then
let the tears that had been fighting their way up
fall. She quickly wiped them away, and then left the
room quietly, unnoticed by those chattering and
Or so she thought.
* * * * * * * * * * *
For the past four nights, Senia had fallen into much
the same routine she’d had in Llothlorien.
At least at night.
Every night, she had snuck out of the palace and into
the woods. The first night, she had found a place…a
place that over-looked much of the palace, and of the
forests as well. And every night, she returned to this
place, climbed the same tree, perched on the same
branch, and she sat.
Sometimes she wrote in her small volume, sometimes she
slept…Sometimes she simply thought.
This night, she came there to cry.
The emotions that she’d kept bottled up inside, that
she’d been so determined not to let show, finally came
rushing out. She buried her face in her hands and wept
bitterly, knowing that out here, at least, no one
would hear her.
“Are you all right?”
Senia jumped, almost falling off the tree branch she
was perched on. On a tree that was next to the one she
was sitting in, balancing nimbly on a branch, was
Legolas. She wiped frantically at her cheeks, noting
that some of the animosity had dissipated from his
features, at least for now. He was still cool towards
her, but he actually seemed to show some concern.
“No,” she finally replied. “I am not all right. I am
worried, I am angry, and I am confused, if you truly
wish to know the truth.”
Legolas regarded her for a moment, and then began to
hop from branch to branch, making his way closer to
her. And with great skill, Senia couldn’t help but
notice. Elves were all very nimble and quick, but she
doubted that she could jump around trees like that.
Legolas halted on a branch that was adjacent to the
one she was perched on, and sat down. Senia turned
away, looking out at the landscape, slightly
embarrassed that he’d caught her at a moment like
this. It wasn’t that she cared; she simply hated for
anyone to see her crying.
Neither of them spoke for a few moments. It was
Legolas who finally broke that silence, clearing his
throat. “I’m sorry your brother has to leave so soon.”
Senia looked back at him, slightly surprised. “As am
I. But it cannot be helped.”
Legolas nodded. “If it were up to me, I’d be going
Senia glanced sharply at him. “You want to go fight in
Again, Legolas simply nodded. “My father…He would
never allow it.” His expression hardened a bit.
“Especially not with you here.”
Senia clenched her teeth. “My apologies for being
here, then, my Lord. I did not want to be here anymore
than you don’t want me here.” Senia began to get up,
carefully, so as not to loose her footing on the
branch, and began to make her way to the trunk of the
She heard motion and, in what seemed like just a split
second, the Prince was beside her. “I’m sorry,” he
said quietly. “I have behaved appallingly and I know
it. I have said and done things hurtful to you, and I
know that none of this is your fault. I…I hope you
will accept my apologies.”
Senia’s jaw fairly dropped open, her eyes wide as she
regarded the Prince almost as if she’d never seen him
before. The Prince had looked away, looking towards
the ground, a slight flush darkening on his high
cheekbones. Senia took a deep breath, remembering what
the servant girl, Eowing, had said earlier. “They are
accepted, my Lord,” she said quietly. “I also
apologies. You were right. I have not even given the
Mirkwood a chance.” Or given you a chance, she
thought. “I think I should be getting back, Lord.”
“Please,” Legolas said, flinching. “You may call me by
my name. You may call me Legolas.”
Again the Prince had surprised her. “All right,” she
said quietly. “Legolas, then. And if you wish, you may
call me Senia.” He nodded, still looking away. The
moment was awkward for both of them. “I really should
be getting back, my Lo-…Legolas.”
“Of course.” Legolas nodded, and turned, leaping
nimbly back to the branch he’d first been sitting on.
Senia watched him as he did this, and then shook
herself mentally. He’d actually apologized to her. It
looked like she’d severely misjudged him, and even
though she still had no desire to marry him…Perhaps
they would be actually be able to get along.
| Part IV |
| Index |