Headcanon - Thranduil’s face when his messengers return from the Council of Elrond without his son. He knows where Legolas is going.
Thranduil counted heads as the elves he had sent to Elrond’s Council returned. Two, four, eight, twelve, thirteen— Thirteen, twelve, eleven, eight, six, three, two—
One was missing. One familiar blond head, still wearing a child’s braids, only recently awarded the elegant knots of a warrior.
(All the elves of Mirkwood are warriors born, he spat. You need not paint yourself so confirmed.)
"My lord," the head of the delegation began, kneeling, not meeting his king’s eyes.
Thranduil cut him off with a sharp gesture. “No,” he said. “You need not explain. I can see that Legolas has not returned with you.”
The hall was silent, still, in the way no forest should ever be. Thranduil turned on his heel, the soft buckskin shirring quietly against the stone floor, and swept away. Behind him, thirteen elves still knelt, one knee to the ground, one hand to their chests, not an eye raised. The captain of the guard hung in the background, frozen in place, her pretty blue eyes dark, her hand hovering just shy of the hilt of her sword.
As Thranduil’s feet found the elegantly-shaped curve of the stair to his private chambers, she called out.
"My lord!" she said. "Shall I prepare a delegation to—"
"No!" Thranduil said, not turning around. He took a breath, and then repeated, more gently, "no. My son has a journey he must complete." His hand tightened on the railing, knuckles whitening. Unbidden, one finger traced the notch in a carved elf-maiden’s hem, the reminder of the gift of white knives, given far too young.
Steeling himself, Thranduil released the stair rail and looked past the rich green canopy to the stars beyond. “He has a journey he must complete,” he whispered. “He will return when he is done.”
You’ve made me fucking cry, you beautiful person. My post is now infinitely better. Thank you!