by Sheila B
Summary: Legolas Greenleaf is graceful , musical and eloquent, right? Right?
The elves showed up at around midnight, wrapped heavily in traveling cloaks.
The male elf carried a small bundle from which a tiny, pale hand emerged sleepily.
“Hush, Legolas, go back to sleep,“ the male elf said in their own language.
“It’s unusual for parents to actually bring a child to the Safehouse,” said She Demon. “Most of the time, we have to remove the children ourselves.”
“We were hoping, that you might succeed where we have failed,“ said the boy’s father. “He’s hopeless. We almost think he was a human changeling. He cannot sing, or create, or shoot, or run without tripping over his own feet. ”
“We’ll do our best….” But the elves were already gone, and the child was already in She Demon’s arms.
The children were making holiday cards at the big craft table. Severus and Remus sat huddled together at one end, Severus was applying glitter to a blue and silver Hanukkah card while Remus was carefully drawing a dog posed under a Christmas tree on his card. Ethan was dreamily gluing snowflakes all over a Winter Solstice card. Legolas stared morosely at the pile of construction paper, glue, glitter and lace. He held a pair of blunted children’s scissors in his hand.
“Hi,“ said Ethan. “I’m Ethan. What’s your name?”
“Dis is Lucius, Lionel, Severus, Rupert and Remus.”
“Hello,“ Legolas said politely. “What are we doing, please? “
“You foreign?“ Lucius asked.
“I am elf, “ He flushed and fiddled with his scissors.
He could see now that all the other children were Men and he wished his grasp of the Man’s language was better. Another reason why he’d been sent away, for not being good enough. For being a disaster.
“Dork, “ said Lucius.
“Dat’s mean!“ Ethan cried.
“You be nice,“ Rupert agreed. “Be nice, Lucius!”
“What’s wrong wif his ears?”
Legolas held his scissors so tightly his knuckles turned white.
“He looks like an alien,“ Lionel giggled. Remus frowned, paused, and thoughtfully smacked Lionel in the face. Badly shaken, Legolas knocked over the tub of glitter and fell backwards off his chair. Lucius laughed and Rupert hit him, hard. A big fight started, people were shouting and Legolas ran away.
He ran as fast as he could, until he found a door to a tiny room. It was full of blankets all folded in a soft pile. Legolas climbed into it, and curled up. Hot tears filled his eyes. He was worthless. If he went back out there, all the Men would make fun of him. He wasn’t good enough to be a prince.
He heard soft feet padding down the corridor and shuddered. They were coming to laugh at him again.
The door swung open and harsh light from those strange burning lamps blinded his eyes. A small boy with longish brown hair stood blinking at him with concern.
"Are you okay?” Remus asked.
“What is this word?”
“Okay, like, do you feel good? Are you sad?”
“I do not – they laughed,“ Legolas sniffled.
“They laughed at me too,“ Remus said. He joined Legolas on t he pillows and blankets. “I’m different too. “
Legolas noticed there was something about this boy that reminded him of a small dog.
“I’m a werewolf. It used to hurt me a lot, but when I came here they gave me a potion, an’ now I’m alright. Why are you here?”
“I am- I break things. I try to sing and I do no do well. I fall down. This is not good for an elf.“
“You’re very nice though.”
“It is not needed for Elves to be nice. We are a thuperior raceth. “
Remus just smiled.
She Demon 1 and She Demon 2 took the boys on a Nature Walk through the surrounding forest. The babble of little voices rang through the trees, along with the crunch of small boots in the leaves. It was at least ten minutes before someone tugged on She Demon’s coat.
“Hmm?” She looked down to see a black bobble hat, a puffy black parka, and a nose addressing her.
“Who’s gone, Severus?”
Sleeves, with black mittens hanging off them on strings flapped urgently.
“HIM. Yellow hair boy!”
She Demon left the children with her assistant and wandered back down the path, looking for the elf child. She found Legolas sitting sadly on the ground in a grassy clearing. His bootlace was untied.
“I tripped,“ Legolas said in Elvish.
She took his foot and retied the lace. Legolas crawled into her lap, where she wrapped her arms around him.
“Why am I not good at anything?”
“Well, some people it takes a little longer to learn to do things. You’re very smart, if you remember to have confidence, you can do whatever you want.”
“I can sing, even if I am not good at it?”
“Of course, of course!”
“I like to sing,“ he confessed shyly. “I like to shoot my bow too.”
"Anytime you feel like singing, you just sing. Now, are you ready to come back to the group?”
As the line of children walked back to the Safehouse carrying their bags of leaves for pressing, She Demon heard a clear, pure child’s voice lifted in song.
"Ninety nine bottthles of beer on de wall,
Ninety nine botthles of beer.."