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Step. Step. And one more step. Must keep walking. There was no other choice. So Cold. Galadriel stumbled, for her feet were almost frozen. Only fire could warm them and there was no fire to be had. She felt a hand gently help her from the ground.
"Sister, are you all right?" She looked up and saw from under the fur hood, blue eyes under frosty eyebrows. Orodreth, her brother.
"Yes," she lied.
Orodreth accepted the lie for what it was. No one could admit otherwise. Cold. So Cold. They must all go forward because there was no going back.
TA 2976 Dol Amroth
Finduilas sat on the sand and allowed the early morning mists to wrap around her. Fine sand slipped through her fingers; tiny puffs catching the wind. She loved this time of day. She looked at the home of her birth here in Dol Amroth. She felt the chill breeze of the morning. She pulled her wrap closer even as she breathed in the fresh sea air. Something in her heart whispered "Relish these moments, keep them close; they may never come again." She loved this place, but she loved Denethor more. She stood and walked away to a new life.
Elrond sat in his study looking over a scroll. The pitter-patter of drops from the first spring showers tattooed the windowsill lightly. A gentle breeze blew and his mind was filled with fragrance. He looked down and saw a sprite standing in the rain amid the flowers of the riverbank, face upturned, arms gently swaying with the breeze. A soft song drifted upwards. Celebrian. All thoughts of work vanished. Seeming seconds later, Elrond was encircling his beloved with his arms, “Lady, are you singing to the rain again?” A giggle. And they swayed together amid the soft showers in Imladris.
The day was cloudy but Sam made a promise. He arrived at the Party Field, shovel and spade in hand. Hole dug, he extracted from his pocket the precious mallorn seed; Galadriel's gift. Into the earth, he patted down the soil with love. Sprinkled with water, then late autumn sun broke through the clouds and warmed the fresh turned soil. The seed took root awaiting the springtime.
Tiny golden leaves push through the soil and are kissed by warmth and light. Fair April sunshine upon the only Mallorn tree this side of Lorien brings the Lady's light to the Shire.
Faramir rose with the sunlight. It was a habit of many years; years spent as a Ranger in service to Gondor. Ever vigilant, living moment to moment because the past was too painful and the future unknown. He knew no other life. Until Éowyn. He looked to the bed from the banister, reddish blond hair bound in a loose plait, shift falling off her shoulder, the sunlight falling across her face. He traced his steps back and pulled the coverlet over them both. Éowyn murmured, "What are you doing?" Faramir replied, "Gazing at Sunlight," as he kissed her softly, "Beautiful."
Title: The Flames of Umbar
In the heat of the day Captain Thorongil emerged from below decks. He looked across the Gulf of Umbar and through the shimmering waves of heat he saw the wreckage of the Corsair ships. It had been a daring raid but vindicating flame claimed ship after ship. Gondor's coast was safe, for now. Shying from praise, he bid fond farewell to comrades. He would not be returning to the White City. It was not yet his time. Many roads yet to travel; many battles to be fought before he could ever call it home and find happiness in her arms.
Elrond watched as the blacksmith connected the last pieces of the weather vane. Pondering the moment of inspiration for it, he smiled. Estel flying his newly made kite. So proud he was in its construction. Young hands constructing the frame, watching as Nana's hands worked the needle connecting the red silk to said frame. Elrond walked out with the vane and again, Estel is flying his kite. Vane firmly planted; a gust of wind catches both vane and kite. The vane swivels, points to the laughing boy. Elrond is thoughtful. Will the future winds blow towards Estel? There was hope.
Compass of Her Heart
She heard boots climbing the stairs. She looked down at the radiant beauty in her hands. She gazed transfixed. This jewel came to her and she would not allow the sons of Fëanor to defile it with their hands, stained with the blood of her people. The door creaked open. Fresh sea air blew through her hair and she turned. Jewel in hand; decision made she leapt. Ulmo received her. Down she floated. He took pity and she felt light as a feather. Body and spirit took flight, soaring, seeking. The compass of her heart guiding to her love, Eärendil.
And For What?
Too much killing; too much blood. And for what. The Jewels? Maglor fought the madness off for a time and found only grief and regret. Bound as he and his brothers were to this fate. To which they all willingly agreed. At what price. They had lost their way.
His ears perked up; he heard something. A small sound filling his ears. Beneath the stairs, two small boys, twins. Eyes wide with fright, "Who are you?" he said gently.
"Don't hurt us." one pleaded, protecting his brother.
Maglor looked at the two and mercy encompassed his heart, "Come with me."
2942 TA - Imladris
Estel lay down on the star promontory in the highest balcony in Imladris with Glorfindel, stargazing. They lay silently, allowing the perfect light of Varda's stars to fall upon them. His tutor spoke of how Varda created the stars. How the light of stars remained beauty untouched by Morgoth and as such, it was beauty unmarred. He said to look up was to see perfection. Glorfindel reached for his telescope beautifully wrought in gold, and said to his young charge that to look through the telescope was to be closer to Ilúvatar's perfection and thus break the boundaries of Arda marred.
Eomer held out the horseshoe for Fulor the blacksmith. There was an urgency about his movements that unsettled the twelve year old boy. He wanted to ask, but suddenly he did not want to know. He simply looked at the process of shoeing this horse, which had within his heart had now taken on all the urgency in the world. He could not explain the foreboding in his heart. Fulor quickly looked away, unspoken pain evident. Shoeing finished, Folcwine, second steward to his father rode forth. Later he returned with his father, gravely injured. His father, who died later that night.
Frodo entered the rooms that had been especially made for Bilbo here in Imladris. He had so looked forward to seeing him again. That was until somewhere in Mordor when he had given up hope of living past the demands of the Quest. But now once again here in Imladris having at least survived he could see Bilbo once again. Time in Imladris always seemed still somehow and yet the first thing he saw upon entering Bilbo's rooms was his dear uncle reaching for a pair of spectacles. The power of the Elven rings had finished. Time had begun again.
Title: A Moment in the Shire
Rosie hefted the basket of laundry out to the line. She shook out trousers and hung them up. She looked over at the rosebushes where Elanor sat playing with the dandelions that had started sprouting in the green grass of the garden. Rosie smiled as she shook out a pair of Sam's underwear. She noticed they were getting a little threadbare as she hung them. It would not do to have the Mayor with threadbare undies. Elanor laughed as she spun a dandelion clock. Rosie watched the golden child play. She heard Sam hum as he pruned. Life was good.
Title: Nothing would be the Same
Mountains in front of him; the gently rolling hills of the Shire behind. Frodo had indeed embarked upon the unknown path. Bilbo's words kept ringing in his head "it is a dangerous Business, Frodo, going out your door..." Dear Bilbo. Frodo missed him terribly. As a small child Frodo always imagined himself elsewhere; beyond the Shire. But those childhood imaginings never included the Ring and its awful weight and responsibility. He watched Strider cut through the underbrush and then pause. "Amon Sul," he pronounced. Frodo looked up, saw the ruined watchtower and knew this night would see him forever changed.
Fathers and Sons - Arathorn , Elrond and Aragorn.
"Aragorn, son of Arathorn" Estel said to himself still unable to think of himself by the patronymic. Until this morning he was Estel Elrondion, son of Elrond. The father who had loved him, taught him, healed his scrapes and encouraged his triumphs was not his father. This he knew, but a name and a history changed something within. Now this destiny, this new life demanded attention. He looked up and found he was standing at the pedestal of the sword-that-was-broken. "The sword is yours, it always was." Adar spoke. A single tear, for the boy he was no longer, dropped.
Fathers and Sons - Denethor and Faramir
"Boromir would have brought me a mighty gift! He was not some wizard's pupil!" Denethor spat out and stumbled backwards. Faramir rushed forward, his immediate impulse to help and heal, but he stopped himself. Looking at his father's pitiable form near to weeping, Faramir wanted to go forward. But he just stood there, the twin decisions warring within; to go forward to help his father up and risk almost certain rejection or to leave him, knowing that his help was not wanted. He closed his eyes. Whatever decision it would be the wrong one for he was the wrong son.
Fathers and Sons - Faramir and Elboron
"Papa! Papa!" Faramir looked up and saw his ten-year-old son running into his study, carrying what looked like a large piece of paper with him. "Look!" he held an archery target with a scattering of holes loosely custered in the middle of the target.
Faramir looked at the target, "Elboron, is this yours?" The child nodded vigorously. "Well done, my son!" He kissed the top of the child's blond head, "I'm very proud of you."
"Master says I can pull the large bow very soon!"
"Well, if that's what Master says I'm sure that's true." Faramir affirmed confidently.
Fathers and Sons - Oropher and Thranduil
Fathers and Sons - Thranduil and Legolas
The Enchanted river flowed ever onwards. Thranduil sat on the riverbank peering into the black murkiness, seeing his reflection clear for a few seconds in an eddy close to his hand nearest the water. It would distort and he was left with his thoughts again. Beloved. Would that the river could work its dark magic upon him so that he could forget the pain in his heart, in his soul. He neared the water, its dark powers of oblivion beckoning. "Ada!" he stopped. Blond hair and the blue eyes so like hers. He knew he could never leave him alone.
Sam sat on the riverbank. The sun warmed his back as his hands were cooled by the mud as he dug for worms to bait Frodo-lad's hook. He just needed a few more and he could then teach his son how to properly bait a hook. He grubbed the last two and held them up wiggling to his son. "There we are my boy! Just enough!" Frodo-lad giggled with joy. For just a second or two the look in his son's eye reminded him of Frodo, laughing. Sam smiled. The Shire had been saved. Frodo had given him this moment.
A Drabble for "The Thrum of Tookish Bowstrings, part 1"
"Da!" Farry shouted. "come find me! I'm here!" But his Da just continued to walk on. Farry jogged awake. He looked around. He was still near the hunting hole where Ferdi was trapped. It had been a dream. He rubbed his eyes. They were so very dry. He tried not to think about it. But he was so thirsty. He dozed. It all became a blur within his mind. Water. Ferdi rescued. More Water. Then came a voice,"Farry!" He opened his eyes; he was in the arms of his Da saying his name over and over. He was safe.
A Drabble for "FirstBorn"
"Go to your room, Farry." His Da said. The boy waited for his hug and left without. Feeling desolate Faramir fell unto his bed. "I'm sorry," tears flowing. Pippin looked at his son leaving the room, unhugged. It cut him to the heart. But he needed to realise the depth of his transgression. Later Pippin found himself at Farry's bedside. He gazed at his son, noting tear tracts dried on his soft face, his heart broke a little. Sitting, Pippin watched his son breathe, touching his hand. The blue eyes peered at him, awake now. He held his son tightly.
Title: Woodland Joy
As Thranduil walked amongst the trees of the Woodland realm he could feel their joy. He closed his eyes and felt the thrum of the forest's heartbeat, the leaves soaking up sunshine and giving off life to its inhabitants. He smiled; he felt a hand reach for his. He opened his eyes to see the silver-blond hair of Lasgalen, his beloved holding the new prince of the Woodland Realm. She handed him the child. Father and son. Thranduil and his little leaf. He swayed back and forth, kissing his child's forehead as the wind blew through the leaves in blessing.
Title: "This is home!"
Elrond looked back at the trail of Elves following him. Some looked tired. Some were carrying injuries both physical and emotional. The battle had not gone well. Barely escaping, they had suffered great losses. Elrond looked at those who followed him. He could feel their despair, for it mirrored his. He looked ahead and he saw hills. He was drawn forward. Something within those hills beckoned. Wearied and almost beyond hope he had no power to resist. Soon, within a verdant ravine, Elrond dismounted his horse. His boots touched soil and something sang within him. "This is home," he whispered.
Gilraen sat at her loom weaving a new hearth rug for Lord Elrond's study. The old one was getting a bit threadbare and it did not help that Estel accidentally spilled wine on it he was trying to catch a stray frog. She smiled, life in Imladris certainly had its share of small mishaps. They were named Estel. "Nana! Look what I brought you!" Gilraen looked up and saw Estel soaked and with mud splatters everywhere," He held out a beautiful river stone. She smiled, "Hannon le, Estel!" A sudden sneeze prompted, "Into the bath, immediately! And use hot water."
It was the morning of their wedding. Éowyn's stomach contained butterflies...or were they fell beasts? She looked forward to the unknown, to their life together and the butterflies...or fell beasts stopped their flutterings. She reached down and felt the bathwater. It was warm and the scented mists of lavender and rose wafted up. She smiled as the comingled fragrance calmed her further. She slipped off her robe and stepped into the bath. She reached into the dish and scooped soft soap into her hands. Head on pillowed toweling she relaxed for treasured moments before the bustle of the day began.
Faramir looked in the mirror. The image looking back at him was smiling. It was his wedding day. He was about to marry the most beautiful woman he had ever known. Éowyn. Fire had melt the ice; Valiant and warm-hearted she waited for him now this day, because he had waited for her heart to catch up to his then. His heart beating with unexpected joy. Six months earlier he had the closest of shaves, but thanks to Pippin, that loquacious, mischievous, valiant little hobbit he was here in front of this mirror to realise... that he needed a shave!
Legolas had his doubts, but he had promised his friend Gimli. In this he could not let him down. He took one step and then another. He looked around the Glittering Caves and he was speechless. He saw what looked like cold showers of crystal spilling forth all around him. The beauty of this place filled his soul. His star-filled eyes looked joyfully upon Gimli. The dwarf looked at his friend and the joy he saw there lit his own heart. He looked about the Glittering Caves seeing it through his friend’s eyes; the gift of beauty new and fresh.
After the latest scouting report Thranduil sighed, rubbed his face and decided that was enough for one day. He left his study and sighting one of his son's attendants he asked briskly, "Where is Legolas presently." Receiving the answer he strode towards the kitchens, curiosity piqued. Upon entering all came to attention to acknowledge their king, all save a little cloud of flour in the center of the room.
"Ada!" little Legolas then shouted joyfully, "I'm helping."
"I can see that!" said the amused father, as he gently started washing his son's hands, removing evidence of the child's high spirits.
Nodding his thanks to the assorted kitchen staff who looked relieved that the little windstorm was being directed elsewhere and they could get on with the business cooking.
"Now my young princeling, it is time for a bath!"
Hearing the obligatory groaning, Thranduil quickly offered up, "Bubbles?"
The small child now excited for bath time ran to the communal bathing area. They entered a small alcove. Bath time was their time together. Legolas clapped his hands together excitedly as he saw the bubbles grow. He jumped in the tub and bubbles flew. Amid laughter the little prince was scrubbed clean.
The Bay of Belfalas spread out before her, wide, beautiful and wild. Lothíriel had awoken this morning and the call of the bay was too powerful to resist. She needed to spend time with her waters before she left them to go northwards. She dressed quickly and for old times sake left by way of the window, her childhood escape. She ran down the sea path, feet barely touching the pebbled way, so excited was she to reach her bay. Now she stood, eyes closed soaking in the sounds and the smells. Waves crash, "Don't go!" they say. "I must."
Walking along the shoreline Lothíriel picked up shells delighting in the interplay of colours. She swished each about in the receding waves as she felt the wet sand squish between her toes. The seaside breezes blew her blond tresses across her face cooling it. The sea was a part of her soul. How she would miss it. But her life was leading her away from her seaside home. Blue eyes and an earnest heart was showing her another life to be lead, calling to her to a sea of another sort. Wide seas of golden plains painted with his words.
She looks up the cliff and sees her father looking out to the seas and then down to her. She can feel his thoughts. He is troubled to be losing his beloved daughter. She scrambles up the sea stairs. Nature's wonder cut into rock connecting shore and cliff and at this moment providing the path that allows father and daughter time together amid the sea breezes and multitudes of the seabirds puncturing the lulling drone of the crashing waves with their sharp "caws!" She sees her father's emotion in his eyes, "I will miss you, too. Papa! But he calls!"
They both know who he is. Éomer, king of the Mark and friend to King Elessar. She is Princess of Dol Amroth. Their titles match. Most superficial of all considerations. Her father had wishes for more than title in a match for his beloved daughter. He could not have parted with her if it were only a title to be had. But he looked in his daughter's eyes and then into the eyes of the young man who was to take her from him and from the sea and he saw that he would be her safe harbor in life.
There they stood. Father's arms wrapped around daughter with the sea winds blowing around them, flapping both cloak and dress most ardently. It was almost time to depart and start making their wending way to her new life. Lothíriel was quiet, soaking in the sights and sounds that had surrounded her all of her life. Shells in her pocket, habit of a lifetime. Cool breeze through her hair. She gazed out to sea, watching the waves swell and crash. She looked out to the open water allowing it to fill her soul. This she would take with her. To him.
Eagles flew over the White City heralding joy and promise of a new future. Faramir looked to the skies and words of song filled his soul. He looked down into Éowyn's eyes so blue. "It is done." She looked into his saying, "This day shall be remembered for the joy it has brought." He smiled as his eye fell upon a forget-me-not nestled among. He held his precious one gently in his arms and looked over the City. The sounds of celebration drifted up and started to heal the wounds in his heart. He would truly never forget this moment.
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