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Slowly, they crept forward. Scouts went out before them into the hallways of the Great Hall. Indis shivered. It seemed almost profane to walk the halls with weapons drawn. Never had she heard of nor seen such a thing.
'Mayhap, this is what it was like during the Kin-strife,' she thought. So many had died then; they could not repeat that now. Amandil held no authority, had no ties to the line of Húrin, of Stewards. None, in their right mind, would follow him. All that now obeyed him did it because they were either fearful or had been bribed. At least that was her hope.
As soon as they stepped foot onto the Courtyard of the White Tree, the underlings of Amandil came at them with a fury. More than any of them had bargained for fought for the usurper.
Indis held her sword high, howling to the wind. She would not fall without taking a few with her. The first approached, laughter on his face that quickly disappeared when she thrust her sword through his belly. She withdrew it and lunged to her left as another sword arched past her. The sound startled her, but she continued on. The arm attached to the sword fell; she thrust quickly again and the man fell.
Another came and then another. She was tiring and her breath came raggedly through her clenched teeth. Never had she fought her own kind; never had she fought any but Orc. Now, she took the life of men. But her sword sang as she did, knowing she was defending Boromir and the realm.
She saw Éomund, sword in his left hand, his right hanging uselessly at his side. He did well. She must remember to ask Eledhwen to teach her how to fight with her left hand. She barely ducked in time. Another sword swing and she would have been dead, but she pulled up on her own sword and hewed a leg. The soldier fell in front of her.
Horns blew in the distance. Éomund rallied. "'Tis the Eorlingas!" he cried, joy upon his face.
Prince Imrahil shouted, "And the Swan Knights of Dol Amroth. They are come!"
The horns, ringing through the air, lifted the warriors' hearts. Their enemies' heads turned in fright, but they did not run. Amandil appeared in the midst of them, exhorting them to stay, promising a fortune to those who continued to fight. "A breastplate of mithril to whomever finds and kills the boy," he screamed.
Indis, hearing the command, lifted her sword in challenge, then, staggered when a blow grazed her head. She screamed her rage, quickly recovered and lunged forward. The man fell dead.
Boromir, standing within the tunnel of the Sixth Level, had heard her scream, misunderstood the reason, and ran from Siriondil's protection. "She needs help!" He shouted back to the healer. "She needs help!"
Barely turning in time to see Boromir run from the cover of the tunnel, she motioned for him to return to safety. He shook his head and continued forward, intent on saving his aunt. He bent down and quickly lifted a sword from one of the dead. Dodging a blow from the left, he brought his blade down hard upon his attacker. The man slipped on his own blood and fell forward.
She saw Boromir smile; then shudder. A blade sliced into his neck. He fell back into the water.
Screaming, she ran forward and killed the coward. She stepped into the fountain and caught Boromir in her arms. She pulled him out of the water and onto the lip. Hearing nor seeing nothing but the boy in her arms, her very being was drawn to the eyes that looked at her in love and pain.
"Oh! Boromir, hang on, mellon nîn, we will find help. Do not leave me, please." Tears fell as his eyes glazed. "Hold on, Boromir. Someone will help us," she murmured. "Please, Boromir."
Éomund fell to the ground next to her, cradling the boy's head in his hands and weeping.
She sat, holding her beloved nephew to her breast, tears streaming down her face.
Théoden stepped forward, grief etched on his own. The fountain's waters ran red with the blood of the young Steward. The Captains of Gondor all placed themselves around the fallen one, but the battle lust seemed to have left their enemies.
Those who had been afraid to join the fight for Gondor heard the horns and came forward, ready at last to join the fray. Amandil, left behind by his fleeing men, was cut down by Captain Húrin.
She looked at Éomund, helpless. "He is just sleeping," she whispered. Her chin began to quiver. "He is sleeping."
She began to wail and the sound sent prickles up Éomund's arms. "Let me take him from you. You are hurt yourself and bleeding. I will take him to the Houses."
"Nay!" she screamed. She clenched her teeth, shuddered and whispered, "Nay." Her sobs rent the air.
Théoden King stepped back from the horror in front of him and ran into Faramir.
Listöwel's hand crushed the boy's shoulder, but he felt nothing.
Looking at the body in Indis' arms, the boy crumpled to the ground. "Boromir?" he gasped. "Boromir!"
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