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Clear Conscience (The Clear Shot Remix)  by Dreamflower

Author’s note: There are several quotations in the story, indicated by italics. Unless otherwise marked by an asterisk, they are taken from LotR, the books; other sources are marked, and are taken either from the original story, or from the movie.



Boromir found himself fairly stunned to realize who two of the people sitting across from him at the Council table were. They stared back at him in equal amazement, the expression on the face of younger of the two gradually changing from puzzlement to a wide smile.

“Boromir!” was the joyful exclamation.

Boromir allowed himself his own smile. “Frodo and Bilbo Baggins! Of all the people whom I might have expected to see here in Imladris, you are the last! What brings you to this place, my small friends?” he asked curiously.

Bilbo’s expression suddenly hardened and grew guarded, and Frodo’s face grew troubled; they exchanged glances.

Frodo replied, “I believe that we will soon enough find out what has brought all of us here.”

And suddenly Boromir recalled the words of the dream: “the halfling forth shall stand…”“The halfling” could only be Frodo! Of course that would explain why the dream had come to Faramir and himself! But what did the rest of it mean? He could not explore those questions yet--the Council would be beginning soon.

Boromir took his seat at the Council table; but his eyes never left the distressed face of Frodo Baggins. What could this mean?

Frodo gazed across the table at Boromir. He’d been a callow lad in his tweens when he had been the victim of the Man’s error. He had been shot in mistake for a deer. Boromir, who had shot the fateful arrow, and his brother Faramir, had been travelling in the North to learn about those lands, and had been horrified at what had happened. The two of them had seen Frodo to Bree and a healer. And that had brought Frodo to his first acquaintance with Strider, as well, though he’d been so ill at the time he could scarcely recall him. They had been several days in the Ranger’s company on the journey to Rivendell before Frodo finally remembered who he was, and why it had been so easy to trust him: he had been brought in to help with Frodo’s healing all those years ago.

He remembered so easily how grief and guilt-stricken the young Men had been. They were only youths themselves at the time. For a brief period, they thought Frodo had actually died of his wounds, and had been devastated. But after Frodo’s recovery, he had made friends of them, and it was wonderful, if puzzling, to see Boromir now. Of course, Boromir *was* the son of the Steward of Gondor--it made sense that he might find himself at this Council.

His mind shied away. This Council, here to decide what to do with the Ring. Frodo shuddered, and with an effort of will, kept his hand away from It, though he longed to touch it and reassure himself It was still there.

Then Frodo felt Elrond’s hand upon his shoulder, and heard, as if from far away, the Lord of Rivendell introducing him: “Here, my friends, is the hobbit, Frodo son of Drogo. Few have ever come hither through greater peril or on an errand more urgent.”

The Council had begun…


Boromir felt as though he had been turned to stone, like one of the statues in the Hall of Kings.

He kept seeing the quiet desperation on the hobbit‘s face when Frodo had said, “I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way.”

How could all of them allow Frodo, so innocent of the world, so small and helpless, to undertake a task of such peril--especially since Boromir was still not convinced that it was the only solution?

He remembered his own horror, that night so long ago, when his ill-timed and ill-considered shot had placed Frodo in peril of his life; his fear at having taken an innocent life, his uncertainty over what was best to do for his victim. Had it not been for Faramir’s cooler head--and even then, though Faramir was the younger, his head had been cooler--Boromir might have watched Frodo’s life drain away, paralyzed by his own indecision. And then, to believe that after all their effort to bring him to healing, that they had lost him after all--the memory still haunted his dreams from time to time.

He glanced once more at Frodo, surrounded now by Aragorn, Elrond, Mithrandir and Bilbo. Though he wanted badly to speak to Frodo, he could not bring himself to interrupt now.

He knew only one thing: he would not let anything else happen to Frodo. He would *have* to be one of the Company that travelled South. Finally, he would have found a way to amend his dreadful error--he vowed to stand between Frodo and danger however long they might travel together.

Frodo looked over at some of the other people who had been at the Council. His blue eyes rested on Boromir. He wanted very much to talk to the Man, to learn more of that dream he had described, to ask about Faramir.

They would be here in Rivendell for some time before setting out. There would be plenty of time for conversation.

As it was, it was three days before they had such a chance. Frodo was with his two cousins and his servant, whom he introduced to Boromir.

The youngest, Peregrin, was open and cheerful, reminding Boromir much of the way Frodo had been when first he met him--”Call me Pippin,” he had said airily, offering his service in the way of these Northerners. “It’s very nice to meet you! I look forward to asking you all about your land!”

Meriadoc however, had regarded him cooly, with his steely grey eyes. “I heard all about what happened,” he said. His expression very clearly said that Boromir would have to earn his trust, and would have to prove himself. But Boromir found himself rather pleased than not at this attitude. Wariness was called for. It was clear that Frodo had a self-appointed protector in his Brandybuck cousin, and Frodo would need all the protection he could get.

Samwise Gamgee, whom Boromir had at first taken for a mere servant, was introduced by Frodo as his friend. And though Sam’s manner was more diffident and less challenging, he saw the same wariness there, and the same determination to protect. He knew that Sam would be another whose regard he would have to earn.

After a few moments of conversation, mostly consisting of Pippin asking questions about Boromir’s journey to the North, Frodo interrupted. “Why don’t you three go ahead to Bilbo’s rooms? He’ll wonder why we’re late! I’d like to have a few words with Boromir first.”

Pippin and Sam agreed immediately, but Merry took a moment to hold Boromir’s eyes, a challenge clear in them, before he, too, nodded. The others left, then, and Boromir finally found himself alone with Frodo.

Frodo chuckled. “Merry and Sam know about what happened, even though they were only children at the time. I am afraid that they have not forgiven you yet. But they will soon get to know you, and will like you as much as I do.”

Boromir raised his brow, and said “What about Peregrin--Pippin?”

“Pippin was only a baby at the time. I am not sure that he ever knew anything about it. But I’m sure that Merry and Sam will tell him now.”

“And will he then be angry with me as well?”

Frodo shook his head. “In some ways Pippin is far more sensible about things that happened in the past than either Merry or Sam. He sees that I consider you a friend, and that will be enough for him.”

“I am glad, then, that at least one of your kin will not think badly of me.”

“Bilbo does not think badly of you now, though he was--intemperate--at the time. But he was very frightened, and fear can make the temper sharp. But I think that he is pleased that you are here now.” Frodo sighed. “He is frightened for other reasons at the present. And I cannot say that I blame him.” Frodo looked off solemnly into the distance, and Boromir suddenly was reminded that however youthful the hobbit might look, he was some years older than Boromir himself. Frodo took a deep breath, and then, sighing turned to Boromir. “And how is Faramir? I am rather surprised that he did not accompany you! I should have dearly liked to see him again as well.”

Boromir shook his head. “Our father gave the errand to me.” He kept quiet about the way in which he had insisted on taking the journey for himself. “Faramir is a Captain of Rangers in Ithilien. He has a good many duties and responsibilities.”

“And you do not?” Frodo raised a skeptical brow, and regarded Boromir shrewdly.

“I do. And one of those duties is to represent my father to the lords of other lands when he cannot do so himself. And *one* of us had to seek the meaning of the dream.” Boromir kept to himself his own doubts--it was likely that Faramir would have done as well or better on this errand. But Boromir had been afraid for his younger brother, and Denethor did not trust his younger son.

Frodo nodded. “Well, I am afraid that I need to go--Bilbo was expecting the four of us to tea, and if I am much later, I’m liable to find nothing left!” And the hobbit went off laughing, while Boromir watched him with troubled eyes.


It did not take Boromir long to make friends with Merry, and though Sam was still shy, he lost his wary attitude. Pippin, of course, treated him as though he were his own long-lost friend, and not much differently than another hobbit. Boromir soon found himself growing quite fond of the other hobbits for their own sakes’ as well as for Frodo’s.

Lord Elrond had asked him to help the younger hobbits learn the uses of their weapons, and although Frodo would have benefited from such instruction as well, it was thought his shoulder was not yet up to the exertion. However, Frodo usually could be found watching as his friends took their lessons. Boromir often found himself included in some of the other activities that occupied the hobbits--their frequent meals, rambles about the gardens of Imladris, taking tea with Bilbo, or sitting with them during evenings in the Hall of Fire.

The day of leavetaking came all too soon. It was but a few days before the turning of the year, when the nine Companions set out from Rivendell.

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