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Leaving home; Coming Home  by Mirkwoodmaiden

A/N: This was originally written as one chapter but I felt it was a bit too long for one so I split it into two.  :-)  I hope you enjoy!


Ch. 4 - A Friendship Takes Root

Arwen led Éowyn up a wide winding set of stairs to enter into a spacious circular room that seemed to be made of air and glass. White arches rose above her that turned from a white marble to marble arches of filigreed scrollwork on glass panes to sheer panes of glass that could opened to allow the breezes to flow.  The afternoon sun filtered into the room warming it very comfortably in spite of the autumnal air taking on a bit of a chill.  Éowyn walked to a window and saw that there was a breathtaking view of the city to be had from this vantage point.  The light airy architecture overwhelmed her Rohan-bred senses.  She grew up amid rooms of wood and great fireplaces, wall hangings to help keep in the warmth.

"This was the King's house. The stewards did not live here and very rarely came in any event accept apparently to make customary tests of its sturdiness."  Arwen said.  Éowyn looked at the Queen quizzically.  Arwen laughed softly, "I am not certain of what that quite means either, but that is what Faramir was telling us.  Apparently, the place was to be kept in some sort of readiness should the King return." 

"Readiness?" Éowyn stated.

Arwen nodded, "I think it became more ceremonial than anything, because I can tell you the state this place was in....  But with much cleaning it is now as it was possibly meant to be so long ago.  I chose this room for my solar." Éowyn looked around the room.  It was indeed spacious and yet cozy as well.  There were couches up against the wall covered with fluffy large red crimson pillows a large fireplace and on a table was a large vase of flowers and papers and wicker baskets. In the center was another two divan sofas at corners with a small table covered with rich silk in the empty square angle and on top was placed a decanter of red wine and two glasses.  "It most reminds me of Imladris." Arwen said sounding a little wistful.

Éowyn looked at her, slightly inquisitive, Arwen looked at her and smiled a little smile. "I would be telling an untruth if I said I did not miss Imladris and my brothers and my adar," A look of pain passed through Arwen's fair features only to disappear as fast as it came.

Éowyn saw this but decided it was too early in their friendship to delve into that private pain so she chose the safer route of inquiry, "You have brothers?  How many?"

Arwen smiled and said, "Two.  They are twins.  Elladan and Elrohir.  They have chosen to stay in Imladris."

"Twins!" Éowyn exclaimed, "I have only the one and I find him quite a handful at times!"

Arwen laughed merrily, the shadow from her features gone, "Growing up they were quite a handful.” She paused, “In fact they still are." She finished chuckling.  

Éowyn laughed and found herself beginning to relax around this ethereal beauty for she was discovering that Arwen had not only beauty of face, but a beauty of spirit and a way of putting another at their ease.  "Éomer has always been a handful ever since we were children but he has a heart of gold.  He truly does, but he tries to hide it under gruffness.  He would give someone in need the shirt off his back and then pretend like it was something anyone would do."

Arwen, "Men.  Why do they do that sort of thing."  She motioned toward the two overstuffed divans in the middle of the room.  Éowyn sat down, making herself comfortable.  

"Wine?" Arwen asked as she reached for the decanter and one of the deep wine glasses in faceted crystal.

"Yes, Thank you.  I would love one." Éowyn responded eagerly.  She took the offered wine glass and curled her legs along the emerald velvet of the divan cushion.

Arwen pour the deep red wine into another crystal glass and settled on the opposite divan upholstered with scarlet red plush velvet.  “You say that Éomer has a heart of gold?”

Éowyn replied, “Oh yes.  Though he would deny it.”  Arwen looked at her with a mischievous Elven twinkle in her azure blue eyes, “My Queen, What are you thinking?” Éowyn inquired returning the mischievous look.

Arwen picked up her wine goblet and looked at Éowyn, “It is Arwen.” She stated emphatically.

Éowyn smiled, her heart warming even more to the ethereal lady, “Very well, Arwen…What are you thinking?” she repeated, looking at Arwen pointedly.

Arwen paused with the wine goblet just at her lips before she spoke, “All men of a generous heart must be in need of a wife.” She looked at Éowyn and then took a drink of the fine Dorwinian vintage that she asked Aragorn to specially order for her.

Éowyn had an ear-splitting grin on her face and said, “I do quite agree!”  She took a sip of the vintage, and savoured the particularly fine taste “this is wonderful.”

Arwen said, “Yes it is, It is a particular favorite of my adar.” Again Éowyn noticed that shadow of pain that flitted through the azure blue of her eyes.

Éowyn felt pity for that unknown pain and quick fell back into her own habit of deflecting away from it that had served her for so long, living with her own pain for many years, before she had found love with Faramir.  “So, was there a particular lady you had in mind?”

Arwen locked eyes briefly with her new friend.  She knew that Éowyn had seen her pain though she tried to hide the flashes of it and yet she did not ask.  She tacitly set it aside respecting Arwen’s privacy.  Within that brief moment of shared understanding a bond portending true friendship was formed.  She smiled, “As a matter of fact.  I do.  We have many guests who have already arrived for your wedding and they will all be at dinner tonight in the Great Hall.  I want to see if you come to the same conclusion as I have, if so then we shall point our course accordingly.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

That evening….

The Great Hall was festively attired, for Aragorn Elessar was declaring that the marriage of his faithful Steward and proclaimed Prince of Ithilien, Faramir, son of Denethor and Finduilas, and Éowyn, daughter of Éomund and Théodwyn and sister to Éomer, King of the Mark, was to be celebrated as a grand state occasion preceded in eminence by only the Coronation and his own wedding in which he took Arwen Undomiel, Evenstar to her people as his beloved wife.  Pomp and circumstance was served as it needed to be, privately Aragorn could not have been happier that two such good deserving people found each other and would make each other whole.  It did his heart great good to see such happiness.

Arwen entered the hall and made straight for Aragorn who was near the dais.  “Estel! It is all coming together very nicely do you not think?”

Aragorn looked at his beloved, took her hand and brought it to his lips, “I think it looks wonderful, my love.  You have done a fantastic thing here.”

Arwen traced a little bow and he still held her hand, “I thank you, My lord. But I need to make a few finishing touches.”  She held some cards in her hands and stepped up to the dais to place them.

Aragorn watched as she flitted about the chairs placing cards at each place, “Place cards? Isn’t that a bit formal?”

Arwen looked at him, “Shush!  ‘Tis a very formal occasion.”

Aragorn stepped up onto the dais and picked up the first card he came to “Prince Imrahil,” he set it down where it had been placed. 

“Princess Neneth” He surveyed the place cards, picking up some and not others, all family and high nobles, “Faramir, Éowyn, Me, you, Éomer, Lothiriel, Princess of Dol Amroth—.” At this Arwen slapped his hand lightly.

“That is enough of that!  You go off and do something kingly—” Arwen said playfully, the look on her face closely resembling her mischievous brothers. 

Alarm bells went off in Aragorn’s head.  He knew that look, though it usually resided on either Elladan or Elrohir’s face, but Arwen was indeed their sister, sometimes more than others.  This was most definitely one of those times.  “Arwen…. What are you planning?”

Arwen said not-quite-innocently, “Never you mind.”  She looked pointedly at him, “And do not touch the cards!”

Aragorn also knew that look.  It was the exact look Elrond used to give him when he was ten and thinking of sneaking another spice cake before dinner.  Aragorn hated to admit it, but even after all that he had been though in his some-odd ninety years on Arda he was still a little bit intimidated by that look.  Deciding that discretion was indeed the better part of valour, he dropped a little bow to his Elven wife and said knowingly, “I shall go off and ‘do something kingly’ as per my Queen’s instructions.”

He kissed her lightly on the forehead and Arwen said, “You see that you do!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~





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