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Leaving home; Coming Home  by Mirkwoodmaiden

Ch. 13 – Three Mornings

Faramir walked along a corridor that lead to a very familiar door.  He opened it and there stood the rocking chair that his mother had brought up to this very alcove so she could sit and rock.  She would whisper to him that it was her special place because outside in this little alcove she could almost imagine the winds were those of her seaside home in Dol Amroth.  He remembered she always looked a little wistful when she would whisper that in his ear.  And she would talk of the sea and create in his young mind pictures of the waves and the sand and the wind.  Years later when he did visit Dol Amroth, he saw with his own eyes what she had whispered long ago.  It did not disappoint or maybe her remembered words of love colored what he saw.

“My sweet little one,” Faramir turned around.

“Mama?” Faramir said with wonder in his voice.  She was as beautiful as a five-year old remembered her being.

“Yes, my little one.  Though you are so tall and handsome now.” She stepped forward close enough to place her hand on his heart.  Faramir just stared at her remembering how beautiful and kind she was and yet sad.  “You have grown to be a strong and yet kind man, I can feel it in your heart, I knew it would be so.”

Faramir looked into his mother’s fair blue eyes, “Why did you leave us?” he asked though he wished he had not when he saw the hurt look cross his mother’s eye.

“Oh, my little love, I did not want to.  But my body, it just gave up. It went and my spirit simply had to follow.” She caressed Faramir’s stubbled cheek.

He did not have the heart to chasten her further, not in this small time they were given, “Mama, I have found someone who loves me.”  He said in wonderment and astonishment.

“That is wonderful, my little love.” Finduilas affirmed, “but why do you sound so amazed that someone could love you?”

Faramir just looked at Finduilas not saying anything.  The silence was deafening.

Finduilas looked at her son; a pained expression across her fair features, “He did love you, you know.”

Faramir stood there just looking at his mother and remembering the last moments of his father’s life as he had seen them through the veil of the Black Shadow, “Yes.” That one word just hung there between them. 

Finduilas had tears in her eyes for she somehow knew all the pain that Faramir had experienced at his father's hand that she could not undo.  She brushed his fringe aside and kissed his forehead, “Tell me about her.”

“Her name is Éowyn and we met in the Houses of Healing.  She is strong and brave and fearless and kind.  I love her, Mama.  And she loves me.”

Finduilas had tears in her eyes, “That is so wonderful, my little love!  Be happy!” she kissed him again on the forehead.

Faramir opened his eyes and morning light filtered into his bedchamber. The remembered dream washed over him and his heart felt light.  He thought on his mother and instead of the melancholy and sadness that usually ran attendant upon that thought he felt her smile in his heart. 

Eirik walked in with his morning cup of mulled wine, “Ready to begin the day, My lord?”

Faramir sat up in bed and looked at his squire and said with a jovial heart, “Quite ready, Eirik, quite ready,” He threw the coverlet back and got out of bed. He reached for his mulled wine, walked to his balcony and savoring the first sip, he watched the sunrise.

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


Éowyn woke up and looked around the room, the fire in the fireplace burned low giving off the last of its warmth.  The rich brocade coverlet was slipping off to one side but the stuffed down blanket still covered her feet.  She had a warm expectant feeling and she could not sleep any more.  She murmured, “this is the last night I shall spend alone,” She smiled.  She wanted nothing more than to start sharing her life with Faramir.  They had not had a great deal of time alone, what with the war’s aftermath and all the upheaval that inevitably brought.  She and Eomer had had to return home to bury their uncle and to mourn him.  She thought of her beloved uncle.  She hoped that somehow beyond the veil between this world and the next he could see her and know that she was happy. She could hear his words, “I would see you smile again.” Spoken when she was still so troubled, so full of doubt and regret.  She whispered into the early moments before dawn when it is neither night nor day but the time in between, “Uncle, I am happy.” In her heart she knew that he did indeed hear her.  She felt his smile in her heart.  She reached over to the small table by her bed and felt for the two rings.  Having clasped them in her hand she sat up bed and looked at them.  Master Taethion and Telion had created such beauty her heart ached. It was just coming to dawn.  She threw back the covers slipped her feet into her fur lined slippers.  Throwing the thick robe of velvet and brocade over her shoulders to ward off the morning chill she ran to the balcony to see the sunrise.  The red fading to orange and yellow were mesmerizing. She stood transfixed for many moments and then looked down again at the rings and smiled. It was time to begin the day.  She walked over to the tasseled bell pull to summon Waerith as her eyes fell upon her wedding dress hanging against the wardrobe door.

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

The morning of the wedding dawned.  It was late autumn and the richness of red, burnt orange and yellow of the trees within the confines of the city gave warm colour to the streets of Minas Tirith.  Natural decoration mingled with the banners that were flying from every level of the city in celebration of the joining of the Lord Faramir, Steward of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien and Éowyn, the White Lady of Rohan, and sister to Éomer, King of the Mark.  Pennons in the sable and silver with the tree and seven stars of Gondor and the green and gold with the white rampant horse of Rohan flew together throughout the city.  Telion looked at the joyful decorations and his heart felt light as he and his mother, Maeves walked up to Taethion’s shop where they were to meet with Taethion and Istrien, his wife before making their way up to the seventh level for the wedding.  Telion opened his leather pouch at his side to make sure that the letter inviting him and Master Taethion and their families, written in the Lady Éowyn’s own hand and sealed in wax with the Steward’s own seal of Gondor, was indeed there.  It was, as it had been the last six times he had checked since leaving their house on the second level.

Leaving home, he ruefully thought, had taken far longer than was usual, his mother fussing and fluttering on about any and all details.  For an older and generally unflappable woman she could still flutter about pretty effectively when given proper distraction.  Apparently being given a special handwritten invitation from the bride in a royal wedding at the last minute qualified as proper distraction. She berated Telion for not giving her more time to repair her best attire.  She needed to look her best.  Finally, Telion had to grab her hands to keep her from talking and fussing. 

“Mum! You look beautiful just as you are!” He smoothed the veil of peach silk and beaded headband covering her hair and strands of beads falling past her face to her shoulder in traditional Gondorian style which also matched her dress and fine lace overwrap, “if you do any more you will outshine the bride!”  He smiled affectionately at his mum.

“Tush, my lad!  Talking such nonsense!  I just want to look my best for you.  I am so proud of you, my son.  To have found such favor.  Your father would indeed be so proud.” Maeves teared up a little.  Telion’s father had lost his life serving as a ranger in Ithilien, part of the Lord Faramir’s company, but Devrion had not wanted that life for his son, knowing that he had an artist’s heart and did not want him exposed the horrors of war.  Devrion was unique in that way.  He saw the qualities that Telion had and did not berate him for qualities his son did not possess.  He told Maeves on more than one occasion that he refused to follow in his father’s footsteps in that regard. Their relationship, she understood, had not been a good one.  But war had come home and Telion ended up serving as best as he could anyway.  Maeves wanted to keep him out of it but he insisted.  She thanked the Valar every day for delivering her son back to her.  There had been some hard times, he had lost friends.  But he was working his way through.  That was why she was so proud of him.  His gentle heart had been bruised by the ugliness of war but it had not been broken.

“Mum,” Telion asked gently, “Are you ready?”

Maeves dried her eyes on her outer wrap and then straightened her shoulders, “Aye, Let us go!  Master Taethion will be beside himself if we are a minute late!”

In actuality they were only a couple of minutes late to Taethion’s shop and Istrien already had a toast with their best wine laid out on the wooden front counter before they ascended to the seventh level. 

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





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