17 January 2013 | 25743 words | Work in Progress
Summary: When Faramir is still a child, Elrond rescues him from Denethor’s wrath and brings the child to Rivendell to stay for good. As time passes and Faramir grows older and wiser, who knows what will happen?
Disclaimer: I don’t own Lord of the Rings and I certainly don’t any of these characters. I just like to write about them once in a while. :)
Author note: This fic is only one chapter for now, but depending on reviews and what people think of it, I have more ideas for what will happen as Faramir grows up in this new land. It probably would not stay rated G for long, though… :P
It was another rainy night in Minas Tirith. The guard looked down to the level of white city below them, as they stood at the Citadel. The guard stood around the white tree, ever protective and cautious, waiting for the day when their King would return. They watched on the level below, as people settled down for the night ahead; the sun had gone down just a while ago. Evening was creeping in.
There was one rider on a white horse, cloaked and hidden, though there didn’t seem to be an air of danger about him. The villagers never looked at him twice; no sense of danger was emanating from him. They let him ride slowly up the levels of the city, until he reached the citadel. The black velvet cloak covered his entire face, concealing all identity. When he reached the citadel, he was met by the guard.
“Show yourself,” the head of the guard called, waiting. The cloaked figure dismounted his horse gracefully and paused, before finally revealing himself. A great elf stood before them, long brunette hair straight with graceful braids, with a look of concern and fierceness.
“Lord… Elrond?” the head of the guard stammered somewhat, not quite believing his eyes. Elrond only looked to the entire guard in silence while the others stood in shock. They had all heard of the great elf, yet had never seen him before; they had only heard of him from their fathers, most of whom had heard it only from their grandfathers.
With one final glare, the elf slowly drew in a deep breath.
“I have come to speak to your Steward. For the sake of his son.” Elrond received looks of confusion from the guards’ faces, and he knew he needed to explain further. His voice became more and more fierce with every sentence.
“You guard the citadel. Surely you have seen the Steward’s youngest son tormented and neglected, while his elder brother is treated with utmost respect and regard for his swordplay and battle skills. The youngest son is neglected and spat upon for being an archer, not a swordsman, a strategist instead of a fierce warrior.” The guard only listened as the elf paused, making his voice calm again.
“Young Faramir of Gondor will only wither if he stays here. I must speak with Denethor. I wish to make new living arrangements for the boy.”
The guards only stared for a moment, lost in thought, thinking of the Steward’s youngest son and pitying him. The boy had been beaten by his own father in front of their very eyes, physically and verbally. They wished to see no more.
“Come with me,” the head guard told the elf, who walked beside him. As they made their long way to the citadel, through the courtyard, the elf asked the guard many questions of the Steward’s son.
“What has become of him? You may remember the ranger named strider… he used to frequent this place. He recently told me of young Faramir’s troubles. How is he faring?”
“Just as badly as you said, my lord… his father refuses to give him anything, while his elder brother receives everything. It is.. ghastly to watch. But do not misunderstand his brother Boromir; he cares for his brother just as well as a parent, though he is only a few years older. He is old enough to understand his brother’s dilemmas.”
“At least he has had his brother,” Elrond said darkly. “But even his brother cannot protect him. Not with your steward’s increasing madness.” They both stopped talking once they reached the private chambers of the Steward; Denethor did not need to hear their speech. The Elf was left alone; Denethor had been notified of the guest’s arrival.
“Elrond of Rivendell,” Denethor said somewhat cheerily, though they both knew the kindness was false. “What brings you to the White City? We greet you happily.”
“I am not here to stay for any visit,” the elf said, cutting to the chase. “I am here to discuss your son.”
“Ah, Boromir! Why might you journey so far having to do with Boromir? It must be important.”
“My travels are important. But they’ve nothing to do with Boromir,” Elrond said firmly. His brow was becoming more furrowed by the second; Denethor’s followed suit.
“You cannot be here for Faramir’s purpose,” Denethor said cautiously, his voice becoming cold and dour. Elrond straightened up even taller than he already was and stated, “I am, my lord. I am here to relieve you of him.”
“Relieve me of Faramir? What does one of the finest elves in middle earth want of my son?” Denethor demanded, becoming suspicious. Elrond looked to him with disdain as he said, “I did not expect you to oppose my proposal. I had assumed that you would hand the boy over freely, as unfortunate as that may be.”
“And what is your proposal?”
“It is just as it sounds, my lord… I will relieve you of your youngest son. Faramir will journey back with me to Rivendell. I will take him under my wing, and off of your hands. You may well never have to see him again!” he feigned a tone of happiness and mocking toward the steward, whose eyes narrowed in further suspicion. Elrond walked toward him as he said these words, and Denethor backed away as though deeply threatened. There was a moment of silence while the steward plunked down in his chair and glowered, thinking deeply.
“Take him, then,” Denethor said coldly. “I would not care if I never saw him again… not until he can defend my country. Not until he can show some use.”
“I assure you, we can fulfill that wish for you. I am sure your son will be quite happy about your decision as well,” Elrond said swiftly, turning towards the door. His layers and layers of gossamer robes followed suit. “Tell me, where is Faramir?”
“In the archives. He studies there every evening after dinner, the stupid boy,” the steward nearly spat. Elrond could have gone off about how wise it was of the boy to be reading and studying the ancient texts he knew were kept there, but he knew that in present company such a fact would not be understood. He turned swiftly, so swiftly that his black velvet cloak nearly whipped the Steward in the face. “Farewell.”
“Farewell,” Denethor muttered in return, standing up slowly, still appearing to be lost in thought. But happiness glinted in his eyes. Elrond resisted the urge to pull his sword on the Steward, knowing that he would never get Faramir out if he did so. He must keep his eyes on his goal. He needed to get this boy to Rivendell.
He headed toward the archives, journeying down the levels on his white horse, taking care to remain uncloaked. If the boy happened to see him, he wished not to instill any fear in him. He had never met the boy before, and only approximately knew his age; Aragorn had guessed that he was about twelve years of age. He told the elf to look for a small, thin boy, underfed, with strawberry blonde hair and eyes as blue as his mother’s used to be. Elrond had known Faramir’s mother; she kept in contact with Elrond for several years about the goings-on of Minas Tirith while she had been alive.
He dismounted his horse at the entrance of the archives, and descended the steps. There was a faint glow of torches coming from one of the rooms, and he guessed that this was where young Faramir would be. Surely enough, as he rounded the corner, he found a small boy exactly as Aragorn described, hidden in a pile of papers and books, scribbling something on a piece of parchment with a quill. There was ink on his fingers, and smudges on the parchment he was writing on, but the young pupil was hard at work. He was already reading, and writing! This was amazing, something Men sometimes did not ever learn, but elves certainly did. Yes, this boy definitely belonged with all of the other younger elflings in Rivendell. He certainly belonged in the Last Homely House. Elrond found himself smiling a warm smile at the sight of the boy, thinking of how much he and the other elves could teach him.
The boy looked up only when Elrond cleared his throat slightly, and fully came through the doorway. Faramir jumped out of his chair, not knowing who he was seeing; it was a stranger, and he did not know if it was someone come to follow his father’s orders to beat him for spending too much time in the archives again. He backed up quickly until he banged into a large bookshelf. Elrond raised a hand in hopes to communicate that he was here peacefully, and that he was not going to bring the boy to harm, but it was obviously too late. A large book fell out of one of the shelves above his head from hitting the shelf so hard, and it hit him hard on the head. The elf stepped forward to grab the book, but the child was already down on the floor grabbing it. He held it close to himself, hugging it as if for comfort, and he stared at the elf in fear.
“I am not here to harm you,” Elrond said calmly, speaking in the softest voice he could muster – which for elves, meant speaking so softly that it could soothe almost anyone. There was a pause, and Elrond knew that the boy was looking at his headdress, his wardrobe, his elven robes… the elven sword in its curved scabbard. It may well have been the first elf that the boy had seen in real life.
“You are an elf,” Faramir finally squeaked. Elrond stifled his laughter, not wishing to be intimidating; he managed to only smile instead.
“I am indeed,” Elrond said. “Do you know who I am? I see you do much reading. Gandalf, Mithrandir, he visits you as well, I do believe. You may already know who I am, and only not know my face.”
“I – I do not know you. I am sorry.” He attempted to hide his face, but could not look away from the elegant first elf he had ever seen. Elrond stepped forward half a step, and said, “I am Elrond. Do you recognize that?”
“L-Lord Elrond… Lord Elrond…” The boy stammered, in shock. He did know who the elf was. He would have stepped back further in respect, if he had any more room and no bookshelves were behind him. “You – you live in… in… No! I just read it! I know it! I read it before…” he struggled to remember. The elf waited patiently, giving him a chance to remember.
“Rivendell! You live in Rivendell. Right?” he asked, almost fearfully, afraid of being wrong. The elf smiled and chuckled a bit, replying, “Yes, I reside in Rivendell. in the Last Homely House. I am here for one reason, young Faramir.” He leaned down to look the boy in the eyes, on an equal level. “I am here to take you with me. To Rivendell. I am here to take you away from this place, Faramir… in case you have not noticed, you do not belong here. Not now. Not when your father treats you with no respect.” The boy was frozen in silence, wondering how this elf knew so much, so accurately. He had never told anyone. The prospect of going to Rivendell had him frozen; he was afraid to hope for something so good happening.
“You try to do his will; I know you try to do your father’s will,” Elrond said gently. He placed a soft hand on the boy’s shoulder. “But, sometimes, we are not accepted… no matter what we do, we are sometimes never accepted.” He paused, for the boy had begun crying, silently but surely. Great big tears streamed down the young Gondorian’s face. With a look of concern on his face, Elrond knelt down on the ground, and held his arms open.
“Faramir.” Elrond bowed his head slightly. “Come here. Do not be afraid.” The boy slowly stepped forward, still crying, but attemped to hide his tears; he covered his face. The elf held the child tightly once he was near enough, and a few choked sobs broke the silence.
“You can cry,” Elrond said gently. “You are young… and you are so wearied and broken. I would never expect you not to cry. Do not hide it… and do not fear. in Rivendell, you will have no more need to cry. And we have such volumes of books and libraries as big as you can imagine,” he told the boy, trying to cheer him again. “And there are other elflings just your age… you would have others to frolic and have fun with. I swear it,” the elf soothed the boy. “I know what you have been through, at least to an extent, and I will not stand for it. Especially when both Mithrandir and Strider say that you are such a good archer.” With this statement, there was a twinkle in Elrond’s eye, and he pulled the boy from his shoulder to give him a slight wink. “Do you know how valuable archers are to the elves? Archery is prized in Rivendell, and Lórien, and any other place where the elves reside. It is our way.” At this, many of those crocodile tears disappeared; Faramir looked eager to show his skills.
Once Faramir calmed down a little bit, he began to get a feeling of hope deep down inside. He had a feeling something was going to happen. It still seemed like too good of a thing to be true; and yet at the same time, it was heartbreaking. He was going to have to leave his brother behind. He knew that Boromir was well cared for, but still… it was not easy to leave one’s brother behind. Not one who had cared so much for him, one who always looked after him… It would be like leaving safety, although Elrond was not at all threatening. And the land of Rivendell… he hadn’t read much about it, but it sounded like a beautiful place. Where archers were important, and reading… yes, this sounded like a good idea. To leave such an opportunity behind would be the worst mistake he could ever make.
“… Now.” Elrond let the boy stand on his own as he stood up again. “We must ready you for the journey. Rivendell is five days from here, if we ride at a steady pace. Tell me, do you have a horse? Do you ride?”
“I do, and yes,” the boy replied quickly. “My father was kind enough to give me a horse, he said for the future, when I actually did anything for him.” Elrond struggled to hide the sour feeling he had in his heart for Denethor, who had uttered such words to his youngest child. Elrond explained to Faramir, “We shall take your horse, and ride… more of my kind will meet us halfway. Go now and pack your things, but you only have to bring what you want to bring; we will have clothes ready for you in Rivendell. Gather your valuable things.”
Half an hour later, Elrond waited in the hall of the citadel; he spoke with Boromir, who heard from his father what was going on. Boromir, seventeen years of age, spoke seriously with Elrond.
“You will keep under great care, won’t you? You will do what I cannot?” Boromir asked the elf, who nodded gravely. Boromir sighed a deep sigh, nodding. “It must be done, then. He will be much happier with you.”
“Faramir will miss you, Boromir. When winter arrives, I will summon you to come and visit Rivendell. I am glad you are able to dwell here happily, getting what you deserve, but your dear brother deserves just as much goodness, as you understand. This will be a good thing for him.”
“Indeed,” Boromir said. “I shall see him in winter. It is spring now… The summer and fall will pass quickly enough. I will travel then… as for you two – travel safely. Our men will be on the watch for as far out as they reach. And, Lord Elrond…” Boromir bowed. “Thank you for caring for my dear brother. We could not have asked for anyone better.”
“It is my pleasure,” Elrond said lightly. “When you see him again, he will be a healthy and hopefully thriving boy. He will have access to everything he desires, and it will be good.”
“Here he is,” Boromir said, as they both heard a noise from the direction of the private chambers. Young Faramir came around the corner, holding a leather satchel that was full, but not overfull.
“Have you got your favorite books, Faramir?” Boromir asked cheerily; his brother smiled and nodded, looking slightly nervous. Elrond smiled inwardly, noticing how wonderful their relationship was.
“And how about your notebook? Have you got that?”
“Yes, Boromir, I’ve got it.”
“You wouldn’t leave that behind, now, would you?”
“I’ve gotten your horse Elsing ready for you; I hope you have a safe journey. With Lord Elrond, you definitely will.”
“We shall,” Elrond said confidently. Though orcs sometimes swarmed across the lands, he had no fear of it right now; he would put them in their place, along with Gondorian soldiers and Lórien elves, if there was any need for action. He assumed that there would be no need at all.
“Good-by, little brother,” Boromir said more softly now, more tenderly. They hugged strongly, but Boromir was careful not to crush his brother. He helped him onto his horse, as Elrond mounted his own.
“Farewell, Boromir. If your father sways to madness in regards to you, you are fully welcome in Rivendell. Just come to me,” Elrond said. Boromir nodded, but shook his head, signaling that he would be just fine in Gondor. As the next Steward, he belonged there, and his father made sure to tell him so. He was happy in Gondor, just as both sons should rightfully have been. Faramir had better chance of happiness in Rivendell, though, so it was fate for the two brothers to be split. Perhaps Faramir should have been born an elf after all.
The journey took five days, with stops and rests in between for Faramir to get some rest; Elrond lay on the ground, fully connected with the nature around him, staring up at the trees and smelling the fresh grass below him in the field that they were lying in. He looked up to the moon and the stars, and wondered if Faramir had learned everything there was to know about the stars and moon and beautiful things hanging in the sky. Perhaps Arwen or his sons would teach him, or perhaps he himself. He wondered what other things the boy knew. After all, he figured out rather quickly who he was… he had been somewhat surprised.
When they reached the halfway point, they met up with seven other Elves, one of them being the skilled elf Legolas. Elrond knew him personally, and had requested he come with them to escort the boy into Rivendell.
The journey only took a day after that; this was because instead of stops for Faramir to rest, Faramir climbed upon Elrond’s horse, in front of the elf, and fell asleep sitting up. Another elf rode his horse, and the elven horse of the elf’s own ran its way toward Rivendell. It did not need its master to know the way back home.
They approached Rivendell just after dawn; Faramir, who had been sleeping in Elrond’s protection, felt someone shake his shoulder.
“Welcome to your new home,” Elrond told Faramir, who looked up and gasped. His reaction made Elrond smile; he knew that Faramir could not even believe his eyes, no matter how much he may or may not have read about the city.
“It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” Faramir finally managed to gasp to the elf. “It is… it is indescribably beautiful. It is so beautiful.” He looked up at the waterfalls, at the large roomy elven houses at the top of the hills, backed by gorgeous mountains and waterfalls. A great deep valley lay below, which held a river; it was the most beautiful of rivers, with soft bends and gently flowing waters, more exciting at some areas than others. There was definitely something about this place, something warm and lovely about it; and it was Faramir’s new home. He still could not believe his own eyes. And instead of worrying, for once he began thinking lovely childish thoughts; what were his new chambers going to look like? What was his home like? Would he be living with Lord Elrond, or with someone else? Were there any dragons here to slay? … It didn’t look it, but that did not matter. There seemed to be many good places to play and pretend battle. And then, as they rode closer, he snapped out of his thoughts and focused on the elves.
The beautiful elves… they were wearing robes of all colors, and they were all watching him ride in with Elrond. They all bowed slightly when the horse passed; they were bowing to Elrond. It was not a bow as if he were royalty, but a bow simply in respect. For this was the elf who helped them and cared for them, who was by far the oldest, and was their leader; that is what all of Faramir’s books had said. It was a large thing to be a leader of elves; for to be a leader of elves, you had to be significantly more wise than all of the others, and yet you could not be stuffy about being wiser. It was a very precarious situation, but Elrond had been in power for such a long time, and seen the first war of the ring, and had spoken to Isildur. None of these other elves had such skills in strategy and in battle both. They were old, but they were younger than Elrond. And he swore to protect them all, leading them to victory in battle. All was well in Rivendell. He was maker and protector of the city.
At the top of one of the hills, backed by the most glorious of rocky mountains, there was a gorgeous house. It was larger than the others, and even though all of the dwellings were beautiful, this one was surrounded by the most lovely of landscapes and intricate of interlacing patterns. One could not hardly tell where the surrounding trees ended and the architecture began. The roof consisted of many skylights, beautiful curving skylights which allowed the sun to shine in and the stars to glint through in the nighttime.
“Is this…” Faramir started to ask, but his answer became clear before he could finish his question and Elrond could begin to answer. The other elves split off on their horses; Faramir’s horse was being taken by one elf into the stables.
“Is this your home?” Faramir finally managed to ask, just to be certain. Elrond led their horse under a delicately built bridge and up a sloping cobbled road, and he replied, “Indeed, it is. And it will be your home, too; it will feel like it in time.”
“So… I AM going to be living with you!” Faramir cried out, trying not to seem too overly happy. The elf could sense this joy, and a hint of kind laughter could be heard in Faramir’s left ear as they rounded a corner, leading them closer to the house. “You certainly will be, young one… I told your father, Lord Denethor, that I was taking you under my wing. And take you under my wing, I shall… for as long as you shall allow me.” Faramir did not know what to say to this; the sheer thought that this mighty elf was taking him “under his wing” was almost too much for his heart to take after a life full of expected misfortune and neglecting. It was a total reversal of what he saw the rest of his life playing out to be. But there was no more time to dwell on these thoughts yet; Elrond called out a command in elvish to the white horse beneath them, and Faramir noted that the language really did sound like ringing bells, joyful bells, just as Mithrandir had once told him. The horse followed Elrond’s command, or what Faramir assumed was Elrond’s command; he did not know the language of the elves, which he assumed would pose a major problem here. The horse slowed to a stop on some smoother marble-looking ground; Elrond paused to allow Faramir time to dismount, and the elf followed, his robes making a soft thud as they hit the ground. The volume of elven robes was large; such velvets and satins must be heavy, or so Faramir assumed. Elrond created a wind about them both when he walked, for the robes flowed and curled the air around the slight train so swiftly as he walked.
“Welcome to the Last Homely House, Faramir,” Elrond said, as two elves opened glorious autumn-coloured doors for them to enter. “Your new home.” When Faramir couldn’t help but hesitate just before the entrance to the door, Elrond halted also, standing behind the young boy. He slowly laid his hand on the boy’s shoulder, giving him reassurance. They slowly set foot inside.
The interior was breathtakingly beautiful; it was nothing like his old home, in the citadel, though that was beautiful as well in its own way. Cold, but beautiful. This place was warm, earthly, full of wonder… full of beauty. There was so much to see. Faramir could not possibly absorb everything that he was seeing all at one time. He gasped time and time again, as the elf silently led him around the main living areas, through the dining hall, through the long winding hallways filled with paintings and branches interwoven into the pillars standing in the middle of the large hallways. The floors were made of marble, in intricate patterns, but the floors were not cold; they were surprisingly warm. Faramir wondered if they were kept warm because some of the elves wandered throughout places with no shoes on their feet. Several serving elves walked past them, bowing slightly to the housemaster as they passed, none of which were wearing boots. Their feet were bare; it was another indicator of how connected they were with nature. Faramir suddenly felt silly for wearing his boots on his feet.
By the time Faramir was finished with his tour, he was led to some chambers. Elrond led him halfway down one hall before stopping. Faramir turned to look at the great elf, wondering why they had stopped. Elrond extended a hand toward the doorway.
“These are your chambers, Faramir,” Elrond said. “Welcome home, once again. I trust that you will be comfortable here; all of your belongings are already inside, and my assistant should have already drawn a hot bath for you. It will feel quite comfortable after your long journey.” Faramir started to get misty eyes again, having never been cared for like this before. Elrond understood, and gave the boy another rare smile. He leaned down and kissed the young human on the forehead.
“Sleep well, little one. Rest. And I will see you in the morning.” And with that, Elrond turned and went back in the direction from which they’d come.
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