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Memorial (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

13 November 2010 | 1073 words

Title: Memorial
Author: Susana
Series: Desperate Hours; Set when Eldarion is five or six years old, so about Fourth Age Year 4.
Feedback: please use the form below
Rating: PG-13
Warning: AU.
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s
Beta: None, please forgive the errors.
A/N: In honor of Veteran’s Day


“This for the friends we had of old,
Friends for a lifetime’s love and cheer.
This for the friends who come no more,
Who cannot be among us here.
We’ll not forget, while we’re alive,
These hallowed dead, these deeds of fame.
Where they have gone, we follow soon
Into the darkness and the flame.
Then we shall rise, our duty done,
Freed from all pain and sorrow here;
We’ll leave behind ambition’s sting
And keep alive our honor dear.
And they will stand beside us then,
All whom we loved and hoped to see;
And they shall sing, a glad AMEN,
To cheer that final victory.
Bring me my bow of burning gold;
Bring me my arrows of desire;
Bring me my ship — O clouds unfold —
Bring me my chariot of fire.
We shall not cease our faithful watch,
Nor shall the sword sleep in our hand,
Till we have gone beyond the stars
To join that fair immortal band.”
– A song based on William Blake’s Jerusalem (with additions and modifications by Elizabeth Moon).

Memorial

There were days every year she knew she would cry, anniversaries when she knew she would miss her lost loves, her parents, her friends. Soldiers and victims of the fight her people had waged at dear cost and won, thanks to aid unlooked for.

But this was not an anniversary. Just a bright fall day. And Alphros was just a little boy. A Prince, yes, heir to Elphir, Prince Imrahil’s son and heir to Dol Amroth. But some trick of genetics had given him Boromir’s smile, Boromir’s laugh, and Boromir’s habits, his likes and dislikes, writ miniature.

“It would be the kind of memorial he would best like.” Faramir commented softly beside her, his eyes, too, following the seven year old Prince. “But it hits one like a wave, at times, doesn’t it?”

She winced as Alphros took the most direct path over the obstacles his cousins had arranged, and bowled them over despite their better-thought out approaches to climbing the stacked bales of hay. Alphros was Boromir’s cousin’s son, but like enough unto him to have been Boromir’s own son. Alphros made her recall the babe she had lost to grief, seven months pregnant, a few weeks after Faramir’s brother died.

Nessanie Saelasiel, now the wife of the Lord Ethiron of Eryn Vorn, the King’s spymaster, was no stranger to loving children, though they reminded her of loss. Her first son, Tavan, now a cadet at the academy, had been born eight months after her first husband’s death. But Tavan had not so strongly resembled his father, as Alphros did Boromir. How Nessa wished she could have had Boromir’s son, too. Though she loved her third husband well, and the infant son he had given her. She and Ethiron never would have been more than friends, in a world where Boromir had lived. Dirhael, their son, named for the King’s grandfather, Ethiron’s mentor, never would have been born. But, oh, when Alphros laughed, Nessa missed her second love. He’d brought a joy she’d never known into her life, and when he left, some of that had gone away.

Nessa winced at the same time Faramir did, as Alphros nearly fell from the loft of the barn. But just in time, Tavan’s hand steadied the younger child, and the two swung down together on the rope, landing on top of the bales of hay. Alphros would take risks, always wanting to be first into the fray. It was just his nature, so like that of his cousin.

“Boromir chose to go, Fara-nin.” Nessa gently reminded the man she viewed as her own younger brother. “His choice, and he found joy as well as sorrow in the quest. And pride as well as failure.”

“He was where he would have chosen to be.” Faramir agreed. “If only I could have warned him, before he left, of the ring.”

“You didn’t know.” Nessa pointed out gently.

“I might have guessed.” Faramir shook his head, disgust warring with resignation and grief. “My father…”

“Was both a wise man and a fool.” Nessa said shortly. She had little patience for a man who had so spurned his wife’s last gift. She understood loss. Some bright days, she still cried when Alphros smiled. But she smiled through her tears, and told the cheerful blond boy that he reminded her of his wonderful cousin. And she thanked the Valar that Boromir had left her his brother to love, and Tavasond his son.

When Tavasond died, what kept Nessa from being paralyzed with grief was knowing that he would want her to care for his son and his friends. When Boromir died, and she miscarried his only child, Nessa’s comforts were her son Tavan, whom Boromir had loved like his own, and Boromir’s family. Boromir had been a family man, loving his father despite great obstacles, always there for his brother and his cousins, and his friends, for that matter. The best way to honor her lost love, was to love and care for those he had kept close to his heart. Even when it made her cry.

“Thea and ‘Darion are going to push Alphros into breaking a limb.” Faramir complained, preparing to call out to interrupt the children’s increasingly daring games.

“No, Fara, let me.” Nessa offered. “Little warriors of Gondor’s hay bales,” She called out to the knot of the King’s and Princes’ children, “Let me tell you a story.”

“Hooray!” Alphros cheered, before demanding “Make it a ballad, cousin Ness!”

“Please,” added Eldarion, charmingly. Thea tripped Alphros before he could smack the crown prince for being a kiss-up. Faramir and Nessa shared a bittersweet smile, and Nessa agreed to pull out her harp, if there was no hitting.

“Thank you, Nessa.” The stressed Prince Elphir offered, sincerely grateful. His son Alphros was an only child, and the oldest of Imrahil’s grandchildren. Keeping the bold little boy from tempting disaster as he showed off for his younger cousins was a constant challenge.

“It is my honor.” Nessa replied. Her honor, always, to love her lost Boromir’s kin.

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1 Comment(s)


NB: Comments may contain spoilers!

I really enjoyed that fic. Lovely but bittersweet.

I’ve been reading through all your fics in this verse over the last few weeks and really loving them.

Happy writing!

— Cleefa    15 November 2010, 12:03    #

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