15 July 2010 | 120215 words | Work in Progress
Title: War of the Wizards
Pairing(s): Faramir & No Pairing
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Tolkien.
Please let me know what you think of this story by leaving a comment.
This is number seven in the series that started with Grief, Elf, Wasps and an Angry Wizard and Stubborn Stewards and Bright Red Paddles, Human King, Elven King & One Stubborn Steward, Sweet Revenge or Let Licking Dogs Lie and Elves, Orcs and the Road to Recovery.
Added: Chapter 52
“Faramir Thranduilion!” the King of Gondor’s voice could be heard bellowing from inside his apartments. “You are dead meat! Do you hear me! Dead meat! I know you are hiding somewhere close, you sneaky, conniving little pizzle of a wizard!”
Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, King Thranduil of Mirkwood and the elven King’s Seneschal, Maglor, stopped their approach to the King of Gondor’s quarters, stunned momentarily by the King’s bellowed threats. Elven laughter, which Thranduil recognised as being that of his son Legolas and the Elrondion twins and the deeper laughter of a dwarf, which could only be Gimli, the elven King surmised, was heard coming from within the King’s apartments.
“Whatever has that boy done now?” Imrahil intoned as he looked at Thranduil and Maglor as if the elves may be able to shed some light on the situation.
“Knowing my son, it could be anything,” Thranduil sighed as his Seneschal shrugged. “I know that he was not pleased with Estel yesterday although he would not tell me why. There is only one way to find out, mellon-nin,” the elf added after a moment as he gestured towards the handle of the closed door.
Taking a deep breath, Imrahil pushed the handle down tentatively and opened the door. The scene that greeted the trio was chaotic to say the least; nothing was how or where it should have been. The giant bookcases that lined the walls of king’s private reading room were denuded of all books, which were stacked neatly in rows along the rafters in the high ceiling above them, and were standing on their heads. Lounge chairs that normally sat around the fireplace were balancing precariously one on top of the other in the middle of the room. The old and extremely heavy wooden desk that usually sat near the window which looked out onto the King and Steward’s private garden was standing on its side with the draws, which had been removed, laid very neatly around the upturned desk.
Legolas and Gimli were near the fireplace howling with laughter, barely able to keep their feet they were laughing so hard. The twins were in a similar condition leaning back against the frames on either side of the large glassed doors that led out onto the balcony that overlooked the garden. Aragorn was pacing around the room, spluttering and fuming, his hair and upper-body dripping wet. Imrahil, Thranduil and Maglor stared in stunned astonishment as they realised the source of the water dripping down the King’s face. Three large glass tumblers, one filled with water and two empty, floated above Aragorn’s head, following him wherever he went. As they watched, the third glass tipped spilling its contents over the fuming King.
“I will kill him!” Aragorn bellowed for at least the third time, water spraying from his mouth as all three now empty glasses flew over to the fireplace before resting gently on the top of the mantelpiece.
This, unfortunately, proved too much for the younger elves and dwarf for the twins slid down the door frames landing on their rear ends with very unelven thumps and howling with laughter, whilst Legolas fell to the floor rolling around holding his sides, tears of mirth streaming down his face as he too laughed. Gimli fell backwards and into the fireplace, which fortunately was not being used at the time, causing soot to fan out around him and into the air.
“Oh, my!” Imrahil exclaimed quietly his eyes as wide as saucers; a look that Thranduil thought highlighted the resemblance between the Prince of Dol Amroth and Faramir.
Only millennia of sitting court in Mirkwood allowed the elven King to maintain a straight face, although the twinkle in his eyes spoke volumes. Maglor’s eyes narrowed in suspicion, he turned and ran from the room like a hound scenting the hunt. Aragorn was just about to let loose another round of threats when Gandalf entered the room. The wizard froze mid-step though his eyes swept slowly around the room taking in the chaotic scene.
“Redecorating?” Gandalf asked in a mildly interested way. This again was too much for Legolas who had just managed to get his laughter under control. Rolling over onto his stomach the elf slapped the floor with his hand as he cackled with renewed laughter, garnering a glare from Aragorn. The twins sitting on the floor on either side of the balcony doors and Gimli, still sitting in the fireplace, were likewise afflicted. “You are dripping,” the wizard noted, waving a hand vaguely in the direction of the King’s head and upper body.
“I thought I would take a bath,” the King retorted in a quietly dangerous tone.
“It is generally accepted behaviour, son of Elrond, to remove ones clothing before bathing,” Gandalf replied in the wickedly obtuse manner he sometimes assumed usually to the annoyance of anyone so subjected.
“Duly noted. I will take your suggestion on board,” Aragorn snarled, exasperation increasing by the moment.
“What have you done to my wizardling this time?” Gandalf asked in a slightly amused voice.
“W-What I have done?” the King spluttered staring at the wizard in astonishment. “Cast your eyes about Gandalf, this was not my doing!”
“I have told you before Aragorn, it is not good policy to upset a wizard,” Gandalf scolded the King, further inciting Aragorn’s annoyance with his Steward.
“Oh far be it from me to attempt to protect the little pizzle,” Aragorn replied indignantly as he grabbed the towel that Imrahil had retrieved from his bathing chamber and set about drying his hair.
“Protect him – how?” Thranduil asked.
“He sought permission to ride to Osgiliath to check on the troops stationed there, which I refused on the grounds of his safety.” Both Imrahil and Thranduil winced, knowing what Faramir’s reaction was likely to have been, confirmed by the King’s next words. “He sought to wheedle and argue with me until I threatened to blister his arse with ‘Faramir’s Bane’ upon which he muttered some very choice words that would have had him over Maglor’s lap instantly, turned on his heels and stormed out. Not long after I came here to this…” Aragorn said waving his hand vaguely at the chaos around him.
“Please understand Elessar, I know that foxling can be stubborn and quick of temper,” Imrahil began, eliciting a very loud snort from the King at the Prince’s knack for understatement. “But he is feeling caged and is unused to residing in Minas Tirith for lengthy periods let alone without the freedom to come and go as he pleases. More often than not Denethor banished his youngest after only a few days in residence unless he was recovering at the houses of healing or if Boromir was also in residence. The forests of Ithilien were more home to Faramir than Minas Tirith ever was.”
Aragorn sighed as he considered the Prince’s words.
“I do understand and… “ Aragorn replied, the next words halted by the sound of silver trumpets heralding the Steward of Gondor. “I will kill him,” the King bellowed as he turned to retrieve his recalcitrant Steward.
“Nay, Elessar,” Imrahil’s somewhat perplexed words halted the King momentarily. “They are signalling the return of the Steward.
“Return?” Aragorn exclaimed in puzzlement as he made his way to the steps at the entrance to the palace.
“Oh, ion-nin,” Thranduil groaned in a long sigh as he shook his head in exasperation at what he could see in the distance.
“What, mellon-nin? What do your elf eyes see?” the King asked as he strained to see.
“My son on foot being escorted by my Seneschal and a human soldier, both on horseback,” the King groaned again softly at his son’s dark expression as the human trudged up to the highest level of the city.
It seemed forever to those standing at the top of the stairs that led down to the palace courtyard before the Steward appeared through its entrance. Faramir, looking like a very dark thundercloud, was followed by Maglor and the Lieutenant whom Aragorn recognised as the one who had accompanied Finrod in search of signs of Saruman.
Aragorn, Imrahil and Thranduil descended the steps whilst Legolas, the twins, Gimli and Gandalf remained at the top, all the better to watch what was likely to be a very entertaining confrontation.
“That is quite enough out of you, pen-neth,” Maglor admonished his young charge who had been muttering curses all the way from the city gates. “You are in enough trouble as it is and do not want to be facing me after Estel has finished with you.”
“Maglor, Lieutenant,” Aragorn greeted each in turn and then turned his full attention to his Steward. “How came you by my Steward and where did you find him?” the King asked of the two still astride their horses but with eyes only for Faramir who glared at a point just over Aragorn’s right shoulder.
“When I saw the condition of your reading chamber,” Maglor paused staring intently at the back of his young charge’s head as he dismounted, “I suspected that it might have been a diversionary tactic on the part of my young charge, so I went down to the city gates to lay in wait and would be there still if I had not chanced upon the Lieutenant here. As an Ithilien Ranger the Lieutenant is well versed in the covert tactics employed by one Faramir, Steward of Gondor,” the elf continued.
Faramir’s eyes narrowed as he contemplated what he would like to do to the overzealous soldier.
“Foxling,” Imrahil warned recognising his nephew’s expression.
“When I explained what I was about the Lieutenant suggested that, in all likelihood, the ‘Captain’ had already made his escape,” Maglor resumed the tale. “We found him a short while later with a company of soldiers, headed for Osgiliath.”
“Afoot?” Aragorn asked aghast.
“Nay, he was mounted but we thought is best to divest him of his horse before proceeding here. He stubbornly refused to ride double with either of us,” Maglor said as he looked askance at the young Steward who continued to glare fixedly over the King’s shoulder.
Aragorn moved closer to his Steward so that his next words would be audible only to Imrahil and the elves closest.
“You my young Steward can remove yourself to my reading chamber, put it to rights and await my return,” the King commanded in a low growl.
Stiffly and with annoyance showing in every step, the Steward did as he was bid. Thranduil looked upon his son with sympathy, knowing how it felt to be caged by one’s responsibilities. The elven King did not follow his son, judging that Faramir needed the space and time to regain his composure. Thranduil also noted with approval that Legolas and the others did the same when Faramir had reached the top of the stairs.
Shaking his head at the retreating form of his Steward, Aragorn turned his attention to the mounted soldier.
“You have our gratitude Lieutenant,” the King said smiling up at the soldier.
“I am pleased to be of assistance, sire. The Captain there is the most gifted commander I have ever served with. There was many a time that we would have perished, outnumbered and ill equipped as we were, but for the Captain’s cunning. He always managed to turn that sure loss into a victory, until Osgiliath that is – not even the Captain could save us from that one. But a challenge and trial that one is also I am afraid, sire. Always conscious of and vigilant towards the safety of others but absolutely oblivious to his own. Damrod and Anborn shouted and cursed themselves hoarse, despairing of ever getting the young Captain to think of his own safety. And Mablung… well let me just say that the man had a more effective way of dealing the Captain’s stubbornness,” the Lieutenant finished obliquely.
“I thank you again, Lieutenant and ask that you continue to look out for my Steward,” Aragorn said in way of a dismissal.
“That I will, sire. Have no fear,” the soldier said as he turned his mount around and made his way out of the courtyard and down to the Garrison, chuckling to himself at the continued antics of the Captain. Good luck to them all in keeping that one in line, he thought as he continued down the levels of the city.
Turning back to the palace Aragorn took a deep calming breath that did not work.
“Now, I must needs attend to my Steward!” the King growled as he began ascending the stairs.
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