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Tales of the Telcontars (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

19 September 2011 | 56124 words | Work in Progress

Title: Wishes
Author: Susana
Series: Desperate Hours
Feedback: Please use the form below
Rating: PG
Warning: AU.
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s
Summary: Éowyn finds her own children perplexing, and reflects on her own youthful goals.
A/N: The career choice of Éowyn and Faramir’s daughter Haleth is detailed in “The New Recruit,” and in Not My Daughter,. By the time this story takes place, Haleth is done with training and an apprenticeship of sorts, and has been offered a promotion and a commission. Éowyn still isn’t sure about the whole idea, but Haleth is.

Fourth Age Gondor, some time after FO. 34

“Haleth,” Éowyn tried again, “Just because you’ve earned something, because you can have it, doesn’t mean that you must take it. You have other choices.”

Haleth looked carefully at her mother, stirring her tea. “I love you, Nana. But I’m not you. What I planned for, dreamed for, even plotted for when I had to…it is still what I want. I know that I could choose something else, anything else,” Haleth added, stifling a chuckle at her mother’s well-known persistence, “and you and Adar would support me. I appreciate that. I do. But joining the Silent Service, as an officer now rather than just a trainee…it is my choice. It’s always been.”

Éowyn regrouped, “It’s no life. It is…there will be no certainty, my river otter. You will have to be always alert, always on your guard. Please, Haley, reconsider.”

Haleth’s gray gaze was unwavering, “But Nana, it’s the life I want!” She said, sure and soft. She had picked her words carefully; Éowyn was certain.

“Bah.” The white lady said, conceding the point with ill grace, “You are all your father’s children.”

Haleth’s eyes danced. “Not Elion.” She pointed out, “He’s your little healer. And he can’t be subtle to save his life.”

Ecthelion, called Elion, stuck his tongue out at his sister, then laughingly dodged her half-hearted smack. Unsubtle he might be, but ungraceful he was not.

Éowyn smiled at her youngest children, glad to have them both home.

And then Haleth left again, leaving her mother to remember her own wishes, when Éowyn had been so young…

Rohan in T.A. 3018, Meduseld in Edoras

“The wheat harvest was poor in the south.” The cook whispered to her mistress as they pretended to plan the week’s menu’s, “But well enough in the north. If you will, my Lady, I think we should have Lord Cynefrid ‘lose’ some of it on the way to Edoras, and misplace it on a wagon headed south. My…”

A whisper from the door, a faint sensation of cold, a momentary feeling of hopelessness, helplessness…the two women turned their attention in earnest to the menus.

“Gladwine,” Éowyn interrupted, just a bit too loud, “I think tonight’s roast could use garlic. Lots of garlic. It is said to be good for ridding a home of foul ghosts.”

Gladwine hid a satisfied smile, though her eyes remained fearful for her mistress, who taunted the fiend. Gríma, who held their King in thrall.

The whisper faded, a brush of a cloak against a door. Gone, and the kitchen was as it had been. But Éowyn had learned to distrust even the silence, so she waited until late that night.

Late, when those men who were feeding off Gríma’s largesse were drunk and happy, and those men who cursed their inability to aid their King were drunk and depressed. When Gríma himself was occupied, fondling a serving girl. He wanted Éowyn, but he did not yet have the support it would take to force her. He’d tried. They both bore the scars.

But Éowyn still stood against Gríma; carefully, though it did not seem so. Éowyn made herself seem his opposition. She flounced in frustration. Meanwhile, more quietly, she sent those men and women who were not ruined by depression, by Gríma’s dark spell, to Gladwine the cook, and Swidhun the stablemaster. Éowyn watched, she listened, and she marked. It was not easy for her; action rather than reflection was her nature. But being whatever she had to be, whatever she was needed to be, that was also her nature. Éowyn endured.

Late that night, she went to Gladwine to complain that there hadn’t been enough garlic. More quietly, she said, “Not Cynefrid.” Éowyn had seen him tonight, seen defeat in his eyes, “Ask Hild instead. Tell her half the surplus is to go to Aldburg in the Eastfold, and half to the Hornburg in Helm’s Deep. If the winter lingers, they will both see refugees.”

Gladwine nodded, and Éowyn paused. The din from the hall had shifted tone. It was time to to go to the hall, to speak loudly and scornfully of the days when Rohan’s men had fought valiantly against more than their wineskins. To show Gríma her face as his enemy, so that he continued to believe that her open disdain was all he had to fear. So that Gríma watched her, and not Gladwine and Hild, not Swidhund and Anhaga.

Éowyn strode toward the great Hall, wishing with all her might that things were different.

Instead all was whispers, and fear. A defeat by poisoning, by a great man’s falling asleep and failing to see his kingdom fall to darkness.

Not while Éowyn was alive. But she had to be careful; cautious; clever. All things she hated. She wanted to be bold and brave.

But Éowyn would be what she had to be, for Rohan to keep functioning. Long past when hope died, Éowyn would endure. But she wished….for a clear enemy, on a field of battle. One she could attack, and if fate was kind, even defeat.

Fourth Age Gondor, some time after FO. 34

Then the walkers had come, with the wizard who had been her husband’s friend, and Éowyn’s uncle was freed. The re-routed wheat fed them in the Hornburg, and Helm’s Deep held again.

After, Éowyn had made her own wish come true through deception. And through the good offices of men like Anhaga and Swidhund, who remembered how she had protected them all during Gríma’s reign. Remembered, and did not bother to mention to Éomer or Théoden-King that the White Lady had not remained in Rohan.

Then Éowyn saw battle, and and found that she longed for peace. But Haleth was different, and her battles would be different. A mother could only hope she would come home safe, every time.

“Don’t worry, Nana.” Elion reassured Éowyn with a gentle squeeze to her hand and a kiss to her cheek, “I packed her extra healing herbs and bandages, and Haley’s careful. She’ll be fine.”

Éowyn hugged him gratefully, and wondered when the youngest of her babies had grown so wise. “You’re becoming so tall, Elion-mine.” Éowyn observed in wonder, “Soon you will be at the academy, and the twins not long after you.” It made Éowyn feel old to think that Eldarion’s sons would soon enter training, though if fate was kind she would have at least twenty years, maybe even forty, before she was called to Mandos’ halls.

Elion straightened, and Éowyn saw for the first time a shade of herself in her youngest son, the cheerful, oft-indulged baby of their family.

“I’m not going to the academy.” Elion said firmly, “I want to keep learning healing from you and Uncle Elladan and Theli. I only have at most a century and a half to spend as a healer, and I don’t want to waste any time falling off of horses and learning to hit things with a glorified stick.”

“Ai, Bema.” Éowyn murmured, shocked. Mustering a smile for her determined, worried son, Éowyn said lightly, “Well, that should liven up our next visit to Minas Tirith,” then added firmly, “you should tell your Adar.”

Elion’s worried eyes decided Éowyn. She would fight for him, in this.

“Do you think Ada will understand?” Elion asked doubtfully. Faramir was a good listener, but at Elion’s age he’d already been several years at the academy, and even in peace time Faramir still spent part of every day with bow or sword.

“I think….” Éowyn paused, “I think he will want you to have choices that he did not have. Do not fear, Elion, we will work something out. We may all need to be patient with eachother, and willing to compromise,” Éowyn added firmly. Compromise wasn’t Elion’s best skill. “But we will figure it out. Do not fret, my dear little healer.”

After Faramir came home, and they had retired to the privacy of their bedchamber, Éowyn complained, “Your youngest daughter is impossible, and your youngest son is going to shock poor Aragorn when next they meet.”

Faramir’s eyes laughed as stole a kiss, “My youngest children, eh? Nothing to do with their mother, who was such a sweet and biddable lass, when she was young.”

Éowyn huffed a laugh as she relaxed against him, “I was what I had to be, until I could learn what I wished to be.”

“They’ll be fine, love.” Faramir reassured her, though she could tell he was worried about Haley and curious about Elion, “And Adar could use a shock. Our twin nephews have been visiting Dol Amroth, plaguing Alphros all this past month. I think Aragorn misses them.” Faramir massaged his wife’s shoulders, relaxing her further, as he added, “Besides, Ada survived me…I’m sure he can handle Elion’s latest notion, too. Whatever it is.”

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6 Comment(s)

Oh these are wonderful. Eldarion is such an astute child :)

— Maria    Thursday 14 October 2010, 1:28    #

A very interesting beginning. I look forward to reading more!

— Ria    Thursday 14 October 2010, 3:05    #

I love these father-son moments, they’re so perfect and heartwarming.

— Anna    Monday 20 December 2010, 17:55    #

Just lovely!

— Linda    Tuesday 11 January 2011, 9:58    #

This is so lovely to read! It’s light and bright and makes me smile or chuckle during reading. Very enjoyable, I hope you update soon.


— Aneyrin    Wednesday 2 February 2011, 15:56    #

Cute, cute, cute story.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

— lille mermeid    Monday 16 May 2011, 15:50    #

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