Five Senses

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One Title: Your Story

A Fairy Tale, Middle-Earth style

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Friends in Small Places

Kingly Valour


Pain

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything of the creations of the great Professor. All recognizable characters and events belong to his heirs and the Tolkien Estate. I wrote this for pleasure, not money.

Author’s notes: Many thanks to Quihi for beta reading and my wonderful friend MusicalDonnola for her encouragement.

Summary: Ivorwen reflects shortly after Aragorn’s birth.





Slowly, outside the small house, the afternoon had descended into evening, and the evening into night. The first spring rays of Sun at the apex of her daily course had been received with gratitude by the earth still trapped in the frost of the frigid winter and everywhere little streams had begun to gush, signalling the beginning of the thaw. The hours of the decline of the Sun had been pleasantly warm, and the warmth had remained in the dark after the sunset. Finally, the time had begun to flow again in the house too, and while her daughter rested after her long labour, Ivorwen had remained awake near the cradle of the newborn. As a draught entered from the window and made the flame of the candle on the table in front of her flutter, the woman put back her work in the basket along with her sewing instruments and directed her glance to the sleeping baby. The stern lines of her Númenorean features softened at the sight of the child born a few hours ago. The son of her daughter. Her grandson. The joy she had felt at the moment of his birth had been incomparable, surpassed in marvel only by the sensation of the tiny fingers grabbing her hand. In that moment, Gilraen's eyes had sparkled despite the weariness and Ivorwen thought with a bit of pride about her daughter's strength in bringing safely into the world the next Heir of Isildur. Through the suffering and pain that had bent many women before her, she had given new hope to the Dúnedain.

Suddenly, a sound brought her back to the present. The little one had begun to turn slightly in the cradle, as if his still peaceful slumber had been disturbed by something. Ivorwen got up quickly and took the child gently into her arms. She cradled him, speaking softly with reassuring voice, until his little fists unclenched again. She caressed him lightly. Rest peacefully, little one. Eärendil shines on us tonight and he will drive away all the bad dreams. And, if nothing unexpected had happened, he was lighting Arathorn's way home. She knew that the man would have liked to be at his beloved's side in this moment long waited for by both of them, but intelligence had come of bands of Orcs penetrating more boldly in the lands near the Angle, and the Captain couldn't neglect the defence of the Dúnedain villages in that region, included the one in which his family lived. With help from the Valar, he would return safe and sound this time too and be able to finally embrace his son. And, Ivorwen remembered with solemnity, his heir. Even if he had just entered this world, the little one had already a huge responsibility as the next Heir of Isildur. And something inside her said her that this child was destined to accomplish something great.

Her foresight appeared rarely, but lately her nights had been troubled. She had seen dreams of an unnameable hope flowering in a marble courtyard in the form of a young White Tree, the crown of a queen among cities. But this vision was concealed by a dark and menacing haze. In the dream, she ventured into it, and from behind the wall of darkness she could hear shouts and sounds of battle. The land under her feet was rocky and arduous, and as she tried to make her way through the boulders, clouds of dark fog swirled around her and every breath made her more exhausted; in the undefined space around her there were loneliness, pain and fear that suffocated her. She walked on and on, but she couldn't escape the wicked fumes, and at last she fell and remained immobile, while the air continued to swirl in dark vortexes. She almost despaired, when suddenly she saw in front of her a light coming from above. It was white, similar to how the dew of Telperion must have appeared in the lost ages before the rising of the Sun and the Moon, and her gaze was drawn by it. Slowly, she raised her head and saw, high above, clearly as if the dark haze was helpless against its light, a wondrous ship: white, with oars of gold and silver sails and a star on its prow, guided by a tall and fair man. Next to him, a lady with black tresses and ivory skin held high a black standard studded with gems and, near the vessel, flew a white bird. Its singing penetrated her heart and gave her new strength, and hope was born anew inside her. And she walked on, as the light of the ship illuminated her path through the labyrinth of darkness. She hadn't spoken with anyone about this vision, because not all the Dúnedain fully believed in the survival of the gift in these late days and even she didn't know the its full potential: who could know what she had truly seen and what had been born by her most secret hopes? She couldn't know, but she knew that the one born on the first of March wasn't an ordinary child. She already had thought of a name she would suggest to Arathorn and Gilraen: Aragorn, kingly valour. Not in honour of his ancestor, but to represent a hope seen in a dream. Slowly, so as not to wake him, she placed him in the cradle. Much pain awaited the son of Arathorn in his life, but he would not be alone. Beyond all the tests and sufferings, the promise of a new blooming of a sapling of Nimloth shed its silver light; with it could finally be achieved the long awaited peace for the Dúnedain of the North and the South united again as one people under the Silver Crown.

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