|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2007-08-08 14:17:00
|Entry tags:||lotr fic in his brothers shadow, lotr fic stewards|
LotR fic: In His Brother's Shadow, ch. 1: Meetings [Faramir, general]
Title: In His Brother's Shadow
Chapter 1, "Meetings"
Characters: Faramir, Gandalf, Denethor, Boromir, OCs
Summary: At Henneth Annûn, Faramir mentioned that he had first met Gandalf as a boy. That time must have been a turning point in his life.
Note: This was the first fanfic I ever wrote.
Faramir put down his quill pen and sighed. Master Golasgil had assigned him an essay on "the causes and results of the removal of the King's House to Minas Anor in T.A. 1640," and his hand was beginning to ache from writing so long.
The early afternoon sunlight was slanting in through the south-facing window, illuminating each grain of dust drifting through the air. Faramir stifled a yawn. "I've finished, Master Golasgil," he said politely to his teacher, who was dozing at the end of the great oaken table.
"Oh, er, yes," Golasgil replied, coming awake with a start and reaching for the sheaf of parchment Faramir was pushing towards him. "Well, then, go along to arms practice and I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"No, not tomorrow," protested the boy. "Boromir is coming back from leading the raids against the Orcs across the Anduin River sometime today, and you said that I could have tomorrow off to see my brother before he leaves again."
"Of course, of course. Well, then, the day after. Be sure that you find time to read through the annals dealing with the reign of Telumehtar Umbardacil before then, and we'll discuss his strategies in Umbar against the Corsairs." Golasgil nodded towards the shelf that held the books and scrolls for Faramir's studies.
"Yes, Master Golasgil," Faramir said obediently, pushing his chair under the table and leaving the room quickly, before he could be given any more homework to do.
Outside in the stone corridor, he paused to think. Boromir would most likely not return for hours yet, so he might as well go on to arms practice. At least he was getting better at swordplay, slowly. Swordmaster Hallas no longer shook his head and winced every time he looked at Faramir, although words of praise were still few and far between.
I am getting better, Faramir reminded himself. I am, I will be as good as my brother someday.
Secretly, though, he doubted it. He was honest enough with himself to know that his greatest strength lay in his mind, not his sword arm. But at the age of fourteen, he also knew that he would not reach his full growth for years yet, and that by training he could become good enough to serve Gondor without dishonor, if perhaps without the distinction that Boromir had already achieved at nineteen.
And at least, Master Golasgil thinks well of my understanding of military strategy and political maneuverings, and that should help me when I must take command, Faramir comforted himself.
He turned around and trotted down the stone steps. Passing through the great bronze doors of the Steward's House, he headed towards the armories, where Hallas was invariably to be found in the afternoons, supervising the maintenance of the stores of weapons and armor kept there.
"Early for once, young Faramir?" Hallas greeted him. "Now, then, let's have you run twice around the yard to warm up a bit before you practice those thrusts we were working on yesterday. And mind you bind up your wrist first, it'll help keep you from letting it bend whenever you make contact."
As Faramir dashed obediently off, Hallas commented to the soldier helping him check helms for rust, "He'll do well, the lad will, once he stops thinking about every move and just lets it go naturally."
"But not like his brother?"
"No," Hallas chuckled, "he'll never outstrip Boromir on the practice field. But that'll do. We only need one to lead Gondor."</p>
Back in his own room at sunset, Faramir splashed water over his face and chest to wash off the worst of the sweat and grime that covered him from his workout. His practice had run late and he had no time for a proper bath before dinner.
"How are the lessons going, little brother?" came a deep voice from the doorway.
"Boromir!" shouted Faramir. He turned and ran to hug his idol. "Well, I'll never be a great swordsman like you, but Hallas told me today that my stance was passable, and you know from him that's quite high praise."
"I do indeed," returned Boromir. "I can still hear him counting me through the forms and yelling any time I was out of position. But it's worth it, you know," he added seriously. "Gondor lives ever in danger, and it is up to us to keep her safe. So you must do your utmost on the practice field, for the lives of our people depend on our skill at arms."
"Yes, I know," said Faramir soberly. He had heard this since before he could remember, both from Boromir and from their father Denethor.
"But Boromir," he said, brightening, "guess what? I have the whole day off tomorrow from lessons, while you're here. We can spend it together."
Boromir smiled down at him. "Well, some of it at least."
"Why only some?"
"Come now, Faramir, of course I will have other duties to see to. I must arrange for new supplies to be sent to the forts at ruined Osgiliath, for my men there, for instance. But I can at least spend the morning with you, I think. Shall we go to the Hallows tomorrow?"
Faramir nodded ruefully. He wished that for once he and his brother could have a whole day together, but accepted what had to be. And he much preferred to have Boromir's company down Rath Dínen, the Silent Street that led to the Hallows and the House of Stewards, where the Ruling Stewards of Gondor and their wives lay in their stone beds. Since his mother Finduilas had died in 2988, when he was just five, he remembered her only vaguely, but went regularly to visit her tomb as a proper obligation. Denethor approved of such filial respect, and sometimes Faramir felt that this was one of the few ways that he could gain his father's approbation.
"Yes, I haven't been there in several weeks," he said aloud. "I suppose you haven't gone at least since your next-to-last return to Minas Tirith, as the last time you were barely here overnight." He went over to his chest and pulled out a fresh tunic, slipping it over his head.
"No, not since then. Afterwards, perhaps, we can walk along the walls of the Citadel to the Embrasure; you know that I like to go up there as well. One sees such a view of the city, her white walls shining in the clear morning sun, her white banners blowing proudly in the breeze," said Boromir. "So let us go early tomorrow. But now, we had best go and meet our father to dine; I think he has a guest joining us."
Denethor often had guests, but it was unusual for Boromir to remark on them.
"Who would that be?" asked Faramir curiously.
"I'm not certain," was the reply. "The name I heard was Mithrandir, but who that may be I do not know. Come, let us go to table. We are expected in the private chamber tonight."
Faramir followed his brother out of the door. Somehow the name Mithrandir resonated in his mind, as if he had heard it before, or perhaps as if the bearer of it would mean something to him in the future. He was not certain which, but he was certain that this meal would be better than most he shared with his father. Boromir would be there to tell the tales of his successes against the Orcs, so Denethor was likely to be in a good temper.