HASA Birthday Cards 2004
8. August 2004
Anything involving Denethor doing something unexpected. Anything involving a dragon, as that is my zodiac sign. If you can put them all together, I will stand in permanent awe of your talents.
Companions - Cheryl
Laughter reaches my ears, so carefree facing what lies before us. A smile turns my mouth. I have not known beings such as them before and curiosity settles over me.
Frodo, Ringbearer. His strength will be tested. The weight of his burden already shows on his face.
Samwise, never far from Frodo. Loyalty is his strongest trait.
Pippin, happiness undampened by the Shadow. His joy reminds us all why we are fighting.
Merry, steadfast friend, a trait unexpected in one so young.
Four small periannath sit before me, so similar but different too. Our Fellowship is better with their presence.
News from the North - Arandil
“Father!” Denethor burst into the citadel, thrusting leaves of parchment at a frowning Steward. “Read the news the messenger has brought from Lake-Town!”
Ecthelion shuffled through the four pages of the message, skimming the words and mumbling quietly to himself. Suddenly he broke into a wide smile.
“This indeed is good news!” He handed the letter back to Denethor. “That old worm was interfering with our shipments of Dorwinion from the north.”
“Shall we have a celebration, then?” Denethor’s smile rivaled that of any young boy faced with the prospect of a party.
Ecthelion ruffled his son’s hair. “Most certainly.”
Hide and Seek - Vistula
“Four…three…two…one…Ready or not, here I come!”
The child was breathless, searching every nook with eager eyes. He dashed hither and yon, skirting tables – peering under benches, leaving no stone unturned. Giggling he rounded the great chair, not once but twice.
As frustration turned childish glee to pouting tears, he spied it. A careless toe beneath the dragon tapestry. His quarry found at last.
“Found you!” he cried, pulling the drape aside.
Caught up in a father’s arms, he squealed in joy and planted kisses upon a well-loved face.
And Denethor smiled down upon his youngest son and said: “Well played Faramir.”
A different kind of dragon - Tanaqui
For six and forty years he was alone. Then fate smiled kindly and brought companionship. Sweet times, yet joy was not diminished when two years gifted a third. Now comes a fourth to add to his delight.
“I will fight dragons for him,” his older son exclaims, recalling tales told while mother laboured and father waited anxiously. He waves the toy sword received for his last birthday – rarely out of his hand – in dangerous fashion.
Finduilas laughs merrily. Denethor frowns, and holds his younger son more tightly. If only all the dragons we face could be despatched with a sword.
"Four is Enough" - Marta
Fatty rested his hand on the brick of the tunnel and ducked his head, watching as they disappeared into the mist. Four pairs of feet plodding tiredly across grass still wet with dew. Soon to be gone forever.
Should he make it five, he wondered?
He could call out, tell them to wait for him. He could dash to the house, be back within the hour. He could share their road.
What held him back? Bogey-stories of dragons and goblins? No. His heart beat quickly, but not from fear.
Four was enough. He had his own path to tread.
An Unexpected Gift - Marta
Gandalf walked around the old horse, examining her. Running his hand down one leg, he sighed as he felt the bump on her knee. So you have been ridden hard.
Taking a carrot from his pocket, he held it out invitingly. Her lips caressed Gandalf's palm; soon the carrot was devoured.
She is a poor beast indeed. But still... He saw that some fire still burned in her eyes. Her spirit thrived, if her body faltered. And he was not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Turning, he nodded at Denethor. "Thank you. 'Tis an unexpected gift, but welcome all the same."
Chasing and Burg'ling - Marta
"...That's what started all the mischief," the Gaffer rambled on, hands on his hips, "... chasing Black Men up mountains, though what for he don't make clear...
Frodo grimaced and took a long pull on his tankard. Even after all his adventures, that tongue still withered his ears.
"...Just like your uncle, burg'ling dragons..."
Burgling... burgling dragons?
Frodo wiped away snorted ale. But those words held truth. Bilbo had burgled dragons. A regular there-and-back-again adventure. And now... now Bilbo was safe. Free.
"... and ruined my taters!"
Frodo smiled at his neighbour, chuckling. "I shall do my best to make amends."
A Long Tradition of Ancient Lore - Elena Tiriel
"Your tutor reports that you dislike History, my son. Why?"
Faramir flushed. "It is dull!" He recited in a sing-song voice:
"2002: Minas Ithil falls,
"True, but what happened in 2040?"
A puzzled frown.
"That is when Fram of the Éothéod slew Scatha the Worm."
"A dragon?" Faramir gasped. "He slew a dragon? How? Where? Who was he? What does Éothéod mean? Why call it a worm?"
"You will find your answers in this book about our valiant allies, the Rohirrim..." He stood to leave. "But, since you despise history..."
"May I read it, Father? Please?"
We in the house of Denethor know much ancient lore by long tradition...
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 4, Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Secret Fire - Alawa
There were to be fireworks! And this wizard knew their secrets! Though Denethor did not imagine he would share his tricks with him.
"So, what will it be?" his grandfather's guest enquired. "Tall ships? Seven stars? Or perhaps … a dragon?"
Now that was tempting! Yet dragons hoarded their gold and this was mettarë after all. Moreover, four-year-old eyes glimpsed a deeper magic about Mithrandir; something that somehow … sparked. So when he remembered the dead branches and sad fountain, his choice was made.
"The White Tree in bloom," he declared.
Mithrandir smiled. "Yes, I think that might be arranged," he said.
Elvenesse: I'd love a drabble about the ending of the world. Or if that's not inspiring, I'd like a coming of age drabble, since I'll finally be able to legally read the stuff I've been reading for the last four or five years.
Again - Arandil
It started with music and thus it shall end. Trumpets sound. Darkness falls. A weary world whispers its last. In the nothingness a single voice breathes new life. Slowly others join, weaving their own strength and beauty into the song. They sing of the world that was and the world that shall be, creating and destroying at once.
Good does not exist without evil; nor pleasure without pain. There can not be one without the other. Those who have experienced long life shall now know death. And those who have known death; theirs is eternal life.
Ending and beginning are one.
Destiny - Vistula
“Come ion-nìn, we have much to discuss.”
“Today you are twenty, Estel; a time for coming of age among men. Today the telling of your story will change the course of your future.”
At length Elrond spoke of heritage and duty, the details slow, unrushed. Then gifted with the trappings of his destiny, the young man was left for a time to ponder - alone.
Girding on a new name and the shards of a broken sword, he surrendered hope with a look of grim determination.
It wasn’t the end of the world, but it certainly seemed like it.
Destiny - Cheryl
Imladris’ pure air fills his senses. All the same, yet everything changed in a mere hour. Isildur’s Heir… Chieftain of the Dunedain…. His hand settles on the hilt of the broken sword. His destiny lies before him like the many endless roads he walked. He need only step upon it to embrace his fate.
Arnor… the old kingdom. His kingdom. He must know this land of his ancestors…his people.
“You are going?” A quiet voice turns his head.
“I must find my destiny, Adar. It is not here.”
A warm hand settles on his shoulder. “Namarie, ion nin. Journey well.”
powzie: My keyword is "Ranger." I would also love anyone from my triad: Hama, Hirgon or Halbarad (or any of the other heroes from the long list of those who had an unlucky "H" name.)
Hope - Vistula
He sings, and the stars weep for his story of destiny unavoidable – the fate of a future king.
No king he seems now, this Ranger, clothed in a life spent in the wild. No pillow comforts his uncrowned head; no fine linens wrap his road-worn body. Yet he is content.
He wears the weight of his age and the ages of those who have come before him etched upon his troubled brow.
Cousin Bilbo told me his childhood name was “Hope.”
How fitting, for out of this ring of consuming darkness, he has given hope to me.
Life On A Level—Dwimordene
As a child, Háma had climbed upon the roof to lie watching the stars. And as a young man sweaty from sword lessons, he'd pour the water over his head for relief, and stand there, head thrown back. How very like a dome the sky always seemed then, and he centered beneath its height, with all the rest falling splendid about him.
But before the dawn call, Háma looks out, not up. He sees no dome: the center holds no more, for the world is not for one boy unfolded, but he's for the world, as men cry: Forth, Éorlingas!
Bowl/horizon concept borrowed from Eric O. Springsted, "Will and Order: The Moral Self in Augustine's De Libero Arbitrio"; Augustinian Studies 29, 1998: p. 92
Kindred - Alawa
Gilraen ignored their mutterings; her husband would understand. Arathorn might be Chieftain but he was a Ranger first and knew how to succour his own.
The little one slept, content for the first time in days. With rest, the healer thought, her cousin would recover; enough to feed the babe again. Until that time Gilraen had plenty and to spare.
She carried her guest over to the cradle. "Sorry, Halbarad," she whispered, "you'll have to share until another bed can be found."
Happily the latest Heir of Isildur cared little about his dignity and went on sleeping undisturbed.
A Ranger's Life -- Forodwaith
The open sky your roof and the moon for night-candle. A grey cloak for bedding, shelter and concealment all alike.
For weeks you hear no voice other than the eternal wind scouring the dry grass on the hills. No eyes meet yours but the opaline glare of wolves just outside the ring of firelight. Rough wool, sodden leather, chilled steel are all that your fumbling, chilblained fingers touch.
Your reward? A sullen stare from a fat innkeeper as he grudgingly draws you a pint; respectable women pulling their skirts and children aside as you pass them in the muddy lanes.
Eruwestial: I'd love anything with Legolas and Gimli. Slash preferred, but friendship is fine. THANKS so much!
Much to Learn - Arandil
“Behold the magnificence!”
I see the Elf arch his eyebrow, a look of disdain crossing his face. “Master Dwarf,” he says, “I see closed-in space; dark, cold and devoid of life. Where do you look, my friend, that you see magnificence?”
I reach up, taking his shoulder in my hand, smiling at the fact that such a far-sighted individual can miss the beauty right in front of him. “Look again. I see rainbows of light sparkling around every corner.”
He looks at me and smiles. “We still have much to learn about each other.”
“Aye, my friend, that we do.”
Sweet Comfort - Vistula
Thigh presses thigh as flaxen hair mingles with copper strands. The dwarf’s strong arm circles a slender waist, pulling them together – perhaps too closely, holding much tighter than the mount’s speed warrants. The warm and hardened hand’s absent touch is a rough caress.
The elf notices but he does not speak, does not lean away. The body’s press against his back has become a sweet comfort on their long journey. It is a reassuring presence, unbidden though welcome in the day – desired, but not pursued, under cloak of darkness.
Yet, as stars bloom overhead his heart whispers, ‘Yes, perhaps tonight.’
Uineniel: I'd love to see anything about Aragorn telling someone else a story. If that isn't inspiring, how about a character turning 13 (as I will too).
Of Dwarves and Men - Arandil
“You did what?”
Aragorn chuckled at Arwen’s startled outburst. “I tossed him. He asked me to and I did.” He shook his head, thinking back to the moment in question, glad that he could now laugh about it despite the circumstances surrounding it. “He would not have made it otherwise.”
Arwen face remained neutral, but Aragorn could see her eyes dancing. “I’m sure his pride was injured, nonetheless.”
“It was. In fact, do you know what he said as I reached for him?” Aragorn’s eyes twinkled as Arwen shook her head. “‘Don’t tell the elf.’”
Arwen’s only response was laughter.
Legacy - Vistula
“Ada, why are you sad?”
Aragorn turned to look at his son who stood before him tall and proud. He was a boy turning thirteen and well on his way to becoming a man.
“I was thinking, Eldarion,” he admitted, “of how swiftly the years pass. So much has already faded from memory. I wonder, when you are king, how much of what brought you to that end will already be forgotten.”
“But I will never forget your stories of Frodo and the Ring, Ada. I promise, they will live on through me.”
“I know.” And smiling, Aragorn nodded, appeased.
For powzie and Uineniel:
Halbarad - paranoidangel
"Who was he?"
Aragorn and Eldarion had spent many nights going looking at the list of names of those who had died fighting in the Ring War. As they went Aragorn described the actions of each of them: why they were heroes and how they came to die. He was confident their stories would inspire Eldarion, although Aragorn hoped his son would never have to face a war as desperate as the one he himself had.
"What did he do?" Eldarion asked.
Aragorn looked to where he pointed and saw the name written. He told him, "He was my friend."
Elboron, handsome in his first Court dress, sat opposite the dark-eyed Haradric princess. The shy thirteen-year-olds had apparently discovered some means of communicating, for now they were laughing, eyes flashing, hands gesturing.
“May we be excused, Father? It is a clear night, and we wish to compare the names of the stars, and their stories.” Hand in hand, they slipped out into the garden.
The stars, and their stories. In years to come, their memories of a single starlit evening might build a bridge of story and song more powerful and enduring than any emissary’s words or gifts.
Kristi: I would like anything with Eowyn and Faramir in it. You name the time period, General or Mature audience.
Consent - Arandil
“You are sure he will not be angry? I have seen the man in battle and do not wish to provoke him.”
Éowyn’s laughter dispelled some of Faramir’s apprehension. “Do not worry. He will be pleased.” She turned to smile at her brother as he approached, but he went straight for Faramir.
“Is it true that you mean to wed my sister?”
Seeing the steel in the other man’s eyes, Faramir could only nod. He was so startled when Éomer vigorously grasped his shoulder that he almost missed the slight smile that had appeared on Éomer’s face. “Then it would be fitting for me to call you brother.”
Anticipation of Love - Vistula
Thrum… thrum… thrum…
Is it the sound of hoof beats or the crescendo of a heart beating in anticipation of love? Pacing the parapet, eyes scan the road, searching eagerly for a rider’s approach.
There it is – a flash, the glint of sun on harness.
Expectation starts the heart leaping, fire burning in the belly, passion flaring like the kiss of the late summer rays on a joyous face. Running feet skip every other step to reach the courtyard, racing the rider to the opening gate.
She leaps from the saddle into his arms, and in his soul, Faramir smiles.
A good match - Tanaqui
“Are you quite sure about this?”
Éomer cast an uncertain glance across the room at the grave young man talking to the King of Gondor. Yet Éowyn’s face glowed with more happiness than he had seen in years. Too many years.
“Quite sure.” Éowyn patted his arm comfortingly. “It is a good match.”
“I know that.” Éomer frowned. “But will you be happy?”
His voice trailed off as a dark-haired young woman approached Steward and King. “Who is that?” he breathed.
Éowyn laughed. “The noblest lady in Gondor, and soon to be my cousin. Would you like an introduction?”
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.