1. Trials

It seems to me that I have always loved you. I cannot recall a day when I did not look upon you with complete and utter devotion. When we were children, you would run about the gardens of the palace, completely unaware of the tensions around you, as carefree as the birds that settled in the trees.

And I would follow you. I was the younger of the two, but you never treated me as so. To you, a lonely child, I was all you had in the way of a playmate. So you never belittled me when I attempted to run with you. Indeed you welcomed me and my company.

In later years, I had always hoped we could return to those carefree days, when you loved me without reservation, or without care for the politics of it. Alas, it was never so.

I remember when my father decided to abandon the court. I recall looking out of the carriage and seeing you standing there, between your father and our grandmother. You cried that day, perhaps the only one who did. Your father was now King, and my father refused to abide in the place of one who held court with the accursed Faithful. Your father and our grandmother, I am sure, were glad to see us go. But not you. You wept for the loss of your playmate, your beloved friend. You wept for me.

Perhaps it was the only time you ever did so.

In all our many years apart, I never ceased to love you. Father had a portrait of the King and his family in his front hall, as was expected, but never did he once look at it. He despised it with all his heart. But not I. Never was there a day that passed when I did not look up at your solemn face and marvel at its beauty.

Time passed, as it always does. I grew older, I learned much, especially from my father. I saw the disease the Faithful spread across our great isle and I learned of how the King was at its very heart. I thought of how you, my love, were being poisoned by your father. How I pitied you then.

It was then that I became determined to rescue from that. I would not let you spend your life forever surrounded by such filth.

How my people rejoiced when your father died, though they were saddened my father was not there to see it. My thoughts were divided then. I knew the time was ripe for the return of the rightful ways, but I was also worried for you. For all your father’s faults, I knew you loved him greatly. How you must be grieving for his loss.

But I would comfort you. I would heal you of your woes. All of them.

I returned to the capital to find you in the process of taking up your throne. The process was going slowly, as all things in the matters of kingdoms often did.

I found you when you sought a moment of peace in the gardens. My people were hidden throughout the place, watching closely. But I had eyes only for you. For so long, all I had of you was a faded old portrait. How little it conveyed your beauty, fairer than ivory or silver or pearls! My love, nursed quietly for all those long years, threatened to explode within me in those moments.

When I approached you, I was surprised to see your recoil from me as though I were a snake. Did you not recall our childhood, beloved? Did you not remember the tears you cried when my father took me away from you? Why did you look upon me with such horror?

But you could not leave, for you had fallen back to the wall of the garden ever as I came closer to you. I stroked your cheek and marveled wondrously at the softness of your skin. Softer than the finest fabrics, and infinitely more fair. Absently, I told you of all my plans, which had been so carefully crafted over the long years of your father’s disastrous reign. I did not expect you to be thrilled with my plans at first. After all, you had been raised by our Faithful grandmother, along with your father. They had forced you to believe me to be the enemy. Me! Your devoted beloved.

I believed you would soften with time.

But when I told you of our coming marriage, which would pave my way to reviving all that was great in our realm, you were beyond horrified. You tore past me, determined to raise your Faithful guards, when one of my own people appeared. Before I could stop him, he struck you down. I flew at him, berating him fiercely for daring to lay a threatening hand to you. I then pulled your unconscious form into my arms, having no more thought of politics. Let them do as they would, my only thoughts were for you.

By the time you awoke, my people’s control of the capital was complete. You were alone and away from those who had turned you so firmly against me. When I told you this, you cried, knowing your hand had been forced. You had no choice. I, as well as my love for you, was now all the protection you had from those who would gladly see you dead.

Our marriage was far from joyful. You acted as though you were not even present. Even when I touched you, you did not react. Our marriage night was thus quite unfulfilling. I wanted you, not just your body. Fair as it was, I loved you and not just your physical charms.

Things stayed that way for some time. Never did your misplaced hatred in me waver. If anything at all, it grew stronger. You blamed me for your father’s death, you blamed me for the departure of the Faithful to the shores of Middle-earth, you even blamed me for the loss of our son. That poor child. Only for a day did he live, but you loved him. You cradled him to your breast, pleading for him to take nourishment, begging him to live. But he did not, and the physicians all but had to tear his tiny form from your arms.

No further children were born to us and I worried greatly for the continuation of our line. Would there be no children to comfort you in your loneliness, my love? It appeared so.

And it is. But now, as I ride the waves and a great isle appears in my vision, I know we shall have no need for children. Soon, we will have what is ours by right and we shall have eternity together.

Then I will have all the time to earn your love, as I has striven to do for so long. We shall have all we ever desired. It is within our grasp, my love. We have but to take it.

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.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: AngelQueen

Status: Beta

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 09/07/04

Original Post: 09/05/04

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