4. Names that Shame - by Dwimordene
It was crowded in The Pony's common room, and with the bustle and chatter of so many, three lonely figures in the corner went almost unnoticed as they waited for their supper. Which little troubled them, for they'd their own business.
"—only did we spend half the day choking on dust behind a Dwarven caravan—" Aragorn was saying, when Halbarad chimed in, grinning.
"—but when Aragorn left to see to their ponies, some cook threw a pail of dishwater out the window. Right in the face," he finished, eyes atwinkle.
Their tablemate, an older Ranger, Telebrin, grunted after a glance at Aragorn. "No harm done, it seems," he remarked.
"Oh no," Halbarad said, grin broadening. "Quite an improvement act—"
"So Heron—" Aragorn began, and his friend groaned.
"Will you cease? They'll hear—"
"'Heron'?" Telebrin asked, skeptically, gaze shifting to Halbarad.
"Chamberlass-clept," Aragorn declared solemnly.
"Least she's pretty, Strider," Halbarad grumbled, and got a glare. Their companion shook his head.
"Well, I think you've naught to complain of," he said, matter-of-factly.
"No." He began ticking points off. "You're alive. You're paid off. It was dishwater, not a chamber pot—" the younger men grimaced at this "—and as for your new names—"
He was interrupted in his recitation by one of the serving lasses, calling to them above the din from three tables over: "Sorry, lads, it'll be a minute more. And what was it again that you'd wanted, Stilts?"
Aragorn and Halbarad exchanged a look, and Halbarad, after a moment, mouthed, 'Stilts?' Telebrin gave a pained sigh, glared at his young companions, who were manfully attempting to seem somber, and then turned an incongruously mild gaze upon the girl.
"It matters naught, my dear. Just make it strong, whatever it is."
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.