“I see you have found the library.”
Though pitched low, Elrond’s unexpected voice still made Boromir start. “Quite by accident,” he replied. “I hope I am not trespassing?”
Elrond shook his head. “One is never trespassing in a library,” he said with a smile. “And this one is particularly interesting, if you are a lover of ancient knowledge.”
Boromir looked faintly sheepish. “I am no scholar,” he admitted, “but I think that you have books here which would send the archivists at Minas Tirith into speechless joy.” He smiled as if to himself, running a fingertip down the spine of a green-bound volume. “And my brother would be spellbound for days. Likely he would have to be forced to eat and sleep.”
“Perhaps you would like to choose one for him?” Elrond suggested.
Boromir glanced at the Elf, shock written all over his face. “I did not mean to -- I could not--they must be priceless….”
Elrond shrugged gracefully. “Soon I shall have no use for all these,” he said, voice tinged with melancholy. “It would please me to know that at least one has gone to someone who will appreciate it.”
Boromir opened his mouth to speak again, but Elrond cut him off, very gently. “I insist,” he said. “It is as I say -- I cannot take all these books with me when I go West, and it pains me to think of abandoning them here to the mercy of the elements.”
After some consideration, Boromir nodded. “I thank you,” he said, inclining his head, “but there is the fact that I would not know which to pick. Some of these languages are not at all familiar to my eyes.”
Elrond smiled. “What kind of man is your brother?”
“Honourable,” Boromir answered immediately. “Brave, learned in both war and art, patient, blessed with a sense of kindness unrivaled by any man I have yet to meet. A man at home both at court, and in the wilds of Ithilien. Though he prefers the woods, truth be told.”
Elrond thought silently for a moment, then went to a shelf and drew forth a book with a leather cover which had once been blue, but was now faded to a steel grey. “I think that such a man would like this,” he said, extending the book to Boromir, who took it respectfully.
“It will arrive in Minas Tirith unharmed,” Boromir swore, as if Elrond had entrusted him with a child. “And as he is not here to do so, I offer you the heartfelt thanks of my brother as well, for he will be overwhelmed with such generosity.”
“He is most welcome,” Elrond replied, and there was a shadow of relief in his eyes. “And I will give you a pouch which will protect it from the weather. It is a long journey to Gondor.”
Weeks later, Aragorn spied the book while Boromir was rearranging his pack. “What book is that, that you have carried it with you these long miles?”
Boromir explained and Aragorn was not surprised at Elrond’s kindness. He wondered which volume it was, but Boromir did not seem inclined to take the book from its protective pouch, and Aragorn did not ask him to.
They had nearly set the boat in the water when Aragorn remembered. “Wait!” he cried, startling both Dwarf and Elf. “Wait, there is something in his pack which I must retrieve.”
“I had forgotten I carried it,” Aragorn said to Elrond one clear June morning. “And as his brother is unable to do so, I had thought that you might like to present it to Faramir on Boromir’s behalf.”
Faramir stared in disbelief at the Elven lord. “I cannot accept such a gift,” he said, examining the book from all sides. “It is too dear to be ---”
“I had this very argument with your brother,” Elrond said with a wry smile, “and he did not come out the victor. Keep it as a reminder of the knowledge that your brother was thinking of you, even months and miles from home. I want you to have it, else I would not have given it to him.”
Faramir could not keep from opening the book and skimming a page or two. “I am more honoured than I have words to say -- and I do not have the resolve to resist such a rare and lovely thing,” he confessed. “You have learned my great weakness, though I am sure it was no secret.”
Elrond laughed. “That was
the impression I got from your brother.”
Upon reading, Faramir discovered that the book was an account of the building of Rivendell, written by Elrond himself.
Years later, when many crates appeared on his doorstep, Faramir was shocked speechless to find that every one of the wooden boxes held more of Rivendell’s library.
He sat on the floor, surrounded by crates, utterly astounded. “They are a gift from Elrond,” he told a curious Éowyn, and held out a letter. “He is leaving for the Grey Havens, and cannot take all of these with him. He says that he knows they will be well-cared for.”
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.