He sat in his chair in the Great Hall and beckoned for me to come forward. I ran to his side. To my utter surprise and before all, he picked me up and held me close. I could feel a slight tremble in his limbs, but otherwise, I would not have known he was afraid. How surprised I was to feel it! Someone had reported to him before I came - reported that Faramir had been killed on the Pelennor. I saw it in his mind and the great sorrow that accompanied that thought. I looked at him, tried to assuage his fears, tell him he had not lost his last son, his only son. He relaxed and a small sob escaped his lips.
Upon my news, he stood and shouted orders, then walked to his private chamber. I quickly followed. The Lord of the City he was as he sat on a deep chair across from the brazier, and I felt proud to be in his service. He had come from the brink of despair and now sat in hope, awaiting his son's report.
At last, Faramir entered the room, along with Mithrandir. Faramir sat at Denethor's left and Gandalf at his right. The Hobbit, Peregrin, stood behind Denethor's chair. I sidled over a bit to give him room. He looked down at me in surprise and delight. How my heart jumped at the show of affection. I rubbed along his leg, then turned my attention, as did Pippin, to the Steward.
Faramir began with his report of the doings in Osgiliath. The part about the great beast was most interesting. Pippin nudged me and I mewed in delight. We both would have loved to have seen the beast. Perhaps there will come the opportunity. I again turned my attention to Faramir.
A chill filled the room as he looked deeply upon the Hobbit. I felt my shackles rise in awe at his tale. It only took moments for Lord Denethor to know of what Faramir spoke. I was in the dark for a time, until he let me into his thoughts. 'Ah! The Ring.'
My heart was broken by the tension that flamed between the Steward and his son. Though just moments before the Lord Denethor had been all concern, the evidence of Faramir's treachery cut him to the quick. That he should let It go! How could he?
I had watched a deep rift grow between them these last few years. It had broken Boromir's heart to see it. Long did the Steward's eldest try to break the wall that grew between Lord Denethor and Faramir, but to no avail. And now, the boy's own actions were such that any father, even if not the lord of this great City, would have to chastise his errant son.
At last, the cruelest blow. That their places should be changed, Faramir wondered. I would have wept if not for the lump in my throat. Yes. Denethor now wishes he had sent Faramir on the quest instead of Boromir. Wishes that he had sent Boromir to Henneth-Annûn - for would not his eldest son, the one who listened and obeyed all he asked of him, would he not have brought the Ring to him. Not let the Hobbits free. Oh! The magnitude of Faramir's treachery made me reel.
Faramir responded with a deeper cut. That it was his own father who sent Boromir to his death. I could hardly watch, my pain so deep. Blow upon blow they delivered upon each other with nary a thought as to the love between them. Sometimes the words spoken in anger; sometimes in quiet accusation. I cowered behind the chair. Pippin bent down and picked me up, stroking my back as I mewed in horror.
The wizard stepped into the fray. If I thought sparks flew between the Steward and the son, I had yet to see fireworks. The eyes of both men flamed as if just their eyes could loose daggers. I felt Pippin tremble as he held me close. Would they harm each other? Would they raise their hands in blows? I could not believe my eyes. Never had I seen the Steward so angry!
Suddenly, Denethor's wrath subsided. He extended a word of reconciliation. 'Let us be one,' he said to the wizard. I had not thought I would ever see such a sight. He turned to Faramir for a last word and Faramir swayed as he stood. Pippin lunged forward as did the wizard. Faramir pulled himself against the chair and steadied himself. I saw the concern in his father's eyes, but the lad did not see. Again, pain filled me. These humans - they are so blind. Even one so wise as the Lord Denethor.
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.