Peregrin stood there looking about him and I found such humor in the situation that I licked my paw to prevent myself from mewing in laughter. The Halfling had been abandoned by the wizard and he knew it. Finally, his stomach rumbled and I felt sadness for him. 'Poor little thing. Like unto a kitten needing its mother's milk.' I moved forward, taking pity on him, when Beregond strode forward. I stepped back onto the doorstop and waited. It was not the time, not yet, to let the warrior see me. I listened intently as the Halfling spoke of the wizard and quickly realized that, though he kept his mouth closed to a degree, he would be an easy target for Lord Denethor to trick into revealing much. He also spoke of someone named Aragorn; I filed that name away in a corner of my mind, whilst I listened eagerly for any tidbit that I might pass along to the Steward.
But as he spoke further, I found myself hard put not to like the Halfling. His mind focused on food and I found that particularly appealing. Not often is one assured of a full meal, even with Lord Denethor as a patron; I found his wisdom in taking care of that aspect quite sound. A hobbit he calls himself; I will remember that.
They set off towards the stables and I must admit, I was most anxious to once again gaze upon the mearh. The quick look I had from the escarpment did not do justice to this great beast. Not that I am a lover of horseflesh, mind you, but I am a lover of beauty. All cats are. And this beast was magnificent. I held my breath as they walked into the stable. The hobbit was quite at ease. Another tidbit to hide away and contemplate when this day was over. Beregond too found it easy to touch the beast. They were quick with their duty and left the stable, heading, as I heard them talking, for the buttery. Well, I knew where the buttery was and so I answered my own curiosity.
I moved into the stables and towards the great beast's stall. He looked at me and I looked at him. He nodded his head in acknowledgement of my wonder. 'Ah!' I thought. 'You are wise, are you not?' He flicked his head and whinnied. I bowed and we parted as friends.
Hurriedly, I caught up with Beregond and Peregrin and watched in amusement. They had filled a basket and carried it to the embrasure. I was well acquainted with this section of the Citadel and made myself at home, unseen by them, under the very seat they sat upon. I listened avidly, for the hobbit's tongue was loose with the friendship that exuded from the guard. No need for tricks to open this one's mouth.
After a time, I bristled, for Beregond questioned the Steward and I will have no part of that. But I did naught but listen. I would remember and report this to Lord Denethor. 'A whim! A whim! More like something Lord Faramir would do,' I thought testily. Then I chided myself for the unfair thought against the Steward's youngest. I very much liked Faramir, but I was not fond of his ways with Lord Denethor. The more I listened to Beregond, the more disconcerted I became. He spoke of things he should not have, not in front of someone not of Gondor.
'Ah,' I chided myself, 'but this hobbit is now a page in Lord Denethor's service. I will give Beregond the benefit of the doubt, though his talk of the Steward's battles in the Tower should not be something given common speech to.' I shivered as I thought of what I had seen these past many years: the battles Lord Denethor waged for Gondor, the sacrifices he made, the peril he put himself in with that hated thing. Yes, I tell you now that I hate that globe. It has shortened the Steward's life, has filled him with dread, and has brought him nigh unto the brink of madness. If I could do one thing in all my long lives, it would be to throw that thing into the Anduin, let it join its sister-stone at the bottom of the Bay!'
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.