1. Making History
"Tenerië?" Faramir entered the archivist's workroom and found the senior archivist frowning at the piece of parchment she held.
"Finest quality, my left foot! Master Calechir never saw this disaster—What!" she snapped, not taking her eyes off the offending sheet.
"Tenerië, put that down and come with me." He took the piece of parchment away from her and laid it on the table. "Tearing the ears off Master Celechir's apprentice can wait a bit. There's something I want you to see."
"I wasn't planning on tearing his ears off, Faramir. I had other portions of his anatomy in mind," she told him. "What do you want me to see?"
He tucked her hand into the crook of his arm and led her from the room. "History."
Pausing only long enough to collect her cloak they left the Archives.
"I have to admit it's a lovely day for a walk, if a bit chilly, but it's certainly not of real historical interest." Tenerië said when she realised they were heading for the gate to the Fifth Level.
"As you have so often told me, your patience shall be rewarded in time." Faramir tried to keep his voice light but as they passed through the gate and turned down the road that led towards the Rath Dinen, he found himself fighting to hold to his task.
He'd given great thought as to how the Crown would be retrieved from the Hallows over the days since Aragorn's victory at the Black Gates, and had finally concluded the only appropriate thing to do would be to go to the House of the Kings himself and take it from where it waited on Earnil's tomb.
However, to do that he would need to pass by the now ruined House of the Stewards, where his father's remains lay buried beneath the blackened rubble of the fallen dome. The idea alone sent tremors through his limbs and he was not sure if he could make his feet carry him through the doors into the Hallows much less fulfill the task that he'd set himself.
It was only when he was about to step out of his room that he'd thought of Tenerië,; who had sat out the siege of the City with two other senior archivists and a few apprentices in the Archives, cudgel in hand, to protect the vast collection of books and artifacts from looters and worse. She'd come to visit him in the Houses of Healing a few times during his recovery, even bringing him a copy of the logbook of Elendil's ship, and then staying to tell wryly humourous stories about the work of putting everything that had been hidden in the vault back in its original place.
This was a moment that she would appreciate better than anyone else he knew. Others were focused almost exclusively on the actual coronation and the King Returned.
"Faramir?" She laid her free hand on his arm and turned worried eyes on his face. "Are you well?"
"Not really, but I have something to do and I want you to be there and see it." He took a deep breath and tried to quell his nausea and fear. He actually succeeded well enough to order the doors opened in a fairly normal voice.
The new doorward looked askance at Tenerië's presence but obeyed.
Taking the first step across the threshold of the Hallows was terribly difficult but he managed by focusing on the feeling of Tenerië's hands on his arm and the sound of her voice. She spoke about the belief that the wood of the doors to the Hallows had come from one of the Nine Ships and ever ongoing arguments between scholars over which one it must have been.
Even passing the House of the Stewards was easier than that first step as she kept distracting him with fairly accurate impressions of various master archivists and scholars defending their opinions on the matter of the doors.
As they approached the steps of the House of the Kings, she paused and in an entirely different tone of voice asked, "Better now?"
"Yes, thank you." He gave her a grateful smile then sobered. "Come with me, but stop and wait when I tell you."
She nodded and released his arm, bowing. "I'll do as you say, my Lord Steward."
The Crown was just where tradition said it should be, sitting atop a flat black velvet and silk cushion embroidered with the device of the White Tree surmounted by a crown and seven stars, on the cover stone of Earnil's tomb. He didn't need to say a word to Tenerië or the guards for they had stopped a dozen feet away from the finely carved tomb. Reverently, he approached and bowed before lifting the Crown from its resting place.
It was heavy, far heavier than he'd expected it to be for all the fineness of its workmanship. He wondered if its makers had designed it that way on purpose; a physical reminder of the burdens and responsibilities of kingship.
He stepped back and turned to find his companions waiting with expressions of awe on their faces. Finally, Tenerië shook her head and gave him a half grin. "You aren't planning to carry that out into the streets of the City like that, are you?"
Flushing, he shook his head. Then spotting a lebrethon chest that stood to the side of the alcove where Earnil lay, he asked two of the soldiers to open it. The chest was lined in the same black velvet and silk that made up the cushion the Crown had resided on for so many centuries. He carefully placed the crown inside and ordered the guards to close the lid and take up the chest.
A half an hour later, he and Tenerië stood at the foot of the stairs to the throne that would, with the Valar's grace, be filled on the morrow, looking at the now polished chest which was guarded by four members of the Tower Guard.
"Thank you, Tenerië. Your being there made this much easier." He still couldn't think of the Hallows without some trepidation and probably always would, but he'd completed his next to last duty as Steward despite his fears.
"No, Faramir," she said, having returned to her usual informal mode of speech once the Crown was safely bestowed in its temporary resting place. "I must thank you. You were right, that was History and for once I was there, instead of just reading about it or copying some eyewitness' description."
Faramir smiled at his old friend as he gestured towards the door to the corridor. "I hope you've already picked out your vantage point for tomorrow. You won't be the only eyewitness, you know."
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.