Boromir measures the quality of the days in sounds and echoes. Her death was a soft rustle; dry leaves on wood, whispers seeping under doors, long skirts trailing along corridors, dandelion-seeds towards the horizon.
Her funeral is hard surfaces, boots against stone; the armour of rigid ritual. Gondor has a ritual for everything, but especially for death.
Boromir looks at his brother. His eyes are opaque and slate-grey like pools of old rain-water above the funeral cloak, as are Denethor's. They all keep themselves hidden behind the protective mask of the ritual. The tears they have shed behind closed doors have no place here.
The constraints of protocol make it difficult for Boromir to breathe. There are times when he feels that is was Gondor herself that killed his mother; crushed her under a thousand years of ceremony that relegates exuberance and laughter to a life behind bars. She ended her days in silence, taking in nothing but the dark span of the ceiling.
He looks at Faramir again. A shiny film now covers the dirty grey of his brother's eyes and his face is hard and rigid as the stone floor under their feet. Boromir breaks protocol and takes his brothers cold hand. That small act of rebellion makes him feel better.
Denethor sees it happening, but let it be. A soft expression ripples across his face for a second.
In the years to come many will notice this sweet, loving expression directed towards the eldest son. Only Boromir knows that his father looks straight through him, and into a corridor of memory opened up by the resemblances and associations he evokes. Where he is nothing but a door-post.
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.