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Giving Gifts
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Imrahil grimaced and pressed his forefinger against his temple. He glared at the ceiling separating this chamber from his son's rooms. Surely whichever majordomo had first arranged the royal apartments and placed the nursery directly above the prince's study had had his reasons, but for the life of him Imrahil could not think of what they might have been.


He set his brandy glass down heavily on the desk and sighed. Denethor, he thought ruefully. Many of Gondor's lords might think the steward as dry as the codices in his famed library, but Imrahil knew better.

The prince balanced his quill-tip against the rim of his inkpot and retrieved his brother-in-law’s letter from the edge of his desk. Not that, in truth, he needed to see the words to remember them – he had read the missive twice through when it had first arrived.

Kindest regards to my most honored brother the Prince of Dol Amroth, the letter had began. A courteous enough start, even by Denethor's exacting standards! But then he had let loose his wit as only the Lord of the White Tower could. I must thank you for your thoughtful gift of drums this Yule last. Faramir took to them with a determination and zeal I only wish more of Gondor possessed. As you noted, music does much to order the mind, and I am quite certain your noble sister’s complete lack of all rhythm escaped your memory very much by accident.

Imrahil remembered quite well the mettarë ball the winter Denethor had courted Finduilas. He had worn the sturdier military boots, yet still he had limped by the end of the evening. Finduilas had always been the epitome of grace and virtue in nearly every regard, but no amount of care and tutelage had ever cured her of her two left feet.

I send a flute crafted from Anduin's reeds, in honor of your own son's birthday. May he gain as much joy from it as Faramir received from your gift. Imrahil saw in his mind's eye Denethor's thin lips quirked into the faintest vestige of a smile, and the prince chuckled to himself. Oh, if the court only knew the humor that hid beneath their lord's icy countenance!


So Denethor had won this round – but Boromir's birthday approached, and Imrahil had a volume of Silvan limericks that would make Denethor's blood run cold.


Written for Isabeau of Greenlea on request of Dwimordene. Thanks to Agape4Gondor for the beta work.

When I first conceived of this story I had forgotten that there was such a large gap between the ages of Elphir and Faramir. I personally imagine this story before Finduilas's death, which requires that this story is not HoMe-compliant. Alternately, readers may assume that it is set after enough time has passed since Finduilas's death that her family can joke with each other.


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