Written for the LOTR GenFic Community Potluck Challenge. For Princess of Gondor for her birthday. Beta by RiverOtter.
The night after Midsummer in the first year of the reign of the King Elessar
Faramir stirred in the night, startled by the song of a bird, one he was certain he’d never heard before within the White City. Intrigued, he rose from his bed and pulled about himself a night robe. He must go out now and see the singer and be certain his ears were not fooled!
He walked quietly down the hallway and the stairs to the lower level of the Steward’s Wing, then out the door at the end of the passage into the Citadel’s private gardens. There appeared to be a soft glow beyond the cherry trees his father Denethor had planted in honor of his marriage to the Lady Finduilas, and it was from that region that the birdsong came....
“Go softly, Faramir,” advised a voice.
Startled, the young Steward of Gondor and newly made Prince of Ithilien turned to find Mithrandir standing in the shadows of the nearby rose bushes. “I did not see you there!” he said, still keeping his voice soft in response to the admonition given him by the Wizard.
Mithrandir laughed. “I am able to hide myself at times,” he admitted. “Pray pardon an old Man’s foolishness. But what brings you in your nightclothes out into the gardens? I would have thought you had gone to your bed some hours ago, for this day has been remarkably full.”
“And the same is not true for you, my friend?”
The White Wizard laughed again, joyfully. “I find that now my task is done I do not need as much sleep as I once did, Faramir. To stand in the gardens under the stars in a sky cleared of the long darkness is rest enough tonight, I find.” His smile deepened. “And I stand somewhat guard over the privacy of those two,” he added, nodding at the soft glow beyond the cherry trees.
Realizing who else it was who wandered the paths of the gardens, Faramir indicated his own understanding. “So--the newlyweds have risen from their marriage bed and rejoice together beneath the stars also,” he murmured.
“As you shall undoubtedly do as well, and soon enough,” Mithrandir agreed.
“Shall they make Éowyn and me to leap over the broomstick?” asked the Man as he sat upon a bench. “I understand that that is the form of marriage often practiced within Rohan.”
“Perhaps,” the Wizard answered, sitting beside him.
Again the bird sang. “A nightingale,” Faramir whispered. “A nightingale, here within the gardens of the Citadel! Never have I heard such here within the walls of Minas Tirith!”
Slowly and with a level of satisfaction, his companion nodded, pursing his lips. “Indeed. But remember, friend, who it was that gave birth to the lineage of both of them, bride and bridegroom, and what were the familiars for her and her blessed mother. With that in mind, are you truly surprised?”
Faramir had to admit that he was not.
Beyond the cherry trees he could hear the new Queen of Gondor raise her own voice in song to match the beauty of the nightingale’s trill.
“And so it is,” Faramir whispered to himself, “that the nation is indeed renewed. The Valar be praised!”
“And the One,” agreed the Wizard.