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Middle Earth Moments

Prompt � Learning to make a fire
Title � Dust and Ashes
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Denethor, Faramir
Rating: PG
Disclaimer - These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
Burning, all is burning! My world swiftly crumbles to dust and ashes. Faramir, now the only heir of my body that remains, burns with a fever that will soon consume him.
That Gondor should fall while I was entrusted with her keeping! I who loved her and offered all I held dear in her defence.
Why should I sit here waiting for Sauron's minions to tear us limb from limb, my helpless son and I?
If Minas Tirith burns, then so will I, together with the last scion of my house. Bring oil and kindling and let the flames burn!
Prompt � Role model
Title � Second Chances
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Faramir, Eldarion
Rating: PG

Faramir watches Eldarion run to his father who scoops him up into his arms, both their faces alight with happiness.
Sometimes, when he sees Eldarion with his father, he feels a pang of envy. If only his father could have looked on him with such love, or played with him, as the King plays with his son.
Then Faramir casts dark thoughts aside, and thanks the Valar for �owyn; his children; and the one who had become as a father to him. His sire decreed his death by fire; his King restored his life and gave him a second chance.
Prompt - Regret
Title � Clarity
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Boromir, Aragorn, Faramir
Rating: PG

Clarity
Boromir could see clearly now. This was never meant to be his task, but Faramir's.
He should never have begged the errand that was rightfully his brother's. Faramir has a stronger will and wiser heart. The Ring's evil would never have ensnared him.
Faramir would have endured Galadriel's gaze and looked her calmly in the eye.
"I am sorry," Boromir whispered.
Aragorn clasped his hand and tried to reassure him.
The light was fading, and with it the glory of Gondor. Had his folly doomed all of Middle-earth to darkness? Now he could only atone with his fast ebbing lifeblood.
Title � Sweet Harmony
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Arwen
Rating: PG

Her voice rose and fell clear and sweet in the stillness of the night air.
Aragorn stood as if entranced listening to the lullaby: he recalled the first moment he had beheld his lady and called her Tin�viel. Never had the name seemed more apt.
Arwen turned and smiled, gesturing towards the child in her arms.
Suddenly Aragorn felt he understood a great mystery, that of the music of creation. That same music, which called Arda to life, had also formed their harmony, which became this perfect child. His voice joined hers as together they lulled the babe into slumber.
Prompt - Trees
Title � The Life of Trees
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Legolas, Faramir
Rating: G

The Elf leaned against the tree, his ear pressed close to the trunk and a rapt look upon his face.
"What are you doing?" Faramir enquired.
"Listening to the tree." Legolas smiled at the Steward. "It tells me that it is thriving. Why do you not speak to it?"
Faramir laughed. "I am no Elf!" Nevertheless, he leaned against the tree and whispered soft words. He could hear the birds singing, the hum of the bees, and the rippling stream nearby. Then he heard a faint rustling that seemed to voice the tree's contentment. Or was it just wishful thinking?
Prompt - Beauty/ugliness
Title � True Royalty
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Faramir
Rating: G

Faramir had often dreamt of the return of the King. He imagined the heir of Elendil riding upon a white horse, dressed in the finest velvets adorned with jewels, a crown upon his head.
He had known the stranger at once when he came to him in the darkness. Tall and gracious he stood, and a light was in his eyes. Faramir heeded his call.
Opening his eyes, Faramir studied his king. The man's weary features were streaked with sweat and blood. His plain garb was well worn, but his eyes sparkled, warm and kind. Arda had no nobler sight.
Prompt � Happiest Moment
Title - Free at Last?
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: �owyn, Grima
Rating: PG
He spits on the steps in a final act of defiance. I linger, watching him vanish into the distance.
Has Wormtongue truly departed? Will he truly no longer follow me, never again make my flesh creep when his hand brushes against mine, no more whisper poisonous words in my uncle's ear?
Shall I be able to awaken each morning without fearing that this might be the day when he forces me to do his will?
A great weight is lifted from my heart. Yet I cannot rejoice. I have known sorrow for so long I have forgotten what hope is.
Prompt � Travelling is Fool's Paradise
Title � The Return of the Wanderer
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse
Aragorn paused as he came in sight of the last homely house. A generation had passed since he last had returned to the place he still thought of as home. Long had he journeyed and much had he seen; wonders and horrors that he had not so much as dreamed of when he set out.
The inexperienced young chieftain had become a seasoned leader of men, healer and warrior both; worthy of the heart of the fairest of maidens.
Much had he suffered and much had he learned. Aragorn had left Rivendell as a boy and returned as a man.
Prompt - Humour
Title � A Merry Meeting
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Pippin
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Aragorn shifted uneasily on his bedroll. He was too exhausted to find rest easily. His mind drifted over the day's events.
A battle won, a dear kinsman lost, the souls he had snatched back from the Shadow, and Peregrin Took. How it had lightened his heart to see the lively young Hobbit clad as an earnest Citadel Guard!
Pippin had grown up a good deal these past weeks, but lost none of his Hobbit warmth and liveliness. Imrahil had been so scandalised at Pippin's informal greeting! Aragorn smiled, wondering whatever Elrond would have thought, before sinking into a dreamless slumber.
Prompt - Innocence
Title:The Age of Innocence
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Boromir,Faramir,OFC
Rating: PG
Warnings: Mild sexual innuendo
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Placing two mugs of ale on the table, the tavern wench batted her eyelashes flirtatiously at the Steward's heir. Boromir's eyes lingered on her full lips and ample bosom.
"Would you care to join me somewhere more private, my lord?" she enquired.
"Gladly, beauteous maid!" Boromir licked his lips in anticipation.
"Brother, have a care!" Faramir whispered, tugging at Boromir's sleeve. "Father would not welcome a match between you and a serving woman, however fair."
"Who said anything about marriage, my innocent little brother?" Boromir grinned. "A man may freely sample the wares on offer without having to purchase them."
Prompt Mercurial Monday
Title - Tedium
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Aragorn gritted his teeth and reluctantly prepared to start on his paper work for the day.
He knew the common folk sometimes regarded his life with considerable envy, considering it consisted of wearing fine clothes and eating sumptuous meals off golden plates. Indeed it did, but only on special occasions. With every day that dawned, the King was faced with stacks of papers.
Parchments detailing archaic laws, details for raising taxes, trade tariffs, warrants for executions, orders for deployment of troops; each and every one requiring his personal attention.
Sometimes the King yearned to be a simple Ranger once more!
Prompt - Friday 13th
Title - The Brave die Only Once
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Nazg�l, Frodo
Rating: PG
Warnings: Mild horror
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Instinct bade him flee, to run from this place as fast as his long legs could carry him and find somewhere safe to hide!
An icy dread gripped Aragorn's heart. Well he knew what these loathsome beings, neither living nor dead, could do to a man. Their very presence made the bravest fear, while their weapons dealt a fate worst than any death.
He had given his oath. He could not, would not flee. He would not abandon Frodo in his hour of need.
Aragorn snatched up two flaming brands and raced towards the Nazg�l. He would defeat them or perish.
Prompt - Favourite Season
Title - The Best of Seasons
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing:Aragorn,Arwen,Eldarion
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

"Which season is your favourite?" Eldarion asked his father.
Aragorn pondered the question for a moment. Spring is the fairest of the seasons, when new buds burst with life. Fair too, is summer with its long days, and abundant richness of fruit and flowers. Autumn has its charms with golden leaves, and a fresh nip to the air. Even winter, so harsh in the North, has a beauty of its own when the bare branches sparkle with frost.
"Summer," he told his son, smiling at him. "For my heart's desire was granted when I married your mother on Midsummer day."
Prompt - Do I dare disturb the universe?
Title - The Hour of Destiny
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing:Aragorn,Faramir
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Life or death within my hands. It has ever been so at the point of a sword. The choice then was easy, kill or be killed.
I have been a healer almost as long as I can remember, but the Elessar has raised my powers to new heights.
Should we triumph in battle, the path to throne lies clear before me. One man, though, might thwart all my desires; this very man I am called upon to save!
He lies before me, helpless, and unaware of how his fate is linked to mine. I could walk away, claim I am too weary, or lack the power the aid him. I could insist on saving my friends first, by which time it would be too late.
Now is my hour of trial, a trial as great as when I could have seized the Ring. Two choices lie before me: the evil and the good. Choosing wrongly would destroy everything I have strived for over these long years.
Whether or not, he accept me as his King, or reject me as my ancestor was rejected by his, must be by his choosing, not mine.
I clasp Faramir's hand and call for athelas.
Prompt � Mercurial Monday

Title � Weary beyond Joy or Sorrow
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn,Elladan Elrohir
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse


Aragorn swayed on his feet. Even the scent of athelas hardly refreshed him now. He could not recall ever having been so weary before.
Elladan caught him as he almost fell while Elrohir held a cup of water to his lips. �Come, Estel, it is time you rested," he said.
�Others still need me,� Aragorn protested. �I am well enough.�
�Everyone has limits, you have reached yours,� said Elladan.�What other man could confront the Dark Lord, ride the Paths of the Dead, board the Corsair ships, fight a battle, and then spend most of the night healing the sick?�
Reluctantly Aragorn allowed them to assist him to his tent where Elrohir removed his outer garments and boots, while Elladan mixed him a soothing drink and held it to his lips. Then they settled him down on a bed of soft furs and pulled the covers around him.
�Goodnight, little brother, � said Elladan kissing him lightly on the brow.
�These past days we have seem the Ranger become the King,� said Elrohir, doing likewise.
�Many made it possible,� Aragorn protested.
�But no man worked harder, nor more deserves their rest tonight,� Elladan smiled. �Sleep well little brother. We shall be outside.�
A/N This was inspired by Raksha's "The Tides of the World"

Prompt -Through the Window
Title: Glad Tidings
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Faramir
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Faramir awoke with a start. For a moment he wondered where he was, before recalling the events of the night before. He had been helping �owyn with a difficult foaling, when he had tripped on a slippery patch of straw and sprained his ankle. His wife had assisted him to his study, suggesting that he sleep on the couch rather than attempt to climb the stairs. �owyn had then hurried back to the stables.
Sunlight streamed through the window. Faramir sat up, grimacing at the pain in his ankle. To his surprise, the King was standing outside, smiling at him broadly. He knew Aragorn was due to visit, but had not expected him until the morrow.
With some difficulty, Faramir arose from the couch, tottered unsteadily towards the window and then opened it.
�It is good to see you,� the Steward said, �However, I did not expect you yet. Is all well in the City?�
�Minas Tirith thrives in Arwen�s capable hands,� said Aragorn. �Your lady summoned me early, on account both of your accident, and because Iavas was having great difficulties giving birth.
�How is my poor Iavas?� Faramir enquired anxiously.
�Your mare has two healthy foals.� Aragorn announced.
�Healthy twin foals? That is almost unheard of!� Faramir exclaimed.
�It seems that Iavas� sire was part Mearh, which explains it,� said Aragorn. �The mare and her foals seem to have weathered last night far better than you, my friend!�
Faramir grinned ruefully. �I shall never hear the last of it from �owyn!�
�At least you tripped rather than fainted,� said Aragorn. �I have known that happen! Now if you will just summon a servant to let me in, I will bind your ankle then you can see the foals.�
Faramir smiled back. It promised to be a lovely day.
Prompt � Caught Unprepared.
Title �Thine and thy heirs
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Faramir, Aragorn
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Steward of Gondor? Faramir had not expected this! He believed he was Steward only until the King took up his rightful office.
He was not born to rule, that was meant to be Boromir's destiny, not his. His father would laugh at their new lord for placing such trust in him, but Elessar too, has the power to see into men's hearts.
Would not his Uncle Imrahil be a better choice, or fis kinsman Lord H�rin?
Yet, may this task is destined for him? Faramir desires only to serve Gondor and my King.
He smiles, and takes back the White Rod.
Title � The Bridegroom
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Arwen
Rating: PG13
Warnings: Mild sexual content
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

After many long years, my love is at last my wife. We are alone beneath the stars.
I yearn to take her in my arms, smother her with fierce kisses and make her wholly mine. I yearn to be as one with her, giving her joy, and the children we yearn for.
Fear seizes me. I am not ready for this! I know nothing of the arts of love. What if I fail to please her? What if she regrets her choice?
Arwen kisses me tenderly. Fire surges through my blood. I may not be prepared, but I am ready!
Title � Ancient Wisdom
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Arwen, Ioreth, Eldarion
Rating G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

With thanks to Raksha
Ioreth carefully examined the screaming heir of Elessar "He has colic, my lady, a common enough minor complaint babies suffer from. I will prepare some herbs to soothe him. It surprises me your husband does not know this remedy!"
"He is a great healer, but has spent little time with babies."
Eldarion screamed with renewed vigour. Arwen looked about to burst into tears. "Alas, I cannot help him! I read all my father's books, yet I fear I am ill-prepared to be a mother
Ioreth chuckled. "No mother is ever prepared. my lady. You can only learn from your child."
Prompt � The Big Storm
Title � Stormy weather
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Faramir, Aragorn,Oss�
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

The wind howled, making the long grass ripple like water. Branches creaked and groaned, the weakest snapping, blowing away as if they were as light as leaves. Then came the lightening, illuminating the leaden skies in brilliant flashes. Thunder roared, while the rain lashed down, striking the earth as if with spears.
Huddled against a rocky outcrop, Aragorn and Faramir observed nature's fury.
"We could always go home," Faramir suggested.
"And have our wives tease us for not liking getting wet? I think not!"
In Valinor, Oss� laughed as King and ploughman alike raced to take shelter from his sport.
Prompt - Calendars
Title � Rebirth
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Halbarad
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

The two riders reached the summit of the hill pausing to allow their horses to rest.
Beneath them, the countryside lay spread out in a patchwork of green and white, fresh leaves and spring blossoms basking in the gentle warmth of the spring sunshine. In a nearby tree, a blackbird and a thrush sang sweetly. Aragorn felt his heart soar at the sheer loveliness around him. His usually grim features relaxed into a smile.
"What pleases you so?" Halbarad enquired.
"April's beauty," Aragorn replied. "Each springtime, nature's joyful reawakening rekindles my hope that we will overcome the darkness one day."
Prompt � Think of a Teacher
Title � Well Taught
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

The man and his two children walked through the peaceful country lanes together.
"What bird is that?" asked his son, espying a black and white bird a little way ahead of them.
"A wagtail. See how his tail wags when he moves."
"Can you eat those?" his daughter enquired when they passed a tree laden with scarlet berries.
"No, they taste bitter, but you can make medicine from them. Now, those berries on the far side of the lane are good to eat, but the nightshade plant beside them is poisonous." The man paused and pointed to some hardly noticeable tracks in the grass. "Look, a deer and her baby have passed by here! Shall we follow the trail?"
"Yes please!" the children chorused excitedly.
A little while later the family caught a glimpse of a doe suckling her fawn. The children gasped in wonder.
"How do you know so much, daddy?" asked the little girl.
The man paused, lost in thought. "When I was a lad, twenty years or more ago, I worked for old Butterbur in the Pony," he replied. "Rangers, strange wandering men would sometimes call at the inn. We were all scared of such grim looking folk. Then one of them took ill with wound fever and had to bide a while at the inn. Butterbur said I must take him his meals. I was right scared, but it turned out he was kindly enough once you got to know him. While he was recovering, he taught me all manner of interesting things that I never forgot."
"What was his name?" asked the boy.
"He called himself Strider."
"And what happened to him?" asked the little girl.
"I don't rightly know, but I'd hazard a guess that the poor man perished in some lonely ditch. He was a fine woodsman and taught me well; but I fear no good came of such a wild, grim fellow!"
Prompt � Tomorrow or Yesterday?
Title � I believe in Yesterday
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Denethor
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

The world crumbles to ruin. It spins like a wheel that no man can halt. What hope is left for me? To die at the hand of Sauron�s minions. or to serve as the dotard chamberlain to a puppet of Mithrandir�s!
The past at least is secure, well nigh thousand years of selfless duty to Gondor we Stewards served. Kings we may not have been, but we loved our land as well as any scion of Elendil�s, better I would say!
I would join my longfathers in their quiet tombs and there dream forever of the glory that is fled.
Title � The Past at least is Secure
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Elrond
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Yesterday, I feared Middle earth was doomed to darkness. Had Sauron triumphed, the Age of Men and Elves was over. I could have sailed to Valinor with my daughter, but would have left behind the sons of my body; together with one I came to love as my own child.
The One Ring is destroyed. I should rejoice, yet my heart is heavy. The power of Vilya is lost, and so is my daughter.
I try to share her joy as she speaks of joining her beloved Estel, but my heart is breaking. Yesterday was dark, and so is tomorrow.

Title � A Brighter Tomorrow
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Arwen
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

Yesterday we stood at the brink of oblivion, our survival hanging by a mere thread. Today, thanks to Frodo and Sam, we have hope; hope for a future we scarcely could imagine yesterday.
I dare to dream of being with my love. At last our long years of waiting are over and I can take her as my wife and Queen! Together we will raise children and share our love till the end of our days.
The crown is now mine. Together with Arwen, I will restore Gondor and rebuild Arnor. I, Envinyatar, embrace the future with joy and hope.

Title � Responsibility
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Frodo
Rating G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse


I don�t think I like adventures much. Nothing would please me more now, than to be safely back home in my comfortable Hobbit hole. I�ve done as Gandalf advised me and brought the Ring safely to Rivendell, where wiser folk than I can dispose of it.
But no one speaks; no one offers to take the burden from me. The Ring is mine, my responsibility. Maybe it did come to me for a purpose?
I know what I should do. Something greater than I compels me to speak;
�I will take the Ring though I do not know the way.�

Title � The Hour has Come
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Halbarad, Aragorn
Rating PG
Warnings: Character death
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

With grateful thanks to Raksha
My lord�s hour has come at last. Proudly, I hold his standard aloft, so all might see that the Heir of Elendil has come to claim his birthright.
The enemy assails me from all sides, eager to tear down this sign of hope.
I know that my death is approaching. I fear not; we D�nedain are proud to die for Isildur's Heir. Gladly I answered my Chieftain�s call and followed him here. O, that I could see him crowned! That shall not be; yet it is a small sacrifice. I will die content; bearing the banner of the King Returned!

Title � To the End
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn
Rating PG
Warnings: Character deaths
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

We won the field today, but it was only one battle, not the war. The cost was heavy indeed. Valiant Halbarad fell together with Th�oden King and many more brave men.
I am weary. How tempting it would be to rest and let others continue the fight.
But no, I must fight on until the end, however bitter.
The Dark Lord now knows my name. I will draw him out. Let his eye fall on me so that Frodo may have a better chance! As I have begun, so I will go on! Sauron, come forth, I, Elendil�s heir, challenge you!
Title � False Impressions
Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn,OMCs
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse

The two farmers sipped their mugs of ale, casting contemptuous glances at the man in the corner.
"Who might he be?� one asked his companion.
�One of them Rangers, I reckon.�
�Looks like a right ruffian to me,� grunted the first man. �How can decent folks sleep easy in their beds with the likes of them around? He looks as if he never did an honest day�s work in his life!�
Aragorn�s keen grey eyes glinted in anger, but he remained silent. Little did these people know of the dark creatures would destroy them without the Rangers� protection.

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