I woke the next day feeling the same illness I had experienced the previous morning. I found this to be a positive sign of being with-child. Ecthelion kept his word, and a female physician came to my chamber. I supposed it was good timing when she came, for I was on my knees in the privy, trying to keep my hair out of the way. Half an hour later, after being examined and answering her many questions, it was confirmed. I was with-child.
I felt excited and nervous at the same time. I was now in charge of not only myself, but an innocent child as well. I knew I would have to tell Denethor, so I walked quickly to the chamber we shared, hoping that he had not yet left.
"Denethor," I said, opening the chamber door. To my luck, he was still there putting his riding gloves on.
"Finduilas," he said in a surprised tone.
"I have something I need to tell you," I said, walking over to him.
"What is it?" he asked, turning his back on me as he moved away to grab his cloak.
"I am with-child," I said simply.
Denethor spun around. "Are you certain?"
"I am," I replied. "A physician has just confirmed it."
My husband quickly clipped his cloak on and walked over to me. Picking up my hand, he kissed it. "This is wonderful news," he said. "However, I would like you to return to our chamber."
I lowered my eyes. I really had no desire to share a bed with him so soon. "I see no reason why I should not." I decided that I must do it, just to keep the peace.
As Denethor left, I walked over to the bed and collapsed onto it. It was still early in the morning, yet I felt like I had been on my feet for an entire day. I believed my exhaustion to be another symptom, but I was glad my morning sickness had passed for the day. I placed my hand over my stomach and wondered what other symptoms I would have in the months to come. I had heard that other women had experienced sore breasts and dizziness. All I hoped was that I would have an easy journey into motherhood.
I decided to think of possible names for the child. I knew Denethor wanted to call his son 'Boromir,' but there was also a chance that I would give birth to a daughter. I loved the name 'Halveth'. It was Sindarin for seashell. A name like that gave me a warm reminder of the beautiful landscape I longed to see. I then began to wonder when Denethor would permit me to see Dol Amroth again. I knew I would not be allowed to leave Minas Tirith during my childbearing stage, but perhaps after the child was born, my husband would allow me to travel to the sea. I would have liked to show the sea to my child and let the warm ocean breeze sweep over our faces.
I was rather looking forward to being a mother. I could not wait to teach my child all the life's lessons and the arts and crafts of Gondor. Knowing that I would be in charge of the child's tutoring, I intended to give my child the highest education possible. If I had a son, I knew he would one day be the Steward of Gondor. Therefore, I wanted my son to become a wise and kind ruler. I wanted him to sympathise for the poor and be a strong leader. But I knew Denethor had intentions on giving his son a full education in becoming a soldier. I understood Denethor's wishes, but I did not want my son's head filled with thoughts of war and grief at a young age. I wanted any child that I had to have a fun and exciting childhood. But I knew in the end, most decision concerning my child would be made by Denethor. I just hoped that he would make the right decisions.
Word reached my ears that the sweating plague had caused the deaths of three of Lord Tarondor's children - his second son, Falchon, and two daughters, Felessil and Angwen. Poor little Angwen; she had appeared so excited about being able to swim. I wept at the news. My heart went out for Lady Duvaimes. She had lost both her daughters and a son. I tried not to allow the news to affect me too deeply, for I did not want to harm my unborn babe; I had to be strong for my child. A funeral procession was to be held for the three children of Linhir, followed by three months of mourning throughout Linhir. I chose to wear mourning in respect of the House of Linhir, despite living in Minas Tirith. Even Denethor agreed to show such respect. It made my heart warm towards him; that he could show such compassion and sympathy towards such young, vulnerable children, whose lives had been taken unnecessarily. I would pray for them; I would pray for Lady Duvaimes and her remaining family. No words or thoughts could comprehend the amount of grief they all were suffering.
By the end of the day, Ecthelion and Denethor had returned from Osgiliath with Thorongil. I decided to remain in a back courtyard rather than greet them. I felt no desire to be overwhelmed with words of congratulations. For now, I only wanted the joy of tranquillity. I sat at a round stone table as I sketched with charcoal. I had not done any drawing since I arrived in Minas Tirith, and I had missed it. I was sketching the large, white flower in front of me when I heard shouting coming from the hallway.
"It is a plausible action!" Denethor shouted.
I quickly moved out of sight, behind a large hedge. I sat down on the soft grass, praying that nobody would enter the courtyard.
"It has never been used by the Stewards," Ecthelion said sternly. "If I discover that you have been using the Palantir, I will be gravely disappointed."
"I would never use such a device without your consent," Denethor replied. "But I see it as a powerful way to infiltrate the Enemy."
"Our defences are strong!" Ecthelion retaliated. "Not only do we have strong defences, but we have Thorongil leading the army."
I hugged me knees as I heard a door slam loudly. Everything was now so quiet that I feared to breathe. I started to hear footsteps approaching the courtyard and I saw the back of Ecthelion. He sat down at the stone table. I felt that I should present myself to him, but I found myself content where I was. The hedge secluded me from the hallway and a bush was in front of me. Ecthelion would only have been able to see me if he stood up and looked in my direction.
"Lord Ecthelion," I heard Thorongil say. I saw the man approach the Steward, taking a seat opposite him. "I fear I am causing far too much strife in your house."
"Do not burden yourself with such thoughts," Ecthelion replied. "Denethor is an incredibly stubborn man." I heard Ecthelion chuckle. "He has inherited that trait from his mother."
"Perhaps this child that Finduilas is carrying will lighten his mood," Thorongil said.
"I hope so." Ecthelion sighed heavily. "I have other matters to worry about. Denethor wishes to use the Palantir, but I see that device as dangerous and unpredictable."
"I agree," Thorongil replied. "The Palantir has not been used in many hundreds of year. Also, it is rumoured that the enemy controls one of the lost Palantirs. It would be unfortunate for the enemy to gain access into the citadel."
"It would be," Ecthelion said. "I would ask you to reason with my son, but he does not seem to heed any of your council."
"Perhaps it is time that I leave," Thorongil replied.
"Leave!" Ecthelion said. "You must not leave. That is a command!"
"If it is what you command of me, then I shall stay. But I must tell you that I have business in the North," Thorongil said.
"I shall dismiss your service in three months," Ecthelion replied. "Do you have intentions on returning?"
"I believe I shall return for the summer of next year," Thorongil answered.
"Very well," Ecthelion said, standing up. "I believe I must rest now. My health has improved, but I am still not as strong as I used to be."
Once I was left alone in the courtyard, I managed to crawl out of my hiding space. I felt like a fool by my actions, but all I wanted at the time was peace and quiet. I walked out of the courtyard, thinking about the conversation I had overheard. I did not know exactly what the Palantir was. All I knew was that it was some sort of communication device used by the Kings of Old. I knew the story of one Palantir being lost in the ocean off the Bay of Forochel. In fact, I had no idea until then that there was a Palantir in Minas Tirith. If there were rumours that the enemy possessed such a device, then surely what Denethor had in mind would result in communication with the Enemy – the Dark Lord!
Had my husband lost his mind? Why would he risk such a thing?
I began to wonder where the Palantir was. If I could, I wanted to take it from the citadel and bury it in a place where nobody would be able to find it. I dearly wished to confront my husband with the matter, but I feared it would start another argument between us. Now that I was carrying his child, I wished for our old marriage to return. Even if I may be reluctant to love him as dearly as I did, it would be in the best interest of our child to have a mother and father who loved each other. That was my goal.
Late in the evening after dinner was eaten and I had bathed, I made my way into the chamber I shared with Denethor. I saw him sitting by the window watching Mount Doom erupt from behind the black mountains of Mordor. It affected me that we had such a view from our chamber.
"Husband," I said, walking over to the window. "Must you watch such a sight?"
"Yes," Denethor replied grimly. "That sight is the Enemy of my realm. It is my duty to keep watch over it."
"But must you keep watch in the warmth of our chamber?" I asked. Slowly, I drew the curtains together. "We need to talk."
Denethor sighed and stood up. "I know."
"Our... relationship has not been as... loving as it used to be," I said, sitting on the edge of the bed.
"I know," Denethor replied. "But you must realise that I still love you as dearly as I have always loved you."
I nodded. "Yes Denethor, I realise that."
"And you still love me the same?" Denethor asked hopefully.
"Yes," I lied. I did not to argue, as I did not want to explain how I felt towards him, for that would lead to another argument. "Married couples always go through rough patches."
Denethor smiled. "You are right. But now we must forget our troubles, for a child is on the way."
"I agree," I replied, rubbing my lower abdomen. "Do you still wish to call our son Boromir?"
"Most certainly," Denethor replied. "I will not allow any other name to be given to him."
I nodded, feeling like a very obedient wife. "Have you informed your father?"
Denethor hesitated. "I told him of the news today as we rode to Osgiliath. He is most pleased."
"I am glad that he is pleased," I replied. "Is there any news of Voronda?"
"She should be arriving sometime next week," Denethor said. "You will be in charge of her during her stay. Having my niece here will be good practise for your mothering skills."
Mothering skills? Did he suspect that I was clueless when it came to children? "I will be very glad to see her again. I have missed her company."
"Mmm," Denethor said. "Her father has intentions on re-marrying. His desire for a male heir is still strong, as is mine."
I was glad his back was turned away from me, for I glared at his remark. "I am sure Voronda will be a wonderful sister to any siblings her future stepmother brings into this world."
Denethor sighed and turned around. "Do you honestly think Voronda is here for a visit? No, she has been sent here to live. Her father does not wish to care for her. When Voronda is of age she will be sent back to Lamedon."
"So Voronda is to grow up without either of her parents?" I asked, shocked. "That is most cruel for an innocent child."
"Cruel or not, it is the way it has to be," Denethor replied. "If we do not take her in, then she will be sent to live somewhere else, away from all the family she has."
"Very well," I said, sighing. "I am exhausted; I feel I must rest now."
"Of course," Denethor replied. "Sleep now. I shall return later this evening."
"Where are you going?" I asked as I got under the blankets.
"To speak to someone," Denethor replied. "It is nothing that concerns you."
Whatever he was doing, it sounded suspicious, but I was far too tired to be bothered with it. I rolled over and faced the wall. In an instant, I had fallen asleep.