Two days later, I found myself wishing Imrahil and Agoron a good journey as they left to sail down the Anduin River to Dol Amroth. Thorongil was going with them on some 'mission'. I was rather curious as to what their plans were, but Denethor kept telling me that it did not concern me. I did not know whether his words should have comforted me or make me even more worried. Hmm... more worried? It is all that I seemed to be doing these days. I gave a public farewell with Denethor, and Ecthelion gave Thorongil his blessing. I found this very touching. Denethor was the only other person I had known to receive Ecthelion's blessing.
As I watched them leave from the front courtyard, I felt a pain of sadness spiking in my stomach. I feared for what they may be planning on doing. I knew there was some sort of arrangement being woven in the few days that they visited. Something was abroad. I suppose I would find out in good time.
Later that day, I decided to read a story to Boromir in the private library. It was a simple story about a man and his heard of sheep, but Boromir did not seem too enthusiastic about the story and kept fidgeting with my necklace. I sighed and closed the book feeling quite defeated. Boromir slipped off my lap and ran out into the corridor, looking about him curiously.
"Come, darling," I said, grabbing his hand. Boromir no longer wished to be carried, to my bitter disappointment. "What do you wish to do for the rest of the day?"
Boromir looked up at me hopefully. "Gar... den."
He wanted to go to the garden? "Very well," I said, a little surprised by his request. Boromir never seemed interested in the outdoors, especially during the winter season. It was spring and the flowers were still at full bloom. Boromir ran excitedly around the little garden, touching all the plants that he could find. I found this charming until I saw that he was actually pulling the flower buds off the stems.
"Boromir, stop that!" I snapped, grabbing his hand away from the flowers. "They are not for touching."
Boromir glared at me, but nodded. "Yes, mama."
I sat down on the stone bench and supervised my son as he rolled around on the grass and tried to catch his shadow. I could see that my son was restless, so I decided to get him out of the citadel. It would do him no harm if he were able to see the people and the city that he would one day rule. I told him what we were going to do and he seemed rather excited with the idea. I retrieved his nursemaid and placed a hat on his head before heading out down to the lower levels.
The city flowers were starting to bloom and people were out flocking the streets, carrying on with their business. Boromir found it very exciting and would constantly run off to see something. We walked at a slow pace, as my two year old did not wish to be carried. By the fifth level, he was exhausted, so we sat down at the front of a little shop that served drinks. I bought Boromir a berry drink, which he enjoyed, for he drank it all in less than five minutes.
"He is not used to so much excitement," his nurse said, looking at my son with doting affection. "The Lord Denethor hardly ever allows me to take him down to the markets."
"He is only trying to be a protective father," I said reasonably. "He could catch an illness, or get hurt. You have to remember that Boromir is a very special little boy."
She nodded in agreement. "Yes, he is."
After our break, Boromir was at full energy again. He walked, holding my hand down to the fourth level where there was some public entertainment – a storyteller. I placed Boromir on a little stool so he could listen to the elderly man tell his audience a story of his journey to the north, where he encountered Dwarves up in the Mountains. The children loved it and would gasp with fright, or clap their hands with glee. After the story had ended, Boromir started mumbling on about going to see Dwarves when he was older. The nurse and I laughed together. I highly doubted that my precious little boy would ever be able to travel up to the mountains in the north. Nevertheless, I allowed my son to dream. We reached the bottom level and I showed Boromir where the guards kept watch. He peered over the wall's edge, across to where Osgiliath was gleaming in the distance with the Anduin River flowing smoothly through it.
"Water," Boromir said, pointing at the River. "Blue."
I nodded, smiling. "Yes, darling, the water is blue."
Boromir smiled and pointed back up to the citadel. "Bath... water."
I laughed. "You use water to bathe in, to swim in. You even drink water."
Boromir scrunched up his face. "D-d-dr... drin... drink."
I beamed at him. He had learned a new word! "Drink," I repeated.
"Drink," he said, clapping his hands at his accomplishment.
I looked back at the river and wondered where my brother and Agoron were. They would almost definitely be at Dol Amroth by now. However, something was tugging at me that they were not staying in the city. That in fact they planned to venture elsewhere. Sometimes I wished I were involved in the world of politics. I hated being left in the dark.
"Mama," my son said, tugging at my skirt. "Drink now, mama."
I led him down the long stairs and into the streets once more where his nurse was waiting for us. We easily found another place to sit and rest while Boromir had another drink. This time, he insisted on drinking water.
Once we made it back up to the citadel, Boromir was sleeping in his nurse's arms. His exhaustion did not surprise me, for we had been walking around for an entire day. I helped his nurse tuck him into his bed before going to my chamber to change clothes. All the walking in the sunlight had made me feel sweaty. When I entered my chamber, I saw Denethor standing before me, drumming his fingers on the table.
"Where have you been all day?" he asked.
"I took Boromir down to the lower levels," I replied coolly.
"Was that wise?" He walked over and embraced me, kissing my cheek. "Wife, you must be cautious with our son. Remember, he could easily fall ill."
I continued to rest my head against his chest, feeling his heart beating steadily. "I am sorry if I worried you, but I thought Boromir would enjoy a day out of the citadel, and he did."
"Where did you take him?" he asked.
"Down to the lowest level," I replied. "We walked the entire way."
This time, Denethor stood back from me and folded his arms. "You walked down seven levels with a two year old?"
"Yes," I said defensively. "We rested when we desired to."
"That was not very wise of you," he replied.
I sighed with defeat. "Fine! What is that you want me to do here? I cannot mother Boromir without you telling me to ease up. I cannot take my own son out for the without you having some sort of objection. You will not even permit me to visit my family in Dol Amroth, or to have a pleasant conversation with Captain Thorongil, or Lord Agoron. Everything that I seem to do or want to do, you are never happy. Why Denethor?"
The moment I had said all that, I wanted to take it back. I should not have yelled at him and I knew he would become equably mad within an instant.
"Because you are my wife and I love you!" he shouted back. "You are bound to serve and obey me! Just as you said all those years ago when we first married."
"So are we to keep Boromir locked up here then?" I retaliated. "Do we not show him off to the people?"
"He is far too young for that," Denethor grumbled. "Next year, he will be sent to Osgiliath. When that day comes, then he can be shown to the public."
I was shaking with anger. "Fine! If Boromir is to go to Osgiliath, then I shall accompany him."
"No!" Denethor roared. I lowered my eyes at his rage. I did not expect our argument to become so heated. I swore the whole citadel heard Denethor shout 'no'. I bit my bottom lip to stop tears from falling down my face. I felt to large hands lift my head. "I am sorry, Finduilas," Denethor said more calmly. "I did not mean to yell so viciously at you. Please, believe me when I say that I need you by my side."
I was still shaking, so I bowed my head in respect for my husband and left the chamber. That night, I would stay in a different chamber, away from him. How dare he! He had no right to yell at me in such a forceful tone. Did he not see that I cared for my little boy more than anything in this life? I only want what was best for him and nothing more. I walked out into an alcove for some fresh air. I lifted my hand to the pendant that hung around my neck. It was the pendant that Denethor had given me right after we married. Angrily, I tore it off my neck and threw it over the alcove. I watched it fall mercilessly down to the lower levels of the city, hoping it would shatter into a thousand pieces.
'Down the Anduin River, a warrior shall sail - lifeless, defenceless, a long way from home, while a brother shall seek the Horn that was blown.'
I woke up, breathing heavily. I touched my forehead and felt sweat trickling down my face. I had dreamed that most awfully event. I saw a man with his sword lain across his body as he slept for an eternity in a small boat. A voice was speaking through the wind about this fallen warrior, yet I could not comprehend what the meaning of this dream could be. I had never seen the man before, though he did look familiar.
I got out of bed and wrapped my mantle tightly around my body. I pulled the window's curtain across and looked down at the Anduin River. Did I have the sight? I knew that Elvish Blood ran through my veins, but my father said it was now very weak. I was a true Numenorean, though. Perhaps that is why I was dreaming such things. Maybe it was a dream and nothing more. I walked over to the basin and splashed cold water over my face. After getting back in bed, a thought kept tugging at me. It was something that I had closed away from myself, too afraid to hear it. But after that dream, I could now hear it vividly:
The Darker Days Are Coming...