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Memoirs of a Princess
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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29
High Hopes

2982

I was right. I was doomed.

At the end of the year 2982, I discovered I was with-child once more. I cried when I was told the news. I cried for hours and hours, hugging my pillow. I did not want this child. I was afraid for it; afraid of what sort of life he or she would have to endure. I supposed I should have expected it to happen. I was never cold towards Denethor when we were in bed. I always did my duty as a wife, even though I always felt uncomfortable through the whole procedure.

I knew that Denethor would be pleased with my condition, but I could find no comfort creating new life in a time where other life was abruptly being taken from those already alive. The Dark Lord had sent a battalion of Orcs into Ithilien, heading towards Osgiliath. The scouts of Gondor immediately alerted their officials, and the entire enemy force was destroyed twenty miles south of Osgiliath. Everything was now in motion, and I feared mostly for Boromir. My poor boy. My poor child! Why do I always get this cold feeling that he shall die young? It is something that no mother should ever think of.

"Ah, Finduilas," Denethor said spiritedly as I entered his study. "I have some news!"

"As do I," I replied, feeling my stomach turn.

"Tell me," he said in an almost serious tone.

"Well," I said, taking a seat. I did not wish for him to embrace me with joy. I just wanted to get it over with, "I am with-child once more."

The air was silent as Denethor took in my news. His face went from surprise to utter happiness. "Is it true?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "The midwife says that I am due mid next year."

My husband walked over to me and kissed my hand. "I am so happy," he said, gazing down into my eyes. "Do you hope for a daughter this time?"

I had not actually considered it, but a daughter would be nice. I smiled. "A daughter would please me, as would a son. I do not mind either."

Denethor nodded. "Well Boromir shall be delighted. He has been asking me if he would ever have a sibling." He paused. "My news to you is that Boromir's training is being moved to Minas Tirith."

"Really," I said, feeling happiness engulf me. "Is it so?"

He nodded again. "Yes. Our son shall be returning within the week."

I smiled once more. "I am very happy."

...

I found little time for rest in the days to follow. Denethor and Ecthelion had publicly announced my condition, and people were constantly approaching me, offering their warm words and best wishes. They made me feel better about my pregnancy, and I held onto the hope that I would deliver a daughter. I even secretly vowed that I would name her Voronda.

The nursery was being set up once more. New linen and cloth of blues, silver, and gold were being used, and I sat with my maids and embroidered pillow covers to be used in the cradle. The more involved I became, the more excited I felt. I was fixed with the idea that I was carrying a girl. I knew that if I were to birth another boy, he would be sent away from me just as Boromir had been. It would pain me immensely to see another child of mine being taken away from my arms.

Boromir came to visit me one afternoon as I sat in my chamber embroidering a quilt. My son bowed elegantly at me. "Lady Mother," he said as officially as he could muster.

I grinned and placed my embroidery on the table. "My sweet boy," I said, opening my arms. "Come here."

Hesitantly, Boromir walked across the room and embraced me. "May I sit with you?" he asked after regaining his posture.

I nodded. "Most certainly." Boromir sat across from me and clasped his hands on the table; he was much the image of his father when he did that. "I am sure your father has informed you of my condition," I started carefully. I was still not sure how Boromir would react to the idea of having a younger sibling, even though Denethor praised the whole matter.

Boromir nodded. "Yes, mother. He told me that I will be expecting a younger sibling in the months to come."

"How do you feel about this?" I asked.

"I... I feel fine," he replied, slightly tilting his head to the side. "Father told me that if I am to have a little brother, that I will be his guardian."

I raised my eyebrows. I had not heard of this plan. "Truly? Well, nevertheless, this child will not sway mine or your father's love for you."

Boromir nodded. "I know, mother."

"Are you enjoying your new training here in Minas Tirith?" I inquired. I was starting to find it rather difficult to produce a reasonable conversation with my son, for he was so stern and quiet for his young age of four.

"I am," Boromir said, his face lighting up as he spoke. "Father says if I finish this year with an outstanding grade, he will grant me my first real sword such a one which is actually used in real battles!"

I forced myself to smile. I was actually quite displeased with this. I did not want Boromir to own his own sword until he was at least able to hold it up without falling over. But then again, it did not surprise me. Denethor went ahead and gave Boromir things without consulting me. He even made promises to him, which I never found out until I heard the servants gossiping. Whenever I confronted Denethor on the matter, he told me that I was interfering in business that should only be discussed between a father and son. How ridiculous!

"Mother," Boromir said, leaning across the table. "Father says that one day I will be the focus of stories of war and glory. How does he know this?"

War and glory? I felt so embarrassed. What on Earth had gotten into Denethor's mind! Boromir was still a child! My child. It would take over a decade before Boromir would even be able to join the army.

"Do not think too much of his words, Boromir," I replied. "I want you to think of the present and nothing more."

Boromir nodded, staying silent for several moments. "Need I plan for the future?"

I chuckled. "Darling, you are far too young to be planning your own future. You need to leave that for your father and I to arrange."

"What is there to arrange?" he asked in an almost demanding tone.

"Well," I started, "your father and I have been discussing possible ladies for to wed."

Boromir gawked at me. "No! Please, mother! I do not wish to marry!"

"Hush now," I said, raising my hand to silence him. "You do not need to marry for many, many years."

"How many years?" he asked curiously.

"Well, I shall expect you to at least be married in twenty years time," I answered. "You will be twenty-four by then, and that is a ripe age for marriage."

Boromir did not look satisfied. "Do I have to?"

I sighed. "Darling, you need not worry. It is still a very long time away. By then I am certain you will have changed your mind on the idea of marriage."

"Why?" he asked.

"Because, it is very unheard of for a person of noble birth to remain unmarried, and need I tell you that one day you will be the Steward of Gondor? As a Steward you are duty bound to produce a legitimate heir."

My poor son did not seem to be grasping the dynamics of marriage very well. "Then may I at least wait until I am Steward to marry?" he asked.

"Perhaps," I replied earnestly. "But do not become upset if your father makes arrangements for an official betrothal."

"What is a betrothal?" he asked curiously.

"A betrothal is when two people are legally promised to each other. By becoming betrothed those two people will eventually have to marry," I said, hoping it made sense. "Your father and I were betrothed before we were married. It happens before every marriage in Gondor."

Boromir let out a long sigh. "I still do not like the sound of it at all."

"Then clear your mind of it," I said, soothingly. "You need not worry at your age. I want you to be happy, for it is every mother's wish for their child to be happy."

Boromir smiled. "I am happy. You and father make me happy, and hopefully, my future younger sibling will make me happy also."

I smiled. His words greatly touched my heart. "You are a good boy, Boromir. Always remember it."

Boromir got out of his seat and bowed. "I take my leave, mother."

After he had gone, I sat back in my chair. Boromir was emotionally growing faster than he was physically, but I guess it was to be expected of a child who is heir to the Steward of Gondor's throne. I was not concerned that Boromir disliked the idea of marriage. My brother, Imrahil was a grown man and still, he found the idea of marriage a little too much. Boromir would grow out of it.

That, I was certain of.

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