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64
Leavening

Agape requested a drabble about someone giving or receiving a blessing, preferably involving Gondorians. 350 words and no Gondorians per se, but it passed muster.


~~~

He had resolved to leave. Despite Elrond's entreaties and hers, he would not be swayed, and a mother's heart knew then that it must be so. Young men must always leave to find their feet, and whatever the blood in his veins, Aragorn was in this way as every other young man. She must step aside, let him go where a mother could not, where even brothers and fathers might walk only side by side, and face their fate alone. Might.

And so she, too, prepared, and when the dawn came that he should leave, she drew him to a halt just beyond their door, stooping to touch the damp earth.

"Mother, what—?"

"Be still," Gilraen commanded, quiet but firm, and her son ceased his fidgeting, though his brow wrinkled as she straightened and reached up—far up, he had grown this year—to draw a thumb dirtied with Imladris' soil across his forehead, smearing a dark mark there.

Then laying her hands upon his shoulders, she murmured, "A Herunúmen of far-seeing eyes, look well upon my son, whom I mark for this world for good and for ill. Bless his faring forth—well begun is well done, that he may not fall in vain. Bless the crooked paths of his return—there are no straight ways, but make straight the heart that treads them, that naught is done in vain. Bless the ways of the warrior—the sword is sharp on both sides, that bitterness be bled out of him, that he may not suffer in vain. Bless the narrow side-paths of the servant—may they narrow pride so that heart may grow greater, that he may not bend his back in vain. Look well upon him! Bless him, my son, with a spirit broad as the sea-ways, that in the living and dying, he may bless this world and lie down with honor at the journey's end."

Gilraen paused. "Old magic," she said at length. "Older than Elves even. Go now, son of Arathorn, and remember always the ways to which I have ordained you this day."

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