Faramir stood in the
doorway. Much as he would rather avoid this, he knew what was expected
of him, of the Steward. Shaking his head, he entered the room.
Soon, his fathers wardrobe had been taken away, art hung elsewhere,
rugs replaced, the desk traded for Faramirs own, as were all books
and maps. The bed was too large to remove but the linens and bedding would
be replaced. Even the type of strewing herbs used was changed. The room
was to be completely purged
no part of Denethor would remain, not
even his scent, to prod at memories if Faramir was required to sleep here
and he was.
One item remained, a small chest found when the ticking was removed from
the bedstead. Faramir pointed at it and flicked his wrist toward the door,
as he had done with everything else. No one moved. Faramir looked for
the first time at the people he had been commanding, his eyes met Denethors
valet. Sir, your father never allowed any of us to touch that chest.
I will remove it if necessary, but only after his heir opens it.
Faramirs hands tightened on the back of the divan that had been
supporting him since he arrived. Had he not been keenly aware of the pain
and sympathy in the servants eyes he would have found someone else
to rid him of it, instead he nodded and sat on the bench before opening
The silver threads outlining each feather of the silken wing caught his
attention, the blue velvet, crushed from being balled tightly in the corner
of the chest. He lifted the banner, examining the border design, the trace
stitchery. Faramirs brows furrowed as he recognized the banner.
He remembered Imrahil bearing this very standard as he followed his sister
along the Rath Dínen; recalled him draping it over Finduilass
body as she lay in the House of the Stewards.
After the entombment, his uncle shared that Finduilas had sown the banner,
gifting him with it the first time he led the Knights of Dol Amroth into
battle. He told Faramir that Finduilas would be strengthened on her journey
bearing the standard of her first family. The boy knew this to be true
for he had witnessed his mother standing on the ships wall looking
south times uncountable, had watched her eyes light and her back straighten
when she recognized the banner of the White Swan in the distance each
time Dol Amroth came to Minas Tirith.
Faramirs eyes filled, realizing there was no tomb remaining to drape
this over, it had been destroyed with his father. He sat on his mothers
divan clutching the banner that should have been left with her to his
breast, once again consumed with his impotence.
A sudden memory blazed against his closed eyes. He lay dying, his shoulder
on fire, the rest of him encased in ice, as the shadow devoured him. Suddenly
he was lifted, strong arms surrounded him and he felt a brief instance
of warmth as he opened his eyes for the last time and he saw the White
Swan standard of Imrahil. His uncle had come to give him strength on his
journey as well.
That night, the Steward rested his head in his hands as he sat at his
desk; he still wearied too quickly. Leaning back, his eyes lifted to the
standard hanging on the wall of his new quarters. The banner that had
provided the strength he needed to remain long enough for his King to
claim him; the Standard, not of home, but of family.
|This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author
has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings,
places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien
Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain
original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author
will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work
on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author,
is available solely for private enjoyment, and may not be copied or redistributed
by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.