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Pilgrim

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Summary: Lady Finduilas and little Boromir hear a song leading to an unusual encounter in one of the gardens of Minas Tirith. It's strange how such little things can change the future.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Lord of the Rings > Tara-CenteredCarnenFR1315,623141,61620 Mar 0620 Mar 06Yes
Illustration

Title: Pilgrim
Fandoms: BtVS & LOTR (mix of movie and bookverse)
Disclaimer: I don’t own LOTR or BtVS. The lyrics of the song included in the story are from ‘Pilgrim’ by Enya. The title of the story is hers too.
Summary: Lady Finduilas and little Boromir hear a song in the gardens of Minas Tirith, leading to an unusual encounter. It’s strange how such little things can affect the future.
A/N: A random thought which struck me while randomly wandering the Internet and randomly coming across this song.
A/N2: Title art is in the story...don't own the images that went into its making...

Minas Tirith (year 2983 of the T.A)

It was an exceptionally clear day, unclouded by the seemingly ever-present fug exuding from Mordor. The sky was a bright blue with stray wisps of white clouds traveling here and there, doing little to obscure the shining sun. In other words, it was a perfect spring day for a lady of Gondor to indulge in a little shopping with her little son. She held his hand to keep him from disappearing into the crowds every time he was distracted by a new sight or smell. Of course, there was little chance of him coming to harm; the populace adored the lively child that was Boromir, heir to the heir of the Stewardship, but still, it was better to be safe.

“Look, mama!” the little sprite in question exclaimed, tugging on Finduilas’ arm to gain her notice and pointing to the cause of his excitement. Finduilas gave a gentle smile and dutifully turned her concentration from that marvelous bolt of blue fabric she had been admiring at a stall to the vendor selling the little kittens which had so captured her son’s attention.

“They are so fluffy,” was all that Boromir managed to get out between his giggles as he picked up a little black feline with a single white paw from the many in the box. The kitten seemed to be in agreement with this new position and promptly started to purr and rub against him. He gave a delighted squeal and turned pleading green eyes to his mother.

Stifling a fond smile, Finduilas pretended to give the matter serious thought. She could not really blame her little knight for becoming so enraptured, for had she not also instantly fell in love with the little ball of fluff in his hands (and if she was honest with herself, had been considering getting him a pet just the other day)?

“If I am to allow this, you must agree to take good care of it, Boromir. Just like you will take good care of your little sibling when he or she comes, yes?” she put a hand upon her expanding belly while speaking, capturing his attention far better with that remark than if she had immediately agreed. Quite solemnly the boy replied,

“Of course I’ll take good care of it, mother. I’ll take good care of them both, just like papa will take good care of Gondor!” A four year old child again replaced the serious persona as he gently grabbed the small kitten, smiled delightedly and looked up at his mother adoringly.

His mother gave into the fond smile and gently ran her hand through his hair, all the while reaching for her purse, intending to pay for the new pet. She gave the vendor a slightly exasperated look (ruined by the smile still playing upon her lips) to which the man only gave a helpless shrug and smile in return as he took the offered coins, indicating that the same thing had probably happened many a time today.


They took their leave of the vendor, Boromir’s newest acquisition firmly clutched in one hand, the other never leaving the reassuring grip of his mother. It was a beautiful day and they were still not due to come back to the citadel for many hours; the crowds milling about the streets of Minas Tirith were happily going about their business also enjoying such a carefree day, the threatening shadow almost forgotten. The blue fabric which had originally captured her attention as it had so reminded her of the sea was all but forgotten as Finduilas relaxed in a moment of pure contentment. A day with her son, out of the Citadel, just relaxing in a moment when no obligations were pressed upon her was a blessing. It would have been a perfect day if her husband had been here to join them instead of having to take up even more responsibilities in light of the Steward’s failing health. She gave a little wistful sigh, but was not willing to let such stray thoughts ruin her mood. Instead, she focused once more on Boromir, who was walking happily at her side, cooing every now and then to the black kitten. Deciding to rest a bit (carrying Hurin offspring was hard work!), she gently steered them to one of the many gardens present in the White City.

xxx

The greenery around her put her even more at ease and gave her a respite from the stone walls surrounding her. The garden was lovingly tended and pleasingly arranged, a brilliant array of colours at this time of the year. Boromir let go of her hand and raced ahead, plopping on the grass and was playing with his new kitten faster than she could blink. Finduilas gave a little laugh and was just about to settle on a shaded bench (the better to watch her little knight’s innocent play), when the faint sound of singing drew her attention.

It was a light melody, not exactly cheerful, but neither so filled with the sadness that all of the elven songs seemed to have. Intrigued, she called to Boromir and told him to not stray too far from her as she went to search for the owner of the voice.


“Pilgrim, how you journey
On the road you chose
To find out why the winds die
And where the stories go.

All days come from one day
That much you must know,
You cannot change what's over
But only where you go.”


It was a woman’s voice, clear and pretty, able to carry the tune well. The words also reminded her of someone, it niggled at the back of her mind, but she could not quite recall who. It was faintly reminiscent of the old fairytales which had captured her imagination when she was little and were now doing the same to the youngest Hurin. She was so engrossed in the song and gentle voice singing it, that she hadn’t even noticed Boromir going still as well, also listening to the gentle voice singing.


“One way leads to diamonds,
One way leads to gold,
Another leads you only
To everything you're told.

In your heart you wonder
Which of these is true;
The road that leads to nowhere,
the road that leads to you.”



She listened for a moment, savouring the happy memories of her childhood brought to the surface, before heading in the direction of the voice. It continued in that soothing tone, almost beckoning her to come closer.

“Will you find the answer
in all you say and do?
Will you find the answer
In you?”


Finduilas went deeper into the gardens, following the enchanting song. This area of the gardens was gradually growing thicker with trees and bushes with just a little stone path leading deeper into it. She had never been here before, preferring her personal garden which was much larger. But even this one was beautiful, with a charming quality.

A little songbird briefly sounded in the branches above her, joining into a chorus before flying off with a slight rustle of leaves. Finally, she reached a bend in the path where it opened up in a small private clearing. The voice was clearer from here. Finduilas found herself reluctant to announce her presence at this moment and brake the song.

”Each heart is a pilgrim,
Each one wants to know
The reason why the winds die
And where the stories go.

Pilgrim, in your journey
You may travel far,
For pilgrim it's a long way
To find out who you are...”


Carefully, Finduilas peeked around a bush wishing to see the singer. A woman, slightly older than her, with long blond hair sat on a stone singing to a person Finduilas was not even aware was in the city. Gandalf sat across from her on a stone bench also listening intently, a small smile on his lips. Finduilas only noted his presence briefly before returning to her observation of the strange woman. She was far to used to his sporadic comings and goings and just as sudden appearances and disappearances to be too surprised.

There was an aura of sadness about the woman, although she seemed to be enjoying the song for the moment, and was unwilling to let it show in her words. It was her eyes, Finduilas decided, which showed it. She wondered what she was doing here and where she came from; what had caused this sadness? The song continued, but it seemed to be nearing an end.

“Pilgrim, it's a long way
To find out who you are...

Pilgrim, it's a long way
To find out who you are...”


xxx

There was a moment of silence as the song ended in which the woman sighed. She turned to the old man sitting on a bench nearby, smiling slightly. He returned her smile and gave a delighted little chuckle.

“That was truly wonderful, my dear” Gandalf said.

Tara blushed a little, but was still pleased he liked it, even though she rarely sang. It was ever rarer that she sang a song from Earth, disliking the sad memories it would inevitably bring. She did not really dislike the life she had made for herself here, but a certain loneliness and longing to return was always present within her. She could rarely talk to anyone about her life before her ‘death’, having to keep up appearances as nothing more than a Healer, a vocation she had chosen upon arriving. Gandalf’s presence was a relief, for she could relax around him and he would not question her occasional silence.

“Now tell me, was there a particular reason you chose this song?” Gandalf’s eyes were merry as he made to light up his pipe, fully aware of why she chose it. She laughed a little in return before haltingly replying,

“You know it reminds me of you, Gandalf. You’re always out and about, wandering…” He was fondly nodding; the first puffs of smoke emerging “sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong…” He gave a little cough and a reproachful look, to which she only laughed.

“It also reminds me of home…” she said softly, looking away. Gandalf’s face took on a more serious expression and he lowered his pipe thoughtfully.

“A long time has passed since you came here, do you not think it is time to put it behind you? You have many years left in this world; I would not have them be so marred with your sorrow.”

“I know that Gandalf, it’s just…”she stopped, unable to continue.

“You miss them, I know, child”, he said and pulled her into a hug. Tara sank into his familiar warmth, not crying, but still taking much needed comfort, inhaling the scent of pipe weed that always seemed to follow the wizard.

Rustling from the nearby bushes caught their attention and Tara pulled out of Gandalf’s embrace only to see a small child run into the clearing. The moment he saw them, however, he stopped abruptly. Remembering his manners, he quickly sketched a bow, a small kitten clutched to his chest. Gandalf gave a hearty laugh, which the child returned with a smile, forgetting for the moment that he was supposed to dislike the Maia.

“Boromir!” his mother called, also emerging from the bushes to rein him in. She looked slightly flustered; embarrassed that she had intruded on the moment. When it had been clear that this was obviously a private moment between the two, she had turned to leave, only to find her little son brushing past her into the clearing.

“Finduilas!” Gandalf exclaimed, “I had not expected you to be here, my dear. And little Boromir as well.” He smiled at both of them. Tara was sitting there a bit uncertainly, but still smiled at them both. “Ah, I do not believe either of you have met Tara yet. Tara, this is the lady Finduilas, mother of this little imp before you.” She relaxed a bit, trusting Gandalf.

“A pleasure to meet you, my lady.” She said, “And you as well, Boromir” she smiled at him brightly; her spirits lifting at seeing such a happy child.

“Likewise” Finduilas replied, “I apologize for the intrusion, Boromir seemed to find it imperative to explore this garden to the fullest extent.” She gave her son an amused look. Quite cheekily, he said
“But mama, didn’t papa always say that a good Steward is supposed to know his city and the people? Exploring seems to be a fine way to do so.”

Chuckling a bit, Gandalf was quick to assure her that it was no intrusion. “Nonsense, we were just catching up a bit. Come and join us for a while, my dear.”

Smiling, Finduilas said, “Very well, if you are sure we won’t get in the way. I’ve been up on my feet for far too long. A little rest is needed, I think.” She settled on the bench next to Gandalf, sighing a little in relief. Turning to Tara, she said, “I couldn’t help but overhear earlier, that was a beautiful song.”

“Oh, it was n-nothing special, just a song from home. It was not even my favourite, but it seemed appropriate.” She blushed a bit.

“Indeed,” Finduilas lightly laughed, “it brings Mithrandir to mind, does it not?”

Tara finally seemed to fully relax, put at ease by the other woman’s musical laughter.
Sensing her shyness, Finduilas endeavored to strike up more conversation. Meanwhile, Boromir was still studying Gandalf, trying to decide if he was to be trusted, like his mother obviously did, or to distrust him like his father did. He absentmindedly stroked his kitten, cocking his head to one side, unknowingly mirroring the little feline in his arms. Gandalf, not unaware of the child’s scrutiny (nor the reasons for it), smiled seeing the identical gestures. Knowing it was probably useless in the long run to have the child trust him, he still made an effort. Sneakily, he presented the lad with a wrapped piece of candy, winking so that his mother didn’t see it.

Putting his indecision aside, Boromir gave him a brilliant smile and accepted the offering. He settled down on the ground in between the bench and the stone where Tara was sitting. Perhaps the wizard was not as bad as his father had said. Puzzled a bit, he asked “Why does that song bring Mithrandir to mind, mama? He just comes and goes as he pleases. And he already knows who he is, doesn’t he?”

They all smiled at his innocence, but Gandalf was the one who answered, “I travel far and wide, Boromir, meddling a bit here and there,” at this he cast an amused glance at Tara, “searching for answers to my questions, giving help and counsel where it is needed. That is one reason they call me the Grey Pilgrim. However, I do indeed know who I am and why I’m here.”

Boromir brightened considerably, “So you’re a pilgrim, just like from the song. Do you help other people find out who they are? I should think it would be nice to help those who don’t know if you have already figured it out.”

Surprised at the boy’s intuition, Gandalf didn’t immediately answer. It was Tara who did, “That’s right Boromir. I-it’s not very easy to find such a thing out for yourself. Sometimes we need a little help if we stray from our path. B-but we must first trust people to help us and that is not always easy either. Sometimes we don’t w-want any help.” she finished sadly, still remembering.

Boromir’s little brow furrowed, trying to comprehend. After a little while he smiled and said, “That sounds silly. Well, when I find it out, I’ll be sure to help others. I’ll protect them.”

Finduilas spoke up now, proud of her son, “Of course you will, Boromir. You’ll be a true knight one day. But you don’t have to worry about such things for now.” She hoped to actually give him a childhood, a thing lost upon many of the nobles.

“That is an admirable goal, son of Denethor,” Gandalf finally put in thoughtfully. “Yes, an admirable goal,” he said again quietly.


Quite suddenly, Boromir’s little kitten gave a little meow, poking its head from its comfortable position in Boromir’s arms, dispelling the quiet mood which fell upon the small gathering.

“Oh, she is just adorable. What is her name?” Tara cooed, immediately charmed by the fluffy thing. Boromir, pleased that she liked his kitten, held her out so that she could pet it.

“I do not know yet, mama only bought her for me today. Would you like to name her?”

“Oh, I’d love to, but I’m not very good at naming things. The last cat I owned I had named Ms. Kitty Fantastico…”, she replied, still stroking the kitten’s head, much to its delight. Boromir made a face at the unusual name, but still said, “I’m sure you could think of a suitable name, Tara.”

Tara thought for a moment before reaching into a small pouch. She drew out a star shaped pendant, one which Willow had given to her before…everything. It seemed like such a lifetime ago since she left. In a way it was. Pushing such thoughts away, she put the little keepsake around the kitten’s neck.

“I still don’t know what you should call her, but this’ll be a way for you to recognize her. As long as she wears it, she will be safe from harm. T-take good care of her, Boromir.”

Eyes wide at the gift, Boromir nodded vigorously, silently promising to treasure the trinket closely. Looking at his kitten, he thought she looked even cuter with the little star about her neck. He thanked Tara and turned to his mother, showing her the accessory. Tara smiled, thinking it a far better use for a necklace she could hardly look at without tears, happy that it had pleased the boy so.
She felt lighter for some reason, as if finally putting something behind her. She would not forget, but maybe, now, she could let it go…if only a little bit. Gandalf smiled at her, his eyes merrily echoing the pleasure in seeing the simple joy of the family. She smiled back, before turning to the conversation much lighter of heart.

xxx

They talked long into the afternoon as the sun westered on the sky. The two women were deep in conversation, having taken a liking to one another, while Gandalf took the chance to get to know Boromir better – something which he had given up on when he had first seen his father’s disapproval. Of course, this involved many of his magic tricks, with the small lad laughing excitedly, momentarily forgetting the etiquette which his tutors had strived to impress upon him since he could walk. Boromir had in fact decided he quite liked the old wizard and didn’t really understand his father’s insistence that he should be wary around him. In a show of trust that would have sent Denethor’s blood boiling, the child climbed up in the Istar’s lap and promptly fell asleep, tired from the day’s events. A moment later the kitten joined him, not wanting to be parted from its human for long.

Fond smiles from the women were exchanged at this adorable sight; Tara absentmindedly wishing for a camera to capture the image. Gandalf looked bewildered for a moment, before smiling to himself in acceptance. He shifted slightly to a more comfortable position and securely held the trusting little imp. The conversation between the three picked up again as dusk fell around them. The gardens remained peaceful, with leaves rustling gently in the breeze and the sweet smell of spring flowers softly floating around them.



Rivendell (year 3018 of the T.A)


The leaves of the trees in Rivendell moved in a swaying motion with the wind producing a soothing sound to the tired mind of Gondor’s Captain-General. He was walking among one of Rivendell’s lush gardens, trying to ease his mind enough to sleep. The 110 days he had been on the road, alone and most of it on foot, had not done wonders for his sleeping habits. He was physically and mentally exhausted, needing this respite badly. He needed a reprieve from the worrying, the uncertainty…he needed a hope which he was losing fast; ironically, he hoped that tomorrow’s Council would provide some answers.

Boromir sighed, and pushed such thoughts away, trying to let the serenity of Imladris reach him. He closed his eyes and leaned against a tree, titling his head back to catch the evening breeze. He imagined that if he listened carefully, he could hear the trees whispering in the wind, speaking soothingly. His breathing evened out slightly, calming his mind. He hadn’t done this so earnestly since he was a child, enraptured with the old tales and myths enough to believe that he too could connect with nature. It had never worked as such, but it was always calming in its own way. Sometimes it brought to mind blurry and faded memories of a voice just as soothing - but one which he always likened more to the waves of the sea than the sighing of the wind and trees.

xxx

A deep voice singing broke the quiet of the night, snapping him out of his reverie. He looked about curiously, in hopes of seeing the singer, for he did not sound like an elf. The possibility of another man being here had not occurred to him; he was anxious to see something known in a strange place. Boromir started to head towards the voice, feeling a familiarity to both the voice and the song. He had difficulty placing it, but a memory danced just out of his reach, elusive as the gentle wind sounding through the garden.

As he rounded the corner of the path, he came across a man sitting on the ground, leaning against the smooth trunk of a tree, singing that familiar song into the night. The man’s clothes were worn and muddy, speaking of long travels through the wilds. Yet for all of his ruggedness, the man had an air of quiet strength and dignity about him, reminding Boromir of the old stories about the ancient Sea Kings. He had obviously caught the singer in an unguarded moment; he was not paying attention to the Gondorian, but Boromir did not fool himself into thinking that the man did not know he was here.

The man finished the song, sighing sadly and then finally turned to look at his observer. Boromir looked back, his face not betraying the slight shock he received when he got a full view of the man’s face. Those eyes…that face… were familiar to him, just like his voice. They evoked memories of happier days, when his mother was still alive and the Shadow did not seem as threatening; memories that were of half forgotten, by gone days which seemed to be the only moments of his life that were peaceful.

“I know you,” he breathed, “from long ago…” The man looked surprised and a little…anxious?

“You knew me as Thorongil once, before I left Gondor,” he said slowly, like he was still deciding if he wanted to entrust the information to the younger man, “And if you are who I think you are…I’m surprised you still remember me, you were but two years old when I left.”

“I didn’t remember you by name, but your eyes…they haven’t changed,” Boromir gave a rueful smile, “You are one of the Northern Dunedain, then?”

Aragorn looked for a moment as if he wouldn’t answer, troubled by something. Then, reluctantly, “I am their Chieftain, Aragorn, son of Arathorn” He looked at Boromir, as if expecting something. Boromir drew in a sharp breath, eyes flicking to the ring barely visible on Aragorn’s hand. His eyes darkened and a frown appeared. Aragorn waited for the explosion he was sure to come, but, surprisingly, Boromir just sighed tiredly and unceremoniously flopped to the ground next to him. Aragorn blinked,

“That’s it? No angry speeches, no denouncement?”

Boromir snorted bitterly, “If after all of this time, you have not come to Gondor’s aid and claimed the throne, why should I think you would do so now? You obviously do not care for our people, why should I want someone like that to lead them?” Boromir looked at Aragorn, filled with resentment, “Instead you stay here, hiding, trying to escape your birthright, fighting from the shadows. Why? I cannot imagine the legendary Thorongil being afraid, is it because you think we are not worth fighting for? Was all of your time in Gondor just an assessment?” Gods, he was tired, and it did not help any in reigning in his tongue.

Aragorn blanched at Boromir’s words, trying to summon anger as a defense, yet failing, simply replaying the words in his mind. He was a little surprised at how quickly Boromir deduced everything; his brother was the one who was said to be the studious one. What had happened to that absolutely trusting and happy child he had known? He probably grew up wielding a sword as soon as he could hold one, his mind bitterly supplied, fighting for something you gave up on long ago. The words stung, but rang with the truth – he did not want to admit it, hadn’t admitted it to himself, but he was afraid. He did not really think when he replied, “I am afraid; afraid of failing, afraid of the weakness in my blood, afraid that I would not prove worthy to be a king.”


It was silent for a moment in the little glade they were in before Boromir spoke up quietly, “We are all afraid, Aragorn, but to let that fear take over you, that is folly.” Aragorn looked up incredulously. He had expected many things, but not understanding. Boromir was the first person – the first Man- to whom he had told this. And he did not abuse his trust when he had let his guard down. Perhaps his foster father was wrong; perhaps there was yet honour and strength to be found in Men.

“That song which you sang…where did you learn it? It is strange…I have this faint memory of hearing that song when I was but a child. It was a woman’s voice singing and always there is this image of sad blue eyes and a fleeting glimpse of golden hair…” Aragorn started a bit at the change in subject, but he was thankful to let it go for now. He sighed sadly upon remembering why he had been singing it in the first place.

“It was taught to me by a dear friend, long ago. That woman you described, it was she who taught me. She told me of her encounter with you and your mother in Minas Tirith’s gardens. She took a liking to you from the moment she met you – described you as the sweetest scamp she had ever met.”

Boromir was momentarily lost in thought, as Aragorn’s voice invoked a recollection of a sunny day, filled with happiness, his mother’s face, voices laughing – one gruff, aged voice, one with a tinge of sadness present and the last clear and content. He touched a small pendant hanging about his neck.

Aragorn noticing, smiled and continued, “She told me she gave you that pendant for your kitten and that you still hadn’t named it when she left…What did you name it in the end?”

“Tara,” he absentmindedly said, “I named her Tara,” he paused, his brow furrowing, “That was her name, wasn’t it? The memory…it is so clear now, I can even recall how Mithrandir smelled of pipe weed and dusty scrolls. He must have had just visited the archives…”he turned to look at Aragorn, his eyes sad, “What happened to her? She visited only that one time, I never saw her again.” The older man replied softly,

“It is two years to the day that she died.”

Boromir looked away, sad that he had never had the opportunity to get to know her better; he did not know why it affected him so. He swallowed and turned hopeful eyes to Aragorn before asking, “Tell me about her?”

Aragorn paused, smiling slightly at the small reminder of the little boy who had looked at him the same way, enraptured with his stories of the Elder days. He collected his thoughts and answered, “She died of old age here in Rivendell, after having lived a full, if not completely happy life. She always had this sadness about her, something which she could never let go. I never had the full story, but I trusted her, especially after she had saved my life. She was a Healer, loving and caring; very wise, too. She was shy and soft-spoken, but she also had a rarely seen temper. She was…strong…in her own way…”

xxx

The full moon rose slowly above them as they talked, illuminating the garden in which they were sitting. The night passed, their voices filling the otherwise silent air. They did not notice the subtle shift in Arda’s song as their conversation moved them to the foundations of a lasting friendship. The wind seemed to sigh, a faint undercurrent in it dissolved, leaving the future of Arda changed.

A grey garbed figure standing on a balcony smiled slightly, pleased to know that the Valar’s decision was not in vain.


Minas Tirith (year 2983 of the T.A, night)

The sounds of a soft voice singing lulled the small boy into dreams of wandering pilgrims, of journeys and travels and of half forgotten legends and myths. Sleep came to him slowly and peacefully, the song taking an almost lullaby quality as it ensured pleasant dreams. The soft hand stroking his hair made him drift further into sleep. Little Boromir barely stirred as a whisper of a kiss ghosted on his brow, leaving a slight tingle. Warmth spread through him and then he was fully in sleep’s embrace, a small smile on his lips.

xxx

Tara slowly stood up with a sad smile, leaving the boy asleep in his bed. She would stay in the Citadel as a guest of Finduilas for a day or two before leaving once more. This was her only chance to perhaps prevent the events she knew would come. When she had first set her eyes on the child, she had seen a sad future, filled with more battles and hardship than the Scoobies had ever faced, lost, burdened and losing hope; they were glimpses, vague feelings, however, nothing specific.

His final fate was unknown to her, but she could give him something to perhaps lighten the burden. A whispered spell of protection, a memory and a little spark of power were all that she could give him, all that she dared give him; she knew how fragile some worlds were and she would not have messed with its fate even if this world’s powers, the Valar, hadn’t warned her off during her transition. She did not know what would happen to this world, or when, but she knew the little child sleeping beside her would play a part. It was hard to imagine that a boy with such a sunny disposition would become that fierce warrior she had glimpsed. Tara permitted herself a last smile and a last feather touch which pushed a lock of his hair behind his ear before she left the room and closed the door, only to come face to face with Gandalf.

He was quietly standing in the stone hallway, leaning upon his staff, watching her, lips pursed. Tara stiffened for a spilt second thinking of what consequences this could have; all it took was remembering a bright and innocent smile filled with trust for her to lift her chin up, staring back defiantly. A ghost of a smile passed Gandalf’s face, in approval. Her bottom lip trembled a bit before the wizard drew her into his arms, much like he did earlier that day.

“I won’t see him again after I leave, will I?” she whispered, her face turned into his robes, inhaling his familiar and comforting smell.

“There are some things even the Wise cannot tell, Tara. You have given him all you could, even without knowing why. It is up to him to decide what to do with this small chance. It may change everything or it may change nothing, not even I know what will happen.”

She sniffled slightly at his words.

“Was this why I was brought here? To give him a chance? I don’t even know why he would need one.” She wiped the tears that had escaped and pulled back to look at Gandalf, “Even if it is the only reason why I’ve struggled…and will struggle… alone and afraid the whole time I’ve been here…it’s…worth it, I think. All I can think about is how lively he seemed, how happy and the thought that it will all be taken away from him is more than I can bear. That I could give him something to ease it even a little bit, to maybe prevent it…it was worth it…”




~Fin~

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