HASA Birthday Cards 2004
6. June 2004
Joining the Company - Alawa
When the days darkened towards midwinter, and the weather grew foul, The Pony’s common-room was the only place to be. Somewhat bemused, Aragorn found it could even be good, as a mug of Barley’s best appeared, unasked for, at his elbow.
He studied the ring of expectant faces, softened by ale and firelight. “Come on Strider! Give us another!” For once the shouts were friendly, suspicion forgotten in the strange magic of his tales.
Slowly, deliberately he sampled his beer, biding his time. Then, when he judged the moment right, he cast his spell again and a breathless silence reigned.
Time in the Ditch—Dwimordene
"There are no rooms here," the innkeep had said, and closed the door. And so Aragorn had departed, and found a place beyond the walls, beneath a little rise. And as he lay on his back, gazing tiredly up at the sky, he thought of a long ago evening.
"Weary of ditches?" Gandalf had replied to a young man's querulous question. "Yes, of course. But they have their advantages."
Aragorn smiled to himself. Through years and far lands, he had sought them, and finally discovered one: Time in the ditch was dark, but at least the stars shone clearest there.
* Titular phrase ripped off from John McCumber's book, "Time in the Ditch". He ripped it off from the story of Thales. So I don't feel quite so terrible.
Wandering in the Wild—Tanaqui
Another night of hard cold. No breath of wind. On evenings such as these, he builds the fire and watches bright Earendil sail westward.
He prefers the cold to the wet. The worst are the spring rains, when icy fingers find their way into all his gear and it seems he will never be dry. The stars are clouded then. On autumn nights, they come and go in the scurrying wrack, uncertain, unsettled, and he fears the lazy wind of the morrow.
Yet whatever the weather, always he is warmed by memories of a night of midsummer, and his Evenstar.
A prince among Halflings —Tanaqui
It is the coronation of my King, but we also honour the Halflings. Two who saved all Middle-earth. And two who saved that dearest to me alone.
Merry comes cheerfully to greet us. His cousin holds back; we are both a little shy. When last we met, I did not know what had befallen, nor the part he played.
“Peregrin, son of Paladin,” my voice seems as stiff as my bow, “you have served Gondor well and her Steward thanks you.”
Yet more is needed. I kneel so our faces are level. “Pippin,” I take his hands, “I thank you.”
Ti'ana Luthien: I'd like something happy with Boromir and Faramir together. Any period of time is fine but no slash please.
The City resplendent gleams beneath the king's banner. The widow in her weeds becomes a bride in her brilliance; Minas Tirith sheds the shroud of despair that has so long darkened her ways.
Walking her ancient streets, he feels Boromir close, like the heat on his back, intimate as his own shadow. Despite grief Faramir is glad, for not by hands alone is Minas Tirith transformed, else shades linger on, dead in memory. Eyes, too, must see as through a different glass:
For our fallen live now but in us. Therefore walk with me, brother—live renewed in my sight!
Avon: I'd absolutely love Legolas and Aragorn friendship (not romance) but for those who find that too much of a stretch I could enjoy almost any Legolas - or Faramir and Boromir.
Taken -- by Arandil
A son of Gondor, a noble man whose loyalty to his people is second to nothing. My brother in arms, he made me realize the strength left in men; there is courage yet. I know now, when I fight for this world, til my last breath, I won't be alone.
He fell too soon. His blade sang that day, but we were overcome. The enemy has claimed another fine warrior; a son, a brother, now never to be a father. His death will not be in vain; our city will not fall and the strength of men will not fail.
Snow on Snow -- by Nickey
They both are deep in drifts so high their heads are little more than indentations in the snow. I look down and laugh for joy of the sight, turned back to darker paths though we are, for strong backs of Men, and light feet of Elves will yet prevail, and Fellowship will hold, through more than Caradhras’ spite. Although unlooked for, when first I set out from my father’s halls, I am now blessed, for I have found this friendship that blooms as flowers in the Spring, and proud am I, that now I have Men to call Elf-friend.
“He laughs at us, Aragorn.” Boromir’s beard is full of snow, and yet I know that if I too were to smile, the proud Man of Gondor would not understand, would take it amiss that the laughter of an Elf comes whether one wills it or no, and the heart of a ranger lightens to hear it, even here, deep in the drifts of Caradhras’ malice. So, instead, I clasp his shoulder, as all the reassurance I can offer, and bend to shovel again with a will. I can smile then, secretly, into the snow. Legolas will understand my silence.
There is something strange about this man, a hidden power that belies his rough appearance. He is one of the Dúnedain it is true; yet somehow different to any mortal I have met before.
He captured this foul creature in Mordor and journeyed here at Mithrandir’s behest. Who is he that he would go where Elves fear to tread? Who is he that Mithrandir would trust him with such an errand?
‘Estel’ he names himself and speaks our tongue as one born to it. As I approach him he looks up, and his eyes seem to pierce my very soul.
Nickey: My birthday is June 7th as well, and I'd like anything hobbity, if I may? Merry in particular, I never think he gets enough attention
The Party Tree was alive with lights. Dancers swirled and the guests laughed over their plates. No fireworks this time, Merry thought, feeling a touch of sadness. No wizard. No Frodo. Everything was different, yet the Shire seemed unchanged.
Or was that true? For there was Sam, the blushing new-made mayor. And the new Party Tree had gold leaves. And then, Merry thought, smiling suddenly, there was the greatest proof of the world's changing. For Peregrine Took, who'd never seemed likely to settle, had eyes only for Diamond as they danced alone.
"No more changes for the worst," Merry murmured.
Fellow Travellers - Alawa
Aragorn found his new travelling companion under the stars. “We had no chance to speak, after the Council, but please forgive my harsh words - I was taken by surprise.”
Legolas bowed, gracefully, remorsefully. “The fault was entirely ours.”
“I wonder. I fear I may be too close to see clearly where that miserable creature is concerned.”
“Two months dangerous travel burdened with such as he. Foul-mouthed, sly, recalcitrant - and the smell! A sore trial indeed.”
“Indeed, but at least you may be certain I will not bite.” Aragorn’s smile glinted in the moonlight as light-hearted laughter drifted through the trees.
Beruthiel: I'd like a moment between Pippin and Diamond of Long Cleeve. It can be before or after their wedding, but preferably after.
Lady Aranel: Legolas, Legolas, Legolas.... mmmm... Legolas. No slash please! Het. smut, non-smut, OFC all welcome.
"Daro!" Legolas cried into the night air. The shuffling sound of heavy boots on fallen leaves stopped.
"Nock your arrows," he whispered to the other elves, reaching into his own quiver and fitting a well-crafted feather to his bowstring. "What business have you in Greenwood?" he demanded, stepping into the clearing.
Never had he imagined he'd face twelve half-starved dwarves, huddling together. Yet there they were. The one in the tattered blue hood looked at him, the muddling effect of spiders' venom clear in his eyes.
"Easy," Legolas said to the guard beside him. "Tie their hands tightly - but not cruelly."
Gone -- by Arandil
He is gone.
The pain stings my heart much like the cries of the gulls pierce my soul. A hand grasps my arm in an attempt at comfort and an expression of shared grief. I turn and look at my friend with new eyes. My last mortal friend. How long until he is taken from me as well? Why must my friends go where I may not follow? Alas for the curse of my people that I must watch while all I hold dear fades away.
He is gone, and with him a part of me is lost as well.
Knives - by Cheryl
“For you, muindor.”
Legolas slowly reached out, his hand wrapping around the ivory hilt of the graceful, yet deadly knife. Amazed, he looked up, locking eyes with his brother. “Celeduil, this is yours. I cannot accept it.”
The eldest son of Thranduil smiled. “I am a healer now, Legolas,” his hand closed around his brother’s as he gently pushed the knife to Legolas’ chest. “You carry its twin. They belong together, and your warrior skill is worthy of them both.”
Legolas nodded before smoothly pulling the knife from its sheath. He tipped the blade, watching the evening sunlight reflect from its flawless edge. After a moment, he reached over his shoulder and easily pulled the knife’s mate from its place in front of his quiver.
Legolas rolled his wrists, immediately noticing that not only were both blades perfectly balanced, but also they were also perfectly balanced to each other in both length and weight. Legolas’ smile broadened as he looked once again at his brother. “They do belong together, muindor. Le hannon.”
Muindor = brother
Le hannon = many thanks
Miss - by Cheryl
“Legolas?” Gimli slowly approached the elf, looking back and forth between his friend, and a gold-feathered arrow lodged in the tree in front of him.
Gimli wiped an oiled cloth over his axe and stared up at the troubled elf. “It matters not, my friend.”
Hesitantly, Legolas reached out, running his fingers over the arrow’s feathers before pulling it from the tree. “Nay, Master Dwarf, it matters greatly.”
Gimli rolled his eyes in exasperation. “You missed one shot, Legolas! Your next arrow found its mark. Nothing ill came of it!”
Anger replaced bewilderment as Legolas looked down at his friend. “If the next one had missed too, you’d be dead, elvellon.”
“Bah!” A mischievous glint appeared in the dwarf’s eyes. “No dwarf is ever blindsided by an orc!”
Anger dissolving, Legolas mouth curled slightly in amusement. “Your ego is formidable, Gimli.”
The dwarf’s grunt was non-committal. “So is your bow.”
Legolas lifted the arrow, staring at its head. “I’ve not missed since I was a novice.”
Gimli nodded and turned away. Stepping over the body of a slain orc, he paused, looking back at his friend. “No one is perfect, Legolas.”
Smiling, Legolas returned the arrow to his quiver.
elvellon = "elf friend"
Blossoms -- by ErinRua
(for both Avon and Lady Aranel.)
"The city blooms, Legolas," Elessar said, inhaling the fragrances of spring.
Beside him a tall elf gazed contentedly on the changes peace had wrought. "Yes. Leaf and stone together. Look, the morning glories are halfway up the wall."
Bell-shaped blossoms nodded in jeweled hues beneath the smiling sun. Legolas faced Elessar, his own smile widening.
"Nor is the city all that blooms. The Evenstar has never looked more radiant."
Astonishment wiped the king's face momentarily blank. "How did you - we have told no one!"
"I see it in her eyes, my friend." Legolas' hand clasped Elessar's shoulder. "And in yours."
How old? -- by paranoidangel
(double drabble for Gywnydd, Avon, Nickey and Lady Aranel)
"Come on, Pippin, he doesn't look much older than you."
"Why don't we ask him? Loser buys the beer at the next inn we see?"
"That could be a very long way," but Aragorn was smiling as he dropped back level with the two hobbits. "What is the wager?"
"Ah," Aragorn nodded, pretending not to hear Legolas catch up to them.
"Do you know?"
"Yes, Merry, I do."
"Tell us!" Merry and Pippin exclaimed at the same time.
"Legolas might not want me to reveal it. Elves keep their ages a secret, you know."
"We won't tell him you told us."
"Well, if you promise." Aragorn bent down to whisper to the hobbits, "He is older than me, but younger than an Age."
"I can tell you Aragorn's age to the day," Legolas said, giving Aragorn a wicked grin.
"Traitor," Aragorn said as Merry and Pippin turned round, all thoughts of Legolas' age forgotten as the Elf whispered more quietly than Aragorn had.
When Legolas straightened the hobbits gave Aragorn a pair of smirks and ran to tell Frodo and Sam.
"And just what did you say, my friend?"
Legolas' only answer was a smile.
(for Avon, Gwynnyd and Lady Aranel)
I did not feel the cold of the snows, nor fear the voices in the wind. My heart was as light as my feet when I went to find the Sun.
How could I know that the brightness I truly loved lived in those stout bodies and brave hearts, struggling with the elements of Arda?
I thought I loved the woods and the waters, yet it was not the trees nor the singing streams that made me fight the call of the sea.
I feel the chill of their departing and I fear the spaces where their voices will be.
And there make a garden—Tanaqui
The steward watched as the elf paced around the room, passionately expounding his ideas. He wondered if this was some kind of test on the part of the King. At last, Legolas ceased speaking.
Faramir pointed to the map, covered with a tracery of notes and cross-hatchings added as the damage to the City had been surveyed.
“Did you have a particular part of the City in mind for these plans?”
Suddenly a smile lit Legolas’s face.
“I believe the Prince of Ithilien is in need of assistance planning the garden in Emyn Arnen he promised to the White Lady….”
Rainsong: I like Celebrian and Miriel.
I Watched Too Long These Waves—Ainaechoiriel
I watched too long these waves; so swiftly rising. I longed to watch his failure, my husband's. And his puppetmaster Sauron's. Too long I stayed watching, rejoicing in the fall of this wicked people, my own no longer: they chose evil. All the Faithful now are gone, gone to the fires or gone to the waves, gone in nine ships led by Elendil. Too late I ran for the Meneltarma, where once we prayed and then we burned. I cry out for salvation, but the waves run quicker than I. I watched too long these waves and now I die.
I Welcome These Waves—Ainaechoiriel
(AU: This one is AU, giving a different perspective to Tar-Miriel)
I welcome these waves, climbing ever higher, here to the Meneltarma, where once we prayed and then we burned. I longed to watch his failure, my cousin's, my husband's. And his puppetmaster Sauron's. I rejoice with the waves, joyful in the fall of this wicked people, once my people, my father's people. The Faithful now are gone, gone to the fire or gone to the waves, gone in nine ships led by good Elendil. To the East they go, back to where we started long ago. And I go to the waves, to peace and an end to my despair.
Reunion - paranoidangel
The moment Elrond saw her he threw himself into her arms and held on tight. He reminded himself of her touch and her scent, but most of all that she was there and she was whole again.
He never wanted to let go but had to pull back to better remember her kiss, finding his memory a pale comparison to reality. He fortified himself with the look in her eyes directed at him and knew he could deny it no longer and would had to face reality.
Taking a deep breath he said, "I have to tell you about Arwen."
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