7. Memories of Avallone
It was all very beautiful but privately Boromir would have prefered honest sand and stone and grass and trees that changed with the seasons. The timelessness of Eldamar seemed wrong somehow, even threatening. He would be glad to leave this place though sorry to lose his companions.
"Remember, Boromir, once you return to Middle-Earth much that is now clear to you will become uncertain or even be forgotten." Mithrandir was saying.
"I understand." he said patiently.
And got a sharp look from beneath bristling brows. "I doubt it."
"It doesn't matter if he understands or not." Frodo said quietly. "I didn't understand at first either - which was just as well," Man and Wizard both looked at him in concern and he continued, slightly defiantly. "because if I had I'd have chucked the Ring into the Water and hidden under my bed! And I do wish you two would stop looking so worried everytime I mention the Ring. Getting better doesn't mean forgetting you know."
Boromir gave him a smile of apology before turning back to the Wizard. "I agree with Frodo. I don't have to understand. I know what I must do, that is enough."
Mithrandir closed his eyes, as if in pain, then opened them to look piercingly at the Man. "It will be hard," he warned, "harder than you imagine."
"Good." gently, "I need it to be hard, Mithrandir, I have much to make up for."
"You do not!" passionately from Frodo. "I've told you and I've told you, it was the Ring! It would have taken us all in the end - you were just the first." more quietly. "It overcame me. I couldn't destroy it. If it weren't for Gollum the quest would have failed."
Mithrandir thumped his staff impatiently. "Neither of you understands what he has done! Frodo, it was never your task to destroy the Ring, only to bring it to where it could be destroyed. And in that you succeeded, at great cost."
"As for you, Boromir, many have succumbed to evil but few have been able to free themselves from it as you did. You have nothing to atone for."
Hobbit and Man gave him almost identical, politely stubborn looks and the Wizard sighed, defeated. "Someday you will believe me - I hope." he looked sadly at Boromir. "You will die in battle as you did before. And the second time will be harder than the first."
"So be it." The Man said steadily. Then: "Mithrandir, I know I have been forgiven by the Powers - and the One above them." Turning he knelt down to look Frodo in the eye. "And I know I have your forgiveness too, Ringbearer. I do this so I will be able to forgive myself." ****
Mithrandir had been right, as usual. Boromir reflected, lying wakeful in Merry's big guest room listening to Aragorn's even breathing. It was hard and in ways he'd never expected.
He'd been braced for battle, prepared to bear loneliness and physical pain. Instead he found himself dealing with the joy of reunion with dear friends, and the heartache of knowing he must soon leave them again to their grief as well as his own.
Telling Merry and Pippin had been a mistake. They refused to accept the inevitability of his second death and he was begining to be afraid of what they might do to try to prevent it.
He was finding it surprisingly hard to bear himself. He'd lived with the possibility of death ever since he'd first taken up arms at eighteen but it had always been 'perhaps tomorrow' never 'now'. He was not afraid. He knew his ancestors had been mistaken, that the 'doom' they feared was indeed a gift. But it would be hard to lose the sunlight and the beauty of Middle Earth. Again.
And he found himself longing with piercing intensity for his City. To look on Minas Tirith one more time, to see his brother again. But that was one mistake he was resolved not to make. He wasn't going to destroy Faramir's peace as he had the Little Ones'. He closed his eyes, determined to sleep in spite of all. He'd said he wanted it to be hard and he had no right to complain if he'd been taken at his word.
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 the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.