Sunlight streamed through the window and the keen, crisp air rushed into the chamber, bringing with it the scent of damp grasslands and the promise of fair - weathered morning. Éomer muttered something in his sleep, which sounded strangely like “never saw a prettier lass…” and pulling the cloak faster around him, tried to shift to a more comfortable position. Yet, when the sound of light footsteps shuffled very close by, he sprang from the chair, his hand lightening upon the belt in a vain search of his sword, as bleary – eyed, he searched the room for Orcs, in the true fashion of a Rider who spent all his life at the warfront. His search, however, failed to reveal any immediate danger, and his eyes, instead upon the hideous Orc figure, fell upon that of a very young, and indeed quite sweet – faced chambermaid, who stood near the open window, giggling softly. At first, quite confused as to the source of her mirth, he turned again to look around the room, but once more failed to find anything amiss or even untidy, with the slight exception of his own dishevelled self.
Only when his neck started to ache rather uncomfortably did he look down upon his improvised sleeping place, and noticed a small sheet of parchment, partly unfolded and filled with female handwriting. Realizing it must have been placed in his lap while he slept, most likely with the intention of having him read it as soon as he woke up, he bent down to grasp it. The young maid, tragically inept in the court’s etiquette, and too amused with her own speculations at to the origin of the letter to be observant of the standard protocol, started to laugh much too audibly. The King, who at any other time, would not mind in the slightest listening to the pretty girl’s laugh, correctly interpreted the reason for her enjoyment, and annoyed, promptly sent her away.
It was enough that the entire court gossiped about his enchantment with the young Lady of Dol Amroth; he would not abide hearing tales of how their King spent his nights reading letters from mysterious maidens. Éomer sat down again, rubbing his eyes, and trying to recall just how he spent the past night.
After the mighty gale forced them to retreat to the Hall for the night, he succeeded in drawing Éowyn towards the tiny chamber at the back of the house, overlooking the garden, which sloped sharply down the slope, then rose at the anchor of the mountain roots. It was largely neglected as a place of residence, due to the unfortunate fact of never getting enough sunlight, except for a short time in the early morning, and that was a lovely time indeed, as Éomer confirmed, looking out of the window. The room was dear to him for another reason; at a very young age, he would sit there with his mother, and she would tell him tales of the great Riders, his own father featuring rather prominently in many of them, as she cuddled a tiny bundle in her arms.
After becoming the King, he ordered the chamber made comfortable again, with fire burning at all times, and that bit of unconscious foresight served him well last night. Éomer helped his sister settle near the fire, removing their cloaks to dry and waiting for her to begin… He did not quite know what he expected her to begin. Perhaps he expected she would talk to him about Faramir, about everything she has been through since he went away, he would not even have been surprised if she talked to him about the War, about that fatal battle leading to events which changed her life forever, but none of that happened.
She stopped crying, and just sat silently, staring into the fire. At length, he gathered he would have to start the conversation, but as soon as he opened his mouth to speak, she began with the request that left his mind reeling.
“Promise me, brother, that when your daughter is born, you will not
bring her up as a shieldmaiden.”
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.