Many Guises and Many Names: 12. Pipeweed (Gandalf)

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12. Pipeweed (Gandalf)

Icy gusts waked Gandalf from his reverie before the roaring fire in the taproom of the Prancing Pony. He peered expectantly over the glowing bowl of his pipe to see a tall, dark-haired man, swathed in a dripping-wet green cloak and hood, standing in the doorway. Gandalf flicked his hand in a quick signal.

As Aragorn made his way across the crowded taproom, Hobbits and Men alike cast him dark looks; one muttered, "Watch out, Strider's here!" At Gandalf's table, the Ranger threw off his cloak and reached his hands out to the fire.

"You're late," Gandalf said.

"Couldn't be helped," Aragorn shrugged. "Business at Sarn Ford. You don't mind a day or two of loafing over Butterbur's beer, do you?"

Gandalf grunted, took a long draw on his pipe and blew several luxurious smoke rings. "Anything of note?"

"Nothing unusual. I'll tell you when I've had a smoke and some hot food."

"Fair enough."

Sitting down, Aragorn reached inside his jerkin and brought out a pipe and a sweet-smelling pouch of pipeweed. He pushed the pouch toward Gandalf. "Longbottom Leaf. I've brought enough to share."

"What a handsome, fragrant wad," Gandalf said. He cleared his throat. "I do have a matter I wish to discuss with you." He closed his eyes and sucked at his pipe, knowing the delay would irk his friend. "When are you going to tell me?"

Aragorn arched his brows. "Tell you?"

"Come now, my friend," Gandalf said. "It's not easy to surprise me, and we know each other well."

Aragorn took refuge in applying a light to his well-tamped weed.

"Last year, Elrond tells me. So that's why you stayed so long in Lórien!"

"Now you know," Aragorn said, with one of his rare, mirthful smiles. "It changes nothing."

"Nothing and everything," Gandalf said. "Is it true you vowed that no marriage will take place until you win the thrones of both Gondor and Arnor?"

"She should have no less," Aragorn said gruffly.

Gandalf waved his pipe in the air. "I understand the lady herself is not as demanding as either her father or her betrothed."

"Perhaps," Aragorn said.

"Your heart is now one with your duty, I guess."

"That is so."

Gandalf let the silence stretch on a while before he continued, "And you will be Beren as well as Elendil."

Aragorn shifted restlessly in his chair, one corner of his mouth quirking in a rueful smile. "Only you would dare to say that. You know my views."

"For a man with so little pride, you have remarkable goals," Gandalf chuckled. "I have heard nothing for many years that has given me so much pleasure."

"Thank you."

An elderly Hobbit stumped abruptly to the table. "I suppose you want some food," he said to Gandalf in a surly voice. "But why you share your table with Strider is beyond me."

One knobby finger tapping the aromatic weed pouch, Gandalf winked at the old fellow. "He brings me the best pipeweed in the Shire."

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.

Story Information

Author: Gandalfs apprentice

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/02/08

Original Post: 04/16/05

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Many Guises and Many Names

Silivren Tinu - 03 Jan 07 - 3:56 PM

Ch. 12: Pipeweed (Gandalf)

I like how you explore so many different sides of Aragorn and stages of his life in these drabbles and vignettes, and include so many other characters while you're at it. I especially enjoyed this chapter, probably because I always loved the the relationship between Aragorn and Gandalf in the books.

"For a man with so little pride, you have remarkable goals," - A perfectly fitting description of Aragorn before he became Elessar.

I also loved the vignette about Estel stealing Asfaloth - poor Glorfindel, he should better get used to it. ;-)

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Playlists Featuring the Story

My Aragorn Stories - 8 stories - Owner: Gandalfs apprentice
Here you will find Aragorn as written by Gandalfs apprentice: drama, adventure, comedy. The list begins with a collection of short pieces spanning Aragorn's life, and continues with stories more focused on one slice of time. It ends with a few AU tales on the lighter side. Please note that while characters and themes in these tales are interlocked, some contradict others in timing and events. It's more fun that way.
Included because: Drabbles and ficlets from the creation of the Elessar to the flourishing peace of the King's late reign.

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