1. Ignorance is Bliss
The clear dawn of a new day found brothers Boromir and Faramir in the Citadel archives, poring over a large collection of dusty scrolls, engaged in a desperate Quest for Knowledge. And not just any Knowledge… Knowledge that had the power of shaping their very fates. No, not to do with the Ring… it was a Knowledge more personal than that. No, not that personal. Let's just get on with it, shall we?
"How many Prophetic Scrolls are in this damned archive, anyway?" Boromir asked, his eyes roving around the musty chamber, every nook and cranny of which was stuffed with ancient articles.
"Thousands," replied Faramir, "but Mithrandir said that only three of them were genuine. The others are all shams."
"You mean we're looking for three scrolls… out of all these?!" cried Boromir incredulously.
"In a manner of speaking."
Boromir groaned and beat his head against the table. "Are you sure it's worth all this, Fari?"
Faramir nodded vigorously, his mouth set in a firm, hard line. "I need to know, brother. I need to finally know the Truth."
Boromir sighed again, deeply. "Well, all right, I'll help. If it's important to you."
"It is. See, look, yesterday I sorted out all the ones that looked promising. We'll start from there."
Boromir eyed the towering mound of documents and groaned inwardly.
"Well, let's get cracking, then," he said, half-heartedly, and put aside the scroll before him in favor of one of those that Faramir had suggested.
"Ginger," said Boromir suddenly.
"This one say's your hair's ginger."
"Come see for yourself," said Boromir, beckoning. Faramir yawned, stretching his stiff limbs, and rose to peer over his brother's shoulder.
"See…hmm, where was it? Hmm, they went for a walk, yada, yada, yada, birds were singing… yada, yada…there! 'faromir run a hadn thru his gignery hair.'"
"It says 'gignery', not gingery. And my name is not 'faromir.'"
"Oh, let's not nitpick!"
"And look… 'leggynfaz4eva'…isn't that the scribe that said that Ithilien was in Rohan?"
"Oh… yeah, you're right."
"You need to cross-reference your sources, Boromir," chided Faramir, returning to his chair. Boromir scowled. The things he did for his runt of a brother…
"Hmmm…" said Faramir presently, face drawn in concentration. "According to this scroll, my hair is 'reddish-goldish-brownish-blond.' What the hell kind of a color is 'reddish-goldish-brownish-blond'?"
A few minutes of silence, punctuated only by the light riffling of pages. Then—a groan.
"This is getting tiresome… Father has apparently just beaten you into unconsciousness yet again," remarked Boromir, scanning another manuscript. "Oh, look, and now he's beating me, too… though not as hard as you, naturally…"
"What did we do?"
"Hmmm… he claims we were behaving like animals in heat..."
"Apparently we were discovered in a compromising situation of some sort…oh, wait, here it explains… I think I patted you on the back…"
"That's the word I was looking for," Faramir said, absent-mindedly. "Does it say anything about my hair color?"
"Er… well, it mentions that it's soaked in blood and sweat, but other than that…"
"Enough said. Put that one away. Right… this one says honey-blond… honey-blond and lavender-scented…"
"Lavender-scented? How do you know?"
"Apparently you were sniffing it."
"The scribe claims that it was a purely fraternal encounter…"
"I have never sniffed your hair in the course of my entire existence."
"I never said you did!"
"Just making sure we're absolutely clear on that point."
"We're clear, we're clear."
"Good… awww, another tear-filled exchange…I appear to be going on a trip of some sort and you're upset about it… and now our sister is… wait a minute, since when have we had a sister?"
"Since never, that I'm aware of."
"That's what I thought… anyway, this says 'reddish-brown', too." He looked up at Faramir. "An awful lot of them have been convinced you're a red-head."
"I don't want to be a red-head!" cried Faramir petulantly. "And remember, only three of these scrolls can be trusted… if we want the Truth, those are the ones we have to find…""Alright, alright, relax, we'll keep looking…
"Ah, sweet Eru, I've died again. What the hell is up with these scribes?"
"Beats me. Bori, what's brothercest?"
Boromir shrugged. "I'm not sure. Why do you ask?"
"It just said…well, never mind, I guess I'll just read…" Faramir flattened the article against the table and squinted at it.
Boromir returned to the scroll he had just read. He seemed to be dying an awful lot in all these so-called Prophetic Scrolls, and the scribes all seemed to enjoy going into great detail about the excruciating mental and physical agony he experienced whilst it happened. And why did it always seem to involve being shot down with arrows in defense of two people named Mary and Peppy?
He pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes, enjoying the relief of darkness. It felt as if he'd been reading these scrolls for an eternity, and…
There was a crashing noise, as Boromir looked up just in time to see Faramir go careening out of his chair. "Fara, what in Eru's name…"
Faramir scrambled backwards on his rump, putting as much distance between himself and the paper he had just been perusing, which had wafted gently to the floor in the draft brought on by Faramir's flailing. He stared at it, eyes bulging.
Boromir picked up the document curiously.
"Don't read that!" Faramir burst out.
"Why not?" asked Boromir, holding the paper out of reach and scrutinizing it. "It's just says I'm giving you a fencing lesson… and… and…"
Boromir's eyes popped. They didn't pop nearly as much as Faramir's, but they popped nonetheless.
He looked up at his brother. "Faramir, I love you."
Faramir's eyes widened still further.
"But not like that."
Faramir gasped in apparent relief. "Thank Eru.."
Boromir stared at the parchment again. "It does, however, mention that your hair is red."
"Aiee! I do not want red hair!"
The younger Húrin looked up.
"I think I've found The Scroll. Or one of them."
Faramir shot out of his chair in jubilation.
"Really? How can you tell?"
"It has lots of words. Lots. And they're all spelled correctly."
"What's it called?" asked Faramir, dragging his chair over to sit next to Boromir.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."
"Sounds promising. How long is it?"
"Er…" Boromir loosened the scroll. It unfurled… and unfurled… and unfurled…
Long, curling parchment lay all over the table.
"Pretty long, I'd say."
Faramir blinked and closed his mouth. "Well, let's get started, then."
There were several minutes of silence. The minutes lengthened into hours.
"How far have you gotten?" asked Faramir.
"Shut up!" hissed Boromir, engrossed. Then, "No! Run, Pippin, you bloody idiot, run!"
"Oh, you're at that part," said Faramir, grinning.
"I thought I told you to shut up—Why the hell are you stopping to talk to Beregond? RUN, YOU FOOL! THERE ARE LIVES AT STAKE HERE!"
Faramir fought back an amused smile and looked back down at the page he was reading.
And there was the Truth.
"Boromir, you have to read this bit right here."
"Where?" His brother looked up irritably. "There? That's way further along than I am."
"You can come back to your spot later."
"Look, Faramir, I'm in suspense here, okay?"
"Boromir," said Faramir, exasperated. "I live, okay? Mithrandir rescues me. Relax."
Boromir let out a long, relieved sigh. "Oh."
"Now read right here."
Boromir glanced at the passage. "And so they stood on the Walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air… What? You interrupted me for that?"
Faramir gritted his teeth. "Read it again."
Boromir did, annoyed.
And saw the Truth.
"Your hair is raven!"
Faramir pulled a strand out in front of his eyes. "Why, so it is!"
They stared at one another for a moment, as the full gravity of the situation sunk in.
"You want to keep reading?""Yeah. Let's go."
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.