8. Through the Valley
Through the Valley ("Even though I walk through the valley...")
Faramir's hand rested on the grey trunk of a tree, and whether it was the Elvish influence of this place, or that the trees remembered the Elves who spoke to them and woke them, he could feel the life within the wood. Stepping forward softly, he melted into the trees as if he was still a Ranger in Ithilien, becoming a part of the land. And this was a land that knew no stain, that, even now, could revive and heal.
"Oh Boromir," he whispered, "you came to this place in its waxing, and yet you had no regret, while I come in its waning, and feel painfully the call of its peaceful comfort."
"Your brother did regret it," said the Elf who had come up behind Faramir. "He sought to hide behind his pride in land and home, but he was touched by this place."
"Lord Elrohir," acknowledged Faramir. "I did not know that you knew my brother."
"He was here for three months," said Elrohir with a smile tugging at his lips, "and though I was not there for all that time, there were enough stories when I returned to make me feel as if I had spent all those months with him."
Faramir smiled. "So even he was moved by the Elves, as he swore he never would be?"
"But of course," said Elrohir with a rogue smile. "What business is it of ours except to beguile the children of Men, even though they be one and forty?"
Faramir looked away, letting his gaze glide over all the valley that he could see before him. "And yet he left this place."
"Your brother knew how to defeat danger," said Elrohir. "He saw the danger in this place, its call to drop all duty to be in peace, and he hardened his heart to leave. Alas, there have been some less aware of their duty."
A grave look came over the face of Faramir, Steward of Gondor. "I know what it is you speak of, Lord Elrohir, but fear nothing of me. Perhaps I might once have been lured by this place, with its scrolls and its lack of war, but I now know that such things do not come freely; they can only be earned by valiant men striving to protect what is pure. And it is my duty in this life to fight so that Imladris remains a haven, not that I might sit in that haven while others fight for me."
Elrohir placed a hand on the Steward's shoulder. "You are wise, Lord Faramir; I do not fear for you. Your king has sent you here for other purposes, but before they are accomplished, there is time for you to rest here. Do so! For such is the purpose of the Valley of Imladris."
Faramir smiled again. "Gladly will I follow your advice. I will wander here yet awhile, but I shall not lose myself."
His hand left the trunk of the tree where it had rested, and traveled to another, and to yet another, as he crossed the fair valley of Rivendell. There was no need to hurry, and every step satisfied the longing for Elvishness that had ever rested in his heart.
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.