30. The Whole World Will Know
I think Pippin quite enjoyed Merry's retelling of the tale to Faramir, though Merry himself seemed vaguely embarrassed. I would not have been. He did his duty, plain and simple. The two Hobbits sat at the foot of Faramir's bed and ate cheese and apples whilst they talked, which made the whole telling of the death of the Witch-king incongruous, to say the least. Every now and again, Pippin would offer me a piece of cheese. It was tasty. I wondered where the kitchen found it, for it tasted like some that Lord Denethor used to give me. I thought of the rationing and felt most uncomfortable. There were soldiers who needed this kind of food to better heal them. I laughed to myself. Well, I suppose these two Hobbits are soldiers and Merry definitely needed some good cheese to help him heal. I would hold my tongue.
My heart lurched as I heard the tale of Snowmane and Théoden King, and poor Éomer's finding of his sister and thinking her dead. Strange tales lived these last days. Perhaps Faramir's the strangest of all. I looked upon him and my heart filled further with love. He had never said a word against his father. Even when he had heard how Denethor tried to... I could not think upon that moment again. Faramir had wept, feeling only for his father's despair. Not a thought for himself. For a moment, my head hung in grief, for father and for son, but the laughter of the Hobbits quickly brought me to smile. They were telling of how Pippin had found poor Merry in the streets of Minas Tirith, dazed and lost; told the tale as if Merry had been on a picnic by the banks of the Anduin. Hobbits are odd creatures indeed.
Sadly, Ioreth heard the laughter and quickly shooed them away, much to Faramir's and my chagrin. She gave Faramir a drink of Elessar's tea and told him to rest. I curled up again upon his feet and relaxed. She left us soon afterwards. When I was sure Faramir was asleep, I took myself to my perch upon the escarpment. 'It has been so many days since last I stood here, stood with Lord Denethor and watched as a little Hobbit and a wizard climbed the circles to meet with him. So much has happened in such a short time.' I could hardly think upon it. I looked out upon the Pelennor and saw the campfires of the soldiers, men of Rohan and Gondor, of Dol Amroth and all the fiefdoms of the realm. All their tents surrounding the one great tent, though little it looked from here. The tent of the King, my King.
A thought came to me and I had to fight it. It was not possible. Never had I disobeyed an order. Never had I even thought of disobeying one. And yet, this one thought bore into my very being. I knew what I must do.
I ran to Húrin's rooms. The guard nodded when he saw me and knocked. After a moment, a servant opened the door, looked upon me, and let me in. Húrin was sitting by his fire, a glass in his hand. I walked slowly forward.
"Alqualondë! It is good to see you. Has no one been feeding you and you have come to me for sustenance? This is not the way to treat Denethor's favorite pet."
I grimaced. Was the man a fool? Others had guessed, even the guard, Beregond! I took a step forward and jumped up onto the table in front of him. 'I have come to you with a request, Warden. I would ask that you would hear me out before you start babbling again.'
Hanging my head in chagrin, I waited for the servant to pick up the broken pieces of glass. He then knelt at Húrin's side and patted his hand, calling gently to the Warden.
After a few moments, Húrin's eyes fluttered open. I waited. He looked at me in alarm and a small scream passed his lips. The servant's eyes grew huge. He, of course, had not 'heard' me. He ran to the cupboard, took out another glass, filled it with what I assumed was brandy, and brought it to the Warden. "My Lord, drink this. Whatever is the matter?"
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