"Moder," he frets at her attention as she examines the cut. It's not deep enough to warrant stitching, but in need of cleaning and a bandage. Already she sees the whitewashed walls of the Houses, the alcove with the pump and the cabinet to the left with the empty basins.
"You will have a scar to mar your beauty," she frowns more to herself than to him, who wraps his arms around her the way he always does, yet meets her eyes with a face trying desperately to appear resolute. "As on your arm, Moder," he says, his voice full. Involuntarily, she gazes past the rolled sleeve and splotches of dirt to the place where once a shield was broken.
Not for the first time she sees again the dirt of that day – muddied with sweat, blood and waste, jumping down her lungs and leadening her limbs. She hears the screech of the Thing, dark and towering and unassailable, and the hollow, frightened laugh of the girl who faced it, despite herself and despite everything. The next moment, though, she is in her garden again, sitting on the grass with her son.
"Not so like my arm, Bron," she says lightly. She lifts him up and he rests his head against her neck. "Scars got in battle are a much heavier burden to bear than scraps caught 'gainst the fence. We'll soon set yours aright."
"But I will have to bear them," he says. "All of them." She stops and shivers. Any other child might have said this with petulance, but Elboron sounds wise and sad and wistful, speaking in the way his father talks of Numenor. Though he is yet too young to begin the sword, already he knows that there will be more scars.
"Aye," She whispers, his ears warm against her cheek as she carries him back towards the house. "Aye, that is both our lots."
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.