Chapter Three -- Affected
"Are you well, Boromir? We did not know our song would affect you thusly. Forgive us."
The sun's descent into the West was almost complete. Boromir drew in a deep, shuddering breath as he gazed at it. For a moment, the memory of the song held sway. He closed his eyes, enduring the beauty and pain and joy. "Memory does not overwhelm me as the song did. I would not have missed that moment. I have never felt such joy." He opened his eyes and looked at Gannellas. "No wonder Elves are beloved of the Valar."
"The second-born are beloved as well, Boromir. The love of the One encompasses all. The Valar are blessed to know they are not the only Children of Il?vatar to hold his love."
"Does not the song affect you as well? How could you stand there and listen, be a part of it, and not be affected?"
"We succumb, in our own way. To praise the One with song is a gift. It makes me glad to know you were able to share it with us, if but for a moment."
"It is true, then? The Quest is over. The Ring is destroyed?"
"It is true, Boromir. Whilst you slept, an eagle flew overhead and sang us a song of victory."
Boromir choked. "Did the eagle say Frodo lives?"
"It called for rejoicing. Would the Valar send it if Frodo were dead? I think not."
Boromir's eyes sagged shut. "Thank the Valar."
Boromir's eyes flew open and he laughed. "Oh! That feels good." He sat up. "The pain is gone. My wounds are healed. I can go home."
Gannellas' eyes widened. "No, Boromir. The wounds have healed for here, for Edhellond. They are not… Do not consider it."
"But could it not be a gift from the Valar? With the Ring destroyed? For my part in the…" Boromir shuddered. "My pride will be the end of me. My part in the Fellowship brought only shame."
"Nay, Boromir. The gifts of the One are for all. You played your part as ordained."
"I will not let my pride, nor my guilt take away from the peace and joy of this place." Boromir stood, swayed a bit, and took a step. "I am grateful to be here. To be with a friend."
"I am that, Boromir. Come and walk with me until you need rest."
"My heart is so full, I cannot fathom needing rest. Lead on, dear Gannellas. I will follow."
They walked for an hour that day and Boromir found his strength returned in full measure. Gannaellas brought him to the place where the Elves took their daily meals, a large canopied area filled with tables and stuffed chairs. The tables were laden with all sorts of dishes. Most Boromir had never tasted. He gave a brief thought to the Hobbits and how they would have loved this repast.
He reveled in the diversity of the food before him, though his favorite was shrimp from theBayofBelfalas. As he bit into each one, he remembered being at his grandfather's table, laughing at some joke his Uncle Imrahil told. Each day brought fuller joy.
But time passed, and a melancholy began to grow in his heart. He tried to dismiss it, joining Gannellas in daily walks. However, as the days and weeks passed, he found it more difficult to find the peace and joy that once had dominated his life here in Edhellond.
He looked up and found the Elf's eyes filled with concern.
"What might I do for you?"
"I have not heard you play the harp. Would you?"
"Of course. I would be honored. I will meet you at your glade. I would have the cardinals that live there inspire me."
Filled with excitement, Boromir found it hard to walk at a slow pace. He sat on his cot when he at long last reached the glade, and waited. Gannellas soon appeared, carrying a small lap harp.
"Do you have a song you would like me to play?"
"I know not Elven songs. Just a few that I heard while in Rivendell and Lothlórien. My mother used to sing a song. She told me it was a song of Mithrellas, passed down. I cannot believe a song could be remembered for such a long period."
"Let me sing you the Lay of Mithrellas. Perhaps it is the same." The Elf began to strum the harp's strings and Boromir gasped.
"It is one and the same. She would sing it to Faramir andI.I…" He gulped. "Please, continue."
Gannellas played the Lay, a smile upon his lips. "Forgive me," he said when he finished. "I had not meant to cause you such pain. Your tears course down your cheeks. I will leave you."
Boromir nodded in gratitude. Finally, he stood up and walked out of the glade. He walked for nigh unto an hour, never leaving the borders of Edhellond, but intent on a certain spot. He climbed to the top of the hill that overlooked the valley and sat. He scanned the view before him and cried out in his grief.
Swallowing a few times, he let the memories come. His grandfather, Adrahil, had brought Faramir and him to this place a long time ago. Imrahil had joined them. The valley had been deserted, or so Boromir thought at the time. Faramir had been bound and determined to see a real, live Elf. His brother had found 'his' Elf. Now, Boromir knew the Elf as friend.
He smiled. Faramir would be pleased that 'his' Elf and Boromir were friends, but the sorrow that had been growing in Boromir's heart spilled over. Faramir. Would that you were here. That you could see your Elf again. That we might listen to his harp and remember our mother together.
He bit his lip. Enough of this. I have been granted the boon of a second chance at life. Though it be here and not at Faramir's side, it is still a great boon. He stood, brushed himself off, and walked down to the dining pavilion.