Chapter Four -- Accomplice
Boromir saw Gannellas and waved. The Elf stood and walked over to him. "Come and sit with me. I have someone I would like you to meet."
"There are many empty tables today." Boromir's brow rose in question.
Gannellas did not answer. He led Boromir to the table he had vacated. A silver-haired Elf stood and bowed. "This is my friend, Mablung. He is Sindarin, also."
"Mablung." Boromir smiled. "There is a soldier in Gondor who is named Mablung. He is a stalwart man and a friend to my brother. It is good to meet you."
"I am pleased my name brings good thoughts. Gannellas and I play music together. I play the flute. Do you play an instrument?"
Boromir laughed. "Nay. I wield a sword. Or I once did. I love music though and occasionally dance."
"Ah! It would be great fun to have you dance to something Gannellas and I played. Might you join us some evening?"
"Get you some food, Boromir."
"Thank you, Gannellas, I will." He turned to the serving tables and prepared a plate. He brought it back to Gannellas' table. After eating a few bites, he put his fork down. "Forgive me. I do not wish to interrupt, but where are the Elves? There were so many here until today."
Mablung shifted and Gannellas took a sip of wine. "They have left for the Grey Havens. They are taking a ship West."
Mablung said, "Now that Sauron is destroyed, many Elves believe it is time to go home."
"Home." Boromir's brow furrowed. "But the Undying Lands were never home to the Sindar, if my memory serves me rightly."
"Not all here are Sindarin. This place became a haven for many Elves." Mablung drank his wine.
"Will you join us this evening, at your glade?" Gannellas asked. "We will bring our instruments. You can dance, if you wish."
"I would like that." Boromir smiled. "I do not think I will do justice to your music, but I will try to offer some modicum of entertainment."
"We will meet you at sun's set, Boromir. It will make for an enjoyable evening. Mablung, bring your double flute. I doubt much if Boromir has seen such an instrument."
"A double flute?"
"You must hold your curiosity 'til the evening, my friend." Gannellas laughed.
Boromir finished his own wine and stood. He glanced about the pavilion one last time, noting the number of Elves within, then walked to his glade, a growing unease filling him.
Mablung arrived as the sun set. He embraced Boromir. "I am glad Gannellas will have a friend when I leave these shores."
Boromir's brow rose. "You would leave Edhellond? Is it not beautiful?"
"It will no longer be home, Boromir. When there are no Elves left, but those few who choose to stay, what joy will fill these borders?"
Boromir swallowed but Gannellas arrival stopped his next question.
"Here am I and ready to give you a treat, Boromir." He placed a cloth-covered basket on the seat next to him and turned to Mablung. "Did you bring the double flute, my friend?"
The other Elf drew an instrument from a cloth holder. "Here it is and ready. You wish to play 'O Queen Beyond The Western Seas?"
"I do. I doubt much that Boromir has heard this song."
"I confess, I know not the title." Boromir sat on his cot and waited.
The song began with Mablung's flute. The hairs on Boromir's arms rose. Truly, this is a song for a Queen, he thought. Gannellas harp came in on the counterpoint and Boromir was lost in a sea of praise and longing. When at last, too soon, the song was complete, Boromir opened his eyes. "Words cannot tell of the beauty of your music."
Gannellas laughed. "Glad am I that we were able to share this song. It is one specifically of the Wood Elves."
"Thank you." Boromir sighed.
"You must repay us in kind, Boromir. You promised to dance for us."
"I cannot dance to something so exquisite. Might you know a tune more suitable for a humble soldier?"
"I know such a one," Mablung said. "The Song of Nimrodel."
"Truly a fine selection. Light enough for even a soldier of Gondor." Gannellas plucked a few strings.
"Forgive me." Boromir interrupted. "When we entered the Golden Wood, we passed over a river by that same name. My wits are still addled. I cannot remember."
"One and the same," Mablung said. "Nimrodel was beloved of my king, Amroth. Mithrellas, your ancestress, was her traveling companion. Nimrodel was lost."
"Another sad song?" Boromir asked.
"Nay. It is not the way of the Sindar to be dispirited."
"Play on. I will do my best to accompany you in dance." Boromir stood and waited.
The song began with the harp. The strings were pulled in a lively manner. After a moment, Mablung joined in.
Boromir smiled. This is something I can dance to. He twisted and turned and moved his feet to the music. By the time the song ended, he was breathless.
"Excellent dance, Boromir. We have another…"
"Nay, Gannellas. I am winded. I could not dance another step if I tried." He laughed and sat upon his cot.
Gannellas brought wine and glassware from his basket, along with cheese and bread. "Perhaps once you have had a bit of refreshment, we can continue."
After finishing the light meal, Boromir lay back on his cot and looked up at the stars. "They are beautiful tonight." A tear fell.
"Boromir? Is there aught we can do?"
"Nay. I think of my brother. He loves the stars. We would sit, at the very top of the Citadel in Minas Tirith, and watch them. He would name each one for me." Boromir swallowed. "I would sleep now." He bit his lip. "I will see you on the morrow."
Gannellas placed his hand on Boromir's arm and squeezed it. "We will see you then."
Boromir thanked them, then turned away. He heard them leaving, then stretched out again on his back and watched the stars 'til he could hold his eyes open for not a moment more.
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