8. A Star Shines
Chapter Eight – A Star Shines
Boromir lay still. Aragorn stood on his left and Lord Elrond stood on his right. Faramir stood by the door.
"Estel. I would have you and Faramir hold Boromir's shoulders. I do not want him to move." Elrond directed them to their places.
Three Elves entered bearing the water, the bandages and Gannellas' harp.
Gannellas sat at Boromir's feet. "Is there a particular song you wish me to play, Lord Elrond?"
"Nay. Let the Valar use you as they will."
"Gannellas, my friend," Boromir asked, "would you play the Lay?"
"I will, Boromir. I will." He began to pluck the harp's strings, though he did not sing.
"Stay with us, if you would?" Lord Elrond asked the other Elves. "The procedure will not be pleasant. Lord Boromir might become… violent. We will need your hands to hold him so that he not injure himself further."
Boromir started, but Aragorn grasped his hand, and Boromir relaxed.
"My friend," Elrond looked down upon Boromir, "Estel and I will begin with healing songs. I fear they will not be enough and that we might have to use Songs of Power. If that happens, I do not want you to fear. They will not be directed at you. Your wounds will reappear as they did at Parth Galen. The pain will be difficult to bear, but I have faith in you, Son of Gondor. I know your blood flows with the blood of my brother, Elros. If you need to cry out, do not hesitate. Know, Boromir, that I will do everything in my power to help you."
"It is all I can ask." Boromir swallowed. "Do what you will." He turned to his brother. "Faramir, please hold my hand. If I do not survive, hold no guilt for yourself. You chose rightly, asking Lord Elrond to help me. Whether his help is sufficient matters not. The Elves are leaving this land. I cannot live here alone and I would not ask you to stay with me."
"I would stay, Boromir, whether you asked it or no. You do not have to do this."
"I do, little brother." Boromir smiled. "We cannot ask Lord Elrond to journey so far for naught."
Faramir laughed though tears coursed down his cheeks. "I love you, Boromir."
"I love you, my brother, my dearest friend. Forgive us, Lord Elrond." Boromir looked to the Lord of Imladris. "Do what you will. Aragorn, thank you for this."
Aragorn nodded and held Boromir's right hand. He placed his other hand on Boromir's shoulder.
Faramir took Boromir's left hand and brought it to his cheek, kissing the back of it.
Elrond nodded, and as Gannellas began the Lay of Mithrellas, Elrond began to hum. Aragorn joined him a moment later.
Boromir's eyes closed. He waited and listened. The humming evolved into words. He heard the drapes of the pavilion rustle. He could hear the wind pick up outside. The birds of the valley were still. He missed the song of the cardinals.
After another moment, Boromir felt heat in his side, a scorching heat that began below his ribs and radiated upwards towards his heart. Another spot of heat developed in his right side. It, too, radiated upwards. Again and again, pinpricks of pain lanced through his body. Boromir blinked his eyes, realizing the pinpricks were exactly at the spots where arrows had struck him. He shuddered at the remembrance.
"I am here," he heard Faramir say, but the pain now encompassed his whole body. Wave after wave assailed him. He tried not to cry out, but when the killing blow became fire, he shouted, "Aragorn!" His eyes flew open.
Elrond's voice rose until it hurt Boromir's ears. Aragorn sang beside him. The two began to shimmer. It was not a duel, as Finrod had with Sauron, but rather a combining of fëar, one to another. The power of the Song swished the drapes from side to side. The wind outside the pavilion howled. Gannellas stopped playing. The Elves on either side of Elrond fell to their knees in wonder. Faramir cried out.
When Boromir came to, he heard the cardinals singing. His body hurt as badly as it had done when he had lain, dying, above the Falls of Rauros., but his heart held joy and hope. He looked about him, unsure exactly where he was. Faramir sat next to him. His head lay in the crook of his arm, and his arm lay on Boromir. Boromir smiled.
"I see you wake. Glad am I that you return to us. I feared you lost."
"Gannellas. It is good to see you. I must yet live?"
"You do," the Elf whispered. "I would not wish to wake Faramir. The Song took many hours. He is exhausted."
"Did it do what we hoped it would?"
"I cannot say. I do not think even Lord Elrond can tell you. Suffice it to say, it was quite an experience. I wonder if you can now play the flute, the magic was that strong."
Boromir laughed, then clutched his side. "Laughter is not the prerogative of a wounded man."
"Boromir?" Faramir looked up, then started to jump. "Arm fell asleep." He shook out the offending appendage. "How do you feel?" he asked when life began to return to his arm.
"I hurt. All over. Faramir. When I was wounded, nay killed at Parth Galen, I had such despair. I could hardly breathe for it. I knew Gondor would fall. I knew it, in my heart." Boromir swallowed hard. "I lost all hope. Now, my heart sings for it. Can you fathom such joy? I cannot."
Faramir laughed as tears fell. "I can imagine it for I see it in your eyes. Oh, brother. I am happy for you."
"Where are Lord Elrond and Aragorn?"
"They left this morning. I must leave by tomorrow at the latest. The wedding is planned, of course, but…"
"There are always things that go amiss. I understand, Faramir. Did Lord Elrond tell you when I might leave here?"
"Your wounds are fresh. Lord Elrond believes the Valar heard the Song and placed our petition before Illúvatar. But the wounds will not heal quickly. You must stay here at least a fortnight before attempting to leave. I will return, before that time, and we will leave together."
"Or I will die in your arms."
"Where are the hope and the joy you spoke of, Boromir?" Faramir smiled. "We will leave together and dance for the Hobbits."
"Pippin would like that. He would hope I would fall on my face." Boromir laughed, then coughed. "I cannot laugh." He held his sides.