1. Little Candle
The first words he could remember hearing about his brother were "His hair is growing red Denethor."
"Good" it had come out more an indistinct grunt "He will be strong willed and have a fine temper, one that men will fear to rouse. Little Inferno"
"I'll take that Faramir"
The guard snatched the wooden horse from the boy, expecting to see a tantrum. Instead the boy simply looked up at him sadly, bewilderment on his face.
"Well?" he snarled "Haven't you anything to say? Aren't you angry?"
"You took it from me, you can give it back"
The guard rolled his eyes "Make me… come on lad, show some spirit"
Faramir shook his head
The guard snarled and threw the horse against the wall, where it fell, shattered to pieces.
A single tear slid down the boy's cheek
"I don't understand it Imrahil, at his age Boromir would fight if he didn't get his own way… he'd fight tooth and nail. But Faramir, he just stands there, doesn't do anything except cry."
"Denethor… Boromir was always one rough and tumble, even before he could walk. Faramir…" Boromir saw his uncle shrug "Perhaps he has different talents, you've seen how he loves books."
"A scholar is no use to Gondor in these times" Denethor snarled and turned back to his throne "I need warriors, men who will fight and nothing else, Faramir shall soon learn and he will become the Fire that Gondor needs, as his hair indicates."
"Hmmm" The 15 year-old rolled over to see his brother standing in the room "What is it?"
"Boromir, I heard father talking, he called me an inferno, said I should learn to fight, that my red hair indicated a fierce temper. I don't have a temper."
He sat up and patted the bed "Come here." Faramir leapt up next to him and he drew the boy close "In many cultures, our own included, there is a belief that red hair is an indicator of a hot tempered person, a fiery spirit."
"But I'm not hot-tempered and I don't want to be" Faramir's voice was plaintive
Boromir drew him close and ruffled the offending curls "Fret not little brother, Your spirit is not an inferno, it is gentle."
His brain beginning to slow, Boromir fished for a suitable example that a 10 year old would understand "Yes, like a candle. Soft, warm… kind." He smiled as the boy leant against him, sleep encroaching rapidly. Gently he lay down, letting Faramir lie against him and flipping the covers to wrap them both warmly.
"Goonigh Brmir." Came the mumble.
He smoothed the curls back affectionately "Good night, Little Candle."
T.A. April 3019
"How are you Faramir?"
He turned to see the King standing nearby "Better than when we last spoke my lord, my strength returns daily in greater and greater quantities."
The Dûnadan nodded pensively then sat down on the grass next to him "Last time, that is something I want to talk about Faramir." He sighed "When I called you back to yourself I had to go deep, you had slipped almost out of reach. In doing so I saw your fëa, your spirit" Aragorn translated for him as he frowned in confusion "I have seen but a few in my healing and judging, and none like yours."
"What do you mean my lord? Am I spiritually deformed?" The thought left him feeling slightly sick. Surprisingly the king laughed,
"No Faramir, goodness no." There was a gulp of air and then the king continued "Most fëar are almost solid light of one colour, impenetrably firm. Yours is a gentle, softer, it changes colour slightly, though mostly it seemed a warm gold. Rather like a candle actually."
Faramir swallowed, suddenly blind and deaf to the warm day that surrounded him. Instead he was seeing darkness, hearing his brother's whispered voice: Good night, Little Candle
"Faramir? What ails you?"
He shook himself "Nothing my lord. It's just… someone else mentioned that once, a long time ago…"
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.