Written for the LOTR Community Fixed-Length Ficlet Challenge: a summer breeze. For Rhapsody and Leianora for their birthdays.
Faramir stood atop the hill of Emyn Arnen, where once his family had dwelt in the keep built for the House of Húrin. The summer breeze tousled his hair, and he had to keep brushing it from his eyes as he squinted northwestward. “It is beautiful here!” he declared to his father, who had brought him to Ithilien on one of the rare occasions that the Steward rode abroad from the White City. “I shall live here one day!”
Denethor gave a single bark of a laugh, one without humor. His attention was not westward, but instead focused to the east, toward the dark wall of the Mountains of Shadow as it stretched north and south of them. “Not as long as the threat of Mordor persists shall anyone be able to rebuild here,” he prophesied. “The Nameless One will seek to destroy anyone who stands in such defiance of him. Nay, my son, I fear you shall be fated to remain within the walls of Minas Tirith, and the thought of refounding our ancient stronghold here shall always be merely a sweet but unworkable dream.”
Faramir’s resolve wavered briefly; but then he heard the creak of leather harness and saw one of the guards below them leaning down to pluck a pink blossom that had also nodded in the breeze, sniffing at the spicy scent of a flower grown from roots that had probably been planted here many generations past when Men did not fear to dwell here in sight of the Enemy’s walls. He clenched his fists tightly. He would see his dream made a reality—he would! And one day he would bring a bride here, and together they should cover this hillside with bright blossoms of many flowers and even brighter children….
He looked back into the wind, sensing that his hopes would be brought to Gondor from north and west. And in his mind the White Tree bloomed once more for the King he knew would come again.