To Catch an Elf
|Cast:||Boromir, Haldir, Galadriel, OFC|
|Disclaimer:||Named characters are Tolkien's, the rest comes from my imagination. No money made.|
|Summary:||Boromir turns to the elves for counsel, a few years prior to LOTR. AU.|
|Author's notes:||I wrote this for a challenge at the HallaQuenta Yahoo Group, in which the fics had to begin with 'To catch an elf...'.|
|Feedback:||Please write to to firstname.lastname@example.org|
"To catch an elf... is that what my brother ponders every morning, looking out from the White Tower?"
Boromir did not answer at once. It was true that his thoughts went often on the defences of their home, and seeking the counsel of the elves had seemed a good way to gain advantage over the enemy. Why did it have to sound so foolish in Faramir's words?
"Looking to the East brings no comfort, as you know well," he finally said. Neither was there any help to expect from the peoples of the South. It had long been rumoured that they gave their large beasts to the service of Mordor. No, only from Northwest could a new ally rise.
"Forgive me, brother, but attempting to capture an elf does not sound as a very wise way of action."
"Why? I could hardly get one to stay here voluntarily, could I? The old days are too far gone for that."
"That is true. The bond between our scholars and the fair folk was severed long ago."
"But now," Boromir said, hearing himself how his voice filled with pride as he spoke of his vision, "it is time for the Stewards of Gondor to prove their worth. Minas Tirith shall become as it once was, a seat of power and glory. And learned men shall flock again around her. Mighty warriors shall stand guard over her, and invincible she shall become once more, as was her destiny of old. The Stewards shall rule strong, brothers side by side..."
He looked to Faramir for approval, hoping to see his young face shine with eagerness, but discovered to his disappointment that his brother had taken the opportunity to leave.
Too often had that happened during the last year. The young man that had replaced the boy was an able archer, but his heart was more in books than in feats of arms. There was no shame in that; the White City needed the learned and wise. But it proved even more that Boromir needed a valiant warrior for his military council, a seasoned strategist, someone who would command his army under him. He would seek out the elves.
Two days later a lone rider set out from Minas Tirith at dawn. The heavy gates of the lowest circle closed behind him, their noise an unwelcome reminder of the dangerous times that had forced the Steward to have the entrance remain shut even during the day.
After a short distance, Boromir turned to look at the city he was leaving. Pride filled his chest as he beheld the home of his ancestors, which would soon be his to rule. Walls and gates stood strong. Flags flew from the copings of the walls. The roof of the citadel gleamed in the sun. The people behind the walls trusted him to defend them. He smiled at the thought of the bold young women who had strewn flowers under the hooves of his stallion, and took a few moments to think of how they would greet his return. His bed would be warm for months!
But first, his quest. Days became weeks as he steered north, and then west. As it behove a son of Gondor, he crossed the Anduin beneath the mighty Argonath. Endless were the grassy plains of Rohan under his steed, but he kept to himself and did not approach the villages of the horse-lords. And finally before his eyes lay the Golden Wood, realm of the most powerful witch east of the river.
The sight of the thick wall of trees that rose before him with their unnatural golden leaves made him send a grateful thought to his brother. Faramir had been right. Attempting to storm this alien fortress to capture one of its denizens would have been unwise. Now his hope lay in his power of persuasion, and he was confident of success.
Having crossed the stream of the Celebrant, he leapt down from his horse, planted his feet wide apart and lifted his horn from his waist. Its signal rang loud and clear, although not as mighty as among the echoing mountains of the White City.
"A edhil o Lothlórien [O elves of Lórien]," he shouted at the unyielding wall of trees. "Lasto bith lammen [Hear the words of my tongue]!" Once more he lifted the horn to his lips and blew.
"I have come to you from the great city in the south," he continued in a loud voice. "Minas Tirith – home to the descendants of mighty Elendil! I offer one of your warriors the chance to join the chosen few to be the councillors to the Steward of Gondor! And all others that wish may become part of the glorious army that will crush our common enemy!"
All was quiet, except for the twittering of small birds, as if they were there to annoy him. Angrily he turned his back on the silent trees. Were the creatures of the wood deaf, or just ungrateful? He would ride along the stream for a while, and then repeat his invitation. But then he saw something move in the corner of his eye.
With great speed he whirled around, drawing his sword in the process. He found himself eye to eye with a warrior elf, or rather the tip of the arrow on the elf's drawn bow. The hand holding the bow looked strong enough, and the stretched out arm was muscular, although more slender than a man's. Fair of face was the elf, and long-haired like a woman. His eyes seemed to burn with pride and defiance. A true warrior.
Without taking his eyes from the elf's gaze, Boromir very cautiously put his sword back into the scabbard. He showed his empty hands, straightened his back and spoke:
"Mae govannen [Well met]," he began, with far more certainty than he felt. "Aníron i 'ovaded en-aran ar vereth lín. [I desire to meet your King and Queen.]"
"If you seek entrance you will have to proceed far more gently." Without lowering his bow, the elf let down his gaze to the horn in Boromir's belt. He spoke with an accent, but there was no mistaking the arrogance in his voice, further underlined by his lifted chin.
"The heir of the Steward of Gondor will not come like a thief in the night. If the Lady of Sorcery is your mistress, lead me to her."
"The Lady of Light tolerates no intruders. You cannot pass."
Boromir was quickly losing his patience, but an eerie sound from behind the trees made him bite back his retort. It sounded like laughter, but from another world. The white-clad figure that emerged from behind the tree-trunk seemed to wear a crown of gold, but when he looked closer, there was nothing there but reflections from the leaves and the sunlight playing in her hair. She was beautiful to behold, but the sight of her chilled him to the bone.
"What seek you, man of Gondor?" The elf-witch put a slender hand on the shoulder of the archer, and he stepped back.
"The counsel of one of your valiant warriors, my lady." He bowed his head slightly. The elf in the background smirked.
"I will not send any of my people away to your fortress of dead stone."
"You have many in your service here in the wilderness, my lady. I require only one, and I come not as a beggar asking a boon, but to offer him a place next to the throne of Gondor! The gleaming White City, crown of the Kingdom, power immeasurable, as he will have the ear of the ruling Steward!
"Grey and leafless is your world, and it holds little lure for an elf." There was pity in her voice, as if she truly did not understand the splendour of his offer.
"Are there no men of adventure amongst you? One who would venture out to see new things?"
"There is nothing new for us in this world," she replied, suddenly sounding weary. "Were it that we could return to where it began."
"Choose whomever of your men you care to send for this position. Even him!" He pointed at the arrogantly glaring elf. "I would accept even him, although he would need to correct his attitude towards the future Steward of Gondor."
She smiled, casting a fond glance over her shoulder to the elf in question.
"Haldir will not leave my side. If there is one who is willing, he or she will come to you."
"I invite a warrior."
The elf-woman seemed to ponder this at length, and he was just about to repeat what he said, when she finally spoke.
"You need counsel, not strength of arm. Go home, and if one of my people wishes to join you, he, or she, will come."
"I will not wait like a page upon the decision of his master!"
"If you truly desire the counsel of the elves, you will wait."
Boromir returned alone, head hung in shame. He was angry at first, but the closer he came to his home, the more his shoulders sloped. At his arrival he discovered, much to his surprise, that he still held his father's trust, as well as his brother's love. And the unattached young women of the city were still eager for his lust.
The walls of Minas Tirith stood strong, and darkness was held at bay. There was more than enough for the Steward's heir to do. His unfortunate quest sank back in memory, until next spring, when an unusual guest arrived to Denethor's court.
To Boromir's annoyance, his father received the elf-woman in private and refused to initiate him into whatever it was that they discussed. She did not participate in the council meetings, but he saw her in the citadel every day. Often she was on her way to or from Denethor's study, and it was clear that she held the ruling Steward's ear.
She lured Boromir with her exotic beauty. Although they seldom talked, he could see interest in her grey eyes, and her hips seemed to sway more when they met in a deserted corridor than when others were present.
Late one night he made his move. On his way from the great hall he encountered her in the empty corridor outside his chamber, a coincidence that was too good to be wasted. He grabbed her arm and pressed her up against the wall. Her eyes, on the same level as his, shot cold flashes, but her small breasts were soft against his chest.
"Vile man," she hissed. "You are boorish and without manners."
"That I am, lady." He grinned. "I have seen you look at me, so do not now pretend that you are unwilling." Pressing his groin against her, he continued: "I will have you like the boor you call me, and you will enjoy it."
"You may speak true of the last part," she replied, squirming deliciously against him, and making him grin even wider, "but I am one of Lady Galadriel’s maids and shall not be had in such a manner."
To Boromir's utter surprise, she somehow managed to not only push him off of her, but to reverse their positions. The stone wall was cold against the back of his hands, but they burned hot where she gripped his wrists. She held him at arm's length until he stopped panting.
"Learn," she said coolly. There was something in the sly smile on her lips as she left him that told him that the battle was not yet lost.
Over the weeks that followed, the inhabitants of the Citadel of the White City witnessed a remarkable change in the behaviour of their Steward's eldest son. At first, his politeness appeared to only manifest in the presence of the elf-lady, but eventually it was present in his manners at all times. All marvelled at the honour with which Boromir now carried himself, and respected him the more for it.
The lady in question appeared satisfied with his progress, but he was still uncertain of her answer when he found her alone one evening. They exchanged the now customary pleasantries, after which he shot her his most winning smile, and asked: "Would my lady care to do me the honour of sharing my bed this night?"
He held his breath waiting for her reply. The wish to just rip off her clothes and ravish her was still there, but he found that he had no difficulty quenching the impulse to do it. Maybe patience was the better way, after all.
"My lord Boromir, I certainly would. Now I trust Gondor will have the Steward needed for glory, until the King returns."
'Gondor needs no king,' he wanted to growl, but quenched it. He would rather taste the honey of her lips without delay, and feel her fascinating body beneath his. There would be time afterwards to discuss the unlikely return of a mythical King.
With a courtly bow, he offered her his elbow. With the same sly smile that he had seen before, she laced her own slender arm within his and let him lead her to his bedchamber.
Posted: September 10, 2005
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"Long live Thranduil, great Elf-king of Greenwood!"