Login

Lost Password?

Create New Account

Trust To Hope

Chapter 16: Chapter Fifteen

by Novedhelion

Trust to Hope - Chapter Fifteen
Author: Novedhelion
Type: FP Het
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Pairing: Éomer/Lothíriel aka Anhuil
Rating: PG13
Warnings:
Beta: Riyallyn
Disclaimer: Characters are not mine, no money to be made...interweaving book and movie...Where did that moth come from anyway?

Translations, if any, at the bottom.

**********************
Chapter Fifteen
**********************

Oh, she left her kiss upon my lips
But left that break within my heart
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Have You Seen Her
Chi-Lites
*************************************


*****************
Morannon
The Black Gates of Mordor
Cirith Gorgor
25 Gwaeron, 3019 T.A.
****************************

The king of Rohan sat silently and tall in his saddle before the black gates, watching as Aragorn rode forward. He could hear the banners flapping in the breeze behind him, such was the quiet. Without looking, he knew it was the White Horse and the Silver Swan. Beside him, astride a pale grey, was Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth.

Éomer surveyed the companies from the hilltop. If Gandalf was correct, they were hopelessly outnumbered. But so had it been at Pelennor, and they had achieved victory there. This time, however, there would be no long dead army to come to their aid.

Reaching into his gauntlet with a gloved finger, he withdrew the small, white handkerchief, lifting it to his face. The lavender scent was faint, but still made him smile. Seeing her in the Houses of Healing had lifted his spirit, although he wished he had been afforded the opportunity to say goodbye to her before this riding out. At least, for now, she was safe.

The sound of the gates groaning open shook him from his reverie. Quickly tucking the piece of fabric back into his vambrace, he gripped the reins tightly, one hand on his sword.

******

The earth trembled beneath his feet. Éomer looked up from the fray, toward the open gate, squinting at the dark shapes of the Nazgûl as they disappeared into the distance. Great Eagles soared overhead, their loud cries resounding through the vale. The hosts of the enemy stopped in their tracks, lowering their weapons. Turning quickly back to the orc whose sword had been raised against him, Éomer saw the sudden fear in the creature’s widened eyes. Dropping its weapon, it turned and ran.

The Towers of Teeth lurched as the ground shook again, a thunderous explosion echoed as the towers collapsed and fell. The Captains of the West stood, swords paused in mid air, watching in awe as the gates before them crumbled to the ground and were swallowed up by the great pits that opened in the earth.

Around him all of the armies of the Enemy fled. Scattering like leaves to the wind they hurled down their weapons and tore away in terror. The darkness that had covered the land fell away, the sudden silence nearly as loud as the battle before had been.

“The realm of Sauron has ended!” Gandalf cried out. “The Ringbearer has fulfilled his quest!”

*********

The Road to Cormallen
Ithilien
30 Gwaeron, 3019 T.A.
************************

Sitting by the small cookfire, Éomer sat on a small stool, listening to the men singing. Their revelry had gone on for many hours, loud and boisterous. Amused as he was by their antics, he could not muster the spirit to join in.

Taking a swig of whiskey from his cup, he listened as the men began a new song. The familiar strains caught his attention.

“A dragon has come to our village today
We asked him to leave but he will not go away...”

Sighing deeply, he once again removed the small handkerchief and stared down at it, running his thumb across the delicate flowers.

“Do virgins taste better than those who are not?
Are they salty or sweeter, more juicy or what?
Do you savor them slowly, gulp them down on the spot?
Do virgins taste better than those who are not?”

He chuckled softly at the words she had taught them, tipping up what was left in his cup.

“Does the mantle of your reign weigh so heavily on your shoulders that you cannot get up and go celebrate with your men?”

Éomer looked up to a grinning Aragorn.

“Our men rejoice in our victory, and with good cause. The Ring is destroyed, the Ringbearer lives, and the threat of the shadow has been removed.” He sat down next to Éomer on the ground, drawing his knees up and resting his elbows on them.

“Forgive me, my lord,” Éomer joked back at Elessar. “I am new to the burden of lordship and painfully unaware of the protocol. As king, am I required to join in their revelry?”

“Required? No,” the older king answered. “I would think you would welcome the distraction, unless there is something else distracting you?” Aragron asked, indicating the handkerchief in Éomer’s hand.

“Not only should I call you Wingfoot but now Eagle Eye as well,” Éomer teased, referring to the name he had given him when they first met on the plains of Rohan.

“A token from a lady to bear into battle?”

Nodding, Éomer folded up the scrap of cloth and tucked it back into his pocket.

“Where is she?”

“I saw her last in the Houses of Healing,” he told him. “I do not know if she remains there.”

“She was wounded?”

“She was assisting the healers.” Éomer picked up the flask, holding it up questioningly. Aragorn picked up a cup and held it out, allowing Éomer to fill it for him. They sat in silence, the two kings of the men of the west, listening to the raucous singing of their armies.

“No more will our numbers ever grow small...
We will simply make sure there’s no virgins at all!”

The men broke into laughter and applause. Aragorn raised an eyebrow at Éomer. “WHAT are they singing?” he asked, his expression confounded.

Éomer laughed out loud, choking on his drink.

********************

The Field of Cormallen
Ithilien
2 Gwirith, 3019 T.A
***********************
Éomer and several of his men readied to ride, double checking the straps of his saddle and patting his horse’s neck.

“Where are you headed, my friend?” Imrahil asked him, striding over to where they stood waiting.

“We ride for Minas Tirith. I wish to see my sister.”

The prince nodded. “Understandable,” he said. “I pray she is well.”

“She was recovering when I left her. I hope to find her on her feet.” He mounted his horse, turning to look at the prince. “We will return within a few days. Farewell,” he said, bowing his head to Imrahil.

“Namarië, my friend,” Imrahil responded, as Éomer signaled his riders, turning south toward the White City.

*****************

Minas Tirith
4 Gwirith, 3019 T.A.
************************

The heavy wooden door swung open, sunlight streaming in behind the silhouette in the frame. Éomer glanced at the rack of hooks where the cloaks were hung. None looked familiar. Moving down the hall, he peered into rooms, searching for a familiar face.

“She is not here,” Ioreth called out from the end of the hallway. “You will find her in the garden.”

Éomer grinned. “Thank you,” he said, turning quickly back to the door.

The king grinned as he rounded the corner to the garden entrance. Stopping at the gate, he drew a deep breath, hoping she would be as pleased to see him. Striding down the path, he glanced around. The sound of a female voice caught his attention, although he could not hear the words. He rounded the next corner, and came face to face with his own sister.

“Éowyn!” He took a step back, shocked. As happy as he was to see her up and about, it was not for her he had been looking. He glanced over her head, seeing no other woman, then looked down at her and smiled widely.

Her blue-grey eyes met his, a wide grin crossing her face. “So my big brother has returned for me, has he?” She stepped forward into his embrace. He hugged her tightly, careful of her injured arm, then leaned back to look at her.

“You look wonderful,” he told her. “They have taken good care of you.”

“You look terrible,” she responded jokingly, fingering the scratches on his cheek, then hugged him again. “It is good to see you, Éomer.”

The man standing behind her watched the exchange silently. Stepping forward, he offered his hand. “I am Faramir, Steward of Gondor.”

“Faramir, this is my brother, Éomer,” she told him, looking from one to the other. With a sideways glance at her brother, she grinned. “The King of the Mark.”

“An honor indeed,” Faramir said with a polite bow.

“Thank you, Lord Faramir, for the care given to my sister. She looks more lovely than ever, if that is possible.”

Faramir smiled widely. “Your sister’s beauty is a gift from the Valar, not the doing of the healers of Gondor.” He winked at her. “I will take my leave now, and allow you some time together. I have duties to attend.” He lifted Éowyn’s hand and kissed it, and with a bow to the king, strode away down the garden path. Éomer watched her as her eyes followed him, grinning.

She turned to face him, her brows lifted. “What?”

“Nothing,” he answered, chuckling to himself. “So, tell me everything. How have you been?”

“I am fine. Sit down, brother. I want to hear about the battles.”

Taking a seat on a nearby bench, he took her hand. “I am in the city for a few days. I will come back and see you soon, but I have some urgent business that I must see to. Then I would like for you to come back with me to Cormallen, to our encampment there.”

She lowered her eyes briefly, then met his gaze. “I do not know if I am ready for such a journey, Éomer,” she informed him.

“We will see,” he responded, patting her hand. “Think about it. I will return soon.” He kissed her forehead and stood, smiling back at her as he left the garden.

Entering the Houses of Healing once again, he found Ioreth. “Did you see her?” she asked him.

“My sister? Yes, I found her. She looks well.”

The old lady nodded. “She is ready to leave here, I believe. She spends more and more time in the garden.”

Éomer’s mouth curved into a smile. If the Steward also spent time there, he could understand her interest. Glancing around, he checked again to see if the familiar cloak hung among the ones in the hall. “Where is she?” he finally asked.

“I thought you saw her in the garden,” the old woman answered, her brow furrowing.

“Not my sister,” he said, shaking his head.

“Oh,” Ioreth said as realization hit. “You mean the girl from Dol Amroth.”

“Yes,” he said. “Where is she?”

The healer regarded him quietly for a moment. Her expression told him it was not going to be what he wanted to hear.

“As a servant of the White City, I am bound to keep secret things told to me in confidence.” At his puzzled expression, she continued. “But your people came into a battle that was not your own, knowing it was hopeless, and died for us anyway. If not for the likes of you this city would not still stand.”

“We simply fulfilled an oath taken by our forefathers,” Éomer told her.

“Simply?” the old healer laughed. “I know about that oath, but you hear me, boy. Théoden didn’t have to come. He could have waited until this fight came to his own doorstep. But he didn’t. None of you did. And for that I, at least, am grateful.”

The king smiled gently. “Thank you for saying so, my lady.”

Ioreth nodded, then continued. “Now, as I was saying, I shouldn’t be telling you this, because it’s none of my concern. But I saw your face when you found her here, and I saw her eyes when she woke up and found you had gone, and by the Valar I just can’t stand by and let this go.” She sighed heavily.

“What is it?” Éomer asked, his heart leaping slightly. “Was she hurt?”

She shook her head. “The girl went home,” she said finally.

He was almost relieved. “Home? To Dol Amroth?”

“Yes. Her family called her home.”

“When?” he asked. “When did she leave?”

“It has been...oh, let’s see...over a fortnight at least.” Éomer’s shoulders dropped slightly. Over two weeks?

“She was not happy that I didn’t let you wake her, son. And she took that cloak of yours with her.”

A slow smile crossed his face. “Did you give her my message?”

“I did,” she answered. “Made her laugh.”

“Did she leave any word?”

“I do not think she expected to be called away so suddenly.”

“Thank you,” he said with a slight bow, and moved toward the door.

“King of Rohan,” the old woman called as he opened the door. Eomer stopped, the title still unfamiliar to his ears, and turned around as she approached him. “If that girl isn’t in love with you, may the Valar strike me dead. You find her.”

He grinned back at her. “I will. Of that you may be sure.” Pulling open the heavy door, he stepped out into the bright spring sun.

******************

The Field of Cormallen
Ithilien
1 Lothron, 3019 T.A.
************************

Éomer walked alongside Aragorn with Prince Imrahil, at last reaching the steps of the Citadel. Taking their places beside the stone walkway, Aragorn ascended the steps alone. Faramir stepped forward, spoke briefly and quietly with Aragorn, then addressed the crowd.

“Men of Gondor, hear now the Steward of this Realm! Behold! One has come to claim kingship again at last. Here is Aragorn, Son of Arathorn, chieftan of the Dunedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elfstone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur’s son, Elendil’s son of Númenor. Shall he be king and enter into this City and dwell here?”

The cheering of the crowd resounded their cries of ‘yea’ throughout the city. Faramir bore the crown of Eärnur brought from Rath Dínen. Aragorn held it aloft and spoke softly, repeating the words of Elendil.

“Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn’ Ambar-metta!”

Aragorn handed the crown back to Faramir. Frodo came forward at Aragorn’s beckoning, bearing the crown to Gandalf. As Aragorn knelt, Gandalf placed it upon his head, and smiled, facing the gathered crowd.

“Now come the days of the King, and may they be blessed while the thrones of the Valar endure!”

Éomer’s gaze traveled across the people. Most of the city was assembled on the lawn of the Citadel, and his eyes darted over the masses, searching for her face. Perhaps she had not made the return journey to attend the coronation, and had stayed in Dol Amroth instead.

Dol Amroth.

Home of Prince Imrahil.

The sudden thought that he should ask the prince if he knew of her hit him like a brick. As he turned to Imrahil at his side, the trumpets sounded, the banner of the Tree and Stars was unfurled. Crowds singing drowned out all other sound. He would have to remember to ask later.

Aragorn descended the steps. The King of Rohan bowed politely as the new King of Gondor passed, the gesture returned with a smile. Glancing up at his sister, who stood proudly beside Faramir, he could not help but smile. She had refused to leave the city when he returned to the encampment at Cormallen. He now understood why. She deserved her happiness. Perhaps there was still hope.

***************
Meduseld
Rohan
15 Lothron, 3019 T.A.
**************************

Éomer stood outside the doors to the Golden Hall, staring at the intricately carved woodwork. A light touch upon his shoulder startled him. Looking down into his sister’s blue eyes, he sighed. Sliding her hand around his arm, she smiled up at him.

“Come on. We will do this together,” she said determinedly. With a deep breath, she faced forward as he opened the doors and led her through. The hall was quiet, the servants on errand moving about. The banners of the kings past moved slightly in the breeze created by the open door. Sunlight streamed in from the windows above, making bright patterns on the intricate tile floor. The heavy wooden doors fell shut behind them.

Éowyn’s hand on his arm clenched tighter. Her jaw set, she stared straight ahead at the dais. Éomer’s eyes followed her gaze.

Théoden’s empty throne.

Now his throne.

The realization hit so hard he almost fell backward with the weight of it.

He was King of Rohan. Théoden had passed the banner to him on the fields of Pelennor. Suddenly finding it difficult to breathe, he simply stood, his feet cemented to the spot.

“My lord,” a voice interrupted his thoughts. He looked down to see a rather short man smiling up at him, bowing perfunctorily. “I have taken the liberty of preparing your chambers. I hope you will find it satisfactory. The women have seen to her lady’s as well. Please follow me.” He turned on his heel and led them through the hall, exiting a door to one side of the dais.

As they passed through, Éomer could not help but glance back again at the throne at the top of the shallow steps. Wondering if he could ever bring himself to actually sit there, he turned and followed the servant through the doorway.

***************
Meduseld
Rohan
5 Nórui, 3019 T.A.
***********************

Éomer reached out to the other side of his bed, grasping nothing but empty sheets. He sat bolt upright, looking around the room. Sighing heavily, he drew his knees up, leaning his elbows on them and pinching the bridge of his nose.

His days were hectic, for there was much to do to set things in order. But his nights...how long would these dreams plague him?

Even after the carnage of Pelennor and the horrors he had seen there, the thought of the orc blade tearing through her tunic and into her flesh still filled him with a sense of terror. The way his sword hilt had felt slick in his hand before he realized it was wet with blood…her blood…on his hands… Those images always seemed to wake him in a cold sweat.

There were sweet dreams, too…like the one he had tonight. Dreams of holding her, her lips on his…he could smell the lavender scent of her hair…only to wake up and find his arms empty.

Running his hand through his hair, he swung his feet over the side of the bed, yanking on a pair of trousers and a tunic, and headed for the kitchen for a drink. A soft breeze blew through the window at the end of the hallway, and he paused to gaze out across the moonlit fields below.

“Trouble sleeping?” A woman’s voice startled him. Éowyn stood in the darkened hallway, arms folded across her chest. He nodded.

His sister regarded him in the dim light. “Come on, I will make us some tea,” she offered, heading for the kitchen. With a last glance out the window, he followed her silently.

Plopping down on the bench beside the wooden table, he stretched his long legs out toward the fire. Éowyn placed two cups on the table, and went to check the kettle hanging on a hook near the fire.

“Do you want to talk about it?” she inquired, knowing what his answer would be.

The king sighed, rubbing his forehead with his fingertips. “No,” he answered.

Éowyn laughed. “Alright. Be stubborn. I think I know,” she smiled.

“And how would you know, dear sister?” he looked at her askance.

She paused, a smug smile crossing her lips. “Who is Ani?” she asked pointedly.

Éomer stared at her, his expression of shock quickly changing to one of feigned confusion. “I do not know what—“

“Please, brother,” she chided. “My room is not so far from yours. I have heard you call out her name many times in your sleep since our return.” Éowyn retrieved the kettle, using a towel over the handle, and carefully pouring the steaming contents into the two cups. She slid one cup across to her brother, waiting for his answer.

Éomer studied the cup, frowning. He stood and removed a flask from a nearby shelf. Éowyn watched as he uncorked it and sniffed it, then poured a generous amount into his tea. He took a swig from the flask.

“That will not help, you know,” she commented, sipping her tea delicately.

“It will not hurt,” he answered dryly, pouring a bit more into his tea before corking the bottle.

Éowyn studied her brother in the firelight. “You still did not answer my question. Is she the one who gave you that handkerchief?”

The king stopped mid-sip, staring at her over the top of his cup.

“I have seen you take it out when you think no one is looking.”

He set the cup down. “I suppose repeating to you that I do not wish to talk about this will be an exercise in futility.” Éomer turned and leaned forward on the table with his elbows. His sister sipped her tea, patiently waiting for him to continue.

Sighing heavily, he leaned back. “Her name is Anhuil.”

Éowyn grinned at him. “I knew it had to be a woman. So tell me about her. Who is she?”

“She appeared one night out of nowhere, coming to our aid when we were under attack.”

“I like her already,” Éowyn smiled.

He chuckled. “Yes, you are alike in many ways. Headstrong, willful…you would admire her skill with a bow. She traveled with us for several days, until I was called to Helm’s Deep. I sent her to Minas Tirith then.” Éomer sipped the tea, staring down at the table.

“So where is she?”

“She was aiding Ioreth in the Houses of Healing the last time I saw her, but she was not there when I returned.” He looked up at his sister. “Perhaps you saw her there.”

Éowyn smiled. “Perhaps. There were so many women. But she must be quite beautiful to win my brother’s affection.” Her brow furrowed. “There was a young woman I saw, a healer, from Rohan...”

Éomer’s lips curved. “No. That would not have been her. She is from Dol Amroth, which is where the old healer said she had gone.” He sipped his tea thoughtfully. “And yes, she is beautiful.” The king reached for the flask again, his sister’s gentle hand stopping him. She poured more tea into his cup, and added a generous dash from the flask herself.

“Have you asked Prince Imrahil? Perhaps he knows of her family.”

Éomer shoved his hand through his tousled locks. He had thought the same thing at the coronation, then the idea had promptly left him as he busied himself with the tasks at hand. Another opportunity to speak to the prince simply had not presented itself. “I meant to ask him. He left for home ere I had the chance.”

Éowyn stared at her brother, watching his expression as he gazed at the flames in the hearth. “You are in love with her,” she observed bluntly.

Éomer did not answer, but gulped the tea down. “Why is it that women think they know everything about affairs of the heart?”

“Because we do.” His sister smiled at him. “And you are.”

“I was under the impression that the elder sibling was supposed to be the wiser,” he remarked, tapping the cup on the table. Éowyn beamed at him, clearly pleased at his admission. “Such strange days,” Éomer muttered. “Elves, wizards, halflings...”

“And beautiful women who appear out of nowhere to save your sorry hide,” his sister giggled.

The king peered into his empty cup. Éowyn reached to refill it, but he shook his head and picked up the flask instead, again drinking directly from the bottle.

“We return to Minas Tirith in a few weeks. Someone has to know where to find her.” She took the flask from him, re-corking it and placing it aside. Perhaps she will attend the wedding.” Her blue eyes locked on his. “Find her, Éomer. If you love her, find her.”

He contemplated her suggestion. There was still much to do. Theoden must be laid to rest, Éowyn was to be married. He sighed. He had promised Ani he would find her. He looked up at Éowyn.

“I will make inquiries when we return to the city.”

“Good. Now, get some sleep.” She rose from the table. Éomer followed her back through the hallway, stopping at the door to her chamber. She turned and embraced him, giving him a sisterly kiss on the cheek.

“Goodnight, my king. Go and have sweet dreams of your Lady Anhuil.”

Éomer hugged her, resting his chin on her head. “Yes,” he agreed. “I will.”

***************

“Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn’ Ambar-metta!” - Out of the Great Sea to Middle Earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.
***********************
"I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of everything but seeing you again. My life seems to stop there, I see no further. You have absorbed me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving. I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion... I have shuddered at it... I shudder no more. I could be martyred for my religion: Love is my religion. I could die for that. I could die for you. My creed is love, and you are its only tenet. You have ravished me away by a power I cannot resist."
John Keats
*********************

Chapters

Jump to chapter

Chapter name
Chapter Fifteen
Created
28 Feb 2004
Last Edited
28 Feb 2004
Hits
1299
Words
4380