The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has,nor will be made from this story.
Co- written with Raksha the Demon
Soon after Elrond told me of my true name and lineage, I beheld the man for the first time.
He appeared one night; in what could not have been a mere dream, but was rather the foresight of the Dúnedain. I had seen neither the man nor the place before.
In my vision, I stood by a gate in a wall that girt a great white city. A tall man strode towards me and then knelt, proffering a white rod. Somehow, I knew that the city was Minas Tirith and the man my Steward, gladly surrendering his office to me, his King. The uplifted face was like unto my own. We could have been close kin, for the grey eyes, raven hair and carven features showed the other man to be a true son of Númenor.
I had not known that any such Men still lived in the South.
Years passed, until one day, under a false name, I came to the Realm of Anárion. When I saw its lord's noble face, kindly and welcoming though it was; my heart sank; for this was not the man.
Yet Ecthelion had an heir. Espying him first from a distance, I felt certain that this must be the man in my dream. But when I saw his cold grey eyes, narrowed with suspicion and jealousy, I knew it was not.
Nigh fifty long years of toil and hardship passed. At times when my heart almost despaired of reclaiming the crown of my fathers, the dream would come to me again: the tall man kneeling and lifting his eyes in joy and welcome, holding out the stewards' rod. New hope then surged within me that someday I would indeed become King.
When counsels were held in Imladris, I espied a stranger with a familiar face, Boromir of Gondor, Denethor's firstborn son grown to manhood. But this proud lord was not the one. Doubt assailed me that my dream would ever be realised.
Now I had come again to Gondor but was loth to even enter what should be my own City, for fear of stirring up dissent. Boromir had fallen, and I knew that his father would not have welcomed me even if his son yet lived.
My reverie was interrupted by Gandalf. The wizard had come to ask my help for Denethor's younger son, Faramir, who was sorely stricken by the Black Breath, and for others ill with the same foul sickness.
I went with little hope, uncertain that I had the strength to snatch this stranger from the Dark Lord's clutches. I would look at him, surely, but I yearned to aid my hobbit comrade and the lady of Rohan.
Then I saw Denethor's heir, clinging to life by the slightest of threads, the chiselled features stilled, the raven hair streaked with sweat and oil. Could it be? Was he the one? Dream or no dream, I had to try. I would not willingly let a defender of Gondor perish.
Long I fought to save the valiant captain, pouring my strength into his wearied heart. Finally his eyes opened, and he said: "My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?"
I had seen those shining grey eyes, so full of knowledge and love, long before he was even born. This was the man! This was my Steward.
A/N This is a little story, which Raksha and I wrote together, which we wanted to share with you here.
We hope to continue with our serial "A Time to Reap" very soon.
If you enjoy Houses of Healing stories, do check out Raksha's "The Falcon and the Star" also on this site, which richly deserves far more readers and comments.