Character(s): Arwen, Elessar, Eldarion, OFC, and Peregrine Took
Source: Fourth Age/AU
Disclaimer: Tolkien created the world of Middle-earth… Kortirion created this garden.
Notes: Previously archived – but I like them. Apologies that it's more 'Garden' than 'Gardener'
‘Amah' is a combination nurse-maid and bodyguard for a child; as an OFC called Melleth she features in several stories, as Boromir and Faramir's Amah... among other things.
Arwen never used Lady Finduilas’ garden; Elessar suspected the sea-shells decorating every wall unnerved her. She preferred to walk in the Houses’ garden, or in the Queen’s Glade the Ents had planted for her at the mountain’s foot beyond the city-walls. Perhaps, he thought, she felt his attachment to its previous custodian should remain unremarked upon... as children, Boromir and Faramir had played there under the Amah’s supervision; the woman still visited occasionally.
Arwen glimpsed her showing Eldarion how to cut paper plant-labels, copying those inscribed by Finduilas’ fading hand, but Arwen refused to allow herself the luxury of jealousy.
Elessar watched fondly as his Steward’s old amah cut paper-soldiers for Eldarion, seated together on the shell-decorated bench in Lady Finduilas’ garden. Now tidied, by day it was a nursery realm again... at night though... it became his place for thoughts, a pipe or two, and a solitary glass shared with visiting ghosts.
Arwen conceded him this privacy, understanding that loneliness becomes habitual – and he had often been alone. Amah coached his son to tear folded paper, before the babe ran to him, proudly trailing a string of paper hearts.
‘Hearts and paper... so easily torn apart...’ Elessar mused silently.
Peregrine Took, a welcome visitor, watched his King. Watched him receive dignitaries with gracious nobility, his beautiful queen beside him; a more regal expression of ordered power one could not imagine.
He watched him laugh with Faramir’s old amah over pipes and ale, comfortable in worn leathers, sitting in her courtyard with old comrades from the North.
He watched him sit silently in Lady Finduilas’ shell-bedecked twilight garden, idly spreading a chain of cut paper hearts, then refolding them again in different combinations. Each heart bore a scrawled name... who was... who might have been... and who never could be...