Characters: Young Aragorn and Young Halbarad
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s characters, Kortirion’s incidents and inferences.
Notes: Catching up on the weekly challenges – four now and four later
…Must look for small happiness’s… He sighed, Men… their sudden passions, mood-swings… so different to Adar, to my brothers…
No… not father, not brothers… but he couldn’t think of them otherwise. Aragorn sighed again… even his name was different here. Sighs became sniffs – he wiped his nose on his sleeve… No more homesickness!
The door swung wide, a pile of belongings staggered in, dropped to the floor, revealing a bright disarming smile.
“I’m to room with you my Lor… Sir…” the smile faltered.
“Aragorn, will do”
“Oh good - I’m Halbarad. Try one of these, my mother’s honey-cakes…
Aragorn smiled slowly.
As Rangers-in-training they were expected to help serve those returning from watch, fetching them food from the servitors’ table, running across the foot of the long refectory tables in the Great Hall – the wisdom being that their meal interrupted was less important than keeping weary guards waiting.
Halbarad kept up whispered running commentaries as to who was who, his opinions of them… his father’s opinions of them… his uncle’s views were also thrown in.
Aragorn’s head began to spin with names, lineages and gossip, rapidly dispensed along with bread, meat and cheese. His head ached from the noise and bustle.
Falling into bed that night couldn’t come soon enough for Aragorn.
He’d only been amongst the Rangers a short while and, unbeknownst to him, it was noted that he seemed to isolate himself, holding back from the others… True, he was training to become Captain… but he needed a release from study and weapons practise. Yes, the Elves had trained him well… but not in the ways of young Men… Then Halbarad’s father presented his son… and a plan formed.
Halbarad bounced off the bed opposite, “More honey-cakes?”
“You’ll get toothache…”
“Yeah… but it’s worth it!”
Aragorn rolled his eyes.
After five days and as many nights of near constant chatter, Halbarad had developed a sore throat. Aragorn sent silent thanks to Elbereth as he lay down on his bed, and yet… He tossed and turned, unable to sleep because of the twisted shoulder he’d got earlier while practising with a lance… and because… it was so quiet. All he had were thoughts of home, what his brothers might be doing… Aragorn rose, padding out into the darkness.
Halbarad’s breath rasped. A gentle hand shook his shoulder.
“Here, drink this – herbs and wine, it will make your throat feel better.”