Characters: Young Aragorn and Young Halbarad
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien created the world and these characters – Kortirion envisaged a variance in their path.
Notes: a continuing story begun in the previous prompts.
They’d grown closer as they journeyed north.
“Gandalf wanted words with him - over there.”
The ranger jerked his head towards the trees. Halbarad looked across - nothing.
“Pick more sticks up for the fire,” the ranger called after him.
Halbarad peered into the trees… where? Then he saw the pointed hat move… surprising how well the Grey Wizard merged into… well, everything!
Aragorn paced the clearing, frowning. Gandalf sat on a tree-stump, drawing patterns in the soft earth with his staff. Halbarad sensed he’d walked into an argument… but was more shocked by Aragorn – he’d been weeping!
Halbarad stood very still, listening.
“I will not go! I cannot go!”
“It is a duty I need from you.” Gandalf spoke mildly.
“What does Adar say?”
“Come closer Halbarad.”
The wizard spoke without turning. Aragorn looked up sharply, before turning his back to cuff his eyes dry.
“Halbarad,” Gandalf said, “Are you loyal to him?”
“Of course. Do you doubt me?”
The wizard stood. “Say your goodbyes then – at dawn one of you will leave.”
Halbarad looked down at the drawing in the dust… a large map of unfamiliar places… stretching far to the south.
“Nooo...” he breathed.