Oops..a little longer than a drabble..a pentadrabble...or so.
T.A. 2978 Dol Amroth
Then as before his footfall was not quite lost, there was the faintest crunch of gravel upon the graceful path.
The dark-haired beauty upon the bench turned to look. Her mantle of deepest blue was crowned at throat and hem with silver stars of mithril thread. They caught the moon's silver light and twinkled as she moved. Beside the smooth white stems of the aspen grove glowed softly. The trembling new green leaves whispered a promise to the rising breeze.
His vision swam. The soft peeling paper bark of snow-white birches glowed in the light of another Mayday moon. A slighter maiden sat, a twilight star of fading memory, dark hair straying in wind and brow bound with gems like stars.
Though my doom will be not unlike hers…
His vision broke. Aragorn shook his head and there Finduilas of Dol Amroth sat, not beneath the groves of Rivendell but in the grand and formal gardens laid by her grandmother. The warm sea air held the tang of salt and the soft song of courting tree frogs peeped in the moist and velvet night. So far. He had come so far. The yearning for the cool and silence of a hidden vale pierced hard within his breast.
The lady looked up and smiled. From the palace the strains of lute and viol and rippling laughter drifted languidly on the air. The night's revelry had not passed and he was not the only one escaping from the throng.
The Dunadan sighed and strode into a patch of brighter moonlight. It would be churlish to leave her now however much he wished for solitude. "Lady Finduilas, I apologize for disturbing you."
The dark head inclined at his courtly bow. Her jeweled circlet of ijolite and adamant flashed briefly in his sight. "Nay, Captain. Please, do sit. I had tired from the dancing and merely wished to rest." With a rueful smile she placed a hand to her swollen side. "At least for a little while I will not be leading all the gaiety and all too soon we will return to my husband's home."
It did not take Sight to see what was in Finduilas' gracious heart. "You miss it, fair lady? The green about the Bay and its gentle rolling hills." he asked, sitting down on the carved stone bench. It was warm where she had sat. The white marble glowed faintly in the moonlight.
"Always." Her smile was bittersweet. Elegant fingers reached to pluck a white bloom from the bush beside, wound its stem through another already plucked. The sweet heady perfume of frangipani drifted up. "I come to fix the scent and space once more within my heart. It buoys me until I return."
He thought of silver groves and drifts of white Windflower. "Aye. I know that need my Lady. I love this garden for its trembling groves remind well me of my home."
The small bow-shaped mouth twitched and clear grey eyes sparkled once. "And where is that my Lord?"
Valar. Distracted by the beauty of the night he had left an opening in the game they played. "North." He replied, grinning to grant a point for her ready wit.
The petite fair face mimed a disappointed frown. "You will ever remain a mystery, Thorongil."
"No mystery. My home is a valley green and crowned simply with silver birches. Where the song of drowsy nightingales and the scent of stocks drift upward in the eve." Where walks a lady crowned by stars…
The long fingers stilled upon the flower chain. A crown of glossy scented petals now sat complete upon the head of Lorien, his stone eyes gazing unseeing over the beds of nodding Asphodel. "Such a poet and you are not yet crowned."
It was Mayday. All about the Bay maidens gifted a crown of flowers to their betrothed or those they wished to court. As the night wore on Aragorn had found it harder and harder to duck the attention with easy grace.
"No my Lady… I am not free." Another slip. The grim visage frowned. What was it about the enchantment of this night that he could not keep his thoughts to himself.
Finduilas' clear grey eyes widened in surprise. Her sudden laugh chimed brightly like the seabreeze through the headland's reeds. "So many puzzled hearts within the hall and now I am keeper of your most dangerous secret."
He could not keep his face from softening. Sometimes even a fighting man needs to open the hidden spaces in his heart. "Dangerous… but so very, very fair."
Finduilas smiled and accepted his quiet gift. "You are trothplighted?"
Now the careworn features widened to a sad and wistful smile. "No. Her father has not accepted my suit just yet. "
"The renowned Captain Thorongil?!" Finduilas' low and honeyed voice was nigh incredulous. "Revered right hand of the powerful Steward of Gondor? Surely no man could doubt your virtue?"
His mouth quirked. No man perhaps..but a Peredhil surely did. They were straying into perilous territory and it was time he put her off the scent.
"Lady, was there ever a father who found his daughter's beloved to be of sufficient worth?"
"Perhaps not." She bent again to her craft. The picture of matronly seriousness was belied by the lingering gleam of mischief that lit her dove grey eyes.
He breathed a sigh of relief and let the easy silence stretch. Ithil's pearly dew spilled down the velvet night and played on the white flowers that wreathed Lorien's marble curls. The crown fair glowed in the shining silver light.
"Finduilas!" Denethor anxious voice carried on the gentle breeze. The lady looked up and sighed, glanced resignedly toward the terrace. "I should get back. He worries about me so these days."
Aragorn rose and gallantly offered an arm to help her up. Finduilas was not near her time but still the babe was large for her small and bird-like frame.
She squeezed his arm in gratitude. Reaching down, she plucked the finished wreath from off the seat. "Here my lord. A crown worthy of any man. Perhaps if your lady love were here she would see you in another light."
As the Dunadan's dark head bent to accept the gift, a shaft of argent light limned the soft white petals of the buds. Snow-white, the crown's radiance burned upon his brow.
He watched the vision veil her gaze, saw the wide dark pupils shorn of their grey and the tears glisten adamant on her cheeks. She knew.
Finduilas, a true daughter of Mithrellas, had Seen. A king would come again.