Author's Note: This was written for the March fanfic challenge for The Tower of Ecthelion group and fanfic archive, the link to which is in my author profile. This was originally posted last spring, but I discovered that I made a canon error, and as I'm a slave to canon, I had to fix it before it drove me crazy. I think I changed three lines. But its canon now and I'm happy. Anyway, hope you enjoy it. -Nat
"No, Faramir, you have to be Beleg."
"Because I'm going to be Turin."
"But you're always Turin, Boromir!"
"That's because I'm older."
"Can I be Beren then?" Faramir asked hopefully.
"Because, he wasn't part of that story. He had his own story. And there's nothing wrong with being Beleg."
"But I'm always Beleg…and besides, he's an Elf."
"I thought you liked Elves."
"I do," Four year old Faramir answered, "But I want to be Turin." Boromir shook his head in frustration as they entered the garden that sat in the shadow of the White Tower. "You said we were going to both be like Turin when we got big, but how can I be like Turin if I don't practice acting like him?" At this, Boromir had to laugh.
"But I'm a lot closer to being big than you are, Faramir, so I had best be Turin. I have a lot less time to practice then you do." Faramir pouted, but what his brother said had made sense.
"Okay, okay…" he conceded, clutching the stick in his hand that they would use for a sword. Boromir, though he had his own small sword, was also armed with a similar stick. He glanced around the garden, and his eyes came to rest on a large stick with a gray pointed hat covering the top end on it leaning against the wall with a long sword by its side. "Does Papa have company?"
"I suppose," Boromir said and he walked over to where the objects were leaning against the wall, Faramir following. "It is a beautiful sword." He reached out and touched the hilt.
"Boromir, are you sure we should be doing this?"
"Why not?" Faramir looked at his older brother.
"Because Father wouldn't like it?"
"Oh come on, Faramir! Father will never know. Who's going to tell him?" Faramir could not think of a good answer to this. To his four-year-old mind, Boromir's logic seemed sound, and after all, his older brother was always right.
"Okay," he finally agreed, "But I still don't think…"
"We'll put them back before anyone knows," Boromir answered, stretching up and gently lifting the hat off the staff, glancing around to be sure the garden was still empty. With a smile, he dropped the hat onto his brother's head, and Faramir began to giggle, for his head had completely disappeared underneath the too large hat. With his small hands, he pushed back the brim, clinging to it so as not to drop it and grinning at his brother.
"I'm a wizard!" he exclaimed, as he let go of the hat with one of his hands to pick up the stick he had brought to use as his sword. "This is my magic staff." He giggled. "I'm gonna put a spell on you, Boromir!" He waved his stick for a moment and then pointed at his brother. "Poof! You're cursed now, Boromir!"
"And how am I cursed?" his brother demanded.
"Well…" Faramir paused, letting go to the hat to scratch his nose. It fell forward down over his face again, and he giggled as he pushed it away. "Your ears are going to shrink," he decided, looking at his brother seriously, "Until no one can see them at all. You won't have any ears left." Boromir laughed, and picked up the sword that was leaning against the wall in two of his hands, keeping the scabbard on. The sword was nearly as large as he was, but he managed to lift it.
"I'll have to punish you for cursing me," Boromir threatened, sounding serious although there was laughter in his eyes, "I am Turin Turambar!" He stepped forward, menacing his little brother, and Faramir gave a shriek and ran, forgetting the hat in his haste. It fell over his eyes again and, blinded, he tripped over his own feet and fell.
It was at that moment there was a gasp from the doorway near which Boromir stood, and their mother's voice. "Boromir, Faramir!" It was sharper than it usually was, and Boromir turned slowly, even as Faramir lifted the hat off of his eyes to meet his mother's gaze.
"Mother…" Boromir said, and flushed, for standing beside his mother was Gandalf the Grey. He had never seen his mother so angry, and he gave her a sheepish smile.
"What were you boys thinking?" Finduilas demanded, her green eyes snapping at them as she waited for a response. Boromir opened his mouth to speak, but another voice came first.
"Now, now, my lady," Gandalf said, stepping forward and taking the sword from Boromir's hands as he reattached it to his belt, "There is no harm done," he continued, walking over and picking up Faramir from where he had fallen, leaving the hat sitting over the child's face. "I think there is punishment enough in the embarrassment of being caught. Isn't that right, my boy?" he asked Boromir.
"Yes, sir," Boromir answered, "It was my idea, sir." Gandalf gave Boromir a grandfatherly smile.
"There is nothing wrong with having a bit of fun, my lad," he answered, "At least you had the sense to not unsheathe the sword. You might have hurt your brother that way."
"I know, sir. I would never do anything that would hurt him like that."
"Indeed," the wizard answered, setting Faramir down beside his brother and gently lifting the hat off the child's head to place upon his own. "I think you shall have to wait awhile, Faramir, before this hat shall fit you properly." Faramir looked up at him and nodded, but didn't speak, clinging to his brother's leg.
"Thank you for your hospitality, my lady," Gandalf addressed himself again to their mother.
"Of course," Finduilas answered, "You are always welcome here, my lord. I apologize on behalf of my sons."
"Nonsense," Gandalf replied, "There is no harm done, and it will be long ere these boys think of playing with something that isn't theirs again. Fare you well, my lady." He gave a friendly smile and took his staff in hand and left the citadel.
Finduilas watched him go and then turned to her sons, standing penitent before her. Her face was stern, and both Boromir and Faramir waited for the rebuke to come, but after a moment, their mother laughed, and knelt drawing them into a hug. When she pulled away she shook her head, and said, laughter in her voice:
"Boys, you are indeed lucky that Master Gandalf is a forgiving man, and that it was I and not your father with him!"