A timeline (also seen in Part Two):
2852 King Belecthor II dies, and with him the White Tree. The Dead Tree remains.
2976 Denethor II and Finduilas wed
2978 Birth of Boromir
2983 Birth of Faramir
2984 Death of Ecthelion II. Denethor II becomes Steward.
2988 Death of Finduilas
A note: Hullo! This is the last story in this little trio. I want to thank all of the readers who have spent some time on this little tale of fluff, and especially my reviewers, who really help to brighten my day. Thanks for putting up with me! :D
It was after dinner when Boromir crept into his fathers study. Outside, the sun had set, and a quiet wind blew back the black standards on the walls of Minas Tirith, mourning the death of the Steward's dear wife.
Denethor was absorbed in a dusty volume that was nearly as large as his desk. Both father and son still wore the color of mourning, as was customary, but Boromir looked anything from grief-stricken.
"Papa!" he burst out, racing to Denethor's side, unable to contain his enthusiasm. "Papa, I know!"
Denethor smiled wanly at his eldest son. "Know what?"
"I know how to see Mama again!"
Denethor was silent, searching for a response to Boromir's discovery without causing a flurry of tears.
"A palantir, father," continued Boromir, breathless. "One of the seven stones! We can talk to Mama in it!"
He looked so hopeful, so confident, standing beside his father with the answer to all of their sorrows. Denethor sighed and gently closed the book. He drew Boromir into his lap, something of a feat with the growing child.
"Boromir, Mama is dead."
"But the palantir- magic!" Boromir did not tell his father that he had learned of the seeing stones from Mithrandir, who was, after all, a wizard, and had to know of such things.
"We cannot see her, my son. She is gone." Denethor took Boromir's hand and held it tight. "She cannot come back."
"Ever?" Boromir asked shakily, after a long silence.
"Someday, maybe, but not for a very long time."
"So...the palantir won't work?"
"No, Bor," he answered, using Finduilas' nickname. "They will not work."
"But I miss her," whispered Boromir.
"Boromir, we all do, but she watches us, even now. Mama still loves us." Finduilas, would that you were here to comfort you sons. To comfort you husband.
"She still loves us?"
"Of course. Love never ends." Denethor pulled his son close.
"Does she watch us from her star? Is she happy? I don't think she is ill any longer." Boromir's old excitement was back as he thought of this.
Denethor did not understand Boromir's mention of a star, but he liked to think that his wife was in the heavens, looking down on her family. Happy.
"Yes, she is happy. There is no pain or illness where she is." Take care of my Finduilas, Illuvatar. "She is happy."
He hated to think of the tales swirling about the court, that Finduilas had faded away in her longing for the sea. He did not know if she had, indeed perished of despair; all he understood was that the healers could do nothing, and he could but look on as his beloved wife wasted away before his own eyes.
But, he reminded himself, she was happy now. She had found peace and rest and the sea, and someday, he would meet her there.
A tug on his collar brought him from his reverie, and he found himself looking into Boromir's curious face.
"Papa, are you well?"
Denethor smiled in earnest and blinked away tears- when had his eyes started to water? Boromir snuggled into his father's chest as he answered, "Yes, Bor. I am." I will be.
"Papa?" asked Boromir's muffled voice.
"I love you. Mama loves you too."
Denethor closed his eyes, silently thanking Finduilas for their son.
According to Professor Tolkien: When mortals die, they dwell for a short time in a special part of the Halls of Waiting before passing forever out of the circles of the world.
Thank you, readers!