A/N: New story. This one revolves around the sole character I own, Elentari, later to be known as Isilme and Faramir. I hope you like it! Please review, it encourages me to update.

Chapter 1: Deliverance and Death

Early in the morning, screams penetrated the permeated air like knives. The White City was awoken by sounds of struggle, pain, gasps for air.
"Hold on Ariethel, just a while longer," lovely, yet pale Finduilas murmured to her beloved friend, whose hold on her hand had become painful.
Midwives hurried to and fro, fetching towels, herbs, anything to make the Lady more comfortable as she struggled to deliver.

Denethor stood beyond the doors of the Houses of Healing, but he could hear the struggle going on inside, the screams, the pain. Two young boys, the elder, just short of his ninth year, his raven hair in his face, stood beside his father, frightened by the commotion inside, but afraid to show it. The younger by five years, stood with his head buried in that of his brother, his blue eyes clouded by fright, barely stifling his whimpers.
"What's happening Father?" the elder tugged at Denethor's tunic, "Where's Mama? Where is Aunt Ariethel?"
"They are inside Boromir," his father answered, his face grave.
"Why is she screaming?" the young lad whimpered, "Aunt Ariethel, why is she screaming?"
"She is in pain, Faramir" Denethor replied.
"Why Father?" Boromir asked naively, "There are no Orcs in the city." Denethor uttered a dry laugh at the naïveté of his son and answered, "You will see, my son."

What seemed like hours later, a midwife opened the door solemnly, beckoning the men in.
Boromir felt his brother's grip tighten as they strode in hand in hand. What met their eyes was a frightening sight. There was blood everywhere. A baby was heard crying. Their mother, pale and tired, sat by the bloody bed, whispering something to the person on it. They looked up to see who it was--Aunt Ariethel, sweaty, deathly pale, and gaunt. Upon seeing them, Finduilas opened her arms to her sons, sweeping Faramir onto her lap and embracing Boromir. They looked over to the bed. The woman smiled slightly, her gaze feeble and weak.
"Hello boys. Come to see your new sister?" she gasped, each breath taking difficulty. With that, a midwife brought the newly swaddled baby forward, into her mother's arms.
"My baby. My darling baby," Ariethel whispered.
Faramir's innocent, big blue eyes gazed at the bundle and said, "She's very pretty."
Both Finduilas and Ariethel smiled, "Yes she is," Finduilas said, "What are we going to call her Ariethel?" The baby's eyes flittered open, showing innocent, grey eyes that mirrored the Sea. They shone like the Silmarils and Valacirca, stars of Varda.
"Elbereth," Finduilas murmured.
"Elentari, she shall be called. May the Grace of the Valar be upon you," her mother whispered gently.
"Elentari. Varda, Elentari. Queen of Stars. Almarea naise lya aure*," Finduilas blessed.
"Elentari. Pretty name," Boromir said, "Why can't I have a pretty name like that?"
"Boromir of Gondor, there is nothing wrong with your name," Finduilas cried indignantly, while Faramir's eyes never left Elentari.
"Can we play with her? I mean, when she gets bigger," Faramir asked.
"Of course Faramir darling, of course," Ariethel answered tiredly.

The Master Healer had drawn Denethor aside.
"The Lady Ariethel had a particularly difficult time in delivering the child. We fear that the worst is still to come. She may not recover so well. It would be wise to leave her alone for now." Denethor looked worried at this and quickly moved over to Finduilas to signal this. Elentari was returned to the nurses and everyone left, before Ariethel fell into a delirium.

Hours later, Finduilas was sitting outside the House, waiting for news of her beloved friend. She had been worried, as her friend had not looked very well, and her childbirth had been particularly painful and difficult. The words of the Healer furthered this point. Her thoughts were broken by the door swinging open and a healer running out crying, "Lady Finduilas! She is calling for you. There has been an infection. They do not think she will last."
Finduilas was frantic as she ran in to find her friend moaning her name in a delirium. She quickly found her seat and grasped Ariethel's hand.
"An infection sprang up. We did not know how it did, but there's nothing we can do. She won't last very long," the Master Healer murmured, "I'm sorry."
Tears stung her eyes as Finduilas looked upon her childhood friend, struggling between this world and the next. As Ariethel moaned her name, Finduilas answered, "I'm here Ariethel. I'm here."
After what took quite a struggle of will, Ariethel opened her heavy- lidded eyes and gasped, "Finduilas. Look after my baby, my Elentari. Look after her for me. Love her. Be her mother for me. Look after my darling. She has no one. Hurin is dead," she gasped out for breath at the mentioning of her departed husband, "Promise me Finduilas. Promise me you'll love her."
Finduilas could not keep the tears back any longer, but refused to let her friend see her weakness. She trembled, "I promise you Ariethel, my friend, my sister." Ariethel smiled satisfactorily and closed her eyes and sighed for a final time, as darkness took her.
Finduilas finally let her tears flow freely and sobs wracked through her body. She cried until her tears were spent and stayed there, holding her friend's body in embrace, like if she held on to her body, her soul could not fly away, to the halls of Mandos. Finally, what seemed like hours later, she felt a hand on her shoulder and looked to see Denethor, grim and grey behind her.
"Come. Let her go. Her spirit will find the halls of Mandos. She will be there with Hurin, our kinsman and both her Elven kin and those of Men. Let her go Finduilas. She will be sorely missed, but we must let her go. We will see her one day."
Finduilas did not, could not answer, but merely nodded and let her the cold body out of her embrace. Denethor helped her up and steadied her, his eyes lined with pain and grief, for he had known Ariethel well, not as well as his wife, but he had. Just then, a Healer brought Elentari to them, sleeping contently, knowing nothing yet of the grieves that had befallen her.
Finduilas took the babe into her own arms and kissed her, "You shall be my daughter. I have two sons, and you will be my daughter. Melda Elentari*."
In her heart Finduilas would never recover from the death of her dear friend of childhood, but the baby's innocent countenance and shining grey eyes allowed those worries to diminish, at least for a time, until Finduilas went herself, to join her dearly departed friend, in the halls of Mandos.

* Almarea nasie lya aura": Blessed may your days be.