To keep you from harm (for rabidsamfan)
(Minas Tirith, June 3018)You want to go desperately. I can see it in your eyes.

You started dreaming the night before we lost the bridge. I woke near dawn and heard your voice, murmuring and moaning, and I leaned over you and touched your bandaged shoulder – a little too hard, obviously, for you winced and rocketed up, staring at me with unseeing eyes.


"You had a dream, little brother. Must have been a bad one."

Your gaze cleared and you leaned back on your good arm, your face pale and confused in the dim light.

"Not really." you said slowly. "Only strange… I don't understand it."

"What happened?"

I had to ask. I am the only one who does in our family. Father doesn't want to hear of your dreams. The last one you dared to mention made him angry for days. Not angry with me, of course. It's always you. Always.

And as always, you told me. You told me of the darkened sky in the East and the faint light in the West, and of the clear voice from afar. You recited the poem, rhyme after rhyme. You've always had the head for poetry, keeping the most complicated ballads and songs in your mind without any effort, while I sat in our study, watching the open window and waiting desperately to go to my next swordfight lesson with Melendor. Our tutor was desperate too, the poor man. But he was more than happy to educate you.

Then dawn came, and the attack, and there was no time to think of dreams. I remember how we crawled out of the water, gasping in the smoky air, blind and deaf from the cries of that terrible creature bringing despair and grief to the ruins of what had once been the crown of Gondor. We lost the bridge, but the foe was forestalled by the river. We had time to go home, to report.

And now you want to go. You asked Father to let you leave, but he refused. I could have told you before. And I have never loved you more but for the sudden stubbornness in your eyes when he turned away, and for the second attempt to get his permission, rewarded with a cold gaze and a slammed door.

I love him, little brother. And I love you.

I don't want you to get lost in this undertaking. We don't even know exactly where this Imladris can be found. Hundreds of miles between Minas Tirith and a place sprung up from a dream and from the legends you enjoy to read so much.

How many times now have you dreamed of the darkened sky and the faint light? I know you will tell me the dream again if I ask, and more than once. I'm the only one to listen since Mithrandir has gone.

I will do my best to remember every word and every line of that strange poem.

For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
and the Halfling forth shall stand.

What is Isildur's Bane? And what in the name of all kings is a Halfling?

Anyway, I don't care. I will go instead of you. Father will let me leave, and I will find out what all this is about, while you stay here. I have friends in Rohan, and Father will need your knowledge of Ithilien.

Perhaps he will finally see your value when he does not have to look past me. Perhaps he will see the light in your eyes, and the deep love you have for him. I can see it. I know how much you try to please him.

I love him, little brother. But sometimes – only sometimes – I hate him for not loving you.