Much thanks to Rosie26 again!
A Healer´s Story
Here my patient lies, deadly pale, even his lips are colourless and only a miracle can save him from death.
I knew him before he was born. His mother Finduilas, a beautiful, fragile woman came to me believing herself to be pregnant again. She already had a healthy and strong boy and her husband, our mighty Steward, wished dearly for a girl. It was her fifth pregnancy in two years now, the others ending prematurely with miscarriages and she lost a lot of her strength and life-energy. After the last time I recommended her not to become pregnant again for the next two years at least as she recovered slower with each loss, but after the examination I confirmed her assumption and I suspected that her husband did not want to wait any longer.
She did not show her emotions, but just hoped that everything would fare well this time and so did I. She felt tired and exhausted from the first month, because she could not sleep and was sick nearly all the time. We tried all sorts of herbs, but soon I found out that she only felt better when her husband wasn´t around. Nevertheless she took care of her little son and tried to fulfil her representative obligations.
At the end of the second month, she felt pain in her belly and we were worried that she might lose this child also. I told her to rest a lot, to avoid any excitement and last but not least to restrain from performing her marital duties. The pain remained but the pregnancy could be maintained. When I met her in her sixth month, I realised that she still hadn´t gained much weight and I could scarcely tell that she was pregnant.
At the beginning of the eighth month, when the moon was waxing, she called me in the middle of the night. She lost blood and the labour had started. After the examination it was clear to me that she hadn´t been able to reject her husband any longer. Of course I didn´t say a word but I sympathized with her and tried to help her as much as I could. Although it was a premature birth and the child was quite small, it took her a long time with tormenting pain to deliver. Finally the baby was born and her husband entered the room to welcome his second child. When he saw that this was another boy, he left his wife immediately.
Finduilas never really recovered, and the tiny boy, Faramir, had a difficult start to his life and needed much attention. Early born as he was, he was too weak to suck firmly enough, so that we had to nourish him with a small spoon and much patience. He soon became everyone´s sunshine – nearly everyone´s I must say, for his father did not care too much for him. He did not take the time to look into his son´s clear blue baby-eyes which gazed curiously into the world and even at that age he seemed to read one´s thoughts.
He was an extra-ordinary boy as he spoke very early, but his motoric skills developed quite late. When he finally had learnt to walk at the age of nearly two years, he ran after his brother all the time, and Boromir was continually trying to answer the thousands of questions for which his inquisitive young brother needed answers. Indeed, there were many times when people avoided Faramir for this very reason, regardless of their affection for him.
Finduilas died when he was five years old. I never forgot this day. It was a cold and stormy day, when the Steward buried his wife, and the little boy in the dark cloak did not want to move away from the tomb, and eventually he had to be dragged as he sobbed. After the funeral I cared for him, as his father returned to his duties at once and then the child caught a very bad cough, which he could not get rid of and it seemed to me as if his lungs would never work properly again.
We nearly lost him, when he was additionally infected with one of the usual children´s diseases, for his weakened body couldn´t cope with more attacks. I was desperate as I couldn´t really help him with the usual treatment and I was tempted to use my supernatural skills I once had learnt from a sorceress although I had promised that I would only do this in a case of utter emergency. One night Faramir´s fever went higher than I ever thought possible to survive. Denethor had gone to bed and I felt that my patient would not keep going much longer. I made sure that no-one was around and closed the door, then I took a small case from my pocket, took out a little powder and swallowed it with a sip of water. I dissolved another small amount of the secret remedy in Faramir´s tea and managed to put some drops onto his tongue. Then I knelt before the bedside and laid my left hand on his brow and my right hand on his fast and hardly noticably beating heart.
I´d never done this before and I never had expected that this magic would work so strongly. My palms began to burn like fire and I felt a force of attraction between the two of us which seemingly could not be interrupted. At dawn I found myself lying on the floor and when I got up, I felt very dizzy and had lost my memory from the moment I had made Faramir swallow the remedy. I immediately looked at him. The fever had gone, he breathed easily and soon he opened his eyes.
I was very happy that the healing magic had worked and in the following days I found out that I could re-establish the connection and could even read his mind whenever I wished to do so, I only needed to lay my hand on his brow. He did not know that and I didn´t tell him about it. I swore to myself that I´d never abuse this ability, as he might become dependent on me and what would happen to him in the case of my death?
When Faramir had recovered, I suggested sending him to Dol Amroth because the sea-climate would hopefully strengthen him. Denethor did not only agree to my proposal, he even bade me to go with him and so Faramir and I left Minas Tirith for almost one year. Faramir recovered at that beautiful place and he was quite depressed when he finally had to go home again. Only the prospect of meeting his brother once more cheered him up.
At Minas Tirith he started to go to school and he turned out to be the most interested pupil his teachers had ever seen. He never became tired of asking questions and soon he had read every book in the school library, played three instruments and even composed his own songs. His father didn´t appreciate these skills and when Faramir grew up, they did not get along very well. Faramir was bound for a career as a warrior, but he wasn´t interested in fighting. Finally Denethor replaced his academic lessons with exercises with sword and bow. Faramir tried to refuse and one day he came to me, because he had some bad bruises on his back and right shoulder. He told me that he had fallen from his horse and I pretended to believe him. It was not my duty to find out if a patient told me the truth and I did not want to embarrass him. I helped him and remained silent.
He grew up and finally he had to leave Minas Tirith to defend our country against the Dark Lord and his warriors. It was a very dangerous task and I wished I could have accompanied him. I missed Faramir a lot, as he had always been a gentle boy with a loving heart and I felt like a mother to him. I would have been very proud to have such a son and I could never understand why Denethor seemed not to appreciate his second born.
He is back – darted by two arrows and unconscious. Mithrandir cares for him but he isn´t able to help. I feel that I don´t have the time to wait till he is gone and don´t want to ask him to leave us alone. I am touching Faramir´s brow, expecting the familiar connection, but there is none! I am trying again, but something keeps us apart. I can´t believe that this happens – for the first time he seems to be beyond my help. He lies there on the bed motionless and I want to shake him, shout at him, and do anything to bring him back. But it is hopeless, he doesn´t move, his eyes won´t open and his hands are cold in spite of his fever.
Mithrandir is watching me with silent understanding and I can sense his endless grief. Why do the young have to die before the old in these dark times? I would happily give my life for Faramir´s healing. Helplessly I look at Mithrandir and say: "Would that there were kings in Gondor, as there were once upon a time, they say! For it is said in old lore: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer."
And Mithrandir answers: "Men may long remember your words, Ioreth! For there is hope in them."
I can expect nothing but riddles of him, but may what he says come true very soon. Faramir´s last impression should not be the hideous face of an enemy, aiming an arrow at his heart. No-one who has kept so gentle a heart despite the cruelties he has experienced, deserves such a dreadful death.
I am praying for the miracle and a better future life for Faramir, Steward of Gondor.