Disclaimer: Nothing at all belongs to me, it is all Tolkien's.

When Halbarad Dúnadan rode with the Grey Company to Aragorn's aid, he bore the work of Undómiel. 2 x 100 words as counted by MS Word. This won first place in the Drabble Series: Character Study category of the 2011 MEFAs, many thanks to Linda Hoyland for the nomination and to everyone who reviewed!

He stands there as she approaches, steps soft as gossamer brushing across the marble, face illuminated with a beauty beyond understanding of such men as he. He bows his head, ever respectful, but does not expect more than an exchange of niceties.

He does not want more. He must go now, and every delay chafes at him. His Chieftain needs him, and that has always been Halbarad's priority.

But said Chieftain's betrothed comes ever nearer, and in immortal eyes he catches a glimpse of very mortal fear, and perhaps the two of them are not quite so different after all.


"Promise," she pleads, and he can see the glimmers of unimaginably deep sorrow in her ancient eyes.

In his heart he pledges himself utterly to this service, just as he has so many others. He has seen the look in Aragorn's eyes when he speaks of Arwen, and he will bring this gift of hope beyond hope to his friend and kinsman at any cost.

"I will," he murmurs, and his back straightens imperceptibly and his fists clench tightly round the object she delivers to him. "I promise, my lady. I will carry it to death and beyond."

He does.