The screams were the last thing he heard before he woke up. He started, hand wrapping around his sword before he realized he had dreamed of suffering once again.
Boromir son of Denethor was accustomed to such dreams, although the discomfort he felt was as poignant as ever. He sat up, laying his sword over his legs as he reached up to wipe the sweat from his brow before the guards his father had insisted he travel with noticed. He did not care to see their faces of concern.
There had been whispers, tales of the return of Isildur's Bane. They had been nothing but stories to the common folk, if they even knew what it was, but to Boromir they were doom. He looked around at the trees and stood up, knowing that sleep was lost to him. He did not sheath his sword, choosing instead to hold it tightly to his side, eyes scanning the forest in a paranoid manner that he normally didn't consider himself to be prone to, but the response was almost instinctual. He did not know these woods, these elvish trees that were a mystery to him, and they made him painfully uncomfortable.
The outlines of his two guardsmen, two of his father's choosing, blended in with the trees, blurring due to the haziness of the night. Boromir felt like they had been here for ages. He could have sworn he had seen these trees before, smelled the acrid sweetness of the air for a bit too long. He was half convinced it was these woods that had caused his nightmares. He saw the eastern sky darkening every night, turning to blackness before ash rained down from the sky, burning everything it touched. The screaming started at the same point, just after the White City feel into ruin. He did not know the outcome. He always woke up shortly after.
The underbrush rustled, drawing Boromir out of his reverie. He turned around, sword brandished in front of him, and waited. He could feel his body sinking into his familiar battle stance. It brought him comfort, out here in the wilds that he didn't know, and instantly relaxed him. There was peace for him in battle, control that he couldn't find anywhere else. His muscles knew what to do instinctively, his hands knew just the right grip, his legs the proper bend. Everything was as it should be except for his eyes. He couldn't see a damn thing in all the fog.
He cursed under his breath.
The attention of his two guards was drawn to him in that moment, although he wished it wouldn't have been.
He bore no ill will towards them. They were doing their job after all, just as he was. They never left him alone, however, and he was completely tired of their presence. The taller of the two, Birn, was a silly man. He liked to laugh at non-funny things and found humor in everything from elvish tales to stories of old spinsters. Boromir liked to keep his distance from Birn. The other man, Selet, was short and stocky and carried no humor with him. He was at odds with Birn most of the time, but kept to himself when he wasn't needed, a trait that Boromir greatly admired considering he wasn't needed very often, if at all. Both of them had their weapons drawn and were already on high alert.
Boromir looked at the trees once again, although there was no more noise, and lowered his sword.
He rolled his eyes. It was nothing more than a rabbit, probably. "Damn these woods." He muttered, instantly standing up out of his stance to turn to the two men behind him. "Gather the horses."
He would do well with a bed to sleep in and food that didn't taste of gristle and burned hair, he decided. The road from Minas Tirith to Rivendell had been a long one and his constant nightmares had fried his nerves. Birn thought his chatting would make the road shorter, but all it had done was give Boromir head pains and a short temper. The guards did as he ordered them and set to work breaking down the meager camp they had set up not a few hours before. It was the third night in a row that Boromir had forgone his own sleeping in place of faster travel.
He wondered if the elves had something to ease his dreams, or get rid of them entirely. He quickly pushed that thought aside. He wouldn't trust some concoction from a bottle no matter what respite it promised.
Boromir looked at Birn, masking his expression.
"We ride through the night. With luck, we'll make it to Rivendell by morning."
Birn and Selet followed his orders and vaulted up onto their horses just before Boromir did. The fog that covered the ground reached his horse's knobby knees and threatened to go higher. He didn't wish to linger in this area of the world any longer than he had to. He kicked his horse sharply and trotted into the forest, Birn and Selet falling into line behind him as they always did.
The fog dissipated only slightly as the night wore on. They crossed into the borders of Rivendell after an hour and the scenery had changed very little since. Boromir thought he caught a glimpse of a few elves in the trees, staring down at him with their owlish eyes, but he disregarded them. It was only a matter of coincidence that he was even at the elven city at all. He half wondered if he would be having his dreams if it wasn't elves that had possession of Isildur's Bane or if they were simply a sign of the ever increasing darkness that plagued his city and his thoughts.
They were close. They passed by a few small huts, made out of wood and grass and stone, alongside the river Bruinen. A few elves peaked out of their homes to look at them as they approached. They were all brown haired and fair skinned. Not a pock mark to be seen or a blemish to be heard of. They were clean and Boromir instantly dismissed them. To be clean was a sign of safety and peace, of which his people had very little left. Gondor was constantly at war and he feared they would not be able to hold out against Mordor for much longer. That's why he was here, as a matter of fact, and he refused to allow his own bad dreams and uneasiness deter him.
They paused at a small brook just past dawn to allow their horses to rest and Birn, who had far too much to drink, a little time to relieve himself. Boromir stood near the edge of the small clearing and watched the tree line. It was silly of him to be so on edge. They had long since passed into the borders of Rivendell and the protection of the elves.
"Milord, someone approaches."
Birn quickly readjusted himself and dropped his tunic and jerkin down to their normal position, fumbling with the ties. There was a horse coming, moving at a moderately fast pace. Boromir could tell, based simply on the sounds of the hooves, that it was a light rider that knew how to handle a horse better than most. An elf most likely. Perhaps the Lord of Rivendell had received word of their arrival and sent someone to receive them. The hooves slowed down not far from them and eventually petered off until they were nothing more than a soft stomp. Boromir gripped the pommel of his sword and waited for the rider to show themselves. Selet, who was guarding the horses, mirrored his stance.
When the rider appeared in the clearing Boromir instantly relaxed, taking his hand off his sword.
It was an she-elf, and a small one at that.
She smiled when she saw them and slowed her horse down so that it was directly in front of them. Her expression faltered when she saw the looks of suspicion on Boromir and Selet's faces, although she still inclined her head respectfully.
"Greetings." She said in a smooth voice that didn't match her face. It was deeper than Boromir was expecting.
Boromir inclined his head as niceties mandated, keeping his eyes on her face. She was abnormal looking. She had long blonde hair that seemed out of place here, amongst all the brown he had seen. Her face was small and disproportionate, with her large green eyes and smattering of freckles across her cheeks and nose. She stared at them for a moment longer before she climbed off her grey garron and landed with a soft thud in front of him. She was short and thin, barely reaching Boromir's shoulders. She was thoroughly unimpressive.
"Greetings." Boromir said after a moment.
"Where are you traveling?"
His guard was back up again, although he wasn't sure it ever went down. Not in this part of the world, at least. "We are making our way to Rivendell, Milady." Selet spoke for Boromir. "This is Lord Boromir, son to the Steward Denethor, and High Warden of the White Tower."
Her nose scrunched at the list of his titles. "You're very important."
"Yes, and I have important business in Rivendell."
He was done speaking with her.
"Aren't you going to ask me my name?" Boromir did not have time for this silly she-elf. He could feel his annoyance growing and did nothing to keep it hidden. She noticed, although it didn't seem to affect her in the slightest. She chose to turn to his two companions, smiling at each of them. "I'm Alunim of the Grey Havens."
"Selet of Gondor."
"Birn of Gondor."
"A long way from home." Boromir scoffed at her observation. A toddling child would be able to tell him he was a long way from home. "How long have you been traveling?"
"Long enough." Boromir knew his voice was gruff when he cut off his companion. The she-elf noticed as well but she had the good sense not to say anything to him. "We wish for a soft bed and warm food."
"I won't keep you, then." She smiled once more and turned to her horse. She touched the packs attached to the side saddle, checking the straps once, before she leapt up onto her horse in a graceful way that Boromir associated with all elves. She made herself comfortable in her saddle, pulling the reins into her small hands. She was dressed for traveling, Boromir noticed for the first time, in clothes of blue and brown; the colors of Rivendell. "Imladris is not far. You should reach it within an hour or so."
Selet simply nodded, while Birn smiled brightly. Boromir could tell the foolish man was taken with the she-elf. He rolled his shoulders and made his way over to his own horse, careful to keep his front to her the entire time, and mirrored her in the way she sat on her horse. He felt much better being at a height advantage once again. Even though he thought she was small and not a threat, he disliked how she had towered above him on her horse.
Boromir turned his horse in the direction she was pointing, hesitant to believe her. It was his natural instinct. He inclined his head to her once again, however, and moved his horse forward, already pushing the encounter to the back of his mind. The words and images of his dreams invaded his vision once again when he thought of Rivendell and what lay waiting for them. He didn't look back at the she-elf as she rode away, fully convinced that he would never see her again. She was of little importance anyway, when compared to the reason why he was in this part of the world. Isildur's Bane. It had been found. Boromir didn't like to think of what it could mean. His dreams coming true, perhaps, or worse.
Sooo, if you read the original of this story, I am very sorry for the confusion. I have been planning a rewrite for a while, as the original was very cheesy and very trope filled. In addition, I wanted this story to be more along the lines of my Hobbit story, which it was not in its original state. This was the first thing I ever wrote and was very proud of it at the time, but the more I looked at it, the more potential I saw for improvement. Hence the rewrite. I think this version will be much better and more entertaining.
This will be an OC story, but I am really going to try and make it believable. She will change the story. People who lived, might die, and people who died, might live. Just so that is clear.
If you're new, welcome! I hope you enjoy this story! There is a Hobbit story that serves as the sequel to this, but it can be read as a stand alone, if that floats your boat. Also, if you had this story faovrited in its original form and would like a copy, I would be happy to send it to you.
Anyway, reviews are greatly appreciated. Enjoy!