Hello everyone. This is the first time I actually got the courage to write for Lord of the Rings. I mean, it's such a grand thing… I came to this while writing my actual fanfic. I thought to keep it in my head until my fanfic got to this point and then perhaps using it in it, but this plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone…so I'll upload this first. ^^
I really hope you'll enjoy yourself reading this.
Disclaimer: I do not own Lord of the Rings or anything of Middle-Earth.
They were moving to Meduseld, to live with their uncle King Théoden.
The sun stroke their faces gently, as a chilly breeze flew past. Eowyn sat behind her brother on a horse. He'd been unyielding of riding himself, and taking the safety of his sister for his account, no matter how much the soldiers had told him they'd take care of them. It occurred to most of them that the young lad had lost his faith ever since his mother died, in pursuit of her husband whom she loved more than anyone had ever imagined. It was sad for the wintered soldiers and men of Rohan to see such a beauty be fed to death. Not only that, but the fair Théodwyn had also been living for her children before the terrible news of the passing of Lord Eomund came to her ears.
From that moment on, the fair Lady had been unable to defeat her own grief, for she loved her husband more than she loved life itself. That had manifested in her getting ill swiftly after her husband had fallen. Soon, her health deteriorated, death taking her on swift wings toward the lands of nothingness. Even having two children didn't give Théodwyn enough to live on for, even if they were both strong willed and reminded everyone of their parents. For the character of Eomund was ever present in them. Not only his strong will, all-seeing eyes and unyielding will. But also his rashness and the failing of reasoning when the moment struck them head on.
Eomer and Eowyn had both. From the moment their father had come to pass they had taken quick strides to becoming grown-ups, especially the young Eomer, who now felt responsible for not only him, but also his sister and the Eastfold. Something that wasn't his burden to carry, yet. More times than they could count the soldiers had tried to help him in various situations, from saddling his pony, to carrying them both when they became tired. But Eomer, who was a stubborn child and proved to be even more stubborn when he would grow up was adamant, not giving up any of his responsibilities that were honestly speaking overrunning him. It was not his burden to carry yet. For he was too young. Eleven years is too young an age to take the safety of his kin upon him.
And so, for as long as the travel went, the soldiers could only curse under their breath every time Eomer would decline their offerings of help. And the thing that worried them was that Eowyn wouldn't protest either. She sat behind her brother, small arms tightly wrapped around his waist, face hard and cold.
Gamling recognised rulers when he saw them, and the radiance of strength coming from these two youngsters gave him a kick to the gut. Eowyn didn't mutter a word. Whether it was because she was unable to speak because of pain, or because she was lost in the looks of her own future and that of her brother he didn't know. One thing was sure: They were struck hardly by the way their mother had departed. Perhaps even feel left out, lost to the world with no more place to go.
"Eomer?" Eowyn softly spoke up to her brother in a whisper.
"Yes, Eowyn?" he asked, not turning to watch her.
"Have you seen my blanket?"
"Are you cold?" he asked, immediately thinking of letting a soldier give off his cloak to his sister.
"No, my blanket." she urged, voice slightly growing stronger, but also more emotional.
"Ah, that. It must be in one of our trunks, that the servants are carrying."
"Are you sure?"
"Eowyn, it's not the time to worry over such a thing." he sighed.
Eowyn immediately dropped all words she was about to speak, realising she should wait and keep the tears of fear, stinging harshly behind her eyelids at bay.
A few days later they were welcomed at Edoras in the Golden Hall of Meduseld. And even though the two children were grateful, everyone and especially the kind king and his son saw they were troubled and deeply hurt by all that had come to pass in such a short period of time.
"Welcome." Théoden spoke as he lay eyes upon the children of his sister.
He knelt before them, laying a comforting hand on their shoulder, and regarded them intently.
"Welcome." he repeated "Feel at home." he stood up again, still regarding the two orphans whom he was going to raise as he had decided. His youngest sister had been very dear to him, and her passing had taken him by surprise, for she was such a strong woman.
Looking at the two in front of him reminded him of her and his brother in law.
"Let's eat." he said at a loss of what else he could say. He was sure they were starving, for they had come a long way, and the trek hadn't been divided into much smaller ones. Only a few times had they gotten to rest, for the threat of orcs was still upon them.
Théodred, who had been standing behind his father the whole time, watched his cousins with great interest and a warm smile. He knew the fate that had befallen them, and sympathised with them, for he had also lost his mother. And even though he had never known her, for she had died giving birth to him, he sometimes felt that he missed something. So how much worse did it have to be for these two, who had known and loved not only their mother, but also their father. For them to have been taken away like they were…
He walked up the table and pulled out a chair, motioning for them to come. Eomer took the seat next to the one he was offering, for he wanted Eowyn to sit there. She had to learn how to act like a shieldmaiden anyway. Their father may have been easy on her in that part of her education, but he wouldn't. Not now that he was responsible.
Théodred pulled up an eyebrow, but kept his words at bay and helped his cousin sit down.
All was quiet for a long while until -very softly- Eowyn spoke up.
"Have our bags arrived?" she asked without looking up.
"Yes." Théoden replied with a warm smile, and Eowyn would never forget how she could also hear that warmth in his voice. That voice would always remain a kind one to her ears for the rest of her life.
"Did they unpack?" she asked, daring to look up at Théoden, her mothers brother.
"I'm not sure…" he wondered aloud before calling: "Gamling?"
"Yes, my Lord?" the older man asked.
"Did they already unpack their things?"
"I'll go check on it."
"We'll wait for the answer." Théoden said. "But in the meantime, eat. You need to eat, for you have travelled a long way.
Eomer couldn't help but feel the inquisitive look his cousin was giving him.
"What is it?" he asked, slightly startling Théodred.
"Nothing, I was just wondering how old you were, for it seems my memory is letting me down."
"I'm eleven." Eomer replied looking straight into the man's eyes.
"Eleven. So I was right." Théodred mumbled. "Then may I tell you that you look older than your years give you?" he smiled while saying this.
"You may." Eomer replied. And he couldn't help but feel slightly proud.
Gamling returned right when the conversation was seemingly stopping. He whispered into Théoden's ears.
"Eowyn." he spoke. She looked up at him, grey eyes inquiring, yet careful.
"It seems everything has been unpacked in your quarters."
Her eyes seemed to light up with this news.
Before she had the chance to speak up Théodred spoke: "I'll show you your room later on."
She turned to her cousin and smiled kindly, nodding her head in respect at which his smile faltered.
"You both act above your age." he noted, his expression sad. For Théodred was a kind man, and seeing children, his kin, going through this hardships did not only make his heart sink at the sight, but also set aflame the hate he carried for the orcs and wildmen that were the cause of it. He felt it in his blood and limbs that it would soon be time to go to war again. To defend their borders and with it their people. So that children may live with their parents instead of without. So that young maidens knew what it was like to fall in love, without having to fear their loved one would be stolen away. So that old people wouldn't have to fear they'd have to leave the house again, only to find it burned down, knowing they no longer had the strength to rebuild it on their own. So that death would stay at their doorstep for a while longer, and not among them. He had ridden out with that purpose many a time. And he would do it again and again, if it was to see his desires for his kingdom and his people fulfilled.
Later that night -as he had promised- Théodred showed them their quarters. Eowyn was pleased, while Eomer felt the sting of knowing this was to become their home, while he had been set on his house at the Eastfold.
Théodred left them afterward, realising they had to put a lot of thoughts in order, to be ready for what was to come. Both of them needed it. And he was not yet certain he knew which of the two needed that alone time more. Eomer, or Eowyn. They had both seen horror few have to live through. For it wasn't the most normal that an illness came over someone over grief for the lost. Such things were rare for the people of Rohan were known to be strong willed, and full of life. Barbarians, they had often been told, and sometimes even Théodred wondered if that wasn't what they actually were. But at those times he'd always shake his head in denial. No, they were rough and tough, never letting the enemy see their weakness as they often laughed in the face of despair and let their rage run through their veins willingly as they went to battle. But barbarians, they were not. For no real barbarian would be deemed worthy by a horse. For horses were noble and strong animals, never forgetting the wrongs someone would do, but rejoicing in good things they saw. In those moments, as Théodred wondered over these things, he knew what they were doing was right.
As Eomer lay on his bed that night, he wondered about practically everything. His mind raced from how he was to become a fine soldier, to how he had to act in court, now that he was very much in it, and even how he had to make sure his pony was still his. He turned on his side, trying to stop the useless fretting, for he knew well enough worrying wouldn't do them any good. His mind was stopped when he heard a light knocking on the door.
"Come in." he called, voice strong and full of confidence.
Slowly Eowyn came through the barely opened door. She wore her white nightgown, with her short shoulder length golden hair in one elegant braid.
"What's wrong?" he asked, sitting up and throwing his legs over the edge so that he could watch his sister.
"It's not here." he heard her speak up. Her voice was quivery, barely above a whisper and she suddenly looked so frail. More so than she had looked when they left home. It somehow angered Eomer, for she was looking how he felt. And because he couldn't deal with these things, he snapped.
"What's not here?"
Eowyn backed off, slightly startled by her brother even though he'd never hurt her.
"M-my blanket." she replied, tears welling up in her eyes, because fear was taking its toll on her.
"Eowyn." Eomer's voice grew dangerously cold. "Stop blabbering about that stupid blanket! Father and mother are dead! We're living with our uncle and cousin now and all you care about is that stupid blanket!"
"It's important." Eowyn said, shivering for she realised what he was saying, and his words were like daggers, slicing through her with every word he spat. Never before had Eomer been like that. And she knew why. Nevertheless it hurt, for she too had lost her parents.
"Important?" He looked enraged. "Eowyn, let me tell you what is important! Our future! How you're going to be trained here, how I'm going to be trained! If we're ever going to get our home back, if we're ever going to be accepted or perhaps killed in our sleep! That is important!"
Eowyn was shaking now, and it was only partly because of the shiver that went up and down her spine because she was standing barefoot on the cold floor.
"I…I…" she faltered, tears leaping down her colourless cheeks. Then without being able to say anything, she turned and left her brother with his musings.
As Eomer watched her leave a heaviness set on his heart. For but a moment he had felt lighter, as if the worries were gone and everything was set right. And then a new heaviness pushed down on him, because he realised he'd lashed out at his sister, blaming her and leaving her with extra weight crushing down on her.
How was he to make it up to her, now that he had gone so far that he could not just simply take it all back?
Eowyn ran through the halls. As swiftly as her bare feet could carry her she wanted to reach her destination. Her room. As soon as she'd seen it, she felt comfortable, and the kind voice of her uncle still rang into her ears. It was the kind of voice that told you 'it's going to be alright', the words never stopping until they reached your heart, and warmed it from the inside out. Still she realised her heart was cold, for she'd cared more for her blanket than she did for her brother and her parents. It was Eomer's words that had made that very clear. Still the disappearance of the blanket hurt her. It hurt her far more than her big brother would realise. She knew this, for he didn't know what it stood for.
While wiping a tear away Eowyn suddenly bumped into someone. Before she could fall down though, a pair of strong arms kept her from doing so.
Startled she looked up only to find Théodred standing in front of her, slightly taken aback himself.
He knelt down. "What's wrong?" he asked, his soft voice resembling his fathers as he spoke.
Eowyn just burst out in snobbing as he asked, and she felt heavy and couldn't find the heart to speak. For it was crushed with blame and grief. Before she realised what was happening she was enveloped by a warmth. Her eyes shot open, for she was no longer used to this kind of warmth. The warmth of someone holding another. Once, a long time ago, not only her mother, but also her father held her like this, and she had found comfort. But in the weeks after her father passed away, her mother didn't hug her anymore, nor was there her father to do so. Slowly she wrapped her arms around him, crying in his shoulder until there was nothing more. Softly Théodred pushed her off him, allowing him to look her in the eyes. She was upset and there were more feelings inside her than she could cry for. There was still so much pain inside, yet her eyes no longer watered.
"What happened?" he asked, hoping she wouldn't feel bad anymore. He realised well enough what had happened in the last month, but it wasn't what he was referring to, and he hoped the young girl would realise that as well.
"I…I lost something." she replied, wiping away the last tears that threatened to fall.
"What did you lose?" Théodred asked not unkind.
When she was about to reply though, a soldier appeared behind him. Slightly annoyed he spoke up, while turning his head to the soldier: "What's wrong?"
"Orc attack." he spoke, his tone grave. "Théoden asks for you to come."
Théodred nodded. He turned back to Eowyn.
"I'm afraid I have to go now, but be sure to tell me what you lost okay?"
Eowyn nodded, feeling slightly stupid for thinking she was worth for him to help her out.
Théodred saw the pain that flashed over her face, but didn't have the time to act.
"I understand." Eowyn replied, curtsying, before continuing her way towards her quarters.
Théodred sighed. He felt sorry that he had added to her pain, but for now, he had no other option than to leave. He turned around and left.
The next morning Eowyn awoke with a newfound strength she did not know she had in her. She'd seen this kind of strength before, yet couldn't remember where. It was a hard knot in her stomach, and a set of thoughts that wandered through her mind. She knew now. She knew what Eomer was trying to say the night before. They were no longer important, and they would never be important again. A cold claw wrapped around her heart and she did not resist. This was how her life was going to be, and she would fight everything that came in her path. But there was also another feeling. One far more addictive and it had already settled into the core of her heart. She would take care of herself. She needed no-one.
With that in mind she got dressed in a light blue dress. And after she'd quickly combed her hair she set out.
As quietly as she could she let her feet, only clad in low boots, take her to the secret entrance her mother had told her about. It would lead straight to the stables without anyone being able to see her. Even knowing that Eowyn wondered if there weren't already others knowing of this passageway. She looked around every corner carefully before striding down, and before she realised it, she had reached her goal. The stables. Even at her young age, she knew she'd be caught the moment her pony would carry her out. So, with her mind still focussed she first set free all the grand horses before quickly saddling her dark brown pony. Then she let open the front doors and let the tall horses out, who immediately -apart for one white horse- took their chance at freedom -and the neighbours fine apples. She quickly mounted her horse and led it past the gate, where all the soldiers were occupied with trying to catch the horses of the mark.
Once outside Eowyn didn't look around. She pushed her heels in her horses flanks and made him gallop at top speed. Away from Meduseld, away from Edoras. Not once did she look around as the air swept around her face and for the first time in many weeks, she felt free. She embraced the feeling as it enforced her newfound addiction. She needed no one.
At the castle Théoden was no fool. As soon as the horses were gathered he wanted to know who was the instigator of this situation. As none of his soldiers replied, but barely looking at one another worried and taken aback, he realised the culprit was not among them. Upon entering his household he asked for Gamling to take note of all the horses in all of the stables in Edoras. Gamling bowed even though he knew the task would take a while. They were not called Horse-Lords for nothing, and their stables were filled to the brim with fine bred horses. To top it off, Théodred had taken his men away in great haste, so many stables would be empty. Sighing he swiftly went to work while seeing his King do the same.
Théoden, still wanting to know whom had let the horses free, marched through his household, ordering everyone to tell him the truth. A worrying feeling was blooming in his chest, and he did not like it one bit. He knocked on the door of his niece, whom he rather not have awoken in the middle of the night. Slightly, as he heard nothing he opened the door. He saw a small figure lying in the bed, and Théoden could not find the strength to wake the girl. He sighed, seeing she wasn't moving one inch, for she must've been sleeping deeply, and turned to go and see his nephew, who was one of the last to be questioned.
It was late in the morning when Eowyn could not ride further. Her limbs were beginning to ache because of the continuing galloping. Stopping her pony she stepped off, rubbing at her aching legs. The lower part of her back also started to hurt. Realising she had to keep moving she guided her horse -who could use some rest also- towards her destination.
Swiftly her dress was wet at the bottom, and she felt stupid for not taking her cloak along. She should've known she was going to be cold, yet she hadn't thought about it, as at the time, her escape was the only thing that had kept her mind occupied. She took a look at the almost-rising sun. Her father had taught her long ago, how important it was to know how late it was, where the south, north, east and west lay and how to wield a sword and shield. He had taught her a long time ago, when she was barely able to talk, and had kept repeating it, until there was no way for her to ever forget it. It would soon be morning, and according to what she knew of Edoras and King Théoden, it wouldn't take long for them to learn that she was gone, and the true nature of what happened. She quickened her pace.
Théodred returned finding his home in quite an uproar. As he pushed Brego to run faster up the hill, he found hundreds of men up and about, talking amongst each other in hushed words. He caught something an old man was saying:
"Ghosts, I tell you. Our noble horses must've felt an evil presence and must've tried to flee. We must burn the stables so we can build new, unspoiled ones."
Théodred shook his head at this. Old men could be so dramatic. But what was all this about the horses, for he heard more about them as he galloped all the way up to the Golden Hall.
He dismounted his horse and ran inside to find Gamling standing in front of his father, who quickly went outside after seeing Théodred.
"Ah, Théodred." Théoden spoke upon seeing his son enter.
"Father what happened?" the young man asked as he reached the throne.
"The horses 'escaped'." Théoden explained, his face dark for he was a wise man, and knew that things could go bad with these kind of things unsolved for too long far too quick.
"Who was responsible?" Théodred asked.
Théoden only looked at Gamling who returned.
"Now we know what horse…" Gamling faltered "Or rather Pony is missing."
"Pony?" Théoden asked.
At that moment, a tired-looking Eomer, who had been unable to get to sleep after the king awoke him, appeared.
"What pony?" Théodred urged.
Gamling checked his list. "Uhm, Lady Luck." he read.
Théoden and Théodred regarded one another, for the name didn't immediately ring a bell.
"Oh no." Eomer gasped, pulling the attention of the King and Théodred. "That's Eowyn's pony."
Without further delay Théoden rushed down the hallways, quickly followed by Théodred. Eomer tried to keep up, but his short legs wouldn't carry him as swiftly as his kinsmen. Théoden pushed open de door of Eowyn's room harshly, pulling the blankets off the bed, finding it empty. She had used pillows to cover for her.
"How could I have been so stupid?" Théoden cursed himself, regarding the empty bed.
"Where do you think she's gone to?" Théodred asked, to no one in particular, remembering how she was crying the night before.
"I think I have an idea." Eomer spoke softly, the feeling of guilt taking over every fibre of his being.
"Do speak." Théoden ordered, and Eomer found himself impressed by how kind his voice still sounded, even while giving orders. And deep in his heart Eomer found himself admiring the King.
Eowyn's heart faltered as she saw the sun rising higher and higher into the sky. A part of her wondered if they were actually searching for her. If she actually meant something. The other part of her urged her to continue on. A while ago she'd mounted her pony once more, for her feet were getting cold and she shivered under the breath of the wind.
"Come on Lucky." she urged the brown pony while trying to make him go to a slow gallop. Her commands were in vain, for the pony wasn't used to running long distances, and even if this gave Eowyn a hint that she'd advanced quite swiftly, she still felt chased and wanted her to just obey and run with everything she had left. "Lucky!" she nearly cried, trying to get her to listen to her commands. Lady Luck, or Lucky as Eowyn called her, didn't heighten her speed. For her, she'd run far enough to earn herself a small break.
"I was cruel to her." Eomer confessed, standing in front of the throne. "Perhaps that blanket meant more to her than I imagined."
"If that is indeed her reason for her going." Théoden sighed. He realised well enough orders had to be taken swiftly, but there was also the safety of his lands to be mindful of.
"I'll go after her." Théodred spoke up, his voice radiating confidence. "I'll take a few of my men along, to make sure we won't be done in by orcs along the way."
"You think they're still there?" Eomer dared ask. "Didn't you slay them all yesterday?"
"There are always orcs." Théoden spoke. "But it is light outside, and they don't often appear in broad daylight. Eowyn should be safe, as long as she doesn't ride into forests."
"That won't be too much of a problem, right?" Eomer asked. "I mean, there aren't that many forests in Rohan."
"Yes, but the few we have are dangerous. Father, I'm off." Théodred said, taking off in a powerful pace.
"Be safe." Théoden said, Théodred raised his hand as a confirmation that he had heard.
The doors fell shut.
"King Théoden?" Eomer asked earning himself a kind, yet worried look from the king.
"My sister…Will she be alright?"
Théoden stood up from his throne and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry brave Eomer, your sister will be back, safe and sound." And from the depths of his heart, Théoden hoped it would be so.
Théodred quickly gathered some of his most trusted men, and with a party of 35 capable soldiers at hand, he mounted Brego and raced off into the stretching lands of Rohan.
"My Lord, any specific orders?" Grimbold asked.
"We look for Eowyn." he said shortly, scanning the fields while urging his horse on. "She should be heading towards the Eastfold."
"Why did she set out?" one soldier dared ask.
"That is of no importance." Théodred replied powerfully, keeping unneeded questions at bay. He knew well enough the temper of the Horse-Lords. If anything would go wrong, they'd blame her for it. He, as her cousin, wouldn't let her get into that position. He would rather take it all upon himself if it was to ease the burden on her.
"Something we can do along the road?" the first warrior asked.
Théodred nodded. "Very well. Keep an eye open for Eowyn. With her pony, she couldn't have gotten too far."
"Pardon my rudeness my Lord, but didn't she leave in the night?"
He nodded shortly.
"Then she might be further than we expect." the soldier muttered.
"Then save your bickering and ride that horse!" Grimbold snapped.
At that moment Théodred was happy to have his trusted soldiers along with him. For even though they all had good intentions and were noble and strong warriors, it was the way they treated each other that was special. They weren't but brothers in arms, they considered each other truthful brothers, who could treat each other as such.
Further along Lady Luck had found her will to run again. Eowyn's stubbornness had eventually pushed the horse over her limits and made her fall into a slow gallop that seemed to please her golden-haired rider. She still shivered because the wind was cold and slapped her harshly in the face, but Eowyn knew she couldn't stop. Not now that she had come so far. She still had a long ways to go, but it seemed like no one was trying to catch up to her. Either way she decided to leave her horse behind, for if they did come looking for her, that way she could still buy herself some time. She seriously started to wonder whether she could hold them off for a while even with every trick up her sleeve, and she didn't want to think about what might await her if they did catch up. Urging her pony on further was useless. Lucky had found her rhythm and wouldn't up her pace even if Eowyn would have a whip of sorts along. So Eowyn found herself following the slow motion of the comforting gallop and allowed herself to take in the view. 'Soon…' she thought 'I'll have every moment back.'
"Well, respect for the little one if she got out of Edoras." Grimbold mumbled, keeping a sharp lookout.
"Yeah, and to outrun us for this long. We've been riding for two hours already." another said.
"Keep looking." Théodred urged them.
Grimbold came to ride next to him. "My Lord, darkness will soon be upon us."
"I know." Théodred hissed. He knew well enough the consequences that could occur if they did not find her soon. Not just orcs, but also the threats from other countries, people they had long banished from these lands. They would all be very willing to taste her blood, or perhaps other things. He shook the thought away. No, he would find her before it was too late. He had no other choice, not after he'd seen the expression on her face, only to know later on that she had disappeared.
"Halt!" he yelled, holding up his hand and stopping Brego soon after.
His company halted.
"This is what we're going to do." he started "It is unlikely that she's gotten much farther than this. But there is the possibility she's taken the wrong route."
"What would you want us do my Lord?" Grimbold spoke.
"We split up." Théodred said. "You all have your horns, so when someone finds her, we can contact one another. One long sound means you found her. Three short ones, followed by one long one means you found her, but need assistance. This is only for when there's fighting to be done. And last if you're under attack? You sound the horn in short tones. Is this clear?"
"Yes!" they chorused.
"Okay, then get yourself moving. Grimbold and Hama, you're with me."
With that they divided.
Luck wasn't on Eowyn's side anymore. She knew this as she saw the sun moving steadily towards the west. Soon, night would be upon her, and Lucky no longer wanted to move. A while ago the gallop had changed into a quick trot only to slow down ever so slightly until the poor pony didn't want to budge anymore.
"Come on!" Eowyn cursed as she drove her heels into her sides. All to no avail, so she decided to get off and lead her by the reign. But even that didn't go as planned as the pony just refused to stir one more foot.
Eowyn gave up under the pressure. She was tired, cold and above all afraid. The sun was going to set and she hadn't reached a village. She had been certain there was a village near from where she was, but if Lucky didn't want to budge, she couldn't get there in time before the sun had set. Annoyed at her failing attempts to make the pony move -which got worse once she started eating grass- Eowyn sat down. Bad decision she realised a bit too late, for now her dress was even more wet than when she'd just walked across the plains.
"Damn it all!" she yelled, and with that she left her pony where she was and started walking away. If Lucky wasn't going to help her, then she'd go all by herself.
She was a while away when the cold was starting to take its toll on her. She was freezing and frantically rubbing her arms didn't do much to the chills that ran up and down her spine. She could no longer move all of her fingers at her will, for her hands were cold. She silently cursed as she kept on walking upward.
As she walked she stared at the grass, and memories started popping up. Like the memory where her parents, Eomer and herself were watching the two ponies that would be theirs not much after. It was the fact that the two ponies weren't as easily scared and were more than a bit defiant that made her father give her pony the name "Lady Luck". He had smiled down on her, his hand on her head.
"So that one so brave may have some protection." he smiled. Eowyn immediately found it a good name, but Eomer had snorted.
"Luck has nothing to do with it." he protested, making her mother smile weakly but nevertheless true and made his father smirk.
"Well then, how will we call your pony?" he asked. Eomer's eyes lit up. He wanted something that sounded strong.
"There should be luck in there as well." her mother had spoken up.
"What?" Eomer protested.
"Because you both are not easily frightened, and you could both use some luck. For it are not always the brave that have everything in life." her mother reasoned.
"Then I know something!" she'd called out.
"And what would that be?" her father had asked, smirk still in place, eyes glittering with mischief.
"Lord Luck!" Eowyn called out.
Her father broke into a laugh. "That's a great one!" he complimented. Her mother soon followed suit.
"What? No!" Eomer called out, but as he saw his sisters smile fade, he sighed and complied.
After all 'Lord Luck' wasn't all that bad for a name. Perhaps it might even come true.
Eowyn found her both strengthened and weakened by this memory at the same time. Strengthened for her heart was filled with warmth, but weakened for it would never again be like that time.
No it would never be like that again. Worse, she would never be loved again. Tears stung behind her eyes as fear clutched her heart. The sun had set and soon everything would be dark. She had nothing to eat, was cold and even worse, in her anger she'd left her pony behind. The pony she gave a name to together with her complete family, and the pony that actually once saved her life. She crumbled to the ground.
And then, amidst all the silence in the plains and cold: the sound of hooves. And a horn.
Théodred's heart raced. Only an hour and a half after they'd divided into smaller searching groups had he come across the small pony, he knew had to be Lady Luck, and as he called her by her name, the pony did indeed respond, even if it was just by tilting her head. He stopped Brego near her, who curiously regarded and sniffled the horse. So he had been right when he said he'd heard something.
"She cannot be too far." Grimbold said, seeing the sudden panic on his commander's face.
"You must be right." he said. "Blow the horn. Tell the others to come and aid us."
Grimbold nodded and did as he was told.
Théodred pushed his horse into a gallop and turned him up the hill. Once there he guided him down, taking care there were no dangerous spots where Brego could twist his legs. There Théodred froze as he caught sight of Eowyn.
"Eowyn!" he yelled. And to say he was startled to see her run off was an understatement. Urging Brego on he galloped towards her. Quickly jumping off he broke into a spurt himself, running after her.
"No! Leave me alone!" she yelled, but he knew she didn't mean it, for she was crying.
"Please Eowyn, stop." he urged her, his soldiers staying a while away while taking the reins of Brego and Lady Luck on the other side.
"No. You'll just get mad."
"You don't know that." he countered, hoping he'd get her to stop, because in all honesty, he didn't want to drag her home and forever be the evil cousin.
She started slowing down, until she finally came to a stop.
He stopped right behind her, and knelt down. "Come on, Eowyn. Tell me what's wrong." he urged her.
Slowly she turned around, though not completely. He was looking at her in profile because she didn't dare to look him in the eyes yet.
"It's not important." she said, trying to ignore the worried look he was giving her.
"Yes it is. If it upsets you so, it is important." he told her firm enough that she would listen, but still kind enough so that she would not run away. For he had come to realise that she was as wild as horses in this matter. You could be chasing after one for hours, only to have it come to you after you stopped chasing it and started walking away. There was this saying: 'The Wind Runs When Chased'.
She remained silent.
"Is it your blanket?" he asked carefully.
She looked at him awestruck. How did he know?
Slowly she nodded.
"It wasn't in your trunk?" he asked, still careful.
She nodded once more.
He sighed, but Eowyn noted it was not a sigh of annoyance. It was some sort of sad one. One that said; "I understand."
"Would you like for us to go and get it?" he asked.
Eowyn's eyes widened and watered at the same time as happiness washed over her.
She nodded frantically, and then shuddered.
"Okay, we'll go see at your house, but first…" he took off his cloak and wrapped it around her "…we need to get you warmed up."
He hoisted her up on his horse and quickly sat behind her. "I'm afraid you exhausted Lady Luck." he said with a warm smile.
Eowyn heard the sound of more hooves and soon more than half of Théodred's men were gathered around her.
"Grimbold." Théodred called.
"Yes my Lord?" he heard the man from somewhere among the others reply. "You keep Lady Luck with you here along with three men. Once the rest of the men arrive, take them to the village North West from here."
"Understood, my Lord." came the reply.
"The rest, ride with me!" he ordered before urging Brego on.
"I was right." Eowyn mumbled, starting to doze off.
"What?" Théodred asked.
"I knew there was a town nearby." she mumbled. She was tired, she couldn't deny that. Her eyelids were already heavy with sleep and she knew she still had to stay awake. Somehow she felt it was the least she could do, for she was the reason all of these men were here with her instead of home with their wives and children.
Théodred dismounted his horse and hefted Eowyn off after him.
The head of the town quickly walked over, having recognised them as they strode into the village.
"What can I do for you, my Lord?" he asked.
"My men are hungry. And I need a place to sleep for my cousin." he told him confident.
The man bowed. "You and your cousin can stay at my place, I'll see if I can find some sort of accommodation for the rest of your men." he replied immediately rushing off.
Théodred smiled at Eowyn. "Everything's going to work out just fine." he told her and Eowyn found herself smiling ever so slightly.
Morning rush came too quickly for Eowyn. Her muscles were sore and she didn't feel like mounting a horse anytime soon. She could hear the sounds of men preparing to leave outside, and she realised that soon Théodred would come to pick her up.
Eowyn pushed herself up. She had to wake up. It was because of her that they were all gathered here, and it was for her that they would ride even further.
Last night Théodred had sent three of them back to Edoras, to inform the King that they'd found her and of his intentions to go to the Eastfold.
"Eowyn?" she heard Théodred's voice from behind the door.
"Yes?" she asked.
"We're preparing to leave…" it was clear that her cousin didn't really know how to deal with this sort of situation, so Eowyn decided to make it a bit more easy for him.
"I'll be there in a second!" she called in a happy tone. After she heard him leave she grunted once, stretching her arms and standing up. Today, she'd get her blanket back.
Sitting behind Théodred on his steed, Brego, wasn't as uncomfortable as she'd first thought it would be. On the contrary, she sat higher and thus could take in the surroundings more. There was also the fact that she didn't need to pay mind to where they were riding, for she was just riding along. It also went much quicker than the day before, when Lucky had been the one running. Eowyn guessed that must be the greatest difference between a horse and a pony: speed. Oh, and stubbornness, for everyone knew a pony could be far more stubborn.
Their surroundings quickly changed as time passed, and soon Eowyn started recognising things. Her hopes got the best of her and she quickly tried to peek over Théodreds shoulder.
The horses came to a halt and quickly, before Théodred could tell her not to, she leapt off Brego, nearly falling, and ran towards what had once been her home.
"Eowyn!" Théodred called, quickly getting off and sprinting after her.
She burst through the front doors, startling everyone inside.
"Lady Eowyn!" came the gasps. "What are you doing…?" they stopped once Théodred ran in.
"Eowyn." he said once more. "Don't run off like that."
She smiled apologetically before walking to what had once been her room calling: "Lea? Lea?"
As called an old lady turned around the corner, and her face lit up as she saw Eowyn standing there.
"My Lady!" she called, enveloping the young Lady in a swift hug. "What brings you here."
"My blanket Lea." she pleaded. "My blanket wasn't in my trunk."
"Really?" Lea asked, immediately straightening up and walking towards her destination.
Somehow Théodred had a bad feeling creeping up on him though he couldn't lay a finger on it. He guessed it was the fear that the blanket, which was so important to Eowyn, wouldn't be there.
For a moment Eowyn feared the same. What if it had been lost during the move? What if it lay somewhere forgotten in the fields where they'd passed? What if someone had picked it up and taken it with him, or what if a filthy orc had gotten its claws on it?
She gulped and fought back tears as the possibilities ran through her mind. What if all of this had been for nothing. What if… She clenched her fists -which did not go unnoticed- and fought bravely to stay strong and not let her fear take over her entire being. She wouldn't be a good Shieldmaiden of Rohan if she'd let her own heart waver over such things. Once more the words of her brother rang through her head; "Stop blabbering about that stupid blanket! Father and mother are dead! We're living with our uncle and cousin now and all you care about is that stupid blanket!"
He had been right. She'd known that well enough, but still. For Heaven's sake and in the Name of all Mearas she was only seven years old! Her own powerlessness was what annoyed and pained her most. And the fact that she was already aware of this made her future look bad. The moment she was about to break down Lea reappeared.
"My Lady, do you remember where you had it last, for I cannot seem to find it."
Eowyn nodded and -like a ghost- started to walk to the place where she'd last seen it, Lea at her feet. As soon as she arrived in what used to be her bedroom Lea began searching everything with Eowyn looking at her dazed. Her eyes suddenly widened as she remembered something. Without looking back she dashed out, startling everyone as she headed outside.
"Eowyn?" Théodred asked, immediately following her out.
"I remember now!" she said, quickening her pace until she was running.
Théodred followed her until…
His eyes widened. There was a small statue of not only Eomund, but also of Théodwyn. A monument made when they got married. He saw Eowyn pick something up, and he sighed in relief. Once more he saw tears run down her face, but he realised, as she hugged the blanket, that it were tears of happiness. Slowly he approached her.
"Happy?" he asked her, putting a hand on her shoulder.
She turned to him, and unable to say anything she just nodded. "Then, are you ready to go home?" he asked, and he saw her eyes widen.
"Home?" she asked.
He realised what he'd said, but knew not how to make it easier for either of them.
Then she nodded. "Yes, I am ready to go home. Now I am ready." she said. Théodred smiled and took her smaller hand in his. They both bowed before the statue and made their way towards the horses.
"How did your blanket get there?" he asked.
"When mother died, I slept there a few times. The last time was before we would go to Meduseld." she replied, her tone like that of a grown-up woman. Théodred smiled. His cousin was something else. Seemingly weak, elegant, but stronger than steel.
They bid their goodbyes to Lea and all who were stationed there before turning home.
Once more they rested in the village, where Eowyn started worrying.
"What is it?" Théodred asked.
"Will King Théoden be angry with me?" she asked, voice trembling slightly.
Théodred thought about this for a moment, his father had been rather worried. "I don't know." he replied in all honesty. "He was worried when we found out you were gone."
"You were?" she asked, looking rather amazed which annoyed him.
"Of course. We're family."
"Family." she replied. "Then…" she fell silent.
"Then?" he urged her on.
"Then I'll guess it's my duty as family to undergo my punishment for worrying them." she smiled weakly, but a smile nevertheless.
"I guess so." he laughed.
The next day they arrived at Edoras. The King did not come to meet them outside, nor did he come to meet them at the stables. Théodred too was wondering how he'd deal with this, for he'd never been in this situation before. When he would sneak out he'd gotten his punishment many times, for there hadn't really been a good reason for him to suddenly disappear. And the fact that he was heir to the throne wasn't helping either. If anyone had to stay safe it would've been him. But how Théoden would react to his niece suddenly vanishing…
Eowyn too was worrying. She didn't know what would happen. What Eomer would do she did though. He'd probably rant about her not having to do dangerous things over a blanket. But King Théoden…She knew too little of him to think of what he might do or decide.
With pounding heart she entered the Golden Hall and walked over to the throne where Théoden was seated. Beside him stood Eomer, looking at her in a strange way. It looked like a mixture of worry and anger. Gulping she stopped in front of the king, Théodred beside her.
"We're back." he announced.
"So I see." Théoden replied.
After a long pause he sighed. "Eowyn…"
She did not dare to look up.
"Why did you not say anything?"
Her eyes met his, and the only thing she could see was sympathy and utter confusion.
"Because it was but a blanket, my Lord." she replied, eyes to the ground.
"Just a blanket." Théoden repeated, deep in thought. He stood up. "Tell me, my dear niece, what is so special about the blanket."
This Eowyn did not expect. Was she really to tell them all why it was so important to her? They would probably laugh!
"Do I have to?"
"Why wouldn't you tell us?" Théoden asked.
"Because it might not look so important to you, my Lord." she replied, eyes still locked onto her feet.
"Raise your head Eowyn, daughter of Eomund and Théodwyn, and tell us, for we are dying to know what a brave young girl like you would run across the lands for." Théoden's voice was deep and kind., and there was no false tone in it. At that moment Eowyn knew he would not laugh. He would listen and understand.
"This blanket, was made by my mother and me." she started. "We sat in front of the fireplace while Eomer and father were discussing matters and joking." she gulped. "We worked on it for many weeks, and so, every moment is held by this blanket. I feared…" she faltered.
She took a deep breath. "I feared that if I lost this blanket…I would…I would also lose those memories also, and with my memories, my parents."
All was quiet in the Golden Hall for a long time.
Théoden walked over to her and knelt in front of her, laying a hand on her shoulder.
"For that purpose, young Eowyn. I would've sent my whole army to retrieve it for you." he then bent closer. "Your brother feels awful." he whispered.
Eowyn looked at her brother, who stood there slightly awkward.
"I do not hold a grudge." she told her uncle at which he smiled.
"Then from this day on we shall be together as a family." he stated. "But…" he spoke, looking at Eowyn once more. "Next time, no secrecy. If there's something troubling you, come to me, Théodred or your brother."
"Promise?" he asked, and once more Eowyn nodded.
Wow this took sooo long! A few things: Please do not mind the details, I'm not in for details! ^^" Also the names of the ponies comes from my favourite pony a looooong time ago. His name was Lucky. So I thought, let's honour him by using his name as the basis! (Lady Luck is also the name of one of my favourite Keyblades ^^") I hope it wasn't too OOC! Please leave a review before you go.
Oh, and YAY for the Rohirrim!