Something cute and fluffy in between my chapters for Heart in Hand (chapter 3 is in progress). Enjoy!:)

Little Aurochs

„It's not fair!"

Boromir stomped his foot and crossed his chubby arms. He was probably looking less impressive than he supposed. Nevertheless, Denethor's expression didn't soften – on the contrary, his increasing frown was rather alarming. But Boromir didn't back down. He never did.

"I told you you're too young to carry it. And I won't say it again."

When the steward of Gondor had called for his son on this dark spring day, which felt more like a relapse of winter, Boromir had wondered whether he had done something wrong. His father had lead him into a smaller hall adjoining the throne room wordlessly, and his demeanour had told him that this was probably something about kings and sea-gulls, or something similar of that sort. Boromir had already heard a lot about Gondor's ancient and long history, but it had never inspired much awe in him.

Now however, he could feel that whatever this was about, was something important. The faint light filtered through the high and sleek windows, illuminating the dust in the air twirling and glittering. There were no marble statues lining the walls, but caskets, chests and stone cists instead. There was no time to ask what was in them though, for Denethor walked up resolutely towards the end of the room in a rigid pace.

Boromir tried to keep up, but couldn't help to turn his head at all the mysterious looking objects lurking in the crevices of this secret hoard. He wondered whether there were any trapdoors or hidden passages.

"Boromir."

His mind snapped back to reality and he nearly tripped over the long fur hem of his father's coat.

"For generations this heirloom has been handed down from steward to steward, from father to son."

Denethor didn't look at him, but kept staring at a pedestal of black marble. Only now did Boromir notice it and the object that was lying on top of it. It was a war horn, but unlike any other he had ever seen. None of the Tower Guards or Gate Keepers had something like this. It was inlaid with silver and covered in ornaments and old runes, that shimmered in the half-light. Also, it was pretty huge.

"Is it from an oliphant?"

Boromir's eyes grew large as he tried to get a better look by standing on tip-toe.

A thin smile appeared on Denethor's stern mien.

"No, my son, this is a horn, not a tusk. It once belonged to a wild aurochs, from the land of Rhûn in the east. Vorondil the Hunter brought it back, when there was still a king. Every steward after him has carried it since then."

When there was still a king. All this meant to Boromir was simply that it must be very old. Which made it even more appealing. And it once belonged to a mysterious sounding animal from a mysterious sounding land.

"Why don't you carry it then?"

Boromir looked up at his father in disbelief. If he owned such a wonderful treasure he would never put it down, not even for sleeping.

"I still carry it on journeys and official ceremonies, but I find it too impractical to carry it all of the time. I assume you'd differ?" He raised one eyebrow quizzically at his son, having noticed the gleam in his big grey eyes.

"I do!" Boromir jumped into the air, before remembering that his father didn't like such outbursts. "I mean, I would carry it every day, everywhere I go, all of the time, anywhere, and always!"

Denethor bent down and placed his hands on Boromir's shoulders, partly to calm him, partly to impart the importance and responsibility of this heirloom.

"And you shall, once you're old enough. You will find out that carrying it is not only a privilege, but also a duty."

All Boromir heard was once you're old enough, which meant not now.

"But when will that be? Tomorrow?"

The lack of Boromir's sense for grasping long time intervals and his impatience rather irked Denethor. He wished his son wasn't so rash; quite forgetting that he was only 5 years old.

"No, Boromir. It will be years. Quite a long time of years, I think."

Boromir's eyes filled with water and he tried every trick of getting what he wanted that he could think of, but it was no use. Denethor stayed adamant and made to leave.

"If you don't want to stay here over night, you should hurry now, son!"

His eyes widening in fear, Boromir raced towards the door, where his father was waiting with an expression that switched from disappointment and anger to sympathy with an incredible speed.

But Boromir didn't linger to see which emotion would prevail - he ran straight out of the throne room and up the stairs in direction of his mother's personal chambers.

Finduilas was sitting in her favourite arm-chair, reading a book about the history of elvish and human relations. In the back of her mind, she kept an eye out for any good sounding names that might appear. There was no way she would leave the naming of the baby to Denethor. He'd probably come up with something silly that rhymed with Boromir.

"Mummy!"

Looking up from her book, Finduilas saw her son running up to her in a desolate state. Snot and tears struggled for dominance on his face, which was crumpled in a grimace of deepest suffering.

"Mummy, father won't let me carry the pretty horn of an olox!"

By now he had found a way to scramble onto her lap, consequently kicking her book to the ground. It took all of her motherly love not to break into a hearty laugh, which she knew must have hurt her vulnerable child.

"You mean the horn of an aurochs, darling? The horn of Gondor?" She cradled Boromir and tried to at least stroke some strands of hair out of his wet face.

"Yeeeees, that one in the secret room. He said I can have it, but only once I'm old enough! When will I be old enough, Mummy?"

Finduilas tried an encouraging and soft smile. "First you will have to grow big enough to carry it. And then you will have to earn it."

Boromir scrunched up his face even more, trying to figure out the meaning of these cryptic prophecy. "I promise I will grow very, very quickly and I will become very, very strong! But what do I have to do to "earn" it? Eat my vegetables and stuff like that?"

Now she simply had to laugh. She wished he would never grow up. "Well, yes and no. You will have to be good, yes, but in more important things than that. I think according to your father's opinion it would be enough to be a good warrior." Finduilas paused and frowned at this. The thought of her little child going to war made her stomach squirm and tears well up in her eyes. Yet she knew that this would be his duty as the steward's son. The ever growing shadow in the east made it a necessity that he would devote his life to this task.

"Mummy? Why are you looking so sad?" Boromir tugged at her long braid.

"Ah, it's nothing, little one. I'm fine. Now, if you ask me, you would have to prove yourself a good leader and more importantly, a good man." And since his face was still scrunched up, she added: "To be responsible, selfless, and compassionate."

Looking upward and biting his lip, Boromir nodded thrice, as if to commit those three virtues to his memory forever. "Okay, I got it. I'll be the goodest son ever, you'll see."

"I have no doubt about that, my darling," she replied fondly.

"But Mummy?"

"Yes?"

"Are there any aulox-...aurochses in Gondor? Can I have one to ride on? Do they eat orcs maybe?"

This time he joined her laughter, although he didn't know why.


Some days later, Boromir was playing on the floor of the nursery as usual. His group of wooden bears were proudly riding his wooden oliphants, charging against their mortal enemy General Balrog (who had a striking resemblance to a chair leg with a terrifying face painted on it).

Suddenly the door opened and Finduilas walked in. Boromir was so surprised and scared that he would get in trouble for the painted chair leg, he didn't notice his mother hiding something behind her back.

"How are you doing, little one?"

Boromir jumped up quickly and ran towards her, coming to stand in front of the compromising chair. "Great, Mummy!"

He grabbed her dress and tried to tug her into a different direction for good measure, causing her to laugh, but luckily not to inquire after his antics.

"Aren't you wondering what I'm hiding behind my back?" She teased.

Boromir let go of her dress and stared at her for a long time. Then he blinked. "What are you hiding behind your back?"

"Aaaah, well, I'm not going to tell you, am I?"

He grabbed her dress again and tried to run around her, leaving her feeling like a corkscrew.

"All right, all right, look here!" She held something soft and hairy under his nose, causing him to stumble a few steps backward. Then he realised what it was.

"Mummy! Is that...is that..." As he examined the pair of huge horns, his doubts were washed away. "It's an olox!" In his excitement he fell back to his own denomination.

"Exactly! To keep you company until you get to carry the horn."

Both made a little dance around the stuffed animal, before Finduilas let go of it and Boromir enclosed it happily in his arms. After burrowing his face in the fur, he looked up to his beaming mother. "Thank you, Mummy."

She knelt down and hugged her son tightly. "You're welcome, my dear. Just don't forget what I told you. And to take good care of your little aurochs of course."

"Don't worry, Mummy, I will! Oliphant Orome has been pestering me about a best friend for ages – I'm sure they will get along just fine!"

And he ran back to his toys, the chair leg and everything else completely forgotten. Finduilas decided to wait for another moment to tell him about the baby.


I wanted to add Faramir, but I also wanted Boromir to be really young, so...:( Well, at least there's Finduilas, I wish we could have known more about her. In my headcanon she loved both Boromir and Faramir with equal amount and basically was the best mother ever. Also - am I the only one who'd like to have an aurochs as a pet? And a mammoth? Mini versions of them? I'd also take the ones from Beasts of the Southern Wild.x3 Another headcanon: in a Hogwarts AU Boromir's patronus would be an aurochs. How cool would that be?:D

Oliphant Orome and Olox feed on reviews.:3