Seem'd A Part Of Joyous Spring
by Twinkledru J.

Spring swept over Mark as ever, and summer too. Could it indeed have been any other wise?

The grasses began to grow again. The birds sailed up from the south, singing their sweet songs. The foalings began, too, and the shaky young creatures, who bore upon their backs so much of the Mark's pride, stamped and wobbled and found their joy in simply being. All creatures -- all life, it seemed, save one miserable race -- strained for the sun, and the sun scorned none of them, save for that one same unhappy race.

With all of its gold brilliance, the smirking sun seemed to mock the men of the Mark. Wracked by winter the Golden Hall of Meduseld yet hung, still cold, still dark, and its very heart withered in the grip of a frost, a white shadow. What need had the children of Eorl to think on the shadow of the East, when it had stretched a frigid white hand to them?

And there were some snows that lingered on through spring, summer, fall and winter again, some gentle snows that would not melt, even with other blossoms bursting 'round them, joyous with spring. Those silent snows would only nod with the warm breezes of spring, and serve ever as reminders. [Remember, all ye who remain,] they whispered to any who would hear, [those who have fallen before ye, for in the months to come, ye shall long for their fates.]

He belonged not in their land, so full of joy and life he was. He came riding from the South in July, he came racing with the warm wind, he came as though the Spring were his lady clad all in green silks, and he her guard and champion, to ride before her or beside her. With the season's sun he seemed full up to bursting, for he would laugh and smile and jest even in the darkened hall, before the enfeebled King whose hospitality was that of frosty winter.

It seemed that the dawn had brought him; he came with the light and the warmth, and was on the steps of Meduseld ere the daywas far matured.

"I know that our Hall must seem bleak to you," the shieldmaiden Eowyn said to him as they took their midday meal together. "And empty, after the comforts of your home. I am sorry, but my brother and my cousin ride along our borders on patrols, as you know," (for he had come before the Hall with word that the King's nephew had come across him not long after he crossed the border on the eve before) "and my uncle... " she trailed off, her face a wintry sky, overhung with clouds.

The King of whom she spoke was still on his throne, for he ate little in those days. They sat at one of the many shadowed tables, alone in the great Hall but for the guards at the door, and Grima, who hung always at the King's side, and whispered things sometimes, his voice too low for any to make out the words besides the King himself. The Hall was near silent, its stillness pressing in on them like that of a tomb, and the banner hanging above them from the rafter did not stir. Then Boromir laughed as though to dispell the Lady's concern, and his laughter seemed to her somehow trapped in the still darkness, out of place and weak, for all that the man laughed heartily. She tried to return his smile.

"Lady, I have seen nothing of Rohan that might shame you, and even had I found the land a waste, a ruin," he added, warm and with a grin that made her think of sunlight in such a way that she ached like winter then, ached to feel the winds of spring on her face, "where men greeted me with swords drawn and with words of malice, your single presence would redeem it."

Eowyn looked down, smiling in spite of herself. Indeed, she was learning that it was hard not to smile when her guest did so.

"Besides," he continued, his face darkening as though with a summer storm, "my land is not so far removed from Mordor that we have not been touched by darkness. And as to your uncle, I have had some dealings with men who... "

It seemed then that she saw some grief and sorrow that she could not guess appeared in his eyes, and he shook his head. "Lady, it is too fine a day for either of us to be trapped in here," he said, and with that bright smile once more (and once more she found herself smiling back), as he pushed away his mug and his plate.

There came a hissing noise then, sibilant whispers as of a creeping serpent, and they both started (for any noise carried in the strangling silent Hall, though the words were too soft for either of them to hear precisely what was said). The Lady needed not to seek its source, though Boromir stared -- it came from the grimy dark form who was ever at the King's side in these dark days.

"You have the look," he went on then more gently, with some strange, familiar tenderness, "of one like mine own brother, too long deprived of sun and warmth because of somber thoughts and dark days. If you will eat no more, then let us take our talk without, where," here he looked around with some darkness in his eyes, "one may truly breathe."

"You have met my brother already?" she asked when they were at last outside. She was blinking as they walked into the sunlight, for her eyes were dazzled after so long within the dark, still Hall.

Boromir, though, turned his face to the wind, and there was a smile on his face that was different from those he had given her as he answered. "I have," he said simply, and did not speak further.

"Was it he who sent you to Edoras?" Eowyn asked.

The Steward's son looked at her then, blinking, as though he were coming out of some trance. He laughed then, seemingly at himself, his sea-grey eyes sparkling with mirth, and, once again, she could not help but smile back, though she wondered what he could mean by that.


Boromir laughed when she asked him that, for it had been her brother who had sent him hence, but he smiled and laughed more for the memories themselves. There had been suspicion greeting him, a stranger in the Mark who came with the summer winds, and there had been questions, but at the last, there had been some respect, and he suspected that some warmth still lay deep beneath this land, for all that it lay under some dark shadow.

So had it been with the King's nephew who had found him soon after he crossed the border the day before. So too, it was with the Lady Eowyn.

Or so he hoped it was, for she seemed to Boromir to have been formed like his father and his brother, difficult to understand, with far more pieces that needed to be studied than himself and Eomer.

There had been something in her brother that made him think of himself, and that something had put him at ease, but there was something in the Lady that made Boromir think of home, and what it had been once, before it had passed into twilight, swallowed up like the sliver of a sickle moon.


It was some days after Boromir had come and gone that Eomer returned again. He looked darkly at Grima as he strode into the hall, and he paced the old wooden floors like some animal who, on the hunt, has lost its quarry.

For all his anger, though, he gave a small, bleak smile when he saw his sister. Eowyn returned the smile, feeling it like some small blossom sprung too early in the season, shivering in the winter's wind. She wondered how it had been that Boromir had infused such a little thing with such warmth and light and laughter.

"We have had a guest, brother," she said, and found that she did not want to be inside, trapped in the hollow Hall with her uncle's half-waked eyes and the worm's all too awake ones.

"He did come then," said Eomer softly, and there was something in his face of the strange smile that Boromir had given in that first moment outside.

"He did come, and left almost as quickly, staying but one day and one night, perhaps the shortest time that he could stay and still be thought courteous." Eowyn said the words almost with bitterness, she realized, for it had seemed to her that briefly she had felt the summer's warmth, to have it snatched from her again, and there was no other respite from this winter in sight. "He bade me thank you for him, for the hospitality of you and your men on his first night within the Mark." [And,] Boromir had added, chucking a gloved finger under her chin and smiling mischievously, [for his kindness in sending me to you, fair Lady -- the children of Eomund have both been kind to me.]

Her brother went back to his pacing, some trace of that strange look, as distant as one who gazes at something very far off, in his face. She remembered suddenly then the feel of the summer wind on her skin. Eowyn rose, feeling something bitter in her heart and knowing that her brother and their guest had shared something between them that she and Boromir never guessed at in their talks and laughter. She wished that he might have stayed long enough to see a sword in her hand, for she wished that he might have looked, on thinking of her, as he looked on mention of her brother.

The Lady hurried then outside, for she felt suddenly as though she could not breathe, and she stood on the steps of the Golden Hall.

There came a light, warm wind from the South as she stood, her white gown fluttering. Eowyn was hardly aware of the tears that slipped down her cheeks, even as she smiled at the wind's gentle, laughing touch.


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