"BOY!" The call echoed through the throne room.
The room fell silent, the whispers hushed, the only sound was that of running footsteps.
"BOY!" The call came again, louder more urgent.
"Yes sire, coming sir." The young man ran to the thrones dais, where an old man sat on a chair next to the empty throne. The young man knelt.
"Why do you not hasten to my summons, now Boromir -- .."
Those dreaded words once again filled the young mans ears, this rant might go on for hours he thought to himself -- again.
"He wouldn't have made me wait, he would have arrived before I even thought to summon again, and he would have been within hearing distance."
"Bah, I should have sent you to Osgiliath instead of him, but he insisted. I need him here to learn about the management of the kingdom, not off chasing orcs back to Mordor."
"Now Boy, I want you to guide Mithrandir to the Great Library, and make haste. You are to stay with him and be his guide and see to his needs while he is a guest of the Lord of the City." "Yes Sire."
Faramir glanced up in surprise. This wasn't a normal request. This must be an important visitor for a Captain to act as guide. His eyes met that of an older man standing next to his father's chair. He allowed a slight smile to come to his face, finally a chance to be free of the throne room (and his father) for a while. Faramir rose slowly. "Sir, if you will kindly follow me." Faramir spoke softly to the stranger. "I will show you the way to the Library".
He was nearly at the door exiting the throne room, when he heard -- "BOY!"
"Excuse me sir, I will return shortly"
He ran back to the dais. "Yes Sire"
"After Mithrandir leaves you will give me a full report his every word and action. UNDERSTOOD?"
"Yes father, I understand." He was to be nothing more than a spy, how he hated the role.
He returned back to the stranger, who gave him an appraising look.
"You have grown up, Faramir" Mithrandir said. "The last time I saw you, it was your mother's funeral"
"I'm sorry Sir, I do not remember you."
"No need to apologize, how could you remember me? You were only a lad of 6 or 7"
"I was 5, Sir. I barely remember my mother."
"Okay enough of the formalities, Faramir, you may call me Mithrandir of you like, or Gandalf."
"If it pleases you.."
"It does please me."
"Then I will call you Mithrandir"
"Now Faramir, take me to the Library and if you have a bit of pipeweed and a pipe, bring them along too, for this may take us awhile, there is some records that I urgently need to find and another set of eyes will surely be a blessing. And leave the running of cakes and wine to a servant, I need you more as a seeker than as a fetcher."
"Yes Sir" Faramir said with a slight smile. This might actually prove to be enjoyable than he originally thought.
"Faramir, what did I tell you? Or will I have to kick you, every time you use the Sir word"
"No Si.." Mithrandir lifted his foot "I meant, no Mithrandir, you wont have to kick me." Faramir's smile grew broader. "I'll remember."
"Than call a servant to bring us what we need and lead me to the Library. There is much we both need to learn, and only a little time remaining"
Faramir led him through the twisting halls and down several flights of stairs to the recesses far below the Tower of Ecthelion. Why the urgency, he wondered as they went through the twisting halls, and why if his father didn't trust this man was he allowing him to go through the records? And what would he teach me while he is here? The halls around them were empty. They were beginning to enter the least inhabited part of the Tower. And all to soon the servant would return with food, drink and his pipe. The decision came upon him in a matter of moments. He stopped in the hall and looked around before he spoke.
"Mithrandir, I must tell you before we go on, and before you decide whether you want me to aid you in your search or not, my father has told me to report everything back to him what you say and do. As a Captain, I am honor bound to do that. I know not what you seek, and I will aid you, but any information that you reveal to me will be passed on to my father. I fear I will incur my father's wrath by telling you this, but I will not mislead you."
"I understand Faramir, and I suspected as much, and your honesty is all the more reason I requested your aid from your father."
"You requested me. Why? Wouldn't one of the scholars have served you better, or one of the historians?" They resumed walking. "Please don't misunderstand me. I am happy to be of service to you, and even happier to be out from under my father's fist. But again I ask why?'
"Before, I answer that question. Let me ask you one. Do you have visions Faramir?"
"Do you see things before they happen? Do not be afraid to tell me yes or no. I suspect your father has instilled into you that this is a bad thing. So I ask again. Do you have visions Faramir?"
"Well, if you mean, do I have dreams or lately nightmares that come true, than yes I do. And you are correct in assuming that Denethor is not pleased. I began having them when I was about 12 or so. I stopped telling anybody after Denethor beat me the second time. I still have them on occasion; I have tried to prevent some of the visions from coming true. But they always do"
"It is as I expected, your mother had the same gift. You are very much like her. It is for your mother sake that I requested your aid. She (saw) that your father and you would have troubles. Just as she (saw) that your father would hold you responsible for her death."
"I don't know what you mean." Faramir started walking faster. These were not the answers he was expecting. And the answers were beginning to bring tears to his eyes. Him, a Captain, crying. Painfully the words of his father came into his mind -- Now Boromir wouldn't have cried.
"Faramir, please you must slow down. I am not that young to keep up such a pace. I did not say these words to hurt you. I am trying to answer your ëWhy me' question. I know your mother was longing for the sea, and she wanted to take you to visit your grandparents. The horse being spooked by a snake was not your fault. It is not your fault that you and your mother were flung from its back. There was nothing you; the healers or I could do for her. It is not your fault. It is because of your mother that I have asked your aid. She (saw) that we would work together. She (saw) a new future coming for Gondor. Just as she (saw) that the ride south would be her last. That is why she took you along. And that is why Denethor blames you for her death. I think Denethor was afraid of her dreams of the future. And now he sees her again, in you. I did not choose you just today. You were already chosen 30 years ago."
"I still don't understand fully, but since it is already ordained that we will work together, than let us begin today. I am glad to be of whatever service you need, Mithrandir. Just remember that I will pass what information I hear onto my father. However.." Faramir paused. "However, I do not have to pass on my thoughts to him."
They reached the door of the Library, pushed it open and entered.
Faramir looked around the library and smiled. It was just like he remembered. There was the corner where Boromir and he had their desks. Where Boromir would play with his little metal soldiers while Faramir read to him about the great battles of Eldacar and Castamir. Strange the historians thought it back then, the younger reading to the elder. He remembered placing the books and scrolls so lovingly back onto the shelves. To read again and again as time permitted.
"Okay Mithrandir, what are we looking for? I think I know where most of the information is found in the Library. I would not be bragging if I said that I know more about the Library than anyone else in Minas Tirith."
Gandalf chuckled. "And you were the one asking 'Why Me?'"
"Well" said Faramir. "I did get you to answer."
"What I am seeking for is information from the beginning of the third age, after the fall of Elendil and Gil-Galad. Specifically anything that deals with Isildur."
"Ah yes, Saruman's favorite subject" Faramir nodded and led Mithrandir to the unused desk.
"So he has been here, recently?"
"No Sir, Not in my lifetime, although Denethor said that he was in here many times in during his youth, always seeking knowledge of Isildur and the fall of Sauron." Faramir fell silent as the servant walked in with a tray loaded with wine, cheese, bread and Faramir's pipe. The tray was set on the empty desk
"Will there be anything else, Captain Faramir? Lord Mithrandir?" Faramir glanced at Mithrandir, who shook his head.
"No that will be all for now. You may go. If you desire or unless Lord Denethor said otherwise."
"Thank you, Captain, I will withdraw." Faramir shut the door behind the servant and went to the section of the Library that held the information that Mithrandir needed.
"I suggest we start here in this section. It is the part of the library that houses the last hundred years of the second age and the first one hundred of this. I am sorry it is not more organized than that" He brought the first bundle of books and scrolls to the table.
"Shall we begin? Just Isildur correct?"
Mithrandir nodded and picked up the first bundle of scrolls, letting Faramir tackle the books.
So the quest for words began.