Denethor's Gift

by Gimli's Goat

He had the artisans make her a mantle of great beauty. They were to capture the colour and movement of the ocean in the fabric; the dark summer night sky; all that was free and distant, and untameable by man. So Finduilas had seemed when he had first looked upon her. Seamstresses worked on the cloak for long weeks, setting silver stars through hem and throat.

Denethor took his gift to the walls, where his fair bride often stood looking towards Anduin that led to the deep waters of the sea. Today she was singing the bittersweet Legend of Osse, face raised to feel the wind. Hearing her husband’s tread, she turned and the wistfulness of her expression was immediately changed to a gratified smile.

“My Lord, you have come to join me! Your council has gone well I trust?”

Denethor felt his spirits lifting as he took her cool hand in his. He felt vast pride in calling such a beauty his own. It troubled him that she was so restless in Minas Tirith. She was often found gazing out from the city, and cared not about the politics and ceremony of the White Tower. She would wander among the fishermen on the busy riverbank, keen for news of the coastal lands, and barter good-naturedly with old women selling nets and shells. Denethor disapproved of such antics, thinking them below the Lady of Gondor, but did not interrupt. He wanted Finduilas to be happy here.

“Yes my dear, all is well. Finduilas, I have brought you a gift. To remind you of home.”

Hesitantly he held out the cloak. The midnight blue caught the sunlight, wending arcs of blue bouncing across the white stone. It rippled gently as she touched the fabric. Inclining her neck, she silently allowed her husband to fasten the silver brooch. Tears welled in her green eyes, but she wiped them quickly away. Looking into his eager expectant face, she saw the wisdom of his years disappear into an innocent wish to please. After all, it was not his fault that steward duties kept him busy in the oppressive tower all day, and she was over-awed by his generosity.

She twirled around the courtyard laughing in delight as the inky robe billowed and sparkled, as waves crashing on the white sands of Belfalas. At length, flushed and out of breath, she returned to Denethor.

“My Lord, this is a kingly gift!”

“A queenly gift”, Denethor corrected her, laughing.