The Blessed Days of the King

by Orangeblossom Took

The Blessed Days of the King
Fourth Age, 34
Minas Tirith

The King was looking out a window at a blue sky, observing the approach of a group mounted on horses and flying the banner of Ithilien, a sight that pleased him greatly. He heard the sound of small feet running lightly over stone toward him and swung his son up in his arms as the four-year-old squealed with delight.

The child was dark-haired, grey-eyed, and tall for his age. Aragorn was proud that his son was already reading Westron and Elvish, thanks to Arwen’s gentle instruction. It would be a few years yet before he would get Eldarion a tutor. However, today was not about Faramir and his party or even Eldarion but they would greet their guests.

He held his son up so he could see out the window and asked, “You see the banner and riders, son? Do you want to welcome Prince Faramir and his family with me?”

The boy was excited by the prospect and replied, “Oh, yes! Is Elboron with them? He promised to take me riding. He and Lady Eoywn are the best riders! When do I get a pony?”

Aragon laughed and said, “You’ll have to ask your mother about that, Eldarion, and she is very busy today but you may go riding with Elboron. I trust him to be safe.”

The King and little prince went to the throne room to formally greet the party from Ithilien on this joyful day. It still shocked him to see how much Faramir and Eowyn had aged. They were now over sixty and their son was thirty-two and his marriage would be the next special event to bring them together. Their daughter, Eolais, was twenty. He had seen many others grow old around him in the last thirty years but none were as close to his heart as these two.

Eldarion took his responsibilities seriously and bowed to Faramir, Eowyn, Elboron, and Eolais. The Ithilien royals then went outside to take a privileged spot at the head of the gathering crowd. Aragorn and Eldarion went to join Arwen and proceed with the ceremony everyone was here for.

Arwen was resplendent in a deep blue gown. She and one of her ladies were tending to the two most important people in today’s ceremony. Each woman held a small bundle, swaddled in blue silk embroidered with stars and a white tree.

Aragorn could not help giving a less than solemn grin and asking, “Shall I carry Linwe or Lessien?”

Eldarion piped up and asked, “Can I hold one of the babies? Please?”

Arwen smiled gently and said, “Not today, little one. After the ceremony, we will sit down together and I will let you hold your sisters while you are seated.”

The King, Queen, and Prince were joined by various courtiers. Arwen and Aragorn each held a small baby girl with a rosebud mouth and a head capped with silky black hair. The babies were unusually serene, even when they were brought out into the sunshine and the cheers of the crowd.