Ten Thousand Years
Will Not Suffice
Chapter 5: Third Age 2943
Thengel was going to be wed. He had met the Lady Morwen of
Lossarnach during a tour of duty and had fallen deeply in love with
her. All Minas Tirith was in an uproar, a very pleasant one after
last year's events. No one, it seemed, but Denethor and his
father remembered the horror of the last year, yet Denethor remembered
it too well and would not let the memory of Cranthir die, nor the
reason why he died. But he, also, was caught up in the
planning. Now that he lived back in his old rooms in the
Steward's Hall, he could not but be involved. Indis and 'Wen were
forever running back and forth, clucking, chattering, and driving
almost everyone 'round the bend, so to speak.
There were so many dignitaries coming for the wedding, first and
foremost Fengel, King of the Mark. The Prince of Dol Amroth,
Angelimir, was coming also. Denethor was most interested in
speaking with him. Though they had met many times, it was when
Denethor was a child; he was almost of age now, and he hoped he could
approach the Prince. He so wanted to speak with him about great
fleets and battles at sea. Never had he lost his longing to one
day be a part of seafaring history. He had had to put that part
of his reading aside after his father charged him with learning more
about the battles in Ithilien and Northern Gondor, but his heart still
lay with the sea. He vowed one day he would make an extended
visit to the inlet of Cobas Haven in the Bay of Belfalas and the fair
city of Dol Amroth.
Indis gave him a light, playful tap on the back of his head.
"Focus, would you, Denethor! There are too many details for me to
handle alone. I must needs your input on where the three Marshals
of Rohan should be seated. This is beyond me. Why would
Father put me in charge of the seating? I have never done it
before!" Much as she groused, Denethor could tell she was pleased
and proud of these new duties.
He sat at the long table in Indis' room and stayed as quiet as
possible, hoping she would not notice, as she poured over her notes,
that he was trying to read a book he had found in the Great Library. He
had it hidden under the cloth covering the table, peeping at it every
But Indis was to be left to her own devices, and he would not yet
finish the book. A messenger came from Ingold requesting
Denethor's presence. He had been at fault for missing the
morning's lessons and was in store for definite punishment. Ah,
but he was free and knew that Ingold would be merciful. Not many
would dare stand up to Indis this last year. She had become a
woman on fire; her whole demeanor had changed. She had finally
come of age and had taken her mother's role, and taken it well.
As punishment, Ingold sent Denethor off to the Great Library.
Denethor's cheeks burned with the fire of enthusiasm. To spend
the rest of the morning in the library - life could be no better.
His assignment was the Battle of the Camp. He relished this tale
for it told of Eärnil and the way he saved Gondor.
Eärnil was also father to Eärnur, the great captain who
brought his fleet north and helped defeat the Witch-king. This
was a good assignment; one that would fill his next few days and keep
him far from Indis as she prepared for the wedding. As he stepped
into the cool darkness of the lower room, Curunír stepped out of
the shadows. A chill ran down Denethor's back. What was he
"Forgive me, Lord Denethor. I see I have startled you. I
hope you are well. It is good to see that you have become so
adept at your training that you are back living in the Steward's Hall?"
There was a note of disdain in his voice. Denethor was beginning
to see people - to see through their guile. He assumed it was a
gift that most had, but, in truth, it was a gift to those of purer
Númenórean blood. Indis had oft said that the blood of
Númenor flowed strong and fair through him.
"Well met, Lord Curunír. Is there aught I can do for you?"
"My Lord," Curunír shrugged and tried to hide a scowl. "I
am ever your servant. Is there aught I can do for you? I
seem to recall the last time we met here; you were studying the Battle
of Dagorlad. Has that assignment been completed?"
"I am here to study the Battle of the Camp. The books on the
Wainriders are stored in this level. There is much that I do not
know about this battle, but since I know where the books are stored, I
should do fine."
"Well, perhaps I should leave you to your own devices. I am
looking for uses for some herbs I have just discovered near the
Eastfold." With that, he brusquely turned his back upon Denethor.
Denethor was glad. He was looking forward to his time in this
hallowed place. He fervently hoped that the wizard would leave,
and quickly. It seemed a strange change from his last encounter,
but then he had been abandoned and felt quite alone; now he had his
father again. The wizard, however, would not leave. A
darkness seemed to fall upon the room and the voice of the wizard bore
itself into his very being. What was Curunír saying?
His words were soft and low, too low for Denethor to hear the content,
but the timbre shook him to the core. There was a malevolence in
the sound. Denethor could feel himself being drawn towards the
wizard and he fought for control of himself. A glint of light
shone off a ring on Curunír's hand. The wizard stepped
closer and their eyes locked.
"You are a brave lad, Lord Denethor," the wizard droned. Denethor
could not pull himself away, nor his eyes from that stare. "You
have only my deepest respect and admiration. You are most wise; I
can see it already in your demeanor. I am looking forward to
working with you, for the defense of Gondor."
Denethor found himself breathing hard. The words were soothing,
but his whole being flinched at the touch of those words. Yet, he
could do naught to fight this strange malaise that lay upon him.
More was said; he remembered not what in the days that followed.
At last the wizard gave a sigh and moved away from him. Denethor
gasped and ran to the stairs. He told himself he would not look
back, but was drawn to look back; it seemed he had no will of his
own. The wizard smiled at him and waved him off, as if dismissing
Denethor ran for his life.
As he reached the parapet, Amdir ran into him and they both almost fell
to the ground. Amdir laughed uproariously. "You must watch
where you are running, my friend. You might run right into your
sister who has been looking for you these last few hours!"
"What time is it?" Denethor asked for the sun was low in the sky and he
had gone to the library in the late morning. He was suddenly
frightened, gasping for breath. Where had the time gone?
What had happened in the library? He had not opened a book and
yet the day was lost to him.
"It is near to dinnertime. I came to invite you to our
home. Mother has asked if you might join us. I thought you
would enjoy being away from your sisters for at least a little time."
"I am sorry, Amdir. I must be away. I...I have chores to
do." He turned to walk away but Amdir put his hand on his
"You are shaking! What has happened?"
"No. No, nothing has happened. I am a little shaken by our
near collision that is all."
"Friend," Amdir said with pain evident in his voice, "you do not trust
Denethor looked into pure eyes, simple eyes and a portion of the chill
that was on his body left him. "You are right, my friend. I
must trust someone. I have just left the Great Library. The
wizard was there." He went on to explain what had happened, the
time lapse, and his loss of memory of what was said or done during that
time. "I...I am frightened a little, my friend. I would
know what power he has wielded over me and I would find a way to stop
it. But I know not how he took me from myself nor how to overcome
"Did not I tell you, many long ages past, to keep a distance from this
"Aye, you did. And the last time I saw him, I remembered your
words and vowed to stay away from him. But I seem to be thrown at
him. Every time I am in the library, he seems to be there." He
shook his head trying to clear it, to make some sense of what had
happened to him.
"Come. We will eat and then we may speak with my father.
"Nay! I will speak to no one about this and, as my friend, I
require you to do the same. I know not what is happening, but I
will determine what is to be done. In the meantime, you must
promise to say nothing to anyone about this."
Amdir, distressed, nodded. "I will do as you wish,
Denethor. But next time you run into this wizard, find me, call
for me. I will be at your side immediately. This is no foe
to take lightly."
A thought, strange yet haunting came over him; words he had heard in
the library came back to him and he shivered. "I am no foe,
Denethor. I am your friend."
The previous year, Ingold had been promoted to Captain of the
Guard. One of the privileges that came with the promotion was the
fact that the family moved to the sixth level - not on the north side
where the sun shone so warm, but on the south side ever shadowed by
Mount Mindolluin. Never mind that, thought Elleth, she was close
to her husband and to her son, and that thought brought its own
sunshine. She smiled and hummed as she went about preparations
for the evening's meal.
As with all of Gondor, she was basking in the excitement of the wedding
preparations. Indis had heard, probably from Denethor, that
Elleth was gifted in lacework and had commissioned her to create
handkerchiefs for the new bride. Elleth was delighted;
handkerchiefs bearing the White Tree upon it were what she penciled on
paper and showed to Indis. Overwhelmed, Indis hugged her when she
saw the pattern. It was just what she had hoped for. The
women had spent many days together discussing how many to present to
Morwen, if they would be in colors or the purest white, when they might
be completed, and how much Elleth would require for compensation.
Elleth had almost offered them without payment, but then she remembered
the sword that Ingold had hoped to order from the smithies for Amdir's
commissioning to ensign, due in two years time. She gratefully
accepted the offered coinage and placed it in her special place.
The sword was most expensive, but both father and mother would make any
sacrifice to protect their son. A sword was not a thing to be
bandied about lightly, a toy; it was a weapon used to defend a soldier
and to defend Gondor. Only the best would do for that service!
As she was smiling over thoughts of the sword, Amdir and Denethor
arrived without their customary racket; Elleth looked up in surprise as
the boys edged through the door. Amdir gave her a small smile and
a hug; yet, Denethor stayed back, not his usual custom. Elleth
wondered what trouble the lads had gotten into. After they had
washed, they stripped peas with her and scrubbed carrots. Neither
boy spoke; a feeling of disquiet assailed her. What could be
wrong with the lads in this time of merriment and joy? Just as
she was about to speak, Ingold came in with a rush, the scent of the
barracks clinging to him - a scent that Elleth had held dear from the
moment she had met him. It spoke to her of strength and courage
and fidelity. He had been all that to her in these years
since first they spoke their promises to each other.
Ingold wrapped his arms about her, kissed her lightly on the brow, and
proceeded to wash himself in preparation for the evening meal.
Amdir, now officially in training and a future soldier of Gondor,
smiled politely. Ingold would have none of that. He grabbed
his son and hugged him till the breath almost left him. Amdir, as
always overwhelmed by the love of his father, shoved his head into his
father's shoulder and sighed. What he would not give to speak to
his father of Denethor's experience with the wizard. His promise
to his friend sealed his lips, but could not erase his need for
comfort. He was afraid for his friend and did not know how to
help him. It would be so very easy to just ask Ingold what to
do. Denethor's eyes caught his and they were filled with
warning. Amdir was surprised. Did Denethor know what he was
"What fine thing have you learned today, my son?" Ingold asked.
"Wizards are not to be trusted," he blurted out and reddened. He
could not look at Denethor; he had not meant to say anything like
that! Denethor tensed, resisting a foolish urge to run for the
"Ah, wizards. My son, it is better to stay away from them. A
soldier needs no dealings with a wizard. He is here for the
wedding, I am sure. Ecthelion usually invites him to these
events. Remember, Denethor?" he turned towards Denethor, "He was
invited to your Horn Ceremony many years ago."
"Yes, I remember the ceremony well, Captain, but I don't remember about
those attending," he lied. "It was a rather great crowd and I was
only seven at the time."
"Seven. You have grown and I will not have you call me captain in
my house. I am Ingold, father of your friend, and therefore,
friend to you."
Denethor started in surprise. The memory of the wizard was still
very much upon him. Ingold's kindness brought tears to his eyes, but he
willed them away. "Thank you, my friend," he said and bowed
stiffly to cover his discomfiture, "I will remember that."
Amdir walked him home after the meal. "I am so very sorry,
Denethor. Honestly, I would not betray your confidence for all
the mithril in Middle-earth. Please forgive me."
"There is nothing to forgive, friend. I understand your
fear. It has clung to me all evening. I cannot shake the
feeling of alarm that has settled upon me. I would that I might
speak with someone about this, but I am at a loss as to whom."
"Your father?" Amdir asked.
"Father invites the wizard here! How am I to go to him?
What am I supposed to say? 'The wizard casts spells that I am sure are
all for Gondor's good?' What proof have I? 'I went to the
library in the morning, Father, and when I left it was late
afternoon?' Fie on that; there is nothing that can be done.
Except - I must protect myself. I will go to the library tomorrow
to look for some spells or enchantments that I might be able to use to
defend myself. Would you..." He felt so very foolish.
"Would you meet me there tomorrow after nuncheon? I would go
alone, but I..."
"Don't say another word. You would be foolish not to ask
me. Perhaps in numbers there will be strength. He would not
dare do a thing against you whilst others are about." He laid a
hand gently on Denethor's shoulder and was surprised that he had to
reach up to place it there. Denethor had grown; Amdir was almost
a full year older and yet, Denethor was already a few inches above
him. "Never mind that wizard, my friend, I know a trick or two we
can use to outsmart him."
"Friend you are indeed, Amdir. What Valar do I owe this gift
to? I will see you tomorrow then. Walk safely home, my
friend, and thank you."
He turned the corner towards the White Tower and ran directly into
someone dressed in a black cloak . He shivered uncontrollably;
fear gripped his stomach and his chest.
"What are you doing out so late, my Lord?" a familiar and welcome voice
"Thengel! What a delight." Denethor breathed deeply in the
cool night air and breathed out the horror that had gripped him.
"What are you doing on this level yourself, this late at night?"
He greeted him with bowed head and hand upon his breast.
"You have caught me, my Lord," smiled Thengel. "I was coming from
the guest quarters. I had to see Morwen one last time before the
stars came out. Time slipped away from us as we watched
Eärendil appear." Thengel blushed at the telling of his private
affairs to this child!
Denethor perceived the thought upon Thengel and smiled. "I have
not been a child since last year's massacre in Ithilien, my Lord.
You should know better than that. The loss of one loved beyond
endurance is a loss that causes one to mature quickly."
Thengel sucked in his breath. He had heard tales of 'gifts' that
Denethor possessed. He had not had occasion to evidence them
before. "My Lord, I apologize. I meant no disrespect."
Twenty-five years separated these two, yet the blood of Númenor
flowed through Denethor, not Thengel, and this was suddenly very
apparent to both this night.
"None taken, Lord Thengel. But now, did I hear correctly, the
gossip in the Tower? Are you to be the new Horse Captain?"
"Yes, your father has decided I must hone my skills as a
horseman. He wants me ready when Fengel passes, for when I must
return to Rohan to take up the crown. He wishes it for the good
of all Middle-earth, but I would prefer to stay here in Gondor with my
love. There is naught as beautiful as Minas Tirith in the morning
sun, or in the light of the stars of Varda Elentári. I
would leave it only if commanded. Yet, your father is wise and I
must do as he bids."
"Wise and perceptive also. He will know you have spent the night
under the stars. Perhaps we should discuss them another
time. We both have duties that must needs be done in the
morning. Good night, my Lord"
Thengel laughed. "Ever the good of Gondor lies upon your heart,
my Lord. You have indeed left the things of a child behind.
I have seen this before, and now I know it for a fact; yet, Gondor
would survive if you laughed once in awhile!"
"Laughter and joy will flood the Great Hall tomorrow in the wake of
your wedding, my Lord. Get to your bed, for you have much
expected of you on the morrow and later."
With that, Denethor strode away, a grin upon his face.
The ceremony was held in the Great Hall. Indis was enthralled
with the very thought of this match and did her utmost to make the day,
and everything about it, beautiful. As he entered, Denethor
looked in awe at what his eyes beheld. Garlands of gardenias were
everywhere, with bunches of wildflowers lain in the laps of the marble
statues lining either side. He laughed. What would Turgon
say when he saw the 'desecration' to these noble Kings of Gondor?
As much as the old Steward loved Indis, this might be beyond his
ability to forgive. Yet, Denethor knew Indis was only trying to
remove the coldness of the Hall with the warmth of Gondor's rich flora,
and he could do naught but applaud her efforts. He was also very
grateful that he had not been conscripted to be a part of this.
He laughed again, and Amdir, at his side as always, chortled in glee.
Fengel and the other ambassadors were seated in the front. The
scowl was so deep on Fengel's face that Denethor thought it must hurt
-- one very sad note on such a beautiful day. Weeks ago, Thengel
had come to Denethor in the barracks and asked him to walk with
him. They went out into the cool night air, resting their arms on
the parapet near the Great Library. Denethor waited
patiently. A heavy sigh escaped Thengel's lips. Still,
Denethor waited. 'Sometimes sharing ill news takes time,' the old
At last Thengel spoke, "Denethor, forgive me for pulling you away from
the games. Your opinion would be most appreciated. My
father opposes the match between Morwen and me. He has asked me
to reconsider. I would do as he asks, but there is love between
us. How can I obey my father and preserve my vows to
Morwen? True - these vows have not been made public, but they
were made in my heart and, more importantly, they have been said to
Morwen. I never dreamt that father would be in opposition to this
match. You have the gift of foresight. What see you?"
Denethor bit his lip. How could he tell Thengel that it had
nothing to do with foresight, that anyone with any sense could see that
Thengel's father was only concerned with wealth, riches and
jewels? How could he tell him of the times he had seen Fengel,
this past week, in the ancient smithies of Gondor, fingering the
mithril waiting to be re-forged? He himself had not believed it
when Ecthelion had told him of Fengel's greed; not till he had seen the
avarice in the king's eye. Ever his father watched and waited to
exploit people to strengthen Gondor. It was another link in the
chain that Ecthelion was manipulating to snare Rohan's fidelity.
He kept quiet.
"I cannot leave my love. She has become everything to me. I
cannot leave Gondor. It is my home. Fengel will have to
accept this. I have no other course to take. I will not
With that, Thengel strode away, back towards the barracks.
Denethor was grateful that Thengel had not pressed him further.
Their friendship was too important to wound with words that would do no
His thoughts were brought back by the noises of the Hall. Chairs
had been placed in long rows down the entire length of the hall, while
drapes of lilies, attached with golden thread to the center aisle
seats, made it necessary for each row to be seated from the left and
the right only - not the center. The women in their long gowns
had a difficult time reaching open chairs. The noises that had
distracted him were the grunts and groans of the men as they tried to
move chairs to accommodate the women. Denethor laughed at the
sight. Dearest Indis, proud and wonderful, but not very practical
in this instance. He fervently hoped she would never know of the
difficulty her decorating caused the guests.
"I must leave you now, my friend," Amdir whispered. "My place is
with my father and mother. Please meet me afterwards. I
have some thoughts on that matter we were discussing last night."
Denethor gently bowed to him, trying to stifle the shiver that ran
through him, and forced his attention upon the ceremony before
him. He walked towards his sister, 'Wen, and found his seat.
Silver trumpets heralded the arrival of the Steward. Slowly
Turgon walked forward. Denethor flinched at the look of age upon
his face, his body - stooped and low. Tears pricked his
eyes. This dear beloved man was aging before his very eyes, and
quickly. Ecthelion appeared next to him and seemed to walk
slightly behind Turgon, but as they drew closer, Denethor could see his
father was steadying Turgon and helping him to the Steward's
Chair. This was too much for him. He looked away, helpless,
as his father eased Turgon into the Chair. Why could not
the world stay as it was and leave his grandfather as master of his own
body, his own mind?
At that very moment, Denethor heard a gasp from the guests.
Morwen, fairest daughter of the land of Lossarnach, appeared in the
doorway. Slowly, she made her way towards the Steward's
Chair. Denethor smiled. She was truly beautiful and so
kind; his heart had warmed to her when first Thengel had introduced
them. Fengel was wrong in this matter. This woman would
make Thengel happy; that made Denethor happy. Indis hid in the
recesses beyond the last pillar and watched. He knew his sister's
heart, and that tears would be streaming down her face. She had
worked so very hard to make this a glorious day for all of
Gondor. The happiness was not the couple's alone. Denethor
felt a lump in his throat as he looked upon his sister. He had
discovered that she was the one who had forced Ecthelion to reconsider
his banishment of Denethor. It was she who devised the placing of
Denethor at the Great Hall when Ecthelion was alone, mourning
Cranthir's loss. It was she who, to this day, would remind the
both of them how much Gondor needed them. He shook slightly; this
was certainly a day for tears - tears of joy and warmth and gratitude.
Thengel appeared and stood next to the Steward's Chair, his face alight
with joy and wonder. Denethor could see the smiles on those
present; the tears also on the faces of several of the women.
Many of them would be sad this day, to see the fair Thengel wed.
Denethor looked towards the Steward's Chair again. His heart
broke as he watched Ecthelion fingering a white gardenia, part of a
garland draped over the back of the Chair. His father's face was
white, and the muscles in his neck strained. Indis, whose great
love for their mother and their mother's favorite flower, had bedecked
the Hall in them, totally unaware of the impact they would have on
their father. Ecthelion dragged his eyes away, forced them upon
Turgon, but his hand never left the flower.
The parapet in front of the citadel was filled with tables laden with
food such as had not been seen in Gondor in a long while. This
fete surpassed any in Denethor's memory. Ecthelion was sparing no
expense in securing the allegiance of the son of Fengel.
Alliances were made through such events, such ceremonies, and Ecthelion
was ever aware of the need for alliances as the dark days neared.
He shared these thoughts with Denethor as they walked from the
Hall. Denethor's heart was saddened by the words his father
spoke. Were alliances all that their friends were for?
Thengel was one of his dearest friends. They had spent many a
night in the barracks talking and laughing about life in Gondor,
sharing their dreams. Was he to put aside that friendship now and
only dwell on Gondor's need for alliance? In his mind, he knew
that was part of all this, but in his heart, he mourned the loss of the
purity of their friendship. He would do as Ecthelion bid and
further develop the alliance, but his face burned red at the shame of
it. There was, however, good news to alleviate some of Denethor's
shame. Ecthelion thought it better for the alliance if Denethor
was placed in the company of the Horse Guard, under Thengel. This
was Ecthelion's way of furthering the alliance, and binding allegiance
from Thengel, but it much delighted Denethor. Try as he might, he
could not look upon Thengel as an ally only, but as a friend.
Music floated from the area near the White Tree. When was the
last time he had heard music, he wondered? It was glorious.
He could see the musicians, off to the north, with the sun streaming
behind Mount Mindolluin on its westward path. They were from the
conservatory on the second level. A ballad was being sung; he
could not hear the words, but a feeling of melancholy struck him.
He recognized the song as one of those written to honor his
mother. Thengel and Morwen were dancing to it. Neither knew
the keen sorrow that this brought to Denethor. He looked around,
trying to find Ecthelion -- to judge what the music was doing to
him. Indis stepped up and placed her hand in the crook of his arm.
"Hello, dearest brother," she said. "I have not heard that song
in a long while. I remember Mother was so embarrassed when first it was
written. She thought it was too fine a thing for a girl like
her. Come, dance with me."
Denethor leaned against his sister. He now towered above her, but
nothing would belie the fact that she was his eldest sister, his
rock. "I wish I had known her." Once again, he remembered
his father. "Have you seen Father, Indis? I want to keep
him away from this."
"Dearest brother. Do you not know that he also must grieve, even
these long years after. To see that the people have not forgotten
her is a good thing. Do not be concerned over this."
"But, Indis, Father was holding the gardenia...." Denethor bit
his lip. He had not meant to bring the gardenias to her
"What is wrong, Denethor?"
"Nothing. I just wanted to make sure someone who loved him was
standing by him at this moment."
"Don't worry, Denethor. I saw him walking to his study with
Prince Angelimir. He will not hear this."
The dancing had ended and Indis had given him a small curtsy, and then,
ran off to admonish a young servant who was pouring wine in the wrong
container. Denethor pitied the servant. He went to Thengel
and asked to dance with Morwen. A lively tune started up and,
thoroughly embarrassed, Denethor quickly gave Morwen back to
Thengel. The whoop of laughter that emitted from Thengel's mouth
caused Denethor to grow red, but the hug from his friend dispelled any
darkness. Off the two of them went, feet flying to the rhythm of
the tune. Denethor smiled - and breathed a sigh of relief.
Amdir came up to him, laughing, patting him on the back. "You
were definitely saved from some serious embarrassment, my friend.
Never try to dance with a woman when you don't know how!"
"I was not going to try to dance that dance. I thought they would
play another ballad. I can stand there, hold her hand, and make
her think that this is perhaps the way Gondorian men dance."
Amdir laughed. "There is no way she would ever have believed that
all Gondorian men dance as you do. This is one area totally
lacking in your training. I believe I shall tell my father that
he must add dancing to your training!"
"And I will see to it that cleaning the stables will be your constant
duty. Do not mock me, Amdir," he said quietly, but the laughter
in his eyes negated the sternness of his words.
"Well, that is not why I came over here anyway, my friend. There
is the matter of the library. Have you forgotten? Now would
be the perfect time. Everyone is busy with dancing, eating and
frivolity. Many of the others have left. The evening is
coming on; travelers will start to depart. I will stand by the
door and watch, while you go down to find the books you need.
Bring them with you; you do not have to study them there. The
warden will not know you have taken them. We can put them in your
room and you can study them at your leisure."
"That is a fine plan, Amdir. I will go now. Whistle, like
the peregrine, and I will know it is a warning to flee the place."
He ran towards the library. The terror of the previous day's
encounter lent speed to his feet. He ran down the stairs, almost
slipping in his haste. He knew what level and room the books were
in; he discovered the room was locked, but he knew where the keys were
kept. He rummaged through the desk, found them, and turned to
open the door. Curunír was there! In front of
him! No, this could not be happening. He almost collapsed
He held his arm in front of his eyes. What would the wizard do to
him now? He must get away. He dropped his arm, prepared to
flee. There was no wizard there! What had he seen? Were his
eyes deceiving him? No, there was no wizard there. But he
had seen him! He knew he had seen him! Shaking, he placed
the key in the lock and turned it. He heard the click of the lock
and turned the handle. The door would not open. He tried
again, his hand now shaking almost uncontrollably. The click of
the lock sounded again; he knew he was using the key correctly.
The door would not open. A sense of dread filled him. There
was a spell on the door -- a locking spell. And he knew who had
placed it there. He turned and fled from this once-beloved
place. He would not return, he vowed.
Amdir was sickened when he saw Denethor's face. The look of fear
was too much to bear. "Denethor, what has happened?"
Denethor took great gulps of the night air. His mind
reeled. He could not fathom what had happened to him. He
bent over, put his head down, and pushed his hands into his
thighs. Amdir took hold of his arm. Denethor was
shaking like a leaf. He walked him towards a bench near the
library, but Denethor froze and would go no further. Amdir turned
and led him towards the opposite wall. They sat; rather, Amdir
sat and pulled Denethor down next to him. As much as Denethor
willed that he was mature, the last two days events had worn him down;
he was very close to feeling like a young lad again. Thirteen
years was still young, given the terror that he had endured.
Amdir went to leave him for a moment; Denethor grabbed his arm, alarm
in his eyes.
"I will be gone for only one moment." But Denethor would not
loose his grip on Amdir's tunic. Amdir looked frantically around
and saw Indis nearby. He caught her eye; she came over,
quickly. Denethor averted his eyes. Indis, knowing
something was amiss, sat next to him, and took his hand. Amdir
ran to the tables, filled a goblet with wine, and handed it to
Denethor. Denethor's eyes were unseeing. Amdir forced his
hand around the goblet, and then brought it to his mouth.
Denethor swallowed. Indis looked at Amdir, questions rampant in
her eyes. She could feel the trembling in Denethor's body, but
could find no sign of harm. She remained quiet. Together,
they lifted him to his feet and walked him to his room. Amdir
undressed him and Indis kissed his forehead. She gestured for
Amdir to leave them. She would stay.
Denethor's nightmares began.