Aragorn walked casually outside, alone, as the snow fell gently from the grey sky. A grey sky, a white citadel, a colorless world; it was all so bereft of everything Aragorn found enjoyable. He shivered and pulled the collar of his coat closer to him, attempting to block out the chill.
Morelen is probably sweating to death in the scorching heat of the south, and here I am freezing.The sun down there is treacherous. Heh. Gimli probably hates it.
He was indeed grateful of the momentary respite from the gossiping courtiers and diplomats; for the chance to simply listen to the silence, absorb the peacefulness of winter.
The quiet gave him time to think things through, as he found himself doing more often these days. He warmed his icy hands with his breath and rubbed them together.
If only Mithrandir were here, he lamented, wishing that his wise old friend was there to guide him. He sorely missed the wizard’s council, in all aspects of his life.
He is happy now, safe in the lands of Aman. The king sighed, wishing somehow he could find that kind of release from the world’s pains and trials.
He looked up to the sky, noticing that Anar’s light was trying desperately to pierce through the thick layer of clouds and warm the snowy ground.
Suddenly, from behind him he heard the crunching of snow. It was terribly quiet, and even his keenest senses were strained to their limit.
“Suilaid, Adar.” (Hello, father)
Aragorn heard the sly voice of Eldarion behind him. He grinned.
“Good day to you as well, my son.”
Aragorn did not wait for his son to catch up, but continued to walk with his eyes gazing out far ahead of him, his hands shoved deep into the pockets of his coat.
“Ada.” Eldarion called to his father and waited for him to turn around, which he eventually did, his midnight blue coat gently brushing the top of the snow.
The boy cocked his head in a curious manner, his piercing grey eyes sparkling with a roguish appeal.
“What are you doing?”
Aragorn’s smile faded, as Eldarion suddenly reminded him of Elrond. The elf had the exact same eye color, and for a moment Aragorn felt as though he needed to defend himself, give Eldarion his exact reason for being outside.
Pausing for a moment to compose himself, he grinned and said, “Talking a stroll through the snow. Why, what are you doing?”
Eldarion made his way through the snow with ease and caught up to his father, replying, “The same. I saw you out here by yourself, and figured you might like some company.”
“Indeed,” Aragorn answered, “I would.”
Eldarion kicked the chunks of snow that had accumulated beneath his feet, sending them flying through the air.
“How are you?” Eldarion queried, his tone a little more serious.
The king sighed, his noble features suddenly becoming drained, weary. It was times like these when Eldarion truly became afraid for his Adar. That look, whether intentional or not, made Eldarion wish he could snap his fingers and make all of his father’s worries evaporate, for he knew they were many and mighty. More frequently now, he was beginning to see how life was beginning to tax the king.
“I am fine, ion nín.” (my son)
“I think you are lying.”
“I am the king; I never lie.”
“How many times must I tell you, as the lord of this land I nev–”
Aragorn’s nonsensical words were cut short as he received a blow to the face. A cold one in fact, that melted and dripped down his cheek after a few moments of shocked silence, then ran down into the neck of his coat.
He looked over and saw Eldarion grinning quite wickedly, holding a ball of tightly-packed snow in his hands.
Before Aragorn could gather ammunition for a counter attack, the boy had already pelted him in the head with the snowball.
Aragorn returned fire but just barely missed him, not of his own fault in aim but because Eldarion was incredibly agile, even in the thick snow.
Curse his mother and her perfect Elvish blood! He thought merrily to himself, glad for this carefree moment he could spend with his son, who was growing far too fast for his liking.
Aragorn caught the boy in the backside and let out a howl of un-kingly laughter, holding his sides as Eldarion tripped and fell to the ground. More like ranger laughter it was, and Eldarion’s eyes widened in mock anger. Immediately he began to grab more snow and pack it together, but Aragorn was so completely helpless with mirth that he never saw it coming. He took a shot right to the gut and fell to his knees, still laughing.
Eldarion laughed with him and ran over to his father, shoving cold snow down his back. Aragorn growled as the icy cold ran down his back and he grabbed his son’s collar mercilessly shoving his face into the snow. They continued like this for a few moments, trying to drown the other in the snow while still laughing hysterically.
Eldarion spit out snow that he had inadvertently swallowed, lying on his back in the fluffy white stuff.
His chest heaving, he concluded, “Liar.”
Aragorn wiped the frozen tears of hilarity that ran rampant down his face, still chuckling to himself.
Eldarion jumped up and Aragorn immediately shoved his hands in the snow, preparing for another assault. Eldarion, however, offered the king his hand and pulled him up, once Aragorn realized he wasn’t going to be pelted with snow again.
“Orch tithen nín.” (My little orc)
“I am not little!” Eldarion retorted as he wiped the clinging snow from his garments.
“No indeed,” Aragorn smiled and brushed the snow from
Eldarion’s hair, ruffling it even more than it had been previously, if that was possible.
He put his arm around his son’s shoulder as Eldarion said, “I am going to ask you one more time, and this time tell the truth. How are you?”
Elessar looked at his boy and replied, “I will be alright, son. Do not worry yourself.”
Eldarion scoffed, shaking his head in defeat. “Alright, Ada. Whatever you say.”
“Now that’s better. Believe in your old man for once, young prince.”
“I believe in certain things that you do not, father. Do not accuse me of lacking in faith.” Eldarion replied coldly, looking his father square in the face.
Aragorn knew exactly what Eldarion was referring to. The fact that Aragorn found no hope that his foster daughter would return angered his son. Eldarion had no doubt in his mind that his sister would come back; he just knew she would come back, though all Aragorn could do was stare at his son helplessly and think,
Elbereth, am I that old that I can’t hold hope for the future? Have I grown so cynical and pessimistic? Perhaps I have just seen too much of the world and know things he cannot possibly understand, at his young age. Maybe I am just an old fool. Ai, I know not. I know nothing.