Herbs and Heritage by Zdenka

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Written for Back to Middle-earth Month 2012, for prompts B9: "Aspects of Aragorn: Aragorn" and "Song Lyrics: Echoes and silence, patience and grace, all of these moments I’ll never replace - Foo Fighters - Home."


Aragorn stepped slowly into his mother’s room. It was silent, except for his own footsteps, but also alive with the echoes of their last conversation. Their last parting, she had called it. When he went away, he nursed a hope in his heart that he might yet see her again, but her foreknowledge had been true.

Aragorn cast his gaze around the chamber. There was little enough to dispose of. Gilraen had lived simply and with few possessions. All was as he last saw it, save for his mother’s absence. Those who tended her in her last illness had left the furnishings undisturbed until Gilraen’s son might return once more.

He went to the neatly made bed and smoothed the coverlet with his hand. It smelled of sweet herbs, the same he remembered his mother gathering and drying when he was a child in Elrond’s house. He closed his eyes for a moment, remembering his mother’s patience and grace, her care for him and her words of wise counsel. The days had always seemed too short for all he must do, but bitterly he now regretted the lost moments spent away from her. If her sacrifices and his people’s hopes were not to be in vain, he must become more than Aragorn son of Arathorn; he must make himself worthy to be a King.

In the end he took nothing, bidding her caretakers to keep what they wanted and distribute the rest to those of their people who were in need. But the scent of sweet herbs lingered with him, reminding him of his purpose and his promise, and of what he must do if there was ever to be a child of his blood to receive the heritage of the Dúnedain that his mother had passed down to him.




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