Happy holidays! 🙂
Author's Note: [info]lotr_sesa 2008 fic for sugaredarsenic, who gave me a couple of quotes to pick from as inspiration. Hope you like the one I ended up going with!

Better than gold is a tale rightly told.

Elboron adored his mother. To him, Eowyn of Rohan, wife of Faramir, Princess of Ithilien, was the most beautiful woman alive. When he was little, he loved playing by her feet as she worked in the gardens of Emyn Arnen, her golden hair glinting in the sunshine. Often she hummed softly under her breath, melodies from Meduseld that Elboron recognised from his frequent stays with his uncle Eomer, and sometimes, when she was in an especially good mood, she sang out loud, laughing at Elboron joyously when he attempted to join in. He also liked that she knew how to wield a sword as well as any of the soldiers, although she did so rarely and only ever for practice. He had heard the story of how she defeated the Witch King many times, never from his mother, whose eyes were a bit sad whenever he mentioned it. But then she would smile, warm and content, ruffle his hair and kiss him when he told her that she was the best mother in the world.

As he got older, Elboron thought his mother at her most beautiful when she was with his father. He would watch them get ready for a feast, Eowyn brushing her long tresses, smiling at Faramir in the mirror. Faramir's eyes were always warm and gentle, but never as happy as when he looked at Eowyn. From his perch on the window sill Elboron could see the answering glow on his mother's face as she covered his father's hand on her shoulder with her own. Her smile was like the sun, and Elboron could not refrain from exclaiming: "Oh, how beautiful you are, mother!"

"Thank you, dear heart!" His mother laughed at him, happy, and Elboron flushed with pleasure. His father was also smiling, his fingers tracing the neckline of Eowyn's beautiful dark green dress.

"He is right, my love, you are astonishingly beautiful, not just tonight," Faramir said, his voice low and warm. Eowyn blushed at Faramir's words, and Elboron thought his mother had never been more beautiful. Impulsively he ran over to his parents, clambering up onto Eowyn's lap, despite having proclaimed only the week before that he was now too old to be coddled by his mother. She embraced him tightly, kissing his cheek, and he could feel his father's hand in his hair.

"Father, tell me again how you and mother met?" Elboron requested, resting his cheek against the softness of his mother's dress and breathing in her unique scent of flowers and spices. Her hands were holding him securely, with the same quiet strength he had seen her hold a sword or plant trees with. Elboron knew that the Prince and Princess of Ithilien were expected at the feast, a celebration held to honour the group of Woodelves led by the famous Legolas that had arrived the day before, but he loved spending time with both his parents, and he rarely got the chance.

He could feel his mother's quiet laugh vibrate in his chest, and her voice was teasing when she said: "Yes, do tell us again how I captured your heart..."

Elboron glanced up and saw that her hand rested above the mentioned heart, his parents' eyes locked as if they were talking without speaking a single word aloud. He normally hated it when they did this around him, but not this time. This time he just snuggled closer to his beautiful mother and waited for his father to begin his favourite story of all time, the one about the sad shieldmaiden who first vanquished a great foe on the battlefield and then, with her spirit, courage and beauty, conquered the heart of the Steward of Gondor, walking the quiet halls of the House of Healing.

"The moment she spoke to me for the first time, I knew she was the only one I could ever wed. I tried my best to be worthy of her, to console her and make her see that she was so much more than just a warrior - although I liked that part of her, too," Faramir smiled, and Elboron recalled many a time when his father had stopped whatever he was doing to watch Eowyn practice with her sword. "It is in my blood, the ability to see unseen things, and, as we were standing on the walls of the Houses of Healing, trying to glimpse the faraway battle, I could see the beauty of her happiness shine through the veil of her sorrow, although even that was full of grace. I could but offer her my heart, and it was the happiest day when she looked at me, smiled, radiant, and discarded her sorrow and pain forever. When she gave me her heart, she made me complete."

"And in return he gave me peace, love and a new purpose," Eowyn finished Faramir's tale, settling Elboron into the cushions of the bed and entwining her fingers with those of her husband. Elboron smiled sleepily. The last thing he saw before his eyes fell shut was his parents kissing quietly above him, the way he pictured them kissing on that high, high wall, all those years ago.

Then they left to finally join the festivities, and Elboron dreamed of his mother's golden smile when she looked at his father.

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