Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing: Aragorn, Halbarad OMCs
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse
Disclaimer - These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
With thanks to Raksha
The storm broke just as the two Rangers sucessfully overcame a small band of Orcs that threatened a remote farmhouse.
The driving rain pelted down relentlessly on the two companions. Huddled together, Aragorn and Halbarad sought shelter under a hedge. It was poor protection, but better than nothing.
Across the lane, candles glowed in the window of the farmhouse, while smoke billowed from the chimney. The two Rangers could not but help envy those who dwelt within.
The door opened and a man accompanied by two boys and a large dog emerged. “Hey you!” shouted the man, “Get off my land or I’ll set the dog upon you!”
“We mean no harm,” said Aragorn, trying to stop his teeth from chattering. ”We were simply sheltering from the storm.”
“Are you Men or drowned rats?” jeered one of the boys. The dog, a powerfully built mongrel, bared its teeth with a soft growl.
“After them, Fang!” cried the second boy, loosing the dog.
Aragorn and Halbarad fled with the dog snapping at their heels.
An hour or so later the two Rangers had found a cave in which to shelter and were drying their sodden garments by a meagre fire, while sipping lukewarm tea. Halbarad’s cloak was torn where the dog’s teeth had caught it. Both men shivered with cold and were scratched and bruised from their flight
“We protect some truly charming people,” Halbarad said sarcastically, rubbing his hands together for warmth. ”Like father, like sons! At least we can slay Orcs!”
“Had I a son, I hope I would raise him better,” said Aragorn wistfully, shaking his wet hair like a dog.
“He would be a good man, because he was your son,” said Halbarad.
“I know not,” said Aragorn thoughtfully, ignoring the steam which rose from his drying garments. ”I would teach him, though, to show compassion, not to use force unless threatened, and to listen before he made judgements about others.”
“Wise precepts, my friend,” Halbarad replied. ”I wish you luck with them. It is taking me all my time to teach my boy to remember to say “please” and “thank you” without prompting!”
“He is scarcely out of babyhood.” Aragorn refilled his cup. ”At least you have a son to teach. Sometimes I wonder if I am destined to be the last of my line.”
“My foresight tells me that you will not be the last Heir of Isildur,” Halbarad said, clapping his friend on the shoulder. “Now rest, my friend, tomorrow looks set to be another long, wet day for travelling Rangers.”