"You bring nothing but chaos into this house!"

Boromir and Faramir both kept their heads bowed and stared sheepishly at the floor of the great hall, where their father, Denethor, sat shaking with anger in the seat of the Steward.

"Do you realize how serious this is?" Denethor spat furiously. "You almost set fire to the resting place of the great kings and stewards of Gondor! You almost destroyed our very heritage, the heritage of our people!"

"Father," Boromir spoke up, trying to calm him, "it was my fault, we had had too many-"

"Drinks, I know!" Denethor slammed his fist down. "And if I hear any whisper of you two anywhere near the taverns again, I will personally make sure that you will not be allowed outside the city gates. I will lock you in your rooms myself!"

Faramir hid a smirk, trying very hard not to laugh. Thankfully, Boromir saw and covered for him, speaking very seriously. "You're right, father, and we are very sorry. It will not happen again."

Denethor sighed in irritation. "Very well. Attend to your studies."

Boromir and Faramir bowed graciously and strode out of their father's presence; once he was out of an earshot, they both burst out laughing. "How many times do you think he believes we have been drunk?"

"Well, what were we going to say?" Boromir asked, putting his arm around his brother's shoulders. "Any other excuse would make us sound-"

"Stupid?" Faramir said, raising his eyebrow. They laughed and headed towards the stables.

"Are you going to train today?"

"No, are you?"

Boromir smirked as he mounted his horse. "I thought so."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Their horses galloping majestically beside each other, the two sons of Gondor raced through the Pelennor Fields, enjoying the wind in their face and the smell of the farmland. Minas Tirith seemed so crowded, but in the freedom of the land, the boys were refreshed and eager with adventurous spirits.

Boromir, the elder, was nineteen years of age, nearing his twentieth birthday. He was handsome and tall, a true-to-be Captain of Gondor. Being the firstborn he was Denethor's favorite, but that did not keep him out of trouble. Reckless and irresponsible, he cared for nothing except the company of his brother.

Faramir was seventeen, and honestly enough, he was the more thoughtful of the two boys. He did not like getting into trouble but had to follow Boromir wherever he went, so ended up getting in trouble anyway. He knew Denethor cared little for him and was skeptical of his every move, but when he was with his older brother, the need for affection from his father ceased, and was filled by Boromir.

They were the best of friends, not rivals, as Denethor liked to think at times. Boromir, being well-built and more powerful, preferred combat with the sword-while Faramir, the smaller and more limber child, was a master at archery.

After a long while they both dismounted and walked alongside each other. "I think we should go back," Faramir said finally.

"You can if you like, I want to stay a while." Boromir said, breathing in the summer breeze.

"Well, all right. You won't be too late, though?" Faramir said as he mounted his horse and turned towards Minas Tirith.

"No, I'll be home before long."

After Faramir had gone, Boromir sat in the grass and allowed his horse to run free for a while. He loved the rolling hills just outside the Pelennor Fields, where many of the less fortunate people of Gondor lived and worked. He envied the poor, that they had so much beauty in their midst.

He would have fallen asleep if he had not heard a sound-a gentle, quiet song, in a foreign tongue. He sat up quickly and looked around.

There she was, dancing and playing with his horse, chasing it, catching it, and then dancing with it again. They moved to and fro like a merry couple; she wore a blue sown dress, and her hair was a golden waterfall of shimmering color that caught in the wind. He saw her lips move...yes, it was she that was singing that alluring song, a lullaby that soothed the ears and relaxed his heart.

He was almost afraid to stand, or say anything, for fear she would run away. Her beauty moved him so deeply that he finally gathered the courage to approach her. When she saw him, she did not flee, but rather stood very still. Instead of bowing her head, like most people did in honor of the future Captain of Gondor, she kept herself level, and stared at him. It surprised and pleased him at the same time, but his hopeful smile faltered when he saw the look of defiance.

"Thank you," Boromir managed to say as he fitted his horse's reins. "It would have taken me forever to catch him."

"Do not thank me, sir."

"But I believe I should." Boromir said, taking a step towards her.

"Just take your leave. That will be thanks enough." She said stubbornly.

Boromir looked down at the insignia of his leather tunic, which seemed to be the root of her displeasure. "What is it about me that you fear?"

"I fear nothing, but I would prefer not to have an encounter with any of you soldiers."

"Soldiers?" Boromir asked, a little confused. "Have they harmed or assaulted you? Tell me their names and they shall be punished immediately."

"You're not a soldier?"

"Well, I suppose I will be someday, in a way. I will be Captain of Gondor."

The look of annoyance reappeared in her eyes. Boromir continued. "I mean you no harm, if that is what you fear."

"I told you, I am not afraid of you."

"Well, of that I am glad." Boromir smiled. "You have not answered my question. Have any of my father's soldiers assaulted or harassed you? Please tell me."

"Well...no." She admitted finally. "But I was strictly told to avoid them."

Boromir raised his eyebrow. "Well that's unkind. How is it that all soldiers are to be avoided? We keep this land safe." He noticed her ears. "Or perhaps someone made a bad first impression on you and your kind."

"That is also unkind." She snorted. "My prejudice does not necessarily extend to others."

"Then I think we should come to a truce." Boromir said, rather amused. "You will not pierce my soldiers' armor with your generalizations, and I will make sure to avoid the same." He smiled again, enjoying her beauty.

"All right then," she said reluctantly. "A truce."

"Well, I won't be any trouble to you, and will go my way." Boromir said, mounting his horse. "May I have your name?"

"What will you use it for?"

"Oh, a song perhaps," Boromir smirked mischieviously. "I'll have a minstrel compose one, so that I will never forget today. Of course, no man's voice could compare to yours."

She managed to smile a little. "Melian."

"Melian," Boromir repeated. "I assume you are Elven?"

She nodded and Boromir turned his horse around, his eyes still upon her. "Then welcome to Gondor, Melian." And with a loud shout he went galloping towards Minas Tirith, her name ringing a bell in his heart.