Format: Drabble – quadruple drabble and a half (I'm edging into "ficlet" territory, aren't I?)
Characters: Aragorn, OCs
Creators' Notes (optional): Takes place during "Winter in Arnor", during Aragorn's first winter with the Dúnedain.
Summary: Master Rumil finishes the tale of Lord Frost.
“I would be your Queen someday,” Melyanna said slowly. “Me, a wood-cutter’s daughter?”
“Your birth matters not, sweet Melyanna – and your father is a fine wood-cutter, I daresay.” Eärendur smiled on his host. “I would be honoured if you would consent. Your father would come with us.”
That was what had worried dear Melyanna most, you see, leaving her father behind. Reassured that he would stay, she said “Yes,” without a moment’s hesitation. “But,” she added, “we must also bury my cousin, for she was as a sister to me.”
“How good you are, my princess,” Eärendur replied, and clasped her hands. “When my men come, we will have her funeral.”
They raised Acairis’ barrow at the back of the lodge. Within it, the good Melyanna placed a few of her gold trinkets from Lord Frost; then she shod her cousin’s feet in furred boots, that the journey to Mandos might not chill her. She had heard tales of its dread Lord, who only aided mortals into the Presence, but who knew what the path would be like…
The Prince’s men were reunited with them as Eärendur helped Melyanna lay her cousin to rest. A blanket of black earth and white snow covered the grave-mound at last, and Eärendur turned to greet his men, introducing them to his bride and telling them all her tale. At the back of the group was a tall Man, grave and stern, with a silver fillet like a star on his brow. He waited until the prince had fallen silent, then stepped forward, and embraced Eärendur.
“Your men returned to me when they could not find you, senya. I rode out with them, and here you are at last,” he said. Well, the old woman was thunderstruck, but the wood-cutter and Melyanna gave him their obeisance, knowing he was the King, brave Elendur. The King bade them be at ease, and embraced Melyanna. “So, you are the maiden my son has chosen,” he said, looking at her. “Then be welcome, daughter, you and your father both.” He looked rather more disinclined to favor the old woman. “This lodge is your right, and your daughter yours to mourn,” he said finally. “I will not take you from her. But nor will I welcome you within Fornost’s walls, not while my son and I yet live. So here you are, and here you may remain.”
When all was ready, they returned to the King’s House in the city of Fornost, and there Eärendur and Melyanna were wedded. In time, she bore him three sons as strong and handsome as himself. But that, you know, is another story.” Rúmil tossed another pinch of herbs on the fire.