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An Unexpected Adventure  by KathyG

Summary: In the spring of 2012, four American children find themselves thrust into an unfamiliar world and part of an unexpected adventure.  This story is AU, and blends Lord of the Rings book-verse and movie-verse.  This story also contains a lot of spiritual and religious content as a part of the AU elements.

Disclaimer: The world of Middle-earth and all its peoples belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien; the three films of The Lord of the Ringsbelongs to New Line Cinema and to Peter Jackson.  This story is not for profit, but is a gift for the enjoyment of those who read it.

Citations: In most chapters, there will be some quotations directly from both the books and/or the movies.  Quotations from Tolkien's books are in italics, and quotations from the movies are underlined.  Occasional quotations from other sources as well as silent dialogue, words spoken in emphasis, and passages from the Bible will also be in italics, and those citations will be footnoted at the end of each chapter in which they occur.  We will also footnote research sources and credit the ideas of other people.

Thanks: We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable help of our beta, Linda Hoyland, another well-known and prolific LotR fanwriter, whose many wonderful stories also grace this site.

Chapter 74: The World Will Know

Joey was helping Boromir into his armour when there was some commotion outside.  It was Bergil's voice.

"Ada," he heard Bergil say, and Joey recalled that Beregond was the guard on duty outside the tent.  "Ada, I have a message for Lord Boromir!"

Before Beregond could say anything, Boromir grinned and called out, "Let him enter, Beregond!"

Bergil hastened into the tent, somewhat out of breath, and said, "My Lord, Lord Elessar wanted to let you know: the Ringbearer has awakened.  Master Samwise is still sleeping."

"Does Lord Elessar wish for my presence?" Boromir asked.

"Yes, sire!  He wished me to let you know that both of them have been moved to the beech grove for now, as he wishes them to waken to fresh air and sunlight."

The beech grove was quite near to the area where the tent of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin was located.  It was a pleasant open grove filled with dappled sunlight, and some of the wounded had spent a part of their recovery there.  

Boromir nodded.  "Please let Lord Elessar know that I shall be there as soon as I am garbed."

Bergil darted off, and Joey finished fastening Boromir's vambraces and bent to put the knee cops on.  In only a minute, he had finished putting the armour on, and Boromir gave a satisfied nod.

"Do you want your cloak, sir?" Joey asked.

"The day is warm enough.  I do not think that I shall need it.  Will you accompany me?"

Joey nodded eagerly, and he trotted behind as Boromir strode off.  Joey had to trot to keep up with the Captain-General, who was hastening more than usual.  Soon they arrived at the grove, the trees were rustling lightly in a fresh breeze, and a warbler was singing its distinctivecheerful chirp. Boromir halted and took a deep breath, before he entered the grove more quietly, Joey following behind.  He found Gandalf sitting at Frodo's side as they spoke softly, and Sam lay sleeping in another cot nearby.

Boromir stopped, uncertain.  But Frodo smiled at him.  "Boromir!  It's so good to see you," he said softly, so as not to waken Sam.  "And you as well, Joey!"

Joey smiled and waved at Frodo, but he did not draw closer, as he did not want to interrupt his liege-lord.

Boromir stopped and knelt down by Frodo's cot on the other side of Gandalf.  "Frodo, can you ever forgive me?"

"There is nothing to forgive, Boromir.  You were not yourself at the time."  Frodo reached out and put his right hand on Boromir's arm, and it was clearly evident, in spite of the bandages, that one finger was missing.  "I know better than most the pull of the Ring."

Boromir placed his forehead down on Frodo's arm, the two were silent for a moment.  Then the Gondorian looked up and drew a deep breath and smiled.  He stood up and gestured for Joey to step forward. 

"It's good to see you, Joey."

"Oh, Frodo!"  Joey burst into tears and leaned forward to hug him, being careful not to touch his wounded hand.

Frodo smiled gently and placed a kiss on Joey's forehead.  "It is very good to see you are all right, too."  His voice was softer.  He gave a yawn.

Gandalf spoke up.  "I believe Frodo has had his share of company now, and Sam will be waking soon.  You just missed seeing Merry and Pippin and Aragorn here.  I believe the hobbits were headed for the mess pavilion."

The two said good-bye, but Frodo was already beginning to drift back to sleep.

When they came out of the grove, Boromir halted.  "Joey, why do you not go to the mess tent and see if you can find Merry and Pippin?  I am going to find Lord Elessar."

"Yes, sire!"  Joey darted off; he was surprised how easily people were adapting to Aragorn's new name.  At least he had remembered to say "sire" instead of "sir"—he was getting a little better at that, though not perfect yet.  Since Boromir never scolded him about it, it was sometimes hard to remember.

Joey found the two hobbits sitting on the ground by the side of the supply tent which was next to the pavilion.  They were sharing a mug of what smelled like beer, and each of them had a bowl of some sort of pea soup that smelled really good.

"Hullo, Joey!" said Pippin.  "Do you want to join us?  We aren't sure if this is second breakfast or elevenses, but it's quite good!"

Joey nodded and went to find a bowl for himself.  He was not especially hungry, but it did smell good.  He filled his mug with water from the barrel instead of beer and went over to sit with the two. 

"This is good," said Joey.

Merry nodded.  "It could use a bit less onion.  But they have rather a lot of onions in the supplies."

Pippin took a swig from the mug.  "It could use a little more garlic, and probably more salt, too."

Joey shook his head.  "I don't know how you hobbits do that," he said.

"Do what?" asked Pippin.

"Like, when you eat, you sit there and can say what all the ingredients are, just from tasting.  I could taste the onions, 'cause there are a lot, but I had no idea there was garlic in it."

Merry looked surprised.  "Really?"  He was quiet for an instant, and then said, "That's interesting.  Hobbits can almost always identify what's in a dish, unless there is something in it that we've never had before."

"Yes," said Pippin, "but I've heard Gandalf said that's a thing only hobbits can do, mostly.  He told me some Men or Elves do it sometimes, if they are cooks or like special dishes.  But only hobbits all seem to be born with that ability."

The three of them soon finished eating and got up to go over to the designated water barrel and rinsed the bowls, before returning them to the stack.   

"We have to go get into our new livery since we will be serving at the feast this evening," said Merry.  "Do you want to come with us?"

"Sure," said Joey.  He was already in his livery, and he also would be serving at the feast.  He followed them to their tent.

The Sun was at her noontide zenith when Merry, Pippin, and Joey returned to the tent.  They were surprised to see one of the healers awaiting them.

She was a stout old dame who had attended Pippin several times when Aragorn had been unavailable.  "There you are, young pheriain!" she said sternly.  "The Lord Elessar asked me to check on you.  You may need your ribs wrapped. You should not be wandering all about!"  She did not give either hobbit or Joey a chance to say a word, but pointed at Pippin's cot.  Pippin sat down on its edge and patiently suffered her attention.  She checked his ribs and his head and his bruises, all the while lecturing him on all the orders the King had left, plus a good deal more of her own advice, as well as a long and rambling tale of a patient of hers who had failed to listen to her and had suffered a dreadful relapse.

Merry stood off in a corner, watching intently, and trying not to laugh at Pippin's expression.  Joey had his hand over his mouth to cover his grin and snorted.

"There, now!"  The healer finished abruptly.  She stood up, patted Pippin on top of the head, and sailed out of the tent.

The cousins caught one another's eye, and all three burst out laughing.  "She reminds me of Dame Ioreth," said Pippin, when he caught his breath.

Merry nodded, laughing too hard to speak.  

"She sure does," said Joey through his own giggles.

Just then Legolas entered the tent, with Gimli at his side.  "The three of you sound jolly enough," the Elf said.  "What mischief have you been up to?"

"No good, I am sure," added Gimli with a wink.

Merry and Pippin tried to look wounded at the accusation, and Joey rolled his eyes, but they were altogether too happy to manage it.  "You would have had to be here," said Merry.  "It's one of those things that won't sound nearly so funny explained."

"Besides," added Pippin, "today is much too happy a day not to laugh!  What are you doing here?"

"We are here to help you into your armour, for it is time for each of you to report to your respective companies," said Gimli.  "Pippin, you are to report to the Third Company, and Merry, you are to report to Éothain once you are both ready.  Joey, you will need to go attend Boromir again; he is in the commanders' tent with Aragorn."   

"There is to be a ceremony for Frodo and Samwise," said Legolas, "and a feast afterwards, in their honour.  The two of you will serve at the feast, and Joey, I believe that you are to do so as well."

"I'll see you before the feast," said Joey, waving as he left the tent.

He hurried to the commanders' tent and was just in time to see Aragorn's brothers Elladan and Elrohir leaving.  They greeted Joey, and Elrohir reached down and ruffled his hair as he passed them.  Joey shook his head and used his hands to finger-comb it back into some semblance of order.  Just as he prepared to enter the tent, Gimli came out, and also greeted him.  Thankfully, the Dwarf kept his hands off Joey's hair.  

He entered to find Aragorn, Boromir, and Legolas speaking.  

Before Joey had a chance to greet his liege-lord properly, a voice called from outside the tent: "My lords!  A message for you!"

"Enter," said Aragorn.

A young soldier came in and briefly bowed before saying, "My Lord Elessar, the Lord Mithrandir has sent me to say that both the Ring-bearers are awake now!"

Aragorn left swiftly.  Joey would have run after him, but Legolas gripped his shoulder.  "You still have duties to attend to, Joey.  You will see Frodo and Sam soon, so for now, you should return to Boromir and wait for his orders."

Joey deflated a little.  "I should have remembered that—it's just so exciting!"

"Well, there is much to be done before the ceremonies to honour Frodo and Sam begin.  I myself have an errand in that direction.  I will walk with you for a bit."  The Elf patted his back, and Joey nodded.

-oo000oo-

Jennifer was rolling bandages at the healers’ camp, when one of them came to her.  "Jennifer, word has come that the Ring-bearer and his servant have wakened from their healing sleep.  Lord Elessar sent word for a meal and for them.  Take this tonic with you and ask the cook to put some into the broth he is preparing for you to take to them, and then deliver it to the beech grove."

With a smile, her face alight with joy, Jennifer hopped up.  "Yes, ma'am!" she said.  For so long, they had been waiting for Frodo and Sam to wake up.  This was wonderful news.  She carefully placed the little flask of tonic in the purse that hung from her belt, and hurried toward the mess tent—almost running, in fact, but not quite.  It would not do to trip, after all.

"Master Pellas!" she called out to the head cook. 

"Ah, young Mistress Jennifer," he said.  "How may I help you?"

"I have a special tonic that Lord Elessar wishes to be put into the food for Frodo and Sam."  She took out the little vial of tonic and passed it to him.  "I am to take the food to the beech grove."

Master Pellas took it from her and opened it to smell.  Jennifer picked up the aroma of a few of the herbs: mostly peppermint, but also ginger, and she caught a whiff of something floral.  Her time with the healers had helped her to begin to identify many of them and what they might be.  "These will blend well with the broth," he said, "and not overpower the flavour." 

He went over to a small cauldron that was hanging above the fire on a chain.  Carefully, he tipped in the vial.  The broth smelled of chicken, or maybe some other bird, and onion and garlic.  When the herbs were stirred in, it took on an almost heavenly aroma.  The contents were equally divided between two wooden bowls.  He put them on a tray and added four small ashcakes fresh from the coals.

Though the camp seemed very busy, all those whom Jennifer encountered were careful to give her a wide berth when they saw what she carried, and soon enough she arrived at the beech grove.  She stopped briefly, for she heard a delightful sound!  Frodo was laughing!

"Yes, I am all right, otherwise," she heard him say.  "I fell asleep again waiting for you, Sam, you sleepyhead.  I was awake early this morning, and now it must be nearly noon."

"Noon?  Noon of what day?"  That was Sam's voice!

"The fourteenth of the New Year," Gandalf was saying,"or the eighth of Astron in the Shire Reckoning…ah, look!  What have you brought, Jennifer?"

"Oh, that smells wonderful," Frodo said.  "I could eat anything right now!"  He sat up carefully, and Jennifer handed him the bowl of broth, and two of the ashcakes on a napkin.

"Real vittles!" exclaimed Sam.  "Lembas is a great thing, but real food at last!" as Jennifer brought Sam his share of the light luncheon.

Jennifer stepped back and watched carefully in case either of them should need assistance.  Frodo did not try to use the wooden spoon in the bowl, asking her to take it, so that he could just sip from the bowl.  She realized why as she saw his bandaged hand.

Gandalf went on to explain about the Gondorian New Year, and mentioned the new King, although she noticed he did not say who the King was.  Gandalf caught her eye and winked.  "This little meal is just to tide you over.  You shall eat and drink with him.  When you are ready, I will lead you to him."  

As they finished the broth and the bread, Jennifer took up the dishes.  "I'll see both of you very soon," she said, bending down to give each of them a kiss on top of their heads.  Gandalf was talking about clothes as she left the grove.  She snickered slightly; clearly, he was keeping Aragorn's kingship a surprise.  She would soon need to prepare for the ceremony as well!

She hurried back, first to the mess tent to return the dishes, and then back to the healers' camp.  She and several of the helpers got permission to clean up, if they wished.  Soon Jennifer found herself in the front row of those lining the side of the path in front of their camp.

-oo000oo-

Joey was thrilled with his new orders!  He was to ride in front of his brother on Bron, while Pippin would be seated in front of Elrohir on Súldál; on the other side was Elladan on his own steed, Tinnuroch.  Legolas and Gimli were seated on the other side of them on Arod.  All the Guardsmen and other Gondorian soldiers were standing in ranks at their side.  Beregond was near the front, and Bergil stood before his father.  On the other side of the Gondorians were the Rohirrim, and he could just make out Merry sitting in front of Éothain on the far side.

Joey turned and looked up at Kevin.  "How long do you suppose it will be?"

His brother laughed lightly.  "It'll be however long it takes, scout.  But I don't think it will take too much longer.  It's not like it's going to be some long parade; it's just going to be Gandalf and Frodo and Sam."

Just then, they could hear cheering begin at the far end of the crowd of people.  Everyone was chanting, and it grew louder and louder.

“Long live the Halflings!  Praise them with great praise!

Cuio i Pheriain anann!  Aglar'ni Pheriannath!

Praise them with great praise, Frodo and Samwise!

Daur a Berhael, Conin en Annûn!

Eglerio!

Praise them!

Eglerio!

A laita te, laita te!  Andave laituvalmet!

Praise them!

Cormacolindor, a laita tárienna!

Praise them!  The Ring-bearers, praise them with great praise!”

By the time the three figures, tall Gandalf in his bright white robes, leading Frodo and Sam by the hands, dressed in just filthy rags to show how hard their journey had been, Joey had memorized at least a few of the Elven words, which he knew he was probably messing up.  But he just yelled all the louder when they were shouting, "Praise them!  The Ring-bearers, praise them with great praise!”

The shouts of praise and the cheering rang out louder and louder as the three came closer.  As they went past, he stopped shouting to watch.  Frodo and Sam were getting close to the hilltop where four grass thrones had been made, when Gandalf stopped moving.   The four high-seats built of green turves.  Behind the seat upon the far right floated, white upon green, a great horse running free; upon the left was a banner, silver upon blue, a ship swan-prowed faring on the sea; behind the seat at the near right of centre was a gonfalon of creamy white bordered in gold, with the Tengwar letters R-ND-R, surmounted by three stars;* but behind the highest throne in the midst of all a great standard was spread in the breeze, and there a white tree flowered upon a sable field beneath a shining crown and seven glittering stars.  It was on that throne that their dear friend Strider was seated!   

The two hobbits took one step, another step, and then stopped as Aragorn rose.   

An expression of delight appeared on both their faces, and they dashed forward, all formality forgotten, into the embrace of their dear friend.  Frodo reached him first, but Sam was only a step or two behind, and as they were caught up in the King's long arms, Joey heard Sam exclaim, "Well, if this isn't the crown of all!  Strider, or I'm still asleep!"

"Yes, Sam, Strider.  It is a long way, is it not, from Bree, where you did not like the look of me?  A long way for all of us, but yours has been the darkest road."  And then, to the astonishment of many, but not of those who knew him best, the Lord Elessar bent his knee to the Ring-bearers, and then he took them and turned and placed them upon his own seat.

Then Aragorn cried out, "Praise them with great praise!"

And then there was another thunderous shout, which Joey joined in with such enthusiasm that Kevin caught hold of the back of his shirt, to keep him from falling off the horse; but Kevin was cheering, too.  And after the shout, the minstrel came, and sang for all the lay of "Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom."  Joey listened to the singing, as entranced as everyone else was by the song.  

The song ended, and as the crowd broke up, Kevin helped Joey to the ground.  "Hop to it, Joey.  You're serving at the feast."  

Joey turned and found Pippin standing next to him.  The two of them made way to the pavilion near the campfires, where the feast would be served.  Merry had found a few barrels for them to sit on while they waited.

Ingold, who was second cook to Master Pellas, had provided each of them with plates.  "Our good King Elfstone himself bade me see you fed before you serve at table.  That is not, you know, the usual way of things, small masters."

Merry thanked him on behalf of all three of them.  Joey looked up and saw a couple of others with plates.  "Bergil!  Haleth!"  Smiling, he waved at them after shifting his plate from his right hand to his left.

The two came over.  While Merry, Pippin, and Joey would be waiting only upon the most important guests, Bergil would be serving some of the important Gondorians, and Haleth would be tending to some of the captains of the Rohirrim.

Soon enough, Joey watched as Aragorn, Boromir, Eomer, Prince Imrahil, and Halbarad were seated in the centre of the long table, along with the two guests of honour, Frodo and Sam, who were seated to Aragorn's right.  Their other companions—Gandalf, Legolas, and Gimli—were also at the High Table, along with kings and princes.*

Joey, Bergil, Merry, and Pippin ate their own food, the latter two sharing a goblet of wine and the two boys drinking water.  The four of them would have only a few minutes before the guests and their lords would be ready.  As they finished up their food and wiped their fingers upon clean towels, Merry looked closely at Pippin.  "Are you in pain, Pip?"

"Not enough to keep me from doing my duty!" was the firm reply.

Merry took a small packet from the pouch hanging from his belt.  "Strider gave me this with strict orders to see you take if I thought you needed it."  He sprinkled the powder it contained into the last of the wine in their goblet and handed it to his cousin.

Pippin made a face, but dashed it down.  "Shame to do that to good wine," was his only complaint.

Merry peeked out through the curtain wall dividing the back of the pavilion from the feasters.  Frodo and Sam were seated between Strider and Gandalf, looking overwhelmed.  Both of them were wearing clean linen clothes and on their heads, silver circlets.

All rose for the Standing Silence, and then Joey took up one of the ewers of wine and went to serve Aragorn first, and then Gandalf and Boromir.  Bergil was serving one of the Ranger captains who had come south to the war, while Merry and Pippin and each took a ewer of wine and also went forth to serve.  Merry attended to Éomer and Éothain first; Pippin poured wine for the Prince of Dol Amroth, who sat near Sam, and then turned, waiting for Sam to recognize him, as he poured his wine.

Joey grinned as he heard Sam.  Sam had still been sleeping when Merry and Pippin had seen their cousin that morning, so he hadn't gotten to see them before.

"Why, look, Mr. Frodo!  Look here!  Well, if it isn't Pippin, Mr. Peregrin Took I should say, and Mr. Merry!  How they have grown!  Bless me!  But I can see there's more tales to tell than ours."

"There are indeed," said Pippin turning towards him with a wicked grin.  "And we'll begin telling them as soon as this feast is ended.  In the meantime you can try Gandalf.  He's not so close as he used to be, though he laughs now more than he talks.  For the present, Merry and I are busy.  We are Knights of the City and of the Mark, as I hope you observe."

Joey shook his head and then went to serve one of the Prince of Dol Amroth's sons—he couldn't recall which one.  Merry had turned his attention to Elladan and Elrohir, and to Joey's delight, he was allowed to serve Kevin and Jennifer, even though they would not be drinking the wine; the two of them had a pitcher of water set between them.  Joey did what was planned and poured just a few drops of the wine for show, and then filled the rest of their shared goblet with water from the pitcher.

The feast finally was over.  Master Pellas praised the four for their service and allowed them to each take one of the leftover small spice cakes as a reward; they gobbled them down, and then took their leave.  Joey was very glad that they were not on clean-up duty!

As he left the pavilion with Merry and Pippin to find his siblings and friends, he discovered that the rest of the Fellowship had gathered in the beech grove, which had been cleared of the cots earlier in the day.  There they all sat under the whispering trees amid the fragrance of Ithilien; and they talked deep into the night.  There everyone was filled in on what had happened since they had been separated at Parth Galen. 

Jennifer and Kevin glanced at Joey, whose head kept drooping, and she noticed that Frodo and Sam looked tired as well.  She was wondering if she should say something, but just then Gandalf rose.  "The hands of the King are the hands of healing, dear friends.  But you went to the very brink of death ere he recalled you, putting forth all his power, and sent you into the sweet forgetfulness of sleep.  And though you have indeed slept long and blessedly, still it is now time to sleep again."

And then Gimli, who had become somewhat possessive of Pippin since finding him and Kevin under the troll, reminded him that he had only been up a day, and so needed his rest as well.  It was hardly necessary; the youngest hobbit was nodding off where he sat.  Aragorn swept him up and carried him back to the tent.

But Kevin had looked at Jennifer and nodded, and the three McClouds remained where they were.  Even though it was late, none of them were ready for bed yet, and they had rather gotten into the habit of having devotions together before bedtime since they had been reunited

Now that they were alone, Joey allowed himself to lean against Keven, who put an arm around his shoulders.

Jennifer looked at her brothers.  Thank goodness it’s over! she thought.  All of us are alive and safe, and Sauron’s defeated!  Thank You, God!  She grimaced.  Now if only You would stop Satan in the same way, Lord!  Even though destroying a Ring won’t stop him the way it did Sauron. Suddenly, she chuckled to herself and shook her head.  The Lord knows what He’s doing.  Who am I to try and give Him directions?

"What's so funny?" Kevin asked.

She shrugged.  "I just caught myself being rather silly," was all she said, though her thoughts went on.  Satan’s next-to-final defeat would have to wait until Jesus came back to rule the planet for a thousand years, during which time Satan would be temporarily imprisoned in the bottomless pit.  His final defeat would only come when God cast him into the Lake of Fire.  And that's in a whole other world or time or something, anyway.  She scratched her arm.

God’s reserving that victory for Himself, Jennifer thought, instead of entrusting it to anyone the way he did the victory over Sauron.  But then Satan is more like Morgoth?  Or maybe he even is Morgoth; after all he had many names.  She frowned.  Except Gandalf told us that Morgoth’s in the Void, so Satan can’t be him!  He’s still on the loose in our time and most likely in this one, too, and his way of causing trouble is different from Morgoth’s or Sauron’s.  Anyway, believers still have victories as well.

"Greater is He who is in' us 'than he who is in the world,"* she said aloud.  Kevin nodded agreement.  

Jennifer thought for a moment about all the trials that they had all been forced to endure, especially Frodo and Sam.  God brought us through them all, she thought.  He was with us the whole time and got us safely out at the other end!  She smiled.  Thank You, Lord, for taking care of Frodo and Sam!  And for making them successful in their mission.  I felt so bad for them and all they had to go through.

A song suddenly came into her head, and without even thinking about it, she began to sing:

“Standing on this mountaintop,

Looking just how far we’ve come,

Knowing that for every step,

You were with us.”

Kevin and Joey joined in, as they sang the rest of the song:

“Kneeling on this battleground,

Seeing just how much You’ve done,

Knowing every victory

Was Your power in us.

 

“Scars and struggles on the way,

But with joy, our hearts can say,

Yes, our hearts can say,

 

“Never once did we ever walk alone.

Never once did You leave us on our own.

You are faithful.  God, You are faithful…"

After several more stanzas, the children finished with:

“You are faithful.  God, You are faithful.

You are faithful.  God, You are faithful.”

When they had finished singing, the three children sat silently for a moment, and then Kevin started an old familiar hymn that both Jennifer and Joey quickly joined.

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,

There is no shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not; Thy compassions, they fail not.

As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

 

“Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided—

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

 

“Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

 

“Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided—

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

 

“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

 

“Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided—

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”*

But by the time of the last chorus, Joey had completely drifted off.  Jennifer and Kevin shared a quiet smile of amusement, and then Kevin stood and lifted his brother up easily to carry.

"He seems lighter now, even though he's grown a lot," Kevin said.

Jennifer shook her head.  "Don't you realize you've grown, too?  And you have a lot more muscles than you used to.  I must return to the healers’ camp," she added, and gave her older brother a kiss on the cheek, and her younger one a kiss on the forehead.

"Sleep well, Jen," said Kevin.  "I'll take Joey back to Boromir's tent.  But I don't get to sleep till morning.  I'm off to take my watch.”

Jennifer nodded, and wandered off to the healers’ camp.  She was very tired and sleepy herself, and it would be good to have a night's rest, with all the Fellowship together and safe once more.

-oo000oo-

A/N: Sections in italics are quoted directly from The Lord of the Rings, from The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 1, "Many Meetings" and from The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 4, "The Field of Cormallen."

Many sections of this story were adapted from Dreamflower's story, "Spring After Winter, Sun on Leaves: the Kingly Gifts/Waking Day Fusion”.  The story was written in 2014.  And a part of the section of honoring Frodo was from another of Dreamflower's story, "Clear Conscience: The Clear Shot Remix" from 2007.  All quotes in italics were from the Cormallen chapter of RotK.

*The description of the Steward's banner is based on this passage in Unfinished Tales: “In the same fashion, stewards of Gondor never took any heraldic device of their own, and their banners are white with golden lining.  Personal flag of the Steward of Minas Anor showed the letters "R · ND · R" for Arandur ("King's Servant"), surmounted by three five-pointed stars “(UT, Cirion and Eorl)."

The first hymn was:

A portion of "Never Once," written by: JASON INGRAM, MATT REDMAN, TIM WANSTALL. Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Spirit Music Group

Followed by:

"Great is Thy Faithfulness" lyrics by Thomas Chisholm, composed by William M. Runyan; entered the public domain in 2019.

The Bible verse that Jennifer quoted was 1 Peter 5:8.





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