Title: Misapprehension
Author: [livejournal.com profile] hithluin
Rating: G
Summary: A mere misunderstanding of words has fueled the obsession of a man in possession of the One Ring.
Disclaimer: Not mine, not true.

Sequel to A Lesson Learnt

The vigour with which Isildur did everything nowadays frightened Minardil more and more as those days passed. Ever since Sauron was defeated, and the Alliance between Men and Elves had won the war to save Middle-Earth, Isildur had returned to Gondor a fatherless and brotherless King. Everyone now looked to his uncle to lead them since Elendil was no longer there to do so, and Isildur had gravely taken on the responsibility, another feather to his cap. He was the King of a vast Kingdom now, that stretched from the furthest shores of Arnor, to the southern stretches of Gondor near the desert. Minardil was simply still too young to know how to govern a whole kingdom himself without his uncle's help. The Elves had paid no interest to Men once the war was over. Obviously, they were still at odds with Isildur for taking Sauron's Ring and refusing to cast it into the fires of Mount Doom as Lord Elrond had told him to do.

Ever since he had returned, Isildur tirelessly took care of all the paperwork that was once the work of two brothers, while he deftly divided up the new leadership of Gondor, putting Minardil himself at the helm of the ship, so to speak, while Isildur meant to travel up north to Annuminas where he planned to rule Arnor from his father's old capital. In Minardil's eyes, Isildur was doing the impossible. How could a man who purported to grieve so much for his father and brother simply shove his grief aside so crudely. If Isildur had been slightly unhuman due to his pride and arrogance and his ability to forget all of life's pleasures before the war, he was ten times... no, a hundred times worse off now. And Minardil knew why.

Anarion, his father, was no longer here to drag his brother down to that tavern down in the fifth circle. The Five Armies, that was the name. Whenever Isildur used to stress out himself and those around him, Anarion would drag him out to the tavern for a night, and the next morning, the two brothers would be in high spirits, and for a week after, Isildur would seem more alive, more human than he ever usually behaved. Having that in mind, Minardil tried to use his influence on his uncle, to drag him down to the infamous tavern for a drink, hoping that it would release some of his tension.

Minardil had never been more wrong in his judgements.

Ever since they had arrived in the tavern earlier in the evening, Isildur had only talked about affairs of state. When Minardil had deliberately asked the barkeeper to add a little something to Isildur's drink to push him towards drunkenness a little more easily, Isildur started to get rowdy. After almost picking a fight with a patron over who had insulted whom first, Isildur had asked the barkeeper after some woman called Ioreth. A lengthy conversation ensured after which Isildur propped his face up with his elbows on the table, and proceeded to sulk. When a barmaid came to offer us another drink, Isildur started to cry. At first, Minardil almost leaped for joy since he thought Isildur was finally shedding tears over his lost brother, but it turned out that Isildur was crying over some barmaid who had apparently died somewhen during the war and how remorseful he now felt over not having come to the tavern before this, to check on her.

At the present, Minardil wasn't sure anything he did tonight was going to be the right thing. He pressed two fingers to his forehead and applied pressure, hoping to relieve a headache he was quite sure he must be having. Instead of relieving Isildur of any of his stress, or the tavern reminding Isildur enough of his brother to bring any laughter or tears to his countenance, the man was crying over some barmaid who couldn't possibly mean anything more than a few nights in one of the back rooms of the tavern.

"Minardil... I want us to be... frank with each other," Isildur murmured in his stupor, twirling a finger in his ale as he spoke. "Your my nephew... the only family - apart from my family - that I have left now. I can trust you, you know? Need that. Need family. You alright?"

Minardil paled. "Err... yes, uncle, absolutely fine. You, however, are not looking very good yourself."

"Eh, I've looked worse on other trips here with... with Anarion. Brawls, very often. Need bed. Are you sure you're alright?"

"Yes uncle, I'm quite sure," Minardil assured his king, just as his eye caught the glint of something gold around a chain on Isildur's neck. It was the Ring. That dreaded Ring that everybody was telling rumours about. That Ring that couldn't possibly do any future good for Men. That Ring that Isildur said he'd taken as weregild for his father and brother's death. If Elendil and Anarion were still here, Elendil would probably send his son on some errand across middle-earth to "clear his head", and Anarion would probably knock Isildur upside the head and tell him to get a clue. "There is one thing my Lord..."

"Yes? Out with it, Min--erdul."

"May I ask you why you insisted on keeping the Ring?"

Immediately, Isildur's eyes became more focused, and the slur dropped from his words. "'Tis in memory of my father and your father, Minardil, you know this. Why do you ask?"

"Uncle, I knew my father atleast as well as I know you, and grandfather a little less. We both know that the Ring is not something they'd want associated to the memory of their deaths."

Isildur cast a suspicious glance on Minardil, and a hand reached for the Ring that lay under the tunic. "Anarion would like it... Anarion... he told me to do this. He knew that one day I'd be in possession of the Ring, and he told me to keep it."

"Pardon me, uncle, but what do you mean? Are you saying my father told you to keep the Ring?"

"No.. I mean... yes! When Anar first brought me to this tavern, he told me that... that he liked being King, but that he didn't want to give his life away for his kingdom and that he could have some fun but that there are some things in life you just can't give away, you know?" Isildur's words were all beginning to run into each other, as if the questions about the Ring were a bucket of water poured on to a canvas of half-dried paint. "And when I had the Ring, I knew, I just knew that this is what Anarion meant. This is the one thing I will not give up. I am entitled to it, am I not? I am King of Arnor, and Gondor. I was the one who delivered the killing blow to Sauron."

"Of course, uncle, of course," Minardil assured his monarch gently, locking his anxiety away into a little box inside his heart. It was simply not an emotion he could display at the moment. A misunderstanding of words surely. Minardil knew his father had probably meant to tell his uncle to enjoy life more, not to keep the Ring that was rumoured by some to be powerful, evil, and even to have a mind of its own. His father would surely be rolling in his grave should he know this. Somehow, Minardil had a feeling that an impending doom was rolling in its ceaseless way towards Isildur, as surely as any Númenorean could foretell the future. "Finish your drink, uncle, we'd better take you back to bed."

Date: 2004-10-27 12:23 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] seleneheart
seleneheart: (five armies)
Love Isildur's justification of his possession of the Ring, as it echoes others who wish to put their claim to it beyond reproach.

*snifles* Always liked Anarion better, don't know why because he is barely mentioned.


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The Five Armies

May 2006

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