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Author: Pearl Took
Title: An Honorable Calling
Theme: a different Point Of View
Elements: Silver, 3, Sphere
Author's Notes:Rated G - Movie Version
Summary: What honor can there be for Gondorian livery having to be worn by a Hobbit?
Word Count: 3,834



Movie version, based on an idea I came up with while trying to help Cathleen do some brain storming for her challenge story. After I finished describing it, she said she loved it . . . but that I had to be the one to write it. I will be using her elements of: Silver, 3, Sphere.



An Honorable Calling


My world jiggled and slid; a slice of light opened into a wide open view of the ceiling of a room barely remembered. A pair of hands reached down, took hold of me, and lifted me out of the cedar lined drawer that had been my home for thirty years.

“Here it is, Gilmith.”

The hands and voice were familiar. She had tended my owner when he had worn me those many years ago. Worn me until I was much too small for him.

“And here, all the mail and such that went with it is all here in this drawer. Right where I myself set it . . .”

She was sniffling now and a tear drop splashed upon my silver embroidery.

“Right where I set it all those years ago.”

She turned to hand me to a man I do not recognize, then she turned back to the drawer to get out the rest of young Faramir’s livery.

My owner, my boy, must have wed and now has a child of his own! The threads of my weft and warp swelled a bit with joy. I was wanted again! I would again go forth with a son of the house of Hurin to do battle against whatever foes his imagination set him after.

“You say the Lord Denethor requested it?”

“Yes. I do not know why. The Master Armourer told me to seek for the small livery and gear of the Tower that had been made for Captain Faramir as a child and that I should seek out his old nurse as she, you that is, might know where it was.”

She continued handing him the other garments from the drawer, which he, rather uncomfortably for me, set on top of me.

“I say I do not know why it was sent for . . .”

“That is all of it, young man.”

“Ah! Thank you, mistress. I say I do not know, yet I can make a reasonable guess.”

“Which is?” she asked as we all left the small store room behind us.

“I think it is for the one many in the city are calling ‘the Ernil i Pheriannath’,” the young man she had addressed as Gilmith said in a conspiratorial manner. “It is known that he has offered his service to our Lord.”

She chuckled heartily. “This should just about fit him, from what I have heard. They say he is no taller than a young child.” She waved him off with both hands. “Go now, and hurry. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in trouble for dallying.”

I was affronted! Dumfounded! What was this? I was to be given to some foreign personage? No matter that he was a prince. What good is that to me when he is a prince of some fairy tale folk? A Halfling indeed! There must be some mistake.

I was carried to the armoury. I was throughly inspected, along with the gear that completed me; the hauberk with its black steel rings, the helm, breeches, boots, sword belt and the wooden sword in its black leather sheath. A few tears where found and mended. All the metal work was cleaned and polished. The silver embroidery of the Tree and Stars upon my front was polished until it gleamed nearly as brightly as it had the day it was first stitched into place.

However, I took little joy from all the fuss and attention. Long years I had dreamed of being fitted upon my dear Faramir’s own son. To be given to another was a sad blow indeed.

The day drew to a close, There was still a bit of work to be done to have my entire livery be fit for service, but for now I lay upon a work table in the darkness.

I awoke to dim light coming through the windows and the armourers lighting lamps. It was while I was being given a final brushing that something strange happened. They took away our sword. Then I sighed. It made good sense, I had to admit. What princeling would wear a sword of wood? My sigh changed to a gasp as a beautiful short sword was brought in and laid on the table beside the sword belt. This prince would wear a weapon of Gondor as well as her livery? All the more I wondered at what sort of prince this halfling was. Did he have no weapon of his own?

“Here we are, Peregrin son of Paladin.”

I heard the Master Armourer’s voice getting louder as he neared my table.

“Thank you, sir,” said a voice like a child’s.

They stopped and looked down upon me and the rest of Faramir’s livery. And I in turn looked at them. The Master Armourer I had already seen, the child beside him . . .

“If you will, Peregrin son of Paladin,” the Armourer was saying as he picked us up from the table, “we will go to the back of the shop where we will dress you.”

This was no child. This was the Halfling. I strained every fiber to see and hear all I could.

“Dress me? I really do know how to get dressed by myself.”

I could tell he had been somewhat offended. Did this supposed ‘prince’ know nothing?

“And please, sir,” he added. “Call me Pippin. Or at least just Peregrin.”

“As you wish, Peregrin. Follow me.”

The three of them, the Master Armourer, an assistant and Peregrin the Hafling, went into a small room at the rear of the armoury.

“If you would disrobe and stand upon the platform, Peregrin.”

The halfling did as he was told, talking all the while.

“Oh, I see,” he said cheerfully. “This is like going to the tailor when one has ordered a new jacket or waistcoat. It isn’t so much that you thought I can’t dress myself as it is that you need to make sure it all fits. Although I did notice that some of that seems to be mail and I’ve no idea at all what you will do if that doesn’t fit me.”

He had stripped down to his short clothes and was reaching for me. I was not wishing to have him touch me, nor to have to be worn by him. The clothes he removed were stained and horribly worn. His short clothes looked as though he had only the one set and had hardly ever been out of them, although they did appear to have been washed and were not too malodorous. Hardly the garments of a prince!

“No, sir” the Armourer said firmly. “You will be dressed, sir. If you will please mount the platform.”

I huffed. It was as I had suspected. This was no prince, no matter what the foolish people thought. A prince knows of being dressed by servants.

The Master Armourer placed upon the halfling the trousers and shirt. At least I would not have to touch his skin, I remembered with relief. The silly little creature was obviously unaccustomed to the process, but I think he began to understand when the hauberk was placed upon him, for indeed it is an awkward thing to do for one’s self. Yet, he would have need to dress himself after this, so the Master then schooled him in how to properly remove the hauberk and to then to put it on without assistance.

He had the halfling do this three times, then finally, it was my turn.

I was held above his curly-haired head. His arms were guided through my armholes and I was gently, but firmly, tugged into place. The belt was placed about his hips and fastened. The beautiful metal sword in its scabbard was fastened to the belt. The gauntlets were drawn onto his hands. Then the assistant knelt beside him.

“If you would raise your . . .” The Master paused, staring open mouthed at the hafling’s feet. No one had noticed till that moment that his feet were unshod. Unshod and hairy. Hairy and a bit too large for the rest of him, though not to the point of ridiculousness.

The Master cleared his throat. “If you would raise your foot, Peregrin, so that we might see if the boots will fit you.”

“Boots?” the small, vague creature parroted. I doubted he knew what they were. “Boots? I . . . eh . . . we . . .”

He took a deep breath. “We hobbits I mean, don’t wear boots, if it is all the same to you, sir.”

“But your feet will be unprotected.”

“Our feet are very tough.”

He paused again and I felt him draw himself up a little straighter and pull his shoulders back.

“I’ve never worn boots or shoes in my entire life, sir,” he said with a new tone in his voice. “I walked most of the way here from my home in the far north and west without boots. I climbed part way up Caradhras without boots. I ran much of the way from Parth Galen to the far edge of Rohan without boots.”

He paused again to draw a breath, relaxing a bit as he did so.

“I’m sorry,” he said softly. “I don’t mean to make much of myself. I . . . I will be fine without the boots, sir.”

I was watching the Master Armourer’s face as the halfling spoke. Watched as his eyes widened and his jaw dropped ever to slightly. I was also amazed at what the little one said. If it was true, it was quite an accomplishment.

The Master Armourer bowed to the halfling as he motioned for his assistant to stand up.

“My apologies, Peregrin of the Halflings. We will set the boots aside.” He then held out his hand and the assistant dropped a small, white sphere into his palm.

Tailor’s chalk. I was surprised that I remembered what it was and its function. It had been many years since it had been used to mark needed adjustments to me.

“If you would turn about for me, Peregrin.” the Master said as he held his arm up, pointed his forefinger downward, then moved his hand in a circular motion. The halfling complied with the request. “Hm. The trousers are a little too short . . .”

“Oh, no!” the halfling interjected. He had turned past his starting point and was now looking at himself in one of the full length mirrors. “Not at all. You may have noticed my own breeches are nearly this length. These are fine.”

In the mirror I saw the Master raise an eyebrow, but he said nothing. No normal Guard would wear his trousers so short. The assistant handed him the helm and it was placed upon the halfling’s head. In spite of his thick, curly hair, or perhaps because of it, the helm fit perfectly.

“I have to wear this too?” he asked with a frown on his face. “It is rather heavy.”

“You must wear it, yes. Whenever you are on duty, unless you are esquire to the Lord Steward. Esquires usually do not wear their helmet, but need have it near by while on duty at the Lord’s side in the Citadel. Most especially you must wear it if you go into battle.” A wry grin came to the Master’s reflection in the mirror. “I doubt your head is as tough as your feet.”

The halfling laughed. “No, not nearly.”

“With the helmet fitting you properly, Peregrin, you are finished here.”

The halfling turned to face the Master and his assistant. “Thank you so much,” he said as he stepped down from the low platform. “May I have my clothes back?”

“No. Now that we know your size, another uniform will be made for you. Even when you are not on duty, you are to always be in your livery.”

“But, but my scarf and the grey cloak! They are both near and dear to me,” Peregrin cried out in a panicky tone. “The scarf I have had most of my life and it is a precious reminder of my home. The cloak was gifted to me by the Elves of Lothlorien and the Lady Galadriel, that and the broach that is pinned on it. I will not be parted from these items.”

My thoughts were spinning. Elves? The Golden Wood and its Lady? These were mentioned in the stories that my Faramir and I listened to and imagined in our playing. Surely this small person, this half . . . I stopped. Were not halflings themselves beings of story-time and pretend, yet, wasn’t one now wearing me?

The Master was picking up the scarf and the cloak with reverent gentleness, bowing as he handed them to Peregrin.

“Then by all means, sir, you may have these in your keeping, but I remind you that you may not wear them except when you are off duty.”

The halfling bowed in return, taking the cloak and scarf and clutching them tightly against me. I felt a strange thrill run though me as the soft grey fabric of the cloak touched me, and I thought I heard a musical, though stern, voice say to me, “Watch over him well when he is not under my protection!”

“I will,” I replied . . . and I meant it, for obviously the one who now wore me was a more wondrous creature than I had at first allowed.

“Thank you again,” Peregrin was saying and then, quite hurriedly, we left the armoury.

We went briefly to his quarters to put his scarf and the mysterious Elven cloak in his room. He put his precious garments in the small chest at the foot of one of the beds then he stopped for a moment, even though I imagine he was to return to the Steward as soon as he was finished at the armoury. Peregrin looked at his reflection in the polished metal full length mirror that hung upon the wall. Although it gave a poorer reflection than the glass mirrors in the fitting room at the armoury, it was adequate for most needs.

Peregrin stood there a few moments turning a little this way and that before simply staring at the symbol of the Tree and Stars upon his chest.

“Seven stars and . . .” he paused to swallow hard, as though he had bit off more bread than he could chew. Yes, the Stars shone there as well, surrounding the Tree. He started again. “Seven stars and seven stones, and one white tree.” * He sighed sadly. “If only Boromir could be here to see me now. I think he would have been proud of me.”

He knew my Faramir’s brother! Knew him well enough to call him by name and not by rank. But my joy cut short as I realized that he spoke of Boromir in the past tense. What had happened while I was sleeping in a drawer?

The hobbit, as he called himself, gently brushed his gloved fingertips over the bright silver threads. He sighed deeply again, then he slowly turned from the mirror and we went to the Citadel.

After being granted admission to the Citadel by the door guards, he was told that orders had been given for him to remove his helm and await his call in one of the side halls. We went were the guard pointed for us to go.

Oh, how well I remembered this place! How many times did my Faramir and I play in these halls, taking peeks into the throne room where his father sat upon the Steward’s seat. We would be watching for spies and assassins who were after the Lord Steward of Gondor, knowing we were the only ones who could save him.

Peregrin removed the helm, placing it on the floor beside a bench in the long hall, then hoisted himself up to sit, his feet dangling well clear of the floor. He sighed and slowly shook his head.

“So,” he said as he looked down at me. “I used to see pictures in the books at Cousin Bilbo’s and the library at Great Smials of people wearing such a garment as you. I should be feeling proud, and I am in a way, but now that I’m here, now that I’m the person in the fancy livery, all I am is scared. You should be on a man of Gondor, not on me.”

Once more he gently traced my silver embroidery. He had a touch that felt as though his fingers tips could feel the fine metal of the threads despite the thick gauntlets covering them. Yet the bigger wonder was that he was speaking to me, as though he somehow knew there is sometimes more to things than meets the eye.

“I reckon you were once on a Guardsman, and they have cut you up and re-stitched you to my size.”

He drew in another deep, deep breath, held it a moment then let it out with a sigh.

“What were you thinking, Peregrin Took?” he said to himself. “What service can a hobbit offer a great lord of men?” *

“It was well done.” *

As if in answer to his query, a voice came from the far end of the hallway, making Peregrin jump with surprise. He got down from the bench as a tall man approached him

“Generous deed should not be checked with cold counsel.” *

There was something familiar about the man. His eyes looked kindly upon Peregrin. It was clear the two had met before.

“You are to join the Tower Guard?” *

“I didn’t think they would find any livery that would fit me.” *

There was something about the man’s eyes . . .

“It once belong to a young boy in the city.” *

Every thread in me tingled and if a voice had been mine to have I would have shouted so that the echos would dance in the vaulted ceiling and be heard in the whole of the Citadel.

“FARAMIR!”

He was still speaking. “A very foolish one, who wasted many hours slaying dragons instead of attending to his studies.” *

Yes! Oh yes! All the many times we strode along the battlements, wooden sword in your hand, my boy, as my White Tree and Stars gleamed upon your chest. Those were never wasted hours, my dear, dear Faramir.

“This was yours?” * Peregrin excitedly asked as I could feel a new pride growing in his heart.

“Yes, it was mine,” * my Faramir replied, his fondness for me, his pleasure at seeing me again softening his voice. “My father had it made for me,” * he added as he reached to give an affectionate tug to one of my shoulder caps.

They talked easily. It hurt a bit when my boy . . . well, no longer my boy as it was a man full grown who stood before me, it hurt when he said I had never fit him either. Yet, as he spoke of his brother, Boromir, I realized it wasn’t the fit of my cloth he spoke of. He was right, although we had shared many a gallant time, I always knew he had not a soldier’s mind nor a soldier’s heart. That he could be a soldier, and a good one at that, I had no doubt, but it would never be what he loved.

My Faramir began to speak of his brother and his father and his voice tightened with pain. I knew then what I had feared when Peregrin had spoken of Boromir in the past tense was indeed the truth. I would not see Boromir again.

“They were so alike, he and my father,” my boy’s sad voice continued. “Proud; stubborn even, but strong.” *

There was self doubt in Faramir’s tone and it hurt my fibers to hear it. He was all that and more. How I wished I could speak!

“I think you have strength . . .” the hobbit spoke, confidence strengthening his voice. “. . . of a different kind, and one day, your father will see it.” *

He spoke the words I wanted to speak and suddenly I could tell, he had given his loyalty and his heart to my Faramir. Though he was soon to swear his oath to the Lord Denethor, and I’m sure would serve him faithfully, his love had been given to my Faramir.

I could tell how deeply the hobbit’s confident words touched Faramir’s heart. I could also see the doubt of their truth in his eyes. The touch of distance I had sensed between father and son after Finduilas’death must have increased between my boy and his father after he had out grown me and I was placed in the cedar lined drawer.

For several moments they looked into each other’s eyes, then a soft “ahem” broke the spell.

“The Lord Steward sends for the hobbit, Peregrin son of Paladin,” the page said before bowing slightly then returning to the Throne Room.

My Faramir smiled. “You will do well, Pippin.” He tugged affectionately at my other sleeve cap then patted the hobbit’s shoulder. “Do not fear too greatly the oath you are about to swear.”

I could feel the fear returning to Peregrin’s heart as it beat more quickly in his chest. Yet somehow I knew he would not let his fear hold him back from whatever he was called upon to do.

“My people have few oaths or vows that we take, and none like this one. I do this for your brother who was my friend and cared for me and my kinsmen. For Boromir, and if I may be so bold, for you as well Faramir, who showed kindness to my cousin, Frodo, and Sam . . . and to me. I will do my best to make you both proud of me.”

“I . . . we, are proud of you already,” Faramir said as a smile grew upon his face. “Come, it is about time my old livery was officially sworn into service.”

As we entered the Throne Room and strode toward the Lord Steward sitting on his chair of office, I no longer felt awkward being worn by a hobbit. Truly, there was nowhere else I would rather be.

******************************************************
A/N
* “Seven stars and seven stones and one white tree.” is quoted from the book “The Two Towers”

* There are numerous quotes here all taken from the movie “The Return of the King”

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
Aug. 11th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
I felt a strange thrill run though me as the soft grey fabric of the cloak touched me, and I thought I heard a musical, though stern, voice say to me, “Watch over him well when he is not under my protection!”

“I will,” I replied . . . and I meant it, for obviously the one who now wore me was a more wondrous creature than I had at first allowed.


Oh my, this is lovely. And the joy with which the livery recognized its beloved Faramir! *happy sigh*
pearltook1
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, dearest shirebound! I'm glad it came out lovely and not silly. I'm glad you liked it and I don't know that I've said this in a while, but thank you so very much again for encouraging me to post my first story.

Big Hugs!
Pearl
golden80
Aug. 11th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
This is a great story! I love every bit of it. The first thoughts of the uniform, when it gets to know it has to be placed on a Hobbit and the dressing of Pippin. *giggles* And the talk between Pip and Faramir you worked in very well. And the end is perfect. Great work and very well written.
pearltook1
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
aw, Thank you m'dear Golden :-) I think I would feel strange, having someone else dress me. LOL I'm glad you enjoyed it!
garnet_took
Aug. 11th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
This was very clever, Pearl. I love the thought of Faramir and Pippin as very close friends and I love that idea that Pippin knew very early on that his livery had been Faramir's as a child.

I'm not thinking as clearly as I should, so this isn't sounding like I want it too. I'll just say fantastic and leave it at that.
pearltook1
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Hugs and thank yous! I know the "not thinking clearly" feeling. Thank you for coming and reading anyway! :-) I liked that touch of PJ's as well, I always thought they came by that small sized livery awfully quickly in the book.

hugs again!
Pearl
dreamflower02
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Goodness! I never would have thought of the POV of Pippin's livery! But this is wonderful, very descriptive, and I love the way we see Pippin's emotions as he's being fitted--a combination of humility and pride, a bit of fear, and determination to do well by the uniform he's being given.

I know this is movie-verse, but I've never seen any conflict with book-canon in the idea that the livery belonged to Faramir. After all, JRRT doesn't *tell* us where that livery came from! It *could* have belonged to one of the Steward's sons!
pearltook1
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed this story as well, shirebound. Thank you :-)

As I said to Garnet, I always felt they came by that livery awfully fast in the book. It is a favorite part of the movies for me that they explained it ;-)

Thank you!
Pearl
nancylea57
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
can you believe that livery would not have definitive ideas as to the worthiness of its bearer. of course, anything with the ultimate symbol of gondor on it would want only the best to wear it. can you feel the yearning to touch his boy to catch up on his life and cares? you have brought a very new prespective to an old tradition, passing on the hope, joy, and wonder to a new generation [in this case a new race].
pearltook1
Aug. 11th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much nancylea! I'm glad all of that came through. I know I enjoy getting special things passed on to me and I enjoy giving such items to my kids. I was very glad the tabard eventually approved of Pippin.

Thank you!
Pearl
surgicalsteel
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
Oh, this was interesting to see and 'hear' the different voices of the livery and the cloak!
pearltook1
Aug. 12th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, surgicalsteel :-) I'm glad you could hear them, a great compliment indeed - thank you!

Hugs,
Pearl
blslarner
Aug. 12th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
I love! love! love! this POV. It's such a wonderful thing, to look at the POV of the uniform as it finds it has indeed found a worthy one to wear it, and with the blessings of Faramir.

I've imagined for many years the uniform might indeed have been made originally for Boromir or Faramir--the movie-idea I simply accepted as it so well fit my own ideas.

Thank you.
pearltook1
Aug. 12th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Wow, *blushing profusely* You are welcome and thank you, Larner. I got the idea chatting/brainstorming with Cathleen and the more I talked the more interesting it sounded. I was glad when she said I should write it.
lindahoyland
Aug. 12th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
This was lovely and utterly unique.
pearltook1
Aug. 12th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you Linda :-) I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

I should help Cathleen brainstorm more often!
ceshaughnessy
Aug. 12th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, you should....!
harrowcatliz
Aug. 12th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
What a great POV to choose and you did it so well. I loved the cloak's 'voice' as well.
pearltook1
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you, harrowcatliz :-) It just seemed right that the Elven cloak should have a voice too.
ceshaughnessy
Aug. 12th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
Pearl, this is just awesome, as I already told you. I knew you would write this idea especially well giving it your own special twist - loved it!!
pearltook1
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much, Cathleen :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it and I look forward to brainstorming with you again ;-)
stefaniab
Aug. 15th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Pearl, you took the meaning of anthropomorphism to new heights in this story. What a POV! I'm sure Ngilla Dickson and Richard Taylor, the folks responsible for costumes and armor in the LOTR films, would take delight in discovering that the clothing they created are sentient beings with definite opinions and feelings. Hey, if the One Ring can speak, why can't a hauberk have a POV.

After reading this story, I promise to look at my favorite clothes and jewelry in a new light. Terrific story.



pearltook1
Aug. 19th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much, stefaniab! It is fun to give inanimate things animation. I think the WETA folks would have fun with the idea of clothes with feelings and opinions.

I'm glad you enjoyed my flight of fancy.
mrowe
Aug. 16th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
A truly wonderful PoV:) even for someone who like me isn't that great a fan of (especially movie)Faramir. Loved the voice of the livery, and the cloak speaking up too.
pearltook1
Aug. 19th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I managed to hook you even with Faramir being in the story :-) Thank you, mrowe, for reading and commenting :-)
(Deleted comment)
pearltook1
Aug. 19th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
I have been waiting to hear what you had to say on this one - LOL! I knew it is right up your alley.

I'm so very glad you liked it. I'm sorry I didn't dedicate it to you for your birthday - I should have. I'm off of late and not always thinking clearly. Please, consider it as such as I thought of you often while working on it.

Bless you!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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