Fic: The Romance of Boromir and Catherine – Illustrated

The Romance of Boromir and Catherine


Tborry_regarding_cathhe figures in the ballroom spun and wheeled, surged and subsided, in a great, rustling tide of coloured silks. The evening’s festivities were nearing the peak of their energy, and the stomping of feet, the rumble of conversation had become a roar.

Boromir, steward’s son and heir of Gondor, reclined atop the dais, swigging from a tankard and surveying the ball, with his brother, Faramir.

“Elbereth,” Boromir exclaimed, “Who is that?”

“Who?” replied Faramir.

“That lady,” Boromir said, “With the flame-red hair. And the ample b…. the ample beauty.”

“Ah,” said Faramir, “that one. Fine horseflesh. Minor nobility. Catherine, I think.”

Boromir Meets Catherine“I thought the stables were full this season, brother,” Boromir said, cocking his brow.

Faramir tilted his tankard non-committally.

“Introduce us, then?” Boromir said.

“Sod off. Take a page,” Faramir replied.

“Alright,” Boromir said.

Down on the ballroom floor, the page pulled Catherine aside from the dance. He announced in a bell-like tone, “Lord Boromir, heir of Gondor.”

Quick on his tail, Boromir said, “Hello there.”

“Oh,” Catherine said, and after a fraction of an instant’s pause, “Good evening to you, sir.” She curtsied low.

When she returned to an upright position, Boromir’s smile had grown wider. However, without a further word, he turned and went.

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TStartled, Catherine drops her wildflowershe morning light was dappled through the canopy in the Steward’s woods.  Catherine had starred her hair with wildflowers.  Now she sought for more among the gnarled feet of the trees, knuckled like half-buried hands.

She had heard nary a footfall all morning, until something happened to quite startle her.

“Hello there,” came a man’s voice.

Catherine started and turned about, to find the end of Lord Boromir’s nose not three inches from the end of hers.  The flowers in her hand fell to the ground.

“Sir,” Catherine said, taking a step back, “you startled me.”

Catherine and Boromir meet beneath the trees“Surely it is unkind to keep such flowers in your hair, my lady,” Boromir said, shuffling forward to make up the gap.

“And why is that, sir?” Catherine said.  Stepping back once more, she found a tree behind her, and nowhere further to go.

“They can only pale beside your beauty,” said Boromir.  His nose was once again three inches from hers.

A gust of wind blew up around them, lifting hair and loose fabric.

“My lady,” Boromir exclaimed, “a stray leaf!  Let me assist you!”  He seized her wrists, pinned them above her head against the tree, and thrust his face into her bosom.Catherine comes over all faint

“Un… hand…me, sir,” Catherine squeaked weakly, “this instant.”  Boromir’s beard was terribly ticklish

“Almost got it!” Boromir declared.  His chin delved deeper.

“This instant,” Catherine said, almost inaudibly.

“Perhaps if I try with my tongue.”  Boromir’s voice was muffled.

“I shall faint,” Catherine said.  Or perhaps she merely thought it.  She could no longer tell.”

Catherine summons her courageShe awoke on her back amid the flowers, Boromir kneeling over her.  He was saying, “This is no good, now, is it?  Fainting, eh?”

Catherine jumped up.  “Get away, you beast!” she cried.  “Get away!”

She fled among the trees.

At length, Catherine’s flight lead her into a long gully, whose sides became progressively more steep as she fled along it.

Suddenly, there was a great racket from nearby. A pack of hunting beagles came tearing around the bend. Hunting beagles and a strange blond man fill the gullyThe steep sides of the gully afforded Catherine no means of escape. The dogs surged around her skirts, snarling.

For an endless moment, Catherine pressed her hands over her eyes and trembled. But the dogs had soon rushed past. Now there was perhaps a more terrifying sound: a great rumbling of horses’ hooves. In another instant the riders were upon her, and there was a cacaphony of whinnying and shouting as they tried to pull up.

Their leader, a great, blonde, handsome, strangely familiar man, cried to her, “What ho, my lady! Where is the fox? Have you hidden it in your hair?”

The hunting party pulls upDays later, Catherine would still not be able to decide whether or not this was a compliment to her hair. It depended how much a man really liked foxes, she supposed eventually.

The mounted man did not wait for an answer, but with a great shout lead the party on around her.

They were gone. Now Catherine heard a cracking and scuffing, as Boromir climbed down out of the tree he had been in. He had been planning to perform a much heavier and sweatier version of an elf-style tree-top ambush on Catherine. But with all this other business, he had relented.

Catherine and Boromir in the woods“That was my brother, Faramir,” Boromir said. “He is a little bit funny around ladies. And people.”

“Oh,” Catherine replied.

“Are you all right?” Boromir said.

“No, I should think not!” Catherine said.

“Shall I comfort you, then?” Boromir said.

“Certainly not!” Catherine exclaimed. “I am running away from you.”

Catherine returns along the gullyShe proceeded to do so, making off in the direction the hunting party had gone.

“You know,” Boromir called out, “it would be very much better if you would run the other way up this gully, back towards home. Or else we shall have a terrible walk ahead of us at the end of this.”

“Ho!” cried Catherine. “You shall not trick me, you wicked man!”

A moment later, she stopped. She turned around. “It is very rocky this way,” she said, looking at her feet.

Meekly she came back down the gully towards Boromir, and then past him.

Catherine takes her flower and runs“You are very pretty when you are skulking,” Boromir said, as she went past.

“You are a beast,” she said.

After a moment, Boromir said, “Are you ready to start again?”

“In a moment,” Catherine said, patting at her hair.

Boromir growled like a bear. Catherine squeaked and began to run.

“It was merely that I did not wish to contradict you,” Boromir called, taking up the chase.

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LCatherine lies (sits) in bed, ponderingate that night as Catherine lay in bed, she remarked how loud the night birds twittered in this part of Gondor.

Eventually Boromir’s lips became rather dry, and he began to throw little stones at Catherine’s window instead.

Catherine reflected that it was unfortunate the night birds insisted on eating berries with such big pips in them.

A man’s voice shouted outside, muffled by the closed window. Catherine started from bed, opened the window and looked out.

“Did you find that leaf, then, my lady?” Boromir repeated, no longer shouting.

Catherine at her windowCatherine stared haughtily down at him. “I shall extract my own leaves, thank you very much,” she said.

“I doubt not your skill, my lady, but you have not answered the question,” Boromir replied.

“Your logic, sir,” Catherine said primly, “is as evident as your charm.”

Boromir said, “If you have not found that leaf, then perhaps it eludes even your great skill. Perhaps you require some further assistance.” He added, “Which I would be happy to provide.”

Silence greeted this.

“My lady?” Boromir said.

“You are a dreadful man,” Catherine said quite seriously.

Boromir looked at the way her loosed hair fell down around her face. Softly, he said, “I am not dreadful, only dreadfully human. And your beauty is beyond my power to resist.”

Boromir and a fox in the moonlightThere was another silence. Then Catherine said loudly, all at once, “They say things about men who climb trees, you know!”

Catherine had no idea what she had just suggested, but she turned pink in the dark at her own boldness anyway.

Boromir considered this, and when he was quite sure he hadn’t any idea either, he said, “Are you quite ticklish, my lady Catherine?”

“That is not your concern!” Catherine’s voice was so frosty as to be almost squeaky.

“It seemed to me,” Boromir said, “before in the woods, that you were indeed quite ticklish. You seemed to find my beard very ticklish.”

Catherine closes her door“You are a saucy man,” Catherine said.

“I prefer my pudding with sauce,” Boromir replied in a purr.

Catherine’s bedroom door opened behind her, and she spun about, flushed.

“‘Ooer you talking to, then?” her old maid demanded.

“No one!” Catherine said. Then she said, “A fox! There was a fox howling at the moon. I do wish it would be quiet.”

“I didna know foxes ‘owled,” the maid said, her face scrunching in its nightcap.

“Well that,” Catherine said sharply, “shows how much you know.”

There was a long pause.

“Orright, orright,” the maid said, leaving and closing the door behind her.

“Can I come up, then?” Boromir said softly, so that Catherine had to lean far out the window to hear him.

“How on earth would you do that?” Catherine replied.

“I shall take that as a yes,” Boromir said.

Catherine looked down at Boromir in the moonlight. She opened her mouth to speak, but for a long moment did not.

A plucked flower

~finis~


Text by Eyebrow of Doom, with pictures by the infamous Captain Stinky and First Lieutenant Pyewackett:
julia_and_caroline

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