“Not Kili,” he said determinedly, though his voice faltered slightly, “I’ll never take my eyes off him. Not Kili, Uncle, never Kili.”
I looked at him fully, his eyes searching mine, seeking my old assurances that nothing would happen to his brother. No matter what had happened to my little brother, no matter what dangers were out here, no harm would befall my nephews. Not to loyal, long-suffering Fili, the flaxen-haired moppet I had spent the best part of a century training. And not to brave, mischievous Kili, always following in big brother’s footsteps, always as his shadow.
I raised my hands to cup his face, leaning my forehead against his. My heart leaping when he allowed me to do so. I was lying. Obviously, I was lying – I had no way of knowing what the future held for any of us. But he had known that when asked, and there was safety in that lie, in hearing what one has been told so many times before, just one more time. “No,” I breathed softly, “not Kili. And not you.”
“Or you?” came his reply, sounding so childlike I felt my whole body seize – why had I brought them? They were so, so young.
“Not me either,” I told him firmly. “We are the last of our house – we go together or not at all.” [X]
For my Faramir