theravenboy: (hunter)
Posted in order to convince everyone that this song is about Fionavar. Translations by Rym, with lots of help from Babelfish and [livejournal.com profile] bookelfe.

Lyrics )
theravenboy: (father and son)
Today Bran, along with John, Owen and several dogs, helps lead the sheep from one pasture to the next. They never have talked much when they worked, but this week there's been an odd quality to the silence. At times today Bran is tempted to say something, anything, only to hear the sound of a human voice. But he keeps quiet, listening to the dogs barking brief commands and the kestrels crying high overhead.

In the late afternoon Bran, Owen and the big black dog Lluchddu return to the cottage. Bran and Owen cook simply, baking chicken and potatoes; nothing is strange about that, after all. Once the food is in the oven, the two men sit in their kitchen chairs, and Lluchddu curls up at Bran's feet.

At length, Owen inquires, "How is the packing going?"

Bran shrugs. "There is no need to fill the suitcase yet. But I have sorted my clothes and my books."

In the silence that follows, Bran scratches Lluchddu's head; the dog leans into Bran and whines softly.

Owen watches them. "And your harp? How are you carrying it?"

"I'm not," Bran says flatly.

Owen looks up at Bran's face. "Will you be able to see your friends, at Milliways, without it?" Owen is still not used to the name 'Milliways'; he speaks it awkwardly, with the stress on the wrong syllable.

"I have gone before without the harp. Not often." Bran's mouth is set in a firm line. "And I cannot take it to a strange house, with people I do not know, and leave it there. Far too valuable, it is."

"Dr Parry says they are good people," Owen protests. The minister of the Tywyn Methodist chapel has arranged for Bran to stay with an elderly couple in Cardiff, doing odd jobs around the house in return for room and board.

"I am sure," Bran replies. "But that is not enough. The harp will stay here."

The timer buzzes, and Bran and Owen both rise to finish preparing dinner.

"Mind you," says Bran, pushing chicken onto a plate, "I plan go back to Milliways tonight, if you don't mind. I am not sure when I will have another chance."

Owen nods once. Dinner is another silent meal.
theravenboy: (meditative - see sweater)
Arranging for Bran to visit the Stantons for a few days was easy. Will’s family was more than glad to have his friend from Wales come to stay; Bran and his da were not so happy about the matter, but something had to be done about the sword, after all.

Deciding just what to do about it was almost as simple. Mr Stanton, reading the Guardian before tea yesterday, had said, "They've been putting up ropes around Stonehenge. To keep the punters from damaging the stones too much."

"I am sure it was not before time," said Bran.

"Think of all those stones, standing for five thousand years, in danger from too many tourists with chisels," said Mr Stanton. "Yes, five thousand. The archaeologists say that bit we learned in school, about Merlin bringing the stones from Ireland, is all rubbish, and they really put up the stones long before the Romans came."

"Not surprised," said Will. "A lot of the things stories blame on Merlin happened well earlier than Arthur's time."

Will's eyes met Bran's, then, and that was that.

***

"Stonehenge, then?" Bran nods his head towards his suitcase. Owen gave it to him recently for university, used, but still good. Somewhere in it, hiding among the light shirts and jeans he’s packed to wear for holiday during the warm English summer, rests the sword Caliburn, scabbard, belt and all.

Will, too, glances at the suitcase. “I think so. Yes.”

“Well, then. Let’s join all the holiday-makers looking for Druids.” Bran opens the suitcase and arranges some of the contents in a portable, unrecognizable bundle which he carries under his arm.

After negotiating for the loan of James Stanton’s bike (“Only if you take very good care of it, and don’t crash, and watch the paint job,” James tells Bran several times), Will and Bran ride to the train station at Slough. Two trains and three hours later, they climb back on the bikes, taking the road from Salisbury to Stonehenge.
theravenboy: (Default)
Bran Davies sits at a corner table, turned so that his back is to the wall and he can see most of what is going on in the bar. He has a pot of tea in front of him, but he hasn't drunk any of it. It's difficult to drink tea when there is a priceless harp in one's lap.
theravenboy: (thoughtful)
The letter is addressed to Arturus, quondam rex Britonum, dux bellorum, rexque terrae extra Aquilonem: Arthur, once king of the Britons, leader of battles and king of the land beyond the North Wind. It reads, in schoolboy Latin that is sometimes not precisely idiomatic, and sometimes switches from one dialect into another,

I hope that this letter finds you well, in that land where all things are well. I myself am healthy and content, thank God.

I write you on behalf of my mother, Guinevere of Britain. I do not know if Merlion has told you that she resides at Milliways, and has done so for about ten months, since what was, in her timeline, her death. Under the circumstances, my mother has no way to support herself. I would gladly do so if I could, but I cannot. Therefore I beg you, as the lady Guinevere was your queen and remains the mother of your son, to support and maintain her while she stays at Milliways.

If I have disturbed your peace with this letter, I beg your pardon.

Bran's notes for the next paragraph, scribbled and crossed out, read I am seventeen years old now. I am applying to university. I will be a doctor. I am happy with my da. I am happy enough. All that remains of that paragraph is one sentence:


I still remember you.

Bran Davies of Clwyd
theravenboy: (Default)
Bran's bedroom is small, neat and plain. A lamp in the corner sheds warm yellow light. A full bookshelf stands against one wall. By the other, there is an old wooden chest of drawers. A carved wooden dragon sits on top of the chest. The top of Bran's desk is clear except for a calculus textbook near the corner.

"Not much, is it?" Bran says. "Welcome to my home."
theravenboy: (in a window arms crossed)
Bran's letters to Will are usually pages long, beginning with long, gossipy descriptions of the week in school and the weather on the farm before moving into the real business. This one, in Bran's small neat handwriting, is barely a quarter of a ruled notebook page.

3 January 1978

Will,

I cannot come back until she is gone. I do not trust myself around her. I am a danger to you and to everyone. The other night

It's all gone far too personal. I am sorry.

Please send my apologies to Professor L., and keep an eye on my mother if you can.

Bran
theravenboy: (when the snow was roundabout)
Christmas )

***

The days after )

***

By the second of January, 1978, the storm has died down. Owen's cleared the local roads with the farm tractor, and Bran and Owen are shoveling the smaller paths by hand. As he lifts his shovel, Bran says, "I should go back."
theravenboy: (mari llwyd)
The Bar has given Bran Davies a plain room with a single bed, a desk, a small chest of drawers and a window facing the lake. It is still too large and empty for him. Lluchddu is not curled up at the foot of his bed, and Owen Davies is not sleeping in a room across the way. Guinevere lives in the bar, a hallway or two away, but Bran cannot go to her for this.

He crosses the room, four paces forward and four paces back again, over and over. After an hour of the same thoughts running through his mind --if I had protected it, if I had been ready, if I had known, then the harp could not have been stolen-- he climbs into bed and tries to sleep.

Bran dreams of a great white skeleton of a horse, horned, dancing, ribbons dangling behind it in the winter wind. The empty blind eye-sockets stare at him and through and past him, as the white leg-bones parade in a terrible merry jig. The horse prances closer, grinning, until the cold, spittle-laced breath from its open jaw falls on Bran's face and neck. It moves nearer still, and spins its head, high on its spine of a neck, fast enough to knock Bran backwards onto the damp dirt of the path. The mari llwyd stamps on Bran's chest, once, twice, four times. Bran can hardly breathe any more. He turns his head aside to cough blood into the grass, and when he turns back, instead of the mari llwyd he sees only Blodwen Rowlands' kind, sweet face, pressing an oddly cold kiss on Bran's forehead.
theravenboy: (My father cast you away)
Bran has baked chicken and roast potatoes and set the table for three. Owen Davies and John Rowlands are due back from the fields at any moment. Everything is done that can be done, so Bran sits outside the cottage door, scratching his dog behind the ears and waiting.
theravenboy: (little Bran)
A white-haired, white-skinned child sits at his kitchen table, feet dangling in the air. Bran Davies is already dressed for chapel, in a little boy's suit and tie. The suit is rapidly acquiring dog hairs; a white dog with a small black patch on his back is nuzzling Bran's leg. "Good Cafall, good boy," Bran says, in Welsh. His voice is a high clear soprano.
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