“Are you scared?”
Ivy looked down at her friend. “Now, whatever would I be scared of?”
Elanor shrugged. “It’s such a long ways to travel.”
“It is far away,” Ivy said, “but I’m not scared. “I’ve been to Rohan twice. Ithilien isn’t so much farther.”
“I would be scared.” Elanor sighed. “And I’d miss my family terribly. You’ll miss your family, won’t you?”
“Of course!” Ivy said. She giggled. “Well, maybe not my brothers.”
Elanor huffed. “That’s awful to say.”
“Well, I’ll miss Eomer. But not Theo.” She grinned at Elanor’s disapproving frown. “Oh, I suppose I’ll miss Theo, too. And I’ll miss Estella. And Dad.” She sighed. “Especially Dad.”
The last came out as a whisper and Ivy swallowed the sudden lump in her throat. She would miss her father more than anything. In her whole life she’d never been apart from him, except for short trips to stay with her grandparents at Brandy Hall or to stay with Elanor at Bag End. But in a few days she would be heading far to the south, far away from her father. For three years.
Elanor took her hand and squeezed it. “But you will get to see your mum.”
Ivy nodded and smiled. She was looking forward to that. She’d never had much time with Éowyn, only a few weeks during her two trips to Rohan. Now she’d get to see her mother every day. For three years.
“I can’t wait to see my mother,” she said excitedly. “And my brothers and sister.” She grinned. She’d be meeting her little sister for the first time! “And Faramir. And we’ll get to visit Uncle Éomer.” The grin faded away and she sighed. “But I’ll still miss the Shire.”
They came to the creek that meandered near Crickhollow. Elanor eyed the water. “I suppose we should head down to the bridge. I’ll get soaked.”
Ivy chucked and bent over to gather her skirts. “There are some advantages to being half Big Folk.” She tucked her skirts up into a knot then knelt down and patted her shoulder. “I can carry you across.”
Elanor wrapped her arms around her neck and Ivy stood up, reaching back to hold Elanor in place. She wondered, suddenly, if a Big Folk girl could carry her as easily as she carried Elanor.
She waded across the chilly creek--the water only came up past her knees--and up the bank on other side. She loosened her grip to let Elanor slide off her back, but her friend suddenly gripped her tighter and buried her face in Ivy’s neck.
“I’m going to miss you, Ivy,” Elanor sniffled into her shoulder. “You’re my best friend.”
Ivy swallowed another lump in her throat and pressed her cheek to Elanor’s arm. “I’m going to miss you, too.”
Painting is Fardeau Agreable (Not too Much to Carry) by William Bouguereau, from the Art Renewal Center website.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.