5. A Long-Expected Wedding
Merry appeared in the doorway of his own room, yawning. 'What are you doing up so early?'
Pippin's grin was mischievous as ever. 'I thought Master Samwise might need a little help in preparing.'
Frodo's hand came out of nowhere and suddenly fastened itself on his ear. 'O no, you don't, cousin!' he said in a laughing tone, but it was plain that he meant his warning. 'You two have badgered him into this wedding and you are not going to make him miserable about it!'
'Miserable!' Merry protested. 'This ought to be the happiest day of his life!'
Pippin had his own protest to make. ' "We" badgered him into it? I had nothing to do with it!'
'Merry, then,' conceded Frodo.
'Aye, and proud of it!' Merry cried. 'At the rate Sam was going, I would have been a grandfather before I became an honorary uncle!'
'Ah, but think of all the meat and mushroom pie you will be missing,' Pippin teased. 'You could have talked the lass into marrying you!'
'I will be missing no pie, as I am sure that Miss Rosie Cotton -- I mean, Mistress Rose Gamgee -- will invite me plenty of times for pie in gratitude for my services.'
'And Samwise will make you sit on the back step to eat it!'
The teasing and joking went on as they all prepared for the wedding and party to follow.
It was a grand day for a wedding indeed, and even with Sam's shyness and Rosie's blushes, the ceremony went perfectly, despite Merry's copious eye-wiping and Pippin's elbow jabs to quell him.
A cheer went up as Mayor Frodo pronounced them hobbit and wife. All adjourned to the Party Field, where Rosie and Sam stood beneath the young mallorn tree as the guests toasted the happy couple. The feasting and dancing went on well into the night.
Rose even danced a dance with Merry, laughing as he gazed at her with lovestruck eyes and said, pretending wistfulness, 'Ah, Rosie, lass, and to think you could have married me had I only been a wee bit faster than Samwise in my courting!' He relinquished the flushed and laughing bride to her new husband and returned to where he and Pippin were sitting to drain his cup of wine.
Pippin walked off rather unsteadily to refill his and Merry's winecups. When he came back he found his cousin scribbling on the snowy tablecloth with a slim stick of charcoal. He was not too tipsy to realize that Mistress Cotton's wrath might descend upon them at any moment.
'Merry! What do you think you are doing?' he gasped, spilling some of the wine as he set the cups down.
'I do not think I'm doing something, I AM doing it,' Merry answered happily without ceasing from his scribbling.
Distracted, Pippin bent to read the writing... and began to grin. 'It's got a catchy enough rhythm,' he said. He picked up his flute and began noodling until he had found a tune to fit the words.
'Yes!' Merry cried, 'That is it, exactly!' He stepped up onto the bench and jumped from there to the table. 'Hullo, everyone!' he cried, holding up his winecup. 'A toast!' A cheer went up.
'Merry, what are you doing?' Frodo cried, half amused and half alarmed.
Merry regarded him cheerfully. 'You are not the only member of the family who can dance atop a table, Frodo Baggins,' he crowed. 'Captains Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck at your service, Mistress Rose Gamgee!' he said, bowing low to Rose and spilling a bit of his wine and nearly himself in the process. 'We have composed a little melody in your honor, just perfect for dancing at a wedding supper!' Pippin took his cue and began to play the tune. A few hobbits began to clap along and several couples got up to dance. The musicians quickly picked up the tune, and Merry began to sing.
'Come all ye young lasses and lads, and lads,
'Ye must listen to yer mums and yer dads, yer dads...
'If ye want to be wise, just open yer eyes,
'And I'll tell ye of Samwise Gamgee, Gamgee
'The courtship of Samwise Gamgee.'
There was a roar of appreciation from the crowd of merrymakers. Merry couldn't see Sam's face but Rosie was beaming.
The song went on to tell of how Samwise had braved countless adventures, yet on returning could not look his Rose in the eye...
Mistress Cotton suppressed a sigh at that great blundering Meriadoc Brandybuck dancing upon one of her best tablecloths. Ah, well. The lad was responsible for Samwise finally speaking to her Rose. She supposed a tablecloth was a small price to pay for gaining a fine son who had been like a member of the family all these years.
'Mayor Frodo he had an idee, idee,
'He said, 'Rosie, now listen to me, to me'
'With a wink of his eye, he said, 'Cook us a pie!'
'And we'll give yer poor Samwise a tweak, a tweak,
'We will help him find courage to speak.'
Cheers erupted from the crowd, 'Hooray for Frodo!' Frodo bowed from his place by the buffet.
'Mayor Frodo and Peregrin Took, young Took
'And handsome young Merry Brandybuck,'
Pippin shouted, 'Yes, him too!' and everyone laughed as Merry took a bow.
'All sat down to eat pie of mushrooms and meat,
'And poor Samwise was eating that pie, that pie,
'But he couldn't look Rose in the eye.'
Over at one of the groaning food tables, Fredregar Bolger turned to Frodo. 'Looks like he is on the mend.'
Frodo laughed, 'I would say he's completely mended!' Fatty Bolger nodded and turned back to the table. He was doing his best to live up to his name, though it would take a few more months of good eating to make up for the Lockholes.
'Then Merry he took him a bite, a bite
'And his face was all spread with delight, delight
'And he sang to the sky, with a gleam in his eye,
' 'Tis the finest pie ever could be, could be,
' 'Come, dear Rosie lass, marry me!'
Frodo's cup was empty and he put it down on the table. Fatty fixed him with an unsteady eye, 'So, cousin, tell me, when will I be dancing at your wedding?'
Sharp Mistress Cotton had heard the question and seen the shadow of pain cross Frodo's face, and suddenly she swept him into the dance, crying, 'You have not danced yet at my Rosie's wedding, Mayor Frodo! I am claiming this dance!'
'Captain Merry, he turned then to Sam, to Sam
'And he said, 'I'll advise ye, my lamb, my lamb!
' 'Better speak to her soon, beneath the full moon,
' 'Or soon she'll be married to me, to me,
' 'Better take warning, Samwise Gamgee!' '
All the crowd was clapping, now, and when the song was finished the musicians kept playing. Merry saw Rose pull Sam into the dance, and the gardener's scowl soon changed to a smile as they spun about to the gay tune.
'Sing it again!' someone shouted, and Merry was happy to oblige. Pippin put down his flute and joined him in singing, and several other voices joined as well.
At the end of the happy dance the breathless hobbits clapped and, as soon as they could find the breath, cheered lustily.
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.