7. King's Friend (Unfinished)
Bells, chiming bells, glorious bells; bells that pealed a song to greet the day as it broke over the eastern edge of the horizon.
At the sound, four hobbits in the main room of the guesthouse hastened to the open window looking out over the Pellennor Fields. They had been up for an hour hence, each helping to don the formal garb for ceremonies later that day. Frodo and Sam wore their new clothes of linen and velvet, while Pippin and Merry fussed over their armor and helms, trading good-natured insults over which one was the most soldierly.
Pippin leaned into the fall of light in the sill and beamed back at the purity of the sunshine, not caring if he looked silly while doing it. Anything that sang its triumph over the dark of the War would make him smile till his ears fell off.
Meriadoc Brandybuck seemed to have a more light-hearted perspective on the mood of the day.
"Well, Mr. Took, you look and act as if you will be insufferably pleased with yourself for the next several weeks," he teased, nudging Pippin into laughter. The grin on Merry’s warred with a soft look of pride and happiness.
"No doubt Mr. Merry is conspiring of a way to tell this for when we get home," Sam interjected behind them. "Such as how Mr. Pippin began with pestering a wizard about coming along and ended up getting plonked on the shoulder by a king." He rolled his eyes at Merry for Pippin’s benefit. "All at the behest of a Brandybuck, no doubt!"
"And you doubted that? No, the night before last was pick on Meriadoc night," Merry replied, loftily, as Frodo and Pippin chortled. "We’ve done teasing Frodo, for now, and Pippin’s getting off easy, for now, so that leaves you, Mr. Gamgee. Yes, tonight shall be an inquiry into The Absence of Mr. Gamgee. Why is it that you’ve been spending so much time beautifying Minas Tirith? Avoiding the inevitable? It’s a long road back to the Shire, yet, my gardener friend!"
"Yes, Sam, I have yet to tell my dear cousins of the time you led me into a ravine and almost left Galadriel’s gift dangling in the wind," Frodo smiled, biting into an apple.
"Sam?" Pippin cried, jumping onto the subject with merriment sparkling in his eyes. "After all that grousing about not having a rope, and you left it behind?"
"Aw, now that’s skewing it a bit, Mr. Frodo, isn’t it? You’re forgetting that I called Galadriel’s name and it came. When you tell it, Mr. Frodo, don’t be forgetting to point that out."
"I still wonder at that, Sam. The power of Galadriel or Sam’s vaunted roping skills? I’d like to hear how you explain that one your grandchildren."
"I’ll warrant you’ll have to ask that of Galadriel herself when she meets with us," Sam dared Frodo, blushing. "As for me, I don’t doubt her powers at all."
Merry and Pippin laughed at the emphatic way Frodo shook his head in rejection of that prospect.
"Bells or no, Mr. Pippin, you should hurry with that suit," Sam went on, handing the hobbit his custom-made helm. "There’s yet another feast brewing at the Hall and I don’t want to be late because you are insufferably pleased with yourself." With as much care and gentleness as he had handled Frodo, he settled the helm on Pippin’s head, and fidgeted with the stiff white feathers of its decorative wings. The room went silent.
"Bells or no, Mr. Samwise, you’d be a lucky hobbit to get there before me," Pippin rejoined, not sure he could take these joy-filled moments for very long. The heart seemed too little for them. "Well. I’m dressed. Anyone for breakfast?"
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.