112. Chapter 111 - April 1443
Ivy bustled around her father’s parlor, trying to get everything straightened up. In about a week her mother, Faramir and Wyn would be here. Ivy had come to Brandy Hall ahead of time to help get things ready. Her family would stay here in Buckland for most of their visit, as there was already larger sized furniture here.
She leaned over as far as her pregnant belly would allow to pick up her father’s mud spattered cloak. Without Estella to yell at them, he and the boys had become quite messy, relying on the maids to clean up after them. She sighed.
“Will you stop that!” Her father came over and took the cloak from her. “There’s plenty of time before your mother gets here. Why don’t you go rest. I’m getting exhausted just watching you.”
Ivy wrinkled her nose at him. “If you wouldn’t leave your cloak lying on the floor, I wouldn’t have to pick it up.” Besides, she couldn’t rest. She was too full of nervous energy, excited that she’d see her other family again after five long years.
Her dad snorted. “I do have a staff to do the cleaning, you know.”
“They’re done for the day,” said Ivy. She grabbed the cloak back, “And this needs to be cleaned before it stains.”
“It’s a cloak, Ivy. It’s supposed to be stained.”
“You’re as bad as Pippin,” she scoffed.
He huffed at her, trying to sound offended, but he couldn’t hold back the grin. “You’re not the first person to tell me that, you know.”
She rolled her eyes at him and went out into the hall towards the bath. She hoped her father would be a little neater while he had guests! Once the cloak was scrubbed she went went back to the parlor, ready to scold her father about picking up after himself, but he wasn’t there. She shrugged and went into his bedroom to hang the cloak over a chair to dry.
She stretched her back and sat in the chair, her hand automatically moving to rest on her belly. The baby was heavy and standing at the basin had made her back ache. Maybe she would take her dad’s advice and go lie down. She smiled. She should take every advantage of the children being back in Tuckborough with their father.
She pushed herself up out of the chair and headed for the door, but turned when the door connecting to the parlor opened. Her dad came in. “She’s in here,” he said to someone behind him and Rosie stepped into the room.
“You’re here already!” She grinned and walked back towards them. “Is everyone in the parlor?” She noticed their faces then, and felt a stab of panic at what she saw there. They both looked like Pippin when he’d had to tell her that Estella had died. “What’s wrong?”
“Come sit down, Ivy,” he father said. He reached out and took her hand.
“Why?” Panic was starting to take her and she couldn’t catch her breath. “What’s wrong? Where’s my mother?”
“Ivy, come sit with me.” He led her to sit on the bed, then knelt in front of her and took both of her hands. Rosie came to sit at her side. She felt the panic rising, her eyes blurring with tears. Something was horribly wrong.
“There’s bad news, Ivy. Your mother is fine, but...” Her father took a breath and held tight to her hands. “There was a large raid by orcs in Ithilien in February. Faramir was killed.”
“No!” Ivy cried. Not again. She couldn’t go through this again. She was barely aware of her father kissing her hands, murmuring ‘I’m sorry, Ivy-lass.” She was barely aware of Rosie’s arm going around her. She couldn’t catch her breath and she felt sick. Faramir was dead.
“Let’s get her to lie down, Merry,” she heard Rosie say. “We need to get her to calmed down.”
Her father lay her back on the bed, resting on her side, then he turned towards the door to the parlor. “Sam!” her father called, and Ivy saw Sam come into the room. “I need you to go find the healer, then send someone to Tuckborough for Pippin,” her father said. Sam nodded and rushed back out of the room.
“Ivy?” Rosie asked, bending over her. She looked up at Rosie’s face through her tears. “Ivy, love, you need to slow your breaths down. Take a deep breath for me.”
She couldn’t do it the first couple breaths, just barely able to gasp for air, but finally she was able to draw in a deep breath. Rosie smiled. “Good girl. You keep doing that.”
She took a few more deep breaths until she didn’t feel panicked anymore. “How’s my mother?” she whispered.
Rosie touched her cheek. “It was hard on her.” she said. “But she’d want you to worry about yourself and your baby right now.” Rosie lay a gentle hand on Ivy’s round belly. “Are you having any pains?”
Ivy shook her head. “No. I just couldn’t catch my breath.”
Rosie smiled and stood up. “I’ll let your dad sit with you, then,” she said. “But you tell him if you have any pain or if you just don’t feel right.” She stepped aside and let Ivy’s father sit next to her.
“How are you?” he asked, brushing his fingers through her hair. He looked so worried.
“I’m fine,” she said. As fine as she could be. She could breathe again. But Faramir was still dead.
Ivy looked up when the door to her old room opened and Pippin came in. It was the day after she found out about Faramir and she’d spent most of the time in her room, too weary and heartsick to do anything.
Pippin lay down next to her on the bed and put his arms around her. Ivy turned to him and rested her head on his chest.
“I’m sorry, Ivy,” he murmured into her hair.
She nodded and sniffled. “Sam said he was hit by a poisoned arrow and his men couldn’t get him back in time,” she said dully. “They were pinned down for two days. Elboron was with him.” She sniffled again. She couldn’t imagine having to sit and watch her father die. She grieved for her brother as well.
“I know, love. Your dad told me.” He kissed her brow. “The children are staying with Vinca, but I brought Fari with me. He wanted to come. He’s taking this hard. Merry’s talking to him now.”
Ivy nodded. “Fari is so proud of being named after Faramir.”
“He was a good man, Ivy. The best. The way he accepted you as Éowyn’s child--not many husbands would have done that. But he loved you like you were his own.”
Pippin shifted so they were face to face and hugged her tight. Ivy buried her face in his chest and clutched at his shirt. She didn’t want to cry again. She was tired of crying.
The baby squirmed between them and Pippin chuckled. “I think someone doesn’t like being squished.”
Ivy rubbed her belly. Her mother was supposed to be here for the birth. Now she couldn’t come and neither Estella nor Faramir would ever see this grandchild. “Are the rest of our children all going to be born into a time of grief?” she asked sadly.
“Ivy...” He rolled back to look at her, his brows furrowed with concern.
“It was supposed to be happy this time, Pippin. Not like for Ari. My mother was supposed to be here when the baby’s born,” she said. “I needed her to be here, Pippin.” She hid her face in his chest again. It was awful of her--selfish--but she wanted her mother here with her.
“I’m sorry, love,” Pippin said sadly and Ivy felt bad about that, too. She was feeling sorry for herself, making Pippin worry over her, when Pippin had lost his friend.
“I’m sorry, too, Pippin,” she said. “I didn’t even think about it, that he was your friend.”
Pippin just shook his head. He took her hand and kissed her fingers. “You worry about yourself and the baby, Ivy. Don’t worry about me.” He leaned in and kissed her gently. “Now, are you ready to get up and get something to eat?” he scolded. “Your dad told me you haven’t been eating much.”
She nodded. She felt better, now that Pippin was here, and her hunger was catching up with her. She let Pippin pull her upright. Then she sighed. “I think about my parents, how awful it must be to lose the person they love. It makes me wonder what I would do if I lost you.”
“Love, you shouldn’t worry over things like that.”
He pressed a finger to her lips and shook his head. “I’ve managed to survive orcs, trolls and Diamond.” He smiled. “I think you’re stuck with me for a good long time.”
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.