40. Chapter 39 - May 1427
Ivy sighed. Everyone laughed when she said she thought Uncle Pippin shouldn’t get married. They said she had an infatuation with him, whatever that meant. She just knew she didn’t want him to marry anyone, especially not Diamond. He wouldn’t have time for her anymore if he got married. He’d have to be grown up.
There was a knock on the door. She rolled over as Uncle Pippin entered. He was dressed in his Gondor armor. He smiled at her and came over and sat on the bed.
“Ivy-lass,” he said, “Estella said you’re upset. Aren’t you going to get ready?”
Ivy launched herself at him, throwing her arms around his neck. “Don’t marry her, Uncle Pippin!” she cried. “Please don’t. She’s not nice at all.”
Pippin hugged her back. “Oh, Ivy. I know Diamond’s not always the nicest person, but I’m sure she’ll come around.” He pulled back to look at her. “Arranged marriages often start out this way. My parents had an arranged marriage and it worked out all right for them.” He gave her another smile, but Ivy didn’t think it was a real one. He still looked sad to her.
“But why do you have to have an arranged marriage? Dad and Estella didn’t. They love each other.”
He sighed. “Because my father thinks I should be married and I haven’t found a girl on my own yet.”
Ivy sniffled. “If you found a different girl, could you marry her instead?”
“It’s kind of late now, Ivy-lass. I don’t think I’ll find a different girl before noon.”
Ivy pulled out of his embrace and sat back to look at him. “I’ll marry you,” she said.
Pippin stared at her for a moment, wide-eyed. Then he gave a small laugh. “You’re seven years old, Ivy. I can’t marry you.”
Ivy frowned at his laugh. She wasn’t sure if he was laughing at her. “Just tell the Thain you have to wait until I’m older. Then you don’t have to marry Diamond. Please.” Ivy bit her lip. She didn’t want to lose Uncle Pippin. She’d hardly seen him at all since they returned from Rohan in September. She hadn’t even had a chance to show him what she’d learned with the sword.
Pippin shook his head at her and sighed. He put his hand on her shoulder. “Ivy, I know it’s hard because... Well, Estella said you have an infatuation with me and--”
Ivy pushed away from him. “Everyone says that and I don’t even know what it is!” she yelled. “I just don’t want you to marry her. She’s mean and rude!”
“Ivy! That’s not nice to say,” he scolded. “I’m sure once Diamond gets to know you better, you’ll become great friends.”
Ivy threw herself down on the bed, burying her face in the pillow. She felt Pippin rub her back but she shrugged him off. “Go marry her then! I don’t care anymore!”
“I’m sorry, Ivy,” he said. He got up from the bed and she heard the door close. A few minutes later Estella came in.
“You need to get dressed, Ivy. It’s starting soon.”
“I’m not going,” she mumbled into the pillow. “I won’t!”
There was a pause and then Estella spoke. “All right.”
The door closed again and Ivy was left to her misery.
Later she heard the cheers as the ceremony ended. Then the music started up. Her stomach was growling terribly, but there was no way she was going to go out there to get anything to eat. She didn’t want to see him.
Ivy didn’t see Pippin for weeks after the wedding. When he finally came to Crickhollow again to visit, he came by himself. Estella’s questions about Diamond were met with shrugs. Ivy sighed. Uncle Pippin didn’t look very happy when he talked about his wife. She could remember how happy Uncle Freddy looked when he’d talk about Aunt Celly after they got married. Uncle Pippin didn’t look anything like that. He looked miserable. Well, she had tried to warn him.
She didn’t get to see much of him this visit outside of meals. He and her dad went for a walk in the orchard after elevensies and they didn’t come back until tea. Then she got sent outside to watch Theo, so she couldn’t spend time with him after tea, either.
When she saw Uncle Pippin leaving the house, she ran out to the stables to wait for him, the wooden swords in hand. It had been ages since they’d done anything together.
When he came in, she stood up from her spot in front of his pony’s stall. “How about a duel? That will cheer you up.” She waved her sword.
He shook his head. “I can’t Ivy. I have to get back to Tuckborough.” He pushed past her to get his pony.
Ivy threw the swords down. “I knew this would happen if you married her!” she yelled, startling the ponies.
Pippin turned to her. “Hush! You know better than to yell in the stables!” he said harshly.
Ivy crossed her arms. “It’s true though, isn’t it. You’re not going to teach me swords or riding or anything anymore, are you?”
“I don’t think so, Ivy,” he said sadly. “I have to spend more time at home now.”
“Fine! I don’t want to see you anymore anyway!” She turned and ran, bursting into tears. She ran out to the hill, the one they had always used to look at the clouds, and collapsed. Through her tears, she watched him ride away.
The next time Uncle Pippin came to visit, she was playing in the yard with Theo. Uncle Pippin didn’t even come over to say hello to her. She scowled, watching him go into the house. Just because he was grown up, they couldn’t be friends anymore?
This visit was much like the last. Mumbled responses to Estella’s inquiries about Diamond, then a walk with Ivy’s father into the orchard. He finally did give her a hug, but that was all. No offers to play games or tell a story or anything. She was angry at him for ignoring her and she was angry at Diamond for marrying him and making him ignore her.
She waited for him again in the stables, their wooden practice swords in her hands.
“Hello, Ivy-lass,” he said when he saw her. “I’m sorry. I can’t--”
She threw the swords at his feet and ran out of the stable, ignoring him as he called after her. If he didn’t want to be her friend anymore, then she didn’t want to be his friend either.
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