41. Chapter 40 - September 1427
She went in the back door into the kitchen and dropped the carrots into the basin. She’d even surprise Estella and wash them, because she was so happy. She heard voices down the hallway as she scrubbed the carrots. Her grandparent couldn’t be here already, could they? She thought they were coming later, for supper, so that her dad and Estella could tell them about the new baby.
She quickly finished the carrots and rushed down the hallway. But instead of her grandparents, she found Uncle Pippin in the parlor, hugging Estella and congratulating her on the baby.
What was Uncle Pippin doing here? He wasn’t supposed to be here.
“Ivy!” Theo said and toddled over to her. Her dad, Estella and Uncle Pippin all looked up when Theo said her name.
“Hello, Ivy,” Uncle Pippin said cheerfully. “I hear you’re going to get another brother or sister.”
“Yes,” she said and turned away to stalk back down the hallway. She scowled. She wasn’t happy anymore and it was all Uncle Pippin’s fault.
She went through the kitchen, past the clean carrots she’d been so excited to tell Estella about, and out the back door. She walked back up the path through the garden and out to the orchard behind the house. She climbed the first apple tree she came to and settled in a crook to pout.
She huffed at the sound of Uncle Pippin’s voice. Didn’t he realize she didn’t want to talk to him?
“I’d really like to know why you won’t talk to me.”
She leaned forward so she could see him looking up at her. “Why do you think?”
“Look. I’m sorry I can’t spend time with you anymore. But...” He sighed, his shoulders slumping. He looked sad. But Ivy didn’t care. It was his own fault, for marrying Diamond, wasn’t it? “I have responsibilities at home, Ivy. I’m sorry I had to grow up on you, but it happens to all of us!” He sounded a little angry now.
She glared at him. “Uncle Frodo still played with you when he was grown up. You told me so.”
“Well, things are different for me than it was for Frodo!” he shouted. “Frodo didn’t have...!” He stopped and bowed his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you.”
She didn’t care. “Then I wish Uncle Frodo was still here! He’d still be my friend!” she yelled back at him. She slumped back into the crook of the tree, tears running down her face. If Uncle Frodo was still here, she’d still have a friend besides Elanor, who lived so far away and couldn’t come to see her much.
She thought she heard a stifled sob and she peeked down to see. Was Uncle Pippin crying? But he had already turned away and was walking back to Crickhollow. She leaned her cheek against a branch, watching him go. She wished everything would go back the way it was, before stupid Diamond came along. She missed Uncle Pippin--the old Uncle Pippin--and wanted him back.
She was surprised when Uncle Pippin left the house again, her dad with him, and went to the stables. He was leaving? She suddenly felt a little bad about that, but then she pushed that feeling away. She’d hadn’t wanted him here anyway, right?
He took off down the road on his pony. Then her dad started heading towards the orchard. He looked very angry. The back of her neck prickled with fear. She was in trouble now. She scurried over to grab a branch, to get out of the tree. Uncle Pippin must have told him where she was. She’d go hide somewhere else.
She dropped to the ground and came face to face with Estella. Estella didn’t look angry. She looked disappointed. Maybe a little sad. Ivy stepped backward, her back against the tree.
“Estella...” she said.
“Ivy!” her dad shouted, coming into the orchard. “What did you say--?”
“Merry!” Estella turned to her dad. “I’ll take care of this. You’re in no state to talk to her rationally right now.”
Her father stopped in his tracks. He looked at her again and Ivy bowed her head. She wished Uncle Pippin would have just left her alone, because now her dad was mad at her.
“Fine,” he said. He turned and walked back to the house.
“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Estella asked her.
Ivy shrugged. “What did Uncle Pippin say?”
“I want to hear it from you.”
Ivy sighed and stared at her toes. She wasn’t sure what to say that wouldn’t get her in big trouble. “I was mad at him, and he was mad that I was mad. And... I cried because I was mad and I think he did, too.”
She peeked up at Estella. Estella was watching her, eyes narrowed, arms crossed. “That’s it?”
Ivy nodded. “What did Uncle Pippin say?”
Estella pursed her lips for a moment, then sighed. “About the same thing,” she said. “I have a feeling that neither of you are telling the truth.” She shook her head. “But I can’t do anything about that, can I?” She held out her hand. “Come on, then. You can help me make dinner.”
Ivy hesitated. “Dad’s awful mad at me, isn’t he.”
“Yes, he is,” Estella said, taking her hand. “Your dad’s very protective of Pippin. Especially now that--” She shook her head. “Never mind. But he is angry that you upset Pippin.”
Ivy nodded. She was sad she made her dad upset. And a little worried.
“I’m in big trouble?”
Estella raised an eyebrow at her. “We’ll let your dad cool down a little, then you need to tell him what happened. All right?”
Her father stayed in the parlor, playing with Theo, while they made dinner, and when her grandparents arrived, the incident seemed to have been forgotten in all the excitement over the new baby. But Ivy should have realized it wasn’t going to be that easy. Once her grandparents had left and it was bedtime, just her dad came to tuck her in.
Ivy pulled the blanket up to her chin and gripped it tight.
“What did you say to Pippin today,” he asked, sitting down on the edge of her bed.
Ivy relaxed a little. At least he wasn’t going to yell. “He’s mad because I’m mad at him,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
“And why are you mad at him in the first place?”
“Because he won’t be my friend anymore.” She sniffled.
“Ivy, he wants to be your friend. He just can’t spend time with you anymore. He has to--”
“I know. He has responsibilities.” She sniffled again and frowned. She didn’t want to cry.
“Then if you understand that, why are you mad at him.”
She shrugged. Sometimes she wasn’t really sure where the anger came from.
Her father watched her for a moment, then sighed. “Fine. You’re doing all the dishes for a week. That will give you some time to think over what you’ve done.”
She nearly opened her mouth to protest, but caught herself. It could be worse. He could have forbidden her to ride her pony for a week. She nodded.
He leaned over and kissed her brow. “Good night, Ivy-lass.” He brushed some strands of hair from her cheek. “I’d wish you’d try to be nice to Pippin.”
She shrugged. “I’ll try.”
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.