47. Chapter 46 - June 1430
On their last visit to see Fari and Uncle Pippin, Estella had lit into Diamond about not nursing her baby. They’d had quite a row over it. Everyone seemed to think Diamond was a bit scared of Estella now. Ivy grinned. That was probably why she hadn’t seen Diamond yet today. She was most likely hiding from Estella. Not that Ivy was complaining. A visit without having to see Diamond was nothing to complain about.
She brushed a finger through Fari’s silky curls and looked into his big, blue-green eyes. Fari watched her now when she fed him. He was starting to notice the world, and smile and laugh at things. He was a very sweet baby. She kissed his brow and inhaled his lovely baby scent. She felt so bad for him, that such an adorable baby had to have such an awful mother.
He finished his bottle and she moved him to her shoulder to burp him, remembering to put the towel over her shoulder first. She listened for the burp, then settled Fari back on her lap, nestled in the crook of her arm. He waved his fists and kicked his legs and grinned a toothless grin at her. She couldn’t help but grin back at him. He was the cutest baby she’d ever seen.
“He’s just in here,” a voice said outside the door. Ivy looked up and frowned as she recognized the voice. The door opened and Diamond came in with some lasses Ivy didn’t know. “What are you doing here?” Diamond snapped at her.
“I was--” Ivy looked down at Fari’s small whimper. He looked worried now and he started squirming in her arms. Did he still have a burp left? She lifted him to her shoulder again to pat his back and looked up at his mother. “I was just giving Fari his bottle.”
Diamond sniffed at that but didn’t say anything. Ivy supposed she was glad someone else was caring for Fari. Then she held out her arms. “Give him to me. My cousins want to see him.”
Ivy just stared at her and held onto Fari a little tighter. Something inside her didn’t want to give Fari to Diamond at all. But she had to. Diamond was his mother.
“Come on, you stupid girl,” Diamond said. She reached out and grabbed Fari from Ivy’s arms.
Ivy’s ear was ringing from Fari’s sudden wails, but she didn’t notice it much. She was more concerned that he had a tight grip on her hair and didn’t seem to want to let go. She hadn’t braided her hair today, had let it hang loose, and now Fari had a handful gripped tightly in each tiny fist as he screamed.
“Fari,” Ivy pleaded, tears pricking at her eyes. She couldn’t bear seeing him upset like this. Diamond was still tugging him away from her and pulling her hair in the process. “Wait!” she said. “He’s got my hair.”
Diamond just rolled her eyes. “Well, get him to let go then!”
Ivy took Fari’s hand in her own and as much as it tore at her heart, she tried to pry his fingers from her hair. But she couldn’t do it. His grip was too tight. And the poor baby was turning red now from his crying, shaking so hard with each wail that she feared Diamond might drop him.
“Hurry up!” Diamond snapped. Fari screamed louder.
“Give him back to me,” Ivy said. “Maybe I can get him calmed down and--” Diamond thrust the screaming baby back into Ivy’s arms.
“Shh, Fari, shh,” Ivy crooned, cuddling him to her shoulder. She patted his back and bounced him a little to calm him. His cries soon lost their intensity. He seemed to be calming down. She kissed the wisps of curls on his head. “It will be all right, Fari,” she whispered into his ear.
“Are you done? We haven’t got all day,” Diamond said.
Ivy glared at her, intense anger suddenly boiling up within her. “He doesn’t want to go to you!” she said. “You scare him! Don’t you see that, you stupid cow?”
Ivy snapped her mouth shut as Diamond’s face turned a deep, almost purplish, shade of red. Behind her, Diamond’s cousins looked quite scandalized. Ivy bit her lip. She probably shouldn’t have said that. But it had just popped out.
“How. Dare. You.” Diamoned seethed from clenched teeth. “Give me that baby!” She reached for Fari again. Ivy instinctively backed out of her reach, still clutching a whimpering Fari to her chest.
“What is going on in here?” Pippin’s angry voice startled them all.
Diamond turned to her husband. “That girl is upsetting the baby! And now she won’t give him back!”
Ivy shook her head, wanting to explain, but Uncle Pippin was stalking into the room looking quite furious. It shocked her into speechlessness. She’d never seen Uncle Pippin look this angry.
“You shouldn’t let her near the baby,” Diamond said. “I knew there was something wrong with those Big Folk.”
Pippin stopped and turned to his wife. “Get out of here,” he growled.
Diamond took a step towards him, hands on hips. “Don’t you tell me--!”
“I saw the whole bloody thing, Diamond!” He glared at her. “Or, enough to at least know what really happened.” He pointed at the door. “So why don’t you leave so I can comfort my son.”
But Pippin turned away from her and walked over to Ivy. He held out his arms. Ivy shifted Fari around to hand him to his father. As soon as Fari saw his dad, he opened his fists, letting her hair slide through his fingers.
Pippin didn’t say anything to her. He was too focused on his son. He clutched Fari to him, murmuring in Fari’s ear. All Ivy heard was a muffled ‘I’m sorry’. Fari burrowed his face into his father’s neck, still whimpering a little.
Ivy looked back at Diamond. Diamond was glaring at her husband. She caught Ivy’s eye and her eyes narrowed further. Then she turned around with a haughty flounce of her curls and stomped out of the nursery, her cousins trailing behind her.
As soon as Diamond was gone, Ivy relaxed. And relaxing let all her pent up emotions loose. She burst into tears.
“Ivy, what’s wrong?” A hand touched her cheek and she looked up into Uncle Pippin’s worried face.
“I...I’m sorry. I didn’t... mean for Fari to get upset,” she sobbed. “He just... he had hold of my hair... and Diamond...”
Pippin put his free arm around her, pulling her close for a hug. “You did fine, Ivy. You knew Fari was upset and you tried to protect him. Thank you for that.”
“Why does she do that? Can’t she see he’s upset?” she sobbed into his chest.
His deep sigh brushed over her hair. “She likes to show Fari off, to get attention from her friends and relatives. But other than that... she doesn’t really see him much. And Pearl... she said babies know things about people. That’s why Fari gets upset around Diamond. He knows...”
He didn’t finish the sentence, but Ivy knew what he was going to say. She’d heard her dad and Estella talking about the same thing. For some reason, Diamond didn’t seem to love her child. At all.
Pippin gave her a squeeze. “But he knows you love him, doesn’t he? I’ve seen how he smiles at you. He loves you, too.” He let go of Ivy and cuddled his son, kissing his chubby cheek. “You’re lucky to have a cousin like Ivy to look after you, aren’t you Fari?”
Ivy smiled up at them. She thought Fari was lucky to have a dad like Uncle Pippin.
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.