50. Chapter 49 - August 1431
“Well, let’s start over in that corner, I suppose,” Elanor said, hauling a pile of blankets brought from Bag End over to the fireplace. “We’ll put all the boys over here.”
“I think we should put them all in the stable,” Ivy muttered.
“I heard that,” Frodo said behind her. He was carrying in another load of blankets.
“Well, you can stay,” Ivy said. “The rest can go to the stable.” She glanced out the window to where the younger boys were tearing around the front garden in a wild game of ‘tag’.
“Sounds good to me,” Frodo said with a grin. He dropped his load of blankets and left again.
“We can put Frodo and Theo here,” Elanor said as she studied the small room. “Mer and Eomer over there, then Pip and Fari in the center because they’re the smallest and should be near us. Then you, me and Rose can be near the door. Goldi will be staying with Mum and Dad. She still gets Mum up at night to nurse.”
Ivy grinned at her friend, who had already started spreading out blankets. Elanor was almost like a mum herself now, with all those little siblings to watch over. Aunt Rosie depended on Elanor a lot to help out. Ivy couldn’t imagine having so many children to watch out for. Two little brothers were trouble enough.
It was going to be crowded in the little house, but Ivy didn’t mind. She was looking forward to these two weeks. She felt like the Gamgees were more family to her than the multitude of relatives at Brandy Hall. She smiled and knelt down to help Elanor spread out the blankets. Sam and Rosie were given her brothers’ room and Pippin had hers. Ivy and Elanor would be in charge of the parlor, with the unfortunate task of making sure the boys went to sleep at a reasonable time. Not that she didn’t plan on doing her share of staying up late, giggling quietly under the blankets with Elanor.
Ivy crept out of the parlor, trying very hard not to wake anyone as she made her way out of the house to go to the privy. She was glad there was a full moon. There was nothing worse than going to the privy in pitch dark.
On her way back to the house, she noticed a light still lit in the stable. She frowned. She didn’t think her dad would leave a light burning in the stable. They must still be up. Curiosity got the best of her and she padded down the path to the rear windows of the stable and peeked in.
Ivy gasped, remembering just in time to snap her mouth shut so she wouldn’t be heard. Uncle Pippin was sitting on the farrier’s bench, hunched over and in tears. Her dad and Uncle Sam were trying to comfort him.
“She hates me,” Uncle Pippin said, his voice slurred a bit by drink. “But she won’t even tell me bloody why. She just said the worst day of her life was having to marry me. I can’t believe I actually tried to love her...”
“Pippin, we knew that,” her father said. “Why do you let it get to you.”
Pippin looked at him angrily. “You can talk!” He looked first at her father, then at Sam. “Do you know how lucky you both are, to have Estella and Rosie? You have no idea what it’s like.” He buried his face in his hands. “Do you know why she had Fari? So that she would have a hold on the Thainship. She didn’t want to have a child, except for that.” Pippin looked up, wiping his eyes. “Did you enjoy creating your children? I felt like one of your father’s stud ponies, Merry. She’d come to me when she was fertile and leave for her own room afterwards. I wasn’t even allowed to kiss her. At least we got a son the first time and I won’t have to go through that anymore.”
Her father sat next to him, putting an arm around him. “I’m sorry, Pippin.”
“And there’s nothing I can do about it. The Thain loves her, of course. She’s got a fair number of the Tooks behind her as well. She’s refused a divorce. I don’t think she wants to give up her status and she seems to like making me miserable anyway.” He sighed. “Why didn’t I just pick a girl at random? Anyone would have been better than her. But I had this idea about marrying for love.” He snorted and shook his head. “I couldn’t even manage that, could I? I just wanted what you two have.” He sighed. “Then my father has to get the idea of re-establishing ties with the North-tooks and that was the end for me. There’s nothing like the threat of being disowned to base a marriage on.”
Sam sat on the other side of Pippin and put his arm around him, too. The three of them sat there for a moment, heads together. Then Pippin laughed and wiped away the tears. “Why couldn’t Estella or Rosie have had sisters? You two would have to find the perfect girls who didn’t have sisters.”
They all laughed about that, but Uncle Pippin still looked sad. Ivy quietly backed away and went to the house, shaken by what she had heard. She had known Uncle Pippin was very unhappy with Diamond, but she hadn’t known why. Not really. She hadn’t known that Diamond had hated him from the start, but married him anyway. Just to be the Thain’s wife? And Fari... Ivy clenched her fists, so angry that she nearly forgot to catch the back door before it slammed shut. She really hated Diamond now, for what she had done--for what she was doing--to Uncle Pippin.
She went back down the hall to the parlor, but stopped when she heard a noise in her room. She peeked in and saw Fari sitting on the floor in a shaft of moonlight, sniffling.
She went into the room and knelt next to him. “What’s the matter, Fari?” she asked.
“Daddy,” he whimpered.
Ivy hugged him. He must have wandered in here looking for Uncle Pippin. “Your dad is outside with Uncle Merry and Uncle Sam, Fari. Do you want me to stay with you until he comes in?”
He nodded and she helped him up onto the bed, then got in next to him. He instantly turned and wrapped himself around her.
She kissed him and held him tight. She felt really bad for Fari now. Estella always said that babies were special because they were created from love. Even her own parents loved each other as friends. But Fari wasn’t created from love at all. His mother hated his father, had always hated him, and Diamond only had Fari to make herself important. She didn’t even love her baby. Ivy drifted to sleep thinking of all the nasty things she’d like to do to Diamond.
She jerked awake suddenly. Someone was shaking her leg. She peered up into the dark. Uncle Pippin was standing over her.
“Is he all right, Ivy?” he whispered. She could see the concern on his face in the dim light of the moon.
She nodded. “He was looking for you,” she said sleepily. She tried to sit up, but Fari was still wrapped around her in a tight grip.
Pippin smiled. “He really gets a hold on you, doesn’t he? Your dad said I did the same thing.”
He sat on the bed and pried Fari away from her so she could sit up. Fari instantly latched on to his father and whimpered in his sleep.
“It’s all right, baby,” Pippin murmured into his son’s ear, “I’m here.” He looked over at her. “Thank you, Ivy,” he said.
She smiled at him and crawled out of the bed. She leaned over and kissed Fari’s head and then on impulse kissed Uncle Pippin’s cheek as well.
He smiled at her. “What was that for?”
“Estella always gives us a kiss before we go to sleep to chase away the bad things,” she said. Maybe it wouldn’t chase away Diamond, but it certainly couldn’t hurt, right?
Uncle Pippin nodded and smiled at her. “Goodnight, Ivy,” he said. “Thank you.”
“Goodnight, Uncle Pippin.” She turned and went back out to the parlor. Maybe a kiss wouldn’t help, but she’d do anything she could to see Uncle Pippin and Fari happy.
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.