54. Chapter 53 - June 1433
“It’s scary,” Ivy admitted, turning away from her view of Minas Tirith’s lower levels to look at her mother. “But it’s wonderful, too.”
“That’s what I thought the first time as well,” Éowyn laughed, coming to stand next to her. They’d stopped at Gondor’s great city on their journey from Rohan to Ithilien. Only her mother and Faramir had travelled to Rohan to meet her. It wasn’t until she got to Minas Tirith that she finally got to see her brothers and sister. Her sister was three now, no longer the little baby that Ivy had imagined meeting. And her brothers had changed, too. They seemed so grown up now for being only eleven and nine, but she supposed all of the Big Folk were like that. They grew up so fast.
She finally got to meet the king and queen she’d heard so much about as well. She’d delivered letters from her father, Uncle Pippin and Uncle Sam to the King Elessar. She hadn’t known what to expect meeting them. She was used to kings, seeing as her uncle was one, but Gondor and Minas Tirith always seemed so... grand to her in the stories she’d heard and she’d wondered if the king was the same as the Aragorn from the tales. She needn’t had worried, as both the king and queen were very kind and welcoming to her.
Ivy leaned again over the wall of the embrasure, to look down on the city. Minas Tirith was a wonder to her. She’d always imagined Edoras to be huge, but this... She was so very far from the ground that the people travelling on the road to the city looked like ants. She suddenly felt a wave of dizziness as she looked down at them, so she turned her attention across the fields to Osgiliath, the large city embracing the River Anduin. Beyond Osgiliath were the forests of Ithilien, where she would live with her mother. Beyond the forests were the black mountains of Mordor. Ivy got a shivery feeling when she looked at those mountains. Even though she knew the evil was mostly gone, those mountains still scared her. She didn’t know how Uncle Sam could have gone there.
Ivy turned at the sound of voices behind her. Legolas and Gimli were walking towards them across the lawn of the Citadel.
“Gimli!” she yelled and ran to meet him. She hadn’t seen Gimli since her last visit to Rohan when she was nine.
“Ivy-lass! Look how much you’ve grown!” The dwarf grabbed her and pulled her into a bear hug. Ivy hugged him back, giggling as his beard tickled her face.
“Don’t I get a hug as well?” asked Legolas, trying his best to sound hurt.
Ivy let go of Gimli and turned to Legolas. “Goheno nin, Legolas,” Ivy said solemnly, bowing politely. Forgive me. Then she grinned broadly at him and threw herself into his embrace.
She had been nervous about traveling with the elf at first. She had always heard that elves were aloof and serious. And she was a little frightened because she had never been out of the Shire without her father before. But her dad seemed to trust Legolas completely and although their first day on the road had been somewhat quiet, when he started telling stories about her father and Pippin that night at camp which had her rolling in laughter, she knew they would be great friends. She had been sad to part with him when they reached her mother in Rohan. “Glass ‘en adgeni,” she said, pulling back to smile at him. It is a joy to see you again.
Legolas smiled at her. “Glass ‘en adgeni, Ivy. Naman egleriach Vinas Tirith?” It’s good to see you again, Ivy. How do you like Minas Tirith?
Gimli scoffed. “You just spent well over a month with her! I haven’t seen the girl for four years!” He grabbed Ivy’s hand and pulled her away from Legolas, back into another hug. “And what are you doing, turning her into an elf?” he said, glaring at Legolas. Ivy giggled into his beard. It was so funny how they bickered and insulted each other, when it was so easy to see they were the very best of friends.
Ivy gave Gimli another squeeze.”Legolas taught me some Sindarin,” she said. She turned to Legolas. “Minas Tirith orchal!” she said. Minas Tirith is amazing! Then she turned back to Gimli. “We did have a very long trip.” She grinned. “He couldn’t spend the whole time telling funny stories about you!”
Gimli blustered at that, while Legolas doubled over in laughter. Ivy stood on tiptoe and gave Gimli a peck on the cheek to make up for teasing him.
The home of the Prince of Ithilien stood on the tallest hill in Emyn Arnen, overlooking the small town that was growing in the forest. Éowyn told her that the huge house was as old as she was, built right after Ivy had been born. It looked new, the wood not yet completely faded, not yet scratched and nicked and worn by generations of occupants.
As soon as they were in the front door, her sister grabbed her hand to pull her up the stairs. “Ivy sleeps in my room!” Théodwyn said proudly. Ivy smiled and followed her three-year-old sister up the stairs. She adored Wyn, and her small sister had taken to her right away as well. Wyn delighted in following Ivy around and imitating her.
Ivy barely had time to register there were four doors in the upstairs hall before she was pulled inside one of the rooms. She looked around in amazement. The plaster walls of her sister’s room were painted with a scene from Rohan, complete with Edoras in the distance.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” her mother said from the doorway. “Legolas painted it, for when this was the nursery.”
Ivy smiled. Legolas hadn’t mentioned he could paint. She’d have to ask him about that. She looked around the room. Two beds were in here now and there was no sign this was ever a baby’s room. “Is it ever going to be a nursery again?” Ivy asked, smiling a little.
Her mother chuckled. “Oh, no. I don’t think so. Wyn is my last baby. Right, deórast?” She picked up Wyn and kissed her.
“Not a baby!” Wyn said, squirming in her mother’s arms. “I’m a big girl! Daddy said!”
“Yes, you are, aren’t you?” Éowyn hugged her daughter and Wyn giggled as her mother kissed her.
Ivy’s smile faded, watching them together. She suddenly felt jealous of her sister, that she’d had their mother with her all her life. Théodwyn would never wonder who her mother was, what she looked and sounded like, or if her mother loved her. She wouldn’t have to go years between seeing her mother for a few short weeks. She wouldn’t--
Ivy snapped out of her thoughts at her mother’s voice. She realized her cheeks were hot and wet with tears. She raised her hands, trembling slightly, to wipe the tears away.
“Are you all right?” Éowyn set Théodwyn down on a bed and came over to her, taking Ivy’s face in her hands. “What’s wrong?”
“N-nothing,” Ivy said, shaking her head, shaking out of her mother’s grasp. She stepped back a little and wiped at her eyes. She didn’t want to tell her the real reason, that she was jealous. She felt stupid for being jealous of her little sister. “I’m just homesick, I guess. I miss Dad.” Which wasn’t a lie. She really did miss her father.
“Oh, Ivy! I know it’s hard for you to be away from him.” Éowyn hugged her and Ivy leaned into her, glad to be in her mother’s embrace, because thinking about her Dad made a wave of homesickness come over her. For her Dad and Estella and her brothers and Gran...
She pulled away from Éowyn and wiped her eyes. “I’m fine,” she said. “I think I’m a little tired from all the travelling.”
Her mother studied her, concern on her face. “Are you feeling up to dinner? It will be ready soon, but we can wait a while if you like, if you need some time...”
Ivy shook her head. “No. I don’t want to make everyone wait.” She made herself smile. She didn’t want her mother to worry about her. “And I am a hobbit. We get a little grouchy when we miss a meal.”
Éowyn chuckled and kissed her brow. “All right, then,” she said. “But if you’re feeling homesick, it may help to write to your father. I’m sure he’s missing you just the same.”
A hand tugged at her skirt. “Are you sad, Ivy?” her sister asked, staring up at her with big, worried eyes.
Ivy knelt down to hug her. She didn’t want to be jealous or sad anymore. “No, Wyn. I’m fine now.”
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.