57. Chapter 56 - December 1433
She wiped at the tear suddenly trickling down her cheek and sniffled. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not now. She hadn’t wanted to be left behind by her friends, but she certainly didn’t want to become a grown up so soon either!
She changed out of her nightdress and lay down again, careful to avoid the spot on her bed, and wrapped her arms around her aching gut, to wait for her mother to awaken.
When Wyn woke up she followed her usual ritual of climbing onto Ivy’s bed. Ivy just curled up tighter and pulled the blanket around herself. “I’m not feeling good, Wyn. Can you go get mum for me?”
Wyn frowned at her. “Poor Ivy,” she said and trotted out of their room, down to their parent’s room. A few minutes later, Éowyn was peeking into the bedroom. She came in, shutting the door behind her, and sat on the edge of Ivy’s bed.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, stroking Ivy’s hair.
“I got my monthly,” Ivy whispered. The tears started again and she wiped angrily at her face.
Éowyn smiled at her. “Oh, léofe, I know it’s a little scary at first, but it will be fine.”
“This can’t happen yet! I’m only thirteen!” She couldn’t stop the tears. Why was this happening to her now?
“My poor Ivy,” Éowyn murmured. “It’s perfectly normal and you are only half hobbit.” She kissed Ivy’s head and wiped the hair from her tear-stained face. “I’m sorry it’s upset you, but it will be all right. I didn’t like getting mine either, but it’s something that every woman must go through.”
“I know,” said Ivy. “Estella said it’s so we can have babies.” Ivy sniffled into the handkerchief Éowyn had given her. “Kel will probably have babies soon,” she murmured, more to herself. One of her friends would probably be a mother in a year or two. She couldn’t imagine being a mother now. She couldn’t imagine being married now! She looked up at Éowyn. “Will I have to start courting now? And get married?”
Éowyn hugged her. “You will get married when you’re ready and not a moment before. And if that’s at age thirty-three, then so be it!”
Ivy sighed. “Nobody will want to marry me anyway.” None of the boys here had ever given her a second glance, though they were quite interested in her friends. She didn’t imagine hobbit lads would be any different.
Éowyn guided Ivy’s face up to look at her. “Ivy! Why would you say something like that?”
“Because I don’t fit in,” Ivy said, averting her eyes from her mother’s. “I don’t fit in with hobbits. I’m too tall and now I’ve suddenly aged to a tweener! And I don’t fit in here because I’m too short and people think I’m a small child.”
“Ivy, I know it’s hard for you.” She took Ivy’s face in her hands. “But you are beautiful and smart and fun and I know there is someone out there for you.”
Ivy raised an eyebrow at her. “You’re just saying that because you’re my mother.”
“Maybe.” Éowyn hugged her again. “You know, I never thought I’d get married. I was too wild, even for the Rohirrim, and I wasn’t interested in the things that the other girls were interested in. Luckily, my uncle didn’t hurry me into any marriages, which is why I married so late. But then I found Faramir and he didn’t care that I liked horses and swords and wouldn’t really be a ‘proper’ wife. You’ll find someone, too.”
Ivy shrugged. “I suppose.” But she didn’t really believe it.
Her friends thought it funny that Ivy had gifts for them on her birthday, and Ivy laughed when they produced gifts for her. She rolled her eyes to see the hair ribbons, combs and jewelry from her friends and they promised (threatened) that now that she was a woman, they’d turn her into a proper lady.
Legolas showed up unexpectedly, as he was supposed to be in the northern part of Ithilien. He swept Ivy up into a hug and gave her a kiss on the cheek. His gift to her was an Elvish bow and a quarrel stocked with arrows.
“Faramir said you’re becoming quite good,” he said. “Oh, and if Merry is upset about you having a bow, it was from Faramir, not me!” He winked at her.
Ivy laughed and thanked him for the gift, setting it on the table with her other gifts. She pulled him down to kiss his cheek, then turned to introduce him to her friends.
She took Legolas’ hand and turned to her friends. They had never met the elf, as far as she knew. She was surprised to find the girls were staring at her, wide-eyed. “This is my friend, Legolas,” she said. The girls just stared. Ivy squinted. Was Brenna drooling? She shook her head and turned to Legolas. “This is Kelian, Gwen, Eifa and Brenna.”
Kel, at least, remembered her manners and shook Legolas’ hand, although she did still have a goofy grin on her face. The other girls managed to mumble out greetings, although Brenna’s came out as a high-pitched giggle.
Ivy turned back to Legolas and tugged on his arm so he would bend down to her. “They’re usually not this...weird,” she whispered into his ear.
“Don’t worry about it,” he whispered back. He straightened up, a big grin on his face. “It was nice meeting you, ladies,” he said and bowed gallantly. The girls giggled again and Ivy scowled at them. Why were they being such idiots?
Legolas gave her another peck on the cheek and winked at her before bounding to the other side of the room to attack Gimli with a hug. Ivy giggled at the sputtering Dwarf trying to pretend he wasn’t overjoyed to see his best friend. She turned back to her friends.
“What...?” she began but was cut off by Brenna leaping at her and grabbing her arm.
“Why didn’t you say you knew him?” she squealed. The other girls nodded in agreement.
“I did,” she said. “I told you Legolas escorted me here.”
“But we didn’t know that was him!” Eifa said. “He’s so...so...”
“Handsome,” Brenna said with a breathy sigh. “Don’t you think he’s handsome?”
Ivy shrugged and nodded. She knew he was handsome. But he was just... Legolas.
“And graceful,” put in Gwen. “And elegant.”
Ivy snorted. If they only knew. Try spending a few hours with him and Gimli, riding around Ithilien, listening as they tried to outdo each other on dirty puns (which they mistakenly thought Ivy wouldn’t understand). Or witness them in a drinking contest (which, their subjects would be scandalized to learn, the Prince of Ithilien, and sometimes even the King of Gondor, would participate in). Then say how elegant he is.
Ivy looked at her friends, still staring wide-eyed at the elf as he chatted with her mother. She shook her head. She hoped that if she ever got like this, someone would be kind enough to drown her in the river.
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.