90. Chapter 89 - May 1438
Ivy turned around and looked in the mirror, and for a moment it felt like she was looking at someone else. Someone who wasn’t a gawky tomboy, or too tall, but...beautiful.
Her hair was loose, as was traditional for a bride, but Aunt Lothíriel had added a few thin strands of braid that came together at the back, keeping her hair out of her face. The dress was Elven--flowing, sky-blue silk. Éowyn and Estella both had to help her into it. Then Éowyn had explained how to get out of it, which made Ivy blush.
Around her neck she wore a silver necklace, a gift from Aragorn and Arwen, with an oval, sapphire pendant that complemented her dress. “That one matches your eyes,” Pearl had said when she saw it.
On her head was a garland of flowers from Sam’s garden that Rosie had made: peonies, poppies and anemones twined with ivy. Théodwyn handed her the matching bouquet she had been entrusted with.
“Thank you,” she whispered and kissed Wyn’s cheek.
“How are you feeling,” Estella asked, patting her arm.
“Fine,” she said, but it came out high pitched and wavering. The women around her giggled. She swallowed. She didn’t understand why she was so nervous. She’d been waiting for this day for at least two years.
There was a knock on the door that led from her parent’s bedroom to their parlor. Estella went and cracked it open, peeking around the edge. “Are you ready for this?” she asked the person on the other side, then opened the door wide to reveal Ivy’s father, dressed in his Rohirric armor.
He stepped into the room and just stared at her. “Oh, Ivy...”
Estella patted his arm. “We’ll be waiting for you outside,” she said. The women all filed out, Éowyn carrying Pippin’s new sword wrapped in a cloth, and left her alone with her dad.
He came up and kissed her cheek. “You’re beautiful, Ivy,” he said softly.
“Thanks, Dad.” She smiled and kissed him back. “How’s Pippin?” she asked.
He chuckled. “Sam and Reg had to get him into his armor. He’s so nervous, he couldn’t remember how to do a buckle.”
She giggled. Poor Pippin.
Her father took her hands and looked at his feet, thoughtful for a moment. “I know I’m supposed to say something fatherly now,” he finally said, “but I’m going to break tradition. I think you already know how I feel about you.” He looked in her eyes. “I’m going to say something as the best friend of the groom.
“I know I haven’t been the most supportive of you and Pip. Estella tells me I’m an overprotective father.” He shrugged and smiled crookedly. Ivy stifled a giggle. “But as Pippin’s best friend, I have to say that you are the best thing that has ever happened to him.” He was serious again and Ivy could hear the hint of emotion in his voice. “While he was married to Diamond, I had to stand by and watch his life being drained away. He was miserable and trapped and there was nothing I could do about it. My beloved cousin and dearest friend, who had always been full of laughter and joy, was slowly wasting away into bitterness and despair. Every day I wondered if it would be the day that he drank himself to death.” There were tears running down his cheeks now, and Ivy had to sniffle and blink back her own. “You gave him life again, Ivy. You brought him back and I am forever grateful to you for that.” He pulled her into his embrace and he held her tightly. “I love you, Ivy-lass,” he said.
“I love you, Dad.” She clung to him. She’d miss him so much.
She sniffled and he let her go. He wiped her tears away with his thumb, then reached up to straighten the garland on her head. “I’ll face a lot of female wrath if I bring you out there all mussed up,” he chuckled. He pulled out his handkerchief from his belt and wiped his own tears away, then breathed a heavy sigh. “Are you ready?” he asked.
She nodded and smiled. “I’m ready.”
He held out his arm and she took it. Then he led her out of the bedroom and into the hallway.
“I’ll miss you,” he said softly as they walked through the hall.
Ivy just barely swallowed the sob. “You’re going to make me cry, Dad,” she whispered. “And I’ll miss you, too.”
He patted her hand and then they were through the garden doors and facing the crowd of guests. Pearl was standing just outside the doorway with Fari. Fari held the sword meant for his father, his small hands gripping the leather scabbard tightly. Ivy smiled at him. It was traditional for a young kinsman to carry the sword. There was never any question as to who she would choose.
“Ready?” Ivy whispered to him. He nodded, grinning proudly. “Go ahead, then,” she said.
Pearl gave her nephew an encouraging pat on the head, then Fari led the way towards the arbor where Pippin waited for her.
Pippin was dressed in his Gondorian armor and Ivy’s heart fluttered at the sight of him. She’d never seen him look more handsome. He was beaming at her and she smiled back, her stomach fluttering even more than her heart.
Fari approached the arbor, then walked over to stand to the side next to Theódwyn and Elanor, her bride’s maids.
Her dad led her to stand next to Pippin, then kissed her cheek before letting her go, backing up to stand just behind her. Her Uncle Éomer came to stand before them. “May the blessings of the One be upon this place,” he said in a commanding voice that belonged to Éomer King rather than ‘Uncle Éomer’.
The king looked out at the gathered crowd. “We gather here to witness the joining of Peregrin Took, Thain of the Shire and Knight of Gondor, and Ivy Brandybuck, daughter of Meriadoc Brandybuck, Master of Buckland and Knight of Rohan.”
He looked at Pippin. “Do you have the handgeld as you have oathed to give?”
“Yes,” Pippin said, nodding to the king. He turned to look behind him and Reg handed him a small pouch. Pippin turned to face her father. “I give you this, the handgeld I have oathed.” He handed the small pouch, rattling with coins, to her dad.
In the Shire, the gifts for a wedding were kept private, so the pouch only contained a token of gold to represent the bride price Pippin had paid to her father. In Rohan, the groom would list everything that he’d given for the handgeld. Ivy’s handgeld had been extravagant by Hobbit standards. It was probably the first time the father of the bride tried to convince the groom to pay a smaller bride price.
Éomer King looked at her father next. “Do you have the brydgifu as you have oathed to give?”
“Yes,” her father said. He handed the pouch he’d recieved from Pippin over to Estella, who in turn gave him another pouch. He stepped up in front of Ivy and took her hand to give her the pouch of gold. “I give you this, the brydgifu. It is yours to have and hold all of your days.” He smiled and patted her hand, then stepped back again. Ivy squeezed her hand around the coins in the pouch, a token of her share of her inheritance from her father that was part of her dowry.
“The handgeld and brydgifu have been gifted,” Éomer said to the crowd. “The oaths given have been held. Now let the groom and bride exchange their oaths.”
Ivy handed her bouquet and the pouch to Elanor, while Pippin turned to the hobbits behind him again. This time Sam stepped up, to give him the ancestral sword. Pippin turned back to her and Ivy gasped when she realized what sword it was that he held. Everyone had kept secret what sword he had found to give her.
Pippin drew Sting and held it up, so all the crowd could see it. “I give you this sword to save for our sons to have and to use,” he said.
Ivy heard the murmurs in the crowd, as they realized what sword he was giving her. She was sure that would be making the gossip rounds for a while.
Pippin sheathed the sword and handed it to her. She looked at the sword in her hands, the most famous sword in the Shire. The most famous sword in all of Hobbit history. And now it was hers to pass on to her children.
Uncle Éomer gave a slight cough and she turned and gave Sting to Wyn. Then she took Pippin’s new sword from Fari. “Thank you, Fari,” she whispered. She faced Pippin again, holding the sword that Gimli had made. It was Gondorian in shape, reflecting Pippin’s service to Gondor, but the hilt had a Rohirric style, decorated with a knot pattern over the thicker guard of the hilt. On the round pommel was a relief of a tree, representing the Shire.
She pulled the blade from the scabbard and held it up, her arm wavering a little from its weight. It was larger than Sting, the size of a Rohirric short sword. She really hoped she wouldn’t accidentally stab Pippin or her uncle. “To keep us safe, you must bear a blade,” she said, reciting the proper words. “I give you this sword to keep safe our home.” She re-sheathed the sword and handed it to Pippin. He looked down at the hilt and smiled. It was the first time he’d seen it.
She retrieved Sting and the ring from Wyn. No wonder a Rohirric wedding required bride’s maids and best men, just to handle all the objects required! She held Sting by its scabbard and carefully placed the ring on the hilt. The rings were simple silver bands, no decoration, but inside Gimli had engraved their names: ‘Ivy’ in his, ‘Peregrin’ in hers. Then she held the sword out to him, to offer the ring.
He took the ring and slipped it over his smallest finger. Then he did the same for her, taking her ring from Sam and placing it on the hilt of his new sword to offer to her. She gave Sting back to Wyn--its part in the ceremony now completed--and took her ring from the hilt of Pippin’s sword. Rings now exchanged, Pippin drew his sword and gave the scabbard to Sam. He held it out to her, blade pointing downward. She gripped the hilt just above his hand, both of them now holding the sword between them with their right hands. Their oaths to each other would be taken on the sword.
She held out her ring to him in the palm of her hand and he took it. “I promise to love and protect thee,” he said, “for the rest of my days. I will cherish thee as my helpmate and mother of my children until death parts us.” He slipped the ring on her third finger. “With this ring I bond myself to thee.”
She took his ring now and held it. “I promise to love and honor thee,” she said, “for the rest of my days. I will cherish thee as my helpmate and father of my children until death parts us.” She slipped the ring on his finger. “With this ring I bond myself to thee.”
Oaths now taken, the sword was passed back to Sam and Reg handed Pippin a ring of keys.
“I give to you the keys to our home. Henceforth, you are keeper of the household of Great Smials and Mistress of Tuckborough.”
She took the keys from him and slipped the large ring over her hand. She sighed a little at the weight hanging from her wrist, like it was the weight of Great Smials itself. She was now in charge of the largest household in the Shire.
Now Estella and Éowyn came forward for the last part of the ceremony, the drinking of mead. The honey wine had the same place in both Hobbit and Rohirric custom. A newlywed couple would drink mead for a month after the wedding to ensure fertility--the honeymoon. The brýdeala, or ‘bride ale’ was traditionally drank at the wedding feast of a Rohirric wedding, but with the chaotic nature of a Hobbit gathering, they had decided to do it in the ceremony itself.
Estella held up the ‘loving cup’--a small bowl, really, with handles shaped like horses’ heads. It was a gift from her mother and Faramir. Every Rohirric household had such a cup for ceremonies and rituals. Éowyn handed Ivy a bottle, and she poured mead into the cup. The bottle was passed back to Éowyn and she took the cup from Estella. She turned back to Pippin, careful not to spill any mead in her slightly shaking hands, and stepped closer to him.
“Mead I bring thee, protector of our house.” She held the cup up to him and he put his hands over hers on the handles, so they held the cup together. He drank first, keeping his eyes on her. Then it was her turn to drink the sweet wine. They took turns drinking the mead until the cup was empty, then she gave the cup back to her mother.
Éomer King nodded at them. “May your union be a blessing to your kin, may you be blessed with many children, and may you live long and happy together.” He looked out at the crowd again. “The oaths have been made,” he said. “Let it be known that Peregrin and Ivy are husband and wife.”
Ivy got a thrill up her spine. It was over! She was Pippin’s wife! She looked in her husband’s--her husband’s!--eyes. He looked as surprised as she felt. She’d been so worried about getting all the words and ritual right, that the fact that she was now married had snuck up on her. From the looks of it, it had been the same for Pippin.
“You can kiss her now,” Uncle Éomer whispered.
Pippin grinned and stepped forward to pull her close for a kiss. Ivy was barely aware of the cheers around them. She could only think about the fact that her husband was kissing her!
They broke apart and faced the cheering crowd, Pippin holding tight to her hand.
The musicians started to play and the crowd of guests broke up, headed for food or dancing. Ivy giggled. She had to feel sorry for her Hobbit relations and friends, not used to such a long and complicated wedding ceremony.
Éowyn came and hugged her tight. “I’m so happy for you!” she said and kissed Ivy’s cheek. Next was Faramir, then Estella, and then a whole string of relatives that kind of blurred together. When they’d cleared away to join the celebration, just her dad was left standing there.
Ivy went to him and hugged her father close. It hurt just a little, that she wasn’t Ivy Brandybuck anymore.
He patted her back and kissed her cheek. “Well, Mrs. Took,” he said, pulling away and taking her hand in his, “I think the Thain is looking to dance with his wife.” He put her hand into Pippin’s and pressed them together.
“Thanks, Dad,” she said softly.
He patted their hands. “Well, I should go find Estella,” he said. “She probably already has tasks for me to do.” He winked at them and walked off into the crowd.
They were left alone, then, watching the party around them. Pippin chuckled and leaned close. “I think we’ve been forgotten. Do you think they’d notice if we left now?”
She giggled and looked at him and when their eyes met, it hit her. They were married now and could do whatever they wanted! “I don’t know. We can find out.” She gave him a coy smile. Her family wouldn’t be too awfully mad if they snuck away a little early to start their honeymoon, would they?
Pippin slipped his arm around her waist and nuzzled her ear. “Well, then, maybe if we slip around the back and--”
“There you two are!” Nel said, coming towards them. “We’re waiting for you to cut the cake!”
Pippin sighed into her ear. “Right,” he said. He turned to his sister. “Can’t you pretend you didn’t find us?”
Nel laughed and took their hands. “Oh, no! No sneaking away! You have to suffer through the party just like the rest of us had to.”
“My heart is broken, my lady,” Legolas moaned dramatically, “that you would be so cruelly stolen from us!”
“Aye!” wailed Gimli. “We shall mourn for the rest of our days.”
“Are you sure you want to marry this rascal?” asked Gimli, gesturing towards Pippin.
Legolas leaned over to Ivy. “It is still not too late to run away,” he said in a mock whisper, waggling his eyebrows.
Pippin crossed his arms and scowled at them. “Are you two about through?” he asked.
“No,” Legolas said, grinning. “We could certainly think of more ways to tease you,” he said.
“But I’m sure we’re keeping you from other things,” Gimli said with a wink.
“So we will let you go.” Legolas stepped forward and kissed Ivy, then embraced Pippin. “I am glad you have found such happiness, Pippin,” Legolas said. Pippin nodded his thanks.
Gimli collected a kiss from the bride as well, then grabbed Pippin in a bear hug. “I’m very happy for you, laddie,” he said.
When their friends had gone, Pippin turned to Ivy. “Reg said the cart is ready, so, whenever you want to leave...”
Ivy blushed and bowed her head. “I’ll just let Éowyn and Estella know we’re going.” She gave him a shy smile and squeezed his hand, then hurried away.
He watched her go, his heart pounding. They’d been good and waited until the lanterns had been lit before deciding to leave. And soon they’d be at Crickhollow, alone, and they’d be able to--
Pippin startled when Merry suddenly came up to him. “Where’s Ivy?” he asked.
Pippin looked at his feet, his cheeks suddenly very warm. “She, um... went to tell Estella and Éowyn that we’re... leaving.”
“Oh,” Merry said. “Well...” He paused for a moment, possibly the most awkward silence Pippin had ever endured. Then Merry coughed. “Well... Being my best friend and all, I’d normally be required to say something crude at this point. But, you’ll understand if, under the circumstances, I don’t?”
“Yes,” said Pippin, looking back up at Merry, who was quite red in the face. He snorted suddenly, and grinned at the absurdity of their situation. Merry shrugged and grinned, too.
Then Merry sighed and pulled Pippin into an embrace. “I’m so happy for you, Pip,” he said. He pulled back and looked in Pippin’s eyes. “You take care of my girl, all right?” he said, his voice rough with emotion.
“I will, Merry. Always.”
Merry nodded and patted Pippin’s shoulder, then hurried away, trying to hide his teary eyes. Pippin knew this was hard for Merry. And he couldn’t even have the luxury of disliking his son-in-law.
Ivy came back, watching her father walk away. “Everything all right?” she asked.
“Everything’s fine,” said Pippin. He wrapped his arms around his wife. “Shall we go?”
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.