94. Chapter 93 - May 1438
Éowyn and Estella had whisked her away to her room soon after they had returned. She’d nearly died from embarrassment when Éowyn had asked her--with a big grin on her face--if she liked the book. Ivy made a mental note to strangle her friends the next time she saw them, for getting her mother involved in finding a copy of that book.
Afterwards, she’d unpacked hers and Pippin’s things into her now empty wardrobe. Her room had been cleared out, all her things moved to Great Smials while they were at Crickhollow. But they would be staying a few days in Buckland, to spend time with her family, before heading home. She sighed. Home. It was strange being in Brandy Hall now. She was a guest in her father’s house.
Her father had been unusually quiet since she’d gotten back. Estella had confided to her that her marriage had hit him a little harder than expected. He’d even hidden himself away in his study when they’d moved her things out of Brandy Hall. He looked a little better now, chatting easily with Pippin and Sam about Shire business over their dinner. But every once in a while he’d glance at her and give her a sad smile.
“Excuse me, Mistress Took,” a voice said. She looked up. The kitchen maids were clearing the dishes away and bringing in dessert. One of them was standing next to her. Dahlia, Ivy remembered her name was. Dahlia set a baked apple in front of her. Ivy frowned, something nagging at her about Dahlia and apples...
“It was a ‘P’,” she said, the memory suddenly coming to her, of being twelve years old, new to Brandy Hall, and sitting in the kitchen with the maids. She looked up at Dahlia. “It was a ‘P’.”
Dahlia set down Pippin’s tart. “Excuse me, Mistress?”
“My apple peel. It was a ‘P’, not a ‘D’.” She nodded her head towards Pippin.
Dahlia cocked her head, confused, then smiled. “Yes. So it was.” She winked and went back to her work.
“What was that about?” Pippin asked her.
Ivy grinned. “Just be grateful I have a talent for tossing apple peels.” Pippin raised an eyebrow at her and Ivy giggled. “I’ll tell you later.”
Once dessert was done, Pippin cleared his throat and stood up. “I have something very special to do tonight, and I’m glad you’re all here with me, because I consider you all not only my dearest friends, but my family.”
Ivy smiled up at him. She had a pretty good idea what this was about. They had talked about it weeks ago. She just hadn’t known when Pippin was going to bring it up. Pippin looked over at Sam, who reached into his coat and pulled out a paper. He handed it across to Pippin.
“I had Sam draw up a document for me.” Pippin opened the folded paper and quickly scanned it. He looked up at Sam. “Thank you, Sam,” he said, smiling at his friend.
“It was my pleasure, Mister Pippin, believe me,” Sam said.
Pippin re-folded the paper and looked around at the guests, his eyes finally settling on Fari. “This is actually a gift for my son.”
Ivy looked over at Fari, sitting on the other side of Pippin. He was looking up at his father, his head cocked slightly in wonder. Ivy hoped they were doing the right thing, hoped that Fari would like this. She didn’t want to upset him or do anything to make him unhappy.
“Fari, a while ago I promised you that I would fix something. You had told me that you wanted a mother as nice as Theo’s and Frodo’s,” Pippin smiled at both Estella and Rosie as he said this. He turned back to Fari. “If you are agreeable, Fari, Ivy would like to adopt you as her own son.”
Fari’s mouth dropped open in surprise. Then he gave a slight nod and burst into tears. Pippin knelt down and hugged him, murmuring into his ear. and Fari would occasionally nod at something he said. When his father pulled back to look in his face, Ivy saw that Fari was smiling under his tears. He was happy. She grabbed her napkin, needing to wipe away some tears of her own.
Pippin stood up, Fari clinging to his waist. “I think we should go to Merry’s study then, and we can make this official.”
They filed out of the dining room and down the hall. Pippin had one arm around Fari and the other he slipped around Ivy. “Fari’s all right,” Pippin whispered to her. “We just took him by surprise.”
The study was cramped, especially with all the Big Folk, but nobody minded. Ivy sat at her father’s desk and turned to the boy next to her. “Are you sure about this, Fari?” she asked him. “I won’t be hurt if you don’t want me to sign it.”
“I’m sure,” Fari said, his voice barely above a whisper. “I think you’ll be a good mum, Ivy.” He sniffled again and Pippin handed him a handkerchief.
Ivy picked up her father’s pen and looked at the document in front of her. It stated that Pippin was giving her all the rights of a parent to Fari, something he could do since Diamond had signed her own rights away. Legally, Ivy would be Fari’s mother now, same as if she’d given birth to him. She glanced at Fari, sniffling into his father’s handkerchief. She would be his mother now. She signed her name with tears in her eyes.
She pushed the paper over to Pippin to sign. Then to her father, who would sign as the first witness. Estella, Freddy, Éowyn, Faramir, and Éomer also signed as witnesses. Ivy smiled. How many Shire documents could claim the Steward of Gondor and the King of Rohan as their witnesses?
Sam added the seventh signature and held up the paper, grinning. “With those names, it can’t get any more official than that!” Everyone cheered.
Her father pulled out wine for a toast to their new family. Ivy rolled her eyes with a smile when Estella cheerfully handed her and Pippin glasses of mead. There had been six bottles of mead at Crickhollow for them. They’d drank them all. Ivy was a little tired of the sweet wine, but she hoped it worked.
Theo and Eomer came up to Fari. “We’re your uncles now!” Theo said gleefully.
Fari looked up at his father. “Really?”
“Yes,” said Pippin, “and Merry is your grandfather!”
Her father choked on his wine. “Grandfather?”
“Grandfather!” Merry said again that night as he and Estella got into bed. “I can’t be a grandfather. I’m only fifty-five! I’m way too young!”
Estella kissed him, then whispered in his ear. “With as tired as Ivy and Pippin look, I’d say they’ve been working very hard on making you a grandfather anyway.”
“Estella!” He huffed and lay down, settling under the blankets. Why did she insist on reminding him of what his daughter was up to with Pippin?
“Goodnight, Grampy,” she chuckled and blew out the candle.
Merry spooned himself next to her and sighed into her hair. Grandfather. He was officially a grandfather. Yes, so Éowyn was also officially a grandmother, but the Big Folk were used to being grandparents at forty-three. Hobbits didn’t normally become grandparents until their late sixties. And it wasn’t just Fari being his adopted grandson. Estella was right. Ivy would most likely have a baby within a year.
He smiled. That wouldn’t be so bad, really. He was looking forward to having a grandbaby to spoil. And he knew Ivy wanted children. And Pippin... Pippin had been so happy when Fari was born, though his marriage had been a disaster and his wife hated him. He was going to be ecstatic about becoming a father again, this time with a wife who would love him and their children. Merry coughed, clearing the lump in his throat. It made him feel a little better about having Ivy grow up and leave him if it meant Pippin could be this 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.