60. Chapter 60
Fari thought he’d never be so happy to see Brandy Hall. The journey had slowed considerably after Goldi’s condition had been discovered. They rode no more than an hour or two before taking a short break and they shortened their daily rides. It added many days to the trip, but it was easier on Goldi. She had complained at first, insisting she felt fine, but finally gave in. She didn’t have a chance against three overprotective grandfathers and one expectant father. Fari was feeling especially guilty that he hadn’t thought about Goldi’s health on their tiring journey.
The journey over the mountains had been especially slow, both because of Goldi and because winter was setting in. But the pass remained clear for them, and they made it to Rivendell on the last day of October. They remained a week in the city, giving Goldi a chance to rest (and the elven healer assured them all her pregnancy was going well), and Merry sent a message to Buckland to let their families know they would be home soon. He didn’t say anything in the letter about Goldi--that was better done face to face.
Fari was able to clear the air with Sam on their journey home. Goldi’s father was still disappointed in them, but since they’d been found safe and sound, and he’d had a chance to cool down, Sam had told Fari he could understand they had been frightened of Diamond’s threats. And although he didn’t approve of his daughter getting pregnant before they were married, he couldn’t hide the fact that he was looking forward to another grandchild.
If Sam was excited about another grandchild, Fari’s father was ecstatic about having his first. “A grandchild!” he’d often say to Merry as they rode, wonder and excitement in his eyes, “Can you imagine?”
“Yes, Pippin, I can imagine,” Merry finally said, shaking his head. “I’ve got quite a few grandchildren myself, you know.” Fari’s dad made a face at him, and Merry chuckled. “And I love every one of them, even if I didn’t get all of them the usual way.” Merry caught Fari’s eye and smiled.
Fari’s dad suddenly got a huge grin on his face. “So that means Fari’s going to make you a great-grandfather!”
Merry groaned, seemingly just realising this. “The elf and dwarf will never let me hear the end of it!”
His dad laughed and looked over at Fari. Fari smiled back. They’d talked a lot, and had worked out many things, but there was still some tension between them that only time would heal. Fari had discovered some things about himself during those talks, the most disturbing was that he was jealous of Ivy and his siblings. His brothers and sisters had only known their father as healthy and happy, the perfect father. And no matter what Uncle Merry said, Fari still believed that Ivy--not he--was the most important reason his father had recovered. But he was willing to accept that, because it meant his father was here and alive. Fari hoped things would finally heal between them once they were home and they took care of the situation with Diamond.
When the Hall itself came into view they quickened their pace, anxious to be home. They sent a stableboy to announce their arrival and in the entrance hall they were met by a swarm of Brandybucks, Tooks and Gamgees.
Goldi was pulled into her mother’s embrace, both of them sobbing. Fari was about to greet Theo, but Ivy grabbed him instead.
“You scared me, Fari!” she said, hugging him tight.
Fari hugged her back. This was how a mother was supposed to treat her son. “I’m sorry,” he said.
She pulled back to look at him. “How are you? Are you all right?”
“Yes...um...” Fari fidgeted, not really sure if he should let their news out yet, but he ended up not having to worry about it because suddenly all the Gamgee lasses gathered around Goldi collectively exclaimed “You’re pregnant?”
Ivy gaped at him, wide-eyed. Fari shrugged. “Congratulations, Gran,” he said.
Ivy hugged him again, then his dad. “A grandchild!” she exclaimed, before giving her husband a lingering kiss.
“All right, you two, there’s children present!” Theo said. He had little Arwen in his arms. He poked Ivy in the shoulder. “Take your ‘welcome home’ celebration elsewhere.” Theo turned to Fari. “Congratulations, Dad,” he grinned.
“Yeah,” Fari said. He reached out to touch Arwen’s little foot. He’d have a baby of his own all too soon.
“Want to hold her?” Theo asked. “You could use the practice. It’s been a while since you’ve held a baby.”
Fari took his little cousin. She had been a helpless newborn last he saw her. Now she was wide-eyed, her little hands reaching to grab at everything. He sighed. He realized he really liked cuddling the little warm bundle in his arms.
“Oh, Fari!” Ivy said and sniffled behind her hand.
His dad put his arm around her. “Granny’s a little overwhelmed, I think.”
“It’s just he’s holding the baby and...it’s so lovely.” Ivy wiped her eyes on her sleeve. “I suppose we have a wedding to plan, then?” she said.
Fari shrugged. “Don’t know. We still have to talk about that.” He glanced at his dad.
His father chuckled and leaned close to Ivy’s ear. “Sam was being a bit...unreasonable. Fari and Goldi didn’t get much chance to talk to each other after we found them. We’re hoping Rosie will help with that.”
“Fari, I’m so happy for you!” He was suddenly kissed on the cheek by Moira.
Fari gave Arwen back to her dad so he could give Moira a proper hug.
“Look at you!” He stared in wonder at her belly. She was nowhere near that big when they’d left.
Moira laughed. “You’ve been gone nearly three months,” she said, patting her round stomach. “And I only have about three more to go.” She sighed, like she was looking forward to it very much.
“I see you managed to catch up with us after all,” Eomer said, clapping him on the back. Fari smiled sheepishly and shrugged.
“We should go see Goldi,” Ivy said to his dad. She bent down and kissed Fari’s cheek. “I’m so glad you’re home, Faramir.”
She said it with such emotion that Fari got a lump in his throat, watching her walk away with his dad. He was so grateful to have her as a mum. He only hoped that she would still be his mum. He coughed to clear his throat and looked at Theo. “How did it go with Diamond?”
Theo grinned broadly. “It’s over with,” he said. “Ivy, Reg and I took care of everything. Ivy’s still your mum and Diamond doesn’t have any claim on you. Nothing was changed.”
Fari gasped, completely overwhelmed by this news. He wasn’t expecting it to be so easy. His dad had warned him it may be a long fight with Diamond. “How? What happened?”
Theo snorted. “We found out Diamond doesn’t have as many friends as she made out. Most hobbits are pretty outraged at what she tried to do to you and your dad. Including her family. The Northtooks were quite embarassed by the whole thing and disinherited her. We heard they gave her a cottage and a small allowance to live on, out of pity, but other than that they have no contact with her.” He put a hand on Fari’s shoulder. “We should probably get our dads and Sam, and fill you all in on what happened.”
Fari fidgeted in his seat next to Theo and glanced up at his father. His dad was sitting across from them, next to Ivy. His jaw was clenched and he was staring at the floor, his hands flexing with anger.
“Pippin,” Ivy pleaded and reached for his hand.
“No.” He jerked his hand away from her and stood up. He paced in front of his desk for moment before turning. “How could you do this, Ivy?” He glared in Fari’s direction, but the glare was obviously directed at Theo. “How could you let your sister do this?”
Theo snorted. “I didn’t let her do anything, Pippin. And I certainly can’t make her do anything! You should know that.”
Fari had to bite his lip to keep back the giggle that he knew his father wouldn’t appreciate right now. But it was true. How could his father think that anyone had a say in Ivy’s decision? Ivy was even more stubborn than Goldi.
His dad turned his ire to the back of the room, where Merry, Reg and Sam sat. “And you, Reg! I’ve always trusted you to make good decisions, but have you lost your mind? How could you go along with this?”
“Pippin,” Merry scolded, before Reg could say anything. He stood up and went over to Fari’s dad. Merry put his hands on his shoulders. “They did what they thought was best. And it worked. It’s done and over with, and there’s no sense getting upset--”
“I shouldn’t get upset? Your daughter, Merry, told the Shirrif and pretty much half the Shire that she seduced me! That she persuaded me into her bed when I was too drunk to know better!”
Merry leaned closer to look him straight in the eyes. “Didn’t she?”
His dad shoved Merry’s hands away and turned his back to them. Fari cringed and wished he could be anywhere else right now.
“Pip...” Merry pleaded.
“Pippin.” Ivy stood up and went him. She put her arms around his waist and leaned her head on his shoulder. “I only told them the truth.”
“I just don’t want people thinking badly of you, Ivy,” he said softly.
Ivy growled in frustration and moved around to look him in the eye. “If you had listened to the rest of the story, Peregrin Took, rather than blowing up at us...” She smiled at him. “Do you know what most people told me, when I explained why I needed them to remember you on that day? They told me they were happy I came along. That you had needed a ‘good lass’ to distract you from your problems and ‘the old cow’.”
Fari couldn’t stop the snort of laughter this time. Ivy looked up at him. Their eyes met and she smiled at him.
“But not everyone will feel that way, Ivy,” his dad said.
“It doesn’t matter what people think of me, Pippin. All that matters to me is protecting our son from Diamond, no matter what. And this was the only sure way to do it.”
His dad nodded, then turned and hugged Ivy. Fari sighed in relief. He’d been so afraid this would come between them, that Diamond had driven a wedge between them, too. But he didn’t have to worry about that anymore. Her plan had failed and he hoped he’d never have to see her again.
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.