1. Making it Memorable
The next morning Pippin and Diamond had offered to watch the Gamgee children while Rosie and Sam did their marketing and had second breakfast and elevenses at the Green Dragon. The Gamgees returned refreshed for having the time alone together and Rosie and Diamond had a good visit while they worked together fixing luncheon. After the noon meal was over, Pippin asked Diamond if she might like to take a walk.
They walked around Bag End’s garden, although it was a bit dead looking at this time of year, and then down the lane that led along The Hill to New Row. From there they started walking in the Party Field, eventually ending up standing under the mallorn tree.
“Have you ever climbed a tree, Diamond?” Pippin asked as he laid his hand to the trunk of the large tree and looked up into the branches.
Diamond eyed Pippin with suspicion. “Yes, Peregrin.” She said slowly, “When I was a little lass playing with my brother Isengrim and his friends.” Her eyes narrowed. “You are not suggesting we climb this tree, are you?”
“Oh now Diamond, you’re a Took . . . well a North-took, but that’s the same thing just North Farthing instead of West Farthing . You can’t tell me you’re going to say no to a bit of fun?” Pippin’s green eyes sparkled with child-like anticipation. “Mellyrn are easy trees to climb. Good sturdy branches fairly close together that go outwards for a ways before turning upward. I climbed them in Lorien. I’ve climbed this one too.”
Diamond looked into his twinkling eyes. They looked even greener than usual, bright and alive. She fell under the spell of them, as had his parents, aunts and uncles, Merry, Frodo and Sam before her. How could anyone possibly say no to such a look of innocent joy.
“It does sound rather fun. But if you help me up then you’d be below me, Peregrin Took, and I shan’t have you looking up my skirts as Isengrim’s friends used to do. Climbing trees is all well and good for you lads in your breeches!” Diamond said trying hard to look stern.
Pippin laughed heartily. “If I set you on my shoulder, my good lass in her skirts, and lift you a bit from there you can reach the lowest branch and pull yourself up. I can promise to keep my eyes closed or you can use my handkerchief and blindfold me if you wish. I can pull myself up after you are seated and I’ll lead from there.”
“I’ll not blindfold you if you swear on your honor as a Knight of Gondor that you won’t peek.” She was trying very hard to not giggle.
Pippin drew himself up to his full height and saluted Diamond in the manner of Gondor, bowing his head and crossing his hands over his chest. Then he raised his head and with the most serious of looks on his face and in his most formal manner of speech said; “I, Peregrin son of Paladin of the Tooks of Great Smials of the West Farthing of the Shire, swear on my honor as a Knight of Gondor to do no thing that will bring to you, Diamond of Long Cleeve, embarrassment or disgrace. I swear also that I will allow no harm to come to you while you attempt this endeavor. Do you accept my oath, Diamond of Long Cleeve?”
Diamond had not expected such a formal pronouncement and felt sorry that she had made him swear so seriously over such a minor thing. “I accept your oath, Peregrin son of Paladin.” She said quietly.
Pippin’s impish look immediately returned to his eyes as he reached down, grabbed Diamond about the knees and then stood with her now seated on his shoulder. Diamond let out a little shriek of surprise and then giggled. He then held one of her feet in each hand and told her to stand up. She steadied herself against the trunk of the tree and stood on his hands. From there it was easy to get herself seated on the lowest branch of the tree. Pippin then jumped and grabbed the branch she sat on and swung himself up to sit beside her.
“Ready to follow me?” He asked all smiles and dancing eyes.
“Yes!” She laughed.
They slowly made their way up the tree until they were nearly two thirds of the way to the top and Pippin noticed that Diamond was beginning to look nervous.
“We’ll stop here.” He said. “Watch how your skirts are and cross a leg across the branch so you can sit with your back to the trunk and you’ll be quite safe Diamond.” He lent her a hand as she settled herself against the smooth trunk of the tree, then he sat astride the wide branch in front of her, out further from the trunk.
“Look out through the leaves Diamond.” Pippin said in a hushed voice. “Look at our beautiful Shire.” She looked out at the town of Hobbiton, at The Water as it ran through the rolling hills with their patchwork of greens and browns all lying peacefully beneath the pale sun of late autumn. It was beautiful indeed. Pippin, however, was not looking at the landscape but at Diamond, at her fair skin, chestnut hair and shining brown eyes. He watched as her head slowly turned and she took in all of the beauty that was laid out as far as the eye could see.
“I have something I need to say to you.” Pippin said softly and Diamond quit gazing at the scenery and looked into his eyes. “I had wanted to speak to you at the Festival Ball but,” he looked away, “it just did not feel right with everyone around, and the noise and such. Then afterwards you were so tired. Do you even remember me carrying you to your room?” He looked up at her and Diamond shook her head. Pippin continued, “I thought I could talk to you now.”
She smiled and gently touched his face. “You brought me up a tree to talk to me?”
He bowed his head and nodded. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, then raised his head to return her steady gaze.
“I wanted some place private and, well, memorable.”
Diamond’s smile widened. “This certainly meets both of those criteria.” She said, her smile brightening her words.
“Yes, well . . . it does, yes.” Pippin was blushing now. “I haven’t been sure of some things, things between the two of us. I thought of talking to you back in the North Farthing, but I wasn’t sure I should. Even though I thought the Ball would be a good time to talk to you I still really wasn’t sure about . . . well just certain things. But now, after the Festival and the Ball and . . . I,” he looked deeply into her eyes, “I have no doubts. I had to speak with you today.”
“Is it urgent, Peregrin?” Diamond was getting concerned.
“Um, it sort of is. It . . .” his expression changed suddenly, “Why do you always call me Peregrin? No one else does, not even my parents.”
Diamond’s eyes went wide with surprise. “This is what was so important?”
“No! No it isn’t, but I just now thought about it. You never have called me Pippin.”
“I like Peregrin.” Diamond said and smiled. “Everyone else seemed to think of you as, well, as a bit foolish and immature. I just saw something else in your eyes when ever you came to ask me to dance when we were younger. There was a seriousness in your eyes that I guess they didn’t see. I felt ‘Peregrin’ fit that lad I saw better than ‘Pippin’ did. I did not want to forget what I saw in you, so I decided I would call you Peregrin.” Her brows drew together in concern. “You don’t mind do you?”
“No, now that I know why. I am honored that you saw something better in me.” His expression grew serious again. “Do you still see that Peregrin in me?”
“Do you see Pippin the somewhat foolish immature Took as well?”
She laughed lightly. “Yes, especially as we are sitting up a tree.”
He smiled but he was still serious. “Would you marry both of me?”
Diamond’s eyes went wide and Pippin quickly took hold of her as she looked as though she might fall. She said nothing for what to him seemed like hours.
“Diamond?” His voice and hands were shaking.
She shook her head a bit as though coming back to herself after letting her thoughts go elsewhere. What she had heard was beyond any dream she ever dreamed. “Yes!” She said joyfully, a warm light shining in her soft brown eyes. “Yes to both of you!”
Pippin placed his hands on the tree trunk on either side of Diamond, so she wouldn’t fall, then leaned forward and kissed her long and passionately. A kiss she wholeheartedly returned while hugging him around his waist. When he finally pulled away, he reached into a pocket on the inside of his jacket. He pulled out a small velvet pouch with a drawstring.
“This is for you.”
She took the pouch from him and looked at it for a few seconds before working it open. Inside was a beautiful necklace of silver. An intricate open vine-like design held a single sparkling clear diamond in it’s center, the chain was finer than any she had ever seen. Pippin reached over and took the clasp in his fingers and opened it. His hands trembled as he placed the necklace around her neck and fastened the clasp. The afternoon sun through the mallorn leaves caught the setting and the diamond and set them both aflame.
“It’s Elven.” Pippin said reverently as he touched the necklace gently with his finger tips. “It’s been in the hoard of the Thains for no one knows how long. I remembered it from when my sisters and I would sneak into the deepest storerooms in Great Smials when we would visit as children.” His eyes had the look of distant memories in them. “We called them the Treasure Caves.” He laughed at the childhood name. “This always drew my eye. It was never dull and black like the other silver pieces. I know now that it’s mithril, true silver it’s sometimes called because it never tarnishes.” Pippin’s eyes moved from the necklace to Diamond’s eyes. “It is rare and priceless . . . like you.”
Getting down out of the tree was harder for Diamond than climbing up had been. It was hard to see to find her footing with her skirts in the way, but Pippin was patient and did not hurry her. When they got to the bottom branch he had her sit down on it. He then jumped down so that he could have her step onto his hands, set her on his shoulder and then lower her to the ground.
They walked hand in hand back up the lane to Bag End, pausing for a kiss before going in the round front door. Sam and Rosie and the children were in the kitchen just about to begin eating dinner when Diamond and Pippin swept into the room still holding hands and smiling broadly. Rosie immediately noticed the beautiful necklace that shone on Diamond’s neck.
“We climbed the mallorn tree in the Party Field!” Pippin stated.
“Yes! We went ever so close to the top, I felt so giddy!” Diamond added giggling.
Even Sam could tell that this was not enough of an event to warrant the couple’s ruddy complexions, sparkling eyes and tightly clasped hands. He turned to Rosie and winked. “I’ll wager that isn’t all that happened to make her giddy.”
“They’re getting married! Aren’t you Uncle Pippin!”
The adults turned open mouthed to stare at the excited six year old Elanor, and then they all began laughing and hugging each other.
“You didn’t,” Sam held Pippin at arms length so he could look the young Took in the eye, “tell me you didn’t really make this lass climb that tree!” Pippin’s eyes gleamed with mischief. “Why did I bother with askin’ ya.” Sam shook his head.
“I had my reasons.” Pippin said happily. “I wanted it to memorable. And. . .”
“As though any lass forgets how and where she was asked for her hand in marriage.” Rosie interrupted and she gave Diamond another hug.
“And,” Pippin continued, “I had been thinking atop the Tower of Ecthelion in Minas Tirith, but that is a long journey and I didn’t wish to wait that long. Secondly . . .”
“Still too high off the ground for a normal hobbit.” Sam said sighing and rolling his eyes.
“And, if I will not be interrupted further,” Pippin narrowed his eyes and glared at Sam, but then laughed, “secondly, I wanted to do something Merry would have trouble finding anything grander than for whenever he gets around to finding a lass and asking for her hand.”
“You’ve taken care of that and that’s for sure! Merry won’t even begin to try to out do a thing such as becomin’ betrothed whilst up a tree.!” Sam shook his head over it all while Pippin looked proud of himself.
“I want to get betrowed up a tree, Papa!” Elanor said loudly and her Papa pulled the child to himself and covered her mouth while everyone else laughed.
“Well, my good cooking is getting cold.” Rosie said a bit too loudly and pulled Diamond down into the chair beside hers. “Pippin, you just sit down there next to Sam and we’ll eat and drink to your happiness.”
When bedtime came for the Gamgee brood, Elanor begged that Diamond and Rosie put her to bed so Mum could tell her how she got betrowed and Diamond could tell her all about getting betrowed in trees. Sam did not look at all pleased with the last part but the lasses just giggled at him as they went off towards the children’s rooms.
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.