There was a bunch of the pearl-berried plant hanging from the beam of the great room at the Maggots' house, too. Lily often stopped to look at it with dewy eyes. No more visitors for Lily Maggot, and the worst of it was that it was by her own choice. She had told Alf she could only give him friendship, but that friendship had not been of the lasting ones. In weeks the had grown tired of each other. Lily did not want to charm anyone ever again. She doubted she could, what with the child coming. And after it was born, if she lived, she would be a mother with a mother's duties. Alf and Pippin had been rare exeptions, willing to become father to a half-human child.
However, Lily did have a Yule visitor, on the second day of the feast. The horse walked effortlessly through the blanket of snow that would have halted most of the stubborn ponies of the Shire. The tall rider was wrapped in a cloack grey as frost.
Farmer Maggot came in from the cold weather.
'The young master is tending to his horse.' His eyes asked: what was it about his misfortunate, strange-looking Lily that kept them coming like bees for honey?
Their eyes met, hers full of questions, his full of secrets.
'Why have you come?'
'I could't stay away any longer.'
He pointed at the ceiling. Lily glimpsed the mistletoe, then his lips were on hers. He tasted of snow, and pipe-weed.
'When the snow melts, the birds sing, and flowers rise from the ground, will you come boating at the Brandywine?'
'I will', said Lily. Then she added, with mischief in her eyes:
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.