35. Plans for Married Life
Plans for Married Life
They'd not been back long before Master Beneldil brought a missive from the King. Ruvemir smiled to again receive a folded paper sealed with black wax and the A glyph, and opened it with interest.
"He has determined he can come down early this evening, about sundown, but cannot stay long," Ruvemir told Dorlin, Folco, Miriel, and Ririon as they sat about the room, Miriel working on the last of the embroidery for the hem of the Queen's dress. She would assemble the garment tomorrow, he knew, and would have it finished in a few days time. The bodice was complete, and she'd spent much of the time in the coach coming back from Rohan basting it together. "He says the girl should live, but he fears the left side of her face will be badly disfigured. The boy will do well."
A tap at the door from Elise, and she entered with fresh towels for his and Ririon's baths, and that of Pando when he returned. She paused briefly as he quickly explained the King was coming, and asked if he could arrange for a meal in the room. "Probably a light one will be best," he said. "He is likely to be tired after the day. I am surprised he still intends to come down after all. Can you join us for a quarter of an hour, do you think?"
She allowed she thought she could make it, and agreed to go out with him after she was off duty to the Dragon's Claw to speak of plans for the future. She was wearing the gift sent her by Rosie Gamgee, a triangular lace shawl that she wore wrapped diagonally and tied near her left hip, and it became her well. She thanked Ruvemir for the gift he'd placed on the tea tray for her the day before, a book of humorous poems he'd found in the market in Hobbiton. She told how she'd read them aloud to her family, and how her mother and sister had both laughed, and even her grandmother had allowed herself to smile. And she again reassured herself that he would indeed come to dinner with them on her next free day.
"I will, but after we go together to the Sixth Circle to look at the house suggested by the King," Ruvemir promised.
He followed her to the door, and gave her a very quick kiss before she took herself off. He then went in to bathe, and came out wrapped in a light robe, prepared to start the third set of diagrams.
Near sundown Pando arrived, tired but pleased, and Celebgil came with him. Both were sent to bathe and make themselves presentable, and Miriel moved quickly through the room preparing it. Folco had purchased early flowers from a flower seller on the street, and Miriel quickly arranged them in a vase she'd purchased a few days previous. The diagrams for Sam's figure were rolled away, Ruvemir changed into a clean outfit, and Folco brought in his container of pipeweed to share after the meal.
At sundown there was the expected knock at the door, and the King, Legolas, Tharen, and Gimli came in quietly and removed their cloaks. Ruvemir had already obtained three extra larger chairs, and Aragorn claimed one of them with obvious relief. His expression was still concerned, but not as grim as it had been when Ruvemir had glimpsed him before. He accepted the goblet of wine Ruvemir poured him as he entered, and he sat, head tilted back as the sculptor had seen him do on previous visits.
Ririon brought the model for the memorial to Tharen, who examined it closely and declared himself well pleased with it. He turned to Legolas. "It depicts them well, do you think?"
"No question, my brother. I think even Frodo would be pleased."
Gimli smiled as he held it, Dorlin watching with interest, and then came the tap at the door as Elise brought the tray for the dinner. "I have told them to bring the second tray for the drinks after," she said. "They do not know the King is here. I hope that is acceptable, my Lord Elessar."
The King nodded. "Thank you. I have had a long and stressful day, and it does not help that all that we wished to discuss this morning was interrupted by the fire on the Pelennor."
"You were discussing the matters discussed in Rohan, then?" asked Ruvemir.
The King looked him over carefully before finally smiling. "Yes, but we will say no more here of that."
Ruvemir nodded. Elise left to get the second tray as Miriel set out the contents of the first. A second tap and Elise had returned, and soon all were served with a light meal of cold meats and cheeses and bread, fresh vegetables, and fruit.
The date for the wedding was agreed upon, the second High Day hence, an hour past noon. Master Beneldil had offered his common room for the wedding and the feast afterwards, if the weather was such to preclude the marriage in the garden that Elise had desired. "Mardi Cook is all pleased, and has plans for an elaborate feast, my Lord," Elise explained. "I don't know that there will be so many to enjoy it, though."
"Oh, don't be so certain," the King commented. "You may be surprised at the number who wish to attend." He smiled. "And hopefully Arwen will be able to show our daughter her first wedding. I believe she will be born next week."
He looked at the wedding couple. "I saw today," he explained to them both, "just how difficult it is for Master Ruvemir to make his way up the steep streets of the city. He was quite winded when we passed him, my Lady Elise. He should not have to walk so far with his hips as they are. We have a guesthouse on the sixth level that will suit his needs well, but is also fit for you. And, we have an offer to make you, also, Mistress. Once our daughter becomes old enough to be separated for a few hours at a time from her mother, we will need someone to serve as a nurse for her when her mother has duties elsewhere. Would you be interested in such an office? It will not be for many hours a day, nor will it be indefinitely, as we do not intend to allow our children to be raised by others as so many do."
Elise was shocked to stillness, then smiled. "Oh, my Lord, it would be an honor."
"Thank you, then, for accepting this. One more detail completed, and one whose sense Arwen and I both admire will care for the child and not someone to fill her head with how special she is and that she does not need to care for the wishes of others. I've seen too many such in my lifetime."
"My Lord," asked Miriel, "what will become of the two children you rescued today?"
"We are not yet certain. It appears the girl will recover more quickly than I'd feared. She is responding well to the treatment, and is very responsive both to my own skills and gift and to the athelas. But the burns will most likely be disfiguring.
"Nor have we found any kin to take them. Their mother was from Anfalas and had been raised by an aunt who resented taking care of an orphaned child; their father's brothers were killed in the War, his sister did not survive childhood, and his parents died six years past, we've learned."
"I see. Might the girl enjoy a visit from me, do you think? At least she will know someone cares for her recovery."
"That would be most welcome, I am certain."
Not long after the King, politely refusing the pipeweed brought by Folco, cloaked himself and left, accompanied by the two Elves. Gimli remained, and he looked at Ruvemir and Elise with interest as he accepted Folco's generosity. "It is a good house," Gimli commented. "We were comfortable there. And the folk in the next house are gentle and kindly folk who will welcome you both. The parents of the Mistress Lindúriel will be pleased to teach you the ways of the Citadel, as they serve there themselves, and the children will be fascinated by Pando, Ririon, and Joy when they visit, as well as the two of you." He gave Ruvemir a piercing look. "And you will undoubtedly find yourself thrilled to be in yet another place where Frodo Baggins once lived." He moved to the open window and lit his pipe.
"That I will. He is one I so wish I could have met personally. Ririon is very glad he did have that chance."
"Now, tell me the news of the Shire. And what is this about turnip lanterns in the hedges of Bag End?"
Pando blushed, but began to explain how Pippin Took had taught the children of the Row how to carve turnip lanterns, and how somehow they'd decided to suspend them in the hedges of Bag End as a surprise for the Gamgees. Elise was laughing as she left to resume her duties, and Gimli was grinning broadly. "Sounds like the young rascal. I hear he's keeping company?"
Folco smiled. "More or less. But it is his wish to make it known in his own way. She loves the pendant, though."
"Good. Have they set a date yet?"
"Not as of the time we left the Shire."
"Not so swift as some, then," the Dwarf smiled, examining Folco with interest. Folco and Miriel flushed, but clasped each other's hands and smiled proudly. "You make a decidedly likely couple."
"Thank you," Miriel replied.
After the two Dwarves finally left, Celebgil reluctantly followed suit, and Ruvemir asked Ririon to help him with the exercises he'd not really done in a couple months, then prepared to walk out with Elise when she was off duty.
For a time they walked about the Second Circle, speaking lightly, and eventually found themselves in a quiet square where they sat on a bench and looked out over the Pelennor while they talked of what would follow the completion of this commission.
"I already have two more, to the north in Arnor. One will be done in Eriador, probably near the northern capital; and the other I am not certain where. It should involve visiting Imladris."
"Oh, then we will see the Vale of the Great Elves?"
"You would wish to accompany me? I'd hoped you would, but was not certain you'd find such a roving life pleasing."
She smiled shyly. "Well, if I'm to marry a master sculptor of such fame, I must be ready to travel, mustn't I? I'll admit it will be odd to travel about the wilds of the world, but our children will be well educated and experienced."
He smiled as she rested her head on his shoulder. "Perhaps we will be allowed to enter the Shire again. You would find it fascinating, I think. And you would come to love the family of Samwise Gamgee. Mistress Rosie would welcome you with open arms. And little Elanorellë would sit in your lap and play with your shoes.
"Where would you wish to have our home of the heart, though, Elise? Here in the city? In Lebennin? Elsewhere?"
"I'm not yet certain. So far I know only the city and the fastness where they took us during the War. But after that, I think I'd like it to be away from here, in a green place near mountains. I found I love such places. Cannot we travel some ere we make that decision?"
He smiled. "It would seem we should look to having a new coach of a type made, I think." He began to have an idea. "Let me think on it, then."
They spent an hour in the common room at the Dragon's Claw, and he walked her then to her door, which was opened by her sister Dorieth, another who was smaller than other girls her age, her hair darker than that of her sister, but as full and thick, her eyes bright with pleasure to meet him at last, her expression promising her sister teasing later. He kissed Elise gently on the step, before her sister's pleased eyes, and after seeing her in he went back to his own rooms and readied himself for bed.
He dreamed of the Shire and the mallorn tree that night, and heard the giggles of Pando as he played at Túrin and the Dragon with Frodo Baggins.
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.