This chapter is for Silmarien, born in Fourth Age 23.
Fourth Age 38
"Ada?" Aragorn paused to see Silmarien's golden head peeping around her doormantle. "Ada, could you help me get ready for the party? Nana has left me, and I cannot do it all myself."
Aragorn paused. "What exactly do you expect me to do?" he asked hesitantly.
"Just button my dress and hold my hairpins for me," she answered with a dazzlingly persuasive smile. "Please, Ada?"
"I can do that," he said with an answering grin, and followed her as she walked dancingly back into her room. At fifteen, she was grown tall and womanly indeed, and her dark rose dress complimented her fine figure as well as her beautiful face. As Aragorn dealt with the small buttons, frowning just a little at how difficult it was with his large fingers rough from long years of fighting, Silmarien posed and smiled into her mirror, practicing her prettiest smile.
As soon as Aragorn was done, she handed him a small pile of golden pins and began brushing her golden curls atop her head. Aragorn smiled at her reflection in the mirror, the lovely image of the only child of his to receive the warm golden hair of her grandmother, as well as the brilliant beauty of her mother.
"What will you wish for when you blow out your candle this New Year?" he asked.
"To be lovely and admired," she answered, reaching up for him to give her a pin.
Aragorn paused a little. "Is that all? It is tradition to wish for the fulfillment of your one greatest goal."
"Silly Ada," she responded with a bubbly and almost irritating giggle, reaching to take another pin from his hand. "That is my greatest goal!"
"That is all you wish for from life?" he asked, his brow wrinkling in the middle. After two other daughters, Aragorn would have imagined that he knew what to expect from these years between childhood and womanhood, but this daughter of his threw his expectations to the wind.
"What else is there?" she asked with a little shrug of her delicate shoulders. "And besides," she added, turning around and tipping her face to one side, "is it not a realistic goal?"
"Well—yes," answered Aragorn, awkward but honest.
"Then why not?" she asked, putting a couple more pins to hold her hair in place. She posed again in the mirror with a pursing of her rosy lips, then frowned a little and loosed a couple curls to hang at one side of her face. Smiling in full satisfaction, she pinned them delicately in place, and then blew a kiss at her reflection.
"I am ready now, Ada," she said, smiling brightly.
Aragorn sighed a little, but said nothing at that time. He offered her his arm, ignoring her excited giggle, and father and daughter descended gracefully to the New Year's celebration together. Let her have her airy dream for now, he thought. Reality with all its weight will catch up faster than either of us would wish it.