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Yule in Annúminas

Author name: arwen75
Recipient's name: aliensouldream
Title: Yule in Annúminas
Rating: U
Request: ‘Happy Hobbits’
Author's notes: I hope this fulfils the request – I am afraid it starts off with an unhappy hobbit but it does get there eventually. As usual meanders a bit and seems to have taken on a life of its own – I thought this was going to be a short snappy story and it appears to have decided it wants to be something longer… Not helped by illness of both me and my son…
Summary: The first Yule that Pippin is Thain runs differently to what is expected.

It was the first Yule since Paladin had passed and Reginard as the Thain’s Steward was somewhat unhappy that the new Thain seemed determined to spend Yule away from the Great Smials.
“Your place is here Pippin amongst the Tooks not gallivanting of who knows where.”
“That is as maybe Regi, but the King has summoned me and as one of his guardsmen I am sworn to obey.”
“Does he realise that you are now Thain with all that entails?”
“I am sure he does Regi and indeed that may have something to do with the reason he has summoned me. I am not the only person summoned – both the Master and the Mayor have been summoned in their positions as Councillors of the Northern Kingdom.”
“What is so urgent that it cannot wait till after Yule though? Surely the King must know of the importance of the Took being here for Yule?”
“It may be that he is planning to return south soon so it was a good time to see his Northern Councillors together before he returns to Gondor. They will not be back in Arnor for another two years. But the fact is that as I swore an oath to obey to my King so obey him I must. I do stand before the Shire as his representative so he has the right to summon me as Thain as well as a Guardsman. I am sorry Regi but you will have to accept I am going.”
****
Pippin dressed in his livery to travel to Hobbiton where he was going to spend the night with the Mayor and his family before he and Sam travelled to the Brandywine Bridge to meet up with the Master of Buckland. Also waiting there would be the escorts from the King who would never his hobbit friends travel through even the road to Lake Evendim and Annúminas without an escort. Even now coming on 16 years since the end of the Ring War it was not always safe on the roads although the three hobbits were well able to defend themselves.
Regi was still not entirely happy about the Thain not being in the Great Smials for Yule, even though his Lady Diamond and their son Faramir were staying. However he was resigned to the fact that Pippin felt he must travel to Annúminas as their King had commanded. So it was that he joined other Tooks in farewelling the Thain as he set out for Hobbiton after lunch.
Leaving the Smials behind hi, Pippin felt a weight lift from his shoulders. He still was not totally accepted by all the Tooks after he had lived in Buckland for so many years following his return from lands far away. His choice of name for his son was also seen as outlandish by many other than a few who knew more of the story of what the four travellers had been through. So coming away from what he felt at times were accusing stares was a great relief. Diamond seemed to be more accepted than him even though she was a North-Took, but she was not a Traveller. He wished that more knew the story of what they had been through and understood his love of the King and Prince Faramir. Some were prepared to listen to stories from the copy of the Red Book and slowly over time more were starting to understand a little.
Travelling to Hobbiton from the Great Smials reminded him of times past when he had travelled to see Frodo when he was younger. Now he travelled to see not a Baggins but Samwise Gamgee who was respected as one of the best Mayors the Shire had known. He and Merry we both so proud of where Sam had come to and blessed the day that Frodo had made him his principal heir. They knew why as the Quest would have failed without Sam and were delighted to see Sam over the years get the recognition he deserved.
****
Arriving at Bag End, Pippin was surrounded by young hobbits who called him Uncle Pippin and he smiled as he greeted the growing brood of Gamgees. Sam waited for him at the door with a friendly greeting and the offer of a beer. Rose Gamgee was in the parlour nursing her youngest child Daisy but greeted Pippin with a smile as he came to say hello before disappearing into the study with Sam. Even this close to Yule they had business to discuss which both Mayor and Thain wanted to deal with before they met with the King. Their also reminisced about past times and ways to take the Shire forward.
****
The following day the two friends left Bag End early as they hoped to do the journey to the Brandywine Bridge in one day rather than the usual day and a bit. This meant pushing their ponies a little but both were bred for endurance. Even at the early hour they left many of the Gamgees were still up to say farewell. Sam’s family were nearly as unhappy as Regi about Sam being away at Yule but also understood better than many of the Tooks the reason. Due to the short time Pippin hoped to be away, it had been felt better this time to leave the families behind although they had visited Annúminas in the past and no doubt would in the future.
The friends rode along for a while in silence before Pippin lifted his voice in one of Bilbo’s songs. So the time passed with singing and short breaks for meals. Thus it was they arrived at the Bridge Inn in time for a late supper before bed.
In the morning, the Master of Buckland arrived and the three friends spent a few hours together talking – both about business as would now be the case whenever the three most important hobbits in the Shire met as well as their families and a little about how Pippin was finding being the Thain. He didn’t tell Merry and Sam a great deal but both knew enough to realise that there was still some lingering resentment in Tookland about his years in Buckland as he took the time needed to recover from his experiences in the War.
Their escort arrived after lunch and by teatime they were well on their way to Annúminas. Pippin commented as they rode, “Well we should be in the city two days before Yule which will give us time to discuss matters with Aragorn, celebrate Yule and be back in the Shire within the first week of Afteryule. I cannot afford to be away for much longer – my Steward was not entirely happy about being away for Yule as it was. But I am sworn to obey the Kings commands so here I am.”
“I can understand Reginard’s unhappiness given this is your first Yule as Thain but as you say Aragorn has your oath so you must obey. Estella was not entirely happy with my absence at Yule – at least from the family. She however did admit that we were planning a short visit so it was not worth the family coming.”
“Rose was the same but like Estella felt it was a long way for such a short visit so was happy to stay at home with the children.”
“Well it was Diamond who suggested the short visit when Aragorn first summoned us so as to appease the Tooks. So she was fine about me going without her and Faramir. Now who would like an apple?”
****
Arriving at the gate of the rebuilt Annúminas always gave Pippin some sense of awe – it was less imposing than Minas Anor in some ways but in others more so given its history. Approaching the royal palace the three hobbits could make out the King and Queen waiting to greet them along with their two children, Melian and Eldarion. So it was that the three were greeted – not formally as may have been the case down in Minas Anor – but in the more intimate way of the North. The three friends were used to this and indeed found it much more in keeping with their own Shire traditions. As they had found on past visits the Northern Dúnedain had taken much from the lands they protected in terms of their celebrations.
The three Hobbits were delighted to see their friends and hugs were exchanged between them and the King & Queen. Soon all were settled happily in a parlour decorated for Yule with greenery drinking tea and nibbling on biscuits as tales were exchanged. Much laughter was heard although both Aragorn & Arwen noticed Pippin at times seemed to be quiet and not like the cheerful hobbit they both remembered of old. But now was not the time to look into matters – now was a time to enjoy the company of old friends.
****
The following morning was taken up by business between the King and his councillors. He noticed that in this Pippin was well-prepared and had some good ideas about trade between the Shire, Arnor and Gondor. It didn’t take long to discuss why Aragorn had summoned his councillors this close to Yule and he did apologise for taking them away from their families at a time for families. But the news he had about incursions from what was Angmar and Dunland was important – as more Hobbits did travel out of the Shire than before the War although not in large numbers. The hobbits agreed to keep closer track on who was travelling from the Shire and also to warn the bounders.
****
On the morning of First Yule the Hobbits awoke and greeted each other in muted tones. All were unhappy at missing their wives and children but also happy to be able to celebrate Yule with each other and Aragorn, Arwen and their children. Not that they saw much of them as they ate first and second breakfasts. But at lunchtime, the Hobbits found themselves sat at a groaning table in a room decorated with greenery and ivy surrounded by friends including to their surprise Legolas and Gimli. All were full of Yule cheer and happy to be together again. The Hobbits laughed and joked with their friends as they celebrated with their friends.
Pippin spoke for them all as he raised his full mug to say “A happy Yule to all”.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamflower02
Jan. 1st, 2015 08:45 pm (UTC)
What fun to see them all together!
shirebound
Jan. 1st, 2015 08:52 pm (UTC)
I love reading stories about rebuilt Annuminas, especially involving hobbits. What a nice Yule tale.
(Deleted comment)
lin4gondor
Jan. 2nd, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
This whets my appetite for more tales of Annuminas rebuilt! I like seeing everyone together again. I also like the glimpses we see of the difficulties Pippin faces as the new Thain. I can well imagine he might be looked at with suspicion and disapproval at times!
blslarner
Jan. 3rd, 2015 04:58 am (UTC)
I am glad they found such reason to rejoice in spite of being separated from their families!
talullahred
Jan. 3rd, 2015 01:25 pm (UTC)
It was so nice that the remaining members of the Fellowship would gather for Yule. :)
aliensouldream
Jan. 3rd, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
And a happy Yule to you and your family!

I loved all the details of this story, the sense of the larger world once again having business with hobbits and the close bonds that flourish between the King and his Northern Councillors, to the extent that he is always looking out for them and embraces them into his own family's Yule celebrations. I'm sure the hobbit families will have their own postponed celebrations, and that their lands will be safer for the sacrifice. It gives me a warm feeling to imagine this Yule spent together, duty done and full of good cheer!

Thanks so much for this lovely story. I do hope you and your son are feeling much better.
kayleelupin
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
A Happy Yule to all, indeed! I'm so glad all the Fellowship that could be there, were there - and I'm sure Boromir and Frodo were there in spirit, Boromir maybe literally. :D So good!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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