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Author: Kaylee Arafinwiel
Title: News From Great Smials
Rating: PG for mention of death
Theme: Nostalgia
Elements: past
Author's Notes: I’m not entirely sure how well it fits, but I couldn’t have a prompt like this without thinking back to one who I still miss and love very much. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year. Tye-melin, Atto. Namárië.

Summary: Unwelcome news comes from Great Smials to Brandy Hall mere months after the birth of the Master and Mistress’ youngest child.
Word Count: 300

1320 S.R.

“Master Brandybuck, sir? You’d best come, it’s the Mistress – ”

Gorbadoc Brandybuck had begun to nod off at his desk – a rumble in his stomach told him he’d missed elevenses, and for Broadbelt Brandybuck, that wouldn’t do. When young Piper’s voice woke him, he froze. Had something gone wrong with the new babe? Children dying young was not unheard of in his wife’s family – he followed Piper Sandybank to the Mistress’ solar.

Mirabella was weeping, mumbling to herself as Asphodel walked round with baby Primula in her arms. “Papa,” Asphodel said, looking up, “thank goodness, Mama’s got a letter from Great Smials, she started babbling nonsense – “

“Not nonsense, Della love,” Gorbadoc replied as he drew close enough to make out his wife’s words. “It’s Elvish, your Granddad learned it from Gandalf.” He knelt by Mirabella. “Mira, my lass,” he said softly. “Tell me.”

“Ada…” Mirabella thrust the crumpled letter at him. Gorbadoc’s stomach twisted uncomfortably, and not only because it was empty. He knew what he would see even before he read it.

Thain Gerontius was dead. Dead, mere months after meeting his newest grandchild. Well, he had never been hale again after the Fell Winter. Still, people had said he would just about live forever – he had been Thain all Gorbadoc and Mirabella’s lives, and seen the births of all their children.

“Mama,” Asphodel knelt by Mirabella and placed Primula in her arms as the babe began to wail. She had prompted Mirabella to see to Primula, but as Primula nursed, the Mistress visibly calmed – though she still wept.

“Mira,” Gorbadoc said again, his voice thick with tears he’d never shed outside the presence of his wife and children. He’d lost his own father, just ten years previously – before the Fell Winter struck.

“Oh, Mira…I know. I understand.”



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2015 09:01 pm (UTC)
This is so poignant. A moment in their lives balanced by terrible grief, and the joy of newborn life.
Dec. 1st, 2015 12:58 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly so, Shirebound - terrible grief, and yet there is the joy of Primula's new life. I'm glad you found it poignant.

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Nov. 30th, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
How sad! It is nice that he did get to meet little Primula though and I'm sure she'll grow up with lots of stories and fond memories of her granddad.
Dec. 1st, 2015 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you Nessrealta! Yes, it is sad, but at least, as you say, Gerontius did get to meet Primula, though she won't remember that herself. Still, she has six older siblings, and her parents, and ever so many aunts, uncles and cousins who will share their memories.

Kaylee Arafinwiel
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:00 am (UTC)
Thank you Mews, that's just what I was trying to convey :)

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:00 am (UTC)
Life and death come together. Very sad.
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:31 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly, silver trails. Thank you.

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:16 am (UTC)
So sad, but beautifully written, balance of life and death.
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:31 am (UTC)
*nods* thank you. I'm glad you found it beautifully written.

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:45 am (UTC)
It's sad to lose someone, but she has plenty of family to help her through. Nicely written.
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:57 am (UTC)
Thank you Bard. :) She has *lots* of family, on the Chubb, Took, *and* Brandybuck sides!! (And Bolger, of course, whether Gorbadoc's mother Adaldrida is still around or not...plus Mirabella's niece is, or will be, a Bolger by marriage - Jessamine, who will be "Fatty" and Estella's grandmother!)

(That's one thing about being a hobbit...big families are pretty much assured when you know who your third cousins twice removed are and all, LOL!)

It is sad to lose someone, but I think Mira will be all right in time. *hugs her*
Dec. 1st, 2015 04:10 am (UTC)
Life and death are always happening in life and you captured that well in this drabble. :hugs the hobbitses here:
Dec. 1st, 2015 04:13 am (UTC)
*hugs the hobbitses too* thank you!

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Dec. 1st, 2015 04:59 am (UTC)
So very Tolkien!

'The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much ... but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.

...love mingled with grief...

Dec. 1st, 2015 05:16 am (UTC)
"So very Tolkien!"

Okay, the rest had me crying, you have me *blushing*.

The quote is very applicable here, though...love mingled with grief, for sure.

Thank you for reviewing!!

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Dec. 1st, 2015 06:08 am (UTC)
I suppose, with someone like Gerontius, he was so old that his family secretly believed he might go on forever.
Poor Mira, what a shock for her. But at least she has a loving family!
Dec. 1st, 2015 06:29 am (UTC)
Yes, it was a shock! She was also his baby girl - only her brother Isengar was younger, of Gerontius and Adamanta's large brood - and I think they would have been very close. But she does have a very loving family!

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Dec. 1st, 2015 08:10 am (UTC)
Dreamflower has caught it so well! That quote says it all. At least her children tie her to this life.

Love it, Kaylee. Thank you for this one.
Dec. 1st, 2015 09:02 am (UTC)
Yes, her children tie her to this life. All seven of them. I'm glad of that. Thank *you* Larner, for reviewing! I'm glad you like it.

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Dec. 1st, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
It is never easy to lose a beloved parent.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 1st, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
No, it isn't. And Mirabella was second-youngest of twelve (though only eleven of them lived at any point in her life) - I imagine Gerontius did his best to make time for each and every one, but that of his three "remarkable" daughters, he was probably closest to Mirabella. She was last to leave home - and, I think, had the furthest to go. (I'm not sure about 'the Yale' where Donnamira, as a Boffin, would have ended up, but Buckland was certainly a long way away!)

Being so far away from her father's side when he died, receiving the news in a letter, she'd have felt overwhelming guilt for not having been there. I have a lot of empathy for her. *hugs Mira and Erulisse*

Kaylee Arafinwiel
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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