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Heir of Ithilien, Part Three - by Loressar Erchamion

Read Part One | Read Part Two

© 2002, A.M. Celaya. All locations and characters except title character taken from
The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Some hours later, everyone except Arwen and Faramir, who had accompanied Éowyn to her chamber right after dinner, was in the hall outside of Éowyn’s chamber awaiting news.

"It’s rather quiet in there," said Merry. "Do you suppose she’s all right?"

"Yes," said Aragorn, "as ‘all right’ as a woman can be while she is giving birth. Éowyn is strong, and I do not fear for her or her child."

"I wonder how Faramir is doing," Pippin said thoughtfully. "Strider, can Faramir read your mind?"

"Faramir can discern a man’s thoughts by looking into his eyes, but he cannot simply read a man’s mind," Aragorn replied. "For instance, I discern that you would have me tell him to name this child Peregrin."

"Well, there you are," said Pippin. "But wouldn’t it be grand to have a child named in your honor?" he persisted. "I like Faramir very much, and I would name a son in his honor if I ever have one. It would be nice to know that he would do the same for me. I suppose, though, that Peregrin is hardly a name for a son of Gondor."

"True," Merry sighed. "I have decided that Meriadoc would not do so well in this fair land, either. Éowyn should give her child a name in her own tongue. Strider, don’t you think Holdwine would suit this child well?"

"I think I should tell you both right now that I intend to give all of my children Elven names," Aragorn laughed.

"How would this do, Pip?" Merry proposed. "I will name one of my sons Peregrin on one condition."

"One of your sons? Then you will marry Estella?" Pippin grinned.

"Of course," said Merry. "I am only waiting for Ring Day to propose to her. Fitting, I think."

"What is your condition?" asked Pippin.

"That you promise not to end up a bachelor like Bilbo, because I hope you’ll have no Brandybuck orphan to adopt as an heir," Merry grinned.

"Oh, fine," Pippin half-growled. "When we get home, I may as well see if Diamond will help me make good on that promise."

"See? You’re starting to sound like Bilbo already. I’m only asking you to do this for your own good," Merry said with mock gravity.

The hobbits leaped and turned as they saw the door open. Faramir came out. "Is it here? Is it a boy? What did you name it?" the hobbits eagerly cried.

"It is not here, I have no idea whether or not it is a boy, and we have not named it yet," Faramir answered. He was trying to appear calm, but everyone could see that he was nervous.

"How is she?" asked Aragorn.

"She must be in great pain, for she ordered me to leave and tried to do the same to Ioreth and Queen Arwen," Faramir replied. "I do think, though, that the Queen’s elven skill is making the pain less than what it could be. Queen Arwen seemed worried at first, but Ioreth explained that this was quite natural. Of course, then she launched into a very detailed description of every birth she had ever attended, none of which Éowyn cared to hear," he laughed dryly.

"I hope this is not too much of a shock to Arwen," said Aragorn. "She knows more lore and legend than any man can gain in one lifetime, she has the wisdom that only thousands of years of life can bring, and she can remember nearly everything that has happened among the Elves in the Third Age; but as she said herself, she knows little of the ways of Men. Even now she sometimes feels out of place in Minas Tirith. She still holds the title ‘Daughter of Elrond’ to be far higher and more noble than ‘Queen of Gondor and Arnor’, and well she should."

"I’m sure Elrond let you know that," laughed Pippin.

"Believe me, he did," Aragorn replied, smiling at the memory.

"I had no such trouble when I asked to wed Éowyn," said Faramir. "The only consent I needed was hers, although getting that was no small task."

"I know how you felt," Merry sighed. "When we returned to the Shire after the War of the Ring, I was a hero. Girls who had ignored me all my life suddenly thought I was really something. There was one girl, though, who still treated me the same as she ever did. To her, I was ‘just Merry’, her older brother’s pesky friend. The problem was, she was the only girl I really liked."

"Merry," Pippin insisted, "you know you fell in love with Estella because she was the only girl who didn’t treat you like some great war hero."

Pippin was interrupted by Arwen as she poked her head out of the bedroom door. "Is she well? Is it here?" Faramir asked anxiously.

"She is, and it will be in a matter of seconds. Come," she beckoned. Faramir rushed to the door, nearly knocking Arwen away from it.

"Strider," said Pippin, "there’s something I wonder about every time I look at Arwen, or think about the other Elves, for that matter."

"What is it?" asked Aragorn.

"Well, it’s about your future children. I could probably find the answer if I could see Elrond’s books again, but I couldn’t find it in any of Bilbo’s notes — they don’t say a whole lot about what happened to the Man/Elf couples after they were married…"

"Our children will be mortal, if that is what you wish to know," said Aragorn, looking a little confused.

"No, it’s not that," Pippin shook his head. "I was just wondering…will your children’s ears be rounded or pointed?"

"That is a good question," Aragorn said thoughtfully. "Hopefully, Arwen and I will soon be able to give you a good answer."

Just then, all three fell silent as they heard a small cry. "It’s here!" Merry exclaimed as he and Pippin ran to the door. Aragorn grabbed them both by the backs of their collars.

"Stay calm," he ordered. "Let them have a moment. They will call us when they are ready."

Faramir sat on the bed with his arm around his wife, who was holding their first child. "Grey eyes," smiled Éowyn. "Already they have your Númenor look."

"But what little hair there is here seems to be the golden hair of the Rohirrim," Faramir smiled back. "Which one of us will give our child lessons in sword fighting and horsemanship?"

"I ride still, but long ago did I cease to wield sword," said Éowyn. "I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren." As she had so many years ago when first she spoke those words, she looked at Faramir. "This is so much more than being a queen."

"That is well," Faramir laughed, "for I am more blessed than any king." He tenderly kissed his wife as he gently caressed his child.

"My Lord and Lady," Arwen said softly, "when you feel ready, there are two halflings and a king waiting to meet the Heir of Ithilien."

"Oh, of course," Faramir said. "Ioreth, will you bid them enter?"

Ioreth bowed and went to the door. Merry and Pippin jumped and Aragorn calmly advanced as the door opened. "The Steward and the Lady are ready for you to come in," said Ioreth. "It was hard, but the child is finally here. A right proper child it is, too. The image of both the Lord and the Lady. And you should see-"

"Yes, we would like to," Aragorn interrupted, politely motioning for Ioreth to step aside. He strode into the room, and Merry and Pippin ran in past him.

"King Elessar Telcontar," Faramir began.

"Meriadoc son of Saradoc, Holdwine, Rider of the Mark," Éowyn continued.

"Peregrin son of Paladin, Knight of Gondor," Faramir concluded.

"We present to you," Éowyn introduced, "our daughter, Finduilas of Ithilien."

"I see you named her for Denethor’s Lady," Aragorn nodded. "When I served the Steward Ecthelion, Denethor was yet unwed and Finduilas dwelt in Dol Amroth; but she must have been a fine woman to have a son such as Faramir."

"She was," said Faramir. "I hope we can raise our daughter be as fine and valiant a woman as my mother was, and as my wife is."

"You did well to marry one raised as a king’s daughter," said Aragorn, "for your daughter will someday be the first lady steward of Gondor and the Princess of Ithilien."

"Steward of Gondor?" Éowyn repeated in surprise. "My daughter will be steward after her father?"

"It is the law of Númenor," Aragorn assured her. "The eldest child is the heir, be the child male or female."

"Well, I’m glad we haven’t got a law like that in the Shire," said Pippin. "Otherwise my sister Pearl would be the heir of The Took, and she’d probably clap me in irons for all those pranks I pulled on her and my two other sisters when we were children."

"You’d deserve it, too," Merry said.

"As though you never helped me!" Pippin laughed.

A week later, Bergil stopped the two hobbits on their way out of the palace gate. "State your business," he ordered. "And, tell me," he added, "does Finduilas look more like Faramir or Éowyn?"

"You know, I’m not sure," Pippin mused. "I think she has Faramir’s eyes, and her hair looks like it will be golden like Éowyn’s. To tell the truth, I can see a bit of Denethor in her."

"Did you think so?" Merry disagreed. "I thought she looked rather like Théoden, and maybe a bit like Boromir."

"But Boromir looked so much like Faramir himself," Pippin pointed out.

"I shall just have to see her for myself, if my father would stop coming up with so much work for me to do when I am off duty," Bergil laughed.

"Make note that she has Éomer’s chin," Merry instructed.

"Merry, how can you tell what Éomer’s chin looks like under that beard?" Pippin scoffed. "Finduilas simply looks like herself," he declared.

"And if you still wish to know our business, we are returning to the Shire," said Merry. "We have some very important errands there."

"Any you care to tell?" Bergil playfully demanded, still not raising his spear.

"If you must know, we have been so inspired by this visit that we have decided to start our own families," Merry announced.

"I plan to ask a certain young hobbit lady to marry me the next time I see her," declared Pippin.

"Congratulations!" Bergil exclaimed. "Shall I be invited to the wedding, fellow Man of Gondor?"

"I’m afraid not, unless Diamond and I are married outside of the Shire," said Pippin. "Another piece of business I have is to announce a royal edict. The Shire is now a free land granted to the Hobbits under the protection of the Northern Scepter."

"No Big People are allowed within its borders," Merry explained.

"Well, I still wish you every happiness," said Bergil. "On your way, and don’t wait so long to come back, or else I may have a family before we meet again!"

Later that year, Pippin married Diamond and Merry married Estella. Pippin had a son the following year and named him Faramir. The names of Merry and Estella’s children were lost from the Shire records, but it is noted that Samwise and Rose Gamgee’s fifth child was a son named Pippin.

Finduilas succeeded her father as Steward of Gondor, the second to serve under King Elessar Telcontar. She, her parents, and her children remained close to the King and Queen. Her son Barahir, who succeeded her, made certain that, though made mortal by her own choice, Queen Arwen Evenstar was made immortal in the memory of the people of Middle Earth. His Tale of Aragorn and Arwen was included in part in the Red Book of Westmarch and survived even into the Sixth Age.

Read Part One | Read Part Two

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