Thank heavens the sun is shining, thought Peregrin, the Took and Thain of the Shire, with relief. He couldn’t imagine how Diamond would have reacted if the light rains of yesterday had repeated themselves today. She and the Mistress Rose had worked ceaselessly to make the day’s festivities none would ever forget. To have that ruined by uncooperative weather would have sent them both into such states that their husbands would have feared for their sanity. The idea that Faramir and Goldilocks would have been disappointed over having their wedding disrupted would have been a mere afterthought.
Pippin nearly rolled his eyes at the thought as he waited next to his son. If Faramir and Goldilocks had been allowed to have their way, their wedding would have been of the likes of Frodo Gardner and his wife - simple and quiet. Unfortunately, that hadn’t been an option, something that both Diamond and Rose had pointed out. The son and heir of the Thain was marrying. With that came the expectations of the Tooks and the rest of the Shire’s society.
It was true, and practically all of their closest kin had agreed. Though, upon seeing Goldilocks grow pale, Pippin had been worried that she would call off the entire matter after her mother and prospective mother-in-law began to overflow with idea after idea. After all, it was Goldilocks’ natural shyness that had been one of the biggest obstacles to her and Faramir even reaching this point.
Goldilocks Gamgee had never been one to put herself out and make herself the center of attention. While Elanor had thrived in the courts of the King and young Rose had delighted in socializing with a wide circle of friends, Goldilocks had been more inclined to stay in the shadows. She had always seemed most content with helping her mother with her many younger siblings. Children were what made her light up. Not parties, not lavish court functions, but the simple pleasures of home and hearth.
Such inclinations had extended well past her early childhood. Goldilocks had never wanted to be courted by young hobbits all eager to catch a look at her bright golden curls. Most of them had been sent on their way by a firm look from the lass’ father and the seeming disinterest of the lass herself. Besides, the Shire had many other golden-haired lasses about these days.
So most of them departed. Except for one.
Pippin chuckled to himself. It might seem a bit unfair, he supposed, but Faramire had had one advantage over Goldilocks’ other suitors, the very fact that he’d known her from childhood and that she trusted him. So when he appeared at Bag End, asking her to take a walk with him, she’d accepted with little hesitation.
Their mutual love had blossomed quietly, attracting little attention except from the many disappointed Tookland lasses. Still, few people had listened to their pouting about the Thain’s son having his eye on a Hobbiton lass, deeming it only to be jealous chatter.
Of course, Pippin recalled somberly, Goldilocks and Faramir’s path hadn’t exactly been an easy one. Faramir, unlike himself at that same age, took his duties as the Thain’s heir seriously. Diamond claimed it came from her side, since the North-Tooks were never thought to be as flighty as their southern relatives, but Pippin also knew that part of his son’s serious nature came from being named for Faramir of Gondor. His son idolized the man deeply, and strove in practically everything he did to prove himself worthy of sharing his name.
That dedication ended up being something else Faramir had to balance with his obvious adoration for Goldilocks, along with her disinclination to draw attention to herself. Faramir knew very well that being courted by, not to mention married to, the Thain’s heir would mean immediate notice and attention from over half of the Shire.
Pippin turned his gaze to his eldest son, who stood tall and proud in his own livery. If Pippin was honest, the trials and tribulations of Faramir and Goldilocks were known only to them. Neither spoke much of how they got to this point, only that they had reached it and both wished to marry. Pippin had supported them, recalling his own father’s delight when he had learned that Pippin was courting and hoped to marry Diamond of Long Cleeve. Now, thirty-six years and five children later, he was watching his firstborn marry his own bride.
He glanced down towards where Diamond sat with their other children. Their two youngest, Nimloth and Lórien, sat on either side of their mother. Boromir flanked his little sister, while Aragorn sat beside Lórien. Pippin tried not to grin, knowing that the seating arrangement was no doubt to keep the youngest two out of trouble. If not properly supervised, Nimloth would undoubtedly get into some mischief and drag her younger brother into the mess. Lórien was in awe of his sister, and that made him the perfect, if unwitting, partner in Nimloth’s games. Boromir, though he doted on her, knew how to keep a firm hand on her adventurous nature.
A hush fell on the crowd and Pippin looked up. Towards the back of the gathering, he saw that Sam had appeared at last, a flushed and shyly smiling Goldilocks on his arm. The lass looked beautiful in her pale pink dress and the rose wreath that adored her golden hair. Pippin watched her eyes drift over the crowd and saw her lick her lips nervously. Then her gaze shifted toward the front, and when she spotted Faramir, Pippin could swear that her entire face lit up. In that moment, Goldilocks Gamgee could have been as bright as Lady Galadriel had once been when he’d first seen her in the Golden Woods.
As Sam led Goldilocks down the aisle, Pippin met his eyes. It was easy to see the other hobbit’s pride and love, but also a bit of amazement too, and Pippin tried not to laugh. Just the night before, Sam had confided in him that he and his wife had once doubted that their third daughter would ever marry. Pippin had chuckled and told him that although Faramir hadn’t the inherent wildness and penchant for trouble that plagued so many of the Tooks, including his own sister, but he had the family’s stubbornness. When a Took wanted someone, then not even a Dark Lord could keep him from getting them. Faramir loved Goldilocks as much as she loved him, and nothing would have been able to stand in his way.
Sam and Goldilocks stopped before him and Faramir. They paused as the guests seated themselves again, and then Sam and Pippin stepped forward, each holding one of their children’s hands. Carefully, they placed the two hands together, one within the other.
Sam said, “She is yours now, son. Take care of her, and she’ll take care of you.”
Pippin then added, “Welcome to the family, daughter. You will always have a home with us, and we’ll love you as though you were born to us.
He and Sam then stepped back, allowing Faramir and Goldilocks to continue to the officiator alone. They stood side by side until the ceremony was concluded, then quickly stepped aside when all the unwed lasses rushed forward, eager to catch the bride’s bouquet. They all jostled for a good position and Pippin didn’t bother to stifle his laughter when he saw Nimloth and one of Sam’s younger daughters, Primrose, push at each other to get to the front of the group. Within moments, the bouquet flew from Goldilocks’ hand and landed somewhere in the middle of the group. The other lasses backed away then, revealing a blushing Mira Bolger, one of Fredegar Bolger’s daughters. Pippin smirked when he saw her glance furtively towards Boramir, who was grinning at her.
Pippin turned back to the bridge and bridegroom and saw Faramir pull Goldilocks to him for another kiss. When he broke off, Faramir rested his forehead against Goldilocks, smiling down at her. Her expression was one of pure elation as she gazed up at him, blissful tears in her eyes.
Their lips moved, but Pippin couldn’t dream of what they said to one another. As he saw the sun shine brightly down on them, bathing them in a golden glow, he thanked the Valar for this blessed day.