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8
Uncertainty

Uncertainty


Pervinca tapped quietly at her brother’s door. The sound of the simple words, “Yes--come in!” were so heartening after the thirteen months Pippin had been gone from the Shire. She opened the door and--and stopped dead just within the room, not quite believing what she was seeing. Peregrin Took had apparently grown in more than one way during his absence--not only was he more competent looking than he’d been when he left with an air of maturity he’d never displayed before, but he was physically tall now--definitely the tallest Hobbit she’d ever seen. He was standing by the hearth in his room, a feather duster in his hands, carefully dusting the line of items he’d always kept arranged on the mantel. But he was wearing an overshirt of some kind of a warm, golden brown over a cream-colored shirt that must have been made of silk considering the sheen and weight to the fabric.

“Pippin?” she asked.

He turned and looked at her, his face breaking into a huge grin. “Vinca? Pervinca! You and Maligar got here safely?”

“Yes. Pippin, what happened?”

“What do you mean, what happened?” His grin had faded uncertainly.

“You’re so tall!”

He shrugged. “From what we can tell, it’s the Ent draughts. We didn’t fully appreciate it the first time, not until our clothes seemed to grow unnaturally tight, what little we had left, that is. And then we were reunited with Frodo and Sam, and Sam just couldn’t get over the fact we were taller than he was now. By then we were mostly wearing uniforms--Théoden King had ordered one be found for Merry, and I think that it used to be his son Théodred’s when he was an older lad--the mail and leather gambeson were a bit large on him at first; and I was given one made for Faramir--Aragorn had another one made for me after the battle before the Black Gate as the original one had to be cut off me, and undoubtedly that was good for the one of Faramir’s from when he was a lad would be too tight on me now, I suspect. From what I can tell we grew another two inches along the way home--but we did stop and see Treebeard again....” At last he seemed to have run out of words and he went quiet, flushing markedly as he looked at her, finally adding, “Merry and Frodo keep telling me that when I grow nervous I do tend to blather.”

Suddenly she was laughing and hurrying forward to hug him--what she could reach of him, of course. No matter how tall he was or how strangely dressed, this was her baby brother, her Pippin, complete with blathering. “Oh, dear Pippin, you can’t imagine how good it is to have you home!”

And when she saw the tears of relief in his eyes she was triply glad.

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