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He was cold and getting wet from the dew rising on the grass. They had been lying here for hours, just watching. In fact, as far as he was concerned, the only high point had been Hammie nearly falling off the Hill and crashing into Bag End’s garden because he wouldn’t stop staring at the sky as they climbed up the ivy trellis.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true, Farry thought as he glanced down at the golden head leaning against his shoulder. Goldi was bundled into a worn, oversized cloak, most likely stolen from Mer; she had been using Farry for a pillow half the night and he couldn’t be happier. Not that she was the reason he’d come, of course. That was an awfully silly reason to ride fourteen miles to spend all night freezing on top of the Hill.
“I thought something was supposed to happen.” Farry directed his question to Hammie, who was sprawled nearby on his back.
The younger hobbit’s voice was cheerful, certain. “Course it will. Said so in Uncle Frodo’s books.” Farry frowned. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t read a word of elvish and had trouble believing a hobbit two years his junior could do so, and easily.
“What, again, did it say? This isn’t like that time when we tried to read the story about that man who killed a dragon and married his sister is it?”
“I told you, that’s how it went!” Hammie twisted and kicked Farry’s shin hard enough to make him yelp. He kicked back, but only halfheartedly. There were a few minutes of silence.
“Goldilocks?” He finally whispered, jiggling his shoulder a bit. It was getting late, or rather, early. She hadn’t said anything for a while and Farry was wondering if she was even awake any more.
“Mmmm…don’t call me that. You know I hate it.” She shifted closer, hugging his left arm. He could feel her warmth even through his shirt and thick wool jacket and her breath faintly puffing on his neck, but he knew it meant nothing. He was Faramir Took, her good friend and practically her brother. Sometimes it hurt.
He laughed weakly. “That’s the fun of it.”
She yawned. “I hope it hurries up. Won’t be much to see once it gets light. It said “minlu vi cuilu…talt elril, right Hammie?”
“And that means what?” Farry asked; wisps of her hair were tickling his nose.
“Uh…elril is bright stars, then talt is falling, falling stars? …oh, and minlu vi cuilu is once in a lifetime.”
“A lifetime can mean forever for an elf.” Hammie’s voice was solemn.
Farry resumed gazing up at the heavens. The stars were sitting in their normal places, twinkling softly. He didn’t think anything was going to happen, but at least he’d gotten to eat dinner. Aunt Rosie’s cooking alone was worth the trip to Hobbiton.
And, of course, the pretty lass currently attached to his arm. Farry was more than well aware that dozens of hobbit lads in the Shire would have fought to be in his place. Uncle Sam’s daughters were the most beautiful in all the Four Farthings and naturally Frodo, Mer, and Pip Gardener had become the bane of willing lads from the West March to Buckland. Although Frodo led them, Mer was especially ferocious in his defense of his little and older sisters. Farry himself was only accepted because he had grown up playing with the Gardener children.
He shuddered, unable to help from imagining what Mer would think if he knew Farry thought of Goldi as something much different from a sister or cousin. He looked at her, curled against his side, her breathing slow—she was asleep. Hammie, several feet away on his other side was yawning and gradually his eyes were staying closed longer than they were staying open.
“It’s gonna happ…huge yawn…happen.” He mumbled when he noticed Farry looking.
“Okay.” Farry felt pleasantly heavy and warm. It was too much effort to move, to go inside. He stared up at the sky, eyes wandering. The stars swirled and he fell asleep.
It couldn’t have been too long before he was shaken awake.
“Farry! Farry, look!” Goldi’s voice in his ear, she was bent over him, shaking his arm. Before he could rethink it, he pulled her back down to his side and wrapped his arms around her.
“Shh…sleep.” He murmured.
“Farry.” Her voice was strange and it penetrated his hazy mind. “Farry let me go.”
“What…what is it?” Farry was surprised to find her pressed against him; odd, she wasn’t pushing him away. Instead her eyes were wide and staring into his.
“Hey!” Hammie cried out in a loud voice. Faramir jumped guiltily, letting Goldi loose, visions of a furious Mer or Frodo flying through his head.
He finally raised his eyes and what he saw knocked the breath out of him. The stars were falling. Bright points of white fire streaked down towards the earth, and faded only to be replaced by others. The night sky was perfectly clear, the falling stars lighting up the top of Gardener’s Hill with a dim, ghostly radiance.
“Wow.” Farry breathed in awe. He hadn’t known such a thing could happen. It was beautiful. He lay flat on his back, eyes wide. And to think, he might have been tucked into bed like everyone else in the Shire. He was all at once immensely grateful.
Then, suddenly, he felt a hand take his. It was Goldie’s. She smiled shyly and leaned her head against his shoulder. He’d forgotten about taking her in his arms earlier. What did she think?
Farry took a deep nervous breath, heart hammering, then deliberately brought her hand to his lips and kissed her palm. Goldie did nothing but snuggle closer. A wave of happiness rushed through him. And while Hammie stared upwards unaware, he planted tiny kisses on her forehead, her cheek, and her lips. He loved her and she knew.
Goldi laughed at him as the stars rained down. It was a wonderful night.
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