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Watch the Clouds Go Sailing By  by Pervinca

 Watch the Clouds Go Sailing By

Chapter 3: Just Like Old Times

Goldi greatly benefited from the Tooks and Brandybucks staying at Bag End. Diamond and Estella helped out with everything, taking all the jobs that Goldi would have otherwise been laden with. If Rose ever said anything along the line of, "Oh, Diamond, let Goldi do that", Diamond would stubbornly refuse to sit down, saying that, "I’m sure Goldi wants to spend some time with my Faramir."

And that she did.

Faramir, Goldi, Merry and Pippin were reliving their childhood…by getting into trouble and causing general mischief. The day after Goldi had met Peregrin, Meriadoc and Faramir at The Ivy Bush, the four young hobbits came home, covered in mud. Pippin, always the truthful one, told their parents the entire story.

Faramir had felt like going for a walk, so he convinced his three Gamgee friends to come to Bywater with him. It was there that he had an idea. Wednesday was Market Day in Bywater, where hobbits from all over the Shire came to sell and buy livestock, produce and various nick-knacks. When Faramir saw a group of goats in a pen, he grinned in that very Tookish way.

"Let’s let them out," he had said.

Though Goldi warned against it, the Gamgee lads were easily lead, and the "Come on, no one will find out" line worked on them every time. Goldi refused to play any part, and watched as the three boys snuck up next to the pen. Faramir carefully opened the latch, then hit one of the goats on the behind. The goat bolted out of the pen, and its companions followed.

But Faramir’s "fun" set off a chain reaction. The goats knocked over an apple cart in their panic. The apples spilled all over the ground, and several unfortunate hobbits slipped on them. Soon, the market place was covered in apples, dropped shopping and angry hobbits.

Though he was a mischief-maker, Faramir was no fool. Before any of the irate hobbits had recovered enough to notice them, Faramir, Pippin and Merry followed the goats’ example, and bolted. Running so fast, they did not see Goldi until it was too late. They collided, and four hobbits rolled into Bywater pool.

Goldi was not happy. She stood (dripping wet), grabbed a handful of silt from the bottom of the pool, and threw it straight at Faramir. It hit him right in the face. That started an all out war, with all four hobbits hurling mud at each other. Goldi’s mood had soon lightened, and she started having fun. When it had started to get dark, they returned to Bag End. And that was how they had ended up on the doorstep of Bag End, covered with mud from head to toe.

Rose and Diamond were furious. They yelled and screamed at their children, and threatened to send them to bed without dinner or supper. But Goldi, Faramir, Pippin and Merry found it hard to take the scolding serious while Peregrin was snickering in the background, and Meriadoc and Sam were smirking, trying not to laugh. Sam and Peregrin were eventually able to convince Rose and Diamond not to be too harsh on the four young hobbits (especially Goldi, since she had played no part in the goat incidence). The two mothers gave in, seeing as no one had really been hurt by the event, and simply told the dirty hobbits to clean themselves up before they had anything to eat.

"That was very lucky," said Pippin, as they walked to the bathroom. He frowned at Faramir. "That’s the last time I listen to any of your ideas. Stupid Took."

Goldi just smiled slightly. One of the Gamgee children would always say that after they had gotten in trouble over one of Faramir’s "great ideas". But in not time at all, they would once again follow along with one of his plans. Goldi wondered how long it would be before they all got into trouble again.

* * * * * *

"All right, yes. The band goes over there. Are you all here? Good, good. That’s all fine. But, goodness gracious, where is the baker with the cake!?!" Goldi could hear her mother’s worried cries from her bedroom. She laughed to herself.

The day had finally arrived – Merry Gamgee’s thirty-third birthday party. Merry had been given gifts from his family (both immediate, and extended) the day before, as was tradition when receiving gifts. Rosie and the younger Gamgee children had bought him a suit – pants, shirt, waistcoat, jacket and all – to wear to the party (and other special events). It was made of the finest of materials, with beautiful embroidery. Goldi and Pippin had found a beautiful writing set, which they gave to their older brother since he loved to write poetry. Older brother Frodo gave Merry a pony, which he had been raising. The Tooks gave him a fine bow and arrow set (something which Rose was not too pleased about, but she was polite enough not to say anything). The Brandybucks had given Merry a shield from the land of Rohan. Meriadoc had picked it up on his last visit to the King of the Mark. Elanor gave her brother a pipe. It had a beautiful mahogany stem and had been engraved with Elvish runes, spelling out Happy Birthday, Merry.

Goldi had changed into her party dress, made especially for the event. It consisted of a skirt, blouse and vest. The skirt and vest were pale blue silk, while the blouse was white. She left her hair out, golden curls spilling down her back.

There was a knock at her door. "Come in," she called, assuming it was Pippin, telling her to hurry up.

"Goldi! You look beautiful," said the visitor.

"Faramir!" Goldi cried, blushing at his complement. "I…I thought it was Pippin. What did you want?"

"I came to see if you were ready. The guests have started to arrive."

"Already? Well, I’m ready. Let’s go."

Together, Goldi and Faramir walked to the Party Field. The field next to Bag End had been called that ever since Bilbo Baggins’ birthday/farewell party. Goldi tried to ignore the fact that Faramir was staring at her, and told herself that the redness of his cheeks was due to him walking too fast.

By the time they arrived at the Party Field, it was already filled with guests. The band had started up with a lively tune, and a group of hobbits (including Daisy and Primrose Gamgee) were dancing in front of the bandstand.

Goldi searched around for the rest of her family and friends. Meriadoc and Peregrin had already settled as close to the ale kegs as possible, and seemed to be onto their third each. Sam was at the front gate, with Merry, greeting the guests, and handing out presents (since it was hobbit tradition to give out gifts at a birthday party). Rose was running around everywhere, desperately trying to finish up last minute organisation. Frodo, Rosie and Elanor were talking together, with Elanor’s husband and son. Frodo’s wife, Pansy, had been unable to attends due to illness. Hamfast and the Gamgees’ Cotton cousins were quite close to the snack table, dealing with food in a similar way to how Peregrin and Meriadoc were dealing with their ale. The youngest Gamgee children, along with Meriadoc’s two children were trying out the toys they had been given. Diamond and Estella were involved in a conversation (which they obviously wanted to escape from) with Lily’s aunt, Hannah Noakes. Pippin was nowhere in site – which was a bad sign.

"Now where do you suppose Pippin is?" Goldi sighed. She knew she should look for him, but the dancing was almost too appealing to resist (Goldi loved to dance). Especially while she was with Faramir.

"He’ll show up. Come on. Would you like to dance?" Faramir grinned.

I thought he’d never ask! Returning his grin, Goldi took Faramir’s outstretched hand, and let him lead her to the dance "floor".

Goldi and Faramir took over the dance floor, spinning around wildly. Faramir grabbed Goldi and threw her into the air. She squealed, but knew that he would catch her. The older hobbit guests scorned them. "That isn’t traditional dancing. Young folk these days!" But the younger guests loved the display. They formed a ring around the pair, and clapped in rhythm.

Goldi and Faramir linked arms and spun each other around. Faramir threw Goldi again, but this time, when he caught her, he did not put her down. Instead, he held her above the ground, and spun around on the spot. Goldi giggled. But she did not like the smirk on Faramir’s face.

After several minutes of spinning, Faramir let go of Goldi. She screamed at she flew across the dance floor…and into Pippin’s arms. Pippin – still carrying Goldi – walked into the centre of the ring, to Faramir’s side. He placed Goldi on the ground, and he and Faramir bowed to their audience. Goldi was too shocked – and too angry – to move. With a quick scowl to both her brother and friend, Goldi stormed away.

Lily ran over to her. "Wow, Goldi! That was fantastic. You were dancing with Faramir Took! He’s so handsome!"

Goldi scowled again. "Yes, he is. And he’s also an irresponsible fool!"

"That’s not very nice, Goldi," said Faramir. He and Pippin were standing behind her. "It was just a bit of fun. We weren’t going to let you get hurt. Pippin was there to catch you."

"That is not the point!" she cried. "You planned that! You planned something against me! I thought you were my friends." Though she tried to fight them, tears were forming in her eyes.

The sight of Goldi almost in tears was like a knife in Faramir’s heart. He could not believe he had upset one of his best friends. His face became sombre, and he looked straight into Goldi’s eyes. "Goldilocks, I’m really sorry. I never meant to upset you by my little joke. And the only reason I involved Pippin was so you wouldn’t get hurt. I knew he’d be able to catch you. Please, forgive me, Goldilocks."

Goldi knew that Faramir had only ever used her full name when he was serious. And he did look like he meant his apology. She had never seen him look so serious about anything.

"I…I…" Goldi stammered. Faramir pouted, but his eyes remained focussed. Goldi had to smile. "I forgive you. Just don’t do it again."

The infamous Took smile spread from ear to ear on Faramir’s face. He pulled Goldi into a hug, causing her to blush furiously. Faramir lowered his voice, so that only Goldi could hear him.

"I will never hurt you like that again, I promise. You know that, don’t you? I…"

Faramir was cut off by Pippin yelling out, "Dinner’s ready!"

Goldi opened her mouth to say something – ask what Faramir what he was going to say – but he held a finger to her lips. He smiled. "Come on. Let’s go eat."

Goldi followed her brother, Lily and Faramir to the dining area, still wondering what Faramir had been going to say.

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