By Amanda Pizzolatto
Word Count: 2752
Summary: Having accompanied Frodo and Sam to Mount Doom, Pearl Took gives her version of the end of the tale.
Chapter 3: The Return
We walked in silence behind my brother and our friends, who were still chatting about oliphaunts and orcs and Nazgul. A shiver went down my spine at the mention of the last one, and I’m afraid I gripped Frodo’s arm a little too tight, but if it hurt him, he didn’t say. I relaxed my grip on Frodo’s arm by just a bit; I could feel my legs start to weaken from hunger. I made it to the dining table without falling, and eagerly ate my fill.
We talked at the table, and I learned that I had been out for a week, and we were in Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor. Merry had been made an Esquire to Rohan, Pippin was made a Guard of Gondor, and Aragorn would be crowned king in less than a month.
The next few weeks passed by in a blur, well spent with Pippin showing us around Minas Tirith, and helping out wherever we could with rebuilding the great city. Before we knew it, the day of Aragorn’s coronation had arrived. The city was all decked out in ribbons and banners, everyone bustling around to finish preparing for the great event.
It was an amazing day; Gandalf crowned Aragorn king and gave his blessing on the new king’s reign. King Aragorn greeted the people gathered with his queen, Arwen. King Eomer of Rohan, his sister Eowyn and her fiancé Faramir, Lord Elrond, Legolas, and a host of other men and elves were present. But the biggest surprise came when King Aragorn and Queen Arwen approached. The five of us began to bow when King Aragorn stopped before us.
“My friends, you bow to no one.” He knelt, followed by everyone else.
My right hand flew to my heart while my left went to Frodo’s arm as I glanced at him. Tears had begun to fill my eyes; this was probably the greatest honor anyone could receive. But I was happy; Frodo was being recognized for what he had done for everyone. He turned to me and pulled me close, so close that we almost kissed. The king rose then, followed by everyone else, so we didn’t kiss at that moment, though Frodo did give me a quick peck on the cheek.
About two weeks later, we left Minas Tirith in the company of Gandalf and the elves. We visited Rivendell and Bilbo for about a week before heading towards the Shire. When I saw the green, rolling hills and the little taverns, my heart soared; we were home. We rode straight on through to Bag End, the four of us having silently agreed that we needed to get Frodo home promptly. Pippin, Merry, and I stayed the night at Bag End, thoroughly tired after our long journey and the scene Sam made by proposing to Rosie Cotton at the tavern that evening.
Early the next morning, Merry and Pippin rode off for home, but I stayed behind to help clean up Bag End, and ended up having to take care of a sickly Frodo. It was a good thing that I was there, for Sam was out talking with Rosie of wedding plans and might not have known of Frodo’s condition until he returned.
As ill as Frodo was, he nearly made more of a mess whilst attempting to help me clean. I promptly sent him to bed when I noticed the dangerous splashing of the mop pail. When he got up some time later to check on me, I knew what was bothering him—the wound from the Morgul blade. I shivered slightly when I saw his hand clutch the area where he had been stabbed, but I got up and marched his pale form straight back to bed.