Format: short story
Genre: h/c, friendship
Characters: OFCS, OMC, Aragorn, Arwen, Éowyn.
Pairings: Aragorn/Arwen, OMC/OFC
Creator’s Notes (optional) Adiva is a recurring character in several of my stories. She is a close friend of Arwen and Éowyn and mother of a large family of young children. This is a sequel to “Children of the Moon”, but can be read on its own.With grateful thanks to all my all LJ friends for offering suggestions, telling me how rosemary works and especial thanks to hhimringfor the plot idea.
Summary: Matters go awry when Adiva attends a banquet.
“You are fortunate indeed, honoured friend!” said Salma.
“If only I could attend a royal banquet, esteemed friend!” said Zahra.
“You must tell us all about it, honoured friend,” said Alya.
“I am not certain I wish to go, esteemed friends,” said Adiva. She shook her head, as her faithful maid, Falah, offered her sherbet tea. She felt so queasy today. “I feel rather tired. I might send my apologies with Tahir.”
“Oh but you must go, esteemed friend!” cried Zahra. “It would dishonour our homeland if you did not.”
“You will look so beautiful in your new gown,” said Salma. “You cannot miss such an occasion, honoured friend.”
“We want to hear about all the great lords and ladies who attend,” said Alya. “The moon shines brightly upon you to be so honoured, esteemed friend.”
“The most honoured King and Queen would surely be offended if you did not go,” said Salma.
Adiva nodded. Her friends, the wives of merchants from Harad, who also now dwelt in Minas Tirith, were right. It would insult her good and honourable friends the King and Queen if she were not there. She was eager to wear her new gown too. Maybe by the evening, she would feel less unwell. “You speak wisely honoured friends,” she said.”I will go to the banquet.”
It was a splendid banquet in honour of the King and Queen's Wedding anniversary. All the great lords and ladies of Gondor were there together with all the foreign ambassadors and their wives. Adiva looked around the great hall and carefully took note of what everyone was wearing to tell her friends. Esteemed Lady Arwen looked more beautiful than ever in a gown of blue silk, embroidered with silver stars, while esteemed Lady Éowyn wore a gown of green velvet with gold embroidery. The other ladies were also splendidly attired, but none could surpass the Queen of Gondor and Princess of Ithilien. She was blessed indeed to have such ladies call her their friend. Adiva was well pleased with her own gown in her people's flowing style. It was crimson silk embroidered with the emblems of the Lord and Lady of the Moon in silver.
Despite the splendour of the occasion, Adiva much preferred the private dinners that her esteemed royal friends often invited her to. She enjoyed conversing freely with them and savouring the simpler food that was served. She sipped her wine but thought it had an odd, bitter taste and left it almost untouched. She smiled at what that might portend. Her nausea had subsided and she was at least able to eat the sumptuous food being served to her.
The hall was extremely hot tonight. It felt worse than the desert heat in summer. How could the esteemed King and Queen endure it? Maybe she needed to go outside and get a breath of fresh air? Adiva turned to her husband, but he was deep in conversation with the Ambassador from Khand. Her head suddenly felt strange and the hall and its occupants seemed distant and far away. Maybe if she closed her eyes everything would stop spinning? Everything went black as Adiva slumped forward on the table landing in a bowl of an elaborate cream dessert.
Adiva was aware of a pungent scent beneath her nose. She cautiously opened her eyes. She was lying on a couch in an antechamber. Her husband was beside her, clutching her hand. In front of her knelt the King who was holding a bottle of a pungent substance beneath her nose. Beside him, stood Lady Arwen and Lady Éowyn. All three had anxious expressions on their faces.
“Lord and Lady be praised, she is awakening!” said Tahir.
Adiva felt so mortified she wanted to close her eyes again. The esteemed King kneeling before her and the noble ladies leaving the banquet for her sake? To make matters worse, when she fell forward she had landed in a cream dessert and her gown was splattered in cream, though someone had obviously sponged off the worst of it.
“I thought the rosemary oil would bring her round,” said the King. “'Tis well I bring my healing supplies everywhere with me.”
“I am so sorry, esteemed husband and friends,” said Adiva weakly. “I did not mean to bring shame upon you and ruin your banquet.”
“Nonsense!” said Éowyn briskly.”You could not help fainting. Faramir is taking care of the guests.” She held a glass of water to Adiva's lips. "Drink this, it will help you feel better."
Adiva drank. She realised she was very thirsty.
“We are simply concerned about you,” said Arwen.
Aragorn but away the bottle and felt her wrist.”Tell me, Lady Adiva, have you drunk many fluids today?”
“No,” esteemed Lord Aragorn. I felt nauseous earlier and drank very little tonight. I should never have come tonight but my friends reminded me I would be insulting you if I did not,”
“We would always understand if you were unwell,” said Arwen.
“That explains your fainting fit. There were not enough fluids circulating your body,” said Aragorn. “We would never be angry if for any reason you could not attend a banquet.”
"How long was I senseless for, esteemed friends?" asked Adiva.
"Only a minute or so," said Aragorn."Your husband and I ran to your aid and carried you in here, just off the main hall. The ladies tried to get the cream off your gown. You were covered in it."
“Is my fair blossom seriously ill, esteemed Lord Aragorn?” asked Tahir anxiously.
“She will be well after she has rested awhile,” said Aragorn. “Indeed, she may even have good news for you. Now, Lady Adiva, we will leave you with your husband to rest awhile. We should return to the banquet. ”
“I will send a servant to your house to fetch Falah and a change of clothing,” said Arwen.
“You are so kind to me, esteemed friends,” said Adiva.
“We are always happy to be of service,” said Aragorn. He smiled and left the room followed by the two ladies once they bade her farewell and kissed her brow.
Once Tahir and Adiva were left alone, the Ambassador regarded his wife tenderly.”Did the esteemed Lord King mean what I think he did, my fair blossom?”
Adiva nodded. “Yes, esteemed husband, I believe I am with child. I did not tell you yet as I only missed one moon cycle and was not certain that our hopes would be fulfilled.”
Tahir beamed.”The Lord and Lady have blessed us richly. We will soon have another fair blossom to add to our garden. A special son or daughter of the moon! ”
Adiva smiled back at him. The disrupted banquet and ruined dress seemed to matter far less now. Soon she would hold another beloved child in her arms, a blessed child of the moon.