"How long will you be gone?" Gwenel demanded as she climbed onto the bed. "You're packing an awful lot of clothes."

"I do not know," I replied, taking a new pair of stockings out of Braneth's hands; she was the most accident-prone girl I had ever met, and I did not want her tearing a hole in them before I even had a chance to wear them. "I suppose that depends on how many children the Lord and Lady eventually have."

"Oh, I wish I was going with you," sighed Minuial dreamily. "Minas Tirith sounds so exciting! So many banquets, so many handsome young men! And you'll be right there, in the middle of all of it!"

I restrained myself from rolling my eyes. Minuial certainly appeared to be taking after Mother – how on earth was she going to look after the young ones properly if she could not tear her attention away from every man who wandered into her sight? "I doubt I will be in the middle of anything except a nursery," was all I said. "Nannies do not normally receive invitations to formal gatherings, Minuial. And I am not going so that I may find a husband." No matter what Mother thought.

Braneth sat down next to Gwenel, who was digging through the trunk and undoing all of my careful folding. "We will miss you," she said in her quiet voice. "Will you be allowed to visit at all?"

I had no idea, but said, "Possibly, but it is a long trip – I do not know that the Lady Finduilas would want to subject an infant to that."

Suddenly Braneth's eyes were shining with tears. "But you will write?" she asked.

I stopped in my packing and took her hands. "Of course I will," I assured her. "It may not be very interesting, for I will be much occupied with the baby, but I will write."

To my surprise, Minuial came up behind me and put her arms around my waist. "Every week," she insisted, resting her chin on my shoulder. "And we will write you as well – or at least Braneth will."

"Every week," I agreed, putting my hands over hers.

It was not until that moment that I realized I was actually going to miss my siblings.