“It will be good to see Bilbo again.” She spoke, her eyes trained on the ever nearing Bag End. “It has been too long and my memory fails me sometimes.”
“He will be glad to see you as well Canadriel, do not despair so. The company have missed you, he has missed you but they understand. Come, we’re here.” Gandalf explained trying to comfort her, his lips twitching in a smile as he took in the sign on the gate.
NO ADMITTANCE, EXCEPT ON PARTY BUSINESS
Bella huffed a laugh as she dismounted and tied the reigns to Gandalf’s cart once more and followed him up the path to the green door, her eyes landing on the faded rune scratched into the green paint. He had kept it.
Gandalf knocked the door with three loud thwacks with the end of his staff and waited, his brows going up in amusement at the muffled voice on the other side.
“No thank you! We don’t want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relations!”
A frown pulled at Bella’s brows as she stepped to the side so it would be Gandalf that was seen first, her mind in a state of unease. She knew it had been a long time since she had last heard Bilbo’s voice but there was no sign of age, no frail lit to his words. She watched and she waited as the green door opened and the unease turned into confused horror, the hobbit before her and buried in Gandalf’s arms had aged some yes, but he did not look his age either.
Now more than ever she could sense the darkness that clung to her friend’s skin… could see it shroud him and smother him.
“Come on, come in!” Bilbo gestured with a laugh, brushing off the concern he saw in his old friends face.
Gandalf shook his worries away and stood once more. “But would you not like to greet your other guest? They came all this way to surprise you.”
Bilbo paused and frowned, his eyes going from Gandalf’s smiling face to the figure off to the side that he gestured to. His heart jumped in his throat as he took in the elven cloak, with familiar stitching that he had not seen for many years now… tears pooled in his eyes, his hand flying to his mouth in shock as the figured lowered their hood to reveal pointed ears, coal black hair and a familiar face.
“Canadriel?” He asked, hand reaching out in disbelief and hope.
Hope that the apparition before him was indeed his elven friend, the very one he had not seen since he had left Erebor on the second time after Fíli’s wedding… had not heard from in the past five years as she had once again travelled to a place that would take too long for letters.
Oh he had forgotten how beautiful she was… even more so now that Grief no longer clung to her.
Bella smiled and knelt down, opening her arms for him. “Hello Bilbo, it has been too long mellon-iaur.”