Title: The Unpredicted
Summary: Years have passed since the reclaiming of Erebor and Bilbo’s ring forgotten… till now.
Author Note: Okay, the sequel!
BTW I should mention “Italics” are the elves speaking in their native tongue Sindarin. “Bold Italics” is when they are speaking in Khuzdul. Italics without the “-” is thoughts either thinking to one another or general thought.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the twilight series and I really don’t own any of Tolkien’s amazing work.
When the sun rose the next morning and breakfast had been had, Frodo and Samwise continued their journey with a little unease. There was something heavy in the air, something that could not be explained or seen but could still be felt.
Sam paused for a moment in amongst the tall stalks of corn to stare up at the sky with a frown before pushing onwards. His heart thudded harshly in his chest as he saw that Frodo was not before him or behind him.
“Mister Frodo?” Samwise calls as he takes off at a quick pace, Frodo’s name falling from his lips with more desperation after each call. “Frodo! Frodo!”
Frodo turned and hurried back the way he came in concern, coming to a stop several paces away from Samwise. “Sam?”
“I thought I’d lost you.” The relief was evident in Sam’s voice.
Frowning Frodo cocked his head to the side. “What are you talking about?”
“It’s just something Gandalf said. Don’t you lose him Samwise Gamgee and I don’t mean to.” Samwise explained as he continued his walk; no amusement to be seen at the poor imitation of Gandalf. It was a serious matter after all.
“Sam! We’re still in The Shire.” Frodo started amused. “What could possibly happen?”
In a blink of an eye something hard collided with both Sam and Frodo sending them to the ground. All Frodo could see was a mass pile of browns mixed in with greens until a familiar face peered down at him.
“Frodo? Merry! It’s Frodo Baggins!” Pippin cheered over to his cousin who was getting to his feet.
A wide smile graced Merry’s face. “Hello, Frodo!”
“Get off him!” Sam yelled once he got to his feet, pulling off Pippin with ease while helping Frodo to his feet. “Frodo, are you alright?”
Frodo stared at the greens that Merry and Pippin were gathering with haste, his eyes wide and slightly scandalized. He could hear Bilbo’s laughter in the back of his head, Tooks and Brandybucks, as they continued to place and shove all the vegetables into Sam’s arms.
“You’ve been into Farmer Maggot’s crop!” Sam stated outraged before jerking as the familiar bark of a dog pierced through the air followed by Farmer Maggot’s gruff voice.
“Hoi! You get back here! Wait till I get this through you! Get out of my fields! You’ll know the devil if I catch up with you!”
Merry grabs Frodo by the lapels and hauls him into the thick cornfields once more leaving Sam standing gobsmacked and frightened on the path. The frozen state lasted for a beat more before Sam dropped the load in his arms and took off after the two and Mister Frodo. He followed the shouting of Merry and Pippin, shaking his head as they listed off everything that they had ‘borrowed’ from the irate farmer.
Harsh thuds of bodies meeting dirt echoed as all four hobbits tumbled down the slope, thankfully missing all the trees and rocks on the way down till they landed harshly on the dirt road. Frodo wheezed as he landed on his back, knocking the wind from him as Sam spat out the grass from his mouth as he landed on Pippin.
“Oh! I think I’ve broken something.” Merry groaned as he reached under and pulled out the broken Carrot in sadness.
“Trust a Brandybuck and a Took!” Samwise hissed as he pulled himself up.
Frodo got to his feet and staggered away from the other three, their words drowning out as the unease from the early this morning doubled the longer he stood on the road.
“I think we should get off the road.” He advises the others absentmindedly as they continued to harvest the mushrooms. He turned his head back down the lane, blinking as a swirling wind screeches towards them, darkening the path and setting a sense of panic in Frodo.
“Get off the road! Quick!” He orders frantically, drawing the attentions of the others.
All four jumped down from the road and pushed themselves against the harsh dirt under the safety of the tree roots, their whispered argues stilling as the ominous sound of horse clacks sound.
Frodo inhales sharply and turns his head enough to peer through the roots, his eyes widening as he saw the horse hooves, nails sticking out from the hoof. All four press themselves further into the dirt as the harsh sound of metal hit earth, their eyes widening as bugs began to flee from their resting places as the rider peers out into the trees before them.
Dirt smudged fingers fumbled through pockets till they met gold; the overwhelming sense to place the ring on was all Frodo could feel as everything faded into a dull roar. He needed to place the ring on; it was taunting and whispering, he knew that if he did it would give him all he desired… Sam peered over and jerked the hand that held the ring away, knocking Frodo from the spell it seemed to hold him under.
Merry quickly flings his bag to the side and all four wince at the high pitch screech of the rider as they made haste down and away from where they were. They ran until they could not see the horse and rider, only stopping as Merry slipped and fell to the earth once more.
“What was that?” He demanded, his eyes locked onto his cousin’s back.
The question was unheard by Frodo as he stared down at the ring terrified.
Night had fallen and the four hobbits twisted and turned, ducking behind and through trees to escape the riders that hunted them; that hunted one. It was hard on them, their legs burning even though they were half wet and muddy from the ground.
Sam stops with a gasp. “Anything?”
“Nothing,” Frodo replies as he peers around a tree.
Merry pushes past Pippin, his voice echoing the question that his cousin asked. He was young but he was also half Took and a Brandybuck, he knew that something else was going on and if anyone knew it would be his cousin. “The Black rider was looking for something–or someone–Frodo?”
“Get down!” Sam hissed as he ducked behind a bush, his eyes peering at the dark rider at the fork in the path.
All four waited with bated breath as the rider turned and departs down the lane. Relief crashed into Frodo for a split second before resolution and determination take over, he turned to his cousin who waited patiently with worry for the answer.
“I have to leave the Shire. Sam and I must get to Bree.” He explained, watching as a frown pulled down at his cousins’ brow.
Many ideas flashed across Merry’s mind as he realized how much trouble that Frodo was in, he scanned the area quickly when he realized where they were. “Right. Buckleberry Ferry—follow me!”
The rain poured heavily outside, rumbles of thunder and lightning cracked faintly over the din of the tavern as Moriel tapped and tapped her fingers along the cracked and worn table that Aragorn and she occupied.
Gandalf should have already been here, he should have met up with them the moment they acquired accommodation but he has yet to be seen. Perhaps he did indeed go to meet Frodo first but something dark settled in her stomach at that thought.
“You need to relax my lady,” Aragorn whispered from beneath his hood, smoke curling out from his parted lips.
“I have asked you many times not to call me that, Estel.” She teased back before pausing as the door to the tavern opened and in pooled four hobbits. She could not see more beyond that as the crowd blocked her view but she waited. “Something doesn’t feel right.”
Aragorn went to reply before he snapped his mouth shut, his eyes locking on the four hobbits that made their way to the only table free catered to their size. The familiar face of the hobbit they were looking for was squished in between the other three. “I do believe you are right, the one we are here for has arrived and no Gandalf to be seen.”
Bella hissed slightly as she turned her head to the small shard of a mirror she placed near Aragorn to see what he saw. Indeed young Frodo was here but he was not alone either, with him were three other hobbits that were not part of the plan but at least it wouldn’t slow them down too much beyond gathering more food.
Whispered words could be heard faintly over the usual cheer of the drunks. The name Baggins being thrown about by men, hunters, and mercenaries that she and Aragorn had to keep their eye on. Thankfully as Bella cast a look around she could see the few Dwarrow inside steered clear of the hobbits and gave a couple of men a threatening glare. They must be kin from the Blue Mountains or travelers from Erebor, she knew that Thorin decreed that all Hobbits must be respected and protected as they were the children of Mahal’s wife and friends.
Sam swallowed as his eyes landed on the shadowed figure in the corner once more. “That fellow’s done nothing but stare at you since we’ve arrived.”
At the nervousness, Frodo turned to see the stranger, his heart leaping as he saw gleaming eyes from beneath the travel stained cow. His hand shoots out and catches the innkeeper by the sleeve. “Excuse me, that man in the corner, who is he?”
“He’s one of them Rangers; they’re dangerous folk they are, wandering the wilds. What his right name is, I never heard, but round here he’s known as Strider.” Butterbur explains with a hint of warning in his tone, his eyes flickering to the Ranger and back before making his way to the table he needed to deliver the food too.
“There is darkness clinging to him. The ring is stronger.” Canadriel whispers before turning her head sharply out the window once more and to the sky. “Dark creatures… darkness hunts him… we cannot wait for Gandalf anymore, we must take him to Rivendell ourselves.”
“Baggins? Sure, I know a Baggins—he’s over there.” A voice piped up over the loud din of the inn, catching the attention of many.
Aragorn watched, his pipe lowering as Frodo raced from his seat, his hand clenching the bowl tightly when the young hobbit fell. He saw Canadriel stiffen and gasp the moment Frodo disappeared from view, her hands flying up to her temples in pain.
“GET HIM!” She cried out as flashes of dark riders and fire burned behind her eyes.
The world Frodo fell into was cold and it sucked the air from his lungs. Darkness blurred around him as he turned to scurry away, his eyes widening as a great fiery eye burst forth, highlighting the shapes of the people that were around him.
There is no life here in the void…only cold…only death…
The voice sends a shudder of fear down Frodo’s spine as he scurried backwards away from the looming eye. He rolls under a table, desperately pulling the ring from his finger before gasping as he felt someone yank him out from under the table by his collar. The world spun as he tried to gather his bearings and when he found himself still once more, Frodo was staring at the masked figure of the Ranger.
“You draw far too much attention to yourself, Mister Underhill,” Aragorn whispered before shoving the hobbit up the stairs and into the first room he knew was to be a hobbits room.
“What do you want?” Frodo demands as he watches the Ranger glance around the room, the firelight highlighting his face.
“A little more caution from you,” Aragorn replies darkly. “That is no trinket you carry.”
Gandalf’s warning echoed in Frodo’s head. “I carry nothing.”
“Indeed?” Aragorn hummed while he began to put out the candles by the window. “I can usually avoid being seen if I wish, but to disappear entirely… that is a rare gift.”
Frodo watched as the man turned around and dropped his hood revealing damp hair that hung just past his chin and whispered against his shoulders, a short cut beard, and piercing eyes. “Who are you?”
While Aragorn gathered Frodo, Moriel raised to her feet and strode over to where the men that were inquiring for a Baggins rested, their whispers and plans growing louder the closer she got. Her hand grasped the dagger at her side tightly and waited till one of the men went to stand, she moved swiftly and thrust it downwards pinning his sleeve to the bar top.
“I would advise against you doing that.” She uttered flatly, her eyes gazing over the men gathered with distaste. She could see their surprise and slight fear as they stared at her masked form.
“And what is a woman like ye gonna do about it? There are more of us than you, perhaps we can…” A drunken fool hissed, pausing when he found the sharp side of an axe at his throat.
All eyes turned to the dwarf in surprise. “I would not finish them words ye Barazkharh. She’s not alone and ye outnumbered.”
With that, all the Dwarrow that was in the establishment stood up, their weapons in hand and angry scowls upon their faces. The men swallowed hard but the one with the axe at his throat smirked, a drunken gleam in his eyes.
“I did not think dwarves would come to an aid of an elf.” He chuckled out, hoping that if they knew the woman’s race the dwarves would back down. Their hate for the elves was well known and he had seen and heard many insults traded by the traveling caravans.
The sharp bark of laughter that escaped the woman’s lips wiped the smirk from his face, his eyes widening as the woman removed her hood and pulled free a section of hair. Anyone who knew about dwarves was the beads and what some sigils meant and it was hard to mistake the sigil of the royal seal of Durin.
“I am not just an elf filth. I am the sister of Thorin Oakenshield King Under the Mountain. That hobbit you are planning to take is under my protection and all who claim me kin. So I suggest you… leave before the Dwarrow lynch you all.” She warned and in a blink of an eye the men were scattering from their seats and inn.
“I thank you for the aid even if it was not needed.” She stated, turning her head down to face the Dwarrow. “Moriel Dwarrowfriend at your service.”
“Pátrin son of Rathsar at your service Moriel Dwarrowfriend. My One is Salní daughter of Bombur. I would have been shamed to not aid you, my One would skin me alive after her father and your kin.” Pátrin explained with a grin. “It was luck that made us stop here on our way home to Erebor.”
A grin graced Bella’s face at the news of Bombur’s eldest. “Then I am pleased to meet you Pátrin. I would love to talk more but I am here on business. Give Salní my love and to the others as well. Mukhuh targzu nê ta’bari bashk, Pátrin son of Rathsar.”
“Mahal tadnani astû, sanzigil tamkhihi astû, Moriel Dwarrowfriend!” Pátrin replied as Moriel hurried towards the stairs once more.
She took the stairs two at a time and closed in on the Hobbits who were at the stairs, her feet staggering as the darkness she could feel in the air grew close. “We can no longer wait, they’re coming.”
At the new voice, the hobbits turned around, three widening in awe as they took in the elf while Frodo relaxed completely. “Lady Canadriel, are you here to help us?”
Bella raised her brows at this before turning her attention to Aragorn. “Did you not tell him? Of course, you didn’t. Yes, Frodo, Strider and I are here to help you. Gather your things quickly; you’ll be staying in our room for the night as it is not safe here.”
The rain had stopped and soon the streets of Bree were sleeping.
“They draw near,” Bella whispered from her spot by the window, casting a look up to Aragorn who stood by her side, each with weapons drawn.
Samwise, Merry, and Pippin rested peacefully while Frodo sat at the edge of the bed worried and stared into the fire. He had many questions, questions that Lady Canadriel could answer but only Bilbo could truly supply. If this ring was so dangerous why did Bilbo keep it? Why was it his responsibility now?
Do not fret Frodo… Canadriel’s voice whispers in his mind, jolting him. His eyes snap to her frame and saw that she still looked out into the night. Bilbo did not know the dangers of the ring… did not know the true evil and it is I who should have known but it shrouded itself from me…
Aragorn and Canadriel both jerked as a loud crack filled the air followed by the screeches of the riders. Both knew what they were as soon as they came into view and broke into the main part of the Prancing Pony. Frodo moves to their side as the screeches turn from ones of victory to rage, cracks, and shatters of furniture echoing.
“What are they?” Frodo asks in a whisper, glancing over to the bed where his friends sat now wide awake.
“They were once men.” Canadriel starts, her voice flat and mind distant.
Aragorn nodded grimly. “Great Kings of men. Then Sauron the deceiver gave to them Nine Rings of Power. Blinded by their greed they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness and now they are slaves to his will… They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living or dead. At all times they feel the presence of the ring…drawn to the power of the One…they will never stop hunting you.”
“I suggest you rest now Frodo, we leave at the first ray of light.” Bella supplied tearing her eyes away from the window to the others. “No harm will come to you this night.”
Author Note: Gah… GAAAAH
Barazkharh – Untrustworthy Person Often Involved In Trouble Whose Company Should Be Avoided
Mukhuh targzu nê ta’bari bashk – May your beard never grow thin. (blessing farewell sort of)
Mahal tadnani astû, sanzigil tamkhihi astû – May Mahal’s hammer shield you (Safe travels)