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.
Bilbo puffed at his pipe calmly as he looked out over the shire, the lights and tents that had been set shone in the darkness. He could smell the foods and the ales, could hear the laughter as his kin and the rest of Hobbiton sung as they prepared.
“I did not think she would come.” Bilbo admitted softly to the wizard. “I had not heard from her in so long, she looks just as I remember her and that bothers me Gandalf.”
Gandalf sighed and exhaled the smoke he had just breathed in and nodded. “Their passing was hard on her and every year the grief took hold once more as she watched everyone Aging. I think it was the announcement of Bifur’s death and Fíli’s firstborn that struck her and reminded her of the passing of time.”
“It must be lonely and so painful to lose all those you love.” He murmured casting a look up to his old friend and seeing the sadness reflected back.
“It is. I hope that the journey she takes with you will help her. Legolas will not admit it but he fears for her, she’s not as bright as she used to be and he fears grief will take hold if she were to lose anymore of her kin.” Gandalf explained, casting a look through the open door behind him to make sure Canadriel was not there.
Thankfully she was still bathing and getting ready.
Bilbo nodded and blew a perfect smoke ring. “Hopefully my old friend, this will be a night to remember.”
Bella laughed as she clapped along to the music, her eyes watching the hobbits dance and be merry. She let her worries drift to the back of her mind as she focused on the now but oh how she wished her kin could be here, that her husband could be here for she knew they would enjoy it.
“Come Canadriel, you can’t just sit here.” Gandalf laughed as he danced his way over to her, lighting another fireworks on his way.
It screamed to the sky and exploded into thousands of brilliant colours, lightening the fields with their glow. Oh how long has it been since she saw such beauty?
“No, Gandalf. Go and enjoy, entertain the children with your fireworks and let me bask in this merriment.” She explained before cocking her head to the side and smiling. “Or perhaps I will go and join Bilbo in his tale.”
Gandalf laughed and watched as Canadriel twirled in and out of the dancing hobbits with a grace only an elf could have as she made her way towards Bilbo and the children. Her Durin blue dress spun brilliantly, the golds and gemstones catching the light and casting their own in the movement; hypnotising the hobbits she passed. Though sadness and worry still clung to his old friend, she seemed to be enjoying her time amongst the hobbits.
“May I join you Bilbo?” Bella asked with a soft smile, interrupting the story and chuckling as the children gasped at her.
“Are you an elf?” A little hobbit lass asked in awe, her green eyes wide.
Bella nodded and cast her a smile as she sat cross-legged next to her friend. “Indeed I am Mim’ibin.” (Little Gem.)
If Bilbo was taken by surprise at hearing Khuzdul slipping from her lips he didn’t show it. But oh, it had been many years since he had heard the language of dwarves and it reminded him of good times.
“In fact… I was there on the quest with Bilbo.” She whispered, leaning forward closer to the children as if she were telling them a secret. “It was Bilbo who saved us, teaching them how to properly cook us!”
The children gasped in outrage, their eyes turning onto him with horror. He couldn’t help but splutter and turn his eyes onto his friend and huffing. “Why I never. I was stalling for time; they were contemplating on if they were going sit on us one by one and squash us into jelly or turn us on a spit.”
“Of course, how silly of me to forget. They were arguing on how to cook us but Bilbo delayed them, he spoke to them and got them to argue amongst themselves over it. A hobbit knows how to cook food you know.” She whispered, laughing as the children nodded vigerously. “Well they spent so much time arguing that they missed the sun’s first light cracked open over the top of the trees…”
The children sat with rapt attention, waiting for what was to come next. Bilbo and Bella exchanged sly glances and though Bilbo remained seated; Bella shot to her feet with a loud jump and then freezing on the spot sending the kids sprawling back in fright and then laughter as they took in her frozen silly face, Bilbo finished the rest of his tale.
“Of course you modified our adventures for the children.” She chuckled as she sprawled on the grass once the children left to gather around Gandalf for his smaller poppers. “I do hope you write what truly happened like you were planning.”
“I had to. When Drogo and Primula passed… Frodo was so sad and terrified; the only thing that seemed to make him sleep was telling him of my adventure.” Bilbo explained, smiling down at the elf at his feet. “He will learn the truth in time, when the book is finished.”
“I know it hurt you to leave Thorin, Bilbo.” She whispered as she took in the sad features.
Bilbo shook his head and sighed. “It would not have worked out, I was not his One.”
“And yet he loves you anyway but I understand. Your place was here amongst the green things of Yavanna with your nephew at your side and all the comforts in Arda. His is with his mountain and his people; you would not have thrived in the darkness like the Dwarrow do.” The cheer was no longer in the air around them as they remembered a time not long ago.
It was not known that Bilbo and Thorin had loved one another, she and Legolas had seen that as had Gandalf too probably and Dís. But Bilbo seemed to wilt under the shadows of the mountains in his time there, so they let go of one another and Thorin had let his tears spill in the sanctuary of his room.
She remembered holding him as he cried and prayed to his maker that they could be once their time came.
With a clap Bilbo shot to his feet, shaking the grief and regret from his shoulders and turned to his friend once more. “Let’s get a drink shall we?”
“Yes lets.” She quickly agreed, thankful for the change of topic and hopped to her feet.
“Bilbo!” A voice called out and Bilbo turned and smiled at the hobbit lass, gesturing for Canadriel to go forth without him while his eyes followed the massive brood of children. “Mrs Bracegirdle, how nice to see you. Welcome welcome. Are all these children yours?”
The woman nods with a smile and Bilbo blinked and blushed. “Good gracious you have been productive!”
At the sound of the familiar annoyed screech of his cousin yelling his name sent him into a flurry of action, practically colliding into Frodo in his haste to flee pointing behind him. “Sackville-Bagginses! Quickly! Hide!”
Bella stepped out of the shadows and twirled, the cloak she wore easily flinging over the two hobbits and hiding them. Her long sleeves of her dress did the rest as she pulled them flush to her body just in time to see two old hobbits glare over at her after they scanned the tent and left in a huff when they did not find who they were looking for.
“I don’t know how you do that.” Bilbo replied from beneath the cloths, laughing at his nephews red face. “But thank you Canadriel.”
“A secret dear Bilbo, it’s been a while since I have come to your aid. I do apologise Frodo for my manhandling, Bilbo is used to it but I needed to be quick.” Bella replied to the elder and apologised to the younger. “If you’ll excuse me I do believe Gandalf is calling for me.”
Frodo frowned at the sudden departure of the elf and turned to face his uncle. “I didn’t hear Gandalf.”
Bilbo laughed softly as he cast a look out towards the party and back to Frodo. “You’re a good lad Frodo… I’m very selfish you know.”
Frodo cast his uncle a confused frown, his mouth opening to object only to snap it shut when Bilbo continued. “Yes, I am. Very selfish. I don’t know why I took you in after your mother and father died, but it wasn’t out of charity. I think it was because, of all my numerous relations, you were the one Baggins that showed real spirit.”
“Bilbo have you been at the Gaffers homebrew?” Frodo asked with a confused frown, he had been acting strange for months now but even more so tonight.
“No. Well yes, b–but that’s not the point. The point is, Frodo…” He trailed off suddenly, his words halting in his throat. “You’ll be alright.”
In a smaller tent two young hobbits passed the upright lit firework from side to side between each other in panic as they argued whose fault it was and who had to take it, neither one noticing the wick growing shorter and shorter till the blast sent them tumbling to the ground as it screamed to the sky.
The partying hobbits ooh’d and ahh’d as it lit up the sky but Bella’s breath hitched and a scream lodged in her throat as the familiar shape of a dragon lit up the sky. She tried to reason that it was a firework, tried to hold the memories at bay but she couldn’t.
“Bilbo! Bilbo! Watch out for the dragon!” Frodo warned as he tried to pull his uncle away.
Bilbo shook his head. “Nonsense, there hasn’t been… dragon… Moriel!”
Cries of dying Dwarrow and Men reached her ears, the smell of brimstone and burnt flesh overpowered the smell of food and ale as she watched the dragon swoop closer to the ground, her eyes following its path till they locked onto Bilbo’s frame.
“BILBO!” She screamed, halting those around her and drawing Gandalf’s, Bilbo’s and Frodo’s attention.
She didn’t notice as she pushed through the mass of bodies, knocking many hobbits over and the tables to reach her friend. She would not lose another, not to dragon fire, not again. Light burst out from her body as she reached them, curling around them both and clenched her eyes shut for the impact of the beast or the familiar lick of flames on her flesh.
But nothing came, no cry, no pain… nothing.
Her breaths came out in sharp bursts, her arms falling as she felt Bilbo’s steadying hand upon her back and soothing voice. “It was just a firework Moriel.” Bilbo soothed, hoping the familiar name would bring her back. “That’s it. Frodo be a good lad and go get her a barrel of Bolger’s moonshine.”
“Will she be okay? What happened?” Frodo asked once he was able to pull himself free from her grip.
Bilbo nodded. “Moriel has faced dragons my boy, horrible things and sometimes she forgets herself lost in those bad memories. Go on, quickly now.”
While Bilbo led Moriel away from the watching crowd, Gandalf stalked over to the two hobbits responsible for setting off the firework he had in his cart. He was of course at first going to light it later when Bilbo told his tales but that plan changed when Moriel had turned up.
He grasped the ears of the two tweens and stared down at them as they cast a look up. “Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took! I might have known. You caused great grief by lighting that firework, a great grief and for now you will begin washing up all the dishes until I speak to your mothers or Bilbo himself.”
Pippin and Merry cringed and dropped their heads as much as they can before whining in pain as Gandalf dragged them over to the washbasins and sat down to keep an eye on them both, he gave the two tweens a sharp look before turning his eyes to Canadriel and Bilbo.
“Bilbo, go and be merry, worry not for me I am fine now.” She explained to the fussing hobbit. “You are Mother Henning and I am worried that Dori has somehow replaced you.”
“Be bother and confusticate you Moriel Dwarrowfriend, still after all these years you have a Dwarrow’s stubbornness.” Bilbo huffed after shoving another drink into her hand and fussing around her.
Bella huffed and shot the younger hobbit an amused look as he watched the scene before him. “Yes and I also have the stubbornness of a Took and the determination of a Baggins. You do recall this right?”
Frodo blinked in surprise at this news and watched as Bilbo seemed to blush as the elf – Lady Canadriel or was it Moriel? – pulled a braid out from behind her ear to show a familiar acorn bead. Bilbo sighed and nodded, a soft fond smile on his face as he gently thumbed the bead he had Balin make for her.
“Okay, I will return to the party.” He sighed, admitting defeat. “I shan’t be too much longer.”
She watched as Frodo and Bilbo merged back into the crowd, greeting and laughing to whatever their kin had said. She knew that whatever Bilbo had planned would cause chaos, a big finale to this night and she couldn’t wait to see it. Thankfully her bags had been packed and her horse resaddled waiting at the Green Dragon with the Pony she acquired for Bilbo before making her way here.
I shall meet you at Bilbo’s Mithrandir… She thought to her old friend while standing, casting her eyes over the field before sinking back into the shadows just as “SPEECH! SPEECH” erupted from the party. She moved quickly and silently, pausing at the edge of the field in anticipation and unease as the darkness seemed to loom once more.
Bilbo smiled and shifted on the balls of his feet as he cast a look down at the hobbits before him. “My dear Bagginses, and Boffins, Tooks and Brandybucks… Grubbs, Chubbs, Hornblowers, Bolgers, Bracegirdles and Proudfoots…” He greeted, wincing with each scream of the families called, rolling his eyes as someone corrected him to Proudfeet.
“Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday. Yes, and alas…Eleventy–one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable Hobbits!” He shouted, his eyes casting over the applauding hobbits. He felt so tired all of a sudden, so lost amongst his own people that it took him off guard. He had not felt this way in a long time, being amongst his kin and yet so isolated. “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you as well as well as you deserve.”
The hobbits applaud died down, each casting everyone around them a look in confusion while Bilbo, Bella and Gandalf smiled on, though their amusement turned to worry as Bilbo seemed to cast a confused look around while he stammered and struggled to find his next words.
Frodo felt his smile slip as Bilbo took something from his pocket and whispered to himself, a sense of unease building in his throat as his Uncle clasped his hands behind his back.
“I regret to announce, this is the end. I am going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell.” He announces before casting a look to Frodo, hesitation stilling his tongue before he sighed and steeled himself. “Goodbye.”
Gasps could be heard as he disappeared from view. Frodo cast a look around his head swinging from one side to the other to see if Bilbo reappeared but saw nothing. He cast another look towards where he saw Gandalf to be but found empty space and then again to where he and Bilbo left the lady elf only to find her gone as well. He hopped to his feet as he turned to rush towards Bag End only to be waylaid by relatives.
Bilbo laughed to himself as he snuck back up to Bag End, his whole frame shaking with the force of them as he slipped inside his home and pulling the ring from his finger. Oh how it has been a long time since he was able to feel this light, to prank another being.
He flicked the ring and caught it in the air before placing it back into the pocket of his weskit, he had things to pack and an elf to find.
“I suppose you found that terribly clever.” Gandalf scolded as Bilbo walked into the sitting room, his face stern.
“Come now, Gandalf! Did you see their faces?” Bilbo scoffed as he pulled out his old bag and placed the candles he grabbed from the front table inside.
“I told you long ago Bilbo Baggins rings of power are not one to idly mess with.” Moriel stated firmly as she stepped into the room, her own pack she left here ready on her shoulder while another full of what Bilbo would need in her hand.
Gandalf turned and stared at her in disbelief. “You knew about this?”
“He found it in the mountains… how odd that it seemed to slip my mind so easily…” She trailed off with a frown and shook her head.
“Oh, it was just a bit of fun… but then again you both are always right.” Bilbo sighed dejectedly as he moved passed them to gather his pipe from atop the hearth. “You will keep an eye on Frodo for me won’t you Gandalf?”
“Two eyes, as often as I can spare.”
Bilbo nodded and moved over to the shelving he left his book on. “I’ve left him everything of course.”
“What about this ring of yours? Is that staying too?” Gandalf asked his eyes following his old friend critically.
“Yes… yes… it’s in the envelope on the mantelpiece.” He waved him off before pausing as he felt Moriel place her hand gently on his arm.
“It’s still in your pocket Bilbo.” She whispered softly in concern, his hand flying to it in a blink and frowning in confusion. Since when was it in his pocket, he could have sworn he put it in the envelope?
He took the small gold band and caressed it with his fingers, even now it was warm and it still shone as bright as it did when he first found it. It was his. “Odd… Isn’t— isn’t that odd now. Yet after all why not, why shouldn’t I keep it?”
Gandalf and Canadriel shared a concerned look, the former taking a step forward towards the old hobbit. “I think you should leave the ring behind Bilbo. Is that so hard?”
Bilbo jerked away from the shine of the ring and towards Gandalf with a slight hiss. “Well no— and— yes… Now it comes to it, I don’t feel like parting with it. It’s mine, I found it! It came to ME!”
“Bilbo!” Bella’s voice cracked across the room, power flaring out from her voice and knocking him from his dark and possessive thoughts. “This is not you.”
“No you—you’re right… I just saw gold… but it’s mine… my precious.” He whispered sending alarm down both Gandalf’s and Canadriel’s spine for two different reasons.
The name he had called the ring struck a chord in Gandalf, he knew the ring had been called that before but could not recall who said it or when… It alarmed him how entrapped Bilbo was to the ring and the power it seemed to hold while Canadriel flashed back to the mountain, to Thorin.
Her hand pressed down upon Bilbo’s head and let her light flare through him, chasing away the tendrils of darkness in his mind. She will not allow another of her friends succumb to Gold sickness, not again and not to a hobbit. “We must part, before the night grows late or before young Frodo comes looking for you.”
Bilbo shook himself and blinked up at her before nodding. “Yes, yes you are quite right.”
He shoved the last of his stuff into his bag and swung it over his shoulder, blinking in surprise when Sting was handed to him once more. Bella huffed a laugh and helped him strap it to him once more before hoisting his bag on his shoulders.
“I’ll meet you outside.” She whispered before grabbing her pack and the one she packed for Bilbo and made haste out the door, giving Gandalf a look over her shoulder as she did so. She would let him deal with it.
Like the night many years before she found herself staring out over the rolling hills of the shire and at the stars in the skies above, tuning out the voices from the smial behind her. Her eyes drifted shut as she pressed her hand to where her heart lie and pushed all the grief to the back of her mind. She won’t let it win tonight.
“Are you ready?” Bilbo asked, watching and fiddling with his walking stick.
“Always Bilbo. Time for another adventure.”
Author Note: Well as you can see I changed some things, kept some things, blended Unexpected in with this…