Chapter 1: The Unexpected Guests
Bilbo, could not help but feel excited. This was going to be the first time that he was going to head away from Ered Luid, in a really long time. Not that it was easy. Neither Thorin nor Dís wanted him to go, but both of his Dwarrow brothers were going and he could not stay behind. So after lots of pleading and wide eyed stares he finally managed to convince them to let him go.
"All ready Bilbo?" said Kíli, as he bounded into his room, he may be approaching his 80th year but he still acted like the small Dwarf that he grew up with most of the time.
"All done," grinned Bilbo as he strapped the sword that Thorin had forged for him around his hip.
Dís was waiting for them with her eldest son. "I want you all to look after each other, the wild is a dangerous place," she said her eyes watery. She was against this adventure of her brother. She wanted to keep all of her boys safe but she could not go with them, she had to lead her brother's people in his absence.
"We will do so Amad. I'll look after these two reckless idiots," laughed Fíli.
"Oi!" protested his brothers, in mock protest.
"I'm serious Fíli, you all take care of each other. Don't take any unnecessary risks and look after each other and most importantly, listen to your uncle."
seeing her getting more distressed they sobered up and embraced her tightly. Bilbo was really going to miss her. She became the mother that he had lost and she treated him as if he was one of her own.
"We'll be safe aunty. I promise," said Bilbo.
"Oh Bilbo, here take this," she handed his a stone with a marking in Khûzdul. "It's a rune stone, to remind you to return to me with your brothers," she said gently, knowing that Bilbo tended to be the more reckless, even more than her youngest son and that was saying something.
She stayed at the doorway watchng as her sons and her nephew disappeared in the distance. She longed for the days where they were living in the Shire. It was a simple life but so peaceful that she would not have traded it for anything.
"Why are we meeting uncle in the Shire?" questioned Bilbo.
"Don't you want to see it for one last time before heading so far East?" grinned Fíli.
"Yes but won't it be out of our way?"
"Uncle still had to attend that meeting with the other Dwarf Lords," said the younger brother, "besides don't you want to see Hamfast's reaction when Beg End becomes invaded with all of us Dwarrow," he laughed.
Bilbo grinned weakly, he has not been to the Shire since that horrible day when he lost his mother. He missed those green fields and running around without a care in the world.
It was not long before they reached the land of his childhood. The Shire looked the same, just like it was in his memories. It was as though that winter never happened.
"Are you feeling fine, Bilbo?" questioned Fíli, looking at him in concern.
"Just fine," hummed the Hobbit.
It was night time by time that they reached Bag En. They heard voices, one of which probably belonged to a panicked Hobbit.
Fíli knocked on the door and waited with his brothers. The door opened to reveal a flustered Hobbit.
" Fíli, Kíli and Bilbo at you service," they chorused.
"Bilbo," gaped Hamfast.
The Hobbit grinned, knowing that he must look so different with his hair long and braided and a sword strapped to his hip. Even after the Fell Winter, Hobbits sill refused to arm themselves.
"What are you doing here? And what are all of these Dwarves doing here?"
"It's Dwarrow, not dwarves," grumbled Kíli.
Bilbo laughed and pushed his way into his former home.
"I think you've got the wrong house, Bilbo" hissed Hamfast.
"What has it been cancelled," gasped the younger Dwarf.
"No one told us," agreed Fíli
"No nothing's been cancelled."
"Well that's a relief," grinned Kíli.
The blond Dwarf dumped all of his weapons on Hamfast's arms while his younger brother scraped his boots on what Bilbo assumed to be his mother's glory box. Bilbo rolled his eyes in exasperation and offered him an apologetic look. He hen turned to greet the Fundin brothers who were already there and were moving tables and chairs to accommodate each and every Dwarf that would turn up that night.
Soon enough the house was over flowing with Dwarrow and one grey Wizard who had opted to join them as well. Hamfast was running himself ragged trying to keep his house whole.
"Can you not do that, you'll blunt the knives," he hissed hoarsely, in frustration.
"Ohhhh did you hear that lads," grinned Bofus, as he jumped up on the table and as was his custom he broke out in a song.
Blunt the knives, bend the forks
Smash the bottles and burn the corks
Chip the glasses and crack the plates
That's what Hamfast Gamgee hates!
Cut the cloth, tread on the fat
Leave the bones on the bedroom mat
Pour the milk on the pantry floor
Splash the wine on every door!
Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl
Pound them up with a thumping pole
When you're finished, if they are whole
Send them down the hall to roll
That's what Hamfast Gamgee hates!
The Dwarrow broke out in boisterous laughter, while Hamfast almost fainted at the site of his cutlery being thrown around. However they were all silenced at the sound of three strong knocks being pounded on the door.
"He's here," said Gandalf, with a serious expression on his coutenance.
There at the doorway stood Thorin Oakenshild, who looked every inch of the king that he was.
"What did the Dwarrow from the Iron Hills say? Is Dain with us?" questioned Dwalin, while Thorin ate some of the food that was left.
The King sighed and said, "the will not come they said this quest is ours and ours alone." The groans of disappointment struck him harder than he expected. He hated letting his men down, especially these brave men that were willing to face a dragon with him.
"You're going on a quest?" asked Hamfast, looking confused.
Gandalf coughed and asked the Hobbit to bring more light. The light shone on the map of Erebor and Bilbo could not help but feel awed. Thorin had told them stories about Erebor and Bilbo could not wait to see it with his own eyes. Oin was speaking about signs and portents urging them to go beck to the mountain.
His thoughts were interrupted with Hamfast's question regarding the beast in the mountain.
"I'm not afraid," said Ori, "I'll give him the taste of Dwarfish iron right up his jacksie."
"Sit down,~ snapped his eldest brother, annoyed at his enthusiasm. Dori wished that they could have left him behind but his youngest brother was much to curious and did not want to be left behind.
Hamafast was trying to calm everyone down, but to no avail. The Dwarrow were a loud bunch.
"Shazara!" shouted Thorin. The silence was sudden.
"If we saw these signs, don't you think others haven't seen them to? Our vast wealth now lies unprotected do we sit back while others take what is rightfully ours? Or do we seize this hance to take back Erebor? Du bekar! Du bekar!"
"You forget that the front gate is sealed," said Balin, silencing the enthusiastic shouts of his kin.
Gandalf cleared his troat and insisted that that was not completely true ad he handed a key to Thorin claiming that it was once in Thrain's possession. Thorin took it reverently and his eyes glazed over in remembrance.
Bilbo rolled his eyes about his brother' statements that where there was a key there must be a door and that there was an other way in. honestly his brothers really had the ability of just state the obvious.
Hamfast prepared beds for them to spend the night. The would be leaving early on he morrow.
"Are you sure that you don't want to live here, Bilbo?" asked Hamfast in concern.
"Yeah, the Dwarrow are my family," grinned Bilbo. His friend embraced him tightly, "well if you ever change your mind, know that you always have a home here."
Thorin sang the song of the Lonely Mountain that night, his strong baritone echoing in the hallways.
"Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away, ere break of day,
To seek our pale enchanted gold.
The pines were roaring on the heights,
The wind was moaning in the night,
The fire was red, it flaming spread,
The trees like torches blazed with light."
Bilbo joined in the humming feeling more than ever that he was one with this company, his brothers on either side of him promising to keep him safe.
At dawn the next day they were already riding out, away from the green fields. Thorin and all three of his nephews woke up a bit earlier to visit Bella's and Bungo's grave to put some asphodels as a sign of respect. Thorin himself muttered a small prayer and a promise that he would protect their son as he had done for all of these years.
Bilbo turned round, not knowing if he would ever see the land of his birth again. He left Hamfast a note thanking him for his hospitality. He then faced ahead, when he heard his brothers calling for him to keep up and he was ready to venture the wilds with his adopted kin.