Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the plot of the story and any original characters. The rest belongs to millionaires who can actually afford lawyers heh. Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think.
Note: So I originally started this in March, it was supposed to be for St. Patrick's Day, but I didn't get it done in time and so it wallowed in my folder until I forgot about it. And kept forgetting about it until I'd stumble upon it looking for something else. And since I loved the idea I decided to heck with it and finished it so you can read it now. Consider it a very early or very late St. Pat's gift.
I Am Not A Leprechaun!
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there was a dwarf king named Thorin Oakenshield. He was handsome, strong, and thought well of by his people, and yet he had no kingdom with which to rule over. Thorin's kingdom, which lay in the Lonely Mountain, had been stolen from him and his subjects by a terrible dragon called Smaug. All attempts to take back their home and vanquish the horrible creature had, this far, failed.
Discouraged, and aware that if he didn't do something soon his people would never return to the Lonely Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield set off on a quest to find another mystical creature he hoped would change the tides in his favor.
Now a number of his most trusted friends and family members voiced their...concerns about this course of action. Not one of them had ever seen one of the mystical beings outside of tapestries and illustrations in books. Leprechauns were creatures of myth, they argued, and most likely had never existed. And even if they were out there leprechauns were said to be dark magic tricksters and therefore not to be trusted.
Enough bad luck had befallen them without adding another dangerous creature to their list of foes.
But the dwarf king was a stubborn man, even by dwarvish standards, and he was sure that not only could he find one of the elusive creatures, but was more than capable of handling anything a leprechaun might have up his or her sleeve. They were small, after all. And how intelligent could they be with heads that small? Not to mention they had to be rare, which suggested that they'd been driven near to extinction already.
Multiple arguments could have been made, very logical ones too, but ultimately his friends and family decided to instead accept his decision, knowing that nothing they said could sway him. And surely after he'd realized that it was impossible for find the end of a rainbow their king would give up, they told themselves. It would be a sort of holiday for him, they argued, a chance for Thorin to go out into the world, get some exercise, and hopefully not get so lost that they couldn't find him after they'd let him wander for a couple of weeks.
With that in mind his nephews offered to come with him on his quest, but Thorin waved off their offers. He didn't need their help for so simple a task. They'd only scare the creature away.
And so the dwarf king set off on his task, marching confidently off in the direction of some storm clouds since rain would be needed in the making of a rainbow. Leprechauns were always at the end of them according to the stories he'd heard. The unintelligent beings apparently thought nothing of sending out a multicolored signal alerting all to their whereabouts, which was likely why they were so few in numbers now.
It took a few days of wandering before Thorin encountered a light rain that sent him hurrying under a tree for cover, waiting the thankfully short shower out before Mahal shined on him and sent sun breaking through the clouds.
Of course the rainbow he finally came across was off in the distance, Thorin running as fast as a dwarf could as he sought out the end of the colorful vision arching through the sky.
And he cursed fluently in both Khuzdul and in the language of Man as it began to fade away before his eyes long before he reached the end.
Days went by after that and Thorin was starting to lose hope, the dwarf mulling over whether or not he should just stop for a while or give up completely, but he was a dwarf and so stubbornly he decided to follow the storm clouds west in the hopes of finding another rainbow close by.
There was no rain which was both fortunate and unfortunate and Thorin had walked for a good hour when he caught sight of the brilliant colors he sought, Thorin using it as a guide as he raced in the direction of its arch. A rainbow that was already beginning to fade a little, Thorin thought in a panic. But he would not give up and...and...he stumbled through a small grouping of trees and saw, a relatively short distance away, that which he sought.
Ha. They had all doubted him and yet he'd found one within a week.
Feeling quite smug, but careful to remind himself not to alert his prey of his presence until he had the leprechaun in his grasp, Thorin carefully began making his way across the grassy meadow towards the lone figure currently sitting near a large tree that stood alone amongst the flower and grass all around it.
Right around where he'd glimpsed the rainbow moments before, Thorin noted with intense satisfaction.
The leprechaun was bigger than he'd expected, Thorin observed carefully, noting that the creature curly, honey brown head would most likely come to about his nose. But he was tall for a dwarf, Thorin reasoned, so why shouldn't this one be taller than tales suggested too. And it was still small and delicate looking overall, not strong and hardy like himself. Once he had the leprechaun in his grasp Thorin had no doubt he could pin him easily in place and hold him there until his wishes were granted.
It would be no hardship to hold him close either, Thorin thought with a small grin as his eyes tracked over the leprechaun's generous curves, which were well on display thanks to its fitted clothing. Particularly his bottom.
No. He should not be thinking like that. Especially since it looked like the leprechaun didn't even have a beard for Mahal's sake. Weren't they supposed to have beards?
Perhaps it was a young leprechaun, Thorin decided, unwilling to listen to the nagging voice in the back of his mind that unfortunately sounded a lot like Balin, telling him leprechauns didn't exist. This had to be a leprechaun. What else could it be? It was most certainly not a dwarf after all, and the pointed ears made it clear this one was not an abnormally small Man. And he certainly wasn't an elf so yes, he had to be a leprechaun.
Leprechauns wore a lot of green. Everyone knew that. And looking the creature over Thorin noted with satisfaction that his prey was wearing green trousers which ended just below the knee for some reason. And there was green threading in his gold vest as well as a green scarf of some sort wrapped around his neck. He was sitting in a pile of clover for Mahal's sake. Admittedly there was no sign of his pot of gold but that meant little to Thorin, as he was there to have three wishes granted, not collect gold that would undoubtably be inferior to the splendor of dwarvish gold. Gold that would be in his hands once more as soon as his wishes were granted.
And speaking of hands, time to finish sneaking up from behind and grab his prize.
A few steps closer...gotcha!
The leprechaun proved to be heavier than he looked, the creature yelping as Thorin yanked him up by his armpits to a standing position before letting go so that he could wrap his arms around the leprechaun's waist, pinning its arms down in the process. Which didn't stop the smaller creature from struggling against him, but that was to be expected as Thorin ordered the leprechaun to be still. He was caught and no amount of struggling would gain him his freedom.
"Who are you? Why are you-did you say leprechaun?" The creature sounded completely flabbergasted, going still in his arms as it tried to twist its neck enough to get a good look at him from over his shoulder.
"My name is Thorin Oakenshield, of the line of Durin. And you, Master Leprechaun, will go free after you grant me three wishes."
Thorin wasn't quite sure what to make of the long silence that followed that statement.
"Did you hear me?" Thorin finally asked.
"You're mad." Was the weak response he finally got in return.
Leprechauns were tricksters. Everyone knew that. Thorin was not about to be fooled.
"I have caught you fairly. I demand my wishes."
"There's no such thing as leprechauns! I'm a hobbit!"
"A HOBBIT! Or we're called halflings sometimes too, but I prefer hobbit. And to be released at once." The leprechaun informed him prissily.
"I am not fooled so easily. I've never heard of either a hobbit or a halfling, and you were sitting under a rainbow. You are a leprechaun."
The leprechaun made a sound of frustration, obviously angry that Thorin had so easily seen through his deception.
"Of all the people for me to run into...and he thinks I'm a bloody leprechaun. Everyone always said I was mad to want to meet elves and dwarves and it seems they were right, at least about the latter." The leprechaun stomped his foot as he muttered. "You are a dwarf, correct?"
A loud sigh. "What is a dwarf even doing so close to the Shire? It's not like we would interest you in the slightest. We don't have mountains or gold or beards. I've heard you all are very distrustful of creatures without beards. Which I couldn't grow if my life depended upon it, by the way."
"I noticed the lack of beard, yes." And the way the sun brought out red and gold strands in the leprechaun's pretty curls and how delightful the smaller creature had felt when he'd been squirming against him earlier.
"And if I really was a leprechaun don't you think I'd be smaller? And less easy to catch?"
Not appreciating having his earlier thoughts thrown back at him Thorin could feel his temper starting to spike a little.
"Now look here, Leprechaun, enough of this. I have a dragon to slay, a home to reclaim, and a kingdom to rebuild. I can do none of those tasks as things stand now. That's why I need those wishes and you're going to give them to me. Or else."
"Oh really? Well I hate to disappoint you but I am a HOBBIT. Not a LEPRECHAUN. And I cannot do magic, slay dragons, or grant wishes. If I was capable of doing any of those three things don't you think I'd have used said abilities against you?"
That was a valid argument, Thorin was loathed to admit, but there were enough stories out there that he came up with a counterargument quickly. "You can't use your abilities against me because I caught you. It's a rule of your kind."
"Were some rather large boulders dropped on your head when you were a child?"
Thorin growled a warning.
"True. That would have killed you. And maybe it's not your fault that you believe all this." A deep, very loud sigh of defeat. "All right, how about this, Master Oakenshield. What if you ask me for something? Do it all formally and, well, if I'm a leprechaun I'll have to grant it, correct? And if I can't than that will be proof that I am, in fact, a hobbit."
Weighing that in his mind Thorin concluded that it made sense. Unfortunately. He was starting to get the feeling that the 'leprechaun' might be telling the truth about being a 'hobbit'.
"Fine, then. I, Thorin Oakenshield II, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King under the Mountain, do hereby order you...I didn't get your name."
Another loud sigh. "My name is Bilbo Baggins. Pleasure."
"Yes, well..." Thorin felt he should give some sort of proper greeting in return, but given their circumstances that also struck him as foolish. "Then I, Thorin Oakenshield II, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King under the Mountain, do hereby order you, Bilbo Baggins, to..." Right. It had to be something that the creature could do here and now.
"How about you wish for something like the gold I'm supposed to have?" The leprechaun who might not be a leprechaun suggested dryly. "Then if that works you can use the other two wishes to slay the dragon and magically transport you and your people back to your mountain."
Hmmm. That did sound reasonable. And if he needed more wishes he could just take the leprechaun to the Lonely Mountain with him and have other people make the wishes for him. Though he wasn't handing Bilbo over to them. The leprechaun was staying with him.
So again Thorin rhymed off his title, who he had captive, and then asked for a pile full of gold to appear in front of them.
"You did nothing."
"Because I'm a hobbit! There's nothing for me to do!"
Feeling cheated Thorin pointed out that Bilbo could at least say something.
"Fine. I, Bilbo Baggins, son of Bungo Baggins, Hobbit of the Shire, wish rather desperately that any magic I might possess create gold for this dwarf, Thorin Oakenshield, so that he might let me go."
Still no gold.
And if that didn't do it...
"You are not a leprechaun."
"No. I'm not."
Defeated, Thorin dropped his arms and took a step back, his shoulders slumped as he stared down at the lepre-hobbit, who was looking at him with an expression perilously close to pity. Pity he did not deserve seeing as he'd accosted the poor, innocent little thing who-who had the most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen and was reached out to hesitantly place a warm, soft hand on Thorin's cheek in a gesture of comfort.
"I'm sorry I'm not what you're looking for. I would imagine if I was a king or a leader trying to help my people I'd-you're really a king?"
"I was not when the beast took our mountain from us. But had he let us be then yes, now I would be King Under the Mountain."
"Right." Dropping his hand away the hobbit took a couple steps back and then gave a small bow. "Your Majesty."
Smiling a little in spite of himself Thorin shook his head. "I am not your king and given my behavior I am not deserving such curtesy. I...I apologize. For grabbing you."
"It's all right. Well no, it's not, but I do understand why you behaved that way. Though please don't go grabbing any other hobbits. Not many of them have the sort of constitution that would-well a lot of my kind are less resilient than I am. It's my Took blood."
Willing to take the hobbit's word for it Thorin decided to just sit and...and take stock of this latest turn of events. And just how far he'd fallen to come to this. Or no, perhaps what he needed to accept was that his quest to retake his home and kingdom was so doomed to fail that all he could do was chase myths and legends he'd known, in his heart, didn't exist.
There was no creature nor magic that could change what was.
Hanging his head Thorin blinked and looked over in surprise when the hobbit sat down beside him, those big brown eyes soft with understanding.
"Do I look so pitiful?"
"No. I just know what it is, to have dreams you know will never come true."
"And what do you dream of, Hobbit?"
"Well I'm a most unusual hobbit in that sometimes I rather think I'd like to go out into the world and have adventures. Meet the other races of Middle Earth and learn their languages and stories. See the great wonders and do great things." A rueful smile curved the hobbit's lips. "But I rather think I'd miss my hobbit hole and books and creature comforts. And it would be very lonely to go it alone. Not to mention I wouldn't likely survive long."
"Since we left the Lonely Mountain I have done quite a lot of traveling and 'adventuring'. I too would trade all those sights and adventures to be home."
The hobbit nodded in understanding. "Yes. Home is what matters. I very much like mine, though I confess I used to dream that I should have someone to share it with. To make that home with."
An odd moment of silence and then the hobbit asked if he had someone special.
"No. I haven't-no."
Leaving it at that Thorin went silent, appreciating that the hobbit-Bilbo-stayed quiet as well and just sat with him. Silently, quietly lending him strength.
How long they sat here Thorin wasn't sure, it was Bilbo who broke the silence first.
"I can smell more rain in the air. A lot more. If you don't have somewhere to return to you're welcome to come with me to Bag End. That's my house. I'm a fair cook and I'd love the company. Unless you have to go, of course."
Thorin thought about all that he'd set out to accomplish. The distances crossed, the sacrifices made, and the weight he'd carried upon his shoulders for so many years. He thought about those waiting for him, counting on him, trusting him to be their king.
He thought about how very, very tired he was.
"I would like that. If it's not too much trouble."
"Not at all." The hobbit known as Bilbo Baggins assured him with a bright, happy smile.
Getting to his feet Bilbo stood in front of Thorin and offered a hand up, that smile beckoning him to take it. And with the faintest of smiles in turn Thorin took it and let the hobbit 'help' him to his feet too.
Then together they set off for a place called Bag End.
And Thorin soon learned that leprechaun or not...catching Bilbo Baggins was the luckiest day of his life.