Bilbo sat down on the bench in his garden. Today was the anniversary of his mother belladonna's death. He was in the rose section of the garden which were her favourite flowers. Today was his off-day from healing, so except an emergency came up, the other hobbits would leave him alone to honour her memory in peace.
He had just lit his pipe and was blowing smoke rings when a shadow fell over him. He looked up and saw that it was a man standing before him. He was wearing grey robes and had a tall pointed hat and a long beard but He did not recognize him.
Good morning, Bilbo greeted, for his mother had instilled manners in him and it was the hobbit way to be polite to guests though unexpected they may be.
What do you mean?, the man replied. Do you wish me a good morning or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it to be or not or that you feel good this morning or that it is a morning to be good on?.
All of them, I suppose replied Bilbo for He wished to be left to be left to the memories of his mother in peace but his hobbit manners would not let him say as much, so grudgingly He offered;
"It is a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco outdoors. If you have your pipe with you join me sir, and have some of mine.
That is lovely! said the man, but I have no time to blow smoke rings. I am looking for someone to share in an adventure and I have yet to find anyone.
Well, I doubt you will in these parts! we are a quiet folk and have no need for adventures. Nasty, uncomfortable things! makes you late for dinner!. I can't think of what anyone sees in them!,replied Bilbo, then He took out his morning letters and pretended to read through them while He thought.
There might have once been a time when Bilbo would happily go on an adventure out of the shire but for one, He did not know this man and another major issue was that He had many major responsibilities in the shire. He was the heir of the than and He could not afford to leave suddenly. He was also the Baggins family head and so He had a lot of people in his employ that were counting on him and He was also the general of the bounders.
The shire had once been a peaceful place with hobbits who were unaware of the dangers of the outside world of big people and lax bounders who were sure no danger was present, but not any more, ever since the fell winter which had taken the life of his father, his uncles who were the sons of the Thain and numerous other hobbits had been killed, everybody was more wary. Bounders mixed in with the public while some remained hidden and out of sight. Most hobbits were trained in the used of at least one weapon to defend themselves. The bounders wore normal hobbit attire with armor fashioned from the branches of the tree of Yavanna, the oldest tree which was hidden from the view of outsiders.
Outsiders were unaware that the senses of hobbits were sharper than even those of the elves and the major reason they did not wear shoes was to have a better connection to the earth and run faster. There were many closely guarded secrets of the hobbits but the most closely guarded one was that once every 250 years, there was one hobbit who was born with the healing power of Yavanna and also the power to control plants to do his bidding and He, Bilbo was the hobbit blessed with the power but He was also special because after healing a family of 3 dwarves and their mother against the wishes of the other hobbits, He had woken up with the ability to manipulate metal, which was a blessing from mahal, the husband of Yavanna. Another positive effect of the blessing of Yavanna was that He understood all languages on middle earth and could talk to both plants and animals. The blessing of mahal had also given him beards which He loved as they were curly and had a golden colour like his hair. He had shaved his beard in remembrance of the death of his mother but He was now thankful He did so, for He did nit want to answer the questions of the man about that oddity.
He came out of his thoughts to notice the stranger still had not left.Good morning! Bilbo said curtly. We do not want any adventures here thank you! you might try over the hill or across the water. by doing this,He had made it politely clear that the stranger was no longer welcome.
What a lot of things you use good morning for! said the stranger. Now you mean that you wish to be rid of me.
Not at all, but I do not think I know your name?
Oh, you do know my name but you do not remember that I belong to it.I am Gandalf the grey wizard. To think I would see the day where I would be good-morninged by my friend belladonna tool's son, as if I am selling buttons.
Any pleasant feelings for the wizard went out the window and Bilbo stiffened and his face became stormy with anger. Gandalf had picked a bad day to mention belladonna, his mother.
"And where was this friend when my mother died twenty years ago from grief due to my father's death, where was this friend when I had to learn how to fend for myself and where was this friend when I had to cater for the businesses of both the baggins and the took sides of my family because my grandfather was unable to do it due to the blow of losing eleven children in one night and then the last remaining child twenty years later to Grief, so do not talk to me about being good friends with my mother. I am the baggins family head and the next in line for the thainship, I do not have the time to go gallivanting out of the shire on some silly adventure.
He stood up, extinguished his pipe, faced gandalf and said, "You are welcome to have dinner at my house before leaving the shire but I implore you to never mention my mother so flippantly again. He stormed towards his door and ignoring the now regretful look on the wizard's face, closed it behind him.
Bloody wizards, always thinking they know everything. why, oh why did I invite him to the house for dinner, He grumbled but soon Bilbo calmed down because He did not want to tarnish his mother's memory by being in a rage on her death anniversary.
That evening, making dinner and feeling slightly remorseful for his rude treatment of the wizard no matter how much He deserved it, He made a full dinner as an apology to Gandalf. He had just finished cooking dinner and was about to set the table when He heard a knock on his door.Thinking it was Gandalf, Bilbo opened his door and He was not expecting what He saw.
Chapter 2: The company arrives
in which the some of the company arrive and are fed.
Bilbo opened the door and saw it was a dwarf standing at his doorstep. He just stared at the death at the dwarf standing there. The dwarf was bald with tattoos all over his body, a black beard and lots of weapons.
Dwalin, son of Fundin at your service, greeted the dwarf.
Bilbo Baggings, son of Bungo Baggins at your service.
When the dwarf tried to force his way in, Bilbo prevented him from entering and asked, do i know you?
No, you do not, Dwalin answered curtly.
Then if i may, might i inquire as to why you are here, Bilbo retorted. He had learned to be cautious of people he did not know and he never let them into his smial without a proper explanation.
Gandalf told us to go to the house marked with a sign atop the hill and the hobbit living there would provide us with food and shelter.
us? what us? Gandalf did not inform to expect guests or that I would have to feed and board them, Bilbo replied. He was about to send the dwarf on his way when he saw his face had fallen and that the expression on his face was a little forlorn.
He took pity on the poor dwarf and realizing that he must be both tired and hungry, He put aside his anger at Gandalf, for after all it was not the dwarf's fault that Fandango had tricked them both, he invited him in.
"Master Dwalin, you are welcome to come inside, eat and rest from your no doubt strenuous journey. Bilbo knew he had done the right thing when he saw the relieved look on the dwarf's face.
"Give me your coat and if you would not mind, you can keep your weapons in this box by the door. Dwalin did so gratefully and thanked mahal that the hobbit had allowed him to rest in his house even though he was unaware of the arrival of the guests by Gandalf.
You must be hungry, master Dwalin and you mentioned something about us meaning more people are coming, right?. How many dwarrow should I be expecting to come knocking at my door and I do not mean this in a condescending way, so remove the glare on your face but I am asking so that I will know the amount of extra food to prepare.
Dwalin, who had truly begun to glare thinking that the hobbit was mocking the dwarves, calmed down and reminded himself that he had no right to be angry, after all the hobbit had opened his doors to him with only little hesitation and was even trying to provide food for them even though he was under no obligation to do so. So calming down he answered, twelve more dwarrow plus the wizard, I suppose. Oh, how his blood boiled thinking about that blasted wizard who had deceived them into thinking that the hobbit had agreed to provide for them and it also made him wonder what else the wizard had lied about.
While dwalin was deep in his thoughts, Bilbo was also thinking about what he had observed about the dwarf. His observation skills as a healer had enabled him to note that the belt buckle on the dwarf's waist had three new belt holes and it was buckled on the last hole, meaning that the dwarf had lost a lot of weight. immediately losing any anger left about the deception of Gandalf over concern about the dwarf's health, he sat the dwarf down on the dining table and gave him generous helping of food and informed the dwarf where to wash up after he was through with his meal. Leaving the dwarf to continue eating, he went to his pantry to get more ingredients to prepare more food.
Dwalin was overwhelmed. He had not seen so much food on a table in a long time and to hear that he could eat as much as he wanted nearly caused him to break down and start worshipping the hobbit with thanks but he was able to get a hold of himself. After thanking the hobbit for the food, he began to wolf the food down and he thanked naval once more for the hobbit when he tasted the delicious food.
Bilbo who could see the fervor with which the dwarf was eating and the way his left hand was cradling the plate as if the food could be taken from him at anytime, knew he had made the right choice.
He was nearly through with the preparation of the food when another knock was heard on his door. He quickly headed to the door and opened it.
He saw a dwarf with white hair and beard who was a bit leaner than he should be if the two added belt holes on his belt were any indication. Realizing he had been stating, he quickly bowed and introduced himself to the dwarf.
"Bilbo Baggins, son of Bungo Baggins at your service.
"Balin, son of fundin at your service".
Ah, he must be dwalin's brother. Come in, master balin. Balin followed the hobbit to the dining room and met the sight of his brother eating a large pile of food. The sheer amount of food on the table and cooking on the stove made him feel faint.
Leading baking to a chair on the dining table, Bilbo served him food then he brought down the food on the stove and served them out on the table. He also brought out more chairs from his store. Thanking Yavanna that dwarves and hobbits were about the same size, he began carrying the chairs to the dining room. He dissuaded balin from helping him when he offered and sternly instructed him to continue eating.
Twin knocks sounded on his door and when he opened it, he was met with the sight of two dwarves. The older one was light haired while the younger one was dark haired.
Fili, said the light haired one and Kili said the dark haired one, at you service, was chorused by the both of them.
Bilbo baggins, at yours and your families.
When he saw the mischief in their eyes he began to question whether he had really made the right decision in letting the dwarves into his house.
Chapter 3: the company arrives part 2
the remaining company arrives, Gandalf is served some more.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
They suddenly swept inside the smial and the light-haired one, Fili, dumped various weapons into his hands, which he had held out to take their coats while the dark-haired one, Kili, was cleaning his leg on...............was that his MOTHER'S GLORY BOX? like magic, the nice calm Bilbo was gone.
Master Kili, remove your feet right this instant from my mother's glory box if you know what is good for you and as for you Master Fili, here are your weapons, put them in that box along with the weapons you see there. Depositing the weapons back in Fili's hands, he left and got a rag for Kili to clean the mud off his shoes and left some more rags out by the door.
After the apologized and done as they were told to do, Bilbo led them to the dining room where the two adult dwarrow were looking at the small scene in shock because they had never seen anybody apart from their mother Dis and their uncle Thorin get them to behave instantly.
Bilbo served Fili and Kili food and had just finished settling them down when he heard another knock on his door, well more like somebody was pounding on the door with a stick, which was probably Gandalf and he left to open the door.
Fili, he is as scary as namad, Kili whimpered as soon as he believed Bilbo was out of earshot. I know but he also provided us with delicious food whispered Fili back. Bilbo just shook his head and continued to the door, for he had heard them with his sharp ears.
Bilbo opened the door and he immediately stepped out of the way when eight dwarrow tumbled down to the floor in front of him.
The first three bowed and introduced themselves as Bombur, Bifur and Bofur. Bifur had an axe in his head, Bombur was plump while Bofur had a winged had on his head.
Gloin and Oin were the next dwarves to introduce themselves, they both had dark had with a spattering of silver but Oin had a large trumpet in one ear which suggested that he had partially lost hearing in that ear.
Dori, Nori and Ori introduced themselves last. All three of them had fire red hair. Dori looked like the oldest brother, Nori was the middle brother with intricate star-shaped braids while Ori was the youngest who looked shy.
After the introductions were concluded, he noticed Gandalf behind them. Narrowing his eyes at the wizard, he first made sure to direct the dwarrow to the dining room and made sure they were seated with food before he excused himself and Gandalf from the dining room to the gardens to have a private conversation.
Bilbo, let me explain-
Explain what?!, that even though I refused to go on this so called adventure, you still insist on trying to force my hand. Gandalf, I have had enough. you cannot always bully people into doing what you want. Things do not always have to go your way. It was my compassion that made me allow these dwarves into my home and not some misguided thirst for adventure. I am the chosen of Yavanna, her champion and you will respect that, is that clear? Maia you may be but that does not compare to being a chosen champion of the valar, Bilbo said grimly. He had not wanted to do this but his hand had been pushed.
Yes it is but for what it is worth, I am sorry, Bilbo.
You are forgiven. Let us go in so that you can eat some food.
As soon as they stepped into the kitchen, they met the sight of the dwarves conversing merrily. When they were done with the meal, they thanked Bilbo and helped in the tidying up of the table. Suddenly, three loud knocks were heard.
He's here, said Gandalf.
He's late, is what he is, Bilbo grumbled back
Bilbo walked to the door and opened it. Standing at his doorstep was a dark-haired dwarf with a regal air about him. He also had a big scowl on his face.
The dwarf brushed past him without a greeting or an introduction. Bilbo's eyebrows went up at this. Behind them, Gandalf and the rest of the dwarves winced and waited for the inevitable fallout as a result of this type of behaviour as the hobbit had proven that he would take nonsense from exactly nobody.
So this is the halfling, the dwarf said while circling round Bilbo. He does not look like much. He looks more like a grocer than a burglar to me.
So this is the leader of this company. It seems he also is one that lacks manners. Master dwarf, I gave you admittance into my house and not the other way around. Therefore, as you are in MY home, common courtesy demands you show me some respect. Now shall we try that again but this time with a proper introduction and lest I forget, do not call me a halfling Master Dwarf, for I am half of nothing.
Chastened and seeing the reproaching look on the face of dwalin and balin and the glare on the hobbit face, he bowed issued an apology and introduced himself.
"Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thrain, son of Thror at your service. I apologize for any insult I may have given you and I thank you for opening your home to us and providing us with a meal.
Bilbo Baggins, son of Bungo Baggins, at yours and your family's. I accept your apology. Now you must be hungry. After you have eaten, you, Master Oakenshield and Gandalf can explain your purpose for being here.
I have found a way to put space in between two paragraphs. I am posting from a phone, so there. a person commented and said that my writing had a light of grammatical errors and mistakes, so please point them out to me in comments everyone.
After everybody had finished eating and were satisfied, Bilbo cleared his throat and inquired as to the purpose of the dwarves and then also reminded of his anger at the Gandalf, he faced the wizard.
Gandalf, I suppose you would finally like to tell me why you invited thirteen dwarves to my small without my knowledge and while we are on that, you should also explain why you told the dwarves that I would provide food and board for them when you informed me of no such thing.
Well, you see Bilbo, Gandalf began but he was cut off by Thorin.
What do you mean he invited us here without your consent, wizard is this true? Thorin questioned in disbelief.
It is true Thorin but I apologize Bilbo. I had already informed them that you had agreed to house them, so when you rejected me this afternoon, there was no chance for me to inform them of this change.
Apology accepted but you still have not informed me of why the dwarves are here(while Bilbo and Gandalf were talking, Thorin had already informed the other dwarves when asked why he was in such a bad mood about the decision of the other dwarven kingdom to not aid them unless Thorin was in possession of the arkenstone.
To answer your question, could you provide a light Bilbo, Gandalf requested. Bilbo brought the requested light and put it on the table. Gandalf brought out a map and spread it on the table beside the lamp. Far to the east, over ranges and rivers, over woodlands and wastelands lies a single solitary peak, do you know what that is Bilbo?
Yes, Erebor, the greatest of all the dwarven mountains and of course, also the mountain currently inhabited by a dragon or have you forgotten about that Gandalf. You would need to have a burglar of high caliber to steal anything from beneath a dragon's nose.
And are you? asked Gloin
Am I what? Bilbo answered.
A good burglar, Dwalin replied.
a BURGLAR, ME? I will have you know that I have never stolen anything in my life, said Bilbo affronted.
Immediately, the dwarves clamored around Gandalf, shouting about how he had told them that Bilbo was an accomplished burglar looking for employment.
Gandalf rose up, drew himself up and banged his staff on the floor. His voice booming, he proclaimed, if I say master baggins is a burglar, then a burglar he is.
The dwarves were cowed but not the hobbit who replied;
"Gandalf, do not raise your voice at me in my own house. I am not a burglar, so do not label me that which I am not
Master Oakenshield, may I ask why you are willing to risk your life and that of these dwarves to face a dragon over a mountain? and please, I would like the truth.
Thorin, who had been about to cite the excuse that Oin's portents had said it was time, changed his mind and decided to tell Bilbo the main reason why the dwarves were on this mission.
My people are starving while there is enough gold in Erebor to feed every single hungry dwarf, that is why we have to get the Arkenstone back from the dragon. It is a sign of my right to rule and with it in my possession, I can petition for an army to battle against the dragon in case it still lives which I doubt as it has been sixty years since the dragon was last seen.
Oh the wyrm is alive, have no doubt about that for dragons are almost as long-lived as the elves and also how do you hope to gain entrance into the mountain without alerting the dragon to your presence there.
Yes, the front gates are sealed, Balin interjected.
If you would give me a chance to speak, Gandalf interrupted before Thorin could answer and brought out a key and put it on the table.
If there is a key, then there is surely a door, Kili said, stating the obvious.
Gandalf, where did you get that key, questioned Thorin.
It was entrusted to me by thrain, your father. Those runes on the bottom of the map speak of the location of a secret entrance into the mountain and they are written in ancient Khuzdul of which there are only a select number of people left on middle earth that can read it.
You mean an elf, don't you?Bilbo inquired.
I will not show my map to any elves nor will I inform them of this quest for surely they will try to stop us.
Why are you do against the elves? my mother always described them as fair and wise beings who treated all equally and if you would just make a quick stop in Rivendell, I am sure that from what I have heard of him, lord Elrond would be happy to help you translate the runes.
Fair and wise beings? how fair and why were they where they when they turned us away and refused us shelter, retorted Thorin but he refused to explain the statement he just made.
I have heard your reasons for this quest and I shall aid you. you shall have to delay your departure for about three more days because I have to prepare the things I shall need on this quest and also settle my affairs because I cannot suddenly disappear from the shire.
This three days will also give you the chance to replenish your supplies and get whatever you may need, Bilbo added when he saw Thorin was about to protest the extension of their stay in the shire.
Now, follow me, I will provide rooms for you as it is very late. Gandalf, your old rooms are still available. Masters Gloin and Oin, you will have to share a room and here it is. Taking the remaining dwarves further into the smial, he assigned Thorin to a room himself, Fili and Kili to a room together, Dori, Nori and Ori were also assigned a room together by the insisting of Dori.
Masters Bombur, Bofur and Bifur, here is your room. As they were going in,Bilbo laid his hands on Bifur's shoulders and asked to see him.
Master Bifur, if you would like, I could heal your axe wound and remove the axe permanently from your head.