You are now about to reach the most dangerous time of your life, the thirteenth year. I only ask that you learn to keep yourself safe.
-Dwalin son of Fundin
It was a short message, scrawled on a slip of parchment barely larger than her hand. At first, Billa found herself quite confused by the obvious tension and worry that seemed to drip from the letter like water from a broken faucet.
A few hours of reading and a translation or two, Billana understood and wished she could have found these letters earlier so that she might have been able to ease the poor dwarf’s mind many years ago. Thirteen may have been the unluckiest number to the dwarves, but Billa had quite enjoyed the year as it was the subtle start of her silent rebellion against her parents. It had started with the bedpost nook and had ended in a tunnel that went underneath the smial and came out on the other side of the hill.
Gently tracing the inked letters Billa began to think. It was not a particularly favorite hobby for the young lady to indulge in, however, last night had given her a chance to rest her mind and realize some few, and rather important, things.
1- Her parents still did not know that she knew about her dwarf match knowing about her.
2- She had written a reply and now had a place to send it to but three posed the larger problem.
3- She lived near Hobbiton. And what one person did in Hobbiton, soon everyone knew. It was nigh impossible to keep a secret amongst all the hustle and bustle of the only hobbit town for leagues. And that presented the largest problem of all.
4- Her parents would inevitably find out.
Billa groaned wishing in vain that her beloved parents weren’t so stubborn or so protective. They would find out and that would be the beginning of the end of all of her best-kept secrets, ones that even her closest friends knew nothing about.
“If only I were around a Too-“Billa paused and eyes widened as the realization hit her, “Of course. What would a Took do? Why the Rangers will surely know where the Blue Mountains are and mayhap they can take the message at least part of the way!”
In a flurry of motion Billa pulled on all her proper out of doors clothes in mere moments before she grabbed her letter and slipped silently through the house and out the round green door. Hopping over fences in the early morning when the mists yet clung to the land in hopes of remaining and all decent folk were still asleep was a favored pastime and one Billana had mastered in the earlier years of her rebellion.
It did not take long for Billa to encounter one of the Rangers once she reached a less populated part of the Shire, just on the outskirts of the Hobbiton area. One of the big folk was more than happy to take the letter to the Blue Mountains, particularly when she handed over a days’ worth of supplies and the last bit of elvish rope that Belladonna Baggins had ‘lost’ many years ago.
Quite pleased with herself on the accomplishment on the completion of her goal, she wandered about, basking in the feel of the healthy earth beneath her feet, meeting a friend or two along her ambling route home. Upon returning to the smial, with fresh bread held in her basket as an excuse, Billiana was soon settled comfortably under the hill and there she prepared herself to wait.