Chapter 1: Prologue
There was darkness all around him. His friends were dead, looking at him with accusation in their eyes. He had betrayed them. They trusted him, and he gave the Arkenstone to their enemies. His wife, Bís, her flaming red matched the stain on her belly where their unborn child once was, whose life came to an end before he took his first breath. The ground beneath him was burning, and then, he was falling as the word erupted into chaos.
Bilbo Baggins woke up with a strangled scream. Gasping, he looked next to him where Bís was sleeping soundly. Grief settled within his heart at the realisation that his dwarrow friends still thought of him as traitor and never even bothered to write to him. He longed to see a friendly face, one that he could trust, instead of foes everywhere.
In order to settle his aching heart he cautiously crept out of bed and went into the next room where the nursery was. There he looked in wonder and affection at his son. He was so small and the world was just so dark and full of terror.
How could one small boy bear the weight of the world on his small, fragile shoulders?
He shivered when he remembered the prophecy; what was once foretold is bound to come true. Bilbo swore there and then, with a certainty that only a parent could possess, that his son will be kept out of harm’s way and that he will live, no matter the cost.
Gandalf sighed as he made his way East, sure that the news that he was bearing would hold as much grief as it did in the other Western Lands. Erebor, one of the last dwarf kingdoms of Middle-Earth, stronghold of Thorin Oakenshield, the second of his name. The gates were opened to him without any questions asked and he made his way to the throne room where he was sure the King and most of the former company were.
“All hail his Majesty Thorin, son of Thrain, and grandson of Thror” greeted Gandalf.
“Tharkun” replied the dwarf, dressed in his heavy court robes of Durin blue. “We were not expecting you to grace my halls at this time of year.”
“Alas I come bearing tidings both good and bad,” said the wizard.
Thorin glanced at his sister and nephews all of whom were watching the exchange anxiously.
“Enough of your riddles wizard, just get on with it,” said Dwalin, the Captain of the guard with impatience. Balin rolled his eyes at his younger brother’s lack of tact in diplomacy.
“The dark Lord Sauron has been vanquished,”
There was a stunned silence before cheering were heard at every corner of the room. The dwarves were headbutting and embracing each other in celebration. Only Thorin remained quiet, and assessed the wizard who still looked weary.
“What about the bad news?” asked Thorin with a sense of dread. His deep baritone spread to every corner of the great hall, silencing everyone.
There was a moment of silence were nothing was said, then Gandalf let out a truth that stole his breath away.
“Bilbo and his wife, Bís, are dead. They sacrificed themselves for their only son. When Sauron turned his blade to kill the baby boy, he seemed to have lost all of his power and in his weakened state he fled”
Anguish lodged itself in Thorin’s throat as he struggled to breathe. His friend who he thought was safe was killed.
There was a cry of anguish as Bofur slammed onto the ground and managed to let out a strangled, "how?"
“No one knows, the mystery behind this. He killed so many people and yet failed to kill an infant. We may never know the answer.”
“And the boy?” asked Dis, her maternal instincts rising at full force.
“He is quite safe, he’s with his aunt and uncle, the only family he has left.”
Far away to the west, a child woke up in a dark cupboard and whimpered in fear.
However no one came running, for his parents were not with the living and his aunt and uncle simply didn’t care for they had a precious child of their own.