I do NOT own anything that belongs or is associated to The Hobbit (the book), or The Hobbit Movie Trilogy. All rights belong to J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, and Weta Workshop (SFX). This is for enjoyment purposes only, I get nothing from this but the joy of writing and possibly bringing people back from the dead. :) Please take the time to review after reading this story. Now, on with the show! ~Katariina Sofia
"Sweet baby Jesus on a Technicolor pogo stick!" shouted Kenzi grabbing her head.
Kenzi had her eyes closed but she could tell from the light trying to shine through them that it was day time. She rubbed a spot on the back of her head, trying to recall what she would've hit her head on.
"Dear me, girl, what are you doing lying out in the middle of the road for?" asked a man.
"The road? What on earth are you talking about?" asked Kenzi, finally opening her eyes.
She looked up at the man in question, and realized that she was, indeed, lying in the middle of a road. She blinked a couple of times and took in her surroundings. She was sitting in the middle of a small dirt road, a curious rock lying on the ground near where her head had been.
At least I know what I hit my head on…, she thought.
She continued to look around and noticed that there were rolling green fields surrounding her as well. Some of those hills looked to have doors built right into the side of them. She rubbed her head one more time as she surveyed the land in front of her.
This seems familiar, but I just can't figure out why, she thought.
"Um, this is going to seem like an odd question, but where am I, exactly?" she asked looking back up at the man.
"You don't know?" he asked, leaning on his walking stick.
"No, I don't," she said. "Which is why it seems like an odd question," she replied. "I think I may have hit my head on that blasted rock and it seems to be doing something to my memory. I don't remember how I got here or where here is."
"Do you remember your name?" he asked eying her suspiciously.
"MaKenzie," she replied, finally pulling herself up to her feet. "But I mostly go by Kenzi."
"Mm-hmm," he muttered. "Well, Miss Kenzi, you are in the Shire. And by the looks of you, you would be of the race of Men, not Hobbits. But this does not explain why you are in the Shire."
"The Shire?" repeated Kenzi. "And where is the Shire located?"
"In Middle Earth," said the man matter-of-factly.
"Okay…and what is your name. You know mine, but I'm now at a disadvantage."
"I am Gandalf the Grey," he replied, standing to his full height.
Kenzi just stared at him. There was still something familiar about all of this but it was making her head hurt trying to figure out what it was. She rubbed the spot on the back of her head again, trying to relieve some of the pain.
"I'm sorry, your name sounds like you hold some kind of great position or are, at least, well thought of by your peers, but I've got no idea who you are," she said.
Gandalf stared at her for a few more moments before he spoke. "That's all right; it does happen from time to time. But the sun is setting and I do have a meeting to get to."
Kenzi nodded her head as he started to walk by her.
"You know, I believe you should accompany me to this meeting," he said turning back to look at her. "Come now, we're not too far."
Kenzi stared at his retreating back for a moment before she took off after him.
"I do have a question for you," he said when she caught up. "Where do you come from that women wear such clothing?"
Kenzi was confused for a moment. She wasn't in some outlandish outfit. She looked down at what she was wearing. She had on a plain blue, scoop neck shirt and a pair of blue jeans. On her feet was a pair of cheap sneakers she had bought recently.
"What do you mean? What's wrong with my clothes?" she asked.
"The many women I have come across in my time, including Elvish and Dwarfish women, all wear dresses. I've very rarely seen a woman in pants on any sort unless the job she is doing requires it, and that is usually only with the Elves and they have a tunic that hangs down long enough to give the illusion of being in a dress," said Gandalf.
"Oh, I'm from…" started Kenzi. She went quiet after a moment. She couldn't remember where she was from! "I…I don't know where I'm from. I can't seem to remember."
Gandalf nodded his head as they rounded a bend in the road. Kenzi looked ahead of her to see a group of people crowding around a door to one of the, what she was going to guess was a home.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"They are here for the meeting as well," said Gandalf with a smirk. "Come now! One of you knock on the door or we'll be out here all night!"
Kenzi heard one of them knock on the door and watched as they pushed into each other to get closer to the still closed door. She could hear someone inside the home yelling about a "clot-head" as the door opened. The owner of the house opened the door while saying something about a joke being in poor taste. As the door opened the group fell forward into the foyer and the owner of the home, a man who was only a few inches shorter than Kenzi was staring up at Gandalf.
"Gandalf," said the short man.
"Bilbo," he said. "I was wondering if you could do me a small favor," said Gandalf. "I have another unexpected arrival with me, but she is in need of a new set of clothing. You wouldn't happen to have some of your mother's old things lying about, would you?"
Bilbo, the short man, stared at Gandalf for a moment before his eyes traveled to just past Gandalf to land on Kenzi. He nodded his head absently. "I think I may have an outfit or two still in the wardrobe. Follow me."
Kenzi looked at Gandalf, he nodded his head and she followed Bilbo down the hall, past the dining room and the pantry, to a bedroom at the very end. Bilbo opened the door and motioned her inside. Once inside he followed her in and then walked over to the wardrobe on the other side of the room. He opened the door and shuffled some clothes around before pulling out a green dress from the back.
"This was my mothers," he said. "Green was her favorite color. It should fit you. I'm sorry, but I don't have any shoes for you. We Hobbits don't have a need for them," he said absently wiggling his toes.
"That's fine. I believe me shoes will be fine for now. I appreciate it, none the less," replied Kenzi.
Bilbo nodded his head and left her to get changed in peace. Kenzi laid the dress across the bed and slipped her shoes off to start getting changed. She had just pulled the dress over her head when she heard the ruckus, which had been background noise for the last few minutes, get louder. Shortly after the noise level rose she could hear a belching contest start up.
"The fuck is going on?!" she said to no one in particular.
Her head was starting to bother her again, as she absently rubbed the slight bump that had formed on the back of her head. She sighed and stood up from the small bed and opened the door. She looked down the hall and saw that Bilbo was standing out in the middle of the hall. She quietly closed the door and made her way up the hall.
"Is everything alright?" she asked quietly, avoiding being seen by anyone in the dining room.
Bilbo sighed, but that was all the answer she got. As he turned back to face the dining room the group had started to clear the table of empty dishes and cups. Bilbo sighed as he followed one of them through a door to the kitchen.
"That is a doily, not a dishcloth!" he said taking the item away from the unwanted guest.
"But it's full of holes," said Bofur.
"It's supposed to look like that. Its crochet," said Bilbo.
"Oh! And a wonderful game it is too, if you've got the balls for it," replied Bofur.
Kenzi covered her mouth and stifled a laugh as she listened to the exchange.
"Bebother and confusticate these Dwarves!" complained Bilbo as he put the doily on a shelf.
"My dear Bilbo, what on earth is the matter?" asked Gandalf walking into the kitchen.
"What's the matter? I'm surrounded by Dwarves," replied Bilbo. "What are they doing here?"
"Oh, they're quite a merry gathering once you get used to them," said Gandalf watching Bofur and Nori fight over a rope of linked sausage.
"I don't want to get used to them!" said Bilbo dragging Gandalf from the kitchen. "Look at the state of my kitchen! There's mud trod into the carpet. They've pillaged the panty, and I won't tell you what they've done in the bathroom. They've all but destroyed the plumbing. I don't understand what they're doing in my house! The only one that hasn't caused me a large amount of grief is that young woman you brought with you."
"Excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt, but what should I do with my plate?" asked Ori.
"Here you go Ori, give it to me," said Fili walking up to them.
Fili took the plate from his kinsmen and tossed it down the hall to his brother, Kili, who then threw it behind his back and into the kitchen to Bifur, who was at the sink. What followed was a well-organized tossing of pottery through the house. Plates and bowls would come flying out of the dining room towards Fili, who would then throw them to his brother, who would then toss them into the kitchen to be cleaned. Kenzie watched all of this, and listened to the song that the Dwarves had started to sing, from just inside the living room across the hall. The merriment came to a sudden halt when there was a knock at the door. The whole group, Bilbo, included turned to stare at the door.
"He is here," said Gandalf quietly.
Bilbo walked over to the door and opened it slowly. Standing on the other side was another imposing looking Dwarf.
"Gandalf," said Thorin. "I thought you said this place would be easy to find. I lost my way, twice. I wouldn't have found it at all had it not been for that mark on the door," said Thorin walking into the home and removing his cloak.
"Mark? There's no mark on that door. It was painted a week ago," said Bilbo.
"There is a mark. I put it there myself," said Gandalf closing the door. "Bilbo Baggins, allow me to introduce the leader of our company: Thorin Oakenshield."
"So, this is the Hobbit," said Thorin eying Bilbo. "Tell me Mr. Baggins, have you done much fighting?"
"Ax or sword?" asked Thorin. "What's your weapon of choice?"
"Well, I do have some skill at conkers, if you must know, but I fail to see why that's relevant."
"Thought as much. He looks more like a grocer than a burglar," replied Thorin.
The group of dwarves laughed at the joke before following Thorin into the dining room. Gandalf sighed and leaned against the wall as he watched them walk away. It was then that he spotted Kenzi.
"Ah, Miss Kenzi, would you be so kind as to help Bilbo prepare a small meal for Thorin. I am sure he is famished from his long journey.
Kenzi nodded and followed Bilbo into the kitchen. Bilbo was at the hearth mumbling something about dwarves under his breath. Kenzi cleared her throat and got his attention.
"Oh, sorry, I didn't realize you were there. Did you get something to eat earlier?" asked Bilbo.
"Uh, no, I didn't, but that's not why I'm here. Gandalf has asked me to help you put something together for Thorin to eat, but I'm afraid I don't know how to cook."
"That's alright, I've got some stew that I can heat over the fire for him," said Bilbo. "If you could grab that plate of bread and take it out to the dining room, I would be grateful."
Kenzi nodded her head and grabbed the one plate that seemed to escape the ravenous dwarves and walked out into the hallway and towards the dining room. As she neared the dining room the few conversations that were going on came to a sudden stop. Kenzi looked up and looked around the room, everyone, save Thorin, was staring at her. She smiled shyly and set the plate down on the table near Thorin's elbow before making a hasty retreat from sight. Shortly after this Bilbo brought in a bowl of stew for Thorin and set it on the table before following Kenzi into the living room.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"Oh, I'm fine. I'm just not used to having a room full of men stare at me," she said. "Makes me a little uneasy."
"That's understandable, especially since they are dwarves. I guess you haven't come across many dwarves in your village? Where is your village, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Well, to tell you the truth, Bilbo, I don't know where I'm from," replied Kenzi. "There are things about the Shire that seem familiar, but I don't know why. And I can't make myself remember where I'm from. It may have something to do with me hitting my head on a rock, but I'm really at a loss."
Bilbo nodded his head as he listened to her tale. "Well, you are welcome to use that bedroom until Gandalf can figure out where you belong."
"Thank you, Bilbo, I appreciate it," said Kenzi.
"What news from the meeting at Ered Luin? Did they all come?" asked Balin.
"Aye. Envoys from all seven Kingdoms," replied Thorin.
"All of them!" shouted Balin.
"And what do the Dwarves of the Iron Hills say?" asked Dwalin. "Is Dain with us?"
"They will not come," said Thorin after a moment, receiving murmurs from the group. "They say this quest is ours and ours alone."
"You're going on a quest?" asked Bilbo from behind Gandalf.
"Bilbo, my dear fellow, let us have a little more light," said Gandalf.
Bilbo nodded his head and collected a few more candles and brought them to the dining hall. Kenzi stood just outside the room listening to everything.
"Far to the east over ranges and rivers beyond woodlands and wastelands lies a single, solitary peak," said Gandalf pulling a map from his robes.
"The Lonely Mountain," read Bilbo.
"Aye, Oin has read the portents and the portents say it is time," said Gloin.
"Ravens have been seen flying back to the mountain, as was foretold," said Oin. "When the birds of yore return to Erebor the reign of the beast will end."
"Uh, what beast?" asked Bilbo from the hallway.
"That would be a reference to Smaug the Terrible," said Bofur. "Chiefest and greatest calamity of our age. Airborne fire-breather, teeth like razors, claws like meat hooks. Extremely fond of precious metals."
"Yes, I know what a dragon is," replied Bilbo.
"I'm not afraid! I'm up for it!" said Ori. "I'll give him a taste of Dwarfish iron right up his jacksie!"
This was met with cheers from around the table before he was pulled back down into his seat.
"The task would be difficult enough with an army behind us," said Balin. "But we number just thirteen. And not 13 of the best nor brightest."
This was met with complaints from around the table about their smarts and skills.
"We may be few in number," said Fili, "but we're fighters, all of us, to the last Dwarf."
"And you forget, we have a wizard in our company," added Kili. "Gandalf will have killed hundreds of dragons in his time."
The group at the table turned to look at Gandalf. Gandalf inhaled on his pipe a little quickly and coughed up the smoke filling his lungs.
"Oh, well, no. I wouldn't say…hundreds…" stuttered Gandalf.
"How many then?" asked Dori.
"How many dragons have you killed?" asked Dori. "Go on, give us a number."
The table erupted in arguments when Gandalf did not immediately reply. Bilbo tried to calm the group with no effect. Thorin sighed and took a breath before shouting something in Dwarfish. The group quickly quieted down and turned their attention back to him.
"If we have read these signs, do you not think others will have read them too?" said Thorin standing up. "Rumors have begun to spread. The dragon, Smaug, has not been seen for 60 years. Eyes look east to the mountain, assessing, wondering, and weighing the risk. Perhaps the vast wealth of our people now lies unprotected. Do we sit back while others claim what is rightfully ours? Or do we seize this chance and take back Erebor?"
"You forget, the Front Gate is sealed," said Balin. "There is no way into the mountain."
"That, my dear Balin, is not entirely true," said Gandalf producing a key from his robes.
"How came you by this?" asked Thorin staring at the key."
"Bilbo," said Kenzi.
"Yes?" he said still watching the group in his dining hall.
"I have a very bad feeling about all of this," she said. "But…I don't…I don't know why."
"It was given to me by your father," said Gandalf. "By Thrain, for safekeeping," he said handing it over to Thorin. "It is yours now."
"IF there is a key, there must be a door," said Fili.
Kenzi walked away after that. She started rubbing the spot on the back of her head; she was getting a headache again. She knew something was going to happen. She had a gut feeling that this was going to end badly for some, if not all, of them. She would have to talk to Gandalf when he was done dealing with the dwarves.
"Here you are Bilbo," said Kenzi handing up a mug of tea. "Will you be all right?"
"I'll be all right. Just let me sit quietly for a moment," said Bilbo directing it more towards Gandalf then Kenzi.
"You've been sitting quietly for far too long," said Gandalf. "Tell me, when did doilies and your mother's dishes become so important to you?" he asked. "I remember a young Hobbit who was always running off in search of Elves in the woods. Who would stay out late, come home after dark trailing mud and twigs and fireflies. A young Hobbit who would have liked nothing better than to find out what was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there," said Gandalf nodding towards the window.
"I can't just go running off into the blue," said Bilbo. "I'm a Baggins of Bag-end."
"You are also a Took," countered Gandalf. "Did you know that your great-great-great-great-uncle Bullroarer Took was so large, he could ride a real horse? Yes, well, he could. In the Battle of Green Fields, he charged the Goblin ranks. He swung his club so hard, it knocked the Goblin king's head clean off, and it sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole. And thus, the battle was won. And the game of golf invented at the same time."
"I do believe you made that up," said Bilbo.
Kenzi covered her mouth as she giggled at the story and Bilbo's reaction. Gandalf smiled at her.
"Well, all good stories deserve embellishment," said Gandalf sitting down in a chair. "You'll have a tale or two to tell of your own when you come back."
"Can you promise that I will come back?" asked Bilbo.
"No," answered Gandalf after a moment. "And if you do, you will not be the same."
"That's what I thought," said Bilbo. "Sorry, Gandalf, I can't sign this. You've got the wrong Hobbit," said Bilbo before walking off down the hallway.
Gandalf turned to look at Kenzi, who was staring at the contract.
"What is on your mind, girl?" he asked.
"I just have a really bad feeling about this," she said looking up at him. "I know that all adventures, or quests, or whatever you want to call it, I know they all come with a little danger and I understand that, but…"
"But?" asked Gandalf.
"I don't know. I just feel like this is going to be so much worse," she said rubbing her head absently.
"Tell me," started Gandalf. "Have you been rubbing that spot on your head when you think about this quest and what might happen?"
Kenzi looked up at him suddenly. "Yes, sometimes I get a headache if I start thinking on it too hard."
Gandalf nodded his head. "I believe a trip to Rivendell would be beneficial for you. Lord Elrond might know a way to help you with your memory and your headaches. We will travel with the company for a while, I think."
Kenzi nodded her head, "But I don't have proper traveling clothes let alone a horse or how to ride one."
"That won't be a problem. Your current outfit will be fine until we get to the next town. We can get your proper clothes there," said Gandalf.
"And what about being able to ride a horse properly?" asked Kenzi.
"I'm sure we can think of something," smiled Gandalf. "For now, let's join the company by the fire."
Kenzi nodded her head and followed Gandalf over to the fire. As Kenzi sat in a chair off to the side the group started to hum. She looked up as Kili and Fili walked into the room. Thorin started singing shortly after that. She realized quickly that it was the story of what had happened at Erebor when Smaug had attacked.
"I think it's time we all retire for the night," said Gandalf shortly after the group had stopped singing. Find a spot and make yourselves comfortable. I will be back for you in the morning," he said then turned to Kenzi. "Get as much sleep as you can, we will be leaving at daybreak."
Kenzi nodded her head as she walked Gandalf to the front door and let him out. As she closed the door and turned around she came face to face with Fili and Kili.
"You're coming with us?" asked Kili.
"Gandalf said that we would travel with the company until we reach Rivendell. He thinks Lord Elrond can help me," she said.
"What's wrong with you?" asked Kili.
"Brother," said Fili smacking Kili in the arm. "You don't just ask a lass a question like that."
"It's quite all right. Gandalf found me lying in the middle of the road. I've got no memory of where I'm from. He thinks Lord Elrond might be able to help me remember. Bur I think I might go to bed. We are supposed to have an early start after all."
She nodded at the two Dwarves and walked off down the hall to the room that Bilbo said she could use. She sighed as she closed the door behind her. Something bad was going to happen, she just knew it.
*A/N: Here is Chapter 1. Chapters 2-4 will be going up in quick succession because I already have those written. I'm currently writing Chapter 5 and will post that as soon as I can. Until then, review and let me know what you think. Remember CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is welcomed! ~ TTFN Kat