Rating: G
Summary: Saradoc Brandybuck throws a party to rival Bilbo's 111th. A good time is had by all. One shot, very fluffy. Features all four principal hobbits, with a lot of other names we know and love.
Feedback: Constructive criticism is welcome. I attempt to keep as close to book canon as possible. Ideas on how to improve in this area are particularly welcome.
Disclaimer: The places, situations and characters of The Lord of the Rings belong to the Tolkien Estate. This work contains no original characters. No money is being made from this work


"The Party"

Pippin was stirred by a loud thumping at the door.

"Hallo lads!" boomed a voice soaked with happiness. "Hallo, and let an old hobbit in for breakfast!"

Pippin heard Merry shifting in the room across the hall, and called out to him, "That best be you getting up, he's your father!" Merry's mutterings could not be distinguished, and he trudged to the door in his sleeping clothes.

"Meriadoc!"

Pippin could hear Merry make a strange noise most closely, yet poorly, approximated as "Oof," as Saradoc Brandybuck wrapped his son up in an affectionate hug. While this was going on, Pippin stumbled to the door to greet the Master of Buckland. Saradoc did not seem to notice (or care) that neither hobbit was dressed, and the house was not as neat as one might expect a hobbit-dwelling to be.

Pippin worked at fixing breakfast, while Merry talked with his father. "To celebrate the end of all this business with Sharkey, your mother and I have decided to throw a party that will surely rival, and perhaps eclipse old Bilbo's 111th Birthday Party. Never doubt what the Bucklanders can do, my son! Everyone shall be invited!"

Pippin did not doubt this; the hospitality of Brandy Hall under the dominion of Saradoc was almost excessive. In fact, there were stories of guests staying on for months in the large compound, using large quantities of the Master's goods, and going virtually unnoticed.

Saradoc left a short while after breakfast (perhaps he decided that one meal cooked by the two lads was enough, and that the next meal would be best had at the Hall). Merry and Pippin chirped excitedly about the Party, which arrived sooner rather than later, and was of almost incalculable magnitude. Indeed, everyone was there. Apparently, those from Hobbiton and other dwellings in the Shire were able to put aside whatever silly things they believed about the Bucklanders when fine food, finer ale, and good gifts were being offered.

The attention focused on Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry for a time; they were all asked to tell their stories. Pippin excelled at this above all, and the throngs gravitated toward him. Sam had come with Rosie Cotton, and the two of them were dancing and having a lovely time. Gaffer Gamgee was conferring with some of the hobbits who had been at Bilbo's party, and they all agreed that it was too difficult to tell which gala was the most spectacular.

After telling many stories, Pippin went in search of a dance partner. Frodo and Merry, who had stayed slightly apart (Merry had been keeping Frodo company), started to make their way in toward the center of things so that they could have a good look at the spectacle that was sure to come. Sure enough, Pippin, who had not tried his hand at this sort of thing since he was really too young for lasses to notice, was far too desperate, smiling and winking at every hobbit-lass he could see, fearing that they would still ignore him. Of course, they all nearly piled on him, for it had not occurred to him that he was much more interesting as the tall, grown up hobbit who would be Thain than he had been when he was young.

Almost by chance, for he really had no idea which hands belonged to which hobbit-lass, he took the hand of Diamond of Long Cleeve, and they started to dance. Rosie and Sam were doubled over in laughter at the whole situation, as were Merry and Frodo. After they had laughed awhile, Frodo looked at Merry with a queer grin on his face.

"Ladies!" he cried out, with so much laughter, mischief and youth in his voice that Sam nearly burst out right there in tears of joy, "Meriadoc has no dancing partner!" Wisely, Frodo sped off, leaving Merry, who had been laughing at Pippin and casually eating an apple, to face the lasses. Merry put his hand up to motion them to stop.

"I am sorry, very fine ladies of the Shire, but my dear Master Baggins is mistaken. I do have a dancing partner, or at least I hope to have one very soon." He gallantly strode over to Estella Bolger, who was still sitting, and had obviously not thought herself worthy to join the lasses who wanted a dance. "Miss Estella, if she would have it so, will be my dancing partner."

Estella quickly agreed to this arrangement, and though the other lasses were disappointed, there were plenty of lads (though not of Merry or Pippin's caliber) to go around, and all who wished to dance were able to do so. Frodo was made to pay for the trick he tried to play on Merry, for he was now left defenseless from some of the more insistent lasses at the party. Pippin's sisters, in particular, would not leave him alone.

"Ohhh Frrroooooodooo, please dance with me," said Pearl, in her most teasing voice. She was practically chasing him through the crowd, much to everyone else's amusement. Pimpernel was helping her sister, and the two of them were trying to "trap" Frodo. Normally, Frodo wouldn't have gone in for this, but the spirit of the party made him most cheerful, and to get back at the both of them, he asked Pervinca, the youngest of the three sisters, to dance with him. She agreed, of course, and they set off to dance with the others, Pearl and Pimpernel laughing behind them.

In mock indignation Pippin demanded to know why Frodo was dancing with his sister who was nearly twenty years his junior. Before Frodo could reply, Pervinca said, "And that still makes me older than you, you silly little brother of mine! Go dance with your new girlfriend!" She proceeded to bop Pippin on the nose, which resulted in the largest roar of laughter of the whole night.

From a slight distance, Saradoc and his wife Esmeralda watched the festivities with the Thain and his wife, Eglantine. "Much better than the Hobbiton affair," said Saradoc, bursting with pride. "But what else could be expected of Brandy Hall?" Paladin nodded (whether he was agreeing or merely placating Saradoc, we do not know), and Esmeralda smiled sweetly at him and said, "Of course, dear."