Title: The Unpredicted
Summary: Years have passed since the reclaiming of Erebor and Bilbo's ring forgotten… Till now.
Author Note: Okay, the sequel!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the twilight series and I really don't own any of Tolkien's amazing work.
But something happened then the Ring did not intend... It was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable... A Hobbit...Bilbo Baggins of the Shire. For the time will soon come when Hobbits will shape the fortunes of all.
Bella waited in the tree tops for the familiar sound of Gandalf. Her horse hidden further in the trees so he wouldn't see and suspect that she was here. After all she was not sure that she could make it in time for Bilbo's Party, having to scout near further east and then south near Rohan to see if the rumours were true.
But she had reached the Shire on time and waited.
It was his singing that she heard first followed by the clack of his cart and the smell of old toby on the wind. It had been many years since she had laid eyes upon her friend and what a better way to greet him than to… well not replay their first meeting long ago.
When he was close she jumped from the tree, landing in a crouch on the ground and once again taking him by surprise.
"…in the name of wonder…" Gandalf exclaimed as his horse reared back at the sudden appearance of a figure.
Bella glanced up then, her hood falling back enough for him to see her face and laughed. "Gin suilon, mellon-iaur!"
"Canadriel, you know better than to sneak up on a wizard!" Gandalf scolded before smiling and stepping down from his cart. "It has been too long my friend, I had thought you were too far east to make it. Is Legolas with you or does he not yet know you're closer to home?"
"I was but I made it here in time, I could not miss this. I felt that I would be needed, Legolas will understand." She explained before whistling for her horse, she gave her old friend a smile as she tied her steed to the back of his wagon; saddle bags still full and packed.
Gandalf shook his head and returned to his seat, giving his friend a hand up as he did. "I'm sure he will be pleased, the others could not make it either but they sent along presents and letters with me. Tell me, were the rumours true?"
"Now is not a time to speak of dark tidings Mithrandir, today is a day of merriment. Tomorrow we will speak of the rumours. We best hurry before we are late." She explained while pulling her hood up to a more comfortable position.
Gandalf hummed his agreement and pushed his horse onwards, it was good to see Canadriel again once more and he knew that her kin were going mad with worry over her continued travels, placing herself in danger but he and Legolas knew that she needed to wander… needed to do something to keep her mind occupied.
Even if she wrote little in between.
"I hear someone coming." She whispered unconcerned, she could tell it was a familiar pattern of hobbit feet running towards them.
"Hmm, I suspect it is Frodo." Gandalf replied, slowing his cart down while keeping his ears out for Bilbo's nephew. "He always comes to greet me. The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began, now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow if I can."
Canadriel smiled and moved from the seat and back into the saddle of her horse in two swift moves, making sure to stay behind to watch. She had yet to meet Frodo, but she knew all about the hobbit who Bilbo had adopted after the death of the little ones parents and if he was anything like Bilbo then being what she is would take the young one off guard.
"You're late." A voice piped up in a mock of irritation.
She watched amused as Gandalf came to a stop and slowly turned to face the young hobbit while she sat back slightly behind the shrubs still yet unseen. He was young, she could tell and had the Baggins nose but he looked nothing like Bilbo.
"A wizard is never late! Frodo Baggins." Gandalf spoke, holding in the laughter that wished to escape. "Nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to."
The words were teasing and yet a pang had ran through her at the memory of long ago, of Bilbo uttering the same words, of her Dwarrow speaking of them as well. It had been too long since she had seen them and it hurt her to think of all she had missed. No, she had seen them ten or was it twenty years passed when Fíli had married or Kíli and Lorelei?
Were they well?
"…you didn't think we'd miss your Uncle Bilbo's birthday? So how is the old rascal? I hear it is going to be a party of special significance?"
Frodo went to reply before a confused frown replaced the smile. "We?" He asked looking around, his eyes settling on a cloaked figure a few paces back.
"Ah yes, it was going to be a surprise. Frodo, this is Lady Canadriel." Gandalf introduced, earning a snort in reply.
Canadriel dismounted her horse and moved to Frodo's side and lowering her hood, a soft smile on her face. "Don't believe a word he says Frodo, I was unsure that I would make it in time. It's a pleasure to finally meet you; Bilbo has spoken at great lengths of you in his letters."
Frodo blinked in awe, his eyes wide and mouth dropped in surprise. It was an elf that stood before him, with dark oak eyes and… his eyes flashed to the gold that rested on her crown, a circlet of swirls and dragons… beads resting carefully tended on her shoulder. It was then what Gandalf said clicked.
"Lady Canadriel? You mean you are the elf that went with Bilbo, who talked him from his home and on the quest?" He asked excited, he had met a few of the company that his uncle spoke up but he was always curious and eager to meet Canadriel.
Bella scoffed. "I did no such thing; I just gave him… a polite shove out the door is all."
"We best continue on our way, I am sure that by now Bilbo will be looking for you Frodo. You did never answer my question…" Gandalf nudged, while puffing on his pipe. Bella cast him a look before huffing a laugh and swinging back into her saddle, making sure to stay by the cart's side this time.
"You know Bilbo he's got the whole place in an uproar." Frodo explained with a laugh.
"Well that should please him." Gandalf laughed in reply, casting a look over at Canadriel.
They crested the hill and Bella felt her breath hitch in her throat as she took in the splendour of the Shire. It had not changed much in the last sixty years from when she had set her eyes upon in, still as green as she remembered. Still as warm and inviting with the smells of fresh turned earth and cooling pies. But now she could see the children running and laughing, hear the songs of the Hobbits… could feel the peace settle over her.
But she could sense something that seemed to damper the peace, a darkness that should not belong. With a shake of her head she turned her attention back to the hobbit and the wizard, away from such thoughts.
"To tell you the truth, Bilbo has been acting a bit odd lately." He looks at Gandalf concerned. "I mean, more than usual. He's taken to locking himself in his study. He spends hours and hours poring over old maps when he thinks I'm not looking. He's up to something."
Canadriel and Gandalf share a look, one of knowing and one of concern. Frodo cast a look between the two, narrowing his eyes in suspicion as they look away.
"All right then, keep your secrets!" He huffed causing Gandalf to splutter and cast an innocent look down.
"Whatever do you mean my boy?"
Frodo's brows rose. "I know you have something to do with it."
Canadriel smothered her snickers at Gandalf's affronted 'Good gracious me.'
"Before you came along we Bagginses were very well thought of." Frodo continued with a mock put on poshness. We never had any adventures, or did anything unexpected."
"If you're referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved. All I did was invite a company of Dwarrow to his door, it was Lady Canadriel who talked him into coming." Gandalf explained indignantly earning a snort from Canadriel, her eyes twinkling in the shadows of her hood.
"If I remember correctly Mithrandir and I do, it was you who turned up inviting him on an adventure and being turned away in the same moment. You did indeed show up with a company of Dwarrow with the impersonation that Bilbo agreed. Poor Bilbo was in a right state from what I can recall." Bella teased though to Gandalf he could hear the strain in her voice, the shadow of grief at the memory.
"Well..." He trailed off.
Frodo unknowing of the true happenings of that night laughed. "Whatever you did, you've been officially labelled as a 'disturber of the peace.'
For once Gandalf was thankful for the obliviousness of some hobbits. "Oh really?"
His eyes caught the glares of the elder hobbits tending to their gardens as they slowly moved past them, their eyes lingering on him for a second longer before shooting wary looks up at the cloaked figure. Another big folk, with weapons and a bow!
The nervous looks were the ones that Bella caught and she subtly let her bow drop from her back and to her saddle bag with her sword, throwing her cloak hem over it to hide it further. There was not much she could do about the daggers or the quiver on her back… or the Warhammer on the other side.
A gift from Balin and Dwalin when she left after Fíli's wedding, it was finely made and made from the broken shaft of Bifur's boar spear.
Squeals of laughter knocked Canadriel back into the now, her lips tilting up in a soft smile as she took in the children that giggled happily behind them, their eyes wide and in awe of the poppers Gandalf had let off. Her hand strayed to her stomach in thought, her and Legolas had yet to create a life, a child of their own but they both agreed now was not the time…
Not with so much danger in the world, the orcs had been increasing in numbers. Reports of legions in the south and east amassing and growing in number, she herself had seen the black gates and the fire that shone behind them, the pirates that gathered even further down in the bays.
No, now was not the time.
"It will be good to see Bilbo again." She spoke, her eyes trained on the ever nearing Bag End. "It has been too long and my memory fails me sometimes."
"He will be glad to see you as well Canadriel, do not despair so. The company have missed you, he has missed you but they understand. Come, we're here." Gandalf explained trying to comfort her, his lips twitching in a smile as he took in the sign on the gate.
NO ADMITTANCE, EXCEPT ON PARTY BUSINESS
Bella huffed a laugh as she dismounted and tied the reigns to Gandalf's cart once more and followed him up the path to the green door, her eyes landing on the faded rune scratched into the green paint. He had kept it.
Gandalf knocked the door with three loud thwacks with the end of his staff and waited, his brows going up in amusement at the muffled voice on the other side.
"No thank you! We don't want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relations!"
A frown pulled at Bella's brows as she stepped to the side so it would be Gandalf that was seen first, her mind in a state of unease. She knew it had been a long time since she had last heard Bilbo's voice but there was no sign of age, no frail lit to his words. She watched and she waited as the green door opened and the unease turned into confused horror, the hobbit before her and buried in Gandalf's arms had aged some yes, but he did not look his age either.
Now more than ever she could sense the darkness that clung to her friend's skin… could see it shroud him and smother him.
"Come on, come in!" Bilbo gestured with a laugh, brushing off the concern he saw in his old friends face.
Gandalf shook his worries away and stood once more. "But would you not like to greet your other guest? They came all this way to surprise you."
Bilbo paused and frowned, his eyes going from Gandalf's smiling face to the figure off to the side that he gestured to. His heart jumped in his throat as he took in the elven cloak, with familiar stitching that he had not seen for many years now… tears pooled in his eyes, his hand flying to his mouth in shock as the figured lowered their hood to reveal pointed ears, coal black hair and a familiar face.
"Canadriel?" He asked, hand reaching out in disbelief and hope.
Hope that the apparition before him was indeed his elven friend, the very one he had not seen since he had left Erebor on the second time after Fíli's wedding… had not heard from in the past five years as she had once again travelled to a place that would take too long for letters.
Oh he had forgotten how beautiful she was… even more so now that Grief no longer clung to her.
Bella smiled and knelt down, opening her arms for him. "Hello Bilbo, it has been to long mellon-iaur."
The greeting was all it took for Bilbo to snap out of his shock and throw himself into her arms, squeezing her with all his strength. "Oh this is a wonderful surprise, when did you get back? Come in and have some tea, have you seen Frodo?"
"Calm Bilbo. I just arrived in the Shire today, yes I have met Frodo he had come to greet Gandalf and met the both of us." She laughed while removing her cloak once she stepped inside.
Bilbo nodded with a smile, taking the weapons from her and her cloak before resting them neatly on his mother's Glory box before shuffling them into the kitchen. He missed the surprised look upon her face as he began to gather everything for tea and an early afternoon lunch.
The Smial was not what it once was, no longer were the floors in pristine condition, no organisation but a clutter of books and maps… parchments stacked in every hallway and corner that she could see. No, it was not the Smial of the hobbit before the quest but… it saddened her heart so to see Bilbo's home in such disarray. The quest had indeed changed him more than she had thought.
She shared a look with Gandalf as he rested his hat and staff in another corner, following him into the room that was once used to feed a company of Dwarrow many years ago. Her eyes fell to the familiar map mounted and half hidden under a pile of others, her fingers trailing softly as laughter and songs from her memories floated through and over Bilbo's voice.
Thorin's angry voice echoed in the air, Ori's shout of 'straight up their jacksies' and the laughter… Oh… Her fingers trailed the wear and tear of the map so lovingly looked after, completely missing the concerned looks from Gandalf and Bilbo until a banging reached her ears.
"Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins! I know you're in there!"
"I'm not at home!" Bilbo whispered as he pressed himself against the wall and snuck to the window. "It's the Sackville-Bagginses. They're after the house!"
Bella shifted and moved further into the house as her hand carefully went to her side where her sword would usually be and let it drop as Bilbo scurried back into the kitchen and to the hearth.
"They've never forgiven me for living this long. I've got to get away from these confounded relatives hanging on the bell all day…" The hobbit growled, taking Bella by surprise at the anger in there. Her eyes cast down at her friend in concern. "I want to see mountains again, Gandalf – mountains; and then find somewhere where I can rest. In peace and quiet, without a lot of relatives prying around. I might find somewhere where I can finish my book."
"So you plan to go through with it then?" Gandalf asked as he shifted in the small seat, eyes flickering up from Bilbo to Canadriel and back again.
"Plan?" She asked and pulled a stool closer to the table, lifting the lid of the teapot for Bilbo. "Is this what Frodo suspects? Because he does suspect something."
Bilbo waved off Canadriel with a flick of his wrist before turning to put the kettle back over the fire. "Of course he does, he's a Baggins, not some blockheaded Bracegirdle from Hardbottle."
"You will tell him won't you, he's very fond of you." Gandalf murmured, ignoring the glare Bella sent his way at the interruption.
"I know, he'd probably come with me if I asked him to. I think in his heart Frodo's still in love with the Shire, the woods, the fields and the little rivers…" He trailed off with a sigh, his shoulder hunching as he fingered the ring in his pocket. "I am old Gandalf. I know I don't look it, but I'm beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel thin, sort of stretched like butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday, a very long holiday. And I don't expect that I shall return. In fact, I mean not to."
Canadriel's eyes closed with the pang of grief before she too slumped forward in exhaustion, her hand twirling the spoon in her tea. "Then I shall accompany you, to wherever you see fit to go Bilbo… Legolas will understand, he could meet us as well in Rivendell or we could go see the Lonely Mountain once more."
"Oh, that makes my worries ease. I would like to trace our steps to Rivendell, maybe see Thorin's Halls in the Blue Mountains. Yes… that would be nice, thank you." He replied with a faraway look. "I do miss them sometimes."
"I miss them too Bilbo, but we will see them again."
Author Note: Okay… wooo… The start of TU's sequel… this is going to be so hard for me and heart breaking because the original Company won't be heavily in it, mentions or brief snippets. Glóin of course will be in Rivendell… Legolas duh… but the others? hmm we'll see…
P.S. This has been up on my wordpress for a while, thought I'd post here, the updates will be a bit sporadic.