Title: The Unpredicted
Summary: Years have passed since the reclaiming of Erebor and Bilbo's ring forgotten… till now.
Author Note: Okay, the sequel!
BTW I should mention "Italics" are the elves speaking in their native tongue Sindarin. "Bold Italics" is when they are speaking in Khuzdul. Italics without the "-" is thoughts either thinking to one another or general thought.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the twilight series and I really don't own any of Tolkien's amazing work.
Screeches could be heard of the clang and roars of the Orcs as they rebuilt the great dark tower of Barad-dûr. Darkness spewed across the red streaked sky, spreading fear across the mortal men who could see.
"BAGGINS!" a voice screeched, echoing down the vast halls. "SHIRE!"
Nine riders, nine wraiths heard their masters command and the gates to Minas Morgu burst open from the power. Each taking a different direction once they passed the black gate, they would not fail their master.
Fear rests in Gandalf's heart as he pushes himself faster towards The Shire; he needed to reach Hobbiton before anyone else. After fleeing from the citadel with the heavy burden of what he had found, he began to search for the creature that Bilbo had described, the very one that was the bearer of the ring before his old friends.
But it was too late, the creature was gone… had been taken into the hands of the enemy.
Frodo wasn't safe… the Shire wasn't safe…
He sent a raven onwards to find Canadriel; she will have to be ready… She would be the only one to protect Frodo from the wring wraiths in time.
Far beyond, in a hidden valley where the flowers bloom under the guide of Yavanna's children a young hobbit, with four mugs of ale in his hand, laughed happily at his cousins completely unaware the danger he was in.
Hey ho, to the bottle I go!
To heal my heart and drown my woe.
Rain may fall and wind may blow.
But there still be…
many miles to go!
Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
and the stream that falls from hill to plain.
Better than rain or rippling brook.
Pippin swallows the last of his ale and holds the mug up high as Frodo danced around them. "There's a mug of beer inside this Took!
Laughter sprung from every hobbit in the Green Dragon. Frodo shoots his cousin a wide grin as he makes his way to where Sam and his Father were waiting with Sandyman the Miller, Ted his son and Old Noakes.
"There's been some strange folk crossing the Shire. Dwarves, others of a less than savoury nature." Old Noakes stated as he puffed at his pipe. Old Gaffer, once known as Hamfast held back his scowl.
"War's brewing." Hamfast explained, watching as his son cast Rosie a long full look. "The mountains are fair teeming with goblins."
"Children's stories that's all that is. You're beginning to sound like that old Bilbo Baggins! Cracked he was!" Sandyman the Miller explained, sneering ever so slightly towards Frodo.
Hamfast narrowed his eyes as he turned to look at his eldest friend's nephew, giving the boy an encouraging smile. "Young Master Frodo here, he's cracking!"
"And proud of it!" Frodo beamed, sliding the mug of ale across to the old Gaffer. "Cheers Gaffer!"
"Well it's none of our concern what goes on beyond our borders." Ted Sandyman stated, turning his eyes from the Old Gaffer to Frodo Baggins with a sneer. "Keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you."
While Frodo forced a smile and raised his mug in agreeance he couldn't help but feel angry, he knew all the stories about Bilbo, how people spoke of his uncle behind closed doors or when they thought he not to be listening. They died down but picked up again once Bilbo left the shire on another adventure with an Elf.
It was the Sandyman and the Sackville-Baggins that spread the worst of the rumours, the others catching on. He remembers when they tried to once again claim Bilbo to be unsavoury and disreputable when Bilbo took him in, tried to take Bilbo's home. Only a few stood up for his uncle, the Gamgees one of them, the Tooks of course as well.
"All is well Sam." Frodo explained once they reached his gate, missing half of what was asked of him. "Good Night."
Sam waved and continued on home while Frodo made his way up to the door of Bag End, his eyes lingering on the rune in the corner a fond smile tugging at his lips.
The nerve of that wizard, leaving a mark on my freshly painted door… Bilbo's voice muttered.
Frodo remembers asking why he never just sanded it away, nor will he ever forget the utter look of sadness on his uncles face.
It is a reminder my dear boy, of times that have passed and shall never be. It is also a marker for old friends, if they were to come and visit… to let them know I'm still here.
Shaking his head of the memory Frodo pushed the door open, pausing as the hairs on the back of his neck prickled. A sense of unease lurched in his stomach as he began to make his way deeper in Bag End, eyeing the window he knew was closed when he left for the Green Dragon.
Slowly he crept through the hallways, the way Bilbo taught him to growing up, looking for any sign danger. He should run, fetch the bounders but he was a Baggins and raised by a Baggins-Took! He will not run from danger so easily.
"Ah!" He screamed as a hand whirled him around, his heart lodging in his throat.
Gandalf lurched forward, grabbing Frodo's arm urgently. "Is it secret? Is it safe?"
"Gandalf!" Frodo gasped, stumbling back in relief. But the relief soon turned into concern as he saw how unkempt and dirty the wizard was. Even with the moon as the only light Frodo can see the way Gandalf clutched his staff, dark eyes roaming over every shadow in Bag End and to the open door.
"Do you still have it? The ring? Where is it?" Gandalf asked again, louder and more urgent.
Frodo nods and moves towards the sitting room, dropping to his knees as he begins to dig in Bilbo's old chest till the very bottom where the old envelope and ring sat. He smiled and held it up for Gandalf to see who snatched it and threw it into the hearth in one swift move.
"What are you doing?" Frodo asked bewildered but Gandalf ignored the question as he watched the fire consume the envelope and revealed the ring.
Grasping the tongs at his side Gandalf carefully lifted the ring out of the embers and turned to Frodo. "Hold out your hand, Frodo...it is quite cool."
With a little hesitance Frodo held out his hand, brows rising in surprise at the weight of it. Gandalf was indeed correct, it was cool to the touch and yet warm, a thrum seemed to pulse through it as he twirled the gold band between his fingers.
"What can you see? Can you see anything?" Gandalf demanded, sighing in relief when Frodo replied with nothing.
"Wait," the ring in Frodo's hand began to glow, soft elvish markings began to appear. "There are markings its some form of Elvish. I can't read it."
Horror and fear churned in Gandalf's stomach, his worst fears coming true. "There are a few who can. The language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here."
Frodo jerked his head up in surprise, tearing his eyes away from the ring. "Mordor?"
"In the common tongue it says: One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them." The words even in common sent a shiver down Frodo's spine.
Gandalf watched as Frodo bustled into the kitchen, setting the ring down on the table before making tea. It brought lightness back to his heart at the simple gesture, even now hobbits still surprised him, but the good mood did not last as he sat heavily down on the stool that he occupied many years before while lighting his pipe.
"This… This is the one ring forged by the dark lord, Sauron, in the fires of Mt Doom...taken by Isildur from the very hand of Sauron himself." He explained, looking up from the simple band to Frodo who began to pour the tea in stunned silence.
"And Bilbo found it… in Gollum's Cave." Frodo stated, remembering the tale from long ago.
"Yes, for sixty years the Ring lay quiet in Bilbo's keeping prolonging his life. Delaying old age." Slowly grey eyes peered up into blue. "But no longer Frodo. Evil is stirring in Mordor. The Ring has awoken. Its heard its master's call."
Frodo shook his head in disbelief. "No, he was destroyed. Sauron was destroyed."
Shaking his head sadly Gandalf cast the ring a look once more, whispers filling the air. "No, Frodo. The spirit of Sauron has endured. His life force is bound to the ring and the ring survived. Sauron has returned. His Orcs have multiplied...his fortress of Barad-dûr is rebuilt in and of Mordor. Sauron needs only this ring to cover all the lands in the second darkness. He is seeking it, seeking it, all his thought is bent on it. For the ring yearns, above all else, to return to the hand of its master: they are one, the ring and the dark lord. Frodo, he must never find out."
Fear struck Frodo who plucked the ring from the table in his haste to make his way to the living room once more. "We put it away, we keep it hidden! We never speak of it again." He hurried out, eyes looking for a place to hide it. "No one know it's here, do they?"
At the silence Frodo paused, turning slowly to look at the wizard who shifted uncomfortably. "Do they, Gandalf?"
"There is one other who knew that Bilbo had the Ring. I looked everywhere for the creature Gollum, but the enemy found him first." The Grey Wizard admitted sadly. "I don't know how long they tortured him...but amidst the endless screams and inane babble, they discerned two words… shire and Baggins."
"Shire? Baggins! But that will lead them here Gandalf!" Frodo gasped out horrified, jerking forward with his hand up. "Take it. Here, take it Gandalf! You must take it!"
Gandalf moved back with every step Frodo gave, shaking his head. "You must not offer me this ring!"
Frustrated Frodo snapped. "But I am giving it to you!"
"DON'T tempt me, Frodo. I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe." Gandalf finished softly as Frodo stepped away in fear. "Understand, Frodo...I would use this Ring from a desire to do good...but through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine."
"But it cannot stay in the shire." Frodo cried out.
"No, no it cannot."
Frodo's hand closes around the ring as realisation at what he must do comes to mind. "I have to leave."
Hurried hands and feet storm from one room to another, bring forth clothing and travelling gear that Bilbo had acquired for him long ago. A bedroll, a strong sturdy knapsack with enough pockets to hide things or store food, a flint for fire… Gandalf passes Frodo a shirt, watching, planning for things he must do and people he must see.
"You must leave, and leave quickly. Get out of the Shire." Gandalf explains, watching as Frodo packed away some food to take with him.
Nodding Frodo skittered around Gandalf and gathered his walking stick and travelling cloak. "Where? Where shall I go?"
"Make for the village of Bree." Gandalf explained. "I will, be waiting for you at the Inn of the Prancing Pony."
Frodo paused and looked up at the Wizard. "And the ring will be safe there?"
"I don't know, Frodo. I don't have any answers. I must see the Head of my Order. He is both wise and powerful. Trust me, Frodo. He'll know what to go." Gandalf explained as they moved to the dining hall. The wizard helped Frodo place on his cloak and bag. "You will have to leave the Baggins name behind; it is not safe for you outside the Shire."
"I understand…" A sound of rustling catches their attention, cutting Frodo off mid-sentence.
The shrubbery at the open window rustled once more as Gandalf moved closer, in a swift strike of his staff Gandalf hit whoever was listening, throwing it behind him as he pulled the hobbit from the depths of the greenery and pushed him onto the table in anger. "Confound it all! Samwise Gamgee, have you been eavesdropping?"
Samwise shook his head vigorously in fear at the looming wizard. "I ain't been dropping no eaves, sir! Honest. I was just cutting the grass under the window there, if you follow me..."
"It's a bit late for trimming the hedges, don't you think?" The disbelief was clear as day in Gandalf's disapproving tone.
"I heard raised voices!" Sam confessed, unable to lie in the face of an angry wizard.
A rough growl escaped Gandalf's lips. "What did you hear, speak!"
"Nothing important...that is, I heard a good deal about a ring...and a Dark Lord. And something about the end of the world, but...Please, Mr. Gandalf, sir, don't hurt me! Don't turn me into anything… unnatural!" Sam squeaked.
"No?" Gandalf hummed, cocking his head to the side as plans began to form. "Perhaps not. I've thought of a better use for you. Go home Samwise Gamgee and gather a pack, you'll be accompanying Frodo."
It was the rising of a new dawn by the time Gandalf, Frodo and Samwise left, making their way across the freshly turned earth and towards Bree. Mist shrouded them from early risers, hopefully hiding which way they went if someone did spot them.
It was by the time of Second Breakfast where Gandalf slowed down, the trees giving them better cover. "Be careful, both of you. The Enemy has many spies in his service, many ways of hearing...birds, beasts..." pulling Frodo to the side, Gandalf raised his brows. "Is it safe?"
Frodo nodded, pressing his hand to the pocket at his breast.
"Never put it on, for then the agents of the Dark Lord will be drawn to its power..." He trailed off, eyeing the trees once more. "Always remember, Frodo, the ring is trying to get back to its master...it wants to be found."
With that Gandalf turned to mount his horse before pausing once more, turning back to the skittish hobbit and his friend. "Remember Frodo, rings of power are not one to idly mess with."
The two hobbits watched as Gandalf mounted his horse and began to ride away. Frodo jittery and panicked as twigs snap and birds caw, the warnings Gandalf spoke lodged firmly in his mind.
"We best hurry; it'll take us a few days to reach Bree." Sam whispered, placing a comforting hand upon Frodo's shoulder.
With a nod Frodo began to walk once more, remembering the direction from when Bilbo took him when he was still a fauntling. It was a long time ago now since they went on a walking Holiday to Bree, or anywhere near it and it was only a couple of times till Frodo could remember the routes by heart.
Just in case my boy, you can never be too ready…
By the end of the day Sam stops, taking in the familiar surroundings. "This is it."
Turning Frodo raised his brows. "This is what?"
Swallowing Sam cast another look around at the field and back the way they came. "If I take one more step it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been."
"Come on, Sam." Frodo gestured, patting his shoulder. "Remember what Bilbo used to say...it's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door...you step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's not knowing where you might be swept off to."
It was the end of the day by the time Frodo and Sam stopped to make camp.
"You rest now Mister Frodo, I'll cook us up some dinner." Sam stated, smiling at his friend as Frodo climbed the tree and rested upon one of the branches for a smoke.
Out here, still on the edges of the Shire, Frodo could be at peace. Even with the looming danger he couldn't help but relax to the sounds around him. The whisper of wind through the tree leaves, the crackle and sizzle of the fire and food upon the frying pan.
It was beautiful.
"Sam!" Frodo calls in awe, taking the pipe from his mouth as he sat up to listen. A wide smile pulls at Frodo's lips as the singing grows louder, familiar in a way that sounded right. "Wood elves!"
Sam quickly put the pan to the side safe from lighting its own fire and kicked the pile of dirt onto the fire to put out the flames before following Frodo up the hill and through the trees towards the singing. Each duck behind a fallen log and peer over to watch the elves walk past.
"They're going to the harbour beyond the white towers To the Grey Havens." Frodo explained softly, watching the elves walk on, a soft glow of light illuminating them.
"They're leaving?" Sam asked in an awed whisper, he had never seen such beauty in his whole life besides Rosie.
Frodo nodded. "Never to return."
Sadness welled up in Sam's chest at that, the song once beautiful turning into a haunted tune. "I don't know why... It makes me sad."
"Let's go back Sam, we'll eat before sleeping. We have to be up at first light tomorrow." Frodo gestured, turning away from the scene before them and slowly made his way back to camp.
Frodo started the fire once more while Sam gathered the food, offering the pan out for Frodo to take some. Neither had the desire to speak, unable to break the heaviness that rested upon them at seeing the elves departure.
"Everywhere I lie there's a dirty great root sticking into my back." Samwise explained, shifting around on his bedroll as they lied down to sleep.
Frodo hummed, "Just shut your eyes and imagine you're back in your own bed, with a soft matress and a lovely feather pillow."
Casting a look at Frodo, Sam nodded. He shifted once more as he pulled the blanket up to his chest and closed his eyes before sighing sharply. "It's not working Mister Frodo. Oh! I'm never going to be able to sleep out here."
A smile tugged at Frodo's lips. "Me neither Sam."
Gandalf's scream ripples across the darkness, flares of white and grey flashing brilliantly and angrily with the tangy scent of blood. Bella shoots up from her bed with a gasp, hair flying forwards with the swiftness of her rise.
"Canadriel? Are you alright?" Aragorn asked worriedly by the fire, his eyes scanning the darkness for any sign of danger.
"I… I don't know." She whispered, pressing the palm of her hand against her temple. "I saw Gandalf… something has happened or will happen."
"We are only a day's ride from Bree; his missive said that he would meet us there with the Hobbit." Aragorn tried to sooth, rising from his seated position on lookout and passing the waterskin to his Lady.
"Thank you," she grasped the skin and took a deep drink of the cool water before passing it back. "I don't know Aragorn, you know we elves do not sleep in the wilderness… we do not dream."
"A warning perhaps?" He asked. "Do you wish to make haste to Bree now?"
Bella shook her head at that. "No it matters not if we leave now or on the morn, Gandalf will arrive when he pleases. No, I will tell him when I see him next. Get some rest Aragorn, I'll take the rest of the shift."
Aragorn nodded, unwilling to argue for he knew that Elves slept very little, he also knew that there was no arguing with Lady Canadriel, the adopted sister of the Dwarrow. "Goodnight."
Author Note: Mahal bless this is going to be a long fucking story, four chapters and I am NO WHERE near the ending of FOTR… Unlike TU I was done with the first movie in Ten Chapters… Well hope everyone is in for the long haul.