Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine; they are all the property of Tolkien

Ch1: Summer Party

Buckland August 1380 by Shire Reckoning The Year 2980 of the 3rd Age

Drogo Baggins sighed with contentment as he pushed back from the table and patted his comfortably
full stomach. Old Gorbadoc, may have been gone for 15 years, but his son, Rory had definitely inherited
his love for food and company. And today had been a beautiful summer day, more than enough excuse
for the Master of Buckland to throw one of his famous outdoor parties.

Drogo and Primula had arrived at Brandy Hall with their son, Frodo, yesterday for one of their frequent visits.
Prim, had been happy to once again be in her childhood home and surrounded by her many relations,
especially her favorite brother. Frodo as usual was happy to go on an outing and excited at the prospect
of playing with the many children of Brandy Hall. And Drogo, as usual, had been eager to once again enjoy
his brother-in-law's sumptuous table.

Now that the desserts were finished, the adults began moving the chairs and tables and the musicians
began to prepare their instruments. Drogo, noticed Esmerelda herding Frodo and the rest of the children inside.
The more lively ones would be able to play without disturbing the adults, but the others were no doubt getting
tired after an day of playing and eating and would need to be tucked in soon.

Drogo smiled. Either way, Esme would have them in hand; his wife's favorite cousin had always had
an instinctive way with children. It was a shame that even after all their years of marriage, she and Saradoc
still had none of their own.

The music began and Drogo watching as the brightly dressed party guests began to select partners and dance.
He glanced around for his wife and quickly spotted her bright, chestnut curls over by one of the tables, where
she was talking to her sister, Asphodel: and their niece, Daisy.

From their smiles and chatter Drogo could guess what they were talking about. Ash's son, Milo would be turning
33 in little more than a month and his mother, along with Prim, Esme and Daisy, would be putting together
his Coming of Age Party.

Drogo chuckled to himself. If he knew them, it would be a celebration to remember. Many friends and relatives
had turned to the four hobbit women for help in managing celebrations and over the years they had come to be
affectionately called the Planning Quartet.

Prim had always had an eye for decorations and there was nothing Ash loved more than to prepare feasts.
Esme had an uncanny knack for organizing people, conspiring as her husband affectionately teased.
And young Daisy, who was never far from something exciting, especially loved ribbons and lights.

Drogo's gaze lingered on his brother's daughter. Daisy would be coming of age herself in another few years,
and she had her eye on Griffo Boffin since before she was in her tweens. In fact, when she was 17, she had
confidently announced to her uncle that one day she was going to marry Griffo.

Drogo had given his favorite niece a hug and promised that he would be sure to attend her wedding, and from
the way the two youngsters would use any excuse to spend time together, he was confident that that occasion
wouldn't come soon enough as far as they were concerned.

The thought of upcoming marriages drew his attention back to his wife. With a smile he got up, made his way
over to her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. She giggled and gave him a hug.

"Do you ladies mind if I steal my wife from you?" Drogo teasingly asked the other two hobbit women.

"Not at all," Asphodel said with her usual winning smile. "I was just getting ready to go find Amalda."
She looked at Daisy. "And I'm sure that Daisy here has plans."

Indeed, Daisy was already looking around for Griffo, who was, at that moment, making his way towards her.
"Go on Auntie Prim," she giggled. "We'll talk more later."

Smiling, Primula took her husband's arm and the two walked off together. Would you like to dance?" Drogo invited.

"Maybe later," Primula said thoughtfully. "If I know my brother, he'll have the dances going on for quite awhile.
Let's go check on Frodo and then we can go for a walk, just the two of us."

She glanced west, where the last remnants of the setting sun were still just peeking above the horizon.
"After all," she said with a smile, "summer will be over soon, so we should enjoy the few warm evenings left."