Prologue

"Estella!" Fredegar called through the house. "Stella, where are you?"

Estella came out of her bedroom and crossed her arms. "I'm right here, Fatty. What's your trouble?"

He smirked. "Meriadoc Brandybuck is coming over for dinner tonight," he said slyly.

Estella felt her heart flutter a bit, but on the outside, she appeared cool and collected as ever. "And what does that have to do with me? He's your friend, not mine."

"But you like him," Fred reminded.

"I do not!" she exclaimed.

Fatty smiled. "Yes, you do. I heard you talking to Rosie Cotton about it. You said you think he's cute."

Estella blushed, but continued to deny. "I did not!"

"Liar, liar, liar!" Fatty cried.

Estella rolled her eyes. "Yes, Fatty, that is incredibly mature."

"Don't worry, Stella. Maybe if you're real nice to him, he'll give you a kiss before he leaves."

Estella's jaw dropped in horror. "I would never kiss him!"