A/N: Written for a LiveJournal meme in which Claudia603 requested Frodo being interrogated by law enforcement. 250 words.


Frodo squirmed in his seat, his stomach twisting around the few bites of meat pie he managed to scarf down before being caught. The Ranger -who'd grabbed him and now loomed over him- frowned and scolded for many agonizing minutes. Yes, he knew better than to steal, but when he had no money and no hope of getting any and was so very hungry, what else could he do?

Finally the scolding stopped and the Ranger's expression changed as he offered him a glass of water. "How old are you?"

"Fifteen." He drank the water so quickly he thought for a moment that he would be sick.

"Where are your parents?"


"Ah, that explains much."


"Why it is you've been haunting this town for weeks and none have inquired about you. We've been trying to help you, you know, but you haven't let us get close. So we had to wait until you did something that warranted our intervention."

Vaguely Frodo recalled several occasions in which intimidating Men tried to talk to him; he always hurried away, fearful of what they might try to do to him. "My relations wouldn't think to look for me here," he said almost proudly. "If they've even noticed I'm gone, that is."

"A runaway, then. You do realize we'll have to take you back, yes?"

"Yes," Frodo said sullenly.

"Unless there's somewhere else you can go?"

"No, there's nowhere else." iNo one wants me,/i he finished the thought in his head.