The first week of August brought a heat wave, which spread throughout most of Middle-earth. Though the Shire wasn't too affected by the dry weather, inside Bag End Lydia's mood grew more alert than usual. The days after her strained meeting with Frodo, Lydia would keep lookout from any window she was seated nearby. On those days, Lydia would avoid eating at least one meal, for she felt her concerns were towards keeping watch of the smial, in case her parents or siblings arrived at Hobbiton unexpectedly.
Despite her efforts, Lydia heard wolves howling one night, a nearby distance from Bag End. Shortly after sneaking out of the hobbit-hole, Lydia was intercepted by her parents and siblings, who dragged her down the stone steps and towards the front wooden gate before she could cry for help. The only firelight she saw came from a window in Bag End's study.
Frodo worked long into the night on writing down more notes, which he wrote inside the red journal that his uncle, Bilbo Baggins, gave to him at Rivendell. Eventually, when his memories of his journey became distracted by other thoughts, Frodo peered over at the nearest window. There, he could see down the road Lydia being dragged by four hobbits that wore clothes in the deepest shades of grey. As soon as he recognized the four hobbits were Lydia's family, who appeared to be kidnapping Lydia in the night, Frodo doused the candles, but left the fireplace lights on. Before Sam came out of his and Rosie's bedroom, Frodo fled towards the front green door, which he closed silently after him.
The moment her family reached Bywater, Lydia was released by her mother and sister. Lydia glared at all four hobbits, yet she noticed they were no longer paying attention to her. Instead, their gazes were towards the cloudy night sky, where a silvery full moon, turning blood red, looked as if it was coming out from behind a thick cloud bank.
Baldur told his eldest daughter, while staring at the hint of silver in the sky, "Soon, Lydia, the blood moon will rise and you will be forced to bite a human. I'm certain you wish to bite your hobbit friend…"
Lydia answered, immediately, "No, I don't." She changed the subject fast, "How can you do this? Kidnap me in the night?"
"It's called wolf-napping, Lydia," barked Bettina, fiercely. Facing her sister with a sharp gaze, Bettina added, "At least some of us don't pretend that family isn't everything. I will tell you right now that family means everything to us. I only wish you had the gull to think about that, before you arrived in the Shire."
"You shouldn't have come back… all of you," said Lydia, only to hear her family laugh, as if her words meant nothing to them.
"I would have thought you learned that lesson long ago, before you met Mr. Baggins," said Baldur, coyly. "What use have you to us, if you didn't insist that we wolf-nap you? You will become a full-bred werewolf soon enough. We just need the right bait."
Lydia asked, "And if I refuse?"
Baldur told her, sharply, "Then I will take your life away."
"Papa, we have company," said Edwin, gesturing towards the path that led to Hobbiton.
The second Lydia's parents, siblings, and Lydia herself saw Frodo enter the village of Bywater, Baldur chuckled, and then announced, "Ah! Now I see the reason for your betrayal, Lydia."
Still feeling hurt, Lydia admitted to her father, "He's not that important to me anymore." She paused, briefly, "However, I will not watch while you, Mama, Bettina, and Edwin tear up Hobbiton and Bywater. You four had no reason to come back here."
"Oh, we didn't?" asked Baldur, hungrily.
Getting Lydia's attention, Frodo told her, calmly, "Lydia, I'm certain you do not wish to follow your family's ways. Why don't you return to Bag End?"
Baldur immediately barked at him, "And what would she spend much of her time doing at your… dwelling, Baggins? You always seemed like a hindrance to my eldest daughter."
"I never trusted you, Baldur. You always seemed suspicious," said Frodo, glaring at him.
"Enough of this," said Bettina. Aloud, she told her eldest sister, "Lydia, if you are a full-bred werewolf, you would kill this… Halfling now, or transform him as one of us. The blood moon is almost gone!"
"Yet I made a promise not to hurt any hobbits while we were in the Shire. I still hold to my oath. What's yours?" asked Lydia, staring at each sibling and parent with stern eyes.
"Very well," said Baldur, revealing little care in his voice. "Then I will kill you first."
The second the blood moon shown its eerie red light across the horizon, Baldur and his family, including Lydia, transformed into massive wolves. Frodo moved towards the Green Dragon Inn, as Lydia leaped towards her father and began to claw him. While the other three wolves barked in delight at the blood battle, Frodo saw the blood moon was vanishing, returning the full moon to its silvery light. The second the moon hid behind another thick cloud bank, the battle between the werewolves – the father and the eldest daughter – had ended.
Hurriedly, Baldur led his wife and two children away from the sight, fleeing into the forests of the Shire. Rumors still spread after that night about whether or not the werewolf family lived, and sometimes there were hobbit children that went missing during all hours of the day. The reasons were unknown as to why this happened.
Long after Baldur and his family vanished without a trace into the darkness of the night, Frodo ran over to Lydia's side. Lydia was bleeding badly in her arm, neck, and it appeared both her legs were broken and bled fresh, dark red blood. Frodo nearly took off towards the Green Dragon Inn in search of herbs, but he was grabbed fast by Lydia.
Weakly, Lydia told him, "Don't go. It's too late…"
Pitying her, Frodo asked, "What can I do?"
Lydia shook her head. "You can't do anything for me. This was my fault. I shouldn't have returned."
"I will find help, Lydia. You're going to be all right. You'll see…" His voice dropped as he tried to hold back some tears.
"I already am fine," said Lydia, her voice growing weaker. As she peered up at the stars, Lydia admitted, faintly, "Just… keep my family… a secret… please?"
"What if I don't?" asked Frodo, solemnly.
"I don't… know…" Lydia's voice faded, seconds into closing her eyes and breathing her last breath.
The second Frodo returned to Bag End, he found Sam waiting in the parlour. Once Frodo told Sam the truth about Lydia and her family, Sam's look seemed to be of gratitude, relief, and altogether worriment. After roughly two hours of debate, Frodo led Sam back to Bywater, where they snuck Lydia's body onto a boat, before rowing out into the middle of the village's lake. There, the two hobbits placed stones into the body, before sewing the skin and clothing back together and casting the body into the water, in hopes that Lydia's spirit would find peace elsewhere and her werewolf form was back down with Middle-earth's enemies.
When Frodo and Sam returned to shore, they looked back at the horizon, where they saw the sun cast its rays to greet the new morning. Shortly after Sam left Frodo by the shore, Frodo glanced up at the cloud bank, which was now thinning, where he could see Lydia's face staring happily back at him. This moment was brief, but Frodo came to realize, even as he returned to Hobbiton a few hours later, that Lydia was safe and at peace.
A few months later, after saying his goodbyes to Sam, Frodo left with Bilbo, Gandalf, Elrond, Celeborn, and Galadriel to the Grey Havens, where he took a ship leaving Middle-earth to Tol Eressëa. There were nights on the Lonely Island, it was rumored, that Frodo could still hear wolves howling at the full silvery moon. Among those wolf cries was one feminine voice that rang out the loudest. However, Frodo did not reunite with Lydia after their last night together on Middle-earth, but there were times when he felt he was being watched by a calm, untamable spirit.
With that ends the sequel to Shades of Grey!
I would like to thank both ValueMyHeart and BritneyandArchieForever for reviewing and putting this sequel on their favorites, as they did the first story. I would also like to thank you, the readers, for keeping up with Shades of Grey and its sequel, Shadows of Light, even if I was slow at updating and posting a new one-shot chapter.
I can honestly say, after almost a year of writing stories nonstop, I will be taking a break from writing stories for two weeks. Within that time, I will be doing other things to keep myself occupied until I can get my head straightened out. Of course, with this being the last October story, even though I finished it in November, I will be working again on normal and crossover stories, which are not inspired by holidays.
Again, thank you for reading this story!