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ICICLES IN THE NIGHT
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DISCLAIMER

I don't own Tolkien characters or settings… Rufferto loves all her readers and gladly accepts comments, suggestions and desires from them. I write for the enjoyment of others and myself. I do not take kindly to reviewers who 'flame'. Flaming is unnecessary. Constructive Criticism is. Rufferto please asks that everyone "Be excellent to each other".and that we are all here for the same purpose to write and have fun reading fan fiction.

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ICICLES IN THE NIGHT
This fic stars Frodo of course. Frodo is living in Bag-End. it's the first day of Winter of his 49th year. His last winter in Bag-End though he does not know it. He finds one of Bilbo's old books in box in the cellar as he's going through things. In the book, he reads about when Frodo was 32 years old with pneumonia. He also speaks of a visitor to Bag-End that Frodo does not remember. Frodo sees a drawing that Bilbo made of the half-elf who tended him….
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CHAPTER ONE : A curious discovery
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I was 49 years old when I found the second most important event of my life happened. I was downstairs in the cellar cleaning out the leaning out a few old boxes while I was making things ready for packing. The lantern light was all I had to go by in the cellar, I didn't usually like being down there. It was dark and cold and it always was a little upsetting for me as I went through Bilbo's things. He...I missed him a great deal. I know it was silly and I was grown up now and shouldn't be carrying on like a child but he'd always been there for me.

I came across a number of old books and then noticed something a little different...they weren't books...they were journels! My eyes lighted with excitement as I blew the dust off of them and flipped through the pages. Bilbo's journels! I'd found them. They'd been here all along...and here I'd thought he'd taken them with him! I didn't take them up right away...I knew I had things to get done, and if I got caught up in reading...I'd be doing that all day instead.

My eyes sparkled…wondering what mysteries they held. I did my best to complete as much of the chores I had set for my schedule as I could stand and then went to my study. I smiled at the books on the desk and opened the window to let the summer breeze settle in. I had stopped in the kitchen and put a few things on a tray for luncheon. Just a light snack…a piece of apple crisp, a bottle of white wine, a bowl of mashed pumpkin, a bowl of stuffed mushrooms, a piece of lemon chicken sprinkled with chives, a cheese and tomato salad, and a pitcher of apple-juice.

I thought about it for a moment and nodded. Just to make sure I wasn't disturbed I hurried back to the front door and bolted it. I usually left the back-door open for Sam though and I scratched my head standing in the empty hallway. As I looked around I sighed. Bag-end was huge…and look at me…still a bachelor at almost 50. I closed my eyes for just a brief moment and imagined….

..."Daddy! Daddy! He stole my doll! Make him give it back!"….

…."Dear…don't forget…my friend Pansy and Theo Bracegirdle are coming over tonight, remember to put on a fresh shirt." A voice…female…my wife in the kitchen…

….The sounds of laughter…doors slamming almost continually. Kids tugging on my sleeves every now and again….

…."Tell us another story Daddy…"…

I opened my eyes again and looked about at the silent halls that held only the echo of my own voice and footsteps. Occasionally, I'd hear Sam…But…I shook myself. It didn't matter, I had things to do. I suppose…I'd put them off for far too long. I could have…found someone to marry I guess. I always thought there would be more years…time enough. And didn't want to marry someone I didn't love.

I walked into my study and left the door open just a tad. I sat down in my chair and stared at the journals, trying to figure out if Bilbo would want me to read them. I poured myself a glass of wine and took a sip to calm my nerves. Looking at the dates on the books was starting to bring back memories I didn't want. The years flashed in my mind.

…."Daddy, I heard something today…"…

…"What did you hear, Frodo my lad?"…

…"Nessa Took said that Mellie Brandybuck said that her mother was talking one night…and they said you didn't love Mamma…and that you only married her because of me…Is that true Daddy? You love mamma…"…

I had been about six years old when they first started in on the teasing…

…"Nonsense, my lad." My father had laughed heartily and ruffled my curls. "Your cousins are just having fun with you. Of course I love your Mamma, right and true, as I love you. Now…off with you lad…"

Then when they thought I had left…

…"Drogo…why was Frodo crying just now? I thought I heard him…"

…"Nothing Primula…just the kids…you know how they can be?"…

…"He'll have to be told someday, Dear…you know that…"…

My father had just nodded and I watched as he held my mother in his arms. They -had- loved each other… I knew that. My hand traced over the first journal. It seemed…he'd begun when my parents died. I wasn't ready to read about that…my hand clenched. I was an adult now…why did it still hurt so much? I flung the book across the room and it smashed into the door of my study and fell to the floor.

I had another sip of wine and stirred the pumpkin a little, taking a bit of it on the spoon and lifting it to my mouth. They never had told me…neither had Bilbo. Despite my questions. Maybe the answer…was in these books. The answer to everything I wanted to know…why he left…why there was so much whispering about my parents…why…why I was different.

My gaze drifted to another book and I pulled it out of the stack. The date corresponded to when I was 32 years old. Just before Bilbo left…This would be the year with the answers in it….my hand trembled a little and I felt a cool breeze in the air. For some reason…I didn't remember a great deal about that year. Things had happened as they always did. Nothing special…why had he decided to leave right after it then…and there were no other journals after this date.

… "Frodo, my lad." Bilbo said to me once. "Books are both a blessing and a danger. They will give you all the knowledge of the years and then they will also give you things that you don't want to know about. Things that you would rather never happened…and some things that you would rather forget about. That's why most people don't read."…

…"Why would people want to forget?"…

…"Because some things are too painful to remember…"

I opened the book to the first page, and was surprised to find that it contained a lock of hair…it was a curl…pressed in the covers…dark brown…almost like mine…but it couldn't be mine?

Unbidden…a memory flashed into my mind…an image of my mother. I shook it away and refocused on the book.

I took another sip of the wine, and I began to read…

* To Be continued…J