Hi and thank you for clicking on The Skipper.
This fanfiction was inspired by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but it incorporates both the Lord of the Rings timeline as well as the Hobbit timeline. I have seen all the movies, read all the books, and researched everything I did not know on Tolkien websites (mainly Tolkien Gateway and Lord of the Rings wiki). I have tried to remain as true to the canon events as possible, mixing both movie and books as I see fit.
This story is humorous as well as serious. There is romance if you want to see romance, but if you would rather just enjoy the plot, humor, and characters, you can do so.
I appreciate all reviews. You can review every chapter (much appreciated), you can review the last chapter, you can review only the exciting chapters, but please review!
Once again, thank you for clicking on my story and I hope you enjoy it.
PART ONE: ANACHRONISM
Chapter I: A Perfectly Good Explanation
There is a perfectly good explanation for all of this, I swear. I Skip, you see. I'm not from this world, I'm from another place and another time. I've just, you know, been Skipping back for forth between the two for the past fifteen years.
This is important! I know you think you've heard all this before—but you need to know. In these words is my promise to you. A promise you must never forget, for it concerns the fortunes of all. Understand?
The first time I Skipped was when I was six.
That was the day I slapped Marie because she called me a liar. We had been racing across the schoolyard with two teachers watching us, judging who the winner was and who the loser was. Marie was faster than me, so she won every time. I got sick and tired of losing so, during the fifth race, I pushed Marie and sprinted past her. She went to the teachers, crying and saying I cheated. So I slapped her.
The teachers sent me to the principal's office.
I didn't think it was cheating. I was using my abilities to beat her. I couldn't help it that she fell over with just that little push. (Yes, I was a terrible six-year-old. Don't judge me.)
The principal didn't see it that way. She called my mother and my father and they both came to school to pick me up. They weren't happy. The car ride home was spent with the two of them yelling at me—What was I thinking? How could I do that? Did I apologize to the poor girl? Apologize the next day! How could I do such a thing? Did they not raise me right?
I sat in the car and listened to their lectures the entire ride home. Then—the moment the car came to a full stop in the garage—I threw open the door, stormed up to my room, and fell down on the bed, crying.
I hated my life. Right then I hated everything—the principal, the teachers, Marie, my parents, I hated them all. I just wanted to get away. To run away. To leave it all behind and never come back.
So I Skipped. (Yeah, that seemed pretty random to me too.)
One moment, I was sobbing in my bed. Then—I was lying on a cold stone floor.
I blinked. Once. Twice.
I sat up and looked around. I was not in my home. I was not in any place I recognized.
I was tucked away in a corner, staring out at the mayhem before me.
It was a hallway. A beautifully carved hallway lit only by candles that lined the walls. Engraved arches swooped overhead, lacing together to form the ceiling. People crowded the hall. Not people—they were too short to be people. Short and stout. The men had long, braided beards and wore battle armor. Swords were strapped at their sides. The little men—they were actually dwarves, but I didn't know they were called dwarves back then—ran down the long, arching stone hallway. They were running away from something. I could not see from what, but the dwarves were shouting things in a strange language.
One fat dwarf with a short beard stopped and grabbed me by the wrist. He shouted something in a gravelly voice, but I could not understand it. The dwarf—suddenly it occurred to me that he was actually a she; I was looking at a short, stout, bearded woman—shook her head and left me.
I was so frightened I forgot to cry.
What was going on? Why was everyone running? What were they afraid of? Why was I even here? My room? My bedroom? Where had it gone? Where was Mother? Where was Father? I didn't know.
My heart was racing. I curled into a ball, sitting on the stone floor beside a thick pillar. No one noticed me. They were all too wrapped up in their own problems to notice a little six-year-old girl. (Can't say I blame them.)
The crowds began to thin out. Most of the dwarves were gone. A few more dwarves came sprinting down the hallway—these ones dressed in full battle armor—with their swords and axes raised. Some of them were nursing bloody wounds and severe burns.
All of a sudden the fear, the panic, the unknown—it all got to me. I buried my face in my hands and started to bawl. I could taste salt on my lips. A deep hacking sound rose in my throat and I coughed—snot was streaming down my face.
"Gos! Gos! Sebar!"
I looked up and stared at the dwarf in front of me. A little taller than the other dwarves, he had long, scraggly black hair and a beard—both were matted with blood. He wore the same battle armor as the others, but there was a superior air about him that stood out from the rest. His sword was grasped in his right hand; his left hand was curled into a fist with long red burns covering the back of the hand.
He said something again in a foreign language.
"What you say?" I sniffled. The tears would not stop pouring down my face. My eyes were puffy and my face grimy. I was covered in snot and my hair was a mess. I must have looked ugly—don't agree with me!
It was the first time the dwarf saw me properly for the first time. His eyes widened as he took in my blue jeans and pink t-shirt.
"Who are you?" he asked, this time in my own language.
I wiped my nose with the back of my hand. "I'm Ana."
He hesitated and then gave his own name. "Thorin."
The tears stopped and I giggled a little. "That's a funny name."
Then, there was great, deep howl from somewhere down the hall. I let out a little squeak of terror and shrunk further back into the shadows. Thorin however scooped me up with his injured left arm and started sprinting down the hallway. I screamed and flung my arms around his neck.
"Put me down! Put me down!"
"Only if you wish to be devoured by Smaug!" shouted Thorin.
And then, the great red dragon appeared at the end of his hall. Sharp, blood-stained teeth, bright red scales, fiendish yellow eyes—the dragon Smaug was a demon of these halls.
My screams renewed and I started clawing at Thorin's armored back.
"Dragon! Dragon! Dragon!"
My shrieks ripped through my throat. I howled and wept like a banshee, clinging to Thorin. He sprinted along the hall as fast as his short legs could carry him. I squirmed so much that Thorin dropped me. I landed with a heavy crack on the cold stone floor.
"Ana!" he cried, reeling around.
Smaug opened his terrible jaws and let loose the jet of fire. Heat tore down the hallway. Flames ate the walls as they drew ever closer to me.
I screamed and thrashed about on my bed. The covers wrapped around me and—with a heavy thud—I crashed to the floor on top of one of my Barbie Dolls. (They're these type of plastic, perfect females that—oh never mind.) I sat up right and looked about the room wildly. There was no dragon in sight. No Thorin either.
My mother threw open the door to my room. She stood in the doorway, gasping for breath. She breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of me.
"You're alright," she said.
But I was not alright. Tears welled in my eyes and I sobbed miserably into the sheets of my bed. Little six-ear-old me could not take it.
I cried continuously that night. I tried to explain to my mother what had happened. It wasn't just a dream. It had been real. I had really gone to that place. I had really seen those little men. I had really seen a dragon. Thorin had been real. My mother and father would not believe me. A dream, they said, and nothing more. Eventually, I believed them. (I was a little idiot back then.)
But the Skipping did not stop there. A few months later—in the middle of my friend's seventh birthday party—I Skipped back to Middle Earth and found myself in the bed of an inn. My trip lasted about half a day before I randomly appeared back at my friend's house—her parents searching everywhere for me. They had even called the cops.
I Skipped at least a dozen times over the next few years. I ended up in a different place and a different time with each Skip. Once I woke up in the lair of giant Spider (hence my intense arachnophobia was born). Another time I woke up in Hobbiton. I visited a small village in Rohan once. None of the trips were particularly eventful. It wasn't until I was twelve that anything interesting happened.
I got hit by a truck. Well, that's an overstatement. I didn't actually get hit by a truck. I was crossing the street—going to meet some friends for shopping—and I wasn't looking where I was going. The horn honked. I turned. I saw the truck. The driver screamed. I screamed. Skip.
Some part of me wishes the truck had hit me that day. Anything would have been better than Skipping to the horror I saw that day.
Plains of dying, blood-stained grass. I was sprawled out amongst the corpses of horses and men. I covered my mouth with a hand and backed away from the split-pen head of a soldier. In the distance, I could see the foul ruins of the WhiteCity. Fire burned amongst the rubble and a thick cloud of black smoke rose into the gray sky. The thousands of orcs filled Minas Tirith, their celebration could be heard across the plains. I wept, though I did not know then what such destruction meant. I only knew that dark things had come to pass and the red fires over the mountain tops spoke of doom to the world in which I stood.
"There's a live one."
I twisted around. My heart racing.
It was my first time seeing an orc. My first time seeing through blue-gray faces with oozing eyes and sweaty, rancid flesh. Four stood before me, their marred and gruesome faces leering. They murmured something amongst themselves in a foul tongue. It ripped my ears to shreds simply to listen to them speak. Their yellow teeth clacked together and their pale eyes flickered toward me and away. There was a terrible hunger about them. I could feel their need for death and murder swarming about me like a disease. One orc drew his bloodstained blade.
He swung the sword, aiming for my throat.
I shrieked and flung my hands above my head. (Very heroic, I know.) The Skip took control and I found myself sitting on the sidewalk next to the truck. No harm had come to me, yet the image of the burning city and field of corpses was embedded in my mind and—those foul orcs. Decayed men, I thought of them then. The kind that creep into nightmares.
Though I did not know it then, I had witnessed the destruction of Middle Earth. Gondor had fallen. The White City was no more—elves, men, dwarves—they were all passed from the land and the Age of the Orc had begun.
I Skipped multiple times over the next four years. They were all reasonably insignificant. Though, I do remember this one time where I met some elves. It was my first time actually seeing elves, though I had heard much about them. I was seventeen. A senior in high school (not that you know what that means). I was sitting at my desk doing homework, working on a particularly difficult math problem and—flash!
I opened my eyes to the face of the most beautiful man I had ever seen. Actually, he wasn't a man. I realized that pretty quickly when I saw his pointy ears. His long dark brown hair fell about his shoulders. He seemed to glow with a kind of deep, eternalness that I could not understand.
So, of course, I screamed. It's a natural reaction to waking up face to face with a beautiful stranger.
He quickly leapt away and cried something in a foreign language.
Beside him stood another beautiful elf. The two had similar features (most likely brothers). They stared at me for a moment and then exchanged some quick conversation in elvish.
"Who are you?" asked the brother.
I shuffled quickly backwards and looked about wildly. I was in a forest, surrounded by thick, crooked trees. Moss covered the roots and the ground while leaves, fallen from the rich evergreen trees, littered the ground. The two elves stared at me in wonder.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"I asked first?" said Elrohir. (They told me their names later, but, to save confusion, I'll tell you their names now).
"My name is Ana." I slowly got to my feet and tried to brush the brown leaves off my jeans. "I'm not from this place."
"Clearly," said Elladan. "No mortal inhabits this wood."
"Why have you entered here?" asked Elrohir.
"I didn't mean to," I said. "I just sort of get dumped where I get dumped."
Elladan blinked. He tilted his head to the side and stared at me. "Of what do you speak? I do not understand."
"She is trying to confuse us," said Elrohir.
"No," said Elladan. "I think she is telling the truth."
I sighed. "Look this happens from time to time—like a sickness. I am in my home doing whatever and them—bam—I'm in this other place. One time I was chased by a dragon. The next time I was attacked by decayed men outside a burning city. Then—bam—I'm home. It's not a big deal. Be on your merry way—I'm just passing through."
Elrohir stared. "She makes no sense."
"Maybe it is the language barrier," said Elladan. "I thought I spoke this tongue well, but maybe I am mistaken."
"I Skip from here to there," I said, waving my arms about in some attempt to explain things. "I come from a different world. I don't know why. It just happens. I Skip!"
"You Skip?" said Elladan thoughtfully. "Senturiel?"
"Say what?" I looked, open-mouthed, from one elf to the other.
"Do not be deceived, Elladan," said Elrohir. "She could be a spy."
"I'm not," I said.
"She talks in an odd way," said Elladan. "The likes of which I have not heard in Middle Earth."
"You are not so all-knowing that you have heard every tongue," said Elrohir.
"You're the ones who talk weird!" I snapped. "Don't worry. I'll be going back any minute now…"
"These things come and go as they please," I said, crossly.
Elladan laughed. "I like her. She is amusing."
Elrohir sighed and shook his head. "You find the oddest things to be amusing."
"Ana, was it?" said Elladan. "You say you are not from this world, then where are you from?"
"Ohio," I said. "It's a state in the USA."
"I have never heard of such strange places," said Elladan.
"That is because she is lying," said Elrohir.
"Ui! You are too paranoid," said Elladan. He turned to me and smiled. (God, he has a beautiful face. Inhumanely beautiful. Almost frightening in its beauty.) "You are in Lorien, Ana. The forest of our people. No one has passed the borders of this forest unseen before you."
"That's because I didn't pass the borders," I said. "I was dropped here. When I Skipped worlds."
Elladan turned to his brother and said again, "Senturiel."
"La." Elrohir snapped something back in elvish, but Elladan ignored him. He turned to me and grinned. "I am Elladan, son of Elrond and Celebrian, and this is my brother, Elrohir. Welcome to Lorien, Ana of Ohio. We should treat guests better, should we not, Elrohir?" Elladan shot a wild grin at his brother before turning back to me. "Would you like to meet the Lady Galadriel, Ana?"
I blinked. "Is it…dangerous?"
Elladan shook his head. "Not if you are with us."
But I never met Lady Galadriel. At least, not during that Skip. There was a flash and I opened my eyes to see my bedroom again. My math homework sat on the desk in front of me. I looked around, but there was no sign of Elrohir and Elladan. Only my unmade bed and my messy room. I turned back to my homework. Took a deep breath, and returned to solving my math problem.
To be honest, I think all the Skipping messed up my personality. I'll watch movies (They're these little stories that are told in pictures...yeah. I knew you wouldn't get it.) and the main characters are always surprised and horrified when unexpected things happen. But, to me, it had become normal. By the time I turned twenty-one, I was so desensitized to the world around me. One moment I'll be in class taking notes—the next I'll be fleeing from mountain trolls. I'd even reached the point where I could laugh about it. It's not healthy.
So anyways, all personal reflections aside, I Skipped about for the next few years. Nothing particularly interesting happened. That is, until my twenty-first birthday. You see, I had my friends Bonnie and Nick over to celebrate—and, well, it went something like this:
I jumped onto the couch of my apartment living room and settled into the seat between Nick and Bonnie.
"Alright!" I cried. "Movie time! Where's the remote?"
"I don't know," said Nick. "I thought you had it."
"No," I said. "You had it—Are you hiding it? That's not funny!"
"You're sitting on it, dimwit," said Bonnie, pulling the remote out from underneath me.
"Right, right," I said, taking the remote from her and pressing play. The screen turned black and the opening music began. "Oh, I'm excited!"
"I hate this movie," said Bonnie. "Too many sappy romance scenes."
"Shush," I said. "I'm the birthday girl, I get to decide."
"There are a million funner things to do on your twenty-first birthday," said Nick.
"Yeah," said Bonnie. "Why aren't we in a bar getting drunk off our asses?"
"You people are no fun," I said, pouting. "The choice between watch the released Phantom of the Opera and going to a bar and getting wasted—"
"I'd choose getting wasted any day of the week," said Bonnie.
"Hear, hear!" cried Nick, high-fiving Bonnie behind my head.
"You people suck," I said. "See if I ever invite you to my birthday party again."
"I think we should tie her up and take the remote," said Nick.
Bonnie grinned wickedly. "I'm totally up for it."
"Hey!" I threw my hands in front of my face. "Hey! What do you think you're doing!"
Nick started tickling my sides and I let out a scream of laughter. Bonnie lunged for the remote, but I held a firm grip on it with my left hand while trying to fend Nick off with my right. The three of us fell to the floor in a heap.
"Arg!" I cried, swatting Nick away. "No! No! It's my birthday, we're watching my movie! Not going to bar!"
"But the majority says bar!"
"I'm the birthday girl!" I karate chopped Nick and Bonnie on top of their heads, each in turn. Laughing, they pushed me over and sat on top of me.
"Hand over the remote," said Bonnie.
"I won't be afraid to tickle attack you again," added Nick.
"Never!" I cried, clutching the remote close to my chest. "I'll never give in to your evil aspirations!"
"Come on!" said Bonnie. "You're no fun."
"I have work tomorrow."
"Boo-hoo, they'll understand if you're hung over."
"Come on!" Bonnie reached for the remote.
(Yeah, these Skips come at really bad times.)
I opened my eyes to gold. Mountains and mountains of gold. Gold coins, gold cups, gold jewelry, gold armor, gold dishes, gold tools, gold walls, gold ceilings—I stood on a stone pathway (the only place where you could see the floor in this great hall) amongst piles of gold. The riches overwhelmed me. I gasped as I took in the sight. Why couldn't I Skip to places like this all the time? I had been to inns, forests, cities, villages, towns, lakes, mountains—but none of it could compare to this splendor. I wanted it all.
It took me a moment to realize that I was still holding the remote. Carefully, I placed it on the ground and then stood up, still gawking at the walls around me. I wandered along the pathway, just taking in the sight. Could anyone ever want for more with all this gold?
I glanced around nervously. There was no one in sight. Was the gold unguarded? That was hard to believe. If I was this rich, I would never let any of the gold out of my sight—surely, someone would steal it.
But no matter how hard I looked—Nope. Not a soul in sight.
Well, alright then.
I glanced at the mountain of gold nearest to me. There was a gold goblet-like thing just sitting there. Pure gold with intricate engravings on the side and green gems embedded at the base. It was a really pretty little thing. It would be a shame to leave it just lying there.
I reached out a hesitant hand and carefully lifted it from its resting place.
There came a deep rumbling sound—almost a yawn—from deep within the mountains of gold. I leapt back, dropping the gold cup instantly. It landed on the ground with a heavy clank. The sound rung through the hall.
Then, the mountain of gold began to move.
An avalanche of gold coins came pouring down into the pathway, as the mountain grew taller and taller. I shrieked and sprinted down the path, away from the gold pouring down like a fountain, covering the stone floor.
I gawked at the mountain, unable to comprehend. The gold coins fell away, revealing a red mountain beneath the layers of gold. No. Not a mountain. A dragon. Smaug.
I stared. And stared. And stared.
The great blue eyes blinked and the head of the beast turn to me. I could see all of its yellow teeth, sticking out jaggedly from its red mouth.
Then I screamed.
Then I ran. Like all hell was after me.
Yeah. It sounded a little something like that.
I sprinted down the pathway through the mountains of gold. There was a stone doorway a little ways ahead. I sprinted straight to it, the deep growl of Smaug sounding from behind me.
I just made it through the doorway when Smaug let loose a blast of flame.
"Dragon! Dragon! Dragon!" I screamed, sprinting down the corridor. "Why is it always a dragon!?"
Another roar. Another burst of flames whipped after me.
I screamed. "Skip me back! Skip me back! Skip me back!"
Back I went.
The flames were gone. The dragon was gone. I was sitting alone in my apartment. The lights were on. The movie was still playing. The couch was a mess. The remote was gone. Nick and Bonnie were nowhere to be seen.
For the next few days I searched desperately for any trace of Bonnie and Nick, but there was none. They had disappeared off the face of the Earth. I could tell you about the days spent in misery, where I couldn't sleep out of fear—but those details aren't important. All you need to know is that such a thing had never happened before, I had never Skipped anyone with me to Middle Earth. And then I lost them—which was not a good thing. They could have been burnt to crisps by Smaug. Or ended up somewhere else entirely. Hopefully not with orcs or goblins or any other evil thing. All I know is they were no longer in my world—which probably means they were in Middle Earth.
So, being the good and kind friend that I am, I decided to look for them. Of course, I had no control over my Skips. They come and go as they please—though, as I realized, they always come whenever I am absolutely terrified and about to die.
Yes, I know what you're thinking. And, yes, I really did it.
I jumped off a six-story building.
Thank God it worked or I would be splattered across the sidewalk right now.