A/N I'm sorry, guys! I'm really, honestly sorry! I wanted to continue this story with a sequel, but as the plot of A curse in my veins started shaping out, I realized it would work much better as a standalone post-BOFA fix-it story, than a sequel to Only time will tell. So, I'm wrapping everything up here and leaving some things to your imagination. A curse in our veins has been taken down and will be posted again once I finish rewriting the first chapters. Moreover, it appears that the first three chapters of When light and darkness entwine have become the official sequel… oops. Sorry guys ( those who have read the story know why I'm saying sorry ).
Epilogue II: In endings… beginnings
In years to come, minstrels will sing of the Battle of Five Armies. They will remember the powerful alliance forged in war between the dwarfs of the Erebor, the elves of Mirkwood and the men of Esgaroth.
Some will tell how the army of orcs, goblins and warg darkened the fields around the crumbled city of Dale. How in their cursed tongue they cried "Death" and "Blood" loudly in the night and how Azog the Defiler and his spawn Bolg vowed to destroy the line of Durin.
Storytellers will enchant children with the story of Bilbo Baggins, the cunning hobbit who left the rolling hills of the Shire in order to help thirteen dwarves reclaim their homes. Some will say how said hobbit sometimes acted as if he had the gift of foresight, saving the lives of those of his Company.
At last, the story will end with the recount of the Battle of Five Armies. Deeds of great valor had been done that day. Songs will be woven about the courage of Thorin Oakenshield and his defeat of the great Gundabad orc, of Fili's stubbornness and bravery as he protected his fallen kin. Bofur, the dwarf with the funny hat who protected his friend Nori till the end, almost dying in the process will also be remember, as well as all those who formed the Company of Thorin Oakenshield.
However, the story does not end with the Battle of Five Armies and the reclaiming of Erebor. It continues, seventy-eight years in the future until the fateful Council of Elrond.
This story, told only amongst the dwarves of Erebor, speaks of the rebuilding of the kingdom, of bringing it back to its former glory. The wounded struggled to recover and by the time spring had passed all were hale once more.
The members of the Company had been given their shares of the treasure. Balin officially became the Royal Advisor. Seeing as he had been fulfilling this role for decades now, the new title did not surprise him in the least.
Dwalin had been appointed Head of the Guards of Erebor. He often clashed with Nori, the Royal Spymaster, whose cunning and vigilance helped unearth many assassination plots against the line of Durin. Young Ori became Head Scribe and Librarian. His desire to put the tale of the Company in writing gave birth to a book in Khuzdul that would later be studied by all young dwarfling alongside the Red Book of Bilbo Baggins.
Dori used his share of the treasure to open a teashop. It quickly became famous in Erebor and the newly repaired Dale. Dwarfs from the Iron Hills and Blue Mountains came all the way to Erebor just to taste the fantastic tea and cakes created by the eldest 'Ri brother.
Bofur and Bifur were given charge of the Western Mines until the destruction caused by Smaug was repaired. When all was working in order once more, Bifur returned to what he loved best: toy making. His toys enchanted dwarflings and human children alike.
Bombur became, of course, the Royal Chef. With proper ingredients, good venison and a few special recipes given to him by certain hobbits, the large dwarf became the delight of the entire Royal Family. His cookies and cake were second to none and his pies were challenged only by those made by Bilbo Baggins.
Oin was appointed Royal Healer. He settled in his role with ease and enjoyed taking care of those he had come to cherish as much as his family. His brother, Gloin, was ecstatic to see his wife and son again. Both he and Gimli joined Dwalin's guards, eager to slay any orc that dared attack their newly rebuilt Kingdom.
As for the cunning thief and seer who had helped the dwarfs reclaim their Mountain… Bilbo Baggins became the unofficial advisor of the King (after all, the stuffy lords of the Council would never accept a hobbit in such a prestigious role, no matter the fact that he saved the current King and his heirs ). He was the King's confidant and always lend an ear when the stress of leadership became too much ( and if he became more than a friend as the years passed, the stories do not tell ).
He was the one Fili and Kili ran to for pie and cupcakes when Bombur denied them… the one who was always there with a kind word and a cup of tea when things went wrong.
Bilbo Baggins became hailed as both Elf and Dwarf friend, doing much to mend the bridge between the two races. He spent half his time in Erebor and half in the Shire, his heart being unable to give up on the place of his birth.
When his cousins Drogo and Primula died, despite Bilbo's attempts to prevent such a fate, he became the guardian of their small son, Frodo.
When Balin, Oin and Ori left to reclaim Moria he watched them go with a heavy heart. No vision foretold their fate, yet Bilbo felt deep in his heart that he would never see them again.
In all this time, he kept the identity of his Ring secret. He remembered Mandos' words and his dreams told him that it would not be him to destroy the Ring. He did his best to conceal the Enemy's weapon and keep it dormant. It worked until Gollum was captured and the words "Shire" and "Baggins" were wretched from him under torture.
In that moment, foretold by his visions, Bilbo knew the time had come to pass the Ring on. He sent a raven to Gandalf and sought his aid. A Council gathered and the Fate of Middle Earth was decided… with tears in his eyes Bilbo did the hardest thing in his life and allowed his precious nephew – beloved son – to go to Mount Doom and destroy the Ring.
But that is a tale for another time…
A/N And this is the official end of Only time will tell. Let us assume that the other Epilogue took place while Bilbo was in the Shire, reclaiming his home from the Sackville-Baggins. The shade was one of the Nazgul, still lacking their usual strength, that sensed the Ring and sought it out only to find nothing as Bilbo had been long gone at that time. I leave the rest to your imagination! Thank you once more for your support! Would anyone be interested in a modern!AU? I've got a muse that keeps begging me to write one.