Author's Note: So. Er. Here it is. Set before the Companty leave Erid Luin. I've really got to stop writing these, as I never can think of anything to say. Please read and please review.

"Ori," Nori began, trying very hard to be patient "We're going on a quest. Which means we need to pack...quest-y things. Food, maps, a change of underthings, but not books."

Ori clutched Dwarven Genealogy, the largest of his many beloved books to his chest, protectively.

"But I can't leave them behind," he almost wailed, as behind him Dori bustled to and fro making the final arrangements to their packing "They might be useful!"

Nori, with an incredulous snort, snatched the leather bound tome from his younger brother and gave it a brief glance.

"Yes, well, if we ever feel the need to delve into a fascinating account of dwarven family trees, then maybe. Or perhaps we could put Smaug to sleep by reading him a few chapters..."

"One book only, Ori," Dori said, setting a stack of rather badly knitted scarves and jumpers down on the table beside Ori's pack "Otherwise there's never going to be enough room for this lot."

Nori tossed Ori his Dwarven Genealogy (making the poor dwarf stagger slightly under the weight), and eyed the clothes with a kind of horrified awe.

"Mum surely can't expect him to wear that..."

"It might get cold," said Dori, feeling the need to defend their mother's quite unfortunate knitting projects "And then you'll wish that you had a few, too."

Nori was temporarily rendered speechless by this remark, and while he was gathering his wits together and preparing a suitably scathing reply, Ori, who had been staring at his books in a crestfallen fashion, spoke up.

"I can't decide which one to bring!"

"Have you got anything that talks about dealing with dragons?" asked Dori.

"Hah!" Nori scoffed, now feeling decidedly grumpy "If you happen to encounter a dragon, the best thing to do is run like mad in the opposite direction."

And they weren't the only dwarves having a spot of trouble with their packing...

"There," said Bofur, feeling rather pleased with himself as he swung his pack onto his back "Flute, whittling knife, map, and a bit of money. All done. How're you managing, Bombur?"

"I'm done, too," said Bombur, proudly.

Bofur couldn't help but be a bit taken aback at this - he'd never known his brother to take less than two hours to pack for anything.

"Really?" he asked "Well, let's see."

He reached over and picked up Bombur's rather large looking pack, and then staggered involuntarily as he felt how heavy it was.

"What have you got in here?"

Before Bombur could reply, the pack split at the seams, and a large assortment of meats, loaves of bread, and a few apples spilled across the floor. The two brothers looked at each other for a while.

"I'll...I'll get back to packing," Bombur said, humbly.

Meanwhile...

Fili gritted his teeth, and tried as hard as he could to close his bulging pack. It was a herculean effort, but unfortunately not a successful one.

"You know, I think that last throwing axe might've been a mistake," remarked Kili, in a conversational tone.

"You can help me," Fili said, trying once more to knot the lacings of his pack together "Or you can stand there making stupid jokes. Your choice."

Kili grinned and leaned back against the doorframe, in the manner of one who has packed light, and is now at leisure to appreciate the less successful endeavours of others.

"Follow my example," he suggested "A bow, a quiver, and a sword for the fights,. And you're done."

"But that's just the trouble. If I leave behind my axes, I know that before we even get past the mountains, I'll have had cause to regret it. But if I take the axes and leave the war hammer, then I know that I'll end up regretting it, too."

"We're going to be late, if you don't hurry up," Kili said, enjoying the feeling of being able to tell his older brother off about something, for once "Why don't you sling your axes across your back, along with those swords. And then put the war hammer in your pack, along with, say, some food."

Fili had to admit that this was a sensible way of doing things, and they'd almost gotten out of the door before he stopped.

"But what about my knives?"

Kili was, at this point, getting rather impatient and eager to get started on the journey to the Shire.

"Forget. About. The. Knives."

"That," Fili said, bending down to tuck a few knives into the lacings of his boots "Is impossible. Don't groan and roll your eyes like that - give me a hand with this."