Home Is Where The Heart Is

Prologue

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Two years had passed since his return to the shire from Erebor. Bilbo Baggins was rummaging about his house; the hobbit hole that was Bag End. He was searching for the map that Thorin had given to him as a reminder of the friendship that had formed between them on the journey.

"Oh, confound it all!" He shouted. "Things are just not what they used to be here. I just can't find anything anymore!"

He stood there moving his hands up and down at his sides. He looked around his house and was reminded of when thirteen dwarves and a wizard had somehow managed to fit themselves all into his kitchen, and that was when everything had changed for him. He smiled at the thought, though admittedly at the time it was rather quite 'in the way of things.'

Bilbo pulled himself back to reality, reminding himself that he had a map that needed finding. He started pacing about his house once more, until at last he found it hidden behind the clock on the mantelpiece.

"At last." He sighed. "Now I can finish working on a map of my own." Bilbo then proceeded to his study. You see, ever since his adventure he had been restless sitting in his house doing nothing for days on end. He had a particular liking for maps, and it was a few evenings ago during supper that the idea the create a map of his own occurred to him. He wanted to relive the adventure again, yet could not since his young nephew's parents had died and Frodo had come to live with him. So, he eventually came to the decision to make a map of his journey and relive each and every moment.

It was very late when Bilbo finally put down his work and glanced at the clock. "Blimey, look at the time!" He cried as he jumped up in a rush to clean up his study. "Dear me, it's almost midnight." He said, checking the clock once more. "I simply have not had the time to check on dear Frodo, but that's alright, I must simply check on him before I myself go to bed."

Bilbo stopped then, for he realized that he had been talking to himself, as he had done so many times after his return. It was not some sort of illness. No, it was just that he had grown far to accustomed to the company of others that it became strange not to talk. He shook his head. 'Don't dwell on it.' He thought. 'Thinking about the past will simply do you no good.' He said nothing else after that, but continued to clear his desk.

By the time he was done the clock had already reached half past twelve. He placed the final items in their place and went to check on his nephew. When he came to his nephew's room he was surprised to see that he was still awake.

"My dear boy, why on this good earth are you not asleep yet?" Bilbo asked as he came to sit on the edge of Frodo's bed. "Is there anything that I can do to help?"

"I'm sorry uncle Bilbo. I'm trying to sleep, I really am!" That last part he added because of the look of doubt that was on his uncle's face. "Honest, I am."

Bilbo sighed. "Was it the dreams again?" he asked, for since the young hobbit had watched his parents drown, nightmares had plagued his sleep.
"No… It was different this time. Not nightmares. Least, not about that. No, this one was very different. I was with you on one of your adventures, and we were going along quite nicely at first, but then we were attacked by wolfs, orcs, spiders and trolls all at once! It was terrifying. Yet for some reason it was hard to wake up from it, so I've been awake since then thinking about it…"

"And? What have you thought about?"

"Well, I was thinking about how wonderful it must be to go on an adventure, and although there are some scary moments there must also have been some good ones, otherwise you wouldn't miss it so much." Frodo explained.

"What do you mean? What makes you say that?" asked Bilbo. "I thought that I had managed to seem quite normal enough in that aspect."

"Well, I wouldn't have been able to tell had you not made it so obvious! Uncle, do you think that you could take me on an adventure one day? I would love to go to Erebor to see the dwarves and the king under the mountain. I want to meet the people who made you learn to leave home, something that you never would have even considered before!"

Bilbo was left speechless. Never had he expected his nephew to see right through him. It was true, he missed Thorin and the others with all his being, as small as it was, and he wanted to go back to Erebor and see Thorin again, more than anything. He wanted Frodo to experience what the world was like outside of the Shire, not to mention the fact that there was something that he had yet to tell Thorin that he had meant to long ago, though he was never given the chance.

"I'll think about it, okay? I'm not sure that Thorin even remembers me, for he is a king and has far more important things to worry about. Get some sleep for now and we can talk about it more in the morning, over breakfast." Frodo smiled and nodded his head in agreement.

"Good night, uncle!" he said. He turned over on his side and promptly fell asleep. Bilbo let out a sigh, kissed his nephew on the forehead and went to his own room.

When at last he was in bed he let out a great yawn. He was thinking about sleep and that he really ought to go to bed, but he couldn't stop thinking about what his nephew had said about going to Erebor, and how much he wanted to go. Bilbo found himself thinking that maybe it was not going to be such a great idea in the long run, for he still had his house and could not afford the risk of having the Sackville-Bagginses getting their dirty paws on it, and it was a dangerous road to take.

Before long he found himself asleep. He was dreaming about the day that the dwarves had first arrived. The day that everything had changed for him. In came Balin and Dwalin, then came Fili and Kili and everyone else. Thorin was missing. Bilbo waited in his dream a while, until at last came the expected knock. Bilbo's dream self-went and opened the door. But even though the door was opened Bilbo could still hear the sound of someone knocking on his door. He woke up with a start, and found out that the knocking had not in fact been coming from his dream, but from his house. With a jolt he realized where the noise was coming from.

Somebody was really knocking at his door.

Thanks for reading! As you may have noticed my story is a little better than it was, thanks to HawkPerrigrin for betaing my story