Here we are, chapter seven! I'm glad folks are enjoying it! I'm writing the ninth chapter now, and I'm in the mode to start wrapping this thing up. I'm now bringing in the Gamgees, which have been fun to write so far.

Thanks for reading!

Chapter 7

white carnation

Clover was back to herself by the end of the week, working her shift at the pub. Bofur stayed with her until she insisted he return to his own place to catch up on sleep. And he did, much to her relief. She needed to be by herself for a few days to think some things over.

The revelation of Bofur's life in the Blue Mountains was the biggest thing on her mind, really. He had been married, even had a child, both whom he lost to illness. That explained why he was so determined to see her get well. He didn't want to lose her in the same fashion, not when he was finding happiness once again.

Sighing, the hobbit wiped down some of the tables as customers left. Did he really want to marry her, and spend the rest of his life with her, or was he so lonely he just jumped at the first non-human he saw?

'No, no, don't think that way!' She scolded herself, shaking her head. 'Maybe he is a fool, but he has been ever so kind to you in the last few weeks, so don't send him down the river yet!'

That much is true. He had stayed by her side while she had that silly cold, only leaving to work her shifts in the pub! When he wasn't working, he was with her, playing a tune for her, or talking. Sometimes she caught him whittling something when she woke up, but he would hastily put it away so she could not see it.

Sighing, Clover wished the day would be over. She felt exhausted and just wanted to lay down in her bed. In a week, she would leave for the Shire to see her nephew for his birthday. Realization hit her, however. She hadn't told Bofur yet. Clover wondered if he would come with her or stay in

Bofur awoke to something hitting his window. Yawning, he got out of his bed, wondering if some children were up to no good or if there were birds outside trying to get in. Either way, he was confused and still sleepy. He pulled open his curtains, looked out the window, and smiled sleepily. Clover was standing below the window, one hand clutching a bouquet of flowers, while the other tossed a stone up and down in the air. She was grinning.

He unlatched the window and opened it gently, grinning down at her. "Oy, you just got over being ill, my dear!" He called down to her. "You should be inside, all bundled up and warm! Not out in these cold streets!"

"Aye, but I needed to come see you!" She replied, grinning. "I need to talk to you about something!"

Bofur nodded and pulled away from his window. He closed the window, slipped his boots on, then grabbed his coat before heading down the steps to her. He hurried outside to her, smiling.

"Silly lass!" He said as he threw his coat over her. "It is still cold out! What brings you here anyways? Often times it's me waking you up!"

She laughed softly and pulled his coat tighter around before handing him the bouquet. "These are you for, dear Bofur, in thanks for taking care of me while I was taken ill." She said with a smile. "While I have enjoyed the flowers you have been bringing me, I thought perhaps I should return the favor!"

Bofur took the flowers and smiled. The bouquet held sweetpeas, a few dark pink roses, as well as some forget-me-nots. "Why, lass, these are lovely! Thank you." He said, giving her a kiss on the forehead; Clover could not help but blush. "But now, let's get you inside and out of this morning cold! I can't let you get sick again, can I?"

He ushered her into the deserted dining area of the inn, where there was a fire already going. He seated her near the fire before disappearing to the kitchen, only to return empty handed.

"The cook is already awake and getting some breakfast made!" He told her as he took a seat. "Now, what is it you needed to talk to me about?"

"Oh! Well, my nephew's birthday is approaching." Clover said, keeping his coat tightly around her as she warmed up. "And I will be traveling to the Shire for it. Would... you like to join me?"

Bofur's eyes lit up. "To the Shire?" He asked. She nodded, biting down on her lip, now looking unsure. "Of course, I'd love too, if that is truly what you wish!"

"It really is, dear Bofur!" She replied, clapping her hands together, a smile back on her face. She was pleased that he wanted to go with her, and hoped her brother would approve of him.

Little Samewise Gamgee huffed softly as his little trowel dug into the dirt. He had his own spot of dirt in his father's garden, and he was determined to make it the best looking plot. His father had given Samwise some seeds to plant: carrots, poppies, pumpkins. And his father had been teaching him how to garden since Samwise could remember, therefore, he was certain he would have the best garden in all of Hobbiton!

He sang to himself as he worked on the dirt, loosening it up before he dared to plant the seeds. The song was just something he was making up as he went along, really.

"Plant the seeds, away we go! Plant the seeds, wonder what will grow!" He sang as he grabbed the watering can, pouring a liberal amount of water on his newly planted garden.

"Be careful with the water, lad! Don't overdo it!" Hamfast called to him. Samwise nodded and set the watering can down before crouching down in front of his garden, staring at the wet ground. "Now what are you up too?"

"Watchin' the plants grow!" Samwise replied, staring intently at the ground. Hamfast chuckled and shook his head.

"Why not come over here and give me a hand then?" Hamfast suggested. "The seeds are shy and won't do anything with you watchin' them!"

Samwise was beside his father in an instant, clutching his trowel as he awaited orders. Hamfast pointed out the areas that still needed seeds before handing them to his son. Samwise went right to work, carefully putting the seeds into the dirt, all while singing that song of his.

The two were busy at work, not paying any mind to passerbys. It was a nice day for gardening, with the sun high and bright with a slight breeze blowing through. With the start of spring, the rain would be less and their gardens would start to thrive. Hamfast was always determined to have the best garden in Hobbiton, but more often than not he was just pleased that his garden grew.

"Well, look at that fine garden!" A voice called out. "That couldn't be old Gamgee's garden, could it?"