The Dwarf had heard of the legendary sneakiness of Hobbits. From Gandalf. Who was a good reader of people. Well, not really. Perhaps. Still Bilbo was a middle-aged bachelor who had just eased past the prime of his life. He wasn't a wild youngling who made lots of noise. But nor could he possibly be as silent as Gandalf claimed.
He grumbled enough (though quietly really) for five. He had bare feet. Nori was certain the slap of flesh against stone floor would alert the dragon long before any other noise. Still, the burglar couldn't possibly be as silent as everyone claimed-
A bowl of hot soup was deposited in his hands, as a cheerful voice said, "Here you go Nori."
He barely managed to stifle a scream as the hobbit seemed to appear out of nowhere, bowl in hand. A muffled yelp did escape his lips however, as the dwarf uselessly gaped up at the hobbit.
He had many, many little tricks scattered around him to alert him to whoever was coming. A pile of leaves dead and crackling, dry sticks that would break under the slightest pressure, burrs that went through the toughest leather shoe to the soft flesh beyond-
Yet this little hobbit had managed to bypass them all to stand in front of him. To give him his soup.
The hobbit frowned at him, surprise lingering in his eyes. "Are you alright?"
"Fine. Just- where did you come from?" At least his back was to the tree he had surrounded.
"Straight from the fire." The hobbit lifted a foot, casually plucking the burr from out of the thick foot hair. The leaves did not so much crunch as rustle like the breeze through the trees as he set his foot back down. "Didn't you see me approaching?"
"My mind was elsewhere." Nori snapped back, taking the bowl from Bilbo. "Without Hobbits sneaking up on me."
"I wasn't sneaking." Bilbo insisted crossly. "I was walking. Loudly for a hobbit."
As if an entire species could possibly be that quiet! Not even the elves were that quiet, even if they were light as a feather and could walk on snow. They made noise, the creak of leather clothing, the swish of fabric through the air… the hobbit had none of these sounds.
Maybe the wizard was right. Not that Nori would ever, possibly admit it.
The large dwarf hefted his battle-axe, breathed in deep, and let it out slowly. Meditatively he breathed, swinging his axe in time of his heart. First he swung up and down, around and block.
Step left, using the axe shaft to balance, feel the grounds strength beneath your feet.
Shift weight, and spin axe up, using your arm as a fulcrum. Spin, one foot on the ground, the other sliding. Never let your feet leave the ground- you cannot change directions in air.
The earth will give you strength when your body has none left.
So breathe in and out like the forges bellows, and remember children, you don't stop.
Twist and pause, listen and search for the next attack.
Always go left. It is your opponents right. Remember- your left arm is used for power, your right arm is used for skill. Use your power to break through skill, bring them down.
Guard your back.
The Hobbit barely managed to duck the axe hurtled at his head, curling up tight as the dwarf was startled out of his training mantra. The dwarf slowly lowered his axe, staring down at the little hobbit, who looked back up with surprised eyes.
"Since when- how did you- HOBBITS!"
The dwarf stormed off thoroughly out of temper as the terrorized Bilbo Baggins scuttled back to the safety of the fire.
3. Fili and Kili
Kili had thought of it, the most wonderful prank he had ever come up with.
Fili had helped him plan it out, the most wonderful prank of all time.
Both of them were waiting for the perfect moment.
For Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit, was an unusual person to them. He had such big feet, ones that could not possibly fit in any regular made boots, but they had seen him walk across sharp, serrated ground that would cut boots to shreds without batting an eye.
There was an entirely different matter that had caught their attention at this point though- mainly foot hair. Dwarves did not have such hair on their feet, but the Hobbit did, and seemed to take very, very good care of it.
Thereby, obviously it would be funny to prank the Hobbit by dying his foot hair an incredibly embarrassing color like elf yellow. Fili was a very nice dwarf yellow, but elf yellow? Eww!
So they were going to dye the Hobbits feet, and see what he would do then. It would be quite interesting at least to see their uncles face as he seemed to of been a little more protective of the Hobbit lately. Oh the woes of saving a future king from death!
Kili privately bet that the Hobbit wished more and more every day that he hadn't saved Uncle at all, judging by the stammering that the Hobbit did. Fili had just shaken his head, and distracted him with the dye formulas. It would need to be able to be washed out if their burglar had to do any sneaking about.
That didn't mean they had to make it easy.
"So, what do you think?" Kili asked cheerfully, dumping the last few herbs into the dye they were concocting. They knew the recipie by heart by now. Thorin's hair never was the same after that one incident…
"What about me?"
The two screamed and clung to each other as Bilbo's voice materialized right at their elbow. The Hobbit, startled, jumped back as well, seeming to appear from out of the leaves he had been sitting in. "What in middle-earth are you two screaming about?"
"N-Nothing! Our Burglar just startled us is all!"
"I startled you! I've been sitting here the entire time! You came over to me."
The two brothers glanced at each other, looked back at Bilbo…
And dyed Dori's hair blond instead. Nori helped.
They soooo didn't want to be killed in the middle of the night by Bilbo.
The wizard leaned on his staff, eyebrows creasing as he stared out across the open land. Bilbo was supposed to be out there, scouting the way where none of the dwarves could, being too noisy for the work.
The wizard chewed on his pipe a little more, and wondered if he should go out there. Afterall, there was this very pesky branch tugging at his robe sleeve, practically begging for attention.
Irritably he shook it off, muttering under his breath about hobbits and the importance's of being on time. There was the murmur of wind behind him. Gandalf at last sighed as he sat down on a squishy log, to wait for Bilbo's return.
He received a sharp elbow in return and a nasty glare. "Gandalf, I've been trying to speak to you for nearly an hours mark! Why haven't you answered me?"
The wizard decided that unless he wanted something nasty in his soup that night he should prove the mighty wizard that he was. By lying through his teeth. "I was caught up in a vision Bilbo. There shall be much to do tonight. And later."
The Hobbit glared at him, easily seeing through the lie. "Certainly you crazy old coot."
"A wizard says precisely what he means to, precisely when he means too. There is nothing crazy about me."
"That's what you insist every day." Bilbo sassed back, patting his round stomach with a slightly sad sigh. "Just before you slather your meat sandwiches with honey and apple juice."
"There is nothing wrong with that." Gandalf defended. "Either way, did you see anything?"
"No, nothing." Bilbo confirmed easily.
"I think we shall go on then."
"And here I thought Thorin was supposed to be leading."
"Bilbo, have you noticed what happens when Thorin leads?" It was a rhetorical question- Thorin leading = bad disasters. Gandalf really, really hoped that on any excursions away he wouldn't have too be gone too long. The dwarves would be absolutely doomed without him… but perhaps with Bilbo…
Well, hopefully all would be well.
But if Bilbo could not even be noticed by a wizard, then whose to say he would be noticed by a king?
The Hobbit was missing.
Thorin counted the footslaps behind him, the tune of each stride filling his ears. Bombur was dark and heavy, more of a shuffle. Bifur is light, with the slightest sharp edge to it. Bofur is snaking around his two relatives. Oin shuffles, old bones making it slightly hard. Gloin is a step behind, hand on Oin's elbow to watch his older brother, footsteps assured. Dori is the rocks tumbling, each footfall heavy and filled with power. Nori is so light as to barely be heard, sneaky soft. Ori is a twitter patter of a scribe used to dashing down hallways to deliver scrolls. Balin moves with assurance, each footfall steady and determined. Dwalin is fighters grace, light and ready to move. Fili and Kili interweave around each other, footsteps almost synched but never quite.
There are no hobbit footsteps among them, so Thorin swerves, and cuts sideways, hoping to hear the footsteps of a hobbit catching up to them.
The company whirls around him, fighting off goblins as they move, though he could hear the surprise in Dwalin's footsteps. Why this way?
He is searching for something important the straight path snaps back, and Dwalin obediently falls in line.
Thorin heard the Goblin approach him, was turning to deal with it-
Silence took care of it.
Thorin hears no footsteps that state the Hobbit has arrived, but he does hear the quiet little gasp, and see the glow of a elves' blade as it stabs a goblin through. The Hobbit, apparently always only a few steps behind him looks at him with slightly wide, slightly panicked eyes.
The hobbit had been behind him all along.
Thorin breathed a sigh of relief as he finally led his men out of the dangerous situation.
+1. And the time Bilbo couldn't stop all the attention
We're so sorry for your loss.
Please don't leave!
Are you returning back to the Shire? It's so boring! Stay in Erebor!
Mad Mr. Baggins.
He was the reason why the dwarves were betrayed!
We of the elves are quite interested in your mind-
Mama, is he mourning? What happened during his adventure?
Fool of a Took went off on an adventure.
He's got money. Maybe we should go to see if we can get some ourselves.
Would you not like to return to Erebor?
Bilbo closed the door.
Twenty five letters.
Three hundred odd looks.
Thirteen attempted thefts by the Sackville-Baggins.
Could a Hobbit not mourn in peace?
Tears, hot and thick poured down the Hobbits face as he leaned against the round door to Bag-End. The door was politely knocked on, and Bilbo Baggins ignored the world attempting to interrupt once again to mourn.