There were a few nights a months when a flutter was felt in the water near the Shire; a deep quivering that sent most of the living things away in fear. It was that pulse that brought one near, one who had spent many years too timid to discover the cause of the disturbance.
She swam through currents she had never traveled before, searching for the change in the water she could feel in her bones. She heard a muffled sound and brought her head out of the water; a loud whoop reached her ears and she shrank back under to hide. She jumped when she heard the boom, feeling the water tremble in the way she had been searching for. She crept forward, her head rising slightly above the surface, hearing laughter that sounded strange coming from above the water.
She gasped when a bright light flashed and another boom sounded, the night illuminated for a moment before dark settled in again. She swam towards the bank, watching for the light. A smile curled on her lips when she saw it again, a lovely blue, though she dove under the water when the lights moved closer to the water; watching beneath the ripples as they flew over.
A few more booms and rounds of cheers and laughter, before she peeked her head over the surface. A few moments longer and she laid her head and chest on a rock as she watched the lights dance in the air. She stared in awe at the different shapes – recognizing one as a dragon – and others she didn't know. She laid for hours staring at the sky waiting for the flashes of light, listening to the cheers and whoops of the strange creatures on land.
She blinked herself awake, the light of the sun blinding her sleepy eyes. She raised herself on her arms, her lower body still swaying in the current of the water, looking about for what had woken her.
"Is everything alright?"
She jerked up at the sound of a voice, seeing a man with hairy feet staring at her from on land.
"Oh my," he stuttered upon looking at the lower part of her body, "is that a tail?"
She followed his eyes to look upon what she recognized as her scaled fin before looking back at him.
"You do not exist," he exclaimed staring at her wide eyed.
She lept into the water when he moved closer, though she had gone too close to the bank to see the lights and all around her was too shallow to swim.
"Wait," the man said as he tiptoed into the water, "I did not mean to frighten you."
She used her hands and arms to crawl forward, seeing that he was moving much faster towards her than she was moving away.
"Ow," he cried when she whipped her tail at him. "I mean no harm, really. Please," he said as she continued to crawl deeper into the water.
She looked back once more and saw him standing where she had hit him, his face crestfallen as he stared at her. She stayed where she was as she looked him over, seeing he did not have anything that would hurt her. She sat up, the water barely reaching her stomach, and continued to watch him.
"It's alright," he said soothingly when she cowered as he stepped closer. He ceased moving, seeing she did not want him near, and instead walked the short way back to the bank. He had turned his back on her and he thought she would surely not be there when he turned back, though his heart swelled when he saw she was still where she had been sitting. He sat by the waterside waiting for her to move, and after what felt like hours she slowly crawled closer. His belly was growling for food when she had come close enough to touch.
"Are you hungry?" he asked and he watched as she contemplated her answer before nodding. "Stay here," he said before going to the trees.
She turned the bright red food he had given her in her hands, what he had told her was an apple. She looked up and watched him bite into his apple before following suit, the taste of it tart on her tongue. Her tail was warming in the sun, having crawled out of the water to sit beside him.
"Do you like it?" he asked and she nodded. "Can you talk?" he asked and after a moment of thinking she nodded again. He waited for her to speak though she only continued to stare at him. "Do you have a name?"
She wondered how to answer him, her language filled with singing and squeaks. So she shook her head. "What is your name?" she asked, surprising him with her voice.
His chest puffed slightly as he smiled. "Bilbo Baggins, at your service."
"Bilbo Baggins," she said slowly, her mouth wrapping around the words that were strange to her. Her voice lilted in a way he heard no other, it was thick and deep and entirely lovely.
"You do not have a name?" he asked again and again she shook her head. He looked around him wonderingly before he turned back to her. "Daisy, do you like that?" he asked after he spotted the flowers.
She thought quickly before wrinkling her nose and shaking her head.
Bilbo looked around again. "Rose?" Again she shook her head. "Lily? Poppy? Petunia? Tulip?" To all of these she shook her head, though she was smiling as she looked at him. Bilbo sighed and thought hard, wondering what to call her. He looked about him, mostly staring at her, thinking of all the names he knew. "Pearl?" he asked and he watched her brows furrow. He smiled when she nodded, giving a small laugh. "Pearl, a lovely name."
She shifted as she sat, feeling much too warm in the sun. But she had never done more than see the creatures on land, though the small man with the hairy feet was something she had never seen.
"What were you doing when I found you?" Bilbo asked.
She thought for a moment, trying to recall the word for what she had been doing. "I was resting."
"What brought you here?"
"The lights," she said happily remember the different colors and shapes. "What were they?"
Bilbo looked away from her as he thought, wondering what she meant. "Oh," he said when he understood, "those were fireworks."
"Fireworks?" she said amazed.
"Are you alright?" he asked upon seeing her face contort in pain a moment later. "Pearl?" He watched wide eyed as her scaled fin changed to the color of flesh, and then stood in shock when it looked as though as it were melting; though he blinked and when he opened his eyes he was staring at a pair of legs.
This is an idea I've had since about the time the Return of the King came out, but I just never did anything with it. So when I saw the Hobbit the idea came back and now I have made this chapter. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, so if you're interested let me know. She won't have any special powers except that she has a fin when she's wet, so she won't really be a mary sue; except that she's very beautiful, and small, and obviously a mermaid. Again, if you would like to read more then please let me know or else I'll just scrap this idea all together. I am also open to any suggestions and criticisms, so long as they are not mean. Thank you for reading.