Author's Note: Hi There.
Thanks for deciding to read this fic, it means alot to me.
A few things before you read on, firstly this fic is AU. Obviously because a) Bilbo is a girl in this. I've also made it that Thorin, Fili and Kili all survived the Battle of the Five Armies, maybe a little worse for wear, but they are alive. I've also changed some of the time frames and altered a few things - Tolkien has probably been rolling his grave as I've been writing this, but he should be used to this by now - about some characters. For example, Bilbo's father is still alive, due to Bilbo being a little younger in this than she/he was in the book and some other details as well, but you'll see all those as you read this fic.
Hope you enjoy and comments are much loved. Thanks.
Disclaimer: I don't own The Hobbit, as much as I wished I did, I sadly don't. This fantastic story belongs to Mister Tolkien and Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and WingNut Films.
Full Summary: Bilbo is thought to have died during the Battle of the Five Armies, but in reality she has returned home to Shire, believing that she is forever banished from her friends sides and that they are far better off believing that she is indeed dead. However, her plans to remain dead to them are complicated by the most precious treasure a certain Dwarf King left her with and by a few friends who simply refuse to believe that she had truly gone from Middle-Earth.
Bilbo believed that her journey was done, she had gone there and had come back, her story was finished, she had no idea that she had just walk headlong into another.
The Most Precious of Treasures
A Welcoming Birth
Bilbo stared in wonder at the small, wiggling bundle in her arms.
"Beautiful," she whispers as she ran her fingers over the soft mop of black curls covering the newborn babes head.
"You are beautiful. You are safe. And you are loved." She whispered to the child as he yawned and struggled to open his eyes.
"He's a healthy lad," a deep voice informed her gently, "considering all things."
"He's perfect." She replied as she kissed the top of the babe's head.
"People will still be able to tell that he is different." The voice reminded her gently.
"I am different; at least I am now, so they should expect nothing less of my son." She replied firmly, giving the owner of the voice a hard look causing him to chuckle.
"Yes, you are," He agreed, "but then, you always were. What shall you call him?"
Bilbo hesitated as she looked back down at her child.
This question had been eating at her for months; from almost the moment she discovered she was carrying him.
"I feel like I have no right." She admitted softly.
"No right? To name your own child? He is your son, Billanna."
"But he's not just mine, is he now?"
"No, he is not. But he's father made his choice and will have to live with it. Just as your son will live with the name that you give him."
"He doesn't even know."
"Do you want him to?"
Once more Bilbo hesitated. She did and… she didn't.
She feared what he would do if he discovered the child but a part of her hoped that he would forgive her and they could then become the family that she never released until now had always she desperately wanted.
She shook her head.
"It's too late now." She sighed, "And I doubt him discovering the babe will change anything between us. He might simply snatch him away and…"
"Billanna." She tries not to cringe as he calls her by her birth name. Only one other in their old company knew it besides from him and it hurt now to hear it spoken from anyone's lips that were not his.
"Bilbo." He says as if he's read her thoughts and maybe he has for who truly knows the true extent of a Wizards power.
"Please don't tell him, Gandalf." The hobbit begged, hugging her newborn child close to her chest.
The old, wise wizard looked down at her from his great height, a height that looks to be even greater than it really is with him being cramped into her hobbit-size bedroom.
"Not my place to tell." Was all he said in reply and Bilbo felt a sense of relief fill her.
She had been worried that Gandalf might go to the King under the Mountain and inform him of her condition. A silly worry really, considering how the wizard was currently feeling towards the Dwarf King, feelings that weren't particularly friendly. And these unfriendly feelings had only grown upon the discovering that she was carrying said Dwarf King's child.
She had feared that Gandalf feelings of unfriendliness towards the Dwarf King would transfer over to her as well upon the discovering of her pregnancy, but thankfully they hadn't.
Yes, he had become even angrier with the Dwarf King for casting her aside but he never directed his anger or annoyance towards her. He had even decided to stay with her, here in the Shire, until her child was born when previously he had meant to only see her home before heading back out into the wildness of the world.
"Thank you." She mumbles before turning her attention back to her son.
"Durin's line is strong." Gandalf comments quietly as he comes to take a better look of the child.
"Do you think he'll look more like a dwarf than a hobbit?" Bilbo asks as she runs a finger over an only slightly pointed ear shell.
"I do not know. A good mixture of both, I should think, going by how he looks now." Gandalf replied.
"I don't really care," she admits, "but I just fear that if he looks more dwarf than hobbit he'll…"
"Be treated differently? My dear hobbit, your lad here would have been treated differently even if you had married that oaf of a Sackville-Baggins, simply because you yourself are a very different and unique hobbit yourself."
"Yes, but if I had married that Sackville-Baggins oaf, this child would have been born a hobbit, instead of…" She looked up at the wizard, hopeless in trying to think of what her child actually was.
"A unique dwarf/hobbit child? Yes, I know, but what I mean to say is, people would still have looked at him strangely even if he was born a healthy hobbit lad for he is the son of a mother who disappeared the day of her wedding to go off on an adventure across half of Middle-Earth."
"Not that anyone cares about that." Bilbo sighed, "They only care about how I came to be with child and tut-ter over the fact that I won't tell anyone who the father is or where he is. I'm sure the Sackville-Baggins have started all kinds of nasty rumours. They're still quite upset with me for being alive and forcing them out the house."
"And for your continual refusal to marry their oaf of a son."
"I couldn't. Not now." She whispered sadly.
"At least your father isn't too disappointed anymore."
"No," she agreed with a smile. "I suppose we should go and introduce this fine young lad to his grandfather shouldn't we?"
"If you are feeling up for it." The wizard replied, helping the hobbit lass out of her bed, catching her gently as she swayed for a moment before she caught her balance and with a smile and cuddling her little lad closer to her chest she marched from her bedroom
Bungo Baggins had taken his daughter's sudden return and obvious pregnancy fairly well for a hobbit suffering with a strong case of mind sickness.
He had welcomed his daughter back with open arms and was quite excited with the prospect of being a Grandfather, even to a child who had no father in sight and was conceived out of wedlock and while its mother was miles and miles away from home on an adventure that she refused to speak much about.
Bungo was wake when Bilbo gently knocked on his bedroom door.
"Is he here than?" the old hobbit asked eagerly, trying to pull himself upright and free of his bed covers.
"Yes Papa. Here he is." Bilbo said with a wide smile as she carefully moved into her father's room. Once she was by his bed, she gently set her child into his grandfather's waiting arms.
"Hmph," her father said after a few moments of giving the newborn child a thorough looking over, "doesn't take much after us now does he?" he ran his fingers over the babes black curls.
"He might with time. He's only just been born, Papa." Bilbo replied with a weak laugh. If her mind-ill papa could see the differences in her child than everyone else in the Shire would.
And not just in the Shire, a voice whispered from the back of her mind, causing her to shudder.
"He's eyes are very blue. Do you think they will remain this way?" Her papa asked as she carefully settled herself down on to the bed beside him.
"I don't know Papa."
"Hmph. He's a handsome lad. Has our nose." Bilbo laughed a true laugh at this, smiling gently as she touched her tiny son's button nose.
Her son wiggled in her father's arms, casting his brilliant blue eyes at her.
Sapphires, she thought dumbly as she stared back at the child, unable to break eye contact with her child.
Sapphire blue, just like… just like his father.
No, she shook her head, not sapphires. His eyes are like the sky or a clear pool of water, not those pretty blue gems. He'll never see a sapphire so I can never compare he's eyes to one. He'll never know, never see… He won't, not ever. He will never…
She fought back tears and instead forced herself to smile at her baby.
"Here you are, back to your mama you go." Her father said as he handed her back her now sleeping child. "You should get some sleep yourself my dear. You should have waited till morning to show me this little fellow, though," he took one of the tiny hands within his own; "I am pleased you showed me him tonight."
Bilbo smiled at her father as she carefully moved to her feet, her body aching noticeably now with the after-pains of childbirth. Sleep certainly did seem like a nice idea.
"Good night Papa. Sleep well."
"Same to you my dearest. Same to you and little Frodo."
"Frodo?" Bilbo question but her father had already dropped off into a sudden sleep.
"Frodo?" She whispered to her son as she gently closed her father's door.
"A fine name," Gandalf said suddenly looming over her and her child. "Your father's suggestion?"
"Yes, yes it was." She nodded before looking back down at her lad.
"Frodo?" She rolled the name over her tongue. It was a fine hobbit name, but… "Is that your name?" The baby squirmed in her arms.
"Is that a yes?" Bilbo asked looking up at Gandalf, hoping he would help her in this matter. She had no idea how Dwarves went about naming their children. It was one of the few topics that wasn't revealed to her fully by one of her dwarf companions. Either because it had never come up or simply because she wasn't privy to the information, she wasn't sure and it wasn't like she could ask any of them now.
Whatever the reason, she wasn't at all sure how to proceed with naming her son, not to mention the sense of guilt she felt twisting in her gut.
"I think so." Gandalf said and Bilbo felt herself relax, despite herself.
"Frodo it is then." She said with a smile.
She had always been fond of the name – she was surprised her father had remembered actually as she had only mention once or twice when she was a much younger and a less world-weary hobbit lass that if she were ever to marry and have children, she would name her first-born son Frodo – and while she was sure a certain Dwarf would have a word or two – more like two dozen – to say about the name, she was content with it. For now at least.
Though a part of her felt as if she was missing something, something important about her child but she can't for the life of her think what it is.
"I will watch him while you sleep." The wizard said and after a moment's hesitation, Bilbo handed her child over to him. She wasn't sure why the wizard wanted to watch but from the look on his face she saw that there was nothing to worry about, he seemed to be only curious.
"Thank you. You'll come and get me if he needs me?"
"Oh, um. Well, good night then" She hesitated a moment longer before taking herself off to her bedroom, pleasantly surprised to find that her bed had be laid with new sheets and that room had been cleansed of the smell of blood and sweat.
She all but fell onto her bed, falling immediately into a deep sleep, her dreams filled with images of her child being born in a very different place, across mountain ranges and vast forest and a lake as large as a small sea, in a room deep within a great, lone mountain. In this place she is still loved by the one she loves most in the world… well, second most in the world now, their son has pushed his way to the forefront of her heart.
She dreams of his proud smile as he holds their child in his arms, showing him off to the rest of their company. He would have loved their child, for all his differences, she was sure of it. They all would have, all of them. But none of them would ever know of him, not now. And he would never know them.
She lets out a little sob in her sleep before tossing to her other side, her dreams melting into sweet nothingness.
In the front room of the hobbit hole, standing in the light of a thin new moon was Gandalf, holding the small babe in his arms, bathed in the light of the moon, a weather-worn finger running over the a strange birth mark on the babe's tiny shoulder.
"So, you have finally returned," the old wizard said softly, "Durin the Deathless. An interesting life you've allowed yourself to be born into."
Author's Note: So that was Chapter One. I hope you enjoyed :)
Thorin and Co. will be appearing in the next two chapters along with lots of exposition for this story, along with flashbacks.
Thanks for reading and reviews are much loved.