Disclaimer: I don't own anything - Tolkien gets all the credit.
A/N: I had this idea the other day and couldn't get it out of my head. Hopefully you'll all enjoy it! Please review to let me know your thoughts! :)
Posey was a simple hobbit. She'd never considered life to get any more complicated than trying to convince her dearest brother to get out of the house more – She was going to find him a wife if it was the last thing she did! Her day had started much the same as any other, with a quick trip to the market to sell Bilbo's prizewinning tomatoes (they brought in more than enough extra coin to make up for all of the pipeweed that Bilbo went through!), a stop at Millie's shop for some extra fabric for the new dress Posey was making for the party in Tuckborough next Saturday, and a quick walk about the garden to check on the flowers.
Presently, Posey was kneeling amongst the rose bushes at the front of the garden, just beside the gate that led up to her family home, Bag End. Bilbo, her brother, sat on their garden bench relaxing with his pipe. He'd offered to help her with the flowers, but Bilbo's talent had always been with vegetables – he tended to drown her roses and prune the life out of her petunias. They sat in comfortable silence, like always, going about their business in the pleasant heat of the late-summer day.
The loud crunching coming up the lane gave away their unexpected visitor. Posey knew from the start that no hobbit would ever make such a racket, so it was of no surprise to see one the 'big folk' nearing their gate. The old man had a long and rather unkempt beard, a tall and also unkempt pointy hat, and wore old (and unkempt) grey robes that skirted the ground. Presently, he leaned on a gnarled wooden staff. The old man said nothing, watching with what Posey would call amusement as both she and her brother got more and more uncomfortable in his silence. Glancing to her brother, Posey motioned for him to greet the man, for she certainly didn't know what to say!
"Good morning." Bilbo finally said awkwardly. Bilbo looked back and forth between the old man and Posey, clearly uncertain on what he could possibly say next – luckily, the old man saved him with his own retort – "What do you mean? Do you mean to wish me a good morning, or that it is a good morning whether I want it to be or not? Or perhaps you mean to tell me that you feel good on this particular morning? Or are you simply stating that this is a morning to feel good on?"
Posey laughed at that and the look on Bilbo's face following the old man's words. "He likely means all of them at once, good sir!" Posey stood while removing her gardening gloves, brushed her skirts off and extended her hand to him, "Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir. I'm Posey Baggins. This awkward fellow is my dear brother, Bilbo Baggins."
"Now, now, Posey, let's give the man some room," Bilbo said quickly, standing to snatch Posey's hand away before the old man took it. Posey thought this rather rude and was about to say something when Bilbo interrupted her, "Can we help you with something?"
"That remains to be seen." The man's graveled voice was low and Posey wasn't sure what to think about it. "I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure." So much for a normal day! Bilbo's jaw went slack and it appeared that he was doing a fine impression of a fish. Posey sputtered quietly, a response not forthcoming in her confusion.
Bilbo regained himself shortly, "An adventure? No, I don't suppose anyone west of Bree would have any interest in adventures." Silently, Posey agreed. "Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things."
"Make you late for dinner, they will!" Posey added, though her eyes belied a slight interest in what exactly this adventure might be about. She'd always loved to read books about heroes and heroines fighting their way across the countryside. The old man saw this, she could tell, as he winked at her while her brother wasn't looking. Bilbo had moved away to the mailbox and pretended to sort through the letters while humming loudly to himself.
"Well, good morning! Come, Posey, it's time for afternoon tea!" Yanking his sister along, Bilbo marched quickly up the steps to their home.
"To think I'd live to see the day when I'd be 'good morning'd' by the children of Belladonna Took! As if I were selling buttons at the door!" Posey gasped and turned around quickly – who was this man? Surely no one of their acquaintance? "I beg your pardon?"
"You've changed – especially you, Bilbo Baggins – and not entirely for the better!" Posey and Bilbo looked to each other, then back at the old man. "I'm sorry sir," Posey replied quietly, "Do we know you?"
"You know my name, dear Posey, but not that I belong to it! My name is Gandalf, and Gandalf means, me!"
Several hours later, Posey stood in the kitchen, getting plates together for dinner. She still wasn't sure what to think of the strange encounter with Gandalf, the wandering wizard. His parting words had been slightly disturbing to her, and she'd voiced that to her brother after the strange old man had wandered off. "What, exactly, did he mean by saying that it'd be 'good' for us? Surely he doesn't think that either of us would be well suited for any sort of adventure?"
"That, dear sister, I couldn't say. Though it strikes me as extremely odd that he would even think to include a gentle hobbit such as yourself in any talk of adventures. I'm at least able to defend myself against such talk. Your sensibilities are entirely too innocent." He'd nodded at her firmly and walked into the library to read after that, thus ending the conversation.
Wiping a stray blonde hair out of her face, Posey brought the plates and silverware into the dining room. Fresh fish, steamed vegetables, and potatoes. Perhaps even a biscuit or two. This meal was sure to calm her rattled nerves – after Bilbo went off to bed Posey had every intention of having a large mug of ale as well, though she didn't want her brother to know about that. He was of the opinion that ladies should only have wine on special occasions, and ale never – Well, bother that!
Placing the vegetables and potatoes before them, Posey waited for Bilbo to plate the fish. He was rather quiet all afternoon and Posey didn't think she'd get much conversation out of her brother until after the meal was in his belly. While placing her napkin on her lap, Posey heard the doorbell ring. Bilbo, who had been in the middle of salting his fish, glanced toward the doorway in trepidation. "Who would be calling at this hour?"
"Don't worry, brother, I'll get it." Posey stood and walked quickly to the door - Perhaps their neighbor, little Brianne Proudfoot, needed help with her boys again. She'd had twins a fortnight ago and the children were quite the handful. As she opened the door, Posey's smile froze on her face upon seeing the mighty figure waiting on the front step.
He was taller than any hobbit she'd ever seen and his shoulders were so broad she was sure that he wouldn't fit through the door. He wore a thick traveling cloak and Posey could see fur and leather peeking out from underneath it. There was no hair on the top of his head, but Posey was sure she could see tattoos – Tattoos?! – in place of the hair that must have been there once. His beard – Beard?! – was thick, growing almost as long as the hair that grew on the sides and back of his head. Posey was sure she'd gasped upon seeing him, but as a gentle hobbit, she smiled as she recovered from the shock of seeing him there.
"Dwalin," His voice made Posey shiver – surely no one she'd ever met had such a voice? – "At your service." He was bowing now, and even leaning over such as he was, he was still taller than her. Posey realized then that she was wearing the same dirty dress she'd been gardening in, covered now by the dirty, grease covered apron that she'd cooked in. She must look a fright!
"Forgive me, sir!" she squeaked, quickly pulling at the ties of her apron and yanking it off. She folded it messily and threw it to the side behind the door where the stranger – Dwalin – could no longer see it. She dropped into a quick curtsey, "Posey Baggins, at your service."
He looked her up and down then… Surely that wasn't proper, was it? His gaze lingered on her hair, her waist – definitely not proper! – and her lower legs and feet. This man was certainly not a hobbit. His mouth, which Posey observed as having a fine set of lips, quirked into a smirk. She was sure that she was blushing now. Confound it all!
"Who's at the door, Posey?" Bilbo walked up beside her and Posey saw their guest's smirk turn into a sneer.
"This is Dwalin." Unsure of what else to do, Posey smiled at Dwalin again, hoping that her blush wasn't as noticeable as she was sure it was. She could see her brother tying belt of his robe together as he greeted Dwalin with a nod. The large dwarf – for surely this man had to be a dwarf – marched right into their home, pulling off his cloak to expose two large – very large – axes strapped to his back.
"Which way, lassie?" Following their guest with apprehension, Posey shook her head, not certain what it was that he was asking, "Supper?" He said in the same gruff manner as before, "He said there'd be food, and plenty of it."
"He said?" Bilbo asked from behind her, "Who said?"
"Does it matter at this point?" Posey asked. Walking up to Dwalin, Posey motioned him toward the dining room, "Do you like fish, Sir Dwalin? We've made potatoes and vegetables as well. And biscuits!" She was rather proud of the little meal she'd made and she supposed Dwalin could tell because the smirk had returned to his face. She noticed a rather impressive scar running along the side of his head then, reaching from the corner of his right eye and extending up his forehead.
His steps sounded loudly on the wooden floor as he entered the dining room and sat at Bilbo's seat. He ate quickly, not bothering to ask if the meal was intended for him or not. The entire time he messily shoved the food into his face, he watched Posey as she sat across from him. She ate her meal slowly, glancing from the dwarf to her brother and back again.
"Very good, this." Dwalin said after finishing Bilbo's dinner, "Anymore?" Posey quickly jumped to her feet and brought over the plate of biscuits she'd made earlier. She threw one over to Bilbo to make sure that he at least got something to eat.
This seemed to wake Bilbo out of his shock – He stood from the seat he'd taken in the corner of the dining room and walked over to the table, "Um, you see, we weren't expecting any company." The dwarf didn't respond or acknowledge him – his eyes were still locked on Posey, whose blush continued to deepen by the minute.
The doorbell rang again. Both hobbits turned toward the hall, while Dwalin looked to Bilbo for the first time – "That'll be the door."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter!