Fandom: The Hobbit
Warnings: Major Character Death Mentioned, Canon Typical Violence
Other stories in this series:
#1: The Magic of Hobbits
#3: Fire Cleansed
Thrimidge 5, 2944 TA
“Bilbo! The rosemary is shaking!” Tauriel called from where she was picking tomatoes in the garden.
“What?” Bilbo called as he took a batch of scones he had made for tea out of the oven.
“The rosemary bushes in your special garden are shaking!” Tauriel shouted.
“Oh, fuck me,” Bilbo yelped, dropping the scones on the table before whipping his apron off. The trip out of Bag End and into his nursery garden was a blur and he hopped over the fence with ease before falling to his knees between the cradles of his children. “Thank you for telling me, Tauriel!”
“You’re welcome,” his housemate said with a laugh. “I’ll just take the tomatoes in and save the scones, shall I?”
“The scones are on the table, but the tea will need to be pulled so it doesn’t over steep. I made a big pot,” Bilbo admitted. He placed his hands beside each mound and let his own magic spread out. “They’ve some hours still.”
“You’re going to sit there the entire time, aren’t you?” Tauriel observed as she walked past. “I’ll make sure Tauli doesn’t try to help.”
“Thank you, m’dear,” Bilbo said, grateful for the consideration. Kili’s daughter was just like him. Hyper and constantly in motion, the little girl had learned to walk not long after the spring solstice and hadn’t stopped running since. Neither had they.
It took hours for his children to make their way to the surface. The first to surface was the child he had named Thráin. “Hello, Thráin,” Bilbo cooed as he held his hands out to his son.
“Da!” the babe chirped as he struggled to stand up. Huffing in frustration, his son pulled himself out of his cradle and Bilbo wriggled his fingers to keep him motivated. When his son managed to get his feet under him, he grunted in satisfaction and Bilbo smiled as tears slipped from his eyes. There was no denying who was the babe’s other father.
“Come on, sweetness,” Bilbo encouraged. He was so close to being able to hold one of his sons in his arms. When Thráin managed one shaky step, that was enough for him to have observed tradition and he carefully pulled the baby towards him. “Let’s get you a bit cleaner, shall we?” Bilbo offered with a watery smile. He started brushing the loose soil off Thráin’s shoulder and paused as he came across a mark. “Oh, bugger me. Tauriel!”
“No need to shout, I’m here,” Tauriel reminded him from outside the Garden fence.
“Right, you are,” Bilbo agreed as he traced the birthmark on his son’s shoulder. “We have an issue.”
“Is there a problem with the baby? Is he ill?” Tauriel asked as she tried to peek around him.
“No, he’s fine from what I can see,” Bilbo could at least offer that much reassurance. “But I can’t use the name Thráin. I’m still going to be able to use Florin though.”
“What’s wrong with using ‘Thráin’?”
“Well, for one, this isn’t Thráin,” Bilbo sighed. At Tauriel’s inquisitive sound, he cleared his throat. “This is Durin VII, son of Thorin, son of Thráin.”
“Durin?” Tauriel’s voice rose. “Dís said that Mahal made Durin and he was the father of their line. How can your child be him?”
“Durin was the first of the dwarrow formed by Mahal. Because of that, he’s been allowed to be born a total of six times. Once by Mahal’s hands and then five times into the family he founded. This will be the seventh incarnation of Durin the Deathless,” Bilbo informed her grimly. “We’re going to have to go to Erebor sooner than I intended then.” He started cleaning Durin back up again as he took in the dark hair on his head and the lack of hair on his feet. Sweeping the curls gathered around his son’s ears, he smiled to see the slight points. “Won’t this be interesting?”
Durin leaned forward and rested against Bilbo’s chest. “Da,” he sighed, sounding sleepy.
“Yes, Emerging is tiring, isn’t it?” Bilbo offered. He reached out for the little pile of clothes Tauriel had dropped off while he was waiting and pulled a long shirt out of the pile to maneuver over Durin’s head. “Hold still, inùdoy. You’ll like this.”
From the discontent noises Durin made as Bilbo dressed him, he wasn’t liking the change in his position at all. Bilbo chuckled as he took in the face of his son. The little boy looked so much like Thorin with a scowl on his face as he was moved against his will. “Yes, you are just like your adad, aren’t you?”
“I didn’t know you knew Khuzdul,” Tauriel observed sat back down outside the fence with her daughter in her arms.
“I know all the major languages of Middle Earth, m’dear,” Bilbo reminded her. “Quenya, Sindarin, Westron, and Khuzdul with a smattering of the regional human ones. And the language of my own people. I spoke all of them to the children while they grew. It’s a facet of how we grow our children that they will absorb the languages that are spoken to them while they are being grown.”
“And given your position here in the Shire and their position due to their father, you wanted to make sure that they have every advantage you can give them,” Tauriel finished. “Smart.”
“Thank you,” Bilbo said with a smile. He let his magic spill out and tasted the state of the Garden. “Florin is almost ready to finish his Emergence. Once he’s out, we’ll need to wash them both and get some food into them.”
“I’ll go run them a bath. I started the boiler when the rosemary started shaking,” Tauriel informed him. “And there is a honey and oat porridge staying warm on the stove.”
“They will enjoy that, I think,” Bilbo said with a smile. He patted the ground next to his son’s cradle. “Whenever you are ready, inùdoy.”
The ground still covering his son rose and fell as if the wee child under it was sighing. Bilbo laughed softly in response. It seemed that their children had inherited all both his and Thorin’s dramatics. “Ah, Thorin, how I wish you were here for this.”
Tauriel cleared her throat at that. “Why aren’t his kin here?”
“Dís wrote that there’s a lot going on in Erebor. Some serious shake-ups happening and none of the Company can get away,” Bilbo explained. “She stated that they will try to get out next year in the early spring.”
“Well, we have more time to plan then?” Tauriel offered with a small laugh.
“Ha, we will,” Bilbo agreed. “It’s a good thing Bag End has expanded itself. We’ll need the room if any part of the Company comes with her.” He eyed Florin’s cradle as the ground started to move again. “I think this is it.”
Little fingers poked through the dirt and then a small hand. Bilbo had to bite his lip to keep from reaching out and touching the little digits. Florin was so very close to being Emerged. “Come on now, lad. Almost there.”
The little hand pulled back into the cradle and then his son pushed up until he was standing on sturdy little legs. “Da!”
Bilbo laughed softly as he took in the appearance of his second-born son. “Oh, Thorin.” Dark hair with only the barest hint of a curl, round ears, and ice blue eyes, Florin could have been his husband reborn. When the baby stepped out of his cradle, he wanted to laugh even more. Unlike Thrain, Florin’s feet were like that of his Hobbit father. Each little foot was covered in a fine pelt of curly hair that matched the curls on his head.
Reaching out, he gathered Florin to him and pressed a kiss to his hair. “It’s so lovely to see you both out here.”
Thrimidge 6, 2944 TA
It’s with great joy I am able to announce the Emergence of the first two of my children. I was correct and both are boys, and they are a perfect blending of myself and Thorin. Our eldest is much more like Thorin than myself, but he does have my ears. Our current youngest has your round ears, but my feet. It will be interesting to see what else they got from each of us.
I’ll be naming the children, but you’re going to have to come here to get their names. I’m following the naming conventions that I was told, so each of our boys has a name that relates back to their families. It’s going to be interesting to see how they grow up.
I won’t be planting our other two children for at least another year if not two. While I’m letting the ground I Cradled them in lie fallow, I will be adding certain things to it so when I Plant their brothers, the two new ones have all the advantages I can give them. Speaking of that, when you next see Gandalf, please give him some of the marble from Erebor? It was most useful for my two oldest.
Bilbo carefully sanded his letter and smiled as the ink dried without a smudge. Rolling his missive up, he tied a ribbon around the parchment as he walked out to look at Tauriel. “Have you finished your letter?”
“Yes, and I included a new drawing of Tauli. Did you add one of the boys to your letter?” Tauriel asked as she handed over her letter.
“I did,” Bilbo confirmed. “I also didn’t confirm the names I have given the boys.”
“Why?” Tauriel asked, pointing at her letter. “I didn’t mention their names in my letter either, but why are you hiding their names?”
“Because Durin has returned five times before in the line of Durin, always born from a dwarrowdam after he was carved by Mahal,” Bilbo explained. He waved at his form. “I’m not a dwarrowdam. And there’s no way anyone can spin it to say that I am. He has my ears, so it’s not like we can hide his mixed heritage.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Tauriel pressed.
“I have no idea how Dian is going to react to the birth of the boys. Or the fact that Durin has returned as Thorin’s son,” Bilbo said, waving the letters. “Is he going to accept that Thorin had heirs? That Durin wasn’t born of his line? That I’m their other parent? Durin is the king of the Longbeards and he didn’t come from Dian’s loins and I can’t see this going well.”
“So by not mentioning Durin’s name, you aren’t setting the fox among the pigeons,” Tauriel observed. “Or daring them to come out here before you’re ready.”
“Yes,” Bilbo confirmed. “Dain came through for Erebor when we would have died without his small army, but I didn’t stay long enough to get to know him. And Balin didn’t have much to tell me other than Dian was his cousin, was Thorin’s cousin and was the Lord of the Iron Hills.”
“And now he’s holding the throne that by rights should go to Durin,” Tauriel concluded. “This is going to be a mess, Bilbo. And yes, breaking the news to Dís by letter doesn’t seem wise.”
Thrimidge 12, 2944 TA
“So your children have Emerged?” his grandmother asked as she accepted a cup of tea. Lisa Baggins was nothing if not direct when it came to confirming news of the family.
“Yes,” Bilbo confirmed. He could feel the grin break across his face and he didn’t care that it was delusional and sappy. His children were amazing little darlings and he adored them.
“I know you said that you had more to Plant,” Lisa said before she took a sip of her tea. Humming softly, she added a small dollop of cream to it. “This is lovely. At any rate, will you Plant them this year?”
Bilbo shook his head once. “No. The nursery is tired at this time. Growing dwobbits is possible here in the Shire, but it takes a great deal out of the soil since I’m the only one nurturing them. I’ll let the ground rest for a year or two before I Plant again. But between now and then, I’ll be adding things to the soil to get it ready.”
“Smart,” Lisa complimented. “Planting too soon in under-prepared ground could mean that the Cradle fails or the babe Emerges sickly.”
“Yes, I would like to avoid that entirely,” Bilbo agreed. “But I have learned a lesson about growing dwobbits… Much more rock in the soil for the next two. They need the stone, gems, and precious metals. I had to add quite a bit over the last year for my first two.”
“How interesting,” Lisa breathed. “I had no idea that they needed such things.”
“Female dwarrow carry their children in their bodies like humans and elves,” Bilbo explained. “And so, what they are able to provide what I had to add to the cradles. The garden at Bag End is fantastic for hobbits, but…”
“I understand,” Lisa interrupted. “Will you enter the children into the Baggins family tree?”
“They’re already there,” Bilbo assured her. He’d entered them into the book he kept as the head of the family the morning after they had Emerged. “And I’ve sent a raven to Erebor, letting their family there know that they have arrived. I expect we’ll be getting a visit or two within the next year.”
“Good. It’s not done to have a family so separated,” Lisa reminded him.
“I couldn’t stay in Erebor, Grandmother,” Bilbo reminded her with a sigh. “My One, as the dwarrow call it, had just died. If I’d stayed, I would have Faded.”
“And your children would have gone with you,” Lisa murmured. “Oh, Bilbo. I fully understand why you didn’t stay there. Coming home had to have been a relief.”
“Bag End doesn’t have many memories of Thorin,” Bilbo admitted. He treasured the ones he had, but it was still a relief not to have Thorin imprinted all over his smial like his parents had been. “Erebor was full of them. And there was nowhere for me to Plant our children. The Desolation isn’t going to support life without a lot of work.”
Lisa perked up at that. “Could you rehabilitate it?”
“Are you advocating me moving back to Erebor? What would Lobelia say?” Bilbo teased gently. He cocked his head to the side and listened intently. The boys were just murmuring nonsense and they settled back into sleep without issue. Turning his attention back to his grandmother, he thought over her question. “It could be done, but bit would take more than me and a lot of years.”
“Something to think about then,” Lisa said with a smile before taking a sip of her tea.
“What are you getting at, Grandmother?” Bilbo asked, suspicious.
“Talk to the Thain. It’s been more than a year since you talked to your grandfather,” Lisa directed.
“We exchange letters on a monthly basis,” Bilbo protested. As the Baggins, he needed to stay up to date on what was happening in the Shire, but it hadn’t been easy for him to leave Bag End. Letters were the best he had been able to do. And his grandfather had gone along with his wish. “What do you know that I don’t?”
“How many people do we have in our Family, Bilbo?” Lisa asked.
Going along with the change in subject, Bilbo concentrated on the family magic that tied every single Baggins together and started counting. It took time, but when he turned his attention back to his grandmother, he had the answer. “There are one thousand, three hundred and twenty-two in the Baggins family and all its branches. Why?”
“We’re one of the smaller families in the Shire, Bilbo,” Lisa reminded him. “There are others who are several times our numbers. Your mother’s family for one. But we’re not adding any more acreage to the Shire. What does that mean to you?”
“We’re running out of room,” Bilbo realized. “Shite.”
Lisa nodded once. “Quite. The number of children Emerging each year is putting a strain on our resources. Farmer Maggot talked to me the year you were gone about putting some of the more marginal lands on the edges of his farm under cultivation. We put in several test plots to see what if anything could be grown.”
“I’m guessing that it wasn’t much of anything?” Bilbo asked. There weren’t all that many crops that would grow on the ground in question and Maggot hadn’t talked to him about the experiments.
“No, it wasn’t. but that’s where we are. The other Farmers are facing the same conditions,” Lisa admitted.
“Grandfather put you up to this, didn’t he?” Bilbo asked with a smile before he held a hand up. Tilting his head again, he nodded once. “The twins are awake. Stay here.”
“I will,” Lisa assured before she took another sip of her tea.
Bilbo opened the door into the nursery and smiled as he took in his two boys standing in their cots. “Hello, mizimiths. Do you want to meet your great-grandmother?”
The laugh that broke out as Durin stomped his feet and called for him was full of joy and Bilbo relaxed as his boys giggled with him. They weren’t terribly verbal, unlike a hobbit child, but they were making noises that sounded close to Khuzdul and Westron, with a few dashes of Hobbitish. It was a cheerful mishmash of almost words that he couldn’t help but respond to.
Picking up his children, he quietly talked to them as he carried them into the sitting room to meet Lisa. “And here she is, inùdôy.”
“They’re beautiful,” Lisa cooed as both boys turned to look at her. “And I take it the black hair comes from their other father?”
“Yes,” Bilbo confirmed. “And the rounded ears that Florin has. Durin doesn’t have a hobbit’s feet, but he has my ears, yet Florin has my feet. Both boys eat like I do though.”
“Truly a melding of you and your dwarrow,” Lisa said as she set her teacup down. “May I hold them? Are they tied to the Family?”
“You can and yes, they are fully nestled into the family,” Bilbo said. He settled both boys in Lisa’s lap and smiled as they looked up at her in confusion. “This is your great-grandmother boys.”
Bilbo sat back into his chair as his boys were loved on by his grandmother.
Forelithe 15, 2944 TA
The children look beautiful. I noticed you haven’t shared their names, but I don’t push. I figure it’s a cultural thing and I look forward to learning their names when I meet them. I wish we had been able to make it out to their Emergence, but the situation I talked about the last time I wrote hasn’t completely settled down. We’re getting there, but there is far too much uncertainty for me to leave.
The Company has been shadowing me everywhere I go. Dwalin has been completely unsubtle about the whole thing and has assigned me guards. And Nori has some of his people spying on me where ever I go. If I didn’t know they were a bunch of overprotective ninnies, I would get upset, but I know they can’t help it.
Dain has spent the last few months being bitchy about the changes that have been happening. I can’t say as I blame him, but he can take his problem up with the responsible party. I don’t think he’s going to get far, but he can try.
Since you and Tauriel both wrote me, hand the letter to her and she can read the rest. Tauriel…
Forelithe 18, 2944 TA
“Durin, come back here!” Bilbo called as he stood in the doorway to the washroom. Florin giggled from his place in the bathtub and patted the water. “Tauriel? Could you please catch my little runaway?”
“Sure, Bilbo!” Tauriel called from further into the smial.
Bilbo turned back to the bath and sighed softly as he watched Florin enjoy the water. “Why do I think that your brother is going to be all the worst parts of your father and me?”
“Because you are a very smart male and neither of your children is particularly subtle,” Tauriel reminded him as she walked into the room with Durin tucked under one arm. “I believe this is yours?”
“Thank you,” Bilbo told her gratefully. He plucked Durin out of her hands and smiled as his son giggled. “You lad, are such a spot of mischief.”
“Da! I run!” Durin crowed as he grinned.
“So you did, inùdoy,” Bilbo agreed as he lowered his son into the water. “Let’s get you all clean now, okay?”
Durin giggled and babbled at Florin as Bilbo scrubbed them both clean of the day’s dirt. Neither boy was the least bit shy at finding dirt and bringing it home. Thankfully they stayed within the bounds of Bag End, but there was enough room to play. The twins had progressed in their language skills and were moving between each without pause.
Due to that, Tauriel and Tauli had become multi-lingual in self-defense. Bilbo offered up prayers to Mahal and Yavanna on a daily basis in thanks for Thorin and the language lessons he had given him. “Oh, Thorin, how you would have loved this.”
Afterlithe 20, 2944
Bilbo walked down the lane to the market and let the basket in his hand swing with his stride. The children were running ahead of him and he tilted his head to hear them better. All three children were shrieking with joy as they ran. “Stay within sight, children! If you get too far ahead, I won’t be buying any candy!”
“That’s cruel,” Tauriel said with a laugh. She had a small deer hanging from a stick balanced on her shoulder. “What do you think Daisy will do with this?”
“She tends to roast deer whole when she gets them,” Bilbo reminded her. He peered up at the deer and considered the amount of meat that was on the carcass. “But that one’s a bit on the small side, so maybe she’ll joint it and make roasts and the like.”
“If it wasn’t so warm, I’d be interested in roasting some meat at Bag End,” Tauriel admitted. “I have no idea how Daisy does it.”
“Practice?” Bilbo guessed. “If it’s roast you are interested in, I think I can pick some up from Daisy. And maybe the fixings for a salad? Beer for us of course.”
“Trying to get the boys to like green foods?” Tauriel teased gently.
“Honestly, all three of the little terrors need to eat more vegetables,” Bilbo huffed. He looked around and didn’t see their small people. “Children!”
The giggles that floated back to them on the breeze were not reassuring.
Wedmath 5, 2944
“Son of a bitch!” Bilbo cursed as he lost control of the plate he was washing and it slammed back into the wash water. Thankfully nothing broke, but his whole front was soaked with soapy water. “Damn it.”
Thankfully there was no laughter to be heard through the rest of the smial. Tauriel had taken the boys and Tauri for a walk around Hobbiton, trying to work off some of the excess energy the kids had been displaying. Bilbo had taken advantage of the silence to get some chores done. The fireplace and oven had been swept out and he’d brought in enough wood to keep the fires going for the next several days.
“Damn it, Gandalf!” Bilbo called as he quickly dried his hands. “Hold on!”
Flipping the kitchen towel over his shoulder, he headed for the front door and pressed his magic against Bag End. In response, the smial opened the round door just as Gandalf was about to tap the wood again. “Finally.”
“Really, Gandalf? There are three small children living under this roof. Bellowing at me to get my attention is just rude,” Bilbo sniped. He reached up and took the Maia’s staff with a grunt. “Has this thing gotten heavier?”
“It only feels that way at the end of the day,” Gandalf explained with a laugh as he headed for the kitchen after hanging his cloak on a hook. “Are the children here?”
“No,” Bilbo admitted with a grunt. He placed the staff against the wall by Gandalf cloak. “Tauriel is taking them for a walk through Hobbiton so they don’t stay up half the night.”
The laughter that Gandalf let out was unburdened by anything dark and Bilbo smiled at the other being’s joy. “Your children are little scamps I take it?”
“Oh, my word, yes,” Bilbo agreed. He poured water into the kettle to start warming it for tea. “And so is Tauli, Kili’s daughter. She’s at about the same developmental stage as my boys and they are a whole pile of mischief on a daily basis. Our best chance of keeping things calm is to exhaust the little menaces every day. So that’s what Tauriel is doing. The children get to run all over town while she’s getting the day’s groceries.”
“It sounds exhausting,” Gandalf observed. He wandered over to the cabinet where Bilbo stored his teas and pot. “Shall I pick the tea?”
“Please,” Bilbo called as he headed for the pantry. He had some scones and a lovely soft cheese that would taste good with tea, and Gandalf had actually eaten some of it the last time he’d swung by Bag End. “Where have you been?”
“Rohan,” Gandalf grunted. “I am very tired of mare butter tea.”
Bilbo started laughing and nodded. “I won’t serve you any.”
“Good,” Gandalf said, voice peevish.
Halimath 18, 2944
My family drives me so crazy! I swear that Balin and Dwalin are still being the worst sort of mother hens towards me. If I even think about walking anywhere unusual, they start twittering worse than the old biddies in the hen houses. I’m tempted to try to sneak away, but Nori sends one of his people to tattle while he walks right behind me. It’s aggravating!
I know I’ve been vague about what’s been happening here in Erebor, but honestly, I don’t want to say anything in a letter when I can’t control who reads it. I know you get them eventually, but I’m paranoid. I have so very much to tell you, but it’s going to have to wait until Thrimidge. The Company and I plan on heading out to see you and the children.
We will try to make it there by tea. If only so we can take advantage of the invitation you gave these nutters.
Do you think you will be Planting the other two children? Has the ground recovered enough? Should I bring anything? I know you don’t want any gold to be added to the Cradles for your children, but can I bring anything? I mean, I have access to just about everything?
Speaking of, is there anything I can bring for Tauriel? We have a completely shite relationship with Thranduil, so I’m not going to ask that old bastard for anything. However, there are a few elves in Mirkwood that trade with the Dale, and I can get some things she might like. Just let me know if I should add a little something to my packs for her.
Right, now that’s out of the way, let me update you on what the Company has been up to. Balin…
Winterfilth 30, 2944
“We’re going to the harvest festival, right?” Bilbo called.
“Well, we did last year,” Tauriel reminded him. She poked her head out of the pantry. “Do you think I could buy fabric there?”
“I’m reasonably certain that you can and leather,” Bilbo said after several seconds of thought. “I can get some Old Toby too, I think.”
“You and your smoking,” Tauriel sighed. She pushed Florin out of the pantry and towards Bilbo. “You know not to try to eat out of the pantry. Go talk to your Ada for a snack.”
“Yes, Auntie,” Florin agreed with a sweet smile in her direction. He trotted over to Bilbo and pulled on his waistcoat. “Da, snack!”
Bilbo eyed Tauriel and made a face at her for that. “Go find your brother and cousin and we’ll get you some fruit and scones.”
“Good!” Florin agreed with a giggle. He pulled hard on Bilbo’s waistcoat and forced his father to bend over. As soon as Bilbo was within reach, his son wrapped his arms around his neck and held on as he pressed a childish kiss against his cheek. “Thank you, Da.”
“You are so very welcome, inùdoy,” Bilbo breathed. His own hug pulled his son in tight as the love he had for his child surged through him. Clearing his throat, he let his son go and patted him on the back. “If you get them here quickly, I’ll add strawberry jam to your scone.”
“Yeah!” Florin cried and ran to find his brother and cousin.
“They will be so hyper after tea,” Tauriel observed.
“And we’re going to be walking the Festival,” Bilbo reminded her. “It might keep us from having to carry the darling little rocks. You can’t say that any of our children are as small and light as a hobbit child. Especially when they get tired.”
Tauriel laughed and shook her head before she handed over a pot of jam. “No, I can’t say that. They do take after their fathers.”
Blotmath 13, 2944
“Tauriel? I’m thinking that I’ll be making sausage, hams, and a bit of bacon this year,” Bilbo called. He had his head in the fireplace, looking up the chimney to check the niche Bungo had built to smoke meat. “I just need to know what type of sausage you want.”
“Smoked and dried sausages are good,” Tauriel observed as she stuck her own head in next to his. “Your hams are always excellent.”
“And bacon?” Bilbo asked. He pulled his head back and looked at his housemate.
“Bacon is always welcome,” Tauriel reminded him. “How can you ask that?”
“Right, how can I ask something like that?” Bilbo asked with a laugh. “Did the kids get settled in with the Gamgee’s?”
“They did and are playing with their children,” Tauriel confirmed. “Did we get a pig delivered?”
“Mm-hmm,” Bilbo hummed as he started pulling out his knives, bowls, and whatnots that were needed when he processed large amounts of meat. Despite his family’s money, he’d always been taught that there were some things that you did yourself. And making food was one of those things. Since he had been a single male living by himself before his adventure, he’d bought most of his food readymade. With Tauriel and the children living with him, making the food themselves had been the best choice.
“This is going to be so messy,” Tauriel observed with a wrinkled nose. “It’s a good thing the end results of this day are delicious.”
“How often did you have bacon before you came here?” Bilbo asked as he tried to wrestle the box of salt out of storage.
“Never,” Tauriel admitted. “We ate meat, but it wasn’t the biggest part of our diet in Mirkwood. Thranduil, for all that he was strict and rigid, did make sure that we all ate and ate well. But our diet mostly consisted of fruits and vegetables.”
Bilbo grunted softly as he dragged the box of salt into the kitchen. “Help me portion this up into bowls?”
“Will do,” Tauriel agreed. She pulled a set of wooden bowels down from the highest cabinet and set them out. “What are we doing first?”
“Hams,” Bilbo informed her. He waved his hand at the cold-pantry door. “Farmer Maggot was kind enough to do the slaughtering and basic butchery, but the rest of the bits are waiting on us to deal with it.”
Tauriel took a deep breath and nodded once. “Okay, before we go any further, we both need to change clothes and bind our hair back. I have too much to let it get chopped off if I move wrong. And yours has been growing quickly as well.”
“Ugh.” Bilbo grimaced and then nodded. “I’ll braid yours if you do mine?”
“Deal,” Tauriel agreed. “And then we’ll get started on this.”
“I’m going to want a salad after this, I just know it,” Bilbo bitched as he tilted his head back to allow Tauriel to get started braiding his hair.
Foreyule 20, 2944
“Time for bed, children,” Bilbo called. He and Tauriel had several chores to do before the children woke up in the morning and that meant that the little darlings needed to go to sleep. Soon.
“Uncle, no!” Tauri pouted. She was sitting by the fire reading a small book that had been delivered from Elrond. The book was a basic primer in Quenya and Sindarin, done in a way that was entertaining for little minds. Bilbo had seized on the idea and had been busy making up something similar for some of the other languages he spoke. He was going to have to ask Ori to put together a primer for written Khuzdul. While he spoke the language well enough, he couldn’t write it or read it. Westron and Hobbitish though were easy enough for him to do.
If he could get the children to bed, he could put out their gifts and slip the six books he’d written up into the stockings the children had hung by the fire. Three small children who could all read and were delighted to be read to meant that he needed to be inventive. Each child was going to have a book that detailed the alphabet for the language it was written in, written for their ages. The other was a picture book with small, simple stories on each page.
“Do you notice that the children tell us ‘no’ a lot,” Tauriel observed from her spot by the fire. She was carefully braiding a bowstring for her bow. “I wonder if little children who keep saying ‘no’ will be getting Yule presents.”
“Mama!” Tauli gasped in outrage and carefully closed her book before setting it aside. “I be good!”
Tauriel looked up at her daughter and raised an eyebrow at her. “Uncle Bilbo said it was time for bed. I guess that means that you need to try and get to sleep.”
Tauli pouted softly before she gave her mother a hug and a kiss goodnight. Bilbo eyed his boys and they both heaved sighs as they put their blocks away in the basket he’d commissioned to hold their toys. If he didn’t corral the mess someway, it would take over the floor of Bag End and he’d be lame before second breakfast. He accepted their hugs and kisses with a smile and went to make sure they settled down to sleep.
Each of the children snuggled down in their beds and quickly fell asleep. Bilbo carefully closed the doors to each room and padded back to the sitting room. “They are growing up so quickly.”
“As quickly as you expected?” Tauriel asked as she wove the final loop of the bowstring back on itself. “Tauli’s certainly growing faster than I expected.”
“And the boys are growing a bit slower than I expected,” Bilbo admitted. “I expect both of us can trace our children’s growth rates to their father’s.”
“I expect as well,” Tauriel sighed. She wound the bowstring up and tucked it in the case alongside the rest she’d spent the evening making. “We do expect Gandalf tomorrow, right?”
“He did say something about trying to be here by Yule, yes,” Bilbo confirmed. He let his magic spread out, slowly traveling to the edges of Hobbiton and beyond. It was slow going due to the season, but the ground reported no travelers. “So far, he’s not on the roads where I can sense.”
“It is the weirdest feeling when you do that,” Tauriel murmured. Bilbo eyed her as he started pulling gifts out for the children and placing them in piles in front of their stockings. “Not bad, just very different. I rarely feel you do that.”
“I rarely need to,” Bilbo admitted. “As the Head of my family and the major landowner around here, the land tends to tell me a great deal. I can’t farm like Farmer Maggot can, but I’m not bad at it.”
“I talked to your grandmother,” Tauriel started. She looked nervous and flashed him a smile that wavered around the edges. “She said something about you being able to heal the Desolation?”
“Ha. My grandmother is a pushy old lady,” Bilbo huffed. “It’s not something that I can do on my own. I just can’t. What I can do is start it healing and guide it along. But to do it, and do it well, I would need more than just my own lifetime or a large number of hobbits to join me. She’s been making noises since the boys Emerged about going back to Erebor and working on healing the Desolation.”
“Why? That’s what I didn’t get,” Tauriel admitted. “You are safe here; the boys are safe here and the ground is healthy enough that you should be able to Plant your other two Heartseeds in the spring.”
Bilbo nodded as he added an orange to each pile. “All true. But the Shire is getting to be overcrowded and we need someplace safe for our younger generations to settle. Erebor is that. And the hills around it would be ideal for smials to be set. The Desolation had been very fertile before Smaug laid it to waste, and with work, could be again.”
Tauriel nodded once. “Interesting.”
“Very,” Bilbo agreed. He handed her a stocking and pushed one of the piles towards her. “I put the oranges in the toe.”
“Right,” Tauriel said. She started placing each item into the stocking, smiling as it filled. “Did the children get toys from Bifur and Bofur?”
“We got a package from them and letters this morning,” Bilbo said. “Your letter is on your bed, along with a package from Dís.”
“Really?” Tauriel asked.
Bilbo looked up at her and smiled he saw she was just as excited at the thought of a gift as her daughter was. “Really.”
“Sneaky Hobbit,” Tauriel observed. “You have a gift from me on your bed.”
“Sneaky Elf,” Bilbo teased back.
Afteryule 01, 2945
Bilbo tilted his head and winced as he heard the door being knocked on. “That’s going to leave a mark,” he muttered as he stopped his inspection of the meat hanging in the smoking locker. When the knock came again, he sighed. “It’s either Gandalf or Lobelia. Can’t be anyone else.”
Wiping his hands on his apron, he headed for the front door. The children were poking their heads out of the schoolroom and he waved them back into place. Primula nodded firmly when he gestured for her to close the door. The schoolroom was as protected as he could convince Bag End to allow. The children would be safe from their unexpected guest.
Gandalf hadn’t shown up for Yule and Bilbo had been worried, but resigned. The Maia wasn’t obligated to him, no matter what promises he made. Pulling the apron off, he hung it by the door and gripped the doorknob, and pulled. “What?”
Bilbo stopped. “You’re dead.”
Thorin stared back at him and shook his head. “Not anymore.”
“Dwarrow don’t come back,” Bilbo protested. He had a firm grip on the doorknob and it was the only thing keeping him from shaking to pieces. “I buried you. I felt you die.”
“You did, Amrâlimê,” Thorin confirmed. He reached out to touch Bilbo and only sighed when he leaned back. Letting his hand fall he sighed. “You know Mahal made the dwarrow.”
“Yes,” Bilbo confirmed. “You told me this when you were explaining how the dwarrow were made.”
“I did,” Thorin took a deep breath. “Let’s just say he wasn’t happy that my line died in such a manner. Mahal went to Eru and harassed him until he gave permission to send us back.”
“Us? Who else came back?” Bilbo asked. He looked beyond Thorin and saw Fili and Kili were standing at the base of the walk up to Bag End. “Oh, Yavanna,” he breathed as his knees gave way. “All three of you?”
“All three of us,” Thorin confirmed. “Can I touch you, Lukhudel?”
“Get in here,” Bilbo snapped. “All three of you. Make sure you take your boots off.”
“We know,” Thorin agreed.
“Tauriel!” Bilbo called. When the elf popped her head out of the schoolroom, he walked over to her. “So.”
“I heard,” she said, voice shaking. She dropped her voice to a whisper that he could only barely hear. “I’ve told Prim to keep the children in the room.”
“Good,” Bilbo breathed out. He turned to see their dwarrow enter the smial and bit his lip. “This isn’t a dream, right?”
“No, it’s not,” Tauriel confirmed. She reached out and gently tugged on his hair. “See?”
“Right.” Bilbo walked back over to stand in front of Thorin and reached out to touch his dwarf. As soon as he touched his skin, he could feel the connection to his One snap back into place. “Oh, Yavanna.”
Thorin gathered him close and Bilbo moaned as he settled into his embrace. His dwarf smelled the same and felt the same as his memories. Wrapping his arms around Thorin, he held on to him.
“I’m back. I’m not going to leave you, amrâlimê,” Thorin promised.
“You had better not,” Bilbo ground out, voice wet with tears. He sniffed deeply and shuddered softly as a cold wind brushed across him. “Fili, close the door.”
“I will, Irak’Adad, as soon as I move Kili and Tauriel out of the way of it,” Fili called, amused.
Bilbo could hear the sound of voices and then shuffling. When the door closed, he breathed a sigh of relief. “Are you what Dís has been avoiding mentioning in her letters?”
“Yes,” Thorin confirmed. “Dain was not happy that Mahal sent us back and made me take the crown of Erebor. Dís is holding the mountain right now for us, but we’re going to have to head back in the spring.”
“Right,” Bilbo sniffed once and leaned over to see Tauriel. “Tauriel?”
“I agree with Laura,” Tauriel confirmed.
Bilbo nodded. “Right. We’re going to be going with you.”
“I had hope that you would,” Thorin said before he leaned down and brushed a light kiss over Bilbo’s lips. “I have missed you, hôfukel.”
“You are such an arse,” Bilbo muttered before he deepened the kiss.
“Bilbo? Can we come out?” Prim called through the door.
Bilbo broke the kiss and rested his head against Thorin’s forehead. “Did Dís show you my letters?”
“Yes,” Thorin confirmed. “Our children?”
“Are a handful and a half,” Bilbo informed him with a smile. He turned his head and nodded at the schoolroom door. “Prim? You can open the door.”
His cousin opened the door and stood to the side as the children tumbled out. Thorin froze in place as he took in the sight of his sons. “Oh, my.”
“Yeah, we make beautiful children,” Bilbo said. He stepped back out of Thorin’s embrace and waved his boys forward. “Thorin, I would like to make known to you Durin and Florin Baggins, sons of Thorin, son of Thrain. Boys, this is your adad.”
“Oh, Mahal,” Thorin breathed and fell to his knees in front of his sons. “Oh, Bilbo.”
A/N: So. This is what could be the end of this series of stories that I’ve been posting in EAD for a few years now. I’m going to let this lie for a bit and then when I’m ready, I’ll gather it all up and make it into a cohesive whole. Enjoy!
P.S. Below is the calendar I’m using and the approximate dates the months are in our calendar.
Month number Name Approximate relationship to Gregorian calendar
2 Yule 22nd of December
1 Afteryule 23rd of December to the 21st of January
2 Solmath 22nd of January to the 20th of February
3 Rethe 21st of February to the 22nd of March
4 Astron 23rd of March to 21st of April
5 Thrimidge 22nd of April to the 21st of May
6 Forelithe 22nd of May to the 20th of June
1 Lithe 21st of June
Mid-year’s Day 22nd of June
Overlithe Leap day
2 Lithe 23rd of June
7 Afterlithe 24th of June to the 23rd of July
8 Wedmath 24th of July to the 22nd of August
9 Halimath 23rd of August to the 21st of September
10 Winterfilth 22nd of September to 21st of October
11 Blotmath 22nd of October to the 20th of November
12 Foreyule 21st of November to the 20th of December
1 Yule 21st of December
adad – Father
Amrâlimê – My love
Hôfukel – Joy of all Joys
inùdoy – Son
Irak’Adad – Uncle
Lukhudel – Light of all Lights
Lovely. Thank you. This story had all the feels.
I’ve definitely enjoyed all the bits you’ve posted and loved the payoff of tiny dwobbits! Plus, the return of Thorin, Fili, and Kili was a nice surprise. I look forward to eventually getting to read the whole story altogether.
Absolutely amazing!!! I love love love it!!!!
Great story, and now I have to go back and reread the rest of the series. Thanks for sharing, and happy writing (when you’re ready).
Oh. This is lovely. And I’m crying and sniffing. Just beautiful.
Thank you so very much
I have a love!/hate! Relationship with EAD, Such incredible stories, i love how you fit them all together, but also so short and brief! And I get that it is the point of EAD but it is like just getting the smell and then 1st like of a pie and then putting it away for another year. Lol. Your EAD stories were amazing this year. Thank you!!!! This wasn’t a complaint at all! This was a brief rant in general 😊😜
Oh, this is lovely…and now I need to read the whole series again!
You made my month with the return of Thorin, Kilian and Fili. And the boys “emergence” was adorable. Thank you!
This was absolutely gorgeous!
Wonderful, thank you sooooo much, WW.
Absolutely lovely, thank you so much!
I began this the other day, then went back to read the other parts because, fibro brain. NOW I FiND THORIN ISN’T DEAD.
I hate you.
No, I don’t, I think I love you, because Thorin is alive!!!!
Thank you for sharing it
This was lovely and Thorin is back! Yay! Thanks so much, LH! I
I adore this series, loving this latest chapter, when finished definitely going in my favourites file, thank you.
Oh, be still my HEART!!! THANK YOU!!!!! 🙂
So great to see the happy ending. Very sweet!