Until the very End


3. Chapter 3


We ride around hills until we pull up towards Bag End. I bring Nuala to a halt as I smile at the well known Hobbit hole, I jump down from her and pat her on the neck before getting an apple from my saddle bag and feeding it to her. Gandalf and I walk up to a gate that has a sign on it 'No admittance, except on party business' I raise an eyebrow at Gandalf as he kicks open the gate and walks up to the house. He knocks on the door with the end of his staff "No thank you! We don't want any more visitors, well wishers or distant relations!" a voice from inside yelled, "And what about very old friends?" I ask. The door opens and Bilbo stands there surprised, "Naevys? Gandalf?" he questions "Bilbo Baggins" Gandalf says as he smiles at his old friend. "My dear friends!" Bilbo says as he runs out to us, I kneel down and hug him "It good to see you" I tell him as he moves onto Gandalf. "One hundred and eleven years old, who would believe it" Gandalf says and looks closely at Bilbo "You haven't aged a day" I point out. We all chuckle and Bilbo runs back into the Hobbit hole, inviting us in as he goes. "Come on, come in! Welcome, welcome. Oh, here we are" Bilbo says as we closes the door behind and takes Gandalf's staff and hat, "Tea or maybe something a little stronger? I've got a few bottles of the Old Winyard left, 1296, a very good year, almost as old as I am" Bilbo tells us "Just tea thank you" I tell him as I place my bow and arrows, and daggers on the table by the door. I duck under the chandelier and doorjamb, and walk into the parlor. I turn around to see Gandalf walking backwards into the chandelier, he ducks under it and turns around, hitting his head on top of the doorjamb. "Owwwh!" he cries as he holds his head, I chuckle at him before looking back to the maps that were on Bilbo's study table. "I was expecting you sometime last week. Not that it matters; you come and go as you please. Always have done and always will" I hear Bilbo say from the kitchen, I push papers away to see the map of The Lonely Mountain "I can make you some eggs?" Bilbo asks us, "Just tea, thank you" Gandalf tells him as I place the map back down.

A knock came at the door, making Bilbo jump back into the wall "Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins!" a lady's voice shouted out as she knocked again. "I'm not at home!" Bilbo whispers to us "I've got to get away from these confounded relatives hanging on the bell all day, never giving me a moment's peace" he informs us as he runs to the kitchen window and looks out. Gandalf and I sit at the low table "I want to see mountains again, mountains Gandalf and Naevys. And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book. Oh, tea!" Bilbo says and moves over to remove the kettle from the fire. "So you mean to go through with your plan?" I question Bilbo "Yes, yes, it's all in hand. All the arrangements are made" he informs us as he pours water into the pot. "Frodo suspects something" Gandalf informs Bilbo "Of course he does, he's a Baggins, not some blockhead Bracegirdle from Hardbottle" Bilbo says as he returns the kettle to the fireplace, "You will tell him, won't you?" I ask Bilbo "Yes, yes" he says. "He's very fond of you" Gandalf reminds him "I know, he'd probably come with me if I asked him to. I think in his heart Frodo's still in love with the Shire, the woods, the fields and the little rivers. I am old Naevys and Gandalf. I know I don't look it, but I'm beginning to feel it in my heart" Bilbo tells us, I watch carefully as Bilbo fingers something in his waistcoat pocket. Bilbo joins us at the table "I feel thin, sort of stretched like butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday, a very long holiday. And I don't expect that I shall return. In fact, I mean not to" he tells us.

Gandalf, Bilbo and I all sit on a bench that over looks bag End. They were both smoking their pipes as we watch the Hobbits set up the lights for Bilbo's party. "Old Toby, the finest weed in the Southfarthing" Bilbo says and blows out a ring of smoke, Gandalf puffs out his smoke to make a ship, we watch as it sails through Bilbo's ring. "Naevys and Gandalf my old friends, this will be a night to remember. 



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