Welcome to all those who have discovered this story! And welcome to my old friends who have read my other tales! It is finally here! Welcome to my Hobbit story!
Now, you've all waited patiently so I won't give a long speech about how much I appreciate my readers and followers. So, without further ado, here's the disclaimer!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything that is associated with the Hobbit! It belongs to the amazing and wonderful J.R.R. Tolkien! I only own my OC and what happens in my story!
Now, here is my tale!
Under the lush and rolling hills of the Shire, there was a hole.
No, it was not a nasty, dirty, stinking hole filled with worms and bugs. For it was a hobbit-hole and that indicates comfort. And underneath the grassy hill, the hole had a round and green door with a shinning and golden brass knob in the center. Flowers sprouted up happily in the flower boxes outside, greeting any passerby that stopped to take a whiff of the sweet smelling plants. A small stone path lead up to the aforementioned door and a cozy bench sat just beside it. One could sit for hours to look out across the rolling hills of the Shire whilst you blew lazy smoke rings into the sky.
And that was exactly what the owner of the quaint hole in the ground was doing. And you may ask: What is a hobbit?
Well, you see, a hobbit is a rather short creature that lives in the ground. I'm afraid that is all I may tell but more about hobbits will become revealed to you shortly.
So this hobbit was a very respectable one at that and his name was Baggins. Mr. Bilbo Baggins.
You see, for they were a respectable folk because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected. And if it was unexpected, it was expected that he made the unexpected thing expected.
Never did the hobbit believe that he would ever partake in an adventure, for you see, he was no longer a child and wished not to play childish games.
And now as he sat upon his quaint bench, smoking away with his wooden pipe, he was simply enjoying himself and the scenery around him, bathing in the warmth of the sun.
Little did he know, that this would be one of the last times he would ever be able to smoke quietly and in solitude for some ages.
However, the small puff of the smoke on his face awakened him from his light dozing and the hobbit snorted as it had tickled his nose. Opening his eyes, he was a bit surprised to find the looming form of a man standing before him.
He was clothed in all shades of gray and atop his head sat a large and pointed hat. In his withered hands, he held a strong and sturdy walking stick made from gnarled wood.
"Good morning." The hobbit greeted as he would have greeted any other passerby.
"What do you mean?" The older fellow asked, his eyes seeming to sparkle with a hint of mischief. "Do you wish me a good morning or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not? Or that you feel good this morning? Or that it is a morning to be good on?"
Bilbo was stunned into silence seeing all the questions he was being asked. Going over the numerous questions in his head, the hobbit only knew one way to respond to the man politely. Sitting up straighter, he cleared his throat before answering, "All of them at once I suppose..."
The tall man seemed to deflate at the answer the hobbit had given him, his once smiling figures dropping into a subtle frown.
"Can I help you?" Bilbo asked once again, wondering just what exactly the man needed.
"That remains to be seen..." He grumbled, his hands still clutching his sturdy walking stick. The hobbit shifted uncomfortably in his seat for a moment, the stranger's presence overwhelming him. "I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure!"
The pipe that had been in his mouth slipped out as his mouth dropped open the slightest. Looking at the gray man unbelievably, he blinked a few times rapidly, wondering if he had heard him correctly.
"A-An adventure?" The hobbit craned his neck as he thought about the man's words. "Now I don't imagine anyone west of Bree would have much interest in adventures..." He rose from his seat on the bench and strode to his mailbox. "Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things!" Taking the mail from inside, the hobbit began to riffle through, "Things that make you late for dinner!" Making some sounds of interest as he looked at the letters in his palm, he glanced back up at the man before taking one last puff on his pipe. "Good morning!"
"To think that I should have lived to be 'good morninged' by Belladonna Tooks's son as if I were selling buttons at the door!"
"I beg your pardon!" Bilbo squeaked as the man advanced further along the fence as the hobbit began to ascend the stone pathway.
"You've changed and not entirely for the better, Bilbo Baggins!"
"I'm sorry, do I know you?"
"Well, you know my name though you don't remember I belong to it. I am Gandalf and Gandalf means... me!" This seemed to spark some recognition in the hobbit's memory and he began to mumble under his breath.
"Not Gandalf the Wandering Wizard who made such excellent fireworks! Old Took used to have them on Midsummer's eve!" The hobbit laughed out loud. "No idea you were still in business!"
"And where else should I be?" The hobbit could only gesture with the end of his pipe before finding himself lost for words. He cleared his throat once before stoking his pipe again. "Well, I'm glad to find that you remember something about me... Even if its only my fireworks..." The wizard grumbled under his breath for a moment. "Well that's decided! It will be very good for you and most amusing for me! I will inform the others!"
Others? Bilbo thought to himself as the wizard began to move off. No, there can't be others!
"W-What?! N-No! Wait!" The hobbit trotted up the stone pathway. "We do not want any adventures here, thank you! Not today! I suggest you try over the Hill or across the water!" The wizard turned back to face the hobbit, who was motioning in said directions with his pipe. It was an awfully nasty habit he had been meaning to break. "Good morning!" Scurrying back to his green door, the hobbit quickly opened and closed it behind himself.
Leaning his back against the door, he took a deep breath and locked the door for good measure. Wizards were sneaky folk. Deciding that he had done a well enough job, the curly haired hobbit stepped away for the door only to hear a slight thump and an odd noise that came from the other side.
Little did he know, the wizard had been marking the door using an ancient ruin so that the visitors would know which house they were to meet at.
Wondering about the noise, the hobbit peered out through the deep set window beside the door only to jump back with surprise when he found a bright blue eye staring back at him. Quickly retreating deep into his home, the hobbit hid in one of the tunnel like hallways until the wizard had left.
Releasing a deep sigh, he stepped a way from the wall and he tossed the letters onto his small wooden desk. That had been very odd. Very odd indeed.
Later that night, after the hobbit had attended to his luscious garden and a variety of other important tasks, he sat down at his small kitchen table to dine on a fine meal of fried fish.
Folding his napkin into his shirt, the hobbit added the final touches to his lovely meal when the small bell beside the door rang. The humming that the hobbit had been doing ceased and he looked up from his supper.
Heading to the door, he was surprised to find a rather tall figure standing and looking out into the darkness that had fallen upon the Shire.
The first thought that went through Bilbo's mind was one of fear. This man looked rather intimidating with his towering height, bald head, and tattoos. Of course the man wasn't overly large, seeing how he was only a dwarf.
In a deep voice, the dwarf turned and bowed to the hobbit, "Dwalin. At your service."
Bilbo could only stand in shock for a moment before he realized he was in his night clothes. Tying his robe shut over his front, the hobbit bowed back with a, "Bilbo Baggins at yours..."
Before the hobbit could say anything else, the dwarf stepped into the hobbit's home, immediately making the room feel ten times smaller.
"Do we know each other?" Bilbo squeaked.
"No." The dwarf walked passed the hobbit and into his home, the hobbit looking after him like he was mad. "Which way, laddie? Is it down here?"
"Is what down where?"
"Supper! He said that there would be food and a lot of it!" He tossed his heavy cloak into the hobbit's waiting arms.
"He said? Who said?" A few minutes later, Bilbo was sitting behind the large dwarf, watching him devour all the food he had recently cooked. A frown marred his features as he watched his delicious fish being ripped apart.
"Very good, this!" The dwarf grumbled as he cleaned the meat off the bones of the fish before throwing it back down on the plate. "Anymore?" Dwalin asked and the hobbit slowly stood up and walked over to the sink to pick up the basket of biscuits he had made that very morning. Slipping one into his pocket, Bilbo placed the bowl onto the table.
He watched as the dwarf began to engorge on the freshly made rolls. Wrinkling up his nose in disgust, Bilbo moved from his place to stand beside the dwarf.
"It's just that, um... I wasn't expecting company!" Bilbo said as Dwalin made another grunting noise as he stuffed another biscuit into his mouth.
Suddenly, the bell for the door rang again causing Bilbo's head to snap in that direction. He swallowed nervously, not wanting to answer the door for fear of who or what laid behind it.
"That'll be the door..." Dwalin grumbled as he stuffed more food into his mouth. Shuffling to the door, the hobbit only hesitated in answering the door because of the sudden uneasy feeling in his stomach.
Turning the golden knob, Bilbo pulled the door open to reveal another dwarf, this one shorter than the first. His hair was white as snow and unlike Dwalin, this dwarf greeted his host with a quick smile.
"Balin! At your service!" He bowed rather spryly for an older dwarf and Bilbo felt more at ease with Balin than Dwalin.
"Good evening." Bilbo greeted quietly, glad that this dwarf had actually greeted him.
"Yes! Yes it is! But, I think it might rain later... Am I late?" The white bearded dwarf asked as he stepped inside, closer to Bilbo. He was glad that this dwarf was at least closer in height to his own height than Dwalin was.
"Late for what?" However, the dwarf's attention was drawn away.
"Oh!" He chuckled deeply. "Evening brother!" The smaller dwarf chimed and Bilbo noticed that the dark haired dwarf had been playing with one of his antiques. Dwalin also chuckled merrily, an odd sound coming from the dwarf.
"By my beard! You're shorter than last we met!" Dwalin teased.
"Wider, not shorter... Sharp enough for both of us!" Both dwarves chuckled once more. The hobbit watched in fascination as Dwalin braced his brother's shoulders before smashing their heads together in a brotherly greeting. Bilbo could almost feel the pain in his own skull and was completely surprised when the dwarves didn't react at all.
Stepping forward, Bilbo moved to question the dwarves, "Um... E-Excuse me? I'm not entirely sure you're in the right house..." He tried to reason with them but they continued to chuckle as they moved to the hobbit's pantry.
The dwarves began to rifle through his stock, throwing an apparently "riddled with mold and blue", yet perfectly good piece of cheese, over their shoulders to land on the floor a few feet away from him.
"It's not that I don't like visitors as much as the next hobbit... But I do like to know them before they come... visiting." It appeared as though the hobbit was being completely ignored by the dwarves and he sighed in frustration. "Not in the slightest..."
"I don't mean to be blunt but I have to speak my mind... I'm sorry!" Bilbo held up his hands and both dwarves stopped and turned to look at him, Balin smiling at him before adding an, "Apology accepted!"
Wondering if he had heard Balin correctly, the hobbit was jostled from his thoughts when the bell for the door rang once again. Slowly turning his head around, his eyes locked on the door, the chatter of the dwarves behind him forgotten.
Turning the knob once again, he pulled the door back to reveal not one but two dwarves. Both simply looked at the hobbit for a moment, wondering what to do. Finally, the blonde dwarf of the two spoke up.
"At your service!" They said in unison as they bowed and Bilbo wondered how long they had rehearsed that little bit.
"You must be Mister Boggins!?" Kili said as he offered a wide smile to the hobbit. Bilbo swore he felt his eyebrow twitch in annoyance. This dwarf hadn't even gotten his name right. However, he noticed that both these dwarves were significantly younger than the two already in his home. Bilbo began to panic. Four dwarves?! What kind of company is this? He thought to himself.
"Nope! You can't come in! You've come to the wrong house!" Bilbo began to force the door shut but was stopped by Kili, or was it Fili? The hobbit didn't really care at the moment. He forced the door back open before a look of sadness pulled at the dark haired dwarf's features.
"Has it been cancelled?" He asked as the other dwarf stepped up beside his friend or, judging on how their names rhymed and how they acted towards one another, brother. "No one told us..." The blonde dwarf looked extremely confused at the moment.
"Cancelled? No, nothing has been cancelled!"
"Well that's a relief!" The dark haired dwarf pushed his way past the hobbit. The blonde dwarf could only offer the hobbit a slight bob of his head as if apologizing for his brother's actions before following said dwarf inside.
"Careful with these! I've just had them sharpened!" Fili said as he tossed his dual swords into Bilbo's small arms. Kili had disappeared for a moment before reappearing from a different corridor down the way.
"It's nice, this place! Did you do it yourself?" The younger dwarf asked as he began to scrape his boot on a random edge he could find, trying to rid it of the mud that had gathered on its sole. Bilbo only looked over his shoulder as Fili began to weigh him down with many more weapons.
"No! It's been in my family for years... That's my mother's glory box! Can you please not do that?" The hobbit protested but he hardly risked moving seeing how he had an armful of very sharp weapons.
"Kili! Fili! Come on, give us a hand!" Dwalin came from the pantry and slung his arm around the dark haired dwarf's shoulders.
"Mr. Dwalin!" He greeted as if in awe, having not seen the battle hardened warrior in years. Fili soon followed his brother, leaving Bilbo with an armful of weapons. They both gave Balin friendly pats on the arm, the older dwarf asking for their help to move the wooden cabinet in the small dining room.
"We'll never get everyone in!" Balin said as he began to lift the wooden item with the help of Fili.
"Wait! How many more are there?" Bilbo squeaked as he watched the dwarves move to begin working. Just then, the bell to the door rang again and Bilbo felt the blood drain from his face. "Oh, no..." Bilbo began marching towards the door. "No! There is nobody home!" Bilbo didnt' realize that he was contradicting himself as he tossed all of Fili's weapons to the side. "Go away and bother somebody else! There's far to many dwarves in my dinning room as it is! If this is some clothead's idea of a joke...!" He laughed, a hint of insanity hiding beneath the surface. "I can only say that it is in very poor taste!"
Yanking the door open, the hobbit was a bit startled when a wave of dwarves came crashing towards him. He stood back and blinked for a moment, completely and utterly stunned into silence.
All the dwarves protested and growled at each other as they struggled to get up, the whole motley grew looking rough with all their disheveled clothes and dirty faces. However, a tall man stood outside and Bilbo recognized the gray robes.
Said man bent down to peer inside the hobbit-hole, offering a small smile in greeting.
"Gandalf..." He sighed heavily and the wizard could only guess how hard a night the small creature was having seeing how this was his first time entertaining dwarves.
Before he could stop them, the dwarves had moved to the hobbit's well stocked pantry and had begun to empty it. No matter how much the hobbit protested, he could not stop the dwarves from taking all his food.
Countless times he had warned the dwarves to, "Put that back!" as he pointed at the food in their hands. However, they would only brush him away before moving passed him and into the small dining room.
"A tad excessive isn't it? Have you got a cheese knife?" Bilbo groaned as he watched a plump dwarf carry three wheels off cheese deep from within his pantry.
"Cheese knife?!" Another replied with amusement in his voice. Bilbo turned to look at the dwarf and blinked rapidly as he took in his very odd hat that sat upon his head. "He eats it by the block!" He warned before carrying a ham into the crowded room. Bilbo watched him go for a moment before he saw a gray haired dwarf carrying one of his antique chairs into the dinning room.
"No! Take this back!" He pointed back to one of his other rooms but the dwarf simply replied, "I can't 'ear you!"
The other dwarves went about on their way as they set the table with help from Gandalf. After declining an offer of freshly brewed chamomile tea, the wizard stood in the small hallway between the pantry and dining room, counting the numerous dwarves on his fingers.
"Fili, Kili... Oin, Gloin... Dwalin, Balin... Bifur, Bofur, Bombur... Dori, Nori, Ori!" He watched as the hobbit gathered up enough courage to rip a basket of tomatoes from the youngest dwarf's hands. Only counting twelve dwarves, the wizard grumbled to himself. "We appear to be one dwarf short..."
"He is late as all. He traveled north to a meeting of our kin. He will come..." Dwalin reassured the distressed wizard before he took a long swig from his large mug filled with ale. As Dori offered him the small glass of red wine, the wizard was more than happy to consume the beverage, even if it was in a small quantity.
"And I see that my special quest has yet to appear as well... Late as usual..." Gandalf grumbled yet his voice was lost in the loud excitement of the dwarves as they prepared to sit down to eat.
It wasn't long before they were all seated and were picking food from the various containers before either dropping them onto their plate or shoving it into their mouths. A particularly loud cheer came from the dining room when Bofur tossed his brother a small onion, which in return Bombur had caught in his mouth.
Bilbo could only stand outside the small entry way and fidget around when he saw food flying through the air. Glancing back at his pantry, his spirits shriveled greatly when he saw that only a few small pieces of food lay here and there from where they had fallen from a plate of food. However, the hobbit was a bit too preoccupied by his pantry to notice that Fili had soon taken to walking on the tabletop seeing as how he had been stuck in the corner beside his brother with no way to get out but to try and navigate through the maze-like house. The blonde dwarf offered them all an ale as he carried two handfuls. Of course, they all accepted.
"TANK UP!" Kili cheered, all the dwarves toasting in the center of the table before throwing their heads back and letting the amber liquid dribble down their chins and soak their beards. The burping soon began and they all laughed loudly when the loudest and strongest burp came from young Ori.
All the while, Bilbo's rage continued to build. As supper began to wind down a bit, the hobbit followed one of them into the kitchen and he was determined to stop the happenings in his home.
"Excuse me! That is a doily, not a dishcloth!" He ripped the fragile piece of material from the dwarf's grubby fingers. Bilbo held it up to examine it and he was relieved to find that not to much damage had been done.
"But it's full of holes!" The dwarf with the strange hat from before commented as he leaned against the wall.
"It's supposed to look like that! It's crochet!"
"Oh and a wonderful game it is too... If you've got the balls for it!" The dwarf teased and Bilbo could only hide the doily in a vase before pinching the bride of his nose between his fingers.
"My dear Bilbo, what on Earth is the matter?" Gandalf asked as he entered the hobbit-sized kitchen and saw that his small friend was in distress.
"What's the matter?!" Bilbo asked in disbelief. "I'm surrounded by dwarves! What are they doing here!?" He asked in a slightly hushed tone. Gandalf could only chuckle as he watched Nori and Bofur fight over a chain of sausages.
"Oh they're quite a merry gathering once you get used to them!" Gandalf said and Bilbo began to pull the wizard back towards the entry hall.
"I don't want to get used to them! The state of my kitchen! There's mud trod into the carpet! T-They've pillaged the pantry! I'm not even going to tell you what they've done in the bathroom! They've all but destroyed the plumbing! I don't understand what they're doing in my house!" Bilbo's rage that had built had finally released itself and his shoulders slumped once he was rid of it. He was about to go on when a quiet voice was heard.
"Excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt but what should I do with my plate?" Ori, the youngest and shyest of dwarves smiled politely at the hobbit. The subtle sound of a rhythmic tapping came from inside the dining room.
"Here you go, Ori! Give it to me!" Fili said as he took the plate from his hands and nonchalantly tossed it down the hallway. Bilbo about cried out in terror but was silenced when Kili casually caught it and threw it into the kitchen, only to be caught by Bifur. The dwarves continuously threw their plates to the young dwarf before he tossed them to his brother.
Bilbo began to cry out in protest but had to duck to avoid his flying dishes. The dwarves still seated at the dinner table pounded their fists against the table and scrapped their forks and knives together creating a sweet metallic shink.
"C-Can you not do that?! You'll blunt them!"
"Oh, do ya hear that, lads? He says we'll blunt the knives!" Bofur taunted as they continued to stomp their boots against the wooden floor to set the rhythm.
"Blunt the knives, bend the forks!" Kili began the tune, only for it to be picked up by his brother.
"Smash the bottles and burn the corks!" Fili added and it wasn't long until the rest of the dwarves joined in the merry singing with, "Chip the glasses and crack the plates... That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!"
"Cut the cloth and trail the fat! Leave the bones on the bedroom mat! Pour the milk on the pantry floor! Splash the wine on every door!" Systematically, dishes where being throwing into stacks and balanced as they were carried to and from the kitchen. Bilbo's mouth hung wide open as he watched his dishes fly through the air, not one of them ever crashing to the ground.
"Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl! Pound them up with a thumping pole! And when you've finished, if they are whole... Send them down the hall to roll!" The hobbit swore he heard clarinet music and when he peaked his head inside once more, he saw the dwarf with the hat from before, blowing away at the handcrafted instrument. Dwalin had also retrieved what appeared to be a small lute and began to play during the song as well.
"That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!" The song ended on that note with all the dwarves laughing and cheery at the huffing hobbit. Storming into the dinning room, he was amazed to see all his dishes cleaned and stacked in a neat pile before him. Most of the dwarves had retrieved their pipes but the laughter seemed to halt all together when a resounding knock, knock, knock came from the front door.
The dwarves instantly sobered at the sound, all of them turning to look in the direction of the entrance. Gandalf only lowered the pipe from his mouth and mused to himself. Just by the sound of the knock, he knew that the person who had arrived was not the guest he had most eagerly been awaiting.
"He is here..." The wizard said quietly and all the dwarves filed out to stand around the front door. For, it was Bilbo's duty to answer it as the owner of the household. Wondering why the sudden soberness of his latest company, he was a bit nervous as to who was standing on his doorstep.
When he pulled the door back, he only found there to be another dwarf that wanted to come in. However, Bilbo instantly detected the authority and power that he held over the others as they were all silent when his face came into view.
"Gandalf..." He greeted the wizard in a deep and rumbling tone. Stepping up towards the door, the dwarf said, "I thought you said this place would be easy to find. I lost my way, twice..." Some of the dwarves snickered at his statement, the same thing happening to them only a few hours ago.
"I would have not found it at all had it not been for that mark on the door..." He explained as he unbuckled his cloak from around his shoulders. Bilbo's ears perked at that statement.
"Mark? There is no mark on that door! It was painted a week ago!"
"There is a mark. I put it there myself!" Gandalf revealed, causing the hobbit to grumble and glare at him. However, the wizard decided to direct his attention away from himself and instead to the newest attention to the dwarves. "Bilbo Baggins, allow me to introduce the leader of our company, Thorin Oakenshield." The hobbit turned to look at the aforementioned dwarf who had a small look of amusement on his face.
"So, this is the hobbit..." Bilbo could only swallow as the dark haired dwarf looked him over and for the first time, Bilbo thought he had seen the dwarf before. Looking over the leader's shoulder, Bilbo saw Fili standing next to Kili who looked strikingly similar to the dwarf before him. A relative, maybe? He thought to himself.
"Tell me Mr. Baggins... Have you done much fighting?"
"Pardon me?" He squeaked as the dwarf walked behind him.
"Ax or sword? What's your weapon of choice?" Bilbo was caught off guard by his sudden question, wondering why he would need to know if Bilbo could even use a weapon. It was common knowledge that hobbits were a gentle folk and never turned to violence in the time of need.
"Well, I do have some skill at conkers if you must know... But I fail to see why that's relevant..." His tone dropped down to one that exuded confidence to one that was embarrassed with himself by what he had just said.
"Thought as much. He looks more like a grocer than a burglar!" The rest of the dwarves chuckled quietly but Bilbo was a bit hurt by the leader's words. The soon all returned to the dining room where Thorin sat at the head of the table. A pot of stew had been made in preparation of his arrival, courtesy of Bombur and a bowl was placed before him, along with a tall mug of ale.
"What news from the meeting of Ered Luin?" Balin began and Bilbo listened how Thorin explained that they had their support from the other Kingdoms until Dwalin decided to ask about his cousin, Dain and if they had support from the Iron Hills.
"They will not come..." Was his slightly bitter and simple reply. A wave of distress washed through the entire company and Gandalf merely sat back and listened to the ongoing discussion. "They say this quest is ours and ours alone..."
"Y-You're going on a quest?" Was Bilbo's quiet question, for he had been listening the entire time.
"Bilbo! My dear fellow! Let us have a little more light!" The wizard requested and the hobbit quietly moved off to find more candles. "Far to the east, over ranges and rivers, beyond woodlands and wastelands, lies a single, solitary peak..." The man clothed in gray reached into the folds of his robes and retrieved a piece of warn parchment. Unfolding it on the table, he laid it out before Thorin.
Bilbo was able to step forward with a candle in his hand and read the words, "The Lonely Mountain."
"Aye! Oin has read the portence and the portence say it is time!" Gloin added upon hearing Bilbo's words read from the map. A whole world of confusion came crashing down upon the small hobbit. The Lonely Mountain?
"Ravens have been seen flying back to the mountain as it was foretold..." The near deaf dwarf elaborated and went onto tell how the ravens signified that the reign of the beast would be over. Bilbo had wandered back into his pantry to sulk but stopped upon hearing about the beast.
"Well, what beast?" Gandalf turned to look at the hobbit as he smoked his pipe.
"Well, that would be a reference to Smaug the Terrible!" Bofur pipped up from beside Thorin. "Chiefest and greatest calamity of our age. Airborne fire breather... Teeth like razors... Claws like meat hooks... Extremely fond of precious metals!"
"Yes, I know what a dragon is!" The hobbit continued to wander into the dinning room once more.
"I'm not afraid!" Young Ori stood up from his place near the end of the table. "I'm up for it! I'll give him a taste of dwarvish iron right up his jacksie!" The dwarves were a bit divided on whether to protest or to laugh. Kili and Fili found it rather amusing that the dwarf even younger than them had said something and demanded attention like he had. He was always rather shy.
"Sit down!" His brothers commanded and he complied easily.
"The task would be difficult enough with an army behind us! But we number just thirteen, not thirteen of the best nor brightest..." Balin proclaimed and another murmur of disagreement swept over the company of dwarves.
Gandalf could only puff on his pipe smugly to himself and not say a word.
"We may be few in number but we're fighters! All of us, to the last dwarf!" Fili explained from his place beside his brother. Bilbo was a bit surprised at his words, seeing how young he was compared to some others in the company.
"And you forget we have a wizard in our company! Gandalf will have killed hundreds of dragons in his time!" Some of the dwarves seemed to agree with Kili when he spoke and they turned to look at said wizard.
"Oh, well now! I-I wouldn't say..."
"How many then?" Another dwarf inquired.
"What?" Lightning suddenly flashed outside and none of them had realized that it had been raining steadily ever since Thorin had arrived.
"How many dragons have you killed?" Dori asked once more, trying to make his statement just a tad bit clearer. However, Gandalf did not seem to want to answer this question and instead began to cough and sputter. "Go on, then! Give us a number!"
For some reason, this caused all the dwarves to erupt in an out roar. Shouting broke out and Bilbo didn't understand why they were all suddenly so angry. They just continued to yell across the table at one another. It wasn't until Thorin decided to interject with a shout of, "ENOUGH!"
And it was now at this time when the dwarves fell silent, that they did hear it. The bell at the door tinkled down the hallway. Immediately, all dwarves turned to one another and began to take a silent count of the company. They all came up with same number. Thirteen.
Even now, Bilbo was extremely confused and bewildered. They said that they were a company of thirteen and here they all were. But the real question was: Who was at the door?
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