Characters: Young Bilbo, Tauriel, Elves
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: We might all want to meet elves in the woods – Tolkien did, these are his.
Bilbo could have sworn that every single hair on his feet had risen straight up. He’d never before felt so frightened, yet so elated in his whole life – Elves! He had met Elves…!
Wait until I tell them at the Green Dragon! But… no… either they’ll think I’m making it up, or they’ll believe me and call me mad for wanting to meet such dangerous folk. Everyone knows Elves are even crazier and more dangerous than Rangers…
Tauriel kept silent and still so as not to alarm the creature, but she couldn’t help noticing…
…what incredibly fluffy feet he has.
Eventually the perian’s ragged breathing eased, and strangely, his feet became less fluzzy. Tauriel stood slowly – it might have been an error to approach him, but it was too late now, she couldn’t leave him out here alone, not with night falling…
“You have erred from the paths little one, best you spend the night at our campfire” she said quietly. “Aphado nin!”
She walked away; her companions had already disappeared among the trees. She paused, half-turned, the Halfling set his lips, squared his shoulders and followed.
In for a penny, thought Bilbo, but do I say ‘sir’… or ‘madam’?
Lindir called out as he approached the others, “Tauriel’s caught herself a pet.”
They looked around at the small creature timidly venturing toward them.
“That’s unkind Lindir” Tauriel said in Elvish, before switching to the Common Tongue, “We have an unexpected guest, let us show him courtesy.”
Lindir bowed low in Bilbo’s direction, “I shall treat him as if he were the King’s heir!”
Tauriel passed Lindir, and cuffed his ear… seemingly by accident.
“Make sure you do,” Tauriel muttered. Lindir grinned.
“Man eneth lin? What is your name?” he said.
“B-Bilbo Baggins… at your service.” Bilbo bowed low.
For Bilbo this starlit night was something he never wanted to end.
The Elves, nine in all, had rapidly unpacked packs from their horses’ backs. They’d hung curtain-like banners from branches, turning the small clearing into a camp, shielded from prying eyes and sheltered from night breezes. They’d built a fire, cooked food, eaten it… and it was very good food… before passing a flask amongst them and singing softly.
The time flew by, a mix of pleasure and enchantment. Tired as he was, Bilbo struggled to stay awake. I shall cherish these memories as precious heirlooms, he thought sleepily.