Runaway to Middle Earth - Chapter 1-Welcome to the Shire

"I see fear in your eyes, do not be afraid Lady. There are many things more dangerous than me in this world. Come I suspect you were on your to Hobbiton? Come sit with me in the wagon." Gandalf said slowly.

"I am not afraid...I am lost. " Stacy looked back. She swore she wouldn't go back..."Is that what this place is called...Hobbiton? That is not a very good name for such a wonderful place." she whispered as she climbed into the wagon. She mumbled under her breath,"What are all those packages? How did I get here? Are those people Quaker's? Why is he traveling in a wagon instead of a truck? What day is-"

" All questions will be answered Lady, uh, what was your name?" interrupted Gandalf like he could read her mind.

"OH! It's Stacy. Stacy Johnst- uh, just call me Stacy. And who are you?" Stacy questioned softly.

"I am Gandalf the Grey, the friend of Bilbo Baggins. Whom you shall meet later."

"Oh... May I ask, who are those little people down there?"

" Hobbits are the folk that live in this land which is called the Shire. This town we are entering is indeed called Hobbiton. I am taking you to Bag End, where Bilbo and Frodo Baggins live. Frodo is the son of Drogo, and not Bilbo's son, but his heir and will inherit Bag End not too soon from now." Gandalf explained cheerfully.

"Oh, okey-dokey, I get it." Stacy was beginning to like Gandalf the Grey,and started to speak up more even though she hadn't the slightest clue what he was talking about. Who did he remind her of? Her Dad? Wasn't he the one that always explained stuff even though she didn't even understand the concept? Like when he told her about the separation.

She was brought back to reality with a sudden jump.

"..It will make better sense when you meet them. As for the parcels in the back of my wagon, they are called fireworks. Have you ever heard of Fireworks?"

"Have I heard of them?! I love fireworks!" she was practically shouting, finally something in common! "Every July 4th my dad and sister and mom..." She stopped short. She was on the verge of crying again.

But before she could, she heard little children's voices crying, " G for Grand! Gandalf please show us some fireworks! Please!"
he threw some pennies off to the disappointment of the children.

"Run away now!" said Gandalf, "you will get plenty when the time comes."

He stopped the wagon at a peculiar looking dwelling with a sign that read...'NO ADMITTANCE EXCEPT ON PARTY BUSINESS.'

"This is Bag End. A hobbit-hole you might refer to it as. This is the kind of dwelling hobbits live in. Well, maybe expect for the Brandybucks. They have a hall in which they live but it is only certain families I believe, they really are much like any other hobbits. Well, maybe except for their boating and such, they tend to be more river tolerant than other hobbits. Perhaps you will meet Merry Brandybuck. I'm sure he could lay down the history for you. "

Gandalf got off the wagon and knocked on the door.

"Oh Gandalf it is so good to see you! I was worried you might be late." Bilbo excitedly said as his voice was muffled by a great big warm hug.

"A wizard is never late. He arrives precisely when he means to." replied Gandalf.

"All the same I have missed you much."

" And I have brought a visitor. She is quite shy at first and then she is a real curious person. I thought Frodo might show her around."

"Certainly, certainly, but first how 'bout a smoke of pipe after your long journey?"

By this time Stacy had gotten out of the wagon and was carrying her hiker's pack.

"Oh, hello, my dear. Are YOU one of the Big Folk?" stated Bilbo thoughtfully, but properly and also wide-eyed.

"Hello..Bilbo? Is that correct? Gandalf has told me much about you." Stacy tried to be as formal as she could.

"Oh he has, has he? You are fairly different from the Big Folk, that is who you are right?"

"Well, yes, and no, Bilbo. She isn't of the race of Elves or of the Men here in Middle Earth. She is from a different place and time I suppose. I am sure she will tell you more about herself but I think the Lady Stacy would indeed enjoy a nice, hot bath now?" Gandalf said questioningly as Stacy nodded her head. "Very well then, and then after you have been refreshed you can meet Frodo." "Thank you so much. I am really excited about meeting you Mr. Bilbo Baggins."

"My pleasure Stacy, was it?"

"Yes."

"If you go down this hall here and turn left there is a bathroom and a tub. I'll get you some hot water."

"I'm getting a cup of tea," said the wizard.
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After Stacy was situated in the bathroom Gandalf and Bilbo began to talk.

"I don't know why she is here. I think she would help Frodo with anything after you have gone. She seems hurt, but she has a defiant air about her. If anything DOES happen, I think she would be the willing to do whatever was needed. Hopefully she will be a good companion for Frodo once you have left on your `holiday'." Thoughtful Gandalf said.

"That dear boy will need someone to accompany him. Even if that person is a human of a strange sort. I am not sure that the town will gracefully accept her arrival however." Bilbo replied.

"That they will not. It took them quite a while to begin to accept me...but in time they did. Hopefully, it will be the same for her."

" I do hope so." ended Bilbo.

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