“Look at him,” Sam sighed, gazing out the window of Bag End.
Rosie nodded in agreement. “Poor Frodo,” she murmured, before focussing her attention on the carrot she was dicing.
“He’s never been the same since…” Sam trailed off. The memory of Mordor was still fresh. Sometimes, he still dreamt of the malign land of fire and ash where he had accompanied Frodo during the quest of the One Ring.
“Is he still having those dreams?” His wife raised her eyes. She had been aware of the violent nightmares that plagued the hobbit.
He nodded. “I wish there was somethin’ we could do. Somethin’ to cheer him up.”
Rosie’s eyes gleamed. “I know!” She whispered eagerly, motioning him closer.
* * * * *
“Rosie, love,” Sam began. “Are you…. Insane?” He had to duck before she swatted him across the back of the head. “Have you forgotten what happened last time?”
“You said it yourself – they’ve grown up since then. `Specially after the… thing.” Rosie was never sure how to mention the quest to her husband and Frodo, so she simply referred to it as `the thing.’
“Maybe you’re right…” he mused.
“You’re darned well I’m right, Samwise Gamgee. And don’t you ever forget it!” The two shared a kiss, before Rosie declared, “Now off with you! That grass needs cuttin’!” Her husband groaned.
* * * * *
Frodo shivered as his cobalt eyes fixed their gaze on the waning crescent moon. Night always evoked memories of Mordor; of the One Ring. Instinctively, he raised a hand the chain around his neck.
`Why do I still do that?’ he thought. After all, the ring had been destroyed well over a year ago. But no amount of time would ever quell his longing for it….
“Mr Frodo!” Sam’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Sam!” He reeled round. “There you are!” He feigned a smile, but Sam knew his friend better than that.
“Rosie and I have somethin’ to tell you.”
“Let me guess! You’re gonna have a baby?”
“No!” Sam turned scarlet. “I mean not yet… I mean…”
“It’s fine!” Frodo placed a hand on the gardener’s shoulder to calm him. “So… What is it? Something good, I hope. I could do with some good news.” He sighed forlornly.
“Then you’ll love this.” Sam grinned, having regained his composure. “We’ve gonna have a party.”
* * *
Merry and Pippin sat at a table in the Green Dragon Inn, smoking their pipes and sipping some ale.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Pippin said, taking a large swig. “Remember what happened last time!”
“Pippin! Where’s your sense of fun? Look,” Merry replied jovially. “Last time, we had no idea what we were doing.”
“We?” His companion spluttered. “It was YOUR idea to steal that firework. It was YOUR idea to light it inside the tent. It was because of YOU that we were stuck washing dishes for the rest of the party!”
Merry could not deny that his friend’s assertion was entirely correct. It was his fault that the two had been punished for engaging in mischief with Gandalf’s fireworks at Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday party. However, it would take more than the memory of being hauled away by the ears and forced to wash Bilbo’s dishes to hinder this hobbit.