I haven't seen my distant cousin Bilbo Baggins in quite some time, so I figured it was time for a visit.
We had always been close, ever since we were young hobbits running through the forest in search of elves.
I had always wanted to find the elves and inquire of my father.
I am not fully a hobbit. My mother was quite an adventurous young woman at one point, and had run into an elf man at Elverground. And that's where I had come in. She came back to The Shire and had me.
From afar, I may look like any other hobbit, but up close, the differences are clear. I am not as big-boned as my relatives. My hair is a very light blond, as my fathers clearly was. I am quite slim for a hobbit, but that does not mean I am in any way less strong.
My crystal blue eyes and hair have always been my trade mark.
I was leaving Buckland that morning, and was to reach Bilbo's by dinner. I had other family to see as well; For which I was happy; Bilbo always had a lot of food.
I walked out my door.
- - -
The sun was behind the hills when Bag End came into view. I pushed my hair behind my ear and kept walking.
I walked up the pathway, looking into my basket of vegetables that I had brought for dinner, when I slammed into something hard as rock.
I gasped as I fell backwards, effectively dropping my basket and everything in it. I quickly got to my knees and began to pick everything up.
The "rock" had bent down to help me. Large, manly hands handed me a tomato. I took it, and looked up at the face of this kind man to thank him.
As I did, my breath had left me. His beautiful blue eyes were stunning.
"Th- thank you." I composed myself and gave him a smile as I stood up. He stood after me.
"My pleasure." He smiled in return.
He was a little taller than me, and clearly not a hobbit. This was a dwarf.
I continued to look at him, confused.
He looked down, clearly uncomfortable.
I shook my head and apologized.
"I'm sorry. I am just not accustomed to seeing anything excepts hobbits here. Certainly not dwarves."
He nodded. "It is quite alright. I am not used to you hobbits either."
"May I ask why you are in the Shire, master dwarf?"
"Thorin. And I was called here by a wi- a friend."
She looked into his eyes. He seemed a little lost.
"Perhaps I could help you find your destination?"
He seemed skeptical for a moment, almost he didn't want to give away anything, then finally said, "I am looking for a Baggins."
I was taken by surprise. Why on earth would a dwarf want anything to do with Bilbo?
"Well, you're in luck. I was just headed there myself."
He looked just as surprised as I was.
I walked past him towards Bag End, and he followed reluctantly.
I got to the door and gave three knocks. Thorin stood beside me, a wary look on his face. He looked at door, and something caught his eye, near the bottom. Before I could look, the green door opened.
There before me was a sight I had not seen in many years. "Gandalf!"
He looked just as surprised to see me, which was odd. Nothing caught him off guard.
"Scarlet? What are you doing here?" Bilbo walked up behind Gandalf. I stepped past the wizard towards my cousin.
"I came to see you. I was just outside when I ran into Thorin." I pointed at the dwarf who was still standing outside, cautious.
"This, Bilbo, is the leader of our company." said Gandalf as Thorin walked past him and up to Bilbo.
"This," the dwarf looked up at Gandalf, "is our burglar?"
Burglar? What was he talking about?
Some other dwarves had come to see who arrived. They laughed at Thorin's speculation.
Gandalf led the way into the parlor, where 12 other dwarves were seated at the table.
I couldn't believe my eyes.
They all bowed their heads as Thorin took a seat at the head of the table.
They spoke of a quest. Of Erebor. A dragon. I only caught the faintest details.
Bilbo was to be their 14th member, and accompany them on the quest to get their home back from the dragon whole stole it many years ago.
Bilbo seemed just as surprised as I was to hear all of this. Especially talk of a dragon.
Sure, when he was a child, Bilbo had always wanted to go on adventures, but as he grew, he became content with his books.
Me on the other hand, I still longed to leave the Shire. To go on a real adventure.
An older, white bearded dwarf handed Bilbo a contract with details of their quest. He read it.
"Aye, melt the flesh off your bones in the blink of an eye." Said one of the dwarves.
Bilbo began to breath heavily and turned pale. He looked back at his visitors.
"Nope." He hit the floor. Gandalf rushed over to him before I could.
That's when I felt a weight. I looked to see Thorin's gaze on me.
The dwarven king walked up to me.
I shifted in my seat a little as he got closer.
"If you utter anything you heard on this night to anyone hobbit, I swear to Durin, it will be the last thing you do." His eyes were piercing.
I gulped and nodded, "Not a word."
He leaned back and walked towards the living room. The fire was going and he sat down. I followed him.
I sat next to him, he looked at me.
I huffed. "My name is not "hobbit" though I am one. I don't go around calling you "dwarf"."
He turned in his chair to face me. "What shall I call you then?"
"Scarlet. Scarlet Took. Bilbo's cousin."
I stuck out my hand. He looked at it for a moment, then took it, shaking it.
As he did, I looked into those eyes. In them, I could see pain. I could see grief. It was awful to see anyone feel that way. He looked into my eyes as well.
"You know, you are not like any of the hobbits I have ever seen."