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And Bilbo makes 10!: 1. And Bilbo makes 10!
"I got here without much adventure," Bilbo said, "And then I went on with the dwarves to Dale and Erebor. Alas, old Balin had gone away, and nothing had been heard for some time. I wonder what happened to him."
Bilbo and Frodo talked for a while longer about what Bilbo had been doing after leaving the Shire, but pleased as he was to see Frodo back in good health, there was something… Bilbo couldn't quite work out what, but something stirred him; he was restless, almost as much so as in the last few months right before the Party.
Much later, both Frodo and Sam gone off to sleep, and even the music having come to an end, Bilbo quietly returned to the Hall of Fire. Despite a walk in the gardens, he couldn't find sleep yet; perhaps he would at least find some rest here.
I should not have asked Frodo to show me the Ring. I thought – hoped – I'd never hear It again, whispering straight into my mind, and yet… It still calls me. He shook his head. I'm done with adventuring, and the Ring's passed on to Frodo. I should not get mixed up in this.
I wonder what today will bring. Bilbo looked around the circle of those gathered for Elrond's Council. Frodo – and Sam quietly hidden away; Aragorn, Gandalf… Many here he knew, and knew well, but some were strangers. Glóin's son Gimli he had met on his last journey to Dale and the Mountain, and Thranduil's son he could at least put a name to, but the only other Man there except the Dúnadan was unknown to Bilbo. Elrond introduced him as having come from the South.
So, this is the company that will decide what to do about the Ring. Bilbo waited.
As Master Elrond spoke, Bilbo was fending off the Ring's insidious whispers. Time… I can give you time to do everything you want to accomplish, and peace to work in.
Your kind of time would turn me into Gollum, Bilbo thought waspishly.
After that the Ring was quiet, though Bilbo sensed it had not given up on him.
As Bilbo returned his attention to the discussion, Frodo spoke. "I will take the Ring."
"I will come with you," Bilbo said quickly, before he could reconsider.
"And I!" a third voice said.
Sam! Of course… Bilbo thought. So it must be.
As he saw the giant spider coming, Bilbo knew why he had come on the Quest, and it was not for the Ring's whispers.
"Frodo, Sam, I will hold it back."
Frodo opened his mouth to speak.
"No, don't argue. GO!"
Both hobbits still hesitated.
"Your swords won't even cut through its webs. Sting can."
There was sudden acceptance in Sam's eyes, and he nodded abruptly at Bilbo before turning to Frodo and almost pulling him along.
Bilbo tightened his grip on Sting. If he would buy them time, he must do it right. No taunting this one with Attercop!
Bilbo's initial line "I got here without much adventure" is quoted from The Fellowship of the Ring, Many Meetings.
Frodo's "I will take the Ring" is of course from the next chapter, The Council of Elrond.
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