1. Nighttime Visitors
“You don’t think it’s too soon, do you?”
“No, Pippin, I’m sure they’ll be glad to see us.”
“But what if they’re not ready for company? And besides, Sam’s letter said Frodo wasn’t feeling well.”
“Which is, if you’ll remember, the whole reason we made the trip. Besides, we’re not company. We’re family.”
They stood in silence for a few moments more until Pippin’s whisper echoed through the dark.
“Merry...did you knock?”
“Don’t be alarmed, Mr. Frodo, but I think someone’s lurking outside.”
“What do you mean, Sam? I didn’t hear a knock.”
Sam moved toward the door, carefully taking a poker from near the fire. “Exactly. I saw two people come up the walk, but I’ve not heard anything but whispers and soft voices since then. What kind of hobbit goes up to a person’s door and just stands there?”
“Calm down, Sam. They’re probably just collecting themselves,” Frodo told him, not even bothering to look up from his book.
Sam crept another few steps forward. “Maybe. But with the world the way it is—” He froze at a sound. “They knocked,” he whispered.
“I heard. Will you answer it now?”
“Oh. Right.” Sam put the poker down and went to the door. He opened it slowly, still uncertain of the safety.
“Hello, Sam,” Merry said cheerfully as he marched on in, followed by Pippin. Sam could only stand dumbly holding the door.
“Merry! Pippin!” Frodo dropped his book and jumped up, a smile spread across his face.
“Hello, Frodo,” Pippin said as he hugged his friend, a bit of surprise in his voice, “We didn’t expect to find you in such good spirits.”
“Well, how did you expect to find me?” Frodo laughed.
“Nearly at death’s door, by the way Sam put it,” Merry said with an amused glance at the chubby hobbit.
“Yes, he does tend to overreact, doesn’t he?” Frodo smiled at Sam, who was beginning to look a little offended.
Pippin gave Frodo a serious look. “So, you’re all right, then?”
“The wraithblade’s sting still makes itself known, but for the time I have come to tolerate it.”
“Really?” Pippin said cheerfully, “Well, I suppose we should head back, then.” He turned and headed for the open door before Frodo laughed and grabbed his cousin’s arm.
“Don’t be stupid. You will stay with us a while. It has been too long since we had a good visit.”
“How long?” Merry asked, mostly rhetorically.
“Not since the wedding,” Sam finally spoke up, “You should remember it well enough. You nearly set the mallorn on fire.”
“Oh, right!” Merry said with a laugh, “That was hilarious.”
“And not entirely our fault,” Pippin added, “If Gandalf had left proper instructions with his fireworks—”
“Who is that in there?” came a high voice from down the hall, “Who has come to visit?”
“No one, Rosie,” Sam answered back, “Just a couple of juvenile relations.”
Moments later the hobbitess glided into the room, smiling warmly. “Why, if it isn’t Merry and Pippin. How are you sirs?”
“Just fine, Rose, and you’re looking as lovely as ever,” Merry told her with a hug.
“A little too lovely, it seems,” Pippin added, with some surprise, seeing the noticeable bulge in her lower torso. He turned to her husband, “Sam, you’ve really got to learn to control your urges,” he chastised.
“Assuming it was Sam,” Merry said suggestively, eyeing Frodo with suspicion.
“I knew the ratio here was a bad idea,” Pippin agreed as all three other hobbits grew redder by the second, “Especially after all that time in Mordor.”
Rosie giggled, “That’s about enough, you two. You’re embarrassing my husband.”
“That would be the point,” Pippin teased.
“Now close the door,” she commanded, “before you let the wild animals in.”
“Too late, I’m afraid,” Sam muttered, glancing with half-feigned displeasure at the guests.
Pippin obeyed and the five of them spent several hours in front of the fire before finally going to bed.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.