20. 22. Halimath 1369
22. Halimath 1369
I can barely keep from bursting into laughter.
It is a sight one would not see every day. I knew my Frodo liked to babble, but it never occurred to me that Bilbo might like to as well. Both, the old Baggins and the young, the head of the family and its youngest member, are prattling away their "lalas" and "nonos" and no one but they themselves understand what they are talking about.
Had someone told me two days ago that their shared birthday would be such a success for the cousins, I would not have believed it. Three days ago Frodo shied away from Bilbo. He did not remember him, of course, and at the moment he fears anyone who is not Drogo, Gilda or I.
Bilbo said nothing, but I could see he was disappointed that the lad he had grown so fond of in the days after his birth suddenly feared him and avoided his presence. Yet he accepted the distance Frodo needed. Instead of getting a room at the Hall, Drogo's cousin stayed with us, and I think that made things a lot easier. Frodo's curiosity soon won out over his unease and began to trust Bilbo. He would listen attentively to the unfamiliar voice that had so many tales to tell. Whenever the friendly, wrinkled face was not turned towards him, he studied it intently and within less than a day, Bilbo was being greeted with a shy smile whenever he caught Frodo's gaze. He had been uncommonly quiet since his cousin's arrival, but as soon as Frodo was convinced Bilbo was no one to be afraid of, he began talking even more. Toys had to be introduced to our guest and conversations needed to be held - conversations like the one taking place in front of the fireplace.
I lean back smiling into Drogo's arms as he sits down beside me. Bilbo and my husband have taken over my duties for the evening so I can rest a bit. While the one entertains my son, the other has taken care of the washing up. It has been an exhausting day for the birthday party was a toil for my son and me. There were too many rarely seen faces for Frodo and too many tears for me to dry. Frodo was not pleased to see so many relatives and have so many things going on at the same time, especially after his nap, while he was still groggy. Laughing uncles and screaming cousins were not the wakeup he was prepared for. If not for the support of Drogo and Bilbo, the feast would probably have ended in a disaster, because I had to take my time comforting my child. The wrappings for the mathoms, and the birthday candles soon took Frodo's mind off his unease. He was as lively and talkative as ever and I think almost enjoyed being the centre of attention. Cousins, uncles and aunts alike were delighted. My lad's first birthday party was a success.
"Nonononono!" Frodo tells his cousin in a very determined way and, again, I find myself snickering behind my hands. My boy sits on the floor, shaking his head vigorously and causing Bilbo to reach out a supporting hand which is not needed. He is smiling and his eyes respond differently to Bilbo's question than his mouth. At the moment everything is "no" even if Frodo doesn't mean it. "No" is his latest linguistic acquisition. The step to "Mommy" can't be that far away, but so far Frodo has not voiced the word.
"No?" Bilbo looks disappointed. "You really don't want to hear about your uncle's adventure with the dwarves and the dragon? That's a pity."
"If you're waiting for 'yes' you wait in vain," I chuckle. "Aside from the fact that he is too young for your story, I shouldn't want his head to be full of dragons and other nonsense before he can even pronounce the words."
"Nonsense?" Bilbo gives me a glance. "They are all but that, Primie, dear. Frodo needs to know what awaits him outside the Shire, so that he will remain longer under your care and not venture on an adventure without his uncle at his side."
"I doubt it will do him any good even if you're with him."
Drogo laughs quietly. "And I doubt it will do him any good when he is spoiled rotten by his mother."
"I don't spoil him," I tell my husband impishly and lean back for a playful kiss.
"No!" Frodo exclaims demanding attention. He crawled up to his uncle, his little hand tapping Bilbo's knee.
"See," I tell them, as I look fondly at my son, a smug smile on my lips. "Frodo is of the same opinion."
Drogo raises a critical eyebrow and nods, while Bilbo wraps his arms around my boy, and pulls him into a hug. Then he covers his face, hands and belly with kisses, earning delighted squeals and giggles. There's no doubt they have stolen each other's hearts. Bilbo might want to visit more often now.
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.