1. Chapter 1
Text in italics is quoted from FotR
''Get up, it's time to get ready to go!'' Pippin snuggled deeper under his blankets, Merry rolled his eyes and yanked them off. ''Pippin,'' he commanded, ''We're leaving soon and if you don't get up, you aren't coming.'' Groaning, Pippin toppled out of bed. ''I hope your packed by now.'' said Merry. Pippin looked at his things, which were strewn all over the floor, and sighed. Fumbling and yawning he unceremoniously stuffed them into his knapsack before meandering down to the kitchen, where he found Merry and Sam packing up the rest of the food that they would be taking.
''What time is it?'' yawned Pippin.
''A little past four.'' answered Merry.
''Sam's about to start on it. Here, take these bags to the hitching post.'' Sighing, Pippin shouldered the sacks and headed out the door.
He dumped the bags on the ground by the post and looked out across the field. It was dark, and the sun had not yet risen. He shivered a bit- maybe it was because of the cold. Or, maybe it was because after all this time, they were finally going. When he was little he used to play adventure with his cousins and friends, and then when he and Merry were a little older they would plan the adventures they were going to go on when they were older. And of course, they had been preparing to go with Frodo, all summer. Only now, it was really here, they were leaving. Somehow it didn't seem real.
''Hey, Earth to Pippin, you still alive out here? Or have you frozen solid because you forgot your jacket?'' Pippin started and Merry chuckled, ''This really isn't your time of the morning, Pip.''
''Thank you so very kindly for reminding me, your concern really shows through.''
''Precisely why I said so! Here, come help me with the ponies. I want them ready to go before we eat.'' They saddled all five of Merry's ponies- four for riding and one with a pack saddle to carry the baggage. They saddled Fatty's Bunty as well, he could at least see them off, even if he wasn't coming with them. Then they headed inside, where they found Sam, Frodo, and Fatty eating breakfast.
''Hey, starting without us?'' complained Merry.
''Of course we did Mr. Merry, we thought if we got a head start we might be able to have some of it.'' replied Sam with a grin. Pippin made a face, and he and Merry immediately set down to making up for lost time.
''So, Merry, what're the plans?'' asked Frodo a few minutes later.
''Well, all that's left is for you to pack up whatever-it-is your taking, then we can leave. I think we could be off by a quarter till six without any delays.''
''Soon after six o'clock the five hobbits were ready to start. Fatty Bolger was still yawning. They stole quietly out of the house....................... After riding for about an hour, slowly and without talking, they saw the hedge looming suddenly ahead, it was tall and netted over with silver cobwebs.
'How are you going to get through this?' asked Fredegar.
'Follow me!' said Merry, 'and you will see.' He turned to the left along the hedge,.....................a cutting had been made..............and came out in the hollow on the other side.''
They said goodbye to Fatty, and rode through. Then Merry shut the gate behind them, with an ominous clang.
''That's it,'' thought Pippin, ''we're out of the Shire...........and I may never see home again. But, what was it Frodo was singing yesterday? Home is behind, the world ahead? The world certainly is ahead, and it seems rather big and dangerous. I hope I'm brave enough, to go.............there. But then again, I have to be, I can't leave Frodo, and Merry's too brave to turn back anyways. It seems strange though, all that time, and now we're really gone. But why am I thinking like this?'' he yawned, ''Ughh, it's too early, we could've started at half past ten and still beat those black chaps! Why does Merry have to insist on being so dramatic? Before the break of day my foot!''
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.