Young Frodo

by Overlithe


It was a whole new world…Hobbiton was a world away from Buckland, at least it seemed so. He’d been here before, to Bag End; Hobbiton but usually for an occasion an event, a celebration. It had never occurred to him that the bustle and hum of a town in the midst of celebration had little in common with this now quiet corner of the Shire. The silence was simply deafening, he could hear the leaves on the trees whispering to each other, the quiet pad of feet on the path on the row below were an intrusive slap whap slap whap. He groaned in frustration he’d read the same line 4 times and still had no idea what it was he’d read. For years Frodo had longed for quiet and peace to have a place more private than the fosterage rooms at Brandy hall, to have some sort of respite from his cousin Merry and all of the clamoring activity that was life in Buckland. Well, he thought, “be careful what you wish for”.

Frodo had no desire to go back to his old life and he did not in the least regret his decision to make his home with his uncle. He and Bilbo had so much more in common than he and his Aunt and Uncle. Meriadoc however, was a different story he missed his young cousin terribly, more than he ever thought possible since the imp was usually Frodo’s chief distraction. That was what he needed now, a distraction…Frodo surprisingly found that one could only read and study for so long before the mind wandered and looked for other sources of stimulation. He stood from the bench under the tree in the back garden of Bag End and stretched, how long had he sat there before the silence penetrated his mind and became a numbing buzz in his mind. He shook his head trying to clear the haze and took a deep breath of the late fall air. It was unusually hot even under the canopy of trees.

“Finally”, he sighed, a sound other than his own breathing. A soft whistle sounded down on the row. Frodo followed the sound drawn to it out of desperation. Bilbo called to him as he walked through the front garden to the gate, he waved to him and turned, “I’ll be back soon.” Bilbo smiled and waved him off, “take your time lad,” Frodo smiled and turned back toward the sounds of a busy row. Sounds of a workday coming to an end, familiar it was, like the barns and fields of Buckland. The sounds of the common working folk content and happy with a day well spent. He approached and found what he was looking for the source of the whistle, a light homey tune the same as everyday this week. It was Samwise Gamgee, he’d heard him humming the same tune in the garden earlier in the week. He’d met Sam before, many times in fact he was a frequent visitor to his Uncle, and evidently it was a fact, that Sam was learning his letters from Bilbo before Frodo’s arrival had put a temporary end to those studies. But Frodo had never thought of him much, he was simply the gardeners’ son and apprentice. It was different now; he reminded him of Merry, stalwart and solid, truthful to a fault and most importantly an entry into the social life of the younger Hobbits of Hobbiton. After all, study was all fine and well but Frodo had not become notorious in Buckland by reading all the time. It was not a side of him that Bilbo had often seen but was aware of; all of his close relations knew of Frodo’s exploits as a teen, it was no secret. It’d been weeks since he’d been out and about with tweens and teens and it was most definitely time to seek out some age mates in the area.

Frodo perched himself at the end of the row on the top rail of the fence along the road and waited. It wasn’t long before Sam saw him and waved to him in greeting. Frodo hopped nimbly down and headed toward Sam who looked a bit perplexed to be approached as such on his own ground so to speak.

“Sam”?

“Yes, Mr. Frodo what can I do for you master?”

Sam frowned was it his imagination or was Frodo blushing?

Frodo fidgeted for a moment then worked up his nerve and asked. “Sam are you and your friends going out for an ale tonight?”

“Well, sir yes of course we are as we always do after we supp with our families we’ll be off to the dragon for a mug or two, sometime three of four.” He smiled conspiratorially and chuckled.

There was an uncomfortable pause in which Frodo drew breath and began to answer. Sam interrupted him, “did you want to be joining us Mr. Frodo?”

Frodo looked up gratefully with a smile, “I’d love to Sam, no one will mind will they?”

“Naught to worry Mr. Frodo, we’ve been wondering when you’d be looking for a bit of…lets say younger company, if you get my meaning.”

“I do Sam; get your meaning, I mean, he rambled. I am not quite used to the quite of the evenings here as of yet and I’ve been dying for a bit of action truth be told.”

“Well the boys and me we'll be glad to have you along sir, but don’t be expecting too much in the way of action and want not. Meet me here as soon as the sun is set and well see what trouble we can be finding tonight.” Sam whispered and winked and was gone down the row to number three where he could hear the gaffer berating him for being late.

It had gone better than Frodo could have hoped and was nothing like he’d expected. Who’d have thought that Sam would have been so sly and forward? It was like he knew what he needed and took care to make sure he put Frodo at ease. Sam had been nothing like he was when he was at work with his Gaffer or when he was with Bilbo. Perhaps Hobbiton was not going to be as hopelessly boring as he thought. For Boring was one thing Frodo could not tolerate, peace and quite in its due measure, yes a necessity but dull unadulterated boredom would make him stir-crazy. He spun on his heal and ran up the hill to Bag End, he was going out tonight…inside he was laughing for joy.

Bilbo smiled as Frodo trotted past him, he’d wondered how long it would take Frodo to seek something more than his company, Hobbiton was however not Buckland and Bilbo hoped there was enough to tie him to his new home, now he just had to wait and hope again.

he laughed to himself..who was he kidding, hobbiton had best brace itself, Frodo Baggins was about to make an entrance, no doubt it would be one to remember.