Young Frodo

by Overlithe

Part 15   The Party (Lotho strikes again…)

    The day had begun nicely enough.  Little Frodo Baggins wasn't quite sure what all the fuss was about but it was fun.  It had all begun when the hobbit called Bilbo arrived.  Frodo knew that it was an unusual day it always was if Bilbo came over to the smial.  Then the presents and the activity began and with the pretty things hanging about the hall it was obvious something was happening.
    Frodo was a bit confused however; his Mum had been quite sad in the morning he had climbed into her lap to comfort her. She seemed to cheer a bit but still she was not herself.  They had gone together, the three of them to the stone in the field.  There were many stones there but they always visited the same stone.  His Mum cried and spoke to him of a sister.  She called the stone Primrose it was all quite confusing.  What was a sister? Certainly not a stone in a field of stones and why did the stone make his Mum sad?  It was a puzzle; Frodo did not like to be confused.  He listened carefully anytime anyone spoke of sister hoping for some clues to the puzzle.  But he could not yet understand the reasons for the sadness and the joys of the day.

After the trip the field of stones Primula had been less sad as her attention turned to Frodo.  She told him over and over it was his birthday.  He didn't quite know what the word meant but it was all about him and that was fine with him.  The excitement seeped into him and soon he was in an uncontrolled frenzy.  He ran laughing through the corridors of Brandy hall and through the hall itself.  He ducked and dodged the arriving company he was breathless and flushed and to his mothers dismay completely out of control. 

Primula watched Frodo working himself into an uncontrolled hysteria.  She had never seen her son so animated indeed Frodo was full of himself. He looked beautiful, so full of life and love.  The tears started for a moment, she was thinking again of Primrose and how wonderful it would have been to have them both this day.  She could imagine the clear high hobbit laughter echoing in unison as the two ran together.  She could see the Golden-haired beauty she knew her daughter would have been.  By now she would be sweaty and disheveled.  As disheveled as her brother was no doubt.  She brushed the tears from her eyes and smiled at Drogo across the room.

There is a reason for all things she thought to herself.  She truly believed it and it was this belief that had gotten her and Drogo through the past year.  They had faith that they would again see their child when the time was right.  Meanwhile she was safe and secure in the arms of the creator.  Primula believed this and also that Primrose was with them all.  She apologized to her daughter for the tears.  "I am sorry Love; I just wish you were here today."  With a deep sigh and a short prayer for strength she turned to look for Frodo yet again.

She spied him just as Lobelia, Otho and Lotho arrived.  A moment too late she saw what was about to happen and she could do nothing but gape in disbelief.  She called to Frodo but he did not hear.  He ran full force into Cousin Lobelia knocking her feet from under her and sending her toppling to the floor in an undignified heap.

Frodo stopped abruptly as he hit the solid object in his path.  He had not seen the hobbits that had come in as he ran by.  As the first hobbit fell Frodo went tripping forward and hit Lotho with a surprising force, considering his size.  Lotho screamed as if he had been beaten with a willow switch.  But no one was looking at Lotho, the commotion was in trying to hoist is considerable ample Mum back to her feet.  No one laughed though there were a few private snickers yet Lobelia was in a fury.

Frodo lay on the floor before her.  He was still struggling to get up and he was crying.  Suddenly he was lifted by his shirt front and fear shot through him at the rough handling.
Never had he been picked up like that. The surprise passed as he felt the pain his arm hurt dreadfully and cousin Lobelia was causing it.  He began to cry but it seemed only to make her angrier.  She did not beat him but scolded him loudly then dropped him back to the floor like a rag.  He fell to the floor in a heap crying.  It had happened so quickly Primula had no time to react, Lobelia and Otho turned and walked away as if tossing a child on his birthday was the most natural thing in the world.  Primula was furious who in the Shire did they think they were. 

Among the witnesses were the Thain, the Master and the Mayor every notable hobbit in the shire was present.  Most importantly and initially unnoticed Bilbo had seen and was near enough to react.  What happened next was unheard of.  Bilbo saw the pair leave HIS child on the floor in tears and pain.  Lotho left unattended beside his smaller cousin took the opportunity to kick Frodo in his already injured shoulder.  Bilbo was already on his way to Frodo's side when Lotho launched his attack.  A scream rent the air of Brandy hall as Bilbo picked up Lotho Sackville-Baggins by his ears and proceeded to correct him with some force.  He then set him free to cower away with his shameful parents.

Bilbo, Primula and Drogo all went for Frodo at the same moment.  He sat stunned on the floor his tears had stopped and he had a stoic look of suppressed pain in his deep blue eyes.  He reached not for his Mum but for Bilbo.  He was lifted gently and Bilbo and Primula noted he was holding his left arm strangely and he would not lift it.

"Prim my dear, I think he's broken something", Bilbo quietly said.  And he handed Frodo to her.  Bilbo discreetly stepped away and headed to the Master of Buckland who of course was Frodo's Uncle.  Bilbo told him of Frodo's injury.  He did not know if Frodo had been hurt when he fell or if his treatment afterward was the cause but he wanted them out.  It was the Master's call.

He paused for only a moment before he approached them.  Old Rory Brandybuck was not too trifled with when it came to family and he agreed with Bilbo.  He with out warning or ceremony had The Sackville-Bagginses escorted from Brandy hall.  The Hall was silent as they were banished from the party.  Later Bilbo commented, "Those so called Bagginses could curdle fresh milk." 

Further examination of Frodo by the healer proved what Primula had feared. Frodo had broken his collar bone.  His arm was placed in a sling and was given some herbal pain medication to keep him comfortable.  Bilbo sat in an overstuffed chair holding Frodo as he had when he was an infant.  Frodo cuddled into Bilbo's chest and slept.  The fears and worry washed away by the warmth and safety he felt with his cousin Bilbo and his Mum and Da.  Perhaps birthdays were not so exciting after all~*~*~~*

16 Lessons Learned

    Primula was exhausted her invitation to the Sackville -Bagginses had proven disastrous.  Not only was the party for Frodo and Bilbo disrupted but Frodo was hurt in the tussle with Lotho and Lobelia.  She still could not believe that Lotho would be so loathsome as to attack a one year old at his own birthday.  Frodo had been up most of the last few days and nights unable to sleep due the pain.  Every time he rolled the sharp pain woke him.  He would whimper and cry out from his bed then cry great tears of exhaustion and anguish.  The poor child had deep circles under his eyes from the lack of sleep.  He was also looking quite pale; however the healer had assured her that he would mend with out problem.  Until then she and Frodo would get little rest.

Frodo lay in his bed his arm remained in the sling to support his arm.  It still hurt to move and so he lay very still though he was wide awake and hungry.  He stared intently at the wooden beams in the ceiling of his room thinking.  Though he still could only speak a few words Frodo's mind was quick and alert.  He knew who had delivered the blow that caused him such pain now.  The Lobelia lady was nasty and frightening but she had not hurt him much, not more than the fall had.  It was the lad Lotho who Frodo disliked so, never would he trust him again.  He shifted the least bit and the pain pinched in his shoulder.  It wasn't quite so bad if he moved slowly.  The pain however was not so much better that it did not cause him to cry.

He sat up in his bed and seeing him Mum asleep in the chair beside him called to her.  Primula awoke with a start and reached for Frodo.   She gently lifted him to her lap and rocked him soothingly.  All the while she hummed a tune into his curls her lips pressed gently into his sweet smelling head.  It was a soothing tune one that had no words it was a tune that echoed through the ages.  A tune used as long as time remembered, it was comfort and peace and rest. It had no name it just was.

As Frodo calmed and relaxed the pain eased.  He looked up to his mum, "Drink, momma?"  Primula did not respond but gently rose still holding her child and made her way to the kitchen.  She sat him gently in the chair by the hearth.  Frodo frowned in pain a look that was becoming far too common.  When ever his brow knit together in that way Primula could feel his pain.  She sighed, "Don't move luv", she said to her son. "Momma will get some warm milk for you." Frodo did not answer but stared at her watching as she moved gracefully around the kitchen.

He began to smile as he watched.  He did not know the words for what he saw and felt.  He just felt warm and safe.  He never wanted to leave her or the warmth he felt.  As she heated his milk he could smell the familiar smells of the kitchen.  His comfort grew, mushrooms, cheese, fresh bread and honey.  All of these smells were the smells of home and though he did not eat all of these things yet the very scent of them made him hungry.
"Eat, momma? "He asked quietly. Primula turned to look at him smiling. Frodo fairly wriggled with joy when she smiled at him like that. 

"Your hungry lad?  Do you want some bread? Or I know how about a bit of cheese?"  Primula questioned him.   "I wan bred" Frodo struggled with all the words but smiled when he had managed it.  Primula was beaming at him again and clearly he had done something she liked. He smiled back his deep blue eyes glowing in the firelight.  Primula brought him a piece of bread and his milk.  She held the cup to his mouth so he could drink and hold onto his bread.  The milk trickled down his chin as he drank. Primula pulled the cup away and she laughed at Frodo as he licked the stray drips away from his chin. He picked at the bread until he had managed the whole slice. He sat silent the entire time staring into his mother's eyes. 

Primula watched as Frodo sat in the chair propped up by pillows and a blanket. Breadcrumbs littered his chest and lap.  He had finished his snack but had made no move to get up or ask to be lifted from the chair.  As she watched him his eyes grew heavy blinking slowly until finally his eyes closed and he slept peacefully at last.  Primula stared at his face he was at last so peaceful.  She stayed there kneeling on the floor and wept quietly in exhaustion.  She looked back to his face; He was such a beautiful child, such a gift. She fell asleep leaning on the chair with him.

She awoke to the sounds of giggling and looked up to see Frodo looking out the window at a bird on the sill. He saw her awaken and pointed to the bird that was busily stealing bread from the loaf they had left out.  Primula just smiled and laughed along with him.  "Ah, to be a child and find such delight in the littlest of things," she thought.  She looked back at his laughing eyes, his pain almost forgotten for the time.

 "Well, Good Morning Frodo Baggins.

~*~*~*~*~TBC in 1373~*find out what 5 year old Frodo is up to…