Young Frodo

by Overlithe

Chapter 19

Frodo caught the look he got from Saradoc as he took Esmeralda's hand and pulled her to him for a quick embrace and kiss.  He smiled satisfied that he would not be getting a thrashing for his interference.  He turned and ran to find his Mum he would be the first to tell her that her nephew and her cousin would be getting married.  He ran around the corner and in his haste tripped over an errant foot.  He landed flat on his face and began to cry placing his hand up to his opened mouth and felt the warm trickle of his own blood as it ran over his lips and dripped to the floor. He looked down to the spot where a small puddle was forming and picked up his tooth from the floorboards.  Tears flowed silently from his eyes and he decided that it was rather uncomfortable to have ones tooth knocked out.  He carried it gently in his palm and walked through the crowd looking for his Mum.

As he approached Primula saw the stained shirt and the blood still pouring from his mouth and gasped.  Primula could deal with most anything except the blood of her child.  She felt herself swoon and her knees buckled.  Frodo saw his Mums face blanch and went forward quickly. "Mum, I knocked my stooth sout." He stuttered through the blood and offered his bloodied palm to her.  Frodo watched as her eyes rolled back and she passed out before his very eyes.  The commotion that followed both frightened and surprised him; His Da came over and saw immediately what had happened.  Drogo comforted Frodo for a moment checking him over for any real injury.  "Momma can't stand the sight of blood Frodo," He explained.  Frodo frowned he didn't quite understand but something he had done had made his Mum sick and now he felt ill as well.  The tears that before had passively rolled down his cheeks were now released in great torrents and he sobbed uncontrollably.  Drogo picked him up and hugged him, "There now twill be alright Frodo.  I must stay with Momma who can take you to get cleaned up?"  He held him tightly still as he could see the child was more upset about his Mum than his own blood.  "Your Mum is going to be fine, but we must get you cleaned up before she wakes lad or she'll just faint again."

Drogo motioned to Esme and Saradoc who had just come over to see what the commotion was all about.  He handed Frodo over to them explaining what had happened. They took him with out question their news could wait.  "Come on then Frodo luv, Esme said holding him close carrying him like she did when he was an tiny child.

 "Do you wanna see my tooth Esme?" 

"Of course I do, you know you would have lost it soon enough anyway luv. Lets see it!"

 "You won't fall down?"

 "No Frodo I won't I promise."

He held out his tiny palm his hand was shaking she noticed and there it was a perfect little tooth.  "We will have to clean it up with you so your mum can see it too."

Frodo smiled his bloody grin at her and said, "Thank you Esme." He hugged her tight.  Saradoc had watched the exchange smiling what a wonderful mother she would be.  The thought made him pale and he felt a bit dizzy.  Suddenly he thought of his life, as it soon would be.  Master of Buckland with all the responsibilities, a husband and expected to produce and heir…. he would be a father.  The thought was quite sobering especially knowing all that Drogo and Primula had been through to have Frodo and the difficulties since then.  The full weight of his decision to marry hit him all at once. Then he saw Frodo his deep soulful eyes looking at him and he knew that it would all be worth it.  He hoped that one day he would have a son like the little one before him.  But Frodo Baggins was different, special.  He had never thought much about it before but somehow he knew there would not be another like him.

Saradoc let them go on ahead to the washroom Esme did not need his help and he was lost.  He had become lost in his thoughts of family and children.  He did not consider himself particularly insightful but something was hovering just beyond his grasp.  He tried to think what it could be and slowly a blinding vision came to him. It was fast and the glimpse of it fled by as he tried to understand what it was he had seen.  It was more than one thing and it left him feeling fearful for his own son who did not yet exist and more so for his dear cousin Frodo.  He spoke to no one of the feeling and the flash of knowledge that one day he would produce an heir and that he would be renowned.  Or of the darkness he had seen fleetingly surrounding the Four.  Four?  He did not know who they all were but one-day things would not be as they now were in the Shire.

The feeling passed as quickly as it had come upon him and Saradoc followed to find Frodo.  He met them as they returned from Frodo's room.  He was clean and tidy the gap in his smile was oddly appealing.  Saradoc took Esmeralda's hand and went back to the celebration.  "Frodo, how would you like to tell everyone the news?" He asked.  Frodo shook his head he had had enough for the day he just wanted to see his mum.  I'll tell Momma and he laid his head back to Esmeralda's shoulder.  His lip was beginning to swell and he was drained.

They delivered him back to his Da. His Mum sat in a chair looking well and he climbed into her lap. "I'm sorry Mum". He clung to her and cried sobbing.  She held him stroking his back soothing him until at last he fell asleep in her arms. As she had so many times before she just held him there her face pressed into his curls.  No one smelled as sweet as her little son.  She sighed and closed her eyes and let herself relax nothing else existed at the moment just Frodo and herself.

Chapter 20

Frodo sat in his chair having second breakfast.  He poked his tongue through the space in the front of his teeth. The one left by his "accident" on midyears day.  His mouth had been sore for weeks after the fall that had knocked his tooth out.  It had been only 3 days since he could again bite into solid food.  During that time his mum had to chop all of his food very finely and virtually force him to eat.  Frodo did not have a big appetite to begin with and the pain in his mouth had taken away what little desire he did have to eat.  Primula had been concerned until she found that if she cooked his favorites and chopped it he would take enough to satisfy her fears.  This child that she loved so continually frightened her.  He was so carefree and yet headstrong; He seemed never to give thought to danger or the possibility of injury.  Bilbo and Drogo assured her that this was normal behavior for a lad.  Still Primula had never been able to completely relax as a parent she had never totally recovered from her loss of her other child.  Still Frodo was resilient as were most hobbit children.  He would fall down and pop up as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do so.

  Perhaps it was natural, Primula smiled as she watched her son spraying his milk through the gap in his teeth making a mess on his shirt and the table.  "Frodo Baggins!" She shook her head, "now lad that looks terribly fun but you'll be cleaning up the mess before you go to play."

Frodo cringed at the scolding tone in his Mums voice.  He looked at the mess he had made of things and blushed. "Sorry Mum", he whispered.  "It's alright Luv, just get a move on and help me with the cleanup". Frodo smiled at her his mum was never cross she was the most wonderful Hobbit in the Shire.  He jumped up and took his cup and bowl to the tub for cleaning.  He grabbed the rag and began mopping up the mess on the table. He hummed a tuned all the while as he did his assigned chore.  "What a wonderful lad", her heart warmed as she watched him sloshing the table making more of a mess with his efforts.  "Very nice Frodo, go on and play now lad."

Frodo ran off to find something to do. It was always a challenge for him there were few lads his own age and so he sometimes had to invent things to do.  He was quite clever and most of his activities revolved around sneaking about the adults in Brandy hall.  Hobbits were quite stealthy and Frodo was perfecting the talent daily.  Saradoc was always one of his favorite hobbits to sneak up on.  He had learned a few things he knew he was not old enough to hear.  He always kept such things a secret he was not one to tell tales.  But Saradoc was off in Tuckborough with Esme making arrangements for their wedding.  It was bound to be a huge affair.  So he had heard his Mum say as he spied on her one day with her friends.  He did not realize Saradoc was so important he would one day be the Master of Buckland.  Frodo wasn't quite sure what that meant but his Mum seemed it quite important and Esme was the daughter of the Thain.  The Tooks had their own ways and though he was closely related to them he really did not spend much time out of Buckland.

So what is a youngster to do?  Frodo was feeling well for the first time in days. The swelling in his mouth was gone and so was the ache in his head.  It was a beautiful day so his thought turned to the outside.  Everyone was for some reason busy this particular day and no one noticed as young Master Baggins left the safety of the Smial.  He wandered back to the path that he had been on only last week.  Indeed if he was lonely he seemed always to find his way to the spot.  He stopped at the small ascending path and looked up the gentle incline the trees lined the lane and the path was always peaceful.  Frodo had only begun to understand what the place was.  He sighed and went on to the place where his sister lay.  Frodo sat down next to the stone marking the spot.  He ran his fingers gently over the words he wished he could read though he knew what it said by memory.

        Primrose Iris Baggins
        ~*Beloved Daughter*~
        September 22, 1368

Suddenly Frodo was overcome with sadness.  Perhaps he finally understood that this was a great loss to him even now almost 6 years later.  He had always felt alone somehow even in a great crowd.  The realization that this sister he did not know was what he was missing, always missing.  He remained sitting, vision blurred by tears that had formed as he stared at the spot.  And he curled up on the warm summer grass and he slept.

It began unpleasantly, searching and never finding lost and alone, afraid. Frodo groped in the dark hand reaching out to find what he sought.  It eluded him always he could not reach it.  He cried out for his Mum but she did not come to him.  It was dark so dark, he was lost.  He huddled into a ball hiding his head against his knees.  Tears were soaking his trousers and he did not even know exactly why he cried.  The sobs however continued, his small body convulsed with grief and agony. 

He was not aware of when she came to him.  Suddenly he looked up and she was before him.  A girl of his own age with golden hair and fair features he knew at once who she was.  How he knew did not matter he was no longer alone.

    "Primrose" he said.  She simply nodded. "How"? Frodo stuttered through his tears.  "I am always with you my brother, I always will be no matter where you go."
Frodo frowned, "Where would I go?" as far as he knew there was nowhere else to be.
    She smiled gently at him as if she knew something he could not.  And he stared at her with his great blue eyes.  Hers were as his Mum always said a green greener than all the grass in the Shire.  He did not understand.  Primrose drew closer to him until she sat inches from him where he sat.  You will NEVER be alone Frodo Baggins, NEVER, just remember that.  I am part of you I am with you always and nothing can change that.  You remember me more than your mind will allow you to.  We were together all the long months before our birth I will love you forever.

"Frodo", she whispered, "I will take care of you. Remember…remember…" Then she was gone.  Frodo slept peacefully.

He awoke with a start from a nap he never intended to take.  He looked at his surroundings and focused on the stone before him and in his mind he heard her.  "I love you, I am with you".  He smiled, a great joy filled him he remembered the dream he had and he kept it as his own he never spoke of it to anyone not even his dear Mum.  It was a gift to him one that he would not fully realize until later.

 His life would not always be so easy and carefree.