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67
Preparatory to an Introduction

Written for Kitty and Claudia for their birthdays. Beta by RiverOtter.


~~~

Preparatory to an Introduction


“And you wish me to meet with this Hobbit? First of all I have difficulty appreciating why Lord Elrond would take in a Hobbit as a resident of Rivendell. Then I don’t understand how you have managed to become so respectful of him, much less why you want me to meet with him. I mean, he is but a Hobbit, after all.”

“You will understand the latter all too soon, Halbarad. But you’ve heard the tale of how it was that Smaug the dragon was vanquished in Erebor....”

The Ranger’s eyes opened the wider. “No! This isn’t the Dwarves’ famous Burglar, is it?”

“No other! And when you hear how it was he managed to hide himself from Smaug’s gaze, you will begin to understand just why it is important that we do our best to keep the borders of their lands impenetrable. If indeed what Bilbo Baggins left behind in his heir’s hands is as Gandalf fears, and should it fall into the keeping of the Enemy, then there will be no hope left for any of the Free Peoples of Middle Earth. But it is best you hear the tale from Bilbo’s own lips.”

Halbarad searched the eyes of his chieftain and friend. Never had he heard the words no hope left uttered by him before, and to him it underscored just how seriously Aragorn was taking the matter.

Meanwhile his kinsman was continuing, “And know this--we of the Dúnedain are never to use the true name of Bilbo’s young kinsman--we will ever speak of him by his name in Sindarin that we never betray his actual identity and endanger him further. Do you understand?”

As they turned down the final corridor to the Hobbit’s rooms, Halbarad nodded tentatively. “And what is his name in Sindarin, then, Aragorn?”

“Iorhael.”

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