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15
A Frodo Returns to Bag End

Written for the A_L_E_C "Seeds" prompt. For Julchen and Sivan for their birthdays.


~~~

A Frodo Returns to Bag End


They’d intended to name their firstborn Frodo, of course. Who better than his friend, patron, and brother-of-the-heart to name a child after, after all? But then the child had been born a lass instead, and had been named by Frodo as Elanor, after the golden starflowers of Lothlórien. As Sam Gamgee hurried home from his overnight trip to Michel Delving on business, he wondered if this one would be that longed-for son. Another two weeks, and it should be born. He’d not leave Rosie’s side again until the babe was come, that he vowed to himself.

One of the Twofoot clan was at the stable as he approached The Green Dragon, and smiled brilliantly at him as he dashed off in the direction of Hobbiton. Had his Rose set a neighbor to alert her that he was on his way home?

The hostler accepted Bill’s reins. “You’d best be getting’ home as fast as you can get there,” Sam was advised. “Big things happenin’ there in Bag End!”

And as he approached the hole, it was Marigold who opened the green door for him. He was a bit surprised to see the Gaffer here, sitting in the Master’s chair, dandling little Elanorellë on his knee. “Took yer sweet time a-comin’ home, didn’t you, lad? Almost too late!”

Alarmed, Samwise tore off his cloak and threw it in the direction of the pegs on the wall, and hurried off down the passageway toward the master bedroom.

He heard the shrill cry as he approached the door. “Oh, now if this isn’t the most cunning little fellow!” murmured the midwife. “As beautiful a child as one could hope for! Here, Rose Gamgee—your son!”

He burst into the room, his face flushed, his eyes alight with surprise and hope. “A son? It’s a lad this time?”

The bundle Rosie was accepting was as red a child as was ever born in the whole of the Shire, and protesting his rude awakening to the outside world with all the considerable strength of his nature, apparently. And there was no question, as she turned it to lay it in the blanket held out by her mother, that this was indeed a fine lad. He looked into her exhausted eyes, and saw that pride he’d seen there a few years earlier when it was Elanor she’d presented to the world. “Well, and there you are!” she whispered. “About time as you got here, don’t you think? Come and meet your son!”

The midwife was carrying out the pan with the afterbirth as Sam settled his hip carefully on the edge of the bed, reaching to eagerly take the babe into his own arms. He barely noted anything else as he opened the blanket and looked at his son’s sturdy little body, saw that there were five fingers on each tiny hand, five toes on each little foot, that he had a good tongue in the small mouth, and a soft down of dark-colored fuzz on his head. “He’ll be as fair as his namefather,” Rosie said softly, reaching out a finger to stroke the child’s outstretched palm.

Lily looked up from her work of removing the thick toweling from beneath her daughter’s hips. “His hair will lighten up, though, just as yours did, lass. He’ll not be anywhere as dark haired as Mr. Frodo was.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Sam said, pulling his son closer to his breast, feeling the infant’s breath on his own throat as the child’s cries settled and as it turned its head to seek for sustenance. “Doesn’t matter a whit. Its only right and proper that a Frodo dwell here in Bag End, what was his home for so long and where he loved it so.”

And later in the evening, after the bairn had been bathed and had suckled, after Rosie was bathed also and settled down to rest after her labor, and the Gaffer had been helped back down to Number Three by Marigold, and Lily was singing Elanor to sleep in the nursery, Sam settled down in the Master’s chair in the parlor, his sleepy son in his arms. He was singing softly under his breath the old song about the Moon coming down to the merry old inn to partake of the brown ale, and he watched as his tiny son stretched and turned his head, seeking a more comfortable position. He went still at last, and Sam smiled down at the little lad. “Welcome, Frodo,” he whispered. “Welcome to life and to your proper place here in Bag End.” He looked up and caught amused eyes meeting his own. “Isn’t he a fine one, Mr. Frodo?” he asked.

“That he is,” his Master said, and smiled as he returned to his new life so far away.

And Sam settled into a doze, glad that a Frodo was living once more in Bag End.

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