Written for the LOTR Community "Dark Side of Love" challenge. For TwentiethCenturyVole and PoppyMuddyfoot for their birthdays. Thanks to RiverOtter for the beta.
Lobelia Bracegirdle examined herself critically in her mother’s looking glass. She could not see anything about herself that any gentlehobbit might take exception to. Her feet were perhaps a bit long and narrow, but the hair on them was healthy and had a slight shine to its dark curls. Her ankles were fine enough. Now, her legs were not her strong suit by any case, being straight and rather skinny, with knobby knees. Thank heavens those were decently covered by her skirts! But she knew for a fact that many lasses her age had legs that were far uglier than hers, yet they still had lads who would gladly walk out with them.
Her shape wasn’t particularly bad—but neither was it particularly good. Her bosom showed promise, a promise her mother had informed her would probably not come to its full proportions until she was older and had put on more weight. The thought of having to eat in order to have a more substantial bosom made her shiver with frustration, for this would also most likely thicken her middle, which was pleasantly narrow, at the moment. Well, she thought, looking again, perhaps not quite that narrow! She was almost straight up and down, she realized, with a bit of allowance for that bosom of hers. One could use corset stays to accentuate one’s figure, she knew. Perhaps she should try that tonight.
Her arms were more pleasingly shaped than her legs, and her hands were not reddened and rough as were those of lasses of the working class. She at least had decent looking shoulders, she thought, turning slightly to examine them more fully. Her carriage was straight as a rod, and she did not believe that this could possibly be a detriment.
Her nose was—determined, she decided. Her eyes were dark, and her brows straight. Her mouth might have been perhaps a bit more generous. Yes, she was rather tall for a Hobbitess, although she believed that made her even more attractive, being unusual. Her hair was thick and full—her best feature, her mother had always held. She did not recognize the disapproving set to her mouth or the rather sly expression in her eyes, and so did not realize why many gentlehobbits tended to give her so wide a berth.
She was determined—absolutely determined—to have her name added to the Baggins family Book! And, since Bilbo Baggins had made it clear he would not purposely invite her to his home and refused to be seen in her company, and since Drogo Baggins had looked aghast the last time she’d sought to join him at a table in the dining room at the Ivy Bush and had recently made a well announced visit to Buckland so as to visit with his Brandybuck relatives apparently intended to avoid her advances, left her with little choice.
Otho Sackville-Baggins was not a bad looking Hobbit, she thought. And he was definitely the logical heir to his Cousin Bilbo as the Baggins as well as that of his father as the Sackville. Once Bilbo was gone, Otho would inherit Bag End, and it was definitely Bag End she wanted, even more than she did Bilbo. No, with his love of reading and history, not for her Bilbo Baggins after all! What would she possibly have in common with him other than their mutual love of the gardens? Besides, she’d found that Bilbo was far more aware of things about him than she’d thought—that last visit there to Bag End with her Uncle Leander had proved that as Bilbo insisted that she return the stickpin she’d just put into her hatband. No, he was far too observant, she now knew.
She would play upon her own youth and alleged innocence tonight when she walked out with Otho, she decided. She would hang upon his words and appear rapt by his conversation. She considered for a moment, and with a quick glance to assure herself that her mother wasn’t spying upon her and so wouldn’t be likely to interfere, she slipped her mother’s perfume bottle off the dressing table, putting a generous dollop of the liquid behind each knee and each ear, and then, with careful thought, between her breasts. There! Hopefully that would sufficiently addle his senses! There was one way to ensure that a gentlehobbit of—well, decent if not particularly good—character should marry a lass, and she intended to see to it that Otho Sackville-Baggins should have no choice but to take her to wife. Now, she’d managed to filch a firkin of brandy from Uncle Leander during her last visit with him. She would have to convince Otho that she was not too young for a tipple, she knew, once she’d inveigled him into that garden shed down the lane. She’d made certain that there was a comfortable pile of old cushions in there where they might at first sit. They’d not be the first, she knew, to put the dessert before the main course, and she found herself anticipating her coming adventure with satisfaction.
And with her mind filled with plans to seduce Bilbo Baggins’s cousin, she set off to her own room to finish her dressing. Yes, she would definitely use that corset to her own advantage, and removing it might help to inflame the lust she intended to rouse in him!