An Unexpected Journey: A Lord of the Rings Fan-Fiction Story
Pearl was going home after picking some mushrooms out in the fields when she noticed Merry and Pippin leaving the Tooks’ house. They seemed normal, but Pearl noticed a slight note of sorrow in their eyes. She wondered where they were going and why they were all dressed up in that unfamiliar clothing they came home in from their long journey. She walked briskly up to them and asked, “Why the fancy clothing, lads? I hope you’re not going to party without me.” A grin spread on her face, making the two fellows smile back.
“Well, Pearl, it’s more like a farewell party for Bilbo Baggins; he’s leaving with the Elves,” acknowledged Pippin.
“We were the only ones invited, besides Frodo and Sam, of course. Gandalf is leaving as well. Sorry that you weren’t invited, knowing how much you cared for Bilbo. They just wanted those of us who went on the journey to be there to send them off right, I guess,” said Merry.
“They’ll be going to the Grey Havens, the Elvish city by the sea. Their boat will be leaving here soon and we promised Gandalf we’d meet him on the way. Don’t worry, Pearl; I’ll tell you all about it when I get back,” promised Pippin.
“Oh, very well,” she conceded. “Then get back soon; I don’t want to wait a whole year to hear about it.”
Pippin laughed. “Don’t worry; I should be back in a couple of days. Well, if you want me back soon, I should be leaving now. Merry’s already gotten the ponies ready and is waiting for me. I’ll see you when I get back.” He proceeded to give his sister a warm hug. Then he ran to his horse and waved goodbye to her before leaving with Merry.
Pearl was going up the stairs when a thought occurred to her. Frodo hadn’t been to the Tooks in a while. I hope Pippin will remember to get Frodo over here, she thought. It wouldn’t be much of a birthday party without the birthday boy. She sighed, Oh, Frodo. It really wasn’t Bilbo she was interested in the most, even though she did love the old chap dearly. It was Frodo whom she had always wanted. There could be no other hobbit lad for her. The main reason why she took as much interest in Bilbo was because Frodo loved him so much and wanted to be with him.
Then another horrifying thought crossed her mind as she set down the basket of mushrooms on the kitchen table. What if Frodo decided that he would go with Bilbo over the sea? He hadn’t been himself since the journey, and being with the Elves would probably make him feel better.
No! she screamed in her head. If this was so, she had to go to meet their ship; she had to see him. This might be the last time she would ever get to see him unless. . .an idea formed in her mind, and she rushed to her room to prepare. It would be risky, but it would be worth it even if it was just to get to see Frodo.
Frodo watched as his friends quickly become small specks on the shore. He turned to face the sunset. . .and his fellow passengers. He smiled at them and walked to the rail of the ship. He closed his eyes and breathed in the scents of the sea. Oh, it felt so good; it seemed like he was healing already. A small yet sad smile settled on his face. This is a good thing, he thought to himself. But I shall miss the Shire and all my friends, especially Sam and…
“Frodo?” said a concerned voice, breaking into his thoughts. Frodo opened his eyes and looked at the elderly hobbit standing next to him.
“Are you alright?” inquired his uncle.
“I’m alright, Bilbo. I’m sure I’ll feel much better once we get to the Undying Lands,” replied Frodo. He smiled as he saw his uncle’s eyes respond to the call of sleep. “And when we get you to your bed, or else you’ll fall over and probably get us both killed.”
Gandalf came and helped him get Bilbo to his room. However, when they got close to his room, a thought popped into Bilbo’s head.
“What about supper? I can’t go to sleep without getting something to eat.”
Frodo smiled at this comment while Gandalf chuckled. “I shall go get you something to eat, my friend, while Frodo gets you settled into your room. I shall be back shortly,” assured the wizard.
Bilbo sighed when he lay down on his bed. “The Elves make such comfortable beds. If Gandalf doesn’t get here soon, I’ll fall asleep without eating, and we can’t let that happen. Well, then, how about we talk a little to keep me awake.”
“What do you want to talk about?”asked Frodo.
“What were you thinking when we left port? It looked like you were having second thoughts about coming. From the look on your face, I thought for sure you were going to get off the boat and stay in the Shire. Have you fallen in love with a lass and didn’t bother to tell us? Aha!” exclaimed Bilbo when he saw some color rising in Frodo’s cheeks. “So you did fall in love! My dear lad, why didn’t you say so before? You could have come on a later boat. You could have stayed in the Shire with your friends and watched your children and theirs grow up. Then you, and probably Sam as well, could have come later when all your children had grown up fully and moved away.”
“But my wounds have never healed; I do not wish to trouble my wife with my wounds when she has to take care of the children. I’m not whole, Bilbo.”
“You could have been if you married and had children,” grumbled Bilbo, rolling his eyes. “Could you at least tell me who you have fallen in love with?”
“Well, umm . . .”
“Here is your supper, Bilbo, and I got something for you and me as well, Frodo. I’m sorry, did I interrupt you?”asked Gandalf.
Bilbo started speaking before Frodo could. “In a way. Frodo was about to tell me who he is in love with.”
“Oh, my, what gave him away?” asked Gandalf, his eyes twinkling with merriment. Frodo’s cheeks began to color again. “Oh,” laughed Gandalf. “I think that would. Please continue with your revelation.”
Frodo gulped; he wondered how they would take it. After a moment’s pause, he looked at the floor and said rather meekly, “I fell in love with Pearl Took.”
Bilbo looked at him, stunned. “Did you even tell her goodbye? No, don’t answer that; you probably didn’t. You didn’t even ask her to come to the Grey Havens to see us off. Oh, dear, I can see why you were having second thoughts.”
“My friends,” said Gandalf after a long silence, “we should eat our food before it gets cold. We can continue this conversation while we eat. Or, if you’d like, after we are done,” he added, noting the expression on Frodo’s face.
The three decided to eat their meals in silence, contemplating over the conversation that had just occurred. However, they did not get to chat any more about the topic at hand, as Bilbo wanted to go to sleep, and Frodo mumbled something about needing to unpack.
“Well, it is getting late and we all should be retiring soon. We will discuss this at length later, for a few questions and concerns about this have come to my mind,” remarked Gandalf, directing his gaze towards Frodo. “Good night, and sleep well, my friends.”
After Gandalf left, Frodo made sure Bilbo was comfortable and went to his own room. He collapsed on his bed with doubts and musings scurrying around in his head. Did he make the right decision? Yes, he did, and he knew it. But couldn’t the Elves let her come with them? Again a quick answer followed: no, not unless she let the Took in her decide matters and stow away on board. He chuckled at the prospect. Oh, how he would enjoy seeing the looks on their faces if they found her at the end of their journey. He sighed. If only. . .but it was all hope, and he was resolved to go to the Undying Lands to find healing. He rolled over and fell asleep, unaware of a pair of eyes observing his every move.
“How could she do something like this?” Pippin asked his mother after he finished reading the letter she had handed him.
“Oh, Pippin, you know how much Pearl loved Frodo; she would do anything to be with him. And apparently she knows him even better than Sam does, for she guessed at his plans and intentions long before you had even a clue to them. Do not worry about her now; she is in a much better place. She will be happy. Did we not wish the best for her? This can very well be the best she can have. Now, it is late, and it has been a very long day. I think a good night’s rest will do us all some good, so don’t stay up too late.”
Eglantine stooped over and kissed her son’s head before heading to her room. Once she left, Pippin let out a long, sad sigh, and a few tears fell. First Frodo, and now this!! How could Pearl do this to them? She was very close to him, and he to her. But his mother was right, as usual. Pearl had only done this because of Frodo. I guess I know what Sam is going through, he thought to himself. They both lost someone who was a very big part of their lives, and they would feel the loss more than others.
He sighed again, rose from his chair, and walked rather slowly to his room. Before crawling into bed, he reread the letter Pearl left, still contemplating the fact that he would most likely never get to see his beloved sister again. He finally crawled into bed and fell asleep almost instantly. It had been a long day, and there might be many more before he could get over the fact that his sister was gone.
Frodo was helping Bilbo get to the galley of the ship when Gandalf stepped in front of them with a rather stern look on his face. They had been traveling for weeks now, and the seas were very peaceful, but the look on Gandalf’s face suggested that some misfortune had befallen them.
“What’s wrong, Gandalf?” asked Frodo.
“The chefs have noted that there has been some food disappearing from their kitchen. I do not believe that either of you have stolen anything, but I must investigate into this matter for it seems that a Hobbit is the top suspect considering the evidence we found,” stated Gandalf.
“What evidence?” asked Frodo slowly.
“They found Hobbit prints in the flour; the amount of food that was stolen was enough for a Hobbit, and some food was found in one of the back rooms. One chef also claimed to have seen the culprit leave the kitchen. Now the one of the things that puzzles me is that she said she saw a skirt, and, well, you don’t have any skirts,” Gandalf observed with a twinkle in his eyes. “Also, some of the chores have been done when the Elves’ backs were turned, and they were done quite well and rather quickly considering the amount of time in which they were completed. They were actually wondering if the lass is half Elf and half Hobbit at the speed she was going.”
Frodo’s eyes began to widen; there was only one hobbit lass who could have done that, and that was Pearl. Was she actually on board the ship? Did his wish come true? He had to find out.
“Gandalf, I know of only one lass who could do something like that and that would be…Pearl Took,” said Frodo with a longing in his eyes. He glanced up at Gandalf and said, “It has to be her; she’s the only one who could have done the chores as quick as an Elf and who would have figured me out long before Sam. But. . .will the Elves allow her to come with us, Gandalf? I would enjoy the company, and she can help with Bilbo,” he continued, pleadingly.
“We will need to talk with Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn about that. Not to mention we will have to persuade her to come out of her hiding place. How about this; after lunch we go find this lass and bring her to them to discuss the prospect of her staying in the Undying Lands,” suggested Gandalf.
“We’d better hurry since we Hobbits can hide very well, and she can have more than one hiding place on this ship!”
“Yes, and we don’t always need a magic ring to help us disappear into thin air,” agreed Bilbo, winking at Frodo. “And while you two are searching for the girl, I’ll be getting the Elves into the council room and bringing them up to date on all this. Now let’s get to lunch; I’m starving, and I can’t think on an empty stomach!”
They continued on into the galley, not realizing that their conversation was heard by someone who was thinking about what she would need to do when they came looking for her. I hope all goes well, she thought. I’m getting tired of hiding. She went to her room to think things over on how to present herself and her case to the Elves. She tip-toed over to the closet and pulled out her favorite dress. Instead of giving them such a hard time in finding me and making this harder for everyone, I’ll just wait here. She quickly changed. . .and waited.
Frodo just stood there, staring at her. He still couldn’t believe she was here and that his wish had come true…well, part of it anyway. He didn’t know what Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn would say about this. The only thing Frodo did know was that he was looking at the lass with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life.
“Well, Miss Took,” said Gandalf, breaking into Frodo’s thoughts. “We need to escort you to the council room to talk to Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn about this.” Then he laughed. “Your devotion to Frodo surpasses Sam’s. They might decide to let you stay; we’ll see. Frodo, if you don’t mind giving the lady your arm?”
Frodo was more than willing to give her his arm; he wanted to give everything he had to her. He decided right then and there that whatever the Elves decided, he would go wherever they sent her. But there was another burning desire in him, one that needed answering right now.
“Pearl?”said Frodo, looking into her eyes.
“How did you get onto the ship without any of the Elves seeing you?”
Pearl laughed.“Simple, when they weren’t looking.” She grinned at him. Frodo laughed too; just leave it to the Tooks! He pulled her closer to him and smiled; he was feeling better already. Now if he could only convince the elves to let her come with him to the Undying Lands, then life would be perfect. He would heal while being able to be with the one he loved.
Before long they found themselves in front of the council room door. Gandalf was there already talking to Bilbo, who was standing in the doorway. Bilbo was the first to notice them and motioned them to come closer to him and Gandalf.
“Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn are willing to listen to your case, Miss Took. They said that they might allow you to stay with Frodo, but they will not make their decision until they have heard your case.”
Pearl nodded, shared a look with Frodo, and walked into the council room. She looked into the eyes of the Elves and knew what she wanted to say. She opened her mouth and told her side of the story. Once she was finished, the Elves requested that Bilbo, Gandalf, and Frodo tell them all that they knew about Pearl. They took notes while Bilbo sang her praises (and thought out loud that he should write a poem for her) while Gandalf spoke of the little he did know about her and while Frodo recalled several instances from the time when they were children. When everyone was finished with their tales, the Elves stood up and walked into a different room, leaving the others to ponder their decision.
Pearl and Frodo walked to another part of the room, away from Bilbo and Gandalf to talk privately.
“Frodo, do you think they will let me stay?” she asked him.
“I can’t be sure, but I certainly hope they will. I do know that you cannot enter the Undying Lands since you have not held a ring of power, nor are you an immortal like the Elves and Gandalf. I think Gandalf mentioned earlier that there were some islands before the Undying Lands; we might be able to live on one of those.”
“We could do that, and Bilbo could stay with us if he wants and visit the Elves, or he could stay with the Elves, and both he and Gandalf could visit us. It’s his choice either way.”
“Yes, it would be his choice, but I do hope he will stay with us,” replied Frodo.
The sound of a door opening stopped their conversation. The Elves had returned with their decision.
My dear Sam,
A whole three years have passed since we have landed on a little island off the shores of the Undying Lands. It is called Tol Eressea; it means “Lonely Isle”, but I do not think we shall be very lonely here. Bilbo is of a mind to change its name since he feels that it does not suit the island at all, and has asked the Elves if we could rename it. They have not given us a reply as of yet, but we have thought of names in the meantime. Gandalf tends to the wants and needs that must come from the mainland, for instance, the ability to send you letters. However, I can only send one at a time, so could you please tell the Tooks that Pearl is safe and that she is with Bilbo and me on Tol Eressea? Also, Pearl and I are married; we have a little girl named Arwen, and we are expecting our second child. We have two boy names picked out, Samwise and Aragorn, and two girl names, Primula and Niphredil. We are waiting to see what the child looks like before we make a final decision. Please be sure to let King Elessar and Queen Arwen know of this as well and to let them know that Elrond sends his love.
How have you, Rosie, and the little ones been doing? How have Merry and, in particular, Pippin been doing as well as all our friends? Please tell us all that has happened, for Bilbo is interested in hearing as well. I must finish this soon, for Gandalf will be departing to make sure this letter gets to you, and Pearl needs my help with setting the table and taking care of Bilbo and Arwen. Arwen has taken quite a liking to Bilbo, and he to her; he enjoys telling her bedtime stories every night. Pearl makes sure that there is nothing scary in those tales, for she doesn’t want Arwen to have nightmares. Arwen is only two right now, so I’m sure you and Rosie would understand. Bilbo wants to be around for when Arwen is older, for he wants to tell her about our adventures and the reason why we are on this island. I do hope he lives long enough to tell all of our children those stories. I do not think he will last too much longer; he is in his hundreds after all and has lived to a nice ripe age. Gandalf thinks that Bilbo only has five more years to live if that much.
Well, I must be off, for there is still much to do. I am feeling much better since we have arrived and am looking forward to the many years I have with my wife and children. I hope that one day you, too, will come to our island home and end the rest of your days in peace.
Your dearest friends,
Frodo and Pearl Baggins
Gandalf the White
By Aurora Mandeville