I wake up in a dark cave with a splitting headache. No sign of any Dwarves.
“What’s happened now?” asks Bilbo, sitting up beside me and rubbing his head.
“I think we got separated from the others,” I say.
“Well, only one thing for it,” says Bilbo, “We must catch up.”
He gets to his feet, then helps me to mine. He starts off down the tunnel.
“Aren’t you coming?” he asks, turning back to look at me.
“Uh, no, I think I’ll stay here. I’ve always been told to stay put when I’m lost.”
Bilbo looks down the tunnel, then back at me. He comes back towards where I’m standing.
“Alright, then,” he says. “We’ll stay put. I wonder how we can pass the time, hmmm?” He crosses his arms and looks suggestively at me.
“No, no. You go on ahead!” I say hastily. “If you find a way out of here, you can come back and get me.”
“Oh, trying to lose me, too, are you?” asks Bilbo with a wink, but he heads off down the tunnel. “I won’t be long, most likely,” he calls back over his shoulder.
I cautiously follow along behind him. After an eternity of twisting and turning tunnels, Bilbo comes to what must be Gollum’s cave. I hand back, out of sight, but when Bilbo sits down to his riddle game with Gollum, I can’t help but sneak a peek. Gollum isn’t quite as repulsive as I imagined, just sort of sad, pathetic, and shrunken. Poor little thing. How could anyone not feel pity for him?
Well, not everyone knows as much about Gollum and what he’s gone through yet as I do, not even Gandalf.
And he did murder his best friend in cold blood with his bare hands.
Okay, maybe he doesn’t deserve my pity. On the other hand, I’m sure he’s had plenty of time to repent of his ways while meditating on what he got in return – at least, the Smeagol half has.
Suddenly I realise that as I’ve been musing about Gollum, he’s lost his riddle game with Bilbo and inadvertently led him out of the cave, and here I am stuck alone down here in the dark.
I sit there for a long time, cursing my luck and dreaming of Starbucks lattes and a warm pair of socks until I suddenly become aware of a gleaming, lamplike pair of impossibly large blue eyes, inches from my own.
“What’s this, eh, precious?” says Gollum.
I jump about half a mile.
“Is it good to eat?” Gollum asks himself, crawling towards me.
Pity, my ass. He’s going to eat me alive.
“Get away from me!” I shout, stumbling backwards over the uneven ground and tripping over my skirt. I fall heavily. Gollum continues to advance, and I try clumsily to scoot away. It’s not working. Suddenly he’s on top of me, hands going for my throat, and we’re struggling for the upper hand, arms and legs flying. I’m bigger, but he’s stronger and I’m encumbered with skirts and petticoats. But wait. I also have a cunning plan.
“Gollum! Wait!” I gasp. “Smeagol!”
That gets his attention.
He sits warily back on his haunches and looks at me, head cocked. “Yes, precious?”
I sit up and try to rearrange my skirts a bit more modestly. “If you’ll show me the way out of here, I’ll tell you how you can get your precious back.”
Oh, the base treachery.
“Tricksy, precious,” Gollum says to himself. “Tricksy and false.”
O yes, precious, yes I am.
“We’ll show it the way out if it takes us to the precious,” says Gollum, in a slightly different tone of voice. He blinks luminous eyes at me in the dark.
“Right,” I say. I take a deep breath. “Now, Bilbo is going to pass the Ring to Frodo, his heir…”
Half an hour later, I finish my account with, “Frodo will try to claim the Ring, on the very edge of the fires of Mount Doom, but in that moment you will be the stronger, and you’ll take the precious from him.”
Gollum is nodding. “Yes, precious, yes,” he’s murmuring to himself. “And so we takes the precious, and it will be ours forever?”
“Yes. After that no one will ever be able to try and take it from you again. Now, you’re going to show me the way out of here?” I stand up.
Gollum looks as though he’s debating with himself whether to keep his promise or eat me anyway. Keeping his promise wins out.
“This way, precious, quickly,” he says, beckoning, and scrambles off.
I follow, feeling like a total wretch. I’ve wilfully misled someone to his death in exchange for my own life, never mind that it’s Gollum I’ve misled. What a good little Slytherin I make.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.