1. Chapter 1
The boy woke up from his nap, blearily blinking sleep from his eyes. His scraggly, long brown hair hung in his face as he slowly sat up.
"Your naneth is preparing for dinner, Estel."
The little boy looked over to see a tall elf sitting by his bed.
"'Ro-ir! Does this mean I 'ave ta take a bath, 'Ro?"
Elrohir laughed. "Yes, Estel. But after your bath, we can go downstairs for dinner and maybe you can meet some very special guests of your Ada's and maybe even hear a story."
That got Estel up and out of bed faster than one of Mirkwood's archers could fire an arrow. He scampered over to his bath and made to jump in.
"Estel, you're still dressed," said Elrohir, trying to hide his laughter.
After his bath, Elrohir managed to get Estel in one of his nicer tunics and a pair of leggings. The child was almost quite literally bouncing off of the walls in excitement.
"'Ro! I wonder if it's a story 'bout a brave knight rescuing a princess! Or 'bout a battle against the bad guys and the good guys won and defeated the bad guys! Ooooohhhh, what if its a story 'bout elves!"
"You live with elves. I'm an elf. Elladan's an elf. Ada's an elf. Everyone in Imladris is an elf."
"No, silly 'Ro, I mean other elves. The cool ones, who have adventures."
Elrohir pretended to be offended. "I'll have you know I go on plenty of adventures! Why, just the other day, I was taking a lovely stroll through the garden, and guess what I saw? I saw a butterfly! A butterfly, Estel! It was quite a startling adventure."
Estel giggled as the two entered the dining hall. Glorfindel spotted the pair and snuck over, picking up the smaller and twirling him around.
"Estel! How's my favourite little man?"
"Gorfy! 'Ro was telling me about his adventures and how the scariest thing he ever saw was a butterfly."
"I did not say that! I just said that I was having a lovely stroll through the garden and-"
"Elrohir! Bring Estel over to his chair. Glorfindel, stop bothering them and sit down."
"Yes, Ada." Elrohir picked up Estel and carried him over to his chair by Gilraen. Glorfindel went to sit by Elrond, looking not at all ashamed to be called out in front of everyone.
"And then 'Ro said that the scariest adventure he's ever been on he was in the gardens and saw a butterfly."
"That's a very funny story, Estel." Gilraen smiled down at her son as he ran into the Hall of Fire to await his promised story.
"I think he'll enjoy this story."
Gilraen turned to look up at Elrond. "This is the story of the Halfling and Mithrandir and those dwarves, isn't it? I just hope it isn't too violent."
"Estel has been exposed to violence before, Gilraen, you know that. But I believe the Halfling knows how to tell a story to children," Elrond said. The two looked over to where Estel was sitting on Glordindel's lap, eagerly listening to the story.
"... then the brave archer took his bow and shot an arrow right into the dragon's chest, and boom! Smaug was dead!"
Little Estel clapped his hands excitedly. "Thank you for the story, Mr. Baggins! It was very good!" he said with a yawn.
Glorfindel picked up the boy. "Come on, it's bedtime. Maybe Mr. Baggins can tell you a story in the morning."
Estel yawned again. "G'night, Mr. Baggins..."
Bilbo watched the little boy be carried away with a faint smile on his face.
Years later, as Bilbo Baggins sat at the Council of Elrond, hearing the Dúnadan be pronounced as the Heir of Isildur, he couldn't help but remember the eager little boy sitting by the fire listening to a story about dragons and dwarves, and he smiled.
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.