They Think It's All Over: 1. They Think It's All Over

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1. They Think It's All Over

It was all that Belladonna's fault, Sarastro Greenwood thought, sucking thoughtfully on his pipe.

 The Bagginses had always been perfectly respectable before her- perfectly trustworthy, perfectly sensible, perfectly serious …

 …perfectly tedious, a little voice whispered in the back of his head…

 No, the Bagginses had always been a fine and forthright family before they got involved with her, he thought- her with her dark hair and flashing eyes and winning smile, her with her quick wits and Took cunning. It was her as caused all the problems in that house, he thought, tucking his fingers into his belt and blowing a smoke ring, sure as eggs was eggs.

 It was no wonder her son had ended up a little… queer.

 Sarastro sucked on his pipe and watched as Belladonna's son attacked his door with sandpaper. The whole business with elves had been forgiven- after all, he'd only been a tween, hadn't he? The whole business with the dwarves and the wizard had been forgiven- after all, it was only natural to give guests a good feed, was it not? The whole business with running away and not telling anyone where he was going and when he was coming back and letting everyone think he was dead… well, even that would one day be forgiven, he supposed.

 But this?

 Sarastro shook his head as he watched Belladonna's son paint the same area of his door the same shade of green for the third time in as many hours.

 This was just too much.

 Up and down the brush went; side to side the sandpaper went.

 Up and down the brush went; side to side the sandpaper went.

 Up and down the brush went…

 Eventually Sarastro could resist no longer, and hopped down from the wall where he had been sitting, knocked out his pipe and ambled over to the gate of Bag End.

 "What're you up to, Master Baggins?"

 There was a second where Sarastro thought he was being ignored, and then a second where Bilbo stared at him dumbly as if he had never seen him before in his life, and then...

 "Painting my front door, Sarastro Greenwood- what does it look like?"

 Sarastro raised an eyebrow.

 "There's those as might say that you were painting the same bit of door over and over again, and there's those as might say that might look a little bit… odd, master Baggins."

 Now it was Bilbo's turn to raise an eyebrow.

 "Odd?"

 Sarastro nodded.

 "Aye, odd; you've painted the same spot the same colour three times in as many hours master Baggins- I've watched you."

 Bilbo smiled and shook his head.

 "I'd thought I felt eyes in the back of my head- I was right after all."

 Sarastro raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. Bilbo merely gestured at the door in response.

 "I'm merely getting rid of the mark the wizard put on it, surely anyone with an ounce of sense can see that!"

 Sarastro took his monocle from its place in his waistcoat pocket and peered closely at the door.

 It looked perfectly normal- smooth and green and glossy and glorious.

 Bilbo beamed.

 "And I'm sure you can see, master Greenwood, that I have done just that!"

 Sarastro rubbed his chin- he could see no difference to how the door had been the first or second time it had been painted, or even to how it had been before Bilbo had started work, but he had no wish to look a fool.

 "Aye, master Baggins, that you have."

 With that he fished around in his waistcoat pockets and pulled out a pouch of Old Toby.

 "Will you take a smoke with me for a job well done?"

 Bilbo smiled.

 "That I will, master Greenwood-that I will."

 No more was said- the two hobbits smoked a pleasant pipe-full in the warm highsummer sunset, passed a few pleasantries and that was that.

 It was a whole fifty-nine years before Sarastro thought anything more of that conversation and by then it was far, far, too late…


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.

Story Information

Author: Aruthir

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/05/13

Original Post: 02/05/13

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