Welcome to Middle Hyrule

In the land of Hyrule, there echoes a legend. It speaks of the ultimate fanfiction destination, a place where two worlds collided. Few saw that the uniter of these two worlds was only a fourteen year old girl named H.G., for after all, heroes appear in the most unlikely of places, and even the smallest person can change the course of the future. This destination was given the name of Middle Hyrule.

Hi, I’m H.G. Welcome to Middle Hyrule, the ultimate fanfiction destination for fans of popular video game series Legend of Zelda and the award winning book/movie trilogy the Lord of the Rings. There will be some other fandoms here and there, but mainly LotR and Zelda. I hope you’ll enjoy reading these posts and fanfictions (I can assure you, most will all be appropriate for all audiences – please note that the Land of Shadow and To Hurt and to Heal are PG-13 for violence) as much as I enjoyed writing them. Namarië!

First and Last Chapter 13

Sam: Well I am *quite* satisfied with how that turned out.

H.G.: I bet you are.

Rosie: Considering that you had no idea where it was going, it went very well.

Frodo: But I don’t think any of us were surprised with how it turned out. *grins*

H.G.: Yes, Frodo and I will sit back and watch our ship take off.

Frodo: They are good together, aren’t they?

H.G.: Perfect together. Just like you and Sam are perfect as best friends and brothers and all.

Frodo: Indeed.

H.G.: So Rosie, want to give me some tips on how to get a boyfriend? A good one?

Rosie: Sorry, but there are no hobbit boys where you live.

H.G.: No, but there are human boys with hobbit souls, and I will not be satisfied with anything less.


Chapter Thirteen


I lie in bed, smiling as I think about Sam. Odfrin waited at home for me, so he’s in a guest room on the other side of the hole. I’m not at all happy about that, but as long as he’s gone in the morning.

Odfrin didn’t come after me, of course. He’s too selfish to go out in the rain for something as unimportant as his fiancée. I’m glad, though. It means that there was nothing to keep me from reaching Sam.

We talked for a few more minutes after he agreed to elope with me at some point down the road, and then I decided I ought to get going, and he said he had to go back to Frodo. He kissed me goodnight, very gently, and then went to the door. I watched until it shut, and then went back to my pony, still grinning from ear to ear like a small child given a candy.

My door creaks open, and Mother comes in. I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep. She stands over me for a few moments, and then turns and leaves again. I open my eyes, but all I can see is Sam.

“I could talk to your parents,” says his voice in my mind, and I sigh. Dear Sam, thinking everyone is wonderful and reasonable like him. I love him so much. I’m just a tiny bit jealous of Frodo, who gets to spend all his time with Sam, but maybe we can meet in the future. I do like Frodo, and I’ve never grudged him the time of Sam’s that he takes, but, well, a girl can wish for more time with her beau if she wants.

I feel my eyes shut, and I give in. I need to sleep at some point.

Besides, it’s not as though I won’t see him in my dreams…


I’m awoken by a knock on my window. I roll over, blink a few times. The knock comes again. I look over and am shocked to see Frodo standing outside. I pull a blanket around my shoulders and open the window a crack.

“I am in my nightclothes,” I hiss.

“I know. I’m terribly sorry about this.” He smiles. “I won’t ask to come in -”

“You’d better not.” I push back my hair – I just know it’s a mess. “What time is it?”

“Just before dawn. Sam’s still asleep. I think. I got up two hours ago and rode here.”

“Won’t he notice you’re gone?”

Frodo considers. “No, I don’t think so.” He adds, as if to himself, “I usually only have one each night. And I already had it before I left.”

“Had… what?” I ask.

“A nightmare.” He straightens and smiles. “Anyway, don’t worry about that. I just wanted to tell you that Sam came back to bed and talked on and on about you.” He smiles fondly. “I couldn’t fall asleep for half an hour because he wouldn’t shut up. Not that I mind, of course. He loves you so much, Rosie.”

“He loves you just as much,” I say. “Maybe more. He refused to leave with me for your sake.”

A shadow crosses Frodo’s face. “What? Well, don’t let that stop you. Elope!”

“We’re going to. Just not until he’s found some way to keep both of us safe.”

Frodo frowns. “I’ll talk to him. With any luck, you’ll be married by the end of the week. Anyway, I’m just here to tell you that he’s coming over tonight to talk to your parents.”

“He is?” I ask, surprised. “How is he going to get them to invite him?”

“Oh, he’s not. He’s just going to walk in. Anyway, see you tonight.”

“You’re coming?”

“Of course I’m coming! I have to help Sam, don’t I?”

“Frodo,” I say firmly. “Does Sam know that he’s coming tonight?”

“Well, no, not yet, but I want him to. He needs to at least try.”


Frodo smiles. “If it fails, you can still elope, but if it succeeds, you can marry anyway. There’s nothing to lose.”

“Frodo, you can’t plan my and Sam’s life.”

“I was the one who made him dance with you seventeen years ago.”

“Well -” I sputter.

“And you wouldn’t have started courting if not for that.”

“We might – have-”

Frodo raises an eyebrow. “I’m right. Admit it.”

“Why are you doing this?” I ask. “Why are you trying to make everything work out for us?”

Frodo sighs and looks away. “Because I love Sam very much, Rosie,” he says. “I love him so much that sometimes I think I’ll forget how to breathe if I look at him for too long, or my heart will just explode from it all. I want him to be happy.” He looks back at me and grins. “And Eru knows you two are adorable together.”

I blush.

“So, you get your fiancée out of the way tonight, you get your parents into a good mood, and Sam and I will drop by between dinner and supper.”

“It’s not going to work.”

“No, but we have to try. And now if you’ll excuse me, if I’m not there when Sam wakes up, I’ll be in serious trouble. See you soon, Rosie.” Frodo closes the window for me and then creeps away.

I lie back down. Frodo loves Sam like mad. I can see it in his eyes. I can’t believe he’s going to do this for me – for Sam, for both of us. Surely he knows that if Sam and I are married, things will be different for them.

And yet he’ll give that up, so that Sam can be happy. What have I done for Sam? I love him, of course, and naturally in a different way than Frodo, but somehow…

Somehow, compared to Frodo’s, my love for Sam doesn’t seem to mean quite as much as it did only yesterday night.


First and Last Chapter Twelve

Sam: I am excited for this.

H.G.: Well, I’m not. I have NO plot for this chapter, so I’m basically winging it off of a couple ideas I’ve bounced around my head. Here goes.


Chapter Twelve



Her dress somewhat rumpled, a little muddy, damp from the rain. Her hair is sprinkled with mist and droplets of water. She is turned away from me, but as I close the door behind me, she turns her head and my breath catches. She is as lovely as the last time I saw her.

“Hello, Sam,” she says softly.

“Hello, Rosie,” I whisper in reply.

She smiles a little and turns all the way, to face me. “It’s been… so long,” she says hesitantly.

“Yes.” I gulp. My mouth’s dry as sandpaper and there’s nought I can think of to say. “Over a year,” I get out.

“You’ve changed.” Her eyes scan me quickly. “You’re thin as a reed. And tanner.”

That’s what starving in hell does to you, I think, but I only say, “you… look the same as ever.”


“Well, no. You look older.” Sadder.

She smiles a little. “Well. I suppose we’re both older.”

The awkward conversation dies and we both stand there in silence. Then Rosie says, “Frodo told me Odfrin came.”


“He’s awful, isn’t he?”

I nod, thinking of the disastrous talk with that horrible person. “He is. Terrible. But Frodo said you -”

“Hate him?” she finishes. “Yes. I never loved him, but my parents sure did.”

“So you …” I gulp again. “Didn’t… ever…”

“Stop loving you?” She takes a step closer. “No, Sam, I didn’t.”

Suddenly I’m up against the wall with one of her hands in my hair and the other on my shoulder, and her lips pressed firmly against mine. I wrap my arms around her and close my eyes. I can feel her tears on my cheeks, and her hand tightens until she might be pulling my hair out, but I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care…

Rosie tips her head back and we both stare at each other, gasping. My face fills with warmth and I know I’m blushing and crying all at once. “Sam,” she whispers.  Slowly, she leans against my shoulder and begins to cry softly. I slip one of my hands into hers and hold her to my side, gently, not desperately,  like how I kissed her. She looks up at me. A tear clings to her eyelashes. “They thought you were never coming back.”

“That’s what I thought, too.”

“But you came back.”

I laugh through my tears. “Yes.”

We’re silent for a moment, and then Rose lifts her head and steps away from me. “So what happens now?” she asks.

I lean back against the wall. “What do you mean?”

“Orcs in the Shire, me engaged to Odfrin Proudfoot. What are we going to do?”

I think for a moment. “I don’t know what to do about the orcs, but Odfrin… I could talk to your parents. Try to work things out.”

“I can’t see the good it will do.” Rosie ponders for a minute, and then her whole face brightens. “Sam!” She grabs my hands. “Let’s run away!” she says, breathless. “Let’s run away and elope! No one’s stopping us. We could go to Bree, we could -”

“I can’t,” I say instantly.

“Why not?” Rosie looks surprised.

“I can’t leave Frodo.”

“But you could leave me.”

“Rosie…” I trail off, run a hand through my hair. I try to think of something, anything, to say that can make her understand. I didn’t know this would happen, any of it, and suddenly I have a strong urge to crumple to my knees and cry, I feel so weighted. Somehow this feeling gives me the words I need, and they come spilling out. “When I left,” I say, “you were here, well looked after in what I knew was and thought always would be the safest place in the world. Frodo went into danger. And so I went with him. I never imagined the Shire would end up this way. I assumed I would leave you somewhere comfortable and happy, and come back soon.

“If I left with you now, I would leave him here, destroyed, broken, in a destroyed and broken world. And we wouldn’t be safe either, even in Bree. But it would kill Frodo to be left behind. And I love him far to much to do that to him.”

Rosie looks up at me. “You won’t leave with me.”

“No.” I stop, trail off, and then add, “But if we can figure something out, something more permanent, in a few moths, a way to stay here and protect him…”


I smile. “Then I’ll go along with the second part of your plan.”

Top Five Female Characters in Anime

Most of my posts lately have focused on Sam, Frodo, and Rosie, so let’s take a break from them and visit a completely different side of my mind – anime/manga. Now, I’m not as obsessed with anime as I am with some other things – Lord of the Rings, Zelda, Sherlock, Hamilton, etc. – but I still adore it. Usually I read manga for popular series more than watch the anime, because there’s more to be learned that way as the shows often cut out a lot. And, let’s face it, I don’t have the time for all that tv-watching. So this post is more of “Top five female characters in anime AND manga”, but that would be a long title, wouldn’t it? So without further ado, to the list.


#5: Honda Tohru (Fruits Basket)


Tohru is adorable, friendly, and so sweet to everyone she meets. I love her kindness. Fruits Basket is one of my favorite manga series of all time, and I have read all 23 volumes – I guess you could say I’m committed! We’ll meet another Fruits Basket lady later on. Well actually, she’s not much of a lady, but anyway, onward.

#4: Seo Yuzuki (Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-Kun)


I’ve rambled on and on about my love for this show and for Yuzuki in particular, so it’s no wonder that she made it on here. Forget anime, she’s one of the best female characters in fiction. Period.

#3: Houshakuji Renge (Ouran Highschool Host Club)

I make this face ALL the time.

Renge the fangirl! I see so much of me in her – she’s a geek, she has nothing to do with her life except write fanfiction (though hers tend to get filmed by a Hollywood crew) and cosplays badly. I love this girl.

#2: Sohma Izuzu “Rin” (Fruits Basket)


Rin wasn’t in the anime, which is a real shame. She has depression and serious self-worth issues, but watching her over come them out of love for her boyfriend, Hatsuharu, was beautiful. I am nothing like her, but she’s #2 on my list all the same.

#1: Mizuno Ami (Sailor Moon)


Ami’s my girl. I have a button of her on my purse, and she’s the only girl on this list who I’ve cosplayed. She is smart, loyal, kind, and she has blue hair. AND she has water powers. Seriously, she couldn’t be better.

Honorable mentions: Fujioka Haruhi (Ouran Highschool Host Club), Mogami Kyoko (Skip Beat).

My First Guest Post!

Hello everyone! I am very lucky to have written a guest post for Mr. Steven Winter on his blog about Lord of the Rings. Here is my post!

A big thank you to all who have contributed to this short “Éowyn of Rohan” season whether you did so as bloggers, commentators or as readers. All of you have been most welcome! This is the final contribution to the season and it is a poem written by H.G Warrender. This is what she says about […]

via The Paths of The Living Dead — Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings

Chapter Eleven First and Last

Frodo: Yaaay, my chapter.

H.G.: Do I detect… sarcasm?

Frodo: Maybe just a little. I can probably sum up this chapter without even narrating it.

H.G.: Oh really?

Frodo: Sam cries.

H.G.: Yup.

Frodo: I probably cry.

H.G.: Maybe.

Frodo: And you are mean to us.

H.G.: True. Now let’s get going.


Chapter Eleven


“It’s hot. I don’t like it,” I push yet another blanket off.

Sam stands by the bed and looks at me. “What do you mean? It’s November. It’s not that hot.”

“It feels hot,” I whine, rolling over under the thin sheet.

“You’ll be cold with no blankets.”

“Don’t care.”

“Well, I’ll be cold.”

“Then sleep somewhere else.”


I point across the room. “Chair.” I glance up from above the sheet. “I’m just kidding, you know.”

Sam laughs and sits down next to me. “I know. Why don’t you go for a walk to cool down?”

“This late at night?”

“It’s only nine o’clock.”

I shrug, but as my eyes train on his face, I see that he didn’t just want me to leave so I could cool off. Sam needs some time alone to say goodbye to any future he expected to have with Rosie, and that is something that I’m not part of. I realize that once it is gone, nearly everything about Sam – his life, his future – will belong to me. It’s a strange prospect, and sad. I’ve never cared for romance, but I know he’d like to get married someday and have children. And obviously he’s not going to marry me. I shudder at the thought. “Okay. I’ll be back soon.” I get up and quickly change back into regular clothes. “Try to sleep while I’m gone,” I add, even though I know he won’t.

“I’ll try,” Sam assures me. I go out of the room and close the door quietly behind me.

I should give him at least ten, maybe twenty minutes, and by the time I come back, he can pretend to be asleep if he wants to. Dear Sam. How hard this must be for him. I walk down the hall to the empty common room, where the fire is dying, and the bar is empty in the corner, as are all the tables and chairs. I curl up in one of the chairs by the fire for a minute, before standing up. The fire is too hot, far too hot, even though it’s dying. Maybe I have a fever.

I wonder if Merry and Pippin made it to Buckland safely. I wonder if they’ll come back here at some point, if they didn’t make it or it wasn’t safe.

I go out the door and roam silently around the inn. The orcs are probably not holding camp in this part of the Shire – my skin starts crawling again, orcs, in the Shire – but I know better than to wander too far.

It’s cold outside, and I shiver. It doesn’t seem hot anymore. The world is still damp from rain earlier this evening.  I’ll walk around the perimeter of the inn and then come back. I turn to the left and start walking, when I hear thudding hooves. I turn around, wondering who could possibly be coming to an inn this late at night. It’s definitely a hobbit and pony, not orc and horse. I stand still and watch as the rider dismounts and ties the pony up. Now that she’s in the light, I can see the rider is a girl, but she still has her hood up. She looks around, and then she sees me.

“Frodo?” she says, and as soon as I hear her voice, I know who it is.

“Hello, Rosie,” I say stiffly.

Rosie laughs and runs forward. Before I can protest, she gives me a hug. I stiffen, and she lets go of me. Her hood has fallen off, and little water droplets cling to her blond hair. She smiles brightly. “It’s so good to see you!” she says cheerfully. “Odfrin told me you and Sam were here.” She rolls her eyes. “I didn’t quite trust the idiot, so I came to see for myself. Sam’s with you, right?”

This story is poor, but maybe she doesn’t know that I’m aware of her betrayal of my best friend and is trying to seem friendly. “Yes. He’s with me,” I say coldly. “He’s inside.”

“Oh, that’s fine! Will you take me to him?”

“No. I’m sorry. Good night.” I turn to walk away. Rosie grabs my arm.

“Frodo, what’s wrong?” she asks. “We’ve always gotten on so well. Are you angry with me for something?”

It’s true, we have usually gotten along well. I look into her freckled face, flushed with riding and specked with rain, and for a moment, I wonder what it would be like to have her in my family, married to Sam. But that will never happen now.

“You left Sam,” I say.

Rosie sighs. “If you’ll let me explain -”

“There is nothing to explain,” I say. “He has been through hell. He went to the end of the world and starved himself to keep me alive, and then I lost my mind and he never left my side. And now we’ve returned home from all that to find it destroyed. And now this. It may be my fault that he’s so broken, but at least I stayed with him!” I’m so angry I can hardly speak. Sam deserves so much better than this, and there’s so much only she can give him. And now he will only have me. And what am I? A destroyed, broken wreck of a living being who will burden him forever. He will never be fully happy with me. But I will stay with him anyway. “You will never find someone better than Sam,” I tell her. “And you threw him away. You didn’t even come in person. You sent your fiancé to ridicule us. So no. There is nothing to explain.” I turn to walk away. “Now if you’ll excuse me.”

“Frodo, listen!” Rosie pleads. “I know how this must look, but I never stopped loving Sam, I promise.”

I won’t listen to this any longer. I keep walking.

“I don’t love Odfrin!” Rosie shouts, running along behind me. “I don’t know if you’ll believe me -”

I’m at the door.

“-but my parents set me up with him!” she finishes.

I stop and turn around. “What?”

“They’re trying to force me to marry him. They like him.” She swallows hard. “I don’t, though. I still love Sam, but they don’t want me to marry a gardener. At least, mother doesn’t. Father doesn’t really care, but he likes Odfrin, so he agrees with her in that. Please, will you at least send him out to see me?”

I stare at her for a long time, trying to decide. If it’s not her fault, then isn’t it wrong for me to keep them apart? But if she’s lying…

“I’ll tell him that you’re here,” I say. “But if he doesn’t want to see you, I won’t make him.”

Rosie nods. “Thank you. Um, Frodo, can I ask you something? Odfrin was saying about you and S-”

I cut her off. “Don’t say something that will make me want to change my mind about telling him.”

She nods. “Right.” I go inside and start back to our room.


“She still wants to see me?” Sam asks again.

“I told you that twice.”

“I know. It’s just…” He sighs happily. “This is the first good news I’ve had in a while. And do you mind?”

“No, of course not. I expect you’ll talk for a while, though.”

“Probably…” He smiles, kisses me on the cheek. “Thank you.”

And with that he heads out the door.



First and Last Chapter Ten

Sam: Waaaah….

Frodo: There, there.

Sam: It’s just so sad…

Frodo: Well, cheer up, H.G. has come to a decision.

Sam: *sniffle* what?

Frodo: She’s going to write a pre-quest fic.

Sam: Really? Good. I’ve decided any more torture would be too much.

H.G.: It will be very cute.

Frodo: Little baby us.

Sam: Well, little baby me, as you’re twelve years older.

H.G.: So cute!


Chapter Ten


I look around the kitchen. The dishes are put away, the bread I baked is resting under a cheesecloth for tomorrow. I’m thinking maybe I should get some apple preserves from the cellar to go with it, but maybe I’ll end up being the only one eating them and it will be a waste of time.

The front door creaks on it’s hinge, and I hear my mother say, “why Odfrin, what a lovely surprise.”

I go to the cellar door. Looks like I’ll be getting those preserves after all.

“Rosie?” mother calls. “Mr. Proudfoot’s here to see you.”

“I’ll be up in a minute!” I call. Let him leave while I get the jar.

I come back up with the jar after a minute of dawdling, hoping he can’t stay long and will scram. However, when I come up the ladder again with the jar in hand, I can hear his voice still talking to mother.

“…so rude, sometimes,” he says.

“I agree. Lately she’s been very overbearing,” Mother murmurs.

I set the jar on the counter and begin to unscrew the lid very, very slowly. If I’m going to talk to Odfrin, first I need food to keep me sane. Just a little lick…

“You know, I am a bit worried, though,” Odfrin says. “Especially now that…”

“Now that they’re back,” Mother finishes. “Yes.”

I stop with one finger halfway in the jar. Someone’s back? Are the orcs are back in this part of the Shire, even after the Tooks drove them to Northfarthing? Quietly, I go to the doorway of the kitchen, press my back to the wall, and strain my ears.

“But the Silver Scale, of all places,” Odfrin says, and I’m very confused. “Doesn’t seem lordly enough for the likes of Frodo Baggins, does it?”

I’d forgotten I was still holding the jar, but I remember just in time to catch it before it crashes to the ground. I clutch it to my chest with trembling hands. Frodo Baggins is back. And when he left, he took my Sam with him.

So could that mean…?

“Ah, well,”says Mother. “At least that’s far enough from here that he shan’t get the urge to drop in for a visit.”

“Dear Mrs. Cotton. Judging from today, Frodo won’t let his pet out of his sight. Not that Sam would want to leave it.”

The jar crashes into a thousand pieces on the floor, but I am too far ahead for it to be any danger to my feet. I fly into the living room, and before the sound of the crash has faded, I have Odfrin up against the wall by the sides of his coat.

“How dare you not tell me!” I scream into his face.

“Rosie Cotton!” Mother exclaims. “That is not ladylike-”

“SHUT UP, MOTHER!” I roar. I turn back to Odfrin. “HE CAME BACK! I TOLD YOU! AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME!”

“Release me,” Odfrin hisses calmly.

I let go and run to the door. Sam, Sam is here, in the Shire, so close to me, and nothing Odfrin does will stop me from going to him, from reaching him…

“You don’t want to do that,” Odfrin says.

I whip my head around. “No, I do, actually.”

“Run all those miles in the dark, when it’s all for nothing?”

“I’ll take a pony,” I say haughtily, grabbing my scarf. “And who says it’s for nothing?”

“I do. You see, I told him our little arrangement.”

I stop. “What?”

“Yes, you see, I met with him this morning and, shall we say, spilled the beans.”

I turn away and lean against the wall. “Knowing you, you said it horribly.”

“Well, wouldn’t you hate it if I disappointed you?” Odfrin asks cheerfully.

“You should have let me explain…”

“Why? It’s true. It’s true whether he hears it from me or from you.”

I close my eyes, a tear sliding out. Yes, it’s true, but if I had gone and let him explain, we could fix things. I should go, anyway. I should run to him and tell him everything, even if… even if he already hates me.

“It’s no good, even if you do go,” says Odfrin, as if reading my mind. “He was very upset. Blubbering like a little bairn, can you believe it?”

I whirl around. “He has every right to be upset!”

“And another thing,” Odfrin continues, ignoring me, “I don’t think he’s interested in you anymore. He’s staying at the inn with Frodo Baggins.”

“They’re friends!”

“Yes, but they’re odd. They’re always holding hands and kissing, it’s just so strange.”

“There are plenty of people who are affectionate with their friends,” I say coldly. “I hold hands with my friends, sometimes.”

He shrugs. “Do as you will. I find that relationships as intimate as theirs are strange and unnatural. But I shan’t complain.”

“I find that faces as ugly as yours are strange and unnatural, but do you see me complaining?”

Odfrin stares at me.

“Good evening,” I say, and with that I snatch my scarf and run to the stables while he’s still recovering.




Chapter Nine of First and Last

Warning: this chapter contains references death and suicide – nothing is attempted, just mentioned (not seriously) in a conversation. No one is actually considering doing it, but if you don’t like hearing about it in passing, you have been forewarned.


Chapter Nine


We’ve just gotten into bed when there’s a knock on the door.

“Mr. Gamgee,” I hear the innkeeper call. “May I have a word?”

Frodo lets go of me reluctantly. “Be quick,” he whispers.

I get up and go to the door and open it enough to look out. “Yes?”

“I hope I’m not bothering you,” he says. “You see, the company’s only just dispersed, so I couldn’t get away, but I was asked to bring a message to you.”

I start. “By who?” I was hoping no one would notice we’re here.

“He’s a gentleman by the name of Odfrin Proudfoot, maybe you know him?”

I shake my head.

“All the same, Mr. Proudfoot called me over after you left and said he couldn’t help but overhear Mr. Frodo’s conversation with me, and he told me to let you know that if you’ll meet with him tomorrow, he’d be happy to take the cost of another room, as he understand’s money is tight for everyone these days.”

“I’d be happy to meet with him, but we don’t need another room,” I say.

“He said you’d say that, but he really doesn’t mind -”

“It’s kind of him, but really,” I say firmly. “We don’t need another. When does he want me to meet with him?”

“Tomorrow around first breakfast in the common room,” says the innkeeper, “but I think it was to discuss renting and your paying him back.”

“Well, I can just tell him it’s not needed,” I say. “Thank you.”

I close the door and go back to Frodo, who looks up at me. “What was that about?” he mumbles drowsily, settling against me.

“Someone named Odfrin Proudfoot offering to get another room for us.”


“It’s strange, though,” I say. “We don’t know him, not at all, do we? It just seems odd that he’d offer it out of the blue because he overheard us. I’m supposed to meet with him tomorrow.”

No reply comes. Frodo is fast asleep.


I smooth the blanket over him and press a quick kiss onto his temple. “Try and go back to sleep.”

Frodo snorts, keeping his eyes closed. I brush back a lock of hair hanging over them.

“Just try,” I say softly. “I’ll be back soon. Love you.”

“You too,” he mumbles, pulling a pillow over his face. I smile and go out the door, closing it softly behind me.

“Mr. Proudfoot’s in the corner, sir,” says the innkeeper as I enter the common room. Someone calls to him – Boffin I hear them call him – and he goes away. I walk to the table he indicated and stand beside it. Mr. Proudfoot looks up at me and rises to greet me.

He has dark green eyes and brown hair, a square jaw with a long nose – a strange combination. Not that I’m particularly good-looking either, and yet I love the two most beautiful people in the world. He appears to be a little older than Frodo, and therefore much older than me.

“Samwise Gamgee,” he says. His voice is silky and soft. He extends a hand to me. “Odfrin Proudfoot. Such a shame we haven’t met sooner.”

I shake his hand. “Shame, indeed.”

“Do sit down.” He leans back. “I confess that, although you no doubt didn’t know me, I’ve seen you several times. You see, my father runs a shop in the market.”

“Which one?”

“He runs a cloth shop for the… upper class, so I’ve only seen you a few times when you were with your friend. Where is he, out of curiosity?”

“Sleeping, hopefully.”

“I see.” He smiles. “Do you perhaps recall what you were doing every time you visited the market together?”

“Um, shopping?” I ask, confused.

“Holding hands.” He smiles again, but it’s more like a leer. “And you’re quite sure you’re not going to take me up on my offer?”

“Quite sure.” I feel very uncomfortable all of the sudden, and hoping to wrap the meeting up soon, I say, “Well, is that it?”

“I’m afraid not.” Mr. Proudfoot smiles yet again – each smile seems more and more false. “I understand you’re close to Rosie Cotton.”


“You would consider yourself her friend?”

We were more than friends. “You could say that.”

“Certainly you have her best interests at heart.”

“I think so.”

“You will be happy, then, to hear that she is engaged.”

…and I forget how to breathe.

Odfrin Proudfoot is still looking at me, but I can’t see him any more. I cannot move or breathe any more; my heart stops and my mouth dries up, and at first I’m not even sure why, because the words don’t sink in at first. And then…

Feelings return so strong I want to throw the table over and scream like a child. Engaged? To who?

Not to me.

She told me she’d wait for me…


There’s a cool hand on my shoulder. Somehow I manage to turn around and see Frodo standing behind me, looking concerned.

“Mr. Baggins,” says Odfrin Proudfoot from a hundred miles away. “I thought you were resting.”

“I was,” says Frodo from behind me, “but then I decided to stop resting.” He cups my chin in his hand and turns my face towards him. “Sam? Is something wrong?”

I just look at him.

“Sam, what is it?” he asks softly.


Please,” says Mr. Proudfoot coldly.

Frodo turns to him. “Excuse me?”

He gives another simpering smile. “Oh, nothing, only that some of us may dislike watching unusual public displays of affection.”

Frodo looks from him to me, then back to him. “I beg your pardon?”

“I believe you understood me.”

Frodo draws himself up. “Listen, Odfrin Proudfoot. I have no idea who you are or what you’ve done to Sam, but something is wrong, and I don’t let people hurt my friends physically or emotionally. Do you understand me? And I’m afraid that any threats you may have given will not work, as my social standing is far superior to yours, whatever it may be. Are you done here?”

“Yes,” says Mr. Proudfoot coldly. “We are, unless your friend has anything else to say.”

I lift my head. “Who is it?” I manage to ask.

He grins, this time not trying to keep it friendly. “Why, me, of course.”

Frodo takes my hand and pulls. I allow him to lead me away from Odfrin, down the hall, and into our room. He throws me in, slams the door, and pulls me into a furious embrace.

“You’re crushing me,” I mumble.

“Sorry.” He loosens his grip on me and looks into my eyes. “Sam, what’s wrong? Won’t you tell me?”

I struggle not to cry.

“What did he tell you?” Frodo asks gently.

I gulp. “He-he asked all these questions about you… and then he said Rosie’s engaged – to him…”

Suddenly I’m in his arms again, and this time I don’t try not to cry. “Oh, Sam,” Frodo whispers, and it sounds as though he is crying to. “Oh Sam, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I love you…”

“I love you too,” I manage to say.

Frodo squeezes me tight again, holding on to me, not letting me go. I bury my face in his neck and close my eyes, trying to shut all this out. There are orcs in the Shire, Frodo has still not recovered from carrying the ring, and Rosie is marrying someone else. Everything is so horrible I can’t even believe this is really my life.

“I want to die,” I whisper.

NO,” says Frodo firmly.

“But I can’t -”

He pulls back slightly and covers my lips with his hand. “Shush. If you died, I would kill myself.”

“No you wouldn’t,” I say dismissively.

Yes I would,” says Frodo firmly. He kisses my forehead. “Yes, I would, Sam. I couldn’t bear to go on without you. But you are not going to die. You don’t even want to die. Do you?”

I shake my head slowly.

“Then why did you say it?”

“Because… it all felt like too much.”

“We’ll get through it, though. I promise. Okay?”

I manage to nod.

“Rosie’s gone,” says Frodo. “But I’m not. I’m here for you, and I always will be. I’ll stay with you all your life. I promise I will never leave you all alone. I love you, and I don’t want you to be in pain. Right now it hurts horribly, and right now you need to cry and suffer, but someday that will pass. Everything will be alright. It hurts now, but it will be alright. Isn’t that what you always tell me?”


Frodo embraces me agin, gently. “Go ahead and cry.”





Chapter Nine: Preview

Sam: So H.G., how was camp?

H.G.: Okay.

Frodo: Did you miss us?

H.G.: Of course I did, but I was able to plot out the whole upcoming chapter, so there’s very little work involved for Sam.

Sam: *smile*

H.G.: Unfortunately there’s also very little cuddling involved for either of you.

Sam: *not smiling*

Frodo: Why? Do you do bad things to us?

H.G.: So if I say there’s little cuddling, you automatically assume that means that I’m evil?

Frodo: Well, yeah. That’s how you work.

Sam: We cuddle and act adorable, or we suffer brutal pain.

Frodo: Or we do both.

Sam: Or Rosie runs around being depressed.

H.G.: Gosh, you’re both so negative!

Sam: But I think you see what we’re saying.

H.G.: Yes, I do.

Frodo: You will wrap up this story, as it’s dying…

Sam: …and then start a new one with more effort to keep us in character.

Frodo: One that involves cuddling, kisses, and happiness, as well as lots of food.

Sam: Or, you know, something that brings people to tears as we overcome horrific torment out of love for each other.

Frodo: Sam!

Sam: What?

Frodo: No more torture!

H.G.: So basically, you want a pre-quest Shire story, or you want a torturefic.

Sam: Basically.

Frodo: Ignore Sam, there will be no torturefics.

Sam: But then she can show how much I love you.

Frodo: But she can do that in pre-quest, too. Imagine how cute little tween us would be.

Sam: …

H.G.: …

Sam and H.G.: AW!

H.G.: …

H.G.: But murder, John…


Frodo: Well, it’s your choice.

H.G.: What would the readers be interested in:

Sam: Yeah guys, what?

Frodo: Adorable, wonderful small hobbits that are sweet and pain-free…

Sam: …or torment in Mordor barely holding onto our lives and each other?

H.G.: Who said it would be Mordor?

Frodo: There’s nothing worse then Mordor.

H.G.: Oh, how little you know. Anyways, I’ll be working on chapter nine, so look for that sometime next week.

Frodo: And while you’re at it, read “Blood and Ashes” by H.G. on Archive of Our Own, even if it’s horrible.

Sam: Horribly angsty.

Frodo: Yeah, that.