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The Uses of a Good Bit of Chain  by Bodldops

Disclaimer: I do not own Middle Earth or any of the related characters – all belongs to Tolkien and his heirs.  I’m just playing for a while.

A/N:  This is for a challenge laid down at the PPC boards.  The challenge was: Girl saves M.E. without using some special power. If she had a special power, that would make her a Sue.


How a Girl Saved Middle Earth


The Uses of a Good Bit of Chain


            It had been some years after Mad Bilbo’s party, and folk were still talking about it.  Many people still talked, in fact… including Daisy’s mother.  It was a favorite topic of hers, really.  The topic came up with a depressing regularity every time Daisy wanted to accompany her brother Folco up to see Frodo Baggins. 

            “As mad as his uncle!” she’d cry.  “He goes tromping about in the woods for days, days mind you, carrying on about elves and whatnot.  It isn’t proper for a young gentlehobbit!”  Daisy found this oft-repeated phrase quite peculiar, since her mother often said it while making sure that Daisy’s hair was braided correctly and that she was wearing her very best dress.  If her mother thought Frodo mad, why must she fuss so?  It was quite frustrating to have to sit and primp while her brothers waited impatiently by the door.  She did not dare tell her mother that she did not go to Bag End to see Frodo in particular.  Her brother was friends with Frodo, and they usually disappeared somewhere with Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck for hours on end.  No, she went to Bag End to see the library. 

            It was a fantastic place, full to the brim with beautiful leather-bound books.  There were maps on the wall, many hand-drawn by old Bilbo Baggins himself.  The room had a cozy, relaxed feel to it, like the warm feeling she got when sitting in front of a roaring fire sipping hot tea on a cold winter’s night.  Frodo did not seem to mind her dallying alone with all of those books.  In fact, once or twice, he had actually helped her with words she did not understand.  Daisy thought he was quite nice, for a Baggins.  Idly she tugged at the chain around her neck.  It was a light, fine chain, but very strong, since she tended to be rough on anything she wore.  She had threaded a pretty stone she had found by the Bywater.  It was a very common stone, red and dull, but she liked it.  Her mother particularly disliked it, and made sure to tuck it beneath the collar of Daisy’s dress. 

            “Off with you now.  Folco, you take care of your sister now.  Be home before supper, you hear?” her mother called from the doorway, but she paid little attention as she trotted along behind her big brother Folco.  She was quite eager to get to Bag End today.  She had just started reading a little notebook that had pictures of all of the local flowers, along with descriptions, and she was eager to have another look at those drawings.  They had looked so real; she had almost thought that if she tipped the page, they would go flying to the floor in a shower of petals. 

            Frodo greeted them at the door as he always did, giving Daisy a quick smile that she returned, same as always. 

“Happy Birthday Frodo, and many happy returns!” she chirped, then darted down the hall to the waiting library.  After firmly shutting the door behind her against any unwanted male intrusion, she found her book on the desk where she had left it the evening before, curled up on the window seat, and became lost in a world of words and sketches.

            It was some hours later when Daisy shut the book with a contented sigh.  Of course, now she had to find a new book.  As she passed the massive writing desk on her way to the bookshelves that lined one wall, the glint of something shiny caught her eye.  She stopped and peered closer, even though she knew she should mind her own business. 

            It was a ring.  It was a plain, ordinary ring and altogether unremarkable, save for the fact that it was on a chain.  The chain, however, was snapped.  Daisy decided that the ring must be some trinket of Frodo’s… perhaps a ring of his mother’s, kept in remembrance.  When she looked at it for a bit longer, she decided that could not be.  It was too heavy to be a lady’s ring.  Perhaps it was his father’s then, or even Bilbo’s.  Daisy deduced that Frodo must have put it on a chain sot that he could carry it about… then when the chain broke, left it here to repair it at some other time.  Daisy felt sorry for Frodo – he would have to take the chain to the smithy, and even then, it would be difficult to fix – more pony shoes and scythe blades came out of the smithy than fine chains.  Poor Frodo would have to wait a long time before he could carry his father’s…. No, Bilbo’s ring about again.  Suddenly, she smiled.  Her chain was quite similar in color and size to Frodo’s… she could switch chains, and simply claim that she had broken hers again.  Her mother would be quite furious, but Frodo was always so polite and kind.  He deserved to have something nice happen to him.  She cast a furtive glance toward the door, and then quietly crept to the doorway.  Cautiously she opened the door and listened.  She could hear her brother and the others, laughing about something in the kitchen.  She assumed that Frodo was with them.  She smiled happily to herself as she shut the door firmly.  Quickly she unhooked her chain from around her neck and carefully pulled her little stone off it.  Looking over her shoulder every few seconds, she traded chains with nimble fingers, making sure to put the ring and its new chain in the same cubby-hole she had found it in earlier.  She tucked the broken chain in her pocket with the stone and went back to her books, still smiling to herself in a supremely self-satisfied manner.

            “Are you sure you must leave, Frodo?  It will be so much more difficult to convince mother to let me visit you in Crickhollow.  Besides, I do not much like the idea of living near the old S-B’s.” Folco grimaced good-naturedly.  Daisy looked up in surprise from where she had been studying the flowers along the walk.  She just could not believe how much they looked like the drawings in that notebook.  She had not known that Frodo was moving.  Even worse, he had sold his lovely hole to the Sackville-Bagginses.  She felt tears come hot to her eyes.  The S-B’s could not possibly appreciate the lovely library properly. 

            “Yes, I’m afraid I must… dear old Bilbo’s money is finally running low, you know.  It just doesn’t seem right keeping up this grand old hole for just one bachelor hobbit.  The S-B’s seem to want it so badly, so they shall have it!” Frodo declared with a self-deprecating grin.  Then he snapped his fingers. 

            “Oh, and I almost forgot!  Daisy, you know it’s my birthday today, and I haven’t yet given you a birthday present.” He smiled, and Daisy clapped her hands with glee. 

            “Oh Frodo, what is it?” she asked, practically bouncing.  She did so love getting birthday presents.

            “Come with me.” Was all he said, winking at Folco conspiratorially.  He led the way back inside and down the hallway, stopping in front of the library.  With a dramatic flair he threw the door open.

            “For your birthday present… any book you wish.  I doubt the S-B’s will be good neighbors, so I thought that you might want to have something to remember the library by.”  Frodo grinned, enjoying Daisy’s dumbfounded expression.  It only lasted a moment before she squealed with joy and bounded into the library in a decidedly un-lady-like fashion.  Her mother would most certainly not approve.

Weeks Later:

            “He will live, Mithrandir.  I cannot tell if he will live happily, but he will live.” Elrond told his long-time friend as the pair watched over a sleeping Frodo.  “For him to have come so far, through so many perils, and still holding the Ring!…  It is more than I would have thought him capable of.” The elf lord admitted, with a touch of wonder.  “We have given him a new chain, of course… the old one would not take much more abuse.”  Gandalf frowned in thought.  Elrond, noticing his expression, raised a questioning eyebrow.

            “I remember Frodo saying something the last time I was in Hobbiton… the chain Bilbo always carried it on had a weak link and had snapped, he told me.” There was no need for Gandalf to define ‘it’.  Before long, the fate of them all would rest with ‘it’.  “He was worried that he would not be able to find a new chain before he was set to leave… I wonder where he found it.”

            “Where-ever he did, I am glad of it.  I have no doubt that this thing has a will of it’s own… if not kept firmly chained, it tends to wander.” Elrond stated decisively.  Gandalf nodded in agreement.  The Ring had proven its faithlessness – it had slipped from other’s hands before.  Thank Iluvatar that Frodo had thought to chain the foul thing… for it to be lost at this point would mean the end of Middle Earth.



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