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If It's Trewsday It Must Be Buckland...  by Dreamflower

 (This story is not mis-numbered. My March 18 story is not yet finished! I will post it in its proper place when it is!)

March 19:  Challenge:
"Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven."
--Tryon Edwards.

"But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door." (FotR, Book II, Chapter III, "The Ring Goes South)

Listening for Returning Feet

Was it his imagination, or was the sky over Rivendell greyer this autumn than he had ever seen it before?  Had the leaves turned sooner?  Was the wind more chill?  The sun less bright?  Bilbo gazed through his window, abandoning any pretense of writing, and sighed.  All those whose presence had made the waiting bearable when all was in doubt and fear were now gone, and he felt that he waited alone, for only a few caretakers had been left to mind Imladris when the others went South.  The Hall of Fire was nearly empty in the evenings, and he took most of his meals here in his rooms when he felt like eating.  Often he did not, which was dreadfully unhobbity of him, but his appetite was not what it used to be.  He was at last, not growing old, but old indeed.  He felt every one of his one hundred and twenty-nine years.  Well, tomorrow, at any rate.  But there was no one here to whom he could give his gifts.

What was that?  Did he hear voices in the corridor?

The aches in his joints forgotten, he rose and was at the door when the first knock fell.  He flung it open, tears of joy in his eyes.  "Frodo, my lad!"

And the child of his heart was once more in his arms.

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