- No Beta
- Action Adventure
Why had he thought it a good idea to leave Bag End and the safety of the Shire to steal from a dragon? Why hadn’t he tried to set up trade links with the Blue Mountains and leave the very large, very angry, person eating magical lizard alone? Why hadn’t he spent the past month coming up with some sort of plan instead of just wilfully hoping that the beast was A. dead B. a very sound sleeper or C. actually a highly misunderstood reasonable being who would cheerful relocate?
Instead, he was running for his life and suffering from an unexpected sympathy towards mice when stalked by cats or birds of prey. Except, he had the misfortune of being stalked by the lizard love child of both of those creatures.
“Come out little thief let me snap you up. It will be quick I promise. A nice little snack to tide me over until I eat those oh so quarrelsome Dwarves.”
“Dwarrow.” Why did he blurt that out? He was about to be eaten and correcting his tormentors’ grammar wasn’t likely going to save him any suffering. Although it hadn’t overly upset the trolls or the little creature under the goblin town; which had also wanted to eat him. The spiders hadn’t been very chatty but had presumably also wanted to eat him.
Why was it that everything wanted to eat hobbits? They were far too small to make a good meal. Especially him he hadn’t had a good meal for months; he was practically skin and bones. Plus, he’d been dragged all over the place, he probably tasted awful by this point.
Rather than continue to dwell on his flavour he should focus on his survival. He’d gotten this far in the quest, after all, he could last a little bit longer and then skip off into the distance hand in hand with the love of his life like they did in all the great tales.
Although that did imply, he needed the love of his life. Thorin was who he wanted but Bilbo wasn’t a hundred percent certain that Thorin was into him like that or was just being nice to improve his chances of getting the Arkenstone. Then there was the matter this was the Dwarrows home so they wouldn’t be skipping off into the distance holding hands or otherwise. So really Bilbo should forget about the whole thing and focus on survival, the future could wait.
If he survived that long because currently, he was being herded along like a rabbit into a snare and he rather needed to do something about it. He grabbed Sting and swung it at the dragon’s closest appendage. The blade bounced off.
“Do you truly think that such a puny blade and feeble swing can defeat me, Smaug the Magnificent. Whole armies have fallen before my might.” To prove his point, he knocked Sting from Bilbo’s hand with a large talon, the blade skittered off into a pile of jewels.
“Well really, that wasn’t very nice,” Bilbo scolded while trying to pay attention to the dragon’s claws and figure out where his sword had gone.
“You swung first,” mocked the dragon.
“You’re trying to eat me,” Bilbo retorted still unable to spot his sword or any other weapons.
In frustration, he threw the first thing he found in his pocket at the beast. The little golden ring hit the dragon in the eye. Rather than stay and gloat he ran to the side escaping from the trap only to find himself being herded down another damaged passageway. The routes to either side had crumbled away into the void beneath leaving them dead ends. He hadn’t been tempted to take them; the lack of railings more than slightly worrying some in the darkness.
“Blasted Dwarrow and their ridiculous architecture. It’s hardly homely here at all,” he managed to gasp out as Smaug rounded the corner, knocking off some masonry with his wings before heading towards Bilbo once again. At least he finds it harder to chase me in enclosed corridors, I would be dead in the open Bilbo thought as he slipped into a small crevice.
Bilbo clutched the last thing he had in his pocket. The acorn he had found at Beorn’s homestead. He hadn’t wanted to lose it but what good would it do him dead? A smaller part of him questioned what good would an acorn do against a dragon? The little magic ring and his enchanted blade had failed to thwart the beast, what were the chances of a humble acorn succeeding?
His back hit the wall. He was trapped. At least backed into a crevice the beast’s teeth wouldn’t reach him nor would the claws but the fire and smoke would. His breath rushed out of him and he found himself frantically gulping in new breaths as if his body knew its time was limited.
His palms, which had been so sweaty before he walked into the mountain, were dry. The little acorn a heavyweight in his hand, he found himself quietly whispering a prayer to Yavanna. The dragon knew he was here there was no need to stay quiet but a hobbits survival instinct in the face of being eaten were hard to fight. He decided to give a prayer to Aule too, or Mahal as the Dwarrow knew him. No need to ignore the Vana in his own people’s kingdom, impending death wasn’t an excuse for rudeness.
The hobbits often prayed to him, not wanting to upset their lady by neglecting her beloved. They never had figured out what he wanted but once a year they gave him a nice rock they’d found. Although if they were honest, they weren’t sure what Yavanna wanted either, but it was the thought that counted.
Hot breath ruffled his hair. “There you are little thief, now what have you stolen from me?”
“Only because I caught you,” the creature gave him a wicked smile with all those teeth on display. Hobbits had a bad relationship with sharp teeth; really far too many things in the world could eat a hobbit. His hand clenched and the stem of his acorn scraped his palm.
He wasn’t going to die hiding. He had stood up to the trolls by his own choice. He had riddled with the creature in the mines and the dragon, one more successfully than the other. He had also attacked the Pale Orc, he had rushed forward, regardless of his safety. The courage, which had filled him during those moments, wasn’t here this time but his mind was made up and hobbits were stubborn folk.
The dragon was still taunting him. The teeth were coming for him again. The acorn wasn’t going to do much but maybe if he threw it into the dragon’s mouth it might distract him long enough to get past, he’d run between the legs; he was small enough and the dragon was unlike to try and bite him if its legs were in the way.
A plan made he tightened his grip, he could throw the acorn, he was a champion at conkers and had always done well at the target games at the fates as a tween. Smaug opened his mouth and Bilbo launched the acorn forwards and without checking his aim he darted forward under the head of the dragon and between its legs.
The expected blistering heat of fire didn’t reach him, instead, he found himself dodging the flailing legs of the dragon; perhaps it was trying to squish him. Not giving any more thought to the reason for the dragon’s actions he decided to focus on his survival. He saw a passageway and he darted down it.
The dragon was coming after him, it wasn’t taunting him nor was it trying to burn him, but it was seriously unhappy. It was growling and rasping behind him almost like it was chocking, but there was no way the little acorn would be enough to block the dragon’s airway.
As he ran further, he saw another little gap he could hide in. He’d been brave, he’d got out of the first situation and the one after that, but he needed time to catch his breath, orientate himself and then figure out what was going on with the dragon.
He ducked in. Smaug didn’t follow him but blundered past him still moaning and giving breathy bellows of distress. Almost like he’d eaten too much and was suffering from stomach-ache. There was no way the acorn had filled him up, even if he had just woken up from hibernation and his stomach was empty.
Several more thumps and aborted bellows echoed through the corridor, but it seemed the dragon had wandered off. Bilbo was in a quandary, should he go back to the gold room and look for the stupid stone that caused all his problems or should he follow the dragon. Curiosity was a problem with hobbits, but most were able to control their impulse if it led to danger.
Bilbo was failing to control his impulses, he had after all rushed out of the door without even a handkerchief. He had a problem, even if he was even getting better at rationalising his actions afterwards.
If he followed the dragon at least he would know he wasn’t going to be eaten looking for the stone. Mind made up he snuck out of his hiding space for a moment he longed for his little magic ring but that would be harder to find than the magic shiny stone.
Creeping off down the hallway Bilbo followed the sounds of distress. Peering around the pillar blocking his view of the beast he saw that it was lying on its side barely breathing and its stomach bloated. It also looked like it was drooling. Nobody had mentioned Dragons could do that, it was hardly dignified and would undoubtedly ruin their mystic if such an event were recorded. Bilbo was terribly tempted to do just that if he survived, Hobbits could also be very petty.
But he had seen something like this before, sometimes animals would eat something they shouldn’t, and it would poison them. But surely a single acorn wasn’t enough to fell a dragon. Normally it took quite a few of them, at their greenest, to make a chicken this unwell. Maybe dragons were particularly sensitive to the tannins in an oak.
What should he do? What could he do? The beast was in distress and probably dying, but it wasn’t going to be quick and even if the beast was a vile Dwarrow eating monster leaving it suffering turned his stomach.
Smug moaned in pain again. There was nothing for it, he would have to put the beast out of its misery, he had as good as killed the beast already. Hurrying back to the treasure room he glanced about for some kind of weapon. Swords covered in jewels glittered up at him.
“Oh, this is no good, Dwalin said that the fancier the hilt the worse the blade, I don’t want to hack at the poor dragon I want to kill it quickly. And that is not a sentence I ever thought I would say.” Huffing to himself about the ridiculousness of the situation he found himself in he kicked a shield.
The pile of gold shifted at his disturbance and he had to scurry back to avoid being crushed in an avalanche of blasted gold. As the mound stabilised Bilbo saw it, the Arkenstone.
Or at least he figured it was the Arkenstone, what did he know of mammoths? It was big, shiny and sort of swirly with colour and glimmer of its own light, maybe Thorin’s words weren’t all poetry.
“Oh, typical. Although if I ignore it no doubt, I’ll never find it again.” He picked it up and put it in his pocket, it was cold shiny and rather lifeless, he preferred his acorn. With his cargo secure he clambered back on to the gold looking for something to kill Smaug with.
“What I wouldn’t give for an orc so that I could find Sting,” He blinked in shock. “Now look what’s happened to you Bilbo, you shouldn’t have left the Shire. You’re chatting away to yourself and wishing for weapons and dangerous enemies all so you can kill a dragon. Well, I tell you Gandalf will not be getting the good leaf next time he comes to the Shire.” Nodding his head decisively Bilbo continued on.
Giving the search up as a bad job Bilbo headed back to the dying dragon. As he entered the passageway, he saw something he hadn’t particularly noticed in his desperate flight for survival. Along the edges of the corridor were knocked over suits of armour, proper ones.
The first one he checked had a war hammer and with the best will in the world, there was no way he could lift it. Hoping the rest were differently equipped he hurried down the corridor. After dismissing a war axe and a mace he came across a sword, it would do.
As he hefted the weapon up, he continued back to the dragon. Checking that he was making the correct turn he saw another fallen suit of armour, this one with a pike. Comparing the two there was no contest, the pike would be better for his size and more likely to cut through the dragon deep enough to do some damage.
Smaug was still where Bilbo left him but was no longer awake. Good, that would make it easier for him. He surveyed the beast trying to find a place to strike. While he’d been throwing things at the beast, he’d noticed that the scales repelled attack. But there on his stomach, was a dislodged scale, revealing a soft underbelly.
He lined himself up, he’d have to make a run-up to manage and he angled himself to hit the heart. Or at least where he assumed the heart was, dragon anatomy was a mystery to him. As much as he wanted to give a great war cry, he couldn’t in case the felled beast stirred and up close he wouldn’t be able to defend himself from being squashed.
He charged, his spear struck true and under his momentum sunk in all the way, Smaug the terrible was dead. An ignoble death for such a terrible creature, furthermore, nobody was going to believe his tale. There was no way on this earth were the Dwarrow going to believe that he, the hobbit, had killed the bane of their kingdom. Unless they did in which case he was still going to be in a sticky situation. At the very least he was going to end up with a ridiculous title. Hopefully, he could keep it to himself or else what would they say down the market in Hobbiton.
Maybe he could pretend that Smaug was already dead and he just skewered the beast to be sure. Apart from the fact that they had all clearly heard an alive Smaug a few hours ago at the secret door. Fiddlesticks that was his best plan although planning was most assuredly not his forte.
Maybe he could try and ignore the situation like Ernest Bracegirdle had done about the whole duck incident back in the Shire. Everybody knew what happened, but nobody spoke about, it was considered to be bad manners to bring it up. But so far, he had noticed the Dwarrow weren’t very good at these little hobbit manners. In fact, they were rather the opposite, they were likely to throw a feast and compose songs and heroic tales about his actions.
No, he would go back out and distract them with their shiny rock and hopefully by that point they would forget about the dragon. Maybe he could get them, all looking for his sword, he stood a better chance of getting that back than the little ring, there were hundreds of those he’d seen already.
Maybe he could just blame everything on the Vana. He had prayed to them after all. Maybe Yavanna and Aule had helped him. It made a complicated sort of sense that they were responsible for this, either that or Dragons were fatally allergic to acorns.
But seeing as he had killed the last Great Drake known to exist on Arda it would be impossible to check, either theory out. But the more he thought about it dragons did have a history of burning down woodland, maybe they had a thing against oaks.
As he drew closer to the secret door, he could hear the frantic pacing of the Dwarrow outside. He was rather amazed that none of them had come rushing in yet. Thorin had seemed particularly agitated about him going in alone. But then Bilbo would hardly enjoy sitting outside Bag End while Lobelia looked for his knickknacks.
He’d distract them with their rock and ponder a way to solve the problem of Smaug after having a bite to eat, Bomber might have even put the kettle on, and he could have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit from Lake Town. Dragon slaying was hungry work, but then most things were to a hobbit.