Disclaimer: I do not own Middle-Earth and anything cannon. Tolkien owns that. For those who have only seen the movie, that includes Tom Bombadil, Goldberry, Halbarad, and the Barrow-Wights.

I was sitting down at a Ren Fest table eating some hearty meat and veggie stew, dressed as a medieval fantasy she-Ranger. Many people were eating, drinking ale, and having lively chats. I was currently sitting next to an eight and a half-month pregnant woman. She was the same age as myself. Twenty-one.

Her fiancée dumped her when they found out she was pregnant and now her parents were pushing her for abortion. She wasn't even supposed to have been able to have children so she was taking her chance of being able to have one. She had been blessed and we both knew it.

Without warning, someone came running into the area shooting and screaming. Panic erupted and I could see people dropping like flies.

I got Kayla, the woman, down to the ground and under the table. I gave her one of my pocket knives and quickly switched my arrow tips from screw-on LARP heads to my hunting heads that I brought for the female archery competition that was to happen later that day.

I was probably going to get killed but I someone had to do something and everyone else was panicking.

Once all twelve arrows heads had been changed, I put them back in my dark brown hard leather quiver and strung my elven-styled oak bow. I notched one of the arrows and stood, quickly finding the gun-shooter.

My stomach turned violently from the thought of having to kill another human being. It didn't matter that I had to do it to protect. By this time, most of the people were dead. That did not help the turning of my stomach at all.

I breathed, focusing on my self-appointed task. Kill the monster before he kills everyone.

I released and quickly notched another one. It hit him but I was off. I hit the shoulder.

My fear began to rise. He was going to turn and see me aiming for him. He was going to kill me before I could kill him and save the living.

I could hear shouting in the far distance though faintly because time slowed down and everything went nearly silent as he pointed his gun at me.

I released the arrow and quickly followed it with another. Before the second and third arrow could hit him, he fired his gun and I could feel a blast of pain. My sight was quickly darkening.

Before my sight completely darkened, I saw the second arrow pierce his jugular on one side and the third straight through his heart, causing him to begin his fall. Shortly after my sight left me, I heard shouts that someone had taken him out and that said someone had been shot through the heart.

Suddenly, I stood over my body and saw a member of the security staff checking my neck for a pulse. Kayla saw my body and began crying. Suddenly, she screamed in pain.

Had I failed in protecting her and her unborn miracle infant?

"Sir, a survivor! I think she's going into labor," the man shouted.

I heard one of the other security staff members call for an ambulance for a woman in labor with possible injuries. Then he told the man to search my body for any form of ID.

One of the others saw my body and a look of rage overcame his face. "No need, sir. I know her. She was supposed to compete in the women's archery contest in two hours. Her name is Hayden Kinsey McKay. Twenty-one years old. She was carrying the competition tips. She probably switched from LARP tips to comp and tried to take out the shooter."

I found myself in the Labor and Delivery room of the local hospital watching Kayla receive an emergency C-section. She hadn't been shot but the stress to her two-week early infant was enough to have them think they needed to perform the C-section.

I watched as the doctor pulled out a messy and bloody baby.

"It's a girl, Kayla. Do you have a name for her yet," one of the nurses asked.

"There was a woman..," she began.

"The one that took down the shooter?"

"Her name was Hayden Kinsey McKay. I'm naming my baby girl after her. She protected us. She made sure I could have my miracle baby. Hayden Kinsey McKay Hoffman."

I began crying. I felt honored to have the newborn named after me.

I felt a presence behind me and turned.

"It was not your time to die, Hayden. For your bravery and sacrifice to save others, we, the Valar, will send you to Middle-Earth. We grant you another chance at life. You will be reborn with all your memories. All your weapons and gear will be sent with you. You will also have some other things added. You will be found by a wizard commonly known as Gandalf the Grey," the ethereal man told me.

"How many, besides Kayla and her newborn, did I save," I asked. I desperately wanted to know how many lives I could be proud of saving.

"Twenty-nine. All near death but will live. Come, We must create your new body so that Lord Ilúvatar may breathe life into it."

I hugged Kayla and kissed a now clean newborn girl goodbye.

"Hayden's spirit is here. I felt her hug me," Kayla told the doctor and nurses as I took the man's hands as we walked into the light.

"She was with you during the labor and birth, still watching over you. I could see her spirit. She is crossing over, going to another world to be reborn," I heard the doctor reply, though I only heard it faintly because the veil was closing.

I didn't hear Kayla's reply even though I did see her mouth moving.

When I looked forward to see where, exactly, we were going, I saw a lifeless body surrounded by ethereal men and women.

"Tulkas, the warrior's new body is ready," one of the women announced once we were out of the light and the veil to Earth was closed to me.

My new body was very different. I would have to train it.

"We hope you do not mind being a male. In the world you will soon be joining, being a male would suit you better. Females in nearly all the Peoples of Middle-Earth are not treated as you are used to. Expectations are different. You will be of the Race of Men, just as you are now, though of a Higher Race of Men. And you will be a child once more. You will have ten years before Middle-Earth unknowingly goes to war with the Dark Lord."

"A second chance at life, my Lady, is a second chance at life. I trust the Powers That Be will choose for me what is wisest."

"Hayden," Tulkas spoke. "There are some prices to pay. None you may not like."

"Whatever they may be, I will endure. I am honored and blessed to be given a second chance at life, Lord Tulkas. I refuse to allow that second life to be given vain."

"The first and least to pay is that you will not be given knowledge of Middle-Earth other than what you already know. That means what few Westron and Sindarin words and phrases you know is all the knowledge of the languages you will know. Your second price to pay is much harsher. Because the body of your parents will not be found, you will have to appear as though on your own for a great many days. Your body will be starved for food and your throat thirst for drink. You will be in very poor health. You will feel much pain," one of the men spoke.

"I will endure. I trust I will not be given anything I can't handle. I have always had faith in the Gods. And now I have new Gods to have faith in, my Lord," I replied.

"We are the same in both worlds though we go by many different names."

I bowed my head.

"Hayden, are you ready," another asked.

"I am ready."

"The date will be November 25th, 3008 of the Third Age," another told me.

I woke up on the ground in pain from hunger, thirst, and hard uneven ground.

I looked around and saw my weapons. I looked at the arrowheads and saw that they were not screw on. I saw a child's version of my weapons, along with a few other weapons. I had just enough strength to put my child's version in place before I fell. My vision began to swim when I heard humming.

I'm in the body of an eight-year-old….

Some unknown amount of time later found me waking up to wrapped in a woolen blanket, warm fire, and the smell of food. My stomach clenched in pain. I couldn't stop the whimper of pain that came.

I heard a man's voice. It was gentle and kind. Full of worry. I looked up to find and elderly man. He said something with a questioning tonality. I looked at him in confusion. He tried many languages and none were understood by me. He pointed to himself and said, "Gandalf."

"Aidan," I replied. It was close enough to my Earth name I could easily adjust to it.

He came over to me and helped me into a sitting position. He helped me drink some of the broth he had made. It tasted very good. I could tell what many of the herbs and spices were. Some I could not.

We stayed in the same area for a week. During that time, I had started to gain weight. My body could handle some solids but not much. Mostly soups with herbs, spices, and some plants. He had even caught a couple of fish and added it to the soup the last day at the area.

A week after that found us at someone's house. They weren't that much bigger than myself. Had to be a hobbit, a Halfling.

Several hours later, Gandalf left me. He had left me with Frodo Baggins. Or Maura Labingi in Westron. It took a few months before I was healthy again. As soon as I was healthy, though, I began training my new body so that my body would fit my mind as far as weaponry, fitness, and the sort. I had also been learning Westron-not just speaking and understanding but reading and writing it as well.

Eight years had passed since I was reborn into Middle-Earth. I had been using my old weaponry for a few years now-since I was thirteen. My body was very toned and lithe. I proud of it. I was fifteen now. Frodo had officially adopted me after a year of caring for me. Gandalf hadn't been by since. I now spoke almost solely Westron.

I wanted to explore more than just Hobbiton. I wanted to explore the Shire and the area around it.

Frodo helped me pack and gave me a bag of money in case I needed it.

"Aidan, you better not be gone for more than a month or when you get back, you will not be allowed to leave for several months. Maybe even longer," he told me firmly.

"Yes Da. I won't be gone more than a month. The first page of my travel journal has been set. Day One to Day Thirty and I'll be writing the dates. I have the date for my departure-Spring, March 20th of 3016. Third Age. First day of spring," I replied.

"How many arrows do you have in your quiver? Do you have your sharpening stone? Do you need an extra? How much food have you packed? Is it enough? Are you sure you will be fine?"

"Da! Slow down with the questions! Twenty-five arrows. Yes. Probably wouldn't hurt but I'll be fine because I made sure all my blades I will be taking with me are extremely sharp. I'm sure I've got plenty packed. If it's not enough, I can always hunt and forage. Yes, I'm sure I'll be fine."

"Aidan, I'm worried! I'm your father so I have every right to worry. Especially since you are going off on your own with no one with you before you are even fully grown! Surely you have at least two more years of growing before becoming an adult!"

"Da, I'll be fine. I'll take my time exploring so I probably won't get too much outside of the Shire."

"You better right in your journal. Westron, please! I want to be able to read it. Don't forget to draw in the sketchbook, either!"

"Yes mother."

"Aidan!"

I laughed as I gave Da a hug.

It was my sixth night exploring the boundaries of the Shire. I had a small shelter built and a fire. I was eating a soup consisting of some rice, split peas, and the rabbit I had managed to catch earlier during the day.

"Good traveler, may we join you at your fire," I heard a male voice ask.

I looked up to see two men older than myself. They gasped in shock.

"That depends. What is your intent," I asked.

"Merely company. Hear what news you may have. You are still a child! Where are your parents?"

"Blood parents or adopted father? Blood parents are dead. Mother at age two and father at age eight. Gandalf left me in the care of a Halfling. I'm fifteen now. I traveled with my father since I was two until he was killed by orcs. I was nearly upon death's door and did not know Westron when Gandalf found me."

"You appear to be of the Dúnedain."

"Dúnedain? Never heard of."

"I am Halbarad of the Dúnedain and this is Esgaldir, also of the Dúnedain. Where do you originally hail from?

"Several years travel to the East. Father had heard our ancestors came from the West. After Mother died, there was little reason for him to stay so he took us. Together we traveled westward."

"We heard rumors that some of the Dúnedain traveled eastward hundreds of years ago. It appears they are true."

By this time, they were sitting down in front of the fire.

"So your adopted father has allowed you to travel alone?"

"Halflings aren't so adventurous. They think it unnatural and full of strangeness. I live in Hobbiton. Never been outside it until I left on the twentieth of this month. I told Da I was going to explore the Shire and a little bit around it. I have to be back by the twentieth of next month or I'll be in trouble."

Halbarad smiled. Then I remembered Halbarad was related to Aragorn-the Aragorn.

"I am soon to leave Halbarad to himself to report to our Chieftain. Halbarad has a knack of getting into trouble. Perhaps the two of you could keep each other company? Maybe you could learn about us Dúnedain," the other suggested.

"That is a brilliant idea, Esgaldir. So, young one, what is your name? What is the name of your adopted father," Halbarad asked.

"Aidan. Frodo Baggins," I answered as Esgaldir put a pot over the fire and began cooking.

"This Frodo Baggins…Does he happen to be of relation to Bilbo Baggins," Esgaldir asked.

"Bilbo is his uncle. Frodo hasn't heard from or of him since he left the Shire," I answered.

"Bilbo has settled into Rivendell, a home to elves. He was well last I saw him. Enjoying telling tales of his adventures and singing songs. Particularly of making them," Halbarad supplied.

"Da will be happy to hear he is fine. As for me traveling with Halbarad…It might be a good idea my first time away from home. That way I don't get lost and banned from being adventurous for possibly months!"

They laughed and agreed.

The following morning saw Esgaldir leaving in one direction while Halbarad and I leave in another after we broke our fast.

During the rest of the month, I had learned a great deal about a plant called Athelas, or Kingsfoil in Westron. He had begun to teach me some things of the healing arts. We ran into trouble twice. I had pages full of details in my travel journal and many sketches. Halbarad was impressed with much knowledge and skills in many areas. He was also impressed with my sketches.

Come the morning of April 19th, the day before I absolutely had to be back home by, I woke up with a thought that would not leave me alone.

An hour after breakfast was when I said anything about it.

"Halbarad?"

"Yes?"

"I want to find a buck to bring home to Da. Show him he doesn't need to worry about me like he does."

"I believe we can do that."

It did not take long for me to spot a very large buck. I grinned as I silently notched my light blue feathered arrow. Halbarad looked at me oddly until he saw what the arrow was pointing to. He remained still and silent.

I breathed out as I released the arrow. Perfect hit and the buck dropped instantly.

"I don't need the antlers. Do you want them," I asked.

"Why do you not need them," he asked.

"Halfling thing. They don't hunt so they don't use them so I don't know what to use them for. I don't like the idea of them going to waste."

"I can take them. A use can be found for them."

Nightfall found Halbarad and me saying our goodbyes in front of the gate that lead to the door of Bag End.

Once he was out of sight, I turned and went into the house.

"Da! I'm home," I shouted.

Da ran up to me and practically tackled me to the ground. I laughed.

"You're back! A day early no less! I've been so worried about you. You are not allowed to leave my sight for a month!"

"Daaaaaa!"

"Now, let us get this meat in the smoke house before it goes bad."

A month later found me waking up to familiar antlers hanging outside my bedroom window. I suspected it was from Halbarad. Or maybe one of the other Dúnedain.

I got up, dressed, and went outside to retrieve it. Once back in my bedroom, I inspected it. Upon close inspection, I noticed a part of the base could be taken off.

I took it off and found it hollowed out with a message.

Aidan, explore in two weeks? Gone two months? Bree? –Halbarad

I grinned. Then the grin disappeared. Da barely let me go for a month. I wasn't sure he would let me leave for two months when he thought I was going to just up and leave now that I had a taste of adventure.

I was not going to like this.

I made breakfast. By the time I was done, Frodo was just coming into the kitchen.

"Mornin', Da," I said in a cheerful mood.

"Morning, Aid. What are you planning on doing today? Spend time with Merry and Pippin, correct," Da asked.

"You know it! I also plan on us be the source of the best chaos and havoc to be found!"

"Aid…No."

"But Da, I'm bored. Restless. You haven't let me go explorin' again! Halbarad wants to know if I can go explorin' in two weeks. Be going to Bree."

"Aid-"

"Daaaa! Either I be the source of trouble here and you worry about that or you let me go and be worried I'll be in trouble. Which I won't because I'll have Halbarad."

"And how long would you be gone? A few weeks or a month?"

I squirmed. Instead of answering, I put breakfast on the table and some tea.

"Aidan Baggins, how long would be gone," Da shouted questioningly.

I quickly shoved some food in my mouth.

"Aidaaaan Baggiiiiinsss."

I swallowed. "I love you Daddy!"

"How long will you be gone? I assume more than a month."

"Months. Just two. I won't be alone."

"So long as I meet Halbarad this time. How old is he anyway?"

"I didn't think to ask. I was too busy learning other things. Oh, and by the way, he and Esgaldir think I'm of Dúnedain blood. I told them about my blood parentage. Apparently there are rumors that over a hundred years ago, some of the Dúnedain traveled eastward."

Da shook his head in exasperation.

Just before dinner, I got out some parchment, ink, and a quill to write Halbarad a reply.

Halbarad! I miss our talks and you teaching me. Da is-hope you're sitting down for this-willing to let be explore for two months but only if he meets you. What do I need to bring outside of what I had with me last time? I am very excited! –Aidan

I put it in the antler and returned it to outside my bedroom window, only I changed position of it.

The next morning I looked out my window and find it not only in a different position, but it was setting up against the window itself. I dressed then retrieved the antlers. Once in my bedroom, I pulled the message out and walked into the kitchen to see that Da had already made breakfast.

"You are normally up earlier. Gone already to be the source of trouble with Merry and Pippin," he stated.

"Slept late. That's all. Halbarad replied."

"What was his reply?"

"A message: Aidan, June 3rd-Be ready by. Will take six days to reach Bree. Will meet up with Esgaldir and another at the inn called The Prancing Pony in Bree. You will need to purchase a horse and gear for it. Average prince runs 4 silver pennies for just the horse. –Halbarad."

"You'll take an extra additional twenty silver pennies. I'll make arrangements for you to be able to keep the horse."

I nodded in understanding.

The following days, up until the very early morning of the third of June was nerve-racking. I was packed before the first week had ended.

The early morning of the day had come. I went to open the door in hopes of waiting for him to arrive. Only I didn't get a chance to wait for him-he was already outside the door, poised to knock.

I invited him in. Da had come into the room with two bags.

"Aidan, I've some rolls and boiled eggs for you to share with him. I know you haven't eating yet and I don't know if he ha-Aiden, why didn't you tell me we have a guest," Da stated.

"Daaaaa, I just barely invited him in. I opened the door, thinking I would wait outside for him to arrive…He was about to knock when I opened it," came my reply.

"Well, aren't you going to introduce us? Where have your manners gone!?"

"Aye-uh, Daaaa. Your nervousness is getting me into trouble before I even walk out the door! Halbarad, this is Frodo Baggins, my Da. Da, this is Halbarad of the Dúnedain. The one I explored with."

"It is nice to meet you. Aidan has been wanting to explore but I was so worried when he went that I didn't let him."

"It is a pleasure to meet the one who has raised one of our own. You will have no need to worry this time," Halbarad replied.

"Where do you plan on taking him, outside of Bree," Da asked.

"To where we Dúnedain live. He should be taught about his heritage," Halbarad replied.

"And where is that?"

Halbarad shook his head. "We do not say. Many would hunt our women and children should any learn of where."

"I can't allow Aidan to leave."

"Da! Please! I want to learn about my heritage! Learning about my heritage won't change the fact that you're my Da and this is home! Would you not want to learn about your heritage if you knew nothing of it? Would you not want to take the chance if you knew nothing about your own people and were given it," I pleaded.

Whether I wanted to admit it or not, I was Dúnedain now. So little was written about the Dúnedain so I knew little about my new heritage.

"No," he stated firmly.

"Da, what are you so afraid of," I asked.

For a time, Da did no answer. When he did, I was not expecting what he had to say. "I'm scared you will find someone to replace me as your father. That you'll decide you want to live somewhere else. Somewhere I don't know where. That you will yourself a wife and I will never see you again. I have heard that some Big Folk marry at a younger age than you."

"Da, you are my father now. You raised me. You took care of me. You were patient when I was weak, when Gandalf first placed me in your care. This is my home. No matter where I go, how far a travel-or not…This will always be my home. As far as the wife thing…I think I'm a bit too young to think about that. Besides, I'd be too busy learning about my heritage to even think more than a passing 'oh, she pretty' and a glance. None of the Hobbit women even look at me with more than an 'oh, it's that Big Folk the blasted wizard left on the front porch of Mr. Frodo Baggins' so yeah. To get a wife, I will have to look elsewhere. I think I'd like to wait on seeking a wife anyway. So much to explore. Too many adventures to have. Not to mention all sorts of trouble I still have to find myself in," I replied. I sounded more serious than he had ever heard me. He knew I was being blatantly honest.

"You don't think you'd find yourself a wife," Da asked.

"Honestly? Nope. Besides, don't I have to bring her home for you to meet before she becomes my wife anyway," I asked. "Besides, I could have easily snuck out without you knowing except for a note to be found upon waking up. It's only because you're my Da that I haven't snuck out for more than Merry, Pippin, and I meeting up and setting up pranks."

"Aidan Baggins, you had better not have been the reason Mr. Proudfoot had purple hair!"

"And many sheep to be turned pink, green, and red," I stated proudly, puffing my chest out and grinning like mad.

"Aidan-"

"And I'll keep on doing pranks with Merry and Pippin at night until you let me go exploring."

Da looked flabbergasted at my open confession. Halbarad looked as though he was trying to keep from laughing.

"Halbarad, you had better make sure my son does not find himself a wife or another father. Do you understand me?"

"I will do as you have asked me. He will find no wife. Nor will he find any father save you, Master Hobbit," Halbarad stated.

"Good. Now off you two before I change my mind. Quickly now," he replied.

I hugged Da and promised I would come back. Especially since I would undoubtedly have many new sketches to show him.

"Your father is very protective of you," Halbarad stated.

"Overbearingly so. At least I know he is so because he loves me. I still can't believe he thought I would go off to find a wife before I explored the world," I replied, shaking my head at the last part.

"It is in his favor that you truly will be far too busy to think of seeking a wife."

"I hope he understands that within a few years, I probably will be seeking a wife."

"And I pray that when you do decide to seek a wife, it will be among our own people. We are dying people. We usually have no more than one child."

"I would want more. I would want to be tackled to the ground and covered with children."

Halbarad laughed. "Do not tell any woman you wish to gain the love and affections of that!"

"No, indeed. Wouldn't want to chase her away before she decides she wants to give me as many children as she can."

Bree was different. It was strange to me. Not many people were out and it was quite muddy. It was raining harshly. I followed Halbarad as he quickly led us to The Prancing Pony.

As we entered the inn, my ears were assaulted with loud noise just like The Green Dragon in the Shire and my nose assaulted with ale and stronger drinks. Halbarad led me to an older man.

"My good Mr. Butterbur, my companion and I were to meet two more companions here. Stroll and Strider they are. Have they arrived yet," Halbarad.

"Ah, Ranger, it is good to see you again. Yes, yes, they are here. And who is this? A new ranger, eh," the man asked.

"Nay, my good sir! Gandalf the Grey had put him into the care of a Halfling and we only learned of him little more than two months ago! We are to teach him the ways of we Big Folk and the ways of being a ranger, should he wish it. This is Hunter, named for his mighty hunting skill. I myself have witnessed his skills."

"Ah. Welcome welcome Hunter!"

"Thank you, kind Mr. Butterbur. Never before have I been to Bree. I find it quite strange. Homes above ground," I replied.

Mr. Butterbur chuckled. "Stroll and Strider have already gotten the two of you rooms and have your keys. One to a room, small as they are. Last four on the north-east side. Third floor. Will either of ye be needing anything?"

"Once we have gotten our keys and our things in our rooms, we will be down for dinner."

He nodded and I followed Halbarad to the north-east side. Farthest room from the stairs was where we heard to men talking.

"-for his age. Very intelligent," I heard Esgaldir say.

An idea popped in my head.

"Raaangeerrrrr, why will you not tell me who the other is? Is he an elf? A dwarf! Halfling maybe," I playfully yet loudly whined.

"Hunter, I many times must I tell you I will not say! Bother me no more with that question," he said with annoyance.

"But but but!"

"Hunter, you are about to meet him!"

He knocked on the door. We were told to come in. He opened the door and I found Esgaldir looking at us with a raised eyebrow. I followed Halbarad into the room. I shut it then quickly went to Esgaldir and sat on his lap.

"Sssoooo, like what I did there? Announce we were close while annoying him," I asked excitedly, purposely swinging my legs.

Esgaldir and the other laughed as Halbarad growled.

I got off Esgaldir. "So Hunter, huh? What's with renaming me?"

"There are those who would hunt someone down using just the name. It is typical for only those that are of elven-kind or our own people know our true names," Esgaldir answered.

I was introduced to 'Strider' then Halbarad and I were given our keys.

Esgaldir's room was the one we had all just been in. My room was next to his. Next to mine was Strider's. Halbarad's was the closest to the stairs. After my stuff was on the bed and most of my weapons there as well, I walked out.

Esgaldir barked with laughter, "He is about as bad you, Strider! Have to have something on him!"

I rolled my eyes and grinned at the two.

We went down to ground level and one of the maidservants came walking up. She didn't look much older than myself.

"Lilia, this is Hunter. The one I told you about," Esgaldir spoke.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Hunter. How was the journey here," she asked kindly.

"Quite new and fun! It feels so strange to me to be among people more my height! It is quite the pleasure of meeting you, ma'am. The Womenfolk of the Halflings tend to appear much better fed than what few Womenfolk of Men I have seen are," I replied.

She laughed. "Indeed you have been raised amongst the Shire-folk if you saw that! I hope we Womenfolk of Men are pleasing to the eyes?"

"What few I have seen, quite so. You the fairest of them."

She blushed at the compliment. "Thank you. What will you be having tonight, Hunter? We have a freshly baked chicken. Very moist. We can pair it with a variety of vegetables."

"That sounds very good! Though, I think I will pass on the vegetables. Could I get some bread and cheese instead of the vegetables?"

"Of course! You should eat your vegetables, though! What'll be to drink? Ale? Beer? We have milk and tea if you would prefer."

"Milk sounds very good, Miss Lilia."

"The rest of you. The usual?"

The others confirmed.

When she left, I felt a big grin spread across my face. "She is very beautiful."

"Yes. However, she is not of our people," Halbarad replied with amusement.

"How can you tell?"

"What do we all have in common, Hunter?"

"Dark hair, grey eyes, and strangely pale skin for being outside a great deal."

They laughed though only Halbarad told me that was how.

"Forget not fair of face, dear Ranger," Strider exclaimed.

"Though not as fair of face as the elves," Esgaldir added.

My time among the Dúnedain and learning about my new heritage quickly passed that I barely remembered it. I find a nice Dúnedain woman who had just barely come of age. I found myself often thinking of her and in my spare time, seeking her company. She was the most beautiful of the Womenfolk I had even met, including of the hobbits I knew so well.

Her mother thought it nice that was interested in her. Her father was not so much. I remembered when her father approached me as I was returning from the stables after tending to my horse, who I had named Cerridwyn, a few days before I had to leave.

"Aidan, is it," he stopped before me.

"Aye, sir. What is it," I asked him.

"What interested do you have in my daughter, Eryniel?"

"Friendship. Why do you ask?"

"My find daughter fond of you and my wife hoping you will seek her as your wife."

My eyes went wide.

"Do you seek a wife?"

"I am only fifteen! Not yet an adult!"

"Among Halflings, yes. Among Men, nay."

"I had no thoughts of seeking a wife yet. Not until I am at least eighteen. Perhaps even older!"

"Eryniel has shown no interest in any of the other unmarried men, Aidan. Only you. She speaks very highly of you. As do Halbarad, Esgaldir, and our Chieftain-Lord Aragorn. You know our people are dying, fading. Would you not reconsider?"

"I told my Da I would not find myself a wife. Halbarad was there. Da also told Halbarad I had better not come back with one. Halbarad agreed he would not let me. I keep my word."

"Perhaps next you come? You will return, will you not? Mayhap when you become sixteen?"

The conversation had gone on for quite some time. Somehow, by the end of it, I had ended up agreeing to ask if Da would let her visit me. I could not figure out how it happened.

The journey back was made with her dad, Himel. He was impressed with my hunting skills. We had even found ourselves in trouble when we were attacked by a small band of orcs. He was impressed with the ease I fought them. We had both sustained minor injuries from them.

Just like with Halbarad, we spent the morning of the day I would finally be back home hunting. All I was able to get was a rabbit and two wild turkeys. At least they were decent sizes. The date was July 30, 3016 T.A.

It was just before nightfall when I finally opened the door.

"Da, I'm home," I shouted.

Da came running and practically tackled me to the ground.

"I've missed you, Aiden! You better not tell me you've found yourself a wife," he said with a very stern face.

"Nay, Da! I have kept my word," I replied, feeling insulted he thought I would break my word.

"No new father to replace me?"

"Nay."

"Are you going to live with them? Leave me?"

"Da, they are my people. You are my father, even if it is not in blood. I will spend time with my people. I have been given a house there. Small. I have two homes. With you and with my people."

"He has been raised well, Master Baggins," Himel intervened. "I am Himel. I volunteered to escort Aidan back for I have some things I would like to speak with you of."

"You got his daughter pregnant?!"

"Nay, Da! I have not. I know not what he wishes to speak with you of!"

"Well, Himel, come in. Aidan, go bathe. I will cook dinner for the three of us while you get clean."

Himel had stayed the night though he left before the sun rose. He had asked for Da to allow me to begin courting Eryniel.

I was sixteen. I had turned sixteen November twenty-fifth. That was a month ago. It was a very early morning on December twentieth. I had just arrived at my house with the Dunedain. Eryniel had yet to be told of my arrival. Himel had given me his blessing to marry her.

I was scared. I didn't want to marry just yet. I knew I had a duty to my people. I needed to make sure our people lived on. At least she had my love and I hers. I felt deeply for her and though the other Dunedain fathers tried to help their daughters catch my attention, I had eyes only for Eryniel. Eryniel reveled in the fact that she was the only one I wanted; that I had not even considered the other women.

I was to be married later today.

During the day, I kept busy by making sure the house was stocked with food. Da was upset he would mess the actually wedding but was rectified by Eryniel and I visiting and us getting married in the eyes of the hobbits.

I had made sure I was clean and well groomed for the wedding. Aragorn was to officiate it.

The wedding was simple. The village came to witness the orphaned Dúnedain taking the much sought after Eryniel to wife. Our vows were simple as well. She was wearing a cream colored dress that seemed to shimmer. Her wavy, waist-length hair was done half up half down with a flowered wreath.

After the celebration feast that was held, Eryniel and I retired to my-our!-home.

We did not emerge the next day until the day was half over.

Twenty-five days later found me suspecting Eryniel was pregnant. Da suspected as well. I left Eryniel with Da to find Himel.

It took ten days to find him. I found him at night around the campfire with some of the younger Dunedain. He saw me silently come into the light. When he didn't see Eryniel, he started to panic.

"Where is Eryniel? Is she hurt? Dead," he said with fear.

"Be at peace! She is with Da. I suspect she is pregnant. I coming seeking you to let you know that with her maybe pregnant and it still being winter, I will not let her travel. I think it wise. Come spring is when we will return home," I replied.

I saw him relaxed until what I said registered. "P-Pregnant? She is with child?"

"I suspect so. She has shown all the signs of early pregnancy."

"Ai! Welcome news you bring! Wise of you not to let her travel. Might I be able to send her a letter if you plan to return to her soon?"

"I left only to let you know. I will return, leaving only to guard the Shire and the borders, just as you."

He invited me to spend the night with them. He wrote his letter to her while he had a cat-eating-shit grin on his face.

The following morning found us going our different ways. He and the young Dunedain one way and I to return to Bag End, Da, and Eryniel.

It was the first day of spring, March twentieth. Eryniel had swelled so quickly I suspected she was carrying not one child but two. Himel would spend the night and tomorrow we would depart. I spent the day lavishing Eryniel with gifts, food, or tales. I had even let her read my travel journal, where I had always put my thoughts in, and view my sketch book.

Himel arrived just before the last meal of the typical hobbit day.

Four days later found us reaching Bree. We spent the following three days at The Prancing Pony. Himel thought it amusing I was constantly fussing over Eryniel and making sure she was full and not thirsty in the least. Eryniel found it annoying and threatened to ask the kitchen for a hot iron skillet to whack me upside the head with if I kept it up.

When did not arrive at the Dúnedain village until April twentieth.

Ten days later found the Healers asking I send for an elven healer of Rivendell as they now suspected Eryniel carried twins.

Halbarad was going there so he volunteered to carry the message to Lord Elrond.

Five days later, Lord Elrond of Rivendell himself arrived. After he was fed and bathed, he examined Eryniel.

"Indeed you and the healers are right, Aiden. She carries twins. It is a blessing to all the Dúnedain. You will have more than one child, should she not miscarry and they both live," he had stated.

There was a celebration. Word quickly spread to the traveling Dúnedain that Eryniel and I were expected twins.

The following day, Lord Elrond left, advising that I bring her to Rivendell when it was closer for her time of birthing. Just in case she were to have trouble birthing the twins.

It was the morning of the first day of September. It would not be just the two of us traveling. Halbarad and her father appointed themselves as her personal escort. We were hoping to take no more than four days as we would all be on horses.

We ended up taking an extra day to get there. She had been feeling phantom labor pains. We were given a room. Many of the elves were excited by the sight of her pregnant belly.

Three days had passed, the third was coming to a close. We were eating dinner when she suddenly froze. She started blushing and I began wondering what thought led her to blush.

Second later and I smelled amniotic fluid. I put down my fork and turned to her. The elves went silent.

We spoke in English.

"My love, I think your water just broke. I can smell it."

"I think I merely lost control of…Every time I move, I lose control once more."

I shook my head. "I smell the amniotic fluid. That means your water broke. Every time you move, it will feel like you relieve yourself once more. Stop eating. Nothing but water. What have eaten could decide to come up during labor."

I turned to Lord Elrond.

"Aidan, has…," Lord Elrond asked in elvish.

"Just so."

His sons and council members began to murmur with excitement.

Shortly after the sun had risen, one of the healers came out with a smile on her face.

"She is resting now. She has given you two sons. They are healthy and she has already given them their first feeding. They are small though. You may go in," she told me in elvish.

"Thank you. I appreciate what you have done for us," I replied.

I silently slipped into the room and saw the three most precious things in the world to me. I felt a swell of pride seize my body. I felt my head go light. I became dizzy. I felt like I was falling.

I had fainted. I couldn't believe I had fainted. The second I woke up, Eryniel started to laugh at me. I playfully growled at her, causing her to laugh harder.

"I was thinking that, mayhap, we could each name one," she giggled out.

"I would like that," I replied.

"Celebmir for this one." She nodded to the one in her arms.

I picked the other up and held him, though I was quite scared I was going to drop him.

"I like that. Silver Jewel. My name means 'little fire' so why not name this one Ruinmir, Red Flame Jewel?"

"It is perfect."

"So, we do we get started on making more?"

"Aiden, please give me Ruinmir and put Celebmir in the basket. Then get by the door."

I did as she asked. Just as I turned around…

"Not for a good while, you child-loving fiend!" I saw something flying towards me and fast. I made a very quick exit.

When I looked up after closing the door, I found an amused Halbarad, Himel, and Lord Elrond looking at me.

"Uh, hi? I think it was too soon to tell her I wanted more children...," I replied.

They began laughing. I grinned and walked away, seeking the gardens.

When the twins were four months, two weeks, and four days old, Eryniel asked me if I still wanted more children. I gave a very resounding 'yes' and was grinning quite madly.

She laughed. "You do realize it is not normal to have more than one child, do you not?"

"Of course I do. I also find the idea of you tending our sons while your womb is swollen with another child of mine extremely irresistible. I find myself filled with need to be inside you grow to unbearable levels at the images that enter my mind when I think of it. No other woman will do. I want more children but I will not force you. I can accept having just the sons we have now."

And she worked her womanly and wifely charms on me.

Eryniel had begun show once more. She was pregnant again. Everyone in the village was rejoicing at the small swell of her womb. I found it harder to keep my hands to myself.

I suspected twins once more, as did the healers. I would take her to Rivendell if the suspicion was still there.

Come August twenty-ninth, Eryniel and I were departing for Rivendell. Celebmir and Ruinmir were coming with us. I had bought a horse and made a saddle specifically for safely carrying our sons.

Their age now was one year, one month, two weeks, and three days. Eryniel was seven months, one week, and two days into the pregnancy.

I had also bought a horse for Eryniel. We did not have an escort and she knew the way to Rivendell. I wanted to make sure she and our sons could run from danger should it be needed.

Between Eryniel being pregnant and the twins, it took nearly a week to reach Rivendell.

Lord Elrond had been called to us and when he saw Eryniel, he asked if I suspected twins once more. Upon my answer, he immediately took her away while I was given help with our things and horses.

"Aidan I am not pleased with you," I heard her yell to my back.

I turned around and saw a very attractive and angered pregnant wife and a certain elven lord trying to conceal his laughter.

"What did I do?"

"Twins once is one thing but twins every time you get me pregnant?"

"Uh…oops?" I couldn't say that with all seriousness. I couldn't help the cat-eating-shit grin that quickly spread my face. I prayed they were daughters. I wanted at least once daughter to dote on.

"Will you be remaining in Rivendell, Aidan? Or will the two of you be returning," Lord Elrond asked.

"Lord Elrond, if it is possible I would like us to remain here until she has given birth. It is becoming more and more dangerous. With her pregnant, the twins, and winter soon upon us, I do not think it wise to leave, only to come back in a few months," I replied.

He nodded and told me he agreed.

A few days later found me running from a very furious Himel in Rivendell.

Apparently I wasn't supposed to be so good at making babies. Huh, imagine that. I go from being a woman in one world to a man that is very virile. Once he caught me, his anger had run its course so he hugged me with a hearty laugh. Though he did threating my manhood if I got her pregnant a third time and she ended up with twins again. I told him that after these two, I didn't think she would give me the chance to make her pregnant a third time.

Come near the end of September, I had left Eryniel in Rivendell with the twins to visit Da. I would be accompanying Da and the other hobbits to Bree.

Thank fully, it only took a mere six days to reach Bree. I saw them to The Prancing Pony then went over to Aragorn.

"How are you this night," I asked.

"As well as may be, I suppose. Who are the four Halflings you came in with," he asked.

"Well, the two that look much alike are Peregrin Took and Meridoc Brandybuck. They prefer Pippin and Merry, respectively. The round one is Samwise Gamgee, or Sam he prefers. He enjoys gardening so if you find yourself bored, you can always ask him about that. The forth is my Da. Going by Underhill. Da said he was supposed to meet Gandalf here."

"Something has happened to him. What, I do not know. I can only hope nothing more than he can handle."

"I hope the same. I suppose I should keep an eye on Merry and Pippin. The two of them used to cause all sorts of trouble. Often times I was among them. Or even more common, getting them into trouble and watch as they try to get themselves out of it. They met Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. They know what barrow-rights are now. I suspect they do not wish to even think of Barrow-Wights ever again."

"Do I want to know?"

"Most likely not. I will be staying the night at the inn a few streets down."

"It is not a very safe place to stay, Hunter."

"There is no room here. I will be fine. I have had to go there before. They think I am far more dangerous than I really am. I will be here in the morning."

He nodded. I bid Da and the other hobbits a good night then left for the other inn.

After Aragorn, Da, and the others left, I retrieved my belongings and horse from the other inn and rented a room for two for the night at The Prancing Pony. At nightfall, I waited in the tavern part.

An elderly man with a tall blue pointed hat, clothed in grey with a silver scarf, long white beard that went below his belt-which had Glamdring on it-, and bushy eyebrows came up to Mr. Butterbur.

"Ah, Mr. Gandalf! Hunter of the Rangers has rented a room for the two of you already. He has your key. He's over there at that corner table. You'd want a hot meal, I reckon. The usual to eat and drink, I assume?"

"Oh, yes dear Barliman," Gandalf replied.

Gandalf turned and made his way to me.

As he sat down, I have him his key and said, "I've come a long way from the starving, dying boy you left at Bag End."

His went wide. "Indeed, my boy! Is he hear?"

I shook my head. "He left earlier today with Strider. Thank you for leaving me with Da."

"Well, I couldn't very well leave you out there to die on your own, now could I? How have you been, Hunter?"

"Doing quite well. I met Stroll and Strider's cousin when I was sixteen and out exploring the Shire and its borders. The next time I left Bag End, I was taken to the village and learned of my Dúnedain heritage. I got married at seventeen. I have twin sons already. My wife is soon to give birth to another set of twins."

"And which young woman is the lucky one?"

"Ranger's daughter."

"Ah. Last I spoke with Ranger, several years ago, he had told me he feared his daughter would never be interested in a husband. To find that not only is she married but has two sons and two more children on the way with the boy I saved ten years ago being the father is quite good news! You have decided to become a ranger, then?"

"Yes. Even though I've been doing the ranger thing and even married, I will not officially be one until my twentieth birthday. I find it strange."

"Even if among the hobbits you are not considered an adult until you are thirty-three?"

I laughed, "Yes, even so! Gandalf, I must warn you…Da is being hunted. The Nine walk and ride, seeking him. Some came here last night, seeking him."

"Bad tidings you bring! On the morrow, we will leave and see if we can catch them up-Strider and the hobbits. At Weathertop."

"I am going to retire for the night. I have provisions for us already. You have a horse, I hope?"

"Indeed."

"No need to knock when you come in; I will know it is you."

"Then I shall see you soon."

I went to our room, tripped down to my pants, grabbed my travel and sketch books, writing and drawing supplies, and then settled in on the bed nearest the door.

About an hour later was when Gandalf came in.

We were at Weathertop. Gandalf was waiting for the five to get here though I knew that would not be so.

Nightfall, I was proven correct.

Gandalf and I arrived in Rivendell on the eighteenth of October. He had sought Lord Elrond to see if Da and the others arrived. I sought my very pregnant and angered wife.

I did not expect for the first chapter itself to be 9,093 words long itself. Darn near twenty pages. The chapter begins the day before the Council of Elrond. I didn't want Aiden to be from Middle-Earth but I didn't want him to be just dropped into there as an adult and expected to be this amazing character. I also didn't want him to have the perfect body for an 8-year-old child. I chose Aiden to be turned into a male because that, in my eyes, added another dimension to him. He has some understanding of the female mind because he wasn't originally a male.

With him being 21 with one of the many American speech patterns, I didn't want him to adjust by default. I also didn't want him to automatically be able to speak Westron.

I really meant this to be a short prologue, not a really long first chapter.