Laying on his death bed, in the last homely home of the elves, the Valar visit bilbo. Something went wrong, Frodo and Sam failed their task. Bilbo has been charged with going back, back to the very beginning. He is being sent back to his twenty fifth year of age. With just a short twenty-five years before he is meant to go on his grand adventure. He means to make the very most of those years, even if that means he will be dubbed the "Mad Baggins" long before the adventure with the dwarves of Erobor.
*I own nothing from LOTR or the Hobbit. All copyrights and credits go to the appropriate owners...
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Bilbo's entire body was wracked with a deep ache. His awareness of his surroundings faded in and out. His memory was as foggy as his time-worn senses were, yet despite the old age that tracked through his mind and body, Bilbo felt a sharp sense of wrongness surrounding his entire being. He felt torn apart and it seemed that darkness filled his very soul. His thoughts, thick like molasses, worked to figure out what was happening. Worry filled him for his dearest Frodo, out on his own adventure. Had they failed? Was that why his soul was being pervaded by this terrible darkness, this terrible evil. Straining against whatever evil filled the air and made weak by the ring's influence, Bilbo's meager consciousness faded away to black.
He was not aware of the passage of time, in this all-consuming dark that he was in. His very being felt muddied and slow, he didn't know what was happening, or how long it had truly been. All he knew, was that something was very, very wrong.
Bilbo woke for the first time in what seemed like centuries. Clarity shone through his weary mind, like a balm on a wound. He felt the sun-soaked grass beneath his fingers, he smelled the moisture and heard trickling water. His body felt warm and no part of him hurt or ached, a feeling he hadn't felt in almost 40 years. He stayed still, praying to his Green Lady that this feeling lasted through his daily breakfast and tea with his dear friend, Lord Elrond.
As he sent this prayer to the Green Mother, he heard the giggle of a woman, the sound echoed so close to him, almost as if someone was a mere breathes away. His eyes opened expecting the beautifully carved ceiling of his room in Rivendale and perhaps one of the female medics in his room, tending to his morning medicines (that Elrond insisted had kept his health up this long). He was not expecting, however, the face of a woman standing over him with the bright sun and cloudless blue sky haloed around her flowing, soil brown hair. Bilbo stared up at the woman, who continued to stare down at him with amusement in her leaf green eyes.
"M-Mh-mm" Bilbo felt faint, not only was he no longer in Rivendale, but he knew the face of the woman staring down at him. It was the face of the Green Mother, it was the face of Yavanna. Bilbo leapt up, carefully avoiding hitting the Valar on his way up. He immediately turned and bowed on one knee, not even noticing how his joints moved with an ease he hadn't felt since he was young. "My Lady", as he spoke those words to her, he realized they were not alone either. Bilbo felt faint as he realized the entire Valar council was standing before him.
Bilbo took a breath, then steeled himself. He had faced dragons, and orcs, and even an angry Gandalf. He could face a meadow full of gods and goddesses, right? "Forgive me, my lords and ladies. How may I be of service to the valar? " Bilbo stayed bowed, not daring to move, until Yavanna spoke.
"Rise my child," Yavanna spoke warmly to bilbo, her heart both warmed and saddened by the steel in his eyes. "We have much to discuss with you, child."
Bilbo's head whipped up, to look at the council. "Is everything okay? Frodo, is?", Bilbo trailed off, fear gripping him. The one who Bilbo assumed was Manwe stepped forward, closer to Yavanna, but still no where near as close to bilbo as Yavanna herself was.
"Frodo failed his task. Middle earth has fallen to Sauron." The tall valar spoke, intimidating in his presence but not unkind in his demeanor. "We know not of his fate, but we believe he has fallen, in much the same manner as the 9 mannish kings of old."
Bilbo lost himself to those words. He couldn't feel anything but agony and fear for the soul of his only family left. The sorrow of his mistakes gripped his soul. His Frodo, his little leaf. He was lost to bilbo now. Anger and self-loathing wreaked havoc through bilbo, tearing him apart. If only he could change what he did, if only he had told someone what he had found. Deep in his soul, he knew the ring wasn't to be trusted. And now, he was the cause of little Frodo's eternal damnation. Bilbo distantly knew something pressing was going on, but he couldn't feel past the all-consuming grief he felt at Manwe's words.
The callings of Yavanna brought him out of his sorrow. He realized he was being held by his goddess, he felt the wetness on his cheeks, and he saw the valar looking upon him in sorrow. "Bilbo, my child, my dear sweet child. All is not lost." Yavanna continued to rock him, he looked to her in confusion.
"How?" He croaked to his goddess, internally pleading that his green mother somehow fix this.
"It will not be easy, little leaf. It will require much sacrifice on your part.", Yavanna looked down at him, then towards the rest of her council. The worry was very much so apparent in her eyes.
"I will do anything, whatever it takes. Can I bring Frodo back." Bilbo could hear the desperation in his voice, he knew it was there. But it was mixed with conviction, more than any had ever heard from his race. He didn't care what he had to do, he would get his little leaf back. The valar looked among themselves, surprised at the conviction coming from the small being in front of them, but Yavanna and her husband just smiled. They knew well just what the little hobbits were capable of.
"You will be able to bring everyone back, if you complete this task." The one he assumed was Varda spoke.
"What must I do" Bilbo moved away from Yavanna, toward the rest of the valar council. Stopping in front of them, he awaited his task. He would get his nephew back.
Manwe spoke again, "Do not be so quick to accept this quest Bilbo Baggins, for it will not be easy and you may very well lose your life in the process."
"All due respect Lord Manwe, but I already have. I have lost the only family I had left, I have lost countless friends. I have lost my sun and my water, my very will to live. If I don't accept this quest, Then I will have lost my life. If this quest will save them, then it will only give back to me what has been taken by the fates." He paused, looking at each valar. Again, bilbo repeated himself, this time stressing each word as he said them, "What Must I Do."
All the valar looked among themselves, strangely proud of this small creature, then Manwe stepped forward, closer to bilbo than before.
"We intend to send you back with your youth and your memories. We will send you back to before it began. When this happens, you will need to do whatever it takes to get the one ring to Mt. Doom and get it destroyed. If you are able to complete this task, you will be allowed to live your second life as you wish." Manwe looked at bilbo, for what felt like an eternity.
Bilbo knew better than to ask what would happen should he fail in his task. "I accept this quest. When do I leave?"
Yavanna took over then, "Immediately. You will replace the old bilbo and nothing will be changed in the last timeline. You will tell no-one you are from the future until after the ring is destroyed, do you understand?" Bilbo nodded, feeling slightly delirious, he was going on an adventure again. And this time? He was going to do it right.