Disclaimer: We all know that I don't own anything in Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings. If I did I wouldn't be writing this. So just enjoy the story!
Chapter 2: Welcome to the Shire
A few hours later, Harry was sitting on a very small bed in a room at Bag End. Frodo's Uncle Bilbo had kindly allowed him to stay with them, and had even invited him to his birthday party later that evening. But Harry didn't feel too much like celebrating. He was lost in a land he'd never known existed, and if he didn't find his friends, Hermione in particular, he'd never get home. He was in a daze. What had happened to his friends? Why didn't he just go for help? Dumbledore would probably know what to do. He should never have just run in like that. Hermione had said their might be problems with the portal, he should've known something like this would happen…
"Harry?" said a voice.
Harry looked up. It was Frodo.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"Yeah," answered Harry, "I'm fine."
"Would you like something to eat?"
"Nah," said Harry, trying to smile; Frodo was looking rather uncomfortable, "I'll save it for the party tonight."
"So you'll definitely come?" asked Frodo, looking much happier.
"Of course!" said Harry.
Frodo smiled, then got more serious. "Harry," he said softly, "I'm sorry about your friends."
"It's alright," said Harry, "It's not your fault."
"I know, but if you need anything, let me know."
Frodo left, leaving Harry alone to think. He had indeed decided to go to the party, although no party would feel right without Ron and Hermione, or Fred and George's antics, while Ginny shrieked with laughter.
A few hours later though, Harry had to admit he was having a lot of fun. Gandalf's fireworks were amazing, Fred and George would have been jealous if they had seen them. Right now Harry was sitting next to Frodo under a brightly lit tent eating everything in sight. He had never seen so much food, even at Hogwarts. What these hobbits lacked in size they made up for with their appetites.
Just then another hobbit with blond curly haircame up and sat down. "Hello Sam!" said Frodo, "Harry, this is Samwise Gamgee. He's my gardener. Sam, this is Harry Potter. He's the boy Gandalf found today."
"Please to meet you Mr. Harry," said Sam, "I heard people saying you were a wizard like Mr. Gandalf. Is that true?"
"First, call me Harry," replied Harry, "And second, yes it's true that I'm a wizard."
"But you don't look anything like Gandalf or any of the other wizards I've heard of!" said Sam in astonishment, "I thought they were all wise old men!"
"Well, where I come from, kids train to become wizards at a young age."
"Wow!" Sam looked very impressed.
After he finally finished eating, Harry got up and walked over to wear Gandalf was shooting off more fireworks, much to the hobbit-children's delight. The old wizard had just set off some crackers that looked like butterflies, when Harry thought he saw something move by the wagon. He decided to investigate, and sure enough, he found that not only was the largest firework gone, but there were voices coming from inside the nearby tent.
Harry walked in and immediately spotted the trouble. Two young hobbits had taken the firework and were trying to set it off, but they clearly didn't know how.
"You're supposed to stick it in the ground!" said one.
"It is in the ground!" said the other one, starting to panic.
"Need any help?" asked Harry.
Both hobbits jumped at the sound of his voice. Then they both started begging, "Please don't tell Gandalf!"
"He'll be furious!"
"I don't want to be on the end of his staff!"
"If I were you, I'd be more worried about the firework," said Harry. It was true. The firework had already been lit, and it looked ready to take off. Harry quickly waved his wand to douse the flame. "Now, I've seen my friends Fred and George work these things. You…" he said, pointing to the first hobbit.
"Right, Merry. You're…"
"And Pippin!" interrupted the other hobbit.
"Thanks Pippin. Anyway, Merry's right. You have to stick it deeper into the ground." With that, Harry walked over and did just that.
It had suddenly occurred to Merry and Pippin that they were not in trouble. "You're going to help?" asked Pippin.
"Sure, even I couldn't resist something like this. Now stand back," Harry warned. They all stepped back into the farthest corner of the tent. "Incendio!" he cried, and the firework lit.
The effect was not what Harry had planned. He'd forgotten how big the firework was. It went off with a loud BANG that blew up the whole tent, causing Harry, Merry, and Pippin to fall over each other.
The firework turned out to be a huge, flaming dragon that circled the party and then started to fly dangerously low towards the lake. Everyone started screaming and running away; tripping over each other and spilling food everywhere in the chaos. The firework barely missed the hobbits' heads as it flew over the lake where it made a spectacular explosion. Despite the moment of peril, everyone cheered at the massive display before them.
Harry, Merry, and Pippin stood up. They were scorched by the huge blast and in quite a shock. "Wow!" was all Harry managed to say.
"That was good!" said Merry.
"Let's get another one," said Pippin.
"This time though, we'd better do it outside, away from everyone else," said Harry.
"Spoilsport," muttered Pippin.
"Hey, I could've told Gandalf," Harry started to say as they turned around, only to find themselves face to face with Gandalf.
"Uh-oh," said Harry.
"Meriadoc Brandybuck. Peregrin Took." Merry and Pippin winced as they heard their real names. "And Harry Potter," Gandalf continued, "I might've known with you two. But I must admit I never suspected something like this coming for someone like you," he said to Harry, making him feel a squirm of guilt. "Well, there's only one thing to do about you three."
Two minutes later, Frodo walked over to where Gandalf was sitting, keeping a close eye on Harry, Merry, and Pippin's efforts on washing and drying all the dishes. Considering how many people had eaten and drank at the parties, it was a rather harsh punishment on Gandalf's part. But Frodo was still trying not to laugh as he made his way over to them. "Well Harry," he said, "I see you've met my cousins!"
"Unfortunately," Harry muttered under his breath.
"Hey you were in on it too!" Merry said indignantly, but he was interrupted by the sudden cheering as Bilbo rose to make a speech.
"My dear Bagginses and Boffins!" he began, "Tooks and Brandybucks! Grubbs! Chubbs! Bracegirdles!" As he said each name, the family mentioned cheered wildly. "And Proudfoots!"
"Proudfeet!" yelled one of the older hobbits. Bilbo waved it aside.
"And of course, my dear friend Gandalf and his companion Mr. Potter!"
Harry grinned and waved to Bilbo.
"Today is my 111th birthday!" continued Bilbo.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" everyone cheered. Harry laughed. He had never really liked listening to speeches, but this was a lot of fun.
"Alas, 111 years is hardly enough time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits. I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve!"
What? thought Harry. He was still trying to work out that last comment. Judging from the confused looks on the other hobbits' faces, he wasn't the only one. He looked at Gandalf, but his fellow wizard continued to stare at Bilbo with a knowing smile on his face.
"I-I have things to do," said Bilbo with a sudden anxious expression on his face. Harry was instantly alert. "I regret to announce this is the end. I'm going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell. Good-bye." And Bilbo suddenly vanished.
Everyone gasped. Harry was bewildered. For a split second, he was sure Bilbo had Apparated, but that couldn't be right, even Gandalf didn't know how, when Harry had mentioned it to them earlier. Unfortunately, no one else seemed to know what happened either. The hobbits were all running around in a state of shock calling for Bilbo. But he didn't appear. Harry wasn't sure what to do at the moment, but his curiosity was kicking in. One thing was certain: he would get to the bottom of this new mystery somehow, no matter how long it took.
A/N: Read and review! I understand this wasn't the best chapter; it went over quite a few revisions. The real action should start next chapter, when Harry and the hobbits leave the Shire.
To my reviewers: Thank you!
genvessel: Oh yes, the Hogwarts kids will definitely make it to Mordor, at least, some of them will, but yes, I'm doing the whole trilogy here! And their magic will help, very much so!
Smilies rule: Thanks for reviewing!