Petal by Armariel

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"I could surely do with some hobbit company," thought Gandalf as he rested from his travels by his campfire. "And some hobbit pipeweed. This wild stuff just doesn't do it for me.  Better than nothing, however."

He paused to light his pipe with the end of a smoldering stick, and puffed on it thoughtfully, grimacing a little at the bitterness.  He thought back on that most recent adventure, and wondered what Bilbo was doing now.  It had been many years ago, he couldn't remember how many.  Twenty?  Thirty?

He sighed.  It was a lonely life, this.  If only...

But what was this?  Bright bubbles seemed to be floating up from the air.  No, this weed was not of that sort....

"Can those be Fairies coming to visit?" he spoke aloud. "Upon my word, I believe they are! Next best thing, I suppose, as long as they don't pull any of those tricks of theirs. Fairy foolery can be quite entertaining, so long as it's not at one's own expense. Well I remember the night they made me fall in love with my own staff. Would have been far more amusing if I hadn't happened to be visiting with Saruman at the time. Likely I would never have heard the end of it, if they hadn't made him sing a ridiculous song about a weasel and a spool of thread all night long. Now THAT was amusing. I imagine he has set himself up a fairy-proof barrier in his tower by now.  Ahhh, those were the days..."

And a smile began to peep through his long grey beard as the bubbles of light descended all about him in the twilight.  Let them bring on all the tricks they pleased.  Company was a good thing.


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