Little Elven Cloak by Shire Rose

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Author's Chapter Notes:

Nota Bene: Ted Sandyman is a book character, who appears mostly at the end of the Return of the King during the Scouring of the Shire. He was rude to Sam from the beginning and ends up joining the side of Saruman, the big men and the industrializers of the Shire.


Little Elven Cloak

Hobbiton, 4027 F. A.

The whole of the Shire lay bathed in the warm golden light of the setting sun. It had been a long and beautiful day, full of fun and games for little Elanor Gamgee. She was a beautiful child, gifted with long curls, golden as sunlight and a face, elven-fair.

Beautiful she was and blessed. For had not her father traveled with one of the fair folk for many miles along the great quest and was counted great among elves and men? Elanor herself did not remember her father's friend for she had been but a child upon his first visit to their home. The prince had promised to return soon though few mortals could tell what an elf might mean by that word.

She treasured her gift from him though. Legolas, for so the elf was named, had given her father a cloak in keeping for his little daughter. Elven-spun and woven by the hands of his sister it was like to her father's cloak it took on the color of its surroundings. Not so potent was it as that woven by the handmaidens of the Lady of Light but still a thing of beauty and power, for Erynel was a daughter of kings.

She wore it now when her mother sent her on errands about Hobbiton for she had lived six years in the beauty and brightness of the Shire. Tomorrow her mother had said that she might carry a message and a gift to Grandma Cotton who lived aways down the road. Grandma had been feeling poorly the last couple of days and Rosie being a loving daughter and a hobbit besides thought that well-cooked food and her daughter's bright face would cheer her mother greatly.

So little Elanor fell asleep dreaming of her mother's good food and the bright fields of the Shire.

The Hobbiton Woods, Moonrise

Legolas laid his pack upon the ground and sat contentedly beneath a great oak. He had fallen in love with the beauty of the Shire when he had first visited Sam several years earlier, not that it was hard for him to fall in love with the beauty of Arda who had taken the ailing woods of Ithilien and blessed them with new life and grace.

The Shire held a special place in his heart, for it was close to the Old Forest and its ancient trees as well as merry Tom and his queenly wife. He had found his way to their valley on his memorable first visit, and stayed many a night speaking with them of much that had been lost and was fading. His hobbit friends having no way of knowing this and remembering well their disastrous trip through the same woods had been nearly frantic with worry when he had failed to make an appearance for several days.

Legolas loved the Shire too for its own sake, for its rich soil and vibrant colors as well as its heedless and happy people. It had been several years since his last trip and he was anxious to spend time with his old friends. And so he lay back and watched the stars as his mind rested in elven slumber.

Hobbiton, Sunrise

Elanor woke with the sun so excited was she to make her little journey. She babbled happily about adventures and swords and oliphants all morning as she ate her scones and oatmeal.

"Dad went on an adventure far away." she would say with a mouth full of raspberries and scone.

"Yes, dear" Rosie would reply "It isn't polite to talk with food in your mouth."

"I want to go far away and see the White Tower and the King" Elanor added as soon as she had swallowed her scone.

"Maybe someday, my little goldilocks" Sam offered "We can all go see the city and the King and the Evenstar, his queen."

"What about the elves and dwarves?" asked Elanor holding another scone in a cubby hand, "Will we see them too?"

"Yes, the elves and the dwarves too, they might even come here to see us on of these days." said Sam as she mercifully shut her mouth on a handful of blueberries, "Keep an eye out for the elves Elanor, you never know when one might appear."

Elanor nodded her golden head solemnly "Maybe I will find an elf on my way to grandma's" she said thoughtfully.

"Maybe" said Sam and Rosie together very much doubting it.

Hobbiton, Mid-morning

Elanor bounced out the door, a basket of fresh-baked pastries in her hand and the silvery-green elven cloak on clasped about her throat.

"Be careful, Elanor" her mother cautioned "Go straight to grandma's and don't stop to talk to strange folk. Stay on the path."

Elanor nodded and skipped away.

It even more beautiful than the day before. Puffy white clouds floated overhead, dazzling against the sapphire shy. Elanor watched them for a few moments before trotting obediently down the path again. There was one that she was sure was shaped like a dragon and another that might have been either a wolf or a bear. She couldn't make up her mind.

The path twisted out sight of Bag End and still she pranced along. There were flowers on either side of the road, studding the bright grass with color. Bluebells and lady's slipper, a daisy or two, and further away from the path some wild rose bushes.

Elanor thought how happy it would make her grandma if she brought her a bunch of flowers and so she wandered off the path, forgetting completely her mother's warning.

Ahhh, beautiful yellow roses and fragrant red roses. She picked several avoiding the thorns with nimble fingers, never noticing that she had reached the edge of the woods. She sang a little, songs her father had picked up on his travels.

She stooped to gather a few late violets and bumped into a pair of legs. She stumbled back in surprise suddenly remembering that she was nowhere near the path. She sat down on chubby legs and stared up at the hobbit.

Ted Sandyman stared down at the hobbit lass at his feet. She seemed familiar but he couldn't place her, so he smiled as he offered her a hand up.

"Hello, I'm Elanor" she said smiling, "Thank you." Now he had it, this was Sam's daughter. He kept the smile carefully arranged on his face.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

Elanor, forgetting her mother's warning for the second time that day told him, dimpling prettily all the while.

"And so I am giving grandma flowers too, to make her feel better" she finished in a conspiratorial whisper. Ted bid her good day and hurried away, towards the Cotton's.

Legolas watched the exchange with interest, Elanor had been an infant during his last visit to the Shire but the hobbit lass beneath him had the same radiant hair and dimpled face, and elven cloak she wore took away all doubt that this was Sam's daughter.

He frowned as the child told Ted her destination and purpose so readily, he had never yet seen a hobbit who would harm a child but some instinct told him that Ted could and would if given a chance. Soundlessly he watched as the older hobbit moved away and Elanor made her way back to the road. She still clutched the flowers in one grimy hand, but nice though Ted had been she remembered her mother's caution.

On sure and silent feet she made her way towards the Cotton's, stopping only to catch her breath when she ran too hard for small lungs to cope. Behind her Legolas followed soundless and swift, his soft shoes leaving nearly no trace of his passing. When they reached the tree line, he slowed, using the hedges and occasional trees to conceal his presence.

Elanor flung upon the round door of her grandparent's home and stepped inside. It was oddly dark, the curtains drawn across the windows and no lamps lit. She stepped inside suddenly cautious and slightly nervous. Grandma Cotton lay on a low couch, a blanket drawn about her face and body nearly concealing her features. She seemed taller and stouter than usual.

Elanor took a step a small step forward.

Grandma Cotton stirred. "Little one is that you?" she asked in an odd croaking voice. Elanor nodded, curls bouncing wildly.

"Come closer dear heart, I cannot see you in this light" muttered the form on the couch. Elanor took another step forward and then another. Suddenly, the figure moved, snatching her in his arms. Elanor screamed, as Ted's arms closed about her. There was an odd whistling sound and a flash of green next to her ear. Ted fell back with a cry, releasing the child.

A tall form stood in the doorway, his bow drawn and an arrow to his string. Long golden hair hung about his shoulders and Elanor caught a glimpse of a long white knife in his belt. Ted began screaming at the sight of the elf as much as that of the blood across his arm were the arrow had skimmed the flesh.

Seeing that Ted was stiff with fright the elf lowered the bow and entered, stooping to fit beneath the low roof. He stepped towards Elanor keeping his hands out and away from the knife. Elanor looked up trustingly.

"Father said that an elf might come" she said happily, "and you have!" Legolas knelt on one knee and looked her over for injuries.

"Where is your grandmother?" he asked at last, satisfied that she had come to no harm.

"I…I…don't know" she said looking anxiously about the room as the elf bound Ted's wrists with a purloined blanket.

They found Mrs. Cotton after a few minutes search, Ted had tied her wrists together and gagged her with a scrunched up doily before locking her in the pantry.

Elanor hugged her tightly as soon as Legolas undid her bounds. He quickly introduced himself as a friend of Sam's for the hobbits were not fond of "big people" found loitering about their land.

Rosie had begun worrying about Elanor shortly after her daughter's small head had vanished out of sight. As time wore on with no sign of her child she became increasingly nervous and fidgety. At last Sam, pulled Sting out of its chest while Rosie took little Frodo in one hand and a skillet in the other. Then the three made their way towards the Cotton's.

The door was closed.

Sam positioned himself on the right and Rosie on the left, both Sting and the skillet raised and ready for battle. Sam shoved the door open and sprang through.

Legolas, Elanor and Mrs. Cotton sat about the low table calmly eating the contents of Rosie's basket, while in a corner Ted Sandyman lay huddled in a miserable heap as he watched them eat.

The skillet dropped with a thud as Sam ran forward to embrace his friend and daughter, with Rosie and Frodo in close pursuit.

And then they finished off the basket and started on the Cotton's pantry while Ted lay in agony at the sight. For neither stolen spoons nor attempted kidnapping will part a hobbit from his (or her) dinner.

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