What Might Have Happened by Dreamflower

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Story Notes:

Written for the Hobbit_ficathon AU challenge on LiveJournal. (An expansion of the first scenario in "Five Things That NEVER Happened to Bilbo Baggins".)

Dwalin stood hesitantly on the doorstep, carefully examining the bright green door in front of him for any signs. The door looked to be freshly painted, it did, and no sign of scratches that he could see. Yet he’d followed Gandalf’s directions to the letter.

“Hammer and tongs, Dwalin! Why are you just standing there?”

Dwalin turned to see his brother Balin had come up. “There are no signs,” he replied.

“Well, then, we’ve come to the wrong place.”

The two of them started to turn away, when they saw Fili and Kili start up the path. “Never mind!” said Balin. “The dratted wizard’s given us the wrong address!” The four started back down the path, and waited at the gate, where they headed off Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin and Gloin.

The nine dwarves headed back down the road, when they ran into Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Thorin Oakenshield, followed by Gandalf himself.

“You made a mistake, Gandalf!” exclaimed Balin. “There’s no mark on the door!”

“No mark?” said Gandalf. He narrowed his eyes. Obviously Mr. Baggins was cannier than he let on, and had painted over the marks. Well, if he was not game for adventure, there were always Tooks to be found over the Water. Perhaps Flambard or Sigismund would do as well, though really, it was a shame that Belladonna’s son was so timid. Gandalf had been quite fond of her, and thought her son had showed some spirit.

Inside Bag End, Bilbo finished up his tea, and was in the kitchen washing up. There was a knock at the back door.

“Come in, come in,” he said distractedly. All through tea, he kept thinking he had forgotten something. And he simply couldn’t bring it to mind.

“Ah, Holman!” It was the gardener, Holman Greenhand.

“Yes, Mr. Bilbo, I come to tell you--someone had scratched up your lovely green door, so I had young Hamfast paint over it. We still had some green paint in the garden shed.”

“Well, bless my buttons!” exclaimed Bilbo. “I can’t imagine who would do a thing like that! Thank you very much for seeing to it, Master Holman.”

The gardener gave him a nod, and left.

“Now,” thought Bilbo, “I should give a bit of thought to supper. I still have some seedcake…”

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