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Fic: Echoes of your Soul

Title: Echoes of your Soul
Pairing: PRE- Bagginshield
This is a fill for a prompt on the Hobbit Kink LJ. This is the Prompt:

All the dwarves seem to be able to sing quite well, but Bilbo doesn't sing at all!

So how about a fic where Bilbo has a melodic voice and ability to sing, which caused him to get taunted when he was young, hence he doesn't sing anymore.

Maybe the Dwarves asks him to join him and despite his reluctance does so, and manages to surprise them all.

Awesome if there's a duet between Thorin and Bilbo in the fic!

------
Shirefolk liked singing. It was done by everyone, male and female, old and young. They sang when they gardened, sewed, shopped, cooked, some even hummed while they slept. Someone was always singing in the Shire. That's just how life was. All of them except Bilbo, he hadn't tried to sing since he was in his tweens.

As a fauntling he’d sung his heart out, about everything and anything but usually when he was alone. It was during his cousin’s birthday that he discovered he was set apart from the others more than he already was.

Listening to the Dwarves singing as they traveled made him long to join in. They weaved such tales and their
voices and he longed to join in and share with them some of the haunting tunes his mother had taught him but he stayed his tongue.
In the past when he’d lifted his voice there were whispers. The Took line was filled with many stories of fairies and even elves. There was one story however that was whispered about most when Bilbo had begun to sing. Creatures that would lure unsuspecting travelers into the rivers, streams, and sea by their voices.

It was said that these creatures had no soul and lived only to kill, his mother had done her best to convince him that these were falsehoods. She'd tell him about the beautiful Siren princess who when singing ensnared the heart of a certain Hobbit. However, it was not a one-sided love ending with a watery grave. She likewise was completely taken with the young hobbit lad who had a head of pitch black curls and eyes the color of emeralds.

For all his mother's urging of him to sing however, he did note that her voice while lovely, was normal. Perfectly normal which is how people preferred things in the shire. Anything other than normal, was abnormal and thus the gossip of the century.

After his mother’s passing Bilbo had been unable to bring himself to sing in public anymore lest the whispers start up again. So he sat quietly, night after night listening to the dwarves sing, sometimes merrily but sometimes more somber.

Dwarves like Hobbits seemed to all be able to sing relatively well, he was the only Hobbit that he knew of who could not. He wondered if these dwarves were the rule. He watched as Fili and Kili grinned as their song ended.

“Mister Bilbo?”

Said Hobbit jumped in shock, turning to Ori with a questioning sound. He smiled to encourage the seemingly always shy dwarf to go on.

“Would you please sing for us? I hear you humming sometimes and I would like to hear a Shire song.”

Bilbo’s heart gave a jolt. Ori was quickly becoming his dearest friend and truthfully was the first friend he'd ever made that wasn't family. Sighing he knew he couldn't say no to the shy lad, it had probably taken all his courage to ask.

“I-I could try. I've not sang since I was young in my tweens. How about a song my mother used to sing to me?”

He noticed he'd gotten the attention of the other’s also and Kili and Fili both looked excited. Clearing his throat he began to sing, starting off a bit shaky but gaining momentum.

“Dacw ‘nghariad i lawr yn y berllan,
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal
O na bawn i yno fy hunan,
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal
Dacw’r tŷ, a dacw’r ‘sgubor;
Dacw ddrws y beudy’n agor.
Ffaldi radl didl dal, ffaldi radl didl dal,
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal.

Dacw’r dderwen wych ganghennog,
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal
Golwg arni sydd dra serchog.
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal
Mi arhosaf yn ei chysgod
Nes daw ‘nghariad i ‘ngyfarfod.
Ffaldi radl didl dal, ffaldi radl didl dal,
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal.

Dacw’r delyn, dacw’r tannau;
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal
Beth wyf gwell, heb neb i’w chwarae?
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal
Dacw’r feinwen hoenus fanwl;
Beth wyf well heb gael ei meddwl?
Ffaldi radl didl dal, ffaldi radl didl dal,
Tw rym di ro rym di radl didl dal.”

As the last notes of the song faded Bilbo glanced at Ori and blushed deeply. His friend looked completely gob smacked. Glancing around he was surprised to see a few starting at him and even Kili and Fili seemed shocked.

“I know I'm not the best of singers but-”

“Not the best of singers? Master Baggins, you've put us all to shame.” Bofur cut off Bilbo’s self conscious words. “No idea what it meant lad, but it was lovely. Share another?”

Bilbo blushed deeply at the kind words, he knew they were just trying to cheer him up but nodded, “Let me think on it and I'll figure something out when we camp for the night?”

As they continued their trek Bilbo fell back into his thoughts. Completely unaware of the steely blue gaze that kept lighting on him.


If Bilbo had been around Dwarves for longer than he had, he would have realized that singing to dwarves is akin to baring one’s soul. No matter the lyrics of what was sung, they could hear echoes beneath it. The very moment he'd began singing he’d unintentionally told them so much more about himself than ever he’d want to.

….


Bilbo sat staring into the fire as those around him ate and chatted. He’d been surprised when Thorin sat down a ways behind him. Usually the surely dwarf sat as far from everyone as possible.

“Mr Boggins!” Kili suddenly plopped down on one side of him with Fili, his ever present shadow on the other side of the Hobbit.

“Kili…” Bilbo started and then shook his head, “You know what? Never mind. What did you boys need?”

“Kili was wonder-”

“I was not! You said it first!”

“Anyhow, we were wondering. Why did you not want to sing today? Is it something special to Hobbit folk?” Fili waggled his eyebrows in a bizarre way that for some reason had Bilbo blushing.

“Oh….” Bilbo trailed off a bit, wondering how to explain, “Hobbits actually seem similar to you dwarves in a ways with your songs. You see though, my voice isn’t normal, and with my family history, it makes people uncomfortable.”

Seeing their blank looks he shook his head trying to figure out how to tell them so much history in a few short sentences.

“My mother was a Took, who for a family or clan of hobbit if you will. Aren’t the most respectable of peoples. They go on adventures, we’ve had a few smithies, a few racers, and there are stories about mixed blood. Hobbits are simple creatures who enjoy things without the frills. So anything over the top is frowned upon or is suspicious.”

“I see where this is going laddie,” Balin put in with a shake of his head, “Seems a shame that someone with your set of pipes would be treated so awful. Guess things aren’t as nice in the Shire as we folks always hear.”

Shooting a gentle smile at Balin, Bilbo rubbed his head before pasting on a smile and glancing at Ori.

“I promised you another song though! I’ve got the perfect one but it’s rather old, from before the first Hobbit ever settled into the Shire. It’s not the happiest of songs though and is being lost because people refuse to sing it any longer.”

He watched as Bofur snickered and elbowed Ori knowingly, seemed they were learning quite a bit about him. He really did love the older ballads with more melancholy verses and tunes.

“Mikilahul, 12 and 10, my dear and loving son John
Your good friend the schoolmaster Pat McNamara's so good
as to write these words down.
Your brothers have all gone to find work in the East,
the house is so empty and sad
The crop of potatoes is sorely infected,
a third to a half of them bad.
And your sister Brigid and Patrick O'Donnell
are going to be married in June.
Your mother says not to work in the taverns
and be sure to come on home soon.”

Aware that all eyes were on him he continued a little more surely when Kili practically snuggled into his side.

“Mikilahul, 12 and 20, dear and loving son John
Hello to your Mrs and to your 4 children,
may they grow to be healthy and strong.
Michael has got in a wee bit of trouble,
I guess that he never will learn.
Because of the dampness there's no turf to speak of
and now we have nothing to burn.
And Brigid is happy, you named a child for her
and now she's got six of her own.
You say you found work, but you won't say
what kind or when you will be coming home.”

It wasn’t often that the company was silent, but in that moment their little campsite was as still as a tomb and the air was heavy. Not thinking about it and trying to comfort himself for the coming verses Bilbo tangled a hand into Fili’s hair. Nobody noticed Thorin creeping closer to the hobbit and his nephews.

“Mikilahul, 12 and 30, dear Michael and John, my sons
I'm sorry to give you the very sad news
that your dear old mother passed on.
We buried her down in a lovely sunny spot,
your brothers and Brigid were there.
You don't have to worry, she died very quickly,
remember her in your prayers.
And it's so good to hear that Michael's returning,
with money he's sure to buy land
For the crop has been poor and the people
are selling at any price that they can.”

Bilbo couldn’t keep his voice from wavering. He was completely ignorant that it wasn’t just the song that was keeping his fellow company members fascinated. His soul was sparking and crying out in loneliness and sorrow. He’d been alone and shunned for so long his soul was trying to be heard in any way it could.

“Mikilahul, 12 and 40, my dear and loving son John
I guess that I might be close on to eighty,
it's thirty years since you're gone.
Because of all of the money you send me,
I'm still living out on my own.
Michael has built himself a fine house
and Brigid's daughters have grown.
Thank you for sending your family picture,
they're lovely young women and men.
You say that you might even come for a visit,
what a joy to see you again.”

His voice was beginning to hitch at certain points, which was laughable really. He’d sung the song so often and never been in tears before. He jumped slightly but carried on with the verse when someone warm pressed up against his back. He knew immediately who it was and tried to take comfort from the three dwarves surrounding him.

“Mikilahul, 12 and 42, my dear brother John
I'm sorry that I didn't write any sooner to tell you that father passed on.
He was living with Brigid, she says he was cheerful
and healthy right down to the end.
Ah, you should have seen him play with
the grandchildren of Pat McNamara, your friend.
And we buried him alongside of our dear old mother,
down in the nice sunny glen yard.
He was a strong and a feisty old man,
considering his life was so hard.
And it's funny the way he kept talking about you,
he called for you in the end.
Oh, why don't you think about coming to visit,
we'd all love to see you again.”

He broke off and pressed a kiss into Kili’s hair not even noticing he was doing it really. Glancing up he was surprised to see the other’s looking rather broken hearted and a few hiding tears.

Bilbo made a soft ‘eeep’ when he found himself pulled backwards into an awkward embrace. Glancing up from where he was being held against Thorin’s chest his eyes met aure.

“Why don’t you think he visited?” Ori’s voice was trembling and Bilbo looked at him with an odd quirk to his lips and after a quick glance to Nori he couldn’t help but give a fond smile.

“I think he became a thief. His family is said to have been starving and he wanted to help. At the same time he was ashamed. He didn’t want to disappoint his parents.”

“Good tune Mister Baggins.” Bofur muttered and with that they seemed to break up and begin getting ready to turn in for the night. Ignoring the lone Hobbit and his three clinger ons.

Bilbo sighed, feeling like something in him was being healed in a way he wasn’t even aware. He was content to sit with Kili and Fili on either side of him and Thorin cradling him like something special.

Gandalf was right. He wouldn’t be the same again, perhaps he’d be better.