In a hole in the ground, once again, there lived a hobbit. You are probably familiar with this particular hobbit, and the hobbit hole he lived in. His name was Bilbo Baggins.
How long had it been since Bilbo had returned from his adventure? It was difficult to say. After he had returned, he had become so used to adventure that time spent under The Hill seemed to pass slowly. He had become shut off from the other hobbits, and it was obvious that he was less respected among them now. Some blamed Gandalf the Grey for this, and called him a 'disturber of the peace'. Hobbits certainly did not go on adventures.
However, this was not to say Bilbo didn't still enjoy the comforts of home. It was a peaceful sunny day, so Bilbo decided to do what he had been doing on that fateful day when Gandalf had come along: blowing smoke rings in his front garden. When he stepped outside, he was surprised to see none other than Thorin Oakenshield sitting there already. The dwarf was mumbling under his breath, obviously annoyed. He was surrounded by a clumsy cloud of smoke. Bilbo smiled, sitting next to him. He could now see that Thorin had a pipe too, and had been trying to blow smoke rings.
"Why, I didn't realise smoke rings interested you, Thorin." Bilbo said cheerfully. Thorin grumbled in return.
"They don't. But if you can do it, then I should be able to." He tried again, but only managed another large cloud of smoke. He grumpily swatted it away, and the hobbit laughed.
"It isn't that difficult. You just have to be gentler. Like this!" With that, Bilbo carefully blew a perfect smoke ring. It could not be compared to Gandalf's coloured ones of all different shapes and sizes, but Bilbo and Thorin agreed that it was pretty enough without the magic. Thorin tried again, to no avail, and Bilbo grinned. He leaned back, closing his eyes as he felt the sun delicately warming his face. He had missed this, just being able to relax…
"Baggins! You missed it!" exclaimed Thorin. Bilbo's eyes sprang open to see Thorin staring at him expectantly. He'd managed it while Bilbo had been daydreaming.
"Ah, sorry! Do it again! We're in no hurry." Thorin rolled his eyes, and did it again. The smoke ring was wobbly and small, and was blown away quite quickly by the breeze, not even making it past The Hill. Even so, Thorin was not-so-secretly pleased. Only to groan when his friend produced a better one. He folded his arms, scowling in a very child-like manner. Bilbo chuckled, clapping his hand onto Thorin's shoulder. This coaxed a smile out of Thorin as well. However, the laughter began to fade. Bilbo turned, and Thorin was no longer there. Bilbo abruptly sprang to his feet, looking around. Then he looked up.
The sky was suddenly darkening, and as he turned, he saw that his home was on fire. No, not just that. The Hill was on fire, and Bilbo was alone. Terrified, Bilbo tried to piece together how this had happened in only a matter of seconds, but his hurried thoughts were interrupted by an all too familiar roar, and a cry of:
"I've found you, thief!"
Bilbo opened his eyes, finding that he was sitting upright in bed. His breathing was shallow with fear, his eyes wide, like those of a startled rabbit. After calming his breathing down, he sighed as he realised it had all been a dream. A recurring nightmare he had kept having, ever since he returned home. Trembling, the frightened hobbit scrambled out of bed, out of his room, and over to the window in the hallway. The moon shone coldly on his face, softly illuminating the hallway. It seemed almost melancholy. Bilbo almost didn't notice his eyes stinging with tears as he remembered the late Thorin in his dream. He turned away from the window, slumping down in his chair in the darkness.
"I miss you…" he whispered sadly. He stayed awake in his chair for the rest of that cruel night. And every so often, he could have sworn he saw a familiar figure sitting at the end of the dinner table, eyes glinting with tales and songs of Erebor.