Written for the incredibly talented Shirebound. For all audiences, just like all her wonderful stories.
Frodo would never have learned if he hadn't gone to live with Bilbo
by Laura Mason
1. Uncle Saradoc had him educated, Shire-fashion, but only Bilbo thought it important that Frodo be able to recognize other languages. Frodo was so excited by that first lesson on the various runes ("those are all ways to say the same thing?") that Bilbo sang him a song in the original language. From that point, every visit to Bag End included language lessons. But it was only when he lived with Bilbo that Frodo really mastered reading the Elvish texts on Bilbo's shelves.
2. He held Sam's hand as they walked home from the burial, Frodo's eyes just as red from weeping as those of Bell's family. No one else's death had mattered in the years since his loss -- until this one. Frodo wondered, even then, if his tears came from realizing that other people felt the same pain he endured, and he needn't have felt so alone.
3. There's another passage into the cellar. Frodo discovered it shortly after he moved in. It terminates in the always-locked-up wine cellar. Bag End's cellars are so vast that Bilbo never marked the bottles that tweenaged Frodo sneaked out to his cousins and friends.
Several years after Bilbo leaves, Frodo finally understands that the passage is an escape route. It's a few more years before he experiences the emergency Bilbo might have had in mind.
4. Of course the rumors about his parents began in Buckland, possibly even before their deaths, but Frodo doesn't think anyone would have dared to mention them in his hearing while he was living at Brandy Hall.
5. When it comes to the Quest, there are an uncountable number of experiences, things Frodo saw for himself and those he heard about from the others. He owes all these experiences to Bilbo's decision to bring him to Bag End and make him his heir.
Since that decision also allowed Frodo to learn how much evil and weakness he himself contains, he's not always grateful.
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