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What Never Changes

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The sun had not risen. It would not rise for another couple of hours, in fact. But Thorin was already awake. 

He was standing by the window of the room he shared with Fili and Kili. There was not much to see, but Thorin wasn't really looking; he was thinking. 

Anne's relations seemed determined to flirt their way through the entire journey. To an extent, Thorin had expected this. After meeting the Musgrove sisters he knew they were silly young girls. He had not, however, expected the extent of their flirtation. Not only was it constant, it was directed at him. Two Hobbit lasses not even in their majority flirting with a middle aged Dwarven King! Not to mention Anne's married sister, who was as bad as the other two. 

Thorin had hoped that the presence of Charles Musgrove would help to contain and temper the girls' advances. It had not. The man was totally oblivious and completely unhelpful. Instead, Anne was bearing the entire responsibility of keeping all of the Musgroves in line. 

Thorin knew that he needed to do something. 



But what?



Anne was so strong these days. He fully believed that she could handle far more than was currently on her shoulders. But she should not have to.


Thorin was trying so hard to be indifferent. If he allowed himself to think about her too much, he would either be exceedingly bitter or he would fall at her feet and beg her to allow him to renew his suit. Thorin did not want the embarrassment of either.

He should probably just let the Musgroves be until Balin noticed the problem and took care of it. 

Not to mention, Anne had always been taking care of her family. 






As the sky began to lighten from black to gray, Anne awakened slowly. She had been awake late the night before, but she did not feel tired. Anne felt exhilarated. 

Today was the beginning of her adventure. She was going to see the world, experience all the things she had only read about, and finally do something new. She was so bored in Bag End. It was home, and Anne loved it, but it was so monotonous. Hobbiton was so predictable. Everything the same, everything neat and proper. Anne was ready to experience new places, new cultures, new routines. 

Of course, there was a price. She had to travel with Thorin, watching him ignore her, possibly for months. Also, Anne had the responsibility for the entire Musgrove family, which was no small task. 


But it was all worth it. 


The pain Anne had first felt at being around Thorin was lessening. And Anne had been taking care of the Musgroves for years. None of it could break her, none of it could ruin the joy and excitement she now felt. 

Anne was so ready for this adventure.