"To Rivendell, Master Gamgee... To the House of Elrond."
Sam's voice rose in excitement. "Did you hear that, Bill?" he exclaimed, addressing his pony, "Rivendell! We're going to see the Elves!!"
Nissa, meanwhile, was nowhere near excited. She was too busy trying to hide the fact that she kept tripping over her now enormous feet. Suffice to say, she wasn't quite comfortable in her new body yet- she felt fat and awkward, and her backpack was already starting to feel heavy. Oh, she just wasn't cut out for this sort of traveling. Why, oh why was she there??
If Nissa hadn't been so lost in her self-absorbed thoughts, she might have noticed Sokorra was having a bit of trouble walking, too- though perhaps not quite as much. Only one of the females- Dolly- seemed wholly comfortable in her body.
"I've seen Elves," the red-headed, freckled hobbit-lass quipped in response to Sam's excited outburst, "They pass through Bree every now and again. Fascinating creatures, really- if rather mysterious," she added, her voice dropping in volume.
"The Elves seem secretive only because they know so much," Strider commented as he passed 'round a large boulder blocking their path, "Any information they give is but a drop of water in the vast ocean of knowledge they posses."
"Somehow I feel we could say the same for him," Merry whispered to Frodo, meaning Strider. But Frodo merely nodded.
"So," Dolly, now off the topic of Elves, quickened her stride until she was level with Pippin, "How exactly do four fine lads like you get mixed up in a journey to the Elves' House?"
"Well," Peregrin, who was trying to sound as glib as he could, replied, "I can't speak for Frodo and Sam, exactly. As for Merry and myself, we... well, we..." Here he stammered, obviously not having thought up a gallant-sounding enough explanation.
"We were liberating," Merry, who was walking a bit in front of them with Kori at his side, helped along.
"Yes! Right," said Pip, "We were liberating some... vegetables... Wrongfully kept prisoner by a tyrannical farmer... When we bumped into these two."
"Bumped into," Sam scoffed under his breath, careful not to let his betters hear him. "More like ran over, if you ask me."
"And here you see us now," Merry finished.
Dolly puffed out her cheeks as she exhaled. "Speaking of vegetables," she said, "I'm getting rather hungry. About what time would you reckon it is?" she asked, looking up at the sun.
"About time for Second Breakfast, I'd think," Pippin said, "Reckon we should stop?"
"Why not?" Merry asked, turning to Kori. Then he signaled to the others. "Oi; Frodo, Sam, Nissa- Fancy a Second Breakfast?"
Frodo looked a bit distant for a moment, then shrugged: "Why not?" At that signal, both Sam and Nissa stopped along with him, and the group began unpacking their food and equipment in preparation.
On Strider, however, this sudden stop was not lost. "Gentleman, ladies," he said, pausing and turning, "We do not stop until nightfall."
"What about Breakfast?" Pippin asked.
"You've already had it."
Looks of confusion passed between the hobbits, except for Pippin, who continued to speak confidently: "We've had one, yes. What about Second Breakfast?"
Strider looked positively puzzled for a moment. Then, he simply turned and started walking again.
The hobbits all looked at each other- Nissa looked at Kori, Kori looked at Dolly, Dolly looked at Frodo, Sam just looked at everyone... and Merry sidled up to his cousin, whispering confidentially in his ear:
"I don't think he knows about Second Breakfast, Pip."
The hobbits began repacking and started on their way again.
Pippin, however, seemed panicked. "What about Elevenses?" he asked Merry desperately, "Luncheon? Afternoon Tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them... doesn't he?"
"I wouldn't count on it." With that, Merry snatched an apple that had been falling through the air towards Pippin, patted his cousin on the back, and handed the fruit to him.
Pippin stared at the apple in utter confusion, and in doing so completely missed the second apple which came zooming towards him- which was, luckily, caught deftly by Dolly before it could collide with his head.