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Chapter 71: The Funeral
Bilbo had chosen, with her permission, to be laid beneath the rooftree of Adamanta's smial at The Vale, for he said it was quite the most Shire-like place on the island. Frodo and Adamanta stood at Gandalf's side. Nearly all the Elves of Elrond's household, and also Elves of the town who had come to know the hobbits over the time they had been there were in attendance.
The Elven-women raised their voices in song, a lament in Quenya. Frodo understood the words, which were beautiful and ethereal, but somehow they did not seem quite right for Bilbo, who had been a very earthy and solid person. Still, he allowed the music to carry him along, as Elven music usually did, until the end.
When it ended, the Elves drifted away silently, though some of them pressed small gifts upon Frodo, little things they had made in memory of their small mortal friend: a tiny bound book with one of Bilbo's poems, exquisitely illuminated; a sketch of his cousin sitting on Elrond's terrace, smoking his pipe; a little bag of sweet biscuits, made by Elrond's baker from one of Bilbo's own recipes; a wooden carving of a squirrel Bilbo had been fond of feeding, and other such tokens.
Adamanta had invited him to stay with her for as long as he wished, and he took her up on her offer. He was not sure he could yet face the empty rooms under Elrond's roof.
Gandalf remained as well. Frodo could see the pain in the wizard's eyes. In a few decades more or less, he'd be reunited with Bilbo. It would be a lot longer for Gandalf.
The three of them quietly kept one another company in the cosy rooms of Adamanta's hole, taking great comfort from simply being together.
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