A soft rain was falling on the Shire, the seventh day of June, 1432. A slow rickety old wagon plodded through the muddy road, carrying two. The driver was a normal, everyday hobbit farmer. The passenger was rather more interesting.
She was a little hobbit-girl, no more than ten or eleven. Her hood and cloak almost drowned her in fabric. She was very pinched and thin, and sorrow clouded her otherwise clear, beautiful blue eyes. If she had been happier, perhaps they would have been the colour of a bright summer sky. Her face was downward, staring into her lap. One of her hands played with a golden chain 'round her neck. A very odd little girl indeed.
"Mama," she whispered. "Where am I going?"
The small woman sighed, and went into a coughing fit. "Gala, sweetheart. I can't take care of you anymore. Im sending you to a safe place, where you can grow up in peace, and with love surrounding you."
Gala sighed. She had had this conversation with her mother before, but she couldn't bear the thought of leaving she loved her home so much!
"I know you shall miss it. And you shall miss me. Its normal to feel that way." Mama managed to pull herself into a sitting position.
She's so pale and weak. Mama's hair was almost white, hanging in lank strings, not the beautiful golden hair that had once glimmered and shone in the least of light. She began to fumble with the things in the little table next to the bed.
At last Mama pulled out a golden chain, with a single white jewel attached. "This was your father's gift to me, before he left. To remember him by. As if he needed a token to be remembered." She smiled grimly. Gala's head shot up. Mama never mentioned her father. Not ever. "Come here, sweetheart." Gala stood over by the bed, so close she could smell her mother's sickly-sweet breath. Mama passed the chain over her daughter's neck and stroked her long dark hair. Then she took out a piece of paper from under her pillow.
"When you reach Bag End," she said, "give it to the man there." Gala waited patiently as her mother wheezed. "Don't you worry. Everything will be all right." Then she sent Gala off to bed.
The very next day, Gala's mother, Azura Leoni, passed away.
Gala almost cried, remembering. She had to be brave. The wagon came to a halt. "Here we go, sweetie," the driver said. Gala picked up her little bag, got off the wagon, and said a small "thank you." The driver smiled, tipped his hat, and chirruped to the ponies, sending the wagon off.
Gala turned. After taking a big breath, she bravely walked down the path and knocked on the round door softly.
After waiting for a few minutes, she raised her hand to knock again, but at that moment, a woman opened the door, startling Gala into a gasp. The woman, also, seemed surprised to see such a little girl on her doorstep. She put a hand to her breast and said, "Gracious, child. I'm sorry didn't mean to frighten you. Not in the least." She adjusted the small child on her hip, who looked at Gala with wide eyes. "Now what may you be doing here?"
Mama had said to give the letter to the man of the...well, this wasn't a house...whatever it was...hole seemed like a good term. Gala, however, figured there was little difference and fished the now crumpled letter out of her dress pocket, and gave it to the woman.
She set the baby down, drew Gala in, and smoothed out the paper. She took one glance, and then called out, "Sam!"
A hobbit-man turned the corner and took a surprised look at Gala before taking the letter from the woman whom Gala assumed must be his wife.
He began to read. Gala instinctively liked him. His brown eyes were warm and kind, and fatherly, in a way. However as he read his eyes grew worried, then shocked. Gala herself began to panic. She had only begun to learn her letters before Mama had gotten sick, and after that there had been no more schooling. What could the letter say? She waited anxiously as the man whispered into his wife's ear. She, in turn, took on a look of surprise she turned to Gala in wonderment.
Sam smiled at Gala, and got down on his knees and took her hands, so he would be at eye-level with her tiny frame.
"My name's Sam Gamgee," he said softly.
"Galadriel Leoni, but you can call me Gala," she said, looking him straight in the eyes, not with defiance, but because it made her feel safe.
"Your mother wants you to stay with us. Is that all right?" he asked. Gala suddenly felt very happy. She knew that her mother had made the right choice in sending her here. This Sam was the best, and she knew that she could trust him always.
"Yes," she whispered, then, feeling brave, she threw her arms around his neck. Sam was a bit surprised, but he returned the embrace. She had so much of Mr. Frodo in her, he thought.
The baby let out a yelp of discontent at being ignored, and smiling, Rosie went and gathered him up. "Come on, Gala," she said. "I'll introduce you to the other kids, and we'll get you settled in."