NSFW! SMUT WARNING!
Original headcanon AU where Leonora and Nori meet before the events of the hobbit. When Erebor is rebuilt they meet again. Thorin, Fili and Kili live.
Dwarves had had strange traditions and rituals. Not strange to them you see but to elves and men there indeed considered strange. Coming of age ceremonies for females were different per race, men awaited certain events like a girls first course which would declare her a woman which came at varying ages. Elves await an elleths fiftieth year to begin the coming of age rights in which a pair of silver bracelets would adorn their wrists with locks on, then on their 100th year they are considered grown they would be unlocked and removed.
Dwarves were strange to men and elf alike. Their coming of age tradition the most perplexing. When a Dam came of age it would be the day their pattern would shine upon their forehead. This pattern was entirely unique to the individual Dam and would shine upon her forehead in the moons light on the first night, then continuously until the coupling of the 7th day. When the pattern is first noticed the men of the kingdom who were unattached would place a stone with their name upon it in to a large stone pool, which waters would be mixed every day. You see dwarven men outnumber women 3-1 so the Dam had plenty of available suitors. The Dam would then be asked upon the morning of the 7th day to step in to the pool, a private ceremony for the Dams family, royals of the kingdom and the scribes to attend. They would be asked to walk in the pool blindfolded, guides would gently pat her if she came too close to an edge, until if felt right for her to stop and pick up a stone from the waters. The stone would be read by the Dam, her suitor notified and they would be paired that night, to consummate the Dams journey in to adulthood. Many married their partner, some married others and some didn’t marry at all.
Dwarves were generally a very jealous race, for if you didn’t marry your partner from that night the new husband would feel a loss over another touching his woman. But they do move on after some time and learn to forget the past and they have long happy marriages. The pattern would then cease to shine on the Dams forehead after the coupling and it would appear as a tattoo on the males chest. A link to their night together. Children seldom rarely happened from these nights together, but if they did the pebble would be blessed by the royals themselves as Mahals will. These pebbles always came from the marrying couples.
Dwarven coming of age ceremonies were strange. But they were respected.
The day Leonora turned 92 she felt different. Waking with a lighter more alive feeling in her head. She smiled as she stretched sleepily in her bed then sat up to smooth down her hair, a tumbling cascade of brunette plaits and waves that ended in a dirty blonde colour at the ends. Taking off her sleeping chemise she drew a bath in her chambers, flavouring the warm waters with orange and raspberry soaps she looked over herself in the mirror. Green eyes rimmed with black stared back at her, long lashes, shapely brown eyebrows and pale skin… her lips pointed gently on the top of her cupids bow with a full lush bottom lip, she smiled a wide smile, her jaw wide and firm with light muttonchop sideburns. She felt really pretty today and she didn’t know why. Relaxing in her bath she thought to her plans for the day.
You see Leonora was a painter, an artist. She was particularly gifted in portraits, landing her with a steady income painting for families such as the Royals of Durin. A lovely oval framed painting of the princes Fili and Kili sat near your bed, wrapped up and ready to be delivered to the pieces commissioner, their mother the Princess Dis.
That would be today’s plan, to go deliver the commissions she had done throughout the Blue Mountains then deliver the painting to Princess Dis nearer the evening and maybe stay to speak with Master Balin of his near finished commission of his parents. She only needed a small brush to add the final wisps of braid then to varnish it. But first she would have to get ready.
Drying her hair as much as possible with a towel she bagged up the paintings. In her favourite burgundy dress she pressed a gentle kiss to her family crest at the door before shrugging on her boots. Her parents met her outside as she left her home, the sunlight rather bright today they commented as they wished her a happy birthday and gifted her with two plain silver beads. Leonora smiled and placed them in her small twin braids either side of her head.
These beads were a marker to those that knew her that she was due her coming of age. Leonora smiled at her acknowledged maturity and readied herself with a lift of her pack and a list of the customers to visit, today was going to be a busy day.
On the second to last drop off Leonora stopped by her friend Nuda’s painting stall. She needed a small brush if she was to finish Balin’s commission in time for his journey, something about wanting to have a portrait to take with him. It was a gesture that made her heart squeeze, he was a lovely old dwarf. Selecting a delicate thin brush made of fine horse hair she paid Nuda, thanking him for keeping one back for her. Suddenly she was swept off her feet and planted in the dust to Nuda’s horror. She was hit my by not one, not two but three dwarrow! The men pardoned themselves profusely, the youngest making sure the wrapped painting and utensils were not damaged while the older of the trio swatted the last one harshly. Yelling at him about stealing, running in to a Dam rudely and how he was sure to be locked up by the weeks end. The troublemaker in question had braids set in a star alignment, a rather nice looking dwarf Leonora had to admit. His brown eyes met hers, along with a cheeky wink and a smooth apology. Her heart fluttered a little, like a hummingbird's wing. He offered his hand to the lady as his younger sibling dusted off the wrapped painting. Upon seeing the label of the commissioner he uttered a squeak and dropped it again. Leo’s face snapped in the direction of the fallen painting with her mouth open in shock.
“What on earth are ya doing lad? I hope you didn’t damage the ladies wares?” The star headed Dwarf scolded his younger sibling. After holding his hand a little bit too long Leonora let go and picked up the painting. Unwrapping it she inspected the work and breathed a sigh of relief that both painting and frame remained intact. Upon seeing the art the three brothers stiffened and began to apologise even more, spluttering enough to make her laugh and say all is well, only to be interrupted by a gruff bellowing voice.
“Stop right there Nori! I found ya at last!” That voice belonged to the captain of Thorin’s guard and right hand man Dwalin. Leo had spoken to Balins younger brother once or twice, mainly to make sure the commission was going to plan. Once you rewrapped the painting Leonora turned around to the 3 dwarves, to thank them for stopping to help her after bowling her over in the first place, but she saw them disappearing in to the crowded street shouting about Nori’s stealing causing too much running and getting a move on. Nori? Leonora hadn’t heard of him, but smiled anyway at the gruff Dwarf swearing at losing them. Dwalin was nice enough after his temper cooled to offer her escort to Dis and Balin in Thorin’s halls once she explained that she was fine and was on the way to deliver the commissions. One there Dis invited Leonora to the evening meal, with an extra slice of cake as a birthday treat.
Dis loved her painting, complimenting the painters skills again and again once the meal was over. Sitting over tea with Dis and her sons Leo laughed at Filis concern over his ear size.
“Are they really that big? Mahal I may cover them with my hair.”
Fili loosened his hair braids in certain places and covered his ears, Kili all the while laughing like a gleeful child at the golden prince. Balin was sat nearby with Dwalin, looking at the finished portrait of his parents in the miniature locket, they had returned to the stone many years ago, but this portrait was a copy of one they had that was aged and worn. Leo had completed it not an hour before, sat by the fire when the first round of tea was served. It was finally dry after a quick varnish and the brothers were looking at it in the moonlight through the window Leonora wanted to make sure it was truly to her standard in a neutral light, and excused herself to wander to the Fudinsons. Once there she sat beside them, the moonlight bathing her face as it did them.
“Well Balin I am truly happy you like it.” The older dwarf and the rooms occupants looked at the painter, smiles fading as Dis ordered Fili to get both Thorin and a looking glass from the room next door. Leonora was panicking now, not sure of the ever stretching silence filling the room and the shock evident upon the faces of her friends and customers. Thorin enters with a rather flustered Fili, looking glass in hand as he stops in the middle of his rush to Leonora.
Truly panicked now Leo walks to the Durin King and takes the looking glass from his nervous hands, she sees her face the same as this morning. Albeit a rather shaky face with faint lines upon her forhead she swallowed thickly, she knew this day would come. Turning around facing the window she walked steadily in to the light of the moon. Looking back at her in the looking glass was her, but upon her forehead there glowed a thin silver pattern, perfectly symmetrical. A star entwined with knots and filigree that spread in to a deep v to her temples, it resembled a circlet.
Thorin asked a messenger to send word to her parents and the scribes. She had come of age, and a partner would be selected on the morning of the 7th day.
Little did she know this was the last pairing Thorin would over see in the Blue Mountains, as the day after her pairing the secretly formed Company would leave to reclaim Erebor and defeat the dragon Smaug.