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One of a Kind

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My name is Belladonna Took. Bella for short. I am a young Hobbit born and raised in the Shire. I enjoy what any Hobbit does. Family, music, parties, company, food, and a good book. But, I also have a love for some of the most unusual things, such as adventures and weapons. Among other things. Can you blame me? The Shire is a quiet and peaceful place where nothing exciting happens. Unless you're different. Who knew Hobbits could be so nasty?"

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"Thorin!" Running into her brother's chambers, Dis threw herself on top of him with a smile.

 

Groaning, Thorin sat up from his bed, glaring at his younger sister. "Dis. We are grown, dwarves. Shouldn't we be past this?"

 

"No." Giggling, she sat up next to him. "I am sorry Thorin, but I got a message from our dear brother."

 

"Frerin?" He was surprised that his younger brother had bothered to contact them at all, let alone be alive. Sighing, he pulled himself out of bed. "I take it it's one of his recordings?"

 

"Nodding, Dis got it playing and took a seat on the couch next to her brother, the smile never leaving her face. "Aren't you excited to see what he has been up to?"

 

"Ecstatic." Too tired for this, he didn't try to hide his sarcasm.

 

"Oh, hush."

 

Frerin's smile appeared on the screen. "Hey, big bro and little sis. I know that it's been a while, but I have some big news. During my travels, I have found my One. Can you believe it?" His smile got brighter as he spoke, a blush starting to bloom on his cheeks. "So, you can have Dwalin stop trying to track me down because I will be staying with my One. I hope you'll get to meet him someday. He's not a fan of traveling though. I'll send this tape with Dwalin but I think you'll be getting it a bit later then I'd like. It seems like he found someone to have fun with before he returns. Not that I can blame him. She is very beautiful and a wild young thing."

 

The video cut to Ferin with a man, a flower crown on his head. "Make fun of me and my amazing crown all you want, I'm far too happy. Plus, we all know that I pull this off." Putting his arm around the man next to him, he kissed his head. "Meet my husband. My One."

 

"Are you recording this?"

 

"No. Your lovely sister Belba is. Now, introduce yourself to my family."

 

Sighing, the hobbit lightly smacked his husband's arm, smiling at the laugh he earned before looked at the camera. "Bungo Baggins. A warm hearth to you. I am sorry for keeping this troublemaker from home. Although, he seems to keep me and I him."

 

The view moved to behind the couple to show Dwalin and a hobbit lass kissing by a large tree. "Belladonna and Dwalin are making out by the Party Tree, like horny teens!"

 

Pulling away, Dwalin growled. "Wedding day or not, I will not hesitate to put you in your place, you royal pain in the arse!" Many watched and laughed as the two dwarfs were in a game of chase, much like children.

 

The video ended leaving Thorin and Dis both shocked, excited, and furious. "Dwalin!"

Chapter Text

It had been eleven years since the incident of the videotape and Dwalin was finally back in Erebor from his punishment job in the Blue Mountains. It had taken longer than he thought and noticed the pile of mail on his desk. One envelope caught his eye imminently. It held the seal of the Took Clan.

 

Quickly opening it, Dwalin groaned at the tape inside. "Mahal, why can't he just send a letter like everyone else?" After much teasing from his King, princess, and brother the four settled in Dis' chambers to watch Frerin's newest update.

 

The dwarf's face appeared on the screen but not like they've seen before. It was pale and filled with fear. "Okay. I'm not supposed to be doing this. Belladonna would have my head for this. But, both her parents and I agree it's time that you knew. Especially after all that has happened." Taking a deep breath, the blonde dwarf looked behind him. "There is a little one behind me. She's sleeping but not peacefully. She is very ill with little chance of survival." Looking back at the camera, he blinked away his tears. "She is Bella Took of the Shire, daughter of Dwalin. A one of a kind lass."

 

A loud painful cough drew his attention. Setting the camera down, he rushed over to the bed. "Bella, drink some water."

 

"No. It hurts." The voice, small but scratchy, whined.

 

"So does everything else. Please..."

 

"Okay, Uncle Frerin." Sitting up, she was paler than the snow outside the window except for her cheeks, burning red with fever. Taking the glass, she slowly drank. "Who are you talking to?"

 

"I'm talking to you adad like we all used to. I'm going to send him all the messages we made for him."

 

"Does that mean he'll come to see us?"

 

"Maybe. If the winter lets up enough for this to reach him."

 

Handing the empty glass back, she clasped her hands tightly together and bowed her head. 

 

"Bella, what are you doing?"

 

"Praying to the Great Mother for the message's protection. I hope She will grant me this one wish."

 

Carding his fingers through her curls, Ferin smiled softly down at her. "I am sure She will. I shall pray to my Great Father also for its safe journey."

 

The video changed to Ferin and Bungo working on the smial while Belladonna watched them an amused grin. "I come back from Rivendell to see you two building? Bungo you are going to hurt yourself."

 

"What about me?" Frerin asked, jumping down from the hill of the smial.

 

"Just land on your hard head. You'll be fine."

 

"Stop torturing my husband and tell us what you learned."

 

There was a long stretch of silence before Belladonna's face fell into a sad smile. "I am with child. But have no clue how to tell Dwalin."

 

"What? Bella that's amazing news! Just write to him and tell him!"

 

"It's not that simple. We spent many days together but never spoke of love and children. What if we are not..."

 

"Don't you dare finish that sentence. I know him. He would accept you both with open arms. He loves you. Anyone with eyes could see that. Tell her Bungo."

 

A loud thud made them both turn to see the hobbit had fainted.

 


 

 

The green door opened, showing Frerin and Bungo who wore large grins. "Welcome Belladoon and Bella Took, to your new home. Bag End."

 

"Look, my precious flower. Your uncles have made a smial just for you. Here is where you will grow and turn into a beautiful woman."

 

The baby in the bundle made happy noises looking everywhere her eyes could see.

 


 

 

Sitting in her mother's lap, Bella chewed on her fingers. Making random noises, she looked up at her.

 

"Oh, Dwalin. I wish you were here with us. I know what Frerin said is true but, I am still scared of many things."

 

"Ad. Ad, ad, ad."

 

"Giggling, she kissed the mop of curls on her daughter's head and handed her to Bungo. "I will tell you one day. It is not fair to keep you in the dark."

 


 

 

Running around the garden in trousers and covered in dirt, Bella squealed as Frerin caught her in his arms. "Fern! Down!"

 

"Bella! Looked at Uncle Bungo!"

 

Looking over at her other uncle, Bella smiled. "Cam!"

 

"That's right, little one. Uncle Bungo got the camera out for a message."

 

"Adad!"

 

Chuckling, Frerin sat her down. "Go say hi."

 

Blowing him a kiss, which was just kissing her palm, Bella waved and held up her wooden sword. Her rambled and jumbled words barely making any sense.

 


 

 

"Oh heart of mine, what are you doing?" Belladonna asked, watching her daughter making sandwiches and pack a basket.

 

Without even looking up, Bella answered. "I'm going to look for elves in the forest."

 

"Are you now?"

 

"Yes. And to fight off the evil dragon that has captured the dwarven princes."

 

Snorting, Frerin stole one of the sandwiches, ignoring the small 'hey'. "Why would a dragon take dwarven princes and not a human princess?"

 

"Because that's sexist and the dragon has more respect than that for the princess. She gets kidnapped all the time by other beings far too much. Plus, the princes egged the dragon on by pranking it constantly."

 

The serious tone of voice she used and the straight face she held as she said that had all three adults on the floor, laughing.

 


 

 

Getting her hair brushed, Bella listened to her uncle hum to her. "Uncle Frerin, why don't you cut your hair like Uncle Bungo does?"

 

"Because hair is very important to dwarrow. To cute one's hair, beard, or mustache is to show their dishonor."

 

"Is that why Uncle Bungo keeps the braid in his hair long?"

 

"Yes, it is. He knows how important marriage braids are to me and my culture, so he does not cut it."

 

"Okay." It was silent for a while before Belladonna came over with scissors and a comb. "No! Don't cut it! It'll dishonor me! I want it long!"

 

Blinking, she watched her daughter run and shut herself in her room before glaring at the dwarf. "Frerin."

 

"Now... B-Belladonna..."

Chapter Text

Dwalin rewatched the tape many times that day, trying to come to grip with the fact that he had a daughter. The others had congratulated him and told him to go to them as soon as the roads were clear. But how could he? Belladonna, his One, had thought that he wouldn't want them. It was his own fault. He had never told her what she had truly meant to him. That was going to change. When spring came, he set out with his brother and Nori (for some reason Thorin thought they would need the dirty thief) to The Shire.

 


 

 

Sitting on a tree branch, Bella was drawing a family of sparrows in the tree across from her. Once satisfied with her work, she smiled and set her tools in her satchel bag. Looking around at the peaceful area, she jumped down and decided it was about time for her to head home. All she could think about was the delicious treats her mother would be making for elevenses as she started the journey back.

 

"If it isn't the freak of nature."

 

Stopping, Bella slowly turned around to be met with the amused grin of a Hobbit lad around her age with his other three friends looking nervous and apologetic at her. She knew how the lads felt about their friend now that they saw the nasty outcome that their actions could cause and didn't fault them for not stopping him. Hobbits weren't traditionally violent. Only so when they need to be. But this one was a special case. It almost seemed that his mission in life was to make everyone around suffer, especially Bella.

 

"I see you're actually wearing skirts for once. But your hair is almost too long again."

 

"Celedor... maybe we should just leave her alone. We've hurt enough already."

 

"Shut up Otho!" Walking up to the lass, he grabbed her shoulder and took a good look at her. "You're all dirty. That's no way for a proper Hobbit lass to look. Let's get you cleaned up." A look of terror shot across their faces as they watched Otho drag her towards the Brandywine River. "Try and stop me and you'll be joining her."

 

"I'm not about to let him drown her. You two need to go and get Frerin. He's the only one who can swim." Without waiting to see if they did as told, Otho ran after them. He started to panic more as he heard her screaming. She hadn't screamed or spoke in so long... she must be terrified! 

 

"No! No! Celedor!"

 

"In you go."

 

"Bella!"

 

As Bella tried her best to stay above the water and move to find something to pull her out, she knew she wouldn't last long. Water kept forcing its way into her mouth and seemed to grab her and pull her down. It was growing darker and harder to breathe. There was the sound of a loud splash and a figure coming towards her. With the last bit of her hope and strength, she reached her tiny hand out for the figure before her world was completely dark.

 


 

Riding on their ponies, the three Dwarrow enjoyed the peacefulness of The Shire. Nori was about to take his pipe out to further enjoy himself when a fearful scream pierced through the silence, shattering the peace and ease. "It's close. Come on!" With no hesitation, they raced off and reached where the screams were coming from. Their blood boiled and ran cold all at once at what they saw. Some young lad was dragging a young lass towards the river.

 

"What is he doing? Hobbits can't swim!"

 

"No! No! Celedor!"

 

That was all Nori needed to hear before he shot off his pony and straight for them. He saw the lass make contact with the water and another child knock the one who threw her into the ground. Jumping in, he was thankful to hear the heavy steps of two. Not that he would admit that to guard. Grabbing her outstretched hand, Nori pulled her into arms and swam to the surface. "I got her! But I don't think she's breathing!"

 

"They're over here!" 

 

Climbing out, he saw two other children and the runaway Dwarf Prince rushing towards them. Laying her down in the grass, Nori moved aside as the child who tackled the tosser started to try and help the poor lass. Relief flooded over them as she coughed up the water, turning on her side and trying to gasp for breath. She stood on shaky legs and looked around at them all before meeting the eyes of the prince and nodding.

 

"We got him just like you asked Otho."

 

"Yeah. We even had someone send work to the Thain."

 

"Thank you two." The one named Otho said before leaving with them, a guilty look on all of their faces that turned to one of anger and disgust as they saw the other child, who Nori guessed was this Celedor she screaming at, ran off at the mention of this Thain person.

 

"Bella...?" The lass, Bella, turned her gaze to Frerin once more before slowly walking over to him. "It's okay. You can cry now."

 

A few seconds passed before she fell into his open arms and began to bawl.

 

Clearing his throat, Nori rung out his tunic. "So, this is where the prince has been hiding?"

 

"Nori? What Mahal's name are you doing here?"

 

"Saving lives apparently." Trying to ease back into his casual self, he smirked half-heartedly. "Your brother requested that I accompany Dwalin and Balin on their trip here. Good thing too."

 

"Bella. Little sparrow. Someone special is here to see you."

 

"A-Adad?" She asked, her voice so small and trembling. It broke their hearts to hear it.

 

"That's right. How about we get everyone to Bag End? You and Nori need dry clothes and it's about time for elevenses."

 

Nodding, she let herself be scooped up and laid her head against his chest.

Chapter Text

"Bella!" Running outside side with her housemate and father, Belladonna took her soaked, freezing, and shaking child into her arms. "My precious flower. Are you okay?"

 

Ignoring her mother's question, she began to squirm in her arms as if demanding to be put down. "Adad!"

 

"Bella stop! I'll end up dropping you at this rate."

 

"Down! Adad!"

 

Huffing out a laugh, Frerin smacked the back of his former guard. "She's not going to stop until she sees ya." Knowing he'll regret this later, the prince whistled to get everyone's attention. "Is anyone going to let Bella see her father or are you just going to let her wiggle until she falls? Seriously, I thought I was the irresponsible one."

 

About to yell at the stubborn Dwarf, Belladonna gasped at who she saw next to him. "Dwalin...?" Setting her daughter on the ground, she walked slowly over to him. "Is it really you?"

 

"Ay... it's really me. I'm sorry to have stayed away for so long." Taking her face gently in his hands, Dwalin wiped away the few tears that managed to escape her eyes. "I should have come back sooner. I should have told you..."

 

"Oh hush now. Really. we can talk about that later. Right now, I think there is somebody who wishes to meet you." Looking back at her little family, she sent a smile at her little one who was clinging to her godfather's trouser leg and watching them with big curious eyes. "Bella, my precious flower. Come here."

 

"Adad?"

 

"That's right, little sparrow. That's your adad over here. He traveled very far to come and meet you."

 

Dwalin held his breath as he watched her. She stared at him a long moment for she ran at him with her short curls bouncing. He had no warning before she jumped and threw herself in his arms, lucky that his reflexes kicked in to catch her. He couldn't believe what was happening. He had thought she would be mad at him. Maybe even not wanting anything to with him. But here she was, holding onto him for dear life as if he would vanish if she let him go. Holding her as close as he could, he could feel how cold she was and how much she was shivering. "Mahal, you're freezing!"

 

"Then how about we move this inside? The fauntling and one of your traveling companions did have a rather unpleasant dip in the Brandywine River after all. While they're being taken care of, you and I can have a talk young man."

 

"Father. That is not necessary."

 

"Belladonna Took. I am your father and have the right to question the young man who had left you on your own. How have you grieved and worried? How long has Bella gone without a father?"

 

"It was my own choice not to tell him. So he is hardly the one to blame when had no idea. He has a life away from The Shire and I'll be damned if I was to keep him from it for what could have been just a fling. It was my own insecurities that caused this and nothing more. Also, if you hadn't noticed, Bella is growing into a wonderful young lady with her godfathers and I taking care of her. Now, we are not discussing this in front of her any longer."

 

The group watched the Hobbit lass march into the house. Balin slapped his brother on the back with a chuckle moving to follow the others inside. "Quite the feisty one, isn't she brother? And what a cute little one you have in your arms."

 

Peeking up at them, she rubbed her eyes with her hands. "Adad... back home? Staying?"

 

His heart clenched. He didn't want to see her sad, especially because of him. "Aye." Bringing her to sit up in his arms, he rested their foreheads together and was rewarded with a big toothy grin. "Adad is home. He won't leave unless he has to. Even then, he will always come back."

 


 

 

After the two soaking wet people were taken care of, Dwalin was ushered into the study with Belladonna and her father. Balin and Bungo deciding to follow along to play peacekeeper knowing how easy it was for their family members to lose their tempers. That left Nori to sit in one of the chairs in the living room while listening to Frerin chase after and argue with the little one. A rather one-sided argument if you asked him since the little one never talked.

 

"Bella! Don't run!"

 

Looking over at the wee thing now in front of him, the thief rose a braided eyebrow at her. She was holding a silver serving tray that had neatly cut and crustless finger sandwiches on them, some sort of fruit, a teapot with some matching cups, and some sort of dessert on it. It seemed a bit heavy for someone her size. "What do you have there?"

 

Setting it on the small table beside the chair he was in, she made up a plate of the sandwiches, berries, and dessert before handing it to him. Once he took it, she started on carefully pouring hot tea into the cups, her tongue sticking out in concentration. Setting the pot down when she was done, she put her hands up to it as if telling it to stay put and pointed to the cream and sugar.

 

"You're askin' me if I want cream and sugar?" Seeing her nod, the thought about it for a moment and smirked at an idea. "Little bit of cream and just enough sugar."

 

She made a face before staring at the containers almost seeing if she could get them to tell her what his riddle meant. After a few minutes, the lass giggled as she put in two drops of cream and two spoon fulls into the tea. 

 

Taking the tea handed to him, Nori took a sip. His eyebrows shot up in surprise and he looked at her with wide eyes. She was smiling showing off her missing tooth and held her own cup of tea. "How on Middle-Earth did ya do that, lass? No one has ever been able to get it right?"

 

Shrugging, she took a sip out of her cup before climbing into his lap and opening up a nearby book.

 

"Uh..."

 

Laughing, Frerin sat on the floor in front of them. "She likes you."

 

"By the Gods, why?"

 

"Well, you did pull her out of the river." Ruffling her damp hair, he laughed at the light smack at his hand. "She wanted to make it all herself. I take it she poured your tea?"

 

Nodding, Nori looked down at the small one in his arms and felt his heart melt. Not that he would anyone that. But she reminded him so much of his own younger brother that it hurt.

 


 

 

"Bella! Time to brush your hair!"

 

Watching his prince and his daughter settle down in front of the fire, Dwalin held his One close to him. "I missed a lot didn't I?"

 

"Not as much as you'd think. Small milestones that came early. But, there were a lot of bad moments that I wish she didn't have to experience."

 

The way she spoke and how tense she had become in his arms had the warrior's heart fill with panic. "What happened?"

 

"Too many things to count. But the worst of it... you'd have to ask her about it. She doesn't like when others talk about it. Though I wish you luck. It's hard enough to get her to talk at all after what happened."

 

"Finished. And look how long your hair is getting. It'll be back to its old length in no time." Frerin declared loudly with a smile. "We'll be able to braid it again in no time." Grinning big, she ran into the kitchen and popped her head up from behind the table just enough to show her eyes, pulling a chuckle of the Dwarrow. 

 

"It's almost time for bed Bella. Who is going to read you a story tonight?"

 

"Adad!"

Chapter Text

After a few days in Bag End, Dwalin noticed that even though Bella didn't talk at all or very little, she and Frerin were able to communicate through gestures, noises, and eye contact. When he asked Belladonna, she laughed and watched as their daughter stared down the Dwarf prince before he groaned and gave in to whatever it was that she had wanted. "They've had this strange connection since she was just a babe and that helped for him to understand her when no one else could after she stopped talking."

 

Running over to Dwalin, Bella grabbed the legs of his trousers and looked up at him with big green eyes that reminded the Dwarf of the forest. "Peep peep." Raising an eyebrow at her, he looked over to Frerin.

 

"She's telling ya she's hungry." Pointing to the window, Dwalin saw baby birds in a nest. It took a few seconds before it finally clicked in his head. 

 

"She's copying the birds." 

 

Later on, he sat with Balin and Nori outside and enjoyed his pipe. "...It's crazy how smart Bella already is. She's eleven and she can read and write in two languages, learned to copy baby birds to let someone know when she's hungry and can communicate with Frerin with just looks, random noises, and gestures. She obviously gets that from you and her Hobbit godfather."

 

"Brother. Please tell me that you're not implying that she gets nothing from you."

 

"It's true!" Sitting up straighter, he sighed at the hard looks the two were giving me. "Tell me I'm wrong. She's more like You, the other Hobbit, Frerin, and her mother. Nothing... nothing like me." A fist collided with his face. Pain blossomed on his cheek as he hit the ground, extra weight sitting on top of him.

 

"I'm only going to say this once, so you better be listening, stone for brains." Nori was sitting on him, his tunic fisted in his hands with a look he'd only ever seen him have when someone insulted or harmed his brothers. Namely the youngest of them. "Now is not the time to play pity party. There is a little girl in there who hugged you and clung to you, even though she had never seen you before because always dreamed of you coming back to her and Belladonna. She even tries her damn hardest to try and talk with you even if it's hard to do, calling after you in our own language that she no doubt had Frerin teach her. She's been put through hell by most of the children and adults but still smiles and treats people as if they were a gift from the Valar. That little Hobbit is strong and stubborn, never leaves a job half-finished, and would be damned to let someone get away with hurting or talking shit about the ones she cares about. Especially her kin. Don't you dare say she isn't like you! Don't you dare insult her like that!"

 

It grew silent as the two Dwarrow started at each other and Dwalin could swear he saw tears in the thief's eyes. He would never mention it. Had he really seen all of that in him? Had he grown that close with Bella?

 

"Little one, what are you doing out here?" The two Dwarrow looked from each other's gaze to see that Bella had wandered from her bed and somehow made it outside without being caught. "We didn't wake you, did we?"

 

Shrugging, she went over to the two still on the ground and watched as Nori fell over trying to get off of the guard. "You should be in bed. Not listening to use adults arguing." She was still silent as she moved closer to him, never stopping with him backing up.

 

"Why in Middle-Earth is he runnin' away from her?"

 

"Just watch."

 

"Look. I-I'm sorry if I woke you and if you saw me yellin' at your adad, but-"  Nori fell silent as little hands grabbed his cheeks and pulled him the short distance down to rest their foreheads together. With that action, the damn the broke. Nori gathered her up in his arms, resting his head on her shoulder and let out a shaky breath as she wrapped her arms around him as best as she could. The thief let all of his worries and homesickness pour out of him, leaving him a tired and finally relaxed Dwarf. "

 

Going over, Dwalin sat next to them and put his hand lightly on the soft honey curls. "You did good... more than good." He spoke in a whisper, afraid that if he spoke any louder it would ruin the peace that settled back over them. Dwalin could have sworn that he heard Nori whisper 'Mizimith' over and over again as if he were praying, but with how completely broken he looked at the moment, he'd let it slid for tonight.

Chapter Text

Dwalin awoke with a groan as something was squishing his already full and painful bladder. Cracking open an eye, he was met with the bright smile of his beautiful daughter. "Adad!" 

 

"I'm not getting back to sleep, am I?" Sighing at her shaking her head, Dwalin accepted his fated and sat up with her in his arms. "What is it, my little opal?"

 

Pulling a comb out from the pocket of her trousers, Bella held it out to her father. "Adad. Help?"

 

He choked on air at the offer. Frerin was the one she would usually go to to get her hair taken care of and if not him it was either Belladonna or Bungo. Why, after just a couple of months, was she allowing a great honor such as this to him? He wasn't about to argue as he had been longing to help in the care for her hair like his mother used to do for him when he was just a Dwarfling. Gently taking the comb, he set to work on detangling her honey locks. "Your hair is getting long. It's to your shoulders now. I think you can finally have it braided."

 

A delighted gasp escaped her lips, causing him to chuckle. "Braid. Please?"

 

"Aye. I'll put some braids in." He watched, chuckling, as she jumped up and down on the bed in excitement chanting 'braid' over and over again.

 

Coming into the room wearing an apron, Belladonna rose an eyebrow. "Love of mine, why is our daughter jumping up and down on the bed like a wild monkey?"

 

"Braid! Braid!"

 

"Oh. I see, now. You want your Da to braid your hair, hm?" Seeing her nod, Belladonna scooped her up in her arms. "You know if he does that he will see that scar of yours." Both Bella and Dwalin froze at those words.

 

"Scar? She has a scar?"

 

"On the back of her neck. She's self-conscious about it and prefers not that speak of it. That is why we do not talk of it, especially around her and why she only lets people who have already seen it tend to her hair or bath." 

 

"My opal." Reaching out, Dwalin was shocked as she screamed and pushed her way out of her mother's arms before running out of the room. By the sound of a door slamming and cries of the others, he assumed out of the smial.

 

"Dwalin. Please don't- don't think that you caused that reaction. Okay?"

 


 

 

Sitting in her secret place, Bella had her face in her knees as to shield her grief and embarrassment from the world. "Mizimith?" Hearing her name, she lifted her head to see that someone had found her. She'd have to find a new hiding spot. "Can I sit with you?" Nodding, she watched her new partner in crime sit next to her. They were silent for a long while before she grabbed his arm but still wouldn't look at him. She heard him sigh and couldn't help the squeal that came from her as he lifted her into the air. "What are we going to do with you? Everyone's worried. You even scared your adad. He thinks he did something to make you afraid of him."

 

"S... Sorry." Tears of guilt and hurt welled up in her eyes, quickly falling without permission.

 

Setting her down, Nori knocked his fist lightly against her head. "Whatever is hurting you... making you act like this... is there any way you could tell us? We want to know and to understand. Even if it's just one of us?"

 

Shaking her head, Bella climbed into his lap. "Not tell. Show."

 

"Show? What do you me-" Nori took in a sharp breath as she set her hands on his face and her forehead against his.

 


 

 

Nori was beyond pissed. He hadn't felt this pissed in a long while. Not since someone had dared to insult his brothers and what Dori did to keep them alive and feed with a roof over their heads. He knew all about hiding pain and fights but this... this was too much! These folks were thought to be gentle and kind. Not ones to go to violence unless there was no other choice. Especially children. But no. Oh no. Middle-Earth was poorly mistaken. Leaning against one of the walls in Bella's rooms, Nori looked around at the others as he fiddled with his dagger. It had taken every ounce of his will power to calm himself and her down enough to take her home and convince her to show the others. Hell, it took even more will power then he thought he had, to come to grips with what she had just done.

 

Standing on her bed so everyone could see, Bella turned her back to them and lifted her hair up to show a red and ugly scar. It looked irritated and ready to split. The skin around it was horribly swollen. Collective gasps and cries of outrage filled the room. Letting her hair drop, she marched over to Dwalin and did the same thing she had done to Nori. Right now, he was probably experiencing that odd rush of colors behind his eyes. After she had finished with her father, Bella went over did the same to Balin. After they both recovered from what they saw, the two gathered her up in her arms and held her. Whispering soothing things to her in Khuzdul that she wouldn't understand while cooling their own tempers.

 

Leaving the family to it, Nori felt the itch to write to his own family. Namely the youngest of them. Maybe it was time for Nori to finally stay home for a bit instead of running off and getting into more trouble. Of course, he did it all with good reason. Not that Dori would understand. Never the less, he would try.

Chapter Text

"Dori! Dori! Wake up!" Running into his older brother's room, Ori jumped onto the bed and shook his brother awake.

 

Groaning, Dori slowly sat up and leveled Ori with a look. "It is far too early. You do not sound hurt or frightened, so why must you wake me?"

 

The Dwarfling smile and shoved the papers in his hands. "Nori wrote to us! Nori wrote to us! He must really miss us this time!"

 

"He actually sent word to us?" Dori couldn't believe it. The only time he was updated on his younger brother's whereabouts was when Balin, Dwalin, the royal family, or some other guard either brought him home or sent word that he was once again in a cell. This time, Dori knew that he was off with the advisor and guard on a job for the king. Why they chose Nori was a mystery to him but he would be kept out of trouble and was earning money legally. Letting his youngest brother settle in his lap, he opened the first letter.

 

'Dear Ori, I found myself in a place called The Shire. It's filled with creatures called Hobbits. They have no facial hair! It's all on their huge feet! I met one who is half Dwarf! She reminds me of you so much it... it hurts. I miss ya kid and wish you could be here with me. The both of ya. Don't... Don't tell Dori I told ya that.'

 

A small smile was brought to his lips at the words and the giggle Ori gave. Guess he wasn't expecting the Dwarfling to share his 'special messages' with him. He knew his brother loved and missed him, but it was still nice to hear.

 

'A package or two should be arriving shortly after these letters. I found some stuff the two of you might like. The little lass I mentioned is helping me with a very special project and gift for you. Now, you're probably sharing this with Dori, which is such a betrayal since you swore to keep that I had feelings a secret. So, take your pages and run along. Me and Dori have very important grown-up things to discuss.'

 

Looking back at his brother, Ori had a worried look on his face. "Is it another fight?"

 

"No, Ori. I don't believe it is. Run along and put your letter with the others. When I finish reading this, I'll come and make breakfast." The smile returned to his face before he nodded and ran off, holding his letter close. Reading over his own letter, Dori's face paled and his hands shook. Storming from his room, he scooped up a surprised Ori and ran for the palace.

 


 

Time flew by in The Shire and soon enough, it was Summer. Bella was helping her father make breakfast, teaching him all of the recipes her mother had taught her. Somehow, the two along with the kitchen had ended up covered completely in flour. Blinking, Bella looked at her father and then her clothes, then back at him.

 

"Lets... not tell your ma about this. She already told me once before that I'm useless in the kitchen."

 

"Too late," Frerin smirked from the doorway, holding up the camcorder. "I got the whole thing on tape."

 

"Not for long ya don't."

 

Darting out the back door, Frerin screamed while Dwalin chased him, yelling curses in Khuzudul that would make any Dwarf blush. 

 

Shaking his head, Balin held up some cleaning supplies. "How about we clean this mess up while those two finish acting like Dwarflings? Then, you and I can make everyone something special to eat."

 

Spending alone time with her Dwarven uncle? The thought brought a smile to the fauntling's face.

 


 

After a rushed and unpleasant meeting with Dori, Thorin was reading over a letter from his cousins. He feared for this child if she was suffering this much in what was supposed to be one of the most peaceful places in Middle-Earth. Should he have Dwalin bring his family back with them to stay in Erebor? While it would be safer, he didn't want to uproot her from the only home she's ever known. But Thorin couldn't just leave it be either. He had to do something. But what?

 

Rubbing his forehead, Thorin was cursing the headache he was working himself into. This matter will have to wait for now. However, he will be sending a few things to hopefully make things easier on his family while they were in The Shire. He could at the very least, do that. Besides, Balin did mention the lass' birthday was coming up. And who was he but a king who loved to spoil the children in his family?