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A Very Good Thing

Chapter Text

You looked to the clock on your nightstand and groaned. You should be asleep now in order to be ready for another Monday morning at the job you so hated. One more chapter, you thought to yourself as you had many times before.

You turned back to the pages before you and your mind painted scenes of magnificent dragons, valiant dwarfs and a poor, hungry hobbit. You reached the end of the chapter and sighed. If only you could live in that world instead of this one. No one would miss you here anyway.

That night you dreamed of finding friends in Middle Earth, of the sons of Durin succeeding in their quest to take back Erebor from Smaug with you by their side. There would be injuries, sure, but every member of the company would live and the sun would shine on the mountain once more, this time for the rest of its days.

The morning came too soon and your alarm clock screeched in your ear and woke you from your dreams. You did the best you could to look on the bright side. You could make yummy tea for yourself while you sat and read another chapter of your book. You could listen to your favorite song on the train. You could wear your favorite outfit to work even though it often made men stare and call at you on the street. You rolled your eyes. Another day in this god forsaken city.

You jogged down the endless sets of stairs in your elevator-less building while you stuffed your keys in your purse and untangled your headphones. You heard the main door slam behind you and you eyed the last few stone steps as your feet hit them before landing on the sidewalk.

Then, everything around you changed. You were used to this city being weird, but this you couldn’t wrap your head around. You looked up and instead of seeing blue sky and tall buildings, you were surrounded by rock and torch topped pillars. Blinding sunlight was shining from your left and you heard thunderous voices shouting “Victory! We’ve defeated the goblins! Smaug is struck down! Erebor is ours!”

What the absolute fuck is going on? You asked yourself. Did you step out onto a movie set? It wouldn’t be the first time you’d accidentally done that, but you didn’t see any signs posted the day before. Would they really go to this much trouble to build a set in the middle of the street?

You turned around in utter confusion to return to your apartment but the building wasn’t there. Just more rock and pillars. “What-”

“You’re confused?”

You spun to see a tall elderly man dressed in robes and a vast, drooping hat. “Sir Ian Mckellen?”

“No, (Y/N).” He almost seemed disappointed in you. “You know very well who I am.”

“They’re making another Tolkien movie?” You shook your head before he could answer and remembered you had to get to work. “I gotta go, I shouldn’t be here.”

“You’re exactly where you need to be.”

You looked around. You didn’t know which way to go with all this rock around you anyway. “What is going on?”

“You made a wish. I have granted it,” he said as if it was obvious.

Your mind raced to find a rational conclusion. You frantically looked about you and walked toward the bright sunlight until the valley under the mountain came into focus. It was thick with beheaded orc bodies and speckled with smaller, fur covered bodies. The wind blew the metallic smell of blood to your nose and your stomach lurched.

“This isn’t real,” you whispered.

You brought your hand up to shield your nose from the foul air and rough fur tickled your skin. You looked down and saw your clothes had drastically changed from the spring pant suit you were wearing when you had left your apartment. Now, you wore a long tunic and a thick fur coat that was cinched tightly around your waist by a leather belt. It all reminded you of a dream you had had the night before.

The echoes of heavy steps turned your attention to the stairs behind you. Grunts grew louder as they came nearer and you looked to Ian Mckellen in concern. He only grinned at you and deeply nodded his head.

“Erebor is ours, my King,” you heard a voice breathlessly say.

Your heart thrashed in your chest when three dwarfs were revealed as they slowly climbed the last few steps. There was Thorin, exhausted and painted in dirt and blood, being held up by Dwalin and another dwarf of the company- Oin, maybe?

“No need to whisper! Erebor is ours!” Thorin’s deep voice thundered and bounced off the stone walls of the mountain. The effort of his victory call took much out of him.

“Take him to his chambers, he will be attended to there,” Gandalf said.

Thorin’s half lidded eyes rose to Gandalf, but landed on you. “There she is!” he said. He stopped, despite his company members pulling at him and reached a hand to you. “You saved many today, including myself. She is a hero!” He thrust your hand into the air and all around yelled in your honor. “You will be remembered.” He let his brothers in arms assist him to his chambers and all was quiet in the corridor.

You thought again about your dream. You closed your eyes and worked to bring the distant, forgotten thoughts to the front of your mind. You vaguely remember calling to the company, telling them the locations of Fili and Kili with a voice so loud and commanding, it shook your body and made your throat ache. Were they able to save them?

Your thoughts went on. You saw yourself running up and up, feeling your breath heaving until you saw Thorin, blurry in the distance. He was walking along the ice, staring into it, with long and slow strides. You screamed his name and told him to run, but your voice was swallowed by the wind. With the last of your remaining strength, you raced to him, tackled him and pulled him away from the ascending sword. You rolled to safety, but not before feeling your head hit hard against the ice. Though you woke this morning with no headache, you reached up now to feel a large bump on your forehead.

Your eyes widened as you turned to Gandalf. “But it’s not true. I didn’t save anyone.”

“That wound on your head says otherwise.”

“It was a dream! I don’t deserve to be remembered. I’m not brave! I don’t know how to fight anything! It’s all a lie!” Tears welled in your eyes but you blinked them away. You didn’t belong here, you didn’t belong anywhere.

“Then, stay here and live the truth,” Gandalf said.

“No.” Your head dropped and a tear fell and landed on the cold rock. “Can you take me home?”

“I can. But you will be forgotten. Your wish will have never been.”

“So, they won’t remember me?” You looked toward Thorin’s chambers.

“They won’t live.”

Chapter Text

You were shown to a room that was to be all your own. It was vast and beautiful, with delicate etchings in stone pillars and dark wooden beams. There was a bed in the middle of the room that was larger than any you’d ever seen. It was covered in pillows and multicolored furs. Light streaming in from the great windows told you the room was built into the face of the mountain. The view revealed the deep valley and you could just see the roofs of Esgaroth.

You walked over to the mirror that almost reached the ceiling to admire the clothing that had magically appeared on you. You peeled off the heavy coat and saw protective leather cuffs wrapped around your forearms. You were sure you wouldn’t need them tonight and set them next to your coat.

All that was left was a decorative vest that covered the tunic and your trousers, held up by another thick belt. You spun to the side and peered at yourself, squinting. “Did you make me shorter?”

You saw Gandalf grin through the mirror. He had followed you to your chambers, but remained in the doorway. “Only dwarfs live in Erebor, my dear.”

“So you shrank me?!” You weren’t angry, but amused. You laughed together and it dawned on you that you were actually talking to Gandalf the Grey, the wizard you had read about and adored so deeply. You smiled with soft eyes. “Thank you.”

He nodded. “You should rest. Realm hopping is tiring business. I will not be far away.”

He closed the door and you were left to wrap your head around your new reality. You laid on top of the bed, stretching out on the furs. After only a moment, you sat up and leapt for the door. What am I thinking trying to sleep? I’m in Erebor!

You struggled to open the tall wooden door and stuck your head out into the corridor. When you saw no one, you slipped out of your chambers and tried to decide which way to go. You saw the torches lead to multiple staircases with elegant engravings and statues. You guessed that was the way to the throne room. That was the last place you wanted to go, you hardly deserved to see that.

So you turned a corner and followed the bright light that led you to the front of the mountain. Everything was so different than you had thought it to be. Even the movies got it wrong, the kingdom wasn’t dark at all. It was stunningly gorgeous. Every corner was well lit from the massive torches and chandeliers. The light waved on the walls and showed the detailed etchings of stories, legends, and names. Handsome heads with long, braided beards were carved into the pillars. The sunlight itself was shaped by the elegant windows and doors of the corridor. You admired it all until the sun led you to where you had first seen Gandalf.

You looked out onto the valley as it was cleared. The orcs were unceremoniously tossed aside and burned while the dwarfs were gathered and brought to their resting place until the kingdom could properly mourn and say goodbye. You had never seen anything like it, the only war you had ever seen was in movies and books. The life you had led until now seemed so simple compared to this.

“One day we will look over this valley and smile. We will always remember those we lost today, but someday we will no longer mourn.”

You turned and saw a familiar face next to you. “Fili.”

“You know me?” he asked.

Your stomach turned and you hurried to pick the correct response. “Everyone in the kingdom knows you.”

He breathed out a laugh and sent a kind smile. “Sadly, I do not know you. Though I wish to, I hear I owe you my life.”

Your gaze returned to the valley and shame rose inside you.

“How did you know where I was? Where my brother was?”

“I saw you both when I was running to- I had heard Thorin- the King- and then saw you both,” you struggled.

He leaned forward to steal your attention from the valley. When you finally met him, he thanked you. “You are very loyal and true hearted to care for us so. It will not be forgotten.”

You nodded and watched the sun set behind the mountains. You did care for them. At least, you cared for the characters you knew, and weren’t they the same?

You turned to leave. “Goodnight, Fili.”

“Wait, what is your name?”

“(Y/N).”

“Goodnight, (Y/N).”

You smiled at him before you returned to your bed chambers.

You decided to stay hidden and lay low for a while. You had to get everything straight in your head before anyone else asked you any questions. Surely Gandalf could help you.

You readied yourself for bed and realized you had no pajamas with you. Consequences of realm hopping, I suppose. You set your coat, vest and cuffs on the chair next to the bed and found a comb in a drawer of the dressing table. Looking again in the mirror, you realized that besides shrinking you, Gandalf also made your hair much thicker and longer to help you blend in. You turned and admired the intricate braids that had magically appeared in your hair that morning and groaned at the thought of duplicating them. How you wished you had your phone to snap a picture.

Then, there was a knock at the door. After struggling again to open it, you saw a young dwarf holding a large, flat box out to you. “A gift from the King, my lady. He wishes you to come to the celebration in the great hall tomorrow night.”

You took the box. “Thank you.”

“Thank you, my lady. Goodnight my lady.”

You grinned. You could get used to having a title. You turned and closed the door behind you before setting the box on the bed. Inside, was a blue velvet gown with a silver waist and trimming and laid on top was a necklace of silver loops and knots. Both were clearly made by hand and both were stunning.

A party tomorrow with the King? So much for laying low.

Chapter Text

You didn’t sleep well that night. You were much too busy imagining what the celebration would bring. On top of a slew of questions you wouldn’t know the answers to, you were sure there would be customs and rituals you wouldn’t be familiar with. The last thing you wanted to do was offend anyone in Erebor, and definitely not the royal family. They would most likely want to speak with you.

You dreamed with your eyes wide open of dancing with any one of the sons of Durin. Would you even be allowed to? You saw your beautiful dress, the blue fabric trailing behind you as you walked across the floor to greet the King. What would you say? You wished just to make him smile as his sorrows of the past years drifted away. That was all you wanted.

When you finally slept, it seemed you drifted off for only a minute before you were roused by the heavy door to your chambers opening, allowing a slew of young dwarrowdams to rush inside. You guessed they were servants.

“Good morning, my lady,” one said.

You nodded, your eyes round with amazement, as you watched them hurry about. Some took turns going in and out of the bathroom, bringing in soaps and combs and beads. Others set out your dress and laid the necklace out on the bed table, allowing the sunlight to dance off the silver. They brought matching shoes for you to wear. Just when you were sure no others could fit inside the huge room, three more servants pushed the door open and hurried in with trays of food. They offered you bread, cheese, and fruit and poured a goblet of wine quicker than you could rise from your bed.

“Thank you,” you said, still astonished. “Who-who are you? Who sent you?”

The same dwarrowdam who spoke before spoke now. “The King has sent us, my lady, to help you with whatever you need.”

“Oh.” You swooned at the thought of Thorin still thinking of you, but blinked it away quickly. You were, however, very grateful for the dwarrowdams’ help. The knowledge you lacked of this world was astounding. You couldn’t even figure out how the bath tap worked.

The second you stood, two of them quickly made your bed for you. “I can do that,” you said, ashamed.

The speaker of the crowd smiled at you. “Eat, my lady.”

You stumbled into the chair and nibbled on the food as she unpacked a large bag that was brought into the room. It was filled with all kinds of clothes to be folded and set away in the drawers of the tall dresser. Every article she took out came with a short description. “For sleep, for work, for underclothes, tunics go under vests and over these.” You were grateful for the explanations.

After you ate, you were pampered endlessly. You asked them questions about Erebor, where they lived since it was taken and what life would be like now that it was back in Thorin’s hands. They gave you short, but helpful answers.

After what seemed like hours you were led to the bathroom with a tub full of steaming water. The dwarrowdam you had been speaking with began to undress you and you cowered. “I can handle it from here,” you said with a shy smile.

She gave you an understanding nod. Pointing to the many bottles and bars next to the tub she said, “For the body, for the hair.”

You picked up one of the many oils she said were for your hair and realized maybe you should have let her stay and help you. But she had already gone. You shrugged out of your clothes and sank into the hot water. I don’t even know how to bathe myself here, you thought with a roll of your eyes.

When you emerged from the bathroom, you thought the dwarrowdams would be gone but immediately, they were rubbing your body with lotions and perfumes and slipping you into your evening dress. You noticed none of them would touch your hair. You really were alone for that part.

When they finished, they lined up and left the room while you rushed to thank them all.

“Your escort will be here soon, my lady.”

When the door closed you fell on the bed. Well that was exhausting. But you weren’t done yet. You caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and winced at your hair. You couldn’t wear it loose, you knew. You struggled to think of the fanart and cosplays you had seen in your world, when finally, you came up with a braided design for yourself.

Just as you finished, Gandalf announced himself at your door. You rushed over to him and spat out your worries. “Is this how I’m supposed to look? Can I wear my hair like this? I didn’t know how to do it and the girls wouldn’t help me-”

“It’s not customary to touch another’s hair.”

“What if they don’t like me or suspect something? Where else am I supposed to go if they shut me out of Erebor? You’re going right? You’re going to be there the whole time?”

“I’m going to be there the whole time,” he sighed.

You slunk with a smirk. “You brought me here. You have to help me.”

He laughed. “Everything will be fine, my dear. There’s no need to fret.”

“Easy for you to say. You belong in this world.”

“Now, so do you.”

You smiled as he patted your hand on his arm. “And thanks for the PJs,” you said.

“And what are Ps and Js?”

Your giggle echoed in the corridor. “The sleep clothes.”

Now, you stood before guarded doors. Gandalf announced himself and they opened, revealing bright light and loud music and laughter. As you stepped forward, the noise died to silence. Your gaze locked on Thorin straight ahead, sitting high on a throne fit for just him.

“(Y/N)! Gandalf! Welcome!” Thorin yelled.

Chapter Text

The music and laughter grew to a roar soon after Thorin’s greeting. Gandalf led you straight through the crowd. As you passed through the dwarfs, bright smiles and deep bows were sent your way. Though you were overjoyed to be accepted, a wave of shame nagged at you for your lies. As if he knew your feelings, Gandalf again patted your hand in assurance.

Your eyes flitted around the great hall. On either side of you were long tables with grand food and decorations holding enough to feed everyone in all of Erebor. The floor beneath you was tiled white and marbled with gold, as was the ceiling that floated high above. Chandeliers with hundreds of candles swung above your head and seemed to dance along with the music.

You felt as if you had walked a mile before you had reached the King. He stood from his enormous gold throne, as did his nephews on either side of him. As he strode down the steps you admired his shining silver tunic beneath a cloak of blue velvet, the same colors he had sent you to wear. His crown was even more magnificent than you could have dreamed. The silver rose from his deep brown locks and pulled the eye down to the many beads that were braided into his hair. His smile was bright, but it was nothing compared to the lustrous blue of his irises as he neared you.

You lowered your head and started to curtsy the best you knew how, but he stopped you. His fingers barely grabbed your elbow and he lifted you. “You bow to no one.”

You couldn’t stop the wide smile growing on your face as you thought of where you had read those words before. You stood as straight as possible, mirroring the King’s proud movements.

“These are my nephews.” His arm reached to Kili first and he nodded deeply to you with a smile as Thorin introduced him. “And Fili, I believe you know.”

“Yes,” he said. “It’s nice to see you again.”

You only grinned, no words would come from your mouth, no matter how you tried to force them.

When you looked to Thorin again, you lowered your chin bashfully after catching him taking in your form. “You are radiant,” he said.

All breath left you. “Only because of your beautiful gifts, my King,” you managed.

“Nonsense. You would be radiant in rags. And please, I am Thorin to you.”

Gandalf cleared his throat and you were reminded that you were not the only two in the hall. You straightened again and looked to the wizard who gave you a smirk. After Kili and Fili returned to their thrones, Thorin said, “There is much I wish to ask you. You have saved our lives, and yet all I know of you is your name. Where do you come from? I know not of any other Dwarfish lands.”

The nerves dancing in your stomach seemed to double. Your teeth set as you thought of an answer.

“(Y/N) was raised by humans in a rather dangerous land. I found her not long ago and brought her here.”

Yes! Gandalf to the rescue! You thought as your shoulders lost their tension.

“Ah.” Thorin nodded. “And what was the name of this place?”

Now, it was clear Gandalf had drawn a blank. You quickly pictured all the maps in the back of your novels but you knew Thorin would know of all of them and quickly catch you both in your lies. You mixed words in your head and quickly threw out a suggestion. “Northámeric.”

“Northámeric? I have never heard of such a place,” Thorin said.

“It is very far from here. Nearly another world,” you said.

“It must be if I know it not! But we are very happy to have you in Erebor. I apologize if my questions have made you anxious. Please! Enjoy the celebration. Dance and drink to your heart’s desire.” He leaned to you. “We will speak more in the days to come.”

You grinned and though you wanted to stay with the King, Gandalf pulled you away down the stairs to the feast. “Northámeric eh?”

You laughed and elbowed him gently. “Well, you were no help with that one!”

You were given wine to drink as you stood next to Gandalf and took in the grand party. Not far across the hall stood the company and you tried to remember all their names. After a moment, Bilbo appeared out from behind the dwarf who you thought was Oin. You wanted to run to him, but you remembered he didn’t actually know you. Still, your excitement bubbled out of your features as the hobbit weaved the crowd to Gandalf’s side. He is so small! You couldn’t help but think.

“Bilbo!” Gandalf sang. “Meet (Y/N) of Northámeric.”

Bilbo bowed low to you. “The one who has saved us all. It’s a pleasure.”

“The pleasure is mine!” you said with too much excitement. “Gandalf has told me much about you. And your nephew,” you added. “How is Frodo?” You really couldn’t help yourself.

“The last I saw him, he was as happy and carefree as a young hobbit could be. Someday, you must come to the Shire for tea with us. After the stories I will tell, he will want to meet you.”

You beamed as you thought about the green hills of the Shire. At least, what you thought the Shire to be from your books. Flashes of Rivendell, Mirkwood, Gondor and Rohan all filled your mind. You’d be able to see them all.

A familiar voice pulled you out of your dreaming. “Bringing (Y/N) into your troubles, Bilbo?” Fili said.

Bilbo could only laugh before Fili reached his hand out to you. “Would you dance with me?” he asked. He actually seemed nervous.

“Yes!” you said, surprised he would even ask you. You saw others behind you dancing together to the upbeat music. You looked to Gandalf, embarrassed. “But I’m afraid I don’t quite know how.”

Fili squeezed your hand gently. “Don’t fret. If my brother can do it, anyone can.” Just then Kili and his partner bounced past with silly grins. Fili leaned to you. “And I’ve got ya.”

You nodded and let him take you to the middle of the floor. Nerves rushed through you and your heart thrashed in your chest. Fili took your hand and waist and held you securely. “Ready?”

“Ready.”

He rocked you back and then sprung forward into the rush of dancers around you. You hopped along, forgetting your worries and laughing loudly with him. You felt your long hair bouncing and whipping around you as he led you across the floor, skillfully dodging obstacles and other dwarfs. You trusted his lead so much you could have closed your eyes and let him carry you away, but you didn’t want to miss a moment of his smile. This was exactly what you wanted- to see the sons of Durin happy.

You danced until you were both gasping for breath. Too soon, the song ended and he led you back to Gandalf and Bilbo. He poured two goblets of wine and you both laughed at each other after gulping it down.

“And you said you didn’t know how to dance. You’re an expert!” Fili said.

“A great leader can teach even a klutz!”

Behind Fili, Thorin smiled affectionately at the two of you. He rose from this throne and everything around you hushed. “I would like to make a toast,” he announced, lifting his goblet. “To every dwarrow, dwarrowdam, hobbit, wizard, human, and even elf who fought for our homeland.” His eyes met yours for a moment. “Thank you. I promise to lead Erebor to the greatness it once was. To Erebor!”

The crowd echoed him and cheered as they drank.

You delighted the rest of the celebration, spending it with Gandalf and Bilbo mostly, but enjoying some of Fili’s company as well. You noticed something new in Thorin’s eyes since his toast, and it remained there the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

The day after the celebration passed without event. Gandalf came to visit you and you discussed the fine details of your story. Most of it, to your relief was truth: You had been raised by humans until the land grew dangerous and you didn’t wish to live there anymore. Gandalf had found you in his travels and brought you to Erebor to live with your people. It all explained why you had so little knowledge of Dwarven customs and cultures.

The next morning, however, did come with a surprise.

The servant from the celebration day knocked on your door a few hours after you had awakened. She greeted you and rushed into the room with a box and a tray of food. She stopped dead when she saw you had already made the bed and you almost laughed.

She gathered herself quickly and said, “The King requests your presence in the throne room, my lady.”

Your eyes widened. You were going to see him again. Not only him, but the throne room. What does he want? Does he know something? You flew to your mirror. You had managed to get yourself dressed as you were taught, but surely you couldn’t wear trousers and a tunic to see the King? Is that even allowed?

As if on cue, the other dwarrowdam in the room said, “Here you are, my lady.” She was holding up a dress that was beautiful to your eyes, but you guessed was casual enough for every day attire. Well, every day seeing the King in the throne room attire.

She slipped it on you and you admired it in the mirror. Like the other dress the King had gifted you, this one fit you perfectly and becomingly fell off your shoulders and tapered at your waist. However, this dress was deep red, much like the cloak Fili wore to the celebration the other night.

You worked to braid your thick hair as the servant gathered her things. “The King is ready for you any time, but he has instructed me to tell you to enjoy your breakfast without rush.” With that, she slipped out the door as quickly as she came in.

You continued to struggle with your long locks. I need to marry someone so I won’t have to do this anymore. That simple thought led you into a daze as you imagined your future in Erebor. Would anyone ever want you since you lacked so much knowledge? Would you even be allowed to stay here long enough to find out?

You nibbled quickly and checked the mirror one more time. When you opened the door, you saw a guard waiting for you. “I am here to take you to the King, my lady.”

You thanked him. Great, because I don’t know where the throne room is anyway. You held in a chuckle.

You followed the guard through the corridors that were brightly lit with the morning sun. Soon, you reached tall, wide doors, even more extravagant than those leading to the hall. Both the doors swung open and you saw the throne was empty. Instead, Thorin was wandering the floor. You saw his crown and robes placed on a nearby table.

When the guard announced your name, you were ushered further into the room. Thorin looked to you with a soft grin when you started at the sound of the doors closing behind you. There was a long aisle for you to cross before you would reach the King and you weren’t sure how close you should even get to him.

Your shoes softly clicked against the floor as you neared him. You couldn’t help taking in the great room on your way. The pillars that held up the ceiling seemed to be miles long, and they only grew wider as they reached the massive throne. Everything around you was either solid gold or laced with gold.

You heard a soft, deep chuckle. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Thorin said.

“It’s magnificent.” You looked at him and quickly remembered your place. You curtsied, holding out your skirt. “My King.”

He breathed deeply. “(Y/N),” he said with a laugh. “Here is my first and last command to you. Call me Thorin.”

You laughed out all your stress. “Well, if you command it.”

He turned to you fully and unconsciously swept his hair from his forehead. You saw a deep gash in the skin there, on its way to healing. It looked extremely painful and you half winced.

He immediately understood the cause of your concern. “Ah, it’s ghastly, but it looks worse than it is.”

You shook your head. “It’s not ghastly. Only worrisome.”

His features softened. Immediately, you were sure you said the wrong thing. Finally he spoke with a tender voice. “No need to fret.” You never guessed he could speak so gently. But the moment quickly passed and his voice returned to its usual tone. “I called you here to make sure you were settling in alright. Are you getting along?”

“Yes,” you said. “Everything has been wonderful.”

“You’re happy here?”

“Very.”

“Good. You are welcome here and as long as you stay, you will want for nothing.” He paused, and narrowed his eyes at you as if trying to decide if he wanted to go on. “We would like- my nephews and I, we invite you to live in Erebor for as long as you’d like.”

You were filled with so much joy, you could have floated away. “Thank you, Thorin.” His questioning expression urged you on. “I-I want to stay.”

“I’m glad,” he said. Something you couldn’t place cast over his eyes as he went on. “And my nephews will be pleased. Fili, especially, has taken quite a shine to you.”

“He is a special person.”

“You seemed to have a good time at the celebration with him.”

“With everyone,” you quickly said.

Thorin hummed and turned away from you, as if silently dismissing you.

“Thorin,” you called, gently grabbing his arm before he could walk away. He turned to you with raised eyebrows and your hand hastily retreated and pushed loose locks of hair behind your ear. “I haven’t yet properly thanked you. For your many beautiful gifts and the sweet servants. And now, you’ve given me home. I don’t know how I can thank you enough.”

He took the hand you so quickly pulled away from him, and wrapped his fingers gently around it. “I thank you, (Y/N). None of this would be if you hadn’t come into our lives. I am glad you’ve found us.”

His sincerity sent tears pooling into your eyes. You backed away smiling and rambled, “I’ll leave you to your Kingly duties then. You have much to do. Thank you for checking on me, Thorin. It was nice to see you again.”

“And me, you,” he chuckled.

You turned and started the awkward trek to the doors. You didn’t see Thorin watching you go, admiring the red velvet hanging from your frame. He didn’t mind thinking how he preferred you in blue.

Chapter Text

As the weeks passed, you thoroughly enjoyed your time in Erebor and you grew close to the sons of Durin. Often, you would dine with them and the company, a new gown being sent to you each time. Your servants took wonderful care of you- you ate well and they pampered you as much as you allowed them to. You spent much of your time outside in the royal gardens or the great valley below the mountain.

Like many other afternoons, this one was spent with Fili and Kili. They had been teaching you to defend yourself. Before you “realm hopped,” as Gandalf fondly called it, you had never even seen the weapons the two dwarfs expected you to wield. In the beginning, you got by, pretending you were just a terrible warrior. You often excused yourself by saying, “My father forbade me to fight,” which was mostly true. Fili and Kili took that as a challenge and insisted on giving you lessons.

By now, you actually had enough skill to put up a fair fight. You preferred using swords, but you also carried a small dagger on your belt for emergencies, which often came in handy when Kili inevitably parted you from your sword. He now had your full concentration as you dueled in the open field.

“Come, now, we’ve taught you better than that!” he said, breaking his stride just enough to laugh at you. “It’s expected you’d go to that side with the way you’re standing.”

“If it’s expected, isn’t it really unexpected?” you said, slightly out of breath, continuing to crash your sword against his.

“Um, no?” he said.

You heard Fili laugh behind you as he watched. “Hear her out,” he said.

You drew back your weapon, concentrating on your footwork, moving around Kili and keeping your distance until you were ready to advance. “If I’m fighting you and I stand like this,” you said, turning over your left shoulder, “then you’d think me a fool to strike here.” You thrust your sword to his ribs and he slapped it away. “But upon seeing me, you must assume I have some fierce, undefeated fighting skills,” you paused as Kili cackled at you, “and you know I wouldn’t be stupid enough to do what’s so obvious, so you now expect me to strike here.” You pointed your sword at Kili’s far shoulder. “Therefore, the expected is actually the unexpected,” you spat out, going for his ribs and poking him with the tip of your sword.

“She’s cracked the code, brother,” Fili said, laughing.

“If you say so,” Kili said. “But I didn’t understand a word she said.” He then came at you with strikes of rapid speed. You backed up as you fended off his sword, your feet stuttering under you until you felt yourself falling to the ground. Before you could land on the grass, Fili’s arms flew under yours, catching you effortlessly.

“You’re a cruel teacher!” you yelled at Kili.

The three of you laughed and you looked up and thanked your friend and savior, but he didn’t let you stand yet.

“I think she’s good enough to duel two on one, brother,” Fili said.

Your grin failed. “That’s hardly fair!”

Fili looked down at you in his arms, his eyes shining. “It is if you’re on my team.”

“Deal!” you said, leaping up.

Both you and Fili assumed fighting stances against Kili. “You’re on!” he said, going for Fili first. You watched carefully, waiting for him to turn on you.

Behind the fighting brothers, you saw Thorin emerging from the royal gardens, chuckling at the scene. It had been only a couple days since you had last seen him, but it felt like weeks. If possible, he looked more handsome than ever, if not majestic as he walked through the trees to the field. He had completely stolen your attention from the duel.

“(Y/N)!” Fili yelled, pulling you out the way of Kili’s unstoppable strike. You looked down to see he had nicked you and blood was already rolling slowly down your arm. “Are you alright?” he asked.

“(Y/N), I’m sorry! I didn’t see you not looking until it was too late-”

“I’m alright,” you said. “It was my fault, I was distracted.”

Your distraction was already by your side. “You’re injured,” Thorin said, his voice low.

You pulled your arm away from the three dwarfs surrounding you. “I’m alright, really, it’s just a scratch.”

“Even so, it has to be dressed. Fili, bring some bandages,” Thorin said.

Fili’s features were full of concern for you and he looked as though he wouldn’t leave you. You grabbed his arm with a reassuring squeeze. “I’m fine,” you smiled.

He nodded before he started for the mountain, Kili not far behind him.

“Come,” Thorin said, leading you to a stone bench at the entrance to the royal gardens. The shade was cool, but your skin burned where his hand met your lower back. After you sat, his gentle fingers turned your arm until your palm faced up and he could study the wound.

While he was inspecting your arm, your gaze was glued to his face. His features were calm and warm. You knew he often went to the gardens alone to gather his thoughts when his Kingly duties were especially weighing on him. After spending some time there this afternoon, his soft countenance seemed refreshed compared to the last time you saw him.

He reached into his tunic and pulled out a handkerchief, delicately embroidered with the Durin runes. You stopped his hand in mid-air before the silky white fabric could touch your bloody skin. “No, you’ll ruin it. I can wait for a bandage.”

Your eyes remained on your fingers grasping his. His hand was large enough to envelope yours completely, and just the simple touch made you feel safer than you ever had in your life. You caught yourself and let go, only to meet Thorin’s eyes that were already upon your face.

“Nonsense,” he said softly, a grin itching at his lips. “This is what they’re for.” He took much care in cleaning the red off your skin and wrapping the fabric securely around the wound.

“A king’s handkerchief is for simple dwarrowdam?” you said softly, shaking your head.

“You have never been simple, and you will never be simple, (Y/N).” He wished to go on, but his nephews’ silhouettes emerged from the mountain and he remembered his place. He removed his hands from you. “You have grown very close with Fili. I know he cares for you.”

You hummed in agreement. “He is a wonderful friend to me.”

Thorin turned from you, his gaze locked forward. “He will be King.”

You also turned your attention to the approaching brothers. You giggled when Kili tripped. “He will be good at it. Like you.” After some silence you went on. “Smart, fierce dwarfs with tender hearts seem to run in your family.”

You didn’t see Thorin’s shocked expression as Fili jogged to the bench and quickly replaced the handkerchief with a clean bandage. “There.”

“(Y/N), really, I’m so sorry,” Kili said.

“Kili,” you almost groaned. “It’s okay! What will it take for you to forget about this?”

“Join us for dinner tonight,” he said.

“I would love to,” you said. You rose from the bench and gave Thorin a thankful smile.

He watched you return to the mountain, sandwiched between his nephews. You yelled, “You really are a cruel teacher!” and he watched as you pushed Kili and ran away laughing, holding Fili’s hand.

Chapter Text

As dinner approached, you bathed and oiled your hair for braiding. Just as you finished, the sweet servant you knew to be Mevina, entered your chambers. She brought with her a stunning dress, unlike any you had received before. It had long, sweeping sleeves and an intricately laced back, that all came to a sensible “V” in the front. You fingered the soft fabric. “Always red.”

You watched in the mirror as Mevina closed the dress around your back. “You need not be ashamed for receiving gifts, my lady.”

“Hm?” She had pulled you out of deep thought.

“If I may say, I believe I have grown to know you, my lady-”

“(Y/N), please, Mevina.”

“The King showers you with gifts, but I see it in your face. You are ashamed and feel you don’t deserve them.”

You bit your lip. She was right. “Everything he sends is so lovely and I’m so grateful. But he doesn’t need to give me these things. I have plenty of dresses now.” Your voice fell to a whisper.

“If I may say-”

“Speak freely, my friend.”

“The last thing the King wants is to make you feel guilty. I hear him speak of you when he summons me to deliver his gifts. He cares for you deeply, though I don’t think he knows how to show it.”

Once the dress was laced, she tied a sweet bow at your shoulders and gathered her things. “Good night, Mevina.”

You finished dressing and left your chambers, snaking through the corridors you now knew well until you reached the grand dining room. When you entered, everyone stood. The company welcomed you, yelling over each other as they often did. As always, a seat was left for you between Fili and Thorin, who was at the head of the table.

You were oblivious to Thorin as you spoke to Fili, you didn’t realize he was watching your every move. When he chose this dress especially for you, he knew you would like it. And though it was nice, it would only enhance your natural, stunning beauty. However, he didn’t foresee the deep red fabric clinging to your curves and sitting so low on your chest. When you sat, your long hair cascaded over your shoulders and stopped at your waist, pulling his eyes there. He imagined his hands landing in that spot, pulling you to him as music echoed through the great hall and all of Erebor watched him dance with you.

But his favorite part of all, was that you chose to wear the necklace he had given you the night of the celebration. No matter what dress you were gifted, or what the occasion was, you always wore his silver around your neck.

“You look lovely,” Fili said to you.

You bashfully smiled and looked to Thorin in thanks. You weren’t sure if it was appropriate to announce your gratitude out loud.

“How is your arm?” Kili asked.

“Oh, it’s so painful. Really, just awful. I almost wasn’t sure I’d be able to attend dinner tonight. I asked Mevina to look at it just before I left and she almost fainted at the green-”

“That’s enough!” Kili said.

You dipped your head and laughed hard, your voice swimming around Thorin as he tried to take his thoughts away from you.

The company took turns telling stories during dinner. It was a usual occurrence that you always enjoyed. Dwalin ended your favorite story, the one where the company narrowly escaped Mirkwood by riding away down the river in barrels. “Thorin, here, looked like a drowned rat, he did. Couldn’t enjoy the fun at all,” he said.

“I did not. And I was a little busy saving you from orcs.” You giggled at him, making his stubborn glare crack into a grin. “You weren’t there, (Y/N), you don’t know,” he joked.

Oh, if you only knew, you thought.

The roar of laughter died down and you felt Kili kicking his brother from across the table. “Did you do it?” he asked.

Fili nodded. You smiled brightly, knowing the secret.

Thorin was also watching. His stomach dropped as he heard the conversation and saw you two grinning. He knew the secret as well, that Fili had asked you to court him. Though he was waiting for this day to come, and knew you would be happy with his nephew, pain and jealousy still stung him.

He looked up from his empty plate to your hair. He searched the braids, but couldn’t find what he was looking for. “Where are your courting beads?” he asked you.

“Me? I don’t have any.”

“Fili asked you to court him, did he not?” Thorin asked.

Fili explained. “Not (Y/N), Uncle-”

“Not (Y/N)?” His growl started to roar through the dining hall. “How could you be with anyone else?! With the way you two act?” He slammed his fists on the table, rising and pacing the floor. “You are a fool to want anyone else!”

You cowered from him. His voice was more than alarming to you. You had never heard a bellow like that come from anyone, especially not from someone standing only a few feet from you.

“Uncle-” Fili said.

Thorin grunted and spun to leave the room. Other than the slam of the great door, the hall was silent. No one at the table made a move to go after him. You turned to Fili. “May I go?”

He shook his head.

“Let the girl go.” Balin said. You stood and ran out of the room before you heard him continue. “If anyone can calm him, it’s her.”

Chapter Text

You hiked up your dress and ran through the corridors looking for a sign of Thorin. You heard another slam and knew he had gone to the throne room. You halted in front of the gigantic double doors. You didn’t want to upset him further. You didn’t even know if you had the right to go in and speak to him. But you couldn’t leave him alone in there, you couldn’t bear to see him so angry. You inhaled deeply and pushed the door open with all your strength.

“Get out.” Thorin snarled.

“Thorin.”

He whipped around to face you, his features immediately softening. “(Y/N). I didn’t know it was you.”

You started toward him, the hem of your dress swishing against the tile floor. “Thorin, I think you have misunderstood-”

“I understand,” he said, his eyes narrow. “I understand my nephew is a fool.”

You breathed out a laugh, which surprised him. “Love makes us fools sometimes.”

“Love,” he spat. “What he feels for this girl is not love. What he feels for you, that’s love.”

“The love of friendship. But nothing more.”

He shook his head. “You’re too young. You’re confused.”

“I’m not.”

“You are supposed to marry Fili! You are to be Erebor’s queen! How could he hold you as he does and not love you? You! He is a fool! He has ruined it all!” His screaming voice echoed through the room at such a volume, you wanted you cover your ears.

You ran down the aisle to close the distance between you. He threw his hands in the air and you grabbed them.

“What is wrong with him?!”

“Do not yell at me,” you said. “I am not the one you’re angry with.”

“I should be! How could you let him make this mistake?”

“Dwarfs don’t meddle in the fates of Ones.”

“You don’t know that! You were raised by humans. Go fix this.” He tried to yank his hands from your grasp, but you pulled him further into you.

“No.”

“No?” His eyes widened.

“No!” Your voice fell to a whisper. If anything scared you, it was the act of releasing your next words. “I don’t love him. My heart belongs to another.”

His vicious breathing stopped completely. Your grip on his arms weakened and your hands fell away.

“You love another?”

You nodded and watched his eyes soften and his shoulders melt.

“Who?”

“I believe you know the answer to that.”

He stared at you, unblinking. His gaze rose to your hair, and floated down to your eyes, your cheeks, your lips. His head shook back and forth with minuscule motion.

“Yes.” You whispered so softly, he could barely hear the word.

“You- I, I need you to tell me, to say the words-”

“I love you.”

Then he dashed away from you. After a few steps he quickly turned around and took you by your waist. “Come with me.”

You ran to keep up with his strides. Is he so angry with me? Can he not bear the thought of being loved by me? I should have known better, I should have kept my mouth shut.

When he reached the corridor, he commanded a nearby guard, “Fetch my satchel, Rava knows which.”

You froze, refusing to allow him to pull you any further. “Are you going to chop off my head or something?”

He spun to you, a grin spreading wide across his face. He gently took your shoulders. “No, amrâlimê.”

Your breath left you and you thought about how many times you butchered that word when you read stories online before you came to Erebor. Now, it sounded heavenly coming from his lips.

“Do you know what that means?”

In a daze of joy you shook your head. “But I know it’s a good thing.”

He set his forehead on yours. “It’s a very good thing.”

You closed your eyes and leaned into his body, but you were interrupted by the sound of shoes clicking through the corridor. Thorin retreated from you, but his eyes still shone with unmistakable adoration.

“My King,” another guard bowed to him and handed him a small leather satchel. He stuffed it into his tunic, laced his fingers and yours and led you out of the mountain.

The sun was low in the sky, and lit the branches and arches of the royal garden with pink and purple hues. He ducked into the center of the greenery and pulled you along with him before sitting you close beside him on a stone bench. His palm lifted to brush against your cheek. “I’m sorry to rush you out here, but can’t wait any longer,” he said.

He reached for the satchel and poured the contents into his hand. He showed you the deep blue beads and some silver clasps with blue crystals and what you knew to be runes in them. “Do you know what these are?”

“Courting beads,” you whispered.

He smiled brightly and hummed.

“What do they say?” you asked.

He took one of the small clasps in his fingers and gave you a closer look. “They are my runes. And yours.”

The engravings seemed to dance together, fit together like perfect puzzle pieces. “Mine?”

“I made them the night I met you. I knew even then I wanted you to be mine.” You held his hand tightly, urging him to continue. “But I believed you had feelings for my nephew, so I hid them away. I know I am selfish. You’d be far better off with Fili, I am not as young as he-”

“Stop. Don’t say those things, I don’t care. I love you.” He blinked at you for a moment, and then you watched his fears melt away. “Please, tell me more about the beads.”

He spoke slowly, his deep voice rumbling through you. “If you consent to our courting, I will braid these into your hair to announce to all that I am yours and you are mine. It’s a sacred ritual to dwarfs.” He paused to read your expression. “Would you like that?”

You nodded, practically bursting with joy.

“Yes?” he almost shouted.

“Yes!” You laughed, cupping his jaw and pulling him to you. Just before your lips touched his, you retreated. “Am I allowed to kiss you now?”

“Yes, amrâlimê.” He wrapped his arms around your waist while yours flew around his neck. Finally, your lips met. His thick beard scratched your skin deliciously as he deepened his kiss. His free hand lifted to stroke your hair and land on your neck, pulling your farther into him.

How you had dreamed of this from your bed in your disgusting city apartment. Every night when you went to sleep, you were sure you’d wake in the morning and learn your time in Erebor was all just a dream. Now, you no longer worried. You would spend the rest of your time with Thorin. You knew he loved you as much as you loved him from the way his passion for you was radiating from him.

Though his kiss was all you had ever wanted, you were still distracted by your guilt. What if he loves me only because I saved his life? Then, this too is only a lie. He has a right to know.

A dazed grin grew on his face when he pulled away from you. He opened his hand and reached for a bead.

“Thorin, before we do this, I need to tell you something.”

“Anything, amrâlimê.”

Your brow furrowed and you stared at his hands joined with yours. Where would you even start?

“What troubles you, (Y/N)?”

“I haven’t been completely honest with you. With anyone. I’m not from here, Thorin, I’m not from this land- from Middle Earth.”

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“I don’t expect you to. It’s hard to explain, but you need to know the truth.” You forced yourself to look at him. You owed him that. “I’m from… regular Earth. I made a wish to meet you and Gandalf brought me here-”

“I do not care where you come from.” He could feel your hands starting to shake as your nerves grew.

“That part, it doesn’t really matter. But I… Thorin, I didn’t save you. I didn’t save anyone.”

“Yes, you did, I saw you there.”

“I know, but it wasn’t really me. It was a part of the wish that I made so you and your nephews wouldn’t die that day like you did in the books-”

He pulled his hands away from you. With darkening eyes he asked, “Why are you doing this?”

“Because you deserve to know the truth. I am no hero.”

“Stop! Now you’re lying!” He stood from the bench and stuffed the beads into his satchel. “If you don’t want to be with me, just say so. Don’t tell me these lies.”

You chased after him, throwing yourself into his arms. “I do want to be with you! All I’ve ever wanted was to be with you, that’s why Gandalf brought me here!”

“Stop it, (Y/N).” He pushed you away and strode out of the gardens, his shoulders pulled back with pride.

“Thorin, wait. You-you don’t understand, just let me explain.” You ran after him but he wouldn’t turn to you. “Listen to me! I love you!” you screamed through your sobs.

“Go back to where you came from,” he said over his shoulder.

He disappeared into the mountain, leaving you in the great valley alone. You collapsed with the weight of your regret and despair and bawled on the ground with your arms wrapped tightly around you. “No, no, no. I love you.”

Chapter Text

You remained in your chambers for the next few days. Your stomach was constantly flipping and your chest felt utterly hollow. You were not the kind to be so devastated by a man, even one you so loved, but you couldn’t help dwelling on the consequences your truth telling would bring. Not only did you lose Thorin, but you also lost your great friends as well. You knew Kili and Fili would ultimately take their uncle’s side in things, and once they learned the truth, they wouldn’t trust you anymore. You saw it already. Neither of them had visited you since the night of the dinner. You didn’t blame them.

Possibly the worst thing of all was the thought of you losing your new home. You expected Thorin to kick you out of his kingdom. You didn’t deserve to be there, you weren’t even really a dwarf. After inquiring about Thorin, Mevina shortly told you he had moved his chambers to the other side of the mountain. He couldn’t even bear to share the same corridor, you thought.

Where would you go if you were sent out of Erebor? There was no other place for a dwarf to live. You didn’t know how to fight, or hunt, or cook game. You had no skills to be a trades person or a merchant. You saw yourself starving alone in this realm. Asking Gandalf to send you home never even crossed your mind. You couldn’t do that to them, no matter how much pain the sons of Durin were causing you. It was all your fault anyway.

Almost a week had passed since that awful night. You sat on the bed and stared out the window of your chambers while your thoughts raced on and on. A knock at your door hardly pulled you out of your trance. “Come in, Mevina.”

“What about me? May I come in?”

You turned to see Fili and stood. “Yes, come in, please.”

He closed the door behind him and sat on the bed with a deep sigh. “Sit, (Y/N).” When you obeyed, he continued. “Gandalf has been to speak with us- me, Thorin, and Kili. He explained everything.”

“You don’t believe him.”

“Actually I do. Gandalf doesn’t lie.” He took your hand. “And neither do you.”

Just when you thought your body was out of tears, more came. “Fili, I’m so sorry. Everything was a lie! I’m just so sorry. You were such a good friend to me.”

“I’m still your friend, (Y/N). This whole thing, none of it seems to be your fault.”

Your eyes widened. Intense relief floated from the pits of your stomach into your chest. Fili’s smile was as bright as it always was. You shook your head and sighed. “It is my fault. I should have told you right away what happened. I should have never let it go this far. You all trusted me.”

“We still do.”

You squeezed his hand. “I don’t deserve your friendship.”

“Stop it. A part of you saved our lives- whether it was the physical you or the dream you, I don’t care! You hadn’t even met any of us, but you already loved us enough to make that wish. Our friendship isn’t a lie. Our ridiculous secret jokes, all the time we spent in the valley, the scar on your arm Kili gave you? None of it is a lie.”

You hugged him fiercely. “Thank you for understanding.”

He hummed in your ear and held your waist tight. “There is one part I still don’t understand. You confessed your love for my uncle and then decided that the middle of a courting bead ritual was the right time to tell him all this.”

You shrank. “Yeah.”

“Do you know him at all?” he laughed.

“I couldn’t keep it from him any longer, Fili. I respect him too much. I couldn’t go into our relationship with a lie.”

“You really love him, don’t you?”

You fell back on the bed. “With all my heart.”

“Then, we’ll fix this.” He patted your leg.

You groaned loudly. “Good luck.”

Chapter Text

Your conversation with Fili lifted your heavy shoulders a bit. Knowing he and his brother still loved you and that you had a home with them comforted you. You couldn’t bear to sit another day alone in your chambers, so this morning, you awoke early and dressed yourself for a walk.

“You’ve awakened, my lady. Have some breakfast,” Mevina said, pushing her way through the door and placing a tray on the table next to the bed.

“You can leave it there, I will eat later,” you said, studying yourself in the mirror. You had unconsciously put on Thorin’s necklace and you stared at it around your neck trying to force yourself to take it off. Instead, you tucked it beneath your tunic.

“You have barely eaten this past week,” Mevina said.

The concern in her voice made you take a large piece of bread from the tray. “I was planning a walk through the gardens. The change of weather has brought new colors I haven’t yet seen here. Do you know if the King…” Your voice trailed away. You were ashamed to be asking so much of Mevina as you pulled her into your problems.

“The King is said to be in the throne room for the rest of the day. I do not believe you will see him in the gardens.”

You smiled and whispered a thanks, following her out the door.

The valley was empty as you quickly crossed it to reach the gardens. You would rather be unseen, for you wanted to roam the flowers and arches alone. As you expected, it all brought memories that were too painful to share with others. You grinned sadly at the memory of Thorin dressing the wound Kili gave you as you passed the very bench you two sat on.

You ducked under the arch and were immediately hidden from outside view by the dark green leaves that were speckled with white and pink blossoms. You slowly circled the inside of your hidden fortress, enjoying the bright colors and earthly scents. You were gently running your fingers through a cluster of soft petals when you heard the shuffle of movement behind you.

“I beg your pardon. I shouldn’t be here, I will go,” you said, barely looking at Thorin who was sitting were he proposed courtship to you not many days ago.

“Nonsense. I am the one who shouldn’t be here. I am once again running from my duties.” His voice was a grumble despite his polite demeanor.

You weren’t quite sure what to say, so you turned to the flowers you had previously been studying.

“You are fond of your silver, aren’t you?” he asked.

You looked to him in question.

“Your necklace. I have never seen you without it.”

At its mention, your fingers immediately rose to clutch the necklace in your fingers. In your haste to reach the gardens, it had found its way to the outside of your tunic. “It is beautiful, but I am ever fond of it because you gave it to me.”

He stiffened. “Is what Gandalf said true, then?”

“I don’t know exactly what he’s told you. But from my conversations with Fili, I believe you know the whole story. It is true.”

“So you lied.”

You winced. “Yes.”

He rose and slowly crossed to you. “You said that you didn’t save our lives, but that is untrue.”

“No, I wasn’t actually there.”

“You rescued us the only way you knew how. You cared for my nephews and I so deeply before we had even met you. I have never met a truer heart.” His thumb barely brushed your cheek and you leaned into his touch, closing your eyes.

“I should have told you sooner. I’m so sorry.”

“And I am sorry for treating you so poorly. I said things I didn’t mean and I would take it all back if I could. Oh, don’t cry, amrâlimê.”

You smiled brightly through your tears and hugged him fiercely. He held your waist and you felt his fingers run through your hair and his gentle kiss on your forehead.

“I knew I couldn’t stay away from you for long. You are my One, (Y/N).”

You looked up at him and found his soft, adoring smile. “I am?”

“Of course you are. That’s why Gandalf brought you here to me. He knew it even before we did.”

You gasped. “That sneaky wizard.” You laughed and felt his chuckles rumble in his chest. “And you wanted me to marry Fili.”

He laughed whole heartedly and led you over to the bench. Again, he pulled out the courting beads he made for you. “Has your answer to my proposition changed?”

“It has only grown to a stronger ‘yes,’” you said.

He kissed you passionately before claiming a lock of your hair. His fingers deftly braided and weaved the clasp with such gentle movements, you shivered and leaned closer to him. “Does this mean I don’t have to do my own hair anymore? Because I really suck at Dwarven braids.”

“I know you do.”

You squealed. “They’re really hard! I’m not from here!”

“Amrâlimê, I will never let you do your own hair again as long as you’re mine.”

When he finished his first braid, he wrapped his arms around you. You leaned your back into his chest and spent the rest of the day admiring the wonderful spring colors of the garden with your love.