“My king, forgive me for being bold, but you seem very exhausted.”
Blue and tired eyes turned to gaze at a trusted servant of the Kingdom, her kind eyes gazing into his own. The king sighed upon his throne and replied.
“Aye, it seems that being a king and a father was a task I did not expect to be so….troublesome.”
The maiden chuckled softly before replying, fluffing his furs gently.
“Hm, but it is a task that you handle very well, my king.”
The king smiled lightly before the maiden added with a small smile.
“That child of yours is a mischievous little dwarrow. It’s almost impossible to send her off to bed. My cousin Hora turns to me often for help.”
The king chuckled and replied.
“Aye, that be true. I must admit that it is a feat she acquired from her father.”
The maiden smiled and just as she opened her mouth, the doors to the throne room slammed open. A young dwarrow ran in, her eyes bright as the mischief swirled deeply within them. Within her arms was a basket of food, her cheeks bulging from the food within them, and Hora, the newly appointed governess and nurse of the King’s child, chased after.
“Princess (Y/n), you will get back here and give me that food this instant!”
You giggled loudly as you ran to your father’s throne, your thick hair bouncing as you ran, and the maiden beside the king, Nora, chuckled as you ran up and hid behind your father’s robes, quickly shoveling more food into your mouth from the platter in your hands.
Hora did not dare to lay her hands on you nor the king’s robes as you hid behind the furs, and the King laughed lightly.
“I see she is in high spirits today.”
Hora bowed lightly.
“My apologies, King Thorin. It seems the princess was feeling far more adventurous today and found her way into the kitchen after trying to avoid going to bed!”
Your bright eyes peeked out from around your father’s furs and you smiled widely, juices from the apple within your mouth running down your slightly bearded face. Hora squinted at you, saying.
“Yes, you. You know what you’ve done, and don’t think I didn’t see the help you were getting!”
You giggled again, and your father picked you up, smiling down at you. You held the platter up lightly, speaking around the bits of apple in your mouth.
Your father picked a strawberry from the platter, taking a bite and chuckling.
“What trouble are you getting yourself into now, uzfakuh?”
You swallowed and replied, grabbing a roll from the platter.
“I was hungry.”
“And who was this person that was helping you steal from the kitchen?”
Hora raised her eyebrows when you stayed quiet and answered for you.
“My King, it was the young Vonnir of Stilda of the Iron Hills.”
At his name, you perked up and began to squirm in your father’s lap, trying to get away so you could run to Vonnir’s hiding place, but your father kept a hold of you.
“I see. (Y/n) has taken quite a liking to young Vonnir. Do we know where he is?”
“No, he ran off as soon as I came into the room. The Princess did not notice me until I had called for her.”
You giggled from around your bite of bread, and your father took another strawberry before holding the tray for Nora. You whined, but your father hushed you.
“You’ve had quite enough, little thief.”
You pouted heavily, Nora bowing as she took the platter away. You squirmed a bit more before your father sighed lightly.
“Hora, please go with Nora. It seems the kitchen will need to be guarded this night.”
The two maids chuckled, and you yawned deeply, resting your head against your father’s chest. His large hand rubbed your upper arm gently, and he asked softly.
“Have you had enough of your mischievous antics for the night?”
You nodded, and your father kissed your head softly, standing and beginning to walk to your chambers.
“Please don’t punish Vonnir. It was my idea to go into the kitchen.”
You mumbled against his chest. Your father shook his head, saying.
“Nonsense. It was never my intention to punish you.”
You hummed a bit, yawning once more, and in no time, your father had gotten you to your chambers. Lying you down beneath your fur covers, your father kissed your forehead, and you asked.
“Adad, will you stay with me?”
Your father was quiet, seeming to contemplate it before sighing and climbing into the bed with you. His back rest against the headboard, and your head took refuge against his thigh. Your father gently carded his hands through your hair, and you mumbled softly as you scratched your face lightly, bits of hair falling from your fingers.
“Adad, why does my face shed like a warg? Am I sick?”
Your father sighed, looking down at you and watching as you flicked your fingers, the dark strands of hair falling to the fur blanket below.
“I do not know why, my child.”
You looked up at your father and pouted, reaching up to scratch at his beard.
“But when my fingers touch your hair, it does not come out like mine.”
Your father gazed at the large patch of skin that had been uncovered from the hair that had shed there, and he gently rubbed his thumb against the skin.
“Perhaps you are not to have hair like mine. It is nothing to be ashamed of.”
“But Nora, Hora, and even Mora have their beards. Their hair does not fall out. Even Vonnir and Lady Stilda have their hair.”
You pouted and mumbled, lying back down.
“I want to look like you, Adad.”
Your father sighed and ran his fingers through your hair, saying.
“Do not fret, child. Even if you lose the hair upon your face, you will not lose the blood that runs through your veins.”
You nodded lightly, and your father began to hum you to sleep. As you fell asleep, your father shook his head lightly, his fingers gently carding through the thinning patch of hair on your chin and jaw. When his fingers came back, dark strands littered his fingers. It was alarming how fast your beard was coming off, and though Thorin had consulted Oin, not even the healer knew what was causing the hair-loss.
Oin had speculated that perhaps your mother had been of not just of dwarrow blood, but of another race as well…perhaps of Men or Elves. Thorin had refuted it, stating that his One could never had been of Elvish blood of any kind for her ears had not been pointed nor was she abnormally tall for a dwarf. She had been short and heavy, a thick beard upon her face that was always braided with beautiful silver and gold beads.
She had a thick head of hair that reached her knees, many braids intertwined to create one long braid that was always swept over her right breast. If she had any elvish blood within her, Edria had hid it well. However, it was highly unlikely. If there was any foreign blood within her, it would have to be of Men. There was no other explanation for your sudden shedding. Sighing, Thorin laid his head back. No matter what it was, it did not change the blood that ran through your veins. You would still be his most prized jewel, the most priceless coin in the kingdom, and he would tear down those who dared to defy that.
As the years passed on, your beard had completely shed, leaving just a youthful face. They had never been to discern the reason why your face had shed its hair, but it had made you no less the dwarf that you were. You had since then grown, becoming taller, your forehead coming to his lips. Your mischievous ways had only since then grown with the help of his sister-sons, Fili and Kili, and your friend, Vonnir.
Thorin had been able to finally meet the lad after a week since the kitchen incident, his bright brown eyes just as curious and mischievous as your own. He was a very curious dwarrow, his beard already fully in by the time he had come of age. Thorin had found that if you weren’t sparring in the courtyard, weren’t found roaming Esgaroth, or were causing mischief in the halls of Erebor, you could be found with Vonnir doing only Mahal knows what.
When you had turned 100, a fresh adult in the realm, a war had broken out as orcs had tried to retake Erebor. Without hesitation, you had gone out to fight despite the protests of the company and your father. The dwarves of Erebor were quick to ensemble and follow you as you charged on without hesitation. Each and every orc that fell, the more exhausted you became. You were not used to war nor battle, but for the sake of your kingdom, you fought with vigor.
A sudden body came back to back with you, and you were startled for a moment before a loud laugh sounded.
“Look at all these filth. I bet you’ve never gotten the chance to see one so up and close. Smell as good as you thought they would?”
You grinned, slamming your sword against your opponents before kicking their shin and stabbing them in the chest.
“Better than you on a good day, Son of Stilda of the Iron Hills!”
The man’s baritone laugh echoed through the battlefield, his long brown hair waving and kissing his thighs as he spun. His thick beard covered most of his face, but it did not hide his smile. Though Vonnir’s face was marred with blood, soot, grime, and cuts, his spirit was still high. You both smiled at each other before stabbing the orcs coming for your backs, seeming to dance together as you killed orcs and goblins alike.
From across the battle field, your father kept a very close eye on you, watching as you danced and fought with Vonnir. It made him wonder if Vonnir was your One because of how closely tied you two had been since your days of naming. Thorin sliced down an orc, and he tried to begin making his way to you.
Fili and Kili met with Thorin and announced to him, swords clanging noisily around them.
“Their leader has been brought down, but they don’t seem to be letting up. What do we do?”
“Send for the Rams, Dain will be able to run them down.”
Fili and Kili’s eyes widened at the booming voice of their cousin, and your father spun as you yelled at the top of your lungs, almost louder than all the shouting and clanking of weapons.
Your sword swept through the neck of an orc, cutting its head straight clean off of its shoulders, and it was then that Thorin noticed Vonnir was no longer beside you. His heart dropped to his stomach, and he watched you duck down. A shocked-looking Vonnir was slung across your side as you went back up, and your eyes were wild now. Dain announced his presence with a loud ‘Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!’ as his army of dwarves and rams ran across the battlefield. Thorin began to make his way to you, but an onslaught of orcs blocked his way.
“Get to your cousin! Now!”
Thorin ordered Fili and Kili, his heart beginning to race as he heard your yell of pain. Dwalin came beside Thorin, swinging his axe, and he yelled to the company.
“Clear the way! Protect the Princess!”
When the onslaught had cleared, Thorin’s mouth was in awe. You had been cut numerous times, your back bleeding heavily. You had small daggers sticking from your legs, but despite all, you had Vonnir’s body draped across your shoulders, hauling him towards the kingdom. You were clenching your teeth, your boots slamming onto the ground from how heavy they seemed to feel to you as you tried to walk up the stairs of the gates of Erebor.
Vonnir was unconscious, limp against your shoulders, and it was then that Thorin noticed the tears running down your face. Fili and Kili ran to you, trying to take Vonnir, but you began to cuss them out, determined on taking Vonnir yourself. Instead, Fili and Kili stayed by either side of you, hands carefully keep hold of you and holding you up as you carried Vonnir.
Dain came to Thorin, the dwarf looking around at the battlefield, the orcs being run down by Dain’s Rams.
“We are victorious again, but it is strange they came after Erebor again.”
Thorin nodded, glancing around.
“I sense there is foul play within this war…this was not some random attack.”
Dain nodded before looking back at Thorin.
“Aye, I will keep on the lookout in the Iron Hills.”
Dain’s eyes carried over to Fili, Kili, and you, and he sighed.
“Go on, lad. Your kin needs you more than the battle field.”
Thorin nodded lightly, despite being torn on staying, and he quickly ran after you. When he caught up to you, you had just entered the infirmary, setting Vonnir down before demanding, your eyes wild.
“Save him, now! That is an order from the daughter of King Thorin Oakenshield, the son of Thrain, the son of Thror!”
You roared, the maidens, your cousins, Oin, and even Thorin widening their eyes and jumping from their surprise. Quickly, the maidens began to work on Vonnir, and Oin came to you, holding you up as you began to wobble.
“Lass, you need to lie down and allow me to assist you.”
“No, I have to be here with him!”
Oin shook his head and Thorin helped him drag you back to a bed opposite of Vonnir’s, your eyes never leaving his limp body.
“No, stop! Stop, I must stay by his side!”
“(Y/n), you will lie down on this bed!”
Your father snapped, and you shook your head, trying to fight them. However, you had grown incredibly weak, your body tired from the fighting and the wounds you had obtained from focusing only on Vonnir.
“Father, I can’t leave him!”
“You will stay in this bed. That is an order from your King!”
Thorin asserted loudly. You hissed at him, and Thorin had half of a nerve to sew your lips shut. His anger dissipated lightly as you cried, calling for your friend to awaken, and Oin shook his head.
“I can’t work with her so hysterical like this, Thorin.”
A nervous voice replied.
“I can help.”
Thorin spun to see Bilbo Baggins in the doorway, holding a vial that held a sedative inside, and Oin shared a look with Thorin before the King nodded.
“Master Baggins, when did you arrive?”
“I was supposed to leave before daybreak…but I saw the orcs while on my way and I came to warn you as fast as I could…but I was too late. I’m sorry, Thorin.”
Thorin shook his head, placing his bloodied hands on Bilbo’s shoulders.
“Worry not, my friend. You are here now to help my child. That’s all I can ask of you.”
Bilbo smiled lightly, nodding before he straightened up.
“Alright, tell me what to do.”
When you awoke, it was quiet within the room, save for the small snoring sounding from beside you. Your eyes fluttered open, and you turned your head to see your father seated next to you, head against the wall and sleeping. His hand was in yours, holding onto you tightly. Sighing, you looked around the room, your eyes landing on Vonnir’s bed and eyes widening.
Vonnir was still upon the bed, breathing albeit shallowly. He looked pale, sweat running down his forehead, and you slowly sat up. Your wounds protested, but you were determined to get up. Your father shifted lightly, and you froze, glancing over at him before moving again once the snores started back up. Taking your hand from his own, you slowly got up and limped to Vonnir’s bedside. Sitting down on the edge, you gazed down upon his fever-flushed face.
It was clear that infection had settled in already.
Your heart dropped into your stomach, and you whispered softly.
“My friend, you must pull through. You must.”
Vonnir’s eyes fluttered lightly, and his eyes gazed into yours weakly.
You nodded, his body seeming to relax as your hand rested on his bandaged chest, gently splaying within the thick chest hair that littered his skin. His heart was beating irregularly, and you whispered.
“I am here, my friend. Take it easy.”
A tear fell from his eye, and you bit your lip. You replied.
“I know, but you must hang on. You are not to leave with Mahal just yet.”
Vonnir nodded slightly, and you sighed lightly, head falling as his eyes fluttered closed again. A hand on your shoulder made you look up, and it was then you noticed the snoring had stopped. Your father stood there before you, his eyes tired and still dirty from the battle.
“Uzfakuh, you shouldn’t be up.”
You swallowed thickly before replying.
“I needed to be with him for a bit.”
Thorin nodded lightly before helping you up, walking you back to your bed and settling you into it.
“I know, but we must not risk you getting infection either. Oin is doing all that he can right now.”
You shook your head, muttering.
“Where is Kili’s One? That elleth should be able to help Vonnir like she did Kili.”
Thorin rubbed his forehead before replying.
“Tauriel is all the way in Mirkwood. It will be too late. We must make-do.”
“You must make-do. I won’t.”
You hissed, your back protesting greatly as you lied back down. Your father shook his head and murmured while kissing your forehead.
“Do not be difficult with me. This is not up for debate.”
You hissed again, again, and your head fell back against the pillow. Thorin shook his head before ordering.
“Stay in this bed and do not get up again. I’ll send for Oin.”
You gave him a look, and your father glared at you.
“I’m serious, (Y/n).”
You huffed before relaxing, and your father left the room. It was quiet, save for Vonnir’s ragged breathing, and you sighed deeply. Eyes closing, you began to pray to Mahal to be merciful to Vonnir. A moment later, the door opened, and Oin and Thorin walked in.
“It’s good to see that you are awake.”
“Still feel like shit.”
Oin snickered, and your father gave you a look despite the amusement in his eyes. Oin came to your bedside, and you shook your head.
“Go to Vonnir. He needs you more than I do. I will be fine.”
Oin shared a look with your father, and your father nodded before sitting beside you. As Oin worked with Vonnir, your eyes had closed, brows furrowed. Your father began to clean your face, and you asked.
“We were victorious, yes?”
“Yes. Dain was able to drive them away, but I’m afraid that this was no chance battle.”
You hummed and muttered.
“Must be followers of Azog, that piece of filth.”
You hissed when the cold cloth your father had wiped a large cut on your chin, and he hummed.
“Whatever they might be, they will not be taking Erebor.”
You nodded, and Oin sat back, rubbing the back of his neck.
“The infection has spread significantly. I’m afraid that this goes beyond my capabilities. We will need a much more skilled healer or Lady Tauriel if we want to have hope for a chance to save Vonnir.”
Thorin replied, shaking his head.
“Tauriel is in Mirkwood at this moment. She will not arrive in time.”
Oin sighed lightly, biting his lip.
“Then…I’m afraid that there isn’t much that we can do for him unless we get our hands on a much more skilled healer.”
Thorin could see the graveness within Oin’s eyes, and he slowly looked down at you. Your eyes had stayed to the ceiling, looking as though you had been once again struck by a blade. You seemed to have grown pale, and Thorin’s shoulders fell. Bilbo’s head peeked around the doorframe, and Thorin walked out with Oin silently following, shutting the door.
“How is she?”
Bilbo asked. Thorin replied softly.
“She will be alright…but I cannot say the same fate is ensured for Vonnir.”
Bilbo’s shoulders fell slightly, shaking his head.
“The infection has spread too fast.”
Oin spoke up, crossing his arms.
“I wondered if one of the wounds Vonnir had obtained was by a poisoned blade, but we didn’t find any poison.”
Thorin sighed deeply. If there was nothing that they could do, then the only thing that they could do was make sure Vonnir was comfortable. Bilbo spoke up after a pregnant pause, admitting.
“We don’t think that he will live through the night.”
Thorin’s heart dropped to his chest, and he rubbed his forehead. For years, Thorin had watched the friendship between his daughter and Vonnir grow. He had watched Vonnir grow up, and though Thorin would never say it out loud, he had hoped that Vonnir was your One because of how deep your bond with each other was.
If Vonnir was not your One, then Mahal was simply cruel.
Thorin looked back into the room, eyeing Vonnir’s pain-stricken face, and he shook his head.
“This will not be an easy night.”
Bilbo’s lips twitched a bit and he sighed, looking down at his feet before glancing at the Princess, who had long since gone to sleep.
“No, but we can help hold this burden for (Y/n)…and make it as easy as we can for Vonnir.”
Oin and Thorin nodded, and Dwalin walked up to Thorin, Dain by his side.
“The orcs have been fully eradicated. If one escaped, they won’t be alive much longer.”
Dain asked, almost eager as he peeked into the room.
“How is she?”
Thorin replied, scratching his beard as he watched you sleep, though almost restlessly as your brows furrowed.
“She will be alright, but the same fate can hardly be assured for her friend.”
Dain shook his head.
“Stilda is a fine lass. It’s a shame to see such a strong khazad be sent off with Mahal so soon. She’s going to be devastated.”
Thorin nodded before stating.
“He would have made a fine King for (Y/n).”
The dwarves and hobbit were quiet for a moment before a low groan made their eyes turn to the room. Vonnir’s head turned a bit, and Oin walked in, asking.
“How are you doing, lad?”
“I…I would like some water, please.”
Oin grabbed a goblet and filled it, gently tipping it back into Vonnir’s mouth. Vonnir drank greedily, and soon enough, the goblet was empty. Letting his head fall back into the bed, Vonnir looked at Thorin.
Thorin sat beside Vonnir, and Vonnir whispered.
“I tried…I tried to keep her safe…”
“Don’t speak, Vonnir. You need to save what strength you have.”
Vonnir’s breathing was shallow, and he tried to take a couple deep breaths, an acute wheezing coming from his chest.
“Is she okay?”
“Yes, a couple of wounds here and there, but she will pull through.”
Vonnir nodded and mumbled.
“I’m so happy.”
His eyes closed a bit, and he asked after a moment.
“If…if it’s not too much to ask….can I see her?”
Thorin nodded a bit, saying quietly.
“Of course you can, my son.”
Vonnir seemed shocked from Thorin’s words, and Thorin sat up, walking to your bed. He gently cooed to you, waking you from your light sleep.
“My child, you need to wake up.”
Your eyes shot open, and you looked at your father.
“I’m here. Vonnir is awake and asking for your presence.”
You immediately got up, your father keeping a steady hand on you, and you limped to Vonnir’s bedside. He smiled up at you when he saw you, and your hands intertwined.
“Didn’t think you could carry me up those stairs.”
You shook your head and replied.
“You should know by now not to underestimate me, Vonnir.”
He chuckled a bit before he winced, and you asked him.
“Is there anything I can do?”
“Stay with me…stay with me for a while?”
You whispered to him softly, kissing his hand gently.
“I would never dream of leaving you.”
Vonnir smiled kindly up at you, his other hand gently cupping your face, and he mumbled to you.
“You have always been there by my side….haven’t you…always there…”
You bit your lip, nodding. You replied back softly.
“I can’t imagine myself being anywhere else…you were always by my side…it is only fair that I gave you that same privilege.”
“No, it is not a privilege to have spent my life by your side…it is a blessing.”
Your eyes filled with tears as you looked down at your friend. Vonnir was pale, his drying blood scattered along his battered body. His brown hair was matted, the braids lining his face frizzy and the beads broken or dented. His mouth, surrounded by his brunette hair and braids as well, was in a small smile.
You sniffled, gently caressing his face as you sat beside him on the bed, the room silent except for the sound of your lowly weeping. You whispered to him softly when you could tell that Mahal was starting to call to him.
“Hurun ganat, bâheluh. May Mahal bring you riches that Erebor never could.”
Vonnir smiled weakly, his hand resting on yours gently.
“He brought me you, didn’t he?”
You held in your sobs, though Vonnir could see your face get red from the amount of strength you were using to not cry before him. You were so strong, weren’t you? Of course. It was to be expected from the daughter of Thorin Oakenshield, the King under the Mountain. You sniffled deeply and said to him, leaning down to kiss his forehead.
“Mahal be with you, my dearest friend. May we meet again in Mandos in the halls Mahal has prepared for us…and after Dagor Dagorath in our quest to rebuild Arda.”
Vonnir smiled brightly at you before the light began to fade from his eyes. His hand became limp, slipping from your own, and you could feel your heart beginning to break. Despite his body becoming limp, his smile never left his face, his eyes still gazing into yours, and you finally cried.
It was no booming sobs nor the thunderous cries often heard by those who have lost, but the soft weeping of the yearning heart that filled the room where Death was so ever-present.
You leaned down once more, kissing his forehead.
A hand on your shoulder grabbed your attention, but you dared not to look away from the man you had called your friend for many years.
“Lass, we have to dress him now.”
You sniffled and replied, gently caressing Vonnir’s chilling face, watching as the blood began to slowly drain from his face.
“I wish for a few more moments…I refuse to enlighten the possibility that I forget his face in the coming years…”
Oin sighed lightly before turning away, ushering all but your father from the room. Thorin gazed on at you with sad eyes, wishing there was a way to take your pain from you. However, Thorin knew there was nothing that he could do for you except try to be there for you…but Mahal bless him, he had no idea what he could do. He was flawed when it came to comfort despite being blessed with word.
You swallowed thickly before gently closing his eyes. You whispered softly, knowing that your father was the only one left in the room.
“Even in death, he still wears that stupid smile on his face. A sanûrzud.”
Your fingers left his face, and your father blinked softly before replying, his voice almost a lowly whisper as if not to disturb your aching heart.
“Mahal is blessed to have him,” he paused before your father asked you. “What can I do to ease your pain, uzfakuh?”
You looked down at your thighs, your hands resting limply within your lap, and you admitted to him.
“There is nothing that you can do, adad. This is a grief that will plague me far more deeply than comfort and words can heal. I lost a great friend today.”
Your cheeks stained with more tears as the reality of it all settled in. You were never going to see your friend again until Mahal called you to Mandos, and you knew that Mahal wouldn’t call you for a very long time. You were destined to be the Queen under the Mountain...Mahal wouldn’t be so cruel as to take you before you could even reign, was he?
Did you even deserve to reign anymore? How could you be the Queen under the Mountain and protect your people if you couldn’t even protect those close to you.
Your father looked on at you, his own grief darkening his visage. He knew that no amount of words could ever heal you from this great loss that you were suffering, but Thorin hoped and prayed to Mahal that you would find comfort within the hearts of those you still had. Thorin was selfish in hoping that it would be him that you would turn to. After all, he was your father and you, his daughter. Thorin wanted nothing more than to be the pillar that you leaned on just like you were his.
“Nâthuê kurdu, words will never heal a grieving heart, but I pray to Mahal that you know and understand that I will be here waiting for you when you need me.”
You paused a moment before turning to look at him from over your shoulder. Thorin’s eyes softened at the sight of your tear-streaked face, your eyes puffy from your grief, and you sighed lightly, turning away again.
“I understand, adad. I will come to you when I am ready. For now…for now, I would like to be alone with him.”
Thorin nodded lightly.
“Do not hesitate to come to me, uzfakuh.”
Without another word, Thorin left, and you were left alone to your own devices. Gently, you caressed Vonnir’s cold skin. In this moment, you wished you had no heart for your pain was far too great. No battle, no years of life lived nor could the stories of death have ever prepared you for the pain of losing a loved one. Sure, you had lost your mother, but it was before you had even taken your first breath. You hadn’t known her, and while Edria, as your father had claimed her name to be, was your mother, you had not mourned her, not even in your beginning years.
This was a death that you could mourn, and your heart did not hesitate to do so.
Gently, you leaned down and kissed Vonnir softly, whispering as you rest your forehead against his own.
“I hope Mahal keeps you warm, my friend.”
Finally, you stood and carefully exited the room, Oin waiting outside the room. He cast you a sympathetic look, and you simply just sighed before walking away, holding a hand to your side. Rubbing your forehead, you could feel yourself becoming fatigued. The trek to your room seemed so long, and when you arrived, all you could do was slip your bloodied boots off and fall face-first into the luxurious blankets and pillows.
Hugging your pillow into your body, your eyebrows furrowed lightly. How was it that this life was cruel to you? Your eyes closed, and you fell into a deep sleep, the exhaustion and grief hanging onto ever fiber of your being.
In the following days, you had attended Vonnir’s funeral and became recluse, a complete change from the once boisterous and confident princess you had been. As the days rolled by, you fell deeper and deeper into your grief. You found yourself too tired too often, often times just staying inside of your room while staring out the window, changing your bandages as often as you needed to.
You had asked your maidens to inform the kingdom that you did not want to be bothered, and so it was. Not even your father was willing to go against your wishes, no matter how much he longed to. When the kingdom began to ask questions about the missing princess of the Lonely Mountain, your father had simply stated that you were still trying to heal from the wounds you had obtained from battle.
The kingdom would not deny that it missed you while most began to spread rumors, as was to be expected. The kingdom was missing its rambunctious, boisterous, and proud princess; the princess that would storm through the halls of Erebor while proudly displaying the meat she had been able to catch to feed her people. It missed the warrior-maiden that would storm through the halls after a successful battle she had willingly joined in, chanting her victories through the halls with drink and song.
The kingdom was quiet without the confident and loud Princess (Y/n).
Some had speculated that you had run away after the battle with a lover to live a much happier life, some had even speculated that you had passed, but your father cared not to elaborate. It was strictly your business, and you would come forth when you felt the time was right.
You had begun to lose weight, not even having motivation to fully eat whatever food your maidens would bring you. Perhaps an apple here or there, but never a full meal. You could hardly stomach much. You were sure that you had begun to smell as well, only bathing when you felt motivated to or when you felt comfortable enough to allow your maidens to bathe you.
Your maidens were growing concerned each day that passed, and while they didn’t want to possibly anger the King, they also didn’t want something to happen to you. You paid them no mind.
However, your grief had begun to turn into something far uglier than even Smaug himself.
Often times, you found yourself wondering if it would even be worth living on without your friend. Besides, his death had been your fault, had it not? Had you been more vigilant…had you kept your eyes on him…he would be here by your side and not with Mahal in Mandos. You could have done so much better, but you had failed. What kind of princess were you? What kind of heir were you to allow your own kin to die?
It spiraled you into a deep madness; a damaging sickness that kept your heart locked within the tiny cage enclosing it. You did not gain your wake-up call until the last light of Durin’s Day. While festivities ensued throughout the kingdom, you had found yourself climbing out of your window and up the side of the walls of the kingdom, crawling up to the very top of the front gate to Erebor.
The wind kissed your cold and fragile skin, the cold settling in deeply as you kept your forehead against the wall, not yet ready to look down upon the world. However, after a moment, you finally turned to gaze upon the realm. Almost instantly, it took your breath away.
As the last moon of Autumn and the first sun of Winter shined in the sky, it cast the land before you in beautiful light. The city of Esgaroth was lit in beautiful light, people in the streets and dancing as music echoed from the lively city. For a moment, all that you could do was stare.
This was what your father had promised you.
A land of prosperity and beauty recovered from the desolation of Smaug and the battle of the five armies; music, love, and laughter filling the once-vacant halls and vacant walls of Esgaroth and the kingdom of Erebor as he recreated the home his ancestors had dreamed of. He had promised you a just and righteous kingdom for you to grow up in and thrive in so that you may one day take the throne for your own.
Is this what you wanted to throw away?
Did you really want to throw all of this away because of your grief? Yes, you had cared about Vonnir deeply, but these were your people. These were the ones that you swore you would protect and honor the moment the crown depicted you as queen and not just a princess.
And what about your father?
Your father depended on you just like you depended on him. After losing his One, you were all he had left. His only child that he would ever have, and here you were ready to take that from him. You had no right. You had no right to call yourself neither a princess nor a daughter…and never the future Queen of Erebor.
Climbing down carefully, you bit your lip as you sniffled, the cold sinking deep into your weak body. Wrapping yourself up in your fur coat, you sighed and gazed at yourself in the mirror. You were pale, eyes and cheeks slightly sunken in, and you noticed that your body seemed…smaller. Your stomach growled, and you hungrily began to eat the food that had been brought to your chamber moments before your climbing expedition to the top of the front gate.
Cheeses and bread; goat meat and vegetables filled your stomach, and already, color began to crawl back into your face. You washed your face and hair, brushing through the ratted tangles before rebraiding some of the braids. Your eyes fell onto the braid that your father had done for you, the family crest of the bead he had used to seal the braid glinting in the light. Gently, you rubbed at the bead, your heart falling into your chest. How cruel it was of you to neglect your own kin.
Drying your hair quickly, you made yourself presentable, wearing a dark blue tunic and black trousers, adorning silver and gold jewelry and lacing up your leather boots. You would not allow your father, the king, to see his daughter in such a state of wear-and-tear.
Coming out of your room, one of the maidens was coming to your room to seemingly check on you. The dwarrowdam’s eyes widened at the sight of you, and she bowed deeply.
You swallowed thickly, almost feeling embarrassed, and you asked.
“Please, you do not bow to me. Where is my father?”
The maiden replied to you, standing up straight.
“Your father is in his chambers. Shall I call to him that you are requesting his presence?”
You shook your head, already beginning to walk to your father’s bedroom.
“No need to bother. I have legs.”
As you approached his room, your heart began to drop in anxiety, and you thickly swallowed as you stood before his door. Bringing your hand up, your knuckles rapped against the door. Your father’s voice smoothly came through.
You slowly opened the door, almost shy, and your father looked up at you from his desk. His eyes widened lightly, and he said quietly.
Thorin was heartbroken when he set his eyes upon you. Despite looking very cleaned up, it was evident how much of a toll your grief had taken on you. You seemed lighter in weight, your cheeks and eyes sunken slightly and reminding him of an elf, though much more sickly and tired. Your eyes were ringed in red from lack of sleep, bags beneath your eyes, and Thorin wondered how often you had actually slept.
Your fingers twiddled together, and for a moment, it was quiet before Thorin watched your eyes well up with tears. You walked to him, and Thorin gladly welcomed you up into his arms as you climbed into his lap like you used to when you were younger.
You held onto him tightly, silently weeping, and you asked him softly after a moment, his large hand running up and down your back soothingly as he whispered comforting words to you.
“Does it ever get easier, adad? Does this pain ever go away? Every time I think of finally letting Vonnir go, he comes back to haunt me in my dreams…and while I welcome his presence, I cannot stand to be within it knowing that it was I that had failed him.”
You clutched onto your father’s tunic tightly, teeth clenching as you vented.
“I found myself becoming selfish…and I stood upon the top of the front gate of Erebor, looking out at the land you had promised me…and I had intended to jump from it….seeking any way to end this ache that pulses below my breast.”
Your father tightened his hold on you slightly, terrified at the thought of you ending your own life…of losing his child. However, he stayed silent, knowing that you were not quite done just yet.
“I looked out at the land that you had promised me, listening to our people rejoice for the coming season, and it was then as the last light of Durin’s Day shined upon your kingdom that I remember who I am and who I am meant to be…but how may I be the future Queen of Erebor…how may I protect the people you have promised me when I can’t protect those who are the closest to me?”
You cried softly and pleaded.
“Adad…please, Mahal have mercy on me, I am so lost.”
Your father was quiet for a moment before he pushed you back to gaze into your eyes, cupping your face and resting his forehead against your own.
“Nâthuê kurdu, you are not lost. You have never been for I have been here with you…standing beside you as your King and father.”
Thorin’s eyes teared up lightly, and he whispered to you.
“Menu tessu…it would be I that is lost if you breathe your last breath before I breathed mine. You are young…and you still have so much to learn, uzfakuh. The loss that you suffered was far greater than any of us could have ever thought…and I hold regret within me for being negligent of you. I should have been paying more attention to you, but I overestimated you. I am sorry, my dearest child.”
You cried, shaking your head.
“No, you do not apologize to me when it is I that has been hurting you and your kingdom.”
You looked down, your tears falling onto his tunic and staining the fabric a much darker blue than it was, and you whispered as you clutched his face a bit tighter.
“Gajut men, adad. I have been so selfish and have forgotten the khajima Mahal blessed me with….I have neglected my duties as your child…and as Princess of Erebor. I have allowed my heart to grieve and become sick. Gajut men, adad…gajuet men.”
“You do not apologize to me, (Y/n). There is no wrong here to be forgiven.”
Your father cupped your face, kissing your forehead and temple before bringing you in closely. You wept against his shoulder, and his hand ran through your hair comfortingly, gently comforting you. After a moment, your cries had finally calmed, and your father pulled back to gently wipe your face dry.
“Uzfakuh, you need not worry or feel ashamed…even the strongest of dwarrows can be overcome with a sickness far greater than they can handle.”
He knew that very well himself. His lips kissed your forehead again, his beard scratching your skin. His fingers brushed back your hair lightly, and he sighed at the frizzy and messed up braid that he had braided into your hair when you had reached your maturity. It was a familial braid, expertly interwoven into a tight braid that was locked with a bead engraved with the family crest. You had not touched nor unlocked the braid since you had come of age, but it seemed that you father was willing to unlock it despite tradition that a locked braid should be undone except in the case of the hair becoming too long to hold the length of the braid, disowning, divorce, or death.
Your father pried the bead open, and he slowly took the braid apart, brushing the hair out. You stayed silent as he worked, his fingers lathering in a conditioning oil that would heal any strands of your hair that had become damaged. Slowly, he began to rebraid the hair, weaving the strands together incredibly tight so that it would not come undone or become frizzy too soon. His fingers weaved and tugged, but you paid no mind to the occasional tugging.
“Uzfakuh, I want you to promise me something.”
You looked into your father’s eyes, his eyes glancing into your own before looking down at your braid.
“When you feel the weight of Arda pulling you down…and you feel that there is no other way than death to escape that burden, allow me to be your way. Allow me to carry your burden so that death may not take you so soon. I could never live on knowing that you have breathed your last breath when I could have helped you to breathe one more. How may I be a king if I can’t even be a father to my only child?”
You looked away in shame, and your father gently grabbed your chin, turning your face to him.
“Do not look away as if your face makes me ashamed, nâthuê kurdu. I will never be ashamed of my own kin, no matter how sick their heart has become. I have no right to judge when I, too, had fallen into a deep sickness once.”
You blinked and asked quietly.
“You were sick like me once?”
“Not entirely like yours…but it was a shameful sickness. Dragon sickness plagued me when the company and I first reclaimed our homeland. The dragon’s hoard made me a different king…a tyrant upon his pile of riches. I almost killed Master Baggins and Dwalin in my haze of greed…and almost cost us Erebor had I not been shaken back into my senses.”
Your father hadn’t spoken much about the reclamation of Erebor, except for just that they had been able to reclaim it from Smaug. He didn’t enjoy speaking about the events that had transpired afterward either. You didn’t enjoy hearing about it. Knowing that there had been a chance that your father could have died just days after reclaiming Erebor hurt your heart, and you were glad that your father hadn’t been killed that fateful day.
“I will live by my words. Menu tessu….I will shout it from the gates of Erebor if I have to. You are worth more than any wealth Erebor could pour into this realm. I can’t stand the thought of losing you.”
He rest his forehead against yours, one hand holding the braid so it wouldn’t come undone and his other hand held your cheek. He brushed his thumb against your cheek, and he whispered.
“Mahal blessed me when he gave me you…and though you are in my image; your mother is reflected within your eyes.”
You closed your eyes and asked.
“Is it wrong for me to not miss a mother I never knew?”
Thorin’s heart sank slightly, but he answered instead.
“No, I will never shame you.”
Your father went back to braiding your hair, and you replied softly.
“Some of the maidens think it’s strange that I don’t miss my amad…but I’ve come to believe that I don’t need an amad when I’ve had you.”
Your father seemed to puff with pride at your words, touched deeply that you felt he was capable enough of raising you alone. Losing his One had hurt him deeply, but Thorin never wasted a second of raising you instead of grieving. When he had thrown a huge celebration after the victory of the Battle of the Five Armies, he had met his One. They had ruled for about two years before they had you, eager to keep the line of Durin going. Edria had died in child birth, and while Thorin had suffered a great loss, he had gained a great deal.
You made the walls of the underground kingdom seem so bright, and he enjoyed all of the memories that he had of you so far. Finishing your braid, he clasped the bead back over it. Thorin was quiet before he replied softly.
“It does me a great honor to know that I’ve raised you so well despite the loss we had both suffered. I thank Mahal every day for you.”
Your father kissed your forehead again before he stood up.
“Come, they will be serving food soon, and you must eat. You’ve become alarmingly thin.”
Your father held your hand, and you were slow to come up from your seat. You mumbled softly, still looking down at the ground.
“I don’t wish for the company to see me as such. I look terrible.”
Thorin shook his head lightly, kissing your head softly.
“Think no such way. You will become healthy again once you have much more food and drink than you have had.”
Your father pulled you along gently, and you followed after him. As you passed by the guards, their eyes followed you, making you shrink into your father’s side, and he said calmly.
“Be still, uzfakuh, there is no judgment within these halls.”
You simply stayed quiet, eyes to the ground. Thorin sighed lightly. It would take a while for you to become the you that Thorin knew, but even then, you wouldn’t truly be the same you. The doors to the dining room opened, and you swallowed thickly when you spied the whole company, even Bilbo, and some of your father’s advisors at the long table. When they spied you, their eyes widened.
It had been months since you had been in the public eye, and now that they saw you, they were only relieved. You took another breath as they all stood, and your father led you to the end of the long table, pulling out your chair for you. You sat down slowly, nodding your head at everyone as you did so, and you father pushed in your chair for you. Taking a seat beside you, servants began to bring the food in. Balin greeted you warmly.
“It’s great to see you once more, (Y/n).”
Your ears burned and you adjusted yourself in your seat, saying softly.
“It is rewarding being among you again.”
Your father smiled lightly, and Fili and Kili gave each other a look before they smiled at you.
“(Y/n), you should come with us to Esgaroth! I hear the pub is going to be very busy.”
A few of the dwarves gave hearty responses, and you rubbed the back of your neck.
“I don’t know if that’s a very good idea.”
“Come on, (Y/n)! We haven’t seen you in forever!”
Bilbo shook his head lightly, taking a piece of bread from his plate.
“Maybe we shouldn’t flock to her. This is her first public appearance in a while after all.”
Thorin gave Bilbo an appreciate look before agreeing.
“Aye, Master Baggins is right. (Y/n) needs to readjust back to normal life before you drag her to Esgaroth for a night of foolery.”
Fili and Kili pouted, and you gently touched Fili’s hand.
“Next time, we can go. I just need time right now.”
Fili smiled and patted your hand.
“Don’t worry, time is in your hands and your hands only.”
You nodded lightly, and the dwarves began to eat. You had noticed throughout the feast that some of the advisors that you did not recognize were giving you dark looks, and you were slightly confused as to why these advisors were vexed by you. One of them coughed lightly and turned to your father.
“My King, if I may speak boldly, why do you allow your escort to be seated with us? The king’s table is no place for lowly commoners.”
The whole table seemed to still, and when your father’s eyes flashed and mouth opened, you held up your hand to silence him. Your father looked surprised, but you were stoic as you glared at the dwarf that had dared speak such a way about you. You said loudly, letting your hand fall to the table.
“I do not believe it is your place to speak for the King. Might I remind you that it is a privilege to be seated before your king, not a right.”
The dwarf went red in the face, and he yelled, standing up.
“How dare you speak to me in such a way, you lowly whore! I am one of the highest members of the Khazâd council! I have more of a right to be seated before the king than you do!”
You stood up, slamming your hands on the table and leaning towards him.
“Itkit! I have the only right to be seated before the king as the daughter of Thorin, the son of Thrain, the son of Thror, the princess under the mountain, and I will demand your respect and silence, A'lâju Mahal!”
The table was quiet, and you snarled loudly, your hand that was clutching the table snapping the wood from how hard you had been grasping it.
“Make no mistake that if you ever speak to me like that again, I will personally cut your tongue straight from your throat and feed it to your kin. You should make yourself familiar with the kin of the King before assuming they are lowly whores and commoners, you piece of filth.”
The advisor swallowed thickly and you leaned back, fixing your posture and you scoffed at him, raising your nose at him.
“I may not dress like a proper Royal, but I am no less the princess no matter if I have not been present for a day, a week, or however long Mahal decides for me; no matter if I wear the dresses of commoners, the armor of warriors, or the royal robes. Royal blood runs through my veins and you will acknowledge it….unless you would rather take your leave from Erebor and never return.”
The dwarf’s eyes widened, and he guffawed.
“You can’t possibly be serious!”
You glared at him and asked.
“Does it look like I’m fucking joking?”
He sputtered, and you stayed glaring at the dwarf before he admitted defeat and sat back down quietly. Grabbing your plate, you gathered food on it before scoffing at the dwarf.
“You are a disgrace to your council and a disgrace to us all. Good day.”
You walked from the dining hall, your teeth digging into the large turkey thigh that you had grabbed. The food that graced your mouth made your stomach growl loudly, and you hungrily devoured the meat as you walked back to your chambers. Your maidens were in the room, cleaning it, and they seemed surprised to see you back from dinner.
“-Please, you are safe to address me as my given name within these walls.”
Hora, the eldest of the two maidens within the room, gave you a small smile. Her younger sister, Mora, stayed shy.
“You are far too kind, (Y/n). May I ask why you are back so soon?”
“Insolent advisors. So naïve to not recognize the Princess…though, I must admit that I do not seem the same.”
You glanced at your reflection in your mirror and you sighed before moping into the turkey thigh. Hora clicked her tongue, shaking her head as she began to brush your hair.
“You may seem to be different, but you are no less the Princess that Mahal has blessed us with. Grief can change us in many ways, my lady.”
You sighed, and she smiled at you. Mora asked softly.
“Do you wish for me to draw you a bath? Baths make me feel better when I’m upset.”
You nodded lightly.
“That would be very nice, Mora. Please, both of you make sure to grab something to eat. If anybody questions you, you tell them that I gave you the permission to take your extra servings.”
“You might be changed, but your kindness has never wavered. You will make a very fine Queen one day, my lady.”
You hummed as you finished off the meat on your plate and began to eat at the vegetables and fruit, taking a hearty sip of your ale and devouring the cheeses on your plate. Mora came back, asking softly from below her golden eyelashes, her brown eyes shyly looking to you.
“Do you desire any specific oils for your bath and hair, my lady?”
You hummed softly, your eyes closing as Hora brushed out your hair.
“Whatever oils you like, I will have.”
Mora nodded, blushing lightly and disappeared back into the washroom. A knocking came from your door, and Hora pulled back from your hair to answer the door. Your father was standing there, obviously stressed, a dangerous gleam within his eyes. He gruffly ordered.
“Leave us; I have important matters to discuss with my kin.”
Hora and Mora left the room quickly, and you gazed at your father with curiosity. When the door closed, your father said to you.
“I did not expect such foul words to come from a member of our council. I apologize, (Y/n).”
You scoffed and muttered, taking a large bite of a piece of honey bread you had been able to snag from the table.
“It is not your place to apologize for someone else’s insolence. I admit that I do look very different from the Princess that I was, but my words still stand.”
You straightened up lightly, taking a deep breath before looking at your father.
“I am your daughter, the Princess of Erebor, no matter how different I become. I am of your blood and that will never change….even if I do.”
You rubbed your forehead, giving a noise of irritation.
“I admit that now that I have come to my senses, I have grown increasingly irritated within the past few moments. Am I really so changed that I am mistaken for a whore?”
Your father shook his head, placing his hand on your shoulder.
“Do not speak of yourself like that. Grief can be very changing, but that change isn’t always permanent. You just need time. I admit that I was surprised when you spoke against him so soon…but I shouldn’t be so surprised when my blood does indeed run through your veins.”
Your father smiled lightly, and your ears went red lightly.
“I will never cease to be proud and amazed by you, Uzfakuh.”
Thorin kissed your head, and you mumbled to him.
“Just because I am sick does not mean I will not defend my honor. The scum had it coming anyway.”
“Indeed, he did.”
Your father caught a whiff of the oils Mora had been preparing, and he murmured softly.
“I will finish drawing the bath for you. Finish eating, and then I will wash your hair.”
“Adad, you don’t have to do that.”
Thorin gave you a look.
“Do not deny me time with you, (Y/n). I haven’t seen you for over a moon. I would like to catch up on all of the time that I lost with you as soon as I possibly can.”
You mumbled, throwing a grape into your mouth.
“You’re so stubborn, adad.”
Your father chuckled and disappeared into the washroom. In no time, steam rolled from under the door, and he opened it. The sleeves of his tunic were rolled up, his trousers the same as well. He gestured with his head for you, and you walked into the room. Turning, you began to push him out, almost seeming to beat against his back as you pushed.
“Kin or not, I will not be undressing in front of you.”
“Mahal, you don’t have to be so pushy.”
Your father teased lightly, purposefully leaning back on you. You grunted when his weight began to fall onto you, and you yelled to him.
“Adad, I will throw you across this room!”
He laughed and teased.
“Forgive me; I seem to have become suddenly exhausted.”
He chuckled and straightened himself, walking out and saying.
“Call for me when you are finished. Leave your hair. I will wash it for you.”
You nodded and he closed the door. Turning to the basin, bubbles from luxurious and imported soaps almost overflowing the basin. You quickly undressed, grimacing at the sight of your thinned body. You were still very muscular, as was common for all dwarves, but the weight that accompanied your mature body had fallen off, leaving slightly smoother skin than the usual toned valleys and pudges of fat that graced your vessel.
Settling into the hot water, you sighed deeply, allowing your head to hang from the side as the bubbles swallowed your body, and you called softly.
“Okay…you can come in, adad.”
Your father walked in, and smiled lightly at you. Grabbing a small pot filled with steaming water, the smell of (smell) oils wafting up into your nose, he sat behind you and began to gently brush your hair.
“What happened after I left dinner?”
Thorin dipped the brush into the steaming water and began to brush it through your hair again, saying.
“Despite your words putting him in his place, I felt it was not enough. I had his seat upon our council revoked. The rest of the company had not been pleased by his behavior either.”
You hummed lightly, eyes closing as your father began to wash your scalp, his fingers massaging gently into your scalp.
“I would have loved to see the fear in his eyes as he faced his King had I not been tired of his shit so soon.”
Your father smirked lightly.
“Dis would not be pleased to hear those words come from you, you know.”
“Dis is not my amad, so she has no reason to be angry. I don’t know why she tries so hard to coach me on how to be a proper lady when I think I’ve been doing just fine as is.”
Thorin replied, gently pouring the water through your hair to wash the soap and oil from your hair.
“Dis is just trying to teach you the ways of dwarrowdams the way your mother should have. Had Dis had more of a say, you would have grown up in proper dwarrowdam garbs instead of trousers and tunics like us dwarrows.”
You asked softly.
“How come you didn’t do so yourself? Wouldn’t you have rather a proper princess instead of…well, me?”
Thorin sighed lightly before admitting.
“I did not care about how you dressed. I cared more for the fact that you were with me.”
“Do you still not care?”
“Of course I don’t.”
You both chuckled lightly and you sighed softly.
“I wonder when adadnamad will come by. It has been a while since we have seen her.”
Your father began to lather more oils into your hair, pulling it down through your locks as he replied.
“She is in the Iron Hills with Dain at the moment, but she will return soon.”
You nodded lightly, and it was quiet for a moment before your father began to softly hum. You couldn’t place the song, but it was a familiar tune. Your mind began to wander to Vonnir, and you sighed lightly. Even despite actively trying to get over him, thoughts of him filtered into your brain every now and then. You were definitely going to miss him. You wondered if he was parading around the hall Mahal prepared in Mandos, shouting pub songs and filling himself heartily with drink….entertaining the folk just like he did when he still walked among the dwarves.
You asked softly, opening your eyes to look up at your father as he brushed out your hair again.
“Adad, are dwarves able to court again even after meeting their One?”
“Yes, but we will never truly love. Once a dwarrow loses their One, it is…a very changing experience. Some dwarrows are even killed from the pure sorrow that floods their heart.”
Thorin smiled lightly, kissing your forehead.
“But luckily, I had you to keep me grounded.”
You blinked lightly and hummed.
“Do you think you’d ever take a Queen for Erebor? I must admit that I do thoroughly enjoy it just being you and I, but if you choose to take a bride, I will not object…only silently brood like you do.”
You both chuckled and Thorin replied honestly.
“I do not see myself taking another bride after your mother…I had my time to love and celebrate…and I still have my One with me for she lives on within you, uzfakuh.”
You sighed lightly.
“I cannot share the same sentiment as you do…but I hope it brings you joy nonetheless.”
Your father smiled down at you and he began to dry your hair, wringing it out before tying it up for you, wrapping it into a tight bun so none of it would fall into the water. Your father stood up, and you asked him softly.
“Adad, will you…play the harp and sing for me?”
Your father blinked before smiling lightly, nodding.
“I will be right back.”
You nodded, and in the time of his absence, you washed your body, scrubbing and dirt and grime from your body. Grabbing a bit of the oil/soap mixture Mora had prepared for you, you gently scrubbed it all around your body. The smell calmed you, and your father knocked on the door before walking in, a small harp cradled in his arms.
He set it down on a desk within the washroom before walking back out again, handing you a mug of tea. You smiled, taking the cup, and you slowly sipped it as your father began to sing and play for you, leaning against the bath with his back to you.
As he sang, you slipped into a relaxing calm, simply listening as he sang old songs and played his lap harp so skillfully. You smiled as your father sang his low notes, his voice vibrating through his chest, and you sloshed the water around a bit. Grabbing some of the bubbles, you plopped them on top of his head, making your father pause.
“(Y/n), what did you just do?”
His hand came up to grab at the mound of bubbles on his head, and he turned to you, giving you a disapproving look. You simply splashed his face, and your father closed his eyes.
He wiped his face before scooping up some of the soap beside the tub and throwing it at you. You squealed when it hit your chin and neck, and you threw it back at him before ducking beneath the water. You held your breath, slowly letting out air bubbles so you could stay beneath the water longer. Hands grabbed you from beneath your armpits and you squealed as you came up. Your father chuckled and said.
“You can’t escape me, uzfakuh. Now come on, you’re going to get wrinkly from being in there for too long. The water is getting cold.”
You hummed before your father handed you towels to dry with. He walked out of the washroom, and you dried yourself off. Grabbing your night clothes, you slipped them on before drying your hair, rubbing a towel within your hair. When you were dry, you walked out to your father silently looking out the window, his fingers rubbing his chin, and he turned when you placed a hand on his shoulder.
He smiled softly, nodding, and wrapped his arm around your back, leading you to the bed. Gently, he tucked you in and for a moment it was quiet before he asked you.
“(Y/n), I have a very important question to ask you.”
You looked up at him, asking as he gently caressed your head.
“What is it, adad?”
He was quiet, seeming to weigh the pros and cons of asking whatever he wanted to ask you. He sighed before asking you.
“I wanted to ask you if Vonnir was your One. Losing your One is a devastating time…and with knowing how close you two have been your days of naming…I’m afraid that your One was taken from you too soon.”
You shook your head, ears reddening.
“No, Vonnir was not my One….but perhaps, he should have been.”
Your eyes became sad, and you sighed.
“Maybe, in a way, he was my One…but not my true One…”
Your father smiled lightly.
Leaning down, he kissed your forehead, whispering to you softly.
“Hurun ganat, nâthuê kurdu.”
“Hurun, ganat, adad.”