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There Is A Child

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In his dreams, there is a child.

Even when Thorin was but a babe himself, not even thirty, his dreams showed a baby boy with unruly, dark, hair with one braid dangling against his cheek and eyes as green as the forests of Greenwood.

This child's name is never clear to him, always covered and muffled as if the speaker were underwater, but he recognizes his own voice calling for the boy. The child turns, confusion across his face before his plump cheeks redden and his lips turn up into a smile, the title of father falling from his tongue. He runs to Thorin, his curiously bare feet patting on the stone floors of his rooms before he stops at his father's feet and clings to the fabric of Thorin's trousers.

Thorin is much older in his dreams. 

His hair is long, peppered with gray streaks that put him past the one-hundred fifty year mark, but not yet past two hundred. His hands have become gnarled by work at a forge and handling a great many weapons, both in craft and battle. From his point of view as his dream-self leans down to scoop up the boy, he can see pale scars along his forearms. The thought makes him proud. In his dreams, he is a protector and bares the marks to prove it.

When Thorin reaches adulthood, a girl joins the boy. 

Her hair flows long past her shoulders and to her feet, uncovered in her infancy as her brother's were. The thick blonde locks atop her head are braided twice, once for the majority of her hair and again across the crown of her head. Her eyes shine as his do, bright and blue with wisdom behind each orb. Her lips are soft and pink and curl into a smile when her brother reaches out and clasps his hands in hers.

Thorin thinks she is the most beautiful girl in the world, especially when she happily cries "father".

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Thorin is a proud father in his dreams.

Erebor is in flames and home to a greedy drake. His grandfather and brother are dead, his father is missing, Moria lost to the orcs, but still Thorin smiles in his dreams. His children are older now, the boy nearing his teenage years of adventurous mischief and his daughter is close behind, already a shoe-in for being a beautiful young woman who will break the hearts of many. His son is the same, showing signs of a great, gentle handsomeness that many a lass will swoon after. 

Thorin wonders what his wife looks like.

She must be gorgeous, he thinks as he leads his people West, hoping for salvation. He gazes at his sister and wonders if his wife surpasses her beauty or equals her. Is her voice as gentle and soothing as his daughter's? Is she the source of his son's green eyes? He asks many questions, but knows to never hope for an answer. His dreams have failed to even show a hint of an image of his wife.

Thorin nurtures rage and anger in his breast and his dreams only feed the fire.

Years pass and the Blue Mountains serve as a good home for his people. The land and mountains provide many opportunities for the people now living in them. Many dwarves have families there, even his beloved younger sister. In the absence of his own dream-son, Thorin is proud to name his nephew Fili as Crown Prince. More years pass and Thorin bites back tears (this should be my daughter, his mind whispers, and Fili my son) as he presses a kiss to Kili's head and names him Second Prince. His sister-sons grow like weeds.

After he lays his nephews to sleep with their mother, Thorin falls into a fitful slumber. His children are not there, replaced by ambitious demands for a quest. He knows what he must do when he awakes. For his children, unreal as they may be, Thorin needs to procure a home for them. He vows to retake his lost kingdom for his fallen brethren, but also for his future generations. His children should grow up knowing the splendor of Erebor, not the shabby buildings and homes of the Blue Mountains. They will be honored descendants of Durin, not commonfolk dwarves of the West.

Thorin calls twelve to his aid, his own sister-sons at his sides, and they march for Erebor.