Actions

Work Header

Fate

Chapter Text

Thorin ran through the streets, swerving past men, Dwalin on his heels. He ignored his ragged appearance, and slammed into his home. Balin was walking about, quietly jiggling a crying Kili. Fili watched his little brother in Balin’s arms, and winced whenever his mother gave a cry.

“How is she?” Thorin asked Balin, nearly frantic. Balin looked at him, then shrugged and pointed at the bedroom. Thorin pushed the door open, and entered the dim room. Dwalin quickly followed Thorin, and he ignored his brother’s dark look.

“Thorin?” Dis, Thorin’s little sister called weakly from the bed.

“I am here, dear heart. How are you?” Thorin knelt beside her, and gripped her hand. He kissed her fingertips, then brushed her dark hair from her forehead.

“How do you think? I just want this babe out. Is Dwalin...” Dis trailed off, and screamed through another contraction.

“Here.” Dwalin wrapped his fingers through Dis’ free hand. He didn’t dare meet Thorin’s eyes. He knew that what he and Dis had done was unacceptable, and shameful. He had promise Thorin and Balin that once this babe was born, he and Dis would break it off. It hurt him, but Dis had already been married to her one, and their coupling had been done out of grief. It was truly a fluke that a child might come from it.

“Please, both of you stay with me.” Dis asked, her voice cracking. Thorin and Dwalin both nodded. Thorin kept his eyes firmly on his sister, and Dwalin watched Oin’s face. Oin, who had birthed both of Dis’ boys. Oin, who had cared for all of them when they were injured.

“I can see the babe’s head. Hold on, Princess. You can do this!” Oin encouraged. He held his hands out, and guided the tiny dwarfling from Dis’s womb. The coolness in the air shocked a screaming cry from the little one.

“Is it a boy, or a girl? Is it healthy?” Dwalin asked, his eyes bright with excitement. Thorin glared at his friend, and wiped at his sister’s brow. Oin ignored them all, and briskly cleaned the squalling babe. Then, he swaddled the little one, and gingerly deposited her in Dis’ arms.

“Congratulations, Princess. Your boys have a baby sister.” Oin bowed to Dis and Thorin, then left the room.

“She is beautiful.” Dis cooed, and she touched one of the damp, dark curls.

“She is definitely a daughter of Durin.” Thorin pressed an affectionate kiss to Dis’ brow. “Congratulations.”

“What shall you call her?” Dwalin asked, mesmerized by his daughter.

“I was thinking Adris. For the forge that you support us with, and because she will be your heart.” Dis smiled at her brother, and reached out to tweak his nose. Red dusted Thorin’s cheeks, and he gave her a soft, shocked smile.

“I am truly honoured, sister.” Thorin looked down at his new niece, his little Adris, and beamed.

“Shall I get the boys?” Dwalin asked, suddenly very uncomfortable. Adris may be his daughter, but she would always belong to Thorin and Dis, never to him.

“I suppose.” Dis sighed. “No, give me a moment to clean up.” Dis handed Adris to Thorin, then slid from the bed. She walked rather stiffly behind the screen, and quickly changed her nightgown to on that was not covered in blood. While she did that, Dwalin changed the sheets, and whisked the many sheets and towels form the room. When he returned with Fili and Kili, Dis was back in bed, Adris secure in her arms.

“She is so pretty.” Fili announced, once he had climbed on the bed, and was next to his mother. Dis smiled wearily at him, and pressed a kiss to his forehead.

“Ooh.” Kili ogled his little sister. He reached out to poke her, and Thorin swatted his hand away.

“You have to be gentle, Kili. She is your sister, not a play thing. You must treat her gently.” Thorin explained to his pouting nephew. Kili seemed to think about that for a moment, then he cuddled into Thorin.

“Perhaps you lot should leave, so we can sleep.” Dis finally said. Fili, ever the obedient child, hopped off the bed. He smiled at his mother, then turned and ran from the room. Thorin kissed his sister, then carried his younger nephew from the room. Only when they were gone, did Dwalin step forward.

“May I hold her?” He asked Dis softly. She smiled lightly, and offered her to him.

“Dwalin, we need to talk.” Dis said, once Adris was secure in his arms.

“I agree.” Dwalin nodded, then sat on the edge of her bed.

“This, it was a mistake. We are good friends, and I wish to keep it that way. But, my husband was my One, my soul mate. I could not tarnish his memory by taking another.” Dis explained. Dwalin nodded.

“Of course, I agree. I was going to tell you something to that effect anyways. I have yet to meet mine, but I know he is out there somewhere. All I ask is to be apart of Adris’ life.” Dwalin carefully set his tiny daughter back into her mother’s arms.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Dwalin. You will have a part in your daughter’s life, whether you want to or not.” Dis scolded him firmly. Dwalin chuckled, and nodded.

“Good. I best leave, before your brother decides to skin me.” Dwalin nodded to Dis, then left her alone with her child.

“Don’t fret, my love. Your papa and uncles will take very good care of you. You will never want for anything. If I know my brother, and I do, he will spoil you with anything you desire.” Dis pressed a soft kiss to her daughter’s forehead, then tucked her into the small cradle. Adris’ hands waved about, then she yawned and went to sleep.

Two days later, Thorin came home late from the forge. Dis was dozing quietly, Adris and both the boys were tucked away in bed. Thorin crept into Dis’ rooms, and knelt before Adris’ crib. He brushed his fingers over her dark hark, so similar to his, and Dis’ and Kili.

“Dearest little one, I have a present for you. It is for you to wear always, so everyone will know you to be a daughter of Durin, my niece.” Thorin pulled out a small medallion with signs in Khuzdul on it. It was on a small cord, which Thorin put over the edge of her crib. “For you to wear when you are older, my Heart.” He kissed her forehead lightly, then left the room as silently as he entered it. When she was sure he was gone, Dis stood, and examined the medallion. It bore Adris’ name, and the sign of Durin on it. Smiling, she shook her head at her brother’s soft heart, and went back to bed.

~~~

Belladonna Took-no, Baggins stopped, and listened. She was sure that she could hear crying, she just couldn’t quite pin point where it was coming from. She waded through the leaves, and came upon a dwarf child. She could not tell if the child was a boy or girl, only that her clothing was well used, and that her exposed skin was covered in scratches.

“There there, dear one. My name is Belladonna, but you can call me Bella. Can I help you?” Belladonna crouched before the child, and held her hand out. The child looked up, eyes wide.

“I am Addie. I can’t find my mama.” Addie gave a cry, and held her hands out to Belladonna.

“Hush, come here. You can stay with me, until we find your mama.” Belladonna stood, and held her hand out for Addie to take. When Addie did stand, Belladonna started the trek back to the shire.

“So, how old are you, Addie?” Belladonna asked, curiosity filling her voice. She knew that dwarves lived longer than Hobbits, and Addie seemed quite young to her.

“15.” Addie replied, and she hiccuped.

“Oh, how lovely. Here we are.” Belladonna stopped before her’s and Bungo’s home.

“Its so round.” Addie stared at the door, awed. Her fingers fiddled with a medallion at her throat. Belladonna noted it, but did not ask. Not just yet.

“Bella, is that you?” A voice called. Addie squeaked, and jumped behind Belladonna.

“Bungo, I found a dwarf child in the woods. I thought she could stay with us until we find her family.” Belladonna announced, as she pulled the door to their home shut.

“What?” Bungo cried, and he stormed into the front hall. He stopped when he saw the dwarf child hiding behind his wife.

“Addie, this is my husband Bungo. Bungo, this is Addie.” Belladonna gently pulled Addie out from behind her. “Come on, Bungo is sweet, he won’t hurt you.”

“Hello, Addie. Welcome to my home.” Bungo smiled at her, then looked at his wife.

“Come along, Addie. Lets find you something new to wear.” Belladonna smiled at Addie.

“Okay. How long do I get to stay?” Addie asked, as she followed Belladonna deeper into the simal.

“As long as you need to.” Was the last thing Bungo heard. He suppressed a sigh, then turned back to the kitchen. If nothing else, they were going to feed little Addie well. And, if he thought about it, he and Bella were talking about having children. This wasn’t the same thing, but it wasn’t entirely foreign either.

“Would you like a bath, Addie?” Belladonna queried, and she playfully tugged at Addie’s sleeve.

“I guess. Why aren’t you wearing any shoes?” Addie finally managed to ask. It had been bothering her for awhile, but she wasn’t sure if it was her place to ask or not.

“Hobbits don’t wear shoes. We always walk with bare feet.” Belladonna smiled at Addie’s wide eyes, and shook her head. Addie nervously waited while Belladonna stared the bath. While the water poured, Belladonna turned to Addie, a sharp glint in her eyes.

“Do I have to?” Addie wearily watched the tub, unsure if it was safe. Belladonna chuckled, and tugged at Addie’s shirt and breeches.

“I won’t let you drown. Come on, its healthy to be clean.” Belladonna chided. Addie sighed, then let Belladonna take her clothes off, but she didn’t help the older woman.

“I guess.” Addie grumbled. When she was free of her clothes, she let Belladonna help her into the tub. Belladonna let Addie keep her medallion, saving her questions for later. Addie splashed a bit, and nearly slipped. She squeaked, and grabbed Belladonna’s arm.

“Don’t worry, Addie. I am here, you are safe.” Belladonna whispered. Once Addie had her feet back under her, Belladonna guided the little girl into a sitting position. Then, she began to gently, but briskly, wash the girl. By the time she was done, Addie was slightly pink from her sound scrubbing.

“Can I come out now?” Addie asked, her voice small. Instead of answering, Belladonna put her hands under Addie’s arms, and lifted her out of the tub. She wrapped the little girl in a towel, then stood.

“Just, stay here. I am going to grab something for you to wear.” Belladonna hurried from the room. She didn’t get far, when she ran into Bungo. He held one of his old shirts, and the smallest pair of breeches in their simal.

“Thanks, love.” Belladonna pressed a kiss to his cheek, then hurried back to the bathing room. Addie was shifting form foot to foot, playing with a stray thread on her towel. “Alright, you can wear these for now. I will wash your things, then make you some new things until we find you family.” Belladonna explained. She hurried through drying Addie, and helped her into the old clothes. Belladonna belted the shirt, then led Addie towards the kitchen.

“I am hungry.” Addie mumbled, her voice quiet.

“Its a good thing that Bungo is making dinner, then.” Belladonna chuckled, and entered the small dining room. Three places were already set, and Bungo was transporting food to the table. Belladonna waited until Addie was finished eating, before she started her questions.

“Addie, do you know where your family is?” Belladonna asked, her voice soft.

“I was playing hide and seek with my brothers, and fell asleep in the wagon. I think I fell out, but I don’t remember. What I do know, is that you were there when I did. I know Mama will be worried, and so will Uncle.” Addie fiddled with the rope around her waist.

“What about your father?” Bungo queried. Addie shifted, then shrugged.

“He is a guard, but its Mama and Uncle who I live with.” Addie explained.

“Thats lovely. Addie, where did you get your medallion?” Belladonna tried to change the subject; she shot Bungo a look.

“Uncle made it for me. It was my first gift.” Addie pulled it out from under her shirt, then over her head. She offered it to Belladonna, who stared at the strange runes.

“What does it say?” Belladonna asked, her brow wrinkled.

“My full name, but I can’t pronounce it. Uncle and Mama say I need to wear it all the time.” Addie shrugged, her eyes fixed on it. Belladonna reached forward, and draped it over Addie’s head.

“Do you know your Mama and Uncle’s names?” Belladonna asked, but before she finished Addie was shaking her head.

“No, we never talked about it. Uncle is very important, but I normally stayed with Mama at home, while she worked in the smaller forger.” Addie explained. Before Belladonna could ask another question, Addie yawned.

“You must be tired. Come on, I will show you to your room.” Belladonna smiled, and led the child to one of the spare rooms. She watched Addie crawl into bed, her mind on the future. Belladonna knew that dwarf children were very precious, but she wasn’t entirely sure that Addie’s family would come back form her. If nothing else, it would be hard to find them if they didn’t even know her full name. Belladonna pushed the matter form her mind, and decided to focus on making Addie’s time in Bag End comfortable.

~~~

As a dwarf growing up in the shire, Addie did not have the easiest of lives. By the time Bilbo was born, she had pushed all memories of her dwarf family to the back of her mind. She focused on being Bilbo’s playmate. As they grew older, Bilbo got into fights with other hobbits, to protect his sister from their cruel words. The pair lived in harmony, going on adventures together, scaring Bungo and making Belladonna laugh. When the Fell Winter hit, Addie made herself a promise. She knew Bilbo didn’t approve, but everyday from then on she spent time teaching herself to fight. She pretended to sword fight with sticks, and eventually saved up enough money to buy herself a bow and arrows. If nothing else, Addie was never going to stand aside when her family was in danger again.

Chapter Text

Addie wandered around Bag End, fixing breakfast. The day before she had picked blackberries, and she was intent on adding them to some scones for lunch. Bilbo was out on the front porch, smoking his pipe, and just enjoying the morning. Although they had been raised by the same two hobbits, Bilbo and Addie were very different. For one thing, Bilbo liked leaving the things that needed doing until the last moment. Addie, on the other hand, would rather finish her chores early, and spend the rest of the day doing the things she wanted to do. It meant that sometimes they fought, but that was alright with Addie. She had never been one to have complete peace at home anyways. Addie was just sweeping the hall, when Bilbo flew into their home, and threw his back against the now closed door.

“Bilbo? What are you doing?” Addie leaned on her broom, and watched her brother. When people came from outside the Shire, they were always surprised when Addie was introduced as a Baggins. She was almost a head taller than Bilbo, and rather slender with long dark hair that curled down her back. Though she didn’t look like the traditional dwarf, she was too tall to be a hobbit.

“Addie! What are you doing?” Bilbo gasped, and he jumped at the sight of her. Addie raised an eyebrow, and smirked at him.

“My chores. Remember, those things I promise to do around this place? Different than the ones that you do?” Addie prompted. Bilbo huffed, and stormed further into their home. Addie rested the broom against a wall, and followed him further into the smial. She crossed her arms over her chest, suddenly very worried about Bilbo’s behaviour when he didn’t answer the way he normally did. “Bilbo?”

“I am fine, just fine! Leave me be Addie.” Bilbo snapped, and he hurried along. Addie huffed, and rolled her eyes.

“Can you at least tell me what that was about?” Addie called after him. Bilbo grumbled, and turned around to stare at Addie.

“If you must know, Gandalf was just here. He wants to know if I was interested in an adventure.” Bilbo scoffed. Addie watched him, her eyes wide and sharp.

“Did you even think to see if I wanted to go?” Addie queried. Bilbo glared at her, and crossed his arms.

“Why on earth would you want to go? Your home is here, in Bag End. With me. Would you really want to abandon me to a life of loneliness?” Bilbo asked, his voice shaking.

“Thats not fair, Bilbo and you know it. I am a dwarf, not a hobbit. All of this is not my life. You know I love you, but this is not my place.” Addie snapped. Before Bilbo could say anything, Addie was off and running. She grabbed her boots, and fled out of their home. Once outside, she pulled them on, and was off running down the path before Bilbo could think to stop her. Addie ran until she was at the woods, then she kept on running. She stopped, sides heaving, at one of the largest tress in the woods. She gave herself a few moments to gasp for breath, then she pulled her bow and arrows from their hiding place. She set up her targets, then kept shooting until her arm was sore, and she had retrieved all of her arrows five times. The sun was thinking about setting, when Addie packed up her things, and started the trek back home. She decided to take her sword, bow and arrows; if she knew Bilbo like she did, he would probably take this opportunity while he had the chance.

“Addie, is that you? I am sorry.” Bilbo calls, when Addie finally steps in the door. She ignores him, and rushes into her room. Bilbo is just about to follow her in, when she slams the door shut. Bilbo sighs, and leans against the outside of her door.

“Yes its me.” Addie calls through the door, before Bilbo can speak again. Briskly, she puts her weapons under her bed, and changes from her torn clothes into a long sleeved button up shirt, and high waisted shirt. She leaves her stockings in a neat little pile, then opens her bedroom door.

“I am sorry. You did hear me, right?” Bilbo asks. He pushes from the wall, and follows her into the kitchen.

“I heard you.” Addie replies breezily. She loves Bilbo, but she isn’t going to let him get away that easily. As she knew he would, Bilbo had made her favorite meal. There is fish on the fire, and biscuits near by. A pan with vegetables crackles neatly on the stove, and Addie is sure that a pie is cooling on the window sill.

“Addie. I really am sorry.” Bilbo whines playfully. Addie huffs a laugh, and dances past him. Bilbo sticks his bottom lip out at her, and tries to grab her arm.

“I am sure you are.” Addie sings at him, her smile bright.

“Well, are you going to forgive me?” Bilbo asks. He quickly moves the frying pan over to the table, and starts to dish up their plates. Addie grins at him, then presses a quick kiss to his cheek before she sits down.

“I might be able to find it in my heart to forgive you.” Addie smiles down at her plate. Bilbo chuckles, then starts to dish up the fish. He is just sitting down to enjoy the fish, when someone starts banging on the door.

“Stay here, I will get it.” Bilbo rises, and squeezes her shoulder when he passes her. Addie shook her head, and relaxed back into her seat. Addie hummed to herself, then shot out of her seat in surprise when a dwarf was standing in the doorway. He was tall, and bald with tattoos everywhere.

“Whose this?” He growled, when his eyes landed on Addie.

“My sister, Addie Baggins.” Bilbo grumbled. He reentered the room, and nearly squeaked when the dwarf took his place, and started eating his meal.

“Who are you?” Addie asked, as she sat back down.

“Dwalin, son of Fundin.” Dwalin replied. He watched Addie. His gaze was so intense, that Addie felt somewhat uncomfortable. She didn’t recognize him, but it felt like he was trying to remember where he had seen her last.

“Its nice to meet you, Mister Dwalin. Please, join us.” Addie’s voice was dry, and her eyes bright with good humor. Dwalin grumbled, then continued eating his meal with more gusto. He had just finished, and was asking for more, when there was a loud knocking sound from the door. Bilbo sat, straight backed and tense, until Dwalin turned to him.

“That would be the door.” He grinned when Bilbo squeaked, and hurried in the direction of the sound. Addie rolled her eyes, and made her way into the kitchen. She ignored Dwalin, who had decided to attack the cookie jar. Instead, she bustled around the kitchen, chopping vegetables. She found the largest pot she and Bilbo had. She set it on the counter, and briskly dumped the vegetables into it. She dumped the freshly boiled kettle into the pot, and set it over the fire. That done, she ducked into the pantry, and found the small jar of soup broth. She entered her kitchen, just in time to see Dwalin and a white haired dwarf embrace and bash heads.

“Oh my.” Addie squeaked, the jar cradled to her chest. Dwalin and the other dwarf turned around; Dwalin offered her a toothy grin.

“Lass, this is my brother Balin. Balin, this is Addie.” Dwalin waved his hands at them, then turned to the pantry. Balin rolled his eyes, nodded to Addie, then followed Dwalin.

“What are they doing. What are you?” Bilbo gasped, his eyes wide. Addie shrugged her shoulders, and poured the contents of the jar into the pot.

“Obviously there are going to be more of them. I plan on feeding them, as any good Baggins would.” Addie gave him a sharp smile, and a kiss on the cheek. She turned back to the kitchen, and pulled a large, smoked roast from their small cold box. She made short work of it, cubing it neatly, while Bilbo stammered at the two dwarves in their pantry. Addie chuckled to herself, as Bilbo tried to figure out what they were doing in Bag End. Just as Addie was dumping the meat into the pot, there was more knocking at the door. Bilbo’s face paled, and he looked to Addie for help. Addie shrugged at him, and went back to her work in the kitchen. She was neatly piling bowls on the edge of the counter, when Dwalin pulled a young, dark haired dwarf into the room. Before anyone could think to introduce them, Balin and a blond dwarf started to move the dining room furniture. Bilbo followed them into the dining room, his arms full of weapons. Addie just chuckled, and went back to tending her soup. Moments later, Bilbo was yelling about dwarves, and Addie winced when she heard the metal it the ground. She chuckled to herself, when Bilbo followed a stream of dwarves back into the dining room.

“Gandalf!” She gasped, and raced into the wizard’s arms. Gandalf laughed, and folded his arms around her. He pressed a quick kiss to the top of her head, and smiled at her.

“There you are, Addie. You have grown so much since I saw you last.” Gandalf hummed. Addie grinned, and leaned against him.

“Its good to see you, Gandalf.” Addie replied softly. She stayed where she was, and watched as Bilbo followed the dwarves around, trying to save his possessions. Gandalf watched them, counting to himself as he did so. The dwarves were just starting to gather around the table, when Gandalf noticed one missing.

“He is on his way. You know how he is, gets lost easily.” Dwalin replied easily. Gandalf chuckled, and joined the dwarves at the table. The blond one, Fili walked over the table, tankards of ale in his hands. Addie waited until they were happily eating, tossing food at each other, before she set about dishing up her soup. It hadn’t sat for as long as she would have liked, but given the short notice she was sure it would do just fine. She didn’t announced it, she just quietly started to pass the bowls of soup down the line. By the time all of the dwarves were slurping her soup, there was only enough for one more bowl.

“Addie, come here!” Gandalf called. Addie looked up from where she was washing dishes, and moved until she was standing beside Gandalf at the head of the table. “Everyone, this is Addie Baggins, Bilbo’s sister.” Gandalf pointed to each dwarf, and spoke their name in turn. Balin watched, his eyes filled with confusion, and almost a spark of recognition.

“Nice to meet you, Addie.” Dori smiled kindly at her, and shook her hand. Addie smiled, and shook it back.

“Yes, it is really nice to meet you all. Hobbits are nice, but I have been wanting to meet some dwarves for ages.” Addie replied, her voice light with excitement. Bilbo stood, and stormed from the room; Addie watched him go, her eyes wide. Gandalf shook his head at her, then followed the hobbit.

“Come, sit. I am sure he will be fine.” Dori gingerly led Addie to a spot at her own table, and pushed her into a spot. “Did you make the soup? It was lovely.” Dori complimented. Addie nodded happily, and looked around the table. She was sitting beside the dwarf with the funny hat, Bofur. He was banging his cutlery on the table, and clashing knife to fork with Nori. Before Addie could warn them against it, dishes were flying, and the dwarves started singing. Addie leaned back in her chair, and watched the dishes fly, laughing as she did so. She thought Bilbo was going to have a heart attack, but then the dwarves were done, and all the dishes were washed and stacked, ready to be put away. Their mirth was short lived, a sharp thumping dispersing their happiness. Addie watched in confusion, as all the dwarves filed into the hallway. Gandalf went to open the door, to let in their missing guest. Whatever he was doing, Addie decided that it didn’t concern her just yet. Instead, she set about putting away the dishes, and wiping the table down. She moved the tankards about, and made sure that they were all filled with ale. Three plates of biscuits were set in the middle of the table, and just as Addie was placing the last bowl of soup at the head of the table, the dwarves came back.

“Addie Baggins, this is the leader of our company, Thorin Oakenshield. Thorin, this is Bilbo’s foster sister, Addie.” Gandalf introduced them. Thorin looked her up and down, his brow furrowed. He nodded briefly to her, and sat down at the table. Addie watched them, confused. Some of the dwarves seemed so cautious around her, like she was a traitor. Well, it wasn’t her fault she had been lost as a child. Addie sighed noiselessly, and stayed in the kitchen. She listened to them bicker over their quest, and slipped away when Bilbo was handed the contract.

Addie knew Bilbo. He would say no know, but given time to think, he would agree. Which meant that Addie had some sneaky work to do. So, she let Bilbo be flustered, and left him and the dwarves in her dining room alone, and got to work.

Chapter Text

Addie waited until the dwarves had left to start breakfast. She made fresh muffins, When they were done, she carefully packed most of them away in a basket, and the rest of the apples that were left in the pantry. That done, she nibbled on a muffin and waited for Bilbo to surface. When he did finally creep out of his room, she watched amused, as he crept from the room. At first, she saw the relief on his face. But, upon finding the rooms empty, she saw sadness creep into his frame.

“Addie?” He called, worry in his voice.

“Right here, Bilbo.” Addie offered him a smile, and a muffin. Bilbo stared at it then at her clothes. For once, Addie had put on her sturdiest trousers, and a thick, dark shirt. Her coat hung, unseen, on a hook by the door. Bilbo looked from her, to the muffin, and back.

“Oh, fine!” He suddenly huffed. Addie grinned, and watched as he scarfed down the muffin, and disappear back into his bedroom. He returned moments later, in his own trousers, and shirt, a confused look on his face.

“Here.” Addie handed him his pack before Bilbo had the chance to say anything. She offered him the contract, and signed her name just below his.

“Thanks, Addie. We’d best be going.” Bilbo shouldered his pack, and grabbed the basket of muffins. Addie ignored his look, and strapped her sword to her hip, and bow and arrow to the back of her own pack. Then, she grabbed his arm an the two were off, running down the path.

“Quickly, Bilbo! We need to catch up.” Addie laughed, when she saw the strange looks they received from neighbors.

“I am well aware.” Bilbo huffed, his breath nearly a wheeze in his haste to keep up. Addie laughed breathlessly, and took the turn into the forest. Now, Bilbo caught up to Addie, and nearly passed her. Here, the path was better suited to his bare feet, than to her good traveling boots.

Addie grinned when they finally stopped their mad dash beside a line of horses. Thorin turned around, and the only thing he said, once Balin had read over their signatures, was to get them some ponies. Addie hid her smile, while Bilbo protested the need for an animal, right until he was deposited on top of one. Bilbo glared at her, then almost howled when she swung up behind him.

"Do I have to ride the damn horse?" Bilbo grumbled, only loud enough for her to hear. Addie bit back a giggle, and poked him in the side.

"Of course you do. How else are you supposed to get to Erebor in a timely fashion?" Addie teased. She was saved from Bilbo's remark, by Gandalf joining them.

"Addie, I am very glad that you will be joining our group. To be honest, I was not entirely sure that you were going to be joining us." He rumbled, a fond smile on his face. Addie beamed up at him.

"And miss the chance to watch Bilbo fumble around? You underestimate me, Gandalf." Addie replied. Bilbo squeaked, and crossed his arms. Addie's arms shot around Bilbo, and grabbed the reins before they could fall.

"I will not fumble. I have had plenty of adventures before." Bilbo snapped at her.

"Yes, when we were children." Addie replied sweetly. Gandalf chuckled, and shook his head at them.

"Are you sure there is no relation?" He teased softly.

"Obviously not. Wait- did you know I was going to come. What are they doing?" Bilbo gasped, watching as the dwarves tossed small coin purses about.

"They made bets on whether or not you would show up." Before Bilbo could enquire any more, Gandalf neatly caught his own purse, and rode off before Bilbo could snarl at him. Addie rested her chin on Bilbo's shoulder.

"Oh, be calm Bilbo. All will be well, you shall see. We have each other, and isn't that more the enough?" Addie whispered into his ear.

"I suppose, Addie. I just want you to be safe." Bilbo replied.

"Then safe I shall be." Addie gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. The pair fell into silence, and Addie let herself listen to the dwarves around them. She was shocked from her listening, by Bilbo pulling the pony to a stop. Addie ignored his laughter, and swung down from the saddle. Before Bilbo could ask her for help, she pulled him down, causing him to stumble. Bilbo grumbled, and Addie slipped away from him before he had the chance to retaliate. She ignored the look he sent her, and sat down beside one of the smaller members of the group.

"I am Addie. I don't think I caught your name." Addie introduced herself quietly. The young dwarf looked up from his book quickly, surprised.

"Oh, I am Ori. I am the scribe for the journey." Ori smiled at her, and shut his book. "If you don't mind, can I ask you a question?"

"Of course." Addie raised her eyebrow at him, and waited. Ori looked at her, then across the camp quickly, where Thorin, Balin and Dwalin were conferring. All around the pair, the rest of the company were setting up camp, and dealing with the ponies.

"Why were you living with Bilbo? I mean, you are a dwarf." Ori asked quietly. Addie's shoulders turned inward, and she pulled her knees to her chest so she could rest her chin on them.

"Bilbo's mother found me when I was little. I don't remember much. I think I was playing hide and seek, and got lost. Next thing I knew, a hobbit had found me, and had accepted me into her home. She was very kind, treated me like a daughter." Addie replied softly. "And, before you ask, I don't know my full name. I couldn't say it when I was little, so I called myself Addie."

"Addie, I am so sorry, I didn't mean to be rude." Ori stared at her, eyes wide.

"Ori, its fine. I didn't have to say anything. Besides, I want to be your friend, and those two over there look like trouble." Addie waved in Fili and Kili's direction. The pair were staring at them, whispering to each other. When they Addie wave, they both quickly looked away.

"Who, Fili and Kili? If they cause too much trouble, just make a fuss about it around Thorin. He's their uncle, and he doesn't let them get away with too much." Ori grinned at Addie.

"Good with words, and devious. Ori, I think we will be good friends." Addie grinned wolfishly, then laughed.

"I feel like we have a reason to be worried." Fili muttered to his brother. Kili shifted, then looked from Ori and Addie, to his brother.

"Why?" Kili's brow scrunched up, as he tried to guess what his brother was getting at.

"The company scribe, and the only girl are laughing. They are smart people, Kili. It can only mean bad things for us." Fili replied. He rolled his eyes, when Kili's suddenly widened.

"Lets go over there. They can't plot, if we are right there." Before Fili could say anything, Kili rocketed to his feet, and practically stormed over to them.

"Hello Kili, Fili. How are you today?" Ori asked mildly. Addie shifted, so that one of them would be forced to sit on the ground. Fili caught the movement, grumbled, and dropped neatly to the ground.

"Oh, just dandy. And, how is the new member of our Company?" Fili smiled at Addie, who stared at him suspiciously.

"Just fine, thank you. Glad to finally get Bilbo out of the house, thats for sure." Addie hummed. She stared at them, trying to place where she had seen them before. Her fingers itched to fiddle with her medallion, but she held herself back. No, it was best to not bring attention to it, then the other dwarves might ask her questions.

"He likes staying in?" Ori asked, surprised.

"More like he doesn't like adventures. Bilbo likes his comfort. But, he has a good heart. I think the fact that we are helping your people get your home back is what sold him on this quest. He has always had a soft side." Addie explained.

"Really. Well, it will take Uncle a while to get used to him." Fili chuckled. Dwalin batted him across the back of his head, making Fili wince. "Ow.

"Addie." Dwalin looked at the young dwarf woman, and ignored the prince.

"Yes Mister Dwalin?" She asked softly. Dwalin shifted, mildly uncomfortable.

"None of this Mister stuff, Dwalin is fine. Now, do you know how to use those weapons you brought with you?" He asked, and gestured vaguely at the sword at her hip, the bow and arrows at her back. Addie instantly stiffened.

"I wouldn't wear them if I didn't know how to use them." Addie replied quickly. Dwalin snorted, and offered her a hand.

"Alright then, lets have a go. I need to know how well you can use that sword of yours." Addie took his hand, and resisted the urge to sigh. "Fili, come on."

"What?" Fili sighed, and stood.

"Don't give me attitude. Until we know Addie's skills, she will spar with you." Dwalin explained. He led the pair to a small clearing away from the rest of the group.

"So, I bought this sword from men, but they said it was of dwarvish make. The Rangers thought me when they were around, and I practiced by myself when they left." Addie explained quietly. She passed Dwalin her sword so he could inspect it, then swung her bow and arrows from their place on her back. She gave them to Ori, who had followed them over. He and Kili settled on a near by stump, ready to watch the match.

"Yes, this sword was made by a dwarf. It will serve you well." Dwalin passed it back, the backed away from them. "Alright, nothing too fancy, Fili. I just need to know how she moves." Addie grit her teeth. It bothered her, that they thought she might not be capable. She swung her sword up quickly, before Fili had the chance to attack. Surprised, he moved to block. Except, Addie had turned her sword mid swipe and was attacking him from a different direction. The playful grin on Fili's face faded, and a mulish one replaced it. Eyes hard, he deftly blocked her swing, then tried to attack. Addie danced away, then came at him from a different angle, not letting him do more than defend. By the time their match ended, with Fili's sword in the dust and Addie's resting at the hollow of his throat, Balin and Thorin had come to stand beside Dwalin.

"Well, I'd say you had some mighty fine teachers, lass." Dwalin praised. Addie grinned, sheathed her sword, then wiped the sweat from her brow.

"Thank you, Dwalin. I never went more than a day without practicing." Addie replied, her voice light despite her exertion.

"Hmm. Fili it seems some more practice is in order. I think drills, every night with Balin." Thorin informed his nephew. Fili closed his eyes, but didn't whine, or complain. He retrieved his sword, and wrapped his arm around Addie's shoulders.

"Good spar. Come on, lets go see what Bombur has cooked up." Fili congratulated her. He steered her over to the fire. Ori and Kili trailed behind them.

“I didn’t get you in trouble with Thorin, did I?” Addie asked, her brow furrowed.

“What? No, Uncle Thorin just likes to make sure we can take care of ourselves. Me especially, since I am his heir.” Fili explained easily. He flopped onto the ground, Addie following him.

“You were really good.” Ori informed her, once he was settled beside her. Addie grinned at him.

“You think so? I had to practice a lot by myself.” Addie fiddled with her sword. Ori shook his head quickly, and passed Addie her other weapons.

“No, you were really good. I used to watch Dwalin train the guards. I don’t think any of the youngsters were that good.” Ori replied easily. Addie laughed, and nudged him.

“You don’t have to lie to make me feel better.” Addie teased. Ori rolled his eyes.

“No, but thats the closest I have heard Uncle praise anyone who isn’t family in a long time.” Kili told Addie earnestly. Addie giggled, and Ori shook his head.

“Thanks, Kili, but I was bugging Ori. I believe you guys. Though, if Dwalin was training people, then he must be good. I just want to keep learning.” Addie fiddled with her jacket.

“No, he is really hard. He is never happy, not until you are so tired, that you want to collapse.” Kili moaned. Fili laughed, and tossed a pine cone at his brother. Kili batted it away, and stuck his tongue at his brother.

“Boys, enough. You have first watch.” Thorin called from across the fire. This time, Fili and Kili both groaned. Addie laughed at them, and fell against Ori when Kili and Fili glared at her. Bilbo rolled his eyes at them from across the fire.

Chapter Text

It wasn't a question of if, but when. Addie knew that the dwarves where curious; after her sparring match with Fili, Addie had avoided Bilbo. Whenever the hobbit came close to her, she would flinch and slip away.

“Lass? Is everything alright?” Bofur, the dwarf with a kind smile, and strange hat, queried the next morning. Most of the dwarves were still sleeping, except for Bombur, who was making breakfast, and Thorin, Dwalin, Gloin and Balin. The small group was conferring quietly, while Gloin wandered through their small group of horses.

“Why do you ask?” Addie asked shocked from her thoughts. Dwalin chuckled, and startled the two by joining them.

“Everyone can tell you are on edge. They just can't figure out why.” Dwalin remarked duly. Addie sighed, and het shoulders slumped in.

“Do either of you have siblings?” She asked instead.

“Aye, Bombur is my brother, and Bifur is my cousin. Balin and Dwalin are brothers.” Bofur explained, with a chuckle.

“Ah. Well, if I now anyone, it is Bilbo. And, he is not very pleased with me.” Addie sighed, and resisted the urge to run a hand through her hair.

“Why?” Dwalin asked, his face a mask of confusion.

“Because my father had one rule that was never to be broken.” Bilbo replied, his face as silent storm. Addie flinched, and clenched her hands in her lap.

“I know, Bilbo-” Addie started, but Bilbo growled at her. The two dwarves beside Addie at back, surprised. “Do you? It wasn't easy for him, Addie” Bilbo all but cried.

“Oh, and it was for me? Do you even know why I learned? Bilbo, if there was ever another winter- I couldn't go through that again. I had the strength, I just needed the knowledge. Forgive me for wanting to protect my family.” Addie spat at him. She sprang to her feet, and stalked away before Bilbo had time to reply. Bofur shook his head, the quickly followed her.

“That is an admiral reason to learn, lass.” He commented quietly, once he had caught up to her.

“Thank you Bofur. That does not mean he sees it as such. Oh well, he shall just have to live with it.” Addie didn't look at Bofur. He rested a hand on her shoulder, and didn't take it back until her trembling subsided.

“Well, at least you won't have to share a house with him today.” Bofur informed her, when they returned back to the group. Everyone else was up, and moving around. Bilbo didn't meet Addie's eye,and she bit back a sigh.

“Oh? And why's that?” Addie queried softly.

“We will distribute the pack ponies, so you can have your own. It seems Gandalf assumed you were coming.” Bofur replied easily. Addie either his smile, get her heart nook longer so heavy in her chest.

“Wizards can be tricky that way.” Addie giggled, and Bofur grinned.

“Should we be worried?” Fili asked, and he snaked an arm around Addie's waist.

“That depends. Have you done something to cause such worry?” Addie queried, her eyes sparkling.

“You wound us! Kili gasped, a look of fake hurt on his face.” Addie spun out of Fili's arm, tweaked Kili's nose, then she spun away laughing.

“Fili, Kili, saddle the ponies.” Thorin barked. Addie bit back a laugh at the look on the pairs faces. She waited until they had started their task, and Thorin had turned away to approach the two you dwarves. What do you want. Kili grumbled, a sour look on his face.

“Didn't your mother ever tell you that if you keep that expression for too long, your face will freeze?” Addie asked innocently. Fili's face contorted with silent laughter, and Kili started.

“Anyone who can render him speechless, is a friend of mine. What can we do for you, Addie?” Fili asked, his eyes dancing with mirth.

“I can ride a pony well, but I want to know how to saddle one as well.” Addie explained. Fili was nodding before she had finished talking.

“Good idea. Normally, either the first ones up so it, or we each tend to our own ponies”. Kili explained, his slight stored away for the future.

“Alright. So, what do I do?” Addie asked, a stubborn expression on her face. Fili and Kili walked her through the process on the first few ponies, the supervised her for the rest. At one point, Dwalin wandered over to see what was taking them so long. When he noticed the miniature lesson, he left then in peace. After he was gone, Fili nearly smiled. He could practically feel his Uncle's scowl of annoyance at their speed leave his face. When he dared to glance at his Uncle, he saw a look of approval on his Uncle’s face

Fili felt warmth seep through him- it wasn't often that he received praise from his uncle. It wasn't that his uncle did not care for him, but more that it was hard to impress the older dwarf. Thorin had such high expectations for his two nephews, given that they were his heirs. For Fili it was especially hard, since he was the official heir and had always spent time with Kili, because Kili loved to pull pranks.

"Thank you, boys." Addie grinned at them, once all the ponies had saddles on them. At least Fili knew his brother was smart enough to know not to pull a prank on Addie right now, when things were still so crucial.

"Of course. Its helps that you were such a fast learner." Fili commented innocently. Kili punched his brother's arm swiftly, a scowl on his face.

"Really?" He grumbled, and Fili cracked a smile.

"I feel like I missed something." Addie looked from one brother to the other, and eyebrow raised.

"Kili was terrible at horse back riding when we were young." Fili informed her, his smile sharp. Addie snorted when Kili glared at his brother, then her.

"You need to eat, we are leaving soon." Bofur wandered over, a bowl in his hand. He handed it to Addie, and gave the other two a pointed look.

"What, we don't get anything?" Kili grumbled

"Well, you won't if you don't move soon." Bofur smiled nicely at them, and Addie covered a giggle.

"Thanks Bofur." Addie started to eat the porridge, and the pair followed the brothers at a much more sedate pace. Kili and Fili nearly knocked Bilbo over, in their rush to reach Bombur.

"Of course, Lass. Everyone needs to be treated, every now and then." Bofur commented off handedly. Addie shook her head, and smiled brighter.

"Really, you don't need to. I am capable of taking care of myself." She reminded him softly.

"Aye, I saw myself. But, everyone needs someone to lean on now and then." Before Addie could comment, Bofur walked away. Addie felt the knot in her stomach loosen slightly. Perhaps, if these dwarves could accept her, Thorin would stop sending Bilbo such scathing looks.

"Let's move!" Thorin called out, just as Addie was cleaning her dish. She tucked it into her bag, and trotted over to the pony that Fili had said was for her. She swung up into the saddle neatly, and grinned when Kili floundered. She laughed outright when Fili met her eyes, and Kili glared at them both. She felt, rather than saw, Dwalin roll his eyes, and her grin grew wider.

"So, what are you writing today?" Addie asked, once they had started out. Ori looked up from the book that was balanced on front of him.

"Oh, just sketching the members of the company." Ori mumbled, the tips of his ears turning red.

"You can draw too? Wow." Addie breathed. She flapped her hand, to let Ori know she wanted to see his book. Ori looked form her hand, to his book for a moment, before he handed it over. Addie cooed in awe, when she saw the pictures.

"These are excellent, Ori. Wow." Addie gasped.

"He's talented, isn't he?" Fili commented, and he peered over Addie's shoulder.

"Yeah, he was forever sketching us when we were training." Kili over took the trio, so his pony was just in front of Ori's. Ori's face turned the same shade of red as the tip of his ears.

"I am not that good. There are loads of scribes that are better trained than me." Ori mumbled, his face and neck brick red.

"Yes, but you are the one with us. And, we are infinitely grateful that you are with us." Fili complimented his friend. He plucked the book from Addie's hands, tossed it over her head to Ori, then spurred his pony around Addie so he was beside Kili.

"I am not that good." Ori mumbled, and he clutched his book to his chest.

"Keep telling yourself that, Ori. At least we know better." Addie replied simply. She gave Ori a wolfish grin, then looked away, to single the end of her part in the conversation. Ori stuttered, and grumbled for a few moments, before settling back to his drawing. Addie smiled to herself. Ori had been drawing Dwalin, and Addie could see the tender care in the detail of all the gruff warriors tattoos, the fullness of his beard. Though all the other drawings had been detailed, none had been quite as detailed as Dwalin's, and it made Addie wonder.

"Lass? Are you alright?" Bofur called out, when Addie didn't say anything for awhile. She shook herself from her wonderings, and spurred her pony until she was beside Bofur.

"Just thinking, no need to worry. Are we going to stop soon?" Addie asked quietly. She could ride a pony just fine, but she was not used to being in a saddle for quite so long. Bofur chuckled, and shook his head.

"Not for awhile. Thorin wants to reach that hill, see if there is a sort of cave or some such thing we can camp in for the night." Bofur explained. Addie sighed, and rolled her shoulders.

"Alright. Do you think they will make me fight again tonight?" Addie waved vaguely at Dwalin's back, where he rode at the front of the company with Thorin.

"I imagine he will want to see your skills again." Bofur replied arily. Addie sighed, and Bofur chuckled at her.

"What, don't you want to dance with me again?" Fili asked good naturally. He grinned at her over his shoulder, his pony just in front of hers.

"If you call that dancing." Addie replied, and she poked her tongue out at him. Fili stuck his lower lip out in a pout, and Kili chuckled at his brother.

"Thats not very nice." Fili mock whined.

"Who said I was nice? I shall have to skin them, for telling such lies about me." Addie shook her head, and looked at Fili with a haughty air about her. Kili's eyes widened, and he spurred past Bilbo, and forcing the hobbit to fall beside Fili.

"What did I miss?" Bilbo grumbled, and he shuffled himself into a more comfortable position on his pony. Fili, Bofur and Addie all laughed openly at the other dwarf.

"I was just teasing." Addie managed to say, her face red from laughter.

"Oh, Addie. You know most people don't get your humour." Bilbo sighed, and Addie laughed harder.

"Thats the best part." Addie grinned at him. Suddenly, Bofur clicked to his pony, and between him and Fili, they made Bilbo's slow down until he was riding beside Addie.

"Addie." Bilbo murmured, and he looked away from her.

"Yes Bilbo? Are you still angry with me?" Addie asked quietly. Silently she cursed the other dwarves. Her and Bilbo always made their peace, but in their own time. They really didn't need others to step in and try to fix things.

"No. I- its just-..." Bilbo sighed, and dragged a hand over his face. "I was upset because I feared that it might upset the memory of father. But, I was watching you, then you explained. Oh, Addie but you were a sight. I guess I should have realized years ago what you were up to."

"I could have told you. I just figured that you would be angry with me, that you wouldn't have given me a chance to explain myself." Addie reached over, and squeezed Bilbo's hand.

"Well, at least one of us is not useless to these dwarves." Bilbo grumbled, his good nature gone.

"Don't say that! Your part just hasn't come yet, Bilbo." Addie glared at him, with an expectant look on her face. Bilbo rolled his eyes at her. He tried to cross his arms, only to remember the reigns in his hands.

"Yes, well while you were doing your sword thing, and mixing in with the dwarves, I was being ignored." Bilbo informed her. Addie flinched.

"Sorry, Bilbo. look, Fili, Kili, Ori and Bofur are not bad dwarves. Come, sit with us tonight. They are quite a merry group, and very lovely dwarves." Addie tried to convince her brother. Bilbo grumbled, then sighed heavily.

"I guess I could be convinced." He mumbled. Addie smiled at him.

"Oh, don't be like that. We both know you were waiting for me to ask you along." Addie teased. Before Bilbo could snap at her, Thorin called out that they were stopping for the night.

"Good." Ori breathed a sigh of relief from behind them. Addie laughed, and swing down from her saddle. She grabbed the reigns of Bilbo's, and held his pony steady so he could dismount.

"So, you learned how to do them up this morning, want to learn how to take it all down?" Fili queried. Addie beamed at him.

"That would be fantastic. I assume it is fairly straight forward." Addie followed Fili, over to where the others were corralling the ponies. Fili barked something in the dwarvish tongue, then began to show Addie how to take the tack off. Kili joined them, somewhat skittish of Addie. Addie tried to keep a straight face, but when Kili danced away from her for the third time, she fell to the ground, laughing. Fili looked up, saw the look on his brother’s face, and started laughing as well.

“On your feet, you two. Another bought before supper.” Dwalin announced his presence to the trio. Addie jumped to her feet, still giggling, and followed Dwalin over to a smaller area. Once more, she handed her bow and quiver to Ori, then drew her sword, and faced Fili. This time, the dwarf prince pulled both of his blades, and swung them artfully before he stepped into a defense position.

“Lets see you beat me this time.” Fili grinned at her. Addie snorted, and let him attack her. She danced around him, and let him try and be on the attack before long, she sent one sword flying from his grip. Fili refused to make a comment about it. Addie moved swiftly, and before he could regain his composure, she had disarmed him of his second sword.

“Impressive.” Thorin commented quietly, from his spot beside Dwalin. Addie spun around, her smile faltering.

“Thank you.” She nodded her head to him, and put her sword away.

“Good spar.” Fili sighed, and shook her hand again. He retrieved his own swords, and grumpily put them away.

“Addie, how old are you?” Thorin asked, when Addie went to pass him.

“Um, 67.” Addie replied, uneasy. Dwalin blanched, and stared at her. Ori rocketed to his feet, her weapons falling to the ground.

“So young, and so good. Pray tell me, why were you living with a hobbit?” Thorin asked her, his face not betraying any emotion.

“I got lost, when I was little. Bilbo’s mother found me, and kept me safe.” Addie shrugged, her eyes on Thorin’s face. Thorin studied her for a moment, then walked away. Dwalin looked at her for a moment, then turned and followed him.

“Was it something I said?” Addie asked, once she was by the fire with the dwarf lads. Bilbo brought her a bowl of stew, and sat down neatly beside her, Fili on his other side. The group of them were tucked into the corner of the little cave, the fire just in front of them.

“Its just, dwarves don’t come of age until they are in their 70s. If Thorin had known when we were still in the Shire, he wouldn’t have let you come.” Ori explained, awe on his face.

“If you weren’t so good with a sword, he would probably try to send you home.” Fili commented. He accepted his bowl from Bofur, and wiggled in his spot until he was more comfortable. Addie knocked her shoulder against his, as if to mock him for his squirming, then shook her head.

“He would have a hard time of it.” Addie replied dryly, a stubborn set to her mouth.

“I am sure he would.” Fili grinned, and flicked a small pinecone at her. Addie glared, caught it, and tossed it at him. Fili deflected it, and stuck his tongue out at her. Addie reached over, and quickly pinched his tongue.

“Ack! Lemme go!” Fili gasped, and he flapped his arms at her. Kili nearly upended his bowl of stew, he was laughing so hard. Bofur snorted, then flicked Addie’s wrist. She gave him a searching look, then turned and saw that Thorin had his back to them. She let Fili’s tongue go, just before the leader of their company turned around.

“So, Addie. What was it like, living with hobbits?” Ori asked quickly, his voice carrying. Addie started, and turned to the young scribe. Thorin turned and stared at them, a searching look on his face.

“It was fine. Lots of food, but it wasn’t so bad, especially once I started learning sword play. They gossip a lot, and have these wonderful, big birthday parties. Actually, they will celebrate for any reason.” Addie informed him. Bilbo made a small indignant noise, which Addie pointedly ignored. When she didn’t say anything, he stood, and Bofur took his spot quickly.

“Oh? When do they come of age?” Ori asked. He kept his pen poised over his book, ready to take all of it down.

“When they are 33. They live very simple lives, you know. Full of food, good fortune and family. Honestly, the most Bilbo ever really did was tend his garden.” Addie explained softly.

“Did he ever marry?” Kili asked keenly. Fili quickly smacked his brother on the head, and gave him a hard look.

“You don’t have to answer that, Addie. That was very rude of Kili.” Fili glared at his brother. Addie watched the exchange with interest.

“What do you mean? Its not rude at all. No, Bilbo never married, he never found the right person.” Addie shrugged. Bofur, Ori, Fili and Kili all stared at her. “What did I say now?” Addie sighed, suddenly very wary.

“Its just, well, dwarves never ask is someone has been married. We can usually tell by braids, and well. It can be a very sore subject.” Bofur explained softly.

“Oh, right, your braids. I had been meaning to ask about those. But, if you don’t mind me asking, why can it be a sore subject?” Addie dropped her voice, so that, unless the older dwarves were trying,t hey wouldn’t be able to hear them.

“Well, dwarves have soul mates.” Ori mumbled, his words quick. Addie gasped, and stared at him.

“What, so you just see the dwarf, and BAM instant love?” She asked, her voice skeptical.

“Not quite like that, lass. No, we call it the red string. Its like this, according to lore, a dwarf has half of their heart given to another dwarf at birth. So, each dwarf has two parts of a heart, theirs and that of their intended. The parts of their heart are connected by a red string, a connection. The two dwarves do not know of their love, their One until they actually know each other. Well, they more fall into their love.” Bofur tried to explain.

“Fall into their love?” Addie asked, her eyes wide.

“Well, its like this. When you are with your One, before you realize that it is your One, everything seems better. They can make you laugh, and smile like no other. They make you feel safe, and important. You know, all those important things that you need for love.” Bofur finished, his voice soft. He looked away from Addie, across the fire. “Some dwarves are lucky, and find their One at a young age. Lady Dis, these rascals mother, was one such dwarf. Others, well they can wait forever and never know.”

“Bofur? Have you found your one?” Addie asked softly, and she rested a hand on his knee. Bofur jerked, then shook his head.

“Not yet. But, I have faith that one day my One will come. Not even our esteemed leader has found his One.” Bofur shrugged. He gently patted Addie’s hand, then rose and walked away. Fili instantly shuffled over, and poked Addie hard in the shoulder.

“Do hobbits have a soul mate?” Ori peered at Addie, his face even brighter with his curiosity.

“No, I don’t think so. At least, Bilbo never mentioned it.” Addie shrugged, then leaned against Fili with a sigh. “Alright boys, I am going to get some sleep. Night.” She flashed Ori a smile, then used Fili as a spring board, so she could stand up easier. Fili grumbled at her, then both he and Kili waved.

“Ready for bed?” Bilbo asked softly, when Addie joined him. He had set out both of their bed rolls, one beside the other.

“Yes please. Night brother.” Addie pressed a quick kiss to her brother’s cheek, then curled up in her roll. When Bilbo lay down beside her, she turned and curled into him, just as he curled around her. With a soft sigh that ghosted over Bilbo’s cheek, Addie let herself sleep.

Chapter Text

Addie woke to the other dwarves skittering around Thorin, blatant awe on their faces.

"Ori? Did I miss something?" Addie cornered the youngest dwarf, concern radiating off of her.

"You mean, you didn't hear it last night?" Ori gaped at her when Addie shook her head. "Kili and Fili were teasing Thorin, so he snarled at him. Bilbo was rising to their defense, but then Balin explained why Thorin hates orcs so much. It was incredible." Ori breathed. Addie resisted the urge to sigh. From her time in the Shire, she could see the beginnings of hero worship on Ori's face.

"Well, it stands to reason that it would be incredible. He is the king of an exiled people." Addie informed him. Ori started, then a thoughtful expression crossed his face.

"I guess that makes sense." He mumbled. Addie nodded, then wandered over to the fire. She peered over Bombur's shoulder, to see what breakfast was.

"I am surprised you haven't had a visit from Dori or Nori yet." Bombur mused quietly. Addie, who was in the middle of spooning porridge into her bowl, frowned.

"Why?" Addie turned, so the two dwarves in question wouldn't be able to see her face.

"Well, you are making friends with Ori, yes? And, those two are very protective of their brother." Bombur replied. He dished up more porridge, and shoved it into one sleepy prince's hands. Kili mumbled incoherently, and wobbled over to were Fili sat with Dwalin.

"Is everyone in this company related?" Addie asked, mildly exasperated. Bombur chuckled.

"Most of us are, yes. I imagine Bofur has already explained our relation. Dwalin and Balin are brothers, and distant cousins of Thorin. And, they too are of the line of Durin, though distantly. Ori, Nori and Dori have some distant tie to the Durins. As do, I believe, the brothers Oin and Gloin." Bombur rattled them off. He grinned, when he saw the confused look on Addie's face.

"Wow. So, what you are saying is that Bilbo and I are the odd ones out." Addie pondered.

"Not quite, Lass. At least you can use a weapon." Gloin interjected. He shared a laugh with Bombur when Addie jumped, then accepted his breakfast from the big dwarf.

"Hmm. And, I am a dwarf." Addie polished off her breakfast, then grabbed a leaf to clean out her bowl. She nodded her thanks to Bombur, kicked Fili as she passed him, and went to start saddling the ponies.

"What was that for?" Fili grumbled. He had dragged his half asleep brother with him.

"Have you looked at the sky? Its going to rain soon. I imagine it would be a good idea for us to get going before it does soon. Since Thorin hasn't said anything yet, I figure it might be go if we just started." Addie informed him. She quickly swung first the blanket, then the saddle onto the nearest pony.

"Um, you might not want to do that." Fili cautioned. Curious as to Fili's tone, Kili looked up, then yelped.

"Why not? This is a pony, and he belongs to a member of this company. So, he needs to have a saddle, yes?" Addie replied. She hummed softly as she moved around the pony, pulling straps and buckles into place.

"Its just, um, well thats Uncle's pony. Minty. He doesn't exactly like anyone other than Uncle or Mother to saddle him." Fili replied, and his fingers twiddled his mustache.

"I don't see any problems. Get going you two, I will be fine!" Addie shooed them off, and went back to saddling Minty. She gently ran her hands down the sides of the pony's nose, before she slid the bridle into place. Minty shifted but otherwise didn't react to Addie.

"I really don't know what your guys' problem was, Minty was lovely." Addie informed them, when she moved on to the next pony. The two boys looked at her, each other, then they went back to their task. When they were done, the pair raced towards Minty, ready to inspect her work. The pony, aggravated by the two high strung dwarves, he stomped his hoof in warning.

"Fili! Kili! What are you doing?" Thorin yelled, and suddenly he was there, catching Minty's reigns in surprise. Addie huffed, and slipped between the ponies until she was beside Minty. She ignored Thorin's surprised, calculating look, and ran her hand down the pony's nose.

"Those dwarves sure are silly, aren't they? Don't worry, I wouldn't want them near me in your position either." Addie informed the pony.

"Hey! Kili called, indignant. Thorin flicked a hand, and caught Kili on the back of the head. Kili grumbled, but kept quiet, his eyes dark as he glared at the pony and Addie.

“Thank you, Addie. Everyone, we move out!” Thorin called suddenly. Startled, Addie let go of Minty, and hurried over to her own pony. Bilbo handed her her things, and once Addie attached them to her saddle, then swung up into it.

“How did you do that?” Fili asked, as soon as they were moving. Addie looked at him, surprised.

“What, you mean calm the pony down?” Addie asked smoothly. She clucked neatly to her own pony, and brought it beside Ori. Fili snorted, and over took the pair, until he and Kili were just in front of her.

“Yes! Minty is the worst pony ever.” Kili grumbled, his shoulders hunched.

“Nah, Minty is very sweet. You just don’t know how to talk to her.” Addie informed him smugly. Kili huffed, and shook his head. Before Fili could join the conversation, there was a rumble, and rain started to fall from the sky.

“How did you know?” Fili all but howled. Addie laughed, and spread her arms over her head.

“Its called spending time outside, mountain boy.” Addie teased. Kili and Fili both grumbled, and hunched over their ponies. Addie laughed at them. After a few hours of silent riding, Bilbo finally queried about other wizards. Since it was a conversation Addie had had with Gandalf when she was young, she paid them no mind. She nearly fell off her pony laughing, at the shocked look on Kili’s face. When he realized that she was laughing at him, he gave her a sour look.

As much as Addie liked the rain, she was more then pleased when it finally let up, and even happier when Thorin called for a walk. Gandalf walked through the ruined farm house, muttering to himself. He turned to Thorin, and Addie could see the storm brewing on the wizard’s face.

Addie watched Thorin and Gandalf fight with interest. From her conversations with Fili and Kili, she knew the dwarf king was stubborn. Yet, it seemed to her that perhaps he was foolish as well. It did not seem right, to ignore the wizard's advice. If anything, Addie wanted to run forward, grab his hand. and follow him wherever he went. If nothing else, Addie found him more trustworthy than Thorin. Not that she didn't trust Thorin, its just that she knew Gandalf better than the dwarf.

"Well, we might as well get a fire going." Bofur nodded to her, and Addie grinned suddenly.

"Is that some kind of clue, Bofur?" She asked cheekily. Bofur laughed, then shrugged his shoulders.

"Perhaps." He replied easily. Kili looked from one to the other, confusion on his face.

"I feel like I missed something here." He grumbled. Fili laughed, and rested a heavy hand on Kili's shoulder.

"Bofur wants us to get firewood, but he doesn't want to order us." Fili informed his younger brother. Addie turned away, so Kili wouldn't see her hide a giggle. Kili gave a suffering sigh, then turned to follow his brother. They were just stepping towards the forest, when Thorin called out.

"Fili, Kili! Watch the ponies." Thorin yelled at them. The boys shared a look, then turned to recruit Addie to help them. To their ire, though, Addie was already out of feasible earshot, gathering firewood for Bofur. When she turned, she gave them a rather unconvincingly sorry look, her arms full of logs.

"I think she planned that." Kili all but growled. Fili gave his brother an appraising look.

"I wouldn't be surprised if she plans everything, brother." Fili replied easily. He tugged Kili over to the ponies, wonder if he should voice his observations. If it had been his uncle, he wouldn't have said anything. And, well, Kili wasn't always the brightest, but he did catch on quickly. Maybe he had noticed too. "Kili?" He called, as he was carrying the last saddle over to the tree where the rest were stacked. Kili looked up from the bit of bridle he was repairing.

"Aye?" He asked, mouth full of thread. Fili rolled his eyes at the picture his brother made, and flopped beside him. He shifted the saddle so it was more square in his lap, and grabbed a rag to start cleaning the worn leather.

"I have been thinking. Does Addie remind you of anyone?" Fili asked quietly. He didn't want any of the other dwarves to hear them; they would laugh and call him a child.

"You see it too?" Kili replied, after a moment's thought. Fili breathed a sigh of relief.

"Yeah, she looks like mother, sounds like her. If she wasn't so young, I would even swear that she is mother." Fili responded, his voice low.

"Fili, what if she is-" Kili started, his eyes bright with excitement.

"No, Kili! Addie is not our little sister. She died years ago. I made my peace, and so should you." Fili shoved the saddle off of his lap, and stormed away from his brother. Internally, a storm raged. Angrily, he wiped the tears from his eyes, and moved through the ponies. He found his, Willow, and leaned against her solid warmth. He shut his eyes for a moment, and let the sound of her breathing calm him. When he could trust himself not to scream, Fili moved through the ponies, counting them. He frowned, when the number he got was 14.

"Fili, look I am sorry." Kili had finally found his brother, a look of sorrow and apology on his face.

"Later, Kili. Help me count the ponies, I think we are missing two." Fili ordered. He ignored the fleeting look of panic on Kili's face, and went to count them again. They met in the middle, and stared at the ponies, worry pooling in their stomachs.

"I've got supper- is something wrong?" Bilbo came up behind them, two bowls of soup in his hands.

"We are supposed to be looking after the ponies." Kili informed him.

"Except, we have run across a slight problem." Fili continued.

"There are supposed to be 16."

"And there are only 14." Fili finished off. Bilbo looked from one dwarf to the other, than gazed at the ponies.

"We should get Thorin." He announced. Kili and Fili shared a look, then shook their heads.

"No, its better not to worry him. We thought, as our official burglar, that you might want to look into it for us." Fili replied instead.

"What? Thats ridiculous." Bilbo gasped, his mouth wide.

"Hey is that a light? Maybe thats where they went!" Kili lead the way towards the light. He stopped, nearly causing Bilbo to slam into him. In front of him, was a large tree, ripped up by its roots.

"That must of been something big." Bilbo breathed, his eyes wide.

"Look!" Fili hissed. He grabbed Bilbo and Kili by their collars, and tugged them down as a troll walked by, two ponies in his arms.

"He's got Myrtle and Minty!" Bilbo growled, outrage in his voice. He didn't particularly care for Minty, but Myrtle was his pony, and he was becoming quite found of her.

"Exactly. So, you should look into it. Besides, mountain trolls are slow and stupid." Kili grabbed the bowls from Bilbo, and Fili propelled him forward.

"Its simple, really. Hoot twice like a barn owl, once like a barn owl." Fili informed him. Bilbo stumbled forward, trying to work out in his head the sign. But, when he turned back for help, the two dwarves were gone.

“Uncle!” Kili called, as soon as they were close enough for the others to hear.

“There are trolls!” Fili hollered. Fili nodded to his brother, who turned and sprinted back towards Bilbo.

“Trolls? Where?” Thorin stormed forward. Dwalin quickly followed, hand going to one of his axes.

“Just over there. We sent Bilbo in, they stole some of the ponies. Kili is going back to make sure Bilbo is okay.” Fili replied. He took a deep breath, then spun around and started the sprint back, this time with the company on his heels. Except, well, it didn’t exactly go as planned. Because, before Fili really had time to process anything, he was tied up in a sack, beside his brother. And, the trolls were discussing the best way to eat them.

“Where is Addie?” Kili whispered, his voice cutting through Fili’s thoughts. Fili frowned, and tried to think.

“You know, I don’t remember seeing her.” Fili hummed. He felt his uncle’s boot tap his shoulder. He looked over, and saw a shadow. Fili swallowed, realizing what it was. Addie was lurking behind them, trying to free Uncle Thorin. Fili nudged Kili, and started to pay attention to Bilbo.

“We don’t have worms!” Kili shouted. Fili saw the exasperated look on Bilbo’s face, and wished that he could explain to the hobbit that his brother wasn’t that dense. But then, Thorin was forcefully kicking them, and then they were all shouting. In the confusion, Thorin shifted, the jumped to his feet, bag falling around his feet.

“The dawn will take you all!” Gandalf shouted, and he broke the stone in half.

“How did you get free?” Dwalin called, once the trolls had turned to storm.

“Well, not everyone ran into the fray.” Addie stepped forward, a long knife in her hand. She crouched beside Fili and Kili, and started to saw at the older dwarf’s bounds.

“Thanks, Lass.” Bofur called from his spot on the spit. “But, I would much appreciate it if you did me next.” Addie laughed, and kept working on releasing the dwarves that were on the ground. Thorin and Gandalf worked at releasing the ones on the spit. When Addie was done, she turned to Bilbo.

“Of all the fool hardy, Took things you could do.” She snapped at him, fire in her eyes.

“Oh? And all the blasted dwarf things you could do. Sneaking around in the dark.” Bilbo snapped back.

“Thought you’d be proud, I didn’t make a noise, did I?” Addie hissed, hands clenched at her sides. “I kept myself out of it. Why did you go waltzing in in the first place?” Realization dawned over Bilbo’s face, and he quickly wrapped his arms around Addie.

“Sorry, Addie. I didn’t mean to scare you.” He whispered into her hair. Addie stayed stiff for a moment. Then, she collapsed in Bilbo’s arms, shaking with tears. Her arms were vice like, and her fists bunched in the fabric of his jacket.

“Lass?” Bofur strode forward, and rested a hand on Addie’s shoulder. He met Bilbo’s eyes, unsure of what to do. Kili and Fili crowded around the hatted dwarf, and they stared at Addie’s shaking form.

“You stupid Took. I could have lost you too.” Addie whimpered, her voice only loud enough for Bilbo to hear.

“Addie, hush. We are okay. If anything, I should be mad at you. I am alright. Don’t cry now. I am old, remember?” Bilbo mumbled back, his lips brushing against her ear as he did. Addie gave a watery chuckle, and she dug her face further into his shoulder.

“Addie? Kili and I are going to go check out the cave.” Fili commented. He nodded to Bilbo, then lead a complaining Kili away. Addie didn’t say anything, but she didn’t whimper a little when Bofur took his hand away, so he could follow the boys.

“I am alright.” Addie pulled away, and wiped her eyes. She ignored the look on Bilbo’s face, and adjusted her jacket collar.

“Addie, is there something you aren’t telling me?” Bilbo asked. He scrutinized her face, trying to see what she wasn’t telling him.

“Nothing, Bilbo. Lets go see about washing up, yes? You smell.” Addie gave him a watery smile, then darted away before Bilbo could comment.

Chapter Text

Addie didn't follow the others into the troll cave. Instead, she followed Bilbo to a stream near it, so that he could wash. Addie pretended to wash her face, but her eyes stayed on Bilbo. She hovered over the stream, and fingered her medallion.

"What are you doing?" Kili asked, and he peered down at them.

"Well, when at a stream, one tends to wash. Did your mother not teach you how to bathe when you were little?" Addie asked quickly. Bilbo snorted, then stood and walked back towards the group. Addie fell into step between the two dwarves.

"Mother was often rather annoyed with Kili. He never really did know when to have a bath." Fili stage whispered into Addie's ear. Kili made an outraged noise, and Addie tried to hide her giggle.

"If it makes you feel any better, the first thing Bilbo's mother did when she got me home, was bathe me." Addie offered. Kili scoffed, and Fili chuckled. His eyes were bright and full of mischief. He leaned over to say something to Addie, when his eyes caught on her necklace.

"Addie, whats that? I haven't seen it before." Fili made to touch the small pendant. Addie snatched it up, and wrapped her fingers around it.

"It is nothing important." Addie informed him crossly. She tucked it underneath her tunic, then strode away from the brothers, straight for Bilbo. Bilbo was examining a small sword, Gandalf walking away. All around her she heard the dwarves shouting, and the sound of weapons being pulled from holders.

"Bilbo?" She asked softly, her hand on his arm.

"Radagast!" Gandalf called, before anyone could say anything. Bilbo and Addie turned to see the two wizards. Once Addie was sure that all was well, she poked Addie's arm.

"What is this, brother dearest? Do my eyes deceive me, or do you hold a sword?" Addie teased, her eyes dancing. Bilbo grumbled, and put the sword back into it's sheath.

"Gandalf gave it to me. Told me it was good for me to have it." Bilbo snapped at her. Addie gave him a sharp smile, and took the sword. She neatly pulled at Bilbo's belt, startling a gasp from him. Kili and Fili watched, obvious delight at the hobbit's discomfort in their eyes. Addie threaded the sword onto the belt, then cinched it tightly at his waist.

"Well, now you won't lose it." Addie pressed a quick, fond kiss to Bilbo's cheek. Bilbo rolled his eyes at her.

"Come, we should find out what is going on." Bilbo huffed, and pulled her towards the two wizards, and the other dwarves. They had just joined the group, when they all heard the howling of wargs. Addie watched, eyes wide and limbs frozen, while Thorin and the others dismantled the warg scout quickly.

"We need to move!" Thorin commanded.

"We cannot! The ponies have bolted." Ori called back, panic in his voice.

"I will lead them off." Radagast informed them. Before Gandalf could protest, he hopped on his sled, and called to his rabbits. Addie watched them run off, eyes wide at the small animals.

"Come on, Addie." Fili grabbed Addie's hand, and tugged. Addie shook her head, and followed him quickly. Internally, she berated herself. The moment when it counted, when Bilbo had truly needed her, and she had failed. Sparring with Fili, or the Rangers was one thing. Being able to fend of wolves during the winter months another. But, if she wasn't able to protect Bilbo, or herself, from orcs and wargs then what use was she? Addie stumbled along with the others, lost in thought. She nearly ran into Bombur, when Thorin stopped suddenly. Eyes wide, she watched when Thorin pulled Ori back sharply.

"Addie?" Kili glanced over at her, eyes filled with worry. Addie didn't respond, instead she went still, as the others realized that there was a warg on top of the rock over them. Thorin nodded to Kili, who pulled an arrow out of his quiver. He steadied it on his bow, then ducked out from the rock, pulled the arrow to his cheek and let it fly. The warg's dying shrieks, and it's riders howls alerted the other orcs to their presence. The need for silence gone, Dwalin dispatched of the orc, and Thorin called for them to keep moving.

"Where is Gandalf?" Gloin called, worry in his voice.

"He has abandoned us!" Dwalin yelled sharply, fury in his eyes and voice.

"This way, you fools!" Gandalf yelled at them. The dwarves fell back into a tight circle, pressing the younger ones back towards Gandalf. Dwalin grabbed Addie's collar, and tossed her towards the hole. She bit back a yelp, and tumbled down the slope, Ori and Bilbo quickly following her. She huffed, and retreated into a corner, dusting off her shirt as she did so.

Bilbo soon followed Addie, and he tumbled gracelessly into the small cavern. The last to enter, Thorin and Kili, looked strained.

"What is this place?" Thorin gained his feet, and looked around. Gandalf shrugged. Thorin looked at him, mistrust on his face. He surveyed the cavern, and noted the path.

"I cannot see where it goes. Do we follow it?" Dwalin called, from the bend. The company made small sounds of agreement.

"Of course!" Bofur called back, before Thorin could make any sort of statement. Thorin grumbled quietly, and let himself be corralled between Kili and Gandalf. Bofur neatly grabbed Addie's jacket sleeve, and tugged her along.

"I can walk." Addie grumbled, her ears turning red. Just behind her, Bilbo smothered a chuckle.

"Never said you couldn't, Lass. Just need to make sure we all get there in one piece." Bofur informed her cheerfully. Addie huffed, but did not raise further argument. Instead, she muttered to herself, and shot Kili and Fili glares whenever they looked back at her.

"Is that?" Bilbo breathed, his eyes going wide with wonder, when they finally stopped.

"Rivendell." Gandalf smiled, pleased with himself.

"Why have you brought us here?" Thorin huffed, anger clear on his face. Gandalf glared at the dwarf king.

"I told you, Lord Elrond can help us. We can get shelter, supplies, much needed advice." Gandalf listed off, annoyance clear on his face.

"They will not approve!" Thorin snapped back. "They are elves, they will try and stop us."

"Any ill will in this valley belongs to you, Thorin Oakenshield. These are different Elves. That said, this will take no small degree of tact. Therefore, the talking shall be left to me." Gandalf turned and continued the decent into the valley. Fili and Kili watched their uncle, along with the rest of the company. No one moved for a moment, until Thorin finally conceded with a grumble.

"I wonder what they look like." Ori whispered, wonder on his face.

"Tall, and untrustworthy. The lousy tree shaggers." Nori whispered back, a scowl on his face. Ori looked away from his brother, and tried to hide his curiosity.

"Elves. Can you believe it, Bilbo." Addie breathed. She tucked her hand into his, and tugged him closer. With a quiet smile, and fond look, Bofur dropped her hand, and joined his own brother.

"Amazing." Bilbo whispered back, his eyes bright.

"This is going to be incredible." Addie all but cooed with delight.

"If by incredible, you mean interesting. I for one am curious to see how the company reacts to so many elves in one place." Bilbo replied. Addie covered her mouth, a delighted laugh trying to break free.

"Oh, I know. I wonder what mischief I can get up to." Addie smiled at her brother, who rolled his eyes.

"No, Addie." Before Addie could complain, the dwarves came to a stop at the front gate to Rivendell. As Gandalf spoke to the elf that greeted them, Addie felt Bofur tug at her sleeve again. She looked at him, confused. Behind them, the thunder of hooves could be heard. Addie's sleeve was reefed on, and she found herself once more in the middle, with Bilbo, Ori and Kili.

"Really?" Ori huffed, obviously annoyed. Addie patted his arm gently, as if to remind him that he was not the only one in the middle.

"Lord Elrond." Gandalf called, when the horses and their riders finished their circle.

"Mithrandir, welcome." Elrond dismounted, and embraced Gandalf. Addie tried not to show her annoyances, when the pair conferred in the elvish tongue.

"Welcome, Thorin Oakenshield." Lord Elrond turned to Thorin, and bent his head. "You have the bearing of your grandfather." Elrond spoke to Thorin's silent question.

"Oh? He made no mention of you." Thorin replied hauntingly. Elrond smiled briefly, and spoke briefly in the elvish tongue.

"What did he say? Does he offer us insult?" Gloin surged forward, ready to attack in defence of his king. All around them, the dwarves bristled, hands on weapons.

"No, Master Gloin. He offers you food and shelter." Gandalf replied, amusement clear in his voice. Bilbo rolled his eyes, as the dwarves spoke quietly.

"Aye, well, lead on then." Gloin informed the elf. Addie bit back a laugh, by stuffing her fist into her mouth. The elf that had greeted them started to lead the dwarves into Rivendell. Gandalf and Elrond stood off to the side, speaking quietly.

"There is a young dwarrowdam in your company, Gandalf." Elrond spoke quietly, his brow furrowed.

"I had noticed." Gandalf replied, his voice dry.

"Why? I did not think Thorin to be so foolish, as to bring such a young one, let alone a dwarrowdam." Elrond's voice was full of fond exasperation.

“To be fair, he was not expecting Addie to tag along.” Gandalf replied. After that, Addie didn’t hear anymore, as she was too busy trying to follow, and remember, the pathway.

“Mistress Dwarf, perhaps you would like a separate room?” A lovely young female elf approached the company, once they were in the space provided for the dwarves.

“Addie will do, and yes please. A bath would be lovely.” Addie smiled at the elf, and followed her quickly, before the members of the company could speak out against it.

“Alright, Addie. Here.” The elf waved Addie into the spacious room.

“Thank you, Mistress.” Addie trailed off, and she waited with a raised eyebrow for the elf to give her own name.

“Arwen. You are quite different from your kin.” Arwen commented, eyes sharp.

“They are not my kin. I was raised with Bilbo.” Addie shrugged, and surveyed the room. “This will be lovely. Thank you.” Addie approached the bathing room, eagerness clear on her face.

“I leave you. Supper will be shortly.” Arwen smiled to the young dwarf, and ducked out of the room. Addie sighed happily, and she entered the bathing room. She pulled fresh clothes quickly from her pack, and set about starting her bath. When the water was hot and ready, she shed her dirty clothes, and sank into the waters with a sigh on contentment. She allowed herself only a moment of rest; with a sigh of weariness, she briskly pulled her black hair out of it’s confining braid, and carded her fingers through it. Once it was suitably soaked, she scrubbed herself with a smile bar of soap that smelled of lilacs. Addie hummed a drinking song that Bilbo pretended she did not know, and used her comb to brush her long, wet locks out. Addie was out of the tub, and toweling her hair dry when she heard the pounding, powerful knocking.

“Yes?” Addie called. Just in case the knocker was impatient, she deftly wrapped the towel about her body, and stayed inside the bathing room.

“Addie? It is Dori. When you are decent, I thought I might braid your hair.” Dori’s soft, motherly voice called through the door.

“Oi, I am here to! Have to make sure your virtue is looked after!” Bofur’s teasing tones drifted through the door. Addie rolled her eyes when she heard Dori splutter.

“Well I- as if I would- Addie!” Dori all but howled.

“Its alright, Dori. I know Bofur is teasing. Just give me a moment!” Addie called back, her voice light. She quickly pulled her small clothes on, then her long sleeved shirt was neatly tucked into her clean trousers. “Come in!” Addie called. As the two dwarves entered her room, Addie pulled a forest green, sleeveless tunic on over her shirt, and stepped out of the bathing room.

“Tch.” Dori huffed instantly, as soon as he saw the state of her hair. Addie resisted the urge to roll her eyes, and she let Dori guide her to a stool. He quickly pulled a chair up behind her, and threaded his fingers through her hair.

“Do you have any clasps or beads, Lass?” Bofur asked, a hand in his pocket. Dori pulled out a comb, and began to briskly comb her hair out.

“Ouch! No, I don’t. Why?” Addie grumbled, her eyes dark.

“Well, perhaps if you took better care of your hair, we wouldn’t have this problem.” Dori grumbled back. Addie gave into the urge this time, and Bofur smiled at her expression.

“The way dwarves braid their hair signifies family ties, when they have come of age, and their family’s standing. Since you do not know your family, we will put basic braids in for you.” Bofur explained. He grabbed a chair, and sat in front of Addie. Bofur pulled his hand from his pocket, a small pouch in his hand. “Now, mind you wood is not nearly as good as metal, but it will do in a pinch.”

“Oh, Bofur you didn’t have to.” Addie stared at the small wooden clasps in Bofur’s hand, eyes wide. Bofur’s cheeks went red, but he nodded firmly.

“Aye, Lass, I did.” Bofur unformed her. Dori made a noise from behind Addie, who winced again. The comb was moving more freely through her hair now, except for the odd tangle.

“Is your hair always this dark, or only when it is wet?” Bofur asked, and he scrutinized her dark tresses.

“Nah, it has always been as dark as night. Surely you have noticed before.” Addie raised an eyebrow at her friend.

“Hard to, when you keep it hidden away under hoods, and all braided up.” Dori complained from behind her. “Ah, but your hair is beautiful.”

“Thank you, Dori. Though, I thought all dwarves braided their hair.” Addie queried, curiosity colouring her voice.

“Yes, well, we use braids as accents. Rarely does a dwarf braid all of their hair. Though, it really does depend on the trade. Now, what braids are we putting in her hair?” Dori asked Bofur. The miner dwarf hummed for a moment, before he smiled.

“Well, one to signify her youth, one to show prowess with a sword, and perhaps some to signify her part in this company.” Bofur listed them off. “Oh, and perhaps some to keep the rest of her hair from her face.”

“Thanks, Bofur.” Addie grumbled. She crossed her arms, displeased that she did not have a real say in how her hair would be done up.

“Bofur. Nori needs your help.” Fili poked his nose into the room. Bofur sighed, and stood.

“Well, come here Lad.” Bofur waited until Fili was before him. He held the young dwarf’s hands in his own, and tipped the clasps into Fili’s hands. “See you at dinner.”

“Bye!” Addie called after him. Fili sat heavily in front of her, watching Dori weave her hair.

“You have very dark hair.” He commented softly. Addie rolled her eyes, and huffed.

“So I have been told.” She grumbled. Dori chuckled, then snapped his fingers for a clasp. Fili looked at him in surprise, then handed one of them over.

“Have you never braided your hair like this before?” Fili asked. He watched Dori’s hands dance along her hair, weaving it into the intricate pattern that indicated an underage dwarrowdam. The hair started at her temples, and was drawn away from her face, almost in a crown. Then, the two pieces were brought together, and joined by a clasp. The joined hair was quickly plaited. Small braids along the side of her head were done in the intricate patterns, signifying her position as a member of the Company, and a warrior maiden of the sword.

“No, never knew how.” Addie thought for a moment, then punched him.

“Hey! What was that for?” He hissed at her.

“You were holding back, when we sparred.” Addie glared at him. Fili tried to deny it, but Addie cut him off. “And don’t think I don’t know it. I saw you fight those orcs.”

“Sorry. Uncle and Dwalin didn’t want me to hurt you.” Fili grumbled. He had the decency to look chastised. Addie snorted.

“I am tough, thank you very much.” She snapped at him.

“I know. But, we still needed to know your skill. You are very good, though.” Fili reassured her. Addie laughed.

“Why thank you, my friend.” She shared a grin with him, slight seemingly forgotten.

“There. Now you look like a proper dwarf lass.” Dori informed Addie. He gave one of her braids a quick tug, the stood. When Addie gave him a questioning look, he waved her towards the mirror.

“Oh, thank you Dori.” Addie gasped, when she saw her reflection. She turned her head side to side, and felt the oddness of the braids sliding around her face. “Can you teach me how to do this?”

“With time, I don’t see why not. Now, lets us go and eat, before someone comes and gets us.” Dori told them. He gave them each a look, then turned to the door.

“It looks good Addie. You almost look like a proper dwarf now.” Fili teased. He tugged at one of her braids. Addie squawked, and glared at him.

“Braids are not for pulling, Fili.” She snapped at him. She shoved his shoulder, and Fili stumbled away.

“Well met, Addie!” Bofur called. Fili and Addie looked up, bright smiles on their faces.

“Dori did a fantastic job, didn’t he.” Addie laughed, and gave a twirl, her braids spinning.

“I never knew your hair was so dark. Its the same colour as mine and Thorin’s!” Kili announced. He poked at one of her braids, a mischievous look on his face. Addie slapped at his hands.

“Back off, you badger.” She teased. Fili snorted, and grabbed his brother’s arm.

“Addie is being a bear. Come, lets go before she tries to eat us.” He tugged Kili away, before Addie could push him.

“Addie, can I talk to you?” Dwalin appeared at her side, and touched Addie’s arm, then pulled her aside. They stood just outside the door of the dining room.

“Dwalin, is something wrong?” Addie asked, concern on her face. Dwalin studied her for a moment, and bit his lip.

“Lass, we all know you are proficient with a sword. Have you ever seen battle, before?” He asked seriously. Addie flushed, and looked away.

“I have fought wolves, and the Rangers. Until today, well, I never fought an orc. Or a warg for that matter.” Addie sighed, shame colouring her cheeks.

“No matter, Lass. Now we know. If it helps, Fili dropped his sword the first time an orc rushed at him.” Dwalin informed her quietly. Addie snorted, then grinned.

“Thanks, Dwalin. And, sorry for freezing, earlier.” Addie told the warrior dwarf. Dwalin rested a hand on her shoulder.

“This time, we will let it go. But, next time we will be counting on you.” He told her quietly. Addie nodded sharply.

“Of course. It won’t happen again.” Addie gave him a brief smile, then followed him into the dining hall. She let herself be pulled into a spot between Fili and Bofur, and spent the night laughing. All the while, though, her thoughts returned to how she had frozen. And, next time she would do better.

Chapter Text

"Thorin, I would have words with you." Dwalin grabbed Thorin's shoulder, and forced his long time friend into a corner.

"Dwalin, I don't have time." Thorin was filled with discourse. He was still unsure of whether or not to trust the elves with his father's map. Doubtless Gandalf would make him, but this was a decision that Thorin needed to come to on his own time.

"Aye, you do. I have a thought, and you need to hear it." Dwalin informed him gruffly. Thorin sighed, and resigned himself to listening to Dwalin. If nothing else, his friend would not leave him alone until he had his way.

"Alright, alright. Quickly, though. I have that meeting with the elves." Thorin spat the last word out, a thunderous scowl on his face.

"I know. Have you ever wondered what happened to your niece?" Dwalin asked. Thorin started; Adris was the last thing he had been expecting.

"She has been missing for 52 years Dwalin. I have mourned for her, as should you. It does not do to dwell on the past." Thorin growled, his eyes dark. He had told himself, long ago, that he was over the disappearance of his niece.

"I have. But, well, the Lass looked an awful lot like Dis tonight. Especially with her hair all done up in braids." Dwalin spoke quietly, and quickly. Thorin felt red flash across his eyes.

"Don't go making yourself hopeful, Dwalin. She was not but a child- she probably perished in the wilderness!" Thorin snapped back. He angrily swiped at his eyes, mortified to realize he was crying.

"Aye, but when did the lads realize she was missing? We were within days of the Shire, not that we knew it at the time. We just assumed she was gone, what with the howls of the wolves. And, Fili says he saw her fingering a medallion." Dwalin pointed out, his tone never changing.

"And the hobbits can't have given it to her? Dwalin, don't do this. I made my peace long ago. You should to." Thorin clapped Dwalin's shoulder, and made to turn away.

"If you call this peace, then I would hate to see what war is like." Dwalin called after him. Thorin gritted his teeth, but kept moving. He had a meeting to get to.

"Mister Dwalin!" Kili called, and Dwalin turned to greet the young prince.

"Aye, Kili?" Dwalin looked at him, suspicious.

"I knew I wasn't the only one who thought Addie was my sister." He gasped, his eyes wide. "Fili won't hear a word of it." Dwalin cuffed Kili's ear, and fixed him with a glare.

"Don't eavesdrop." Dwalin glared at him, and Kili glared right back.

"Don't be like that. I know you think she is my sister, I heard you." Kili snapped, and he crossed his arms across his chest.

"See, this is why I am the heir. I don't give myself away quite as easily." Fili tweaked Kili's ear, then came to a rest, leaning against the wall.

"You are both idiots." Dwalin growled at them.

"No, but Addie could be our sister! Her name is right, and she looks an awful lot like mother." Kili spoke earnestly, his eyes bright. Fili sighed, and punched his brothers arm.

"Or, you could leave it alone. She is not of this family, Kili." Fili turned, and walked away as silently as he had joined them.

"I don't understand, I thought he would be happy about it." Kili watched his brother go, confusion on his face. Dwalin rested his hand on Kili's shoulder.

"He blames himself, lad. As he should. Adris was your sister, he should have watched her better. At least, that is probably what he tells himself." Dwalin informed the young prince. Kili snorted.

"I was there too. There wasn't much he could have done! She wanted to play hide and seek, she wanted Fili to look for us." Kili replied. His face contorted, and his cheeks went red.

"Aye, lad, but you were a dwarfling too. Fili knew he was to watch you both, as is his right as your older brother. You shouldn't have been playing such games when we were traveling, anyways." Dwalin told him, softly. The words were supposed to be stinging, but Dwalin’s eyes were sympathetic. Kili sighed heavily.

"I know, Dwalin. Don't think that I don't. But, it was just so hard to say no to those eyes of hers. She was always so mischievous." Kili tightened his arms more around himself.

"I wonder where she got it from." Dwalin didn't put much heat behind the words. He tried not to show it, but he truly missed his daughter. His only child, as Mahal seemed to want. But, when she had been there, he had been his jewel, the light in the darkness. Even if Thorin had her named a daughter of Dis, even if he wasn't allowed to affirm paternity of her.

"Dwalin, I miss her." Kili mumbled. Suddenly, his shoulders were shaking. Dwalin sighed, then spun the young prince around, and wrapped him in his arms.

"Hush, boy. You aren't the only one." Dwalin told him, not unkindly. Kili trembled, and stayed where he was for a moment. Dwalin let him; not that he would tell them, but he saw his young cousins more as nephews, boys he would die for. He had cared, and raised them, almost as much as Thorin had.

"Thank you, Dwalin. Sorry." Kili muttered, once he was steady enough to stand without help. Dwalin nodded shortly.

"Nothing to be sorry about, lad." Dwalin told him, his voice soft. Kili nodded once, then turned and sprang into an easy trot. Dwalin rolled his eyes, and followed the young prince. When he did reach the fire, Kili was busy wrestling with Fili, while Addie and Ori watched from a safe distance, both of them laughing.

"Here, Lass." Bofur sat neatly beside Addie, and Dwalin felt his hackles rise. He shouldn't care, Addie obviously wasn't his daughter. But that didn't change the fact that Bofur obviously felt the pull of a dwarf who had found their one, and Addie was still a few years from age of majority. Dwalin tried not to growl when Addie laughed, and pinched Bofur's cheek.

"And what makes you think you are welcome here?" Addie teased, mischief clear in her tone. Bofur looked slightly taken a back, before he gave her a cautious grin.

"My dashing good looks, lady." And he bowed his head to her. Addie snorted, and shook her head in mock disappointment.

"Well, the least you could do is provide some entertainment." Addie informed him. Bofur nodded solemnly, and looked around. Just in front of them, some sausages were on a spit, over their little fire. Bofur surveyed the dwarves around them, then grinned when he saw his brother sitting on a table, eating quickly.

"Bombur!" Bofur called. He grabbed a sausage and tossed it at his brother. On reflex, Bombur caught it neatly in his mouth. A creaking sound was heard, then the table Bombur sat on broke, and he went crashing to the ground. Addie tipped her head back, and fell into Fili, laughing all the time.

"Good job, Bofur." Addie complimented, trying to regain her breath.

"Always at your service." Bofur grinned cheekily at her. Addie huffed, then sat up. Fili pushed her shoulder playful, and Addie, still off balance, fell into Bofur. Bofur caught her neatly, and held her close for a moment longer than strictly necessary.

"Fili! Don't be so mean." Addie mock growled at him. She pulled away from Bofur, and crossed her arms, a dark look on her face.

"I wasn't being mean! I am sorry, Addie!" Fili leaned forward, and patted Addie on the arm. Addie kept a straight face for a moment longer, then burst out laughing.

"Have some fun, every now and then, Fili dearest." Addie gave him a quick peck on the cheek, then stood.

"Where are you off to?" Bofur looked up at her, eyes sparkling.

"Bed. I imagine Thorin will want to leave early." Addie replied easily. She covered a yawn, then wove her way through the happily eating dwarves.

"Addie?" Dwalin looked down at her, concern on his face.

"I am just off to bed." Addie shrugged, and tried to step around him. Dwalin's hand landed on he shoulder, a troubled look in his eyes.

"I do not trust these elves. The rest of the company is sleeping just over there. Kili got your stuff earlier." Dwalin informed her. Addie thought about complaining, until she realized just how tired she was.

"Thank you, Dwalin." Addie gave him a soft smile, then approached the small courtyard. Ori was already curled up in his roll, and Oin was snoring near by.

"Hey, Addie." Ori called softly, when Addie grabbed her own bed roll. Addie looked up, then wove her way through the packs until she was standing over him.

"You still awake? I am surprised you aren't sleeping." Addie whispered. She shook out her roll, then tucked herself into it.

"Well, I am not sleepy. Dori insisted that I go to bed. He thinks I am still a dwarfling." Ori wrinkled his nose, and pulled his journal from beneath his pillow. He flicked through it quickly, then offered it to Addie.

"Oh, is that me?" Addie gasped, when she saw the ink drawing. It was obviously her- her dark hair was pulled back into a single braid, and her hood was settled around her shoulders. Somehow Ori had managed to capture the mischief in her eyes, and in this portrait, there was a slight smile on her face.

"Yeah. I have done everyone in the company now." Ori grinned proudly. Addie hummed, and quietly thumbed through the pages. She studied the different portraits, with their sharp features, and dark, intricate tattoos. She let her fingers linger over Bofur's, and nearly burst out laughing at Bilbo's.

"He doesn't look quite like that." Addie giggled, at Ori's raised eyebrow. She passed the book back, so Ori could see which one she spoke of. The curls were just too much, too curly. And, his face was a little too soft to be her brother.

"Yes, well, he is nearly as tough to get sitting in good light, and still, as Kili or Fili." Ori grumbled. He abruptly closed the book, and shoved it back under his pillow.

"Did someone call?" Kili asked, his bedroll under one arm. He dropped on one side of Ori, and Fili claimed Addie's other.

"No. I was just apologizing to Ori." Addie brushed a stray bit of hair away from her eyes, then wiggled in her roll a bit.

"Always good to do, what with hime being the company scribe and all." Fili said, his eye brows raised. Addie snorted, then rolled her eyes.

"Anyways, we should probably try and get some sleep. I can't imagine being allowed to sleep in." Addie told them.

"Yes mum." Kili and Fili chorused. Addie looked at Fili, then Ori, a bright smile on her face. Fili shifted, a slight feeling of unease from the look on her face.

"Ori, could you hit Kili for me?" Addie asked sweetly. Before either brother had the chance to say anything, Addie elbowed Fili in the gut. He cried out, and seconds later, Kili did too.

"Whats the matter? Did something happen?" Dwalin charged into the courtyard, his hands going to his axes.

“Nothing, Dwalin. The boys were just making noise, as usual.” Addie called. Her bed roll was pulled up to her chin, and she stared at Dwalin with wide eyes.

“Settle down.” Dwalin glared at them.

“Thanks for throwing us under the carriage.” Kili grumbled.

“For you? Always. Now, I really do want to sleep.” Addie snuggled deeper into her blankets, her face turned to Fili. Fili smiled at her, then closed his own eyes. Addie sighed gustily, and let herself drift.

It felt like Addie had only been asleep for a moment when she was shaken awake by Bofur.

"What?" Addie asked, sleep making her voice gravelly.

"Its just before first light. Thorin wants to leave soon. Come on." Bofur helped her to her feet. Addie looked around, and saw that she was one of the last to wake.

"Alright." Addie yawned, then quickly set about putting her pack together. She slipped off to the side, and changed into her sturdy traveling trousers, and her cloak.

"Come on." Bofur was by her side again, her weapons in his hands. He helped her strap them on, then pulled her to their place at the back of the group.

"Morning." Kili grumbled, from just in front of her.

"Well, aren't you just a ray of sunshine." Addie whispered into his ear. Fili cracked a smile, and snorted.

"Haven't you noticed? He isn't the Kili we love and know until after breakfast." Fili informed her dryly.

"So you mean, if we don't feed him, then he isn't annoying?" Addie asked innocently.

"Hey! I am not annoying." Kili huffed. Dwalin looked over his shoulder at them, a warning on his face.

"As interesting as this all is, we need to be more quiet. You know, sneaking out and everything." Bofur hummed to them, eyebrow raised.

"Whoops. Kili is just so easy to tease, I forget to be quiet." Addie beamed at him, and Bofur had to shove his fist into his mouth to keep from laughing.

"I am not." Kili huffed.

"Aww, is the poor baby pouting?" Addie asked, and she poked his side. Kili jumped, and slammed into Fili.

"I am not a baby! In fact, I am five years older than you." Kili snapped, a dark look on his face.

"Oh, relax. This is what she means." Fili placed a calming hand on Kili's shoulder. Instantly, Kili's breathing calmed, and he no longer looked ready to hit Addie. Addie felt a pang; she and Bilbo were close, but not the way Kili and Fili were.

"Are you alright?" Bofur whispered, so only Addie could hear him. Addie looked at him, surprised.

"Why wouldn't I be?" Addie asked him, her voice just as quiet.

"You went quiet all of a sudden." Bofur mumbled, red dusting his cheeks.

"Isn't that what one is supposed to do, when sneaking away?" Addie replied dryly. She shifted her bag, and looked around her. They were finally free of the elven city, and out on the plains.

"This isn't right. This feels wrong." Fili muttered.

"Aye. I hate being out in the open." Kili replied. Fili rolled his eyes.

"Of course you do, you are an archer. I meant leaving like we are fugitives." Fili looked down at his younger brother, a smirk on his face.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Kili asked, bristling instantly.

"Kili, you really need to take a deep breath." Addie patted Kili's shoulder, and passed him. Bofur watched her for a moment, then sped up so he could fall into step beside her.

"How are you, Ori?" Addie asked, once she was beside the young dwarf. Ori looked away from Dori, started.

"Alright. Have a good sleep?" Ori inquired. Addie could just see his journal, tucked underneath his jacket.

"Well, with such lovely company how could I not. Morning, Dori." Addie peered around Ori, and grinned at the older dwarf.

"Morning to you too. Your hair is holding up nicely." Dori smiled at her, and Addie nodded. Ori made a slight squeaking noise.

"Single file!" Thorin called. Dori sighed, and pulled at Ori until he was walking in front of him, Nori in front of Ori. Addie tucked herself behind Dori, Bofur on her heels. It gave her comfort, to know that he was behind her, eyes on her back.

"Well, ready or not, we hit the road again." Bofur mumbled under his breath. Addie huffed a laugh, and looked at him over her shoulder. Bofur grinned at her, eyes bright.

"Looks like we don't have a choice." Addie shrugged, and she started to hum a tune under her breath. Bofur kept quiet, listening to it. Dori looked behind at her, eyes bright with interest.

"What song was that?" Bofur asked, when Addie finished the quiet tune.

"A drinking song that is popular in the Shire." Addie replied, a grin on her face. Bofur huffed a laugh, and shook his head.

"Well, I'll be. Little miss Baggins knows some drinking songs." Bofur grinned, then started whistling his own tune. Along the line, other dwarves took up the tune. Addie and Bilbo listened with interest, to the unfamiliar sound.

Chapter Text

Addie kept close to Kili and Fili after Bofur's comment. She was just starting to realize how much the older dwarf payed attention. It was something she loved in people, when she was feeling strong. But, well, all this recent talk of family was hurting her. Bilbo was very dear to her heart, and she truly loved him like a brother. However, always at the back of her mind was the small feeling that her birth family had loved her very much.

"Addie, if you need to talk, we are here for you." Fili's mouth was suddenly right by Addie's ear. She nearly shrieked with laughter, when his mustache tickled her cheek.

"Thank you, Fili. I don't think I want to talk just yet, though." Addie mumbled in reply. Fili snorted, then shrugged his shoulders easily.

"I figured, since you have all but ignored him." Fili clapped his hand briefly on her shoulder, then turned back to staring at the ground. It was treacherous, seeing as they were nearly in the mountains.

"I thought we were going to wait for Gandalf." Addie whispered to the brothers. The pair shared a look, then they shrugged in unison.

"Uncle doesn't want to wait. Its understandable, what with us being closer to Erebor than we have in years." Kili finally answered.

"That would be the definition of traveling." Addie replied smartly. Kili gave her a hurt look, and Fili would have started laughing had Thorin not called out to the group, announcing a change in who was guiding them.

"Oh good. With Balin in the lead, we won't get lost." Fili murmured, so only Addie and Kili could hear him. Kili snorted, and Addie nearly choked with laughter.

"What are you rascals on about now?" Dwalin spun around to glare at them. Addie ducked her head, and the two Durin boys gave Dwalin their best attempt at an innocent look.

"Nothing, Master Dwalin." They chirped in unison. Dwalin huffed, rolled his eyes then turned around. Addie let herself fall into silence. The ground had evened out a bit, but it would not be long before they were in the mountains proper, and she wanted to save her breath. They walked along in relative silence for many hours, though there was some complaining when they reached the mountains officially. Balin was leading them along a narrow trail, when the rain picked up. There was a clap like thunder, and Addie shrunk back against Fili in fear.

"This is no thunder storm, its a thunder battle!" One of the dwarves called out.

"Well bless me, the legends are true. Stone giants!" Bofur yelled over the crashing. Despite her fear, Addie found herself rolling her eyes at the odd hatted dwarf. To her terror, she realized that the rock was moving. Her feet slipped, and she nearly fell, only to have Fili pull her close.

"Bilbo! Bofur!" She cried, her words mixing with Fili and Kili's cries. Fili pulled her tightly into his embrace, his eyes wide with worry. Thorin's hand rested on Fili's shoulder. Fili braced himself against the mountain as the giant they rode shifted, and stared up at his uncle. Thorin grabbed Addie's arm, and maneuvered the young dwarf until she was between himself and Fili.

"We will keep you safe." Thorin murmured to her. Addie watched him with amazement. While she knew Kili, Fili and Ori well, her knowledge of the older members of the company was greatly lacking. Thorin didn't say anything else, but he did rest a heavy hand on her shoulder. When the stone giant shifted again, Addie grabbed at the mountain side, glad for his strength; without it she was sure she would fall.

"KILI!" Thorin suddenly shouted, and Addie turned in time to see the stone giant tumble into the mountain side. Fili was running, as soon as they were against the mountain again. Addie felt Thorin's hand at her back, hurrying her after Fili. When they rounded the corner, the dwarves behind her sighed in relief at seeing the other dwarves safe.

"Bilbo? Where is Bilbo?" Addie called, panic entering her voice. The other dwarves sat up, and began to look.

"He fell!" Bofur leaned over the edge, and tried to grab the hobbit's hand. Addie gave a pained cry, and tried to rush forward. Thorin's hand grabbed her bag, and tugged her backwards.

"Stay. You won't be able to help." Thorin strode forward quickly. Addie watched in amazement as the dwarven king swung over the side, and grabbed her brother.

"Bilbo!" Addie rushed forward, as soon as her brother was secure on the side of the mountain.

"Thorin!" Dwalin reached down, and pulled his struggling king back onto the path. Addie looked over from her brother, face white.

"Thank you, Thorin." Addie whispered to him. She wasn't sure that he heard her, for there was a stormy look on his face.

"I thought we had lost our burglar." Bofur announced. He met Addie's eyes, and smiled brightly at her, relief clear in his expression.

"He's been lost since he left home." Thorin snapped. "We need to find shelter!" Thorin turned away from the cowering pair. Dwalin nodded sharply, and turned away from the pair as well.

"Come on, you two. We need to get going." Fili pulled Bilbo to his feet, as Bofur pulled Addie to her feet. Rather reluctantly, Addie and Bilbo let themselves be pulled apart. Once they were standing, Addie quickly grabbed Bilbo's hand, and tightened her fingers around his.

"Fili! Keep up!" Thorin yelled over his shoulder. Fili rolled his eyes, and ushered his friends ahead of himself. Bofur fell into step in front of them. They kept going for a few more minutes, before Dwalin veered into a cave.

"Check for to the back. Caves in the mountains can be dangerous." Addie heard Thorin order. She sagged against Bofur's back, and sighed. Bofur chuckled, and Bilbo slipped his arm around her waist to keep her upright.

"Let's start a fire!" Gloin cheered, once Dwalin had cleared the cave.

"No fire." Thorin ruled it out quickly. All around them, the dwarves deflated. Kili and Fili found a corner, and tugged Addie with them. Bilbo slumped down beside her, and rested his head on her shoulder. Addie rested her head on top of his, and poked Fili in the side.

"Thank you, for helping us." Addie whispered to the older brother. Bilbo sighed, and nodded against her head in agreement.

"Of course. You are my friends." Fili smiled to the both.

"Yes. My friends too!" Kili chirped. He pulled his bag open, and offered both of them stuff beef jerky.

"Yum." Addie grumbled quietly. Kili chuckled, and Fili rolled his eyes at them.

"Yes, well in place of something warm. At least it is food." Fili stuck his tongue out at them, and ripped a bite from his own jerky.

"True. Bilbo, are you sure you are alright?" Addie scrutinized her brother. Bilbo shrugged his shoulders against her, then sat up.

"I am fine. I am going to sleep." Bilbo pressed a kiss to her forehead, then stood. He waved at them, the crossed the floor until he was in between Gloin and Bifur. Both dwarves were setting up their bedrolls. Bilbo dropped between them, and curled up quickly.

"I am sure hes alright, Addie." Fili rested a hand on her arm. He gave her a reassuring smile, and squeezed.

"Thanks, Fili. I know." Addie sighed, and bite into her own piece.

"Though, Bilbo has the right idea." Fili shuffled his bag closer, and started to shift through it.

"Fili. Wanting to go to bed? What is the world coming to!" Kili stared at his brother, a shocked expression on his face.

"Well, its either bed, or have Uncle breathing down our necks." Fili replied evenly. Addie chuckled, and pulled out her own bedroll. She stuffed the meat into her mouth, then crawled into it.

"Night." Kili grumbled.

"Night." Addie called to him. She smiled at Fili, then curled into her roll. She waited until she heard the evenness of their breathing, before she crawled back out. She wrapped her roll around herself, grabbed her pack, and crept over to where Bofur sat. The older dwarf was near the door, quietly whittling.

"What are you doing awake?" Bofur asked her quietly. He shifted his bag, and Addie sat down heavily beside him.

"Couldn't sleep." Addie mumbled in reply. She leaned her head against his shoulder. She hummed softly, pleased to have the added warmth of her friend.

"Are you okay?" Bofur looked over at her, surprise and concern on his face. He set his knife, and the piece of wood in his lap so he could focus on her.

"Its just. I almost lost Bilbo. Hes the only family I have." Before she realized it, Addie's shoulders were shaking, and she was sobbing on Bofur's shoulder. Bofur shifted, and pulled her against his chest.

"Oh, Addie. He's safe, and so are you. Its going to be alright." Bofur whispered into her ear. Addie let herself melt into Bofur's arms. She wouldn't admit it to the dwarf, but the only other place she ever felt this safe was when she was with Bilbo.

"But what if he wasn't? I could have lost him." Addie grumbled. She dug her fingers into Bofur's back, and pushed herself closer to him. Bofur rested his chin on her head, and sighed.

"Well, then you would have us. Fili, Kili and Ori won't let you leave now. Not sure I would let you run either." Bofur mumbled. Addie stilled, then turned so she could look up at him. Bofur pulled back, red dusting his cheeks.

"Really, Bofur? Thank you." Addie smiled at him, and Bofur's cheeks burned darker.

"Of course. Now, come on. You really do need to get some rest." Bofur poked at Addie's side, until she was sitting beside him. Once she was settled, he curled her in tight to his chest, and went back to his whittling.

"Thank you, Bofur." Addie mumbled again.

"And what did I do this time?" Bofur asked her, his voice betraying his amusement.

"Well, you are keeping me safe and warm. Thats not an easy feat." Addie yawned, then snuggled her head in closer to his chest. Bofur's chuckle jostled Addie.

"So I have heard. You know, Bofur can be quite the chatter box." Bofur offered. Addie groaned softly.

"Please, don't listen to anything he says. He is just a busybody who likes to make things up." Addie whined. She looked up at him, mock hurt in her eyes. Bofur grinned, then winked at her.

"Don't worry. He promised to save the really embarrassing stuff for Fili and Kili." Bofur nearly laughed aloud, at Addie's pained expression.

"He wouldn't dare. If he does, well I have plenty of stories about him to share. And, some of them are not pretty." Addie's grin was filled with revenge, and mock malice.

"Remind me never to get on your bad side, lass." Bofur raised an eyebrow at her. Addie shrugged her shoulders against his side, then tucked her head down again. She snuggled her cheek under the flap of his coat, and nuzzled into his scarf. Bofur momentarily froze, and just enjoyed the pleasant sensation of Addie trying to get closer.

"I am not sure there will be time for you to get on my bad side." Addie finally spoke. Bofur started; she had been silent for so long, that Bofur thought she was asleep.

"And what, exactly, is that supposed to mean?" He stared at the back of her head. He wished she would sit up and face him, but that would mean they would no longer be touching. A big part of Bofur was not ready for her to stray from his side. And, at this moment, he wasn't quite ready to wonder why that might be. He was about to say something, when he saw Thorin shift. Suddenly, Bofur wished Addie would stop talking; Thorin was his king, but that didn't mean he wanted the dwarf to hear their conversation.

"Look, I know Bilbo. He tries to hide it, but Thorin's words hurt him more then he lets on. Bilbo won't tell me everything, but I know he is upset. I don't think Thorin realizes just how hard this is for Bilbo. I get that you have lost your home, believe me I really do. But, well Bilbo is used to the comforts of having a home. He doesn't know what its like to not have a comfortable bed waiting for him. The most danger Bilbo has ever faced was the Fell Winter, and thats an event most hobbits like to pretend never happened. I fear that Bilbo will try to return home before the quest is over. Or, he will leave as soon as the quest is over." Addie paused, and Bofur could feel the slight tremor in her body. He frowned, and ran a hand along her back. Addie pressed into his hand for a moment, then she took a deep breath and kept going. "He will expect me to him. There really isn't any reason for me to stay, Bofur. I would like to, but I can't leave Bilbo alone. If he left, and asked me to go with him, I would go. It would hurt, but I would go."

"Then thats what you do. But I can't promise that all of the members of the company will let you go so easily. They will ask you to stay, or they will follow you. But, I doubt that they will let you leave without a proper goodbye." Bofur informed her. Addie stilled against him, and Bofur smiled.

"Would you be one of them?" Addie asked, her voice soft and nearly silent. Bofur grinned, and was about to respond when he saw Bilbo.

"Where do you think you're going?" Bofur stared at Bilbo, surprised. Bilbo stopped, and stared at him, eyes wide.

"I am going home." Bilbo replied quickly. Addie stiffened against Bofur, and every part of him cried out in protest. He wasn't ready for her to leave him just yet.

"But you are going to help us! You can make a home with us." Bofur nearly pleaded with the hobbit. Bilbo shook his head firmly. Addie slipped away from Bofur, and she started to shove her bed roll into her pack. Bofur looked from Bilbo to Addie, a pained expression on his face.

“But you don’t have a home! None of you do! You don’t know what its like to belong somewhere.” Bilbo hissed. Addie gasped, and her head whipped up.

“Bilbo! Thats not nice.” Addie stared at him. Bilbo looked away quickly, shame on his face.

“No, Addie, its true. Our place is Erebor, and we don’t even have that.” Bofur looked away from them both. Addie abandoned her pack, and rested her hand on Bofur’s shoulder.

“Soon, Bofur. Soon you will have your kingdom back.” Addie smiled at him. Bofur met her eyes, a soft look on his face. He was about to speak, when he saw a faint blue light form the corner of his eyes.

“Whats that?” Bofur turned and stared at the light shining form Bilbo’s hip.

“Get up. GET UP!” Thorin roared, and he surged to his feet. Addie sprang to her feet, and had time to strap her sword to her hip, when the floor gave way and they all tumbled down.

Chapter Text

As they tumbled, Bofur pulled Addie into his arms. She twisted, until she could press her face against his neck. Despite the fall, she felt safer, and almost warm.

"Oof." Bofur landed on his back, with Addie on him.

"Sorry." Before Addie could scramble off of him, the goblins were upon them. The creatures howled at them, and pushed at the dwarves until they stood. Bofur kept a tight hold on Addie, all the while looking for his brother, and cousin.

"I see Bifur, ahead of us." Addie mumbled, over the thundering of feet.

"Almost makes up for you landing on me." Bofur teased softly. Addie let out a hysterical chuckle, and shook her head.

"You are truly the most ridiculous dwarf I have ever met." Addie stumbled to a stop, in a large cavern. It seemed as if the mountain was hollowed out on all sides around her.

"Given the company we are in, I almost find that hard to believe." Bofur whispered into her ear. Instantly, Addie leaned into him, his proximity helping her to calm down. Kili shuffled closer to her, and he grabbed her other hand. Without thinking, Addie squeezed it, and glanced over to both brothers. She kept her attention focused on Kili's hand, and the warmth of Bofur, until she heard Thorin step forward. Confused, Addie watched as Thorin confronted the large, ugly goblin. Kili squeezed her hand, then pulled her back. A flash of light, and suddenly Gandalf was there.

"Fight you fools!" He yelled. Addie dropped Kili's hand, caught her sword, and unsheathed it. She swung around Bofur, and hacked at a goblin. The older dwarf nodded his thanks, then pulled her along the pathway. The dwarves hollered, and swung their blades with deadly precision at the horde of goblins. Addie kept focused on the sword in her hand, and the path before she. She never stopped swinging her blade, though she did note with amusement, as the dwarves used each other to kill the goblins.

"Hold tight!" Bofur grabbed her arm, when Thorin gave the order to cut the ropes. It was the only warning Addie had, before they went crashing down. With a cry, Addie fell against Bofur. Instantly, the older dwarf braced her fall, and held her tightly to his chest.

"Don't say it!" Addie hissed, when the walkway came to a halt. Bofur laughed, and pulled himself to his feet.

"It could be worse." Bofur grinned at her, then nearly howled when the dead goblin king landed on the walkway. Dwalin snarled, and Addie hid her smile behind her hand.

"Gandalf!" Kili pointed, and Addie looked up. She felt her heart sink, and the colour drain form her face. All along the walls of the mountain, there were goblins.

"Quickly! We need sunlight." Gandalf span on his heel, and led the dwarves out of the mountain. Addie sheathed her sword, then let Bofur pull her along by hand. Addie was gasping for breath, when they were finally free of the mountain. She didn't think anything of it, when Gandalf started counting; instead she sat down beside Kili.

"Bilbo. Where is Bilbo?" Gandalf rounded on the dwarves, fire in his eyes. Addie rocketed to her feet, and spun in a quick circle.

"He saw his chance to return home, and he took it." Thorin snarled, contempt on his face.

"Thats not fair! You pulled him from his home, and made him go on an adventure he was ill prepared for. Bilbo is not used to the road, not like this company. He has done nothing but try to be of service to you, yet you shun him still. Shame on you!" Addie shouted at Thorin. He looked taken aback; their interactions had been minimal, but his nephews had assured him that Addie was quiet.

"Its alright, I am here." Bilbo stepped forward, into the light. Thorin fixed his eyes on the hobbit, and for the first time seemed to see how the hobbit's once pristine clothes had taken a beaten.

"Bilbo." Addie breathed. She threw herself at him, and clutched him to her, as if he would disappear if she didn't hold him so tightly.

"I am alright." Bilbo patted her head, and cuddled her close. Bofur smiled at them, then fixed Thorin with a disapproving stare.

"How did you get out?" Dwalin turned to the pair, curiosity and distrust in his tone. Bilbo shrugged his shoulders, his hand dancing over his pocket.

"Its doesn't matter. He is safe, and that is all the matters." Gandalf cut in. Thorin glared at the wizard, but did not question it.

"Are you sure you are alright? Where are all your buttons?" Addie had pulled herself away from Bilbo, as if to make sure that he was truly well.

"I was in a bit of a tight spot." Bilbo grumbled, faint points of colour rising to his cheeks.

"I can see that. Perhaps we can make you some new ones." Addie mused. Bilbo chuckled.

"Orcs." Kili called suddenly, pointing. sure enough, just over the ridge, the howling of wargs could be heard.

"Out of the fire." Thorin muttered.

"And into the frying pan." Gandalf finished. As one, the group turned, and sprinted further form the mountain.

"Keep up." Bofur grabbed Addie's hand again, the pressure a reassurance that he would keep her safe. As he stumbled along, Bilbo glanced at their hands, but did not say anything. He knew that, when the time was right, Addie would come to him. Though Bilbo didn’t notice, Thorin kept glancing back at them. If he had noticed, Bilbo would have brushed it off, as though Thorin’s attention was on his two nephews.

“Into the trees!” Gandalf called, as they neared the edge of the cliff. Addie had to drop Bofur’s hand, as he launched himself at the tree. A strange sensation ripped along Addie’s shoulder, and she spun around. As she did so, she pulled her sword, and stabbed at the warg. Snarling, the creature tried to bite her again. Addie stabbed him in a fluid motion, then looked up to see Bilbo dispatch of his own warg.

“Hurry!” Addie called at him. Bilbo looked up, and waved at her to go on.

“Addie! Over here!” Fili called from his tree. Addie rushed forward, and scrambled up the branches. Fili helped her along, until she was settled on a branch between the two brothers. She had just situated herself, when Bilbo joined them in the tree. Addie, laughed, and kept an arm firmly wrapped around the trunk.

“Addie.” Bilbo eyed her with concern. He reached up, as if to touch her boot, when the tree shook. Gasping, they looked down to see the wargs jumping against the trees. Gandalf tossed pinecones that we aflame to them.

“Wow.” Addie breathed. She caught another one on fire, then threw the first on with deadly accuracy. All around them, the trees lit up. Before Addie truly had the opportunity to enjoy the sight, though, their tree was tipping and they were jumping through the trees. The last tree on the ridge proved to be too fragile to hold them all, and slowly fell over. Addie gulped, and refused to let herself look down, giddy with adrenaline.

“Azog.” Suddenly Thorin was surging forward, a determined look on his face. Addie watched him, as if in a dream. Before she could say anything, Thorin was tossed about like a doll, and Bilbo was racing after him.

“Don’t even think about it, Lass.” Bofur’s hand clamped down on her shoulder, and held her in place. He looked at her sharply, when he heard her hiss of pain.

“I wasn’t entirely planning on it.” Addie replied. Bofur gave her a measured look, then joined the rest of the dwarves in their attack of the wargs. Addie let Bofur go ahead of her, before she leaped after him, her sword raised and a war cry on her lips. Viscously, she swung through the wargs, until she was within reaching distance of Bilbo.

“Addie!” He gasped, eyes wild. Addie didn’t even look at him, her eyes darting about for potential enemies.

“Don’t worry, Bilbo. Its going to be okay.” Addie didn’t put much heart into the statement; she knew Bilbo didn’t believe her anyways. Instead, he focused his attention on Thorin. He grabbed the proud dwarf’s sword, and returned Orcist to its scabbard across his back.

“Bilbo!” Was the only warning he had, before the largest Eagle he had ever seen came, and grabbed Thorin. Another grabbed him, and dropped him onto another one. He turned about wildly, searching for Addie. The Eagle he was on dipped back to the ledge, then He saw Addie sail through the air, only to land on a different Eagle’s back. She rolled, and came to a stop on the Eagle’s back.

“ADDIE!” Bofur yelled, fear clear in his voice. Bilbo stared at his sister, hoping that she wasn’t badly injured. All around him, he heard the dwarves call out to each other, to reassure that their kin was safe. The only dwarf, aside from Addie that made no sound, was Thorin. Bilbo alternated between watching Addie, and watching Thorin. It didn’t escape his notice, that both were seemingly unconscious. Bilbo leaned into the Eagle, and tried not to let the height unsettle him.

The Eagle gingerly let Thorin down on top of the rock outcropping. Addie's Eagle slowed, and perched itself on the rock. Addie carefully, slowly, lid off of his back.

"Thank you." Addie murmured. She turned, and stared at Thorin. She wanted to make sure the dwarf king was okay, but to do so would involve moving, and she wasn't entirely sure that was a good idea at the moment.

"Thorin!" Fili and Kili stormed towards their uncle, worry on their faces. Gandalf reached the dwarf first; Addie watched as he whispered to the king, before Thorin shakily sat up.

"Addie. Are you alright?" Bilbo ignored the other dwarves, and touched Addie's shoulder. She shrugged her shoulders rather stiffly, then gestured towards Thorin. The dwarf was approaching them, though on admittedly shaky feet.

"Did I not say you would be a burden? That you would be of no use?" Thorin came to a halt before Bilbo, his face an unreadable mask. Addie glowered at him. "I have never been so wrong in all my life." Thorin tugged a rather stunned Bilbo into his arms. Bilbo stayed stiff, before leaning against the dwarf king. Once he was free of him, though, Bilbo glared up at him.

"Oh, so an admission of forgiveness, when I have done nothing wrong is supposed to make everything better? You tried to isolate me, and spent the entire quest so far treating me like I am worthless! I am so glad that me saving your life for the second time has finally shown you my worth!" Bilbo all but screamed at Thorin. Thorin stared at him, a blank look on his face. Addie bit back a laugh, then cried out. Bilbo spun around, and crouched next to her.

"Addie?" Fili ducked around his uncle, and crouched next her.

"Go away, I am fine." Addie pushed the young dwarf back, and another cry left her lips. Bilbo turned, and glared at the young Durin. Addie's eyes closed, and she fainted.

"Oin!" Fili hollered, panic in his voice. Oin stormed over, and waved Bilbo and Fili away from her. Thorin sighed, and turned from them. Bofur approached him, wringing his hat in his hands.

"Thorin, could we have some words?" Bofur asked quietly. Dwalin looked over at the miner, and scrutinized him.

"Does it have to be now?" Thorin asked, and he dragged a hand across his face. Bofur nodded earnestly.

"Yes, please. In private." Bofur gave Dwalin a pointed look, then drew Thorin over to the side.

"Well, what do you want?" Thorin asked gruffly. He surveyed his company. His dwarves were tired, worn out. They sat in circles, checking each other for injuries.

"You are my king, and as we do not know of her kin. Well, I would wait until she was of age, but what if there is no time. Perhaps she doesn't feel it, but I am sure I am not mistaken." Bofur prattled on, his cheeks flushed.

"Bofur. Please, try and make sense. What exactly are you talking about?" Thorin stared at the other dwarf, comprehension slowly dawning on him.

"I think Addie might be my soul mate, my One. I think she feels it too, but doesn't know what it is. I wish your permission to start courting her. I know that she is not yet of age, but we might die on this quest. I would like to know, that if I joined our Maker, that I took the chance while I had it." Bofur explained, his voice quiet, strained. Thorin stared at him, shocked.

"Shouldn't you ask Bilbo? By both their admission, he is her brother." Thorin studied Bofur's face. Bofur shrugged.

"I imagine he would have no issue with it. Hobbits mature differently from dwarves, so I doubt he even knows when Addie will reach adulthood. No, every dwarf here knows Addie's age, and I don't want to proceed without some permission." Bofur told him. Thorin hummed, almost lost in thought.

"You must explain it to her, all of it. Explain what the courtship means, the different presents. And, make sure she knows that she doesn't have to reciprocate the courtship until she is of age." Thorin fixed Bofur with a hard look. Bofur nodded quickly.

"I was planning on it. I was also going to ask the boys to explain it to her as well, so she would have several sources." Bofur grinned, and the dwarf seemed to vibrate. Thorin bit back a laugh, and clapped Bofur on the shoulder.

"Congratulations, my friend. It is a rare, wondrous thing to find one's One." Thorin gave Bofur a soft smile. Bofur nodded, and both dwarves turned to join the rest of the company once more.

"Thorin!" Dwalin called, his voice filled with strangled emotion. Thorin started at his long time friend; it had been years, over 50, since he had heard it in Dwalin's voice. He had used that same tone when he had told Thorin of Adris' disappearance. Thorin surged forward, and knelt beside the young dwarf. Dwalin's fist was closed around something, that was attached to Addie by a chord. Slowly, he opened his fist, and Thorin felt something inexpressible flash through him. The medallion in Dwalin's hand was familiar; it should be, since he had crafted it for his only niece.

Chapter Text

“Where am I?” Addie croaked. Bilbo spun around relief clear on his face.

“Oh good, you are awake. We were so worried.” Bilbo knelt beside her, and caressed her cheek. Addie heard the rustling of other dwarves but she paid them no mind. She touched a hand to her throat. Addie gasped and sat up fast, too fast.

"Easy Addie. Easy." Bilbo chided. He pushed gently at her shoulder. Addie hissed with pain and pushed him away. She looked around franticly.

"Where is my pendant? Bilbo, where is it?" Addie's voice rose, thin and reedy. Bilbo made soft soothing noises. He pulled her to his chest and pressed his cheek to the hair beside her ear.

"Hush now. Dwalin showed it to Thorin. Figured Thorin would know who made it." Bilbo whispered to her. Around them the dwarves were hovering. Addie could hear them moving, breathing. Dori and Oin flitted just behind them, intent to give Addie and Bilbo space.

"I need it though!" Addie keened. It was a high pitched, desperate sound. Bilbo wrapped an arm around her shoulder and cuddled her to his chest. Addie grabbed his shoulder because there was nothing else she could do.

"And I will get it back. Shh." Bilbo drew back and waved. Fili and Kili rushed forward. They knelt, one on either side of her.

"Its good to see your eyes." Fili pinched her cheek lightly. Addie gave a light, watery, humourless chuckle. Kili sighed, and dropped his head onto her shoulder.

"I was really worried. You shouldn't have done that." Kili mumbled against her shoulder. Stiffly, Addie raised a hand, and patted Kili's shoulder.

"Its not exactly my fault. Is everyone okay?" Addie asked softly. Fili and Kili's presence was a calming balm that Addie hadn't realized she needed.

"Yes. Thorin was the only one whose injuries approached the seriousness of yours." Fili replied. He lightly rubbed Addie's back, then reached across her so he could squeeze Kili's shoulder.

"Oh. I wasn't really that hurt." Addie hummed. Fili looked at her, disbelieving. He lightly touched her ribs. Addie jerked and gasped with pain.

"What did you do?" Bofur was at Addie's side in a moment. He pushed Kili away, and his fingers lightly ghosted across Addie's cheek. She had to stop herself from leaning into his fingers and she let her eyes flutter shut.

"I was proving a point. I barely touched her." Fili shrugged. He let his jacket slide off his shoulders. He wrapped it around Addie's shoulders. The sudden warmth made Addie realize how cold she had been. She nodded to Fili, then ducked her head. Her fingers reached out, and her drew the jacket tighter around her shoulders.

"Perhaps you should get her some tea. Or some soup." Bofur didn't take his eyes off Addie. Fili sighed, then stood. He motioned to Kili, and the pair walked away.

"Thank you, Bofur. I am fine though, I promise." Addie whispered. Bofur's brow wrinkled. He shook his head, then gathered her hands in his.

"I am sure, Lass. When you are feeling better, we should have a conversation. Alas, not in front of the others." Bofur pressed a kiss to her knuckles, and stood. Addie ignored the flutter in her stomach, and looked away. Bofur smiled fondly at her, then walked away. Addie shifted herself, until she was leaning against a rock a few yards behind her.

"Addie, Thorin needs to talk to you." Addie nearly squealed, at Bilbo's voice. He chuckled, and ran a hand over her hair.

"Alright." Addie nodded, and settled against the boulder. Bilbo looked over his shoulder, and nodded. The gravel crunched, and then Thorin was kneeling beside her, Dwalin just behind him.

"Are you alright?" Thorin's voice was a quiet rumble, filled with an emotion Addie couldn't quite place.

"Yes. Honestly, I am just a little shaken." Addie told him. Thorin gave her an appraising look, and Bilbo snorted.

"I need to ask you something very important, Addie." Thorin told her. Addie nodded, her eyes wide.

"Of course. Whatever it is, I shall try to answer it the best I can." Addie nodded slowly. Thorin reached into his pocket, and pulled her necklace from it. Addie gasped, and automatically reached for it. Thorin let her take it, a soft expression on her face.

"Where did you get it?" Thorin asked her. Addie ran her fingers over the medallion. Her fingers felt the familiar runes she had never understood.

"I don't know. I have had it for as long as I can remember. Belladonna told me I was wearing it when she found me." Addie explained. A look of pain, and disbelief crossed his face. "Why?" Addie finally looked up.

“My sister has a third dwarrow, five years younger than Kili. A little lass. She went missing, when she was a babe, playing hide and seek with her brothers. We were never quite sure exactly where she was lost; we were travelling when she went missing.” Thorin’s was low, hypnotic. Bilbo’s eyes widened, and his breath caught. Addie stared at the older dwarf, not quite sure what he was saying, not daring to hope. “I made that very medallion for my niece.”

“Oh! Oh.” Addie hummed. Her eyes widened, and she clutched at her medallion. Thorin gently pried it from her fingers, then dropped it over her head.

“It bears the sign of Durin, and the name Adris, which means heart and forge in Khuzdul.” Thorin explained. Addie squeaked, then nodded hastily. She looked at her medallion with newfound joy.

“Does that mean…” Addie trailed off. Her voice was thin, uncertain. Suddenly, Thorin could stand it no more. He pulled her tight to his chest, and cradled her there. Hesitantly, Addie snuggled her cheek against his chest. Thorin let out a chocked sound at the action, and buried his face in her hair.

“My Heart. Welcome home.” Thorin whispered against her hair. Addie shuddered, then tightened her grip on him. Thorin rocked them softly, and squeezed. Addie made a small sound of pain, and Thorin let go of her quickly. His arms came back around her, this time lighter.

“Your heart. I don’t know what to say.” Addie whispered. Thorin rested his head against hers, and closed his eyes.

“You don’t have to say anything. You are a daughter of Durin, so I can’t imagine you will stay silent for long.” Thorin’s voice cracked. Addie giggled, and shook her head. She pulled away suddenly, startling Thorin.

“Does that mean Fili and Kili are my brothers?” She asked, her voice strained. Thorin nodded quickly.

“Aye, your older half brothers.” Thorin winced. He hadn’t meant to inform Addie of who her father was. Undoubtedly, she would ask him. He owed it to her, to tell her the truth. Addie studied his face, then took a deep breath.

“I take it we share a mother. So, who is my father?” Addie asked quietly. Thorin didn’t say anything for a moment. He seemed at war with himself. Finally he sighed and waved his hand. Dwalin surged forward, a look of deep concentration on his face. He fell to his knees beside Addie. Addie smiled and patted Dwalin’s knee.

“Dwalin is your father. He decided to let your mother raise you.” Thorin explained quietly. Addie jolted and stared at Dwalin. Dwalin gave her a moment. He reached forward suddenly, and pulled her tight to his chest. It was remarkable how much Addie resembled her mother and Kili. She was slender at a glance, but hard muscles were hidden by layers of clothing. Addie’s arms suddenly wrapped around Dwalin. She pressed her face into his neck. Dwalin rocked her gently for a moment. He slid away from her, and pushed her back onto the makeshift bed.

“Honestly, I am fine.” Addie huffed. She shifted on the bed and glared at the two dwarves.

“I don’t think so.” Fili dropped down beside her. He curled his arm around her, and pulled her to his chest. Kili nudged his uncle with his boot. Thorin rolled his eyes, but moved over. Kili sat on Addie’s other side, and leaned against both his siblings. Dwalin nodded to them and left the small group.

“I am really glad to have three older brothers.” Addie whispered into the air between them.

“I am glad to have my sister back.” Fili sniffled against Addie’s hair. Addie squirmed and pressed herself closer. Fili’s arms pulled Kili further into the embrace. Kili squished up next to Addie.

“I am very glad to have you back. But I need to breathe.” Addie whimpered. Fili eased his hold on her slightly. Kili leaned back. They gave her a matching apologetic grin.

“Whoops.” They chorused. Addie sighed. She watched Fili’s face and saw the twitch.

“Fili? Are you alight?” Addie’s voice was soft and cautious. Fili sighed and shook his head.

“Sorry Addie. Not now, I can’t.” Fili reached up and cupped her cheek in his hand. “Let me just remember what its like to have a baby sister.” Addie squinted at him then leaned into his hand. The callouses on his palm were alien, but calming.

“Later we promise.” Kili mumbled against Addie’s hair.

“Alright then. I can live with that. Can someone please explain to me why Bofur has been hovering over there? And everyone else for that matter.” Addie looked over Fili’s shoulder. She nodded her chin in the direction of the rest of the company.

“They wanted to give the family time to come to terms with the news. At least thats my guess.” Fili offered. Addie quirked an eyebrow at him.

“And Bofur?” She asked again. Her voice was soft, but it had a steel behind it. Kili shifted behind her, then pulled away. Addie’s gaze was steady on Fili; he looked away with red cheeks.

“That is something you are going to have to ask Uncle Thorin, or Bofur.” Kili told her softly.

“But not today. Today has been enough of an adventure.” Fili stood and pulled Addie into his arms. She followed him with little protest. She leaned into him, and lost herself in the strength and warmth of his embrace.

“Alright you two. We need to get moving. Start a fire so Bombur can cook us something.” Dwalin’s hand on Addie’s shoulder shocked her. She pulled back from Fili and looked up at Dwalin.

“Ah but Dwalin!” Kili whined. Dwalin grunted, and batted Kili lightly. Kili laughed and danced away. Fili shook his head at his brother, and followed him to the patch of trees.

“Are you alright? Do you need to lie down lass?” Dwalin’s voice was gruff. Addie shook her head slowly. She smiled softly at him, and leaned against him. Dwalin shifted so he took the bulk of her weight.

“I am fine. Thank you.” Addie stood on her toes, and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek. Dwalin’s cheeks coloured. Addie giggled, then slipped away from him. She moved towards Bilbo. He was the only member of the company who was alone.

“Addie.” Bilbo’s voice was the balm Addie needed. It didn’t matter how often she was hurt, Bilbo was always there for her. Addie sat beside him, and rested her head on his shoulder. Bilbo’s arm snaked behind her and pulled her tight to his side.

“What do I do Bilbo? They are my family, but you are too.” Addie whispered. Bilbo shrugged, the movement jostling her.

“Who said you could only have one family? You have your blood family, your adopted family. Then, maybe one day you will find your One.” Bilbo told her. Addie chuckled weakly.

“Apparently I am a little young for the last one.” Addie grumbled. Bilbo shared her laugh, then fell silent beside her. They had spent plenty of conversations this way; Addie needing to say something and Bilbo waiting until she was ready. “Are you okay with this? They may be my blood but you are still my brother.”

“And that right there is why I am. They are your family, it will all work out.” Bilbo squeezed her shoulder. He hoped she believed him. He could hear the uncertainty in her voice, the fear. She wanted her old family, but at the same time she didn’t want to lose Bilbo.

“I guess for now that will have to be enough. Please for my sake, don’t try to provoke Thorin.” Addie pleaded softly. Bilbo snorted.

“Its not my fault he is utterly unreasonable.” Bilbo grumbled. When Fili came to fetch them for supper, it was to their companionable silence, broken only by the odd giggle.