Of Anger and Arrows
A/N: So here it is! It's taken me forever to figure out what he meant by the cage and how it's all going to play out, but I think this chapter is a good start, anyway let me know what you think, cause if you think it's good enough to continue ill be more likely to update!" Btw I've provided the english versions of the Khuzdul phrases at the end Enjoy!
It was the vicious clanging that first woke me. The sound of scraping metal and hinges creaking filled the dead air. Confusion was the first thing that hit me – the last thing I could remember was the room, and my very real dream of Thorin.
I hesitantly forced my eyes open to try to get a feel for the situation – a decision I regretted instantly.
Darkness. A black curtain of nothing that seemed to swallow me and everything else with it; cold, harsh and relentless. I dared not move or speak for fear of what was waiting for me.
Without warning an unwanted sound echoed in the space around me,
"Khuzd tada bijebî âysîthi mud oshmâkhî dhi zurkur ughvashâhu*, Is not that correct, King under the Mountain?"
As I sat and listened quietly, I could hear breathing. Not smooth, calm exhaling, but a tense, stressed rhythm that seemed to be coming from below me.
"Ishkhaqwi ai durugnul!" ** came the strained reply.
"But I'm not dead yet, am I? That's what you're thinking; but tell me, how in the name of Mahal are you going to achieve that without dying first?"
I shuddered as the sound grew increasingly closer to me. I began to stumble blindly in the direction of Thorin's voice.
"STOP!" I froze as the sound resonated and suddenly the ground below me began to almost sway and move.
"Thorin?! What's happening? Where are you!?" I cried. It seemed pointless shouting in the dark.
Laughter was all I got in response, however it didn't come from Thorin.
"Tsk, tsk Leena. I expected more from you. You were never one to allow a man to tell you what to do. Go on, have some faith. Better yet, have some light."
And with that last word the darkness flew away and a blinding light took its place. I cowered away from the harsh light and felt my hands gripping the floor beneath me – only it wasn't a floor. In fact, I was nowhere near the ground, but stationed at a terrifying height.
My eyes adjusted and took in the overwhelming site around me. Surrounding me on all four walls were intricate metal bars that ran overhead and below me.
I was in a cage.
The irony of the situation was not lost on me – I had spent my entire life trying to avoid any psychological cage people tried to throw me in – and ended up in a literal one.
Before I could think on this further, a familiar sight caught my eye. A pair of bulky dwarvish boots were place evenly apart underneath the cage, as I cautiously shifted my weight over I followed the limbs coming out of them and stopped my gaze when I saw the black mane streaked with silver.
I believe that in that moment I finally came to realize why I was so hesitant to let myself love Thorin – because deep down I knew that it was a weakness I couldn't allow myself to bear. It felt as if my heart, or whatever mechanical organ it was that harvested all those thoughts and feelings, was outside of my person and being slowly – agonizingly torn to pieces.
He stood a mere couple of feet from me and yet I couldn't reach him. My hands instinctively reached out and my fingers interlaced with the metal that was weaved beneath me. I had to touch him, to know that he was there, to reassure myself that he was real.
I immediately pulled myself up, but froze at the sound of his voice.
"Leena…no…" his voice strained.
"Thorin I'm so sor-"
"Oh yes, please do go on! Apologize and confess your irrevocable love for your brother-in-law. It's about time I had some entertainment around here." my stepfather cooed.
At that Thorin looked up at me. I shifted my stance so I could see him more clearly, but I was pained by the clarity that I sought; Thorin was holding my cage up. There he was, with his sturdy arms above his head, beads of sweat forming around his temples.
His eyes seemed to widen a bit once they found mine. When I imagined how I would finally break the news to him, it was definitely not like this.
When it seemed like all we could do was stare at each other, entranced in our own mental conversation, Lord Beauyon grew tired of the lack of excitement, and the fact that the attention was no longer on him.
"Enough." he sighed. "It would seem that you have lost all sense as to exactly what situation you find yourselves in now. Let me remind you, shall I?"
Suddenly, an ear-deafening sound echoed throughout the room. Along with it, a movement manifested in the floor and resulted in the descent of several floor boards – leaving a precarious edge left for Thorin to stand on.
I gasped involuntarily – knowing I was not helping the situation in the least. The depths below Thorin were unseen from my vantage point – but I knew my stepfather well enough to know that no one could survive the drop.
So this was his plan; that my fate essentially rested in Thorin's hands – literally. He was being forced to hold me up for Mahal knew how long and if he waivered- I dared not think on it.
"What do you want?!" I cried, losing all composure at that instant.
"My dear, what I've always wanted; power. Power beyond that of kings. I want the power that only magic can give me. Magic that lies within you."
"Power is not everything." Came the reply from Thorin, the strain beginning to show in his voice.
Glasur laughed. "Then you haven't experienced real power, have you? Or, perhaps you have…" he carefully unveiled the stone that he removed from his pocket.
"How would you describe the hold this has over you Thorin? Does it not have the power to control you?" he smirked.
This time there was no reply.
I interrupted the silence, "Leave him alone! This is between you and me."
"You're absolutely right. My use of Thorin has run its course; we must look to you now Leena."
With that he turned and disappeared through a small opening in the wall. I scanned the room looking for a sign of existence, but it was just dark and empty.
Before long though, my eyes caught movement above me and the top of the cage was thrown open and a stream of bright light shone down, blinding me.
"There you are! Now we get to the point of all this. Do you know the story of Leena, Thorin?" He looked down inquisitively with the stone grasped firmly in his hand. "Well let me fill you in. You see, little Magdalena and Raessa lived in a happy, peaceful family in the mountains. But it's not in fate's nature to allow for continuous peace and happiness. One day, a company of orcs decided to attack and raid their little town – for sport of course. The town learned of the oncoming attackers and rode ahead to meet them…"
It dawned on me at that moment what he was doing – stalling, wasting time as Thorin grew more and more tired and weak…
"Cybryll, Leena's father, and I were among those who went out to meet the oncoming enemy. We were neck deep in orc blood when I noticed how well he was doing against every attack he met. This displeased me greatly. So I approached him from behind and he knew I was coming – he called to me, "Glasur my lad! I believe we are close to victory!" But my reply was never heard. I took my sword and –"
"STOP!" I cried, the tears streaming down my cheeks. "You horrible monster!" Before I could jump up to lunge out of the cage he tossed the stone in my direction.
It bounced around in my hands for a moment until I got a firm hold. I slunk back down into the cage and was slightly taken aback by the array of colours and light that were violently swirling within it.
Glasur remained silent above me.
When my thoughts re-circled back to him, I could feel the anger beginning to surge inside me again. He killed my father. He was the reason for the misery in my life – and he called himself 'fate'. I carefully placed both of my hands on either side of me to push myself back up and face him.
I stopped when I felt an incredible heat coming from my right hand. I threw my gaze to the bottom of the cage that my hand was on – and my eyes widened in shock at what I saw.
The stone was glowing fiercely and the area where the bars should have been had been melted away. The metal had melted.
The sound of Glasur's laugh receded into the background as I noticed the hole that was created allowed me to reach down to Thorin.
"Thorin." I whispered.
"There you are." he replied, sounding relieved.
"Excellent! So it is your anger that allows you to use the stone…" Glasur carried on.
"That's right." I answered still holding on to Thorin. "And you know what? I'm feeling a little angry." I gave Thorin a reassuring look and began to work my way around the cage, melting most of the bars until he was holding up a square platform underneath me.
Once I calmed down though, I looked at my hand and noticed the red peeling and scarring that began to form. "Ahh," I winced as I held my wrist, dropping the stone in front of me.
"Amazing, simply amazing, I had no idea…" my stepfather reflected.
The three of us were so submerged in our own thoughts; the stone, the hand, and the platform, that we did not notice the stone quickly melting the bars. I was viciously dragged from mine when Beauyon made a horrible screech as he watched his plans drop into the darkness of the pit below. I however was too preoccupied then with keeping my balance as the stone did some great damage to the integrity of the structure I was standing on.
"Hold on!" Thorin commanded suddenly, and I knelt down, grasping onto the bars for dear life. In one swift movement he took the platform and swung it over until it rested in front of him.
So there I was, hanging precariously off the edge, clenching onto a metal square that Thorin kept from plummeting to the depths. "I thought…I thought I'd never see you again." I managed to say. It was returned with a hint of a smile from him, but his gaze shifted slightly past me. I turned my head around and saw the shining light of the Arkenstone fade down into the emptiness, a seemingly bottomless pit.
"What now?" I whispered, searching for some answer in those blue eyes.
"We survive, just like we always do." he replied in a serious tone, his voice unwavering.
"We will." I heard myself answer with confidence.
And with that he let go of the bars with one hand and reached out, beckoning me to take it with mine. I gladly accepted it and looking at him knowingly we both let go with our other hands and let the last thing that would ever separate us fall away.
What happened next occurred in a sort of a blur.
One minute Thorin and I were having a moment – but as wonderful as it may have been it was shattered when his rings began to slip along with my hand.
"I won't let go."
"I know." I winced slightly. "I just want you to kn-"
The loud cracking of the floorboards cut me off mid-sentence. The floors were finally giving way under the king's weight; and the only place to go was down.
I scanned the area below me and noticed a vertical beam that was located directly under Thorin; the only reason his floorboard hadn't broken sooner.
Before I could relay this info to him though the moment had arrived. With one final crack the boards gave way and Thorin lost his footing, giving in to gravity's deathly pull.
I hung on for dear life, but the way he fell made it impossible to hang on to him.
"THORIN!" I screamed as I felt the world float up above me, the light fading into the distance as I fell.
Suddenly I stopped. And the pain started. It radiated from my wrist and I slowly glanced up at it. The sight almost made me lose consciousness; an arrow stuck out of my arm anchoring me to the beam.
I turned to see Glasur leaning next to the edge, a bow armed in his hands, staring at me.
My thoughts became incoherent then, the mixture of anger and loss was so overwhelming that I didn't know how to react. I had obtained and lost one of the most important people in my life in an instant.
"You're not getting away that easily dear" he sneered dropping down on one knee.
I looked down and back up at him. "Then come and get me!" I shouted as I smashed my other hand into the arrow shaft, breaking it and plummeted straight down after Thorin.
Damn if he was going to let me live without him.
** WHEW! so after the longest hiatus EVER I have picked this story back up. PLEASE leave any comments at all, I would love to hear your opinions or ideas!***
- Khuzdul : *A dwarf that chooses to take a wife must guard her as his greatest treasure
** I spit on your grave
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