A New Life In Erebor
Erebor was theirs, but not without a high price. The line of Durin had almost been completely lost. Thorin's wounds had been extensive, but thanks to quick action and the healing skills of both elves and dwarves, Thorin recovered.
For a while, no one was sure if the princes would survive. The healers had almost lost each of them multiple times, but after many difficult and painful weeks, the princes began to heal. Fili and Kili never left each other's side. Many said that the only reason they both survived was the willpower of the other one. They lived for each other.
The cleanup and rebuilding of Erebor began immediately. Thorin knew it would take years to fully restore the great city to its former glory, but it would happen. He would see to that. Thorin sent out a guard to the Blue Mountains, inviting the families to move to Erebor. He was eager to see his sister again and reintroduce her to her childhood home.
Fili was anxious to see his wife again. He was personally seeing to the restoration of a fine apartment. Mailli could live in luxury and there would be plenty of space for future dwarflings. He hoped they would have many.
The brothers began their princely duties. They were assigned various parts of the mountain to oversee its clean up. They were also charged with diplomatic duties with Erebor's nearest neighbors, the elves of Mirkwood and the men of Laketown and Dale. Fili had been assigned to the men and Kili the elves. It worked well for each of them.
Fili enjoyed working with Bard, formally a humble bargeman, but now the lord of his people. Bard was a good man and Fili also liked his family. Sigrid, the eldest daughter, was a wonderful lady for her people; kind, hardworking and generous. Bain was a strong lad with a talent for leadership. Tilda was still very young, but she was a joy and the least prejudice among her people towards the dwarves. She saw none of the difference other men saw in the dwarves, but Fili suspected it was because she was the same height as them.
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My dearest brother, I hope this letter finds you well. This letter is for your eyes only and soon you will know why. First of all, I want to say how happy I am for you. You have reclaimed our home. I could not be more proud of you. I am also extremely relived to know you and my sons are alive. That all of your company is alive is wonderful news. Gloin and Bombur's wives are especially happy.
I will not be coming with the first caravan, as much as I want to, but circumstances here prevent me. This is where I must ask you to keep this information a secret for the time being. Mailli is with child, but she is very ill. To be honest, I'm surprised she has lived as long as she has. She still has two months to go and I don't know that she will make it to the end or survive the childbirth. Please don't tell Fili. There is nothing he can do. By the time this letter reaches you, there is a good chance that she will be dead. If by some miracle she does survive, we will both be on the second caravan. Otherwise, it will just be me.
Telling Fili would not do him or anyone else any good. He will find out soon enough. The second letter I have enclosed is one you can read out loud and share with the boys and your company. I will tell no lies, but I won't tell all the truth either. It explains the reason for us not being a part of the first caravan is because as your regent in the Blue Mountains, there is much for me to do and oversee. This is very true. It's not easy to organize these large groups to travel so far. The first caravan will be small and they will pave the way for us. The majority of us who will be moving to Erebor will be arriving in the second caravan.
It breaks my heart to see Mailli as she is. She and Fili don’t deserve this and I can only hope Fili will be able to deal with this and live on for his child's sake. Mailli didn't know she was expecting when Fili left and even if he had stayed, nothing could have been done to prevent this outcome. Mailli does not harbor any ill feelings towards Fili or you. She is very proud. It was hard to calm her down from her joy after we read your letter and she learned Fili lives. We were afraid she would do herself harm as she cried in elation.
I look forward to seeing you and walking the halls of Erebor again. Mahal willing, I will be there with both my daughter-by-wed and my grandchild, but should that not be, my grandchild at least. Another heir in the Line of Durin. I am loath to say farewell again, even in a letter, but I must. I will see you as soon as I am able. Give my love to my sons. And Thorin, if you must share the news with someone, make sure it is someone who will keep your confidence.
With love, your sister, Dis
Thorin wiped his tears away. Poor Mailli. Poor Fili. Poor Dis having to deal with all of this by herself. This was not a good way to start life in Erebor. And after all they've been through, too. He wiped his hands down his face and massaged his temples. This turn of events could certainly destroy Fili. Thorin knew if they lost Fili, they would probably lose Kili and if both were lost, would it ruin Dis? He knew it would ruin him. Why couldn't the children of Durin ever get a respite from tragedy?