Deep Red Patches of Snow
Author’s Note: So this is my take on the “character from The Hobbit gets raised in a different situation.” Since my favorite characters are Kili, Thorin, and Thranduil, I decided to write an AU in which Kili runs away from home and ends up in the hands of the King of Mirkwood. Hoping that this will be pretty long. I’ll try to update as much as I can, depending on the kind of response this gets. Consider it a pilot. Anyway, enjoy!
Deep Red Patches of Snow
Thorin never thought he would see the day when Kili would have an arrow aimed at his forehead. Thorin never thought he was going to see Kili again. Thorin had tried to avoid thinking about Kili since the day he had fled from home. Yet, in the forest of Mirkwood, there he was, looking into his nephew’s dark eyes, gaping at the dwarf he thought was long gone. He was barely aware that his mouth was hanging over, both in shock and horror, his voice somehow lost in his throat. His expression seemed to be mimicked in Kili’s face, though his nephew looked almost repulsed at the sight of his long-lost uncle.
Thorin barely moved his arm to fight back against the other elven guards that poured from the trees around them, arrows also raised at the members of the Company, when Kili pulled his arrow further back, the bow now fully taut, face cold. “Don’t move,” he instructed. “If you think I will not fire then you are sadly mistaken.” It was a tone that was unknown to Thorin. Kili had been a dwarfling when he had disappeared, but he had been just that: a dwarfling, a child. The dwarf that stood before him was almost unrecognizable outside his face and stature. Part of his hair was pulled into two braids that met in the back, the rest of it falling past his large shoulders. It was clear that he was trying to keep clean-shaven, but his chin and lower half of his face was covered in short stubble. Around his neck he wore a silver bead on a small link chain. Thorin recognized it immediately, the one he had given his nephew for the last birthday they celebrated together, the last day they spent together. It was engraved with a pattern that belonged to Kili and Kili alone, with his name in Khuzdul etched on top, along with his title as heir of Durin. However, that was where the familiar features ended.
He was dressed in a green elvish uniform, like the rest of the elves that surrounded them, though his was obviously tailored to fit him. His boots were sleek leather that clung to his feet and legs. Kili also wore a darker green cloak with the hood down, and carried a variety of elvish daggers, along with the bow and quiver. Everything looked wrong and mismatched. In a way he looked ridiculous standing beside his companions, but he commanded so much attention it was difficult to even question his presence.
“Kili!” The voice came from behind Thorin, and as he turned, he saw it belonged to another member of the guard, dressed the same way as Kili. She was an elf with fiery red hair and flashing bright green eyes. Standing next to him as a dwarf, she looked gigantic and elongated, like a tree that grew over a shrub. She cast Thorin a dry look, before rapidly speaking to Kili in elvish. He replied, speaking just as quickly, before giving Thorin a last once-over and addressing the whole group.
“Drop your weapons. Hand over anything that can be used as a weapon. We’ll be taking all belts, sheaths, and shields. If you refuse, we will take them by force” The rest of the dwarves were staring at Kili with wide eyes too now. He shifted uncomfortably in their gaze, though recovered in an instant. “Try to resist, and the archers present in the trees and area around you will fire. From now on, you are in the possession of Thranduil, King of Mirkwood.” His announcement caused The Company to erupt into loud voices and shouts. Kili himself lowered the bow, pulling the arrow back into his quiver in a graceful and lyrical movement that conflicted with his robust and square-like stature. Around him, the elves began searching the other dwarves. The red haired elf passed Kili an encouraging smile, before grabbing Fili by the coat collar, removing a pair of twin throwing knives. Kili grinned back, finally an expression that Thorin could recognize: the flash of happiness in the eyes, sheepish aura, and a look that could cause anyone to melt. The moment that the dwarf caught him staring, though, the smile fell off his mouth like a boulder off a cliff.
“Open you jacket,” Kili demanded, his mouth a straight line as he made direct eye contact with Thorin, though nothing in the darkness of his irises gave off any sort of recognition.
“Kili, I-” Before he had the chance to say any more, he found that his legs had been swept out from under him, and he landed on his back on the hard ground. Immediately, the rest of the dwarves were shouting, rushing forward only to be pushed back by the elven guard. Kili was towering over him, his nostrils flared and lips twisted.
“Don’t call me by my name. You have no right.” Though his spine was screaming, Thorin managed to stand himself up, now back and eye-level with him.
“I helped to choose your name. I have the right to use it.” Kili’s eyes widened, before narrowing into slits, examining every inch of Thorin.
“I know who you are,” he scoffed, shaking his head. “Thorin Oakenshield, would-be King Under the Mountain.” Something about his voice made Thorin flinch. “You own all the dwarves, don’t you?” He was taken aback by this comment, not knowing how to respond. “I bet you pick all the names, just so they belong to you.”
“I-I don’t understand.”
“Or maybe you just decided to claim you know me because I am a dwarf, and therefore your property, or to mock my upbringing” Thorin was gaping again. “But, I suppose no matter who I am, if given the choice you wouldn’t actually put an effort into what I am called. If I was a gem however, that decision would be much more important to you. We have a name for you here, Oakenshield: he-who-loves-gold-more-than-“
“Kili,” Thorin interrupted, reaching out his hand, why he didn’t know. In a split second, he found himself pressed up against one of the gnarled trees, his nephew’s arm on his throat. He was choking, only gasping noises escaping his mouth. The dwarves were enraged again, the elves visibly alarmed, though still doing their best to hold back the sea of enraged Company members. The red-haired elf rushed forward, but was stopped when Kili raised his other arm. His dark eyes were wild and furious, as he spoke a few choice words in elvish through gritted teeth. Thorin was able to make out the words “dwarf,” “king,” and “kill.” He swallowed, trying to make a sound of any kind, when Kili turned back to taunt him again.
“If you even dare to attempt to speak with me again, I will not waste time killing you, or giving my uncle the satisfaction to kill you himself.” The word uncle was the only one Thorin was able to hear. Instead of speaking, he just stared back, trying to shout with his eyes. “You disgust me.” Kili whispered, so that only Thorin could hear, stepping back and ripping off Thorin’s fur coat as he did so.
“I never want to see you again! Ever! Leave me alone!”
Thorin closed his eyes as Kili turned his back, walking back past the Company and his group of elves.
“I didn’t mean to! Kili, come back!”
Thorin opened his eyes, and saw the dwarf pause, looking back over his shoulder. For a moment, he saw the child he had pushed away taking the final glance at his family before sprinting down the road and into the forest. For a moment, he swore a spark passed through Kili’s face, before he continued to walk away.
“Tauriel,” Kili called in a low voice. “Take them to the dungeons. Separate them. There is to be no contact between them. Scatter the placement.” The red-haired elf nodded, seeming almost concerned.
“Where are you going?” Kili was already weaving away through the trees, once again moving with odd grace, but he stopped for a second, as if he hadn’t thought about the subject.
“Back to Thranduil. He should know about this before they’re presented before him.” Tauriel pursed her lips, not letting her eyes leave him.
“Be careful. The spiders....”
“It’s dangerous out there! Kili!”
“Don’t worry about me.” With that, he vanished into the madness of Mirkwood, and Thorin was left feeling as if he had been shot with that arrow. Tauriel said something in elvish, that he supposed was some sort of curse.
“Finish up,” she instructed to the rest of the guard. “The faster the better.” Thorin expected her to turn back to Fili, who was staring at the ground with wide eyes, a shell-shocked look at he hadn’t displayed for over 50 years. However, Tauriel turned to Thorin, cautious, pulling off his vest.
“The king has been waiting for the day you’d turn up,” she muttered, clearly making sure that the rest of her companions couldn’t hear her.
“Has he?” Thorin growled in response, not meeting her watchful eyes.
“He wanted to show Kili off to you. I suppose you’re the reason he kept him in the first place. Lucky, really.” He didn’t answer for a moment, puzzling out her vague comment. There was almost an odd hum in his brain, keeping him from properly focusing on anything.
“I don’t follow.” Tauriel sighed, before continuing.
“He was going to throw him out back into the forest until he saw the bead in his hair. The king seemed to think it would be amusing to raise your nephew as an elf.” It was as if someone had taken a match to Thorin’s temper, as it began to blaze and smoke.
“How am I lucky, exactly?”
“He’s alive, isn’t he?”
“You say he’s a vessel for petty revenge between your king and I. What kind of life is that?” Tauriel’s mouth quirked to the side.
“Well, in the beginning he was that. Now, it’s different.” Thorin’s teeth were grinding out of his control, all the muscles in his neck completely tensed.
“That answer was very enlightening.”
“You’re fortunate I’m telling you any of this.”
“Why is Kili not recognizing me? Or his brother? Or anyone?” She paused, yanking off his belt. The rest of the guards had finished their searching, now lining up the other dwarves. Tauriel’s mouth became a straight line.
“From what King Thranduil tells me, it’s better that he does not remember any of it, especially you.” She pulled Thorin forward, her hand barely reaching his shoulders, forcing him to join the line. The other dwarves were murmuring to each other in hushed voices, all trying to move to look at Thorin as they began to walk forward. He wasn’t paying attention, the hum in his mind growing to a full on roar. “It’s better that he does not remember any of it, especially you.”
He had run after him, of course, Fili close behind. Dis had begun to come out of the house, her eyes shining with both tears and rage. Just a moment before she had been screaming. It hadn’t taken long for that to turn into crying.
“Stay there!” He had called back to his sister over his shoulder, keeping a steady eye on both Fili, and the path Kili had taken. “He might double back!” At least, that’s what he hoped, that Kili would run back to his mother, and not further into the forest.
It had been snowing, the white flakes blowing everywhere, clouding his vision. It was the first big storm of the winter months, just like the blizzard that had occurred the night Kili was born. Fili’s bright gold hair had been the only distinguishable feature in the white chaos, as Thorin struggled to keep running through the snow. Their voices had been drowned out by the howling win, though both of them were shouting at the top of their lungs. Fili was beginning to panic, his strong voice breaking as he called out for his brother over and over, until the name lost its meaning.
They had searched for him for hours, as the blizzard died down while the sun rose. Fili was backed up against a boulder, sobbing into his knees, Thorin still trudging around the clearing, looking for footprints. The blizzard must have covered any signs of the child. Everything was still, eerily so, the only sound being that of the snow falling from the tree’s branches to the covered ground.
“Kili!” His voice was so broken now; it was barely a croak. “I’m so sorry.” He leaned against a pine tree, finally letting himself cry for the first time, alongside the one remaining nephew he still had.
At first, he had thought it was the wind again, the sound so high-pitched and terrible that it couldn’t have belonged to anything living. Fili had looked up from his knees, face red and wet, shivering. Thorin didn’t pay attention to it, until he heard the screeching cry for help.
They had begun running again, exhausted legs pumping against the snow, trying to find the source of the screaming. He couldn’t breathe, he could barely shout anymore as they got over the hill. The voice was calling out names now, beginning with mother, over and over again.
“Fili! Fee! Fee, where are you?” Thorin stopped in his tracks, the confirmation of the person’s identity flooding him. Fili was sprinting with a newfound energy, calling back to his brother, though his voice was barely loud enough to reach Thorin’s ears.
“I’m here Kee! We’ve come for you!” Kili shrieked at the top of his lungs, something that wasn’t a word or name at all, but rather a noise of pure pain. Thorin was staggering, pure willpower keeping him moving forward.
“THORIN!” His name stopped him in his tracks. “Uncle Thorin! Please!” Next to him, Fili collapsed, finally giving into the lack of strength and cold. Thorin paused only for a second to scoop his elder nephew up, when Kili called out again. “Uncle-” The words dissolved into the worst sound that had ever reached him, making every burning muscle in his body tremble, the scream filling every pore of his body, until it was abruptly cut off.
He had stumbled through the trees, cradling Fili, mumbling the words he wished he could call out over and over. “I’m coming for you.” He only stopped when he saw the patches of deep red snow, and let himself sink to his knees.
“Thorin!” Bofur hissed from just in front of him. Thorin blinked, crashing back into Mirkwood as they approached the elves’ kingdom. “Where’s Bilbo?”