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Mountain Mother

By Illyth

Action / Romance

Chapter 1

"Please Thorin, can't you see that I did this to save you!" The Dwarf King turned his ice blue eyes to the small burglar of his company, the wind whipped her copper hair back from her shoulders, if the King had not been so lost to the gold lust he would have seen the tears rimming her wide green eyes and the heartbreak on her face. He would have seen her love.

"Save me!" he thundered, "You have betrayed me! You have brought my enemies to my very gates, you gave them the symbol of my right to rule!" he gestured below the battlements where Bard, Thranduil and Gandalf watched the conflict, the Arkenstone glimmering in the Bowman's hands.

"Congratulations, thief, you have accomplished the greatest act of treason capable of this company." He snarled it at her and she flinched back, as if struck, he sneered in satisfaction but as the King stepped forward to bear down upon her presence, she straightened. It was a familiar stance, the same defiance she had shown Azog in the forest, the same burning passion she had defended her King with, now turned against him. "I will save you Thorin Oakenshield, even from yourself!" she shouted it up into his face "I will not let you destroy the only family I have left!"

At this the King let out a dark chuckle and gestured to his other 12 companions, "You think us family, little burglar? Look at you, how could any claim you as kin? You small, weak, naive thing, more suited for child bearing than battle and you don't even have anything to show for your one usefulness. No suitors, no husband and no parents. None could love you!" and these words, like none other, broke the poor hobbit lass. Of course he used her greatest fears, her whispered confessions of inadequacies, loneliness and longing she had shared in the darkness of the night watches. Of course he used the trust she had shown him against her. She gazed at her companions, surely they did not all feel as Thorin did? Surely they had not all gone mad?

But as her eyes searched their bearded faces, she found not one soft look, not one saving grace amongst those she had claimed as kin, had fought for as a Hobbit fights only for their family.

Not in Ori, sweet Ori who had blushingly shown her his sketches of the company and whispered to her his affection for Dwalin. Ori, with his soft green eyes and quiet smile who had listened to her whisper her dreams of a garden filled with fauntlings and a Beltane wedding. His eyes were cold now, like malachite and his face was twisted in a sneer.

Balin, dear protective Balin, who had gentled Thorin's tongue with stories of Dwarrow lore, who had given her her first braid, a scholars braid, for knowing Westron, Quenya and Sindarian and being a map maker, no matter how poor they seemed to her eyes. He was a grandfather like the Old Took, feeding her mind and soul with knowledge.

Dwalin, who had thanked her for defending his King when he couldn't and taught her to use Sting more like a sword and less like a club; who had pulled her hair back and braided it in in the style of the shomakith, the youngest kingsguards. Dwalin, who now pointed Grasper and Keeper towards her throat with the look of a berserker in his eyes.

Fili and Kili were changed too. They had not pulled a prank on or with her since they entered the halls of Erebor, no spiders in her bedroll and she hadn't tied their braids together in weeks. The two she thought of as brothers, now had hatred in the lines around their eyes.

Not Oin who had taught her common herbs on the roadside to help with her monthly bleedings. Nor Gloin, who had praised her for managing her accounts at her young age and for turning a profit on her first business venture of a vineyard. Nori, who taught her to lock pick and pick pocket. Dori who mended her clothes after the Goblin tunnels. Bifur and Bombur who bracketed her bedroll every night since the Shire to keep her warm and from harm and Bofur who teased her and laughed with her, like she had always wished to do with her Baggins and Took cousins. All looked at her like she was a worm, a disgusting thing to be thrown to the wayside and spit upon.

None of them loved her after all.

When her eyes swept back to Thorin's dark face he grinned in sick triumph, for he saw her despair.

"Now you see burglar, that you are not our kin, our friend. You are a traitor to the line of Durin and you will never set foot in my mountain again. It is time for you to leave and none of my good will goes with you." With this last, damning, decree the King's calloused hand shot out towards the small lass and grabbed her by her blue coat and hefting her high, with her large feet dangling he walked her toward the battlements and held her over the edge.

Thorin turned his gaze to the men below him and watched them pale as they realized he held their precious spy over the edge. "Traitors to my reign will not be tolerated and neither will threats to my kingdom. See how the dwarrows of Erebor will treat those who seek to betray them." And with one last mad grin at Billa, he let go.

Gandalf, Bard and Thranduil looked on with growing horror, though the latter disguised it quite well, as the King Under the Mountain railed at the small hobbit lass and as he hefted high on the battlements the gray wizard shouted his dissent, "Thorin Oakenshield don't you dare lay a finger on my burglar!" his words did not reach the top of battlements before the King released Billa from his grasp and the shouts of dismay and anger from the men below were drowned out by the high pitched shriek of the falling hobbit.

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