This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The Market and Main Hall of the Blue Mountains was full of colorful decorations and the cheerful sounds of happiness and celebration. Thorin was seated at one of the large benches surround the room, Balin next to him. The two Dwarves sat in a comfortable silence, absorbing the laughter and joy around them. Dwalin stumbled by with Gloin, one arm slung around his shoulders. They were both singing loudly and off-key and very drunkenly. Thorin turned to Balin and snorted slightly at the expression on his face. Balin just shook his head slowly, "Is it too late to disown him?"
Thorin smiled at him, "Aye. You can torture him tomorrow in the forge though."
Balin laughed at that and they lapsed back into silence. Fili darted by them, sending a bright smile at his uncle as he passed. Thorin and Balin smiled back before Thorin noticed something odd. Kili was not following his brother. He had last seen his youngest nephew drinking happily with his brother, Gimli tagging along behind them. A quick search of the hall soon found him, sitting alone at a table in one of the far corners. Thorin bid Balin farewell and headed to his nephew. As Thorin grew closer he saw that Kili was staring blankly into his mug, twisting it between his hands. Thorin sat himself across from him and cleared his throat, alerting Kili to his presence. Kili's head shot up and he smiled at Thorin, "Uncle."
Thorin looked him over. Kili didn't seem upset, merely thoughtful, "What's wrong?"
Kili looked around, confused, "What do you mean? I'm fine."
"Why are you sitting here by yourself?"
Kili's shoulders dropped, "Oh. It's nothing."
"Clearly it's something."
Kili shrugged one shoulder, "Just thinking."
Thorin gestured for him to continue and explain which he did, after a moment, "It's just something Dwalin said."
Thorin's stomach dropped, Dwalin had a habit of not thinking when he was drunk, "What did Dwalin say?"
Kili nearly laughed at the expression on his uncle's face, "It's nothing bad! Promise."
That seemed to relieve Thorin slightly, "What did he say?"
"It's nothing really. He just mentioned something I did reminded him of Father. I don't even remember what it was I did..."
Kili fell silent again and Thorin looked him over with a critical eye. His younger nephew seemed...distressed, "Is there something wrong with being like your father?"
Kili shook his head, dark hair falling into his eyes, "No...I just..."
He shrugged again as if to end the conversation but Thorin was having none of that, "You just what?"
Kili shrugged once again and drank from his mug before explaining, "I just...I don't know if being like him is a good thing or not. I don't know anything about him."
Thorin didn't know how to respond to that. His brother-in-law, Sagnus, had died before Kili had even been born. While Fili had a few sparse memories of his father, Kili had nothing. He realized that Kili had begun speaking and focused all his attention of his nephew once again.
"I don't know what he looks like. We don't have any portraits...I don't know what his personality was. People say he looked and acted a lot like Fili but...and I don't want to ask Mum. She gets upset when people mention his name and I don't like her upset. Fili barely remembers him and I don't like pushing into his memories. I just wish I knew something about him."
Thorin voice was soft when he finally did speak, "He was a good Dwarf...he did look a lot like Fili. He had some of Fili's temperament: calm and well spoken. He had a side to him that was a lot like you too."
Kili continued to stare into his mug, "I just wish I knew what that side was...he didn't even get to see what I looked like."
"He wanted you very much, Kili," Thorin said, "He went on about how you were going to be another son...he was the one that picked your name."
Kili looked up at that, "He did?"
Kili smiled slightly at that before the smile faded again, "Do-do you think he would have been proud of me? Even though I'm not much like a true Dwarf?"
Thorin nearly snarled, "Who said you weren't enough like a Dwarf? I want names!"
Kili held up his hands in a gesture of surrender with a small chuckle, "No one. Promise."
Thorin's glare didn't fade, "There's nothing wrong with you. Understand me?"
Kili ducked his head slightly, "I didn't mean it like that but...Uncle, for a Dwarf I'm practically dainty. I use a bow as my primary weapon not an axe or a sword...I'm a ranger. I barely have any growth of a beard..."
He trailed off and looked down at his mug once again. Thorin paused briefly, pondering what to say in this situation, "Kili...Kili look at me," His younger heir did as he was told, looking all the more like a kicked puppy, "Your father would be nothing but proud of you. How could he not be? Your mother, Fili, and myself...we're all proud of you. You're an expert warrior. You favor the bow, yes, with good reason. I've never seen a Dwarf outshoot you. You could probably outshoot an Elf."
That gained a slight smile and Thorin continued, "You also have talent with the sword. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You're a ranger. The first Dwarf ranger as far as I know. That alone has more bragging rights (not that you should brag) than even I can boast. Your beard will come in time. That's not something you can change...and I'd hardly call you dainty."
Kili smiled slightly, "Thanks."
"You don't thank someone for telling the truth. You've done your father's name...and the Durin name proud, Kili, son of Sagnus."
Kili seemed to straighten at that, as if a burden was lifted off his shoulders, "I'll continue to do that."
Thorin gave him a small smile, "I know you will. Now go and help your brother tear apart the mountain while the Festival is still going on."
Kili stood and gave his uncle a bright, typical, Kili grin before darting off to meet his brother was lingering by the doorway, looking for him. Thorin watched the two boys disappear into the crowds before shaking his head with a smile, "You should be proud of them Sagnus. They're turning out to be remarkable Dwarves."
Thorin rose and stretched before walking over to join Balin and once again go back to enjoying himself.
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