Come to Morning Through The Shadows

Summary

Lyla Baggins. A hobbit, with a Tookish streak, had done what most other hobbits never dared to do: she went on an adventure. And now, the war was over, the company safe and Erebor was beginning to rebuild. But Lyla could feel the stirrings of something on the horizon, something that set her heart racing. Something familiar and dark seemed to haunt her dreams, shadowing her footsteps. And deep down she knew her adventures weren't over quite yet. Not while she had that blasted ring in her possession.

Genre:
Action / Adventure
Author:
phantomessangel
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
8
Rating:
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:
13+

Scones and Scrolls

Prologue:

The sparse torchlight cast long shadows down the hall, making her shiver.

She imagined sinister faces, amongst the darkened corners.

Her steps felt heavy, and the weight around her neck seemed to grow, the harsh whispers making her head throb painfully.

She wanted to turn around, to return to her bed, and hide beneath the covers, like she had done as a faunt whenever a storm had gotten too loud, the thunder making her jump in fear.

She wanted to banish the nightmares away, thrust the images from her mind, refuse to accept what was happening.

But she knew that it could not be done.

She could not ignore this any longer. She could not deny the truth. If she did…

Aule if she ignored this evil any longer, how might it hurt those she loved?

No.

Thorin’s face appeared in her mind’s eye. The frustration he felt managing the mountain, the discord with the other delegates concerning HER presence at his side, the reconstruction, settling dealings with the elves, and Bard’s men.

She was no use here. Lyla tended to cause more ire than ease at the moment.

No, she had something else to do.

The weight around her neck seemed to intensify, growing in strength and setting her heart ill at ease.

Lyla shook her head again and silently edged towards Thorin’s bedchamber, careful to only open the door wide enough to allow her access.

She didn’t want to wake him.

Like the burglar she had claimed to be all those months ago, the hobbit crept towards the bed and reached with hesitant fingers towards the table.

She paused though, and watched the steady rise and fall of Thorin’s chest. His back was turned to her, the dark tendrils of hair splayed over his shoulder and cascading down to the pillow. Lyla smiled, a soft, pained smile, imagining the worry lines the dwarf king carried finally eased with sleep’s gentle embrace.

The hobbit had the sinking feeling that this would be the last time she might ever see her dwarf and she relished the moment, committing every detail to memory.

Then, with deft movements, Lyla snatched the trinket from the side of the bed and replaced it with one of her own.

Something, she was certain Thorin would appreciate.

And then, as silent as she was able, Lyla Baggins slipped from Thorin’s room and made towards the seldom used pathway, hidden in a small alcove down from the king’s chambers, and to the treasury and the tunnel that would
lead to the fresh air and the night sky.

Thror’s ring was clasped firmly in her palm as the ring of power hummed with a dark energy around her neck.

“I’m sorry Thorin” she murmured softly in the darkness, “so very sorry.”

Chapter 1:

There was a distinct chill in the air as Gandalf reached the small hill that overlooked Minis Tirith. The white walls of the city loomed high, glittering a brilliant white in contrast the grey clouds that hung low in the sky.

He was certain that there would be snow, which bode ill for his return journey.

The trip had been a long one. He cut a path along the edge of Mirkwood, keeping away from the road. He wasn’t sure what danger might be lurking there and with tensions running high between orc, elf and dwarf, one lone travelling wizard would not be safe along the familiar pathways. He’d slogged through the mud of the late autumn rains and watched, with annoyance, as the droplets began to turn icy, the bitter winds nearly blowing the wizard’s had from his head.

Gandalf’s tired bones ached for reprieve, his belly calling for something warm to sooth the chill that had settled over him.

Though he knew that the chill he felt was not simply from the deteriorating weather.

The wizard cast a glance to his left and watched, with growing dread, as black clouds swirled in the distance, bright flashes of lightning and hazy smoke swirled in the air above a dark mountain.

Mount Doom.

He’d reassured Elladan and Elrohir that he’d return to Rivendell as swiftly as possible. He understood Elrond’s urgent request, and he suspected he knew the reason.

But first…

Gandalf narrowed his eyes at the borders of Mordor before urging his horse into a hurried gallop.

He had work to do.

Questions to answer.

*****

A cloud of flour tickled Lyla’s nose and she resisted the urge to sneeze.

There was always something calming about baking, even if it did leave one covered in flour.

And since Dwalin was so fond of her scones…

With another ‘Thwack’ Lyla tackled kneading the dough into the right consistency.

She always baked whenever she was frustrated.

Or nervous.

Or when she couldn’t sleep.

Tonight just happened to be a combination of the three.

Dreams had been plaguing her for weeks. Ever since she’d refused the draughts, insisting she was well enough without them.

And she was, truthfully.

But the blurred images that she couldn’t quite push out of her mind, no matter how hard she tried, were an after effect of being well enough to not be abed with spiked tea to send her to a blissful, dreamless slumber.
Part of her supposed that it was a good thing she couldn’t completely ignore these dreams…memories, or whatever they were. But, the other part of her was terrified of what she’d discover, of what she’d remember.

A sharp pain shot through her head, making her wince as a dull echoing laugh whispered in her ears.

‘Best not think on that right now’ she decided hastily, pushing the threatening memories aside.

Lyla attacked the dough with more vigor, her movements the only noises in the kitchen as the rest of the mountain (barring some patrols) was blanketed with the peaceful hum of sleep.

Not that she was sleeping.

She just couldn’t shake the images, the feelings that haunted her.

Each night, Lyla woke up panting, with sweat trickling down her face as the blurred memories of battle plagued her.

A dark figure, one she couldn’t ever quite make out, always loomed in the shadows.

After all these weeks, she still couldn’t remember more than those sparse recollections.

And the hissing whispers.

The familiarity of the whispers and the hooded, blurred specter, tickled the hobbit’s senses and set Lyla’s heart hammering, fear spiking through her veins, and Just thinking about it made her arm ache and her head pound more fiercely.

And it didn’t help that a good number of the new inhabitants of the mountain were suspicious of her.

After all, they had every right to be, she amended, even if it did set her heart ill at ease. She did steal the arkenstone and Dain Ironfoot had been imprisoned because of her.

She was not a dwarf. She was a hobbit, a hobbit who did not belong under a mountain.

A hobbit from The Shire.

And a hobbit who was in love with the king.

She knew it was all bound to cause problems.

When she’d finally gotten out of bed (much to the protests of most of the company members) and started to travel from her room, whispers followed her. She couldn’t quite make out what they were saying (and she suspected the reason for that was because they spoke in their native tongue) but Lyla could feel the eyes upon her, like shadows haunting her steps.

It was all very disconcerting.

Which was why one of her dwarves was always with her, insisting on following her wherever she went.

They used the guise that she wasn’t well enough to be on her own—which she conceded was true for the first few days of wobbly steps and a throbbing arm that hung in a sling—but eventually she came to realize that it was more for her protection than anything else.

Even the elven brothers from Rivendell often accompanied her.

Which concerned her greatly. She hardly knew these elves and yet they followed after her, peppering her with questions or telling stories, never leaving her side.

And so she’d argued, questioned, and demanded to know what was going on.

“I’m not some faunt, you know,” She’d huffed, acting very much like a faunt would.

But that wasn’t the point.

“Not safe enough fer ye to wander about the mountain on yer own,” Dwalin grumbled lowly, finally acknowledging what she’d suspected. His presence was firmly rooted at her side, “I’ll not risk it.”

He was suspicious of Dain’s men. With their leader imprisoned and Thorin in peace talks with men and elves, it left many dwarves at odds with the king. ..

Even the dwarvish members of the elected council were struggling with the new leadership role that Thorin had taken over Dain’s men.

With a huff, Lyla tossed the dough onto the counter and wiped her hands on her tunic before turning towards the fire and stoking the dim embers back into a cheerful flame, the heat from the crackling wood washing over her in a pleasant way.

War.

Contention.

Bebother it all. She cared for none of it. All she wanted was peace, and quiet.

Which was why she’d snuck down here while the others were abed. She needed to think, needed a chance to breathe without someone following her footsteps, watching her every move.

Returning to her lump of dough, Lyla began to form, smaller lumps, setting each one upon the counter in anticipation for baking.

Leave the fighting to dwarves for the moment. This—Lyla kneaded the dough carefully—this, right here, was far better than all of that rubbish the others were concerned with .

This was her army. And these little masses of dough were her soldiers.

Of course, cooking in a kitchen that was not her own certainly posed a bit of a challenge for the hobbit. Especially considering said kitchen hadn’t been used in well over a hundred years.

However, with Erebor beginning to come to life, Thorin had instructed that the kitchen be the first area to receive attention.

After all, there were more than just the members of the company here now. With Bard’s men and their families and Dain’s abandoned troops still milling about, beginning the process of getting everyone settled, it made logical sense to work on the kitchens first.

Or, at least, that’s what Balin had kindly pointed out to Thorin.

It was Bombur and a few of the others who really got the place shining and organized, ridding the floors of dust, polishing the counters and disposing of the rotten remnants of what once was food. And now the place gleamed. The wooden counters were soft, smooth, glittering brightly in the firelight, every contour and grain highlighted by the orange glow of the flames. The pans overhead were hung delicated, ordered in a regimented arrangement, their copper bottoms shining like the rays of the sun to Lyla’s eyes.

It was the hearth, though, that drew a soft smile from the hobbit’s lips. Large, carefully carved from the glittering green stone, and lined with darker glittering bricks, the firelight danced and encased the entire room in a warm, cheerful glow.

It made the winter more bearable. And, it was the first thing Thorin had shown her when he’d taken her on a tour of the kitchens.

“I thought you’d be here.”

Lyla let out a squeak of surprise and more flour dusted her face as she dropped her lump of dough back on the counter.

She sent a small glare towards the doorway.

Speaking of the king of Erebor…

“That’s hardly fair you know,” She muttered quietly as Thorin stepped closer to the counter, his arms crossed over one another, one brow quirked as he watched her. “Sneaking up on someone isn’t a very gracious thing to do. And
now I’m covered in even more flour.”

“Well, it was hardly sneaking,” Thorin snorted with a soft smile, the edges of his eyes crinkling, “You were far too engrossed in your task to notice me walk in. That’s hardly my fault. And, if I may, you look rather fetching covered in flour.”

Lyla frowned at the king.

“Hardly,”

“Givashel,” Thorin murmured his merriment disappearing as his gaze drifted between the contents of the table and the hobbit’s face, “Why are you down here?”

Lyla dropped her gaze to the counter and continued to form the small round scones.

“Isn’t it obvious?” She remarked carefully, after a moment, “I’m baking.”

She heard a soft sigh, but refused to lift her head to catch the frown that usually accompanied that sigh.

“I can see that, my flower,” Thorin remarked softly, placatingly, “I meant, why are you not in bed? It is late. You should not be down here alone. You need rest.”

Lyla snorted. “It is also early,” She remarked, knowing she was being petulant.

‘Tookish’ she amended wryly.

Thorin let out a soft, annoyed groan as he stepped closer, grasping Lyla’s hands in his own, forcing her movements to halt.

The hobbit stiffened slightly, but hazarded a glance at the king under the mountain, noting the way Thorin’s brows were knit together as he thoughtfully searched her face.

“Something troubles you,” He remarked, running a thumb across her jaw line, smudging the flour from her skin. “Are you having nightmares?”

Lyla’s heart started hammering at the close contact and she couldn’t ignore the way her stomach twisted into knots when she was near Thorin.

But…

There was still so much unease that she felt. Something stopped her from confessing her worries, her thoughts, her dreams of the battle.

She couldn’t stop herself from pulling back, remaining hesitant.

“No,” She whispered averting her gaze, “No, I’m fine.”

Thorin snorted, and muttered something under his breath, they Lyla’s ears couldn’t quite pick out.

“Indeed,” he remarked lowly, “You’re always ‘fine’, I’ve come to find, whenever something truly does trouble you. You push others away.”

Lyla scrunched up her nose and glowered up at the king under the mountain, even though she knew he was speaking the truth.

“I do not.”

“And always eager to argue,” Thorin chided softly, bringing his forehead to rest against hers, “Always so stubborn, Givashel. What am I to do with you?”

Lyla couldn’t ignore the way her heart sped at their close contact or how pleasing it felt to have Thorin’s warm breath ghost against her cheeks.

She knew what he was doing of course.

She wasn’t daft. She certainly was not some blockheaded Bracegirdle from Harbottle!

She was a Baggins, thank you very much. And one thing a Baggins prided themselves on was their wit and intelligence.

Lyla frowned at the king.

“I’ll have you know, Master Oakenshield, that your manipulations will not work.”

Lyla knew that said manipulations were, in fact working, which was a problem.

So, she tried to step away.

A firm grip around her waist stopped her backwards movements, though, and Lyla narrowed her eyes at Thorin who returned her glare with a firm stare of his own, though his lip was curved upwards into a small smirk.
“And what are you doing up this late?” the hobbit sent an inquisitive look towards the dwarf, mingled with a glare. “What keeps the king of Erebor wide awake at this hour?”

Slowly he released his hold on her waist and brought his hands to her cheeks and neck, his thumbs rubbing against her skin softly before releasing her.

“That is hardly important,” He remarked tiredly and Lyla noted the bags beneath the king’s eyes, “I was detained in a meeting with Thranduil, Bard and those two elven brothers from Rivendell.”

Ah…

“What was so important that you are kept from rest?” She hazarded to ask, frowning at the way Thorin’s face looked.

Ragged.

Exhausted.

And while his dark blue tunic certainly highlighted the pleasing features of his ebony hair and angular face, setting his blue eyes blazing, the exhaustion Lyla found tugging at Thorin’s mouth and eyes sent worry through her veins.

“It matters not, Givashel,” He murmured with a soft smile, his gaze roving over her face, “However, I’d very much like to hear what keeps you awake,” he remarked, changing the subject, “You are not required to remain in such tedious company as I have been.”

Lyla snorted at the obvious slight to the elves.

While Thorin certainly had worked to make amends with Thranduil, it didn’t change his obvious distaste for elven company.

Lyla supposed he only tolerated Thranduil and Legolas and the others because they had helped to save his peole, his mountain…

Her.

‘You’ll die.’

A hiss whispered softly in her ear, making Lyla cringe as hazy memories floated to the surface of her thoughts.

“I’m fine,” She repeated distractedly, grasping the trinkets that hung about her neck, willing the images to abate. “Just couldn’t sleep.”

She didn’t want to worry him. If the wrinkles around his eyes were any indication, Thorin had more than enough trouble to deal with.

What were her nightmares in comparison to rebuilding a mountain?

Trivial.

“One day,” Thorin remarked, his tone strained, eyes hooded, “I will earn your trust back. I promise you that.”

Guilt seared Lyla’s chest and she felt the urge to pull Thorin back towards her, reassure him that everything was alright. That THEY were alright, that she truly was fine. She wanted him to know that she trusted him, that she understood her importance to him and knew that he’d never bring her to harm.

But…

She couldn’t.

Not truthfully.

And Thorin knew it.

It was a long road they had yet to travel. They’d certainly made progress, but they had a while yet to go.

But, Lyla did smile at the king and placed a hand on his shoulder, her fingers lacing through the dark, tumbling tendrils of his hair.

“I promise,” She murmured, “Just…give me time?” standing on her toes, Lyla placed a soft kiss on the dwarf king’s cheek.

It seemed to lighten Thorin’s spirits a little. The soft smile returned which eased her heart.

Then Thorin looked between Lyla and the contents on the table.

“Scones?” He asked, changing the subject to more neutral topics, for which the hobbit was thankful. “For Dwalin I’m assuming.”

Lyla nodded her head and grinned.

“Yes.”

*****

Thorin had insisted on staying with her until she’d finished her baking, asking her questions, as he’d come to do since she’d woken up that first time, surrounded by the company and a few elves she did not recognize. They were questions about trivial things, ordinary things. And THAT she found both amusing and a bit curious.

Somehow it didn’t fit Thorin.

But, then again, there were so many different layers to the dwarf’s personality…

Though, he wanted to know things that a dwarf didn’t seem too interested in.

Her favorite flower, for instance.

Why hobbits lived in their little holes in the ground.

What it meant to be a Took. (THAT had been a rather complicated explanation).

Who Lobelia Sackville-Baggins was and WHY it was such a travesty to be related to her.

And Thorin seemed genuinely invested in her answers, if a little confused by them. His gaze never shifted from her as she rattled on about life in the Shire and the time that Lobelia tried to make off with her silver.

“She had all my spoons stuffed in her pocket,” Lyla had grumbled, as she took the last batch of scones from the hearth, mindful to grab them with her right hand instead of her left, which was still a bit weak in its grip.
“Dreadful woman,” She hummed, taking a few of the warm scones and setting them aside for the dwarf in front of her.

“You know once, I had to convince her that—“

She hazarded a glance at the dwarf she’d been talking to, the dwarf who sat in one of the few chairs in the kitchen, his head tilted back, dark waves of hair splaying across his shoulders and around the edges of the chair.

He was fast asleep.

With mouth partially open, the softest of snores escaped his lips and Lyla set down her baking to get a better look at the king.

Gone were the worry lines, the wrinkles around his eyes had eased. Gone too was the tightness around his mouth. Here, in this moment, Thorin Oakenshield looked utterly vulnerable and peaceful.

It was a rare and lovely sight.

Lyla bit her lip, starting unabashedly, hesitating, considering…

But then she leaned forward and carefully placed a soft kiss upon the dwarf’s brow and then the ghost of a kiss upon his lips, mindful not to awaken the sleeping king, but savoring in the softness of the moment and the way his lips seared her own with a pleasant warmth.

With a soft smile, the hobbit retreated back towards the large wooden counter and continued arranging her scones, humming softly to herself.

The corridor that lead upwards, towards the main overlook was still silent when Lyla finally emerged from the kitchen, a large plate of scones in hand Thorin’s soft snores ringing in the hobbit’s ears.

His exhaustion worked to Lyla’s advantage, though she felt bad for leaving him alone in the kitchen.

It meant that for the moment, though, she was free to move about as she pleased without disturbing anyone, especially her dwarf.

Aule knew he needed rest.

And, with the early hour, it meant that Lyla was free from prying eyes as she moved past the treasury and towards the large, polished staircase, ignoring the way her heart hammered.

The hissing grew louder in her ears and she could feel the way her arm started to shake as small beads of sweat appeared on her brow.

Familiar images, that she’d rather bury and lock away, assaulted her.

The fevered blue eyes and the snarling insults as she was lifted high, up into the air, her feet dangling over a steep drop.

‘Thief…betrayer…’

The world tilted and Lyla stumbled backwards, slamming her eyes shut as her hand reached towards the wall. She gulped in a lungful of air, her grip on the plate of scones tightening.

‘Stop Lyla. Stop.’

She could hear the laughter softly echo in her ears.

“Master hobbit?”

Lyla violently jerked, nearly dropping her scones in shock, as an unfamiliar voice hovered in front of her. Her eyes flew open and Lyla tilted her head up to gaze into the curious glance of a young dwarf who stood not three feet from her.

Tall, clad in light armor with long dark hair braided back, away from his face, the dwarf narrowed his eyes, a frown marring his, nearly beardless face, though the expression was not menacing.

“Master Hobbit,” he repeated again, his voice low and curious, “Are you alright?”

Having never really talked to anyone outside the company, Lyla was not sure who this dwarf was , or really how to answer him.

‘Manners,’ her father’s voice chided softly in the back of her mind, ‘Remember manners.’

Lyla swallowed back the surprised squeak that was stuck in her throat, and forced her lips into a small smile.

“Ah-er-I’m…I’m alright, thank you. Just fine,” She murmured the last part softly, warily, the shock of this dwarf’s sudden appearance setting her off.

The dwarf, for his part, look genuinely surprised.

“I didn’t know you were a woman,” He remarked slowly, his voice betraying the unease HE felt.

Lyla’s ears buzzed and a familiar heat tickled her neck.

Didn’t know she was a…?

“Indeed.” She remarked drily her slight annoyance tempering the unease she felt being in the dwarf’s presence. “Yes, well, be that as it may, what may I do for you?”

The dwarf suddenly balked at Lyla’s question, his blue eye widening in surprise, mouth opening a fraction as he stared at the hobbit who had straightened her back and stood far more determinedly before the tall warrior.

Lyla stared back, her resolve hardening with each passing moment. Thoughts of hissing whispers and uncomfortable memories temporarily abating as more pressing matters demanded her attention.

She was no simpering Sackville-Baggins or a daft Brandybuck.

Lyla quirked a brow at the clearly flustered dwarf before her.

“What might I do for you then…?” She trailed off, unsure of how to address this (obviously) young dwarf before her, “And at this hour too?”

The dwarf shook his head lightly and snapped his mouth shut, giving her a slightly sheepish look, “Forgive me,” he replied quietly, “My name is Th-“ The dwarf stopped a moment, looking unsure.

Clearing his throat he stood a little straighter fiddling with one of the braids near his shoulder, “I-uh, my name is Rin,” he replied, “I’m well acquainted with Thorin Oakenshield and the rest of the company and knowing your close affiliation with them, I-“ He hesitated again, “I’m wondering if perhaps you can help me.”

Lyla’s curiosity was piqued. She’d not spoken to many of the dwarves, and to have one approach her at this hour of the morning asking for help?

How interesting.

How odd.

“Yes, well,” She remarked, shifting her stance and adjusting the plate of scones, “I’m not sure how I can help you really.”

“Oh but you can, milady,” the hobbit blinked at the title the dwarf Rin used, “You can certainly help. You are the only one who can help.”

Lyla was surprised to see the a fierce light in Rin’s eyes as he smiled pleadingly at her.

Something seemed familiar about that expression. Like she had seen it before.

Though she couldn’t place where.

“You are the only one who can appeal to Master Oakenshield to help my father. He’ll listen to you.”

“Your…father?” Lyla was confused. She scrunched up her face as she watched the dwarf nod his head.

“Have you tried to talk to him concerning the matter?” She remarked, “I don’t see how I can really be of any help. I’m sure whatever has befallen your father will receive fair judgment by Tho—Master Oakenshield, if you but talk to him.”

“Please,” The dwarf took a small step forward, and Lyla took one back, her heart spiking with trepidation at the movement, though the dwarf’s face remained pleading instead of predatory, “You are the only one who can do this.
They will not listen to me. My own kin, and they will not listen. The rest of the council will not listen either. Their torn between believing him and following Thorin. But it’s wrong!” He knit his brows together, “All of its wrong.
Something bad has happened. There’s a plot, they’re looking for something. I just… my father—“

“That’s quite enough of that.”

The familiar voice sent the young dwarf stumbling backwards the rest of his comment cut off as he scuttled away from the surprised hobbit, retreating at a rapid pace into the darkness, his eyes still pleading with Lyla, even from the growing distance.

Lyla turned with wide eyes, towards the hall where Thorin Oakenshield stood, a deep frown on his face, eyes blazing with fury hands balled at his sides as he slowly approached the hobbit, searching your face.

“You should have woken me,” he admonished lowly, stepping closer to Lyla, his tone cold, “You should not wander on your own.”

The dwarf king reached forward and plucked the plate of scones from Lyla’s grip and stared down his nose at the hobbit.

“Especially at this hour.”

Lyla furrowed her brow, “I don’t quite understand,” She admitted, “I mean I DO understand, sort of, but I wasn’t in any danger. The dwarf was very polite. And you’ve sent him scrambling.”

“He doesn’t have a right to talk to you,” Thorin snapped, glaring at Lyla, who in turn narrowed her eyes.

“And you have a right to talk in this manner? Or choose what I can and cannot do?”

No thank you!

“I am not some fauntling, Thorin Oakenshield and if I say I was perfectly fine then—“

“And I’ve known you long enough to know you lie on that score, little burglar,” Thorin huffed, softening his tone, “You have a propensity to shield others from the truth. And whether or not he was threatening you is not the point.
HE was not the speak with you. He disobeyed command.”

Disobeyed command?

Lyla frowned.

“Excuse me?”

Thorin pinched the bridge of his nose and huffed, his shoulders visibly tensing.

“It is far too early to be discussing this,” he muttered agitatedly. He shot her a tired look, “We should discuss this later, after we’ve both gotten some rest.”

Lyla’s anger was growing however. And Thorin should know…

“I think not,” She remarked, heatedly, “You are forbidding others from talking to me? You are purposely isolating me? Why?”

Thorin shook his head, “I’ve done no such thing,” He retorted, with a small sigh, “I’ve not stopped anyone from approaching you if they wished. But HIM,” Thorin nodded his head in the direction that Rin had retreated, “He has been requested, by the council to remain away.”

Lyla frowned, “But he’s clearly not a threat. He’s just a boy by your standards. Probably no more than Kili’s age.” She peered into Thorin’s eyes, searching the hooded expression within the cerulean depths of his gaze, “All he wanted was to ask about his father.”

Thorin’s eyes tightened and his frown deepened.

“A boy he may be, yes. But his father,” the dwarf spat, “Is a traitor. And this will not be discussed. Not now.”

“But, it doesn’t—“

“No, Givashel,” Thorin reached forward and touched her ear softly, running his fingers through the curls that framed her face there, “No, not now. I promise we will discuss it, but not now.”

The look on the dwarf’s face silenced Lyla’s protest. A raw pain swam in Thorin gaze as he stared down on the hobbit.

Something about the young dwarf Rin and his father ruffled Thorin’s feathers, shook him to the core.

She cast a glance around, as Thorin led her towards the staircase, wondering what was going on, what had transpired since they’d first come to Erebor.

When her foot touched the first stair, for the briefest of moments, she hesitated, the familiar, terrifying images washing over her again.

And then she caught sight of a face in the shadows, watching her being ushered by Thorin up towards the lookout.

She grabbed at the necklaces about her neck and rubbed her fingers over the design carved into the bead that Thorin had given her, and she wondered…

What in Aule’s name was going on?

*****

Gandalf set his warm mug of ale down as his eyes scanned yet another scroll, searching for the record he needed. If anywhere , he could find the record here amongst the histories of men, safely guarded behind the white walls of Minis Tirith.

He hoped, though, that he was wrong.

That the little hobbit did not have what he feared.

But he HAD to be certain of it.

Gandalf took another large gulp of the warm ale, some of it splashing onto his beard in his haste as he returned to his reading.

Even this far down in the archives, he could hear the soft patter of rain, the voices of the men and women and children as they milled about the streets, but his eyes never strayed from their task of searching.

Accounts of deaths.

The rising of the great armies.

The loss of the line of kings.

Gandalf continued to read, pulling out his pipe, the familiar smells of the Shire-leaf filling his nostrils.

The grey wizard skimmed a rather tattered scroll.

“The year 3434 of the Second Age—“Gandalf straightened, “Here follows Isildur, High King of Gondor, and the finding of the ring of power…”

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maggie Brown: Loving this story! These two are just the cutest!

Kristen: For those who loved the series, this mini novella is definitely worth the read for a different pov, as well as update into the lives of the characters we couldn't help but fall in love with. 🥰 I personally wouldn't mind another novella, the story was just too good 😁For those reading reviews to fi...

Tracy Stringer: I hate that there are real people in our world who run these sex prisons. That women are a dime a dozen and totally expendable. I’m so glad that Wood found her, even if to make Iris happy. I can’t imagine how Tami felt being free. Her mind was still brainwashed and Wood keeps forcing her to make ...

Mohammad Domato : First story I've red, and it is really entertaining.

Mary2003: Will continue with the next one asap

Connie White: 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊

More Recommendations

Lizelle Nel: Absolutely love the story. The mother is quite hilarious with the innuendos. Could feel every emotion the characters went through. You wanted to cry with them. Laugh with them. Highly recommended to read. Keep it up.

Sherl Cox: The book is ok but could use some touch up it’s ok to read hope there is more

Helene 🦋: I enjoyed every bit of this series 😍❤️

jogamaspearce: Equally as good if not better 👍. Seriously, you're making me cram- read because I can't wait to see what happens next. Thank you.

Elizabeth: I loved this short story. Amazing as always.

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.