Fili kept his eyes fixed on the horizon as they sailed towards the Lonely Mountain. How appropriate, he thought. That was exactly how he was feeling now. Alone, lost, abandoned. Surely this hadn't happened, surely it had just been a dream. Deep down, he knew it wasn't and that he would have to face it at some point, but for now he could at least pretend. Fili kept his face blank on the outside, but on the inside, he remembered.
The night had been long, the hours drifting by slowly. Fili had stayed by his brother the whole time, Kili's screams the only thing permeating the fog in his brain. He felt so useless. All his life he has been looking after Kili, but now he was powerless to help as his brother suffered. It was pure torture.
Silence had fallen over the house; they could do nothing more until Bofur returned with the kingsfoil. It was the silence, however, that worried Fili most. He stifled a yawn as he shifted in his chair; he was so tired but he refused to give into exhaustion lest something happened to Kili during his rest.
Oin glanced out the window into the pitch black night, worry clearly etched upon his face.
"Bofur's been a long time. We can't afford to wait much longer else I fear that we will be too late."
Reluctant as he was to leave Kili, Fili was about to offer to search for Bofur when the most awful scream came from the door. The eldest girl, Sigrid, Fili remembered her name was, was desperately trying to hold the door shut but a filthy Orc was overpowering her. She slid under the table, pulling her younger sister, Tilda, after her. Fili grabbed his sword and tried fighting them off. The boy, Bain, was fighting bravely, and Oin was doing his best to keep them away from the children, but it was all in vain. The things kept coming out of nowhere, two more appearing for every one they killed. Kili had awoken during the commotion and was attempting to rise, to no avail.
Before long they were overpowered and Fili was despairing for their lives. That was when the elves burst in.
He recognised one as the king's son, and the other was one of the guards who had locked them up. They set about bringing death upon their foes with a vengeance. With renewed strength, Fili attacked again. He spotted Kili stabbing an Orc to death with the help of the red-haired guard. However, he hardly had time to feel relieved at his brother's safety before Kili fell to the floor, obviously in great pain.
Soon the battle was over. The Orcs had retreated, and while the king's son had left in pursuit, the red-haired one lingered uncertainly. Fili, however, had bigger things to worry about than a couple of wood elves.
He rushed over to Kili, only to find that his brother's face was alarmingly pale and his chest was rising terribly slowly.
"We're losing him," Oin pleaded to the elf. She looked agonised for a moment, before turning to leave. Fili's heart sank in despair but at that moment Bofur came barrelling in with a couple of weeds in his hand.
"This was all I could find," he gasped out, breathing heavily. The elf strode across the room to where Bofur was standing and pulled the weeds out of his hand.
"What are you doing?" Bofur exclaimed.
"It's not much, but I might be able to do it," she murmured, completely ignoring everyone else in the room.
The next few minutes were frantic. The elf shouted out instructions and they all obeyed without hesitation, knowing she was the only one who stood a chance of saving Kili.
Once the preparations were done, Oin and Bofur helped Fili lift the young dwarf onto the table and hold him down. It broke Fili's heart to see his brother like this but he had no choice. The elf started chanting and applied the paste to Kili's wound. He was clearly in terrible pain, and Fili was half tempted to call a stop to the whole thing, but he prevented himself.
Some minutes later, it was clear it wasn't working. The elf's frown had deepened, and eventually she moved away.
"This shouldn't be happening, there must be too little of it. Are you sure that was all you could find?" She asked Bofur.
"Yes. I got there too late; the pigs had eaten the rest." The dwarf looked down in shame.
"Then there is no more I can do. I'm sorry." She said, before turning away. Thorin had brought them up to hate elves, particularly wood elves, and had told them that they felt nothing for others not of their kind. Fili, however, believed that she was genuinely sorry.
Fili had taken up his spot beside Kili again, and Oin and Bofur sat across from them. It had been a mere few minutes since the elf had left, but the atmosphere in the room had changed dramatically. There wasn't even hope left to ease their minds. It had turned into a waiting game.
After what had seemed like hours, Kili began to cough. It was a horrible sound, like he was trying to cough up his lungs. The three dwarves ran to him, but there was nothing they could do.
Fili gripped Kili's hand as he watched the life fade from his brother's eyes. There was pain his eyes, yes, but something else too. He was scared. Kili gripped his brother’s hand tightly, his eyes pleading with Fili to help, but there was nothing to be done. The grip on Fili’s hand loosened. Kili let out one last breath, and stilled.
"NO! KILI!" Fili screamed. He had seen it happen before his very eyes but he wasn't ready to believe that his brother had died. It couldn't be. The others bowed their heads and turned away, but Fili barely registered it. He sank to his knees and allowed himself to cry.
Just a day later, they found the town besieged by the dragon. They had had to flee as fast as they could, which meant leaving Kili's body behind. Instead of getting the honourable burial he deserved, Kili was left to be turned to ash in the dragon's fire.
Fili stared at the mountain as they rowed along. Something had changed within him, after Laketown. Since he had lost Kili. There would most assuredly be a battle when they got to Erebor, and Fili would fight, not only for himself, but for his brother as well.