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Chapter 1

Lady Dis, daughter of Thrain, princess under the Mountain and Durin's Folk in her life faced great sorrows. When she was the only a couple of years old she lost her grandmother the Queen. Then at the young age of ten, the dragon came. She didn't remember the Erebor, not like her brothers but she remembered that day. That terrible day when her and others dwarves changed forever. She still can remember the roar of Smaug and the screams of her people. The stench of smoke and death still haunted her dreams. She still remembers the half-burned corpses of her people. Her own mothers one. Her brave, kind mother who died protecting young dwarflings. She could still hear her own screams when Frerin and Dwalin ripped her away from her mother's arms.
She saw King's Thranduil's betrayal when he turned away and left them without shelter and any aid.
Then they travelled and travelled.
First Dunland where they spend most of her dwarfhood. Then the Battle of Azanulbizar happened. The bloodiest battle to take back the Moria, the ancient kingdom of dwarves. In that battle fell many of her people. But most importantly her young brother Frerin fell to the swords of orc defending his brother to the last breath.
King Thor, her grandfather was beheaded by Azog. Only her brother Thorin came home.
She still after these years couldn't remove the memory of Thorin on his knees in front of her crying and begging for forgives that he didn't protect their family. It was the first time when she saw him like that. Not even when Erebor fell he cried and they spend the evening together crying while she was stroking his hair like he done thousands of times to her after a bad dream.

The grief lasted for a long time. And even now it's still here. Deep down in everybody's hearts.
But after every rain came sun still shines and after many years they finally found their place in Ered Luin, amongst of their kin.
In the Blue Mountains, she was happy. She finally found her One. The stories from her mother and grandmother couldn't prepare her for the happiness after she found her soulmate, Vili.
They were in love, her family or was left of them were safe and fed. After of a couple of years, Mahal blessed them with a healthy golden-haired baby boy.
Oh, Mahal, she was ecstatic. Then they were blessed with the second son. Her Kili.
But she should have known. Her happiness couldn't last long.
The Fell Winter. The Orcs, wargs and the body of her husband.
Oh, Mahal, she was devastated.
Her Vili. Her amralime. Dead.
The loss of her One almost destroyed her soul But only her children kept her alive.
Her strong but young sons.
Heirs of Erebor.
And she sends then away to the danger.
The last pieces of her beloved husband.

The princess of Erebor choked back a sob who was threatened to come out as she watched her baby boys riding away to meet her brother and other members of the company who were ready to take back the Lonely Mountain.

But in the deep of her heart, she knew that its the last time when she saw her sons alive. And she wanted to scream. To grab them and don't let go.
But she couldn't.
What a terrible mother she is.

Please. Oh Mahal, the Maker,! I am begging you to take pity in my sons and brother. Save them. I am begging you.
Somebody, please! Bring back my family alive. Please, I don't want anything else. Don't rob me of them.

Chapter Text

Chapter 1

 

I don't think it's fair that Thorin and his nephews died,” Keitha Finley crossed green jacket clothed hands on her chest and pouted. Both of the Finley girls were coming back from watching The Battle of Five Armies and to tell the truth. Emotions were high for both of them, even if the older of them was more reserved.

 

“And left the Erebor to Dain! To Dain! Who didn't offer his help in the first place and just came to get a treasure,” Keitha voiced her thoughts maybe too loudly because the older girl sitting in the driver seat winced but smiled at her sister. 'Maybe sometimes too loud but always means well.' the driver mused silently.

“Narah T, say something!” the younger one begged and half turning to face driver. The said young woman smirked. Narah Tenille Finley was oldest of Finley's children and the one who basically raised her three siblings. So from the young age, all of her siblings always looked for her approval. This time wasn't any different.

“Of course it isn't fair that they died. Kili and Fili were barely of age, they were young,” Narah Tenille spoke and in corner of her eye she saw how Keitha fist pumped the air, she felt fond smile curling up on her lips. “But they died. People do that. Young or old. But they fell in battle. Life is cruel but it's life..,” Keitha got an outraged look on her face and opened mouth to give a piece of her mind but older girl held up a finger in the air as she speeds up a little to overtake the car in front of her.

“The most terrible thing it's not that they couldn't live. It's really not. But the fact that many people will have to live without them, ” the understanding shown on Keitha's face. “To people like Balin and Dwalin who were guards of the royal family and swore to protect them but most importantly how can Dis live when she lost everybody she loved?.”

 

For a couple of seconds, both girls were silent, only the sound of the vehicle was heard. Keitha thought about what Narah told her. And she was right. Like usually.

“You are right. Do you think she knew when they died? Or just when they told her?” Keitha inquired and leaned her head on the cold window. Narah-Tenille just shrugged her shoulders.

“I think so. I believe that she knew that she won't see them alive again,” The dark-skinned girl answered and looked at her younger sister “Remeber that time when you fell down the tree and broke your arm?” Keitha nodded and grimaced at the memory while unconsciously rubbing her right arm. It wasn't her most treasured and most pleasant memory.

“Well, I just knew that you were hurt. Something in my heart warned me. So I believe that Dis felt even more, as a mother and sister. So she definitely felt that” The oldest Finley answered the question and nodded to herself. Yes, she always knew when her siblings were in trouble or even in bad mood. And the bond between mother and her children are even stronger.

The warm weight on her back of hand snapped her back from her thoughts and she gazed fondly at Keitha. The girl smiled shyly.

“I hope you will never felt that again, sister,” Narah squeezed her hand three times in silent message 'I love you' while carefully looking at the road. The roads were covered with some ice, so Narah tried to drive as carefully as possible. “I love you too, wolf queen,”

The nickname of her name meaning was enough to make Narah to smile wider than before.

 

But no matter how much Narah Tenille Finley tried to drive safely it wasn't mean to them to came back home safe and sound. And those words said by her sister were the last ones she heard from hee.

Nobody really knows from where the deer appeared but it was too late to stop and the swift swerve to the left made car spin uncontrollably into the trees. Narah tried to turn car so the impact would be on her side of the car and her sister would be spared. Even if herself wasnt. It happened so fast, there were no freezing time just three things:

Screams. She didn't realise that she was screaming too.

Pain. It wasn't like anything she felt before.

Nothingness. It was much better than pain.

 

In the distance the wolf howl was full of grief and sorrow.

 

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Gandalf the Grey, Servant of the Secret Fire, Wielder of the flame of Anor was feeling hopeful and pleased with himself. And why he shouldn't be, the wizard just came back from speaking to Bilbo Baggins, and even if the said hobbit didn't realise: he was a great choice for a burglar. Greatest one. Yes.

It will be very good to him and most amusing to me.

The old wizard chuckled to himself at the thought of hobbit meeting dwarves. Dwarves were loud and merry.

Very amusing. Indeed.

 

The Wandering Wizard was travelling towards closest Inn where he would meet the others members of the company when suddenly he stopped in tracks. The grey wolf was standing in the middle of his path patiently staring at the wizard.

His mount neighed and he patted the beast neck to calm him down while still looking into the eyes of an animal.

Gandalf wasn't scared of the risk of being attacked, but something about the wolf was strange and almost unnatural.

The said animal slowly turned around and started to walk towards the forest. Wolf turned to look at the wizard and in the almost humane way, he lifted his head towards the forest. Something in the beast amber eyes was enough to make the Graybeard follow him after he dismounted his horse.

Call him a foolish old man. But he followed the wolf into the forest but his arm was already on the hilt of his sword.

 

It was a couple of minutes of the following wolf when he stopped the second time in a day. On the ground in front of him laid the body of a human. Gandalf turned to look at wolf but the animal wasn't here. Strange.

He quickly rushed towards the unknown body and gasped in shock.

On the ground was an unconscious girl. It wasn't elf nor dwarf or hobbit. It was a daughter of men. But the most eye-catching thing about her was her dark skin. It was darkest he ever seen in his long life but it's still wasn't dark enough to cover the blood and scratches on it.

He leaned closer and put his two fingers to her neck.

The weak but steady heartbeat was under his fingers.

Good. Very good.

He lifted his palm and concentrated on his magic at the same time Gandalf started to chant in Elvish.

 

It was a couple of seconds later when the girl gasped and sit up so suddenly that she almost bashed her head into his. If he wasn't quick enough to react and grab her shoulder. Of course.

 

Her amber colour eyes (another unusual thing) were manically jumping around her surroundings if to look for something while her right hand was firmly pressed to her chest. Woman's breathing was frantic and too heavy to be normal.

 

“There, there my dear. Calm down,” he soothingly tried to calm the girl and her eyes finally focused on his. She jerked back and the wizard lifted his hand in defence. The fear and confusion were clearly seen in her eyes.

No need to scare the lass more.

 

“What happened?… What.. Were is Keitha?..Did..I…we died?”

It wasn't part. of his plan.

Chapter Text

When she celebrated her 18th birthday Narah Tenille got drunk for the first time. She wasn't just a tipsy, she enjoyed liquor until she didn't remember anything else after last shot of whisky. But the worst part was when she started waking up the next day. A massive headache and nausea and the dizziness almost made her beg for death or at least disown alcohol for life.
And now she felt even worse with the headaches and nausea she also felt like she was knocked down by an enraged bull.
Even breathing hurts so she even didn't try to move a finger. It hurt too much.

But then the unexpected happened she heard someone moving towards her.
She felt that person near. She felt him or her checking up her pulse and then starting to chant something.
It was melodious and soft. It almost sounds like Sindarin. She can even understand a few words. How can it be?
At that moment Narah Tenille Finley remembered. She revived what happened to her. The driving, the crash, her sister screams, pain.

Keitha!
How can she forget her?

Keitha!
She wanted to scream for her sister and didn't even realised when the chanting stopped and she could again move her body.

“There, there my dear. Calm down,” the man soothingly whispered and the dark-skinned girl for the first time looked at him and jerked back in instinct. The grey clothed old man raised his hand in defence while staring at her with curious yet cautious eyes.

“What happened?… What.. Were is Keitha?” she should have looked crazy to him. As he looked quite loony to her. And then she finally took a good look at the old man kneeling in front of her.
He was her grandfather's age, with a long grey cloak, pointy hat and with a long white beard. The longest she ever saw.
In one word, he looked like Gandalf the Gray, a wizard from Middle Earth.
But its impossible? Right? Except if I am dead. “Did I died?”

“You are not dead, dear girl. Neither I am,” he spoke. His voice was calm and kind but with hidden authority and power. “I have no idea about Keitha? She was with you?” he inquires and Narah looked around. There were no car, no body, no blood or even the road. The scenery was different. They were in the forest she didn't know of.

“I was with my sister and then the crash happened. I remember screams and then nothing” The young woman started to explain her situation to "Gandalf" even if she didn't know why but her voice broke and she lowered her head in shame. Get a grip, Finley. She told herself. “Where I am now?”

The old man looked at the young woman kindly and patted her knee. Poor girl.
Gandalf quickly stood up and leaned on his staff still staring at the girl.

“Why, you are in the Middle Earth, of course, The Hobbiton to be more precise, ”

Narah Tennile covered her mouth so no sound would come out. But the fright in her amber eyes was clearly seen.
Middle Earth? How? How can it be?
Without realising she voiced her question loudly. Gandalf raised one of his bushy eyebrows.

“I take, you are not from our world, dear lady,” The wizard asked and Narah nodded. “Allow me to introduce myself. Gandalf the Grey. Wizard of the Middle Earth,” the wizard stood a little straighter and lowered his head in greeting. He extended his hand to help Narah to stand up and she gladly took it.

“Narah Tenille Finley, a woman from Earth,” Narah introduced herself and shook wizards hand.

“I believe you are the one. Indeed you are.”

 

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Narah Tenille was in the Middle Earth. That was true. She had her freak out. It was kind of embarrassing but Gandalf was understanding wizard and helped her. And even took her to meet part of the company they were travelling to meet.
The famous Company of Thorin Oakenshield who were destined to take back Erebor from Smaug. Even if with great loses.
Narah shook her head to banish these thoughts. It wasn't her problem. She had her own home to find.
Her main priority is to go to the Rivendell and meet both lady Galadriel with Lord Elrond and ask them to help her to come back to her siblings. Family comes first. That was always her rule number one.

“Narah Tenille, my dear, what's caught your attention?,” the said girl jumped at the voice and turned to look at the Gandalf who was already dismounted and with outstretched hand to help her. Narah apologetically smiled at him and the second time in the gladly took his hand.

They were near the Inn and Narah could already feel the stares of the hobbit. Her darker skin, natural hair and even her clothes were unusual. But she was walking behind Gandalf towards the tavern with her head held up high. She has nothing to be ashamed of.

The Inn was like in the movie. With wooden tables and benches. Merry hobbits drinking, dancing and singing around. Young lasses served drinks and food with smiles on their faces. And the dark-skinned woman couldn't help but smile at the scenery.

“Gandalf!” the gruff voice shouted across the inn and made Narah Tenille turn towards the source of the voice and she could feel her amber eyes widen. There was a dwarf. No some dwarf, but Gloin. Father of Gimli. Near him was sitting his brother Oin, with his hearing trumpet who was talking with Dori. Between him and Nori, who was curiously staring at me was, was of course, young Ori with his knitted scarfs and mittens. Then they was Bifur and Bofur with Bombur sitting on the other side of the table.

Gandalf greeted the dwarfs who nodded at him and then turned to Narah. Who was curiously staring at the dwarves and who in return were staring at her and whispering in Khuzdul? But what they didn't know that Narah Tenille knew a great part of Dwarves secret language. She may not be a fluent speaker but she understood things said about her.

“Let me introduce you to my companion, Narah Tenille Finley.” Gandalf wanted to introduce her as the 15th member but knew better. Dwarves were not the ones who trusted easily. And while he was sure that young lady was sent to help them it wasn't time for them to knew that. It was better like that.
He turned towards Narah Tenille and was again surprised how different and exotic she looked between people of Middle Earth. The said girl bowed her head towards dwarves a little and gave them a small smile.

“Its pleasure to meet you, Masters Dwarves,” her voice was kind and respectful as she greeted them. Nori, Bofur, Ori and Bombur nodded and smiled at her back while the rest of the dwarves just look swiftly nodded. Gloin was almost glaring at her.

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They were travelling towards Bilbo house. The most of the journey Narah Tenille was silent. She sometimes spoke with Gandalf but most of her time she was too busy staring at the world around her. She never in her life seen so much green and happiness and colours in one place. The Shire was an amazing place to live. That she could say for sure.

“So, lady Narah or its Tenille or Finley?” chocolate skinned girl didn't see Bofur walking beside her until he spoke. She chuckled and smiled warmly at the dwarf who was wearing the famous funny hat.

“Actually, Finley it's my last name. Narah Tenille is my first one. So you could call me Narah Tenille or just Narah if it's too long, ” she answered truthfully. She loved her both names equally, their meaning helped to shape her into a person who she was today.

“Please excuse my curiosity but what are you, lady Narah Tenille,” Bofur finally asked the question who was tormenting him from the time he met her. She didn't look like anything else he saw. If not her dark skin colour and wild curly hair he would say she was the daughter of Men.
And then her clothes told the fact that she wasn't from here

“Well, I am human. Woman. I am not an elf, dwarowdam or hobbit. That's for sure,”
Narah answered and chuckled at the picture of her with hobbits feet.
Bofur and Nori who was eavesdropping their conversation were surprised that she knew the proper term of a dwarven woman.

“But I believe I know what you are asking. I am from far away land. Across the seas. ” she finished and looked at the dwarf. There wasn't point of telling them a full truth. First of all, they wouldn't believe her. Secondly, it wasn't time.

For a couple of minutes, they were walking when they stopped. And Narah Tenille was again astonished how real to life hobbits houses looked. They looked almost like in the movies but more livable.
In from of them was a big door with a glowing rune on them.

It was house of Bilbo Baggins.

Narah took a deep breath and Gandalf seeing her nerves put a hand on girls shoulder. They exchanged smiles and she then ringed a bell.
After of a couple of seconds we could hear the steps of pissed hobbit coming closer

“Oh no, no no. There is nobody home! Go away, and bother somebody else! There are far too many dwarves in my dining room. If it is some cloth head idea of a joke. Haha. I can only say its in very poor taste, ” Narah almost giggled at the exact words said. But on the others door side the hobbit names Bilbo Baggins was anything but happy. Dwarves! In his kitchen. A lot of rude, ill-mannered dwarves in his home without his permission. He opened the door and the hobbit was almost crushed by a group of dwarves who were now lying on his floor. He disdainfully looked at them and then lifted his head to look at the thrice-cursed wizard.
“My dear Bilbo!” Gandalf greeted hobbit and stepped into the home and only then the hobbit saw the tall woman beside the wizard. He stared at the chocolate skinned woman with awe. He never has seen such dark skin. Bilbo quickly lowered his eyes. His poor father would roll in his grave at such bad manners.

“Good evening, Master Baggins. I am Narah Tenille Finley, you have a beautiful home.” Narah half bowed in greeting and smiled at the hobbit who was surprised at the formal greeting. Not dwarf, that's for sure

“Em. Good evening you too, Ms Finley. And thank you, it was my father's gift to my mother.” Bilbo bowed back and watched how a mysterious woman smiled at him

“Your father must really loved your mother,” Narah softly told him and Bilbo smiled a bittersweet smile. Hobbit just nodded.
“Oh pardon my manners, Ms, would you like to come in?” he quickly stepped away from the door to let the woman in who smiled gratefully. “In the kitchen should be some food. Don't be a stranger,”
Narah just smiled one more time and grabbed his shoulder in thanks and watched how hobbit started to try to protect his food from hungry dwarves.

Narah almost laughed out loud at the funny image.
She started to walk to find Gandalf who she found in the middle of the dining room with all except one dwarf around him.

“My dear girl! I thought you will never come!” Gandalf happily greeted her and all of the dwarves turned to the girl. It was silent. And all of the attention was on Narah. Exceptionally four dwarves who she didn't meet already.

“Durin's blessed beard! ” Balin silently murmured astonished. In his long years, he never saw anyone who liked like that girl. From her clothes to her eyes she was unique.

“Narah Tenille Finley, companion of Gandalf” Narah greeted them and bowed like many times before. She could hear some whispers in Khuzdul. What she caught was 'Thorin won't like it' 'what is she' and the word 'mud' which almost made her lost her smile. Because Narah knew that word was meant to describe her skin. And she already wasn't really fond of it. Narah faced that kind of wording back at home.

The silence was broke when Dori, who was carrying a kettle and some cups asked Gandalf about tea. She was grateful for a tea-loving dwarf.

“Oh no, thank you, Dori. A little red wine for me. I think,” he refused but nodded towards me, “But my friend, I think won't refuse this tempting offer,”

Dori was hesitant but after a few moments he walked towards me.

 

“Oh! Is it chamomile I really love that tea. There is nothing better than a nice cup of tea after a stressful day.” Narah mused while Dori filled her cup with hot tea. The strong dwarf smiled at the woman's confession, he agreed with her on that. And if a person loves a tea that much he can't be that bad.

“Here you go, Ms Finlay” he smiled a little and turned away while Narah sipped her tea.

Stressful day indeed

Chapter Text

Dori knew how to make a tea. That was a true fact. Narah Tenille Finley thought as she sipped her camomile tea with a splash of honey while watching how the dwarves carried food from Bilbo pantry to the table in the middle of dining room. The said hobbit tried, to save his food from a bunch of hungry dwarves. Keyword tried.

She laughed out loud at Bilbo's face when he played tug war with Nori about some ham. That action attracted the attention of the particular dwarf.

 

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Dwalin son of Fundin was a warrior to the heart. Always was and always will be. From the time when he was only wee dwarfing he always was with Thorin, they grew up together, training, fighting, trusting each other. The future King Under the Mountain and his Royal Guard. But it more than that, after many battles they fought side by side they were brothers in arms. And knew each other better than even they knew themselves.

And now, staring at the girl, Dwalin knew that Thorin won't like this predicament any more than Dwalin himself. He just knew.

He didn't trust everybody on his company completely. Especially that thief Nori. But the lass? With her strange appearance and unheard accent?

No.

He didn't trust her and he didn't even trust Tharkûn either. There was something about girl that experienced warrior found unsettling, the way she stared at the other dwarves. It made Dwalin even more suspicious about her.

Even if she was… No! Until they can trust her completely she was nothing more than a stranger. Nothing more.

Even if she smiled at him and raised her cup in greeting.

He observed girl. Young woman to be more precise. Her dark skin looked more unique in the candlelight, amber coloured eyes were sharp but still warm. And those pools of amber stared at him.

 

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“My dear girl, help me to count the dwarves,” Gandalf turned to Narah after he bashed his head into the candle holder. The said girl smirked at the wizard who was too tall for this smial. Narah Tenille was glad that she wasn't tall enough to reach the ceiling. With her 5ft 5inces height she was a head taller than any dwarf, but still, walked freely without headbutting anything.

And now her height helped her to see dwarves heads as she counted them, even if she knew that they were one dwarf short.

 

“Twelve dwarves, one hobbit, wizard and human,” she shouted and Gandalf nodded while turning to the dwarf with an embedded axe in his head. Bifur growled something about missing dwarf in Khuzdul while making a gesture with his armoured hands.

 

“Yes, you are quite right, Bifur, we seem one dwarf short,” the grey wizard agreed with Bifur and turned towards Dwalin who was still leaning against the wall with a tankard of ale.

 

“He's late as always. He travelled north to the meeting of our kin, ” the tattooed dwarf answered and took a gulp of his ale. “He will come,”

Narah stared at the dwarves, all of them were quite similar to their movie counterparts. Some minor changes here and there. Dwalin, for example, was a bit younger with more vivid tattoos on his hands and head. He still was a broad-shouldered mass of solid muscles and the knuckle dusters with his twin axes made him even more fearsome fighter than he seemed in the movies.

 

 

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The dinner was loud and messy - just the same as in the movie. There was food throwing (the famous Bombur tomato catch was even more impressive watching it in reality), the belching contest was disgusting but in some way a bit funny.

But most importantly the food was delicious. It maybe seemed like that because Narah was starving like a stray dog. But it was freakishly delicious and she without any shame ate as much as the fellow dwarves while successfully ignoring their stares. Not they stared too much, they were too much engrossed with their ale and food.

And when Narah stood up with a plate full of food and made her way towards empty pantry dwarves didn't even bat an eyelid. Well, most of them.

 

The girl patted hobbits shoulder to attract his attention and when Bilbo turned around expecting some of the noisy, loud dwarves he was genuinely surprised when he faced a dark-skinned girl. Narah just smiled and extended plate towards startled Hobbit. Bilbo looked at the plate and then again at the girl with questioning look on his round face.

 

“I wish I could apologise for the behaviour of dwarves,” Young woman twisted her curl around fingers and shyly smiled “I know you left without dinner so I put something for you. May it be my apology for eating your delicious food, ”

 

Bilbo didn't expect any of this, that's for sure. The growl in his stomach remembered him that after afternoon tea he didn't eat anything. He gladly took it and with a joyful smile (first one in this evening) he took off to eat his dinner.

 

Narah watched hobbit fondly. It was his last dinner back in the home for a long time. Even if he didn't know that yet.

With the last look at the hobbit, she turned around and almost jumped in scare when she faced two similarly grinning brothers. The Thorin's heirs. Princes of Erebor

“Fili,” the blonde haired dwarf with his kind of adorable braided moustaches greeted her

“Kili,” the taller of them added and gave her a goofy grin, his eyes were gleaming with a mischievous glint.

“At your service,” they both said in unison and bowed.

 

Narah couldn't believe that she was greeted by Kili and Fili. Joyful, mischievous and most importantly alive dwarves. For now, they were still alive and naïve and how can she look at their sparkling eyes and not see their lifeless bodies?

Narah shook her head to get rid of the bad thought and curled her lips into a smile. Maybe it wasn't most genuine one but it was kind.

 

“Narah Tenille, a pleasure to meet you,” she responded to their greeting. Both brothers just looked at each other and gave her dopey grins quickly snatching up her hands. Both princes kissed back of her hand while still maintaining eye contact with her. For Narah it was an unusual way and she was so grateful for her dark skin because it helped to hide her slight blush. She was glad for that. Very much.

“My lady, believe me. Pleasure, it's ours,” Kili drawled charmingly. The crown heir just nodded and winked at her.

“Such exquisite and unique beauty,” Fili purred and Narah giggled while softly patting their cheeks.

“Oh! You young charmers!” she jokingly jested them while still giggling. It was a long time when she received such flirting.

 

Both princes proudly looked at each other. They achieved their goal to make the only lass in the house giggle. Especially after she spent almost most of the evening silent.

She opened her mouth to say something but then Narah saw Bilbo and Gandalf talking in the hallway. Princes followed her eyes and smirked when the shy Ori came to them with his dirty plate.

Fili made his way towards them but before that, he turned towards the girl and winked at her. She wiggled her fingers at him while smirking.

Kili laughed at her left and leaned a bit closer.

“Watch this,” dark-haired dwarf murmured and took a few steps away.

Narah excitedly waited for their singing and dish-throwing. Poor Bilbo.

 

“Here you go Ori, give it to me,” Fili took a plate and without any other thoughts throw it towards Kili who easily caught it.

It was exactly like in the movie but much cooler.

There was throwing, spinning, showing off, and more throwing.

It was simply impressing.

She laughed out loud and tried not to get hit by any plate or bowl.

 

“And can't you do that? You will blunt the knives!” Bilbo stressed out while running around like a headless chicken. Narah couldn't help but feel bad for him even if it's was fun.

Bofur like always didn't pass a chance to sing.

 

“You heard that lads? He says we will blunt the knives! ”

 

 

Blunt the knives, bend the forks

Smash the bottles and burn the corks

Chip the glasses and crack the plates

That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!

 

Cut the cloth, tread on the fat

Leave the bones on the bedroom mat

Pour the milk on the pantry floor

Splash the wine on every door!

 

Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl

Pound them up with a thumping pole

When you're finished, if they are whole

Send them down the hall to roll!

 

That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!

 

 

She laughed out loud while clutching her stomach. It was so hilarious! Much better than movies! And Narah was grateful that she got a chance to feel merriment of dwarves. At that moment she was happy and her happiness was contagious. She didint feel the eyes of one dwarf who was watching her with fond smile on his face.

 

When three harsh knocks brought them to the reality.

 

“He is here,” Gandalf solemnly said.

Chapter Text

Chapter

 

Just like in the movie but even more majestic in real life.’ That's what Narah Tenille thought when she got a look on dwarf king when Gandalf after a few seconds of waiting made his way to open the door. All of the dwarves stood patiently behind wizard while still giving a proper space for their king. The only woman in the house was leaning to the wall behind Dori and few steps away from Dwalin who was standing tall and proud with muscular arms crossed on his broad chest and frown marring his slightly scarred face. ‘Like a soldier waiting for orders’ She thought while she was twirling her dark curl between fingers.

 

“Gandalf, ” Thorin greeted the wizard and even if he was much shorter than grey dressed man the dwarf still managed to sound majestic and proud. The wizard took a step back and Thorin made his way in the hallway where others dwarves half bowed to their king, while standing even more straighter.

“I thought you said this place was easy to find,” he reprimanded wizard while taking off his cloak. “I lost my way twice,”

 

Even if Narah knew the script, to hear those words while being in the same room and watching Thorin's proud face when he announced that he was lost in the Shire .Twice! Was almost too much for the oldest Finley. She could feel the laugh bubbling in the chest but for the sake of her safety, she forced herself to calm down enough to not burst into the mad cackling. But the silly smile was still on her dark face. Unfortunately, it attracted Dwalin's attention, and when the experienced warrior rewarded her with one of his special disapproving glare she turned down her smile.

 

“Wouldn't have found it at all had it not been for that mark on the door, ” Thorin Oakenshield explained while sweeping with his eyes around the house and nodding to every dwarf, who was willing to put away his peaceful life to answer the call to reclaim their homeland. Even if they were only twelve.

He couldn't help but smile one of his rare smiles when he found his nephews. His heirs who were beaming at him standing tall and proud. Like true sons of Durin.

Even if they were still young and somewhat naïve Thorin couldn't be prouder to call them his. His sister-sons.

 

“Mark? There is no mark on that door!” Bilbo Baggins of Bag End stepped forward, irritation clear on his frowned face. Narah Tenille felt sympathy for the small hobbit. His calm evening was interrupted by a bunch of loud dwarves. Not the greatest twist.

 

“There is a mark. I put it there myself.” Gandalf confessed and turned towards the dark-haired dwarf. “Bilbo Baggins, allow me to introduce the leader of our company, Thorin Oakenshield. ”

 

Both of the males stared at each other while Bilbo was quite confused and wary of the new face, Thorin was opposite. He stared down at the hobbit with a sneer and he definitely didn't seem impressed with Gandalf's choice of a burglar.

Him burglar?

 

“So this is the hobbit, ” he stated while looking up and down at the Bilbo. It wasn't much. “Tell me, Mr Baggins, have you done much fighting?”

 

The said hobbit looked around for some help, the clear confusion and some speck of fear were on his face.

 

“Pardon me?” he squeaked and stared at the dwarf who was circling him like a wolf ready to pounce.

 

“Axe or sword?” he pressed even more and Thorin took a look at halfling hands. They were clearly never touched anything sharper and heavier than a kitchen knife. “What's your weapon of choice? ”

 

“Well, I have some skills at conkers if you must know,” Bilbo answered quite sarcastically and Narah almost again snorted. But the next words coming from Thorin's mouth wiped away her smile.

 

 

“Thought as much,” he grunted and turned his head towards his dwarves. “He looks more like a grocer than a burglar, ” dwarves around them started to laugh and while Gandalf had the decency to look sorry and quite ashamed he didn't stop bullying. It made Narah Tenille furious. When she raised her siblings she always put an emphasis on the fact that you just can't make people feel worse just so you can feel better. It was one of the most important lessons she taught them. And to see, when adult people, a royalty! Treats a hobbit who offered food and shelter so disrespectfully. It made her enraged.

That ungrateful cacan.

 

“While I know you are angry and tired from your journey,” she started to say while making her way towards the king.

Other dwarves parted like a red sea and looked at her with different looks. Somewhere angry, some annoyed and some even the littlest bit awed. But Narah didn't pay attention to them, her unusual eyes were looking straight at the Thorin.

Who in return was staring at the unknown young woman, who was walking with grace and strength in each of her step.

“But its still doesn't give you a right to treat a host of your dwarves, who gave them food so disrespectfully,” Narah Tenille finished and lifted her chin in defiance.

 

To say that Thorin was taken aback by back talking was understanding. But it didn't make any less annoying. He glared at the woman who was standing a foot higher than him. While she was clearly daughter a man, she still looked unique. From her accent to her clothing and appearance she clearly didn't come from here. But the most important thing was that he didn't know her. She shouldn't be here. He turned towards wizards. He felt that it was his fault.

Firstly, a halfling who never held the sword for a burglar and now a woman he never approved?

 

“Tharkun, what is the meaning of this?” Thorin almost hissed while glaring at the staff-wielding wizard.

But even if infamous Durin's glare could put the fear of Mahal into every fearsome fighter, the wizard was immune to it.

 

“My dear companion will join us, of course, ” Gandalf stated and puffed his pipe. The answer was said without any doubts and that angered Thorin even more. This was HIS quest. As if he had read his minds, wizard lowered his pipe and rewarded king in the exile with the dangerous look and even Thorin knew when to shut his mouth.

 

“Is your dear companion even have a name?” he bitterly spat and turned again to face a woman. Who was looking at him calmly.

Narah Tenille just smiled and extended her arm.

“Narah Tenille Finley, it's nice to finally meet you,” The polite and kind tone of her voice was matching her smile.

After a few moments Thorin begrudgingly took a girl's much darker and smaller hand into his larger and rougher one.

He could have sworn that woman's smile became even wider.

Chapter Text

“What news from meeting in Ered Luin?” Balin asked Thorin, who was eating the stew at the end of the table. All of the dwarves were sitting around him and looking at their king with hope. Narah Tenille who was sitting near the Balin, the elderly dwarf with kind eyes, knew the dwarves eyes will soon diminish after new about Dain's treason. She lowered her head not wanting to see that.

“Did they all come?”

“Aye. Envoys from all seven kingdoms,” Thorin replied between spoonfuls. The murmur of happiness was clear. Dwalin seeing Thorin's eyes knew that there was no point of celebrating.

“And what did the dwarves of Iron Hills says?”

Dwalin leaned closer and inquired. The dark-haired king put down the spoon.

“Is Dain with us?” Narah risked to lift her head and saw the exchange between King and his guard. The frown on kings face became even darker. The answer was clear.

“They will not come,” he stated and dwarves faces dropped instantly. Some of them even cursed their kin. That's what she wanted to avoid. “They say this quest is ours, and ours alone.”

The girl could feel her distaste towards Thorin's cousin grow.

“You're going on a quest?” the small voice of Bilbo interrupted and she turned her head towards poor hobbit who was standing near Gandalf.

“Bilbo, my dear fellow, let us have a little more light,” While the hobbit was carrying a candle, wizard laid down the map on the table. Every dwarves eyes including Narah's were on the map which showed the part of Middle Earth. “Far to the east, over ranges and rivers, beyond woodlands and wastelands, lies a single, solitary peak,” The wizard put his finger on the picture of the mountain beneath dragon which was deep red colour.

“The Lonely Mountain,” Narah Tenille murmured and leaned closer to get a good look at the map. Gandalf nodded and slyly smiled when he caught Thorin staring at his new companion. Interesting.

“Aye. Oin has read the portents and the portents say it is time.” Gloin announced in this strange but somewhat familiar accent and Narah turned her attention from the map and Thorin his own from her.

“Ravens have been seen flying back to the mountains, as it was foretold. When the birds of yore return to the Erebor the reign of the beast will end. ” Oin added and twisted his trumpet to hear better. Bilbo again questioned and Narah chuckled when Bofur started to tell Bilbo about Smaug.

“Yes, I know what a dragon is,” Bilbo rolled his eyes and Narah smirked when Ori started to threaten Smaug and when Dori reprimanded his little brother the oldest Finley's smile turned bittersweet. The pain in her chest intensified. She remembered her siblings, her loving sisters and brother. How she used to reprimand them about many things. Hell, she would let them do anything if she could go back to them

“The task would be difficult with an army behind us, but we number just thirteen,” Balin always the reasonable one intervened. “And not thirteen of the best nor the brightest,” The shouting of dwarves who started to argue almost made dark skinned woman wince.

“We may be few in number but we're fighters, all of us, to the last Dwarf,” Fili said.

"And you forget we have a Wizard in our company. Gandalf will have killed hundreds of dragons in his time." Kili added.

"Oh, well, no. I wouldn't say…" Gandalf started to protest. Narah just raised her eyebrow at the grey dressed wizard.

"How many, then?" Dori asked him.

"What?"

"Well, how many dragons have you killed?" he clarified. When Gandalf started to cough he asked again.

"Go on. Give us a number." The shouting started at Gandalf refusal to respond. Narah looked down at Thorin to see when he would do stop all that shouting.

Shazara!” Thorin roared out and everybody got silent. “If we have read these signs do you not think others will have read them too? Rumours have begun to spread. The dragon, Smaug, has not been seen for sixty years. Eyes look east to the mountain, assessing, wondering, and weighing the risk. Perhaps the vast wealth of our people now lies unprotected. Do we sit back while others claim what is rightfully ours? Or do we seize this chance to take back Erebor? Du bekar! Du Bekar!” The dwarves started cheering.

"You forget, the Front Gate is sealed. There is no way into the mountain." Balin said and dwarves again got silent.

"That, my dear Balin, is not entirely true," Gandalf replied pulling out a key of his sleeve. Narah Tenille eyed the key and realized it was the key to Erebor. It was almost size of her palm, made of silver.

"How came you by this?" If Thorin looked shocked it was an understatement.

"It was given to me by your father. By Thrain. For safekeeping. It is yours now." He handed the key to Thorin. All of the dwarves looked at the exchange with an again hopeful look on their faces.

"If there is a key, then there must be a door…" Fili said. Not the brightest, indeed.

"These runes speak of a hidden passage to the Lower Halls. Well, if we can find it, but Dwarf doors are invisible when closed. The answer lies hidden somewhere in this map and I do not have the skill to find it ." Gandalf spoke and turned towards Narah Tenille. It was time to know what she is capable of.

“But maybe, Narah would be assistance,” When all the dwarves turned to her, she leaned back. Especially Thorin's and Dwalin's looks didn't make her better. She felt a soft pat on the shoulder and turned to face the kind face of Balin, who nodded towards the map, which was pushed closer to the girl. Glancing at the king's face Narah could see displeasure just sprouting from him. And Narah Finley was torn between lying and telling the truth. If she told them nothing, Thorin wouldn't pass an opportunity to point out her uselessness. And that may cost her place in the company. However, if she would tell them the truth there won't be any need to go to the Rivendell, and she just needed to meet Elrond or Galadriel. So the half-truth should be enough.

“It's moon letters,” Narah Tenille answered and Gandalf murmured something along the lines that he knew that. Some older dwarves, Thorin included knew what moon runes were but not everybody. “It's special kind of runes written in Ithildin and could only be read by moonlight,” she explained and shrugged off few looks of wonder and suspicion. “Most of them can be revealed any night. But it's backdoor to the greatest Dwarven Kingdom,” she didn't miss how proud Thorin and the princes looked when she mentioned that “So that means, that runes can only be revealed by the moon at the certain time. And that's where my wisdom ends. Like Gandalf said there are other in Middle Earth who can tell more, ” she finished and crossed her arms. Gandalf nodded in thanks and she returned the gesture with a small smile of her own.

“How did you come by this information, woman?,” Thorin hissed and Narah didn't even flinch when she met his glare. The mix of calmness and kindness on her face was something unusual and made Thorin lower his look.

“Why, master Oakenshield, I studied and learned,” she answered and turned her attention towards Gandalf who was ready to intervene himself but still wore his sly smirk.

“My companion, have knowledge which will be extremely important to your quest. I would advise accepting her help.” He spoke and all attention again turned to him.

“She will not be part of the company, she is and will be your companion. Nothing less nothing more. And I will not be responsible for her. ” Thorin finally announced and even if some dwarves voiced their disagreement one look from their king made them go silent. Dwarf and wizards stared at each other for quite some time and the girl was almost sure that one of them will catch a fire from the intensity of their staring until Gandalf nodded.

“Of course, Thorin. I couldn't even ask you that, ” Then the king nodded towards hobbit who was standing near the wall unsure what to do.

“What about him?The halfling?,”

“The task I have in mind will require a great deal of stealth and no small amount of courage. But if we are careful and clever, I believe that it can be done.” Gandalf explained and lit up his pipe.

"That's why we need a burglar," Ori said, and the woman smiled at the bowl-haired dwarf.

Narah didn't even listened how the dwarves and Bilbo started arguing she was too deep in her thoughts about the home to care but she was brought back when the room darkened as Gandalf stood up, his voice demanding the dwarfs to stop talking. To hear about magic or to see on TV was one thing, but to see it real? It was terrifying so Narah Tenille unconsciously leaned back towards Balin, who without thinking put arm around her chair in silent comfort. Neither of them realising what have they done.

“If I say Bilbo Baggins' is a burglar then a burglar he is. Since the dragon is accustomed to the smell of a dwarf, this gives us a distinct advantage” The silence was deafening.

“Give him a contract,”

Chapter Text

From the young age, Narah Tenille was a watcher. She was the one who watched and protected from the shadows and today wasn't an exception. The dark skinned girl was sitting silently at the corner of the table while her amber coloured eyes watched the small hobbit who was reading a contract.

Her eyes were following hobbit's movement and she just waited for that moment when he will faint. And he will faint. She was ready to repay his generosity preventing him from the bump on the head. It was the least she can do at this moment.
And when the halfling started to fall down, after quite dramatic 'nope', Narah jumped from her spot and caught the unconscious body by his armpits. After a few moments she carefully laid Bilbo on the carpet and for good measure put her two fingers on his neck. The steady pulse she felt was enough to make her calm.
Narah Tenille lifted her head to look at the dwarf with a funny hat who was responsible for scaring hobbit. The young woman ignored the looks from other dwarves, which varied from surprise to disdain. Some of them even dared to laugh.
For a couple of seconds, she just stared at the dwarf until he lowered his look.

“I know you didn't mean it, but you still shouldn't have done it,” she finally spoke, it was a familiar situation to her. Her siblings lived for teasing each other and sometimes they tend to forget the line.

But to the Bofur, being reprimanded was something unusual. For a long time, to him, there was only his brother and his cousin, and to be scolded by a strange woman was something new. But Bofur after few seconds lowered his head, it was strange feeling in his stomach. Something akin to shame, and it was something unexpected to him. Believe it or not.
It remembered him the times when they were just wee dwarflings and done something naughty while their mother scolded them. Not anger but disappointment was laced into her voice And he didn't know why he didn't like that coming from her.

“If he is fainting just from mentioning what will happen when he will face it,” Thorin scoffed and with the last look at the passed out hobbit turned away. Both princes followed him, before giving the dark-skinned girl little smiles.

“Courage doesn't mean that you don't get afraid. Courage means that you don't let the fear to stop you from doing it,” Narah spoke silently but still firmly and loud enough to Thorin and Company to hear.
The dwarf king stopped in track.

“Anyone would be a fool to not fear what lies in the mountain,” she said with the air of finality and turned around but before bowing her head a bit at the king in exile who was frowning at her “Master Oakenshield,”

 

###

 

She hummed a lullaby from home while packing her back bag which mysteriously was brought her with her, she didn't know how, but Narah was extremely glad for that. At least something from home.

And for what she was glad even more, that she was that person who needed to be ready for anything and anytime.
The female smiled while she was getting out things from her never-ending leather bag.
Almost full bottle of strong painkillers will be useful in the journey she was sure about that, some bandages and band-aids too, notebook which was nearly empty and only here because it was cute looking, her purse with now worthless money, warm sweater which was stolen from her brother, some granola bars and chocolate, bag with her cosmetics and some pads and many other things, some of them she didn't even know about.

Finally, she looked at her smartphone.
She sadly smiled when the picture of them 5 popped out. It was a rare day when her father wasn't working and they spend all day together. It was amazing day.

Narah Tenille softly stroked the faces of her family while remembering how happy they were. Her eyes started to get watery but she still stared at their happy faces even if they are were becoming blurry.

The woman didn't even hear two princes who were watching the strange female for a quite time while she was searching through her possessions. They couldn't help but be curious when she started to look at the glowing black thing with almost the same face when someone mentioned something about family. It remembered them the look on amad's face when she talked about her brother.

 

“Lady Narah, what it is?,” the curious and joyful voice of Kili made her jump in fright and drop her phone which fell down in her bag. Thanks for that, and not on the floor. She looked at the young princes and quickly zipped her bag. She blinked for a couple of times to clear her eyes even if it didn't make much better

“Just some personal things from home,” she told them with a smile and quickly put her things back in the bag, carefully putting the ones who were fragile inside clothes.
She started to walk away but stopped and put a hand on Fili's shoulder.
“We will talk later,” she squeezed his shoulder for a second and with the last smile walked away.

While she was walking she smiled at everyone she passed even if not all of them smiled back or even acknowledged her back

She walked into the hallway and took a deep breath. She turned her head and saw Balin sitting on the bench and kindly smiling at her. He patted the seat beside him and Narah shyly sat down.

“After reaching your second hundred you start to appreciate the peace,” Balin spoke and while still hearing his kin shouting from the dining room. All he wanted now was peace.

“What would such young lad like yourself know about two hundred years of living?” Narah tried to joke, and fortunately, it worked. Balin looked at her and cracked up laughing. It was a sincere laugh and it didn't take long to Narah to join it. “Aye. It's been a long time since I laughed like that, lass, ”

For a couple of minutes, both of them sat in comfortable silence until Balin turned his head watched the girl… no... a young woman who was sitting with her eyes closed.
He couldn't help but feel that she knew more than she told them and was here not just because only as Gandalf companion.

“After living over two hundred years you start to notice things about people. How they act. What they know. And you, my lass, are more than just friend of Gandalf.”

What Narah Tenille didn't expect was to Balin point it out so soon. She didn't expect ant of them point it out at all.
She looked at the elderly dwarf with the shocked and fearful look.

If he knows then he would tell Thorin. And he will definitely make her speak or not come with them.

“You are here because something terrible will happen,” Balin concluded when he saw the fearful look in her eyes.
Her eyes. Her unusual amber eyes held an enormous amount of knowledge and wisdom.
It remembered him elves, their youthful faces with eyes of old as the earth itself.
But unlike them, the girl's eyes held only kindness. He didn't see any ill-wished motives, there wasn't any hate or prejudice and that was unusual.

Narah Tenille didn't even try to deny it.
So she just nodded and lowered her head. She was too tired to even try to change old dwarf mind. Which was quite impossible.

Balin hoped that he was wrong. But when Narah nodded it felt like half of the mountain was dropped on his chest.
He knew it. From the bottom of his chest, he knew it.

“It's not written in stone, ” she finally spoke and put her darker hand on his. The royal advisor looked at the woman and squeezed her hand in reassurance.
They both needed it.
To know that nothing wasn't written in stone yet.

“You know many things about us, I believe. But I know almost nothing about you,” Balin tried to change the topic and Narah was glad for that. So glad.
She didn't want to think about what will happen.
For the looks, Balin didn't want either.

“I like to sing,” Narah silently confessed and shyly twirled one of her many curls.
She didn't know what tempt her to admit it. Balin smiled kindly at her and she instantly knew what he wanted.

“Be my guest, lass,” for a moment she closed her eyes to think about the song she wanted to sing.
The songs she sang at the bars won't be a good choice, that's for sure.
She needed something calmer.

The Gaelic lullaby that came to her mind.
It was from the Brave and was one of her siblings most favourite ones.

A naoidhean bhig, cluinn mo ghuth
Mise ri d' thaobh, Ó mhaighdean bhàn
Ar rìbhinn òg, fàs a's faic
Do thìr, dìleas fhéin

A ghrian a's a ghealach, stiùir sinn
Gu uair ar cliù 's ar glòir
Naoidhean bhig, ar rìbhinn òg
Mhaighdean uasal bhàn

She sang with her eyes closed and didn't see what effect she had on Balin.
The old dwarf was almost like in the trance, the slightly lower than any other maiden voice and foreign words lulled him into state of peace he didn't feel for a long time.

But what neither of them knows was the figure of dwarf watching them from the shadows.

Like the older dwarf, Thorin was enchanted, he just couldn't take off his eyes from the woman. Her voice, her voice was smoother than the silk and it felt like the warmest blanket on the coldest day.

He didn't even realise that song ended and when Balin, after few minutes started to praise her he watched how the woman shyly accepted his compliments.

“What was the language you sang? It's sounded a little bit like old elvish,” The white-haired dwarf asked and Thorin grimaced at the mention of those tree shaggers language. It wasn't any like that.

“It was the ancient language of my people. It isn't used much today but the songs still exist,” Narah just shrugged her shoulders and smiled.

“It was a nice song, Ms Finley,” the voice from the shadows made her jump and she turned towards the king himself.
“Very nice indeed.”

Chapter Text

The morning came sooner than she expected.


Well, if you could call the time when the sun just barely started to rise, a morning. But despite the earliness, Narah was already wide awake and almost ready for their departure.

From a young age, Narah Tenille never could sleep well in the new places, not while her minds wanted to think about her siblings and her future.
Not wanting to scare herself too much Narah decided that lying on the armchair and thinking all what if's wasn't a useful way to spend her precious time.
And from her childhood, the young woman always calmed herself with work.

 

Once more she re-packed her bags and put on her sturdiest clothes on and even made some breakfast for what was left from last evening's feast.
Despite what she saw yesterday, Bilbo Baggins was a total hoarder of the food. Because despite the feast they had yesterday she still managed to find and prepare enough food for a bunch of dwarves and wizard.

 

Of course, she didn't forget to pack some food for Bilbo because, if she remembered right, the hobbit will run away without any breakfast in him. And being mindful of the appetite of hobbits she knew that the journey will be hard for him.

 And if the oldest Finlay could repay some of his generosity by giving him bread and bacon for breakfast, she will gladly do it.


In the end, you could say that from the hour she was awake, Narah almost literally scrapped the house of any food fit for travelling.
Also, she didn't forget to grab some bars of soap and even some warm blankets for the journey.
And most importantly she didn't forget to pack Bilbo's handkerchief, because despite how well she liked Bofur, the rag he gave to Bilbo, didn't leave her with good thoughts.

Little hobbit will thank her later for that and maybe he will ignore the fact that she sacked his house. Let's hope for that.

 

Narah Tenille grabbed the crispy piece of bacon from the huge plate and slowly chewed it almost moaning at the taste. The taste was worth every trouble she encountered until she learned how to use Bilbo's kitchen. She chewed slowly and looked at the packages and bags around her, trying to calculate if it was enough to survive until at least Rivendell.

Theoretically, she knew that they didn't starve too much, but like in any book, things like that were always slightly brushed over. And she will not take any chances of them starving.
Ori, Fili and Kili were children and even Bilbo, who was in his middle age, wasn't prepared for the travelling and the small amounts of food.
 
"I didn't expect to see you this early, Ms Finlay," The voice behind her made her almost scream and almost to drop an uneaten piece of bacon she was holding.

 

Narah Tenille turned around and stared at the dwarf king.
From the looks, he didn't look like he was sleeping just an hour before.
No messy hair was seen, all of his braids were as if newly braided. Which was quite believable according to the what Narah knew about dwarves. Thorin's bearded face was clear of any sleepiness and his sharp, blue eyes were staring right back at her.
In the background, she could hear other dwarves grumpily readying for the long journey.
After some time she decided to answer the unsaid question.

 

"I couldn't sleep any longer. So I decided to do something useful," she explained steadily while chewing the last of her bacon and without any other thoughts pushing the plate towards the king.  "I made the breakfast," she added not caring if he will eat or not. She heard Thorin walking closer and serving himself a portion of the food she prepared. With her back turned she smiled at the king eating her bacon and eggs.
Maybe king without his kingdom but a king nonetheless.
 
"I think there is enough food for all fifteen of us and some for Bilbo when he will join us later," Narah Tenille continued and at her last words felt Thorin's eyes glaring at the back of her head.

 

"Don't tell me you really believe that the halfling will join us," Thorin scoffed at the mere thought of the halfling joining them. Him! The Hobbit wouldn't survive a day in the wilderness and would be only the dead weight to his company. It would endanger his company to have someone so inexperienced in their group.
 It's for his good.
And let's not talk about the strange girl he knew nothing about.

 

"You don't?" she raised one of her dark eyebrows while finishing the eggs she was preparing for breakfast. The silence was his answer. "What about a friendly secret bet, then?"

Narah knew she kind of risked asking the king of dwarves to join the bet. But what worse could happen? For a couple of seconds, there was only silence and Narah Tenille was almost sure that she crossed some invisible line by asking Thorin like that.


Then he spoke.


"If I win, you will tell me everything you know, concerning this journey,"
To be honest, if Narah wouldn't know the story she would be really concerned and maybe would think twice before agreeing.
But not now. Not when she knew the story.

 

"Deal." she extended her free arm "But if I win you will owe me a song"
It was clear as the day that the Thorin didn't expect it. Who asks the king for a song when she could ask gold or some other valuable things,
And even to Narah it seemed kind of silly request and not completely valuable compared to his, but it was important to her.


 From the last night, she couldn't forget that song dwarves sung near the fireplace.  it was one of her favourites. And if winning the bet will grant her request to hear it again? She was ready to do it.

 

Thorin Oakenshield narrowed his eyes at the strange girl or woman to be more exact. He waited for her to correct her request but when she did nothing decided to accept the bet. Because what is a song compared to the information.
Even if he sensed that in the end, it will be him singing to her. He shut down the small part of him who felt proudly happy at Her asking him to sing for her.
He reached out and grabbed the darker but smaller and extremely soft hand in his not letting his mind to wander.

 

"I accept,"

 

Narah Tenille Finley just grinned and his frown softened just a bit.

 


They were riding for almost the hour and Narah Tenille Finlay was completely blown away by the sheer beauty of the Shire.

With the childlike wonder, she tried to get every detail of the world around her. Trying to remember every tree, every flower and every house into her memory not even noticing funny looks most of the dwarves sent her.

 

Because no books or movies could compare to the feeling of seeing the Middle-Earth for real. There is no way she will let this opportunity to pass just because someone can't understand the joy of appreciating the nature surrounding them.

Thanks to Gandalf generosity she was riding her own horse. While the pale mare was a bit bigger than a pony, she was still smaller than the wizard's horse. She perfectly suited Narah because of her calmness. And feeling safe that the animal won't throw her away, Narah let her eyes wander across the green fields of the Shire.
And Balin, always the kind soul, even offered to grab the reins of her horse so she could, without any worry relax and enjoy the journey.

Bless his soul.

 

She was too engrossed into enjoying the landscape that she didn't hear when Balin asked her something for the first time. 


"Lady Narah!!" She almost jumped when elderly dwarf touched her shoulder and spoke her name.


 Her mare neighed in annoyance at her moving so suddenly, Narah instinctively patted mare's shoulder to calm her.
The dark-skinned girl turned to the white-bearded dwarf and tilted her head in question. And finally catching Narah's attention older dwarf repeated his question.   "Do you believe that Master Baggins will join us?"

 

She looked ahead at the dwarves who were staring at her as if her answer would mean something to them.

 

The bettings!

 

 She remembered and turned back to the Balin, feeling when small but genuine smile crossed her features.


"Oh, I believe that Bilbo will join us,"  Surprisingly her answer was enough to make Balin happy, as he turned to the Bofur and shouted that he was betting that the hobbit will show up.


Completely ignoring other dwarves japes at him wasting his money for nothing.

Balin just winked at her and continued to ride forwards.

 

"Brother, if you don't know where to put your gold you could have given it to me!" the gruff voice of Dwalin made her suddenly to look up at the imposing dwarf warrior. And when the dwarf caught her eyes she felt something surprisingly, strangely warm blossoming inside her body - the second time this day.

 

 Balin just laughed and stroked his white beard turning her attention away.


"Oh, brother, I believe in our young companion."  That was all he said and Narah smiled in thanks at the white-haired dwarf feeling a lot better because someone liked her enough in this company.

 

It was maybe half an hour later when Narah started to hear something or someone shouting from behind. 

She turned back and smiled at the small figure of hobbit running towards them while waving a piece of paper in front of his head.


 Soon other dwarves heard it too and turned to see their burglar running towards them.  

Feeling cheeky and also victorious she turned her head towards where Thorin was riding and grinned when he met Narah's eyes. The dwarf king frown twisted into the harsh glare pointed at the both of them - the dim-witted halfling and aggravating girl.

 

But despite everything, the smile on Narah's face stayed.