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Fili twists the ring on his little finger absently. Standing at the library window and watching the snow drift down only to melt shortly after landing on the ground he has the warmth of the large fire in the fireplace against his back. 

They are in that awkward time between Christmas and New Years when everything is quiet and slow, but still so full of anticipation and planning. 

“Whatever are you doing, Fili?” Dis asks when she enters the library and sees his standing there.

Fili turns from the window quickly and slips his right hand from view. “Just thinking, Mother.”

“About?” she prompts. 

“Nothing of importance.”

“Come now,” Dis says. She sits on the sofa and pats the empty spot beside her. “It must have been something important for you to look so serious while thinking about it.”

Unable to think of a reason to politely decline his mother’s invitation Fili sits beside her. He lounges back into the couch. It is not particularly comfortable; he makes a mental note to see if they can get some more comfortable furniture for the library at least. 

Dis frowns, but Fili resolutely does not move. He has his right hand against his leg. 

He should just take the ring off. His mother is far too observant for him to be able to hide it for long. He tried taking it off one of his first days home, but he had felt strangely naked without it. Anyways, without the ring on his finger there is nothing to hide the strip of pale skin where the ring always sits. And Dis would notice that as well. He knows that Kili would laugh at him for his overthinking, would tell him to just not wear the ring so often if he was so worried that people would notice. 

“I was just going to go over the menu for New Years Day with Mrs. Gamgee,” Dis says. “It is mostly set, but if there’s something you particularly want I can see if it can be added to the menu without too much difficulty.”

“Your selections are always delightful,” Fili says. “I don’t want to ruin them.”

“You know that your grandmother is not of the same opinion.”

“I do,” Fili laughs. “I remember the great Christmas fight of 1909.”

“Don’t remind me,” Dis says with a smile on her face.

“Wasn’t it the fruit cake that she disapproved of?”

“No, it was the haggis, but we only had that because Thorin’s friend Dwalin was coming. Between her and the cook throwing a fit about it I’ve never even been tempted to put it on the menu again.”

Fili raises an eyebrow. “Mrs. Gamgee argued with you?” 

“She does that quite often, I will have you know. She is pretty entitled, but she does know her business, so I let her get away with it. And usually everything turns out the better for her input.”

The dressing bell interrupts their conversation.

Fili stands and straightens his jacket. “I’ll see you at dinner.”

Dis nods. Fili has the doorknob in his hand when she speaks again. “Oh. Fili, dear?”


“I have seen that ring on your right hand. You don’t need to keep hiding it from me.”


“I will not ask you about it since you clearly don’t want to talk about it. If you had not hidden it I would have thought nothing of it.”

“Thank you,” Fili says softly. He absently twists the ring on his finger again.