Summary: There was another to add to the company that night in the Shire, one no one expected. Isabella daughter of Elrohir Son of Elrond and Belvola. Will they accept Bella or will she hide the fact that she is both Elf and Dwarf.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything but the plot! No matter how much I wish it to be so.
All was silent when Bella had left, the only noise being the cracking of the fire. Dwalin, Bilbo and Gandalf gave the king a disappointed glance but said nothing. Bilbo cast a frown down at the contract in his hands once again, shook his head and stalked to another room, Gandalf following him.
Thorin sighed regretfully. “I didn’t mean to offend her.”
Balin frowned trying to recall the Dam the young Lass claimed as her mother, not only that he was trying to remember why the Lass’s voice sounded so familiar. He knew the names and voices, flashes of old memories but could not grasp them.
Dwalin took pity on his brother. “SwanStrike. ‘Zerker.”
The names caused Balin and Nori to choke in shock at the name, their eyes bulging as they whipped their head towards the closed door. Flashes of an auburn haired Shield Maiden surrounded by orcs, her eyes defiant as she swung her axes. Axes of a bird with a long neck and open wings sliced through the air and killed all those around her before collapsing. It was a sight in battle that no one forgot and when the pain passed, it was spoken of those who did great deeds in the war, that Dam was one of them and earned SwanStrike as a name.
“No, I don’t believe ye’.” Nori drawled out loudly, shocking those in their stupor. He knew Lady Bella but he didn’t know that she was ‘Zerker, Mahal strike him now.
Dwalin chuckled. “I didn’t too at first when Dain told me; I was lookin’ for the Lass to get these.” He stated, holding up his hands. “And to see how she was, I heard she was with Niama escorting her back to the Iron Hills as she was sick, when the Orcs attack. Niama said that once they came for her, Bella lost all control and fought with a bloodthirst that none has ever seen in Durin Folk for an age. The Men who survived the attack called her Berserker and it stuck. Though no one dares call her that outside of battle, it is an unspoken rule so they call her Braveheart.”
Everyone stared at Dwalin stunned; it was the longest anyone has heard him talk in a single sitting. Though those that knew him have heard him rant and rave for long hours on end but to praise was another thing.
“She looked harmless as a fly!” Bofur spluttered out, choking slightly on his pipe.
A snort escaped Dwalin and Gandalf as he came back in. “I assure you Master Bofur, that Lady Bella was indeed armed to the hilt walking in this home like every other Dwarrow before me. She is exceptionally well in hiding her blades and weapons, taught to her by her Father. One tends to forget those who seem to be not a threat – till it is too late. Now I suggest you all get some rest, we have a long journey tomorrow.” He explained before taking a seat back in Bilbo’s armchair and lighting his pipe.
Soon, the room was filled with the rich voice of song, a song that would make any man weep.
Bella woke early the next morning before the sun’s rays kissed the sky and made her way out towards her other home. A smile tugged at her lips as she saw the lights upon the darkened woods and laughed as the door swung open.
“Bella Braveheart! You did not come to dinner last night!” Renegold scolded causing Bella to laugh.
“I am sorry Renee, but I had a delivery to make but I am here now before the sun rises as always when I do not come for tea.” She replied amused, her eyes travelling down to the swell of her hobbit mother’s stomach. “And how is Marigold today?”
Charlie’s laugh sounded from the door behind them. “Grigory is doing fine Bella. Come, food is ready as she has been up near all night baking in worry for you. See, I told you she was fine my dear.”
Renee turned and scolded her husband ready to argue with him once more over the baby, but Bella was indeed in a hurry to return to her own home today, something just seemed like she needed to be there.
“I’m sorry to interrupt this topic but I need to make my way home soon, I came because I know Renee’s wrath would be greater if I delayed more. Now, I smell blackberry pie.” She stated, clapping her cloved hands together excited.
“Oh yes! You must be hungry, come in and eat. I’ll pack you some food before you leave; I know what you’re like when you work.” Renee fretted, pushing a willing Bella inside, her eyes twinkling as she shot a look at Charlie.
It didn’t take long for her to finish the two plates of food Renee forced upon her and the bag full of baked breads, cakes and scones of all flavour with wrapped meat and fruit. The bag was bulging and Charlie nearly toppled back as he tried to pick it up. Bella quickly retied the scarf around her neck and covered her face before moving towards Charlie.
“If I didn’t know how much Hobbit’s ate, I would say you cooked for an army. This will last me two days at least.” Bella stammered out as relieved Charlie of the bag, swinging it onto her back with ease.
“Well, you need to eat! Now, we will see you in a few days for dinner, when this food goes!” Renee stated, leaving no room for argument.
Bella simply dipped her head and waved as she made her way back home; the sun’s rays now kissed the sky in brilliant oranges and yellows. She dawdled back home, breathing in the smell of grass and trees, water and flowers mixed with the breads on her back before pausing, her eyes landing on the hobbit pacing at her door.
“Can I help you?” She called, her eyes widening as Bilbo spun around to face her. His eyes wide and panicked, her bag fell off her shoulder in a thud as she strode forward, anger swarming in her chest as she grasped the hobbit and scanned for any form of injuries.
“Did they hurt you? Do I need to kill them?” She demanded, watching as Bilbo jerked back in surprise.
“No-NO! No, they want me to go with them, a burglar you see. I wanted your opinion before I go, what I need to worry about so I don’t offend them in anyway.” Bilbo explained, holding up the contract for her to see.
Bella frowned and scanned the contract, her mind going blank as she stared at the words on the page, Incineration, death… words striking out at her in a way that made her breath lodge in her throat. “Erebor… they want you to steal from a dragon?”
Bilbo opened and closed his mouth a few times before nodding. “Y-yes.”
There were no words uttered after that as Bella picked up the bag of food and walked inside her home, gesturing for Bilbo to follow. Bilbo stepped into the room with worry, his eyes watching and widening as Bella removed her cloak, her back littered with daggers. It was the first time anyone in the shire had seen her without it, not only was her back littered in daggers, her hair a deep chestnut was braided carefully down to near her knees.
“I am a warrior, a weapon no matter the place makes me comfortable and in my customs it is frowned upon to cut hair. I will not let you go alone on this journey Master Baggins.” Bella stated casually, waving her hand as she felt the eyes upon her back.
“B-but…” Bilbo stammered out, unable to say more as he watched Bella open a large trunk in one corner and pulled out weapons. She placed them on her person more –daggers, blades – with ease, he saw her grab other things and secure them somewhere but didn’t dare ask before putting her cloak back on. After that two swords joined it, looking as if they were the only weapons she had. How on earth does she hide them so easily?
Bella grabbed another bag, throwing in another cloak, scarf and some other clothes she would need along with her medical kit that Charlie demanded she have in case of an emergency and bed roll. With a sigh she cast a look at her home before pulling out a parchment and explained to Charlie and Renee that she will be gone with Bilbo for a while, making sure to keep the hobbit safe and turned towards Bilbo, a brow raised when she was done.
“Come then, they must have left as the sun rose.” She hummed, picking up the bag of food and walked out to the back where her Pony grazed.
He hurried to grab his bulging pack before tripping after her, freezing as he eyed the horse. “Uh no! Can’t I walk or run beside you?” He asked causing the woman to snort, a yelp escaping his lips as she hoisted him on behind her.
The company were just inside the edge of the Old Forest as Gandalf supplied before stilling as a sound of fast approaching hooves reached their ears. Gandalf turned and smiled as he caught sight of the figures riding towards them.
“WAIT!” Bilbo yelled, apologising when Bella jerked her head in surprise. She came to a stop and let him hop down, watching as he ran up towards Balin.
“I signed it.” Bilbo explained while handing the contract to Balin. When the paper was in his hands, Balin pulled out his magnifier and scanned the pages, smiling when he saw the new name added to the contract.
“Everything appears to be in order. Welcome, Master Baggins, to the company of Thorin Oakenshield.” Balin replied with a laugh and a smile.
“I will also be joining you.” Bella stated, pausing the company. “I won’t sign anything for I do not want anything. I am coming to make sure Bilbo can return home and my mother’s home to be free of a dragon.”
“You don’t want any gold?” Kili asked surprised.
Bella turned her eyes to the young prince. “Master Kili, I am a blacksmith who trades for food and shelter. I may be a Dwarrowdam but I do not care for gold or pretty gems, I care for a warm hearth and a meal each night. If you feel obliged to pay me for whatever reasons to allow me to come, then I only ask for silver, iron, leather… things I can craft.”
Everyone turned and stared at their king, the very king who stared critically at the Dwarrowdam. Everything within Thorin told him to not allow her to travel but he could see the same stubborn set in Bella’s shoulders that his sister and mother had when they refused to give in. With a sigh he nodded his consent, scowling as some began to splutter out their objections.
“It is her choice!” He snapped, silencing them. He understood their reluctances, there were not many dams in their culture, and men were simply more expendable on adventures like these. “Give him a pony.”
Bilbo stared at him in horror. “No, no, no, no, that-that won’t be necessary, thank you, but I-I’m sure I can keep up on foot. I- I-I’ve done my fair share of walking holidays, you know. I even got as far as Frogmorton once-WAGH!” He screamed, his hands clutching the horn of the saddle quickly as he cast a glare at the young princes.
“I’ll stay by your side Bilbo; I won’t let you fall…” Bella explained softly and though he could only see her eyes, he knew she was smiling at him.
“Thank you, did you let anyone know we left? I left a note for Hamfast to care for the place; if I am to not return then all my belongings and Bag End will go to Drogo.” Bilbo stated softly, casting a look up at Bella.
“I left a note for Renee and Charlie; they will find it in two days when Renee makes Charlie to come get me.” She explained softly, frowning at that. She won’t be here to see the baby being born, to find out if they were having Marigold or Grigory.
Renegold and Charlie were the first hobbits she met, they helped her stay in the shire and set up her home. They took her to the Thain of The Shire and helped her learn their customs, food, flower meanings and of course get the other hobbits accustomed to her. They were like her pseudo parents.
“It’s good to have you come along Lady Bella.” Nori supplied, making his way from the middle of the group to the back.
Bella cast a look at the thief she knew all too well. “And if I remember correctly Master Nori, I warned you if I saw you again I would cut off your beard.”
“Nori! What did you do to earn such a threat?” Dori demanded, halting his pony and waited till he was by his brother’s side, a scowl on his face. Nori paled on both accounts as he looked between Bella and his scowling brother. Dwalin chuckled, only loud enough from Thorin to hear.
“Will she really?” Thorin murmured under his breath curious, but he didn’t want to seem so. Dwalin snorted, his eyes glinting in a way that answered the king immediately. Yes, she would, with a smile on her face.
“Oh nothing much Master Dori, I simply caught him trying to steal a Customers leather vambraces that I had just finished.” She said smirking; her eyes flashing as Dori grasped his brother by the ear and dragged him away from them all as he chewed him out.
Bella couldn’t help by chuckle as she watched the dwarf grasp tightly to the horses reigns and spluttered while Dori dragged him away by ear on their ponies. She couldn’t help but chuckle as she watched the interaction and couldn’t help but shout. “Nori, I do want that roll back, the one that’s in your pocket.”
Laughter escaped her, her hand catching the small roll with ease as Dori began to lecture him anew all the while Nori tried to explain he didn’t take it.
“Did he really take it?” Bilbo asked confused when she handed him the roll.
Bella snorted. “No but the thief deserved it for making me late on that delivery.”
Bilbo frowned as he took a bite of the roll, thankful that she had given it to him as he had forgotten to eat in his haste. “Thank you.” he blurted out, whether it is for the roll or because she came with him.
“There is no need of thanks Bilbo.” Bella explained softly and Bilbo couldn’t help but blink at the tenderness in her eyes. “That is what friends are for.”
Author Note: Well here is chapter two.