Summary: There was another to add to the company from in the Shire, one no one expected. Isabella daughter of Elrohir Son of Elrond and Belvola. Will they accept Bella as the warrior they know of or will she hide the fact that she is both Elf and Dwarf.
BTW I should mention Italics are the elves speaking in their native tongue Sindarin. Bold Italics is when they are speaking in Khuzdul. All words translated at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything but the plot! No matter how much I wish it to be so.
Bilbo sagged and winced as his back ached, his legs burned. They had been travelling for three days now and had only stopped once in Bree to stock up on food before leaving the early morning after. Now he was tired, so very tired and sore, he longed for home quite often.
“Are you alright Bilbo?” Bella asked, eyeing the hobbit critically. She could see the pain etched upon his face, the weariness and the exhaustion clear as day.
“Just tired, hungry and pained Bella.” He replied, his yawn turning into a groan as he slumped over once more.
Bella cast a look at the Dwarrow around her with a frown before making her way to the front of the line to the king, “we need to stop and rest. You cannot push them more today.”
“No, we need to keep moving.” Thorin replied clipped, not even glancing at the Dam.
“No, your company and ponies needs rest and food. Your kin are starving and barely able to stay on their ponies, it is not safe to continue onwards tonight.” She replied harshly, jerking his horse to a stop. “Take a look.”
Thorin glared at the dwarrowdam before turning to look at the company, his eyes sweeping over the tired faces and sighed. She was right, they looked tired and worn out, if they were attacked they would be of no help. He knew they were not so used to travelling like he was, or Gandalf and the Dam.
“We make camp tonight!” He barked out before dismounting.
The company sagged in relief and quickly scampered down from their mounts and began to create a fire pit and set up their bedrolls. They hadn’t abled to sleep long last night, an hour at most before they had to leave and it was taking a toll on all of them. Even Bifur, Glóin, Balin and Dwalin who were used to such travel.
Bella hummed softly as she dismounted her pony, whispering her thanks as she left him to graze the field. She knew he wouldn’t wander far, having been her pony for quite some time and had seen many of attacks and battles with her. A bond had been formed together and he was a loyal companion, protective and had a stubborn streak to match her own.
With a chuckle she helped down Bilbo who still hadn’t gotten the hang of it and lead him over towards the fire pit and sat him down as the others began to start a fire and prepare a meal. “Here.” She chuckled, handing him a chunk of meat and a roll from her food bag and pressed it in his hands.
She was worried of course, hobbits tended to eat seven meals a day and so far she had managed to give him snacks here and there but she didn’t know when they would get another chance to restock her food, so she limited it to four times a day and only a roll and a chunk of fruit or meat.
The others began to pick their own spots and Bella decided to stick near the horses, her back to the trees and eyes looking out over the horizon. It was then that she realised they were near Weathertop the old great outlook of the eastern rode, she was thankful they avoided that area. At lease here they could flee in three directions instead of being stuck high up with only two options.
Gandalf eyed the young woman and frowned as he took in the fact she sat further away from the others after depositing Bilbo practically in the middle of the company. “Will you not tell them?” He asked softly, lowering himself to the ground and lighting his pipe.
“No, you will not either Gandalf. Those that know… they’re either dead or in Rivendell, not even the hobbits know of my heritage and I would like to keep it that way. I am a Dwarrow-Elf, a hybrid that is proof of a love between a Dwarf and an elf. Do you really think they will overlook this fact, that they will accept me or respect me still if they knew?” She spat out bitterly, no, she had learnt the hard way with dwarves when they came to know what she was.
Three had tried to kill her and three are now dead and turned to stone once more.
“Very well then.” Gandalf hummed before getting up and making his way towards another spot, he knew she wished to be alone.
Soon the dusty sky turned to night and Bella found herself slightly full from broth and tired, she could hear the others begin to drift off to sleep, their snores filling their campsite. She eyed the princes warily whom rested comfortably on the other side of the fire; they were on first watch tonight. With a scowl and a huff she crossed her arms and sunk lower in her spot before closing her eyes.
She had grown accustomed to sleeping in the open and on the road, but then again she did not sleep heavily or fully in general unless she was completely safe, another genetic trait from her father, one that was usually annoying and yet made her so very glad. She pushed the sounds of the others away and tuned her ears to the surrounding area before resting.
“What was that?” Bilbo gasped as a scream pierced the air.
Kíli jerked worriedly, his eyes scanning the dark “Orcs.”
“Orcs?” Bilbo stammered out panicked as he rushed towards them, disbelieving in what he was hearing.
Fíli and Kíli shared a look. “Throat-cutters. There’ll be dozens of them out there. The lowlands are crawling with them.” Fíli explained casually.
“They strike in the wee small hours, when everyone’s asleep. Quick and quiet; no screams, just lots of blood.” Kíli continued, casting his brother a look as Bilbo looked away in fright, the both of them laughing.
Thorin had jerked awake at the mention of Orc’s, a scream in the distance while his sister-sons laughed at it all. “You think that’s funny? You think a night raid by orcs is a joke?” He spat out standing, glaring down at them both.
Kíli looked down in shame. “We didn’t mean anything by it.”
“No, you didn’t. You know nothing of the world.” He replied his mind far away as he looked out over the lands. Flashes of now and what have been dancing across his vision.
Bella stared at the back of the King’s head from her spot in the shadows, half listening to the tale that Balin had begun to tell. One that she was not so fond of hearing, but she couldn’t help agree with him to some extent on the matters.
Thorin had been young then, still a child in their culture and he had picked up his Fathers and Grandfathers mantle in battle and had succeeded. Our dead were beyond the count of grief… Yes, for it was not just Ereborian Dwarrow’s King Thrór called for aid. She was ten when the battle had happened, fifteen when her father had sailed.
“And I thought to myself then, there is one who I could follow. There is one I could call King.”
Bella stood like all the others, a sign of respect in sense. Though all air seemed to be sucked from her lungs as she caught the look upon the king’s face, deep grief and pain seated there. She knew this pain, knew of the type of memories that created it and she felt her heart lurch. She was angry at Thrór for the pain and agony he caused his kin – her – and she had in turn taken it out of Thorin, who was not to blame.
“But the pale orc? What happened to him?” Bilbo asked from his spot on the ground, his eyes flickering between Thorin and Balin.
“He slunk back into the hole whence he came. That filth died of his wounds long ago.” Thorin replied near harshness. Bella and Gandalf shared a look, one that said they would never utter a word on the truth of Azog’s current status.
“Are you alright Bilbo?” Bella asked softly making her way from the darkness and to his side; he had a worried frown upon his face.
“Just-Just terrified, it did not help all that much but still it did and yet I cannot help but worry.” He stammered out.
Bella grimaced and settled beside him, pulling a blade from her boot and handing it to him. “Here, I want this back but for tonight you can keep hold of it.”
Bilbo stared at the blade before him in awe and terror; he had never used a blade before. “I don’t know how to use it.” He whispered to her, causing her to laugh.
“Bilbo, it is a dagger. A knife. You and every hobbit I know, knows how to use a knife. Wield it like you would for filleting or chopping meats and it will do.” She chuckled; though it wasn’t the correct way at least he will have some form of knowledge on what to do. Though she laughed and smiled, it died real quick when she saw that he was still frightened and weary.
“Would you like for me to sing for you?” She asked softly, startling Bilbo. He turned to stare up at her with wide eyes, a blush gracing his face as he shifted uncomfortably. He wasn’t a fauntling anymore and yet he really did want her to sing, something to ease the fear and it wasn’t often Bella sung.
“If… if it isn’t any bother, it would ease my troubles.” He stammered out, his face burning to the very tips of his ears.
Bella chuckled. “Then lay back down Bilbo, I will be here.” She soothed, ignoring all the stares the others were giving her. She hummed softly, thinking of the song that would help ease him and smiled, the lullaby her father would sing would ease him, though she would have to sing it in Westron, it may not have the same effect.
“Sing all ye joyful, now sing all together?
The wind’s in the free-top, the wind’s in the heather;
The stars are in blossom, the moon is in flower,
And bright are the windows of Night in her tower.”
The others paused as a soft melody filled the night air, smooth and light. Their eyes once again shifted to the Dwarrowdam who sat next to the Halfling, her hand resting upon his curls.
“Dance all ye joyful, now dance all together!
Soft is the grass, and let foot be like feather!
The river is silver, the shadows are fleeting;
Merry is May-time, and merry our meeting.”
Several others found themselves growing relaxed as she sang; something they now realise was a lullaby. It was an odd song, the tones unlike what you would hear from a dwarven song and they wondered where she heard it or picked it up. Thorin stared at the dam, something causing his heart to flutter in a way that confused him.
“Sing we now softly, and dreams let us weave him!
Wind him in slumber and there let us leave him!
The wanderer sleepeth. Now soft be his pillow!
Lullaby! Lullaby! Alder and Willow!”
Bella smiled softly as her eyes scanned the company, Bilbo was fast asleep by the end of the second verse and she continued only because she could see the others were drifting to sleep. That amused her greatly and wondered how they would feel that they fell asleep to an elven lullaby. Even Gandalf was asleep.
“Sigh no more Pine, till the wind of the morn!
Fall Moon! Dark be the land!
Hush! Hush! Oak, Ash, and Thorn!
Hushed be all water, till dawn is at hand!”
“Where did you learn that?” Thorin asked softly once she was done.
Bella jerked and cast a look at the king. “My father sung it to me when I was a dwarfling. Get some rest Master Oakenshield; I’ll take the last shift.”
Thorin eyed the dam before nodding and let his eyes close shut, the soft voice never leaving his mind.
The company awoke the next morning relaxed, they were content even after spending a horrid night outdoors. Yet that didn’t last long as the skies above opened and it poured. By the time midday came around each, every single one of them was soaked to the bone and they had little more ways to go until they could find a place to rest.
“Here, Mr. Gandalf, can’t you do something about this deluge?” Asked Dori asked hopefully and annoyed.
“It is raining, Master Dwarf, and it will continue to rain until the rain is done. If you wish to change the weather of the world, you should find yourself another wizard.” He replied back sharply.
“Are there any?” Bilbo blurted out curiously, he could see the others trying not to seem like they were listening but failing.
Gandalf hummed distracted. “What?”
“Other wizards?” Bilbo replied a bit hesitant this time.
“There are five of us. The greatest of our order is Saruman, the White. Then there are the two Blue Wizards; you know, I’ve quite forgotten their names.” He chuckled out, he could barely remember their faces, it has been too long since he had seen them or where they resided.
Bilbo nodded in thought. “And who is the fifth?”
“Well, that would be Radagast, the Brown.” Gandalf answered indulging Bilbo’s curiosity.
“Is he a great Wizard or is he…more like you?” Bilbo asked curiously, slightly amused and annoyed, cursing his Took blood for the lack of manners.
“I think he’s a very great wizard, in his own way. He’s a gentle soul who prefers the company of animals to others. He keeps a watchful eye over the vast forest lands to the East, and a good thing too, for always Evil will look to find a foothold in this world.” He explained slightly offended.
Bella rode up towards Gandalf with a frown. “Why did you lie?”
“Because we do not know if Alatar and Pollando are alive or not. No one has seen them for quite some time.” He explained back softly, making sure the others didn’t overhear them speaking Sindarin.
“That does not bode well; it has been oh near fifty years since I saw Alatar. Maybe they sailed?” She stated, but it came out more as a question than anything.
“Maybe but no one knows.” Gandalf sighed.
“Oh finally!” Kili moaned as the rain suddenly stopped, only drips from the wet leaves of the trees above them fell. The others sighed with relief and dropped back their soaking hoods.
“Now all we need to do is get warm.” Dori grumbled before muttering a few curses in Khuzdul, Bifur replying with a laugh and a sign in Iglishmêk.
They journeyed further and soon, Bella became familiar with the route but did not utter a word. They were close to Rivendell, her home and dreaded for what was to come if they stopped there.
“We’ll camp here for tonight! Fili, Kili, look after the ponies. Make sure you stay with them.” Thorin yelled as he dismounted.
Everyone sighed in relief and quickly began to set up camp; the only ones who were groaning and grumbling were the young princes. Though Bella noticed this, her eyes were on the familiar ruined farmhouse before her.
“A farmer and his family used to live here.” She murmured, making her way to Gandalf’s side. “I was here about a year ago; the farmer had hired me to fix a few things.”
Gandalf stared down at her with sad eyes. “Yes, I knew them too. They had let me stay with them for a night when the weather was too bad.”
“We shouldn’t rest here, something big destroyed this house and we don’t know if it is still near or not.” Bella murmured, her eyes taking in the buckled roof and the holes. Large holes like something crashed through the roof with force.
“Go help the others, I will speak with Thorin.” He instructed, she hesitated for a second before nodding and made her way back to the others.
Dwalin made his way to her side, “Why did you come?”
Bella snorted at the brashness and if she didn’t know Dwalin she would have mistaken his comment for rudeness. “Because Bilbo turned up on my doorstep in a panic asking me if there were things he needed to avoid so he didn’t offend. He was terrified and I wasn’t going to let a tender folk risk himself and suffer abuse from you idiots.”
“Well, I’m glad you came Bella. It’s nice to know that if I – Mahal forbid – fall or get injured there is always you as the defence before the others. The others can fight for sure, but they tend to lose their heads and do something reckless.” He explained, causing her to snort.
“Everything alright? Gandalf, where are you going?” Bilbo asked as he saw the angry wizard stomping past them. Bella’s head jerked towards Gandalf before back towards the house where Thorin stood, it seems he couldn’t convince the king.
“To seek the company of the only one around here who’s got any sense.” Gandalf shouted as he stormed towards his horse.
“Who’s that?” Bilbo shouted after him.
“Myself, Mr. Baggins!” He yelled back annoyed before muttering. “I’ve had enough of dwarves for one day.”
“Well then… I think I will take a rest before dinner, make sure Bilbo eats first.” She grunted before situating herself before the fire to dry off and closed her eyes.
She didn’t know how long she actually slept for but she heard each chatter and remark about her and Bilbo before jerking fully awake as the sounds of panicked footsteps approached them.
Fíli broke through the tree line and gasped. “Trolls! Horses… Halfling… trouble!” He gasped out before rushing back the way he came.
It took half a beat for what he said to sink in before they were up, weapons ready and rushed after the flaxen-haired prince.
Author Note: *chuckles*