Chapter XI

Title: Braveheart

Pairing: Thorin/Bella

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.


Chapter Eleven

The next morning Bilbo woke to the sound of the company arguing and warmth, when he opened his eyes finally he found himself curled into Bella who was glaring at the group before them and puffing on her own pipe. His brows shot up at that, it wasn’t often that Bella smoked, she only did so when she was highly annoyed or stressed.

“What are they arguing about?” He asked her, causing her to snap her eyes down and wordlessly offer her pipe for him.

“How to approach Beorn. Some wish to run, others wish to fight and Gandalf had the gall to tell me he was taking you out to meet the shifter.” She murmured softly to him. That didn’t sit well with him at all and he was glad that Bella didn’t allow this.

“What’s your plan?” He asked, blinking at the glint in her eyes as she gave him a look.

“I’ll go meet him, Gandalf doesn’t know Beorn and vise versa, but Beorn knows me. Do you wish to stay or come with me?” She asked, still not above a whisper.

Bilbo stood, he trusted her more than Gandalf and she asked not assumed. “I’ll go with you, but how will we get past them?”

“The back door Bilbo.” The amusement was evident in her tone as she stood and gestured to the door at her right. Bilbo looked to the door and then back to Bella before sighing exasperated, earning a huff of a laugh in return.

Bofur blinked, rubbed his eyes and blinked again to make sure he was seeing the view before him correctly. When it did not change and it registered that Lady Bella and Bilbo were actually outside and making their way to the giant, did he curse.

“What? What is it?” Balin asked as the minor cursed again, still looking out the window.

“Lady Bella and Bilbo.” Bofur grunted out causing the company to inhale sharply and snap their eyes to where they saw her and the Halfling last, only seeing empty space.

Bella sighed as she heard the crash and groans from inside before coming to a stop and lowering her hood. “Greetings again, Mister Beorn.”

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When the large giant swung around, the axe still grasped tightly in his hand, Bilbo hid behind his friend. He easily came up to the giant’s knee or just under.

“Little Warrior, I did not think I’d see you for some time. Troubles with the elves again, do you need aid?” Beorn asked in a rough growl, his eyes snapping around the surroundings.

Bella bowed her head. “No Mister Beorn, goblins and orcs this time. My company and I were chased from the Carrock to your lands, I did not mean to intrude in your home and I made sure that the animals were well tended to and not harmed by my Dwarrow.”

The growl that left Beorn’s lips was frightening and angry, causing Bilbo to squeak and grasp Bella’s cloak tightly, only to find himself standing at her side.

“Who is his little Bunny?” Beorn asked and Bilbo opened his mouth to inform him he was not a bunny but a hobbit, only to stop at Bella’s nudge.

“This is Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of the Shire. He is the son of the woman I told you about.” She explained. “He’s a part of my company.”

Beorn hummed and sniffed the air, there were indeed more dwarves here. “I will hear your tale Little Warrior and then I shall ask my friends of your word. Come.”

Bella smiled wide and bowed her head before raising her hood once more. “Thank you Mister Beorn, it is much appreciated.

XX

Bilbo was frustrated; it had been months since he had left the Shire with the company and it now comes to the realisation that his hair is impossibly long and bothersome. No respectable hobbit of his age would have their hair this long except the lasses, as custom.

With a frown and another movement of dragging his fingers through his curls he knew it had to be cut. Thus asking either Gandalf or Bella to cut it for him, but he knew there were no shears and the only thing useful would be one of the blades Bella carried.

“What’s the matter Bilbo?” Bofur asked as he slung an arm around the hobbit and led him outside to the others. It was their second day to Beorn’s and they decided to thankfully relax before continuing.

“Oh, just looking for Bella.” He stated simply causing the miner to chuckle and lead him towards where she and Dwalin were sparing. The others were gathered around cheering and placing bets on who would win, so far only a handful were on Bella.

“Give up Dwal!” She laughed as she spun around him, using her foot to kick him off balance.

Dwalin roared and spun around, his axes swinging in an arc causing her to laugh as she ducked and twirled out of reach once again and jerked, her sword coming up and pressing against his throat. Dwalin froze in surprise, his body stiffening before going lax as he chuckled.

“Still good as always Lass.” He chuckled bowing his head in respect.

Bella smirked before her eyes darted to Bilbo, a frown pulling at her brows as she saw him shift from foot to foot. “Is something the matter Bilbo? I heard you tell Bofur you were looking for me, has something happened? Do I need to hurt someone?”

“I need you to cut my hair.” He blurted out causing her body to relax, while the company turned to stare at him in horror.

“Cut your hair?” Ori whispered horrified.

Fíli spluttered! “But you did no dishonour to us!”

“Lady Bella, tell him you don’t need to cut his hair! Tell him that he didn’t dishonour you!” Kíli yelled pale while the others shouted up around them.

Bella clenched her eyes shut and ignored them and took up a seat on the ground, gesturing for Bilbo to sit before her as she pulled out one of her sharper knives. The Dwarrow’s went silent as they watched in horror, their eyes flickering back and forth between the Dam and the hobbit in shock.

They could clearly remember that he hadn’t done anything bad to earn the dishonour of having his hair cut by the lass or for her to shame him. They were friends; in fact she treated him much like a mother would a child or an older sibling to their younger.

She sighed as she cut the first strand, her chest aching as she watched the ringlet fall. It went against her very being to do this but she knew that long hair on a hobbit male was not respectable or practicable and she knew how much Bilbo cherished and worked hard to keep that up, she also knew he wouldn’t allow it to be braided.

“Have I done something wrong?” Bilbo asked as he felt a soft tug and heard the soft snick of the blade cutting his hair.

“To them yes, to me I understand. Hair to them – to us – is viewed…” She trailed off struggling to find the words. “We view hair and beard’s the same as hobbits view the tuft on their feet.”

Bilbo blinked and then frowned. “So, you cutting my hair…?”

“Yes, is the equivalent as someone cutting the tuft off your feet. I do this because you are my friend Bilbo and I know your ways, I do this even though it means you have shamed me or dishonoured us in some way.” She sighed before quickly finishing off the rest of it, running her hand through the now short curls. Bilbo turned and stared at his friend in horror as he realised what she was saying, as he saw the pain and guilt upon her face as she fingered the loose curls on the ground and gathered them into her hand.

“But you haven’t! I’m sorry!” He blurted out causing her to smile at him – even though he couldn’t see it – and stand, helping him to his feet while he ignored the others.

“I do this because I know it is frowned upon in your culture for a man to have long hair.” She winced as she realised how lacking she had been before reaching under her hooded scarf and pulling out one simple braid, just a standard braid and before anyone can blink she drew up her blade with a wince and handed him her braid.

“But I offer you this for dishonouring you Master Bilbo, I know your customs and I noticed the day we left Rivendell how long it had become. Now if you’ll excuse me.” She sighed before pivoting on her foot and stalking further out into the field and into the large trees towards the beehives.

The company stared at the long rich brown, gold and black tinted braid that hung loosely in the hobbit’s hand.

“What— what does it mean when?” He asked in a stammer, holding up the braid in shock.

Dwalin sighed and stepped forward, “when one cuts a beard or braid, it means they well– she offered it as a sign she had done you dishonour as she claimed. That bead is just a simple bead but one that will let others know she is in your service until you forgive her…” he trailed off.

Bilbo stared at the innocent looking braid in horror, jerking his arm out and away from his body.

“NO! Don’t drop it!” Nori stammered out in horror as he saw the hobbit’s fingers begin to unfurl. “It means you will never forgive her and that she has shamed you beyond measures. Hold it and in a day or so give it back!”

Balin seeing the struggle with the Halfling sighed sadly. “Lad, a dwarf’s hair is their pride and honour. To cut off one’s beard or shave them is a sign of punishment. When one does it themselves it is for Mourning or in this case, a sense of dishonour. You asked Lady Bella to cut your hair, something we all— it’s not something Dwarrow can do lad, but that braid signifies her shame in forgetting your traditions. Even more so since she claimed you as kin.”

“I didn’t… I didn’t know…” Bilbo stammered out, his face paling.

“Aye lad, we know this. She knows this and you truly must care for her and trust her to allow her to do that.” Glóin piped up this time, stroking his own beard.

“Of course I do, many more hobbits in The Shire would have died from Orcs and Wolves in the Fell Winter if it weren’t for Bella. It was her first winter there and…” He abruptly finished, his eyes pained as his hands clenched around the braid. “If it weren’t for her, more children and families would have died from the Orcs, Wolves and Sickness. She killed all she could and saved those she could but it wasn’t enough in her eyes. It’s why she stayed; it’s why she’s protective of me because she saved me…”

Everyone stood in silence as they glanced at Bilbo who turned his head and stared at Bella who was sitting in the middle of one of the flower patches with the bee’s flying around her.

“I lost my parents, my father was sick and my mother tried the best she could to save him but it wasn’t enough. She left to get medicine and the wolves had gotten to her, I heard her scream… I–I rushed out into the snow to find my mother, but Bella stopped me— her eyes sad and covered in blood. She brought me home, killing the wolves that had followed us and helped me mourn… My mother and Bella were friends, beyond Renegold and Charlie, my mother was one of the first to accept her. Bella feels guilt that she could not save my mother and because of that my father gave up. It is that reason I trust her.” He sighed, running his free hand through his now short hair.

“When was this lad?” Óin asked softly.

“Twenty years ago, it was the year before my coming of age.” Bilbo replied. “She leaves now and then to do her work but returns to The Shire; she thinks she failed me… us.”

Thorin frowned and made his way over to Bella, watching as her back stiffened before relaxing as he stopped by her side.

“Bilbo told us about the Fell Winter…” Thorin explained once he sat down.

“I failed that winter, many families lost children.” She explained blankly.

“You saved many, Bilbo told us that…” He trailed off, jerking his head back slightly as she cast him a furious glare.

“I failed Thorin, I was just right there when Belladonna was attacked and I failed to save her… I saw six children being ripped apart by orc and wolves before my eyes and I could not save them. I failed, so I stayed in the Shire… It is another reason I do not live with my fellow Dwarrow’s for I do not feel as if I deserve to be among them… they were mere fauntlings, I knew two of them, they were only ten…” She choked out before burying her head into her hands.

Thorin hesitated for a second before risking the possibility of being stabbed and pulled her into his lap, hugging her close. “It is not your fault Mizim.” He explained, daring to call her Jewel. He had yet to tell her of his affections, that she was his One.

“This is not the first time when you have called me Jewel or even other terms of endearment.” Bella whispered softly, causing Thorin to stiffen.

“Yes, that is true.” He explained softly in return, letting her pull back and sit before him instead of in his lap.

“I have loved once, he was not my One but I had loved him. He was a Man, his name was Edward.” She explained softly causing Thorin to tense. “We were courting and planned to wed, but he was not an honest man. He had already married to a beautiful woman name Tanya and had a child on the way, I was broken.”

“That’s…” Thorin trailed off angrily causing her to sigh.

“It happened not long before I got to the Shire; he lived in one of the villages by the sea. But you needed to know the reason why I am wary on most things.” She explained and it was the truth. If Thorin wanted some form of courting with her then he needed to know that she had been hurt in the past.

“What happened to him?” he asked as he swallowed back his rage.

“He’s dead; he died of old age not long ago.” She explained with a shrug.

They sat in silence until the sun began to set, questions on both their minds. “What am I to you?” She asked. She had figured out on the cliffs after the disaster in the mountain that he was her One and Chosen, how could she deny it any further? When that rage settled over her was not like anything she had felt before as she saw Thorin being used as a chew toy by a Warg.

But she also knew that there was a possibility she was not his One, it was rare for it to happen but it had happened and it was a fear that all Dwarrow seemed to have.

Thorin took a deep breath and looked at her. “You are my One.”

Her heart soared and clenched at the same time. She was beyond happy to know she was his One but dread pooled in her at the thought of having to tell him her true heritage.

“Is there anything that will make you hate me?” She asked slowly, watching as his eyes popped open in disbelief.

“No of course not!” He spluttered out.

“Even if I was an elf?” She asked once again causing him to laugh; only that laugh did not last long as he saw the seriousness upon her face.

“No, not even then.” He replied though he wasn’t sure if the words came out true.

Bella eyed him seriously with a critical eye before taking a deep breath and raising her hands to lower her hood. She did so silently, watching as Thorin followed her movement with a furrowed brow. Yes she had shown him her ear once but that was the damaged one and she had never shown him her face.

He watched confused as she let the hood fall back before beginning to unwrap her scarf from her face causing his heart to quicken. She was going to show him what she really looked like. With a few hesitant movements Bella finally pulled away the scarf and closed her eyes as Thorin took in her features.

He was stunned, utterly breathless as he took in her face, the way her cheeks set with a slight flush giving them a rosy colour and the way the wind picked up the loose strands of her braids. But what caught his attention was her bare face. There was no whisker or beard that gave any indication she was a dwarf at all and for a second he worried that she had shaven it off but no, there was no sign of even stubble.

It was then that when she ducked her head that her hair fell forward, revealing the tip of a pointed ear.

“…you’re an elf? But I thought your mother was a Dwarf?” He asked in disbelief causing her to go rigged and nodded before shaking her head.

“My mother was a Dwarf, yes… but my father was not.” She explained slowly, still clenching her eyes shut and waiting for the anger, the hate.

“Your mother’s One was an Elf?” He asked again, just to clarify.

“Yes.”

He couldn’t wrap his mind around it, he wanted to be angry at her, to hate her but he just couldn’t. “He was from Rivendell?”

“Yes.” She sighed. “He was.”

“The elf you stayed close to?” He asked, he had to ask because he found himself jealous of that elf when they were there and even more so when Bella had told stories of him during their travels when she opened up more.

“He is my nadadaz’adad.” She explained before jerking as she felt his rough hands gently cup her chin and tilt it up.

“The Dwarrow that attacked you when you were a babe?” He asked, that particular rage coming back.

“They saw this and thought I to be an abomination. I am proof of the love between a dwarf and an elf. It is the real reason why I cover my face, the only ones who know beside my kin is Renee and Charlie in the shire as they eat with me and Nori.” Bella explained with a sigh, her eyes open but still she did not look at him.

“Nori!?” Thorin asked loudly, spluttering. “How does Nori know?”

“Our first night in Rivendell, I left to go to Elladan’s room and he followed us. He snuck on the balcony and got caught, it is how he knows. He swore not to utter a word, not even to his brothers and he hasn’t.” She told him, giving a little shrug.

“This does not matter to me Bella, be you a Hobbit, Dwarf or Elf. You are my One and I have come to care deeply for you.” He admitted causing her eyes to – finally – shoot to his.

She searched his face and eyes for any form of lie and found none. It soothed her to know he would not hate her for this. “It pleases me to hear that. I care deeply for you as well, but I must ask for time. Now is not the time to Court just yet, allow me to wrap my head around what I discovered when Azog came.”

Thorin nodded, he could give her that, after all Dwarrow could court for a long time. “I can do that.”

Bella nodded and got to her feet, wrapping the scarf around her face once more. “Thorin? Can you not tell the others, do not even let Nori know. You may seem to be okay with my heritage for now but— they— just please do not tell them.” She asked, more like pleaded. She didn’t like to show weakness and she knew that she sounded weak but this; this could pass as okay to show it.

He was her One and she was his.

“You have my word.” Thorin promised, it was one he intended to keep until his last dying breath.


Author Note: MERRY CHRISTMAS! Bahahahaha

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