Chapter Eight – Sleepless Worries

Title: Dragon Heart
Pairing: Fili/Bella
Summary: Not all dragons were bad, not all were simply just dragons either and those who held a dragon’s heart was a blessed indeed.

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. }}…{{ anything starting with that is Dovahzul – Dragon Language or regular bold in usual sentences. ))…(( anything between them is the black speech.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything but the plot! No matter how much I wish it to be so.


Third POV

Bella smiled widely and nodded her consent, slipping from the bench to sit at his feet so he could have easier access. She felt him undo her standard braid and clasp before putting his own in.

“Make it however large you want Hes Kulaan. Your braid is the only one I’ll ever wear prominently.” She explains softly, glancing at Kili as she heard their intake of breath.

“You want no other signs of skill or deeds in your hair?” Kili asked for his brother once he took in Fíli’s stunned face.

Bella chuckled. “No Kíli, my kind show deeds in another way. If you wish to give me a bead then I shall wear it on a chain but my Mate is my life, I want no other to draw attention away from his gift.”

Fili felt his heart swell with emotion and his eyes to tighten as tears pooled. It was a gift indeed in their custom when a One would only wear their courting and marriage bead above all else.

“Then I will make my braid one of a kind.” He chuckled while making three small stranded braids and began to braid them into one large one. It was something he had seen long ago and never again. It was a braid his father used to do for his mother when he was a babe.

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Kili shifted in his spot and looked over his shoulder before back at the newly courting. “I’ll make my way back…” he trailed off awkwardly before sending Isabella a wide smile. “I always wanted a sister.”

Isa let out a small huff of laughter at Kili’s retreat, Fili’s laughter joining hers. But her smile soon slipped as she forgot one thing that her Mate needed to know, well two things but her being what she was could come later.

“Done.” Fili explained as he trailed his hand softly over the braid. He never thought he’d find his One and now he found her and she wanted to court him as well.

“Fili, before I braid your hair there is something I must explain to you. Nothing bad but you have the right to know.” Bella explained while turning around to face him.

He couldn’t help but frown in concern and confusion. “There is nothing that will make me think less of you.”

“No, I know this but… I am old Fili and have been in many wars; I grew tired of Arda and used my magic to leave… That is why I did not know of Erebor. There I found love or what I thought of as love…” She trailed off; the haggard scar of her own wounded heart pinching at the memory.

Fili’s frown deepened as he saw the pain wash over her face and softly cupped her chin to make her look at him. “What happened to cause you such pain? Who caused this?”

He didn’t ask about the place she escaped to or anything else really. He wanted to know who caused that deep ache his mother wore to be replicated on her face.

“I loved not a Man, Elf or Dwarf… His family were of old creatures that no longer walk this land. They – Edward and his family – thought me to be Human, a descendant of Men. He was not the first to capture my heart in my long life but he was the first to ever truly shatter it completely. He led me deep into the woods near my home and told me I was worthless…” She choked out in pain and in anger.

“I had thought after so long of being alone I had found a family again but he didn’t see me as anything more than a pet, a distraction from the eternal life he had. He didn’t love me – they didn’t love me like they claimed.” She finished, her hands clenched in the folds of her dress.

Rage welled up in Fili a rage he had never felt before as he listened to her words, as he took in the pain on her face. Who dared to hurt her? A desire to find the wretched being and slay him, the whole family who harmed and broke his One, that treated her like a pet reared its head over the rage.

“And where are these… these…” He couldn’t even give them an insult befitting them.

“Dead. I showed them a wrath they and their world have not seen for many of an age.” Bella replied flat, her eyes gleaming with something that caused even Fíli to shudder and to swear never to anger his One beyond angry. Though he was glad and yet disappointed that he could not hurt them more.

“I hope they suffered for the pain they dealt, no woman should feel or be treated the way they did you. I am only saddened I could not hurt the one who started it.” He admitted to her, causing her to smile and place a kiss on his open palm.

Heat from her lips spread up his arm rapidly and settled deep within his chest, warming him and his very soul.

“Come Hes Kulaan, let me braid your hair so we can join the others, they will be anxiously waiting for us.” She chuckled before switching places with her Mate.

She did a simple snake braid that started from the temple and wound down behind his ear before placing her clasp. Hopefully when he knew the truth and accepted her still she can replace the snake braid style with a dragon’s tail one.

“What style is this? It is one I have not seen before.” Fíli asked as he fingered his strange courting braid.

“You wouldn’t the braid is not from Arda but from the other place. I hoped for something different to stand out.” She explained, returning his smile as he beamed up at her.

“I have a question, more of a concern really.” Fíli stated after a while, something he had kept in the back of his mind and didn’t wish to think further on it but now that they were courting. “You said you were old, how… how old exactly… not that I care I just… I am young in my culture and we can live up to 300 at best.” He continued as her smile slipped.

Bella clenched the bench, the stone crumbling under her grip at the thought. “I am older than Arda. I was made in the year of the trees by Yavanna, me and my kin… but I am the last one left of my clan. We were killed by many of the races on earth including dragons… they saw us as threats and the serpents saw us as enemies because we protected. I have lived a long life full of pain and war; I have loved and have been hurt… You are my mate, my One and I have longed for you since I was made. If you were to perish, then I would do anything to save you or – join you.” She confessed.

There was a way where he too could live by her side and walk hand in hand along the frozen sands of time, watching the world change around them. She could do that for Kíli too if he so wished for it, knowing that Fíli would not accept her heart fully unless Kíli could join.

Fíli did not say more but pulled her into a hug, his arms wrapping tightly around her shoulders while he burrowed his face into her hair and her face into his chest. He felt her frame shudder once and then one more time as she took a deep breath before pulling back.

“We should go back to the others… plus… Glorfindel, you can come out now.” She whispered softly, never tearing her eyes away from her mate until her shield-brother stepped into view.

“Why I am surprised you knew I was there I will never know.” He sighed before practically draping himself across one of the stone benches. Fíli frowned and looked at his One.

“He is my shadow here; the elves do not trust me. It is why I was escorted here with a mask and why I chose this spot far away from all of them.” She explained, stilling his arm as he went for his sword. “No Fíli, he is my shield-brother, I’d rather him shadow me than one of the elflings.”

Glorfindel snorted and sat back up, staring down Fíli in a way that made the dwarf fidget under his stare. Fíli wasn’t stupid, he could see the age and power seem to seep out of him, an aura of a warrior that his Uncle and many Dwarrow held.

“I will not threaten you, there would be no point and I quite like my hands attached to my body as well as my heart in my chest. But do not hurt her.” He hummed before leaning back on the column, causing Bella to sigh.

“And Glorfindel has been my Kíli for many of an age.” She sighed again exasperated to her mate, causing him to chuckle.

“Then it is a pleasure to meet you Glorfindel. As you have heard my name is Fíli. Fíli son of Dis, daughter of Thráin.” He stated with an honest smirk.

The elf in question raised his brow with a smile. “And it is good to meet you Fíli; I shall take my leave for now. The Dwarrow are becoming worried, you must head back to them Enth. I and Erestor have placed you in the courtyard in our wing with the company so you may speak and be left in peace. Fíli, make sure she sleeps, it has been near four days since she has rested or even had more than a bite of food.” With that he was gone from the gazebo.

Fíli turned to his mate horrified and finally, finally noticed her ragged appearance. She was covered in dry orc and troll blood from when they came here and ash. Her dress was ripped in some places and it was the same one that she had come here with. Without a word he grasped her hand and pulled her from the gazebo, letting the stones under his feet guide him back towards where they were staying.

“Fíli?” Bella asked confused at the determined scowl upon his face.

He didn’t utter a word before slamming the doors open to the room, causing many of the Dwarrow to jump in surprise.

“Fíli what is the matter?” Thorin asked, quickly rising to his feet as he took in his sister-son’s face.

“She has not slept or eaten! She’s still in the dress she came here with!” He explained, falling back to Khuzdul when angry.

Bella closed her eyes and cursed Glorfindel as the Dwarrow began to shout and curse. She found herself being pulled over to the fire with food being shoved at her. She blinked at everyone while they argued and talked about what they could do before shrugging and digging into the broth before her, now realising that she was indeed starving.

Her hand shot out and clenched tightly around Dori’s hand, causing him to yelp and for the others to fall silent. She quickly let go when she realised what she had done. “Oh god! I am so sorry Dori! You were about to touch my braid and…” She rambled off, closing her eyes in remorse as she saw him rubbing his wrist with a grimace.

“…Braid?”

“What braid?”

“Fíli?”

“Lady Isabella?”

Questions of confusion filled the air from the company, all eyes switching from her to her smiling mate.

“She asked for my courtship.” Fíli said beaming, his brother smiling just as wide.

Thorin swung his head to Lady Isabella with raised brows, this he didn’t expect. He expected Fíli to ask not the other way around. “Is this true?” He asked even though he could now see the new braid that was intricately and oddly wound down the side of Fíli’s face.

“You did not ask me if you could court my sisters-son.” He pointed out, his tone bland and mask set. A test if you will.

Bella raised her brows towards the king. “I did not need to ask you but Kíli for he is Twin-Like with Fíli. I have given him a dagger as is my custom as proof of my skill and ability. He approved of the court. I have given a dagger to Fíli as my courting gift and have presented him with a bead, he had accepted.” She replied just as bland and straight faced.

“I am sorry Dori; I did not mean to hurt you.” She whispered up to the silver haired dwarf beside her.

Dori smiled down at Lady Isabella. “It’s alright Lady Isabella; I should have paid more attention. I just wished to remove the sticks in your hair and undo the knots.”

“I think we should let Lady Isabella get cleaned up before we interrogate them any further.” Balin drawled out, eyeing the company. “But after she has had a decent meal, a hot bath and sleep.” He finished sternly.

A laugh escaped her lips. “That is a good idea Master Balin; I shall go and have a bath. Fíli, you may need to do my braids again, will you come in half an hour to do them?” She asked softly.

Fíli nodded and elbowed his brother hard as he felt Kíli laughing silently into his back. “I will.”

True to his word, half an hour later he made his way to the bathing room while she was brushing her hair, combs in hand and Kíli by his side pouting. “Oh hush, you and I both need to redo our braids. Your hair is looking like a birds nest Nadadith.”

Bella paused her hand as she saw her mate and his brother in the doorway; she gave them a smile and moved to the area she had set up for her to sit comfortably while her mate did her hair. “If you do not mind Kíli and trust me, I can braid your hair while Fíli does mine.”

Kíli raised his brows and shot his brother a look before shrugging and sitting down before Lady Isabella while handing her his combs. Fíli and Bella shared a look as he made his way over and sat behind his One while running his hand through her slightly damp hair.

“Fíli is right; your hair is a mess.” Bella chuckled before raking her hands through his head and applying slight pressure.

Kíli groaned at the sensation and relaxed further under her hands. It felt like heaven, her hands were warm and her nails dully scraped his scalp, the action made him think back to when he was still a babe and his amad did this for him when he couldn’t sleep.

“Should I be worried brother?” Fíli asked with a slight laugh.

“No, it reminds me of Amad.” Was all he had to say to ease Fíli’s slight jealous rage.

Bella giggled as she quickly finished off the only two braids that Kíli wore, his coming of age braid and his family braid, one on each side. She was confused at first until she really looked at the majority of the company… well mainly Balin, Dwalin and Thorin. They were the ones who wore the least amount of braids; she knew that Thorin had four while Balin and Dwalin had their family braids only; hidden beneath their beards or hair.

A yawn escaped her lips causing Fíli to quicken his pace and soon he too was finished, he would have to do his hair later, right now his concern and focus was his One who needed to eat and then to sleep.

“Come Mizim, you need to eat and then to sleep.” He whispered as he and Kíli both led her back to the others, steadying her when she began to stumble.

Bella could not recall much after standing in the bathing room to getting back to the others beyond her mate’s soothing voice and the scent and taste of raw meat before she found herself in darkness curled up near the fire.

“Is she asleep?” Thorin asked his namadinùdoy’ (sister-son) softly.

“I hope so, Glorfindel had told me that she had barely eaten and did not even sleep since she arrived here. This worried me Uncle, she takes too much upon her shoulders already, and she barely slept at all the other night.” Fíli confessed, sagging as Thorin pulled him into a hug.

“Then we and everyone will make sure she gets adequate sleep and food, we should have paid more attention before instead of treating her like an outcast like we had been doing. What else troubles you Fíli, you do not look at all eased considering.” He asked his nephew while everyone else strategically placed themselves in a spot where the entry ways were just in case the elves came for her.

“She had been abused.” Was all he said and all eyes snapped to his. “Not physically in any form but emotionally. She had loved another and she had thought they- he and his family had loved her in return. She was finally happy having a family and they had treated her like a pet. He believed her to be descendant of Men and he led her deep in the woods and broke her spirit.” He hissed, shortening the story for them. “This must not leave us.”

“No, it is safe to say that this will not leave the Company.” Balin replied, eyeing each member and earning a nod in reply, including Bilbo.

“And what happened to them bastards?” Glóin asked harshly, his hands tightening around his axe. His One before they began to court was in a similar situation and she had suffered greatly. It took near ten years for him to get her to see herself how he saw her.

“Dead. She killed them but the pain still lingers.” He explained before sitting down next to his one and removing his coat to place over her.

“Good. You get some sleep too lad, we all should.” Balin stated while making his way to his own bedroll and lying down.

“Yes, he is right. We only have a few more days left in this place for the runes to be read but we have bigger priorities for now.” Thorin explained while casting a soft look down to the woman who was now curled around his nephew, a hand on one of his daggers, even in her sleep she seemed to protect him.

~O~O~

Three near four days had passed and now Fíli was growing frantic as his One had not awoken. Óin could not explain why she had not woken, looked for wounds on her head. It had gotten to the point that he had asked Thorin to ask for Glorfindel to come and look at her, he also asked for Gandalf and Elrond when he went to attend his meeting. Though he trusted the latter very little and the first more, he could not deny the knowledge he had gained from Bilbo about Elrond being a healer.

Glorfindel strode into the room looking frantic, his usual armour missing and by his side his Chosen.

“How long has she been asleep?” The shining Barlog slayer asked.

“Going onto four days now, do you know what is wrong?” He asked worried, watching as her shield-brother laid his hand upon her head and chanted in a language that sounded rougher than Elvish but smoother than Khuzdul. Fíli also knew it wasn’t the language his One spoke from time to time as the syllables were different.

“I have a theory and I hope it is wrong and just exhaustion.” Glorfindel explained while jerking up, his body leaning over Isa while holding up the blade to who barged into the room. It was gone just as fast as it came when he realised it was only Gandalf and Lord Elrond.

“She has not woken, it has been four days.” He explained to Elrond as he knelt by Kisenth’s side and rested a hand upon her head hesitantly. “I am worried that it is hibernation.”

“No, she told me herself that she doesn’t hibernate anymore.” Gandalf stated while he leant on his staff and took a glance at the Dwarrow’s in the room with a curious eye.

They were shifting, their hands were either resting on their weapons or near them as they eyes Elrond with critical eyes. It was interesting to see how much the company in their stay here had changed towards Kisenth but by the braid in both Fíli and her hair alerted Gandalf to the reason why.

Elrond frowned as he pressed further into the dragon-shifters mind, nearly cringing at the pain and torment she had suffered through in her long life. He could hear her cries and screams, screams of his people and of others while she tried to save them.

Tired… so tired… resting… will wake soon… tell them not to worry… Peredhil…

Elrond jerked his hand back and shook his head clear of the haze. He would be glad to never do that again, to never experience that pain again; even now he could still feel the lingering effects. Glorfindel quickly caught his Lord and waited while he regained some semblance of balance and strength.

“She will awaken soon, worry not.” He explained before standing once more. “She was over tired, her body needed the rest.”

Fíli nodded. “Thank you.”

“There is no need; she is my friend as well.” Elrond stated before raising his brows. “It is good to see that she has finally found her Mate.”

“My lord, I am sorry to say this but it best be wise to leave now. Erestor, can you make sure he gets back to his chambers to rest.” Glorfindel stated as he watched the Dwarrow take a step forward at the mention of his lord and Kisenth being friends. Elrond took in the others before bowing his head and turning to leave, he would leave them be for now with Gandalf following suit.

X

Bella woke alone and to loud laughter, she could tell she was placed in a room maybe a spare room in Glorfindel’s wing because she remember falling asleep on the floor near the fire and curled around Fíli before Elrond was in her head.

She sat up with a grunt, her back cracking from stiffness and smiled as she saw the company laughing and eating through the slightly cracked door. She stood to go join them, detouring when she saw Bilbo walk past the open door down to the courtyard and chose to follow him.

The voices of Gandalf and Elrond aruing reached her ears causing her to frown as she came to a stop in the shadows just behind Thorin. But it was not just that in which made her pause, it was the magic in the air, familiar magic of her friend Galadriel and… darker magic, tainted magic that made her skin crawl and a growl to be raised in her throat.

“Of course I was going to tell you! I was waiting for this very chance. And really, I – I think you can trust that I know what I am doing.” Gandalf spluttered as he and Elrond walked across one of the path bridges.

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“Do you?” Elrond asked, glancing at the wizard. “That dragon has slept for sixty years. What will happen if your plan should fail? If you wake that beast…”

Gandalf cuts him off; “But if we succeed! What if the dwarves take back the mountain, then our defences in the east will be strengthened. We have luck more on our side with Kis…”

Elrond quickly cut him off, eyes narrowed. “It’s a dangerous move, Gandalf. What will you expect of her? That beast slayed her brother and her sister, she now has a mate to think about above all. It has been a very long time since she has even fought those twisted serpents, are you sure she is capable. No, it is indeed a dangerous move.”

Bella didn’t know how to feel about that and from the tense shoulders of both Thorin and Bilbo she knew that they were angry for this plan. “It is also dangerous to do nothing! Oh, come – the throne of Erebor is Thorin’s birthright! And Lady Isabella still shifts, she will not fail. What is it you fear?”

“Have you forgotten, a strain of madness runs deep in that family. His grandfather lost his mind. His father succumbed to the same sickness. Can you swear Thorin Oakenshield will not also fall? Gandalf, these decisions to not rest with us alone. It is not up to you or me to redraw the map of Middle-earth.” Elrond stated firmly trying to point reason to the wizard.

Thorin looked down, his heart twisting at the mere thought of becoming like his grandfather, something he swore never to become after watching him succumb to gold-lust. Bella placed her hand upon Thorin’s shoulder, causing him to jerk up and look at her with wide surprised eyes. Did she along with Bilbo hear all that was said? Will she too judge him differently?

“I will not allow that to happen Thorin if I can.” She tried to sooth him while pulling him into a hug. Thorin stiffened for a second before relaxing into the warmth; it had been a long time since he had received an embrace of comfort like this.

Bilbo and Bella shared a look, one that both said the same thing. They would both not allow him to fall into the thrall of gold, though Bella had more of a chance to snap him out of it she was glad that Bilbo too would look out for him.

“How long have you been awake?” Bilbo asked softly as he made his way closer to them.

“I woke up as you walked past the door to the room.” She explained gesturing to the door behind her. “I was going to go to the others but I followed you out here.”

Thorin pulled back then. “Thank you. You need to go see Fíli, he has been worried- we all have.”

“I am sorry for worrying you all, I was over tired and my body just shut down upo…” She trailed off as she stumbled backwards.

Thorin quickly caught her with Bilbo and led her to sit upon the stairs. They tried to call her name and came to near shaking her to get her to respond as her eyes glazed over.

Kisenth… my sister, it has been many of an age since I have felt your presence.

Bella breathed out, a smile stretching across her face. And you as well, Galadriel.

It is not safe for them here. You are being summoned like I, my friend, come.

Thorin and Bilbo sighed in relief as her eyes snapped open, though that relief did not last long as they saw the panicked look upon her face.

“You need to leave, all of you.” She stated quickly, rushing back into the room she was staying and grabbing her swords from the spot next to the bed along with her bag and rushing out to where the others were still laughing.

Fíli jumped to his feet immediately as his One made her way over to him. “Isa?”

“Everyone needs to leave now, you must hurry and make your way up the pass tonight without anyone seeing you. Erestor!” She shouted, waiting for the elf to appear and appear he did.

What is the matter?” He asked worried.

“You need to lead them up the past towards the mountains without being seen. Glorfindel and I are being summoned and they must go.” She stated firmly, causing the elf to nod.

“Isa what is happening, who is summoning you?” Fíli asked, near demanded.

Bella closed her eyes and handed her blades to Fíli. “The White Council. I am a part of it and they have been summoned here, I must attend, you and the others need to leave. Take these with you, look after them, I will catch up with you soon.”

Fíli narrowed his eyes slightly before nodding and strapping her swords to his back before handing her his own. “Then take these, so I know you will come back.”

Bella smiled and placed a kiss upon his brow before giving them all one last look. “You must hurry, do not go over the mountains until I am with you. I will not be long, do not worry I will catch up but hurry! You can trust Erestor.” She urged.

The company said their farewells after they hurriedly dressed and packed before following the elf out of the room. Thorin and Kíli stuck close to Fíli as they navigated quickly through the elven home and to the pass.

“This is where I leave you, there is the path but you must hurry go.” Erestor stated before making his way back towards the main section of Rivendell, he had some distracting to do.

“She’ll catch up Fíli, you have her blades and she has yours. We must hurry.” Thorin stated as he urged his nephew on.

“I know, but I just have this feeling in the pit of my stomach is all.” He explained.

The company murmured their agreeances.


Author Note: Well well, look! A long update for you all! Hope you enjoyed it!

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