A Gift Beyond Measure

BY : Lady_Laran
Category: Lord of the Rings Movies > Hobbit, The
Dragon prints: 239
Disclaimer: Disclaimer – I do not own “the Hobbit” nor the songs quoted in the story. I make no money from this story!

Author’s Note – I was so pleased to be able to sign up for “Have a Happy Hobbit Holiday” again for the third year running and when my gift reception was assigned, I was incredibly happy because this is someone who I admire greatly in regards to her contributions to the Hobbit fandom. IseeFire has been an inspiration to me, and I hope this will make her smile.

 

As near as I can tell without giving myself a headache trying to convert Shire reckoning to normal dates in Middle Earth, Rosa Baggins would be not too far from Bungo’s age. I think Bungo is perhaps 10 years older so it made sense to use her in this.

 

Warnings – Alternate Universe, female Bilbo, hobbits have same life expectancy as dwarrow, Erebor never fell

 

Disclaimer – I do not own “the Hobbit” nor the song “Carry Me.” The song is the property of Eurielle. I also do not own the song "Never-Ending Road (Amhran Duit)." That is owned by the genius that is Loreena McKennitt. I make no money from this story!

 

 

A Gift Beyond Measure

 

When the bedroom door shut behind the figure of his wife, the brown eyes of Hildigrim Took met the soft blue-green eyes of Rosa with a look of hope in them. When she shook her head, his shoulders slumped and head fell forward to hide his disappointment and worry. He could hear his son give a sound conveying the same emotions that he was experiencing.

 

“She still will not eat,” Adalgrim asked his mother, worried about his cousin.

 

“She had a few sips of broth,” Rosa answered, heading towards her husband and son as she spoke. “She still won’t speak a word either, poor lamb. She’s getting worse, love, and we need to do something soon or we risk losing her too.”

 

Hildigrim sighed, rubbing a hand over his face as he thought over his options. The loss of his sister, her husband, and other members of the Took family had been unexpected, and it had taken a toll on his niece.

 

“What do we do,” the younger male hobbit asked, knowing his cousin’s health would be suffering soon if something wasn’t done to help her.

 

“I will have to send word to him despite the fact we decided to hold off due to the issues we will face in getting the letter out of the Shire,” the elder said, getting out of his chair as he spoke. “Belladonna and Bungo’s last wishes were to ensure that he was contacted so that he could uphold his oath to Ivy. I just hope the Bounders can get the message to the rangers in this weather; we can no longer afford to wait for better weather.”

 

Adalgrim went to get his father’s cloak, knowing it would help hold back the rain while Rosa went to fetch the letter that had been written after the tragic deaths that had rocked both the Baggins and Took families. Like Hildigrim, they both hoped the letter would get to its destination quickly so that Ivy could have the support she needed so badly.

 

*** Erebor ***

 

Dis entered her brother’s office, looking concerned; Thorin had been sequestered since an urgent missive had arrived during open court that morning. He had taken a look at the letter and had quickly dismissed everyone before retreating to his private office. No one had disturbed his privacy since then, but she had known something was wrong when he had missed the noon meal. Her brother insisted on sharing family meals together and never missed one unless something very important had kept him away.

 

“Thorin?”

 

The room was uncharacteristically dark, and she found him sitting in a chair with his head bowed. The letter was open, held in one of his hands. Worry filled her when she realized he hadn’t reacted to someone invading his privacy, and the feeling grew when she spied the trembling in the hand that held the missive. Dis hurried towards him, kneeling in front of him and taking his empty hand.

 

“Brother? What is it?”

 

It took him several long moments before he answered, and her heart twisted at the sound of pain in his voice.

 

“The letter has news from the Shire,” Thorin shared, not looking up as he tried to sort through his thoughts and the emotions.

 

“That is where Belladonna and her husband lives, right,” she asked, knowing of his deep friendship with the hobbit matron that had spanned several decades.

 

“There has been an unprecedented amount of rain, causing severe flooding throughout the Shire,” he continued, not answering her. “Bell, Bungo, and some of her family went to help with a few families in the area where Bell’s family smial is. The bridge they were crossing collapsed; none of them survived.”

 

“Mahal,” she breathed out, hand squeezing his tightly. “This must have happened several weeks ago; you nearly fell over during the council session. The bond between you and Bell broke. Oh brother, I am so sorry for your loss.”

 

His hand gently squeezed hers before he continued, knowing his concern needed to be shared as well as the main reason the letter had been sent to him.

 

“Her brother, Hildigrim Took, wrote me to share the news as well as inform me of the wish of Bell and Bungo. They entrusted Ivy to me until the day she finds her One.”

 

Dis blinked at the mention of Thorin’s soul-daughter. He made the journey to the Shire as often as his duties allowed to visit his soul-sister and soul-daughter, and she knew that he wrote to both of them prolifically as well as sending gifts to spoil both. The two female hobbits, as well as Bungo, had written back just as often, and those letters had always brought joy to her brother.

 

“She is of age, correct?”

 

“She is,” he confirmed. “However, hobbits come of age sooner than our young ones do and will remain with their families until they find and bond with their Ones. Ivy only just recently came of age and has been living with Hildigrim since the loss of her parents. He wrote to say that she’s not doing well at all; she won’t speak and is barely eating. They fear she is succumbing to bond-sickness.”

 

Blue eyes closed at that as the dwarrowdam realized the danger surrounding her brother’s soul-daughter. Like dwarrow, hobbits had spiritual bonds that connected them to their families, soul-parents, soul-siblings, and Ones. The loss of so many bonds at once would have damaged Ivy’s spirit and the only way to help her was to bring her to the one she had the strongest bond with. Thorin was the only one who could help the lass, and Dis knew that the young hobbit would be able to help her brother heal from the loss of his soul-sister.

 

“How soon will she be arriving,” she asked her brother. “We will have to get her room finished since you’ve not had time after her coming of age.”

 

Realizing his sister was approving of this and going to help him, Thorin’s strong shoulders relaxed a notch. He knew Ivy would need a lot of support, compassion, and love, and Dis was a very sweet natured person as long as one did not do something to rouse her powerful temper.

 

“Hildigrim added a post-script; he said that he’d run into Gandalf as he was handing the letter off. Tharkûn is waiting for a raven confirming that I will take guardianship of Ivy and then will bring her to Erebor as swiftly as he can. The rains have not yet abated in the Shire so his assistance is necessary to keep her safe while traveling.”

 

Dis nodded, making mental lists of what needed to be done. She leaned forward, resting her forehead against his for a few moments as she answered him softly.

 

“Write your letter; I will send it with our fastest raven. I will take on your duties tomorrow so you may have the privacy you need for the mourning rituals. I also want you to speak to Oin and ensure that the broken bond will heal properly,” she told him. “Tomorrow night, if you are ready, you and I will share the evening meal in your rooms and plan for your soul-daughter’s arrival.”

 

“Thank you, Dis,” he said softly, grateful for her assistance and understanding.

 

“It’ll be nice to have another female in the family,” she said with a small smile. “I’m outnumbered with you, Frerin, Fili, and Kili around all the time. Between all of you and our cousins, I could use the help managing all of you.”

 

“You do it so well though,” Thorin managed to tease, making Dis relax a bit to see it.

 

“Maybe but another female wouldn’t hurt things,” she said, getting up. “I’ll have dinner sent to your rooms, Thorin. You will eat or I’ll be coming in to ensure you do.”

 

He got up, pocketing the letter he’d been holding, and Thorin looked over at his sister as a thought crossed his mind.

 

“Have you heard from Fili lately?”

 

“A raven arrived a little while ago,” she answered, straightening her skirts. “He is doing well and hopes to be heading home in a few months if all goes well. Dain has been very pleased with his progress so far.”

 

He nodded, pleased to hear his heir would be returning home soon. Thorin had sent him to their cousin for a bit more training, and Dain had been nothing but complimentary about how well Fili had turned out so far.

 

“I am pleased to hear it,” he said to his sister. “It has been far too quiet with him gone.”

 

“It has been a strange change of pace,” Dis agreed, lighting a lamp on her way to the door. “However, I fear that Kili will drag his brother into plots soon enough and we’ll be wishing one of them far away again due to the mayhem that follows both of them.”

 

He gave a quiet chuckle at that, going to his desk and pulling out his writing implements. Thorin quickly and neatly wrote his reply, sealing the envelope before handing it to his sister so she could send it with the fastest raven they had.

 

“Thank you,” he told his sister, eyes closing as she rested her forehead against his for a long moment.

 

“You are my brother,” Dis said. “I would not have you here if Belladonna had not stepped in when she did; I owe her so much for saving you so long ago. That she included you in her family was an honor, and I will help you ensure that her daughter heals and is safe.”

 

She hurried off, knowing there was a lot to do and not a lot of time to get it done. Dis made plans, wanting to make sure that her brother’s soul-daughter would find a home here.

 

*******

 

Two weeks had passed since the news had arrived from the Shire, and Thorin had been sent word that Ivy would be arriving today. Usually, he would formally greet newcomers to Erebor in the throne room but he knew a private welcome would most likely be easier on his soul-daughter. Once she was better rested, he would formally present her to his people as his ward but would not spring that on her until he knew just what her condition was.

 

“It’ll be all right,” Dis soothed her brother, watching him as he anxiously paced the sitting room. “We have everything ready for her, and we know she’s safe. I still can’t believe Tharkûn was able to convince one of Manwë’s eagles to carry them from Rivendell.”

 

“The fact that he asked them to do so worries me,” the king admitted, sharing the worry that had grown since he’d received word of the wizard’s plans. “He is not one to ask for their aid lightly.”

 

“Meaning her condition may be more serious than we thought,” she concluded, stomach sinking as she contemplated her brother’s words. “If that is the case, your presence will start strengthening her as soon as she is brought to you. She may need to stay close to you for a while, but that’s to be expected considering the trauma she’s been through.”

 

Thorin sighed, nodding. Logically, he knew his sister was right but his bond with his soul-daughter was cloudy. He’d consulted with Oin about it, and he was aware that bond sickness could cause any remaining bonds to feel weaker even if they weren’t. He wouldn’t deny he was worried about Ivy and hoped that he’d be able to help her.

 

Before he could answer, there was a knock at the door and Balin entered. His cousin and advisor looked serious as he ushered a slightly smaller figure into the sitting room.

 

“Thorin, Miss Baggins is here,” he said, stepping aside as the young hobbit didn’t bother lowering the hood of her cloak as she began heading to the king.

 

Thorin took several steps towards her, meeting her halfway, and he pulled her into a tight hug. The familiar scent of lilies reached his nose as he rested his head against hers, keeping her close.

 

“Welcome home, Ivy,” he murmured, arms tightening more when he heard her voice broken voice.

 

“Athair-Thorin,” she managed, voice broken by tears. “They’re gone.”

 

“I know, little one,” Thorin answered, sounding tearful as well. “You’re not alone; I’m here, and my family is too. We’ll get through this, I promise. You’re not alone anymore, and I promise you never will be again.”

 

A sob racked her too thin frame, and he lifted her off of her feet. Thorin carried her to his favorite chair near the fire and sat down, tucking her against him after settling her in his lap. He rocked her, humming quietly as she broke down, finally mourning for the loss of her loved ones.

 

Balin and Dis left him to comfort his soul-daughter, knowing she needed private time with him, and he was grateful to them for their courteous act. Right now, she needed this and would be mortified to realize that she’d lost emotional control in front of people she didn’t know.

 

Thorin’s humming soon turned into a song he’d often sung for her during her fauntling years; it had never failed to soothe her, and his deep voice sang just loudly enough to be heard over her sobs.

 

“While you sleep, dream of me; I'll be keeping our memories living in my heart and soul
Waiting for the day when we will be together again. Carry me to my love o'er the sea to the clouds above where I know he's waiting for me. Carry me to my love o'er the sea to the clouds above. Take me away to the shining light, over the waves peaceful at night. There among the stars glowing in the dark you watch over me, smiling down patiently. Carry me to my love o'er the sea to the clouds above
Where I know he's waiting for me. Carry me to my love o'er the sea to the clouds above. Carry me to my love o'er the sea to the clouds above here I know he's waiting for me. Carry me to my love o'er the sea to the clouds above.”

 

The tears started to abate by the second time he’d sung the song, and Thorin was pleased to know that his voice was still a measure of comfort to her. Belladonna and Bungo had often teased him about his magical singing voice since it was the only thing that usually calmed Ivy whenever she was distraught about something.

 

Once the tears stopped, Thorin gently pulled back her hood and used a handkerchief to dry her eyes and cheeks. His azure eyes looked over the changes time had brought, spying how thin she was compared to a hobbit lass of her age as well as the look of pain and exhaustion in the blue-green eyes that looked up into his own.

 

“I’ve missed you, my little agate,” he said, cuddling her close.

 

“I missed you too, Athair-Thorin,” she murmured, voice sounding a little hoarse.

 

Thorin pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead, eyes closing for a moment as he sought out their bond. It was a little brighter but still cloudy. He would have to ensure she stayed close as she healed, and he would insist on her speaking with Oin regarding the bond-sickness she was undoubtedly suffering from. He knew physical contact would aid in healing the sickness, but he was hoping the healer would know of other methods of helping her.

 

“We’ll get through this together, little agate,” he promised, feeling her go boneless against him when she heard his words. “It’s horrible right now, but we’ll find joy again. You’re not alone; you have me and the crazy members of my family here as well.”

 

Her hands clenched tightly to his tunic at that, and he squeezed gently as he rested his head against her hair. One of his hands gently carded through the unruly locks, noting that she had not been caring for her hair as well as she usually did. Despite the tangles, Thorin easily found the braids he had put into her hair at various times of her life and noted she’d made sure they were perfect before sealing them with the beads he’d forged for her.

 

He held her for a while longer before speaking once more, knowing he needed to get her adapted to her new home as quickly as possible. There were things that needed to be done, and Dis has everything organized over the next few days before he had to present her to his people as his soul-daughter.

 

“Would you like to see your room,” he asked, smiling a bit as she gave a quiet nod before climbing out of his lap.

 

Her small hand slipped into his as he led her to the bedroom beside his. Thorin had begun her room as soon as she had come of age since he knew Belladonna and Bungo had agreed to come and visit him, wanting her to spend time in her soul-father’s home to spend more time with him. The room had been a labor of love, and it showed starting with the bedroom door.

 

Thorin had designed a series of knots carved around her name, and the knots were made from ivies instead of the traditional lines and curves. Both her name and the knots had been tastefully lined with emeralds, which brightened up the dark stone of the door.

 

“So fancy,” she whispered softly, making him chuckle.

 

“It’s actually fairly simple,” Thorin said, opening the door for her. “Some families have decoration on the doors of their rooms that can be considered well beyond gaudy.”

 

The bedroom had been something he had spent a considerable amount of time designing for her. There was a small alcove that he’d turned into a reading nook for her, and Thorin had large cushions created for her that had been piled into a corner of the nook. Ivy had a habit of making nests of cushions and soft blankets whenever she wanted to read, and it had been a habit she had never grown out of since she was a fauntling. Bungo had finally given up on trying to get her to sit in a chair whenever she had the urge to read. The rest of the alcove had shelves carved into the dark stone, and the shelves were laden with quite a few books.

 

The main portion of the room was dedicated to her comfort for resting, and he’d designed a beautiful four poster bed, carved from wood, with ivies painstakingly carved into the frame. Light blue curtains hung from the railing, and the bedding was done in shades of blue with a lot of pillows for his ward’s comfort.

 

Chairs sat in front of a fireplace, and they were also done in blue. The woodwork in those had ivies carved into it as well, and the fireplace was a mix of ivies and stars.

 

“Athair-Thorin, this is too much,” she whispered, taking in the gorgeous room with lovely tapestries that hung on the walls.

 

“You deserve every bit of it,” he said, smiling as she wandered around the room. Her blue-green eyes were wide with hidden awe and delight, and the king was pleased to know he’d gotten this right for her.

 

“It looks like a room a princess would have,” Ivy murmured, loud enough for him to hear. “Not a hobbit like me.”

 

“Some might argue that you are a princess due to our connection,” Thorin teased a bit, keeping his eyes on her. “Don’t be surprised if many of my people treat you that way.”

 

She turned, watching her soul-father with amazement and surprise at his words. This was something she had not expected at all, and she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

 

“Why? I’m a hobbit, not someone with Durin’s blood,” she questioned, fingers going to hold onto the edges of her cloak.

 

“Because you are my soul-daughter,” he said softly. “I am craft-wed, and you are the only child I will ever have. My sister-sons I love like my own, but you were entrusted to me before your birth and are not just my soul-daughter. You are the daughter of my heart.”

 

Ivy headed towards him, hugging him and sighing in relief as the contact seemed to make their bond stronger. She adored her soul-father and to hear that he considered her his true daughter helped to alleviate some of the pain she was experiencing.

 

“Thank you,” she whispered.

 

“Don’t thank me yet,” he said, giving a quiet chuckle. “You’ve yet to meet Kili and Fili, and I doubt you’ll be thanking me once you have.”

 

 

********

 

Thorin’s words were soon proven to be very true; the people of Erebor had welcomed Ivy with great joy and respect when the king had presented his soul-daughter to them. Because of the needed contact to help her with her bond-sickness, Ivy had become his shadow and accompanied him to every meeting and meal. The rare times they parted were usually at night when they went to their rest or whenever one needed to visit the privy.

 

Every time they went down various hallways to the throne room, training rooms, forges, or other locations, his people would bow and greet both him and the little princess with happy smiles. Ivy had been rather taken aback by this, and Dis had reminded her that, as the family member of the Thain, she was a princess in her own right. The dwarrowdam had waved aside the protests that the Thain was not a king, stating that the duties the Thain had were that of a king and that made him a monarch, regardless of the title hobbits used for him. It was an argument the pair often had at night, making Thorin and the others sitting in the parlor chuckle. Despite the arguments that took place, everyone used the royal title when speaking of the hobbit.

 

Despite her misgivings over the title she’d been given by the dwarrow, the hobbit lass would sit on a small stool or chair beside Thorin, staying within reach of him while reading over the lessons Balin had assigned for her that day. His cousin had immediately stepped in as her tutor, providing materials that would help her adjust to her new home, and Ivy had proven she was a very quick study. It wasn’t unusual for him or Thorin to lean over during various meetings to answer softly spoken questions, and the people would wait patiently for the small discussion to end before picking up the prior topic. Considering the nobles were not usually one for patience, both of the cousins were rather amazed with how the nobles handled the interruptions.

 

His family had also been quick to accept her, doing everything they could to help her settle into her new home. Outside of Balin’s teachings, Dwalin was expanding on the self defense lessons Thorin had given her over the years while visiting the Shire. Dis spent time with her and Thorin in the evenings, offering the female guidance her brother could not provide, and she was also learning how to embroider from the hobbit lass. Even Kili had made an effort to spend time with her, often sharing stories about growing up in the mountain with his uncle and listening to Ivy’s stories about her visits with Thorin in the Shire.

 

With some prompting, Thorin had been convinced to share the story of how he’d met Belladonna Took. He’d stumbled into an ambush by bandits, and the hobbit lass had stealthily entered the fray in while he was fighting and had taken several of the bandits out before healing a wound that could have taken his life. A brother-sister bond had formed at that time, and he’d spent time in the Shire recovering and getting to know his new soul-sister before sending word to Ered Luin that he was all right.

 

Ivy had offered stories of the various tales of the mischief her mother and soul-father had gotten into before Belladonna had married Bungo, and she also included stories of the mischief the three adults had caused before and after she had been born. All of Thorin’s family had roared in laughter at the stories, teasing the monarch about everything they had heard. Thorin teased back, showing a more relaxed side to his personality that only his family usually saw whenever things were not so tense in the mountain.

 

During a private moment with his mother, Kili had mentioned that Ivy had been good for his uncle and Dis was quick to agree. Both had written to the absent Fili about Erebor’s newest citizen, and he had written back to learn more about the stories that were being shared. The two had eagerly shared them as well as talking about the hobbit lass, and the missing prince had mentioned being interested in meeting the girl who had helped Thorin open up just a bit more.

 

Fili’s return home had been delayed due to a new trade possibility between the Iron Hills and another dwarven community, and Dain had requested that his younger cousin stay so he could learn from the experience. Thorin had reluctantly agreed, knowing this would help his heir. The family was missing the fair haired prince, but they had agreed with the king’s decision since this would be a good learning experience for him.

 

After Dain had written back, giving a definite date for Fili’s return around Winter Solstice, Dis had suggested a ball to welcome her son home as well as to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Thorin, despite hating formal events, was quick to agree since he wanted give Ivy a chance to see Erebor when the mountain was preparing for something like this. The Lonely Mountain gave off a unique radiance with the decorations for events were placed with care, and he wanted her to experience this.

 

Balin and Dis had quickly stepped up to plan the event, and the mountain came alive with preparations for the welcome home celebration for the crown prince. Ivy had stayed beside her soul-father, watching everything with wide eyes whenever plans were brought before the king for final decisions. She’d never seen anything like this, and she’d watched her mother help plan for Summer Solstice celebrations back in the Shire. The undertakings her mother had done to plan for that party came nowhere near the amount of work that everyone was doing to prepare for this ball.

 

Her amazement had turned into shock when Dwalin, of all people, reminded Thorin that this would also be Ivy’s formal debut into society outside of her brief presentation to the populace of Erebor. So Dis had quickly thrown that into the plans, turning the ball into a massive celebration for all three events.

 

Thorin had been the one to summon Erebor’s best tailor to ensure his soul-daughter would have the best gown for the ball. Dori had been quickly introduced to Ivy, charmed by her quiet smile and demeanor, and he’d quickly discussed things with his king before starting to design a gown that would suit the hobbit. The lass knew her soul-father had given the tailor an idea of the jewelry he had planned, despite Ivy’s best protests, and Dori was ensuring the gown would not only make the gems shine but also flatter the young lass.

 

As she went through the various fittings, Ivy was in awe of the dwarf’s skill with a needle and she didn’t protest at the decisions he’d made regarding fabric and embroidery. Dori knew just how to ensure her own beauty was showcased and not overwhelmed, and he was pleased to see how much the lass was enjoying the gown as it came together. Thorin would give his input as well, pleased to see that his soul-daughter was enjoying herself and noticing that her confidence was lifting a bit as the outfit came together.

 

The monarch was greatly anticipating the ball as he wanted to show Ivy the mountain and his people at their best, and he was also eager to see her confidence go even higher when she made her debut as a beautiful young lady. He was seeing glimpses of it, and he knew it was a combination of seeing her own beauty for the first time for herself as well as the bond-sickness healing.

 

Oin had been pleased with her progress so far but had cautioned that she would still be fragile until she found and bonded with her One. Two strong bonds would help heal the damage the sudden destruction of the parental and other familial bonds had caused Ivy. Thorin had nodded, knowing that his soul-daughter would eventually find her One.

 

He often thought of it, spoken of it once with Dis, and he prayed to Mahal and Yavanna that the One crafted for his soul-daughter would be close by so that Ivy would not go too far away from him. He’d felt guilty over it, but his sister had reminded him that all parents felt the same. Her reassurance had helped alleviate the guilt, and he ensured to add his wishes for a good person for his Ivy as well as being someone close by.

 

Her health and happiness were important to him, and Thorin wanted his little hobbit lass to spend her life feeling joy and love. She deserved it, and he prayed Mahal and Yavanna would see to it she had just that.

 

*****

 

When Fili had arrived home and been informed of the upcoming ball, he’d been rather annoyed at first. The crown prince had not wanted his family to make too much fuss over his homecoming but when he’d spoken with his brother, he realized that his mother and uncle were combining the ball to celebrate two other events. He’d quickly let go of his annoyance after hearing Kili explain that this was also the debut of the hobbit lass into dwarrow society, and the elder son of Dis could not be unhappy with all the fuss now. Mahal knew the girl deserved to have a bit of a fuss made over her given the losses she’d experienced as well as the bond sickness she was fighting.

 

So he’d willingly undergone fittings with Dori, chatting with him and his mother while standing still for the tailor to ensure the garments he’d created would fit properly. He had to admit, once the fittings were done, that the silver haired dwarf had outdone himself. The attire, though rich in appearance, was comfortable and would allow him to move easily, even with the cloak that came with it.

 

Fili’s opinion on the outfit had not changed and as he stood in the small ante-chamber, waiting for the Royal Family of Erebor to be announced, he felt at ease. Dori had ensured that he’d be able to hide quite of a few of his favored daggers without ruining the appearance of the clothing. That had helped him to relax even further.

 

His thoughts focused when he heard his name called, and he soon joined his brother and mother on the podium in the elegant hall used for balls. He smiled and nodded as the cheers continued, and he was touched, as always, by the amount of of love his people showed for all of them.

 

When Thorin’s name was called, everyone bowed as the blue clad king entered the halls. As he approached the podium, the princess and two princes bowed as well, straightening only when Thorin stood before the small throne that had been set on the podium for him. There were chairs for the rest of the family, but there was always a throne at events like this for the king.

 

“Blessed Solstice, dear people,” Thorin called out into the silence of the hall. “I thank you for joining us to celebrate these special events. Firstly, we come together to mark the Winter Solstice and give thanks for all that our Maker and His Lady have done for us.”

 

There was a low murmur in Khuzdul, giving thanks, and the royals joined in quietly as well before waiting for the king to continue.

 

“Secondly, we are joined together to welcome my heir home after a long sojourn in the Iron Hills to learn more about ruling from my cousin, Lord Dain Ironfoot.”

 

That prompted a loud wave of cheers from the assembled dwarrow, and Fili nodded with a large smile. He had missed being home, and it was nice to be among those he’d grown up around once again.

 

Thorin chuckled, giving his nephew a fond look before speaking once the crowd’s noise had died down.

 

“It is good to have him home,” he agreed. “Though I think it’s safe to say we’re dreading what chaos may follow now that he and his brother have been reunited.”

 

“We’re not that bad, uncle!”

 

Kili’s comment had everyone laughing, even Thorin and Dis, and the two gave the younger prince a wry look. They knew the two younger members of their house all too well, and both they and the sons of Fundin had been trying to figure out ways to head off the mischief before things became too chaotic.

 

“No, nephew, you two are worse,” the king said with a gentle laugh. “And before we get into a debate on future mischief, the final event is the debut of my soul-daughter to Erebor’s society.”

 

At Thorin’s words, Fili’s eyes turned to the entryway to the chamber where his uncle had been waiting to be announced. He’d only seen glimpses of the hobbit lass since his return home, and he was curious to see her as well as be introduced to her.

 

The announcer’s words rang through the hall, echoing in the silent chamber.

 

“Announcing Princess Ivy Tordís Baggins, soul-daughter of King Thorin II Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain.”

 

Everyone shifted to watch the entryway, and Fili could hear his mother murmur a question to Thorin.

 

“She has our mother’s name?”

 

“Belladonna insisted,” he answered softly. “She wanted her daughter to honor her soul-father’s heritage, and I couldn’t refuse.”

 

He didn’t focus on his mother’s response as he spied a small figure emerging from the entry way. His breath caught in his throat as his keen eyes made out the slender figure and lovely face as she approached the podium.

 

Ivy was wearing a beautiful dress of emerald green velvet; it was sleeveless and clung to her figure before falling to the floor in simple lines. The neckline was embroidered in silver leaves and flowers that were an homage to her Maker. Around the neckline, held by beautifully crafted large silver broaches that rested on her shoulders, was sheer fabric that matched the velvet. It imitated a sleeveless coat, and there were silver chains that crossed her front with emerald teardrops. A belt of matching sheer fabric with a silver buckle hung low on her hips.

 

The blond hair had been pulled back to hang freely with strands in small braids that had been looped back to join a slightly larger braid. Over this was a circlet over silver chain with a round emerald drop that rested on her forehead. As she turned slightly to approach the podium, Fili’s keen eyes could see the large filigreed clasp at the back of her head that held the chains in place; it had a large round emerald on that, and there were more chains with emerald tear drops that looped from the clasp to drape over the hobbit’s hair.

 

She looked every inch the princess the people claimed she was, and Fili hid his wince when his brother elbowed him.

 

“Breathe,” he murmured in the elder’s ear. “You’re starting to turn blue.”

 

He took in a breath, watching as Ivy sank into a low curtsy before Thorin. The king smiled, stepping down from the podium to take her hand and lead her out onto the dance floor.

 

Music began as soon as the two took their positions, and everyone watched as Thorin and Ivy danced together for several moments before everyone else joined them.

 

Fili escorted his mother out onto the dance floor, smiling as she complimented his appearance. He swung her into the dance, conversing when he could. He could see his uncle and Ivy not far beside them, and he caught himself tracking their movements whenever he could. Thankfully, his mother didn’t comment on his distraction even though he knew she had to have noticed.

 

Once the song ended, Dis gently nudged her eldest.

 

“Go ask for a dance before someone claims it,” she suggested, hiding a smile as he nodded.

 

She escorted him to where Thorin was chatting with her at the podium, smiling softly as she interrupted the pair.

 

“Ivy, you look beautiful tonight,” she said, smile growing when the lass spoke.

 

“Thank you,” Ivy said, looking gratefully at her. “You and Dori made it all possible. I’ve never felt so beautiful before.”

 

“We’ll definitely have to have Dori make more outfits for you,” the dwarrowdam stated. “We’ll talk to him about it later. I wanted to introduce you to my eldest son. Ivy, this is Fili.”

 

Fili bowed, hand over his heart as the lass sank into a deep curtsy.

 

“At your service,” he said quietly.

 

“At yours as well, Prince Fili,” she answered. “Welcome home.”

 

“Thank you,” he said, then offered her his hand. “Would you do me the honor of dancing with me?”

 

Ivy looked up, smiling shyly as she placed her hand in his while rising from her curtsy. Fili was struck by the loveliness of the smile as well as the spark of heat that raced through his body when her hand settled in his. Judging by the way her blue-green eyes widened, he had a feeling she was feeling the same and knew what it was.

 

The lass was his One and as he escorted her to the dance floor, Fili resolved to speak to his uncle that night about courting her. He would not let anyone have the opportunity to steal her away before he could claim her as his future queen. Hopefully, his uncle would allow it.

 

Fili pushed away those thoughts for now, focusing on the beautiful lass in his arms, and he chatted softly with her as they danced together. The conversation only strengthened his determination to claim her for his own.

 

 

******

 

Thorin leaned back in his seat, filling his pipe after his nephew had left to retire to his own rooms. He perked a bit when Dis entered the parlor, nodding for her to have a seat. She’d helped Ivy out of her finery before going to her own rooms to do the same, returning to see what Fili had to say.

 

“He asked me for permission to court Ivy,” he said, lighting his pipe as he spoke quietly. He didn’t want to disturb his soul-daughter as he knew she’d been exhausted by the end of the ball.

 

“I’m not surprised,” she said, getting comfortable in her chair. “He did monopolize her as much as possible tonight; I’m sure someone will be gossiping about a possible scandal due to dancing with her so often.”

 

He chuckled at that, blowing out a smoke ring. Bungo had taught him that as well as giving him a love for the pipe-weed the Shire grew.

 

“I was surprised he allowed me or Kili to claim her for a dance,” he said, take a drag of the fragrant pipe-weed.

 

“As was I,” she agreed. “What answer did you give him?”

 

“I could not deny him when he described the feeling he got when her hand touched his,” he said. “They are Ones, and I dearly want both of them to be happy.”

 

She nodded, smiling a bit at that. In truth, Dis was very pleased as she knew Ivy would be good for her son.

 

“Truthfully, sister, I was hoping our Maker and Ivy’s would have my soul-daughter’s One close by,” Thorin admitted. “I was not wanting to loose her to distance. That Fili is her One is a great relief to me. He will treat her well, and I know he will do everything he can to help her through the last of the bond-sickness.”

 

“She’ll gain more bonds through him with me and Kili added to her family bonds once they are wed,” she agreed. “Mahal and Yavanna have answered our prayers in regards to our loved ones. She will be good for Fili; she has no desire for wealth or power. Her gentle nature will be needed when it’s time for them to ascend to power.”

 

“Exactly,” he answered, smiling as he blew another smoke ring. “We know she’ll be accepted because of how much our people adore her so far. The only hiccup I see is the fact their children will not be fully dwarf.”

 

“Mahal will provide for when it’s time for Fili to claim an heir,” she said with a gentle tone. “If it’s one of his children, then we will know it’s our Maker’s will. We just have to have faith that everything will work out.”

 

“That it will, Dis,” he agreed, tapping the bit of his pipe against his teeth for a moment. “We’ll have to talk to her about courting and what to expect as I believe Fili will be asking her soon. The lad is motivated.”

 

“I’ll do so tomorrow,” she promised, knowing it would need a woman’s touch. “She may need help with crafting a courting bead for Fili.”

 

“I’ll do it,” Thorin replied. “I’ll craft the marriage beads too as I know the courting will be successful. No sense in not taking advantage of time at the forge.”

 

Dis chuckled, agreeing, and she was happy to know that her son had found his One. Ivy was the best choice, and it didn’t hurt that she was incredibly fond of the lass. Their family was growing, and she was so very pleased by it.

 

Both siblings quietly thanked their Maker and His wife, glad to know most of their concerns were finally eased. The rest would be answered in time; they had faith in that. For now, they resolved to ensure that the courtship would be successful and that the two in question were very much in love by the time they were bound in marriage.

 

*****

 

Ivy smiled to herself, seeds in hand as she waited for Fili. Her new husband was changing out of his finery so he could join his bride on the terrace where he and Thorin had created a garden for her. In her hand, she held the seed that her uncle had sent her from the Shire to be planted in hobbit tradition.

 

The wedding had been beautiful; Dori had crafted an exquisite gown for her, and the hobbit could happily say that she was incredibly blessed by everything. The wedding and feast had been perfect, and she was pleased to know that everyone was happy for them. If there had been any concerns about her marrying the crown prince, word had never reached her and she was content to let Yavanna help her through any troubles that may arise.

 

“I love seeing that smile, laslel,” her husband’s voice drifted to her ears as he joined her in the garden terrace. “Happy thoughts?”

 

“Very, grá mo chroí,” she answered, turning to spy him as he stopped beside her.

 

Fili was in sleep trousers and a dressing gown that hung loosely ón his shoulders. He smiled, noticing she was in a nightgown and dressing gown as well, though hers was done up properly.

 

“I’m glad to hear it,” he said, kissing her softly. “Now, this custom of yours, how does this work?”

 

“This is how hobbits commemorate their marriage and how the bond begins,” she answered, leading him to the center of the garden. She’d set up a bed for the seed, knowing it would need a special location so it could grow in tribute to the love she and her husband shared.

 

Fili followed her, kneeling beside her. He picked up the trowel that she’d left out for this moment, digging the hole to her specifications.

 

“What seed did your uncle send?”

 

“Uncle Hildigrim sent me aster seeds,” she said with a smile. “They symbolize love; Aunt Rosa chose them for us. She said she felt this was perfect to symbolize our marriage and bond.”

 

Fili smiled at that, listening to her instructions as he helped her with the final preparations for the bed. Once the holes were correct, he aided her in planting each seed. Once the soil was smoothed back over, he rested his hands over hers as she sang in the hobbit language, something she’d been teaching him once they had started courting.

 

“The road now leads onward as far as can be, winding lanes and hedgerows in threes. By purple mountains and round every bend, all roads lead to you, there is no journey's end. Here is my heart and I give it to you, take me with you across this land. These are my dreams, so simple and few
Dreams we hold in the palm of our hands. Deep in the winter amidst falling snow, high in the air
where the bells they all toll. And now all around me, I feel you still here. Such is the journey
No mystery to fear. Here is my heart and I give it to you, take me with you across this land. These are my dreams, so simple and few, dreams we hold in the palm of our hands. The road now leads onward,
and I know not where. I feel in my heart that you will be there. Whenever a storm comes, whatever our fears; the journey goes on as your love ever nears. Here is my heart and I give it to you, take me with you across this land. These are my dreams, so simple and few, dreams we hold in the palm of our hands.”

 

As she sang, Fili felt her spirit blending with his, starting the bond that would sustain them for the rest of their lives. He knew, once it was complete, that she would have a bond with his mother and brother as well, and he smiled lovingly before kissing her once the final note was sung.

 

Ivy was more than just his One, his beloved wife. She was a gift from the Valar, and she was a gift beyond measure. She was someone he would treasure in this life and the ones that would follow.

 

 

 

Author’s End Note – I chose Irish this time for hobbitish. Translations are as follows: athair means father and grá mo chroí means my beloved. Laslel is khuzdul for rose of all roses. Also, if you recognize the second song mentioned in this story, it’s because I used it for another tale. It just fit the final scene so well that I had to use it again. IseeFire, I truly hope you love this little story! Merry Christmas and Blessed Yule to you all. ~ Laran

 

 

 

 

 

 



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