"Sir, I must protest, my brother has done nothing!"

"Tell tha' to Dain 'im self! Not t' mention Thorin's a bit peeved at 'im an' just wanted me ta arrest the git without any argument from him-OR YOU!"

"Here! Who are you calling a git?" Nori protested seated next to his older brother, Dori, on the porch of their small home.

Dwalin grumbled something unintelligible and Dori shot Nori and sharp glare; "Be quiet now!" Dori spat, "You got yourself into this whole mess!"

"I haven't done anything!" Nori said turning his hands palm up to emphasize his point, "So there's no reason to threaten me with an unwarranted arrest!"

"Unwarranted?" Dwalin growled, "Two witnesses put ye at the tavern just before Dain claimed his coin purse mysteriously found it's way off 'is belt! And I know yer a pick-pocket…I've arrested you twice fer it!"

"I told you I found those!" Nori protested, ignoring the impatient sound Dori made, "Don't blame me if…if I'm just lucky!"

"Lucky enough to be a distant relation to Thorin really," Dwalin grunted, "If not fer 'im you'd still be sittin' jail fer yer last little romp!"

Nori grunted suddenly, shifted uncomfortably, and slouched in his chair.

"Please," Dori sighed, "Let's not get loud…Ori is sleeping for now but the boy wakes when even a fork falls to the floor!"

Dwalin grumbled, noticed Nori wince and shift in his seat again, but said nothing as a tense silence passed between all three of them.

"Two people saw ye enter the tavern…ye mingled about fer a bit…then not long after ye left Dain noticed his coin purse had been filched…obviously, because of yer history, we've every reason to suspect ye had somethin' to do with it!"

"Bofur saw me," Noir countered, "We sat together and had a chat about the usual things! Go ask him about that! Ask him!"

"I did," Dwalin revealed through gritted teeth, "He left before ye, did he not?"

"Not long before I did as well!" Nori argued, "He was the last person I was with and, friend or not, he wouldn't lie to you about me…so there! There's no way I've committed any theft!"

"BUT!" Dwalin barked, and Dori put a finger to his lips when he did, "Ye were there before Bofur came to the tavern…the barkeep and he himself told me tha'! Are ye gonna tell Me that someone whose known ye since ye were a thievin' dwarrow is a liar? Trying to save himself from any trouble?"

Nori yelped suddenly, slouched even lower in his chair, and crossed his legs.

"What's the matter with you?" Dori demanded, his cheeks red with anger, "You best be taking this seriously!"

"I am!" Nori said with a forced chuckle before he flinched and made a pained sound under his breath, "Just a bit…b-backed up is all."

"Dain was carrying a gift," Dwalin explained, ignoring the obvious pain the known thief was in, "A small sapphire 'bout the size of a babes clenched fist…if I know anythin' about ye, Nori, it's tha' ye love to pocket any shiny jewel that'll fetch a decent price!"

"Ooooh…." Nori grunted, his brow furrowed and his eyes turned to slits as it seemed his whole body stiffened, "I…oh…ugh! Er! I w-wouldn't dream of-ACH!-ssstealing from Daaaain!"

"What the feck is wrong with ye?" Dwalin now demanded, "Ye best be takin' this seriously! If ye 'ave done somethin' it's best to confess and turn the jewel over…and then maybe Thorin will ask fer leniency as He has a dozen times befer!"

"Nori," Dori sighed, "Quit squirming and~"

"Oh fuck it!" Nori yelped leaping to his feet, "I shouldn't have done it!"

"Ah-ha!" Dwalin bellowed triumphantly, "I knew ye did it!"

"Oh by Mahal Nori! When will you stop with these childish antics?" Dori demanded angrily as he rose to his feet, "You're going to cause me to go broke due to all the money I've had to put up for your bail!"

"That's not what I mean," Nori whimpered, his hands flying behind him and clutching his backside, "I shouldn't have shoved it in my arse!"

Dwalin's mouth dropped upon and his face contorted into one of disgust while Dori gasped and also took a few steps backward.

"You what?" Dori asked in shrill voice, "That's disgusting! I didn't think you could do that!"

"Ooooh I've done it before," Nori whined, "Now get outta my way….I've got to get to the toilet!"

"Oh know ye don't!" Dwalin protested, regaining his composure, "Yer under arrest!"


Dori quickly stepped aside just as Nori bound past him and into their home, leaving the eldest 'Ri' brother and Thorin's captain and long time friend to stare at each other with amazed expressions.

"Well," Dori sighed after a moment, offering Dwalin an apologetic smile, "At least Dain can have it back and present it to Thorin now."

"Are ye daft?" Dwalin barked, his nose crinkling just as Nori let out a painful howl from inside, "Neither of 'em are gonna want it now!"