Tears are running down your face, you are wiping them with the sleeve from your wrist, quietly sobbing, not really holding it back. You let yourself be sad, hurt, your pride injured, let yourself think that the world is unfair, and surely noone loves you. You are not crying for yourself, but because Thror cannot.

Once the yelling stopped, he rushed out of the chambers, little stubborn fists clenched, his cerulean eye, so alike to his father's, blazing. He is punished unjustly and knows that. If only he explained that he was sneaking around the armoury on a bet, he would be let go with only light scolding.

But Thror, the son of Thorin is "no traitor" as he will quietly explain to you later, when you come to tuck him in for sleep. With only one candle lit in the room, it is time just for the two of you, when secrets are shared and confidentiality is ensured. He whispers, "You should have seen that dagger, amad, it is magnificent, longer than my arm," his eyes are gleaming with the memories of the wager. "If only the shield was not that heavy," a sigh leaves his lips. "You are not allowed in that armoury, Thror, you father has made it clear. The weapons in it are not secured properly." What you omit is that most of the King's fury came from how terrified he was when after the deafening rumble of cascading shields and chest plates they pulled the rumpled prince from underneath. In the instant his father was on his knees in front of him, grasping sturdy little shoulders, arms and torso, running his palms over the mumbling youngling looking for injures. Once none were found, the shouting started.

You know of the bet and, while Thorin is raging and raving, you look at the heaving chest of the prince, back straight, black brows and glare an exact miniature of the King's usual scowl. You often wonder whether anything in the young prince came from you. All Dwarven stubbornness, heightened feeling of honour and loyalty, short fuse and obsession with weapons and precious metals, Thror is a handful. Right now, a mother's soft human heart is screaming, "Tell your father the truth, the punishment is going to be severe." On the other hand, the same heart belongs to a proud and unyielding Dwarf, and you feel a flicker of admiration for the adamant prince, who is lifting his chin and straightens his shoulders. The rage of Thorin Oakenshield is something even an experienced warrior would likely cower from.

Thror is sent away to his chambers, and you rush out of the hall, through the passages, to the tallest part of the castle. You find an empty balcony and sink on a bench. The fright in the armoury, Thorin's fury, the hurt and the humiliation on your son's face after being berated in front of the older Dwarves, all the emotions rush back and you weep. Suddenly a heavy hand softly touches your shoulder. You lift your eye and see Bifur silently handing you a pristine white cloth. You smile gratefully and wipe your tears. He sits near you and fishes out something from his vest pocket. A small intricate toy is laid on the calloused palm, and you see that it is a little doll with a smiling face and fizzy black hair and beard. It is definitely a Dwarven maiden, with a flowery dress and chubby legs. You thank him and accept the gift. He pats your shoulder again and gets up to leave. And then you count, and recount, and the moon cycles add up in your head, and you press your hand to your mouth. The only other time when you were crying that openly when expecting Thror. You look at the doll in your hand and feel the warmth spreading through your chest and limbs. "And how did you know, honourable Dwarf?" you are shaking your head in disbelief. The former toymaker shrugs his shoulders and you see a wonder of wonders: Bifur smiling.