Lost and Found

Pre-Quest story for the brothers Ri. I realize that there are more popular members of our favorite dwarven company, but Nori and his brothers are my favorite. I hope you enjoy, but if you don't then that is okay too.

I own nothing at all.

Chapter Ten

Dori choked hard as he pulled his ill brother closer. Then he broke and he was sobbing harder into the crook of Nori's neck while Ori hugged both of his brothers as close as he could. Thorin and Oin looked at one another and backed out of the room to give the family privacy. Dwarves did not breakdown in front of others. That wasn't their way.

"I'm so sorry, Little Brother," Dori sobbed, "I'm so sorry that I didn't protect you better. I'm sorry."

"Stupid Dori," Nori whispered as Dori and Ori froze, "Not fault. Not."

Dori leaned up enough to see Nori blinking up at him. He drank in the color of his brother's eyes. Nori's eyes might have been classified as hazel, but Ori had declared his older brother had "forest eyes" as a toddler. One could see bits of green, brown, and gold within Nori's gaze like the subtle coloring of the woodlands.

"Hi," Nori breathed as Dori smiled softly at him, "No cry."

Dori inhaled and placed his forehead to Nori's as his face crumpled. This was his very first, little brother. Nori's birth had made Dori the older brother he had become. He had always been proud to be the head of his House and the older brother to his siblings. Dori was losing one of his precious brothers and the hurt was stabbing at him with searing pain.

"No cry," Nori instructed again as Ori wrapped around him wailing, "Mahal, big babies."

"Don't leave, Brother," Ori begged as Nori's eyes fluttered for a moment as exhaustion pulled at him, "Don't go. Don't."

"Go?" Nori echoed in confusion and then whimpered softly as coughs tore at his throat.

"Shh, Nori," Dori soothed rubbing his brother's back despite the tears that still ran down his cheeks, "Relax. Ori and I are here."

"I don't want you to leave," Ori sniffled, "I need my Nori and my Dori. I can't…Dori, do something! Help him! Keep him from leaving us!"

Nori's breath quickened as he recognized the fear in his brothers. Dori gripped him tighter looking horrible and Ori was terrified. Nori shook trying to make sense of everything. Leave? Leave his brothers? He couldn't leave. Dori and Ori wouldn't survive without him there no matter how hard Dori worked to bring in monies. Nori's skills were needed no matter how distasteful they were at times.

"No," Nori gasped, "Not leave. Not leaving!"

Dori gaped when his brother convulsed in his arms shaking his head hard. The look on Nori's face was pained and grim.

"Ori, go get Oin!" Dori ordered as the younger shot off to do his task, "Calm down, Nori. Shh. Calm down, Brother."

"No. Dori, I…no," Nori whimpered shuddering hard as his face paled.

With a big brother's intuition, Dori quickly leaned Nori over the side of the bed as he vomited up a lot of thick fluid. Oin rushed in and grabbed a chamber pot as Nori threw up some more.

"What's happening?" Thorin demanded running inside with Ori following.

"Nori's rallying," Oin grinned out as the dwarf purged once again into the pot the healer held, "This is the fluid from his lungs. Dori slap that back as hard as you can. Keep it up, Nori. Get as much out as you can."

Dori looked up in wild hope and pounded hard on his brother's back over and over again. Nori continued to purge for several minutes before he finally was able to lean against Dori breathing hard while shaking his head once more.

"Not leaving," Nori mumbled as he shuddered and pushed feebly at his sweat-soaked nightshirt, "Hot, Dori. Off."

"Okay, Nori," Dori agreed willing to do anything to help his brother, "Let's get that wet thing off of you. You lot turn your heads away from my little brother."

Thorin and Oin instantly turned as Ori rushed over to help his brothers. Dori and Ori quickly stripped Nori to help him cool down and the eldest wrapped a sheet over him instead of the thick blanket. Ori was too hopeful even to speak at the moment.

"Will the medicine help with the fever now that Nori's lungs are clearer?" Dori asked as Ori wiped cooling water on Nori's face and neck.

"It might," Oin nodded out already turning to get a cup ready, "Let's try. Take Nori back into his bedroom. Bofur fixed the window and I've got fresh bedding on the bed. He'll feel more comfortable in his room."

Dori nodded and instantly lifted his brother to carry him back to his room. Nori didn't fight drinking the tea and lay still as Dori held his hand while humming softly for him.

"Dori, want stay," Nori sighed as his older brother brushed hair from his face, "Stay here with you and Ori."

"Then you will stay," Dori insisted, "Because I can't handle you leaving."

"Neither can I," Ori added holding his brother's other hand, "Don't leave us."

"Try," Nori breathed before stiffening, "No. No try. I stay. Not leaving. Not."

Dori shared a smile with Ori as their brother sighed and seemed to drift into sleep. The fact that Nori was trying so hard to stay with them showed his struggle to live.

"Now we can just wait," Oin advised gesturing to Thorin, "We'll leave you alone to be with your kin. Call if you need anything."

Thorin and Oin were in the living room when they heard Ori's wail of hysterical sobbing two hours later. The two tore into the bedroom to see Dori holding Ori close and shaking while Nori lay still in the bed with his eyes closed.

"He's gone?" Thorin asked fearfully.

"The fever's broken," Dori beamed looking up from trying to calm his baby brother, "After all this time, Nori's temperature is returning to normal."

"He's beaten it," Oin sighed feeling his patient's forehead and grinning, "The stubborn git refused to be taken like this."

"He's over the pneumonia?" Ori asked looking up with a tear stained face.

"Not completely. He will need to get rid of the rest of the fluid in his lungs, but with the fever gone his body can work on that easily. It may take months for him to regain his strength, but he'll do it," Oin advised as Ori smiled, "Nori refused to be beaten."

"No," Dori disagreed holding Nori's hand, "He refused to leave his family like this. Nori is still oppositionally defiant. He leaves on his terms and no one else's."

"But he always come back to us," Ori whispered crawling onto the bed with his brother, "Nori would never leave us forever. Not Nori."

Dori shuddered as raw emotion poured through him. He still had two, little brothers. Thank, Mahal for that. Exhausted, Dori crawled onto the bed on the other side of Nori. The eldest Ri felt a blanket settled over him and fell asleep for the first time in days.

"I'm telling you, Ori, get a warm bowl of water and put Dori's hand in it," Dori heard as he began to wake, "It'll be funny."

Dori snorted and reached out blindly and pulled Nori against him tight.

"Don't make me knock you one for still trying to corrupt our brother," Dori mumbled settling back down, "Trying to sleep here."

"You've been asleep for four days," Ori's voice chirped as Dori's eyes snapped open.

"What?" Dori gasped sitting up with Nori still in his arms, "Have you been fed? Your medicinal tea! Have you been drinking your tea?"

"Mother hen," Nori chuckled despite the fact that he couldn't lift himself on his own and was relying on Dori to hold him up, "I only woke up a day ago. Oin has fed me, medicated me, and helped me dress myself since someone left me naked. I was mortified."

"You were fighting a fever," Dori scowled out before quickly feeling his brother's cheeks and sighing in relief, "Wait. I forgot about the mess on the floor in my room. That's going to take forever to scrub up."

"I cleaned that up," Thorin answered from the doorway, "It's the least I could do."

"Oh. Ew," Nori grimaced, "Sorry about that."

"Not an issue," Thorin assured, "Do you know how many times my two nephews have vomited on me? Especially Kili. If we need him to purge I just hold him and wait. It never takes long."

The Ri brothers chuckled at Thorin's put upon face.

"I have news," Thorin admitted as Dori settled Nori back on his pillow and didn't miss the elder brother's relief at seeing Nori awake with clear eyes, "Gondor has taken up the cause against any other slavers as well. The scum have been driven far, far from here."

"Good riddance!" Ori huffed cuddling up against Nori's side, "I don't want them anywhere near my family."

"I am still keeping guards near until we are sure the danger is clear," Thorin continued as Dori smiled, "However, I do believe that Nori's life is no longer in immediate danger."

"I thought it was when I was still feverish," Nori whimpered as everyone looked at him, "I saw three Dwalins. Three. Mahal, help me."

Dori threw his head back and laughed good and hard. Now this sounded more like the Nori he knew and loved. Ori and Thorin soon joined as Nori snickered.

"Did I hear my name?" Dwalin asked as he came into the room and then just looked in confusion when everyone howled in laughter, "What?"

Epilogue

Two months past and it was deemed that Nori was no longer in danger from the slavers. Nori strengthened and gained a lot of weight back with patience and time. Dori finally forgave the Durin line and allowed for visits that brightened the days for his very bored, very whiny younger brother. Thorin looked at Dwalin and Balin as he heard a loud ruckus coming from the house during one of his house calls. The dwarven prince knocked and the door was opened by Ori.

"Greetings," Ori grinned out, "How are you today?"

"I'm doing well," Thorin answered, "I've come to see how your brother is doing. I wanted to come last week, but duty called me away."

Ori grimaced as a door slamming echoed and footsteps pounded nearby as another door was thrown open.

"No. Absolutely not. You are not to be outside until Oin gives his permission."

"I am not a child, Dori. You can't order me around anymore."

"I am the head of this family and you will listen to me, Mister."

"I have a say in what I do. I want to get some fresh air."

"Tough beans! You are not to step one foot out the door. 'No' means no!

"I'm going to stick a knife straight up your jacksie. You…mother hen!"

"You arrogant little...wait? Where are the biscuits I cooked this morning?"

-Burp-

"Nori! Did you eat…thief! You manipulative, thieving, bastard. Those biscuits were for Oin to thank him for all he's done for us!"

"My bad, but they were terrible. Try using more sugar."

I shriek of outrage was heard and a familiar growl that was obviously Nori rumbled a moment later. Thorin bit his bottom lip to keep from laughing as Dwalin's and Balin's shoulders shook beside him.

"Everything is fine here," Ori chirped beaming, "Everything is just the way it should be."

Another ruckus of squabbling erupted and Ori giggled happily. Thorin noted how much better the youngest Ri brother looked. Hard to believe that arguing like this could put the lad at ease, but it obviously was.

"Maybe you should come back later," Ori offered looking over his shoulder as a knife embedded itself into a wall behind him, "This might take a while."

"Hello," Nori offered as he walked up behind his younger brother and leaned in the doorway with his hair back up in its usual style with eyebrow braids and all, "This is never-ending so not an issue if you'd like to stop in."

The middle Ri was nearly back to his normal weight, but was still paler than usual due to being inside for so long. The mischievous twinkle in his eyes was ever present as he grinned wickedly at the trio standing outside.

"Miss me, Dwalin?" Nori teased as the warrior rolled his eyes, "Getting bored without me about?

"Shut up," Dwalin bit out as Balin hid a grin behind a fist.

"You are looking better," Thorin observed as Nori nodded.

"Champing at the bit to get out in some fresh air again, but Dori is being…well, Dori. Brother, means well in his over-mothering ways," Nori snorted, "I'm getting stronger."

"Get out of that open doorway this minute before you catch a chill!" Dori roared as Nori was jerked back inside by his shirt back as he groaned in irritation, "Can't leave you alone for one minute! Go sit by the fire!"

"Go sit in the fire!" Nori yelled back as he was dragged out of sight, "Let go of me! I am not a baby! Let go! Honestly, Dori!"

"See?" Ori chuckled as Thorin looked at him with amusement, "Everything is perfect again. Bye!"

Thorin, Dwalin, and Balin looked at one another as the door was shut. More yelling, cussing, and loud bangs echoed from inside. The three dwarves smiled at one another as they turned to leave. The House of Ri was whole once again.

The end.

Thank you for reading my story. It has been fun to write. All of your reviews have been greatly appreciated. I have another story I will be publishing soon that is called "Banes, Bears, and Scares" which have Bofur and Nori as the main characters. That one has Bofur/Nori so be warned and read if you are interested.

Love,

Nori Lover