A/N: Just a companion piece to "Thorin's Armour" for gender equality purposes :)

HER ARMOUR

The healer's robe is just a long, straight tunic, with a key-hole neckline, on her small body it reaches the floor, a simple cloth belt on the waist, narrow practical sleeves, no hanging or leg-of-mutton excessiveness, which would get in the way of work. The linen is simple, of fern green colour, and she might be the only female healer the colour compliments, her hair copper and skin pale except for the bright freckles on her nose and cheekbones. It no doubt frustrates others who serve with her, they are in a constant pursuit of embellishing the stodgy robe. Some wear complicated hairdos, some add earrings, some spend their allowance on shoes. Wren weaves her hair in a demure do, with one braid going around the back of her head, picking up the copper strands, with smaller curls always escaping and coiling on her nape and temples. She owns no jewelry, and her shoes are sturdy and comfortable.

Her wedding dress is a heavy layered velvet attire, in accordance with the latest Dwarven fashion, white and opulent, with ermine fur going around the neckline and sleeves, diamonds and exquisite embroidery covering it from a low neckline to the long train. She steps out of it and sheds the undertunic. She is to take a bath following the custom of preparing a bride's body to accept her husband for the first time. It seems rather preposterous considering that she has been carrying her now husband's son under her heart for the last six months. The roundness of her stomach is hardly noticeable, her term equal to that of four months of parturiency for a woman of Men. Filegethiel, and now lady Zundushinh, the Queen of Erebor, steps into the hot fragrant bath water, and the herbal essences envelop her body.

Delicate flowers of dog violets and primroses float around her, the water fused with lady's mantle and sweet woodruff essences. She closes her eyes, and breathes in the familiar aromas. She moves her slender hands in the water and remembers her Grandmother's unseeing eyes and her soft voice listing the innumerous herbs and their remedial qualities, she remembers the healers and midwives she has met in her path, she remembers Aldacar, her lover and her teacher, she thinks of the myriads and myriads of books in the Erebor library. The knowledge of her grandmother and years of studies and practice shield her, give her strength, protect and nurture her.

Her squire clasps the mithril breastplate on her and adjusts the lacing at the back. Her armour is forged into a flexible structure of multiple plates, capable of protecting her narrow body and allowing her mobility. Gorget covers her delicate long neck, rerebraces and gauntlets light, unlike the King she always wears a closed helmet as he insists her hair would be too easy to spot for an enemy. There are still many who seek to slay the Queen of Erebor.

The King is drawing some mysterious patterns on the skin of her naked back with the pulps of his fingers. He is supporting his weight on one elbow, on his side, stretched near the relaxed body of his wife, and he lowers his lips to the pale skin. It is radiant, smooth, and a slight blush rises all over her body from his caresses. He presses more kisses, each next one even more reverent and gentle than the previous, and she sighs. He traces the line of elegant shoulder blades, and murmurs, "Like an apple tree in bloom..." She turns and looks at him in surprise. "Pardon, my Lord?" "The colour, it is white but there is this pink tint..." He chuckles, "I am afraid eloquent compliments are not my forte, my Queen, as you no doubt have discovered over the years." She smiles to him, and he strokes her back, seemingly absorbed in the sensation of the smoothness and glowing softness. Perhaps his compliments are not that articulate, but actions speak better than words. He presses his cheek to the curve of her lower back and nuzzles her skin. It heats up responding to his closeness, and she is tingly and flushed all over her small body.

"The Gem of Erebor," the low deep voice of Gandalf the Grey greets her, and she dismounts her pony. She pushes the hood off her head and smiles. "Why all the titles between old friends, Mithrandil, the Grey Wanderer?" The Queen's eyes gleam with impish mirth. The wizard chuckles. "Which of your many names would you prefer then, my lady? Filegethiel? Zundushinh? My Queen though you are not mine? Khuzdul Bahinh? Lachwen Erebor?" She is laughing at the end of the list, "These are just sheaths and sheaths around me that I have accumulated over years, but what only matters is what lies in heart, my friend. So what would you say to calling me mellon nin?" My friend in Sindarin seems to please the wizard, and he cordially pats her hand lying on his looped arm. "Your wisdom knows no limit, mellon nin," the voice of the grey wizard turns mischievous for a second, "Which is what no doubt allows you to rule your Kingdom and rule your King." She smiles to him, and then in a gesture very unbecoming the Queen Under the Mountain she shrugs and shakes her curly head. "Perhaps it is all owed to the thick skin I have developed over years." The wizard chuckles and nods in agreement. "Indeed, my friend, that is the most valid of explanations."