Ori smiles as they begin to see rolling green hills ahead. He has never been to the Shire before. The land of the hobbits. Dori walked next to him with a steady gait seemingly unimpressed with the scenery. They were on their way to the meeting point where the burglar was to be found. He is looking foward to their quest very much though he was still surprised Dori had agreed to his participation. Balin had arrived at their home one evening with word that Thorin Oakenshield was calling to join him on the quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain. His brother had remained silent a long while before letting out a great rumbling cheer. Another smile came to his face recalling the moment. He hadn't seen Dori so happy in a long while. Since before the last time they had seen their other brother, Nori.
Ori had felt adament that he would not be left behind. He wanted more than anything to aid in this quest. To help reclaim their homeland. He was prepared to make his case to Dori, but found it not needed. Dori had grabbed his shoulders in his cheerfulness and proclaimed what a great quest they were to be a part of, and Ori would document it all. The company's scribe. It wasn't exactly what he had in mind, but it would do. From Balin's demeanor, he had gathered there were not many in the company. He would likely have to prove himself a fighter as well as a scribe. He was ready!
He wondered who else was to join the company. He knew they were all meeting in the burglar's home this evening and wondered how and where the others were travelling from. So far they had not met anyone upon the road. He knew that Fili and Kili had set out a forenight before they had. They should surely have made it here long before.
"Oy there" Dori suddenly shouts jarring Ori from his thoughts. Looking ahead he sees two dwarves, Masters Oin and Gloin, up ahead on the path standing before a fork in the road. Gloin looks back in surprise at Dori's shout.
"Dori, Ori. Hello there. Well met this evening." says Gloin.
Oin looks up at Gloin from the map he had been studying, "What was that laddy"?
Gloin turns back to his brother, "Dori and Ori there" he says pointing at us.
"No. We just came from that way, it's this path or that path." He answers pointing at the two paths they had clearly been trying to decide between. Gloin huffs in exasperation at his brother. Oin looks up at us suddenly seeing us approach. "Dori, Ori." he says brightly. "Gloin, take a look, did you not see these two just behind us?"
Ori stiffles a laugh at the look on Gloin's face before he and Dori greet them both with handshakes. "Have you met any of the others besides us yet?" asks Dori.
"Nay, none. Do ye know which path it is to take?" asks Oin. Ori takes a look at the surroundings, the road sign and glances at Oin's map while Dori joins in the bickering.
"Ahem," Ori coughs trying to get their attention. They pay him no heed so he begins moving down the path to the left.
"Oy, Ori has it." Dori proclaims loudly beginning to follow. Dori always noticed where Ori went so it came as no surprise when they began to follow him down the correct path. "Excellent with maps Ori is. He'll be scribing the entire quest." He heard Dori brag to the two brothers.
As they walked, Dori and Gloin were to be heard discussing the trade values of the land around them. The Shire had vast potential. The land here was bountiful and very green. As they approached Hobbiton, they began to check all the hobbit doors they passed. The first one they had seen had been quite a surprise to all of them never having seen a round door before. Ori had immediately wanted to stop and sketch it, but they certainly did not have time for that sort of thing. It was already dark out and the smells of supper coming from the hobbit homes only made their desire to reach their destination the stronger for the wizard had promised food to be had.
They had checked seven doors so far with no luck. It was getting quite dark now and the lights shone brightly through the hobbit hole windows and in the occasional lamps along the path. Just as Gloin moved to open the gate before another hobbit hole, a figure approached them from it.
"Nay, it's not this one either. Let's keep goin'." said the figure. They all stared in silence as the figure joined them as though he was with them all along. "Well, come... oh" The figure looked up and they saw it was Bofur. He gave them a wide smile and tipped his hand to his fur hat. "Your not my brother Bombur at all." he said chuckling. "Bifur, why'd you not tell me you found these four?" he then asked looking around them.
Dori, Ori and Gloin jumped around in surprise as Bifur gruffly answered his cousin in their ancient language. "How long were you standing there Bifur?" asks Dori in indignation. Ori can plainly see Dori is indignant only at himself for not noticing Bifur in their group.
Bifur squints hard at Dori before answering curtly with a gesture.
"What? You could not have, we would have heard ye!" Dori exclaims for Bifur had apparently been walking with them since two hobbit holes back.
Bifur laughs and shrugs in response, to which Oin and Bofur merrily join in. Ori has never known Bifur or Bofur well, but he can see already they will bring a certain entertainment along with them.
"Well, let's keep going then shall we?" says Bofur indicating the path and the next hobbit hole. Amid a lot of grumbling, the group of dwarves move on. Another figure soon is to be seen coming towards them on the path but there is no question who this might be. The round silhouette clearly shows who it is, and Ori is proven correct as Bombur comes closer. "Brother, did ye find it?" asks Bofur.
"Aye," says Bombur. He points up the hill behind him "It's at the top of that hill there under that great tree. I..." he was then interrupted by the sudden din of the group. They all seemed to speak at once.
"That's great Bombur!" "Speak up.." "I knew it." "Ye sure it was the mark? Did ye see anyone else about?"
"Ye..." Bombur tries to get out who he had met on the path and took him to the door but was interrupted too quickly again.
"Why are we still standing here? Let's go." "Right, of course" Bofur grabbed Bombur's shoulders and turned him about to lead the way pushing him up the path. Bombur puffed out a sigh. At least they would get to eat soon he thought.
The dwarves continued loudly as the went talking excitedly of their impending quest and most important at the moment; supper. As they begin to climb the hill Bombur had pointed out, Bofur suddenly asks "Oh, Dori, Ori, where is your brother Nori? I thought he'd be with you."
Ori gulped and looked down at the path almost wishing that had not been voiced. He chanced a glance at Dori and his fears were confirmed. It was if a dark shadow had coiled over him, his face as stone. "We would not know Bofur. What would that dwarf have to do with us?"
"Eh?" Bofur's eyebrows near shot up into his hat in surprise. Oin and Gloin exchanged a meaningful glance after taking in Dori's disposition. They all knew that the three brothers had been quite close if not in actual years. Dori had doted not only on Ori but Nori as well. Such a comment was quite a surprise. "What do you mean Dori?"
Dori increased his pace stomping and practically huffing. Ori on the other hand felt his feet get slower and ended up at the back of the group with Bifur. Bifur patted his shoulder in support and Ori smiled at him in appreciation. Ori hoped Dori's mood would end quickly. They were about to start a grand quest.
Dori grumbled very loudly as he marched. They could clearly hear some punctuated words; 'little no good...' 'after all I've done for...' 'indeed...'. Not wanting to chance Dori, Gloin turned to look back at Ori. "Lad, what is this about?" he asked in bewilderment.
Ori glanced up at Dori again but there was no change so he sighed. "We haven't seen Nori in a long time. He left suddenly one night and have heard naught from him, or of him. It's like he just vanished, but his things were gone with him." A portion of the gold Dori had saved and a good deal of food had also vanished but he didn't want to say that part. They moved through the little gate and up to the round green door. Just before Dori made it to the door he suddenly swings around to face them again.
"And good riddance too!" Dori shouted pointing at them all. "Little ungrateful, sneak thief he is! He would have none to do with a quest like this one besides. I care not where Nori is!" he proclaimed.
Another voice then came to them from next to the path just behind them. "Urgh, Big brother, how you do injure me!" says the mocking voice. They are all shocked to silence as Nori steps out on to the path smirking at Dori through the group.
"Nori!" exclaims Ori bounding up to him. Nori takes his eyes away from Dori and smiles widely at Ori putting an arm around his shoulder.
"Ori! So Dori was convinced to let you come then. I'm glad. Another fighter to the ranks hey." Nori says cheerfully.
"You!" Dori suddenly thunders marching towards Nori. The other dwarves part fast to the sides knowing better than to stand in Dori's path. Bombur still smiled to himself. It had been Nori he had met on the path earlier so he had known he was waiting here. What odd fate had made his brother Bofur ask after Nori in that particular moment he'll never know.
"What do you have to say for yourself!?" Dori shouts at Nori as he approaches. "What are you doing here?" Loosening his hold on Ori, Nori takes a step closer to Dori smiling.
"What this? Are you not happy to see me big brother?" Nori asks innocently.
"Don't Big Brother me!" Dori says commandlingly.
Nori puts up his hands, "Hold, hold Dori." The two stare at each other for a long while whist Ori looks on in worry. Ori was so surprised and happy to see Nori. It had occured to him to wonder if Nori would have joined them on this quest. It did not seem like something Nori would want, but before he had taken off, he had joined Dori and him wherever they had been, whatever they had been doing. Of course he would have come. Had Nori heard they were joining and come? Or had Nori come not knowing they would also he wondered. Knowing Nori, he may never find out the answer to that. Dori and Nori seem to be having a silent conversation by the look of them with a lot of gestures and movements, but Ori never could follow it before and didn't try now. The other dwarves are soon to be heard muttering to each other. He hears Gloin ask if they should go ahead then and ring the bell.
Dori suddenly gives a loud exclamation in exasperation throwing his hands up. "Fine! But Nori..." he leans in to Nori so that only he can hear. Clearly there is some threat involved. When he leans away again glaring, Nori smiles widely "Understood Big Brother."
Gloin rolls his eyes, "Can we proceed now then?".
"Of course!" Dori exclaims, "Whatever were you waiting for?"
Gloin just raises an eyebrow at him whilst the others chuckle. "Well then", says Bofur grabbing the pull on the bell next the door. They hear a loud chime and wait.
They are all standing close to the door waiting for it to open and Ori is smiling widely. They are back together again! Nori is coming too and Dori has forgiven him. His wide smile dampens a bit when he realizes he'll once again have two big brothers curbing his every move, but perhaps Nori can finally convice Dori to let him fight. Both his brothers are standing close to him and Ori feels the urge to hug them both. Smiling happily, Ori grabs both Dori and Nori, but miscalculated and the group of them fall into the other dwarves. There's a general shout as the lot of them fall into the door. The bell made a large clang as it was pulled off the wall by Bofur who was now squished into the door.
Ori could hardly care about the ruckus he had caused, Gloin especially complaining. He had his whole family with him and they were going on an adventure. Bombur was trying to help pull them up when the door was finally flung open wide and the lot of the fell onto the hobbit's doorstep.
Behind all the dwarves, Gandalf peers at the group of dwarves now in a heap on the doorstep and felt pleased. He had come upon then just a moment ago to witness the end of the happy reunion. Leaning down he peered into the hobbit hole. There was Bilbo and he smiled at him in greeting. "Gandalf." Bilbo exclaims non too happily.