I finally thought of another chapter for this- I've made it a two shot, so this is the last chapter!
I hope you enjoy!
Fili lay on his bedroll, listening to the others sleep soundly- only he could not sleep, no matter how hard he tried. Rolling over to one side, he could see Bilbo lying with his back to him, all hunched up under his blanket- he wondered if the Hobbit was truly asleep. Sighing gently, his eyes moved upwards; the sky was peppered with twinkling stars, though the moon was hiding in a clump of cloud that was moving slowly away as dawn crept up on them.
A sudden snore beside him caught him off guard- he looked sharply round to see Kili muttering in his sleep before he turned away, his back to him as well. Sometimes Fili just felt so alone in the world, despite the kin he had been blessed with. The others in the group were snoring and moaning, and Fili knew he could get no peace here tonight.
Sighing again, he knelt on his bedroll, stretching and ruffling the hair on his head. He eyed the Wizard, sat with his back against a rock; with a start he saw his eyes were wide open.
Quizzically, he stood, frowning slightly; he moved toward the Wizard, careful to be out of eye range. Once he was closer he put out a hand, waving it in front of Gandalf's face…he did not stir. Shaking his head with a smile on his face, Fili looked back at the sleeping company, wondering what to do with himself till morn came.
His eyes fell back on the Hobbit, and the conversation that they had shared in the wood came back to him- just what power did that little golden ring have, to turn the normally quiet and reserved burglar into the jealous and quick- to –anger Hobbit he had seen? He stepped forwards, his mind battling on what to do- did he leave his curiosity till morning, to ask him properly? He may not have the time, or the place to ask him without the others hearing, though- and he was curious.
He would only take a moment to check the ring properly- the Hobbit might be in a secret danger; he might need help, only he was too stubborn to ask for it. He had to make sure the Hobbit was ok…they were friends, after all.
Stepping forwards, as silent as the wind, he walked up to Bilbo- he could now see he was sleeping; his eyes were closed and his mouth open slightly, little snores coming whenever he breathed in.
He knelt, being careful not to make a sound- he gently lifted the blanket to expose the pocket with the ring in it, but he now had a new problem; Bilbo's hand was in the pocket, presumably latched onto the ring itself.
Unperturbed, Fili sat back, thinking…very carefully he took a blade of grass from beside him, and, sitting on his haunches (ready to dash away if Bilbo were to wake), he gently started to tickle the Hobbit's nose with it. After a couple of tickles Bilbo began to sniff, his eyebrows knitting together as he snuffled. A few more and Fili got what he wanted; Bilbo took his now empty hand out of his pocket and used it to rub at his nose, by which time Fili had carefully removed the ring from his pocket and had withdrawn to his bedroll once more.
He looked across at Kili, watching closely to see if he was going to wake up- but his brother was sleeping soundly, deeply; he wasn't known for waking in the middle of the night, anyway.
He looked down at the ring, glinting in the startlight- he held it up to the dying embers of their fire, just looking to see if there was anything different, anything to say that this ring was different to any of the others Fili had seen in his life. Nothing. Nothing different, nothing special, nothing that could make Bilbo as angry as he had, in Fili's opinion.
As he lifted the ring to his finger, however, something made him stop- the way Bilbo had reacted when he asked him if he could put it on came back to him vividly. Bilbo may be a stubborn Hobbit, but he wasn't a foolish or silly one; the fear and anger in his eyes had been real.
He hesitated, could feel his hand shaking slightly- he had taken the risk to get this ring, against every grain in his being; was he really going to put it back without trying it on?
Taking a deep breath, for reasons that still confused him, he put the ring on his finger. As soon as he did, something inside him seemed to….change. The world around him rushed around in a mix of colour and sound; eyes wide, he tried to call out, but he could make no sound. It was if a storm had started, a storm he could not get to cover from- he stood, fighting feelings to rip the ring from his finger. He stumbled forwards, accidently kicking the metal bowl he used at mealtimes.
He stiffened as he looked across at his brother. Kili snuffled, opening bleary eyes- he looked over at the bowl, shrugged to himself, and laid back down, falling asleep again. Frowning, Fili looked directly down, at the bowl he had kicked; how had Kili not seen him?
He looked down at the ring on his finger- was this one of the fabled magic rings Thorin had told them about as children? He thought that they had all been lost through the years…how had Bilbo come across one?
The world continued to whirl and spin around him, like a watercolour that had been doused with water and rubbed with a cloth; he was sure he was no longer on the physical plain, but another darker, sinister one- the colours of the forests deepened, the blackness nearly overpowering as he looked at them. He suddenly felt fear; a deep, resonating fear he had never really felt before- he felt he was trespassing on something evil, nefarious…. He knew he should not linger in this malevolent knew world he had stumbled upon. Shadows seemed to be in every corner, behind every rock; darkness started enveloping him- with a scared cry he ripped the ring from his finger, feeling as if he had regressed in age as he felt himself root back into normality- the sound of the dying fire filled his ears, as did the familiar snores and moans of his kin.
He breathed out, the ring safe in his fisted palm- he looked across at Bilbo; at least he had not woken. He felt he had not slept in days, and he had run a thousand miles on top of that.
He opened his palm and looked down- whatever power the ring had, it seemed to him as if it were growing.
Frowning, he once again looked to Bilbo, wondering why the Hobbit was keeping it so secret- had he told the Wizard? Had he told anyone?
He came to the realisation that he could not mention that this had happened to anyone- otherwise Bilbo would know he had stolen the ring from him; their trust and friendship would be gone, and Fili wasn't about to let that happen. If Bilbo needed help, needed advice, he would offer it.
He slowly walked back to Bilbo, feeling his legs shake as he did so- he knelt and gently pulled the cover back again, slipping the ring as gently as he could into his pocket….only not gently enough- Bilbo's eyes snapped open, and he recoiled, eyes confused. 'What are you doing?' he muttered, though he stifled a yawn. Thinking fast, Fili brought his bowl that he had kicked close to the Hobbit, and when he had opened he eyes again he held it up, smiling. 'Sorry, didn't mean to wake you- I fancied some water but I kicked my bowl instead of picking it up!' he grinned, shaking his head.
'Oh, ok…' Bilbo replied, shrugging. He rootled round beside him, before picking up his own bowl. 'I don't suppose you can get me some, too?' he asked, smiling tiredly. 'Got a dry throat.'
'Of course, I'll be right back!' Fili replied, standing up with both bowls in hand. As he walked away he looked back to see Bilbo patting his pocket, his face relaxing as he felt the ring.
As he filled up their bowls with the fresh water next to the fire, he hoped Bilbo would come to his senses soon, would see how much trouble that ring was- before it was too late.
Thank you for reading, I hope you liked it!