AN: I don't own any of the hobbit characters I am just taking them out of Tolkien's toy box and playing with them.

When will my reflection show who I really am?

Nori slid to the floor, his back pressed against the wall of his cell. He stared unseeing through the bars. He had been caught again and this time the guards had not been gentle. He could feel the blood drying along his top lip and the tenderness around his eyes told him it was already bruised. He curled fingers into his dishevelled hair even as he folded in on himself.

It was weeks later when he finally escaped and re-appropriated his belongings. He didn't stop running until he reached the safe house he'd created in a small cave in the multitude of long unused tunnels of the Blue Mountains. He flinched at the sound of a rat scratching in the corner and in doing so caught his reflection in his only concession to vanity. He froze as he met the green eyes of the stranger staring him back. Long moments of silence filled the cave until he snapped and flung one of his daggers at the mirror. Once again he crumpled to the floor eyes falling shut in a silent prayer.

%

The next time he saw his reflection was while he was on a job in the south. The group of mercenaries he was travelling with had stopped just outside of the City of Corsairs. Curling his nose at their offers of aid, mainly because he didn't trust any of them not to try and slit his throat, he set about changing his appearance to better blend in. Wincing he spread the brackish gunk over his body and watched in fascination as the pale slightly freckled skin darkened into an almost mahogany colour. Allowing it to do its work he unbraided his hair and allowed himself one sigh at the auburn colour before rubbing it with a mixture of indigo and henna. The smells made him sneeze slightly, but they were soon covered as he wrapped the stolen clothes around his person and replaced with the foreign smells of incense.

In the confusion that followed their heist (and the murder he had not signed up for) he took a wrong turn trying to escape the palace guards. He stumbled through an elegantly gilded door and froze as he caught sight of a grubby, dark haired page staring back at him. It wasn't until he saw the pale tracks cut into the dark cheeks that he realised he was staring into a mirror. He closed his eyes, even as he heard the sound of booted feet running up the corridor he had just fled from. Soft hands on his face had him straining to reach his daggers, but as he stared into the sad brown eyes in front of him he sagged.

%

The young princess had helped him escape that time, but several years Nori didn't doubt that his look would run out one day. He tugged slightly at his borrowed finery, grumbling quietly as the highly embroidered collars itched his skin. The slight jingle of the filigree metal in his hair was driving him mad and the paints of his face were burning slightly. He affected a giggly air as a passing male paid him a fulsome compliment and twisted his lip once he was free. He hoped the lady Dis had no more jobs like this for him. This was no small form of torture. He bowed stiffly to an elderly couple, even as his eyes locked on the prize. He understood what he was expected to do and his skin crawled.

Her ladyship's plan had worked and Nori found himself being whirled around the vaulted ballroom by a dwarf who would normally be calling for his head. He swallowed back a laugh and forced another delicate bow as he was led from the dance floor. It was during this plan that Nori saw his reflection for the first time since Corsairs. His sharp eyes caught sight of his reflection as another partner claimed his attention. He froze, unable to tear his eyes away from the mirror. He looked hideous. Allowing himself a moment weakness Nori broke from his partner and swirled through the door that was reserved for ladies use only. Checking it was empty he braced his head against the cool marble behind him. His reflection still didn't show who he truly was.

%

He avoided reflective surfaces after that and so it was twenty years until he next caught his reflection. Screaming from outside the inn he was residing in had dragged him into the street daggers already in hand and an alcohol sweat on his skin. He had pulled one of the human males away from the now unmoving form of a young lass and was tearing into the other two when the rest of the patrons caught up. He let the humans deal with their kin and crouched by the young girl. His cry for aid was answered promptly and he was pushed from her side.

As he watched the two humans carry the wee thing back to her home Nori caught his reflection in the bronzed platter hanging above the bar of the tavern. He cursed whom ever had left the door open even as he was shaking his head at the sight staring back at him. His skin looked waxy, hair lank and unkempt and there were dark circles under his eyes. Revulsion flowed through him. He was starting to think that his reflection would never be true.

%

Many years later he answered the call of Thorin Oakenshield to reclaim the Kingdom of Erebor. He had swaggered up to the chosen burglar's home and blagged his ways through the beginnings of the night. With practiced eyes he had avoided catching sight of himself in the polished surfaces of the hobbit's home. He had laughed the loudest and sung merry ditties with his kin. Later when the dwarves had been shown to bedrooms and had fallen to sleep he searched out their host. There was something about the shorter male that had caught at his attention and he wanted to make sure he was alright.

It was in the starlight room, a head resting on his chest that Nori caught sight of his reflection. He swallowed hard when the image didn't make him recoil. He brushed a light hand over the hobbit's head of curls. Who would have thought it would take so long for his reflection to show who he was. Long fingers found the flower tucked behind his ear and he chuckled. Who would have thought that it took a hobbit to see all of him.