So I'm gonna be really working on finishing my other story Burglar Under Hill and then work on my upcoming Tauriel fic, so updates for this might be irregular :( but summer is coming soon so fingers crossed!
Warnings: mentions of prostitution
Dori's father, Diri, had loved two things most in his life: his weaving and his family. Children were precious to dwarves and Diri treated his son as such. He gave him treats, showered him in hugs and kisses, and taught him everything a father should. He was ecstatic when Dori was interested in learning how to weave. He spent painstaking hours teaching his son proper patterns, textures, and all he needed to know. And he loved his wife, to hug her after he returned after long days from the textile mill.
Diri was a gentle soul, not a fighter. He hadn't deserved to die such a violent death for one so peaceful. He had simply been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Dori remembered being just a toddler and seeing his mother burst into tears when the men showed up at the door. They had carried a piece of paper with them and a cart with a white, blood stained blanket. Dori was told that his father died a battle death, shot by an Orc scout crawling by the city walls.
He hadn't understood the importance of his father's death until his mother came home with bags under her eyes, her clothes ripped and her lips swollen, and walking with a limp. She always brushed off his worries. Then he had grown, earning money selling scarves and mittens beneath his talent, and had learned of his mother's occupation. He urged her to quit and eventually they found her a job at a nice local tavern, where she wouldn't be hurt everyday.
For a while they both dreamed of opening up a teashop, something Diri would have enjoyed, and they saved up their money. Then that crook had come, made Cori fall under his spell. She learned too late that he was trouble and by then she was already pregnant. As Nori grew, their savings were slowly growing smaller and smaller. Dori would sigh and put a measly coin from selling a pair of gloves into the jar and would carry on. His mother would separate their taxes, making a dense pile of coins reserved for the bill and a tiny pile of two or three copper for their teashop.
As Nori grew older to a young adult, he worked hard in his studies at home (they could no longer afford a tutor) and would spend the afternoons outside, sometimes not coming back until nightfall. Dori should've suspected something once he saw the money jar slowly, gradually filling up again. Cori hadn't suspected anything; she just praised her eldest son for his hard work, bumping her forehead gently against his. Dori would smile nervously and thank her.
The next night Dori followed Nori. The young dwarfling would slip between dwarves and dwarrowdams in the marketplace, accidentally jostling a few but apologizing quickly. He was gangly, looking older than his age, and already had impressive beard. It had taken Dori a while to grow his trim beard, which was thick and braided. Meanwhile, the silver haired dwarf was doubting himself for following his brother.
You should trust him, a voice told him, you two are close enough, you must have trust in that relationship.
Dori let out a ragged sigh and went to head for home when there was a shout. He turned around to see a furious dark haired dwarf dressed in dark blues with his hand latched onto Nori. He looked terrified, even though the dwarf was even younger than Dori. Dori sprinted towards his brother, forming a barrier between the dwarf and Nori.
"Is there something wrong, sir?" Dori asked politely, though his fists were clenched.
"This dwarf tried to steal from me," he rumbled and punched the bridge of his nose, calming down. "I'd appreciate if he gave me my money back. I spent hours in the forge for that and it's only a small amount of money."
Dori gave Nori a look. The young dwarf began to protest. "But-!"
"Give it back!" Dori hissed and his brother frowned, tossing over the bag of money.
"Thank you," said the dwarf once he caught it. He juggled it a bit and narrowed his light blue eyes. "Could've sworn it was heavier. Ugh. Just get your friend home," he advised Dori with a respectful nod. Then he looked to Nori. "Be careful who you steal from, lad."
"Lad?" Nori mocked and Dori elbowed him roughly to shut him up.
"He means thank you for your kindness," said Dori and he meant it. He could've sworn this dwarf was about to hand his brother's ass to him on a platter.
"Whatever," mumbled Nori and the other dwarf's thin lips twitched upwards.
"Farewell," he said in his deep voice and continued onward, fading into the crowd.
Dori whirled upon Nori, grabbing him by the scruff of his collar and ignoring his protests. He pulled him into an alleyway by a rubbish pile, his green eyes furious and disappointed.
"Nori, he could've killed you!" He whispered roughly. "If it was anyone else you'd have an axe embedded in your skull or you'd be rotting in jail! You couldn't- Nori, you can't do that to the family. You can't do that to amad. It'd break her heart and you know it." He sighed, feeling utterly spent.
"You know what else breaks amad's heart? Being poor as shit," snapped Nori heatedly. He pushed Dori's big hand off his shoulder. "She grows tired from working at the tavern. I know it's better than- than what they say she used to do," his voice softened, then hardened, "But we need to stop living like this! It's not fair to us or amad! She wants a teashop, Dori, and that's the only thing that will make her happy."
"We make her happy," shot back Dori. "She loves us."
"I never said she didn't," replied Nori. "Dori, you know how much she loves the idea of the shop. If I have to steal from a few stuffy lords and ladies then so what? It'll be worth it."
"That wasn't a lord. That was a civilian."
"He was walking slow, he had it coming!"
Dori groaned and resisted punching the stone wall. He'd only hurt his fists. "Nori," he said gently, patiently, "you need to stop this. You're better with me and amad then rotting in some cell."
Nori slouched and sighed. "Give me one reason."
"I'm going to work two jobs," answered Dori and Nori looked horrified. "There's an opening at the tailor's for midnight hours. I'll work in the mill in the day, there at night. I can handle it, so don't argue," he warned when Nori was about to open his mouth. "Please, Nori."
Nori hesitated. "Fine."
"Do you swear?" Dori asked severely and he shrugged.
"Yeah, yeah, now let's head home," Nori said snappishly. "Amad will be back soon."
Dori shook his head disapprovingly at his brother attitude, but followed him back home.