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"Run!" Gandalf repeated and we did what we were told. We ran.
This cannot be happening! I just came back! I'm already tired from dragging the backpack- The backpack!
I looked behind while running to see if it was there but luckily it was gone. That meant someone had the brains to take it. When I looked around the company I saw Kili once again carrying my backpack. I have to thank him later!
I should have been more focused on running because I stumbled on a root. I nearly lost my balance but luckily managed to right myself before I could. Not my fault! It's hard to run when you have too big shoes!
Gloin and Dori who were running close to me noticed my difficulty in running.
"Lass! You must be careful or you're going to be left behind again! We don't want that, do we?" Dori said to me.
"I know, I know! It's just not easy like this!" I stated back.
Next thing I know, Gloin once again grabs me and hoists me over his shoulder. It probably is a good idea but I don't like to be carried. It makes me feel like a baby.
"Gloin! What are you? My personal carrier?!" I retorted.
"You're welcome." is all he said and I shut up. I should probably thank him too later...
It's not long until we reach a couple of trees and the Company starts to climb. Gloin runs to one and gives me to Dwalin who is already in the tree and reaches out to me, helping me up. Gloin follows behind.
I thank them both and watch as wargs reach us and scratch the trees either trying to climb up or trying to drop us. Probably both.
This is the first time I see them up close. Not a pretty view. They keep growling at us, making their sharp teeth and claws visible. The beasts could easily tear us apart.
And that's not even all I'm afraid of right now. I can't help but notice how far up we are. I guess I'm now afraid of heights. Great.
I hug the tree tighter and then I see him. A white orc is riding on a big white warg. This orc seems even more terrifying than the other orcs. He looks bigger than the others and has the aura of a leader around him. He sneers and smirks at us, clearly happy to see us trapped here. Cold sweat is tricklind down my back. He scares me!
"It cannot be..." I hear Thorin saying from the tree beside ours. I look at him and see confused and maybe even a little scared expression on his face. That cannot be a good sign.
"Who is that?" I ask from no one particular.
"Azog the Defiler." Balin, who is also in this tree, breathes out. I frown. Isn't he supposed to be dead? Didn't they say Thorin killed him?
I turn to look at Azog again as he looks at us still the same smirk on his hideous (but not that hideous as the other orcs') face. He stops to look at Thorin and smiles. Then he opens his mouth. I have no idea what he is saying but the language is not something you want to hear when trying to fall asleep. It's rough, it's ugly and it makes me want to cover my ears. Terrible.
I take a deep breathe as he seems to be speaking to Thorin. Taking a look at Thorin I see rage on his face. Pure rage and disgust. He looks like he will jump out of that tree and rip Azog to pieces. But that would be a suicide.
Azog points to Thorin and says something. Then the wargs attacked our trees once again except now they did it even more fiercely. I hugged the tree with all my might so I wouldn't fall off. It was pretty difficult.
Just as panic started settling on me, a tree with some of the company started falling on the next tree and then tree where I was. Like a domino effect the trees overthrew themselves. Shouts from everyone filled the air as they tried to hop into the next tree. When my tree (the second last one) started falling, Dwalin grabbed me and together we managed to reach the last tree which was just on the edge of the cliff we were in.
After a moment, fire started to spread on the ground making the wargs back off. It was Gandalf using his staff to light pinecones on fire and then dropping the burning pinecones on the wargs. Brilliant.
More pinecones dropped on the ground and none of the wargs were attacking our tree for the fear of burning alive like some of them already did. Cheers were starting to come out of the company and even I let a tiny smile grace my face when I saw Azog through the fire, looking frustrated. Hah! Take that!
Then I realized something as the forest around us caught on fire. Fire spreads quickly. What stops it from reachings us and burning us alive? We can't go anywhere!
And just then, that last tree we were all in groaned and started to fall down. Cheers were turned into panicked yells and shouts and I closed my eyes. I didn't want to see how this tree would fall down the cliff and into sure death. I just blindly tried to hold on to something.
With a sudden crash the tree stopped moving and I lost my grip on the tree. For a second I felt myself falling and screaming until I felt someone or something grab the back of my shirt behind my neck. My screaming came to a sudden halt and I opened my eyes in reflex. Big mistake.
I was looking down and saw tiny trees, tiny everything. My breath and heartbeat quickened. I felt numb. Numb with silent terror.
Someone grunted above me which seemed to wake me up a bit. I teared my gaze away and looked up. Dwalin was hanging with one hand holding on to the tree's branch and the other one was holding on to my shirt.
"Dwalin!" I breathed out. He looked down at me and grunted out an answer,
"Lass, I'm going to pull you up. Hold on!"
"No! Wait! Don't-"
Dwalin gripped my shirt tighter and with a grunt, heaved me up to the branch so I was now holding on to it like my life depended on it. Which it did.
"God! Dwalin you..." I huffed still pretty terrified. Never again am I complaining how tough and exhausting PE sometimes is again... If I survive this.
Dwalin, with his now both hands free, tried to pull himself up as well but had difficulty in it. My tiny hands were literally shaking. I don't think I would be much help.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone passing me and Dwalin. It was Thorin. He was walking along the tree trunk, his sword Orcrist in his hand as he kept walking closer to Azog.
"What are you doing? Thorin?!" I called after him but he didn't even turn to look back at me and my pathetic state.
"Thorin?" Dwalin shouted as well but it didn't do any help. He cursed and tried to get up even harder.
"It's a suicide!" I said, frustration showing clear on my words. "What the hell is he thinking?!"
Dwalin continued cursing silently as he was still having difficulty in pulling himself up. I gulped and tried to take deep breathes so I could calm myself down enough to help him somehow.
Without looking down I carefully moved closer and with one arm grabbed his arm to try and help him get up. It did little to no help but I still wanted to try.
Too bad I didn't expect that the tree would give another sudden groan and tilt that would make me lose my balance.
A horrified scream left my mouth as I fell forwards. Dwalin tried to grab me but wasn't quick enough. Reflex saved my life as I somehow managed to grab his leg before I could completely fall down. Not unharmed though. Dwalin's axe which was on his back scraped my arm as I fell down.
It hurt a little but I was too focused on trying to hold on for dear life.
"Lass?!" Dwalin inquired, having now stopped his getting up plans. "Are you okay?"
He sighed slightly annoyed and adjusted his grip on our tree branch, making us sway dangerously in the air. "You are the most clumsier person I have ever met!"
"Now's not the time!" I yelled back and gripped his leg even tighter if that was possible.
"How's this even possible?" he muttered while looking down at me. "Can you climb up?"
I just shook my head horrified. He cursed and seemed to be thinking what to do.
Battle noises were coming from the cliff and some of the dwarves could be heard calling Thorin's name. I couldn't see what was happening but it couldn't be anything good by the sound of it.
Even if I didn't particularly adore Thorin, I didn't want anything bad happening to him nor anyone else from the company for that matter.
The tree tilted once again dangerously and I yelped. Obviously the tree is not going to hold long. I have no idea how we're going to survive this.
Looking to my left for the first time I could see a terrible sight. Ori was holding on to Dori who was holding on to Gandalf's staff which Gandalf was holding. For a wizard so old as Gandalf he sure got muscle.
"Bilbo!" some of the company shouted and I frowned. What is happening?
I could feel how the tree swayed as some people were running along the tree trunk.
Dwalin cursed and I nearly got an heart attack as he let go of the branch with his one hand and reached towards me with it.
"Are you crazy?! What are you doing?! You're going to drop us!" I shrieked.
"No, I'm not. Calm yourself down." he grunted. He grabbed the back of my shirt again and attempted to lift me up. However I was so full of fear I couldn't let go of his leg for that to happen.
"Let go!" he insisted.
"Lassie! I'm going to help you not drop you!" he tried to reassure me but I was having none of it.
"I know that!"
"Then for the love of Mahal, let go!"
Our arguing came to a stop when we suddenly heard a different noise than before. When looking for the noise I gasped as I saw a huge bird. Unnaturally huge one. And more were coming this way.
"What in the-" Dwalin started and returned his hand on to the branch. A yell came from my left and to my horror I saw Dori's grip on Gandalf's staff slip and him and Ori falling to their deaths. Except they didn't for one of the birds saved them by swooping down to catch them with its back.
An eagle, I realized. Have the eagles come to save us?
The eagles were in fact catching and collecting the company and then flying off. Dwalin interrupted my thoughts,
"I'm gonna let go now."
The words didn't register in my mind until he had already let go. I screamed bloody murder still having a death grip on his leg.
With a thump we landed on one of the Eagles back. But that didn't calm me one bit. I was practically still in hysterics and Dwalin started to shake me.
"Snap out of it!" he commanded. Slowly I calmed down enough to let go of his leg. I felt terrible.
The wind was strong and I realized we were still high up in the air. I shrieked and buried my face in Dwalin's chest, hugging him. The actual danger was now left behind but for some reason, I felt tears streaming down my face and sobs rising within me.
Was it the post-fear or the young age I now had affecting my mind? I don't know. I just let it all out on the burly and tough dwarf in front of me.
First he stiffened but then slowly relaxed and awkwardly tried to comfort me by patting my back and muttering that everything was okay now. I really appreciated it.
For some time we flew in the sky and I managed to collect myself and even count to my relief that everyone was here. Only Thorin was seemingly badly hurt and he was unconscious.
The wind picked up as the eagles flew downwards finally deciding to drop us off somewhere. I had to cling to Dwalin again to not fall off. Thankfully he didn't say anything. I could already feel the embarrasment rising as I thought of how I clung to him like a monkey, a crying baby one.
He helped me down to the ground I turned to look at him. "Thanks Dwalin. I'm really grateful for everything you did for me. You're practically a hero! Without you I...would more than likely have died." I trailed off awkwardly. I was starting to feel searing pain in my arm but I ignored it for now.
He looked at me and nodded. "You're welcome, lassie."
I gave him a tiny smile and we joined the others who were surrounding Thorin. He was still unconscious and his face was pale and covered in small cuts.
Gandalf knelt down and did some of his mojo things on Thorin. Slowly he opened his eyes and struggled to get up. I was relieved just like the others.
"The Halfling?" Thorin croaked.
"It's alright." Gandalf assured him. "Bilbo is here."
Thorin frowned angrily as he saw the hobbit and walked closer to him. "You! What were you doing? You nearly got yourself killed!"
Bilbo looked confused. What happened back there?
"Did I not say you would be a burden? That you would not survive in the wild? That you had no place amongst us?" Thorin continued and was no standing right in front of him.
Then to my and probably everyone elses surprise too, he said, "I have never been so wrong in all my life." and embraced him.
"I am sorry I doubted you." he continued and stepped back.
"No, I...I would have doubted me too. I'm not a hero, or a warrior. I'm not even a burglar, really." Bilbo said hastily but he was smiling. I couldn't help but smile too. It was over. Azog and the danger is now far behind us.
"Is that what I think it is?" Bilbo asked, and we turned to look at what he was looking.
Before us was wilderness but that wasn't what Bilbo meant. Far in the distance was a single mountain. Ignoring the height, the view was absolutely beautiful.
"Erebor. The Lonely Mountain. The last of the Great Dwarf Kingdomes of Middle-Earth!" Gandalf said, while the rest of us stared in awe.
The pain in my arm seemed to increase now that the adrenaline was gone and I winced. Looking down I saw that my sleeve was red from blood. I looked at it dumbstruck. Maybe I scraped my arm a little more on Dwalin's axe than I originally thought...
"Our home." Thorin breathed out and I looked up at him. He looked more joyful than I have ever seen him in my time in here.
"Look!" Oin said and pointed above them to a bird (normal size this time) that was flying towards the Lonely Mountain. "A raven. The birds are returning to the Mountain!"
"That, my dear Oin, is a thrush." Gandalf quipped, amused.
"We'll take it as a sign." Thorin said. "A good omen."
"You're right." Bilbo said smiling, and continued staring at the Lonely Mountain. "I do believe that the worst is behind us."
Great. Now that he said that, I'm sure the worst is not behind us. Or I have just watched too many movies.
Phew! That took long to write and this is my longest chapter! :D
Reviews are highly appreciated as always! :)
Thank you for reading, hopefully you liked! ;)