I really should be working on my final paper for my English class. However, writing about different burial rituals of different cultures is putting me into a sad mood. So to cheer up myself, and all of you who have red or reviewed A Tale to Tell, here is the first chapter of the companion story.
In this first chapter we will see that the celebration of Frerin and Durin's first birthday.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Hobbit or its characters.
The dwarf kingdom of Erebor is abuzz with excitement. Its inhabitants are all excited about the celebration that will be taking place this evening. For today is the celebration of the royal twin's First Birthday. As a custom of old, the first birthday of any royal child is treated like a holiday. With presents given to the royal child from anyone who wishes the child well, which in this case nearly every inhabitant of Erebor will be sending gifts and well wishes.
In preparation for the big celebration, the large main dining hall is being decorated by the none other than the queen.
"Where would you like this banner to go, my lady?" Skuld asks holding one of the many royal banners that will be placed in the hall.
Inara, the queen of Erebor, looks up from her place at the head table. Her dark brown hair hangs loose, except for the two braids that her husband had placed in her hair over a year ago. She is wearing a dress made of blue silk, with a silver bodice that is low cut in the bust. If someone from her world saw what she was wearing they would think she is from the 1770s. In the queens arms she hold one of the birthday boys, Durin. His twin brother, Frerin, is with his father at a council meeting.
"Anywhere will do, Skuld." Inara replies before reaching for another cram for Durin to chew on. Both of the twins have been teething like crazy, and Durin has two teeth more than Frerin. Durin takes the cram from his mother, and begins to chew on it like a possessed dwarfling.
Tauriel comes out of the shadows from the left side of the hall. Her presence in Erebor is tolerated only because the queen has placed the she-elf as head of the queen's royal guard.
"How did training the new recruits go?" Inara asks Tauriel.
"It went well. Though I am not sure why you only wish to have six guards." Tauriel says to Inara before the little boy in the queens' lap looks at the elf. Tauriel gives the boy a smile, and the lad is quick to give one back.
"You know why I asked you to take the position, and why I am having you train the recruits." Inara gives Tauriel a knowing grin. All of it is a cover of sorts. Kili had petitioned Thorin into allowing Tauriel to live in Erebor, but he refused it. So, Inara devised a plan to have Tauriel as a personal guard. So after not allowing Thorin to touch her for almost two months when he refused her idea, Inara decided to have her own royal guards. Thorin readily agreed to it since Inara made it clear that she would force him to sleep in the spare bedroom, and not have intimate things if he didn't.
"I am happy to be here, but I feel like my talent is being wasted." Tauriel says with a kind of sadness to her voice.
"Well you can help us decorate." Dis tells the elf as she sets down another crate with more banners in it. Dis pulls out a large, embroidered banner that shows the royal line of Erebor. "I have added my sons and you with your children."
Both Tauriel and Inara look at the magnificent looking banner. Thorin's name now has a short line next to his name and Inara's name sits on the other side of the line. Another line comes down from the horizontal line, and branches out to show Aliena, Frerin, and Durin's names under their parents.
"It is beautiful, Dis. Please hang it where ever you wish." Inara tells Dis.
Dis takes the banner, and looks at Tauriel. "I am going to need your height to be able to get this where I would like to put it."
"I would be honored." Tauriel tells Dis, and the two ladies go behind the head table to hang in directly behind the royal family's table.
In another part of the mountain a certain pair of brothers are making their way back from the training grounds. Both of the brothers have sweat covered shirts, and in the arms of the oldest is the king and queens other son.
"I can't wait to see how Inara and mother have decorated the halls. I wonder what kind of food will be served." Kili says to his older brother as he looks at a sleeping Frerin.
"I am sure it will be a great party, Kili." Fili says quietly so that he doesn't wake the child in his arms.
"I wonder if Tauriel is with them. She is grateful that Inara has given her a place here in Erebor. Especially after Thorin's first rejection of the idea."
"That is because Inara knows that you and Tauriel have feelings for each other. She didn't want to see our family ripped apart if Tauriel was sent away. You would have followed after her if she was."
Kili's face turns a little red with embarrassment at being found out. Yes, he loved Tauriel and he is hoping to eventually gain Dis and Thorin's permission to court her. However, he fears that Tauriel will say no to him.
The brothers keep heading towards the King's family halls to get cleaned up.
Down in the large main kitchen of Erebor, two brothers and a cousin are helping a little girl bake a cake.
"What do we add in next?" Aliena asks the round red-headed dwarf.
"Patience little lass, or your cake will not turn out right." Bombur says with a knowing smile. He places some milk and eggs next to a bowl that already has flour, baking soda, and baking powder in it.
"You know the lass has no patience. Just like her papa, that one is." Bofur says from his chair at the table. He and Bifur are carving a set of blocks with Khuzdul letters on each block. These will be their gifts to the little princes.
Bombur measures out the milk and allows Aliena to pour it into the bowl. He then cracks the eggs before adding them as well. Helping Aliena to hold the spoon, the two of them stir the ingredients together.
In the council room, Thorin sits and listens to a few of the council members argue about Fili needing to settle down. He glances over to Balin, who can only give Thorin a look. This has been one of the things that Thorin has been trying to put off since he and Inara were crowned.
"Perhaps this matter can wait till another time." Balin says to the council.
"I agree." Thorin says as he rises up from his seat. "We will discuss this at a different time. Now, if you will excuse me. I have my son's first birthday celebration to attend." Thorin walks away from the council members, and leaves the council room.
Dwalin was waiting for Thorin outside the door. "That took a while. They still want Fili to choose a dwarf bride?"
"That they do." Thorin answers Dwalin. "I will not subject Fili to an arranged marriage to please the council. I was able to find my One, and I would not keep Fili from finding his."
The two dwarves begin to walk down the hallway, and are soon joined by Balin.
"They aren't happy with how lightly you are treating this issue, Thorin." Balin says to the king.
"They are never happy unless they are meddling with other people's lives." Dwalin says to his brother.
"I agree, but you know that something dark is coming brother. Everyone can sense it, even our queen is worried."
"Balin, you know that the people of Erebor love and respect their queen." Thorin says. "Most would sacrifice themselves before seeing any harm befall upon her."
"I know this, Thorin. But Inara has always sensed the darkness. More and more she is feeling its power grow. Even Gandalf is sensing it now." Balin replies to Thorin.
"We will talk of this another day, Balin. For today I just want to spend time with my family." Thorin says as he hurries his way home to change before the party.
Thorin runs into his nephews and Frerin in the King's family halls.
"Running late as well?" the king asks his nephews as he passes them on the staircase.
"Kind of, uncle. Should we get little Frerin ready as well?" Fili asks from at the top of the stairs.
"No I will get him ready. It is a good thing Inara took Durin with her today. Mahal knows that she will have him already dressed up." Thorin says as he reaches for his son.
Frerin gives a babble of delight at seeing his father, and is trying to wiggle his way out of his uncle's arm in an attempt to reach his father.
"Easy there, little warrior. I don't need to be dropping you down the stairs." Fili says struggling to keep the little boy from falling.
"It wouldn't be the first time he fell down." Thorin says as he takes his son in his arms. "Just last week I caught the lad climbing out of his crib. He fell of course, but no serious harm was done." Thorin places a kiss on his sons head, and Frerin takes the chance to head butt his father's chin. However, Thorin backed his head away just in time to miss being hit.
"Violent little guy isn't he?" Kili says as he comes out of the hallway that leads down to the apartment that he is still carving out as his own.
Fili decided a while ago that he would take Thrain's old family apartment, and would make changes to it. Whereas Kili was carving out his own apartment in the hallway that Fili would be living in. Thorin had given Dis their grandfather's old family apartment, which she was now having re-carved to fit her own taste. The king had decided that he wanted to carve out his family's apartment with help from some of the company. He didn't want to be reminded of the past, and Inara's ideas on how it should look were used in the construction.
"Only after he has seen a sparring match." Thorin answered. "You two should be on your way down to the celebration."
"Would you like us to wait for you?" Kili asks as Fili walks down the stairs.
"We will be down there momentarily." Thorin replies before heading towards his family's apartment.
Thorin enters the apartment, and walks into his bedroom. He finds that Inara has laid out his clothes and Frerin's clothes for the celebration on the bed. For Thorin, Inara had set out a black tunic with a dark blue over shirt trimmed with his emblem, in silver, around the edges. Black pants had been laid out next to the shirts. For Frerin, there is a similar outfit that is almost a true match of his father's outfit.
"Your amad thinks of everything." Thorin whispers to his son, and the boy babbles in reply. "Best we should be getting ready then."
Dwarves are starting to enter the main dining hall when Thorin arrives with Frerin in his arms. Inara sees them arrive, and waves them over to where she is sitting at the head table. Durin is fast asleep in her arms, but Thorin can see that the boy's outfit matches Frerin's.
"Someone is tired." Thorin says to his queen as he moves to sit down in his chair at the table.
"He has been helping with the decorations. Or should I say, trying to crawl away with them." Inara chuckles to her husband. "Hello my little boy." She says to Frerin who is happily babbling away in his father's arms.
Most of the dwarves who have arrived are placing the gifts for the small princes onto a table that sits off to the left side of the hall, by the royal entrance door. More dwarves make their way in, as others find themselves seats at the many tables that have been placed in the hall.
Fili steps forward from the table, to address the multitudes.
"The royal house of Erebor would like to welcome you all to the first birthday celebration of the princes Frerin and Durin." Fili says as he projects his voice so that it echoes across the hall.
Thorin stands up with Frerin in his arms, and shouts. "Let the feast begin."
The kitchen dwarves and a few servants bring in platter after platter of food into the hall. Along with several kegs of ale and wine. The feast goes off without a hitch, and after several hours of celebration the royal family takes their leave.
Once back in the royal family halls, Thorin and his family and friends have their own gift opening for the boys. By this time, Durin is wide awake and crawling all over the floor of the living area of the main family area. Frerin is not too far away from Durin, but is more comfortable with pulling himself up using the furniture.
"This here is for the lads from the three of us." Bofur says as he hands a medium sized box to Inara.
The queen opens the box and sees that there are building blocks with letters on them. "It is a perfect gift. Thank you Bofur, Bifur, and Bombur."
She dumps the blocks onto the floor and soon the two boys have crawled their way to their new toys.
"This is from me, for when they are a little older." Dwalin says as he hands the presents to Thorin. A set of wooden swords appear once Thorin pulls away the fabric that was wrapped around them.
"Thank you." Thorin says with a grin on his face.
"Already planning to start combat training?" Inara asks Dwalin with a knowing smirk on her face. He was already training Aliena in using short daggers.
"Of course. They will be fine warriors when they are old enough. Maybe even beat their two cousins in a sparring match." Dwalin says with a teasing tone.
"Hey!" both Fili and Kili say in response to Dwalin's teasing.
"Here a gift from me and Ori." Balin says as he hands a small box to Inara.
Inside the box are a few books with children's stories that have been translated from Khuzdul into Westron.
"Thank you, so much." Inara says to both Balin and Ori.
"Ours next." Gloin says and receives a thump on the chest from his wife Skuld.
Thorin opens up the gift and sees some nicely crafted bracelets and bracers. "Thank you, both."
"Oin was the one who thought of them. All Gloin wanted to do was add more gold to the princes bank accounts." Skuld says as her husband gives her a look.
"Please tell Oin our thanks." Inara says and both give a small bow.
Aliena steps forwards from her place. "My present to them is on the table." She says softly. "I didn't know what to get them, so Bombur helped me bake a cake."
"I am sure it is a fine cake." Thorin says to her, and pulls her close to give her a hug.
"It will taste wonderful, Aliena." Inara says as he too pulls the girl into a hug.
The gift giving continues with Dori and Nori giving the princes their own traveling cloaks. Dis gives them some clothes that she and her ladies have been putting together for the boys. Fili gives the boys each a ball that he purchased the last time he was in Dale. Kili and Tauriel had made little practice dummies for when the young princes are old enough to practice their battle skills.
After eating some of the delicious cake that Aliena had made, everyone was soon saying goodnight and heading off to bed.
There is the first of many chapters to come for this companion piece. I hope you all enjoy it.
The next chapter: Kili does something rather drastic. Fili tries his hand at courting. While Thorin loses his sons while watching them.