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"This is all you do? All day?" Kili demanded painfully. They had been sat in this room for the past 3 hours and his bum hurt.
"Yes, Kili," Katarina responded bent over a missive from Princess Dis. "Being a monarch may seem all fun and games but people tend to forget the paperwork that accompanies it."
"This one is done," Fili stated handing over a piece of parchment. "You'll probably want to look it over and assure yourself that it is to your liking."
"Thank you." The woman stated, taking the parchment and glancing at it. It was well written, expertly done. To be honest she wouldn't be able to tell the difference between this and missives sent to her from the other royals of various settlement. Sighing, she set aside the papers in front of her glancing at the two young dwarfs. Though Kili complained he was working his way through his own pile slowly, leaning over to his elder brother for help every now and then. Fili looked very much like Thorin in this moment. "Fili?"
"Hmmm?" The blonde prince asked his eyes never leaving the paper in front of him, a small frown on his face.
"Do you want to be King?"
The two princes looked up quickly, staring at Katarina with opened mouths. "What?"
"Do you want to be King. You are Thorin's heir." Katarina continued her eyes focused on the Durin blue of FIlis. "You've been raised to be his heir."
A sad smile graced his features. "Ah. Kitty-Cat, we love you and if you provide Uncle with an heir that child would be the next king. At first, I was relieved of the pressure that would be one me, then perhaps a bit sad at the situation. But I've come to terms with it. "
"I know." Katarina frowned. "That isn't fair, you were raised for this. Just because your Uncle found me doesn't mean that suddenly you don't deserve to be King. You are doing an excellent job of it now."
"I—" Ducking his head, Fili blushed lightly. "Thank you, but your children would be the rightful heirs."
"Why though? You and Kili are just as related to Thror and Thrain that my children will be." She continued passionately. There was no real working monarch from her world and Katarina found herself realizing why lineages sometimes had an issue. If Fili had been more obstinate a fight may have occurred.
"Kitty-Cat, you had seven brothers and eight nephews. I don't think the odds of you having girls are very high. Kili and I knew this, we are fine with it. True we were raised as Uncle's heirs but we aren't ready to be Kings." The crown prince promised, his hands reaching for his Aunt's gently.
Shaking her head the woman continued. "You won't be King for a while yet anyway, Thorin has many years left in him and you have only recently come of age. Of course you feel unprepared right now but eventually, you will be."
"So, do we have two weeks with you starting now? Or since you missed the first three days so we only have eleven days left of punishment." Fili stated slyly, veering the topic away.
Blushing, Katarina coughed into her hand. "Shut up you two. I couldn't have left even if I tried. Thorin wouldn't-"
"Nope! No, no nonononononononno!" Kili exclaimed covering his ears, his face slightly green. "We are not having this discussion!"
Laughing happily, Katarina allowed the duo to go back to their paperwork. They would break for lunch and then she would find Balin and have lessons on politics and then a brief meeting with King Bard. Thorin continued to deal mostly with the other dwarven settlements, she spent most time ensuring that Erebor ran smoothly and that they didn't go to work with the elves and men. "And your punishment will be over when your mother arrives. But I will be telling her what you've done and she may decide to extend your punishment."
The boys perked up happily before paling dramatically at her last statement. Groaning they continued their work, muttering about their mother and Aunt in cohorts.
"I was thinking," Katarina said wrapped up in Thorin's arms for the night. The large dwarf hummed from behind her, his eyes half closed. "About the issue of your heir."
"Kitten, we've already talked about this. Our children will be the heirs." Thorin stated tiredly, his hands gripping her closer. "Now sleep."
"Right, and I went to talk to Fili and Kili about it and they are fine with it!" She cried indignantly. Turning over, she faced Thorin who grunted at the movement. "Are you listening to me?"
Sighing, Thorin opened his eyes. "You are not going to let me sleep until we've talked about this, are you?"
"Tell me this doesn't bother you a little! Thorin they were raised to be your heirs, they've expected this for their whole lives and have struggled to live up to the pressures and expectations. It isn't right to take that away." She insisted reaching her hands up to cup his face.
"Of course it bothers me. Fili and Kili, I raised them after their father passed they are as much my boys as any of our children will be. But rules are rules." Thorin sighed. His blue eyes were sad but accepted. "We are the rulers but there are somethings we cannot change."
"Well, I was thinking."Katarina continued. "Dwarves don't come of age until their 70/80s anyway right?"
"Yes." Thorin agreed, frowning at the woman.
"If I live that long it will be a miracle." She continued frowning.
"Kitten, miz Kadzuna Uzdan, don't say that!" Thorin said strongly.
"No, Thorin, please. Listen, it's true. And it's the same for you, is, it not? She inquired teasingly picking out his greying hairs.
Sighing heavily, the dwarf king nodded. "Yes, I'm not as young as I once was. Perhaps it is for the best, I wouldn't want to live much longer after you."
"I know," Kataraina said softly burying her face in her lover's chest. "Why not retire before I'm too old. Give the reigns to Fili and aid him with what he needs. Then when our children come of an age to take the throne, Fili will be there to help them?"
"It is an idea." Thorin agreed, holding her close to him. "I can feel the burden already of not having my father aiding me in how to rule, as I knew my grandfather was preparing for my father. I will talk to Fili and Kili about it."
"And who knows, maybe we'll only have daughters." She teased playfully, giggling when the dwarf King rolled them so he was above her.
"If that would come to pass, every dwarf would be jealous of my luck. Daughters are so very precious." Thorin muttered, leaning in for a kiss.
"Tell me again, why you two decided to glue all of the weapons in the training ground to either each other or the stands?" Katarina groaned tiredly. The two dwarfs refused to answer, scuffling their shoes on the ground instead. "Honestly, you two. I have a meeting with the elves of Mirkwood and I was going to bring you and now your Uncle doesn't think you are ready to be dignitaries.
"We are!" Kili cried suddenly, his arms outstretched. "It's not our fault no one is able to have a laugh right now."
Fili elbowed his brother quickly to silence them. "Are you going to bring us anyway?"
Raising a brow Katarina checked. "Picked up on how I said that did you. Alright, fine. You two may come with but I'm warning you, you best be on your best behavior. When I'm gone one of you will have to take over these dignitaries and I'll be watching carefully."
"Don't talk like that Kitty-Cat!" Kili suddenly begged, pulling the woman into a hug. "I don't like to think of how short your life is."
Smiling sadly, she looked at the two. "You two need to understand especially when you work with the men of Dale that this is a truth of life. It pains you to see my life so short but you will deal with many Kings of Men whose life seems just as short. Think then how hard it is for the elves. They are immortal and perhaps they strick a deal with a dwarven or king of men and perhaps their child is less reasonable and when the parent passes that is who they must now deal with."
"It's a wonder why the elves keep to themselves then," Fili muttered.
"I suppose they are less stuck up then you originally thought." She smirked smugly at them.
"Please stop trying to teach us a lesson at every turn." The blonde prince replied shaking his head in faux admonishment.
"You are miz Khimâ Usbad-Dashshat and nungbuhâ." Katarina stated laughing.
"Hey! Not nice, we are your irakdashshat!" Fili replied.
"That is true, you are miz amral irakdashshat." She agreed. "My most beloved nephews."
"Kitty, the elves have arrived." Balin stated walking swiftly into the room. "They have been led to the usual room and Bombur has food being brought out to them."
"Thank you, Balin." Standing, Katarina began to walk toward their usual meeting room, Fili and Kili on her heels. "Who have they sent?"
"The King has come with his usual guard." The elder dwarf stated, watching Kili straiten.
"Prince Legolas is still away?" The Golden-eyed girl questioned.
Nodding his head Balin replied. "Yes, we've no word where he's gone. The King Thranduil does not speak of it."
"He is safe. I know that much and where he is meant to be." Katarina agreed. The dwarven guard quickly opened the doors as the small group approached. "King Thranduil!"
The elven King stood from the table quickly coming around to greet the group, his guard stationed around the room. Already food and tea were placed on the table. "You are looking well Queen Kat."
"Thank you. And your son Legolas, how does he fair?" Katarina questioned as the King led her to a seat.
"He does not write often. But when he does he sounds happy." Thranduil nodded, seating himself. He noted that both princes were with her, sitting around her. "Tell me when shall I expect my elven cousins, when shall you be crowned WUeen?"
Laughing, Katarina shook her head. "Not until after Thorin is officially crowned King. You know he wishes to await the arrival of his people before he formally accepts the crown. He wishes for everyone to see this moment to know that the dwarves of Erebor can finally rest and be home."
"As he should." Thranduil agreed, nodding his head regally. "Now, onto business."
"How did the meeting with the Elves go?" Thorin asked at supper. The company around them eating happily.
"It went well. The Elves have agreed to help the Dwarves through so that the trip may be quick. They've also provided us with the necessary seeds and fertilizer to help the valley in front of the mountain begin to grow again." Katarina stated, glancing at Thorin. "But you know this THOrin, these agreements have been going on for months now. What needs to be done is a trade agreement, and that is not something I can do. When are you going to meet with the elves."
"Soon." The Dwarven King promised his jaw slightly tensed.
"Proper trade with the elves and men are vital in securing the Kingdom's prosperity." The Future Queen argued. Distantly she could hear Dain laugh at them.
"Kedzel, peace. We've had this discussion many times before and I swear it will get done. Wait until my sister arrives, please."
"Very well. But the moment your sisters arrives and is rested we are discussing these things." The woman agreed, the group continued to eat in silence. None of the company sure how to help the two royals. It wasn't an argument per say but it was a discussion they had often enough.
"How's your Hobbit, Bilbo was his name?" Dain asked his eyes betraying his uncomfortable with the silence.
"He is doing well!" Katarina beamed. "He arrived home some weeks and ago and immediately wrote to us to tell us that his relatives had declared him dead and were selling off his things! The nerve!"
"But the lad put an end to that!" Dwalin guffawed. "Taught them a lesson, journeying with us gave that little bugger a spine of mithril!"
"He's going to be traveling to Rivendell and then has discussed simply joining them when they journey for the wedding." The brunette woman stated. "The journey is much too much for just him and Gandalf is off doing some wizarding business and he missed the dwarven caravan, unfortunately."
"Speaking of the wedding. . ." Dain trailed off, glancing between the two. "When is it."
Sighing Thorin, banged his fist down. "It will be later! Can we not just focus on one thing at a time."
The group immediately fell into silence, everyone looking at Thorin in degrees of uncertainty.
"Thorin." Katarina whispered leading over to the dwarf. "Is everything alright?"
"I am tired." The dwarf King stated. "Have a good evening."
They watched wide-eyed as the King left the table quickly making his way toward the royal chambers.
"Oh dear." Balin muttered. "I was afraid of this."
"Why is Uncle acting like this?" Fili asked looking at the dwarf advisor confused.
"Dain brought a few more dwarves who are looking to stay." Balin added, nodding to the Dwarf King.
"Yes, they were—oh." Dain muttered his brow furrowing in thought.
"Oh, what? Who came?" Kili inquired, glancing between the dwarves.
"Most of King Thror's council has passed on. Though the only living ones of the original council were in the Iron Hills, they arrived today. Right pain in the ass they are. Always giving opinions when they were with me, not even a part of the council in the Iron Hills." Dain muttered, vigorously biting into a piece of meat.
"They were trying to tell Thorin how to be King, weren't they?" Katarina sighed, glancing at the red-haired king. "Dis has sent word to me that there last two members of the original council passed some years ago and all that remains are the sons of the original which are traveling with her."
"Aye, that is true. The difference is, those that have stayed in the Iron Hills, many have strong opinions about." Balin muttered, glancing at Dain apologetically.
The dwarf waived him off. "Whatever for?" Ori questioned curiously, the first of the company to speak outside of the royal members and advisor.
"Because they left." Katarina guessed, knowing when Balin and Dain winced that she was correct. "Some dwarves fled to the Iron Hills and various settlements because they had kin there. I suspect these council members had no kin but leaving, leaving King Thror while he was still alive was a betrayal in Thorin's eyes."
"Yer, not wrong Kitty." Dwalin gruffed. "When those council members left to the Iron Hills they argued that their strong suites were better for a proven settlement and that wandering would do no aid for them. King Thror was too far into his madness to notice or care. But THOrin and THrain did, they were angry."
"And they demanded to return to Erebor now that it had been reclaimed. They would have been here earlier but they had many things to prepare and they wanted the humans to have left before they would stay here again." Dain continued his teeth grit in anger.
"They were housed here for the winter based upon promises made!" Fili banged his fist angrily.
"They fought beside us!" Bofur argued. "They lost their home too, they deserved to have as much safety as they could."
"Aye, and now they wish to tell Thorin how to rule." Dain continued. "I was there, wasn't a pretty sight. Thorin took the rant of Thror's rule with patience but when they—"
"Dain!" Balin yelled.
"When they what?" Kili asked curiously, he'd never heard Balin yell. To have caused the advisor to anger they must have said something truly terrible.
"Me." Katarina stated. "They argued that Thorin marrying me was a mistake. Didn't they."
"Aye, they did." Dain agreed. The company quickly broke out into heated arguments, defending her. Other dwarves on the lower tables were beginning to look over at the royal table where the large group was arguing vehemently
"atku!" Katarina yelled, silencing the whole table. "I thank you all for defending me so diligently, but Dain never said he agreed." Carefully looking at the assembled dwarves she waited until they all agreed before turning to Dain. "Tell me everything they said."
"The walls have ears, Queen Kat." Dain muttered.,
"Very well. Tomorrow we shall meet, as a company and as a council. You all have access to the Royal Chambers, Thorin has an office to the side of our living quarters. I'd like to see them ease drop then." Katarina stated seriously before standing. "I bid you a goodnight."
"Wait, Kitty-Cat!" Fili called, Kil right behind him. "Let us escort you."
"What did they say Thorin?" Katarina asked as they laid in bed that night. When Thorin refused to reply she sighed. "We're a team remember, I cannot help you if you don't let me."
"What they said is of no concern." Thorin finally answered. "It is ridiculous in every way and should have no attention paid to it."
"Thorin, please let me help." The brunette woman begged.
Sighing Thorin replied. "They said that I should be ashamed of dealing with the elves after what they did, that my grandfather would have had none of that. Not like they didn't abandon us also." He added darkly. "They also said that you weren't fit to be my wife or Queen since you were human and that our children would not be considered heirs as they wouldn't be true dwarves! They are of my blood! They are as true as any other dwarf."
"Did you tell them about our plan with Fili and Kili?" Katarina questioned. "Perhaps that would calm them."
"No." Thorin replied shaking his head. "I hadn't the chance before the recommended. Recommended! Kedzel, that I take a dwarrow dam as a mistress to provide heirs."
Katarina felt herself freeze. "Pardon?"
"I was furious with them for even suggestin—when a dwarf leaves his one's bed it is the greatest dishonor. TO suggest that I do so publically! I would never—I left the council room and haven't thought of meeting with them since."
At first, she felt only blinding anger and resentment toward these dwarves, how dare they undermine her sacrifice! All of their sacrifices! She settled herself when she felt Thorin tense.
"We knew that there would be some who would take a while to convince of me becoming Queen." She whispered. "Hopefully they won't be the majority."
"They won't be anything. I will be dismissing them from my council tomorrow."
"Thorin you cannot do that!"
"Why not?" He growled.
"Wait until after the dwarves of Ered Luin arrive, if not they may turn some dwarves against us. Then just send in Dis." Katarina argued, laughing at the idea of Princess Dis ripping into the council members. From her letters she found her future sister-in-law to be extremely protective of her family and loved ones. The council from the Iron Hills wouldn't know what to do with themselves with her wrath upon them.
"So, you'll let my sisters yell at them but not me?" He demanded, laughing lightly at the image his sister would make.
"Your sister is a smidgen more diplomatic, so yes."
"Very well, we do this your way."
"The others will be here tomorrow morning to strategize our plan of attack." She continued teasingly.
"The dwarves of the Iron Hills will not know what hit them."
"THEY SAID WHAT!?" "HOW DARE THEY!" IF THEY THINK IT WAS SO EASY WHY DIDN'T THEY-" "I'LL KILL THEM!" YOU ARE NOT TAKING A MIST—" "WHO NEEDS A COUNCIL ANYWAY—"
"Thorin, if you would please." Katarina begged, turning toward her lover who looking much too pleased to let the company work themselves up into a murder.
"ENOUGH!" Thorin yelled.
"Thank you." She stated sweetly kissing Thorin's cheek when the company immediately quieted down. "Now, I understand you're angry."
"How are you not more upset about this?!" Fili demanded incredulously.
"You've given up everything!" Gloin agreed. "Your past family to help ours! IT's dishonorable what they're doing."
The muttering began to get louder and louder as the group worked themselves back up.
Sighing, Katarina shot Thorin another look.
"I SAID ENOUGHHHH!" Thorin bellowed. The group immediately quieted down, looking at the monarchs with wide eyes.
"Now, as I was saying. I understand your upset. BUT!" She held up a hand as the dwarves opened their mouths to protest. "What we are going to do is deal with this intelligently. First, Nori, I want you and any you trust in the shadows. I want to know who agrees with these dwarves and I want their names, the names of their kin, I want to know their damn well birthdays for all I care."
Nori nodded his head seriously, though slightly little frightened.
"Dwalin, you are in charge of all security for not only Thorin but myself and the Fili and Kili. Those that guard us are hand selected by you. If you think a dwarf may be on the line about which side they are on, challenge them to a spar and beat themselves. Let them know the strength of standing against us."
Raising a heavy brow the Captain of the Guard nodding his head eagerly. She noted Gloin leaning over to help with that, Bifur on his other side.
"The rest of you, keep your eyes and ears open. We first need to gather information. Every last one of you must act like there is nothing wrong. That either you haven't heard what the council has proposed or that you agree. When Dis arrives with the rest of the council we will make our move."
"And what move will that be?" Dain asked. The Lass was certainly not an enemy you wanted to have.
"I told Azog that if anyone came near my family that death would not even be an escape. I stand by that. These dwarves have tread into dangerous territory." Katarina stated her eyes glaring out into the halls of Erebor. "If they question Thorin and his rule then they question my family and no one does anything to my family."
"We are with you!" Dori stated, standing strongly by his brothers.
"These dwarves wish to keep us where we are, they want me to rule as my grandfather did before me." Thorin stated softly. "His rule brought about the dragon and our destruction. The world is changing around us. We will change with it, for our people, for our children, for Erebor!"
Kedzêl- Gold of all Gold
zanshîth- Young Birds
Khimâ Usbad-Dashshat- Young Princes
Kadzuna Uzdan- Golden Queen
Uzdan miz mudtu –Ruler of my heart
Zanshith- Little bird
Amrul Atsu- I love you
Le 'channon- Thank you