The Glittering Tree
Summary: Thorin and company celebrate Yule… in Mirkwood. With the Elven King, and loads of other elves. Thorin blamed Bilbo for that.
Pairing/s: None that you can see, but you may fantasize about whatever pairing of your fancy.
Warnings: Deviates from canon plot, as you may well notice. Out of character-behaviour for some.
Disclaimers: I don't own the Hobbit and make no money on writing fanfiction.
I believe this is my first The Hobbit-fic. I hope you enjoy!
Thorin still blamed Bilbo for this. Celebrating Yule within a spider-infested forest, and all those bloody elves! He wasn't even going to mention Thranduil. Shit… he already did.
Said Elven King was stepping back to inspect the decorated tree. He frowned.
"Something's missing," he declared.
"You emptied four jewellery boxes on that bloody tree already!" Dwalin barked out. "Four big boxes, mind! How do you have time to wear any of it?"
"A king makes time. There's still something missing. Something… essential."
The Elven King stepped around the tree already weighed down with necklaces, bracelets, rings and tiaras. Legolas stood and waited patiently next to the visiting dwarves. Oh, and a hobbit.
Bilbo had only gone back to the Shire a short period of time before returning to Erebor. Fíli and Kíli had followed him back, just to make sure he returned. Thorin had to be physically stopped by both Dwalin and Dori to not do the same. It was unfair his nephews got to journey with Bilbo in such a peaceful time. Thorin decided he'd do it too one day, when the work was well underway in Erebor. It had only been three years since they reclaimed the mountain, and Thranduil finally showed some compassion and helped out.
It still didn't make much sense why they had to celebrate holidays with each other. It was Bilbo's fault for suggesting it. Thorin went along with what the hobbit said, and before he knew it, he had invited himself and the whole company to celebrate Yule in Mirkwood. Thranduil had been mighty surprised over it, and wondered if Bilbo had snuck something into Thorin's ale.
"I'm still blaming you," he told Bilbo.
"Enjoy it," Bilbo replied. "King Thranduil isn't so bad after all."
Well… there was some truth in that. Thranduil didn't even seem to register their presence at the moment, which was a change from before.
"Ah, I know what's missing!" Thranduil said. "How could I have forgotten?"
"I swear, if he runs off to get a fifth jewellery box…" Dwalin growled.
Thranduil didn't run for a jewellery box; instead he ran over to Legolas and grabbed him around the legs, hefting him up in the air.
"Come on, put it on the top."
"Put what on… oh."
Legolas pulled Thranduil's crown off the king's head, a glittering thing of branches and jewels, and put it gingerly on top of the tree. He was let down and Thranduil smiled.
"There; it was missing a crown."
"Ada… never mind. Can we take back the boxes to your room now?"
Thranduil peered closer at the tree, adjusted a necklace and gave the tree a final nod. Thorin had never seen a stranger tree, but it did glitter a lot.
"Time for food, I believe," Thranduil said.
Three years ago, it would have been horrible. Now… well, the elves had gotten better, eventually. Now there was meat. It wasn't done the way dwarves did it, but there was meat at the very least. Not that Thranduil ate it. No, he and his son ate of their usual dishes, and since it was an informal dinner, they ate it up in a tree. Thorin was not joking about it.
"Do they have to keep showing how strange they are?" he demanded to know as he saw Thranduil's dangling legs and heard father and son speaking, their voices almost singing.
"They think you lot are strange, living underground," Bilbo replied.
"They live inside a mountain!"
"But they prefer it outside. Let me rephrase that; they think you lot are strange because you like living underground."
"How would you know what they like?" Thorin wanted to know.
"I asked them."
"Of course you did…"
Kíli snuck away after that with Tauriel and Thorin refused to think of what they might do. Legolas came back down for more wine and climbed up the tree with no effort.
"He seems to have accepted Tauriel likes the company of a dwarf," Fíli commented.
"Seems that way," Bilbo said. "Good for him, and for Tauriel and Kíli too."
"He actually spoke to Kíli yesterday. About archery. Figures they'll get along purely because of that."
Thorin grumbled under his breath but continued eating.
"Come on," Bilbo said a while later. "It's not such a bad Yule. The food is alright, you brought plenty of ale to drink, and Thranduil acts rather civil with us… when he decides to come down from the trees that is."
"And to be honest, we've barely seen any spiders," Fíli said. "It's a good day today, uncle."
Thorin glanced away, looking like a grumpy child. Fíli and Bilbo shared a smile and then Fíli laughed at it all.
Thranduil and Legolas came down eventually, Thranduil seating himself next to Bilbo while Fíli more or less dragged Legolas away; for what reason, Bilbo had no idea but as long as they weren't fighting he wouldn't say anything. Thranduil didn't look very worried.
"Do you always decorate the tree in that manner?" Bilbo wondered, tipping his head against the jewellery-laden tree.
"It's nice to see all of them at once from time to time," Thranduil said. "But it's been many years since I last did it. Yule is not quite as celebrated as other things here, master Baggins."
"Still, it's rather nice. You get to gather and eat good food, drink and generally feeling at peace."
Thranduil glanced over at him. Thorin glared, as if daring the Elven King to say anything. Bilbo sighed and elbowed the dwarf in his side.
"It seems many things could be solved if we would act more like hobbits," Thranduil said at last.
"Oh… really? You've only met one hobbit, mind. Not all of them are like me."
"Do they enjoy good food and good company?"
"Generally, yes. There are a few grumpy ones but," and here Bilbo looked at Thorin pointedly, "there are those in every race."
Thorin huffed and poured up more ale to both himself and Bilbo. Thranduil was smiling, twirling his wine glass between long fingers.
"I suppose that is true. In my case, I'm rather certain I'm one of them," he said at last.
Bilbo wondered about that later, when more ale had been drunk by the dwarves, and more wine had been consumed by the elves. Legolas had returned and Thranduil moved away, father and son falling into step next to one another as the night came over them. Thorin was relaxed, or more relaxed than before and didn't seem so bothered by the elves singing amongst the trees.
When the singing finally began to die down, Bilbo had long since lost sight of Thranduil and Legolas, but as he slowly walked towards the guest rooms he passed the decorated tree. The jewels shone in the moon light that came through the branches.
It was a nice centre piece, even if it had been decorated by jewellery. Bilbo reached out and touched a few of them. To think Thranduil had such beautiful stones in his possession…
"I rarely wear them."
Bilbo turned around, startled. Thranduil sat on a bench nearby, Legolas' head in his lap, the younger elf asleep with his eyes vacant.
"Are the dwarves sleeping where they sat?" the king wondered.
"More or less. But so are the elves."
"Aye, I noticed."
"Legolas seems to be no better."
"He used to call it the glittering tree. When I decorated a tree like that. He was small, back then. He used to fall asleep like this too, watching it. Such simple pleasures satisfy him…"
The glittering tree? Well, Bilbo would probably have called it so if he had been a child.
"Well, I must say he named it well. I've never seen anything shine this much. I do believe the dwarves are a tad jealous of such fine stones."
Thranduil laughed at that and stroke Legolas' hair as Legolas moved. He soon settled.
"Either way, I believe the glittering tree will be coming back again next year," Thranduil said. "Perhaps I can convince that stubborn dwarf king of yours to add something to it."
Bilbo could imagine it; Thranduil and Thorin compete to see who got the best tree. He laughed out loud and replied:
"Now that would be a sight to see!"
Thorin soon joined them, staggering just a bit and herded Bilbo off towards their rooms. When Bilbo looked back, Thranduil was waking Legolas up and lifting him easily into his arms. It was still strange to realize they were father and son, when they looked so young.
"Bloody strange elves…"
"Are you still on about that? I believe they're rather fun to be with. Who else do you know decorate trees with jewels?"
"Hah! I could do better!"
"So we'll do this again?"
Thorin mulled over it for a bit as they were joined by Kíli and Fíli, both looking tired and excited at the same time.
"I suppose once a year isn't so bad," he conceded. "But next year we'll outdo him!"
"Yeah!" his nephews agreed, having no idea what he was talking about but always ready to take his side.
Bilbo was already looking forward to it.
Happy holidays everyone!