Chapter 1: Prologue

And here we go, the prologue is short only because I wanted it up and decided where I stopped was a decent spot. Please enjoy.

Prologue End of TA 3000


Râlia looked up from where she sat at the long meeting table with Tilda talking about the school in Dale and options for the future. The little girl she had met before reclaiming the mountain was now 71 and wasn't sure how much longer she could actively teach. Her hair now mostly gray but eyes still lit with life looked to the Queen of Erebor in amusement.

"She still calls you Mama? I thought all your children had outgrown the name?"

"Maliah clings to the name more than the others, besides she would barely 18 in man's years."

The two waited patiently for Râlia's daughter to find her way to the smaller meeting hall, not too long thanks to the guided efforts of the guards. The young dwarrowdam came bouncing in the room waving an envelope around and was watched in amusement.

"Mama, we receive a letter from Uncle Bilbo! Can I open it?"

Bilbo had come to visit the lonely mountain not more than twelve years ago, less than a year before the death of Frodo's parents, and was an instant friend to all the children born in his absence; never mind that half of them were considered adults now and had children and a few grandchildren of their own. That was a gift Bilbo, and hobbits in general, carried; to make friends with anyone. But the stories of the brave hobbit who bested the dragon and befriended the great Thorin was a tale that was requested many a time once told. Maliah was no except, taking a more unusual shine to the hobbit than the others. Râlia had her suspicions but since she hadn't talked to the Valar in many years, she could ask them. For now, she smiled at her excited daughter and nodded. The parchment was ripped away in her excitement and a squeal echoed in the room.

"Uncle Bilbo has invited us to his 101-birthday party! Can we go?"

Râlia sighed and looked to Tilda who was watching her in amusement. "I'm not sure nâtha, your father and I must talk. It isn't like we can just up and leave."

"It isn't until the fall. Can't I go?"

"You don't know the way and aren't of age yet, so no."

"Then someone can come with me."

"Maliah, we will discuss this later."

Mother and daughter stared at each other until Maliah threw down the invitation and stormed out, nearly knocking into Tauriel who was entering the room. The three women watched the empty doorway for a minute before the elf princess looked at her Queen.

"What did you do this time?"

"I'm afraid she has her mother's wandering blood in her, she wants to leave and explore the world. Bilbo sent an invitation to his birthday and I didn't give her an immediate yes which made her angry." Râlia sighed again and wondered how gypsy blood was hereditary in its wanderlust. "Is something wrong?"

"Gavin wishes to speak with you, sent a messenger from Dale."

She looked to Tilda who was frowning at Tauriel thoughtfully. "Do you mind if we continue this later, my brother never sends a messenger."

"Not at all, I will return back to Dale when you leave."

Râlia sent one of her guards to send notice to Fili she would be leaving Erebor for a bit, with an escort, and soon they departed from the dwarf kingdom on horses and goats through the light snow on the ground. Tilda returned to her home once in the inner city and the rest continued to the same building designated for the rest of the Royal family. Stable boys appeared instantly and took their rides into the warm barn nearby as they entered the main hall and shook the snow from their boots. Walking down the stairs as the double doors closed was Felicity, almost a mirror image of Gavin lost sister when she was younger, didn't look her age at 44 even after giving birth to three children.

"Aunty, what are you doing here?" Her black eyes took in the five people in the hall.

"I came to see your father, do you know where he is?"

"I believe in his room. Said he was sick and didn't want any of us to contract the sickness."

A frown wrinkled Râlia's brow. Gavin rarely was sick, even at the age of 90. "Thank you." She instructed the three guards to stay outside the bedroom once they came upon the door and Râlia entered inside with Tauriel. Sigrid and Gavin were sitting on a sofa with the town physician nearby mixing something. "What wrong?"

Gavin looked up at his sister and smiled. "My Lena, I'm afraid I have bad news."

Râlia sat is the chair near him with Tauriel behind her and listened as Gavin and the doctor described her borther's sickness and the likelihood of him living another year. He was coughing up blood and there was no cure as no one had any idea what was wrong with him, she knew because not seventeen years ago there was another towns person with the same ailments and nothing could be done to save him. The physician excused himself and left the room quietly.

"What do you think it is?"

Gavin gave a small laugh to his sister's question. "Cancer. It is the only thing I can think of that this world has never seen or heard of before."

She took a shuddering breath. He was going to die and nothing could stop it from happening. Yes, she knew this day would come but that didn't mean she was prepared for the event. Râlia had Maliah's answer now, no one would be going to Bilbo's birthday from their family. Or so she thought.

In Rivendell

Mirari sat in her room, leaning out the open window to watch the early season snow fall on the river below. It had been fourteen years since she left Erebor and here, it took the pain off her heart a little bit since she bonded more with Elves than Dwarves. It wasn't her father's fault and she truly believed that, but without her lost twin there was no one who could relate to what she felt everyday. Even her sister, Anira who shown more elf features than their brother, had no trouble getting on with her daily life in Erebor. Unlike her two older siblings, Mirari was quieter and more serene, finding the outside world with its trees and stars more comforting than the earth and mountains.

A knock at her door drew her attention from her trance and Arwen entered the room. The daughter of Elrond had returned from Lorien from another visit to her grandmother a year before Mirari had arrived in Rivendell and Arwen had adopted the half elf as a younger sister. She had told her a few years later when Mirari had asked if Arwen had met her other half did the Elleth admit she had pledged her hand to a Ranger from the North in 2981 but could not marry him until he did as Lord Elrond set forth as conditions. Mirari also learned Arwen had two brothers she had yet to meet, twins in fact. She was curious if they were as close as her own twin siblings. Right now, Elladan and Elrohir were away engaged in another war against the Orcs as Lord Elrond informed her gravely. It was clear the older elf was worried about his sons and wanted them home.

"Mithrandir is here, he would like to ask you a favor."

Mirari looked curiously at Arwen but stood anyway and glided to the door where her over robe hung. The cold didn't bother her as it would others but it never hurt to take precautions and it stopped Arwen and Elrond from fussing over her too much. Together, the adopted sisters walked to the area where Mirari was told her father had engaged in a food fight once during the company's stay on their quest. The tale had brought a smile to her face and kept as a treasured memory on those days she missed her parents. Upon their arrival, Gandalf and Elrond stood to greet the two ladies and Mirari smiled at the old, gray wizard.

"My dear, you grown more beautiful every day." They hugged and Gandalf observed her face at arm's length. "Lord Elrond should be watch others carefully here soon."

She looked up at him curiously and Lord Elrond shook his head in dismissal. "What was the favor you needed Gandalf?"

"Ah yes, well, I find myself traveling to the shire in a few days and was wondering if you would like to be my traveling companion. I'm bringing fireworks to your Uncle Bilbo's birthday party."

She remembered the hobbit her father had called an Uncle since she was an infant but hadn't met him until he had stopped in Rivendell on his way to Erebor and back to see his old friends thirteen years ago. Mirari had liked him well enough and in this moment, saw nothing against her going to the shire where all the folk live in peace and harmony. Except for the fact she wasn't of age, Lord Elrond declaring 70 to be of age as a young adult for her since she was half elf and aged in her early years like a dwarf. This year she had turned 40 and still had to ask permission from her new guardian.

"I trust Mithrandir can watch over you well enough on the path to the Shire. You may go."

She didn't celebrate by jumping up or down as her siblings would have, instead smiled at him and Gandalf in thanks and left with Arwen to pack for the journey. The wizard turned to his long time friend and gave him a look which the Elf Lord choose to ignore. Or tried to as Gandalf spoke his thoughts.

"You know of her future and how she can be healed."

"The future is never certain; you should know that Mithrandir."

"It doesn't mean you don't know what could happen."

"Foresight is a gift and after all these years I still question the validity of what I see. What can happen for her may only be brought about by her actions and decisions, I can only help her along."

Please let me know what you all thought as a beginning. I don't expect much since it is short. TBC soon!