Title: The Unpredicted
Summary: Years have passed since the reclaiming of Erebor and Bilbo's ring forgotten… Till now.
Author Note: Okay, the sequel!
BTW I should mention "Italics" are the elves speaking in their native tongue Sindarin. "Bold Italics" is when they are speaking in Khuzdul. Italics without the "-" is thoughts either thinking to one another or general thought.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the twilight series and I really don't own any of Tolkien's amazing work.
When Canadriel and Bilbo had left, Gandalf had turned his attention to the small band upon the ground at his feet. It sat innocently against the hardwood floor but it made his stomach lurch with unease and yet… yet he felt a pull and before he knew what he was doing Gandalf felt his finger brush against the simple band before jerking back in horror as a flash of light burst in his mind.
He let his feet move him towards the sitting room and lit his pipe as he stared down into the hearth and reflected over the evening and all Bilbo has said.
"Riddles in the dark." He murmurs to himself, puffing at his pipe and deep in thought.
Frodo raced towards Bag End, his worries forgotten for the time being due his night of drinking and calming down the guests. "Bilbo! Bilbo!" He cried merrily while opening Bag End's door.
But his happiness did not last as his toe hit something cool and small, his eyes drawing down to the small band that he knew belonged to Bilbo. With a frown he picked the ring up and cast his eyes towards the figure in the chair to see Gandalf.
"He's gone, hasn't he?" He asked Gandalf with hurt lacing his tone. "He talked for so long about leaving… I didn't think he'd really do it. Gandalf?"
Gandalf tore his eyes away from the hearth and to the gold band once more. "Oh, Bilbo's ring. He's gone to stay with the Elves after his trip with Canadriel. He's left you Bag End...along with all his possessions. "
Frodo frowned and watched as Gandalf shuffled the papers before him before dropping the ring into the envelope that Gandalf held out for him. Something was wrong, he could see that, could sense it in the air as he watched the wizard seal the letter with wax.
"The Ring is yours now." He explained, practically shoving the envelope in Frodo's hands while getting up to gather his things. "Put it out of sight."
Frodo took the envelope clumsily while following Gandalf from the room in confusion. "Where are you going?"
"I have some things I have to attend to." He explained while gathering his staff and hat before making his way to the door.
Gandalf paused and turned back to the young hobbit. "Questions… Questions that need answering."
"You've only just arrived!" He shouted chasing after the wizard. "I don't understand."
He pauses at the doorway once more, bending down to place his hand upon Frodo's shoulders. "Neither do I. Keep it Secret. Keep it Safe."
The next few days, weeks and years had Gandalf going from one place or another. He had travelled to Rohan and Rivendell, Lothlórien and now he was finally making his way pass Dale and to the great Library of Erebor. If he could not find what he needed here then he must make haste to Minas Tirith, he just hoped that Frodo kept the ring safe.
"I did not expect to see you wizard." A voice greeted, knocking Gandalf from his thoughts.
"Thorin." He greeted, coming to a stop in the halls before the Library. He took stock of the king under the mountain and was surprised to see that Black hair had finally turned into the brilliant sheen of Mithril, his shorn beard now grown and braided… but he looked worn...
Thorin tipped his head up in greeting, his brow cocking in question. "It came by surprise when I was informed that a wizard made haste towards the library, what is wrong Tharkûn?"
"I'm looking for information to answer a question that has been plaguing me these past few years. I have travelled to Rohan, Rivendell, Lothlórien and so on but here and Minas Tirith are the last places. If what I seek is not here then I must venture to the south." Gandalf explained. "It is of great importance."
"Then you shall be free to roam my library Gandalf, but first…" Thorin trailed off, his brows pulling down in thought.
Gandalf sighed sadly as he guessed at what Thorin was asking. "I saw Canadriel at Bilbo's birthday, I had hoped she would be here or has been here but it seems that she has been waylaid once more. She promised to escort Bilbo on an adventure and perhaps they did indeed travel to the Blue Mountains first."
Thorin felt relief crash into him at the news. "Good, Legolas could not give me any news on her whereabouts and we had become worried. Dwalin will be pleased to hear she is well, it's taken Dís and I to keep him at bay so he would not go and look for her."
"I think she cannot bear to see your age Thorin and be reminded of how little time you've got left. As much as it hurts her to stay away, I think it will hurt her more to see you all wither by time." He tried to console but the dwarf king couldn't help but let his eyes slide shut as sadness crept up on him.
"Legolas explained as much when we saw him last, he has not taken the separation well and we have had him here many nights for comfort we used to give our sister. I know that she does this to spare more grief from Legolas. We all bore witness to his reaction when she fell ill at the news of Bifur's, Bard's, Belnar and Balnar's passing." Thorin sighed before rubbing his eyes with the palm of his hand. "I'll leave you be to do your research Tharkûn, just see us before you leave."
"I will and if you have letters for Moriel, I will deliver them to the Rangers on my way. They will know where she is." He offered, earning a smile of gratitude in return.
Bella cast a look out over her home, eyes trained to the east where her husband and kin resided. She could feel something shifting in the air, something heavier and darker that would irrevocably change their lives. Her hand raised and rubbed at the aching spot over her heart as she shifted her gaze from the skies to the stone paths of her home.
"Another night I have come to find you here my lady." A smile tugged at her lips as she turned to greet the late night visitor.
"And how many times must I tell you to call me by my name Aragorn or would you prefer I call you Estel once more?" She teased, huffing a laugh as he grimaced and took up a spot beside her. "And I cannot sleep for I feel something in the air, I long for the east and yet I'm tugged here."
Aragorn nodded and pulled out the letters he had stashed in his coat. "I was given these today by one of the Rangers, they were delivered by Mithrandir."
Bella's eyes snapped to the letters in in his hand, her heart racing as she saw the familiar runes of her kin and the seals of the King. Her husband's letter sat on the top of the pile, his script still as messily scrawled as ever. She took them with shaking hands, her eyes nearly widening at the weight to them. When was the last time she had written to her brothers? To her beloved?
"I am a horrible sister and wife." She whispered pained, clutching the letters close to her heart. "I have run from my fears and my grief under the guise of protecting them but all I have done is hurt them."
"I know Legolas understands Canadriel, he comes this way often and sometimes with me to train or help. He has watched over your family for you, has told me tales of their days and what has passed. He misses you yes, but he understands, they understand." Aragorn replied strongly, his hands going out to grasp hers; to make her believe him. "Do not waste time; enjoy all that they can give you."
Her eyes shot to his as the sadness seemed to seep through, her eyes drifting to the pendant that was carefully hidden beneath his cloak. "Take your own advice Bâhaê."
Aragorn sighs and shook his head, taking a step back. "My lord Elrond…"
"My brother cannot see past his own selfish grief. Arwen reminds him much of my sister and he… We have lost too much of our family, we have suffered too much grief but it is not his decision to make. If you let this go, you will regret it for the rest of your days. It is you who is undecided for I know my Telellë has made her decision, she just waits on you." She stressed, placing the letters to the side while grasping his face, forcing him to look at her. "Now go rest."
She turned her back upon him and turned her attentions to the letters. Three were missing and it concerned her to see that Balin, Ori and Óin had not written to her.
When I had received word that Gandalf had seen you it filled my heart with gladness and shook away the fears. Oh how I have missed you Meleth nín, Hû nín, but I know that what you seek and what you are doing is of great importance.
I understand meleth nín, let me tell you that to ease the worries you must surly have. We have time to love and grow together but our Kin do not. I do not tell you this to worry you, but to remind you that I am here, I am watching after them for you.
Thorin relayed what Gandalf had told him, I have even received a letter from Bilbo – though I assume you did not know this – and he has told me of your travels. I worry my love, from what he has told me… you are not as you once was and I fear that the grief still clings to you so.
Le Melin, Moriel of Erebor, keeper of my heart and I shall wait patiently for when I can see you next.
She felt the tears pool in her eyes as she read her loves letter, she knew he was not one to write his words down or expressed his love in such a way… there is never enough words to say or write to describe and tell you how much I love you… but he still wrote his love and assurances and she has never loved him more that he has stayed to look out for her kin.
The next letter was Dwalin's.
You have driven me to become white with worry!
I'm not one for words, I am not Balin but I have missed you Namad. It has taken Dís and Thorin many nights of unrest to make sure I stay here in the mountain and not go out to hunt for you. If it wasn't for the odd letter or Nori of all people, I'd think you dead…
She had to pause here and rifle through the other letters to pull out Nori's, her brows rising as she pulls out the letter and one of her hair clasps she had thought lost.
I think you dropped this in Ibrizbuzru. I followed you some days to make sure you were safe, only Dwalin knew because he caught me and that One of yours. You are a hard elf to track.
You'll have to teach me... or my daughter. Yes, I have a daughter now, she takes after me in everything it seems. I named her Caná.
Come visit Namad, or I will drag you home by the braids.
p.s. you need to keep a closer eye on your surroundings; I stole this from your person.
The startled laugh that escaped her lips seemed to break the spell that seemed to fall over the room and the guilt before had vanished somewhat, pleased to know that Nori was still Nori… Caná… He had named his daughter after her.
With a soft smile she returned the clip to her hair before returning to Dwalin's letter.
… but I know deep down you still live. You're a Durin, a Fundin, a Ri, Ur, In and a Baggins Took. You're too stubborn to die.
But come back home Namad, we miss you.
Tears had pooled as she finished the letter, Dwalin was not one to beg or plead… he was a warrior with a warrior heart and each letter he had sent was written as such. He described his plans; the security of the mountain and every little thing Fíli and Kíli had gotten up to before marrying.
Yet worry churned in her heart as there was no mention of Balin in his letter. Why was it Dís and Thorin and not Balin himself? A frown pulled at her brows as she scanned the other letters and though many had written of their worries, love and children – husband in Lorelei's case – no one mentioned Ori, Balin or Óin.
With a hurried hand she opened the letter from Thorin.
If someone had told me years ago that I was to have an Elf or three in my family I would have removed their tongues for such slander and yet now I have three and half-elven little ones in the Durin line.
That saying, there is one in particular that has yet to return home and see her family that are worried sick. You've forced me to communicate with that wretched elf in Mirkwood to inquire if his scouts had heard from you, especially since Legolas has spent more time here or in Rivendell with the Rangers than the realm of his father. We are both worried and have agreed to put aside out petty hate for the wellbeing of Legolas.
Bella paused and re-read the paragraph once more to make sure she translated the runes correctly. Her hands flying over every other letter and scanned for news, each letter had a paragraph of Legolas. Helping them, working in battle arena teaching archery, on the fields with the farmers…
The truth is Namad, your One has felt the effect the strain in your bond and it tolls on him. He avoids many of us, blending surprisingly well within my mountain. The only ones who truly see him are the main ones that are left of my company and those he helps but he avoids the children, avoids us when we ask him to spend time with us.
We are worried Moriel.
I am worried.
So I am requesting as your Nadad to return to us.
As your king I am commanding you to return to Erebor immediately and see your kin.
King Under the Mountain
At the sound of her brother's worried tone, Canadriel stood and hurried to his side. She could see the worry upon his face, the fear in his eyes.
"What is it?" She asked, her hand flying to her dagger as she scanned the hallway behind him.
Elrond laid his hand upon his sister's hand. "I have received word from Gandalf."
"Gandalf?" She asked before pausing, a memory from years ago flashing in her mind. "He found what he was looking for didn't he?"
"No, but he suspects he is close. He has returned to the Shire for some time." Elrond explained softly. "But I see dark tidings on the horizon. Something dark comes, so I suggest if you are to leave for Greenwood and Erebor… be careful, take Elladan and Elrohir with you or Aragorn. Do not let your presence be known to many Can nín."
"I'll take Aragorn, I'll go as a ranger. Thorin has summoned me." She explained softly, "I'll take the three."
Elrond tilted his head in curiosity, his brow rising. "And what are you going to do with my Sons."
"I'm going to see Thorin and Legolas; I'll need Elladan and Elrohir to distract the others." She explained simply as she and Elrond made their way to her chambers.
Bella let her eyes wander over the changes of her Dwarven home from the safety of her cloak. Aragorn had planted himself firmly at her side, he too having his cloak up so it wouldn't be suspicious while Elladan and Elrohir lead them… following an unknown Dwarrow.
"Are you alright? I know this is hard on you." Aragorn whispered.
"All is well, do you still remember the plan?" She asked as she eyed where they were, they were past the Gallery of Kings and near the throne room.
The plan was for the twins to cause mischief while she slipped away, she had to find Thorin and deliver her findings to him and to see him. Her heart hurt that she could not see the rest of the company but time was limited on her hands and she could not be delayed.
She took comfort in the fact that she had seen Balnar's and Belnar's children, soldiers just like their fathers. It was they who greeted them at the gate.
"I'm sorry to say that it will be Prince Fíli you speak to today my lords. King Thorin is in a meeting with Prince Legolas and the Head of the Guard." The unknown Dwarrow explained.
Elladan dipped his head. "That is acceptable Master Dwarf. We had a list from our father on who could receive the correspondence and the Prince is one of them."
Bella watched as they continued to walk before Elrohir caught his bow upon a passing wagon, tipping it and stumbling as the contents spilled over the floor. Everyone who was around began to help clean up the mess while Elrohir apologised profusely to the vender, with a smile towards Aragorn she stepped back and disappeared the best she could in the growing crowd.
The halls were the same as she made her way to Thorin's study, her heart beating heavily in her chest as she felt the pull of her Husband.
"The attacks are growing in number, my father is holding off the best he can at the bottom edges of our kingdom but they grow in number." Legolas informed.
"Aye Thorin, we too have noticed this and Nori's been hearin' whispers from the travellers." Dwalin rumbled, his voice aged from the last she heard of it.
She paused at the door, her eyes scanning the hall for any sign of guard before stepping inside, her hands flying up as a Bow, Axe and Daggers were pointed at her. "Now that's no way to greet family."
Legolas dropped his bow in an instant as the familiar lit of his wife rung through the room, his body moving automatically as he pulled her into his arms, one hand cupping her cheek while another pulled the hood from her face.
"Hello my love." She greeted softly, melting in his arms as he pulled her in for a kiss.
"Moriel?" Dwalin gasped out once they broke the kiss. "Namad!"
Laughter burst from Bella's throat as Dwalin and Nori basically threw themselves into her arms. "Hello Naddad."
Thorin cleared his throat, a soft smile upon his weathered face. "It has been a long time Namad, what brings you home so mysteriously?"
"You summoned me as my King, I cannot refuse." She explained while leaning back into her husband's arms. "I also cannot stay for long I'm afraid."
"What's happened?" Legolas asked, his body tensing.
"As you know I've been… travelling and Nori has told you of where I've been. I came to warn you about the events in the south. The Pirates have been gathering, Gondor is battling orcs along the planes between them and Mordor… Gandalf came here not long ago, he sent a missive to Elrond and I've come to ask you my king… if my brother sends a missive for the aid of Erebor…" She trailed off, watching as her Dwarrow's raise their brows.
"Moriel you know that we are by your side, we owe you much. If Lord Elrond asks for an envoy then we will come, you need not ask us." Thorin replied, moving to stand before his sister. "But let us not worry about this now, I take it we have some time before this happens?"
"Yes, Gandalf returned to the Shire to see Bilbo's nephew Frodo."
Nodding Thorin smiled and turned towards Nori. "Go gather food for us, make sure no one sees you. Our sister doesn't wish for anyone outside us that she is here and we'll respect that."
"Will do," Nori replied, pausing when Moriel caught his arm.
"You may want to take Dwalin with you. I brought Strider, Elladan and Elrohir, they caused a scene so I could leave and find Thorin. I would hope that you and he reach them before they are dragged to Fíli." She explained shooting her brothers a look as they groaned.
"Already causing mischief meleth nín?" Legolas asked amused, glad to see the smile upon her face. It had been many moons since he had seen it.
Laughing Moriel nodded. "Always caun nín."
Gandalf pushed his horse forwards towards Minas Tirith, pulling back on the reigns to stop and jerked as it reared up at the sudden command before settling. Unease and dread pooled in his stomach as he cast a look towards the Ash Mountains and beyond into Mordor, the sky thick with ash and darkness with the roar of the active volcano beyond.
He had found information on what he needed to find in Erebor that led him to the great library here in Minas Tirith. It was not the information exactly just a reference, a hint of where and what he needed to look for.
He took time of course from Erebor's gates to the edges of Mirkwood to see if the prince was there and escorting the letters from the Company to the first rangers keep he passed on the way to the Shire. He promised Bilbo he would keep an eye on Frodo when he had the chance and so he stopped there for a month to rest before making his way to Gondor.
What he saw did not bode well…
… what he found made his heart drop.
'The year 3434 of the Second Age. Here follows the account of Isildur, the High King of Gondor, and the finding of the Ring of Power. It has come to me, the One Ring, and it shall be an heirloom of my Kingdom. All those who follow in my bloodline shall be bound to its fate for I shall risk no hurt to the Ring. It is precious to me. Though I buy it with a great pain. The markings upon the band begin to fade… the writing, which at first was as clear as red flame, has all but disappeared.' Gandalf paused in his readings, his mind flashing back to the ring. "A secret now that only fire can tell."
His eyes flashed to the inscription at the bottom, taking in the words with a sense of numbness.
One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Author Note: *evil cackles*
Namad – Sister
Naddad – Brothers (plural of Nadad – Brother)
caun nín – My Prince
Meleth nín – My Love
Gilgalad nín – My Starlight
Hû nín – my Spirit
Le Melin – I love you