1st Place August 2009 A Long Expected Contest
Author's Note: Some parts of this story may seem very familiar. That is because some of the dialogue is taken directly from Fellowship of the Ring as well as some description of events though I have endeavored to put the latter in my own words. Dialogue quoted directly has been placed between asterisks and belongs to JRR Tolkien and not myself. The rest is completely my fault.
"Legolas shall be for the Elves, and Gimli son of Glóin for the Dwarves."
~ Elrond, The Ring Goes South, The Fellowship of the Ring
The Son of Glóin
by Nieriel Raina
"I am not so sure this is a good idea," Glóin muttered and watched Gimli's head snap up. Piercing brown eyes met his own.
"Why not?" Gimli asked. Those eyes were usually soft, so like those of his deceased wife, but now they cut through him as an axe blade through an orc.
Glóin sighed. His brows furrowed as he studied his offspring. "You know why."
Gimli shrugged off his concern and continued to pack. "No one will notice. No one ever has noticed."
Glóin sighed once more and tucked his thumbs into his gold belt. His Gimli could be very stubborn. "Tharkûn knows."
The wizard had known from the first time he set eyes on Gimli many years ago, though he had said nothing. But Glóin had not missed the look of surprise on Gandalf's face when Elrond had announced those who would accompany Frodo. The wizard had turned and given him such a look that Glóin had nearly stepped forward to forbid Gimli's going.
The auburn head snapped back up, and those eyes burned into Glóin again, regarding him with fire. "And with Tharkûn along, you have nothing to fear for me! Besides," Gimli stuffed a small article into the bottom of the pack. "I can take care of myself. Did you not raise me to do so?"
Glóin tightened his hands into fists, but could not deny the veiled accusation. He had indeed raised Gimli to be the best of sons. Gimli was self sufficient and trained in all the arts proper to a man: the art of war as well as stone and metal craft. Yet Glóin could not stop himself from showing the protective nature of a father. He had managed to raise more than a few eyebrows when he had forbidden Gimli from joining him on the Quest to the Lonely Mountain on grounds that his son had been too young for such a journey. Such an unusual decree had nearly exposed their secret to their whole clan. After that he had had to begin allowing Gimli the freedom due a grown son, and that was why he had allowed Gimli to accompany him here to Rivendell.
But this quest to Mordor with the Ringbearer? Glóin swallowed hard. How could he logically deny Gimli the honor of representing their race? Gimli was in the prime of life for a dwarf and held the rank such a position required. To forbid it would be to acknowledge his deception. Gimli was correct. His child had always been more interested in weaponry and was the best ax wielder Glóin had seen in many a year. HA! Why, Gimli could easily best even that lanky young son of the Elvenking!
Glóin's shoulders sagged as he gave up the fight. He had done his job too well. Gimli was the best son a father could hope for. It was too late to regret, too late to wish he had instead raised a daughter. "You will take all precautions to prevent the others from learning the truth." The look he received caused a chill to run down his spine.
"Well, father, it would not do to have that princeling catching me with my pants around my ankles, now would it?" Gimli snorted, those brown eyes now crinkling in laughter. "Though I dare say, I shall have much amusement at catching every one of those males in a similar situation!"
"Gimli!" Horror shot through him as he once again had to face that his child was no innocent. There was little Gimli had not seen or heard, though to date, he — no, Gloin had to be honest with himself for once — she had managed to keep her gender a secret.
"I jest, father."
Glóin grunted and left Gimli to her packing. He feared he would greatly regret allowing her to go, but could see no way of denying it, not without losing the respect of all his kin and the King Under the Mountain's as well. Regardless, he had lost his daughter the day she had been born, and not for the first time, Glóin regretted it.
To Be Continued…
Tharkún – The name the Dwarves gave to Gandalf.
Author's Note: Now you know the AU element to this story. ;) It was written for the August 2009 A Long Expected Contest 'But You're a GIRL!' theme, in which those competing were to take a character that Tolkien wrote as a male and change them to female and then speculate on how that might change the story. This is something I have been actually wanting to do for some time with these two characters. I think it adds a certain tension and spark to an already unusual tale.