Many people will say that King Fili was the King who restored Erebor to its full beauty, but they will also say that King Thorurn was the King who made it a place of happiness once again. The King who married for love and bore a daughter, a one day Queen, and told all that she would rule whence he died.
Millie held the little, wailing boy in her arms. Her face was damp with sweat and she hurt, but she could not bring herself to care. She had a son. She had both of them, now. One of each.
Beside her, Kili grinned. 'Is Thorurn still on the table, then?' he asked, ducking to feel the crying boys cheeks. 'Oh, hush, you little fiend! He sounds like a squawking bird, doesn't he?' Kili then went about imitating his own crying son, much to Millie's displeasure.
'You're a child,' she accused, stroking back the sparse hair on her sons head. 'An absolute child'. She was not talking to her actual child.
'I like Thorurn, though,' Millie settled, shushing the baby. He quietened down somewhat, staring at her with shiny eyes. Millie grinned. 'We can call him Thor - for short, I mean. Where I'm from, there's a God of, er, Thunder. He's called Thor'. She looked at him, at Thor. 'You like that, huh?'
'He sure sounds like thunder,' Kili muttered, already bowing away from the smack he was sure to receive.
And yet...even on the brink of death, Thorurn could only hold onto this one fact, his legacy, and thank the Gods that he had been able to do his family proud. He had been able to do his Da proud.
Thor lay against the dirt with six arrows protruding out of him and whispered of his dead wife, his eyes half closed and his mind half gone. He whispered that he would see her soon, that only a few more moments separated their reunion. He knew his daughter would rule well. He knew his sister would fight on.
A hand on his cheek, warm and ghostly, made him smile as if six arrows had not hit his body. The pain, unbearable, was nothing compared to the realization that he was going on.
'That's it, son,' said his Da. 'Let go'.
So, he did.
Her name is Anouk, and it is not doubt of her own sword skills that convinces her she is going to die, but the ghost of a hand resting on her shoulder.
She knows who it is. Who else would fetch her from this life?
The Goblins swarm around her and her people, and Anouk can only be thankful that their numbers have dwindled so much that she is sure they will not breech Erebor and its walls. She had seen her brother - her Thor, her King - lying dead with six arrows protruding from his chest. She hoped they would tell her niece, the soon to be Queen, that it had taken him that many to finally die.
Her brother was strong. Her brother had been King.
Her brother was dead, and Anouk would fight until she finally followed. She wove through the masses, stabbing and jabbing and knowing that she was good and she had lived and she would see Ma and Da and Dwalin-
'He smells,' Anouk decided, looking at the squirming baby. 'He really does smell, Da'.
Kili snorted into Millie's hair, ducking so that his daughter would not see his smile and decide that if her Da thought it was funny, then maybe she should keep insulting her infant brother.
Millie cradled Thor, biting her cheeks. 'Babies smell sometimes, An. You'll get used to it'.
An peered at her brother. 'I suppose,' she settled. 'He's bearable, I suppose. Do you think he'll want to spar with me?' she questioned, rocking on her feet uneasily. An was, much to Millie's fear, a sometimes clumsy child. 'When he's older, I mean'.
Millie looked at Kili sharply. 'You've been sparring, huh?' she asked her daughter, brow cocked. She looked, though, only at her uneasy husband.
Kili coughed. 'From time to time'.
An sighed. 'I'm bored now. Can I go and see Uncle Dwalin and Uncle Fili in the smiths, Da?' Kili opened his mouth just as Thor began to wail, making both Millie and Kili jump. An's eyes widened. 'Uh, please?'
After the battle, when Goblins litter the filthy ground, her right hand man finds her and smiles a tired, worn out smile. 'We have won, my Princess'.
Anouk is happy, of course. In her head, she thanks Eru that this long time threat had been eradicated. Now, Erebor was safe. That, in the end, was all that mattered.
But her brother was dead. Soon, Anouk would follow.
Her legs gave our first, for she could no longer ignore the blood pouring from her side, beneath her armor. Dakker, her closest, most loyal friend, came to her, mouth agape. Anouk choked, but held onto her sword for as long as she could and lent against her friend. She thinks, if she had not been such a stubborn mule, she would have married Dakker as he had asked so many decades ago.
Anouk will admit freely that she had loved her swords more than she could love any man.
'My brother,' she chokes and, oh, her mouth is wet and tasted of iron. 'Is dead. You must sound the horn. My brother is dead. Bury...bury us with our mother and father. My brother,' she repeated, leaning forward and trying so desperately to hold onto her sword. 'The King, my King...he is dead'. She moved her head.
Anouk's lips left bloody remains on Dakker's cheek.
The warm, comforting and almost there hand on her shoulder tightened for the briefest of moments and a voice, so quiet that Anouk barely heard it, said, 'I know, An. You can go now. C'mon, Rabbit. I'm here'.
And Anouk allowed herself to be pulled away from the aftermath of the battle. She allowed arms to wrap around her middle and cast away the death and the sorrow of the battlefield. She sighed away her life and her troubles and bid farewell to the friends that she had made in her later years. But now...now she would find what had been absent.
Anouk found what she had been missing for so long.
Her name is Millie. Some call her Troll Slayer or King Saver, but to most she was always Millie. Millie who came from a faraway land with her odd words and her twisting accent. Millie, who bore warrior children and made a King, when all odds told her that children, for her, would not happen.
She has waited a very, very long time to see her children and although she is sad they have left Middle Earth behind, she cannot help but be overjoyed to see their faces.
It is the battlefield that horrifies her, though.
The bodies that littered the floor were a halting reminder of the Battle of the Five Armies; the stench and the memory of that Battle would never, even in death, leave her. She stands beside her daughter who kneels with a man (the Dwarven man, Millie knows, is very much in love with her Anouk) and places a hesitant hand on Anouk's shoulder.
Her daughter shudders.
Millie swallows the lump in her throat. Is it fair that her son is already dead? Is it fair that her daughter is already following? She wishes, somehow, that it could be different.
Millie had been allowed this one wish; the wish that she may fetch her daughter from life, to make the transition just a little bit easier. Kili, of course, had begged the same for Thor.
Millie leaned down, her hair falling, and whispered, 'I know, An. You can go now. C'mon, Rabbit. I'm here'.
It is the most comforting thing she can think of saying to her dying, scared daughter. Because, of course, she knows that An is scared, no matter how much her dying daughter would try to hide such a thing. Her strong daughter, made of steel and gold and stone, woven from the ancestors to be the best she could be. Oh, how Millie has missed her.
So, it it both a sad and happy thing when Anouk finally closes her eyes and leans suddenly, heavily, quickly into the embrace of the weeping Dakker. It is sad, because she will never be one with the living world ever again, and Millie knows this pain. Yet, it is happy because she will be, finally, with her mother.
Millie feels the air change, as she bids goodbye to the sight of the dead and the Mountain she once called home (no, no, it will always be home) and she sighs as the living world falls away around her. The sky brightens, the birds sing, the sound of running water spills through her ears. Kili's hand, so soft and so hard, slips into hers and both of them smile at their children.
Erebor, new and ghostly and half there, shines behind them. Faces, hundreds and hundreds of faces, smile at the King and the Warrior Princess.
Millie sighs and half smiles.
'You have been so brave'.
It grows brighter and Millie knows that she has no reason to leave her safe place, her little heaven. Her family is together now, all of her Dwarves in one, safe place. She spies out Dwalin leaning forward to clasp An's shoulder, and Thorin chuckling at the sight of the Dwarf who was named after him. They swarm, closer and closer as the light grows brighter and brighter.
'Princess,' Kili grins, taking his daughters arm. An, in return, wrinkles her nose.
'A better King that I could have ever hoped,' Fili tells his nephew, both hands on Thor's shoulders. 'I am so proud'.
They, all of them, greet the King and the Princess of Erebor. Faces both old and new come to find the Warrior children, born of both worlds. They smile and they clasp hands and shoulders and cheer and shout.
And, you know what? Even in death, Millie's (hell, Alexandria Millicent Fournier's) life is, well, it's pretty damn good.
The End (For Real This Time)
In light of the Hobbit trilogy (and, in turn, the Middle Earth series) ending soon (and it being 608 days since I published this), I give you the real ending to Millie story. Enjoy, and thank you. I still receive emails on this story, and that's so, so lovely. I hope everyone is doing well, and I hope you enjoy this little snippet. I gave Millie her children back, and now I can leave this story in peace.
My tumblr is qarlgrimes, come and say hi!