As they made their way into the cave the air became fouler by the second and Niamh tugged her shirt over her nose to take in any of the remaining Shire scent the shirt might give her.
'Bloody hell, I think I may pass out' Ori said, shaking his head a few times as if the smell was nothing more than an annoying mosquito and she spotted Nori rushing past her with two shovels.
'What are you guys doing?' Niamh asked as she walked up to Gloin Nori and Bofur digging and Dwalin looking at them with an unimpressed expression
'We're making a long term deposit' Gloin said, shoving more dirt unto the box
She raised and eyebrow and looked at Dwalin
'Won't they have enough in Erebor?' she asked and he snorted 'Do you believe reasoning with them will work?' he counter asked
She smiled and shrugged 'Suppose you're right'
Dwalin looked at Niamh for a moment then pulled out a sword he had thought of keeping for himself.
'Here' Dwalin said, handing her a sword but she looked at it with a crooked smile and shook her head 'I'm fine with my bow, thank you'
'Every fighter needs a sword' Dwalin was a headstrong quiet creature. There wasn't much use debating with him.
She rolled her eyes and took it, thanking him almost silently and making her way out of the cave once the smell refused to subside.
She could see Gandalf speak to Bilbo as he handed him a sword as well. She was rather hopeless with a sword, what on earth would Bilbo do with one? The thought of Bilbo aimlessly flinging the object around trying to defend himself popped into her head and it made her smile.
Her moment of peace was short lived however, when she heard some rustling in the trees, a few seconds before the others stopped to listen as well.
No thank you, we would rather not be attacked today. Not after that Troll incident Niamh thought, thinking of the already wary group of travelers.
She stood at the edge of their current residence, looking out into the trees as she saw something come closer and she could swear rabbits were powering it?
Out of the bushes sprung about half a dozen rabbits, a sled and a figure with a wizard hat.
'Radagast' Gandalf said with mixed relief and joy, while you could see everyone in the company relax.
'I've been looking everywhere for you Gandalf' the small figure said, getting off his sled in a hurry but then chose to greet everyone first, throwing everyone a quick glance and a 'Hello. Hello, Hello. A female. Well hello there' he asked, smiling at her, surprised to see a female Hobbit in a group of dwarves.
'Nice to meet you Mr. Radagast'
'Is there something that you needed?' Gandalf asked, drawing Radagast's attention back again and Radagast turned to him quickly as though he was excited to tell his story but then his eyebrows scrunched together and he looked down confused
'I had a thought. And now I've lost it. It was on the tip of my tongue'
'Is he related to Bifur by any chance?' Bilbo asked Dori who chuckled quietly to himself
Radagast searched the ground as though to look for his thought and then his eyes shot up to Gandalf 'Oh, but it's not a thought at all... It's an old, stick insect'
'You have to be joking' she heard Thorin grumble next to her and she bit her lip to hide her chuckle
'Oh don't be like that Thorin, he's charming'
Thorin snorted and looked at her then at Radagast again 'I'm sure you and he would make for some truly endearing small talk. The loudmouth and the Nutter'
'Maybe you can't see charm because you have none Master Oakenshield' she said, straightening herself up and continued to listen to Radagast even when Thorin's gaze was on her, her face trying to hide her smirk.
'The forest is sick Gandalf. Nothing grows anymore, at least nothing good. The air is foul with decay, but the worst are the webs' That made Niamh stop to listen a bit more carefully
'Webs?' they heard Gandalf ask
'Spiders Gandalf. Giant ones' Radagast said and Thorin could feel Niamh cringe next to him and he turned to her again with a smile
'What? Is the loudmouth afraid of spiders?' he asked slightly more amused than would have been to her liking and she just sighed
'I'm sorry I'm a girl al right? I can still shoot an apple off Nori's head; I just cannot deal with spiders'
Thorin smirked and thought for a moment, looking back at her to say 'You really are the strangest girl I've ever met'
She smiled 'I'm going to take that as a compliment and do not convince me otherwise' she said and went to stand next to Bofur, deciding she didn't want to hear the rest of Radagast's tale.
'Not keen on Spiders, Miss. Niamh?' Bofur asked with a small smirk on his face and she rolled her eyes 'It is not polite to mock the faults of others. I do not insult your hat' she told him rather matter-of-factly.
He chuckled and straightened his hat 'I think it suits me quite fine' he commented back
'Hey' Kili almost asked, walking up to them though he kept his eyes at a space further into the trees 'What's that noise?' Kili asked, looking around with wide eyes.
'Was that a wolf? Are there wolves out there?' Bilbo asked, suddenly all too aware of the noises Kili was hearing.
Niamh heard something shuffle the leaves on the ground behind her and grabbed an arrow while turning around to the Warg and shot the creature down before half of the dwarves had even seen it.
As it fell Niamh's stomach flopped, this felt far too familiar to her.
She looked at it for a second, nostrils flaring and confused 'What did I just kill?' she then decided to ask, looking down at the wolf like creature
'It's a Warg, that means an Orc pack isn't far behind' Thorin growled as he passed her
'Orc pack!' Bilbo asked with a clear panic in his voice.
'Who did you tell about your Quest Thorin?' Gandalf asked in the authoritative tone that made a shiver of fear run down some spines.
'No one' he almost muttered to himself but Gandalf wasn't having it
'Who did you tell!'?
'No One' he yelled up at the old complain, the two glaring at one another 'Gandalf, what is going on?'
'You're being hunted' Gandalf told him, almost pacing in order to figure out a plan.
'When's a good time to tell them the ponies bolted? Nori whispered to Balin and Niamh overheard, turning quickly to Radagast
'You need to help us' she pleaded but it fell on deaf ears because Radagast was already brewing up a plan.
'I'll distract them. You make your way' he told Gandalf who shook his head before Radagast had finished his sentence.
'They'll simply outrun you'
'These are rhosgobel rabbits. I'd like to see them try'
They waited for as long as they could for Radagast to get as far away from them as possible, having the Orcs who were appearing rapidly from the other side of the trees migrate where Radagast led.
'Follow me, Bilbo, Niamh, stay close' Gandalf told the and Bilbo just for a brief second thought again of the Shire as they suddenly were on the move.
Everyone followed the directions of Gandalf as they made their way through the open spaces, hiding behind a boulder when they could and could hear the quick feet of Radagast's rabbits escaping the heavy steps of the wargs.
One of the Orcs though had sensed the travelers as they passed another rock and made his way to them, standing on the boulder they were heading behind and everyone froze in place.
All kept quiet as they could hear the heavy breathing of the warg above them. They weren't going to make it out of this open space without being seen by one of these Orcs, Niamh thought, taking a bow slowly out of her bag and looked at Kili who nodded
'Let him pass' Thorin said with a low tone, ordering her to stand down and Niamh has never lived to be ordered around.
She got out from behind the rock though Bilbo tried to pull her back and shot the arrow into the Wargs neck, having it and the Orc fall to the ground in front of them with a horridly loud cry.
When the Wag and Orc came tumbling down to the ground where they stood Dwalin and Bifur were quick to silence the Orc while the Warg continued its horrid cries until Niamh shot it with another arrow.
'Perfect' Thorin growled under his breath
'I think it's best if we go now' Balin suggested, hearing the Wargs come closer and the group made their way into the open, all hope of escaping unnoticed shattered.
The other Orcs were already making their way over to them, ignoring Radagast even through his calls and made their way with one goal in mind; Thorin.
They spread out and together enclosed the group of travelers from all sides and soon the companies running slowed when they discovered there was nowhere really left to go.
Niamh stayed close to Bilbo and looked around for guidance, noticing a rather crucial member of their clan missing
'Oi, where's Gandalf!' she called and everyone looked around, not daring to take their eyes off the Orcs for too long.
'He's gone!' Fili yelled in a panic
'Gandalf's abandoned us' Dwalin called and Niamh ignored his hopeless statement, Gandalf wouldn't do that… right?
They subconsciously formed a circle with Kili and Niamh on opposite sides, shooting at anything at a good angle. There was no way they could clear the field of all of them and that was becoming imminent by the second.
'What should we do?' Niamh asked Bilbo who looked panicked but not as lost as you might have expected
'Go home. We should go home now' he told her and she merely smiled, trying to keep her shaking hand steady as she shot another Warg. 'Was this not the adventure you were hoping for?'
'Not quite what I had in mind, if I'm honest'
'Over here you fools!' Gandalf called, poking his head out from behind the rock that was hiding the cave he had found.
Bilbo could almost see Niamh recline a bit; thanking her lucky stars but stayed in place
'Go Bilbo' she told him
'Are you crazy, you're coming with me' he told her, almost pulling the figure towards Gandalf
'I'll be there in a second' she hissed over her shoulder and tried to keep her focus
Bilbo groaned 'I will physically hurl you down that hole'
She didn't respond, she had to stay focused because the Orcs seemed to be increasing in quantity and the last thing Niamh needed was to get hurt and bleed silver blood in front of Bilbo and a growing Orc pack
Bilbo sighed, he really did hate her stubbornness 'You have 2 minutes. Be careful' he told her steadily and followed the others as everyone made their way to the space while both Kili and Niamh stayed to shoot down as many Orcs as they could.
'Kili, Niamh get over here now!' Thorin roared
Niamh shot another Orc off his Warg before Kili was tugging at her and telling her to get to safety.
She stayed a little while longer, clearing as many as she could but soon the numbers just became too many and when Kili told her again to get to safety she nodded and made her way over, greeted by the angriest expression she had seen on Thorin's face to date before she slid down and landed in Bofur's arms 'Got you Miss. Niamh'
She smiled at him and let out a loud exhale 'Thank you Bofur'
A few seconds later they heard the sounds of arrows and horses approach and just a few seconds after Kili and Thorin slid down to their hiding spot and Orc fell dead on the ground in front of them.
Dwalin kneeled next to the corpse and took out the arrow from its neck 'Elf' Dwalin said almost in disgust as Thorin made his way to Niamh and she knew she was in for another fight.