Disclaimer: I do not own the Hobbit.
Sorry this took so long but right now I'm roasting alive, four days of heatwave is not fun for writing. But I've pulled through. Here we go!
'Oh this is not good. Not good at all.'
Just like Marie had predicted before stepping foot into Mirkwood, the company's luck continued to run as thin as a butterfly's wing.
By the time she had found the dwarves they were surrounded. Not by the spiders, but by elves. Tall, lethal looking figures clad in dark armour, and every one of them had an arrow cocked and ready to fire at the dwarves. They stripped them of their weapons and remaining provisions and forced them to walk deeper into the forest, without so much as an explanation from the dwarves.
All Marie could do was to remain unseen and wait for the right opportunity ... whatever that may be.
Marie managed to follow behind the procession of elves, thanks to the ring, but that didn't mean that she could do so easily.
One of the elves, a tall fair haired male who had taken Thorin's sword, kept stepping out of formation and looking back. A number of times he stared unknowingly at Marie and she had to completely freeze where she stood, lest her hobbit feet snap the tiniest twig. This elf stood out from his brethren. Marie could see even through the magic cloaking her the bright hue of his eyes, blue like sapphires and holding an air of command and grace that the other elves did not have.
'He must be someone of importance.' Marie mused, her leg was growing tired from balancing on it as she waited for him to look away and rejoin the elves.
Wherever the elves were taking the company, it was somewhere away from the poisoned trees of the forest, where the sunlight shone upon the path and the roar of a raging river could be heard. They came before a bridge that passed over the river and brought them to a great wall of white stone built into the side of what Marie assumed to be a small mountain made entirely of trees. The wall had five gates but only one that was opened by two guards when the fair haired elf called for them to do so.
Marie hid behind a tree as the dwarves were forced into the strange tree mountain. The fair haired elf waited until the last of the elves to pass before giving another order to the guards. Marie crept as fast as she could to make it before the gates closed, but as she got closer, her foot brushed against a few fallen leaves.
The elf turned once more but this time Marie did not freeze, but carried on in the hopes of getting in front of him and inside the mountain. It was a risk, considering how keen the elf race was but Marie took it. She passed by the elf as he continued to spy out into the forest.
Once safely inside Marie slowly let out the breath she had been holding, but took another sharp one when she took in her surroundings. The Great Woodland Realm.
Great trees reached up into the roof where no leaves grew, some of them straight and alone, some twisting together to become one. Their trunks dotted with small globes of light filled the cavern, creating soft tones in every corner. Everything looked carved or made around the trees in a manner so perfect it was hard to believe it to be real. Marie pinched herself to make sure she was seeing right, wary that the ring's magic may have altered what she saw.
The elves took the dwarves up a steep path that rose high above the ground. Marie glanced over the side and saw channels of flowing water running below and the slight movement of elves passing under. It was a long way down.
'Wouldn't want to lose your footing that's for sure.'
The procession came to a halt before a throne seated high in the very heart of the great elvish hall. The throne rose up from the pavilion like a gnarly root before taking on a much grander form of a throne topped with what resembled the antlers of elks and deer. At Marie's present position behind the dwarves and their capture she could not see to whom the throne belong to. The crowd of dwarves and elves filled the space of the pavilion, leaving Marie stranded at the bottom of the last flight of steps with two guards in gold plated armour who stood a still as stone. The hobbit dared not to come any closer.
"Aaya Thranduil. Sin naugrim anes elea ed' i hyarmenya málos." An elf, female from what Marie could tell, spoke over the disgruntled snarls of the dwarves. "It has been a long time since Thorin Oakenshield ventured east." A voice rich with power silenced even Bofur's incoherent babbling. "For what purpose would he dare cross out boarders? To seek refuge? To plunger my lands? To beg? Sut aica ten'ile"
Marie wished she could see what was happening.
"Great King of the Woodland Realm, it was never our intention to invade your territory." She heard Balin say to the unknown king, "We ... were ambushed and brought further north than we had hoped."
"That still does not answer as to why you have come east." The voice demanded, but Maire did not hear anyone give an answer.
"It is curious as to why the Heir of Durin would return after so many years in exile, and with such menial a company he would bring with him."
"What did you say you Rukhsul menu?!" Dwalin shouted. A gentle chuckle was the response the warrior received.
"It would appear that you kinsman are as unruly as to be expected. Legolas!"
"See to it that these dwarves are taken to the dungeons."
The elves took hold of the dwarves and turned them around to match them to the dungeons. "Not Oakenshield." The voice told the guards, "I believe the King Under the Mountain and I have much to talk about."
Marie scooted to the side as they came back down the steps. The dwarves grumbled to each other in their language. She was torn between following the rest of the dwarves to the dungeons and waiting behind with Thorin. She crippled under her on curiosity to see this 'Thranduil' and stayed put.
"I won't forget this. I promise you elves this insult will not go unchecked." Dwalin continued to threaten the elves all the way down the path until they were out of sight.
Marie tiptoed to the stairs to climb them, but when she look up she saw the way blocked, by a man of alarming beauty. Pale and perfect were the features that elves were blessed with, and this man had been blessed twice over. He stood tall, and from where Marie stood he appeared even more so, and was cloaked in a robe of dark silver which clashed with the white blonde locks of hair that draped over his shoulders. When Maire saw the crown of red berries and thorns adorned upon his head, she knew that this was Thranduil.
"You needn't fear for your companions, they will be treated well, so long as they cause no trouble." "Now, do you feel more inclined to talk?"
Still Thorin gave him only silence.
"No matter. Even if you did confide your intentions, I know to what ends they lead to. Some may even imagine that a noble quest is at hand." Thranduil said as he looked out over the Woodland Realm. "A quest to reclaim a homeland and slay a dragon." There was something in the way he spoke that bothered Marie. For all the beauty she saw, and she admitted was briefly smitten by, she could not help by sense a much darker truth behind the elf's fair visage. Like Black Bryony berries, beneath even the ripest of their scarlet skin was the deadliest poison.
"I myself suspect a more prosaic motive. Attempted burglary, or something of that ilk."
The corners of Marie's mouth pulled back in an unflattering manner. 'Right on the mark there.'
Thranduil slowly turned and walked towards his throne. Marie climbed the stairs and watched the scene unfold before her.
The Elven King looked down at Thorin with a taunting quirk on his lips, like a hunter toying with his cornered prey knowing it could not escape.
"You have found away in."
Thorin acted undeterred, even with the Elven King bearing down on him.
"You seek that which would bestow upon you the right to rule. The Arkenstone."
At last Thorin gave some reaction to his words. His head dropped ever so slightly. Thranduil smiled. "It is precious to you beyond measure. I understand that." It was not in the smile that Maire saw the cruelty, it was in his eyes that widened slowly as he spoke. "There are gems in the mountain that I too desire. White gems of pure starlight." Thranduil bowed his head. "I offer you my help."
Marie took a small step towards the dwarf to hear what he would say. "I am listening."
"I will let you go if you but return what is mine."
'Well that seems ... reasonable, what he says is true.' Marie thought.
Thorin turned away from the Elven King. "A favour for a favour?"
Marie glanced from side to side as Thorin walked towards her, looking for her escape, but the closer he came the heavier her own feet felt. Marie clenched her hands and stood absolutely still as Thorin stopped just a hairbreadth from her, his eyes locked with hers.
Somewhere beyond Thorin's imposing form, Marie heard Thranduil's voice offering another promise. "You have my word, one King to another."
The muscles in Thorin's jaw constricted. The kindling of a long held grudge began to burn within his eyes and Marie alone saw the pain that fanned the flames.
"I would not trust Thranduil, the great King, to honor his word should the end of all days be upon us!" Thorin shouted for all the Woodland Realm to hear, and unfortunately Marie caught the brunt of his fury. The power of his voice forced her backwards until she tittered on the top step. This proved to be useful as Thorin swung round to jab a fist at the Elven King.
"You lack all honor! I have seen how you treat your friends. We came to you once, starving, homeless, seeking your help, but you turned your back. You turned away from the suffering of my people in the inferno that destroyed us! Imrid amrad ursu!"
Thranduil moved quicker than the eye could fathom, "Do not talk to me of Dragon Fire." He was bent low so that his face was only inches from Thorin's, his voice no louder than a hiss. "I know its rathe and ruin." Marie peered around Thorin's shoulder to see what the angered elf would do next.
His face twitched and he looked to be overcome by pain, then Marie saw the skin on his left cheek dissolve, revealing burnt muscles and cheekbone, even his left eye turned milky white like a blind man's.
"I have ... faced ... the Great Serpents of the north." Thranduil crocked out before pulling away, his face becoming whole once again.
Was that a scar long since healed? Or a constant remind hidden by magic?
"I warned your grandfather of what his greed would summon, but he would not listen." Thranduil said walking up the steps to his throne, "You are just like him." He waved his hand. Two of the guards came forward and took hold of Thorin. Marie scuttled back down the steps as the elves forced him around and dragged him away from the throne
"Stay here if you will and rot. A hundred years is a mere blink in the life of an elf." Thranduil said, throwing himself back into his throne, "I'm patient. I can wait."
Marie had no choice but to keep running ahead of the elves as they took Thorin, presumably to join the other dwarves in the dungeons. The problem was that they were moving quite fast despite Throin's resistance and Marie knew she would trip over herself eventually. But before that happened the elves dragged Thorin down a steep slope and Marie had to run back to catch them. Ahead of them she recognized three of the elves that had captured the dwarves just standing by a crossroads muttering to each other.
The guards shouted something along the lines of "Elros, palu in fer!" and one of the elves stepped forward, a set of keys jangling in his grasp. He joined the guards and led them into the dungeons. The dungeons were carved into the stone walls that supported the upper levels of the halls. All the cells that she passed were empty, which worried Marie.
'Where are the others?'
The elf with the keys opened one of the doors and grabbed Thorin by the scruff of his neck. The last Marie saw of him was the elf tossing him into the cell and locking it.
The armoured guards turned as one and marched back up the stairs, thankfully in a single file so that Marie could squeeze herself into the wall. It hurt but she was still undiscovered. With the elves finally gone she got a proper look around.
'Alright. Plan to escape, plan to escape. Just how can we escape?'
"Thorin?!" Marie was startled. That was Balin's voice, but where was it coming from? She looked over and saw more cells lining the walls, reminding Marie of honeycombs. "Did the king offer you a deal?!"
"He did. I told him he could do Ish Kakhfe Ai'd Du Rugnu! Him and all his kin!" He finished. Marie cringed Marie didn't understand exactly what he had said, but she knew none of it to be good.
She chanced one last look for any elves before removing the ring. She shivered as the veil of magic disappeared, leaving a subtle need for it niggling the back of her mind. Now she was exposed completely.
'Quiet as a mouse Marie, remember.'
She tip toed down to the Thorin's cell and looked in to see the damage. Thorin was just standing in the middle of the cell, his fist balled up at his sides as his whole body shook. His anger had yet to cool off.
Marie double guessed her decided to try and talk to him. 'Mmmmmaybe I should wait. No. No time.'
She must have made a sound for Thorin's head snapped up. He looked the most surprised she had ever seen him and perhaps even a little bit relieved. But she may have been seeing what she wanted to see.
Thorin's mouth opened but before any sound came out Marie pressed a finger to her lips to silence him, her other hand nervously waving about. Thorin understood and drew closer to the bars.
"How in Durin's name did you make it down here?" He asked in disbelief.
"I have my ways. Most of it revolving around luck." Marie's hand tightened around the ring as she whispered back.
"The map and key?"
"Safe." But Marie still pressed a hand against her pocket, just in case.
"You know your negotiation skills are quite tactless." Marie let slip. Thorin looked at her baffled.
"How did you ...?" "Like I said. I have ways." She quickly responded. "I don't pretend to understand your animosity for the Elven King, but for the sake of your men ..."
"There is more to it Marie. Thanduil would have double crossed us without any hesitation." Thorin growled. "He cares only for himself."
"Well, now comes the tricky part." Marie glanced about the cell door. She gripped the iron door and gave it a slight shake. "There is no way we can break the door in." She mused out loud.
"Are you already formulating a plan?"
"Actually I am."
Thorin's dark brows creased together. "Should they find you you'll be thrown in one of these cells and the quest will truly be lost."
"They will not find me, I promise." A noise from above spooked her and she looked back over her shoulder.
She did not see any elves but she did feel a large hand settle over her's, still locked around the bar. She looked back at the dwarf. "Marie these are no trolls that can be swayed with wit. Even for all your skills with words and your nimble feet, it will not be easy." He spoke not with the rough chastising tone she had grown accustomed to. He sounded concerned.
"You said you trusted me. So trust me."
Thorin sighed. "It would appear that you are our only hope now."
Marie felt something go thump in her chest. "I promise I'll find a way to get you out."
"Just ... be careful Marie."
She nodded and pulled away from the bars and away from him. She hurried back up the steps and slipped the ring back on. Now something else lingered in her mind, like she had forgotten to say something to Thorin.
'Enough Marie. Focus. Now ... where to begin?'
Just some rough translations.
Elvish: Aaya Thranduil. Sin naugrim anes elea ed' i hyarmenya málos Hail Thranduil. These dwarves were found on in the southern forest. (roughly)
Sut aica ten'ile How Pitiful.
Elros, palu in fer Elros, Open the door.
Dwarvish: Rukhsul menu Offspring of an Orc
There other ones are pretty well know on tumblr