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A fire danced merrily within its hearth, casting its beams of light all along the walls of the modest Dwarven home it occupied. The room had a warm and toasty smell, with the air like a pleasant blanket. The savory remains of the evening meal still barely hanging in the air, fresh and delicious. There were few signs of wealth about the place, and to anyone viewing the living quarters it seemed as if inhabitants worked hard for their living. The furniture was plain, and made more for a practical use than for looks, having a clear plainness to them.

The room was occupied by numerous Dwarves. One was a middle aged woman, still quite beautiful and strongly built, having a very delicate beard that lightly came down her cheeks. Her hair was a flaxen color, with its great mass intricately braided in complicated designs. Her eyes were an icy blue, looking like two gems from the deepest places of the earth. She was just finishing the few dishes that remained from the meal, placing each object shining back into its proper place. This was Dis, Daughter of Thrain and of the line of Durin.

The other was a man, Thorin Oakenshield, and was as dark as she was fair, having a strong brow and the same ice blue eyes. He sat comfortably in a large and soft chair before the fire, his beard and hair quite dark but with the first streaks of grey showing themselves. While his hair was braided, it was not nearly as detailed as the woman, with much of it hanging loose. His dress was moderately rich, having been able to save some wealth from his trade. He smoked an intricately carved pipe, blowing smoke rings and sending them wherever he wished. Although the settings around him were of a cheery nature, he stared moodily at the fire, seeming oblivious to all about him and thinking deeply.

The sound of laughter sounded from another room, as the voices of Balin, Dwalin, and Gloin made merry with the remnants of the evening meal with Dis's sons Fili and Kili. Dis was a very good cook, and her culinary skills were famed far and wide. A shout however cut through as Fili found himself being showered in the precious edibles for an unwise remark that the other dwarves did not appreciate.

Dis placed the last object in the dish cupboard, and setting her towel down turned, breathing a sigh of relief that the task was finished. Her eyes fell upon the Thorin, and upon seeing her dark haired companion so melancholy, her face grew thoughtful. Walking slowly up on cat paws, she placed one arm on the chair, while she bent down and playfully tugged lightly on a braid from Thorin's black beard.

"You're thinking too hard again Thorin." She said with a sad smile and a shake of her head, showing her disapproval of such behavior.

Thorin smiled back up at her, "Ah Dis." he answered, unable to keep his worry from his tone, " I have much to think on." He set his jaw grimly, shaking his head as well.

"You're worried, I know." Dis answered knowingly, as she knelt in order for their faces to be on the same level, "You're worried about the journey and the Quest."

"Yes." Thorin answered morosely, "I fear it will end in naught but failure."

"Thorin." She said, her voice full of concern, "Quell these thoughts from your mind! Do not dwell on them! Leave them for another day at least. I would see you smile again my brother." Her eyes pleaded with him, until Thorin sighed, his shoulders visibly sagging as he gave in.

With a mischievous smirk he said, "The years leave you unchanged Dis. Still as ever you give me no peace!"

"Oh?" She answered, raising an eyebrow, "Then why do you still come to taste of my cooking? It would seem it does not bother you terribly." She laughed. Thorin was about to retort to this when the wooden door crashed open, and a young dwarf lad with flaming red hair and stubble upon his chin charged in, perhaps only seven years old. His short cloak whipped about him as he glanced wildly about as if looking for someone. Upon seeing Thorin he marched forward with a determined frown on his face. Thorin smiled at Dis as he rose to meet the unexpected guest.

"Gimli!" Thorin exclaimed in an amused manner, "It is a bit late for you to be about isn't it?"

The little fellow gave a queer bow, muttering a polite dwarvish greeting. By this time the other Dwarves, upon hearing the noise had begun to drift into the main room.

"Gimli!" came the voice of Gloin, frowning and looking displeased with his son's escapade.

"I recall I told y' to remain at home." Gimli had the grace to look ashamed, kicking the floor with his boot and mumbled an apology. At this Gloin softened. With a sigh he gave in, "Well I suppose y' might as well stay here. Wouldn't want y' runnin' home to yer mother alone now."

Gimli looked back up with bright features, "Thank you!" he beamed.

Gloin laughed and ruffled the lad's hair. "Just stay out of the ale, y're too young for the stuff." Fili and Kili leaned against the wall, crossing their arms and watching the happenings with interest. Dwalin slapped Gloin laughing and talking as they returned to their meal, Balin following close behind. Gimli however remained behind and approached Thorin, as Fili and Kili still observed.
"M' Lord." the lad began, bowing once more, "I wondered if I might...well...beg a favor of you."

Thorin raised an eyebrow, as Gimli took it as a sign to continue. Kili smirked and whispered something into Fili's ear, which ended in snickering. Dis gave them a warning look.

"What is it you would ask of me Gimli son of Gloin?" Thorin asked.

Gimli looked upwards to meet the stern Dwarf Lord's face, gazing with his bright eyes. "I would...erm..that is I heard that there is t' be a quest."

Thorin nodded. "You heard correctly. There is to be a Quest."

Gimli took a deep breath, and then let loose his petition, "I would accompany you on it M'Lord. I am young and small yet, I am strong for m' size and a warrior. Like m' father." He added the last part proudly, as he considered his father the greatest Dwarven warrior next to the legendary Oak Bearer.

Thorin looked at Dis, unsure of what to say yet. The enthusiasm of the young Dwarfling truly touched his heart, so young and yet so full of spirit. He then knelt down next to the small lad, down to face level and addressed him slowly as if talking to a great warrior.

"Him accompany us?!" came the mocking voice of Kili, "Why, he doesn't even have a beard yet!" At this both Fili and Kili burst into snickers. Before Thorin could say anything however, Dis leapt to Gimli's defense.

"Look who's talking!" She shouted angrily, shooing both her sons into the other room. All that was heard was wails as Fili and Kili attempted to flee their mother's wrath. Thorin winced as he heard a crash. Turning back to Gimli he addressed the brave lad.

"Gimli. I am truly honored by your proposal. I have no doubt you are as capable a warrior as your father is, and I could ask for no better warrior. But..." Thorin seemed to be fumbling for words here, "I must ask you to guard our home while we are away."

Gimli did not seem to relish this idea and quickly interjected, "But I can fight! Look! I've got a weapon of me own!" With that he whipped out a small ax, with it whooshing by Thorin's face at a dangerously close distance, so that Thorin could almost feel its sharp bite. He gave out a sharp exhalement as it whistled by.

Gloin at that moment had just returned in order to see to his son's whereabouts. He was quite shocked to see what appeared to be a near assassination of his king by his own son.

"Gimli!" he gasped, partly in relief that the blade had barely missed meeting with Thorin's face and partly in mortal shame that his Lord might have been dreadfully injured by his own son. "Put that away since y' can't even use it!"

Thorin rubbed his beard thoughtfully, glad that the blade had not met with his face.

"Oh. I don't know Gloin." he slowly said. "had I been an Orc I expect that I would not have stood a chance." He smiled kindly at Gimli, who beamed at this praise. Thorin laughed and ruffled the lad's red hair.

Gloin was just about to say something when a Dis began calling for him. Smiling apologetically he said, "Pray excuse me." And with that rushed off to aid Dis.

"I can fight." Gimli looked up at Thorin, eyes pleading to be allowed to come.

"I know you can." Thorin said gently, "And there will be a time, Gimli son of Gloin, that you will be called upon to fight. But it is not now. A true warrior guards as well as fights. He protects the weak, is true to his comrades, and obeys his King."

Gimli looked disappointed, and his face fell, looking glumly at the floor. He wanted nothing more than to fight for his king on this grand adventure. His cousins Fili and Kili were going, why not he?

"Gimli." Thorin said, raising the lad's chin with his hand, "Will you do this for me?"

"Alright." Gimli said slowly, nodding, and then smiling. "I will my Lord. I will do all of those things!"

The corners of Thorins lips twitched, he could not help but feel a certain pride over this young Dwarf.

"Good!" He said, giving the young warrior a pat on the back, "Let's see if we can't find you something to eat, go take your place among the others! They will have eaten it all if you do not hurry."

Gimli grinned, and giving another one of those awkward bows raced towards the good smells. Thorin watched him leave, smiling.

Dis unnoticed, watched from the other side of the room. She looked thoughtful once more, looking at her brother that she was so proud of. Thorin was a good man, and often Dis felt that he was the sort that had been meant to be a father, and how lonely he often seemed. The one he had loved had been taken from him long ago, and like his kind it was doubtful he would ever find another to replace the warmth she had brought into his life. Fate had dealt a cruel blow to many the day the Dragon had come. Dis remembered how carefree and happy Thorin had been, before the Dragon attack and the weight of his people's burdens had been thrust upon his young shoulders.

A single tear formed from her eye, for her brother, for her people, for all that had been taken from her people. She wiped it hastily away, it would not do to have Thorin see her crying.

She walked closer to him, staring with Thorin after the disappearing figure of Gimli. She then broke the silence.

"Gimli is a fine boy." She mused.

"Yes." Thorin agreed. "He will be a great warrior. He will make his people proud."

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Author's note: Just a little idea I had. I know that in the book Gimli was 65, and forbidden to go on the Quest due to his young age. So, this is mostly based on the Movieverse, they changed the dates around, and so this idea is feasible. So I guess what I'm trying to say is this story is mostly in the Movieverse.