Hello! Just a little one shot here, set mainly before The Hobbit :) Thorin watches Fili and Kili, and reminisces about his own brother, and the time everything changed.
Thorin looked across at Fili and Kili by the fire, a smile dancing on his face. Smiling for the love between brothers, the silent way siblings would do anything for each other, to keep each other safe from harm.
He knows nothing can split their bond; nothing can turn them against each other so long as they shared love and the need to protect.
Staring into the fire, he also remembers. Remembers how he once shared the unbreakable, infallible bond with another- his own brother.
Frerin was only five years younger than him, the same gap as Fili and Kili, and like many older brothers, Thorin would have died for him, would have given his life, his throne and all the treasures he held dear to keep him safe.
He remembers how cheeky he was, the joker of the family, the fool of the household, with no bad word to say about anyone- yet he was still fierce in battle, a keen planner; able with the sword as well as the axes of their heritage.
He remembers the nights they sat atop their shared watch-tower, chasing the stars and dreaming of the future. Their days were filled with practise, laughter and camaraderie, with each brother trying to unconsciously impress one another, as Thorin taught his brother footwork, the correct way to throw an axe, how to dispatch the enemy.
He remembers the day everything changed, with sadness, unmarked grief, and regret.
The Battle of Azanulbizar began one dark, winter's morning with the sun not even peeking from behind the storm clouds rolling in over the mountain.
Coldness bit into Thorin, and he felt his skin tighten, his teeth chatter, with the freeze. But he couldn't show weakness; his fellow dwarves needed him.
The first vanguard was led by their father, and Frerin was in line behind him, waiting with the foot soldiers for the order. The brother's shared a look, an expression which plainly said see you on the other side. Only the other side held darkness and despair, and Thorin knew he would never be the same again.
The battle was won, but it was a narrow victory- many had perished, many had given their lives for this futile mission. Blood seeped into the mountain, the slopes slick with scarlet, bodies littering the floor like leaves, Orc and Goblin alike. Death did not care whose side a creature was on.
His Father's expression said it all. Thorin was nursing his own wounds, the discarded oaken shield he had been forced to use was beside him, blood seeping from his shoulder.
As his Father limped up the mountain side, supported on either side by his men, Thorin felt his world darken just that little bit more. He looked beyond his father, eyes and heart aching to spot the wolfish grin of Frerin; he could deal with injury, could deal with nursing his brother back into health….if only he'd just walk up the slope…..
When Thrain put a hand on his eldest son's shoulder, heavy with sadness, Thorin shook his head, eyes wide.
Not him. Not the brother he'd grown up with, the brother he loved more than anything.
Their father nodded sadly, a gash to his face. He tried to keep his emotions at bay, yet his eyes betrayed him. 'I'm sorry….' Was all he could say.
Thorin didn't say anything. Couldn't. Wouldn't. He wanted his brother back. He turned back to the mountain, to the woods which had become the scene of his brother's slaying, tears falling down his cheeks.
Fire. Cleansing, pure flames, making swords, armour and daggers, the tools of life- for keeping it, for protecting it.
Not for devouring it. Thorin stood with his kin, a dozen or so pyres burning like wicks in front of them. He stood by one in particular, eyes fixed on the covered figure on top of the wood, watching.
Watching as his brother burned.
Tears stung his eyes as he fought to keep his emotions at bay. Thorin Oakenshield, as he had been newly dubbed, should not show weakness as a leader, should not show the emotion which he dearly wanted to set free.
The old Thorin, the one his brother had known, wanted to buckle, wanted to fall to his knees, to weep, to curse, to shout.
His brother should not have paid this price. Yet they all had- every dwarf, every brother, sister, mother and father. They had all lost someone throughout these battles.
Why was he any different?
Swallowing his tears, grief became hate, confusion became revenge, and protection became leadership.
Taking one last look at the scene, the fire, the pain, the burning, Thorin turned and walked into the night. Promising his brother, the dwarf he would always remember, to one day avenge him, and to take back Erebor.
Youthful laughter broke into his reverie- Kili had obviously said something amusing; Fili was laughing hard, clutching his sides, his eyes locked onto his younger brother, affection dancing in his pupils. Thorin loved that about his Sister-Sons; they were so easy going, and the love between them could never be broken. He wished on everything he held dear that they wouldn't have to go through what he had; the loss of a brother taints the mind, and leaves the survivor broken. They didn't deserve that, neither of them- they were still so young.
Thorin had promised Dis, on his life, that he would look after them, that he could keep them safe. Keep them from harm, she had said. Keep them from killing each other, keep them from making silly mistakes- teach them the struggles of the world, but keep them safe.
But her words were a mask, they both knew, for her true fears-
Make sure they don't suffer as we did. Keep them together, always.
Looking across at the boys as they settled in for the night, Thorin remembered his reply to his sister as they left for the quest.
'I failed Father, I failed Frerin, but I will not fail these two.'
He had lost his brother, almost his whole family, but he would not lose Fili and Kili- they were the Kings of the future, and would rule Under the Mountain as he did.
He would keep them safe, not matter the cost.
So, I don't quite know what that was….but I hoped you liked it!
Please review, I would love to know what you thought!