Chapter 19: The Flow of Time

As the years passed, more and more children were born into Thorin and Lily's family. Adia had indeed grown up to be a beautiful princess, and she and all of her siblings showed a new type of dwarf, towering over the others, and even though Thorin was tall for a dwarf, meeting Lily's height, they all towered over him. The females were also quite different as they were as hairless as their mother. Although Thorin did not anticipate such physical changes in his offspring, he did not condemn them either.

Adia was considered the most beautiful princess in all the kingdoms, and it was many a suitor that came for her hand. In the end, she settled on the hand of an elf from the north. This was a first in the dwarf world for an elf and a dwarf union. Thorin's hatred of the elves was still evident, but with the guidance of Lily, it had slowly become more veiled over the years. It was necessary for their alliances, and now even more so for the love of their daughter.

For Lily, marrying into the elves was not new to her family, from her mother's side an unusually long life was the left over from one such marriage generations before. Lily gave her blessing, and watched as her beloved daughter became a queen of the north. For Thorin, it was a heartbreaking day, for little Adia had been his gem. He still had 9 other children (a very large number for a dwarf family), but Adia had been the one to cement his love for Lily, and calm the storm within.

Their second youngest, and heir to the throne was Thain. He was handsome and strong like his father, but more even-tempered like his mother. Both parents were sure that his reign would be a most beloved one. Their kingdom was thriving, and Thain would inherit this gigantic success, and perhaps even make it more so.

As for Thorin and Lily, the years did not wane their love. In fact, as the restoration of the kingdom continued in their first years, he made changes to the throne room to ensure that his queen sat by his side, a new feature for a dwarf kingdom. Thorin listened intently when his queen advised, and even if it seemed he was indifferent, he always took what she said to heart. His hand was no longer so heavy, and he found himself a more willing listener.

Thorin's lust for Lily also became a well-known wonder throughout the kingdoms. As the years drew on, and more children came, Thorin could not keep himself from her. When he wanted his wife, he took her. He had no regard for how it would look if they coupled so often, for all he cared about was that she knew how ardently he loved her. Without her the kingdom would never have been rebuilt to its full splendor. She had given him life, a thing he thought he had lost when Smaug first attacked.

Their children were also not blind to their parents' love, but saw it as something to strive for in their own marriages. To see their father long so desperately for their mother when she went away as a delegate, or to see him run to her upon his return from business in another kingdom showed them a love unseen before. He never failed in bedding his queen.

Their fights were as legendary as their love-making. Thorin's angry roars could be heard echoing throughout the halls of the kingdom, but it never lasted long, and even if it seemed that the queen would not stand for such treatment again, as she tried to run from their chamber his strong hand would grab her and draw her back to him. He knew without her he would be nothing again, and apologies became more frequent in his vocabulary, as did dirty words to tease her.

Even as their hair turned silver, and the years drew on, and Lily's blessed long life drew to a close, Thorin still would not be kept from his queen. The stamina of the dwarves, and the blessed blood of the house of Winters kept them both remarkably handsome and fit until the day their hearts stopped beating, and so they did at the same time.

Thain discovered them in their bed together, Lily asleep on her king's chest, and his arms wrapped firmly around her. Adia had also arrived shortly after to visit with her family, seeing her brother observing their parents in such a loving embrace. It was heartbreaking, but also comforting to know that they went together, as in love as ever. They did not call the servants to dress them and make them ready for their funeral beds, instead, Adia and Thain dressed each parent and prepared them themselves.

For the first time in the history of Erebor were the king and queen buried within the same chamber, no less within the same tomb. It served the wishes of both monarchs, being within the mountain Thorin loved, and having a small path leading in from a field of wild flowers for Lily. Many a king and queen came to pay their respects, and creatures from all walks of life weeped at their loss. For the reign of Thorin Oakenshield and Lily of the house of Winters was the most prosperous in the recorded history.

Adia, Thain and all of their siblings visited the tomb often with fresh wild flowers, and spoke to their parents of their lives. Never would Thorin have guessed that he would have led such an incredible life at the meeting of young Lily in Bag-End. Gandalf had indeed spoken true, she was the key to his fate, and she saved not only a kingdom, but a king from himself. All of Erebor hailed Thorin for his mighty leadership, but they praised Lily for her kindness of heart, and giving Erebor a pulse that was not there before. Thorin never felt jealously at the love of the people for their queen, for it was the same love he had.

The king had returned, with a queen on his arm, establishing his line firmly, and saving many villages nearby from starvation. Erebor was the glory of middle-earth once more, and so continued on to be after the passing of the greatest love ever witnessed, that of Thorin and Lily.

End.