This evening as the early snows arrive, she's excited to share her latest discovery with him and she hikes up her skirt enough to scamper down the hall to Dwalin's chambers.

A deep but lively stringed tune emerges from the open door. When she steps into the room, she sees him sitting and playing his large viol - absorbed in the music as his bow moves precisely across the strings. Hearing her footsteps behind him, he becomes even more animated plucking, tapping and stomping a bit of a rhythm here and there through out the song.

She rests her chin on his shoulder and wraps her arms up around his shoulders. Not missing a beat, he kisses her for a few seconds as he plays - and it makes her giggle and hug him tighter.

When he finishes playing, he puts the viol aside. Pulling her around into his lap, he encloses her in his arms, nuzzling her, "I haven't felt like playing in so long..."

He kisses her fingers and notices several small bandages. In concern he prompts as he strokes the rest of her hand, "Break some glass?"

"It's related to what I discovered today!" she excitedly burbles. He looks skeptically at her as he returns one of her bandages to his lips. So she explains, "We've known I'm different because of my learning capability, my gold eyes, and my need for gold. Through an accident, I found today that a drop of my blood adds healing properties to the salves!"

"While that's great news for healers, I'm concerned about ye letting blood. Ye won't be doing this for every healing potion, will ye?" the protective, warning tone in his voice almost dampens her enthusiasm.

"Oh, no! When the cut happened, I was bringing salve out of an old jar for a patient's wound. The edge cut my fingers, but I did na see the blood before it was mixed into the salve and the patient's wound was almost healed before they left the infirmary. So we tried the same mixture from my hands on a fresh cut that one of the healers gave himself. It had the same effect. So we saved the drops that left my fingers before the cuts clotted," she finishes.

"It is indeed amazing. But I'm equally relieved you will na just be cutting into yourself for every little thing that people come to you for. The life is in the blood, ye need it too. Shall we have ye wash yer hands in gold, so ye can heal?" He pulls a small bowl of partially dissolved coins from his dresser and she removes her bandages and dips her hand in until the cuts are gone.

As she lifts her hand from the bowl, he gently inspects her fingers to ensure they are healed and kisses each one. He whispers, "Rav..." but is cut short mid thought as she startles and starts acting like she's straining to listen to something.

A wild almost scared look takes over her face, "He's here. Dwalin, he's here..."

"Love, who's here?" Dwalin asks utterly confused at her change in behavior.

"He's calling. He knows I'm here. We have to go now..." she animatedly babbles and practically drags Dwalin out the door.

Ahead of them in the hall he hears the shouting of words that make his heart sink and his innards twist, "Azug!" "Drake!" "Dragon!" and the roar of a crowd running toward them for safety.

"Raven, we have to go this way, not towards it!" Dwalin tries to pull her away as he grabs his axes, Grasper and Keeper. But she fights him fiercely.

"No! I have to go to him, or he'll come in after me!" she's clawing at him now, trying to get away and run toward what he sees as certaindestruction.

"Please, Dwalin! LET ME GO! He'll destroy the mountain to get to me! LET ME GO!" she shrieks and struggles and kicks as he tries to drag her away from danger.

He closes his eyes, not believing what he's about to say, "Then I'm coming with ye..."

As soon as her grip loosens, she's off like a shot. When he wields his weapons as he chases after her, the panicked crowd finally parts enough to let them have a path through.

Leaving the crowd behind, their steps pound the stairs up to the gate in unison.

As they near the top the guards try to stop them and they hear a deafening roar. She holds both hands to her head and whispers, "I'm coming..."

Dwalin sees that she's struggling as she slows and continues to hold her head. She looks up at him with desperation in her eyes, "Help me get to him. I can na maintain this and run..."

He stows his weapons and and puts an arm around her for support, but protests, "I do na want to carry ye to a monster!"

"Dwalin, we have to! It will be like Smaug's invasion all over again if we do na!" she growls and he grudgingly starts to move forward with her.

They reach the ramparts and the archers, silhouetted against the moon, are poised with arrows drawn toward the sky, the others are nervously looking upward too with their weapons drawn. Raven screams, "Do na shoot! Do na fire on him! I'm what he's here for!"

They turn to her looking at her like she's crazy.

"DO NA SHOOT!" she shrieks.

The drake's shadow moves over them and all eyes turn up to the sky. The whoosh of his wings can be heard even though he's quite far above them, as the beast circles and comes into view flying lower and lower. The gleam of the moon on his silver scales and wings reflects brightly.

Coming toward the battlements, his giant wings fan out and flap to slow his approach and descent sending a whirlwind of snow and dirt into the air around the dwarves. Powerful hind legs and feet send a powerful thud as they touch the ground and the wings tuck in behind him.

The archers re-nock their arrows prepared to try to stop this monster from coming further.

Raven is again hoarsely commanding for the archers to not shoot, "He'll stay there if I go to him! DO NA SHOOT!"

The beast's head could easily reach to where the dwarves are in the fortress. But instead of coming up to them, he crouches and lays his head on his front paws sending snow flying around him. His dorsal spines flatten back behind his shimmering horns, while he waits and watches with piercing gold eyes.

Raven and Dwalin make their way down to the gate toward toward him. His breath while quiet to him, comes in gusts of cold blasts and the pair pushes forward through it and the snow that swirls around them.

Raven leads Dwalin, as he holds her tightly to his side, right up beside the side of the monster's head and a deep repetitive rumble emerges from the creature's throat. The giant slowly his lifts his head to look at her, as she hesitantly puts a hand on his metallic front paw. Her emotions change to confusion and her legs start to give out on her upon contact. The drake must be communicating with her.

"Steady me, Dwalin. Ofnir brings difficult news and his thoughts are overwhelming..."

Dwalin goes to one knee, offering her stability and wraps his arms protectively around her, "Are ye alright, Love?"

She nods and tears start to stream down her cheeks and she can only manage to breathe the words, "He knows most of the missing pieces and unlocked the memories that haunted me...

An egg from his mother's clutch was stolen by Sauron about the time I was kidnapped. Sauron intended to create a trap. A dwarf dragon born - that would have such an insatiable need for gold that I would be overpowered by the dragon blood inside me and I would convert to a full dragon wreaking disaster from inside Erebor. If the trap worked, then he would make more like me.

But once the innocent hatching's blood was melded to my frame by magic, he could na corrupt us. We became one being, wild and untamable by his methods. When ye and your kin found me, took me in, cared for and provided for me, and even loved me...the dragon side was subdued.

The rest of Ofnir's family died fighting Sauron. He came looking for me, after finding the body of his sister and knowing that I carry her spirit inside of me. I AM his only remaining family. I am Ðalindi."

The mental link seems to be easier to tolerate after a short while, and she's able to stand again and she hugs Ofnir's arm.

Ofnir moves his other paw around to hold her and Dwalin. Dwalin feels an imposing and overpowering voice in his head and the force drives him to his knees, "You were about to ask something important of her before my arrival, were you not? I apologize that my timing was poor. Oh, the irony that I will be kin to a dimimutive dwarf in the line of Durin...", Ofnir gives an echoing pompous booming bass chortle that rumbles in Dwalin's head. Dwalin looks up furrowing his brow and his fists ball in consternation at the intrusion into his most private thoughts and at the thought of being looked down upon - even by this behemoth. But Ofnir seems to not care in the least that he's angered an insignificantly sized dwarf. The fact that he apologized at all to a being below him was quite enough.

Ofnir offers overly graciously to them both, "Before you both freeze for lack of warm clothing, let me return you to your dwelling." His taloned paw opens palm up. Raven willingly steps in, but Dwalin is not keen on the idea.

"Oh come now, you'll make quite the entrance this way" Ofnir fusses proudly wanting to show off.

"Dwarves do na want this kind of attention," Dwalin stoutly refuses.

"You are trusting her to me? How unexpected..." Ofnir pokes verbally and gives a mischievous look.

Dwalin grits his teeth and steps up, since the annoying drake put it that way.

Ofnir lifts them up over the ramparts. Everyone that could fit up there was there to watch and it takes a few moments clear the area for the dragon's paw.

"Now's your chance..." the dragon nudges Dwalin.

Dwalin's look could have shot daggers, "Do na meddle drake."

Of course, Raven's curiosity is peaked, "Meddle in what?"

"Something that's na his business..." Dwalin grumbles.

Ofnir shares his thoughts with the entire crowd, "But she's my kin. It IS my business. And I want to see her reaction."

Dwalin growls at him as he sees the crowd's reaction and then Raven's, too.

The dragon, in an incredibly impish mood, plucks a song from Dwalin's memory and mentally sings his own version of it to the crowd.

"Bring a crowd and gather round!
But he says that I dare not hound!
He does not like such public dates...
That's what this son of Fundin hates!"

Several in the crowd have eyes that go wide in surprise and cover their mouths to hide their laughter and astonishment - both out of respect for Dwalin and in disbelief that a drake would actually have a sense of humor. Others just blink trying to understand what's happening.

It just sends Raven into the giggles. The mirth in Raven's eyes, as she covers her mouth with both hands and tries to hold in her laugh knowing that her Dwalin is such a private soul, completely melts poor Dwalin.

To urk Ofnir, Dwalin takes her hands in his and chooses to whisper into Raven's ear so that only she can hear. Her arms fly around his neck and she laughs, "Yes!" as she hugs him.

Looking over to the silver dragon, Dwalin glowers and retorts as he waves his hand dismissively, "Bothersome twit, ye've had yer show...Off with ye."

Ofnir's deep chuckle rumbles into the deep caverns as he leaps to take off and he says to Dwalin - but addresses the whole crowd, "I await my invitation..."

Dwalin covers Raven as best he can in the snowy turbulence and not bothering to respond.



Ofnir does attend the wedding - standing outside with his ear to the battlements. But he causes such a commotion among the guests, that Dwalin is informed by Thorin and the rest of his kin not to invite the dragon again. Dwalin gets in a huff about it because he didn't even invite the blasted drake.

Dwalin and Raven soon move back to the Blue Mountains, to a people that need a ruler again. But also where there's more room for large annoying visitors.

Author's notes:

Ofnir - norse dragon name - the winding, twisting one
Ðalindi (Ð is like "th" in "them)= A variant on several names that mean noble serpent (old english/saxon/germanic)

Berlin - Piano Guys - watch?v=VcnzqKpFZ0I (This is what I imagined Dwalin playing.)
Pacific Rim (title song) and Canceling the Apocalypse - Pacific Rim soundtrack
Blunt the Knives from the Hobbit Soundtrack
Clansman by Saor Patrol

*** I'd love to know what you think of the story! ***