In all of his life Bilbo Baggins had never once thought that he was going to leave the Shire permanently, he expected himself to eventually settle down, find a pretty girl, marry her and have an obscene amount of children. Instead life had a different calling for him, and now the hobbit found himself living in the almighty kingdom of Erebor, now under the rightful rule of Thorin Oakenshield. That in itself had been a hard task, when Thorin finally retook the mountain he fell to the gold sickness, after many months and persuasion from his family and closest friends, it seemed that Thorin had come back to himself and been cured, however Bilbo still sometimes saw the sickness in his eyes, and he believed that Thorin also saw it but was able to stop himself from relapsing, the hobbit found the kings will to remain untouched by the sickness incredible, and he found himself admiring Thorin even more for these things. In the months that followed, Thorin was true to his word and the wealth of the mountain poured out to the people of Laketown, Bard included, and others surrounding the mountain. The dwarfs who had been made homeless years ago returned to the mountain in these months, and others came from the blue mountains to start a new life in the legendary lonely mountain, Thorin accepted all of his kind in to the mountain and erected two stone statues of Thror and Thrain, standing as guardians to the mountain and giving them the recognition that he believed his forefathers deserved.
Bilbo did not see his friends from the company as much as he would like these days, they had all been given very specific jobs within Erebor to maintain its runnings. Balin was and always had been very political, and became a member of Thorin's court, often overseeing political matters which Thorin was not needed for. Dwalin became the captain of the guard, and was in charge of the training of new soldiers to defend Erebor and the surrounding lands. Bifur and Bofur became high ranking craftsmen within Erebor, and their design-work could be seen anywhere from the reconstruction of Erebor to the small toys being created for the children who had come to make Erebor their home. Oin was one of the leading healers within Erebor and spent most of his time training the younger generation with the knowledge he had gathered over the years, where as his brother Gloin spent more time with his son and wife, however was known for his skill in mining. Dori and Ori where great scholars and spent many of the first months trying to put the library back in to shape, along with the help of Bilbo, while Nori was made the spymaster of Erebor and often sent on missions with Thorin and Erebor's needs at heart. Bombur became one of the best known chef's in Erebor, however relished the chance to learn more about Bilbo's culinary skills from his home and add them to his work. Fili and Kili were not given any specific roles, however where sometimes needed in the matters of state which involved the royal family, other than that they were happy to train and teach with Dwalin and the solders.
The hobbit helped in whatever way he could, which often lead him to the library where he was most use, cataloguing texts and scriptures which where misplaced during the rain of Smaug. While also introducing new dishes and meals to the people of Erebor through the help of Bombur. Bilbo was still not sure why he had decided to stay in Erebor instead of returning home with Gandalf. He realised that some of the reason he stayed was to help the rebuilding of Erebor, while another portion was simply for Thorin, although heaven's knows why because Bilbo hardly ever saw him now, Thorin was always in important meetings or could not be disturbed for one reason or another and it saddened the little hobbit that he did not get to spend more time with the man who he believed to be his friend.
Bilbo had caught himself thinking about Thorin more than once or twice a day in the recent months, wondering what he was doing or if he was thinking about Bilbo as much, usually he was able to shake himself out of his thoughts but this time he was unable to, but a quick snap of the fingers from Dori, who he had been helping with the cataloguing system, brought him back
"You're a little distracted today, Bilbo. Are you alright?" Dori asked
"Yes! Yes, perfectly fine, apologies I lost myself in thought." Bilbo replied with a smile and a little shuffle
"Aye well, these scriptures need organising, will you Bilbo." Dori then pulled the little cart in to view, Bilbo nodded in reply however Dori was already tottering away to other business in the grand expanse of library Erebor had. When Bilbo had first come across it, he had squealed with delight and nearly jumped in to the papers and books which scattered the floor. The place made him feel a little more at home with books surrounding him, not that he had such a great, stone build library at home, but his study had books covering the walls like this place, and it made the hobbit miss home, but at the same time give him purpose to stay in Erebor. Bilbo began on his work for the day, making his way through the scriptures, numbering them and putting them in an order that would work, despite the simplicity of the task it took several hours, and it was only when little Ori tapped him on the shoulder that he realised how long he had been working. As well as this, during all the time Bilbo had been working, he had been thinking about Thorin.
Bilbo and Ori headed towards the kitchens together, making light conversations on topics of the day, when Ori asked what Bilbo had been thinking about so much he hadn't noticed the time, Bilbo blushed and made up a story about the Shire, Ori seemed to believe him enough. Ori and Bilbo separated after their supper, and Bilbo wandered the great halls of Erebor, passing multiple dwarfs as he went and giving them a polite nod of his head and a 'Good evening' if they seemed interested in him enough. Bilbo had never realised before how much he thought of Thorin, it seemed to worry him and excite him, he was stuck on what to do, if he were at the Shire he would have spoken with his beloved cousin Primula, she always had answers. Instead he thought about Bofur, he had grown close to the toymaker during their journey, and he had always insisted that Bilbo was welcome to visit him whenever he wished. With that in mind, Bilbo headed in the direction of Bofur's home within Erebor. It was not long before he was in sight of Bofur's abode, he lightly tapped on the heavy wooden door that had been carved in the corners, Bilbo could tell it was Bofur's work, obviously the dwarf had not liked the simplicity of the door and instead put his own mark on it. It was only a few seconds that the hobbit had to wait before Bofur appeared in the doorway. When the toy maker realised who it was, he let out a joyful holler and quickly tugged Bilbo inside
"I hadn't expected your company tonight, Bilbo!" Bofur said merrily "I would'a had some tea brought had I know you'd be making an appearance. Sit down will you lad." Bofur signalled to a chair before seating himself beside it, Bilbo hopped up on to the chair, quiet as a mouse "What's got you so quiet lad?" Bofur asked "You haven't had any trouble have ye?"
"No- No, not at all, Bofur," Bilbo replied with a sweep of his hand "I came to talk is all. I've been positively stuck recently." He explained and Bofur leaned in toward the hobbit
"You know I'm always here to listen Bilbo. What's got you so stuck?" the dwarf asked gently, pressing for the hobbit to continue his current stream of thought
"Well... Say for example somebody wished to court a dwarf. How would... How would one go about doing it?" Bilbo asked, not giving everything away just yet, he was not sure if he wanted to tell Bofur everything yet, he was thinking about keeping it to himself for a little longer, but he needed some sort of heads up as to this sort of thing.
"Does our dear hobbit have a dwarf on his mind?" Bofur asked teasingly and poked the hobbit with his elbow, perhaps a little too hard for the hobbit who had to grab the seat to stay upright
"N-not at all! I was just curious you see and-"
"You can't lie to me Mister Baggins." Bofur cut in, making Bilbo turn silent and begin to blush "Thorin has been on your mind for a long while, eh?" the dwarf added, making Bilbo stutter and completely lose his composure, making Bofur chuckle quietly
"H-how did you know?!" He asked in a slightly higher pitched voice than usual, still trying to get over the fact that Bofur realised so quickly, probably quicker than the hobbit himself.
"Well, most of the company saw something in the two of ye during the quest see. I thought that it was only a matter of time before one of the two of you did something about it; it seems I was right after all. Don't be shy now Bilbo; it's nothing to be ashamed of at all. Love is a cherished thing among us dwarves." Bofur soothed, Bilbo eventually began to calm himself enough to regain a normal thought pattern
"So what is the, the um traditional dwarven courting style?" Bilbo asked eventually
"Well, you wouldn't be expected to know any of this mind, and I am no expert myself, but usually a dwarf who was interested in courting another would create a gift to give to them, a sort of token which proves they are serious in their proposal see. Whether the dwarf accepts is up to them of course." Bofur explains "We dwarfs like to stick to our traditional ways, and this has gone on for centuries. Mind Mister Baggins, you being a hobbit and all I don't believe it would be essential for you to do such a thing. If you're asking my opinion I would simply go to Thorin and explain how ye feel. It's the easiest way, lad." Bilbo took a moment to think about what Bofur had said, taking it all in before asking other questions
"What if I perhaps wanted to do it traditionally?" he asked "Would it be acceptable for a hobbit like myself to court a dwarf?"
"Why of course lad. However dwarven courting is a little more complicated than I think you realise good hobbit. I would ask Balin of these things, he is a lot more experienced than myself, and if not you could always ask my Bombur, he been through it all with his wife see." Bofur replied to the hobbit, who nodded throughout the speech
"Thank you, Bofur." Bilbo said "I shall think about what you've said." He added before jumping off the chair and heading for the door
"It be no problem, Bilbo." Bofur said just before Bilbo exited his home and made his way back to his own, intent on giving the matter a lot more thought. Perhaps sleeping on it would help, the hobbit thought as he made his way back to his own quarters, the place he had been given was much too big for a single hobbit, but was one of the smallest living spaces they had in Erebor, it was of course made for dwarfs after all, but Bilbo made it as homely as possible for himself and he enjoyed his solitary time there.
Okay so this is my first Hobbit Fic. It is also my first try at a Courting Fic. I apologise for any errors that I have failed to see although I have looked through and made a few adjustments. Reviews and Favourites are loved and you get cookies! I am going to try and update this Fic every Friday and I'm thinking that there is going to be roughly 8 chapters.
Anyway, enjoy the show! :)