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Finding himself on his own, in the cool of the night again, Thorin blinked slowly and looked to the stony ground beneath his feet. Reaching up slowly he placed a hand to his cheek. It was such a simple spontaneous thing which caused something to stir within him.

He turned and looked up at the large moon and its ghosting glow. "This isn't good," he declared to himself. Although he had found he enjoyed Náriel's company through the day, that was all that it could amount to; a friendship. If it became anything more it'd get complicated. He slapped himself on the forehead, how could he even think of 'anything more' when they'd only known each other a day, and Náriel had kissed him on the cheek in thanks for everything?

He returned to the hall a few moments later, hunting out Balin and Dwalin, they were still in the room he had left them. By now most of the Dwarves were laying unconscious on the floor or across the tables. It really was a sight to see. Balin was attempting to clean some of the mess up, and Dwalin was seemingly trying to help his brother. It also seemed that Dwalin had won the competition, Thorin had been right about that.

"Thorin," Balin said happily when he spotted him walking over.

"Where's the Princess?" Dwalin asked while giving Glóin a gentle nudge with his boot. His gentle nudge soon turned into a swift kick which caused Glóin to let out a groan. "He is so going to have to spend the night down there." Dwalin said while glancing down at him.

"Her uncle wished to speak with her, after that I presume she'll retire for the night." Thorin said answering the younger of the brothers.

"Hm," Dwalin and Balin both hummed in unison while looking to him.

Reaching down and picking up a waylaid mug, Thorin turned it in his hands before walking forwards and placing it down on the table. "I need your help with something." The brothers both had an expression of curiosity on their faces. "For tomorrow." He further said, which caused the curious expression to deepen.


"Uncle," Náriel said quietly while joining his side. A small group of people were idly talking nearby so she kept her tone down.

Thranduil tilted his head to the side and slowly looked down at her. "Náriel."

"You asked for me?" She questioned, it seemed whatever he wanted from her it couldn't have been of dire circumstance because he was just simply looking down at her.

"May I inquire as to where you went?"

"You may but I'll simply say you have inquired." Náriel said while smiling to a couple who shuffled past them. Her eyes lingered on them for a few more moments before looking up to her uncle. "I went to get some air." She said, it wasn't a lie. It was awfully hot in the hall and she did need some fresh air from fear of possibly fainting. It was just ironic slightly that Thorin happened to be on the same balcony as her.

"With the young dwarf-Prince." He spoke quietly, almost a whisper, yet she still heard him despite the noise which echoed around the hall.

Náriel frowned lightly. "Who has a name." She defended sternly. She knew of her uncle's hesitance and partial dislike towards dwarves. It didn't surprise her that he wouldn't hide such a thing. "Does it really matter?" She questioned curiously, she saw no harm really, but of course such a simple thing was life threatening clearly in the eyes of Thranduil.

He lifted the cup he was clenching onto to his lips and slowly drunk the liquid within it. Lowering his arm, he placed his other hand to the cup so it was resting between his palms. "Restrict the time you spend with him, or I will."

"Excuse me?"

"Do I have to say it bluntly, Náriel?" Thranduil's tone turned icy. "I do not want you spending more time than you have to with him."

"Why?" Náriel looked up at him confused.

Shaking his head lightly, he looked to the floor. "I do not trust him." Náriel wasn't shocked, yet she still narrowed her eyes slowly up at him. "Do not look at me like that," he frowned down at her. "Tell me, do you know what intentions the young dwarf-Prince has towards you?" Náriel went to answer only for him to cut her off. "You do not. Young males thoughts are vastly different to what you think they may be."

"How can you say such a thing when you've not even had a proper conversation with him?" Náriel asked while clenching her hands behind her back. "Whatever intentions you think he may have, he hasn't shown any intentions towards me. None other than being kind and polite." She shook her head slowly.

"How deceiving."

"Uncle," Náriel said through gritted teeth. "I do not understand where such resentment comes from, it is beyond me. But where ever it comes from, whatever you feel, it is not shared by me. How can you make such accusations? I never thought you'd so easily label someone, uncle." Náriel put a hand to her forehead and sighed heavily. This was not how she wanted to end her evening. Even now she could feel a headache coming on. "I am no idiot, nor am I naïve, I can tell when someone wants something, and quite frankly, all I've picked up from my time with Thorin is that his actions and words are ones of friendship. Nothing more." Náriel looked to him.

Thranduil's blue eyes stared at her unblinkingly. "You defend him so." He paused. "As if you care for him."

"I do not have many friends, but I would like to think I've found one in Thorin." Náriel explained honestly, which seemed to make Thranduil's eyes bore into her even more. "From arriving here he has been nothing but welcoming. May I turn this to you, uncle? What of King Thrór? He has been most kind and welcoming to you, just like his grandson has been to me. How is this situation any different?" Náriel raised an eyebrow, Thranduil turned and looked to the busying people around them. It was easy to forget that there was still some form of merriment going on while they conversed seriously. "Are you trying to tell me that through his welcoming actions that King Thrór is trying to take advantage of you in some way?"

"It is not the same thing," Thranduil's tone was calm but his eyes narrowed down at her again.

"Right, it's not the same thing, really? I think it is. Would it perhaps be different if I were a man?" Náriel asked while crossing her arms.

Thranduil went silent, he did not like Náriel arguing back. Her fighting spirit was a good quality, but not when he was on the other end when all he was trying to do was look out for her. He often forgot how fiery his niece could be. Náriel spent most of the time abiding his wishes and his words. Clearly not this time.

Náriel let out a heavy sigh, looking down at the floor she slowly looked up at him. "Uncle, I understand, really I do. You are protective over me, and as much as you think I don't understand that, I do, honestly, but please...please trust in me when I say I can make my own decisions." Náriel looked up at him pleadingly. "I am not a child anymore, I can tell good from bad. Despite not really knowing Thorin well, I can already tell that he means me no harm. He is not bad, you can believe me or not, but at the end of the day you don't know him." Sighing again she nodded slowly. "Don't say such things about him, it is cruel." Seeing as how Thranduil had turned silent and wasn't going to say anything else, Náriel sighed and hung her head. "Good night, uncle." Náriel hollowly smiled up at him before moving away from his side.

She slowly made her way back to the guest room she would be staying in. Not being in the mood to be tidy, Náriel flung her attire over a chair which was near a writing desk. All of her belongings for the months stay had already been put away. Pulling out a nightdress she tugged it on, sat with an annoyed sigh on the bed before falling backwards. Pushing herself up again, she pulled herself into the bed and settled down.


(Edited: 9/August/2018)

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