Calm The Fire: 16

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So far the rain had held off enough for the small group to exit their temporary safe haven and start their walk back to Erebor. While the rain had held off, the sky was heavily laden with dark grey clouds which at any point could let out their load.

Náriel was walking beside Dis, the smaller girl had for the moment stopped shooting questions at her. Náriel didn’t mind answering curious questions, but they were starting to become a little repetitive. It seemed most of the young girls inquisitive questions loitered around Mirkwood and the journey from there to here, and then of course of the Elves themselves.

While the two females walked in silence, hesitantly looking up at the sky praying it wouldn't suddenly darken even more and cold rain fall down and soak them through, Frerin had stepped into line beside his older brother.

Thorin was just idly walking, looking around at the puddle filled streets, and the tentative faces which peeked out of the windows. He gave a slight jump when a hand clapped down on his shoulder. Looking to his side, he looked at his brother. Frerin looked at him with a slightly blank yet amused look, which caused him to frown lightly. He didn't know what was going on in the mind of his brother, Thorin found he actually didn't want to know, he looked away and left his brother to whatever he was doing.

“Now,” Frerin's voice said after moments of silence. Thorin looked to his brother again upon hearing his voice. “I've not had a chance to get to know this Princess, so I do not know her as well as you.” Frerin said while removing his hand from Thorin's shoulder, crossing his arms loosely Frerin looked to the two females who were walking a little ahead of them. They were both out of earshot so they couldn't hear what he was saying. Thorin just nodded for his brother to continue, it was clear if he voiced anything while Frerin was trying to speak his piece he'd get annoyed from the interruption. “From all that I have seen, she is a kind soul and gentle too, anyone who can put up with Dis's incessant questions is also very patient in character too.” At this both brothers looked at each other with a knowing look and nodded slowly. Dis did sometimes have a habit of getting carried away. “What I wanted to say, is that I can see she makes you happy, brother, and I wanted to let you know that I approve.” Frerin got to the point eventually after many small breaks and pauses, and ended up smiling lightly at his older brother.

Tilting his head to the side, Thorin looked Frerin over, he wasn't totally sure whether he was telling the truth or not, he could very well have been joking, Thorin wouldn't put it past him. Seeing as how Frerin was being serious, Thorin slowly smiled. It was his turn to reach up and clasp a hand to his brother's shoulder. Frerin tumbled slightly as Thorin pulled him into a spontaneous embrace, “That means a lot, little brother.” Frerin patted him on the back and nodded slowly. “Thank you,” letting Frerin go the two looked at each other before looking back to the streets surrounding them.

“Dis!” Náriel exclaimed all of a sudden as she held up her hands to try and swat the drops of water away. Dis giggled as she jumped into another puddle, the water of which splashed up and hit against Náriel some more.

“Dis,” Thorin said seriously, this just caused Dis to laugh some more before trotting off and jumping into more puddles along the way. He was about to say something else in regards of her splashing in puddles near to Náriel, only Náriel in turn splashed in the puddle before Dis could. The murky rain water went spraying up into the air, and against Dis's legs. She giggled and shook the water off of herself.

“That my dear Dis, was revenge.” Náriel smiled and side stepped a puddle which Dis was eyeing up gleefully. “No,” she said as seriously as she could but ended up laughing, “No, no, Dis!” Náriel squealed as the cold water hit against her. Turning tail she ran from Dis's side and ended up standing in between Frerin and Thorin. She didn't think they'd bring much safety, Náriel wouldn't put it past Dis to jump and splash water at all three of them.

“Hm,” Frerin hummed thoughtfully and looked to Náriel. “I give you credit for your attempt just then, Princess.” He shook his head, “But I believe I can do one better.” At this he ran away from her side and towards Dis. Upon seeing her older brother charging towards her, she laughed some more and went running off. Frerin's plan was to basically jump in every puddle possible that she was close to, thus splashing water up at her.

“Are you still apprehensive about seeing your uncle?”

Náriel looked up from the ground and looked to him. “Are you a mind reader by any chance?” She asked interestedly. Shaking her head she looked around and up at the sky, narrowing her eyes at the clouds she looked back to him with a sidewards glance. “I am, it is unfortunately the truth.” Sighing she crossed her arms loosely. “You see, when it comes to courting and potential suitors, my uncle is very reserved. That is putting the matter quite lightly, you must understand that. But also, you must understand that I am happy, content even, and I do not wish for his interference, any other time sure, but not this time, no thank you.” She smiled and looked at him.

Putting an arm around her shoulders he pulled her closer to him, much gently than he did with Frerin, Náriel gently bumped against him and looked up at him while putting an arm gently around his back. “Would it lessen the apprehension if I were present? That way I would be able to speak with him as well.” Thorin offered, Náriel didn't even need to reply, her expression said it all. From one moment she was calm and lightly smiling up at him, the next her eyes had darkened and she looked heavily in thought.

“I thank you for your offer, Thorin, honestly I do.”

“But you wish to speak to him alone?”

“I do, if you don't mind?” She asked cautiously.

Thorin smiled and shook his head, he could understand that. After all this matter seemed to run a little more deeply than just his interest in her, and the other way round. There was clearly something missing out of this equation which involved only Thranduil and Náriel.

“I don't mind, if that is what you wish to do, then so be it, just know that I won't be far if you need me.”

Náriel smiled warmly and gave a slow nod. That was all she could have hoped to hear right now. Giving a content sigh she looked up at the greying sky. “This has been a wonderful day.” She proclaimed easily changing the subject to one of a lighter subject.

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(A/N: I am beyond sorry, like, so super duper sorry for the delayed updating. I hit a brick wall, major brick wall, got stuck, lost motivation, had heaps of work, then got writers block. But I return! D: I return that's the important part, right?!?! I know not much happens in this chapter, and for that I apologise again, I need to get back into the swing of this...I'll try and update more often, I promise!!)

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