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Calm The Fire: 18

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Being just a pair of eyes on the surface of steaming water, Náriel sighed. She raised an eyebrow at the bubbles which came from this simple gesture. Submerging herself she stayed under the water for a matter of seconds before surfacing again.

It felt good to be warm, and clean. This water was clean and fresh when she had entered the bathroom, but now it was slowly turning to a murky grey. Despite of this, the water was still steaming and hot, and she really didn't want to get out. Getting out would mean having to go and speak with her uncle. Though sure, she did not wish to spend all night in the bath.

Slinking back down she sighed, she looked to her feet which were peeking out of the water at the other end of the bath. She wriggled her toes and slowly looked to the locks of hair which was bobbing about on the surface of the water. Blinking slowly she reached up and picked up a simply braided lock with the metal clasp on it.

“Hm,” she hummed thoughtfully while looking around, frowning she sat up. She was as ready as she'd ever be to start getting ready to see her uncle. As she dried herself and wrapped herself in fresh warm towels, she pondered over that simple clasp which had snapped her out of her thoughts. “Courage,” she slowly said to herself, it wasn't a hard thing, and the metal which hung onto her hair could give her that. “Find courage in the smallest things,” she pondered while pulling on fresh clothes. Once she had done the buttons up on the simple white dress, she brushed the long sleeves which were far longer than her arms. The trail of the dress spilled out behind her, as she walked it silently glided across the floor. Sitting down on the bed she took to carefully brushing her hair. Deciding to keep it down she frowned and looked to the golden facings on the sleeves. Heaving a sigh she looked up at the door.

Going through a door was so simple. It was such a simple action. Open it, walk through, shut it again and walk. Yet she found herself not wanting to move. Being in here was safe. There was just silence. No hushed words, nothing, no arguments, just peace. As soon as she'd walk through that door, that peace would be gone, and she knew it.

Frowning and fisting her hands she stood up and silently walked towards the door. She was going out there to meet those hushed words and possible arguments. She wasn't wholly one for confrontations, she didn't like to argue, yet if she felt so passionately about something she would make her voice be heard. For one thing she knew she felt passionately about was a certain Dwarf Prince. Her uncle had already made it clear he wasn't totally content with this, and she was going to resist this and make her voice be heard, even if she felt incredibly nervous about doing so.

Trying to find one person amongst such a large space was seemingly failing. Náriel had been walking about aimlessly for half an hour before stopping and double backing. Tilting her head to the side she walked slowly onto one of the balconies which was dotted around Erebor.

Thranduil stood, back facing her, hands on the the railing before him. His head tilted to the side as he registered her quiet footsteps echoing from behind him. “Uncle,” Náriel said quietly yet strongly. “May I firstly apologise for appearing like I did earlier on. That was no state for me to be seen in.” She thought she'd start off with an easy topic, appearance.

“It is fine,” came the rather simple response from the man in front of her. He didn't move, though his head did bob slightly as he spoke. Blinking slowly she swung her arms by her sides and looked rather puzzled. So far all was well. Though she still felt slightly confused. “Though,” he said while slowly looking over his shoulder at her. “I spy a new trinket in your hair. What is it?” There was nothing in his tone to suggest surprise. Náriel frowned lightly, he had already seen it, he clearly already knew of it and of what it was. Why he asked was just to be judgemental, obviously.

Náriel tilted her head to the side and looked at the rather simple piece of metal which seemed to be causing such a problem. “A present.” She said simply, it was after all a present of sorts.

“A Dwarfish present, I see.”

“You see correctly.”

“Prince Thorin?”

“Correct,” Náriel replied just as stoically. This was just a conversation of simple truths. Nothing was really coming from it. Placing her hands over her stomach, she stood blank faced, she was awaiting the moment an argument would ensue, it was bound to, it was slowly boiling up to it.

Tilting her head to the side, she stepped forwards and stopped by his side, looking over the night scape in front of her she smiled. Everything was cloaked in silver moonlight, it looked beautiful. Not a sound could be heard, although if she listened close enough she could hear noises coming from somewhere in the Mountain.

“While we are to stay here, he asked if he could court me. I accepted, this brings us to this,” Náriel explained as simply as possible while pointing to her hair. She looked up, Thranduil had looked away from their surroundings to look down at her with an almost calm expression. His eyes looked at her curiously though. Her own expression softened, reaching out she placed a hand against his arm. “Uncle, I ask you not to voice anything about this. Believe me when I say I am aware of your regard when it comes to Dwarves, I do not know of these regards, all I know is that they exist. Whatever your reasons, I am asking you to place them to the side, just this one time.” Náriel looked at him kindly, almost pleadingly. “You do not know him, I know I have not known him long too, but I know him better than you. He is kind, gentlemanly even...” Náriel trailed off thoughtfully, she got bought out of her thoughts by Thranduil's voice.

“Was there not once another who you spoke about with such attention?”

Náriel removed her hand and placed it in her other hand. She lowered her head and stood quietly in thought for a moment. There was once one, who she thought she had cared deeply for, in return she thought he cared for her too, though that turned out to be false. She dislike this being bought up. But she let it slide, opening her eyes slowly she looked up at the moon.

“Youth doesn't often know what the heart wants.” She said quietly yet sternly. “I am older, wiser, though true I may admit that I do not wholly know what my heart totally wants. But what it wants at the moment is to be content and happy with Thorin, for the time we have.” Thranduil looked at her blankly, he was gauging her, listening to her tone, reading her expression. Shaking her head she sighed. “Is my happiness important to you? For if it is, please let this be.”

Much like throughout the whole conversation, Thranduil stood silent. He looked up at the dark sky with its twinkling stars. Náriel looked around at anything and everything, staring up at her uncle awaiting an answer wasn't making her feel better.

After much time, Thranduil calmly replied, “So be it.” Náriel double took, Thranduil looked at her from the corner of his eyes. “When you set your mind to something, nothing can deter you. I see how you are going to be, so very well.” He paused, “As long as we are here, I shall not interfere.”

Still looking truly dumbstruck, Náriel reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. It was an action which caused him to bend down to her height, “Ci fêl,” she whispered still in shock. Pulling away she watched as Thranduil easily stood back up straight, he looked down at her. “May I take my leave?” She asked cautiously.

“You may,” Thranduil replied coolly and watched as Náriel turned on her heels and walked calmly off of the balcony. Rolling his eyes he looked back out into the quiet night. Looking down he sighed, his eyes flicked up and looked around. A simple sentence which he had spoke came back to mind which caused him to smile faintly.

As long as we are here. I shall not interfere.” With this sentence leaving his mind he turned and walked back the way he had earlier came. “While in Erebor,” he spoke quietly to himself as he made his way back to his chambers. “Never said anything about Mirkwood.” He said while turning and looking to the temporary space he had been given to sleep in.

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(A/N: Ah...sneaky, sneaky Thranduil, this'll be fun to write...surely...no? xD)

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Thank you – Ci fêl

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