Calm The Fire: 24

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After quickly bathing and changing Náriel looked rather unamused at the piece of material which Thorin had hunted out. “I'm not putting my arm in a sling. I’m trying to avoid suspicions, Thorin. Having my arm in a sling will contradict this.”

“What happens when you go to use your arm, yet can't because it pains you?”

“Then I’m sure you shall be there to smugly tell me so.”

“Well,” Thorin paused to stand up from the desk. He had patiently sat at the desk while she changed and washed in the other room. Náriel looked at him questionably, she wanted to see what else he could possibly say. “Perhaps.” He said after much thought. “But then, perhaps I won't because you'll be resting your arm.”

Náriel rolled her eyes and walked over to him, sitting in the chair she looked up at him. “Fine.” Thorin smiled with triumph, this was a minor victory after all. Leaning down he gently moved her arm and tucked the material under it. Even moving it slightly caused her to wince.

“Do you think I’ve broken something?” She asked worriedly.

Thorin paused to look at her. “Bruised perhaps.”

“Bruised,” Náriel pondered over this as her hair was gently pushed over her shoulder as he took to tying a knot in the material that rested against the nape of her neck. “Dwalin wouldn't have left me to just wander off if he thought I’d generally hurt myself, would he?” She looked over her shoulder at him.

“No,” Thorin replied while putting a hand against her head, her hair was still partially damp. “If he did, he'd be in trouble for it.”

Náriel scrunched her nose up, “You two squaring off doesn't sit well with me. If it ever happens please make sure I’m not around.” She smiled back over her shoulder at him.

“As you wish.”

“Thank you,” Náriel let out a quiet sigh and then gave a small fidget in the chair. “Can I ask something of you?” Thorin looked at her curiously. Náriel seemed to ponder over her words before nodding slowly. “Can you tie my hair up for me please? As you can see, I can't do it myself at the moment.”


Pottering around amongst the many aisles of books, Balin stopped suddenly and backtracked. Looking around he slowly walked over to a table. “Princess,” he said lightly, Náriel looked up at him and smiled gently. Balin looked over her appearance and frowned at the sight of the sling. She was leaning forward against the table in front of her so her arm was partially obscured by the piece of furniture. “What happened?”

“Sparring...with Sigrek...” Náriel said quietly and somewhat awkwardly while her eyes glanced around to make sure no one else was listening in. She honestly didn't want word to get back to Thranduil of her injury. So far she hadn't crossed paths with him, and as far as she knew he was ignorant to it. Náriel wanted to keep it that way.

Balin sat down in the chair by her side and put the books he was carrying onto the solid surface. Placing his hands on top of the pile he looked to her. “Whose idea was this?”

Náriel hummed, “Your brother's.”

“Of course it was.”

“Balin, it wasn't wholly his fault...I mean, I could have backed out, yet didn't.” She paused. “That and he did catch me out training outside earlier on.” At this her voice dipped to a whisper as a few Dwarves pottered past them, she watched them guardedly. “I should have asked for permission to borrow some weapons. I think pulling me into a training session was Dwalin's way of you know...getting that message across.” Náriel looked to the book in front of her and tapped the page thoughtfully. “That and stealing from a Dwarf never ends well.”

Balin shook his head lightly, only Dwalin knew his reasons for asking Náriel to train. “What bought you here?” He asked getting the conversation onto a different topic.

Náriel leant against her hand and looked to him. “I returned the book I previously borrowed. Then I thought I’d stay, it's peaceful in here.” She looked up at the ceiling. “That and Thorin had other things to tend to. So I thought I’d stay and read a little.” She smiled as she looked back down at him.

“Anything good?” Balin asked curiously. His question seemed to cause Náriel to shift uncomfortably in her seat. She looked incredibly thoughtful and tense over his question. “What is it?” He asked quietly. It couldn't be anything too bad. Accounts of great battles were about the worse things which were housed in the library.

“Your language, Balin, interests me.” Náriel said, Balin could see where this was going already. He gave a small fidget in his chair and placed his hands back around the books. “I know how protective you all are over Khuzdul.” She said while leaning forwards to appear in Balin's line of sight. “And I respect that, yet I cannot seem to notice that there's a slight language barrier, if you get my meaning.”

Balin looked at her, “Are you suggesting teaching Thorin Sindarin?”

“It would be funny, would it not?” Náriel laughed, though he was trying to be serious, Balin couldn't help but let out a laugh too. The thought of it was quite entertaining to think of. “A few words, that is all I wish to learn, nothing more.” Náriel said honestly, Balin looked at her seriously again. He was usually a good sense of character, and all he picked up from Náriel right now was the honest truth. She generally seemed to think if she knew just a small amount of Khuzdul things would go better for herself and Thorin.

“Will you teach me, Balin?” Náriel asked quietly, “I promise I will not use it elsewhere. Here and here alone, with you or with Thorin, that is all. No one else will know about this, please, I am getting nowhere with trying to translate these books.” She said while glancing at the books in front of her. Now that Balin was seated he could see that the pages they were opened to all corresponded. They were the same book but in three different languages, Sindarin – her native language – Westron, the Common Speech, and Khuzdul – his native language – this caused Balin to sigh quietly. It seemed even if he were to say no, she would still try and pursue this.

“Fine,” he said while looking around, Náriel smiled brightly and leant across the table to wrap her good arm around his shoulders.

“Ci fêl, Balin.” She whispered while retreating back to her chair and shutting all three books and looking to him. It seemed that she had hoped that her first lesson was going to start straight away.


(A/N: The mental image of Thorin using Sindarin makes me, can we see this? It'd be hilarious xD ALSO! Those of you who private messaged me, and commented on the previous chapter to help me out, you are all a bunch of freaking legends! You have all been most helpful, and all of your comments have been taken into consideration! Thank you so, so, SO much!!! ^^)

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