Calm The Fire: 35

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Náriel had been with Radagast for so long. So long that she had almost forgot about the outside world. At least she did, until Radagast had an unexpected visitor.

Sitting looking at the grey cloaked figure, she swung her legs on the chair. “Mithrandir.” She said quietly while tilting her head to the side. “I know of you.”

“Well that is good,” came the response. “Saves time on introductions then.”

“If you are here for Radagast, I still stick by what I said earlier on, I do not know where he is.” Náriel smiled and readjusted the grip on the cup she was holding. It was true. The owner of this ramshackle building was elsewhere. She didn't know where. He often disappeared and reappeared at the oddest times. Considering the visitor was a wizard of some description, Náriel didn't see why she couldn't allow him in. She felt no malice from him.

“Oh, it's fine, I believe you. But I am not here to see him. I’m here to see you.”

Náriel frowned and tilted her head to the side. “What could Gandalf the Grey ever need me for?”

At this Gandalf grew silent. He leant forwards in his chair, “Tell me, before I answer your question, how long have you been here for?”

“Too long.”

“Yet you could return home?”

“I could.”

“Yet you won't?”

“No.”

“Why?”

Náriel smiled, letting out a quiet laugh she shook her head. “Because I like it here.”

Gandalf's eyes narrowed, he let out thoughtful noise. “Is that so.” She knew he could tell she was lying, or at least partially lying, yet he didn't press it. Giving a shrug, a smile appeared on his face. “I'm looking for people willing to participate in an adventure.”

“Adventure,” Náriel drunk some of her drink slowly and swung her legs from the chair again. “What is this adventure, may I ask?”

“To take back Erebor.” Gandalf said it in such a plain way it caused Náriel to almost choke. Coughing lightly she placed her cup to one side and looked over at him. He wasn't joking. If anything he was being deadly serious. His eyes stared at her, gauging her reaction.

“You saw what happened,” Gandalf said letting out a sigh and looking at her with a small smile. “And you rode away.”

“I didn't want to. I don't know if you know my uncle personally, but he isn't an easy person to rebel against.”

“Yet...you're here, so you succeeded in some way.” Gandalf pointed out while wagging a finger at her. “You wish to help?”

“I do. But it's not going to end well.” Náriel said honestly while shaking her head. “You put me in the same room as Thorin, or any Dwarf, and you're going to get one long, massive, never ending complaint.”

“We shall deal with that when and if it comes, hm?” Gandalf winked and smiled again.

“I don't blame him,” Náriel said while watching Gandalf stand, he looked at her curiously. She smiled, “For hating my kin. I’d dislike us too if I were in his position.” He gave a nod at her words and moved towards the door. Náriel jumped up and walked after him. Outside the sunlight shone brightly and caused the last remaining green leaves to shine and gleam in the light. Since being here, the surrounding foliage had slowly but surely darkened as if it was being poisoned slowly.

“Perhaps that can be the first step to repairing things, maybe,” Gandalf said more to himself than her. He looked around, “I didn't wish to be here so soon.” He mumbled quietly and looked down at her.

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