Calm The Fire: 51

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Watching as Gandalf and Elrond walked along one of the many bridges with heavily thoughtful expressions. Both Náriel and Bilbo exchanged a look. They had spent most of the day together, humbly walking around Rivendell, minding their own business, exploring peacefully. It seemed it was something they had in common: exploring.

Gandalf and Elrond were talking about Smaug, and the quest, and how it was such an unwise decision. It was mainly this part which had caught both of their attention, more so as the conversation went on and the two stopped in the middle of the bridge.

“Need I remind you a strain of madness runs through that family?” Elrond asked Gandalf. By this point both Náriel and Bilbo had noticed that there was a third person listening in. Thorin moved from his quiet standing point and slowly made his way over. “His grandfather lost his mind, and his father succumbed to the same sickness.” Elrond spoke lightly, despite of his words, beside him Gandalf nodded slowly agreeing. “Can you swear that Thorin Oakenshield will not also fall?”

Bilbo briefly looked to the side only to see Náriel had silently moved away. She stood in front of Thorin, who looked down at the floor with a distant look. She was worried for him. These words weren't exactly good to drop into. She reached out and lightly held onto his hands, from the sudden contact he looked up at her with a distant look still in his eyes.

“With or without our help, these Dwarves will march on Erebor. They are all determined to reclaim their homeland.” Gandalf said while the pair walked slowly up a flight of stone stairs. “I do not believe Thorin Oakenshield feels that he's answerable to anyone. Nor for that matter am I.” Gandalf's voice trailed off as he continued to speak. Him and Elrond disappeared into a high room and were soon lost to them.

“Come with me,” Thorin pulled his hands free from Náriel's and turned away. Her arms simply fell to her sides, Bilbo appeared by her side. The two looked at each other then to the retreating Dwarf. Not hearing following footsteps he looked back at them. Walking up the few stairs he had just walked down he looked between them. “Come on.” He said firmly. He stood unmoving, looking at them both with an equal hard gaze, slowly but surely both of them started to walk forwards.

“We're leaving,” Bilbo whispered to Náriel.

“I know,” she replied back quietly while they followed after Thorin. It didn't take long to find the remaining Dwarves. Nor did it take them long to get their things together and start to shuffle quietly away.

Quietly they all managed to make their way through Rivendell. A few times they had to watch as a lone figure would walk by. Never did one look get cast their way, which was a thankful thing really. By the time they had made their way out, the sun had started to slowly rise. The sky was turning pale pink with the warm glow of the sun peeking out over the horizon. The rays caused everything to shimmer in the peaceful light.

“Be on your guard, we're about to step over the Edge of the Wild,” Thorin said while stopping slightly to look back at his companions. They were all walking up the rocky slope which led out of Rivendell, and onto the track in the right direction. “Balin, you know these paths, lead on.” He stepped to one side to let the elder Dwarf take over. He merely nodded and started to shuffle onwards. “Master Baggins, I suggest you keep up.” Thorin said when he looked to Bilbo who had stopped to glance one last time at the Elven establishment they were all leaving behind. He was sorry to leave.

Turning slowly, he fell into line and walked with downcast eyes. All the others were walking in a similar matter. And all of them seemed to glance back at the safe haven they had previously been staying in.

“What's with that expression?” Thorin simply asked as Náriel trudged slowly past him. She looked saddened, more than anyone else, even more than Bilbo. He turned and looked at her as she stopped and skilfully moved out of the way of the others who continued trekking.

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