Calm The Fire: 70

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The palace was a much more vast place than Bilbo had first ever imagined. At any other time he could easily have found himself admiring the intricacy of the carven surroundings. But he had something to do. Something much more important than admiring the scenery. A day, that was how long he had been pottering around this place, and as yet he had failed to find the right staircase which led down to the dungeons.

Though, what he did find - which he was rather chuffed with - was a staircase which led down into a corridor which then led to another staircase which led up. Up on this level there was a room. It was this room he was heading for.

The door was open and the occupant sat at a window seat looking wistfully out at the world beyond this palace. Bilbo quietly shut the door and leant against the wall. Reaching up he took the ring off of his finger. He had been wearing it this whole time. Without it he would have been found out long before this.

"Ahem," he coughed awkwardly, the sudden noise got responded to. Though the last thing he expected was for Náriel to charge forward and scoop him up in a tight embrace. It was awkward, for him, it was rather awkward. It only got more awkward when she spun him around and tightened her grip on him more.

"Oh Bilbo! My friend, you are all right!" She exclaimed quietly and put him at arms length. She gave a light frown and picked something out of his hair. With a disdained look she flicked the web away from herself. She stood now back in her green guard uniform, he had seen her previously in a simple white dress, it seemed she couldn't stand being in it anymore and with the new day she had reverted back to what she felt most comfortable in.

"Y...yes, I am, you?" He asked and found himself frowning at himself, it was a silly question to ask.

"As well as I can be." Náriel rolled her hand at him and walked over to sit on the bed. She patted it, an action which caused him to let out flustered noises and cough awkwardly. She laughed at him. "It is all right Bilbo, as you can see I have nowhere else for you to sit, unless you wish to sit on the floor? I believe we have much to discuss. You may as well sit down, we could be talking a while."

It made sense, Bilbo nodded and walked over. He jumped up to sit on the bed, giving a small wriggle he looked to her. Náriel twiddled her fingers and sighed. "You know where they are being held?"

"You mean to free them?" Her eyes flicked to look at him. She smiled slowly, though she already knew the blatant obvious answer.

"I do, but I may need your help."

"I give it willingly." Náriel paused. "Thorin said you weren't with the others and that I should try and find you. I failed. Though you have found me." She smiled at him. "How?"

Bilbo was struck then, frowning lightly he looked at her. "Well, you see...there's this...well," Bilbo rambled and coughed awkwardly and smiled at her.

"You can tell me Bilbo. I am not going to tell anyone." Náriel said honestly.

Bilbo looked at her, she was being truthful. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out the ring. Holding it clenched in his hand he slowly extended it and opened his hand. The ring shone in the dim lighting of the torches. Náriel leant forward and looked at it. Her eyes dimmed as she looked at it, tilting her head to the side she sat up straight and nodded slowly.

"There's something about it...I can't quite pin it down...but this is what has got you through the palace so far?"


Náriel smiled. "You have yourself a magic ring it appears, Bilbo." Nodding she stood and walked over to a shelf on the wall, pulling a book and a quill from it she returned to his side. Opening a page she took to quickly drawing out something. It wasn't until Bilbo leant over her arm to see that she was drawing a map and writing directions down that he finally understood her serious expression, and the speed of which she was writing. "Listen, there is a slim chance that as soon as we get close to the dungeons I will be stopped. But with this you will find your way."

"They're stopping you from seeing them?" Bilbo looked up at her.

"I managed to see Thorin and Balin yesterday, only through luck and help from Tauriel." Náriel paused in her writing and then returned back to it. Seeing as how she had now finished she ripped the page from her book. Making sure the ink was dry she folded it up and held it out to him. Bilbo took the paper and put it within his waistcoat. "Tonight is Mereth Nuin Giliath. The Feast of Starlight." Náriel explained when Bilbo looked a little confused. "It is a grand celebration." She raised an eyebrow, Bilbo suddenly smiled, she smiled, she was glad he was picking up on what she was hinting at. Under the noise and the circumstances, it'd be easy to sneak the Dwarves out. "I can get you to the dungeon. Though I can't say I'll be much help from there on."

"You are coming to...aren't you?"

"I'm not sure."

Bilbo jumped up and shook his head. "No,, I," he paced and pointed a finger at her seriously, Náriel raised an eyebrow at the slight lecture she was seemingly about to receive. "I refuse to leave here without you too. We all have to leave, together." He said firmly with a nod.

Náriel smiled and reached out, she put her hands on his shoulders. Bilbo looked up at her. With her sitting down they were basically on the same eye line. "That is an endearing thought, Bilbo. But I may not be able to come with you."

"You're going to stay here?"

"No." She smirked, Bilbo frowned confused. "I will catch you all up. If I disappear too it will look as though I have aided them in escaping. If I stay, I won't look so guilty, and also I can find out any information about what is happening." Bilbo just nodded, he could see her point, he could also see that he wouldn't succeed in talking her round.

"Well, should we go?"

Náriel looked over her shoulder, it was dark now, and the sounds of the celebrations already reached her ears. "Give it a little while. Then we shall go."

"What are we waiting for? May I ask?" Bilbo asked curiously while jumping to sit back on the bed.

Náriel smirked. "We are waiting for the guards to get drunk so we can steal the keys." She smiled down at him while crossing her arms. Bilbo blinked at the certainty of her tone yet found himself smiling too. Giving a small nod he let out a content sigh and looked to the door.

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