Calm The Fire: 78

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When the evenings activity had died down, everyone was a little shocked to find themselves being given rooms to stay in. Proper rooms, with comfortable beds, shuttered windows. It was a luxury. One which had been missing from all their lives for quite some time. The rooms were rather simply furnished though. Chest of drawers, a wardrobe, a small desk and chair and a seat which ran the lengths of the large windows.

It was one of these window seats which Náriel found herself sitting on. The cold silver moonlight flooded through the window, which she hadn't shuttered yet. The cooling night light and pin prick stars were being blocked by the thick wood of the shutters on the other windows.

She stretched her legs out slowly and crossed her arms over her stomach. She let out a low quiet yawn, yet her head quickly turned in the direction of the door. Someone was knocking quietly. Rolling her eyes slowly she moved off of her comfortable seat and reached out for the door handle.

She wasn't at all surprised to see Thorin standing there leaning against the door frame. "Let me guess," Náriel smiled while drumming her fingers on the door. She looked at him sceptically. "Can't sleep?"

"You're such a mind reader," Thorin countered with a growing smile. Náriel gestured to the room behind her. She couldn't help but laugh quietly over their slight joking. Shutting the door behind him she turned and watched as he walked over to the window. Náriel walked quietly over and sat back down on the cushioned seat and looked out of the window. She nodded to the cushions opposite her, Thorin slowly sat down and leant back against the wall behind him.

"Mind elsewhere?" She asked while looking from the night sky to him.

Thorin looked troubled. Frowning slightly he gave a small fidget and looked to her. "I keep thinking over things." He paused. Náriel pulled her knees to her chest and leant her chin against her knees, she gave the slightest of nods at his words. "And I can't help but think...what would my father or grandfather do if they were in my position?"

"That's a heavy thought. One which I fear may bother you for quite some time." Náriel answered while pushing herself forward so she was now kneeling. Leaning forward she grasped onto his hands. Running her thumbs over his knuckles she smiled slowly. "It is a troubling thought too. Mind you...just remember all the troubles which arose for both Thror and Thrain." Náriel stated quietly. "Though I think they did dream of being in your position. Reclaiming the Lonely Mountain, yes, that I am sure, they'd have wished to be on your position." Náriel smiled, though Thorin still looked a little troubled.

"It should have been them."

"Ah," Náriel could see what was really troubling him. Guilt that he should fulfil in the task where his grandfather and father failed. Letting go of one of his hands she placed it against his cheek and made him look at her. "I'm going to tell you something, and I don't want you to forget it, even if things end up getting tough...just don't go forgetting." Náriel said, Thorin raised a curious eyebrow. "They would be proud of you. Because I am proud of you. As is everyone else because you're here, so close." She said while glancing out of the window, in the night shadows Erebor stood silent and dark in the distance. The silver light of the moon shone through the window, bathing the both of them and the room beside them in a pale glowing blanket. The light caused Náriel to look even more ethereal than she usually did. Her pale skin took on an almost translucent look, whereas her emerald eyes glowed brightly and looked sharper. Thorin's form was rather shadowed as he stayed leaning against the wall, yet her eyes flicked over to look at him.

She smiled suddenly, turning away from the window she shuffled along the seat. Thorin raised an eyebrow at her when she waved her hands at him. "What?" He questioned and continued to look slightly baffled as she looked at him plainly. He didn't understand what she was doing or what she wanted. She rolled her eyes and reached out to uncross his arms, once she had she seemed to contently settle in his lap. As one finishing touch she reached over and held onto his arms again and placed them around herself. Sighing rather happily from her strange task, she leant her head against his shoulder and shut her eyes.

"Lomil ghelekh," Náriel said quietly.

Thorin frowned lightly and leant his head away from hers and looked down at her. She looked up and sheepishly smiled up at him. Looking thoughtful, he tilted his head to the side and looked out of the window. Briefly he watched the falling snow, before looking back at her. "You continued to learn Khuzdul?" He asked as simply as he could, he was trying to fathom out why she would do such a thing. He for sure hadn't remembered anything of the Sindarin which she had attempted to teach him.

Náriel looked at him like his whole question was idiotic. "Yes."

"Why?"

Náriel smirked and shut her eyes. "Why not?"

"That's not an answer." He said while giving her a gentle poke, only this action caused her to laugh. He may have just accidentally poked her in the side which slightly tickled. When Náriel still refused to give a proper answer he repeated this action and received more laughter and rather weak attempts at pushing away.

In the end Náriel managed to spring from his lap and run away from the window seat. Finding safety on the bed she slowly sat down and crossed her legs. Leaning her chin against her hands she looked to him. "Do you remember our first conversation?"

"Such as it was." Thorin commented while turning and looking at her fully.

Náriel frowned. "I had only learnt a few phrases. I picked up another language better than you." She smirked when he in turn frowned at her words.

"So you continued to learn so we could have a more in depth conversation?" Thorin stood and walked over and knelt down in front of her. "Why when we both share a language already?" He asked simply, they did after all both speak perfect Westernesse as did everyone else they knew.

Náriel pouted, though he did have a point. Náriel sighed and pushed away from her hands. Putting her hands on his shoulders she smiled. "Because I find your language interesting. I told Balin a similar thing years ago when I was trying to persuade him to teach me." She paused and her smile grew. "That and you're all so protective over it. Keeping it secret, and all hush-hush..." Thorin just shook his head slowly at hearing this. "I just wish to expand my vocabulary." She nodded, removing her hands she shuffled backwards and made room for him to sit beside her.

Leaning against the headboard, Thorin gestured a hand to her, she moved forwards and soon found herself back to being wrapped up in his arms. "How did you continue to learn?" He asked generally interested in her answer.

"Erebor wasn't the only place with an expansive library I have you know." She leant away from his chest and looked up at him. "Mirkwood has one too. And hidden away there were a few texts which involved your language. I had learnt enough from my excellent teacher to continue furthering my knowledge."

Thorin mused over this and leant his head back against hers. "You're very dedicated." He said quietly. Náriel let out a confused noise and fidgeted slightly. Moving away she looked up at him again.

"There's nothing wrong with being dedicated. Least of all to learning."

"Just learning?"

Náriel smiled and leant back against him. "If I somehow managed to tackle the over confident, somewhat smug Dwarf Prince, surely I could tackle the somewhat tricky language of Khuzdul?"

"Over confident and somewhat smug." Thorin mumbled quietly much to Náriel's humour, she laughed and shook her head. Out of all things he picked up on that.

"But caring. Sweet, thoughtful...considerate...charming, handsome...proud..." Náriel trailed off quietly and thoughtfully. It wasn't until she was silent for a few more moments that he realized she had drifted off to sleep. Running a hand through her hair he kissed the top of her head gently before settling down too.

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Good night - Lomil ghelekh
(A/N: I thought through the heartbreak of the last chapter, we'll have something nice here. xD)

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