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Calm The Fire: 111

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The next day the group within the Mountain were woken to a ruckus of noise from beyond the walls.

Naturally being one of the first up onto the barricade Thorin looked out and down as a single man came running up. He was running as fast as he could. The sword which was strapped to his belt clinked against the rest of his simple armour.

"Hail! Thorin King Under the Mountain! With the rise of the sun a new day has begun. Are you prepared to listen to our words now? New information has come to light which seems to change the situation at hand." The man explained loudly so his voice was heard by all who were still within the Mountain and not standing by Thorin's side.

"That'd be Dain," Thorin said while looking to his side. Balin stood looking thoughtful in the early morning light. Looking back to the man, Thorin frowned lightly. "I thought his oncoming would alter their thoughts." He looked back to Balin quickly to see him give a slow nod. "Bid a few number to come, they must be weaponless, then I will hear what they have to say." Thorin said down at the man who looked up him intently listening. When Thorin had finished the man gave a quick bow of his head and darted back off to his camp.

The time then seemed to fly by. It was sometime near midday when the banners of the Forest and the Lake was seen blowing in the breeze below. It was only a small company of about twenty. When they reached the small beginning of the path which led straight to the Mountain's doors they laid down their weapons and continued onwards.

They stopped at the barricade and looked up plainly before them. Bilbo stared wide eyed at the sight of not only Bard but of Thranduil too. Beside him he heard Náriel's breathing pitch. He looked at her, she looked rather close to hyperventilating.

Bilbo frowned lightly. He suddenly didn't have a very good feeling about this. If both leaders of the two armies were here things were surely going to turn more serious. If that was even possible? Also, Bilbo couldn't help but ponder over the last words he shared with Thranduil. Surely when he said he'd avoid conflict - battle conflict - with Náriel he didn't mean to stand and persuade her to leave with him? Though really Bilbo wouldn't be surprised if he did that.

Shaking his head slowly he looked back down at the three figures who stood at the forefront. Standing motionless before Bard and Thranduil was a cloaked man with his hood pulled up so his features we're hidden from sight. Within this man's hands was a simple iron cast box of some sort.

"Hail Thorin!" Bard exclaimed and looked to the fully armoured Dwarf he named. Clearly Thorin was still expecting fighting. Of course he was, even more so considering Dain's slow approach. "Are your thoughts still the same?" Bard questioned.

"My thoughts haven't changed with the coming and goings of a few days." Thorin said while frowning down at the three before him. Naturally he was less pleased to see Thranduil amongst the others gathered. "Have you returned to ask me more trivial questions? I see the Elf host still remains and have not departed. You've come to bargain in vain."

"So there is nothing in this world that you'd bargain for?"

"You have nothing that I'd wish to bargain for."

Bard looked at the group looking down at him. They were all stubbornly looking down, though there were some who were a little more hesitant on the matter at hand. His eyes trailed back to Thorin who was looking at him seriously and waiting for him to continue. With a sigh Bard looked at him with a frown. "How about the Arkenstone of Thrain?" Bard questioned, the look of agitated fury which was sent down at him by Thorin would make anyone else recoil. But Bard just stood his ground and looked to the cloaked figure in front of him. No sooner had he asked his question did the figure move. The iron cast box in his hands was suddenly opened and from within that box there sat something shining and glimmering as much as the morning sun. The man picked the jewel up and held it in the air for all to see. The morning rays bounced off of the already shining jewel and made it shine even more. The different colours which swirled on it's surface was magnified by the sun.

Thorin looked lost. His eyes widened as he looked to the item in the man's hands. It was just like he remembered. But this if anything just added to his confusion.

"That stone is my family's." Thorin's voice was low deadly and full of anger. "Why should I bargain and purchase what is already mine?" He shot down at them but before long his anger dissipated for the moment as he looked to the Arkenstone. With a frown he shook his head and looked to Bard curiously. "Tell me, where did you find it? How did you come by this such item? Not that I'm sure such a question needs to be asked of thieves." Thorin said cynically while narrowing his eyes at them.

"We are not thieves," Bard saw fit to retort first. "We will return what is yours when you return what is ours." Bard said honestly thinking this was a fair suggestion.

"How did you come by it?!" Thorin exclaimed angrily. It was the one question he wanted answering. He cared not for anything else now because those who shouldn't be here were standing with the one thing he had desperately tried to seek.

"I told Bilbo to give it to them." A simple voice said from his side. Thorin turned and looked at Náriel. She was standing gripping onto the barricade looking at him with a sidewards look.

"You..." Thorin said breathless. He was shocked, hurt, confused and conflicted. How? How could she have done such a thing?

"I found it and I went to her for advice." Bilbo piped up his voice pitching slightly. He was now on the receiving end of Thorin's harsh glare. Náriel was just about keeping it together though he could see she was shaking slightly.

"You two." Thorin pushed past his friends to stop beside them. "You two have been scheming this together all along haven't you?"

"Are you joking?! This is why I told him to give it away! You've lost your mind, Thorin, do you know this?" Náriel frowned and exclaimed while turning and fully squaring off against him. She suddenly felt rather small compared to the fully armoured form in front of her. "Your mind has been warped...everyone can see it, but you." Náriel said through gritted teeth while narrowing her eyes.

"I curse Gandalf's choice of bringing you two." Thorin said lowly while shooting a look from one to another. "A miserable Hobbit and an undersized burglar. And a runaway Elven Princess." He turned his attention away from them for the moment. "You're lucky I don't have you thrown out." Both Bilbo and Náriel's eyes widened at this.

"I'd prefer it if you didn't throw either anywhere." A voice spoke from outside. Thorin turned his attention to the cloaked figure. He reached up and removed his hood and stared up at Thorin, Thorin looked taken back by Gandalf. Were they all in this together or something?

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(A/N: Too much conflict......my brain, my heart, my general feels xD oh well, I'm off to fly my dragon kite now, just thought you'd like to know, also, I named him Rhaegal (any Game of Thrones fans here? xD) Only because he's the same colours as Rhaegal and for a kite has a cute little face like the CGI Rhaegal (obviously before he grew up....when he was still dinky and small xD) ........moving on, cos this rambles just weird. Enjoy. Thanks for reading. ALSO! It's just dawned on me, that this is going on for WAY longer than I orignally thought. I feel somewhat inclined to ask: is it dragging on too much? A part of my brain feels like I'm really dragging this out. Meh, not saying I'd rush to the end just...I could get there sooner if I really tried. I digress, I'm off now, bye!)

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