Calm The Fire: 113

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Náriel stood on a jutting out piece of grey coloured stone. There was a lone tree beside her. Its branches were charred and withered, buckling and gnarled. When she first saw it she felt sadness stir within her. No living thing should have to suffer this fate. And as far as she knew no one else would. The tree had been killed by fire. Smaug was gone. Nothing else would burn the earth and all the things that grew and thrived on it.

Though this caused her to frown. Orcs and Goblins. They'd burn everything. It was like a full cycle. A cycle which she found quite irritated her.

Regardless she moved over to the tree and stood by its side. From her vantage point she had a good view of the camp and of all the tents which were pitched. Even in the late afternoon with the sun slowly sailing across the sky, people were still hurrying around. She wondered what they were doing. As far as herself and Bilbo could figure out was that the only thing they could do was sit and wait and answer any questions which were posed at them.

It was tiring. Waiting was tiring. It was something which she found affected everyone. Everyone by now was just waiting for the inevitable.

Tilting her head to the side she pushed away from leaning against the blackened tree trunk. With the weight suddenly shifted off of it the tree gave a low groan and creaked lowly.

"You must be fed up with me. You must find yourself wondering why do you bother? I've not been an easy person to look out for, I know that. Nor have I been gracious. Ignorant and idiotic I think sums me up quite well." Náriel paused to look up at the figure by her side. Thranduil merely inclined his head and looked to the gravely ground below them. "I'm sorry, uncle, truly I am. I find myself wanting nothing more than to return home...if I was allowed to." Náriel put her hands behind her back and looked around at the busying figures below.

"No." Thranduil said at length. Náriel looked up at him sadly. Thranduil kept his eyes on the sky and slowly looked to her with a sidewards look. "I do not find myself wondering why I bother. You are a difficult person to try and look out for, but I pin that to being my brother's daughter." Thranduil sighed quietly. Náriel never knew her father, or her mother. Her mother died not long after she was born, Náriel was born early, too early and it caused her mother great distress. It was often thought that coming into the world so early was the cause of Náriel's height difference. Her mother seemed to live long enough to name Náriel and her father fell into a state of depression from the sudden loss that he never recovered. As such he was in no condition to look after Náriel. He seemed to gather his senses enough to leave Náriel in Thranduil's care and then he seemingly disappeared. Vanished without a trace. Now orphaned Náriel's only parental figure became her uncle. Though from an early age Thranduil had made it clear that he was not her father, but a guardian. And as such in part, he never stopped being that role.

Thranduil's earlier words were based off of the fact that both Náriel's parents were carefree, stubborn, set minded and caring. She took after both of them more than she'd ever know.

"You are neither ignorant or idiotic." Thranduil paused. "The decisions you make you try and do for the best. Though in truth that does not always pay off. And most often than not it causes you to find yourself in trouble."

"Is that an indirect 'I told you so'?"

"In so many words yes. I can't say that your decision to continue to follow the Dwarves to Erebor was a good one. It hasn't seemed to pay off. But I do see your reasons for doing it." The last part seemed strained. Náriel raised an eyebrow and looked slowly up at him. "Either way, it seems you would end up here." He looked around them. Even from where their camp was they could clearly see the looming figure of the Mountain. Looking slowly away they stood in silence.

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