Calm The Fire: 142

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Returning to thick stone doors was something which caused Náriel to smile slowly. It started to look more and more like the Erebor she first visited when she was younger. It was really quite a wonder what doors could do.

While she was clearly admiring the workmanship which went into creating them, Aranhi had moved forwards away from her side. Shaking her head she moved after the seemingly ever silent guard. Both journeys were silent. Going to Mirkwood seemed somewhat torturous. Returning seemed doubly so. Mainly because she was so excited to return.

Only, when she did enter the Mountain she didn't expect to be confronted with bustling Dwarves. It was something which caused Aranhi to sigh and step back. He almost got knocked over, much to his annoyance.

Spotting a familiar figure Náriel rushed forwards. “Gandalf!” She exclaimed happily. The grey robed figure turned and smiled brightly down at her.

“Náriel! It is so good to see you have returned.” He replied while patting her gently on the shoulder.

“I am sorry I never said farewell to you. But I couldn't find you.”

“Oh,” Gandalf said while coughing lowly. “Radagast and I had business to attend to.”

“Is Radagast still here?” Náriel questioned curiously. She didn't know whether he would return back to Rhosgobel. Just like Beorn returned to his little home.

This tentatively asked question caused Gandalf to beam. “Of course he's still here! Though where he is, I have to admit I don't know. He was saying something about exploring the gardens.”

Náriel raised an eyebrow. “I doubt the gardens are like they once were.” She mumbled.

“You know Radagast,” Gandalf said in such a way which caused her to laugh and nod. His words held some truth. No matter what he'd be somewhat easily amused.

Náriel shook her head and looked around. “Do I dare to ask?” She asked while gesturing to the busying Dwarves around them.

Gandalf narrowed his eyes. “Do I dare to answer?” He smirked as Náriel looked worriedly around and then at him. “You've been gone three days. May I just admit – though don't let slip – that two of those days have been spent doing nothing particular, from what I heard. I arrived back yesterday to this chaos.”

Náriel frowned, chaos, she knew it. Rolling her eyes she crossed her arms. “From what you heard, from who?”

“Did you know Dis is a very informative woman?”

Náriel smiled and laughed. “She's been informing you on what you've missed?”

“She'll likely do the same for you.” Gandalf said while shifting his grip on his staff and looking around.

Hearing exclaiming both turned to see Bofur waving rather excitedly over. “What are you two doing just loitering around here?” He asked, there was no hello, no welcome back, just this. And this caused Náriel to frown lightly yet smile.

“I've just got back I’ll have you know. And I was just catching up with Gandalf.”

“I hope he hasn't told you too much.” Bofur said sounding worried.

“Oh...all right, what?” Náriel frowned confused.

“Nothing!” Bofur said in a somewhat high pitched voice when he got a look cast down at him by Gandalf. The Wizard shook his head and frowned down at the Dwarf. That was enough for him to not say anything else.

“Nothing...you say nothing, and I say you're lying.” Náriel looked between them both. “Should I be worried?”

“No! No, not at all.” Bofur said while waving a hand casually at her. He looked over her shoulder and shook his head slyly when he spotted Dwalin and Glóin walking through the door carrying things which they had collected from Lake Town. They got the hint and quickly walked down another corridor. Noticing how his gaze had shifted, Náriel looked over her shoulder and narrowed her eyes.

Looking back at him, she sighed. “I'm suddenly rather fearful over what plans have been put into action.”

“Just be rest assured that Dis has not been such an influence.” Bofur said with a smile and a wink.

“That worries me.”

“Eh?”

Náriel sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “I told Thorin to intervene, not to stop his sister from helping. I’m sorry, but allowing him to fully take over? I’m worried.”

“Oh he's had help.”

“That worries me even more.”

“Bilbo has been most helpful.”

“I'm worried a little less.”

“And Balin.”

“Even less worried now.”

Bofur smiled and nodded happy that he had seemingly put her mind to rest, sort of. Clapping his hands he looked from her to Gandalf and back again. “Well! I best be off. Let you settle back in and all that.” He waved and darted off before either could say anything else.

Náriel looked up at Gandalf. “Answer me honestly. Should I be concerned at all, Gandalf?”

Gandalf smiled at the hesitant look which flitted across her face. Reaching down he placed a hand on her shoulder and gave it a light pat. “You must understand, there has not been a gathering like this for many, many years. Let alone the cause of this gathering being a wedding. You must understand how excited everyone is. They all just wish to help.” Gandalf said, Náriel nodded slowly. “But then,” he said lowly with slightly wide eyes and a thoughtful cough. “You know how Dwarves can be when looking forward to something, or when they have a task in mind.” Gandalf said with a thoughtful tone which matched his expression. Náriel looked up at him. “Would it reassure you to know that your uncle has helped too?”

“What?!” Náriel exclaimed. She didn't know whether to be shocked, happy, or laugh. Shock seemed to come first. Followed by happiness that he was getting involved, which also meant that both him and Thorin would have to socialise. Then she let out a laugh, because the thought of it all made her laugh. “That's good.” She said eventually. It'd explain what the other business was that he had to take care of, this was the reason why he couldn't come back to Mirkwood with her.

“Come,” Gandalf patted her shoulder. “Let's not loiter in the doorway.” He started forward with her stepping in line beside him. “Let's try and find where Radagast has disappeared to. Do you know I’ve not seen him for several hours? I am wanting to say he may be lost.”

Náriel looked at him. “He'll be totally lost.”

“Hm, well, let's hope we can find him then.” Gandalf said while they walked down the corridor and turned to walk to the nearest small garden which was within the Mountain.

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(A/N: UGH!!! Wth is this crap?! What...what?! Ugh, yeah, gosh I am exceedingly sorry for this chapter sucking bonbons. Like, it's updated before work, and it sucks, I know, but I’m hoping the next chapter will be more eventful. It bloody better be or I’ll just lose hope and go sit in a corner full of shame.)

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