Chapter Eighteen – Gumzukâmin u Danakhabalât

Title: A Cursed Blessing
Pairing: Bilbo/Thorin

Summary: In time of great change a Prophet is born, selected by one of the Valar. When Bilbo is born, he had the markings of the Prophet but it was not One of the Valar that had chosen him, it was all.

Disclaimer: I am merely borrowing the characters of Tolkien; I do not own them unfortunately…

Author Note: “Bold Italic is Khuzdul”, “Italic is Sindarin”, ))Bold(( is Black speech and anything between }}…{{ is Green Tongue. Anything Underlined is windspeech or the language of the Eagles.

BB

The company chattered and whispered behind him or what Bilbo was assumed whispering but they were Dwarrow and Dwarrow were never known or complimented on their stealth. Honestly, he wanted to turn around and tell them that he can hear their worries and it wasn’t helping him at all but… but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the forest.

The twisted decaying vines over elegantly carved rock and fossilised wood. The same carvings being placed and carved… back to the decay…

Something is coming…

“Is there no way around?” He asked Gandalf pained, his toes wiggling in the loose soil he had created over the last ten minutes. His head felt like it was in a fog and, yet, at the same time felt as if he had decided to drink all the ale in the shire at the same time.

Gandalf cast the hobbit a sad look, he knew entering the wood would cause some harm to Bilbo or any hobbit really but he had never would have guessed on how bad. Bilbo looked pallid, sickly even much like the forest.

“Not unless we go two hundred miles north, or twice that distance south.” He explained gently, as he began to make his way into the forest following what pulled him in. “I’m… sorry.”

Something is near…

The words were barely heard over the sound of beating drums or was it his heart? Bilbo did not know but it beat painfully slow in his ears, felt each thrum through his body as he fingered the metal in his pocket absently. He could feel the presence of two Dwarrow beside him, lending him their strength in their silent support.

Nori and Bifur… his mind supplied agonizingly slow.

‘Something moves in the shadows unseen, hidden from our sight. Every day it grows in strength. Beware the Necromancer. He is not what he seems.’ Galadriel’s voice whispered softly to Gandalf as he approached what called him, his hand stilling in the air as he clutched the vines.

Something is here…

A scream escaped from Bilbo’s lips as a flash of fire so bright and powerful tore through the barriers of Irmo in Bilbo’s mind the very second Gandalf tore away the vines. His hands fly to his ears to block out the black speech and his eyes clench shut as he tried to chase the image away but unable to do so.

Death and the scorching of the world burned bright under the eye’s gaze. An army marched from deep within and through the black gates…

Chaos erupted around Bilbo as he collapsed to the ground in Thorin’s arms, all of them crowding him as Óin scanned over him for any sign of damage, shaking his head at Thorin’s look when he was done. Dwalin scowled darkly as he spun on his foot and stalked towards the forest, yanking Nori with him for support, the thief more than willing to help.

Though his ire turned into rage quite quick as they saw Gandalf make way to his horse instead of rushing to Bilbo’s side in aid.

Dwalin’s axe was lifted up, the blade of it pressed against the side of Tharkûn’s neck in a blink of an eye.

“I suggest you remove your axe master dwarf.” Gandalf warned as he stared at Dwalin.

“And I suggest ye shut the bloody hell up you bastard.” The words were guttural as he spoke, pressing the blade harsher against the wizard’s neck in warning, causing him to stumble back.

The words were heard over the now whimper’s of Bilbo’s clearly, drawing the attention of the company easily enough. Confusion swept across most of their faces but several caught on easily enough as they took in the distance between them and the wizard and the wizard and his horse.

“Pray tell where are you going Tharkûn?” Thorin’s voice was dark, near a growl that it sent shudders down the youngsters’ spines.

“I need to leave. I would not do this unless I had to.” Gandalf explained stepping back as the blade pressed harshly against his throat once more.

“And Bilbo means nothing to ye?” Nori rumbled darkly. “He’s hurtin’ and you haven’t told us a damn thing, just tellin’ us to let ‘im think! He’s hurtin’ ye’ bastard!”

Gandalf seemed to age before their very eyes as he gazed over to a screaming hobbit. “I cannot help him,” He admitted. “I don’t know how. But I must go, I cannot linger anymore.”

Thorin snarled and jerked Dwalin back, pointing to the horse. “Then go.”

The ‘and may Mahal strike you down upon your journey you bastard’ was left unsaid but heard by all.

The three watched as Gandalf mounted his horse and turned to face them once more, his eyes sad as he gazed at Bilbo quickly before steeling himself. “I’ll be waiting for you at the overlook, before the slopes of Erebor. Keep the map and key safe. Do not enter that mountain without me. This is not the Greenwood of old. The very air of the forest is heavy with illusion. It will seek to enter your mind and lead you astray.”

“And what do you mean by that Wizard? More riddles?” Thorin glowered darkly at him.

“You must stay on the path; do not leave it. If you do, you will never find it again. Listen to what Bilbo say’s even if it doesn’t make any sense. Hobbits are connected to the earth, he more so.” Gandalf stressed as he wheels his horse around and begins to ride away, shouting at them over his shoulder to stay on the path.

Dwalin eyed the forest and then Bilbo who was no longer screaming but whimpering in a ball in Bifur’s arms, his hands pressed to his eyes. Balin caught his brothers eye and made his way over, listening to what his brother murmured to him with Nori’s interjections while eyeing Thorin who was seething.

“The wizard may be heartless and unhelpful but it is still not wise to go against his word.” Balin said slowly, unflinchingly as his king’s gaze locked onto his own. “Bilbo cannot walk, we must carry him until he gets enough strength.”

Thorin nodded and made his way towards his one, lifting him gently from Bifur’s arms and avoiding the knowing gaze of said toymaker. Bilbo was lighter than Thorin remembered even without his gear and weapons that the others thankfully had and it sent a pang through Thorin, Bilbo has lost a lot of weight on their journey. “Come on. We must reach the mountain before the sun sets on Durin’s Day.”

The company gathered heir things all the while side-eyeing their king who held the burglar tenderly in his arms. Fíli and Kíli gave each other surprised looks and small smiles, plans forming in their heads though Kíli winced as he thought back over the moments he had interrupted.

“Dwalin, you lead.” Thorin ordered as he pulled Bilbo closer to his chest, tucking his feet under the edge of his coat to keep them warm.

Dwalin eyed his king for a brief moment, catching the soft look he cast the burglar before turning to make his way down the path, using his war hammer as a guide to find the stones under the rotten leaves. Dwalin didn’t have a strong sense of stone like some others but he could still sense it in a way he could know where they should be and whatnot but here there was nothing, if it wasn’t for the fact he could see the poorly cobbled path he’d say there wasn’t one there at all and it worried him.

The others piled in after him, making sure to keep their eyes on their king and burglar so they wouldn’t fall off the path when an idea struck Kíli. “Uncle?”

Thorin lifted his chin slightly to signal he was listening and waited for what his nephew wanted.

“What if we made some form of barrier between Bilbo’s feet and the ground? Like shoes?” Kíli asked pausing when Ori made a sound of protest.

“We can’t do that without his permission! Hobbit’s don’t wear shoes, to even suggest it is an insult!” Ori whimpered out as he eyed the forest, stepping closer to Dori when the others stopped and stared at him.

Balin blinked at his apprentice in surprise. “How do you know this?”

Ori stared at his mentor and frowned. “Because I’ve been talking to him when we’re on watch or when we’re walking. They take pride in their feet like we do hair, to shear their foot hair is to shear ours and to even suggest shoes is like calling us cloudyheads or well elves.”

Murmurs broke out through the group while Kíli look utterly horrified at the insult he inadvertently gave.

“We will take turns carrying him till he’s functional, if we need to rest we can place the blankets on the ground and hope that helps. We will wait till Bilbo wakes to see what he needs.” Bifur uttered eyeing down the others as they began to turn their conversation back to the shoes again seeing no other way to help him.

Bofur and Bombur nodded along with their cousin and relaying what was said to the others.

“Aye, I can agree to that.” Glóin muttered, his hands signing the conversation to his brother who was nodding along but eyeing the unconscious hobbit in their kings arms with worry.

“We keep moving, Dwalin lead the way.” Thorin ordered. “I’ll carry Bilbo till mid-afternoon then someone can take him if he hasn’t woken up and pray to Mahal to give him strength to fight this.”

BB

Clear crystal eyes gazed out into the forest with a frown, the forest was tainted, it was something he couldn’t help with even though he was the master of these woods. It was not his duty to fight the darkness, that path was set for another.

But he could aid those who were trying to fight it; he could give warnings and tenacity to the people and creatures that lived in it.

“The Prophet has entered the woods.” He hummed slowly from his position on the gnarled tree, his eyes flicking up to the clear patch of sky above and made plans. Music danced in the distance from the Eldar’s celebrations, the shnick of swords and twangs of bowstrings followed from the hunters that searched and dispatched Ungoliant’s spawn.

A faint scent of flowers and mead reached his nose that had him turning. His wife could not enter the forest nor could her sister due to the taint, their tears tore at his heart and it hurt all the more when what sprouted from their tears withered and died instead of thriving.

“I had not expected you,” He greeted in surprise.

“I did not expect to come but Aulë was comforting his wife and yours.” The being replied, his usual jovial voice tempered. “His children pray for the Prophet’s strength, he will need the both of us in his turmoil.”

Oromë nodded and picked up his spear and bow. “Then we best begin our journey to him, he’s on the path close to here and we shall reach them when they stop. Be cautious of the forest Tulkas, it plays tricks even on me.”

Deep blooming belly laughter escaped from the golden maned Ainur, his laugh seeming to brighten the dreary forest for a brief moment and silence the screaming of the trees that Oromë was suddenly glad that the Champion had joined him.

Tulkas was not known to join the rest of them in monitoring the world and its creations. He was happy in Valinor wrestling with the beasts and joining the Dwarrow in their halls under disguise or – to Oromë’s amusement – dancing barefoot with his sister. The only time Tulkas joined them with the problems of Arda was in the creation of the Prophet and if Melkor were to rise again, unless Ilúvatar said otherwise.

As predicted the forest grew darker and twisted the further they delved into its heart and from the protective field Oromë was in, even sobering the usually joyful valar.

They soon reached the Prophet and Aulës children shivering in the dark with a hastily dampened fire. Oromë knew instantly what happened the moment his eyes locked on the moths that lay squashed by the pathway but what really caught his and Tulkas’s attention was the Prophet. His face was pinched in pain and he shivered with the cold even though Aulës children gave him their blankets and beds, their bodies surrounding him in comfort and protection.

“How could Olórin guide the Prophet through here? How could he leave him to this agony and darkness without explanation as to combat it?” Tulkas whispered harshly his face thunderous.

“I do not know but it says much about Aulës’ children in the sacrifice and care they have given him.” Oromë explained as he knelt down and brushed the damp strands from the Prophets face, his heart warming as he nuzzled close to his palm.

Tulkas nodded and surprised Oromë by lifting the small creature into his arms with great care, holding him close to his chest and eyes closed. A soft glow escaped his skin, bathing them all in warmth and Oromë wished his family was here to see the care the Champion had with the Prophet.

“Tulukhastāz.” A small voice whispered, drawing the attention of both Valar.

Eyes the colour of spring peered up at them, the pain that was etched on his face smoothed and showed them how young the small Prophet truly was. It showed them how strong the small being was and Tulkas’s doubts of his father’s choice for choosing a child of Yavanna washed away, the small being was strong, even under the swirling magic of his kin he could tell and it awed him.

“Hello young Prophet.” He greeted just as soft.

“Thank you,” the words were barely a whisper but the emotion that laid in the two of them had both Valar frowning.

“You thought we would not help you,” Oromë said sadly, drawing the hobbits attention.

Bilbo shrugged the best he could while wrapped in the blankets and held in the strongest Valar hands. “Mother said you would help but I’ve not seen you personally since the creation of me, have not expected to see you with your duties to the forest not expect the Valar Champion at all. My memories of the others saw very little of him beyond war.”

“I am not known for being the wisest; my joy is with my wife and in battle yes.” Tulkas replied soberly. “I am for war and because of this my wisdom and guidance is not one to be taken seriously unless in war. I did not see what my presence in your life would need as you were a creation of Yavanna and of a peaceful race. That was and is my mistake and I am here now to help you.”

“The screaming has stopped.” Bilbo replied gently. “Those that grow weep.”

Oromë nodded, “yes. Tulkas has bolstered your strength and I have muted the screams, you shall not suffer their cries any longer till you reach the end. I sense a great change coming; they will no longer be pulled into shadow and will be able to reach the light once more.”

The Dwarrow began to stir around them, telling them that their time to finish their conversation was near.

“You will not be on these tainted lands for soon little one.” Oromë stated as he cocked his head to the side. “The Firstborn are near; your company will be taken to their citadel.”

Tulkas frowned as he went to lower the Prophet and withdrawing his power that kept the Prophet warm only to feel the presence of something long thought vanquished. “The power you carry… I know that power; I thought it to be long lost. Where did you find such evil?”

“In the goblin caves held by a twisted creature, once was a hobbit.” Bilbo explained as he reluctantly pulled the ring out from his pocket to show the Valar, blinking as both Valar cringed away at the sickly golden glow it seemed to cast.

Oromë turned towards Tulkas with desperation. “We must discuss this with the others, who knows you carry this?”

“Only Mahal, he was there when it happened. I don’t like the feeling it gives me when I wear it, in fact carrying it made me nauseous beyond what I can describe.” Bilbo explained cautiously as Tulkas gently lowered him onto the ground once more.

“Do not let anyone know Prophet; the ring you carry is made by great evil. If we could free you of this burden then we would but it fell into your hands and only Ilúvatar knows why… is this perhaps why we were all chosen to make a prophet?” The last part was spoken to Tulkas and it concerned Bilbo with the fear the Hunter Vala displayed and the concern in the Champion’s eyes.

When Tulkas spoke next his voice was grave and it seemed to rumble through the forest with force. “Then we must prepare for war.” Turning his eyes to the Prophet, Tulkas tilted his head in respect. “You have my strength till you no longer need it, the forest will no longer pain you as such, the power you carry will not root. Until next we meet Little Prophet.”

“And I shall aid you the best I can while away, I shall lead you signs to escape this forest with ease when needed but the First Born draw close.” Oromë explained with a short bow and in a blink both Valar were gone, leaving Bilbo bewildered and confused.

“Bebother and confusticate these Valar!” He hissed loudly and tensed when the sounds finally came back to him, his eyes snapping to the Dwarrow who were jumping to their feet with sluggishness, weapons in hand.

It took a moment for them to gather their wits about them to notice what and exactly whom woke them from their slumber.

“BLIBO!” Bifur roared happily as he barged past those in his way and tugged the hobbit into his embrace, hugging him fiercly.

Laughter rung out as everyone clamoured around him, hugging him just as enthusiastically or gently tapping their foreheads to his own and giving him their own words of encouragement and blessings until it was just he and Thorin.

“I am so glad to see you awake.” Thorin whispered, holding the endearment on the tip of his tongue.

“I am glad to be awake, I am sorry for making you all worry.” Bilbo replied just as gently, eyeing the others before gazing up into Thorin’s eyes.

Something warm bloomed in his chest as Thorin cast him a smile, though the warmth faded abruptly into terror as his whole body shook with warning.

Screams echoed through the forest and the last thing Bilbo saw before the darkness took him was giant spiders falling from the treetops.

Bugger.


Author Note: Okay so some of you know RL has been hectic, I’ve has this chapter nearly finished since July pretty much but between Classes, work and surgery I’ve been so god damn busy I’ve found no time to write beyond the three assignments I have and just life.

I also had to intro Tulkas and hope I’ve done him justice, though I have no idea who to portray him as cause I use Hemsworth (Huntsman version) as Orome but Thor Hemsworth matches Tulkas too… shit

Hope you all enjoyed though!

 

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