Chapter Eleven – Malasul’Abbad

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.

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By the time the sun had peaked over the hills and cast its golden rays over the Hidden Valley, the company of Thorin Oakenshield were at the top of the range that led into the plains and paths that lead to the Misty Mountains.

Bilbo had stopped just near the pathway out and turned his attention back to Rivendell with a frown, something was wrong with the valley. Something dark had crept in beneath the good and now that Bilbo was further away from it he could feel it fully and not manipulated by Elrond’s. It worried him that the darkness felt familiar, it wasn’t pure but it was a taint upon light, a taint of familiarity.

“Come along burglar.” Thorin snapped his eyes narrowed on the half —on the hobbit that stared out upon the elf dwelling while the others walked past. “Be on your guard; we’re about to step over the edge of the Wild. Balin, you know these paths; lead on.”

Balin nodded. “Aye.”

“Best keep up Bilbo, Thorin doesn’t look pleased.” Bombur whispered softly, pulling the hobbit along with him as he went and frowned as he saw that Bilbo did not hear him. “Bilbo.”

Bilbo shook his head and blinked before tearing his eyes away from the view and allowing Bombur to pull him away. Something was wrong; it made his skin itch all over but nothing he could think of what it could be beyond maybe the white wizard. His eyes turned up to his Mother who was scowling into the distance, maybe it could be Curumo but how could the White Wizard allow himself to be tainted?

With a shake of his head, Bilbo focused on the trail a head, sighing when he saw he was boxed in by the Ur’s and Nori. He shot them a fond smile and shook his head, he was glad that he had friends… could they be family perhaps? Bilbo eyed them slightly and watched as they adjusted to each step or path he took, even asking him if he was well when he stumbled slightly.

“I am fine you mother hens.” He chuckled while straightening his coat.

“HALT!” Thorin’s voice called and within a blink of an eye, near everyone was battle ready and scanning the open for any sign of an attack and circled around both Ori and Bilbo as they waited.

Footsteps and hooves, twin raven hair and mischievous smiles, red and pain… “Wait! It’s just the twins!” Bilbo yelled frantically just as Dwalin and Thorin tensed to strike as the sound grew louder.

The company stiffened and jerked as the two elf twins stepped out from another path entry with match smiles and ponies, their ponies trailing behind them. Balin shot a look towards their hobbit, how did Bilbo know it was the twins? Luckily he did or their attack upon the two elf princes would have ended badly for them both.

“Elladan, Elrohir what are you doing here?” Bilbo asked as he pushed himself out from the middle of the Dwarrow’s protective circle and stared up at the two sheepish princelings. “If you think that you are coming with us then I am sorry to say but that will not be happening.”

“We already know this, Glorfindel and Ada caught us. We were instructed to bring you the ponies to cut the distance between here and the Misty Mountains in half.” Elladan explained gesturing to the ponies behind them.

Elrohir nodded and bowed his head. “Choice of Ilúvatar, we only come to give you aid.”

Bilbo scowled at the name and hoped to Eru that no one in the company but him could understand Quenya. Elrohir the sneaky princeling had called him cilmë-Ilúvatáren in front of the others, with narrowed eyes Bilbo nodded his thanks before turning back to the company.

“Elrohir and Elladan have come to give us aid by returning our ponies. We’ll have to send them back when we reach this Misty Mountains and the High Pass but they will cut our travel time in half.” He explained watching as the company relaxed, some – mainly the younger – smiled in relief. Maybe even a couple of the others as well, after all no one truly liked to walk long distances, even Bilbo. He had walked a fair amount of course but he knew the path from Rivendell to the High Pass well in his memories and knew it would be further than he had ever walked.

As Bilbo made his way towards his pony his body shuddered and he felt something shift, a niggling sensation of rain and danger. He shook his head and looked at the twins who were watching him with serious eyes and grim smiles, they will be needed. He sighed and waved them over as he began to tie his bags on Myrtles back once again.

“Stay close to Glorfindel and Erestor.” He told them before frowning. “No, stay close to Aragorn, he will go west to the Rangers again and you two will need to aid them and the caravan of Dwarrow’s come mid-winter.”

Elladan and Elrohir frowned and cast each other a look, they were surprised that he knew who Estel truly was but then again, they knew he was a Chosen of Ilúvatar; a prophet. Each gave him a bow, not questioning the command of the prophet; their Ada had taught them well after all and bid their farewells.

The others, while Bilbo was speaking to the elves, gave them sidelong glances as they loaded up their ponies and mounted. They still didn’t like the fact that Bilbo knew the poncy elves but they didn’t dare say a word for they remembered the rage on Bilbo’s face and the dressing down they got from the Ur brothers – for Bifur was more of a brother than cousin. It wasn’t pleasant and they had to begrudgingly admit that they had their ponies back; it cut time in half to reach the mountains and give them maybe an extra day or two to reach the mountain before Durin’s Day.

“My Husband’s children look as if they have had their favourite toy taken away.” Yavanna stated with a chuckle as she ran her fingers through the pony’s mane.

Bilbo raised his brows and looked up, his eyes scanning the group and smirking slightly as he saw their scowls and side looks before turning his eyes out towards the mountains. }It is not my problem to figure out their problem Mother.{

Yavanna turned onto her Son with a frown. “It will be, my husband’s children are stubborn and do not understand. Their experiences on other races have jaded them.”

The sigh that escaped the hobbit had the others turning towards him, they were curious on many things. They had seen their mistake and many wanted to ask him questions, like how did he learn to fight, how does he knew how to speak Iglishmêk and the elven tongue… what was the sounds he sung.

“How about a story?” Bilbo asked, watching amused as the younger ones perked up and how the others turned away but curious too.

“Oh, a story would be nice Master Baggins!” Kíli exclaimed excitedly, Fíli nodding his head vigorously as well. “Uncle, can we share a story?”

Thorin sighed and shot Dwalin a glare as his eldest friend chuckle before turning his attention to Kíli. He had every attention of saying no; that they should ride in silence but his eyes caught Bilbo and the words died on his tongue. “Alright but quietly.”

Kíli let out a silent whoop before slowing his pony down and closer to Bilbo, Fíli and Ori copying him the best they could with Bifur and Nori surrounding the hobbit while Bofur and Bombur took up the end of the company.

“What story do you want to hear?” Bilbo asked the youngers.

Ori fidgeted and looked at his brothers and the others. “The Elves spoke of a prophet; do you know anything about them?”

Bilbo’s and a few of the other Dwarrow’s stiffened at that for many reasons, one Bilbo stiffened because the elves spoke in Sindarin and it seemed that Ori knew that and the others because the talks of Prophets were a sore spot.

“You understand Sindarin?” Bilbo asked trying to sound surprised and not panicked.

Ori flushed a little and nodded. “A little, it comes in handy sometimes.”

“I know about the Prophets yes… Durin, the great warrior marked by Aulë. Thengyril the elf maiden who had been the prophet of Irmo and Rahim had been born a Man with the blessing of Nienna the Lady of Mercy. I am well versed in the lore of Prophets, their curse and all that entail of being Chosen.” Bilbo explained with a shrug but he could see the others were curious and he really wanted to hit Bifur and Nori who were just smirking.

“Is it true they are only born in great need?” Kíli asked with wide eyes while Fíli frowned and looked down.

Bilbo cringed and he felt the guilt all over again and wished he was born earlier. “Yes. It is Eru’s will on when a Prophet will be chosen and born. Each blessed by a Valar, Durin was blessed by Aulë; I should hope I don’t have to explain that one. Thengryil was the chosen of Irmo, the seer. It was because of her and her Sight that she had saved those she loved, but with the sight came the curse of seeing her Chosen or Brother, her friends and kin dying over and over.”

“What happened to her?” Ori asked with a frown, his journal out and his hand flying across the page.

“She died.” Bilbo explained abruptly, the memory of Glorfindel’s agonised face flashed across his mind. “She died protecting the one she called brother, took a blade that was meant for him and it caused a ripple effect. Her Chosen was Ecthelion Lord of the House of the Fountain, he who had killed Gothmog with the spear from his helmet and fell into the Fountain of the King. They both died there, Gothmog drowned and Ecthelion had no will to go on.”

“Rahim was Isildur’s friend, a brother in arms and had been by each other’s side by birth. Rahim was there when the Last Alliance sieged upon the black gates, the battle was long and when Isildur saw his father die he stood against the Dark Lord and as he too fought and was to die, Rahim took the killing blow and it gave Isildur enough time to use the hilt-shard of the sword Narsil to cut the Ring from Sauron’s finger.” Bilbo explained and the others had to blink as they saw the haunted look upon the hobbit, watched as his hand rested in the middle of his chest with a frown before shaking the haze away.

“Enough about this nonsense.” Thorin gritted out, “Where was the prophet when Smaug came or when our people wandered? We did not need one then and we do not need one now.”

“Have you maybe thought that though your people suffering was great, that it was not yet time? Maybe something greater in evil now rests upon these lands?” Bilbo stated and cursed himself as he saw Thorin stiffen and swing around to glare at him.

“We know that a Prophet has been born now, yet where is he Master Burglar? They are not here among us and so our quest to them must seem folly, no, we do not need a Prophet, not now and not ever.” The King-in-Exile replied, ending all conversation.

The moon was solemn and Ori cast him an apologetic look which he waved off. They rode on in silence and the only talk he had was with Bifur in Iglishmêk when no one was looking to keep his mind off the silence and the slight hurt. Bilbo didn’t know why his chest ached at Thorin’s words but he shrugged it off and continued on, only when night began to settle did they rest.

They were near the mountains now, enough that Bilbo could see the peaks in the distance and he was jittery and excited. Something about the mountains didn’t sit right with Bilbo as he gazed at them and he could feel oncoming rain as well.

“Something the matter Bilbo?” At the sound of Balin’s voice did Bilbo jolt, his eyes turning to the white haired dwarf in surprise.

“There is rain coming and something doesn’t feel right about the mountains, I think we should take the lower path.” He explained jerking his chin to the path that leads through the foothills of the Misty Mountains.

Balin hummed before shaking his head. “No, the path is dangerous. We had a group of Dwarrow come last spring and they had said the path was dangerous; they lost three of their company. Our only way is up; we’d lose too much time going around and worse if we follow the foothills.”

Bilbo wanted to scream at the dwarf, scream that he was the prophet and that the high pass was wrong, wrong, wrong and that they’d have better of a chance in the foothills. But Bilbo couldn’t do that, he knew their stance on hobbits, he had seen Dwalin’s, Balin’s and Glóin’s faces during his story telling.

“What can I help you with Master Balin?” The hobbit asked while tearing his gaze away from the mountains once more and gave the dwarf his attention. “It is not often you come to ask if something is wrong.”

“Observative.” Balin pointed out with raised brows but deep down he could hear Bombur’s words back in Rivendell. It seemed that though they claimed Bilbo as theirs, they haven’t really at the same time. “I was just curious as to how you knew about Prophets and their history in detail.”

Bilbo’s whole frame stiffened, his eyes flickering up to his Mother’s face. “My mother she was friends with the elves, she knew all their tales and told me. Glorfindel told to me in full as he was friends with all of them.”

“Hm, makes sense.” Balin replied slowly with a nod before giving the hobbit a small smile. “I’m glad you came with us Bilbo.”

The Prophet watched with a confused frown as Balin left, what did he mean that he was glad they came with them? Did he know? Did someone tell him? It was questions like this that plagued Bilbo’s mind as he retired to his bedroll in a fitful sleep with his Mother’s soft voice in his ears.

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Bilbo was right; they should have taken the trails that led through the foothills. His whole body twitched and screamed at him to take another path when they finally got to the path that led up and it only grew worse when he ignored it.

They were half halfway to the peak when the skies opened up and Ulmo’s vassal Ossë rained his rage down upon them. Bilbo was nauseous from the chill and the stumbles but the mountain itself felt wrong, it felt dead and empty, twisted… but that wasn’t right as well for he could feel the power, the life, voices and many of them. Large and booming.

“LOOK OUT!” Bilbo screamed as he realised too late what it was, his eyes shooting up to the oncoming chunk of mountain. “RUN! DON’T STOP!”

The company for the first time as one, listened to him and ran the best they could while keeping an eye out for more flying rocks. But the flying obstacles was not what Bilbo was worried about, no, it was the very being of mountain below his feet…

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“Watch out!” Dwalin yelled as his eyes shot to the air and saw another massive chunk of rock flying towards them and the massive giant that threw it.

“Well bless me, the legends are true. Giants; Stone Giants!” Bofur gasped out in awe, coming to a complete stop to stare.

“Keep running: you’ll fall!” Thorin roared as he saw Bofur come to a stop, the ground around him crumbling just as the others yanked him back.

“RUN! DON’T STOP!” Bilbo snarled as he bodily shoved himself into the others to keep moving. MOVE WE ARE ON ONE!”

The words registered briefly as the company came to a halt and those that did hear him moved, just before a loud crack echoed over the rumbling sky and battle above them, bringing their attention to their feet. The mountain began to shake and shift, a crack forming between the last few of the company who did not make it to the safe part of the trail. Before anyone could react the Ur’s, Bilbo, Dwalin and Nori were being pulled away from them on the knee of the stone giant that was not there minutes before.

Nori and Bilbo grasped tightly to one another while Dwalin held fast on the ridge, his eyes locking onto his brothers briefly as they flew past. Each and every one of them praying to Mahal for guidance and safety of their kin, even Bilbo plead to the Great Smith. The stone stuttered and then for a brief second Bilbo felt relief before they hurtled towards the jagged flat edge.

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“Bilbo!” The cry left Thorin’s lips before he even realised it as he rushed forward, Balin, Dori and Óin on his heels.

“They’re alright!” Glóin’s relieved voice echoes over the storm but Thorin’s eyes could not find the hobbit.

“Where is Bilbo? WHERE IS HE?” Thorin yelled as he scanned the group, his voice loud and furious but all he knew him, knew he was worried.

Ori glanced down as he heard a grunt, his eyes widening as he saw Bilbo’s hands grasping the cliff ledge. The young Scribe dived onto the ground, trying desperately to catch the Hobbit only to be a second too late as Bilbo slips and falls another few feet before he catches himself. Bofur landed next to Ori as he saw this, eyes wide and arm outstretched.

“Grab my hand! Bilbo!” He yelled desperately over the yells of the others.

Thorin whipped around and saw Bilbo, his heart hammering in his chest as time seemed to slow. Bakanijalâgjijiid-aznân… The name was once again whispered across his mind and in a brief moment, when the world tilted and stilled that he knew his Maker had spoken. Save him…

He jumped, his hand catching the jutting rock he could have sworn was not there seconds before and grasped Bilbo as he slipped and swung him up into Ori’s and Bofur’s waiting hands. Thorin’s eyes flashed as he felt his own grip slip before sighing in relief as Dwalin grasped his wrist and pulled him to safety.

“I thought we’d lost our burglar.” Dwalin gasped out with a slight chuckle, only to stop as he saw his friends face.

Thorin was relieved, so very relieved but he was furious. Furious at himself for this happening, furious that he didn’t take another pass and if it wasn’t because of Bilbo insisting they keep moving, his nephews would have been in the same position.

“He’s been lost ever since he left home. He should never have come. He has no place amongst us.” He hissed furious, looking at the pale hobbit and then cursed himself violently. That was not what Thorin wanted to say, with a grimace the King-in-Exile turned on his foot and marched forward, his eyes catching the opening of a cave.

Bilbo stood rooted into the spot unable to move, he nearly died and yet he knew that if he fell he would have been okay. But the words Thorin spoke cut through him, he did not know why but it did and… he shook his head vigorously as the rain thrummed in his ears. He could see Nori speaking with him, Bifur slightly behind him and signing but Bilbo could not see or think of the words.

Danger… His mind scream, his arm burning painfully and as the others frogmarched him to the entrance of the cave did he protest. The cave was wrong, very wrong.

Bifur withdrew the hobbit from the others and pulled him closer to the opening of the cave out of view of the others. “What is wrong?”

“The cave is wrong, we should not linger here Bifur.” Bilbo explained his eyes wide and panicked. “I can’t tell what it is but the rock feels wrong.”

The look the toymaker gave to Bilbo was one of understanding, he too could sense the rock was wrong and a quick glance to Bofur who had a frown on his face as he stared at his feet, also proved Bilbo correct.

“The cave doesn’t feel right.” Bofur supplied just before Thorin opened his mouth. “The stone feels wrong, I can’t put my finger on it but something about this cave isn’t right.”

“We will rest for a few hours then and move on, rain or not. Bofur you take the first shift, any sing or inkling you feel that something is wrong wake us.” Thorin ordered before slouching down tiredly, his eyes casting towards where he could see Bilbo and Bifur begin to settle.

“You were harsh uncle.” Fíli murmured slightly, causing the king to tear his eyes away from the hobbit to his sister-son. Thorin had to blink and blink again for the face he didn’t see was Fíli but Frerin and didn’t that hurt.

“I know, I did not mean to say those words.” He admitted just as soft, his eyes flickering to Kíli’s sleeping form and Balin who was snoring away with Dwalin. “I was worried.”

Fíli’s stern look melting into one of understanding. “Then maybe try to stop insulting him.”

Bilbo shifted and stood up from his spot between Bifur and Bombur, his pack in hand as he made his way towards the cave. Thorin was and wasn’t right, he has been lost and he had no place amongst them really as a hobbit in amongst Dwarrow. But he was the prophet, their prophet, so he would leave and go on without them for now.

“Bilbo? Where are you going?” Bofur asked jerking to his feet.

“Leaving, going forwards.” Bilbo replied, his feet rooting to the spot and he frowned down at them as he tried to ignore the pulse in his arm.

“No, no, you can’t go out there now, not without the Company. You’re one of us.” Bofur explained, trying to keep the hobbit in side. They needed him and he didn’t really want to lose another friend either, Bofur liked the hobbit, he was the only one who didn’t look down on Bifur, who didn’t treat them any differently.

He just sighed dejectedly and turned to face Bofur. “I’m not though, am I? Thorin said I have been lost, and he was right. What am I doing here Bofur? I’m going to die in the end due to my curse…” Bilbo trailed off, his jaw snapping shut with a loud click as he realised what he just said.

“What? What’s that?” Bofur asked changing his question as he eyed the blue glow from Bilbo’s hip.

Bilbo’s head jerked down in panic watching as cracks form in the sand on the floor of the cave before his eyes locked onto Thorin’s. They knew what the sword glowing meant and now Bilbo knew why the cave felt wrong, why the rock felt wrong…

“Wake up! WAKE UP!” Thorin ordered loudly, his hand grasping his sword.

But it was too late, Bilbo thought jut as the floor gave out from under them.


Author Note: Holy, I am so sorry for the delay, I just didn’t know how to write this scene. I wanted to change it and yet keep it the same, I had to set myself up for the following chapters after they escape.

Quenya

Ilúvatáren – of Ilúvatar
cilmë – choosing, *choice
cilmë-Ilúvatáren – Choice of Ilúvatar

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