Chapter Fifteen – Magûn

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 silence grew thick as the Dwarrow around him stared on in horror. Yet Bilbo did not let that bother him much as he dropped his eyes from Thorin’s dark eyes. His fingers fiddled with a loose strand of cotton on his jacket, one that signified where his buttons use to be before he remembered the bag in his pack.

“Oh! I think I have something of everyone’s.” He explained, getting to his feet and making his way to where his bedraggled pack sat.

The Company watched curious as their Prophet dug through his pack with a little frown, what of theirs did he have? Was it something they had dropped along the way that he had picked up or pilfered to test his skills?

“When I was in Bree I stopped in front of this store, for some reason it was important and so I stopped and I entered.” Bilbo explained softly as he dug through the bag to card through the trinkets for the bead set. “I do believe these are from the line of Durin.”

Thorin, Fíli and Kíli felt their brows rise in surprise as Bilbo opened his palm revealing the marriage beads and deed beads. They glinted in the firelight, enhancing the words carved into them and illuminating the tiny gemstones.

“These are our mother and father’s marriage beads; this is our Adads Master bead he had told us was lost and the deed bead that he earned in Azanulbizar.” Fíli whispered confused as he took the beads from Bilbo’s hand. “I knew mother sold hers to feed us that bad year when Thorin and adad couldn’t find work.”

A hum escaped Bilbo’s lips before he turned to the brothers Ri and rummaged through the bag once again, pulling out a fine silver necklace with a setting of emeralds. He went around to the others of the company before coming to a stop next to Thorin, only one item left in the bag.

“I do not think there is anything we can do to repay you for this Master Baggins.” Thorin replied as he eyed the company around him, each huddled close to their kin as they run revenant hands over the heirlooms they thought long gone.

Shaking his head Bilbo turned his eyes away from the company to the king. “They owe me nothing; it is but a small price to pay for their happiness. I was surprised when I saw them and heard the story behind them. It was fate that they remained in that small store for so long.”

“I wish to apologise again.” Thorin started, pausing as Bilbo held up his hand for silence.

“You don’t need to apologise Thorin, you already have. In time I know there is a talk we must have for some reason or another, just as I know there will be more talk about me being a Prophet… but for now, I do believe this is yours.” He explained, pulling up Thorin’s hand and tilting the last item into the open palm.

Thorin sucked in a sharp breath as he took in the familiar ring that rested in his palm, a tarnished silver band inlaid with an amber gem. He remembered making this ring so long ago, it was one of his first works made specifically for the amber gem that sat in the middle.

“This belonged to my brother Frerin.” He explained low, fingering the lines that decorated the band and the silver edged setting. “I had made it for him when I was of age; he found the stone one day by the river and loved it dearly. He lost it once and it caused him to cry for a solid week until we found it. I set it into this band for him to wear.”

“What happened if I may ask?” Bilbo asked softly, still he had not dropped his hands from Thorin’s open palm.

Casting a look towards the others Thorin turned his attention back to Bilbo, savouring the warmth that spread up his limb from where his small rough fingertips sat. “He perished in Azanulbizar; this was the only token I had left of him as I took the necklace he always wore back for Dís. I had to sell this along with my own when winter grew harsh. I could by my own back but Frerin’s was gone, I had thought it lost forever.”

“Then I am glad to return it to you,” Bilbo replied before reluctantly letting his hand drop. “We should get some rest, the rain will let up soon and we’ll have to make a start before the orc’s catch up.”

There was no reply as Bilbo got to his feet and began to lay out his roll. Even with the joy around him his heart still beat heavily in his chest, he knew that come tomorrow the joy would fade and he would have to face the questions once more. Questions he didn’t want to answer nor hear from them but he knew they will ask, why all of the Valar, but he like they didn’t know why Eru cursed him with the blessing of his creations.

“All will be well my child,” Yavanna whispered softly as she took a seat next to her Prophet, a hand carding through his curls. “Sleep now for tomorrow will be a long difficult journey.”

}You’re hiding something.{ Bilbo replied with a yawn as he buried under his tattered blanket, drifting off to sleep before his Mother could reply.

Yavanna chuckled softly, turning her eyes to her Husband’s children as they spoke amongst themselves or began to follow her Bilbo into sleep.

“Many hardships are yet to come, Muhudel,” Mahal whispered as he appeared at his wife’s side, something calling him from his halls.

Yavanna turned towards her husband, stepping into his embrace willingly. “That may be so my love but it is Bilbo who will face the worst of it.”

“He’s strong Muhudel, I helped forge him myself when Eru came to us. He has a spine of Mithril and the durability of my children.” Mahal tried to reassure.

“But I made him passionate and kind, Nienna made sure he sympathised with all living creatures of good. He may be durable as your stone-children my love but he still has the heart of a hobbit.” She explains softly, turning her attention to her Hobbit and then to the Dwarf that sat across from him, the only one still awake. “I am pleased for who you moulded him with.”

Mahal turned his eyes towards Thorin Oakenshield, the son of his first created and smiled. Thorin needed someone who could keep him grounded, to challenge him at every step yet teach him patience and love. Bilbo needed someone to keep him grounded, strong and to give him a purpose.”

Sadness crept into the hearts of the two Vala. “Vairë has yet to see the full tapestry for Bilbo, many paths he can take to either his death or salvation. I hope that Bilbo will not suffer the fate of predecessors.”

“As do I Muhudel, as do I.”

BB

The Company woke the next morning to the smell of food and the low hum of the Prophet as he sat hunched over a cooking pot, his back to them all. Each member sat in silence, shushing the others when they woke and began to ask what was going on, pointing to the hobbit that started to sing softly as he cooked.

If a field of green and where flowers boomed
swayed a maid so fair and true
with golden hair and eyes of blue
She sang a song for her love true
for it was he who ensnared her so

Her love had heard, and come to see
His fair maid so fair and true
He watched her sway amongst flowers bloom
And doth her Chosen’s love did grow…

“I know you’re all awake.” Bilbo stated abruptly, turning his head slightly to look at the gathered company. “It’s hard not to when all falls silent, come breakfast is ready.”

“What were you singing lad?” Balin asked as he joined the hobbit by the fire.

Casting the Advisor a look Bilbo sighed. “I was singing the song of Thengyril and Ecthelion.”

“I have never heard of that song before,” Ori whispered from besides Dori with his book open in his lap and scribbling down the words of the song.

Bilbo smiled fondly at the scribe, even though he did not see it. “You wouldn’t Ori, only a few know it. Only those who survived the Fall of Gondolin would and not many would utter the words in the presence of others.”

“Then is it bad that you sung it before us?” Ori asked once more, worrying the tip of his pen with his teeth. The others waited, pausing mid bite to listen for Bilbo’s reply.

After last night, when the hobbit returned them something valuable they thought had been lost, they all wanted to know more of their burglar… wanted to know all they didn’t know and were unwilling to listen to before now.

“No Ori, when I mean by others I mean Glorfindel and those close to Thengyril and Ecthelion… those that were close to them. The song became lost after that, a distant memory in others.” Bilbo explained before shoving a berry into his mouth and swallowing. “I said before that Thengyril was the Prophet of Irmo… she was also the Heart-Chosen of Ecthelion, the Lord of the Silver Fountain and slayer of Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs… when he was battling Gothmog, Thengyril was rushing towards Glorfindel, taking a death meant for him.”

There was a sense of heavy sadness as Bilbo gazed unseeingly into the fire. “She took Glorfindel’s death and because the Elves are connected as one when they bind, much like Dwarrow and Hobbits, they can tell when their half dies… Ecthelion’s death was written that he had been killed by Gothmog as they fell into the fountain but it was from a broken heart that Ecthelion died by. He felt the death of his Heart-Chosen and simply gave up the will to continue.”

“You speak of it with pain as if it was you yourself, lad.” Glóin hummed with a slight frown.

“Because it was in some way, it’s hard to explain how I came to be chosen or made Balin… But I have the memories of the past prophets, I experience them as if they were my own… Except Durin’s as he is unlike the others.” Bilbo explained before getting to his feet and gathering the dirty plates from the others. “We must break camp and continue onwards, my arm aches and I’m starting to feel anxious. I don’t want the Orcs catching up to us.”

“Yes, I agree.” Thorin rumbled from his spot between his Nephews and Head Guard and chose to ignore the looks of shock. “Gandalf has vanished and we are closer to our home than we were yesterday.”

“And yer not even remotely healed enough for battle.” Óin piped up, making his way over with his bag in hand, or what was left of it. “I’ll check ye wounds while the others break down the camp.”

It didn’t take long for the company to break down their little camp in the cave and begin their trek once more. They made no move to speak as they saw with each mile they made that Bilbo grew squirrelier, his whole frame tensed as he clutched the hilt of his dagger at his side.

Thus the whole company was on edge, those that could had their weapons ready or clutched the hilt of their swords while they scanned the surrounding area. The forest was not dense, there would be nowhere to hide but up and they refused to be sitting ducks in a tree once more…

When the sun reached its apex a howl of a warg rent the air, stilling the company and stealing the breath from their very lungs as they glanced at one another in horror. Fíli and Kíli closed in around their Uncle who was still injured with Dwalin and Balin while the others began to clump closer to one another.

“Run.” Bilbo whispered, his eyes wide as his head snapped back the way they came. “Run!”

They ran through rivers, rocks and up the mountains, weaving in and out trying to confuse their scent so the wargs would have difficulty finding them. They doubled back some time before they crashed into Gandalf, sending all of them scattering to the ground.

“Gandalf!” Kíli cheered from beneath his brother.

“Where have you been?” Thorin asked as Dwalin and Balin helped him to his feet.

“I was scouting ahead,” was all he supplied causing many of the elder Dwarrow to frown.

Thorin glowered at the wizard, his arm pressing tight to his injured ribs before turning to Bilbo reluctantly. “Bilbo, go back up the path and see how far away the pack is.”

It was not something Thorin wanted to order but Bilbo was their best bet at seeing and sneaking up on a warg pack if needed without being spotted, until he returned though Thorin allowed his heart to race and the worry to simmer under his stoic façade.

Bilbo nodded and quickly made his way up the mountain path that they had just fled down from as silently as he could. He peaked over the rock edges his keen eyes locking on the pack of orcs and wargs before ducking so they wouldn’t see him with a hammering heart.

“They didn’t see you, they’re moving on following the false path.” Yavanna whispered softly, brushing the curls of her hobbit.

A snarl caused Bilbo to snap his eyes to the left, his heart hammering as he saw the great bear a few yards over looking out into the distance. A continuous rumbling snarl escaping as howls of wargs pieced the air.

“You must return to the others, the skin-changer is not safe in this form Bilbo!” Yavanna explained, pushing Bilbo back down the path with worry. She couldn’t help her Prophet here if the skin-changer attacked as he was one of her creatures, one she had taken into her heart after their creation when she saw how devoted they were to her trees and all things living.

“How close is the pack?” Thorin asked as he saw Bilbo stumble back down the path, his hand shooting out to still him.

“Too close. A couple of leagues, no more, but that is not the worst of it.” Bilbo tried to explain between gasps.

“Have the Wargs picked up our scent?” Dwalin asked, pressing the matter as he saw the fear on the hobbit’s face.

“Not yet, but they will; we have another problem.” Bilbo gasped out, his hand pressing firmly to his chest as he used Thorin for support.

“Did they see you? They saw you!” Gandalf asked loudly, causing Bilbo to look up from his bent position.

“No, that’s not it,” He spluttered with a frown, groaning as Gandalf simply smiled and looked at the others.

“What did I tell you? Quiet as a mouse. Excellent burglar material.” Gandalf praised while the others agreed and laughed.

Bilbo curled his fingers tightly into the fur of Thorin’s surcoat, irritation bubbling into a boiling rage as the others continued to talk and give his ‘bugler abilities’ praise.

“SILENCE!” Bifur snarled, his patience snapping as he watched Bilbo try and try again to get their attention.

“Thank you Bifur,” Bilbo smiled, turning towards the others and letting Thorin’s surcoat go and missing the disappointed gleam in the king’s eyes. “As I was trying to say… there is something else out there.”

Gandalf frowned concerned, his eyes trying to take in the surroundings. “What form did it take? Like a bear?”

Bilbo spun opening and closing his mouth a few times. “Y—yes. But bigger, much bigger.”

“You knew about this beast?” Bofur asked watching as Gandalf turned away. “I say we double back.”

“And risk the orcs catching up to us? No.” Thorin snapped worried, his eyes roaming over his kin and Bilbo. He would not risk those who mean most to him, no they had to continue forward.

“There is a house…” Gandalf trailed off before looking at the others. “It’s not far from here, where we might take refuge.”

“Are the friend or foe?” Thorin asked low, his eyes hard.

Gandalf stammers for a second. “Neither. He will help us, or he will kill us.”

The Dwarrow shuffled and muttered in dismay at the news. “What choice do we have?” Thorin utters just as a roar echoes the plain causing all to jump.

“None.”

BB

Bilbo growled in frustration as he came to a stop, his lungs burning from the constant running. This was a sure sign that proved he of all hobbits shouldn’t and weren’t designed to run so far nor fast, his cousins not included. Even with his endurance he was at his limit.

Are you well Bilbo?” Bifur asked as he came to a stop beside his friend, Bofur and Bombur closing around him as they too caught their breath.

“Fine, fine… just not used to running for this long even with Nessa’s and Tulkas’ aid.” Bilbo gasped out, giving his friend a reassuring pat and shaky smile.

“Rest for five minutes!” Thorin ordered when he overheard, earning sighs of relief from the rest of the company who basically dropped where they stood panting.

Nori stumbled over to the hobbit and the Ur’s with one of the waterskins and passed it to Bilbo, frowning and pushing it into the hobbit’s hands when he tried to push it back with a shake of his head.

“Bebother and confusticate you dwarves,” Bilbo sighed exasperatedly.

“Hobbits!” The company replied in various tones, a reply that had picked up over the last day or so of running.

A mighty roar echoed the forest, causing fear to strike in the hearts of the company and pulling them to their feet once more.

“This way, quickly!” Gandalf urged, pointing to the spot where the trees thinned out in the distance.

“Bombur, come on!” Bofur yells, snatching the front of his brother’s tunic and yanking him to run.

As they exit the forest and into the bright sun, the company could see a home in the distance surrounded by a tall wall of wood and shrubbery. It was a beautiful sight to some that they took to admire for that split second just before another roar sent the birds scattering.

“To the house! Run!” Gandalf yelled as he let the company pass him, his eye on the forest and the growing pound of footsteps coming towards them.

Bifur and Nori shot their arms out as Bilbo stumbled, his body tipping forward before righting itself once more. The hobbit shot his friends a thankful smile before blinking in surprise as Bombur raced passed them and to the front of their line.

“HURRY!” Thorin snarled as Bombur threw his whole weight into the door before falling back. Kíli and Bofur were next followed by Dori, Ori and Dwalin, each one throwing their weight to open the door but it still would not budge.

Gandalf spun around their eyes widening as the bear broke through the trees and came barrelling towards them snarling. Bilbo felt his eyes widen at the sheer size of it, he may have seen it when he was spying but there was one thing about seeing something that wasn’t attacking verse attacking.

“The lock, the lock!” He shouted as his arm flared up, dread pooling in the pit of his stomach as he watched the bear lumber forwards.

Thorin at hearing his One rushed forward and unlatched the lock, how they missed it, he will never know and everyone piled in before quickly turning around and trying to close the door just as the Bear surged passed the gate and slammed into the door.

The Company groaned and cursed, each pushing and shoving all the while trying to avoid being bitten by the snarling jowls of the bear.

Mother!” Bilbo begged, called and pleaded to Yavanna who appeared behind them all and gave aid. The door swung shut with a sounding boom and the Company watched as the bar fell down on its own and locked the door firmly in place.

Bilbo sagged in relief, giving his Mother thanks.

“I’m sorry I could not do more my dear but he is a creature of my heart and I cannot do harm to those under my protection.” She explained softly, bending down and placing a kiss upon his head. “Tell the Skin-changer when he comes what you are, he will aid you then as they swore to help all those under my guide.”

}}I will Mother, thank you.{{ He whispered his reply, leaning into the quick embrace before she had vanished once more. Her time with him has lessened over the trip and he understood that, she was needed in the Shire to keep the boundaries up so nothing goes astray, she also needed to tend and care for her children in Fangorn.

“What is that?” Ori asked Gandalf as another roar echoed the night as Dori ushered him away from the door muttering under his breath.

“He is a skin-changer.” Bilbo supplied, drawing all eyes to him in surprise. “Mother told me.”

Gandalf nodded, eying the hobbit and the area around him. It explained so much now, how sometimes he could sense a great power and then nothing just as quick. “That is our host… His name is Beorn, and Bilbo is correct in saying that he is a skin-changer.”

The others shared a look, some in disbelief others in concern.

“Sometimes he’s a huge black bear; sometimes he’s a great strong man. The bear is unpredictable, but the man can be reasoned with. However, he is not overfond of dwarves.” Gandalf continued, holding a wince as every dwarven eye snapped to his and narrowed.

“He will help us.” Bilbo piped up, cutting off what was surely to be another argument as Thorin opened his mouth. “Mother said to tell him what I am, his kind swore to aid all under her care when they can… if they can.”

Nodding Gandalf gathered his pipe from the depths of his pocket. “Good, I suggest you all get some sleep there isn’t much to be done now till morning.”

The company grumbled and groaned as they began to set up their bedrolls in the pile of hay near the back; Bilbo paused by Gandalf’s side and looked up with a frown. “One of these days Gandalf your secrets will be the death of somebody and that will be on your conscious for the rest of your long life.”

“Bilbo…”

Shaking his head, Bilbo held up his hand to silence the wizard. “No Gandalf, disappearing on us and leading us here was dangerous. Do you think our host will take too kind for killing an innocent? Even in bear form he has consciousness, it was a dangerous move and your luck is running thin… one day it will run out and you wont be able to stop it.”

With that the hobbit made his way to where Bifur had set up his roll, giving the toymaker a thankful smile before falling back into the hay and closing his eyes.

He could sense darkness on the horizon and what hope he had for an easy journey onwards was slowly disappearing… something was coming and he didn’t know what.


Author Note: Holy crap man, I am so so so sorry for the long delay… I got caught up in a few things and getting my book ready to publish that this and a few others got put on hold. So here is a little bit more for you.

 

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