Chapter Four – Nar buhâ

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.

BB

It took a lot of patience for Bilbo to get through dinner with the Kin-in-Exiles rude manners and infuriating glares, of course his talk with Gandalf who was no longer welcome in his home and had to find a room somewhere else for the night after he dared to bring up his mother. It also took him soothing his Mother and his own frayed nerves when he read over the farce of a contract.

Disputes arising between the Contract Parties shall be heard and judged by an arbitrator of the Company’s choosing… and all pleas shall be pleaded, shrewed, defended, answered, debated and judged in the Dwarvish Tongue.” He muttered to himself as he dipped the quill in the inkpot forcefully.

That was only one rule to many that had stoked his ire. Even if he understood their ‘secret’ language but the fact remains that too their knowledge, he did not, therefore it was unjust. It didn’t even help that if he were to die or even sent back they would leave him buried poorly and or send him home with mere essentials and bare all necessities that could get him back. Essentially they promised him a fourteenth of gold he dared no to care for but in the same clause give him nothing if they so choose. So he would receive no help or coin to travel back home safely.

Present Company is not obliged to assist Burglar in this so-called ‘pest control’ phase of the Adventure…” He muttered again as he wrote out his letter to the Thain. “Really, do they expect me to kill a dragon if he is alive?”

“I do believe that is what they mean my little sweet.” The sharpness in his Mother’s voice of course made him smile. He knew that everyone thought that Yavanna was a loving Mother and too shared the temperament of a typical hobbit.

That may be so but she was also the wife of Aulë, the maker of dwarves and she was also a warrior though kind natured she may be. Bilbo often fancies her to the likes of a bear mother, or any mother, kind and nurturing until you attack their cubs and then it be best fit to run.

“Mister Baggins?” The voice of Balin had him look up from his letter and scowl. Not at Balin, oh no, at the king beside him who was glaring harshly in return. He did not say a word but held out his hand for the newly corrected contract and began to read it over.

“Disputes arising between the Contract Parties shall be heard and judged by an arbitrator of the Company’s choosing… and all pleas shall be pleaded, shrewed, defended, answered, debated and judged in Common with a chosen translator of choosing from the burglar and the company.” He read and nodded before looking at the others with a soft hum, at least now he no longer had to be referred to as burglar or halfling. Yavanna too read the contract over his shoulder and brushed his hair soothingly whether it to sooth he or her he didn’t know.

“There is one thing I wish to add to the contract?” He asked, ignoring the king and locking eyes on to Balin. “It benefits us both and you left it out.”

“And what exactly did we leave out that would benefit both?” The king asked darkly and though Bilbo thought him handsome, his rudeness was a complete put off.

“That we add a clause that what we learn about each culture will not be repeated or spoken of once the quest is completed. Hobbits too are a secretive race and we like to keep it that way with our own tongue and whatnot.” He supplied, smirking as the three Dwarrow before him raised their brows in surprise. “So the clause would protect my traditions and secrets along with yours, is that agreeable?”

“Aye laddie, that is agreeable. Thank you for considering it as I did not.” Balin informed quickly as he saw his king open his mouth to respond. When Balin had written the new clause he and Thorin both signed it with a flourish and Bilbo did without hesitation this time.

“What are you writing?” Ori asked before blushing up a storm.

Bilbo chuckled; he quite liked the quiet timid like scribe. “Letters to the Thain and my kin, letting him and they know that Hamfast will be collecting rent from my tenants and looking after my home. I am also rewriting my Will so my cousin won’t try and declare me dead to get her grubby little paws on my home, also transferring my position to my cousin Drogo while I am gone.” He explained before signing the letter to the Thain containing his wishes and Will with a flourish.

His eyes flashed up to the Dwarrow before him and for a change Thorin was not glaring at him, but staring at him in confusion. “What do you mean position?”

“Well I’m the head of my family, um, clan as you can put it. I sit in and listen to the family disputes and manage the welfare of countless of others. I own the hill and the surrounding lands around it bar a smial or two, so I manage the crops and the rent that they tend to. I also own a small portion of the Longbottom Leaf and the one who deals with the big folk for trade.” Bilbo explained with a shrug before sealing the envelope and getting to his feet, completely ignoring the flabbergasted looks from the Dwarrow.

“Well gentlemen, if you will follow me I’ll show you and everyone their rooms, some would have to double up but I can see by the familial traits that, that won’t be a problem.” He hummed out while gesturing for them to follow.

Ori leant closer to Balin and whispered. “Does this mean Master Baggins is a Baron?”

Balin merely cast his apprentice a long look.

BB

The next morning Bilbo rose early, his bag packed with all that he would need on the road and thankfully he kept all his mother’s travelling gear as her bag would be needed, along with her sleeping mat and raincoat. But beside that he had thicker trousers and shirts, warmer waistcoats and a proper jacket with plenty of hidden pocket spaces for knickknacks, food and coin.

“Oh, I didn’t know anyone else was up.” Bilbo blurted out in surprise to Bifur.

Bifur narrowed his eyes slightly at the hobbit. “I do not sleep much because of my injury.”

“Oh, does it bother you much?” Bilbo asked as he began to gather the food from his second pantry for the others. He shoved quite a bit into his back and extra bag for himself as he saw that he would be reduced to three meals a day from this day forth.

“How can you understand me? I am speaking the old tongue.” Bifur asked and watched as the hobbit clammed up. His slouched form went ramrod straight as quick as cooled metal before slouching in defeat.

“Fool of a Took!” Bilbo cursed himself, shooting his Mother a glare as she giggled. With a deep sigh he turned around and Looked at the being before him, he needed to see if he could trust the Dwarrow or not and from what he was seeing, he could very much so. With a sharp nod he moved towards the dwarf all the while unclasping his bracer.

“If I tell you, will you swear on your beard and honour of you, and your kin, not to breathe a word to anyone?” He asked seriously and waited for the nod of confirmation.

Bifur squinted as the hobbit removed the well-made but obviously man-made vambrace and held out his arm for him to see. Bifur couldn’t quite tell what exactly the kind hobbit was seeing until he looked lower down and blinked.

Fourteen marks rested on the hobbits wrist, many of them he had seen before but couldn’t recall but he knew the hammer at the top anywhere, it was the marker for their maker Mahal.

“I am the Prophet.” Bilbo murmured softly as he watched Bifur trail his finger softly over the marks. “Chosen by the Valar, I do not want the others to know but I trust you and have seen I can trust you.”

“Then I will not do something to lose that trust. Not many speak to me like you do, they see my injury and my… my… speech a sign that I have lost all that I used to be. Dimwitted, cloudyheaded. I cannot speak Common anymore or the current Khuzdul but I understand. It is nice to know that someone can understand me fully, even my cousins cannot understand all the words I speak.” Bifur explained, a deep frown pulling at both his and Bilbo’s brows.

“Well when we are alone, I will gladly speak with you Bifur. I’d do it all the time but I’m not supposed to know Khuzdul.” Bilbo explained with a chuckle. “Would you like to accompany me this morning while everyone wakes? I’d make breakfast but I know Thorin wished to leave at first light and I have letters to give out.”

“I will be glad to join you.” The joy was easily heard in Bifur’s reply.

“Oh before we go, take this and these.” Bilbo explained, shoving a brown package into the toymakers hands that contained their breakfast provisions and then another two for his cousins. “Everyone will get some but I like you Bifur, so these are the extra ones I was going to hide in my saddle. I saw how much Bombur can eat, appetite to rival any hobbit.”

Bifur laughed and shoved the packages gratefully into his pockets before blinking at the flower that the hobbit was holding out. He couldn’t help but smile and grasp the purple flower before shoving it in his mouth.

“I saw you liked the violets in the only salad I had.” Bilbo explained with a shrug before making his way out the door and towards Hamfast’s home. Bifur followed with a soft smile and plucked up a few flowers and chewing them happily or spitting them out at the bitter taste causing the hobbit before him to laugh.

“‘ister Bilbo?” The small voice pulled Bifur’s eyes from the flowers to the wee babe before him. It took all his might not to coo at the child, barely tall enough to reach his waist. He smiled softly at the small babe who was staring at him with frightened eyes and pulled out the wooden horse he had finished carving last night, causing the child to smile brightly up at him.

“Now what do you say Daisy?” Bilbo asked the small faunt who blinked and looked wide eyed up at Bifur.

“Fank you Mister!” She yelled before rushing inside happily. Bilbo merely smiled and waited for he knew that Hamfast or Bell would be out to see who was at the door.

“Oh Bilbo! It’s good to see you and who is this?” Bell asked as she rounded the corner, hand resting gently on her stomach.

Bilbo greeted Bell with a wide smile. “It’s good to see you as well Bell, Hamfast gave me the good news yesterday! This is my friend Bifur, I’ll be accompanying he and a few others on an adventure.”

“Yes, I figured when he came home with a bushel of strawberries and some squash. Did you tell him to bring that nice green fabric from the markets because it is lovely? It’s a pleasure to meet you Mister Bifur, any friend of Bilbo’s is a friend of mine.” Bell rambled out causing both men to chuckle.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you too Miss.” Bifur grunted out with a small bow and blinked surprised when the woman didn’t jump or jerk in fear.

“He says it’s a pleasure to meet you too. And you know I will never tell. Is it okay if I speak with Hamfast, Bell? I need him to deliver these letters to my Cousin and tell him where the keys are to Bag End when we leave.” Bilbo explained, casting a look back up the hill with a frown and then down towards Sackville.

Bell shook her head with a smile. “Hamfast! Bilbo is at the door. Don’t you worry Bilbo, me and mine will make sure those grubby little Sackville-Bagginses stay out of Bag End. My faunts would love to go adventuring through Lobelias gardens too and…”

The sudden stop and sharp smile Bell gave made Bilbo laugh, this is why he enjoyed and left the majority of his estate to the Gamgee’s if he didn’t return. They were more family to him than his actual family, he of course left Bag End to them as well, and it would benefit them with their faunts than it would for Drogo and his wife to be. He also knew that Drogo and his wife would prefer the homier smial that belonged to the Gamgee’s now.

“Oh, Mister Bilbo, are you headin’ off now?” Hamfast asked as he came into view, nodding his head to the dwarf in greeting.

“Soon Hamfast, I’m leaving the care of Bag End to you and Bell in my absence and these letters will need to be given to Cousin Fortinbras.” Bilbo explained as he handed Hamfast the letters. “I’ll be leaving the keys in the nook under my garden bench for you to find.”

“I’ll send Hamson, he’ll be glad to go for a run to Tuckborough.” Hamfast explained, all three men ignoring Bell’s snort.

“Thank you Hamfast, now remember you can take whatever fruit and vegetables from the gardens. Bell, may the Green Mother bless you.” He explained with a wide smile as Yavanna appeared beside him, her hands hovering over the babe. Thankfully neither Hamfast nor Bell said anything about him knowing she would. Yes, he explained to Bifur he was a Prophet but knowing things and seeing the Valar are different.

“Another girl, there will be complications as the babe won’t sit right; there is not much I can do.” Yavanna murmured sadly, causing Bilbo to frown.

“Make sure you have your Aunt stay with you Bell. I wish you both all the luck in the world.” Bilbo explained softly pulling them into a hug before quickly making his retreat with Bifur on his heels. “The less goodbyes the better.”

“Aye, this I can understand well. You’ll see them soon, I will make sure you return if need be.” Bifur grunted out quickly before opening the door to Bag End and back inside. He could hear the others awake, the smell of bacon and eggs wafting through the house, which indicated to him that Bombur was up and cooking.

Bilbo sighed and shook his head at that. “I don’t know if I will return, my Fate is set and yet there is still too much uncertainty.” He whispered to the air, turning to glance up at his Mother, who too had teary eyes.

Best be ready then.


Author Note: Well here you go! Another chapter and longer, if you all will be helpful and help me decide on what powers he has from each of the Valar that would be great. So far he can sense when it rains or if the waters are dangerous, Irmo’s slight sight and Yavanna’s gift for hearing and helping all things growing as well as Aulë’s sense of stone and knowledge of the tongues from all.

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