Chapter Ten – Gulbû Kaminzabdûna

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

On the fifth afternoon Bilbo found himself in one of the secluded gardens of Rivendell, more like a terrace garden of old as he was surrounded by trees and hanging vines. He just wanted some alone time away from the Company and the Elves staring. It was unnerving and irritating to say the least, he knew by now all Elves knew he was a prophet but knew not to say a word at least.

Then there was Nori, unlike Bombur and Bifur, the star headed thief was Mother Henning him something awful. It was close to Dori’s fussiness but from the shadows, thankfully he was used to evading relatives.

A deep sigh escaped his lips as someone joined him.

“Sorry, I’m hiding.” A new voice stated. Bilbo jerked and stared at the young teen with raised brows.

“You’re a Man.” The words tumbled from his lips unwittingly, causing the boy to laugh and him to groan.

“I am Estel; this is usually my hiding spot when I’m trying to avoid my brothers.” Estel explained turning back to the other occupant of his hiding spot. “Are you hiding too?”

Bilbo chuckled and nodded. “I’m hiding from my company and the Elves, just for now. Oh, sorry do excuse my manners; I am Bilbo Baggins of the Shire.”

“Oh, you are the hobbit my brothers were speaking of.” Estel replied, his eyes alight in curiosity.

“Your brothers?” The question was full of wariness.

“Elrohir and Elladan,” Estel replied simply. “I was raised by Elrond since I was a babe.”

Bilbo’s brows disappeared into his curls at the news; he didn’t know that Elrond had raised a Man in his home, not that he cared but still. It was not often you saw a babe of Men or even Elflings being raised by their opposite unless they were Perehdil and that was clearly not the case with Estel. His eyes turned up to his Mother who was staring at Estel in concentration.

“He is Isildurs heir.” Yavanna explained after a short moment causing Bilbo to splutter in shock and stare at the boy with newfound eyes.

“You know who I am then.” The sudden seriousness on the boy’s face had him reeling in shock. The youth faded slightly into an aura of an adult and Bilbo knew that he was tested.

With a sigh he nodded. “Isildur’s heir.”

“And you’re the Prophet. I am indeed hiding from my brothers but I wanted to see you for myself. It was obvious when you looked up and stared at me in wonder, so I believe you are a Prophet for only a prophet will know who I am beside my kin.” Estel explained before smiling. “Aragorn, son of Arathorn at your service.”

“Pleasure, please for the love of the Valar don’t tell anyone I’m a prophet, the Elves know of course but…” He trailed off with a grimace.

Aragorn nodded in understanding, leaning back against the pillar behind him. “But your Company does not.”

“Oh, three of them know it is one of them who I am hiding from, Mother Henning me like a faunt. It was nice at first but suspicious to the others and then down right annoying when I went to go anywhere and he skilfully turned me back to the others. Good Dwarrow he is, no matter his calling, but I’m not a faunt anymore and the others who know aren’t so overbearing.” Bilbo sighed before looking at the boy once more. “I don’t want my company to know because to some, Prophets take a little blame in the suffering of the Dwarrow.”

“Well that’s hardly fair.” Aragorn pointed out with a frown.

Bilbo shook his head. “No, but then it is yes. To them a prophet is to help them when times are tough and there was none for both times the Dwarrow needed one. Now, before you go and say anything its true. They have suffered greatly and by the time I was born, they had reached their destination and settled into the Blue Mountains a fraction of what they used to be.”

“You feel bad for that? But Master Baggins you were not born then.” Aragorn expressed in sincere honesty.

Yavanna frowned and sat by her hobbit’s side, the leaves and vines nearest to her growing more vibrant, thicker and colourful. How had all of them who had interacted with them not notice the guilt he took on upon his shoulder? How had she not seen this?

Now, now she could see the weariness, the sorrow and the torment. But in a blink of an eye it was gone and the mask was back in place with a deep inhale and a sharp sigh. “Being a Prophet to some is like a blessing; to me it is a burden.”

“I too know the weight of…” Aragorn began before snapping his mouth shut with a click when the hobbit just shot him a look.

“No, you do not. This gift of the Valar is not a gift but a burden. A curse.” Bilbo gritted out with a shake of his head and stood. “I see and feel things I never wish to see, nor did I ask for it. I am a hobbit and yet I crave the skies, the feel of wind rustling my hair and the sense of water surrounding me— I crave that and all that glitter and grow. I feel the call of war; feel the death around me and the grief that goes with it.”

Bilbo shook his head as he straightened his tattered coat and weskit. “No, you do not know this burden. Do not try to understand things that you will never understand Aragorn, it’ll save you heartache. If you’ll excuse me, I must get back to the company before they wreak havoc looking for me.”

BB

Even though Bilbo had let his hide out he still avoided the others and the elves to the best of his abilities and with his abilities, Tulkas and Vessas swift footedness and fast reflexes came in handy some times.

But when night had fallen Bilbo was pulled and reluctantly so towards a certain area of Rivendell. When times like this happens he knows that it is because Irmo and Varie’s gifts kicking in and telling him that he needed to be in a specific spot and urgently by the constant sharp tugging.

The voices of Gandalf and Elrond arguing reached his ears before he even turned around the corner. The topic of the argument had him on edge as he came to a stop on the balcony, his eyes locked on the Elf Lord and the Wizard.

“Of course I was going to tell you! I was waiting for this very chance. And really, I – I think you can trust that I know what I am doing.” Gandalf spluttered as he and Elrond walked across one of the path bridges.

“Do you?” Elrond asked, glancing at the wizard. “That dragon has slept for sixty years. What will happen if your plan should fail? If you wake that beast…”

Gandalf cuts him off. “But if we succeed! What if the dwarves take back the mountain, then our defences in the east will be strengthened.”

Bilbo could see from here that Elrond was not pleased by Gandalf’s answer and truthfully neither was he. A sense of dread pooled in his stomach every time the dragon was mentioned, he knew that at the end of this journey would lead to many deaths but he could not yet tell whose or if it was his own. When he turned to leave, his eyes caught Thorin’s who was standing hidden in the shadows and a sense of shame filled him as he heard the next words out of Elrond’s mouth.

“Have you forgotten, a strain of madness runs deep in that family? His grandfather lost his mind. His father succumbed to the same sickness. Can you swear Thorin Oakenshield will not also fall? Gandalf, these decisions to not rest with us alone. It is not up to you or me to redraw the map of Middle-earth.” The Elf Lord explained as he and Gandalf made their way up the steps on the far side of the court.

Thorin sighed and looked away. “And now you know what waits us besides a dragon.”

“I do not believe Elrond.” Bilbo replied honestly while taking a step forward towards the king.

“Then you are foolish. I fear the madness myself, I have seen it in my grandfather and I know I will fail and fall to the thrall of gold.” Thorin spat back harshly.

Bilbo’s hand shot out and grasped the fur lined coat of the king-in-exile and with surprising strength to Thorin jerked him down and glared. “Why are you doing this Thorin? Why now are you claiming Erebor? Is it for the treasure horde of Thrór?”

“Of course not! My people are suffering in Belegost, the city is sinking into the ocean and… the mines are not safe, half our people live out into the ocean and are suffering because of it.” Thorin replied back tiredly, pained.

“Then Thorin keep that in mind when you reach the mountain, your people and their suffering. Don’t think of how the gold will help them or the gold at all; think of the mountain and the home it once was. Think of the dead that must surely still be there and if you do then maybe you won’t fall for the thrall of gold.” Bilbo said earnestly, placing his hand above Thorin’s heart. “You have a good heart, though cruel you sometimes can be. You will be a good king, are a good king and I will gladly follow that king and not one set out for greed.”

Thorin did not know what to say, his jaw locked and unable to voice the words he so desired and in that time as he struggled to voice him, he watched with a heavy heart as the hobbit cast him a soft smile, his ringlets glowing faintly in the moonlight with eyes the colour of the purest of emeralds with flecks of topaz.

Bakanijalâgjijiid-aznân… The name struck him like a hammer to an anvil with a force that seemed to knock the wind from his lungs as he watched Bilbo walk away, taking the light with him.

No… There was no way that he heard the whisper, heard the name that Dwarrow’s know from birth besides their own. They hear their name from their mother and then later in life when they are still young they hear the whisper of their maker say another name, a name that they all knew was to be the other half of them.

He had seen his Sister receive her One’s Name, had seen how the bowl him her hand shattered followed by the brightest smile he had seen since before Frerin’s fall. He had seen what that bonding, that knowledge and acceptance does when it is cruelly ripped from a pair. He had seen it in his Adad when his Amad died, in Balin’s when his was felled in battle and to Glóin when his One nearly perished in childbirth.

Thorin felt his knees grow weak and soon found himself sitting upon the stone bench just behind him, the very bench he was sitting on when the hobbit came out onto the balcony, his face buried into his hands. He couldn’t even ask the questions he wished to ask his burglar, couldn’t utter a word beyond insult and honestly… Thorin didn’t know how to deal with that information.

BB

Bilbo sighed harshly as he felt himself being pulled towards where Gandalf and Elrond had gone to and away from Thorin. He was not yet finished with the discussion but apparently it was urgent and he could not ignore the look upon his mother’s face as she begged him to hurry and warn him that he may have to give himself over to her.

Power rippled across his skin as he made his way up the stairs, his eyes growing hazy as his Mother placed her hand upon his head and silently asked to let her take control. The feeling though uncomfortable and irritated him to no end simply nodded, it must be urgent for Yavanna had only once done this and spoke through him.

“The dragon has long been on your mind.” Galadriel uttered, her voice soft while her eyes snapped to the archway with masked surprise as she felt the presence.

“This is true, my lady. Smaug owes allegiance to no one. But if he should side with the enemy, a dragon could be used to terrible effect.” Gandalf began, only stopping when Saruman had interrupted with a tone of disguised malice.

“What enemy? Gandalf, the enemy is defeated. Sauron is vanquished. He can never regain his full strength.” The White Wizard spat out patronizingly.

Elrond frowned “Gandalf, for four hundred years, we have lived in peace. A hard-won, watchful peace.”

“Are we? Are we at peace? Trolls have come down from the mountains. They are raiding villages, destroying farms. Orcs have attacked us on the road.” Gandalf explained hard, trying to point out the dangers.

“Hardly a prelude to war.” Elrond replied.

“Always you must meddle, looking for trouble where none exists.” Saruman spat out, opening his mouth to continue onto his rant.

“No.” The word echoed across the room softly like a caress but still seemingly loud.

Gandalf frowned. “Bilbo my boy? What are you doing here?”

Galadriel held up her hand and stopped Elrond from going to the Prophet; she wished to see the outcome. It seemed that Gandalf did not know who the Hobbit truly was and that Saruman could not sense the power of his Vala’s wife.

“Olórin’s claims should not be ignored, for I am the proof that stands before you that all is not well in the world.” The voice, a mix of Bilbo and Yavanna overlayed echoed the pavilion.

Rage flickered across Saruman’s face before the white wizard stood. “And who are you to decide?”

Hazy eyes that seemed to glow turned onto Saruman, though he would never admit to the unsettling feeling that he got staring at them or even the sense of shame at the disappointment that seemed to be resting in the Halflings face.

“I have many names and you all know me by them… Ivon, Palúrien, Yavanna but I prefer what the children of my heart call me. Kementári.” To this statement she couldn’t help but laugh at the stunned faces and turned her eyes back to Gandalf and Galadriel. “I am proof, Bilbo is proof.”

“I did not know that Bilbo was the prophet.” Gandalf supplied stunned. “Had I known…”

To this the flash of light behind Bilbo’s eyes vanished for a second and Bilbo’s green seeped back in with a mischievous smile. “It is what I chose, the Dwarrow do not take kind to Prophets.”

“Whose prophet are you then?” Saruman demanded, ignoring the looks of warning from the others. “What proof besides the voice of Yavanna?”

Bilbo scowled at the wizard, now seeing the taint that he had felt not long ago cling to the flesh of the wizard like a second skin. He didn’t bother to utter his theory or doubt of the wizard but from the look Lady Galadriel gave, she too knew his thoughts and shared his doubts.

“I myself am curious, if not only Yavanna?” Elrond asked with raised brows and a humbled gesture.

He did not bother to tear his eyes away from the others as he began to unbuckle and untie his vambrace before holding out his arm for them to see. “I am not a Prophet of One, but of All.”

“Impossible.” Saruman whispered but he could see the marks of the Vala on the hobbits wrist and forearm, tied together with Eru’s power.

“No, but now I would advise you to listen to me and my Mother. This quest has been set, my fate accepted at the end but you cannot stop this quest, you are not allowed to stop it.” Bilbo explained sharply, strongly.

Galadriel nodded in understanding. It was known by all that any quest that involved a Prophet being born for was to proceed or dire things would befall on them all. It was something all had abided by, none willing to risk the wrath of the Valar once more after the rage they had caused in the War of Wrath. None wished suffer that fate.

“Bilbo…” Gandalf trailed off pained, he knew all too well the fate of a Prophet.

A sharp shake of his head. “No Gandalf, it is done. I cannot back away, so I tell you my Lords, my Lady to listen to what Gandalf has to say. If you’ll excuse me, I need to return to my company or they will leave without me.”

Bilbo did not wait to hear what the others said in return, he left and left abruptly, even going so far as to ignore Glorfindel at his side. “You cannot come with us.”

“Is that you or the Prophet speaking.” Glorfindel asked with a worried frown.

“Irmo. This quest needs to happen the way it will until Mirkwood, we will meet you there for that is when we will need your help.” Bilbo replied with a sharp glint to his eyes that Glorfindel would deem mischievous.

A hum escaped his lips as he led Bilbo to the entrance where Erestor waited with the company. “Then I will meet you in Mirkwood Bilbo.”

“Until then Glorfindel.” Bilbo replied with a slight bow, jerking when Thorin called for him to hurry. He bid farewell to Erestor as he passed and quickly caught up the company, not daring to look back and see the grief still set on Glorfindel’s face… a grief he had tried and failed to hide.

For now, he had his company to worry about.


Author Note: Okay, I didn’t know how to write this scene or the others. I think I re-wrote this chapter three times and I still don’t like it. Either way, I have a wordpress now, under the same name… I will post the chapters there as well and posts, updates and titbits and AND thank you to whomever nominated me in the Fanatic Fanfic Multifandom Awards for the Best LOTR story.

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