Chapter Twelve – Gairurukhsgirîn

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

The first thing besides the pain of impact was the smell, besides the smell of the company Bilbo could clearly smell the stench of rot, it made him gag and quiver. Groans reached his ears and screeches, the groans he knew but the screeches were new and when his eyes shot up he would forever deny the string of curses that left his mouth when he saw goblins.

“Get up!” He urged, repeating it over and over again as he tried to dismantle the Dwarrow pile.

“By the maker, get UP! GOBLINS!” He hissed and in a blink of an eye the company were on their feet and battle ready, only it was too late for a few seconds later the goblins were upon them.

Bilbo grasped the handles of his bardiches tightly before swiping them upwards as the goblins went to grab Ori. He slashed out with the ferocity of a dwarf, the grace of an elf and swiftness of a hobbit. He will not let these dark creatures hurt his company.

The Dwarrow’s at Bilbo’s action and snarl jumped to their feet and joined in the fight the best they could before another wave of the filth attacked. There was no hope of winning, fourteen against a legion, so it didn’t surprise them when they were overwhelmed by the Goblins and found themselves shoved and pulled through their kingdom.

Bilbo wedged himself between Bifur and Nori, his eyes scanning the rickety bridges and cringing at the noise. It was grating to his ears, even more so when he could hear better than the others, it also didn’t help that the mountain was sick… sick from the disease that was the goblins.

“Are you well Bilbo?” Bifur asked worriedly as he saw how pale Bilbo was.

The Prophet shook his head vigorously. “The mountain is sick, dying. The noise above its pained moans hurt my ears.”

Bifur and Nori share looks over Bilbo’s head as they steady him, Bifur too could feel the sickness of the mountain and the others could sense something was wrong but the fact that Bilbo could feel it dying was a little worrying.

“Oh Mahal…” Nori breathed out as his eyes landed on the big, grotesque goblin before them. Wincing at the grating sounds of metal and screeching of the goblins around them, Bifur quickly covered his own ears as the sharp twisted sound of horns cracks though his skull.

The company came to a halt before the beast, completely ignoring the song or whatever it was that these beasts classed as a song and ducked when the foul beast before them spun around, his sceptre swinging over their heads dangerously.

“Clish, clash, crush and smash

Bang, break, shiver and shake

You can yell and yelp

But there aint no help

Pound pound, far underground

Down, down, down in Goblin Town”

“Catchy, isn’t it? It’s one of my own compositions” The Goblin King stated proud before staring at the prisoners before him. Bilbo felt his hand come up to cover his face, be it to block out the smell or hold in the retort while his eyes scanned the area around them for any sign of a path that would lead them to safety.

His whole body ached and the marks burned on his arm, a sense of dread pooling in the pit of his stomach, he needed to find an escape and quickly.

“That’s not a song, it’s an abomination!” Cried Balin, making the company cheer on with their agreement.

“Abominations, mutations, deviations…that all you’re gonna find down here.” The Goblin King replied.

“Who would be so bold as to come armed into my kingdom? Spies? Thieves? Assassins?” The Goblin King asked, his foul breath fanning across their faces, causing some of the Dwarrow’s to gag. It smelt like rotting flesh and blood that has been curdling in the hot summer’s sun.

“Dwarves, Your Malevolence.” One of the Goblins replied.

The Goblin King eyed the prisoners with wariness. “Dwarves.”

“We found them on the front porch.” The same goblin replied nervous.

The Great Goblin eyed them once again; dwarves were known to carry many weapons. “Well, don’t just stand there; search them! Every crack, every crevice.”

Bilbo felt his heart pick up as his body screamed at him to do something but he was also rooted in spot. There was no escape, but he had to delay, he just had to give his company time and then everything would work out better.

Though he was surprised that the goblins didn’t take his weapons or even seem to get near him, tilting his head up he could see why, the Ur and Ri clan had circled around him, blocking him from being assaulted. With a flash of guilt and warmth he removed his bardiches and handed one to Bifur and the other to Nori before slipping forward as his eyes landed on Thorin.

The Goblin King couldn’t know Thorin was amongst them, something bad… it was bad…

“What are you doing in these parts?” the Goblin King asked eyeing the group.

Thorin went to move to speak, stopping as both Bella and Óin still him and pushed him back. “Don’t worry, lads. I’ll handle this,” Óin offered.

“No tricks! I want the truth! Warts and all!” The Goblin King demanded.

“You’re going to have to speak up. Your boys have flattened my trumpet.” Óin explained as he held up the squished metal causing the Goblin King to sneer.

“I’ll flatten more than your trumpet! If they will not talk, we’ll make them squawk! Bring out the Mangler! Bring out the Bone Breaker! Start with the youngest.” The Goblin King roared to his goblins while pointing to Ori and Kíli.

“WAIT!” Bilbo’s voice cried out and he cursed himself for it. His eyes closed shut as he pushed his way forward, practically tearing the hands of his friends away from him as he walked forward. He knew, he knew that the others would talk and Thorin would step forward to speak but Bilbo couldn’t allow that… Just a little more time…

The Goblin King leant forward and narrowed his eyes at the small being, poking him in his chest. “And what are you?”

Bilbo shuffled and shrugged. “I am a hobbit.”

“And what is a hobbit?” The beast replied causing Bilbo to scrunch his nose in distaste. The company watched in horror as their burglar spoke towards the foul beast.

“Oh hobbits are many things, we like tea and gardening, sunshine but I’m not like most hobbits, I have a little extra to me.” He began to explain, completely ignoring the others behind him as he grinned up at the Goblin King. Oh he was afraid, he could die here but this… he can’t let it show.

The Goblin King frowned and leant forward more. “Oh and what would that be?”

Thorin felt his heart speed up and hand clench, his eyes flickering to this burglar and the Goblin King. Bakanijalâgjijiid-aznân… Bakanijalâgjijiid-aznân… Bakanijalâgjijiid-aznân… Bakanijalâgjijiid-aznân… The name repeated over and over again with more urgency, it drew the word ‘wait’ from his lips and pushed his feet forward to near his burglar.

Bilbo felt his eyes slip close in exasperation.

“Well, well, well, look who it is. Thorin son of Thráin, son of Thrór; King under the Mountain.” The beast finished with a mock bow causing Thorin to clench his teeth and hold his anger at bay. “Oh, but I’m forgetting, you don’t have a mountain. And you’re not a king. Which makes you nobody, really. I know someone who would pay a pretty price for your head. Just the head, nothing attached. Perhaps you know of whom I speak, an old enemy of yours. A Pale Orc astride a White Warg.”

Thorin jerked his head up in disbelief, Bilbo grasping Thorin’s arm in warning before letting go. “Azog the Defiler was destroyed. He was slain in battle long ago.”

Green stormy eyes slip shut and Bilbo felt his body move, he could not allow that messenger get to the Orc, couldn’t allow Thorin to die here… the quest must continue onwards.

Before anyone knew what was happening Bilbo was moving, Orcrist grasped tightly in his hand and slashing up towards the Goblins near him and watching the domino effect that he had hoped would happen, the rope holding the messenger snapping by the force of the goblins he tossed up and down into the darkness.

There was a beat of stunned silence before the Goblin King jumped up onto the twisted throne with a cry of fear and pointed to the sword he held in his hands. “I know that sword! It is the Goblin-Cleaver, the Biter, the blade that sliced a thousand necks. Slash them! Beat them! Kill them! Kill them all! Cut off his head!”

Bilbo moved with precise precision, letting his body twist and move the way it wanted it to before relinquishing the sword just in time for Thorin to take and attack. Thorin spun, culling those around him before spinning back towards the hobbit, his eyes widening in horror, free hand outstretched as he tried to catch Bilbo as he and the goblin began to topple.

“BILBO!” He screamed as he watched the hobbit’s eyes slip close in resignation and fell into the depths below.

BB

Coming back into consciousness hurt, though Bilbo didn’t know how he was awake after all he did remember falling into the abys thinking it was his end.

“You will not die today earth-son.” A deep voice whispered into the darkness and causing Bilbo’s eyes to snap open. He knew that voice; there was no mistake of knowing the deep strong clang of Aulë’s voice.

“So you saved me Stone Father.” He chuckled before sitting up with a wince and raising his brow at the slightly luminescent mushrooms that gave the cave he fell in an eerie glow. Though he quickly pushed himself back down into the depths of the fungi as he saw and heard something moving, and talking just at the edge of his alcove.

Harsh breathing, a purr to his ears and a raspy cough that sounded wrong. ‘Gollum, Gollum.’ It croaked, a wet sound that made Bilbo shudder as he peered out between the gaps of the mushrooms to see a wraith like creature beating the now twitching and conscious goblin.

A fleck of gold caught Bilbo’s eye as the wraith jumped and brought the rock down upon the goblin over and over again. It was something that Bilbo didn’t expect to see in the dark caves, or falling from the wraith itself, he wouldn’t have seen it at all if not for Varda’s gift to see even in the darkest of places.

When the wraith had dragged the goblin away Bilbo retreated from his hidden spot amongst the fungi and grasped the hit of his sword. He kept his ears tuned to the sounds while his eyes stayed firmly locked onto the small fleck of gold amongst the black stone and blue glow.

“How odd…” He trailed off, seeming entranced as he moved to touch the ring. Though the second his finger brushed the surprisingly warm band, it took all his will to not scream out as fire danced behind is eyes, his teeth biting clean through the skin of his lip.

Harsh breaths escaped past his bloody lips as he got his heart under control and stared down at the ring in horror. He knew that ring, knew that power from memories of old. How had the wraith come by the One? How had it bared to touch the metal and not see the fire, the darkness… or feel that heat and death?

“Oh sweet Aulë, give me strength.” He breathed out in shock, calling upon the Stone Father once more for strength. Though he knew that he should be praying for Tulkas as it is he who held the strength, though maybe it was because of his Dwarrow that he prayed to the Stone Father as it is he who made them to be strong like the very stone they were crafted from.

I will aide you Earth-son, for you will need my strength to carry the burden of the One.” Aulë rumbled steadfast, if not a bit sad. To Aulë or Mahal – depending on who you spoke to – now knew why a prophet was born. He had hoped it was because of the suffering of his children, the need to get their home back and rid themselves of the dragon and sickness. To make his children thrive once more, once the mountain heart was replaced.

But with the return of the ring, the One… the very twisted metal and darkness of Melkor’s protégée harshly ripped that hope away… he should have known that his father would not demand a blessing from each of his children unless it was dire. After all if it were not for his wife, he would have had to destroy his children under his Father’s command.

Bilbo tore his eyes away from the ring and faced the Stone Father in concern as he took in the sudden silence and unusual quiver that rested under the strong voice. The prophet could see the worry in Aulë, could see the Vala in deep thought as well.

“The cold hard lands, they bites our hands, they gnaws our feet. The rocks and stones, they’re like old bones, all bare of meat. Cold as death, they have no breath, it’s good to eat!” The sound of singing drew Bilbo closer to the smell of still water and death, rotting flesh and decay.

In the middle of the lake Bilbo could see the outline of the wraith, singing gleefully as it bashed the rock down still over and over. The blue shine of his sword flickered several times before sputtering out, this caused Bilbo to look up upon the rock once more and freezing, the goblin still lay twisted at the top but the wraith was gone.

In a blink of an eye the wraith was before him, his sword pointed at its throat. “Aaahh. Gollum. Gollum. Ack”

“What are you?” He murmured, cocking his head to the side as he finally took in the features. It wouldn’t be taller than him, large eyes and feet that reminded him of his people. Bilbo’s heart dropped as he sensed no true evil in this being, just taint above a light oh so familiar.

The creature, Gollum, rasped out a wet cough as it stumbled back. “It asks us what us is, what is us precious?”

I am glad my wife cannot bear to enter this mountain, for she would surely weep at the creature before you. She would weep for the loss of her child.” Aulë murmured, his eyes sad as he stared at the being before them. He could see his wife’s magic deep within the darkness that twisted this being, no, he is glad that she was not here.

Bilbo blinked in surprise before snapping his head back to the creature, his own heart weeping as he realised what Aulë had meant. The large eyes, the pointed ears and large feet. “It is a hobbit.”

“Hobbitses? What is a hobbitses?” The wraith – hobbit – asked.

Something deep within Bilbo ached at the words, the being before him was of his own kind and knew not of what it was. It was childlike and twisted; a broken creature that now was subjected to darkness and kept from the light. He could not understand how this had happened, how it had survived in such darkness for hobbits needed the sun to thrive.

“You are.” He replied softly, lowering his sword from the wraith. “Or you used to be, what is your name?”

The wraith cocked its head to the side and coughed, the sound still wet and raspy; it made Bilbo’s usually strong stomach churn. It rambled, speaking to something that Bilbo could not see nor hear. Gollum… Gollum, the sound repeated over as it spoke to precious, the longer it went, the ranting and the anger Bilbo knew he could not let the creature live like this.

“I hope you forgive me Mother.” He breathed out softly before turning his eyes up to Stone Father, he knew the Vala would not stop him or judge him for what he was about to do, but Bilbo needed his guidance in this.

“My wife will weep with the news, much like your heart now does my Earth son, but she will be pained less to hear he has returned to her Garden than be stuck in this darkness. I too would thank you, I could not ask a child of growing things and sunshine perish in something that is my domain.” Aulë replied, placing his hand carefully upon Bilbo’s head in reassurance and patriarch affection.

Bilbo felt his eyes slip close before he sheathed the elven blade and pulled out his trident dagger made by Aulë. A scream of rage caused him to step back, his eyes snapping open to stare at the creature before him near the water of the lake.

“Where is it? Where is it? No! Ahh! Where is it? No! No!” The creature cried as he scuttled along the waterline, its hands and feet scattering the small stones and clutter of jagged bones. “Lost! Curses and splashes, my precious is lost!”

In a blink of an eye the wraith turned to him, his eyes no longer glinting with innocence and confusion but fury and malice. It stalked towards him clumsily and staggered, alternating between two legs and on all fours.

“He stole it. He stole it! Ahh! HE STOLE IT!” It screeched, throwing rocks towards Bilbo who spun away from each object. “Give it to us! It’s ours. It’s ours! Thief!”

“I do not have your precious!” Bilbo yelled back before twisting once more and striking out at the large mass lunging towards him. He knew the second his blade tore through the sot flesh as the mass screamed and fell to the black earth in a twisted pile, red seeping and staining into the earth.

Bilbo did not hesitate, he did not want to cause the creature that could be from his kin to suffer more agony, so with tears in his eyes and bile threatening to escape past his parted lips, he thrust the dagger down into the chest of the wraith and waited till the struggles ceased and its eyes turn dull.

“You have shown him mercy Earth Son.” Aulë whispered crouching down by the prophets side, hand resting on his back.

The Prophet did not turn towards Aulë, but he let the tears flow free as he wept for the creature. “May Mother’s Garden give you peace kin, may you suffer darkness and torment no more.” He whispered, his free hand brushing over the wraiths eyes and closing them.

He did not look back as he began to find his way out from the cave, letting Aulë guide him, but something shifted within him and he didn’t know if it was a good thing or not.


Author Note: Okay, so this took me forever… I’ve had a hard time of writing as of late and this chapter kept getting written and rewritten because I didn’t like how it was, but enjoy! Also thank you to those who voted for my story in the Fanatic Fanfic Multifandom Awards. A Cursed Blessing came second in the Best LOTR story section!

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