Story by Rordriel
“What is it now, Kili?”
“I have something for you.”
Thorin held back an impatient sigh and allowed his youngest nephew to hand him a small stone he found on the road they were currently walking along.
“Thank you,” Thorin said to the child, who beamed up at him. He placed the stone in his pocket along with the two others Kili found for him.
“Kili, stop giving Uncle rocks. He doesn’t want them,” Fili told his little brother and Kili’s smile faded at his brother’s words. Thorin did not need a fight to start, which would only end up with both nephews crying and delaying their journey’s progress even more. They were late as it was and he would be needed at the forge soon.
If only his nephews were older, then he could bring them with him to the forge and not worry about finding others to care for them in his absence. Seeing they were not, he was left with taking them to those of his kin who were willing to undertake two often wild dwarf children.
Of course not many dared refuse taking care of his nephews being that he was King Under the Mountain. If only they actually lived in his rightful kingdom, Erebor instead of residing in the Lonely Mountain. He and his kin were forced to live in the Blue Mountains all because of that accursed worm! If it weren’t for Smaug, his nephews would be happily living in Erebor with their parents, but instead his nephews’ mother and father were killed defending the village against a goblin raid in the Blue Mountains.
If…if…if. This was getting him nowhere and certainly not improving his mood as he thought of his younger sister, Fili and Kili’s mother. Would she be disappointed with how he was caring for her sons? Probably so. It had been two years since Dis’s death and he felt no closer to becoming a proper parent for Fili and Kili.
Thorin pushed his brooding thoughts to the back of his mind and decided to focus on his charges as any decent parent would. He stopped in his tracks when he realized his nephews were no longer at his side. Where in Durin’s name did they go? He spun around and felt a mixture of relief and dismay upon finding them.
While he had continued walking, distracted by his dark thoughts, Kili had kicked Fili for saying their uncle didn’t want the pretty rocks he had especially picked out for him. Fili attacked back and that was when Thorin found them, with Kili sprawled on the ground screaming and Fili sitting on his little brother’s back with a smug look.
“Fili! Get off your brother,” Thorin commanded, glad it was still early enough so that no one else was around to witness his failure of watching over his nephews. Fili heard the tone in his uncle’s voice and quickly jumped to his feet, avoiding Thorin’s stern look. Kili stopped screaming and scrambled to his feet, wasting no time in running over to Thorin and away from his mean brother. He lifted his small arms up with his fingers opening and closing against his palms in a gesture to be held and looked up at his uncle with large brown eyes.
“Kili, you’re getting too old for this,” Thorin told him, trying not to be influenced by the pitiful look Kili was now giving him. In truth, Thorin didn’t know if Kili was too old to be held, but he knew his nephew was quite capable of walking. Kili frowned and held his arms out once again.
“There isn’t any reason why you cannot be walking,” Thorin said, cursing to himself as Kili’s lower lip began to tremble. He sighed and scooped the dwarfling into his arms and Kili smiled in contentment as he snuggled his head against the fur lining his uncle’s coat. Thorin decided later he had only carried Kili to speed their travelling and not because of his nephew’s pitiful face. Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain, had not just been manipulated by his youngest heir.
They soon reached the home of his distant cousin, Gloin, where he lived with his wife and six-month-old son. Thorin was surprised that Gloin’s wife, Nari, still offered to watch Fili and Kili during the day when she had her own son to care for. He was grateful of course for her offer since she provided a mother-like figure for the boys, which was something they needed, especially Kili. He would still wake up at night crying for Dis, and Fili was the only one who could truly calm Kili. Thorin tried, but Fili just had a natural ability.
Thorin drew himself from his thoughts as Nari greeted them at the door with a cheerful smile. Fili and Kili instantly returned the smile, but Thorin knew it would be better for him to keep his expression passive. His smile looked more like a grimace now-a-days.
“Come in, boys,” she said to Fili and Kili. “Gimli’s still asleep so I need you to be extra quiet. Can you do that for me?”
Fili and Kili nodded to her solemnly and Thorin mentally wished her luck. Kili could never be quiet for long. Thorin gave her a curt nod (she was used to him not saying much) and left her to take care of his nephews. He made his way to the forges, a world he could actually understand.
Thorin would have been shocked to see Fili and Kili playing quietly together, but he didn’t know Gimli was a sleeping dragon and whoever woke him would be roasted alive. Kili was the first to break the relative quiet, forgetting about the sleeping dragon and letting out a shrill battle cry as he attacked his brother with a wooden sword.
“Shhh,” Fili hissed at him, waiting for any noise that would indicate the dragon was awake. Nothing. The dragon still slept. “You need to be quiet, Kili.”
“You look like Uncle Thorin,” Kili told his older brother as Fili glared at him for being loud. “That’s what he looks like when he-” Kili struggled to find a word befitting his uncle’s look.
“Glares,” Fili provided knowledgeably, feeling proud of himself for remembering the word Balin had said to Thorin once. Balin had told Thorin to stop glaring at others all the time and Fili guessed that was the name for his uncle’s look.
“Uncle Thorin glares all the time,” he continued. “Sometimes lightning shoots from his eyes and catches people on fire, turning them into piles of ash.” Now, Fili knew that was impossible(or at least he hoped so), but Kili did not and his eyes widened in terror at the thought. Fili’s eyes found the kitchen and he grinned as he noticed a small pile of flour on the floor as Nari worked on
“Kili, look,” Fili whispered, enjoying the power his words had over his little brother. “Do you see that?” He pointed over to the flour and Kili nodded. “That used to be a dwarf until Uncle glared at him.”
“Uncle did that?” Kili whispered back in horror and Fili nodded with a grim look. Kili paused, thinking, and then asked, “How come I’m not like that? He glared at me a lot!”
“He liked you then,” Fili replied ominously, trying not to laugh at his joke. “But not anymore. He didn’t like those rocks you kept giving him.”
“B-but I picked them out for him,” Kili said, his voice trembling.
“I would be careful if I were you,” Fili warned Kili, who was very close to crying at this point, not understanding why his uncle didn’t like him anymore. Fili patted his brother and went outside to play, quickly forgetting about the story he told Kili. His little brother, of course, did not and dreaded the time his uncle returned. It came all too soon for him.
The sun was beginning to set when Thorin returned to Gloin’s home. He was surprised it was Fili and not Kili who greeted him first. Kili seemed to enjoy barreling into him as soon as he saw his uncle, but the boy was no where in sight.
“Kili, your uncle’s here,” Nari called out to the house with her son balanced on one hip. Thorin was a little unnerved by the stare Gimli was giving him. Didn’t that child blink? He avoided Gimli’s stare and focused on a strange moving blob, which turned out to be Kili with a blanket over his head. Kili, in all his wisdom, decided a blanket would be the best protection from the Thorin glare. He did not want to be turned into a pile of ash.
“Kili, take that off before you hurt yourself,” Thorin ordered. Too late.
“Owie,” Kili exclaimed after running into the wall. Thorin may not be able to see him, but Kili realized he couldn’t see anything either(the downside of using a blanket as cover). Fili giggled as his little brother stumbled his way towards him. Kili, still underneath the blanket, latched his hands onto Fili’s arm, relying on his brother to guide him home.
Thorin sighed, realizing that Kili did not plan on removing the blanket any time soon. They would be getting many strange stares when they walked home that night.
“Let’s go,” Thorin said tiredly as Fili followed after him with his new ghost. He thought when they got home Kili would take that ridiculous blanket off, but he didn’t. There was a close call for Kili when the blanket became stuck in the door after it closed, causing the blanket to slip off him. He cried in alarm and desperately tugged at his cover, making sure not to look at Thorin.
His uncle sighed and opened the door so Kili could pull the blanket free. Kili immediately threw the blanket back over his head and said, “Thank you, Uncle Thorin. I’ll be good now, I promise.” Thorin doubted that, but let the boy be. If he wanted to hide under a blanket then he could, for now that was. He would get tired of his game soon, or so Thorin hoped.
Kili did not tire of his game and remained under the blanket as they were eating dinner. Bombur visited the other day with some stew and freshly baked bread, claiming he accidentally made too much, which considering his girth, could not be possible. Thorin knew Bombur purposely cooked meals for them and sometimes came to their home to do so, saying he didn’t have anything better to do. Thorin knew he wasn’t the best when it came to preparing meals, but it wasn’t as if he would let his nephews starve. Thorin glanced over at his youngest nephew, who was determinedly eating his food under the blanket.
“Kili, take that off,” Thorin said, a bit of irritation creeping into his voice.
“I’m cold,” Kili answered and Thorin tried not to lose his patience. Kili couldn’t constantly have a blanket over his head.
“But the stew is hot so you don’t need this anymore,” Fili said wickedly, pulling the blanket away. Kili yelped and dove under the table, dropping his bowl in the process.
“Kili, what is the matter,” Thorin asked, peering under the table to find Kili huddled over himself and covering his eyes.
“Nothing’s the matter,” Kili answered quickly, afraid he would uncover his eyes and find Thorin glaring at him. “I’m fine. I-I’m going to bed now!” After saying that, Kili crawled out from underneath the table and dashed off to his and Fili’s room, leaving Thorin to stare after him in growing confusion. Kili hated going to bed and would often beg his uncle to tell him a long story so he could stay up longer. Was it normal for a child Kili’s age to act like this?
“Fili, why is you brother acting like this,” Thorin asked, thinking Fili may know the reason to Kili’s strange behavior.
“I don’t know,” Fili lied, avoiding Thorin’s gaze. Thorin’s eyes narrowed and he said, “Fili, tell me what happened.”
“I’m tired,” Fili said, scrambling from his chair. “I’m going to bed too.” He fled from the room, leaving behind a confused and now angry uncle. Fili hurriedly closed the door to his and Kili’s room, sighing in relief when he didn’t hear the sound of Thorin’s footsteps approaching. That was close. He looked over at his bed and saw that Kili was hiding under the covers and shaking. Maybe he scared Kili a little too much, Fili thought to himself as he clambered onto his bed. He lifted up the covers and discovered that Kili was crying.
“Fee,” Kili cried, hurling himself into his brother’s arm. “Don’t let Uncle Thorin glare at me! Tell him I’ll never be bad again!”
“It’s alright,” Fili said, hugging his little brother who was still crying. “Uncle’s not going to glare at you.”
“Scared,” Kili whimpered. “I don’t wanna be ash! I don’t wanna leave you!”
“I see no one is going to bed,” they both heard a voice rumble, causing Kili to dive back under the covers and Fili to close his eyes, feigning sleep. Thorin of course was not fooled and walked over to Fili’s bed with a frown on his face. Was Kili scared of him? If he was, then why?
“Fili,” Thorin said in a tone demanding to be answered, but Fili only snored loudly in answer. “Fili, I know you aren’t asleep,” Thorin said, crossing his arms and glaring sternly at his nephew, who instantly stopped snoring to look warily up at him. “What is Kili afraid of,” Thorin asked, his voice warning Fili to tell him the truth this time.
“Don’t give Fee The Thorin Glare, Uncle Thorin!” Kili wailed from underneath the covers. “I’ll be sad without him!”
Thorin’s brow furrowed as he looked between Fili, who was looking up at him nervously, and Kili, who was still hiding.
“Where did you learn the word ‘glare,’ ” Thorin asked Kili, guessing the answer after seeing Fili squirm uncomfortably.
“Fee says if you glare at me I turn to ash,” Kili answered and Fili wanted to kick his brother for telling Thorin that. Fili gulped as he received the newly named glare from Thorin, dreading to hear what his uncle would say.
“That’s not true, Kili,” Thorin said, looking away from a terrified Fili and rubbing his temples. “Fili was only tricking you into thinking that, which is a terrible thing to do to one’s younger brother.” Fili bowed his head guiltily while Kili peeked his head out from the covers. After seeing that Thorin was not glaring at him, he sat up and promptly slapped Fili across the face with his tiny hand as he said, “Bad Fee!”
“Kili,” Thorin exclaimed sharply. “You do not hit your brother.” Fili placed a hand to his cheek and was staring at Kili in shock.
“But he was mean to me,” Kili protested, his face turning into his familiar pout. “Fee was mean and bad!”
“What he did was mean and wrong,” Thorin agreed. “But that does not give you the right to hit him. You will apologize to your brother now.”
“Sorr,” Kili whispered, patting his brother’s arm. He stood up and kissed Fili’s face, declaring, “All better now.” Fili couldn’t help but smile at his little brother.
“And now Fili will apologize to his brother,” Thorin continued tiredly. These two would be the death of him one day.
Fili turned to Kili and said, “I’m sorry, Kili. I’ll never scare you like that again.”
“That’s good to hear,” Thorin muttered, not really believing Fili would keep such a promise. That boy had a mischievous streak about him.
Kili beamed at his brother and snuggled back under the covers, not even bothering going over to his own bed. “Uncle, tell us a story,” Kili said, his eyes pleading up at Thorin. “A story about Ebor.”
“Erebor,” Thorin automatically corrected, sitting down at the edge of the bed as Fili and Kili waited eagerly for the story. Praying they would fall asleep quickly, Thorin began telling them of the once mighty and majestic Dwarven kingdom, one that Thorin hoped he would reclaim one day with his nephews by his side. He sighed in relief once both brothers fell asleep with Kili nestled against Fili’s side.
He rose and quietly exited the room, leaving the two to dream peaceful dreams that he could no longer have, for the burning of Erebor constantly haunted his mind. He heavily sank down in a chair next to the fire and stared broodingly into the flames. He would see Smaug destroyed and his homeland reclaimed, he vowed to himself. Perhaps he could simply glare at the dragon, killing Smaug instantly and ensuring a swift victory. If only it could be that simple. If only he knew he would be embarking on the quest to Erebor many years later with thirteen other dwarves, a wizard, and a hobbit.
“I can’t believe you told Bilbo that story,” Kili said to his brother as they tended to the horses for the night. They were currently travelling through Buckland on their quest to the Lonely Mountain, led by no other than their uncle, Thorin Oakenshield.
“I heard him muttering about Thorin needing to learn other ways to look at others besides glaring at them,” Fili answered with a shrug. “I just told him that Thorin had his own named glare and explained how that came to be. He seemed to find it amusing.” Fili didn’t mention how Bilbo said, “How adorable,” before turning bright red and coughing to cover his embarrassment. Fili was beginning to learn that hobbits were strange creatures.
“There’s nothing amusing about that story,” Kili muttered angrily, setting down the last saddle and heading over to the rest of the company, not noticing his brother rummaging through Bombur’s packs. Kili made sure to stay away from the hobbit, hating his brother for telling him that embarrassing story. He found himself standing next to his uncle, who looked ready to give anyone The Thorin Glare if they so
much glanced his way. Kili had a feeling Bilbo was one of the reasons for Thorin’s anger. He had heard Thorin muttering to Dwalin about the incompetence of hobbits and hoping Bilbo would grow tired of the journey and return home before they reached Bree.
“How are you this fine evening, Uncle,” Fili asked Thorin conversationally, standing next to Kili. Kili wondered if his brother was insane. Anyone could see Thorin was not in a talking mood. Kili warily glanced up at his uncle to find Thorin sending Fili his famous glare. Kili looked over at his brother and involuntarily gasped to find Fili gone and a pile of ash in his place. Ash? No, Fili could not have turned into a pile of ash. What was he thinking? Thorin’s glare was not that powerful.
He looked wildly around for Fili, but his brother was no where in sight. He bent down to examine the pile only to receive a handful of flour thrown into his face,which was also what the pile consisted of. Kili blinked in shock and narrowed his eyes as Fili began laughing at him.
“You should have seen the look on your face,” Fili said between his laughter. “It looked as though you believed Thorin’s glare incinerated me.”
Kili scowled furiously, his face reddening in embarrassment as the other dwarves began to chuckle as well, all of them being familiar with Kili’s childhood story. Even Bilbo covered a hand over his mouth to hide his grin, but what shocked Kili most of all was Thorin’s smile. It was small and lasted only a second, but he had seen it and found himself staring at his uncle in wonder. Thorin rarely smiled these days,and Kili decided that The Thorin Glare story wasn’t so bad after all. Besides, there was plenty of time to get Fili back for his prank. This journey wouldn’t be over any time soon.