Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hobbit Fanfiction take two

So I haven't posted on here since the last time I wrote a chapter of my lovely little Hobbit tribute.  Mainly because life has been of the crazier sort lately.  Have been job shopping, home cleaning, consignment shop contributing, tending sick kids, and the list just goes on.  I'll just go ahead and list the first 3 chapters of my little fanfic here and add as it gets done.

Meddling with Middle-Earth
Chapter One
          Kili awoke from a restless sleep to find his leg no longer felt as if lightning was running through it.  He lifted himself up on his elbows and looked around to find himself still in Bard’s home.  Catching Fili’s eye he smiled wanly.  “How long was I out?  I had the strangest dream that Tauriel had come to save me and I said foolish things to her after she healed me.”
          Fili tucked his hands into his armpits and ambled over to where his brother lay on Bard’s table.  “Well the thing is…Tauriel did come.  She came with Legolas and stayed to heal you after Bofur found the herbs she needed.  And you may very well have said the foolish things you think you said to her.  So if I were you I’d think of some very nice way to say thank you as she saved your life, little brother.  Tauriel was there when one of the orcs said the arrow that hit you was poisoned.  You would not have survived without her skill in healing.”  Fili gave Kili a grave look as the younger dwarf wore a look of horrified dismay.  “What did you say to her that was so very foolish?”
          Kili swallowed and replied, “I did not think it could have been her because we left the elves so far way from here.  So I spoke to the girl I thought was standing by my side and spoke of Tauriel as I imagined her, walking in starlight.  I asked if she thought Tauriel could have ever loved me, and probably offended her mightily with those words.”  How in Durin’s name am I supposed to face her again?  We talked of starlight and the Fire Moon before, but elves and dwarves have been enemies for years.  And I go and run my fool mouth off to her in my delirium.  This cannot bode well.
          Fili shot a grim smile toward his younger brother before saying “I don’t think your words are heavy on her mind right now.  Tauriel fears the dragon is on its way here and the fool townspeople have locked Bard away.  She’s gone with Oin, Bofur, and Bard’s children to do what she can to free him as he has the last black arrow that might pierce the beast before Smaug ruins the town.  Can you walk?”
          Kili slowly raised himself into a sitting position and looked around the home of Bard.  “I think I might be able to.  What happened here?”  He gingerly got off the table and Fili put an arm around him to help him to the door.
          “Those orcs from the river came after us looking for Thorin.  When they saw he wasn’t with us they took off after him.  It seems in giving in to the gold sickness our uncle may have helped to save you.  Legolas and Tauriel came to put an end to the orcs, and once Bard is free I’m sure she’ll be off after Legolas.  Last we saw of him he was going after the orc pack by himself.  But before they left to go after Thorin the orcs wrecked Bard’s house, so if we all manage to survive what’s coming, we’ll be needing to help him fix it.”
          Bofur stood by the cell Bard was locked in and looked on while Tauriel spoke to the Master and other members of Lake Town regarding her suspicions of  Smaug being on his way to them.  He took in her grace and composure even while one of her fists clenched in frustration.  It appeared that her elven heritage had little impact on these men of Lake Town and they intended to leave Bard in the cage he currently occupied.
          “Did you manage to stash that other black arrow before they nabbed you?”  Bofur asked Bard with a sympathetic smile.   Bard was in a highly anxious state knowing the deadly force of Smaug from his grandfather’s account of the attack on Dale.  He spared a glance for the dwarf before replying “My son hid it after we split.  Why don’t the two of you go and retrieve it and hopefully by the time you’ve got it I’ll be out of this mess and we can prepare Lake Town for the dragon.”
          “Not a bad plan.  I’ll find your lad and we’ll secure the arrow where the Master can’t reach it.  How long do you think we have?”
          Bard shook his head in frustration.  “I don’t know.  They should already be preparing.  If Tauriel can’t get them to release me, you must ask her to get as many as she can to begin watering everything in Lake Town down.  If it’s already soaked it won’t burn.  Every barrel and container without holes needs to be filled to fight off the fire the dragon will bring.”
          Bofur gave a slight bow in Bard’s direction before approaching Tauriel and the men of Lake Town gathered around her.  She turned her head toward him and he gestured for a moment.  Looking toward the Master, Tauriel murmured for a moment alone then walked over to Bofur.  “Yes, master dwarf?” 
          “Bard has asked that we begin to soak as much of the town as possible if the Master refuses to let him out.  His thinking is that if it’s soaked it won’t burn in the dragon’s fire.  He also directed me to search out his boy so we might have our hands on the last black arrow when he does get out.  Seems like a better plan to me than wasting time talking to this lot,” he indicated the Master’s crowd with a nod of his head.
          Tauriel inclined her head at his words and sent a small smile in his direction.  “It is indeed a better plan.  These men are fools.  If you can find the son I will begin to saturate the town with as much help as I can find.”  The two parted ways with Tauriel heading back towards Bard’s home to gather the remaining dwarves and Bard’s daughters.  Her hope was the daughters might rally enough townspeople to their aid to make a small dent in the drenching Bard advised.
          Oin and Bard’s daughters intercepted Fili and Kili as the pair walked to the Master’s house.  A small conference was held and the lot of them headed to the Master’s.  Before long they came upon Tauriel and Bofur who were looking for them to pass on Bard’s advice on how to deal with the dragon.  Kili was walking without help by this time and angled himself a bit behind his brother so as to attract less notice.  The perceptive elf noticed his slight movement and enquired as to how his leg was.
          “It is much better now that the poison is gone,” Kili stated after taking a startled breath.  “I owe you a great deal for saving my life,” he began, but was cut off by Tauriel’s wry smile.  “If we live through the dragon’s retaliation you and I can talk of any debt between us.  For now we must ready all we can or my saving you will have been for nothing.  Are you able to run yet, Kili?”
          An answering negative shake of his head was enough and Bofur asked the daughters if they knew of where their brother might be so they could fetch the black arrow for Bard.  They gave the best of his hiding places to the dwarf, and off Bofur went to find Baird and the last hope to slay the dragon.  After another brief discussion Oin, Fili, and the girls began running from home to home asking the Lake Town people to help prepare for the dragon’s onslaught.  “I will join you in a few moments,” Tauriel called after them.  She looked at Kili with some speculation before murmuring, “you may come with me, if you like.  There is one other thing I can do that may help these people more than banging on doors.”
          She turned and headed toward part of Lake Town that was less occupied by the townspeople.  Kili was able to stay a few paces behind her as she shortened her stride to accommodate his injury.  She stopped at a point where there was little around but the lake itself and knelt down on the dock.  Holding a hand out to Kili to keep him from getting too near, she looked down into the water and began speaking in the Elvish tongue.  While Kili stayed out of the arms length she requested, he was curious enough to want to see what was happening.  Edging silently closer to the edge he saw a ripple in the water near Tauriel.  As he stared in that direction Kili thought he saw a face in the water for a few moments, gazing up at Tauriel while she spoke.  His eyes widened and he must have made some noise because those watery eyes glanced over at him before again focusing on Tauriel.  After another few moments the face seemed to vanish and Tauriel took in a deep breath.
          “I have spoken to the Water elementals that live in the lake.  They have a vested interest in keeping this lake wholesome and the filth of a dragon’s destruction would be harmful to them.  They will help in their own way, but they will do little to defend the lives of the people who live here.  Thank you for not crowding me.  The Water folk are shy and would not have come if you had been too close.”
          Kili gazed back at the water where nothing was stirring.  “I thought I saw a face when you were speaking.  I’ve never seen anything like that before.  Are there spirits like this everywhere, or is it just being near you that brings them?”
          Tauriel gracefully rose from her sitting position and began walking back toward the populated areas of Lake Town.  “The elementals are everywhere, but dwarves cannot usually see or hear them.  It may well be that you have a closer connection to the land and water than the other dwarves, Kili.  That the elemental did not leave as soon as it sensed you is very unusual.  But I am learning that you are not like other dwarves I have met.  You notice much more than just gold and jewels where most of your kind does not.  It has been…interesting to meet you,” she continued after a slight pause.  “You have shown me that I may judge your kind too harshly, and that is an unexpected welcome.”
          Kili thought about her words as they continued to walk as quickly as his leg would allow.  “Before we ran into your guard in Mirkwood I had never met an elf.  The stories I had been told painted all of you as enemies of my people and nothing else.  I love my family and my people, but the longer I am on this quest, the more I wonder how much of what we have been told is true.”
          “We can speak more on this should we all survive the dragon,” Tauriel replied with a taut smile.  After this exchange the two began to bang on the doors nearest to them.  Most of the townspeople by this time knew of Smaug’s imminent arrival and were doing all they could to prepare for the fire drake.  Boats were being readied for women and children to cast off in, men were gathering what weapons they had, and everything that could hold water was now holding it.  The only thing left to do was await the arrival of Smaug.
Chapter Two
          In the midst of all the preparations for the dragon’s appearance no one really noticed how much time had passed.  Someone did notice the bright flash of fire at the bottom of the Lonely Mountain and ran screaming about it through LakeTown.  This only galvanized most of the townspeople to work faster with the one exception of the Master.  He, who had been leisurely drinking from a large goblet, slowly set that goblet down and began to raise himself out of the chair he’d been lounging in.
          The townsman who had been running and screaming about the dragon fire was brought to him by some guards.  Unfortunately for the Master the man who was standing before him was not the normal sort of drunkard to make a fuss.  This was a respected tradesman and as such would not be screaming about dragons without having seen something distressing.  After another moment of hearing the normally respectable man screeching about how the town was going to burn, the Master began walking toward Bard’s cell.  He grabbed the key from the guard who had been taunting the bowman and began to unlock the gate himself
          “I never would have believed you about the dragon if you had been the only one to mention it you trouble creating cretin,” the Master snarled to Bard.  “But the fellow in there screaming his fool head off has never caused a moment of trouble for me in Lake Town.  You go with those dwarves and that she-elf and you deal with that beast.  I’m going to be getting into my own boat and getting as far away as I can before it gets here.  Do what you can with the rest of the town so there’s something left for me to tax when I get back.”  And with that Bard was free to track down Bofur, Baird, and the last remaining black arrow.
          The full moon was a glowing beacon for the dragon’s arrival over Lake Town.  All who had weapons were standing with them at the ready, but most were only hopeful they might survive the attack.  Only Bard’s family, Tauriel, and the dwarves had really thought about the work the townspeople would have to do after the dragon was vanquished.  They had gathered in the best area for the archers’ arrows to make a dent in Smaug’s armor and waited for the chance to hit the beast.  Of the three Tauriel had by far the best eyesight and she saw Smaug before Bard and Kili did. 
          “There,” she murmured as she pointed into the night sky.  Soon after the rest of their party beheld the red fury hurtling toward them.  Shrieks began to be heard as the townspeople saw Smaug as well, but Bard and his companions were as calm as they could be considering their circumstances.  They had devised a plan of sorts where Bard, Tauriel, and Kili would be firing as many well placed arrows as possible into any vulnerable area on the dragon while the others would be standing at the ready with containers of water to squelch the fires. 
          “How will we know if your water friends will be helping us?” Kili asked Tauriel quietly.  He turned slightly to see her reply and was startled to see a slight smile grace her face.
          “Very much like that,” she nodded her head to the outskirts of the town where what looked like nets of glistening water had just sprung out of the lake to cover the closest buildings.  “The elementals have learned to fashion water into new shapes as they observed the fishing community here in Lake Town.  We might get to see the dragon show some surprise over what they’re now capable of.”
          The buildings shook as Smaug let out a bellow when several of what looked like spears made out of water suddenly flew out of the water and came close to hitting his face.  Normally water thrown on a fire drake would do little damage, but this was water woven into shape by elementals, and so it was solid when it hit the dragon.  One spear nearly flew into Smaug’s eye before he flew higher over the lake.  It would be harder for the elementals to hit the dragon now that he knew the spears could hurt him.
          The companions watched as Smaug changed his flight from gliding over the lake to flying much higher above the town.  “I think that’s the only surprise we’re going to get out of him,” Bard observed dryly.  “Those water nets may yet be a help, but most of this fight will have to come from us.  Tauriel, call out if you see anything on that hide of his that our arrows might penetrate.  Kili and I will do the same if we see anything.”  Raising his voice slightly Bard called to the other members of his small group.  “Good luck to the lot of you and may we have good hunting tonight!”
          The dwarves in particular responded to this with gusto.  Fili looked over at Kili and grinned.  If nothing else the dwarves would go out fighting and they would be happy with that as an end.   Then the dragon was overhead and chaos ensued.
          Smaug made several passes, breathing his fire over as much of the town as he could reach before Tauriel was able to see the spot where a chunk of his natural armor was missing.  The water nets were repelling most of the dragon fire from the buildings as they would hold their form and release them as needed.  Whenever the dragon directed his fire toward a building water nets would be there first, and they would catch the fire and then dissolve back into the lake, quenching the flames as it went.  Smaug was quickly becoming agitated at the little amount of damage he was able to do close to the water and began to fly in toward the center of Lake Town where the water was less plentiful.
          Because they were situated on the outskirts of Lake Town where the tower containing the black arrow launcher was, the archers were having a harder time getting close to Smaug now that he had changed his strategy.  The townspeople in the middle of his rampage were doing their best to douse his flames, but it looked as if that part of the town was doomed to burn.  Tauriel observed how the dragon was flying about, still carefully trying to stay inland as much as possible, but was not able to completely avoid the water.
          “Bard, if the beast were to fly directly over our tower could you hit him in his bare spot with that black arrow?” she enquired with narrowed eyes as she watched Smaug torment the town. 
          “Where is the spot?”  Bard wanted to know.  “My eyes aren’t as keen as yours and we’ve only got the one black arrow left.  Tell me exactly where it is and how big the area is and I’ll let you know if I can hit it.”
          “Under his left wing where it joins with his body there is an area half a meter in length.  A chunk of his armor is missing from it and if you hit him there it may very well be a killing shot.  Do you think you can do it?” she asked again.  Tauriel knew that she could make the shot herself, but she was unfamiliar with the mechanism for the black arrow and knew that using it had great meaning for Bard.  While Kili had been recovering from the poisoning Bard’s daughters had told Tauriel about their great-grandfather Girion and how he had tried to stop Smaug from destroying Dale.  The last black arrow was Bard’s to shoot.
          After considering it, Bard nodded in assent.  “Yes I can hit it if the space is as big as you say.  But how are we going to get the beast to fly toward us?  He’s avoiding the water as much as possible now and we’re situated very close to it.”
          Tauriel smiled grimly before beginning to make her way down from the tower.  “Leave that to me.  I’ll get the fire drake to head your way, bowman.  Make sure you shoot well because it will be the last shot this town has.”
          Bard frowned down at Kili who was watching Tauriel’s descent.  “Do you have any idea what she might be up to?” he asked with some exasperation.
          “I have a fairly good idea what she’s up to, and if that dragon figures it out he will burn her alive.”  Kili looked quickly up at Bard before readying himself to go after Tauriel.  “May Durin guide your arrow, Bard.  And may he keep me from reaching Tauriel before it is too late.  If she is going to the Water folk again and Smaug sees her alone she will not be able to defend herself.  I cannot let her do this alone, not after she saved my life.”  With that he made his way down the tower as quickly as possible and followed Tauriel’s path toward the water.
Chapter Three
        Kili was correct in his assessment of what Tauriel had planned.  She was far enough ahead of him that he could see her quickly make her way to a part of the walkways surrounded by a fair bit of water.  He cast a quick glance upward to track the dragon’s path before moving after Tauriel as quickly as he could.  Surprisingly he found himself able to jog quickly, although his leg was still not up to a full out run yet.
          As he approached Kili was able to make out several watery faces instead of just one as last time.  Tauriel was speaking quickly in what he thought was the Elven tongue and to his astonishment he was able to hear a whisper of language directed back at her.  It was unlike anything he had ever heard and definitely had a liquid sound, but was slippier than any Elvish he had heard spoken.  As he again scanned the skies above to see Smaug take another turn toward more unprotected areas of Lake Town, he saw a figure out of the corner of his eye.  Slowly he turned back toward the water and spied a slight figure standing on top of the water it seemed.  As he gazed at it, the watery figure grinned at him and came closer to where he was standing.  The figure pointed at Kili’s bow and arrow as if asking to see it.
          Glancing first at Tauriel, who was still in deep discussion with the water folk, and then back at the figure, Kili slowly took a step forward and held his weapons out for inspection.  The figure bent over the bow and arrow and then extended its hands.  Before Kili’s eyes a watery arrow formed in those hands, and then the arrow was extended to him.  The water elemental smiled and then pointed upward toward the sky where Smaug had just begun to take notice of the water which was rapidly filling with other elementals.
          “Tauriel,” Kili called softly.  “I may have an idea that could be helpful in getting the dragon where we need him.  Can the elementals understand me at all, or do you need to translate?”
          Startled, Tauriel turned to fully face the dwarf.  She glanced with surprise at the smiling elemental holding the water arrow toward Kili and then looked upward as Smaug bellowed his anger at the apparent meeting taking place.
          “Whatever idea you have must be told quickly, or it won’t matter what it was,” she murmured softly.  “I’ll translate as you tell me, and we may yet have a chance.”
          “The elementals need to be touching water to hold the shape of their creations, yes?”  Kili spoke quickly and gestured with his hands toward the elemental in front of him.  “What if they made small ladders of water in the areas where there is not a lot of water and drove the dragon in the direction of the tower with bows and arrows made of water like this?  They could stand on the ladders and keep the shapes as long as need be, and then let them go like the nets if he got too close.  They’d be back in the water in seconds that way.”
          Keeping her focus between Kili and the sky above, Tauriel relayed the conversation to the water elementals.  The elemental in front of Kili smiled and nodded vigorously at the words she spoke.  After a moment of hearing that strange watery language again, the elementals vanished and began to flow toward the dragon.  Some of them were directing water to the worst fires while others began making the small ladders Kili had devised.  Smaug screamed in anger and surprise when the first barrage of water arrows hit him, and he began to turn in the direction of the tower where he was being driven.
          “Now we just need to get him to fly high enough for Bard to hit him,” mused Kili.  Standing beside him Tauriel nodded thoughtfully.  “I may just have an idea to help that along,” she murmured.  “But we need to talk to the water folk again.  How did you get the young prince to communicate with you?  The two of you seemed to find a way to speak without speaking.”
          Kili thought about how he and the water elemental had understood each other.  “I don’t really know.  I could tell he was curious and I just wanted to try and understand what they were like.  So when he wanted to see my weapons I showed him.  And then I got the idea of the ladders.  Whatever it is you’re thinking of we need to do it quickly.”
          Bard narrowed his eyes at the sight before him.  After blinking a few times to make sure he wasn’t seeing things, the bowman gasped aloud and excitedly called to his comrades “Look!  Look what they’ve done!  We may well see the end of this day after all!”
          The sight the met their dazzled gazes was unlike anything seen before or since in Middle Earth.  The great fire drake Smaug had been driven over the city of Lake Town by water elementals which the townspeople had not known even existed.  Now the dragon was again being driven, but no longer by the meddlesome arrows he had been previously pelted with.  The water had risen up in the shape of a huge fishing net and the water folk held the shape all through the town, no matter how fast Smaug flew.  None had ever seen a dragon flee in fear before this day, but none had ever seen the water rise up to fight a dragon, either.  Smaug was half out of his mind in fear and anger or he would have noticed the tower as he flew madly toward it. 
          Bard hefted the black arrow and guided it into the firing mechanism.  He knew there would only be one chance at this and he wasted no time in sighting and taking the breaths he needed for timing.  As Smaug came screaming into his line of sight, Bard let fly with the black arrow into the spot Tauriel had described.  The resulting shriek by the mortally wounded Smaug would be spoken of for generations to come.  As the fire drake quickly began to flail and fall in the sky, that watery net he had been fleeing came under him and drug him away from Lake Town.
          Smaug was laid to ground away from both the water and Lake Town itself.  Once the water elementals felt the body was far enough away to offer no risk to them, it was unceremoniously dropped.  The thud could be felt far from Lake Town itself and it stirred the wildlife into a frenzy.  The birds flew to see what had happened and from there reported their findings to any who would listen.  There were a surprising number of people who listened to birds that day.  Beorn, Legolas, Thranduill, Balin, and even Radagast who was the furthest away learned of Smaug’s demise this way.