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and on her head a crown (and other ficlets)

Chapter Text

The departure of the elves is a tense affair. They are more than impatient to be on their way, not bothering to hide their joy at leaving the mountain, and the dwarrows who have gathered to watch them go are obviously rejoicing at the departure of the intrusive elven contingent. Tauriel stands near the great gate, still in the last phases of repair, and tacks her horse, refusing to look around for the source of the burning glares directed at her back. She turns to pick up the first of her saddlebags and refuses to startle when she finds it being held out to her by Dís.

"My lady Dís," Tauriel says, inclining her head and taking the bag. She hefts it in her arms and secures it to one of the straps on the back of the horse's saddle. Dís hands the next one to her without another word and they finish packing Tauriel's horse in the same silence.

"That idiot brother of mine has apparently decided the best way to deal with my stubborn daughter is to set a guard on her door. Since it's easier to let him think he's getting his way, at least at first, I've become a courier," Dís says, holding out a small parcel. Tauriel takes it hesitantly; it's heavier than it looks and the weight is comforting in her palm. The King Under the Mountain had not cared to find out that his sister-daughter was involving herself with an elven warrior and while the shouting had echoed down the halls for hours that morning, Tauriel has not seen Kíli since last night.

"My thanks," Tauriel says, crossing her arm over her chest. Dís just sighs instead of asking her not to this time; she knows when to pick her battles. Tauriel hesitates for a moment before continuing, "If I'm not presuming too much, would you give Kíli my thanks? And tell her that I'll write?" She knows her face is too open and happy as her fingers clutch at the hard lump of the parcel but Dís only smiles and nods.

A cough behind Tauriel draws their attention and a quick look around shows that the rest of the elves have finished their preparations. Dís has already gone, moving quickly to one side of the open gate to clear the path for the horses and wagons. Tauriel swings into the saddle, hand still clenched around the parcel, and calls the command to move out.

It's not until the elves are approaching Laketown, pace comfortable as they relax under the open sky, that Tauriel feels steady enough to open the package. Paper wrapped around a stone falls into her hand and she tucks the cloth and twine into her belt to open the paper. There's not much on it, just a smeared scribble that she thinks might be "sorry." But what it holds is more than astounding enough to make up for it: an opal in a plain setting of silver wire, flashing in the early morning light. The chain it hangs on is long enough to slip it over her head and tuck it into the front of her tunic and she does so, shivering as the gemstone and metal quickly warm to her skin. Tauriel does not know when she will see Kíli again but she does not know many things, and she can live with this, a little piece of the dwarrowdam resting against her hopeful heart.