Pairing: A few vague implications but overall gen.
Warnings: Pretty much just crack.
Word Count: 811
Disclaimer: If I owned the Hobbit, it would be ridiculous.
Summary: The King Under the Mountain has no facial hair but that doesn't stop his people from believing otherwise.
No one knows just how the rumors started, though they began not long after Kíli took his uncle's place on the throne of Erebor.
It had been something of a shock when Thorin abdicated, the dwarf lord giving up his crown to pursue his heart's dreams, and the nobles weren't sure that they wanted his nephew to be king. While he was the rightful heir, the archer was also young and unpolished, with little patience for court intrigue or keeping up appearances. Indeed Kíli had often shown up to judgments in his usual hunting leathers and more than one fine dwarrowdam had fainted at the sight.
But the dwarf's elder brother was tied to Dale by blood and marriage and even his most vocal opponents couldn't agree on a suitable candidate to take his place. So Kíli had been crowned despite their misgivings, Erebor somehow managing not to crumble into dust immediately. Although that was due more to their young king's surprising gift for diplomacy than any of the nobles pitching in to help.
“Of course the elves like him; our king looks like one of their children with that beardless face of his,” one of Kíli's detractors had grumbled while in his cups one evening and the lord never could remember the face of the dwarrow who replied.
However, despite the splitting headache with which he woke the next morning, somehow Dâven could not forget the words he heard: “What madness are you spewing, fool? His beard's magnificent.”
Perhaps this was the beginning of the rumors or perhaps it was another tavern and another dwarf entirely. But whatever the source, the entire kingdom was soon convinced that their ruler did indeed have a beard and one could see it by looking at him properly. Even if no one could agree on what this method was and some enterprising miners made a nice fortune by selling their so-called perfect process to the gullible, this did not stop the dwarves of Erebor from believing in a way to do it right.
Because the stories bubbled up from the taverns and were whispered on every drunken tongue until the myth became simple fact in his subject's minds.
Though there is still some disagreement over the origin of this magic, with two factions standing on opposing sides. Those who love their king and believe Kíli is a breath of fresh air amongst the hard stone of their traditions are sure his beardless face is a curse meant to weaken the dwarf’s rule over his clan.
Perhaps a cruel joke on Thranduil's part and the elves certainly seem amused when one of the courtiers finally speaks his complaint. Indeed the elf prince laughs until he cries at the accusation, cackling “Magic beards,” as one of his guard drags him away. This response does nothing to reduce the Sigin-tarâg's suspicions and only Balin's quick intervention keeps another feud from breaking out right there.
In contrast, the dwarves who dislike Kíli, thinking their young king impertinent and slightly crazy, are pretty sure that this is entirely the wizard's fault. Indeed they are certain that the spell is either a gift meant to search out disloyalty within the heart of Erebor... or an accident brought on by all that weed he smokes.
But the first option gives the archer's opponents a much better excuse for grumbling and so that's the one they focus on. Though, of course, these dwarrow lords only grumble in private, praising Kíli's magnificent beard whenever any other dwarves are around. Because obviously it must be glorious, three feet long and as thick as Bombur’s or it would not have been worth hiding from their sight.
Somehow these nobles never seem to notice the way that Kíli's closest companions snicker whenever their odes start up again or the bets that Nori offers on whose praise will win.
The current leader is Lord Nimlí, who named the king’s beard a silken waterfall one morning: black as the midnight sky and sleek as an otter's pelt. Even though the dwarf has opposed all of Kíli's decrees with a vicious stubbornness, no one speaks more beautifully about the young king's hair and the court is still waiting to see him meet his match. But only Ori has come close to matching his perfection and the young scholar simply could not top it while lying through his teeth.
So it is that the King of Silver Fountains and his beard fall into legend, the story taught to every dwarrowling when they earn their first axe. But while no one can honestly claim to have seen it for themselves, none of the Sigin-tarâg ever doubts that it is there.
Kíli in turn remains happily oblivious, ruling his people with enthusiasm if not always wisdom, although the dwarf sometimes wonders why his subjects often look at him cross-eyed.