Section 8. Fíli
Rating/Warnings: Major angst, character death
Word Count: 750
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit, it would be even sadder.
Summary: None of Thorin's companions will ever forget the day the dragon came.
2. Dori & Nori
Fíli doesn’t remember much about his father. He remembers warm brown eyes and hair as bright as sunshine, strong arms lifting him high upon broad shoulders and a laughing voice that rumbled in his ears.
But the dwarf’s most vivid memory is of the day his father died.
Durgan had taken his young son to the hall of gemstones where dwarves made diamonds sparkle and polished shining stones. Fíli loved watching the gem-cutters work and one day he wished to be one. He wanted to create jewelry for his mother and braid beads for his father. However, his first project was to be a gift for the sibling soon to come. Brother or sister, Fíli was excited at the prospect and he was determined to have his present ready before the babe arrived.
So the prince dragged his father down rows and rows of gemstones, looking for the perfect one to carve. He dismissed diamonds as too bright and rubies as too scary, emeralds as too elvish and topaz as too weird. But the sapphires were the color of his mother’s formal dresses and Fíli picked out a dark blue gem carefully.
“This one,” he told his father.
“A good choice,” the dwarf replied with proper solemnity. Fíli settled the gemstone in his pocket, making sure that it was well secured while his father finished bargaining. Then Durgan took his hand and led him toward the door.
“Let’s go show your mother what you’ve gotten,” his dad said with a wide smile, the last Fíli would ever see.
Because moments later there was a deafening crack and Durgan barely had time to cover his son with his own body as the back wall exploded suddenly. Fíli couldn’t hear his own voice screaming over the sound of falling stone, but he will never forget the silence afterward.
When Fíli lifted his head, the hall of gemstones was utterly destroyed. Where there had been precious jewels and gem-cutters, there was only rubble, blood and fire to be seen. There were no cries for help, no moans from injured dwarrows, and he wanted nothing more than to hear his father speak.
“Dad? Are you okay?” the young dwarf asked, his voice quavering. But there was no answer and when he pulled himself free of the rubble, his searching gaze was met by his father’s bloodstained face. Durgan was half buried in the doorway, most of his body covered by rocks and broken stones, and he didn’t even twitch when Fíli shook his arm.
“Please, dad. Please get up,” he begged. But his father didn’t answer. Durgan would never speak or laugh or hold his son again.
The prince still doesn’t know how long he sat there crying before his uncle found him. Strong arms pulled Fíli away from his father’s body and he struggled until he recognized Thorin’s soot-stained face.
“Come, my sister-son,” his uncle murmured, tucking Fíli against his chest. “Your mother is worried and we cannot stay here anymore.”
“But… my dad…” the young dwarf pleaded.
“I am sorry, Fíli,” Thorin told him. “Durgan has gone to Mahal and we cannot bring the dead.”
His uncle’s words triggered a fresh bout of weeping and Thorin’s tunic was soaked through before he handed Fíli off to a guardsman running by. This dwarf brought the prince straight to his mother and when she wrapped her arms around him, he almost felt safe again.
Life was harder after that. Life was cold, hungry, and exhausting as it had never been before and Fíli missed his father constantly.
When he finally realized that the sapphire was still there in his pocket, the prince nearly started sobbing and his mother did burst into tears when he offered her the gemstone to help pay for their supplies. Even though they could have used the money, Dis would not accept it. She told her son that the jewel had been a gift to him from Durgan and that his father would have wanted him to show his sibling just how dearly they were loved.
So Fíli scrounged up what tools he could and spent all his free time carving. Soon intricate engravings covered every facet of the sapphire, each symbol representing a different memory. The young dwarf wanted to create a token that Durgan could be proud of and when Kíli was born a few months later, Fíli gave his father’s final present to the son he’d never meet.