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"A Rose Among Thorns"

Author: Thevina/thrihyrne
Title: A Rose Among Thorns
Rating: G
Theme: Believe It Or Not
Elements: "dim"
Betas: booneda and brumeux77
Author's Notes: I've not written any Tolkien in a while; I hope you enjoy this fanciful tale involving my favorite race in M-E.
Summary: What would be truly unexpected within Dwarvish society? Maybe someone like Dimvin.
Word Count: 1086


Dimvin looked at the shield in his hands with disgust.

"Thombur is going to threaten to shave off your beard," he said glumly to himself. "He may really do it this time."

In the flickering light of the candles in his workroom, he gazed viciously at the awkward hunk of silver he'd created. How was it, he wondered for the thousandth time, that he had to suffer the indignity of being a Dwarf who was hopeless with metal?

"Oh! Dimwit!" a voice cheerfully rang from the corridor. "What's that?"

"None of your business, Vram."

Dimvin glared at him from the sanctuary of his workroom while the auburn-haired Dwarf leaned against his doorframe.

"Oh, don't be so serious about everything."

"Quit calling me Dimwit, then! I really don't appreciate it," Dimvin growled, putting the shield on a stand near his workbench.

"It's a joke!" Vram's eyes sparkled, his toothy grin evident through an impressive beard, especially given his young age.

"It's not funny."

"Don't get your mail in knots. You know, that doesn't look too… awful."

Dimvin rolled his eyes. "Thanks so much."

"No, honestly. It's a lot sturdier looking than the helmet you were working on before."

"Look, Vram, I don't need your sympathy, and I certainly don't want your commentary. What do you want?" he snapped.

"I was sent to come and get you. Gimli and Brum want us to have axe practice with them."

"Oh! I'd be happy to come."

"I thought you would be," Vram said kindly. "I'll see you at the practice field."

"I'll be there in a few minutes."

Dimvin put on his helmet and tidied up his tools before hefting his axe. He might be an aberration in regards to not being a competent miner or metalworker, but he was quite skilled with his weaponry. He'd heard in snatches of conversation that the ravens were talking with the elders, and that was a portent of an imminent war. The thought was exhilarating. Dimvin had no fear of introducing his axe blade to the necks of orcs, trolls, or whatever else felt the need to bother his kindred of the Lonely Mountain.

"Glad you could make it," Brum said once Dimvin tromped out to the flat practice ground.

"Any time. Gives me a chance to get rid of my frustration," Dimvin said candidly.

"Is that shield still giving you trouble?" Gimli asked, incredulous. "You've been working on it for weeks now."

"I'm not discussing my work with you," Dimvin said in a low voice. "I'm here to remind you that you can't better me, no matter how strong you think you are."

Gimli only grunted in response and pulled his axe out of its holder on his belt. The next couple of hours went by in a blur as the four Dwarves battled each other, sweat flying and blades crashing. Dimvin did have the satisfaction of Gimli finally giving way to him, which more than made up for the notches in his blade.

"Good fighting," he panted once they'd all finished their skirmishes.

"You too," Gimli replied, wiping his brow with the hem of his undershirt. "Are you going to the forge?"

"Yes. Your Gormgloine bit into my axe more than once," Dimvin observed as he unlaced his gloves.

"She's a fierce axe," Gimli said proudly, tightening his grip on the handle.

Dimvin asked him about his father Glóin, who'd gone off with a small band of Dwarves to defeat Smaug.

"No news," Gimli said, shaking his head. "But I'm not surprised."

"Are you worried about him?"

"Of course not!" Gimli looked insulted. "He's one of the strongest and most clever Dwarves there is. Gandalf even said so."

After that there wasn't a whole lot to say. They both took off their vests and shirts in the forge and Dimvin felt his gaze travel to the wide tattoo that graced Gimli's bicep. He'd been initiated into the guild of silversmiths, and Vram had been his sponsor. Dimvin, however, had arms absent any decoration. He had a sponsor, but he'd not been deemed worthy of joining the silversmith guild. He would have to work much, much harder before he could hope to have the ceremony of inking.

As soon as he'd finished grinding his blade so that the edges were once again razor sharp, he put his shirt and vest back on, keenly aware of his shortcomings.

After dinner he went to a semi-secret room up an infrequently used corridor, his heart lightening as he approached. He was at a disadvantage, not a natural at skills which all Dwarves should have been born with, but he had another talent which he literally cultivated in private: he could grow anything. This room had two big windows and in summer especially, he was able to keep a thriving herb garden. The cooks didn't mind; they were grateful for the seasonings as the folk of Laketown seemed to prefer their food to be exceptionally bland.

"How are you doing?" he cooed to the basil plants, running his callused fingers along their grey-green leaves. "You're looking so beautiful."

He retrieved his watering can and went to one of the interior fountains to fill it up, then returned to his true sanctuary, to the place where he felt at home and competent. Either in this space or the small garden he'd planted, he was able at last to be at peace.

"Dimwit my beard," he groused to the delicate lilac blossoms. "If something happened to our trade with Laketown, if it weren't for somebody like me, we'd probably starve to death. Vram should think on that before calling me names. And I'm the fastest with an axe in our battalion."

He puttered around for an hour or so, speaking tenderly to the herbs and few flowers that he kept for their beautiful colors, bright and gemlike.

Two days later, the alarm went up.

"War!" Dimvin said, so surprised at the clanging bells that his chisel fell out of his hand and clattered to his bench. Running purely on instinct, he fled up the corridors, passing other Dwarves storming past him to retrieve axes, mail, shields, helmets and daggers. Dimvin rushed to his plant haven, saw a yellow rosebud in perfect form, and cut it with his knife. He tucked it into his vest pocket, now fully prepared to go into battle.

"Mahal protect me," he muttered under his breath, sheathing his small dagger and running to join his fellow Dwarves as they raced to face their enemies.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
armarielrozita
Oct. 25th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
Sweet! Not exactly what I was expecting, but I like it. That little yellow rose!
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
I did go an unexpected route, but Dimvin called to me. So glad you enjoyed!
clodia_metelli
Oct. 25th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, now that's a neat idea! a gardener among metal-workers... I hope he survived the fight, armoured with his rosebud. Thank you!
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
Dimvin is quite the aberration… but his axe was sound, I'm sure. Thank you for reading!
shirebound
Oct. 25th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
To see flowers as "gemlike" is so very Dwarf-like. I think Dimvin will be a welcome addition to those who later come to the Glittering Caves to "tend the glades of flowering stone".
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
What a gorgeous reference! I can definitely imagine him going to join Gimli later. In fact, you've given me a plot bunny. ♥
shirebound
Oct. 27th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
*beams*
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
*has ankles gnawed on*
thunderatiger
Oct. 26th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
Hooray! A dwarf story!

And one by the great Thevina, no less. Can today get any better?

I love the way you portray dwarves. And even when they're not quite up to dwarven standards (like poor Dimvin and his silver work), they're still thoroughly dwarves. I love the way he thinks of the flowers as "bright and gemlike." And I love that he makes up for his silver failings by being so formidable with the axe. A wonderful glimpse of a peculiar dwarf. I could definitely see him being an asset to Gimli in the Glittering Caves...

thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
:::blush:::
Between what you and shirebound have said, I think I'm going to definitely write another Gimli fic to do with the glittering caves and have Dimvin be a part of that. Thank you so much for your effusive praise. :)
pearltook1
Oct. 26th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
I believe it! I love Dimvin. A very creative and fun story, Thevina.
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I thought if ever there were something unbelievable in Dwarvish society, it would be a green-thumbed Dwarf, lol. But he's still kind of a badass. ;)
dreamflower02
Oct. 26th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
What fun to see such a atypical Dwarf! I feel for Dimvin, for even though he does know that his horticultural leanings are valuable, he still hankers after skill at the other things Dwarves do. That has to be hard.

I also appreciate that he is a formidable warrior; I'm guessing they are being called out to the Battle of Five Armies, and I hope that Dimvin survives it!

(Also, love the way you slipped Gloin and his venture with Thorin and the others in there!)

thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
I had such fun when I received this prompt! Dimvin came to me right away, and I just had to tell his story. And yes, they are being called out to the Battle of the Five Armies. Dimvin does survive, and as others have suggested, much later on, given his battle skills, I'm sure he'll be a part of the group who goes with Gimli to the Glittering Caves.

So glad you enjoyed the fact that this was set during The Hobbit! It gets short shrift in fanfic, and I like to go into more obscure realms. ;)
dreamflower02
Oct. 27th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
I write quite a bit of TH fic, and try to encourage it a lot-- especially right now! I'd love to see tons and tons of TH fic written *BEFORE* the movie comes out, so there will already be a whole lot of book-based fanon already floating around before there is a movie-verse to compete with it! *evil grin*
surgicalsteel
Oct. 26th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
A gardener among the Dwarves! I like it!
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading and enjoying it! It was so fun to write.
(Deleted comment)
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Dimvin is definitely an anomaly, but he's still Dwarvish through and through. I appreciate your comments!
keiliss
Oct. 27th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
Yes, there's always got to be one who doesn't quite fit the mold *g*. I liked the touch of him needing the rosebud before he was completely ready to go off and fight.
thrihyrne
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
Poor Dimvin is definitely his own… Dwarf! I'm so pleased that that final touch of him adding a bit of a living gem has resonated with people.
blslarner
Oct. 30th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, not a thing easily believed of Dwarves, that one is better at horticulture than at the forge or at mining! At least he is capable of holding his own and more where it counts!

Love Dimvin, I find, and hope to see more tales of his exploits!
thrihyrne
Oct. 30th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, he's rather unbelievable!! But a sweetheart. A very fierce sweetheart. ;) I've been given some plot bunnies here by this story, so I suspect you'll see more of him! Thanks so much for commenting!
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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