It is found glimmering in a corner, as if tucked there to keep safe, and forgotten. Thorin doesn't think Smaug had done so, but it doesn't matter how it got into the corner, only that it's been found again, and set in his hands. He curls his fingers around it, feeling the sense of warmth that runs through him from it. The king-stone, the mizimel, the most important treasure that had been stolen by Smaug.
More than the crown, this is what he must have to hold the throne of Erebor, not merely claim it. This is the sign to show the world that there is still a King Under the Mountain, and now that he has it, he can afford to be generous where he had not been before. Afford to be kind where he'd needed to be harsh, afford to be welcoming where he'd been cruel.
Although when he finds that Sigrid and the other refugees from Laketown have already impinged on his hospitality, he's still displeased.
"You wouldn't send us back out into the cold, would you?"
It's not Sigrid who asks that question, standing proud and defiant at the mouth of the long tunnel that leads up to the side door, and should not be populated by canvas roofs and huddled, ragged people crammed too close together. It's instead the smaller daughter of Bard, little Tilda, who looks up at him with wide eyes and a solemn expression that reminds him uncomfortably that he'd sheltered with them, however briefly, and they had not thrown him or his Company out.
"No." Thorin looks again at the tunnel filled with hungry, cold, frightened people, a memory of being one of those people flitting through his mind. Of the first destruction Smaug had wrecked, leaving Dale in ruins and Erebor uninhabitable. "But I will not have you here."
Not in this side-tunnel where they cannot escape readily (and yet, all too easily). He will not have a tunnel full of their bodies as there was a room full of dwarven ones. Will not have their ghosts to add to those which already haunt him.
"There are better places in the Mountain."
He can see some of the tension go out of Sigrid's shoulders, and can hear, behind him, the quiet sighs of relief from Bilbo, and from Balin. His old friend must have known they were here longer than Thorin, but he can deal with that later. For now, there are people to move out of his side-door, and away from his gold.
Notes: Thank you to lferion for both the prompt and the thought that once Thorin holds the Arkenstone, things can/may get better (as in, what common sense departed as the gold-madness set in might actually return... well, mostly). There are matters where Thorin will probably not be reasonable, still, and it's because the gold is dragon-tainted and the gold-madness is easier to take hold because of that. But at least here, with the Arkenstone's influence, he remembers something of being the refugee - and these humans have taken him in while cold and hungry and in need (and were just as hard off as he was, back when Smaug first took the mountain).
It perhaps helps that Sigrid didn't try to bargain with the Arkenstone, nor is she asking for gold or recompense, only shelter against the winter. She isn't even really asking for food, though toward the end of winter, and particularly in early spring, I think everyone will be hungry, waiting for the first foodstuffs to be ready to gather from outside the mountain.
mizimel = jewel of all jewels (Arkenstone, for Thorin)
murûd = ghosts
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