Chapter 4 : Rivendell
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James found himself waiting in what appeared to be a massive library. Nothing could have prepared him for the beauty that was Rivendell. Standing in the library with probably a permanent dumbstruck expression on his face, he waited for Lord Elrond.
"Welcome to Rivendell, James Black," a voice behind him said.
He turned around and found himself facing an elf that only could be Lord Elrond.
"Your city is breathtaking, Lord Elrond. I have never seen anything like it before," he said honestly.
"Thank you. It shall be your home for the next couple of months," Lord Elrond said.
"But why am I here?" James asked, getting straight to the point.
"Dark times are approaching, James. I have foreseen you and your sisters playing a key role in upcoming events," Lord Elrond said.
"My sisters? They're here? Can I see them?" he quickly asked.
"I'm afraid you cannot see them, for they are not in Rivendell. They are in other places, but you shall see them again," he said to the young wizard.
"Many weeks from now, there shall be a council that I shall like you to attend. In the meantime, you shall begin training," he continued, not giving James a chance to ask more of his sisters.
"What sort of training?" James asked curious.
"You will come across situations where magic will fail you. It would do you some good to be able to wield a sword or use a bow. You also will be given lessons - mostly in geography, to better prepare yourself for what is outside these borders," Lord Elrond explained.
James nodded his head in agreement. It did make sense.
"When do I start?" he asked.
"Now, if you so wish," Lord Elrond said, slightly amused.
"I'd like that," James said. He was eager to try some new things.
"I shall send for Beinion. He will be responsible for your training," Lord Elrond said before he made the arrangements.
"Who shall be overseeing my lessons?" James asked, curious.
"I will be overseeing them, James. However, when I cannot, Orthorien shall be overseeing them," the elf explained.
James did not have to wait long. Ten minutes later, an elf with long dark brown hair and striking green eyes entered the library.
"You requested my presence, Lord Elrond?"
"Beinion, I'd like you to meet your new pupil, James Black," Lord Elrond said.
Beinion turned to look at James. James stared back at him, knowing he was measuring him up.
"It shall be my honor, Lord Elrond," the elf said before once again turning to James.
"Do you have any fighting experience, James Black?" Beinion asked.
"With magic," James said quietly, thinking of the war.
"A wizard?" Beinion arched his eyebrow. "Very well. How about wielding a sword?"
"Er, no," James said.
"No," James said awkwardly.
"Hmm," Beinion said making his way towards a table. A smooth, polished stone rested on top of a pile of papers. Beinion picked it up in his hand and tossed it lightly, letting it fall back into the palm of his hand.
James was studying him carefully, wondering what Beinion was going to say next.
"Catch this, James," Beinion said quickly before tossing the stone towards him.
Without a thought, James caught it in his hand. He stared back at Beinion and noticed he had a smile on his face.
"Good reflexes. A good foundation to begin training with," Beinion said before holding his hand out for the stone.
James approached Beinion and Lord Elrond and returned the stone. Both elves were staring at him intently.
"Do I have something on my face?" He joked lightly, wondering what they were thinking about. He hadn't been this scrutinized since the Carrows were patrolling Hogwarts.
"How old are you, James?" Beinion asked curiously.
"I'm eighteen. Why do you ask?"
"Only eighteen? Lord Elrond, he's still practically a boy!" Beinion said to Lord Elrond.
"Do not doubt his abilities, Beinion. Does he carry himself the way an eighteen year old would? Look into his eyes, Beinion, and you shall see he has gone through much hardship," Lord Elrond said.
At the mention of hardship, memories came flooding back to James. Fear of walking through the corridors alone, being tortured for merely existing, the numerous sleepless nights, and being virtually cut off from the outside world all came back to him. The memories were so overwhelming that James had to break eye contact with Beinion.
"Children have to grow up fast in order to survive. Boys become men far too quickly in times of war, and what innocence is lost can never be regained," James said quietly.
"Forgive me, James. Come, you must be hungry, but first I shall show you to your rooms and then we shall have lunch," Beinion said.
Beinion turned to Lord Elrond and bowed, his hand over his heart. Lord Elrond returned the gesture and looked to James. Not really sure what to do, James just nodded his head in respect.
Lord Elrond watched the pair leave the library with a bittersweet smile on his face.
"We are not far from your talan, James," Beinion said.
"My what?" James asked confused.
"Forgive me, your room," Beinion corrected.
"Oh, I'll have to remember that," James said.
"Lord Elrond said you hadn't had a pupil in a while. How long ago was it?" James asked.
"Fifty years ago," Beinion stated offhandedly.
James stared at him. How was that possible?
"But- but you look so young," he stated confused beyond belief.
"Elves are immortal, James," Beinion said.
"How old are you then?" James asked, trying to wrap his mind around immortality.
"I'm two thousand and five years old, James," the elf said.
James stopped in his tracks. Sweet Merlin that was along time.
"Move along, James. We're almost there," the elf said, interrupting the wizard's confused thoughts.
They soon approached a door that was intricately designed with various animals. Most of them James recognized, but there were some he didn't.
"Here we are," Beinion said before opening the door and allowing James to look. James walked in and to his amazement, realized this room was the same size of at least half of his entire flat in London.
"As an honorary guest of Lord Elrond's, you shall have a maid that shall keep your room nice and tidy. In addition, you have access to the library and are able to dine with us in the hall," Beinion continued.
"Wow, this is more room than I'll ever need!" James said as he sat down in an ornate carved arm chair. He wasn't expecting it to be that comfortable, but was amazed to find that it felt extremely luxurious.
"Elves are the most comfortable in open and airy spaces," Beinion said.
"Come, you must be hungry. I shall show you to the hall," the elf continued.
"Alright. By the way, what shall you like me to call you?" James said after closing the door.
"What do you mean?" Beinion asked confused.
"Well, you're my teacher. As your student, isn't there an official title that I call you?" the wizard asked.
"I suppose you're right," Beinion said quietly, thinking it over.
"Well, what do you want me to call you? Professor? No, that doesn't seem right. Sensei? Master?" James asked.
Beinion looked smug, "Master shall work wonderfully."
"As you wish Master Beinion," James said laughing.
"Now, today I'll only introduce you to the weapons you shall be learning to use," Beinion said only two hours after lunch.
"That's fine with me," James said as they entered the training grounds. He watched in awe as elves sparred each other and was overwhelmed by how graceful they looked.
"There is a path behind the sparring fields that leads to the archery targets," Beinion said.
James nodded, taking everything in.
"First, the sword," Beinion said as he handed it to James.
James took it and was shocked to find it so light. It was simple in its design, and its blade was dull.
"This is merely a practice sword. We don't want you to cause too much damage," Beinion said.
"It's so light," James said in awe.
"Yes, it's one of the qualities that Elvish swords possess," Beinion said watching James with the sword. His movements were awkward and unsure.
"You shall become accustomed to it in no time," the elf explained, taking the sword.
James nodded, remembering how odd it felt to fly on a broom for the first time.
"Now, let's see how well you fare with a bow," Beinion said.
"So, once the arrow's in place, you pull back and let go?" James said staring at the bow in his hands.
"Correct," Beinion said.
"Alright Black, you can do this," James mumbled to himself. Pulling the string back, he aimed towards the target.
With an odd sounding twang the arrow zoomed forward, and landed merely yards away from him.
"Well, that's disappointing," James muttered, glaring at the arrow.
"On the contrary, that was excellent," Beinion said.
"How? The arrow isn't even remotely near the target," James said.
"Is said arrow stuck in your foot?" Beinion asked.
"No," James said confused.
"Does anyone have an arrow stuck in them?"
"Is your bow broken?"
James looked at his bow and found it in pristine condition.
"No, it's not," he said.
"Then you have done an excellent job for your first time," Beinion said.
James opened his mouth to reply with a sarcastic comment, but decided against it.
"I suppose you're right," James begrudgingly admitted.
"Don't be so hard on yourself, James. You are a fast learner, and will be the best you can be in no time," Beinion said.
"It's just frustrating when I can just do this instead," James said as he pulled out his wand. With a swish, arrows spouted from his wand and became embedded in the center of the target.
"Impressive," Beinion said. "But in a world of swords and bows, James, your magic can only help you so far."
"Come, we are done for today. I shall take you to the seamstress for you to be measured. You will need more clothes if you plan on staying here for awhile," Beinion continued.
James sighed and nodded, putting his wand back in his pocket. He needed to learn to rely less on magic.
A.N: Reviews are always appreciatd! :) Up next is dinner with Denethor.
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