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Chapter 7 : Rivendell & Minas Tirith
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Glandur - Glahn-dur
Rivendell & Minas Tirith
"Move your feet, James!" Beinion barked while he was sparring with an elf named Glandur.
"I am, Beinion!" James managed to say whilst he blocked a blow from Glandur.
Glandur managed to disarm him and in a matter of seconds, James was on the ground groaning in frustration.
"Much better this time around, James. You managed to last for fifteen minutes this time," Glandur said as he helped the young wizard up.
"But I'm still not even close to disarming you," James said, wiping some dirt off himself.
"You won't ever be fighting Elves in battle, James. Orcs for the most part, Goblins, and maybe some other men. You'll be fine against them," Beinion said.
"In a month or two you shall know how you fare," Glandur said, in reference to the mysterious Council Meeting.
Beinion nodded in agreement.
"What shall we do next, then?" James asked, brushing his black hair out of his face. It was getting longer, but he liked it this way.
"Actually, that is all for today, James. You may do whatever you wish," Beinion said.
James smiled, liking the sound of that. Beinion was a strict teacher, but James liked him nonetheless. His hand over his heart, James bowed in respect and watched his master leave.
"Well, Glandur. How about some lunch? I'm starving!" James announced.
"You're always starving, James," Glandur laughed.
James just shrugged, "Stop making the food so delicious. Only then I shall eat less."
"How is James progressing?" Lord Elrond asked Beinion as they were walking through one of the many beautiful gardens of Rivendell.
"Very well. His skill with the bow is much better than his swordsmanship, so I've made him spend more time sparring," Beinion explained.
Elrond nodded, figuring Beinion was not finished explaining.
"The one thing that would really help James now is a sparring partner that isn't an Elf. It is becoming more apparent that James knows he is no match against one," Beinion said.
"Do not be too worried. Elessar shall be arriving soon. You and I both know he wouldn't mind helping James out," Elrond said.
Beinion smiled, "Elessar is coming? I shall very much enjoy seeing my favorite pupil once again."
"Playing favorites, are we? I thought you knew better than that, Beinion," Elrond joked.
"Until James I hadn't had a pupil for fifty years. Elessar was a joy to teach," Beinion retorted back.
"Well, until he arrives, continue teaching James the same way you have," Lord Elrond said, concluding the conversation.
Beinion bowed in respect, "Of course, Lord Elrond."
"Ah, it appears that Elladan and Elrohir have finally returned," Glandur said as they reached the dining hall.
"And they are?" James asked confused. He had never heard of them before.
"Forgive me, I forget you are new here. They are the twin sons of Lord Elrond and Arwen's older brothers," he quickly explained.
"Which one is which?" James asked sheepishly, taking in their dark hair and grey eyes. To him, they were completely identical.
"Once you get to know them it is easier to tell them apart," Glandur said.
James nodded, knowing this from going to school with the Weasley twins and then eventually working for them.
"Elladan is on the left, and Elrohir is on the right."
"Glandur, our dear friend! It is so nice to see you again!" Elladan said happily.
"Come sit with us! And bring your friend as well," Elrohir said.
"This is James Black. James, I'd like you to meet my best friends," Glandur said happily.
"Beinion's new pupil?" Elladan said in surprise.
"That's me," James said awkwardly.
"Well, come sit down! Ever since Father told us about you, we've been eager to meet you!" Elrohir said.
James soon discovered that they had been helping the Rangers of the North out, and returned home at the request of their father. James found them amusing and in some respects, a lot like Fred and George.
"Father picked the worst time to request us back home. There has been a lot of Orc activity lately-"
"Normally we would only come across a group or two -"
"-During every few patrols."
"But this time, I have lost track of how many I took down. The Rangers need all the help they can get-"
"-And we would happily oblige them, if not for Father."
"I forgot how obnoxious it is when you two finish each other's sentences," Glandur groaned.
James laughed, but a wave of sadness washed over him. He quickly tried to hide it.
"What is wrong?" Elrohir asked James.
"Oh, nothing. I just miss my twin sister, Arlena. We would finish each other sentences mostly to annoy people, especially our older sister, Cora," James said quietly.
Elladan and Elrohir exchanged a glance. Being separated from your twin was hard.
"Cheer up, James. You shall see your sisters again," Glandur said reassuringly.
James just nodded, having heard that before.
"Are you fond of pranks, James?" Elladan asked mischievously, in hopes of changing the subject.
A devious smile came across James' face that would have put the Weasley twins to shame.
"Gentlemen, you are talking to the right man. I live and breathe for pranks," he said smirking.
Glandur watched as all three formed impish grins upon their faces. He was beginning to regret his decision of introducing James to them.
Cora found herself to be the only female in the entire training grounds of the Citadel. Since she was not there to train, she did not mind this fact in the least. She had crafted herself a sketchbook and had the intent to do some sketching.
She found a nice patch of grass and got settled in. Picking a blade of grass, she transfigured it into a pencil. She looked around in search of a potential subject.
Faramir was overseeing a group of archers and she couldn't help but stare. He seemed patient and looked like he genuinely cared that the archers succeeded. Without a second thought, she began to draw.
"The training grounds are no place for a woman," Boromir said. She had just finished her sketch of Faramir and was quite pleased with the results. Looking up, she saw Boromir sparring with another soldier.
"On the contrary Boromir, there's no place I'd rather be than here," she said as she turned to a fresh page.
"It is a dangerous place, Cora. You might accidentally get hurt," he said.
"I see Faramir failed to tell you that I fought in a war. Your concern for my safety is touching, Boromir, but I can take care of myself just fine," she stared at him, knowing her response was going to strike a nerve with him.
"Women are not meant to fight," Boromir stated bluntly.
"Oh? And what are they supposed to do?" She asked, putting her sketchbook aside. There was a warning tone in her voice, but he didn't know her well enough to pick it up.
Faramir did pick up on it and quickly made his way towards them. Just in case he had to diffuse the situation.
"They belong at home, taking care of the house and children," Boromir said, turning to look at her.
She stood up from her spot and walked over to him.
"I could take you," she said, staring straight into his eyes.
He laughed at her. Oh, how this man infuriated her.
"Alright then. Have a go at me," she said, walking towards him. She politely asked for a sword and was reluctantly given one.
"Do not hesitate, Boromir. I may be a woman, but I can fight," she said.
By now, a crowd had formed around the pair and Cora had to hide her smirk. She was going to teach him a lesson.
She waited for him to make the first move. Cora managed to block his first move, but she had to act fast or else she was in deep trouble. Holding one hand out, she used a burst of magic to force him away from her. Boromir was completely disoriented, and she knew she had him.
Tossing her sword aside, she replaced it with her wand. In a matter of seconds, she managed to disarm, petrify, and bind him in ropes all while he was floating above the ground upside down.
The crowd became eerily silent after what they had witnessed. Cora slowly lowered her wand and made her way towards Boromir. He was still upside down but was eye level with her. He looked shaken, and if he hadn't pissed her off so much she would have felt somewhat sorry for what she had done. But alas, she wasn't sorry in the least.
"Do not underestimate the power a woman can have over you, Boromir. Witch or otherwise," she warned him. She stared at him a little while longer, and then decided it was time for her to leave the training grounds.
Picking up her sketchbook, she made her way back towards her quarters. Absentmindedly, she waved her wand and Boromir was released from all the spells she had cast upon him.
Faramir went to check on his brother, but before he even got there he heard him say he was completely fine. After briefly making eye contact with his brother, Faramir knew he was okay. The only thing that was injured was Boromir's ego.
Now, he had a witch to talk to before she decided to hex anyone else.
"Remind me to never upset you," Faramir said once he caught up to Cora. He found her leaning against a stone pillar near the gardens of the guest quarters.
Cora jumped and dropped her sketchbook in surprise. Faramir found a wand aimed at his throat and he was silently impressed with her reflexes. He calmly waited for her to put her wand away before he did anything else.
"Forgive me, Faramir. You surprised me," she said apologetically.
"I should have known better," Faramir said before he went to pick up her sketchbook. It had fallen open to her sketch of him helping out the archers.
"You drew this?" he asked, handing her the sketchbook.
"Yes, I did. I wanted to brush up on my live-action sketches and thought the training grounds would be a good place to draw," she said, blushing.
"So that explains why you were staring so intently at me," he smirked at her.
Cora gasped in shock. Oh sweet Merlin, he had seen her staring at him? How embarrassing.
"Do not worry so, my Lady. It is an honor to have such a talented artist draw me," he said, trying to reassure her.
"You are mistaken, Faramir. I am no Lady," she said quietly, remembering Denethor's cold words.
"In my eyes, you deserve such a title, Cora," he said boldly.
Cora smiled at him and blushed an even darker shade of red.
"Until we meet again, Lady Cora," he said before kissing her hand.
Cora watched him walk away and let out a shaky breath when she was sure he wouldn't suddenly come back. She leaned against the stone pillar and slowly slid down it until she was sitting on the floor.
She wasn't stupid, she saw the way he looked at her. He fancied her and she fancied him back. She hardly knew Faramir, but she had never felt this way about anyone before. Hell, if she was going to be honest, the four years she spent with Oliver paled in comparison to this.
Standing up, she made her way towards her room. Right now, she needed to ask Laurel about the common courting rituals. Things were being set into motion, that was for certain.
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