(This should really have gone between ‘Narya, Nenya or Vilya?’ and ‘Archery’ –
From ‘Narya, Nenya or Vilya?’
The students looked around, seeing nothing but the mirror and the wall hanging. Elrohir kicked a spot on the wall and a rope ladder fell down from above them. One-by-one they climbed up, finding themselves in a beautiful room with five large four-poster beds, each accompanied by a locker.
“Great isn’t it? Your stuff is already here, we’ll leave you to fight over the beds. Be ready in about ten minutes so we can show you your common room and the main one before food” Elrohir said and the pair left the room.
The girls stood, not daring to touch anything for fear this was only a dream out of which they would soon wake. Then they woke up, and they were still there so they ran around touching everything and exploring everywhere. From the silk curtains around the beds and the velvet ones over the windows and balcony to the small bathroom with it’s huge bath and shower. Locating their belongings, they drew lots then proceeded to swap with one another to obtain their preferred place of rest. It was a round tower-type room, and they ended up sleeping Rebeka, Findel, Hanah, Jessica and Gwen clockwise from the ‘trapdoor’ entrance.
Twenty minutes later, the twins returned and proceeded to lead them into a room behind the tapestry. After a quick guided tour of what was in which corner – sofas, bean bags, cushions, open fire….balcony and toilet….empty shelves and cupboards….chairs and tables – they were out again just in time to see the boys, that is Barad, Vedyn, Ondolin, Elodan and Hadmn, disappearing behind the mirror. Elladan and Elrohir shepherded them further along the unfamiliar corridor to a small garden, backed by a waterfall. Behind this was not, as Rebeka expected, a stony cavern, but another common room similar to the one they’d just left, only bigger. Ten minutes later, the whole of Vilya had gathered in their common room. Ten of each year group, from 13-year-olds to 19-year-olds, fitted easily in the space behind the waterfall. Professor Narie, archery teacher and head of the Vilya house, rose.
“I’d like to welcome all of you back to Greenleaf’s and Vilya. As you know, we have ten new members to this house and thirty more to the school. I would like ALL of you to make them feel at home here, no matter what their house, their relatives, or their hair colour. No doubt there will be some partying and merry-making in here tonight, as is the usual case. I ask you to try to keep everything as clean as possible and the noise level down to a minimum. The list of rules is posted on the notice board over there. These apply to EVERYONE so read them. Lessons begin tomorrow, so I want you all in the hall at 8 for breakfast where you will be handed you timetables. You shall have one lesson in the morning, before a break, followed by two more. These will take place in the classrooms. After your lunch, are the more active lessons, such as defence, riding and archery.”
Professor Narie proceeded to hand out grey-blue cloaks to the ten first-years, and blue prefect badges to the seventh-years. Then, as a group, they left and went into the hall to join Narya and Nenya for dinner. It was a simple but delicious meal consisting of a huge variety of soups and breads, more like a large snack because, as Professor Hyarmen said, “The kitchen staff have only recently arrived and haven’t had time to prepare much.” Or as Elladan whispered to Rebeka and Findel, “Because he knows we’ll be feasting for most of the night.”
“It’ll be in the main common room so everyone can come. You will come, won’t you?” Elrohir asked, leaning over his brother’s soup, his long golden locks mixing with lumps of vegetable and bread.
“Du-Of course!” Rebeka replied, patting Findel on her back as she choked with laughter over her own soup.
“And bring the rest of your dorm too.”
They nodded, unable to hold back against the flow of laughter at the look on poor Elladan’s face. Following the direction of the girl’s eyes, Elrohir too looked up. Gingerly, he removed his hair with one hand while squeezing the drops of soup back into the bowl with the other. Extracting a stray hair, he mixed the soup around a bit then loaded up the spoon and sent it zooming aeroplane style into his brother’s mouth. Elladan kept his lips tightly shut.
As evening washed over the school, the stars twinkled as the breeze waved the bare branches in front of them. Along the corridors, feet could be heard pattering from one place to another; Rebeka, Findel, Jessica, Hanah and Gwen’s feet joined them. Upon entering the Vilya common room and seeing the spread laid our before them (courtesy of Finley) all who entered began to regret even eating the small meal two hours ago. All the chairs had been pushed to one side and two huge tables had been set up. Huge as they where, however, they still bent beneath the weight of all the food. The food. Hot jacket potatoes with a whole assortment of fillers; plain rice and pasta ready for curry or barbecue sauce; pizza with both normal and unusual toppings; crisps of every shape and size complete with dips ranging from very hot to very cold; fruit from many different countries mixed together in hollowed out pineapples or melons; sausages, pineapple or cheese on sticks producing out of oranges; chocolate cake, sponge cake, fruit cake, fairy cake, chocolate gateau, black forest gateau, banoffee pudding, sticky toffee pudding and, in the centre of the two tables, a gigantic three tier snack stack. Rebeka even spotted the traditional Scottish haggis and Welsh faggots. Having tried these before in the orphanage she steered well away from them (okay, so already knowing what was inside didn’t help).
Also thanks to Finley and his band of helpful ‘volunteers’ the room had been beautifully decorated too. The theme was blue, based on the colour of the stone in their house’s namesake. The coolness of that colour was made up for by the huge roaring fire in the centre of the room. Streamers and balloons floated and wafted around so that whenever you moved the whole room seemed to sway with you. Candles burned in little alcoves, occasionally setting light to a stray streamer and bursting a cluster of balloons. Music boomed from a battery powered CD player through at least a dozen speakers, stopping every now and then for a battery change. However, despite all the distractions, the older students did a great job of helping the first-years settle in. With the help of Valdan, Bryndan’s younger brother, Rebeka and Findel had soon been introduced to every member of their house. As the hours were ticked away by the elegant grandfather clock, the noise levels in the three common-rooms rose. The students in Vilya gradually meandered out into the cool garden, bringing balloons, streamers, food and noise with them.
Meanwhile, the teachers waited patiently for midnight when they could sent everyone to bed and hit the sack themselves. From her position by the fire, Rebeka failed to see Elrohir approach and was surprised when his hand clasped hers.
“Shh. Celana, I need to talk to you.”
Clearly he’d been drinking too much. Although elves did not drink alcohol (It had a rather disastrous affect on them anyway) they had a weak cider-type drink. It was enough. She went. One of his arms slipped around her and she
relaxed into it, not because it was particularly comfortable – it wasn’t – nor because she liked Elrohir that way – if it was Elrohir and not Elladan. No, she did it more because she was both cold and tired. Elrohir didn’t realise this, or maybe he did. Nonetheless he brought his lips down to hers and gently but firmly kissed her. Rebeka did not resist because, after all, it was quite nice and Elrohir, well, he was pretty good-looking. They stopped. At first Rebeka did not realise why, then she heard it, or didn’t hear it. The noise had stopped too. Looking at her watch, both hands pointed her to the ’12’ – time for the partiers to finish for the might. Elrohir released her and together they slipped back under the waterfall just in time to be sent to back to their dorms and bed.