A little background: This story takes place about two thousand years after the Lord of the Rings, making Legolas about 4000 (according to me). It's set in a modernish world, but not one that's exactly like our own, so it lacks things like computers and television. Audrey is about nineteen in this story (and hopefully not too MSish), and this school is for girls ages sixteen through twenty. The title is from an e.e. cummings poem; the first line is "in time of daffodils(who know".
Disclaimer: All characters that you recognize belong to Tolkien. If they belonged to me, then I would be the published author instead of writing on .
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It had been three months since Christmas, and still the girls would not stop staring. You'd think they'd get used to an elf after half of a semester, Legolas mused to himself. He was sure not a one of them had learned even a word of Sindarin. Well, maybe one had, but she wasn't technically in his class. At any rate, his excitement for teaching had dwindled quite a bit. Perhaps if I transferred to a boys' school? But no other school would take him; the Headmistress and owner of Fornworth's School for Girls had only hired him on out of a well-developed love for Tolkien. Sindarin had long been a dead language, but unlike ancient Latin, it didn't provide the basis for many human languages. Therefore, it was rendered useless and only learned by Tolkien scholars.
Until now. Legolas had been determined to reintroduce its use. He missed hearing the flowing beauty of his native tongue. So he had accepted the job halfway through the year when the French teacher left. And he had been thrilled with the whole situation: the old buildings of campus with plenty of trees, the girls who all had to pass a grueling test to attend the school, and the other teachers who all had high degrees and tons of respect for his desire to teach. Thrilled until I walked into class the first day and discovered that my students were more inclined to hit on me than to listen to me. All save one.
That one girl, the girl that hadn't sat wide-eyed and staring, the girl who had stood up for him. Audrey. Audrey the wise. Old-Maid Audrey, as the other girls liked to call her. She didn't fit in well. She was simply too smart and far too socially awkward to understand enough to dumb herself down for them. Audrey's whole life was laid out in respect to learning. She never discussed boys or giggled out gossip with the other girls at school. Instead, she read her books. She researched new things in the library. She played Solitaire for hours upon end. And she took extra lessons, to the horror of the other girls.
Normal lessons consisted of six classes a day, with a week running from Monday to Saturday. The four required ones were Math, Science, English, and a language. The girls were allowed two electives a semester, which could include anything from sewing to archery to philosophy. The four required classes met every day from ten until three, with a break from noon to one for lunch. Labs for their respective sciences met on Thursday afternoons from half past two until dinner at six. Electives were held during the afternoon on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, leaving Friday and Saturday afternoons free. Most girls only took two electives, but Audrey took four. When asked why, she simply said she couldn't decide between them.
Of course she couldn't decide, Legolas laughed to himself. The young girl had come to him with a dilemma after the very first Sindarin class. He had been impressed with her already, if only because when the girls had broken into giggles for the third time in that hour, she had rolled her green eyes at him in silent defiance of her own sex. So when she stayed after to speak with him, he had been glad to have found a tentative ally. And a little upset to find that she wanted to drop his class so she could take Italian. But she had calmly asked him for private lessons, explaining that the class seemed to move rather slowly, and she wished to learn far more quickly. He had agreed, and he remained happy with that decision. At least one of his students spoke Sindarin reasonably well; she had in fact progressed to the point of being able to speak in halting paragraphs.
So Legolas' foray into the human world had progressed. And now, with the spring break of three weeks beginning in a few short hours, he was looking forward to the peace and quiet of a school without giggling girls, at least for a few weeks. Perhaps I will catch up on my archery or go camping and sleep under the stars again. Legolas grinned to himself and returned to grading his rather abysmal midterms. One would think if the girls wanted to impress me, they would at least try to do well in class, he frowned.
A knock sounded on his office door a few minutes later.
"Come in," Legolas called, glancing toward the door to see the Headmistress, Claire Fornworth, already stepping into the room.
"Legolas, my dear elf, I have a favor to ask of you." Then she sat, awaiting his response.
Well calling me 'my dear elf' is not going to induce me to help you. "What can I do for you, Claire?"
"I don't think you're going to like this, but one of our girls must stay for the spring break period." She sighed rather violently before continuing. "Her family has just sent me some awful news, some mess about their house burning down, and they wish for her to remain at school."
"That's terrible, Claire, but what can I do about it?"
"Well, I need you to watch her. She can move into the guest room in your cottage tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?!" Legolas glared at her. "I suppose I have no choice then. Couldn't someone else do it?"
"I think you'll do a better job than her other teachers. Besides, they are all busy with their own families. And since you'll be here anyway—"
"There's no reason why I can't watch her," he groaned out. This break was supposed to be just that: a break! And now I have one of the silly girls living with me for three whole weeks. "Well, Claire, who is this unfortunate girl who will be ruining my break?"
"Really, sir, I will try to stay out of your way if that's what you want." Legolas turned to see an almost silent Audrey step in through his open office door. Audrey? I'm going to be watching her? Well at least she's not a giggler.
"As you can see," the Headmistress smiled, "it will be Audrey Clarke here. She'll move her things into your guest room as soon as the other girls have left."
"And what about what the other girls will think about her living with me for three weeks?"
The Headmistress' voice rang with finality. "They will not know."
She rose to leave, turning to Audrey at the last moment. "I'll leave you to sort out the details with your teacher, Audrey dear. And I do expect you to be on your best behavior."
"Of course, Headmistress," Audrey murmured. The door closed with a snap that caused Audrey to flinch as the Headmistress left. She turned to Legolas, meeting his eye rather shyly. "Honestly sir, I will stay out of your way. I have a project I want to research on Middle Earth and I'll only ask you a question if I absolutely can't find the answer anywhere else. I promise!" She lowered her gaze and swept her short brown hair away from her face in a gesture that Legolas had come to associate with nervousness. "Please don't be angry with me. I asked the Headmistress if there was another way, but she said there wasn't anything else that could be done, and—"
"Audrey." Her eyes snapped up to meet his ocean blue ones. "I do not mind you staying with me. I was concerned that it was one of your classmates, one who would likely torment me the entire break. I trust that you and I will be fine, so don't worry." He smiled at her warmly. "Now I need to finish these midterms, so run along and I will see you tomorrow when everyone has gone."
"Alright." And she turned and left the room as quietly as she had come in.
Well, now I must play babysitter for three weeks. By the Valar, this could be quite interesting.
If you want to send me critiques or comments, feel free! I'll appreciate any help I can get. As for flames, I tend to ignore them. Thanks for reading!