Author's Note: All of you who have wanted me to continue this story for a long while, thank 'Angie'; the nice anon who reminded me of this story's existence. On another note I'd like to mention my writing style has changed somewhat for what I believe to be for the better. The ending might seem a bit different style wise, but it should even out a bit eventually.
Narwain the First of 2996
To my great delight Erestor had indeed kept to his word, and the day my lessons were to begin had finally come. Apparently Iavas was rather bookish (big shock there), and tended to miss most celebrations. At least, that is if he wasn't recording them. Today he was both missing and not recording the New Year's celebration, and it turned out well for me considering I was never much into the whole New Year's thing either and the elves' version was on a completely different day than 'mine'. I just hoped he wasn't missing it only on my account.
After breakfast, a quick 'hello' to Gladhwen and Raunsúl, and a rushed 'good luck' sent Duilind's, who was quickly running over his song choices for the coming night's festivities, way, I all but ran to the library where Iavas was to meet me.
This library was much different from the ones on Earth. While it too had all manner of documents, historical accounts, and perhaps even fairy stories scattered about in there, but it wasn't all public place that just anyone could visit. The first section, which included genealogies, fairy stories, maps, and other such texts and documents, was free to the public, and had plenty of nice comfy chairs to sit on.
But to even step inside the other sections the 'librarian' had to refer to a list and it was an overall more structured affair. To get onto this list you had to be sponsored by a scribe (such as Iavas) which could mean (depending on the scribe) a lot of work in gaining favor. After you manage to get a scribe to formally sponsor you they must then get the approval of at least three others, and have them and yourself sign a formal document that states you have access to the second section. This section sheltered myths, legends, historical texts, and both biographies and autobiographies. You could also access the second section if you were a registered student to a scribe.
Finally there was the third and hardest to gain access to section. To enter this place you needed one final signature, the Lord Erestor's. I shall only say it was a much less crowded room overall. Most would wonder what could possibly make this room so special. I would say it had something to do with the deeds, wills, aged songs written in Maglor's own hand, and texts studying linguistics (most written by the original makers). But I could be mistaken, and the room hard to access for an entirely different reason; though in truth I doubted that considering the fact that Elrond was in the ellon's care literally an age or two ago.
I had been here twice before, but that had been before I knew much of anything about Imladris. So this time I noticed some texts in the first and second room were nearly as valuable. A few were even in cabinets with curtained glass doors. And if anything was costly in Imladris, it was glass.
While in Imladris most elves lived fairly similar lifestyles, there were some who worked better jobs than others. Outside of the nobility all occupations were considered important to some degree. The elves that resided here had long ago developed enough sense to recognize a baker to be as necessary as say… a stable hand, blacksmith, or even hunter. They were all necessary to society, and so if one were to be looked down upon; it was rarely for that reason. Of course there were some non-nobility positions that were more prized than those afore mentioned. A few highly trained jewelers with skill nearing those who created the rings still resided here, and there were some who specialized in creating items that were rare even among the elves. One of these specialty items was glass.
There were only six families in that particular guild, and they were thought to be on a social standing nearing Erestor's. Glass gifts were considered to be a great honor, and most of the elves only owned one, if any, objects made from that material; often they were worn as jewelry or made into a small decorative bowl. With this in mind I could only guess how much those cabinets alone had cost, not to mention each window had either clear or colorfully stained glass. Think of how much the Sistine Chapel cost to make, and you'd be in the right range of price. At least, if you converted it into silver, or whatever they used for currency when this was built.
So excuse my English, but "Holy shit…"
"It seem writing is not all you must learn Meril." Said a good natured if slightly mocking voice from behind me.
I jumped and turned my head from the stained glass window of Luthien I had been studying to see a dark-haired ellon smiling beside me.
"You could understand me!" I asked, very much hoping he could not.
"I'm a linguist, and a well traveled one at that if I may say so myself, so it is admittedly difficult for me to miss the implication your voice had made." He laughed.
I let out a sigh of relief, turned completely to face him, and quickly looked him over. He wasn't particularly handsome (for an elf), but he seemed pleasant enough and with a slightly humorous (with a hint of sarcasm) tone; someone I probably would get along with. I then took a moment to notice his hands looked like a painter had attacked them with dark ink, he was carrying a leather bag with paper and feathers sticking out of it, and he had known I was to learn Tengwar.
"Ah—am I correct in assuming you are the Iavas who is to teach me?"
"Yes," he replied. "And am I correct in assuming you're the Meril I am to teach?"
"You are indeed." I said with a smile and small belated bow of greeting that he soon returned.
"Well then, shall we go?" He said. Then without waiting for a reply he made his way briskly over to the library's entryway were the cloaks and such were left. I followed, mentally damning his longer legs the whole way since I nearly had to run to keep up, but mostly focusing on the prospect of being competent in something useful. We turned into a hall that I had not noticed before and passed a few doors before he opened one and walked inside. I only barely made it in before it came shut, closed it quietly behind me, and turned to see we were in a rather cluttered room. It looked a bit like Elrond's study, but with about five hundred books and papers scattered about in unorganized stacks. The next thing I thought was that it held a large amount of similarities to my bedroom back home, but minus the bed, and with added elven flair.
Iavas gestured for me to sit, and I walked over to do so. It was a really a nice arrangement; he had his normal desk, and then a rounded one placed in a sort of semi-separate room that had a scattered assortment of chairs. The rounded table, that I was now seated at opposite of Iavas, also so happened to be the only semblance of tidiness that the room held; a slate and chalk like thing placed neatly in front of me, and only a few things necessary for Iavas in front of him.
"So," He said once we were situated. "You wish to become a scribe? Have you always wanted to become one?"
"Well, I have always wanted to become something along those lines, but not a scribe exactly until this past fall."
"What were your possible courses before?"
"Oh!" I said, excited to talk about this sort of thing with someone again. "Well I have always wanted to teach history, and figure out why things happened the way they did a long time ago. Also, I wanted, well… want, to write things like poetry and books about pretend things. Basically, I knew I could not make history, and so I would at least show others history."
He seemed to gain more faith in the amount of point in teaching a non-elf as I continued my synopsis of my old hopes for the future.
"Can you write with a steady hand?" He asked.
"I can write well enough among those I used to live with, but compared to the elves?" I left that rhetorical question unexplained. It was unnecessary to do so either way apparently seeing as he nodded a few moments later.
"Then you can be taught,"
'How very sweet of you to say sir,' I thought impolitely.
"But you will need motivation." He continued before rising from his seat, and walking over to his desk.
I tried not to look too much like I was incredibly curious as to what he was doing while he searched through a newly opened drawer. Iavas eventually pulled out a small stack of parchment paper, walked over, sat back down, and set the parchment carefully down in the center of the table.
"You say you are a writer yes?" I nodded. "Then you will want, no, more need paper."
"Yes, paper is useful for the whole recording process."
"Indeed." He said with a small smile. "And you can have this stack of very valuable paper if, and only if, you manage to prove to me that you have the skill, intellect, and perseverance to finish these lessons with above-average ability."
In truth, I thought he was really being quite unfair. I was a man after all, not an elf. But then again he had a point. If I was a failure it would let down all the people who had helped me get this far. Erestor, Gladhwen, and a few, albeit important, others had their names attached to mine now. Yes, it really wasn't all that important when put in perspective with everything else in the case of Erestor, but as for Iavas… he was a highly esteemed teacher who hadn't failed yet, and I didn't aim to start the list of his failures.
"You won't be disappointed." I said with much more conviction than I felt.
"See that I'm not." He said simply.
It only took a few seconds for the moment to pass, and he added in a more pleasant and friendly manner. "Now, how about we start this whole learning your letters thing?"