Another chapter is here! :DDDDD Hooray!
"Again!" Brom shouted as I tried my hardest to get a pebble the size of my thumbnail to float into the air.
"Stenr reisa!" I screamed. I was extremely frustrated- I've been trying to get this tiny pebble to float in the air for about six hours, and I wanted to crush it to bits. It started quivering in my hand and I glared at it even harder.
You will rise. You will rise and you will like it. You will rise and make my day worthwhile.
It quivered even more and raised about an inch above my hand, and then fell down again. I jumped up and down, squealing, and then I ran over and hugged Brom, and then blushed when I realized that I'd overstepped my boundaries.
"Sorry." I looked down, and stepped back. I looked into Naos' mind- Eragon warned me beforehand that I'd need to pay attention to both lessons or else I'd get crap from Glaedr and Brom.
"Again." He tossed me a larger stone, one twice the size of the first, and got me to restart.
I glared at him and started my futile yelling again. "Stenr reisa!"
Four hours later- after I hadn't been able to get the larger stone to rise, Brom let me go, after asking me about what had happened in Naos' lesson, which I'd gotten only partly right. It was almost dark when I got back to my tent, and I was exausted. Naos had flown me over, and yet I was still tired- probably because when I used magic it took away my energy. The next lesson- in two days- Brom was going to teach me how to take energy from my environment, and to reach out and listen. He'd also told me to keep practicing with the rock, and eventually I'd be able to lift boulders.
There was a knock on one of the poles holding up the tent, and I yelled at them to come in, flopping down on my bed. I looked over to see none other than Quinn standing in the entrance of my tent. I groaned and covered my eyes, hoping that he'd leave if I just ignored him. I felt him come closer to the bed, and I swatted with the arm that was covering my eyes, and hit him square in the nose. He fell to the ground, recovering quickly, and jumped back up again.
"Will you leave?" I snapped. I was so not in the mood for this.
"Will you stop abusing me?" He mimicked my tone of voice, and I narrowed my eyes at him. He was wearing a black tunic, and breeches, with the Slytherin insignia over his heart, and his dark hair was mussed, and his blue eyes were shining.
"This is the first time I've hit you! And I'd like to say I'm sorry, but if I did, I'd be lying."
"Well if you don't count bruising my pride." he joked.
"Your ego needed diminishing. Hell, it needs diminishing. You are absolutely full of it!" I exclaimed.
"You think you can have every girl you want, you get aggravated when a girl doesn't respond to your advances you persist to no end and you think that everyone should listen and adhere to every thing you say, and think that people should be hanging onto your every word, you're-" I explained, not hesitating to think about whether this might hurt his feelings- jerks don't have feelings!
"Just that?" he asked dryly.
"Do you really want the answer to that question?"
"No probably not." he agreed and we both laughed.
It dissolved into one of those ahahahhaha...aha...huu... things where you are left feeling more awkward after the laugh than you were feeling before it. I felt sort of bad for brushing him off now, or at least, when he came to my tent today, that had been rude and though I don't really regret brushing him off yesterday, today was a different story. Wait- why did he come to my tent today? At all really.
"Why did you come to my tent Quinn?" I asked.
"Kinsmanship." he replied, and I blanched at his use of that term.
"How old are you?" I asked.
"Old enough." he answered, looking away.
"Wait! Stop changing the subject!" When he didn't look at me I sat up and poked him.
"That's harassment." he pointed out and I gave him a look that said 'spare me'.
"And so is continually coming and pestering me." I responded. "Now answer the question!"
"No." He snapped, and got up and left.
Well that's great! Completely ignore me and walk away! Thank you for making these thirty minutes worthwhile Quinn! I hope we can do it again soon! I thought sarcastically, hoping that I was projecting my thoughts, and not just thinking loudly.
Eragon entered my tent through the back and raised an eyebrow at me. "Kerstin. Did you just yell something?"
"No. Huh. I guess I was louder than I thought- I was directing those thoughts at Quinn." I answered laughing.
"I heard." he chuckled. "What was he doing here?" he asked.
"I honestly haven't the foggiest idea." I shook my head. "He's really starting to piss me off."
"Well, he's already pissed many people off- I was just talking to Jezebel, Poppy and James and apparently he'd aggravated them as well. But apparently, all the Slytherins have already." he answered.
"I hope you realize that there are only three Slytherins here."
"Yes well, apparently, if there were anymore Slytherins, we'd have a disaster zone, seeing as Delos has been punched twice, and Christian has gotten into three fights, and Quinn's been hounding you and Keller." Eragon explained.
"Wait, he's been hounding both me and Keller? And there's been that many fights? When has this been happening? What the hell?" I exclaimed. "Tomorrow, I'm going to the training field, so I can see what happens there I guess."
"Yeah. It's actually mostly been happening at the training fields- easiest place to fight and pretend like they were practicing."
I shook my head. "Dumbasses."
He nodded. "I'm going to go to sleep. See you tomorrow at the fields."
I nodded back and fell asleep, hoping that I wouldn't sleep in and be late.
"Again!" The elf, N'ree, shouted. I glared at him from the ground, blowing some stray hairs out of my face. I didn't stand a chance against him. He had long, brown hair falling well past his shoulders, and eyes that looked like they'd seen everything, glowing green as the grass beneath my feet. I pushed myself back up again. He was attractive, and seemingly kind, but his skills made mine look nonexistent.
"How many times do i need to get bruised, and fall to the ground before you realize that I'm not as good as you!" I yelled parrying one of his blows, and then recieving two more because of it- one in the gut, and the other behind my knees, sweeping me -again- to the ground.
"You have done well today young Rider. We have no time for the subtle nuances of technique- not now. I will have Brom teach you some exercises, and techniques to practice for the next time we meet." he answered, ignoring my comment altogether.
I glared at him and nodded in courtesy. "Thank you N'ree." I turned and left, and almost got hit in the head with a flying arrow. Without even thinking I screamed, "Letta oro!" and it stopped right where it was in the air. I moved out of it's path and released the magic I was using, dropping to my knees. The last thing I saw was the look of horror on Delos' face, and the bow in his hand.
I felt a drop of water on my face, and then another, and another. My eyes fluttered open, feeling as if they weighed a ton, with sand stuck between them. I was exhausted like I'd never been in my life, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep again. I closed my eyes, and someone tapped my cheek gently with a cool, damp cloth.
"Don't sleep now, or you'll not be waking up again." A man with black hair, golden skin, and golden eyes said to me with a soft voice.
My mouth was parched, and the moist cloth was just taunting me. I opened my lips and winced when the lower one cracked. "Water." I croaked, not able to say anything more. Who was this man?
"Here." He passed a wooden cup to me and I gulped it down greedily. When I was done, I tried to sit up fully, but he only pushed me back down again.
"Why can't I move? Eragon did something like that and he was able to get up the next day!"
"You did a spell slightly stonger than his- but you'll soon be learning that you and the other Shur'tugalar are going to have different limits, so don't be comparing yourself to them." he looked away, and wet the cloth again, rinsing it. Now that I looked at him, he was barely a man, maybe sixteen, seventeen at most. He was from this world, too.
"Thank you." I smiled, and let out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding. I looked down and realized I was back on my elbows. Even my body wanted to get up. I lay back down on my back, doing all that I could to keep my eyes open. Was I really as weak as he said?
"For what?" He raised a dark eyebrow, genuinely confused.
"For nursing me back to health." I laughed at how absurd that sounded and winced, my head started pounding. I guess that's what I get for hitting my head on the ground whilst fainting.
He shrugged. "It's my job." He was wearing a t-shirt, with laces that went halfway down the front, and were hanging loosely, exposing his chest. He was in leather breeches. Both were a beige/ brown colour. It had an oddly attractive affect.
"Yeah but it's still nice. And I know, when I saved peoples lives, it was nice to get a thank-you." I didn't mention the fact that most of them hadn't thanked me, because I'd performed CPR and broken some ribs. What can I say? Life over limb.
At that both his eyebrows raised. "You've saved multiple lives before?"
"Well, the person was either choking, or their heart wasn't pumping, so I just... pumped it for them until it started pumping again, or dislodged the thing they were choking on. So yeah.. I guess. It's sort of my job." I thought back to the summer camp I'd worked at. There'd been one child who'd needed CPR. The rest were children who'd either choked or started 'drowning' and had made me swim out to tell them they had lifejackets on. But the way I'd said it to him sounded alot better.
He laughed, a deep, rich laugh. "I guess I deserved that answer. And..." he paused. "What's your name, miss?"
"Kerstin." I answered. "Yours?"
"You may call me Taran. And you may leave tomorrow, Kerstin. It seems you just needed some water, to cure some of that weakness." He smiled a smile that was kind, but did not seem human.
Taran? That doesn't sound like a human... He brushed some of his longer hair out of his face, and I saw his pointed ears, and I trailed off. Oh.
"You're an elf." I said, sounding stupid, even to myself.
"You're a Shur'tugal." he answered.
I sighed and closed my eyes. "See you tomorrow Taran..." I yawned.
"You almost killed her!" Vi shouted. She was actually very attractive when she was like this.
Eragon. Saphira chided. This is not what we are here to do.
I looked up even though I knew I couldn't see her through the tent's roof. I knew she was flying overhead, circling, waiting, incase I needed her- always there for me, as I would always be there for her. What if we make it part of what we're here to do? You said not to fall in love with someone at the school.. and so I wont. I'll fall in love with her here.
I could almost hear her snort in that way of hers, letting me know she didn't agree with what I was doing, but she'd support me anyways. It was her way.
"I didn't mean to!" Delos defended. Quinn was seething behind Delos, looking like he'd like to rip his head off. I guess he was literally waiting in line. Christian was smirking behind Delos, fully enjoying him getting yelled at.
"How do you not mean to shoot in the opposite direction of the freaking TARGET!" Vi. Her face was red, and her voice was resonating power, making the support beams in the tent shiver.
"Vi, calm down. It's okay. She's fine. I'll kick his ass later." I murmured in what I hoped was a soothing voice.
She looked at me, and her anger softened. "Fine. But if I find out you didn't kick his ass I will send Scylla to do it for me- or even better, just tell Naos."
Delos' eyes widened fractionally, and then he glared. "Fine." he looked at me, pleading that I do a good enough job, so the dragons didn't come and finish him off. I shook my head at him. I'd do whatever I felt the need, and if it wasn't enough for Vi, then I'd send Saphira with Naos and Scylla. Delos is a jackass, and he needs to be dealt with. Besides, he can't die, or at least, he's really really hard to kill. Most vampires are.
Vi was still fuming, and was dragging me behind her, into her tent. Scylla wasn't there, for which I was glad. I wouldn't be able to take her reaction to what happened. She dropped my arm and was pacing, with fists clenched, and eye flashing. I reached out and put a hand onto her shoulder, and she stopped immediately. She whirled and the fury in her eyes was gone, replaced by something unrecognizable.
I took a step closer and we were only a few inches apart, our breath mingling. I was looking down at the perfection that was her. "Tell me not to, and I wont." She knew what I meant.
"Maybe I want you to." she whispered back, and I leaned down and our lips met. It was... indescribable. I grabbed the hair at the nape of her neck, and pulled her closer, tilting her head up for better access.
"Ahem." We leapt apart, and I saw that Brom was standing at the door. Or, as I now know him, my father. That's great. I got screwed over with my father/son bonding time I should've had as a child, and he's now also going to deprive me of my Vi/Eragon bonding time.
Unless you have forgotten, I am here too, little one. Saphira spoke. I realized that she'd probably been blasted with images of Vi and I and I winced.
Sorry. I answered.
"Dad. What're you doing here?" I asked.
Vi looked over my shoulder, and her eyes widened, and she whispered hurriedly, "Please tell me that's not your father, that the wraith of what looks like professor Brom is an image of fear that I'm experiencing in my head, and that it's blocking out the image of your real father. Please do not tell me that's your father."
"Vi, this is my father." Eragon introduced.
"I asked you not to tell me that..." she closed her eyes and sucked in a deep breath.
"Dad, this is Viridienna." I gestured to her, and he nodded.
"Professor." she nodded politely and smiled, looking really awkward.
"Eragon. I expected you to introduce me to your... how do they say in her world.. girlfriend? Yes that's it. I expected you to introduce me sooner. But we've got a lot of time to discuss this. I came here to summon you to the meeting with Nasuada, and I was going to get the other Shur'tugalar- but it seems I'll have one less to summon." He laughed.
Vi blushed and looked away. I grabbed her hand and squeezed. Don't worry. This is normal for him. You get used to it. I said to her.
Promise? She asked tentatively, not yet having the hang of things.
"I may be old but I'm not deaf. I can hear what you're saying." Brom said.
"Of course you can." Vi muttered and he laughed.
"Again!" N'ree shouted.
It had been almost two weeks since I was in the hospital, and I was catching on quickly. I knew a lot of the ancient language- mostly because I am very adept with languages- and my swordsman - swordswoman- ship was coming along very well. According to N'ree I'd be able to take on any human that was adept in this area. But with anyone with advanced abilities, or magical powers I would not yet stand a chance.
"I'm...done..." I wheezed and collapsed on the ground. We'd been going at this since 6 in the morning- and it was past 8 at night now. I hadn't had anything to eat all day.
"Fine. You've done well today young Rider. We will be doing this again tomorrow, but this time with your classmates. You will start to fight each other with blades blunted by magic to see how you fare." he said and left.
"Alright, I'll be pairing you up today, and we're going to do a king of the court kind of thing- we need to see who our top ten fighters are." N'ree started pairing everyone off with someone who looked around the same size as them. I still hadn't been sent with the rest of the Riders to Ellesmera -where the elf who makes the blades for Riders would instruct us to make our own, like she did to make Eragon's- so I was using a 35 inch broadsword instead. I was finally able to guard my own blade with magic, so I did that as well.
I ended up being paired with James Rasmussen, a boy with light brown hair and gray eyes. He was taller than me- alot taller- and I was wondering why they put us together. I shrugged my shoulders and got into a guard position. I was getting extra training, and it was from a one-on-one teacher. He was getting trained in a class, and so, would not learn as much.
"Ready." N'ree cried loudly, his voice echoing across the training field. "Set. Fight!"
I circled slowly, looking for an opportunity to strike James. He took to steps, and lunged at me, and I parried it easily with the flat of my blade. I swung my sword above his head, and he tried to parry my sword, which I swept around his sword, and then behind his legs, sweeping him to the ground. I thrust my sword at him which he parried, flying upwards with the speed only a vampire had. I put two hands onto my sword, and went through a series of moves, starting them over. When he thought I was going to repeat one, I slammed my sword as hard as I could into his wrist, and heard a crack. He dropped the sword with a cry of pain. Good thing he's a vampire, or else I'd have made him useless in a battle... I smacked his back with my sword, and then rested the point of it in the hollow of his throat.
"Do you surrender?" I asked.
I smiled, gleefully. Our class continued like this, and our statistics were as shown:
9th: Me, Kerstin
11th: Jezebel and Poppy (Tie)
12th: Leopardali and Patrick (tie)
13th: James and Zoe (tie)
and the rest just... weren't as proficient. But we got our top ten. And now the rest were to go and see another teacher, who would be giving them special lessons, each. I would continue with my every-second-day training with N'ree, and after my lessons with Brom, which should only take from 6 in the morning until about 4, I would go and have my class with the top ten students.
"So, you are the top ten of the students who have come here, in your swordsmanship. Now, while the other group is practicing more swordsmanship, you will be learning to do more, like use a bow and arrows, and ride while fighting, and shoot with a bow and arrows while riding. First, is there anyone who's already shot a bow and arrows?" N'ree asked. Eragon, Roran, Arya, Efkinitos and I raised our hands.
"Where?" N'ree asked us.
Each of the others said for hunting or even during the war, and I blushed and looked at the ground. "At camp..."
"Well we've had a bow crafted specially for all twenty five of you Hogwarts students, as well, and each will be delivered to your tent when you get back. What I'm going to start you with, tomorrow, is horseback riding. Everyone needs to know how to ride a horse. There will be a horse brought to you tomorrow, at which time you will make your way here, for your lesson." N'ree turned and left.
When I got back to my tent, I looked to see if the polyjuice potion was going as it was supposed to. I consulted the book. I still needed to let the lacewing flies to stew for seven more days. I pushed it under my bed, making sure that the fire was going steadily and would not stop.
Are you willing to go for a little flight, Kerstin? Naos asked.
I grinned. Where are you?
Right above you. I'll be right down. Within seconds I heard a whump as he landed outside my tent. His pearly white scales glistened in the light, and I almost had to look away, it was so bright. The day was getting alot brighter now. I shivered a little- it wasn't the warmest out even though there was sun.
Put on a cloak little one- we're going high, and it wouldn't do very much good for you to get sick. I nodded and went back in, grabbing a white cloak, which I slipped my arms into, and pinned closed with a pin of Naos, curled up around a sword with a ruby pommel, and breathing fire. Just like the emblem on my tunic, and on the cloak, which was right next to the Skulblaka house crest.
I climbed onto Naos, glad that there was a saddle. I secured my legs in, and pulled up my hood, pinning it to my hair so that it wouldn't fall. Let's go! I cried and he jumped, sending up flying into the sky.