Chapter One: Insight into the Unknown World
‘Well, I suppose I should start from the beginning...’ Dumbledore said, wondering where to begin.
‘It is usually the best place to start,’ Haldir agreed, and Legolas nodded.
Dumbledore chuckled. ‘Yes, well, I think I’ll start by telling you the forest you are currently residing in is the Forbidden Forest. It is next to a castle which is, in fact, the school I am currently Headmaster of. The school is Hogwarts, and it is a place where young witches and wizards can come to learn all there is to know about the Wizarding World,’ he began, pacing in front of them. ‘The reason I came in here was because I felt a strange disturbance and came to investigate. It could have been one of my students disobeying the rules, as they know this forest has its namesake for a reason. It seems the Magic keeping you concealed was wearing off and this, I can only assume, is what caused it,’ he explained, and the two Elves nodded in understanding. ‘Now, to begin my proposition, and the story of why I am going to ask you only to consider it. Give me an answer as you see fit,’ he told them.
Legolas shifted a little. ‘That seems reasonable. Please, continue,’ he said, gesturing for the old wizard to speak again.
‘There is a young boy at the tender age of sixteen who is part of a prophecy to complete a task which would seem impossible at such an early age. The prophecy consists of a simple rule; one lives, and one dies. It is a sad truth, but I fear he may fail in the end. His name is Harry Potter, and he is a remarkable wizard who is also, regrettably, an orphan. The man he needs to kill murdered his parents when he was only a year old. This year, I have seen to it he will be receiving proper training from specialists in the arts of many combat attributes,’ he paused, letting the words sink in.
Legolas frowned. ‘What does this have to do with us?’ he asked, fingering the bow he received from the Lady of Light many years ago.
Dumbledore smiled. ‘With two Elves on our side, I believe Harry will find the confidence and strength he needs to defeat the Dark Lord.’
At the last words, the two Elves stiffened. ‘Dark Lord!?’ Haldir asked in shock, and Legolas’ expression turned to one of worry.
Dumbledore frowned at their reaction. ‘Yes, is something the matter?’ he asked them, looking at them in curiosity and confusion at their response.
‘You cannot mean Sauron!’ Legolas said with worry. ‘We destroyed him! We fought in that battle and succeeded,’ he said more to himself than Dumbledore.
‘Sauron? Who is that?’ Dumbledore asked in confusion.
Legolas and Haldir exchanged a brief glance. ‘He was a Dark Lord of long past who forged a ring of power which he put his cruelty, malice, and evil so he could control all the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth. It seems this Dark Lord you speak of is not the same, so please continue,’ Haldir said, and the two Elves visibly relaxed.
Dumbledore nodded, though he was still confused, and continued, ‘The Dark Lord of our time calls himself Voldemort. He is an extraordinary wizard with awesome power and control over many of the magical creatures inhabiting the planet,’ he explained, and then his expression became one of complete seriousness. ‘All I ask is you stall your fading for only a short while, and protect young Harry from the dangers he is bound to face in the upcoming year. Unfortunately, he tends to rush into danger without thinking it through first. He has only recently come back to Hogwarts, but I fear danger may be only just around the corner. This is my proposition for you both,’ he finished, falling quiet while he waited patiently for either of them to speak.
Haldir and Legolas stood for a moment in silence, both thinking of how this proposal could benefit them, and also of the negative aspects of it. Eventually, they murmured in Elvish, conferring and giving their thoughts, and feelings to the matter. It was only a short while before they turned back to Dumbledore. ‘We have spoken of your proposition, agreeing to protect the boy, but only for a short time. We grow tired of this existence, and we wish to see the back of it,’ Haldir told him firmly.
‘We also want your word if we would like to leave at any time so we may fade, you will let us go with no argument,’ Legolas said, staring hard at Dumbledore.
Dumbledore nodded readily. ‘You have my word,’ he said sincerely, bowing his head a little.
‘What is it you wish us to do? Should we remain here or follow?’ Haldir asked.
‘If you would follow me back to Hogwarts, I will introduce the both of you to the staff and students. Also, if it is alright with you both, I will tell them you are both Elves,’ Dumbledore said.
Haldir nodded, ‘Agreed.’
Dumbledore stood patiently, watching the two Elves quickly gather their belongings. They followed him through the forest they had come to know as a temporary home.
It wasn’t long before the sky started to darken, and they could see tiny pinpricks through the trees indicating there were lights up ahead. Legolas and Haldir became quite wary of this because they weren’t sure what to expect upon leaving the forest.
Legolas glanced around before looking at Dumbledore. ‘What are we to expect in this changed era?’ he asked him, moving to walk next to him.
Dumbledore looked at him. ‘Well, I don’t know. Probably more advanced technology than in your time, I can assure you,’ he answered, finally reaching the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and visible in front of them was a huge castle. Legolas and Haldir stopped walking right at the edge without leaving the forest, both staring at the castle in wonder. Dumbledore continued walking but turned upon realising the two Elves were not following. ‘Are you coming? You have nothing to worry about. Also, if we hurry, we will be able to get to the Great Hall before the students and staff arrive for dinner. I can announce you then,’ he told them, and they nodded.
Taking a deep breath, Legolas and Haldir stepped out of the safety of the forest, feeling the soft wet grass beneath their feet, and they ambled, looking around for any immediate danger. The castle didn’t startle them, they were around in Middle-Earth, but the architect of it was still a lot more advanced than they were back then.
Legolas looked up when they reached the main doors leading into the castle, seeing a large clock, and he looked at it in awe, not knowing what it was. He turned to Dumbledore, pointing to the clock. ‘What is that?’ he asked the old Headmaster.
Dumbledore looked up at the clock with a smile. ‘That, Legolas, is a clock. It tells what time of the day it is.’
Legolas frowned. ‘I need no clock to tell time,’ he whispered while they entered the castle.
‘What do you use to tell the time?’ Dumbledore asked curiously, leading them to another set of double doors and stopping to watch them eye the entrance hall in awe.
Legolas looked at him. ‘We can tell what time it is by the position of the sun or moon in the sky.’
Dumbledore raised his eyes in curiosity. ‘Ah, so it is much like I tell the time. Then my watch will interest you,’ he told them, pulling up the sleeve of his robe, revealing his watch which had little planets circling the sun. Legolas and Haldir stared at it in wonder, and Dumbledore smiled at them. ‘This is how I tell time when I do not have a regular clock in my immediate vicinity,’ he told them, turning to open the double doors.
The hall the three companions entered reminded Legolas of the Golden Hall of Edoras in Rohan, but only because of the size, and the throne-like chair that was sitting on a raised platform. Only it was behind a vast oak table with chairs lining each side of it. The four rather long tables spanning the length of the hall in front of them confused him, and he became equally confused by the four banners hanging above them arrayed in different colours. Above the throne chair at the back of the hall was another banner with a shield split into four sections, portraying four different species of animals in each. They were set on different coloured backgrounds which seemed to relate to the four banners hanging above the four tables.
‘What do these banners represent?’ Haldir asked, looking up at the ceiling, which he only now saw there were floating candles, and he gasped in awe.
Dumbledore smiled at the curiosity of the two Elves. ‘The four different banners separate the four Houses in Hogwarts. The green and silver one with the serpent is for Slytherin. The blue and bronze one with the eagle is for Ravenclaw. The yellow and black one with the badger is for Hufflepuff. And last, is the scarlet and gold with the lion for Gryffindor,’ Dumbledore explained, pointing to each as he spoke. ’The larger one portraying all the emblems of the houses is the main banner of Hogwarts. The quote underneath, ‘Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus’ means-′
Haldir cut him off. ‘Never tickle a sleeping dragon?’ he asked, looking at Dumbledore in confusion.
‘How is it you know what it means?’ Dumbledore asked in confusion.
Legolas was the one who answered, ‘It is part of a song we once sang amongst our kin long past. It was well-known in Mirkwood, Rivendell, and Lothlórien.’
‘That is interesting,’ Dumbledore muttered to himself more than to them, but he shrugged it off and led them to the staff table. ‘I will arrange seats for you both on either side of me. There is another small favour I will ask you both if it is not too much trouble,’ he said to them, while the staff started entering from a side door. They all stopped upon noticing the Elves with Dumbledore, looking on curiously.
‘What is it you wish of us?’ Haldir asked in a lowered voice.
‘Will you take up the position of becoming the Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers while you are here. I failed in finding a suitable person, so the class is on hold for the moment. It is not normal to have two Professors for the same class, but in this case, I will make an exception. Will you take up this task?’ he asked them.
Legolas and Haldir looked at each other momentarily before frowning at the Headmaster. ‘We would not know what to do,’ Legolas answered, while the members of staff in the background started taking their seats except for an elderly woman wearing emerald green robes and a black clad man with greasy black hair.
‘Teach them defensive techniques you know, and I will give you books to read on to help, but teach them your way of fighting if you are willing,’ Dumbledore explained.
The two Elves shared another glance, looking towards the doors on the other side of the hall when they opened. Students filed in, walking to their designated tables while looking up at the staff table. Legolas sighed, turning away, while Haldir kept his eyes on the students. They turned to each other, once again conferring their thoughts on the matter in Elvish, and, at length, they turned back to Dumbledore. ‘It is settled, we will take it upon ourselves to teach the children everything we know about our ways of fighting,’ Haldir told him, bowing his head.
‘I am in your debt,’ Dumbledore said, smiling, and he turned towards the elderly woman and the man who were still standing looking on in confusion. ‘Ah, Minerva, Severus, I would like to introduce to you two Elves of the Woodland Realm,’ he told them, and their eyes widened, both taking in the two blonde Elves. Dumbledore motioned to Haldir first. ‘This is Haldir of Lórien, was it?’ he asked the Elf, receiving a nod in return. ‘And this is Legolas, the Prince of Mirkwood,’ he told them, smiling.
Minerva eyed them curiously. ‘Pleasure. What is it you are here for?’ she asked them.
‘To teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, and to protect a young Harry Potter,’ Haldir answered, bowing his head.
‘Interesting choice in Professors, Headmaster,’ Severus said to Dumbledore who only smiled in return. The two Professors took their seats, noticing there were two extra on either side of Dumbledore’s chair for the Elves.
While all the students filed in, the chatter and whispering died down to complete silence. Dumbledore stood tall at a podium near the edge of the platform with the two Elves standing either side of him. ‘A few announcements to make before we devour our lovely feast. I must express caution; the third floor is out of bounds to all students again for reasons I will not divulge. Only it is perilous to go there unless you wish to die most gruesomely. On a lighter note, Defence Against the Dark Arts classes will start again tomorrow. I have found two Professors perfectly capable of teaching it,’ he told them, and the students whispered amongst themselves at the thought of two Professors teaching the same class until Dumbledore hushed them. ‘I would like to introduce you all to Haldir and Legolas, of the Woodland Realm. They are Wood-Elves and are in no way related to the House-Elves,’ he explained, and more hushed whispers broke out amongst the students. Dumbledore waved his hand and food appeared on the tables, startling Legolas and Haldir. They looked up when the floating candles started to glow, illuminating the hall with their radiance. Dumbledore smiled at them, turning back to the students. ‘That is all,’ he said, leading his companions to their chairs, and they sat down, eyeing the foreign-looking food with curiosity.
Legolas looked around the hall, watching the children eating and talking about inconsequential things, but his eyes were drawn to three curious looking students. Two of them huddled close together on one side of the table, while the third was on the other, and they were talking in whispers, glancing up at Haldir and himself every now and again. Even with his heightened hearing, he could not make out what they were saying, but the girl with them looked up, and her eyes locked on to his for a few moments before she went back to talking to her companions.