Hethurin’s Practice

Hethurin Fairsong turned over the hourglass as he cast his spell. He was practicing viewing the past today, an activity that Renner let him do on his own now as long as he followed a few simple rules. As it was merely a vision, he wouldn’t actually be there. Nothing would change from him viewing it. A scene came into focus. It was a busy day at the market in Silvermoon. His mother, who appeared much younger than she was in the present day, busied herself by handing out coin purses to five girls who ranged between 22-50 in age.

“Make sure to pick something nice, and don’t be late getting home. Remember we need to work on getting things ready for your grandparents. Both sets will be visiting for your brother’s birthday.” She reminded them, the oldest was already running off. The youngest girl lingered as the others left.

“Aranae, go buy a nice dress for your grandparents to see you in.”

“I don’t want a dress. Can’t I get some nice pants instead? Dresses are stupid.”

“No. That’s out of the question. Your grandparents are visiting. The least you could do is look nice for them.”

“But Minn’da, I hate dresses! Besides, you’re just going to spend ten times more on the little brat’s robe, and he’ll be the only one they notice anyway.” She sneered at the boy of 10 holding their mother’s hand.

“Of course they’re going to notice him. It’s his birthday.”

Aranae mumbled while crossing her arms, “They never come for my birthday.”

Their mother sighed, “Aranae, stop being difficult. Go join your sisters. Lanthiriel can help you pick something out. I need to take Sanimir to the robe shop, and you’re just holding us up.” She turned quickly, making sure Aranae wouldn’t have time to argue, and started heading towards one of the shops, pulling the young boy with her.

Hethurin’s vision followed them as they passed through the crowd towards one of the tailors.

“Minn’da,” the boy looked up at his mother’s back as she led him across the busy marketplace. “Why do I need robes? Not many of the other boys wear them yet.”

“Sanimir, we’ve been over this before. You’re going to be a Magister when you’re older. It’s never too early to start looking like one. Do you know how many elves test positive for magical ability as early as you have? Less than one percent, that’s how many! Most elves don’t develop it until they’re four times your age. You know what that means, right?”

One look at the boy showed that he did as he must have been told at least ten times already, but his mother wasn’t looking at him. He kept his mouth shut while his mother continued.

“You’re going to be a very powerful Magister some day, maybe even an archmage. Come now, let’s get your robe.”

A knock on his study door interrupted the vision. His study was next door, but the door to it was right next to his practice room door in the hallway. He heard it loud and clear. He let the vision fade and went to open the door, which gave a protesting squeak as he pulled it open.

“Aeramin, hi.”

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were in that room. I’m not bothering you, am I?” His eyes looked past Hethurin to the hourglass on the table.

“No. I was just practicing some spells, but I can finish later. What did you want to see me for?”

“I have some questions about the students and testing. That’s all. It can wait until another time if you want.”

“Aeramin, it’s fine. Come in, we can go to my study.”

Hethurin shut and locked the practice room after Aeramin entered. Very few people ever got to see his practice room.

“What’s in the cage?” Aeramin asked as he looked around while Hethurin unlocked the door to the adjacent room.

“A rat.”

“Like Nosey?”

Hethurin opened the door and motioned for Aeramin to go in. “Like Nosey, but I just call mine ‘rat’.”

Aeramin hesitated, taking another glance at the hourglass before entering the study. He sat in one of the chairs as Hethurin relocked the door between his study and his practice room. He then went to the second door in the room, the one leading to the hallway and unlocked it before going to take his seat at the other side of a desk. “So, students and testing. You’re not making them fail again, are you?”

“That’s the thing. I don’t want them to fail.” Aeramin stood and looked out the window, “But at the same time, I want to make sure they know the things they should know. Maybe I’m not a good teacher.”

“Nonsense. Maerista, our first graduate, was primarily your student, and now she’s helping you. I’d say that’s success.” Hethurin said as he watched Aeramin begin to broodily pace. He stopped at the bookshelf. He appeared to be looking over the titles.

“Maerista was already advanced when she came here.”

“Are your current students who are specializing in fire doing poorly?”

Aeramin turned to face him, “Well, no, but the others-”

“The others just need a base understanding of fire magic. When I went for my testing I was asked to cast one single fire spell, light a candle. That’s all! The written test had a couple of questions on theory, but they weren’t difficult either. I think you’re worrying too much.”

“Should I make the tests easier?”

Hethurin shrugged, “That’s up to you. I guess you wouldn’t have to curve the grades as much.”

Aeramin frowned a bit, “Maybe you could show me some of the tests you give them. If I see how hard the arcane tests are for the fire students, then maybe I’ll have a better idea of how difficult to make the fire tests.”

Hethurin nodded, “Sure, I have some. Hold on, let me find them.” He turned in his chair to open a drawer in the cabinet behind him. He started flipping through the folders. “I’ll give you a couple that I already tested them with. I can give you the results too, if you’d like.”

“Yeah, that sounds good.”

Hethurin found the folder he was looking for. He took it out of the cabinet and turned around as he said, “I gave them this test two weeks ago. I’ll need it back when you’re done with it as I intend to do a follow up test and a comparison with their results on the first test, but you can borrow it for a few days.”

Aeramin had turned back towards the bookshelf while Hethurin’s back was turned to him, but quickly turned back around and walked over to the desk to take the folder. “Thanks. I’ll look it over and see how difficult it is from a non-arcane mage point of view. Hopefully, it’ll help me get a better idea of how hard the fire tests should be for the non-fire students.” He put the folder in one of the pockets of his satchel. “I should go, I have a private lesson starting soon. Again, I’m sorry for interrupting your practice.”

“It’s fine. Narise is probably going to wake up soon anyway, so it was about time I took a break.”

Hethurin waited for Aeramin to leave before locking the door and teleporting up to the nursery.

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