42. Now You See Me - Now You Don't
“Last week we looked at campfire exchanges of battle experiences and the impact on male friendship,” Legolas was saying. His voice seemed to come from somewhere near the first row, where a few girls every now and then tried to stick a hand out. They never caught anything but air though – elves are quick, if indeed Legolas had even been near. It was hard to say.
A few unlucky ones even managed to poke wringwraiths by accident – and wringwraiths do not like to be poked. It vexes them.
“It's not fair,” Linteloteiel complained quietly. “I've waited a whole semester for Legolas's subject, and now he's invisible for it!”
“You'd think it was a conspiracy,” Kelly replied.
The crickets chirped. It sounded oddly like 'Yeee-ess. Yeee-ess.'
Lina wisely chose not to comment. Besides, her head hurt too much to think about such difficult issues anyway. 'Not to self: If ever invited to dwarven family reunion, bring helmet,' she thought miserably.
“Who can tell me what the importance of that was?” Legolas went on.
“Umm… It passes time?” one girl suggested.
“It builds a foundation,” Lina replied, throwing a glance at Gimli. He smiled at her, warmly. It was almost enough to banish her headache. Almost.
“Thank you, miss Holling. That is correct. Friendships do not develop in a day, though I have heard some of you express that sentiment. Friendship is like any other relationship, it takes time.”
“So it takes two days? I can wait two days to woo an elf,” one of the Legolas Lusters remarked (Lina was sure she was supposed to know the name, but she was also sure she was supposed to know that you turn the knob to open a door. Man, her head hurt. Dwarven head knock not good).
“And you wondered why Frodo and Sam were so nice to you this morning,” Gimli remarked. “They know how impossible this subject is to teach.”
“You are not helping, Gimli.”
The dwarf snorted. “Then I will. It is simple. We are male, we bond. We discuss war and compare weapons. Sometimes we smoke, sometimes we have a pint. We discuss the stars, the best was to kill an orc and sometimes we tell tales. Especially if there is an elf around,” he muttered in a lower voice.
“We do not, however, bond over the magnificence of some suddenly appeared woman. Nor do we encourage Legolas to get a wife.”
“But he should have one!” Mysie exclaimed.
“It is called male bonding, not a singles convention,” Gimli went on.
“The singles convention is held in Minas Tirith next week,” Ragna the Urple peeked his head in. “You're both welcome, Gimli and Legolas – and for a small fee you can join MillenniumMatch - we'll find you a match within a millennium, or your money back guaranteed!”
“That is what happens when a male has had no one to bond with,” Legolas remarked when the urple glare had vanished and everyone could more or less see again. “He goes mad. For next week, read 'Pat On the Back: Male Affection or Just Habit?' Class dismissed.”
A few girls took a dive towards the lecturer's desk, but all they accomplished were vexing the wringwraiths even more. Soon, 'Wraiths A-Wring and Happily Sing Hour' (it was like happy hour, minus booze and with more screaming) was on again, until all the girls had managed to get out of the lecture theatre.
Gimli caught up with Lina as the hallways emptied, patting her gently on the head.
“My father sticks to tradition. I am sorry, I should have warned you.”
“I think it was more the Fellowship jingle, actually,” she replied, as they made their slow way towards the staff section. “And I do appreciate that he found me worthy of a head-knock.”
They were greeted by high voices, and mini-Balrogs fighting to get the best viewpoints by the gate to look in. In the middle of the hall stood Sauron, towering before an unimpressed Elrond.
“I protest!” Sauron was saying. “Evil is my domain! Yet students fear you more! This must be rectified immediately!”
“Fear and evil are not the same, Sauron,” Elrond replied calmly. “We're dangerous on the good side as well. We won, remember?”
Sauron narrowed his eyes. Sam stood up protectively, shielding Frodo.
“It matters not! I have the Ring now! I have it, at last!” Triumphant, the Dark Lord help up his hand and something bright glimmered in it.
There was a brief silence.
“That is a FriendshipForever ring,” Elrond said, smirking.
“But the invisible ghost said….”
The clear laughter of Legolas echoed through the room.
“Hobbit mischief. It rubs off on you,” Gimli whispered, as Sauron turned and stalked off.
“Maaaaaaaaaster!” the Ring wailed. “Come baaaaaaaaack! You can manage to claim me! I know you can! Oh, who am I kidding? He's old, I need to move on. Say Frodo, have you ever felt like building a dark tower…?”
“Shut up,” Frodo said cheerfully, dropping down by the table. It was all set for second breakfast, though the mushrooms had already vanished. Pippin and Merry were chewing desperately.
“Visible again?” Lina asked, dropping down as well and taking the cool water bottle and putting it against her head.
“They had a smaller dose than me,” Legolas replied, sounding like he was taking a seat. “Gandalf says one more day, perhaps two.”
“I hear some girls have gone on hunger strike until you're visible again,” Lina remarked. “They say it's a crime against nature that you can't be seen.”
“More food for us then,” Pippin smirked, wincing as a fly buzzed past.
“Shadow caught them trying to set free the Nuzguls in her room this morning,” Frodo explained, biting into a toast.
“Accident!” Merry protested, mouth full of food. “Was dark. Tag read “Dark One” – Dark One, Dark Lord, very similar.”
“Except with Dark Lords you can always count on them being distracted by each other,” Frodo replied.
“What do you mean I put the elf up to it?” Morgoth's clear voice came from the garden. “I think I would remember!”
“You are so senile you probably forgot!” Sauron shot back.
Yep – some things are always constant: The sun will rise; mini-Balrogs will spawn; Toey will strike; urple will be evil; and Dark Lords will fight.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.