44. Dashing Dwarves and Other Great Plans
If you are easily disturbed beware this chapter– well, you shouldn't be reading this story in the first place if you were….
It was quite astonishing how popular Galadriel's class had become. Not only did all the students do all the homework, they even did extra assignments. Lina suspected it was the prospect of wooing a staff-member that had most students interested – but surely there was some kind of catch. There had to be.
Were the mini-Balrogs considered staff members, perhaps?
Troublesome thought. Oh well, it really wasn't that much a worry for her. Galadriel had already informed her that she had passed – managing to woo a dwarf. Mostly by accident, though.
Lina smiled. Her classmates really didn't know what they were missing. Perhaps she should start an organisation spreading the word – recognition for dashing dwarves! The Crusade for Greater Gimli Goodwill. 'Dare to be Different – Dare a Dwarf'.
She chuckled softly, only half listening to Sam and Rosie chatting merrily on about hobbit courtship (tickling the feet was considered a come-on? Hee.)
Life was good, wasn't it? The second semester was nearing the end, the third and last semester looked promising and…
Third and last. A sudden realisation came over her – she would have to leave this University in the not so distant future, and go back to her world. And Gimli – Gimli who had made her feel more alive than she ever had before – she would have to leave him too.
“And then you live happily until the end of your days,” Sam said, beaming.
“Thank you, Sam,” Galadriel smiled. “We shall have a pop quiz on this next week. Class dismissed.”
Lina started gathering her books, when she noticed that a group seemed to linger behind.
“So are we ready?” Shada whispered in a low voice. Pennhothwen and Stephanie nodded, holding up synchronised hourglasses. Jera gave a thumb's up.
“I can't believe Éowyn agreed to help,” Mytsie whispered.
“I convinced her it would stop Boromir from knocking on their wall every night,” Tabby smirked.
“Tabby, ready to distract the mini-Balrogs?” Malien asked.
“I have the tea,” Kala said, holding up a smoking pot. “But what about the warning that says 'Environmental Hazard'?”
“Ignore it,” Thalia replied. “They just put it on so we won't all start drinking it and turn invisible. Remember, it's for emergency use only.”
“All right. Then I declare Operation 'Starking Fun' started. Thalia, you get the basket for the clothes” Jera replied. “Let's go.”
“Uh oh,” Lina muttered, torn between curiosity and a wish to be elsewhere when that great plan blew up. They always blew up. It was a universal truth.
Perhaps she could just observe from a distance. But curiosity did kill the cat – though it did die satisfied. Oh what the heck. This she had to see.
The little group had obviously planned carefully, with Tabby distracting Saron and Morogoth who were on guard by the staff section (not that those two were the hardest to distract, mind you). The rest slipped in, and Lina waited.
To her astonishment, there was no cry, no explosion, no scream of terror. A few minutes later the group simply came back, basket filled with clothes.
“We did it! We have the clothes of the whole staff!” Jera said excited. “I get to see Sam starkers!”
Lina stared after the group that wandered off excitedly, already arguing over who got what piece of clothing. Had the Universe failed? Only one way to find out…
Morogoth and Saron were busy comparing shadow size and didn't even bother looking up as she passed. The staff section seemed quiet enough, as it usually was on laundry and 'pesky cleaning day' as Miss Cam liked to call it.
“Hello Lina,” Frodo said, walking out. He was cleaning the Ring (it was cleaning day, after all) and it was beaming proudly.
“You're dressed,” Lina replied without thinking.
“What?” Frodo blinked. “You sound like one of the hobbit girls, but they usually say it with more disappointment.”
“Sorry, I meant… It is laundry day, isn't it?”
“It is 'a' laundry day. Big staff, so we have different days.”
“And today is….?”
“Evil's laundry day.” Frodo shrugged. “Miss Cam said it made more sense that way, as they mainly wear black and dark colours should go together.”
Lina stared at him. Then she broke down, laughing so hard she cried. Of course. Éowyn had probably 'forgotten' to tell the students that.
“I am telling you, I can make them stop laughing at you,” the Ring said. “No one laughs at Frodo the Dark-But-Adorable.”
“I'm… It's not Frodo…The CLOTHES!” Lina gasped.
“Yes, wear more dark, Frodo,” the Ring went on.
What other ready advice the Ring had, she didn't hear. A sound was coming from the sauna. It sounded like a hundred Uruk-hais, all hissing.
Without thinking, Lina closed her eyes and shielded Frodo's (he was too astonished to protest). She was pretty sure stark naked Uruk-hai would make anyone go blind.
The crowd stampeded past, still hissing. Lina resisted the urge to open her eyes this time. Some things were just not worth knowing – like how Gandalf made his food, how mini-Balrogs breed, and how Uruk-hais looked naked.
“My gold! My gold!” the Ring whimpered. “How can I gleam golden ever again after seeing that?”
Lina dared open an eye to find the crowd had passed (and was heading towards the student's section, from the sound of it). Frodo blinked surprised, while the Ring went on whimpering
“What was that?”
“A hundred naked Uruk-hais, I think,” Lina replied.
“Yes, and thank you *very* much for shielding Frodo and not me! I may be a Ring, but I have a fragile mind. Ow, ow, ow…”
“How bad could it be?” Lina asked, instantly regretting.
“They have TWO!” the Ring wailed. “TWO! And they're… They're…”
There was a brief silence. Then, as one, hundreds of students screamed (all except Jurtz, the Uruk-hai student, who of course knew all about how Uruk-hais were equipped) as one.
The cat was lucky. Curiosity killed it. It didn't have to live with the mental image.
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.