The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth: Part X
by Camilla Sandman
Part Ten: A Balrog Named Grimli

It was nothing short of a miracle that Lina managed to get herself into lecture theatre one the following morning, every single part of her body hurting. She even hurt in parts of her body she was pretty sure weren't supposed to hurt under any circumstances.

It had been hard to eat anything at breakfast, especially when Pippin and Merry were discovered sneaking into the kitchen, nicking some mushrooms and looking unusually smug.

That, combined with the rumours lot of ruckus last night and then the fact that there hadn't been the usual breakfast food fight between Sauron and Morgoth, led to a lot of speculation. Among those who had not passed out at the mere sight of Pippin or Merry, that was.

No one had seen the Dark Lords all morning (and unlike many others of the staff, Sauron and Morgoth liked to strut around everywhere and be seen, except Sauron could not come within hundred feet of Frodo, restraining order and all), which was rather worrisome.

Tex and Kelly were arguing Sauron and Morgoth had probably already whacked each other, but Lina knew better. She wondered what the heck those two were up to. Whatever it was, it couldn't be good. Perhaps this would lead to Sauron not having time to look at their essays though.

What concerned some of the others were the fact that no one seemed to know who would be teaching the What's In a Name? class. Robyn claimed to have heard it would be Gandalf himself, while Kiore insisted it HAD to be Legolas. Other had heard Boromir (which led to much excitement among the small group of Boromir fans, who were of course totally in denial of his death. "Someone so gorgeous can't be dead," as Robyn frequently said).

It was therefore a great surprise that Miss Cam came marching in alone, her little mini-Balrogs in tow.

Only then did Lina notice that Eryn Mari, Diane and Jera were all missing. What was more suspicious were that they were in different groups - Eryn drooled over Elrond, Diane had a certain weakness for Legolas and Jera was a well-known Sam Stampeder. Come to think of it though, they had sneaked out together during breakfast, muttering something about how they knew the secret food diet.

"Listen up, you little brats. Welcome to 'What's In a Name? 101'.This course will have a guest lecturers each class, teaching you the significant of their name. I will set the exam, and you better pass it," Miss Cam began, interrupted by a large yelp, and then a scream.

"That'll be our three missing students, I believe."

Moments later three rather embarrassed girls came running into the theatre, an insistent mini-Balrog in tow, whipping at their legs.

"Ah, yes. Nice of you to join us. You forgot a little detail when bribing my Balrogs, girls, although it was a nice effort. They like their eggs raw. Cooked eggs make them cranky. Grimli, go back to aunt Thundera Tiger now and help her with security," she added and the mini-Balrog set off.

"You have named it Grimli?" asked Georgia, looking baffled.

"Oh yes. We also have little Gimly here, and Aragon, Bromir, Borimir, Marry, Gandolf, Gandlaf, Bormor, Pippi.. An adorable little bunch. That actually leads me to our guest lecturer today, Gimli and his topic 'Spell My Name Right Or I Shall Chop Off Your Hands'."

Gimli entered rather briskly, actually carrying his axe, which made a few students twitch uncomfortably.

"G-I-M-L-I. Gimli, son of G-L--I-N. Got that? Not Grimli, not Gimly, but GIMLI. What is my name?"

"Gimli," the class echoed.

"Good. Now, spell it incorrectly and I shall do what to you?"

"Chop our hands off," the class chorused, but less enthusiastically.

"Excellent. Class dismissed."

"Not so fast," came Sauron's voice, and the Dark Lord came marching in, Morgoth in tow. "One of you foul-smelling, puny little fungus-brained students have played a prank on me and my colleague here. We are very amused. Very, very amused. In fact, we are so amused we'd like to congratulate the person who thought it of it. So, who was it?"

There was a dead silence. Lina didn't even dare breathe, staring hard at the floor.

"I told you we should have gone with my 'Tell Us Or We'll Boil You All In Extremely Hot Lava' idea," Morgoth said after a while.

"You're always into brute force. Sneaky manipulation is so much more effective."

"Like your idea have worked so far."

The two eyed each other hatefully, the air cackling, until they seemed to realise they were still in front of the class.

"We WILL find you, you little drool-tasting maggot and pain will have a new meaning to you. Rest assured of that," Morgoth announced, and the two stalked off. Only then were the crowd exposed to the urple-coloured backside of the Dark Lords (as if they had seen sitting in urple chairs and the colour had transferred).

It took nearly ten minutes before everyone (even the mini-Balrogs and Miss Cam) had stopped laughing and could actually stand upright again.

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