The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth: Part XXXII
by Camilla Sandman
Part Thirty-Three: A Wraith Who Wrings

There was an air of tense anticipation Monday morning in the staff section. Galadriel was up and wandering, to everyone's great relief, for no one was tempted to substitute Dating in Middle-earth for her (that was not till later in the week though).

Cranky Celeborn was all smiles again (smiles and hard glares that said 'Don't even think about if you want to live'), and Morgoth and Sauron had taken a break from their usual bickering over breakfast to bicker of Evil Minions 202 instead.

The breakfast table was the usual murmur of gossip and complaints though, as Lina and Gimli dropped down to have a bite.

"Good morning, Lina. Gimli." Miss Cam said, reaching for her toast. Behind her, the new mini-Balrogs were scuttling about. Saoron and Sarumon appeared to be locked in a staring contest, while Isuldor and Arewen were snuggling up.

"Good morning Legolas," Gimli grinned. "Ready for Male Bonding 202?"

"Good morning. I have decided that if someone calls me Leg or Leggy in class, I'm going to set Miss Dwimordene on the task of thinking up a punishment. And I hear she is most - creative," Legolas replied. If it wasn't for the fact that his face was completely blank, Lina would have sworn she detected a slight air of panic radiating from him.

"Worry not, Legolas. We have a secret weapon," Miss Cam said reassuringly, exchanging a glance with Thundera Tiger. They both smiled evilly.

"Other than Shadow?" Legolas seemed to brighten up.

"Shadow can't be everywhere and is currently busy scaring off Kelly, the half elf, half phoenix from ever flying again, since we don't really want anyone to fly through the windows and nosedive onto the breakfast table. We have something else up our sleeve. I know the mini-Ungoliants worked out rather badly." she trailed off, grimacing. The mini-Ungoliants had eaten half the kitchen and nearly caused a severe depression for all the hobbits. Luckily, the mini-Ungoliants had then gone on to eat themselves. 'A small genetic flaw', as Thundera Tiger had called it.

"This is better, I promise you."

"We will manage, Legolas," Gimli said, patting the Elf on the shoulder.

"And we will cruelly punish anyone who dares even wink at you," Dwimordene added.

"For sure," Frodo said, appearing in the chair next to Legolas. "I'll use the Ring on them if need be. I'll turn them all to thrushes."

"If I had the Ring, I could turn them all to Ringwraiths and." Sauron began.

"No, Sauron."

"Just saying."

Legolas looked slightly less gloom, but there was still an air of panic about him.

Lina skipped off early, managing to stop by her room and get a change of clothes. As reassuring as everyone had tried to sound for Legolas's sake, Lina was worried that they might be underestimating the power of hormones.

She knew she was right when she noticed that half the University seems to have slept in the hallway outside lecture theatre one to be assured the best seats. And then a fight broke out over 'queue jumping', with Amarantha and Brandy fighting over who had been first to line up.

No, this could not be good.

Lina slipped into a site in the back, feeling sorry for her elven friend. And Gimli would probably be swept up by the tide - she would have to jump in and rescue him. She clutched her 'Males and Bonds: Like Looking For a Needle in the Haystack?' book and prepared herself to go in.

It was Miss Cam who came walking in first, surprisingly flanked by no mini-Balrogs. In fact, she seemed to come alone. Uh oh.

"Settle down, settle down. I know you are all very excited, but let us behave as adults, okay? You will all sit quietly in your seats, you don't want me to go get Barlog the actual Balrog, do you?"

A few shook their heads, most remained completely still. Like a cat ready to bounce. This was not good, Lina realised, not good at all.

"Legolas and Gimli will now enter and you will all remain in your seats," Miss Cam went on. "Okay boys, come in."

There was a low, excited mutter as the Elf and the Dwarf entered, Legolas looking like he was facing the ultimate evil. Gimli looked more cheerful, sending Lina a quick smile.

No one jumped out of their seats, but no one seemed to relax either.

"This is Male Bonding 202," Gimli said (and it seemed that half the class only noticed he was actually there only then). "You all passed Platonic Love 101, so you should know this is nothing sexual at all."

"Ew, Gimli said 'sexual'," one girl muttered. Lina sent her a nasty glare.

"In this subject we will examine the male way of bonding, especially through battle and hardship," Legolas went on (and half the class swooned). The fact that no one had jumped him on sight seemed to cheer him up, because his face broke into a small smile.

"Oh no," Lina muttered.

It was the smile that did it. All at once, the Legolas-fanciers jumped (although some were elbowed back). Elvea looked to be ahead of the pack, ready to grab.

Lina wasn't sure exactly what happened next. There was a clash, screaming, evil laughter, and suddenly most of the girls lay flat on the floor. Legolas looked relieved, Miss Cam was grinning smugly.

"What? What happened?" asked a dazed Syndarys.

"New security measures, my dears. Now everyone get up and sit down - slowly."

There was a few curses as everyone scrambled back to their places, quite a few muttering about how all that work to look splendid was now wasted.

"These, my dear, are the Wringwraiths. They're small, they're invisible - and boy, can they wring your neck." Miss Cam seemed extremely pleased with herself. "They live in this room, and cannot go outside - that would create havoc, after all, little invisible evildoers - but here they will protect Legolas. You will not stampede."

"Thank you, Miss Cam," Legolas grinned for real this time (quickly checking that no one leaped from their seats). "Now, let us begin with the often first institution of male bonding: The inn or 'pub', if you will. Open your books on chapter one - 'Beer: The Male Tongue-Loosener', please."

And in the corner the Wringwraiths cackled evilly.

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