The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth: Part XXXV
by Camilla Sandman
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Part Thirty-Five: As Gandalf As It Gets

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Bri came up with most of the movie titles. *bows*. I only decided they were worthy of a chapter of their own
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Lina wasn't quite sure what awoke her. Maybe it was Gimli's soft snoring, but it could also have been the loud laughter coming from somewhere in the hall, or at least from somewhere in the staff section.

It sounded like both orcs AND hobbits laughing. Usually if hobbits were laughing, orcs were wailing, and if orcs were laughing, hobbits were wailing. Most curious, this was.

Untangling herself, she grabbed a t-shirt and put it on. Opening the door slightly, she peeked out.

The hall seemed quiet, silver moonlight filling it and creating a strange feeling of being in a dream. The walls were stacked with little lairs where the mini-Balrogs slept, those who weren't on the nightshift that was.

There really were a lot of Mini-Balrogs, come to think of it. It had started with just a few, now there seemed to be small army. Not that the mini-Balrogs didn't have enough to do. It had taken five of them to get Long Under Tree away from the Ents, who was convinced with a name like that, this time it had to be an Entwife for sure.

Then of course Mulberry had come along, claiming to have been an Entwife in a previous life, and - Hoo boy. But the mini-Balrogs had finally sorted it all out, especially with the threat of being sent to the new Head of Ass-Kickings and Cruel Punishment ("Should have though of that ages ago," Miss Cam had complained one evening. "Works like a charm!").

Gimly turned to look at her, and the mini-Balrog smiled in a very smug, dwarven-like way. If it could have talked, Lina was sure it would have said something like 'I hope there will be a mini-Balrog like YOU!'

The mini-Balrogs had personality all right. Although poor Gindadial wasn't quite sure what character it had been meant to be, and thus was suffering an identity crisis.

Funny how quiet it was this evening. No snoring, no sleepwalking, no Morgoth/Sauron pillow war. Even Toey and BreadLegs's Shelf O'Love seemed quiet (that could be because Toey was out on one of his Treks of Evilness: When Bad Spelling Attacks though. Couldn't abandon his calling, however much the world would want him to).

"Lina?" Gimli asked softly, trotting up behind her.

"I just thought I heard laughter," she replied.

"It's movie-night."

"It's WHAT?"

"Movie-night. To help us unwind and better understand your world. Gandalf helps Miss Cam recast your type of movies with characters from our world, all done magically. Last week it was 'Point-eared Frodo and the Search for the Holy Grain'. Most amusing, it was. And who could forget 'X-Maias'. We had karaoke night for a while as well, but Sauron and Morgoth broke the karaoke machine fighting over who was most fit to sing 'Evil Like This'. You're lucky, the Witch-Wall was planning to surprise you with 'Witch-Wall of Your Heart'. I think he and I need to have a chat."

Lina blinked, then realised that karaoke and movie-night were no more weird than a mini-Balrog named Gimly. Weirdness simply existed here, much like water and earth.

"Don't worry about the Witch-Wall, I can handle him. Can we go watch the movie?"

"Most certainly. Although, remember, for official reasons you are here as an 'advisor on male-female bonding to improve the subject of male bonding'. The University can't be seen to promote student-teacher relationships."

"But why hasn't anyone said anything?" Lina asked, suddenly wondering if she had managed to land facedown in trouble again.

"They.. umm.. were just too astonished. that I won you over.. to. umm.. mind."

Lina chuckled softly as Gimli led her through a door interestingly enough called 'Torture Chamber Deluxe Version'.

"What's on tonight?"

"I think it's 'Sauron Powers: Interdimensional Maia of Mystery'. Morgoth objected and wanted it to be 'You've Got Morgoth', but that will be next week. Lina, I.. umm.. have been meaning to ask you." Gimli fumbled slightly. "Back in your world. There is no one I have to challenge to an axe-duel, is there?"

"No, no. Nothing like that."

Gimli looked relieved, just as they entered the large room, completely filled up with the entire staff. Sauron was on the first row, looking as proud as. As a Dark Lord could be. The NazgŻls were cheering ('Sauron, Sauron, he's our Maia, if he can't do it, Morgoth sure can't!') while Morgoth was sulking in a corner. Barlog the Balrog patted him on the shoulder sympathetically (his arm the only thing fitting into the room. He was standing on the outside, looking in through the roof window).

"If you wanted, we could watch the romantic Sleepless in the Staff Section instead," Gimli whispered in her ear. "And we could be sleepless ourselves afterwards."

"Gimli!" she muttered embarrassed, sure that someone would notice the gleam in his eyes.

From the looks of it however, people were too busy to notice much of anything. Galadriel and Celeborn were getting quite cosy, and Faramir and …owyn were getting sour looks from Boromir. Even the two mini-Balrogs that were on guard (Phrodo and Biblo) were holding hands/claws/whatever (but not tentacles. A student had foolishly referred to the Balrogs having 'tentacles' and it had taken a hour to get her up from the mini-abyss).

And Gandalf - Gandalf was laughing so loudly it was impossible not to join in.

"You can always tell how good a movie is by how loud Gandalf is laughing," Gimli whispered. "That's why a top movie is 'As Gandalf As It Gets'."


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