The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth: Part XLV
by Camilla Sandman
Part Forty-Five: Much Ado About Names and Mini-Balrogs.

Ta, Sunsong, for 'Gone for Gandalf's'.

"And so you see, a hobbit cannot be named 'Britney', no matter how much you love Britney Spears and wish you were like her," Miss Cam droned on. "Just as an elf is not named 'Ballad' even though she likes to sing them. And naming your character after a colour - I would reconsider. Especially if you like pink, or Valar forbid, urple."

The class merely groaned, some nearly falling asleep on their desks. There hadn't been much sleep yesterday - the Uruk-hais had ensured that.

"Who could have foreseen they'd like nakedness and form the 'Uruk-hai Nudist Society?" Dot muttered bitterly.

"I thought I'd go blind and fail in my Quest to uncover where Éomer is hiding," Curedhel replied miserably. "Lina, you can enter the staff section, have you seen him?"


"Then where is he?"

"Excuse me, I do believe I was talking," Miss Cam said sharply. "As I was saying, the Great Professor wrote up a whole language for you to find names in, so why must you invent names of your own?"

No one dared reply. Miss Cam was notoriously evil on days she had been awakened by a break-in attempt in the staff section (Aralome and Aldarona had joined up to get Legolas and Boromir and attempted to dress up as a mini-Balrog and thus get past the gate. Sadly, they did not know the secret mini-Balrog wing-shake and was discovered).

"Then don't do it. Now, it has come to our attention the horrid misspellings of a certain great Maia's name, so here to tell you to 'spell it right or be turned into something unnatural' is Gandalf."

Gandalf entered, clutching his staff protectively. Rather unfortunately someone had tried to steal it and managed to turn themselves into rabbits. The Nuzgul had gone wild, thinking there were bunny-babes to be had at last.

It had taken hours to sort that mess out and find all the missing bunny-students. And strangely enough, all the carrots had vanished even after they had been turned back to humans.

"Thank you, Miss Cam. I am Gandalf, that's G-A-N-D-A-L-F, not 'Gandalph' or 'Gandolf'. You may also call me Mithrandir - on second thought, maybe you better stick to Gandalf. It's easier to spell than Mithrandir. Incidentally, those students who stole my tea - I did not actually make the tea, it is my tea for. Ahem." Gandalf trailed off. "Other purposes. You should not drink it."

"Other purposes?" Kala asked, worried.

Miss Cam smirked.

"Won't it be a wonderful surprise to find out? All right, read chapter seven, 'Bring Your Enemies Down With Laughter: A Guide To Idiotic Elven Names' for next time. Class dismissed."

The class left quietly, no one feeling particularly cheerful at all. It is hard to be cheerful when your mind is mentally throwing up, after all. Only Lina was somewhat happy (though she was not looking forward to Evil Minions. The Witch-Wall had apparently been polished for the occasion), humming softly as she made her way towards the library.

The library was fairly quiet, only Rose was huddled over a thick book on 'How To Intimidate The Young - A Lifetime of Fear in 10 Easy Steps'.

"How goes Elrond's great project?"

"Oh, swell," Rose replied without looking up.

"He settled on any particular approach yet?"

"He reckons you can never go wrong with fear."

Lina chuckled, remembering Elrond's great speech at dinnertime in the staff section the day before. The Elf Lord had decided to attempt to end all '10th Member Fanfics', an almost impossible task (even with a research assistant). But at least it gave him something else to focus on than rant at the students and sing his jingle (a jingle to make the Eurosong contest proud, really. Lina could even imagine Elrond performing it, with Elven backup singers and harps. 'And for Middle-earth, 12 points!').

A few of the mini-Balrogs were interestingly enough looking at a book entitled 'Supervisor: How To Be the Superest of Them All'. What were those little demons up to?

Come to think of it, the mini-Balrogs had been in hard training lately. And not just to be better at guarding, Lina had seen them practice writing and sitting at desks. It was almost as if they were practicing being - well, bureaucratic.

Miss Cam came marching in, looking terribly annoyed.

"Brandybook, Gloifendell, Glion - better get down to the kitchen. Some of the students had already taken a sip of Gandalf's tea and are shining so white they could be a Colgate ad for whitening. Honestly, they think that glow just comes of itself, and you turn from grey to white just like that? Anyway, Ragna wants to try to help them, so better go save them."

The three mini-Balrogs zoomed off, leaving Miss Cam to sink down in a chair.

"You all right?" Lina asked without even thinking.

"Yes, yes. I need a vacation. The mini-Balrogs's understanding of paperwork means using it to build a nest."

"Why do they need to know how to do paperwork?" Lina asked, alarmed. Several doom's day scenarios were played out in her mind - the mini-Balrogs taking over the tax department, the mini-Balrogs taking over the government.

"So they can be supervisors for the graduates, of course. Did you not read the small print on the back stating that upon graduation, you would get a mini-Balrog supervisor to make sure you follow the principles of OFUM?"

"Um, no."

Miss Cam grinned. "So none of the students know?"

"Not really."

"Oh my. How splendid. What did you think we would do with all the mini-Balrogs?"

"Umm. Keep them, I guess?"

"What would I need a mini-Balrog army for? They spawn faster than we can keep up. I should get a mini-Balrog list-keeper, actually."

Glancing down, Lina noticed that a terrified bunny was hopping down by her feet, a Nuzgul in pursuit.

"That would be our missing student. I better get her to Gandalf's - if I can tear him away from his new fangirl movement, 'Gone For Gandalf's'. Next thing you know, we will actually have 'Rancid for Ragna's'. Good grief."

"Perhaps if we had more male students that weren't Uruk-hais, it would help," Lina suggested. "Hormones might be less focused on one particular target then."

"Not a bad idea. Perhaps I will suggest it to the Headmaster. Come here, bunny-student."

She picked up the struggling bunny, giving the Nuzgul a hard stare. The Nazgul-bunny hopped off, sulking.

"No rest for the wicked," Miss Cam said with a sigh. "Oh yes, and if you mention the plans for the mini-Balrogs to become supervisors, I will have to duck you in a vat of urple. This could be fun. The look on the students's faces - I think the whole staff should be there for that moment."

A mini-Balrog supervisor. Lina sighed. That ought to be fun - but hey, at least it was a permanent souvenir from Middle-earth.

She just wished it wasn't so - Evil.

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