13. The Curse of the Valinor Vegetable Soup
She became aware of pain. Her head was throbbing, her arms were throbbing, and lo and behold, her legs were throbbing too. And she felt bruised. It was a new sort of pain this, it seemed less localised and more… Everywhere.
“You awake, lass?” the gruff voice asked.
“No, I'm dead,” she replied dryly, relived to realise she could still feel her feet.
“You don't look dead.”
Opening her eyes, she looked straight at Gimli, who sat by her bed. He looked slightly dusty and grim, but not really annoyed.
“I dug you out after the wall fell on you,” he explained, “and your roommate has suffered a slight accident, so I thought I'd best make sure you were fine.”
“Accident?” Lina muttered, trying to remember what had happened. She felt like she had been hit by a great piles or rocks… Oh. The Witch-King wall. At least now she knew never to pat a wailing wall ever again.
“She climbed a tree and unfortunately there was a beehive in that tree. Luckily, Legolas was nearby. I'm told she will be fine after all the swellings go down.”
Dot climbed a tree? Had to be some ruse to attract Legolas's attention.
“The healer was by earlier. You should rest. I best be going.” And with that he rose, trotting towards the door.
“Gimli?” Lina called out. “Thank you.”
His face broke into a slight smile. “Next time, remember that evil comes in many shapes, including walls.”
To her astonishment, Lina couldn't help but smile. She smiled even wider when she found a tray of food placed on the desk, although she wasn't quite sure what kind of food it was. It looked quite strange, especially the soup.
She ate it all though, feeling quite hungry. It left an odd sensation on her tongue, almost burning.
“I wonder why I feel so odd
did I just eat some cod?”
She paused. That was definitely odd, it had come out rhyming.
“Rhyme I did, that can't be right
and my head feels so very light.
Is there something wrong with me?
For surely this should not be.”
Oh no. Oh no. This couldn't be happening to her. This couldn't be happening.
“I refuse to think this is true
for who here could I sue?
Curse! This is such a pain,
How will I stay sane?”
She groaned and hit her head repeatedly against the wall. What the hell was going on? She'd been perfectly fine (except for the wall-mishap) until she had..
“The cook is to blame
for me not being the same!"
Her body protested wildly as she got up, but anger was a strong motivation. She marched through the loud, crowded hall (The Urple Bandits had struck again and turned the Witch-Wall urple. What a revenge!), turned the corner and slammed right into Gandalf.
“Oh, miss Holling! I did not see you there. I was actually on my way to see you. You must have been hurt less than I thought being up on your feet already. Are you feeling fine?”
Lina merely nodded.
“Good, good. I took the liberty of cooking you a meal, I hope you enjoyed.”
“You! Ever since I ate that weird stuff
I am forced to make rhymes in a huff.”
Gandalf seemed taken aback. “Did you start talking in rhymes after eating my delicious Valinor Vegetable Soup?”
Nodding fiercely, Lina tried not to notice the curious glances sent her way.
“Odd. I have many times eaten it myself, and it has had no effect. On the other hand, you are a mortal… Perhaps giving you a Valinor soup was not such a bright idea.”
“Really? You don't say
This is such an awful day.”
“Oh dear,” Gandalf said. “You better follow me into my study and we'll see if we can sort this out.”
Trotting after Gandalf, Lina felt miserable. And to think she had felt slightly happy just a few minutes ago (and she still have no idea why). Reaching the staff section, Gandalf merely nodded to Thundera Tiger, who was playing with the mini-Balrogs (it sounded like they were playing 'Catch the elf by the hair', but that couldn't be right).
And suddenly Lina found herself in the Inner Sanctum. It seemed like every other hallway in the University, until the rounded the corner and stepped into… Magnificence.
“Wow! I feel like I am in a dream
Almost like a castle this would seem
Except this is even greater still
For all this beauty some would kill.”
Gandalf shot her a glance. “Most curious effect, yes. This way now.”
He led her through the hall and up the great stairs to a westwards facing chamber. There was no doubt it was Gandalf's, filled with books and parchments.
“Now.. I think you better drink this,” he said, reaching for a small vial. “It cured Frodo's seasickness and Bilbo's need to acclaim poetry. It might work.”
Sipping it, Lina felt better at once. Her head seemed to clear.
“I think... I can... speak normally… now,” she spoke slowly, and to her delight it did not rhyme.
“Gandalf” called Miss Cam's voice from the hall. “You better come to the kitchen. Rumour seems to have spread that miss Holling ate some of you cooking and was allowed into the staff section, and well…”
“Oh dear,” Gandalf sighed. “I think I left the special Entfood in the kitchen.” Motioning for Lina to follow, they both walked towards the kitchen area. (Lina made a mental note of where Legolas's room was before they left the staff area. Just in case)
They entered the staff section to find twenty passed out girls, all having begun to sprout ivy-green glowing leaves.
“Lina, why don't you go find me Sam? It seems we have a bit of a gardening emergency.”
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.