19. Where There's a Way...
She awoke to the smell of breakfast. A mix of bacon, eggs, something strangely forest-y, and newly baked bread were driving her brain mad. Definitely breakfast.
Opening her eyes, she stared up at the ceiling. It was closer than she remembered, and she couldn't quite recall having an axe by her bed, either.
“Oy,” she muttered, feeling relieved that the hangover was gone at least. Lifting her head, she took in the room.
Sunlight came in through a window high up (or relatively high up, the room being rather low), filling the room and reflecting back from the polished weapons. It gave her the same feeling Sundays used to give her – calm, quiet and dignified.
There were no signs of Gimli, however. And the smell of breakfast was doing strange things to her mind. It was calling to her.
'Liiiiiiiiiina,' the smells said, 'come eeeeeat us.'
She wasn't even aware of getting up and trotting down the stairs, to the great hall where a table had been set. Suddenly she was just there.
Miss Cam was throning at the end of the table, attention fully on a book ('Courtship For EvilDoers: The Do and Don'ts'). Perhaps she wouldn't notice…
“Good morning, miss Holling.”
“You better dig in before the hobbits come – you'd think with two breakfasts, they wouldn't clear the table at the first one, but they sure do. How so much food can fit into such a small being is beyond me.”
Hesitantly, Lina reached for a bread – and nearly fell off the chair when it wriggled against her hand.
“BreadLegs,” she muttered, patting her 'pet'. It seemed quite happy to see her again.
“Your pet came back last night. Must have tried to find a friend in the bread basket. You'll be interested to know it's been impossible to enter the student toilets ever since due to the wailing of the Witch-King. Oh, and your Striding 101 class has been slightly postponed until the lecture theatre has been cleaned up, so take your time. There was a little – 'accident',” Miss Cam snickered. “ Miss Amber and miss Whitney tried setting a trap for one of my mini-Balrogs. Sadly, the one they tried to capture was Gandlaf, and he's rather fond of his sleep, so waking him was not a great idea.”
“My wonderful mini-map of Middle-earth all ruined,” Aragorn sighed, dropping down on a chair. Lina hadn't even heard him enter. “I'd used hours perfecting it. Bilbo will not be happy, I used his kettle to make Barad-dûr.”
“Oh yeah, one of the girls tried to throw that at Gandlaf, didn't she?” Miss Cam sounded slightly amused.
“Did he eat it?” Frodo asked, appearing out of nowhere on the chair next to Lina. She nearly choked on her bacon bit.
“Frodo, kindly don't do that. You know that drives Sauron mad,” Miss Cam said, but she didn't sound terribly annoyed.
“Does it?” Frodo smiled innocently, exchanging a glance with the other hobbits that were coming down the stairs.
“Oh come on, he made Middle-earth miserable, we're just repaying the favour,” Merry grinned, and managed to dive for the mushroom basket just ahead of Pippin.
“Yes, but we're the ones who have to live with the indoors thunderclouds suddenly appearing whenever you two have done something,” Aragorn said and sent them a glare, then reached for the butter. “Good morning, Boromir.”
“Good? Speak for yourself,” Boromir replied, looking like he'd witnessed his own funeral. “Why did I have to have the room next to Faramir?”
“Because you're brothers?” Sam suggested. “Give me that mushroom bowl, Pippin, I was the one that found them.”
“Him and Éowyn keep on going at it…” Boromir muttered. “Not a moment's peace. I keep telling them, Middle-earth is in no desperate need of repopulation.”
“There, there,” Miss Cam said soothingly, just as Legolas entered, looking slightly haggard and with dirt all over.
“Dwarves,” he muttered loudly enough for everyone to hear. “One of these days… 'Oh no, there is no danger of this cave collapsing. Oh no.'”
“It wouldn't have if all your little fans hadn't tried to follow us and digging through into the cave instead of locating the entrance,” Gimli replied, walking in just a few feet behind.
Legolas just rolled his eyes. “Why did you have such a sudden urge to go there in the first place? Do you not have enough gems?” the elf remarked, sounding sour.
Lina stared desperately at the table and didn't dare look up. She could feel eyes on her nevertheless.
“Oh,” said Legolas, and now he sounded equally amused and joyful. “I see. That's wonderful Gimli, that is…”
“Shut up,” the dwarf muttered.
Lina still didn't dare look up, feeling her cheeks coloured. She more felt than saw Gimli taking a seat next to her and Frodo giggling on her other side.
There was a loud scream from the hallway, and they all watched Knight Obi run screaming past, clutching a book. Seconds later an old man on short legs (but very large arms) came running after her, yelling “Ghân-buri-Ghân will love you! He wants beautiful lady!” and mere seconds after that Saruman came running, yelling “My spell book!”
Everyone at the table looked baffled for a moment.
“I guess she tried making a spell to woe her particular choice of affection and that didn't go very well,” Miss Cam said, hiding a smirk.
Then there was a loud crash and a yelp.
“I got it!” called Thundera Tiger from the entrance. “All is under control.”
“You girls never give up, do you?” Aragorn said to Lina, who squirmed slightly in embarrassment.
“You know what they say – where there's a will, there's a way,” she said lamely.
“Well, you know what I say,” Miss Cam said briskly. “Where there's a way, there's a Miss Cam blocking it.”
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.