49. Alas, What a Mental Image!
Dwimordene gave me a plot Nuzgul bunny. Ta muchly, Your Evilness
All too soon vacations come to an end, and new semesters come to a start.
Unless of course you liked classes. Then you'd be jumping for joy that the third semester had started at OFUM. But even the most dedicated student would probably not be happy with the first subject of the new semester. Or more specifically, the teacher.
“You AGAIN?” the whole class moaned, as the teacher for 'Alas, No Dude Here: Languages in Middle-earth' stepped into the lecture theatre. Even Celebrían and Arien looked wary.
“Yes, once again you shall all have the pleasure of me as a teacher,” Elrond relied. “I am sure you are all as thrilled as me.”
“I'm happy!” Sorne protested.
“I am not,” Elrond replied. “Now, the subject is languages in Middle-earth. We will briefly touch on the many languages spoken, as well as the things we do not say. That means your modern slang, students. If someone utter such words in this class, Celedrian and Elond will be happy to teach you to scream in the proper Middle-earth way.”
The class groaned.
“That explains the long booklist,” Lillian muttered. “I thought I'd gotten the list of new books available in the library by mistake.”
“No, that one is actually shorter,” Himlaithiel replied.
Lina only smiled. Elrond had been asking advice on clothing to wear yesterday ('Purple or yellow? Which is most terrifying?'), so she'd had a fair idea he would be the teacher.
“We shall begin with the language of Men,” Elrond went on (and he had gone with purple).
“Oh, English?” a student said, forgetting the cardinal rule of 'Never blurt anything out in Elrond's class, he will blurt back at you'.
“No,” Elrond said through clenched teeth, giving the student the Elven Death-Stare. “Not English. No one in Middle-earth speaks English. The language is called Westron, or Common Speech.”
“How come we understand you now then?” Paul asked (the only student to love Toey, he had even started the cult of 'Spread Seedy Spelling'. It seemed to be going quite well).
“How come Sauron is here, yet Frodo has the Ring? How come Boromir is still alive? How come I have not sent you all out as orc-fodder?” Elrond said grimly. “All valid questions which you will never get the answers to, because it is 'none of your business'. See, I can master your way of speaking. You should then be able to master Middle-earth phrasing.”
“No worries,” Jo said confidently in her Australian accent.
“I can see this will take time. But fear not. I have plenty of time.” Elrond smiled. “You, on the other hand, have not. For next week, a thousand words essay in Westron of the consequences of speaking English in Middle-earth. Winning Legolas over is not an acceptable conclusion.”
“Bummer,” Aralome muttered.
”So, let us open 'Waking the Westron Within', the chapter on 'Alas Is An Asset', please. Read it, we will discuss it when you have finished”
The class began the hard task of lifting the book onto the desks without cursing (which was sure to result in another lecture from Elrond, and all the lunch eaten by the hobbits by the time class was dismissed), Lina managed it at the second try. All the axe practice was beginning to pay off.
She smiled. The break sure had been interesting. Especially the… ehm… theatre play the Valor had preformed. Miss Cam had probably given them permission to keep them busy. The play had been rather….
Interesting. It had been a re-enactment of Dagor Dagorath (the end of the world, but you didn't find that out until they started running around and attacking you. That way it was more an accurate portrayal, apparently, since very few of the students had known what it meant), complete with audience participation. Despite some lighter injuries, it had been a roaring success (literally). Now the Valor had taken the play on tour, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
There was just the normal mini-Balrogs to deal with now. Not that that wasn't trouble enough. There was even a Treebread now, who had become a sort of uncle for BreadLegs, probably feeling a bond through the similarity of names.
Lina just hoped she got one of the Gimli-spawned mini-Balrogs as supervisor (and not 'Golem')– that is, unless she managed to…
Okay, best to focus on the uses of 'Alas' and not foolish hopes.
“Hey, I got you something in Minas Tirith,” Dot whispered. “You should have come. It was a wonderful week, even when Rain spotted Rosie and tried to lock her into the 'Foot-hair care for hobbits' place and the Nuzgul came to the rescue. For rabbits they sure kick ass.”
“I had fun here while all of you were away,” Lina whispered back. “Oh, and I found out where Éomer has been this whole time.”
“Oh, where?” asked Curedhel excitedly.
“Therapy. You see, when they started this, to get everyone to agree to participate, the OFUM leadership sent possible staff some stories to show why this University was needed. And sadly, there was a teeny weeny mix-up in the mailing department. They sent Éomer a… ahem… differently paired slash story than the intended Éomer/Legolas.”
Lina shuddered. “You really don't want to know.”
“Sure we do! How bad can it be?”
“A Britney Spears songfic with Aragorn and Sauron being lovey-dovey.”
There was a long, stunned silence. Elrond was too busy giving the Death-Stare to a student chewing gum and at the same time making her hair become gum to pay attention to the conversation.
“So he has been recovering in therapy,” Curedhel muttered. “Poor, poor Éomer. I should comfort him. After I wash my brain and scrub that image away.”
“I'm after you,” Dot muttered miserably. “Alas, what a mental image!”
“What mental image?” Cenire asked. And thus the horror spread. It wasn't all for nothing though – for if that didn't teach you when to say 'alas', nothing ever would.
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.