Author's note: Thanks to all reviewed! And, as always, much thanks to my awesome beta, JoMiSm.

Chapter 2: A Council At Bag End

The gentle, crackling fire was burning low in the grate. Thorin stared silently at the glowing embers as he pulled on his pipe. The other dwarves were asleep, slumped in various attitudes on the floor and furniture, and most of them were snoring loudly.

Gandalf gingerly (for an old man) made his way through the jumbled maze of bodies and into an armchair next to Thorin.

"So," said Gandalf as he lit his pipe, "What was it you wanted to speak to me about, other than your mission to the Lonely Mountain?"

"I need your help." said Thorin softly, his eyes flicking to Gandalf's face, his head never moving.

"I thought I had already given it."

"Not with our quest," said Thorin. "With something completely unrelated."

Gandalf took his time, blowing a large smoke ring before responding. "Please elaborate." he said at last.

"I need an army." Thorin said frankly.

"I'm afraid I don't quite qualify as that."

"No, but you can help me get one."

"I'm not sure of that, but I might be persuaded to try. What do you need it for?" Gandalf asked.

"Armies are invading the Star Wars fandom. The Jedi need our help... they can not battle these forces alone." Thorin said, his tone grave.

"We have never become involved in the affairs of other fandoms," said Gandalf, blowing another smoke ring. "Why should we now?"

"You may not have become involved in other fandoms, but the same cannot be said of others. These armies are made up of orcs."

Gandalf started visibly. "Impossible!" he cried.

"Perhaps, but true nevertheless."

"Who would do such a thing? The Necromancer?" Gandalf wondered aloud.

"The Necromancer?" asked Thorin, confused.

Gandalf clapped a hand over his mouth. "I didn't say that!" he said. "You never heard it! Forget about it!"

"Who is the Necromancer?"

"You're not supposed to know about that yet! Where did you hear about him? Just silly rumors. Go on... Do you know who's behind all this?"

"Uhmm...whatever," said Thorin doubtfully. "Saruman," he continued. "Saruman is the one who's doing this."

Gandalf started even more visibly... I mean, violently... than before. "Nonsense!" he said. "Impossible!"

He stood up and paced the floor. That is, he tried to pace the floor until he realized that he couldn't go five steps before tripping over a snoring dwarf. He then sat down again.

"Saruman cannot be evil! We trusted him implicitly! We ignored him, yes, but we trusted him."

"Then it is good that I told you of his treachery before he took advantage of your trust." Thorin replied.

"Ha!" laughed Gandalf, his tone and countenance completely devoid of mirth. "What more could he have gotten from 'taking advantage of our trust'? He already has all the power he could possibly gain."

"Not all the power. He doesn't just want power over Middle Earth. He wants to control every fandom. Star Wars is his starting point...the main hub of all fandoms. If we fail to stop him here, he will have all the world... every his power." Thorin leaned forward in his chair and whispered (for no apparent reason) impressively in true movie style: "Gandalf, we must help them."

"But we can't! Don't you see? Saruman is head of the White Council. He has his finger in every pie. We can do nothing without his approval."

"Then don't tell him." Thorin said simply.

"What?!" Gandalf was appalled at the idea.

"Don't tell him." repeated Thorin. "If he doesn't know, he cannot stop us."

"Perhaps not, but if you think you and I are powerful enough to gather an army and march them to Star Wars all by ourselves, you are very much mistaken."

"So Saruman is the only powerful personage in Middle Earth?"

"Why..." began Gandalf. His voice trailed off and his eyes widened. "Galadriel?" he whispered.

"She listens to you." replied Thorin. "You can convince her."

"No, actually, I can't... I can only relate the facts to her and hope she draws the same conclusions from them that I do."

"Are you going to relate the facts, then?" Thorin asked.

Gandalf sighed heavily. "I suppose I must. There is too much at risk if I do not."

"I agree. We cannot leave Star Wars to such a destiny, despite the fact that its cheesiness makes it deserving of this fate."

"I don't care two pins about Star Wars!" shouted Gandalf unexpectedly, though none of the heavily-sleeping dwarves stirred. "I only care that the enemy has infiltrated our top secret councils!" He got quieter. "Not that it matters much," he continued, more to reassure himself than Thorin. "Galadriel and I only ever said anything of importance in our heads to each other, so Saruman couldn't hear us anyhow."

"But you can't just let him destroy Star Wars!"

"That is for Galadriel to decide. I'll do whatever she thinks is best. I will speak to her on this subject at our next council. Until then, I can give you no assurance of our help. And I am now turning in for the night."

He rose and shuffled off, leaving a very discontented Thorin staring into the hearth as the last glowing embers faded to a dusty black.

Author's Note: Hey guys! *waves frantically to catch your attention* I'm starving for reviews here! PLEASE REVIEW! Thanks!

Oh, and I hope you enjoy the new cover image. XD Which dwarf do you like better? Fili, or Kili?