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Little Bits of Junk, part 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Little Bits of Junk, part 1
Okay, as threatened. A Neville Longbottom/Marion Ravenwood fic for ithurtsmybrain. There will be several parts to it before I post a list of links to it over at that comm, though. I'll finish it first. :)

Anyway... the opening is just a plot device. I'll come back and smooth it out as I get the rest of the story down.

Title: Little Bits of Junk
Crossover: Harry Potter/Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rating: PG. Hey, it's me.




Little Bits of Junk


July 30, 1996.

Neville Longbottom had asked permission to visit his parents alone on his sixteenth birthday. He didn't know why he'd felt a need to do this, or what he expected to come of it, but the experience was disappointing. He'd let Mum pet him and smile at him, while Dad solemnly showed him a collection of dust curls he'd pulled from under his bed, which was what they did with him every time he visited--or at least every time he visited and they had some notion of who he was. He tried to tell himself that those visits were becoming more frequent, but he couldn't quite believe it. He imagined the pair of them fighting Bellatrix Lestrange, imagined them surviving for hours under the curse he'd survived for only a moment, and felt a deep pity--but only that.

After a few hours, he kissed them goodbye and left, bits of rubbish passed inot his hands like jewels. He would put them into the box where he kept the rest, of course, but he couldn't remember how he'd once spun stories about what each gift really meant. Now they were just sad tokens.

He took a Muggle bus to the Leaky Cauldron, then flooed home, feeling low, hoping Uncle Algie had something amusing in mind for the evening. Instead, he found the kitchen empty, and heard low voices coming from the drawing room. He followed the sound of them.

"...but I still don't understand why you're here," he heard Gran say as he reached the door. "I understand your concern, but this... why would you ask me? I... Neville, I wasn't expecting you so soon."

Neville entered the drawing room. Gran and Uncle Algie were sitting with two men. The elder was the Auror, Kingsley Shacklebolt, a man Neville had met only briefly, but during the rather memorable evening at the Department of Mysteries. The younger was Ron Weasley's eldest brother. Bill, Neville reminded himself, hoping he wouldn't slip and call the man Percy or Charlie or Fred.

Bill Weasley smiled. "I don't intend to spoil Neville's birthday. We can go now. We can talk about this tomorrow."

"No," Neville said, "it's all right, really. What's happened?" He sat down beside Gran.

Shacklebolt looked at Gran. "Mrs. Longbottom?"

Gran looked at Neville shrewdly, then turned back to Shacklebolt. "My grandson has proven himself admirably," she said. "What you may say to me, you may say to Neville, if he wishes it."

"Very well," Shacklebolt said. "We're here, Mrs. Longbottom, because the item stolen from the Mugle museum was replaced, quite carefully, with this." He pulled out a brooch with a large emerald in it. "Your maiden name is engraved on the back, along with several others--"

"--and I'm the only one left," Gran said, taking it with a curious, closed expression on her face. "I know. I know the names on this. But how...?"

"We don't know."

"What's happened?" Neville asked again.

"Do you know the British Museum in London?" Bill asked. Neville nodded and he went on. "They have a rather large Egyptology collection. A very small piece was stolen from in last night."

"What was it?"

"It's called the Feather of Maát," Shacklebolt said. "Nothing special about the Feather as a symbol; it's all over the place. But this particular representation was made by an ancient Egyptian wizard."

"Why was it in a Muggle museum?"

"We don't know," Shacklebolt said. "It was apparently sold to the museum for a modest fee in the Thirties. We had no idea it was there until it was reported missing. Bill has an interest in Egyptian business, and he happened to notice it."

"The only reason anyone was talking about it was that someone left the brooch there in its place, with the drawer open. Someone wanted to make certain we knew whose hands it was in."

"You-Know-Who," Neville said.

Shacklebolt nodded. "Yes."

Uncle Algie, who had been tapping his old gnarled fingers on the top of his cane, shook his head. "What would You-Know-Who want with some bit of ancient Egyptian trumpery? What does it do?"

"A wizard who wears the Feather between his eyes can see into any place he chooses to see," Bill said. "Including places protected by strong magic, like the Fidelius Charm."

"Or the protections around Harry's house in Surrey," Neville guessed.

"Well... yes." Bill looked surprised. "There were some scrolls written that talked about it, but it was made in the city of Tanis, which has been lost for very long time--buried under a sandstorm thousands of years ago. It surfaced in the nineteen-twenties, but no one has seen it since."

Shacklebolt took the brooch back from Gran. "Mrs. Longbottom, what does the brooch mean to you? Did it belong to you?"

Gran shook her head. "It was a gift. My friends and I, when we were very young. Our first year at Hogwarts." She sighed. "We were going to do everything together, of course. Grow up together, grow old together. Most of them died in the last time Lord Voldemort"--she straightened her back--"was in power. They were strong fighters. We all pooled our money at bought the brooch for our favorite teacher." She shook her head. "Isn't life odd, Mr. Shacklebolt? At the time, we would have lived and died for this woman, and now, I can't remember her name."

"Well, someone remembers her," Shacklebolt said. He raised his wand and said, "Maát priori locum," and a window opened in thin air. It showed a vast stone manor on a rolling green hill. Old-fashioned Muggle cars came and went toward the door. "This is the place where it was last known to be," he said. "It was stolen. It didn't appear in the museum for ten years; we don't know where it was in the interim. Does this place mean anything at all to you, Mrs. Longbottom?"

Gran looked at it with utter puzzlement. "I've never seen that home before in my life."

"Nothing at all?"

"I'm sorry." Gran shook her head. "I'll look through my papers if you'd like..."

"No," Shacklebolt said. "It was a bit of a long shot, really. I doubt we'd find them th-- GET BACK!"

What happened next happened too quickly for Neville to process it. There were popping sounds--in the middle of a home that was protected with security charms--and then there were three people in black cloaks and masks--a small, scurrying man, the woman who haunted Neville's dreams, and a lanky figure who was totally unidentifiable--his mask covered his entire face, and his hood was up, covering his hair. The adults in Neville's family had to dive for their wands. Having been in a secure area, they'd set them down on tables--not far, but far enough. Neville remembered seeing Gran's wand fly into Bellatrix's hand.

Spells flew back and forth, and Neville knew he drew his own wand, but he never had a chance to use it. The unknown Death Eater turned on him and said, "You're so clumsy, Longbottom. I could hear you a mile away!" Then he raised his wand, and said, "Cruc--"

Neville jumped out of the way. His feet tangled against Gran's fringed ottoman, and he went sprawling toward the carpet...

...but he never reached it.

Instead, as he fell, his field of vision was filled with the bright blue sky that appeared in the window Kingsley had opened, showing the house on the green hill, and then he was falling, further and further. Somewhere, far distant, he heard Bellatrix Lestrange scream incoherently--"No!"

And then he landed with a jarring thud on soft green grass.

"I'm--"

"Oh, no you..."

Neville rolled over and looked up at the sky, where a small window showed the drawing room. Bellatrix was leaning through it, her mask fallen away, and Neville saw a golden feather hanging between her eyes. Then a dark hand pulled her back, and the window abruptly closed on Gran's scream: "NEVILLE!"

Then there was silence and unbroken blue in the sky.

Neville got to his feet gingerly, certain that some bone had been broken in the fall, but everything seemed to be holding weight. A kind of numbness came over him.

"Gran?" he called.

No answer.

Behind him, a Muggle car chugged its way up a dirt road.

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Comments
wychwood From: wychwood Date: March 6th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool :) I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes...

For the record, though, "pet" as a verb is not used in the UK. Or at least, only as a rather archaic bit of slang, and not with the same meaning at all. Perhaps "pat" or "stroke"?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 6th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good to know. It's meant more as sort of "fuss at him," so I'll change it to that--she's kind of smoothing his hair and patting him like a dog and just... fussing.
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: March 6th, 2005 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
How cool of an opening is that?

I liked Snape, thought I thought it was odd that he would Crucio Neville rather than Stun him.

I love Neville. And I can't wait to see how Marion fits in. (...She is the brunette from RotLA, right? *blush*)

You have a typo in the beginning: "bits of rubbish passed inot his hands" Also, why does the title use "junk" when the story uses "rubbish"?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 6th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Snape, eh? Interesting guess.

He uses "rubbish" because he's echoing the title more than reflecting it. The title comes from Marion's line in Raiders, about how her father dragged her all over the world looking for his little bits of junk.
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: March 6th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
*gasp* You mean it's not Snape! I had a good theory for it, too: his hair was covered, so there was no description of grease; his face was covered, so there was no large nose... Actually, it's a pretty pathetic theory.

Ah. All right. Makes much more sense.
sarah531 From: sarah531 Date: March 6th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I need to watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark again. ;)

I really liked this, though...
vytresna From: vytresna Date: March 6th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
"--and I'm the only one left," Gran said, taking it with a curious, closed expression on her face.

That phrasing could NOT have been an accident. Awesome paralleling there; maybe other people might realize just how cool the Longbottoms are (I seem to be in the tiny minority on that.)

Yes, that feather thing definitely shows that Harry Potter does work well with Indiana Jones.

I assume you're going to do a Chrono Trigger-type scenario now, and very much hope you'll suspend disbelief better than Chrono Trigger did.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 6th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not familiar with Chrono Trigger, so I can't really answer that.

I definitely think the Longbottoms are cool, and since one salient point of the Indy series is that the magical artifacts generally work, I think they'll mesh all right. The time differential was the big obstacle.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: March 7th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Chrono Trigger is a video game. In essence, circumstances force the heroes to take a blind leap into a time portal in the future. There, they learn that the world is doomed to destruction by a monster and set out to correct that. In the process, they interfere with minor faults in their age by going back four hundred years, topple the reptilian race that warred against the cavemen, cut a long, bloody war short, and somehow still manage to be born.
cheshyre From: cheshyre Date: March 6th, 2005 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh... Intriguing opening. I can't wait for more...
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: March 6th, 2005 10:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something I just thought to type in: the whole group of girls with an odd brooch reminds me of A Great and Terrible Beauty. Have you read it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 6th, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I haven't. Interesting.
cornfields From: cornfields Date: March 7th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice! Look forward to seeing more!
marionravenwood From: marionravenwood Date: March 8th, 2005 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, of course I like it ;)
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