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Little Bits of Junk, part 4 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Little Bits of Junk, part 4
Title: Little Bits of Junk
Harry Potter/Raiders of the Lost Ark
Neville Longbottom/Marion Ravenwood

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Previously, in LBoJ:
Bill Weasley and Kingsley Shacklebolt told Gran Longbottom that a brooch with her name on it was left in place of an item stolen from the British Museum, an Egyptian artifact called the Feather of Maát, which has magical properties. Neville is accidentally sent back in time to the 1920s, when the piece was originally stolen, and Kingsley takes advantage of it, instructing him to steal it back. While there, Neville encounters Marion Ravenwood, the daughter of the archaeologist who found the piece (Marion reveals that she actually found it while on the dig with him). He also encounters a fashionable young couple, Tom Riddle and Mertysa Marvolo. Mertysa is wearing the brooch. After dinner, Marion and Neville go to the exhibits and Neville learns a bit more about Marion's past, then Marion tries to kiss him in an alcove off the main gallery. He realizes she's drunk, and is trying to refuse her when they hear glass shatter outside.




"What the--" Marion drew back, frowning, then turned on her heel and headed back to the main gallery, ripping the necklace from her neck and holding it, forgotten, in one hand. Neville matched her step for step, but he was further back than she was, and still behind her when she stepped out into the moonlight, hands balled into fists on her hips. "Hey! Whaddaya think you're--"

She was thrown back with great force.

Neville caught her, but they were both pushed into the wall behind them.

Mertysa Marvolo stood beside the case that held the Feather of Maát, her facade of easy beauty broken entirely. Her lips were drawn back in a snarl, her hand raised, her fingers bent into claws.

Her empty fingers.

It took Neville a moment to register it--that had been a powerful blast for wandless magic. He didn't know why she wouldn't have a wand, and didn't have time to care. He raised his own toward the shattered case and called, "Accio Feather!"

Mertysa made a grab for it, but she hadn't seen it quickly enough. It flew into Neville's hand.

Marion's eyes were wide circles. "How did you-- what's going--"

"Later," Neville said.

Mertysa raised her hand again, and Neville realized that he had nowhere to back up to except for a closed off room. He felt a tug at the wand in his hand and snapped it back away from her.

"We have to get away from her," he told Marion.

"No kidding."

Mertysa had already gathered herself again and that unpleasant smile was on her face. "Not very powerful, are you?" she asked Neville. "Let's see how you stand against--" She stopped, and Neville heard footsteps blundering through the drawing room beyond.

"D'you have it?" Tommy Riddle whispered loudly.

Mertysa hissed sharply and lowered her hand as he lumbered drunkenly in. "Some thieves got to it before us. I think we should take it away from them."

"Right, right. Terrible thing, stealing from your host," Riddle slurred.

Marion sidled backward, looking down in a terrified way, grasping at Neville's hand.

Pulling at Neville's hand.

"You don't want to hurt us," Neville said. "We're the same, aren't we?"

Mertysa laughed, looking sideways at Riddle with an almost frightened expression on her face. "Hardly."

Behind him, he could still feel Marion moving slowly and unobtrusively. His mind was working at a strange, quick pace. She had no wand, and as soon as Riddle had approached she had... what? He could use magic against her--at least he thought he could, as long as he was armed and she wasn't--but something told him that her secret might have more power over her. "I'm sure you don't want any trouble..." he said.

"From you?"

"From me."

"And you could--"

"RUN!" Marion yelled, tugging hard on his hand and pulling him back into the alcove. She threw one of the mannequins toward the door as Mertysa tried to come through. Neville heard the thud as she fell. He pushed the other one over to block the door further, though not for long. Marion continued to tug him through the room. She pulled open a small door hidden behind a free-standing display case and dove down a dark stairway. Neville slammed the door behind them, raised his wand, and said, "Colloportus!" He heard Mertysa hit the door a moment later and start shaking the handle and pounding on it.

Marion slowed when they reached the bottom of the stairs. "What'd you do to the door?"

"I sealed it."

"Will she be able to get through?"

"Not until her friend leaves. Maybe not then. Not without a wand. I hope." Neville bit his lip. "You're, er, not supposed to have seen that. I'm supposed to modify your memory, though I'd guess you'd do better to have someone from the Ministry of Magic do it." It occurred to him to wonder why they hadn't arrived yet, actually, with several spells being thrown in a Muggle area, but, as with Mertysa's missing wand, he had no time to muse on the subject.

"Modify my memory? I don't think so."

"You're not meant to know about this."

"Yeah? So why'd you... Shh." She looked up. Neville could hear voices now. They crept up the stairs to hear better.

"...doing in here?" a man asked.

"Oh, Tommy and I were just coming to look at the lovely pieces again," Mertysa said, her voice low and pleasant again. "And we heard the glass break. It was that boy who was sitting with Ravenwood's daughter. She brought him back here, and he took it."

Marion winced.

"Marion wouldn't help someone steal," another voice said, and Neville thought it was Professor Ravenwood's. "Especially that. She found it."

"And possibly doesn't want it sold," another man said.

"Probably not worth much, anyway," Tommy Riddle said. "They went through that door."

The door was rattled again then, quite hard, but the spell held.

"Can they get out?"

"There's door to the gardens down there."

"Well, let's find them."

Much shuffling came after that, and Marion gave Neville a frightened look and took his hand in both of her own. When the movement slowed, almost enough for Neville to be comfortable opening the door, he heard Tommy Riddle say, "Are we going after them?"

"No," Mertysa said. "I think we'd best go back to the party and look innocent."

"They'll talk."

"Of course they'll talk, Tommy. That's why you and I are going to go back and dance and socialize. We certainly wouldn't do that if what they're going to say were true, now would we?"

There was a clacking of high heels, and then silence.

"Are they gone, do you think?" Neville asked.

"Only one way to find out." Marion reached for the door handle.

Neville pulled her down. "No," he said. "There is another way. You've seen quite a lot already. You may as well see more... if there's anything to see." He glanced to either side, then put the headband around his forehead, letting the feather rest above his nose. "Do I look like an idiot?" he asked.

She nodded. "Oh, yeah."

"Well, let's see if this works." He closed his eyes and frowned, having no idea how to activate the Feather. In front of him, Marion was biting her lip anxiously.

And he could see her.

"It works," he whispered. He turned toward the door, and could see the alcove beyond it, then cast his mind further and saw the drawing room. "There are still people up there," he said. He tried to see further--there were still people dancing and eating with the main group, apparently unaware that anything unusual had happened

"What about the ones checking the door down here?"

"I'm not sure how..." Neville focused his mind as well as he could trying to remember the voices of the men who were going to see if they'd come out the outer door. Nothing happened. He thought of Marion's father specifically, of the intense look on his face at dinner while he'd spoken to Holmwood and now he was coming down the hillside, to the place where the cellar wall became visible as the ground dipped below. A wooden door was set deep in the wall near the bottom of the hill.

Holmwood stopped and reached for the door handle. Neville heard a rattle in the distance, but his eyes were on the group before him. Holmwood turned and shook his head. "The door locks from the inside," he said. "They couldn't re-lock it if they'd left."

"Are you sure?" Ravenwood asked.

"Yes. It's a wooden bar across the door."

"Then they're still in there. We'll unstick the door off the alcove and bring them up," a stranger said.

The rattled again, and Neville opened his eyes. He could see Marion in the dimness, biting her lip. "What is it?" she asked.

"They're going to come up around here again. We can slip outside."

"Why don't we just tell them what happened?"

He took a deep breath. "Because we have the Feather out of here."

"You are stealing it, you son of a--" Marion made to slap him, but he caught her wrist. "You're just using me. My great judgment again. You're using me to take something from Dad!"

"No, I'm not. Really, Marion, I didn't expect to meet you at all. But this... it doesn't belong here, and I have to take it somewhere safer."

"Right. And she's just trying to save the world."

"I doubt that." He sighed. "Marion, I can't convince you. I wouldn't know where to begin. All I can do is say that I'm sorry if I hurt you. Tell them you chased me down here, but I got away. If the Ministry doesn't come first and modify all of your memories."

"Where do you think you're--"

Neville raised his wand. "Shacklebolt priori locum!"

In the darkness of the cellar, a bright window opened, and the light from Gran's drawing room poured in. The table on which Neville's birthday presents had been piled was tipped over now, spilling several new robes onto the floor among the shards of a vase and dispirited flowers. It seemed to be at floor level, though to dive into it, he would seem to be going into empty space above the stairs here, but--

"What's going on, Longbottom?"

He looked back. "I'm taking it away, Marion. I know it's yours and I'm sorry, but I have to get it back to someplace safe."

"To her?" Marion asked, and Neville turned.

Through the shambles of the drawing room, he saw a thin figure in black robes. She was scurrying forward crab-like, her mask askew, the Feather of Maát still hanging between her eyes, a mirror of it on his own. Her fingers were blood-stained. Neville looked more closely at the window and saw a motionless form. What he took for a moment to be a shadow was a spreading darkness beneath him.

"Ooo," Bellatrix said. "Look who's been a little fool! Think you can take it, do you? Think you can defeat the heir of Slytherin?" She lunged forward, and one bony hand broke through the window, into the cellar.

Marion screamed.

"Finite incantatem!" Neville said, and the window closed on Bellatrix's frustrated shriek.

"All right," Neville said. "Perhaps not yet. We have to get out of here."

Marion was breathing quickly, looking at him in terror. "What in the hell is going on here?"

"Let's get out of here before they come back here," Neville said. He cast his gaze toward the outside. The area around the door was clear. He took Marion's hand and led back her down to the bottom of the stairs, fumbling through the dark cellar to the wooden door near the back of the house. He opened it, and moonlight and cool air flooded in. "Come on," he said. "We have to get away."

Marion looked over her shoulder, and slipped out after him, closing the door.

Neville looked around. "I don't know where the Ministry is," he said. "I mean, I suppose, if we went to London... But I don't know who they are now and they won't know me, and... And I need to take this out of time. I need it to be nowhere at all."

"That woman was crazy."

"Trust me, I know." Neville touched her shoulder. "Marion, please. The only way to keep her from getting it is to make sure it never gets to the British Museum."

Marion drew back and looked at him shrewdly, her drunkenness falling away like a light cloak. "All right," she said. "I'll let you get out of here. But you're going to do some talking before I let you out of my sight. Got it?"
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Comments
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: March 19th, 2005 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I've been looking forward to this. I mean, the next chapter, not the specific events.

Yeeowwwwwww.

Bellatrix approaching the window was really unnerving. Great imagery.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: March 19th, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was just about to bug you to update, but luckily, I didn't need to. Neville's speaking voice is a little off - a bit too authoritative, I guess - but you've definitely got everyone else down.

And Mertysa knew what Tom would do if he found out! Goes to show what she thinks of the relationship, that's for sure.
maple_clef From: maple_clef Date: March 19th, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent, an update! I have to second the person who said that the image of Bellatrix lunging towards Neville and Marion was particularly scary! The "priori locum" charm is a nice touch, and I'm intrigued about the Feather itself and how it'll be used as the story develops.

Oh, and possible typo (sorry!):
I'm assuming it's supposed to be "Because we have to get the feather..."
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