Disclaimer: I own nothing but the weirdness that comes from my brain. I do not own Naruto, or any of the characters, or Harry Potter, or any of those characters. I only hope to do them some justice as I play with them like puppets. This goes for the rest of the story, I'm only saying it once.
With such an inspiring prompt, I couldn't help myself. I haven't written a Naruto fic before, and never really bothered posting anything on the internet before, so this'll be interesting at least.
Also, be forewarned I read all the other fills for this prompt, but I've tried my best not to copy anything. Please let me know if there are any continuity issues, things that seem plagiarised (I'll only pay attention if there's a specific example) or any consistent mistakes.
I have taken inspiration from various other stories I've read over the years, and though I can probably make a good guess as to where it came from if you recognise something, it's not my intention to rip off any other authors and I can't guarantee I'll remember where it came from.
1: Don't Poke It
Laurel had been having a bad day to begin with, honestly.
She woke up after more nightmares - why did I ever expect anything else? - and got dressed enough to make some food. But then she remembered what she was doing at work, and had to shower in cold water because the heating rune finally gave up the ghost, then change again.
The food was partially burned, because she'd been in the process of still waking up, and Laurel was never the kind to magic it all better unless it was really important. Even if she had a spell to 'unburn' food. She was pretty sure that didn't exist.
She got into her Unspeakable robes, mourning the lack of sleep-ins, but welcoming the built-in anonymity-simulating runes. No fan had ever recognized her on the job, and by this stage her bosses were beyond caring. One of the first things she'd done once they had proved their value was embroider them inside the hem of every set of robes she owned. Freedom at last! She didn't ever have to deal with rabid fans while shopping ever again.
It was one of the best moments of her life, frankly. Up there with that first stunned gasp for air when Voodletort (Laurel had never had trouble with the taboo, honestly. The twins had started the ridiculous exercise in fifth year to make her feel better) was dead and everyone was just trying to comprehend it. Or receiving her Rune Mastery for making a pensieve successfully, or using that mastery to bring one of her childhood wishes to fruition.
As the witch pulled on the navy uniform robes, she tripped over the chest of drawers at the bottom of her bed, somehow. Considering she'd taken a single step, that the thing had been there as long as she'd been inhabiting the room, and that it wasn't like she didn't know it was there, Laurel was truly impressed with her misfortune.
Hermione had said she'd be dragging the copper-haired woman out on some kind of trip and to pack for the weekend, so Laurel grudgingly shoved her emergency 'a world is ending' bag into her pocket to sit next to her 'you'll never take me alive' combat pack. She hadn't packed the essentials the night before due to getting absorbed in a particularly fantastic novel Ginny had recommended. It was a little raunchier than the green-eyed woman usually went for, but not badly written enough she'd wanted to throw it across the room.
Laurel grabbed her notes (which she shouldn't have taken home, but no one ever really cared if there was no risk of an information leak) and shoved them in her other pocket, double-checked she had her wand on her, and stepped outside her wards in order to apparate to the ministry.
She arrived just in time to nearly have a box of contraband creatures dropped on her head, a screeching owl in her face, and another ministry worker appear basically on top of her. After three simultaneous near- misses, the war reflexes she still couldn't kick being the only thing between her and an explosion of frustrated fury, Laurel resisted the urge to kick the man in the shins and readjusted her hood huffily.
After finally entering the elevator along with the ten other people going to completely different floors and selecting her usual destination, she suffered through her feet getting trodden on six more times than normal and an elbow to the face by some flailing idiot.
Just because she was shorter than most people, and he was having an argument with one of the memos-!
Laurel forced herself to breathe, and move on, stalking out of the elevator while hissing like a kettle. Even if it was just nonsense in Parseltongue, it still freaked everyone else out. Yes, she could be a bit vindictive sometimes, but after her morning the witch needed to vent a little. It wasn't like she'd done any permanent damage.
She reached the corridor of the Department of Mysteries where her office was located, Avada Kedavra green eyes focusing on the new memo nailed to her door. Well, she said nailed, but it was just magically stuck there, quaintly informing her she'd acquired a new object that had eaten a wizard after his friend had tampered with it. Laurel was paraphrasing and editing it, and there were info gaps because sometimes they wanted to get different perspectives and see how many reached the same conclusions, but it sounded interesting. Admittedly, there was even less info than usual, but it wasn't something to be overly concerned with. It happened.
Laurel pushed open the dark-washed wooden door, seeing the object in question sitting on the left side of her desk on her 'inbox' tray. Her lips curled into a bemused smile while she resisted the urge to burst out laughing. It was a dusty old tin lamp, just like the one from 'Aladdin'.
Hermione had made a movie night compulsory after the war, but they'd started with Disney and gone on from there. It'd been fun - which had been the whole point, Laurel guessed. Her brunette friend had been determined to inform her and Ron about the wonders of muggle pop-culture.
She shook her head, forcing herself back on track. "Alright then," she muttered under her breath, and set her notes down on the empty space for sorting later.
The pale-skinned witch looked around her office, eyes pausing on the various posters she'd stuck on the wall. It wasn't very professional of her to have Quidditch paraphernalia pasted behind her desk where anyone who came in would have to see, but she took pride in her group's successes after the end of war. Laurel had one of the Holyhead Harpies - particularly for the smug, winking Ginny - and the Chudley Cannons, who kept Ron's Quidditch-loving heart beating. Dean had given her an animated sketch of her Third Year Gryffindor team with Wood as captain, and another of Sixth Year when Laurel had been running the show herself.
She had a signed one from Viktor Krum where he looked as broody as he ever had, from his late teens as an International Quidditch star. It was a gag gift, and she'd replied with her wanted poster signed and framed in return.
Fred and George had given her one of their advertising posters once, which she'd started collecting, and she was up to five by that point. One for the pyrotechnics and fireworks, the defense section, the various live animals and pets, the skiving snackboxes and the portable swamp.
Smiling, Laurel turned back to her work, and the new toy to examine, "Let's have some fun!"
The best part about her new job? The never ending stream of mysteries, puzzles and curiosities to investigate.
Laurel would say it was an accident to anyone who ever asked, but it wasn't entirely down to chance. She'd just come back from a lunch break, and hadn't replaced her magic-containment gloves since another co-worker needed to borrow them. The green-eyed woman had accidentally brushed too close to her desk, and the pile of paper she'd dumped the lamp on had wobbled precariously, and fallen.
Intellectually she knew the lamp could fall and nothing terrible would happen, but seeker instincts demanded she catch it, and so catch it she did.
As soon as her skin touched the thing, the sounds of a male voice chanting filled her ears. She was stuck as if hit by a freezing spell, just like the Cornish pixies in second year. The chanting reached a crescendo, Laurel heard her full name, repeated thrice, and then there was a pulling sensation, and with an awful slurping noise like a child sucking through a mostly-empty straw, she was suddenly some place else. Magic thrummed through her skin like the vibrations that made a gong ring, and she felt it settle inside her bones.
The walls were curved all around her like she was in some kind of metallic fishbowl, and shining like electrum, though she couldn't discern the source of light. There were thousands of scratch marks on the walls, some blood drops on one side of the circular base, and a few ragged scraps of richly-coloured fabric. On the walls were an abundance of runes, catching in the light when she shifted her position. It was nearly reflective enough to see herself, but she could mostly just make out a vaguely-black silhouette topped with copper.
Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted movement, and swivelled to see the marks on the room, signs of habitation from the previous person were slowly growing smaller, like the lamp was healing itself, making itself anew.
While her attention was on her surroundings, it shifted to her wrists as soon as Laurel moved to draw her wand. On her bare skin, under the small - impractical - bell sleeves, she felt the weight of metal rubbing against her flesh, not cold, but only as warm as she was herself.
Laurel tugged up one sleeve, in order to get a proper look at her new jewellery. A metal band, only one centimetre wide, and flat like a tattoo, rested between the prominent bones of her wrist and where her hand widened out into her palm. It was the same colour as the walls around her, and clearly some kind of binding magic.
She flexed cautiously, and was bewildered when the metal moved with her so it never actually cut into her, but it obviously wasn't going to come off. If she tried to pry beneath it, her fingers would either skip over, or push into her skin, like it was actually a tattoo. By holding it up so the light shone through it, it seemed to be formed entirely of runes, just condensed and woven over itself so many times it had become solid. What she could decipher of it so far was not looking good, with recurring elements of 'binding', 'vitality', and 'docility' with a few others interspersed just often enough that it wasn't boring.
Laurel groaned in exasperation, rubbing absently at the bridge of her nose before dragging the hand down her face. In doing so, she found another band around her neck, though for obvious reasons she was unable to confirm her suspicions that it was exactly like the ones now adorning her wrists. "What have I gotten myself into now?"