Title: The Proper Banishment of Wrackspurts
Word Count: 549
Summary: You never know where – or when – a portkey might take you.
Disclaimer/Author's Notes: I am, as I have always been, only a textual poacher. This was written for a crossover fic meme on LiveJournal, at the request of "megglez13" .
One moment she was on a ladder, and the next she landed with a fairly violent thwump on a cold metallic floor that was most certainly not in the Hogwarts library. Her armful of books scattered around her – including the slim volume titled The Proper Banishment of Wrackspurts, which went skittering across the floor until it stopped just short of a pair of combat-booted feet.
Luna rolled easily to her feet, retrieving the nearest few books as she did so, and then regarded the owner of said boots; a willowy girl with long, tangled hair, slightly older and taller than Luna herself. "Hullo." Luna said, bending to gather up another pair of library books, "I hope I didn't startle you. I sometimes do, you know – startle people. Not you, of course," she added, "As we've only just met."
The strange girl cocked her head very slightly to one side, though she didn't appear to be listening to what Luna was saying. "Lorentzian spacetime." She murmured, eyeing Luna with an abstract look, "Transversable hole in the fabric of everything . . . doesn't explain it."
Luna smiled cheerfully. "Well, I hope not – a hole in the fabric of everything? Who'd mend it? You'd need a dreadfully big needle."
That seemed to please the other girl; she giggled, then bent to retrieve The Proper Banishment of Wrackspurts.
"I wouldn't." Luna said placidly. "That one's a portkey, you know."
River froze halfway through the act of crouching to pick up the book and regarded the newcomer for a moment. The blonde girl's thoughts came as a whirl of color – all swirls of lavender and sparks of brilliant pink and orange, like dancing in a sunset, warm and brilliant and strange.
After a moment River found what she was after. "Portkey. From the Latin, porta. A gate."
Silvery ripples of amusement from the stranger. "I imagine one of the Slytherins did it." She said. "They're often pulling tricks on me. Unless of course a portkey really is the proper way to banish wrackspurts." She considered this gravely for a moment, then bent to pick up the last of her dropped books. "No, I really do think it was probably a practical joke."
River straightened. "She came an awfully long way."
The blonde girl smiled. "I guess she did."
She crossed the room in several long strides, her pale-blue robes streaming out behind her, and stopped less than an arm's length from River, who did not move. The blonde bounced slightly on the balls of her bare feet, regarding River somewhat quizzically; then she broke into a beatific smile.
"I'll have one of the professors close the portkey just in case." She said, "You seem to have more than enough wrackspurts of your own to deal with."
With that she knelt abruptly, grasping the spine of The Proper Banishment of Wrackspurts . . .
And she vanished.
River stood motionless for a long moment, examining the spot the other girl had occupied, until Simon made his way down the steps into the cargo bay behind her.
"River?" He grasped her shoulders gently, frowning in mild, puzzled concern at the empty spot River was examining. "Who were you talking to this time?"
River giggled, an oddly delighted sound.
"The moon." She murmured. "The moon."