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13 December 2009 @ 11:09 pm
fic for dragyn_42: The Attack of the Wrackspurts (Ginny, Luna, PG)  
Title: The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Author: lyras
Recipient: dragyn_42
Rating: PG
Character(s): Ginny, Luna
Summary: As Ginny falls prey to Tom Riddle, Luna develops her own theory about what's going on. 1400 words; set during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Author's Notes: I'm so happy this exchange is running again! Thank you to virginia_bell for organising it. To my recipient: happy holidays, and I hope you enjoy this!

--

"I'm sorry to disagree, Professor, but that's wrong."

The voice lilted unfamiliarly, but its serenity reminded Ginny of Tom. Amid the expectant giggles of the Ravenclaw girls, she glanced around and caught a scornful expression on the face of one of the boys. She seemed to be the only one in the class who didn't know the speaker - except for the teacher.

"I beg your pardon?" asked Professor Binns. He looked pale with shock, but then, all the ghosts Ginny knew were pale, so it was hard to tell.

"The goblins were defending their right to Wadebury Shire, which had been granted to them by Gryffindor's great-grandson, Ealred." The girl had long blonde hair, worn loose and tangled in a way that would have had Ginny's mother tutting, and her wide, pale blue eyes blinked earnestly as she spoke.

"I think you'll find that history..." Professor Binns imbued with word with a holy air. "...history states that Ealred signed that treaty while he and his daughter were in captivity, Miss Lumwood."

"Oh, no," the girl said, heedless of the scuffling and giggles around her. "It's Lovegood. And my father researched the Wadebury Treaty in a special investigation last year, and he's convinced that the kidnapping story was a lie circulated by Ealred's nephew to justify his takeover of the area."

"Yeah." It was the boy whom Ginny had noticed earlier. "But your dad also thinks the air's full of invisible fairies that eat your brain while you're asleep!"

"Not fairies," the girl said over the laughter. "Wrackspurts. And they don't..."

"Whatever they may be," Professor Binns interrupted sternly, "in this class we deal with historical facts, not fairytales, and history states that the treaty was signed under duress. Now, if I may continue..." His tone acquired its usual drone, and the class was once more lulled into a bored torpor.

Still, Ginny watched the blonde girl for the rest of the lesson. She wasn't pretty, but she might be interesting. It was a shame you were supposed to keep to your own house so much, because she was decidedly uninterested in the other Gryffindor first years so far. Of course, there was always Harry Potter.

She sighed and wondered if she was blushing. It seemed impossible that she could contain so much excitement and admiration without bursting, or at least blushing. She couldn't wait to get back to Tom, so that she could talk more about Harry.


* * *


The first Ginny knew about her fall was when she hit the ground, landing flat on her face but somehow unhurt, except that all the air seemed to have been forced out of her. Rolling onto her side, she squinted into the sun and concentrated on breathing while the fuzziness receded. Then the sun was replaced by a moon-face with blonde hair.

"You should be careful, Ginny. The wrackspurts can pounce when you're unconscious."

"I'm...all right," she choked, but when she attempted to lift her head from the grass she fell back, still dizzy.

"Are you sure you aren't being troubled by them?" Luna asked. Ginny opened one eye again, cautiously. "It's just, you fly perfectly - I've seen you. And you seemed to fall for no reason. You simply dropped out of the sky."

"M'OK," she mumbled.

"Well, I think you should be careful," Luna said. With the sunlight at her back, her hair looked like a halo. "It's a classic sign, you know."

I think it's me, Ginny thought. I think I'm the one who's attacking people: I think Tom's evil, and that he's controlling me. And I don't know how to stop it.

"Here." Luna helped her into a sitting position and placed a magazine in her lap.

"Daddy discusses wrackspurts in the latest issue," said Luna, "and I really think you should read it. Will you promise?"

"I - OK." If I told her, she thought, she might believe me. But then, no one else would.

No. She was going to try Harry first. He and Ron would understand.


* * *


"Hullo, Mrs Weasley. I was wondering if Ginny wanted to come out for a while?"

From the kitchen, Ginny heard her mother say, "Oh! It's Luna Lovegood, isn't it? Goodness, dearie, it's a long time since we've seen you. Ginny!"

She dropped the spinach that she was rinsing and wiped her hands on her jeans as she stepped through to the hall. "Hi, Luna."

"Luna was wondering if you wanted to go out to play," said her mother with the familiar, anxious look that Ginny had wearied of over the past fortnight.

She hunched her shoulders. "Mu-um! We're not kids."

Her mother opened her mouth and then shut it firmly. That, too, Ginny had seen frequently since coming home from Hogwarts. It was getting to the point where she would almost rather be shouted at. Instead, her mother addressed Luna.

"Does your father know you're out this far from home?"

"Oh, Daddy doesn't mind as long as I'm home for dinner," Luna said cheerfully. "Anyway, he promised to make bumbleberry crumble if I brought home enough berries, and the best patch in the county's in Bluewater Dell, so I thought I'd see if Ginny wanted to help." She looked at Ginny, who nodded.

"Well, all right. But I want you back here by five o'clock sharp, both of you. There'll be lemonade and fruit scones, and then either I or Arthur will take you home, Luna. I won't have you wandering the countryside on my watch, whatever your father thinks about it."

"That's very kind of you, Mrs Weasley," Luna said, as if people were always saying this kind of thing to her.


* * *


Bluewater Dell was nowhere near any water, as far as Ginny knew, but it was a favourite hangout for the gnomes that were evicted from the nearby Weasley garden. Ginny yelled insults at them, sneaking a glance at Luna to observe the effect of her shocking language. But Luna was staring raptly at the motley group.

"Aren't they amazing?" she said in a hushed tone. "I wonder if they'd let us get close?"

"They're not amazing when you have to spend every Sunday afternoon chucking them out of the flowerbeds," Ginny retorted. The gnomes were shouting back now, and making rude gestures, so she retaliated with a face that she'd once seen Charlie make and had then spent hours perfecting in her mirror. The gnomes bored of the game soon enough, though. Wandering through the hedge into an adjacent meadow, they began a game of football with a turnip.

"Oh, well." Luna sighed. "You're so lucky to get them in your garden, Ginny."

"Hmm." But the short fight with the gnomes seemed to have cleared a blockage in Ginny's mind, and she felt lighter as she began rooting in the bushes for the juiciest berries. The sun was hot and she'd probably come out in freckles, but it was too beautiful a day to care.

"I'm glad the wrackspurts have gone," Luna said a few minutes later.

Ginny stared at her.

"The ones that were plaguing you at school," Luna prompted. "It was wrackspurts, wasn't it? I was getting very worried about you."

"Oh!" Wrackspurts, thought Ginny. Well, that was one way to describe Tom. "Yeah, I suppose."

"You look much better now," Luna continued, "and of course, you're safe. They never come back once they've been denied."

"He's gone," her mother had wept, squashing her close, but not close enough, while her father had paced in front of the fire and spoken of having words with the Minister about Lucius Malfoy. "He - it - he's gone, and you're safe. You're safe, my little girl!"

Looking at Luna, whose arms were covered in scratches from the bushes, and at the pile of striped bumbleberries between them, Ginny felt for the first time that she believed her mother's words.

"Yeah," she said. "I'm safe."
 
 
 
Mollyunium on December 14th, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
Wow, that was so lovely and well-written. Very IC, too.
lyras: Luna awesomelyras on February 19th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you - very glad you liked it!
Vega Black: winter scenevegablack62 on December 14th, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Very nice work! I like the way Luna and Ginny progress through the story in parallel arcs. Ginny struggling with her experience with Tom Riddle and Luna observing and interpreting through her own unique lens.

I realy enjoyed Luna through Ginny's eyes, and I thought the choice of POV character was wonderful. I loved the way Ginny watched Luna watch her. Building their relationship around Ginny's recovery from her possession by Tom Riddle was another wonderful idea. I thought you captured both characters beautifully.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you! I'm always very nervous writing Luna but she seemed to write herself here. And I'm always fascinated by the lasting effects that Tom Riddle must have had on Ginny.
dragyn_42dragyn_42 on December 14th, 2009 06:35 am (UTC)
This was a great look at the early characters that we just dont get to see in canon.

I like the view at Ginny slowly realizing whats happening to her, and her perception of Luna trying to figure it out. Her interaction with her mother was nice, also. The way you jumped through time was intriguingly appropriate as it mirrored what we understand to be Ginny's experiences that year as Tom took her over.

Luna's characterization is great. There's the very clear perception of the world through her creatures that echoes her conversations with Harry in a couple years. The fact that the creatures may or may not exist is irrelevant as her conclusions are inevitable true anyway. I really liked reading her argue with Binns, it was a very Luna thing to do.

And the football playing gnomes made me laugh :)

Thank you very much. This was a wonderful story (and posted on my birthday, yay!)
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
I'm so glad you liked this! I was worried that it might be a bit short, but there really wasn't any more that wanted to be said.

I'm pretty fond of those Weasley gnomes. :)
(Deleted comment)
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you! Very glad you liked this.
Anagnorisisnorisis on December 14th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
Awww, I liked this! I thought you wrote 11-year-old Ginny very well: her desire to talk to Tom is very indicative of the hold he must have had on her... and the details like "[hair]... that would have had Ginny's mother tutting" just added to her voice.

I enjoyed the way you weaved the theme of Luna's wrackspurts theory throughout the fic, alongside the progression of Luna & Ginny's friendship and Ginny's 'journey' with the diary.

"Well, all right. But I want you back here by five o'clock sharp, both of you. There'll be lemonade and fruit scones, and then either I or Arthur will take you home, Luna. I won't have you wandering the countryside on my watch, whatever your father thinks about it."
This line made me wish I grew up in the Burrow or had it nearby to visit! The picture you draw of the peaceful, happy home life of the Weasleys is wonderful, and works so well to end this story on a happy, positive note.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you! I was worried that this story might be a little too slight, but there really wasn't any more to be said. I'm really glad you liked it - I like to think that these two might have been casual friends from their early days at Hogwarts.
fannyt: patronusfannyt on December 14th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, I really liked this! Luna and her Wrackspurts acting like a mirror to Ginny's experience with Tom, and seeing her through Ginny's eyes was nice indeed. And this line -- among others -- really jumped out at me:

Ginny yelled insults at them, sneaking a glance at Luna to observe the effect of her shocking language.

I found it very sweet. :)
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you! It made sense to me that Luna would see Ginny's possession by Tom in her own terms. I enjoyed writing these two, so I'm glad you liked the story. :)
Miss M.miss_morland on December 14th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this very much! Great characterisation of both girls. :-)

Some lines I loved:

He looked pale with shock, but then, all the ghosts Ginny knew were pale, so it was hard to tell.

If I told her, she thought, she might believe me. But then, no one else would.

The gnomes were shouting back now, and making rude gestures, so she retaliated with a face that she'd once seen Charlie make and had then spent hours perfecting in her mirror.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you! And thanks for pointing out your favourite lines - it's always good to know which parts worked.

Also, I now owe you a drabble! Would you like to give me a prompt? :)
Miss M.miss_morland on February 19th, 2010 08:13 am (UTC)
Re: The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Hmm... If you wanted to explore this idea somehow, that would be awesome. If not, I'm always up for something Umbridge-centric!
megan29megan29 on December 16th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Luna is one of my favorite characters, but I never can write her quite right. Your version is so very true to canon! You get her!

It's strange, b/c you write this piece from Ginny's pov, but it feels to me as if Luna is the main character. Her off-kilter remarks are more accurate than most people's banalities.

And I loved the start, with the small episode in Binns' class. Leaves you wondering which side has it right - which is, of course, the case in real life, too.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thanks so much, especially for your comments about Luna. I always feel nervous writing her, so it's great to know that she worked for you here!
PaulaMcGpaulamcg on December 16th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely and excellent. I do believe (your) Luna! I got enchancted by the very opening of the story (and I enjoyed the first scene in particular also because my Remus as a schoolboy questioned openly the truthfulness of the history taught at Hogwarts, and almost exactly in the same way, defending the goblins – and my Remus and Luna became close in her second year). It’s amazing how you immediately take us to what is your pov character’s main concern in the fic while you start offering us a vivid look at the other main character. This small piece is so exquisitely crafted that it will stay with me as a great story. I’m happy you’ve shared it and I’ve found it.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked this, and that you didn't feel it was too slight. I was a little worried about that, but there wasn't any more to be said, at least the way I saw it.
werewolfsfan: seasonalwerewolfsfan on December 22nd, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
This is so insightful without hitting you over the head with IMPORTANT CHARACTER INSIGHTS here. These little exchanges shows both girls as age appropriate and very true to how I see them later. So lovely to see that the friendship actually began early like the trio.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
This is so insightful without hitting you over the head with IMPORTANT CHARACTER INSIGHTS here.

This made me smile - thank you! It was nice to write something quiet here, and I do like to think that Ginny and Luna were at least casual friends during their early days at Hogwarts.
shiikishiiki on December 25th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
Beautiful piece! I thought you got both girls perfectly in character. The story flows along very well even with the jumps from girl to girl - they both seem to grow together throughout the story.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thank you! This was always going to be a short, episodic story rather than a long, involved piece, so I'm glad it worked for you that way.
lazy_neutrinolazy_neutrino on February 8th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
This is lovely. You evoke a time and place so beautifully in the final scenes.

This one line took me back thirty years - "Luna was wondering if you wanted to go out to play."

And Luna looking down with her hair like a halo, and Ginny's troubled, isolated state - this is a rare and precious look into Ginny's mind during CS and really, really good.

I'm glad you write.
lyraslyras on February 19th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
The Attack of the Wrackspurts
Thanks for your lovely review - I hope you're doing well? You made me smile here, anyway.

My niece is currently discovering the joys of "going out to play" with her neighbours, and I just had to sneak that line in, even though Ginny would have hated it!