not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix
furiosity

Fic: [HP] What a Stupid Face you Have Here (Ginny/Luna genfic; G)

Title: What a Stupid Face you Have Here
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: G
Characters: Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Summary: In which there is a rubber duck invasion. Sort of.
Length: ~2100
Note: Written for Short Precarious Anecdote Month. Also for pokeystar's birthday (November 9, 2012) for the prompt of HP; rubber duckies. Happy birthday! :D

What a Stupid Face you Have Here


On the morning of the invasion, Ginny Weasley was taking a bath.

The bright yellow rubber duck sitting inconspicuously at the corner of the bathtub squeaked, "I am Lord Voldemort!"

"Luna, that's not funny!" Ginny yelled.

Footsteps. Luna opened the bathroom door, looking surprised. "How did you know?"

"Hard not to notice a talking rubber duck," Ginny said

"Rubber duck?" Luna asked with great interest, leaning against the door frame and adjusting her dressing gown belt tighter. "What do you mean?"

"Come off it; I know you were lurking outside and made the rubber duck talk! You just admitted it."

Luna shook her head. "No, I was in the kitchen, drawing a ketchup bunny on your breakfast eggs."

"Okay, that's a little funny," Ginny admitted. "But I couldn't have known that."

"I thought the Grackleballs told you."

"What on earth are-- no, actually, I don't want to know." Ginny said, rising out of the water. "Could you please hand me my towel?"

"Do I have to?" Luna asked. "I sort of like this view."

"You miss one hundred percent of the shots you never take," said the duck.

-

They had taken the duck into the kitchen with them and were halfway through breakfast when it spoke again.

"If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us."

"Oh yeah?" Ginny said through a mouthful of toast. "Do tell."

"To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail," the duck said.

"I don't think we should encourage it," Luna said. "It may be infested with--"

Their wizarding wireless set crackled to life. "This is an emergency broadcast from the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes to all wizarding households."

"If you are currently in the presence of a rubber duck, do not talk to it. We repeat, do not talk to your rubber duck. Further, all rubber ducks in your possession must be immediately surrendered to the Ministry of Magic. We repeat, bring or send your ducks to the Ministry, care of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes.

"This has been an emergency broadcast from the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes to all wizarding households. This broadcast will repeat itself in ten minutes."

"--Cawfles," Luna finished. "As I thought."

Ginny stared at the duck. "Never mind the Cawfles. Do you think what I said earlier counts as having talked to it?"

Before Luna could answer, the duck hovered upwards, sailed through the air, and landed on Ginny's left shoulder.

"Hey!" Ginny protested and tried to shoo it off, but though it didn't seem to have any weight at all, when she tried to lift it, it was as though she were trying to pick up something that weighed twice as much as she did.

She grabbed her wand off the table and tried to perform a Severing Charm to no avail.

"I suppose that answers your question," Luna said, coming over to help. Her efforts to remove the duck from Ginny's robes were also unsuccessful.

"When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean," the duck opined as they finally gave it up as a bad job and went back to their breakfast.

"There's no rice here," Ginny said.

"Or men," Luna added.

"Maybe it's trying to tell us that we could get rid of it with our eyes closed?"

It didn't work.

"Guess I'll have to pay a visit to the Ministry," Ginny said. Not how she had planned spending the first day of her long-awaited holiday, but a talking rubber duck attached to her shoulder would put a wrinkle in their plans to go fishing.

"I'll go with you," Luna offered. "I'd like to see the Cawfles, if they manage to isolate them."

An owl tapped its beak on the kitchen window. Ginny got up to let it in, first making a beeline to the sink with her empty plate. The owl had brought a small package; Ginny tore it open as the owl flew away.

"Oh, it's the photos from Neville and Lavender's housewarming party," Ginny said to Luna. "Come and see."

Luna put her own plate in the sink and came over as Ginny fanned the photos out. "Look, it's us with Malfoy's giraffe."

In the photo, Ginny and Luna held hands in front of a fluffy pink stuffed giraffe the size of a boarhound, their free hands waving to the camera.

Draco Malfoy had been under the impression he was attending a baby shower, not a housewarming. Ginny thought that must have been Harry's doing, from the way Malfoy had glared at Harry until after his fifth dose of Firewhisky.

"What a stupid face you have here," the duck commented.

"That's enough out of you," Ginny muttered, flicking its little rubber bill with her fingers.

-

The Atrium was in a state of colourful chaos. There were people with rubber ducks attached to various parts of their bodies -- heads, shoulders, forearms, buttocks, big toes. There were people holding ducks in their hands and people with armfuls of multiple ducks. Ducks in baskets, bags, folded-up newspapers and pet carriers.

The noise was fantastical: Ginny didn't think even a World Cup Quidditch match could compare to the cacophony here. People were talking to each other and their ducks; ducks were talking to people and themselves. A harried-looking, diminutive Ministry wizard shouted something to the people at the front of the queue, who were paying him very little mind.

The quietest person there was an extremely handsome brown-skinned man in a stylish suit and a turban. He held a large white duck under his arm: an actual, live duck, not a rubber one. He was obviously not there to take the duck in, as he hadn't joined the queue: he stood by the entrance to the lift area, observing the crowd with an inscrutable look on his face.

"He seems nice," Luna said. "Do you think he might be lost?"

"Let's go and ask him," Ginny offered, but before they could start towards the man, Hermione appeared out of nowhere next to them.

"I thought I saw your names on the visitor roster," she said. "Come on, I can get you sorted out ahead of the queue."

Without waiting for a response, she took their hands and Disapparated to her cubicle in the Improper Use of Magic Office.

"What in the world is going on?" Ginny asked, taking a seat in one of the visitor's chairs.

Hermione took a drink of her tea, set the mug back down on the desk, and sighed heavily.

"You know how the Ministry uses certain objects in Muggle homes to monitor magical activity? Underage magic detection and things like that?"

"Yeah..."

"Well, rubber ducks are one of the things they use, since they're in so many homes. The magic is activated through a Scatter-key that the Department of Mysteries looks after; it's used to manipulate a great number of magical objects at a distance and imbue new artefacts with magical power. It's used in Portkey creation, for another example."

"That's what they use to control Heliopaths, too," Luna said in grave tones, sitting down next to Ginny. Ginny patted her arm.

It was a testament to how frazzled Hermione was that she did not dignify Luna's conspiracy talk with a response. "Well, long story short, last night someone left the Scatter-key at the wrong setting, and when the researchers working on artificial sentience tried to activate their prototype device this morning, they ended up activating all the rubber ducks instead."

"Artificial sentience?"

"Intelligent creatures that aren't living, basically."

"Like the Muggle computers?"

"No, not really, but kind of. Artificial magical creatures have vast stores of knowledge and are capable of learning like people are; Muggle computers' learning abilities are far more limited. It's a project I've been excited about because it would finally create an alternative to house-elf labour in wizarding homes," Hermione said.

She tapped a fingertip on some kind of device in front of her: a flat panel similar to a writing tablet. She frowned, took another long gulp of tea, and turned back to Ginny, peering at the rubber duck on her shoulder, which had been uncharacteristically quiet since they'd reached the Ministry. Perhaps sensing its own impending doom.

"I'm the king of the world!" the duck said, as if to spite Ginny.

"You talked to it, obviously," Hermione said.

"Well, I tried," Ginny said. "For the record, that was before I heard the broadcast. It doesn't seem to make much sense -- what kind of knowledge does it have?"

Hermione shrugged. "I don't know all the details, but apparently the researchers couldn't give them language, so they gave them quotations to communicate. Anyway, don't worry, we can sever the link."

"Link?"

"Let me explain." Hermione blinked a few times, then shook her head. "No, there is too much. Let me sum up. It thinks you're its mum."

"Its mum?" Ginny exclaimed, looking sideways at the duck.

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes," the duck told her.

"This was originally supposed to be a single creature, so it had instructions to imprint upon the first human being to address it in direct speech, the same way some animal species imprint on their progenitors. This was to ensure the new creature obeyed its teacher as its learning progressed; we're really not sure why they're physically attaching themselves to people."

Hermione took another look at her writing tablet thingy. "Oh, this is such a horrid mess. It's the whole country!" she moaned. "The Obliviators are going to be working overtime for days, and with Muggle communications being so advanced, we're going to have to be in damage control mode for months -- there are already a dozen web sites and fifty blogs, look!"

She held up the tablet to show them a picture of a yellow rubber duck with the words Eff Yeah Talking Rubber Ducks! printed on top of it. "That's just one of them."

Ginny had no idea what she was looking at, so she just nodded politely.

"Is there anything we could do to help?" Luna asked.

Hermione set the tablet down, rubbed her eyes, and shook her head. "Thanks, Luna, but there really isn't anything. Let me get that thing off you, Ginny; I'm sorry to cut this short but I've really got to focus on mopping this up."

She waved her wand, and the duck fell from Ginny's shoulder. Ginny went to catch it, but it hovered aright on its own, then flew back to its perch. This time, Ginny could pick it up and move it, which she did.

"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand," the duck said, muffled by Ginny's fingers. Ginny let it go. It flew to her shoulder again.

"Aw, it likes you," Luna said.

"That's the idea," Hermione said. "The charm they gave us severs the physical link but doesn't fully erase the imprint. Here, I'll hold on to it while you go; it won't be able to find you once you leave the building."

"Actually..." Ginny looked at Luna, seeking confirmation.

Luna nodded.

"...we're going to keep it," Ginny finished.

"We've wanted a pet for a while--" Luna said.

"--but with our schedules it's impossible to take care of a live animal," Ginny said.

"Are you sure?" Hermione asked. "I mean, normally I'd have to refuse, but I know you're trustworthy, so. The Department of Mysteries will want to set up a programme to monitor you, follow-up interviews..."

"Yeah," Ginny said. "I'm kind of fond of it already. Follow-ups are fine."

"The way it squeaks is very cute," Luna said. "They can call it field research."

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity," the duck said.

-

The man in the turban was still in the Atrium when Ginny and Luna came out of the lift. He appeared to be talking to his duck.

"Excuse me?" Ginny said, waving to get his attention.

"Hello," the man said in a pleasantly deep voice. "How may I be of assistance?"

"Does your duck have a name?"

"My duck? Oh, you mean Tapioca."

The duck quacked.

"Thanks!" Ginny said, pulling Luna along by the arm. "Tapioca. I like it." She glanced at the rubber duck on her shoulder. "Your name is Tapioca now, have you got that?"

"I confused things with their names: that is belief," Tapioca said.

[end]
1 I wrote none of the things the duck says; they're random quotations from various sources.
2 "Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up." is by Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride
3 Tsuritama crossover 100% deliberate.
Tags: fic:character:hp:ginny, fic:era:post-hogwarts, fic:fandom:hp, fic:genre:crack, fic:genre:crossover, fic:genre:humour, fic:length:short, fic:pairing:ginny/luna, fic:post-dh, fic:pov:ginny, fic:type:femslash, fic:type:gen
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