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Of Snorkacks, Speedsters, and the End of the World

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Bart Allen, more widely known as the teenaged speedster-superhero Impulse, was bored.

Bored, bored, bored.

He was also on his third lap of the British Isles, running at just under the speed of sound while futilely trying to outrun his own boredom. He was considering a trip back to the Justice Cave to bother whoever was stuck with monitor duty when an odd sight caught his eye. It was a girl, and she was lying on her stomach and shining a flashlight into a hole in the ground. He swung around for a second look and made the snap decision to stop and investigate. He skidded to a halt, throwing up clods of dirt and grass all around him.

The girl stared up at him, brushing a lock of pale blonde hair out of her face. She had big, silver eyes and a cute mouth with just a hint of pearlescent lip gloss. With her purple tank-top, neon-green shorts, and bottle cap earrings, she was a strange-looking girl. But that was okay with Bart. He knew that thanks to his floppy hair, overly-large feet, and golden eyes, some people thought he was strange-looking, too.

oOo

At that exact moment, less than 100 miles away in a tastefully-appointed blue and white bedroom, Hermione Granger shivered. Not thinking anything of it, she grabbed a quilt off the end of her bed, wrapped it around her shoulders, and settled back into her overstuffed chair to continue reading a book on ward breaking.

oOo

Bart offered the strange girl a hand and she accepted, allowing him to pull her to her feet. She cocked her head to one side, studying him.

"You're very fast," she said.

"Er, yeah. I guess."

"I'm Luna. I'm searching for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks. Would you like to help?"

"What're Crumple-Horned…whatevers?"

"They're magical creatures about this tall", she held her hand out at about knee height, "with a single horn on the top of their heads. They live in underground burrows."

Bart didn't know much about magical creatures, but he'd seen both alien creatures and magic before, so a magical creature wasn't too weird. "Sure! You know, I went hunting for a chupacabra, that's Spanish for 'goat sucker', in Mexico once, but Max made me come home and do homework."

Luna picked up a nearby knapsack and rummaged through it, pulling out a second flashlight and tossing it his way. "Who's Max?"

"My guardian. He's always trying to make me slow down and do homework and chores, and well, everything really. It's always 'Slow down, Bart!" or 'Take your time, Bart!' and he says I need to 'enjoy life' more, but it can be sooo boring, like moving through molasses. Oh, I'm Bart, by the way."

Luna smiled winsomely and he found himself grinning in return. "Hello Bart," she said, then gestured at a nearby hillside. "Why don't we start checking for burrows over there?"

oOo

3,000 miles away, in a secret facility in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, Robin the Boy Wonder felt an overwhelming wave of apprehension settle in the pit of his stomach. His fingers hovered over the keyboard as he ceased inputting reports from Young Justice's last battle.

"I sense a disturbance in the Force."

From his place at the main monitor, Superboy swiveled his chair around and stared at the Dark Knight's squire incredulously. "Dude, did you just use a Star Wars reference?"

"No?"

Superboy raised a mocking eyebrow.

"Maybe?"

The Teen of Steel rolled his eyes and used a wave of tactile telekinesis to flip Robin's cape over his head. "You're such a geek," he ribbed.

Smoothing his cape back into place, Robin countered, "Hey—you recognized the reference, so what does that make you?"

"Pure concentrated awesome?"

"Right…" Robin smirked, amused despite himself, and decided to let the feeling of unease pass as he finished his reports.

oOo

Though Bart had checked over a hundred holes so far and found neither hide nor hair of a Snorkack, he did find a really cool centipede. He carefully picked the tiny creature up, then walked over and plopped down on the grass next to Luna. "Check this out."

Luna sat up, crossing her legs and half-heartedly brushing the dirt from her shirt. Bart instructed her to hold out her arms and lightly rested his hand on hers, letting the insect crawl into her palm. She giggled at the tickling sensation of its many legs and Bart found himself utterly charmed by the sound. They sat quietly for several minutes, content to watch the centipede crawling back and forth between their still-touching hands.

"You know, we'd probably have much better luck looking for a Snorkack in Sweden, but Daddy is too busy to take me this year."

"I could take you, if you wanted. Right now. I can even have you back by dinner."

Luna carefully lowered the centipede onto a rock. "Really?"

"Sure!" Bart stood and once again offered a hand to help Luna up. "I just have to…" he blushed. "Don't get angry, but I have to carry you. Is that ok?"

Luna merely nodded, a hint of red visible in her own cheeks. Bart threw her knapsack over his shoulder, wrapped one arm around her back and one behind her knees, and picked her up in a bride's carry.

"It might feel a bit weird, but I promise you'll be safe. Just close your eyes." Without waiting for a response, he clutched her tightly and sped off in the general direction of Sweden.

When Luna opened her eyes mere moments later, she was in a beautiful green meadow, tucked in between white-capped mountains, the smell of snow in the air. She spun in a slow circle, silver eyes absorbing her surroundings in wonder.

"We really are in Sweden, aren't we?"

"Yes ma'am. Just like I said."

"Thank you!" She threw her arms around him in a friendly hug and smiled radiantly, causing Bart to look down at the toes of his large tennis shoes in embarrassment.

oOo

Hermione shivered violently, dropping the book in her hands. She carefully placed a bookmark in the open pages before closing the old tome and setting it aside. She folded her favorite quilt, replacing it at the foot of her bed.

Now Hermione wasn't one to believe in Divination. Prophecy, sure, since Harry was living proof of that. But not Divination. The very idea that one could see the future in tea leaves, rat entrails, and spheres of glass was just silly.

However, while she might not have a magical scar to tell her when danger was near, she somehow knew that at that very moment something disastrous, perhaps even world-changing, was happening. She decided to chalk the feeling up to intuition since it most certainly was not an omen. Omens were for batty, mantis-like professors of Divination and Hermione prided herself on being a rational, logical person.

She removed several sheets of parchment and a fresh quill from her desk and began writing letters to the Order, the Weasleys, and Harry. After all, it couldn't hurt to check up on everyone, and maybe fish for a bit of information while she was at it. Hermione briefly considered telling everyone about her feelings of impending doom, but since she had no concrete evidence to back them up, she was afraid that they might confuse her intuition with the so called "Inner-Eye". After all, wizards could be highly illogical at times.

With that thought in mind, Hermione returned to her letters.

oOo

Bart peered into another seemingly empty burrow before bravely sticking his arm inside. His hand closed on something long and spiral-like. He carefully pulled it from the hole, only to be disappointed that it was merely an oddly-shaped rock.

With a sigh, he dropped the rock and rolled over onto his back, staring up at the clear but darkening sky above. A shadow fell over him as Luna settled beside him, shivering slightly from the chill winds. Bart pushed himself upright and scooted closer until they were sitting side by side, then wrapped an arm around her. Luna relaxed against him, resting her head on his shoulder.

"I'm sorry we didn't find your Snorkack."

"That's ok. This is nice, too."

oOo

Back in the headquarters of Young Justice, Robin felt the uneasy feeling return tenfold. He stopped typing, steepling his hands before him while attempting to gather his thoughts. Without raising his head, he called out, "Kon, could you do me a favor?"

Superboy sighed melodramatically. "What is it now, Tiny Tim?"

"First, I'm not tiny—you're just ginormous. Second, I have access to kryptonite. And third, could you please go look out the window?"

The boy huffed in protest, but was happy to get away from the monitor for a few minutes and hovered to the window as asked.

"Ok, now what?

"You don't happen to see four guys on horseback, do you? Any rains of fire or rivers of blood?"

"Uggh. You're back on this again? You Bats really are batty, you know that, right?"

"Oh, ha ha. Look, I know it seems paranoid, but Batman taught me to always trust my instincts. And right now, my instincts are telling me to panic."

oOo

Bart stared heavenward, trying not to face Luna as he gathered the courage to speak. "I'd like to see you again, if that's ok?"

When Luna didn't respond, Bart swallowed heavily and turned toward her, hoping that he hadn't upset her. But she was looking up at him and their gazes locked, gold meeting silver. Luna leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on his lips—the gentle, innocent first kiss shared with one's first love.

"I'd like that very much."

Bart grinned. At least for the moment, he was more than happy to slow down and enjoy life a bit.

 


Author's note: This story was born out of my desire to try and come up with the most brain-breaking, surely-the-end-of-us-all, most adorable pairing that I could imagine. I think I did pretty well. Could you imagine what their courtship would be like?

Or even better, their children.

I'm not sure the world would ever recover.  Though you have to admit, they make a cute couple. Odd, but cute.