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Caster
October 15th, 2015, 07:22 PM
Alf, how much would seeing Touko those two days impact our magic potential and our relationship with Touko?

alfheimwanderer
October 15th, 2015, 07:36 PM
I had been assuming that this was a fantastic learning opportunity that would improve our magic. If even the first day is so advanced that we won't learn much what do we even get out of watching on the second today? Or even the first? Just spending time with our master? I had been assuming that the second day was more valuable to watch since it was more advanced, but if we would actually learn less, or very little, I will need to change my vote to Maglos'.

Like anything else, its a tradeoff between immediate and long-term benefit, given that nothing you use on the second day can be used in your current state (and little of what you learn on the first day). Consider that Touko generally operates at a level far above what are capable of (except when it comes to money management - though to be honest, she's being that bad on purpose since its her sister's stolen money and she's generally trying to make sure Aoko never catches her with enough left to make it worth the trouble of making Touko pay back what she took).

On the other hand, she does certainly like it when you show curiosity about what she does, and she would walk you through some of what she was doing for future reference. And should you go alone (and Zelkova not be assigned, so you can use fusion form - or try to), you could certainly get an awareness for what the spells and magic were doing as she inscribes runes and such, and knowing the pattern of how the magic works would give you a substantial learning boost for runes.

...if you have someone else there, you probably won't be using Fusion form, and will learn considerably less, particularly on day 2.

Nephirin
October 15th, 2015, 07:36 PM
I thought thread tags weren't used for anything but sick memeing, personally.

mr_Trickster
October 15th, 2015, 07:59 PM
Like anything else, its a tradeoff between immediate and long-term benefit, given that nothing you use on the second day can be used in your current state (and little of what you learn on the first day). Consider that Touko generally operates at a level far above what are capable of (except when it comes to money management - though to be honest, she's being that bad on purpose since its her sister's stolen money and she's generally trying to make sure Aoko never catches her with enough left to make it worth the trouble of making Touko pay back what she took).

On the other hand, she does certainly like it when you show curiosity about what she does, and she would walk you through some of what she was doing for future reference. And should you go alone (and Zelkova not be assigned, so you can use fusion form - or try to), you could certainly get an awareness for what the spells and magic were doing as she inscribes runes and such, and knowing the pattern of how the magic works would give you a substantial learning boost for runes.

...if you have someone else there, you probably won't be using Fusion form, and will learn considerably less, particularly on day 2.

Long-term benefits are certainly always good, in my opinion. Going to either date will certainly be beneficial for us provided we go alone. Touko reputation will also be good as well as - to my knowledge - we're still gunning for full apprenticeship with the woman. The points of making sure that Hermoine doesn't misconstrue being with us for this as a date or us showing her more of our secrets.

Really, I'm more tempted to just drop her off completely and gun for a double solo attendance with Touko so we can maximize what we learn from the setting up of our defenses, but at the same time I'm iffy about the risk of letting her come in on New Year's and what other things we might lose from it.

So for the 29th, I shall change my vote to [x] - Watch with Rin and Hermoine.


I thought thread tags weren't used for anything but sick memeing, personally.

Actually, yes, I thought it was mostly for humor, too.

Abendroth
October 15th, 2015, 08:11 PM
So for the 29th, I shall change my vote to [x] - Watch with Rin and Hermoine.

If I may ask, why did you add Rin? I was hoping to get her some one-on-one time with Tomas.

EDIT:
Also, someone who was actually in the IRC chats will have to verify this, but I had gathered that our (provisional) master was significantly displeased by the idea of inviting anyone involved in the moonlit world.

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 08:18 PM
I think that trying to get better viewing on the 30th is better, even if it's more advanced. It's likely higher up than Hogwarts teaches, and I'd say that alone is worth it. It sucks that we can't fit in Hermione without losing out on some magic bonus.

And my plan should have some time for Rin with Tomas, think it was on the 30th. It should be fine if Rin comes, though I think that it'd be better not to add Rin.

alfheimwanderer
October 15th, 2015, 08:38 PM
Oh yes. I should mention that Harry is no longer an option for favors for the remainder of break, given that he already went out of his way to accommodate Shinji's need for someone to look after Tohsaka, and would like to spend some time relaxing with his girlfriend, among other things and functions he's been invited to.

mr_Trickster
October 15th, 2015, 08:45 PM
If I may ask, why did you add Rin? I was hoping to get her some one-on-one time with Tomas.

I already did.

Abendroth
October 15th, 2015, 08:51 PM
I already did.
Huh? You just voted to watch our master with Rin and Hermione. As opposed to your previous vote of just Hermione. I was wondering why you added Rin in that action, given the negative consequences, and the only other time Tomas is available is the 30th, which we are both currently voting as Rin and Hermione together.

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 09:01 PM
Of some note is that other than Hillard, we could also ask Pansy apparently for a favor. It would involve Diagon Alley though, likely making it not terribly useful at this juncture.

mr_Trickster
October 15th, 2015, 09:06 PM
Huh? You just voted to watch our master with Rin and Hermione. As opposed to your previous vote of just Hermione. I was wondering why you added Rin in that action, given the negative consequences, and the only other time Tomas is available is the 30th, which we are both currently voting as Rin and Hermione together.

I mentioned before changing my vote that I did not want Hermoine to misconstrue the encounter as a date or us sharing our secrets exclusively with her as she has made a sport of jumping to conclusions all academic year. I selected Rin because I did not want to risk any Illya reputation with a Hermoine encounter.

Though I'm interested in hearing what your thoughts are on the consequences besides the ones Alf mentioned regarding getting an explanation out of Touko. I am already favoring the second day for this for a more long-term investment with voting to have Shinji go alone on that day.

alfheimwanderer
October 15th, 2015, 09:13 PM
I mentioned before changing my vote that I did not want Hermoine to misconstrue the encounter as a date or us sharing our secrets exclusively with her as she has made a sport of jumping to conclusions all academic year. I selected Rin because I did not want to risk any Illya reputation with a Hermoine encounter.

Though I'm interested in hearing what your thoughts are on the consequences besides the ones Alf mentioned regarding getting an explanation out of Touko. I am already favoring the second day for this for a more long-term investment with voting to have Shinji go alone on that day.

If you have Hermione and/or Rin around, you're not going to be able to use fusion form to get a deeper grasp of what's going on. So why not just do something else completely?

mr_Trickster
October 15th, 2015, 09:18 PM
If you have Hermione and/or Rin around, you're not going to be able to use fusion form to get a deeper grasp of what's going on. So why not just do something else completely?


I see your point. Alright, then, [x] - Spend time with Rin and Hermoine (Not with Touko) it is. Though I honestly don't know what to do with that.

Abendroth
October 15th, 2015, 09:21 PM
If you have Hermione and/or Rin around, you're not going to be able to use fusion form to get a deeper grasp of what's going on. So why not just do something else completely?
I thought we only needed spirit fusion to learn things on the second day, not the first. And you said Touko liked it when we took an interest. Or does her dislike of observers mean that watching with Hermione is a net zero gain?

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 09:27 PM
That seems to be what it's gearing up towards. Which sucks, as I wanted to maximize our magic points. Though I think that Hermione and Hillard would be better.

alfheimwanderer
October 15th, 2015, 09:27 PM
I thought we only needed spirit fusion to learn things on the second day, not the first. And you said Touko liked it when we took an interest. Or does her dislike of observers mean that watching with Hermione is a net zero gain?

You need it to learn on the second day, yes. While you may learn something from the first day without it, you would learn far more with it - maximizing your boost. And while Touko does like it when you take an interest, is it really worth it to bring two others to the event, especially given that a single question from Touko: "So, which one is your lover?" might cause chaos to erupt?

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 09:33 PM
December 28th
1. Ilya


December 29th
1. Spend time with Rin and Hermione
2. Ilya and Zelkova
3. Tomas and none


December 30th
1. Observe your Master with Zelkova
2. Rin and Tomas
3. Ilya and Luna

Is my revised plan. The only issue I see is doubling up Ilya and Luna, but I don't think Diagon Alley would interest Luna remotely. I'm not sure Hillard would offer much of particular note, though I would be curious to hear what he'd do when he is showing Ilya around, may change my mind on that. Touko with guests seems like it will ruin any points socially that could be gained, and we can't exactly ignore Hermione since that would cripple the points there as well. Which is a shame since I wanted magic time.

Abendroth
October 15th, 2015, 09:34 PM
You need it to learn on the second day, yes. While you may learn something from the first day without it, you would learn far more with it - maximizing your boost. And while Touko does like it when you take an interest, is it really worth it to bring two others to the event, especially given that a single question from Touko: "So, which one is your lover?" might cause chaos to erupt?
That's part of why I argue for only bringing one. If we had any other way to spend time with Hermione I'd consider it, but we did make a promise.

All That Is Left Unsaid
October 15th, 2015, 09:39 PM
What if we changed the spot on the 28th to dealing with Hermione? We'd lose the Illya time, but with Hermione pacified, we could switch Rin and Illya between Luna and Tomas for the last two days.

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 09:39 PM
I also am considering Ilya with Hillard on the last day, given that Hillard is apparently a relatively open chance as far as guests go. He wouldn't do anything magical, which is good for Ilya. But I'm not sure entirely on that.

Ilya points are very important. If we don't get her cooperating with Sion then we miss out on a major chance I think, and it's only a limited time offer.

Kuroyuki
October 15th, 2015, 09:41 PM
December 28th:
[X] Ilya

December 29th:
[X] Zelkova
[X] Ilya with Luna
[X] Tomas with Rin

December 30th:
[X] Hanging out with Ilya on the final day.
[X] Rin with Luna and Harry (if he is available)
[X] Tomas with Hermione

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 09:44 PM
Harry is not available from here on out. And apparently, if we do Hillard, we could take Ilya to an amusement park. I think that's worthy of consideration. I'll vote Ilya and Hillard for the 30th.

All That Is Left Unsaid
October 15th, 2015, 09:56 PM
I'll echo Caster again.

December 28th
1. Ilya

December 29th
1. Spend time with Rin and Hermione
2. Ilya and Zelkova
3. Tomas and none

December 30th
1. Observe your Master with Zelkova
2. Rin and Tomas
3. Ilya and Hillard

Magus
October 15th, 2015, 10:00 PM
Yeah, Caster's plan is a good one in light of the new discussion, so I'll go along with it. I would have liked Rin to see the defenses with us even if we wouldn't learn as much, but spending time with both her and Hermione is an acceptable alternative. That's the way the vote seems to be going so I have little reason to oppose it. The rest pretty much aligns with what I already planned, but with a substation of Hillard for Luna, which should give Illya some more unique experiences.

Also, I favor seeing the Hermione and Tomas interlude - that feels kind of more important than Rin and the others in terms of possible character development.

December 28th
1. Ilya


December 29th
1. Spend time with Rin and Hermione
2. Ilya and Zelkova
3. Tomas and none


December 30th
1. Observe your Master with Zelkova
2. Rin and Tomas
3. Ilya and Hillard

mr_Trickster
October 15th, 2015, 10:01 PM
If we're going with Illya on the 30th, we're going to have to drop meeting with Hermoine on the 29th though if we still want to be able to observe Touko. I'm willing to change over because I am all game for Illya reputation, but we'd be risking Hermoine popping up on the New Year's party.

EDIT:

Ah, correction, so we can take Illya to an amusement park if we have Illya and Hillard hang out on that day? When are we taking her, then? After New Year's?

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 10:04 PM
No, I was saying that Hillard could take her to one. I misspoke. Kind of bouncing between a lot of things, so I stated it poorly. Hillard and Ilya would go to an amusement park in London, though apparently Disneyland Paris would have been an option.

skulkidcachi90
October 15th, 2015, 10:06 PM
​I hope we have the chance of have an "Ilya route" in the story.

December 28
[ ] Who do you want to spend time with after the meeting (evening)? (Ilya / Rin / Hermione / Etc)
Ilya

December 29

[ ] Observe your Master with up to 2 people OR (write-in Other Activity with up to 2 people)
Rin and Hermione

[ ] Who spends time with Rin/Ilya in your place (if either are not chosen)?
Luna/Zelkova

[ ] Tomas action request (Rin / Hermione / None)
None

December 30
[ ] Observe your Master alone OR (write-in Other Activity up to 2 people)
Rin and Hermione

[ ] Who spends time with Rin/Ilya in your place (if either are not chosen)?
Ilya with Luna

[ ] Tomas action request (Rin / Hermione / None)
None

mr_Trickster
October 15th, 2015, 10:11 PM
No, I was saying that Hillard could take her to one. I misspoke. Kind of bouncing between a lot of things, so I stated it poorly. Hillard and Ilya would go to an amusement park in London, though apparently Disneyland Paris would have been an option.

Well that certainly sounds like an interesting option. Having Hillard do it would also gain reputation with him considering we're showing him we trust him. I shall, however, maintain my stand on Shinji spending the 30th with his master. Reputation is all well and good, but we still need stats if we want to get anything done in combat.

30th of December:
[x] - Illya with Hillard

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 10:15 PM
Yeah, that's what I think as well. Ilya with Hillard and the first day of base defenses becoming a Rin/Hermione event is what I voted. Though I'm not sure what would be a good date with Rin and Hermione. While the idea of going to a game store is interesting I'm not sure that it would offer much points with either Rin or Hermione.

Skull Leader
October 15th, 2015, 10:28 PM
If you are looking for places to go with Rin and Hermione, how about the London National Gallery (Art Museum)?

Abendroth
October 15th, 2015, 10:36 PM
December 28th
1. Ilya


December 29th
1. Spend time with Rin and Hermione
2. Ilya and Zelkova
3. Tomas and none


December 30th
1. Observe your Master with Zelkova
2. Rin and Hermione and Tomas
3. Ilya and Hillard

Abendroth
October 15th, 2015, 11:19 PM
Chapter 29 reactions


Illya


> *comments about lack of sexual tension*
>* receives sexual innuendo... Featuring Ilya*
Your "Alftomine" screen name is well chosen, isn't it? :)


And so he walked on, through trial and tribulation, to prove himself one worthy of standing beside Sion Eltnam Atlasia – the woman who had given him a new purpose, a new meaning in life. A goal that he might reach if he kept forging ahead, no matter the danger, no matter the challenge, for even death would be preferable to some mediocre life.
This bid reminds me of a line from the previous chapter.


“When boys do foolish things just to impress girls, or girls change who they are just for attention,” Luna quipped. “Neither are happy, yet they do it all the same, because everyone else is. What else is that but looney?”

I don't think you intended it, but the irony in this statement is impressive. Luna calls girls changing themselves in efforts to get boys to like them crazy, but Shinji's entire life right now could be described as a quest to change himself in order to earn Sion and Touko's attention. Furthermore, Shinji's quest to change himself in order to impress people has actually worked out really, really well for him. It has brought him not only fame, wealth, Allies, power and rank, it has caused him to become a a better person. If that's insanity, then sign me up. :P






Speaking of luxury, I looked at the apartment you linked to. It had a very modern feel to it which I think can mostly be attributed to the color scheme and a few particular pieces of furniture. It certainly looked good.


Ilya has abandonment issues, naturally. We really do need to make sure that we spend time with her during vacation.






Rin


Thank you. I realize that I am something of a language snob but it really did bother me a great deal.


I am surprised Luna I would refer to her own paper as a tabloid.


Gala
Now things are getting interesting.


I confess, I don't understand what message the dress is trying to send.


What is the point of having Zelrecht witness things? Sion is an immortal herself, so she can't be worried about being forgotten.


Sion's position must be more secure now, if she can be seen in public with us.

Vagrant
October 15th, 2015, 11:26 PM
[☆] spend both days with Touko and Zelkova, everyone else can get fucked.

Caster
October 15th, 2015, 11:38 PM
That is so tempting, but the long term drawbacks are too much.

Vagrant
October 15th, 2015, 11:48 PM
What long term drawbacks? Oh boohoo we have to deal with Hermione another day?

Big fucking deal. She's not the goddamn bogeyman.

saki
October 15th, 2015, 11:51 PM
December 28
[ ] Ilya

December 29

[ ] Observe your Master with up to 2 people OR (write-in Other Activity with up to 2 people)
Rin and Hermione

[ ] Who spends time with Rin/Ilya in your place (if either are not chosen)?
Luna/Zelkova

December 30
[ ] Zelkova

[ ]Ilya with Luna
[ ]Rin and Hillard

[ ] Tomas and Hermione

Skull Leader
October 16th, 2015, 12:01 AM
December 28th
1. Ilya

December 29th
1. Spend time with Rin and Hermione
2. Ilya and Zelkova
3. Tomas and none

December 30th
1. Observe your Master with Zelkova
2. Rin and Tomas
3. Ilya and Hillard

Nephirin
October 16th, 2015, 12:10 AM
Changing my vote to spend both days alone with Touko and Zelkova.

mangafreak7793
October 16th, 2015, 12:40 AM
December 28
Hermonie

December 29
Rin and Luna
Ilya with Hillard
Hermonie

Rin
Lune with Illya
Hermonie

mAc Chaos
October 16th, 2015, 04:09 AM
why would we want to pair tomas with anyone, hes just going to devour their memories and freak them out

Magus
October 16th, 2015, 04:43 AM
[☆] spend both days with Touko and Zelkova, everyone else can get fucked.

And watch Hermione dive off the deep end because we broke a promise to her? I think not.

I'm hoping her meeting Rin and Touko will make things less volatile.

Yes, there is the danger that Tomas could "mind rape" either Rin or Hermione or otherwise try to corrupt them, but I'm trusting that Touko will be able to keep him on a tight leash. After all, Tomas has no wish to die.

saki
October 16th, 2015, 08:07 AM
Also i want to test if he really changed from his path to voldemort so i totally wast to see his POV

alfheimwanderer
October 16th, 2015, 02:50 PM
December 28: [ ] Ilya
December 29: [ ] Spend Time with Rin and Hermione; [ ] Ilya with Luna and Zelkova
December 30: [ ] Defenses Alone; [ ] Ilya with Luna; [ ] Tomas with Rin

100%

Chapter 31. Chain of Fate

“And your familiar refers to this ability as fusion?” the Alchemist inquired, raising a purple eyebrow as a forkful of Daube of Beef – a stew made with inexpensive beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and Herbes de Provence – paused halfway to her mouth. With a considering hmm, she set the fork back on the plate. “Fascinating.”

“You’ve heard of it before?” Shinji asked, his venison curry going untouched as he studied the face and form of the one who meant more to him than anyone else in the world.

Since the days she had left her identity as Sokaris behind, they’d barely spoken at all – had barely even seen each other, aside from special occasions such as Tanabata or at the Gala, and she’d always been richly dressed on such occasions, either wearing a seasonal yukata when at Mahoutokoro or elegant ensembles of purple and white.

Seeing her in casual clothing – or passed for it, rather – a black cashmere sweater, jeans, and a dark purple beret and scarf, with her bright purple hair falling loose about her shoulders, had rooted him to the ground in shock, with the poor boy not believing the evidence of his senses until she’d bidden him to come forward and sit.

“You look…different,” Shinji had said, once he’d found his voice again. “No business to attend to today?” he’d hazarded. He hadn’t seen her aide on his way into the restaurant, after all – though he supposed that didn’t mean much, given that a good aide knew when to be inconspicuous.

“That is correct,” Sion had affirmed, the corners of her lips twitching into the barest hint of a smile. “Save for a meal with an old associate.”

“With…Master?”

But the Alchemist had shaken her head no.

“No, Matou Shinji.” The Director of Atlas’ voice had been almost…amused. “With you. Unless you find my company…disagreeable.”

“N-no!” Shinji had blurted, on his feet before he knew it. Chagrined at his outburst, the boy had flushed from head to toe as he sat back down. He didn’t want to look like a fool in front of her, and yet here he was, as if he hadn’t spent the last few days charming his ancestral enemy. “I mean, not at all…Sokaris. I’m honored – just a little surprised that you would set aside time for me during a state visit.”

“It is only natural,” the Alchemist had noted quietly. “After all, you were my first friend. And I find your adventures curious.”

“Hardly much of anything compared to your ventures, I would think,” Shinji had demurred. “With you working with the Magicians and others towards the salvation of the world.”

“All the same.”

And so he had indulged Sion’s curiosity, over their not-so-simple meal, regaling her with the tales of what had happened after their meeting in Mahoutokoro last summer. His odd dreams, his training, his search for a new wand – how difficult it had been to find one, and how he’d eventually had to trade the Complete Works of William Shakespeare for one.

“Granger’s gift to you,” the purple-haired Alchemist had remarked.

“You remember.” Shinji had surprised by this, but his questioning look went unanswered.

“I do.”

He’d talked of his quest to obtain a familiar – a journey that had taken him across Hokkaido to Shiretoko, the last of the unexplored regions of Japan, the kingdom of forests, mountains, and waterfalls where many youkai still dwelled. Of the conflict with the onikuma (tanuki) that had nearly ended him, of the experience of camping and living in the wilderness, of cooking…or rather, trying to cook, since his first few attempts had been anything but impressive.

Only as he’d spoken, he’d found his old friend nodding sympathetically.

“…you know something about that, Sokaris?” the boy had asked curiously, tilting his head. He couldn’t imagine her camping, really. “I would think a Director wouldn’t have to worry about such things.”

Certainly, the students of Hogwarts didn’t, but…

“I was not always a Director, Matou,” Sion had answered, a distant expression on her face, as if she was looking into the past. “There have been times before we met when an enchanted tent and a campfire would have seemed the height of luxury, compared to a leaking cardboard box. The verdant lands you walked through on your quest Elysium, compared to scorching winds and desert sands.”

“…you once said you had not been home in a long time.” She had said that long ago, after their first Christmas together at Hogwarts, when they’d stood in a desert created by the Book of Spells. “I didn’t know what you meant then. But after seeing TATARI…”

“Indeed, Matou. Your assumption is correct,” the Alchemist had related. “But you were telling me of your year.”

“Mm.”

And so he’d continued, speaking of the Great Tree of Shiretoko, of his familiar Zelkova, a kodama that was but an aspect of a greater whole, and of the ability of some practitioners of witchcraft to join with their familiars through a variant of possession, gaining awareness and power over aspects of nature itself.

Whereupon she’d interrupted, bringing the conversation to the present time.

“I have not heard of it as such,” Sion noted, her eyes curious as she looked over the boy. “However, the awareness and control you describe bears similarities to what magi call Regression to the Age of Gods, something possessed by some of the oldest elementals. I had not thought practitioners of witchcraft to be capable of such, despite their inhuman heritage.”

“Due to how dilute this heritage is, you mean,” Shinji replied, raising an eyebrow. “I haven’t actually heard the term before though.”

“It is not common, though it is said to be the elemental equivalent of Magic Circuits,” the Alchemist commented, seeming rather intrigued by this. “If this fusion you describe is possible, then perhaps practitioners of witchcraft are more akin to vessels preserving fragments of the past in the present. Fragments of the Age of Gods which live on to this day and can catalyze a Regression, allowing otherwise forgotten mysteries to live on.”

Shinji felt a shiver go down his spine as the Director of Atlas Academy made these comments, especially since…

“…Magical Britain doesn’t seem to value the knowledge of the past, though,” he said quietly. “Or anything ‘inhuman’, really. The prejudice I have seen against goblins, house-elves, and more – all of which seem to share a common origin with practitioners of witchcraft, but whose power are more potent – it make me wonder how much has been lost, and why.”

“How much is unknown, though the histories suggest that what was lost was great indeed. The why, however is simple enough, given your observations,” Sion remarked, shaking her head. “Even the Stone was created long, long ago.”

“Oh?”

“I would hypothesize that in most so-called wizarding societies, especially in Europe, the mysteries that they have inherited have been diluted by their choice to live as humans,” the Alchemist commented. “Forming societies and civilizations that ape the world of humanity at large, especially the common sense of most humans.”

“No longer acting as mediators of nature, you mean,” Shinji noted, narrowing his eyes as he recalled Zelkova’s words on how Luna saw the world much as a spirit might, wondering if her isolated upbringing had helped her in that way. “No longer seeing the world as it is.”

“Indeed. Rejecting their inhuman origins for a human-centered society, they lost the ability to use the abilities they once bore,” Sokaris concluded, raising an eyebrow. “And so they needed others, like the Mystic Codes they bear.”

“Wands, you mean,” Shinji mused. What Zelkova had called false echoes, they served as catalysts that allowed practitioners of witchcraft to tap into some of their abilities without having to give up the trappings of common sense.

“Just so,” the Alchemist noted. “I have had studied such Codes extensively.”

Naturally enough, Shinji thought, given that Atlas Academy was known for the artifacts they created in an effort to prevent the end of the world.

“What have you discovered?” he asked. “Perhaps why, unlike magi, wand compatibility is a major issue among practitioners of witchcraft?”

The purple-haired Alchemist nodded, holding out her hand as Shinji passed her a wand – his hazel and coral wand, at that. She closed her eyes for a moment, and then nodded, before handing the wand back to him.

“As expected, that is a simple matter,” Sion explained. “For magi, wand-type mystic codes like the Azoth dagger simply amplify prana or store energy, much like your ofuda. The wands used by practitioners of witchcraft, on the other hand, are constructed to interact with their inhuman ancestry. Varying combinations of cores and woods resonate with a practitioner’s spiritual core in different ways.”

Given that their power derived from what they were, that the mix of human and inhuman was different in each individual, and in those descended from the fey, the elements one was linked to shaped one’s personality and vice versa, getting a proper wand was rather critical, in fact.

“So depending on one’s heritage, elemental alignment, and such, some wands may be more compatible than others – or more powerful when applied to a certain craft,” Shinji reasoned. “That’s…rather interesting.”

“Just so. In a compatible wand, the interference of the wand and spiritual core are mutually constructive as opposed to destructive,” Sion commented. “Whereas in an incompatible wand, the effect is destructive. That is, an incompatible wand, far from amplifying the abilities of one’s spiritual core, might instead dampen it.”

“…fascinating,” Shinji breathed. He’d never even considered that having a wand might hurt someone’s development, but he could see how that might be the case, if that was indeed how they functioned – and none of what Matsuo-san and Zelkova had said was contradicted by Sokaris’ findings.

‘Before wands were popular, perhaps more found powerful familiars, as such was a necessity to unlock one’s full power…’

…but with the most basic benefits of such a relationship offered by a wand, without the inconvenience and danger of interacting with beings like youkai – or fey, in the west – he could see why many practitioners had drifted from what they were capable of, adopting the norms.

And once such a society formed, and certain standards and traditions had been set in place as normal, things would become very hard to change. Not because people – or rather, practitioners of witchcraft were stupid, which they weren’t if they could devise such workarounds – but because culture had an inertia of its own, and after a society became ingrained with generations of unthinking attitudes, it became nearly impossible to see beyond that.

Where he as an outsider, a child of the moonlit world determined to examine this new world, to find out more about it and analyze it from a critical perspective, others simply accepted it. And why not, when it was the only world they knew and they had no basis for comparison? He wondered why there was such stigma against mixed-bloods and Muggleborn – they accepted it as a given. He wondered why they feared the inhuman – they wondered why anyone wouldn’t.

By aping human society, even as they claimed to have removed themselves from it, by rejecting the part of them that gave them their power, by failing to look at the past and truly learn what had come before instead of assuming that everything had always been the same, they were destroying their abilities.

‘Tomas was right. Britain is rotting away, and they can’t even see it…’

Far from finding a solution, they didn’t even realize what the problem was. Mahoutokoro avoided this, but the reason they had not fallen victim to such a thing was because of the strong presence of youkai in the Council, and the fact that it was much more aligned with the moonlit world than the world of day. They used wands, yes, but it was also made clear that wands were not all powerful, and should not always be relied on.

There, the inhuman was accepted, respected, considered natural, as it was as much a part of their world as anything else.

“If my hypothesis holds true, then those of Magical Britain called Muggleborns would likely have a great deal of ability, if harnessed,” Sion noted coolly. “Hermione Granger being an excellent example of this.”

“True, but they operate with major constraints,” Shinji reflected. “As people coming into the society at a young and vulnerable age, they take their cues from those around them, assimilating into it, clinging to its rules and expectations.”

As Harry had done – with the expectations of others weighing heavily upon him, molding an insecure boy into the powerful Heir of Slytherin, the hero others looked to.

And once a part of that society, it was difficult to leave, given that almost all of one’s social ties were there, and that if one left, one would be returning to an alien world, with seven years of one’s life having effectively gone to waste.

The reason Matou Shinji had not been so molded, that he hadn’t simply accepted the expectations and standards of Magical Britain – well, that reason was right in front of him.

Sion Eltnam Atlasia.

The Director of Atlas Academy. The one he would gladly lay down his life – and more – for. The person to whom he owed almost everything he had, even who and what he was today. The Alchemist who had shown him worlds of possibility he hadn’t even dared to imagine.

In his first year, he would have been willing enough to simply make a name for himself among the students of Hogwarts, until he’d met her – and it was wasn’t their recognition that mattered, but the recognition of someone who he had thought an equal, but was far, far more.

“An elegant explanation, is it not?” Sion inquired, shaking her head. “Certainly more so than the belief that newly arisen practitioners – perhaps created by Gaia as new vessels as the old lineages fade in their role as vessels – steal the power of existing lineages.”

“It is,” Shinji admitted. Certainly it filled in many holes in his understanding of Magical Britain. “At the same time…”

If that explanation were true, then Magical Britain was doomed, should nothing change. And its end would not come about due to the rise of some Dark Lord, but because of their insistence on clinging to a lie.

“…I suppose it could be seen as tragic, yes,” the Alchemist commented, almost seeming to read his mind, as she pursed her lips in thought. “As an aside, I would be interested in meeting your training partner, given how you have described her.”

“Oh?”

“You are a rare existence, Matou Shinji. And strange powers attract others.”

“…well, that’s true.” He raised an eyebrow, curious about something himself now. “Was that why you invited me to the gala?”

“No.” The reply came at once. “Though your choice of guest was also interesting. A homunculus of the Einzbern, whose attire reminded the other attendees that her family once wielded the Third. And of what they, the Makiri, and the Tohsaka built.” The Alchemist looked at him evenly. “Matou. Is a new Grail War likely to occur in the next few years?”

Shinji just shrugged.

“I don’t know. The usual cycle is about once every 50-60 years,” he explained, shaking his head. “If anyone would know, it would be…” But he trailed off, as his thoughts came to a halt, and when he spoke again, his voice was a whisper. “…the Einzbern.”

“Indeed.” Sion shook her head. “That is a matter I will have to inquire about with Illyasviel in the future.”

“Oh?”

“Nothing for you to concern yourself with, Matou,” the Alchemist related. “Simply a variable I must take into consideration for my calculations and ventures.”

“I see,” Shinji said simply. If she said so, he supposed it wasn’t really something for him to bother with, though the notion that the Director of Atlas Academy was curious about the war – that she needed to know about it for her calculations, was slightly troubling. “So how go your ventures?”

“Things proceed to my satisfaction,” she affirmed, though she seemed reluctant to say more – something the boy understood only all too well. She was a Director, after all, and she couldn’t be expected to share everything with him.

So he changed the topic.

“Master mentioned that you had an interest in the Potions Championship?” he prompted, receiving a nod in return. “That you wished for me to compete in it?”

“Given the presence of competitors from the other…schools of witchcraft, and the ancient isle on which the competition is set, it presents an interesting opportunity for study,” Sion said simply.

“A fragment of a past age in itself,” Shinji murmured, remembering what Touko had mentioned to him. “An unmapped, moving isle.” He supposed that would be a curious thing for a magus, especially one whose researches spanned past and future. As to the other point… “It would be interesting to be Hogwarts’ Champion, certainly.”

To see what competitors from other schools were capable of, and what the standards of education were like in places that had not perhaps rejected the fundamental inhumanity of their abilities.

“On occasion, the potioneers and alchemists of these practitioners have been known to do interesting things, as this one branch alone does not reject the power of natural world,” Sokaris allowed, her expression strange. “Especially those with some…outside influence.” She referred, of course, to Flamel and the Philosopher’s Stone, which had been crafted with information that had been leaked from Atlas by Zepia long ago.

“…like me.”

To have a chance to create something for the first time, using ingredients of east and west and more to surpass the limits and expectations of others.

“Indeed.” Sion Eltnam Atlasia looked at the boy before her evenly, her lips quirking into a something resembling a smile as the boy nodded.

“Very well, Sokaris,” the boy agreed with a crooked smile, bowing slightly to the Director. “Your wish is my command.” He chuckled slightly, as he reached down to the satchel by his side and withdrew a collection of handwritten notes bound into a volume, sliding them across the table to the woman before him. “Speaking of outside influences, I believe these are yours.”

The early notes of Nicholas Flamel.

Sokaris took the tome and opened it, an eyebrow rising in curiosity as she leafed through some of the first few pages, finding the contents rather familiar.

“This is…where did you acquire this?” she asked, her purple eyes staring into Matou’s grey.

“The collection of the House of Black,” Shinji replied. “Its last scion auctioned off the family’s possessions.”

“Fascinating,” the Alchemist murmured. “I…appreciate the gift.”

“Oh, but there’s more,” the boy added, smiling to himself as he withdrew three shoebox sized items. “Small vanishing cabinets.” At his companion’s questioning stare, Shinji flushed slightly. He steadied himself, taking a deep breath. “I…I thought perhaps you’d like a secure means of communication that was slightly faster than passing everything through Mahoutokoro. And…” He paused, groping for words. Why was it that around everyone else he was so glib, but around her…? “And perhaps that we could write. Sometime. So I got you a linked pair for your use, with what is placed in one appearing in the other, as well as one linked to…one of mine.”

He was reaching, he knew. With as many things as she had to do, it was unlikely she’d have the time, but…

“That would not be…disagreeable,” Sion said after a few moments, with Shinji feeling almost delirious with joy as he passed her his final gift – a large, oval locket of heavy gold, with a serpentine S in green jewels. “…and this is?”

“A rare and valuable treasure, dating back to the days of the Founders,” the Matou scion dutifully related. “And it certainly feels to be so.” There were powerful enchantments on it, after all, much like those on the Diadem of Ravenclaw. “I suspect this to be a treasure of Salazar Slytherin.”

“Mm,” the Alchemist replied, taking the locket in one hand as she passed her other hand over it, her expression seeming quite intrigued. “Aside from being an artifact with interesting properties, there is a fragment of memory within it. A living record medium…”

“Oh?”

“I will pass any relevant findings onto your Master,” Sion noted curtly. “My thanks, Matou Shinji.”

“Of course, Sokaris,” Shinji said warmly, handing her the satchel – a fairly valuable that had been crafted with extension charms so it could fit many items. “It’s the least I can do after all you’ve done for me. Take this. It will help you carry everything.”

The Alchemist nodded, taking the items and placing them into the satchel, with Shinji suppressing a hint of disappointment. He had wanted to see her wear the locket, as he thought it would suit her, but if it were heavily enchanted, he supposed a bit of caution was advised.

“You enjoyed the gala, I trust?” Sion asked, with Shinji nodding.

“I…I hadn’t expected you to greet me there, followed by the Magicians,” the boy noted ruefully. “Especially not after my earlier encounter with the Magic Gunner.”

“The problem child of London,” Sion mused, with Shinji once again struck by how she referred to one of the most powerful individuals in the world in that manner. But then, when one stood on the same playing field, and seemed to have the favor of the Second Magician, he supposed she could call them whatever she wanted. “The Aozaki rivalry, I presume?”

“Yes,” Shinji admitted, shaking his head. It had been terrifying to come face to face with a disgruntled Aozaki Aoko, and not for the first time since that day, he’d wondered why his Master felt the need to take her sister’s earnings. “The Magic Gunner was rather put out that my Master had been…taking her money.”

For the first time, Sion seemed somewhat…irritated, her lips pressing together as her eyes hardened.

“I had not thought she would continue this behavior, as Atlas provides her with a sizeable retainer for her services,” the Alchemist muttered. “Explain what happened.”

Shinji summarized the meeting he’d had with the Fifth Magician, with the Director of Atlas shaking her head.

“I had not intended the wealth of the Room of Hidden Things to be used for such a purpose,” the purple-haired woman noted flatly. “I trust you negotiated an equivalent exchange with your Master? Not a loan?”

“…she will be emplacing defenses for my manor,” Shinji admitted. “And crafting me a set of enchanted clothing for a venture I will undertake this year.”

“Oh?”

He briefly sketched out the situation with the Acromantula colony, and how he and the Stone Cutters intended to eliminate it this winter.

“Do be cautious,” the Alchemist warned. “If a member of the staff is indeed involved, which seems likely, then it may be more dangerous than you imagine.”

“…I will be, Sokaris,” Shinji answered, dipping his head in acquiescence. After all, he remembered the disastrous outcome of the Stone Cutters’ first year excursion – and knew, unlike everyone else, that the only reason he lived now was because Sokaris had intervened in the end. “Hence the armor. Though…”

Frowning, he withdrew a folded piece of paper from his jacket and smoothed it out on the table, passing it over to the purple-haired Alchemist, noting that one of her eyebrows shot upwards as her eyes fell upon the design.

“…this is from Gilderoy Lockhart, I presume.” Sion’s voice was utterly flat. “The self-proclaimed Old Man of the Mountain.”

“Yes. But how did you know, Sokaris?”

The Director of Atlas Academy was silent for nearly a minute as she collected her thoughts.

“In our last meeting at Mahoutokoro, we spoke of the Templars and their enemies,” she began, her purple eyes studying every detail of the design. “The design of these robes, particularly the aquiline hood, is akin to those used by the Order of Assassins. The faction whose overriding philosophy is that nothing is true, everything is permitted.”

Shinji blinked at that, as the pieces of the puzzle finally clicked. But that meant…that Gilderoy Lockhart…was an Assassin.

Fumbling about, he withdrew the gift he’d received from his grandfather from his mokeskin pouch, placing the bracer with its retractable blade on the table before them.

“Do you recognize this then?” he asked quietly. “I’ve never seen such a design before. This was…from my grandfather.”

“Most curious,” Sokaris murmured. “May I?”

“By all means.”

The Alchemist took the weapon into her hands, turning it over and over to see it from every angle.

“A Hidden Blade,” she mused, with a hint of surprise. “The signature weapon of the Order of Assassins. And this one is designed to bypass the personal bounded fields of Templars.”

…was this a coincidence? That his grandfather had sent him such a thing after he had given Lockhart the tome on the Templars?

He thought not.

“…hypothetically speaking, if I was in contact with a member of the Order, should I show them this weapon?”

It struck him as the only way he’d be able to learn to use it effectively, after all. Though if he learned…what did that mean about his dreams? That they spoke of futures that might be?

“I would advise caution in that regard.”

“Oh? Why so?”

“Because in the traditions of that Order, such weapons are not simply given. They are earned. And should you reveal your possession of such a thing, you are like to be tested – or recruited.”

Something that might not leave him with much time to spare on other training

“…I’ll have to think about it carefully.”

“Indeed. I would not wish for our goals to come into conflict, Matou Shinji.”
“They won’t.” The Matou scion’s voice was utterly solemn as he looked upon the figure of Sion Eltnam Atlasia. “No matter what happens.”

“Even if we should one day become enemies, Matou?” Her eyes were hard and searching as he looked upon the boy, seeing to her surprise that there was no sign of weakness, no sign of hesitation.

“That will not happen. Ever,” Shinji resolved. “Even if it costs me everything, even if the world itself becomes your enemy, I will be your ally.”

“…those are powerful words, Matou,” Sokaris murmured. The Alchemist nodded, surprised but pleased by his declaration. “I wonder if you can keep to them, come what may…” She shook her head. “But we have talked enough of such matters. Shall we speak of other things?”

And so, as Shinji packed away his various items, they continued their meal, speaking of London, of the various things they wished to see, of possibility and the rich histories of places all around the world, which he found quite educational, and of his need for a maid for his house, given how Tohsaka was in the mornings.

“You say that room, board, and a workshop will be provided? And that Aozaki Touko is to set up defenses?” Sion asked curiously. “If that is so, I would be willing to ask if my temporary aide would not mind moving from her current residence. The preparation of meals and such would be a small price to pay.”

“Your aide…her name was Mashu?”

He’d passed by a Lake Mashū in his journey in Hokkaido, after all. And if she was Japanese, as the name suggested, perhaps she would be able to keep Rin company. He hoped, anyway.

“Indeed.”

At the conclusion of their meal, the two headed off together, wandering London for a time, before parting at the house of the late poet John Keats, an English Romantic poet who was one of the most studied and admired today, with a style more heavily loaded with sensualities, more gorgeous in its effects, more voluptuously alive than any poet who had come before him. In the modern age, his house had become a museum, memorializing his short life – and how the inspiration and love he’d found had been cut short by his death.

“We will meet again, I hope?” Shinji asked, as their cars came to whisk them away to other times, taking them back to their normal lives.

“Indeed. Even should it rain, Matou Shinji,” Sion replied, with her answer causing a sense of warmth to well up in the boy’s chest, as he knew the reference - it was said that on Tanabata, should it rain, Hikoboshi and Orihime would not be able to meet, as the magpies which formed their bridge across the heavenly river would not come. For her to say that she would be there...that meant a lot to him. More than words could say. “Happy Holidays, Matou Shinji.”

“And you, Director.”

He watched as her car sped off into the distance, as it became smaller and smaller - and then was simply gone. With a faint smile lingering on his face, the Matou scion took a deep breath. It didn't matter if she didn't get him anything in particular - going to the gala and having this time to spend with her was the best present he could have asked for. And it seemed she'd been pleased with him, which was good. Humming a simple melody, he summoned Jeeves to pick him up, heading off to join Ilya for what promised to be an interesting evening, with a “ghost walk” of London followed by a medieval style feast at the St. Katherine docks.

For a moment in time, all seemed right with the world, a feeling that extended through the evening, into the night and through the morning...

100%

…until he found himself standing before his Master, who had arrived to setup the defenses, with Tohsaka Rin and Hermione Granger beside him. He’d invited them to join him for the day, as he hadn't been spending much time with Tohsaka lately and owed Hermione a visit to his house, but something was wrong. The two girls were looking at each other warily, as if wondering why the other was there at all, and the atmosphere felt rather tense, as if a single wrong move would send everything into chaos.

"So Matou," Touko quipped, looking between the two girls standing with Matou, her smile almost cruel as she took a puff from her cigarette. "Which one is your lover?"

100%

Choice 78: After you mention that neither is your lover - that you are all just friends - Hermione seems downcast. She comments soon after that she is grateful you invited her over, but she is not feeling well, and leaves, declining your offer to talk her home.

Touko looks at you, taking a puff of her cigarette.

"Well, Matou? Are you going to go after her?" she asks. "Or will you be staying? If it is the latter case, I could simply send Tomas to check on her."

[ ] Go after her
[ ] Stay and watch Touko

Choice 79: Its time for an interlude. Which POVs would you like? (choose one)

[ ] Hermione and Tomas
[ ] Harry, Daphne, Rin

gesalt
October 16th, 2015, 03:09 PM
[X] Watch
[X] Hermione + Thomas

Malgos
October 16th, 2015, 04:00 PM
Well I expected something bad coming out of that choice, but this was worse than I expected. Guess it wasn't a boring day for Hermione, though. So I guess I was wrong on that. I'd still say that watching runes being setup would've been a shitty day for Hermione just not quite as shitty as this.

100%

Go after Hermione. I don't think that Shinji has any chance of restoring their friendship otherwise.

And I want my Harry, Daphne and Rin slice of life action. I want to see Daphne's reaction to the regular London/world and I'm sure Rin will be entertaining to see as well. Harry already visited with Shinji, but I'm sure he'd be fun as well. Also this is a chance to see more of the Stone Cutters, which people seem to want a lot. So might as well take it?

saki
October 16th, 2015, 04:17 PM
"So Matou," Touko quipped, looking between the two girls standing with Matou, her smile almost cruel as she took a puff from her cigarette. "Which one is your lover?"
We were warned.
Alf, at the beginning you said Tomas goes with Rin, but in the end we can see Tomas/Hermione POV. Which one is it?

[ ] Stay and watch Touko. Send Tomas. (I think this is our best chance to break this issue, i dont think that shinji can say something that wont blow up in his face)
[ ] Either Rin or Hermione i want to see Tomas POV, especially now that he has two fragments of his soul. Rigth, is it going to be from Tomas side, the girl or both?

alfheimwanderer
October 16th, 2015, 04:27 PM
The interludes are retrospective, offering a view of what has transpired during break to this point, with POVs changing between the names characters. This is not a day 30 interlude

skulkidcachi90
October 16th, 2015, 04:29 PM
Choice 78:

[ ] Go after her
[X] Stay and watch Touko

Choice 79: Its time for an interlude. Which POVs would you like? (choose one)

[ X] Hermione and Tomas
[] Harry, Daphne, Rin

saki
October 16th, 2015, 04:38 PM
Ah, this is the meeting between Tomas and hermione that happened in the 27. Then i think it would also make a more interesting story to send Tomas for Hermione while having their POVs at the same time.
Umm, could you at leas spoil if the first meeting was good or bad?

EnigmaticFellow
October 16th, 2015, 05:36 PM
[X] Go after her
[X] Stay and watch Touko
[X] Harry, Daphne, Rin

First choice is due to Touko providing us a convenient way of amicably working out the relationship between Shinji and Hermione. Second choice is purely due to preference.

Edit: changed my first choice since I think Hermione needs some space. Also, additional Touko points wouldn't hurt.

Kuroyuki
October 16th, 2015, 05:41 PM
[X] Go after her

[X] Harry, Daphne, Rin


Rip Hermione's dreams. But I'm voting go after her instead of avoiding her like normal because I didn't want to date her. However, I do want us to be friends hence why I tried to avoid her and tried to get her to stand on her own. But since it's come to this. Let's go after her and try to amicably sort this out now shall we?

Also POV choice is completely biased.

Caster
October 16th, 2015, 05:58 PM
Go after her and Tomas/Hermione. Given what Sion said about Hermione possibly being very strong, I think it's a good idea to know what Tomas may have said while they were alone together.

Also glad we did not show Lockhart.

saki
October 16th, 2015, 06:34 PM
Thinking about the far future. Should we choose to show the blade to Lockhart after we win the potion championship? It seems like that championship would give us the most benefits and asking Lockhart about the blade my lock us out of it because of the assassin training.

Abendroth
October 16th, 2015, 07:02 PM
December 29: [ ] Defenses with Rin and Hermione; [ ]
I'm confused. When I did a tally of votes the winner appeared to be spending time with Rin and Hermione, not watching.


Watch with Rin and Hermione: 3
saki, skullkidcachi90, cassius


Spend time with Rin and Hermione: 6
skull leader, mr_trickster, Abendroth ,Magus, All that is left unsaid, Caster


What did I miss?

mr_Trickster
October 16th, 2015, 07:13 PM
I'm confused. When I did a tally of votes the winner appeared to be spending time with Rin and Hermione, not watching.

It's possible that since we failed to mention anything specific, the votes were combined during tallying. To be fair, watching with them would have counted for it.

As for votes, we now find ourselves in a very bad position. No matter which action we take, we're slated to lose reputation with the person we do not stay with. Unlike Hermoine, however, Rin might be able to take it better by virtue of the fact that she is aware that we aren't interested in her that way. I shall withhold my vote on Rin or Hermoine and the interludes for now, though, as I wish to see what the others think.

alfheimwanderer
October 16th, 2015, 07:17 PM
It's possible that since we failed to mention anything specific, the votes were combined during tallying. To be fair, watching with them would have counter for it.

That, yes - since you don't mention anything specific (what the OTHER ACTIVITY should be), I default to Hermione wanting to visit the house first - which means that she and Rin are both there for Touko's comment.

Abendroth
October 16th, 2015, 07:44 PM
That, yes - since you don't mention anything specific (what the OTHER ACTIVITY should be), I default to Hermione wanting to visit the house first - which means that she and Rin are both there for Touko's comment.That still shouldn't let them watch the defenses being raised, even if we are passing through together. We were very specific about avoiding that.

alfheimwanderer
October 16th, 2015, 07:47 PM
That still shouldn't let them watch the defenses being raised, even if we are passing through together. We were very specific about avoiding that.

I've switched the choice up then. Its now "spend time with them", and Touko wasn't setting up the defenses yet. Since no one specified something to do, however, the result remains the same. Touko asks the question, disaster occurs.

Caster
October 16th, 2015, 07:47 PM
It does seem somewhat off given that the stated goal tended to be along the lines of avoiding the drama that Hermione and Rin with Touko would bring. Even if a stated meeting place wasn't designated they could have met before. Given that Hillard didn't happen we could have taken them to an amusement park.

Cassius
October 16th, 2015, 07:48 PM
[x] Stay and watch Touko
[X] Harry, Daphne, Rin

Mint
October 16th, 2015, 07:49 PM
[X] Go after her

Not sure on the interlude.

Abendroth
October 16th, 2015, 07:58 PM
I've switched the choice up then. Its now "spend time with them", and Touko wasn't setting up the defenses yet. Since no one specified something to do, however, the result remains the same. Touko asks the question, disaster occurs.


If we get screwed over socially because we failed to specify an activity, that's something I can accept. I'll consider it our penalty for not contributing to the story with our ideas by providing an interesting write-in.

- - - Updated - - -

[ ] Go after her

Of the characters in the interludes, whose POV will it be written from?

alfheimwanderer
October 16th, 2015, 08:32 PM
Of the characters in the interludes, whose POV will it be written from?

All of them. POVs will switch at opportune times.

Veldril
October 16th, 2015, 08:40 PM
[x] Follow Hermione

[x] Harry, Daphne and Rin

It's first time a pureblood goes to muggle side of thing. Should be fun to read.

saki
October 16th, 2015, 08:54 PM
Why does everyone wants to see Harry slice of life instead of what the young reformed? version of Voldemort is thinking. He even has 2 pieces of his soul now. Alfheimwanderer gives an intresting spin to all the characters personalities, whats happening to Tom is bound to be interesting. Just look at the not-so-good-kind-of-evil Dumbledore

Nephirin
October 16th, 2015, 09:20 PM
[x]Stay and watch
[x]Hermoine and Tomas

mr_Trickster
October 16th, 2015, 09:29 PM
As I mentioned Rin is likely to be a little more forgiving of our sudden need to bai by virtueof the fact that she is a little more aware of where she stands with us and we have generated quite a good bit of goodwill with her already. This is further supported by the conversation we had with Sion just this chapter. Hermione might become quite useful to us in the future - even if only for the sake of our further research.

Now, as for the interludes, we can get quite a bit from Harry, Rin, and Daphne as it would allow us access to information we wouldn't be able to acquire such as thei experiences in mundane London and how this migh have affected the way they think and their outlooks - especially for a pure-blood like Daphne.

It would also allow us to gauge how much of a reputaion loss we got with Rin for going after Hermione.

[X] - go after Hermione
[X] - Harry, Daphne, and Rin

Mattias
October 16th, 2015, 09:53 PM
[x] Go after her. Time to put this thing out of its misery. Finally. I wish she hadn't run off though, I wanna hang with Touko.

[x] Harry and co I guess.

Caster
October 16th, 2015, 10:18 PM
You don't think that the possible interaction of Voldemort with a vulnerable Hermione is more pressing than mundane London? At best I see that being a fluff piece with a fun guest.

saki
October 16th, 2015, 10:33 PM
Thats what im saying, 30% of Lord Voldemort is going on a date with Hermione and everyone wants to see Harry window shopping with Daphne and Rin.

Abendroth
October 16th, 2015, 11:01 PM
It would also allow us to gauge how much of a reputaion loss we got with Rin for going after Hermione.
The interlude happens before that.

- - - Updated - - -



Of the two options, the one featuring the smooth tongued, manipulative, mind reading genius wizard and the emotionally vulnerable witch that we put a great deal of trust in has by far the greatest potential for trouble. Besides, Harry can be counted on to mention it if anything particularly significant happens. Neither Hermione nor Tomas will give us any sort of sit rep.


Besides, Tomas is one of the few significant players that we've never seen a the POV of. Don't you want to have some idea of what his actual goals are?

[x]Hermoine and Tomas

mr_Trickster
October 16th, 2015, 11:04 PM
The interlude happens before that.

I understood that the interlude was to cover the remainder of the break before new year's, so we'd still have been able to see the effects of what we've done.

Though I do see the reasoning behind selecting Tomas and Hermoine, so very well:

[x] - Tomas and Hermione

Abendroth
October 16th, 2015, 11:10 PM
I understood that the interlude was to cover the remainder of the break before new year's, so we'd still have been able to see the effects of what we've done.


Well, Tomas with Hermione is on the 27th.


Dec 27: [X] Take Zelkova; [X] Luna with Ilya; [X] Tomas with Hermione

And I thought that was when we asked Harry to take care of Rin as well. That's why he was not available for future favors.

mangafreak7793
October 16th, 2015, 11:35 PM
[ ] Stay and watch Touko

[ ] Thomas and Hermonie

Let Thomas deal with it.

Caster
October 16th, 2015, 11:49 PM
You want to let Tomas deal with someone that could turn her against us, when Sion made a specific point of saying Hermione should be especially powerful? That seems overly unwise. Where is the random paranoia that Hermione would break all our defenses if we let her see them but letting Voldemort continue to influence her is totally fine? Seriously, the way those fears play out make no sense in terms of priorities and likelihood.

mangafreak7793
October 17th, 2015, 01:01 AM
Yet you ignored my warning of bringing her in the first place? Despite my warning she was very smart and fortunately we avoided her looking at the foundation of our defenses. As for Thomas, at this point i consider him and Voldemort to be separate entities and we have stuff to do now, which we still have to do. Besides tell me what will he do to her, go to the dark side? She's a muggleborn, and even then from all our interactions Thomas doesn't seem that interested in Magical Britain.

Caster
October 17th, 2015, 01:09 AM
I think the odds of Hermione doing anything negative are dependent on us continuing to make things worse. My plan avoided that as I didn't intend to bring Rin. Ignoring her now is just continuing to make things problematic, but so be it.

Vagrant
October 17th, 2015, 01:24 AM
[☆] Watch Touko
[☆] Hermione and Tomas

Touko points gotta keep rollin. Told you guys to ditch everyone and just go with Touko. Sticking to that sentiment.

Skull Leader
October 17th, 2015, 01:04 PM
Well I did not vote before the site went down but I will do it now.

[x] Follow Hermione

[x] Harry, Daphne and Rin

Can't say I trust Tomas with anything. He's still Voldermort. He will do what benefits him, and not anyone else. As for Harry and company, I like slice of life.

Magus
October 17th, 2015, 01:07 PM
Well, I knew that putting Rin and Hermione together would trigger some character development. Of course, there was a very good chance that something bad like that this would happen - and I also knew that.

If everything had worked smoothly, Hermione is introduced to a larger circle of friends and begins to see the larger scope of Shinji's relationships. Of course, given how Hermione has been acting so far, that possibility was rather optimistic. But if things went sour, I knew that could also be turned to our advantage - this revelation is what we finally needed to shatter Hermione's misconceptions about Shinji! To an extent, I was counting on the latter, with the former just being a bonus if it transpired. How else would we have finally gotten through to Hermione? Certainly we couldn't have done it without hurting her feelings.

Of course, what we do next is crucial. If we don't go after Hermione, we've likely tripped her suicide flag. But if we go after her, we reaffirm our friendship and we have the chance to talk things through with her. It will be painful for both Hermione and Shniji, but necessary, and at long last healing can begin between them.

[x] Go after Hermione

All according to keikaku. (Translator's note: "keikaku" means plan).

As for the Interlude: [x] Tomas and Hermione

This looks like it offers very interesting character developments

Abendroth
October 17th, 2015, 01:20 PM
Chapter 30


The dream



Sounds like an attack on the World Cup. The red robed Aurors identified it as likely taking place in Britain.


And how fortunate that the dream reminds us of the usefulness of melee weapons when we have just been given a blade.



Ilya's bedchamber



Ilya continues to be a tease.


Luna and Zelkova are both yang aligned. I wonder if the presence of other powerful yang aligned people or places could have the same effect?


I am somewhat disappointed we did not gets to see the conversation with the magicians at the gala, but perhaps words could not truly do it justice.


Aoko is trolling her sister by hugging us in the snow globe isn't she? I do wonder who created the globes.


We seem to be accumulating Ilya points the quite well. Hopefully well enough.



Touko



I am pleased to see that my evaluation of Arithmancy as heavily theory based was correct. This shouldn't hurt our performance too badly, since Shinji generally rocks theory.


Does her referring to us as her aprentice here mean we are no longer provisional? I also note her removal of her glasses.


That blade sounds extremely useful. If it disrupts prana constructs then perhaps we can use it to swat spells out of the air, or free ourself from enchantments by stabbing ourselves, I suppose.


Thinking of Shinji with a melee weapon reminds me of the "Gandalf was a just a fighter with an 18 Int" idea. " Fight smarter, not harder," indeed.

alfheimwanderer
October 17th, 2015, 01:45 PM
Tally so far:

Choice 78

[10] Go after her
[7] Stay and watch Touko


Choice 79:

[8] Hermione and Tomas
[9] Harry, Daphne, Rin



Does her referring to us as her aprentice here mean we are no longer provisional? I also note her removal of her glasses.

Not necessarily. As for the glasses, she was getting a little serious about squeezing some money out of you here.

Magus
October 17th, 2015, 02:00 PM
People really want to see more slice of life rather than getting a peek into what transpired with Tomas?

Well, at least the vote is going toward following Hermione at the moment. Of course, either way could backfire, but I'd think ignoring her would make things even worse.

All That Is Left Unsaid
October 17th, 2015, 02:08 PM
[x] Go after her

If Shinji did suffer a reputation hit in Rin's eyes, going after Hermione should theoretically mitigate it, showing that Shinji is just honestly clueless about women, rather than any sort of playboy, and that he does genuinely care about people. On the other hand, if sending Tomas would be portrayed as Shinji recognizing that he screwed something up, and worrying that going himself would make it worse, then I could be persuaded to change my vote.

[x] Hermione and Tomas

I'd just really like some more insight on Tomas. Knowing more about him would give us a better idea of what we can trust him with, as with Lockhart.

Magus
October 17th, 2015, 02:12 PM
[x] Go after her

If Shinji did suffer a reputation hit in Rin's eyes, going after Hermione should theoretically mitigate it, showing that Shinji is just honestly clueless about women, rather than any sort of playboy, and that he does genuinely care about people. On the other hand, if sending Tomas would be portrayed as Shinji recognizing that he screwed something up, and worrying that going himself would make it worse, then I could be persuaded to change my vote.



Well, yes, that would be the main way in which it could backfire, given that Hermione already refused Shinji walking her home. But I'd rather trust us to handle the situation than Tomas/part of Voldemort, and I think both Hermione and Shinji will regret it if they don't have the chance to talk in person.

alfheimwanderer
October 17th, 2015, 02:33 PM
Given what Sion said about Hermione possibly being very strong, I think it's a good idea to know what Tomas may have said while they were alone together.

Hermione was an example of a Muggleborn - one who came into her abilities apart from the overriding culture of Magical Britain for the first time and who would likely have the ability to do rather interesting things. Sadly, as she pours her energy into her classes and simply accepts what is taught to her and what she reads, assimilating into Magical Britain - much of that potential for more has already been degraded (or turned to acceptable channels).

Malgos
October 17th, 2015, 02:46 PM
Hermione was an example of a Muggleborn - one who came into her abilities apart from the overriding culture of Magical Britain for the first time and who would likely have the ability to do rather interesting things. Sadly, as she pours her energy into her classes and simply accepts what is taught to her and what she reads, assimilating into Magical Britain - much of that potential for more has already been degraded (or turned to acceptable channels).

I'm surprised that was misunderstood.

Anyways just think of it like Kuzuki, he was an amazing assassin but started degrading once he conformed to society. The same is true for the children born with magical potential that get trained in Hogwarts. There they conform to the same believes as the wizards. Luna is a good example of a wizard that is still doing what they're supposed to do hence she can achieve spirit fusion easily. So it's basically "if Hermione was more like Luna, she could be pretty strong as the one of the successors to the old witches."

Caster
October 17th, 2015, 03:07 PM
I would imagine that Hermione could regain most of that potential unless two almost three years is that drastic of an impact. I certainly wasn't saying she was amazing now, just that the potential is there, more so than one would traditionally expect at least. It wasn't an absolute statement by any stretch.

EnigmaticFellow
October 17th, 2015, 03:09 PM
Posting here to notify the fact that I changed my vote for whether or not to follow Hermione.

Abendroth
October 17th, 2015, 03:18 PM
Harry is our best friend. If he acted like this (assuming we noticed) I think we would try and talk to him, so, as a friend, I think talking to Hermione makes sense.

saki
October 17th, 2015, 03:18 PM
Guys, we are tolking about "Daily Live of young lord Voldemort" vs Harry Potter going on a date.
Also, knowing what kind of secret wisdom Tom imparted on Hermione, that may shape some of our choices in the future.

Malgos
October 17th, 2015, 04:18 PM
I would imagine that Hermione could regain most of that potential unless two almost three years is that drastic of an impact. I certainly wasn't saying she was amazing now, just that the potential is there, more so than one would traditionally expect at least. It wasn't an absolute statement by any stretch.

It's a mindset you don't just easily shed that.

The hermit has come down from his mountain and integrated into society.

The assassin already experienced society, after his first kill, he's just going to start degrading towards humanity now.

arsdraconis
October 17th, 2015, 05:25 PM
Of course voted Hermione interaction defaults to worst case scenario just like Luna's unvoted interaction would randomly pops up for the best rabu rabu point interactions

Malgos
October 17th, 2015, 05:39 PM
Of course voted Hermione interaction defaults to worst case scenario just like Luna's unvoted interaction would randomly pops up for the best rabu rabu point interactions

Well you were supposed to write-in what you wanted to do. Hermione is just a friend coming over to hang out at your house, since you said nothing about anything else. My write-in may not have been the best, but one could've picked that or better yet written something they thought would be better.

People asked for more choices, well I didn't and thinking about all these choices and considering the days and group dynamics was hell but that's besides the point, so you got more choices.

Vagrant
October 17th, 2015, 05:41 PM
You idiots. Just let her go. If she kills herself then at least we don't have to deal with her shit anymore.

Malgos
October 17th, 2015, 05:52 PM
You idiots. Just let her go.


Maybe I got something wrong, but it doesn't matter because the thought of wanting to help others definitely isn't wrong.

It's not a mistake!

Omida
October 17th, 2015, 06:23 PM
[X] Stay and watch Touko

[X] Harry, Daphne, Rin

saki
October 17th, 2015, 06:36 PM
Whats the plus of seeing Harry group instead of Voldy Jr.
I alredy saw a few post with good reasons to vote for Tomas but nothing for Harry

Vagrant
October 17th, 2015, 07:22 PM
Yeah. Literally best charavter vs Rin thirdwheeling harry's date. How is this even a contest?

alfheimwanderer
October 17th, 2015, 08:07 PM
Updated Tally:

Choice 78

[11] Go after her
[9] Stay and watch Touko


Choice 79:

[9] Hermione and Tomas
[10] Harry, Daphne, Rin

Nephirin
October 17th, 2015, 08:31 PM
Holy shit what is wrong with all the people voting to watch Harry's group?

saki
October 17th, 2015, 08:41 PM
c´mon, we need one to swich!!

skulkidcachi90
October 17th, 2015, 08:44 PM
I change my vote from "Harry, Daphne, Rin" to "Hermione and Tomas".
Also please let hermione alone in this, she need to learn how to deal with this shit, also I do not want let rin alone with Touko.

mangafreak7793
October 17th, 2015, 08:53 PM
Why are you people wanting to chase after Hermonie? You guys says 'emotionally unstable', she is just a upset teenage girl, not that big of a deal. Also how would that help her to chase after her? What will Shinji say to her because it's not a misunderstanding it was the truth.

Mattias
October 17th, 2015, 09:02 PM
Vag convinced me. I change my vote to

[x] Stay with Touko
[x] Hermy and Tomas

All That Is Left Unsaid
October 17th, 2015, 09:04 PM
Yeah, I'll change my Hermione vote to

[x] Stay and watch Touko

The more I think about it, the more I feel that Hermione declining Shinji's offer to take her home is one of those hints that she would be better off away from Shinji for the time being. Sort of like the options for trying to stay awake during the camping trip. As clueless as he is, Shinji might make things worse if he insists on talking to Hermione in her current condition.

saki
October 17th, 2015, 09:18 PM
Also if we chase Herminone then Touko has Rin all to herself. Dont know what is worst

Malgos
October 17th, 2015, 09:27 PM
Holy shit what is wrong with all the people voting to watch Harry's group?

Holy shit what's wrong with you to say such things?

I don't mind if that choice wins, but this is some peer pressure right there. Good arguments for that choice have been made, but things like this are really unnecessary. Sure the other choice may not lead to more stuff for you guys to meta game with, but there's no need to shit talk. Stop it.

Also since you're wondering what is wrong with me, it's because I don't care what "Young Voldemort" does. I would like to think that Touko has him under control and from the interaction Shinji had with him he's obviously not going to go down the route his other self pursued at the very least. Also as said before I'm curious how someone, who's been living in that isolated world, would react to the wonders of modern society. Also it's nice to have something that's fun after the last chapter ended on a sour note. Also that choice forced Harry to give up time to spend with his girlfriend so might as well make it worth the while.

Magus
October 17th, 2015, 10:54 PM
Well, there's not much I can do to influence how the vote will go at this point. I may have helped push us this point to spur some development on Hermione's arc, but I don't want her to jump off the deep end and do something like committing suicide. Again, maybe there's a chance that we'll make things worse by following her, but I don't think things will get better either if we ignore her, and maybe Hermione will regret leaving without a chance to talk by the time we catch up with her. In the best case scenario, it could work out along the lines of the scene with Kirito and Lisbeth in SAO when Lisbeth realizes that her friend Asuna is also in love with Kirito, and he follows her.

In any case, being Hermione is suffering.

Velyoukai
October 18th, 2015, 01:06 AM
Stay and watch

Tomas because I like his PoV

mr_Trickster
October 18th, 2015, 01:21 AM
It occurs to me that I may not have switched yet:

[x] - Stay and watch

Magus
October 18th, 2015, 05:47 AM
So the direction of the votes is changing. Either way, I hope that we don't mess this one up.

mr_Trickster
October 18th, 2015, 05:51 AM
So the direction of the votes is changing. Either way, I hope that we don't mess this one up.

Agreed.

Thedoctor
October 18th, 2015, 08:04 AM
Stay and watch.

Tomas and Hermione.

alfheimwanderer
October 18th, 2015, 03:36 PM
78: [x] - Stay and watch
79: [X] Hermione and Tomas

100%

Choice 80: Shinji chooses to stay at the house, afraid that he will only make things worse if he goes himself, since he knows he made a mistake somewhere but doesn't know exactly what it was. He does entrust Tomas with his present for Hermione though - the enchanted notebook he bought for her.

For now though, another choice looms, given that both Touko and Rin are there.

What do you focus on? (Choose one)

[ ] Focus on what Touko is doing - It is important to understand the foundation of our defenses
[ ] Focus on spending time with Rin - except for breakfasts, and the first day, you haven't really spent much time with her

Mint
October 18th, 2015, 03:56 PM
[X] Focus on what Touko is doing - It is important to understand the foundation of our defenses

Abendroth
October 18th, 2015, 03:58 PM
[ ] Focus on spending time with Rin - except for breakfasts, and the first day, you haven't really spent much time with her

Alf has already stated that without spirit fusion we won't learn much, and that we won't use fusion with Rin around.

Malgos
October 18th, 2015, 03:59 PM
Spend time with Rin.

Magus
October 18th, 2015, 03:59 PM
I can only hope the others made the right choice by sending out Tomas instead.

[x] Focus on spending time with Rin.

mangafreak7793
October 18th, 2015, 04:01 PM
[ ] Focus on what Touko is doing - It is important to understand the foundation of our defenses

saki
October 18th, 2015, 04:35 PM
[ ] Focus on spending time with Rin - except for breakfasts, and the first day, you haven't really spent much time with her.
She probably understands what just happened, it would be good to talk to her.

skulkidcachi90
October 18th, 2015, 04:37 PM
[X] Focus on spending time with Rin - except for breakfasts, and the first day, you haven't really spent much time with her


Rin can help shinji to know what is happening with hermoine, and is gonna be interesting see what think rin of this situation.

Thedoctor
October 18th, 2015, 05:28 PM
[X] Focus on spending time with Rin - except for breakfasts, and the first day, you haven't really spent much time with her

mangafreak7793
October 18th, 2015, 05:30 PM
Wouldn't ignoring Touko's teaching look bad on him?

Mattias
October 18th, 2015, 05:35 PM
[x] Touko. Pay attention to Master, not the vagrant we have allowed into our home.

Abendroth
October 18th, 2015, 05:50 PM
[x] Touko. Pay attention to Master, not the vagrant we have allowed into our home.
Focusing on Touko means Rin will also be there watching her assemble the defenses. I have no desire to see that option back-doored in after so much time and discussion was put into preventing it from happening. Focusing on Rin means we can get her out of the way, while focusing on our master means we show Rin everything, while learning almost nothing ourselves.

Kuroyuki
October 18th, 2015, 07:22 PM
[X] Focus on what Touko is doing - It is important to understand the foundation of our defenses

Ignoring your master is bad. Also not knowing how to deal with your defenses is bad. As much as I would love to catch up with Rin, there's plenty of time for that later since she is going to be living in our house.

EnigmaticFellow
October 18th, 2015, 07:35 PM
[X] Focus on what Touko is doing - It is important to understand the foundation of our defenses

I think Rin will understand if Shinji wants to prioritize the defenses of the place they're both living in over having a little extra time with her.

saki
October 18th, 2015, 07:45 PM
Umm, the way things are going, arent we making shinji do something akin to proposing marriage to rin. Alf said that to us a lot of times, its bound to happen.

Thedoctor
October 18th, 2015, 07:46 PM
We won't really learn that much because we can't Fusion with Rin around. Rin's also gonna wonder who that other girl was so it may be better to talk to her.

alfheimwanderer
October 18th, 2015, 07:57 PM
We won't really learn that much because we can't Fusion with Rin around. Rin's also gonna wonder who that other girl was so it may be better to talk to her.

In case you've forgotten, you all voted to have Zelkova spend the day with Ilya and Luna, so you wouldn't be able to fuse either way.

gesalt
October 18th, 2015, 08:04 PM
[X] Touko

Caster
October 18th, 2015, 08:07 PM
I'll vote Touko. Partially for the meta reason of EF and Kuro voting for it, may mean that Alf has said something in IRC to hint at it being a good idea. Partially since at this point it's already gone way badly and will only get worse, may as well try and prepare from a mechanical standpoint as best we can, social stuff is on the way to exploding.

alfheimwanderer
October 18th, 2015, 08:14 PM
I haven't been on my channel all day. IndieCade stuff has been keeping me busy. Nor have I talked to EF all weekend. So not a consideration.

Skull Leader
October 18th, 2015, 08:39 PM
[X] Focus on spending time with Rin

Without Zelkova, looking at the defenses is pointless, and with Touko's comment today I not in the mood to spending time with her.

I can not tell if she said it because she teasing us like an older sibling would do or if she doing it because she feels she getting to close with Shinji and needs to act out to get him to back out of the apprenticeship. So far by my count she has out right manipulated Shinji twice by invoking Sion's name to get him to do stuff. First it was her saying that Runes are useful for Atlas, getting Shinji to jump headfirst into the subject. Then with mentioning the Sion will approve of us being in the potion competition. Then she strong armed us into paying her debts when acting as a child against her sister by racking up the huge debt. And now this. It like she pushes people close to her away when they get too close.

As for Rin I rather not ruin two relationships today by not focusing on Rin. She came around the world because of us and we have barely spent time with her.

Caster
October 18th, 2015, 08:44 PM
I wasn't saying it was an absolute Alf, just was possible. Hard to tell what gets discussed sometimes. My vote still stands though. Makes more sense to just focus on magical stuff now.

mr_Trickster
October 18th, 2015, 08:46 PM
Please say this in red To confirm, Alf, we would still be learning something from staying with Touko, yes?

skulkidcachi90
October 18th, 2015, 08:59 PM
As for Rin I rather not ruin two relationships today by not focusing on Rin. She came around the world because of us and we have barely spent time with her.

She need to know than shinji care about her and explain her why shinji need time to arrange all the problems he have now.
If shinji can avoid other problem like the hermoine before it happen, he should avoid it now.

Nephirin
October 18th, 2015, 09:00 PM
[x] Focus on Touko

alfheimwanderer
October 18th, 2015, 09:28 PM
:confused: It like she pushes people close to her away when they get to close.

She does indeed do that. She doesn't like getting attached to any one person or place for too long, and does eventually move on.


Please say this in red To confirm, Alf, we would still be learning something from staying with Touko, yes?

Yes

Jumping on IRC now.

saki
October 18th, 2015, 09:29 PM
Please say this in red To confirm, Alf, we would still be learning something from staying with Touko, yes?

You need to say in blue, Shinji will learn something if he stays with Touko.

alfheimwanderer
October 18th, 2015, 09:34 PM
THE STARTING PENALTY IS FIVE

Cassius
October 18th, 2015, 09:36 PM
[X] Focus on what Touko is doing - It is important to understand the foundation of our defenses

mr_Trickster
October 18th, 2015, 09:39 PM
You need to say in blue, Shinji will learn something if he stays with Touko.

Asking people to repeat things in red is very much canon. I'll present my theories once I have confirmed information.

In any case, I'll have to go with [x] - Staying with Touko by virtue of the fact that that was our main goal here in the first place. Considering the fact that we have been trying to get better at just about everything here on top of just learning fusion, we stand to gain more with her right now and the day after. While it's true that we haven't gotten much of a chance to stay with Rin this break, we still have the New Year's Party to make up for that and what few days we do have afterward - assuming we haven't been reserved for Illya or Luna. Of course, this would also be an excellent opportunity for us to get the different ships to simmer down for a short time - something we could probably use right now.

Abendroth
October 18th, 2015, 09:40 PM
Please say this in red To confirm, Alf, we would still be learning something from staying with Touko, yes?

You need it to learn on the second day, yes. While you may learn something from the first day without it, you would learn far more with it - maximizing your boost.
So, yes, but only barely.

Caster
October 18th, 2015, 09:40 PM
What penalty? And if Touko is going to do that it sounds like all the more reason to try and stave that off. Losing Touko would be a massive penalty to Shinji's growth.

mr_Trickster
October 18th, 2015, 10:14 PM
What penalty? And if Touko is going to do that it sounds like all the more reason to try and stave that off. Losing Touko would be a massive penalty to Shinji's growth.

It's a Fate/Stay Night reference.

Magus
October 18th, 2015, 10:38 PM
Admittedly, Touko is closer to the original plan (observe defense with Rin and Hermione), though it's also been established that Shinji may not learn that much (though it will be something), so I thought we might as well add a few points to Rin and maybe smooth over any penalties from her encounter with Hermione. And it is true that we haven't spent much time with her since the start of the break.

But either way is acceptable to me, and I've already voted.

Abendroth
October 18th, 2015, 10:42 PM
[x] - Staying with Touko by virtue of the fact that that was our main goal here in the first place.
That's the opposite of the goal of the winning vote.

Caster
October 18th, 2015, 10:44 PM
I'm sure if we want to learn much on the second day we will need to spend focus on the second. It's also closer to a practical day.

mAc Chaos
October 18th, 2015, 10:57 PM
i leave this thread for a few days and its umineko now

NICE

saki
October 18th, 2015, 11:26 PM
"Its magic i dont have to explain shit" is a slogan that fits Umineko, and FSN alike.

mr_Trickster
October 18th, 2015, 11:34 PM
And then we get to how borderline-scientific the magic in Nasuverse can get. XD

Malgos
October 19th, 2015, 12:42 AM
I hope Rin wins, I feel bad for her. Cultural differences, trouble speaking the language, adjusting to everything and the person who caused her to come to Britain in the first place hasn't really paid much attention to her either. Also just because Rin is living in the house doesn't necessarily mean that she and Shinji will see each other often. Shinji is busy in school, is gone next year and she will go to the Clock Tower and be busy there. I'd say, since things already panned out like this might as well at least give Rin a little bit of time. That was part of the plan anyways.

mr_Trickster
October 19th, 2015, 12:51 AM
I hope Rin wins, I feel bad for her. Cultural differences, trouble speaking the language, adjusting to everything and the person who caused her to come to Britain in the first place hasn't really paid much attention to her either. Also just because Rin is living in the house doesn't necessarily mean that she and Shinji will see each other often. Shinji is busy in school, is gone next year and she will go to the Clock Tower and be busy there. I'd say, since things already panned out like this might as well at least give Rin a little bit of time. That was part of the plan anyways.

Okay, this definitely gets me.

[x] - Spend time with Rin

Megas
October 19th, 2015, 12:53 AM
[x] - Spend time with Rin


Yeah, I'm still a huge sucker for Rin.

Caster
October 19th, 2015, 12:56 AM
We gave her time. And we not only dealt with all that but we didn't ask her to come. We've already made it easier, Shinji has no obligations to more time on her. He is however about to lead a group of people whom are going to be in Shinji's hand, any combat prowess, however small, may mean the difference between life and death. Rin isn't going to be in any danger if we don't spend a day with her, studying our teacher gives us better odds of understanding the next day and making even a little progress is better.

Omida
October 19th, 2015, 01:34 AM
I refrained myself from voting immediately to see what opinions others would be and when I returned there is... Umineko? Stranger things happened, I suppose.

[X] - Spend time with Rin


Okay, since I wasn't exactly talkative last time, I must say that Shinji's scene with Sion was absolutely delicious. I mean, there is infatuation, there is love, and there is what Shinji has. He is so whipped... Shinji sure likes to choose one female in his life to obsess over. At least this time it's for all the good reasons. And good thing we didn't decide to show grandpa's present to Lockhart, I doubt I will support doing so for quite some time.

Magus
October 19th, 2015, 06:19 AM
I hope Rin wins, I feel bad for her. Cultural differences, trouble speaking the language, adjusting to everything and the person who caused her to come to Britain in the first place hasn't really paid much attention to her either. Also just because Rin is living in the house doesn't necessarily mean that she and Shinji will see each other often. Shinji is busy in school, is gone next year and she will go to the Clock Tower and be busy there. I'd say, since things already panned out like this might as well at least give Rin a little bit of time. That was part of the plan anyways.

Agreed. Even if observing the defenses was part of the plan, we also invited both Hermione and Rin in the first place to spend some time with them, and you make the excellent point that Rin may not be as available as we think in the future.

saki
October 19th, 2015, 07:36 AM
Rigth, almost forgot. I want Shinji to spend time with Rin in a place at least five blocks from Touko. Nothing of spending time in the house drinking tea with Touko in the other floor making the defences.

Magus
October 19th, 2015, 08:16 AM
I might be wrong, and this is by no means official, but I think the current count looks like this:

[x] Touko - 8
[x] Rin - 10

Abendroth
October 19th, 2015, 08:22 AM
Rigth, almost forgot. I want Shinji to spend time with Rin in a place at least five blocks from Touko. Nothing of spending time in the house drinking tea with Touko in the other floor making the defences.
Ditto. We should probably come up with some ideas so we don't have a repeat of last time. Given that Waver is her sponsor, taking her to the Future Zone may be a good idea. He will no doubt ask her about video games and she will appreciate the leg up.

Skull Leader
October 19th, 2015, 08:37 AM
I think showing her Future Zone is a little too Meta for me. Plus how much can she really get to understand video games in just one day? This is Rin here, she like the bane of technology.

I say if we have to choice, I would choice to show her our world of Magic. Take her to Diagon Alley. It might be primitive and would throw her off a bit but it can be a place where we show her more about us. It will give a time for Rin to ask the questions she has. She has to have a few now after spending the last few days around Shinji and his friends.

We can tell her about the challenges we faced being from a complete new culture when we first came over. It might help her face her own challenges she going to have to overcome being Japanese at the Clock Tower. Also as a bonus, if we walk around the Diagon Alley with our Order of Merlin pin and just after its been announced that we have bought the Black Mansion, people will come up and talk to us. This can put another nail in showing Rin how we have changed for the better.

mAc Chaos
October 19th, 2015, 09:45 AM
If Shinji is dead set on Sion, is there really a point in trying to build up a harem?

Also Rin might be upset with Shinji too and just not showing it.

Nonetheless I still find Rin more interesting. But if we got sneak attacked later down the line, knowing our own defenses could be important.

I'll vote later today.

saki
October 19th, 2015, 09:47 AM
We already hook Illya into gaming, lets corrupt Rin too. That will also allow her to bond better with Waver.

All That Is Left Unsaid
October 19th, 2015, 02:36 PM
[x] Focus on what Touko is doing - It is important to understand the foundation of our defenses

Maximize what Shinji can understand about his home's defenses for today and tomorrow. It might be useful to boost Shinji's knowledge of runes and bounded fields so he can use them while in spirit fusion. Such could be the difference between success or failure come the Acromantula battle. Remember, Alf said it was that last choice to focus on ofuda before being paired with Ron that allowed Shinji to pull fusion off when he did.

Runes may not be valued at the Clock Tower, but Touko will probably be using more than just them for the defenses and Rin should be able to appreciate the idea of not dismissing something out of hand. Further, if she is familiar with any of it, at least from an academic standpoint, she might appreciate something she is familiar with -at least in principle- to all of the new things she is being bombarded with.

She is also highly unlikely to view it as any sort of romantic gesture, given that Shinji originally brought Hermione along as well.

Thedoctor
October 19th, 2015, 03:09 PM
This game was Umineko all along wasn't it, you just didn't show your colours until now did you, Alf the wandering sorceror?

skulkidcachi90
October 19th, 2015, 03:19 PM
I think than if shinji could make rin appreciate videogames that could give him some points with waver when he discover than is thanks to shinji than he and Rin have a better relationship than he think could be.
Also Rin is gonna appreciate any kind of gesture from shinji even if is one so mundane like play videogames or talk about how she is doing in the school, after all to rin, shinji is her first close friend and first positive close person than she have in long time.
And do not forget than shinji already introduce new things in the life of rin in the past.

Caster
October 19th, 2015, 04:28 PM
There was logic in place that made Ilya have a connection to games beyond an out of RP desire to see her play games. Rin has no connection to games. If we take Carnival Phantasm as a basis for things (which partially was the reasoning for Ilya) then Rin is going to be extremely bad around electronics. Shinji also has no logical reason to take Rin to a game store, at all. Alf could certainly write it, but I think it would go a lot worse than you'd expect unless Rin is even more drastically different than we've been lead to suspect.


[13:30] <Enchanter> Alf, is Rin really going to appreciate something like a game store?
[13:30] <!Alftomine> Hah
[13:30] <!Alftomine> No


Also of note. No more Hermione.


[13:36] <!Alftomine> Don't worry. You all won't have to worry about Hermione anymore
[13:36] <!Alftomine> She won't be an option from here on

Magus
October 19th, 2015, 04:39 PM
Rin is hopeless when it comes to modern technology (well, her Carnival Phantasm incarnation is anyway). Even as one who advocates spending time with Rin, I don't think video games would go over as well with her as with Illya.

saki
October 19th, 2015, 05:09 PM
[13:36] <!Alftomine> Don't worry. You all won't have to worry about Hermione anymore
[13:36] <!Alftomine> She won't be an option from here on

Oh, thats not ominous at all.

Skull Leader
October 19th, 2015, 05:11 PM
RIP Hermione Route.

Caster
October 19th, 2015, 05:17 PM
[14:13] <!Alftomine> People stopped heeding my warnings
[14:13] <!Alftomine> So...
[14:14] <Mangafreak> or are dense
[14:14] <!Alftomine> Hopefully this chapter gets through to them
[14:14] <!Alftomine> hermione is no longer a consideration
[14:14] <Enchanter> I heed them. :(
[14:15] <!Alftomine> Shinji next year, if a Champion
[14:15] <!Alftomine> WIll have free time
[14:15] <Mangafreak> a consideration for what?
[14:15] <Enchanter> I assume much of anything.
[14:15] <!Alftomine> Anything Shinji can influence
[14:15] <!Alftomine> She's beyond help now


Just a bit of clarification on what Hermione friend status is like now.

skulkidcachi90
October 19th, 2015, 05:22 PM
RIP Hermione Route
Does someone really want that route?
She is one of least interesting characters of the cast.

Skull Leader
October 19th, 2015, 05:35 PM
There is a difference from not wanting someones route and being an ass to them. We basically keep making things worst and then when we had the option to go after her, we choice to learn about our stupid defenses. And sent Tomas to her showing that we did not value her at all. She not going to be talking to us when we go back to Hogwarts. She will run and hide from us.

- - - Updated - - -

Oh well, if we treat Ilya this bad, she will just out right kill us.

Abendroth
October 19th, 2015, 07:04 PM
Sion cares enough about Hermione to arrange for her to have a special familiar and we just blew up our friendship with Hermione for nothing. Not to mention losing a competent and almost slavishly loyal minion.

Magus
October 19th, 2015, 10:21 PM
There is a difference from not wanting someones route and being an ass to them. We basically keep making things worst and then when we had the option to go after her, we choice to learn about our stupid defenses. And sent Tomas to her showing that we did not value her at all. She not going to be talking to us when we go back to Hogwarts. She will run and hide from us.

- - - Updated - - -

Oh well, if we treat Ilya this bad, she will just out right kill us.

Which is why we should have tried to salvage our relationship with her by going after her ourselves. Even if Hermione pushed us away when she left, I'm sure she would have regretted that choice and taking to her in person would have helped fix things. But it's too late now.

Well, at least we got some sort of resolution out of this, though it wasn't the one I was going for when I helped pushed Hermione and Rin together. Sure, I knew it would hurt her, but I wasn't planning to break our friendship with her entirely.

I just hope the poor girl doesn't do something stupid like suicide or full-on yandere revenge.

saki
October 19th, 2015, 11:23 PM
What were those warnings, i totally didnt heed that so i dont remember.



Edit: Yeah, i went from ghoul to living dead. Now i can stave off decomposition. Man all those times i forgot where i put my foot.

arsdraconis
October 19th, 2015, 11:55 PM
The warnings were as subtle as all those flag for Luna's route

which is to say, nonexistent except in Alf's mind

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 12:03 AM
The warnings were blatantly bold. He said what would happen if Rin and Hermione met at Touko's, there wasn't any subtlety to that warning at all. The only people to blame are the ones who didn't heed it. Albeit I don't think that the lack of specification should have necessarily lead to this, Rin and Hermione together like this was unwise, people trying to take three options for the price of one, it's going to backfire.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 12:05 AM
I still don't understand the logic of harem building at all

there is already best girl and worst girl, anything in between is superfluous, hell I would even argue that anything but best girl should just burn

Abendroth
October 20th, 2015, 12:14 AM
The warnings were as subtle as all those flag for Luna's route

which is to say, nonexistent except in Alf's mind
We were warned repeatedly in character that " hearts can be unexpectedly fragile," we were warned explicitly out of character what would happen if Rin and Hermione met Touko, we were advised on multiple occasions that staying to watch Touko would teach us virtually nothing. The only thing that we can blame Alf for is reversing the vote on the action where we voted to spend time with the girls away from Touko. It was the players who then preceded to cleverly shoot themselves in the face by ignoring Hermione.

- - - Updated - - -


I still don't understand the logic of harem building at all

there is already best girl and worst girl, anything in between is superfluous, hell I would even argue that anything but best girl should just burn

Just because we're not trying to stick it in her does not mean she is somehow worthless as a character. She was a valuable friend and resource.

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 12:24 AM
We wouldn't learn nothing, just not as much as we could have. I still believe that learning a bit is better than nothing, but this became a horrible mess.

Edit: Oh, and Abendroth has it right too. We had many, many votes to try and fix things with Hermione, or just not let them get so bad. Screwed those votes up at every turn. Alf didn't trick us, and was pretty clear about a lot of things.

alfheimwanderer
October 20th, 2015, 01:16 AM
[X] Focus on Rin

100%

Chapter 32. Cor destructum

For Hermione Granger, the day had started like most others days this winter holiday – cold, dreary, and grey, with her gaze falling on the calendar she kept by her bed as she woke.

‘December 29.’

There were only a few days left till the New Year, and with it, the day when she could finally return to Hogwarts, a place that had been a new world for her. A place where her intellect – and her effort – won her respect as a potioneer and a Consul. A place where she had made friends for the first time in her life.

A place where she’d finally found love – and someone to love her.

Lying in bed, with her cat Sy-k-ri nestled against her, she smiled faintly as she remembered the awkward confession that had started everything. The girl only told Matou how she felt after he – and the rest of the Defense class – had seen the form her Boggart had taken: his ghost hovering over his broken corpse.

A ghost that had accused her of murdering him – just as she had killed Sokaris – because he would never be hers.

So she’d started to avoid him, thinking that if she cut off all ties with the boy, she wouldn’t end up hurting him – that he’d be better off without her anyway, since he was so strong, so gentle, so kind. He’d never just push her away on his own, never protect himself – so she had to do it for him.

…only he hadn’t let her.

He’d cornered her, forced her to tell him that she thought she had caused Sokaris’ death, forced her to admit that she was in love with him, forced her to explain why she had been avoiding him, to beg him to leave her alone because it was better that way.

Only he hadn’t.

He’d looked at her in a way that made her feel like she was the only person in the world that mattered, wrapped his arms around her and held her so very tenderly, telling her that they should start with just being friends and see what from there.

She’d thought he was just being kind – so kind that it hurt to be around him, even as she gave thanks that he didn’t hate her, that he hadn’t just rejected her outright, that she’d be able to keep loving him, even if she loved in vain. Until this year, after the summer, when everything had changed. He’d chosen her over the Boy-Who-Lived, taught her about the plants of the East, spent his evenings studying alone with her – even asked her to accompany him to the Halloween Ball, knowing they’d be featured as a couple in the Daily Prophet.

…not that things had gone entirely smoothly after that, with Parkinson scheduling her Capture the Flag tournaments on Hogsmeade days (likely out of jealousy), or Matou having other responsibilities in the winter, given the demands of his Master.

But she couldn’t fault him for his devotion to his duty. That was one of the things she loved most about him, after all, since he’d reformed from being a troublemaker. And even with how busy he was, Matou always found time to spend with her when he didn’t have time to spare for anyone else – not even Lovegood, his childhood friend, from whom he’d been almost inseparable the year before, with it being a common occurrence to find them reading together in the Common Room.

That, more than anything else, made it clear to Hermione that she was the only one on his mind, with the boy’s invitation for her to visit him at his new house during the winter holidays sparking all sorts of romantic fantasies in her mind. Perhaps they’d cuddle by the fire and tell each other stories of their hopes and dreams. Perhaps they’d kiss under the mistletoe, sharing a long, lingering embrace in the privacy of a house that they couldn’t at Hogwarts. Perhaps they’d stand on the balcony as the seconds ticked towards midnight on New Years’ Eve, and usher in the year together with a kiss as fireworks blossomed overhead.

She’d seen the article about him in the paper, read the description of the renovated Black House and the sheer luxury of it – and not for the first time was humbled that Matou had chosen her – for surely a boy as wealthy as a prince, a chivalrous as a knight, could have anyone he wanted.

And so the thought of seeing her lover in his new home, of sharing a tender moment with him, excited her more than anything else this holiday season, more than the books she got as presents, more than time at home with her family, more than even the production of The Tempest that her parents had taken her to see in Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of the Bard himself.

This…excitement, this sense of anticipation, had only been heightened by an after-Christmas visit from Tomas, an odd young man with striking red eyes who had introduced himself as Matou’s mentor from Mahoutokoro, though he’d looked British, not Japanese. Matou was still busy with his Master, Tomas had said, but had sent him in his stead to remind Hermione that he hadn’t forgotten about her.

Tomas had taken her on a whirlwind tour of the highlights of London – the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace, the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, and more – all things she’d never had a chance to see, although she’d lived in the city for most of her life.

And for the most part, it had been wonderful, with Tomas as a consummate gentleman…

…though she’d kept wishing it was Matou by her side instead, and had been…less than thrilled to run into Harry Potter at the Tower of London, with the Boy-Who-Lived being in the company of his lover, the pureblood Daphne Greengrass, and some oriental girl she didn’t recognize from Hogwarts – with the last looking around at everything with wide eyes.

Hermione had just narrowed her eyes as she looked over at the three, wondering what mischief Potter and his girlfriend were up to in Muggle London, given that she imagined they would be at one function or another in wizarding society. Was he and his lover toying with an unsuspecting Muggle? He didn’t seem the type, especially if he was Matou’s friend…

But the Boy-Who-Lived had noticed the attention, turning his head to regard the Ravenclaw coolly – though his confident demeanor had faltered as he caught sight of Tomas, with the boy stiffening to attention.

Tomas, for his part, had just smiled, with Hermione wondering how the polite young man beside her could possibly intimidate the leader of the Stone Cutters, even as the older youth steered them towards the other group.

As they approached, the other two members of Potter’s group turned towards them, the oriental girl seeming respectful and Greengrass rather curious at why she was here – and why Harry seemed almost wary.

“Mister Potter…” Tomas’ voice had been a near whisper. “And company.”

“Tomas,” the Boy-Who-Lived had replied evenly. “This is…an unexpected pleasure. What are you doing here?”

“Why, accompanying Miss Granger, of course,” the older teen had said, his red eyes glancing over Harry’s companions before returning to the Boy-Who-Lived. “And yourself?”

“Accompanying my girlfriend, Miss Greengrass,” Harry had noted, somewhat curious why the powerful youth was with the girl often thought of as Matou’s lover. Though…given that he himself was showing someone around, he suspected her knew. “And my guest, Miss Tohsaka.”

“…I see.” Tomas had raised an eyebrow as the twin-tailed Japanese girl bowed to him. “How amusing. Well, if that is the case, I wish you and your companions an enjoyable day, Mister Potter. It is always interesting to see the world with new eyes, isn’t it?”

“…it is,” Harry had answered after a moment. The two had nodded to one another, nod, the two groups had split.

“How exactly do you know Potter?” Hermione had asked Tomas after the trio had left.

“I trained him, of course.” Tomas had smiled as he mused of what those sessions must have been like, as he couldn’t remember the earlier days of his activation. “And I must say, it is always a pleasure to teach someone who has such an aptitude for the Dark Arts.”

“…the Dark Arts?” Hermione had been taken aback. How could this pleasant young man – this admittedly handsome and charming fellow who was Matou’s mentor – teach the Dark Arts, of all things? Surely Matou wouldn’t be interested in such things…would he? “But those are…”

“It is not what something is capable of, but what it is used for that defines something, Miss Granger,” Tomas had said pleasantly. “What I mean by a good aptitude is he has the instincts for it and a drive I do not often see. But then, that is natural in those who have people who they wish to protect, like Mister Potter…and Mister Matou, as the best defense is a good offense.”

“…I see,” the bushy-haired brunette had murmured. “But that sounds like Defense….”

“It is, essentially.”

“But the name…”

“’Ah, what’s in a name?’” Tomas had said, citing a line written by one of the most famous Englishmen of all time. “’That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’”

Hermione’s eyes had gone wide in surprise at the handsome youth’s words, recognizing them as a line from her favorite play.

“…you’ve read Romeo and Juliet?” she’d asked curiously. Matou had said once that even in Japan they knew of the play, but she’d never expected to hear a wizard openly quoting from a Muggle text.

Tomas’ answer had been more than a bit roundabout.

“An old man once told me that love was more powerful than any kind of magic,” the puppet had said quietly, recalling a conversation from long, long ago. “Naturally I did my research before coming to a conclusion of my own.”

“And what conclusion did you come to?” Hermione had inquired, wondering what this most cultured youth thought of love.

“Miss Granger, I am hardly an authority on the matter.” There had been a hint of reproof in the young man’s words, though Hermione had no idea why. “Perhaps instead of asking me, you would like to partake in some research yourself?”

“Oh?”

“Matou procured tickets for the much-celebrated musical Phantom of the Opera,” Tomas had noted with a winning smile. “I understand that I am not the one you would most wish to see it with, but would you like to see it anyway?”

She’d agreed, and had a lovely time, listening to the richness of the words and music, seeing the sheer spectacle before her, recalling how over time, she’d stopped really thinking of Matou as a dangerous boy, a troublemaker – and instead had fallen under his spell, surrendering to his charm and passion and becoming his in every way.

Afterwards, as Tomas walked her home, the youth had given her what he’d said was but the first of Matou’s presents – a primer on dueling and practical applications of defense.

“Why…?”

“You are quite a talented brewer, but in order to become a Champion, you must have more than the ability to create a most potent potion,” Tomas had remarked. “A Champion stands alone, and Matou wishes for you to be able to protect yourself well even in his absence. He does care for you, after all.”

While Tomas had not actually spoken with Matou about his love life, he often found legilimency to be quite a useful tool in gaining a person’s confidence, making the art of social engineering quite easy. After all, it was easy to be charming and considerate when one knew exactly what someone wanted to hear, and had access to their deepest insecurities.

“Matou was thinking of me…” Hermione had murmured, feeling a warmth rise up in her chest at the thought of the boy’s care. “And then soon, a day to visit…?”

“Of course, Miss Granger,” the youth had acknowledged with a slight bow. “Have no fear, for I’m certain he will owl you before the end of the year. It would be unconscionable for him to forget about such a lovely young woman, especially one so devoted to him.”

Hermione had colored prettily at the remark, as Tomas had kissed her hand and bid her good night.

She’d remembered those words in the last couple of days, as she’d waited for Matou’s owl to come.

Tap-tap-tap.

‘It’s here.’

Hearing the sound, the girl threw off the covers and jumped out of bed, racing over to the window, where she halted in place at the sight of perhaps the most majestic owl she’d ever seen hovering outside her window against the backdrop of a gloomy London sky – a clockwork masterpiece of red lacquer and gleaming silver, with gems for eyes, a beak of gold, and glittering feathers – carrying a letter.

‘…this is Matou’s owl?’

She’d never seen anything like it, not at Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley, so she imagined it had to have come from somewhere in the East. so, she opened the window, allowing the mechanical bird to come in and perch on her desk, where it deposited the letter.

Unsurprisingly, it was addressed to her in Matou’s hand, with the note within reading thus.

Hermione,

I hope you have been enjoying your winter holiday, and that the day with Tomas was pleasant. I’m sorry I’ve been so busy, but I haven’t forgotten our promise!

It is supposed to rain today, so I’m not sure it will be much of a day for an outing, but perhaps you would like to come over to my house at 12 Grimmauld Place just before noon, and we could enjoy a pleasant meal together, followed by an afternoon by the fire?

My owl will wait for your reply.

Yours,
Matou Shinji

A wide smile stole across her lips as she read the letter. Finally, her moment had come. Matou had invited her to his house, where surely everything would be wonderful.

Her reply was very simple.

I’ll be there.

What would it be like? What could she expect?

100%

Excited by the thought of spending a romantic lunch and afternoon together with Matou, Hermione had set out with plenty of time to spare, arriving at 12 Grimmauld Place about a half hour before noon, instead of just before.

She bit her lip as she wavered between knocking and just waiting, since she didn’t want to seem overeager, but…

‘Surely Matou won’t mind, right…?’

Only when she knocked, the person who answered the door wasn’t Matou at all, but the twin-tailed oriental girl she’d seen with Potter yesterday, looking at her with piercing blue eyes. Only this time, Tohsaka, as she remembered the Boy-who-Lived calling her, wasn’t wearing a heavy coat, looking quite comfortable in a formfitting red turtleneck, an almost scandalous miniskirt that didn’t even go down to mid-thigh, and thigh-length socks.

‘…what. What is this girl doing here?’

“Miss Tohsaka,” Hermione greeted coolly, inclining her head as she swallowed her urge to scream. Surely Matou had a good explanation for this – perhaps this was just a guest he was taking care of for Potter, who would shortly be leaving? “I didn’t know Matou invited you here too.”

“Huh?” the other girl responded, seeming confused at her words. “I…live here.”

“What.”

Hermione felt a cold sense of dread in the pit of her stomach. What was this Tohsaka girl saying? That she lived here?

‘No.’ She must have heard wrong. Maybe she had the wrong house – but when she glanced up, the golden number 12 was still there above the door. Ok, it wasn’t the wrong house then – but then why was this girl here instead of Matou?

Matou had mentioned that one of his friends from Japan would be moving to London, but surely this wasn’t…surely Matou would have told her if…

“Yu are Matou’s fr-end?” the girl asked her, with Hermione opening her mouth to reply before the words hit her and she froze.

‘Friend? Did Matou…really tell her I was just a friend?’

The bushy-haired brunette winced, nearly staggering as if the words had physically struck her, but shook her head, steadying herself. Maybe it was a cultural thing, or the girl’s English wasn’t the best, if she was really newly arrived in Britain – though Matou’s English had been fine…

“I’m Matou’s girlfriend,” Hermione said flatly, her eyes hard and challenging as she stared at this…this potential rival. “Just who are you to Matou?”

Rin was uncertain why the other girl was staring at her so rudely, as if the wrong answer would lead to her being assaulted. Matou had said one of his friends would be coming over later on, not someone who was obviously a threat.

‘Anfang…’ she whispered under her breath – but before things could degenerate any further, a car pulled up in front of the house, with Matou Shinji emerging from within, stepping out into the rain with an umbrella in hand, frowning as he looked back and forth between the two.

“Ah, Hermione, you’re early,” the boy remarked, as the girl turning at the sound of his voice, rushing over and giving him a big hug, an embrace he returned gingerly as Tohsaka glared. “It’s good to see you.”

He’d just returned from taking Luna and Zelkova over to spend the day with Ilya, given that the Einzbern was his guest, and that he could tell something was troubling her, even if she wouldn’t talk about it. Luna was always good at getting to the heart of things though, and Ilya had expressed an interest in meeting her again, calling her a vessel of other powers, so he figured that even if he couldn’t be there, at least Ilya might enjoy Luna’s company.

The boy had thought he might have a few minutes to get things ready for Hermione’s arrival, since Luna had already gone out of her way to prepare a sumptuous meal, not that he’d arrive to see Rin and Hermione at each other’s throats.

“It’s good to see you too, Matou,” Hermione whispered, her arms tightening around Matou as she reveled in the warmth of him, the scent of him, the closeness of him. “I missed you so.” But then she pulled back, glaring at the girl in the doorway. “But who is that Tohsaka girl? She said she…lives here?”

“…Hermione. Do you remember the friend I bought the house for?” Matou said gently. “That was Tohsaka. I guess you could call her my childhood friend.”

‘No…it’s…it’s a mistake, right…’
Surely she had heard him incorrectly. She thought Shinji had said that Rin was his childhood friend, and that he had bought the house for her, which wasn’t what he said before. Before the story had been that one of his friends just needed a place to stay…

He hadn’t mentioned that the friend was already here. That the friend was a girl. That they were…that they were…living together.

“She’s not…” the girl began, but bit her lip, her throat almost closing up out of fear. If she asked him what his relationship to Tohsaka was…how would he reply? No. She couldn’t hold back – she had to know. “She’s not…your lover, is she?” She cursed herself for her weakness, because she couldn’t stop shaking.

“No,” Matou replied almost at once, with Hermione going perfectly still.

“Really?” she squeaked, hoping against hope that she’d heard correctly. “She’s not…?”

“No, Hermione, she’s not,” Shinji repeated, feeling a little concerned that Hermione had begun shaking like this – and at how pale she seemed. Maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to invite her over on a cold, rainy day – he didn’t want her to come down with something, after all. “Why don’t we go inside and warm up by the fire?”

“O-ok,” Hermione whispered, letting the boy guide her to the door, where Tohsaka Rin stepped aside with a reproving glance and let her pass. With Matou’s help, she shrugged off her coat and hung it on a hook, before allowing herself to be led to a comfortable couch.

“Let me get something hot inside of you, Hermione,” Shinji said, thinking that something to eat and drink would help out, though already, as she sat by the fire color seemed to be returning to the girl’s cheeks. “If you could keep an eye on her, Tohsaka, I’ll get you something too.”

Tohsaka nodded, sitting down across from Hermione Granger, though she didn’t say anything. After all, there was nothing the two had to say to each other, each wondering why the other was here – a state that continued as Matou brought out steaming mugs of peppermint tea for the three of them.

Before anyone could break the uneasy silence though, there was another knock at the door, with Shinji all but jumping out of his seat and rushing to answer, leaving Hermione wondering who was worth that much of Matou’s attention…with a small part of her feeling hurt that he hadn’t greeted her in the same way.

Another girl, perhaps? Or Potter, or…? Many possibilities raced through her mind, though they all vanished as she saw a beautiful red-haired woman walk into the house, followed by a very deferential Tomas. The woman though, radiated a sense of power and confidence, not unlike the headmaster.

‘…this…this is Matou’s Master,’ she realized, a conclusion borne out as truth when the boy addressed the bespectacled redhead as such. She hadn’t expected the woman to be so…beautiful…

“Master,” Shinji said with a bow. “I would like to introduce you to Hermione Granger and Tohsaka Rin. Tohsaka, Hermione, my Master, Aozaki Touko. She’ll be setting up the defenses for the house.”

Tohsaka Rin, familiar with the name, just stared at the infamous puppetmaker. Aozaki Touko’s presence – and the fact that she would be setting up the defenses, confirmed everything Matou had said as truth, and it stunned Rin that Matou trusted enough to let her be there while the defenses were being erected.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Hermione said, standing and bowing, with Rin doing much the same.

…and then the puppeteer spoke.

"So Matou," Touko quipped, looking between the two girls that Matou had introduced to her, her smile almost cruel as she took a puff from her cigarette. "Which one is your lover?"

The room was absolutely silent, with several pairs of eyes looking at the boy to see how he would respond.

“Lover?” Shinji echoed. “Master, you should know better than to tease like that. Hermione and Tohsaka are just friends.”

Tohsaka just nodded. She already knew Matou didn’t see her like that, and besides, had suspected for a while that Matou’s lover was the blonde girl who came by most mornings to make breakfast and to train with him, though he’d never come right out and said it.

For Hermione Granger, though, the world seemed to freeze, with Matou’s words echoing in her mind over and over and over. Just friends. Just friends. Just friends.

‘No. Matou didn’t just…he…I…I…’

Her mind went blank, her mug of tea slipping from nerveless fingers and falling to the carpet below, the scent of hot peppermint welling up in the room as a stain spread.

“I…I’m sorry,” she whispered, feeling the familiar pain return – a pain like her heart had been ripped out of her chest – like everything she ever believed in had been broken to pieces. Her hopes for the future, her dreams, everything… “I’d…I should go. I don’t feel so well. ”

As she stood, Matou was by her side.

“Are you alright, Hermione?” the boy said, concern evident on his face as he looked at her. “Do you want me to take you home?”

Hermione nearly lost her footing, stumbling as his voice sent a lance of pain through her, but somehow managed to stay standing – and to keep her expression perfectly blank.

“That’s ok, Matou. I’ll be fine.” Her voice was a toneless whisper as she shrugged off his hands and numbly walked to the door. “Thank you for inviting me over.”

And with that, she left, without saying goodbye, without looking back, as the door closed behind her.

Touko raised an eyebrow as she looked on, before shaking her head and lighting one of her cigarettes.

“Master,” Shinji began reproachfully. “You really shouldn’t…”

But his voice died in his throat as the puppeteer just looked at him, taking a long, long drag.

"Are you going to go after her, Matou?" she asked evenly, after some time had passed, as her eyes fell upon the coat the girl had left behind. “Or…?”

“Allow me, Master,” Tomas interjected with a sigh. “I don’t think Matou would know what to do in a situation like this. And frankly speaking, I’m not sure if Miss Granger would want to see him right now.”

“He could at least try,” the magus commented, grimly shaking her head. “Even…” But Aozaki Touko didn’t finish her thought. “Never mind. You can find her, then?”

“I can,” the puppet replied. “I was once a practitioner of some small skill, after all.”

“…don’t cause any diplomatic incidents, Tomas,” Aozaki Touko noted coldly. “I would hate for you to meet your end so soon.”

“…the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind.”

100%

As Tomas walked out into the rain, with an umbrella in one hand and Miss Granger’s coat in the other, the puppet was all but expressionless as he felt about for the presence of the mind he was searching for. After all, hers was a mind he knew well by now, and it was not for nothing that in a past life, he had once been one of the most feared Legillimens in all of Britain.

It was a pity, really, that the girl had no idea of where to run to, as he could have just gone there, but all he had to do, really, was to walk about, searching for a mind that radiated pain – hurt – betrayal, as such purity of emotion and thought was hard to come by in this modern age. The thoughts of most people were scattered in a thousand different directions, with trivial, mundane concerns lingering at the surface as they made their plans or reacted to everything coming at them.

‘Such strange existences humans are…’ he thought to himself, for he didn’t consider himself human. Not anymore, at least, if he ever had. ‘Burning like candles in the darkness as they seek to satisfy their needs and wants and lusts.’

For him, love wasn’t even a factor in how he saw the world, despite what Dumbledore had once told him. Love couldn’t feed a family, fill one’s pockets, keep someone from starvation, cure someone who was dying from a fatal illness. Love couldn’t protect people from bullies, from the threats that lay without (or within), from the everyday cruelties of the world. The old man had told him that love was the most powerful thing in the world, but what was so powerful about it that could not be achieved with hatred, fear, or some other motivator? Love of the Greater Good had not helped the old man face Grindelwald, after all. Love of Britain and the lives of the innocent had not helped the old man fight Voldemort’s rebellion. And so in the end, he didn’t think what had brought Voldemort low was a mother’s love – merely a blood sacrifice.

Old Magic.

The type of magic that demanded equivalent exchange, the stuff of contracts and rituals and such things, making possible things far more powerful than the degraded spells one used today. A version of himself had gone further than anyone else in tapping into the inhuman nature that lay at the basis of a wizard’s powers, but the more he learned from Aozaki Touko, the more Tomas had realized that the reason Lord Voldemort failed was because he hadn’t gone far enough – because no matter how far Voldemort had come on his quest for power, there had been one fixed constant – an obsession with Britain he had not been able to rid himself of.

Looking at the life of one who had separated his soul from his body, it was clear that the more of himself he’d cut away, the more he’d forgotten, until what remained was a desire for immortality and dominion, with the man his original had become forgetting why he sought immortality and what it was he sought dominion over.

Yes. In the beginning, he had once a supreme goal: to obtain all knowledge, to reach where no human could reach, to return wizarding society to something more than it had become, burning away the corruption, the human-like characteristics, the things which caused hatred, suffering, corruption.

To overturn the natural order of cause and effect and create a new Britain, a new model for what could be if wizards remembered their origins, threw off the shackles of human society and truly created a new world of their own.

As a mere wizard – one of many in Britain, no matter how powerful – changing it would have become impossible in a single lifetime, so he’d decided to become something more than a man, to exceed the limits of humanity, to surpass mortality and reach eternity.

To change the world as Albus Dumbledore had never been brave enough to do, no matter how powerful he had been, held back as he was by the weaknesses of flesh and the folly of love, by slavish adherence to the laws which bound humanity.

To change the world in ways beyond the shortsighted folly of Gellert Grindelwald, whose desire to have wizardkind rule over humanity would only have led to the destruction of the wizarding world – or at least of Magical Europe.

If not from without – when the Association intervened – then from within, as wizardkind became more and more human, until they lost their powers altogether.

…yet in the end, Voldemort had become someone even more limited than Grindelwald, fearing Dumbledore when in reality Tomas had wanted Dumbledore to live to see the coming of a new age – to show the old man who had brought him into the wizarding world that he was wrong.

That change was possible, if enough people were willing to raise up arms and stand against ignorance and oppression.

‘…but that was another life.’

In this one, he served Aozaki Touko, a magus who knew eternity, lived in Mahoutokoro, a place not unlike the Britain he would have to build, with access to so much more knowledge regarding the old ways, the power of nature and more.

Coming back to Britain, seeing how quaint it was in comparison, almost made him sad. It was this place that had changed him into Lord Voldemort a lifetime ago, its hatred, intolerance, and ignorance shaping him into a Dark Lord.

Dumbledore spoke of love, yet aside from the twisted love he had once had held for Grindelwald, Tomas wasn’t sure if the man had ever truly loved anyone at all, given how he was estranged from what remained of his family and kept to himself – and how little he understood those whose histories were different from his.

As cruel and crass and threatening as Aozaki Touko could be, the puppet was certain that she understood love, understood rejection, understood emotion, humanity and inhumanity better than that old man ever had.

And of course, she understood him, as he understood her.

He understood how she didn’t like to be close to people, how she would push away any who she deemed she was getting too attached to. He understood her mixed feelings towards her apprentice, the curious Matou Shinji, as he reminded her of herself in some ways. He understood how the story of her life had been shaped by rejection and the pursuit of brilliance to spite to those who believed she could never be more, fighting against prejudice and such things.

So if he had to do things like clean up after Matou’s messes sometime, it was a small price to pay for what he learned. Something like this was simple enough too, given that on a day like this, very few would be out….

‘Ah, and there she is…’

As the rain came down harder and harder, with the world obscured by white and grey, the puppet smiled as he sensed a young mind whose thoughts burned white hot with the exquisite agony he’d only seen from those who had loved and lost.

If his memory did not fail him, the girl was sobbing in Islington Green, described as a place where young lovers skipped in buoyant glee when the summer sun gladdened the air.

And so he quickened his step, making his way through the rain.

100%

As the world poured down upon her, soaking her to the bone, her dress providing no protection at all from the icy rain, Hermione lay curled in a fetal position on the ground, her eyes unseeing. She didn’t know where she was, and at the moment, she didn’t care either. All she knew was that she’d run until she could run no further, until her legs had collapsed from under her, refusing to budge, refusing to move.

It was cold at first, her body shivering and shuddering and trembling, but slowly, the tremors had stopped, with the cold replaced by numbness spreading from the outside in.

Up her fingers, up her arms, into the very core of her, with everything growing dull and grey and lifeless.

Was she crying? Who could tell in this downpour, where raindrops washed away tears and sound and color?

‘Matou…’ she thought. The name…it meant something, only she couldn’t really remember what it was, with the fog rolling in over her mind. She just wanted to close her eyes. To drift away from everything and just…let go, at last.

It would be peaceful, at least.

Quiet.

‘Goodbye…’

Then the fog claimed her, and the world went black.

100%

When Hermione Granger came back to awareness, she found that she was naked, albeit wrapped in warm blankets in front of a roaring fire, with gentle hands caressing her cheeks, leaving trails of warmth wherever they touched.

“M-matou?” she whispered, swallowing as flickers of memory returned. Had he…had he come after her, into the driving rain? Did he care about her after all?

“Ah, you’re awake, Hermione,” a silky voice said from just out of sight. “Drink this.”

Something hard was being pressed against her lips, and obediently, she parted them, as a strange, warm liquid was poured down her throat, generating a sort of heat in her core that made her sigh with contentment.

“Matou?” she repeated. Surely, this could only be he…

"Sadly, no," the voice answered. "You are a room at the Leaky Cauldron. And if you must call me a name, call me the Angel of Magic."

‘Angel of…’

“…Tomas,” she breathed, suddenly all too aware of her nakedness. “You…you were the one…?” She swallowed, realizing that if he was the one who came after her – and brought her here – then he was also…he had also seen everything. ‘I…I can’t be a bride anymore. I wanted Matou to be the one…’

“I did,” the other replied evenly. “I found you half-frozen, unaware of the world, having collapsed in the rain. Hypothermia can be fatal, you know, especially if you don’t wish to resist.” The other sighed. “Especially if you run into the rain without your coat, you know?”

‘Without my…oh…’

She had done that, hadn’t she?

“I…I’m so stupid…” the girl whispered, feeling tears come to her eyes once more. “So…so stupid. I…you probably think I’m a useless girl, don’t you? Someone who can’t even take care of herself.”

But fingers gentler than she could have imagined brushed away her tears as she looked at the flickering flames, almost wishing she hadn’t been saved. How could she…how could she have misunderstood everything, thinking that Matou loved her, when he…when he…?

The girl gasped, as pain blossomed inside her chest once more. She felt ashamed that Tomas was seeing her like this, that anyone was seeing her like this, but she couldn’t help it.

“It hurts,” she said quietly, her voice almost a whisper as she curled up into a ball.

“I’m sure it does,” Tomas replied, gently stroking the girl’s hair. “As they say in the play, after all, ‘for never was a story of more woe…Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’ But then, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never loved, after all.”

“…never?”

It was hard to believe, given that the handsome youth was so very charming. Hermione was sure that he’d had some romance in his past…

“Never,” came the response, accompanied by a mirthless chuckle. “I never did tell you my conclusion about the old man’s claim, did I?”

“…that love was more powerful than any kind of magic?” Hermione asked, feeling strangely vulnerable with Tomas here, brushing her hair with her wrapped only in blankets.

“Indeed,” the puppet noted. “I thought he was a fool then, and after many years of reflection, I still do."

Hermione turned to look at Tomas questioningly, her expression curious and wondering.

“Why?”

“Because in my experience, love has never saved anyone. Only imagination,” Tomas replied with a hint of a smile. “The things we imagine, the things we dream – they are the most potent magic of all. The stories we tell ourselves, the fairy tales, the themes – those are magic.”

“But…”

“The reason you became strong, Miss Granger, was not love,” the puppet mused aloud. “It was because you wanted to meet Matou’s expectations, to prove he was right in choosing you as a partner. Because you wanted to play your role with aplomb – and so you did. Always, you have lived for others, playing into the expectations of others, gaining validation from others, without hearing the most important thing of all.”

“And what is that?” Hermione wondered, falling under the spell of his words.

“That you are the one who matters. Not Matou. Not your teachers. Not anyone else. And that you yourself are good enough – more than good enough. You are as much as a witch as any of your peers, but you have to acknowledge that for yourself.”

Hermione swallowed.

“I’m…good enough?” She didn’t think anyone had ever told her that before. Anyone who didn’t have some use for her anyway. But she couldn’t imagine what Tomas possibly might want from her. It wasn’t as if he was attracted to her or such… “But I’ve always…”

As long as she could remember, her sense of worth had always come from other people.

“I…”

The youth picked up something from the ground and held it out to her – something Hermione saw to be a hand-knit scarf. The scarf she’d knit for Matou. Learned to knit for Matou.

‘Matou…’

Her breath was an indrawn hiss as she turned away, tears coming to the corners of her eyes once more.

“This was in your coat, Hermione.”

“I…”

She turned away, as looking at it hurt. Once again, her heart was breaking as she remembered Matou’s words, how they were just friends, how he hadn’t even come after her. Hadn’t cared enough to come after her.

What had she done wrong? Why didn’t Matou love her? Why…

“Do you want it?”

She shook her head. Why would she, when it was a symbol of everything had gone wrong in her life?

“As you wish,” Tomas replied, and with a flick, sent the scarf into the fire, with the girl flinching, almost whimpering as the scarf – what she’d made – was eaten away, shriveling up as tongues of flames consumed it, reducing it in time to nothing more than ash.

Like her relationship with Matou. Gone.

“I take it you won’t want the gift Matou had for you either,” the youth noted, chuckling mirthlessly once again. “In that case, I could just consign it to the flames…”

“No!” the girl all but shouted, sitting up in a futile attempt to block the fire, squirming out of the blankets she was wrapped in as she spread her arms, realizing all too late that without the blankets, she was exposed to Tomas’ sight – wholly exposed. “Don’t. Please…”

The youth just looked at her for a moment, noting how desperately she was looking at him – how she was almost begging him not to destroy what Matou had given to her.

“…and yet in spite of everything, you care about him,” the puppet murmured, nodding slowly. “Fascinating. I do believe that's the first time this conversation you've spoken up for yourself. And to think it would take a gift."

Tomas sighed, handing the girl the enchanted notebook, which she pressed close to her breast in an attempt to stop the pain.

“Who are you, Hermione Granger?” he asked quietly. “And what do you want?”

“I…” She didn’t have an answer to that. “Matou…”

“Are you sure about that?” the puppet inquired, his voice a hypnotic whisper. “Do you really want Matou Shinji? Or do you just want the sense of importance he gives you, and nothing more? You cling to that notebook, even now, even after everything that happened.”

“I…”

Tomas’ words cut her to the quick, but she did not look away – could not look away from his terrible red eyes.

“Well. If that’s how it is then here,” the youth said brusquely, holding out a phial with a curious blue liquid inside. “The cure for your pain.”

Automatically, she reached out for the phial, only to stop herself as she recognized what it was.

“That’s…Lethe River Water,” she whispered. “That’s…not a cure.”

While not as potent as a Forgetfulness Potion, it could still make people forget quite a few hours of their lives. Was Tomas telling her she should forget today…?

“Oh, but it is, Miss Granger,” Tomas replied. “If you take this, then today never happened. You’ll wake up in your bed tomorrow thinking you had a nice day with Matou, that everything is fine.”

The girl stared at the phial, seemingly entranced as the sum of the world seemed to reduce itself to the shimmering blue waters within it – and all the temptation it represented. For this day to have never occurred. For this pain to go away. To forget what Matou had said, to believe that he loved her…

“I…can’t…” she said eventually, letting her outstretched hand fall to her side. “It wouldn’t be right. He doesn’t…this will just happen again.”

“Perhaps,” Tomas conceded. “Though as a skilled potioneer, you know that is always an option.”
But the girl shook her head.

“…it’s not. That would be wrong.” And not just for herself, but for Matou, who…honestly deserved better than a delusion. “Especially since I know…”

“…I’m glad you realize that,” the puppet noted quietly, putting away the phial. “There are too many in this world who would throw knowledge away, be it knowledge of the self, of what one has done, or of the truth of the world. People would rather forget, than see the world as it really is.”

“Oh?” Hermione asked.

“If only people knew what the world was really like,” Tomas sighed, shaking his head. “And Miss Granger, you may want to put something on.”

He gestured to the bed, where the girl’s clothes – all dry now – had been laid out for her.

Meekly, the girl obeyed, moving herself over to the bed she saw in the room, picking up the sheets and blankets she’d discarded and holding them before her in an attempt to preserve her modesty, setting the notebook aside on the bedside table.

“Don’t bother. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen a female body,” the puppet noted with a sniff, though he did turn away to give her a bit of privacy. “But then, I’ve seen things…you people wouldn’t believe. Dragon hatchlings at dawn, taking their first flight. I watched spirits glitter in the dark near the Youkai gates. I’ve seen kitsune dance on sunbeams and tengu fly. Yet in time…all those moments will be lost, in time… like tears…in rain.”

Tomas laughed, his sound tremulous but surprisingly tender.

“For the first time in a long time, Hermione Granger, I am who I wish to be. Not what the world expects of me. What will you be, I wonder?”

The stage? Well…she had liked playing the role of Amata…

“You model yourself and your actions on books and plays,” Tomas remarked. “But if you’re going to do that, then why not make something of it?”

“Oh?”

“If you wish to play a role, then that’s fine. Perhaps the theater is where you belong, where you will learn by…acting.”

As the girl dressed, she let herself smile ever so slightly. It was a weak smile, but the notion of once more being on a stage did…appeal.

“Maybe. That might even be fun,” she admitted. But her smile faltered as she considered Matou, and how she’d have to see him every day, how painful it would be. “But…”

“If you’re worried about dealing with Matou, just remember you don’t have to,” Tomas noted. “You don’t have to be in the Ourea. You don’t have to study with him. You just have to do what Hermione Granger wants to do.”

What Hermione Granger wants to do…was something no one had asked of her before.

“I don’t know what that is…”

“Then discover it, before you forget who you are.”

“I…” the girl blushed and looked down. “Why are you so kind to me? After I caused you so much trouble?”

“Because, Miss Granger, I am an Angel of Magic,” the youth noted with a smirk.

Struck by the ridiculousness of that response, Hermione laughed for the first time that day, with the youth patting the top of her head.

“…thank you all the same, Tomas,” she said, fully dressed now. “Can you…take me home?”

“Of course. Don’t forget your coat this time.”

“I won’t. I won’t forget.”

“…good.”

100%

Choice 81: The night before New Year's Eve, Shinji receives an invitation to a special VIP Luncheon on the morrow with Hector Dagworth-Granger, the founder and head of the Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers, given that he is one of Hogwarts' leading candidates for Potions Champion. As a Master Potioneer himself, Professor Snape has arranged for Shinji to meet Mr. Dagworth-Granger, as the man is understandably curious to see who will carry the hopes of all Britain for championship victory.

Matou Shinji, is, of course, allowed to take one guest. Ilya, he feels is not an option, as she'd likely be bored by such a luncheon, and Rin wouldn't quite understand everything going on...

So who does he take...? (choose one)

[ ] Hermione Granger
[ ] Pansy Parkinson
[ ] Luna Lovegood

Kuroyuki
October 20th, 2015, 01:39 AM
[X] Pansy Parkinson

Doubt this vote will go through. But Pansy has been one of our frequent comrades when we do potions despite the fact that she could very well just backstab or use us until we're no longer useful in them. Also I think it would be best to bring another person who is very strong in this subject. I would think Luna is also very good, but I don't think she's quite as good as Pansy just due to experience.

mAc Chaos
October 20th, 2015, 01:54 AM
I actually liked Hermione more than Luna ;_;

Tomas x Hermione is a go

skulkidcachi90
October 20th, 2015, 02:11 AM
[X] Pansy Parkinson

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 02:27 AM
Tomas is amusingly naive. And I guess I'll go Pansy. Would rather do Zelkova though.

mAc Chaos
October 20th, 2015, 02:56 AM
He is?

It looked like he was manipulating Hermione.

Veldril
October 20th, 2015, 03:09 AM
​[x] Luna

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 03:31 AM
You can be naive and still manipulate people. Your own thoughts are the basis for the first, the second is more your actions and reasoning, things like that.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 04:09 AM
I'm just glad it's over and done with, and none of us have to watch Hermione descend into insanity on the basis of teenage misunderstanding tee hee hee

Magus
October 20th, 2015, 05:31 AM
I'm just glad it's over and done with, and none of us have to watch Hermione descend into insanity on the basis of teenage misunderstanding tee hee hee

Yes, catharsis at last. But thankfully not Urobutcher's variety of it, Dead End Catharsis.

We may have broken Hermione's heart, but hopefully it will be better for her from now. And maybe, just maybe, after some time has passed and she's gained some more maturity and self-knowledge, we can rebuild Shinji's friendship with her from the ashes, though it won't be quite what it once was. She still seems to have some affection for us, or at least the memory of our friendship, even if she's hurt by it.

Still, the heart is frail. Its weaknesses are never fully vanquished. Given the opportunity, it can betray you and return to darkness. Old wounds that you thought you had overcome can open once again.


[x] Luna

A friend is precious, and while we may have been railroaded a bit with Luna, I like her better than Pansy.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 06:11 AM
can we just not bring anyone? The champion is a solo endeavor, what point is it to bring a potential rival or a railroaded love interest into it?

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 06:49 AM
It was a shame to have lost Hermione. She was useful - and would have grown to have been even more useful in the future. Lesson learned: we heed the warnings. As for Tomas's movements... Well, it certainly looks like we've lost someone useful and Tomas might have just gained one in response; it would best to be careful around Hermione in the future now. I'm made to wonder, though, what does Shinji - the character - still think of her? Is she still a friend? Someone he trusts even to just a bare extent? Would we still be able to approach her for work-related things (Or are those options getting railroaded by virtue of penalties in the case of the last question)?

As for this most recent vote, however: Alf, will we be expecting publicity at the event? And if so, how much of it? Will we be seeing Rita Skeeter and other wizarding world journalists there? We might want to consider these things as we decide lest we end up with the same debacle as we had with the Halloween Ball.

On another note, we seem to have missed an Illya Event today.

Nephirin
October 20th, 2015, 09:03 AM
[x]Pansy

Abendroth
October 20th, 2015, 09:20 AM
[x] Pansy Parkinson

Skull Leader
October 20th, 2015, 09:21 AM
​[x] Luna

Damn I wished that people voted to run after Hermione but now we have no friendship with her and she will not be talking to us at school. Great job guys.

I still say it was not a bad idea to have Hermione and Rin meet. I just did not know that it would default into being around Touko when we did it.

Cassius
October 20th, 2015, 09:43 AM
[x] Luna Lovegood

mAc Chaos
October 20th, 2015, 09:59 AM
It was a shame to have lost Hermione. She was useful - and would have grown to have been even more useful in the future. Lesson learned: we heed the warnings. As for Tomas's movements... Well, it certainly looks like we've lost someone useful and Tomas might have just gained one in response; it would best to be careful around Hermione in the future now. I'm made to wonder, though, what does Shinji - the character - still think of her? Is she still a friend? Someone he trusts even to just a bare extent? Would we still be able to approach her for work-related things (Or are those options getting railroaded by virtue of penalties in the case of the last question)?

As for this most recent vote, however: Alf, will we be expecting publicity at the event? And if so, how much of it? Will we be seeing Rita Skeeter and other wizarding world journalists there? We might want to consider these things as we decide lest we end up with the same debacle as we had with the Halloween Ball.

On another note, we seem to have missed an Illya Event today.

It sounds like Shinji STILL has no idea what happened lol

- - - Updated - - -

then again hes 13

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 10:06 AM
It sounds like Shinji STILL has no idea what happened lol

- - - Updated - - -

then again hes 13

I'm working on that assumption at this point. And asking for stuff like confirmation for the sake of clarity as - admittedly - I can be a bit dense at times.

mAc Chaos
October 20th, 2015, 10:12 AM
what shinji saw

touko: lol are they your GIRLFRIENDS
shinji: haha thats crazy dont be silly
hermione: i gotta go i feel sick
shinji: ?? ok bye

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 10:23 AM
I can't say if Shinji will figure it out or not, but Alf made it pretty clear that for the rest of the series we won't have Hermione as an option for anything.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 10:54 AM
Hermione,
I hope you have been enjoying your winter holiday, and that the day with Tomas was pleasant. I’m sorry I’ve been so busy, but I haven’t forgotten our promise!
It is supposed to rain today, so I’m not sure it will be much of a day for an outing, but perhaps you would like to come over to my house at 12 Grimmauld Place just before noon, and we could enjoy a pleasant meal together, followed by an afternoon by the fire?
My owl will wait for your reply.
Yours,
Matou Shinji

Weren't they going out somewhere else but Hermione insisted on visiting his house at least once??
You created a paradox in your own story and now you are going to be trapped in eternal darkness(still umineko).


This wasn't such a bad end as i was expecting, this is a good life experience for her. I was thinking either suicide or a spell to forget everything related to Shinji, courtesy of Tomas was in store for her.

I wonder if today was the day for Illya to tell us about the Atlas vice-Director proposal. While im fine not helping out with that and having another girl with yanderistic traits gunning for Shinji i hope she still accepts.

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 11:02 AM
I can't say if Shinji will figure it out or not, but Alf made it pretty clear that for the rest of the series we won't have Hermione as an option for anything.

That much I understand. I was just curious flavor-wise, though, as it is likely that there will be situations where they have no choice but to interact with each other - at least on a professional level - as they are members of the Ourea and other similar organizations. In these situations, I'm assuming they're going to be railroaded.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 11:09 AM
She can drop membership. That was Tomas advice.

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 11:12 AM
She can drop membership. That was Tomas advice.

Huh, I must have missed that. Well, problem addressed, it is.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 11:30 AM
Will hermione be gone for the rest of this story or from all the saga from now until the birth of Matou Shinji Glorious Magical Empire?
Because there are still four years left, will she ignore shinji for that long?

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 11:38 AM
She doesn't have to drop off the face of the planet. Though who knows, maybe she'll transfer to another school or the like. She likes acting, and there is a school that specializes in that if I recall right.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 11:42 AM
To know our loses, what was she doing for us?

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 11:45 AM
To know our loses, what was she doing for us?

I believe that is something to be left for the end of year discussion once this round of the game ends.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 11:49 AM
I believe that is something to be left for the end of year discussion once this round of the game ends.

But didn't Shinji drop a lot of stuff on on her at the start of the year to have time to do his stuff?
How is that going?
Im talking about the past not the alternate realities.

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 11:51 AM
But didn't Shinji drop a lot of stuff on on her at the start of the year to have time to do his stuff?
How is that going?
Im talking about the past not the alternate realities.

I see your point. We'll probably have to wait for Alf to get on for those concerns.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 11:53 AM
The whole scenario had been designed to break Hermione's Social Link as much as the last 2 years had been series of random out of nowhere Luna social link maxing activities. Why are we even fucking surprised that relationship with Hermione would progress as it did?

really everything about it had been trivialized by alf as "not yandere, just teenaged girl tee hee hee", then she went and go super bitch at Rin and melt down completely because player forget to specify certain prompt

seriously, if that's how you're going to play out Hermione's role in this entire series after book 1, you might as well cut her off now before she goes to the same place as Ron and Draco on the fucking narrative

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 11:55 AM
Except we had multiple times we could have turned it around or made things better.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 12:02 PM
See, the difference is that players had to fucking choose the Hermione option to gain points with her over some other, admittedly more interesting, activities throughout the year, while alf just throw wrench into relationship randomly without warning the player like the goddamn wand purchase and Hermione's growing mania.

that's just setting up for things to fail, especially with teenage girls feeling tee hee hee

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 12:03 PM
I have to agree with Caster on this one. A part of me realizes that going after her would have actually been the best time to work things out; she was vulnerable, vocal, and malleable - as we very nicely saw this chapter. That was the perfect time to set things to rights. Lesson certainly​ learned.

And if I may, I don't think the aggression is all that called for.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 12:12 PM
My point stands. Yes players totally screwed the pooch on the last decision point, but everything to that point had been so fucking stacked against Hermione's relationship progressing in a not insane manner that it's a mercy to just end it as is.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 12:16 PM
I think the problem with past choices is that people were afraid because everything Hermione related choice lead to an increase of crazy point for her no matter how big or small it was and Shinji was unable to realize what was happening so he couldn't help but make things worse. I think that was the main drive to not go with her with Hogsmeade.

Malgos
October 20th, 2015, 12:28 PM
Pansy as that is her thing, lots of social networking to be done there. And Shinji can make it seem like he's doing her a favor, rather than the other way around because he lost Hermione's friendship. Too bad, Hermione would've been the ideal choice here. Well there's the dilemma of not specifying what to do when asked for it. I already had a feeling from the start when I made that choice, that Hermione and Rin wouldn't get along all that well, but at least my way Shinji would've been there as a buffer from the get-go.

100%

I know it's just a story, but would be great if you could stop looking at the characters only from your perspective and what they do for "you". Anyways the point of Hermione was to be a friend to Shinji. I mean, you guys can keep trading friendship for power or whatever. Only keeping those around that have useful skills, but that's just sorta sad and would make Shinji a pitiful person... More so than in canon, I'd say.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 12:37 PM
Not nearly as sad as realizing that things wouldn't play nearly as badly as it did if everything about Hermione's relationship since book 1 had not been designed to end things in one way or the other

Vagrant
October 20th, 2015, 01:11 PM
[☆] Pansy

Glad Hermione is out of the way in a manner that is hopefully not too terrible. Having people constantly twist and turn and agonise over choices where she was an option was getting incredibly old.

- - - Updated - - -

[☆] Pansy

Glad Hermione is out of the way in a manner that is hopefully not too terrible. Having people constantly twist and turn and agonise over choices where she was an option was getting incredibly old.

alfheimwanderer
October 20th, 2015, 01:29 PM
Would we still be able to approach her for work-related things (Or are those options getting railroaded by virtue of penalties in the case of the last question)?

Other have already answered, but I will confirm - Hermione Granger is no longer available for interactions, including work-related things. She will remain at Hogwarts until the end of the year, and finish out her responsibilities as Consul, but that's about it.


As for this most recent vote, however: Alf, will we be expecting publicity at the event? And if so, how much of it? Will we be seeing Rita Skeeter and other wizarding world journalists there?

Publicity? Definitely some. You and Harry, after all, represent the best hope Britain has had for victory in the Championship in a very long time - they haven't even sent a representative for almost a century, given how humiliating their repeated failures have been for national pride and honor.


Not nearly as sad as realizing that things wouldn't play nearly as badly as it did if everything about Hermione's relationship since book 1 had not been designed to end things in one way or the other

Or perhaps if you stepped into her shoes for a moment, considering the plight of a young girl who lost one of her only two friends in the world, and has a complicated relationship/crush with the surviving friend, you would understand that things are not easy for her. Yes, she latched onto Shinji - the other one who was close to Sokaris - like a drowning woman onto a rope, but can you blame someone who is grieving for that, much less someone who is not very good with people to begin with, and whose first model of what a good friend was like was Sokaris?

You have had opportunity after opportunity to address this - or at least not to lead the poor girl on. Instead, you choose to pump in full Hermione points this year, up to and including the Halloween ball - which I specifically warned you was getting press coverage - letting her think you'd begun to return her feelings, before effectively dropping her like a goddamn hot potato.

As for her going "Super Bitch" at Rin, imagine a girl that is already insecure to begin with, whose lover has not been spending time with her lately, who goes to her lover's house - and meets the attractive girl he's living with - one he's never mentioned, and who seems to have been told that Hermione is only a friend.

...I'm sorry, but do you not see how this could be seen as a very big red flag even for someone who isn't an insecure teenage girl with a massive, complicated crush on someone who she already thinks could have "anyone he wanted"?

If you'd even bothered to look at things from her point of view, this would have been obvious. Instead you say that everything has been designed to end things, because they go awry. That's...just sad.

TL;DR: Don't blame the game designer for your fuckups, take responsibility.

Malgos
October 20th, 2015, 01:29 PM
Glad Hermione is out of the way in a manner that is hopefully not too terrible. Having people constantly twist and turn and agonise over choices where she was an option was getting incredibly old.

I sort of have to ask what do you consider terrible, if it's not too terrible to almost freeze to death? She was already starting to pass over to the other side.

Kelnish
October 20th, 2015, 01:32 PM
See this is what happens when you dont go for zouken choices guys. Zouken is key.

Invite zouken to luncheon.

Also i super like thomas and feel like he should meet the actual monsters from the TM side and realize how insignificant he is.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 01:41 PM
I sort of have to ask what do you consider terrible, if it's not too terrible to almost freeze to death? She was already starting to pass over to the other side.

I was expecting terrible things like suicide or Tomas using magic to mindfuck her so she forgets Shinji. She accepting the end of her crush and making her own path is a much better ending.

mr_Trickster
October 20th, 2015, 01:44 PM
Thank you for the clarifications, Alf. That does resolve a lot of my curiosity regarding the finer details of the situation that we have ended up being.

As for the vote proper: [X] - Pansy Parkinson for reasons that others have already mentioned. Her disposition for social events like these will be rather useful as we are not as aware of the political climate here as we are in the Moonlit World (and admittedly, that still isn't all that big of a difference) and we may be slated to benefit from having her company, and her advice.

After all, if there is at least one thing we seem to me managing to be good at with Shinji this year, it's learning from our mentors - might as well take another one with wizarding politics.


TL;DR: Don't blame the game designer for your fuckups, take responsibility.

I... admittedly cannot disagree with you there - as both a player and a designer. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, however. Best we can do at this point is learn from the mistake and move to avoid such things in the future.

Friends and resources can be both one and the same, after all. As Dumas once said: "We are never quits with those who oblige us, for when we do not owe them money, we owe them gratitude." Perhaps Hermione will be better without our... chaotic influence. Maybe she can find some peace then.


See this is what happens when you dont go for zouken choices guys. Zouken is key.

Maybe. Maybe Zouken is what we need more of in our life. Clearly we've benefited greatly from what advice he has offered over the course of this series so far - perhaps we can learn from him how to handle all these ladies social links people.

alfheimwanderer
October 20th, 2015, 01:45 PM
I was expecting terrible things like suicide or Tomas using magic to mindfuck her so she forgets Shinji. She accepting the end of her crush and making her own path is a much better ending.

I was tempted to have the last section with Tomas show up next chapter, admittedly, given that the image of her fading away in the rain is a beautiful, if tragic one. But then I decided to have some consideration for my readers...

Skull Leader
October 20th, 2015, 01:49 PM
I was tempted to have the last section with Tomas show up next chapter, admittedly, given that the image of her fading away in the rain is a beautiful, if tragic one. But then I decided to have some consideration for my readers...

I thank you for that consideration.

Could we have at least ended as friends had Shinji gone after her, Alf? I bang my head at the fact that we did not go after her.

Kelnish
October 20th, 2015, 01:50 PM
Zouken would want shinji to pick ilya to vicariouslu relive his younger love.

alfheimwanderer
October 20th, 2015, 02:05 PM
Could we have at least ended as friends had Shinji gone after her, Alf?

You would have probably have had some kind of relationship left with her had you gone after her. As it is, she'll soon be gone.

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 02:09 PM
I imagine Alf will have fun with the what if's this year. And Alf made pretty clear points multiple times. There's a difference between acknowledging the risks and playing the odds and saying that you were completely unaware of the risks when they were bold and obvious. The ball was obviously a bad idea with any foresight, and it was pointed out how Hermione would view it by people here. The last two votes with her, it was pointed out what Touko would do with all three, and not going after her was obvious. If you don't care that's one thing, but you can't yell at Alf when neon signs are apparently the level of warning needed for people to heed it.

And I agree that looking at characters in this just as resources to be used for various purposes is unwise. It'll bite Shinji back hard.

skulkidcachi90
October 20th, 2015, 02:15 PM
Zouken would want shinji to pick ilya to vicariouslu relive his younger love
Zouken is a wise man, Shinji totally should do that.

Skull Leader
October 20th, 2015, 02:16 PM
I agree with everything you said Caster. Treating people as what can they do is a bad idea.

Vagrant
October 20th, 2015, 02:39 PM
Speaking of Zouken, I thoroughly enjoyed the Zouken/Voldemort parallels shown during this chapter. Overall was a very good chapter. Got rid of Hermione and got interesting Tomas insights.

As for this whole "disaster" of choices with Hermione and whether it was destined to end this way or not, I think it was pretty obvious that we've been makinh choices that don't really help her out for a while now. Regardless of what people think of how forced (or how unforced) the romance with Luna has been, the collapse of Hermione has been a different issue. One in which I have no real qualms with Alf's offered options and choices. Players either fucked up or deliberately chose to drive her away.

I still think that Shinji's complete cluelessness is by now rather implausible, but I don't mind how it all went at all. That chapter of the book is done. Mechanically I hope it doesn't impact too much on how Sion thinks of us, but socially I don't really give a fuck since I think chasing a Sion route (romantically at least) is a silly notion.

saki
October 20th, 2015, 02:46 PM
I think that shinji being oblivious to her feelings was because he gave the first present she gave him as payment for the wand. He has something like a curse now.
Or maybe that's fanon, i need the word of god for this one.

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 02:56 PM
Alf hinted at something like that. I'm hoping that since that subplot is finished Alf could clear it up. Though if that is why I kind of wish we'd had some idea that was going to happen.

Malgos
October 20th, 2015, 03:18 PM
I don't think moving on from her crush on Shinji was worth this dilemma and almost freezing to death. Also thanks to the choices made I'd say she's pretty much dead when it comes to the story anyways, I doubt we'll see much of her if she transfers. It truly is a pity for Shinji to lose such a nice friend. I hope that Shinji won't lose too many more friends. It's not Hermione's fault that she started thinking like that.

Magus
October 20th, 2015, 03:33 PM
So she really will be gone from the story… that's quite unfortunate. But what's done is done. This was the path of the players' (though not my) choosing. It was important to resolve Hermione's romantic plot, but I can't say that it is a satisfying conclusion.

And as the others have said, Shinji should value his friends more.

Velyoukai
October 20th, 2015, 04:18 PM
People are not wrong for disliking choices that pointedly involve Shinji in an anime-type emotional teenage girl version of a character route or options, mechanically and narrative-wise.

Friend-wise, it is unfortunate that Shinji lost a friend, but it's ultimately healthier for both of them.

arsdraconis
October 20th, 2015, 04:37 PM
Still not buying the whole "teenage girl feelings tee hee hee" and blaming the players for not being empathic to a teenage drama queen angle, but whatever, that's one gangrenous limb cut off. I'm not exactly complaining as a player anyway, just as a reader finding how hilariously loaded some of the choices and the development has been this year.

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 06:57 PM
Even if we accept the premise that the players shouldn't try and view things as the character might when it comes to keeping possible outcomes in mind, Alf still made very direct warnings. When I'm at a computer I could go through and point them out, but it's just trying to avoid responsibility for the outcome to deny the very direct and obvious way the players impacted the outcome.

Also it's a poor vote if the choices are easy. There is little purpose to a vote that doesn't have weight.

Abendroth
October 20th, 2015, 07:21 PM
To know our loses, what was she doing for us?
This year, she was acting as consul which freed up our time to study magic, and now to practice potions. She would have given us something special at the luncheon with Dagworth-Granger. Since she would do whatever we said this also meant we had all the advantages of the conul without any of the work. I will have to check whether or not one of our other positions gives us unlimited access to the restricted section in the library.


In second year, she provided a great deal of assistance in our role as consul, being described as nearely our shadow, passing out information and potions to those in need. Our success as consul, in getting people to pass their exams despite the end of year disturbance, significantly boosted our reputation, establishing us as not merely a brave wizard but a Leader. She also assisted with some of the more mundane work of being a conul, allowing us to use that time to improve our magic further.


First year, I believe she assisted us with some of our research. If we had successfully purchased the entirety of the Black library we would probably have needed her help in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. Most of what's in there isn't relevant to us and we certainly wouldn't have time to read it all ourselves. We also probably could have tapped her for explosive potions or other AOE potions to help deal with the spiders.


Strategically, I think our biggest loss is that Hermione would have been willing to handle the nitty gritty paperwork that necessarily accompanies leadership or large endeavors, leaving us free to focus on the big picture, which would have been an enormous timesaver, effectively giving us more actions.

EDIT:

Instead, you choose to pump in full Hermione points this year,
Keeping in mind that I agree that the players are the ones who pulled the trigger on this, I'm afraid I still don't follow you here. We seem to have voted in favor of Hermione about as often as we voted in favor of Harry, and if anything we seem to be drifting further apart from him. The dance was a mistake of course, but you're saying that we were going for full Hermione points even before that? What did we do?

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 07:35 PM
We picked Hermione over Harry for all our potions things. And that has a lot more impact since the assumed position was Shinji would support Harry, instead he supported Hermione. There also is possibly that book thing for the wand, I really want Alf to weigh in on that.

Abendroth
October 20th, 2015, 07:40 PM
There also is possibly that book thing for the wand, I really want Alf to weigh in on that.
I already asked Alf if he would be willing to clarify what was up with that, but he said no.



“He could at least try,” the magus commented, grimly shaking her head. “Even…” But Aozaki Touko didn’t finish her thought. “Never mind. You can find her, then?”

OK, I take it back. If our failure to follow our friend has triggered our master's issues with people leaving her then that is probably our biggest loss, as she may be even less inclined to get close to us now. Unless Sion is unhappy, which would be worse.

Caster
October 20th, 2015, 08:08 PM
We haven't seen the school impact yet either. This should be a massive, massive social hit on everyone Shinji knows except maybe Shirou and people in Japan in general. The rest? I guess Ilya may not care if she gets wind of it, but she may see it as abandonment and then that triggers negative Kiritsugu things. It's why I find it weird people aren't getting that this was a big deal.

Abendroth
October 20th, 2015, 08:11 PM
We haven't seen the school impact yet either. This should be a massive, massive social hit on everyone Shinji knows except maybe Shirou and people in Japan in general. The rest? I guess Ilya may not care if she gets wind of it, but she may see it as abandonment and then that triggers negative Kiritsugu things. It's why I find it weird people aren't getting that this was a big deal.I was trying not to think about that. :(


Still not buying the whole "teenage girl feelings tee hee hee" and blaming the players for not being empathic to a teenage drama queen angle, but whatever, that's one gangrenous limb cut off. I'm not exactly complaining as a player anyway, just as a reader finding how hilariously loaded some of the choices and the development has been this year.
Ultimately, you have a choice: you can recognize that the common sense of the GM is not the same as your common sense, and try to keep a more careful eye on him and on those posters whose common sense is closer to that of the GM, or you can continue to insist that the GM blindsided us with no warning, when nearly half the players in the thread did see this coming and argued vociferously against it.


Like the main character in a story, or Hermione herself, the only person who can ultimately determine what path you will take is you.

Skull Leader
October 20th, 2015, 08:21 PM
It got to be a massive hit with our relationship with Ravenclaw. We barely interact with any of them. We have no one left in our year that we talk to in Ravenclaw. Sion gone and now Hermione. Luna is the only person left from Ravenclaw that we talk to. At this point we are more connected to the Slythrin then to our own house.

Really as much as you people seem to dislike Luna, all of this is going to push Shinji closer to Luna as he has no one else to spend time with in school now. Harry is busy with his friends and will likely be split from us next year when Shinji and Harry are put into difference competitions.

On a lighter note, I kind of wish I could go back a few pages and make a better decision like I could do with the CYOA books of my youth. But that would spoil the impact of this story. Nothing we can do at this point but move forth and guide Shinji into being a better person by making better choices.

Abendroth
October 20th, 2015, 08:41 PM
It got to be a massive hit with our relationship with Ravenclaw. We barely interact with any of them. We have no one left in our year that we talk to in Ravenclaw.
That's one of those things that we can't actually tell. Just judging by the text, the only person we spend any time with is Luna. I don't think we talk to anyone else "on screen" unless we specifically vote to do so. Obviously, there must be some interactions with other people off screen that just aren't shown because they aren't plot-relevant. Unfortunately, we can't even tell if we're spending any time with our best friend, let alone whether we're spending any time with the rest of the Ravenclaws

alfheimwanderer
October 20th, 2015, 08:44 PM
Obviously, there must be some interactions with other people off screen that just aren't shown because they aren't plot-relevant.

Most of the stuff that happens in class, as an example. The trouble with spending time with Harry though, is that he's often busy - though you'll all be spending a good deal of time together this term. Have to prep for that spider raid.