DISCLAIMER: Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of Kinoko Nasu and Type-Moon, along with anyone who's happened to license them, like Geneon or Funimation. Harry Potter and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of J.K. Rowling, along with her publishers and Warner Bros., as regards the movie material.
This is a not-for-profit, just-for-fun project.
Writer's Note: Certain dialogue sequences in this story are lifted from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but I trust in the intelligence of my readers (and the availability of the books) to recognise them when they see them.
Chapter 1 - The Summer of Love
July 31, 1993
Takara Aozaki lay on her stomach, atop her bed, and pondered a problem. It was a problem which had started becoming apparent at the beginning of the summer, and only increased in difficulty over time.
She was, on the whole, a normal teenaged girl, and had been the entire time she’d been a teenager. The fact that, biologically, she’d been thirteen for only two days, but was mentally seventeen as of two years ago, was part of the reason she wasn’t entirely a normal teenaged girl. The other part involved the fact that she was a witch. Not a practitioner of Wicca, but an actual, stereotypical, broomstick-riding, cauldron-stirring witch.
However, she was first and foremost a teenager - just oddly mature-seeming for her supposed years. However, this wasn’t always a blessing. Her additional experiences left her thinking far ahead in terms of her peers - in just about every way. They were just noticing boys now, dealing with crushes and heartbreak. She’d been thinking about boys for some time, however - two of them in particular.
The first was a boy she knew most commonly as Galen Salvatore. He’d had other names, in the years only she had experienced, but here and now, Galen was who he was. In both sets of memories, he’d been one of her fiercest supporters, going so far as to die for her causes. In the newer set that went with her younger body, he’d been her first friend her own age. The newer memories described a child Galen who was shy, withdrawn - almost afraid of contact. He was always happy to see her, grateful to spend time with her, and eager to please. He was a far cry from his counterpart, a grim, melancholy man who raged against the world frequently - and took life-threatening risks without a second thought. Yet, if she looked closely enough, Takara could see the seeds of that man within the boy.
The other was Shirou Einzbern. In the life that now never was, she’d first known him as Shirou of the Emiya family, an albino upperclassman at her school - popular, and even handsome, despite his disability. Thoroughly Japanese, he’d been the guy every girl at school had wanted to impress - herself included. She’d been ecstatic, and terrified, when he’d agreed to take her on a date . . . and later switched to just being terrified, when he’d tried to sacrifice her for a mystical ritual. That version had been a psychotic magus, hellbent on achieving his goals no matter the cost. As Shirou Einzbern, however, he’d been the second of her two best friends - and the one she’d kept when she’d moved to Japan as a child, because he had, too. He was passionate, idealistic - and quite cute, as a child.
As small children, they’d been inseparable for years, until the move to Japan. Then the trinity had become a pair, reduced to exchanging letters until reuniting on the Hogwarts Express two years ago. At least, so claimed the newer memories. The older ones told a far different tale . . . But to all intents and purposes, the new memories were their history, their lives now, and so in some respects, what had gone before didn’t really matter.
Except when it did.
This summer had been fun. Most of their fellow witches and wizards whom they counted as friends were on holiday with their families, out of the country - Hermione Granger had gone to France with her parents and sister, Luna Lovegood was in Sweden with her father, Ginny and the rest of the Weasleys were in Egypt after winning a lotto draw, visiting the eldest Weasley son, Bill. Even Neville Longbottom and his Gran had gone off to the coast for a seaside vacation. That had left it the same way their childhood memories insisted it had been, and ought to be - the trinity, Takara and her boys.
It had been a great chance to reconnect, drawing on their memories, and speak fairly openly with one another about things, with no need to keep secrets. Unfortunately, Takara had found it necessary to hide a few, anyway. Being old enough to reconsider boys physically, and marriage, mentally, had her evaluating her two best friends - and she was well-aware they’d had a few peeks at her, too, an altogether new experience for her - in a light she’d never before considered them: romantically.
In her original life, Takara had been outcast for her heritage in Japan. Despite being three-quarters Japanese, her appearance had been European enough for those with bigoted tendencies to make her life a living hell in school. As a result, she’d promised herself a long time ago that she would never put her children through the same experience. She would marry a Japanese boy, and hope that traits like her blue eyes and brown hair, her proportions and complexion, weren’t passed on. It was a prejudice in herself she didn’t like, but it had spent years burrowing into her psyche - she wasn’t sure she could change it.
This meant that of her two best friends, Shirou was the better choice. He was Japanese, even with his red hair (of a shade not unseen in Japan), though his gray eyes were concerning. And she couldn’t quite erase the memory of his albino doppelganger. But her real memories saw him as her best friend, the friend she’d kept in a strange country, when it had been the two of them against the world. He was still cute, and with the amount of regular exercise he put himself through, he might actually be even better-looking than the evil version of himself, by the time he reached that age. If one threw in the fact that his family was rich and politically connected, you couldn’t get much better as a potential boyfriend than Shirou Einzbern.
Unfortunately, there were three problems with that idea. First, he’d never shown much interest in her as a romantic partner (although the occasional look this summer indicated that things may have changed). Second, she had undeclared competition, in the form of one of her best friends, Ginny Weasley. The redheaded girl was a year younger than her, and had been nursing a crush on Shirou since she’d met him - one which had only intensified in strength after Shirou had saved her life - and her elder brother’s - six months ago. Even if she got Shirou, Takara would risk destroying a friendship she enjoyed.
The third problem, appropriately, was Galen.
His original self would’ve been wholly unsuitable as a boyfriend. Leaving aside the fact that he was dead, and not especially handsome, he was a gaijin, a foreign barbarian. A kind barbarian with his own code of nobility, who had fought and died to save her family’s lives, simply because she’d needed him to, but foreign nonetheless - not what she wanted. And yet, she owed him . . . And he’d told her he loved her. Had he been Japanese (and alive), she would have pinned him up against a wall somewhere and kissed him until one or both of them had passed out from oxygen deprivation, for all he’d done for her.
(In point of fact, part of her had, a couple of years ago, done just that. That same part had also reduced his testicles to a bloody paste for making her watch him die, but he’d been wearing a body that even he admitted deserved it at the time.)
In the here and now, Galen was her first real friend, telling a lonely four-year-old girl who’d been outcast for her strange looks that she was pretty. He’d played with her whenever she wanted, helped her learn to read, and when she’d left him she’d cried for days. Nowadays, he was still the first and fiercest to her defence, perfectly willing to challenge heaven and hell together if he had to, to protect her and what she cherished. And living in the magical society of England, her Asian heritage was considered of less account - she was a witch before she was a foreigner, here, at least to most. And a Canadian wizard drew even fewer negative responses.
The childhood crush her newer memories had nurtured had grounds to become something stronger, if she wanted it to. And most people who knew them seemed to think it would, or should. After he’d saved her mother’s life six months ago, her father had even indicated that he’d approve - or at least not object - if she decided to marry him. A powerful endorsement, coming from a man whose daughter was only twelve at the time!
But if a relationship with Galen had more weight in its favour now, the problems associated with one were likewise enhanced. While freed of whatever childhood condition had crippled him originally, here he was a werewolf - with a social status even worse than her own, in mundane Japanese society. Few who knew his true nature would consider him anything other than a Dark creature, a monster - something to be tolerated only grudgingly, and only when absolutely necessary. Marrying him might not even be legal, and any children they had would be ostracised as she had been, which was what she sought above all else to avoid.
And there were additional problems. Galen had self-esteem issues - and while Takara admitted that she did, too, his led him towards suicidal tendencies. These spurts of self-destruction were wearying to deal with, and while they’d been forcibly abated, they showed no signs of ever being over, either. And as with Shirou, there was competition, in the form of Hermione Granger. Hermione hadn’t explicitly stated her feelings, but they were hardly a secret, either. She was practically his second shadow at school, rarely out of his company, and almost never far away when she was. Galen was more than her crush, he was her hero - he made a girl who’d been bullied and belittled feel safe - a sentiment Takara could fully understand.
And Hermione was more his type - quiet, scholarly. She’d enjoy a day at a museum, or scavenging through a used bookstore for rare and interesting tomes. Takara would rather be out doing something physical, like dancing, or Quidditch. To all intents and purposes, Takara honestly believed that Hermione was the better match for the Galen she knew - and besides, he’d showed no real interest in her beyond the one declaration - and yet . . .
And yet, he showed no more interest in Hermione than her. He either ignored or missed her attempts at flirtation. Shirou said it was psychological - tied into those self-esteem issues. And perhaps it did, but might it also mean that Galen considered his heart already taken? Takara had been given the opportunity to use his wand last term, and it had responded to her immediately, working well for her. According to her godmother, the wand would not have done so, if he felt nothing for her - its very nature made it a wand of passion, and passion was what drew out its power. So whatever he had or hadn’t said, he felt something for her. But was it enough? And even if it was, did she want to take the risks associated with finding out?
Takara sighed in frustration. If she was going to make a decision - make an attempt on either of the two boys - it would need to be soon. Ginny was younger, but approaching an age where she could be more overt. Hermione was older than she was - older than Galen, too, if only by a couple of months. And if she remembered correctly, there was a fancy dress ball next year - surely, if neither of the other girls had made a move beforehand, they would then. So if she hadn’t made a choice yet, there was every possibility it would be made for her.
And the choice might be “neither.”
The ginger-furred tomcat was a large specimen, as domestic cats went - closer to thirty pounds than twenty. He would never win a beauty contest, as his face looked as though someone had deliberately rammed it into a wall a few times. The fact that he was bowlegged didn’t help his appearance, either - but his yellow eyes gleamed with an uncanny intelligence, even for a cat. As such, the intent stare he gave the front door of his home would’ve unnerved many people. The boy who walked through it, however, just smiled.
“Good afternoon, Master Crookshanks,” Galen said cheerily. “Ready for lunch?”
The teenager was tall and slender - though thanks to regular exercise in this incarnation, less skeletal and more muscular in build. He’d gone from “whippet” to “wiry,” in his own estimation, weighing as much as he did now at thirteen as he had when he was thirty. His ears were still too big, and his face too long, if not quite as sharply angular, but he looked better, this time around. More or less, anyway.
Galen shut the Grangers’ front door, and walked into the kitchen with Crookshanks following avidly. The cat which had been described as possibly being “quite a small tiger” normally disliked him, as most animals did werewolves - but after weeks of being Crookshanks’ meal provider, litter box cleaner, and almost sole human contact, the half-Kneazle had grudgingly deigned to acknowledge his existence as worthwhile. No doubt when the Grangers returned from France, that would change, but for now, he enjoyed the attention. He’d always loved cats, even though he’d never been allowed to have any - in either lifetime.
“Sorry, no Maeve today - Little Sister’s out with friends.”
Crookshanks made a disappointed sound, then hopped up on the kitchen counter while Galen opened a can of cat food, and a can of tuna he’d bought, and mixed the two. He glanced at Crookshanks and said scoldingly, “You know perfectly well that you’re not supposed to be up here . . . But I won’t tell if you don’t. Just remember that once they’re home, you’ll have to stay off, eh?”
The cat mewled in acknowledgement. Coming from a magical heritage as he did, Crookshanks was more intelligent than any mundane cat - though Galen would’ve talked to him thus, anyway, as it was just his nature. Nevertheless, he had little doubt that the cat fully understood him, or nearly so.
“You may eat on the counter - I’ll clean up any mess, never fear,” Galen said. “I’ll just refill your water dish for you, and go fetch the post, shall I?”
Crookshanks made no acknowledgement beyond attacking his food dish with gusto, purring as he did.
Galen returned to the front porch, grabbed the mail from the mailbox, and sorted through it. There wasn’t much - most bills had been stopped for the duration of the Granger family’s vacation, or prepaid to cover the expense - but he still dutifully stacked any bills on the front hall table, discarded the junk mail, and placed any individual mail in prearranged places - usually the side tables next to the Grangers’ usual living room chairs.
There was one anomaly - a brown-wrapped package addressed to “Crookshanks Granger,” in handwriting he recognised as belonging to the mother of the family. It wasn’t large, but it was curious.
“Somebody has been missed,” Galen announced as he returned to the kitchen. “Your loving family has sent you a souvenir from their trip, Master Crookshanks - care to do the honours and open it yourself, or shall I?”
While the cat busily shredded the cardboard packaging, Galen double-checked the list of chores on the fridge. He’d watered the plants this morning, cut the lawns yesterday, and dusted and vacuumed the day before - he’d give the litter box a cleaning tonight, and otherwise, so long as Crookshanks was fed and watered, everything else should be all right for another week.
House-sitting had actually been kind of fun. Ordinarily, he doubted the Grangers would’ve bothered, but Crookshanks would’ve spent their vacation in quarantine if they’d taken him to France - and Hermione hadn’t wanted to board him at a kennel, since he spent so little time outside of Hogwarts, anyway. So she’d gotten her parents’ permission to have him look after the cat, and do a few little chores while he did. The Grangers saved some money, he got some time with a pet who didn’t outright despise him - Crookshanks wasn’t fond of him, but he wasn’t overtly hostile, either - and Hermione could relax on her vacation, knowing full well that her cat would be well looked-after for the summer.
Her parents hadn’t been difficult to convince, either - true, he was a thirteen-year-old boy, but with Hermione to vouch for him, they’d had little hesitation about handing over the key to the house. His parents had also promised to make sure he was watched about how he handled it, and he had been - the most he’d done to meddle with the house was to use his wand-servicing kit on Hermione’s while she was gone. And he’d ordered some flower bouquets that he’d pick up for their return, along with a few cans of soup and boxes of Kraft Dinner for potentially hungry travellers who didn’t have the energy for more complicated meals.
Normally, his parents might have chided him about the expense - but in addition to his paper route earnings, Shirou had handed him seven thousand Galleons in bounty money for his part in helping him kill a millennium-old basilisk. Affording school supplies would not be a problem this year - and in point of fact, he’d used some of it to finally buy an owl - a tiny gray one he’d named Hermes. With half his friends living fully in the magical world, it now seemed a worthwhile expense. If nothing else, it let his mother send mail regularly, rather than rent one for the purpose.
A metallic clinking caught Galen’s attention, and he turned to see Crookshanks batting around cans of cat food with French labels, before turning his attention to a catnip mouse wearing a tiny blue beret.
“Ah, it appears they want you to have the joys of experiencing French cuisine,” Galen said with a grin. He put them in the cupboard, reading the labels more closely as he did so. “Would you like filet mignon for supper?”
A yowl of approval - of course, that might’ve been for the mouse.
“Very good, sir,” Galen said drily, in his best English butler impression. He picked up one of the last cans - and paused as he spotted an envelope with his name on it, in Hermione’s painstakingly neat handwriting.
I hope Crookshanks isn’t giving you too much trouble, and I want to thank you again for taking care of him this summer. I know how sad it makes you when cats and dogs react to your condition, so I really appreciate the fact that you’re willing to spend time with him despite his usual reactions.
In all honesty, Galen suspected that Crookshanks’ reactions to him were based more in jealousy over his mistress’ attentions, or fear for her safety, than any perceived danger to Crookshanks himself.
I’m also sorry that, with everyone on vacation, all our hard work at a treatment for your summer problem was almost useless. I hope Shirou and Takara are company enough to help you through it.
In point of fact, they weren’t too much help. Having animals around that smelled familiar helped calm the wolf on full moon nights - but only to a point. And neither Shirou nor Takara’s avian forms had the power to really keep it subdued. Still, he’d harmed himself less, which counted for something. Unfortunately, neither Arcueid nor the Einzberns could help him, as they had in the past - with his hormones in flux (thank you, puberty), her Veela aura couldn’t calm him any more. Rather the opposite, in fact. But their salves still healed the wounds he suffered faster and better. Only centaurs were superior to Veela when it came to healing.
I’ve been getting the Daily Prophet delivered, it’s so good to keep up with what’s going on in the wizarding world. Did you see that picture of Ginny and her family last week? I’ll bet she’s learning loads. I’m really jealous - the ancient Egyptian wizards were fascinating. But knowing how much you enjoy History of Magic, you probably already knew that.
There’s some interesting local history of witchcraft here, too. I’ve rewritten my whole History of Magic essay to include some of the things I’ve found out. I’ll let you read it on the train, I’m sure you’ll be fascinated. I hope it’s not too long, it’s two rolls of parchment more than Professor Binns asked for.
Galen chuckled. Hermione was not entirely as she’d been in the books and movies - interacting with him and the others had changed her, and occasionally those changes worried him . . . But statements like this proved that she really was the same old Hermione, after all.
Is Maeve looking forward to starting her first year at Hogwarts? Miranda is still hoping she can go - but we haven’t seen signs of magic yet. Of course, it’s possible that anything she’s done was attributed to me at the time, or she’s simply a late bloomer like Neville. She doesn’t turn eleven for another couple of years, so she holds onto the hope - oh, and she asks that you give Crookshanks her love.
“Miranda sends you her love, Master,” Galen repeated dutifully. “She and your mistress really do miss you.”
Crookshanks’ response was to twitch his tail haughtily, as if to say, Well then, they shouldn’t have left me, should they?
Did you see the letters sent out from Hogwarts, yet? It will be very strange having Professor McGonagall as Headmistress - I wonder who’ll replace her as Deputy? She won’t be Head of Gryffindor anymore, either - she’s not allowed to show favouritism. Do you suppose she’ll give up teaching Transfiguration, too? Trying to do too many jobs at once is what got Headmaster Dumbledore sacked, after all.
There had been a little more to it than that - negligence and reckless endangerment of students on a criminal level over the last two years had just been ascribed to overwork in a man at the century-and-a-half mark. Dumbledore had been quietly removed as Headmaster in lieu of facing charges (he still had that much clout), and he still held his other two positions, as neither entailed full-time administrative duties - the Wizengamot didn’t meet that often, nor did the ICW. But in the latter position, he was definitely treading on thin ice. One more slipup would probably see him removed there, too. Dumbledore would have to tread carefully, for the moment . . . And so would they.
They’d gotten way too exposed, last year, to pass themselves off as clueless-but-lucky students. If Dumbledore wasn’t already suspicious (and he probably was), he certainly had to be now. And Galen couldn’t see removing him from Hogwarts as being sufficient to end his influence there. If nothing else, McGonagall had a proven habit of jumping every time Dumbledore said “frog.” Still, they’d see . . .
Depending on the international postal service, I hope you get this before we come home - but not too long before. I’ve missed you, and hope to see you again soon - and everyone else, of course.
Aye, he thought, and therein lies the rub.
He’d dealt with Hermione’s crush for the last two years by gently ignoring it, reminding himself that however tempting it might be to indulge, the feelings wouldn’t last. Sooner or later, she’d wise up to the fact that he was not boyfriend material for anybody, much less a girl of her quality, and move on. And he couldn’t stand that from her, because he could easily fall for her. Better to let it die quietly and unexpressed - much less awkward and painful for both of them.
Except that she didn’t seem to be doing that. Of course, it was possible he was reading too much into what she said and did - it would hardly be the first time, and certainly not the last. Nonetheless, as long as they weren’t fighting, he always found her close by, always eager for his company.
Takara was easier to deal with in that respect. If she had any reaction to his declaration of love two-plus years ago, she’d obviously moved beyond it long ago, as she should have. To her, he was a frequently-annoying best friend - period. And no matter how much he might consider other possibilities, that was always how it would’ve ended.
Now, if only he could somehow convince Hermione of that.
I only have to last one more year, he reminded himself. After that, Krum will ask her to the Yule Ball, and she’ll realise that she can attract better men than me. Then I just have to make sure she chooses someone worthy of her - first and foremost, not Ron Weasley - and I can quietly fade into the background, or fade away entirely, depending on what she needs.
My bloody hormones won’t make it easy, but I just need to hold on for one more year. I’ve got to - Hermione’s future well-being and happiness depend on it!
As gales of silvery laughter erupted into the air, Shirou Einzbern scowled.
“You know, Galen had pretty much the same reaction,” he muttered sourly. “I didn’t think it was funny then, either.”
Ilyasviel von Einzbern was too busy holding a hand over her mouth to reply, with her other hand wrapped around her mid-section. A great deal of giggling and shaking in her shoulders, however, was answer enough.
“If you’re not going to help - “ Shirou began.
The half-Veela witch, who had hit sweet sixteen this year, shook her head, sending rippling waves down the cascading length of her silver-blonde hair.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped. “But after all the grief you give Galen over Takara and Hermione - to have it turned around is - ”
“Indicative of my life?” Shirou sighed. “Ilya-chan, she’s eleven! Maybe twelve, tops! It’s like being hit on by you!”
Ilya’s blue eyes widened, then narrowed. “Really?” she purred, rising from her chair to sashay over to Shirou’s side of the table and lean over to entwine her fingers with his, and press her breasts against his back.
Her voice was a silken whisper in his ear. “Does she do this to you?”
At the word “this,” her Veela aura flared. He’d never been this close to her when she’d set it off before - skin contact made magnified the effect. His body reacted, despite being not quite thirteen yet.
“Do you want to play with her, Shirou?” Ilya breathed. “Do you want to hear her scream? Shall I scream for you, instead? Would you like that?”
Her mouth pressed against the outer rim of his ear, and he could feel her smile, even as she moved her head to the pulse point just below his earlobe.
“Would you like me to scream your name, Shirou?” Ilya murmured, before she pulled back with the wickedest grin he’d ever seen on her face. In her normal voice, she asked, “Or would you rather be moaning mine?” She giggled.
“You’re evil,” Shirou said hoarsely, feeling his heartbeat slowly return to normal. “Have I ever told you that you’re evil, Ilya?”
“Once or twice,” she said impishly.
“Well, I’ll say it again. You are pure, unadulterated evil.”
“Thank you,” Ilya did a small curtsey before sitting down again.
“And speaking of evil . . .” said a new, familiar voice.
The two Einzbern children turned to see their father, Kiritsugu Einzbern, standing in the gazebo doorway. While his expression was frequently grim, this time it looked forbiddingly so.
“We just got word from the British Ministry, Sirius Black, one of the most feared Death Eaters in the country, has somehow managed to escape from Azkaban Prison . . . And they have reason to believe that he’s making his way towards Hogwarts.”
Kiritsugu took a deep breath, gazed at Shirou solemnly as he continued, “Hopefully, he can be recaptured quickly - but if he can’t, then it’s likely you won’t be returning to Hogwarts this year, son.”
Both children exclaimed, “WHAT?!”