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Thread: Matou Shinji and the Broken Chains (HP/FSN CYOA)

  1. #3381
    [x] Stock up on Ofuda.
    Last edited by Cassius; November 16th, 2017 at 10:42 PM.

  2. #3382
    So... We've got a ring from Lord Voldemort's girl... Okay.

    [x] Write-in: Potions with Tomas.

    When in doubt, grind Potions level.

  3. #3383
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neophyte View Post
    So... We've got a ring from Lord Voldemort's girl... Okay.
    Think of it as Tomas apologizing for going a bit too far with taunting Shinji (and AKing him) earlier in the year. He just isn't giving Shinji the item himself to avoid the loss of face, and has basically told Hokuto that Shinji would probably take a gift better if it came from her.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  4. #3384
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x] Potions with Tomas

    Chapter 68. Where the Wise Fear to Tread

    For Matou Shinji, the month after winter holidays had seemed at once both interminable, given the number of affairs he had needed to put in order before he departed for the isle (and their complexity), and not nearly long enough, given that no amount of time would have let him feel adequately prepared for the trials to come.

    ‘Was that part of what Sokaris wanted me to experience by having me participate in this?’

    He had learned from her that Alchemists often found themselves in situations where, in terms of raw power or skill, they were not quite a match for those they faced – at least, in a direct confrontation. Yet in those situations, they managed to eke out a victory anyway, either by creating what was necessary to close the gap, or using everything in their arsenal of skills to ensure that if a confrontation occurred, it was on their terms, not their opponent’s.

    A fine mirror for how he felt about being the youngest Champion of the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship – a better than average fourth year filling a spot that would normally have gone to an exceptional seventh.

    ‘Of course, Sokaris didn’t say I had to win, just that I should, if possible, but that above all else, I should live.’ The boy smiled faintly, on remembering the conversation he’d had with the Director of Atlas this past Tanabata. ‘Then again, she was curious about the Isle of Thule, and how it remains largely untouched by the Common Sense of the Age of Man, so, of course she would prioritize my survival. She wouldn’t get a report otherwise.’

    While he liked to think that it was simply because she cared about his well-being, Matou Shinji wasn’t exactly blind to the fact that as a Director, Sokaris had other responsibilities and commitments. Such was fitting for one of the most people in the moonlit world, for someone who he aspired to stand beside as an equal one day.

    ‘This opportunity could be another step towards that goal,’ he mused, ‘or it could be the place where I meet my end.’ He frowned then, as his mortality wasn’t something he liked to contemplate, even if every true magus walked with death – understood that it was always a possibility, given the dangers inherent in their world. ‘But I’ve made preparations for that…possible outcome as well.’

    Lockhart had been quite helpful in walking him through those grim eventualities, coaching him in how to write – and file – a Last Will and Testament in Magical Britain, mentioning how one generally needed to be careful about how one worded one’s bequests and conditions, and how, it was not a good idea to list one’s assets in full, as the Will would become a public document in the event of his death, and if he had things he would rather keep secret, then they shouldn’t be in there.

    The adventurer had also mentioned that wills filed in Magical Britain were only valid and enforceable with regards to his assets in Britain, due to jurisdictional issues relating to each magical nation being a sovereign state. The same had been true in the Muggle world until 1973, Lockhart explained, when the members states of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law had (mostly) agreed to a convention on Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will, which provided for a universally recognised code of rules under which a will made anywhere, by any person of any nationality, would be valid and enforceable in every country which became a party to the Convention.

    There was no equivalent in the wizarding world, so if Shinji had assets in other countries, then it would be necessary to create documents that dealt with his assets in those countries.

    In the case of Britain, this had been simple enough – in the event of his death, his manor, contents of his bank account, and the like would pass to Luna Lovegood, with his familiar to be released from his service. And since Luna was not of the Age of Majority, he had chosen Lockhart as the Executor for his estate, as he was certain the man knew both how to get things done, and to get people to do it for him.

    …though Shinji still had trouble wrapping his head around the fact that Lockhart had gotten Rita Skeeter to be one of the witnesses to his will-writing, which had been done after the unexpectedly civil interview he’d had with her, in which they’d discussed the Championship, his hopes and aspirations, his expectations for how he would do, and the people he was grateful to for helping him along the way.

    These were, as follows:

    Sokaris, great inspiration, the person in whose memory he strove to become more than he was with each passing day.

    His companion, Luna Lovegood, whose unshakable faith in him and fresh-eyed view of the world had reminded him that even in the darkest moments, he was not alone, and that he shouldn’t take magic and its gifts for granted, as so many others did.

    His familiar, who had shown incredible patience in dealing with a Master like him, and who was, in truth, one of the closest friends he had in this world.

    Professors Snape, Lockhart, and Flitwick, great teachers and mentors who had challenged him and helped him to grow as a wizard, a scholar, and a person.

    The late Robert Hillard, one of his first friends at Hogwarts, who had showed him that the impossible was merely difficult, and that the merely difficult was no trouble at all.

    His former Master, Aozaki Touko, who had taught him the basics of runes, and first introduced him to just how vast the world of magic was, how much more there was than the arts of his family.

    His mentors and associates at Mahoutokoro, who welcomed him every summer, and had, over the years been more generous with their time and attention than he had any right to deserve.

    George Weasley, the Hogwarts Triwizard Champion, who even up at Durmstrang, had demonstrated his worth as a Stone Cutter in speaking up for the innocent, when it would have been so convenient to stay silent.

    His friends among the Ourea, from whom he had learned much through their group exercises and discussions.

    And of course, the Daily Prophet, whose articles had been a great instructor on the finer points of invective and character assassination.

    “…are you sure you want that last line printed?” Lockhart had asked of him. “As your publicist, I have to advise you that it might not be entirely wise to be so…tongue-in-cheek.”

    Shinji had just shrugged.

    “This could be the last interview I give in Britain,” the boy had replied gravely. “Given that, I think it is important that everyone knows where I stand, no?”

    “Noted. At least you’ve followed my other suggestions,” the man had said, relenting. “Is that about it, Rita?”

    “Normally, I’d simply leave it at that, but given that dear Gilderoy would no doubt step in if I didn’t at least ask…are there no others you wish to thank?” Rita Skeeter had inquired, pushing up her red-rimmed glasses. “Anyone you’re forgetting?”

    The names of Professor Slughorn, the man who had ostensibly been his mentor in the subtle science of potions, and Harry Potter, who was said to be Matou’s oldest friend, had been conspicuously absent from the list of those he wished to thank.

    “Now that you mention it, there is,” Shinji had noted with a bit of chagrin. “I wanted to thank Peeves, the castle poltergeist, who for all the trouble he causes, is a true brother in arms, and the Grey Lady, whose advice has been invaluable over the years. That’s all.”

    Rita’s eyebrows hadn’t shot up – she was too well-disciplined for that – but one did inch upwards fractionally, as she took down these two final names, fully expecting that there would be some interesting reactions when the article was published.
    Which there were, both from the people in question, as well as those who felt slighted on their behalf, though Shinji hadn’t been bothered to care, as their assumptions and thoughts just weren’t a priority in his life – and he certainly wasn’t going to devote effort to dealing with them when he had a competition to prepare for and duties to discharge.

    There were ofuda to stock up on, potions to craft, recipes to refine – and blood magic to learn about, with the help of Tomas, as the puppet had noted that he had some experience with using blood to create powerful potions, and would be happy to give Shinji a basic grounding in that branch of the art, in exchange for a reasonable fee.

    ‘If Master was still my Master…’ Shinji had thought at the time, noting that since Aozaki Touko wasn’t taking responsibility for him, that meant that her services – and those of her assistant, Tomas – were no longer…free.

    “I’m sure we can come to an arrangement,” had been what the boy had said by way of reply, as he tried to keep his frustration from his thoughts.

    “Indeed,” the puppet had replied. “In this case, two vials of the Potion of Fading you have devised would be adequate. I am interested in studying it.”

    “You don’t think of it as ‘evil,’ as some from Britain seem to?” Shinji ha wondered, forgetting for a moment who he was talking to.

    “Matou, you of all people would do well to remember that there is no such thing as good or evil,” Tomas had answered, unknowingly echoing an instructor from Shinji’s first year at Hogwarts. “There is only power, and those too weak to seek it.” He had smiled then, a thin, dangerous expression. “So…do we have a deal?”

    Shinji had agreed, as he’d feared that the price the puppet would demand would be much higher, after all the favors the man had done him with regards to procuring a wand for George and such. It wasn’t as if the Potion of Fading was that impressive, right? And since Aozaki Touko wasn’t his Master anymore, it wasn’t as if he was entitled to Tomas’ help for free, since the man’s time was valuable.

    ‘Though I wonder if he’s doing anything to help out Tohsaka. Or how she would deal with him?’

    Probably not very well, the boy had mused, given that in some ways, Tomas’ obvious intelligence and his charm would be especially effective on someone like the Second Owner of Fuyuki – someone who was still struggling to a way to achieve her potential, to make her Master acknowledge her as a magus and a person of worth.

    not that impressing Aozaki Touko was ever going to be an easy task for a magus, since inevitably, the puppeteer would compare their feats and achievements against hers and find them wanting. Both Tohsaka and his former Master were self-taught to an extent, but Rin had the benefit of a Crest and being the heiress of her family.

    The puppeteer…well…not so much.

    ‘Master never judged me quite as harshly as she judges Tohsaka, though whether that is because she approves of my efforts, my patron is her employer, or she expects less of me, due to my being a practitioner of witchcraft, isn’t something I’ve ever been clear on.’

    Nor was it something he especially needed clarity about, so he’d never really asked, lest he find that the answer was not entirely to his liking.

    About the one exception to his focus on preparing for the Championship, other than weekends with Luna, was a trip back to Durmstrang, where he had reluctantly agreed to help George for the Third and Final Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

    Fleur had approached him about being her partner for that task as well, but as much as he would have liked to work with her, he’d had to refuse, given that there were lines that he knew the Wizengamot would not be willing to tolerate him crossing. Being the bodyguard of the Champion of Beauxbatons was one thing, as was spending time with her, no matter the damage to his reputation.

    If he actively aided her against the British Champion, however, they would have been well within their rights to strip him of his position, and he had shed too much in the way of blood, sweat, and tears to be denied now.

    As it had turned out, though, ‘helping’ hadn’t meant that he would be fighting beside one of the Champions in the flesh, as unlike them, he had not waived his right to hold Durmstrang liable for any death, dismemberment, or other unpleasantness that might result from his participation. And so, he had learned about some of the sophisticated spellcraft that those at Durmstrang were capable of, through interacting with several enchanted spheres.

    These functioned in a manner not unlike the Book of Spells, as they could be programmed with various scenarios for those occupying them to carry out. The sphere would then record their responses in different situations, what aspects of their personality were strongest, and of course, their demonstrated abilities – which would form the base of a magical construct which a given Champion would be able to call on and direct in the Third Task.

    ‘They basically want a copy of our skills and personas to create a doppelganger, huh?’

    Briefly – very briefly – Shinji had considered going all out in the scenarios presented to him, so that – even though he would be off at the isle during the Final Task – he could show everyone exactly what he was capable of. It would have been a delicious thing to watch those who had dared to mock him realize that had he wanted to, he could become a monster every bit as terrible as the one they claimed Lestrange to be, to watch them cower and realize just weak and pathetic they were…

    …but he had refrained.

    The last time he’d gone all out in a simulation hosted by an unfamiliar party (during Quirrell’s Christmas Challenge), showing off had ultimately been detrimental to his health, as it had led the Defense Professor to take him – and the Stone Cutters – seriously. And as someone who had been raised as a magus, and had studied under one of the great magi of the modern age, he knew the value of secrets, and the power of information that a potential opponent did not know.

    So, in the end, he’d settled for just using abilities like dual-casting and ofuda – abilities which would be impressive to watch, and useful for George to have access to, but would not steal the spotlight or get him painted as a Dark Lord.

    ‘I think I succeeded at that, at least.’

    He had no idea what Lestrange (whose doppelganger would be assisting Fleur) had demonstrated during her set of scenarios, though he rather thought – well, hoped – that her way of thinking had been similar. It would be mildly embarrassing if her doppelganger just skewered his, after all! Or killed off the other Champions, of course, since he didn’t exactly want George to die, and had no ill-will against Viktor Krum, who, if not as impressive on the battlefield as the Quidditch pitch, still made a credible showing.

    Aside from that small diversion, however, he’d focused on his work, trying his best to make what preparations he could before the fated hour when the Portkey he’d been assigned – in the form of his invitation to the isle – would activate, taking him to that remnant of the Age of Gods.

    ‘But the time for preparation is over,’ the boy thought to himself as he stood in his study of his London Manor, examining the view outside his window.

    What ofuda he could craft had been crafted. What potions he could brew had been brewed. What bits of lore he could learn from Tomas or others had been gleaned.

    “Are you ready?” a soft voice asked from beside him, with the boy turning to see Luna sidling up to him, her expression curious as ever, though in this case, her curiosity was mingled with a touch of concern.

    She, like him, was clad in the hooded wyvernhide battlerobes and red fabric sash that served as the unofficial uniform of the Stone Cutters, with some enchanted garments underneath – hers being off the shelf products from Mahoutokoro and his, a product of his former Master’s workshop – though unlike him, she wore a pendant around her neck, a silvery-gold creation that resembled a dragon’s head, and carried something like a backpack.

    “If I’m not, it’s too late now,” Shinji replied quietly, as her hand found his and gave him a reassuring squeeze.

    “Not, strictly speaking, true,” Zelkova chimed in, with Shinji finding his disembodied voice a bit disconcerting, as the kodama had chosen to remain out of sight for the moment. “There is a period of preliminaries on the island before the main competition begins, which you could use for any last-minute preparations.”

    “True, but I imagine that I’ll probably be busy, since those weeks will also be a time to learn about my competition, among other things. I can’t imagine I’ll have much time to just dedicate to potionmaking.”

    “There is that,” his familiar allowed. “If I may, Master, what are you most looking forward to on the Isle?”

    “…the chance to finally show everyone what I can do if I don’t hold back. The chance for me to test my skills against the Champions of the eleven schools, knowing that the world is watching – that what I do here will echo into eternity.”

    “Perhaps not quite that long,” Luna commented wryly as she looked around, taking note of the trunk at Shinji’s feet. “Do you have everything?”

    “As long as you’re with me? Always,” the boy replied, with the petite blonde smiling softly at this as she leaned against him.

    The portkey activated then, whisking them away from London to an isle that wasn’t on any map, leaving behind the manor for a drifting piece of a lost age.

    Here, there would be trials and tribulations aplenty.

    Friendships would form. Enemies would be made.

    Those chosen few who bore the title Champion would be tested as they had never been before, pitted against each other – and against the very world itself – over the next month.

    Their motives were as different as could be, their backgrounds a colorful tapestry one would encounter nowhere else. Their abilities had marked them as the best in their schools, and each and every one of them had made a name for themselves in some capacity.

    Yet though eleven would struggle, and eleven would strive, only one would be crowned, and a handful…survive.

    Choice 233: On arriving at the Isle of Thule, and recovering from Portkey sickness, Matou Shinji comes nearly face to face with another person who he assumes must be a Champion - a petite blonde dressed in an almost scandalous dress of black and red, with ribbons the color of blood swirling around her, who noted his arrival coolly.

    "You 'ave arrived, Matou," she observes, giving him a brusque nod before turning towards town. "Come, Gabrielle. Let us find you a place to stay."

    "Oui!" a small girl who seems like a younger version of Fleur Delacour chimes in cheerfully, stealing a look at Shinji before she goes to her guardian's side.

    For a few moments, Shinji has no idea who the blonde in the black and red dress could be, until he notes the rapier slung across her back.

    'That is...Lestrange?!'

    "You know, it's not polite to stare," an unfamiliar, gravelly voice speaks up, with Shinji turning to see a dark-skinned youth dressed in a wyvern-hide jacket and fedora stepping out of a circle of sand, with his own eyes watching the scantily clad figure of Rachelle Lestrange fade into the distance. "Though, I can certainly understand why you would. That girl is something else." After a few seconds, the young man visibly tears his gaze away from the Champion of Beauxbatons' rather entrancing stride, and to the Japanese boy closer to him. "You must be Matou Shinji, the British Champion."

    "...which makes you...Olu Akindele, the Champion of Uagadou, yes?" Shinji questioned, with the other nodding, approvingly. "I've heard about you."

    " have, have you?"

    "Something about how you were a talented animagus who led your country's synchronized transformation team?"

    "Yes, I suppose a British Champion would know about that, wouldn't he?" the African youth noted softly, as his eyes noted the pile of things near Matou Shinji. "I suppose you will be headed to the housing set aside for those like us? Or will you be heading into town, chasing that pretty thing you were watching? Who is she, anyway?"

    Shinji thought it odd that his fellow Champion hadn't mentioned Luna at all, only to find - when he looked - that Luna wasn't beside him. That in fact, he didn't see her at all.

    'She has gone to the village to get checked into the facilities provided for the guests,' Zelkova supplied over their mental link. 'She did not wish to disturb you, as your attention was obviously...elsewhere.'

    'I see,' ​Shinji noted, wondering if Luna had gone to talk to Lestrange - and worrying about what exactly each of them would say about him. 'Zelkova, can you take my belongings to the housing facilities?'

    "Ah, that would be the Champion of Beauxbatons," he said out loud, swallowing in an effort to wet his mouth.

    "Ah, I see. That is the Lestrange they say so much about, the Etoile Noire of Beauxbatons?" Olu whistles. "Well, I can see why would call her that. There is a certain dark attraction there, isn't there?"

    "...I suppose," Shinji conceded. "If you're into that kind of thing."

    "...and who was the one who was staring, hm, Champion of Hogwarts?" the other inquired. "Though the rumors about you and the other Beauxbatons Champion--"

    "--what rumors?"

    "Something about being a modern Lancelot, who betrayed his country for the sake of a woman? At least, that is what the french newspaper says about you."

    Internally, Shinji cringed. Was his reputation really so bad that even a Champion from some other school would know it?

    "I'm sure the rumors were greatly exaggerated," he reassured the other Champion, though Olu looked a little disappointed at that.

    "Heh, and here I thought I'd found a man after my own heart," Olu rejoined. "Still, business before pleasure. I am heading to the facilities for the Champions, if you care to join me?"

    'Zelkova, could you follow him and take my luggage with you? Get me checked in, and take a look around, if you can.'

    'Yes, Master.'

    "Actually, I think I'll have my familiar take care of that for me," Shinji replied, as his luggage floated into the air. "While I take care in town."

    ", you say?" Olu echoed, snorting as a thin smile flitted across his lips. "Well, don't let me stop you from handling I will see you at the Opening Ceremony tonight, Matou Shinji."

    Taking that as a dismissal, Shinji turned towards town, following in the now distant wake of the Potions Champion of Beauxbatons - after scanning the map in the arrival area of course.

    'Huh, there's a Centre for Alchemical Studies office on the isle?' he noticed, raising an eyebrow. 'I suppose I should simply head there.'

    Choice: There are a few hours between arrival/check-in and the opening ceremonies. Since Zelkova has kindly checked him into the Champion housing, what would Shinji like to do in the meantime - AFTER his conversation with the "CAS Representatives." (choose two)

    [ ] Try to find Rachelle Lestrange, asking her about her guest - and her outfit
    [ ] Find Luna and go around the village with her, as she's no doubt curious about the place
    [ ] See if Sajyou-san has arrived yet, so he can inquire how she's been
    [ ] Show Budge his "Potion of Fading" and get the spirit's feedback
    [ ] Go around the village and look for places to put ofuda for Flow-Walking, so he can get around more quickly if he has to
    [ ] (write-in)
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; Yesterday at 01:23 PM.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  5. #3385
    [x] Show Budge his "Potion of Fading" and get the spirit's feedback
    Last edited by skulkidcachi90; November 20th, 2017 at 04:38 PM.

  6. #3386
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    [x] Go around the village and look for places to put ofuda for Flow-Walking, so he can get around more quickly if he has to
    [x] Find Luna and go around the village with her, as she's no doubt curious about the place
    Last edited by fallacies; Yesterday at 12:02 PM.

  7. #3387
    [x] Show Budge his "Potion of Fading" and get the spirit's feedback
    [x] (write-in): Call Luna to walk around the village placing ofuda.

  8. #3388
    [x] See if Sajyou-san has arrived yet, so he can inquire how she's been

    We should show our respect for our sempai. Also we really should spend a little of time with her .

  9. #3389
    [x] Show Budge his "Potion of Fading" and get the spirit's feedback.

    Budge's feedback is required in order to complete it, as well as acknowledging that Shinji can deliver. Plus, gaining points with him improves the odds for access to his stash.

    [x] See if Sajyou-san has arrived yet, so he can inquire how she's been.

    Senpai ;_;
    Last edited by Daiki; Today at 02:18 AM.

  10. #3390
    [x] Show Budge his "Potion of Fading" and get the spirit's feedback

    That is the easy choice to go for, what with us needing his help if we are going to have any hope in this.

    [X] Find Luna and go around the village with her, as she's no doubt curious about the place

    Considering that my preferred pick of Lestrange and Shinji's fangirl looks to be super bad as I think that Shinji will do something to make him lose respect from them when he continues to react to Lestrange's dress. Best to stay away for now. And going to Sayou-san seems like it would be a bad idea to do right off the bat in a public space as it likely would lead the other champions to thinking that Shinji is just a toady that helping the Japanese champion have a unfair advance.

    And from the looks of things we really need to spend some time with Luna as Shinji has been super busy preparing and will have little time for her in the coming week with the other choices we have picked. I think it would be best to spend this moment with her so that Shinji can then focus on other tasks with a clear mind.

  11. #3391
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Isn't it something? At last, Shinji has made it to the isle, where many wonders and dangers awaits. Fittingly, the first thing he is greeted with is a wondrous and dangerous sight indeed.

    I'm on #fatehg, as per usual.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  12. #3392
    Fine by me if you guys want to give Luna a moment with seaweed.

    [x] Find Luna and go around the village with her, as she's no doubt curious about the place.

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