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Thread: But For A Stone (A Matou Shinji Series AU)

  1. #1161
    I am not sure if anyone else notice this but the current question's answers can be summed up as being the fundamental nature of each of the Hogwart Houses...and the history joke answer. Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin, in that order.

    Considering that this Shinji is a hufflepuff, and all the (non-joke) answers being equal here, I am going to side with the puff answer.

    [X] The people - People like Lady Tsuji, Sokaris, Lady Selina and such who make life interesting
    Last edited by Skull Leader; June 8th, 2018 at 10:07 PM.

  2. #1162
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    What does he do after opening presents and before the evening meal? [x] Try out the new throwing knife + holsters
    Also, does he put on the anklet? [x] Put it on
    What should Shinji highlight? [x] The people - People like Lady Tsuji, Sokaris, Lady Selina and such who make life interesting




    Chapter 30. Gifts and Curses

    Matou Shinji dreamed, and in the dream, he found himself back in Japan, walking along Jozenji-dori street in Sendai with a lovely companion, the feeling of her warm fingers intertwined with his filling his heart with a joy he’d never felt before in his life. For the first time in his life his body felt light, and his soul at peace, as if God was in his heaven and all was right with the world.

    He stole a glance at the girl beside him, his cheeks heating up in the brisk air of the evening as he saw her in a beautiful white dress – a wedding dress of silk and lace and taffeta that shone with the reflected glory of the thousands of lights around them. She caught his eye, smiling slightly as she glanced down at the matching white tuxedo he wore as he stood by her side, amidst the pageantry of the season.

    On either side of the street, a forest of zelkova trees loomed, their snow-clad branches draped with countless glowing orbs as they shimmered against the jet-black sky. And around them, music swirled, notes of song from the lips of many, from drums, and from metallic instruments that the boy marveled that anyone could play on a snowy day.

    And of course…

    “Congratulations!”

    The endless sea of well-wishers who had come to greet them and celebrate their happiness.

    “Congratulations!”

    Santa Clauses – a veritable parade of them in all shapes and sizes.

    “Congratulations!”

    Cheerleaders – who thankfully, were not quite in all shapes and sizes.

    “Congratulations!”

    Everyday people on the street, calling out to them, smiling at them, saluting them, bowing to them, as if they were royalty...

    It was a heady feeling, one he was secretly thrilled by as he squeezed his lover’s hand, and she in turn squeezed his. So many people, there to wish him well. Him. Acknowledging him. Wishing for his happiness.

    ‘Thanks to her…’


    She who had stood by him from the beginning, who had stuck with him through thick and thin, who accepted him despite his (many, many) flaws and troubles.

    And so, they walked together along the street drenched in starlight, with people murmuring as they passed, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of them as they approached what awaited them at the road’s end – brilliantly lit tree of crystal, a sacred tree before which vows were made and sworn.

    “I do,” he said, in response to something someone said – having only eyes for the one beside him.

    “I do,” she said, with both turning to one another.

    With trembling hands, he lifted the veil hiding her features, and drew her to him, as she leaned in, eyes closed, and—




    Matou Shinji awoke, his eyes opening upon an unfamiliar ceiling as he found himself cold and alone on Christmas morning, a profound sense of loneliness filling his heart as he realized that had come before was just…a dream. Yet…it had felt so real.

    Everything...everything had been perfect. And then he'd woken up been torn away from that world where everything was…where nothing had been wrong.

    ‘I guess I should at least be thankful it was a nice dream this time…’


    That unlike the dreams he’d been having the past few days, it hadn’t ended in tragedy – though he supposed that being ripped from it just as he was about to kiss…

    ‘Huh…who was I about to kiss?’


    The shock of awakening had muddled his memory of her features, and with how the warm amber lights all around them had dyed everything in their own color, he couldn’t even recall the color of her hair. Perhaps it had been black or chestnut brown? It had seemed dark, but perhaps he had been seeing things. Perhaps it had been a coppery color or some shade of blonde? All he knew was that it had been lustrous, and that she had been beautiful – and happy to be with him.

    'It wasn't purple, at least,'
    he thought cynically, his blood curdling as his mind supplied the details of a worst-case scenario – one where he wound up being married to the…the usurper who had stolen everything from him. Where he would be forced to…to do things with her to continue the bloodline, to support her, to smile in public as if he was happy about that, all the while knowing that such a thing, such an arrangement would be made only out of pity.

    Even if they weren't blood related, the prospect of walking like that alongside his sister – of being brainwashed by someone into thinking she was anything close to kind or virtuous – made him want to vomit, made him want to fly into a rage and destroy everything in his sight, as spots of black and red danced in his vision.

    It would…it would be so easy to…

    ‘No. No. No
    .’

    He clutched at the ring he wore on a chain around his neck, using the sensation of cold metal digging into his skin to center himself on the here and now. He wasn’t…he wasn’t in Fuyuki. He wasn’t with her. He was in Exton Hall, the ancestral home of the Noel Twins. His friends. His friends from Hogwarts.

    ‘That’s right. I’m in Britain.


    In Britain.

    About as far from Fuyuki as one could get.

    Wearing a symbol of the friendship between him and the twins – well, at least between him and Amber, who had bought him the ring – the ring-dial, rather – during the trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon.

    ‘I didn’t even know ring-dials existed, but I suppose people needed a way to tell the time before we had things like watches and reliable clocks.’


    So, he had learned from Selina during their exploration of the British Museum’s horology collection. She hadn’t mentioned that hundreds of years ago, the rich used to wear – or at least, carry in their pockets – little sun-dials in the shape of rings. One would simply have to hold it up to the sun, after setting it for the appropriate month (and latitude, if need be), and position of the sun on the inside of the band would indicate the time.

    This, Amber had told him after he’d asked about the ring in the gift shop of the Shakespeare Trust, even buying it for him as a souvenir. Phelan had glared at him as Amber teased him by wondering aloud whether to put it on his finger, before Shinji had insisted that wearing it on a chain would be fine, to which she’d pouted, but had acquiesced – much to the boy’s relief.

    After all, if he were to wear a ring given to him by a girl – wouldn’t people misunderstand? Even…even senpai might get the wrong idea…
    But then he smirked, remembering what had come after that awkwardness, when Tonks had caught sight of curious brass bangle fashioned after a 17th-century pocket dial in the Trust's collections, and Phelan, red-faced, had bought it for her.

    ‘It’s good to see that
    he has awkward moments every now and then.’

    Though the earl’s younger son, seemed so full of vigor and bluster, he too had his own bits of insecurity, especially around Miss Tonks, which Shinji found rather amusing.

    ‘Everyone has a weakness, after all…’


    Even if that weakness wasn’t quite as visible or obvious as his own.

    ‘Well, I guess for now, that was just a dream. Maybe brought on by all that talk of stealing mead-benches and feasting, though I don’t know why I dreamed of Sendai. I only saw the parade…ah. That’s right.’


    He’d seen the parade with…the man who had claimed to be his father. That was the last time before everything had…

    ‘…whatever. None of that means anything. It's just a dream, after all...'


    And it wasn't like he had some talent in divination, unlike Selina.

    'Well, time to get up, I suppose,’
    he mused to himself, wondering that Amber hadn’t come knocking on the door as usual – though perhaps his lack of screaming had something to do with it. ‘...I wonder what is planned for today?'




    What was planned, apparently, was the family's annual visit to Canterbury Cathedral, since as nobility that happened to belong to the Church of England, this was more or less expected – all the more so since the Lady Gainsborough (Amber’s mother) had been one of Princess Diana’s ladies-in-waiting, and the royal family would be in attendance.

    “Really?” Shinji asked when he heard this, after having had to rush through morning preparations to get into the car so they could be on their way. “They’ll be at this Canterbury Cathedral, not somewhere else?”

    “Well, normally they’d attend St. Mary Magdalene, in Sandringham, near the Queen’s country estate, where they spend the winter,” Amber told him, from where she was seated beside him in the limousine, dressed in something like a formal dress. “But not this year.”

    “Oh? What’s so different about this year?”

    “We have a new Archbishop of Canterbury,” a new voice spoke up, this being the voice of one Henry Robert Anthony Noel, Viscount Campden, and heir apparent to the earldom of Gainsborough. Feature-wise, he much resembled Phelan, though thankfully, he seemed much more…restrained. “And he will be giving the Christmas address. “He was just enthroned this April, and so will be giving the Christmas message.”

    “Ah,” Shinji said, his face a study in confusion. “I see.”

    He didn’t really, and this was plain to see for all of the other youths – the Earl and the Countess had fortunately ridden in another car, and were not there to see his lack of knowledge.

    “…do you know much about the Church of England?” Henry questioned, his green eyes curious.

    “…not really,” Shinji admitted, shaking his head. “Aside from the few times I was made to go to chapel during boarding school years ago, I’ve never even set foot in a Church.”

    And for good reason, for though there was a non-aggression pact between the Association and the Church, it wasn’t as if untoward things didn’t happen.

    “The closest I ever came to that in Japan was…” he trailed off.

    “Yes?” Henry prompted the younger boy.

    “...when I went to the house of the Second Owner of Fuyuki,” Shinji recalled, his voice flat. “Even though she…practices the same craft my family does, she has ties to the Church. Her guardian is even a priest.”

    “Her guardian is…a priest?” Amber echoed, her tone curious. Such a thing wasn’t unheard of, though in a case like this… “Even though she practices magic?”

    “I think he was her father’s apprentice in magecraft or something. So, after her parents died, he took custody of her, as an apprentice should,” the boy reasoned, only for all three of the Noel children to look at him oddly. “What? What did I say?”

    “…a priest was learning magic?” Henry voiced, seeming uncertain about this. “Truly? I didn’t know such a thing was…permitted.” And that was putting it lightly. “At least, I’m fairly sure no priest of the Church of England is supposed to...“

    “I don’t think he’s part of the Church of England?” Shinji offered, though this didn’t really satisfy any of them. “I mean, I don’t know him. I’ve never even met him. Just heard of him.”

    “So, this Second Owner…she lives in a house all by herself then?”

    “That’s right,” Shinji nodded. “A house on a hill, one of the great mansions in our city.” He smiled slightly as he recalled the rumors about it. “People say it belongs to a witch.”

    “Is…is she pretty?” Amber asked, her voice unusually soft.

    “Very,” the boy responded, noting how she seemed a little disappointed by that, and how that made him feel bad. “Though not as much as you,” he added hastily.

    Seeing her smile at him for that remark made him feel quite warm, and as long as he chose to ignore how Phelan was glowering at him like an overprotective wolf, he thought things were fine.

    “Anything else you want to know?” he asked.




    Later, after they’d returned from the service at the grand cathedral and the hearty lunch that followed, Shinji reflected that it was somewhat amusing that the day after visiting the birthplace of William Shakespeare, he should find himself in the city where Christopher "Kit" Marlowe – one of his greatest contemporaries was born, possibly sitting in the pews that the great playwright might have once sat in as a child.
    It made him wonder if there had been any other great talents in the cathedral that day who would one day rise to prominence.

    ‘Maybe that Bloom fellow who was sitting next to Henry during the service?’
    the boy wondered. ‘Wouldn’t that be something if he became a great actor or something.’

    Still, for all the weight of history and his environs, with the Royal family itself in attendance, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Doctor George Carey, Primate of All England, seemed rather less impressive in person than his titles and styles implied.

    Less imposing that he would have imagined of a head of a church.

    ‘He just looked like an old man.’


    Oddly, the message the Archbishop gave had been very down to earth, one that wasn’t filled with joy and celebration, or of condemnation for wrongdoing, but one that reminded those in attendance of the calling that Christians had in a world filled with pain. For while it is easy to speak of the glory of the coming of Christ, one should remember that when he was born into this world, he was born into it in a stable, with his family fleeing to Egypt to escape persecution for political reasons soon after.

    As such, the first Christmas Message of the Archbishop spoke not of the need for worship and give thanks out of gratitude, but the need to remember that while they worshiped this morning, many others were mired in refugee camps, oppression, and cruel hardship. There was great pain in this world, and as Christians, it was the privilege of each and every member of the Church to bring hope and healing to their fellow man, however they could.

    For as Christ came into the world on a mission of love from God, he called his disciples to share that mission – a mission that is sometimes forgotten amongst the complexities of life and religion.

    "Do not forget the fundamental message of our faith – the generosity and goodness, forgiveness, and love that the Savior showed us. Remember this, for these things are powers the Enemy knows not, and with time and effort, these can bring light to even the darkest, most clouded heart. In this broken world, we all walk among fields littered with shards of broken glass. Let us not simply rejoice that we have shoes, but lift up those not as fortunate, cleaning their wounds, wrapping their feet, carrying them on our backs until they are healed, that they too, might lift up others."

    So the man had said, which was nothing like what the boy had expected. If this was what happened in Church of England sermons, it...didn't seem so bad, really, especially not when service was followed by an excursion to the Blazing Donkey for a sumptuous lunch, and then a return to Exton Hall, where presents were exchanged over tea.

    He was honestly rather stunned to find a small pile of presents just for him, having expected very little from anyone.

    From Selina had come a copy of a game she had designed – the Lords of Swinverrucas, whatever Swinverrucas meant, with Amber suggesting they find some time to play it later, as she and Phelan had all received copies as well.

    From Amber, there was an anklet which the girl told him was imbued with a calming charm.

    “I remember how…distraught you’ve been these last few mornings,” she murmured to him as she leaned close to him and handed him her gift. “This might help.”

    “…thanks,” the boy responded, touched that she would give him something like that. She’d…worried about him. It…was interesting feeling, having someone concerned for his well-being.

    And it had felt even more…interesting when she’d knelt before him to slip the anklet around his leg, though he didn’t know why he had the…odd thoughts that he did, seeing her like that.

    From Phelan, there was a copy of Journeys with Jinns, the critically acclaimed account of Lockhart's first adventure.

    From Natsumi, there was a small vial of gleaming gold liquid, with a note explaining that the vial contained enough Felix Felicis for about two hours.

    ‘…she’s giving up some of what she won in the Masquerade incident for me…? Wow…’
    He…he really did need to do something nice for her, since she’d been by his side and helped him so much this year.

    From Sokaris, there was a pass to the restricted section of the Hogwarts Library, signed by Quirrell, and the original version of the Journal of the Hero of Light, which she had returned to him, along with a copy she made.

    ‘I do feel bad. I need to get her something nice. Maybe I’ll find something in Diagon Alley tomorrow?’


    From Tonks, there was a week's supply of Dreamless Sleep potion, and a book entitled Wizards Are from Neptune, Witches Are from Saturn – a copy of which had also been sent to Phelan, much to his displeasure.

    From Ernie, there was a gift certificate to Honeydukes.

    And from the Noel family, there was a copy of An Artist of the Floating World, a novel by the novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, one of Britain’s leading writers – which Henry explained was the story of a man caught between two worlds, and two styles of craft.

    “We thought you would like it, since I imagine you might miss home a bit,” the heir apparent mentioned. “And he is quite the writer.”

    “I see…thanks.”

    Another pile of course, were his purchases from Gringotts and the store in Vertic Alley: holsters for him and the Noel Twins (with the rest having been delivered to other recipients), as well as a goblin-forged throwing knife that would slot nicely into one of those holsters.

    “Wicked,” Phelan exclaimed as Shinji handed over one holster to each of the twins. “Though why do you get two?”

    “…because I have two wands?” the boy shot back.

    Well, three, really, but it wasn’t as if he needed to mention that.

    “What? But why?” the would-be adventurer asked. “Isn’t one enough?”

    “…well, Sokaris gave me one earlier, said it was better for transfiguration.”

    “And then you got carried away and bought a new one from Ollivander’s,” Amber supplied.

    “…yes. That.”

    “Heh. What will you do with the one you’re not using then?” Phelan questioned. “That is, if you won’t be using your feet to grip a third wand or giving yourself a tail or something.”

    Shinji just glared.

    “What do you think I am, some kind of shapeshifting monster?” the Japanese boy growled, only to realize belatedly that such would not be an…incorrect characterization of himself. “I’m not my grandfather,” he muttered, more to himself than to anyone else.

    “Your grandfather?” the would-be adventurer echoed.

    “Oh, never mind that,” Shinji replied, his voice tight. “Merry Christmas. You’ll be delighted to know that these have been enchanted to be more durable, and will make your wands – and the holster - invisible while you’re wearing them.”

    “Huh. Thanks!” the boy grunted, quickly putting it on and going to his room to get his wand, so he could test how the rod fit into the slot.

    “Boys…” Amber sighed, but took the holster with a grateful smile anyway. “You didn’t have to, you know.”

    “I could say the same about you,” he responded, looking warmly at his friend, before Phelan came running back, his steps slowing as he glanced between his sister and the Japanese boy suspiciously.

    “So…since you’ve all brought up magic,” Henry interrupted, letting the tension in the air dissipate. “Why don’t you tell me about this school you’ve been at for the last term.”

    And so they did, speaking of their adventures, politics of the houses, Quirrell's challenges, and some of their odder friends, with Shinji chiming in here and there, mostly about the people he’d met – people like Miyuki-senpai or Sokaris, who he looked up to, people like Lady Selina and Ernie, his comrades in the challenges. People like Granger, the wicked woman who stopped at nothing to try and make his life miserable, or like the hapless Draco Malfoy, and his bet with Lady Selina.

    People like Professor Dumbledore, the odd-thinking headmaster, or Professor Quirrell, who had taught him so much about the world and different ways to look at it. People like Professor Binns, the phantom professor who made even rebellions and wars sound boring.

    “So, like many other history professors then?” Henry joked.

    “…more or less,” Shinji replied, with a grudging smile. “At least they don’t have to pay him?” he continued, recalling something Tonks had said. “I heard that once a teacher is tenured, it’s difficult to get rid of them, but I thought normally that ends with death.”

    "It sounds like quite a school," Henry murmurs, listening to his younger siblings – and their friend – speak of their magical studies and the people they met along the way. "Though I do believe I have heard some of these names before. This Tsuji...is this the heiress of the Tsuji group you used to go to school with, Amber? And this Natsumi – she was your old roommate, yes?"

    "Yes, to both," Amber replied, with a hint of pink on her cheeks. “Although she’s Matou’s housemate now, not mine.”

    "Ah. I'm surprised you two weren't roommates again, with how close you were," the heir apparent remarked. "I take it you didn't know she'd be going to Hogwarts?"

    "That and dear Phelan tricked me into joining the house of adventurers, instead of one of the others."

    "Trick you, sister? Hardly that," Phelan scoffed, his lips curling into a roguish smirk. "Be honest. You tricked yourself. All I had to do was mention how Gryffindor was a noble house steeped in tradition, and how, with the lion on its heraldry, it was the most British of them all." He chuckled. "Besides, which one would you have joined, if left to your own devices? Slytherin, with the other nobles?"

    "Well, there is one adventurer among them, as I recall," Amber commented slyly. "One you rather fancy, in fact."

    "I-I'm sure I have no idea what you mean," Phelan said stiffly. "I don't fancy--"

    "Shall I tell Lady Selina that then?" the copper-haired girl teased. "I'm sure she'll be delighted to know she's wasting her time trying to catch your attention."

    "Heh, I'm sure she's not – " And then Amber's words sank in, with his eyes bugging out. "...d-did you say she was trying to get my attention, truly?" the boy asked, not quite indifferently enough to avoid his twin's notice.

    "Leaving my siblings and their quarrels aside," Henry noted with a dismissive gesture. "Tell me more about yourself, Mister Matou. My sister tells me you come from a magical household, and you did mention a few things about others with magic – this Second Owner being one.”

    “What’s there to tell?” Shinji replied evasively, not really wanting to talk about this.

    “Well, how about your family?” Henry asked. “Do you have any siblings of your own? A brother, perhaps, or a sister?"

    Phelan broke off from his squabbling with Amber to glance at Shinji, seemingly curious about this mention of a relative.

    "A sister?" the would-be adventurer echoed. "Ah, that's right – you mentioned one on the train."

    “She’s not really…” the boy began, his cheeks flushing with rage as he looked away. “She’s adopted.”

    “Yes. You did say that,” Phelan noted, recalling the very brief conversation they’d had, as well as Shinji’s reaction to mention of her. “Is she pretty, I wonder?"

    Shinji felt a surge of white-hot rage well up in him at the mention of his sister, with his body beginning to shake as—

    His rage vanished, his emotions going dull as something cold washed over him. It was strange, how it made him feel detached, serene. As if the flash of anger had happened to someone else.

    ‘The anklet…?’


    It must be.

    "I wouldn't know," the Japanese boy replied, his tone icy. "It's not like I look at…at my sister like that." He blinked, feeling compelled to add a bit to it. "She’s just someone we took in out of pity anyway, after the Second Owner’s family threw her away."

    "Threw her away?" Henry echoed, seemingly taken aback. "Are things truly so harsh in magical families?"

    "Well, there can only be one heir," Shinji said diffidently. "And she wasn't good enough to become heiress of her family. Not compared to her sister, who was always considered a prodigy.” He smiled thinly at the thought of Sakura being the one who was considered a cast off. “The worst thing that can happen in these cases is a succession dispute. It’s not uncommon that siblings end up killing each other.”

    "So then, why did your family take her in?" Phelan questioned, finding an issue in what his friend mentioned. "After all, wouldn't that cause the same problem, since you're the heir of your family?" At those words, Shinji froze, not having expected the boorish Gryffindor to push like this. "Or are you?"

    'No. No. Nononononono!'


    "I..." the boy began, his voice shaky. "I..." he tried again, as he swallowed, unable to stand how Amber glanced at him, something clicking in her mind.

    "Oh, wait, I see. Since she’s not related to you...maybe she's meant to be your future wife?" Phelan questioned, his eyes lighting up as if he’d realized something. "A union of your family and the Second Owner’s, creating a tie of blood, just as in the old days. Is that right then? Is she…is she your intended? Your secret bride?" The earl's younger son was genuinely curious about this, even if his tone was somewhat pointed, given Shinji’s interactions with his sister.

    Yet, hearing this, Shinji seemed to be suffering, his breaths coming quicker, his fingers almost seeming to lengthen into claws, though perhaps it was only a trick of the light.

    Black and red surged in Shinji's vision, the urge to crush and destroy everything around him burning through him, and he felt—he felt—

    ...a hand seized his, the sudden touch shocking him from his rage, as his grey eyes met Amber's green, and his anger dissipated.

    "Are you alright?" she asked, worriedly, with Shinji swallowing as his heart hammered in his chest, before looking away, red-faced.

    He’d…he’d almost…

    "What, so you won't look at the girl who isn’t really your sister that way, but you'll look at mine?" Phelan cracked, with the Japanese boy flinching – and Phelan following suit as his sister and older brother both glared at him. "What? What did I say?"

    "...I wonder if he's going to say something that will get him in trouble with the Weasleys when he sees them tomorrow," Amber commented idly. "Or maybe he’ll end up engaged to one of them and will have to deal with such issues himself."

    "T-that will not happen, I am certain," the earl's younger son said stiffly. "I'm sure no one would misunderstand my simply doing what a knight would do. I simply wished to help out my friends in Gryffindor, since they have gone through so much. And if I arranged to make sure that Miss Weasley’s books and supplies would be covered, what of it? Is that not my Christian duty?"

    "...well, we'll see," Amber quipped, glancing at Shinji. "Anyway, let’s talk about something else then, since Matou seems…bothered by all this. Maybe…maybe you can tell us more of the Second Owner you spoke of before?"

    “…I suppose I could do that,” Shinji stated, slumping back into a chair. “But where to begin?”

    “The beginning is usually a good place,” Amber chided.

    “…right.”




    Boxing Day has come, and Shinji and Amber have promised to go visit Natsumi and her family - as well as taking care of business in Diagon Alley, while the older Noels go off to the races and Phelan goes to visit the Weasleys. Thinking about this, he finds himself somewhat nervous, as he wonders what to do.

    [ ] Go by Car, since the Noels are headed that way anyway - visit Natsumi first
    [ ] Use the fireplace at Tonks' residence - visit Gringotts first to take care of business

    If going to Gringotts first, does he go...

    [ ] With Amber
    [ ] Alone

    If going to visit Natsumi first, does he invite her to diagon alley, since she didn't get to come along last time?

    [ ] Yes
    [ ] No
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; June 16th, 2018 at 02:11 AM.

  3. #1163
    [X] Go by Car, since the Noels are headed that way anyway - visit Natsumi first
    [X] Yes

    Shopping with Nats works for me. Could be fun if the three go together.

  4. #1164
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Oh, I should point out the upcoming big choice for the year, which must be made by White Day (March 14): Matou Shinji must decide where to go for the summer, something which will greatly impact the resources, skills, and relationships he has coming into second year.

    The choices are:

    [ ] Go home to Fuyuki
    [ ] Go to Mahoutokoro with Miyuki-senpai
    [ ] Stay in Britain, at his new cottage near the Exton Estates
    [ ] Join Luna and her father on a trip to see exotic animals
    [ ] Tour Europe with Selina
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  5. #1165
    [X] Go by Car, since the Noels are headed that way anyway - visit Natsumi first
    [X] Yes

    Wow, that really is a big choice. Though I'm pretty sure I'm not choosing Fuyuki (meet Rin, murder Sakura, attempt to murder Zouken), or Luna (BC Shinji is already handling that).

    Imo mostly leaning towards Mahoutokoro or Britain, not sure about Europe tour with Selina
    Last edited by Haunter; June 11th, 2018 at 10:10 AM.

  6. #1166
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    By default, the option that was available from the beginning was [ ] Go home to Fuyuki. The rest were unlocked through gameplay, so good on all of you for finding these hidden options!

    To summarize some of the other conditions:

    [ ] Go to Mahoutokoro with Miyuki-senpai is only available if you go to Hufflepuff and maintain a good relationship with both Miyuki & Natsumi, which included doing something with Natsumi over the winter and including at least one of them as a top 3 priority for presents

    [ ] Stay in Britain, at his new cottage near the Exton Estates was unlocked by, of course, buying the cottage and maintaining a good relationship with one of the Noel twins.

    [ ] Join Luna and her father on a trip to see exotic animals is unlocked by choosing to buy someone a lifetime subscription to the Quibbler (which I'm sure that Hermione will love), and meeting the both of them in Stratford

    [ ] Tour Europe with Selina
    is comparatively easy in that you needed to choose to work with her in this Christmas Challenge and do something with her over the break

    There were some others potentially available, but based on your actions up to this point, you don't qualify for them.
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; June 10th, 2018 at 08:41 PM.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  7. #1167
    [x] Go by Car, since the Noels are headed that way anyway - visit Natsumi first
    [x] Yes

  8. #1168
    [x] Go by Car, since the Noels are headed that way anyway - visit Natsumi first
    [x] Yes

  9. #1169
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Go by Car, since the Noels are headed that way anyway - visit Natsumi first
    [X] Yes




    And what parts of Magical London would you like to focus on exploring with Natsumi and Amber (aside from Gringotts)?

    [ ] Diagon Alley
    [ ] Vertic Alley
    [ ] Horizont Alley
    [ ] Knockturn Alley

    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  10. #1170
    What is the current outfits of Nats, Shinji and Amber? Cause that a important factor to where they should go shop at, ie Horizont is not the best place for non fancy muggle clothed people to shop.

    And knockturn would be a great place to explore but its not a place that I think three 11 yrs muggleborn/foreigners should visit. Maybe BC Shinji could shop there and handle any issue that place could throw at him but this group is just not ready, even given how much I want to pick it.

    Let's go with the tried and true Vertic Alley for now. Its in our price range, yet fancy enough for the girls.

    [X] Vertic Alley

  11. #1171
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Shinji is dressed in bespoke ensemble he bought (picked out by Amber). Amber is in a nice dress and coat. Natsumi is wearing a kimono.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  12. #1172
    [X] Vertic Alley

  13. #1173
    [x] Horizont Alley.

    Already visited Vertic Alley and this time around, Shinji doesn't go with the idea of buying anything. Might as well check out what the shops have on offer for eventual later purchases.

  14. #1174
    [x] Horizont Alley

  15. #1175
    I've been away for quite some time, nearly a year, in fact. And boy, did I miss some things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daiki View Post
    Already visited Vertic Alley and this time around, Shinji doesn't go with the idea of buying anything. Might as well check out what the shops have on offer for eventual later purchases.
    Well, about that...

    Quote Originally Posted by alfheimwanderer View Post
    From Sokaris, there was a pass to the restricted section of the Hogwarts Library, signed by Quirrell, and the original version of the Journal of the Hero of Light, which she had returned to him after making a copy.

    I do feel bad. I need to get her something nice. Maybe Ill find something in Diagon Alley tomorrow?
    That said, I'm not against going window shopping anyway. Just be aware that where we go will likely raise the price tag on Sokaris' gift.

  16. #1176
    Fair point, although you got to admit that she probably wouldn't be interested in mid-tier stuff anyway.

  17. #1177
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiki View Post
    Fair point, although you got to admit that she probably wouldn't be interested in mid-tier stuff anyway.
    Also a fair point Daiki.

    Yet I do not think that high-tier would be interesting to her that much, throwing money is not the answer with her. Not when she has access to RoR.

    Plus IMHO, its flawed thinking to try to gage gifts with people based on what would they like the most. Sure you can do that but the level of a gift has to be proportional to how important that person is to the gift giver. Hence why say Neville gives Shinji chocalate to Shinji where as Nats gives a gift to chance fate itself for two hours. Because Shinji is valued differently by both persons and it shows. We did just that when we gave the different tiered wand holsters to Shinji's friends.

    Simply put, Sokaris does not rate goddess tier goods this time around. No doubt she is fairly high with Shinji but not Horizont Alley level. There is only one person in the world at this point that would rake, no questions ask, that amount of money. But even then the best gifts are not even that which has a lot of value but that what means the most to the giver and the receiver. Hence why Shinji's mothers wand was such important gift in the other route.

    If the idea is just go and explore what Horizont is, then going there is not bad, even if I think Shinji and Co. are not dressed for any crafter to take them seriously. But if we are shopping for a gift for Sokaris then Shinji in the wrong place.

  18. #1178
    Yeah, I don't think he will necessarily buy something for her anyway. But if it comes up, chances are we will still have a choice offered among a variety of odd stuff rather than what's strictly on the expensive side. Worst comes to, we give her something Shinji already owns.

  19. #1179
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skull Leader View Post
    Hence why say Neville gives Shinji chocalate to Shinji where as Nats gives a gift to chance fate itself for two hours.
    Amusingly, Natsumi gave Sokaris 3 hours worth of Felix, while Sokaris gave her some notes about how to think more...efficiently.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  20. #1180
    Thought Acceleration? Okay, now I'm jealous. Natsumi, we're friends, right? Share, share...

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