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

  1. #1301
    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    [ ] Miss Lily de Lune

  2. #1302
    [X] Miss Lily de Lune

    There is not much to here to base this on. 1st year Shinji has nothing for him for Lestrange to give him one more moment beyond the minimum polite amount. Croft is blushing and acting rather like Natsumi did at the first part of the year, but I really do not need Shinji to charm the poor girl. Especialy since Natsumi is his companion for this event. So might as well vote for the girl willing to talk to Shinji on a normal level.

  3. #1303
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x] Miss Lily de Lune




    The boy turned back to Miss de Lune with a hint of a smile, noting that she didn't sound out of place in the crowd of British-folk, as opposed to Mademoiselle Lestrange, whose accent was pleasant, but exotic, with a bit of a lilt to it.

    "I have to say, your English is quite good," he praised. "I can hardly tell you are from France at all."

    "My grandfather is a diplomat, so I have traveled quite widely. I confess, I did spend some years in London," the other replied with a sly smile. "Rachelle is similarly well-traveled, being a ward of the Centre for Alchemical Studies."

    "A ward of...oh." Shinji looked down, his expression tight when he realized what that meant. "I am sorry for your loss."

    "Zit vas many years ago, Monsieur, and ve vere never...how you say...close," Lestrange murmured. "Nevertheless, zankyou."

    "Speaking of being good at languages, you're not so bad yourself, since you came from Japan," Miss de Lune commented. "Unusual, that. One would think you would have gone to Mahoutokoro." One slim, blonde eyebrow quirked upwards. "A parent of yours went to Hogwarts? Your father, perhaps."

    "...I have no father," Shinji nearly snarled, before he forced his expression into something approaching neutrality, aware of all the eyes that must be upon him. "My mother. She went to Hogwarts." Not that he really knew much about her, with his only clue as to her personality being the notes she left in the margin of the text on...necromancy.

    "Ah, my apologies. I had not realized your parentage was a...delicate topic," Miss de Lune said, not unsympathetically, her fingers brushing his upper arm.

    "No, I, uh, I'm sorry. You couldn't have known," the boy replied with a sigh. He casually tried to use his glasses to probe the minds of the girls in front of him, only to find that he could red nothing from Miss de Lune or Miss Lestrange. 'What? Lestrange I understand, since Alchemists probably practice some variety of mind arts, but de Lune as well?' He smiled, his expression somewhat brittle as he turned his attention to Lestrange. "You must be quite skilled at Alchemy," he probed verbally, something of a non sequitur though it made sense to him.

    "I am not up to ze standards set my 'onored ancestors, but one tries, Monsieur," the Flamel Scholar responded with a nod. Her silver eyes regarded Shinji for a moment. "And you? Are you...skilled?"

    "I cannot claim any great talent," Shinji admitted. "Unlike my friend here," he said, nodding at Natsumi.

    "Oh?" Lestrange questioned, her gaze shifting to Natsumi. "Is zat so?"

    Natsumi nodded enthusiastically, flushing a bit at the attention from the pretty older girl.

    "Ah...I suppose," the Japanese girl admitted. "The calculations involved in it are quite fascinating. As are the mental disciplines involved."

    Lestrange nodded thoughtfully at that.

    "You 'ave learned ze mental disciplines?"

    "Yes, from a...friend from Egypt," Natsumi related fondly. "She's even better than I am. Potions comes to her so...effortlessly. Even if sometimes, she seems so far away from all of us."

    "Far away...?" Lestrange repeated.

    "Like she's far in the distance, and its hard for her to remember that we're not where she is yet. Her thoughts...racing ahead, on many paths when we have yet to begin on one."

    The Flamel Scholar seemed to go still for a moment, a curious expression on her face as she regard the young girl.

    "...it is...true zat such learning may...separate one from one's...colleagues. Shall we speak some more of l'Alchemie?"

    "I'd like that," Natsumi said with a smile, leaving Shinji in the company of Miss Croft and Miss de Lune, though the former looked over to the other two.

    "I never got to ask," Shinji realized, turning to the apparently shy brunette. "Do you go to Hogwarts?"

    "If I did, you would recognize me, I think," she said, not looking at him. "You do not, therefore..."

    "Fair point," the boy conceded, noting that the girl seemed very uncomfortable around him through his glasses, as some of her stray thoughts seemed...odd. It was almost like she was afraid of him. 'Maybe she's just scared of boys?' "If you want to go speak to the others, please, don't hold back on my account."

    The girl nodded gratefully and went to join the two potioneers in conversation, leaving him alone with Miss de Lune.

    What should Shinji ask Miss de Lune?

    [ ] (Write-in)
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; August 15th, 2018 at 12:25 AM.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  4. #1304
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    [ ] Ask her about Beauxbatons and her fovorite class there.

  5. #1305
    [x] Ask her about life in France and what Beauxbaton is like

  6. #1306
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    [x] Ask her about life in France and what Beauxbaton is like (including favorite class)




    "It seems that both your companion and mine have found more interesting conversation partners," the green-eyed blonde commented wryly, noting how the Flamel Scholar and the young Japanese girl were caught up in a quiet discussion on formulae that she could not quite follow, with Miss Croft standing off to the side, unable to get a word in. "Alas, how unfortunate, that I be left bereft of civilized company in a strange land."

    "Oh, that's nonsense," Shinji rejoined, giving the girl a charming smile. "After all, how can I consider myself unfortunate when I yet have the pleasure of your company?"

    But Miss de Lune only chuckled.

    "Ah, but Monsieur, I did not say you were unfortunate, merely I."

    Shinji blinked.

    "...are...are you calling me uncivilized?" the boy squawked, taken aback by the comment. "Why--"

    "Duels of wits and words are common at Beauxbatons," the other commented as she stepped closer to him, offering him her hand. "The school may call itself 'beautiful wands', and it may teach its students the art of the duel, but it is rare that any dispute is settled by such...crass measures."

    "Huh. So, instead you...try to prove yourself superior through words?" He looked down at her hand, wondering what the girl wanted from him.

    "Words and gestures, yes," Miss de Lune agreed, shaking her head, her lips quirking ever so slightly. "And since you are uncivilized boor who doesn't seem to understand what isn't spelled out for you, I'm asking you to dance."

    "Um...uh...why me?" Shinji asked, looking around. He'd barely met his girl and she wanted to dance with him? "Really..."

    "Do you see any others our age about?" she asked archly, to which Shinji...did not, only much older men and women. "Well, then, unless you'd like to stand around..."

    The boy accepted her hand and allowed himself to be led off to the unoccupied dance floor, though he still felt uneasy.

    "...what kind of dance is this?"

    "A simple waltz," she commented, only to pause at the blank look on the boy's face. "Surely you know it...?"

    "...um..."

    Miss de Lune had to suppress a sigh.

    "...then let me show you."

    Reluctantly - very reluctantly - he agreed, with the girl showing him the steps slowly, and he trying to ignore the fact that everyone seemed to be watching them, as they were the only couple on the dance floor.

    "Do you...uh...do this often at Beauxbatons?" he asked, in an attempt to distract himself from the gazes of the people.

    "Sometimes. Not as often as I would like, though we have a class in it," she replied. "And you do not at all?"

    "...no," Shinji answered, trying not to step on her feet, and even succeeding to a degree. "Why would I?"

    "And you wonder why I say you are uncivilized," she whispered in his ear, with the closeness of her making him go red.

    What else would he like to know?

    [ ] Nothing. Dance with her in silence
    [ ] More about her and her upbringing
    [ ] Tell her about himself instead
    [ ] More about Beauxbatons
    [ ] (write-in)
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  7. #1307
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    [ ] More about Beauxbatons

  8. #1308
    [X] More about her and her upbringing

  9. #1309
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    [x] Upbringing + Beauxbatons




    Chapter 35.
    A Night at the Ministry

    Several days later, it was the eve of the New Year, and Matou Shinji found himself wondering if he was out of his depth as he stood just inside the entrance of the Ministry of Magic, looking at the sea of colors and fabrics worn by the many practitioners of witchcraft that had gathered for the Minister’s Ball, accented by the colors of the food at the buffet tables and the drinks in the hands of the attendees.

    ‘Why did I decide to come to this again?’


    Of those gathered, he only recognized the Minister, Professor Quirrell, and who he thought might be Gilderoy Lockhart, though he could guess that the others were politicians, Ministry officials, sportsmen and other…celebrities.

    The movers and shakers of Magical Britain.

    Not…students with no claim to fame.

    ‘Well, I was there when the Chamber of Secrets was discovered, I guess, but I didn’t really get the credit for that.’


    On the other hand, his friends had lived, and none of them had been sent to Azkaban for his involvement in the death of Argus Filch. He’d even profited financially from the Chamber Incident, given that it had paid for all of his Christmas gifts and his new cottage, so he supposed that how things turned out had been more than fair.

    ‘Still…’


    What was he doing here?

    At 2000 Galleons for a pair of tickets (and the cost of dress robes, a good hairdresser, and others), the cost of attending Minister’s Ball was rather beyond the financial means of most in Britain, meaning that while it was, in theory, open to anyone who could afford it, in practice, it was an exclusive gathering of the well-to-do.

    A gathering at which there were few his age.

    Yet here he was, wearing not enchanted dress robes, but a kimono woven of silk as dark as midnight, accompanied by a black haori and hakama. The only color on his ensemble other than black came from the flashes of white from his three kamon – resist dyed crests – on the center of the back, and the sleeves, denoting the Matou house.

    Comparatively, the furisode his friend Natsumi was wearing was much more colorful, featuring pink chrysanthemums embroidered on a canvas of pink and black silk, with a rich underlayer of crimson and gold, all bound together by a pink and black obi embroidered with yellow star-shaped patterns. To complement the kimono, her rich, chestnut hair had been braided and pinned up with hairpin carved into the shape of chrysanthemums.

    She…cleaned up nicely, certainly, seeming the very picture of a yamato nadeshiko, instead of the mischievous girl he’d known for half a year. Still, in the back of his mind, he did think she’d look better with a blade in her hand for some reason – though, something like a kodachi or a katana, not a rapier.

    ‘Well, I suppose it would be bad form to bring a weapon to the Minister’s Ball.’


    Unsurprisingly, the Aurors at the entrance had made all of the guests check in their wand – something that was only wise when there were so many notable individuals in attendance, and a great deal of alcohol besides!

    ‘Though, it is odd…we just walked in, so why is everyone looking at us?’


    It wasn’t as if he or Natsumi were wearing anything more extravagant than the literally enchanted outfits that some had come in, as Shinji could see some outfits changing color to react to moods, or trailing tails of iridescent fabric which seemed to move with a mind of their own.

    ‘And surely we’re not well enough known that we command the attention of a room. Yet.’


    What the boy didn’t realize was that it was he and his companion’s very lack of fame, and their young age, coupled with the mundane but exotic nature of the garments they wore that drew wandering eyes, the pressure of which he felt as keenly as knives sticking into his chest.
    Matou Shinji had never really been the center of attention like this, at least not when it hadn’t been planned out beforehand, and he…wasn’t ready to have an entire crowd of movers and shakers – strangers – looking at him, judging him, whispering about him.

    Every started to spin, to grow, to shake, with the boy wishing the earth would open up and swallow him, if only to hide him from the others, as their gazes felt cold, so cold, freezing him to the spot. He couldn’t move – couldn’t speak – couldn’t really look away, frozen—

    ‘Huh? It’s…warm?’


    …until Natsumi took his hand, interlacing her fingers with his, the warmth of her touch distracting him from the others around him. He glanced over instinctively, and once he did…he could see only her.

    Only her smile, only the mischief in her dark brown eyes.

    Only the face of his best friend.

    “Here we are,” she murmured, with the boy’s gaze drawn to her glistening lips as he swallowed.

    “Y-yes, here we are,” the boy repeated, finding it hard to speak.

    “Since we’re here…let’s not stand in the doorway, hm? We wouldn’t want someone to knock us over when we’re all dressed up.”

    “…true,” he conceded, beginning to walk forward once more as the chestnut-haired girl led him forward along the red carpet as cameras flashed, and a couple of people raised their glasses in welcome.

    One did more than that though, with a portly man emerging from the crowd to join them as they made their way into the atrium.

    ‘Professor Slughorn?’
    Shinji thought, as he recognized the man in his robe of many colors. ‘Why is he…?’

    But the answer came to mind as soon as he’d asked.

    Professor Slughorn knew people, made connections with promising individuals and helped them in their rise to greatness, with they in turn acknowledging that their old mentor had done for them in a more…material fashion.

    "Ah. Mister Matou. Miss Suzuki," the Potions Master of Hogwarts greeted them grandly, his dress robes swirling around him as he moved. Beside him, there was a rather non-descript man in somber blacks and a powdered wig, who looked over the students appraisingly. “Just the ones I was speaking of."

    "Professor Slughorn," Natsumi curtsied respectfully, with Shinji mumbling something along those lines.

    “Your students, Horace?” the other spoke, his English tinged with a strange accent that Shinji couldn’t quite place.

    “Yes. Two of the most promising first years at Hogwarts,” Slughorn continued, with a deferential nod towards whoever the other man was. “I would almost say prodigies, though there is one whose talent is greater than even theirs.”

    “Oh? From one of the Great Families?” the darkly dressed man inquired.

    “No. An orphan from Egypt actually,” the Potions Master replied, with the other seeming taken aback by this. “It is always who you’d least expect.”

    “I recall,” the other man noted. “The last time…a muggleborn and some half-blooded prince?”

    “Yes. Both dead in the…unpleasantness a decade ago.”

    “Ah, my condolences,” the non-descript man commented. “I confess I do not keep abreast of current events in Britain.”

    “No reason to, on that isle of yours,” Professor Slughorn demurred, before turning back to the first years. “Students, I would like to introduce you to the greatest Alchemist in the World," the portly man continued, gesturing to the man beside him. "The creator of the Philosopher's Stone, Nicholas Flamel. Nicholas, Shinji Matou and Natsumi Suzuki."

    Shinji blinked, remembering what Quirrell had said about the tragedy of Nicholas the Wise, while Natsumi curtsied again.

    "It is an honor, Mister Flamel," the Japanese girl said formally.

    “Truly an honor,” Shinji added.

    "Nonsense," the alchemist replied, with a warm smile on his face. "The honor is mine. Horace has told me of your passion and talent for our craft, the most sublime of all the magical arts." He paused. "And do I detect a Japanese accent, Mister Matou?”

    “Y…yes, sir,” the boy remarked, wondering how he recognized it. “I can’t place yours though. It’s not British, I know that.”

    “I suppose you wouldn’t,” Flamel allowed. “I was from France, Paris, as it happened, but that was centuries ago. Even the French do not sound much like me anymore.”

    “Ah. The benefits of a long life, sir?” Natsumi inquired, with the alchemist nodding.

    “You could say that,” the older man replied. “Sadly, despite the benefits of immortality, the Elixir of Life does not turn back time, so I will never be a young man again, able to indulge in a young man’s pleasures or ambitions.” Flamel chuckled. “Speaking of the young, how is Albus…your Headmaster, I believe?” Natsumi nodded. “Ah, yes. When I met him, he was but a learner, a youth hungry for the knowledge I had gathered over hundreds of years. Yet now, he is a teacher, a master of one of the Eleven schools, where others come to learn. I suppose that the circle is complete."

    “Headmaster Dumbledore was once…your apprentice?" Shinji asked, his thoughts working furiously as what Quirrell had said that fateful night long ago rose to the forefront of his mind. “He…wanted to save someone from death?”

    “Among other things,” the Alchemist acknowledged. “A very promising young man, though that promise was tainted both by his hunger for greatness and recognition, and by his despair.”

    “His…despair?”

    “No matter how hard he worked, how far he reached in his studies, his goal eluded him,” Flamel murmured, as if noting a bit of unpleasantness. “But then, it was impossible from the start. The Elixir of Life can extend one’s lifespan, or heal any ailment, but there is nothing it can do with one whose soul has already departed.” The man grimaced. “In the end, he went his way and I went mine."

    "What happened next?" Natsumi questioned, finding herself curious about the Headmaster’s past.

    “He became a teacher, much to my surprise,” the Alchemist related. “He had the potential to do so much, yet when he discovered that all his might would avail him naught in his goal, he…gave up. Or so I thought until the day he took to the battlefield and struck down Grindelwald, ending the Great Wizarding War.” The man chuckled, his lips betraying a hint of amusement. “Despite how hard he worked at trying to become an Alchemist, Albus was always a man who preferred the wand to the cauldron. Though…I am surprised that he never took the position of Minister after it was offered to him, but perhaps he simply grew old." Flamel’s smile seemed a bit sad as he shook his head. "But then, all men grow old and die in time, if not in body then in spirit. Well…save for myself. And of course, my lovely wife, though she is no man." The man sighed. “But that is enough talk of the past. Do you have questions for me, young Seekers of Truth?"

    "Have you given any thought to an heir?" Shinji spoke before thinking, an odd expression briefly stealing across his features as he glanced at the Alchemist. "While you may not fear dying from old age, that doesn't eliminate the possibility of...accidents, after all."

    Or well…untimely betrayals.

    Nicholas Flamel blinked.

    "...a very direct child, aren't you? Very unlike your countrymen," the Alchemist noted coolly. "Still, I suppose your question is harmless. I have no heir of my body, but ideally one of my apprentices would take up my art if and when I pass on.” But the man shook his head. “Alas, I have found none worthy of teaching the greatest secret of Alchemy to. Many begin walking the path, yet are without the patience and dedication to see it through to the end, finding themselves distracted by other ambitions, other desires, other goals. Most, you see, have trouble accepting that the greatest of magics isn't that what one can weave with a wand, but with one's mind and one's hands."

    "Huh.” Shinji needed a moment to process the fact that Nicholas Flamel had no heir. That he wanted to entrust everything to an apprentice. Suddenly the scenario that Quirrell had implied, that Flamel would be betrayed by his apprentice, seemed much more plausible, since it was an apprentice who would inherit everything. “Who came the closest so far?”

    “Young Albus,” the man readily supplied. “As I said, he was a brilliant youth. Just…one who became disillusioned with his path. Still, he is a help to me, in the few occasions I find myself needing to trust someone with a favor that requires more in the way of…shall we say, brawn than brain.”

    ‘…it’s true then. What Quirrell said. What Sokaris implied.
    The Stone. The Philosopher’s Stone is at Hogwarts.’

    Somehow, the Headmaster had managed to get Flamel to give him the Stone, perhaps because there was a threat that the Alchemist believed only the Headmaster could stop…and Dumbledore, if Quirrell was right, had no intention of returning it.

    The realization hit him like a thunderbolt.

    Quirrell hadn’t been exaggerating at all, hadn’t lied, had he?

    ‘…and if, in the course of attempting to protect it, the apprentice is forced to
    destroy the Stone to keep it from falling into the hands of a foe…’

    Shinji swallowed, as everything finally made sense.

    Dumbledore didn’t want the Stone for himself. He wanted it destroyed, believing it worthless, since it could not fix the root of his despair – and worse, might be a threat, if perhaps his last foe had found a way to bind his soul to his plane of existence.

    ‘What do I do…what do I…’


    Fortunately, while he stood frozen, unable to process the thoughts in his head, his companion spoke up, drawing the Alchemist’s attention.

    "Since you have had many students, do you have any advice for someone just starting out on the path?" Natsumi inquired, with the man nodding gravely.

    "Since you go to Hogwarts, I counsel you to develop a firm foundation in potions and herbology," Flamel replied, nodding to the Potions Master of the school, standing beside him. "These two disciplines, along with patience and a willingness to work hard, are critical to any budding Alchemist.” He shook his head. “Were you at Beauxbatons, I would recommend that you apply for the Nicholas Flamel Scholars Program, after your third year, but alas…”

    "A Scholars program?" Natsumi echoed, her eyes widening slightly.

    "Yes, one funded jointly by myself and the Centre for Alchemical Studies, open to students of Beauxbatons,” the Alchemist acknowledged. “Those accepted into it remain at the campus over the summer, where they receive specialized instruction and are encouraged to experiment with potions," Flamel noted. "So far, it has turned out several notable practitioners of the art, though none have proven worthy of becoming a true apprentice…yet."

    "Why is it only open to people attending Beauxbatons?" Shinji asked, with the old Alchemist smiling slightly.

    "Mostly because one would have to be at Beauxbatons for the program, and instruction is done in French..." Nicholas Flamel responded. “And while languages can be learned…you may not know this, but the Eleven are usually loathe to reveal their locations to any not attending them.”

    "The…eleven?”

    “The schools recognized by the International Confederation of Wizards,” the Alchemist supplied. “Each of which usually serves a country or a larger region. Hogwarts is one, as is Beauxbatons. Mahoutokoro, from your homeland, is another.”

    “Ah…” Shinji noted, nodding. “I see.”

    "So yes, I’m afraid that unless you go to Beauxbatons, you are not eligible for the program, but as a second-best thing…” The Alchemist went quiet for a moment. “…I suppose that one of my Scholars is here at the Ball. Would you care to meet her? Perhaps she can tell you about her experience."

    “If you wouldn’t mind, then certainly!” Natsumi exclaimed, with Shinji nodding.




    The man led Natsumi and Shinji over to a corner of the room where a small group of young people were standing, with two of them apparently his age, and one of them...older. This last was a silver-eyed blonde clad in a navy-blue gown, with a sheathed rapier at her waist which somehow reminded him of Amber.

    ‘Wait…a rapier? Why is she allowed to bring a weapon into the Ball?’


    "Monsieur Matou, Mademoiselle Suzuki, may I present the newest member of the Flamel Scholars program, Rachelle Lestrange," the Alchemist intoned, with the girl in blue curtsying. “I see you have your…rapier with you, as always.”

    "'Ello," the other spoke, with Shinji suddenly swallowing, finding his mouth dry as she looked at him with an intensity he’d never felt before.

    "E- enchanté," the boy murmured, reaching out to take her hand and kiss it, as a gentleman would, only to find her stepping back out of reach.

    “Um..."

    “I do not like...being touched, if zit is all ze same to you, Monsieur le Matou," Lestrange replied, her silver eyes glancing from him to his companion, whose hand he was still holding.

    ‘Oh. Ah…yes, I can see how there might be a misunderstanding.’


    "...fair enough," Shinji answered, feeling a bit stung by the rejection. “Why do you have a rapier anyway?”

    “An heirloom of my family,” the young Scholar replied. “Ze Aurors did not deem it a danger, unlike ze wand I surrendered.”

    Shinji found that logic odd, though he supposed that a mere blade couldn’t do much that a wand couldn’t fix, unless she outright killed someone, and he didn’t think she was the type, even on such short acquaintance.

    “Nicholas,” Professor Slughorn cut in. “While it certainly is a good thing to pay attention to the younger generation…”

    “Ah yes,” the Alchemist noted, giving the first-years a wry smile. “Do enjoy your first time at the Minister’s Ball. I find that the more power one gains, the more people expect. And well, it would be rude should I not greet my former apprentice.” He shook his head as he glanced to Lestrange and then back to the Hogwarts first-years. "Do try not to offend my newest student. She is a good person, but is...prickly at times."

    “Prickly?” Shinji echoed.

    “Best you find out for yourself,” the man finished, nodding to the assembled young people, before following Slughorn’s lead, leaving Shinji and Natsumi alone with the other young people at the Ministers Ball.




    While Natsumi’s interest was drawn to the Flamel Scholar – with the girl finally letting go of his hand, Shinji thought that he might as well get to know the other two people his age, since they had to be of some importance to be here.
    Or perhaps just wealthy, though that meant more or less the same thing, didn’t it?

    “So I don't think I've met you two before," he noted, turning his attention to the two girls who seemed closer to his age – a blonde and a brunette.
    "Matou Shinji, at your service," he said with a deep bow.

    "Lily de Lune," one of the others – a bespectacled blonde with startling green eyes, dressed in a white gown, embroidered with shimmering shooting stars in silver, which pulsed with every movement she took – replied, her accent not seeming quite like Lestrange’s. "A pleasure to meet you, Monsieur le Matou. It is a rare occasion that I meet someone our age at an event such as this, let alone three I did not know before. Truly, it is a cause for celebration."

    Shinji glanced at the brunette standing beside her, a girl with rich chocolate-brown eyes, wearing floaty, periwinkle-blue robes, with her hair in an elegant knot at the back of her head. "Then…you did not come together with…”

    The brunette shied away from his gaze, looking to the floor.

    "Um..." she whispered, her body seeming tense, almost quivering. "I'm...my name is Her-hermia. Hermia C-croft, M-mister Matou," she said, not meeting his eye. “I…my teacher brought me.”

    Teacher?

    And from Miss de Lune’s comment, they didn’t know each other prior to this evening so…

    “And which school do you attend?” the boy asked with as much charm as he could muster, wanting to do what he could to break the shy girl out of her shell. “Durmstrang, maybe?”

    But the brunette only shook her head.

    “I am…from Britain.”

    Shinji arched an eyebrow.

    “And you don’t attend Hogwarts?” the boy inquired, surprised. “I thought—”

    “No one is actually required to go to Hogwarts,” Lily cut in with a gentle smile. “There are other schools, usually more specialized ones like the Wizarding Academy for the Dramatic Arts. Or of course, one could be privately tutored.”

    “Ah,” the Japanese boy noted. “I hadn’t realized.”

    "Given your comments, you attend Hogwarts, yes, monsieur?" the blonde inquired brightly, with Shinji nodding slowly. "Let me guess...you are...a Hufflepuff, yes?"

    "Yes..." the boy admitted, his voice thoughtful. "How did you guess?”

    “You seem like you would be one,” was the enigmatic response from the spritely blonde. “For one, you are not as impetuous or bold as a Gryffindor, and then there is your accent…and your choices of clothing for the night.”

    “My…accent?” Shinji echoed. How could she tell his House from his accent…? “And my clothes?”

    “You don’t have a British accent, so you weren’t born on the isle,” Miss de Lune pointed out. “It’s tempered a bit, but I think you probably just came to Britain at the start of the Hogwarts term.”

    “You can tell that?!” the boy exclaimed, shocked that someone could pick up on such details.

    “Just as I can tell that your clothes are not enchanted, despite their good quality,” the girl observed. “A kimono, was it?”
    Shinji blinked.

    “…how do you know all this?”

    "My grandfather is a diplomat, so I have traveled quite widely," the other replied with a sly smile. "Rachelle is similarly well-traveled, being a ward of the Centre for Alchemical Studies."

    “Ah…” Shinji noted. “I suppose that’s explains your accent, neither British nor French, really.”

    “Yes, though I confess, I did spend some years in London,” Miss de Lune admitted. “Miss Croft is from there, or near enough, actually.”

    “Oh, really?” Shinji questioned, turning his attention to the brunette, who made a strange ‘eep’ sound and all but jumped. “Is she normally this shy?” he asked Lily de Lune.

    “Not when she was just around me,” the bespectacled blonde replied. “Perhaps she simply is not used to boys?”

    “…it’s possible,” Shinji admitted. Natsumi herself had been rather shy when he’d first met her. And if Miss Croft had been trained by a private tutor, he supposed extreme shyness around strangers might actually be a problem she suffered from.

    Wanting to get some clues, he casually tried to use his glasses to probe the mind of Miss Croft, only to find that all she was thinking was something like “don’t let him notice” – which only made him curious what it was that she didn’t want him to notice, since he couldn’t see anything too out of place.

    ‘Did she forget to wear underwear or something? Is her gown torn? Did she spill something?’


    Or was she merely wanting him not to notice how nervous she was, in which case, it was already hopeless.

    “Don’t be so nervous,” he said, reaching out to brush her hair aside, with the girl flinching at his forwardness, and Miss de Lune shaking her head.

    “Monsieur le Matou, there’s a time and place for such…familiarity, and that is not…here,” the bespectacled blonde chided him, with Shinji hanging his head.

    “…oh, right. I’m sorry.”

    “Tis not I you should apologize to.”

    “Ah,” he noted, scratching his head as he turned to Miss Croft and bowed. “I’m very sorry for scaring you.”

    “I-its fine,” she said in a voice that indicated she was anything other than fine. “I just…need a bit of air.”

    Or perhaps what she needed was a drink, given how the first thing she did after she walked off was to grab a flute of something multicolored and bubbly.

    “I guess that it’s just us then,” Lily murmured, glancing at Matou, and then over at where Natsumi and the Flamel Scholar were conversing. “So what brings you here tonight? Did you want to impress your girlfriend, perhaps?”

    “I, uh, she’s—she’s not my girlfriend,” Shinji stammered with a brilliant red flush, as if he’d been burned. “We’re just—just friends.”

    The sly, vulpine smile that Miss de Lune flashed him told him that she’d already known that and had only been teasing him.

    “So why did you come then?” she inquired after her fit of levity. “I can’t imagine it was just on a whim.”

    “H-how about you?” Shinji shot back. “Why did you come tonight? And from another country?”

    “Accompanying my grandfather, for a certain value of accompanying,” the girl replied, her expression somewhat wry.

    “He wandered off and left you with others your age?” the Japanese boy asked.

    “And Miss Lestrange, who came along with me. He thought that her company would be more amusing to me than meeting the Minister and the Director of the Department of International Magical Cooperation again,” she said matter-of-factly. “Which it was.”

    “Ah…then you’ve met them before?”

    “A few times.” The girl chuckled. “It is not my first time at one of these, after all.”

    “…fair enough.”

    "Speaking of first times, this isn’t your first time in Britain, is it?" Miss de Lune commented. "Your English, while accented, it good enough. And given that you would normally be at Mahoutokoro…." One slim, blonde eyebrow quirked upwards. "A parent of yours went to Hogwarts? Your father, perhaps."

    "...I have no father," Shinji nearly snarled, before he forced his expression into something approaching neutrality, aware of all the eyes that must be upon him. "My mother. She went to Hogwarts." Not that he really knew much about her, with his only clue as to her personality being the notes she left in the margin of the text on...necromancy.

    "Ah, my apologies. I had not realized your parentage was a...delicate topic," Miss de Lune said, not unsympathetically, her fingers brushing his upper arm. “Did you want to speak to Miss Lestrange?” she offered, perhaps aware of how awkward the atmosphere had become. “You companion seems to have monopolized her time. Unusual, since she normally doesn’t speak so much.”

    “You know her well?”

    “Well enough, I suppose.”

    “Then please, lead on,” the boy said gallantly.

    They walked over to where the young Flamel Scholar and Natsumi had wandered, with both of them enjoying some of the hors d'oeuvres, and discussing somewhat serious topics.

    "Zit vas many years ago, and ve vere never...how you say...close," Lestrange was saying as Shinji came into hearing range. "Nevertheless, zankyou."
    He casually tried to use his glasses to probe the minds of the girls in front of him, only to find that he could read nothing from Miss de Lune or Miss Lestrange, not even the surface impression he’d obtained from Croft.

    'What? Lestrange I understand, since Alchemists probably practice some variety of mind arts, but de Lune as well?
    ' He smiled, his expression somewhat brittle as he turned his attention to Lestrange. "I hear you are quite skilled at Alchemy," he interjected verbally, something of a non-sequitur though it made sense to him. “Congratulations on being chosen as a Flamel Scholar.”

    The silver-eyed blonde regarded him for a moment, seeming to look though him, before nodding.

    "I am not up to ze standards set my 'onored ancestors, but one tries, Monsieur," the Flamel Scholar – Lestrange – responded with a nod. "And you? Are you...skilled?"

    "I cannot claim any great talent," Shinji admitted. "Unlike my friend here," he said, nodding at Natsumi. “But then, she is one of the most skilled in our year.”

    "Oh?" Lestrange questioned, her gaze shifting to Natsumi. "Is zat so?"

    “Well, not the most skilled,” the Hufflepuff girl replied, a hint of red on her cheeks. “There is someone more skilled than I, even if I find the calculations involved in it quite fascinating. And the mental disciplines involved."

    Lestrange nodded thoughtfully at that.

    "You 'ave learned ze mental disciplines?"

    "Yes, from a...friend from Egypt," Natsumi related fondly. "She's the one I was speaking of, to whom potions and such comes...effortlessly.”

    “Effortlessly?”

    “Yes. I wonder sometimes, if I’m really helping, or if I’m holding her back, since she seems so far away from all of us."

    "Far away...?" Lestrange repeated.

    "Like she's far in the distance, and it’s hard for her to remember that we're not where she is yet. Her thoughts...racing ahead, on many paths when we have yet to begin on one."

    The Flamel Scholar seemed to go still for a moment, a curious expression on her face as she considered the young girl before her – a girl flushing from the attention given to her by a pretty older girl.

    "...it is...true zat such learning may...separate one from one's...colleagues. Shall we speak some more of l'Alchemie?"

    "I'd like that," Natsumi said with a smile, with the two walking off, not even noticing that Shinji had come close.

    “Well…that was something,” Shinji remarked. “It was like they were in their own world.”

    “…alchemists can be like that,” Miss de Lune mused aloud, her lips curved into a curious smile. “There are enough of them at Beauxbatons, after all.” She chuckled. “In any case, it seems that both your companion and mine have found more interesting conversation partners," the green-eyed blonde commented wryly. “How unfortunate it is, that I be left bereft of civilized company in a strange land."

    "Oh, that's nonsense," Shinji rejoined, giving the girl a charming smile. "After all, how can I consider myself unfortunate when I yet have the pleasure of your company?"

    But Miss de Lune only chuckled.

    "Ah, but Monsieur, I did not say you were unfortunate, merely I."

    Shinji blinked.

    "...are...are you calling me uncivilized?" the boy squawked, taken aback by the comment. "Why—"

    "Duels of wits and words are common at Beauxbatons," the other commented as she stepped closer to him, offering him her hand. "The school may call itself 'beautiful wands', and it may teach its students the art of the duel, but it is rare that any dispute is settled by such...crass measures."

    "Huh. So, instead you...try to prove yourself superior through words?" He looked down at her hand, wondering what the girl wanted from him.

    "Words and gestures, yes," Miss de Lune agreed, shaking her head, her lips quirking ever so slightly. "And since you are an uncivilized boor who doesn't seem to understand what isn't spelled out for you, I'm asking you to dance."

    "Um...uh...why me?" Shinji asked, looking around. He'd barely met his girl and she wanted to dance with him? "Really..."

    "Do you see any others our age about?" she asked archly, to which Shinji...did not, only much older men and women, except for Croft, who was off in the distance, talking to…Quirrell? ‘Huh. But I thought…’ "Well, then, unless you'd like to stand around..." she pressed, interrupting his thoughts.

    “I guess…” Shinji hazarded, accepting her hand and allowing himself to be led off to the unoccupied dance floor, though he still felt uneasy. "...so what kind of dance is this?"

    "A simple waltz," she commented, only to pause at the blank look on the boy's face. "Surely you know it...?"

    "...um..."

    Miss de Lune had to suppress a sigh.

    "...then let me show you."

    Reluctantly – very reluctantly – he agreed, with the girl showing him the steps slowly, and he trying to ignore the fact that everyone seemed to be watching them, as they were the only couple on the dance floor.

    "Do you...uh...do this often at Beauxbatons?" he asked, in an attempt to distract himself from the gazes of the people.

    "Sometimes. Not as often as I would like, though we have a class in it," she replied. "And you do not at all?"

    "...no," Shinji answered, trying not to step on her feet, and even succeeding to a degree. "Why would I?"

    "And you wonder why I say you are uncivilized," she whispered in his ear, with the closeness of her making him go red.

    As they danced, they spoke of many things.

    Of Beauxbatons, where she was a first-year.

    Of Hogwarts, which she seemed to know a surprising amount about.

    Of how she was an orphan, with her parents having died when she was young.

    Of how his mother had died when he was young, and how he had never really known his father.

    Of how they had both been raised by their grandfathers.

    And then, at very stroke of midnight, as the old year died, and one by one, couples around them kissed to commemorate the birth of a new one, she leaned close to him and whispered a secret for his ears alone.

    “Actually, my name isn’t Lily de Lune,” the girl told him, her breath hot against his skin as she pulled back.

    “Wha…t?” he asked, his arms instinctively tightening around her to keep her from escaping. “Then what is it?”

    “You’ll know if you figure out who my grandfather is,” she murmured impishly. “I’ll even give you a hint. His first name is Leonard, and he too was once a Minister.”

    “…Spencer-Moon?” he said dumbly, his arms weak as he staggered, his mind reeling from the revelation. “Wait…you’re…Lily…Liliana Spencer-Moon?” More to the point, Liliana Spencer-Moon was a real person, not just someone Selina had made up?

    ‘…is Lady Selina a
    seer or something? How much research did she do?’

    “The one and only,” Liliana commented as she stepped back and curtsied. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Monsieur le Matou. Perhaps, should you come to Beauxbatons, we will meet again.”

    She darted forward, leaned in…and then she was gone, with the boy numbly brushing his fingers against the cheek where – just for a moment – her lips had touched.




    That night Matou Shinji dreamed, and in the dream, he found himself sitting on a magic carpet, with someone beside him as they watched how silver moonlight played across craggy peaks, and an alabaster castle nestled among them.

    "Tell me," the other asked, her eyes bright in the darkness. "What do you seek?"

    How does he answer?

    [ ] True Wisdom
    [ ] Friendship
    [ ] Fame
    [ ] (write-in)

    "Tell me," the other followed up, tilting her head at his response. "Where do you seek it?"

    [ ] (write-in)

    When he woke that morning, the morning of the new year, he couldn't remember much, just that the person in his dream had been...

    [ ] Miyuki-senpai
    [ ] Liliana Spencer-Moon
    [ ] Amber Noel
    [ ] Natsumi Suzuki
    [ ] Matou Sakura
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; Yesterday at 02:59 AM.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  10. #1310
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Malgos's Avatar
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    "What is it that you seek?"

    True wisdom.

    "Where do you seek it?"

    Solely, within oneself.

    I'd like to ask for Touko to ask this for reasons.

    Otherwise Sakura.

  11. #1311
    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    [ ] True Wisdom and power.
    [ ]Solely, within oneself
    [ ] Matou Sakura

    I vote sakura for mere curiosity, probably its not a great idea but meh.

  12. #1312
    [X] Friendship
    [X] Everywhere
    [X] Natsumi Suzuki

    Not a fan of this True Wisdom answer. Not because of anything bad with it, in fact if this was the other run I would vote for it. But this Shinji is not that Shinji. I just don't see this Shinji caring about that answer, not when he has important friends like Miyuki, Amber, Nats and so forth. Hufflepuff Shinji should answer like a hufflepuff. So my vote is for the RP answer.

    Everywhere is not a great answer to where you seek friends but I think at this point, he is seeking them anywhere he can. But mostly at Hogwarts...

    Sakura giving this makes this a nightmare to Shinji, so please no. Might as well go all in with the friendship answer and pick Nats, one of his more close friends at this point.

  13. #1313
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Malgos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skull Leader View Post
    [X] Friendship

    Not a fan of this True Wisdom answer. Not because of anything bad with it, in fact if this was the other run I would vote for it..
    I agree that friendship is probably for the best and even in the other story that'd be my pick anyways. I'm usually in read only mode for this, because I don't particularly have an attachment to Sakura and this is a story about Sakura 2.0 so far. But if an interesting vote presents itself I will chime in.

    Also I'm just making a reference that had to be made, although I am curious about the results that could bring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kara no Kyoukai
    “Araya, what is it that you seek?”


    “- True wisdom.”


    The arm of the black magus broke apart.


    “Araya, where do you seek it?”


    ” – Solely, within oneself.”


    His cloak scattered, and his upper body took to the wind.


    Aozaki Touko watched over all of this.


    “Araya, where is your goal?”


    Araya collapsed. With only a mouth, his words disappeared without becoming speech.


    – You know full well. At the close of this paradoxical world –
    Anyways that's also why I asked if I could vote for Touko to ask this. Either way I feel like you guys should try and make up with Sakura, since he's basically like her anyways. Afraid of Zouken (Wise choice), Senpai, "Shadow form" and he's pretty insecure. True it might cause him to have a nightmare, but on the other hand if you chose Sakura here than your everywhere may be even more relevant, since he's dreaming of her when answering this and it could be the first step to a decent relationship between them.

    Sure being so similar might be a bad thing since he might hate her even more, but it could also be a good thing. Also Sakura hasn't found her Senpai yet so they're not alike yet, but it's actually funny how similar he is to her in canon.
    Last edited by Malgos; August 18th, 2018 at 11:34 PM.

  14. #1314
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    If you're curious about why I'm asking about this, there's a certain tradition in Japan called Hatsuyume - the first dream.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  15. #1315
    リビングデッド Living Dead Desann's Avatar
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    [X] Friendship
    [X] Everywhere
    [X] Matou Sakura

  16. #1316
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    It's 2-2!
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  17. #1317
    リビングデッド Living Dead
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    [X] Friendship
    [X] Everywhere
    [X] Natsumi Suzuki

  18. #1318
    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    Ok change to

    [X] Friendship
    [X] Everywhere

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