Page 2 of 12 FirstFirst 12347 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 221

Thread: But For a Sword (A Matou Shinji Series AU)

  1. #21
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    6,958
    US Friend Code
    042446355
    Blog Entries
    25
    [x] Crafting Wondrous Items




    To distract his fellows from any more inconvenient questions, the boy turned to the time-honored tactic of bringing up something he thought the group would find more interesting than teasing. Namely his studies during the summer - especially those which involved Selina, as for some reason, mentioning the Slytherin girl always made Ernie and Phelan quiet down and pay attention.

    "I imagine you'd probably like to know more about what I did this summer, instead of the meaning behind some dessert's name," Shinji said good-naturedly. "I mean, I know what you did, Luna, and I know you were in Mahoutokoro, Nats, where you..." He glanced down, noticing the sparrow sitting on her head. "...got that sparrow," he added with a smile, "but what about you, Phelan? Ernie?"

    "Like you said," Phelan replied, seemingly eager to talk about his adventures. "Training. Exploring the land. Slaying great ev--"

    "--nearly getting killed by an Erkling because we decided to explore a closed off mine like a couple of idiots," Ernie cut in, with Phelan's expression souring.

    "Making sure good old Macmillan here learned how to hold a sword--"

    "--not that I even wanted to, since a wand should be enough for every normal situation--"

    "--since we can't use magic as underage wizards--"

    "--I only did so under duress, since he insisted on going into the mine and I wasn't go to go unarmed--"

    "--whatever that means."

    Phelan shook his head and sighed.

    "We took precautions. We had potions. We had Mopsus. We had swords. I even lent you a coat of mail--"

    "--and I never asked for that. It just made moving around more difficult--" Ernie tried to interject

    "--and anyway, you survived, so what are you complaining about?" the earl's son talked over him. "Going on a proper adventure, kind of like Selina always talks about. You can't tell me you didn't have fun at all, eh, Macmillan?"

    "...well, maybe a little," Ernie grumbled, turning away with a huff. "Well, you got us talking about what we did, Matou. What did you do?" the blond Hufflepuff inquired. "I...uh, I hear you were with Selina at Beauxbatons?"

    "I was indeed," Shinji agreed sagely, noting how both Ernie and Phelan had turned towards him as he began to speak. "You know how she always calls herself an artificer? Well, I had the chance to work on crafting what Selina calls wondrous items."

    "Wondrous items?" Luna inquired, seeming curious, with Shinji smiling, as she'd given him the perfect opportunity to show off a few of his creations - or at least some of the things he had helped with. A bit.

    Reaching into the pocket of his robes, he pulled out six wooden boxes, with five of them being small and squarish, with the last bring rather longer.

    "These," he said, as he opened up the boxes one by one, revealing five silver rings, two of which were rather plain, with a feather-like pattern around the edges, and three of which were set with a small aquamarine, as well as a moonflower wrought entirely of glass, which seemed to sparkle in the light.

    "They're pretty," Ginny spoke up.

    "So what do they do?" Ernie asked as a followup. "I don't imagine you and Selina just made jewelry together because of how they looked." Frankly, he seemed less than pleased at the notion of them making jewelry together for any reason, but it wasn't as if Shinji understood why.

    "They're enchanted, of course," Shinji explained. "The ones with the blue stones with the Bubble-Head Charm, giving the wearer the ability to breathe underwater, the ones with the feather pattern with Arresto Momentum, so that if you fall from a high place, you'll slow down enough that you won't be hurt when you land."

    "Huh. Rings worthy of a true adventurer," Phelan noted. "I wouldn't have minded one of those Bubble-Head Charm rings when I was exploring the mine, certainly." He paused, his expression shrewd. "I don't suppose you'd have made so many if you were just making a set for yourself."

    Shinji chuckled.

    "Of course not," he said with a smile, mentally patting himself on the back with how the others had been so thoroughly distracted. He slid two of the rings - one of the feather patterned ones and one of the ones set with a blue stone over to Phelan. "These are for you and your sister - feel free to swap or share."

    "Huh," Phelan uttered, blinking in surprise. "Well, uh, thanks!" From the boy's expression, it was almost like Christmas had come early. "You know, Matou, you're alright."

    "Well, I could have told you that," the boy drawled. Then he turned to Ernie and Natsumi. "Choose one each, whichever you'd like."

    Natsumi chose the sole-remaining feather-patterned ring, while Ernie took one of the Bubble-Head enchanted rings, with both mumbling their thanks.

    "And who is the last one for?" Luna questioned, with Shinji frowning as he realized that perhaps it was a bit rude to bring out presents for people when there were those in the compartment who wouldn't get anything - Ginny, Luna, and Ron, to be specific.

    "Well, um, it's for me, actually," the boy said, "but I do have something I can share with the rest of you," he added quickly, rising to retrieve his chest. With some difficulty he brought it down to his lap and pulled out a jug that sloshed as he set it down on the table in the center of the room, as well as a cup and a box. With a muttered gemino, one cup became two, and so on, until there were enough for everyone in the room. "Drinks and dessert."

    Ron looked rather cheered by this declaration.

    "What drink?" he asked with interest, glancing at the jug. "Butterbeer?"

    "If you'd like," Shinji replied. "Apple juice, water, or gillywater are also options."

    "Not pumpkin juice?" Ernie questioned.

    "No," Shinji said flatly.

    "Then, butterbeer!" Ron exclaimed, with the others nodding. Shinji, to their surprise, just tapped the container at a certain place, before uncorking the jug and filled up each of the cups with what was apparently chilled butterbeer.

    "This is something else I made," he explained with a smile. "A jug that can give me nearly endless amounts of whatever liquid I want."

    "...that's wicked. All the butterbeer you can drink," Ron said reverently.

    "And to go with it, a French dessert," he added, gesturing at a box which held a clafouti, a baked French dessert of black cherries, arranged in a buttered dish, covered with a thick flan-like batter, and dusted with powdered sugar. "After all, conversation is best over a snack, yes?"

    As they dig in,
    Phelan suggests that now that Shinji, he and Ernie all have Rings of Water-Breathing, they should go on another adventure - somewhere without as much risk, perhaps.

    "I've always thought it would be nice to see what was at the bottom of the lake," Phelan said excitedly. "What say you, Matou?"

    [ ] An excellent idea - let's do it
    [ ] Let's have Selina come along, since she's a veteran adventurer
    [ ] Decline, but wish him well if he wants to go
    [ ] (write-in)
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; January 3rd, 2019 at 03:21 AM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  2. #22
    [x] Let's have Selina come along, since she's a veteran adventurer.

  3. #23
    [X] Decline, but wish him well if he wants to go

  4. #24
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    1,189
    [X] Let's have Selina come along, since she's a veteran adventurer

  5. #25
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    6,958
    US Friend Code
    042446355
    Blog Entries
    25
    [X] Let's have Selina come along, since she's a veteran adventurer




    "Ah, speaking of Selina," Ernie said, once Shinji had suggested bringing the veteran adventurer along, "what was it like working with her?" he asked. "I mean, I've only ever worked with her in Quirrell's challenges, but you..." The boy trailed off, seeming to swallow. "You had a whole summer with her."

    "Heh, where do I even begin?" Shinji murmured, a question posed more to himself than any of the others.

    "The beginning is a good place," Luna suggested, though Phelan had something else in mind.

    "Well, what about what she's like when she's not--"

    "--leading a bunch of neophytes through a doomed adventure?" Ernie interjected, with Phelan shaking his head.

    "Not the words I would have used, but then I wasn't the one brought low by a hailstone, was it?" the earl's son inquired, with Ernie grimacing at the rather pointed reminder of his second-greatest failure.

    "I think we were asking about Selina?" Natsumi questioned, trying to keep the simmering dispute between the two boys from escalating. "About her likes and dislikes?"

    "She's certainly curious," Shinji offered, shaking his head. "She...knows quite a bit more about the nature of the world than I'd imagined. She's insightful about many things, not someone I'd lightly want to annoy. Not that I think I've ever seen her annoyed. Most people haven't, I hear."

    "Except Malfoy," Ronald Weasley chimed in, with some of the others either sniggering or being very thoughtful about how the Pureblood had been treated. "I didn't think anyone would be able to push him around like that. Make him bow to her like that, call her lady - like he was a house elf. I wonder what he did to her." He shivered then, just imagining the sorts of atrocities Slytherins got up to in their spare time, and the way they tormented each other.

    "I heard there was a bet," Shinji explained, a soft smile tugging at the corners of his lips as he recalled this. "Malfoy bet that he would do better than Selina in the first challenge, daring her to take him up on it. He thought that either she would refuse to bet against him, or that she would lose. If she'd backed down, he would have branded her a coward and a liar. If she'd lost, she would be at his mercy."

    "But he lost," Ernie noted.

    "That he did," the boy from the east confirmed. "And so began the Hogwarts legend of Lady Selina." He paused. "Though now that you mention it, she didn't talk too much about her adventuring past to others at Beauxbatons. She was more focused on making things and learning there."

    "Maybe she didn't have anything to prove," Natsumi suggested. "You were only going to be there for a short time anyway."

    "Well, that's true," Shinji conceded. "She made some fun things for herself, I have to say, better than I could manage."

    "Like what?"

    "Little stones that float around someone's head and glow like a torch, lighting the way for them without the needs for a wand," the boy noted. "That's one of them anyway. I think she also made bandages that help someone heal when you put them on."

    "Huh...could have used those," Phelan admitted openly enough.

    "...I think some of them were, in fact, for you," Shinji commented, with the boy seeming rather elated by this, while Ernie's face seemed to darken. "She made some for you too, Macmillan," the boy added.

    "Oh, well...that's...how nice," Ernie mumbled, seemingly surprised to have been remembered. "Anything else?"

    The boy's lips twitched as he remembered one particular incident.

    "While we were out in Tarascon, she did say something about how her brother and his friends were adventurers who were strong enough to singlehandedly take down dragons," Shinji commented. "That those hoping to join her on a true adventure one day had to be willing to face those sorts of dangers, to not flinch even in the face of mortal peril, when survival or death was all a roll of the dice."

    "...I see," Ernie said, closing his eyes. "I see..."

    "Did she say anything else about crafting items, and where she learned, or if she'd be willing to teach someone?" Ronald Weasley spoke up unexpectedly.

    Shinji blinked.

    "What. Can't a bloke want a bit of coin that doesn't come from his parents?"

    "Well, I can ask her if she'd be interested in teaching you, though making items isn't exactly cheap."

    "Oh," Ron said, disgruntled. "But George and Fred do it all the time, and they don't have much money laying around. Merlin knows where they get their goods."

    "Well, I'm sure Selina would be interested in hearing that."

    "Tell me, Matou," Phelan asked, suddenly. "What sort of subject does Selina enjoy learning about? What does she like to do besides make things?"

    How does Shinji answer?

    [ ] Occlumency
    [ ] Curses
    [ ] Defense against the Dark Arts
    [ ] Exotic arts - he heard she liked something like Soul Magic
    [ ] Learning about strange beasts and lore
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  6. #26
    死徒 Dead Apostle
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Age
    28
    Posts
    777
    [ ] Exotic arts - he heard she liked something like Soul Magic

    Soul bros

  7. #27
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    1,189
    [X] Learning about strange beasts and lore

    Sounds about right for her. We REALLY need to not mention the soul magic to this entire crowd. Waaaay too many people here for that. I don't care if you want some of them to do this, it will not go over well. Ernie is a tradional pure blood boy, soul magic would be considered dark magic to him. He is not ready to accept that. And do remember that RON is in the room, he will certainly not accept that in any shape or form. We are learning soul magic on the side. You can mention to our resident sith girl, Natsumi but the others are very very unlikely to accept that.

  8. #28
    [x] Learning about strange beasts and lore.

    The lore part in particular.

  9. #29
    [x] Learning about strange beasts and lore.

  10. #30
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    6,958
    US Friend Code
    042446355
    Blog Entries
    25
    [X] Learning about strange beasts and lore




    Chapter 2.
    Rumors of a Distant Land

    For Matou Shinji, returning to Britain after a long summer abroad (and oh, how his ears burned from recalling...certain things that had happened there), was something of a relief. Yes, he had learned much about becoming an animagus (and human transfiguration), practiced his Occlumency, worked a bit on soul magic and curses, and even had started down the path of becoming a proper artificer, in Selina's words, but it had been very strange to have most of the people around him speaking only french or some other Romance language.

    He'd never thought he would miss Britain, but he supposed familiarity bred contempt - or was it comfort?

    He wasn't sure - certainly he always found himself mixing up the two words, with Selina poking fun at him each time he did, but it wasn't as if English was his native language.

    Still, he was looking forward to seeing Senpai again. Oh, and Natsumi and Amber of course, given they had all been at Mahoutokoro, no doubt experiencing strange and exciting things.

    Certainly, he'd experienced the strange and exciting world of British bureaucracy, which had involved going to the Ministry, standing in line to get a number, waiting for that number to be called, and then presenting himself to the Department and Control of Magical Creatures, where they'd asked him if he was registering as a werewolf. When he said no, that he was here to register himself as an animagus, the receptionist, a rather portly lady a few decades past her prime, looked at him askance, as if he was playing some kind of prank and had told him to get out of her office. When he'd tried to explain that it wasn't a prank, she'd refused to listen and had threatened to have security remove him - up until the point he'd turned into a bloody mule, knocking over her desk (and all the papers on it) in the process.

    After that, things had gotten a bit messy, with the entire office staring at him, the head of the Department coming down to handle his paperwork personally, the Minister congratulating him on such a fine achievement, and a reporter from the Daily Prophet coming by to do a story on "the youngest animagus in British history" as part of a series on exceptional students at Hogwarts.

    He hadn't said no, of course, as they had brought him all sorts of food and drink, even giving him a large case of Honeydukes chocolates, plus he privately he craved the validation that only others could give him, but it had taken altogether longer than he'd thought, and frankly, they'd been rather nosy. After all, they'd asked him about his adventures during the last year, about his favorite teachers and subjects, his feelings about Britain versus Japan, where he'd learned the craft, if he had someone he liked, if it was his unique background that had let him unlock his potential - all sorts of things like that. All in all, what he'd thought would be a simple 10 minute affair ended up taking hours, at the conclusion of which he'd had to sign an affidavit that he would not use his new form for untowards purposes, that he assumed any liability resulting from things like giving people rides or other such, and that his words and image could be used for promotional purposes, whatever those were, before they finally gave him an animagus license, with a group of Aurors apparating him onto the Hogwarts Express, which had long departed Kings Cross, helping him with his luggage and everything before heading back to the Ministry.

    'Everything in Britain takes so long to do...' he thought to himself. Whatever happened to the days of everyone standing in an orderly queue and just accepting the forms you filled out?

    Still, at long last, he was on the train, and now he could try to join his friends, provided they were somewhere about. As he walked up and down the train however, listening to see if he recognized their voices, he picked out a few, but to his dismay, he hadn't been able to find Senpai or Amber anywhere.

    'Are they not on the train? Did they miss it?'
    he wondered, before pausing in front of a door where he thought he heard Natsumi's voice. 'Ah, she'll know...'

    He slid open the compartment door - and froze as he saw that the room was rather full, with Natsumi, Ernie, Phelan, Luna, Ronald Weasley, and Ronald's sister Ginny all present.
    "Uh, hi," he said awkwardly, waving at them.

    "Ah, Matou-kun, join us," Natsumi called out, gesturing to the seat next to Luna, with the boy smiling slightly and doing as she asked.

    "Where's senpai?" he asked."Talking with Amber about some things from Mahoutokoro," the brunette explained with a warm smile, as a bird chriped from her shoulder - something like a sparrow. "And a new student from Japan - a Momiji Kaede. But where were you? We couldn't find you anywhere - we were a little worried."
    "...I was at the Ministry. Doing...stuff," he said vaguely, waving off the question. "Things took longer than I thought, so Aurors had to help me on to the Express. I just got on the train a few minutes ago."

    "Huh, this I have to hear," Phelan remarked, with Shinji noting that the other boy seemed somewhat more...toned than before.

    "I guess I could share," Shinji grumbled, shaking his head. "You've been working hard, Phelan," he said in an attempt to change the subject. "Training a lot?"

    "Why, yes, you can tell?" the earl's son asked brightly. Then something occurred to him. "Oh, yes, that's right, my sister left me something to give to you. From Mahoutokoro, she said." He reached under his seat, producing a rather large package wrapped in dark blue paper with snowflakes. "Some kind of cookie, I think. Shiroi Koibito, I think it was called?"Shinji blushed as he took the package, with Phelan's eyes narrowing.

    "...do those words mean something I should know about?"

    "Oh, no, i-its just a name," Shinji said, his voice perhaps a little squeakier than he would have liked.To distract his fellows from any more inconvenient questions, the boy turned to the time-honored tactic of bringing up something he thought the group would find more interesting than teasing. Namely his studies during the summer - especially those which involved Selina, as for some reason, mentioning the Slytherin girl always made Ernie and Phelan quiet down and pay attention.

    "I imagine you'd probably like to know more about what I did this summer, instead of the meaning behind some dessert's name," Shinji said good-naturedly. "I mean, I know what you did, Luna, and I know you were in Mahoutokoro, Nats, where you..." He glanced down, noticing the sparrow sitting on her head. "...got that sparrow," he added with a smile, "but what about you, Phelan? Ernie?"

    "Like you said," Phelan replied, seemingly eager to talk about his adventures. "Training. Exploring the land. Slaying great ev--"

    "--nearly getting killed by an Erkling because we decided to explore a closed off mine like a couple of idiots," Ernie cut in, with Phelan's expression souring.

    "Making sure good old Macmillan here learned how to hold a sword--"

    "--not that I even wanted to, since a wand should be enough for every normal situation--"

    "--since we can't use magic as underage wizards--"

    "--I only did so under duress, since he insisted on going into the mine and I wasn't go to go unarmed--"

    "--whatever that means."

    Phelan shook his head and sighed.

    "We took precautions. We had potions. We had Mopsus. We had swords. I even lent you a coat of mail--"

    "--and I never asked for that. It just made moving around more difficult--" Ernie tried to interject

    "--and anyway, you survived, so what are you complaining about?" the earl's son talked over him. "Going on a proper adventure, kind of like Selina always talks about. You can't tell me you didn't have fun at all, eh, Macmillan?"

    "...well, maybe a little," Ernie grumbled, turning away with a huff. "Well, you got us talking about what we did, Matou. What did you do?" the blond Hufflepuff inquired. "I...uh, I hear you were with Selina at Beauxbatons?"

    "I was indeed," Shinji agreed sagely, noting how both Ernie and Phelan had turned towards him as he began to speak. "You know how she always calls herself an artificer? Well, I had the chance to work on crafting what Selina calls wondrous items."

    "Wondrous items?" Luna inquired, seeming curious, with Shinji smiling, as she'd given him the perfect opportunity to show off a few of his creations - or at least some of the things he had helped with. A bit.

    Reaching into the pocket of his robes, he pulled out six wooden boxes, with five of them being small and squarish, with the last bring rather longer.

    "These," he said, as he opened up the boxes one by one, revealing five silver rings, two of which were rather plain, with a feather-like pattern around the edges, and three of which were set with a small aquamarine, as well as a moonflower wrought entirely of glass, which seemed to sparkle in the light. It had been difficult work, learning the basics of enchantment, and there had been...more than a bit of wasted material, but to him, it had been worth it to actually create instead of destroy, even if Selina may not have been happy at the added expense his...experimenting caused.

    "They're pretty," Ginny spoke up.

    "So what do they do?" Ernie asked as a followup. "I don't imagine you and Selina just made jewelry together because...you liked rings. I hope you didn't just make them for each other." Frankly, he seemed less than pleased at the notion of them making or exchanging jewelry for any reason, but it wasn't as if Shinji understood why.

    "They're enchanted, of course," Shinji explained. "The ones with the blue stones are infused with the Bubble-Head Charm, giving the wearer the ability to breathe underwater. The ones with the feather pattern have Arresto Momentum, so that if you, say...fall from a high place, you'll slow down enough that you won't be hurt when you land."

    "Huh. Rings worthy of a true adventurer," Phelan noted, a touch of respect in his eyes. "I guess you were working hard then, not just...enjoying yourself," the earl's son murmured. "You know, I wouldn't have minded one of those Bubble-Head Charm rings when I was exploring the mine," he hinted, his expression shrewd. "And I don't suppose you'd have made so many if you were just making a set for yourself."

    Shinji chuckled.

    "Of course not," he said with a smile, mentally patting himself on the back with how the others had been so thoroughly distracted with the simple expedient of waving shiny things around. He slid two of the rings - one of the feather patterned ones and one of the ones set with a blue stone over to Phelan. "These are for you and your sister - feel free to swap or share."

    "Huh," Phelan uttered, blinking in surprise, like he hadn't expected that to work. "Well, uh, thanks!" From the boy's expression, it was almost like Christmas had come early. "You know, Matou, you're alright."

    "Well, I could have told you that," the boy drawled. Then he turned to Ernie and Natsumi. "Choose one each, whichever you'd like."Natsumi chose the sole-remaining feather-patterned ring, while Ernie took one of the Bubble-Head enchanted rings, with both mumbling their thanks.

    "And who is the last one for?" Luna questioned, with Shinji frowning as he realized that perhaps it was a bit rude to bring out presents for people when there were those in the compartment who wouldn't get anything - Ginny, Luna, and Ron, to be specific.

    "Well, um, it's for me, actually," the boy said, "but I do have something I can share with the rest of you," he added quickly, rising to retrieve his chest. With some difficulty he brought it down to his lap and pulled out a jug that sloshed as he set it down on the table in the center of the room, as well as a cup and a box. With a muttered Gemino, one cup became two, and so on, until there were enough for everyone in the room. "Drinks and dessert, right from France."

    Ron looked rather cheered by this declaration, as to him, anything beat a sandwich.

    "What kind of drink?" he asked with interest, glancing at the jug. "Butterbeer?"

    "If you'd like," Shinji replied. "Apple juice, water, or ginger beer are also options. The jug can dispense them all."

    "Apple, not pumpkin?" Ernie questioned.

    "No," Shinji said flatly, his lips curling in disgust. He'd never been the biggest fan of pumpkin to begin with, and with how it was used for everything...

    "Then, butterbeer!" Ron exclaimed, with the others nodding. It was the obvious choice, after all, since most of them wouldn't get a chance to try the fabled brew until third year. Shinji, to their surprise, just tapped the container at a certain place, before uncorking the jug and filled up each of the cups with what was apparently chilled butterbeer.

    "This is something else I made," he explained with a smile. "A jug that can give me a fair sized portion of whatever liquid I choose - but only one liquid a day."

    "But I thought you couldn't create food with magic, since food’s one of the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration," Ron pointed out, with the rest of the compartment staring at him as if he was possessed, or if he'd grown an extra head. "...what?" he asked defensively, as he noticed the incredulous stares. "I read sometimes. When it interests me."

    "Well, food definitely interests you," Ginny muttered, elbowing his midsection, as her brother let out an affronted ow. "So, what's the trick."

    "The trick is that I'm not creating it out of nothing," Shinji explained. "The jug uses a charm to duplicate a sample hidden inside it. One preserved with...spells. There's already a bit of butterbeer inside, just nothing you can normally drink.""

    "Oh...that's wicked. So from a few drops, you get all the butterbeer you can drink," Ron said reverently. But then he thought of something, "Won't the people at Hogsmeade get mad?"

    "Different recipe," the boy from the east noted easily, as Natsumi nodded. "So it still might taste different when you buy it at Hogsmeade."

    "Ah, even more to look forward to," Ron said sagely. "That's pretty neat."

    "I thought so too," Shinji agreed. "But drinks weren't the only thing I brought. I also have a French dessert," he added, gesturing at a box which held a clafouti, a baked French dessert of black cherries, arranged in a buttered dish, covered with a thick flan-like batter, and dusted with powdered sugar. "After all, conversation is best over a snack, yes?"As they dig in, Phelan suggested that now that Shinji, he and Ernie all have Rings of Water-Breathing, they should go on another adventure - somewhere without as much risk, perhaps.

    "I've always thought it would be nice to see what was at the bottom of the lake," Phelan said excitedly. "What say you, Matou?"

    Shinji had to bite back a curse, because of course Phelan would think of using the ring right away. He looked to Natsumi for help, only to find her shrugging, as if to say he was on his own.

    Then inspiration struck.

    "...only if we have Selina come along, since she's a veteran adventurer," he replied with a forced smile. "We wouldn't want things to turn out like last time, after all."

    "Well, I certainly don't mind," Phelan said jovially, making Shinji wonder if the boy had expected him to answer such all along. "The more the merrier."

    "Oh, speaking of adventures, what exactly happened this last time?" Ron spoke up. "You discovered the Chamber or something, right?"

    Phelan, Shinji, and Ernie looked at one another wordlessly, with the two British boys indicating that Shinji should speak.

    "That's right," the Japanese boy agreed, after a moment. "It wasn't...something we'd planned to do. Just something that happened. But then, I hear adventurers often stumble on things - quests and such."

    "And you even managed to get Filch killed somehow," Ron noted admiringly. "That's something Fred and George had been hoping for, for years!"

    "...I..." Shinji spoke up, grimacing. "We didn't go into things wanting him to die. Things just..."

    "...it was dangerous near the Chamber," Phelan cut in. "Filch...tried to protect us, and ended up dying. I..." the earl's son trailed off. "I wish he hadn't really," he said in a small voice. "A man's life isn't a thing to talk about lightly."

    "Oh," Ron uttered, his cheeks going red as the mood grew dour. "Sorry."

    "Not your fault," Natsumi said, shaking her head. "As Selina sometimes says, an adventure is someone else having a miserable time somewhere far away."

    "...and what does that make those of us who like going on adventures?" Phelan questioned archly.

    "Masochists."

    The earl's son mimed being struck, as if the Japanese girl's words had mortally wounded him, with Ginny giggling at the spectacle, and even Luna seeming at least a little amused.

    "Ah, speaking of Selina," Ernie said, seeking to change the topic, "What was it like working with her?" He paused for a moment to think. "I mean, I've only ever worked with her in Quirrell's challenges, but you..." The boy trailed off, seeming to swallow. "You had a whole summer with her."

    "Heh, where do I even begin?" Shinji murmured, a question posed more to himself than any of the others.

    "The beginning is a good place," Luna suggested in her dreamy tone, though Phelan had something else in mind.

    "Well, what about what she's like when she's not--"

    "--leading a bunch of neophytes through a doomed adventure?" Ernie interjected, with Phelan shaking his head.

    "Not the words I would have used, but then I wasn't the one brought low by a hailstone, was it?" the earl's son inquired, with Ernie grimacing at the rather pointed reminder of his second-greatest failure.

    "Boys, I don't think we care about the humiliating ways you got yourself killed last year."

    "Killed?" Ginny echoed. "But they're alive, aren't they?"

    Ron grimaced.

    "Oh, I forgot to talk about bloody Quirrell, didn't I?" the redheaded boy muttered. "Well, he's a piece of work. Give us tests. Challenges he calls them. First one had us escaping a house full of death eaters."

    "That doesn't seem so--"

    "With us tied up and gagged. In a closet. Without a wand."

    Ginny's mouth shut with a click, her glib expression replaced with something akin to horror.

    "And since he somehow managed to stay another year, who knows what he'll do to us, especially with no Dumbledore to stop him?" Ron groaned, shaking as if he'd been reminded of something terrible.

    "What did happen to Dumbledore, if you know?" Natsumi questioned as she looked at him. "I was away in Japan, so I didn't exactly hear much..."

    "People think he died," Ron related, slightly pleased to be receiving attention from a pretty girl. "They don't know who the new headmaster will be yet either, just that McGonagall is still in charge. For now."

    "Huh, really?" Phelan asked. "It takes that long to pick a headmaster."

    "I guess," the Weasley boy uttered, shrugging. "I dunno."

    "Well, onto what we do know, I think we were asking about Selina?" Natsumi questioned. "About her likes and dislikes?"

    "Well, I do know a few of those," Shinji offered, his expression wry. "She likes people who are curious. People who are brave and cunning and loyal, who know much of the world and aren't afraid to push past meaningless rules," he began, shaking his head. "She like teasing people with what she knows sometimes, pushing them into doing things they wouldn't usually do. But...she does know a lot." The boy from the east sighed. "Actually, she knows more about the nature of the world than I'd imagined, has seen things not even I have," he admitted. "Explored dungeons, fought dragons, dealt with things undead in the company of her brother's friends - she's not something even I'd want to annoy lightly." He paused. "Not that I've ever seen her annoyed. Most people haven't, I hear."

    "Except Malfoy," Ronald Weasley chimed in, with some of the others either sniggering or being very thoughtful about how the Pureblood scion had been treated. "I didn't think anyone would be able to push him around like that. Make him bow to her like that, call her lady like...like he was a house elf. I wonder what he did to her." He shivered then, just imagining the sorts of atrocities Slytherins got up to in their spare time, and the way they tormented each other. "What she did to him."

    "Ah, that. I heard there was a bet," Shinji explained, a soft smile tugging at the corners of his lips as he recalled this. "Malfoy bet that he would do better than Selina in the first challenge, daring her to take him up on it. He thought that either she would refuse to bet against him, or that she would lose. If she'd backed down, he would have branded her a coward and a liar. If she'd lost, she would be at his mercy."

    "He lost," Ernie noted with something like a smile. "I know that part of it."

    "That he did," the boy from the east confirmed. "And so began the Hogwarts legend of Lady Selina." He paused. "Though now that you mention it, she didn't talk too much about her adventuring past to others at Beauxbatons. She was more focused on making things and learning there."

    "Maybe she didn't have anything to prove," Natsumi suggested. "You were only going to be there for a short time anyway, and it wasn't like there was anyone like Malfoy there, was there?"

    "Well, that's true," Shinji conceded. Not that he would have picked up on someone acting like that if they spoke in French, but that was another issue. "She wanted to use the time we had to learn things she wouldn't at Hogwarts. She certainly made use of the Crafting Hall more than I did...and to make better things than I could."

    "Like what?"

    "Little stones that float around someone's head and glow like a torch, lighting the way for them without the needs for a wand," the boy noted. "That's one of them anyway. I think she also made bandages that help someone heal when you put them on."

    "Huh...could have used those," Phelan admitted openly enough. "Even if we learned how to fight blind, with Mopsus and all. Don't think, feel, eh, Nats?"

    "...what do you think are, some kind of Jedi?" the Japanese girl asked, fingering the cylinder at her waist - one that had remained there since Quirrell had gifted it to her.

    "I think, therefore I am," Phelan said to needle her, with Natsumi seeming utterly unamused.

    "...I think some of them were, in fact, for you," Shinji commented, seeking to break up the argument before it could begin, with the boy seeming rather elated by this, while Ernie's face seemed to darken. "Ah, she made some for you too, Macmillan," the boy added.

    "Oh, well...that's...how nice," Ernie mumbled, his face reddening in embarrassment, seemingly surprised to have been remembered. "Anything else?"

    The boy's lips twitched as he remembered one particular incident.

    "While we were out in Tarascon, she did say something about how she looked up to people like her brother and his friends - adventurers who were strong enough to singlehandedly take down dragons, whether with spell or blade," Shinji commented, with Phelan's face seeming to grow intent at this. "That those hoping to join her on a true adventure one day had best be willing to face mortal peril without flinching, to dare where the brave dare not tread, in lands where survival or death are at the mercy of the dice."

    "...I see," Ernie said, as he took a deep breath. "I see..."

    In that heavy atmosphere, someone unexpected spoke up.

    "Did she say anything else about crafting items, and where she learned, or if she'd be willing to teach someone?" Ronald Weasley asked, with all the eyes in the compartment turning to him. "What. Can't a bloke want a bit of coin that doesn't come from his parents?"

    "Well, I can ask her if she'd be interested in teaching you, though making items isn't exactly cheap," Shinji replied, raising a skeptical eyebrow. "Takes money to make things, even more in the beginning because its so easy to ruin stuff."

    "Oh. Well, I know that much," Ron said, disgruntled. "George and Fred have been making things for years. Pranks really. Things they test on me, and they don't have much money laying around. Merlin knows where they get their goods. I'd like to know how to make things myself, if only so I can surprise them. Or maybe get information on where they get their stuff from."

    "Like I said, I can ask," Shinji offered. "I can't promise anything. Selina is...she knows her own mind," the boy related. "But if you do want to learn, I don't see any reason she wouldn't teach." He tilted his head. "You don't mind she's a Slytherin?"

    "Heh. Anyone who can make Malfoy simper and beg is fine in my book."

    "Yes, in your one book," Ginny ribbed. "The one about the Chudley Cannons, right?"

    "I have more than just that one!" Ron cried, with the siblings about to break into yet another squabble when Phelan cleared his throat.

    "Tell me, Matou," Phelan asked, suddenly. "What sort of subjects does Selina enjoy learning about? What does she like to do besides make things and...horribly mangle the pride of people who oppose her?"

    "Well, that's easy," the boy replied readily enough. "She likes learning about various beasts and beings from different parts of the world, some of which I've barely heard of, or not at all," he told them. "Like..." he groped for an example, before his eyes fell on Luna, and he remembered something. "Do you know the Tarasque?"

    During the summer, as part of their time at Beauxbatons, the two had taken a trip to Tarascon, home of the annual Tarasque festival, where Saint Martha had allegedly tamed a rampaging dragon-like beast, whose hide was so thick that no weapon - no spell - could pierce it.

    Selina had confirmed this, noting that the Tarasque also had remarkable regenerative abilities, and was almost impossible to permanently kill, except if one somehow managed to call on the power of a divine being after suitably weakening it. This had led to some discussion over just how Martha might have weakened it, with both of them stopping in amusement at the sight of a particularly irreverent comic (almost sacrilegious, really) that depicted the saint in rather skimpy clothing, a comic which suggested that she had pummeled Tarasque into submission with her fists.

    'Yeah, I don't think so...' he'd thought, even as he had chuckled. 'There couldn't possibly be a saint who looked like that, or who was so quick with her fists.'

    Seeing his amusement, Selina had bought him a painted figurine of "Saint Martha" sitting on the beast she had tamed. Said figurine was currently sitting in his trunk, as he didn't know what the heck he would do with a sacrilegious depiction of a saint.



    'It's not like I could use it to summon her for the Holy Grail War,'
    the boy mused. 'That's...what, fifty years away anyway.'

    Though if she came with the Tarasque, that...well, that would be something...
    Especially since from what Selina said, the Tarasque was a destroyer of cities, a force greater than most dragons.

    'Its not something I should think about anyway. It's not like I'll be a Master, not when that girl took my place as heir...'

    "The Tarasque?" Phelan echoed. "No, I don't. Tell me about it."

    And so he did, leaving those in the compartment spellbound with entire armies facing down one of these living engines of destruction, and heroic adventurers who called upon the power of the gods to lay it low.

    As he did, he recalled an odd meeting he'd had with one of the very people present, as he'd run into Luna Lovegood and her father Xenophilius, in Tarascon. He'd thought it a case of mistaken identity at first, but when he and Selina had approached them, the two had recognized him as one of the few lifetime subscribers to the Quibbler.

    Nor had they been the only ones to greet them, as a black fox had trotted out from between the girl and her father, looking over the two second years with some measure of interest, though most passerbyers seemed not to notice the beast at all.

    He'd wondered then if it had been magical.

    "Hullo. He seems to like you, at least if you can see him," Luna had murmured as he'd mused, her eyes seeming to focus.

    "Oh?" Shinji had echoed, blinking. "Is he yours?"

    "He's no one's really. He came up to us as we were traveling through the woods. I think he was looking for someone."

    The fox had let out a little yiff of agreement, before looking at Shinji and his companion inquisitively.

    "...an owner, perhaps?" Selina had asked.

    "I think he wants somewhere to live. He's quite magical, you know," Luna had replied dreamily.

    "My daughter and I are traveling into the wilds this summer, and we would be poor hosts for a magical creature," Xenophilius had added. "Would you be willing to let him go with one of you, if it would not inconvenience you?"

    Shinji, being rather more cautious than his misadventures would suggest, was a bit leery about simply agreeing to travel with a magical beast without knowing more about it, and would have said something of the sort to Selina, but before he could do so, the fox had made an odd chuff sound and walked into arms reach of the bespectacled blonde.

    She in turn had reached out to pet it and as she did, it's head had moved, nipping her finger.

    "Ouch!" the Slytherin had muttered. "What was that for?"

    Shinji had blinked at that, given that he recognized what had just happened, since he'd thought about binding a familiar in the past, but hadn't been sure it would be possible for him, since he had nothing in the way of circuits.

    'I...think...that the animals in the shops in Diagon Alley are basically pets, but maybe for more formidable creatures, one still needs to make a contract?"

    Not that he had been at all sure just how magical a fox was in the west, but if it was anything like a kitsune, they had rather more power than most would have reason to suspect.

    "Blood...it wanted blood to seal a pact," the boy had supplied.

    "Ah, using it as a medium for magic," Selina had murmured, looking at the fox consideringly. "That would make you my familiar then, yes?"

    The fox had made a quiet yiff of agreement.

    "You know about familiars?" Shinji had asked, unable to help himself.

    "As I said, my brother was a wizard," the bespectacled blonde had reminded him. "Though his familiar was an air elemental - a bit more impressive than a simple fox, and one for whom there was no bleeding needed."

    The animal had huffed indignantly at this, even as Shinji frowned, his thoughts racing as he wondered how powerful Selina's brother must have been to bind a spirit of the air to his will.

    "I see. Well, I guess he prefers beautiful girls with golden hair, to scuffy boys," the Japanese boy had said, glancing from Selina to Luna with a smile. "I suppose you must have treated our new friend well, Miss Lovegood."

    "One tries," Luna had murmured, her voice almost lost in the wind.

    "Does he have a name?" Selina had questioned, before turning back to the fox. "That is, do you have a name?" she inquired. A moment later, she'd blinked. "Ari, is it?" The fox had given her a friendly yiff at that. "Pleased to be working with you."

    Back in the present...

    "I do have to thank you for introducing Selina to her new familiar," Shinji said, nodding to Luna. "She enjoys being around it very much."

    "Of course," Luna all but whispered. "I'm glad Ari found a good person to be around." She seemed to trail off then, before looking intently at the boy. "Do you still think Hagrid will be in Hufflepuff, by the by?"

    Shinji blinked, recalling that would be enrolled as a student once again, so he could actually obtain his OWLs and such. As a third year, no less, since he only managed half of it before his expulsion.

    "I don't know," the boy stated, "though I don't think we'd turn him away. Maybe he'll even become a Sytherin. Now that he's cleared his name, he might have something to prove, since he'd be the first half-giant ever to graduate Hogwarts. Still, better that than a half-elf. Though..." A shudder went down the boy's spine at the thought of someone willingly breeding with a being like Rumpy. "...would those even exist? Half-elves, I mean?"

    "Yes, there have been some," Luna replied. "Usually unacknowledged children of some of the wealthier families. Not unions of love, these."

    Shinji nearly threw up then and there, given that he couldn't imagine anyone - anything - breeding with the abominaton that was Rumpy. Not willingly anyway. In the end, only the distraction of Natsumi's hand on the small of his back kept him from embarrassing himself

    "...do practitioners of witchcraft just...breed with everything?!" the boy wondered incredulously. If so, he wondered why that was - were they such mongrels that it was easy enough to throw something else into the mix.

    Ron looked almost offended by this, but Luna spoke up before he could.

    "Not everything," she said calmly. "I don't think any wizards have had children with a serpent or an acromantula."

    Shinji grunted in disgust.

    "I meant, magical beings."

    "Oh, well, yes. There have been half-vampires, half-hags, half-mermaids, and more," Luna explained.

    "Giants...how does that even work?" Shinji exclaimed.

    "Oh, there are potions for everything, Dad says."

    "...to make the giant smaller or the person...bigger?" Shinji wondered, not sure if he actually wanted to know.

    "Both."

    Shinji needed a moment to digest this.

    "How about werewolves?" he asked, shaking his head at the depravity he was hearing of. This...this was sick. Just about sick as when Quirrell had informed him that in the old days, before Hogwarts had plumbing, the 'wizards' of Hogwarts would simply relieve themselves wherever they stood and vanish the evidence, whether in classrooms, the Great Hall, or the dorms, with the house elves tasked with cleaning any mess or stains left behind.

    ...all of which gave Shinji pause, because would it have been so much to ask for them to make a magical latrine? At least for those who didn't yet know the vanishing spell (which was only taught in fifth year), since they would need to ask a teacher or prefect to vanish their...excrement for them? What kind of twisted society did things like this? Even non-intelligent, non-magical animals knew better than to shit where they ate...

    'Those savages...why? Why would someone do that? Just...why?'

    Of course, given that the person who had told this to him had been Quirrell, there was always the question of if his words were completely, literally true, but...

    'He wouldn't make things up when the truth is so much more...disgusting.'

    "What's wrong?" Natsumi asked him, sending him tense and shudder.

    "Just thinking about things," the boy replied - a phrase which was both completely true, and revealed nothing at all. "But yes, ah, werewolves?"

    "Werewolves are an odd case," Luna remarked. "You see, they aren't proper creatures. They're wizards that are twisted by a deadly curse, which failed to kill them only because it was weakened by dittany and silver. There is no half-werewolf you see. The child is either a human if the other parent was human, or if a werewolf mates with a wolf at the full moon, a wolf. The wolf pack in the Forbidden Forest is the result of such a rare mating. In neither case do the children bear the curse of the parent."

    "Are there curses which are passed down, then?" Shinji wondered. "From parent to child?"

    "There are...some," Luna admitted. "It is not often talked about, but some do exist. Curses that cause wizards not to be able to have children, that cause one to die early, that make a family's magic weaker over time."

    And so the conversation turned to curses, with Ron chiming in about how some of them - the Killing Curse, Cruciatus, and Imperius - were the most terrible spells ever developed by wizardkind.

    "Is that really so?" Shinji asked, finding this to be somewhat hard to wrap his head around. "I'm not sure the Cruciatus and Killing Curses are properly curses."

    "Oh, and what makes you say that?" Ernie asked in challenge, though he couldn't hide that he was intrigued by this alternate point of view.

    "Those spells may kill you or drive you insane, but they are much like any other spell that can kill or cause pain, aren't they?" Shinji asked, with Ernie nodding. "Of the Unforgivables, only the Imperius is truly a curse, as the actual effects of the spell may linger far beyond the time of casting," he explained.

    "Yes," Luna agreed. "The Killing Curse and the Cruciatus are capable of doing great harm, but they do not allow someone to twist another in mind or body, to twist the destiny of another into another shape entirely. Not like the Imperius, and how it makes slavery pleasant."

    Shinji's eyebrows shot upwards, as he hadn't been aware of that particular detail - well, that and Luna's explanation sounded quite a bit like something a magus would say.

    "That sounds more like a blessing than a curse," the boy spoke up, though the older man shook his head.

    "If one sees clearly, curses and blessings are simply two sides of the same coin - powers that change us - and possibly our descendants by design," Luna stated with conviction.

    "In that sense, you could say that a witch or wizard being born into a family of muggles was been cursed, couldn't you?" Shinji asked.

    "Yes, for magic changes who we are, makes us unlike muggles," Luna agreed. "Or that a squib born into a family of witches or wizards is cursed. Cursed with new blood."

    "Blood, huh?" Shinji murmured. He was not exactly unaware of the significance of blood in magecraft as a carrier of magical energy, but neither could he claim any particular knowledge or mastery of such. "A medium for...curses?"

    "Or other things," Luna confirmed. "Sometimes, curses are passed down to those born of a bloodline. Curses like magic or others..."

    "But not the werewolf curse. That can't be passed on from parent to child, you mentioned," Natsumi mentioned.

    "It is deadly, but it only affects one who is cursed directly - or who is bitten by a were and is treated with dittany and silvery to weaken the curse's power," Luna stated. "I can't imagine why someone made the curse in the first place."

    Shinji could, however.

    Perhaps it werewolves had been meant to be a weapon in a terrible war, where a bestial warrior whose every bite and scratch could kill was needed, weapons who no one wanted to breed true.

    Perhaps werewolves had been meant to be commanded by wizards using the Imperius - one of the few spells able to overcome the animal rage of the beast - and used to slaughter the enemies of wizarding Britain.

    Shinji blinked. His thoughts were going down far grimier pathways than he'd imagined they would, but he supposed any world where the supernatural was involved was one that was dark.

    "...yet other curses do affect children?" Natsumi was asking.

    "Yeah," Ernie answered. "They don't talk about it, but the Greengrass family, has a distant ancestor who was so cursed. The weakness lingers in their blood, slumbering until maturity - until a womb quickens. Rare is it for any Greengrass to have more than one child. This is the first generation where there has been more than one in a long time."

    "My mother wanted to learn how to purge curses like those," Luna murmured. "She thought that by awakening the power slumbering in our souls, we could change our destinies for ourselves. After all, if a curse is meant to afflict a certain person or kind of being, and that person changes enough so the curse won't recognize them, it won't take hold, will it?"

    For a moment, she looked almost frail in the light, with Ginny hugging her, as if realizing this was a very sensitive area.

    Luna brightened a bit when talk changed back to magical beasts, be it the legendary Crumple Horned Snorkack (which she had made it a goal of hers to find) or those which were better known, like phoenixes and thunderbirds, animals which were free to live as they wished, unburdened by the rules of society.

    "I don't like trolls though," she commented. "They smell rather bad, and really, they're beings, not beasts."

    "Oh?" Natsumi inquired. "Then why do the books list them as beasts?"

    "Because the goblins didn't like it when wizards called Trolls beings, saying they were too stupid to be such," Luna murmured. "But if that was true, then wouldn't many wizards be beasts as well?"

    Shinji blinked. It seemed that beneath her dreamy, mild-mannered nature, Luna Lovegood certainly had...opinions about the rest of the magical world.

    "What was definition of being before?" he asked.

    "If it walks on two legs, it is a being, while beasts crawl on four or fly with wings."

    "...so four legs good, two legs better?" Natsumi quipped, with Luna nodding, while Shinji seemed lost, as if he'd missed something.

    "It's strange that many called beasts are just as clever as those called being," Luna commented solemnly. "It's all part of a conspiracy, you know, hiding where we came from. Pretending we're different, that we're more clever than the others, when we're not."

    "Oh?"

    "We don't have the power of a house elf, or the metal lore of the goblins. We just have our wands."

    "...how did house elves become subservient to wizards anyway?" Phelan asked, with Shinji curious as well.

    "I imagine we enslaved them. Probably with something like the imperius."

    "No, that wouldn't last long enough," Natsumi murmured. "Maybe some other kind of curse, something passed down through the blood, to prevent them from ever turning against their new masters."

    "It could be," Luna responded. "Curses are complicated things, after all, twisting fate and destiny, and no one knows much about the house elves, except that they used to wear armor," she murmured. "I wonder if they were like the goblins."

    "Well, maybe they were kobolds," Shinji replied, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Goblinoid creatures," he explained when Natsumi looked at him with some confusion. "Selina told me about them. Beings with powerful abilities and no need of wands. Or at least, that's how they are in Faerūn." The boy shook his head. "Faerūn really does seem a very strange place."

    Perhaps it was a remnant of the Age of Gods that Selina had somehow stumbled onto. Maybe.

    "Yes, we talked of those in Tarascon," Luna murmured. "It seems almost like a different world."

    "Oh?" Phelan asked, intrigued, as Selina had never spoken about her Faerūn in a great deal of detail.

    "According to Selina, Faerūn is a land where the magic never really went into hiding," Shinji explained, shaking his head. "Yes, you have people born to bloodlines that can use magical abilities, but you also have people who gain the ability to use miracles from the gods they serve, or who learn to control the magic of the world by learning and preparing the right words."

    Divine Words, by any other name.

    "Are there...dragons?" Phelan asked. "Not the beasts they mention in our textbooks. Powerful ones, I mean."

    There, Shinji had an answer too.

    "Selina said so, yes," he offered. "Something about the Children of Tiamat being chief among them. Dragons of many hues and none. The greatest of the phantasmal beasts, powerful, intelligent and cunning, before even which the greatest mage might tremble."

    "But she hasn't seen any crumple-horned snorkacks," Luna murmured, shaking her head.

    "No, I suppose they don't live in Faerūn," Shinji replied. "Though I don't doubt their existence. There are stranger things in all the layers of reality than that."

    "Even if they aren't there, I'd like to visit Faerūn one day," the blonde all but whispered, with Shinji shaking his head.

    "You'd have to talk with Selina - she knows more about that place than any of us," he said good-naturedly. "You might even have to become a Slytherin for that."

    "I wouldn't mind, not if I can see a new world with things like talking dragons."

    "Are you sure?" Shinji asked, though he seemed troubled. "It is a perilous place for the unprepared though, or so I understand. The goblins there aren't...civilized, exactly. They're certainly not bankers. There are infestations of the undead. The boundaries of reality are...weaker there, you could say."

    "Well, if Selina can survive it, then we must prove worthy of it too, right Ernie?" Phelan spoke up, with Ernie, for once, nodding. "To explore a forgotten realm of dungeons and dragons, what would that be like?"

    "Even Selina only survived mostly thanks to her brother and his party," Shinji cautioned. "Even for someone who knows how, its dangerous to go alone."

    "We'll just have to make sure she won't be alone," Ernie stated with conviction. "That when she returns there, we will be worthy of fighting by her side."

    "I'll drink to that," Phelan said, toasting his comrade.

    Ron said nothing, but took a drink anyway.

    It was, after all, perfectly good butterbeer.




    The train ride soon comes to an end, with Shinji - now that he is a second year - being led off with others of his year and above towards several waiting carriages.

    Who does his sit with?

    [ ] Amber and Natsumi
    [ ] Miyuki and Nigel
    [ ] Selina and Lily
    [ ] Phelan, Ernie, and Ron
    [ ] ...why sit when he can trot - be a Mule!
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; January 5th, 2019 at 07:49 PM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  11. #31
    [X] Miyuki and Nigel

  12. #32
    死徒 Dead Apostle
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Age
    28
    Posts
    777
    [ ] Phelan, Ernie, and Ron

  13. #33
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    1,189
    [X] ...why sit when he can trot - be a Mule!

    Might be the silliest of the options but darn it if you got it use it.

  14. #34
    [x] ...why sit when he can trot - be a Mule!

    And approach Senpai! Make her entrance in Hogwarts something unique, yes?

  15. #35
    吸血鬼 Vampire Desann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Age
    30
    Posts
    158
    [X] Miyuki and Nigel

  16. #36
    [X] Be a Mule

  17. #37
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    6,958
    US Friend Code
    042446355
    Blog Entries
    25
    [X] Be a Mule




    And as a mule, what will you do?

    [ ] Trot by yourself at the front of the column of deathly horses, leading everyone to Hogwarts
    [ ] Trot besides the carriages, so your visage may be clearly seen
    [ ] Offer yourself to Senpai, that she may ride you all the way to school
    [ ] (write-in)
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  18. #38
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    1,189
    [X] Trot by yourself at the front of the column of deathly horses, leading everyone to Hogwarts

    Really not sure why Senpai as much as I would want that option would be willing to ride a unfamiliar mule. Plus fairly certain that Shinji might be hugely embarrassed later when everyone finds out given that his very visual reaction to Senpai will be. If it was someone like Cho or Amber then it would be fine as I can see them being willing to get on the mule. But not Miyuki.

    So I think it is best to just be the show pony here and lead this parade.
    Last edited by Skull Leader; January 6th, 2019 at 03:35 PM.

  19. #39
    [X] Trot by yourself at the front of the column of deathly horses, leading everyone to Hogwarts

  20. #40
    [x] Offer yourself to Senpai, that she may ride you all the way to school.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •