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Thread: A Chain of Debt (A Matou Shinji AU Quest)

  1. #101
    [x] The Prefects.
    [x] Lord and Lady Black


    why?
    Zero'ing immediately on the prefects because being in their good graces could change things significantly for Shinji. Prefects have a lot of power for a young wizard. They can cover for you if you break curfew, take away points from those who annoy you (in case people were worried about House bullying), distribute punishment on some specific individuals (while let you scoff free).

    Heck, they could show you the ropes around the school. Remember how beneficial was Hilliard had been to Shinji. They are an absolute need for us, imo. More important than Draco or Amber now, who will bask in their fame and charisma respectively.

    Let those who attract attention just shine, we're the one who acts behind the curtain.

    Scoring favor points is difficult enough with Severus, especially if you don't approach him yourself. Him being there with his wife is the perfect opportunity for that. Severus is the guy who managed to fool Voldemort with his Occlumency and is super good at Legilimency.

    He's also one of the few professors who can understand ambition, since he was once a lone and poor boy who hated his drunk dad himself. Also introvert build tells me he is the guy we should turn to fix issues in the house, rather than Slughorn.

    And of course, his children, two natural legilimens would not be a waste to know, should you look for extra help for your training.

    Well, that's the logic behind the choices, anyway.
    Last edited by Daiki; August 19th, 2019 at 12:13 AM.

  2. #102
    [x]The Prefects
    [x]Lord and Lady Black

  3. #103
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x]The Prefects
    [x]Lord and Lady Black




    As much as Matou Shinji didn't really feel like socializing, especially after a very long day, there was a simple courtesy to observe when joining any new group of students. Specifically, it was a good idea to meet the class representative, or the local equivalent of such, since they tended to handle the day to day running of the group, including the meting out of punishments. Though he found a system where only fourth years and up got to have reps on what was less a student council and more the morals committee rather odd.

    'Foreigners are weird.'

    Still, someone had to assist / discipline the younger Slytherins, so given that there were two Prefects per year for fourth years and up, one from each year was assigned to deal with younger students, with the prefect assigned to the First Years being a certain Gemma Farley, a cautiously friendly grey-eyed girl with dishwater blonde hair.

    Surprisingly, there were few people around her, as most of his peers had gone to speak with Lord and Lady Black, or with Professor Slughorn, but the boy simply took that as more evidence of how most foreigners were boorish bootlickers debasing themselves for scraps at the tables of their betters.

    "Miss Farley," the boy greeted with a bow and a flourish. "Ah, and Miss Noel," he added, noticing his companion from the train.

    "Mister Matou," the Prefect greeted, with Amber Noel curtsying in response to his words. "Welcome to Slytherin - and to the British Isles. Congratulations on making choosing to join the best House at the best Wizarding School in the world. I trust your journey was not...too much of an ordeal?"

    "Oh, aside from a fight with a vampire and his pack of familiars, not particularly," the boy responded evenly. "My day of shopping in Diagon Alley was much more of an ordeal."

    "A...vampire...did you say?" the Prefect blinked, seeming rather taken aback. "Hm, that's right, they are rather common in Eastern Europe, aren't they, and you did come from the east..." she murmured, her words trailing off as she regarded the boy consideringly. "You did not take a Portkey?"

    "Why bother? There are many other ways to travel the world," the boy responded glibly. "My own two feet, for example."

    "...in...deed," Miss Farley agreed, narrowing her eyes. "Though...do they train you to know combat spells so early in Japan?"

    "There is a saying I learned from my family," Shinji replied after a moment. "That to be blessed with the gift of magic was to walk with death." He laughed quietly. "Though I admit, I didn't throw a single spell that fight."

    "Oh?"

    "I had a blade - a specialized for killing vampires and other creatures of the Dark," Shinji responded. "That was enough to keep me safe." Well, that and the priest who had done the actual fighting, but there was no sense mentioning irrelevant little details like that.

    "I look forward to being able to test your skills in a friendly spar then," Amber interjected, a hint of a smile on her lips. "Later of course."

    "Oh?" the prefect questioned, as both of her eyebrows surged towards her hairline. "Are you an adventurer as well then, Miss Noel?"

    "Not nearly one so grand as Mister Matou here, I'm sure, but I have my share of adventures." The coppery-haired girl smiled disarmingly then. "That said, I've never been in a place like Hogwarts. It's really quite something."

    "Isn't it?" the prefect replied, with a smile. "It's sometimes odd with the moving staircases, the slugs and other creatures in the dungeons we have to clean out, and all the other things that can go wrong in a magical castle, but its home. At least it has been for the last five years, with only a couple more to go."

    "What do you like best about it?"

    "Honestly? The people," Miss Farley said almost wistfully. "They're an odd bunch, especially in this house, but they grow on you. You know, kind of like mold."

    "...like mold?" Shinji echoed dubiously.

    "Yes, you know, they stick to you, getting to you when you least expect it - or when you stop trying to push them away," she noted, shaking her head. "I mean, look at all of them. All the first years around Lord Black, who think he is at all impressed with their simpering and boasts, when it is deeds that impress him, not empty words. Or over there, where Draco Malfoy is seeking the favor of Professor Slughorn, who frankly won't be swayed by words alone. To impress him, one needs either gifts - crystallized pineapple being his vice of choice - or to demonstrate one's competence in his class. None of them realize that their efforts tonight are worthless, since Lord Black only appears at this because he has to, and enough hot Professor Slughorn has had enough hot air spewed at him that if one collected it all, one could probably breathe on the very moon." She chuckled then. "Still, they try, and their perseverance eventually wears people down. At least if they don't end up killing anyone."

    Shinji and Amber glanced at each other and then back at the prefect.

    "Does...that happen often? Someone dying, I mean?"

    "Actually dying?" Miss Farley questioned. "Not very - we haven't actually had a death at Hogwarts since Myrtle Warren, though that incidents with Cursed Vaults came pretty close to getting the school closed entirely, after Ben Copper..." She frowned. "Never mind, that's a story for another time." She chuckled, shaking her head. "So, adventurers, huh? I hope you don't take Dumbledore's warning about the Third Floor Corridor as a challenge. The last thing we need is for a Slytherin to die or get caught breaking the rules."

    "...so its ok if we don't get caught?"

    "As your prefect, I am obliged to say that I highly discourage such a line of thinking, and that should I catch you violating the rules, I am in fact required to punish you, especially in the wake of the stuff with the Vaults." The blonde shook her head. "It's rather a lot of work for one person to handle, you know?" She chuckled again. "If you all really want an adventure, maybe you lot should try to get your year sorted out so someone who isn't me can answer questions for them and help them with things. Now, that person wouldn't need to punish things they saw either, since they wouldn't be...official, you know?"

    "Ah."

    "Anything else I can do for you both?" she asked, glancing from one to the other, before looking at Mister Matou. "Other than a game of cards, that is."

    "...I'm sure I don't know what you mean," the boy replied.

    "Yes, I'm sure," the prefect noted with a small smile. "Give my regards to Hagrid if you run into him. I haven't seen him in a while."

    "Is there something Lord Black wouldn't mind someone approaching him for?" Amber questioned.

    "Now that you mention it, he was always rather pleased when a student knew when to ask for help, rather than wasting their time," Gemma Farley noted. "For whatever that's worth, anyway. Anyway, it doesn't seem like many of the people want to meet me, so I'll probably take my leave. It was a pleasure meeting you both."

    And then she was gone, leaving him alone with Amber.

    "I notice you never actually mentioned that you fought the vampire," she pointed out. "And that you never came out and said that you walked from Japan to England either."

    "Well, no...I didn't say that, did I?"

    "You did not, Mister Walks With Death," she noted. "You just...implied."

    "Well, its not my fault what conclusions people come to, is it?"

    "No, I suppose not," she allowed with a hint of a smirk. "You still owe me a spar."

    "...as the good lady wishes."

    They bantered back and forth for a bit, as the crowds finally dissipated, the simpering sycophants that had comprised them departing in smug satisfaction at having said their part - even if it meant less than spitting in the wind, before moving together towards Lord Black, who had just dealt with the last of the sycophants around him.

    As he was turning to go, the Professor found himself stopped by one last student.

    "Yes?" the man asked, his patience obviously having about run out for the evening.

    "I had a question, if you--"

    "Ask."

    "Is there a spell that makes invisible writing visible?" Shinji asked, with Lord Black shaking his head. "You see, I have a book that--"

    "Ah, I see that incompetent bookseller discovered his lost stock," the man interjected. "The spell you want is aparecium. You can find the movements in the library."

    "Thank you."

    "Thank you for making this not entirely a waste of my time. Five points to Slytherin."




    In the middle of the night, Matou Shinji wakes to the sound and sight of spellbeams flying about the room, with two dark figures throwing about spells with abandon. The flashes of light revealed the duelists to be two of his roommates, Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy, each of whom seemed quite incensed at the other, if their snarls and shouts of Thief and Liar were any indication. His last roommate, Blaise Zabini, seemed to still be asleep, or at least, the curtains around his bed were drawn, indicating he wanted no part in this whole mess.

    Shinji, too would prefer to ignore it, except...

    Fwoosh!

    ...the two seemed to be fighting recklessly, and the beams were getting closer and closer to hitting him. He had to stop this duel, but how?

    Yes, How?

    [ ] Throw a book at one of them
    [ ] Try to sneak past them out the door
    [ ] (Bluff) Draw wand and bark "Freeze. Next person to move dies."
    [ ] Ambush one of them with his Black Key
    [ ] Toss his moneybag at one of them, and blind them with "Lumos," before proposing they settle this like civilized folks. Over a game of cards - and since they inconvenienced him, he'll be playing as well. 20 Galleon buy-in, of course.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  4. #104
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    [X] Cards

    Can there truly be any option other than that? We are not barbarians gentlemen.

  5. #105
    [x]Cards

  6. #106
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    Cards

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    [x]Cards




    Matou Shinji was under no illusions that he was particularly skilled in the martial arts, or actually had the power to follow through on a bluff, if he did something like threaten them with spells. So given that he couldn't dazzle them with brilliance, he might as well baffle them with bullshit.

    And well, if in the process he earned quite a tidy profit...all the better!

    'What do I have on hand that could distract them...?'

    His Black Key?

    ...no. Frankly, he had no idea how to use it, and somehow, the boy thought it would be a rather silly thing to simply toss it at one of them. After all, what if it hit? He wasn't a murderer. He had standards.

    A book?

    No. He wasn't some barbarian who desecrated precious tomes, not when he'd spent a considerable amount of money and effort to acquire them (and in the case of the invisibility tome, hadn't even unlocked its secrets yet!).

    ...right, money. He had a money bag with something like 300 Galleons, and coins were rather heavy.

    And if he took a handful and scattered them...

    ...that could work.

    'Yes...I just have to get them to stop for a moment.'

    After that, everything depended on the hand he drew.

    As such, the boy took a handful of coins, tossed them towards the two combatants, who flinched at the sudden onslaught, right before using a pulse of Lumos Maxima to blind them and send them reeling back. In that moment, he could have attacked them, set upon them viciously, were he so inclined...but instead, he merely tossed his moneybag between them, with both of them looking warily at the sound once their eyes had recovered.

    "...huh?" Ron spoke.

    "What's..." Draco began, only Shinji spoke, cutting them off, his tone grandiose, almost bombastic.

    "Gentlemen...are we barbarians? Are we savages that we resort to trying to kill one another in the middle of the night, without care for the fate of those around you?"

    "He--"

    "Tha--"

    "No. No sirs, we are not. We are those gifted with the blessing of magic, and so should settle this like civilized beings, not wretched wordless savages."


    Draco flinched at the sheer disdain dripping from the Japanese boy's words.

    Ron, however, needed a moment to parse the words before his face twisted into an ugly mask.

    "Are you--"

    "Hey, who are you cal--"

    "Silence," the Japanese boy thundered. "I don't know what you're fighting over, and frankly, I don't give a damn, but the next words out of your mouth better be 'I'm in.'"

    "I'm...in?" Draco repeated dubiously.

    "Good, good, at least one of you is a proper man of good breeding," Shinji mused aloud, with Draco seeming vaguely pleased at the comment. "And what about you, Mister Weasley? Are you of proper breeding too, or--"

    "I'm in," Ron snapped. "If he's in, I'm in."

    "Excellent," the Japanese boy said with relish. "Then let us begin. We will settle this in the way that true men have since time immemorial. A simple game of chance and skill." As he said this, he pulled the deck of cards from his bag. "Ante up."

    "Ante--"

    "The rules are as follows. 20 Galleon buy-in, no limit. Best of three hands. Aces high."

    "...Aces...high?" Ron repeated. "What's--?"

    "Never played?" Shinji asked, as if shocked to hear it. "I would have thought any gentleman would know it, but I suppose we can play a few rounds first, just for practice, while I explain the rules."

    "Th...that sounds fair," Draco allowed. "No buy in for the practice rounds?"

    "No, because they're practice," Shinji said grandly, with Draco nodding, and Ron reluctantly agreeing.

    So it went, with Shinji actually doing pretty badly during the practice games, drawing hands without special card combinations, while his opponents had good hands - three of a kind, flushes, and the like. Oddly enough, Draco, who he wouldn't have expected to know how to play at all, actually seemed...competent, outplaying Ron quite handily.

    At first, the Japanese boy wondered if the Malfoy boy's performance was a fluke, something that wouldn't last, but as they went through practice game after practice game, Draco improved far faster than anyone had a right to.

    '...its almost like he's played this game before, but its been a while - like he's
    remembering how to play.'

    It got to a point when Draco was beginning to outplay and bluff even him, something that made Shinji very uncomfortable. After all, Matou Shinji himself had no great wealth of experience at cards, despite his bluster about it being how civilized men solved problems. If Draco was beginning to see through him, to spot any tells he might have...

    'No more practice. We have to end this here. While I still have a chance.'

    "Shall we play for keeps now?" the Japanese boy asked, after the results of the latest hand. "It seems you both have a handle for the rules and how the game is played?"

    "Yes. How much did you say?" Draco asked. "20 Galleons? How about we make this more interesting? Let's put up the money that Weasley and I were...disputing. All of it. That's 300 Galleons worth. A small fortune a Weasley would never be able to earn. Unless...that's too rich for your blood Matou?"

    Shinji fought to keep his expression from betraying any trace of unease, even as found himself intimidated by the blond boy's proposition.

    'He's just trying to unnerve me. To get me to back out. To welch.'

    "I'll match that," he replied, with a confidence he didn't quite feel. "In fact, I'll do one better. I'll throw in a Hand of Glory. That should be worth oh...150 galleons?"

    "Show us the money. And the hand," Draco insisted.

    "You don't trust me?"

    "Why would I?" the blond asked. "No one does something without some sort of motive. I just haven't figured out what yours is yet. And before I put anything on the line, I want to be sure you have the money to match your mouth."
    "As you will then," Shinji bit out, gathering his scattered coins and retrieving the Hand of Glory from his chest, with Ron Weasley shrinking back at the sight of the item as he placed it between them.

    "That-that's a hand!"

    "...I thought the name would make that obvious, Weasley," Malfoy said archly.

    "I didn't think it would actually be a hand. I thought it was...a...a...meta...uh..."

    "Metaphor?" Shinji asked, wondering why it was that the one who was not actually from Britain knew more vocabulary than one of its native sons.

    "Yes. That. That's what I meant."

    "Right. Well, then, I have the equivalent of 450 Galleons on the table," Shinji stated baldly. "Can you match that, Draco?"

    "Yes," the boy stated. "Let me get it now."

    So he did, with all of the gold emptied out onto the floor between them, creating quite a massive pile of coins - and one hand.

    "Satisfied?"

    "Yes," Shinji said, his pupils widening at the sight of so much gold in one place. If he could win this...if he could make this count... "Shall we play?"

    "Yes, let's."

    The first exchange was brutal. No one had a good hand, with everyone bluffing - even Ron. Still, Shinji's hand was marginally better, just enough to eek out victory by the slimmest of margins.

    And the second...

    "Read them and weep, Draco, a full house!" Ron crowed triumphantly, before looking uncertainly at a very still Shinji. "Uh, this is a full house, right?" he asked, revealing his hand. "And it does beat his three of a kind?"

    "...yes it does," Shinji admitted, noting that yes, a full house of fives over twos beat a three of a kind, even if that three of a kind was three aces. At this the Weasley boy began to nod his head at a sour-looking Malfoy. "But it doesn't beat a full house of nines over queens," he said with a smirk, showing his hand at last, as the Weasley boy's congratulatory smirk froze, a strangled urk leaving his throat. "Given that the rules were best of three, it looks like my victory. Well-played, friends."

    Draco, already in shock at having been outplayed by Weasley for once, found himself numb as Matou declared the match over, with himself as the winner.

    "If you are unsatisfied with the outcome, please, feel free to challenge me again," Shinji said easily, feeling quite relaxed, now that he had won. "Just...make sure you're good for it."

    "Oh, we'll be doing this again, Matou, but next time..." Draco grumbled. "It won't end the same way. I promise that."

    "Well, we'll see if you can keep your promise then. For now, are you about done trying to kill each other over...something."

    "Over him stealing my money."

    "I didn't steal any--"

    "It was right there when you pulled back your covers. A pile of gold coins. Or are you going to claim it was pocket money from--"

    "Enough," Shinji barked, with both of the other boys flinching. "Whatever you were fighting over, its gone. Now go to sleep before I actually get angry."

    "And what will you do if you get angry?"

    "Then you'll learn what happened to the vampire who tried to kill me on my way to Britain. Good night."

    Gathering up his winnings, the boy made his way to the chest near his bed, opening it so he could put everything away when...

    "Want to know a good silencing spell?" a voice came from behind the curtains of the last bed. "In case these two..."

    "...how much?"

    "Fifty Galleons," the voice said lazily, a price that seemed high, but for a good night of sleep.

    "Done," Shinji replied. The curtains opened just enough for a hand to protrude from them, with Shinji tossing a small pouch of coins to him. "Your turn."

    The hand with the pouch withdrew behind the curtains, with only silence lingering for about a minute, before it re-emerged with a scroll.

    Shinji walked over, took the scroll, and opened it, seeing that it did indeed contain information on a silencing spell - several, in fact, one meant to silence people, another meant to keep sound from passing through some sort of barrier, like a curtain, and one that allowed him to mask what he was talking about by filling the ears of those outside a given area with an unidentified buzzing.

    "Pleasure doing business with you. Good night, Matou."

    "And you, Zabini."

    Learned: Muffliato
    Learned: Silencio
    Learned: Magic Sound Insulation Technique (temporary)

    Current Balance: 700 Galleons




    Potions with Gryffindor, bright and early, is the order of the day, with the prize for the best Cure for Boils brewed this week being a vial of the Mopsus potion for each member of the winning pair.

    Who will Shinji try to partner with?

    [ ] Draco
    [ ] Weasley
    [ ] Zabini
    [ ] Amber
    [ ] ...Phelan?
    [ ] Someone else (write-in)
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  8. #108
    [x] Zabini.

    He is the kind of guy who would make a decent business-like ally. He has the smugness and the pragmatism for it.

    And he is not sworn to Ron nor Draco side yet - which makes him useful. Secure him early on and we get control (outvoting Ron and Draco) over roomate decisions. Not the grandest of accomplishments but, baby steps, you have to start somewhere.

  9. #109
    [x]Draco

    Hoping this Draco has experience with potions due to Lord Black being part of the family.

  10. #110
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    [x]Draco

  11. #111
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    [x] Zabini

    He was good enough in canon to make it to Newts level potions.

  12. #112
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    [x] Zabini

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    [x] Zabini




    'I have to find a partner, huh?'

    Matou Shinji shook his head. The boy had never really cared for group assignments, because in his experience, other people could never be trusted to do their share of the work instead of just lazing about while the only competent member of a group was forced into doing everybody else's share - while not being able to claim credit for it, lest their score be penalized for poor teamwork. Which sounded a bit like the politics that went on in a Japanese company, at least from what he'd heard. It wasn't as if he was old enough to really know what went on in the secret lives of salarymen.

    As Slughorn talked about the assignment, and what potions were capable of, including an aside about the potion known as Felix Felicis, or Liquid Luck, however, and mentioned how the best two students of each year would be receiving a small vial for Christmas, Shinji's objections fell away.

    'If the Professor wants us to work in pairs, I'll just have to pick a good partner,'
    he told himself, 'Someone I can work with and who likely knows something about potions, since there wasn't much in the Matou library about that stuff. That is more the province of alchemists and witches now anyway.'

    Though given that he was now at a school for witchcraft, he'd have reason to learn.

    'It's not like I'll always have a wand on me, and having some kind of...insurance, couldn't hurt.'

    Still, who could he work with?

    Weasley and Malfoy were right out - no doubt they didn't have any kind feelings about him after he'd taken the money and items they were fighting over. And Amber would probably work with her brother, so...

    '...Zabini, then?'

    The boy glanced over towards the somewhat mercenary Slytherin, noting to his shock that the other boy was looking with him, and once their eyes met, nodded.

    'Huh. Guess he had the same idea.'

    Yet it didn't seem there would be too much brewing today, as the assignment was a two-parter, with the first part involving two essays: one on the ingredients used in the Cure for Boils and why the potion was important, and one on basic safety precautions to follow when brewing. The actual brewing would be later this week...

    'I guess this means a trip to the library then.'

    But when?

    [ ] Go during lunch
    [ ] Go right after classes end for the day
    [ ] Go after dinner

    Further, during the assigned group time during class, Shinji had a chance to get to know Zabini a bit, learning that the other boy had some previous potions training - mostly in poisons and antidotes - thanks to his mother. Zabini, of course, asks Shinji a bit about his background, given that he's never met someone properly from Japan before.

    [ ] Mention that even though he grew up in a magical family, he didn't have potions training
    [ ] Claim that his prior training isn't applicable, as they aren't working with the ingredients he's used to
    [ ] Talk about cooking and how that is basically a form of potion-making, as well as his experience...being exposed to poisons (Mapo Tofu counts as poison, yes?)
    [ ] "I could tell you, but it will cost you."
    [ ] (write-in)
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; August 14th, 2019 at 03:56 PM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  14. #114
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    [X] Go during lunch

    Early Bird gets the book. And given this is the first class of potions, now is the time to strike. Food can wait. Plus time to go get the info on that Charm spell.

    [X] Mention that even though he grew up in a magical family, he didn't have potions training

    Implies that he has other training...

    If you go with the option that his potion knowledge is useless cause it comes from the east, then likely Zabani will ask to trade information, which we don't actually have. Cost answer is going to in the long run cost Shinji more than it does Zabani given the difference of knowledge levels. Cooking answer semi works for me, but that implies that Shinji comes from a poor family cause he had no House Elf and had to cook. Still the poison line makes him wonder.

  15. #115
    [x] Go during lunch.

    Skipping lunch, I guess. Show motivation.

    [x] Mention that even though he grew up in a magical family, he didn't have potions training.

    Different country, different tradition.

    We can talk curse, blood properties and soul stuff if he wants tho.

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    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x] Go during lunch.
    [x] Mention that even though he grew up in a magical family, he didn't have potions training.




    With such a prize as Mopsus on the table, it was obvious that one should strike while the iron was hot, to seize the day and show initiative, because as the old cliche went, he who dared, wins. Thus, Matou Shinji decided to go to the library to pick up the reference books he would need during lunch, when the rest of his peers would be busy stuffing their faces with rich, fatty foods, no doubt in hope of becoming as corpulent as the Slytherin Head of House.

    Fools, the lot of them.

    A missed meal was a minor sacrifice to make in the pursuit of wealth and power. Well, knowledge too, he supposed, but wealth was the most important bit here, even if his stomach was grumbling unhappily at him, given that he hadn't eaten much at breakfast, as the fatty strips of bacon, sausages sizzling in oil, and corn flakes frosted in thick layers of sugar really was too rich for his blood. His blood cholesterol, that was, as he wondered why half of the school hadn't yet dropped dead from heart attacks.

    Yes, he was hungry, but he was hungry for success. And as the only one willing to make the hard choices, to do what was necessary, surely he would reach it.

    ...except that it seemed that he hadn't been the only one in the library after all, as someone else was already there. Had already been there for a while, it seemed, with a number of books piled haphazardly in front of him.



    On first glance, the other seemed to be a grey-haired youth with sad green eyes and delicate, almost feminine features, who was shaking his head as he jotted something on a scroll in front of him. He seemed like he was in a bit of pain, if the way he carried himself was any indication, though he seemed used to it too, like it was an old friend, or at least, something that had become more than a stranger.

    'He looks about my age, but I don't recognize him. I don't remember seeing him in class either,' Shinji mused, noting the color of the boy's robes and recalling that he'd had Herbology with Ravenclaw just before this.

    While he was trying to figure out who the boy was, however, he saw - to his utter shock - that one of his classmates was already there. The purple-haired girl, in fact, who had just emerged from behind a shelf with a rather ornate volume in her slender hands.



    'Huh? I came here straight from class - how did she beat me to the library?' Did she know of some secret passages or shortcuts? But how...she was a first year like him, wasn't she? 'And that book...' It looked old and quite rare. 'Well, none of my business, I guess.'

    Unless he decided to make it his business.

    What does Shinji do?

    [ ] Approach the grey-haired boy to see what he's up to
    [ ] Approach the purple-haired girl
    [ ] Go to the shelves and try to find some useful books on potions - oh, and on the
    aparecium spell
    [ ] Ask the librarian about how the library is organized - it would probably be a good thing if he knew how to find the books he needed
    [ ] Ask the librarian about the mysterious Ravenclaws
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; August 14th, 2019 at 05:57 PM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  17. #117
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
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    [X] Approach the grey-haired boy to see what he's up to

    If he was not sorted, and not in class, then he must be a year higher. So maybe he knows how to find stuff. Ravenclaw to boot. Might as well introduce ourselves to the new faces. I start with the mysterious boy.

    Random looking for the right books, sounds like a bad idea. Asking could work, but I also have two Ravenclaws infront of Shinji that seem to know how to find books here.

  18. #118
    [x] Approach the grey-haired boy to see what he's up to.



  19. #119
    [x]Approach the grey-haired boy to see what he's up to

  20. #120
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x]Approach the grey-haired boy to see what he's up to




    'If I don't recognize him, he's probably an older student, even if he looks about my age,'
    Shinji reasoned, thinking that the grey-haired youth had to have some clues on how to browse the library, especially if he was working on some kind of research project. 'He'll probably be more helpful than just going to the shelves - or asking the librarian.'

    So resolved, the boy walked over to the sitting Ravenclaw, who seemed to be biting his lip as he traced out a highly complex figure that Shinji didn't even begin to recognize. Thinking it prudent not to interrupt while the youth was busy concentrating, he waited, and was rewarded when the weary Ravenclaw finished up his drawing, setting down his pen and picking up his wand.

    With a muttering of something Shinji couldn't quite pick up on, and an odd movement, the drawing vanished, leaving Shinji taken aback. Before the Slytherin had time to think about this though, the Ravenclaw looked up.

    "Thanks for waiting," the youth spoke. "I was in the middle of something delicate."

    "Something...delicate?" Shinji inquired, raising an eyebrow.

    "Calculations for...something," the other boy responded. "Can't really say what it is, sorry." He paused, frowning. "Do I know you from somewhere?"

    "Ah...no," Shinji admitted, deciding that honesty was probably for the best here, especially with the purple-haired girl approaching. "I'm a first year."

    "Ah, like my minder," the grey-haired boy noted with a rueful smile, before setting down his fountain pen (not a quill?) andholding out his hand. "Nigel Wroxton, second year. At least in theory."

    "Matou Shinji, first year," the Japanese boy replied, shaking the other boy's hand - and being sure not to grip too hard as he saw the other wince. "What's this about a minder? And about being a 'theoretical' second year?"

    As if on cue, Sialim Sokaris made her way to the table.

    "Nigel."

    "Sokaris," the Ravenclaw boy nodded. "I was just telling your classmate about you being my minder."

    "...and why do you need a minder?" Shinji inquired. It was the obvious question, after all. To not ask would be...well, rude.

    "Let's just say that Hogwarts isn't as safe as people make it out to be," the boy said with a wan smile. "Strange beasts. Odd potions. Unknown illnesses. All of these can take their toll, if you're unlucky."

    "I'll...I'll keep that in mind," Shinji murmured. He hadn't really bought the claims of how safe the school was anyway, not when the Headmaster had threatened anyone who wandered a certain corridor with a very painful death, beyond keeping a murderer like Rubeus Hagrid on the school's payroll. "Something happened your first year?"

    "...yes. It wasn't pleasant, and I'm still recovering from the aftereffects," the boy admitted freely. "Hence my minder, who is here to make sure I don't keel over from hunger, and to make sure I know when I actually have to get to class. It's rather easy to lose track of time here, surrounded by so much knowledge."

    "...and hiding your notes with some kind of spell?" Shinji asked. "I, uh, I have a book that stubbornly stays invisible, and I can't--"

    "You tried aparecium?"

    "I don't know the movement," the Japanese boy admitted.

    "Heh, the movement isn't that important after a while, as you'll learn one of these days, but..." the grey-haired boy trailed off. "I'll draw it out for you."

    And so he did, tracing out the path a wand needed to follow onto the sheet of parchment.

    "Of course, that's only in two dimensions, while you're moving your wand in three, but...it should be close enough."

    "Nigel, it is almost time for the afternoon classes. You require sustenance."

    "Well, you heard her," the boy said apologetically. "Sorry, but I have to cut things short. Have to put all this away or Madam Pince will kill me, invalid or not."

    Does Shinji...

    [ ] Say goodbye and go to look for books
    [ ] Offer to help put things away
    [ ] Say there is no need to put away the books, as he was interested in looking at them
    [ ] (write-in)
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

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