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    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    But For a Sword (A Matou Shinji Series AU)

    But For a Sword (A Matou Shinji Series AU)

    A Harry Potter / Fate Stay Night Story

    Disclaimer: Though I wish it were otherwise, I do not own or in any way, shape or form hold a legal or moral claim to elements of either the Nasuverse, the Potterverse, or other works I may reference in the course of this story.

    Summary: Sequel to But for a Stone. A year since Matou Shinji’s first introduction to the Wizarding World, Hogwarts finds itself in turmoil. With the disappearance of its Headmaster during the Winter Holiday, the venerable institution has been under a great deal of scrutiny, with its poor safety record and difficulties with retaining staff not only earning them pointed questions from the Ministry, but putting their status as one of only eleven schools of magic accredited by the International Confederation of Wizards in jeopardy. And on a more personal level, Matou Shinji discovers that regardless of what happens at Hogwarts, his beloved senpai, Tsuji Miyuki, may be leaving the school due to family circumstances. In a year full of intrigue, political shenanigans, excursions – and yes, more of Quirrell’s life lessons – what is a boy to do?

    Chapter 1
    Echoes of Home

    After a year at Hogwarts, surrounded by young witches and wizards and all they got up to, not to mention listening to Selina’s tales of her adventures in Faerūn and the occasional contribution from Matou, whose hinted at the existence of a darker side to the world of magic, Amber Noel hadn’t thought that it would possible for Mahoutokoro to surprise her.

    One school was much like another right?

    But she’d been wrong.

    The young noblewoman had been ready for the sight of a school and immaculately tended grounds, perhaps with a small town some ways away, much like Hogwarts and nearby Hogsmeade, which for all their mystique were rather subdued. Shops might sell magical merchandise, but there were never broomsticks in the skies, magic carpets laden with goods from distant lands, magical beasts flittering to and fro back in Britain.

    Just a school and a town like any other.

    Mahoutokoro wasn’t like that at all. Appearing as she had on a platform overlooking the city – and that it was a city, none could doubt – she’d been stunned by the fact that it was nestled in some vast underground cavern – a geofront, the boy sent to greet them had explained – with the air filled with tantalizing aromas, and obviously magical creatures and people going about their business, with a number passing through…portals of some kind to other places and times.

    For a moment – five moments – perhaps something like a minute or more, she’d stood there, all but gaping as she took in the sight of a city of magic – something like Gauntlgrym at the height of its glory, according to her well-traveled friend in Slytherin.


    “It is a little startling the first time you see it, hm?” someone had said – in perfect English, with Amber tearing herself away from the vista to see two people: an older girl whose delicate features, raven colored hair, and almond-colored eyes made her seem almost a sister to Miyuki, dressed in a midnight-blue kimono of some sort, embroidered with a pattern of falling stars, as well as a boy about their age dressed in something similar, only his hair was white, and his eyes…

    …red as the sun at dawn.

    It had been the boy who had spoken, Amber had realized, with the copper-haired girl blinking as she considered the implications of that, especially when the kimono-wearing girl introduced herself as
    Tsuchimikado Hokuto, granddaughter to the head of the Japanese Council of Magic.

    “And I am called Mitsune,” the white-haired boy had added with a slight bow. “Kaizuka Mitsune. At least by those who do not know me well.”

    “Kaizuka…Mitsune?” Miyuki had echoed slowly, raising a slim eyebrow. “Written as ‘beautiful sound of mountain?’”

    The boy had smiled at that.

    “Yes. And you are Tsuji Miyuki, written as “beautiful snow-covered crossroad, accompanied by Suzuki Natsumi, written as ‘beautiful summer’?” he had questioned, with Miyuki nodding slightly. “And who might you be?” he’d asked, turning to Amber.

    “I am Amber Noel, and my name is as written,” the young noblewoman had replied with a curtsy. “I’m afraid there’s no special meaning to my name,” she’d added, a bit self-deprecatingly.

    “Nonsense, there is meaning to every name,” the boy had said. “Amber, after all, or Kohaku, in my native tongue, was first the fossilized resin of ancient trees. In Eastern cultures, is the soul of the tiger – the stone of courage, carried by travelers as protection on long journeys. Noel, of course, means Christmas, which in the West is a time of fellowship with friends and family,” Kaizuka Mitsune had summed up. “As such, your coming to this place in the company of friends can only mean good things for you all.”

    The earl’s daughter had blushed at the boy’s words, as she had not expected such an analysis of her names, nor one delivered with such pretty turns of phrase.

    “If I may,” Miyuki had spoken in the silence that followed, “Kaizuka-san, do any ever call you kitsune?”

    “Yes, though only those who know me,” the boy had answered with a bow. “In any case, I come bearing gifts.”

    And so he did, presenting an amulet of rare blue amber – all the way from the Dominican republic – to the girl who shared the stone’s name, an amulet of red stone edged with gold to Natsumi, and a book of some sort to Miyuki – something about Ofuda, Origami, and basic principles of Onmyoudou.

    “May these serve you well,” Kaizuka had said, before allowing Tsuchimikado Hokuto to take the lead in showing the trio their quarters and explaining to them what each of them would be able to do that summer.

    Given her interests, Miyuki had a number of things on her agenda as it was, including some potions masterclasses and one on one herbology work with a Sajyou Ayaka, whoever that was.

    “We are not as certain of your interests, but there are some suggested activities for you and a stipend will be provided,” the Tsuchimikado heiress had stated in English slightly more accented than the boy’s had been. “There are certainly classes if wish to study and are proficient at Japanese, as well as athletic and cultural clubs that you may participate in, but other that, you are free to explore the city.” She paused. “Both the city below and Kyoto above, actually, though if you wish the latter, let someone know, so we can find an escort for you.”

    “Because we’re not actually allowed everywhere?” Natsumi had questioned wryly.

    “Because you may not be as familiar with the city, and it is always more interesting to have a native guide when exploring a new place, yes?”

    “…point,” Natsumi had said, with the chestnut-haired girl bowing her head slightly. “You are also concerned about our Japanese, I take it?”

    The Tsuchimikado heiress had nodded.

    “I had not wished to say so directly, but you were born in the White Country, were you not?” the older girl asked them, something that seemed to annoy the Suzuki girl, a familiar gleam appearing in her eye as—

    “Well, I certainly was,” Amber had quipped, with Natsumi deflating before anything could happen. “Thank you – I appreciate all of this. This chance to be here, to see a new world.”

    “And we of Mahoutokoro look forward to hosting you, Miss Noel,” Kaizuka Mitsune had replied.

    In the days since, Amber had wandered through much of Mahoutokoro, taking in the sights, the smells, the sounds – so different from the British Countryside where she’d grown up. The food was certainly different – far more flavorful than she was used to, with bread shops that sold buns and sandwiches full of all sorts of stuffings.

    Red bean.




    Cutlets of deep-fried pork, breaded with panko crumbs.

    And much more.

    She’d never imagined that there could be so many variations on a simple sandwich, as she was used to a sandwich containing either thin slices of meat, mushrooms, cheese and pickles, or of course, cucumbers.

    Beyond that, there were shops which specialized in curries, with rich, savory sauces that could be mixed with rice – a far different experience than dipping bread into sauce.

    There were the noodle shops, where the dishes Matou often had – ramen, for one – could be found, also with toppings far more diverse than one could get at Hogwarts, in addition to all sorts of noodles not made of wheat. Udon, soba, and the like.

    And of course, there were the shops that sold things besides foods.

    Shops which sold wands and blades.

    Shops which sold clothing of all varieties.

    Shops which sold potions ingredients.

    Shops which sold furniture, rugs, living tapestries.

    Shops which sold antiques, with curios and relics not available anywhere else in the city.

    And then there was the curiously named Asplund’s Shop of Horrors, whose name had given her a sense of nostalgia when she’d seen it, as it was the first hint of English she’d seen outside the conversation circles she was often invited to.

    Inside, she’d found a staggering assortment of items that gleamed, those that groaned with age, and those that seemed to sit quiet, drinking in all the light around them.

    Items of wood, of metal, of stone, and more curious things besides.

    “Ah, a customer?” a voice had drawled, with Amber looking up to see what was apparently the shopkeeper, a bespectacled silver-haired man dressed all in white, whose clothes had a distinctly archaic cut to them, standing across the room from her. “A traveler from the West, no less,” he noted, his grey gaze drawn to the goblin-forged sword slung across her back. “You have the look of an…adventurer.”

    “…I suppose that’s not far from the truth,” Amber had said with a polite curtsey. “I am a long way from home.”

    “You and I both, Miss…”

    “Noel,” the earl’s daughter had replied. “Amber Noel. Daughter of the Earl of Gainsborough.”

    “Gainsborough you say?” the man had echoed, a flash of recognition flashing across his features almost too quickly for her to catch. “That is a name I have not heard since many, many years ago.”

    “You know of it, then?” Amber had asked with a touch of surprise.

    “More than most,” the proprietor had answered airily, though he said no more about how. “Are you looking for something in particular? Items of power for yourself? Gifts to take with you?”

    “I…gifts,” Amber had replied with a touch of hesitation. “Though I only have so much to spend,” she’d added hurriedly, as it would have been quite rude of her not disclose this and have the shopkeeper waste his time by showing them something far too expensive.

    The man had only chuckled then.

    “Never fear, never fear – I never charge a price higher than someone can afford.”

    To which Amber had only one question.

    “…how do you stay in business then?” she’d wondered aloud. “Some of these items must be quite pricey indeed.”

    Indeed, in one corner of the room, there was a display of very fine-looking rings, and against one wall, very fine-looking blades, some of which bore enchanted markings that glowed even to her eyes.

    “Some of them, yes,” the man had admitted. “But there are prices far dearer than those paid in any coin of base metal, yet affordable all the same.”

    “Like what?” Amber had inquired, intrigued even as the man bade her walk over to the case of swords.

    “Memories. Concepts. Feelings,” the proprietor said offhandedly. He’d chuckled then, shaking his head. “Oh, and names, I suppose.”

    “Names?” the young noblewoman had echoed. “Speaking of which, I never did get yours, did I?”

    “You did not. These days I answer to Asplund, or Lloyd, after the coffee house I was fond of before I left Britain, though neither are the names I was born with,” the silver-haired man explained. “I traded it to one of the fey for a steed by which I might escape…those who wished me rather less success than I enjoy here.” He paused to reach down and unlock the heavily enchanted case with a bronze key, sliding it open so that she could see the blades within more closely.

    “These are quite striking,” Amber had freely admitted, finding herself wondering just what else in terms of lethal hardware the man had in stock.

    “Ah, these?” Asplund had echoed airily. “Yes, I suppose they might be.”

    One – a black iron longsword one meter in length – apparently had a vampiric quality to it, as it drank the life and magic of those it struck deeply, using this to strengthen the wielder, if only temporarily.

    “A life-stealing sword forged from meteoric iron,” the man had explained. “I found its name to be rather meaningless, really, given every sword can be used to steal lives, many for far less a cost than this blade imparts.”

    Another was a golden-bladed rapier that shone like the first rays of the morning sun, whose touch was bane to inferi and other lesser undead.

    “How was it made?” Amber had asked, her eyes lingering on the weapon. “Or, blessed, I suppose.”

    “Not a word I tend to use,” Asplund had replied. “As to its construction, it was crafted using thaumaturgy, though its most basic component was an alloy of aluminum and magnesium, and a vial of sunlight.”

    “A vial of…sunlight?” Amber had blinked at that. “You can do such a thing?”

    “Heh, not I, but then I was never a Master of Creation. I was only Fes-ranked before I left, and then in a different department altogether,” the man said, with the earl’s daughter only having more questions. Not that she had much of a chance to ponder this, as Asplund continued to speak. “Would you like to hold it?” the man had asked, gesturing to her own weapon. “You seem like someone who would appreciate such a blade, and I do believe that it would like to be wielded.”

    “I…I would be honored,” the young noblewoman had replied, nearly bowled over by the offer. “Is it really alright?” She frowned. “I don’t have to worry about curses or anything like that, do I?”

    “Not at all. Not within the threshold of my shop, at least,” Asplund had said blandly. “A blood sacrifice some years ago saw to that.”

    Amber, who just had just been reaching out for the blade, stilled in mid-motion.

    “…did you just say blood sacrifice?” she’d echoed, looking up at the man’s inscrutable face as she wondered how dangerous the kindly shopkeeper might actually be. “Not…human, I hope?”

    “Perhaps blood was the wrong word, as my aging steed was not a creature of flesh and blood but elemental water,” the proprieter had admitted. “Ah, Nightmare – I miss her sometimes, but all things die in the end, whether from disease, violence, or…age.”

    “…you sacrificed your…horse?” Amber had asked, aghast at the thought. “How could you?”

    “My Nightmare and I had been through many battles, many lands, and though she eventually carried me to these distant shores across the sea, she did not fare so well as I against the spirits of these island,” the man had explained. “You have seen only the City that is, born of the peace of the Maiden, not the time of strife that came before it.”

    “The time of strife?”

    “Something a lifetime ago,” the man had said, shaking his head. “In any case, water is a powerful element for cleansing and purification, and so with the willing sacrifice of the spirit I had called my partner, this place was created, which no curse could touch. And so some part of her remains, whereas before, there would have been naught.”

    “Oh.” Amber had imagined something far darker when the man had spoken of blood sacrifice, not an old horse choosing to die with dignity for the sake of its partner. “I’m sorry, I…”

    “It’s quite alright. I know what I am and what others think of me – a sociopath born with an empty heart,” the proprietor had said with something like the echo of a smile. “There is no need to spare my feelings.”

    Despite his words, however, the man did not offer for her to try the blade again, instead closing the case and showing her a selection of daggers and shortswords, out of which one caught her eyes, as its blade seemed…warped, as if by fire.

    “Ah, yes, this blade…”

    “What’s so special about it?” Amber had found herself asking, with the man pausing to place the blade back in the case.
    “Are you aware of what a tsukumogami is?” Asplund had asked in turn.

    “No – what is it?”

    “A tool that has acquired a spirit either with the passage of time, or from being exposed to enough experiences,” the man had explained. “One such spirit slumbers within this blade, though his personality is…warped.”


    “You know of the saying that one should be careful what one wishes for?” the proprietor had inquired, with Amber nodding. “Rather than mere time, he was born from a wish that came true. A son’s thirty-year wish for revenge on his father’s killer, fulfilled with the very blade the killer had stolen from his father.”

    “What happened after that?”

    “The man who took his revenge was appointed a retainer of the Lord of Kakegawa Castle, presenting the sword to his new Lord in gratitude. From then, it has passed through many hands, never used again, until at last it came into mine. The spirit still sleeps within, and born of a man’s wish for revenge and his joy of seeing this joy complete, knows little about the world.”


    They had moved on after that, before she left for the day, without making a purchase.

    Natsumi was waiting to talk of her adventures with the dueling club, after all.

    Still, as many other stores as there were, she’d found herself returning to Asplund’s Shop of Horrors at least once a week, with the proprietor greeting her amiably every time, showing her around, and telling her a little of the past.

    Today, as summer was quickly drawing to an end, he was even showing her a wand from his private collection, one of the few items he had no intention of selling.

    “One of the rarest wands in existence, I believe. Basilisk eye and petrified ironwood, if you’re curious,” the man said airily, as he retrieved a small case from a safe against the wall. With great care, he opened the lid to reveal an exquisite wand made of what looked like many-hued stone polished to a shine, etched with faintly glowing runes. “A true masterpiece, I think, though sadly, its genius isn’t particularly appreciated by modern magical societies.”

    “Oh? Why not?” Amber asked, curious about why someone wouldn’t like such a beautiful instrument. “It’s beautiful.”

    “Yes, well, apparently in this day and age, every spell having a chance to petrify living targets is a bug, not a feature,” the man shrugged, almost as if to say ‘what can you do.’ “It’s criminal, really, but I suppose that priorities change when you’re not at war.”

    “Who made this? Ollivander?” the girl inquired, with the man snorting dismissively.

    “No, the man…woman, actually, who I obtained this from is long dead, and her secrets with her,” Asplund related with a touch of melancholy. “She was only ever good at these sorts of strange things, though she refused to share the secret of them in life. Over my dead body, she’d always say.”

    “That’s too bad,” Amber said sympathetically. “Now that she’s dead, I suppose we won’t see wands like these again.”

    “Oh, death isn’t much of a barrier for knowledge for those who know how, but not everyone approves of necromancy these days..." the proprietor said with an almost wry smile. “Not that they were much better back then, which is why I’m no longer in Europe.”

    The copper-haired girl blinked as she heard this, though there was something about his words that bothered her a bit
    “You keep saying ‘these days,’” the young noblewoman noted. “When exactly did you come to Japan?”

    “Oh, about a century and a half to two hundred years ago, perhaps a bit more,” the man replied breezily. “The exact date escapes me, but I believe it was just after the Association and the Church got tired of fighting that little war of theirs.” He snorted. “Officially, anyway.”

    “The Association and the Church?” Amber echoed, never having heard those mentioned before. “The Church of England…or…?”

    “No, something else,” the man replied, shaking his head. “If you haven’t heard of it, then perhaps it is not such a major power these days, despite its airs.”

    He said no more about that, inquiring instead about the state of Wizarding Britain and Hogwarts, which he had apparently seen, but never attended, having studied much closer to London. Soon enough though, it was almost time for her to go, and Amber knew that she wouldn’t have many visits left to talk to the lonely seeming man.

    And so she made a decision.

    “I think I’d like to buy something,” she said at last, with the man’s eyes brightening slightly.

    “The rapier, perhaps?” he asked silkily.

    But Amber shook her head.

    “The longsword, actually,” she corrected, a slight smile on her face. “It’s for my brother, who often is…in over his head.” She braced herself for whatever price he would name for the obviously enchanted blade. “How much.”

    The sum he quoted was almost exactly how much money she had left from her stipend, reminding her that he never charged something that was more than someone could afford.

    With a sigh, she agreed, handing over the pouch full of little orbs of condensed light, with the man throwing in a jet-black sheath intricately engraved with depictions of monster-slaying knights as well as a set of bridle and reins that apparently had been lasted used on the man’s steed, Nightmare, which allowed the rider to share a mount’s stamina, that he or she might not hunger nor thirst while on the road, and to borrow a bit of the mount’s strength at need.

    “What will this cost me?” the girl questioned, somewhat suspicious of the man’s largesse, since as he said, nothing was ever simply given away – there was always some cost, all the more so when none was stated.

    “Nothing, for the price has already been paid,” Asplund responded with a nod of his head. “In hours of conversation and by paying attention to an old man. In some ways you remind me of Lady Juliana, to whom I was once engaged.”

    “Juliana…?” Amber echoed, the name sounding familiar somehow, even as she mentally thought through where she might have heard it before. Then it hit her – there was a Juliana she should know, because she’d seen it in her family tree. “You mean…Juliana Noel, the youngest daughter of the First Earl of Gainsbourgh?”

    The unmarried daughter, her memory helpfully supplied.

    “Yes,” the man admitted, with Amber blinking. “I see you know your history.”

    “Some of it,” the earl’s daughter admitted. “A far cry from all.”

    “The beginning of wisdom is the acceptance that one knows nothing, so they say,” Asplund said lightly. “Is there aught else you desire?”

    The young noblewoman hesitated.

    “Were you…were you of the peerage yourself?”

    “I suppose if I had not had to flee, I would have been an earl,” the man answered readily. “Though I don’t imagine the earldom I would have inherited still exists.” Lloyd Asplund, or whoever he was, shrugged. “Such is the way of the world. Even if, on occasion, I do wonder…”

    What he wondered, Amber would never know, as the man wouldn’t say.
    Still, learning that even the wise – or mysterious – old shopkeeper might have some regrets moved her in some way. Perhaps he was not as unaffected by the past as he pretended, and if that was so…

    “…there was one other item, actually,” the girl said softly, her mind returning to the story of the spirit slumbering in the fire-warped blade, born of a wish for revenge and never knowing anything more.

    “Yes? Which one?”

    “The tantou, I believe you called it?” Amber spoke, before her courage could fail. “Sayo Samonji, was that the name?”

    “Ah, that item,” the man noted, closing his eyes for a moment. “It won’t come cheaply, you know, as it is not simply a weapon you purchase, but a life.”

    “How much?”

    “Your hair – all of it beyond what falls to your shoulders.”

    “What.” Amber was shocked more than anything else, as she loved her hair, how it glowed brightly in the sun, shining like fire.

    “A woman’s hair is her life, as they say in Japan, and so that is what I offer – a life for a life,” the old…Earl, she supposed, said, his expression somewhat distant. “Now then, Lady Amber,” he continued, addressing her as such for the first time, “Do we have a deal?”

    “…we do.”

    Choice 1: Back at the Beauxbatons ball, the presence of Gabrielle Delacour leading a pure white mule poses some questions for people, with Fleur Delacour herself emerging from the building where it was being held seeming relieved that Gabrielle had been found, given that she sometimes wandered off. Unlike her sister, however, Fleur quickly realized that the mule was not...quite strictly a mule.

    "You ar' not a normal mule," she observed, noting how the mane seemed unusually wavy, and the eyes a slate grey, not the black of most equines. "Who are you?"

    How does Shinji respond?

    [ ] Shake his head - better it were left a mystery
    [ ] Transform back into himself as an answer
    [ ] Use his hooves to try and spell his name
    [ ] (write-in)
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; December 30th, 2018 at 02:00 AM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  2. #2
    [X] Shake his head - better it were left a mystery

  3. #3
    [X] Use his hooves to try and spell his name

    I see no reason not to tell her since she is old enough that she is likely to be able to reveal his form if you go all mysterious. Or she will raise enough issue that someone that can will come over. But Shinji should also not transform back into his normal form to inform her cause then he will be blasted by her aura and act like a complete idiot again. So attempt to spell his name in the dirt it is.

  4. #4
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] Use his hooves to try and spell his name.

    Just because it's more fun like that.

  5. #5
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Choice 1: [x] Use his hooves to try and spell his name.

    Choice 2: As Matou Shinji soon learned, there was a reason that mules didn't communicate in a written language. Well, two, really, given the relative intelligence of mules and humans (though even there, Shinji knew plenty of practitioners who were closer to asses wearing the shape of a man than anything else), but the one he came across was simply that it was hard to write anything with hooves. That...and that no one really looked down.

    Thinking quickly, he bowed his head to try and gesture to his hooves, but...that didn't quite work out as planned, as Gabrielle seemed to become very excited at this, grabbing her sister's hand.

    'What are they--'

    "Behave," Fleur told him firmly as she stepped past his head...and hopped onto his back with a lithe grace he wouldn't have credited her, the warmth of he body through the robes feeling almost intoxicating - enough so that other parts of his body certainly took note. She helped her sister up onto his back as well and then bade him rise to give them one lap about the school.

    Shinji, knowing better than to argue at the moment (and too distracted by his physical closeness to Fleur to argue even if he hadn't known better) was quite surprised at how easily she rode him bareback, as he'd never thought someone could ride a horse without some kind of saddle. After all, what if the horse (or mule, in this case) misbehaved? Also, wouldn't it be uncomfortable feeling someone else's body writhe between one's legs like that, without the saddle to give you some kind of stability?

    Fleur didn't seem to mind though, or if she did, she endured it for the sake of her sister as they completed a lap at a slow trot, with Shinji not even noticing the burden at all.

    ...well, that is, he didn't mind the weight on his back. He certainly noticed the way she felt as she rode him bareback, as a certain part of his anatomy, much harder to hide in mule form, signaled, though thankfully no one was there to see it. her perfume didn't help either, since, contrary to what he'd heard about perfumes and horses, this one seemed most enticing, as it was something musk-based, something his animal self was quite...pleased by.

    Still, he managed to keep it together, and at the end of a quite pleasant ride under the moonlight, was able to see them off and trot off into the night, with none the wiser.

    ...or so he thought until the next day, when Selina brought him a newspaper with a headline that translated to something like "International Mule of Mystery?! A Rogue Animagus infiltrates Beauxbatons?!"

    "Do you know anything about this, Matou?" she asked him, raising an eyebrow. "You weren't at the ball, so I wonder if you might have seen this?"

    How does Shinji respond?"

    [ ] Be strictly truthful but evasive - he did not see a mule that night
    [ ] Admit that he was the mule animagus
    [ ] Pretend it was someone else
    [ ] ...ask if she knew who got the picture
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  6. #6
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] Be strictly truthful but evasive - he did not see a mule that night.

    That one seems the most amusing. I think this is something Natsumi or Amber would say here.

  7. #7
    [X] Be strictly truthful but evasive - he did not see a mule that night

    I think our soul sister can respect this statement even if she sees thru it. After all, she is chaotic herself so will enjoy reading between the lines.

  8. #8
    [x] Be strictly truthful but evasive - he did not see a mule that night.

  9. #9
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Be strictly truthful but evasive - he did not see a mule that night

    "No, I didn't happen to see this mule you speak of," Shinji responded in all seriousness, his eyes wide and innocent. Genuinely so, in this case, as he was not lying - he had not seen the mule, and that was what mattered, right?

    "Heh," Selina grunted, though a smirk tugged at the corners of her lips. "On a completely unrelated note, Mister Mule, do you plan to register your animagus form with the Ministry?"

    [ ] Yes, its the law
    [ ] No, its not like anyone would catch him

    Also, who does Shinji want to sit with on the train, assuming Senpai and Amber cannot be found? Please keep in mind that who you are around may affect your opportunities to present the gifts you have chosen to give people, or bring up different conversation topics. (choose two)

    [ ] Natsumi
    [ ] Selina and Lily
    [ ] Phelan and Ernie
    [ ] Luna Lovegood
    [ ] Hermione Granger
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; December 31st, 2018 at 12:01 AM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  10. #10
    [X] Yes, its the law

    [X] Natsumi
    [X] Luna Lovegood
    Last edited by shanagan; December 31st, 2018 at 01:02 PM.

  11. #11
    [X] Yes, its the law

    He is a big damn mule. I think someone will notice if we want to use this. Plus think what registering means to how McG will treat him in transfiguration. This will increase his rep. It is not like we are going to use this mule form to spy.

    [X] Natsumi
    [X] Luna

    Nats is just a given. She is our best friend might as well hang out with her. A talk with Hermione is needed so might as sit with her. Plus she is going to be rather alone this year without Sokaris around. And maybe Natsumi will not mind her now that she is not going after Shinji so maybe we can get Natsumi to play with her as well. Maybe...

    Thought I can understand why people don't want that. If not I rather go with Selina and Lily. Or maybe Luna. I feel that we can interact with Phelan and Ernie later.

    Edit: Changed Hermione for Luna since Hermione and her might conflict. Better safe than sorry.
    Last edited by Skull Leader; December 31st, 2018 at 11:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] Yes, its the law
    [x] Natsumi
    [x] Luna.
    Last edited by Daiki; December 31st, 2018 at 11:33 PM.

  13. #13
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Choice 3: [x] Yes, its the law
    Choice 4: [x] Natsumi; [x] Luna.

    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. "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.

    " 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.

    What does he do to distract Phelan?

    [ ] Mention the debacle at the Ministry
    [ ] Talk about his studies at Beauxbatons
    [ ] Talk about his animagus form
    [ ] Show pictures from his excursions to the beach
    [ ] Take out souvenirs - everyone likes gifts, right?
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  14. #14
    [X] Talk about his studies at Beauxbaton - Crafting wondrous items with Selina.

    Shinji already pivoted away from the Debacle at the ministry, and this is not the right moment to bring up his animagus form. We can hold on that at this very moment. Pictures would work well to distract Phelan and Ernie but will not please the rest and Natsumi. The Gifts work as a distraction but I think I would start talking about Beauxbaton and making items with Selina as a fun topic, before whipping them out to give out as well as some of his candy that was given to him.

  15. #15
    [X] Talk about his studies at Beauxbaton

  16. #16
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] Talk about his studies at Beauxbatons.

    Last edited by Daiki; January 1st, 2019 at 03:13 AM.

  17. #17
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Talk about his studies at Beauxbatons

    Which aspect of his studies?

    [ ] Soul Magic
    [ ] Occlumency with Selina
    [ ] Crafting Wondrous Items
    [ ] The Theory and Practice of Animagus stuff
    [ ] (write-in)
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  18. #18
    [X] Crafting Wondrous Items
    Last edited by shanagan; January 3rd, 2019 at 12:54 AM.

  19. #19
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] Crafting Wondrous Items

  20. #20
    [x] Crafting Wondrous Items

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