User avatar
by drillmaster
#25523 It's been awhile. I'm not going to lie, I've continued to write but I've just kind of forgotten to post updates here, which is odd considering I come here at least once a day to watch the new episode of AI. Oh well, here are a slew of chapters to catch up with:

Chapter 10: No Need for Hogsmeade

'This woman is one of the most deplorable people I have ever met,' Ayeka Jurai noted in her head as she conversed with Dolores Umbridge.

In the weeks since revealing their identities to Harry and his friends, Hogwarts had undergone a complete change. As expected, Dolores Umbridge's appointment as the High Inquisitor brought about several changes, including authority over all of the staff save, it appeared Dumbledore. While she proceeded to dismantle every club and organization in the school, somehow the Muggle Movie club survived as did Lord Tenchi's morning training. Ayeka assumed this was due to their perceived ties to the Minister.

As for the teachers, it was readily apparent that very few people found her to be a pleasant woman. She had tried to kick one of the teachers out of the school (it was a teacher whom Ayeka was not familiar with personally but recalled from the memory that Dumbledore showed her over the summer as the Divination teacher) but was blocked by Professor Dumbledore. Yet, somehow Mihoshi seemed to be protected despite her class being what Umbridge no doubt thought was a waste.

"Miss Jurai, what are your thoughts about that?" the toad woman asked.

Ayeka thought for a moment, trying to force herself to smile. "Well Professor, I must say the idea of students forming their own club under your leadership has merit. Would it be a Defense Against the Dark Arts club or something more...concrete?"

Umbridge raised an eyebrow. "Concrete, eh? Do follow that thought."

"Think about it Professor; now is the time to consolidate the power necessary to bring this school in line. While I find Professor Dumbledore amusing, his methods would never fly in Japan. We need a strong leader, one who can unite the school!" Ayeka cried theatrically. She noted that she technically did not say that the person in her opinion that should unite the school should be Dumbledore, but it was vague enough for Umbridge to see the point she was intending to make.

"100 points to Slytherin for a cunning idea. We shall see what can be done. I am sure Cornelius would be more than willing to assist in such matters. Now is there anything else I can do for you, Miss Jurai?" she croaked.

The princess paused. "I do have one request, if I may. I know your methods of detention can be rather...archaic. I admit that some students, like Potter, deserve it," Ayeka winced, hating to wish that fate on anyone other than this vile creature sitting in front of her. "But I humbly request that you do not subject my sister or Lord Tenchi to it. I know that they are Gryffindors but it would mean a great deal to me if you could do this one favor."

The purple haired Slytherin bowed, and she could see Umbridge's face contort in a grin. "We shall see Miss Jurai. Do hold your sister's tongue, won't you?"

"Oh course Madame Umbridge. I live to assist!"

*HPVFTS*

"So how'd it go Princess? Did the toad give you warts?" Ryoko asked after Ayeka made her way back from Umbridge's office.

Ayeka shot her a look. "I'll have you know Miss Ryoko that it was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have ever undergone. I doubt that you could have managed it."

Ryoko laughed the laugh that haunted Ayeka's worst nightmares. "Oh please Ayeka, it's easy to just be yourself in front of a monster. Hell, I'm doing great right now!"

The princess' eyes narrowed. "Are you calling me a monster Ryoko?"

"Gasp, she noticed! I mean, it's not like everybody doesn't already think it."

"Grrr....You forget that Lord Tenchi thinks of me as a goddess!"

"Ladies, yet again I find you arguing over Masaki and yet again I must inform you to cease your bickering," came the all too familiar voice of Severus Snape.

Ryoko sneered. "Oh, it's you. What's up Prof?"

Snape's eyebrow twitched. "Hakubi, I will overlook your flippant disrespect of my title solely due to your being in my house. I must admit, I find myself curious as to why both of you care so much over one boy."

Ayeka was shocked that a teacher would ask such a question, especially this particular teacher, but regardless answered it as she would to anyone. "Well Lord Tenchi and I are connected by royal blood and..."

"And what the 'princess' here is saying is that she would gladly let me join the 'royal' bloodline," Ryoko interjected. This infuriated the princess until she realized her own slip up.

"Really. Well keep your silly titles to yourself 'Princess' and go about your business. Do not let me see you act in such a manner again or else you will force my hand. You too Hakubi," the greasy haired professor told them as he turned to walk away.

Ryoko nudged her. "You are an idiot, you know that?"

"Well...I just got so passionate about Lord Tenchi and I..."

"Oh shut up. Come on, we've got to get to Mihoshi's club. I need to get to Tenchi first!" Ryoko laughed as she walked through the wall.

"You monster woman! You will not get to Lord Tenchi first! I will claim his seat if it is the last thing I do!" Ayeka yelled to the wall, oblivious to the students staring at her.

*HPVFTS*

The hall was filled with various students from every house, including Slytherin. The viewing of the 'Star Wars' trilogy made a giant impact on the student body. Since watching it, students have begun to start quoting the movies in classes and somehow Lee Jordan managed to procure a record of John William's score to play The Imperial March whenever the Slytherin's played Quidditch. However, the house took the insult with pride and have since adopted it as their House Anthem.

Ayeka was annoyed to see that Ryoko and Sasami had found seats next to Tenchi. As such, she was forced to sit behind them next to Neville and Ron.

"Oh hey Princess! Long time no see!" Ryoko mocked.

"Miss Ayeka! How is your day going so far?" Tenchi asked. Just hearing him inquire about her well being made her heart flutter.

"Oh, Lord Tenchi, thank you for asking! Well, I just had a horrible meeting with Dolores Umbridge and seeing you is the only thing that has made this day salvageable," Ayeka sighed.

"Bloody hell Ayeka, that sounds positively mortifying. Did she use those blood quills that she used on Harry?" Ron asked, concerned for one of the only Slytherins he had respect for.

Ayeka beamed at the younger student. "Oh no Ronald, she did not such thing. We merely talked about her position and her authority. Regardless, that woman is dreadful."

"Well I hope you know that we appreciate everything Miss Ayeka. If Washu thinks its important for you to do this, it must be," Tenchi posited.

"That it is Tenchi, my boy. That it is," said Washu, who was sitting by them with Luna and Hermione.

The school itself had taken a notice to the tight-nit group of students. It seemed that they are apparently just as loyal with each other as one of the Quidditch teams, which was saying something. Of course, most people assumed Ayeka was only there because of her obvious attraction to Tenchi so her cover with Umbridge was not known. In fact, it made more sense to the other Slytherins that she was only using the group to get closer to the poor boy.

Ayeka did not correct those rumors.

"Jurai, Hakubi; you know you give Slytherins a bad name by associating with Potter and his lot?" came the oily voice of Draco Malfoy.

"Hey Bleach Head, who gives a damn?" Ryoko said, sipping out of her cup.

Malfoy eyed her glass. "Say Hakubi..."

Ryoko handed the glass to the minor. He eagerly chugged it. Ayeka was outraged.

"Ryoko, you can't keep doing that! He is underage!"

"Please. I knew he was coming over. There isn't anything worth drinking in there. Besides, watch this," Ryoko whispered as Malfoy drifted out into space. "Hey Malfoil, there's a price for the drink."

Draco hiccupped. "Oh, what would that be?" he slurred.

The space pirate patted a seat right next to Harry. "Sit here tonight. No Dumb and Dumber over there or whatever the hell that Tanooki faced girl's name is. You have to sit next to Harry here and have fun."

Both Harry and Malfoy looked appalled.

"Hey, them's the rub! Haha, live a little you two! Just look at me and prissy pants here! We can manage sitting next to each other and we are rivals!"

Ayeka rolled her eyes. "Please you devil woman. The only reason I deign to sit near you is because you are sitting next to Lord Tenchi."

"You know, I have to ask. What is it that you see in him?" Draco turned to Tenchi. " No offense Masaki, but you have less personality than a log. Hell the only interesting thing I see you do is that sword crap you do every morning."

Tenchi sighed. "Why doesn't anyone give me any respect here?"

Washu patted him on the back. "Sorry Tenchi, you are merely a catalyst for us great gals to be attracted to. But hey, we all love ya!"

Draco just stared. "Potter, are they always this odd?"

Harry shrugged, looking like he was still trying to figure out why Malfoy was being asked to sit here. "You get used to their charm."

"But they make Lovegood over there seem normal!"

"Normalcy is overrated," Luna chimed in.

Malfoy turned to Ryoko, "Why ARE you making me sit here anyway? I am honorbound to do so by my title as the Scion of the House of Malfoy, but it baffles me nevertheless."

Ryoko smiled. "To piss you off, of course!"

"Charming."

Ayeka watched as Mihoshi stumbled into the Hall with her various Earth videos that she procured from Tenchi's father and from various stores. She had to sigh at the prospect of the biggest clutz in the universe teaching students and NOT being the worst teacher in this school somehow. 'Magic. Who knew?' she thought to herself.

"Oh nooooo!" the blonde haired professor said as she tripped, causing various VHS tapes and Laserdiscs to be tossed everywhere. Washu groaned and got up, assisting her friend before she would inevitably ask for aid.

"Thank you Miss Washu! I don't know what I would do without you!" she cried.

"Destroy a whole lot of priceless items Mihoshi, all while having the time of your life," Washu responded.

By now the room was full. As it turned out, a great deal of the teachers and students enjoyed coming to the movie nights. All of the teachers used to show up until Lee Jordan brought in his copy of "Die Hard" to watch. Though Umbridge was furious that a movie with such language was shown to children, it was Professor Snape who took the worst of it. Several of the non-Slytherin students took to calling him "Professor Gruber" and as such he refused to attend another movie night (after assigning several dozen detentions, of course). In response, the past few movie nights have been more of the tame variety, including "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast." Needless to say, the school has never been more united. Dumbledore seemed pleased.

"Professor Kuramitsu, we are happy to see that you have joined us for your own extra-curricular activity," Minerva McGonagall told her colleague.

"Aww thank you Professor! That means so much coming from you! Now we have our movie schedule coming up and I think that we have a great list going on! We have one my Muggle Study class will appreciate and something several students who aren't taking the class have been asking for!"

Ayeka lowered her head. 'Oh for the love of Jurai, if she is doing another damn thing with that childish hero again...'

"We are going to watch 'Batman the Movie!'"

A cheer went up through the crowd. Ayeka could not help but bury her face in her arms.

"Cheer up Princess, the kids love it. Isn't that what matters?" Ryoko told her.

Ayeka eyed her foe. "You are just saying that because you find enjoyment out of this childish nonsense. Oh why couldn't we do something that I would enjoy, like watch 'Mito Vice-Shogun?'"

"Probably because if you like it, it must be terrible," Draco added. Ryoko gave the prefect a high five.

This was not turning out to be a good night for the Eldest Princess of Jurai.

*HPVFTS*

"How can you say with a straight face that the movie was not childish! The hero had 'Bat-Shark Repellant!' That is one of the most childish things I have ever seen!" Ayeka barked at the group.

The movie had long past and, as had every night thus far since their talk, were sitting on the subspace couch enjoying Luna, Sasami, and Ginny's treats.

"It's called satire Ayeka. It is played for laughs. Honestly, it is rather funny when you think about it," Hermione pointed out.

"Aren't you the one here who is all about things making perfect sense?" Ryoko asked from behind her glass.

Hermione shrugged. "What can I say? You lot have showed me that sometimes it is good to appreciate the humor in a dark situation."

"Astounding," George Weasley admitted.

"We have been trying to get Granger her to say that for four years!" Fred added.

Ryoko handed the twins and Lee their own glasses of sake. Earlier in the month Tenchi had told Ryoko to quit it but it was pointed out to him that technically the three were not minors in the Wizarding World, so he was forced to concede. "I'll drink to that! What about you Princess? You in?"

Ayeka snatched her own glass of sake and drank it. "You can be so disgusting sometimes Ryoko."

Lee sat right next to her and put an arm around her. "Live a little Ayeka! We are just here to have fun, right?"

Lee Jordan was replied by him getting flipped into the wall.

"Wicked!"

Suddenly, Washu opened up the door to her lab. "Hey, quit it! I'm in the middle of some very serious tests down here! Don't go throwing around every Wizard you see Ayeka! I need to analyze Harry's blood to see if I can find any irregularities Tom Riddle can use against him."

Mihoshi, who herself had grabbed a glass, looked curiously at the door. "Hey Washu, why are you wearing your nurse's outfit?"

Ayeka and Ryoko thinned their eyes and ran toward her. "Harry my ass! You had better not have Tenchi in there tied up again or you'll be sorry!" Ryoko growled.

The two hit the door just as Washu locked it, her laughter echoing from inside.

Neville blinked. "Man, Malfoy was right. You guys are odd."

'Well at least I have the weekend to look forward to. It can't possibly get as bad as this,' Ayeka dejectedly thought to herself, sad and angry that she was already away from her beloved Tenchi.

*HPVFTS*

The first Hogsmeade weekend for the Masaki visitors had arrived. The twins had taken Ryoko off to Zonko's Joke shop and the younger students had predictably led the rest to Honeydukes to sample various chocolates.

"Wow Ayeka, you have to try this! It's great!" Sasami called to her sister.

The princess took a piece of the odd chocolate and ate it. "I must say Sasami, this is delectable! Was there any magic done to the process Hermione, or is it just the ingredients?"

Hermione, who was nearby getting her own stuff, came by to see what they were looking at. "I believe this type of chocolate uses cocoa beans taken from the Dark Forest, so it would not surprise me if there was additional magical properties in it. Take some back to Washu; I'm sure she'd love to analyze it."

Sasami laughed. "Actually, we are gonna buy a little bit of everything today! We have so much money now that Washu converted the leftover gold that Father sent us from Jurai that has been sitting around for a few years to Galleons. We don't have to worry about practically anything!"

Ayeka gave her one of her sisterly looks. "Now, now Sasami, we can't be too frivolous. We want to make it last, regardless of how much we have in our Gringots bank."

"I know sister; I just want to stock up on ingredients for the kitchen when we go back home."

'Hmm...I wonder if Lord Tenchi has tried this yet...' "Oh Lord Tenchi; you must come here! I have the tastiest treat that you must try!" Ayeka's voice rang.

Hermione and Sasami both stared and then laughed at how love-struck she actually was.

As Ayeka ran out of the shop to find her beloved, who was talking with Harry on the street path, she paused. In the corner of her eye she thought she saw a woman with blue hair.

'That's peculiar. I would have thought that Sasami would have been the only girl with blue hair,' she thought to herself.

Ayeka paused for a moment. 'No...she wouldn't. There isn't any possible way that she could...'

"LITTLE AYEKA!!!!" rang an all too familiar voice.

The heads of every witch and wizard in the village turned toward the one woman whom Ayeka hoped never to see around the school. Her eye began to twitch as her face turned red.

'Oh my goodness...happy face...happy face...' "OH MOMMY!" Ayeka forced herself to say as her mother Misaki ran up to her to give her a giant hug.

"Wha...Lady Misaki?" Washu said, baffled at the sudden appearance of the queen of Jurai.

"Tenchi, who is that woman?" asked Harry, drawn to the strange, energetic woman.

Tenchi looked flabbergasted. "That's...that's Ayeka and Sasami's mom! But what is she doing here? How did she even know where here is?!"

"I'm afraid that would be my doing," came a voice behind them. Ayeka saw the two turn around and could barely see the unfamiliar man through the powerful hug she was currently locked into.

"...Professor Lupin? What are you doing here?" Harry asked.

"Why, escorting these two fine ladies around Harry. And hello to you too," the man named Lupin added.

He motioned to another woman whom Ayeka could only just manage to make out but realized that it was Lady Funaho.

"Shall we stop by The Three Broomsticks for introductions and a drink?" he suggested.

Deep in the embrace that she could not escape from, Ayeka wished only for the sweet taste of a drink to calm her own nerves.

'Why have I gone from the princess of Jurai to the universe's punching bag?' she wept inside.

*HPVFTS*

"And so that is everyone," Tenchi said, introducing the various students that made up their menagerie, save Ryoko, the Twins, and Lee Jordan.

Lady Funaho bowed. "It is a pleasure to meet each and every one of you."

"Wow! This 'butterbeer' drink is great! Sister, you must try some!" Misaki exclaimed as she thrust her glass over to the other Queen of Jurai.

Hermione looked at both women with confusion. "So the pair of you are both the queens of Jurai? That seems rather odd. Why isn't there a monarchy in place, or Democracy? How does your legal system work?"

Misaki laughed and hand-waved it. "Oh it is way too complicated to explain now! I'm just sooooo happy to see my girls again!"

"But Mummy, how did you come to know Mr. Lupin over here?" Sasami asked innocently.

Lupin shrugged. "Blame 'Snuffles'. He grew bored at home and when Harry sent his letter, he used it as an excuse to stretch his legs, so to speak." Harry had already told the group to refer to his wanted godfather as 'Snuffles' to avoid suspicion.

Washu turned to Harry. "Letter? What letter?"

Harry turned a shade of red. "In our first week I asked 'Snuffles' if he had heard anything about the Jurain Academy. I suppose your little trip is why I never received a reply to my other five letters."

"That would be correct. It was by mere chance that we came across your Grandfather and Funaho here Tenchi, or else we would have come back empty handed," Lupin added.

"But wait, didn't Dumbledore want 'Snuffles' to stay put? He must not have been too happy about that," Ginny interjected.

Lupin gave a nervous laugh that reminded Ayeka of the several that Tenchi does in a day. "Ah...Dumbledore was not pleased when we eventually returned, but I think it is a good thing that we went. There are now three members of the Order who know what is going on behind the scenes now. Still, Dumbledore was as calm as a kitten compared to your mother Ginny."

Ginny put a hand up. "Say no more. How is mum anyway?"

"Worried for you lot, as usual. But otherwise Molly and Arthur are doing well."

"We have heard so much about all of you. How do you all feel knowing about everything you know now? Is it hard to bare the secret?" Funaho asked the wizarding group.

Neville shrugged. "Please Queen...Funaho? Funaho, we are used to this kind of stuff. When your best friend is Harry Potter, these things happen often."

"Is that what you think Harry?" she pried.

"I mean, I have to say it took awhile to process everything, but I've come to terms with it. The group was there for me at a time the whole world was beating me down. It meant a lot," said The Boy Who Lived.

Misaki grabbed him and started to hug him. "Oh you are adorable! Come to Misaki!"

"Well look here! Potter is getting so red that he could pass for a Weasley!" laughed the voice of Pansy Parkinson.

Misaki got up and into the child's face. "Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you little girl. You will NOT make jokes about the friends of my daughters. Next time I will not be so nice. Do you understand?!" the queen threatened. Pansy nodded and ran away.

"I always hated that brat," Ayeka calmy said.

Hermione looked around. "Curious that the bar never even quieted down when you threatened her, Lady Misaki."

"Not so, Hermione. If you ever want to hold a meeting, do it in the building with the most people. That way it will be harder for you to get caught. Most of these patrons don't care what the other one is doing," Lupin responded. Hermione nodded her head in understanding.

"So, tell us about school Sasami. Are you enjoying yourself?" Funaho asked the young princess.

"Oh yes Auntie Funaho! We are learning so much about the Wizarding World and about Mihoshi's favorite things about Earth!" she smiled.

Funaho looked around. "Ah, that reminds me. Where is Mihoshi, and for that matter Ryoko?"

"Well Ryoko is in a joke shop, I believe, with the Weasley Twins. Trust me, with how much that girl downs I am sure she will find this bar in no time. As for Mihoshi, I'm honestly not sure she even came on this trip. She didn't come with us," explained Washu.

"Hopefully she is back at the school pestering that dreadful Umbridge woman. She deserves every second of her attention," Ayeka said cooly.

"Umbridge? Dolores Umbridge? She's your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?" Lupin asked.

"Yep, she told us that you were an incompetent teacher Professor Lupin. We all defended you," Neville told the man. Lupin beamed.

"Well I truly appreciate it, but that woman hates me solely due to my 'furry little problem.' She has tried to limit werewolf rights for years and loathes anyone considered a half-breed."

"Well that would explain a lot," Hermione concluded. "The woman is trying to ruin the school. She's dubbed herself High Inquisitor and isn't even teaching us any defensive spells! If we were attacked at school tomorrow, we'd be helpless."

"So why don't you teach them!" Funaho suggested. "I've been told you are the brightest witch in your generation Hermione. I think you can manage to organize a club of some kind. It is a school, is it not?"

Lupin shook his head. "It would never work. You are giving her too much credit. Umbridge, I mean. Not you Hermione, you truly are as bright as you have been given credit for."

"Thank you Professor Lupin, but I can't do defensive spells! I don't know anything about fighting!" Hermione sighed.

"Harry should do it," Luna simply stated. "If he fought You-Know-Who last year and lived, I think that he would be the best pick. If anything, it's help salvage your reputation that Fudge has tainted."

Harry freed himself from Misaki's hug. "Wait, I can't teach! I only know 'Expelliarmus' and how to produce a Patronus. Besides, would they even listen to me? Everybody thinks I am crazy, remember?"

"I'd listen Harry," Ginny defended.

"Well, why doesn't Tenchi teach too! He does all that wicked sword training every morning! I'd love to learn how to do that!" added Ron.

"Now wait a minute..." Tenchi started before he was cut off.

"That Ronald, is a fantastic idea. Tenchi and Harry: co teachers! Divide the work, multiply the success! It is settled!" said Washu.

Lupin thought about it. "While I believe there might be merit in the idea, where would you train? No teacher in the school would allow such an event to take place. I don't even think your friend would be able to get away with that. Umbridge would fear that you were building some kind of Anti-Ministry Wizard Army."

"This is true. Her cover would be blown instantly. We are supposed to be here to observe the 'peacefulness' of Wizarding Britain, so Mihoshi is out. I suppose I could create another subspace room to practice in..." Washu trailed off, starting to do calculations in her head.

At that moment, the sound of familiar laughter echoed through the Three Broomsticks. Ayeka looked up to see Ryoko and the pranking trio entering in. They had several dozen bags of merchandise from that Zonko's store.

"Hey Barkeep! Let's have a round of your finest liquor for everyone who is of age on me!" she cried, producing stacks of gold.

"Miss Ryoko! You can't go around flaunting money like that! We have to conserve it for emergencies!" Ayeka stood up.

Ryoko flipped her off. "I'll do what I want Princess. Listen up everyone, this round is on me!"

The bar erupted in a sea of cheering. The bar maid used her wand to send new drinks to every patron of the pub, including Ayeka, Misaki, Funaho, and Lupin.

"New magic!" Misaki squealed.

"What's the name of the lady of the hour?" came a voice from the crowd.

"Name's Ryoko Hakubi! Drink up!"

"Well here's to Ryoko Hakubi! The hero of The Three Broomsticks!" came the voice. At once the simultaneous sound of glasses clinking for a toast shot through the hall. There was much rejoicing.

Ryoko and her friends walked over to the group. Suddenly, Ryoko became as pale as a ghost. Ayeka took a bit of satisfaction in this, knowing full well why she was acting this way.

"Oh crap."

"What is it Ryoko?" asked Lee Jordan.

Fred and George lit up. "Look, its Mooney!"

"Our hero!"

"Help me," Ryoko whimpered.

Misaki got up to come greet Ryoko as she slowly backed up, clearly fearing the woman.

"Hello Ryoko! I missed you! Come here!" the blue haired matriarch exclaimed as she ran after the teal haired pirate.

"It seems like we missed a lot brother."

"Who want's to fill us in?"

"Harry and Tenchi are going to start a club to teach us defensive spells," Sasami explained. "It's gonna cause all kinds of chaos!"

Fred raised an eyebrow. "Chaos?"

"We are in!"

*HPVFTS*

The Hogsmeade trip came to an end as quickly as it began. Lupin and the queens gave their tearful goodbyes and promised that they would see them for the holidays. The group grabbed their bags and stumbled out of The Three Broomsticks; some having more difficulty than others.

"Are we really going to do this Tenchi?" Harry asked his friend. Tenchi scratched his head while trying to think of a response.

"I mean, I suppose we are; but I have no idea how we could possibly do anything like that covertly."

"Let me sleep on it," said Washu. "I'll figure it out in the morning. Sowing the seeds of discord in a school is a typical rite of passage for any student, Tenchi. We must embrace its eccentricities."

"The hell does that even mean?" Ryoko asked.

Washu shrugged. "Hell if I know. What I do know is that we have to be careful. It's bad enough that so many people already know of our true origins. We cannot let the student body know what is going on. If they do, we will be in big trouble."

Ayeka thought about the situation. 'It is going to be hard to do this and keep Umbridge out of the loop, but I suppose that is going to be my job. If I can pull this off, Lord Tenchi will never forget my sacrifices and will have to accept me as his one true love.'

The thought of Tenchi being pleased with her calmed Ayeka down and made the stressful nature of the past two days worth it. 'I just hope it lasts.'
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25524 Ch 11: No Need for a Costumed Performance

'I need a drink,' thought Ryoko, who was not typically this sober before noon.

The month of October had arrived and the classes started to get a bit more intense. Of course, having only taken Charms, Transfiguration, and Muggle Studies, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. She was thankful not to have her head of house as a professor as she had no ability to cook let alone brew a potion.

Still, it was all worth it just for this class. Muggle Studies was fantastic because it allowed her to spend time with her beloved Tenchi and to watch Mihoshi's surprisingly entertaining class. Of course, the sake always helped, which she was unable to drink this morning.

"And so, class, as you can see from the video, Mr. Freeze is a character that actually works better as a tragic character than a throwaway character with a weird gimmick! Any questions?" Mihoshi asked her Muggle Studies class, which caused Ryoko to stop daydreaming about precious liquor.

Ernie MacMillan rose his hand up. "Professor Kuramitsu, since it's almost here I figured I'd ask. What do Muggles do for Halloween?"

Mihoshi paused. "Well...I...Tenchi, what do Muggles do for Halloween? We've never done anything outside of watch a few movies," she asked her student.

"Err...I'm not going to lie, Halloween was only recently imported over to Japan so I'm not that caught up on your customs. I know something about dressing up and pumpkins, but that's it," said the crown prince of Jurai.

Luna raised her hand. "Professor, Muggles take the time of Halloween to dress up in colorful costumes and go from house to house to collect candy from strangers. It is called Trick or Treating. There is also the day of Mischief Night, or Gate Night or the Devil's Night. This involves the tradition of pranking individuals and vandalizing properties. I always thought that this was due to wrackspurts or nargles, but further evidence supports the idea that it is just the will of the young and young at heart."

Fred and George exchanged glances. They looked back to Ryoko, who was grinning like a schoolgirl. 'Mischief Night eh....?" she thought.

Mihoshi clapped her hands together in excitement. "Wow! That sounds amazing! I think I know what we will do for Halloween! We are going to do a project!"

Washu and Tenchi exchanged glances. "Now Mihoshi...aren't you jumping the gun here..." he started.

"What kind of project, Professor?" asked Ginny.

"Well seeing how you all enjoy this holiday and we are a Muggle Studies class, why don't we put on a costumed performance for the school on Halloween night? I know just what we will perform! Oh, but we need costumes! And to rehearse! Oh there is so much to do!" Mihoshi rambled to herself.

"Hey Mihoshi, what are you blabbering on about? We can't make out what you are saying?" Ryoko yelled from the back.

"Is anyone here good at dancing? We need to organize a set!" the first class detective asked the students.

Glances were exchanged from every corner of the room.

"This does not sound good," Ayeka muttered, banging her head on her desk.

"I can dance. Rather well, I'd reckon," Luna dreamily responded.

"Yay! Luna, stay after class and we can talk! The rest of you are free to go!"

The class left very confused, Ryoko among them. This was shaping up to be actual work and if she had to do actual work...

"If I have to dance in front of the school, I think I'll push for Umbridge to subject me to the Dementor's kiss," Ron groaned.

"Hey it could be fun!" Neville shrugged.

"You're only saying that mate because you actually can dance!" the red headed bear of a teen retorted.

"This may be a good opportunity to dance with Lord Tenchi!" Ayeka giddily told herself out loud.

"Ha, this isn't going to be a formal dance princess. It'll be some kind of musical number that you see all the time in bad plays and crappy TV specials," Ryoko laughed.

"My, how unoriginal!" Washu exclaimed.

Sasami put her hands on her hips and stopped walking. "Hey, this is going to be super fun! I've never done anything like this and I think it will be only as good as we make it. What do you say?" she pleaded.

Ron, Harry, and Dean started to back up. "I say we skip class for a few weeks and get the heck out of here," Dean said. The other boys nodded.

Tenchi started to join them. "Yeah...I'm with Ron and Dean on this one...I don't dance..."

The princess and the pirate ran over to embrace the poor boy. "Unless it is with me?" Ayeka said, fluttering her eye lashes.

"Please, he wouldn't dance with you even if you were the last creature left in the galaxy!"

"Well you said yourself, demon, that this isn't a formal dance! That means the chances of me dancing with Lord Tenchi are higher!"

"Lord Tenchi, who do you want to dance with the most?" the two girls stared intensely at the poor boy.

Tenchi shifted uncomfortably. "I...err...help me..." he pleaded.

Ron leaned in to Harry's ear. "See mate, that's why we shouldn't dance. It's the Yule Ball all over again!"

Ginny sighed. "You boys are helpless."

*HPVFTS*

"So what did we just watch? And furthermore, how the hell do you find these movies?! You've never once watched that at home!" Ryoko asked her housemate turned teacher the next time the class met. Professor Mihoshi had just screened an odd American Movie to the class, which was apparently the basis for their performance.

"Um Ryoko, we went over this. I'm not going to repeat it!" Mihoshi argued sternly.

This sudden burst of passion caused Ryoko to blink. "Um, whatever. That was cute and all but could you please explain WHY the hell we watched it?"

Mihoshi dragged out a giant container of costumes. "We are going to pick costumes now!"

"MAKE SENSE, DAMN IT!" Ryoko yelled. Suddenly, she felt someone grab her ear and pinch. "OW!"

"Calm down, little Ryoko. I'm sure Mihoshi would be happy to explain if SOMEONE would let her talk. Jeez," sighed the pink haired one.

"I hate you Washu."

"Love you too, pumpkin!"

"Class please, settle down!" Mihoshi told her entire class even though it was directed entirely at Ryoko. "Now I ran out and bought several costumes from local Muggle stores so you all could participate. Remember, it's a grade!"

At the mention that this would actually be a graded assignment, the class ran up to the container in order to secure the best costume first.

"I really don't want to end up in anything lame," Ernie told nobody in particular.

"At least you don't have two brothers here who will make fun of you no matter what you wear," Ron countered, frantically looking at the costume choices.

Ginny looked offended. "What? I can't make fun of you either?"

"Ha ha Ginny," Ron deadpanned.

After searching throughout what seemed to be over thirty different outfits, slowly the students began to find costumes to their likings.

"Hey guys...criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot," growled Neville in a Val Kilmer Batman costume.

Hannah Abbot rolled her eyes. "Of course YOU would pick that one." The Hufflepuff girl had chosen a purple cat costume. She looked over to Ernie, who was wearing a hockey mask.

"I have no idea what this is supposed to be, but I guess I like it," he said, taking off the Jason Vorhes mask.

The twins and Lee found matching Ghostbusters costumes and Ginny wore a Little Red Riding Hood outfit.

"Well it's better than those dreadful dress robes we had to wear last year," she muttered to herself.

"Curiouser and curiouser," came the voice of Luna, who had just put on a light blue and white dress.

"Look everyone, I found Ryoko's costume!" Ayeka, obviously grabbing an angel costume for herself, chortled as she pulled up a devil's costume.

Ryoko snatched it away. She looked like she was going to say something back but shrugged and put on the outfit. "What the hell. It's better than whatever the hell Washu just put on."

The pink haired scientist managed to put on a frilly outfit which looked to manly to be feminine and yet too feminine to be manly. "Ryoko, this happens to be a costume of the Muggle playwright William Shakespeare!"

"Like I care who Will Shakesman is," she grumbled.

Sasami picked up a costume and showed it off. "Look guys, I found a Princess Leia costume!"

Dean eagerly started looking in the pile. "Wicked Sasami! Professor, did you get any other 'Star Wars' costumes? I'd kill to be Boba Fett or Darth Vader!"

Mihoshi walked over and dug around. "Aha! Here you go!" she handed the excited boy an Ewok costume. He adopted a dejected look, quietly put it back in the pile, and just picked up a simple Muggle gangster costume.

After some time the last of the class forcibly adopted costumes. Harry merely found a black demonic robe, Ron grabbed a vampire outfit, and Tenchi found a simple chef's outfit. Ryoko noted that they seemed more uncomfortable with the idea of dressing up than she was.

"Please kill me," whispered Harry.

"I would, but if I did I'd be the known as the one who killed 'The Boy Who Lived,'" Ron replied in hushed tones.

"So? At this point the Wizarding World will probably throw you a parade. Save me the humiliation of doing whatever it is that we are about to do."

"Ok, so do we all have our costumes?" said Mihoshi, who was wearing her Galaxy Police uniform.

"Professor, who are you supposed to be?" asked Hannah curiously.

Mihoshi laughed. "I'm a police officer silly!"

"What's a police officer?" asked Ernie. Hannah whispered in his ear. "Oh! Like an auror!"

"Yup!" she said, clearly clueless as to what an auror was. "Now Luna, let's put on the music and get a routine going."

Luna skipped up to the record player that Mihoshi produced and started to play the song that Mihoshi selected. The class groaned when they realized what they were doing.

"Really Professor?" asked Fred.

"Why do you torture us so?" Lee inquired, exaggerating his response greatly.

Mihoshi looked upset. "Torture?" she repeated. "But...I thought you all would like this. I understand. Class dismissed," she replied while trembling. It was clear that she was going to cry the second the room emptied.

Swallowing her pride, Ryoko went up and put an arm on her shoulder. "Hey Mihoshi, we are just playing around. Of course we want to be a part of your Halloween thingy. Don't we guys?" she gave a death glare at her classmates, which sent shivers down the young wizards' spines.

"Yes!"

"Of course!"

"I love to dance!"

Mihoshi's spirits instantly rose and actually started to cry. "Oh class, I love you guys so much! 100 points to you all!"

Sasami looked to Luna. "So Luna, what type of dance do you want us to do for this song?"

Luna smiled. "I wouldn't call it a dance, Princess Sasami Organa of Alderaan. I'd consider it more of a mini play."

*HPVFTS*

"Happy Halloween to you all! Tonight is, as most of you know, our traditional Halloween feast. Now we have a special treat for you all. First, let us extend a large round of applause for our Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge," the voice of Albus Dumbledore announced at the Halloween dinner.

The short minister could be heard standing up. The room applauded, though none applauded more so than the Slytherins and from Dolores Umbridge. "Thank you Dumbledore," he said curtly. "I was invited here by one of your teachers, Professor Mihoshi Kuramitsu. I would like to thank her for allowing me to come back to these hallowed halls once more."

The Muggle Studies class were just outside the Great Hall, waiting to perform. However, beyond the idea of stage fright, the development that the Minister of Magic was attending just made things worse.

"Miss Mihoshi, what were you thinking inviting the Prime Minister to Hogwarts?! This is going to offend him greatly!" Ayeka shrieked while the applause was going on.

Mihoshi, who was too busy waiting for her cue to walk into the Hall, did not acknowledge her at first. Ryoko could see that Mihoshi looked incredibly determined. She had not seen her this way since the time that she went for her driver's license. 'I have to hand it to the ditz. When she wants something, she really goes out of her way to get it done.'

"Oh, were you talking to me?" she said at last. Ayeka almost fainted from her seething anger.

"Um, Professor Kuramitsu, if I do what you and Luna choreographed with Fudge here, we could all get in trouble. Probably Dumbledore too," Harry started.

"Harry, this is going to be fine! From what I gather, Muggles dress up like this all the time. Now break a leg everyone!" she said as she entered through the door.

Ron looked around. "We are so bloody screwed."

"Hello everybody! Wow, there are so many people here!" the voice of Mihoshi rang.

"It's the same amount as usual!" yelled Pansy Parkinson.

"Really? I don't think I have ever counted, but I really should. Um...well it is Halloween! And after this performance we have a great Halloween movie to watch that goes with this! Um, any questions?"

"Yes, Professor Kuramitsu. How does this relate to school? What is a movie?" the minister asked, being the only person, living and deceased, in the school to not see a movie before.

Mihoshi laughed. "Oh silly Minister, movies are fun! And this one is great!"

"Indeed Professor?" came the voice of Dolores Umbridge. "And what, pray tell makes it so great?"

"Well, I suppose I should tell you! You see, 'twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems in a place that, perhaps, you have seen in your dreams. For the story you are about I be told took place in the holiday worlds of old." She stopped reciting and presumably looked around.

Ryoko took this opportunity to have one more secret drink from her ever-appearing sake jug. If she was going to scare the hell out of some school children, she might as well be drunk for it.

"Guys, you had better put your all into this! Mihoshi is counting on us!" Sasami whispered excitedly.

After finishing her drink, Ryoko adopted a devilish glare. "Yeah class, let's give em hell!"

"Now you've probably wondered where holidays come from! If you haven't, I'd say it's time you've begun!" Mihoshi stated theatrically.

The candles in the Great Hall all blew out simultaneously. The students started whispering to themselves, clearly interested in what was going on. Suddenly, the sound of violins filled the air. Professor Flitwick had apparently been given sheet music and enchanted several instruments to play Mihoshi's featured musical selection.

"Boys and girls of every age, wouldn't you like to see something strange? Come with us and you will see, this, our town of Halloween!" came the collective voices of the class.

As the class attempted to sing and/ or speak the next lyrics, Washu prepared a special treat off stage. Using her computer, she caused lightning from the ceiling to crash when most dramatic as well as to create a spotlight out of nowhere.

"This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Pumpkins scream in the dead of night! This is Halloween, everybody make a scene! Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright. It's our town, everybody scream! In this town of Halloween..."

The school thus far seemed to be divided as how to take this. Dumbledore seemed amused, but most of the students were just baffled. Severus Snape looked bored out of his mind and Minerva McGonagall seemed to find some pleasure in Dolores Umbridge's obvious torment.

Suddenly, the light flashed to Ernie, who had snuck up behind McGonagall without her noticing.

"I am the one hiding under your bed; teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red!" he bellowed dramatically as the elderly teacher jumped to the delight of Umbridge.

"I am the one hiding under your stairs; fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair," Hannah droned from the other side of the hall. She was putting absolutely no effort into her performance. This caused some Hufflepuffs to laugh.

"This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!"

Just then, the light flashed to Dumbledore. From beneath his seat came, to the old man's bemusement, the Weasley Twins and Lee.

"In this town we call home, everyone hail to the Pumpkin Song!" The trio announced, lighting off a firework into the center of the Hall. The firework illuminated Neville, clearly enjoying his Batman costume. The school cheered.

"IN THIS TOWN!" He yelled with all of his might. "Don't we love it now? Everybody's waiting for the next surprise!" As he finished he fired a grappling hook Mihoshi had found for him and disappeared into the darkness.

The school seemed to be taking some amusement out of the night thus far. Of course, the Slytherins were laughing for all the wrong reasons. Of course, Luna had prepared for this and choreographed it into the song.

"Round that corner, man, hiding in the trash can, something's waiting now to pounce and how you'll SCREAM! This is Halloween!" Ron bellowed at Malfoy, who fell backwards off his seat. He vanished under Harry's Invisibility Cloak.

"Red and Black!" screamed Dean, who was also having fun with the absurdity of tonight's events as well as relishing the chance to scare Malfoy.

"And slimy green!" Ron added, reappearing next to Hermione and Seamus at the Gryffindor Table. "Aren't you scared?"

"Well that's just fine!" came the voice of Ginny from the air. She swooped down in a broom and lit up the room with more of her brothers' lights, which were accentuated by Washu's own light show.

"Say it once, say it twice, take a chance and roll the dice! Ride with the moon in the dead of night!" she cackled. "Everybody scream! EVERYBODY SCREAM!"

"In our town of Halloween!"

"I am the clown with the tear away face!" Washu gloated at Michael Corner. She pressed a button which caused his section of the table to disappear, having him and Kevin Entwhistle fall into a well placed bucket of water. "Here in a flash and gone without a trace!"

"I am the 'who' when you call 'who's there?' I am the wind blowing through your hair," sung the voice of Luna, which seemed to be coming from everywhere.

The lights turned red and focused on the ceiling where Ryoko was floating. "I am the shadow on the moon at night! Filling your dreams to the brim with fright!" she bellowed as she summoned several demons and sent them toward Umbridge.

The older woman screamed as the demons were about to savagely attack her. However, Washu sent the beast from whence it came before it could do any actual damage. The crowd cheered at this new development while Ryoko looked dejected that she could not harm the woman.

"This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!" sang the students, both from Muggle Studies and from the crowd.

Sasami twirled down the Great Hall. The students applauded at her costume, enjoying the reference that they understood. "Tender lumplings everywhere! Life's no fun without a good scare!" she cheered.

The light turned to Tenchi, who tried to put on a positive face but was clearly struggling to be thrust into any spotlight, and Ayeka, who looked like she wanted to die despite being paired up with her love.

"That's our job," Tenchi spoke.

"But we're not mean," sighed Ayeka.

"In our town of Halloween."

The Great Hall was illuminated in a giant light, forming a makeshift Bat Signal. From the rafters, Neville leapt down and theatrically presented himself again, clearly getting lost in his character. "IN THIS TOWN! Don't we love it now? Everybody's waiting for the next surprise!"

"Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back and SCREAM like a banshee; make you jump out of your skin!"

The door of the Hall opened up and a mist crept into the room. The room was light with an erie glow. A cloaked figure strut out onto the floor. He wore a black hood that caused several teachers and students to gasp in terror. Even Albus Dumbledore stood up at this development.

"This is Halloween! EVERYBODY SCREAM! Won't you please make way for a very special guy? Our man Jack is King of the Pumpkin Patch! Everybody hail to the Pumpkin King now!" the class sung. By now the pumpkin lights had turned a pale green and of the members of the class save the twins and Lee were all visible in cloaks behind the cloaked figure. It was a truly frightening sight.

"This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!"

As the crowd was chanting, the Weasley Twins and Lee Jordan prepped up their proton packs and stood to face their cloaked classmates. Their packs began to glow a bright red and the music quieted down.

"In this town we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song," Lee said with a smirk.

In a chorus of "Las", the trio shot streams of water into the crowd and onto the head cloaked figure. The mask of their foe fading away, it revealed itself to be Harry Potter in a pinstripe suit. While this was going on, the pumpkins started to explode one by one, showering all the students with candy and fireworks that spelt out "Happy Halloween."

The room was silent after the performance. It seemed like everyone was unsure if this was the last part of it or if there was more to come. Professor Kuramitsu walked to her class and bowed.

"Thank you all for being a great audience! Now that you have heard this song, we can watch 'The Nightmare Before Christmas,' one of the only Halloween movies I have seen!"

The crowd erupted in applause. As the children cheered, Ryoko high fived her classmates and patted Mihoshi on the back, who was now crying.

'Hey, I guess everything turned out all right after all.'

*HPVTS*

"You were all completely out of line! What were you thinking, dressing Potter like You-Know-Who and putting it out there?!" Umbridge roared. Her face was beat red and had forced the entire class and their teacher into Professor Dumbledore's office along with Cornelius Fudge, Minerva McGonnagal, and Severus Snape.

Mihoshi blinked. "Um...remind me who 'You-Know-Who is again?"

Umbridge got in her face. "Don't play dumb with me you blonde bimbo!"

The insult caused Ryoko to make her way toward her teacher and grabbed her collar. "Listen to me you fat oaf, I don't care if you are a teacher but if you insult our teacher and friend in front of us one more time, I assure you that you will not like what I have to say."

"Minister, do you see what these foreign barbarians are doing to me?! Should she be able to get away with this?!"

Fudge seemed torn about what to do. On one hand, Ryoko could tell that he would love to get Harry Potter and Dumbledore in trouble. On the other hand, he had his already dwindling reputation to uphold.

"See here Dolores, we are not going to expel any one. However; Dumbledore, as a student has laid a hand on her teacher I feel that is ground for detention, do you not agree?" Fudge asked Dumbledore, who could tell at once that he was not really asking.

Severus Snape stepped in for the Headmaster. "Minister, as Miss Hakubi is of my house I would request to discipline her as I see fit. She has been warned repeatedly to stay away from Mr. Masaki here. Why don't we forbid her from being with him on school grounds outside of the few classes they share together? I assure you it would devastate her."

Ryoko adopted a look that was so terrifying that not even Ayeka would dare to gloat.

Fudge thought it over. "Yes, I agree. I have always trusted you Severus, especially since Lucius always speaks so highly of you. But this still doesn't excuse what else happened tonight!"

The sentence caused Umbridge to adopt a toothy grin. "Yes, thanks to Educational Decree Twenty Five, I have the ability to revoke privileges as I see fit. As it was Potter, the Weasley twins, and Jordan who caused the big scene at the end, I feel that banning them from all Quidditch matches would be appropriate. I also think that we should put a stop to these silly Muggle events like movie nights. They are rather useless in my opinion."

Harry's jaw dropped. "Banned from Quidditch? But Professor..."

"You can't take away these things! They are all that we have!" Sasami yelled.

"This is a crock of horse crap!" Ryoko scolded.

"Ryoko, calm down!" Ayeka whispered, trying to both maintain her cover and to stop an international incident.

Minerva got into Dolores' face. "Now see here Dolores!"

"Now YOU see her Minerva! You common teachers think that you run this school! Do you not see it Cornelius? Do you not see their lack of respect for me and, by proxy you?"

"You are getting out of line! You are putting words in my mouth!"

"ENOUGH!"

The room turned to Mihoshi, whose yell took everyone off guard. "Stop this fighting! This has nothing to do with respect for you Mr. Fudge, but for the students expressing themselves! Have you all lost sight about what this day means? It is for having fun! Don't take out your own frustrations on the children for what I have allowed them to do! We came to this country to see a time of peace but all I see here is fighting!"

A silence filled the room. The teachers and students who knew Mihoshi were taken back by her sudden outburst of passion. It was clear that she truly had a passion for this subject and her students.

"Well Cornelius, I think Professor Kuramitsu has given you a rather appropriate response. I think, to compromise with both parties that the Quidditch ban will be upheld for now, but only until we return from our holiday break. Miss Hakubi, you will do the same for your punishment. However, the students enjoy the movie nights and I must profess the same for several of my staff as well. I humbly request that those nights still stand," Albus Dumbledore pleaded.

Fudge considered the situation. "Oh, very well! But mark my word Dumbledore, Dolores will keep me informed of anything else that might happen in this school! And as for you Miss Kuramitsu, I deeply apologize for the level of aggression shown here tonight. I hope you do not judge all of England for Minerva McGonagall's outbursts."

Mihoshi looked to McGonagall and to Fudge. "Thank you Minister. Maybe you should come back for our next movie night! We are probably going to screen 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' or maybe ‘Singing in the Rain!’ It is so hard to find good English speaking movies from Japan that aren't 'Godzilla.' I wish I could bring 'Sailor Moon' over."

The minister, not even attempting to make sense of her rambling, declined and left the building. The students were all dismissed to return back to their rooms while the teachers continued their arguments in Dumbledore's study.

"So no Quidditch for over a month!" Fred moaned.

"This is terrible!" George cried.

"You know what isn't terrible guys? Professor Kuramitsu!" Neville cheered. The rest of the class agreed.

Mihoshi started to cry. "Aw, thank you guys! This class means so much to me and so do all of you!"

Sasami gave her a hug. "You mean a lot to us too Mihoshi!"

Just then, Professor Umbridge barged out of Dumbledore's office. She took a look at the group, and stopped.

"Oh Miss Jurai, would you please escort your housemate back to Slytherin? She should not be out with Mr. Masaki here," she grinned as she walked back to her office.

Sparks started to fly around Ryoko. "Umbridge...you will pay for this. YOU WILL PAY!"
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25525 Chapter 12: No Need for Yume

Yume did not like to be kept waiting.

As a high contender for the title of greatest scientific genius in the galaxy, it was very rare for her to be out of her element. But this...“Wizarding World” was a whole new ball game. There was so much raw data to be examined.

This intrigued her to no end.

"Master Yume, when did Washu say she was meeting us?" her bodyguard Hishima asked. Hishima was one of Yume's most prized assets and was completely devoted to two things: her and training to be the greatest warrior in the galaxy.

Yume threw her hands up while still keeping her cloak over her head. "She should have been here about ten minutes ago. However, Washu has never been one to be on time...we might as well get another drink. Do you want anything Hishima?"

The cloaked guardian shook his head and so she went up to the female bartender to order a drink.

"Excuse me, I'll take a brandy on the rocks," Yume told the barmaid.

The woman nodded and got her a drink. "That'll be a five sickles and a knutt," said the woman.

Yume stared at her. 'Was I so foolish to forget to ask about the currency exchange here? I have to think fast...'

"Allow me to buy your drink. Here you go Rosmerta," came a male voice.

She spun around fast and met eyes with a man who wore clothes that were a bit disheveled and was rough around the edges. Yume saw Hishima rise in his seat but Yume motioned to stand down.

"Oh Remus Lupin! What brings you to Hogsmeade?" Rosmerta the barmaid asked.

"Business, I'm afraid. But I'm always in the mood to buy a nice young lady a drink. I believe your name is Yume?" the man named Lupin asked.

This surprised the scientist, as she was not expecting anyone to know her name except...

"Yes it was. I suppose Washu told you about me?" she raised an eyebrow.

The man nodded. "You would suppose correctly. The person I'm waiting for still hasn't arrived, so may I join you while I wait?"

Yume got the hint and nodded, forcing herself to blush as this man pretended to hit on her. She led him to her table and motioned to Hishima. "Hishima, this is Remus Lupin. I believe Washu has sent him to show us around."

Lupin extended a hand but the taller alien merely nodded, ignoring the handshake.

"So...is this your first time to Earth?" Lupin asked, curious.

"We've been here a few times before," Yume curtly replied, drinking her drink.

"Ah."

"Boy, you can really cut this tension with a knife!" the voice of Washu rang next to Yume. The sudden appearance of her rival caused Yume to jump.

"Don't do that you asshole!" she barked.

Washu smiled. "But Yume, it's so fun! Hishima, Lupin. Glad to see that you have made it."

The pink haired genius was shot an angry look by her colleague. "Make it?! What about you? What's your excuse for holding us up here?!"

"Hey, don't blame me. It's actually hard sneaking out of a school under a teacher's nose. Who would have guessed? So you two met; that makes things easy. I assume you finished making the device?"

Yume sighed and produced a small electronic box. Lupin looked amazed at the technology in front of him. Taking the device in hand, Washu examined it.

"Excellent job Yume. I couldn't have done better if I tried! This will broadcast over the entire planet?"

She nodded. "Cut to the point Washu. What exactly is going on here?"

The greatest scientific mind in the galaxy scratched her chin in thought. "Hmm...I assume you are familiar with the black flame projection?"

Yume scoffed at the idea. "Please, anyone who has been in the academy as long as we have knows about it. What does that have to do with this planet or these 'witches?'"

"Okay...how should I put this? The old man you talked to is the leader of a group sworn to vanquish the evil of the Wizarding World. This evil is run by a Dark Wizard who has managed to split his soul and hide them in objects around where I assume to be Europe," Washu explained.

The explanation caused Yume to snort. "This sounds so cliche it isn't even funny."

"Hey now!" Lupin angrily said. "No matter how 'cliche' it might be the fact is people have died; good friends have died!"

"Don't get your panties in a twist, I can appreciate the seriousness of the situation. So how many of these things are we dealing with and what do we do when we find them?" Yume asked.

"This is where it gets interesting. I asked Dumbledore about how the first one, a diary, was destroyed and he told me it was from the venom of a giant dead snake hidden in the school. I took a quick trip down to where it was kept and took some of its fangs."

"What if the fangs don't have the necessary venom running through them anymore?" Lupin asked.

"Good question Remus! As it stands I had enough material to work with to create a short range version of the tracking device Yume here has made. I had hoped there would be one nearby and lo and behold there were two in Hogwarts itself!" Washu exclaimed, pulling out a broken tiara. "The funny thing was that it was hidden in some kind of pocket dimension that only appears if you need it. Think of the data!"

"Fascinating..." Yume said to herself. "But this is only one. What about the second soul container?"

Washu looked away. "I...that one we will let be for a while."

Lupin narrowed his eyes. "You don't mean...does this have anything to do with Harry?!"

"Please Mr. Lupin," Washu asked, looking at the man. "Do not think about it...do not question it. And for the love of Tsunami don't tell Sirius...yet. Wait until you get the last horcruxes. I am working on it."

Lupin looked devastated as he went up to order another drink. Hishima took the remnants of the diadem and examined it. "So is the venom the only way of destroying these things?"

"As of right now, yes. However, in my research it is possible to coat a blade with the venom to destroy it. Perhaps it is possible to adapt using your Gagutian-like abilities..."

Yume shook her head. "It wouldn't work that way. Hishima needs to be fighting someone to adapt to them, however the Hizen blade may be able to adapt the attributes of the venom."

"My thoughts exactly, which is why I suggest that you to stop by Tenchi's house to borrow Lord Katshuito's Hizen before you start this quest."

"Ahem," coughed Remus Lupin, who had returned after taking a much earned shot of firewhiskey. "Now that we have a means of locating them and a confirmed method of destroying them, what is our plan of attack for this 'horcrux hunt?'"

A smile appeared on Washu's face. "That is up to you three. I have to get back to school before Umbridge realizes I snuck out, but good luck!" With that, the pink haired Ravenclaw ran out of the bar in a flash leaving a surprised Lupin, an indifferent Hishima, and a pissed off Yume.

"I. Hate. Her. Sometimes," she growled. She gave a look to her new companion. "Tell me, what do you suggest we do here?"

Lupin threw up his arms. "I was going to ask you that. Maybe we should regroup in a more private place before we get this 'Hizen Blade.' Besides, we are going to need all the help we can."

Yume finished her drink. "Lead the way, Mr. Lupin."

*HPVFTS*

"FILTHY HALF BREED!" yelled a voice in the hallway of 12 Grimmuald Place. Lupin sighed at the sound of his best friend's mother's portrait, but he had grown accustomed to its typical greeting to him every time he entered the house.

"Hello to you too Mrs. Black. Sirius? Are you around?" Remus called down the hallway.

The sight of a moving picture caused Yume to pause and record data in her personal computer. "Fascinating. Is this woman dead?"

"Hmm? Yes, she died some years ago," Remus replied, searching for his friend.

"Really now? Yet her soul remains here in this portrait. You wizards are rather interesting, did you know that?"

"'Interesting' is always a great description for me," a new voice replied. Coming down the stairs was the ever smiling Sirius Black. "Sorry for not responding sooner Remus, Kreatcher was giving me trouble. He's such a pest. Ah, you brought friends! Sirius Black, at your service." He extended a hand toward the scientist, who accepted the shake with hesitation.

"Yume. Hishima. This is your house?"

"Sadly. It's not much and it reeks of my parents, but it does the job," Sirius shrugged. "So, are we ready for our mission? I've been waiting now for over a month planning this! I even convinced Molly to go visit Arthur at work in order to sneak out without her knowing."

Lupin sighed. "Sirius, this isn't going to be some kind of picinic. This is going to be dangerous. We have no idea of where these coordinates will lead us to or what kind of traps Voldemort will have left for us. It's not like one of these horcruxes will fall out of the sky."

"Actually," Yume began, who had turned on her device to set it up. "According to this, there is one of these 'horcrux' things inside of this house."

Remus and Sirius looked shocked. "Wait...what?!" Sirius howled. "Here?! That can't be possible!"

"It's what my scanner says. Clearly there must be something going on here that you don't know about."

Sirius thought about it for a moment. "My brother was a Death Eater...maybe...KREACHER!" he bellowed.

With a loud SNAP, a wretched and lowly being emerged. Yume seemed interested in yet another new development in her research about the magical beings she has encountered thus far.

"What is that?" Yume asked Remus curiously.

"That," he replied. "Is a house elf. They are employed by Wizarding households to do chores and clean, for the most part. Kreacher here has been with the Black Family for ages."

"Yes Master Sirius, what can Kreacher do for my master and his half breed friends?" Kreacher muttered, looking contemptuously at the visitors to the House of Black.

"Kreacher, I will let that slide if you answer me this question: did Voldemort ever have Regulus bring anything back to the house for safekeeping? Something very valuable to him?"

This question shocked the elf. In a poof he was gone and just as quickly he returned carrying a locket. "You got it wrong Master Black. Master Regulus was trying to destroy the Dark Lord's necklace, he was."

That caught Sirius' attention. "Why would Regulus try to do that? He was a Death Eater; he died fighting for Voldemort!"

Kreatcher shook his head, tears running down his face. "Master Regulus... died getting... the locket. Master told... Kreacher... to...to..."

Sirius bent down to his elf. "Merlin's beard. Kreacher...I...I don't know what to say. This changes everything. Look at me," he told the now sobbing elf. When their eyes met Sirius smiled. "We are going to destroy this right here and now. Aren't we Yume?"

Yume looked at the locket. She tried opening it but it would not budge. "This needs to be opened in order to destroy it. It requires a different language, but I may be able to run through a series of commands from the various recorded languages around the world."

Lupin frowned. "It would probably be locked using Parseltounge. Unless you know how to talk to snakes, I doubt we can open it. Harry could...but we can't disturb him about this now..."

"Snakes?" Yume asked. "Give me half a moment; I might be able to find some reptilian species that has a similar language structure. Hishima, please take the poison fang so you may destroy this quickly."

Minutes passed as Yume's fingers typed at five miles a minute. Weird hissing noises came out of the computer, but nothing opened it. Finally, the locket flew open and the house seemed to be caught in a whirlwind. Books flew everywhere and the intense noise cancelled out even the loud howling of the portrait of Sirius' mother.

A disembodied voice cried out in the air. "You are a fool Hishima. I see in you what you fear most...and it is me!"

As the whirlwind continued, two disembodied shapes rose out of the locket. The shapes took forms similar to Hishima but both had different faces. Lupin and Sirius looked to the shapes and Hishima, who adopted a shocked look on his face. Yume, looking flabbergasted at the sight, mouthed the words "Mushima and Takeshima...it can't be..."

"Brother, you have dishonored our memory. How could you have shamed us so?" one of the voices whispered.

"Have we died for nothing? Look at what you have become: a weakling...a failure," the other added.

"Hishima!" Yume cried. "Don't listen! Destroy it!"

Hishima hesitated for a moment. "If you destroy the locket, you will destroy us. Will you kill your brothers again?" both voices said in unison.

He stared at these apparitions. "I...you are not my brothers. My brothers live within me!" With those powerful words, the warrior struck the fang deep within the locket, stopping the whirlwind and causing the two Shima brothers to vanish.

The proud warrior fell to the ground, panting and wheezing. Yume rushed to his side. "Hishima, are you okay?! Answer me!"

"I...I am fine, Lady Yume. The locket...the locket was strong, but we did it," he replied, getting off up the ground.

The locket laid on the ground in shambles. Yume went down to pick it up when the small elf grabbed the remnants. He stared at the alien woman and bowed. "The half breed has finished Master Regulus' request. Kreacher will forever be in your debt."

The scientist stared at the elf. Clearly this was a gesture that took a lot out of the elf. She smiled and put her hand on his shoulder. "Keep this locket, my friend. Keep it in memory of your master."

Kreacher broke out into tears and vanished up the stairs. Sirius looked taken back at the sight of his house elf showing a sign of respect for a non Pureblood Wizard.

"Stop wasting time Black," Yume scoffed. "We can talk about your sob stories later. We have work to do. Can you transport us to Okayama, Japan?"

"Of course!" Lupin said, collecting himself. "Hopefully this time it won't take us weeks to get to the Masaki shrine."

"Only one way to find out, Mooney!"

"Only one way to find out what?" came a voice. The quartet turned around and were met with two additional wizards. One was a young woman with brightly colored hair and the other was a very scarred man. The man had what appeared to be a fake eye and half a nose.

Sirius looked surprised. "Moody! Tonks! What...what a pleasant surprise!"

Yume looked to Lupin. "Who are these people? Will they be a problem?"

"Well..." Lupin started. "They are friends, that's for certain. The purpled haired woman is Nymphadora Tonks."

"Wotcher Remus...but if you call me Nymphadora again I'll hex your hide!" Tonks growled.

"The pleasant looking fellow is Alastair Moody, the greatest...uh...Dark Wizard catcher in Britain. So, what brings you both here?" Sirius asked the intimidating figure.

Moody made a sound that sounded like a laugh. "You really didn't think Molly would have let you stay in this house alone after you ran off with your Marauder friend here, did you? It seems like you are up to something. I want to know what."

Tonks surveyed the damage done to the house. "Crickey, what happened here cousin? And who are your friends?"

"The short one is Yume and the tall one is Hishima. Listen, we really have to get going so..."

"I don't think so Black," Moody cut him off. "You are going to tell me what is going on and why there are non-Order members in your house!"

Remus sighed. "We are on a mission from Dumbledore to go and search out Voldemort's horcruxes."

"Horcruxes?" Moody questioned. "How does Dumbledore know that the Dark Lord created horcruxes and how do you know where to find them?"

"Look, can we talk about this in Japan? I don't want to be on this planet any longer than I need to. I have to get back to the Academy at some point," Yume interjected. "Just hold hands and teleport us or whatever the hell it is you people call it."

*HPVFTS*

"You know Sirius, I've heard a lot of crap in my day, but this might be the single most unbelievable thing I have ever heard," Alastair Moody conceded as he turned down Yosho's request for tea.

"I dunno Moody; I mean Yume here does not look like any magical creature I've ever seen. Same with tall and brooding over there," Tonks countered, pointing to Hishima. "Thank you Mr. Masaki! You are a very generous host!"

Katsuhito bowed. "It is not a problem at all Miss Tonks. I must admit, since this past summer I have gotten to play the role quite often. I take it Washu does not know of the fact that two more wizards are involved in our little secret affair?"

"No, this was my call. Based on what Remus and Sirius tell me, they would be better suited as allies here than as a hindrance. Hinderances become problems rather fast in these type of situations," Yume conceded.

"So why are we in Japan anyway? Is it just the history lesson?" Tonks asked.

Remus scratched his head. "Well Yume here mentioned that Mr. Masaki has a powerful sword that should be able to infuse the snake, or what I suppose is a basilisk, venom into its very being."

Yosho nodded in understanding. "Ah, you are here for the Hizen Blade. I shall fetch it for you from the shrine. Make yourself at home."

Left alone in an unfamiliar house, Mad Eye Moody started to wave his wand around. He started to peer at every single corner of the living room. Hishima looked at the sight with confusion. "What is he doing?"

Tonks sighed. "Mad Eye here is paranoid. He does not trust anything or anyone. Don't take it personally."

"It's not my house. Why would I take it personally?" Hishima asked.

She shrugged. "So, are you like one of those mechanical men that are in Muggle fiction? What are they called...androids?"

Yume laughed. "Please, Hishima here is bioengineered from Gagutian cells. He was designed to be the ultimate killing machine!"

"That...that doesn't answer the question..." the purpled haired girl trailed off.

"*sigh* No. He is of flesh and blood. He is not a robot. He's my companion and bodyguard. Does that satisfy your curiosity?"

The girl nodded her head. Sirius went into the kitchen and poured himself a drink of sake. "Ah, this stuff is the best. I'd wager it's better than Madame Rosmerta's oak mead."

"Sirius, you did not just go into the kitchen and steal liquor!" Remus yelled.

"Hey," Sirius shrugged. "He said to make myself at home."

"Keep it down!" Moody bellowed. "This place has an odd aurora to it. I don't know what, but I have a bad feeling. I'm going to check the grounds."

Just as Moody was leaving, Yosho returned with a sword in hand. "Where is he going?"

"He just wants to make sure there aren't any Death Eaters here or something crazy like that," Sirius answered. "So, this is the 'Hizen Blade' you were talking about."

Yume took out the basilisk fang and grabbed the sword from the elderly Masaki patriarch. She put the tip of the fang to the metal of the blade and activated her computer. At once liquid poured from the severed tooth and made its way onto the steel. The blade started to glow a powerful glow and at once returned to its primal state.

"I think it's a safe bet to hold onto the basilisk fang on the off chance this does not work. Here you go Lupin," Yume said, tossing it to the werewolf.

"Hmmm, it seems that the blade has accepted the venom. But now before you go out on your own, you should plan on what your strategy should be," said Yosho.

With that, Yume took out her tacking device and projected a view of Britain. "If the locket we found was here," she said, pointing to the small street where Sirius lived. "Then we should be able to pinpoint the others based on their location in approximation to your house."

"Oh dear," Lupin said, turning pale. "This one is in Gringotts. That will be an issue."

"Why?"

"One does not simply break into Gringotts," Sirius said with no humor in his voice. "Unless you have some kind of invention that can get us into an unknown vault without detection I'm stumped."

Tonks looked at the map. "This one is at Hogwarts!

The mention of the Hogwarts horcrux caused Lupin to look away. "I...wouldn't worry about that one. Dumbledore can handle it."

Sirius picked up on the uneasy expression on his friend's face. "Mooney, what's up?"

"I'll...tell you later. But look! This one is just in a small Muggle village. That shouldn't be an issue," Lupin sighed.

"Which means it will be the most fortified one of them all!" Hishima added. "What about this one here?" he asked, pointing at the final dot.

"No idea. I'm unfamiliar with that area...that should be the one we tackle last. I suppose we should start with the fortified Muggle village then. It might be best to get that out of the way," replied Sirius.

"Sounds like a plan. Now let's go collect Mad Eye and get going!" Tonks jumped up.

The crew made their way outside looking for the old wizard. After some time of looking, they found him by a cave. "Mad Eye, why are you all the way down here?" Lupin asked.

"This cave...I don't like it. Something happened here that is very unsettling to me..." Moody replied in a growl.

"I can explain that," Yume said. "This is the shrine where Ryoko was sealed. Don't worry old man; it's just alien forces."

Moody gave one last look at the cave. "Maybe it's the aliens that we all should be worrying about..." he whispered as they apparated away from the Land of the Rising Sun.
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25526 Chapter 13: No Need for Dumbledore's Army

"Miss Hakubi, class is over. Please stay with me a few moments before you proceed to lunch," Dolores Umbridge told Ryoko as she was on her way out of Defense Against the Dark Arts.

This had become a daily routine for the space pirate and the toad. Umbridge seemed to get a thrill out of watching Ryoko reach out for Tenchi only to pull her away with the threat of expulsion looming over her head. The thought of this made Ryoko's blood boil but she knew she had to keep her cool for Tenchi's sake.

"So...are you actually going to say anything to me or is this going to be just another way for you to make sure I'm as far away from him as you'd like?" Ryoko mockingly asked restraint clear from her tone.

Dolores smiled. "Oh dear, that won't do. If you speak like that to me again I'll be forced to give you detention."

Ryoko raised an eyebrow. "You'd give a Slytherin detention?"

"You, Miss Hakubi, are not a lifelong Slytherin. In fact, the only reason why you don't have detention right now is due to your prefects telling me that you act like a model student when you are not around that boy," she chortled. "No, I see that his influence on you is the issue. Is there anything you would like to add?"

The space pirate forced herself to smile. "No."

"No, what?"

"No...Professor..."

Umbridge let out a small laugh. "You will do well to remember that. Off to your next class with you. Tut tut!"

*HPVFTS*

"I am going to KILL her!"Ryoko snarled while destroying a pillow in the subspace room. She was alone in her fury with only Ryo-Ohki there to comfort her.

Ryo-Ohki nudged the remains of the pillow and started to meow. "Hey, you try being forced to not be with Tenchi! How would you feel?!"

The cabbit stared at her companion and stared to cry. "My thoughts exactly."

The door to the house opened up and Sasami cheerfully made her made her way in. When she saw the crying cabbit, she ran over.

"Ryo-Ohki! Ryoko, what happened to Ryo-Ohki?!"

"Don't worry about it Sasami. She just imagined how it felt to be me not being able to see Tenchi."

Sasami hugged the little creature. "Oh you poor thing! Wait, don't you have class now Ryoko?"

She shrugged. "Eh, I didn't feel like it. I'm too pissed off. Speaking of, where's everybody else?"

"Oh," Sasami started as she threw on an apron to start cooking. "I know Hermione led most of them to the hut where Tenchi does his training in the morning. Their friend Hagrid just returned and they wanted to visit him! Say, since your here do you have any preferences for tonight's meal?"

Ryoko shrugged and sighed. "Maybe some of that rice I like? I don't know Sasami; this just sucks."

"Cheer up Ryoko!" Sasami smiled. "Just think; the fact that you are here and not causing trouble will make Tenchi happy later when you do see him!"

The teal haired beauty thought about it for a second. "How very true Sasami. Say, let me help cook! Tenchi will be surprised!"

Sasami laughed nervously. "Heh heh well...you can hand me ingredients! Yeah, that might be saf...a great idea!"

Ryoko clapped her hands in delight. Visions of Tenchi applauding her cooking filled her head, causing the space pirate to grin like a Cheshire Cat.

*HPVFTS*

"Wow, this is delicious!" Tenchi exclaimed. "You have really outdone yourself Sasami!"

The group had finally returned from their various classes. As they did not want to raise too much suspicion as to where a large group of people disappeared to during dinner, everybody typically paid a short visit to the Great Hall to show the staff that they had eaten with everybody else. Of course, there was nothing better in Hogwarts than a Sasami cooked meal.

"Thanks Tenchi! You know, Ryoko helped too! She wanted to make this extra special for you."

Ryoko hovered over to her heart's desire and nodded. "I did Tenchi! I missed you so much!" she said in a high, cheery voice.

Ayeka started to look at her food. "Whatever did she do? This food is actually edible!" the Jurain princess mocked.

The comment made Ryoko livid. "What did you say, you purple-haired nitwit?!"

"Not even ten minutes. I think that's a new record," Neville whispered.

"No," Luna said. "I think our current record is about five minutes and thirty seconds."

"Fair enough," Neville conceded.

As the ladies bickered and argued, the attention turned to Hermione, who was explaining to the rest about their visit to Hagrid's.

"...then Umbridge came to his house and insinuated that he would be one of the first to be fired! That woman is dreadful! She doesn't even know if Hagrid is a good teacher; all she sees is a half-giant!" she bemoaned.

"Well," Ron said meekly. "Hagrid really isn't a good teacher. His hearts in the right place, sure, but I kinda prefer Professor Grubbly-Plank."

If looks could kill, Ron would drop dead on the spot from Hermione's. "Shutting up now."

Ginny grabbed another bowl of rice and started to eat. "So I have to ask, has anyone put any thought to Lady Funaho's idea from a few weeks ago? The one about starting a defensive spells club?"

"Between preparing Professor Kuramitsu's project and Umbridge, when have we had time?" Harry asked. "Besides, I don't know if I can even be an effective teacher!"

"Well it wouldn't just be you. Tenchi would teach as well," Hermione pointed out.

"Hmm?" Tenchi asked. "Wait, me?!"

"Yes Tenchi, don't you remember? Auntie Funaho wanted you to teach swordplay while Harry would teach spells!" Sasami chimed in.

"But where would we even teach something like that? And how would the students even know to come without Professor Umbridge knowing?"

"Why not create another subspace room?" asked Luna. "It seems to work well here and it even has defensive capabilities."

Washu shook her head. "No can do Luna. I've already stretched the subspace capabilities to the fullest possible potential here. If I were to do anymore, it may link up to the lab I created and that would be bad. Besides, I wouldn't want to have the kiddies ask where a magical room came from out of nowhere."

Ron shrugged. "Honestly, most people wouldn't question it."

"It's not the students I would worry about," Washu started. "If Umbridge were to realize what was going on, we wouldn't have a fighting chance of keeping our secret private...hey that reminds me! We haven't taken into consideration the students' physical capabilities! We should be training them in combat too!"

"This is sounding exactly like Fudge's worst nightmare," Fred said.

"Is that a problem?" Washu countered.

Fred thought about it for a moment. "Nope! It's brilliant, actually."

Lee Jordan looked to the smoldering couch that was burned by the fight between Ayeka an Ryoko. "Hey, I have an idea! Why don't they teach us fighting skills? They clearly can hold their own even without their energy blasts, swords, and wooden shield things."

Ryoko and Ayeka, weary from their fight, returned to the table and plopped themselves down. Panting, Ryoko reached out for a drink. "So...did I miss anything exciting, Tenchi darling?"

*HPVFTS*

The gang made their way to The Three Broomsticks for their weekend Hogsmeade visit. Hermione and Ginny had spread the word of the possibility of a secret club and waited to see the results.

"Do you really think people will come to this?" Tenchi asked nobody in particular.

"Never underestimate the power of word of mouth Tenchi!" George responded.

Neville looked worried. "What if Umbridge heard about it, or somebody went and told her?"

"That's why we are doing it in The Three Broomsticks. There is a smaller chance of anyone overhearing us. That's what Professor Lupin told us," Hermione added.

"Hey, anywhere I can be with Tenchi is good enough for me!" Ryoko cheered, happy to be able to not hide being with him for once.

The group entered the bar and was surprised to see how many people showed up to the meeting. It seemed that every member of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff in the fifth year as well as a few assorted others had congregated to its own corner. Harry and Tenchi started to turn beat red, clearly nervous to face all of these people.

"You said this would be a few people!" Harry whispered to Ginny.

Ginny shrugged. "Never underestimate the power of word of mouth."

After calming down the giant collective of students, Harry was motioned to speak by Sasami. Nervously he looked into the faces of his peers and searched for words. "Well...hello everyone. I'm sure you know why we are all here..."

"Yeah, we are here because our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is incompetent!" a boy named Anthony Goldstein whispered triumphantly.

A murmur of agreement filled the corner. Amazingly, not a soul in the bar paid them any notice.

"We are never going to pass our O.W.L.S. this way!" Parvati Patill bemoaned.

"Oh I get it!" Michael Corner exclaimed. "This must have been your idea Granger. You just want to do well on the O.W.L.S!"

Hermione sent him a dirty look. "Of course I want to do well on our exams, but that's the least of our concerns. We need to do this because...Vol...Voldemort is back!"

A collective shutter was brought about by the mention of his name. "Oh come now!" Ryoko yelled. "It's just a name! Stop being such pansies!"

"Why are they here?" Terry Boot asked, pointing to Ayeka and Ryoko. "Why would Slytherins want to do something like this?"

Ayeka laughed. "I wouldn't talk to us that way. After all, we are going to be your teachers."

"Where's the proof that You-Know Who's back anyway? I think we have a right to know since we only have the word of Dumbledore and Harry!" demanded Zacharias Smith.

"The proof? I saw him, I fought him! If you are here to hear about Cedric Diggory, clear out. I'm not going to talk about it."

The crowd grew silent. Not a single soul left their seats. Once Harry was convinced he had control of the crowd again, he motioned to Tenchi to say something.

"Well now that Harry has said his piece, I think we should start with what we should go over with you..." the young Japanese man said.

"Who put you in charge?" Corner demanded, cutting Tenchi off.

"I did," Washu said. "While defensive spells are important, it is critical to know how to physically defend yourselves for Defense Against the Dark Arts. What if you don't have a wand? Ayeka, Ryoko, and Tenchi have experience in these matters so they are the highest qualified people here, regardless if they are from Slytherin House."

"Fair point," stated Lavender Brown. "But who will lead the teaching of the actual defensive spells?"

"It should be Harry," Cho Chang answered immediately.

Most of the students nodded in agreement. "Yeah, Harry fought You-Know-Who last year, and don't forget the basilisk he fought in the Chamber of Secrets!" Ron proudly told them.

"Don't forget how he stopped that stone from being stolen in our first year!" Justin Finch-Fletchley.

"I have a question," asked Susan Bones. "Is it true you can produce a corporal patronus?"

Harry was stunned. "Wait, you’re..."

"My aunt is Madame Bones. She told me about it after your trial this summer."

"Blimey Harry, I didn't know that!" Dean said. "That's advanced magic!"

"Now you see why Harry is the most qualified to teach us this stuff," Sasami said, satisfyingly.

The crowd was starting to be won over at this point. The students began to talk amongst themselves, impressed by the many accomplishments being listed about Harry.

Smith was not impressed, however. "That explains Harry, but not you three. I can see Tenchi, since we see him train every morning, but what about you two? How do we know you know how to fight?"

Just as he was finishing, the two women vanished and appeared behind the boy. One grabbed his neck, the other his arm. "Shall we continue and make this interesting?"

He quickly shook his head, causing the girls to let him go. The surrounding students laughed at this.

"Now it is important we keep this a secret! Umbridge is doing her best to keep us docile because the Minister is afraid we are going to rise up and form some kind of army," Hermione added, causing the laughing to stop. This stunned everyone.

"You're joking!" Ernie MacMillan said. "I knew Fudge was daft, but seriously?"

"It's true. I heard it from Dumbledore himself," Washu pointed out.

"It makes sense. Fudge is raising his own army of heliopaths," Luna solemnly said.

The crowd looked at her. Hermione went to speak, but decided against it. She looked at Neville, who was going to ask too, but she stopped him dead in his tracks.

Producing a piece of parchment and a quill, Hermione placed them on the table in the hopes to get everyone back on task. "If you sign this parchment, you will swear never to tell Dolores Umbridge or anyone working for her. If anyone were to ask about what this meeting was about, just mention that it involved Muggle Studies. I am sure Professor Kuramitsu would cover for us, even with her not knowing what was going on."

Surprising the members of the Muggle Studies class, the first person to come up and sign was Hannah Abbott, who typically made it known that she could care less about anything related to the Masaki clan. Soon after, every other person took their turn to sign their names.

Hermione leaned into Harry's ear. "It's working! We are winning them over!"

"Yeah," Harry replied back. "But now we need to figure out where we are going to train. It's going to be hard to just up an find a perfect room to train in, especially given how many people we have here."

*HPVFTS*

"I found the perfect room for our little 'idea!'" Harry came in to the library later that next week, excited. Studying at a table were Washu, Luna, Ayeka, and Hermione.

"Hmm?" Washu responded from her copy of "Hogwarts: A History." "I've been combing this book and outside of that Chamber of Secrets place I asked you to take me to last week I can't think of anything!"

"That reminds me: why did you want to visit there? And why did you want that fang?" Harry asked.

Washu smiled. "Research my boy. Research. Now, please continue with your idea."

"Well, I was talking to Dobby about how frustrating it is that we can't practice anywhere without Umbridge finding out..." Harry started.

Ayeka gave a look of confusion. "Who's Dobby?"

"A house elf who is Harry's friend. You probably wouldn't know him since you are in Slytherin," Hermione explained.

"What is that supposed to mean?!" Ayeka started to yell before she realized she was in a library.

"I don't think the house elves like to make themselves known there. Dobby used to be Draco Malfoy's servant so I doubt he wants to make his presence known..." Hermione restated.

"A servant! But he isn't even royalty!"

Washu raised a hand. "I think that I can speak for all of us that we don't want to open that can of worms Ayeka. Harry, you were discussing Dobby the elf."

"Yeah, Dobby told me about a room that only appears is a person REALLY needs to use it. We just really need to want it for our practices! It practically speaks for itself!" Harry finished.

Shutting the book she was reading, Luna stood up and looked at her peers. "Well, are we going to find our noble elf friend or not?"

After a short time, Harry and the quartet of women met up with Dobby, who was overjoyed to meet new friends of Harry Potter.

"Right, this way Harry Potter and friends! Dobby knows the way!" the little creature said, oblivious to the fact that Washu was writing down data about his magical properties.

"So you have the ability to transport yourself from places that even wizards cannot, yet are bound to your master's requests?" she asked him.

"Oh yes, pink haired girl!" Dobby explained as he led on. "Only Dobby is now a free elf! Dobby answers to no person, except Harry Potter. Harry Potter is Dobby's friend!"

In time they came to a small corridor on the seventh floor of the castle. "I've been up here before! This is where the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy trying to teach trolls ballet is," Luna stated.

"So apparently one has to walk down this corridor three times, each time specifying in their head what it is that they need the most, and the door should appear," Harry told the group. "Here, let's say we want a place we can hide that is stocked with what we need to train for Defense Against the Dark Arts."

"I'd add to that desire that we do not want it found by Dolores Umbridge or any of her toadies," Ayeka added, laughing at her own pun.

Shrugging, the group walked in a circle three times, each thinking the same thing. Finally, a door appeared. They opened it and were greeted by a large room full of books and other objects. On one area, they found a dummy with a want to practice defensive spells with; on another they found several wooden swords to practice with; and finally another was set up like a martial arts dojo with a padded floor. The students were awestruck.

"How...how was this made Dobby?" Washu asked the elf.

"Dobby does not know. Dobby does not think anyone knows. All Dobby knows is that it is here and has been here since the founding of the school!"

As they wandered around, Washu reached into her pocket and pulled out a small device. She tested the air and a beeping sound came from it.

"What is that Washu?" Hermione asked.

"This?" she replied. "It is a device set to locate specific traces of magical energy. I wonder if one of them is located in another version of this room..."

Ayeka looked confused. "Another what?! Stop being so cryptic!"

"I'll explain later. Harry, I think we found our room! Now all of you, shoo! I have testing I need to do in here. I think I might be able to fortify this with additional reinforcements, but it may take some time," Washu said, kicking the gang out into the hallway.

Dobby looked to Harry. "Dobby is confused. Is the pink haired girl one of Harry Potter's friends?"

"Yes she is Dobby. An odd one, but a friend nevertheless."

*HPVFTS*

The following day, Washu had told the group that the Room of Requirement was good to go. All that was left to do was wait for people to arrive, including the scientist herself.

"What DID you do in here last night?" Ron asked Washu curiously as she ran to the room.

"Work. I found some stuff I didn't like so I removed it. Before you ask, I'm not telling any of you what it was. That includes you Ryoko!"

Ryoko crossed her arms. "I don't care about that, but I do care about where you have been! You are an hour late for meeting us here! Umbridge almost found me looking for Tenchi!"

Washu shrugged. "Look, I had a meeting that I was late for in Hogsmeade. It was important. It's harder to leave this school than Fred and George made it seem."

"Novice," scoffed George.

One by one the students filled the Room of Requirement. It seemed that every person who signed up had gotten the message to wait outside to be let in. Tenchi, who was waiting for everybody to arrive, led the way and took his place at the head of the room.

"Welcome everybody to our little club. Now, first things first: we need a name for this little gathering!" Ryoko yelled, raising her fist in the air. "I'm personally for the 'Umbridge Must Pay Club!'"

"How about the 'Anti-Umbridge League?'" suggested Angelina Johnson.

"I've got it: 'The Ministry of Magic Are Morons!'" countered Fred.

Ryoko considered it. "It does roll off the tongue. That's got my vote."

Ayeka gave a small cough. "'The Frog Squad?'"

"I was thinking," said Hermione, frowning at her comrades, "more of a name that hid our true purpose here. If we were talking about this outside this room, people should not know what we are doing here."

"I like the 'Defense Association,'" Cho Chang said. "We can shorten it to the D.A."

"Yeah, the D.A. is good," said Ginny. "But let's make it stand for Dumbledore's Army, since that is the Ministry's worst fear!"

There was a loud cheer of agreement and in a flash Hermione wrote the new name on the top of the parchment. "It seems 'Dumbledore's Army' is here to stay! Now, I think we should start primarily with the defensive spells, so Harry, you should take the lead."

Harry stepped up to where Hermione was stand ing and faced his peers. "Right, I think we should focus on the 'Expelliarimus' spell."

"Please!" Zacharias Smith scoffed. "What use is that dingy spell against a Dark Wizard?"

"That 'dingy spell' saved my life fighting Voldemort. But if you think that it isn't important, there's the door," Harry coldly told him.

Not a single person left the room and Harry began to train the students. Some of his peers picked up on the spell rather easily while others continued to practice. After a short while, Tenchi took the floor and handed out the wooden staffs.

"It is all about your footing. Proper footing gives you good balance, which adds to the power of your strike. Think defensively unless you need to strike!"

He demonstrated his skills by jumping onto the wooden pieces lodged in the ground and striking his target.

"You know, we've never seen you fight somebody. Why don't you spar with one of your friends? I think it would be good to see it in action," Hannah suggested.

Tenchi looked to Ryoko, who beamed with joy to be asked to help Tenchi out. In the corner, Ayeka started to fume to herself.

"I won't hold back on you Tenchi! It'll just be like our first time back at school!" Ryoko jested.

The lad laughed. "Just don't blow this school up Ryoko. I kinda like it here."

The two combatants locked staffs and started to move at incredibly fast speeds. Blow after blow was parried, met, and deflected. In no time at all, the students were hooked not only for the practicality of the subject but the effectiveness of their teachers.

Soon after, Ryoko and Ayeka each took some students to learn about their styles of fighting. Ryoko, forceful as she was, focused on the offensive strategies that she felt would benefit the teenagers. Ayeka, however, took it upon herself to show the importance of defensive strikes. Washu was amazed at how balanced the two quarreling women were when it came down to business.

The first meeting of Dumbledore's Army was a resounding success.

*HPVFTS*

"Miss Jurai, thank you for coming to visit me," Dolores Umbridge told Ayeka as she walked into her office.

Ayeka had been expecting this at some point. It had been a few weeks and no doubt the term "D.A" had been thrown around a bit too much for Umbridge's liking. Thankfully, Washu devised a perfect plan thanks to a clueless Mihoshi, who had helped without knowing what was going on. 'If we told Mihoshi, the entire school would know in a second. I'm amazed she hasn't blurted out that she's a Galaxy Police officer yet.'

The princess bowed to the amphibian like crone. "It is my pleasure, Madame Umbridge. How can I be of assistance today?"

The professor motioned to a seat. "Sit down you silly girl; we have much to discuss."

After sitting down, Ayeka was offered a biscuit, which she accepted graciously.

"I have been hearing stirrings of a group or an object called 'D.A.' I was hoping, given your interesting circle of associates, that you could shed some light on what that might mean."

Ayeka forced herself to laugh. "Oh that? Professor Umbridge, it is a Muggle thing that Mihoshi...er Professor Kuramitsu tried to teach our class about. It's supposedly some Muggle collectable that is shaped like a galleon. I think the Americans call them 'Pogs' or something. It's so stupid, but I guess the stupid fads are always the one to stay."

Umbridge rose an eyebrow. "Pogs?"

"Pogs."

The toad sighed. "You know, between you and me, if I could sack her I would. That woman drives me insane."

"Tell me about it," Ayeka sympathized.

"If Cornelius did not want magical cooperation between...well that's beyond the original point. I have been working with the Minister on your idea; the club that directly answered to ME. It merely needs to be approved by the Board of Directors over the holiday. I will be in touch with you dear," she explained.

The princess nodded. "I understand Lady Umbridge. I hope all your endeavors go as you planned."

"They will. By the way, how is Hakubi holding up with our little punishment?"

Ayeka gave her first natural smile of the entire conversation. "She is hating every second of it."

"Good, it was meant to hurt."

*HPVFTS*

By the beginning of December, the moral of Dumbledore's Army soared. Harry had proven himself to be an adept Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. The students were really responding to Harry's teachings and had managed to exceed his expectations.

Blending in perfectly were Tenchi and the girls. Washu had calibrated their wands to give off accurate reactions to the verbal spell commands. It was hard for Harry to remember that their wands were fake at times, but coming from Washu there was no surprise there.

The biggest surprise was the physical improvement of the group. By training hard physically and mentally, the students of Hogwarts had become rather fit and healthy. The biggest change was in Neville, who was taking his training with Tenchi very seriously.

Today was the final meeting for the club before the Holiday Break and Ryoko had a great idea in store for the kids. She made sure to get to the Room early to prepare it, which was easy given that she had nothing to do when she wasn't pining for Tenchi at his side. As they all filed into the Room of Requirement, she got out some parchment, quills, and a fishbowl. In addition, a new curtain was placed behind her, blocking off half of the Room's space.

"What's this for Ryoko?" Hermione asked.

She smiled. "Wait and see, squirt. Wait and see."

There was much talk among the members of the club, Tenchi and Harry included. This was a complete and utter surprise to everyone involved.

"Are we all here? Good. As you can see, I've made some changes to the D.A. today so I hope you don't mind," Ryoko started, turning herself to Tenchi, batting her eyelids.

"Well Ryoko, I can't say if I mind or I don't mind until I see what you have done," he responded nervously.

The space pirate responded by pulling back the curtain, revealing a large square stage. The stage was in the center of the space with the floor surrounding it on all sides. It was raised up about three inches from the floor.

"Miss Ryoko, you cannot be serious about this!" Ayeka yelled. "This is going a bit too far!"

"No...no, I like it. It's a fun way to see where everybody is in their training," Tenchi said, nodding his head. "As long as we monitor it of course."

Ryoko started to tear up. "Really Tenchi? You mean it! In your face Ayeka!"

"So are you going to tell us what this is or are you going to flirt?" Zacharias Smith asked. His question was met with a death glare.

"This is an arena. I think we will do a fighting tournament to see how much you really know. You do not have to participate if you don't want to. We'll have another one by the end of the year. Who's brave enough to jump into the arena and test your might?" Ryoko announced to the crowd.

A majority of the students decided to enter into the fight. One by one, the matches were picked and students faced each other in a fury of combat. The students were only allowed to bring in a wand. If the wand hit the floor, the combatant must only use their hands. If the student was knocked out of the ring, they lost.

After about an hour and a half, the combatants were down to Neville Longbottom and Hannah Abbott.

"Imagine being taken down by your own kid sister," Fred complained after losing to Ginny in the round before the semi-finals.

"Speak for yourself Fred. I got taken out by Ickle Ron before that bugger Smith knocked him out of the ring," George replied.

In a crudely constructed box near the side of the ring, Luna, Washu, and Lee Jordan were sharing commentator's duties.

"Well Lee, this sure has been an exciting tournament so far," Washu spoke.

"Indeed it has Washu. We have reached the final match for the year and it was one nobody could have predicted. From Gryffindor we have our boy Neville Longbottom! Let us just remind the crowd of how he tore up the competition to get here, including such memorable moments like when he sent Michael Corner into the wall with a stunning jinx or when he swept Cho Chang off her feet out of the ring," Jordan rambled on as Neville took the stage.

"Ah, but you are forgetting the trials that his opponent underwent! The lovely young lady is Hannah Abbott from Hufflepuff. Though her tribulations were many, I think we all can agree that it was her disarming of Zacharias Smith in the previous round that was the most rewarding. It could be anyone's game at this point. Anything to add Commentator Lovegood?"

Luna smiled from the booth. "Nothing relating to the match. I was just thinking about how the snow pixies from Tibet were doing with their snow production. They always manage to make the finest snow and I am really hoping for a white Christmas this year."

"You and me both Luna," Washu agreed, not missing a beat. "And it looks like the fighters have bowed and begun to duel! If I were to guess correctly, both combatants used the 'Expelliarmus' charm at the same time! Fascinating!"

Jordan nodded. "You would be correct there Hakubi. It is all down to physical skills at this point. Now if you recall, this was always an area where Abbott has always done particularly well with. She proved to be a pro fighter under Ryoko's tutelage. I'm curious to see where this fight will go."

"Ah, but you forget that Neville's area of expertise was the sword play with Tenchi! That means that he is rather adept with being on the defensive side of things, though his actual classes with Ayeka did leave a bit to be desired. They both have the skills, but who will come out on top?"

"I think it will be a tie," Luna said bluntly.

The other two commentators turned to the third. "What makes you say that?"

"Isn't it obvious? They want to let the other one win," she smiled.

"Uh...why?" Lee Jordan asked.

Rolling her eyes, Luna just smiled. "You'll see one day Lee."

Neville and Hannah were rolling on the floor now, with Hannah placing Neville into a head lock. Suddenly, Neville adjusted himself and launched himself away from her. The suddenness of the movement caused Hannah to launch back herself. Both parties fell out of the ring at the same time.

"How did you know that was going to happen Luna?!" Lee asked the blonde Ravenclaw.

"It was the most logical outcome."

Ryoko went over to Hannah and helped her up off of the floor, with Ayeka doing the same for Neville. The two opponents met each other back on the ring and shook each other's hand.

"Good match Longbottom. That was a fancy maneuver you had there," Hannah told her peer.

"Agreed Abbott, though it wasn't perfect. I still managed to fall out of the arena."

"There is always next time," she smiled.

Ryoko pulled out a marker from nowhere and scribbled something on two plastic trophies that she had acquired. She hastily crossed out the "second place" logo on one of the trophies to make it say "first place" like its twin.

"Well damn kids, you did well! See everybody; this is why we are practicing! Longbottom here couldn't throw a punch at the beginning of this year and in less than two months he managed to outwit every one of you but Abbott here. Keep practicing everyone and have a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you wizards celebrate," Ryoko shrugged.

*HPVFTS*

"You know Ryoko, I never would have seen you as a teacher, but you did great yesterday," Tenchi told the spiky haired pirate while waiting for the final movie night of the term.

Washu started to cry. "Like mother, like daughter...I'm so proud!"

Ryoko hit her on her head. "Cram it Washu! What can I say Tenchi, I can think on my feet. I...oh no, Umbridge is here! I'll see you later sweetie!" With that, she teleported back over to Draco Malfoy, who did not even notice what had just happened.

"Oh, it's you Hakubi. Ready for another mind-numbingly dull night with Kuramitsu's Muggle-loving absurdities?" Malfoy asked the girl.

"Funny Draco, I thought you liked some of these movies," she sneered.

Draco got red in the face. "Don't press it Hakubi. I already cover for you and Jurai every chance I can get. Your little stunt at Halloween, amusing as it was, really ticked off Umbridge. She questions Parkinson and me nearly every day."

Ryoko raised an eyebrow. "Does she? Well, what do I owe you for the help?"

Draco put up a hand and waved it off. "Nothing Hakubi. I must say, I am sure Father's stock has nothing on what you and Jurai drink."

"Did...did I turn you into an alcoholic? Oh man, Tenchi is going to kill me!" Ryoko worried, while also trying to hold back laughter.

"Don't be ridiculous. I am just enjoying myself for now. I know that...that father has much to worry about at home, so your sake does help take the edge off," the blonde haired boy revealed.

Ryoko was shocked to hear that there was something going on in Malfoy's life that he was not letting on. "Draco, you know I'm here if you need to talk right?"

He laughed. "Please; soon Father will be honored like never before. This worrying will all be for nothing. Now are we going to drink to whatever drivel Kuramitsu is going to play or are we going to sit here and twiddle our thumbs?"

Producing a jug and two glasses from subspace, Ryoko toasted with the Scion of the House of Malfoy. The lad made a face after the drink and let out a hiccup.

"So is there any chance that you'll tell me about your father?" Ryoko pried.

"Nope."

"Damn."

By this point, Mihoshi had prepared and started the movie, which was a cartoon about a blind man playing a rich man visited by three ghosts. Ryoko largely tuned it out, but found a part of it to be really moving. There was a song about how when the old man was a boy, he was all alone in the world. Ryoko could relate to that. It was moments like this that reminded her of her servitude under Kagato.

Until Tenchi came along and made her realize that there was a voice to answer her's back and even a shoe to click to her clack. She was not alone in the world any longer.

"So, if you all find any movies you want to play here over break, why don't you bring it back to school and we'll try to play it! Merry Christmas everybody!" the blonde haired teacher cried, breaking Ryoko out of her thoughts.

She returned back to the Slytherin common room and made her way to the closet. Ayeka was close behind her. "Coming in Princess?"

She turned her nose up at Ryoko. "Of course you monster. I must say, it will be nice to return home, even for such a short time."

"You know your mother will probably be coming right?" Ryoko pointed out.

Ayeka shuddered. "Please don't remind me Ryoko. I want to be happy for my last night here."

The room was not as packed as the ladies thought. Most of the Gryffindors were gone, and the one that was singing on the karaoke machine. Sasami was singing some upbeat pop song while being cheered on by Mihoshi and Washu while Luna was looking at the upcoming song choices.

"Oh Ayeka! Ryoko! Come on, we are having an end of the year party!" Sasami said as she finished. "The Gryffindor common room is having its own party and we are kind of party hopping back and forth. I'll be back soon!"

She ran out the door back to the common room, leaving Ayeka and Ryoko in the dust. "Really? It's our last night and they couldn't be here." Ayeka deadpanned.

"Cheer up Ayeka; you've got us!" Mihoshi laughed. "Come on and sing with us!"

"I'll pass Mihoshi. Is anyone else here?"

Washu pointed to the bathroom. "Harry's in there. Apparently he wanted to get away from the crowd for a few minutes. I don't blame him."

"Ah, well Harry, when you go back, tell Tenchi to come in!" Ryoko called to the bathroom.

She heard no reply, so the 700 year old woman went rummaging through the kitchen to see if there were any snacks available. As she opened the refrigerator, she heard Harry scream out in agony.

Rushing to the door, she ripped it open to see Harry on the floor, sweating and panting. His eyes were shut and he started to make a hissing sound. Ryoko started to shake him.

"Kid! Harry! Snap out of it!" she cried. "Washu, Ayeka, get over here! NOW!"

The ladies in the room made their way over to Harry. Washu booted up her computer and viewed Harry's vitals.

"His mind is currently not in his body. It's like his subconscious has stretched out to another source..." Washu started.

"What does that mean?!" Mihoshi cut her off. "I don't want Harry to die!"

"QUIET! He's not going to die! I'm confident I know what is going on, but I cannot be sure just yet. I need to run some tests..." Washu muttered.

"Damn it Washu, we don't have time for tests! Can you help him or not?!" Ryoko growled.

"Yelling at her won't help anything Ryoko!" Ayeka snapped. "Please Miss Washu, do something...anything!"

"I'm doing everything I can! Harry needs to come back to his own mind on his own! What we need is to...hmm?" Washu looked to her screen. "He's coming back!"

Harry blinked his eyes several times and looked up to the quartet of ladies surrounding him. "Where...where is Ron?"

"Harry, you need to calm down. You just scared us really bad..." Mihoshi began. She was stopped when Harry grabbed her shoulders.

"Ron's dad is about to be attacked by Voldemort's snake! I saw it! I was the snake!" Harry rambled on.

Ayeka looked confused. "I...I don't follow."

"Well I do!" Washu cried. "Ayeka, stay here and wait for one of the Gryffindors to return and bring everybody to Dumbledore's office. Have somebody bring McGonagall too; we don't want her to worry. Everybody else, we need to get to Dumbledore, right now!"
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25972 Chapter 14: No Need for a Horcrux Hunt

"I assume the destroyed house with the snake bones pinned to the fallen door is our target?" asked Sirius Black to the gifted scientist Yume.

She looked at her device and nodded. "Boy, your Dark Wizard sure likes to keep his motif in mind when he does anything, doesn't he?"

"The only thing our 'Dark Wizard' keeps in mind is how to murder us all," Alastair Moody barked. "Right now we need to focus. You-Know-Who could have an army of Death Eaters inside waiting to kill us. Remember: constant vigilance!"

Yume turned to Tonks. "Is he always this dramatic and paranoid?"

"Actually," Tonks laughed. "This is him on a good day."

Moody shot her a death glare that would make an Avada Kedarva proud. "Damn girl, this isn't a joke! Keep your head in the game Nymphadora! Don't get too lax!"

"Dont. Call me. Nymphadora!" she flared.

"I'll do damn well what I want. You: alien warrior; why don't you enter first? You would probably have the best chance to combat whatever dark forces might be inside there without serious injury," Moody ordered Hishima.

Yume regarded the auror and sighed. "Look, this is going to be a long and arduous journey if you don't knock this trust crap off!"

"I've lived my life not trusting anyone girlie; get used to it. You have to EARN it like everyone else!" he barked as he got in her face.

Lupin got between the two before they had a full on duel. "Now please! Dumbledore wouldn't have trusted her with this task, Moody, if he didn't believe in her!"

"The man's TOO trusting! Aliens from space...when Voldemort is dead I'll give you lot my trust. Until then, I've got my eye on you."

"Well children," Sirius cut in. "I believe our friend Hishima has already entered the shack. Shall we join him or continue yelling about trust?"

Moody gave him a look. "You let him get out of your sight?! Black, you have to think! Wands out; let's survey the damage."

The group entered the house one by one. The shack seemed to be destroyed and deteriorated long ago; a thick layer of dust surrounded every corner of the remaining living room. The wizards each had a wand at the ready while Yume fiddled with her invention.

"Yume, what does the scanner say?" Tonks asked, pointing at the small device she was playing with.

"It appears to be under a floor board. Hishima, I would check toward the fireplace. The strongest reading is coming from there."

Hishima nodded and made his way to the remnants of the fireplace. He started ripping up floorboards at random, searching for whatever small object Voldemort placed his soul into.

"I don't see anything! Do we have a stronger reading Master Yume?" he asked. Yume shook her head.

"This is as best as we can do for now. On the bright side I don't detect any living creatures in this shack. Does that calm your nerves?" she asked, looking at Moody.

"My nerves won't be calmed until every Death Eater and Voldemort are dead. Oh...and when Earth is just for Earthlings again."

"Are you really going to do this now?" Tonks asked. "I mean, we are about to destroy a horcrux with these people Moody!"

"It doesn't bother me," Yume interjected. "I'm not staying on this planet. I have teaching back at the Galactic Academy to do. It's Washu and the others that I would watch out for."

Moody rose his eyebrow and was about to counter her statement when Hishima motioned for the group to come to his position. "I think we found it."

"It" proved to be a golden box containing an equally golden ring with a large jewel in the setting. An odd marking appeared on the actual stone, but none of the Wizards paid it any attention.

Yume pulled out her sword. "Okay Hishima...put down the box and let me destroy it."

Hishima paid her no attention. He stared at the ring and looked like he was going to put it on.

"Hold on you fool! There may be a curse on it!" Moody cried. He ran over and knocked the ring to the floor. "If you put that on you, you might have died!"

"Thank...thank you Alastair Moody. It was so...powerful," Hishima whispered, shaken to his core.

"Stand aside and let me do the job!" Moody yelled, taking the sword from Yume and stabbing the ring. The ring cried out in pain and expelled a black puff of smoke as it cracked. The fury in Yume’s eyes needed to be seen to be believed.

"Is it dead?" Remus asked, poking the ring with his wand.

Sirius looked at his friend. "You just asked if a ring was dead Mooney. God I love you."

"It's a fair question!"

"Sure it is."

Yume looked furious and grabbed her sword back. "Never. Touch. My. Sword. Again. "

"Enough chatting!" Moody ordered. "We did the deed, now let's get to Gringotts and get the other horcrux."

"But we don't have a plan!" Tonks protested. "What are we going to do?"

"Make it up as we go along?" Yume suggested, still bitter at the old man.

Moody nodded. "Make it up as we go along."

*HPVFTS*

The group of wizards and aliens stared at the bank. Of course, since Sirius was a wanted criminal he had to keep the form of a dog in order to cast off suspicion. This did not stop the various wizards in Diagon Alley to stare at a six foot five cloaked man and the famous Mad Eye Moody.

"So Miss Martian, what can your doo-hickey tell us? Do we know where in this bank the horcrux is?"

Yume regarded her data. "From what it seems I can pinpoint the coordinates underground, but we have no means of accessing it. How do you people get into this bank?"

"Well typically, you just ask the goblins to enter your vault and they take you...but breaking in is nigh impossible!" Lupin argued.

"Nothing is impossible Lupin. Improbable perhaps. But impossible? Unlikely. Is there any way of knowing who's vault it is based on the coordinates?" she asked.

Moody laughed. "Not bloody likely. You would need to know somebody who works here and even then, it's damn near impossible."

"What do goblins look like?" Hishima asked.

Tonks motioned toward the floor. "Small, ugly creatures. You would know one if you saw him."

"Give me half a moment."

Hishima walked inside the building. Lupin and Tonks looked flabbergasted. "What the hell is he doing?! He'll blow this whole thing!"

In less than a minute he returned carrying a goblin. "Will this do?" He set the struggling goblin down in an alley nearby. Yume ran after him, motioning for the group to stay where they were.

"What in the name of Merlin are those idiots doing?!"

Lupin started to panic, looking from side to side. "This was a bad idea. We should have come in with a plan!"

"Well what would you have done Lupin?! Marched right in and take the place over...oh wait that's what it looks like these fools are doing!"

After another minute, Yume and Hishima returned, fiddling with her device. They waved goodbye to the goblin, who looked dazed.

"All right, I think we have what we need," Yume calmly said.

"What. Did. You. Do?" Moody freaked out.

The alien sighed, unfazed by the growling man. "Hishima quickly brought out a goblin and I probed his mind. I have access to methods more powerful than your memory charms. I ended up gathering enough data to determine the name of the individual who owns the vault. Following that I wiped his memory and made it seem like he went out to deliver something a wizard left."

The casual way she described this cause Lupin to blink. "I...I have no idea what to say to that."

"That was way too easy. This has all been way too easy," Moody muttered.

"Easy for a genius like me!" Yume proclaimed. "Now comes the hard part. According to the information gathered from that goblin I'd say the owner of the vault in question is either one Reginald Lester or a Bellatrix Lestrange. I'm honestly not sure where to go from here."

The dog that was Sirius started barking loudly. Yume looked to the dog and to the startled looks on the wizards' faces. "Oh do you know one of them?"

"I might have known! Your aunt always fancied herself to be You-Know-Who's most loyal follower, Nymphadora. I guess she might have not been exaggerating if he entrusted her with a horcrux!" Moody cursed.

Yume looked from Moody to Tonks. "So you are related by blood? Can we use that at all to our advantage?"

Tonks considered it. "Well I can always try to change my appearance to match her. That might get us into the bank but the Thief's Downfall would alert the goblins that I was not the genuine article."

"Change your appearance? You are a shapeshifter?"

"Well technically I'm a Metamorphmagus, but it's the same thing," Tonks smiled.

This prompted Yume to start thinking about possible ways to get in to the bank without too much detection. "Alright, I think this can work. Tonks, you and I will go into the bank and get as far as we can. I can take it from there. Once we are down in the depths of the bank it shouldn't be too hard to pinpoint it."

"Master Yume, if all you require is to actually get into the bank, do you need to get into the vault in question specifically? Do any of you have a Gringotts account?" Hishima asked.

The wizards looked at him. "Well of course we do! This is the only bank in all of Wizarding Britain!" Moody roared.

"Really? That seems kind of...regardless; Hishima, your idea has merit. It would be safer than trying to deal with the whole 'Thief's Downfall' thing you were mentioning before. Who's coming with me?" Yume asked.

Moody threw the girl a cloak of some kind and motioned to the bank. "I'm coming girlie. Put this on; it's an invisibility cloak. We don't want you to arise more suspicion then you already do."

"Gosh Mad Eye, I didn't know you cared."

*HPVFTS*

Yume clutched the invisibility cloak tightly and stayed behind Moody and the elf that was leading them to the vault. They had mounted a handcart and were racing toward their destination. Underneath the cloak, Yume checked her tracking device. 'The horcrux itself is not that far from here. If I were to jump now, I should be able to find my way to the vault and carefully make my way inside.'

Throwing caution in the wind, the scientist jumped off the cart and gracefully landed in a deep stance. Following the trace, she made her way down for what seemed like hours as far as she could until she noticed a most interesting sight:

A dragon.

'This might make things harder...but think of the pure data! Based on the logistics, it stands to reason that the beast is near blind to light. If I needed to, I suppose I could create an artificial suns rays...focus Yume. I just need to get into the vault and forget about the dragon...if that is what it is..." Yume thought to herself.

Quietly, she slunk around the goblins who were working around the dragon. She could tell that the creature sensed her presence but it seemed that the goblins were ignoring the signs. It seemed that it was being used more for intimidation rather than practicality. As long at it did not start viscously attack in her direction, Yume believed that she could actually pull this thing off.

Beyond the dragon was the vault that she was searching for. It appeared to require some magical spell to open it, so Yume summoned her computer and began to type furiously.

"So if I am able to shuffle this to here and open this hole here I might be able to..." she muttered to herself. Finally, the door opened and revealed its contents to the alien woman.

The vault was filled with an odd assortment of items. Besides the plethora of gold coins, several pieces of armor and animal skins called this place home. Yume had no idea which of these things would be the object she desired but given her experience with this sort of material before she knew not to touch anything at all. Thankfully, she was rather well off as Galactic Academy professors were paid rather handsomely for their services, so she had no need for Earth gold.

"Let's see what I'm looking for..." said Yume, staring at her device. All signs pointed toward a small goblet that rested toward the middle of the room. "Hmm...a cup. How quaint. I should be safe if I merely stab it with the Hizen. There might be a curse on it like with the locket or the ring."

She made her way to the cup and observed her surroundings. There did not appear to be any traps, but looks could be deceiving. Yume carefully took out the blade and thrust it toward the cup, using all of her abilities to only hit it's target.

At once, the cup exploded with another fury of wind. The wind started to blow the coins around the vault. One after another, the coins started to multiply.

"I was not anticipating this! How the hell do I get out of here?!" she cursed.

The doorway started to fade from view, replaced with a wall of gold. Thinking fast, Yume started to type on her computer.

"I need to open a subspace tunnel! Come on...come on!"

Finally, a doorway appeared. To Yume's dismay it was placed in the over piling amount of gold. Rushing toward it, the woman jumped into the gold.

The agony each coin brought was immense. Each coin burned like one of Ryoko's energy blasts striking her skin. Yume fought through the pain and stretched her hand for the subspace door she created.

Then she fell into darkness.

*HPVFTS*

The light was bright and pounding.

Yume's eyes fluttered open. As her vision began to clear, she looked around. Was this subspace? How long was she out for?

"Wotcher Yume! You're finally awake!" the familiar voice of Tonks rang around her.

Weakly, Yume tried to stand up, but found that she couldn't. "Where...where am I?"

"Mad Eye's house. It was the closest place to Gringotts and he had some potions on hand that probably saved your life."

"My life? How...how did I get here?"

The clanking of a walking stick answered her. Yume was now wide awake. The forms of Sirius, Moody, Lupin, and Hishima surrounded her.

"Hmph, the idiot is alive. Welcome back you stupid girl!" Moody grunted.

Hishima knelt beside her. "Master Yume, are you alright? We were very worried that the injuries you sustained were going to be too much."

Yume examined herself. Though there were countless cuts and bruises all over her, she had to admit that she was feeling much better. Still, she was not fully healed yet and, as such, was still feeling a little weak.

"The last thing I remember is the cup. I stabbed it and destroyed the horcrux, but it caused a chain reaction where all of the gold in the vault multiplied in an infinite loop. I created a subspace door to get out but to escape I had to dive into the scolding gold..." Yume explained aloud.

Lupin scratched his head. "Well after Mad Eye here came back hollering that he had no idea where you were, you suddenly appeared in one of those doors you were just mentioning. I guess you had enough strength to figure out where we were before you passed out."

"You could have told me what you were doing! There was absolutely no reason why you couldn't have told me!" Moody told her, causing Yume to blush.

"I apologize Moody. I agree, I was foolish. But how did I get back here?" Yume asked herself. "Hmm...I probably linked to Hishima's energy signature and opened a door there. How long was I out?"

"Two weeks...maybe three. You were very badly burned. Thankfully Moody here has Healer Grade potions that Snivellus wishes he could have," Sirius answered.

Yume turned to Alastair. "Thank you Moody. I owe my life to you."

Moody turned away. "Well make something of it! Now that you are awake we can figure out where this last Horcrux is so we can kick you off this planet!"

"Hand me my tracker," she said. Hishima handed her the tracker and she began to examine it. "Here, the horcrux is on the move. It looks like it's in London..."

"That's where the Ministry of Magic is!" cried Tonks, looking at the tracking device. "What is a horcrux doing in the Ministry?"

"Isn't Arthur stationed in the Ministry tonight?" Remus said worryingly. "Guarding the..."

"Quiet you fool! That's secret Order business!" Moody growled. "But you're right. Voldemort is making a move at the Ministry. Sirius, you are of no use here. Go back to Molly and keep her calm. The rest of us, we need to move!"

Sirius sighed. "That makes sense. Mooney, when you save Arthur's ass, meet us at the Masaki place. We promised Misaki and Funaho that we'd bring the kids there for break. If Arthur is already there, Molly will have less to argue about."

"Fine Sirius. See you soon old friend," Remus smiled.

Moody cleared his throat. "Are you two done yet? Shall I prepare some wine and bring out some tissues? No? Then pick up the pace!"

*HPVFTS*


“What’s so important about this hallway?” Yume asked Moody as they patrolled the Ministry. Both Yume and Hishima were wearing their cloaks and if anyone was questioning their presence they did not make it known.

“Voldemort is after something in this hallway. I can’t go into it any further or else Mad Eye will curse me,” Tonks joked. Moody responded with his now trademark growl.

“What does your device tell us about the horcrux?” Remus asked. “Are we getting closer?”

“Shh! We are entering the Department of Mysteries! Arthur should be through that door and so should the horcrux. Wands out and stay focused! Keep that sword of yours handy, girl!” Moody barked.

Yume raised an eyebrow. "Oh, so you aren't going to steal it from me again?"

"Maybe I will if I see that you are too weak for the job."

The sound of slithering became apparent to the group and they rushed the hallway. Suddenly, the shriek of a man was heard as well.

"Was that a snake?" Yume asked.

"Damn it, whatever it is, it found Arthur! Give it everything you have got! We have to stop it before it kills him!" Moody yelled.

The wizards started to shoot aimlessly down the hallway, trying to distract the snake away from Arthur Weasley. The tactic seemed to have worked, as the snake made its way away from the red headed man who had fallen to the floor. Thankfully, he did not seem to be attacked but was merely stunned with fear.

Moody had taken the lead and drew the snake toward him. Spell after spell was fired at it, but it did not seem to work. "Damn...damn it! The snake is the horcrux! The spells aren't working!"

"Moody, you have the best position! Catch!" the alien woman yelled, throwing the sword in the air.

"Accio sword!" Moody bellowed, bringing the Hizen blade to his hand. In one, swift stroke, he beheaded the large snake. It seemed to cry out in agony as it died, but in the end it collapsed lifelessly to the floor.

Panting, the wizened auror slumped to the floor. "Why did you throw the sword to me girl? What if you missed? We all could have been dead!"

"I figured I had owed you one. Better for you to have killed the snake than an alien like me," Yume responded back.

Moody regarded her and nodded. "For a self-proclaimed genius, you take a lot of risks."

"Science is full of risks, Mad Eye."

The man on the floor began to stir. The bespectacled red head rose up, grabbing his head and looking around. "Mad Eye? Remus? Tonks? How did you get here?"

"We were tracking the snake Arthur. How's your head? Are you okay?" Lupin asked the man, giving him the one over.

"I'm fine. Almost had a heart attack though. I thought I was going to end up in St. Mungo's for sure! I owe you all my life! Oh!" Mr. Weasley said, looking at the unfamiliar people in the group. "I must admit you have me at a loss."

Moody pointed to Hishima. "The big one is Hishima, the runt is Yume. They aren't from around here, but are helping Dumbledore out."

Arthur shook their hands. "Well thank you all the same!"

By now a portrait that had been blank moments ago was filled with the picture of an older man. Moody seemed to recognize him immediately. "Professor Everard! Did Dumbledore send for you?"

The picture nodded. "The Potter boy just told us that Arthur Weasley was being attacked by the Dark Lord's snake. What happened here?"

"We got to the snake first. Tell Dumbledore I'll debrief him in an hour at the usual place."

"Oh Professor!" Lupin added. "Tell Dumbledore Arthur is okay and I am bringing him to Japan so he can celebrate the holiday with his children!"

Arthur turned sharply. "I am?"

"You are."

"Now that you mention it, I do recall getting owls from the kids telling us about their new friends from Japan...oh well, I love a good adventure! Is Molly going?" Arthur added hastily, not wishing to forget his best friend.

"Sirius will probably bring her and the kids over," Remus replied.

"I'll relay the message," the painting nodded, leaving to go back to its frame back at Hogwarts.

"Well Moody, I guess this is where we say goodbye," Yume stated and she shrugged her shoulders. "Odds are you'll never see me again."

"Good riddance."

She extended a hand to the man. Moody regarded it, paused, and slowly brought his to hers. "You've earned it, girlie. Now get off my planet."

Tonks started to pretend to cry. "This is the most touching moment of my life! I am so glad to be witnessing this historic event!"

"One more word out of you Nymphadora and I'll tell your mother how fond of your first name you've gotten," the old man retorted.

She folded her arms and gave out a "Hrmph."

Remus looked over to her, and gave her an odd smile. "Would you like to join us? I mean, it's not my place to invite you...but..."

"Sorry Mooney, my mom and dad have claimed me for Christmas. Try again for New Years," she winked and waved farewell to Hishima and Yume.

Lupin sighed. "Oh well, it was worth a shot. Are you lot ready?"

*HPVFTS*

Alastair Moody entered the Hogs Head pub in Diagon Alley and surveyed the place. It seemed to be rather empty, except for the barkeep and a goat. Moody raised an eyebrow. "They let you keep a goat in here Aberforth?"

"Maybe they do. Maybe they don't. I wouldn't be asking questions Moody. You wouldn't want to keep him waiting," the barkeep responded. He pointed upstairs. "He's been there for about a half hour now."

"Joy," Moody muttered. He gave Aberforth a nod and made his way upstairs to meet Albus Dumbledore, who was waiting with a drink in hand.

"Ah Alastair, I would have gotten you something, but I know you wouldn't accept it. How have you been?" Dumbledore asked, rising to greet the man.

"I'm tired Albus. I've been doing nonstop traveling for about a month now. What started as a babysitting job ended up being a damn hunt for trinkets and snakes!"

"Trinkets? I am afraid I do not follow."

Moody took a drink from his hip flask. "Does the name 'Yume' ring a bell?"

Very rarely did Albus Dumbledore give away a look of surprise, but this was one of those moments. "How did you...?"

"Molly Weasley, surprisingly enough. She expected Black and Lupin were going to go on some damn idealistic crusade while she was away from Grimmuald Place. She asked Tonks and I to keep an eye on them. Little did we know we were being swept up with aliens and horcruxes!" Moody spoke in low tones.

"I see. So what happened? What was the outcome?" Dumbledore asked his friend.

"We got em. There was a ring, a locket, a cup, and the damn snake. I think a few others were taken care of before we got involved though. Regardless, I didn't ask you here to talk about horcruxes. No, I get that. What I don't get is how you came to know aliens and how I don't trust most of them!"

Dumbledore sighed. "Now Alistair, I have never met the Yume girl in person but I have it on good authority that she would have been an invaluable asset. I met them over four years ago and have been in contact with them since."

"That's all well and good, but there is something that doesn't sit right with me. There was a dark force in Japan, where those aliens lived. I felt something in that damn cave I didn't like," Moody elaborated. "I think there is something going on that you need to be prepared for Dumbledore. The girl and her helper may be leaving, but I would keep my eye on the others Dumbledore."

"The girl?" Albus questioned.

"Yume. She...she did okay in the end," Mad Eye admitted. "But she had to earn that trust with her blood. Keep me in the loop Dumbledore. This will escalate fast whether you accept it or not."

Dumbledore nodded grimly. "I have already sent Harry and his friends back to Headquarters where they are no doubt on their way to Japan. Events are in motion now that are becoming too hard to predict. I must admit that I have no idea what is to come."

"Will you stop being so damn cryptic? It's nauseating!"

Dumbledore ignored the comment and stared out the window at the falling snow. 'I fear for you Harry. You are still so young to be facing these horrors. I only hope Washu can assist you for what lies ahead."
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25973 Chapter 15: No Need for Tsunami

Once Professor Dumbledore had been informed that Arthur Weasley was safe, Hermione and the gang rested easy. Dumbledore created a portkey to link directly to Sirius’ house, where they would meet up with Sirius and Mrs. Weasley. The group had finally reached 12 Grimuald Place to lay low from a questioning Dolores Umbridge, which was the first time the visitors from the stars had visited it.

When the portrait of Sirius's mother noticed the newest visitors of the house, she started to scream. "FILTHY MUGGLES DEFILING MY HOUSE! POORLY DRESSED VERMIN WITH TERRIBLE HAIR!" the elderly woman screamed from beyond the grave.

Ryoko, who was the closest to the portrait, got into a verbal argument with it until it started to get on the space pirate's nerves. She fired an energy blast into the wall and left a searing hole.

"Ryoko, you can't just destroy another person's house just because it is insulting you!" Tenchi yelled.

"No, it's fine. In fact, this is the greatest Christmas gift a man could ask for," came the voice of Sirius Black, coming into the room to greet everybody.

“Sirius!” Harry cried. He was clearly exhausted after the experience he just underwent. Sirius came over and patted him on the back.

“Harry, it’s about time! You look like hell. Just in time for a lovely retreat to Japan!” Sirius laughed, trying to bring his godson’s mood up. “So are you going to introduce me to your friends?”

They turned to the Masaki clan, who were currently engaged in a heated ethical discussion.

"See Tenchi, I helped this guy out! Aren't you proud of me?" Ryoko purred.

Tenchi just gave her a look. "Just because it worked out this time doesn't mean that you should do it again. I take it you are Sirius Black?" Tenchi asked the man.

Sirius patted the Japanese young adult on his back. "That I am Mr. Masaki! I've heard so much about you from Mooney, Harry, and your Grandfather! Now please, introduce me to your lovely lady friends."

As Tenchi and Harry introduced the various girls to Sirius, Hermione set out to find Mrs. Weasley. She had always considered her to be like a second mother to her and, as such, wanted to make sure that she was holding up okay.

Sure enough, the young witch found the red haired matriarch in the kitchen, apparently unaware that her children had made it here earlier than expected.

"Mrs. Weasley, we are home!" Hermione called. Molly Weasley turned around and embraced the girl.

"Oh Hermione, it's so good to see you love! It’s been a nightmare here; what with Arthur nearly dying. Where are Ginny and the boys? I need to see my family." she asked, looking around.

A roar of laughter came from the hall. Hermione pointed toward it and Molly nodded; both of them making their way to the jubilation.

The duo found Ryoko describing the Halloween festivities to Sirius, with the others chiming in at various points.

"And then we had Harry dress up as Voldemort and the twins and Lee doused him with water until he revealed himself under the costume!" Ryoko elaborated.

"It was worth it purely to see the bloody toad's face burn red with anger, though it was a pity that it caused Harry and the twins to lose Quidditch privileges for over a month. But both that bloody woman and that git Fudge should know that our Muggle Studies class is a force to be reckoned with! " Ron added.

"Ronald Bilius Weasley! You will watch your language and you will come give your mother a hug! You too Ginerva, Fred, George, and Harry!" Molly threatened.

Lee Jordan inched up to the mother of his best friends. "What about me Mrs. Weasley? Do I get a hug?"

After getting her hugs out of the way, she gave him a look. "Lee Jordan, what are you doing here?"

"Not even a 'hello?' Man Mrs. Weasley, that's low. I know I might have destroyed a toilet or two in your house, but I get no love?"

The woman came over and gave the boy a hug and was also subsequently introduced to the plethora of people that had invaded the house.

"So you teach Muggle Studies dear?" Molly asked Mihoshi.

A grin came on the blonde woman's face. "Oh yes! Yes I do! This is my first time teaching and I have all of your children in my class! They are so kind and good natured! They are a pleasure to have!" she gushed. Mrs. Weasley seemed pleased to see that even her twins were behaving well.

Harry looked around. "Where are the other members of the Order?"

Sirius shrugged. "Well Tonks just went off to see her parents and who knows where Moody went. Shaklebolt is at the ministry...really Harry, I'm the only one who really lives here, though Molly and Arthur stay here enough for me to write them off as relatives at this point."

"Somebody has to look after you, especially with all of your little adventures!" the Weasley matriarch countered.

"Point taken. Well, now that we all have met, I think we should prepare to take off!" Sirius announced.

Molly gave Sirius a quizzical look. "Take off? Everyone just got here!"

"Molly, didn't Remus tell you anything when we got back from Dumbledore's task? We are spending Christmas out of the country. He's picking up Arthur right now and is meeting us in Japan."

"Task?" inquired Harry.

"JAPAN?!" Molly cried, canceling out Harry's question. "Why are we going to Japan?! How do you even plan on getting to Japan?! You are a wanted criminal and there is no doubt that the Ministry will be on the lookout with Harry gone from school!"

"It's obvious Mrs. Weasley," Washu interjected. "We fly, of course!"

"Fly?" Mrs. Weasley asked.

"It's easy. All you do is think of a wonderful thought," Luna added.

"'Peter Pan!' I remember that! Lilly once had us do a Disney marathon when you were born Harry! Good times..." Sirius reminisced.

Washu frowned. "I thought 'Peter Pan' was a book."

"Ginny, can you please help your mother make sense of this?" Molly pleaded to her daughter.

Ginny thought about it. "Honestly mom, it's probably easier to show you. See little Ryo-Ohki?" she asked, pointing to the cabbit on Sasami's head. "She can apparently turn into a spaceship."

Molly just stared. "Come again?"

"Yup mum," Fred started.

"The world just got a whole lot smaller," finished George.

"I...are you transfiguring a poor animal into one of those Muggle planes?!" Molly freaked out.

"Listen, I'd love to sit here and chat while explaining every detail of our lives, but I REALLY want to go take a bath in our onsen so can we please get out of here?" Ryoko asked.

"What's an onsen?" Hermione whispered to Ayeka.

"Floating hot springs. Trust me dear, you'll love it."

Sirius grabbed several bags. "Come on Molly! Where is your sense of adventure?"

Molly thinned her eyes. "What would Professor Dumbledore say about this?!"

Ron nudged his mother. "Mum, he knows."

"What?"

"It is true Mrs. Weasley," Hermione concurred. "Professor Dumbledore is aware of all of this so far. That's why we are going by Ryo-Ohki's spaceship form and not by broom. It will cause less of a distraction."

Molly seemed worried about leaving the Order's headquarters, but saw she had no choice or else she would not be spending the holidays with her children.

"Okay dears, let's do this now, before I come to my senses and change my mind."

*HPVFT*

"So none of you are actually wizards but are not Muggles either? That seems quite preposterous," Molly stated to the group while the ship was flying to Japan.

Ryoko shrugged. "Believe what you want lady. It's the truth."

"But...aliens? Really? It is very hard for me to swallow."

Sirius snorted. "I'd believe it. It took weeks for you to come around to the fact that I wasn't a mass murderer. Give it some time and I'm sure it'll go down fine Molly."

"Mrs. Weasley, have you stopped and considered you are presently inside an advanced spaceship that transforms into a half rabbit/half cat combination? Is that typical of the Wizarding World OR the Muggle world?" Ayeka asked.

"Well..."

Ryoko started to float. "Look, I'm flying! Without a broom or a wand. This shouldn't be that difficult."

Hermione pitied Mrs. Weasley, but could understand the apprehension. She had to admit that this entire situation seemed highly suspicious and not typical to the world that she was so grounded in. This is not discounting the fact she just found out her husband had almost died. However, she had learned to stop thinking about why it is happening and just go with it. She hated to admit when the Weasley Twins or Luna were right but she had to give them points. Logic had no place here in this unknown world.

"Bless my soul!" Mrs. Weasley muttered to herself. "I...I..."

"It's okay mum; these guys are pretty great. You get used to the eccentricities after a while," Ginny laughed.

Tenchi raised an eyebrow. "It's been over four years and I'M still not fully used to the eccentricities that surround me."

"Hey, if you lot are as fun as Misaki and Funaho, we should all be in for a treat...though I do admit Misaki's hugs can be a bit much..." Sirius trailed off.

"And who are they, Sirius?" Molly asked.

"My auntie and mommy!" Sasami smiled.

"They are the queens of the Planet Jurai. Quirky, fun to be around; you'll love 'em," Washu added.

Molly put two and two together. "Wait...you are royalty?!"

Washu sighed. "Please don't saddle me with exposition again. I can't keep this up."

*HPVFTS*

Hermione marveled at the sight of the Japanese landscape. She had never stepped foot in an Asian country before but resolved herself to explore as much as possible before she left.

"The view is stunning!" she said, admiring the frozen lake and giant tree.

"Yes it is young miss. Take it in, experience it. You will never find a more peaceful time to experience our shrine and woods than in the winter," came the voice of an older man.

"Grandpa!" exclaimed Tenchi. "Come here, let me introduce everybody to..."

"You can introduce me to them after your training! It has been months since we have practiced together! I have no way of knowing if you have been honing your skills Tenchi," Tenchi's grandfather scolded.

"Actually," interjected Neville. "Tenchi's morning training has become quite the spectacle this year. Mind if I sit in and watch? I think that it's pretty awesome."

The old man adopted a grin. "Well Tenchi, you seem to have added more fans to your fan club. Come boy, you may join us and perhaps if you are interested I can show you some of my own training. That is, if you can keep up, of course."

Neville adopted a serious look and bowed in respect.

"Well Gramps, I for one am not sitting out here in the snow and cold! Come on gang, let's go warm up inside. I know I'm gonna take a dip in the onsen," Ryoko laughed, leading the way inside.

"Sweet! I'd love to go into a hot tub!" Ron exclaimed.

"Sorry kid, only women and Tenchi allowed."

"The hell?!"

"RONALD!"

Ron went pink and muttered to himself walking inside. Hermione was shocked at how similar the interior of the main house was to the subspace house the group had been using for the past few months back at Hogwarts.

"Well now, I think I see me some Weasleys!" a familiar voice rang out. The visage of Arthur Weasley appeared from the kitchen and was soon followed by Remus Lupin and a man with black hair and glasses.

"Dad!" the Weasley children cried out.

"Arthur!" Molly yelled as she wormed her way into the crowd of red hair to greet her husband.

"Hello dear! Have a good trip? I must say, this house is incredible! I've been to Muggle houses before but NEVER one like this! Their doors don't open, but slide! Can you imagine that?!" Arthur cheerful explained. His eyes then fell on Harry. "Harry, I must thank you. If you hadn't gotten that premonition, I wouldn't be standing here today and that snake wouldn't be dead!"

Harry blinked and just hugged the man. "I'm just happy to see you intact Mr. Weasley. Hello to you too Remus," he added, seeing the other remaining Marauder.

"Hello Harry. I must say, I've had an exciting month of adventures to tell you all about. But that can wait until later when Yume is back from the lab I suppose. Let me introduce you to Masaki Nobuyuki, Tenchi's father," Lupin said, motioning to the unknown man.

"SASAMI!" Nobuyuki exclaimed, ignoring the introductions. "I've missed you so much! I've had to resort to takeout without your cooking! Takeout, Sasami! I haven't been this happy since Tenchi was born...or that time when..." he started, but was cut off by a knock in the head by Ayeka.

"Please Tenchi's father, keep your leecherous stories to yourself. There are children here!"

"Can we skip the introductions please?! I need to be pampered!" Ryoko whined.

"Hush you. These necessities must be followed," Washu scolded. "Does everybody know each other yet? Good. I'm going to the lab to find Yume; you all do what you want."

Hermione was curious to see Washu's lab, so she asked if she could join her. The two made their way into the closet door and into a lab easily twice the size of the one back at Hogwarts. It was there that Hermione saw two figures whom she had never met. One was clearly male and the other feminine with what appeared to be rabbit like ears.

"Ah, Yume! I trust everything went swimmingly?" Washu pried. "And hello to you too Hishima!"

The male bowed. "Greetings Washu. It was an honor to help you in your quest."

The woman known as Yume produced her own computer from nowhere and pulled up some data. "You asshole; do you have any idea how many times we almost died trying to destroy these things?! If your 'wizarding' friends weren't there explaining half of this magical crap to us, we'd have gotten seriously injured. Oh wait I did!" she yelled, pointing to the scars as light burns on her arms. "I mean, Hishima here would have done well in the end, but that was harder than you made it seem! Hmm?" She said, noticing Hermione. "One of your witch friends?"

"Ah yes, this is Hermione Granger, my academic rival at Hogwarts. Hermione, this is Yume and her bodyguard Hishima. Yume is my old academic rival from the Galactic Academy. She's been helping Professor Dumbledore and myself on an important mission," Washu explained.

"Nice to meet you both. What are you on about Washu? What mission?" Hermione asked while shaking Hishima's hand.

"Let's leave that particular topic off the table for now. There is still one little thing we have to do on that front before I feel comfortable discussing it. Now, let's go upstairs, eat one of Sasami's meals, and talk about Christmas!"

Yume stared at her colleague. "Oh no; Hishima and I are NOT staying for your holiday!"

"But Yume, it'll make me so happy!"

"Forget it Washu! I did my part in this adventure! While you play student, I have a class to teach back at the academy!"

*HPVFTS*

Hermione was shocked to hear how serious Christmas was to the Masaki household. It apparently meant a great deal to the family as a time to truly get together and forget about all petty squabbling.

Which, Hermione gathered, meant that they got really drunk and sang Christmas Carols.

Still, the addition of guests at the house was something that caused excitement. Washu created room in her lab for a temporary living space for the Weasleys and the Marauders, though some futons were put on the floor for the students to lay out on. The excitement was added by the feast that Sasami prepared with the help of Ginny and Luna. Hermione had never seen a man cry over food than Nobuyuki did that night.

Tenchi and Neville had returned before dinner started and Neville excitedly told his friends about the experience after the feast's conclusion.

"Tenchi's grandfather is amazing Harry. He's so stern but is so agile. He knows exactly what he's talking about. I definitely want to keep training with Tenchi, even if it's only for the Holiday Break," he told them.

"Blimey Neville, what caused you to get so motivated?" Ron asked, clearly bewildered.

Neville shrugged. "I dunno, maybe the D.A. You’ve really helped me this year Harry."

Harry patted him on the back. "That's fantastic Neville!"

Looking around at the various people around them, Hermione lowered her voice to a whisper "Guys, I learned something in Washu's lab. That Yume person was on a quest for Dumbledore to destroy something."

"What did she destroy?" Ron asked.

She shook her head. "I haven't the foggiest idea Ron. She told me that she'd explain everything later, but I am rather curious about it."

Luna considered it. "Well, if it was from Dumbledore the mission was probably about the Dark Lord. Don't you agree?"

Harry nodded. "Either him or that Kagato guy. This all goes back to that prophecy."

"Hey, why don't you train with Tenchi's Grandfather? His advanced sword fighting skills are bound to come in handy at some point!" Neville exclaimed.

"He isn't going to do anything until I say so dear," Washu said, butting into the conversation.

Molly, who was eavesdropping like any good maternal figure would, gasped. "Excuse me? What is going on here?"

Remus and Sirius looked at each other.

"Sirius, you need to tell Harry what I told you in private earlier. You are his godfather; it'd be best from you," Lupin told his best friend.

Sirius took a deep breath. "Harry...this is going to be hard to hear but you need to listen to me. Recently; Mooney, Yume, Mad Eye, Tonks, Hishima, and your’s truly went on a journey to look for items that could destroy Voldemort's soul once and for all. These items were called 'horcruxes.'"

Arthur adopted a concerned look on his face, clearly familiar with the term. Harry, on the other hand, was confused. "All right, that sounds like a good thing, right? What is a horcrux?"

Yume activated her computer and flashed images of various things, such as a ring, a cup, and a most familiar diary. "These are horcruxes, boy. Think of them as some kind of soul box. They contained the soul of your Dark Lord which would allow him to live if he died."

Ryoko blinked. "Wait...that sounds like the black flame projection! You wizards have your own version of it?"

"Yes," Lupin jumped in. "In order to preserve your soul like that you have to commit murder, which would split your soul. It is Dark Magic of the foulest kind."

The sight of the diary made Ginny lose all color in her face. "That was Tom Riddle's diary. I'd recognize it anywhere."

Washu nodded. "According to Dumbledore, that was the clue that tipped him off in the first place. Remember when I was in the Room of Requirement before we started the D.A.? I found one in there, though it was a different variation of the room than the one we practice in. Regardless, its soul energy could be detected using the information gathered from the diary."

Harry started to put the pieces together in his head. "So, this explains how Voldemort kept on living after he attacked me as a baby. So what is really going on?"

Hermione started to cry. "Oh Harry, read between the lines! Between your scar and how you can see inside Voldemort's head...you were turned into a horcrux!"

The air in the room was sucked out almost instantly. All eyes were on Harry.

"Me? I can't be a horcrux! I'm the chosen one! I know about Trewlany's prophecy so I know that it can't end like that!" he said, taking it all in.

"He KNOWS?!" Molly roared at Sirius.

"Don't look at me Molly. I didn't say anything!" Sirius protested.

"Nope, it was me!" Washu said.

Molly sized the childlike genius up. "You? And how did YOU come to know of this?"

"Oh, that was Professor Dumbledore! He told all of us this past summer!" Mihoshi laughed.

"Dumbledore? Amazing! See Molly, isn't this lot so interesting!" Arthur added, backing down when he saw the frightening visage of the matriarchal Weasley.

"We were given strict orders not to tell Harry about the prophecy! Why was there a sudden change in attitude?"

"Allow me Mihoshi, you are out of your element here. Dumbledore didn't want Harry to know because he didn't know how to tell him without ruining his childhood, or something like that. Really, the only reason WE didn't tell you yet, Harry, was because we wanted to destroy the other horcruxes first. The snake was the last one besides you," Washu elaborated.

"But...if Harry is a horcrux, are you going to have to kill him like you did the snake?" Ron asked.

"Nope! Sasami, would you come here? We need to speak to Tsunami," Washu said.

Ayeka rose her eyebrow. "Tsunami? Are you sure that is wise Miss Washu?"

The crablike scientist threw her arms in the air. "Look, I've come to terms that my original stipulation about secrecy with Dumbledore is basically null and void now, but it's either see if she can do something or Harry will have to die."

"WHAT?!" cried the members of the crowd, save Yume, Hishima, Washu, and Yosho.

Sasami had tears in her eyes as she hugged her housemate. "Harry, I won't let you die!"

"Wait, how is an Australian tropical storm going to help Harry?" Hermione asked.

"Just look at Sasami,"Ayeka whispered.

Sasami's forehead glowed. Suddenly, a glowing blue haired woman appeared behind her. The etherial beauty smiled at the group and examined Harry. The wizards and witches had no idea what to make of this development.

"Do not worry friends of Sasami. I am Tsunami, the Guardian of Jurai. Harry, Sasami has told me all that she knows about this situation and I can assist you in these matters. However, it will require a great deal of pain on your end. Do you understand?" she asked the boy.

After finding the courage to speak, Harry nodded his head. "If this will help stop Voldemort from killing more people that I care about, I am willing to do anything."

Tsunami smiled. "You are a strong young man. I truly apologize for what I must do." Tsunami placed a hand above Harry's lightning scar and in an instant her hand started to glow and Harry started to scream.

Molly took a step forward to comfort Harry, but Sirius blocked her. Though it clearly pained him watching his godson suffer, he knew it was what had to be done. The group watched on as a black and green substance oozed out of the scar and started to form a sphere. The sphere instantly hardened and hovered in front of them. Harry, in pain and clearly suffering, collapsed onto the floor.

Yume grabbed the Hizen Blade and plunged it into the sphere, letting out a huge surge of energy. After a flash of light, the horcrux remnants vanished and the room returned to normal.

"It is done. Mrs. Weasley, please take care of Harry. He needs a mother's touch. All of you are close to Sasami's heart and as such are close to mine as well," Tsunami soothingly told the group. Molly grabbed Harry and was led to a bed by Yosho.

"Hang on, what are you? Are you Sasami or something more?" Lupin asked, curious about this development.

"Oh, that's easy," Luna said plainly. "She's obviously a goddess who looks over the planet Jurai and the rest of the galaxy."

This caused Tsunami to laugh. "You are every bit as amusing as Sasami thinks of you, Luna Lovegood. If you should ever need me again, Sasami can summon me. But until then, Merry Christmas!" she echoed as she morphed back inside Sasami.

"Is anyone else as confused as I am?" George asked.

"Actually George, I think I get it," Fred responded.

"Well I'm glad that somebody here gets it because I sure as hell didn't," Sirius shrugged as he made his way to his godson.

“You and me both buddy,” Ryoko agreed.

"Well then Fred, what just happened?" Arthur asked his son.

Fred smiled. "Voldemort was just made mortal again. He can be killed. Truly the best early Christmas gift a wizard can ask for."

"God bless us, everyone!" Lee cheered.
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25974 Chapter 16: No Need for a Little Christmas

"Concentrate Neville! Your footing is all wrong! If I were to attack you now, your chest would be exposed and your life would be in my hands!" Yosho told the scion of the house of Longbottom.

Neville had been true to his word and had taken time every day to work hard with Tenchi, his Grandfather, and Yume's bodyguard Hishima. He had become a far cry from the scared boy he was even a year ago, but he knew that if he wanted to protect his family and friends that he would need to give this his all.

"Yes sir!"

After another half hour or so of practice, Yosho called it off. He requested Neville to come with him to his living quarters while Hishima went to see if Yume needed any assistance packing up before they departed, and Tenchi cleaned up the freshly fallen snow.

For training, of course.

"Neville, your progress thus far is to be commended. Though you have only been practicing for a week, I see much determination in you."

Neville turned a shade of pink. "Thank you sir. It means a lot to me."

"I can see that,"Yosho said. "But I also see much conflict in you. What troubles you?"

Neville shifted in his seat. "Well...it is kind of hard to explain."

Yosho nodded. "Then I will give you the necessary time to tell me properly."

"Well this time of year...I am always with my family."

"I see. You know we can always bring them here if you choose; or we can bring you back home. This is not something you need to concern yourself with."

Neville got up and looked outside at the falling snow. "It is not that simple. I want to be here, with my friends. But I can't just abandon my family or bring them here."

"Neville, who do you live with when you are not at school?" Yosho asked.

"My gran."

Yosho closed his eyes. "I understand. Tenchi lost his mother, my daughter, when he was very young. It is a hard thing to have a parent die, and I understand your concern. You wish to be with your grandmother."

"It's...hard. My parents aren't dead, but there are times I wish they would be."

Yosho got up and forced Neville to look him in the eyes.

"Those are words one should never speak. Tell me, what has happened to your parents?"

The young Gryffindor's perception started to become clouded with water as his eyes welled up with tears. "My parents were tortured by a Death Eater named Bellatrix Lestrange. She tortured them so much that they...they lost their minds. They see me and they don't know who I am. All they know is that I am someone important to them... I just wish they were free of the pain Mr. Masaki."

With that he broke down crying. Yosho grabbed the boy and held him tight.

"You hold a heavy burden Neville. I understand why you are conflicted now. But tell me; do your friends know?"

Neville shook his head.

"Idiot boy! Are you afraid they will abandon you if they know?! The first step of being a better person is to let your walls down! Believe in yourself and believe in your friends!"

"I...I understand."

*HPVFTS*

"I have to find it somewhere! Washu, are you sure this television can get every channel on Earth?" Hermione asked.

"As I've told you the last time you asked, yes it does! What are you looking for, if you don't mind me asking," the scientist replied.

Hermione blushed. "Well it's a bit embarrassing..."

"Embarrassing!" Fred exclaimed, apparating by her side.

"Do tell!" George agreed.

"Knock it off you two! You're embarrassing her. So spill it!" Washu demanded.

"You know you're just as bad, right?" Ryoko goaded her mother.

"Well...for Christmas time we had a tradition in my family. My father would read me 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' and I'd always do the Grinch's lines and then we'd sing the song together. I saw that it was going to be on a British station and I wanted to watch it to think of them," she admitted.

Nearly everybody in the room looked confused. Hermione looked around and was shocked.

"Oh come now! With all the Muggle references you lot throw out at us and you've never seen 'The Grinch?'"

"Oy, don't look at me Hermione! I've never seen anything this lot has shown us!" Ron defended himself.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Thank you Ronald for that thrilling insight."

"How about this, why don't we pick up a VHS of it when we go out and do Christmas shopping?" Tenchi said, ever humble and helping despite being covered in snow after shoveling.

"Christmas shopping!" Hermione jolted upwards. "Crickets, I didn't even think of shopping! I didn't bring any money and there are so many people..."

"Ah!" Tenchi cut her off. "I have an idea for what to do with that too!"

Ryoko came up and hugged Tenchi. "Aww look at you, getting something to do! You are really getting into the spirit of Christmas aren't you?"

Tenchi gave her a look. "What does that even mean Ryoko? 'Getting something to do?'"

Ryoko shrugged. "Well usually Washu takes care of this kind of stuff."

"Uh-huh. Look, do you want to hear my idea or not?"

"I do, Lord Tenchi!" Ayeka cried, running into the room.

"Hey, not so loud!" came the voice of Mrs. Weasley. "Harry is still sleeping!"

"Geez Ayeka. Wake up the poor kid, why don't you?" Ryoko quietly sneered.

Ayeka looked like she was going to explode with fury when Neville came into the house with Yosho.

"Hey guys. Um...I was hoping I could talk to you all...wait, what are you all doing?"

"I was about to explain how we should do Christmas gifts this year," said Tenchi. "What did you want to say Neville?"

"Err...it can wait until after this. What's your idea?" Neville asked.

"I think we should just do a 'Secret Santa!'" Tenchi exclaimed while fist pumping.

"Oh, you mean where everybody is responsible for buying something for just one person! Good idea!" Hermione said. "But it doesn't change that I don't have any currency on me, Muggle or magical..."

Sasami reached into her nearby bag and pulled out a giant pouch. "Oh, we have more Galleons than we need. I'm sure that we can share with everybody!"

"But...wouldn't that be like buying your own gift?" Ron asked.

"Nope! It's the thought that counts, not the money!"

Washu got up. "Fantastic idea! I'll go create a randomization device that chooses who you will get a gift for!"

"Hold on now! We can just use a hat and paper!" Tenchi protested.

"And have Ryoko or Ayeka cheat? No, no, no!"

"You'd really expect us to cheat!" Ryoko asked, looking offended!

"I would," Luna chimed in.

"Well I think that this is something more suited toward you students as opposed to is adults I'm afraid," came Lupin's voice from the kitchen.

"Yeah, us Marauders have our own gift giving traditions to uphold!" Sirius roared, also from the kitchen.

Washu frowned. "Hmm, well I'm going to try and pester Yume one final time to join the fun before she goes tomorrow, but I doubt it. I'm not sure if Minagi would want to when she inevitably arrives since she doesn't know anything about this planet's traditions yet. However, I think it's safe to say Mihoshi wants in. I'll ask her when she comes back from patrol."

She turned to leave when she remembered something. "Oh yes! I almost forgot! Neville, didn't you have something to tell us?"

Neville flustered a bit. "I...err...can everybody please sit down. I need to talk about something I've never told you before..."

*HPVFTS*

Harry woke up from his long nap thanks to the yelling and crying coming from the living room. Picking up his glasses, Harry made his way out of bed to see what was the matter.

"Neville, I never knew!" came Ginny's voice. She sounded like he was crying.

"I didn't either!" added Hermione.

"Why didn't you tell us mate?" asked Ron.

As he had only just woken up from the ordeal that took place a few days prior, Harry's world was still a bit disjointed. However, he had enough wits about him to guess what this conversation was about.

"I...just didn't know what to say. It's tough sometimes...oh Harry!" Neville said, instantly brightening up upon seeing his friend.

The crowd of people started to gather around Harry, all trying to make sure he was okay. Harry just accepted it, knowing it was impossible to escape the grip of all the people who cared about him.

'Funny,' he thought to himself. 'I started out this year thinking I had nobody outside of Hermione and Ron looking out for me. How wrong I was.'

Mrs. Weasley forced herself in front of the poor boy. "Come now you all, he just woke up from a serious injury! Give him some room!"

Creating her computer, Washu scanned Harry's vitals in front of him. "Hmm...well everything seems in tact. The strain of removing the horcrux can be seen, but it is healing rather nicely. I think you'll be in shape in no time kiddo!"

"That's good," sighed Harry. "But, what's going on here? Is everything okay, Neville?"

Neville, who clearly did not want to retell the story of his parents for the third time in a day, squirmed a bit.

"You told everybody about your parents, didn't you?" Harry asked quietly.

The news that his friend knew about his parents caused Neville to do a jump take. "Wait...you knew? How...?"

"Dumbledore told me last year. I saw the trial of Bellatrix Lestrange and Barty Crouch Jr. in a pensive last year at his office," Harry explained quietly.

"Bellatrix Lestrange?" Hermione shrieked as she turned to Sirius. "You mean that foul woman Kreacher has a picture of in his room?!"

Sirius ruffled his hair. "Bella is my horrible wretch of a cousin. She fancied herself to be Voldemort's most loyal follower. My mother favored her and dear Cissy before me. Remember, I'm the embarrassment of the family."

"Who's Cissy?" asked Lee. "Sounds like a wuss."

"That would be the mother of your old pal Draco Malfoy," Sirius laughed. "Though it really is a sissy name, isn't? Eh? Eh? Anyone? Eh?"

Nobody laughed. Sirius sighed in defeat, his attempt to diffuse the various degrees of tension having failed.

"Well then Neville, what would you like to do about Christmas?" asked Ayeka. "Nobody would blame you if you wanted to be with your parents."

Neville scratched his head. "Honestly, I'd like to talk to my Gran about it."

"That's not a problem for a genius like me! Here...let's see if I can transport her here directly..." Washu muttered, hitting keys on her keyboard.

"Wait...if you can do that, why didn't we just transport here from Sirius' house?" Ginny asked.

"I have much better equipment here than I do in London. I can't bring EVERYTHING to school Ginny!" she waived it off.

"Um..Washu, I don't think Gran would like to be taken from her home. I think she would come here with the intent to fight."

"It's true," Remus agreed. "Everyone knows that one does not interrupt Augusta Longbottom and get away with it."

"Fine! I'll send out a drone! It will act like a telephone except she'll be able to see us. Are you happy with that Neville?"

Neville nodded his head. Washu ran into the lab and returned with a small device. She plugged in some coordinates based on where Neville said she would be and sent it off. In a few minutes, an elderly woman in a vulture's hat appeared in video form. She looked completely frazzled and pulled out her wand in self defense.

"What is the meaning of this?! What is this thing?! Is this a...Neville?" Augusta Longbottom cried, stopping when she saw her grandson.

"'lo Gran."

"Neville, what just happened to me? What magic is this? Wait, where are you?" Mrs. Longbottom asked, looking around the unfamiliar setting from her end.

"Gran, let me give you the short, short version. Her name is Washu. She goes to Hogwarts with me. She sent a hologram device to you so you can talk to me in Japan using advanced alien science. We are discussing Christmas and mum and dad. I want to ask can we stay here for Christmas and see Mum and Dad for only a little bit during the day," Neville explained rather nicely.

Washu cried a bit. "That's twice now I haven't had to explain anything! This is truly a fantastic day!"

Augusta tried to take everything in at once. "Japan?! Why are...oh that's right you have friends from there, don't you? You...well Neville, if that is what you want, then I suppose it is fine. You will see your parents for a little bit on Christmas, though. It is the right thing!"

"Thank you Gran."

"Now, would somebody please explain why there are aliens at Hogwarts? I understood the fact that they were from Japan, but why on Earth would the Ministry allow that?" she asked, looking at the non Magical people.

"Wait...you aren't questioning the existence of aliens?" Tenchi asked, amazed at this development.

Augusta adopted a stern look. "When you get to be my age, you don't get surprised at these kind of things. What I am surprised at, however, is how different my Neville is acting. You remind me of your father, boy. I don't know what it is, but you seem more confident in your posture."

Neville seemed shocked at this statement. This was one of the few times his strict Grandmother gave him a compliment. This just made Neville want to continue training to the best of his abilities.

"To answer your question, it's kind of a long story..." Ayeka began.

"I've got this in three words: Dumbledore vs. Voldemort," Ryoko simply said.

"Ah. Say no more. Now if you excuse me, I have a luncheon in an hour and I'd like to finish getting ready. Neville, I will expect you on Christmas around noon and perhaps I will return with you to meet your friends. Now if you could please send this device away I would be very happy," Augusta concluded with a curt nod.

"Thank you Gran," said Neville as he waved good bye. The image faded and in no time at all the drone returned to Washu's arm.

"Whelp," said Sirius. "That was one exciting moment after another. Who's up for a snowball fight? Harry?"

"Sirius Black!" Mrs. Weasley said, aghast. "He only just recovered from his injuries!"

"Well then he can be on my team! Come on Mooney! The Marauders reunited!"

Remus rose an eyebrow. "There isn't any way I can stop you, is there?"

"Nope."

*HPVFTS*

The snowball fight was concluded early when a giant spaceship crashed into the frozen lake, dousing the players in freezing cold water. Washu pulled up some heating blankets while Yosho started a fire.

"I told you all to not have a snowball fight! What were you thinking acting so childish?!" Molly roared.

"Now dear," said Arthur, who was also covered in snow and ice. "It seemed like a fun idea at the time."

Molly just stared at her husband. "If I didn't love you Arthur Weasley, I would hit you for how stupid you sound."

"I love you too dear," Arthur smiled. Molly couldn't help but smile back.

"I'm so sorry! I was only trying to land and I landed in the lake! Now I'm cold and wet!" Mihoshi cried.

Ryoko gave her a look. "You and the rest of us, nitwit!"

"Got any stories to tell us Professor?" Lee asked, eagerly anticipating some amazing intergalactic police action.

Mihoshi scratched her head. "Well I did stop an intergalactic biker gang outside of Neptune from speeding, which they were very nice about!"

"Uh huh," Lee said dejectedly.

"While you were all galavanting outside in the snow, I finished my randomization device! Truly one of my greatest inventions!" Washu laughed, cutting into Mihoshi's story. She produced a small red box with an opening big enough for paper.

Ron rose an eyebrow. "I thought Ryoko and Ryo-Ohki were your greatest inventions?"

Washu got in his face. "Do you want to participate or not, binky boy?"

He turned a shade of pink. "Yes..."

"Swell! All right, write your name on a piece of paper and stick it into the machine! The rest will be easy!"

"Wait," Sasami interjected. "I thought we were waiting for Minagi!"

"She hasn't gotten here yet, but I know she's on her way. Let's just leave her aside for now. Still, anyone who's joining in come right ahead!" Washu said.

The younger students and the Masaki houseguests wrote their names on various pieces of paper and parchment. Yosho, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and the Marauders declined to participate.

"You kids have fun. Somebody has to man the shrine," Yosho told them, departing out into the snow, leaving the house to their fun.

As soon as all of the entries were placed into the machine, a cannon appeared at the top of the small box and started to make strange sounds.

"Oh no," Ayeka worried. "This can't be good."

The cannon started shooting the parchments directly into the participants chests. Mrs. Weasley looked mortified but then directed her shock at Sirius, who was roaring with laughter. In the end, all of the Hogwarts students were knocked back on the ground, writhing in pain, except Luna, who seemed to have grabbed her paper before it could hit her.

Luna looked at her friends on the floor. "Well that was a thrill!"

"Ugh, damn it Washu," Ryoko coughed weakly. "Why does everything you make have the capacity to kill us?!"

Washu groaned on the floor. "I wasn't expecting it to be so powerful. My lungs..."

Ayeka looked up at Luna. "How...did you catch that?"

Luna shrugged. "Good reflexes I suppose. Hmm..." she said, reading her paper. "Simple enough to get a meaningful gift for."

"Who'd you get Luna?" Ron weakly asked.

"That is between me and Father Christmas," Luna replied.

"Wait a moment," Ginny asked, getting up off the ground. "It's so close to Christmas. Why haven't we started decorating yet? Do you guys not do that?"

"We...we have to wait for the guests to arrive," Tenchi said, catching his breath.

Molly rose an eyebrow. "You are going to fit MORE people in this house? My goodness! Who else could you possibly be waiting on?"

Sasami smiled. "You'll see! They'll probably get here tomorrow."

*HPVFTS*

"SASAMI! AYEKA!" came the all too familiar voice of Misaki Jurai. "AND SIRIUS!"

Molly Weasley was taken back by the two new visitors that arrived at the house. It became readily apparent that this house would have to compete between two overly nurturing mothers.

"And who might you two be?" the darker haired woman asked Molly and Arthur.

"Arthur Weasley, and this is my wife Molly. We are Ron, the twins, and Ginny's parents," Mr. Weasley responded, reaching out his hand and shaking hers.

The woman smiled. "It is very nice to meet you. We met your children not too long ago at that lovely little village near the castle. My name is Funaho and the woman suffocating my dear niece is my sister Misaki."

"Sirius, honey! Can you do it again? I love when he does this!" Misaki asked the last remaining Black.

Sirius sighed and winked at Harry while Remus was laughing to himself. He turned into his canine form and making Misaki's day.

"Aww, he's so cute!" she cooed.

"I must say, how can we fit so many people under one house comfortably?" Molly asked her husband.

Arthur shrugged. "Between magic and whatever doohickies that Washu girl has I am sure we can manage."

"What's this?" Misaki asked, looking around the house. "Why isn't there any decorations out yet?"

"We were told to wait for you," Hermione admitted. "But we are ready whenever you are!"

Misaki clapped her hands. "Then pass out the lights, bring out the tree, and let's prepare for Santa!"

"Santa?" Ron asked.

"Father Christmas," Luna told him.

"Ah."

The group all started to get in the spirit of the season. The little Japanese house was being decorated from top to bottom. With Misaki at the lead, everybody was put to work. Ryoko left with Luna to pick out the perfect tree while the rest divided themselves up between stringing lights and putting up tinsel and garland.

Molly took out her wand and started to string up the ceiling. Suddenly, Misaki appeared beside her and grabbed her wand. "What are you doing with my wand!?"

"Now, now; you can't take the easy way out! Let's do it by hand! Here you go," the Queen of Jurai said, giving back her wand while humming to herself.

Sirius, Lupin, Lee Jordan, and the Twins had taken it upon themselves to decorate the outside of the house. Of course, another snowball fight took place in minutes, though Misaki quickly got them back on task. In no time at all, the quintet finished their task and were singing "God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriff" at the top of their lungs to lure the others outside to see their work, much to the annoyance of Azaka and Kamidake.

By the time Ryoko and Luna returned with a tree three hours later, the interior of the house had been finished too. Ryoko looked tired and frustrated while Luna looked pleased with herself.

"What took you guys so long?" Tenchi asked the pair.

"We looked at EVERY damn tree on in the forrest! She wouldn't let me pick a single tree!" Ryoko growled.

"Those trees didn't want to become a Christmas tree. Father always says you must ask the tree if they wanted to become a Christmas tree before you chop it down. This tree wanted to be a part of our memories, those did not," Luna simply stated.

"Whatever," Ryoko defeatedly replied. "Let's light this bad boy up!"

As the group started putting on lights and ornaments that Tenchi had brought from storage, the group listened to Hermione sing to herself. The girl didn't even realize she was doing it, but nobody stopped her at Funaho's request.

"Trim every blessed needle on the blessed Christmas tree! Christmas comes tomorrow; trim you; trim me! Trim up your pets with fuzzle wuz, and whiffer bloofs, and wuzzle wuz! Trim up your uncle and your aunt with yards of Who Font Flay!" she merrily sang. Then she stopped and looked around. "Did...did I do that out loud?"

Funaho smiled. "This time of year has always brought out song and dance, even 700 years ago. There is no need to be embarrassed."

Mihoshi thought for a moment. "Hey, that sounds familiar..."

"Is that the song you sing with your parents from your Muggle Christmas movie?" Neville asked.

Hermione shook her head. "No, but it's from the same special."

Ayeka ran up to her. "Well, Hermione...why don't you sing us that song? I think it'd be good to hear!"

"Why did you suddenly get so interested in the music Ayeka?" Ryoko asked.

The comment caused Ayeka to turn up her nose. "If you must know Miss Ryoko, I happen to LIKE Earth Christmas music!"

Ryoko rolled her eyes. "Sure you do."

All eyes were on Hermione, who realized there was no getting out of it now. "Well...it's a bit nonsensical but...Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze; Welcome Christmas come this way. Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze; Welcome Christmas: Christmas Day," the young witch sang with a soul in her heart. It was clear there was some passion in her words.

But to her surprise, she didn't sing the chorus alone. Another voice sang with her. "Welcome Christmas, Fah Who Rahmus, Welcome Christmas, Dah Who Dahmus. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp!"

Hermione was so shocked to see Mihoshi sing with her that she stopped right there. "Professor Kuramitsu?! You...you have seen 'The Grinch?'"

"Of course! It comes on every December and they always play it right after 'Yogi's First Christmas' but before 'The Town Santa Forgot!'" Mihoshi replied.

"Mihoshi," Sasami asked. "Why haven't you ever watched it with us?"

Mihoshi shrugged. "You guys were always busy or sleeping."

"I have to say Hermione, I didn't understand half of that," Fred admitted.

"You aren't supposed to. It's made up words! It's based on a story by the American author Dr. Seuss," Hermione responded.

"Oh, the fellow who wrote 'The Butter Battle Book!' Father read me that when I was younger!" Luna said.

Hermione stared at her. "For a girl who enjoys 'Alice' and nonsense in general, I'm surprised that's the only Dr. Seuss book you ever read."

"True. On the other hand, I'm surprised a person who values facts and reality in general holds such an author in as high regard as you do," Luna retorted.

"Point taken."

"Aww, you children are precious! Why don't we start making Christmas cookies!" Misaki asked, leading the charge into the kitchen.

Suddenly, a knock was heard at the door. Sasami ran to it excitedly.

"Minagi is here!"

Truly it was a happy time for all in the Masaki house.

*HPVFTS*

The house continued to revel in the Christmas spirit with the appearance of Minagi. The space pirate seemed to enjoy being in the company of her friends and made new friends rather fast. The twins, in particular, took rather well to the identical pair of Ryoko and Minagi, despite their completely opposite personalities.

Sasami was probably the happiest of them all. Being the youngest one of the bunch (in regards to their natural ages, not by Earth standards), she was very happy to take place in the celebrations. She loved hearing about Wizarding Christmas from the Weasleys and a British Christmas from Hermionie.

But right now, Sasami had a serious thought on her mind.

"Mr. Weasley, would you be able to take me to Diagon Alley? I need some supplies for The Christmas dinner! It's only two days away and so much to do!" Sasami asked.

"Well, I don't see why not! I suppose this house isn't connected to the Floo Network, so we would have to apparate. Is that okay with you?"

The blue haired girl nodded. "No problem! Thank you so much!"

"Molly, we'll be back in a bit!" Arthur called to his wife, who was trying so hard to organize last minute decorations without her wand.

"Have fun dear! Be careful!"

The two held onto each other rightly and suddenly appeared right inside The Leaky Cauldron pub.

"Now Sasami, where would you like to start?" asked the Weasley patriarch.

"Actually..." Sasami shyly said. "I was wondering if we could go to where Neville's parents are."

"Merlin's beard! Why would you...you pulled Neville's name, didn't you?" Arthur asked the girl.

She nodded solemnly.

Arthur put the pieces together in his head. "You know that it would take more to do what you are planning than it took to remove that horcrux from Harry, don't you?"

Sasami adopted a weak smile. "I have to try!"

Though she was not his daughter, Arthur felt proud of the girl. Though she had only known his children and Neville for a short amount of time, she was willing to do anything for them. He made a mental note to tell Misaki that she had done a wonderful job parenting.

"Well, we have to go to St. Mungo' Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. It's a bit of a trek, but it shouldn't be too bad. Are you up for it?"

The Jurain princess nodded and the pair moved out.

*HPVFTS*

"Santa really is a git!" Ron cried.

"Seriously Ron?" Harry asked. "It's Father Christmas. He's the jolliest guy around."

"This is NOT Father Christmas! Father Christmas would not cancel Christmas because he thought the world didn't care for him!"

"Please Ron! This is really intense!" Minagi cut in, wishing to watch the special.

Sasami and Mr. Weasley returned to the house joined together watching an oddly animated Christmas movie. It was of no surprise to anyone that Ryoko was enjoying a nice drink of sake.

"Sasami! Come sit beside me! We have been watching this most interesting story about how Santa Claus wanted a holiday! It is so sad to think about!" Misaki wailed.

Sasami caught eyes with her sister, who shrugged and rolled her eyes. She laughed and sat beside her mother, who gave her a big hug.

Arthur caught up with his wife on the other side of the room. "How was your trip dear?" she asked.

Arthur did not know how to respond to such a simple question. "It...was interesting Molly."

"Oh? How so?"

"I really can't say. I'm sure tomorrow will reveal everything. What did everybody do today while we were gone?" Mr. Weasley asked.

"Well, the Masaki boy took our children to some Muggle store to go buy Christmas presents. It seems that they will be taking Christmas morning rather seriously."

"Molly," said Arthur. "You have no idea how serious Christmas morning will be."

*HPVFTS*

Hermione awoke rather groggily on Christmas morning. Something was wrong. She looked around and saw that the beds of her friends had been completely deserted. This troubled the young witch.

She slid open her door and listened downstairs for any sound. She didn't hear anything. The tree was very nicely decorated and there looked to be some gifts scattered abound, but without anyone to share that special moment with, it all seemed pointless.

But suddenly, she heard a small sound. It sounded like it was coming from outside. Hermione grabbed her shoes and put them on outside. She ran toward the source of the sound, which seemed to be coming from the lake.

Hermione did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low...then it started to grow!

"Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze; Welcome Christmas come this way. Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze; Welcome Christmas: Christmas Day!" came the voices.

Hermione was shocked by what she saw. From Tenchi to Harry; Sirius to Yosho, Ryoko to Luna...they all were singing and swinging their arms in a circle around the Funaho tree, just like in "The Grinch."

"This...this is wonderful!" she gasped, as tears streamed down her face.

"But this...this sound wasn't sad. Why...this sound sounded glad! Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, were singing...without any presents at all!" a familiar voice spoke behind her.

"It couldn't be..."

The witch swung around and ran toward her father and mother, who miraculously was here on Christmas Day! The trio hugged each other and in the hug, her father continued his memorization. "He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming...it came! Somehow or other...it came just the same. And the Grinch with his Grinch feet ice cold in the snow stood puzzling and puzzling..." Mr. Granger said, motioning to Hermione to finish the Grinch's lines.

"How could it be so?" Hermione choked between her tears. "It...it came without ribbons, it came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!"

Mrs. Granger smiled at her daughter. "He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore; then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more."

The joint collection of aliens, wizards, and humans stopped singing and shouted at the top of their lungs. "Welcome Christmas Hermione!" The twins lit off some fireworks they made that created images of Christmas trees and reindeer flying through the sky. It was truly a wondrous sight to behold.

"Mum...Dad! How...how did you get here?" Hermione cried, trying to compose herself.

"Well Hermione, your friend reached out to us and asked if we would spend the day with you. It seems one of your friends wanted to get you a special Christmas gift," Mr. Granger told his daughter.

"Besides," his wife added. "We've always wanted to visit Asia. It is a lovely place."

"But who...?" Hermione asked, before her eyes landed on her own academic rival. "Washu!"

The pink haired scientist shook her finger. "I might have helped bring them here Hermione, but this wasn't my gift to give."

"If it wasn't you..."

"Merry Christmas Hermione. I hope it is exactly what you wanted this year," came the voice of Ayeka Jurai.

Hermione looked to her parents and to her friends. "Yes. Yes it was. Thank you Ayeka."

*HPVFTS*

"A sake jug! Awesome!" Ryoko cheered as she opened up her gift. "George, you are a stand up guy!"

George came in for a high five. "Take a drink out of it. Fred and I were working on a special spell with you in mind."

Ryoko took a long drink. "Wow, that's some good sake! It doesn't even feel full." She looked in the jug. "Wait, this is empty!"

The red headed twin smiled. "It is our patented 'sake-out-of-nowhere' spell. This sake container siphons sake from every corner of the world and directs it directly to the jog when you drink. As long as there is sake to drink, you will get drunk."

"See, this is why I love you guys! Not as much as I love Tenchi, but you are up there for Earthlings!" she laughed between drinks.

"And we love you Ryoko, even for a Slytherin!" Fred said, enjoying the intergalactic novelty joke items that Ryoko got for him after receiving from Lee a few packages. "George, we have to look into mass producing these for our shop."

"A well thought out idea, brother!"

"'The Producers?' 'Blazing Saddles?' 'Young Frankenstein?' 'Spaceballs?' Hey, these are all comedies!" Fred exclaimed.

Lee smiled at his friend. "Indeed it is. I asked the Muggle shop owner what are some good comedy movies. He pointed me to that Mel Brooks fellow. I was drawn to these four. I figured we could have a laugh at school."

"Another well thought idea, Lee! I hope you enjoy the free stuff from our private stock. I figured you'd appreciate it more than anything I could buy."

Lee shrugged and smiled. "Hey, anything to pester Umbridge, am I right?"

The rest of the house was enjoying the morning celebrations. The gifts were all exchanged at once.

"We call these 'omamori.' Think of them as Japanese good luck totems," Tenchi told Harry after he opened up his own gift from Hermione, which happened to be a new practice block for when he was training at Hogwarts.

"Thanks Tenchi! I hope I don't need it. How do you like your gift Ron?" the boy who lived asked his best friend.

Ron broke down crying at the sight of his new broom. "Cripes mate, it's beautiful! A Nimbus 2002! How do I make it up to you?"

"By enjoying Christmas with me, mate," Harry smiled. His smile turned into a laugh he had to hide when he saw Ron's gift for Washu.

"A...chemistry set. For Earth children. This...this is great! Thank you Ronald!" Washu smiled, hugging the red haired boy.

Nearby, Sasami showed her mother the new Wizarding cooking set Ginny gave her. "The bowl is self cleaning and has an internal time! I can't wait to try it out later Ginny! Thank you!"

"Aww, Sasami that is so nice! Ginny, what did you get in your gift exchange?" Misaki asked the girl who she went over to embrace.

"Professor Kuramitsu gave me a series of buildings to make a Christmas village. It will look nice back home when we decorate next year," she got out before getting embraced by an overly excited Jurain queen.

"And what about you Ayeka?" Funaho asked, laughing at her sister's overzealousness.

The first princess of Jurai showed her aunt an intersting potted plant from Neville. "Its called a Mimbulus Mimbletonia apparently. Neville here is one of the best Herbologists at Hogwarts."

Neville came over to the calmer queen. "Well, isn't Jurai all about plants and trees? I would just watch out Ayeka, you have to treat it well or else it will attack you viciously in defense."

This caused Ayeka to give a worried look at the plant. "I'll keep that in mind. Thank you Neville."

Suddenly, a loud cry came from a corner of the living area. Mihoshi started to wail after opening her gifts from Luna.

"Blimey, what did you get her Luna?" Ryoko asked the blonde haired girl.

"A few Muggle movies. They just looked interesting yet meaningful. I was looking for that "Sailor Moon' show she wanted to teach us, but they still haven't made English copies yet," she mused.

Ryoko peered through the tears and saw she got a cartoon movie called "The Hobbit" and "Mary Poppins." She shrugged, assuming they would be shown at school within a month, and went back to her sake.

Washu came over with her own gift to give. "Luna my dear, I do believe I have neglected to give you your gift. Merry Christmas." She handed her housemate a wriggling box.

Luna opened it and was shocked by what she saw. It looked like a baby Crumple-Horned Snorkack. "This is a Ryuten Wood Shaver, commonly called a Crumple-Horned Snorkack. I had to search an entire forest for it, but I found it just the same!" Washu laughed.

The sight of the animal made Luna smile. "I think I will name you Dinah. Dinah the Snorkack! It fits, doesn't it?"

Hermione laughed. "You couldn't resist the 'Alice' naming theme, couldn't you?"

Luna looked offended. "Actually, I once heard a Muggle song that had the line 'Dinah, won't you blow your horn?' Appropriate for a Crumple-Horned Snorkack I believe."

"See guys?" Washu asked anyone who would hear her. "She's brilliant! I swear it!"

"*Ahem* If you are all done with your gifts, the adults have their own gifts to give, thank you very much," Sirius coughed.

"Us too!" Misaki added. She pointed to an unearthly pile of gifts that she had brought in after the song. Mr. Granger was examining it, shocked by the large pile.

Ginny took the time to point to her mother. "Don't forget about the ceremonial Weasley jumper!"

"A what?" Ryoko asked.

"A sweater," Luna replied, playing with Dinah aimlessly.

"Mooney, prepare the crackers! Spread em out randomly!" laughed Padfoot.

Lupin, in his Christmas pajamas, happily handed out random poppers. "Don't touch yet!" he told Ryoko, who was about to pull the string at the bottom.

"On the count of three! One..." Remus started before Sirius cut him off with his own popper. One by one, miniature explosions filled the house. Raining down from the roof, various candies and little toys filled the floor. In addition to the small treats, each popper included an ornament that suited each person. Harry had a snitch, Hermione a book, Ron a chess piece, Ginny a broom, Fred a joy buzzer, George a whoopee cushion, Lee a joker card, Neville a plant, Luna a tea cup, Tenchi a wooden sword, Ryoko a sake jug, Ayeka a crown, Sasami a frying pan, Mihoshi a police badge, Minagi a metal sword (they had gotten to know the space pirate well enough in the past few days to make her a gift too), and Washu a dunce cap much to her amusement. Sirius gave his own gifts to Miskai and Funaho, while Remus gave Katshuito a gift for his hospitality.

The gift giving continued well into the morning with all of the families joining together as one. Sasami prepared coffee, tea, and hot chocolate for everybody to drink. She kept looking at the clock, which was set to the England time zone for Neville's sake, waiting for her own surprise to take place. Surprisingly, nobody noticed that there was one amongst their number who did not receive a gift.

Finally, it was 11:30 A.M. and Sasami rushed over to Mr. Weasley. Whispering to the man, he nodded and the two moved over to Neville, who was fooling around with one of Fred and George's inventions.

"Neville, it's almost time for you to see your parents. I figured I would apparate with you if you would like," Sasami asked him. Neville gave her a look.

"I mean, I suppose if you wanted to, but I don't know if you would want to come in," he replied, giving a fake smile.

Sasami returned it with a real one. "I'll just come as support! I still have to give you your Christmas gift! It's in England anyway..."

"What...OH! I didn't even realize that I didn't get a gift."

"It's no problem Neville, really!"

Neville eyed her up and sighed. "I can't dissuade you from coming, can I?"

"Nope."

"Bollocks."

*HPVFTS*

Neville, Sasami, and Mr. Weasley walked down the corridor of the Spell Damage ward of St. Mungo's. Neville looked incredibly sullen, like the light of the morning had been sucked away. Sasami noted that this was clearly a hard place for Neville to be in.

"You okay?" she asked, nudging his shoulder.

He nodded lightly. "It's preparing yourself that's the hardest. You know that it is there, but it is hard to accept it."

Mr. Weasley patted him on the back. "Neville, your parents would be very proud of the young man you have become. Don't worry about seeing them like this; rather, think about how lucky you are to see them at all."

"That's what Gran used to tell me."

"And that's what I will keep telling you Neville!" came the voice of Augusta Longbottom from the end of the hall. She had clearly been waiting for the boy to arrive. "Happy Christmas. Thank you for bringing him Arthur. It is nice to see you again." The elderly witch looked at the blue haired girl and rose an eyebrow. "And who might you be, young lady?"

Sasami bowed. "My name is Sasami Jurai. Merry Christmas to you Mrs. Longbottom."

Augusta, recognizing the name, pulled out a letter from her giant purse. "The same Sasami who sent this letter to Neville? Interesting."

Reaching for the letter, Neville got confused. It was dated from a few days prior and had an instruction on it: "Do not open until you visit your parents."

Staring at his friend, Neville struggled for words. "I...I don't understand."

"Just open it inside! I think your parents would like to see their son open a Christmas gift this year," she smiled, looking to Mr. Weasley.

He nodded to the Longbottoms and motioned for Sasami to follow him. "Come on, let's let them be."

The pair left, leaving the Longbottoms alone to walk into the room. Neville walked into the room, leaving his emotions behind, ready to see his parents again for the holidays. It was not that Neville did not wish to see them, but it was a hard burden to carry for a young man of fifteen.

In the bed in front of him lay Alice and Frank Longbottom, his parents. They both looked a bit out of it, but Neville could tell that they were happy to see them. He had no solid proof that his parents could recognize their son, but the thought comforted him.

"Happy Christmas son! Happy Christmas Alice! Look who I brought to share the holiday with?" Augusta told the pair as she gave each of them a hug. She motioned to Neville. His mother got up and went to hug the boy. Neville accepted it with open arms.

"Hello Mum. Hello Dad. Happy Christmas," said Neville. His mom, noticing the letter, pointed to it repeatedly. This was not lost on Augusta.

"Neville, it looks like your mom wants you to open the letter. A nice little gift might be what we are needing, right Frank?" she smiled. Neville noted that she only seemed to smile here anymore.

He showed the letter to his father, who also made a motion to open the letter. Unaccustomed to seeing his parents act this way, Neville was curious as to why this letter was so important to them.

Ripping the letter open, he looked at a note scribbled on the top. It said "Read me out loud!" Neville started to scan the letter and proceeded to read it to his family. It said:

"Hello Neville,

Merry Christmas to you both! As you can see, I picked your name in the Secret Santa and I really wanted to make this a Christmas that you would remember for the rest of your life. I was hoping to be able to do something more lasting, but I would like to give you ten minutes of pure happiness. I want you to enjoy and make the most of them!

Merry Christmas,

Sasami *And Ryo-Ohki too!*"

The Longbottoms exchanged confused glances."What does she mean by 'happiness?'" Augusta asked her grandson.

"I have no idea."

Suddenly, a glowing blue light filled the room. The familiar visage of Tsunami appeared overhead and looked down on the quartet of wizards. She smiled and regarded them. "Happy holidays my friends. I am known as Tsunami, as Neville has learned recently. Sasami has told me of the horrors your family has faced, and I find it appalling."

Augusta made a motion to speak, but Neville gestured to let the woman continue her speech. "The two of us visited here not too long ago to see if there was anything that I could do to help, but without altering the very fabric of our universe, I am afraid I am unable to do anything permanent. But I can offer you this instead: ten minutes. Ten minutes of clarity for your parents; for your son and daughter in law. This is all my powers can do for you. I am so sorry I cannot do anything more. I ask this of you both: would this be too painful for you to come back from?"

There was silence for a moment. Neither Longbottom moved until Neville felt a hand on his shoulder. It was his mother, smiling and nodding. Looking his mother in the eyes, he resolved to keep strong and with all of his might, he gave a resounding nod. "I...I want this Gran. They want it. I want them to see their son with their own eyes."

"You know that they will lose all clarity soon," Tsunami warned. "Are you willing to accept that pain?"

"I am. If Mum and Dad can take anything away from this; if they can hold onto a single happy memory from today, it is worth it," Neville responded. He turned to Augusta. "I want this Gran; not just for me, but for them."

She put a hand to her heart, tears sliding down her face. "You have grown Neville Longbottom. I am proud to call you my grandson. You trust this woman?" Augusta added, not yet familiar with the people Neville had become acquainted with this past year.

"With my life."

Tsunami cast a light that engulfed Frank and Alice Longbottom. The wizard and witch blinked several times and stared at each other.

"Hello Frank," Alice told her husband.

Frank returned her smile. "Hello Alice." He looked to the other people in the room. "Hello mum. And bless my soul, Neville, you look great! Come over here and give your old man a hug."

Neville was momentarily shocked. This was the first time in his whole life that he heard his parents talk to him. A wave of emotions overcame the boy as he ran over to his father and gave him a giant hug.

"Happy Christmas Dad! Mum! I love you!" he cried, grasping both as hard as he could.

"Happy Christmas son."

*HPVFTS*

"I hope everything is going okay in there," Sasami fretted. Though she knew that Tsunami had done the deed, she did not wish to invade the Longbottom's privacy.

Mr. Weasley put his hand on her shoulder. "I'm sure everything is going better than anyone could have imagined. You gave Neville and his grandmother a gift that can never be replicated."

"What...what if they regret having to see their family go back into...into madness?" Sasami whispered.

"You gave them the option Sasami. It all boils down to whether the guilt of knowing you had the chance to do this and passed it up overpowers the pain of having to see them suffer again. You are an incredibly mature young girl for your age," Arthur added, looking grimly out the window at the falling snow.

She laughed. "Well, I AM over two hundred years old."

Arthur blinked. "Are you now? Fascinating!"

Sasami started to laugh before she adopted an odd look. Her headmark began to glow and, after a moment, she blinked and said "They are coming."

The two Longbottoms made their way out of the room. A proud woman, it was shocking for Arthur to see Augusta being held by Neville with tears in her eyes. The woman looked at Sasami and gave her a giant hug.

"Thank you...thank you for letting me talk to my boy again," she sobbed.

Neville held to her tightly. "It's okay Gran. Sasami, I..." he started before he was stopped by Sasami. She flashed her teeth and smiled.

"Merry Christmas Neville!"

"Happy Christmas Sasami."

Augusta composed herself and regarded Mr. Weasley. "Well Arthur, I believe you know the way to Japan. I must admit I have never been to there. Would you be able to apparate us all together? I do not wish to be late for what I am sure is a great Christmas dinner."

Mr. Weasley motioned to the end of the hallway. "I think we all can manage. I just hope that my boys haven't blown the house up yet."

"Honestly Mr. Weasley, I'd be more concerned with Ayeka and Ryoko," Neville laughed, color returning to his face.

The group left St. Mungo's in happy place. Though they do not know it, Alice and Frank Longbottom smiled at the happy memory they now shared; a shining light left by Tsunami in a fog of darkness.
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25975 Chapter 17: No Need for Snivellus

Severus Snape was not happy.

Professor Dumbledore had asked Snape to locate Harry Potter in order to implement measures to keep Lord Voldemort out of his mind, but this had caused several issues with the disgruntled professor. He did not fathom why he had to be saddled with this task and why he was playing errand boy to his least favorite student. Though the task was necessary, he knew that the boy would be resistant to the idea of it and, as such, he was not looking forward to dealing with that famous Potter attitude.

The issue was now finding him.

He was informed that Potter was staying with Ryoko Hakubi and Ayeka Jurai for the break, information that made his lips curl. Those two had become a constant irritation since they stepped foot on school ground. Between their own little quarrels and their pining for the Masaki boy, Snape learned that they would be an issue that needed correction. He was surprised, however, to hear from Malfoy and Parkinson that they were model students in the Common Room. It was worth looking into, but not enough to make it a priority.

As Severus Snape traversed the woods of Japan, he could not help but feel a sense of dread. It was a curious feeling, but one he discarded. Professor Dumbledore had given him an approximation of where the house would be, so he knew he was close. Soon Snape passed by a cave and the feeling of dread returned. Pulling out his wand, he entered the dark place.

"Lumos," he whispered. He directed his wand around the room. There appeared to be a little shrine that was rusted over, presumably from age. Toward the back was a fence and a rock. The rock was notable for it being wrapped up. It appeared to have been cut in half at one point. Judging by the material binding the stone together, the cut appeared to have been made a few years prior.

"Interesting. I can detect no actual magic being used, but something is here...something dark," he muttered to himself.

Exiting the cave, Snape spied a house not too far away. "This must be where Potter is. How quaint."

Suddenly, an explosion could be heard. Smoke appeared to be rising out of the house and Snape pulled out his wand again in response. Though he did not care to admit it, he had a duty to protect Potter and his students from certain harm.

"What in the..." he muttered.

Sprinting toward the house, Snape was surprised to see the house repair itself almost instantly. It was as if he was imagining things. He rushed past the two logs that stood watch over the house and flew to the door. Hearing laughter inside, he was confused about the sudden lack of concern about the explosion. Snape's eyebrow twitched as he waited for somebody to answer the door.

In a few seconds, the familiar image of Sasami Jurai filled the doorframe. A look of shock filled her face.

"Pro...Professor Snape! What are you doing here?!" she asked astonished.

"Miss Jurai. I am here on a mission from Professor Dumbledore. May I...step in?" Snape drawled.

Looking behind her frantically, Sasami nodded and let the man in. Snape surveyed the room and was shocked by how many people seemed to fit into one area, including his least favorite members of the Order of the Phoenix.

"Professor Snape?! How did you find my house?!" Tenchi Masaki asked, surprised to see his teacher standing in his living room.

"As I just told the younger Jurai, I am here to deliver a message from Professor Dumbledore. Where is Potter?"

Tenchi snapped out of the shocked look he had a minute ago. "I'll find him for you! Please make yourself at home."

A blue haired woman, who Snape presumed was Sasami's mother, came up and bowed to him. "Hello there, my name is Misaki. Am I to understand that you are the Professor Snape that watches over my little Ayeka?"

He regarded her and nodded. "Ah, well let me give you a hug to show my thanks for taking such good care of my daughter!"

"I wouldn't do that if I were you Lady Misaki. You wouldn't want to get his grease all over that nice dress you are wearing!" came the all too familiar voice of Sirius Black.

"Black, I should have known you would be here. Dumbledore told me he was having trouble keeping you locked up. I suggested putting you in a kennel, but he was not too keen on the idea," Snape retorted.

Funaho, who was also in the room, looked at the men. "I can see that you two do not get along very well. May I ask why?"

"He's a greasy git!"

"He's a reckless, arrogant pest!"

A laugh came out from the back room. "Boy, you guys sound worse than Ayeka and Ryoko!" Mihoshi chortled. She came walking in, eating some kind of Japanese dish. Snape was a bit surprised to see her here, but it made sense nevertheless.

"Kuramitsu, I must admit I did not realize you stayed with your students during a holiday. Tell me, does everyone in the Jurai Magical School act so...familiar with each other?" Snape inquired. He had his own doubts about the dubious nature of an underground school forming without any word, but it did not bother him too much. Regardless, it was still worth looking into when time allowed it.

As he suspected, she began to panic a bit. 'Hmm...this is an interesting response.' he thought as she babbled on about various things, clearly trying to save face. "I see Professor Kuramitsu. I understand."

"You do?!"

Snape's lip curled. "I do."

"So Snivellus, why ARE you here? What could Dumbledore possibly want that cannot wait until Harry goes back to school?" Sirius pressed.

"Not that it matters to you Black, but the Headmaster believes that it is most important for Potter to...ah speak of the devil," Severus smiled.

Tenchi had brought Potter into the room at last. He was followed by a menagerie of Hogwarts students, including two of his charges.

"Well now; I was under the impression that Potter would be here, but the amount of students here is...staggering." Snape sneered, gazing upon the new arrivals. "Regardless, Potter it is important that I speak to you alone. Is there anywhere in this house that we can speak in private?"

Sirius moved toward his godson in a flash. "If you have anything to say to Harry, you say it to me! I'm his godfather after all!"

Snaps sighed, knowing he would find out anyway. "If you insist Black. Masaki, may we use your kitchen?"

Tenchi, still reeling at the fact that his teacher was in his house, nodded. "Sure, uh, Professor! Is there anything we can get for you?"

"I am quite satisfied with Potter. Thank you."

The three men walked into the kitchen. Muttering a simple spell, Snape made sure that the room was silent and inaccessible. He faced the boy and the man child.

"Now Potter, the Headmaster has decided that it is in your best interest to learn the craft of occulemency given your episode earlier in the month."

Potter looked confused. "What is occulemency...Professor?"

This boy was hopeless, but it was his job to make sure he did not die. Truly there was none of his mother's potential in him. "It is the magical defense of the mind. It will help prevent the Dark Lord from looking inside your head; something that the Headmaster believes is a priority."

Black raised an eyebrow. "That's a rather obscure bit of magic. When will Dumbledore be teaching him?"

This caused Snape to sigh. "The Headmaster will not be overseeing Potter's lessons. I will."

The thought of Snape having private lessons with Potter seemed to have the exact same reaction in Black as it did himself. "WHAT?!"

"I assure you I did not ask for this. Trust me Potter, the less time we have to occupy a classroom the better."

"But Professor, do I really need to do these lessons anymore? The snake is dead and I'm no longer one of those 'horcrux' things," Potter asked.

Snape stopped breathing and examined the boy. He attempted to peer inside his mind and saw the truth in several images: a glowing blue woman, a shard being destroyed by a sword, several images on a computer, and Potter lying on the ground.

"When did this happen? Does the Headmaster know?!" Snape whispered.

The boy shook his head. "I must admit Potter, this news has taken me quite off guard. The Headmaster....declined to say anything of horcruxes to any other member of the Order. How did you come to know of this development?" Snape pried.

Harry shrugged. "Magic."

Snape stepped forward. "Do not play games with me Potter! This is serious! I do not believe the Dark Lord is aware of this development but it is still critical that you do close your mind! It may still be in your best interest to have these lessons, but do NOT share with anyone what you have just shared with me, lest of all Dolores Umbridge! You will meet at my office every Wednesday night when term resumes," Snape instructed. "If anyone asks, you are merely taking Remedial Potions. Trust me, nobody who has seen your performance in class will question it. Now Black, is there anything else you would like to shed light on or are you going to stare there like a dog looking at headlights?"

Sirius got into Snape's face and pulled out his wand. "Listen to me carefully Snivellus, what you just saw is between you, Harry, and me! If I hear that this got out or if you mistreat Harry at all, you will have to answer to ME!"

"You dare pull a wand on me Black?!"

"I'll do much worse you slimy git! Just give me a reason...oh please do!"

"Bash his face in!" came a voice from the corner. The two men turned to see Ryoko, sipping sake and eating some kind of rice cake.

"Hakubi! How did you get in here?" Snape muttered.

The woman shrugged. "I walked through the wall. So are you guys going to continue? It was starting to get good."

Snape composed himself and lifted the spells off the kitchen. "Black, you are a spoiled child. I will not stoop myself to your level. Potter, I expect you in my office on the first Wednesday we return. Hakubi, remember I have my eye on you."

The man went for the door until he was stopped by the blue haired woman again. "Where are you going Professor? " she asked.

"I have business to attend to back at the school. Despite what Black must think I do have a job to do. If you would excuse me," he started before, again, being stopped by the woman.

"If you are going to go so fast, I would like to give you a gift."

Snape's lip curled yet again for the umpteenth time today. "A gift, Madame?"

She ran into another room. Snape stood there sighing. He looked at the various people in the house and gave them a look that said "Talk to me and I will make your life hell." Suddenly she returned; in her hands six jugs similar to the one that Hakubi was drinking out of.

"I had heard from Ayeka and Ryoko that you tried Jurai's famous Shinzo Sake. I think that, as a token of appreciation for looking after my daughter, I'd like to give you another bottle. These are for you and the other heads of the houses of Hogwarts. I would also pass one on to the Headmaster and that nice Hagrid fellow I've heard about. Would you be able to do that for me?" Lady Misaki asked.

Snape was planning on leaving, but her eyes caught him. She seemed so sincere that he felt obligated to assist. Was she bewitching him...or perhaps she was part Veela?

Snapping out of his thoughts, Severus bowed and accepted the gifts. "Thank you Ms. Jurai. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday," Snape muttered, not knowing what was going on here. It bore further investigation at a later time, but for now he wanted to get as far away from this house as possible.

*HPVFTS*

"You have deceived me Headmaster!" Snape roared when he returned to Dumbledore's office. The twinkle that typically occupied the old man's gaze faded, trying to discern what was troubling his Potions Master.

"Have I Severus? I must admit that I do so many things that I have trouble remembering what any given person might refer to."

"Drop the act Albus! I know about the Dark Lord's horcruxes and I know about Potter! When were you going to tell me that he was a horcrux?! You told me everything that we were doing was to protect Lilly's son from harm!" Severus was seething with rage now.

Dumbledore's expression gave away his true feelings. He was a bit shocked at this development, but considering the impulsiveness that Miss Hakubi consistently displayed, he should have expected her to take these steps when she was out of his sight.

"What did Washu tell you?"

Snape raised an eyebrow. "Washu? You mean the Ravenclaw? I learned it from Potter himself! I used legimency to peer into the boy's mind. I saw a glowing, blue haired woman extract what was no doubt the horcrux from his soul using some kind of magic which is unknown to me at the moment. I also saw some kind of rabbit-eared woman display a Muggle computer image of several objects, including Riddle's Diary."

Dumbledore considered what Snape had told him. Snape could see that he was deep in thought. This was all a new development to him as well, apparently. "You didn't know, Headmaster?"

"Oh I guessed, Severus. I could not be certain until I did my own research, but some of our friends went out and took it upon themselves to see what they could find. Did you not question why Alastair Moody knew where to find Voldemort's snake?"

"Nagini was a horcrux?" the Potions Master whispered.

The Headmaster nodded. "So it seems. With her death and Harry's extraction, I do believe that the threat of horcruxes might be at an end. I do, however, humbly request you to make sure that Voldemort does not suspect anything."

Snape stared at him. "You expect me to do your dirty work when you do not have the decency to tell me about Potter?! Why should I do anything for you?"

"Severus, you are acting rash. I apologize to you, but I have not shared this with another soul save for the Hakubi girl."

The black haired man's expression grew quizzical. "Let us follow that thought: what is so bloody special about her?! I looked everywhere in Japan for a HINT of a Juraian Academy or whatever they are called and I can find none! The only inkling I had was when I visited their house and Jurai's mother mentioned it!"

"Ah, I have yet to have the privilege of meeting her. Was she a nice woman?"

"Well I suppose...wait, you are changing the point! Do not try and mock me Dumbledore! What is going on here?!"

Albus stared into the man's eyes. "You ask me to keep secrets for you Severus. I will not betray the trust of another who has asked the same of me. If she chooses to share with you, as she has with Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, that is up to her. I do ask that you do not pester her. All you need to know is that I trust her and those she associates with. Now was there anything else of note in Japan before I send you on your merry way?"

Snape started to leave before he stopped. "Actually, Headmaster, I have two things of note."

"Oh? Do tell Severus."

The man pulled out the jugs that the Jurai woman gave to him and placed them on his boss' desk. "These are gifts from Jurai's mother...as a thanks for watching her daughters. They go to Filius, Pomona, Minerva, Hagrid, and you, Headmaster. I do wish to inform you that it is nothing like I have ever tasted before. It is...enlightening to say the least."

Dumbledore looked at the bottle, opened one and took a sip. "My, that is tasty. I am not one to typically drink, but I must ask Ayeka where to find this. I will see to it that these are delivered. Now, what was your second concern?"

Snape adopted a serious look on his face. "Headmaster, I was disturbed by something that I encountered at the Masaki residence."

"Go on."

"There was a cave on the property. I believe it was a shrine of some kind. There was a dark energy there...some kind of dark magic was once used there. I am not sure what, but it happened at least a few years ago," he elaborated.

Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, I believe I know what you are referring to. It is a long and complicated tale; nothing that needs to be looked into any further. It might, perhaps, be best used as a red herring."

"A red herring? What do you mean?"

"Consider this: Voldemort has been on the move to acquire the prophecy that you interrupted so many years ago. Now that his magical familiar is dead, he might look into the horcruxes or he might double his efforts to break into the Department of Mysteries. If this bit of information were to fall into his pocket, it might buy us some time before he realizes that Nagini was not merely killed because of the threat on Arthur Weasley's life."

Snape paused and thought about it. The idea had merit, though he wished he understood what occurred there that the Headmaster was withholding from him. Regardless, what choice did he have?

"Consider it done Headmaster."

*HPVFTS*

Snape moved around the dark hallway of the safe house. It was an old Muggle building that had once been owned by the Dark Lord's Muggle father years ago and was now housing his most trusted followers. At the present moment, only that slime Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew and Lucius Malfoy were in the house.

And, of course, the Dark Lord himself.

He was pacing around the room, looking furious. He had been in a foul mood indeed since Nagini had been killed. Rookwood and McNair were almost killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time on that day. It was a very tense environment for all of the Death Eaters.

"My lord," Snape announced, letting his presence be known.

Voldemort regarded the man. "Severus, I am in no mood today for you. Give me a reason why I should entertain anything you say."

"If my Lordship wishes for me to leave, I would do so kindly. However; I have news from both Hogwarts and Japan."

The serpentine, red eyed wizard stopped. "What need have I for news from Japan? My concerns are here in Britain."

"Yes, my Lord, but as of this moment, Harry Potter is in Japan."

This caused Lord Voldemort to stop pacing around. "Japan? The boy is in Japan? Why is this of importance?"

"I visited him on Albus Dumbledore's orders. He is presently staying in the Okayama Prefecture with some friends that he made from school. Lucius, I am sure you have heard of them from Draco."

The blonde hair man nodded. "I can indeed vouch for him, my Lord. Draco came home with the most amazing tales of visitors from a Japanese school, including asking about something called 'sake.' Two of them are in Slytherin house, a Hakubi and a Jurai if I recall."

"While this is indeed fascinating news, Potter is not my concern right now; the prophecy is. I am also troubled by the ease in which Alastair Moody killed my dear Nagini. He will be dealt with properly, of course, and I know for certain one of my plans is still in place in its cave hiding place...I visited it personally and refortified its defenses," Voldemort spoke cryptically, referring to what Snape believed to be a horcrux that seemed to not be found yet. He would have to tell Dumbledore the first chance he could get.

"My Lord, I am aware of your desire to distance yourself away from the boy, but I was not referring to him. While I was at the house, I came across a dark cave of sorts. It seemed like Dark Magic was used there...I am unsure whether that is cause for concern..." Snape interjected before being cut off himself.

"This might be worth looking into. Japan, eh? This might be a task I can do myself. If Dumbledore is aware of Potter's presence there, may I assume there are Order members there as well?" he asked.

"The werewolf Lupin, Sirius Black, and the Weasley blood traitors."

Voldemort thought about it. "I should have known. I will make my visit when I know term has started again at Hogwarts. The less attention I bring, the better for us all. You have done well to bring this to my attention Snape. Lord Voldemort always rewards his followers. Lucius, continue your planning for the Department of Mysteries. We will make our move when we free Bella from Azkaban. Remember Lucius, I WANT that prophecy!"

The sniveling toad known as Wormtail stirred. "What about me, my Lord?"

Voldemort adopted a look of disgust. "Get out of my sight."
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25976 Chapter 18: No Need for Nonsense

With the break finally over, Harry and the gang bid their tearful goodbyes to the various family members and friends they left behind. Misaki and Funaho left for Jurai, the Order Members went back to Sirius' house, the Grangers were brought back to Britain, and, surprisingly, Augusta Longbottom decided to stay and take a holiday in Japan with Minagi as her guide. It was an eye opener for Neville to say the least, but it made him feel happy that his Gran was living for the first time in so many years. In the end, the holiday season had brought the two groups of people together. However, it was time to depart from Okayama and return back to that castle of wonder and excitement.

The time had come to return to Hogwarts.

Tenchi, the girls (including Mihoshi), and their wizarding companions were sharing two compartments on the Hogwarts Express. It was bittersweet to leave the Masaki residence, but the children were looking forward to returning to their second home. The girls, on the other hand, had mixed reactions to it. While Sasami seemed happy to readopt her Gryffindor colors, Ryoko and Ayeka were not pleased. By coming back to Hogwarts, they had limited interaction with Tenchi and had to deal with their least favorite person on the planet: Dolores Umbrige.

Tenchi, on the other hand, did not know what to feel. He was in an interesting situation. More often than not, things happened around him or because of his presence. This was something that he was quite used to. However, actually teaching was a whole new experience for him. Though he was protective in nature, the Crown Prince of Jurai did not truly think he was good enough to teach these kids anything, least of all sword play.

But then he thought of the kids like Neville, who actually looked forward to his lessons. The idea that he could reach these children in ways that teachers like Umbridge could not put his mind at ease. He would defend his charges as he would his friends.

"Tenchi!" a voice from outside cried.

The occupants of the compartment turned and saw several students all peering in. To an outsider, one would just see several students catching up from the break. But if you were in the know, you would notice that these were all members from the D.A.

"Ernie! Dean! Jeez, who else do you have out there?" the young man asked. Trying to gauge who was there. It was hard to tell from the compartment, so Tenchi just assumed that there were non D.A. people out there too, just incase.

"The whole lot," Ernie told him. "We are excited to start term up again. What sort of fun things do you all have planned for us?"

Tenchi laughed it off. "Well, I'm not really sure. I don't know what kind of MOVIES Professor Kuramitsu has in store," he said winking his eye. Ernie and Dean, the two closest people to the door got the hint.

Dean, hoping to see Mihoshi on the train, handed her a box. "Say no more. Happy belated Christmas, Professor. I went through my house and picked out some great movies for us to watch!"

The thought of presents made Mihoshi blush. "Oh Dean, this is great! I'll look them up when I get back to my office!"

"Hang on, I've got stuff too! I went to one of those Muggle stores, Suncoast I think, and bought some stuff that looked cool. It was easy to go to Gringotts and convert into Muggle pounds," Ernie exclaimed.

"Wow! Thank you Ernie! You don't need to give me anything until we get back! This is so exciting! Don't you agree Tenchi? We are going to have a great term!" the blonde haired woman asked, excited as ever.

"You said it Mihoshi," Tenchi replied.

"Wait," Ryoko said. "Who did you ask to bring movies to you Mihoshi?"

Mihoshi thought about it for a moment. "Um...I'd say about everyone in the school."

The teal haired woman face palmed. "You idiot! How are you going to choose what movies to watch?! And where are you going to put them?!"

"Give me a few hours, I'll think of something," Washu responded for her, zoning out of her own thoughts. "It could be fun."

Tenchi gave her a look. "No, no, no. I'll think of something! We are not having a repeat of your little Christmas invention again!"

Washu shot him a look of pity. "Tenchi, you wound me!"

The blonde haired woman sifted through the boxes and placed them down next to four packages she had brought. Dean looked at the boxes and squinted his eyes.

"What's in the boxes Professor? Something for class?" he asked.

Mihoshi laughed. "Silly, it's not for class! I have gifts for the four Houses!"

"Wait, what?! When did you get those?!" Tenchi asked, surprised.

Ayeka picked up a box at started to shake it. "I thought these were just more of your funny books. Where did you get these?"

"The store! I got paid a few days ago and I wanted to do something for everyone!"

Ryoko snorted. "You get paid?! For what, property damage?"

Sasami jumped in to her aid. "Hey, Mihoshi is the only one besides Tenchi's father who actually helps with the bills right now! Since I'm here I haven't been able to sell my carrot cakes to add to the income, so it's just Mihoshi!"

"You know, I'm curious about something," Ayeka said. "Do you actually get paid to teach Mihoshi?"

Mihoshi nodded. "Yes I do Miss Ayeka! I use part of it to help Mr. Masaki and the rest to finance the class."

"You never told us what is in the boxes, Professor," Ron added. "What could you have possibly gotten for every house?"

"You'll see!" Mihoshi said with a smile.

*HPVFTS*

The Great Hall was buzzing with activity upon the returning feast. The students were very excited to see their peers once more and it seemed like Harry and Tenchi were getting bombarded by nearly every person in the D.A. They all seemed to be eager to continue the lessons as soon as possible.

At the Slytherin table, Ayeka kept getting favorable glances from several of the professors. All of them were really into their goblets for some reason. It was not until she saw Professor Sprout tip something inter her drink that she realized what was going on. She had completely forgotten that her mother had given them some of Jurai's Shinzo sake. Ayeka wondered if their presence was really a negative influence on the school. Looking to Ryoko sipping out of the present Fred and George made for her, Ayeka had to sight and admit it to be true.

Dumbledore stepped up to his podium and waited for the talking to simmer down. "Welcome back to Hogwarts my young charges. It does an old man good to see so many bright and happy faces. May you retain that jubilant nature throughout the rest of your term. Now I understand that a few of our number wish to make speeches. Professor Umbridge, I believe you had something you would like to address."

The sneering old woman took the podium and several students started to laugh to themselves. She had what appeared to be little bruises around her entire face and arms. She scowled at the student body and let out her familiar "Hem hem!"

"Hello children. I must say it is...nice to see you all again. You might be up here asking why I am covered in bruises such as these. These are the result of one of your number sending me a Christmas gift in terribly poor taste. When I found out which one of you sent me those...creatures...I will assure you that your punishment will be severe!" she bellowed.

Ron turned to Fred and George. "What did you two do?!"

Fred shrugged. "Wasn't us."

"At least, not directly."

"We might have told her that it would be funny to get the warted one a gift."

"But we had no part in acquiring or SENDING said gift."

"To think you would accuse your own family of sending crabs singing the Grinch song!"

"For shame!"

Looking at his two brothers, Ron tried to follow their line of vision. They were staring directly at Washu, who smiled and waved to the red headed fifth year.

"Crabs who...what?" Ron shook his head. "Never mind, look! Mihoshi is taking the stage!"

The Galaxy Police officer composed herself and waved to the student body. "Hi everyone! It's great to be back! Now, this time of year is all about giving and since you all were not around to get my gifts to all of you, I figured now would be the time to do it!"

She picked up her boxes and gave one to each of the heads of the house. They started to unwrap each box and inside was a gray box of sorts and a few odd cartridges.

"Though I can't give a gift to each of you individually, I managed to scrounge up enough to give each house their own Faicom System, or a Nintendo Entertainment System if I understand your translation! They play video games! I also gave you some of my favorite games to play! You have Tetris, Super Mario Bros., Rockman 2, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, and Kirby's Adventure! I hope to get some more games as I get more Muggle money, but you all should get a lot of enjoyment out of these games!"

The Muggle born students cheered uncontrollably and started talking to themselves. The others, however were perplexed. "What's a video game?" Draco Malfoy called out.

Mihoshi ran out and dragged in her TV, nearly running over Mrs. Norris the cat with it. After struggling to attach it to the machine, she finally turned to Washu, who sighed and hooked up up. Mihoshi then took the copy of Super Mario Bros. and blew into the bottom. She placed it into the slot and flipped the switch.

The screen burst to life and the wizards watched as Mihoshi controlled a small red man running away from mushrooms and turtles. The students were in awe of the machine and the excitement grew.

"Now, I only had enough for one of these and a TV for each house, so please share!" Mihoshi advocated.

Umbridge took the floor again, pointing to the machine. "This will be a distraction for all of these students! How will the students focus on their studies?!"

"I think that we should limit this time to weekends only, Professors Kuramitsu and Umbridge. While I applaud your enthusiasm to bring joy to our students, Professor Umbridge raises a valuable point. This is a school and the education must come first," Dumbledore interjected.

Washu laughed to herself. "Education, feh. Where is the math? Where is the science?"

"Wizards are expected to learn those things on their own," Luna told her. "I admit, it's not a good system, but it seems to work well enough."

The pink haired scientist sighed. "So much potential wasted."

*HPVFTS*

"Hold your wand straight. The 'Accio' spell can be used in every day life, true, but it might save you in battle. Remember how I handled the dragon last year? Without my broom I would have been killed," Harry explained to the members of the D.A. They had wasted no time in resuming lessons. Ever since Harry had the horcrux inside him removed, he had felt far happier and more confident. The anger and loneliness that he felt in the beginning of the year dissipated.

The students were given various trinkets to summon and objects started flying around the room. Some students, like Hermione and Ginny, achieved their goal instantly. Others, like Lee and Neville, were still working on the kinks. Washu was studying the effects of the spell, taking note of how merely saying the object's name was enough for the spell to work. Ryoko and Ayeka were trying to use their fake wands to summon their little cups, but they were failing miserably. They looked on as Sasami effortlessly received her glass on her first try much to their disdain.

"Good work guys! Cho, keep your arm straight. Ernie, focus on the box. Keep the box in your head. Corner, mind your pronunciation," Harry barked. He was surprised at how effective he was at being a leader, but it seemed like everybody was responding to him well enough.

Without warning, a sudden knocking sound was hear outside the room. The students looked to each other fearfully.

"I thought that Umbridge couldn't find us!" cried Cho Chang.

"Crap, I didn't mention to keep the room hidden when I created it today!" Ryoko hit her head.

Ayeka grabbed her collar. "You stupid monster! You have ruined us all!"

"What will we do Potter?!" Goldstein asked.

Everybody turned to Harry for guidance. Buckling under the pressure, he turned to Washu, who he believed was better than he was at thinking on her feet.

"Don't look at me kid, I'm panicking too!" she exclaimed to Harry's horror.

Hermione started moving quickly. "Don't worry everybody, I have a plan! Washu, I need you to create a table! Fred, George, let's get those tea cups you made! Everybody, hide and take a book! Each book has a list of names; find your name and use these to act the part! Luna, Fred, and George put these on! Come on people, double time!"

Hermione took out a handbag and started pulling out various items. Not a single person questioned her as they tried to all fit in a closet to failing success. Luna stared at the familiar dress giggled. Harry looked at the book and blinked. "Hermione, why do you have this?"

"Well I had the idea over holiday and I thought that if we were put on the spot, those two could easily follow my lead and improvise. Fred and George were a big help," Hermione exclaimed, searching for a hat.

Fred beamed, grabbing what looked like a spinning hat. "We aim to please."

"Washu, can you make that closet disappear after you find your ears?"

"They are all not going to fit, but I can create a wall that makes the room seem smaller, but you all have to act quickly and use whatever Granger gives you! We need to make it seem like a dressing room! Nobody move!" Washu pulled out her computer and created the table and the wall.

*HPVFTS*

Dolores Umbridge was pleased.

She was very curious at the large group of people that kept visiting Potter during the feast. She noticed that these were all people who she had seen with those "pog" things Ayeka Jurai told her about. This intrigued the professor to no end as she believed they were hiding something right under her nose and that the Jurai girl was to blind to see her own sister's treachery.

When she overheard a group of fourth years mentioning that they saw a large group of people heading upstairs, she was overcome with joy. This was her chance to see what they could possibly be doing. Fetching Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape and Filch, she made her way to the seventh floor, eager to catch Potter and his friends in the act.

"Professor Umbridge, do you have any proof of mischief going on up here?" Professor Dumbledore asked.

"Proof?! I do not NEED proof! By the order of Cornelius Fudge I..."

"As much as I love to hear of your various achievements Dolores, we should at least know WHO we are trying to stop," Minerva deadpanned, her voice rife with contempt.

Umbridge turned around on the spot and got in her face. "Listen here Minerva, you may think that you know what is best of Hogwarts but you are WRONG! I speak for the Ministry and the Ministry knows what is best for ALL of our young wizards and witches!"

"Ladies," Severus Snape interrupted. "I have a class to teach shortly. Can we please get this over with?"

Umbridge look flustered, but conceded the point. "Very well. You there!" she barked at a photograph. "Where did the group of students go?"

The photo did not reply back. "Dolores, this man's portrait is empty. Yelling will not cause him to return."

The woman put up her hand and listened closely. She thought she could hear voices coming out of an unfamiliar door. "There they are! I tell you Headmaster, there is mischief a foot!"

"It's about time somebody is taking serious action here!" Filch smiled to himself. "These brats have had their way too long, but not any more!"

Dumbledore regarded the man. "Argus, remember that you are in a school. The children come first. Give them more respect."

Filch looked away. "Very well Headmaster."

"Quiet you fools! There is a locked door here!" Umbridge cried victoriously. She knocked on it, hoping to hear muffled screams of terror. She listened in and did indeed hear voices. "Allow me Headmaster! Alohamora!"

Her wand let out a burst of light that opened the door. The adults made their way into the room and saw a most peculiar sight. A long table was stretching down the way and at it appeared to be Hermione Granger in a hat, Washu Hakubi in rabbit ears, and Luna Lovegood in a blue dress. In the corner, the Weasley twins were dressed in some ludicrous matching hats and outfits.They appeared to be rehearsing something.

"Your hair wants cutting!" Granger told Lovegood.

"You should learn not to make personal remarks. It's very rude," Lovegood replied with some severity.

Granger appeared to stare out into space, ignoring her teachers. "Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

Lovegood clapped her hands. "I believe I can guess that!"

"Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?" said the bunny eared Hakubi.

Dolores Umbridge had enough and decided to make her presence known. "Hem hem!"

"Exactly so!"

"Hem hem!"

"Then you should say what you mean!"

"EXCUSE ME STUDENTS!" Umbridge roared. Granger and Hakubi regarded here then quickly ran to them shaking their arms.

"No room! No room!" they both exclaimed.

The teachers just stared at this display of...oddity. "Miss Granger...what are you up to?"

"We are preparing a play for Miss Kuramitsu," she said plainly, as if it were a natural thing to do.

"Yeah, Mihoshi wanted us to adapt some kind of Muggle story and here we are having a mad tea party!" Washu added. "Would you like some wine?"

Mr. Filch looked eagerly around the table. "I don't see any wine."

"That's because there isn't any."

"Then why did you offer it you pink haired...girl," he growled, catching himself before he berated her in front of the headmaster.

"It's a line from the book Argus," the Headmaster told him. "And I believe it fits. You see, Alice chastised the March Hare for being rude about offering non existing wine, but the March Hare chastised Alice for rudely sitting down without being invited, similar to us barging in on their practice."

Severus turned around. "If you are only going to wax philosophical about ridiculous Muggle literature , I am returning to my quarters. Please get me only for serious matters."

"But...but this makes no sense!" Umbridge stuttered.

"That's the point of the book!" Luna chimed in. A small creature that was unnoticed before made a sound.

"What is that...thing?" Umbridge asked.

Luna smiled. "Dinah, my pet."

"Oi, keep it down!" one of the Weasley twins cried.

"Yeah, we are practicing our poem!"

"Ah poetry," the Headmaster said with a twinkling in his eye. "Thou heaven born maid. I look forward to your production."

"That's it!" the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor screamed. "If this is play practice, where are the performers?! I know other people are here Granger!"

"Of course there are silly! They are in the changing room!" Hermione laughed, drinking some tea.

"Changing room?" Albus asked amused.

Washu pointed to the wall. "Don't forget to knock. There are so many characters in the two 'Alice' books, so we got some outside help."

Dolores Umbridge was seething now. If she were to open that door and see students in costume, she'd be ruined. Unless...

"I'm coming in!" she announced, banging on the door. She burst into the room and found students looking over various books. They were wearing an odd assortment of hats and each had their own little section. Umbridge walked right up to the Corner boy and eyed him. "What are YOU supposed to be?"

"I'm a lizard named Bill. I get shot up a chimney. Joy," he sarcastically told her. Umbridge almost freaked out at him, but realized he was being roped into this.

Suddenly, her eyes fell upon Ryoko Hakubi and that Masaki boy. 'Perhaps this day will be worthwhile after all!' "Hakubi! What are you doing with Masaki! Did the Minisiter and I specifically tell you that you are prohibited from seeing him on school grounds?!"

Ryoko looked up the pink cat costume she was using to entice Tenchi, who was dressed as a playing card, with. "Oh it's you. What are you babbling on about?"

"Miss Hakubi, you do NOT speak to a professor like that! I asked you a question!"

At that moment, Ginny rushed past them clutching mouse ears. "Oh no, I'm late!"

"That's my line!" said Ernie dismissively, fooling around with a waistcoat.

"Ernie, have you seen my crown? We are coming up to the croquet game and...oh Madame Umbridge! I did not see or hear you there! I see you stumbled upon this little project we are doing," Ayeka Jurai told the High Inquisitor, donning a regal red dress.

"Hey look, the princess got bumped up to a queen! All it took was this crap to do it!" Ryoko mocked.

"You wretch! How dare you insult me!"

"Hem hem ladies! Cease this at once! Jurai, you see nothing wrong here?" Umbridge asked the one person here she thought she could trust besides Filch.

Ayeka laughed. "Unless you are referring to Ryoko's terrible outfit than no."

"I'm referring," started Umbridge angrily. "To the fact Hakubi is in the same room as Masaki!"

"Professor, that was supposed to only be until term ended before the holidays," Tenchi answered.

"As sad as it might be, it's true." Ayeka sighed.

Umbridge could not take anymore and slammed the door shut, causing a mirror to drop to the floor and shatter.

She marched right past Dumbledore, who was singing something about a birthday, and went sulking back to her office.

On her way back, one final idea struck her. She made her way to that blithering idiot's office and knocked. When she did not receive an answer, she peered in and saw Mihoshi Kuramitsu trying to sort VHS tapes.

"So that makes 3 copies of 'E.T.' and one copy of whatever 'Troll' is...I'm going crazy Yukinojo!"

"Mihoshi, you should calm down! You have a visitor!" the odd spherical metal device on her desk told her.

Mihoshi looked up and ran over to her colleague. "Oh it's you Professor Umbridge! I missed you all December and you've been so busy that I haven't been able to see you! How are you?!" Kuramitsu rambled, asking all sorts of dumb questions that Dolores had no interest in answering.

"Fine, fine indeed. Professor, I have the teensiest question for you. Is your class putting on a play that was not aware of?"

Mihoshi blinked. "Goodness I don't know! I told them to get creative with a project I think! You see, Hannah Abbot visited her cousin in America and she managed to get me a taped version of American Sailor Moon so I could teach it so I ended class early so I could watch it and I was really sad..." she droned on.

'I hate this school,' a defeated Dolores Umbridge told herself. 'This is what hell feels like.'

*HPVFTS*

The students in the Room of Requirement let out a collective gasp upon the departure of Professor Umbridge. They immediately started ripping off their makeshift outfits that Hermione made for them.

Harry, who had done his best not to put on the turtle costume left for him, sighed. "I cannot believe that worked."

"Tell me about it," Cho Chang, who had tried to dress like an ugly older woman, agreed. "I thought we were done for, but I'm surprised we were able to throw costumes on that fast without being noticed."

"I'm more surprised that we all were able to stay in character and not buckle under," Dean Thomas bemoaned, throwing away his griffin costume."I never want to do that again."

"Thank Tsunami for Hermione's quick thinking," Ayeka added.

Ryoko stared at her costume. "Quick thinking my ass! I can't believe she made us all costumes for a non existent play just for a distraction! Who thinks of that?!"

"Someone who is crazy prepared," offered Neville, puffing on a straw. "I dunno mate, I've just learned to roll with it this year."

Zacharias Smith ripped off his bird mask and threw it to the ground. "You lot almost got us expelled with this rubbish! We never did anything like this before this year and I think I speak for everyone when I say that this is getting ridiculous! "

"Oh shove it up your ass, Smith, and save it for somebody who cares," Ryoko cut him off.

Outside the wall, Professor Dumbledore got up from the table. "It seems like you are all doing rather well for yourselves. I must say, Miss Washu, that I am a bit surprised you have not requested to talk to me yet."

Washu smiled, taking off her ears. "I was merely waiting for you to make the first move, Professor Dumbledore."

Dumbledore adopted a serious expression for a half of a moment. "Consider it given then." After that, he withdrew into his cheerful persona, twinkling eyes and all. "I'll see you after dinner then."

"So you shall."

Dumbledore got up and bowed to the students. He motioned a very confused Minerva McGonagall and Filch to let the students be. "Thank you for inviting us. Do be more careful next time."

*HPVFTS*

Washu made her way past the gargoyles and into Professor Dumbledore's office. She made her way to the cage where his phoenix was kept in and went to pet it. "Hello again little guy."

"Hello yourself, young Washu," came the voice of Albus Dumbledore. He drew a chair for the woman and offered it to her. The pink haired scientist gladly accepted.

"So, did you like our little improv session before?" Washu asked.

"I think the less I know the better. Plausible deniability and all. Though I was impressed at how tightly you all act," Dumbledore chuckled.

Washu shrugged. "Don't ask me how it all worked. Sometimes nonsense works. It's rather hard to quantify, but when you know a person like Mihoshi like I do, you start believing anything."

"Interesting talk for a woman of science."

"Interesting indeed. Now Professor, am I right in guessing that Severus Snape talked to you this past month."

Dumbledore nodded. "He did."

"And what, pray tell, did he say to you?"

"He told me that you had killed the horcrux inside of Harry Potter. How you accomplished this, I do not know, but I thought we discussed holding off on that particular topic," Dumbledore replied.

Washu grinned. "And so we did, when there were other horcurxes. However, your boy Riddle has no defenses left. Harry was the last horcrux, and as of now nobody knows it...except Snape. Judging by your wishes that he teaches Harry the occ...occ..."

"Occulemency."

"Yeah, that, I assume he can be trusted not to share that information with Voldemort," Washu told the professor, who nodded.

"I trust Severus Snape with my life."

"Funny how you are the only one here besides Dolores Umbridge who seems to. This brings me to MY little issue: what were you thinking telling him where we live?!"

Dumbledore thought about the question and chose his words carefully. "I saw no trouble in telling him where you were. My focus at the moment was Harry's safety."

"Nobel as that was, did you think to consider the possibility that he were to see something a bit out of the ordinary? What would he do if he saw, say, a spaceship or witnessed Ryoko or Ayeka having one of their trademark quarrels?" Washu pressed.

"Outside of noticing Ryoko's cave and being concerned about it, he noticed nothing out of the ordinary. I apologize for my lack of judgement," Dumbeldore apologized.

"I under...wait, what about Ryoko's cave?" asked Washu worryingly.

Dumbledore chuckled. "Oh, he thought he detected some dark magic. I assumed that it was merely residual energy from Ryoko some years ago."

"Ryoko doesn't give off a magical energy signature!"

"Did you examine the cave for magical properties before?" Dumbledore asked.

Washu shook her head. "I didn't have that data! I didn't pry too deep in the cave since nothing came on my own radar. I have no idea what could be in there!"

Albus Dumbledore put his hand on her shoulder. "I would not concern yourself my dear. I am sure it is nothing...nothing at all..." He looked away, clearly lost in thought.

"Are YOU concerned about something, Albus?" Washu asked, her eyes narrowing.

"I hope not, Miss Washu. I hope not."
User avatar
by drillmaster
#25977 Chapter 19: No Need for a Turning Point

The winter air of Japan was not as harsh as it seemed. Minagi and Augusta Longbottom took in the sights of the forest with admiration. It was rare to impress an alien space pirate and an elderly matriarch, but the day seemed to have something special to it.

"So, do you like being a pirate?" Augusta asked as she prepared tea for the two ladies.

Minagi graciously accepted the tea. "Thank you! I mean, how can I not like it? My old master Yakage would have loved to see me so free and happy! It's satisfying to be so infamous and yet so fulfilled!"

"So why rob only other pirates?" Augusta continued to pry.

"To do some good in the galaxy I suppose, and to atone for some of Ryoko's old crimes when she was under Kagato's control," Minagi sipped at her tea. "Ouch, too hot!"

"Blow on it dear, it cools it down," Augusta explained. Minagi did just that and attempted again, this time with much more success. "I admit, I was quite surprised to see the kind of lot Neville runs around with now. On paper, it is quite interesting, don't you agree?"

"I've grown quite used to it! I mean two princesses, a space pirate, a scientist, and a cop! That's something kids dream about, don't they? Kind of like a...what did Washu call it...'wish fulfillment?’”

Augusta chuckled. "Neville always did like to pretend to be in a fairy tale...Algie used to scold him for it. That blithering fool..."

Minagi smiled. "You really do care for him, don't you?"

Augusta looked offended. "I'm his grandmother! It's my job to care for him! I might seem a bit cold and old fashioned, but that's just who I am. No matter what, he'll always be my son's boy."

The Ryoko twin looked flustered and bowed her head. "I'm sorry! I...I wasn't trying to offend you!"

Chuckling, Augusta replied. "That's alright. I...haven't always been the best grandmother I suppose. I'm a little defensive and a tad ashamed. But I suppose I should be thanking you all."

"Oh, why?" Minagi asked, seemingly confused.

"You have helped my Neville grow in ways that I never thought possible. I'm proud of the boy...proud of who he has become."

Minagi blushed. "I mean…I really haven't really DONE anything. That's all Ryoko and the rest. I'm just keeping watch on everything while they are gone! I only just met Neville right before I met you."

"It's all the same to me. The Longbottoms are in all of your debt," Augusta said, finishing her tea. "Now, if it's all the same to you, I think it's time we head back. I must get back to England."

"Quite right," Minagi said in her best English accent. "You know, posh and the like."

Augusta started to laugh. "Your accent is terrible love!"

"Hey!"

*HPVFTS*

The air was still near Ryoko's cave. It was as if the world had stopped in this one little spot. This was the site of the turning point for the life of Tenchi Masaki and for all of his friends. Fate was a cruel mistress, for this site, it appeared, will now be the turning point for the entire wizarding world. You see, the unthinkable had finally happened:

Lord Voldemort had set foot on Japanese soil.

He walked through the Okayama forest a conqueror. Alone, the man formerly known as Tom Riddle made his way to the location his most trustworthy Death Eater told him about. He had no way of knowing what to find in the cave, but he hoped it would be the key to tipping the scales away from Albus Dumbledore for good.

Having never been to Japan before, Voldemort was surprised to find himself mildly curious about his surroundings. While this area was very open and secluded, he knew that the Muggles were densely populated close by. 'Muggles...the fools. If they only knew that they were not long for this world...my world...' Voldemort thought to himself. "Ah, here we are."

He came at last to the cave. Upon reaching it entrance, he understood what Severus meant: there was a power here, one that needed to be controlled. 'Controlled,' he thought. 'By Lord Voldemort.'

Of course, Voldemort had no way of knowing what could be down there, or if the power he sensed was a remnant of a battle fought long ago. He peered inside the cave, illuminating the dark area with his wand. He could see the degraded shrine but was intrigued by the rock that was held together by what seemed to be some kind of vine. It was the most recently disturbed item in the cave and, as such, drew his attention.

Just as he was about to touch the stone, he heard voices outside. 'There must be no witnesses,' Voldemort thought to himself. 'It might be one of Dumbledore's fools.'

"I heard somebody inside Ryoko's cave! Up for an adventure Augusta?" A female voice echoed.

"Why not? I could do for one last bit of excitement before I return back to Longbottom manor," the second voice replied.

'Longbottom...ah the Aurors who Bella took care of...interesting development.'

"Lumos," the second voice called out. Voldemort hid himself in the shadows, waiting for the time to strike. He could make out an older woman with the wand, no doubt the Longbottom woman, and younger woman with teal hair and two stripes on her face.

"Hello," the teal haired woman called out. "Is anyone there? My name is Minagi and I won't hurt you! Hello!"

"You act too friendly Minagi! You never know what or whom you might find in a dark corner," the Longbottom woman scolded her.

Voldemort pointed his wand at the pair. "You have no idea," he whispered.

A great burst of light filled the cave and ejected the pair out of it. The two women appeared to be lying on the ground, completely taken off guard despite worrying about an intruder.

One does not prepare for the arrival of Lord Voldemort.

*HPVFTS*

"Ugh, what was that?" Minagi asked, knocking rubble off of Augusta. "Are you hurt?"

"It'll take more than a spell like that to break these old bones," Augusta replied, cracking her neck.

Minagi looked around and adopted a fighting stance. "Are you sure that it was a wizard?"

"Reasonably sure," she replied, plucking her wand from a rock.

"Please, we do not want to fight! Why don't you come out and we can talk about this!" Minagi pleaded.

A cold laughter filled the winter air and a shadow started to move from the cave. The two women held their ground until it revealed itself. A bald man in loose black robes stepped out of the shadows with a wand in hand. Minagi noted that Augusta gripped her wand tightly.

"Crucio!" Augusta roared. "Minagi, it's Voldemort!"

The man looked stunned for a second but shook off the spell. Minagi looked perplexed for a second as realization struck.

"You're the one who killed Harry's parents!"

"He's a murderer! His followers ruined my son's life!"

Voldemort looked amused at the sight. He raised his wand yet again. "You old fool, even with all of your hatred of me, you still cannot perform an Unforgivable Curse. Allow Lord Voldemort to show you the correct way. Avada Kedavra!"

A burst of green light was released from the wand and hit Augusta square in the chest. The elderly woman fell backwards immediately and hit the ground without saying a word.

Minagi looked at her traveling partner and tried to revive her. "No...Augusta...please! Please don't die...think of Neville..." she broke down, tears burning her eyes. She stood up and flew at Voldemort, hatred seething from her. "You monster!"

She punched Voldemort, who hit the ground with a thud. He put his hand to his face and examined his cheek. He looked at the blood and growled. Minagi went in for another punch but an invisible shield was placed between the two.

"You have power woman. Lord Voldemort values power. Allow me to show you my own. Crucio!" he bellowed, pointing his wand at her.

In response to the spell, Minagi screamed in pain. She had been in combat before in space, but this was unlike any other pain she had ever experienced. This was worse than any damage inflicted upon her by any of the pirates she stole from.

"Open your mind for Lord Voldemort. Show me where you learned to fight. Show me...everything!"

In an instant Minagi's world turned black. The last thing she could make out was Voldemort's laugh.

*HPVFTS*

Ryoko was bored in class.

She and Ayeka were sitting in Professor McGonagall's Transfiguration class and were idly talking to each other. Their assignment was to turn a bird into a table, with the difficulty stemming from the birds being left in flight. However, this proved to be very little challenge for the space pirate. She got a hold of the bird by grabbing it as it flew by, and was now trying to use her fake wand to make it transform. Ayeka was having similar difficulties.

"These damn wands are pointless half the time! Turn into a table already!" she cursed.

Ayeka shot her a look. "Please barbarian, it's not going to work if you stab it's eyes out."

"How the hell would you even know?! You haven't been able to warp time and space or whatever the hell it is to change your bird!" Ryoko argued.

The comment got Ayeka a bit ruffled and she locked eyes with her rival. Sparks started to fly between the two, which drew the attention of Minerva McGonagall.

"Now ladies, though I am impressed that you have procured your bird, I must say I am displeased at your lack of results. This is a N.E.W.T. level class after all. I think you should spend more time transfiguring and less time arguing; don't you agree?" the wizened witch asked.

Ryoko was just about to give a half-hearted response when she felt a jolt run through her entire body. She could sense that something had happened by her cave, but she couldn't be sure what it was. Surely if something was going on Minagi or Yosho could handle it...

"Minagi!" Ryoko quietly told herself. She got up and ran out of the classroom.

"Miss Hakubi, where are you going?!" Minerva cried, fading away in the background.

Ryoko ran to the Great Hall. She could sense Ryo-Ohki in there with Washu and Sasami. She needed her cabbit companion so she could get to Japan as fast as she could. She found the critter with the usual suspects at a lunch table.

"Oh Ryoko! Aren't you in class right now with Ayeka?" The blue haired girl asked.

"No time to explain, I need Ryo-Ohki!" Ryoko sternly told her.

'You felt something in Japan?!' Washu's voice echoed through her head. 'I'm coming too! You might need me!'

Frustrated, Ryoko grabbed Ryo-Ohki and ran out of the Hall, leaving a very confused and concerned Sasami and friends behind.

"I'm sorry girl, but there isn't any time. We need to get to a safe spot and fly out of here!" Ryoko told her familiar, who meowed in response.

The pair flew past the moat and toward the train tracks that the students entered the Hogwarts Express on.

"Seems as good of a spot as any. Come on Ryo-Ohki!"

"Meow!" the cabbit cried as spike protruded from her body, forming her space ship. Ryoko teleported inside of her and the pair zoomed off.

"Ok girl, we just need to rush to that damn cave and see what happened," Ryoko said, worryingly.

"Worried for Minagi and Augusta?" came a voice from behind her. Ryoko twirled around and discovered Washu standing there. "What; did you really expect me to read your mind and not follow you? What kind of a mother do you take me for?"

"It doesn't matter you idiot, I just can't see anything happen to them. Sasami will cry if Minagi is hurt..." Ryoko said, looking out the window and getting lost in her thoughts.

"We'll find out shortly Ryoko," Washu trailed off, showing her concern as well.

At last, the spaceship touched down at the Masaki household. Turning back into her animal form, Ryo-Ohki and the girls ran towards the cave. Smoke was rising in the distance, seemingly from the cave itself. The three reached the cave in no time at all and were met with a most horrifying sight:

Augusta Longbottom dead on the ground and Minagi battered and bruised to hell.

"Wake up Minagi! Don't you die on me!" Ryoko roared.

Washu went over to Augusta and started furiously typing on her computer. "She's gone," she whispered. "There is nothing I can do...DAMN IT!"

"We'll get over here and try to keep her alive, I'm checking the cave to see if the person responsible is still here!"

Ryoko flew into the cave at an incredible speed. She was met with a terrible sight: the cave itself was destroyed from the inside. The entrance to Ryoko's tomb was opened, but now full of debris. On any other day, this would have been a joyous occasion, but this made the woman sick to her core. Exploring some more yielded no further answers so she teleported out, returning to Washu and Ryo-Ohki.

"How is she?" Ryoko asked timidly.

Washu wiped the tears out of her eyes and regarded her daughter. "Alive, but in terrible condition. We need to get her hooked up to life support immediately. I don't know where Tenchi's grandfather went today, but we are not returning to Hogwarts until he returns. Somebody needs to take care of her."

"I just have one question: who did this?" Ryoko asked angrily.

The form of Minagi coughed a little. Washu felt her head. "Don't get up! You need to conserve your energy!"

"I...I'm sorry. I...it's my...fault. Voldemort...he went in...the cave," Minagi got out before passing out again.

The two spiky haired women looked at each other.

"He dies!"

The snow on the ground remained still as the bodies were collected and brought to the house. The calming Japanese weather contrasted with the raging storm of emotions going on inside of the Hakubi women. In the end, the storm will calm down and end, but what destruction will it bring as it moves along its path?