Chapter Two: Roman Ozpin
Roman was kindly welcomed into the Ozpin family and Ambrose’s mother Emily was immediately fond of the young Faunus. When her son Ambrose told her that Roman had nowhere to stay she was happy to give him one of the guest bedrooms. As she guided the tired young boy up the grand staircase and through the ornate hallways she noticed his fascination with the huge house. She also noticed out of the corner of her eye, a particular habit that he had. She kindly requested that Ambrose go to his room while she tucked Roman in for the night. As the orange haired boy climbed into the large canopy bed, Emily Ozpin sat down in a red velvet chair across from him. She brushed his hair in a motherly way and smiled, “Roman, what is in your hand?”
The young boy’s green eyes suddenly flickered with fear. “I-I-
“Please, give it here.” Emily said, still very calm and not the least bit upset.
Roman nervously took his hand out from beneath the covers and opened his palm to reveal a small wooden figure. Emily reached out, which made him flinch, and she gently took the figure.
“Why did you take it?” she asked.
Roman gulped, for a minute it looked as though he might cry, but he regained his composure and replied. “I…I thought it was pretty.”
Emily looked at the figure in her hand; it was of a small child with bright eyes and a hopeful expression. In truth, she admired it herself. “It is quite lovely.” She admitted.
She stood and paced the room as she spoke. “You rather have a knack for this sort of thing. Had I looked the other way I might not have seen the glow.”
Roman was puzzled, “The glow?”
Emily smiled, “An aura, it glows whenever someone’s semblance is unlocked. In your case, your semblance has to do with tricks and deceit.”
Roman frowned in uncertainty.
“Oh, you must not have been taught of semblance either. No matter, someday you will learn everything.” Emily sat on the edge of the bed, looked once more at the little wooden figure, and then held it in front of Roman. “This figure was given to me as a girl when I was at a tough point in my childhood. For me, it represented hope for a better life, a better future, and I hope it will do the same for you Roman.”
Emily set the figure in Roman’s hands and he looked at it in wonder. “You’re…just giving it to me?”
Emily stood, walked to the door, then turned. “You have a gift Roman. Use it to help others and not just yourself. Remember that.” And with that final thought she turned out the light and Roman was left in darkness.
Because he was a Faunus he had night vision and could see clearly. He continued to look at the wooden figure for a moment, and then he began to think about Emily Ozpin. He had met many adults in his life. Some yelled at him, some intended to hurt him, but something about this woman made him fear her more than any adult he had ever encountered. The way that she stayed so calm, he couldn’t tell what she was about to do. Then he realized, maybe the key to fear isn’t always in being the loudest and meanest person in the room, maybe that extreme calmness was a far greater trait to have. Roman decided to remember that for the future, then he closed his eyes and fell asleep in the softest bed he had ever had.
When Ambrose’s father, Henry Ozpin, arrived the next morning, after a full night of chasing Beowolves away from the borders of Vale, to find that they had a guest, he was a little unsure of how to react. But after looking at Roman, he realized he could be trained to be a great huntsman. Henry and Emily talked privately for quite some time and Ambrose was thrilled when his parents requested he tell Roman that he could live at the Ozpin home permanently. Emily was very pleased; she had never seen her son so happy. She watched him as he rushed upstairs to tell his new friend the great news. With his great speed, Ambrose reached Roman’s room in record time. Remembering his manners, he knocked on the guest room door before entering. He found Roman inside, staring intently at a small wooden figure.
“Roman, I have some exciting news.”
“Hmm?” Roman grunted, not bothering to look up.
“I just talked to my parents and they said that you can stay here forever!” Ambrose smiled, “We’ll be brothers!”
At this, Roman perked up, “That’s great news!”
Ambrose embraced Roman in a tight hug, his mind filled with joy that he now had a brother. Though, in a few moments he realized that Roman was unable to breathe in his grasp. “Sorry,” he remarked.
Roman took in air and gasped out, “No problem.”
Ambrose was still smiling brightly. “Wow, Roman Ozpin, my new brother!”
As the weeks went by, Roman was quickly integrated into the family. He moved out of the guest room and into a room that his new parents felt was fit for a boy his age. The walls were sky blue and featured posters of Beacon Academy. On a table, which sat across from the bed, sat a considerably large TV that also had a video game system built in. The room also had a bookshelf which held various books on subjects that might interest a twelve year old boy. Roman placed his wooden figure on his nightstand which prompted a raised eyebrow from Mr. Ozpin towards his wife. She merely smiled mysteriously in return. Though the Ozpin’s offered Roman anything he desired he declined and said he wanted nothing, but one day he asked to speak to his new mother in the study about something important. The two sat across from each other. Emily had raised the chair Roman was sitting in so that they could speak eye to eye.
Roman took a deep breath, “You’ve been telling me about semblances and auras and magic lately and there’s something I want to know.”
Emily looked at him with her usual motherly grin upon her face.
“You are really good at magic and I was wondering if you could give me human ears.”
Emily chuckled lightheartedly, “You mean you don’t want to be a Faunus anymore?”
Roman was about to blow up and tell her how rotten his life had been before he came to live here and how he had been tormented and bullied, but he remembered his composure and sat up straight and very proper. “No, I don’t.” he simply replied, trying to emulate Mrs. Ozpin’s silky, calm voice.
“Even though Dust has incredible properties that have thousands of uses, I’m afraid that turning a Faunus into a human isn’t one of them.” Emily explained.
Roman sighed hopelessly, his ears drooping down.
“You shouldn’t be ashamed of them so.” Emily told him as she reached across the table and brushed the bangs out of his face for seemingly the hundredth time.
She sighed, “But if it bothers you that much, perhaps we can find you a nice hat to conceal them until I might find a way to give you human ears.”
Emily frowned slightly but Roman grinned in relief. Finally, he could do something about the wretched ears he’d been cursed with. When hearing the news, Henry declared that a hat was a brilliant idea and insisted on picking it out himself, though ultimately his wife was the one who found the perfect hat for Roman. They decided to keep it a secret from him until it came in the mail. A few days later a package arrived and Roman received the thing that would forever be his prized possession. He tore through the wrapping with fervor and gasped with excitement when he first saw it. It was a black bowler hat with a lovely red band. Roman rushed upstairs to his bedroom, stood in front of the mirror, then proceeded to tuck his ears underneath his bowler. After rearranging his hair he looked at his reflection and smiled. He looked like a perfect gentleman with his fancy new hat and recently groomed hair. His bright orange hair, as usual, gathered over his right eye. Emily Ozpin walked into the room as he attempted to brush aside his bangs. “Actually, that look suits you well.” She said, lightly touching his hand and letting his hair fall back over half his face. She chuckled warmly, “So sophisticated.”