Mahou mo Ken
All rights to Harry Potter and its world, characters, and settings belong to JK Rowling. I don't own any of its characters, and I am not making any money off this.
Author's note – as I am unable to find a schedule for Year Six of the Harry Potter books, I made use of the daily course schedule of book five, found at the HP Lexicon. Thanks, guys!
Chapter eight – Preparations
Harry looked at the DA, his gaze sliding over them one by one. Knowing he had Ken and Maya there with him filled him with elation and trepidation at the same time. He felt naked without his staff, and he realized that he would have to go out tomorrow and retrieve it somehow; he could not afford to walk around without his primary weapon.
"First of all, I want to thank all of you for coming on such short notice," Harry said, going as far as dipping his head in the direction of Draco, Daphne, and Tracey. They were standing by themselves, a little away from the DA. He drew a breath, and paced slightly in front of them, his hands linked behind his back.
"Things are changing," he said. "The Death Eaters and Voldemort have decided to attack us. We had few casualties, for which I count ourselves very lucky." He stopped his pacing, and turned to face them once more.
Ken and Maya, standing behind him, watched his every move. They saw how riveted the people present were, hanging on Harry's lips, listening to his every word, and the two Japanese witches realized that Harry Potter, their Apprentice and fellow student respectively, held a command presence that was hard to ignore.
"When we were attacked," Harry said then, "I told the people next to me to cover each other, and get away." he motioned for Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny, and Luna. As one, they stepped out of the group, and stood next to him.
"When I asked you to cover each other, you did so admirably," he said. "You even returned here, as I asked of you." He stopped in front of Luna. "I did not do so well. My concentration lapsed for one second, and you got captured because of it," he said the latter while facing Luna, but everyone heard his words.
"For that I'm sorry," he said.
Luna was silent for a few seconds, then locked her large silver eyes with his green ones. "Then I am sorry too, Harry. You came after me. You tried to shield me. I am sorry for breaking your concentration when I was hit by the Cruciatus."
Harry stared at her, ignoring the gasp that came from the rest of the group. "Even though I was supposed to cover you, I failed in that duty. I was hit, and I screamed. I broke your concentration. For that I am sorry," she said.
"But that wasn't-" he started.
"It wasn't your fault either," she interrupted.
Harry bent his head, a smile tugging at his lips as a dry chuckle escaped them. "You're right, Luna. Thank you."
"Thank you, Harry," Luna said, her dreamy air returning as she focused on a spot on the far wall, about two meters to Ken's left, and a meter higher.
Harry shook his head, and turned. "After waking, I asked for help. As you all know, I have been training since this summer. I have explained the need for Occlumency. Well, we still need it, but things have come to a change. I got help." He stepped back, and motioned. "This is Mahou mo Ken, my Teacher, and this is Maya, my fellow Apprentice."
The group was silent, staring at the two women, hushed by Harry's introduction. They had seen him spar with them, they had seen his abilities against Draco, and now, he casually introduced the people that were teaching him.
"They will be training me," Harry went on. "And I, in turn, will be training you. They have been kind enough to come here and help me... if they find the time, maybe they will be able to assist in a lesson or two, but I am not going to impose on their generosity any more than I already am."
Maya just shot Harry a dirty look. Ken merely hid her smile, realizing what Harry was doing. Every lesson they would now participate in would be a bonus, not a given. Harry informed Maya via their link, and her look vanished.
He looked back at the group. "Anyway, I gathered you all here today instead of waiting until Saturday to introduce them. I also wanted to say how proud I was of these five people here-"
"As proud as we are of you," Luna interjected, suddenly lucid again, before dreamily smiling at the others. "Aren't we?"
The chorus of affirmation made Harry flush. "Erm... thanks..." Harry whispered, embarrassed by being praised for what he perceived was an almost-failure. "Anyway," he said, recomposing while the rest of the DA chuckled. "I also wanted to say how proud I am of each of you. You got out of there with minor injuries only, and I know some of you were in as thick as we all were." He swallowed, here would come the hard part.
"I've also asked three new people here tonight," he said, motioning for Draco, Tracey, and Daphne. Draco gave a sarcastic wave, while the two girls merely offered weak smiles. The DA started to grumble. "The reason I asked them here is simple. All three of them have turned their backs on their families, in some cases, their friends, and on Voldemort."
The DA gasped.
"I need to know I can count on you to help them," Harry said, standing erect, legs spread slightly, hands linked behind his back like a full general. "All three of them are very likely going to be receiving a lot of problems from their own house. I want each and every one of you to look out for them as if they were your own." He looked at the Slytherin Trio. "Unless you would like to join the DA, in which case, everyone would be looking out for one of their own."
The DA exploded in shouts and screams. Harry lifted his hands. He did not get the quiet he wanted or hoped for. He screamed for silence. It did not work. He drew his wand, and cast a cannon charm into the air.
The explosion shut them up nicely, as they all stared at him as he stood there, wand pointing in the air, smoke still rising from his wand-tip.
"Finally," he said, coldly. "Draco, Daphne, and Tracey, are trustworthy," he stated, pocketing his wand and walking towards the Slytherin Trio. "I will personally vouch for them." He looked each in the eyes, and turned to the DA. The group looked less than happy.
"I am not Dumbledore, as I had to remind my best friend," Harry said, motioning to Ron. "I will not say that 'I have my reasons' and expect you to trust me on my word." He glanced at the Slytherins, who shared a glance, and nodded. Harry nodded back, gratefully. He looked at the DA. "In fact, I will not expect any of you to make any negative comment on these three until you have come here and give me your Unbreakable Vow of loyalty, as these three have done."
Daphne and Tracey knew of each other, of course. Draco knew only of himself, and stared at the two witches, just as they stared at him. Harry smiled slightly at the shocked look on the faces of most of the DA members. He had procured Draco's vow earlier, having gotten the idea from Daphne and Tracey, and the Malfoy heir had given it quite freely, unable to resist the urge to ask Harry what took him so long.
"They made an Unbreakable Vow?" Cho Chang asked.
Harry dipped his head. "They did, indeed. And as I said, I do not expect anyone to badmouth them unless I receive their own Vows first."
"Why should we vow to you?" Someone at the back asked. Harry wasn't sure about the identity of the person speaking, although he could think it was Justin Flinch-Fletchly.
Harry chuckled. "I am not asking you. I merely asked them. They gave it to me, to show they had truly broken with Voldemort. They vowed honesty and loyalty to me, so I am assured of both. And now I ask you, all of you, to look out for them, for they are on our side in this war."
The group grumbled. It was Ron, of all people, who said, "We will look out for them, Harry. I might not like Malfoy, and I'm sure that the feeling is mutual,"
"Completely," Draco Malfoy muttered under his breath.
"But if he did turn his back on V-V-Voldemort, then he can use the help against the rest of the greasy Slytherins. No offence."
Malfoy waved it off. "None taken, fire-dome."
Ron twitched, then shrugged. He had started it with the greasy Slytherins crack.
Harry smiled. "Good. Then I expect no further problems?"
As he received nothing but shaking heads, he smiled. "Good. That was all I had to say... who would like to get out of here, and who would like some more practice? Since we're here, I thought we might as well practice a little."
"Practice!" most of them yelled, a cry that was soon taken over by the rest. Even the three Slytherin students looked interested, this would be their first DA session, after all.
Harry grinned widely, and turned to Ken and Maya. "Would you like to go to the Common Room? After all, it's been a long journey for you."
Ken shook her head. "I think I will stay here, my young Apprentice. I'm interested in seeing what you teach your students."
Maya merely shrugged. "I think I'll stay too, little brother."
Harry grinned at her. "Remember, if I'm young, that makes you old, Oneesan."
Maya frowned, while the DA members stared at Harry, unaccustomed to hearing him banter with anyone. He turned back to them. "Okay, since I didn't prepare a lesson plan, how about a little recap on last Saturday's lesson?"
"Can you tell us what happened in Hogsmeade? Most of us were out of the Hospital Wing in little time, but you, Luna, and Daphne and Tracey," Ernie McMillan added the Slytherins as if by afterthought, "had to stay longer."
Harry's smile froze, before vanishing. Ken and Maya looked at him, wondering what he was going to say. Finally, he drew a breath. "Only because it will help you," he whispered. He glanced at Luna, who was looking at yet another spot on the while, staring at something only she could see. He glanced over to Daphne and Tracey. They just shrugged. He nodded.
He ended up giving a blow-by-blow description, trying to keep his voice as steady as possible, trying to merely say which spells he used and were used against him. His treacherous emotions tried to overwhelm him when he explained that he lost his focus for just one moment, which was all it took for Luna to be taken right from under his nose. He explained how he went after Luna and her kidnapper, what he saw when he came across Tracey and Daphne, how he helped them before going after the kidnapper again.
And finally, he had to bring his Occlumency to full power to explain what happened in the clearing in the Forbidden Forest, how he lost his staff in the end, and how it was his sword that finally defeated his opponent, and how lucky he was that the wards fell the exact moment Lucius Malfoy threw a Reducto through his side.
Finally, his tale ended, and he was left shaking, staring at the ground, his breath ragged and uneven. He drew a deep breath, forcing relaxation into his body. Nobody spoke.
"As you can see, focus is everything," he whispered in the full quiet of the Room of Requirement. "Lose your focus, and you might lose something important." He glanced at Luna. "In my case, it almost cost me a very valuable friend, and it cost me my weapon."
Luna smiled at him, and he could see the dreamy look re-enter her eyes as her Occlumency overcame her focus on his explanation. The rest remained quiet, digesting his story for themselves, before slowly a low conversation broke out as friends discussed what they had heard and thought.
"We will need to retrieve your staff, Harry," Ken spoke from behind him.
"Of course, Sensei," Harry replied, his voice respectful. "I was thinking of tomorrow, I can't get out of the castle tonight."
"You can not rely on external protections all the time," Ken answered. "Tomorrow will be fine, Harry. But remember for next time, to always retrieve your staff as early as possible... I have a feeling it's reasonably safe where it is, but if someone found it, it might be used against you."
Harry nodded. "Thank you, Sensei."
Ken dipped her head. The conversations had died out again, now that they heard Ken and Harry talk. It was hard to miss how Harry became so much stronger in such a short period of time... if only their teachers were like Ken, they too, would have gone up as fast as Harry was. Then most of the DA realized that they were indeed, getting stronger. Harry was teaching them.
"If I may make a suggestion," Ken then said to Harry.
"Of course, Sensei! Always!" Harry said, glad to have her helping him.
"A lesson in focus after your well-told recollection of Hogsmeade," Ken suggested. "Create a couple of targets, fire mild curses at it... and meanwhile, distract them."
The DA swallowed. That sounded difficult. Harry nodded. "That sounds like an interesting exercise, Sensei." He smiled. "Almost as interesting as the exercises you put me through."
Ken smiled. "I do try to keep my lessons fun, as well as interesting."
"Oh, they are, most definitely," Harry said, smiling. He turned to the DA while thinking I need targets for target practice. All along the side walls, the book cases were replaced by targets. "All right," he said after everyone stopped gawking at the targets. "Split into groups of two or three... one of you fire stunners at the targets, try and hit the bull's eye. The others, distract them. Try and get them to miss... anything goes except physical violence, OK?"
The DA members nodded, and started dispersing. Harry walked over to where Draco was preparing himself to fire at the target, Tracey and Daphne grinning at the prospect of distracting him.
"So, how are you finding your first lesson?" Harry asked.
"If all your lessons are like this, Potter, it's not surprising that the members of your group scored the highest defence results," Malfoy grunted.
"Back to last names, are we?" Harry grinned. "Besides, I think I win, you haven't fired a single stunner."
Draco grunted under his breath. "I'll get you for this, Harry." He started firing stunners. Tracey and Daphne suddenly started yelling in his ear, casting stray spells that almost hit him, and generally making nuisances of themselves. He grinned, and winked at the two girls. They returned the smile, and winked right back, not once interrupting their harassing of Draco Malfoy.
"Have fun, Draco," Harry said as he turned to inspect the others. Here and there, he correct a stance, and offered advice.
"You're really good at this," Ken said, standing next to him after his finished his circle of shooting and harassing students. "You're doing an admirable job here. I can see why you wanted to teach them some basics of Japanese magic."
Harry smiled at the compliment. "Thank you, Sensei. It means a lot to me to hear you say that."
Ken merely smiled, and said nothing. Ten seconds later, she added in, "Besides, aren't you forgetting something?"
Harry frowned at her. "Sensei?"
He smiled, his smile soon turning into a grin. "You're correct, of course, Sensei," he said. He glanced around. All targets were taken. Now that his need was there, a new target appeared, on the back wall, and Harry's grin widened. He liked the Room of Requirement. "Oneesan?" he asked Maya.
His magic-sister smirked widely. "Let's go," she said, grabbing his hand and practically dragging him to the wall.
"Go easy on me, Sis. I don't have my staff," Harry said as he lifted his wand.
"No excuse, Bro, you lost your staff," Maya said, grinning.
Harry bit off a curse, knowing that she would still hear it through their link. Her laughter echoed across the Room of Requirement as he started casting stunners. Non-verbally. His wand looked like a blur as it whipped through the motions, one stunner after another ploughing into the exact centre of the target.
Maya grinned, and started whispering. Wind appeared in the Room then, distracting harassers and shooters, drawing their attention to what was happening at the back of the room.
Harry stood there, casting stunners, as wind tugged at his hair and his robes. It was obvious he was fighting for balance as gale-force winds slammed into him.
As sudden as the winds had come, they did out again, causing him to over-compensate. Losing his balance, he let himself fall, taking the fall into a roll and spinning to his feet, still casting at the target. Maya smiled widely. "Kuzuryusen."
The word send shivers down his spine, yet Harry stood his ground as the nine flashes bypassed him completely. Maya pouted. "You knew I was going to miss you!"
Harry just grinned, not holding out on his casting. Maya then plastered herself to him, and blew gently in his ear. Harry shuddered, his steady rhythm of casting interrupting for just a few seconds, before it picked up again. This may be his sister in all but blood, but he was also aware that this was a very pretty Japanese witch.
She stood back. "Stage two, Bro."
Harry merely dipped his head, not interrupting his casting in the slightest. By now, everyone had broken off and was staring at Harry Potter, chain-casting stunners at a speed they could not hope to match, while being distracted by his fellow student.
"I won't be holding back this time," Maya warned, planting her staff on the ground, closing her eyes, and starting to whisper. Energy crackled around the head of her staff, and a bolt of magical lightning struck the ground in front of Harry, making him duck and roll, interrupting his casting just long enough for him to get back on his feet. A second bolt struck the ground, and Harry rolled again, his casting resuming the moment he was out of his roll.
Gale-force winds added to the mix now, wind and lightning harassing him while he kept up his casting. The DA members could feel the bleed-over of the wind tugging at their own clothes, and they could see Harry struggling for breath.
Maya paled now, and rain started flying on the wind, the icy cold biting into Harry's exposed flesh. For just a second, his casting interrupted as the icy cold struck him, before he picked up again.
She released her breath.
The elements died down, and Harry rolled once more, arriving at his original location, resuming his casting. They could see that the continuous use of the stunner was wearing him down now, not to mention the elements Maya had bombarded him with. And, worst of all, he was only out of the hospital since earlier in the day, and had yet to recuperate fully from the battle at Hogsmeade.
"Stage three," Maya whispered, grinning, pointing her staff at him. Harry shot her a worried glance, not interrupting his casting. His casting struck the wall, causing him to snap his head back, compensating so that he hit the target once more. He cursed under his breath, concerning distracting magic sisters and their magic-bending ways. Meanwhile, he kept casting stunners.
"You should keep your eyes on the target," Ken said. "Instead of glancing at your distraction."
Harry dipped his head. He had lost it again. Dammit. This was exactly what had happened in Hogsmeade.
A scream ripped through his body. Maya's scream. She sounded in pain. He gritted his teeth. What was happening? It is an exercise. An exercise, Harry. Don't lose focus now.
He was more determined now. If they started using that kind of tactics on him, he would not... could not... fail. All he was was the target in front of him. He needed to keep casting at it.
He was totally focused now, as if he were working on his Occlumency shields. All there was to his world was the darkness and the target. He failed to notice Maya's tactics, didn't even see the tactics themselves. All he saw was his stunner hitting centre-target.
Just like he failed to notice his magical aura, pulling at his hair and his clothes. He failed to notice his stunner's power increasing. He was whispering the spell now, no longer silent, pushing everything he had behind it, focusing on the target.
The air in the Room of Requirement was thicker than smoke, reeking of magic, stinking of the power Harry was throwing into the target now. With each strike, they could feel the Room pulsing, dispersing the power across its entire surface.
Maya grinned. Ken smiled. "Good. He's focused. Finally," Ken said. The DA members stared at the woman. This was Harry's teacher?
Maya nodded at Ken, who nodded back. "Kuzuryusen," Maya incanted.
Right before the nine flashes were to hit Harry, the ground of the Room of Requirement warped, flowing upward, intercepting the strike.
This drew Harry's attention, as the transfigured ground exploded, showering him with debris. If that had hit him... it would have done serious damage.
He glanced around the room, at the shocked looks of the DA members, at the surprised looks on the face of Maya, and Ken's slight grin. Luna was the only one who was not surprised, her wand in her hand, its tip still glowing from the power exerted.
"I will cover you, Harry," she said, calmly.
"What happened?" he asked.
"She was about to hit you with a debilitating spell. I stopped it," Luna said, fully lucid now. Most of the others had not yet heard her in this state, and gawked at her.
"You over-focused," Ken said. "You ignored your surroundings, and Maya was about to teach you that lesson. Although I think your blond friend has your back."
"He had my back," Luna replied, still fully lucid. "He refused to step away. I will not step away either." She looked back at Harry, and her Occlumency slowly started taking over again. "You should be careful, Harry. You never know when Wollybarts might attack, and next time, I might not be near enough."
Harry smiled at her. "Thank you, Luna." He glanced around the room. Everyone was still staring in shock at the amount of magic he had pumped into the target, and the amount of magic his fellow Apprentice had thrown at him. "I think we've been here long enough." He glanced at the watch. "And I think it's after curfew, too. I guess we spent a lot longer here than I thought. Have a safe trip back, don't let Snape catch you."
They chuckled slightly at the joke, and dispersed, leaving one by one.
"Luna?" Harry asked as she walked by him on her way out.
"Yes, Harry?" she said, staring at him with her dreamy expression on her face, and he recognized her Occlumency's work.
"Thank you for just now. I didn't fancy another trip to the Hospital wing."
She smiled, and touched his shoulder. "You stood between me and two cutting curses," she answered dreamily. "No Wollybart or Wrackspurt will touch you when I'm near." She winked. "I know some excellent counter-curses, too," she went on on her normal tone of voice, yet saying it as if it were some great secret.
He smiled at her. "That's good to know, Luna. I'm counting on you to cover my back."
She smiled. "I will," she answered. "Good night, Harry."
"Good night, Luna. Don't let Snape catch you."
She smiled dreamily, and walked out of the Room. The last ones there were Ken and Maya, Ron and Hermione, and himself. "Come on, let's go to the Common Room."
"And hope we don't get caught," Hermione said. "We're prefects, we're supposed to set a good example."
"We're prefects," Ron said, "And that means we can be out after curfew."
Hermione shot him an angry look.
Harry just laughed. "Sensei? Maya? If you could follow me?"
Ken motioned for the door. "Lead the way, Harry."
They left quietly, walking to the Gryffindor Tower. Harry motioned silently for the trick steps on the moving staircases, and both Maya and Ken avoided them without apparent effort. Ron and Hermione just kept quiet, not wanting to draw any attention to themselves, either from the caretaker, or from any Professors who might be doing rounds. Silently, they wondered about Harry, how he had gotten such an easy report with his teacher and fellow apprentice.
Just as they were to start ascending the stairs that went up to the Common Room, disaster had to strike.
Of course, Harry thought, things can't go right for once.
"Well, well, well," Snape sneered as he melted out of whatever shadow he had been lurking in. "I thought something strange was going on when I noticed a couple of Gryffindors slink through the halls earlier. It's a good thing I decided to keep an eye out." He gave a leer at the two Japanese witches, then turned his attention to the Gryffindor Trio.
"I guess it is not enough for you to make a grand spectacle during dinner, isn't that right, Mr. Potter? Now Your Majesty has to break the rules of Curfew as well."
Harry swallowed, refusing to take the bait. He felt Maya's amusement through the link, and it helped to calm him down. So far, it sounded pretty mild. Maybe he'd get away with a detention or two, perhaps some House Points lost, but that would be it.
"E-excuse me, professor Snape, but as a Prefect, it is all right for me to escort people after curfew," Hermione said, actually sounding a lot braver than she felt.
Snape turned his sneer on her. "Really, miss Granger? Even a Prefect as vaunted as you needs a reason to be out after curfew. Pray tell, what excuse could you have for escorting our resident celebrity and his two uninvited guests?"
The sarcasm wasn't lost on Harry or his two guests. His fist clenched. How dare he insinuate... Ken put a hand on his shoulder, and Harry calmed down slightly.
"I was... showing them the castle, Sir," Hermione answered, swallowing deeply.
"After curfew, miss Granger?" Snape replied, still sneering like a madman. "That's not a valid excuse."
He turned his glare on Harry. "Perhaps our young celebrity can tell me what the real reason was. Hm? Tell me, Mister Potter, what excuse have you for strolling around at night? Or perhaps you would like to enlighten me on the fact that you are in the company of two foreigners. Tell me, Mister Potter, just what are your reasons for involving foreigners in this? Are we humble British folk not good enough for you?"
Harry felt his anger rise, but somehow, managed to contain it. He glanced over his shoulder once, drawing reassurance from Ken's presence behind him, her hand on his shoulder.
Snape looked at the gesture. "Yes, she has you trained quite well. You actually manage to stay quiet for once." He glanced back down. "But I am still waiting for that reason, Mr. Potter."
"I was showing them the castle, Sir," Harry replied, through his seething anger.
"Really, now," Snape sneered. "And that after curfew. Tut, tut, Mr. Potter. I think I will have to deduct points. Let's see... fifteen points from Miss Granger and Mister Weasley, and twenty-five points from you, for bringing two uninvited bi-"
"Enough," Ken replied from behind Harry, not allowing the man to complete his insult.
"Really?" Snape said, grinning. "And why would I stop? You hold no official authority here. In fact, you are only here because Albus Dumbledore has allowed you here. For all I care, you could have been thrown out."
"It is a Master's right to stay with her Apprentice," Ken replied, stepping up, and standing right next to Harry, her hand remaining on his shoulder. "I have kept quiet, for I promised Albus Dumbledore I would not attack you for past transgressions. However, I feel that your current actions are warrant enough by themselves. True, we were out after curfew. However, that is no reason to belittle my student, his friends, nor us," she stated calmly, indicating herself and Maya.
Harry glanced at Maya when he felt nothing from her. He wished he hadn't. Her knuckles were white around her staff, and there was something fierce in her eyes. Something he recognized from his time when their magics had linked. This was Maya at her most fierce.
"I will treat my students the way I see fit, Miss Ken. But perhaps you could tell me why you have such an unhealthy obsession with that attention-seeking little boy?"
Ken seemed to take the insults in stride. Harry's hand slipped to his sword. His mind was blank. "How dare you," Harry whispered, his lips barely moving yet his voice sounded with a resonance that was patently unnatural. "Sensei is the best teacher I have ever had. She came halfway around the world to help me through this, one of the few people in my life who have actually tried to help me." A sharp click was heard as the sword unlocked from its scabbard, actually showing five centimetres worth of blade now. "She cared for me, taught me, and reversed damage that you inflicted upon me. How dare you speak to her in such a manner?"
Snape sneered. "I bet you loved that, Mr Potter. Attention-seeking brat that you are, I bet you loved that."
Harry closed his eyes. The blade of his sword burst into flame, and Snape actually lifted an eyebrow in surprise when he felt the magic tug at his clothes.
"Harry," Ken said, calmly. "I have taught you never to draw your weapon unless you intend to use it. Do you wish to do him permanent and irreparable harm, or do you merely wish to silence him?"
Harry was silent for a few seconds, and it actually looked as if he might cut Snape to ribbons. With a sharp snap, the sword locked back into its scabbard. "I'm sorry, Sensei."
Ken merely dipped her head. "I am pleased that you would defend me in such a manner, Harry, but I am here and I am capable of protecting my own reputation... as well as yours." She smiled slightly at him as he glanced at her, showing that she was, indeed, pleased, and not angry.
Ken focused her attention on Snape, and all warmth left her eyes and general expression. Suddenly, he found himself against the wall, her staff pressed against the base of his head, pointing straight up. "You have attacked my student on multiple occasions, have caused him nearly irreversible mental harm, have caused him mental anguish, and have insulted both him and me. I am most displeased with those actions." She leaned closer to him, their noses almost touching. Her dark eyes were glowing in the darkness, and an unnatural light pulsed around the head of her staff.
"Please, draw that wand you are fingering. I will take utmost pleasure in dismembering you."
Snape's hand slipped away, leaving his wand where it was. "You are a coward," she stated, calmly. "But determined to stay alive, it seems. Then perhaps you will understand this. I will be here for the foreseeable future. After that, my second Apprentice will alternate his time between this... school... and his home with me in Japan. If I ever... and I mean ever... hear another bad word about you from him, I will make the things your so-called Dark Lord does to you look like child's play. Do you understand me?"
Her staff pressed into his skin. "I asked if you understood me?" she asked, ignoring the fact that a sharp hissing sound was audible from where her staff contacted his skin.
Snape grunted, and nodded. "Good. Now, I suggest you go see Headmaster Dumbledore. I have kept my promise, and have refrained from harming you. I suggest you go see him, and ask for a transfer. I do not wish to see you teaching my Apprentice anything, least of all the subject most important to him."
"You do not have the authority..." Snape began.
Ken straightened out. "Tell Dumbledore, should he not comply, that I will leave here with Harry, take him home with me, and never set foot in England again. Let Voldemort rule a country where men such as yourself are allowed to destroy the lives of students, for it does not deserve to be saved!" For the first time, her voice rose, and Snape seemed to press himself harder into the wall at the sound of her voice, distorting horribly with repressed magics.
"As much as it would please me to be rid of Potter, and how loathe I am to admit to blackmail, I do think that the Headmaster will admit to your... request." He looked at Harry. "Seeing how you've got a new teacher, Potter, get used to not taking any Defence Against the Dark Arts lessons."
Harry smiled mirthlessly. "Not from you, Sir." He glanced at Ken, a smile on his face. "I will be learning from a far better teacher."
Snape frowned deeply, and swept away, his cloak billowing behind him. Harry look at Ken. "My friends are going to suffer from this... as glad as I am about not taking any lessons from him anymore..."
Ken nodded. "He is a petty and small man, Harry. But I can only intervene when it comes to you, I can't tell the Headmaster anything concerning the others, I'm afraid."
Harry glanced apologetically at Ron and Hermione. Hermione looked at the same time, pleased that someone told off Snape, and white that someone had done such a thing to a Professor. Ron just look chuffed.
"Blimey, Harry, it'll be worth it! The look on his face!" Ron chortled.
Harry just nodded. "Sensei?" he then asked, turning to his teacher. "How long can you be here? This year, I mean?"
"I may be called away when my duties require me," Ken replied as they walked to the portrait that hid the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room. "However, I believe I will be able to stay at least until after New Year."
Harry frowned. "I wanted to ask if you could take over as Defence teacher, instead of Snape."
Ken chuckled. "I thought as much," she replied. "However, my duties require me in Japan. I will not be able to make such a commitment." She smiled slightly, and glanced at Maya. "However, Maya is far ahead of her peers..."
Maya blanched. "No, Sensei! I can't...!"
"We'll speak of this later, my Apprentice," Ken decided, as Hermione opened the portrait. Harry just chuckled slightly, every now and then shooting an amused glance at Maya.
As they entered, they found most of Gryffindor House assembled, waiting for the return of the one who had caused so much mayhem during the last hours of the day.
Somehow, Harry's lesson on looking out for each other had worked, as the Gryffindor DA members managed to derail the others after a mere five or ten minutes of shouted questions. Harry turned to Ken.
"Sensei? You said you would stay here, but unless you and Maya are planning on joining the girl's dormitory, I don't know where you can stay," he said when he found the time to do so.
Ken smiled. "Magic is a wonderful thing, Harry. The only limit is the limit of your imagination. Literally, magic places the world at your fingertips." She glanced around, aware that everyone was staring at her once again, now that they heard her answer to the question everyone had been asking, but nobody dared to voice.
She walked to a corner, framed between the large exterior wall, an interior wall, and right next to the fireplace. "I think this will do fine." She lifted her staff, closed her eyes, and whispered.
Harry was used to seeing Ken do magic, and he had a pleased smile on his face when he noticed the look of shock on the faces of his house mates. Nobody heard her speak, but everyone felt the magic grip around her, reach for the two walls that made up her chosen corner.
Different then Harry's limited control, Ken's magic was merely felt, it did not manifest physically, it did not tug on clothes, or stink up the air. But still, they felt it, their own magical cores resonating for the intensity of Ken's superb control and hidden magical powers.
Her staff came down.
The moment the tip made contact with the ground, two additional walls sprung out of the ground, one of them sporting a door, reaching up to the ceiling, squaring off her chosen place. Ken opened her eyes, opened the door, threw a look inside, and smiled. "Good. For a moment there, I thought that the wards would actually stop me." She looked at the exterior wall, as if peering right through it. "These are probably some of the most potent wards I've ever seen."
Gryffindor House exploded with the sounds of exclamations of surprise, awe, and generally being impressed.
Harry just smiled through the ruckus, and shared a glance with Maya. They remind me of you, when you first saw Ken-Sensei do magic, Maya sent him.
Well, I'm still impressed by it, I just learned not to show my surprise any more, Harry replied cheekily. Maya merely sent back laughter.
It had been an emotional evening for Harry, the excited Gryffindors keeping him up until well into the night, asking questions of Ken and Maya. Somewhat surprisingly for Harry, his teacher and his magic-sister had been an instant hit with his house, and both women had no problems regaling the excited British teens on tall tales from the other side of the world.
All in all, a busy evening and night, and Harry felt like turning over and going right back to sleep. Instead, he dragged himself out of bed and got dressed. He moved downstairs, somehow, his mind still on the soft bed he had left behind.
"There you are," Ken said, somewhat sternly. "We're going after your staff, and then we're picking up on your training... and as soon as we've gone through the morning routine, we'll need to start analysing that battle that got you in trouble."
Harry nodded, his mind kicking slowly into first gear as he left the Gryffindor Common Room, right behind his teacher and his sister, who had merely shot a sleepy good morning herself.
At least I'm not alone in being tired at this ungodly hour, Harry thought as the cold air of the early morning hit him. As Ken and Maya set in a jog, Harry followed suit. His mind actually made it to full speed by the time they reached Hogsmeade, and Harry quickly showed them where everything happened, telling the story of the battle once more, indicating the places where everything happened.
Finally, they reached the spot where Harry had fought so desperately to save Luna. He closed his eyes, and drew a shaking breath. Where he had almost lost another friend.
Suddenly, he found a warm hand enclose his balled fist. Startled, he opened his eyes, and stared directly into Maya's warm brown eyes. "You did fine, Harry. Don't feel guilty."
Harry let out a shaking breath. Ken stepped up, next to her Apprentice. "Maya is right, Harry. If you must blame someone, blame your opponents. They were the ones who came looking for a fight, not you. If it is someone's fault, it is theirs."
Harry was silent, staring at the ground. Drawing a breath, he finally voiced what plagued him. "I almost... almost lost someone again. Someone I care about."
"But you didn't," Ken said, her voice strong. She lifted his head with one finger, making him look up at her. "Look at me, Harry. You didn't lose anyone. In fact, you protected them."
Harry closed his eyes. "She was hit but the Cruciatus. Over and over..." Harry's voice trailed off. "I can still hear her screams. At night."
Ken cocked her head. "Let me guess... the pretty blond with the silver eyes and the tenacious tendency to cover your back?"
Harry nodded. " Luna."
"She didn't seem to hold it against you," Maya added in. "In fact, it looked as if she would follow you to the ends of the world and beyond for what you did here."
Harry let out a dry snort. "Luna forgives everyone. That's who she is... not who I am."
Ken grabbed hold of his chin again. "You protected her, Harry. You stood between her and two cutting hexes, you covered her when she was down, and you defeated your opponent while doing so. You probably saved her life. Don't blame this on yourself. Blame this on those who attacked you..." she let go of his chin and balled her fist, "... and make them pay."
Harry just stared at her, the message slowly sinking home. Silently, he repeated the vow he had made while fighting for his life, and for the life of Luna. Never again.
"Good," Ken said, smiling slightly at the sight of determination in his eyes. "Come, my young Apprentice. Let's find your staff, and have a light workout. Then we'll start going over your battle here, and see where we can improve."
Harry dipped his head. "Thank you, Sensei. Maya."
Maya just smiled at him, while Ken merely dipped her head. Harry closed his eyes, and reached out. "To me," he commanded.
Now that he was outside of the Hogwarts Wards, and the wards around the clearing were gone as well, the staff responded, just like it had while he was on the train over to Hogwarts. It ported right into his hand.
Feeling his hand close around the familiar firmness brought a smile to his lips. Giving it a couple of experimental swings before bringing it down, Harry opened his eyes and looked at his two Japanese companions, a smile on his lips.
"And now... let's get going," Ken said, choosing a direction and setting out a running pace. Maya and Harry shared a smile, and followed their teacher, their feet pounding the ground in the solid running rhythm, making robes flap and their arms pump.
An hour later, Harry pushed open the door of the enclosure Ken had set apart for her own and Maya's use. As he had expected, the inside was a lot larger than the outside, like a wizarding tent, and was completely furnished, including a kitchen, a bathroom, two bedrooms, and all kinds of comforts.
His hair was still damp from his recent shower, and Harry felt like a new man as he exited into the Common Room. His muscles ached in that good feeling of a good work-out, and a smile was on his lips. Just having Ken and Maya here made him feel better, and the talk they had shared that morning was even better.
"Harry! There you are, mate!" Ron bellowed from across the Common Room, where he was talking to Hermione, Ginny, and Neville. "We were worried about you! You weren't in bed this morning when I woke up."
By now, Harry had made his way over to them. "I was out," he said, his staff in his hand. "Retrieving my staff, and joining Sensei and Maya in a morning workout."
Hermione and Ginny shot him relieved smiles, while Neville and Ron grinned.
"Well, we're just glad you're all right," Hermione said. "And I'm glad you managed to get your staff back."
Harry smiled. "I didn't mean to worry all of you, but I was with Ken-Sensei. I was safer than if I had been with Dumbledore," he answered honestly. "And as soon as I got outside of these wards, I was able to summon my staff quite easily. If only they hadn't put up an anti-apparition ward, I could have gotten it back during the battle." His mind drifted, recalling some of the things he had discussed with Ken and Maya. They would be getting into them more closely tonight. He could hardly wait.
Behind him, the door to the enclosure opened again, and Maya stepped out, no longer dressed in her blue outfit, but rather, in a more subdued black outfit that bore remarkable resemblance to...
"Sis?" Harry asked.
Maya broke out a wide smile, and twirled around. "Like it, Bro?"
Harry just closed his mouth, and shook his head. "Would you kindly tell me why you're dressed in a Gryffindor House Hogwarts student uniform?" he asked, keeping the smile out of his voice and off his face.
Maya grinned wider. "You wouldn't abandon me already, would you, Harry?" she asked in her best little-girl's voice. "I just got here, and I thought it was best to fit in."
Harry felt like gaping at her again, just as he was sure that his friends were staring at her. "You're going to join us?" Harry asked, trying, and failing, not to sound surprised.
"You don't want me to?" Maya asked with a pout.
Harry gave up, and burst out laughing, soon joined by Maya. "Welcome aboard, Sis. I can hardly wait for classes to start. Today's Charms first class. I think you'll like Professor Flitwick."
"Harry," Hermione said.
Harry, finally finishing his snickering, wiped his eyes. "Yes, Hermione?"
"She's going to join us?" Ginny picked in.
"Yup, that's the plan," Harry said, still grinning. "It'll be great!" He motioned to Maya. "She's incredible. I can't wait to see how she'll do in our lessons." He looked at Maya, who beamed at him. "And I hope to finally find something I am better at than you."
Maya crowed with laughter. "Good luck, Bro! Except for that pure, raw power you've got going, nothing you do can beat me, and you know it!"
Harry grunted playfully. "That's what experience gets you..." he turned to his friends, and stage-whispered, making sure that Maya heard him, "Mind you, some people call it 'old age'."
He ducked the first hex that came his direction, jumped over the second, managed to deviate the third one into a wall, and blinked when four hexes came at him at the same time. He didn't have time to gulp, ducked out of the way of two, and felt a petrification and a hair-colour hex strike him.
Being petrified wasn't so bad, but knowing that his hair was now neon-purple and yellow polka dots sure added to the humiliation factor.
"We're the same age," Maya said, grinning widely as she stepped up to him, and cancelled the petrification.
"Hey, and the hair?" Harry demanded as his friends snickered. He mock-glared at them. "Gee, glad to know I have such good friends, who always have my back."
All four of them held up their hands. "We've seen her speed," Ron said. "Against Death Eaters, I'd have your back in a heartbeat. Against her? Not a frigging' chance!"
Maya smirked at him, meanwhile. "You figure out how to undo the Party-Hair Charm, Bro," she replied, smirking, and blowing kisses toward Ron and Neville, who blushed, and giving a thumbs-up to Ginny and Hermione, who smile conspiratorially.
"Party-Hair Charm?" Harry asked, having never heard of it. "How am I supposed to cancel some insane Japanese make-up spell if I don't even know it?"
"Come on, mate, you can gripe about it under way to breakfast. If this goes on, there won't be anything left," Ron said, making to drag Harry outside.
"I can't go out looking like this!" Harry said, still grinning, somewhat.
"Sure you can," Maya said, opening the portrait. "You walk through this hole, you see..."
"I don't see you trying to cancel it," Maya said, grinning, exiting. Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Neville followed, and Harry, muttering to himself about treacherous friends and cruel sisters, closed the line.
As they walked into the Great Hall for breakfast, Harry had just about exhausted his arsenal of counter-spells, and he actively had to reinforce his Occlumency to block out the laughs and chuckles of the other students.
With the barest hint of a flush on his cheeks, he sat down at the Gryffindor table, the other people fanning out around him, starting their own breakfasts.
"You seem to be in a spot of trouble, Bro," Maya said, grinning, before biting into a kipper, sampling the unknown taste of the British dish.
Harry shot her a mock-glare, and swallowed the mouthful of scrambled eggs. "Well, the only other thing I can think of to cancel this, is Parseltongue. And I know you don't speak Parseltongue."
Maya just chuckled, and was about to respond when Harry waved at someone, and motioned to whomever it was to come over. Five seconds later, a very airy-looking Luna Lovegood sat down at the table with them. A couple of Gryffindors shot the strange Ravenclaw a look, before shrugging and going back to their breakfasts.
"Good morning," she wished everybody, receiving a chorus of 'good morning's in return. She looked at Harry.
"That look does not suit you, Harry," she said, helping herself to some toast and a goblet of pumpkin juice.
"Maya hexed me, and I can't seem to get it off," Harry griped playfully, shooting a mock-glare at Maya.
For just a moment, it looked as if Luna actually looked angry, before her glassy-eyed stare was back. She waved her wand. Nothing happened. "I see," she replied, waving her wand and whispering a second incantation. His hair turned black once more. Conjuring a mirror, she showed him the results.
"Thanks, Luna! How did you do it?" Harry said, grinning widely at her. "None of my friends wanted to help." He glared at them. "Cowardly bastards they are."
"Oh, I couldn't cancel it, Harry," Luna replied airily. "But I put a second spell on it... turning it back to black."
Harry burst out laughing at the disappointed look on Maya's face. "I didn't think about that," she muttered. "It was supposed to last 24 hours."
Harry reached over, and clamped Luna's hand. "Thank you, Luna. You're a great friend," he said formally.
She smiled at him, and her eyes seemed to come to reality. "As are you, Harry," she replied, just as formally, before her glassy-eyed look was back and she turned to her breakfast with a spacey look on her face.
Maya was about to say something, when a beeping noise interrupted her. "Excuse me," she said, reaching into a pocket of her uniform, and pulling out a little square box. It was a square, about fifteen centimetres to one side, and about five centimetres high.
She flipped it open, and beamed a smile at the screen. Tapping a couple of keys on the bottom part of the flipped-open box, she looked at the inside of the lid, and started speaking.
Everyone stared at her.
"Harry?" Hermione asked.
"She's speaking to someone," Harry replied. "A friend of hers... Ayumi. And I'm trying really hard not to listen in on private conversations," Harry added the last part with a grin in her direction.
"But..." Hermione started.
"I don't know, Hermione," Harry interjected, shooting her a smile. "We'll ask her after she's done."
Five minutes later, Maya flipped the device shut again. "Ayumi was just calling to see how I was doing..." she explained, her voice trailing off as the others stared at her.
"What was that device?" Hermione asked. "How does it work? Does it work anywhere? How did your friend speak to you..."
"Hermione, let her answer," Harry chided gently, shutting Hermione up quite deftly, and making her flush. Maya just grinned widely.
"This is an MC... a MagicCom," Maya said, putting the device on the table, flipping it open, and turning it so everyone could look at it. "It was built by Ayumi's Sensei, he's a Rune Master. It taps into the Dragon Veins, uses it for power, and for communications. It's still in development... only ten or so exist in the world. I got one, seeing how Ayumi is my best friend, and we like to keep in touch. The other ones are spread around the Japanese Community, linking the most important people together."
She tapped a key on the bottom panel, and the screen in the lid turned on. It asked something in Japanese. "It requires a code to work, just in case," Maya explained. "Anyway, it allows for instant voice-communications. And seeing how I'm on the other side of the world, or just about, I'm sure that it works anywhere, and is able to communicate with anyone, anywhere, as long as they are in range of the Dragon Veins."
"What are Dragon Veins?" Ron asked.
"Ley Lines," Harry supplied. "And seeing how we're built on top of a three Line intersection, I don't think that reception's an issue."
Maya grinned. "That's why I have seven lines," she replied, showing a small indicator in the top-right corner of the screen, showing seven small lines. "I never got more than one or two lines back home. Anyway, it also allows for text-based communications. For instance, if I wanted to ask Sensei where she was, I would do this." She flipped the device back, entered her code out of everyone's sight, and flipped it back. "I would tap in Sensei's name, like so." She typed the name, and the device went blank for a few seconds.
It answered her. "Sensei's MC is on-line, meaning that she has it turned on. I could try and call her, but you've already seen me do that," she said with a grin. "Anyway, I now press this button here, and it pops up a window where I can type text using the buttons on the bottom panel." She typed a couple of lines of text in a fairly quick pace. "I then send it, and Sensei's MC will receive it, and notify her of the new message."
"What did you just send her?" Hermione asked, intrigued by the device.
"I asked her if she wanted to join us for breakfast," Maya said, the next moment turning around as a beep sounded from the entrance of the Great Hall. They all turned and looked as Ken retrieved a similar device from her pocket, flipped it open, tapped a few keys, smiled slightly, and glanced at Maya.
She walked over, everybody trying not to stare at her limp. She slipped into an empty seat. "Does this answer your question, My Apprentice?" Ken asked as she grabbed herself some breakfast.
"Ayumi called me, Sensei, and I was just explaining the working of the MC to Harry and his friends," Maya replied, answering the question within the question. Ken dipped her head.
"But you still haven't explained, how do they work exactly?" Hermione asked.
Maya shared a look with Ken. "I don't know," Maya finally said. "All I know is that they draw power from the Dragon Veins, and that they use those same Dragon Veins for communication. Maybe Ayumi knows more... she is the Apprentice to the Rune Master, after all. How about I give her a call back, after breakfast, and see if she can answer your questions?"
"That'd be great!" Hermione exclaimed, clearly happy now that she was going to get some answers; the others merely grinned at the sight.
As breakfast wound to a close, Dumbledore stood up. "Before we go to our lessons, it has come to my attention that we seem to have a new student among us. A student who, for the moment, seems to be dressed as a Gryffindor."
Every eye in the room was locked on Maya, who merely grinned slightly, before breaking out in a flush. "Perhaps a Sorting is in order, to make it official?" Dumbledore went on, and Harry glanced at Ken, who was glaring at the Headmaster.
Maya stood up, and walked primly to the Head Table, bowing respectfully before the man. "Lord Dumbledore," she spoke in clear, precise tones, "nothing would honour me more than to be Sorted in the same House as the man who has become like a brother to me. However, the reason I am dressed as this is merely because I will remain close to him, for, if you recall, this school has not been the safest of environments for him. I merely wished to blend in. I am not a student here; I will not be taking tests nor exams. If it pleases you, Lord Dumbledore, I will allow myself to be Sorted – as long as this does not signify in any way a commitment on my part for anything beyond that which I have already stated."
A collective gasp went through the Great Hall then, the respectful eloquence with which Maya had addressed the Headmaster was beyond anything they had ever witnessed. It became clear, then and there, that this was no ordinary student, and that her schooling was vastly different from their own.
The Headmaster, for his part, merely smiled serenely at the girl, and dipped his head. "Of course not, Miss Maya. I merely wanted to preserve a thousand year of tradition, not to allow the uniform to anyone who had not gone through this rite of passage."
Maya dipped her head. "In that case, it would be my honour to be Sorted," she replied crisply.
"Excellent!" Dumbledore said, smiling broadly as he produced the Sorting Hat from somewhere upon his person; nobody really saw where it came from. "Now, if you would just face the Hall, and I will put the Sorting Hat on your head."
Maya bowed, then swept around and faced the Great Hall. She felt the Headmaster put the Hat on her head.
Curious. Most curious, she heard a voice speak in her mind. Lifting one eyebrow, she thought back at it.
Just Sort me with my Brother, she answered levelly.
Hm... Harry Potter, your brother by Magic, it answered. Putting you in Gryffindor... I think you'd fare better in Ravenclaw, my girl. Such a beautifully organised mind you have.
I came here for Harry, she thought back. If you put me somewhere else, I can not protect him.
With such loyalty, perhaps Hufflepuff would be best, after all, the Hat mused silently. I don't see the Gryffindor Courage.
I came halfway around the world to help my brother!
Loyalty again, the Hat answered cheekily.
I am doing this for Headmaster Dumbledore. His station deserves respect, even though I do not like him personally. If you do not sort me in Gryffindor, I will don the robes of my own station... and merely demand my spot, Maya replied, coldly now. As First Apprentice to Mahou mo Ken-Sama, the Headmaster dare not refuse my request to be present while my brother attends class.
And there we have Slytherin, the Hat said, sounding like it enjoyed itself. Let's see... Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin. Perhaps Hufflepuff really would be best.
Don't you dareMaya answered coldly, her mind reaching for a couple of very nasty fire spells, which she was sure would do well against the cloth of the Sorting Hat. Magic or not, cloth burned.
And there, finally, we have the Gryffindor courage. Courage to stand to your convictions, and fight for what you know is right. Very well, you will go to GRYFFINDOR!
Maya smiled, turned around, gave the Hat to Dumbledore, walked to the Gryffindor table and sat down. "That ridiculous piece of antique magic wanted to put me in all other houses," the girl grunted as she sat down. "Claimed I had loyalty, but not courage." She glared at Harry. "When I threatened it, it claimed I finally showed courage and allowed me in."
"You threatened the Sorting Hat?" Ron asked, flabbergasted.
"Of course; I will go in Gryffindor, or I will not go at all. I told it I could just as well take up my Japanese robes and merely demand they let me sit in on Harry's classes. Only after I started thinking Fire spells did it claim I had courage."
"Blimey, mate, she's scary," Ron said to Harry, glancing at Maya, who grinned devilishly in his direction. He shuddered. Harry just laughed.
"Never get on Maya's bad side," he commented, after his laughter started to subside.
"You should know, Bro," Maya said, still grinning devilishly. "If it hadn't been for Luna, you'd still have purple hair."
"With polka-dots," Ginny added, barely containing her laughter.
Harry glared playfully at her, then looked at Luna. silently, he mouthed 'thanks' in her direction. She dipped her head, her dreamy expression focussing on the wall once more. The conversation around him moved to the background as he wondered what exactly, Luna saw when her shields were at full tilt. He shook out of it when Hermione shook his shoulder.
"Sorry, I was thinking," he grunted as he got up with the rest of his friends... and family.
"Did it hurt, mate?" Ron quipped.
"Not really," Harry replied, still somewhat out of it. Thinking strange thoughts so early in the morning weren't really what he did best.
Hermione had resumed her questioning of Maya by now, and the Japanese girl sighed audibly. Grabbing her MC, she flipped it open, and tapped a few keys.
"Ayumi?" Maya finally asked in the device. "I've got a favour to ask."
"Oh?" the other girl replied in accented English, recognising Maya's use of the language.
"My brother has a friend here who won't leave me alone about the MC's. I was wondering if you could explain a few of the concepts to her. It's not as if they're a secret or anything."
"They're still in development," Ayumi replied with what was definitely a shrug in her voice. "But sure, I'll explain things to her. Is she any good with Runes?"
Hermione looked affronted. Maya smiled. "I think she is, Ayumi."
A sigh came through the device. "Only for you, Maya. If you hadn't helped me last time, I wouldn't do this for you, you know."
"Us Apprentices have to stick together," Maya replied. "After all, it's us against the Senseis."
"Ain't that the truth," Ayumi grunted in reply. "Fine, pass me on, I'll help the girl."
"Her name is Hermione," Maya said, holding the device out to Hermione. "Ayumi is the Apprentice to the Rune Master who created the MC. She can help you understand."
"Thanks, Maya," Hermione said, looking suitably grateful at the girl.
As Hermione started chatting with the girl on the other side of the world, the rest tuned out the conversation.
As Hermione chatted to the Japanese girl, the others made good time to the Charms classroom, their first lesson of the day. Feeling quite dejected about having to cut short her conversation with Ayumi, Hermione managed to elect the promise of a continuation of the conversation tomorrow, before breakfast, which would place it at about 4pm in Japan.
Everyone took their seats, Harry sending a sharp thought in Japanese to Maya as the students in Double Charms started to whisper behind their backs. Maya sent back an amused thought, and soon, both were doing their best not to burst out laughing.
"I thought that," Flitwick began, "seeing how we have an esteemed foreign student among us, maybe she would be able to give us a short demonstration on Japanese Charms."
As everyone stared at her, Maya bit back a groan. Harry shot her an encouraging smile. "You've done pretty well teaching me, oneesan," he whispered to her.
Maya finally relented, shrugged, and stood up to make her way to the front of the classroom. "Hi, I'm Maya," she said. "But I'm sure you all know my name by now." The joke fell flat, and the girl turned to the blackboard. "Harry has explained your Charms to me," she said as she took a piece of chalk and started writing. "Japanese charms, as all Japanese magic, is based upon five elements; Earth, Water, Wind, Fire, and Void, or Heaven." Without thinking about it, she wrote the Kanji symbols on the board, the magical chalk taking on different colours as she wrote, brown, blue, white, red, and gold.
"All Japanese magic is based upon the balance of these elements. I'm not going to give you the full background, as it usually takes a couple of months before an Apprentice truly understands it." She shot a look at Harry. "Note that I said usually. There are always exceptions."
Harry grinned. Maya smirked, winked, and looked back at the rest of the class. "Anyway, in a nutshell, a Practitioner will focus on the magic within, and bend the four other elements into the desired shape. The results can be two-fold."
She held up her free hand, a Seal materializing in it. "The first application is known as Japanese Artillery Magic." She glanced at the Seal. "Faurink Maya, Plasmatizer, asks the Seal, what are you?"
The Seal's voice boomed through the Charms classroom, and a hushed silence befell the students. I am a sparkle, a red sparkle! I am the one who destroys your enemies with blazing flame!
A fireball leaped away from her fingers, and disintegrated against the classroom wall. "That was a pure application of Fire and Magic. But, as you can see, it can not be done non-verbally, and it takes a good while to cast. Hence the designation of Artillery Magic."
"Now, the second result is closer to what you would call Charms. But, once again, it is the underlying theory of the elements that guides the desired result, rather than spells or incantations. The Charms of second variety are all cast non-verbally. There are not even words associated with the spells, so you can not even cast them verbally should you chose to."
She brought her staff up with her right arm, and snapped it in Harry's direction. The Charm Luna had applied, the one to hide the purple hair colour, disintegrated, revealing once again, the Party-Hair Charm.
"As my brother can attest, they have all sorts of applications. In this case, a Party-Hair Charm," Maya explained. "That one is an intricate balance of Water and Wind... Water for it's adapting nature, Wind for its elusiveness." She motioned to the blackboard. "Each element has its own rules, its own nature, and each spell you can cast be categorized under one, or a combination of, these elements and their natures."
Everyone was staring at her, except for Harry, who was smirking slightly. "How about a demonstration?" Maya asked. "Harry-oniisan, how about you help me?"
Harry shot a look at Flitwick, who was nodding up and down enthusiastically, then stood up and calmly made his way to the front.
As he made his way to the front, he shot an inquiring look at Maya. She smiled back at him, and motioned for a spot right next to her. "I was thinking that we could give a little demonstration on the proper use of Seals, use of elements, and the other principals," Maya said after he took the indicated spot. Shrugging, Harry gripped his staff tighter.
"Fine by me, Oneesan. What do you have in mind?" he asked.
"Demonstration of Shield- and combat Seals?" she inquired. Harry shrugged.
"Fine by me," he answered levelly. "But I will be shooting back."
Maya grinned. "I wouldn't have it any other way," she said, stepping back, Harry doing the same. When they had put some distance between them, Maya glanced at their audience. "This is a demonstration on the use of Seals, and other basic elemental manipulation... this isn't a realistic combat situation. Just a fair warning," she added with a small smile, and turned to look at Harry.
"Faurinck Maya, Plasmatizer, asks the Seal, what are you?" she snapped out her arm.
Harry's arm sped out, the familiar words rolling off his tongue. "Harry Potter, Plasmatizer, asks the Seal, what are you?"
I am an electric shock! I am the one to bind my enemies with en electric light! The first Seal answered Maya, lightning streaming off the Seal, racing toward Harry.
Harry's eyes snapped closed as his own Seal answered. I am ice and snow, white ice and snow! I am the one who becomes a veil of ice that freezes everything!
Maya's eyes grew bigger as a white blast of ice reached out from Harry's Seal, freezing the floor, racing up the wall and blackboard, reaching for the speeding electric shock attack that was supposed to incapacitate him. As the two spell met, their magic combined, battling each other for supremacy, angry magical waves reaching for the floor and the ceiling, before finally dying out.
"An area-of-effect spell? Really, Bro, as if you wanted to freeze your classmates," Maya admonished.
"I didn't want to freeze them, Sis," Harry answered with a cold smirk on his face.
Maya dipped her head, and looked at the class, who were stunned into silence at the sight of Harry's ice-field, now slowly melting. "As you can see, spells can be changed and adapted. Harry's area-of-effect spell, should have frozen everything in a circle around him, yet it did not, simply because he had sufficient control over his spell to change its effects."
She looked back. "Ready? This time, no interruptions."
Harry dipped his head, and snapped out his hand. "Harry Potter, Plasmatizer, asks the Seal, what are you?"
I am a sparkle, a red sparkle, I am the one to destroy your enemy with blazing flames!
Maya's hand reached out. "Shield!" A seal appeared, immediately filling with a Kanji symbol, shielding her from the fireball. Her other hand let go of her staff, and snapped out even while her shield was annihilating Harry's fireball. "Faurinck Maya, Plasmatizer, asks the seal, what are you?"
I am a blade, a white blade! I am the one who dances like a mist and cuts the enemy up into pieces!
Harry dodged the wind-blade strike that cut into the floor, and snapped both his hands forward. Six seals appeared in front of him, and Maya's eyes went huge. Harry closed his eyes, feeling the magic build within him. He still wasn't recovered completely... and six was the most he had ever done. He knew he could do three, he had done so in the battle of Hogsmeade... but six was double that, and he was still recovering.
"Harry Potter, Plasmatizer, asks the Seals... what are you?" he could feel the magic grip within him, reach for the elements and for the Seals.
We are a flame, a bright red flame. We are the ones who shimmer like the hot air and burn the enemy into ashes!
Maya looked like she saw a ghost, and gripped her staff, still standing, up on its tip, right next to her. "Shield," she whispered urgently, snapping a shield Seal into place just as the first fireball exploded from its Seal. Drawing her staff up, she drew an air-shield into existence, which stopped the second fireball. Her other hand was free now, and she snapped a new Shield Seal into place to stop fireball number three.
She could feel her power draining under the quick-casting of simultaneous shields, and once again, let go of her staff. This wasn't working...
"Forbid!" she snapped, both her hands drawing pentacles in mid-air, leaving ghostly white after-trails. When the pentacles completed, they seemed to become solid structures, stopping fireballs four and five. It bought her precious time, and she drew upon her reserves. Glaring at fireball number six, she snapped her hand at it, held rigid like a blade. "Break!" she ordered.
The fireball halved, warping around her, vanishing harmlessly against the wall behind her. "What was that?" Maya snapped.
Harry looked less than pleased as well. "You stopped all six!" he complained.
"Never mind me stopping six, how did you cast them simultaneously?" Maya snapped back. "That's impossible!"
Harry stared at her, stunned. "What? No, it's not... I've been doing it since forever... just draw multiple seals, instead of just one, and activate them in the same way you activate a single one. I just haven't figured out how to do multiple different ones, but identical ones aren't an issue," Harry replied. "And you... what was that forbid thing, and that break thing?"
"Those are easy... manipulation of the Void element. Kinda like an air-shield, but with Heaven instead of Air. Only, magic doesn't react too well as a shield, so you need to determine how your shield is going to work. Forbid basically form a solid magic wall, but drains incredibly quickly, plus you need time to draw the pentacle to shape the element. Break is easier, but more dangerous... you need to time it correctly, or you'll hit the spell instead of splitting it."
Harry nodded, focusing on his magic. Lifting his left hand, he drew a pentacle. Nothing happened. "That's a lot harder than it looks."
Maya shrugged. "I'm good at defences," she said. "It probably came natural to me." She stepped up to him, and both Harry and Maya forgot they had an audience. She came to a standstill next to him. "Watch as I power the spell," she said, slowly forming the pentacle, and with it, the Magic-shield.
"Do you see?" Maya asked.
Harry nodded. "I think so." He tried once more, but his shield disintegrated before it was fully formed. "Damn, I suck at this."
"That was good for a second try," Maya answered. "Sensei is better at this teaching thing than I am," she grunted. "How do I explain this better...?" She took two steps, turned around, and came up behind Harry. As she pressed against his back, her head on his right shoulder, she took his arm, and lifted it. "I will help you draw it," she said. "If you see it for yourself, experience it for yourself, you might be able to replicate it. Now, Harry, I will be channelling through your body, but try not to resist, OK?"
Harry just nodded as Maya lifted his arm with her own. Slowly, she started to draw in the air with Harry's hand, channelling her own magic to bend the fifth element. Harry's eyes went large as he felt her magic reach through him, the sheer beauty and softness of it stunning him to his core. He always felt that his own magic was like a violent river, a major force that had to be dominated and controlled.
Instead, Maya's magic felt soft, like velvet, like a gentle breeze in the heart of summer... and most definitely, incredibly powerful, as well. His entire body shook as she brought the shield to completion.
"Did you see?" Maya asked.
Harry nodded. His hand snapped out, drew a pentacle, and Maya smiled as she released him, looking at the fully formed Void-shield hanging in front of him. "Your magic, it felt incredible," Harry said.
"I felt yours pushing and straining," Maya answered, looking into his eyes. "You hold a lot of power."
"And your control is amazing," Harry replied, staring into her eyes as well. It felt almost as if he were falling forward, and both teens flashed back to when they had first connected on a magical level. The connection started to form, and once again, they felt the rush of power starting to reach through them, when sharp clapping brought them out of the trance.
Blinking a couple of time in rapid succession, both Harry and Maya stared at the class, where Professor Flitwick had started the round of applause. "An incredible demonstration of the abilities of our new student, as well as the rapid progress being made by Mr Potter," Flitwick said as he took his place at the front of the class. "Twenty points each to Gryffindor for that incredible demonstration, as well as ten points to Gryffindor for Miss Maya teaching Harry that incredible wandless shield."
Harry smiled a little self-consciously, while Maya just blushed as they retook their seats. Class was over in a couple of minutes anyway, so it didn't matter much. After Charms, Harry luckily had a break, a break he and Maya exploited eagerly to explore some more of each other's knowledge, preferring first to try and work things out among themselves before going to Ken, and asking for further explanations. There would be plenty of time for that tonight, after classes were over.
After the break, Transfiguration. This time it was Professor McGonagall who asked for a demonstration, she having heard of the incredible demonstration in Charms. This time, Harry could feel Maya's confusion as she stepped up to the front, this time cheered on by the Gryffindors.
Transfiguration is basically a morph, right? The changing of the attributes, size, and shape of one object, morphing it into another? Maya asked, explaining further when she felt Harry did not know the word. After he confirmed, she sent back another wave of confusion. You actually have a class attributed to nothing but this?
Harry shrugged through their link.
Maya stood at the front of the class, regarding them solemnly, but they all could see her eyes weren't really focused on them. Rather, they were focused inward, on her own thoughts, as if thinking very hard about something.
"I do not understand," Maya finally spoke, "why you would have a class dedicated to morphing objects. Transfiguration as you call it, is basically the changing of one object's attributes, size, and shape, into another. Am I correct?" she asked of Professor McGonagall. The stern woman, not used to being addressed in such a manner, nor the casual dismissal of her subject, nodded. She already had her mouth open to reply when Maya spun around, seemingly not seeing the professor getting ready to speak, and interrupted her.
"As I explained this morning in Charms class, Japanese magic is based upon the careful balance of the five base elements. Understanding of magic and its interaction with these elements is key. Once that balance is achieved within the Apprentice, he or she starts the next level. Basically, as magic is composed of these elements, so are objects around you." As she explained, she wrote on the blackboard, the chalk once again changing into the appropriate colours at her mental request.
"Once you understand the elements composing on object, manipulating said object is simple," she said as she wrote, they all realized that only the elements were Kanji, and the rest were merely English.
Beautifully written, calligraphy-style English. Finishing her last word by ending it with a straight horizontal line underneath her text, she spun around. "Knowledge of the elements and their balance is essential. Once that is achieved, one can morph – any object into any other object. Limitation on size is dependant upon one's magical reserves, the bigger the object, the more reserves are needed."
She lifted her right hand, free of her staff, which was still balanced at the point where she had planted it when she started writing, and held it flat before her. "The air around us is based heavily in the element of air, with slight Earth and Void influences. I know the air. Morph." She snapped, and a glowing golden ball of energy settled in her hand, shaping and moulding into a beautiful gold-and-crystal chalice.
McGonagall was speechless. Not only because of the casual dismissal of the need for a Transfiguration class, but also because of the casual ease with which Maya took the next step, actually demonstrating Summoning to a class that wasn't even in its final year! Summoning, she bit off under her breath.
Maya smiled serenely. "As your teacher points out, this is sometimes called Summoning. However, it is merely the final stage in the knowledge of the base elements. Once knowledge is there, there are no limits. I hope I did not offend... I was merely surprised at the need for a class. To me, this is something I knew how to do since I was twelve... two years after starting to learn the elements. Of course, my reserves have grown substantially since then. I wouldn't have been able to morph a cup such as this out of air when I was twelve, for example." She smiled slightly. "However, as there is no further need for this... morph." The chalice vanished, back into the elements from which it was created.
"One should always respect the elements, and not change needlessly. It would not do to create a mountain of gold, for instance. Not only would it kill the economy, but it would also unbalance the elements, and unbalanced elements result in Chaos." She stepped forward, and her smile vanished. Suddenly, her eyes burned with an eerie intensity. "Know that I demonstrate my abilities before you of my own free will. However, I know some of you are smart enough to figure these things out for themselves, and duplicate them. If I ever find one of you... any one of you... needlessly unbalance the elements, I will personally make it my mission in life to terminate your miserable existence." She glared at the class before her, and even McGonagall swallowed slightly against the fear she felt bubbling up.
The smile returned suddenly, and the class breathed a sigh of relief. "That was the warning my teacher gave me when she explained morphing to me. I now passed it on to you." She chuckled slightly. "Did it work?"
Harry snorted, feeling oddly strengthened by seeing his sister in front of a class once again. "Yes, it did, Sis."
Maya locked eyes with him. "Good. I'd hate to waste a good threat," she said, chuckling. "Any questions? Seeing how I still have some time," she said, smiling once again at the class.
It was Hermione whose hand was first in the air. "Hermione?"
"How about living creatures?" she asked, glancing at McGonagall, and smiling. "Changing a hedgehog into a pincushion, for example?"
Maya drew a breath. "Yes, it is possible to change living creatures. However... why would one do so, unless under dire circumstances...?" her voice trailed off when she got a burst of memories from Harry. She closed her eyes, and cursed under her breath in Japanese. Harry gulped.
"You experimented upon defenceless creatures," she stated, flatly. Her right hand balled into a fist at her side, and her left curled instinctively around the handle of her sword. "What a horrible thing to do." She drew a breath. "Anything can be morphed, including the living, into anything else. However, to do so... it is disgusting, and barbaric." Shooting a glare at McGonagall, and not even waiting for a response, she flipped to the board, and wiped it with a single motion of her hand.
"This is criminal," she whispered under her breath in Japanese. Harry was about to answer her when she picked up the chalk and started writing. "To morph, one would need to balance the Void." She stopped speaking again. "I can not do this." She dropped the chalk into its holder. "The morphing of living creatures is indeed possible, but I refuse to explain how. My knowledge is theoretical, as yours should be. It saddens me that it is not."
"Miss Maya, that is enough," McGonagall said, striding to the front. "I will have you know that no creatures were harmed during this class, and were always restored to their original forms."
"At least that is something," Maya replied levelly. "However, that fact remains that it was done. Although not illegal in Japan, it is a disgusting practice."
"That's enough, Miss Maya," McGonagall snapped. "I assure you, no creatures were harmed."
Maya looked the teacher up and down. "Then perhaps, you would not mind a little demonstration, Professor McGonagall?" she replied on an icy tone. The class held their collective breaths. Nobody spoke to McGonagall like that!
The woman stiffened, then dipped her head in a sharp nod. "If it assures you that nothing was harmed, be my guest."
Maya's eyes flashed. "Morph!" she barked. McGonagall let out a startled gasp as her entire body glowed gold and changed. Five seconds later, where a Professor had been, there was now a pincushion.
"I am well aware that you are still conscious," Maya spoke. "However, you are now frozen within that shape. Being sentient, you can control your fear. Imagine being a defenceless create, like the hedgehog in Hermione's example." Her hand balled again. She flipped around. "Is there anyone who would like to try and restore your teacher? I assure you, she does not mind. After all, this is what she did to those creatures."
Nobody was brave enough to try. Cowards, she snapped angrily in her mind.
We are all scared to bits of McGonagall, Harry answered her thought.
You are all cowards, Maya snapped back. She glared at the pincushion. "Morph." One Professor took the place of the pincushion.
"Very well, Miss Maya, point taken," McGonagall replied. "But I would appreciate you not trying to get my students to experiment on me in the future," she snipped.
Maya dipped her head in a half-bow. "I hope so, as well, Professor."
McGonagall had a small smile tugging at her lips, understanding the message perfectly. "I will speak with the people responsible for creation of the curriculum, and try and change the animal transfiguration. It is indeed an unpleasant experience. However, some exceptions will have to be made... for instance, if one were to become an animagus."
"An animagus?" Maya asked.
"It is a person capable of changing into an animal. Like this," McGonagall explained, changing into her animagus form, like a tabby cat. Five seconds later, she shifted back.
"Interesting ability, it must be ideal to change into a fly for scouting missions, or to be able to change into an animal that is native to the area one is scouting... or the use of smell of a dog, for instance," Maya said, smiling broadly, glad to be away from the touchy subject of animal experimentation.
"Unfortunately, one can change only into one animal," McGonagall answered deftly. "And not everyone has the ability to do so."
Maya frowned. "That's unfortunate. I wonder why..." She scribbled a bit on the blackboard. "The elements should permit it... after all, they allow for a person to shift into one animal. I wonder why not more." She scribbled some more, ignoring the fact that everyone was staring at her as she wrote in Japanese on the blackboard.
"I still do not see it. Perhaps this is why I am still only an Apprentice," Maya said, somewhat sadly. She closed her eyes. "Morph," she whispered. Her own body started to glow gold, actually starting to change shape, before the spell ended and threw her back into Human shape. She scribbled some more. "I can see why this is a difficult spell... as one loses one's Humanity, one's connection to the magic changes, and one has difficulty holding the spell in place, letting it complete." She held out her hand, and one of Harry's pieces of parchment and one of his quills flew at her. She scribbled her notations onto the parchment, cursing at the fact that the quill had only a limited amount of ink on it.
Banishing the quill back to Harry, she grabbed a ballpoint pen out of thin air, scribbled the parchment half-full, and released the pen back into the air. She then turned around, and saw everyone gaping at her. Everyone, except for Harry, who was smirking at her.
"Sorry about that," she said. "I... eh... sometimes forget where I am when I am learning new things. Sensei says I 'Geek Out'."
"Don't worry about it, Sis," Harry answered for the class. "We've all seen Hermione do the same thing on occasion."
Hermione flushed crimson, and ducked behind her Transfiguration book when the class started laughing. Laughing as well, Maya returned to the seat right next to Harry... but not before bowing to McGonagall, and whispering that no offence was intended. The stern Transfiguration teacher replied that none was taken... at least, none was taken after that demonstration Maya had put her through. And if Maya needed more info on animagi, she would be available to answer her questions. Maya smiled, and thanked her, before taking her seat.
After lunch, They had Care of Magical Creatures, and for once, Maya had nothing to contribute, knowing next to nothing about the Magical Creatures found in Great Britain... but to Harry's amusement, and everyone else's horror, she did strike it off immediately with Hagrid – she, too, enjoyed the dangerous creatures he brought to class. Hagrid's happiness at her eagerness couldn't be bigger.
After Care of Magical Creatures came Herbology, and once again, Maya was the most attentive pupil. Her schooling in Herbology was truly limited, and she found the new subject invigorating. It was only after dinner, that the fun really began... as that was when Ken would train them.
Harry was panting deeply, leaning on his staff for support, trying to catch his breath. They were presently outside, in front of the Great Lake, almost all of Gryffindor House, half of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw houses, and even a few Slytherins scattered around to stare at him going at it with his Japanese teacher.
"You are getting faster, Harry," Ken said, sounding reasonably impressed. "However, the strength of your spells is still lacking. As is your magic control, seeing how you keep leaking inordinate amounts of magic into the air." She sniffed theatrically, even though the open air had long since dissipated his leftover magic.
"What are you doing wrong?" she asked, walking up to him, so she was only a step away.
Harry frowned in confusion. "I don't understand, Sensei. I am casting the spells... faster and faster... but I can't seem to put power into them."
Ken nodded. "Regardless of how much you focus, your spells remain, more or less, at the same power level. It's good... a weak spell is better than no spell at all... but it won't do if you need to shatter stronger shields, as we just demonstrated, I believe."
Harry dipped his head. "I intend to break through your shield, just as you taught me. But I can't. I don't understand. I know I have the power for it."
Ken smiled slightly. "That's an understatement. And true, Harry, intent is the result you aim for. However, there is a second key to power. Determination. How determined are you to achieve your intention?"
Harry frowned once more in confusion, now standing up straight after catching his breath. "I want to break down your shields," he replied.
Ken dipped her head, then slowly turned around, and started, slowly, walking away. "What do you think when you attack my shields?" she asked, stopping about a dozen paces away, her back still to him.
"I want to break your shields," Harry replied.
"Do you want to hurt me?" she then asked.
"Of course not!" Harry shouted in return, sounding offended.
"And in there, lies the crux of the problem," Ken answered him, turning around and pinning him with a look. "What do you think when you defend someone?" She glanced at Luna. "What did you think when you were defending Luna, for instance?"
"I didn't want her to get hurt," Harry replied, unsure of where this was going.
Ken just dipped her head. "And what do you think when you defend yourself?"
"I don't want to get hurt," he answered, once again unsure of where this was going."
"Passive," Ken replied, levelly. "You think passively, Harry. How can you ever achieve power if you measure yourself against passive voice?" She lifted her staff. "When you attack someone... I will kill them! When you defend someone... I will not let them get hurt! When you defend yourself... I will not get hurt!" Harry and the surrounding students felt power building within her.
Harry flung his staff up. He closed his eyes. This is where I destroyed that Death Eater. I wanted to kill him for what he did to Luna. I would not let her get hurt, and I did not, after that... He opened his eyes. I will destroy her shields! "KUZURYUSEN!"
His magic control still was atrocious, and it showed, as his leaking magic tore at the ground around him, sweeping dirt and sand up in its mad rush toward her. Her shield crackled with energy, before being hit with the nine simultaneous attacks, and shattering, actually pushing her two steps back.
"Good. I see you finally have found your determination," Ken said, smiling slightly. "Remember, active, not passive. Determination fuels your intent, without it, there is no power behind your result."
Harry drew a couple of deep breaths. He hadn't recuperated fully yet, and after casting those six simultaneous Seals earlier, he was still pretty drained. "We'll stop here for tonight," Ken said, walking up to him and handing him a small vial. "Drink this, it will help you recuperate faster."
"Thank you, Sensei," he said, gulping down the potion, and finding it tasting of mint. "That's actually the first good-tasting potion I've ever had."
Ken smiled slightly. "I'll let our Potions Master know his work passed your muster, Harry," she said mischievously. She placed a hand on his shoulder. "Come, let's go back to your Common Room. From Maya's excitement, I take it that she has something important to ask of me."
Harry shot a grin at his magic sister, who was pouting slightly, thinking that she contained herself adequately. "I know you too well not to notice by now, my Apprentice," Ken then spoke to Maya, without even looking at her. Maya broke out in a grin, and shook her head as Ken walked back to the castle, her and Harry right behind. The other students, disappointed that the show was over, broke up and started walking back as well.
End of Chapter
Author's Note: Yes, I decided to end things here... next chapter, multi-casting Seals, the Ley Lines make a reappearance, Animagus Transformation, and why is Hermione hanging on the MC with Ayumi so much?