Disclaimer: Usually I write out this very specific disclaimer explaining exactly what it is I don't own but I find myself not really interested in doing so as it is very tedious. Suffice it to say I own nothing that was created by anyone else and I am making no money whatsoever from the writing of this FanFiction.
Warnings: Mild to moderate violence, character death, foul language, alternate universe (i.e. kiss HP canon goodbye), angst, drama, starts pre-Hogwarts Era, and who knows what else.
IMPORTANT AN: Due to some difficulties I was having working everything I needed to have happen during the summer between Harry's fourth and fifth years, I had to move events back 5 days in order to feasibly have everything play out the way it was supposed to. The past event dates that were altered are:
Guardianship finalization moved from July 19th to July 14th.
Last trip to Diagon Alley moved from July 20th to July 15th.
Arrival in Japan moved from July 21st to July 16th.
Harry's interview w/ Kikuoka moved from July 24th to July 19th.
There were other event dates that were also moved but since those were events that will happen in future chapters, I didn't bother to post them here since there won't be any confusion when it's time to post them with their new dates unlike the dates for those events that happened in previous chapters. Previous chapters will be updated with correct dates once I've finished replacing all past chapters with edited versions (something that will take time).
AN2: This story is self-beta'd; so there may be occasional grammatical or spelling errors that crop up every now and then and for those I apologize in advance.
Chapter Forty-Five: Tediousness
Monday, July 21, 2025 08:24 AM
"James, can I get you to join me in the living room for a moment?" Agil requested from the base of the stairs. "We have company."
"I'll be right down, tousan!" Harry replied without hesitation as he abandoned the letter that he'd been in the middle of writing to Hermione and collected Hedwig from his bed out of habit. As he headed for the door, he dropped his voice to a low murmur and switched over to English as he instructed, "Best hide yourself, beautiful; we don't know who's down there and we wouldn't want you to be seen by someone who shouldn't see you."
Hedwig vanished from sight between one step and the next as she securely wrapped her tail around Harry's chest after she'd perched herself on his shoulders so that her torso rested along his spine while she wrapped her neck around his neck once before propping her head on top of his head. It was an awkward position for both of them but it was also one that they were both used to since that was pretty much the only way she could still ride on him unless he was carrying the bulk of her body in his arms.
He couldn't carry her right now though because he'd look rather funny holding his arms up to cradle his hidden familiar and he didn't know who was downstairs with Agil. It was times like this that Harry really wished that Hedwig wasn't quite so large since she had been far easier to carry and hide when she'd been both smaller and lighter. Despite the inconvenience of hauling the overlarge occamy around, he didn't regret choosing her as his companion and he wouldn't dream of ever locking her up in his room for any reason.
Once Hedwig was firmly settled, Harry trotted down the stairs and headed towards the living room. As soon as he stepped into the room, his eyes immediately snapped to Agil to ensure that his father was still there and that he had not been harmed as well as to gauge his father's current mood; which he easily noted was cautious but not irritated. He then shifted his gaze to the elderly stranger that was currently in the middle of rising from his seat on the couch in response to Harry's entrance so that he could determine the level of threat that the man represented to him and his father.
Harry's first impression of the old man was that he was intimidating despite the fact that he was no where near as tall or as broad as Agil and appeared to be nearly as old as Dumbledore. He moved with the graceful economy of a warrior though and Harry could sense an invisible weight pressing down on his senses and it made him feel rather twitchy. The uniform that the old man was wearing (and there was no doubt in Harry's mind that it was a uniform) only added to the man's warrior image. That uniform consisted of a white kimono beneath a black hakama and a dark bronze hitatare.
It was the easily recognized wand handle that was poking out the slim sheath at the old man's waist that truly filled Harry with disquiet though. The moment Harry realized that the man was an unknown wizard, he stopped walking and fell into a defensive stance as he prepared to protect himself and his father from the unknown wizard; he refused to allow anyone to take him away from Agil now that he'd finally found him again. There was also no way in hell that he'd ever let another magical to ever lock him up again.
"There's no need for that, Potter-kun; I'm not here to harm you or your new family," the stranger calmly stated as he clasped his hands behind his back and therefore clearly out of reach of his sheathed wand. "I am, in fact, here to formally welcome you to Japan and ensure that you aren't having any trouble settling into your new home. You could also say that I'm here to give you and your adopted family a proper introduction into Japan's Magical Society in light of your recent move and your new family's non-magical status."
"We were warned that someone from Japan's Magical Magistrate would visit us around the end of your first week in Japan," Agil reminded Harry as he gestured to the unfamiliar wizard. "James, this is Sasaki Naoki; the representative from the Tokyo branch of the Bugyou Tokoro no Mahoujutsu. Sasaki-san, as you correctly guessed, this is my son, Potter H. James."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Potter-kun," Sasaki offered in a warm tone as he politely bowed in greeting.
The movement drew Harry's attention to the NPC Halo around the cursor that sat above his head and Harry frowned slightly as he wondered why it was only the people on his Friend's List that showed up as Human Players. He had originally thought that maybe it had to do with his belief that he was stuck on another server or the way he saw people but now he wasn't so certain. He grew rather uneasy a heartbeat later as it occurred to him that it might have been his unconscious use of Soul Magic that had changed those on his Friend's List.
Hedwig instinctively responded to the anxiousness she sensed from him and the invisible occamy crooned to him as she lifted her head off of his hair, unwound her neck from around his, and promptly began preening his messy locks in an attempt to comfort him. The unexpected sound in the silence that had fallen in the wake of Sasaki's greeting and the way that Harry's hair appeared to be neatening itself instantly drew the elderly wizard's full attention to the air above Harry's head that the unseen Hedwig was partially occupying.
"May I inquire what kind of creature it is you are hiding on your person, Potter-kun?"
"My familiar, Hedwig," Harry answered without actually answering the question. "I only told beautiful to hide herself because I hadn't known that the visitor tousan told me was here to see us was a wizard until I walked in and saw your wand, Sasaki-san."
The man had apparently done his research prior to meeting with Harry because the man's complexion paled several shades the moment Harry had identified the hidden Hedwig as his familiar. The wizard was apparently made of fairly stern stuff though as despite his obvious wariness (borderline fear) of the occamy, he stoically requested, "Potter-kun, would you please allow me the honor of viewing your familiar?"
"Okay," Harry agreed without any real hesitation; he saw no reason to hide his beautiful when it was obvious that the man already knew she was there.
Hedwig shimmered into view a heartbeat later; the intelligent occamy easily following along with the conversation enough to know that she now had permission to show herself. The elderly wizard sucked in a sharp breath and slowly sank back down onto the couch behind him the moment she appeared with her wings spread wide to either side of Harry's body (almost making it look like her wings belonged to Harry instead due to her current position) and her gaze unerringly pinning the man in place even as she continued to run her beak through Harry's hair while giving voice to a smug croon in response to the man's reaction to her presence.
"Will you tell me how long you've had your familiar and how a young man such as yourself ended up with an occamy, of all things, as a familiar?" Sasaki inquired once he'd collected himself.
"I've had her for almost four years now and I got her from the Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley. I was originally supposed to pick out an owl but then I saw my beautiful and… and basically bullied the clerk into selling her to me. I just couldn't see myself accepting any other animal companion after I'd seen her though; she reminded me too much of home and I was far too angry and upset to care that I was being a brat at the time."
"I see, thank you for satisfying this old man's curiosity."
The wizard became all business after that and the next hour would see Harry and his adopted father being given a rough breakdown of how the Japanese magical society differed from the British magical society, a quick verbal tour of Tokyo's various magical districts, and a list of the laws that Harry would be expected to follow when living in Japan. It was a lot of information to take in and Harry would have been worried about remembering all of it if he hadn't recorded the entire discussion the same way he always recorded his class lectures through his Player Menu's record function.
At the end of the discussion, Sasaki pulled out an empty manila folder from a pocket inside of his hitatare, opened it up, and set it on the coffee table they were seated around. He then began pulling out a number of brochures, maps, business cards, and blank forms from various hidden pockets and neatly stacked them inside of the folder as he explained, "This first brochure was published by the Japanese Magistrate and it will provide you with a more in depth description of the Japanese Magical Government and a break down of the different departments within the Magistrate."
"The rest of the brochures are from the various magical districts within Tokyo and they will provide you with a detailed listing of the magical businesses, clinics, restaurants, and tourist attractions that can be found within each district. I've included a selection of maps for those districts that are within a hundred mile radius of your current residence in order to help you familiarize yourself with the area. The business cards contain the names and contact information for those individuals whose services you will most likely need at some point; including mine."
"Next, the forms I'm providing you with will need to be filled out and returned to the Magistrate within the next thirty days. The first set of forms includes the official registration form for your familiar, an application for an exotic pet license that you will need to fill out in order to house your occamy at this property, and a blank medical form that will need to be filled out by the certified magical creature healer that performs your familiar's mandatory health exam. And while we're on the subject of your familiar; do you have any other magical creatures or beings on the premises?"
"Ano… I'm bonded to a trio of pushy house elves but they aren't here right now. They really only pop up when I call on them or if they're getting bored and need me to give them more work. The only other two pets I have are Mendoukusei and Gaki but I didn't bring them to Japan this time."
"May I ask what kind of creatures your other pets are?"
"Gaki is a male snowy owl and Mendoukusei is a yearling Granian colt that I raised from a foal with the help of Hagrid and the centaurs that live in the Forbidden Forest."
"You won't need to worry about registering your postal owl; however, if you decide to import your winged horse at any point in the future, you'll need to register him with the Magistrate, provide us with a medical assessment, and prove that you'll be able to house him on the property without the risk of him being seen by a non-magical or offer proof that you are stabling him at an appropriate creature facility in the countryside. I'll leave those forms with you so you'll have them on hand if you need them."
"I don't have any plans to bring him to Japan but I suppose that might change. Will I need to get a second exotic pet license if I ever do bring him to Japan?"
"No, the exotic pet license will grant you limited permission to own and house a wide assortment of magical creatures as pets or familiars in the case of your occamy on this property providing that you obey those laws and regulations that pertain to the ownership of the creature and can feasibly house the creature in question on the property for which the license is issued. The license is also not necessary for those creatures that can be passed off as one of their mundane counterparts; a few examples would be postal owls, kneazles, and crups that have had their tails cropped."
"Ah, okay. I guess that means I can't bring any dragons home then, ne?"
Sasaki choked a bit before he weakly repeated, "Dragons, Potter-kun?"
"Aa, dragons; my beautiful did foster a pair of Swedish Short-Snouts this past year and a Norwegian Ridgeback three and a half years ago."
"Your occamy fostered a trio of dragons?"
"Yep, she sure did."
"James, it's not nice to give people heart attacks," Agil dryly quipped with suppressed amusement when Sasaki just sort of stared at Harry with a slightly pained and partially constipated deer-in-the-headlights look on his face in response to learning that Harry's familiar had basically raised a trio of dragons.
"You never minded when it was Kle… Tarou-baka I was stressing out," Harry countered with a small smirk as he stroked Hedwig's back and tried not to wince over the way he was once again tripping up over everyone's real names.
"That's because Ryoutarou typically earns the pranks you throw at him; Sasaki-san technically hasn't done anything to earn himself one of your lessons yet."
"Please do not attempt to import any foreign dragons or fertilized dragon eggs into the country, Potter-kun; it's against the law to transport them across international borders without the proper permits," Sasaki firmly instructed once he'd managed to regain his aplomb. "And for the record, no; you don't have the necessary credentials to qualify for such a permit as you aren't the current manager of one of Japan's three government sponsored dragon reserves. Nor are you the registered owner of a licensed magical creature reserve here in Japan."
Harry hummed a wordless agreement; it's not like he was actually planning to bring one of Hagrid's dragons to Japan – the half-giant was far too attached to the trio he'd hatched out. He hadn't been able to resist tweaking Sasaki's nose just a bit though; if only to relieve the drawn out tediousness of their current meeting. And he had been growing bored. He was also slightly annoyed because he really wanted to finish writing Hermione's letter before he and Agil had to head to the Dicey Café for the day.
Sasaki grunted out an acknowledgement before he resumed withdrawing more forms from his pockets (the man was like a walking file-cabinet) and continued, "The next packet of forms contains a trio of registration forms for all three of your domesticated brownies, a trio of blank medical forms that will once again need to be filled out by the licensed creature healer that performs their required medical exams, a blank assessment form that will need to be filled out by the licensed magicist that performs the mandatory magical core assessment you will need to have done to ensure those bonds aren't stressing your core, and an application for a domesticated brownie ownership license."
"On top of having your magical core examined, you're going to need to make an appointment to have a comprehensive physical exam done by a licensed healer since the medical records in your case file indicate that it's been almost four years since you had a full assessment done. This packet contains all of the blank medical forms that the attending healer who conducts your exam will need to fill out with your exam results."
"Would a non-magical doctor be qualified to fill out the required medical forms?" Agil inquired before Sasaki could move on to explain the next set of forms that he had already withdrawn from yet another pocket on his hitatare. "James has already been scheduled to undergo a full battery of tests starting tomorrow and it seems a little excessive to require him to sit through a second battery of medical exams."
"No, a non-magical doctor is not qualified to fill out the forms," Sasaki answered with a frown. "Part of that is because non-magicals don't have a way to screen for magical diseases. Another part is due to the way that our magic interferes with their medical equipment. There's also the Statute of Secrecy to consider since so very few non-magical medical professionals are authorized to know about magic. May I ask why you felt it was necessary to schedule Potter-kun for an extensive non-magical medical exam when the social worker assigned to your case should have warned you against subjecting an underage wizard to such intrusive exams?"
"Those exams are necessary because magic has not been able to solve the mystery of why James has not grown so much as a single centimeter over the past five and a half, six years beyond determining that it's most likely a side effect of the magical stasis that his body had been locked into during the two years that he'd been held hostage by Kayaba Akihiko alongside the rest of us."
Sasaki froze for several seconds before he straightened up and pinned Agil with a raptor's gaze as he demanded, "Did you just imply that Potter-kun had been a victim of the SAO Incident?"
"I wasn't making an implication; I was stating fact," Agil flatly countered in a tone that said he wasn't impressed with the wizard's borderline insult hidden beneath the unspoken accusation that he'd been lying about Harry's participation in the SAO Incident.
"When word of the incident was first made public, the Magistrate's office made arrangements for one of our agents to be assigned to the task force that had been created by the non-magical government in order to monitor the situation and to confirm that there were no magicals amongst the victims due to the potential risk that their magic would react poorly to any mental stress they experienced while they were trapped in a state of artificial unconsciousness. I know for a fact that Potter-kun's name was not one of the ten thousand victims named."
"Actually, the task force was only able to confirm the names of nine thousand, nine hundred, and ninety-nine victims; the final victim's name had never been identified because no one could find any information on him."
"You're referring to the vanishing player that the task force had dubbed 'Ghost-Boy'."
"Not a ghost," Harry muttered under his breath as he dropped his head down to bury his face against Hedwig's side.
"Not a ghost," Agil agreed with a soft snort. "You're far too big of a brat to be a ghost."
"I know where you sleep, tousan," Harry retorted as he shifted his head just enough to send the man a mock glare only to earn himself a teasing smirk in return.
"I want to believe you," Sasaki drawled in a measured tone that killed the brief moment of levity. "However, there are three major problems with your claim that I can think of off the top of my head. One, the SAO Software was not sold outside of Japan. Two, Potter-kun would not have met the minimum age requirement for the NERDLES implantation. And three, at no point did a child of Potter-kun's age and description surface in any of the hospitals that housed the SAO Victims. That isn't even touching the issues one runs into when you mix magic and technology."
"My uncle pre-ordered the software through the Beta Test after he bought a copy of the Beta Software from one of his clients, my NERDLES wasn't properly implanted because I hadn't known it had to be at the time, and I was never taken to the hospital," Harry quietly countered as he hid his face against Hedwig's side once more.
"Are you familiar with the concept of drawing and viewing memories, Potter-kun?"
"Yeah, I've had a number of my memories copied over the last three years."
"Would you be willing to allow me to draw copies of your memories?"
"Which memories did you wish to view?" Harry inquired as he sat up; his thoughts automatically going to the handful of memory copies that he had sitting in his Inventory.
"I'd like to see your memory of your NERDLES being implanted, your memory of you logging onto the SAO Server on the day of the launch, and your memory of the day you woke up after the game had ended; providing that your father has no objections."
Harry frowned in response to the qualifier that the man had tacked onto the end of his request before he turned to glance in Agil's direction even as he tried to wrap his mind around the oddness of needing an adult's permission for anything. A small part of him resented the implication that an adult had the right to tell him what he could and could not do and his first inclination was to tell the man he could do whatever he wanted. And then his eyes met Agil's eyes and Harry was suddenly reminded that it wasn't just any adult that Sasaki was referring to but the man he saw as his father.
If there was one man that Harry would allow to have any control over his life, it would be Agil; if only because he knew Agil wouldn't take away his freedom. The tiny seed of resentment that had been growing inside of him over the implied need for another's permission withered and died an unmourned death in that instant. And the stubborn glint that had been forming in his eyes softened into a silent query as he tipped his head to the side and patiently waited for Agil to express his opinion on the matter.
"It's entirely up to you, James; they're your memories and you're the only one who can decide whether or not you feel comfortable sharing them with another," Agil stated after taking a moment to think about it.
His trust in Agil was vindicated with that one sentence and Harry was filled with a rush of affection for his father (a title that Agil now carried legally instead of just unofficially). The soon to be fifteen year old then returned his attention to Sasaki and inquired, "Would you be willing to make two copies of each memory? I'd like to be able to add them to the small collection of memory copies that I already have in case someone else wishes to see them. I'd do it myself but I've not yet been taught how to draw out my own memories."
"If you have proper vials to store them in, I'd be happy to supply you with copies of your memories," Sasaki readily agreed as he reached into his hitatare and extracted a trio of crystal vials and Harry couldn't help but wonder if the man's pockets were anything like the Bags of Holding that he'd purchased from the trunk store in Diagon Alley.
He pushed the thought out of his mind seconds after it formed as he nodded in agreement to the man's condition. Harry then opened his Menu and completely missed the stunned look on the wizard's face as he shifted through his Inventory until he reached the Bag of Holding that contained his potion supplies so that he could withdraw three of the special no-spill vials that Sirius had helped him purchase the previous summer. By the time he closed out his Menu, Sasaki had recovered from the shock of witnessing Harry wandlessly manipulate his magic to mimic a gamer's menu.
Harry glanced up at that point and snagged the trio of floating vials out of the air and Sasaki prompted, "Potter-kun, if you'll please come stand in front of me, I will begin."
Harry reluctantly extracted himself from Hedwig's clutches and left her in the chair they'd been curled up in for most of the morning's the discussion. He crossed the room a moment later and passed the vials in his hand over to Sasaki as he came to a stop in front of the man. Harry briefly tensed when the old wizard drew his wand from its sheath but forced himself to relax when the man calmly asked him to focus on the first of the three requested memories; the moment that Harry had tacked his NERDLES onto the back of his neck.
A grimace briefly passed over Harry's face as he drudged up the memory of the night he'd stolen Dudley's computer from the rubbish been before he murmured a terse, "Ready." Sixteen minutes later, Harry tucked his copies of the requested memories into his Inventory with the other memory copies he had collected throughout the last two and half years and returned to his former seat to curl up with his familiar once more.
"Arigatou, Potter-kun; I appreciate you allowing me an opportunity to verify the authenticity of your claim of being a victim of the SAO Incident through your memories," Sasaki offered as he tucked his copies of the three memories into a random pocket. The man then tapped the topmost packet of forms sitting on the file folder he'd been steadily filling as he picked up from where he'd left off earlier when Agil had asked his question. "This packet contains a wand registration form and two wand verification forms; one of them will need to be filled by the wandmaker who crafted the wand and the other one will need to be filled out by an independent wandmaker here in Japan."
"The next packet of forms contains several copies of the standard student records request form for both magical and non-magical schools; you'll need to fill out one form for each school you have attended for a minimum of one term. Also include in the educational packet are the general registration forms for the three non-magical high schools closest to this property, the necessary registration forms for Japan's Kakushugakkou no Jujutsu (located on Hokkaido Island), a standard request form to have your magical aptitude tested prior to enrollment, a pair of financial aide applications (one for magical aide and one for non-magical aide), and a fee schedule for your reference."
"Ano… I'm still enrolled at Hogwarts," Harry warily pointed out as he eyed the thick packet of forms that the man had just added to the already significant pile of paperwork that he would essentially be responsible for filling out or having filled out on his behalf.
"Irrelevant, you're not required to enroll in our schools; we're merely providing you with the necessary forms that you'll need to complete in the event you wish to switch schools at some point in the future. However, even if you chose not to attend any schools here in Japan, you'll still need to have copies of your past and current school records forwarded to our office so that we have them on file. You're also still required to have your magical aptitude tested sometime within the next thirty days."
"Moving on, in light of your unconfirmed involvement in the SAO Incident, I'm including a mental assessment packet that will need to be completed by a licensed mind healer; the packet includes a list of qualified mind healers that are based out of Tokyo, their current contact information, and their areas of expertise. It also includes an authorization form that will allow the mind healers that you've worked with in the past to share psychological history with the mind healer you chose to perform your mental assessment."
Harry flinched in response to the news that he would be required to sit through a mental evaluation; the countless number of times Dumbledore had all but accused him of being mentally unstable playing through his mind. The fact that he'd stupidly spent four years rejecting reality only made the memory of those numerous near-accusations cut deeper because he now knew that there'd been kernels of truth in Dumbledore's claims. He wanted to scream in response to the harsh reminder that he'd screwed up but all that came out was a strangled whine because he suddenly couldn't breathe around the phantom pain that was crushing him from the inside out.
An unnatural calm washed over Harry just two minutes later and once his mind had cleared to focus on the present again, he found himself perched sideways on Agil's lap while Sasaki stood over them with his wand out once more. It only took Harry five seconds to realize that he'd just had another panic attack and that Sasaki must have cast a spell on him to numb his emotions. Shame filled him a split second later and he buried his face in Hedwig's chest as she climbed back up onto his lap and began to quietly croon in his ear as she nuzzled the side of his neck.
He felt Agil start rubbing circles on his back a moment later and Harry automatically peeled himself off of his familiar, twisted around, and buried his face against Agil's chest as his father's arms shifted to wrap around him. The occamy muttered a few growling hisses of complaint over the way his abrupt change in position had dislodged her from his lap yet again even as she moved up to perch on the chair's arm rest so that she could preen his hair and continue her attempts to sooth his turmoil with her maternal croons.
But as much as he appreciated his familiar's renewed efforts to comfort him, it was Agil's steady support that he needed right now.
That Agil didn't hesitate to provide him with that support helped Harry push his fears deeper into the back of his mind as he unconsciously snuggled into his father's embrace. Feeling safe and secure, Harry allowed himself to drift into a light doze as he breathed in the now familiar scent of coffee, alcohol, and dish soap that clung to his father. He would be partially drawn back towards wakefulness by the sound of Agil's voice just a few minutes later and Harry unconsciously activated his Listening Skill in order to following the conversation.
"Were those the last of the forms my son and I will need to fill out or are there more?"
"There are three more packets," Sasaki replied; the slight drop in the volume of the man's voice a clear indication that he had returned to the couch. The soft rustle of paper brushing against fabric followed by a quiet whoosh of displaced air and a faint flapping thud let Harry know that the man had pulled yet another packet of forms out of his pockets. "The first packet contains a request form to have a series of wards erected around your house, a brochure of the various ward packages available for use in a non-magical neighborhood, a fee schedule for individual wards if you wish to create a custom ward array, and an application for a Ward Loan."
"The next packet contains a rental application for an underground vault in Gringotts Tokyo, an optional application for a vault transfer from Gringotts London to Gringotts Tokyo, several large sum conversion transfer applications if you wish to move funds between any non-magical accounts and any Gringotts vaults and convert those transferred funds into the appropriate currency used in either society, and a brochure covering the rules and laws that all Gringotts Vault Holders are expected to follow."
"And the final packet contains an application for a Family Transport Pass for the hidden underground rail system that spans the length and breadth of the country, an application for a conditional underage Apparation License, a study booklet for the Apparation Test that will need to be taken if Potter-kun chooses to apply for his underage Apparation License, multiple copies of the portkey request form, and a brochure listing common portkey hubs, apparation points, and the entrances to the underground rail system here in Tokyo."
There was a brief pause and the sound of a flimsy folder being briskly shut before Sasaki inquired, "Did you have any questions regarding any of the paperwork that you will be required to complete on your son's behalf?"
"Iie, not about the paperwork, at least."
"If, when you start filling out the various forms, you find that you do have questions; please don't hesitate to contact me so that I can attempt answer those questions for you or direct you to the person who has the information you need. In the mean time, your answer implied that you had other questions you wished to ask; please ask them."
"Since you are obviously familiar with the SAO Incident and the SAO Case Victims Rescue Force; would you be able to conform whether or not Kikuoka Seijirou has the clearance to know about magic? The reason why I'm asking is that Kikuoka claimed that he'd been read into the secret when he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel after he recognized my son when Kirigaya Kazuto took James for an interview with the man regarding my son's status as a SAO Survivor. The man also attempted to interrogate James about his four years at Hogwarts but James didn't answer his questions since he didn't know if he was allowed to share that information with the man or not."
"Yes, Kikuoka-san has the necessary clearance; all officers within the Japanese Self Defense Force that have a rank of lieutenant-colonel or higher are informed of the existence of magic in order to allow us to draw upon their man power to supplement our Keikantai no Mahoujutsu when large scale magical incidents threaten the Statute of Secrecy. And you can inform Potter-kun that he is free to tell the man as much or as little as he wishes to about his years at Hogwarts."
"Was that the only question you had for me?"
"No, I had two more. First, once you confirm that we were telling the truth, will James's status as a SAO Survivor cause him any problems with the magical side of the government?"
"Not in the way you obviously fear it will; we're not going to revoke his residency visa or kick him out of the country. We are not in the habit of punishing victims for the traumatizing experiences they have endured. That said, confirmation of Potter-kun's status as a SAO Victim will see a significant increase in the Magistrate's involvement in his life; that would be especially true when it comes to Potter-kun's rehabilitation. Confirmation as a victim in the SAO Incident would also see the Magistrate funding all aspects of his rehabilitation so that your family does not bear the financial burden of putting the young man back together enough so that he can function in polite society."
"And what about the additional trauma that he experienced at the hands of the magical world in the wake of the SAO Incident? He spent four additional years a virtual prisoner in Hogwarts and the things he experienced there only further exacerbated any trauma he experienced in the Death Game. Truth be told; I'm fairly certain that the magical world did far more damage to James than anything he experienced in Aincrad outside of the glitch he got caught up in around week six of the game; and even that glitch was mostly caused by his magic at the time."
"We would treat any trauma he experienced over the past four years as an extension of the trauma that he experienced during the two year period of the SAO Incident. If, as you imply, the British magicals compounded those issues your son would have had at the end of his ordeal as a victim of Kayaba's trickery, then we will seek due compensation from the British for their mishandling of the situation on behalf of your son and bill them for any additional treatments your son will need during the course of his recovery."
"I can accept that."
"And the other question you mentioned that you had for me?"
"What kind of a reaction can we expect from the magical public in response to James's fame? Will we have to worry about him being mobbed each time we set foot in one of the magical districts?"
"I sincerely doubt that he will be bothered by the public aside from the occasional fan seeking to have their picture taken with him or asking for his autograph. The fever-pitch fame of the Boy-Who-Lived never quite caught on here; though there are those who are familiar with his story. Most of his notoriety in Japan will have come from his participation in the widely publicized Tri-Wizard Tournament that had been held at Hogwarts last year; your son had faced off against two older competitors and won, after all."
"I'm sure James will be relieved to know that; he dislikes the attention that his so-called celebrity status often foists upon him and he'd been looking forward to being a nonentity here in Japan only to learn that his fame would had extended a little further out from the United Kingdom than he had originally thought it did when Kikuoka recognized him on sight."
Harry stopped Listening at that point as Sasaki bid his father goodbye and took his leave; the wizard apparating directly out of the room to spare Agil the need to untangle himself from Harry and Hedwig's tail just to escort him out. A good deal of the tension he'd been feeling fled in the wake of the wizard's departure; his fear of being attacked by another magical fading now that there were no longer any magicals present outside of himself.
"Are you going to be alright now, James?" Agil inquired in English shortly after Harry had bonelessly relaxed against him and Harry just shrugged in reply; his earlier shame over his panic attack returning in response to the question. Agil sighed heavily as a result of his non-answer before he briefly tightened his arms around Harry. "Well, give it time, gaki; I'm sure you'll get there eventually. In the mean time, do you feel up to tagging along with me to the Café as planned or would you prefer to stay here?"
Harry hesitated for all of two seconds before he pushed himself up and stated, "I'll go with you; I don't want to be alone right now."
"Best go get yourself cleaned up and ready to go then; we've got to leave within the next fifteen minutes or we're going to be late and Mayumi will have our guts for garters if we're not there to help her with the late morning rush of regulars looking for an early brunch."
The pint-sized wizard would spend the rest of the day studiously ignoring his problems as he split his time helping Agil clean up the unoccupied tables between customers, washing dishes in the kitchen for his adopted mother, and holing himself up in one of the booths to finish writing letters for his friends back in England during the slow hours. Once they closed up the café for the day, the small family would return home where the three of them spent another hour bonding as a family before they called it a night.
Bright and early the next morning, Agil checked Harry into a private hospital that was run by the Japanese Government where he was put through the promised battery of medical exams and tests as had been arranged by Kikuoka. Harry had been uncomfortable from the moment he'd been settled into his room due to the hands-on and highly invasive approach of non-magical medicine. He probably would have panicked and caused a scene (with accidental magic) if not for Agil remaining by his side the entire time (bar the times when he was undergoing the various scans and tests).
Still, there had been a few close calls due to his claustrophobia acting up; such as during the course of the full body MRI and CAT Scans he'd been given.
Harry would be released from the hospital early in the afternoon on the twenty-fourth and he fully intended to spend the rest of the day curled up in his bed lavishing attention on Hedwig (who he'd been forced to leave behind for the duration of his stay in the hospital). His plans were interrupted almost as soon as he walked through the door by the unexpected return of Sasaki Naoki with a healer, a mind healer, and a magicist in tow for his next round of medical examinations; only this time there would be less poking and prodding and more wand waving.
By the time the four magicals departed later that evening, both Harry and Hedwig were more than a little grumpy and the irritated teen would lock himself and his familiar up in his room for the rest of the night so he wouldn't accidentally snap at Agil or Mayumi.
Translations: Japanese to English
Ano – um/uh/er
Arigatou – thank you
Bugyou Tokoro no Mahoujutsu – Magical Magistrate (Derived from Bugyou Tokoro meaning Magistrate's Office and Mahoujutsu meaning magical arts)
Gaki – brat
Hitatare – a short jacket type garment
Hakama – traditional Japanese clothing, usually worn over a kimono; can be divided or undivided
Kakushugakkou no Jujutsu – Vocational School of Sorcery (From jujutsu meaning sorcery and kakushugakkou meaning vocational school)
Keikantai no Mahoujutsu – magical police force
Naoki – Japanese boy's name meaning honest timber tree
'SAO' Kikan-sha Gakkou – SAO Survivor School
Sasaki – Japanese surname meaning help tree
Aincrad – An Incarnating Radius (the name of the Castle that is SAO)
FullDive – the use of technology to fully immerse one's conscience in a virtual reality
NerveGear – equipment created by Kayaba Akihiko (Argus); allows the user to enter FullDive
NERDLES – Nerve Direct Linkage Environment System (a surgically implanted chip that allows the FullDive system to interface with the brain – the surgically implanted part may or may not be canon as it was something I thought seemed more logical than it just being part of the interface helmet)
SAO – Sword Art Online
OCs, Government, & Magical School – some of you may recognize the name Sasaki Naoki from my HP x Naruto xover titled 'Have Fox, Will Travel' but he's not actually the same character. I only borrowed his name because I was too lazy to come up with a new OC to play the part of the Official Welcome Wizard from the Japanese Ministry of Magic. On the other hand, the info on the Japanese School of Magic, the Japanese magical government, & the basic uniforms worn by their government officials was heavily based on the Japanese Government that I'd created for 'Haunted', my Hp x Natsume Yujincho xover.
Magicist – a job title that I created for this story and in my mind a magicist is a magical healer that specializes in magical health or rather, the health and stability of a magical's magic and magical core; meaning that they're the healers that are supposed to be called in to diagnose and treat core damage and other problems that are directly related to a person's magic rather than their physical, mental, or emotional health.
AN: This chapter is mostly named for the difficulty it gave me when it came to writing it. It was also originally supposed to cover a much larger time period but once my muse finally deigned to cooperate, it stubbornly focused on one meeting instead of the seven or eight I originally planned. Although, I won't complain too loudly since the meeting came out far better than my earlier attempts at writing this chapter did.
One of the biggest problems I had with the chapter involved timing; as I'd mentioned in the Important AN at the top of the chapter. My original timeline was far too constructive and didn't really give me enough time to get everything done and also didn't allow Harry a feasible enough time to get to all of the meetings and events that needed to take place before he could return to Hogwarts. I really wish I'd caught that sooner (like when I was first writing the '95 Summer Arc) but now that I've finally figured out what the problem was, I have high hopes that the rest of the arc will come a bit easier to me so I can get it up for everyone.
In any case, the last note I need to make is that I'm uploading replacement chapters with minor edits & revisions at a rate of roughly 2-3 chapters per day instead of trying to do them all in one day like I'd done for Twice Blessed Shinobi in order to avoid spamming anyone in-box again. I apologize to any readers that are also following that story of mine for that, BTW; I'd completely forgotten that chapter replacements generate an update notice when I'd posted those edits. It was, to my everlasting shame, a dumb blonde moment on my part.
ANYwho. The next chapter for this story is already around about half done. Kikuoka and Sasaki are being pains in my backside again, so I don't have an estimate as to when it'll be done. I've also been working on a few other stories and I just updated my author's page with that info. PMs… well, I'll get to them eventually. Maybe. I've been more focused on writing and my photography for a certain account on a certain site that I'm not allowed to name here any longer but far be it from me to patronize my readers with obscure references. *wink wink, nudge nudge*
So, anyHOW, hope you enjoyed the chapter and hope I'll have something else to post for you soon. ~ Jenn.