A:N- for those who want me to end the engagement with Neville, and the Battle in the Court I would need a little help about that in my story. Those who know what to do and how to do and go about it, please send me ideas and I will gladly thank you for this and credit you for your work as its my first time doing stuff like wanting me to end an engagement and please, make it elaborate somehow. Until then, I'll do a lot of stalling. I get a lot of PMs about this matter and readers are King but even a King needs to help their subjects out in times of difficulty, yah?
Neville Longbottom had no idea he's engaged to the Girl-Who-Lived of all people by their parents, out of friendship and trust between two couples and standards are high. WAY TOO HIGH.
He is a pureblood from a good breeding, but a pureblood that's 'nearly a Squib' while she's clearly powerful. He's a shy, clumsy, quiet boy who is being constantly told that he's never good enough or can never live up to standards. How can he be worthy of a national heroine who's clearly trained for battle, as his gran let him read the letter she sent her? And Sirius Black, innocent? Yes, his world turned upside down.
He felt he's not worthy of her very much. His family says so even if its the wishes of their parents who have been 'friends through and through', and wanting a good match away from other families of questionable beliefs. She's clearly trained for war, will kill if she has to and good thing his personality wasn't something her adoptive brother will kill him for...he's too young to die!
Good thing he was 'no typical supremacist' like Malfoy or his ilk or he's definitely dead.
And now, they would have to meet her. His gran is taking him along.
He wondered what kind of person is she or what expectations does she have of him.
'Arthur gave us some food for thought there.' said Scrimgeour as Arthur had gone to the Longbottoms before going home.
'Yes...we really should study muggles more and see how dangerous they are to us, in regards of Military Strength and Technological Developments, as well as their belief of magic if he really believes they are dangerous to us more than even our best Aurors and Hitwizards. He really is our only expert even if he can't pronounce 'electricity' right! And since as he says, the idiots above us will NOT listen, we should at least, prepare to save our own families if the Queen and Muggle Prime Minister decide we're worth more trouble considering these Muggle Baitings and attacks. Once we gather enough information, I'm afraid Magical Britain's British Community will soon become 'rare species'.'
'Don't we know it.' said Julius dryly. 'We should talk to as many open-minded people as possible after we gained enough proof. Convincing proof. But for now let's let the man cool down after one hell of a shock, yeah? I mean, his family's soon gonna take some crap because of what his wife has done.'
'I'll say, let's let him cool down.' Madam Bones agreed solemnly. 'It's not his fault or anything. Then there's Sirius Black. We have to re-open his case as soon as we can arrange for a Will Reading.'
Since returning to his office, Arthur Weasley wrote letters to his two eldest sons, Bill and Charlie. While he can use Gringotts Post to deliver to Bill, the International Post is a bit steep, but worth it just to send a letter to Charlie. They really need to talk. Fast. Arthur will deal with the younger kids at home. Subtly and without Molly knowing somehow. They MUST be here before the Court Battle!
The Hotel after the DMLE Department Heads and Director left...
'Niichan, what do you think of this?' Himeko asked him somberly. 'This engagement thing?'
'Well, its as it says Hime. Engagement.' said Shiro reassuringly. 'Its basically a trial-and-error-till-you-get-it sort of thing. Couples are paired up to see if they'll get along well, then marriage is a certain thing in the future. If the pair didn't work, try again.'
'I see...there's someone I really like back home.' said Himeko gloomily. 'I'll try this thing out honestly to see if the two of us will work out. I swear in my honor as a mage that I will not sabotage this, but I still hope we don't work out so I can freely pursue who I wanted.' this piqued Shiro's interest.
'Hooo? Do I know this boy?'
'You know him very well.' said Himeko wryly. Because its HIM who she wanted, so DUH he knows HIMSELF well. He has been her ideal man her whole life even if he's six years older than her.
The Emiyas had an early dinner at around five to prepare for their meeting today with the Longbottoms.
When they arrived, the two siblings held back what was their opinion of their physical appearances.
Dowager Lady Augusta Longbottom is tall, thin and bony in appearance, and wore clothing befitting of an Edwardian Lady, just without a bustle. Then there's that very out-of-place vulture hat and an eyesore bright-red handbag. Jeez, these people don't know proper fashion and color coordinating...
Then there's Neville Longbottom, Himeko's fiancee. He really looks like he has no self-confidence, esteem and worth. His face is round and chubby, short, and buck-toothed with a tooth gap! And he wore clothes that exaggerated his figure too. And he's to be a future lord of his family?
'Good evening, Dowager Lady, young master Longbottom.' Shiro greeted politely as he and Himeko bowed politely.
'Good evening as well, Lady Potter, and...?' Augusta Longbottom spoke.
'Shiro Emiya.' said Shiro. 'We are Japanese Citizens while Himeko here only has Magical British Citizenship, but not muggle-legal in Britain itself.'
'In Japan, names hold a great deal of weight and proof that you are loving parents to your child, or if the name bore significant meaning to a parent.' said Himeko. 'And its my foster father who gave me that name since he did most of the raising. My name means 'crimson princess',' she said, showing the kanji for the words and their english meaning, showing 'princess, crimson' in that order. '-and we japanese read from right-to-left. And thanks to that, I took to wearing a lot of clothes with various shades of red and pink with the occasional white, black, brown and purple for the sake of matching.'
'The name was inspired because he found us in the midst of red flames and I treated her like a princess.' Shiro chuckled in amusement. 'So yah.' he said with a sheepish expression.
'I see...so what does your name mean then, Shiro?' Augusta asked him good-naturedly.
'Vassal of a Samurai.' even Augusta would know THAT.
'Well, father raised me to become as formidable as he so I can protect Himeko better.' said Shiro. 'And father was once a Freelancer who took jobs to put to death the most dangerous magical users who killed innocents. He used all means. Both magic and muggle firearms and has training of a soldier so now I inherited all that.'
'I see...and what kind of education Lady Potter has gotten?'
'Well, we share the same education and training. Father also taught us to use magic to make our lives better and more fun.' Himeko chimed. 'He taught us how to be capable fighters and assassins.' Augusta and Neville went white from shock. 'Well, because I'm in danger for one thing...so I have to be capable of protecting myself incase Shiro got held up from getting to me. Father prepared what-if problems, and trained us to deal with said problems, and taught us magic that's according to the situation.'
'That's...shocking...so what are your fields of knowledge?'
'Healing, Supportive Supplementary Magic, Barriers and Protective Wards, Curses and Cursed Traps as well as Counters, Alchemy, Summoning, Necromancy, and in Hime's case, a different brand of Witchcraft and Puppetry. Our culture is different and both learning and training start as early as six.' Shiro informed her. 'And we are all mostly home-tutored and we are allowed to study fields we like after mandatory selections of 'necessities'. We also know how to use firearms, explosives and disarming said explosives, and muggle means of combat. Well, we are what we are.' he said with a shrug. They both agreed to tell if the Longbottoms are trustworthy and it was determined so.
'Is that so?' Neville choked out. 'But I can understand considering how we both got orphaned...both our parents are personally targeted for some reason only known to them. My parents didn't even tell gran.' he said in dismay, and his grandmother wasn't happy about it either.
'So what is your education, Neville?' Himeko asked Neville who looked nervous.
'Well, I haven't learned any magic yet because of the rules and because we'll learn it in Hogwarts.' said Neville. 'All magical families send children there to learn magic. So until then, our education is literacy, mathematics, manners and etiquette, cultural studies, and book knowledge. Its probably fun to learn magic at a young age, but due to the Underage Magic Law, we can only study and use magic in Hogwarts. But we CAN use magical items and brew potions at home at least.'
'Ugh! That sucks!' Himeko moaned. 'I can't imagine a childhood without magic, what kinda stupid archaic law is that?!' she yelped in dismay, smacking her hands on the sides of her head. 'That's like, time wasted when you could have used that time for training and honing our magic to be stronger because its easy to do so at a young age!'
'Its what the ministry has decided that everyone found acceptable, otherwise it would have caused quite a ruckus and dissent among our people.' said Augusta stiffly. 'Some didn't like it but has to compromise.'
'Sheesh...well, no wonder Neville is like a typical untrained child. His magic feels feeble.' said Shiro, unknowingly making a verbal jab regarding the issues the family had. 'Had he been trained at a young age, he'd be as strong as Hime by now.' now that, they didn't expect. 'Your laws are to your detriment and children tend to pay the consequences adults who caused it should have paid for as its unfair to the children.' he said, shaking his head. 'Not just Neville but every other children in Britain deserve better. I mean, I'm magically inferior to Hime in magical strength, yet I was able to become stronger than what was expected of me out of hard work and maximizing my potential through training dedication and it served me well. My potential is just like his when I was a kid.' now this surprised the two Longbottoms.
'Is that so?' Augusta now looked calculating. 'Perhaps, Neville would do better under your instructions before Hogwarts comes?'
'Yes. And we also like to talk about our engagement too.' said Himeko. 'Has Neville have any other fiancees?'
'Well, as far as we're concerned, no. Why do you ask?' Augusta asked them.
'Because in our culture and hopefully its the same for you in that regard, we have adjusted our laws as well.' said Shiro, 'Once, an engagement is set in stone and that couple is married off in adulthood. But more often than not behind closed doors, abuse happens. Sometimes its the female who's abusive and the victims are threatened to never speak of it or else...until someone spoke up about it and begged for the laws to be changed. So now for us, an Engagement is a Trial-And-Error process. Young couples are paired up and get to know each other in two years. But if personalities clashed, the engagement is broken off and they are paired off to new partners. Rinse and repeat until a best match is found. Happy couples mean happy, healthy children in mind, heart, body and magic.'
'Its that flexible?!' Neville almost gushed out at the idea in hope. Hope that this could really change his life.
'Yes. Its for the sake of having the best matches and avoiding...unhappy home lives to sum it up.' Shiro told them. 'Unhappy home lives greatly affect children psychologically, emotionally and mentally to the point of it even affecting their magic to out-of-control proportions or affect their magic to a worser degree.' he said grimly as somehow, Augusta looked blank all of a sudden.
'And magical children are very precious as its them who continues their lines. Without us, family lines would go instinct and all we own would be divided up like a pie for others to take. And then there's Squibs. A magical family in Japan, the Aozaki have been Squibs for three generations and the fourth one bore two magical daughters. One a powerful prodigy and the other a 'recovering' one. So that example was the reason why our culture don't toss Squibs out nor mistreat them. Magical restoration takes time anyway and it depends on both environment and happy upbringing. Happy Squibs have magical descendants eventually. And happy magical children mean healthy magic flow because magic moves according to the state of our minds and our hearts. Its basically 'making a wish' in the form of a spell from spellbooks.'
This, was horrifying to Augusta while Neville looked like a dawn of a new era and hope came somehow.
'So while I'm NOT going to Hogwarts because of how our people works and no, we're separate from the Japanese Wizarding Community as we're a different kind of culture entirely-we never stepped foot into any magical school because learning at our pace is better and faster that way.' Himeko shrugged. 'And since Neville goes to Hogwarts...how are we going to make arrangements to get to know each other? In Japan, this is our schedules for vacations for students.' she said, giving a piece of paper to Augusta. 'Our longest holidays by far, is Summer and Winter Breaks. At least our summer matches somehow.'
'I can see why.' said Augusta, looking at the dates. 'I can agree to Summer and Christmas-less vacations with my grandson in order for you to see if the two of you get along.' she said. 'I will also send one house elf to keep him company as you two have school during the day, I understand?'
'Yes. Both of us leave at 8:00 as classes start at 8:30. I go home at 4:00 while my brother goes home at night due to club activities. He's in the Archery Club.'
'Very well. Neville, I decided and surely your fiancee's family won't mind...until Hogwarts begins, you will live with the Emiyas in Japan!' Augusta decided. 'Hopefully getting to know each other will bring fruit!'
'Then, I trust you'll make arrangements?' Shiro asked Augusta.
'Yes. He will leave with you when our Blood Feud issues are dealt with.'
Neville knew a good deal when he saw one.
Living in Japan away from this house that did nothing to him all his life but countless pressures and naggings and yet telling him he'll never be good enough while the Emiyas are giving him a chance? Like hell he'll let this go but on the other side, he's also gambling with his fate as he has no idea what kind of people they are, aside from their open-mindedness regarding magical upbringing and Squibs in general.
"I wonder what their culture is like...must be loads better, at least!"
To his grandmother on the other hand...she looked back to how she treated her grandson, and realized that the whole house is finishing itself off, by emotionally attacking the only child left in their family, and called for an emergency meeting yet again. Thus Neville had no clue how his life changed by that meeting alone.
'...that went well.' said Shiro as they're alone in the Hotel once more.
'Good thing for your ability...we're able to change one life at least.' Shiro knew Himeko used her abilities for far invasive but highly-discreet means to get to know the Longbottoms, and they mentally communicated and plotted to change Neville's life for the better as he clearly didn't deserve his lot in life. And due to that, their personality will clash as he is timid and submissive, unable to voice out his own opinions while Himeko was anything but. But still, a test is a test.
'Yes, but ugh, we'll never work out unless he grows a spine.' Himeko grumbled. 'Even with my own honor in trying to make this work, it'll never work.'