AN:/ Hello all! I recently watched the Prizoner of Azkaban, and inspiration struck. There is a new key for this story, Italics are Emphasis, Bold are Arcana. The POV will switch with every Line Break.
It has been fifty years since Albus Dumbledore had seen the deep cerulean of the Velvet Room. Once upon a time, he had come here in search of knowledge and power to help him deal with the threat of Nyarlathotep and Grindelwald. Once Philemon vanished from the world Albus had lost his ability to use his Persona, Michael. However, he had no need to use his Persona again, at least until the start of the second Wizarding War of England. The Velvet Room was nowhere to be found, and because of Dumbledore's desperate need to find it, his Order of the Phoenix had suffered for it with the loss of James and Lily Potter, and Alice and Frank Longbottom. However, not long after the losses of his old students, the war was over, with the 'death' of Tom Riddle. But now, thirteen years after the Boy-Who-Lived had warded off Riddle- while Albus had been looking day after day for a way to find Sirius Black and protect the Boy-Who-Lived from him -did the door to the Velvet Room show up in his office. As he entered the room, he was surprised by the change in decor. Gone was the massive astronomy tower and in its place was a muggle jail cell. In the center of the circular room, was the Master of the Velvet Room in all his glory.
"Welcome back to the Velvet Room, my dear guest." Igor waved a hand over to Albus, conjuring a chair for him to sit on in the process. "Please, do sit so we can reconnect."
Albus did sit in the chair, his body immediately relaxing into the plush velvet. "Igor, it has been a long time."
"Indeed it has. I trust you remember Margaret?" Albus nodded, unable to see his old Attendant.
"It would be almost impossible to forget one of her strength. Tell me, how is she doing?" Igor undid his arms from under his large nose, before leaning back in his chair, suddenly looking very exhausted.
"She is currently in a parallel universe, fighting against a foe with her brother Theodore. Should this foe win, all may be lost for that universe. It is one of my favorites, a place where people of different races and creed all gathered together to create energy to keep humanity alive."
"I do hope, for both of their sakes' that all goes well for them. What of dear Elizabeth? Or Lavenza? While indeed they are strong, I fear their youth and pride would prevent them from helping in such a fight."
Igor seemed amused while a little sad. "Elizabeth has left the Velvet Room. She is no longer one of my attendants."
"What?" Albus asked with no small amount of shock. "She was always so eager to be an attendant so long ago. What could have happened to make her turn away from her dream?"
"Love. She fell in love with a Wild Card, or a Fool I should say. This Fool in a separate universe, fought against Nyx," here Albus audibly gasped at the implication. "And once weakening her, became a seal around her to prevent Erebus- the manifestation of humanity's grief and negative emotion- from reaching her."
"Erebus has grown strong enough to call for Nyx? In any universe, that is horrible news!" Igor nodded in agreement.
"Elizabeth left the Velvet Room to try and find a way to remove the Fool from the seal and to weaken Erebus in that universe. She is strong enough to fight Erebus away from the seal and fast enough to interact with some humans to weaken Erebus. However, the pace is… slow going."
"And of young Lavenza?" came the headmaster.
"Lavenza has seen better times. She and I were recently under the influence of Yaldabaoth. We lost, and-"
"Wait, you lost?" Albus interrupted. "H-how is that possible?"
"We were deceived. Lavenza was torn apart for the better part of a year, while my body played host to that being. However, our most recent guest, another Wild Card- A Fool -was able to save us. The young attendant is resting now. That guest saved the universe that Elizabeth's Fool belonged to as well, and all its inhabitants, at the cost of his freedom. The Velvet Room you see now belongs to him."
"He saved the Universe and was imprisoned for it?"
"That universe is not the same as yours. No magic is in that world, except for that of Personas and Gods. So when this Fool was given the choice of all of his friends being imprisoned for strange acts, or himself, he chose himself."
"What a strong willed Fool."
"Indeed. That's why I am here actually, Albus."
"I don't believe I am following you, Igor."
The Master of the Velvet Room, was suddenly all business, his hands in front of his mouth. "There is one in your universe, in your school in fact, who has been gifted the power of the Wild Card, even if they are unaware. This Wild Card, however, is not yet mentally strong enough to be a guest of this room. And in recent years, the Erebus of this universe has only gotten stronger. Your Wild Card will need to be protected and trained until they can awaken the power of Persona. For our Wild Card, he has only been free for a little while, and already his path is being forced to change. He may not be our strongest Fool, but he has slain a False God. Will you allow this Wild Card to watch over your own budding one?"
The headmaster was at a loss for words. "Let me make sure I am understanding you. First, let me ask, you have mentioned this term a few times, but what is a Wild Card?"
"Ah, yes. You see, you Albus, are one of the last pure Persona wielders. In all the universes. Philemon has not been seen in half a millennia. All these other wielders have been gifted Personas from other beings. Two from Death itself, two from Izanami-No-Okami, and two from Yaldabaoth. We at the Velvet Room, have taken to calling these users, Wild Cards, as we have no idea what to expect from them. They are the only Persona Users that remain that can use multiple Personas."
Albus nodded along with Igor's explanation. "So you want a Wild Card, to travel to a different universe and watch over a different Wild Card until they turn a certain age. Correct?"
"Yes, that is correct."
"And you want the Wild Card in this universe to reduce the growth of Erebus? How do they go about doing that?"
"They would have to bring hope to the people. Right now most of the tension that is causing the rise of Erebus is here in England, I believe you called it?" Igor closed his eyes for a moment. "Allow me to do a reading, for a more precise picture." The master of the Velvet Room flicked his wrist and a Tarot Deck appeared in his hands. "The same cards, the same shuffle from the time of so long ago." He let go of the deck, and the cards rapidly shuffled themselves, just as they had in front of Albus fifty years ago. Three cards laid themselves down from the deck, directly in front of the headmaster. "The situation as it is," Igor flicks his hand once, and the card to the left of Albus flips over. "Represented by the Ten of Wands." He gives no other information to his old guest, who has long since mastered Tarot readings. "The action that needs to be taken for the current situation to pass favorably is," Again, Igor flicked his hand, and another card flipped. "The Six of Coins. Now the culmination of your actions will result in," a final flick from the master of the room, and the last card flipped. "Judgement." Albus took only a few seconds to process the information that Fate had shown him and Igor.
"I see." He made no mention of what conclusions he observed, as Albus likely knew that Igor was already aware. If he was a lesser man, one who was less aware, less knowledgeable, he would say that Igor rigged those cards. But he knew that Fate was no one's plaything, and Igor would have no way to fight an angered Fate. "So, when will this Wild Card arrive? How will I know that it is him?"
Igor hummed. "Even for one such as learned as you, old friend, you will never see it coming."
Ren Amamiya opened his eyes after just closing them. He had done this several times in the past and had thought that he wouldn't do it again after the events of a year ago. But he heard that familiar tune of the soul. He could never forget the talents of Nameless and Belladonna, who had always played for everyone's soul. Here he was, where he felt strongest and most protected. Where he knew all would eventually return. A place among the Sea of Souls, and between dream and reality, between mind and matter. Ren was home.
"Welcome back to the Velvet Room, my dear young man." said the voice Ren thought he would never hear again.
"Igor? What's happening? Is something wrong?" He asked with a sudden burst of panic. Wasn't the last time he was in the Velvet Room, you know, the last time?
"Relax, dear Trickster, at this moment, all is well," Igor claimed with a smile. "In fact, I have summoned you here, as a request of sorts."
"A request?" That's new. Igor never seemed like the type to ask anyone anything, always playing the role of knowledgeable guide. "What do you need?"
The Master of the Velvet Room seemed to be pondering something, as he didn't say anything for over a minute. "I need you to be a guardian. A new Wild Card was found." Ren was surprised, to say the least.
"A new Wild Card? You mean besides the Arisatos, Narukami, Adachi, and Akechi? That's good, isn't it? Maybe they might be able to help with the whole Erebus thing!" Igor only smiled at his guest.
"Not entirely." Igor gestured to the seat that was behind Ren. "Let me explain. This Wild Card is in a different Universe from us. One where Erebus isn't constantly trying to reconnect with Nyx. One where Erebus is forming. Your goal would be to train and prepare this Wild Card until they come of age seventeen. In three years time, we will be able to have them sign a contract with the Velvet Room and I will be able to take over to assist them with Fusing Personas. I can even gift you with a compendium for them to use. We must save this universe from the same strife we face."
Ren took in all that information. "Wait, I need to watch over this person for over three years?" Igor waved a calming hand.
"Do not worry, my dear guest. Time flows differently in this reality. Three years there would equal to about three days here. Your bonds will not suddenly forget you either. You'll even be able to spend a few hours in this universe during the summer time of the other universe, to make sure you would not lose your life here. In fact, I'll be able to place a charm on you that would make you not age physically during that time."
"So there isn't really a downside to this request, is there?" The Wild Card asked, running a hand through his hair.
"The journey would be perilous. That world is full of strife and danger. There are also… how did your chariot say it? Ah yes, that world is run by 'Shitty Adults'." Ren looked like Igor just announced he was going to stop guiding the Velvet Room. It was… Blasphemous to hear Igor swear like that. He was so absorbed in his own turmoil over that small detail that he almost glossed over it completely.
"Do I need to worry about Stealing Hearts while I'm there?" Igor simply shook his head.
"Whether you do that or not is your prerogative. In the Velvet Room, we do not see the guests morality. We see if they take responsibility for their actions. And in a way, Erebus is every human's responsibility. You could easily say no. This growing Erebus is not your responsibility." It was Ren's turn to shake his head.
"There's no way I could just leave this as it is now. I'll do it. Do I get to take my Personas with me?" With a snap of his fingers, Igor materialized two compendiums in front of Ren.
"The one on the left, you'll see, is blank. That is for you to use with the new Wild Card. The one on the right is yours. You are also free to visit this space at any point in your dreams, should you need any assistance. Do not worry about your body in this world, for I will take care of it." Igor snapped his fingers, and Ren was suddenly donning his Metaverse clothes, mask and all. Another snap summoned a portal next to Igor. "Well Trickster, I bid you a farewell. Your contact in that world is Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. This will take you into the school that you will be guarding." Igor chuckled and added. "Oh, and do make a flashy entrance, Joker of the Phantom Thieves."
Joker grinned, face full of the confidence that befit the leader he is. "Don't worry, Igor. It's showtime!"
It had been a full week since Igor and Albus talked. He was getting worried that the Wild Card could have gotten lost in the Forbidden Forest. It was time for the Welcoming Feast, and all the new first years have just gotten sorted. He had just finished announcing that Rubeus would be taking over for Professor Kettleburn when the Great Hall doors burst open. His staff, not expecting any kind of visitors, immediately got up with wands at the ready to deal with the sudden intrusion. However, he was definitely not expecting what they were all seeing. Sauntering in through the doors was a Unicorn. And not just any Unicorn, but one with a male riding on it. Normally the students would be whispering or gasping up a storm, but it was only pure silence. It made sense too because whether you were an eighth generation pure-blood or first generation muggle-born, it was common knowledge that Unicorns only allow themselves to be touched, never ridden, by a pure Maiden, or young children. Whoever this person was, had to be the purest of heart to be able to ride a unicorn. The hall echoed the clops of the magical beast, only stopping when the unicorn itself did in front of the headmaster. The male, wearing an all black trench coat, black pants, red gloves, and a white eye mask, leaped off the unicorn. He landed with the utmost of grace and straightened up from landing. "Headmaster Dumbledore?" The mystery man asked, with a voice that was indistinguishable from that of an average man, however, there was an added weight to it that made it stand out like the next words would give you all the knowledge you would ever need.
"Yes, and to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with, Mister…?" He trailed off to give the man a way to introduce himself. His crimson red eyes, shining as he looked all around.
"Ren Amamiya, Headmaster Dumbledore. I'm the…" Ren trailed off for a moment, before giving a smirk. "Guard that was ordered." Albus' eyes widened. This man that just rode in on a unicorn was the Wild Card that Igor told him about? For him to have killed a False God and be able to get near a unicorn would show one who was at peace with who he was in the world. Albus quickly waved to his students and staff.
"Everyone here at Hogwarts, as everyone must know by now, Sirius Black has escaped Azkaban. With that, the Ministry has sought to it that all the entrances and exits are blocked by Dementors, and while they are with us, I must make it plain that nobody is to leave school without permission. Dementors are not to be fooled by tricks or disguises - or even Invisibility Cloaks. It is not in the nature of a Dementor to understand pleading or excuses. I, therefore, warn each and every one of you to give them no reason to harm you. I look to the prefects, and our new Head Boy and Girl, to make sure that no student runs afoul of the Dementors. However, that would still leave the rest of the castle unguarded. So with that, I have requested help from an old friend. This is the new Groundskeeper of Hogwarts, Ren Amamiya." Chatter and whispering filled the air, only to immediately fall silent. Ren had turned around from the headmaster and looked at all of the students.
"I look forward to working with all of you to keep you all safe!" Ren bowed towards all the students, staying down for a few moments before popping back up. "Unicorn, to me!" He called, everyone suddenly making noise as the pure beast slowly turned into a ball of light before rushing at Ren and disappearing into him.
"And with that display of magic, I have only a few more words left to say," Albus called out. "These may seem like dark times with everything going on, and the darkness seems to take all of the joy out of our lives, but I urge you all to listen closely. Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light. Let the feast begin!" The headmaster clapped twice, and food appeared on every plate and table. With Ren suddenly forgotten in exchange for delicious food, the students quickly began to eat away. "Come, Ren, I'll add a spot for you." With a flick of his wand, Albus conjured up a chair next to him and Professor McGonagall. Both Albus and Ren sat down, and the staff began to make small talk as they ate.
"Professor Dumbledore, sir, I didn't know you were gonna replace me." Rubeus started off with a worried expression.
"Think nothing of it, dear boy. You're a professor now! You'll be much busier so Ren here will be helping you out this year before taking over completely next year. Besides, having some more guards will help in the long run. Regardless of what the Ministry thinks, I have nothing but the protection of my students at the forefront of my mind."
Minerva seemed to catch Ren's attention. "So Mr. Amamiya, this is the first the staff has heard about Albus looking for someone to take as the groundskeeper. If I may ask, how did you and Albus meet?"
"Please, call me Ren. I've never met Albus before, in fact, this was all done by my guardian. He said it would be a great chance for me to show how we do things." Professor Flitwick jumped in the conversation here.
"Who is this 'we' you speak for?" Ren smirked at the diminutive man before answering.
"Why, The World, of course." That caused the conversation at the head table to stop, all processing their own conclusions to his answer. It made sense that if he was sent from the Earth itself that a Unicorn would deem him pure of heart. Ren had quickly finished his plate, that Albus notices was strangely filled with just curry. The man made no moves to get another serving, and only calmly sat there observing the students. Albus, who had just finished off the last of his tea, turned to the Wild Card, who merely glanced in his direction once, before scanning the Hall.
"Once the feast is over, I will take you to your quarters. There, we will discuss business." Ren nodded and made eye contact with Dumbledore. He saw the man's eyes glow and saw him mumble something. Albus was tempted to gleam into his mind before he thought better of it. Persona Users had a different form of Occlumency, in the shape of their actual Personas, and as Igor had said, this one had killed a God. Fake or no, that was still an impressive feat.
"Alright, Judgement. The World would like to meet with the Fool eventually." Ren once again looked out, his eyes no longer glowing, meeting several eyes of the students who began feverishly whispering to each other about the new Staff. The end of the feast came too soon for the aging Wizard, watching all the happy bright faces spend time with their friends. Once most of the students had gotten up to leave for their common rooms, Albus rose from his seat and bid every teacher a good night. Ren stood up and did the same. The two walked in silence until they reached an empty classroom. Albus waved his hand, causing the door to shut behind him. He waved again, and the door gained a sheen to it.
"There, now the door is locked, and can not be opened until I remove the charm. Now, Ren, allow me to say, it is great to finally meet you. I've been looking for a guard for quite some time now. I trust Igor has made you aware of Erebus in this Universe?" The Wild Card jumped up and sat on a desk.
"Yes, Erebus is growing because of tensions in the area. And as Fate usually holds, your upcoming Wild Card is probably going to be the catalyst in whether not Erebus can be summoned and end-all of life or not." Ren explained as he swung one leg over the other. "But, if I am supposed to make sure that the Wild Card can make it to that point in time, I should know who it is."
Albus sighed. "I do not know who this Fool is, as I never had the ability to read an individual's Arcanas. I do have a guess, however."
"Yes. One of the Students here has faced the Dark Lord several times, ever since he was a baby. Harry Potter. The event of Erebus growing as he is must be coming from the Dark Lord, therefore that leads me to think that Harry -who has a prophecy about him facing the Dark Lord- would be the Wild Card." Ren absorbed the information.
"I'll have to check in the morning then. I'll have to assume the role of groundskeeper so I will wander through most of the classes, however, if this Harry truly is the Wild Card, I'll be able to see with my Third Eye. How are the classes divided?"
"There are four separate houses, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Then there are years, First all the way to Seventh. Harry Potter is a Third Year Gryffindor. I give you free rein to explore as you wish, just be aware that the forest outside holds many dark creatures. The only thing I ask of you, regardless of all else, is to protect my students should they need it."
Ren stood up from the desk he was sitting on, before giving a bow to Albus. "As Joker of the Phantom Thieves, I will accept this contract to protect these students and the Wild Card to the best of my abilities."
Albus gave a bow back to Ren. "So mote it be."
Joker had gotten up early that day and took a brisk walk through the castle, trying to memorize its layout for the fastest routes to different locations. When done with his first patrol, he entered the Great Hall to see only a few faces. At the far right table, he saw a young girl with bushy hair clothed in robes with a red trim-her head stuck in a book carefully making sure no food got on it. The second closest table held a group of people of all ages, all in robes with a blue trim, where he overheard them say something about a schedule. Last night before Albus left, he conjured a master schedule so that Ren could see who goes where. Ideally, he'd figure out if this Harry Potter was indeed the Wild Card or not in this first class.
"Mr. Amamiya?" came a small voice from behind him. He turned around and saw a small girl in a robe with yellow trim, eyes shimmering. "I can't find my sister."
Ren bent down to where he was eye-to-eye with the little girl. "Well," he began calmly, "What house is she in?"
"Uh… she was put in Gryffindor."
He stood back up and looked over to the far table, where the solitary girl was reading and eating at the same time. "Well, let's try and find her. What's your name?"
The little girl replied, "Emily Bell." Ren nodded and put his hand out, waiting for her to grab it. Once she did, he took her to the far table where he spotted the sole girl in red.
"Excuse me, miss?" The bushy haired girl seemed to jump, as he apparently startled her.
"Oh! Mr. Amamiya! I didn't see you there, can I help you?" Ren gestured with his free hand to the younger girl in his hands.
"This here is Emily Bell, and she is looking for her sister in Gryffindor. Do you happen to know her?" He saw her eyes gain a hint of recognition.
"Is your sister Katie Bell?" She asked the younger girl, who started to nod eagerly. "I don't think she came down yet. I'll take you to where our dorm is, we might meet her on the way down." The both of them got up and started to leave. "I'll see you later, Mr. Amamiya!"
"Bye Mr. Amamiya!" came Emily.
Joker just laughed. "Bye girls!" As the two got further away, Ren brought a hand to his mask. "Focus." He muttered, and his vision faded into velvet. The two girls were highlighted in green, showing them as potential users of Personas. Above Emily's body was a word, grey that stated 'Moon'. The other word caught him by surprise. Instead of the normal grey that encompassed both Albus' and Emily's Arcana, the bushy-haired girl's word was a shining white. Priestess. He had only seen that shining white twice before, once in Masayoshi Shido's palace, and once in the Mirror.
The Wild Card.
AN:/ Don't forget that I have a Paaaa tr eon (Can't actually type word, even though it doesn't say anything against it in TOS), and if you like my stuff, consider becoming one!
Ten of wands: Brief Meaning
Your objectives now need to be focused on the long term solution to current problems, rather than just a band-aid on the situation.
Six of Pentacles: Brief Meaning
Some financial assistance that will change the course of your destiny if you act wisely.
Judgment: Brief Meaning
It can be a new life created out of the wisdom of the lessons you have learned from your past and even from the mistakes you have made.
Fool: Brief Meaning
considered to be a number of infinite potential. He is the symbol of innocence - his journey to come will shape his character yet.
Priestess: Brief Meaning
related with inner knowledge, signify that it is time for you to listen to your intuition rather than prioritizing your intellect and conscious mind
Moon: Brief Meaning
your imagination is taking the best of you. In the dark of the night, you are taking a path that you are unsure of, for there could be danger lurking in its depths.
World: Brief Meaning
It symbolizes the moment when the inner and the outer worlds - self and other - become a single entity. In some traditions, this state is described as enlightenment, or nirvana.
Jokers Personas: Satanael, Unicorn, Alice, Satan, Beelzebub, White Rider, Odin, Lucifer, Uriel, Yoshitsune
Please be safe out there.