Oh dear Lord Father of all! I don't believe how many reviews I got!!! How many were there again? Oh yeah! 35 reviews for only one chapter! WOW!!! I…I don't know what to say! *readers glare at Eternal Cosmos and say: Then don't say anything and upload the next chapter, Damnit!* ^_^;
This is wonderful! I'm sorry I didn't update sooner but I hate to upload a new chapter during the weekend. I always have the impression that less people read the stories during the weekends…Anyway! I want to thank everybody who reviewed:
Darcey Light Angel Lady Aya Chibi Ami Setsuna-3000 MarsMoonStar Birdgirl Lady Light Jewel
Silverdrake Yuki Tenshi Taiki Crazygurl70 Yukimitsukai Krazypandi
A big THANKS to you guys !!!
Shi no Tenshi, Tsuki no Hime: You have so many questions!
Yadrianne: I just couldn't wait for them to kiss! ^_^;
Ancient-Legend: *snickers* Sirius is hyper!
Gypsy: I see your point. I still don't know what I'll do.
Firelightz: Harry had a boost in the last chappie!
Koosei: She really, REALLY scared him shitless! . (she used some kind of mind control-moon insignia)
Chibi Pyro Duo: ^_^; *blows a raspberry at Malfoy*
Ash Katz: Update faster?! Are you crazy?! (Just kidding!)
Siren: *shrugs* She was feeling down.
Silverpaws the silver Nukachu: *restrains Sirius with a chain* Huh…Hi! O.0
Glendon Orne: The kiss in chapter 9 was pretty fast. But you won't see it again, at least not for now. Harry's going back to his shy attitude. I'm giving them some time.
Sachi Nyoko: Good try, really! ^_^; But thanks for the compliments!
Chibi Koneko: Wow! You have a big fan club!
Harry and Usagi FOREVER: I told you you would like it! ^_^
Maria: Harry won't be alright now, it's not that simple.
Glitter-Flutterby: Wow! I wish I could go far away like you!
Selena & Miana: There'll be Lupin in this chapter!
Baby Daydreamer Wiley: Yay! They kissed!
Heero's Bunny: I think I got the message…*slowly edges away*
Maiden Genisis: Nobody's more b*tchy than Relena! -_-;;;
Chapter 10: I pity you
Usagi awoke with the help of the sun, its shining rays hitting her like a warm blanket. She sat up in her bed, rubbing her tired eyes languidly and stopped in mid-yawn when yesterdays events resurfaced in her head. She groaned and got up, blushing but reprimanding herself.
'What have I done? My life is dangerous enough, and I just had to include Harry in it. Baka Usagi!' She sighted. 'There's nothing I can do now, than to train even harder to protect this castle. Why me? Maybe if I keep my distance…'
She grimaced, while preparing herself for another day of classes. She didn't wait for anybody to go to the Dining Hall and spotted a certain 'dark' professor, who looked totally engrossed in reading a book. Instead of sitting at her table, she made her way to the teacher's table, ignoring the snickering from the Slytherin table.
She stopped in front of him and raised an eyebrow as he didn't notice her presence. She discreetly moved and went behind him. She had to do something fast for she couldn't hold her laughter for much longer! In a swift move, she blocked his vision with her hands.
She could hear shocked gasps coming from the already seated students and the Slytherins looked ready to burst. She didn't take any heed and snickered loudly when the dignified potions master tried to peel her hands off and yell at the extremely idiotic student. She then bent down and breathed playfully in his ear; "This must be a very interesting book if Alert and Attentive potions professor didn't see that coming!"
Said professor visibly relaxed and the hands retracted. She went back in front of him and he glared playfully. "You know, I could take points off for that."
She shrugged and smirked. "You'll find a way to get revenge. Anyway, what were you reading, sir?" She gazed curiously at the book and Snape took it and gave it to her. She examined it while he started; "It's a highly advanced potions book. I read that some of these potions couldn't be done with only one person and I thought of you. We could try one in class later. You do have double potions this morning, right?"
"Huh, yeah. That'd be great!" She grinned and handed him the book back. She bit her lips nervously. 'Ugh! Setsuna didn't include this potion in my memory! I'm lucky I still know the more difficult basics!' She thought.
Harry entered the hall with Seamus, Dean, Neville and Ron, all puffing behind him. Dean Thomas bent down and took his breath. "Merlin, Harry! What's gotten you so tense this morning? Did you really have to run all the way down?!"
Neville looked uneasily at the front table and nudged Ron, who, in his turn, frowned and all but spat out; "What is she doing with Snape?" Harry blinked and gazed at the table. Serena was talking to the 'greasy haired bastard', and even laughing at something he said. They looked really immersed in their conversation.
The guys went to sit with their group, and Hermione made some place for Ron to sit. She cut him before he even started. "She's been talking with him for a good 20 minutes. And no, Gryffindor didn't loose points." She gave a meaningful glance at Dean Thomas, who blushed. Harry remained soundless and toyed with his cereals.
Lupin approached the table and sat in his place, eyeing the rabbit carefully. Usagi felt the gaze and ended her conversation with Snape. She turned to him and smiled. He gave a slightly surprise stare at how her smile felt familiar somehow.
"Hello, professor Lupin!" She chirped. "Hope you had a good night sleep! I look forward to your class this afternoon! I'll go to my table now, see you!" She gave a last wave of hand and walked in the direction of the Gryffindor table.
Ginny spotted her and hurriedly got up, running to her. "Hi Serena! Can you sit with me today? I'd like to present you to some of my friends!" Usagi grinned at the youngest Weasley child. "Sure, lead the way Ginny-chan!" Ginny took her arm and urged her towards her place, surrounded by a bunch of giggling 6th years girls.
When she passed him, Harry wanted to get up and hug her, anything to break the tension, but his legs refused to move. They caught each other's glances but neither of them spoke. He had been able to tell what he felt yesterday but looks like his shyness had come back full time.
Serena, on her side, was busy talking to a 6th year when Ginny opened her journal; The Daily Prophet. There was a big title written in bold black letters and she took a peep, eyes widening. Ginny looked at her friends. "Look you guys! A man from the ministry found a Death Eater and 3 dead dementors in a muggle city yesterday night!" They all ushered to read the article. It wasn't hard to miss since it was on first page. Some of the pictures were censored because they looked like as if a massacre had just happened. She caught some of it:
Bodies of followers of the Dark Lord found in muggle city!
The dead bodies of the dark ex-guardians of the prison Azkaban were found in New York, yesterday at 8:30pm. Further investigations revealed they had been dead for quite some time, well before the aurors had the time to arrive on the spot. No muggles or wizards have been wounded, although some muggles explained to the journalists there had been a stranger who fought the 'monsters' and saved them. They couldn't identify the person clearly, unfortunately. 'His methods of fighting seem cruel and emotionless, although he did it like he was a pro or like he was used to it.' said an expert in death investigation. 'This mysterious person fought without care and literately made his enemy suffer. We don't know if we should be thankful or be scared of him.'
Under another picture, there was a paragraph written in bold black. It showed the face of a Death Eater who was in fetal position on the ground, rocking back and forth and saying unheard words.
Auror Whitcomb found this Death Eater a little farther than the other bodies. He was identified as a member of the McNair family. He will be placed at St-Mungo's and the mediwizards thinks he will never be coherent again. He was found rocking back and forth in fetal position, chanting the same phrase over and over again; "Never. Coherent. Moon! Glowing…traitor…Watch out! Moon…" His eyes were moving wildly and he didn't try to fight back when the aurors portkeyed him to St-Mungo.
If you have any details about this incident, communicate with…
Usagi groaned, closed her eyes and thumped her head on the table. 'I didn't know news traveled that fast here!' She mentally whined. Ginny only looked at her weirdly and Usagi waved it off, turning her head from the paper, suddenly not so hungry anymore.
The 7th year group heard a 'thump!' and looked over at the 6th years, all huddled up over the Daily Prophet, while Serena waved Ginny off. Ron took his paper and showed his comrades. "Look guys, someone caught a Death Eater and actually killed 3 dementors! Ugh! That's a bloody massacre! Watch out, Harry! Looks like you have competition over who will eliminate the most evil wizards!"
"Ha, Ha! Very funny, Ron!" The green eyed boy replied sarcastically.
She concentrated as hard as she could to put the right dosage in the bubbling potion. '1, 2, 3, 4 drops of dragon blood!' She then started to mix the potion clockwise slowly, while the potions master was saying an incantation. The rest of the class was doing their project for the day but more than half of them weren't concentrating on their cauldron.
The Slytherins were seething, for a Gryffindor had stolen THEIR head of house's attention, while the Gryffindors were livid because Snape was sitting way too near the nice blue eyed girl for their taste. Harry wasn't better off, glaring at Snape's back every 2 seconds, while Hermione was merely paying attention to their graceful movements over their bubbling mixture.
Since the potion wasn't reacting, Usagi curiously bent above the container to look at the liquid. Snape grimaced slightly. "I wouldn't do that if I were y-" He never got to finish his warning. The potion hissed and a puff of pink smoke blew away. Usagi yelped and almost fell on the ground when she retracted, completely taken by surprise. Snape couldn't help himself; he started to snicker at her.
"Was it supposed to do that?!" She asked, and then blinked when he continued to laugh at her. She gave him a mock scowl. "Stop laughing! What's so funny?" Snape summoned a mirror with his wand and put it in front of her. She snorted. "Oh, just great!" She wiped out the smudge of pink color off her nose with the back of her hand.
Snape took the mirror back and said more seriously, this time; "Yes, it was supposed to do that. You lost your concentration a couple of times but your natural experience helped you get through. The harder part of the potion is done. Why don't you help the students with their assignment while I put this potion into the storage?" Usagi nodded and started to check the potions of those who needed her help.
Harry and Ron had trouble with the color of their potion and she bent above Harry's shoulder. He gulped at their closeness. "Your potion's color is a bit off. If you add too much lizard skin, it'll explode." She said softly. She took a pinch of the cat hair necessary for their mixture and let it fall in the liquid.
The potion changed into its normal blue color almost instantly and the warm presence behind him backed away, to his great displeasure. "There." She started. "You don't have much to do now. Better I come to arrange this than professor Snape, seeing you're great friends and all." She finished sarcastically.
Ron grinned at her happily. "Thanks Serena! You're a life saver!" Usagi grinned back.
"Thank you." She glanced at the owner of the silent voice and her cheeks turned a pinkish color when her gaze crossed his intense green eyes. She put a hand on his shoulder while nodding, squeezed softly, and let go. Hope was not lost after all.
Ron was trying to mix the potion, so he didn't notice the exchange. Malfoy was so pissed he wasn't paying attention to what he was putting in his own project. He was about to add rosemary when a hand grasped his arm just in time. When he turned, he scowled deeply and Crabbe and Goyle were about to get up. She tssked at them. "I'm sure, Malfoy, that you don't want Snape to be angry at you for destroying his precious classroom. May I recommend cat hair instead of rosemary?"
She let go of his arm slowly and he stared at what he was about to add in his potion. She was right, he hadn't paid attention. He grumbled and muttered darkly; "Why'd you help me? I'm a Slytherin." She shook her head sadly at him. "You're human, just like the rest of this class. Why should I play favorites? And anyway, I didn't want you to get into the hospital wing."
Malfoy stared at her. "Huhh…Thanks." It was faint, but it was there. He had actually thanked a Gryffindor. 'Slytherin must be rolling in his grave right now', Malfoy thought, mentally grimacing. She smiled and took advantage of the moment. He was putting the right ingredient in the bubbling liquid and she asked him a question, her being ever so curious.
"Hey Malfoy? I wonder…What do you want to do when you finish school?" The Gryffindors gaped at her. She was bloody speaking with the git!
Pansy Parkinson was fuming. She crushed the ingredient she had in her hand and got up. "That's none of your business! Go back to your table, Gryffindor!" Usagi winced and rubbed her ears. "Jeez girl! You yell like a banshee!" Everyone started laughing and she sat down, clearly embarrassed.
She looked back at Malfoy and raised an eyebrow, waiting for his reply. He smiled slyly. "I want to become a minister." Seamus looked glumly at Neville, his partner for today. "Oh great. He'll try to overpower everyone." The class heard his remark and the Gryffindors groaned.
"Actually", the blond haired Slytherin explained, "I want to be minister only if the Weasel and Potter become aurors. This way, I'll be their boss and piss them off! They won't be permitted to talk back to me!" Usagi fell on the floor and sweatdropped with the rest of the class, while Ron and Harry cried their indignation. "HEY! We heard that!"
"I can't believe we actually had a decent conversation with Malfoy!" Ron was looking at his hands and Usagi could picture him saying to himself; 'Unclean! Unclean! Be gone!' She snickered at the mental image. She wasn't going to make a habit of talking to him but he could prove to be 'nice' when he wanted, if you could call it that.
"Yeah! That was the best potions class I've ever been in so far! Jeez girl, you should be the teacher, not Snape!" Seamus said, all excited to actually succeed in making a good potion. Usagi merely raised her eyebrows at him.
"Hello. Professor Lupin!" Chirped Hermione and Ron who were taking their seat for DADA class. Lupin nodded at them and looked at Harry expectantly. He sighed sadly when nothing came out of the boy's mouth. Usagi watched the display out of the corner of her eye and sat beside her partner, Luna Lovegood.
"Settle down, class! Today we'll be doing a lot of reading!" He got groans from all over the class and chuckled. "You didn't even let me finish!" He sobered. "I want to prepare you for a future class. I've been asking a lot and with the help of the headmaster, the ministry has finally accepted to bring some more dangerous creatures to study. So anyone who doesn't feel like it or will want to play tricks, I'm warning you; don't bother showing yourselves for the end of this semester's class. We'll have a couple of professionals with us, of course, and amongst them will be Charlie Weasley."
Ron perked up. "Charlie? My brother Charlie? You don't mean…"
Lupin nodded. "Yes. Dragons are what we are going to study for the next chapter." He got excited responses from almost everybody, except Harry, who tightened his hold on something in his robe pocket instinctively.
"There are many dragon species, but they are all divided in categories. First, there's the Western dragon. They have 4 limbs, 2 wings, 2 pointy ears and a long, serpent-like tail. They are greedy, troublesome, and grumpy-they usually ask for town sacrifices such as milk, sheep, children or maidens. Crosses could usually kill or ward off a Western dragon, thought it hasn't been proven. The best thing to do when you're in trouble is to hurt his vision. It will render it harmless for a moment.
Second, there is the Eastern dragon, also called Chinese or Oriental dragons. Unlike their cousins in the west, they are kind-hearted and live as deities in the heavens. They have a serpentine body, 4 short, stubby limbs, and a bearded head. Easterns are actually a combination of many other animals; its head is a camel's, its eyes are a demon's, its ears are like cows', its horns are like the antlers of a stag, its neck is a snake's, the sole of its feet a tiger's, its claws an eagle's and its 117 glistening scales are those of a carp's. The dragon's power of flight without wings comes from the Chi'hi, a bladder like swelling on the top of its head and the male of this species keep a large pearl in under its chin. Japanese dragons, the Tatsu, however, are more snake-like and have only 3 toes on each foot (whereas the Chinese dragon has 4 or 5) and are sometimes depicted as being evil.
Third, there is the Wyrm. It's a limbless serpent with a nasty disposition that spends most of its time around water and cannot breathe fire like other dragons. Some spottings of the Tatzelwyrm have been reported; a slimy, black serpent with 2 front arms and a feline's head. Pigs are its favourite food, so they are usually spotted near farms."
Lupin stopped a little and made sure everyone was listening. "Can anyone tell me of other species, or categories?" He asked. He got several answers, but all the same. They were naming him the sorts of dragons they had seen in their 4th year in the Triwizard tournament. Lupin nodded but expected more from them. "Doesn't anybody know of other dragons, ones you haven't seen in your 4th year?"
The class stayed silent and Usagi took pity of him. She didn't really want to talk about this particular sort but they were important facts to know. Lupin himself probably didn't expect this answer for other species. She raised her hand timidly, mentally apologizing to Harry. "Yes, Miss Tsukino?" Lupin called.
Usagi fidgeted on her seat and said softly; "The Basilisk." The golden trio's heads whirled around to meet her gaze and she got several different reactions throughout the class, the main one being disbelief.
Neville frowned and said to himself; "It's not a dragon! It's a snake!" He got several nods supporting his theory but Lupin shook his head warily. "I have to side on Miss Tsukino this time, Mr Longbottom, because she is right. Although looking like a snake, the Basilisk is indeed a type of dragon. What can you tell us about it, Miss Tsukino?"
The blue eyed girl cursed herself silently. It hadn't been in her intention to hurt Harry with past memories but it seemed that Lupin was trying to get his way with her. She took a calming breath and started, aware of the teacher's watchful gaze riveted on her.
"Well, it has a serpentine body and scales, but it also has a crest atop its head that resembles a rooster's comb. The word Basilisk is a Greek translation for 'little king'. The Basilisk is the deadliest dragon of all; with a single glance he can kill the most ferocious beast on the spot. Its toxic breath can whither plants, its acidic saliva can make any creature drop dead, and any stream he drinks from is permanently poisoned. Only 3 living things can survive the Basilisk's deadly powers; the weasel, who is immune to its deadly stare, the rooster, whose crowing can scare away the hideous serpent, and rue- a plant that can withstand the Basilisk's breath."
Lupin raised a surprised eyebrow at her knowledge of the snake-like dragon. "That's very good, Miss Tsukino. 10 points. Now, if everyone turns their pages to-"
"Wait!!!" Usagi cut him in the middle of his phrase, surprising him even more. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I wasn't finished. There's another creature in the Basilisk family that's even more dangerous, and I don't think anyone really knows about it. Do you know what the Cockatrice is, professor Lupin?"
The werewolf shook his head. "Well, I've faintly heard of it. I don't really know what it is, though. I would be interested to know, actually. Do tell."
Usagi nodded seriously and all the ears strained in her way. "If you think The Basilisk is bad enough, wait 'till you hear about his metamorphosis! After many years, it can acquire birdlike legs, normally 2- but occasionally as many as 8, as well as a coiling tail and, eventually, a pair of wings. So evolving into a beast reminiscent of a Wyrm but with certain clearly defined differences; for although its body and tail retain their reptilian scales, its wings become feathered, and its head transforms into that of its erstwhile vanquisher- the rooster. Wattles hang down from either side of its face, its jaws become a horny beak, and it even acquires its enemy's ability to crow. This new evolved form is called the Cockatrice, and it's one dangerous beast."
Neville gulped loudly. "That's one disgusting creature, alright!" He squeaked out. And once Lupin's eyes came out of their glaze, he went back to the teaching.
"Miss Tsukino, one moment if you please?" Lupin called Usagi when she was about to get out. She motioned her friends she was going to meet them later and closed the door when the last student exited. "You want to talk to me, professor?" The blue eyed girl asked softly.
Lupin nodded and she sat on a chair near his desk. "Where did you learn all this, about dark creatures and all?" Usagi blinked because of his bluntness. "You're not the only one with moon problems, professor Lupin. So you shouldn't judge me before you get to know me."
It was Lupin's turn to stare, and he asked, almost dreadfully; "You know I'm a werewolf? Are you…Are you one too?" The blue eyed girl scoffed at him. "Of course I know you're a werewolf. Practically all the school knows. But your disappearance during the cycle of the full moon is what gives you away. And no, I'm not a werewolf. But I'll tell you a little secret; I have a great interest in the planets, so all that's connected to them, I know. And let's just say that the moon…loves me a lot, a little too much sometimes, if you want my opinion." She finished cynically.
"Oh, and don't think I'll judge you because you're a werewolf. I really don't care about that, and I've had weirder things happen to me than meeting a werewolf. You're not the only one who has led a harsh life, and all I have to do is continue to hope for everything to be okay again."
Lupin shook his head and gazed sadly out a window. He began to talk, mostly to himself, forgetting she was in the same room as him; "I lost someone. I couldn't help him. And now Harry hates me because I couldn't save him. My life will never be the same as before. Never will I hear him laugh again and see him play jokes. No, the past is the past, he will never forgive me…forgive me for letting him die like this!"
He was in his own bubble, completely denuded of life, gazing emptily outside, when a bitter grunt brought him back to reality. He put his hands on his mouth, scared that he had divulged too much information. He took a chance and gazed at her, but raised an eyebrow when he noticed she wasn't even looking at him. She had a hand on the doorknob and spoke to him with a glowering voice, as if she was angry and ashamed of him.
"No one's truly lost until you truly believe they are. I'm ashamed at you, Remus Lupin. I pity you, for you have given up hope a long time ago. This man will surely ask himself why you lost your belief of steel in him. You're so pitiful, right now, brooding over some things that could be changed. You gave up hope before even trying to do something."
She shook her head and headed outside, saying, before she let the sadly shocked teacher behind; "You tell me when you regain the belief you now completely lost, and maybe I'll be able to do something with you. Good night, Professor." She let the teacher alone in his class to think about what she had said. She didn't know about Sirius, he was sure of it, but she was right, he had given up hope and assumed the worst way too soon.
He laid his head on the desk and a choked sob escaped his lips. 'What would Sirius think about me now?' was the only think that ran through his head. He didn't show up for supper this day.
That was a long chapter! I'm really tired right now but I'll kick myself in the butt and upload it now. You deserve it. ^_^
Those of you who got shocked by the swiftness in Harry and Usagi's relationship, don't worry. They kinda had a major boost, kinda needed each other's affection right now. But they realised it wasn't that simple and Harry will got back to be more aloof. You have to remember that he has other things on his mind and that he's not telling her everything. (Although she already knows what's going on)
And Usagi's not telling Harry or anyone about Sirius because Harry would most likely tell Hermione and Ron about it. And since Hogwarts wasn't designed to keep a secret, everyone will most likely know by the end of the day. Or if she tells Harry and if he does keep the secret, he will no longer be sad and his friends will most likely butt in and ask him why he's so happy all of a sudden. So that's why Usagi keeps this a secret. I already have the scene in my mind, where Harry sees that Sirius is alive and all.^____^ I can't wait to write it but it's not for now, sorry! Be patient and enjoy the story for the moment! ^_^;
Anyway! Now that all is said, you know what to do if you want to read more!
REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If I have plenty of reviews, expect the update on WEDNESDAY. If I don't have enough, I'll wait a little longer…(NOT! Just kidding! I'm not THAT mean! ^_~)
Love ya all
Eternal Cosmos ^_^ xxx