Warnings, disclaimers, etc.

TAKES PLACE DURING: Ch. 33, "Yuletide Promise".



Clad in a short dancing kimono, her face a mask of white facepaint, Yukina walked barefoot on the winter-cold stone floors of Hogwarts. The corridors were shadowy with the approaching night -- so much earlier than in Japan -- though a few last shafts of weak, winter-pale sunlight pierced through the south and west windows.

Tonight was the winter solstice in Ningenkai, and for the second time in her life, Yukina was here and free to celebrate it. So she'd dressed in the traditional celebration clothes for the youngest of the Koorime, the windblown "little snowflakes" who danced to honor the cold; Yukina was far older than the little snowflakes, but she alone retained her ability to dance past the age of ten.

She pushed open the massive front doors to the school, watching westward as the sun sank towards the trees. Every second dimmed the warmth of her mysterious father's genes. Every second cleared Yukina's mind. Every second strengthened her inborn connection to the frozen void. And she remembered...

Finite power meets infinite void. Infinity wins.

A simple Koorime lesson.

Winter is the period when the human's world tilts away from their sun. (A shudder went through the class at this word -- the source of fire and light, alien and terrible.) By turning away from their sun, they turn towards the cold of the void.

The daughters of winter were so much more than ice shades.

We are the sisters of ice, and the granddaughters of the eternal chill of the void. The small beings in their flimsy envelope of life (another shudder went through the class) fear and hate us. They do not understand.

The sun started to sink below the horizon.

We are the ice.

The last sliver of the sun vanished below the mountains.

We are the cold.

Yukina snapped her fans open.

We are the void.

She stepped out onto the icy stoop, feet crunching in the snow.


Ignoring the puny, distasteful flickers of warmth and life behind the thick stones of the castle --


-- she danced.


For tonight alone, Yukina was Koorime.