Chapter 5: Conglomeration of Feelings and Mysteries (Part Three)
Disclaimer: To be short and frank, I do not nor will I (sadly) ever own the great workings of Harry Potter, Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon, or W.I.T.C.H. I'm not that talented. I am, however, talented enough to manage to concoct this chaotic fanfic combining all three worlds, and manage to make it all look good/easy, owning the storyline and any new spells or attacks I might create (although, clearly having been inspired by said series/book). So, alas, I dare you not to enjoy this undoubtedly bumpy ride alongside me! Ha! Okay, okay; I'll shut up now, especially since this wasn't short OR frank. HeHe Still . . . enjoy reading (AND leaving massive reviews!).
Note: And finally, part three of chapter five. Would you believe that I still haven't posted all of it after this, and had to push the rest into chapter six? Why? Because it was close to forty pages. Wonderful (for me, anyway, but a lot of you hate long chapters). Anyhow, I at least know that definitely Senshi of Valis, Lennex and Shadow Crystal Mage will be happy to see this story updated. Enjoy.
This chapter was written/created in November 2005.
Hotaru sat patiently at her desk inside of the empty and dimly lit classroom, waiting for her first evening class to begin. Although the classroom -- the entire castle, really -- was rather intimidating at night, for whatever reason it did not bother her.
Then again, being alone (especially within her bedroom at night, with only the faint, glowing warmth of her fairly new collection of lamps to keep her company) was in actuality one of her most favorite of pass times. Hotaru wasn't entirely sure why that was, either, although she supposed it was because it was then that she'd feel the most like herself . . . perhaps, even, the true her that she was still very much in the process of discovering.
Before Hotaru continued on with her contemplations of self-discovery, the door to the dank classroom slowly creaked open with a heavy groan to her right. Expecting to see a rather large gaggle of fellow students bustling inside (as there was now a few minutes left to the beginning of class), only a familiar, average-height and honey-eyed young woman hesitantly entered with a faint look of confusion riddled across her smooth visage.
Hotaru looked upon the girl with slight interest after noticing her presence, watching her make her way towards her. Even though she'd seen the girl once before, it was only at that moment that Hotaru was truly acknowledging her existence.
Of course, it wasn't to say that she was conceited or what not -- it was simply that, at the time of their meeting, class had been starting (not to mention that Hotaru had been extremely preoccupied with her intense thoughts, as well -- much like how she now was yet again). So therefore, it wasn't as though she had had enough time to gather a strong assessment of the other girl . . .
". . . Hotaru, right? Are you here for the night lesson, too?" Hotaru heard the girl ask her as she carefully slid into the seat next to her with slight timidness, much as she had during their first shared class of Defense Against the Dark Arts earlier that day.
Hotaru gazed curiously at the faintly blushing young woman as she began to take in her appearance. Wearing her long, black school robes that protectively concealed the knee-length, gray skirt and white, male-resembling dress shirt, the two women looked almost identical -- save three very distinct differences.
Although their uniforms honestly were alike, the long, diagonally striped tie that lay against their chests and securely fastened around their neck were each vastly different in color. While Hotaru's tie reflected a sort of drab -- even perhaps browbeating combination of deep green and pale silver, the other girl's tie almost beamed with an exuberant confidence of maroon and gold.
Even the insignia of the girl's house, Gryffindor, seemed to give off an unmatched, prideful gleam upon her bosom; meanwhile, Hotaru's Slytherin emblem instead glared back with an almost malevolent resilience.
Besides those two deviations between them closing-wise, there was also the drastic physical disparity in hair color and length. The vaguely smaller girl had fashioned her crimson colored locks into an attractive, slightly tousled bob. By contrast, Hotaru's ebony tresses, with its natural lavender streaks and faint purple sheen, cascaded effortlessly down her well toned back and tickled her ankles without a single strand out of place.
By that point, Hotaru had at last realized that she had been merely gawking at the red head next to her with a slightly intense look without a word, causing the other girl's blush to deepen at that.
Feeling her own cheeks lightly heating up, Hotaru cleared her throat and bestowed a small smile onto the girl in apology.
"Sorry about that . . . Will . . . I was just . . . thinking of all of the homework that I still have left to finish before tomorrow . . ." she offered, gently tapping a long fingernail upon her notebook in front of her as though in emphasis. "And yes, I am here for the night lesson . . . I guess it's safe to assume that you are, as well, huh?"
The girl whose name Hotaru had timely remembered to be Will gazed thoughtfully back at her with her light brown -- almost reddish -- eyes and returned the smile.
"Oh, yeah? That's great! At least now I know that I didn't get lost on the way. My other friends should be here at any minute as well -- well, twenty seconds, if that clock is right. I wonder how many students from the program will be in here with us at once, and how much more homework we'll get.
I could barely keep up with my classes, or keep my gradesup back home, either and -- Oh . . . uh . . . forget it . . . I can tell that I'm boring you . . . Besides, that was probably 'T.M.I.' or something, too . . ." Will trailed off, laughing nervously as she looked down at her belongings upon the desk and began to play with her quill by dunking and re-dunking it into her ink bottle.
Shaking her head vigorously, Hotaru looked at Will curiously before asking,
"Why would you think that, Will? Even though we've just met today, I rather enjoy your company. You seem very thoughtful and nice . . ."
Now it was her turn to trail off suddenly as the last of her descriptive words effortlessly escaped from her lips. Her mind instantly flashed back to a time -- a memory, that she could not honestly seem to recall ever happening before, and yet . . . nonetheless seemed superbly familiar to her all the same:
"I'd bought you a new lamp to add to your collection, Hota-chan! This one's extra special, because it has a neat purple firefly painted on it!" Hotaru heard a jovial sounding girl say to her while extending the delicate gift out to her.
"Thanks so much! But it's only extra special because you gave it to me! You're always so very thoughtful and nice towards me!"
Before Hotaru could understand or see (especially that of the mysterious girl who'd given her the gift and continued to be curiously shrouded in darkness, and how, despite the fact that it was Japanese that was being spoken, it was still comprehended) anymore of her bizarre vision, it had instantly evaporated away from her mind, leaving just as quickly as it had come.
Her current facial expression must had been alarming, for Hotaru suddenly felt Will reach out for her as though an expert at either witnessing or having dizzy spells, herself.
"Just take it easy, Hotaru! You all right? You don't look so good . . . You look pale and rigid . . . Just . . . take deep, slow breaths . . ."
Nodding slowly, while doing as she had been instructed, Hotaru smiled softly at Will in gratitude and reassurance as her violet gems observed her molasses orbs.
Now even her eyes are beginning to . . . remind me of something -- and not just her hair, she mused. But of what . . .?
Before Hotaru could further mentally mull it over, more students had at that moment barreled into the classroom, heavy pants escaping from out of their mouths while distraught, bug-eyed looks plastered themselves upon each of their visages.
"Hey, you guys! I was getting worried that you'd never make it! Although, to be fair, it did take me quite a while to drag myself out of bed after my nap before our lesson. Remind me never to do that again," Will smirked after having made certain that Hotaru was truly all right, before then veering her attention to the reopened door to acknowledge the several women (who were obviously her friends) continue to stumble inside of the room and spread themselves out accordingly into the array of still vacant seats.
As Will turned around in her seat to candidly gossip with the two women now behind them (an Asian girl with long, glossy black pigtails, and an African American young woman with warm brown eyes) Hotaru allowed herself to be momentarily forgotten, which didn't trouble her, as it was blatant, the closeness the three shared.
Besides, Hotaru's eyes had then something else to preoccupy her. Making their way to their seats were four of the five mysterious Japanese young women who had attacked her that morning, all of them having seemed extremely adamant about something -- about her at the time. She'd also seen them again at their shared Elemental Magic class, with the credibly eccentric Professor Latnemele Tirips, where they'd seemed just as mesmerized by her.
Tonight -- right now, however, they didn't so much as flinch, let alone make any sort of gesture toward her once they'd entered the classroom. Although, judging by their lank, fatigued expressions decorated upon their faces, Hotaru surmised that they were simply far too tired to have taken notice of her presence just yet -- something she oddly felt disappointed by.
Regardless, there was at least one of them, the smallest of the five and the last to stroll inside that did seem to see her, and immediately began to forge and maintain a concentrated, awkward stare between them.
Hotaru continued to watch the small, crystalline blue-eyed girl with her unique, pig-tailed, rabbit ears-resembling blonde hairstyle as she remained planted near the door. Hotaru wasn't entirely sure why she'd bothered to dignify the peculiar woman's presence with even a mere glance, but as she continued to look into her pools of cool blue, increasingly saddened eyes, she still couldn't help but to feel strangely . . . serene.
With everything . . .
Groaning lightly to herself, Hotaru shook her head and willed herself to look away, before the dizzy spell she'd suddenly felt returning could escalate.
"Using your body as a natural barricade will not prevent me from entering to teach this inconsequential class -- however much I might personally wish that it could," softly said a distinctly cold and detached voice Hotaru immediately recognized to be owned by Professor Severus Snape, despite her eyes having just been averted away from the door.
A tiny shiver ran down her spine as she avoided looking up to watch the tall, thin and black robe-clad man enter for a moment.
While the young Egyptian had known that she would have both Astronomy and Double Potions
that evening, she had personally hoped that the latter would have
been canceled, as she understood that Snape taught it. The man simply
gave her the most uneasy feeling within the pit of her stomach, since
having first laid eyes upon him during the Sorting Hat Ceremony feast
the previous night -- and so, what the surprise it had been to learn
that not only was he her teacher, but also the head of her
At least, thankfully, he'd yet to truly observe her existence, so having that bit of knowledge put her nerves at ease for the moment.
Finally deciding to look up away from her desk, Hotaru watched the blushing blonde near the doorway murmur a quick, soft and embarrassing apology before rushing to a seat at the back, while Professor Snape, with his long, greasy black hair that did very little to draw attention away from his thin, hook-nose that took up most of his pale and intimidating face, moved to the front of the class, hands clasped tightly together and placed diligently against his chest.
"My, my . . . I must say, this is a pity . . . not a Slytherin in sight -- save one . . ." he commented, narrowing his coal black eyes at Hotaru with faint pride and instant favoritism shining within them.
Hotaru felt herself beginning to blush lightly as a multitude of eyes descended upon her in notation. Sadly, she had been foolishly mistaken to believe that she had been invisible to the menacing man . . .
"On that note, I can honestly say that only some of you will master the potions I will teach you during these unfortunate night lessons, and some of you will not . . . and by that some, I mean the rest of you ladies . . ." Professor Snape emphasized, scanning the rest of the small class with accusatory and condescending eyes before immediately whirling around in his spot to walk to his desk.
"Now, then . . . For those of you who have yet to take my class earlier today, I am Professor Severus Snape, professor of . . . Double Potions . . ." he paused with clear disdain riddled within his doldrum-like voice, as though the fact of his teaching position caused him great displeasure. "I understand that I am to teach you the most basic of potions during these separate lessons and work our way up, while all the while still learning some of the more challenging potions during the day at the same time . . ." he continued, unfurling his bony hands and lightly beginning to tap a finger against the desk.
"Because, supposedly, where all of you are from, you are each extraordinary witches, and so therefore can handle the more stronger spells and potions . . . Of course, if that is indeed the case, then I do not honestly see any reason why you would need my instructions on the more trivial of potions, and cannot simply relearn them all on your own and within your own time if you must . . ."
"Sir . . . ? We . . . don't understand . . . I thought --"
"-- Oh! S-sorry we're late, sir -- er, professor! Took a wrong turn!"
Hotaru and the rest of the bodies within the room all turned to see two female strays, another blonde while the other had light brown hair, the both of them panting with cheeks flushed.
While the rest of the room's occupants might have been sympathetic, as the castle was rather spacious, Professor Snape was anything but.
I wonder if he would be towards me, since he seems to acclaim those who are within his house, mentally observed Hotaru as she looked inquisitively at the now slightly sneering man, whose chilling eyes pierced daggers straight through each woman's body as the duo quickly shuffled to the closest seat they could reach before incurring their instructor's wrath.
"Apparently, promptness is not a trait either of you seem to possess . . . and the both of you, Miss Hale and Miss Lair, are in Gryffindor house, yes?" Snape inquired with false intrigue as he made his way over to their desk.
"Y-yes, sir . . . We are . . . and actually, Cornelia's the only one of us with the 'prompt gene' within her. I, on the other hand, never seem to know when I'm coming or going," joked the light haired girl, obviously trying to lighten the mood despite the now extremely tight atmosphere.
Hotaru watched the girl's broad smile instantly melt away as both Snape and the blonde next to her stared hard at her without an ounce of humor coursing within their eyes.
Clearly she has not yet officially met this guy before now . . . otherwise, I don't think that she would have bothered to try joking around with him like that . . . thought Hotaru humanely, as Snape opened his mouth to speak once more.
"You don't seem to know how to still your tongue, Miss Lair. Five points taken from Gryffindor for your tardiness, with an additional point for your . . . colorful remark . . ." he delivered, before turning abruptly around to walk back to his seat. He didn't get far, however, as he and his pupils heard the brunette curiously mutter to her blonde friend,
"Points? What the heck's he talking about? Like demerits or something?"
Hotaru could almost feel the entire class collectively groan inwardly upon hearing this, for they now knew as she did that it was obvious that Professor Severus Snape was not at all a person to be reckoned with . . . It was simply a shame that that girl hadn't seemed to catch on quite yet.
"Another five points from Gryffindor, for that smart retort, Miss Lair," said Snape without bothering to turn around, his body visibly stiffening as though trying to suppress a much wanted outburst. "If I were you, Miss Hale, I would prevent your friend from saying anymore while within my presence . . . unless, of course, you and the rest of your fellow housemates enjoy losing points. In which case, by all means . . ."
As Hotaru watched the head of Slytherin house re-approach the front of class to resume his lesson, she began to wonder if she'd been placed into the right house, and moreover, why . . .
Irma could barely focus upon any of the words that that god-awful man was currently droning out in his irritably soft and slightly monotone voice. The reason? She was far too busy fuming! It wasn't her fault that her new school apparently had a mind of its own -- well, the stairs, anyway -- and randomly decided to change the directions to different locations on a person at will.
Which was exactly what had happened to Irma and Cornelia on their way to their first night lesson, after Irma had successfully found the blonde to apologize for whatever it was she'd said to her that had upset her earlier that day.
Even though it had initially been Will's idea to do so, Irma did want to clear the air before any form of resentment could linger between the two of them (and even though it pained the brunette more than anything to be the first one to have done so).
And so, when Irma had at last located the sophisticated blonde neatly seated outside of the Great Hall, decoratively surrounded by her school books with her head buried inside of one, Irma had done just that.
"I don't really know why you took anything I'd said today personally -- as you never have before, and we always squabble anyway -- but I'm so sorry if I hurt you, Corny . . ." she'd apologized, the "sorry" that had escaped from her lips having tasted like acid that she'd had to say it to Cornelia of all people.
That is, Irma absolutely hated to relent to Cornelia, just as much as Cornelia did to her in contrast. That was one thing of many that hadn't really changed within their relationship as they'd grown older in the past several years.
As good of friends as they were, the two teenagers had never been the closest of friends, completely opposite in every imaginable way. While Irma was traditionally the laid-back joker, Cornelia was quiet, poised and refined, and usually only spoke whenever she felt that she just had to offer some kind of rebuttal to usually something Irma would say, if not Will.
The Water and Earth Guardians were like oil and water -- unable to ever truly mix, however still managing to just barely coincide with the other. And, as far as Irma was concerned, she didn't suspect that that would ever change.
"What was that, Irma? I don't think I heard you . . ." Irma bitterly recalled Cornelia had purposely said with growing amusement, although her blue eyes had also gradually begun to sparkle with affectionate gratitude (which was probably the only reason why Irma had bothered to apologize once more after that, which had felt far less of a chore to have actuated).
It was during moments like that that Irma had also realized, despite their immense personality differences, the two girls had still managed to remain loyal and reliable friends to one another, miraculously, and perhaps would continue to be in the future.
Because she always has my back as I have hers as teammates -- although, I don't think she honestly does right now, she thought morosely, feeling Cornelia glare daggers at her from her seat next to her at their shared desk every so often, at the same time that Irma tried not to do so to their professor (whom she'd by then surmised to be the evil incarnate).
Irma was acutely aware that, no matter how infuriated she felt at that moment for the injustice perpetrated against her the very moment that she'd stepped into the classroom, Cornelia was currently boiling. And it wasn't because of their joint point deduction and humiliation (as hair-pulling as Irma was sure that had been for the older girl), but because of the fact that she'd been late to one of her classes on not only the first day, but ever.
Well, that Irma was personally aware of, anyway.
One of the things that Cornelia detested more than anything was being late, not just her classes, but to anything: late to skating practice; late to dinner; late to know the latest gossip or purchase the latest fashion trends, even.
About the only other thing that Irma could recall Cornelia disliking more was when others were late for a shared responsibility (yet another reason why the two continued to bump heads a lot, as "late" was practically Irma's middle name).
So, therefore, she already knew of the fierce tongue-lashing that was in store for her once she and Cornelia were awarded the first chance to freely speak again.
Thanks a lot, Snape, you snake. I'd just finished getting Cornelia off my back for one thing; now, I'm gonna have to get her off my back for yet another thing, Irma thought regrettably, before finally forcing herself to pay better attention to what the dark instructor was saying.
". . . So therefore, because the potion I plan to teach you will take precisely two hours to make, mine will be the only lesson for this evening -- your Professor Meiou has expressed her . . . solemn apologies to being unable to teach you after our lesson's conclusion . . ." Irma heard Professor Snape say with distinct boredom as he made his way slowly around the room.
He's bored? I'm bored, tired, and hungry! And I gotta be stuck here for two whole hours with this windbag! This might as well be detention, since this now feels like a prison, Irma thought severly, resisting the urge to yawn loudly for slight fear that Snape would undoubtedly retract yet another five points away from her house, something she still didn't quite understand.
I hope this potion will at least enable us to make a couple burgers and fries or something useful to me . . .
". . . Now, I truly hope that none of you will waste my time, effort, as well as patience, by being unable to properly concoct this potion," Snape began, eyeballing every female present before making his way back to the front of the classroom. "Or my breath, as the ingredients are not listed within your book. So, I'd suggest that you take superb notes and pay supremely close attention, as I will not repeat myself . . ."
Not waiting for any woman to object or raise a hand to comment, Professor Snape continued, his voice noticeably becoming more excited.
". . . The potion, 'Amiculum Mors Mortis,' is appropriately named 'Death Veil,' for if brewed correctly, it allows the drinker it to effectively pierce through the veil that separates life and death, and then teeter between both sides for a specific amount of time . . .
To the untrained eye, it would appear as though the drinker has indeed perished, as the body becomes rather stringent, cold and lifeless -- all of the traditional traits of the deceased. Even the heart has, by that point, slowed down to a barely traceable beat . . . However, the person is very much alive, and it is merely their soul that has all but detached itself from its host for a while . . .
This potion was originally used to ward off enemies that might wish to . . . dispose of the drinker in their own way . . . However, it was soon found out the hard way of the 'lasting' effects this potion can have . . . which is why this is now one of the many no longer practiced and forbidden potions . . ." he finished, his usually deadpan, black eyes beginning to shimmer with great intrigue upon the eerie subject.
"So . . . then if it is forbidden, how come we're about to learn it, professor?" Ami suddenly asked wearily at her desk directly in front of Snape.
". . . Why, for the experience, of course, Miss Mizuno. I am completely confident that perhaps none of you will amalgamate the potion successfully, as not many have since its first creation. However, mayhap you will still miraculously learn something in the process," said Snape with nonchalance, lightly waving his hand in dismissal towards the blue haired girl. "After I've put the ingredients onto the board, you may begin . . . and I suggest that you don't dillydally, either . . ."
Irma briefly scanned the class to gage each of their reactions to their apparently demoniacal professor, and his less than substantial courtesy toward them that every other teacher had thus far that day.
Each girl within the room currently displayed mixed signs of apprehension, confusion, and even inadequateness. Even always "cool and collected" Cornelia was looking a little pale as she watched Professor Snape magically display the ingredients onto the blackboard with the help of his wand, before she began to organize them around their shared cauldron she'd brought with her.
"Can you believe this guy, eh, Corny? And I thought Principal Knickerbocker was strict. This guy's like a cross between Knickerbocker and my dad, with the 'lovable' nature of Lord Cedric or even Nerissa!" whispered Irma to Cornelia as quietly as she could, trying to re-break the obvious ice that had reformed between them.
She may be annoyed with me -- yet again, but I know that she does agree with my logic on this one, she thought, offering up a smile to the girl.
However, all that Irma got in return was a heavy scoff before Cornelia viciously hissed,
"Let's just get this over with, before you get me into more trouble!"
Apparently I was wrong, thought Irma glumly, as she began to help the seething blonde mix the ingredients. It's official: this night blows!
End of Chapter Five
(A.N. There it is. Not the original end to this chapter, but since I already had to divide this thirty-six page chapter into three parts, and I knew that people would voice their upset about how my chapters are always so long so...yeah. I mean, c'mon. A "billion" pages for one chapter. That's NOTHING for me whenever I read, but a lot of people on here like short chapters, what can I say. And anyway, the next scene was a morning scene, so I figure I'd just push it to chapter six, even though I had planned to reveal more of the plot in THIS chapter – hence the "mysteries" bit in its title. However, I still sort of did, if anyone can catch it. Yay. LoL Stay tuned for more, please.)