Ranma Saotome was born in January of 1980 to Genma and Nodoka Saotome in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of two, after he had learned to properly walk, his father began teaching him the basics of martial arts. Two years later, Genma, with Nodoka's blessing, embarked with his son on a world spanning martial arts training journey of such intensity that full grown and seasoned martial artists would have balked at its undertaking. Ranma, however, was a prodigy the likes of which the martial arts world had not seen for decades. The next seven years he toiled ceaselessly to master a myriad of styles, under the careful eye of his father. He consumed and processed new techniques at unprecedented speeds, took dojo signs at will, and made a great number of friends and enemies along the way. By the age of eleven, Ranma had come into his own in the Anything Goes School, Saotome Ryu, and was well on his way to becoming the greatest martial artist of his generation. In other universes that may well have come to pass but, in this universe, a series of chances and events conspired to change the path that Ranma would follow, a path that would lead to a destiny as great, if not greater, than those other lives. One such event, neither the first nor the last but certainly one of the most crucial, was the return of Ranma and Genma to their home in Juuban, a large suburb of Tokyo, in mid-May, 1991...
Might and Magic:Tales of Ranma Saotome, Boy Wizard
A Ranma ½ and Harry Potter Crossover
Book 1: The Map, The Stone, and The Boy Who Lived
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters (see J.K. Rowling and Rumiko Takahashi), I'm just making up a new story with them. Please don't sue me (especially for any OOC).
Author's Notes: For covenience's sake, assume that the language being spoken is the native language of the country where the scene is taking place. When you see dialogue between ' ' and ' ', it denotes a different language (Japanese, more than likely).
Chapter 1: Curses and Confessions
A heavy spring shower doused Juuban, bringing relief to its denizens who were, up till that point, sweltering under an unseasonably hot May. All around, people moved around the steamy streets under their small umbrellas, trying to find shelter from the downpour. They were so engaged in dodging the rain that they scarcely paid attention to a most odd sight. Down the middle of a busy street walked a small, red-haired girl followed by a large panda. The girl wore Chinese style clothing and looked to be no more than twelve years old. The panda was, of course, quite large, but also carried an umbrella that did nothing to shelter it from the rain. They were both soaking wet but seemed more occupied with reaching their destination.
"How much farther, old man?" the girl asked the panda, sounding very excited.
Despite the absurdity of talking to an animal and expecting a response, the panda seemed to understand and produced, from thin air, a sign that read: A few streets down from here. From the way the panda's shoulders slumped, it did not seem as eager to get to where they were headed.
"Let's run then!" she said and, grabbing the panda by its paw, began dragging it along with unbelievable strength.The people surrounding them gaped as they ran past, covering the next few blocks in less than a minute. By then, the girl seemed to know where she was headed, her eyes looking over the neighborhood with a misty gaze of old familiarity. She dragged the panda (literally, as it had now stopped trying to move at all) past the gate of a modest two story house. On the gate was a sign that read:
Saotome Nodoka, Cert. Potion Ms.
Hours: 7:00 to 17:00
By Appt. Only
The girl ignored the sign in her haste to reach the front door. She hardly noticed that she had gotten out of the rain as she stepped onto the porch and pressed the doorbell button. The panda stood behind her, trying but failing miserably to hide itself behind her and looking somewhat fearful. She rang the doorbell once more before finally hearing someone approaching the door. The door opened, spilling light onto the darkening porch and casting a long shadow of the woman who had just opened the door.
She was an attractive, middle aged woman of average height and with exotic looking, shoulder length, candy red hair. She wore thin glasses and was dressed in shimmering purple robes..With a wave of her hand, the porch light flickered on, revealing the people who had just disturbed her. She looked down at the girl and behind her at the panda, raised her eyebrows at them, and said, "I'm sorry but I'm closed for the night. You'll need to make an appointment."
The girl looked crestfallen and a bit confused. "But-"
"Young lady, I'm sure that you can wait until tomorrow. Those curses don't seem to be dangerous." the woman said dismissively.
"But-what? What did you say?" said the girl and this time the panda seemed interested as well.
"My hours are quite plainly-"
"No, not that." the girl said quickly. "The curses...how did you know?"
The woman seemed to be getting annoyed but did not let it show in her voice. "The signs are quite plain, my dear. Now, if you 'll just come by in the morning..."
The girl was not listening. She was smiling widely and suddenly latched onto the woman with a strong hug. "This is great!" she said, beaming up at the startled woman. "You can fix the curse then, mom!"
The woman did a double take, then laughed. This girl was surely mistaken. She, after all, had a son, not a daughter. But the panda, looking resigned to its fate, stepped forward, holding sign up that read: Hello Dear. Ranma and I are home.
It took some minutes for Nodoka Saotome to calm down. She was sitting at a small table in the large kitchen, breathing deeply between swigs of a bubbly pink drink she had taken from one of the cabinets. The girl was sitting across from her, looking very concerned but unsure of how to approach her mother. The panda looked pensive and, having nothing better to do, rolled on its back and began playing with a beach ball that seemed to appear from nowhere. Finally, Nodoka seemed able to continue with their conversation.
"Where...how did you get cursed?" she asked, her voice shaking slightly.
"Well, it's kinda Pop's fault." Ranma said slowly. The panda suddenly went rigid and, once again, tried in vain to make itself as small as possible. "We were going through China, right? And he said we were going to some legendary training grounds up in the mountains. So he hired a guide and we went there."
"Jusenkyou. Some kinda legendary springs. All I know is the place creeped me out. It was like...I could feel something strange there. Like, it was weird that I could see it and the guide could see it, but Pop's didn't see it until we'd entered."
"Oh really?" said Nodoka, and now she seemed to have become extremely interested. "And what was it like?"
"I dunno, big I guess. Lots of holes in the ground the size of an onsen, full of cold water, with a long piece of bamboo sticking out. But there was strange mist rising from each of them, and not grey like you'd think, but kinda silvery. But the worst part was the noise." Ranma shivered a little and looked away, embarassed at her fear. "It was like a fly buzzing in your ear, or people talking far away. I could hear something but I didn't know what it was.
"Once Pops could see it, he threw down his backpack and jumped up on one and told me to join him. The guide tried to tell us not to do that but, after warning us, he left mumbling something about getting some tea and 'muggles', whatever that is."
Nodoka visibly stiffened and leaned forward, her eyes narrowed. She seemed to be listening very intently.
"So anyway," Ranma continued, not aware of how interested her mother was in the story, "we were sparring, right, on the bamboo, when I caught Pops in mid-air with a kick and he fell into one of the springs. The next thing I know, out of the spring comes this", Ranma pointed at the panda, who was now trying to hid behind a chair, "and it knocks the crap out of me because I wasn't expecting to fight no panda. I almost caught myself on a bamboo rod but I missed it and fell into another of the springs. After I crawled out of that cold spring, I looked like this.
"After that, the guide came rushing out to see what had happened. He just looked at us, then said that I had fallen into the 'Spring of Drowned Girl' where a girl had drowned one thousand years ago, and Pops had fallen into the 'Spring of Drowned Panda' where a panda had drowned three thousand years ago. After that, we left and Pops had us head straight here right after that."
There was a long, pregnant pause that made Ranma uneasy. Nodoka's expression was blank as she mulled the story. Finally, she spoke. "I see. Very well then." She suddenly stood to her feet, produced a katana from thin air, and pointed it at the now prostrating panda. "Genma, you've taken my son away from me and now you're going to die." she said emotionlessly. She raised the weapon but, in a flash, Ranma had caught her by the hands, preventing them from coming down.
"Wait, mom!" she exclaimed, looking fearful. "I'm not gone yet! The curse is reversible! Look, I'll show you!"
A few deft motions with her right hand produced a thermos from which small wisps of steam were escaping. She lifted it abover her head and dumped the contents on herself. The change was almost instantaneous. Her red hair turned black, she grew a few inches, and her face became slightly more masculine. Ranma was, once again, a boy.
Nodoka stared at him as she slowly lowered the weapon. As she sank into her chair, Genma snatched the thermos, filled it with hot water from the tap, and dumped it on his head, revealing a sturdily built man of about thirty-five years dressed in a white karate gi and wearing a white bandanna over his head. Nodoka hardly noticed, as she was staring at her son, who was starting to squirm a bit under the gaze. "Sorry 'bout this." he said, looking down at his hands, which were twisting themselves together. He suddenly felt arms surrounding him and the warmth of his mother's body pressed on him.
"There's nothing to be sorry about, Ranma-kun." she said, softly "You're back home." He looked up to see her face shining with tears and returned the hug, a hug that he had longed for the last seven long years.
They embraced for several minutes before she pulled away to look at him more closely. "Cursed already, and before you've even got a wand..." she said ruefully. Before Ranma could even ask what she meant by that, Genma coughed loudly to get her attention.
"Yes, Genma?" she asked, her voice icy.
"Dear, could you..." he said hesitantly. "Could you fix this?"
She looked at him through eyes so narrow that they were almost closed. "I don't know, Genma. From the sounds of it, you went off and got our son mixed up in some ancient magic. I told you that such things were not to be trifled with but you couldn't be bothered to listen to me, eh?"
"But mom, how do you know about curses anyway?" asked Ranma. "I've only met old medicine women and feng shui practitioners who could fix curses."
Nodoka laughed. "Medicine women and feng shui indeed! I'll give them credit, they know slightly more about magic than most Muggles, but that's not saying much. But, of course, I'd know all about curses, being a witch." She smiled at her son, but the smile faltered when she saw that Ranma looked very surprised. "Dear me, I know it's been years since you last saw me, but don't tell me you've forgotten that I'm a witch? After all, your father should have told you ages ago..."
Again, a pregnant pause settled over the room. Ranma was looking slightly awed at his mother. Genma was, once again, miserably failing to become invisible. Nodoka was looking at Ranma and Genma curiously before a look of suspicion settled on her face. Aiming a murderous glare at her husband, she said: "Do you mean to tell me that your father hasn't been telling you the truth about me? About you? He's been keeping it from you all this time?"
Ranma shook his head. "He never said anything about you being a witch." he replied, sounding mystified. "And what about me?"
But Nodoka did not answer, for she had rounded on her husband. Her anger at him had reached the boiling point and she pulled a long wooden stick from within her robes and pointed it at him. A bolt of red light shot from it but, thanks to his years of martial arts training, Genma ducked it just in time. It shot past him and hit the tap, ripping it from the sink and causing water to spray all over the kitchen. In that instant, Genma and Ranma were soaked and, once again, in their cursed forms. Genma, sensing an opening, scampered from the room, more jets of red light whizzing past him. "Count yourself lucky, Genma Saotome." Nodoka shouted furiously. "Next time I won't miss!"
She swept to the sink, somehow shielding herself from the spray with the stick in her hand, and waved the stick at the ruined tap. Ranma was startled to see the bits of mangled metal lift into the air, reshape themselves into a tap, and return to their proper places as if nothing had happened. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, but that display had been enough to convince anyone. Her mother really was a witch and knew how to perform magic!
A few more flicks of the wand, for that was what Ranma was sure it was, and the kitchen was dry once more. She walked over to Ranma and waved the wand over her head. Hot water flowed over her, turning Ranma, once again, into a boy. Another flick and Ranma felt a miraculously warm breeze flow over him, rendering him as dry as the rest of the kitchen. "Thanks." he said, looking at her in awe. She saw his expression and smiled.
"It's nothing, dear. Before long, you'll be doing this without even thinking about it." she said.
"But I can't do any magic." said Ranma.
"Oh, of course you can. You're my son, after all." she said. "You just need some training, that's all."
The thought of doing magic excited him. "You're gonna teach me?" he asked eagerly.
"Me? Oh no, that's what magic school is for." she said. "Of course, you won't know what that is, thanks to your father. But at least he got you back here in time to get enrolled at Hogwarts."
"It's a school for underage wizards. One of the best in the world too."
Ranma thought 'Hogwarts' was a very strange name for a school. It didn't sound Japanese at all. "Is it here in Tokyo?"
"No, dear, it is in Great Britain."
"That sure is far away." he said. "Is it the only magic school?"
"No, there are many all over the world . There is even one here in Japan. Nothing wrong with it, really, but I wanted you to go to the school I went to." Ranma was surprised again; he had never known she had spent time in England, though it would explain why the house was so Western in style. "Also, I'm...well, not exactly on good terms with the headmaster of that school. The man really is xenophobic, and he's insanely jealous of Dumbledore..."
" Who's Dumbledore?"
"He's headmaster of Hogwarts. Most wizards, even Japanese wizards, say he's probably the greatest wizard of the age. Oh!" she exclaimed. "I forgot, I need to send an owl to Dumbledore about you."
"An...owl?" asked Ranma uncertainly.
"Oh yes, owl post. Like the muggle mail system, but owls carry the letters. And, I might add, it's much more reliable than the muggle postman." his mother replied.
"But how do the owls know where to go? Are they some kind of specially trained owls?"
"No no, they need no special training. Owls are actually quite intelligent and have been companions of wizards for centuries. They have excellent directional sense and they can find almost anyone." she replied. As she spoke, she drew her wand out of her robes and waved it, conjuring a bottle of ink, a feather quill, and a piece of thick yellow paper.
"So...you're sending an owl all the way to England? Isn't that kinda far?" said Ranma, surprised and delighted to see his mother work more magic.
"Oh no, Ryouko will be fine." Nodoka replied absently as she scratched out the letter. Ranma went silent, not wanting to disturb her as she wrote. After several minutes she stopped, held the paper up to read over and, seemingly satisfied with the letter, rolled and tied it up and said: "Alright, that ought to do nicely. Ten-ten, please fetch Ryouko."
Ranma was about to ask who she was talking to before the answer literally appeared before his eyes. A loud crack made him jump in his seat and, next to the table, where before there had been air, now stood a short, brown creature dressed in a bright red towel and holding, on it's right arm, a magnificent black eagle owl. The creature bowed slightly and held the owl forward while Nodoka attached the letter to the owl's outstretched leg. "Please deliver this to Albus Dumbledore as soon as possible. But please, this time, don't overdo yourself, ok?"
The owl clicked it's beak and nodded. "Ten-ten, please go set her off."
"Yes, Oku-sama." the creature said and, with another crack, disappeared with the owl.
Ranma was staring at the empty space recently vacated by the creature, his mouth hanging open as he tried to wrap his brain around what he had just seen. Nodoka chuckled softly at his astonishment, which roused him from his stupor. "What...what was that?"
"I'm so sorry, Ranma-kun, I didn't think to tell you about Ten-ten." she said apologetically. "Ten-ten is our house-elf. She helps me keep this house in order. I've been so busy since you and your father left that I couldn't handle this place alone, so I hired her on. Let me introduce you to her."
Another crack, and Ten-ten had returned to the kitchen. This time, the house-elf turned and bowed at him as well, giving Ranma a better look. She was very short, about three and a half feet tall, with skinny limbs that had knobbly knees and elbows, small, bare feet, and child-like hands with long fingers. Her head was rather large and was completely bald. Her face was framed by pointy, floppy ears with a golden earring in each lobe, her nose was small and hooked like a bird's beak, and her mouth was rather small with two buckteeth slightly protruding from beneath the upper lip. Ten-ten's eyes were quite large and the pupils were the deepest aquamarine, flecked with gold. The red towel, he noticed, was really two towels, fastened together around the neck and arms with gold pins and worn like a dress. Besides the towels, the elf wore nothing else.
"Ranma, this is Ten-ten." Ranma stood up and held out his hand, bowing slightly. The elf's floppy ears twitched slightly but she did not reach for the hand. "It's ok, Ten-ten, this is my son Ranma."
The elf cautiously grasped his hand in a surprisingly strong grip, then bowed even lower. "Ten-ten is happy to finally meet young Ojou-sama!" she squeaked in a high-pitched voice
"Uh, nice to meet you too." Ranma said, feeling embarassed at the title she used to address him. "You really don't have to call me Ojou-sama. Just call me Ranma."
"Oh no, Ojou-sama, Ten-ten must address Oku-sama's son properly. Ojou-sama must be shown proper respect."
"Ranma, I'm afraid she really won't budge on this issue, even if you order her to call you Ranma." interrupted Nodoka. "However, I think that calling him Ranma-sama will suffice, Ten-ten."
"If Oku-sama thinks it's best, Ten-ten will call Oku-sama's son Ranma-sama." Ten-ten agreed reluctantly.
"Ranma will be staying with us from now on, so consider his requests to be the same as mine. However, you are not to take any orders from Genma; that's the panda hiding in the library right now. Treat him kindly but, if he has any requests, tell him to come to me."
"Ten-ten will gladly do anything Ranma-sama asks but will not follow Genma's order, as Oku-sama asks." she said, sounding more cheerful, as if she was happy to have two more people to look after.
"Very well, you may return to your duties." said Nodoka. The house-elf bowed to them both and, with another crack, disappeared from the kitchen. "What's wrong, Ranma-kun?" she asked, for he now wore a dazed expression.
"Well, it's just that this is a lot to take, all at once, you know?" he said, shaking his head. Ranma felt very strongly as if he were trying to fill a teacup with a firehose.
"Yes, it is quite a shock, finding out you can do magic. You're luckier than I was, though, because you'd seen real magic before you were told about being a wizard. Oh, how that shocked your grandparents."
"They didn't know about magic either?" asked Ranma. "But how-" Ranma's stomach cut him off, choosing to make itself heard. He blushed with embarassment.
"Goodness, what sort of mother am I? You must be starving. I just hope I have enough for you, from what your father's said, you've got quite an appetite." Without getting up, she pointed her wand at the small refrigerator and muttered "Accio". The door flew open and from inside came a parade of dishes and a carafe. When they had deposited themselves on the table, she repeated the spell, this time pointing at the cupboards to summon a cup, a bowl, and chopsticks. When they landed on the table, a wave of the wand lifted the covers on the dishes, all of which were mysteriously warmed, filled the bowl with rice, and filled the cup with water. "Please, have a bite and I'll tell you all about it."
"Itadakimasu!" said Ranma enthusiastically over folded hands before grabbing his chopsticks and digging in. His mother paused for a second, both amused and amazed at the speed the boy could eat.
"I think you were going to say 'But how did you become a witch?' The thing is, no amount of teaching will give you magical powers. Wizards and witches are born, not raised. Even though my parents were not magical, I, by some coincidence of genetics, was born a witch. Actually, since I'm on that subject, I guess I should tell you the story from the beginning.
"Your grandfather, Keichi, was a high ranking, important bureacrat in the government and his career kept having children on hold for many years. They didn't get around to having me until mother pestered him into it and, when I came along, they were in their mid-forties. I had a good childhood. Even though father was very busy he made time for me. I was also, well, a sort of odd child. Strange, unexplainable things always seemed to happen around me, which made it very hard for me in school. You know what they say, 'the nail that sticks out gets pounded down.' One day, when I was nine, father suddenly received a great honor; he was appointed Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Father had always been something of an Anglophile, so I think it was a natural fit. Though it was uncommon, he decided that Mother and I would go with him. It was very exciting for me, though later I learned that part of the reason for moving was because my oddities were becoming a bit embarassing."
"That's not very nice." Ranma said after a particularly huge swallow of food.
"Don't think so badly of your grandfather. He was an old fashioned man that grew up before the war. He never treated me badly, but the perception of our family reflected on his career. Really, if I didn't know any better, I'd say he called in a favor to get the assignment, which was much nicer than him trying to force the 'oddness' out of me. I'm very glad he chose to take us to England." Ranma shrugged non-committally. "At any rate, we settled in London in a nice four storey flat near the Japanese Embassy. I attended a private school nearby for a couple of years. The odd things didn't stop entirely but they subsided a bit. Father was more busy than ever but we were happy exploring Britain when we had the chance. It was very nice to be away from the attention that I always got back here in Japan.
"One day in May, when I was eleven, Father was unexpectedly free for the day and we were planning an impromptu trip to the countryside when we received a call from a Professor Dumbledore. He said he was the headmaster of an exclusive private school in Scotland and that I had been selected to attend. Now, because my father was an ambassador, I was down for Eaton, an exclusive private school, but somehow he was persuaded to receive a visitor that morning to talk about this school. Not ten minutes later, that person was ringing our doorbell! Our butler announced that Ms. Minerva McGonagall had arrived for her appointment and led her into the sitting room. I remember laughing because she sternly corrected him that her she was Professor Minerva McGonnagal.
"At first glance, you could tell that Professor McGonagall was a strict, upright woman. Everything about her was severe, even though she was barely forty. I remember she wore a long plaid overcoat and, when she took it off, we saw she had on a long-sleeved and high-collared white shirt with a long, black skirt with black boots that we could hardly see for the skirt. I thought she looked like pictures of teachers from the turn of the century, even down to the thin round glasses she wore! When she spoke, her voice was even crisp and direct, as if she was used to giving directions. In other words, she was the perfect person to talk to rather traditional Japanese parents. After the butler had served us tea, she introduced herself and, quite calmly, proceeded to turn our world upside down.
"'My name, as your butler said, is Professor Minerva McGonagall, and I have come by on behalf of Professor Dumbledore to talk to you about your daughter's future. As I am sure you are aware, your daughter is different. Many unexplainable things seem to happen to her. Mr. and Mrs. Kutaragi, I must first tell you that there is nothing wrong with your daughter. She is, in fact, very gifted. She has a gift that few are fortunate to receive." She glanced at me and I was suddenly very curious as to what she meant. "You see, your daughter is a witch and all of the odd occurrences were manifestations of her magical abilities."
"She paused to let the news sink in. The room was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. I was shocked, but a part of me seemed to take the news as confirmation. My parents were staring with their mouths open at the professor, who seemed to be expecting some sort of response. When it seemed obvious that they weren't going to respond, she continued. 'I assure you that I am telling you the truth and I can demonstrate it for you.' She pulled a wand from a pocket in her skirt and waved it at a teacup and saucer. They both turned into grey mice, which proceeded to dance a waltz. My mother jumped with fright and seemed ready to knock her chair over. Father simply started a bit and looked mystified but was, for the most part, calm. Another wave of the wand and the saucer and teacup were back to normal. By now, my shock had turned into excitement. 'I knew I wasn't crazy!' I said. "I knew it was magic!" She smiled at me (I wouldn't learn until later that her smiles were rare) and nodded, then turned back to my parents, who were regaining their composure.
"'As I mentioned before, I am here to discuss Nodoka's future, a future in a society that, until now, none of you knew existed. Wizards have existed in human society since the beginning, but we have voluntarily lived in secret for thousands of years. We live mostly separate from Muggles (what we call non-magical people). Occasionally, a witch or wizard is born to Muggles. We generally approach these Muggle-borns around their eleventh birthdays to tell them what they are and to invite them into our world.'
"'The first step into the Wizarding world, at least in Britain, is attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where young wizards and witches are instructed in the magical arts. Which brings me to why I am here.' She reached into another pocket and drew out a thick yellow envelope made of parchment paper and handed it to my father. 'That is a letter of invitation from Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, inviting Nodoka to attend Hogwarts this fall."
"My father opened the letter and read it over very carefully before handing it to my mother. Another minute of silence passed before my father spoke. 'Well, this all certainly makes sense. It's amazing, almost unbelievable, but at least we know nothing is wrong with Nodoka. However,' my stomach twisted into a knot, 'she has been accepted into Eaton, a very prestigious school. Why should we send her to this Hogwarts instead?' My mother looked bewildered that he seemed to be actually entertaining the thought of sending me off to a magic school.
"'Hogwarts is a very prestigious school.' McGonogall replied with slight indignation. 'The school was founded over a thousand years ago by four of the greatest British wizards. It is one of the foremost institutions of magical instruction in the world. Students who graduate from the school will be well equipped to enter into all sorts of occupations in the Wizarding world.' She paused to allow my parents to consider this information. Knowing them as I did, I realized that she was, rather skillfully, beginning to convince them. 'Mr. Kutaragi, there are two very good reasons to allow Nodoka to attend Hogwarts. First, your daughter will learn and associate with children who are just like her. I cannot stress that enough. At Hogwarts, she wil not be singled out due to her gift. At Eaton, there is the chance that her magic will manifest itself, potentially continuing the trend of being the odd child. Second, you must know that she will never stop being a witch, but she can learn to control the magic within. If she does not go to Hogwarts, she may never learn to control it.'
"Somehow I knew, at that moment, that she had said the magic words, so to speak. I had already been sold; I didn't like the stuffy English private schools and wasn't looking forward to 7 more years of it at Eaton, the stuffiest of them all. Besides, magic, to someone my age, sounded much more interesting. No, my parents had to be convinced and I knew her mentioning my control over the magic and not being an outcast, for once, would go over well with my father. 'And how much is tuition?" he asked, though I think it was obvious that money would not be an issue.
"'It is our tradition to offer a place to all children who exhibit magical ability, tuition free. The only expense you will incur is for school books and various other supplies, all of which are detailed in that letter.'
"There was another pause before my parents had a quick and whispered conversation in Japanese. My mother was against the idea but my father seemed, at least, not against it. Finally, and surprisingly, he turned to me and asked what I wanted to do. ' I want to go to Hogwarts. ' I replied immediately. ' That settles it, then. ' Father said, ignoring Mother's protests.
"'Excellent! I think you'll be happy you chose Hogwarts' said Professor McGonogall, making us all jump a bit. "You were following our conversation? You understand Japanese?" asked my mother, speaking for the first time.
"'I have passable comprehension.' she replied airily. 'Now then, I won't intrude much longer. All of your supplies can be obtained in Diagon Alley here in London. I believe there are directions to it included in the letter. The entrance is in a pub called The Leaky Cauldron; Nodoka will be the only one that can see it. Ask Tom, the barman, to show you to Diagon Alley. If you proceed down Diagon Alley, you will be able to change money at Gringott's Wizarding Bank. Finally, the train for Hogwarts leaves from Platform 9 ¾ King's Cross Station at 9 am on September 1st.. That platform is directly between 9 and 10 and is an invisible entrance that looks like a wall; simply walk through it to reach the platform. Also, I advise you to purchase an Owl, otherwise, being Muggle-born, you will be quite out of contact with the Wizarding world unless you make your way to Diagon Alley.'
"She rose, shook hands with my parents, then shook hands with me and said 'If there are any further questions, send a letter to Albus Dumbledore; you can send them when you get to Diagon Alley. Oh, and I must say that, of all the Muggle parents I've talked to, you have handled this news best.'
"My father nodded. "Japan is very modern, but there are some things which we do not forget. We may not believe in magic, but we don't necessarily not believe in it.'
"'A most reasonable outlook.' she replied. "I shall see you in three months, Nodoka.' She bowed slightly and was shown out by our butler.
By now, Ranma had eaten his fill and was listening attentively. "What happened after that?"
"Well, we went to Diagon Alley - a wonderful place, I think you'll enjoy it – and I rode the train to Hogwarts for my first year at school. That, however" she said, noting a stifled yawn from Ranma, "is a story for another time. I have to make an early start tomorrow and, besides, it really is time that you were off to bed. Ten-ten will show you to your room." They rose from the table and she, again, wrapped him in a tight hug. "It's good to have you back home, Ranma-kun."
"It's good to be home." he whispered back.
To Be Continued...in Chapter 2: Potions and Preparations
Thank you for reading and I hope it was, at least, not too painful. This is my second attempt at writing this story, the first one having been lost to a hard drive mishap. All the better for the story, I think; the first version involved a 17 year old Ranma voluntarily eating a magic mushroom to make himself 11, just so he can go to Hogwarts at his mother's request. Anyway, this is yet another ambitious project I've set myself (see Heart of a Warrior), especially since I'm carving out a niche for Ranma to fill plus interesting background and sidestory. Will I ever finish the seven books? Don't count on it, but I don't see my Harry Potter obsession dwindling any time soon, so at least I'll probably update.
Incidentally, this story is written more with Ranma fans in mind than Harry Potter fans. If you're unfamiliar with Ranma, summaries are easy to find online. If you're unfamiliar with Harry Potter, I think you should stop and go read the books now before I do anymore spoiling of the story. If you know both, please bare with all the explanations of stuff that has been mentioned in the canon.
Be on the alert for the next chapter, which I'm 1/4th of he way into right now.
Sorry for making you read this boring A.N. section