A/N: Hey everyone! How have you been? Good I hope! Well welcome to chapter one of The Winter of the Willows!
So I just want to thank everyone who reviewed for The Dead of Winter and hm…I think that's it…well I've got that On Silent Wings one-shot for Bleach out now if you want to check that out. I'm actually really happy with it which is rare…
It was with a yawn that Toshiro greeted the day. And like any other day, it was filled with an abundance of three things: Paperwork, Matsumoto, and tea. Because as everyone in Soul Society knew, paperwork and Matsumoto in no way went hand in hand, which resulted in much yelling on the small taicho's part. Which meant tea.
Lots and lots of tea.
And it was over a cup of the wondrous, throat soothing liquid that he received orders to appear in front of the Soutaicho in the form of a Hell Butterfly.
With a sigh the taicho set his half finished cup down next to the silver picture frame that adorned his desk. He pulled on his haori that he'd tossed onto the back of his chair as he slipped from the otherwise empty room. He then ducked into the next room down the hall, sighing as he did at what he saw.
With a vicious poke to the ribs Matsumoto woke with a start, springing awake from her place on a spare couch she'd somehow managed to -not so- secretly sneak in a few months prior.
"I've been called for a meeting; you're in charge while I'm gone."
"Y-yes taicho," she yawned as she settled back into her spot.
"Matsumoto," he growled as he poked her again. "Matsumoto!"
The woman continued to ignore him much to the young Shinigami's ire. He growled as he grabbed her ankle and gave it a sharp tug, sending her cascading to the floor with a yelp.
"Get in there now," he snapped. "You're still in trouble!"
His lieutenant nodded reluctantly as she stood, brushing off her robes as she did.
It'd been a little over year since what the Tenth Division now referred to as the 'Kuchiki Incident'. It was taboo to speak of, but word had spread behind gossiping hands and in bars over sake during the late summer nights, until it seemed that everyone knew of it. And those few who didn't were doomed to forever live in the dark on the matter.
It was the stuff of legends…the kind of legends that would get you a one way trip to the fourth division if spoken about within hearing range of any sixth division officer, but a legend none the less.
Matsumoto was single-handedly responsible for the break down in not only cooperation, but long standing tolerance between the sixth and tenth divisions. And more that she had earned herself eternal infamy.
With one last calculating glance in the woman's direction Toshiro took off towards the first division, waving off officers along with way. He managed to spot his latest third seat from within the shuffle of people and easily caught his attention.
"I'm heading out; I'll be back soon but keep an eye on her while I'm gone."
There was no need for further explanation and the taicho slipped away before the man could manage to salute in response. He was easily the best third seat that the division had managed to get its hands on out of the last dozen. Apparently he'd grown up with a sister quite similar to Matsumoto. The previous experience was serving him well seeing as he had easily survived the past eleven months.
Hitsugaya noticed several people from within the crowd of Shinigami sending stricken glances in his direction as he left vaguely wondering what could possibly be wrong.
A man huffed as he turned to his friend, "If he gets sent on a mission we're so screwed."
The other nodded as he wiped some sweat from his brow. "I know, the forecast says we're in for another damn heat wave."
The hallway's occupant's groaned.
When Toshiro finally made it to the first division he was rather surprised to find not only the Soutaicho waiting for him but Ukitake along with Kurotsuchi.
"Is…there a problem?" he asked at the odd looks on their faces.
The room was silent for a moment before Kurotsuchi spoke up, "We've detected a disturbance."
The younger taicho nodded. "And, to be blunt, why is this of any concern to me?"
The scientist looked to the Soutaicho who nodded for him to continue.
"It's coming from England."
Toshiro's brow furrowed at the man's words
"We picked it up on the scanners a few weeks ago only to have it disappear. It's been appearing and vanishing rapidly sense then to a point where we couldn't properly pinpoint its location. However, late last night we were able to verify its position."
The white faced Shinigami looked down at a computer print out clutched in his hand.
"A place called Little Whinging, Surrey," he said as he grumbled at the foreign names.
Hitsugaya tensed, the words seeming to ring a bell in his head.
Ukitake seemed to pick up on this as he stared down at the smaller Shinigami. "Do you know of it?"
"I'm…unsure," the boy muttered.
"Speak up Hitsugaya-kun," the Soutaicho said, finally saying something.
"I believe," he started hesitantly "that I may know what the source of the disturbance is. There is a living wizard who resides in that town; it could possibly be the ma—
"Don't tell me you're actually considering that magic is the source of the ping," Mayuri practically spat.
"It blocked all transmissions from Hogwarts. If it were localized in a smaller area such as a single household or neighbourhood— the size of a single human in fact; the computers wouldn't be able to track the blank as easily from this distance. It would appear erratic would it not?" he challenged.
"And with the magical particles in the air fluctuating because the subject is around normal humans, the computers would only be further impaired!"
Kurotsuchi twitched before turning to the Soutaicho, the heated red of his face almost shining through his makeup.
"You're not going to believe this drivel are you?! The pure disrespect in his tone! My computers are perfect!"
Yamamoto stared at the flustered man. "Calm yourself Mayuri. Hitsugaya-kun knows more about this magic that has sprung up in the West than those who have simply read his reports."
When the scientist looked to only be further enraged he continued, "That is not to say that your own research into the subject hasn't been substantial. But first hand experience is always better don't you agree?"
And the man grudgingly did, glaring all the while at the smaller taicho.
Ukitake gave the boy an encouraging smile. "Well, just what do you think to be the cause of this disturbance?"
Hitsugaya thought it over for a moment before nodding.
"I believe it to be a boy; teenager rather. By the name of Harry Potter."
It's been a bad week. I'm so glad it's finally over. Anyway, a new story. Clichés will be spat upon with extreme prejudice, and romance shall be tossed to the curb. Because let's face it, if I write romance, you'll cry, I'll cry, we'll all cry over its absolute horridness. Thanks for reading and please don't forget to review!