I hope you guys enjoy the story, and you can check on my profile page for updates about how far I am into the next chapter.
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The Great Hall was quiet during lunchtime. Rather eerily quiet, without the chatter of students, the shrill voices of teachers reprimanding students, and sloshing of pumpkin juice. Only the clinking of silverware could be heard as Albus Dumbledore sighed.
It was only the day after the Hogwarts Express had taken the students back for the summer, and already Albus was missing the hustle and bustle of the school in session. The house tables had been pushed together to the wall, awaiting the yearly polishing of wood by the house elves. A small, circular table seating about 10 was where the staff was taking their lunch. At the moment, only a couple of them were there – Sibyl, Minerva, Severus, Hagrid, and Filius.
Much of the staff had gone to visit family, or was off on trips, like Pomona, who was acquiring new flutterby bushes and puffapod seeds. Hogwarts seemed empty, calm, and relaxed. However, looks can be deceiving.
Even though it was the summer holiday, the headmaster still had much on his mind. Actually, this particular summer, he would have much more to do than normal. There was a tension in the air, between the staff, that even the lazy hot summer sun could not dissipate.
The Dark Lord had risen. He had been restored to his body. In a bizarre series of events, Cedric Diggory and Harry Potter had been transported by the Triwizard Cup straight to Voldemort's lair. Cedric was killed, and Harry's blood had been used in a twisted dark ritual which restored Voldemort to his body. No longer was Voldemort a spirit, a ghost of the past – now, substantial flesh and bone held his soul, which would enable him to start back up from when the war had ended little more than a decade ago. And, with Harry's blood flowing through his veins, Voldemort could hunt down Harry without fear of Lily's blood protection.
The Order of the Phoenix was having its first meeting in 15 years tomorrow. It brought back memories Albus did not care to delve into again. There had been so much sorrow and darkness that the Wizarding world had suffered through the first time around, and it was about to start all over again.
Albus sighed again, as he took a lemon custard tart. Suddenly, he longed for the summers which had only been occupied by fixing up the castle, conversing with friends and trying out new Muggle candies.
"Is something wrong, Albus?" said Minerva, pausing her conversation with Filius about the difference between jinxes and hexes.
"No, nothing, just merely wishing that I had one of those delightful Mars Bars. I must say, Muggles really have the best tasting sweets," replied Albus with a crinkled smile.
Minerva raised an eyebrow, but said nothing further.
Lunch continued quietly, with occasional murmurs of conversation. Suddenly, a loud clattering interrupted Filius in mid-sentence. Sibyll Trelawney slumped back into her seat, and then her entire body jerked forward. Her eyes were glazed over, and she looked towards the sky.
Shocked, the staff members stood and reached toward her, but Albus motioned for them to stop.
In a guttural, harsh tones, Sibyll Trelawney spoke.
"THE SHIKON MIKO, RETURNED TO THIS WORLD AS THE DARK LORD WAS RESTORED… THE MAGIC SHE HOLDS WITHIN CAN PURIFY THE DARKNESS… AND WITHOUT TIME, THE SPIRIT'S TIES TO THIS WORLD WILL BE SEVERED AS SHE LIES WITHIN MORTAL PERIL, AS THE BETRAYER BREAKS THE WEAVER'S WEB. THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE LORD MUST SEEK THE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT…HE AND THE DARK LORD SHALL DEAL EACH OTHER THE FINAL BLOW… SHIKON MIKO HAS RETURNED. BUT IF SHE IS TAINTED, THE DARKNESS WILL REIGN. "
Sibyll slumped back into her chair. There was a shocked silence.
Severus looked alarmed. Hagrid looked concerned. Minerva's mouth was open in a small 'o'. Filius… Well, Filius Flitwick's expression was one of pure disbelief and astonishment.
Albus sighed tiredly.
Another prophecy? Really?
"Yes, Minerva, that would be a true prophecy. Hagrid, would you help Sibyll up to the hospital wing? I think she's fainted. Filius and Minerva, would you two mind coming up to my office after lunch?" The two nodded mutely.
"And please, it would be of utmost importance that none of you mention this to anyone." Around the table, heads nodded as they gave their consent.
Albus rubbed his head. It looked like things were about to become a lot more complicated.
Inuyasha ran through the forest, Kagome on his back. The wind blew Inuyasha's hair, and Kagome sneezed as it tickled her nose. Shippo clung to her shoulder. Kirara flew beside them, as Miroku and Sango sat atop of her.
"Monk," Sango growled, "Watch where your hands are." She dexterously maneuvered herself, and perching precariously on the fire cat demon, she took aim. Kagome rolled her eyes as the sound of palm meeting cheek rang out.
"When is that monk gonna learn," said Inuyasha, rolling his eyes. Kagome gave a small smile as she looked at the couple riding the fire cat. Miroku, with a palm imprinted upon his cheek, was apologizing to Sango.
They would make a great couple someday, she thought. It was obvious to everyone they were falling for each other – except maybe Sango. She could imagine it now – a cottage with an older demon slayer and a monk with graying hair, children running abound…
Oh, what I would give for that with Inuyasha, Kagome thought wistfully. As the thought of little children with puppy ears swirled in her mind, Kagome blushed. She buried her head in the billowing fire rat robe among streaming white hair.
Then, Inuyasha jumped, right off the cliff. They were flying… flying… and then falling… She heard Sango yell above them…
"Dammit!" The distance between the cliffs had been more than Inuyasha estimated. Kagome shut her eyes tight, and gripped Inuyasha's shoulders.
…and the ground rushed up to meet them, Kagome braced for the impact…falling… falling…
"Ah!" Startled, Kagome sat straight up in her bed-her modern bed, with a mattress and cotton woven blankets and a goose down pillow. Her heart thumped wildly. It had been a dream. Just a dream. Inuyasha would never overestimate how far he could jump. Would he?
A pang of pain hit her at the thought of Inuyasha.
But it was more than a dream, she thought fiercely. She had experienced moments like throughout the four years Kagome had traveled, laughed, cried, and lived with her best friends. She had known Sango, Miroku, Shippo, Kirara, and most of all, Inuyasha.
The dream had been based on real life. It had to be.
I'm not crazy.
Kagome sighed, and got up. It was a new summer day, and school had let out already. There were no evil demons to fight, no jewel shards to hunt for, and nothing to run from. She had days ahead of her, just for lazing around, hanging out with friends, and living with her family.
Her family. The one she had missed so much. In the frenzy of piecing together the jewel, saving villages and trying to defeat Naraku, Kagome had been home only three times in the last year of her travels. Each time she came back, she could see more and more gray in her mother's hair and a weakness in her grandpa's voice. Everytime, Souta had grown taller, and his voice had started to deepen a little more. There would be a stack of letters from her friends, telling her about what they were doing in college. Sometimes, there were questions. Why don't you hang out with us anymore? Did we do something wrong? I thought we were best friends!
It had broken her heart a little bit each time.
It got hard for her to hold back the tears at night at the thought of all she had missed in her family members' lives, as well as her friends'.
But it's alright now. I'm the only one who remembers.
Kagome became lost in her memories as she stared into the mirror, where a 15-year-old Kagome stared back.
In the last year, the group of travelers had faced more and more dangerous situations. Terrifying incarnations of Naraku had come after them, along with fierce, horrible demons. Entire villages had been slaughtered as warning to them. However, the group held strong. Inuyasha grew stronger, and skilled with Tessaiga. Kagome became rather adept with her bow and arrows, and her powers had increased exponentially.
Miroku grew more cunning, planning out schemes and strategies that would have had politicians in the modern world green with envy.
Sango became more and more skilled with a variety of weapons. Her boomerang, Hiraikotsu, became imbued with demonic powers with the help of an old sage. Its power increased tenfold.
Shippo, although he was quite young, learned tricks and techniques that helped with Miroku's schemes. His shape-shifting had become almost indistinguishable from the original, even being able to disguise his tail completely. However, most of the time he still hid in Kagome's backpack.
As time went on, their group grew larger and larger. Kouga and his two friends had joined the group, practically guaranteeing Inuyasha a hundred sits each day from a furious Kagome. Ayame also tagged along, chasing after Kouga. Sesshomaru eventually joined too, bringing along Rin, Ah and Un, and Jaken.
Inuyasha's fury had been almost unbearable with both Kouga and Sesshomaru in nearby vicinity everyday, until Kikyo joined the group. Her arrival often caused Inuyasha to look bewildered and confused as to how he had ever had gotten into this situation.
In the beginning, it had been tense with so many different people, but as time went on, most of them gradually grew used to one another. Sango and Ayame were friendly with each other, Miroku seemed to understand Sesshomaru's silences, and Rin took to playing with Inuyasha's hair.
And in the end, after so many years, Naraku had been defeated. After a multitude of attacks from all sides, Naraku was finally defeated.
The entire earth had shook as a crack opened in the ground, and the flames of hell pulled Naraku in.
The group was stunned that they had finally accomplished their goal. Debris, blood and guts were everywhere, on everything and everyone. Tears flowed uncontrollably, of relief, of sadness, of all that had been lost.
In the aftermath, Kagome had offered the completed Shikon Jewel to Kikyo and Inuyasha. To her surprise, both had refused, saying that Kagome alone had the right to make the wish.
And in the end, before any more demons could come to try their luck at obtaining the jewel, on impulse, Kagome had held the Jewel to her chest, closed her eyes and wished. A warmth enveloped everyone in the battleground.
To everyone's wonder, Kagome glowed with a pink light, and then everything shifted. Kikyo flew back, a silvery orb flying out of her chest straight into Kagome's. Inuyasha caught the falling undead priestess, and then to his astonishment, a beam of light flew into Kikyo, and she started to breathe. Another beam of light headed straight for the dead body of Kohaku in Sango's arms.
And all at once, rapidly, orbs of light spun into the air, streaming to everyone in the clearing. The jewel dissipated into dust, which started to rush away in the wind, but was suddenly pulled back, landing on Kagome's skin. Kagome, with her eyes still closed and hair flying everywhere, started to lift off the ground and glowed a blinding white. Wind tore furiously across the clearing, as Kagome rose higher and higher, spinning towards the heavens.
And then she had disappeared.
Oh, I wonder how many children Sango and Miroku had…
Smiling at the thought, Kagome turned away from the mirror.
Kagome quickly changed out of her pajamas and into jeans and a t-shirt, stopping for a moment to look at her hip. There was a large, crescent shaped white scar there, from where the centipede had bitten the Shikon Jewel out of there.
Her numerous scars were the one of the only ways she knew that those four years in the feudal era had been real at all. Although her body was younger, the scars were still present for some reason.
Pulling her shirt back down, she bounded into the kitchen and started to make her breakfast. The house was silent except for the sizzling. Her mom was still sleeping, Grandpa was probably in the storage house of the shrine, and Souta was at summer camp.
Four months had passed since the day when Kagome had opened her eyes after she had made her wish and appeared back in her own time...
She was standing in the clearing and making her wish, when everything disappeared, and the only thing she knew was a white light engulfing her, before drifting into unconsciousness.
Kagome woke up in the dark, against a dirt floor. For several minutes, she couldn't remember who she was, why she felt dirt in her hands, and what had happened. Her head felt dizzy when she tried to lift it, but she crawled until she felt a stone wall. By the time she managed to stand up, she remembered her name and that she was in an old well inside the shrine. Why am I in the old well? I have to get to school! I'm going to be late!
Only after had she climbed out of it did the memories of the past come flowing back. It hit her like a ton of bricks. She gasped as she realized what had happened.
Inuyasha! Miroku and Sango! Shippo!
Then, foolishly in desperation, she had jumped back into the well and sprained her ankle. She ran her hands desperately over the ground, looking for the magic that had taken her on so many adventures. Nothing. Tears sprung to her eyes, not because of the stinging pain of her ankle, but because she realized that the well was closed, for good. Silent tears leaked down her cheeks. Soon, Kagome was sobbing.
They will be happy now. So don't be so selfish, Kagome! Everyone will be happy! Kagome bit her lip, desperately trying to wipe her eyes off. She had known this would probably occur, and had prepared herself. So why did it hurt so much now?
But what about me? Don't I get to be happy? I'll never see Inuyasha again. And even though he didn't love me, I love him so much – why wasn't it enough? Why wasn't I enough? I would've done anything— and Kagome viciously pulled away from that thought as she felt the beginnings of the old aching pain in her chest.
This is worth it, she repeated to herself, over and over, throughout the tears streaming down her face. Eventually, the sobs subsided since there were no tears to cry.
She painfully hobbled up the ladder, grimacing as her ankle bit and stung. It took what seemed like days, and there were minutes where she just wanted to cry out in pain and give up. Kagome limped into her house and broke down when she saw her mother. Kagome was tired, and she knew she had just left all her friends behind in another time, for forever. Her mother had been bewildered, but stroked Kagome's hair as she rambled about how it all ended.
Then, hesitantly, when the broken dry sobs had ceased, her mother slowly asked, "Honey, I'm sorry, but who is this Inuyasha?"
Stunned, Kagome looked up, and this time, really saw her mom. And then, she stepped back, realizing something was wrong. Her mom's face; it was without the creases and wrinkles that had built up over the years, and her hair was free of the strands of gray. And then, Kagome looked down at herself. Her t-shirt and jeans had been covered in blood and guts, but now she was wearing her school uniform.
Kagome had stopped wearing her school uniform a year and a half ago, after it had been damaged beyond repair.
She ran to the bathroom, ignoring her mom's perplexed questions and the protest from her ankle.
Kagome's eyes were wide as she took in her appearance. She ran her hands through her hair that was missing the extra five inches that she had grown over the years. The bangs she had outgrown a year and a half ago. The multitudes of calluses were missing from her hand, and silvery white scars had replaced the angry red-pink ones that had marred her body. Her face was softer, more plump.
But that was impossible! She almost looked like... she was fifteen again.
"Kagome, what's wrong?" her mother's soft worried voice asked.
"What's the date?" Kagome asked, staring into the mirror, frozen with disbelief.
"Why, it's your birthday."
"And the year?" At this, her mother grew even more bewildered, but answered. And at that, Kagome sank numbly to her knees.
She had landed straight back on the day she had fallen into the well. And it seemed like those five years she had spent in the Feudal Era had never occurred at all.
Her family believed her, yes, but only after her bewildered Grandpa had dug out an old book of Japanese legends that detailed the nearly same story she told, along with, to his shock, naming the Shikon Miko as a mysterious girl by the name of Kagome. He and her mother were stunned, as the book had never contained the name in the many years that her grandpa had poured over it.
That was the only evidence of it all happening, along with her silvery-white battle scars. It was mind-blowing.
As if it all had never happened. As if it was just a long dream.
All in all, her life wasn't really different from before she had fallen into the well. The first month had been hard—no, scratch that, it was still hard for her. Her friends were concerned with her new silence and depression. Kagome threw herself into school work, in an effort to push away the pain. She had finished her school year out with top marks, something Kagome had relished, since she had to give up school when she was travel in the Feudal Era.
Taking care of the shrine, hanging out with friends, doing homework, just like any other ordinary girl. She felt as if she had lost something. Her sense of purpose was gone. Her lifelong friends, with whom she had forged bonds through tears, pain, and happiness, had been ripped away from her.
Putting together the Jewel and defeating Naraku consumed my life for five years. What do I do now?
However, it had become apparent to her, that even though the well had closed, she was still anything other than ordinary. Kagome still had her powers, and she had discovered through a random whim to practice archery that the same pink light would engulf the arrow. In fact, sometimes it seemed like her arrows flew straighter than before, and that the pink light had become more intense.
As odd as it sounded, Kagome thought that her powers had increased in the modern era.
That can't be right. Why would my powers become stronger now? There's no magic in this era. No demons. Nothing to fight against.
But there were other instances, things she had never been able to do before.
One night, she had discovered she could make little pink glowing orbs. They looked like larger, glowing shikon jewels, and floated in the air. She discovered that they were easiest to create after she had practiced her archery. Kagome had been mystified the first time she felt something warm leave her hand, and had looked up to see a floating ball of light. Eventually, giggling like a little girl, she had filled much of her room with the little lights. Kagome didn't know why she didn't tell anyone about it.
Perhaps, she was afraid that if she did, she wouldn't be able to do it anymore.
It was just her little secret, her little piece of magic from an era long gone.
Soon, another strange event occurred. She had been trying to lift a heavy box in one of the storerooms. Grandpa had asked her to help organize the shrine, and unfortunately, the job had included much lifting. Much of the muscle she had developed in the Feudal Era from fighting and running had disappeared. Unable to get the box onto the shelf above her head, she angrily dropped the box, and kicked it, childishly telling it to go get up there itself.
And then, the box slowly floated into the air, and plopped onto the shelf. Dumbfounded, she looked at all the boxes around her, and told them all to go onto their shelves, but nothing happened. Okay, well maybe I need to kick it them all first.
She tried that, and nothing happened again, except one of the 'dried tentacles of the Kraken' had snapped in half. She threw the thing in the corner, frustrated.
Maybe I need to be angry. She poured her concentration onto staring at one of the boxes, angrily willing it to get on the shelf and stomping in anger.
And as if by magic, each box hovered to just where it was suppose to go.
While eating breakfast, Kagome debated on her theories of what happened to the boxes yesterday.
Perhaps this was some sort of extension of her miko ability. Except she had never heard of mikos levitating things. Kaede and Miroku had never mentioned that mikos possessed any abilities beyond the usual incantations, purifying power, and healing ability. Perhaps it just wasn't well known. Well, whatever it was, it was useful. Kagome had spent the rest of her mornings trying to make her breakfast cook itself. It had worked pretty well until she mistimed closing the refrigerator door while levitating a carton of eggs. There had been a gooey yellow puddle all over the refrigerator.
It had taken forever to clean up, so today, she herself was cooking breakfast. The sound of footsteps came down from the stairs, and her mom came down.
"Morning Kagome! Ooh, you made breakfast," she sniffed appreciatively.
"Yeah, sit down and have some," said Kagome.
A tapping sound came from the window as Kagome poured coffee out.
"Kagome dear, I think that's an owl!" said her mom, surprised, "There's an envelope attached to its leg!"
Well, this is new, Kagome thought as she stared at the bird. She had never really seen a real owl before. It was very large, with brown and gold in its feathers, and a pure white heart-shaped face. It seemed to be waiting impatiently. There was an envelope attached to the bird.
Kagome unlatched the window curiously, and the bird hopped in, looking expectantly at Kagome.
"I don't think these live in Japan, Kagome! Look, I think it wants you to take the envelope!" The owl was sticking its leg out at Kagome, looking expectantly at the girl.
Hesitantly, wondering if this was some sort of joke, Kagome untied the letter, and to her surprise, it was addressed to her. There was no return address, just a red wax seal and an emblem with the word 'Hogwarts' on it.