Reign of Ice
Chapter Six: Taking Care of Business
Two weeks later.
"So," said Augusta Longbottom, looking towards the Hogwarts teaching staff at the other end of the table, "Are the new students settling in well?"
Dumbledore did not respond, so McGonagall took over; "We have had no incidents involving the first-years so far, but there are some who stand out above the others."
Augusta looked curious, "Like who?"
McGonagall smiled, "Since the two biggest examples are in Ravenclaw House, I will defer to my colleague in charge of that house. Filius?"
Flitwick sat up on the pile of cushions that allowed him to see over the table edge, "Two of my first years, Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Hermione Granger, are already stirring up the school after two weeks. They're top of their class in absolutely everything."
Sprout and McGonagall nodded their assent, McGonagall choosing to deliver her own opinion, "Tōshirō in particular; he has everything. He's extremely powerful for his age and has the talent and the intelligence to use that power to its maximum potential."
Flitwick nodded, "On his first day in my class, he performed a Hover Charm and not only managed it on his first try, but accidentally overpowered the spell so much that the feather hit the ceiling. Immediately afterwards he started asking about learning methods to better control how much magic he put into his spells. Normally it's only fully-grown wizards who practice limiting how much magic they want to use."
As Filius stopped talking, Sprout took up the conversation, "Tōshirō is a very talented pupil and, while unrelated to the topic at hand, he is also very calm under pressure. He was attacked by a strand of Venomous Tentacula while working, and instead of screaming and panicking as most students are prone to do, he instead pulled himself free and pinned the strand to the wall of the greenhouse with some kind of ice needles he created out of nowhere."
There was a startled murmur amount the governors; being able to use magic to create things such as ice was rare, even among the most powerful sorcerers in history. To have an eleven-year-old boy capable of it was unheard of.
"Severus," said Lucius Malfoy from the other side of the table, "What say you about this Hitsugaya boy?"
Snape considered the ceiling for a minute before replying, "Tōshirō Hitsugaya is a rare breed of student. I gave him the instructions for the boil-removing potion we were studying and he not only created a perfect potion, but then proceeded to help the entire class with their potions as well, all except one Zacharias Smith who, I must admit, rather brought the lack of aid upon himself. By the end of the class, all but Mr Smith had almost perfect potions with the exception of the aforementioned Miss Granger, who had a potion of the same quality as Mr Hitsugaya's."
Lucius nodded, displeased that his old friend seemed to be in a praiseworthy mood (as unlikely as that seemed). Snape continued, "I also quizzed the class on some questions at the start, including a number of questions that would normally only asked of higher years. I use this method to isolate potential prodigies or particularly skilled or well-read students in the class. Mr Hitsugaya got all the questions right, even the one question I threw at him that normally only OWL-level students would know the answer to. I rarely say this because of the poor quality of students I usually have in my class, but Mr Hitsugaya is perhaps a prodigy in the Potions field."
"Comparable with yourself, Severus?" asked the oldest member of the board of governors and patriarch of the Greengrass clan, Zachariah Greengrass.
Snape nodded, "With the proper assistance, Tōshirō Hitsugaya may end up the greatest Potions master in Britain, even better than myself."
There was a startled murmur from everybody in the room. Considering Snape's track record with students since he had been appointed to the post of Potions teacher, that was high praise.
"Anything else you can tell us about this boy?" asked Abraham Davis curiously. The more he knew about the boy the more likely it was he could possibly get a marriage contract between him and his granddaughter Tracy.
Flitwick smiled, "I would ask your grandson Roger, the next time you see him. As he's in my house he probably knows more about Tōshirō's movements than I do; having been present when Tōshirō stirred up my house."
Davis nodded as Lucius said, "Yet he is still from another country? Maybe I should meet with him to broker a treaty of some kind?"
McGonagall snorted, "That would be unlikely to succeed at best. Tōshirō Hitsugaya has already shown that he is not one to suffer fools, bigots or those who think themselves better than him. He may be a first-year, but I assure you that those who annoy him only do so once."
Lucius scowled, but nodded.
"Anyway," said Dumbledore, speaking for the first time, "Shall we discuss anything else, or wax eloquent about our latest prodigy's skills all day?"
The governors nodded, before moving onto other matters.
Hermione and Padma were leaning over Tōshirō, who was sleeping in a chair by the fire, "Should we wake him?"
The silver-haired boy tossed and turned in the chair, his eyes shifting restlessly beneath their lids as Hermione nodded, "I guess so. He doesn't look like he's having a good dream…"
Tōshirō suddenly shot upright with a gasp, looking around wildly before calming down again, "Hey Hermione."
"Are you alright, Tōshirō?"
Tōshirō grinned, scratching his head, "Oh, I'm fine. Just a bad dream."
Hermione frowned, "Are you sure you're okay?"
Tōshirō laughed, "It was just a dream, Hermione. No real importance there."
The brunette scrutinized him for a moment but finally shook her head. "So," said Tōshirō, standing up and stretching, "What are we doing now?"
Hermione produced a notebook from her robes and leafed through it, "Let's see… we met with Fred and George Weasley, Susan Bones and Hannah Abbott the week before last…"
Tōshirō snickered as he rolled his shoulders to work some feeling back into the stiff muscles there. Those particular meetings had been most enlightening.
"So," said one of the identical redheads sitting across from Tōshirō in an empty classroom Flitwick had allowed them to use, "What did you get us over here for, Mister Hitsugaya?"
Tōshirō chuckled as he idly caressed the top of Hyōrinmaru's head where the ice dragon was curled up in front of him, "I believe that you two may have qualities that I'm looking for. You seem more intelligent than most of your house aside from Aaron; an almost Slytherin-esque cunning, if you will."
One of the redheads looked at his brother, "I think he just insulted us, Fred."
Fred nodded, "I concur, brother."
Tōshirō smirked, "In fact, you two could be said to be even more Slytherin than most Slytherins I've seen so far. After all, Gryffindors are supposed to be direct and unsubtle. Who'd expect cunning from them, when you have another house famed for their cunning?"
George grinned, "I see you hit the nail on the head, Mr Hitsugaya."
"Please," said Tōshirō, "Call me Tōshirō." He sat upright in his chair, "The fact is, I'm somewhat disappointed. Elsewhere in the world, the magical community has more or less caught up with the Muggles. Here, however…"
Fred nodded, "Right. So… what does this have to do with us?"
"My aim is to bring this country into the current century, whether it wants to go or not. As such I need people like you to help, because as unique as I am, I cannot accomplish this alone."
"What can we do to help?" asked George.
"I need you two to act as my representatives in your house. Aaron is only a first year; I need older students to back me as well so that I can win over the houses."
"Then why not appeal to our older brother Percy? Granted he's a prat but he is a prefect which means he has more sway."
"That may be so, but I met him last week and he's a little too rule-oriented. I'll still appeal to him but I doubt he'll get on board because with what I'm planning I may end up breaking a few laws by the time I'm done." He stood up, "So, are you two in?"
The twins huddled for a second before nodding, "We're in."
Tōshirō chuckled, "Yeah, those two were very interesting."
"Hmm," Hermione muttered as she made a note on her pad, "So the interview with the Weasley twins went well… what about the other one with Susan Bones and Hannah Abbott?"
Tōshirō frowned, "They were both fine with the idea, though Susan said she was going to hold off on committing herself until she could get some advice from her aunt. Considering her aunt is the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, getting her on our side would give us quite the advantage."
Hermione nodded and made another note, "Okay. Have we checked how the gossip group is doing?"
Tōshirō shook his head and stood up, "Not that I recall. Give me a few minutes."
Cho Chang and her friends were poring over a thick ledger when Tōshirō approached, "Hello ladies, any news?"
Cho brushed a strand of her long black hair out of her eyes before shaking her head, "The gossip mill hasn't yielded very much so far; mostly of the "Student A snogged Student B in Broom Closet C" variety. We try to verify everything we can and if we find something important that we can easily verify, we enter it into this ledger;" she gave the volume in question a significant look, "It's usually bragging or vicious gossip though; nothing really ground-shaking yet."
Tōshirō shrugged, "Don't get discouraged. You'll probably find something eventually."
The girls nodded and resumed talking as Tōshirō walked back to Hermione and Padma. Hermione consulted her notepad as he sat down, "How did it go?"
"Little of any use so far, but it's still early days so I encouraged them to keep looking."
Hermione nodded, "It looks like we've dealt with the outstanding tasks for the moment. Unless you think we've missed anything?"
Tōshirō was about to reply when the entrance to the common room opened and Aaron entered, accompanied by a lanky redhead.
"Hey Aaron!" said Tōshirō with a grin, "What are you doing here?"
Aaron grinned back, "This is Ron; he's in my dormitory. He needs help with his homework."
Tōshirō waved them over, "Sure, I remember him. Come on over."
The two walked over and sat down. Tōshirō smiled "So, what are you stuck on?"
Ron swallowed, "Well… all of it."
Tōshirō immediately began explaining, but Ron interrupted, "Can't I just copy yours?"
Tōshirō's eyebrow went up, "You should try to do your own work; you can't learn just from copying."
Ron shrugged, "So?"
The silver-haired Ravenclaw sighed, "So you won't be able to get a well-paid job if you don't learn."
"I'm going to be a professional Quidditch play! I don't need to know Potions for that!"
Padma spoke up, "What if you get hurt and can't play anymore? What will you do then?"
Ron scowled at her, "Are you saying I'm not good enough at Quidditch to avoid getting injured?"
Padma looked confused, "No, of course not."
"Then don't butt in on conversations that have nothing to do with you!" Ron said rudely before turning back to Tōshirō, "So, can I copy your homework?"
Tōshirō's eyes narrowed, "I think you had better leave."
Ron's ears went red, "Why should I?"
"Because if you don't, I'll call our Head of House. I'm sure at least one portrait in here would be kind enough to fetch him."
Ron scowled, but got up and left, slamming the door behind him. Tōshirō stood up as Aaron spoke, "I didn't…"
"It's okay," said Tōshirō, "You couldn't have known," he turned and headed for the stairs, "Night folks."
Tōshirō turned from his breakfast to find Percy Weasley standing behind him looking cross, "Can I help you, Prefect-san?"
Percy scowled, "My brother Ron says you tried to sabotage his homework while he was working in the library!"
Tōshirō laughed, "Prefect-san, there's a slight difference between sabotaging him and refusing to allow him to copy my homework because he can't be bothered to do it himself."
Percy looked momentarily taken aback, "What?"
Tōshirō twisted fully in his seat to look at the Prefect, "Your brother came to the common room last night in Aaron's company…"
The staff-wielding first year grinned and raised a hand from where he sat opposite with Maia, "Yo,"
"…after telling him that he needed help with his homework. When he arrived however, he immediately asked if he could simply copy my homework. After I refused and tried to explain that he'd never get a good job if he didn't put in the effort, he proceeded to ignore me and then insult one of my friends when she put her own two Knuts into the conversation. I had to threaten to get our Head of House before he would leave."
"He's telling the truth, Percy," said Tim Halligan, the current male Ravenclaw prefect, "Your brother was completely out of order. As for the accusation that this took place in the library, I hardly believe that Madame Pince would willingly permit such an altercation to occur within her library; we all know that she breathes down everybody's necks in there."
Percy nodded calmly, and then walked back to his own table. The occupants of the Ravenclaw table watched carefully as Percy approached his youngest brother, caught him tightly by the ear and towed him from the Great Hall as he struggled to get free. "Thanks," Tōshirō remarked to Halligan as the prefect sat back down.
Halligan shrugged, "No problem." He suddenly stopped and looked over Tōshirō's head, "Headmaster?"
Tōshirō turned in his seat to see Dumbledore standing behind him with that same twinkly-eyed grandfather look he always wore when looking at him, "Yes, headmaster?"
Dumbledore smiled, "Harry, I would like you to- Harry?"
Tōshirō turned back to his breakfast, "Sorry, the name's Tōshirō not Harry. I don't know anybody called Harry."
Dumbledore frowned, "I would like you to come with me, Mr Hitsugaya."
"Well, it would appear there has been a disturbance involving yourself and Mr Ronald Weasley. I have heard his story from a portrait in the Gryffindor common room, and I would like you to come with me to my office so that suitable punishments can be-…"
Halligan stood up; Penelope off to Tōshirō's right rising as well. "Headmaster," the female prefect said, "Both Halligan and myself were in the Ravenclaw common room at the time of the incident, we can both bear witness to the proper version of events."
"Yes," said Halligan stubbornly, a slight hint of an Irish brogue entering his tense voice, "and if you got this information from Mr Weasley through a portrait in the Gryffindor common room, might it not have been wise to consult a portrait hanging in the Ravenclaw common room as well to make sure that all the facts are in before you punish people?"
Dumbledore looked at both, "I of course know that both of you are friends with Mr Hitsugaya and therefore would easily support him, as would the rest of your house. As such I cannot trust that your version of events is not biased in his favour while I am looking for the truth of this matter…"
"This isn't even an attempt at finding the truth," Tōshirō said curtly, Hyōrinmaru on his shoulder hissing angrily, "Halligan-san offered you a perfectly reasonable suggestion for finding the truth and you completely ignored him."
Dumbledore's eyes flashed as he looked down at the boy standing in front of him, "I am Headmaster in this school, Mr Hitsugaya. You will therefore treat me with respect."
"Maybe you should try earning that respect by looking for the truth rather than jumping to conclusions, sir." Tōshirō responded coldly, before dropping his fork back onto his plate and walking out of the hall.
"Tōshirō, what was that back there? You got really mad at Professor Dumbledore!"
Tōshirō opened his eyes and raised his head. He was sitting beside the lake, having just been working on one of the control exercises Flitwick had told him about, "Hmm?"
"Don't you hmm me!" said Hermione indignantly, "What was that about?"
Tōshirō lay back in the grass, slipping his hands behind his head. Hyōrinmaru slithered down to his side, the dragon's sinuous body curling up beside the sword lying at Tōshirō's right hand. "I said it back there. Respect should be earned, not given. That's why I respect the teachers but not him; because they've earned my respect for being good at what they do while he just expects it."
His friends stayed quiet for a few minutes before Aaron sighed and lay down in the grass beside Tōshirō, "So, what do we still need to do?"
Tōshirō grinned, "Just wait and see. But I'm calling a house meeting tonight to discuss something."
Hermione frowned, "Mind if I don't come? I'm a little tired."
Tōshirō smiled, "That's fine. You'll find out what we want to do with this House meeting soon." Without explaining his statement he set off back towards the school.
That evening, after Hermione had gone to bed, Tōshirō looked towards Penelope, "Mind putting up a silencing charm?"
Penelope nodded and cast a silencing charm towards the stairs to the girls' dormitory. Tōshirō waited until she nodded in his direction and then stood up, "Okay folks, I need to make an announcement. Hermione's birthday is in four days, and I want to do something very special for her because she's been putting so much effort into her work lately."
Halligan stood up, "So what do you want to do?"
Tōshirō chuckled, "Set up a little… surprise."
He turned his armchair towards the middle of the room, "So, planning?"
Five days later.
Hermione woke up to find that Lily, Lisa and Padma had already woken up and gone downstairs. In silence she washed and dressed before slowly walking down the stairs. Her birthday had been two days previously, and none of her friends had said a word about it to her all through that day's lessons.
It was complete darkness in the common room. Somebody had doused the fire and all the torches, and heavy drapes blocked all light from the windows. As she took a step into the room, the lights suddenly flared and a multitude of voices bellowed, "SURPRISE!"
Hermione jumped before looking around. The room was festooned with party decorations, a banner hung across the middle emblazoned with the words HAPPY BIRTHDAY HERMIONE; a long table was covered in food and Ravenclaws filled the available floor space as they all grinned at her.
Tōshirō stepped forwards out of the throng, "Happy late birthday, Hermione!"
Hermione blinked, "This is what you were planning?"
Tōshirō grinned, "Of course! I figured that you'd been putting so much effort into your work lately that you deserved a reward! We'd have had it earlier but with lessons and all…" He stepped to one side, revealing a table with a pile of presents, "Go on; open them!"
Hermione stepped up to the table and took the first present from the pile. Deftly undoing the paper, she found herself holding a series of books with such titles as The Definitive Anthology of Enchantment or Obscure Texts on the Nuances of Transfiguration.
"Thank you!" Hermione said happily to Padma, who stood nearby with a girl who could only be her twin sister Parvati.
Padma smiled, "No problem Hermione."
Hermione put the books aside and picked up a small, thin package. Opening it, she found herself holding what appeared to be a pair of ornamental chopsticks.
"They're to go in your hair," explained Maia, "Pass them here." Hermione did so, and the blonde girl quickly pulled Hermione's long brown tresses up into a bun and fixed it in place with the sticks.
"Very nice," Tōshirō commented idly, causing the brunette to blush as she inspected her reflection in a small mirror that Lavender Brown had suddenly provided from nowhere, "You look very nice Hermione."
"Thank you, Tōshirō," she replied as she leaned over and picked up an envelope. Opening it, a confused look crossed her face before she looked up at Lavender, "What are these?"
Lavender beamed happily, "Beauty coupons! Also a voucher which will get you a free makeover from me!"
Maia looked thoughtful, "Mind if I step in to help?"
Hermione smiled, "Thank you, Lavender."
She put the coupons down and turned back to her presents, picking one up off the top. "That's ours!" said Fred from nearby.
"Hermione," said Penelope, "Be careful. Knowing those two it's a prank of some kind."
Hermione nodded and tore off the wrapping paper, only to blink and hold up the book inside, "I wouldn't have expected you two to know about this…"
Tōshirō read the title; The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
George chuckled, "Hey, we may be Wizard-raised but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate Muggle literature!"
Tōshirō removed the item from Hermione's hands and gave it to Fred, "Flick through every page. If you've trapped it or something I want you two to be the ones it hits."
Lavender leaned over to whisper into Hermione's ear, "Isn't he cute when he's being all protective like this?" Hermione blushed.
Fred obediently leafed through the book and handed it back to Tōshirō, who accepted it and turned to hand it back to Hermione.
There was a loud splat, and Tōshirō went rigid as cream sprayed all over his face from the back of the book. Fred and George burst out laughing, followed by the rest of the room.
"Time-delayed cream charm," explained Fred through tears of laughter.
"The funny thing is…" George took up the monologue.
"…if you hadn't…"
"…handed us the book…"
"…have activated the charm…"
"…which just nailed you!"
Tōshirō scowled, but finally laughed and turned towards Penelope, who cleaned his face.
Hermione turned back to the table, chuckling to herself, just in time to see that Aaron was holding out a scroll to her, "Here, this is for you."
Hermione's eyes went wide, "Is this…?"
Aaron's unspoken reply said it all; Hermione took the scroll and deftly unrolled it. A look of confusion crossed her face, "This isn't mine; this is- Tōshirō! You're descended from Aragorn and Arwen!"
Tōshirō blinked. He had finished Return of the King only earlier that week, and most certainly hadn't been expecting such a spectacular link in his past. He took the scroll from Hermione and scanned it. Sure enough, near the bottom it had his name, and at the top it had the names ARAGORN and ARWEN.
"Huh, go figure," he murmured.
Aaron pulled another scroll from his pocket and handed it to Hermione, who unrolled it and examined it. Her jaw dropped, "Eowyn… and Faramir?"
Aaron chuckled. "Hey," Tōshirō suddenly turned to Maia, "Does this mean I get to call you cousin?"
The blonde girl gave him a sardonic glare, "Call me cousin just once and I'm going to punch you."
"Anyway," said Aaron pointedly, cutting off the impending argument, "I think Tōshirō still needs to give you a present, Hermione."
Tōshirō jumped up, "That's right!" He walked around to the other side of the table and bent down to look underneath, coming up a second later with a glass vase full of water. "Watch this," he instructed before raising a hand, holding it over the vase and closing his eyes.
There was a pause in which nothing seemed to be happening, but then Hermione noticed that the water in the vase was freezing, ice crystals creeping slowly through the clear liquid. The water level began to rise as the ice expanded, though the vase never cracked. As the ice reached halfway up the neck of the vase, it suddenly erupted, sprouting upwards into long shafts of ice which curved elegantly out of the vase. Tōshirō stopped and inspected the shafts briefly before resuming his work.
The shafts bulged at the tips, swelling and thickening until they resembled buds before splitting, peeling back and revealing a plethora of different flowers, all meticulously cast out of the solid ice.
He picked up the vase, examined the flowers for a brief second and then held out the item to Hermione, "Happy birthday."
Hermione's eyes welled with tears as she held the vase of ice flowers, before she set it on the table again and flung her arms around his neck, pulling him into a close embrace, "Thanks, Tōshirō!"
The girls in the crowd all "aww"-ed, while the guys snickered and muttered comments about Tōshirō being a sissy.
The two broke apart and Tōshirō caught her hand, "Come on, eat!" He pulled her over to the table, where there lay a large cake. Royal blue icing was laid out into a loopy twelve.
"Who made the cake again?" Aaron asked Maia.
"Fred and George got it from the kitchens…" Tōshirō said, and then whirled on the duo, "If you've pranked this cake as well, I will kill you both."
Fred looked offended, "Why, Tōshirō,"
George took over, "How can you accuse us…"
"…of such a terrible crime? We should…"
"…just leave now-ack!"
Tōshirō produced a tennis ball from nowhere and bounced it off his forehead, "Oh be quiet and watch."
Hermione stepped up close to the cake as the students began to sing Happy Birthday, and when she blew out the candles everyone applauded.
It took a few duplicating charms to make sure there was enough cake for everyone to have a slice, but eventually they succeeded everybody dug into the food.
A few games broke out as the party went on, both magical and mundane, and Tōshirō took the time to explain poker before acquiescing to Aaron's begging him to give everyone else a chance and not play. Instead he played a few rounds of Exploding Snap, leading to general hilarity when his fifth consecutive victory resulted in him having to ask around the seventh-years in the hopes of finding one skilled with re-growing eyebrows.
As the party began to wind down and Professor Flitwick came to escort the non-Ravenclaws back to their dormitories, Hermione turned to Tōshirō, "Thank you, Tōshirō. This has been the best birthday ever."
Her silver-haired friend grinned, "Then you should thank everyone else as well. They did most of the work."
Hermione stood up and cleared her throat for attention, "Um, hello. I'd like to thank everyone for setting this up just for me…"
"Blame him!" yelled Halligan, pointing at Tōshirō as everyone laughed, "Him and his silver tongue to go with his hair!"
Hermione turned back to Tōshirō, who was sticking the aforementioned tongue out at Halligan before pulling it back and giving her an unrepentant grin from his seat. Hermione smiled, "Yes, I know he was the mastermind behind it. But what I'd like to say is thank you to everyone because even though I know Tōshirō probably would have done the entire thing himself had you all refused to help, the fact remains that you did help and for that I'm grateful. Thank you for making this one of the best birthdays of my life."
There was a room-wide cheer, before Flitwick squeaked from his spot next to the door, "A touching speech, Miss Granger… but I'm afraid that I must remove some of your friends before curfew."
Aaron, Maia, Fred, George, Lavender and Parvati all got up and said their goodbyes before filing out of the entrance. Hermione suddenly yawned and Tōshirō switched to the "mother hen" mode he vehemently denied possessing to anyone within earshot when it kicked in, "You must be tired, you should go to bed."
Hermione smiled, "Of course. Goodnight." She stood up, but stumbled and almost fell. Tōshirō caught her just in time and quickly dispatched her into the capable hands of Lisa Turpin and Lily Moon, who grinned and began to half-drag half-carry Hermione up the stairs. Behind them, the rest of the students began moving, clearing up the debris from the party and beginning to meander upstairs, stuffed with food.
September drew to a close as October arrived, and the temperature outside began dropping slowly as the days went by. Tōshirō and Hermione were still ruthlessly holding the place of top of their year by a wide margin and it was becoming common knowledge among the other three houses that the duo were not going to let up.
It was as they were leaving Transfiguration one morning about a week before the end of October that Tōshirō turned to Hermione, "Hermione, what's Halloween?"
Hermione looked confused for a moment before she laughed, "Oh yes, you wouldn't know what Halloween is growing up in Japan…" She launched into a long explanation of the event.
Tōshirō listened attentively for a few minutes, but suddenly started and interrupted her, "October 31st? Did you just say October 31st?"
At Hermione's nod he groaned, "No… he had to know. He had to know, there's no way he didn't…"
"What? What is it?"
Tōshirō shook his head, "I'll be back later. Tell Flitwick I'll be a little late, I need to talk to the Headmaster." Without waiting for her reply he dashed off.
"Headmaster, we need to talk."
Dumbledore turned around to see Tōshirō Hitsugaya standing in the observatory behind his desk, "How did you get in here?"
"Gargoyle wouldn't let me in the front so I jumped out of a window and climbed up here," Tōshirō replied sardonically as he descended the stairs to stand in front of Dumbledore's desk, "It wasn't that hard. Anyway, I need to talk to you."
Dumbledore sat back in his chair, "About what, Harry?"
Tōshirō pointedly ignored the name as he continued, "This Halloween. The Hollows will be extremely active during Halloween, for at least a week either side. I want to call Soul Society and get a team out here to help me."
Dumbledore shook his head, "Absolutely not."
"What?" Tōshirō said, startled, "Headmaster, I don't think you understand. Hollows are coming in force. There will be thousands of them and they will overcome the barriers around the school. It will be a feeding frenzy on a massive scale once they get inside, and I'm the only person who can stop them."
"I'm sure you're simply exaggerating, Harry."
Tōshirō scowled, "Interesting fact, Headmaster; sometimes the younger generation may know better." He turned and walked to the door, stopping in the doorway, "And just so you know; should any students get badly hurt I will hold you personally responsible." He stepped out, slamming the door behind him.
Tōshirō stepped out of the staircase and flipped his Denreishinki open in mid-stride, "Akon, I've got a problem. I need you to- Akon? Akon?"
The phone was silent. "Kuso!" he swore, "I'm being blocked again!"
He continued to vent his spleen in Japanese at the phone for a full minute before sighing and walking off, "Fine, guess I'll have to go to Plan B…"
"Sorry I'm late, Flitwick-sensei…" Tōshirō said as he slipped into the Charms class and quickly moved over to the empty seat next to Hermione.
"Miss Granger told me where you were, don't worry," squeaked the tiny Charms master before turning back to the board.
"What's the matter?" Hermione whispered, "You look angry."
"I wanted to get some of my colleagues over here to help with the Hollows on Halloween week, but the Headmaster refused. What's worse is my phone won't go through so I can't even check in."
"That's not good…"
"No, it isn't. What's worse is I know there will be too many for me to fight off alone. I only have one real option."
"And what's that?"
"Teach you, Aaron, Maia and Padma a few basic Kidō. With luck you might be able to at least slow them down or hold them back enough for me to wind up a few powerful Kidō."
Hermione's eyes were wide, "But didn't you say you needed permission from them to do that?"
Tōshirō shook his head, "Given the alternative they'll understand. If I don't do this, a lot of students will get badly hurt or killed."
Hermione looked stunned, but nodded, "Okay… now let's pay attention."
Tōshirō nodded and the two of them looked back at Flitwick.
"So what did you need, Tōshirō?" asked Aaron.
Tōshirō scowled, "Our Headmaster decided it'd be a fantastic idea to turn down my request to bring some of my colleagues from Japan here to help hold down an incursion of magical leeches that are drawn to large amounts of magical power."
Three stumped faces looked back at him. The Shinigami ran a hand through his silver hair and sighed, "Okay, in Japan we are taught about a breed of magical leeches we call Hollows. They feed off magic and can seriously injure or kill people, so we are taught to exorcize them. I know that a large number will come here on Halloween; they're bound to; but Dumbledore refused to let me call in backup. As such I need to teach you some of the magic we use in Japan so you can help me."
Padma opened her mouth but Tōshirō cut her off, "Yes, I know I said I needed to get authorization from the school to teach you, but the problem is that I can't contact them to ask. My phone is being blocked. Given the circumstances they will most likely understand, but I must impress upon all of you that this is not something I'm doing lightly."
As they each nodded, Tōshirō stepped over to the board and quickly located some chalk. "This type of magic is known generally as Kidō, which is Japanese for "demon way" or "spirit way"." He sketched the kanji on the board, the romaji underneath and the English meaning under that.
"There are three distinct branches to Kidō; Hadō, the "Way of Destruction", which is combat spells such as Byakurai and Shakkahō…" Again he sketched the kanji, romaji and English meaning on the board.
"…then there is Bakudō, the "Way of Binding", which allows the user to restrain or immobilize their target by spells such as Sai and Hainawa. This branch also covers seals and barriers too." The soft scratching noise of the chalk filled the silence before he turned back.
"And finally we have the most general branch; healing spells. I am accomplished with these myself. They are quite different from Hadō and Bakudō for reasons I will cover in a minute, but for the moment this is enough. Any questions?"
At their silence he smiled, "Excellent. Now, all Hadō and Bakudō require an incantation before they can be cast, though with sufficient practice in the art you may dispense with the incantation at the cost of the spell being much weaker than it would be with the incantation. For the moment however I will have you perform with the incantation."
"What are we learning first then?" asked Aaron.
"Bakudō no Ichi: Sai and Hadō no Ichi: Shō. There are no incantations given these are the two weakest Kidō spells. Kindly begin practicing now."
The others nodded and split up to work. They had stuff to do.
(A/N: This is shorter than it should be, but I can't help it. I've been so long without an update that I couldn't leave it not updated when I had the chapter basically all written.
Now, speaking of updates, I must first apologize. A combination of extreme writer's block, college, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and an overpopulation of plot bunnies have taken up a great deal of my time.
Specifics may be called for. Jutsu and Maelstrom have very little in the way of material at the moment, and Sage I have yet to commence writing. Hopefully with this out of the way it might happen a bit sooner however, so keep an eye out. I have not forsaken you, dear readers! Leonineus, OUT!)