A/N: Long time no see, readers. But for good reason; my area was hit by Hurricane Sandy pretty hard… I've been volunteering and raising money for the last few weeks.
Hope you enjoy this update. A lot happens in here, and that's why it's a bit longer.
Image Song: Our image song today is I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz. I've been a fan of Jason Mraz ever since he first broke out, but this slow song really shakes my feels~ The whole song really fits this chapter.
Warnings: Yes, this is a crossover with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xXxHolic. You do not need to go and read/watch those series. Everything that needs to be explained will be explained. (Tsubasa's storyline was summarized in Movement12.) You'll just have a smidge of an advantage if you know the gist of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xXxHolic.
Disclaimer: I don't own HP, TRC, xXxHolic, or the Image Songs. I only own Iris and Hana.
Melody of Magic
Written by Fenikkusu
Movement XV – I Won't Give Up
"I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily.
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make.
Our differences, they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts we got here.
We got a lot at stake."
~I Won't Give Up
Lucas snapped his head up at the faint scent of flowers. His eyes slipped shut in order to focus upon the smells. The all-too-familiar scent of lilies wafted through the room, but there was another present as well. His eyebrows furrowed as he thought.
"Child, come! The Professor needs you now."
A gentle tug brought Lucas to his feet. He didn't notice the concerned stares of Syaoran, Fai, and Kurogane as he followed the scent out of the sitting room. In little to no time at all, Lucas found himself standing outside the Room of Requirement, which now glowed with the same magic which brought him there.
"What's wrong, Little One?"
I'm scared, was the immediate thought. What if the shadowy tendrils took him too? If they were able to abduct the professor so easily…
"Be not afraid, Little One. My magic shall not harm you. I never meant to scare either of you… I suppose my magic has grown much stronger than I had originally predicted. Do not fear, Little One. Be brave. You have a lion's heart, do you not?"
A timid step forward. Little by little Lucas made his way forward until he stood right in front of the Room of Requirement. He placed a shaking palm flat on the wood. The warmth and smell of flowers intensified to borderline smothering before it suddenly vanished. The doors swung open with a resounding bang. Surprisingly Lucas didn't jump; he was too transfixed upon the baby grand and the man sprawled out on the floor.
Tears streamed down his face and tremors wracked his body. His feet moved of their own accord. He threw himself at the Professor, wrapping his tiny arms about the man's neck. Lucas would look back at this moment with a myriad of emotions: relief, happiness, and embarrassment being the principal three. Regardless of what he felt at the time, Lucas knew that this moment was the start of something monumental.
It was the moment that the Professor hugged him back.
Something in Lucas cracked when those strong arms came around him. For some reason Lucas felt that this embrace was different. This wasn't a loose hug. This wasn't because the Professor had to in order to shield Lucas from an enemy. The Professor wanted to hold him. Lucas could count on one hand how many people gave him this sort of contact.
A gentle breeze caused Lucas to raise his head from the Professor's shoulder to peer at the piano behind them. Although he didn't see anything, he felt that two spirits were watching them.
"Told ya, Lils. He just needed a bit of reassurance, is all."
Lils? Mama? In a swirl of wind, the auras of the spirits disappeared. Lucas settled in the Professor's grip with a relaxed sigh. Maybe everything would be okay now. Just don't let me go, he begged mentally.
"You truly are your mother's son," was the whisper in his ear. Lucas pulled back just enough to look into the man's eyes. The onyx irises swirled with so many emotions that Lucas couldn't possibly analyze them all. Pale thumbs pressed against Lucas' temples. "You have Lily's eyes."
Emeralds shimmered. That's… That's what Mommy used to say all the time… that I had Mama's eyes.
"I… I apologize for my sudden disappearance," the Professor continued slowly, not losing eye contact. "Both of your mothers spoke to me."
Is that who I sensed? The boy wondered idly. But why was he gone for such a long time?
The Professor took a deep breath. "I made a promise to both of them that I would take care of you. I will not leave you of my own volition. Do you understand?"
Lucas nodded but averted his gaze. He didn't see the frown that crossed the Professor's face at the tiny movement. "You believe that I will leave like the rest: Lily, the Dursleys, and Ha-Iris included," the Professor surmised, causing Lucas to squeeze his eyes shut to deter the newest surge of tears from spilling across his cheeks. "Lucas," the baritone voice said in a tone softer than Lucas had ever heard before. "Look at me."
There was no way that he could say no. Lucas sniffled as he locked their gazes again. "You… you promise?" Lucas mouthed. He couldn't help but hope. Perhaps if he were older, his heart would be hardened enough, but the fact still stood that Lucas was a child. Why couldn't he stop hoping? Intellectually Lucas knew that hoping like this would only hurt him in the end. Why, then, would his heart not listen?
"I do promise," the Professor replied immediately. He pressed a reassuring hand upon the boy's head. "Come. Let us get you ready for the day."
Lucas could only nod and allow the man to pick him up. He was far too tired and relieved to deal with the rationality of it all. His gaze lingered upon the Room of Requirement until the doors swung shut silently behind them.
Meanwhile, Watanuki and Kurogane sat calmly in the sitting room. Fai twittered about, cleaning up the remnants of the food scattered about the table. Syaoran paced back and forth, nervousness obvious on his young face. "Mokona is worried!" The white rabbit-like creature bounced onto Syaoran's open palm. "Lucas and the Professor are really, really sad." Her ears drooped as she sighed.
The black Mokona leapt onto Watanuki's shoulder. He looked a bit happier than his twin. "But they're happy too! Connections are being made."
The Tsubasa crew shared a glance. Watanuki was the one who spoke next. "Let's hope that everything will work out for the better," he commented. "It's all we can do." For once silence didn't surround them for long.
"Let's go, Kuro-pon~" Fai chirped, latching onto one of the man's arms once all the dishes were put away.
Kurogane twitched before he exploded. "I TOLD YOU TO QUIT THE STUPID NICKNAMES!"
Fai danced away from the shinobi's grip. "Fwee!" He raced out of the room, Kurogane swiftly following.
Syaoran placed a hand on his temple to try and stifle his upcoming headache. "Some things never change."
The Dimensional Wizard tried in vain to stifle a laugh. The black Mokona bobbed along with him. "Do you want them to?"
The brunette smiled warmly. "I guess not," Syaoran began, gesturing at the door. "I bet they're going to check on the Room of Requirement. I'm interested too. You coming with?"
A shake of the head. "No, I have some customers to attend to," Watanuki replied. "I'll meet you guys for tea in a few hours." Once Syaoran walked out with both Mokonas hitching a ride, Watanuki closed the door of the sitting room. He settled against the settee and closed his eyes. The physical dimension faded away to reveal wispy darkness. Watanuki took a deep breath and opened his eyes to gaze upon the Dreamscape.
He didn't bother to turn around when tiny footsteps echoed through the realm. The comforting aura surrounding the two spirits told Watanuki that his customers were friendly. Two women came to stand in front of him, both enrobed in white. Lily Potter and Hana Ichihara smiled gently at the Dreamseer.
"Lily, this is KimihiroWatanuki. Watanuki, this is Lily Potter, Lucas' biological mother," Hana introduced. The redhead smiled gently and bowed to the Dimensional Wizard.
"The pleasure is mine, Lily-san," Watanuki began, bowing back in respect. "You and your son truly do share the same eyes."
A pained smile came across Lily's face. "And yet Lucas looks exactly my late husband, James." She shook her head, her flaming curls whipping about. "But that is no matter, now. I have a wish, Watanuki."
Some time later, they all reconvened in the sitting room and chatted while they ate lunch. "Professor," Watanuki began, pulling his apron over his head. "When do you need to return to England?"
Snape narrowed his eyes, though his anger was not directed at the Japanese wizard. "Unless the Headmaster is in need of me, two weeks."
"Do you have a plan?" Watanuki pressed on, folding the apron. "You realize that it is not healthy for either you or Lucas to stay within this confined space for any extended length of time."
The Potion's Master sighed. "I must return to Hogwarts with Lucas," he concluded. "That much is definite. But as to how to keep his true identity a secret…"
"Have you found Harry?" Dumbledore asked.
Snape glared. Of course Albus would ask about the Golden Boy and not about the broken man on the sheets. It's not that Snape needed care or anything, but it did irk him that he was merely a pawn in Dumbledore's game. However, pawns had a distinct advantage. If you were able to move the pawn to the other side of the board, between and beyond the defenses of the enemy, it turned into a queen. Although the king was the most important piece overall, it was the queen who was the most powerful.
It was time to take back control of his life.
"No," Severus replied. "I have not."
Lucas glanced up at Snape from behind his large glasses while he nibbled on some toast. He hated when people talked about him, even though this time it was for his own well-being.
Fai ruffled Lucas' hair, causing the boy to smile slightly. "Would glamour charms do any good, Professor? I realize that Dumbledore can probably see through them, but perhaps there is other magic with the same properties that he does not have knowledge about."
Snape furrowed his eyebrows. "The older the magic, the most likely the Headmaster will not recognize it." He turned to Watanuki. "I'll need access to the storehouse."
The teenager nodded. "Maru and Moro will lead you there."
As if on cue, the two girls ran into the room to collect the dishes. "We have to clean up first!" "That we do!" Maru and Moro said in tandem.
Snape then turned to Lucas. "This will be an all-day affair. There is no urgent need for you to accompany me."
Lucas nodded. He knew that some things were better left unsaid. As much as he didn't want to leave the professor, it was probably better that he didn't mess with the magic of the shop. Instead of worrying about it, the boy tugged on Fai's sleeve.
The blond cheered, "Lucas can come with us! I need to go shopping for groceries in the open markets; with all of us here, we're running out of food faster than expected. Syaoran, can you come with? I'm still not sure where exactly to go, and this is your home world."
A nod. "Sure!"
"I'll stick around here," Kurogane commented, standing from the table. "I have things to do."
"Hokai, break!" Fai exclaimed with a clap of his hands.
Winters were different in Japan, or so Mommy said—something about being closer to the equator. Lucas blinked as Snape transfigured his clothes into wool ones, complete with a deep green scarf. "Return before nightfall," was the Professor's gentle warning. "Tonight is a new moon. That may only leave a few hours for you to shop, but I refuse to take any unnecessary risks."
Lucas nodded, warmth filling his heart at the words. He really is concerned about me! He managed to sneak one last hug before he was dragged out, quite literally, by Fai. Syaoran's profuse apologizes followed behind them.
"I wonder what Watanuki wants to cook…" Fai mused. He adjusted the thick shopping bag with a sleeping white Mokona inside. Without her nearby, none of them would be able to understand each other. "Lucas, what are some of your favorite things to eat?"
Come to think of it, that was a good question. Mommy's cooking was so wide-ranged, that it was hard for him to decide. So in response to the blond's question, Lucas shrugged. He glanced about the busy market until his gaze landed upon a stand littered with a long white vegetable. After tugging Fai over and taking a look, they determined it was some kind of radish.
"That's a daikon," Syaoran commented. "It's a seasonal plant which has a mild taste. Most people pickle it, but daikon can be stir-fried too."
Fai hummed, picking up one of the largest. "That settles it! Stir-fried daikon, here we come!"
Lucas couldn't help but smile at his friends' antics. It was almost as if they were a real family… but Lucas knew very well that they would never be considered one, at least in the traditional sense. His smile fell at the realization, causing Fai and Syaoran to share a look.
The brunette knelt down on one knee next to Lucas and softly placed his hand on the boy's shoulder. Lucas flinched slightly and turned frightened eyes to Syaoran. The Japanese teenager tried not to sigh; although they had met Lucas over a year ago, the boy still wasn't completely healed from the abuse he sustained while still living with the Dursleys. Syaoran glanced around the market for a store he used to visit as a child. After a few seconds of searching, he found it.
Syaoran pointed to a small establishment which had various instruments lined up outside. "Why don't we go in there, Lucas? We can get you some new sheet music!"
Lucas nibbled on his bottom lip. Would it be okay for them to go? Did they still have enough time left? Lucas knew very well they did, but he felt that something was going to happen if they went to the store. That was when his mind scolded him. You're worrying over nothing! Fai and Syaoran are with you. Nothing bad can happen. And plus, didn't Mommy always say not to 'dwell upon things you cannot change'?
With a timid nod, Lucas agreed. His heart fluttered at the smile both of his companions gave him. Lucas Potter making other people happy? What a thought! Usually all he could do was make people mad or worried. The boy remained lost in thought as Syaoran gently steered him into the store. The soft melodies of classical music brought Lucas back to reality, and his eyes widened upon seeing the rows upon rows of musical instruments and sheet music scattered about the store.
"Why don't you go look in the piano section?" Fai suggested, giving Lucas a little push. "We'll be right here."
Even though he was apprehensive – for reasons he himself didn't understand at the moment – Lucas nodded. He began to walk forward, eyes set upon the older music. Maybe he could find something that the Professor liked! Even though it wouldn't be much, Lucas could probably find something that he could play as a thank you. Mommy always told him that his musical talents could make anyone smile.
He failed to notice a shadow approach him from behind.
The archives of the Dimensional Wizard's shop were extensive, to say the least. Timeless tomes were stored below ground where the elements could not damage them. It took Maru and Moro a good ten minutes to lead Snape through the catacombs, careful to avoid the many traps intended to keep unwelcome company out. The knowledge contained therein could quite possibly change the world, hence why it was so heavily guarded.
When the two girls opened the double doors to the library, Snape's attention was caught by ancient magic. He dismissed the girls with a wave of his hand, saying that he could find the way back on his own. Once they left, he took off his shoes and stepped inside. The wisps of magic immediately accosted him but left as suddenly as they came. By this time the wards were used to his presence; Dumbledore often sent Snape to gather intelligence, and the shop's library was the most extensive in the world.
Snape spent the first few minutes walking along the rows of shelves. Occasionally his pale fingers would brush fine dust off of a spine. Obsidian irises took each title into consideration. Even though his fascination with books had waned due to how busy he still was although the Dark Lord was currently inactive, Snape still appreciated the privilege to scour the timeless tomes.
"What is this?" Snape asked himself as he plucked a thin, hardcover book from a shelf. Its spine was frayed at the ends, its pale color alluding to its age. The words Melodia Magicae stood stark in gold calligraphy on the cover. With slightly shaking hands, he opened the book to the first page.
The words 'how' and 'when' were the first in his mind. Snape flipped to the next page, expecting it to be blank. Instead, all-too-familiar script stared up at him.
If you're reading this, I'm no longer in your world. This also means the purpose of this book has come. Regard the information found within with the utmost care. If this were fall into the foe's hands, the Melodies will cause more harm than good. Pass on these lessons to the young Dreamseer.
Please take care of this for me, Severus, but don't forget to take care of yourself too.
He stared down at the page with an expression mixed of disbelief and shock. "Even from the afterlife, you continue to boss me around," the wizard commented. "I cannot help but wonder… do you continue to argue with Lily?" Snape closed the book and headed back toward the entrance of the library. He stopped right before the opening although nothing visible blocked his exit. "Might I be able to take this with me?" he asked no one in particular.
The wisps of magic from before gathered together in order to become visible. White letters floated in the air in front of him. "Of course," they read. "As for the price for taking it out of its sanctuary… it has already been paid."
"What!" was the exclamation. "By whom?" At this, the tendrils gathered into a point and gestured to the book. When Snape opened the book again, the magic brought his attention to the bottom of the second page.
P.S. This book was made for your use and technically belongs to you. As for the price for taking it from the library, I've paid it already. Don't worry about what it was, okay? Just make sure you use this book well!
"Thank you," Snape whispered. The ancient magic left him when he stepped back into the main house. He made his way back into the sitting room, where he found Watanuki smoking his signature pipe.
The Dimensional Wizard raised an eyebrow when Snape walked in. "That was quick, Professor. You're usually down there for hours on end, but it has only been…" He reached a pale hand into his chest pocket and brought out a pocketwatch. "Half an hour. I assume you found what you were looking for?" Snape nodded, handing the small book to Watanuki. An unreadable expression crossed the teenager's face as he read the first few pages. "Ah, yes. This should be exactly what you need." He handed it back to Snape.
"How can you be so sure?" Snape asked.
Watanuki laughed, causing Snape to raise an eyebrow. A smirk now sat on his face. "Have you forgotten that Hana was a Wishgranter as well?"
"That does not necessarily mean that she was able to scry like her mother," was the deadpanned answer. Realizing his mistake, Snape resisted the urge to facepalm. "Damn."
Watanuki's smirk only grew. "Moreso than Yuuko-san, actually. Seeing into the future was her specialty, and you know very well what burden knowing the future is. Prophecies work much the same way."
Snape's mouth grew dry at the comment. Being reminded of the hugest mistake of your life didn't exactly put one in a good mood. "I may as well begin my research," Snape said, changing the subject. "Again, I thank you for use of the archives."
The teen waved a dismissive hand at Snape. "It is no problem at all, Professor." His heterochromatic eyes caught Snape's. "We have much to discuss, however. Iris told me that your Headmaster needs some wishes granted." At the question screaming from the onyx irises, Watanuki added, "Even in death, spirits dream."
Hana looked over her shoulder and smiled at Snape. His breath hitched; it was as if that small action could dispel the darkness surrounding them both. "Even in death, spirits dream. How else could we be talking right now?" The sorceress began to walk away from him. "Take care of Lucas and yourself, will you? You're worrying Lily and me sick."
The familiarity of the words shocked him for a moment. Before Snape could continue the conversation, a sudden crash outside caused Snape to jump. Even Watanuki slid off of the couch, eyes narrowed at the sliding doors. Syaoran ran into the room, panting, eyes wide with fear. "It's Lucas. He's gone!"