This is a...thing that I felt like writing this morning. I blame the fact that I've been replaying Mana Khemia.

Please review if you have the time.

Disclaimer: I obviously own neither Mana Khemia nor Harry Potter.

The first time he noticed them, it was because one of them wanted a whistle.

The Room hadn't been made to change after you entered it. According to Rowena, it was too risky that someone would want something that could endanger them.

But it was a small thing, he couldn't see any harm in giving a whistle. And it had been so long…

It was a small thing. Not a wish, barely a desire, just something that would have been convenient at the time. But it was enough to wake him up completely. And as his awareness returned, he was able to watch those who woke him up.

He supposed it made sense that their combined feelings had attracted his attention even after all that time. By its very nature, the Room made people lonely; there was no need to reveal to others something that could give you what you needed. To keep it a secret was to keep the power to yourself. So it was (probably) the first time that so many students had gathered there at the same time. That was probably the smallest amount of activity and desire to wake him up when he'd been in a sleep that deep.

All that time spent doing nothing because the Room was a prison for him, made to keep him asleep. He only realized that the third time the students came. The Room was whatever people wanted it to be and while it tapped into his power, it didn't require his involvement. And since the Room was what people wanted, they didn't need anything more while they were inside. And so there were no wishes for him to grant, nothing to take his attention and wake him from his slumber. It was a very subtle (if fragile, like his current status proved) trap that had kept him asleep for centuries.

Amazing. Had those four realized what they'd done when they were building the Room and asked him to lend his power? Godric probably hadn't; he was too bold, too honest for that kind of things. Helga was too nice; she could never have participated in something like that without giving it away by looking guilty. Salazar, he didn't understand that man, so perhaps he'd known. Rowena definitely had. She was the one to set the limitations of the Room's enchantments, the subtle tranquilizers that would lull him to sleep. He knew she didn't have any bad intentions, he was dangerous after all, so it only made sense that she'd try to get rid of him when a convenient opportunity like that came up.

And he'd walked right into it, volunteered into it actually. No sense in blaming her when it was his own fault for having been so dense. Beside, all it had cost him was time, and he had plenty of that to spare. No harm no foul.

By the fourth time the students came, with the Room in the same form, he was curious enough to focus his senses on them. Hearing without hears and seeing without eyes had never really come naturally for him, probably because he was artificial.

He listened, and he watched, and he learned. They were here because they wanted to improve, because they needed to protect themselves against…someone (He didn't know who, so most of their euphemisms made no sense to him.) and their current teacher refused to help. How ridiculous. It was a teacher's job to teach, not to slow down their students' progress.

So in the end, they wanted power. That was probably one of the oldest, most over-used wishes of all times, so he didn't really feel like granting it. Beside, it would be cheapening their current efforts and he'd been told that that was a bad thing to do. So he decided to let them develop their potential on their own.

He continued to observe and eventually he learned the name of the one they were all afraid of. "Voldemort". A dark wizard who really wanted to kill Harry Potter, the one who'd asked for a whistle and gathered the others there, for some reason.

He settled into a routine. Once a week, the students would come and he would watch them. The rest of the time, he'd sit down and read some of the books that had been left in the Room over the centuries. This world had changed so much! The magical side had mostly stayed the same (Rowena and Salazar would be turning in their graves if they knew) but the mundane side had developed incredibly. Technology had reached a point where it could surpass the Alchemy of his old world in some ways.
…And yet was still so very, very far behind in others. That thought sounded smug and made him suspect that perhaps some of Theofratus' pride had been inherited by him after all.

Still, it wasn't much. The books that had been left in the Room were either old or specialized (when they weren't outright fiction) and ultimately only gave him a very fragmented view of the world. Especially the "muggle" one, as the wizards called it.

It was unavoidable, he reflected. He existed for others, for the world. There was no way he could be satisfied while conscious and trapped in a single room, even if it was the Room.

The tipping point came when the students ran out of the Room, not to return for the rest of the year. He had barely managed to catch something about having been found before they'd all left.

That settled it. He was too awake, too motivated to go back to sleep again. He had to get out, to see the world, at least the rest of the castle grounds, for himself. But he couldn't rush. Unless that had changed too, there were no Mana in this world and no real spirits to speak of. He'd be noticed immediately. So he would need a body. But that would take time too. He was centuries out of practice and it would be embarrassing if it turned out he had forgotten how to speak or walk.

When there was no one to watch it, no one to realize how impossible it was, the Room of Requirement was empty except for a single mirror. And in front of that mirror the air shined.

For the first time since Hogwarts' creation, Vayne Aurelius wished.