Found in the Titan's Forest, a newborn child is given to the Church. Heralded a demon for his strange powers he became a Saint upon burning the hand of a Monster. He fights. And finally, those who abandoned him come at last. "You ask me to abandon these people to save you?" - "You are the Chosen One! You must!"
I do not own Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), nor do I own Harry Potter. I do own this story and all non-canon conceptry within. Please Ask if you wish to make use of it in your own work.
"It's fascinating when you think about it," Ilse gushed as they made their way to the training camp, "Current History and the oldest records we can find declares the walls are over a hundred years old but all common sense claims that it is much, much older!" she said, brandishing her notebook enthusiastically at Levi while Shi grinned on his other side, listening with rapt attention. Ilse was a bit intense, but she was intelligent, and her knowledge always had a point.
"If the walls had only been built a hundred years ago, or at least been finished a hundred years ago, there would still be children of those builders walking around, even elderly builders still walking through the Rose Districts! It is possible for humans to live over a century! I've seen it! My great, great grandfather did it and he only passed away two years ago. He doesn't remember the wall being anything but complete! Also, take into account the calendar! Currently we're in the year 838! Surely they would have reset the calendar year upon the completion of the Wall. They were effectively creating a new world, safe from Titan interference, a new earth just for humans!" she continued as they entered the training grounds, signing themselves in at the registration desk.
"A lot of people must have died during the construction. It takes almost a full two months for a brick and mortar house to be built. The Maria Wall alone must have taken over fifty years of constant work," Shi said, a little horrified and more than a bit amazed at their forefathers. Or rather, Ilse and Levi's forefathers. His own were still a complete mystery. Were they people who survived the Titan forests beyond the walls, or was he some bastard child of a Scout Legionnaire who gave birth in the field before getting eaten by a Titan? No one knew. And he certainly didn't. Though being three months old upon his discovery meant that his mother definitely hadn't been eaten immediately upon his birth, which pretty much guaranteed she wasn't a Scout Legionnaire because she would have brought him back. Every body counted and the Scouts were a close knit bunch. A child being born to one of them would become one of them sure enough, they would be doted on by the entire lot because children just weren't born during active service – and certainly not in the field.
"That's the thing!" Ilse exclaimed, "The wall isn't made of bricks or mortar! It's a completely unknown substance, more mineral than stone! Unfortunately, the exact substance is considered a national secret and no one can even attempt to chip a piece off for analysis without facing severe punishment from not only Church and State. If the walls were to ever fall, each of them is an enclosed environment capable of self-sustaining agriculture for a certain number of people!
"Should humanity ever fall that far, the total population able to survive and repopulate without causing genetic degradation, birth defects, disabilities, and the like is only six hundred thousand. And that with very careful selective breeding! Behind Sina, a total population of eight hundred thousand can be supported, but absolutely no more! Meaning that if humanity is to ever recover from that point, they must do so by sacrificing only that two hundred thousand run off that doesn't effect the human breeding stock!" she continued enthusiastically. "Even if Rose and Maria fall, humanity always has a chance to come back, as thin and delicate as a spider's thread, but it is there!"
She scrubbed both hands through her hair, usually neatly pulled back into a ponytail, currently it was in braided twin-tails that were half mutilated by her hand gestures and constant fiddling. Right now, half of it stuck up like a mutant mohawk. "If only we knew more about the Titans, we wouldn't have as much to fear from them."
"Knowledge is power," Levi said solemnly. It sounded like a quote but none of them were familiar with it.
"Exactly. The more we know about them, the more power we have over them!" Ilse declared as they passed by the new recruits for this year. They were all lined up in the courtyard, sweating and nervous as their instructor bellowed in their faces and generally abused them. A few of their classmates and the third years were lurking on the roofs watching in amusement and waving down to them as they passed by.
"Well, aren't you looking cute today, Langner," Ness greeted, dropping down beside the trio as they by-passed the mess hall. Already a few of the third years were on kitchen duty, peeling and cutting the food rations for the Corps and washing the dishes. They could see a few of the assistant instructors walking in with boxes of unassigned 3dMG equipment.
"If we knew as much about them as possible – hi Ness, how was your break – then people wouldn't have to fear them so severely!" Ilse continued brandishing her notebook once again.
"Are you blithering on about Titans again, Langner?" one of the few remaining girls demanded sharply, Rico was hard to get along with at the best of times, but when it came to Titans she was near enough impossible. There was a term for people like her years ago, racist. But given the genocide of humanity, so few races remained that it was never an issue. Instead, all that hatred was turned toward Titans. Hanji wasn't much better, but at least knew understood the need to know more about them beyond cleaving into the back of their necks. After all, that was the only known weak point to the Titans, what was to say that there weren't more? Rico didn't much care, as long as they stayed far away and they didn't lose anymore lives trying to kill them.
Aside from her vehement hatred of anything related to Titans, including the study of said Titans, talk of said Titans, or pointless rumination about Titans, she seemed to share a similar opinion regarding Titans on Shi himself. Deciding that as he wasn't like a normal human, he was a threat, and didn't deserve to live.
It got exceptionally annoying to deal with her pointless hatred.
"Now, now, Rico-hun, chill out. Ilse has a point. The more we know, the better we'll be able to kill them," Moses Brown interjected, sliding down the roof to join the growing troupe of Second Years.
The silver haired girl 'tch'ed rudely at him, "And in attempting to study them, how many lives are going to be lost, huh?" she sneered.
Levi sneered at her in response, "When you joined the Corps you effectively threw your life away, retard. You're living on borrowed time. All of us. The least you and the rest of us can do is die for a damn good reason and do some good with your passing," he said, stepping up close to her and leaning into her face. "Or would you rather I snap your neck here and save you the trouble of wasting our time and precious food resources?"
Rico blanched, swallowing hard as she tried not to back down, glaring for all she was worth into his dark eyes.
Shi rolled his eyes and idly kicked Levi's feet out from under him, "Stop glaring at her before she pisses on herself," he reprimanded as the dark haired boy had to tumble in mid-air to regain his footing without faceplanting in the dirt. He then looked at Rico as if he had something to say to her before sighing and brushing past her without comment – he knew full well she would discard what he had to say on principle, perhaps even work actively against it.
Ilse sighed wearily as Levi launched himself to his feet and immediately tried to knee Shi in the back of the head, the two of them taking off on a merry chase through the camp with the elder of the pair trying to maim the younger. She couldn't help but not only be envious of their friendship, but also their physical ability. Even without 3dMG, they moved as if they were flying.
"What the hell was that?" Rico hissed furiously, "Don't mess with me you little shit-stain. You just gunna brush me off like dirt on the bottom of your shoe?" she spat under her breath.
Ilse eyed her dorm-mate pityingly. It must have been hard to be that socially stupid, or just stupid in general. "Of course he brushed you off," she explained, a firm believer in helping to educate others, even if they didn't want or deserve it. "You weren't going to listen to what he said anyway and he figured why should he waste his breath. In fact, I can already tell you're not going to listen to me, so I'm not going to waste my breath either!" she declared with a huff as she stomped off to the girls dormitory with every intention of unpacking the new blanket her mother had knitted for her, and the notebooks her father saved up and bought especially for her. He was so proud when she showed him all her information and extrapolated theories from them. Being a Doctor, he was also intensely curious about the Titans and was more than eager to help her go through her theories and dictate new ones for her to take to the Scout Legionnaires.
Moses and Ness exchanged bemused glances as Rico swore violently and took off running towards the Assault Course.
"Well. This year is off to a great start," Moses said sarcastically.
Shi cursed as Instructor Shadis swept past him and sliced through his rappelling line, sending him plummeting to the ground. These 'sneak attacks' had been happening more and more often lately and it was annoying to have to repair their equipment after each and every time it happened. However, it was to test their reactions to the unexpected and other threats, it sharpened their reflexes, which could save their lives. So he didn't complain.
Still, he had to wince as Kubo hit the ground in front of him, hard, even as Shi's second rappelling line bit into a tree-branch overhead, allowing him to skim and swing over him. Any thought of turning to go and provide aid was pointless because at that moment, Laurence had already swept his partner up and into the trees above. They would be fine. Laurence had basic first aid training, they all did. This was just a training exercise so dropping out over minor injuries would be expected, and Inspector Shadis wouldn't ream Laurence out for dropping with Kubo unconscious.
Shi drew his blades and shot forward. He only had one working rappelling line now, which made his momentum and movements all the more essential if he wanted to take home a kill. He was vaguely aware of Ness and Moses following on his heels, but they were pretty slow on their 3dMG and he could already see the descending form of Instructor Shadis above them. He turned his attention to the wooden cut out Titan that just sprung up from behind some bushes and used its throat as a pivot – lashing out with both blades to cleave the padding at the back of its neck open.
Up ahead, Levi was a whirlwind of blades with both Petra and Hanji hot on his heels, he had to laugh at his friend – so popular with the ladies despite not having a single gentlemanly bone in his body.
"Mike!" he shouted, spotting the larger blond and grabbing his attention, Shi made several hand signals and the older boy nodded, lines snapping out into an about face. This training simulation was basically Titan Killing 101, with the Instructors trying to kill them by taking out their lines. Anyone who hit the ground was 'Dead' for this session and lost dessert privileges. Right now, Mike was circling back to handle any stray cut outs they'd missed, Shi would be sending Petra as back up while he, Levi, and Hanji took the lead. Ur and Perle were already at the rear clearing up and Nile Dawk had to be rushed back to the medical bay after Rico landed on him after her line got cut and nearly broke his neck.
Shi cursed when he heard the tell-tale sound of Instructor Shadis's 3dMG overheard and promptly disengaged his remaining line in favour of hitting a tree branch, hands and feet and then using it to launch himself backwards – the Instructor dropping like a stone in front of him, blades flashing.
He twisted and shot his line out, arcing around a near-by tree and disengaging as he was rocketed through the air, far away from the older man with a burst of gas. He almost didn't see the Titan cut out as it flipped up in front of him, but he wasn't considered the fastest in the class with the 3dMG for nothing as his line snapped out overhead, sending him under the 'Titan's jaw and backwards to where he had open ground on the cut out's padded neck.
Leaving little more than shredded padding behind him, he was already gone and catching up with the trio up ahead, signing Back Line clean up to Petra as he passed her. She nodded and backflipped off a near-by tree to go and follow after Mike as Shi took her flanking position beside Levi.
"I never want to leave this place agaaaaain," Ness moaned half sprawled out across the stall of his shower, hot water pounding down across his back.
There were mumbled agreements and a comment about Instructor Shadis dragging him out by his ears for making the place look untidy before a bar of soap was thrown across the room in retaliation. But other than that, everyone was too tired, and sore, to start a soap fight tonight. Kubo and Nile were still in the medical room, Laurence was looking miserable as he soaped up, Moses doing his best to cheer him up, or take his mind off his battle partner's injury – apparently he had dislocated his shoulder and fractured a scapula. He would be out of training for the rest of the month until they both healed to the surgeon's satisfaction.
Kale was hissing under his breath every time he accidentally bumped a bruise from where he had gone crashing through several trees after Instructor Shadis cut his line. No sprains, fractures, or broken bones, but plenty of nasty looking bruises that were going to make sleeping an utter pain.
The only people who had avoided injury were Levi, Shi, Mike, Laurence, and Ian Dietrich, out of the boys. With the girls, Ur, Hanji, and Petra were head and shoulders above the others as not only uninjured, but also the only ones who didn't get their lines cut. Of the boys, Shi was the only one to have a line cut, but he was also the only one to keep going out of all the recruits and function with just the one line. That alone gave him extra credit in that exercise.
"Cheer up, tomorrow is an endurance hike," Shi told the boneless youth as he passed, grinning at the look of dismay on Ness's face. "At least you won't get anymore bruises from that, huh?"
Ness slipped off the stall and dramatically pretended to wither under the shower spray, "We're all gunna die! They're trying to kill us!"
The run went about as expected. Shi's endurance wasn't the greatest but he managed to stay at the middle of the pack. Rico, Petra, Moses, Ilse, Kubo, Perle, and Adrian along with him, while Levi took just ahead of the middle ground. Mike, Ian, Laurence, and Ur ahead of them, all while Ness, Kale, Nagi, Nile, and Hanji brought up the rear, with poor Ilse staggering along at the very last of the line, lagging quite a bit as she forced herself to run beyond her physical limits on sheer willpower alone.
All the while, Instructor Shadis kept an eye on their progress from horse back, occasionally barking something derogatory over their heads.
What they didn't know was that they were merely moving to a different training ground, their dorms would remain untouched but for the next week they would remain at the training dormitories in the forest for specialist exercises. Horsemanship manoeuvres within forest, Titan hunting on horseback, evasion and signalling with obstructions, tracking and stealth manoeuvres. They would spend a week drilling these exercises with the Instructors trying to kill them at every opportunity while they were trying to carry them out.
Shi was getting the impression that the only reason this forest didn't actually have Titans for them to kill was simply because the upper Brass would never allow even one of them to be lured behind the walls, no matter how hard Shadis tried. And there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that they would approve sending Trainees out with the Scout Legionnaires to get Titan experience either. But then again, what could one expect from people who had never encountered Titans and had absolutely no intention of doing so either?
They encountered a group of first years on their first 3dMG manoeuvre exercises on their way back after a week of pure hell (Ness would not stop complaining about saddle sores), and Shadis allowed them to sit back and watch, giggling over some of the more obvious faults even as he explained why and how each and everyone was so shit and why one or two were worth half a shit. It was surprisingly educational as they watched everything and anything that could possibly go wrong with their gear happen, and then have Instructor Shadis explain how to avoid it, and how to resolve it should it actually happen.
It was a pleasant way to pass the afternoon before they were put onto kitchen duty, everyone unanimously ordering Shi and Petra to make the dessert – apparently they were the only ones able to make the unidentifiable rice pudding taste good. Which had both of them snickering as they go to work – because all they did was add a little honey and cinnamon before grating nutmeg on top and putting it into the oven. Still, it got them out of dish washing duty so they didn't enlighten the rest of the troupe on how to make it.
Wait until graduation, that way even though they would all be going to different divisions, they'd still be able to remember those care-free days in the mess hall, Moses and Ness making fart noises with their armpits, Hanji and Ilse arguing over some historical fact or another using tableware to prove their points, Levi obsessively cleaning both seat and table top before sitting down and trying to ignore Petra and Rico as the two girls clustered around him, Laurence and Kubo flicking food at one another before Perle told them off and had to shield herself from food projectiles.
They would be able to cling to those warm memories... even as everything around them turned to ash.
"Shi, is everything okay?" Petra asked, catching sight of his face as he paused in his grating of the nutmeg.
"Eh?" he grunted, looking up in surprise.
Petra eyed him in concern, doe-brown eyes assessing, "Are you alright? You're crying," she pointed out in an undertone, reaching up and brushing away the tears he hadn't realised were running down his face. Jolting in surprise to feel the wet on his cheeks, he hastily reached up and rubbed it away, Petra drawing her hand back but no less concerned than before.
"Ah, yeah, I'm fine. I guess I got myself worked up thinking too hard," he said, offering her a wry smile, hopefully to reassure before turning his attention back to the nutmeg.
"Do you... want to talk about it?" she asked hesitantly. The two hadn't really spent a lot of time talking, Petra would unquestioningly follow his lead during drills as he was simply the better student, but outside of that it was pretty much established that he was Levi's bestfriend. And Petra, still being at that awkward age where girls were unsure of how to act around boys they liked, and her crush was fairly obvious even if Levi himself staunchly ignored it, tended to focus her time and efforts onto her crush, instead of said crush's friend. It was understandable, and Shi didn't begrudge her this in the slightest, he thought it was actually quite adorable, not to mention utterly hilarious as Levi hadn't the faintest idea of how to speak to girls without A) Threatening them, B) Telling them off, or C) Making them cry. So in honesty, his ignoring Petra was actually his way of declaring that he didn't want to upset her. And that was what made Shi curl up on the floor and cry with laughter while Levi roughly kicked him in the side, face beet red, and scowl plastered firmly in place. No one even questioned these random bouts of violence on Levi's part towards Shi when he started laughing, they just started taking bets on how long it took to stop or over what Levi was abusing him for this time. No one had ever even come close to the real reason, and Shi wasn't about to tell them – he was having far too much fun watching them try to figure it out while Levi loomed over his shoulder with the promise of violence in his eyes.
Shi hummed, "Just that... after we graduate... Ah, y'know what, never mind. I'm just being a big girl's blouse. Don't mind me," he assured her with a laugh.
Petra didn't look convinced but at least she dropped the subject.
It was strange how quickly their second year had gone past.
The length of time was exactly the same, the training three times harder than the year before, but as Shi and Levi rode their horses back to Shiganshina, it felt like it hadn't even been a week since they were riding out to begin their second year.
"Are you sure this is okay, Shi?" Hanji asked from their otherside, Petra chewing her bottom lip next to the bespectacled girl.
He nodded, "Emily said it was alright if I brought friends. Just... don't bring up the Wall, okay? Her husband is a huge wall Cultist, and he used to be violent with her. So she's a little skittish," he explained as they rode through the gates, nodding to the Stationary Guard Members currently getting drunk in the shade. Well, with nothing to do, he didn't blame them. With nothing to do, Gate duty must have been the most boring of all. They weren't even allowed to police the people – that was the MPO's jurisdiction and they were harsh with anyone outside their ranks who tried to intervene with that.
"How can anyone get violent towards their wife?" Petra asked, sounding utterly disgusted.
Shi shrugged as he lead them through the streets, "Apparently he used to be quite the drunkard. That's pretty much the only excuse she would give him. He's clean now though, he just keeps his distance for her peace of mind," he explained waving to Mrs Jaeger as they passed her.
They continued on in silence, Hanji looking thoughtful, Petra sad, and Levi with his typical scowl – though his knuckles were white on the reigns of his horse. That was enough of a give away that Shi began to make mental plans to keep the Pastor far away from his surly friend, least he end up with a murder charge. Levi was fine with beating on people, but only if they could defend themselves, and even then, never on someone who looked to him as a protector.
"Here we are," he called as they pulled to a stop at a small three story house not far from the outer gate. It was a pleasant place with a railing just outside for the horses, all the windows had boxes of flowers and herbs hanging outside and the roof had a small balcony that likewise was full of flowers and herb pots. "I'll sort the horses out in a little bit, c'mon in, I'm sure Emily will be happy to feed you up with tea and biscuits," he told them with a grin.
"But, aren't biscuits a luxury item!?" Petra squeaked.
"Not if you make them yourself," said a woman's voice from behind them. Everyone save for Shi tensed and turned around. The woman was fairly mature, her blonde hair lined with silver and her lightly tanned face lined and wrinkled with age. Her grey eyes were kind, but also wary as she glanced between them all. Her clothing was clean, save for a few stubborn grass stains on her knees, and she was carrying a basket of bread and potatoes and other vegetables from the market. "Welcome home, Shi."
"Good to be back, Emily. Please, these are my fellow recruits, Levi Rivaille, Petra Ral, and Hanji Zoe. I would have brought more but I didn't want to overwhelm you, and these guys are pretty well behaved by comparison," he added with a grin, ignoring the dirty look Levi shot him and the grin he received from Hanji.
Emily laughed lightly, "Well, I'm glad you meet you all. Come on in. I'll get some tea on the go. You must be tired from such a long journey," she said brushing past them and unlocking the front door. "Shi, could you please see to the horses and get the spare beds out for our guests?" she called as the group moved into the house, taking their shoes off as directed by the green eyed youth.
"Sure thing," he responded.
"Spare mattresses?" Levi asked in an undertone, his voice two hairs short of revolted.
Shi snickered, "They're straw, Lev. And we stuff when with lavender sprigs too. No bugs at all. Though if you're really that squeamish about it, you can share my bed," he teased, grinning – and then ducking as Levi swiped at his head.
Petra giggled, "No fighting you two!" she scolded before grabbing Levi's arm and tugging him into the kitchen where they could hear Emily puttering around.
Hanji and Shi exchanged glances and laughed at the uncomfortable look on Levi's face.
And Chapter Three finished. I wanted to get a lot more character interaction in this chapter. Mainly because it's going to be that much more tragic when I start killing characters off (evil grin). Onto Questions and answers.
Timeline: YES! Time flows differently between the worlds. 8/ I figured that was obvious but apparently I need to spell it out. I had plans for having it exactly the same timeflow, but I would have had to track cause and effect to insane degrees when it came to the HP world. It's just easier from a writing stand point to have time flow more slowly in the HP world than the SnK world. Plus, I get to play with Dumbledore, Moody, Remus, Snape, and all the older characters and have them going wtf over Harry being their age and not at all easily manipulated as they had been hoping. He's going to be singularly unimpressed with their Dark Lord problem. Way to make 'em feel emasculated there, Shi.
Petra and Levi: It is canonly hinted by Petra's father that they were engaged, or that Petra and he were sincerely hoping that they would get engaged. I kind of like that they're close, possibly with undertones of romance, but they never take that step because they both know that their work is deadly, and it would kill them to do so only for one of them to die later.
Like I said, I'm going to leave juicy hints for any which pairing that I like. And remember, just because you liked someone as a teenager doesn't mean you stay with that person for the rest of your life – anime lies about that. It lies hard.
All the hinting and fangirl trolling here.
((PS: Do you like the new Book cover? 8DDD I made it))