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Senkō

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1933

"Otou-sama?" (Father?) A beautiful seven-year-old girl asked her father, slightly perplexed because of the news her father just told her about.

"Shikata nai," (It can't be helped) Her father answered without any hint of expression on his stern face. "You will not go to Mahoutokoro, it was out of my control as to why you didn't get an acceptance letter to study there. However, it doesn't mean that you won't get another letter from the other wizarding school. You still have hope, let us see what will happen when you turn eleven."

"Yes, father," she replied with the same expression his father had at that moment, tried to mask any feelings that might burst any moment.

"For the time being, I demand you to hone your skill in everything, especially swordsmanship and magic. I expect a lot from you, Akane. Being versed in letters and arms, a person from the Akamatsu family must excel in all fields. Do not disappoint me," his father ordered her in a deep sharp voice. Surely, such voice power makes his servants cower in fear and oblige faster than you can say pumpkin juice.

"Hai, otou-sama," (Yes, father)

"You may leave now,"

She bowed her head politely then turned to leave for her chamber keeping in mind to slide the folding screen closed. The outdoor corridor or engawa seemed spooky in the night, the moonlight reflected its shine from the luminous giant pond right beside it to the entire garden area. Out of all part of her massive traditional Japanese mansion, this garden seemed to be her favourite.

Aside from its beauty and peaceful atmosphere, the place silently recorded the memory of her deceased mother. She used to feed the Koi fishes and have a relaxing conversation with her mother here. She slowly walked to the pond then stared deeply at the black pool, her heterochromatic eyes of deep blue to black and violet shimmered in the dark.

The colour of the pool made it seemed as if it was bottomless. She imagined herself being drowned endlessly within it. Drowned and drowned until she couldn't breathe from the tightening pain inside her chest. Death seems nice. She averted her gaze from the pool and started to walk to her chamber.

She changed her attire to a comfortable sleep gown and lied down on her queen-sized bed. If you have money, why bother to buy futon when you can buy a cloud-like big bed? Besides, it's not like her family was super traditional. Her father was a bloody rich yakuza, a legendary yakuza who could kill without hesitation.

Ever since she was born, watching her father's men being hurt, tortured, or killed was not a problem. Well, to her father at least. Her mother always tried to keep her secure and secluded from the yakuza world. Once again, her thought wandered to her mother. To Akane, her mother was the most beautiful woman she ever laid her eyes on.

Her mother was France, that was why they used English more frequent, the name La Lumière meant light. Her mother was her light. Meanwhile, her father's family liked to name their children after The Sengoku Period's samurai and powerful leader.

Erina La Lumière Akamatsu, her mother, was her shelter. She kept her grounded and reminded her to turn on the light every time she gets caught in the dark. But the truth was, her mother was the only light in this dark and cruel world. She felt so lucky to still have a big brother, Date-Masamune Tōshirō Oda-Nobunaga Akamatsu, he was the strongest man she ever knew.

His bright personality lit her world, they cared for each other deeply. He would die for her. He would do anything for her sister. Her father beat him once when a four-year-old Akane almost drowned in their lake, they were playing cat and dog, running around in the vast lake area. She tripped a large stone and fell into the lake, her brother dove right in and saved her.

His father was furious, he beat her brother and gave him a scar from his katana across his face, her brother was eight years old at that time. Since then, Date always feels guilty and becomes more protective. She drifted off to sleep slowly and welcomed her nightmare like she always does every night.

***

The sun slipped in through the translucent paper on her sliding panel and window. Despite the mansion being so traditional, Akane's mother designed it to have a slight Europan style by adding some windows made of glass here and there, she said that it would be refreshing. Akane took a bath and started to plan what to do for the day.

She thought about the letter and frowned. It's strange... The Akamatsu lived in Kyoto, it would be logical if Mahoutokoro sent her a letter of acceptance. The wizarding school takes students from the age of seven and have them board at the age of eleven. It made her worried, what was the reason behind it? Was she a squib? Was she not qualified? She tried to calm herself and gathered some positive thoughts, maybe her father, Oda, was right. Maybe she had to wait until she reached eleven to get a letter from another wizarding school.

Besides, if you learned 'Dark' magic in Mahoutokoro, they would drop you out in an instance and hold a trial at the Japanese Ministry for Magic. Students are presented with enchanted robes when they arrive, which grow in size as they do, and which gradually change colour as the learning of their wearer increases, beginning a faint pink colour and becoming (if top grades are achieved in every magical subject) gold. If the robes turn white, this is an indication that the student has betrayed the Japanese wizard's code and adopted illegal practices ('Dark' magic) or broken the International Statute of Secrecy.

Dark Arts always fascinated her, she wouldn't do it cause it went against her moral, well, maybe she would, but she only craved for knowledge. Her strict father made her strive for perfection in every field. Perfect in almost everything. That sounds impossible and inhuman but she wanted it. She suddenly got some ideas on what she would do today.

She may be a seven-year-old but her father always gives her a hell of some training. Since five, she played the piano, violin, and some traditional Japanese instruments. At six, her father introduced her to the Akamatsu family's martial arts and swordsmanship, not to mention magic control. Since then, she practised in the dojo until her body felt about to crack at any moment. At seven, she learned how to cook and craft a lot of things manually (without magic) to improve a natural survival skill.

She rubbed her body with strawberry soap and washed her hair with raspberry shampoo and conditioner. She rinsed her body and hair then got up to brush her teeth and dried herself. She wore her family's martial art uniform and pulled her hair up into a bun. She walked to the dining room for breakfast. Her father and her brother were already there.

She took a seat and politely wait for her father to start and then followed. After they finished their meals, Oda asked them to follow him to the garden to have a chat, Japanese table manners didn't allow them to talk during meals.

"What is your plan for the day, Akane?" Oda asked her daughter softly. She knew his father cared deeply for his family, he built his empire for them, he would sacrifice himself for the sake of his family. Sure, his way might be brutal and depressing sometimes, but he felt remorse and guilt. Especially when he gave Date his scar. He gave him a rare sword the day after and tried to be nice around him. Mother was furious, the ruthless and merciless yakuza boss feared her. If he had a weakness, then it would be her.

"I will practice in the dojo as always, father. I think I'm going to challenge Aniki (respected big brother) for another match," she answered and smirked a little, eyeing her cute handsome brother. He only rolled his eyes.

"That would have to wait for tomorrow, dear. Today, your brother needs to buy school supplies for his first day at Mahoutokoro. He will soon turn eleven, yes?" his dark black eyes shining at her. His eyes resembled the starry night sky but it brought chill like a midnight air. It hypnotized her with a sense of tranquillity.

"Oh, I understand, father," Akane tried to hide her disappointment and turned to face his brother. He had a sharp feature, deep midnight blue eyes, and straight raven black hair with a handful streak of silvery blond on the front right side from the root to its tip. That was the famous trait that her family had. Her father's hair was pitch black. Her mother's hair was silvery blonde as she was a Veela.

"I've ordered some of my men to guard you, son. Please be careful," Her father sternly warned her brother. Date only nodded his head and excused himself to get ready.

"I'm going to work in the city. I'll order Hideyoshi to keep you company. I should be going now,"

"Yes, father, please be careful too," he turned and leave her alone in the garden. Akane went to the dojo and waited for Hideyoshi to come. She took a wooden sword and went to the centre of the room. She took a deep breath to concentrate and prepared herself in a stance. Suddenly, a wooden sword was swung at her direction. She jumped flying backwards and noticed a brown-haired bulky man who was ready to attack her.

"Hide! That was rude!" She knew something was coming at her, she knitted her eyebrows in focus. The man grinned wickedly at her. He had a super huge built and intimidating face.

"You have to be prepared every second, hime-sama (princess)," Hideyoshi lunged at her and swung his sword down at her. Before his sword even managed to go half its way, Akane ducked her head swiftly, she went low and used her lightning speed to go forward. In a split second, her body was behind him, she stood straightly, exhaled slowly and relaxed. There was a crack sound then Hide's sword split into two pieces.

"You truly are The Senkō (Lightning Flash)," his expression remained shocked. Akane just shrugged her shoulder and smirked.

"Prepared every second, huh? I can even do this in my sleep, Hide,"

"One more!" He growled.

"No, let's go meditate in the waterfall," she stared at him, she was bored. If she says no, it means no.

"Fine," he sighed in defeat and followed her to the waterfall to the lake area at the front of the mansion. The entrance of the mansion ground consisted of a lot of stairs, a river that streamed from the lake to the waterfall, some Sakura trees, and a bridge.

They descended the stairs leading to the waterfall carefully as it was slippery. Akane walked right beneath the waterfall, sat crossed leg on top of a rock, let the water streamed down on top of her head and her shoulder, and closed her eyes. Hideyoshi soon followed her movement. Akane loved to meditate for it helped her to get rid of negative thoughts and shut down her feelings.

She concentrated her mind to feel the water all around her, she imagined herself being one with the water. How it moved calmly then crushed against some rocks in the river with ease as if the stone is a life obstacle. She centred her mind to the death of her mother when she was five, the heavy expectation her father gave her, all the scene when her father's men died gruesomely in front of her, and the scar her brother got from her father.

She imagined herself going further from the memories of all her sorrow and pain. Like water crushing some stones to move on. She felt the energy surge inside her, the cool sensation of the water spread inside giving her a calm and peaceful feeling. She focused her mind and set aside unwanted voice around her.

Soon, she could feel every heartbeat of the living thing around her, she could see everything so clearly even though her eyes were closed. She could see every tiny bug and hear its heartbeat. She could see and feel the water inside all of the trees and plants around her. She could see the sakura petals falling slowly from its branch on to the river.

After what seemed like forever, Hideyoshi shook her gently out of her meditation. The sky had turned into a pinkish-orange before she realised it. She sat up slowly and followed Hideyoshi back inside the mansion. Her uniform soaked entirely and decided to clean up for dinner.

"Have you mastered the wind element, ojou-sama (Young Lady)?"

"Yes, I have, that's why I have the speed of a lightning bolt,"

"Ah, sou (right), then I shall be going to my quarter, it's always nice to train with you, maybe I'll beat you someday," he smirked to her smugly, "if you master the water element before you turn eight, I'll give you a present, how does that sound?"

"Keep dreaming, Hide. Thanks for today. Sure, meet me again tomorrow in the lake, I'll show you my water element training result," Akane smirked back at him.

"Heh, fine then, goodnight, ojou-sama," Hideyoshi bowed politely and turned to leave. She walked to her chamber then brought her kimono (traditional Japanese garment). She decided to take a bath in her onsen (Japanese hot spring).

Once she got there, she placed her fresh clothes inside the cabinet. The hot spring was very quiet as it was built only for her. The humid air warmed her body instantly. She took off her uniform and undergarment then dipped her body in the onsen. Sigh escaped her lips as soon as the warm water hit her porcelain skin.

She wondered what Hideyoshi, her bodyguard, would give her as a present. She hoped that it would be a package of sweet or a rare katana (Japanese sword). She then got an idea to test her ability. She sat up straight, stretched out her right arm in front of her, and pointed her palm towards the water.

She focused her mind to move the water. Suddenly, a small water tornado took shape in front of her, the water streamed around its core fiercely making some tiny droplets of water tremendously scattered across the room like a gust of wind. Akane's raven black hair flew wildly, the silver streak was glistening from the light which reflected through the water droplets.

She shaped the water into a sphere ball and blasted the water all around the room. The blast had shaken her body a little before it turned into steam. Once again, the room filled with a warm haze from her water magic and the onsen hot water.

"HA! I DID IT! I knew I was awesome but I didn't know I was THAT awesome," she pumped her fist in the air in victory then stepped out of the water and went to the joining bathroom beside the hot spring. After she had taken a shower, she dried her body and wore her kimono. She stepped out of the onsen and went for the dining room.

Date greeted her with a beaming smile, he seemed very happy today, she might want to ask him later about it. Her father was nowhere to be seen, probably going to be back late, that's one of the consequences of his job anyway. Perhaps, he was 'collecting' money from the clubs, shops, and casinos which he owned.

Or, he might 'take care' of some intruders from the other clan who dared to trespass his city. Yes, HIS city. He even managed to hold a tight grip on the Muggle police station and Japan Ministry for Magic, in case he needed 'help'. Regarding her father's absence, the siblings could speak freely during meals without minding manners. Akane sat across from her brother then started to eat.

"Aniki, what gets you in such a good mood today? Had a nice shopping?" she asked her brother curiously.

"Exactly! The shopping area for the wizarding world is so different from the Muggle's! There are a LOT of nice goodies! I bought some school books and supplies AND I just bought a cat, do you want to know the name that I gave her? I named her Senko," he smirked at her as he ate his dinner. His deep blue eyes twinkled with enthusiasm. Akane felt happy for her brother yet her worries seemed to be back as she thought about how happy it would be if she got a letter of acceptance in the wizarding school and went shopping for school supplies with her brother.

"Seriously? Could you come up with a better name?" she tried to mask her worries by feigning irritate. Her brother seemed to notice her flat tone and frowned.

"Are you okay, sunshine?"

She sighed, "Ikanaide, onii-sama (don't go, big brother)," she bit her lips trying to hold back the tears, "I can't help but to wonder why I didn't get an acceptance letter, am I not qualified? Even if I would get a letter from another school, I don't want to go there alone, Date! I want to go to Mahoutokoro with you!" the tears streamed down the little girl's face, her brother stood up then came to her side and hugged her.

"Shh... It'll be okay, sunshine. You're the brightest witch I've ever known, you will get a letter eventually. Let's be patient and wait for it, okay? Probably, Mahoutokoro hasn't sent you the letter yet, they take students from the age of seven, right? That doesn't mean they won't take you even if you're past seven, let's just wait until you're eleven. Besides, I'm not going anywhere, Mahoutokoro is not a boarding school. While day students, wizarding children are flown back and forth to their homes every day on the backs of a flock of giant storm petrels." her brother wiped her tears gently and pet her head slowly.

Akane nodded her head and hugged her brother, "come on, I want you to see me using my new wand," her brother locked his arm with her hand as he pulled her up and guided her to the garden.

"What's your wand like?" she asked Date. He pulled his wand out from the kimono folds and hold it in front of her. She took it and felt the energy pulsating from within.

"It feels powerful," she acknowledged the wand.

"It is. The core is Veela hair. The structure was made from snakewood. I don't know how that's possible. Salazar Slytherin's wand was made from snakewood," her brother knitted his eyebrows in confusion.

"Who's Salazar Slytherin?"

"Who's Salaz-? Are you kidding me? Salazar Slytherin was regarded as one of the greatest wizards of the age, respectively as a Parselmouth and as a skilled Legilimens. Slytherin was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry along with Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw, as well as the namesake of the Slytherin House,"

"Parselmouth and Legilimens? Like our father?"

"Uh, yeah," he seemed nervous and averted his gaze to the pool, "so, let's see the new spell I've learned this afternoon!" he changed the subject but Akane just shrugged it off.

"Draconifors!" he yelled an incantation as he slashed his wand at a garden lamp. An orange light was emitted from the wand. Soon, the lamp turned into a small dragon.

"Wicked! You have to teach me that spell!" she beamed at him then turned to face the dragon, "hey there little friend, what's your name?" she asked the dragon in a cute voice.

"I don't have a name, Dovahkiin" the dragon's voice boomed at her.

"My name is Akane, not Dovahkiin," she replied the dragon in confusion. Date immediately transformed the dragon back to a garden lamp.

"Hey! I was talking to him!" Akane frowned at her brother slightly annoyed because of his action.

"Ahaha... I know, let's just go back inside, it's late," he nervously laughed and turned back inside without waiting for her answer. She huffed and ran to catch up with her brother.

"So, when will your school start?" Akane asked her brother with a heavy feeling inside her heart.

"Next week. Let's have a sword match tomorrow, yeah?" he smiled at her, that cute boyish smile would swoon any girl.

"Sure, I bet I'm going to beat you, I've mastered the water element today," she broke the news at him proudly. He only chuckled and ruffled her hair, "It's a million years too early for you to beat me, sunshine," he replied her smugly.

"Yeah, yeah, if you say so, let's see it tomorrow," she kissed his cheek and bid him goodnight.

***

"997, 998, 999, 1000..." Akane counted each time she swung her sword. The morning air felt cold against her skin despite the sweat that just rolled down her forehead. She loved her morning like this. Just her and her sword. The Akamatsu family's ancient martial arts had been passed down from generation to generation.

It consisted of three martial arts: One, the empty hand martial art, basically a mix of Aikido and a bit of every other empty hand martial art, the family called it 'Tendo' it meant 'Way of Heaven', the name was similar to a religion in Japan.

Two, the sword-wielding martial art, similar to Iaido which emphasized being aware and capable of quickly drawing the sword and responding to a sudden attack but the family's version extended it to a santoryu, a style of sword fighting where the practitioner wields three Katana, one in each hand and one in the mouth.

Three, archery, not really an original from her family but just the traditional 'Kyudo'.

"Ojou-sama," Hideyoshi greeted her, "ohayou gozaimasu," (good morning) Akane turned around to face Hideyoshi and Date. They seemed ready to practice. A morning routine they always had. However, it would be only Akane and Hideyoshi starting from next week as her brother would have to go to school.

"Ohayou, Hide, Aniki," she greeted them back.

"Ohayou, Akane. So, before you demonstrate the water element, you have to show your capability of mastering the wind element first, I'm going to charm this leaf here to fly wildly in midair, your job is to cut it with your sword into small little pieces, are you ready?" Date hold a leaf in his hand in front of her.

"Bring it on!" she took a stance and pulled her sword backwards, ready to attack. Her brother muttered a spell and the leaf started to fly around swiftly in the air. She frowned in focus, took a deep breath, and felt the wind energy guiding her movement. A few swooshes sound of her sword later, the leaf was cut into tiny little pieces in the blink of an eye. Her brother shouted a freezing charm to inspect it closer. Hideyoshi whistled at her. Date grinned proudly and pet her head.

"Well, let's see your water element training result now, shall we? I've set some traps in the mountain, your task is to go to the shrine, take the scroll I've placed inside, then go back here unharmed, I'll give you time limit until before lunch is started," Date ordered her. She nodded and started to run in the direction of the mountain behind their forest.

The shrine was located on the mountain halfway from the peak. It was extremely far for a little girl but she was a powerful swordsman. She had a strong sense of smell. She could detect everything from a far distance only with her nose. She focused her mind and concentrated to find any danger while she kept running.

Her eyes widened in realization at the sudden strong scent of a trap. She jumped avoiding a trap rope then ducked her head before a fleet of blade flew past her head. She imagined herself like water, flowing around rocks like it was nothing. Her pace became swift and silent. Not a single sound came from her. She didn't even make any unnecessary movements.

Once she reached the shrine, the cold mountain air hit her hard, she didn't realise it at first because she was too focused on her task. The smell of fresh mountain morning air and forest made her happy. She walked to the water reservoir beside the shrine and splashed some water on her face. She went inside, closed her eyes, placed the palms of her hands onto one another, and silently prayed to her ancestor.

Tremendous energy overwhelmed her body, releasing any dark and negative spirits from within. She opened her eyes, took the scroll, then turned to left the shrine for the lake. She was tracing back her path while avoiding any traps that seemed to be changed. When she reached the lake, Date and Hideyoshi were having a match. They stopped their match instantly in utter shock once they noticed her presence.

"THAT WAS INCREDIBLY FAST!" Date exclaimed with his jaw hanging open.

"Well done, ojou-sama, I shall give you the present then," Hideyoshi laughed proudly at her.

"I told you. But, what is this scroll about?" Akane handed the scroll to her brother. He took it from her once he recovered from his shock.

"This is Kaze to Mizu no Makimono (Wind and Water Scroll), once a practitioner has mastered those two elements, the scroll shall be 'bestowed' upon him/her. Now, you have to get into the lake until the water reaches your waist, take your sword with you, cut your palm a little, drop some blood into the water, and close your eyes. We're going to do a little ritual for the spirits of the Wind and Water Elements," Date instructed her and placed the scroll on the ground. Akane walked into the lake until the water reached her waist. She cut her palm slightly and dropped a little amount of blood into the water then closed her eyes.

"To The Great Water and Wind Spirits, Sui, Fu, I call upon you to guide and guard this apprentice in her task," Date hissed in Parseltongue. The scroll opened itself. It floated in the air and went above Akane's head.

It whirled several times then turned into water and wind, it wrapped around Akane's body gently as it shone blue and white light. A big blue circle appeared in front of her, some strange and foreign language written circularly on the circle, The Akamatsu's family crest rested on its centre, right above and beneath the crest was respectively the Fu (風) and Sui (水) kanji, it rotated for a few seconds then disappeared in a burst of bright light. Akane jolted her eyes open. Her eyes shone white for a moment. It went back to normal as she regained her consciousness.

"How do you feel, young miss?" Hideyoshi asked her slowly.

"Fantastic," she replied him with a grin.

"The spirits of the Wind and Water Elements reside within you, they will guide you whenever you need help or whenever they sense danger, you can talk to them for advice sometimes, not always, but they will be present in your head in crucial times," Date explained her about the spirits. She tilted her head to one side in confusion.

"I will look like an idiot if someone sees me talking to myself,"

"No, sunshine. You talk to them in your head telepathically," her brother laughed at her, "let's go inside for lunch, shall we? Hide, thank you for today," Date turned to leave them and went inside.

"Young miss, this is the present I want to give you," Hideyoshi handed her a black box with a drawing of a dragon on the lid, "your mother left this to Aniki for you, Aniki wanted me to be the one who gave it to you. Erina-sama said that I had to give it to you once you had mastered the wind and water elements, she strictly ordered you not to lose it," Akane's eyes slightly frowned at the mention of her mother, she took the box and opened the lid. A beautiful silver necklace.

The pendant was circular. There were two dragons with Sui and Fu kanji respectively on its head circled the pendant. They seemed to be chasing each other's tail. Between the heads and the tails was her family crest or mon (emblem) separating the dragons from eating each other's tail. At the centre was a Yin Yang symbol. She took the necklace from the box, unclasped the lock, circled her neck with it, and clasped the lock back.

"Thank you, Hide," she sadly smiled at him. Hideyoshi bowed at her and excused himself.

***

She tossed and turned in her sleep, the same nightmare came back to her every night, tears rolled down her cheeks, her sweat made her nightgown soaked wet. A bald man with scarlet eyes and snake-like nose was laughing hysterically at her, his black robes reached down to bind her limbs and her neck, it strangled her body like a ragged doll.

She tried to breathe and struggled against him, a big snake slithered around her, the man threw her to a pool of blood, she tried to swim up but a hand grabbed her leg and dragged her down, further into the abyss.

Her vision changed into a memory. A memory of her mother. Her mother smiled down at her softly yet a single tear rolled down her cheek. "I'm sorry," her mother said to her. Her mother's face was blurred and changed into the bald man's face. Strangely, he said the same two words with sorrow in his eyes, regret and remorse were expressed clearly in his face, "I'm sorry,".

Akane jolted awake from her sleep. She panted breathlessly and tried to calm herself down. She stood up slowly, her knees were shaking. She walked to her walk-in closet, took off her nightgown and changed into something fresh. She walked outside her room, wandered around aimlessly until she reached the garden.

The sun was almost up, the orange sky in the east slightly contrasted the west sky that still dark, the birds were chirping loudly as they flying around. Akane hugged her body with her little hands, the morning air chilled her a bit. She looked at her reflection on the pond, sadly reminisced the memory of her mother in this place.

"I miss you, mother, I'm sorry too. But, you're in my heart as long as I live, I love you,"

Chapter Text

1938

She panted heavily, her body was rigid, too stunned to move. Akane stared at her brother in disbelief. Date, who was as breathless as her, looked up at her with the same shocked expression. Even the match silenced Hideyoshi and Oda. Akane looked at her father searching for any sign of confirmation whether it was true or not. Oda cleared his throat and clapped his hands. He stood up and nodded at her.

"Hmh. I did not expect this to happen. It is clear how you just managed to beat your brother in every Akamatsu family's martial arts. However, I can not say that I'm surprised. This may happen as you are a very powerful and talented fighter, Akane," Oda beamed at her. Akane looked at her palm then stretched her hand for his brother. Her brother took it and got up, seemingly exhausted from the intense match.

"I'm so proud of you, sunshine. Although, don't even think that this is over. I'm going to get back at you, even stronger than before," Date smirked at Akane.

"Heh. Sure, good luck with that," despite her cockiness, her voice still sounded uncertain of what just happened.

"Congratulations, ojou-sama," Hideyoshi smiled proudly at her.

"We haven't finished yet, Akane. You still have to master the Earth and Fire Element as of today. You will undergo the last exam after lunch. For now, go have some rest," Oda instructed her.

"Yes, father. I understand," she answered her father blankly.

***

"Akane... You have mastered The Wind and Water Elements to your best agility. This following test will challenge you to push your unbreakable defence and fierce strength. For this final test, I will be the one who supervises you. But, you will not face each element separately, on the contrary, you will face both elements simultaneously.

I will conjure an extremely heavy resistance upon you. I expect you to have incredible durability in terms of defence and forceful attack in terms of powerful strength. Your task is to survive as long as you can," Oda explained to Akane in his strict demeanour. Akane nodded her head and took a stance, "Begin!" Her father shouted at her.

She gripped two katanas in each of her hands tighter, she bit the third katana harder between her teeth. Suddenly, a swarm of various magical creatures began to lunge at her in every direction. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and felt the trembling ground beneath her to detect each enemy.

Her vision was black due to her closed eyes but she saw a white thread outlining every enemy who was moving in slow motion. Akane swung her sword swiftly. She jumped and flipped to dodge every attack. Again and again, until no single sound was heard. She stood straightly, swung her sword in front of her and sheathed it.

She opened her eyes to find a gruesome view of an army of magical creatures who lied on their own blood. The dead bodies turned into gas like fog which blurred her vision. Her breath hitched in her throat when she saw her mother standing a few feet in front of her.

"M-mother?" Akane called at Erina with her eyes widened in shock. She felt her head spinning and her stomach churning. No, it's an illusion, it's not real. She gritted her teeth and unsheathed her sword. Her mother walked slowly towards her, Akane's hand trembled in fear. Please, don't make me do this. A drop of sweat rolled down on her forehead. She clenched her jaw tighter. She gathered every fiery passion within her to drive an attack without feeling any emotions.

Erina grinned at her daughter wickedly, her yukata stretched out swiftly in Akane's direction trying to strangle her. Akane slashed her katana dodging every attack while running in lightning speed at her mother. Once she reached an inch radius, she jumped in the air and swung her sword at her mother's face.

She spun in the air and touched back down on the ground gracefully. Her vision began to clear from the fog when she brought back to reality. Oda clapped proudly at her. She exhaled slowly and relaxed her shoulder. She saw a beautiful blue coloured fire lit up beside her father. The fire was lit slightly above the ground, it seemed as if the fire was floating in the air.

"You've done it, Akane. You remained to be tough and resist every challenge, like a stone and a fire. Now, we will proceed a similar ritual you had when you've mastered The Wind and Water Elements. This is the Chikyuu to Hi no Makimono (Earth and Fire Scroll). You will step inside this fire, cut your palm slightly, and drop some blood to the fire and the ground beneath it," Akane stepped inside the blue fire, strangely, the fire did not hurt her, it felt cold against her skin. She immediately did as her father had instructed. Oda placed a scroll on the ground then spoke in Parseltongue, "to The Great Earth and Fire Spirits, Chi, Ka, I call upon you to guide and guard this apprentice in her task,"

The scroll burned itself then turned into dirt and fire. It flew inside the blue fire then a sudden burst of energy filled Akane's body. A big red circle appeared in front of her, similar to the wind and water elements circle, some strange and foreign language written circularly on the circle,

The Akamatsu's family crest rested on its centre, right above and beneath the crest was respectively the Chi (地) and Ka (火) kanji letters, it rotated for a few times then disappeared with a burst of bright light. Akane opened her eyes. The same white light totally covered her heterochromatic eyes for a moment.

"Congratulations, Akane. You have become a true santoryu swordsmen," Oda announced at his daughter. Akane felt different, she felt powerful, calm, collected, and whole.

"Thank you for everything, father. I can not do this without you for you are my mentor and my teacher," Akane bowed at her father. Oda walked at her and hugged her. The gesture caught her off guard. Well, I didn't expect a yakuza boss to be a hugger. She hugged her father back. Oda released her then stared at her eyes in a stern manner.

"We need to talk about a very important matter, Akane," Oda said in a low voice.

"What is it about, father?" Akane frowned slightly. An uneasy feeling rose inside her chest.

"Your bloodline. Tell me, Akane, what do you know about our family?"

"A yakuza family that has its own martial arts. Parselmouth and skilled Legillimens,"

"... I'm sorry, Akane," her father looked down in shame. THAT was the second gesture that caught Akane off guard this day. A yakuza boss NEVER looked down in shame. Akane didn't say anything. She was too stunned to speak, "I never tell you anything about our heritage and bloodline. It is for your own safety, Akane. You have to understand. I did not have a choice. I want you to be safe. Now that you've grown stronger. I want you to know about it. I want you to know what you're up against. But, you have to swear on your mother's grave not to abuse it,"

"I swear, father," Akane replied shortly, too confused to be angry. Her own family kept her in the dark. She had the right to be angry. Oda inhaled slowly. He stared at her strongly.

"Parseltongue is not an easy language to master, a rare skill it is. For someone to be born with the ability to speak the Serpent language means that he/she is the heir of Salazar Slytherin. We are the 'forgotten' bloodline, unlike the notorious Peverell and Gaunt families. Well, maybe not forgotten, but a 'preserved' family, to keep its importance and secret in the wizarding world," there was a tense silence in the air. Akane chose not to say anything until his father finished talking,

"Not only that. As you already know, you can speak to dragons. That is because our ancestor is a dragon, his name is Akatosh. An ancient white dragon that resides on the highest mountain in the universe. How is that possible? An ancient powerful dragon has the ability to change its shape into a humanlike appearance. A similar ability that a drakaina (female dragon) has. Sometime in the past, Akatosh came down to earth, he fell in love with a beautiful witch, Salazar's daughter, Akatosh changed his shape to mate with her,"

"Does my ability to speak to horses and water creatures have anything to do with it?" Akane asked her father curiously.

"... No. That ability was newly added to our family. From your grandfather," Oda averted his gaze from her. Clearly, he felt uncomfortable about the topic, "he wasn't dead as you had known, Akane. In fact, he can't die," Oda explained to her.

"What do you mean that he can't die?"

"Sometimes, Gods and Goddesses would come down to earth. Sometimes, they would fall in love with humans and mate with them. Your grandfather was one of them," her father looked directly in her eyes. Gulp.

"Can you guess which God he is regarding your ability to speak to water creatures?"

"... Poseidon, God of the sea," Akane whispered in a low voice.

"I am so sorry, Akane. It is dangerous if a certain wrong person knows about us, I implore you to be wise," Oda gripped Akane's shoulder tightly for a second.

"I understand, father," Akane didn't know what to say and feel. She tried to distract herself then asked her father about school instead, "father, what should I do if I didn't get the acceptance letter?"

"I can tutor you, my daughter. Rest assured, whether you will be schooled in a wizarding school or homeschooled, I am certain that you will be a powerful witch," Oda smiled at her.

***

"Akane-sama! AKANE-SAMA!!!" a squeaky voice called Akane from behind. She turned around to see her house elf, Anko, ran towards her with an envelope in his hand, "Oh, good morning, Akane-sama. You look beautiful as always today," Anko greeted her shyly.

"Good morning, Anko. Thank you for the compliment. Is there something you'd like to tell me?" Akane chuckled slightly at her house elf. Her eyes turned to gaze at the envelope.

"Oh, yes! Anko received this letter from an owl this morning, apparently, it was from Hogwarts. Anko saw that this letter was addressed to you, my lady," the house elf handed Akane a piece of letter. Akane opened the seal and read the content.

"Dear, Ms Akamatsu

We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July...."

Her heart thumped faster in excitement. She grinned brightly and ran to the direction of her father's office. She knocked on the door gently, a soft "come in" from inside was heard, she slid the door open and walked inside. Akane saw a tall old man with greyish auburn hair and blue eyes sitting in front of her father. The old man's eyes twinkled slightly at the sight of Akane. The eleven-year-old girl bowed at him then turned to face her father.

"Father, I received a letter regarding my acceptance to Hogwarts school," Akane beamed at her father. Oda smiled back at her.

"Yes, I am already aware of that. Anyway, meet Professor Dumbledore, he is an old friend of mine, he will be your Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts," Oda introduced Akane to the old man across him.

"Oh, it's a pleasure meeting you, sir," Akane bowed for the second time at the old man. Dumbledore smiled and bowed back at her.

"It's nice to meet a brilliant young witch such as yourself, Akane," Dumbledore greeted her back. Akane smiled shyly at him, "I see that you have the letter from one of our owl. However, your father called me to come here as we had something important to discuss. So, you might wonder why you didn't get a letter from Mahoutokoro unlike your brother, that was because you were born in England. Meanwhile, your brother was born here in Japan," Dumbledore explained to her in a gentle voice. His eyes held neverending curiosity, endless knowledge, and reliable wisdom. At that moment, Akane knew that she liked him.

"Your father and I also made an arrangement for your... Katana. It is in your favour to bring it to Hogwarts as I see it as a precaution for your own safety considering your family background. Even so, we prefer it if you never use it to harm other student and staff. An exception will be made in a life-threatening situation. Any harm done will result in further investigation and may cause expulsion from Hogwarts. Do you understand, Akane?" Dumbledore arched his eyebrows at her.

"Yes, professor, I understand," Akane nodded at Dumbledore.

"Well, moving on to another problem. I've bought a house in London in case you want to stay there at some points. It will be easier if you stay there before the start of a new term in the summer holidays. For example, buying school books and equipment in Diagon Alley and keeping your stuff there, so you don't have to come back and forth to Japan. But, I expect you to come home every Christmas," Oda ordered her.

"Yes, father. But, are you going to come with me and see me off when I board the train at King's Cross station?" Akane asked her father with eyes full of hope.

"Yes, just this once. It's too dangerous for a yakuza boss to go to public places. But, I will visit you in the summer at your house in London with Floo Network," Oda smiled at her daughter then turned his attention to Dumbledore, "Albus, I thank you for the trouble, especially for my exaggerating plea," Oda bowed at Dumbledore. The professor bowed back politely at him and smiled.

"Oh, don't mention it. Headmaster Dippet was the one who gave the permission anyway. Now that everything is pretty much settled. I have to go back to Hogwarts now," Dumbledore stood up from his seat and turned his attention to Oda, "thank you for the tea, I always know Japan has a good taste in tea, one that rivals England. Although, my favourite will always be lemon tea or maybe brandy," he winked at Akane. The girl bit back a laugh. Dumbledore walked to the fireplace near his chair. He was going to use the Floo Network, inside Akamatsu family ground, Apparition was limited.

"Ah, no problem, Albus. Send my regards to Armando, will you?" Oda handed a pot with glittery green powder inside it. Dumbledore took a handful of powder.

"Bye," Dumbledore said to Akane in a playful tone with a smile and twinkling eyes. He tossed the powder into the fireplace. The fire inside turned into an emerald green colour as it rose higher. He walked into the flames and shouted 'Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry', Dumbledore's figure vanished.

Akane suspiciously stared at his father. She wondered why katana was needed in a magic world, especially in the safest place in the world, Hogwarts. Wasn't a wand just enough? "Father, why would I need to bring my katana? Isn't a wand enough? Doesn't Hogwarts have a magical barrier?" she decided to ask her father for an answer. She disliked not knowing things.

"Gods and Goddesses may rarely interfere with the Muggle world and some mundane things. Humans who see abnormality or strange thing would usually cause some furore. But, in the magic world, they could explicitly control everything and show their dominance or power freely. They don't exactly... Get along with each other. Sometimes, they would send some 'disturbance' or gadfly to another God's children which could be extremely dangerous. Your katana is not a normal katana which the Muggle samurai usually use. That is because it is made from tempered celestial steel. This metal can demolish anything that even magic unable to destroy," Oda explained everything to his daughter. Akane felt a slight fear inside her chest as she listened intently to her father. She was oblivious to the fact that all this time she was actually in great danger. She swallowed a lump in her throat as she tried to mask any signs of fear.

"What kind of gadfly they usually send to us?" she whispered at his father.

"The most common forms are monsters who are sent to kill you. Violent magical beasts. Keep in mind that even magic would be almost useless against them and an attempt to calm them down would be absolutely useless and idiotic. Once they are given a certain order to kill someone from a God, then that someone is as good as dead. Even if a skilful person who doesn't have God blood can calm them down, we can't, they tend to be more brutal and aggressive towards their target," Oda stared at her daughter with his piercing gaze, "I advise you to carry your katana wherever you go, even if you're in Hogwarts ground," Akane nodded her head.

***

One cauldron, pewter, standard size 2, check. One set of glass or crystal phials, check. One telescope, check. One set of brass scales, check. An owl or a cat or a toad? An owl would be useful to send letters in case Akane missed her brother. The little girl strolled down the road with Hideyoshi, they passed through people clothed in robes and hats.

Akane saw a relatively small, dark shop, the shop was called Eeylops Owl Emporium. On the outside of the shop, many different colours and species of owls hung in cages, watching all of the passersby. She turned and went inside.

Akane felt a little bit suffocated as it was crowded, definitely filled with Hogwarts students, whether they were the excited looking first year or the I'm-so-done sixth year and seven years or the troubled second year to the fifth year. She scanned the area for a white snowy owl, she liked the colour because of her name, Shiro.

As she walked around the sop, her eyes met with an icy blue one. The owner of the blue eyes hooted slowly at the girl. Akane was mesmerized at the sight of the white fur that clad on the blue-eyed creature. He was simply beautiful. She walked slowly towards the owl then petted the head. The owl leaned to her touch happily.

"He likes you, Young Miss," Hideyoshi acknowledged the owl.

"I'm going to take him home, Hide, let's buy him,"

"What are you going to call him?"

"Shiro," Akane answered with a small smile. With that, they left the shop with a new friend.

After Akane bought a set of uniform and school books, she stopped in her track and facepalmed. She still needed the most notable thing for a wizard, a wand, "where can I buy a wand, Hide?" Akane asked the big man beside her.

"That would be in Ollivanders," Hideyoshi pointed at a store. The shop was narrow and shabby with peeling gold letters over the door of the shop 'Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.' The shop's display consisted of a solitary wand lying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. They walked inside but it seemed almost empty. Probably the first year students already went here the first time they arrived at Diagon Alley.

The shop was tiny, with a single, spindly chair in the corner. Thousands of narrow boxes containing wands were piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop, and the whole place had a thin layer of dust about it. An old wrinkly man appeared from behind a shelf.

His eyes slightly widened at the sight of the little girl. He quickly went inside without saying a word. A shuffling sound could be heard from a direction the old man went to. After a minute, the man came back with a box. He opened the box to reveal a wand.

"A wand, that has been passed down for generations. Although, my family was not the maker of this powerful wand. It was kept here for you," he handed a dark brown wand to Akane, "snakewood, horned serpent's horn as its core, rigid, 14 inches, very powerful," the old man explained the wand to Akane. His eyes shined a little. Akane held the wand, a warm feeling surged inside her.

"Ah, I could feel it. It deems you worthy, a bit rare occurrence for a handed down wand to choose its allegiance instantly, usually it'll take a long time to master," he smiled at Akane.

"Thank you, Mr Ollivander," Akane thanked the old man and paid the wand for his service.

***

Akane didn't expect the house in London to be so big, a bit much as the one who would live here was only her. The architecture was so different from her house in Japan. It was a typical three-story European manor. A giant garden was placed in front of the house, it was neatly taken care of. The moment she stepped inside the house, she was greeted by an extravagant staircase in the middle of the room with a big chandelier hanging on the ceiling.

At the right side of the atrium was a living room with a fireplace. Meanwhile, on the left side were the kitchen and the dining room. At the second floor, there were three bedrooms and a library. At the third floor, two bedrooms and to her delight, a dojo. The bathrooms were built in each of the bedrooms.

Akane took her stuff to the master bedroom at the right corridor upstairs. The room was cream coloured, there was a king sized bed with a white sheet in the middle of the room, a bedside table was placed next to the bed. She lit the fireplace at the end of the room. There was a walk-in closet. Two sofas and a coffee table in front of the fireplace.

A giant window and a balcony that offered a great view of the garden outside her house. She placed her trunks on the floor then walked to the bathroom. Marbled white floor, white walls, a bathtub, a shower, and a sink. She took a quick shower then decided to study to take an early start for school.

The first book which she opened was a self-protection guide against dark forces, it was solely because of what her father said. Akane became paranoid nowadays. She would jump at the smallest thud or sound. When she heard a suspicious strange sound, the girl would immediately grip her swords and turn around in a flash. One day it happened, the owner of the sound turned out to be her brother's white cat.

Akane tried some spells from the books and they were all worked. Getting bored, she decided to move on to another book: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander. She didn't even need to know 'where to find them', they would eventually find her anyway. She read it for the same reason why she read the Defence Against the Dark Arts book.

If you wanted to defeat a monster, you should know them well. When Akane finished the book of monsters, her stomach grumbled for food. It was dinner time already. She got up from her bed and tidied up her books. She went to the kitchen to eat something before she went to sleep. But when she hit the bed, Akane couldn't really sleep as excitement and nervous bubbled up inside her for tomorrow is the day she would go to Hogwarts.

***

Hideyoshi pushed a trolley with Akane's trunk and owl on it. Her father walked beside her, he didn't wear his usual yukata, he was wearing a black suit to avoid attention. Date, Akane's brother, was unable to see her off because he had to go to school.

The station was crowded with Muggle. Akane looked at her ticket once more. Platform 9 3/4. Her father told her how to get inside the platform. She couldn't help but feel a bit anxious. What if I got stuck inside the platform barrier?

When they arrived at platform nine and ten, Oda pulled his daughter gently in front of the solid barrier between the two platforms. There was a ticket box with a guard inside.

"Together," Oda grabbed her hand then walked straight past the barrier. A scarlet coloured train was waiting beside a crowded platform. Her eyes shined at the sight of Hogwarts Express.

The steam of the train flew above the wagons and the people that stood on the platform. Akane saw a lot of students with their family. Some of them were crying and laughing. There were some kids inside the train talking with their parents through the compartment window.

"Take care of yourself, keep your grades and reputation high. Stay away from trouble," Oda petted Akane's head, her father leaned closer and whispered, "don't forget to use Occlumency at all times,"

"Yes, father. Can you please tell Date I'll miss him? And I'll miss you, father," the girl smiled at her father. Oda smiled back at her. Hideyoshi helped Akane to get her trunk and owl inside the wagon. Akane bowed then waved at them. Her father nodded and Hideyoshi smiled widely. She turned to look for an empty compartment.

Akane sat next to a window. The giant steam engine started to move. She stared at particularly nothing on the window. Although, the view was pleasing. A knock was heard from the door. She turned her head and saw a red-haired girl standing at the door.

"Can I sit here?" she politely asked as she smiled at Akane. Akane nodded and smiled back at her. The redhead took a seat beside her. The girl was slightly shorter than Akane, she had mischievous brown eyes, cute round face, pointy nose, and thin lips. She was simply pretty.

"I'm Silvia Carrow, pure-blood, first year,"

"I'm Akane Akamatsu, first year," Akane felt nervous as she couldn't really talk about her blood status. Not really.

"Are you a pure-blood?" Silvia asked Akane curiously.

"Um... I'm half-veela,"

"No wonder you're so gorgeous! Based on your name, are you a Japanese? I'm from Edinburgh, what about your father? Is he a pureblood?"

"Yes, I live in Kyoto, but I would be staying in London for the summer. And my father is a pureblood," the girls were chatting excitedly, they seemed fond of each other, they had the same hobbies: reading, studying, and playing music. Their chat was cut short by a knock. A handsome tall boy with platinum blonde hair opened the door slightly. He had greyish blue eyes.

"Do you mind if I join you? The others are full," he asked politely, he blushed slightly when he looked at Akane. The raven-haired girl shooked her head and told him to come inside. He sat across them and introduced himself.

"I'm Abraxas Malfoy, pure-blood, I'm going to be in Slytherin," he smiled confidently at the girls. Akane almost chocked at the mention of the House's name.

"Wow, you're confident. But, I think I'd want to be in Slytherin as well, what about you, Akane?" Silvia smirked at her.

"Slytherin, obviously," yeah, obviously. Abraxas knitted his eyebrows at Akane. Did he know something? Akane fidgeted in her seat uncomfortably.

"Are your eyes always like that? Are you okay?" Abraxas asked her seemingly worried. Akane silently thank the God as he didn't seem to notice anything.

"Yes, I have heterochromatic eyes, probably because I'm a half-veela but my father's gene still dominates it," she chuckled slightly.

"Oh, I was wondering why you're so pretty," Akane blushed madly. Silvia cleared her throat and changed the subject. Akane turned to Silvia with a thankful expression. The three were chatting endlessly as the train kept moving. They got close in an instant because of their same view and hobby in almost everything. Akane felt so grateful at this. She could feel that everything was finally going to be fine. She finally felt at ease and genuinely happy for the first time after the death of her mother.

Little did she knew, she was wrong.

Chapter Text

Served with Scottish countryside scenic views and some magical sweets from the trolley, the train ride to Hogsmeade station was pleasing. As Akane and her friends who were already dressed in Hogwarts robes got off from the train, a gruff voice from the school caretaker called the first year to gather up near the Black Lake while the second to seventh year took a carriage ride.

Apparently, the first year got the privilege to ride a boat in the lake to Hogwarts, it was said to be a privilege because the boat ride would give the first year an enchanting view of the glowing castle across the lake which stood greatly on top of the hill in the dark of the night as their first view of Hogwarts.

The boat was filled not more than four students. A new companion joined the trio as they board the ride, he has light brown hair and blue eyes, when he pulled the corner of his lips, he greeted the trio with a boyish smile. Cute. Abraxas looked up at the castle with gleaming eyes, the others soon followed with their jaw dropped open.

Slowly, they began to reach an underground harbour or the Boathouse to dock their boat. The students walked up to a land of rock and gravel. They went up to the rocky hill following the school caretaker until they reached a land of grass in front of a castle. As they climbed up a bunch of stone steps, a massive door was opened slowly to reveal a familiar old man with auburn hair and twinkling eyes.

"Thank you, Carpe. I'll take it from here," Dumbledore spoke to the caretaker whose name was Carpe. The caretaker turned to leave and Dumbledore opened another door at the end of the stair to reveal a massive hall with torches that lit up the wall. The ceiling was so high and seemingly endless. Four rows of a very long table were located in the centre of the hall. At the far end of the hall, was a table which faced the four tables, it was placed on a short platform to make it higher.

"Welcome, first year, to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am Professor Dumbledore. You will enter the Great Hall to join the rest for a feast but before you take your seats, each of you will be sorted into a house. During your life in Hogwarts, your house is your home and your family. There are four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Now, line up and follow me," Dumbledore turned and walked inside the hall.

The first year followed him to enter the hall, they looked up at the ceiling and some of them gasped. Akane knew that it was bewitched to look like the night sky. She read about it on a book called Hogwarts: A History. Dumbledore placed an ugly pointy hat on a stool.

The hat started to sing something about Hogwarts's four houses. Gryffindor for the brave, Ravenclaw for the wit, Hufflepuff for the loyal, and Slytherin for the cunning. When it finished its singing, the students clapped their hands.

"When your name is called, I want you to come up here and take a seat on this stool so I could put the Sorting Hat on your head and let it decide which house you will be sorted to," Dumbledore announced as he pulled open a piece of a long parchment. Akane didn't feel nervous at all, she knew where she would be in.

"Akamatsu, Akane!" Akane walked slowly and took a seat on the stool. Dumbledore placed the heat gently on the girl's head. A small voice spoke from on top of her head.

"?!" The hat jumped a bit, "Ah... Yes... Hmm... Alright... You're very smart indeed, fit for Ravenclaw, but I see that your bravery overpowers it, and you're extremely loyal too, but I know where to put you because of your strong ambition and cunning mind, they're hidden, yes, but you want to let them out. SLYTHERIN!!!" Akane sighed as she got up from the stool. The Slytherin table cheered and clapped for her. She walked to the Slytherin table and sat next to a second-year student.

"Hey, I'm Walburga Black. Welcome to Slytherin," the black-haired senior smiled and offered a handshake which Akane took gladly.

"I'm Akane Akamatsu," the girl smiled back.

"My little brother just started school at Hogwarts this year, same as you. Look, there he is," Walburga pointed at a black-haired boy who just got sorted into Slytherin. The boy took a seat in front of Walburga.

"Good job, Alphard. I thought I had to erase your name from the family tapestry if you got into Gryffindor," Walburga teased her brother. Alphard sighed and turned to look at Akane. He blushed a bit and scratch the back of his neck.

"Hi. I'm Alphard Black," the boy smiled at Akane. He has a pair of beautiful big black eyes.

"I'm Akane Akamatsu. You can call me Akane," the girl introduced herself for the umpteen times as she smiled back at the boy. Suddenly, a familiar redhead took a seat next to her.

"So, we'll be together for seven years!" Silvia exclaimed happily. Akane chuckled at her friend. Abraxas and Lestrange joined them in the Slytherin table soon after some names. After some moment, Akane turned her attention back to the Sorting Ceremony.

"Riddle, Tom!" A black-haired boy with dark brown eyes sat on the stool. His expression was blank. Akane's eyes widened. She could see, feel, and smell his aura from afar. A type of aura that you shouldn't see from an eleven-year-old boy. He's different, Akane didn't know whether it was different in a good way or not but his aura made her feel uncomfortable.

Dumbledore seemed a bit uneasy as he slowly put the hat on the boy's head, but before the hat even touched a single hair, the ragged piece of fabric looked like it was about to choke as it shouted "SLYTHERIN!" Akane frowned her eyes despite the cheers her table thrown at the boy. Tom sat a bit far from Akane's little group of friends, separated by some other Slytherin first-year students.

After the ceremony, a very old and frail-looking man dressed in purple robe walked in front of the High Table. He cleared his throat to get attention from the students, soon the chatter died down and all heads were turned to the direction of the old man, "welcome to Hogwarts! Let us begin the start of a new term with a joyful feast," he waved his hand and suddenly the table was full of food. Roast beef, lamb chops, pork chops, roast chicken, steak, steak again, sausages, bacon, carrots, potatoes, gravy, Yorkshire puddings, peas, ketchup and peppermint humbugs.

Alphard didn't hold back, he grabbed two pieces of roast chicken in each hand and devoured the meat eagerly. Silvia made a face at Alphard as she ate her pudding, while Akane just shook her head and chuckled. Akane took a well-balanced plate of food with steak, potato, carrot, peas, and gravy.

She needed a good diet to support her training. Lestrange filled his own plate with lots of meats and sausages. Abraxas surprisingly took a lot of vegetables to his plate despite the massive amount of meat he ate.

The Hogwarts ghosts started to enter the room then flew around the hall. A horrible looking ghost with blank staring eyes, a gaunt face, and robes stained with silver blood popped out of the Slytherin table. Silvia screamed and grabbed Akane while the black-haired girl giggled.

The boys stared at the ghost with a terrified face. Walburga just sighed and shook her head as the ghost ascend slowly to the air and flew towards a beautiful ghost with waist-length hair, floor-length cloak, haughty and proud-looking face.

"That's Bloody Baron. The ghost of the Slytherin house. That beautiful ghost whom he chased is Helena Ravenclaw or Grey Lady, The ghost of Ravenclaw tower," Walburga explained.

"What happened between them?" Akane asked curiously.

"Baron fell in love with Helena but she did not feel the same. He was sent by Rowena Ravenclaw to find Helena in Albania, but Helena refused to return with him and so he killed her in a rage. When he realised what he had done, the Baron stabbed himself with the same knife and died, committing suicide," Walburga looked at Helena with pity.

"And the blood? Is that... Helena's?"

"Yes," Walburga pursed her lips.

"That's horrible," Alphard exclaimed with his mouth full of food.

"Merlin, Alphard! Swallow your food before you talk!" Alphard's big sister scolded him.

"Geez, yes, mum," Alphard rolled his eyes. The other snickered at the siblings. The two made Akane's mind drifted to Date. Oh, how she missed her big brother already right now, she would do anything just to get back and see him. She thought about how her school life would be if Date were in the same school as her.

"So, Akane, judging by your name, are you Japanese?" Alphard asked her.

"Yes, I am. Why?"

"Why aren't you in Mahoutokoro?" the boy tilted his head a bit.

"Why? You don't like seeing me here?" Akane smirked mischievously.

"Ah! N-no! I don't mean it like that! I mean- I do like you here, I mean, uh.." Alphard blushed madly as he stuttered. Akane laughed lightly at him.

"Relax, I'm messing with you. I was born in England so Hogwarts took me in," Akane gave Alphard a breathtaking smile.

"Oh, o-okay, I see," the boy blushed even madder at her smile. Silvia and Walburga giggled at the boy. Meanwhile, Lestrange and Abraxas seemed upset as they eyed Alphard from the corner of their eyes. Then, the blonde boy decided to take Akane's attention from Alphard.

"Yes, your Japanese name is so beautiful, Akane," Malfoy smirked at Akane who blushed a little.

"Well, I actually have a really long name," Akane tried to change the topic.

"Really? Do you mind telling us?" Lestrange turned his attention to the girl.

"No. My name is Akane-Shiroyuki Aoi Kana-Ryuu La Lumière Akamatsu," Akane smirked at her friends. They didn't seem to get what she said.

"Akane Shenaniganz what?" Abraxas asked innocently with a confused face. Alphard elbowed him.

"That's not even funny, Abraxas," Silvia rolled her eyes, "why is your name so long anyway?"

"The Japanese doesn't really have a distinct language to name a baby whether it's a wizard or a Muggle. So, my father's family side always make it long to differentiate us from Muggles,"

"And what about La Lumière?"

"That was my mother's maiden name, she was from France,"

"Was?"

"She died when I was five," Akane gulped and averted her gaze.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Akane," Silvia frowned her eyes.

"It's alright. I have my father, brother, and you guys," Akane gave her a wide smile.

Casual chats and a few laughs were exchanged between the group during the feast. When the students finished their meal, the desserts appeared in front of them. Although Akane wasn't much of a sweet tooth, she couldn't help but almost drool at the sight of the appetizing colourful desserts.

There were blocks of assorted ice cream, apple pies, spotted dick, chocolate gateau, treacle tart, pumpkin tart, chocolate éclairs & jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, jelly, and rice pudding. Silvia cheered happily as she took a massive amount of treacle tart to her plate.

As time went on, Akane started to feel a bit drowsy, obviously because of her full stomach. Eventually, the desserts were disappeared and the headmaster stood from his seat. The hall was once again quiet.

"I'd like to say a few words. First-year should know that The Forbidden Forest is off-limits to anyone, all students must be back to their dormitories before the end of curfew, and for our older students in the year above, Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Faun," Dippet continued, "now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" Dippet gave his wand a little flick as if he was trying to get a fly off the end, and a long golden ribbon flew out of it, which rose high above the tables and twisted itself, snakelike, into words, "and off we go!"

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now, they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot."

Everybody finished the song at different times as they clapped and cheered loudly. The merry atmosphere thrilled Akane. She smiled so bright that her teeth could blind anyone who looked at her direction. It felt as if her day couldn't get any better.

After the eventful night, the Slytherin first years followed their prefects, through the chattering crowds, out of the Great Hall, and down the marble staircase. There was a door on the right side of the Entrance Hall. They went in and met with a set of stone steps which descend deep into the dungeons. The entrance to the common room was located behind a bare stretch of the stone wall.

"First years, remember the password to get inside, it changes every fortnight, you can find the new password on the noticeboard," said the prefect then he turned his attention to the stone wall in front of him, "Pureblood," the hidden stone door on the wall was opened. The Slytherin common room was a long, low underground room with rough stone walls and ceiling with greenish lamps and chairs.

This dungeon extended partway under the lake, giving the light in the room a green tinge. The common room had lots of low backed black and dark green button-tufted leather sofas, skulls, and dark wood cupboards. It was decorated with tapestries featuring the adventures of famous Medieval Slytherins. It had quite a grand atmosphere, but also quite a cold one.

"Welcome to the Slytherin Common Room. Boys dormitory is upstairs to the left, girls dormitory the same on your right, you'll find all of your belongings near your bed. Now off to bed," the prefects announced loudly to the first years who seemed very tired and sleepy.

Akane and Silvia shared a dorm and their beds were placed next to each other. Soon after changing into a sleeping gown, Silvia hit the bed and peacefully slept right away. For once, Akane somehow felt easy to go to sleep. No thoughts about her father's expectation, grades, manners, power, anything. For once, she slept through a dreamless night. And for once, she didn't meet the snakelike bald man in black robes which haunted her every night.

***

The morning sunlight was refracted and faded through the dark coloured water of the Black Lake to her window. Being an early bird, she woke up at 6:30 in the morning, feeling refreshed and excited to start her first day. Akane sat up on her bed and rubbed her eyes. She turned her head to her right to find Silvia who was still asleep.

Not wanting to wake her friends up, she tiptoed and went to the bathroom silently. She undressed from her nightgown and took a bath with her usual strawberry soap and raspberry shampoo. As she took her sweet time in the bathtub, Akane started to think about her plans in Hogwarts. She wanted to do something, something great, something amazing.

Her first plan was to get as much knowledge as possible, that included the Dark Arts. She was always the curious kitten ever since she was a little baby. Despite her father's pressure to make her excel in everything, deep down in her heart she knew she didn't mind the expectation for she was always wanted to be the best. She wanted to know and learn everything. At the end of the day, that curiosity and thirst for knowledge turn into a hunger for power.

It was always in her mind to work automatically as a machine to perfect everything she did after she had learnt the concept on the same day. By then, she would be the top in every class which eventually lead her to the excellent success she always wanted. Yes, probably that was it, she marked this morning as the first day of her journey to gain power.

The girl got up from the bathtub, she dried herself with magic. She plunged her arms into the sleeve of her shirt, tucked her shirt into her skirt, wore her emerald tie, put on her Slytherin sweater, blazer and robes, then tied her hair into a ponytail. She got out of the bathroom to find Silvia who was already awake and seemed to be getting ready to freshen herself. Her hair was still a mess which made Akane giggled to herself.

"Good morning, Silvia," Akane smiled brightly to her friend while she walked to the door.

"Morning..." Silvia answered sleepily. Akane giggled once again as she opened the door.

"I just finished getting ready, I'll wait for you downstairs. Class doesn't start until 9 anyway so take your time,"

Silvia nodded her head at Akane and went to the bathroom. The red-head didn't seem to be as chirpy as she always was because of her sleepy state in the morning. The black-haired girl descended slowly down the stairs to the common room and took a seat at the window. She stared at the Black Lake through the window, expecting something other than the greenish hue of the water. A chilly feeling struck her hand the moment she placed her palm against the cold glass.

She closed her eyes to concentrate, mentally calling the creatures to come to her sight. After a couple of minutes, when she opened her lids, Akane's heterochromatic eyes met a giant black one. She jumped back in surprise as she took in the sight of the creature's whole figure. A gigantic blood-red cephalopod, with eight arms and two long tentacles. The giant squid seemed to greet her happily as it did a spiralling move and moved closer to her. The girl laughed softly at the beast.

"WHOA!" a few gasps were heard from behind Akane's back. She turned around to find Abraxas, Lestrange, Silvia, Alphard, and three other boys which she didn't recognize. The tallest one had curly dark brown hair and brown eyes, the other one had straight brown hair and brown eyes, and the shortest boy who looked like a cinnamon roll had light brown hair and blue eyes. They had the same expression of shock. Silvia seemed a bit terrified. Abraxas walked slowly to the window but the squid swam away from the window until it vanished from the student's sight.

"That's terrifying," Silvia whispered still feeling scared of the blood-red beast.

"Wicked," Abraxas grinned widely, "let's name it Bacon,"

"That's wonderful, Abraxas. You're bloody brilliant at naming pets," the tallest boy sarcastically remarked at the blonde.

"What? I'm hungry," Abraxas said defensively, "besides, I am indeed brilliant at naming pets, my dog's name is Satan," he said proudly. The other boys snickered at this.

The tall boy made a face, "who the hell wants to call their dog Satan cheerfully? Like, who's a good boy? Satan is a good boy~," he cooed in a high pitched voice and the girls giggled.

Abraxas just rolled his eyes turned his attention to the girls, "good morning, Akane, Silvia, can we go to breakfast now?" he whined impatiently.

"Morning, Abraxas, yes, we can," Akane smiled sweetly. The boys blushed at the sight.

"Oh, by the way, I'm Mulciber," the tall boy introduced himself as he smiled at Akane and Silvia. They soon learned that the shortest boy was Avery and the other was Nott, "you guys go ahead, Avery, Nott, and I are waiting for Tom," Akane's eyes narrowed at this but nodded her head and kept her smile to mask her expression.

"Let's go, now, I want bacon," Abraxas dragged them out of the common room to the Great Hall.

The five of them sat at the Slytherin table, the breakfast was already on the table. There were bacon, butter, toasts, corn flakes, coffee, eggs, sausages, tomatoes, kippers, marmalade and jam, milk, orange juice, porridge, pumpkin juice, rolls, and tea. Abraxas immediately take a stack of bacon to his plate and stuffed his face with it.

Silvia shook her head slightly at him and ate her Cheeri Owls. Alphard ate some toasts with strawberry jam. Akane looked at the High Table to find Dumbledore who was already looking at her. The man smiled at Akane and the girl returned his gesture politely. The girl had some toast, eggs, and tomatoes on her plate and started to eat silently.

Hooting sounds were heard from above the hall, Akane looked up to see owls which flew around the hall and dropped packages to the students.

"Morning mails," Silvia said excitedly. She lifted up her palm as a package was dropped to her grasp. She opened the package to reveal manifold of sweets. Abraxas got the same kind of package as her.

Akane's eyes caught sight of a familiar scary-looking barn owl, the brown furball flew above the black hair girl's head and dropped a long package on the table in front of her. She quickly opened the wrapping, a piece of metal glistened in the light, a katana? But she already brought all of her three swords with her to Hogwarts.

Her eyes scanned the package to find a note with her family's crest stamped on top of the message. It was from her father. She took the note and read it. "this one is rare and special. Don't use it unless it's necessary. I hope you'll always be safe." The girl took the sword, sheathed it, and hooked it on her waist. Abraxas and Silvia looked at Akane as if she had grown two heads.

"What? I'm Japanese," Akane lifted her eyebrows at her friends.

"How did it get inside Hogwarts?" Abraxas asked curiously.

"And what is that for?" Alphard suspiciously pressed her further.

"My father made some arrangements with Headmaster Dippet, and that information is classified," Akane smirked at him.

"But you have a wand," Silvia pointed out.

"Yes, I do. Just some additional safety precautions," the four seemed to buy the excuse and just shrugged it off.

Mulciber, Nott, Avery, and Tom joined them in the Slytherin table.

As they continued their breakfast while casually chatted, a chubby old man with gooseberry eyes and straw blonde hair walked around their table handing a piece of paper. It was their class timetable for the year. They had Transfiguration first thing in the morning, the second period was History of Magic, after lunch break they had Charms then Flying lessons with Gryffindor at 3:30.

Akane smiled to herself, she liked how her morning started in Transfiguration class with Dumbledore. The first year did not take elective classes, she would be with her friends in every class throughout the year. They got up from their seat to take their school bag in the common room and left for the class on the first floor.

***

The door to the Transfiguration class was opened, there were four rows of two-person tables, Akane and Silvia sat together at the front of the class, behind them were Abraxas and Lestrange. On their left were Alphard and Mulciber. Meanwhile, on the right side were Tom and Avery. Nott sat next to a Slytherin girl who seemed to keep staring at him. Dumbledore greeted the class then started the first topic about the basic Transfiguration.

"Transfiguration is a branch of magic that focuses on the alteration of the form or appearance of an object, via the alteration of the object's molecular structure. Transfiguration can be done to most objects and, as with most forms of magic, it includes, but is hardly limited to, Transfiguration spells,"

Akane listened to Dumbledore intently as she took some notes occasionally with her parchment and quill whenever she heard something important. Dumbledore drew a Transfiguration diagram alphabet on the chalkboard, he told them to copy it down and gave them an assignment about transformation formula and explain the transformation of a desk to a pig which influenced by body weight (a), viciousness (v), wand power (w), concentration (c), and a fifth unknown variable (Z).

The class was ended a bit too quick to Akane's liking. Hours had passed from the boring History of Magic class taught by Professor Binns to the practical Charms class which lighten up Akane's mood. When it was time for Flying lessons, Akane got a little too excited.

She planned on making it to the Slytherin Quidditch team and be a captain like her brother. The Japan Quidditch Team was something the world should acknowledge as they beat the British in the Quidditch World Cup, due to Japan practising in bad weather, dodging not only Quaffles but also Muggle planes.

Quidditch was introduced to Japan and to Mahoutokoro centuries ago by a band of foolhardy Hogwarts students (you can guess from which house they were) who were blown off course during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe on wholly inadequate broomsticks.

Rescued by a party of wizarding staff from Mahoutokoro, who had been observing the movements of the planets, they remained as guests long enough to teach their Japanese counterparts the rudiments of the game, a move they lived to regret.

The flying class went smooth, Madam Faun seemed to be very pleased with Akane's manoeuvre. Her brother taught her a lot about Quidditch and some tips on how to fly flawlessly. Madam Faun even said that she might make it to the team as the new Seeker. The girl explained to her teacher that she was taught by her brother who was a Quidditch team captain in Mahoutokoro and said that he was about to make it to the national team.

Additionally, she said to Madam Faun about her interest in being the new Seeker. If it was possible, Madam Faun's already big grin was stretched even wider. She quickly dismissed the class, had enough of the students fooling around in the air like flying baboons and dragged Akane inside the castle.

"Where are we going, Madam?" Akane asked the teacher in front of her while tried to keep up with the fast pace.

"You're coming with me to see the Slytherin's Quidditch captain immediately," they headed to the dungeons, Madam Faun knocked on the door of the Potions classroom. The door was opened by a chubby old man who distributed the timetables this morning.

"I am sorry to interrupt you, Professor Slughorn, but can I borrow you and Mr Aiden Higgs for a moment, please?"

"Yes, of course," the old man seemed confused but he turned his head to the direction of the class and called the Slytherin captain, "Aiden! Come here for a sec, will you?" the muscular tall boy with light brown hair and green eyes walked to their direction.

"Mr Higgs, I've found you a new seeker. She's definitely brilliant, but of course only if Professor Slughorn, the head of the Slytherin house, would give the permission,"

Madam Faun kept babbling about how good and fast Akane was. Her bright expression seemed to convince the captain and Professor Slughorn. Surely, Madam Faun was a big Slytherin fan despite the neutrality she needed when she was supposed to be a game referee.

Professor Slughorn seemed to be very happy at hearing such a raw talent that resides within a first-year student. Finally, the three agreed to take Akane in the team. The girl thanked them a couple of times definitely feeling grateful of such an opportunity.

Aiden asked Akane to speak with her privately. From what Akane knew, he didn't seem very pleased, "listen here, first year, I don't care what Madam Faun said about you, but I want to believe her words, we're going to train really hard and beat some Gryffindor's sorry asses and I want you to do as I say. I won't go easy on you. Don't. Compromise. My. Strategy. Do you understand?" Aiden stared at Akane hardly, his jaw seemed tense, but Akane refused to cower away in fear. She hardened her expression and stared at Aiden with a smirk.

"Of course, captain. You'll see what I can do,"

Aiden smirked back at her, "I like you already. Alright, meet me and the team in the Quidditch pitch next week on Sunday at 7, don't be late, kiddo," Akane nodded at Aiden as she gave him a wide charming smile. The captain chuckled and patted her hair.

***

"YOU WHAT?!" Alphard's voice boomed in the Great Hall catching a lot of stares from the students as they ate dinner.

"Keep it down, you airhead," Silvia scowled at him.

"I said, I've been pointed to be the new Seeker," Akane repeated her last sentence.

"I know what you said! I just don't understand why they would let a first-year student join the team, Quidditch is a brutal game,"

"True, besides the first years aren't allowed a broom in Hogwarts ground," Abraxas added.

"Maybe, I'll use the school's old broom," Akane was deep in thought.

"Awh, I want to be on the team too!" Abraxas whined loudly.

"You got to be as good as her, Abraxas. Didn't you see her moves this afternoon in Flying class?" Silvia smiled at Akane.

"Yeah, I know," Abraxas huffed an air, "anyway, congrats, beautiful," he smirked at her.

Lestrange who was silently listening to them the whole time seemed to be irritated at this and turned his head to Akane, "if you win the first game, will you go out with me to get some Butterbeers when we are allowed to go to Hogsmeade?"

Alphard turned his head swiftly to Lestrange, "no, Akane. Go with me instead,"

"When she grew up, Akane would only want a man, not some stupid boys," Silvia shook her head.

"Yeah, a man like me," Abraxas's smirked grew wider. Akane rolled her eyes.

"We'll all go together," Akane gave them a weak smile. The boys just sighed and nodded.

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Hi, sorry if there is some error. I'm writing this while I'm sick. But, I hope you enjoy. Thank you

Stay fab

Chapter Text

;)

1941

Akane's P. O. V.

New year. New spirit. New friends. Apparently, Silvia and I grew closer to our dorm mates. The blonde Daredevil with cunning brown eyes likes to play a prank with me on random Gryffindor students, her name is Hestia Flint, she tends to be more quiet and intelligent compared to the other girls which I absolutely like and tolerate, that's why I always study with her in the library.

Hestia keeps almost everything to herself, has an open mind, and surprisingly not a blood status prejudice, like me and Alphard. I don't mind being friends with anyone as long as they don't mean any harm to me.

Now, what a dorm room would be without some sunshine to cheer your dull Slytherin days that's supposed to be dark and evil and shove some rainbow down your depressing throat. Just kidding, I love them. Meet the Travers twin, Vesta and Veronica Travers. It's a bit difficult to tell which one is Vesta or Veronica.

Same straight shoulder-length brown hair, same brown eyes, oh heck, I think they have the same freckle spots. They're cute and a bit chubby, a little shorter than me. The only way I can tell their difference is with Legilimency, well, that's a bit unnecessary, I just don't want to hurt their feelings by mistaken one of them for their other twin. Although, they don't mind if I do since they're used to it.

Another reason why I choose to look for a new friend is because of Tom frickin Riddle. He has this, how do I say this, a gang? Yeah, probably that's it. In the third year, Abraxas and Lestrange grew closer to him and joined Tom's little gang with Nott, Mulciber, and Avery. They always follow him around like a puppy and look up to him as if Tom is some kind of a supreme leader.

In result, they don't really have time to hang around with me, we used to study, eat, and going to Hogsmeade together. We still talk to each other and throw jokes randomly even if it's rarely happening. But I don't mind, I still have Alphard.

Everyone seems to fancy Tom Riddle. He is smart, calm, collected, super polite, and charming. On top of it all, he's good looking and mysterious. Pale skin, tall body, dark eyes, defined jawline, high cheekbone, pink lips- wait, stop. I do not wish to continue this. The point is, he's not bad. Well alright, he's super handsome actually which is annoying. All the girls are crazy about him. But to me, he's alarming. I know all he does is only a manipulation to make all teachers and students fall into his charm. Except for Dumbledore, I know I would always like and trust him. I could see right through Tom's aura to know that he's bad news.

My friends know about my silent rivalry with Tom, he and I always go head to head in every class and master every topic easily. I do not quite like it when someone is equally powerful to me as a comparison material, that's why I want to be the best. Again, somehow, I don't really mind it.

We hardly talk to each other except for when a teacher pairs us as a project partner or when the headmaster announces the best student of the year then we have to congratulate each other, it's always formal. Luckily, my friends also notice my dislike of Tom. If Abraxas and Lestrange are near me, they try to avoid Tom and topic about him. So do Silvia, Hestia, and the twins. I'm glad the girls are not like the other students who are obsessed with Tom.

There will be something different this year, I've been waiting for this. The Triwizard Tournament that everyone was talking about is going to take place. It is a contest held between the three largest wizarding schools of Europe: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Durmstrang Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.

Each school will be represented by one Champion. What's better: no age restriction. Of course, I've planned to enter the tournament. Even though I'm a fourth year, my skills aren't much different from those of the year above us.

Hallowe'en is coming soon. I can feel the autumn wind as my friend and I are standing on the tower to wait for the other wizarding schools to arrive. Since last September, the school staff was busy preparing for the arrival of the other schools including an exaggerating extra-thorough cleaning of the castle and the grounds, just like a proper host.

Everyone is buzzing with excitement when we see a group of Abraxan horses pulling a blue carriage in the air. I see an elegant intricate design of a coat of arm with a big letter of "B" on the outer shell of the carriage. The horses touch down to the ground, trotting on the land a little before it stops.

A roar of water makes me turn my head towards the Black Lake. Slowly, a black galleon rises out of the water. The wet surface makes the ship gleaming in the light, along with the dim and misty porthole lamp. It has a mysterious and creepy aura, like a legendary ghost ship from a 17th-century pirate myth and story.

Actually, it does indeed look like a ghost ship that has been resurrected from Davy Jones' Locker. When the ship emerges entirely, the sail rolls open, revealing a drawing of a double-headed eagle. Then, it glides slowly toward the bank.

"Come on, let's go to the Great Hall for the welcoming feast," Silvia drags my hand and rushes to the direction of the hall excitedly. Once everyone is seated, Headmaster Dippet gives a speech.

"Students, I am very enthusiastic to inform you that our school is appointed to become the host for the Triwizard Tournament. It would be very much appreciated if you are to be polite and be a good host. No monkey business allowed. I ask you to welcome them and make them feel at home. Now, please welcome our guest from France, the lovely ladies of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and their Headmistress, Madam Antoinette,"

The Great Hall's door is opened to reveal a dozen female students with pale blue robes made of silk and a hat on top of their heads. At the back of the line, an old beautiful lady with bright purple robes gestures them to move. They enter the hall gracefully, charming the students with a small show of beautiful charm and magic.

I could tell that some of them are Veela-born. The Hogwarts students clap loudly and some of the boys whistle at their arrival. Headmaster Dippet greets the old lady and kisses the back of her hand. He takes her to the High Table and orders the Beauxbatons students to take a seat at the Ravenclaw table.

"Our next guest from the North, the dauntless men from Durmstrang Institute and their Headmaster Ivan Zlatko,"

Bulky and hefty looking men with fur cloaks, fur hats, and blood-red robes enter the hall as they perform some frightening magic tricks, conjuring fire with their wands. Their staff is being hit repeatedly on the ground creating a thundering brattle sound and tiny sparks.

They run to the direction of the high table, some of them do acrobatic flips then line up at the front. A tall old man with a fierce face and white fur cloaks give Dippet a smirk and a firm handshake. Headmaster Dippet gesture the Durmstrang students to sit with the Slytherin.

"Good evening, everyone. Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I hope that your stay here will be both comfortable and enjoyable. The tournament will be officially opened at the end of the feast. I now invite you all to eat, drink, and make yourselves at home!" Dippet waves his hand then a wide variety of food appears in front of us.

"Akane, I know you're the best student in our year, well, along with... Tom Riddle. I mean, are you going to join the tournament? Please tell me you're not," Vesta gives me a hopeful look as she eats her food.

"Actually, I am going to enter," I give her an apologetic look. The students around me gasp and turn their heads to my direction.

"Idiot! You're only a fourth year! I know you're a skilful and intelligent witch but you can be dumb sometimes! Please don't do this, please," Silvia pleads me and grips my hand. I look into her eyes and see a hint of fear.

"Look, I know I'm a fourth year but I can assure you that my skill surpasses those of the year above us. Don't ask me how but I have combat experience and I know some battle strategies," I point my finger towards my swords, "besides, no age restriction, and there is still a chance I won't be going in since it'll be up to The Goblet of Fire," I look deep into her eyes with a strong convincing expression that left her no space to argue. Silvia sighs and goes back to eating her food.

"Yes, but the chance is still there. The tournament is very dangerous and brutal. It's making Quidditch looks like a child's play. Are you sure about this? Even the Ministry discontinued the event at some point in or after 1792, due to the high death toll. Champions have died while competing, it'll be bloody," Hestia adds in.

"Yes, I'm sure. Isn't that exciting? I like to challenge myself," I believe my eyes are shining with a maniacal look right now regarding Alphard's worried expression.

"If something happens to you... I-" Abraxas whispers quietly in my ear before I cut him.

"Nothing will happen to me, Ab. I'll be fine, don't worry," I give the boy a reassuring smile.

"Well, if that's what you want, we wouldn't be in your way, although I don't fully agree on this, I support you," Lestrange gives me a weak smile.

"Thanks, mate," I smirk at him. Later that night after the feast, I write my name on a piece of small parchment and throw it in the blue flame of the goblet.

***

"Take a seat please," Headmaster Dippet gathers us in the Great Hall to announce The Champions who will represent their respective schools for the tournament, my heart thumps loudly, "the students who are chosen by The Goblet of Fire will have a powerful magical contract that binds you to the tournament, there will be no turning back. Now, let us see who will be The Champions of this year's event!"

Professor Dippet waves his hand in the direction of the goblet, after a second, the blue flame turns into a rush of red flames and spits out a piece of burnt parchment before it fades back into a blue coloured flame. Dippet catches the parchment and reads the name on it, "The Beauxbatons Champion is... Giselle Moreau!" a tall woman with sand skin, black hair, and green eyes walks to the front as the students clap for her.

The fire in the goblet changes into a bright red and spits out a piece of parchment, "The Durmstrang Champion is Nikolay Asen!" manly cheers erupt in the air from the Durmstrang students and the other clap loudly. A well-built burly man with a thin hair and piercing black eyes walks to the front and stands beside Giselle.

Once again the flame goes into a rush and spits out a parchment, my heart thumps louder, I bite my lower lip, and rub my palm together, "The Hogwarts Champion is... Akane Akamatsu!" I exhale slowly and stand up with a big smile on my face, my friends and the other Hogwarts students cheer and clap loudly. Some students give me an encouraging nod while some of them give me an uncertain look as they whisper something like "she's only a fourth-year student". I walk to where the other champion is and stand beside Nikolay.

"Only one who will have the eternal glory and of course holds the honour of The Triwizard Cup!" Headmaster Dippet points his finger to a shining chalice. The glass emits a beautiful blue light, the handle looks like a dragon made of steel, and an engravement of "Triwizard" is on the glass. Everyone erupts in a loud cheer and clap, "the first task of the tournament will challenge your courage to face the unknown which is an important quality in a wizard, it will take place next month on 24th. Passingly, all students will continue to attend lessons every day as usual. Now off to bed!"

***

Buzzing, murmuring, and squealing of excitement fill the Great Hall during lunch. I'm wearing the Triwizard Tournament jersey, it's half black and half green with Hogwarts crest on the left chest, and number 01 on the back with my last name on top of it. I put a lot of food on my plate and stuff my face with it. Silvia looks at me as if I've grown two heads. Abraxas knits his eyebrows together, making the "AKANE" temporary tattoo on his forehead folded and his mouth is opened. I lift my eyebrows questioningly.

"What? I'm too excited that I feel the need to eat more and stuff my face with foods," I smile brightly at them.

"Well, that's new, I'm glad you aren't nervous," Alphard seems stunned at my manner.

"Nope. But I'm sad, I'm not allowed to bring my swords in the arena," I frown.

"You can use your wand. I'll bring your swords with me on the bench and keep it for you if you want," Lestrange offers me.

"Oh? Good idea," I nod at him.

"Hey, Akane, look, we made it last night," I turn my head to the twins to see them holding up a huge banner with a big 'AKANE IS THE CHAMPION' sign. My eyes widen and I burst out in laughter.

"Oh Gosh, thanks," I say in between laughter.

"Anyway, you look good today," Lestrange smirk at me. Abraxas seems irritated.

"Good? She's dazzling," Abraxas kisses my cheek, making me blush so hard. Lestrange and Alphard just growl at him. We continue to eat until Headmaster Dippet calls the students to get ready and leave for the arena. Once we get there, my friends and I part ways. The Champions are waiting inside a tent for a briefing.

"Good afternoon, champions, now gather around here," Dippet gestures the champions to stand in a circle. The Head of the Ministry of Magic's Department of International Magical Cooperation, James Abbott, is holding a black pouch.

"Now, this, will represent your dragon," Abbott holds out the pouch to Giselle, she dives her hand inside and takes out a green baby dragon, "Welsh Green,"

Abbot holds out the pouch to Nikolay and he takes a brown baby dragon, "Chinese Fireball,"

Abbot turns to me and I insert my hand inside the pouch feeling something crawl to my palm then pull my hand out, "Hungarian Horntail,"

"Now, champions, at the sound of the canon, Ms Giselle will go first, Mr Nikolay will go next, and then Ms Akane will go last. If you'll excuse me, I have to make an opening speech outside, I wish you all a good luck," Dippet pats my shoulder and gets out of the tent.

"Good afternoon, everyone! Today, we will watch a fierceful battle in order to challenge our champions' bravery in facing a dragon which guards a Golden Egg. Their task is simply to take the egg to obtain a clue inside it to be able to proceed to the next task. Now, let us begin the match, our first Champion, Ms Giselle from Beauxbatons!" The sound of the canon was heard. I lay down on the mattress inside the tent to wait for my turn. Feeling bored, I decided to take some sleep.

A pair of hands shakes me awake. I blink my eyes sleepily and look up to see who woke me. A wavy black hair and a piercing dark brown eyes? I sit up slowly and yawn. I adjust my eyes to the light and look beside me. What's Tom doing in here? Wait, Tom? My eyes widened in realization.

"Professor Dippet asked me to check up on you and tell you to be ready for the battle, Akamatsu," his face is blank with no expression. I get up in an instant and stretch my hand.

"Thanks, Riddle," he nods at me and left the tent. I warm up a little bit and wait for Dippet's sign.

"The Hogwarts Champion, Ms Akane Akamatsu!"

I walk out of the tent casually with my hands in my pocket. The crowd cheers loudly. The arena is oval shaped and there are some big rocks and steep track in the middle, there lies a marvellous beast with spiky sharp horns on its spine until its tail, the chained brown dragon roars at me, I walk closer to the egg as I talk to the dragon.

"You're not going to let me get the egg easily, aren't you?" I bet the audience is wondering why the dragon hasn't attacked me yet judging by the silence and a bit of a whisper here and there.

"No, Dovahkiin, if I wasn't assigned for a task to guard this egg, I would've given it to you,"

"I don't want to kill you,"

"Worry not, child. It will be an honour to die in the hands of a hero who in her body runs the dragon's blood,"

"I'm sorry, I don't like this. But if that's how you want it, I'm going to do this with all my heart," I frown at him.

I take my wand and wave it in the air, "Accio katana!" My swords fly in the air towards me from the crowd, I jump to catch it. I hook it in my waist and unsheath the three of it. I wield two katanas in each of my hands and one katana in my teeth horizontally. I took a stance and have a stare down with the dragon, "are you ready?"

The dragon roars at me as he opens his wings widely, I grip my swords tighter, take a deep breath, and feel a rush inside my body. I could see and sense everything, his move would be... To the right! I jump highly to the left side to avoid his tail, the hit of his tail breaks the rock where I stood into tiny pieces, he spits his fire at a wide range to that rocks. Damn, if I were late to move even a second... As I'm still flying in the air, I focus on the wind energy and call in the Wind Spirit. I place my right katana in front of me and the other behind me.

"Akamatsu Swordsmanship! Wind Element, Seventh Form! Furious Storm!" I roll in the air as fast as a hurricane through the dragon's neck and touch down on the ground with a huge thump, cracking some rocks beneath me. The dragon freezes for a moment before his head falls into the ground, creating a rain of blood into the audience. The crowd goes silent before erupting into a wild mess of cheers and claps. I swing my sword in the air and sheath it back. Haha, no magic. Well, only once, to call upon my swords.

I kneel in front of the dragon and close my eyes, silently pray in my heart, "Lord Akatosh, I beg your mercy for I have slain my own kind, I pray to you that his soul will now rest in peace,"

***

Earlier today I saw a lot of Hogwarts students who support the Durmstrang or Beauxbatons champions, they painted their face with Giselle's name or Nikolay's, they even made a banner for Nikolay and Giselle. After my match with the dragon, it looks like the majority of the students who stood for the other champions turn their backs to cheer for me instead.

I think I manage to convince them that I am a powerful and intelligent witch. Despite all of that, I still can't figure out the Golden Egg. When I opened it in the common room with the Slytherins, the egg let out a horrible screech. Where is the hint in that -_-. Does the next task have something to do with banshee or something? I think I'm just stupid or maybe it is proof that the tournament is no joke.

I get up from the bed and decide to sneak into the library. I take my swords and attach it to my waist, I hold the Golden Egg in my grasp as I use my other hand to twirl my wand around myself and cast Disillusionment Charm as though I'm wrapping my body in rope. A sensation that is similar of a raw egg which has been cracked onto my head travels down my body. I walk down to the common room, making sure that no one is around before I open the door, then out of the Slytherin Dungeon.

Being trained for a long time in my family's dojo, I've managed to walk silently without a single noise like an assassin. I take that advantage to sneak around in the library after curfew, slip inside the restricted section to read some Dark Arts, or just take a stroll in the Forbidden Forest.

Once I get inside the library, silence and darkness fill the room eerily, the only source of light is the moonlight that penetrates the window and dimly illuminates the bookshelf. The librarian, Madam Nora, is nowhere to be seen. I slip inside the restricted section and begin my research about anything related to the Golden Egg.

I take a seat and place my Golden Egg on the table in front of me, sighing deeply I stuff my face in some books for Salazar knows how long. I read and read but I get absolutely nothing about Golden Egg and the symbols or runes that was craved on the eggshell.

I place my chin on the table, pull the egg closer to my head, and place my temple right against it, feeling the cold sensation of the metal against my head, making me feel drowsy. I decide to return the books and head back to the common room.

When I walk out of the restricted section, I bump into a hard thing in front of me, stumbling back a little before a pair of strong arms catch me to help me gain my balance. I look up to see a cold pair of dark brown eyes staring deeply into mine, his wavy raven black hair styled to perfection as always, he stands in front of me and towering me with his height.

Once I realize what position we are in, I jump back blushing madly as I grip my sword. Never have I ever stood so close to Tom Riddle. I always thought that his presence is dangerously alarming, making me avoid him at any cost. Now, that I've felt how his arm around me, I- shit, pull it together.

"What are you doing here, Akamatsu?" his eyes travel down to my sword as I grip it tighter. His deep velvety voice ringing in my ear.

"I could ask you the same question, Riddle," I put on a blank face and close my mind to perform an act of Occlumency right away. Something tells me that I can not trust this boy. His piercing dark eyes go back into my heterochromatic ones, suddenly, I feel a sensation of magic coming from him poking on my skull. This boy just performed a Legillimency, wandlessly, nonverbally, to get inside my fucking head, "get out of my head," I grit my teeth tightly. He only gives me a smirk. Oh my Poseidon, he smirks, that sexy smirk, how good that is on his face. STOP.

"You should try to put it in the water," he gazes at the Golden Egg.

"What? Why?" I look at him strangely.

"Their singing could only be understood underwater," he looks at me boringly.

"Singing?" I have no idea what he's talking about.

He walks closer to me slowly, each step sends me walking backwards until my back hit a wall. He places one of his palm on the wall beside my head, caging me from moving and towering me once again. My heart is beating furiously as I could feel his fresh breath fanning my face.

He's incredibly close that I could smell his wonderful scent, it's making my head feels lighter. Ocean, forest, and some kind of citrus with his natural manly musk. I never thought that his dark presence is actually intoxicating.

"I wonder why you always carry three swords around the school. The way you enter the arena in a casual manner, practically looking bored, and how you fight the dragon with your katana... You hide something from everyone, don't you?" he whispers softly in my ear, sending a shiver down my spine, I could tell that he notices this as his smirk grows wider when he pulls his head a little bit.

"Don't you?" I try so hard to make it sound strong and seem as if he doesn't affect me. His lips graced softly on mine a little, I press my wand on his neck before he walks back and takes some distance between us. Instantly missing his presence around me. I really should pull myself together, "what are you playing at, Riddle?" I glare at him and lower my wand.

"Nothing. I merely gave you a little help for the tournament," he points to the egg.

"I didn't ask for your help. What's in it for you to help me?"

"I told you. I do not want anything," can he please erase that smirk?

"You don't seem like a person who willingly gives help without wanting something in return,"

He chuckles at this, even his chuckle is beautiful, "you're probably wrong, darling,"

"I'm probably right, Riddle. Do you really think that your perfect-student-facade would fool me? I know there is something beneath your perfect posture and polite disposition, you're so fake," his smirk falls as he glares at me coldly.

"Well done, Akamatsu. But, what about you? You can't hide anything. Not from me, no. I know you hate losing, I know you want to be the best at everything. How does it feel to share the top of every class with me? If I didn't know any better, I'd say we were very much alike. I know you want to have power. Join me, darling, I can help you gain it. Rule the world beside me,"

"We're NOT alike. Well, at least, I'm not faking anything unlike a particular manipulating bastard," I smirk at him, his jaw clenches tightly and his eyes burns into mine. He walks closer to me once again in a swift motion and pushes me against the wall roughly. This time, his hard chest presses onto mine and his hands grip my waist painfully.

"Don't you dare speak to me like that," he growls lowly, "do you really think that I wouldn't notice how you go to the restricted section in the library to read about Dark Arts almost every night? What for? Light reading? What's more, I found you one night in the Forbidden Forest practising some of the Dark Arts. What if the teacher finds out? Ha, and you call me fake,"

"Oh? I'm flattered. I didn't know you were into me so bad that you stalk me to that extent,"

"You better watch your mouth, foolish girl. You don't want to find out what I can do when someone disrespects me," his grips on me tighten as he lowers his head to my face, making our nose touching each other, "oh, one more thing. Don't even think that I'll leave you alone, I'm going to break you, uncover your deepest secret, and bend your mind to join my cause,"

"And bow down to you? Following your command? Having you ordering me around? Over my dead body, Riddle," I hissed at him.

He growls and slams his lips onto mine, my eyes go wide in surprise before I close it and decide to kiss him back. Warm sensation and a jolt of electricity flow down from my lips to the rest of my body. His lips are surprisingly soft, the kiss isn't that rough yet it was passionate. It's a bit slow and teasing but he kisses me full on the lips as if he would swallow my lips any moment.

He loosens his grip on my waist, grips my thigh, and hoists me up on the wall. I straddle his waist with my legs. The pace of the kiss quickens as I run my hands to his neck, pulling his hair slightly, earning a grunt from him. He bites my lower lips but I keep my lips shut. His grip tightens around my thigh making me gasp, he takes this as a chance to slip his tongue inside my mouth.

We battle for dominance which of course resulting in his win. He roams his tongue inside my mouth, leaving no place untouched. He moves his hand to caress my back. Slowly, teasingly, he licks the roof of my mouth earning a soft moan from me. After a moment, he pulls away and kisses me deeply before going down into my jaw, I could feel his cold breath on my neck.

Amazingly, he places soft kisses here and there, making my knees so weak. Occasionally licking someplace on my neck until he founds my soft spot and bites it. I moan as he sucks the spot and kisses it softly. He bites my earlobe softly as he pulls away from me. Placing his forehead against mine as we panted breathlessly, "you're mine now," he whispers softly.

He stares at me sharply, his eyes soften for a moment as he places me down on the ground, still caging me in his arms. I see him clenching his jaw. His gaze hardens before it goes blank. I couldn't read his expression, "you know, the Prefects' bathroom on the fifth floor isn't a bad place for a bath, take your eggs there and.. Meet me at five in the afternoon tomorrow," he smirks smugly at me, winks, turns around and left me standing alone with a flushed face in the dark library.

What just happened?

Chapter Text

1941

Akane's P. O. V.

"Wake up!"

A soft hand shook me awake. I knitted my eyebrows together before finally I opened my right eye. The first thing that I always did when I woke up was to open an eye, not both, I loved to sleep in the dark and woke up slowly without direct sunlight. A blurred shadowy figure was standing beside my bed, blocking the dim greenish light of the sun that comes from the underwater window.

I blinked for a few times to see the figure in front of me clearly. My red-headed friend, Silvia, was currently looking down at me with a smirk and mischievous eyes, she crossed her arms together on her chest. What does she want now? I sat up on my bed, yawned, and stretched my back.

"What? Why are you looking at me like that?" I sleepily asked her with my morning voice.

"It's strange, isn't it? It's not like you to wake up so late," she pointed to the clock on my bedside table, still smirking. It's 7:30 now?!

"So...?" I lifted one of my eyebrows at her.

"Did something happen last night?" I froze on my bed, her smirk turned into a grin.

"Why?"

"Well, you're not really good at covering it up," she was eyeing a particular spot on my neck. My eyes widened as I felt my breath hitched in my throat, "spill it, Akane," she wiggled her eyebrows.

"OH MY GOD! IS THAT A HICKEY?!" Veronica shouted behind me, making my head swiftly turned to her direction, obviously irritated for hearing such a high-frequency voice in the morning, the twin had the same expression as Silvia's. Hestia groaned in her sleep and woke up lazily from the bed.

"Was it Dumbledore?" Vesta tilted her head to the side, frowned slightly as if she was thinking something serious.

"N-no! Of course not! He's a teacher! I only respect him!" My face must be blushing so hard right now.

"Aw, not fun. I thought it was him, we all know you have a crush on him," Silvia whined at this. Oh for Merlin's sake.

"It's not in that way, Sil, just a teacher crush. Besides, he's way too old, well, I mean, if I were in the same age as him, maybe I... Anyway, it's not him," I got up from the bed and open my suitcase to get my uniform.

"Then who was it? You have to tell us, baby," Vesta impatiently asked me.

"You won't believe me," Before I went further, I stopped at the bathroom door, "it's Tom Riddle," I slammed the door shut as they let out a few gasps. They were banging the door and telling me to come out, "I'll tell you guys everything later, promise!" Then the banging sound stopped.

I sighed softly as I took a warm bath. My mind drifted to the heated moment I shared with Tom last night. I blushed a thousand shades of red as I dipped my body further into the water, slightly hoped that the tub would swallow my body to hide me from embarrassment. I hated him for making me feel this way. But, I was angry at myself for letting him in to affect me. This should not happen in the future, I had to keep myself away from him. He was dangerous.

That was what I had in mind but then I remembered the way his intimidating presence overwhelmed me, his tall figure towered over me, his warm soft lips moved against mine, his handsome face looked so sharp in the moonlight, his strong arms held me tightly, and his amazing ocean, forest, and citrus scent. I hated to admit how I longed for him to give it to me again. A couple of years back from now, I wouldn't even dream of it, my old self would laugh at me.

I rinsed myself and dried it with a spell. I wore the Slytherin uniform and styled my hair in a ponytail as always. I got out of the bathroom to find my dorm room empty, my friends must be waiting for me downstairs. I took my swords and hooked it on my waist. I tidied up some books for today's lesson and put it in my bag which I had charmed with undetectable extension charm. Today, I'd have Defense Against the Dark Arts (DADA), Arithmancy, Charms, Herbology, and midnight Astronomy. Boring, no Transfigurations means no Dumbledore. I went out of the room and walked downstairs.

"Why are you wearing a scarf? Are you sick?" Abraxas asked me worriedly.

"No, it's just a bit cold today," true, not wrong, winter is coming.

"Let me warm you up, baby," Lestrange opened his arm to hug me as he made a kissy face with closed eyes, I grimaced and walked forward to dodge him, making Lestrange hug Abraxas instead.

"Blegh, get off!" Abraxas pushed Lestrange away roughly before their lips could touch. The girls were laughing with me as we went out of the common room to walk to the Great Hall. When we were eating for breakfast, the girls couldn't stop pestering me with questions about Tom. It was worse than the Daily Prophet journalist who interviewed me for the Triwizard Tournament.

"Did you do the deeds?"
"What was it like?"
"Was it good?"
"How far did you go?"

"Guys, please, keep it down," I whispered at them.

"What are you guys talking about?" Alphard curiously asked us with a mouth full of food, if Walburga was present, he'd have his ass getting kicked.

"Nothing," the twin answered instantly.

"I was in the library last night, in the restricted section. I bumped into him, and... Well, after we talked for a bit, we sort of making out, but that's it!" I whisper-yelled at them.

"WHAT?!" Abraxas and Lestrange shouted loudly, making all heads in the Great Hall turned to their direction. I glared at them to shut them up, they looked down instantly. Alphard almost choked on his food.

"Keep it down, will you?" I huffed for the umpteenth time today.

"Someone beats me to it," Abraxas whined while Lestrange looked genuinely hurt.

"Who was it?" Alphard asked me.

"Uh... Tom Riddle," I whispered slowly at him, making sure that Abraxas and Lestrange could hear it, luckily Tom was sitting far away from us. Alphard seemed pissed while Abraxas and Lestrange looked extremely scared. I frowned deeply.

"Can I talk to you two?" I looked at Abraxas and Lestrange in a serious manner as I gestured towards the door. They looked at each other and nodded their heads. I got up from my seat and went outside the hall. I dragged them to an empty corridor.

"You joined him, didn't you? Something about world domination," I asked them straight to the point. They seemed surprised.

"Well, yes," Abraxas muttered softly. I was so pissed that I could slay a Manticore right now.

"IDIOT!" I yelled at them making the ground and the wall shook, the torch was put out in a whiff, resulting in the corridor to be darker. They looked at me with a terrified look across their faces.

"Akane, I-" Lestrange started but I raised my palm to cut him off. No matter what their reason was, I knew what Tom would do in the future, I knew what he'd sacrifice to gain power, I knew what he meant by ruling the Wizarding World, it'd be a bloody war.

"Do you really think that blood status defines everything? Do you really think that you're superior to Muggle? Are you aware that they might be smarter and stronger than you? Magic is not something for someone to decide about who might be worthy to study it, it's bigger than that. What are you without magic? Who are you without it? Are you willing to risk your life for a naive child's dream? For HIM?"

"Yes we are superior to Mudblood and we are willing to purge the world for him, to kill, and to die for him," Abraxas looked at me sternly, Lestrange couldn't meet my eyes as his jaw and fist clenches.

"If you have an army, it'll be the world against you. I don't care if you take over Britain one day, it'll still be the rest of the world against you. And if you take over the world, it'll be me against your world, and I. Still. Win. You know that eventually, the next generations would be full of half-blood, you can't maintain blood purity that long, unless you want to marry your own cousins! The world is not what you think, I know because I've been there, I know because my father's job taught me enough about it. I love you but I'm so disappointed right now."

I sobbed messily as I remembered about my mother. I brushed against their shoulder roughly, making the boys fell on the floor from the impact. I was trying to erase my tears but it seemed useless as I couldn't stop crying. I looked down to avoid any stares and ran to the Great Hall. Someone bumped into me and caught me as I stumbled backwards. I looked up to see the last person I wanted to see at the moment.

"Sorry," I muttered softly and started to walk past him. He grabbed my arm softly and pulled me to his chest.

"Who did this?" His dark eyes stared deeply into mine as his cold fingers wiped my tears. He rested his palm on my cheek.

"It's none of your business," I pushed him but he put his arm around my waist tightly.

"Tell me," his voice was demanding and strong, his jaw clenched tightly.

I opened my mouth to argue but the sound of shoes came towards us makes my head turned to the direction of the sound. Abraxas and Lestrange stopped dead in their track as they saw us, their eyes widen, their jaw was opened slightly in surprise, for a moment I saw a hint of fear in their eyes. I frowned my eyes, clenched my jaw and my fist. I pushed Tom harder, he let me go, and I ran away from them.

Before I fully entered the Great Hall, I heard Tom said, "Abraxas, Lestrange, a word with me,"

***

I slouched on my seat, stared at particularly nothing. Generally, I was all worked up for DADA, but this morning with Abraxas and Lestrange made my mood went downhill. They didn't show up in class, that's odd, I believe we have DADA together. Professor Merrythought's lesson couldn't seem to stick into my brain, I didn't even hear what she was saying clearly. Luckily, today's DADA lesson didn't obligate us to take notes since it was only about the annual wizard's duel lesson.

Silvia listened to the teacher quietly beside me, she gave up on cheering me up since anything couldn't comfort me at the moment and she chose to give me some space to leave me to my thoughts but still stayed to keep me company. My eyes were still red and puffy, the exhausting after-crying feeling lingered in my chest, it made me a little short on breath and drowsy.

"Now, I'm going to pick my dueler for today, how about Hogwarts' champion? Ms Akamatsu? And someone who might equal her, Mr Riddle?" Silvia nudged me softly and gave me a pointed look to Professor Merrythought.

"Will you two please climb up to the platform and demonstrate a proper duel for us? Hexes, jinxes, and curses are allowed," the teacher looked at me with a big smile. I almost groaned at her cheerfulness. I climbed to the platform as I saw Tom followed my movement, he stood close in front of me in the middle of the platform. I looked down to my feet to avoid his piercing gaze.

"Ready to lose, Akane?" he whispered lowly so that only I could hear him.

"That's my line, Tom," I replied him with a strong gaze. He seemed to be caught off-guard at the mention of his first name.

When it was time for us to bow down to each other as a sign of respect, we barely bent our heads down. After a moment of boring formality, we walked near the end of the platform, turned back around to face each other and took a duelling stance. I was in no mood to do anything but I didn't intend to lose to someone like him. I might as well have fun torturing him under the name of sweet revenge.

"Alright, on three. One-Two-Three!" Tom sent a simple disarming spell right after Professor Merrythought finished the word 'three' in split second. I blocked the spell as fast as it came. Did he want to play it nonverbally? I'd give it to him wandlessly that his entire body would give in and beg for mercy. Eh, not really.

Hexes, jinxes, and curses were sent to my direction, each spell became more dangerous than the previous one, I replied his offences with the same intensity of fierceness. His raging eyes frowned and he seemed irritated, his pace became insanely quick. So pointless. Although he didn't get a scratch, I was barely even sweating.

Attack, block, dodge, attack, block, dodge. It was as simple as that. I blocked his attack swiftly and sent some curses towards him. Our duel could barely be seen other than flashes of colourful light. I bet everyone was hardly catching up on what was happening in front of them. What did they call me again? Right, Senkō, The Flash. I was on a whole different level from anyone. My years of training helped me immensely to read my opponent.

Professor Merrythought stopped our duel, probably because nothing got pass us. She gave the Slytherin 50 house points and dismissed the class as the students clapped in awe at us. I climbed down quickly and left the class for Arithmancy. Silvia and the others had to part ways with me as they don't take Arithmancy.

Finally, alone. I sighed and walked faster to Arithmancy class. The sound of shoes from behind was coming closer, I sniffed the air and his amazing scent filled my nostril. I glanced up to see Tom who was walking beside me. I wanted to be away from here as soon as I could.

"Great duel, Akane," he said cooly, his expression was as blank as always. I only hummed in response. I felt his hard stare at the top of my head but I kept my gaze to the front.

Once we got to Arithmancy class, I took a seat at the front and Tom sat beside me. Again, I was too tired to care and paid him no mind. If I were in a better mood, I'd kick him off of his seat. Professor Gabriel Vector was absolutely not my favourite, he always seemed like a person who had a wand stuck up in his arse. Definitely, he didn't fancy me. I didn't know why he just did.

It was not like I did something wrong, quite the opposite actually, I always shine in his class. Arithmancy was easy since it was only logical and all numbers. What annoyed me the most was the fact that he saw Tom Riddle like his precious jewel. Seriously, why teachers fancied him so much? I couldn't even get my Veela charm to pass Professor Vector.

Hours seemed to pass quickly as Arithmancy finally came to an end. The teacher told me and Tom to stay behind before I could get out of this class. Professor Vector looked at me as if I were a delinquent student. What did I ever do to him?!

"Ms Akamatsu, you seem quite busy with your Triwizard champion thingy, I assume you don't have much time for study with all of your training. I'm afraid that you'd get left behind so I ask Mr Riddle to tutor you for yesterday's topic and the current topic,"

"What?! But, sir, I can handle it, I never have any prob-,"

"No buts! You will do as I say!" He glared at me and turned to look at Tom proudly, "Tom, I'm sorry to give you such a burden but can you please tutor Ms Akamatsu to study properly?"

"Of course, Sir," he smirked at me as he answered Vector with a voice laced with honey. *cough* fake *cough*

"Now off you go," I quickly got out of the class and decided to go for the common room, not feeling hungry for lunch. Tom caught up to me easily, still looking so smug, making me groan in annoyance.

"You should take your scarf off and let the whole school knows that you're mine," he whispered softly beside me. Feeling upset as my mood worsen because of Professor Vector, I scowled deeply, swallowed my comeback, and ignored him. He frowned and pulled me to stop walking.

"Is it about Abraxas and Lestrange? Because I already took care of them,"

My head snapped to his direction, "what do you mean by you took care of them?"

"It doesn't matter," he replied nonchalantly. I grew uneasy and a bit anxious.

"What did you do, Tom?" He flinched a bit when I mentioned his name.

"I only taught them a lesson," he whispered darkly.

"Why?" Something flashed in his eyes for a second, he opened his mouth before he closed it again.

"They deserved it," I ran to the Great Hall leaving Tom behind and looked for Abraxas and Lestrange, they were nowhere to be seen. I asked Silvia where they were and she said that they were in the Hospital Wings.

My heart raced so fast as an unsettling feeling rustled inside my head and my chest. As I got there, Madam Flatnose was just finished tending to Abraxas and Lestrange. My face paled when I saw blood coming out of wounds on their bandaged backs. What disturbed me the most was the fact that their expression was empty. I rushed to their hospital beds immediately.

"What did he do to you, Ab?" my voice trembled with rage as my tears started to blur my vision.

"I-I couldn't tell you," Abraxas refused to look at me. His silvery blue eyes looked dull, his pale complexion couldn't seem to be any paler.

"Abraxas, please... Lestrange, tell me!" I cried helplessly.

"It's alright, Akane," Lestrange gave me a weak smile.

"It's not! I'm sorry, this is my fault, I'm sorry," I kneeled near their beds.

"No, no. You didn't do anything wrong," Abraxas reached his hand and stroked my cheek gently.

"But I did. I shouldn't have said such a thing to you in the first place. It's your life, not mine, I shouldn't make decisions for you,"

"You only worried about us, we get it, Akane. I'm sorry but his cause is what I believe in life," Abraxas weakly answered me.

"I don't know if I can understand that, I don't know if I will be able to forgive you if something happened in the future, but I know that I will protect you from him," I held their hands and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"No! Akane, stay away from him, you know it now that he's dangerous, please," Lestrange gave me a pleading look with his pair of warm brown eyes. The usual shine seemed to leave his eyes at the moment.

"I'd only stay away from him if he didn't hurt you," I shot them a strong look full of anger and determination with my tear stained face, leaving no room to argue, "I have to go back to class, I'll come back tonight,"

They nodded their heads. I gave their hands a final squeeze and got up to leave. Now, the bastard hurt my friend and of course, I wouldn't leave it alone. I walked to the Charms class as I silently plotted Tom's death. I wanted to mutilate his body to tiny pieces with my swords but I didn't want my precious katana to be soaked in his dirty blood.

Maybe a murder was too much. The Cruciatus Curse wasn't helping too as I still had my Trace, I didn't want to get thrown into Azkaban just because of him. Probably another duel? Seeing him hurt and humiliated would give me a climax satisfaction but I didn't think he'd want to accept my challenge as it wouldn't benefit him. Or maybe I could propose something in return...

I spent the boring classes of Charms and Herbology by ignoring his presence, I could feel his hard gaze on me throughout the class. I always entered the class a bit late, took a seat far away from him, and left quickly right after the class ended. Despite the humdrum classes, it ended too fast for my liking as I loathed the thought of meeting Tom after school in the Prefects' Bathroom.

I opened my bag and grabbed the egg with a wandless summoning charm. I walked to the fifth floor towards Boris the Bewildered statue and whispered the password which I obtained from a sleazy Gryffindor prefect using my Veela charm and a little bit of Legillimence, the statue glided open to reveal a majestic bathroom. I entered the room with a grin. I love Hogwarts.

On the left side, there were stalls with toilets inside. In the middle of the room, there was a massive swimming pool-like tub which sunk into the ground with bath a hundred of golden taps surrounding it, a different jewel set on each tap. There were bath supplies on one side of the pool, such as soap, bath oil, bath powder, bath salts, shampoo, hair spray, and conditioner.

As I finished admiring the tub, I took my shoes off. When I opened all the taps, I thought it would take quite some time to fill, but it actually filled remarkably fast. Not bothering to take my entire clothes, I dipped myself halfway in the warm water and my muscles relaxed instantly.

I loved being in the water, it made me easier to think. It felt comfortable, calm, and peaceful. Probably because of my grandad. I inspected the egg on my palm as I heard a sound behind me, I turned around to see Tom who was standing smugly with a stupid smirk leaning against the wall with a crossed arm.

"How did you get in? I'm inside, the opposite gender shouldn't be able to enter," I puckered my eyebrows together.

"I have my ways," he took off his shoes and joined me in the tub with his clothes on. I felt a slight disappointment but I quickly shook it off. He stood in front of me closely and held my hand, "go ahead, try it,"

I dived inside the water and he soon followed my movement, I opened the egg and gasped at the singing voice. He seemed to noticed my gasp as I saw him frowned at me. I mentally cursed myself for being careless. Tom decided to let it slide for the moment as we listened to the song.

"Come seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot sing above the ground,
And while you're searching ponder this;
We've taken what you'll sorely miss,
An hour long you'll have to look,
And to recover what we took,
But past an hour, the prospect's black,
Too late, it's gone, it won't come back."

We emerged from the water as I closed the egg, he took a sharp intake of breath and ran a hand through his hair. Oh God, look at that water sliding down from his wet hair. He opened his eyes and caught me staring at him, he smirked knowingly. I blushed madly and quickly turned my gaze away from him. We got out of the tub and dried ourselves with magic.

"Figured it out yet, Akane?" he asked me in a challenging tone.

"Yes, I think I have a plan," I stared past him at the moving Mermaid painting on the wall. He followed my gaze, an amused expression was set on his face.

"You really are smart, I wonder why you aren't in Ravenclaw, but then, I remember your dark power-hungry nature," he rose his eyebrow, impressed at my quick deduction, "now, will you tell me how can you breathe underwater?"

"I used a spell," I kept my expression blank.

"Don't lie to me," he said dangerously low, his eyes turned darker, "the only spell to breathe underwater is the Bubble-Head Charm, maybe even transfiguring yourself into a water creature. Surely, now that you've mentioned it, you neither used a potion nor a magical plant,"

"Why would you think that I'd tell you?" I stopped in my track, he turned around to face me.

"And why would you think that I wouldn't find out? Besides, you can trust me," he walked closer to me.

I scoffed, "I don't trust anyone."

"As I reckoned," his curls fell down slightly as he looked down at me.

"I just remember something about this morning. I won't let you slither away for what you did to Abraxas and Lestrange," I tried to divert his attention from the subject and took a step closer to him, we stood dangerously close that our noses were almost touching.

"I simply put them in their rightful place," he spoke the word venomously.

"For making me cry?" I asked sarcastically. He leaned forward, I walked back until my back was pushed against a wall. Damn, it was always like this with him. He embraced me with his scent once again.

"Yes," he simply answered with a low voice as he stared hard into my eyes with his cold ones.

I tried to look away but his gaze kept my eyes locked with his. I'd be lying if I said that his answer didn't surprise me, I opened my mouth to say something but no sound came out of it, I closed it again and bit my lower lip. His gaze went down to my lips, he clenched his sharp jaw, his eyes flickered with emotions I couldn't decipher.

"Don't bite your lips," he said through a gritted teeth.

I wanted to argue but I released my lip and unconsciously licked it, he mimicked my motion while his eyes still trained on my lips. He put his arms around my waist and pulled me to his chest. Tom parted his lips slightly and closed the gap between us. His lips were gently placed on mine, I welcomed it and kissed him back.

It was different from our first kiss, it was soft, slow, and gentle. His movement was slightly teasing, pulling away slightly, not to the point of breaking our lip contact, and diving right back in. I ran my hands to his hair and circled it around his neck. He tilted his head and kissed me deeper. I returned the gesture with the same intense passion. After a moment, he broke the kiss and smirked at me.

"Do tell, darling. Which part of it was an attempt to make me pay for what I did?" he whispered with a husky voice. I feel my cheek heated up with anger and embarrassment, I pulled my wand and place the tip on his neck.

"Why don't we continue our duel? If I win, you'll leave them alone," I glared at him. He scoffed at this.

"They're my followers, Akane. I wouldn't leave them alone, I thought you'd figure that out," his expression was back to his default poker face.

"I know, I meant to say that you will leave them alone if they do something stupid or make me cry, do not hurt them, Tom," his gaze was hardened.

"Don't call me that," he spatted harshly.

"... You don't like your name," I stated. He pursed his lips and avoided my gaze.

"No."

"Can I call you Thomas?" he seemed to be considering this judging by his silence.

"Anything but my first name," he quickly said.

"Sure, daddy," I winked at him, he groaned and glared at me lustfully, "so, the duel?"

"What if I win?" he kept staring at me with his burning gaze.

"Anything," I simply said with a shrug. His smirk was back on his handsome face.

"Go with me to the Yule Ball, darling."

Chapter Text

Akane's P. O. V.

"Go with me to the Yule Ball, darling," Tom wasn't asking, it sounded like a command.

I shrugged, "sure," Tom rose an eyebrow at me, "I need a date, I have to go to the ball."

"You HAVE to? I always think of you as a person who doesn't luxuries in a wassail such as this stupid ball," disapproval crossed his face.

"Correct. I only need a date because Professor Slughorn said that the Champions should be present for the first dance, it's mandatory."

"Well, I know you want to go with me that bad but do not yield in the duel," he smirked, again.

"I was about to ask Abraxas to go with me," I held back a smile. His smirk was gone and replaced with a frown.

"Remember, Akane. If you lose, I can do whatever I want with them," he threatened.

"As if I'm going to lose to a self-centred prick," I smirked, his jaw clenched tightly.

"I always get what I want and I always will, that includes you," Tom looked at me sharply.

"You wish," I smirked evilly.

Tom and I took a duelling stance, not bothering to give each other a bow, he didn't hesitate and begin to throw a stunning spell at me. I blocked it and sent him a powerful knockback jinx. He blocked it lazily. We kept fighting each other for I didn't know how long.

But I did know that I started to get tired, my forearm and back was weary. Sweat trickled down my forehead. My legs had given up on me. Tom seemed to feel the same as our pace got slower. As it got darker, he conjured a Fiendfyre curse in a serpent form. I was amazed at his skill that I got distracted.

I broke my gaze from the malignant looking serpent and twirled my wand to control and dissipate it. As the fire vanished, I breathed heavily, my lungs felt like it was on fire. Before I even recovered from my current state, Tom shouted a jinx loudly, "LEVICORPUS!"

My body was hoisted upside down in the air directly above him. My skirt flew downwards as I screamed and frantically covered my thigh with both of my hands, making my wand thrown across the floor. My face was as red as a tomato. Tom chuckled at my response.

"PUT. ME. DOWN." I ordered him as I tried my best to put on a murderous stare and expression.

"Instead of putting you down, what about I put your skirt down?" He smirked victoriously.

"THOMAS!"

He lifted the jinx and caught me with his arms just in time before I fell to the floor. In a reflex, I put my arms around his neck. The feeling of his strong arms sent a warm feeling to my entire body. His heavy breath matched mine. I stared into his eyes as he looked down on me.

"Akane," Tom stared deeply into my eyes, a drop of sweat rolled down from his forehead.

His eyes, there was something about his dark mysterious eyes that kept me from moving. My heart was beating so fast from my exhaustion and his warmth. Tom's face grew closer to me slowly, our breath clashed against each other, and I prepared myself for what was going to come.

Not as I expected, Tom went to my ear instead and whispered, "guess who wins?"

I bit his ear rather hardly. He only grunted in response, "I'll go with Abraxas if you do that again," I threatened him playfully.

"I wouldn't let you go with another dance partner anyway if you won."

***

The silly egotistical bastard cheated. That slippery snake. I'd have to protect Abraxas and Lestrange on my own then. If he ever hurt them, I'd Crucio his sexy ass to Oblivion. Curse Tom Riddle for his face. Curse him for his stupid sexy smirk. Curse his arrogant, racist, and selfish arse. Curse him for being so perfect. I hated him so much.

Abraxas and Lestrange seemed to get better when I got back to the Hospital Wing after dinner. Thanks to the Essence of Dittany and Madam Flatnose's treatments. When it was almost midnight, I strolled through the dark corridor towards the Astronomy Tower. Ever so slightly I stomped my foot and huffed in annoyance.

"Akane!" Silvia's voice brought me back from my thought, "well, you seem upset... Again," her eyebrows narrowed, she looked at me worriedly.

"Well, for the same reason... Again," I mimicked her tone.

"Tom Riddle... Again?"

"Yeah. Why didn't you go to dinner? Where were you?" I eyed her suspiciously. She would never skip meals.

"Uh, I-uh, the common room! I was in the common room to do some... Studying," she seemed uncomfortable as she averted her gaze.

"Ouukaay. Are you hiding something, Sil?" I asked her carefully.

"Nothing," she answered too quickly, "Hey, why don't we go to Hogsmeade tomorrow? Let's buy a dress for the ball."

I decided to drop the topic and waited until she was ready to talk, "Right, I forgot about that,"

"Really? You're supposed to be in the first dance, do you even have a date?" Silvia looked at me with a facepalm.

"Well I never go to a ball before and today's event made me forgot about the dress and stuff. Unfortunately, yes, I have found a date,"

"Why unfortunate? Who is it? You need a date for the first dance, you should be grateful," she knitted her eyebrows at me.

"You-Know-Who," I answered with a groan and Silvia just sighed.

"Why did you say yes then?"

"I didn't. Well, not exactly. I had a duel over a bet with him and I lost. He cheated though! I would've won, I'm better than him!"

"You started to sound like Riddle," she grinned at me.

"No!"

"Anyway, let's go to Hogsmeade tomorrow on Saturday,"

"Fine," I groaned for the millionth time today.

"You don't like to shop?" Silvia seemed a bit surprised.

Other people might think that a Veela born like me would be the typical girl who likes to shop. The fact was I didn't like to shop because it was a bit of a pain in the ass, boring, and I hate crowded places. Especially when there was a big sale with a huge discount.

Girls could be scary. They would turn into crazy animals when they fight over some discounted stuff in the shopping place or market. I'd rather sit back at home, reading some books with a nice cup of tea on my other hand, or training with my brother and Hideyoshi.

"No, I don't like to dance either," I gave her a weak smile.

"There will be lots of great food," Silvia lifted her eyebrows. I pondered her words for a little time.

"... Okay, you got me, that's one reason to go,"

"Another reason is you want to go with Riddle," she smirked at me and wiggled her eyebrows.

"No, I want to dance with Dumbledore," I looked at her with a bored face.

"Ugh, you have a weird... Fantasy," she put on a disgusted expression, "did you solve the egg?"

"Yes, I did," I sighed.

"God, what's wrong this time? Your answer is good news yet your face tells me as if it's bad news, then you'd mention Riddle,"

"Well, he helped me," I hated to admit that he helped me.

"What's inside?" Silvia's eyes lit up with curiosity

"Something about Merpeople taking what's mine. I have to take it back with a time limit of an hour,"

"You have to breathe in the water for an hour?" Silvia gave me a shocked look.

"I guess," I shrugged.

"Have you found some ways to do it?"

"Yes, very much so," I smirked to myself.

We stopped talking when we reached the spiral staircase to the Astronomy Classroom. Any further talk would squeeze the air out of our lungs as the stairs were hella lot. However, as other people said, we have to climb the rockiest mountain to be able to see the wonderful view on top of it. I saw some students including Tom as we reached the final step of the stairs.

The chilly midnight air stabbed my spine like a spear of ice as the wind gushed through my hair. The sky was clear and the full moon shone brightly, making its light kissed the side of Tom's face, illuminating his sculpted face, and creating an effect as if his face was glowing.

"Thomas," I tapped his shoulder and he turned to face me.

"Hello, love," he smirked. Probably the satisfaction from winning hadn't worn off.

"You call me 'love' but we don't know each other,"

"Are you saying that you want to know about me?"

"... Yes,"

He turned around and leaned on the railing. His face became expressionless, the boy's dark eyes stared into the sky. Professor Lyra's voice distracted my attention. The place was already filled with a lot of students. I prepared my telescope for today's stargazing lesson.

"I live in a dreadful orphanage in London. Hogwarts is my only home. I hate to go back there on holiday," his sudden answer made my head swiftly turned back to him. We were silent for a moment as the teacher explain the lesson. I contemplated what I was going to say.

"Why don't you, uh, stay at my place, I mean, when the holiday is coming close you can come with me to London or Japan,"

".... Do you want me to?"

".... Yes,"

"I'll go then,"

***

I ran quickly to the Owlery, cursing myself for being so forgetful. Dad's going to kill me. I needed to tell him that I was going to stay here during Christmas because of the Yule Ball and Triwizard Cup.

The winter air flew my hair furiously in any direction as I ran, my sharp intake of breath only making the freezing feeling inside of my nose worse. I grew closer to the tall cylindrical tower. The building isn't seemed to be crowded.

I stepped on the straw-covered floor inside the circular room. The windowless wall allowed the wind to slip inside, making the whole tower became cold. The stairs were frozen and wet, noting into my mind to take the step carefully. I scrunched my nose as the smell of owl poo attacked my nostril.

A familiar white owl came into few, her icy blue ice stared fiercely into mine. Shiro flew up and circled the room for a moment before she dived down into my direction.

"Hey, I missed you," I smiled at her as I stroke her head, not forgetting about her food treats which she ate happily.

"Take it to father," I slipped a piece of letter between her sharp beak. She turned around and flew outside the tower. I sighed and walked back inside the castle.

***
"I want something simple," I nervously scanned the clothing shop, Gladrags Wizardwear, as my friends frantically look for our dresses.

"With a Veela gene like yours? Oh, Merlin, please, just let us do this," Silvia groaned at me.

"Don't choose something inappropriate," I'm panicking.

"No promises," Hestia sent me a wink.

"Fine but I want green and silver," I pouted like a little girl.

"You and your house pride," the twin said at the same time as they rolled their eyes.

"Can't help it, I'm a Quidditch player,"

"Right, you wanna go to the Three Broomsticks for Butterbeers at the end of the trip,?" Silvia asked me.

"Yes, if you don't mind," I turned my attention back to the clothing rack in front of me. I almost gave up looking for a suitable dress for my taste, in addition, shopping was tiring me out.

"How about this?" The twin held a shiny lacy dress to my face.

"That's going to blind my eyes," I cringed.

"What? It's glamorous and trendy," Hestia gave me a confused look.

"No, maybe something flowy,"

"This?" Silvia held a ghostly grey Victorian dress.

"No," I gave her a deadpan.

"How about this?" Hestia called out from the back of the shop. A dual-coloured sleeveless dress, green and silver, hunged from her grasp. It had a pretty sash-like ribbon that reminded me of yukata.

"... Okay, I'll try it," I took the dress and tried it on the changing room. After I got out, my friends were squealing at me.

"Oh wow, I think that dress is going to be on Riddle's dorm floor," Silvia smirked at me.

"Don't give me thoughts which send me a nightmare to my sleep," Hestia cringed.

"I found the shoes," Vesta held a silver high heel that had ankle strap on it.

"Good, good, try it, Akane," Victoria urged me to try it.

"We'll take this," Silvia nodded in satisfaction.

"Absolutely," I agreed with her.

Hestia decided to take a black velvet evening gown with long sleeves, Silvia took a floor-length blue taffeta dress, and the twin wore a similar cute cocktail dress. Vesta chose pink while Victoria wanted to wear red. We paid for all of our dresses, accessories, and shoes then left for Quidditch supplies shop in the village.

"Let's go then,"

***

Hi, sorry for the short un-edited chapter, I'm very busy, why is a medical school so hard T_T. I decided to break it down into parts so that I could update faster, that way you won't be waiting for too long to read even just a bit. Notice me if you mind about this decision.

Stay fab.