Genre: Friendship/ Fantasy/ Genre
Summary: Matsujun is a third year at Hogwarts. After reading his future, Jun is curious what will happen this year but he is most concern for Ohno. He promises Ohno to find out more about the Vocal Wizards. In the meantime, Jun has a 'date' with Inoue Mao. Then, Nino informs Jun that Aiba is in the hospital wing again! What happened to Aiba? What will Jun do?
A/N: like the new banner? it's really kawaii, ne! ^^
P.S some SERIOUS debating happening in this chapter. Pay Attention!! ><
Chapter 5 - Planning
Without a word, Ohno and Jun dashed down the hall towards the hospital wing. Jun felt déjà vu as he recalled the last time he ran so fast to see Aiba in the hospital wing. Worried for the worst, Jun ran even faster until he burst through the doors.
"Whoa, there," Tsukumo said, surprised by the sudden entrance.
"Aiba?" Jun called and found only one person laying on the beds. "Aiba!"
"Ahh! Not so loud," Aiba winced, holding his head.
"Aiba! Y-you're okay!" Ohno panted, sinking into a chair with relief.
"Well, yeah," Aiba shrugged. "It's just a bump on the head."
"Shimura Ken found him outside and brought him here," Tsukumo informed the boys. "It doesn't seem to be anything serious. Aiba, you're free to leave anytime. If you need anything, I'll be in my office," and Tsukumo walked away.
Jun wheeled around and saw Nino's evil grin spread across his face like a clown. How Jun wish he could wipe that smirk off Nino's face. Outraged, Jun grabbed Nino's collar roughly.
"You!" Jun growled. "That was not funny! I was seriously worried!"
"Oh, lighten up, Matsujun," Nino laughed, not struggling from Jun's grip. "I couldn't help myself."
Jun shoved the cynical brat away and sat in his chair.
"Geez, Matsujun," Aiba chuckled. "I'm flattered you care about me, but it's no big deal."
"What did happen?" Ohno asked.
Then, Jun took a good look at Aiba. His skin tone was slightly paler than usually, and his eyes looked tired. Jun spotted rolls of bandages on the bedside table with small specks of blood.
"Heh," Aiba softly touched the back of his head, "I went to see Tsuki before lunch started. I wanted to give him a carrot, but he wasn't so pleased to see me."
"And that crazy horse attacked you?" Ohno guessed.
"No! He didn't do anything wrong," Aiba insisted. "What happened...well, it was strange. I walked up to Tsuki and he was busy eating the grass. But then before he even looked at me, I felt this searing pain in my head."
"A headache?" Jun asked.
"I thought so, at first," Aiba nodded, "but this was different. It wasn't a pounding kinda headache but more like a...pulling headache."
"Pulling?" Nino asked, back to being his serious self. "Like someone pulling your hair?"
"No. Like someone pulling my brain or something deep inside being pulled. It hurt like hell," Aiba said, rubbing his head more. "Then, I heard this earsplitting cry like some creature screeching really high. It was so painful, I cried and screamed and rolled on the ground...didn't you guys hear it? It was echoing all over the school grounds."
"I didn't hear anything," Jun recalled. "Did you, Ohno?"
Ohno just shook his head.
Aiba looked shocked. "Are you serious? That can't be! It was so loud. The entire school should have heard it," Aiba said, his eyes wide.
"Aiba, nobody heard anything," Nino confirmed.
"But," Aiba looked frustrated, "I heard it. It sounded like it was in pain or something..."
"Calm down, Aiba," Ohno said, his hand on Aiba's shoulder. "You must have hit your head to hard when you were rolling. I can heal it for you."
Ohno already reached for the nearest water pitcher and poured the water into his hands. The water lapse around his hand and began to glow a soft blue color. He gently touched Aiba's wound on the back of his head and then drew away.
"Feel better?" Ohno smiled.
"Much," Aiba nodded, then kicked the blankets away and grinned. "Well, I'm starving."
"I bet if Ohno didn't heal him, Aiba would've still made a fast recovery," Nino mumbled, making Ohno and Aiba laughed.
"Why would you want to approach Tsuki in the first place?" Jun wondered.
"I just want to be friends with him too," Aiba shrugged.
"He's a freakin' Sleipnir," Ohno emphazied. "Sleipnirs are naturally aggressive."
"But," Aiba mumbled, crossing his arms, "Tsuki is reeeal friendly with Taiyo...if you know what I mean."
"That's because Taiyo is a female, idiot," Jun said. "Let's get lunch-"
But before Jun could finish, a loud bang caused the boys to turn their heads. Tsukumo eyes looked worried and in his fist was a crushed letter.
"Ohno!" Tsukumo called, his face itched with seriousness. "Do you have a moment? Something came up, and I like to talk with you."
"Uhh, sure," Ohno nodded and walked into Tsukumo's office.
"Oh, and Aiba too," Tsukumo added, surprising Aiba.
"Me?" Aiba pointed at his chest but followed Tsukumo. Naturally, Jun and Nino followed as well, but Tsukumo blocked them. "I'm sorry, boys. An owl just flew into my window...this is top secret. So I can't inform you anything."
"What about Aiba?" Nino asked.
"Like I said, something came up," Tsukumo said and closed the door for privacy.
"This sucks," Nino grumbled. Jun turned around and walked out of the infirmary suddenly not feeling hungry. Nino followed.
"What was that all about?" Jun mumbled. "Why does Tsukumo want to see Ohno and Aiba?"
"My guess...the Elites business," Nino said.
"Hmm, I can understand if there's urgent news that needs Ohno attention," Jun said, "but why Aiba?"
Nino stopped in his tracks and rubbed his chin. Curious, Jun stopped as well and waited for Nino's reply. Despite how uncomfortable Jun feels being alone with Nino, Jun admits that Nino is intelligent.
"Perhaps Tsukumo overheard our conversation and Aiba's story," Nino said. "After all, it's not normal to hear voices, let alone high-pitch cries that no one else can hear."
"Aiba mentioned that it sounded like a creature," Jun recalled. "Do you think he heard something in the Dark Forest?"
"There's too many creatures in the Dark Forest that makes earsplitting cries," Nino said, shaking his head. "I wonder if other creatures heard that noise too."
"Well, it's not like we can talk to animals or something," Jun said, his hands on his hips. "Why are you so curious about this?"
Nino finally looked up as if he was offended.
"Well, I'm just as curious as you are," Nino replied back. "You, me, and the others have already seen some weird things that no other wizards have. Now, something like this comes up and you want me to ignore it?"
"Uhhh," Jun mumbled, feeling guilty. "Well, no. It's just...you usually...I don't know, try to avoid problems and just go after things you want."
"Things I want?" Nino repeated, narrowing his eyes. "Like...you?"
"I have to get to class," Jun quickly said, but too late.
Nino shoved Jun to a corner where they were concealed by a suit of armor so no one could see them. Nino pinned Jun to the wall and bored his eyes at Jun's. Nino was almost the same height as Jun, but Jun felt he was taller. Normally, Nino would have his smirk smeared on his face, but he looked angry instead.
"You seem threatening today?" Jun tried to laugh the uncomfortable feeling away.
"Because I still remember our little night chat at the Leaky Cauldron," Nino replied calmly, yet still maintaining his angry stare. "And yeah, you're right. I go after the things I want."
"Well, I hate to inform you, but I'm not for sale," Jun quirked his eyebrow.
Finally, Nino made his trademark smirk. "Are you saying you've already been sold?" Nino played along.
"Y-yes," Jun lied. "Yes, am I."
There was only one name that popped into Jun's head at that moment.
"Inoue Mao," Jun said.
Nino was silent for a good minute. He poked his tongue against his cheek, and tilted his head to the side. Jun tried his best to keep a straight face and continued to stare back at Nino.
"Really?" Nino finally spoke.
"Ravenclaw, Inoue Mao?"
"The very one."
"I don't believe you."
"I have a date with her," Jun nodded, feeling thankful for his quick thinking. "You can watch us leave to Hogsmeade."
Nino's eyes grew dark as if he knew he'd lost. Somehow, seeing that defeated look on his face lifted Jun's spirits.
"Just watch me," Jun ended.
At long last, Nino released Jun and walked away; his shoulders drooped like he was hunchback. Jun couldn't help but grin as he walked away.
* * *
Jun had never felt so happy in a long time. Suddenly, the world looked so much brighter and so much more peaceful. Jun would spot Nino glare back at him and then look away, making Jun smile in victory. And the best thing was that Jun didn't felt the slightest bit of regret. He actually enjoyed seeing Nino's sad face.
'I must be a sadist after all,' Jun smirked.
"What are you smirking for?" Aiba said, half-hidden behind a pile of books.
"Oh, nothing," Jun said. "Have you seen Sho lately? Or Ohno?"
"No I haven't," Aiba said, not looking up from his book. "Not since Charms class. They're probably together somewhere...again."
'Sho and Ohno,' Jun thought. 'They hardly spend time with us anymore...'
"Anyway," Jun spoke again, "I was meaning to ask you...what's with the books?"
"These are for Muggle Studies," Aiba pointed at one pile, "these are about magical creatures, and these are about the Vocal Wizards."
"I know I get surprised when I see Ohno reading, but I would have never thought you'd read so much!"
"Haha, very funny," Aiba said, his eyebrow raised.
Aiba and Jun were in their library VIP spot again. Aiba's books nearly covered the table between them, and even the extra chairs next to Aiba were stacked with books. Jun was lucky to find enough space to do his homework.
"Why are you researching?" Jun asked, picking up a book titling: "The Ancient Elements."
"Things suddenly became...interesting," Aiba mumbled to himself, reading a book.
"Oh, I also wanted to ask you," Jun brought up, "what did Tsukumo wanted with you and Ohno? Was it about the Elites?"
Aiba looked up and mumbled. "Ah, I don't know if I should tell you."
"Oh, come on," Jun said. "Sho spilled the beans at the Leaky Cauldron. Ohno told me a few things too. And it's not like I'll be any threat to the Elites."
"Well, okay...Tsukumo wanted to talk about the talisman," Aiba said.
"What did they found out?" Jun asked immediately.
Aiba leaned forward so he could talk in a quiet voice. "Apparently, they're really close to finding the talisman they lost back at Knockturn Alley. Tsukumo wanted to ask Ohno if he felt any 'presence' of the talisman."
"He didn't," Aiba said. "Ohno mentioned that he can't really feel any talismans until they have fused with the perfect suitor. Like with Sho. Ohno said he feels a great connection with Sho, but he doesn't know where the other talismans are."
"Yeah...it would've been too easy finding the others," Jun nodded.
"Tsukumo mentioned that the talisman the Elites are tracking is moving constantly," Aiba said, making Jun frown. "There have been reports over Japan of abnormal storms...wind storms."
"Wind!" Jun gasped. "Does the Elites think they're dealing with the Wind Talisman?"
"That's what Tsukumo thinks," Aiba nodded. "So far, there has been reports ranging from Kyushu to Kanto region of strange storms. And just recently, the owl that came to Tsukumo, a new report of a wind storm in Tohoku."
"That's where we are!" Jun gasped again. "Are you saying the Wind Talisman is near?"
"I couldn't believe it either," Aiba shook his head. "How can a talisman move so fast and so sudden?"
"Well, it's the Wind Talisman, right?" Jun said. "Maybe that's its specialty."
"That's why I'm researching now," Aiba said, going back to his books. "I want to know more about the Wind Vocal Wizard. Tsukumo wanted to talk with me because some Elite members have reported hearing screams like I did right before a wind storm hit."
Jun suddenly felt cold. "Y-you don't think..." Jun whispered, "that...y-you're-"
"No way," Aiba quickly answered Jun's unspoken question. "There's no way I'm a Vocal Wizard. I asked Tsukumo the same thing and he said that can't be because he said other Elites have heard the same screaming. If I was, I would've been the only one to hear it."
"I-I guess you're right," Jun nodded. "But still...there's a talisman nearby. I'm just worried."
"I am too," Aiba said, frowning.
Jun immediately grabbed Aiba's books and quickly got to work.
'I'll make sure no one nabs that talisman,' Jun flipped through the pages. 'I swear it...'
At that moment, Jun felt someone sit next to him after removing the piles of books. Jun side-glanced to see who is was and went back to his book. But then Jun nearly jumped from his seat as he realized it was Nino who sat next to him with ease.
"Hey, whatcha guys doing?" Nino asked calmly. Jun stared at Nino, surprised that he was this close like they did had a heated confrontation a few days ago. Aiba failed to noticed Jun's expression.
"We're researching about the Vocal Wizards," Aiba said, and repeated his story to Nino.
When Nino finally absorbed the new information, he stuck his tongue between his teeth and lips in deep thought. Obviously, Nino was just as surprised as Jun when he first heard the news.
"It all seems too coincidental," Nino mumbled, staring out the window.
"How so?" Aiba asked.
"It's just...Ohno became a Vocal Wizard our first year," Nino said. "Then less than a year, Sho became a Vocal Wizard. And now there's a chance a third talisman is out there floating around until the next person merges with it? It's all happening so fast after so many years."
"You have a point there," Aiba nodded. "It's as if there's a chain reaction. When one talisman is reunited with its suitor, the others act up."
"You mean the talismans are aware that two are already complete?" Nino asked.
"It makes sense," Jun finally spoke, causing Nino to finally make eye contact with Jun.
"Do tell us, Matsujun," Nino said, keeping a straight face.
"W-well, look at Ohno and Sho," Jun said. "Look how close they've gotten now that they're both Vocal Wizards. They practically move and breath the same way. They're like the moon and the earth, revolving around each other. If they have that kind of connection with each other, then it makes sense if the other talismans also have a connection."
"Argh!" Aiba grumbled, ruffling his hair. "This is so confusing."
"Why don't we just ask Ohno and Sho?" Nino slouched in his chair. "They're the freakin' Vocal Wizards themselves! We can just ask them a few questions."
"I did," Aiba sighed. "I've talked with Sho and he's not very helpful. He only tells me about his powers and how he 'knows' how to use them. It's weird. He has no clue about the Vocal Wizard inside him or anything important."
"Can't he, like, transform to his Vocal Wizard self?" Jun asked. "I remember seeing Ohno did it before...just briefly though."
"Like last year at the Dueling Club?" Aiba nodded. "Yeah, I remember that, but I don't know."
"What are you talking about?" Nino said, looking frustrated. "Of course he became the Vocal Wizard at that moment."
"But it wasn't as powerful," Aiba said, leaning forward again trying to make a point. "Remember back in Mauna Loa?"
"Vividly," Nino mumbled irritatedly.
"Ohno's power was at its peak during that time," Aiba said, slamming his palm on the table. "Compare that and at the Dueling Club, Ohno was still himself at the club somewhat."
'Aiba's right,' Jun thought. 'Ohno's power was strong at the Dueling Club, but it wasn't as strong as the time he fought against a river!'
"So," Nino sighed, scratching his head, "Ohno and Sho can call their powers at will, but they can't call their Vocal Wizard selves, right?"
"That's all I could think of," Aiba tilted his head. "I mean, don't you think so? When they spoke on that volcano, did you think they were Ohno and Sho?"
Jun and Nino were silent.
'Of course not,' Jun thought sadly. 'They were someone else...'
"Arrgh!" Aiba yelled again. "And what really irritates me the most is that Sho and Ohno aren't really worried about this. They're off together somewhere and not even trying to know what's happening to them."
"It's like they've accepted what they have become," Nino said, rubbing his eyes.
Jun sat there feeling defeated already. Aiba was trying his hardest to understand the Vocal Wizards, and they were going no where. Jun looked out the window and watched the pale gray sky. Then, a single beam of light peaked through the clouds like a ray of hope...
"Maybe I'm not looking at the right information," Aiba brought up, his voice low. His eyes gazed down at the books, lost in his thoughts.
"But it looks like you've picked out all the books that relates to the Vocal Wizards," Nino said. "Every one of them."
Aiba looked up with bright eyes. "But what about the Restricted Section?"
Nino didn't answer. Somehow, Jun heard a distance bell ring like a brilliant idea has come to play...
"You need a teacher's permission to enter the Restricted Section," Nino replied smartly. "And it's not like someone will give us access to know about the Vocal Wizards. No class is studying them. Not even the History of Magic class or UtaMahou."
"Nino's right," Jun nodded. "I don't think any teacher will want us to research on Vocal Wizards."
"Maybe we don't need a teacher's permission," Aiba smirked an evil grin. Jun immediately felt uneasy with that look because that was usually a face Nino would make.
"We can't sneak into the Restricted Section without anyone seeing us," Jun said. "How are we suppose to get in there?"
Nino lightly smacked Jun's head.
"Stupid. We won't go in the middle of broad daylight," Nino said. "We'll have to do it at night."
"But Filch walks around at night all the time," Aiba said. "And his cat and possibly other teachers on night duty."
"...you seem to know alot about who wonders around at night," Nino brought up. Aiba's face changed from determined to busted.
"Er, w-well...sometimes, I sneak food from the kitchen. A-and...test some...experiments," Aiba confessed quietly. Nino and Jun rolled their eyes.
"Well, you seem the expert at night walks," Nino nodded. Aiba clapped his hands as a huge grin spread across his face.
"Great! Then it's settled," Aiba said. "We'll sneak into the Restricted Section at night, grab the books we need, and get the hell outta there."
"Maybe we should plan this out more," Jun nodded.
"Alright," Nino said, pulling out a spare roll of parchment.
The three boys began their planning...
* * *
Jun was amazed at his busy schedule for the first weeks of school. His new classes were demanding and pushing Jun's studying skills to the test already. Care of Magical Creatures became more vicious and dangerous as Shimura Ken brought in new creatures to observe. Of course, Aiba always volunteered to help and demonstrate for the class, and he immediately became friends with the creatures.
Divination was both interesting and annoying. Ohno and Jun took turns reading more fortune-telling methods under Professor Shiori's instructions. However, the readings always came out the same meaning: Jun will suffer something this year and yet progress in something, and Ohno will deal with a major change in his life and face judgement.
But the two most important events that were on Jun's mind was the plan to bust in the Restricted Section and his first 'date' with Inoue Mao. Occasionally, Jun would spot Mao in classes or in the corridors and she would wave back as if embarrassed. Amazingly, Jun started to feel conscious and embarrassed too.
"What's with that blush?" Ohno teased, nudging Jun in the ribs.
"N-nothing!" Jun said, but as soon as Ohno looked away, Jun went back to stare at Mao from across the Great Hall.
She ate and chatted with her Ravenclaw friends. Someone mentioned something and Mao laughed. Jun felt his eyebrow twitched and he quickly looked away. He couldn't finish his meal.
"Oh, that's right," Ohno nodded, his cheeks puffy with food like a hamster, "tomorrow is your 'date' with Mao-chan, huh?"
"I-It's not a date," Jun said for the tenth time. "It's just a friendly get together so we can plan out the UtaMahou project."
"Hmm, but you could always meet in the library instead of at Hogsmeade," Ohno pointed out. At first, Jun didn't know to how replied back to Ohno, but then he remembered.
"She said she was busy and she's free on Saturday," Jun nodded. "That's why."
"So," Ohno smiled widely, "it's still a date."
"Shut up," Jun said, feeling hot under his collar.
'Mao-chan is just a friend...right?'
* * *
Jun walked outside the front gate of the school. A few students were also leaving for Hogsmeade and waited for their friends. Jun was happy to finally leave the school just for a little bit. He had always envied the older students who were able to leave for a trip during his first and second years. Now, Jun felt older and more mature standing outside casually.
"Geez, what's taking her so long?" Jun talked to himself and sat on the stone steps. His legs stretched out before him, lazily. A few feet away, Jun heard a group of girls giggling and gossiping way too loudly.
"Oh my god, like, no way!" A girl squealed.
"Did he, like, asked you out?"
"Yes! He's, like, totally gonna take me to Honeydukes first!" The girl jumped in excitement.
"Why Honeydukes? Why not Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop? That place is, like, so cute."
"You think so?"
"Uh, duh! It's, like, the perfect place for a date."
And the girls walked away from earshot. Jun couldn't help but consider about the gossiping girls' words.
'Perfect place, huh,' Jun thought.
"Matsumoto-san," a voice called him.
He turned around and felt a smile spread across his face. Inoue Mao arrived and as she came closer, Jun noticed her hair was curled.
"I'm sorry to keep you waiting," she bowed.
"It's okay," Jun waved his hand. "I didn't waited long. Let's go."
"Great," she smiled, and Jun led the way towards the road.
Students had the option to either walk or take the horseless carriages to Hogsmeade. Seeing the small town was not too far away, Jun decided to walk and so were many of the students since it was such a nice day. Jun kept a brisk pace like he always does until he realized that Mao tried to keep up with him.
Feeling stupid, he slowed his strides until Mao was able to walk next to him. Throughout the rest of the journey, they didn't utter a word to each other until they finally passed the Hogsmeade Station.
"Let's get something to drink at Three BroomSticks first," Mao finally spoke.
"Okay," Jun nodded and followed Mao into the pub. It was warm and dark because of the dim lights. The place was crowded and smoky, but Jun thought it was a nice pub. Mao and Jun found an empty table booth and took their seats.
"Two butterbeers, please," Mao called to the bartender.
The lady nodded her head and waved her wand. Two large mugs of butterbeer floated over the heads of the customers and landed in front of Jun and Mao without spilling.
"Wow, the service is great," Jun commented, already drinking. Mao also took a sip.
"I've always heard this place was good," she nodded, but Jun's eyes were on her upper lip.
"You've got a fizz mustache," Jun chuckled and reached for the napkins. "Here."
"Ah, seriously!" She gasped, wiping her mouth. "How embarrassing."
"Nah, it's cute," Jun smiled, making Mao freeze a little and then smile shyly.
'Eh?' Jun thought. 'Did I just say she was cute?'
"W-well, let's talk about our UtaMahou project," Mao nodded, getting done to business.
"Okay," Jun nodded, leaning back in his seat with his arm on the top of the booth seating. "You seem awfully busy. Are you sure you can finish this project?"
"Yes, that's why I want to finish it sooner so I won't have to worry about my schedule," she nodded.
"If you don't mind me asking, why are you so busy?" Jun asked casually.
"School work," she simply answered. "I'm taking four extra classes this year."
"Four?!" Jun gaped at her. "How can you take four? I thought students can only take two extra classes per year."
"I sent a request before the term started," she answered. "Headmaster Johnny accepted so my schedule is jammed packed. My only free times are lunch and dinner breaks and the weekends."
"Seriously? Won't you get tired?"
"No," she shrugged easily. "I wake up at 5AM for my first lesson, and then it's nonstop until 6PM. From there, I do my homework until 11PM, and I'd finish the rest during the weekend."
"So then," Jun frowned in thought, "the only time you're available for the UtaMahou project is at night."
"Eh?" She gasped. "I-I thought the weekend will do fine."
"But I don't want to interfere with your studies during the weekend," Jun said, feeling sorry for Mao. "During the day, you can do your homework and lessons. And during the night, you and I can practice UtaMahou."
"W-well," Mao said, looking shy, "it would make it easier for me. A-are you sure you're okay with that?"
"Of course, I don't mind," Jun smiled.
Mao blushed and bowed. "Thank you. You're so considerate...Matsumoto-san."
"Enough with the 'san' thing," Jun chuckled. "When you and me are alone, just call me Jun, okay?"
Mao blushed an even deeper pink and nodded.
"Ok...Jun," she smiled.
"Sure...Mao-chan," Jun nodded. "Well, I guess we got that settled. Why don't we explore more of Hogsmeade?"
'Okay, I'd admit it...she's cute,' Jun thought.
wooo! end of chapter ^^ you're LUCKY i was being nice, b/c i was planning to put another cliffhanger, but then this chapter is long enough. ><
so! some important things happened in this story, ne. i dont want my readers to forget them after being brainwashed with the maotsujun at the end XDD so here goes:
- aiba has experience hearing voices (screams) sounds like an animal cry
- jun had to lie to nino that he's taken already (by inoue mao!)
- serious debating about the vocal wizards. already suspecting the wind talisman. rapid reports of strange wind storms popping everywhere in japan.
-which leads to the beginning stages to enter the restricted section (since they dont have a invisibility cloak after all)
and the rest was the maotsujun goodness. ^^
To Chapter 6 - arashiforyou.livejournal.com/14177.html