Title: Arashi After Hogwarts - The Perilous Hunt
Genre: Fantasy/ AU/ Drama
Summary: A continuation from Arashi at Hogwarts series. Despite the early letter, Ohno witnessed a terrifying moment in all his career life. Three unknown vicious men attacked his fans during their recording at Music Station, and Arashi was called away to their green room to let the security wizards handle the situation. What does Naruse Ryo want from Arashi?
A/N: Took me a week to finally update this chapter. LJ was being a butt...
I should also mention that majority of the time this story will be told in Jun's POV. Whenever there's a character POV change, I'll be sure to let you know. Otherwise, it's kinda like in the eyes of Jun.
There was still an extra copy of their assignment when they wrote the lyrics. As Jun read through them, he chuckled at the words before he discard it. He found his old History of Magic textbook and quickly scanned through the pages. He found what he was looking for, and he couldn't believe he forgot about it.
Chapter 2 - The Imperfects
He hasn't seen his old Potions teacher and Head of Slytherin House in years. Of course, Jun has heard about Naruse's new job with Japan's Ministry of Magic, but Jun hasn't seen him since their tenth year anniversary concert. He assumed Naruse was busy with his new job at Japan's Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and Jun could tell Naruse has changed dramatically in the past three years.
The once smooth and young professor was a lot older and looked wiser. His skin was still dark, as if he was permanently set to that color tone, and his hair was still full and black. But Jun detected a stripe of gray running along his arched bangs. He still wore a suit, but his jacket and shirt sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, and he lost the tie. Also, he fashioning a new pin to represent his new job status. There was a sense of stress weighing on him, and Jun could see the worried look in Ohno's eyes.
"Uncle, what's going on? Why are you here?" Ohno asked.
"You didn't get my letter?" Naruse frowned.
"That was from you? Why didn't you put your name on it?"
"I'm sorry, but I was being hasty," Naruse sighed. "I tried to warn the producers to cancel the recording, but by the time I got here, it was too late."
"You knew those men were going to attack?" Sho stepped forth.
"More like a hunch, but it's obvious now."
"Who were those men? Why did they bite our fans?" Sho asked, with more aggression in his voice. "What if the media gets hold of this? It could be a big problem for us too."
"We have bigger problems than worry about your popularity, Sakurai," Naruse glared. "I'm surprised someone as smart as you haven't noticed the danger that has been rising."
"What danger?" Jun asked.
Naruse walked forward and pulled out his wand. He stepped past Arashi and waved his wand at the only entrance to the room before he closed the door.
"Muffliato," he murmured.
"What's going on?" Nino spoke. "Why all the secrecy?"
Naruse turned around, "Those men weren't ordinary humans. We call them Imperfects."
"Imperfects?" Jun repeated.
"They were once human who died and then they reappear as spirits," Naruse explained. "They are, essentially, lost souls trying to be human again. At first, they consume more and more souls to make them feel human. But really, they become mindless limps of flesh that have lost all sense of humanity. And yet they still try to become human, until finally they resort to eating them."
"What?!" Sho yelled, "Are you saying these things are...are..."
"Zombies?" Nino finished for him.
"That can't be," Jun said. "Zombies only exist in movies."
"I've never heard of spirits eating humans," Aiba gawked. "Frankly, I thought spirits were extinct."
Naruse sighed heavy, "You all should probably sit down before you keel over."
After a short pause, Arashi sat down on the couch across from their old professor. Naruse sat down as well, his elbows resting on his knees, looking tired and worn.
"Tell us everything from the beginning," Ohno said. "How did this all happen? What's going on?"
"It will be a lot to take in, so don't interrupt me," Naruse started. "First of all, they're not zombies or any type of Inferi. Those types of living dead are dead bodies reanimated by a dark wizard. The ones you saw came to this world as spirits, meaning they didn't return with a body. I know this because it all started about a year ago when I saw my mother-"
Immediately, all five of them gasped.
"I thought she was dead!"
"Please, let me finish," Naruse said firmly. "I thought so too, and it startled me just as much. But she was in a form of a spirit. A lost soul that somehow wondered into our world. I didn't know what to do then, and she escaped. I immediately informed Johnny about this, but he was clueless as I was. The man is no longer useful to us, and I can't let him be distracted by any troubles in his condition."
"Well, why not? Johnny is very influencial," Jun said. "He can get connections and help you out."
"Johnny Elites is no more," Naruse said. "Ever since the Great Metal Battle fourteen years ago, the need for Johnny's high official army was no longer needed."
"The war with SIN and Elites was over," Sho nodded.
Jun lowered his gaze.
"We are on our own this time," Naruse continued. "My department is doing everything they can to stop these spirits eating more humans."
"How are they eating them?" Nino asked. "The last time I studied, spirits don't really have a physical body to pose a threat."
"No, but these are different. They somehow have stronger magical abilities," Naruse said. "They start off as spirits, and they don't consume human flesh just yet. First, they start by eating human souls. It somehow gives them a more stable body."
Jun could see Ohno rubbing the bridge of his nose.
"The spirits' desire to become human has lead them to this act," Naruse explained. "After that, they become more closer to the living world as ghosts. They're not the same ghosts you remembered from Hogwarts. These ghosts have consumed more than one soul and they have become irriational, and they attack others.
"After that, they become an even lower form like poltergeist. They're less intelligent and create more physical contact, but their magical abilities almost vanishes completely. Finally, after consuming enough souls, they can manifest an actual body for themselves. But by then, their minds are lost. They are incapable of being a true living being, or a real living human. They are...imperfect."
"Is there no way to stop them?" Aiba asked.
"After many tests, the Minstry of Magic has developed a new device to capture spirits, ghosts, and poltergeists alike."
Naruse reached into his pocket and pulled out a small orb. The ball was made of pure glass, but there were engravings marked all around the sphere. There were ancient texts and symbols that Jun has never seen before.
"This device can entrap them and they can't escape," Naruse said. "We haven't found out what to do with them, but in the meantime, we have to find all the wondering spirits before they derank themselves to Imperfects before it's too late."
"What happens when they become Imperfects?" Nino asked, nervously."What do you do with them?"
Naruse didn't responded right away. They waited while holding their breaths as he pocketed away the glass orb.
"The Imperfects have been proven to be a lost cause. They are unaffected by our device, and they are incapable to comprehend any understanding. And because they pose a threat to the public...we've been given orders to exterminate them as quickly as possible."
"But what about the souls they've eaten?" Aiba asked, looking concerned. "Do they...go back to their original bodies?"
Jun clasped his hands together, thinking about the poor girl and boy who lost their lifes to those three Imperfects just a few hours ago. And then those three men themselves. The souls they had to consume just to be human again, all for nothing and then killed. The souls will never return, and their original bodies will walk souless throughout the rest of their lives.
"So...why are we involved?" Sho asked, looking grumpy.
"During my hunts, I've noticed a strange pattern with these beings," Naruse said. "They seem to attract to those of a particular soul. Of course, they could just attack anyone, but other Aurors have a difficult time finding a spirit before it's too late. However, I seem to attract them more so than my co-workers."
"But you have incredible tracking abilities," Nino pointed out.
"That is true, but it's not just that," Naruse answered. "Higashiyama Noriyuki is also helping me with the hunts, and his tracking skills are just as good, and yet I still attract more.
"And that's when I realized where these spirits are coming from," Naruse frowned deeply. "Because I saw my old enemy, Tamaki Hiroshi. He was already in ghost form, and before I captured him, he told me he fell from Paradise."
Jun's eyes widen. He hasn't heard that word in nearly fourteen years.
Paradise. A land of the dead, where there are worlds created endlessly and eternally. In Paradise, the dead can build any reality they want and thus it is named as such. There, time was an illusion, and Jun has seen it in his near-death experience. So has his friends with the help of a transportation spell. They have escaped as a whole and alive, and they will never forget what they've been through while in Paradise.
"H-How is that possible?" Jun spoke, his voice on the edge of trembling. "The portal to Paradise was closed forever. There is no other way to get there expect dying."
"I know it's the only place they are coming from," Naruse said. "Something is causing the link to break and spirits of the dead are spilling into our world. And these spirits can detect those who have been to Paradise. Which means us."
"Is it only us?" Jun asked.
"As far as I know."
"But you said this has been happening for a year now," Nino pointed out. "We haven't seen any attacks until now."
"The spirit count was not that high last year," Naruse said. "Now, they seem to have increased greatly. These have been the first few sightings of Imperfect attacks."
"And what are we to do about it?" Ohno finally spoke. His voice was low and wiry as everyone looked at him. "So we've got the scent of Paradise on us. But why must we be involved?"
There was a distinct pinch in Naruse's brow. "With your help, we can stop more spirits and maybe-"
"And maybe what?" Ohno fired back, lifting his head up more. "Bring balance? Restore peace? I don't want the responsibilty to save the world again! I'm tired!"
"I'm with Ohno," Sho added. "I appreciate you telling us, sir. But I'm sorry."
"What are you saying?" Jun spoke up.
"I'm saying this isn't our fight anymore," Sho said. "We've done what we could a long time ago. And as much as it makes me sick to think there are Imperfects attacking innocent people, I don't want to get involved with Paradise ever again until I die."
"But you heard what Naruse said. These spirits will be drawn to us because of our past connections with Paradise," Jun argued. "If anything, we have to help and find these spirits before they consume other souls!"
"Do you hear yourself, Jun?!" Sho said, his eyes looking deeply sadden. "It's like our early years at Hogwarts all over again! Us trying to stop these unknown beings to getting more souls to rule the world, or something. I don't want to have to go through that again! We shall have no part in this."
"I can't believe you, Sho," Aiba said. "Jun is right, we have to help! We have a shot at stopping these attacks if we help Naruse and the other Aurors on their hunt. We have a better chance in finding them more."
Ohno combed through his hair, looking exhausted from the raised voices. "All I want was a calm and quiet life from here on out. I've dealt with enough death in my past, and I don't want to see it again."
"Me too," Sho nodded.
"Well, I'm not," Jun stood up. "I can't sit here and do nothing. Like Aiba said, if there's a chance we can stop this, then I'm willing to do it."
"Thank you," Naruse said, also standing up.
"I'm in too," Aiba nodded. "After what happened today, I don't want the same fate to happen again."
"Nino?" Jun stared down.
Nino fiddled with his thumbs, "I'm...I'm not so sure. Although I do favor more with Jun and Aiba. But I'm worried."
"About what?" Naruse asked.
"This whole ordeal with the spirits falling from Paradise," Nino said. "I just don't understand how that is possible. I remember the only way the portal to Paradise can be open was through a large amount of human sacrifice. And that the only way a person can see Paradise is if they die or about to die."
"There was always Naruse's spell he used that one time," Aiba recalled. "Verax dolor."
"And it doesn't work anymore," Naruse corrected. "I even let Higashiyama tried the spell, and his wand couldn't do it. The spell was only a one-time use. Not even with a different wand."
"So then..." Jun mumbled.
Could there be someone sacrificing another city?
"We would notice if something big happened," Naruse reassured him. "Something else is causing them to come into our world. I don't know what."
Sho stood up quickly. "You guys can do whatever the hell you want, but me and Ohno are out."
Aiba sighed, "But-"
"I will not get involved with this," Sho said. "Please, Aiba, don't go with them. These hunts could be dangerous. You don't know what might happen."
"I know that," Aiba frowned. "But it's not like me to ignore people who need me."
Jun could see the intense worry in Sho's eyes. Everyone watched as he roughly grabbed his bag and walked out the door. The Muffliato spell was broken as he left. Ohno slowly got up and also grabbed his things. Jun quickly stride towards him and grabbed his arm.
"Ohno, please...reconsider," Jun uttered. "I can't do this by myself. I need all the help I can get."
Ohno whispered low, "Why do you want to do this, Jun? Why do you want to get back into this?"
"We have an option, and I don't want any trouble," Ohno said. He gently brushed away from Jun's grip. "Not anymore."
Jun couldn't take another step forward as he watched Ohno close the door behind him. There was so many reasons why Jun was in for the hunt, but he just couldn't express them. Not yet...
* * *
When Jun got home, he immediately went searching for his books. He hasn't opened his old school trunk in ages. It was hidden in the very back of his closet, and he waved his wand to leviate it out from the piles of clothes. He brushed off the layers of dust and opened the trunk. He couldn't help but smirk as he pulled out old trinkets from his past. He still had his old robes from Hogwarts when he was young, as well as his old potions kit he never uses anymore.
The trunk was stuffed with textbooks. During his youth, he would read for hours on end. At that time, of course, he was desperate for answers. These textbooks, however, wouldn't do him any good, and he digged deeper. He pulled out ruffled quills, dried up ink bottles, bits of rock hard Chocolate Frogs, some of Aiba's old experiment items, and a few old scraps of parchment with old UtaMahou lyrics on them.
Finally, he found his first Charms book. He flipped through the pages until he found what he was looking for: Chapter 12 - The Ancient Spirits.
A wave of nostagia came flooding back as Jun read the chapter. It was back in their first year when their Charms professor, Utsui Ken, gave a project to find and locate traces of Ancient Spirits by creating their own UtaMahou words. UtaMahou was closely related to Charms, and Jun remembered he was partnered with Ohno to track Water Spirits. He read out loud the old passage.
"Water Spirits gives off life and healing. They are one of the five elemental Nature Spirits to roam the wizarding world until the Spirit Hunt in 1470 which lead to their extinction."
"The Ancient Spirits, also known as Nature Spirirts, were the origins of magical creatures. Their basic elemental auras manifest into pure creation, thus their powers are absolute, but in small quantums. This lead to the discovery that spirits can be consumed to gain more power closer to their element...so that's how they got their powers," Jun thought darkly.
"The Spirit Hunt began in 1470...blah blah blah...the spirits could no defend themselves because of their lack of physical abilties...blah blah blah...there are no existing spirits today.
"So these Imperfects really are from Paradise," Jun sighed. "Naruse was right. There's no other explanation."
Someone was knocking on his door. No one but his magic friends knew where he lived, so he calmly left his things in his room and opened the door.
"Hey," Nino smirked, "Can we talk?"
He quickly closed the door to unlatched the lock, and let Nino in. It was late, and Jun knows that Nino always go home right after work unless people asked him out for a drink. Having Nino come over to his place without an early notice must mean something was serious.
Nino took off his coat and his shoes before he walked into Jun's small living room.
"I've got my new schedule today," Nino said. "And I saw Aiba's as well. We are almost booked for the next three weeks. We have no time to actually do any hunting."
Jun sighed through his nose, "I was afraid this would happen."
"What if this keeps up? How can we be of help if we can't break off from our work?" Nino asked, as Jun sat down in his armchair. "I'm starting to think like Sho now. He's right, you know. We're idols now and we can't be seen doing dangerous work even if it is work for the Wizarding world."
"What did Aiba say?"
"He's still for it, of course," Nino leaned back on the couch. "I told him he needs to focus on his drama and let us help Naruse, but we can't do it alone."
"You're right," Jun said. "For now, it seems Sho and Ohno have more time than us."
"But they have no interest in this," Nino said. "And can you blame them? If I say so for myself, I think all five of us deserve some peace and quiet."
"But it's not like that," Jun mumbled. "Naruse came to us for help. That doesn't happen often. Or even at all for that matter. That means this is serious, and Naruse and his team are getting desperate. We have to convince Sho and Ohno to help us too."
"Even if we did get them to join us, we can't all go out adventuring together," Nino pointed out. "We still have to maintain an image."
"Maybe we can go in pairs or threes," Jun suggested. "That is, if we get Sho and Ohno to join. Then, half of us can still be at work keeping up a good face, while the hunting party goes fishing."
"Yeah, but it still goes back to what I'm worried about. How are we going to get them to join us?"
Jun slouched in his armchair, thinking hard of an idea. Sho and Ohno had every right not to join. It was their choice and no one can force them. They saw the potential danger, and they are aware of the severity. If only they have a proper motive like Jun does...
"We'll just have to the hunting ourselves," Jun concluded. "Sho and Ohno can stay and keep working, and we'll occasionally go out to do a hunt. But not all the time, of course. I'm pretty sure they'll cover for us at work."
Nino slowly nodded before he spoke in a small husky voice. "How long do you think this will last?"
Jun glanced back at the tired eyes of his Slytherin friend.
"I'm not sure."
* * *
Ohno was very upset that night. With no other jobs to do, he sulked by himself at a wizard bar alone in the corner. He wasn't upset because he had no work, he was upset about the news his uncle shared and the terrible attack. Out of some miracle, or magic, there was no news of the attack reported to the Muggle news. However, it didn't stop the Daily Prophet to report. He had a copy in his hand, with a moving picture of fans running in fear out the door and blazing bold letters "Horrifying Attack at Music Station."
It mentioned it was during Arashi's live recording, but thankfully Naruse spoke to the news reporters that the attack was spontaneous and Arashi was not the target. Of course, that was a secret for both worlds. Ohno tossed the newspaper aside before he took another sip of his Fire Whiskey.
After he paid the drink, Ohno decided to leave for home. The sky was cloudy, blocking the moonlight, but even with the streetlights, Ohno sensed a dark presense approaching the city. He hasn't felt this hostle since he was a teenager, during when times were hard. Because he couldn't Apparate, he quickened his pace. Even though he lived in the city, his neighborhood was a wizard community, and the apartments housed wizard families, so he could freely used his wand.
He heard a twig snap loudly behind him, and he immediately whirled around. He was all alone, and there wasn't a soul in sight. Maybe it was a stalking paparazzi, and he continued to walk. He thought about what his uncle said before. The dead from Paradise are drawn to them because of their past connections. What if an Imperfect was following because of his "scent."
He quickly turned a corner and waited. He could practically hear the footsteps approaching. He pulled out his wand, feeling his heartbeat racing. He never wanted this. He just wanted to live in peace. When he was sure the footsteps were closer, he sprang out with his wand out.
"Wah!" Ohno gasped.
It was just a young woman.
"Oh...Ohno?" She smiled, "Oh my gosh! It was you! I-I can't believe it!"
He quickly hid his wand, but she waved her hands. "It's alright! I'm a witch too. But still...oh my gosh! It's really you!"
Ohno let out a small sigh of relief. It was just a fan.
"Ah, you got me," he smirked.
"I'm sorry to bother you, b-but can I get an...an autograph?" She asked shyly. "One for my friend, of course! I don't mean to stalk. I wasn't really stalking, I mean-"
"It's alright," Ohno grinned. "Normally, I shouldn't, but I'll sign anything. And it's kinda late. Afterwards, you should head home."
"Oh, of course," she nodded. "I was on my way home, you see. I live around here too. Does that mean you live here too? Oh wow! I just can't believe this!"
Ohno was starting to feel shy. She quickly reached into her bag and pulled out their new single CD. Ohno couldn't help but chuckle and gladly took her at-the-ready permanent marker.
"I am a huge fan! I love everything you do, and your UtaMahou is amazing!"
"Ah," he nodded, bashfully.
"You're truly amazing! The way you sing is, like, I can feel the lyrics sorrow and happiness and pain and joy. It's outstanding!" She squealed. "I watch all your shows, and I buy all your music, and...ah, I'm really a big fan of Ohno Satoshi!"
"Thanks, really," he said, finishing his signature.
"I promise I won't tell anyone where you live, and I will continue to support. Although, I couldn't go to your concerts the past few years, but I've worked really hard and I'll be finally able to go to your concert this week."
"Oh, thank you so much." Ohno smiled.
"I have my ticket and everything! And I'll be waving my uchiwa at you. I can't wait to finally see your so-"
Suddenly, Ohno's front was splattered with flickers of blood. The hyperactive woman went silent, and her eyes were wide with shock. Her neck was bitten by an Imperfect.
Ohno dropped the CD and whip out his wand.
The Imperfect soared into the sky before he crashed down a few meters away. The poor woman fell to the ground, the blood spilling out nonstop and her eyes looking up. He kneel down and tried to help her sit up.
"It's alright," he muttered mostly to himself. "It's alright...Episkey!"
He watched the bite wound slowly close up, but there was so much blood. The Imperfect bit down on a large vein. She was shaking badly as more blood dripped from her lips.
"O-o-ohno?" She coughed. He was panicking.
"It's alright. It's gonna be okay," he croaked. If only he can Apparate!
The healing spell wasn't working, as if Ohno's scare affected the spell's effectiveness. The bite wound was too big, and Ohno held her up. Then, he felt something wet on her back, and when he looked at his hand, it was blood. The Imperfect also clawed at her back, and the wounds ran even deeper. He reached for his wand again to heal her back, but he felt her fall limp in his arms.
"Hey," he shook her. "Hey! Wake up!"
He saw her wrist laying limp on the cold concrete. She was wearing a bracelet from their concert goods. The beads were decorated in their coordinated colors, but she added a few more beads that read: Arashi for Dream. Ohno felt tears building up and fogging his vision. He heard the Imperfect coming back for him. The dirty dead man that attacked his fan was growling unintelligently at him. Without a second thought, Ohno gripped his wand and pointed at the Imperfect.
His spell hit right at the Imperfect's head, and it exploded into a dark red mini bomb. The headless body fell on its knees and collapsed on the concrete. All was quiet, but Ohno felt his heart sank even more. His dead fan laid in his arms, and the CD case cracked where he wrote his signature. He felt the anger build up inside him as more tears spill onto the young woman's cheek. He held onto a fist full of her jacket, his body trembling.
All he wanted was a quiet life.
End of chapter 2
To Chapter 3 http://arashiforyou.livejournal.com/49148.html
The order of which the souls are being "derank" the more they eat souls are: Spirits > Ghosts > Polergeist > Imperfects.
So, if there is any confusion, please ask, and I will try to clarify without giving anything away. :D