HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Okay, so her original move to Japan hadn't been as smooth as she hoped for. She could live with that, even if she had to move again before she even had a chance to settle in to her apartment.
That arrogant muggle should be grateful she had shown enough mercy not to pull out the big guns. Honestly, the way he was treating that woman and the fact he felt no qualm in leveling such a ridiculous charge against her.
At least she was able to get something close to a clean-slate. A few alterations to her admission letter, a minor alteration to her name and gender, and there was next to no chance anyone would be able to find her 'criminal' record which was deleted the second the Japanese Ministry found out what happened at the trial.
She had diplomatic immunity, one granted by the Queen herself. The charge was complete bullshit, and the only reason she went to trial in the first place was because she was trying to keep a low profile and didn't actually think that she would end up with a criminal record.
She wanted to sigh, but right now she had bigger problems.
Like figuring out how to use the damn GPS app to find her new temporary home until she graduated.
She was lucky there was someone who had an extra room that happened to be the legal guardian of an underage witch. In exchange for teaching the girl magic, she'd get room and board. The man in question would get a stipend for as long as she lived with him and his custody of the girl (who wasn't actually blood related to him) would become legal and permanent.
She had specifically picked him because his main motivation was to gain full custody of his friend's daughter, rather than let her uncle who only wanted her because of the stipend. She had him investigated and found that the cafe owner was paying the uncle to stay away from the girl, and was doing everything in his power to help the girl heal from the trauma she suffered.
She barely listened to the sound of the girls near her chatting about some teen detective. She didn't see the appeal, to be truthful. So he had some looks and luck when it came to solving crimes. Eventually he'd get too old for the people to care about and he'd have to either become a real cop or find out the hard way that being a private detective was a lot harder than it looked when you weren't pretty enough to do interviews anymore.
It was with some annoyance that a random app appeared.
She might have been raised among the normal people, but that didn't mean she knew how to use a smart phone beyond the most basic functions. Never mind trying to delete the stupid app.
She paused as the world seemed to slow to a standstill. In the near distance was a strange golden figure that was rather feminine and looked very familiar.
It took her a moment to realize why.
That was the same golden figure she had seen that night when she martyred herself for a cause she had never believed in anyway. The figure that had given her the 'push' to come to Japan and try to get a clean start on her life.
"Lady," she whispered.
The moment the figure registered to her, she was gone and the world reasserted itself.
One of these days she'd get a solid idea of who the Lady was, outside of a force that was stronger than any human could have a hope in hell of being.
It took her two and a half hours to find the cafe, and getting lost twice.
"You took your time," commented the cafe owner, Sakura-san.
"One, I only got a general direction from the GPS which is ridiculously complicated. Two, it took me twice as long to actually find this place after finding a very unhelpful police officer who was irritated that a gaijin needed help with directions, despite the fact I was speaking fluent Japanese," she replied, face twitching. "Third, your cafe is in an out of the way spot and this is my first time in Shinjiku."
"So where is my study partner?" asked Haruhi.
"She's at the house...unfortunately she's been rather reluctant to leave her room much recently and nothing I've done has helped much."
"Well I have ways around that minor problem. She doesn't have to come out of the room so long as she's willing to interact however indirectly with me."
Part of the deal she had with Sakura-san was that she would tutor his adopted daughter in magic, if Futaba would help catch her up on more mundane subjects...like how to use the smart phone she had bought that had given her no end of trouble. Even after reading the user's manual three times, she still couldn't get the hang of the damn thing.
"I'll introduce you to Futaba on the weekend. That will give you time to settle in and get used to the area," said Sojiro.
"I'm only going to say this once... I'll drive you to the school tomorrow, but after that you'll have to ride the trains. I'll write down which ones you need to take," said Sojiro.
"Got it boss," said Haruhi calmly.
"Just keep your head down until the year is over," said Sojiro. "I want everything to be as calm as possible, considering the circumstances. Though I have to ask, why didn't you simply tell them you had immunity when you had the chance?"
"I didn't think it would escalate as far as it did, especially on completely bogus charges. That being said if anything happens I fully intend to spring that on the prosecution to avoid a prison sentence. A year of probation doesn't really mean much to me...never mind the fact it's on an assumed name," said Haruhi shrugging.
A criminal charge as low-level as the one she had on her record meant jack squat because she wasn't in the country under her actual name. And all sorts of bells and whistles would start going off the second any half-assed cop ran her real name in their system, which would alert the magical Ministry that something was up and they would send their senior operatives to find out what was going on.
They already knew about the bogus charge on her current name.
The next morning...
Shujin Academy made her feel claustrophobic. There was something majorly wrong with the school, she just couldn't pin down what it was. She had a feeling it was something to do with the faculty.
Oh well...she'd find out soon enough once she actually started school.
The next morning, she got up extra early to try and make the train. She just knew she was going to get lost and would need the extra time.
At least she got some decent coffee out of the deal. She might be a tea drinker in general, but at the hour she got up she needed the extra boost of caffeine just to be remotely "nice".
Sojiro-san was glad he wasn't drinking anything when she idly made the comment "Caffeine helps to maintain my 'do not kill idiots' streak".
He packed a to-go cup for her...which she gave him a grateful smile for. He made no comment about the fact she was wearing the male uniform, considering she found it annoying when boys tried to ask her out when she just wanted to get the year over with.
Her previous attempts at dating were nothing short of disasters, so she would rather get her education over with before she even considered attempting it.
She resolutely did not think about the fucked up dream she had the night before, or how accurate the analogy of a caged bird with chains on her was to describe how her life had gone for the most part. The freaky goblin-creature and the weird twins didn't even remotely enter on her radar of weird crap.
When one spent the majority of their teenage years in the magical enclaves, you tended to build up a healthy level of "Meh, I've seen stranger".
Especially the way she kept getting into random adventures each year for no apparent reason.
Haruhi twitched as the migraine hit and things felt... well, like the last time she ate Luna's special brownies and the world turned aquamarine.
No, she was not kidding about that. That was the only way she could remotely describe the sheer oddness she had endured for two days straight. Not that she was complaining mind you, she was just happy Luna didn't mind sharing the recipe which was technically legal among the muggles.
She had the distinct feeling she would need to make a batch of the special brownies just to get through this particular headache. She had moved away from England to get away from this crap!
Rather than get caught by the obvious trap, she sent a discreet blast of magic that got her away from the 'guards'. Fortunately she was able to get a disillusionment charm off, so she was able to slip away.
"What the hell dude? Why did you slip away like that?"
"Do you want out of the cell or not?" she asked flatly.
She managed to get the door open, and a few moments work freed him.
"Seriously though, how did you get out of that?"
"Practice. I knew from the start those things were bad news, so I managed to duck out before they could catch me. It means I was free to find you and get you out of there," said Haruhi flatly.
"You're a weird one, but you're definitely reliable," he replied.
"I'll take that as a compliment."
"You know I never did get your name."
Haruhi's face was twitching rampantly when the 'king' of the castle appeared...mostly due to what he was wearing, or the lack thereof.
"For the love of god, wear some damn pants! No one wants to see your junk or lack thereof hanging out!" snapped Haruhi. Ryuji nodded, more than a little green at the mental image she presented.
Haruhi felt a warmth fill her body as she heard a voice speak to her. It sounded very familiar.
Her glasses were replaced by an odd golden flame that formed into a mask. Words whispered in her head, goading her into fighting back against the cage she had been trapped in her entire life. To be free, and to inspire others to become free themselves.
Instinct had her ripping the mask off her face, the pain nothing compared to what she had already been through. She sensed something form behind her once it was off, as the words of the covenant were spoken once more.
I am thou. Thou art I. You who seek blasphemy for the sake of thine own justice and truth! Call upon my name, and release thine fury! Show the strength of thine own will to ascertain all on thine own, though thou be chained to chaos itself!
Her eyes shined golden, with a spark not unlike the Black Madness. Power welled from her very soul as she felt the familiar, almost comforting presence of the same being that touched her that night in the forest, when she willingly sacrificed herself to Riddle in order to get rid of that damn Horcrux.
It was a light that shined so brilliantly in a sea of darkness. Neither good nor evil, but chaos itself. It could bring creation or destruction, depending on It's mood and it seemed fate had chosen her to be it's Champion among the mortals.
"Nightmare!" she cried out, as a figure formed behind her in gold.
It was a sorceress of some sort, one wreathed in gold and with an orb of black in her right hand.
"Kill him!" shouted the fake king.
The orb shot out streaks of black that caused the fake knights to collapse upon themselves. Haruhi didn't think twice...she took a proper stance before punching that fake right in the face with a right straight.
"Nice hit!" said Ryuji.
She knocked him into the prison and promptly locked him in. Considering she had been free when Ryuji was thrown into the cell, she was able to lead them out of the gaudy castle in short order.
"Seriously, what the fuck was that about?" said Ryuji.
"The sad thing is that wasn't the strangest thing to happen to me. That being said, keep quiet about the castle we were in. I highly doubt the adults would believe us about what happened," said Haruhi.
"True. I was there and I still can't believe it!"
She looked at the time and winced.
"I think our best defense is to claim the trains ran behind and we got lost trying to find an alternate route."
"What do you mean?"
"Have you seen the time?"
Ryuji looked at his own phone, then cursed.
"Shit... I think you're right. Better claim we got held up by the trains and a bad route," he said.
"If anyone asks, I'll say you were trying to lead me to the school since I just moved here and I still can't work this stupid GPS app."
"Gotcha," said Ryuji in agreement.
Haruhi had to hold back a shiver of disgust when she saw the gym teacher...mostly because her mind kept going back to that ridiculous outfit he was wearing in the fake castle.
"You want to go back to the castle?" said Haruhi.
"I have the feeling we'll find evidence against that creep Kamoshida!" said Ryuji.
"What exactly is your beef with that pervert?"
When she heard Ryuji's story, she had to feel more than a little empathetic to him.
"I'll help you. Fortunately combat with strange powers happens to be a specialty of mine, but I highly doubt anyone is going to talk to us," said Haruhi. She took a bite of her ramen...it was better than she expected.
"Embarrassment and pride, mostly. They're so wrapped up in their belief that allowing this nonsense to continue will help their future prospects that they ignore the trauma being done. And if we try to get them to talk, they'll clam up. At this point none of them will be willing to say anything because from what I can tell the Principal already knows what's going on but is likely paying people off to keep it quiet because he wants to maintain the school's reputation," said Haruhi bluntly. "That and people abused by those in authority over others rarely have the ability to speak up. I bet a few tried already and were ignored, which discouraged the rest."
Ryuji paused in eating his bowl and looked at her.
"Why do I have the weird feeling you're speaking from experience?"
"My last chemistry teacher despised my father over a grudge held from when they were both students, and was a man who hated children. He was a foul, vicious person who took inordinate pleasure in harassing his students and despite numerous complaints the headmaster glossed it all over for reasons I'll never understand," said Haruhi.
"Yikes. How did he get the job in the first place?"
"It gets even better...the bastard only avoided a prison sentence because of the headmaster and was stuck in a position he hated because he owed the old fool. He was part of a group that held similar beliefs to the Nazis," said Haruhi darkly.
Killing Snape had been incredibly satisfying, and she would spit on the ridiculous notion Dumbledore had at redemption. Snape didn't deserve it...he had made his bed and he should have had to suffer the consequences, but got off because of Dumbledore's meddling.
"So trying to get witnesses is going to be impossible," said Ryuji, looking pissed.
"Trying to get the victims to speak up will be impossible. Getting our own evidence he's abusing his position will be easier. After all...body cameras might be expensive, but they're not illegal to own or use on school grounds."
"You planning to buy used or something?"
Haruhi looked a little sheepish.
"I was going to try and buy online, honestly. Once I figure out how."
"I know a place that might sell them, or at least have an idea where we can go," said Ryuji. "It's a bit pricy but they sell quality stuff!"
On the plus side, Haruhi had made a new friend.