In retrospect, she should have known her luck would act up sooner rather than later regarding the current defense teacher.
Umbridge's smug face really pissed her off, but not as much as the fact that she would have to finally submit to the hag's rule.
Unnoticed, the odd set of scales that had always been in the room began to glow from the indentation that Hermione had said was called the 'Eye of Horus'.
She really didn't know what made her do it. Just that an overwhelming urge came over her as she took a deep breath and shouted a single word, rather than submissively allow Umbitch or her cronies to lead her anywhere.
The suddenness of it startled everyone, particularly since for reasons she would never be able to explain, she shouted this word three times.
Hermione gave her an odd look, while Luna gave her a proud, yet slightly sad smile. Her gaze held a knowing quality, as if she knew exactly why she had shouted that three times.
The glow of the scales grew to an alarming extent, and the room became blinding.
Then...it happened. While everyone was trying to recover their sight, the bell towers which had stood since the time of the founders and who's purpose was supposedly to ring in times of danger, began to toll.
(Play the Oracion song from Pokemon: Rise of Darkrai if you have it!)
A warm, enveloping light began to form from the towers as a rather beautiful song began to play. You could feel the power of the school wards as they began to power up in full, and everyone went to the windows to see what was fully going on...or tried to before the walls seemed to melt away and they were standing on what looked like nothing above the school.
Wings of light formed from the two towers, and a long neck appeared as the song played. It was clearly a pheonix made of light. A comforting feeling passed through them, as the school drew upon the leylines upon which they were built to fully power themselves. Everyone in the castle and the surrounding area was watching this phenomenon.
Fawkes, who had been waiting for this moment, began to sing in tune with the song played by the bells...and a second phoenix appeared from one of the towers and joined him. The two circled the school, singing and adding their own protective magics to the wards.
The wings of light enveloped not only the school, but the town of Hogsmeade as well. It had been building up magics for some time, waiting for someone to awaken the long dormant protective magics of the school. The feeling of safety, protection, hope and light was apparent to everyone there.
As the wings slowly began to dissipate and the song began to end, Umbridge felt something test her...and it did not approve of her presence in the least.
She wasn't the only one...inside the castle, several others were themselves tested and found wanting.
The one who awakened the ancient wards felt something different. It felt like coming home, and a brief sensation that seemed to be saying "good luck" passed through her core...before she vanished.
Hermione was the first to notice and was naturally alarmed. However her immediate attention was upon the fact that Umbridge and a number of her cronies had suddenly vanished.
"What happened?" said Ron.
"Lotus activated the ancient Sanctuary wards of the school. However she would not find it within school walls, as the adults would demand she undo what she has done so they sent her someplace where she would be safe," said Luna cryptically. "She will return...just not as the same person we once knew."
She would become so much better.
"What are these wards?" asked Hermione.
"In times of old, the school was constantly at threat of dangers both outside and in. So the founders, at the suggestion of their former mentor, placed a series of wards that would build up power from both the leylines and the magic contained by the people within it to protect the innocent within their walls. All one has to do to activate them is to declare 'sanctuary' three times, and they will awaken to insure the defense of the innocents that the school protects. Anyone who is found wanting is rejected and throw out," said Luna.
"So where is Lotus?" asked Hermione.
"She is safe, that is all you need to know," said Luna. "She'll be back soon though."
Soon for them, anyway.
It took a few days for the full ramifications of where and possibly when she was to sink in. And for the overwhelming fact that it might not be fully possible for her to go home anytime soon to hit.
Lotus wasn't too upset...once the initial freak out wore off anyway. In fact she was a little bit happy, because for once in her life she was free. Free to travel, free to enjoy the sights, free of worry that she might be recognized.
Even if there was always that awkwardness that came from the fact she couldn't speak a word of the local language, she was enjoying herself immensely.
On the plus side, she now had unlimited time to work out the notes Sirius had given her on how to achieve the animagus transformation. His scrawling handwriting was terrible, but she had nothing better to do and all the time in the world to kill.
So far she had figured out that her animagus form was a bird. And that it was highly magical.
She had only been there a month before Potter Luck seemed to wake up and kick in again.
There was a man racing against the desert, a noble from the amount of jewelry he was wearing. He seemed to be lost, though he had one of the most bizarre hairstyles she had ever seen. It was almost star shaped with a vibrant red, black accent and gold bangs. He wore a considerable amount of gold, and he had a well fed horse that was clearly taken care of.
Seeing the sandstorm heading in, and knowing he might not spot the cave she had taken up as her home, she let her usual saving people thing (as Hermione had called it) kick in.
She let out a sharp, shrill whistle Angeline had taught her. The man immediately went to the sound, and saw her waving towards him.
He aimed his horse (which had enough elaborate decorations to indicate he was definitely someone high up) towards her...between the two of them, they managed to get the animal settled and calm before the sandstorm fully hit them.
They would be stuck together for a few hours at least, if her current experience was anything to go by.
The man was clearly exhausted from the hard riding he had done, just to outrace the storm. It was pretty bad and there was no way he would have survived it if she hadn't alerted him to shelter in time.
So she started on making some basic supper... her ability to get food was mostly limited to pantomime and luck with scavenging for wild plants and the odd animal that looked edible.
Thanks to her magic, it made finding food much easier...especially since once she figured out the right word combination to find it. That and the fact that there wasn't any government to tell her off for using it despite being underage.
It was only when she began to hand him a bowl of stew that it happened.
Their hands briefly met and her magic surged forward.
The spark was startling and it was only her quick reflexes that saved the food from the floor. He looked equally surprised.
"You're a mage?" he said.
She blinked. She understood him. How did she understand him? The English language as she knew of it would never be heard in this part of the world for a considerable amount of time!
"I have magic, yes," she said slowly.
She immediately knew she wasn't speaking English anymore. The words sounded far too much like what the locals spoke, but it felt almost 'refined', if that was even possible.
Had she somehow absorbed his ability to speak the local dialect? Odd, but incredibly useful and not the weirdest thing she had encountered dealing with magic.
The man brightened at that. Likely because it meant they had something to kill time with while waiting for the storm to pass.
"My name is Atem," he said.
"Lotus," she replied.
As Atem ate the surprisingly good meal, he noticed a few things. Like the fact that the cave appeared to be more than an impromptu shelter, but appeared to be where she was living.
If there was one thing his advisors had taught him, it was when to avoid an awkward subject. So he decided to stick to safer topics, like magic...and the fact that Lotus was the first person he had ever met who had naturally red hair like his own.
Although her hair was a more vibrant crimson than the dark red of his own. He had been too busy trying to make to the cave in time to really take in the color, but he bet it would look like fire in the sunlight. And her eyes...they were a vibrant green color almost the same as the Nile during the growing seasons, when it burst in full bloom as the plants and flowers sprang into life. And the more the light hit it, the more it started to almost resemble emeralds.
The two chatted well into the night, and were only peripherally aware of the storm beginning to die down. As night really began to drag on, Atem noticed that Lotus used an odd piece of wood to create a magical barrier between them.
Seeing his expression, Lotus had an odd smile on her face.
"I erected a privacy ward to deter any wayward wanderings. While you seem like a nice person, I would rather be safe than sorry...particularly since there have been bandits in the area."
Atem, rather than be offended, was more approving than anything. He had planned to sleep next to his horse anyway.
As the dawn began to break the next morning, Atem was treated to an unusual sight. One that made his breath catch in his throat.
The female he had become acquainted with the night before was apparently an early riser. The sight of her crimson hair brought to mind the image of a blazing flame as she greeted the dawn. The wind was deceptively sedate compared to the night before.
Atem watched fascinated when she turned, and her eyes caught the light properly. Deep emeralds more beautiful than any mere gemstone greeted him.
In the light, it didn't escape him that the woman who had helped him clearly wasn't from Egypt. Her skin was pale like alabaster, too pale for the local stock. There was also a lack of reaction to his appearance...by now, most generally had a good idea of what the Pharaoh looked like. Particularly anyone who studied magic.
One name came to mind at the sight.
Avatre, the Fires of the Dawn.
Some time later...
When Atem disappeared, an unusual amount of loneliness fell over her. She had waved away any mention of reward...she hadn't saved him because he was a noble, but because it was the right thing to do.
However his appearance in her life gave her something far more valuable than any gold or jewel.
His brief appearance had given her the ability to speak the local language, something that would have taken her months if not a few years to understand.
That simple thing was enough to improve the quality of her life dramatically. So far she had been surviving by learning the local games and gambling her limited amount of coins from her time. Thanks to her insane luck, she had an uncanny ability to win and was good enough to guess what the other players were saying.
Now though, now she could live in a bigger city and be able to reasonably survive without becoming prey to people who would take advantage of the fact she couldn't understand them.
It was only after she reached the capital that she realized who she has saved that day of the storm.
She felt very much like introducing her head to the nearest hard surface. Of course her luck would result in her saving the life of the Pharaoh himself!
Still, she felt confident that Atem...the Pharaoh, will have forgotten completely about her. It wasn't like there was anything memorable about her, outside of the fact she had paler skin than normal and green eyes.
His advisers knew something had happened when their pharaoh returned. There was a strange gaze in his eyes whenever he looked to be remembering something. It became more obvious during the hours when Ra would begin his journey or end it for the day and the sun disk disappeared into the cool night.
Finally Set, one of the Pharaoh's closest confidants, discovered the source of his distraction.
"You met a woman?" he repeated incredulous.
"A stunning woman with hair like fire and eyes greener than anything I've ever seen," said Atem. "She repeatedly refused the idea of a reward for helping me reach shelter. I don't think she even recognized who I was."
Set had a headache.
"Where is she now?" he asked.
"I have no idea," said Atem cheerfully. Set gave his king an annoyed look. "However if you hear of a mage with vibrant red hair and green eyes, let me know immediately."
"A mage? What would a mage be doing living in a cave?" said Set incredulous.
A woman living alone was one thing, it looked far different when they were a mage. Who knew what sort of experiments she was doing out in the wilds, where no one could accurately keep track of missing travelers?
To that end, Set convinced the Pharaoh to sit through a thorough examination of his magic. His king had never shown an interest in the female form before, so the fact he did so now after a single meeting was highly suspicious.
To their relief, there was no subtle or sinister spell to induce fascination or attraction to a certain person. In fact the only real change was that their king now spoke a language none of them have ever heard before.
Mahaad believed it was the native tongue of the mystery female mage that had caught his pharaoh's attention so. A harmless result of an unexpected meeting.
It also gave the Pharaoh new urgency to find her...he wanted to know what sort of land she hailed from, and what her magic was like. What little magic practiced in the palace after the false gods were finally thrown out of Egypt was almost solely based on the power of shadows.
Atem knew the stories well. Beings from the sky claiming to be the gods appeared one day and ruled Egypt with an iron fist. They turned the common people into little more than slaves, and for far too long held power. One of the reasons why was the gate of the stars, in which they sent people through to mine on a distant land no one ever returned from save for the false gods and their followers.
At some point, one of the common folk rose up and managed to incite a riot that overthrew the false gods, forcing them to flee back into the skies. To insure they did not return so easily without warning, the gate of the stars was buried along with their terrifying guards still in their armor. The device they used to control it was destroyed, to insure no one accidentally used it and in the hopes that it would further prevent the false gods returning.
Atem had only seen paintings of it...most of the people had started to forget it, save for the older generation. His own father only remembered it because his father had been the man who lead the people into the revolt and they named him the new Pharaoh. His father and uncle had been mere children when it all happened.