That night, echoes of murmurs and shouts ringed in the halls of the great castle. No one could forget about the single fourth year student who managed to be a champion. Of course, most of them were against it, if not all.
In the corridor where lie the doors to the two towers of Gryffindor and the 'guest tower,' a rather rowdy group were arguing not so discretely.
"Are you freaking kidding me?" a crimson-eyed lad glared at the shadow freak slowly backing away from him. An ominous aura was creeping off the said lad.
"C-Come on, Natsume. Who knows if he's watching—"
"The HELL I care!" Natsume glaringly rolled his eyes. No one knew a human could do both at the same time. But the situation was far too serious for anyone to notice.
"Natsume," the blonde best friend said as he put a shoulder on his best friend's shoulder, "please calm down. We didn't even know he would be coming this soon. He was so ill just the day before. Something must have happened between our departure and tonight…" He trailed off, lost in his own thoughts. It made his comrades think about the condition also. It was quite quiet for a moment.
"I'm off." And with that, Natsume murmured the password to the portrait and climbed in after it swung forward.
Everyone looked at his back, still thinking. Just then, they heard the familiar clicks of Persona's shoes. They all turned toward the direction of the staircase. Persona was there, his face rigid with displeasure. No one needed to ask if something had happened.
Then Persona spoke, "we'll meet in the dungeons below. There are orders from the principal to immediately start patrolling the corridors after curfew hours but he wants to speak with all of you first." He paused as he looked at the frown forming in Nobara's lips. He sighed. "As much as I don't like how the events are turning, we have hardly any choice. You can go and change to your uniforms first. Be there in ten minutes sharp. That's all."
They watched him disappear down the dark staircase. A heavy silence washed over them again.
Everyone can't help but agree with Matsudaira.
The old coots had gone back to their quarters after the small meeting with the champions. Mikan and Harry went together down the hall as all other people were quite vocally unbelieving the latter's denial of entering the tournament.
"I did not put in my name, I swear," Mikan heard Harry say for the umpteenth time that night. It was certainly getting old.
"I know, Harry." Mikan sighed as she faced the senior with an exasperated look. "And I believe you. So please, spare my ears from the old recorder."
Harry smiled sheepishly as he blushed. "Sorry. It's just that—"
"Nobody really believes me and yada yada. I know. Let's just busy ourselves in going back to our dorms, shouldn't we?" Mikan was about to say goodbye when she heard a lot of footsteps coming from the direction of the staircase. She motioned for Harry to shut up as she led him behind a huge statue of some random guy. They heard a lot of muffled voices afterwards.
"—I'm betting my rabbits nothing good'll ever come out of this."
"Nobody said there will be. I mean, it's that basta—"
"Watch your mouths, you idiots."
"Walls have ears."
"And the floor eyes."
"Oh yeah? And what? Ceiling's got a nose?"
"Haha," somebody laughed dryly, "That's real funny, Hayate."
"Nobody asked, strawberry-head."
"Would you shut up, Matsudaire-senpai?"
"HAI~ If Cool Blue Sky asks!"
"Gee, she's got you right in her pinky."
"Yeah, right in 'Cool Blue Sky's' rainbow pinky."
"Hey! Are you insulting my hero?"
"No, I'm not insulting anyone here. Or am I?"
"Take this then—!"
There was a clutter of fallen metal armors as the voices subsided for a moment. Harry couldn't see well from the darkness of the surroundings. He glanced at Mikan who still watched them with a rather pained look. He looked again at the swirling darkness he presumed the others were in.
"Can't see a damn thing."
Then suddenly a light appeared from a floating unidentified object. It took Harry some seconds to realize that wasn't a UFO from some random movie he saw his cousin watch. The light widened its range as it flew higher until it almost touched the stone ceilings. Harry saw a wall of ice separating Matsudaira and the pink-haired girl he recognized as Misaki. Beside the ice wall stood Nobara with a hand laid on it. Her brows furrowed in distress.
"You should know we shouldn't be fighting amongst ourselves, Matudaira."
"And you shouldn't be using your alice either!"
"You want to wake the whole castle up then?"
"No… But she was badmouthing Cool Blue—"
"Now, could we all shut up already?" Every head turned to look at the speaker who was Persona. He had one of his gloved hands over his white mask. Harry stood on his toes in anticipation, thinking that Persona would at last remove that mask. That he did and Harry could now clearly see the bloody red eyes beneath. It reminded him of that peculiar first year.
"That's good. The principal is waiting behind the doors of that room to the left with his escorts. Don't forget to knock."
The students nodded once as they turned around the corner and left Persona there. Nobara stayed back a little.
"We'll talk later, Nobara. The principal will take any excuse to take out his anger on someone tonight. Go on and don't be late."
Nobara nodded once and ran to the room. Persona continued to stand still as he sighed again.
"I know you're there, Mikan… and whoever that is with you."
Mikan chuckled beside Harry before she pulled them both from the statue. Harry was trembling a little. This man had the appearance to make dogs run away with their tails between their legs. He was terrifying.
"Well," Mikan said as she smiled, "I wanted to talk to you."
Harry looked like he was lost.
"I guess I'm taking my leave…"
"No. Stay right there. This is about you."
Persona looked at his mentor's daughter with widened eyes. She was like his father this way: always brings surprises. No one could tell what they would be thinking before they say it (though people say it's only because no one knows how idiots think) and you'll end up surprised anyway.
"What is it?"
"I… I have a favor to ask."
p.s. okayyy… I know this is really late (this line's getting old orz) and pretty short but I think I may be able to update a bit these coming weeks since it's the much-awaited school break! Hurrah!
p.p.s. No copy and paste things here, but I still don't own Harry Potter nor Gakuen Alice.
p.p.p.s. Thanks for the advices from the last chapter. It helped me. haha..
p.p.p.p.s. So, thanks for reading! And if you may, please do leave a review. It makes me want to update earlier. (is this the infamous blackmail method? no, I really don't think so. :D) but it still would be nice to read some thoughts from you.
good day to everyone (it's getting stormy over here) and yeah, good dayyy!