Hello all! I'm so glad you like this fic so far, and I hope not to lose all of your expectations for this story!
Oh, just so you know, I'm not planning to make this story into a romance; it's just some ideas I've been knocking around for some time, and to be serious… I don't really know who I would pair up if I DID decide to make a couple. Sure, Usagi and Hermione seems possible, but in this context, I don't really think it would happen. Sure, in other contexts…who knows? I sure don't! ^_^
Anyway, thank you all so much for the reviews! They keep me going!
Oh yeah, you might recognize another person in this story… Hee hee hee; I'm feeling evil right now!
Hermione groaned, burying her head in her hands. Slowly standing up, she could feel every eye in the dining hall on her and she swallowed.
"Uhm, Crookshanks is mine." She winced when her voice trembled.
Before Dumbledore could answer, a new lilting accented voice spoke up quietly, "Dumbledore, I am sure it was not her fault. Cats are known to be spontaneous, and it would be foolish to blame the owner."
A new woman dressed in the Hogwarts' robes stepped up, out of the shadows and gently took the howling cat from the old wizard's grasp. "Besides," she chuckled quietly, "It was all not Crookshanks' fault. I believe we have a visitor under your chair." The woman stepped down from the stage and slowly walked over to where Hermione still stood, awkward in her naming of the assailant. "I believe he is yours…?"
Hermione slowly took her unhappy familiar back, absently wrapping him in her black robe so she wouldn't get the sticky soup all over her hands. Crookshanks, unhappy at being wrapped, stuck his head out and yowled his discomfort to the whole school.
The mysterious woman chuckled a little and leaned forward, her red eyes meeting the golden of the tom's, "Be quiet little one. We know you are not to be blamed. There is a certain someone who is currently hiding under the Headmaster's chair, isn't there?" She gently stroked his bitten ear, and he calmed down considerably, only now a dead weight in Hermione's arms, not struggling any more.
Hermione stared up at the woman, noting her brilliant red eyes and dark black hair tinged a deep green, the color surprisingly elegant against her dark skin tone. The woman smiled at her, and suddenly winked, turning away again to make her way up the high table.
Tugging on her robes suddenly brought her back to the present. She slowly sat, smiling thankfully at Harry who had been the one to bring her back to reality, and shifted her arms to make the position Crookshanks was in more comfortable for both of them.
She watched as the woman knelt down and beckoned under the chair, Dumbledore off to the left, having said nothing since he had asked whose cat that was. Appearing to say something no one could hear, a blur suddenly attached to her shoulder and rubbed against her cheek.
Squinting, Hermione's eyes widened as she recognized Usagi in a form of a small orange and black tiger, the white paws giving her away. The tiger raised its head and winked at her as if acknowledging that what Hermione thought was true.
Whispers erupted all over the dining hall and Hermione blinked as Ron suddenly leaned over her to reach Harry, saying excitedly, "Who do you think that woman is? And is that tiger her familiar?"
Glaring at the red head, Hermione didn't get a chance to say anything as he abruptly moved back and she brought her gaze back up to where Usagi and the woman had been…but they weren't there.
Setsuna shut the door to her office behind her, looking down at the miniature tiger who had jumped down off of her shoulder and was now curled up on a couch in the corner. Smiling, she swept her hair over her shoulder and went over to take a seat herself, regarding the feline warmly.
"What do I owe the honor of being in your presence, Usagi-chan?" she asked in perfect Japanese, easily switching from English to her native language.
The tiger blurred. Sitting up, Usagi laughed and looked at her old friend happily, "Oh I don't know. I decided to see the sights. You know, England really has beautiful scenery." She smiled, "It's a surprise to see you here.
"Not that I'm not glad, mind you," she added, lacing her fingers together, letting her silver bangs fall over her eyes, "It just wasn't expected. You're the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, I presume?"
"Correct." Setsuna nodded her head. Shifting over on her chair, she reached for a book off of the bookshelf and flipped through it, stopping at a certain page. Running her finger over some of the passages, she stopped and handed the book to Usagi, watching as she took it. "Paragraph number three should be interesting to you."
Usagi raised an eyebrow and studied the book in front of her. Finishing reading, she silently handed back the book. "What does that have to do with me?" she asked, settling her hands into her lap, drawing up her legs so she sat cross-legged on the couch.
Setsuna cleared her throat.
"The 18th year of the Wizard's Revolution was the turning point for the wizards that fought against the evil gods' will," she read, "Aided with the mystical power of the queen of the moon, Queen Serenity the 23rd, slowly but surely the wizards forced back the evil entity known as simply The Evil One. In the process of driving The Evil One out of their universe and into another one, Queen Serenity was fatally wounded. Passing the throne to her daughter, Princess Serenity the 24th, she died after the sealing of the evil entity."
When she was finished reading, she closed the book with a clap. Placing the book back into the bookshelf, she turned back to her old friend. "What most people do not know," she started, crossing her legs, "is that there was a sub-story."
Setsuna nodded, "Yes. The princess, now the queen, was a gentle soul, and one not fit for ruling. Her chief advisor, a cruel man by the name of Triath tried to usurp her rule from under her. She was young, and could not see what was happening to the throne. Triath, using his power as the spokesperson for the queen, ordered higher taxes and brutally beat the populous on the outskirts of the moon.
"Triath's reign of terror may have gone on unstopped, fueled by the queen's naivety and blind eyes, were it not for a young wizard named Jareth. He saw the unspeakable horror, and lobbied for the queen's attention. Explaining to her what Triath's treachery was, Queen Serenity was horrified and ordered for Trieth's capture at once so he could be put on trial.
"However, Triath had many loyal spies, so word was sent to him even before the queen knew of his deceit. He fled off of the moon, and despite the many capable fleets sent of by Serenity, he escaped, swearing revenge onto Jareth and his family."
Setsuna stopped, alerted to a knock at the door. Nodding her head at Usagi, she stood up and opened the door. Revealing a young boy in his 5th year at Hogwarts nervously fidgeting, she smiled at him and casually looked over her shoulder to see a small tiger cub innocently sleeping on her couch. Raising an eyebrow, she asked, "Yes…?"
Holding Crookshanks in her arms, Hermione trudged up to her room trying to keep her book from slipping from in-between her arm and side, where it slowly but surely oozed out of her grip, taunting her. Quickening her stride and almost running through the door to her dorm room, she made it before her cat jumped out of her arms and the book fell with a clap to the floor. Picking it up, she swept back her brown hair that fell in front of her eyes; she glared at the tom that cleaned himself regally on her bed.
"I hope you're happy," she growled, ignoring the presence of her friends at her back, "You totally made me a fool in front of the whole school! I'll never hear the end of it from Malfoy."
"That snake will probably chuckle about this for weeks, too," Ron added, plopping himself onto Hermione's bed, looking angry. Harry, standing at the door and being a little bit polite, missed the glare Hermione shot at the Weasley.
"I don't remember inviting you in, Ron, and I would appreciate it if you would not just waltz in here like you own the place!" she snapped. "Now," she humphed, gesturing that both the boys should leave, "I have a lot to think about. I would greatly appreciate it if you left me awhile before class starts."
She barely saw them leave, her eyes turned inwards as she absently stroked Crookshanks before remembering that he was covered in soup. "Oh yuck! Crookshanks!" she groaned, but shook her head at his look of 'It wasn't MY fault. I SAW something.'
I wonder who it was that took Usagi away… she mused, staring off into space, once again seeing the exotic woman in front of her. She was nice…ah well. Got to get to class. And I CANNOT be LATE!
I'm sorry for such the short chapter, but I DID give you something to think about, didn't I? Please tell me what you think… I LOVE reviews! ^_^
Hope it lived up to your expectations! I'll probably have the next chapter out in three weeks because I'm going on a week long vacation where there are no computers (GASP! ^_^) and after that is Spring Vacation, so I'll have a lot of time to work on this fic as well as my others.
See you soon! And, thanks again! You guys are the greatest!