Disclaimer: I don't own HARRY POTTER or KUROSHITSUJI.
I've since deleted it, but a Guest gave a rather unkind review to this story. In case that person is back and reading this, I want to remind you that in the first chapter I said:
"I'm going to try my best to stay true to the characters and events, but my first responsibility is to my story and the people that will one day read it. For that reason I may end up taking some liberties and making things a little more OC than would otherwise be the case. So, if you run across something that seems a little bit too OC or OE, don't complain. I warned you. No one's forcing you to read this."
I think the fact that you stuck with this story and read all 15 chapters up to this point contradicts your dislike for it. If you didn't like it, then you wouldn't have read it this far. As said before, "No one's forcing you to read this."
I would also like to point out that the term "Mary-Sue" has been so over used that I doubt that anyone even remembers what it means. Plus, since no females are main characters here, I think you're a bit of a rude idiot to try to apply it to my story's characters.
There are plenty of people out there that actually seem to enjoy this story the way it is. Would it be fair to them for me to delete it and start over? No it wouldn't, especially since I probably would not repost it again.
As to your remark about the detailing, let me remind you that I have repeatedly said throughout this story that I am trying to stick to the basics as much as possible and keep things simple. There are fictions out there far less description than mine and I don't hear you blowing up about them.
I would also like to remind you that I have stated in several Author Notes that I am open to people with suggestions on mistakes and errors and that if you see one you are free to point it out to me. This does not mean that you can tell me to go to another author's site and read their self-posted manual on how to be a writer and write the same way that they do.
If you like that author's writing so much that everyone else's suck in comparison, then go ahead and only read stories by that person. If every fan fiction writer that posts stories on this site is so talentless, then why are you even here reading these stories?
If all you can do is complain about others with nothing useful to say, then why don't you write and post your own stories and prove that you're not just a mean, small-minded, and rude person with a big mouth and no ability of your own?
I had reasons for choosing a black swan instead of a bat or a raven and/or crow. Ravens or crows are often associated with Sebastian and it just didn't seem right to change that dynamic in my story.
In my mind a black bird is similar to crows and ravens so that was out. Hold it, I know what you're thinking, but that's why I worded it that way. "In my mind" is my way of saying just that. It doesn't matter if the reality is that they are smaller birds, have a differently shaped beak and often have lighter (sometimes red) feathers along the edge of the wings. In matter of mental association and imagination I don't care about the facts.
Bats and all bat references just seem like they've been over done to me; and now that I think about it that character does have a well hidden softer side.
I wanted something with wispy, fluttering shadows for feathers, but no such creature exists (or has existed) to my knowledge, so that was out. Plus it would have taken a lot of work to describe something that would appear very briefly and only once.
So, with no other choices left, I settled on a black swan. In a way it actually works if you stop to think about it.
One more thing.
By now a lot of you must have noticed how I keep switching between 'Ron' and 'Ronald.' There's a reason for that. Think of the name as a sort of unofficial marker. When the P.O.V is Ciel or mostly Ciel then I use Ronald because Ciel is always so stiff, old fashioned, and proper. Even in his own mind he's not the sort to call new acquaintances or pawns by nick-names or abbreviated versions of their names. So when I'm using 'Ronald' you know that the perspective is mostly Ciel's.
I use 'Ron' when the P.O.V. is mostly that of Harry or anyone associated with him.
I did it this way because I thought it would help during those times when I was writing sections that include more than one character's P.O.V. in it.
So far that's seemed to work, but none the less I figured that it was about time I explained about that.
Well then, on with the story!
The demons stood in the back of the Great Hall in the shadow of a pillar, ready to act should the need arise. From their position they had a perfect place from which to watch the upcoming confrontation between Harry Potter and the treacherous professor, Severus Snape.
Clad all in black with his imposing height, longish black hair, pale flesh, and cadaverous looks, the man made an intimidating figure. Ciel was mildly surprised that, after a quick scan, there was nothing noticeably inhuman about him. The young demon supposed that Severus Snape just happened to be one of those humans born to look creepy. He paid close attention as the man began his speech to the gathered students.
Word had come from Voldemort alerting the Potion Master and current Headmaster that the Potter boy was in the area and likely to show up. He wanted to know if anyone present new anything about it.
As Severus Snape talked, Ciel noticed something. He sent a questioning glance to Sebastian and got a silent nod in return. The butler had also noticed it.
Aside from Snape's natural creepiness, the demons could detect something… off about the man. A strong contradiction between what the human was saying and what he truly felt. They soon realized what it was. He was putting on an act, a very very good one. Even as he spoke against Harry Potter, it was not hate or ruthlessness that the demons sensed from his surprisingly strong soul, but grief and worry. Even as he encouraged the listening students and staff to betray Harry if they knew anything about his intentions or whereabouts, Snape feared for the boy and strongly desired that no one would speak against him or harm him.
Snape had just finished delivering a speech about what would happen to anyone that aided the Dark Lord's pray when Harry made his dramatic appearance.
He had been concealed among the Gryffindor House students (the House that he had been sorted into when he first came to Hogwarts). In the voluminous black robes that all students wore over their uniform, and with his dark-haired head down, he was lost from sight among the sea of students until the moment he was ready to reveal himself.
When that moment came he stepped out away from his fellow Gryffindor's, whipped off the robes in a swirl of black cloth, and confronted Snape with wand in hand.
The confrontation was brief, as the two of them exchanged words.
Then Snape whipped out his wand and advanced on Harry. He stopped abruptly when McGonagall strode quickly forward, her wizardly robe whipping about her as she flourished her wand, and pushed Harry out of the way.
"You'll do no more murder in Hogwarts!" she declaimed, as all present, sensing a duel, backed quickly to either side of the Hall; leaving the middle of the vast space open for the fight.
Lights, like deadly miniature fireworks, zipped from their wands as they exchanged and countered each other's spells.
Words were exchanged, students shouted. Just as it looked like a fight was going to break out between the students that sided with and against Harry the doors slammed open and reinforcements opposing Voldemort's tyranny marched in.
Snape then blasted a nearby window and escaped, transforming into a black swan and winging away.
The remaining teachers had just finished re-establishing order among the students while the new arrivals spread out to make sure no one tried to sneak off and make trouble, when it happened.
An ominous presence seemed to descend upon the room, stilling everyone present. The sense of pressure started to build and build and press down upon them all. Then a girl clutched her head and screamed.
No sooner had everyone turned to see what was the matter than a third and fourth joined her. Within moments everyone was wincing as they became able to hear a terrible sound.
At first it was painfully whining, scratching sound. Then it slowly resolved itself into a rasping sibilant voice.
"I know that many of you will want to fight. Some of you may even think that to fight is wise. But this is folly. Give me Harry Potter. Do this and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter and I shall leave Hogwarts untouched. Give me Harry Potter… and you will be rewarded. You have one hour."
The voice was Voldemort's.
Once the message ended, taking Voldemort's painful mental assault with it, silence descended in the Great Hall.
All eyes turned to Harry Potter.
It was all Harry could do to not squirm under the weight of their stares as the tension rose to an unbearable pitch.
The first to break it was a dark-haired Slytherin girl.
"What are you waiting for?" the fair skinned brunette shouted, nearly screamed, "You heard what the Dark Lord said, grab Harry Potter and we're safe! Get him!"
There was another tense pause, everyone hesitating to be the first to move.
Then Hermione and Ron stomped up and stood in front their friend, glaring at the girl and the other Slytherin's she stood with.
Ciel and Sebastian joined the defiant trio, and then the rest of the crowed chose their sides. The clear majority stood with Harry.
McGonagall had just strode up to the front of the Hall to take on the position of Headmistress when the Great Hall doors were again flung open.
A tall, scraggly, filthy looking man with a pronounced limp ran in with a surprising turn of speed.
"Students out of bed! Students in the halls! Students breaking curfew!"
His long, sparse hair flew behind him as he ran, shouting, into the room, closely followed by a pied-eyed tabby cat.
"Students out of - Ahh… er… – "
He trailed off into an embarrassed silence as he belatedly noticed all the people gathered there, staring at him.
McGonagall frowned and said, with clear exasperation in her voice, "They're supposed to be you blithering idiot!"
Making the man feel even more embarrassed.
Ciel tapped Harry on the shoulder and asked, "Who is that?"
Harry glanced over at him and said, "The caretaker, Mr. Filch and his cat Miss Norris," before turning his attention back to the teacher, leaving Ciel to wonder just how it was possible for the school's caretaker not to have known about the assembly or noticed all the earlier excitement.
McGonagall, meanwhile, had paused to take a breath and collect herself.
"However, your timing is good. Please escort house Slytherin to the dungeon and lock them up."
"Right away Professor," said Filch and a couple of adult wizards moved to help him.
Sebastian had folded he arms and lifted one hand to rest on his chin; he had an amused look in his eyes and murmured in approval, "So this school has a working dungeon? How wise. Students shouldn't be coddled and I can only approve of their ethic toward honoring tradition."
Ciel glanced up at his butler. As a boy who had been forced to learn many harsh lessons, it was not a sentiment that he could agree with, though he could understand the reasoning behind it.
Ciel had a brief flashback to those distant lessons.
He had been raised at a time when it was common for a teacher to strike a student for failing an assignment. Certainly Sebastian had been very quick to use a little pain to encourage him not to repeat mistakes.
He recalled the times when he'd made a mistake translating Latin and his butler/tutor had stingingly smacked his hands with a ruler for each error and then assigned ten times more work.
He still remembered the many bruises he'd received when learning to use a sword and ride a horse. The many brutal beatings he'd gotten after becoming a demon when Sebastian was teaching him how to master his abilities and to fight.
He had needed to attain a wisdom and education that rivaled adults, first as a human child who was the only one left to carry on as the head of his family, and then, unexpectedly, as the youngest demon and only demon child ever to become a member of Hell.
The fact that his size had always been short had certainly not helped matters.
And though he could have commanded Sebastian, at any time, to treat him more gently and go easier on him, he had not. He had needed to become the equal, even the superior, of adults older and more experienced than himself and he had needed to do it quickly.
So, he had allowed Sebastian to be as strict and harsh as he'd desired, even welcomed it. He had both wanted and needed to be pushed to his limits because that was what had to be done if he was to survive.
Besides, a little pain could make success all the sweeter once it was overcome and victory achieved. The excited high he experienced upon perfectly completing his lessons and the brief words of praise he received from his perfection obsessed demon never failed to lift his spirits and swell his heart with the warmth of accomplishment.
But there were lines that should not be crossed and from what he'd heard of the Carrows, who had had the run of the school and been put in charge of discipline, those lines had barely even been known exist at all.
However, as a demon he could only agree with the use of cruelty since it is part of a demons nature to enjoy the suffering of others.
He mentally shook his head and focused on the present, briefly noting that he had thought on this very topic already not too long ago.
Finally, Ciel settled with saying, "Well, this is a castle after all. I suppose the former mismanagement had it refurbished."
Ronald heard their remarks.
"How can you be so bloody cold about this?" he demanded. "A lot of innocent people, children, have been hurt!"
Ciel glared at him.
"Let me remind you that, until now, I have not been involved in any of your recent difficulties; also, I am not on familiar terms with any of those present. My grievances are further in the past. Secondly, children always suffer when they are under the control of evil adults. It is a harsh truth I got used to a long time ago. I see no reason to get worked up about it now. Disposing of those who are a direct threat to the abused's mental and physical well being has long been the ideal solution to the problem."
Ciel then smirked at him.
"And is that not what you are all preparing to do now?"
Ron felt a shiver race up and down his spine as he was suddenly reminded of what this short blue-haired boy was capable of.
He knew what was going to happen. The upcoming fight to stop the Dark was inevitable and he knew, dreaded, the violence and the deaths to come. He feared especially for the possible deaths of his family and two best friends. But he had accepted that there would be a battle.
What bothered him about Ciel's words was that the way he talked made it sound more like they were planning to commit murder rather than a battle.
And he feared as he glared back, resentful in his silence, at that coldly smirking boy, that there was not such a big difference between the two acts.
McGonagall took charge rallying the teachers, organizing the remaining students into those who could be evacuated and those staying to fight, and giving instructions to the newly arrived reinforcements.
With preparations for defending the school and those with in it being a top priority, Harry and his group were temporarily forgotten as they stood huddled together in a corner while everyone else rushed about their tasks.
"I need to talk to Professors McGonagall and Professor Flitwick," said Harry. "The two of them know more about Hogwarts and Ravenclaw then anyone else."
"I don't think," said Sebastian, "that now is an appropriate time to approach them. Besides, if they knew where the diadem was they'd have found it a long time ago. The same holds true for any student as well. If it was ever re-discovered the one that found it either didn't know its' true significance or chose to re-hide it elsewhere."
"Then let's go to the library," said Hermione. "There should be plenty of books about Ravenclaw and her diadem in there."
"Do we have time for that?" asked Ciel.
"No way," replied Ron. "It could take weeks or even months to find anything useful. There have to be thousands of books in there. Besides, there's no way that anyone who knew where the diadem was decided to write a book about where to look for it."
Impatience and frustration were starting to eat away at Harry.
"Then we'll go back to the Ravenclaw dorms and look around," snapped Harry, "we never finished exploring the place."
Ciel folded his arms, cocked his hips, and sent Harry an irritated glare, his body language all but screaming that he believed them idiots and all this a waste of time.
"There's no point in any of this," the little Earl huffed, "The Ravenclaw dorms are probably the most thoroughly searched place in the entire school since the diadems disappearance. Anyone who ever tried looking for it has looked there, and they likely did more than 30 minutes worth of research beforehand. It is time to face reality Harry. This school is a big place and the diadem, if that even is the Horcrux we are looking for, could be hidden anywhere. Running around without any sort of clue will not accomplish anything."
Harry turned to Ciel, his own anger allowing him to meet and match the other boys glare with one of his own.
"Then what do you think we should do? You're so full of yourself, acting like your better then everyone and know everything. Well mister-I'm-smarter-than-you, what do you think our next move should be?"
Luna Lovegood walked up to the arguing group and lightly tapped Harry on the shoulder, but was ignored as his entire focus was on Ciel.
"Please," Harry demanded sarcastically, "If you have an idea, then let's hear it."
The heat of Ciel's glare went up a few notches as the fuming demon childe silently vowed to punish Harry later for daring to speak to him in such a way. But he did not speak.
Luna again tapped Harry, trying to get his attention, and was again ignored.
"Nothing to say?" asked Harry scathingly. "No brilliant pearls of wisdom you want to share."
Ciel just kept silently seething, while the others –-minus Sebastian who always enjoyed seeing his Master angry (It makes my little lord look so cute) especially when he wasn't the one that was going to have to deal with the aftermath- looked on uncomfortably.
Luna started tapping more forcefully and called Harry's name twice. But he was on a roll and continued to ignore her. All his stress, fear, and frustration had boiled up, turned to anger, and poured out on to the nearest target.
It was just bad luck that he'd let his uncharacteristic temper tantrum explode at Ciel. He didn't know how lucky he was that that this had happened in a room full of potential witnesses.
"Right then! If you have nothing to say then we'll all go back to Ravenclaw and finish looking around." As the tapping was getting a bit annoying he added on a "–Not now Luna" to the end of his remark.
But Ciel was not the sort to be cowed by anyone, let alone angry brats that don't know their place when speaking to their betters.
"I stand by what I said." Ciel's rage may have been strong enough to put a volcano to shame, but his voice was so chill that his words should have had icicles hanging off of them. "It's a waste of time to running around without an idea of where to go. Without some sort of clue to the diadems location, we're better off helping the others battle Voldemort and his followers until we get the chance to kill his snake."
By this time Luna's near legendary calm was starting to crack; no one likes to be ignored, especially by a long time friend.
"Harry Potter listen to me."
"Not right now Luna, I'm busy."
Harry hadn't so much as glanced at her when he said it, shocking both Ron and Hermione with his thoughtless rudeness.
Eyes still locked in a fierce stare-down with Ciel, Harry kept on talking as if Luna had said nothing and, in fact, as if she wasn't even there at all.
"We can't afford to waste a second. I can sort of sense when a Horcrux is near if I know to look for it, so if we start exploring I'll know if it's in the same room as me. Besides, you can't expect a clue to the diadem to just show up now when we need it. This is—"
"Harry James Potter you better be quiet and stop ignoring me!"
Harry gingerly rubbed his stinging cheek and stared at Luna, shocked. She couldn't have gotten a stronger reaction than if she'd thrown a bucket of ice-water at him, quenching the flame of his rage.
The gentle, wispy, slightly mad girl he had always known now stood, magnificent in her temper. Her long blond hair shined like burnished gold in the torch light, and her sky blue eyes flashed with anger. Her normal demeanor, ethereal as the pale shadow her presence, like a distant cloud, had always been, was gone and in its place stood a girl with strength and force of a storm. She'd never looked more beautiful.
"I have something to say and you're going to listen to me!"
She'd put a lot of force into that slap and Harry was sure it would later bruise. But now that he was calm he realized that he deserved it, so he turned to Luna and gave her his full attention.
"I'm sorry Luna," he said, "I lost my temper, but that's no excuse for how I treated you. What do you need to tell me?"
Having heard his sincere apology, Luna calmed down as well.
"A little while ago I realized something Harry. If finding the diadem really will help you stop Voldemort, then I know who you can ask about it. She was there around the time when it disappeared."
"She?" asked Harry.
"How's that possible?" asked Ron.
"There can't still be anyone alive from back then." said Hermione. "The diadem was lost centuries ago. Wizards may be able to live a long time, much longer than the average muggle, but no wizard cold live that long."
"Excuse me Miss Lovegood," said Sebastian, "but when mention of the diadem was first made I recall that there was quite a lot of talk emphasizing the fact that there is currently no person alive who has ever seen it or knows what happened to it. Are you saying that this is not the case?"
Luna looked at the tall black clad butler and nodded.
Her instincts said that he was a very bad sort, but intended them no harm. She trusted her instincts, and though many believed her to be crazy because she could see and sense things that others could not, her instincts had never led her wrong. So she saw no reason not to answer.
Besides, this was the entire reason she'd come looking for Harry. She just knew that this was something he badly needed to know.
"That is and is not the case." She replied
Turning once more to face her friend, she said, "Come on Harry, don't you remember what this means?"
At his still clueless look she started speaking slowly, trying to lead him to the riddles answer like the true Ravenclaw student she was.
"If there is still a witness in this school to those past events, but no one alive to ask about what happened, then that means –-"
"—that we have to ask someone dead!" Harry finished excitedly, finally catching on to what she'd meant.
"And what," asked a still angry Ciel, "does that mean?"
"It means that we have to go talk to a ghost."
"You know, Harry…" Ciel said as they hurried, Luna leading the way, toward the part of the school that the ghost liked to haunt. "I think it would be best if you speak to this Lady Ghost yourself while the rest of us remain well back and out of sight."
"Why's that?" demanded Ron, before his friend could answer.
"There are several reasons. If the ghost really does know something about the diadem than it hasn't been very chatty about it. Plus, if the diadem really is the Horcrux we're looking for than there is only one place the Dark Idiot could have gotten that information, either the spirit willingly told him or he tricked the information out of it. Either way, it's not going to feel like talking and the fewer of us present to badger it the better our chances of gaining whatever information it has."
"Don't call her 'it,'" said Luna, turning a corner and leading them up a flight of stairs. "That's not very nice. She's my friend, you know."
"Your friends with a ghost?" remarked Sebastian.
"Are you friends with the other ghosts to?" asked Hermione.
Somewhat startled to hear this question, Ciel couldn't help asking, "There are other ghosts in this castle? Just how haunted is this place?"
It was Hermione, panting and short of breath from all the running and stair climbing, that answered.
"There are 6: The Fat Friar, Nearly Headless Nick, The Bloody Baron, Peeves The Poltergeist, Moaning Mertal, and The Gray Lady."
"And to which of these spirits are we going?" asked Ciel.
"Her name is Helena Ravenclaw," said Luna, "she was Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter, but now everyone calls her The Gray Lady. She's also a bit shy and uncomfortable in crowds so Harry should talk to her alone."
They had just started down a long corridor overlooking the school's main entrance when a surprised exclamation from Ciel halted their forward movement. The group halted and turned to him but, upon seeing his fascinated expression as he stared out a nearby window, quickly turned to see what had captured his attention.
Demons are physically superior in comparison to any mortal creature. Thus, while the panting wizards were focused on reaching their destination as fast as possible, they had yet to notice that neither Ciel nor his butler were the slightest bit out of breath.
The demons could move at a leisurely (for them) pace and take in the sights along the way while keeping up with their wizardly companions. It was for this reason that Ciel happened to glance out the window and saw a sight unlike any he had ever before witnessed.
The expansive granite courtyard was surrounded by the ornate, almost gothic, architecture of the schools walls, causeways, pillars, and the massive statues of stone warriors. What had grabbed the young demons attention was that all of the stone warriors, which stood on high plinths and guarded the walls and perimeter of this area, had suddenly come to life and were jumping from their pedestals.
Even as the astonished young demon watched, the stone warriors smartly formed up into synchronized battle units. It wasn't until they had turned to face their commander that Ciel noticed Professor McGonagall and her two companions; a tall, dumpy-looking red-headed woman with a worried expression and a man small enough to be a munchkin with a handlebar-mustache and small spectacles.
McGonagall raised her wand and shouted, "Hogwarts is in danger! Defend us!"
The statues immediately turned to exit the courtyard.
Now that he was seeing what the front of the school looked like, Ciel was impressed all over again with the effort that went in to building the castle and the magic that had gotten him, and his wizardly companions, into it.
The countryside spread out almost as far as the eye could see with a single stone paved road leading from the school and disappearing into a distant forest. The village of Hogsmeade that Ciel had been in less than an hour ago, was too far away to see, most likely somewhere beyond the trees.
Additionally, a great chasm separated Hogwarts from the rest of the countryside.
Ciel estimated that it had only taken about 3 minutes for him to travel through the secret passage from the upstairs room in Hogsmeade to the Room Of Requirement in Hogwarts. The journey should have been impossible to accomplish, let alone complete, so quickly. The young demon once more resolved to learn all that he could about the wizards' magic.
Shaking his head, the little Earl once more turned his attention to what was happening outside.
The only access across the chasm was an elegant bridge made of white marble wide enough for six students to stand comfortably side-by-side on; or in this case, for two massive statues.
The units of stone warriors merged into a single two-man column as they marched out onto the bridge, completely filling it from one end to the other and returning to stillness.
Meanwhile, McGonagall and her companions had raised their wands and chanted a spell that caused a beam of golden light to shoot up into the sky. Ciel had to practically hang out the window and crane his neck back to see where the spell was going.
It didn't take him long to realize that this was some sort of protection spell.
At its apex, the spell suddenly stopped and the golden light spread outward and down to form a dome of protection covering the Castle. It continued to glow gently for a few more moments before fading into invisibility.
"An impressive sight, is it not Master?"
Ciel couldn't help startling at the sound of his butlers voice. It was only his demon reflexes, and Sebastian's hand on his shoulder, that prevented him from falling out the window.
Ciel flushed pink with embarrassment and glared at his butler, shaking off his hold.
Smirking, and pleased at getting such a good reaction, the older demon continued with what he was saying.
"Even among wizards, spells such as these are rare. They take a considerable amount of power and concentration to accurately cast, and are thus classified as being high level spells. Also, you must consider that there are not many occasions that warrant their use so they are not well known."
"So you're saying," said Ciel, "that witnessing them is a treat?"
Sebastian smiled, but didn't reply.
It was Harry who spoke as he turned to Ciel.
"McGonagall is raising the differences. They won't last, but they'll buy us some time."
"Harry," said Hermione, "Maybe you should go on ahead to talk with the ghost alone. We'd just be in the way. Also, I was just thinking that in case we get separated somehow, and meet Voldemort's snake Nagini when Sebastian and Ciel aren't near, it would be good if we were armed with something that can destroy a Horcrux."
"So what are you saying?" asked Harry.
"I'm saying we should split up. Luna can take you talk to the ghost while Ciel and Sebastian stay back to guard you and destroy the Horcrux if you find it. Meanwhile, Ron and I can go to the Chamber of Secrets and get a venomous basilisk fang. You used one to destroy that diary, the first Horcrux, so it should work on the last two if we find it first."
"I would imagine," said Sebastian, "that the fangs would also make handy weapons should you find yourselves in a fight later."
"It is a good idea," said Ciel, "but I think it would be better if Sebastian went with you while I stay with Harry."
"And why do you say that?" asked Ronald suspiciously.
"Because," said Ciel, "I want to hear more about this Chamber and Sebastian will tell me. I also want to make sure that you don't run into any fatal trouble along the way. Sebastian will make sure that the two of you will return to us alive."
He glanced sharply at his butler to make sure the demon knew that this was an order.
"Good. Also, find a moment along the way to tell them that story we discussed back in the Room of Requirement. Make sure they fully understand. I'll tell Harry."
The little demon turned to Luna.
"Lady Lovegood, please continue guiding us."
"You don't have to be so formal. You can just call me Luna."
And with that, the group split up, each heading in a different direction.
Well! That sure took a while to write!
I kept finding new things, to put in or take out, that needed to be re-phrased.
Repeating the same word too close together in the same or following sentences was annoying to alter.
Plus I don't approve of third-wheel character.
I think that if someone is in a scene then they should be seen as either contributing to it or specifically written as just going-a-long-with-the-group-and silently-bearing-witness, until it's time for them to do something that is.
That's tricky for me to do when there's a bunch of people together since only one of them can actually be seen to do anything a time.
You all noticed that too, right?
It real life when a bunch of people are together they all seem to talk at once, talk over each other, or finishing of other peoples words with their own.
Though everyone is supposed to politely wait their turn to enter a conversation until the current speaker is done, this almost never happens.
So writing like that feels artificial & robotic. It's almost never believable.
But I also hate it when a bunch of people are babbling on at once.
It's annoying to me to read it and try to follow what's being said; not to mention that though this way of talking is more true to life it usually reads to me as annoyingly fake.
You probably noticed that I just contradicted myself there by disliking the only two ways I know of to handle writing groups but still needing to pick one.
So I compromise as best I can. I try (sometimes failing) to give the people that are not being focused on something to do in the background.
Stop & stare out a window, standby looking shocked or find the moment to put in their 2 cents worth, or to just be quiet observers while everyone else is running around doing stuff.
I try to specifically say what a person that the scene is not focused on is or is not doing.
~ If they are doing nothing then I say they are doing nothing.
This way the person/people are not just floating around in the background as an amorphous existence.
Again, I say try 'cause it's not easy and the more people that are there the harder it is.
This is why I don't like dealing with a lot of people at once. I've never been good at splitting my focus and multitasking just isn't my thing.
I don't know whether to be happy or sad that I managed to FINALLY get Hermione and Ron away from Harry.
On the one hand, I've wanted to get rid of them from the beginning. I couldn't though. No wait, I could have, but that wouldn't have been what was best for the story.
At least now I don't have to deal/juggle with 5 people at once. A group of 2 or 3 is much easier to handle. I haven't decided if the next chapter will be devoted to just one group with the following chapter belonging to the other OR if I'll just split the nest chapter between them
You'll just have to wait and see.
Going back to that 3rd wheel thing, there's an opinion I've had for a while.
When rehashing/retelling a story from whatever-point only with an OC or crossover character added in the result shouldn't be basically identical to the original.
Now there are some writers that do this and because they are just that amazing their story(s) turns out fantastic.
But for others it's just no good because their added-in character is just there like an un-needed extra.
You get what I mean, right? The other main characters will be talking or doing things and it's like the added in character is just being ignored completely, no matter what he/she/it says or does, to the point that they might as well not be there cluttering up the scene. The story progresses exactly as in cannon, and why this isn't necessarily a bad thing it is not a good thing either.
By adding a new person or event in things should be a little different.
Because of that added-in character…
~ A fight ended early & that helped the hero arrive sooner.
~ A fight broke out or ended later that that made the hero late to see something or save someone.
~ An awkward moment was avoided or created that resulted in a main character being in a different mood from cannon and handling the next situation differently.
~ Events proceed basically the same, but things are done a little or a lot differently.
~ The story ends differently from cannon or similarly, maybe with a little extra added on.
There's lots of possibilities, and speaking as a person that prefers reading over writing, it's wonderful when authors get creative and explore those possibilities. I love reading stories where writers spread their wings and find new ideas and/or twists to explore.
You all should know this already, but I find it ABSOLUTLY WONDERFUL how totally amazing some of the stories people come up with are. It's practically an honor to be able to read them.
Can't help fan-girling over some of them.
I guess I should just end this Author's Note here.
Wow! I just ranted and went off endlessly. Sorry 'bout that.
Anywho, I hope you all enjoyed reading this chapter. There's at least a little slow stuff still to be taken care of, but if you are familiar with HARRY POTTER then you know that the action is coming up soon. I'm actually looking forward to that. I've got big plans on how that's gonna go and if I can manage to pull that off right it will be incredible.
I estimate that timing is going to be tricky and if I can't manage to pull things together right I may have to make some changes. Like: I really want Ciel to see the Marauders Map, but since the map is in Sebastian's group with Ron & Hermione there is no reason for that to happen. I also have yet to decide what to do about the Hollows or if I should get Ciel to try to gain a firmer hold on Harry.
I've already decided what to do with Snape, Draco, and Harry's (as yet unlearned of) Horcrux. I've also got some as-yet-nebulous plans for an extra. You'll all just have to wait and see.
Anyway, wish me luck and thank you all for read & putting up with my rants.