A Nascent Kaleidoscope

Chapter 519:



Chapter 519:

"She is going to require nutrition enough for several people to accommodate the shifts in her body." Tessei released his hand from Amber's body and the distinct hue of the Kaido dissipated rather quickly.

Ozpin, who had been sitting quietly, stood up as if he had heard the greatest news in the world. "And her health?"

"It is within expectations." Tessai adjusted his glasses. "Do not be alarmed if she has trouble moving any limbs when she first awakens, it will take some time for her body to also reacclimate to those instincts. About a day or two and she should be able to move at a minimum."

"Thank you. Truly, thank you Mr. Tsukabishi." Ozpin was genuine in his thanks towards the former Shinigami.

"Please, Tessai is fine." Tessai replied with a warm smile. "And I am more than happy to help a young woman recover."

You could just feel that he truly believed that too. Tessai was perhaps one of the kindest people I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Don't get me wrong, he could crunch a Hollow's head into paste with his bare hands if the situation called for it, but he didn't ask anything of me when I told him that someone needed his help.

"If there is anything we can do – "

Tessai held up his hand. "I will not demand payment for saving a life."

"You are a very kind person, Mr. Tessai." Ozpin smiled. "The world is a better place knowing people like you exist."

"Your words honor me." Tessai responded politely. "I will remind you that the treatment is not yet complete. I will return in two weeks time to do a follow-up on the patient. If all goes well, I will properly introduce myself to the young woman as well." He smiled.

Ozpin returned the smile. "I'm sure that Amber will be thrilled to meet you. Would you like to stay for dinner, a drink? I truly hate to have you sent away without showing any hospitality."

"I'm afraid that this was rather abrupt and I have duties to attend to, Headmaster-dono." He gestured to the dried blood still on his apron.

Ozpin looked at it. Blinking and chuckling. "Far be it for me to make a nuisance of myself. Just know that the doors of Beacon academy are always open to you. I wouldn't mind another great addition to my staff."

Tessai and him shared a small laugh. "I am but a simple shop assistant these days."

"A shop assistant, perhaps. But I would argue that there is nothing simple about you, my new friend."

"You are too kind." Tessai had a coy expression, not disagreeing with Ozpin's statement.

Well, it seemed it turned out well.

Understandably, Ozpin's main concern was on Amber as he seemingly began to check her vitals, and the machines were reading back the information to him.

Qrow had disappeared some time ago, I guess he didn't want to wait here for three hours doing nothing, and I couldn't blame him.

"You want to go home now, Tessia?" I asked.

"If you would be so kind." He nodded. "The lack of Reishi here is….stifling at first. I will require time to get used to it."

"….I'm sure." I forced a smile. "You're not going to ask about that?"

Tessai's expression changed slightly. "If you do not wish to tell me, I will not pry. And I will not speak about what I do not know. But please do not assume me a fool, Schweinorg-dono."

….right, I really shouldn't.

At this point, I basically lit up a neon sign for him.

"Would you like to see something before you go?" I offered, openinga portal.

He blinked, tilting his head. "I am intrigued by what you wish to show me.

Without hesitation, perhaps true trust, he walked through before me and I quickly followed and closed the Portal behind me.

He was rooted in place as he looked around, and slowly, his eyes turned upwards.

The night sky had already arrived some time ago, and the moon was very bright tonight.

"The moon is broken."

"Yeah."

"It is oddly beautiful." He said softly.

It really was in a way, if you didn't consider the reason for its destruction.

"Thank you for allowing me to see this." He stated.

I knew he meant more than just looking at Remnant's moon. It was the trust I gave him to show him a peek behind the curtain so to speak. He wasn't a fool, as he said, he could put two and two together here after experiencing everything himself.

I held my hand out and another Portal opened, right back home for him. "Thank you for your help, Tessai."

"It was my pleasure, Schweinorg-dono."

"If you need me for anything, Yoruichi can reach me. Seriously, if there's any problem, call me."

He nodded with a smile and left through the portal back home.

Well, that settled that.

I turned around and looked at Salem's Castle a bit aways and began my walk towards it. It was a lovely night and I didn't mind a peaceful walk, even if I was literally surrounded by Grimm by the time I crossed a small way.

They kept their distance from me as they always did. I wouldn't be surprised if Salem knew I had arrived by this point and was controlling them in particular.

I barely walked across the bridge and to the gate before it opened up with Salem waiting there for me.

Despite being tired at this point, and the feelings I was experiencing earlier today, I couldn't help but smile when seeing her again.

"Hey there, beautiful. Come here often?" I of course delivered this with the most charming smile imaginable.

She was swooned as seen by the absolutely dry look she gave me.

"No, this is my first time here." She deadpanned.

I ignored her, humming. "I heard there's a Queen that lives here."

"Oh really?" She raised an eyebrow. "And what have you heard about this supposed queen?"

"I heard that she has the most adorable laugh." I smiled. "I heard that she had the most wonderful smile. I heard that she has the prettiest red eyes."

And those red eyes of hers rolled at my flirting. "Those descriptions sound an awful like the Evil Queen that lives in this castle. Are you sure you're at the right place?"

"There's one way to check."

"And what would that be?"

"Well, the Queen here is supposedly my woman, so I don't think she would mind me kissing her, would she?"

Salem gave one of her cute little huffs, crossing her arms with her lips pursed. "You are continuously foolish."

"That wasn't a no~"

She scowled, but reached over to grab meby the collar and pulled me in for a kiss. It was rare for her to initiate like this, so I let her take the lead in how long and deep she wanted to do it.

Our lips stayed connected for several moments before she finally released me. "Well, come inside." She grunted, throwing the door fully open and walking inside.

Funny thing was, Salem's castle was starting to feel like a home away from home.

But other than that, I just kept my eyes on her swaying hips. I can't not walk behind Salem and not admire the way she bounces.

"Sit." She approached a couch, plopping down herself and pointing to the seat next to her. "You were gone a long while."

I happily took the seat next to her and let out a tired sigh. "It took awhile to resolve. Apparently Amber – the 'Maiden' was beyond my capabilities. It was as you said, part of her soul was missing."

"….you have blood on you." She reached for my collar. "If Ozpin or his flunkies harmed you, I will end them." She said in a low voice.

I gently took her hand into mine and raised it up to give a small kiss. "Salem, do you really think they're capable of hurting me?"

Salem scowled with a huff. "You are correct, it is a foolish thought."

"I'm happy that you're worried about me though. However, it's not my blood." I reassured her.

She harrumphed. "Do not suggest that I am...uncaring about your welfare."

"I'm sorry for making you think I was suggesting that. I was just happy to hear you say it." I smiled.

"What took you so long?" She seemingly wanted to change the subject.

"Well, after checking in with Ozpin so he would let me see Amber, I realized I was out of my depth and needed an expert. I went to the world with the Shinigami, since they're experts in souls and my teacher and friend there is an expert in soul healing. When I arrived, the town they live in was under attack by Hollows, so I helped out. It took a bit of time to clean everything up, I called Izzy because there was a young girl there she was fond of being….not treated as well as she should have been. I spent a little longer sparring with another kid there because Tessai was busy with something. Then I brought him to Beacon where he healed Amber, which took a handful of hours and here I am now."

"….it sounds as though you had a busy day." She said quietly.

"Yeah, I'm tired." I found myself yawning. "Probably shouldn't have been so active after everything that happened recently, but that's how it is sometimes."

"….you did not need to go through so much effort." She whispered.

"Salem, it wasn't that much effort on my part. But that's besides the point. This is far from the limit of what I would go through for you."

"Stupid…" She huffed with some tinge of annoyance. "You make it difficult to remain….detached."

"I care a lot about you, Salem."

Her lips twitched and her nostrils flared as she seemingly wanted to say something but no words came out. Rather, she reached over and grabbed my head rather abruptly, and without an ounce of grace, and pulled it down until I was resting my head in her lap.

Well, actions often spoke louder than words.

Even if she was my 'girlfriend' by her own admission, some things just required time and I was patient enough to wait until Salem was ready and move at her own pace.

But after the day I had, well, I found myself closing my eyes and falling fast asleep.

[***]

Dumbledore POV

One of my favorite times of the year!

Just behind Halloween, Christmas, and the first school day where I get to see all the wonderful and happy new faces that arrive at Hogwarts.

It's the first day that all my staff would be here before the beginning of the school year to start our own preparations!

And our newest teachers would be arriving as well to meet everyone! It was an exciting time and I was….interested to see how everyone would adapt to the new faces.

Mr. Filch was here, with his pet cat, scowling in the corner. Poor boy, never did get over being born a squib and being abandoned by his Magical Parents. It must be difficult to see Magical Children every year and have to clean up after them.

I offered him alternatives, but he seemed set on fulfilling his position regardless of the seeming hate he had towards the magical world

Flitwick was here as well, he was busy helping Professor Babbling update the ceiling of the Great hall for some impressive spellwork to awe the new arrivals.

Professor Sinistra was giving them advice and how to show the constellations on one particular showing of the starry sky that the ceiling would change into.

Professor Binns… well, he was a Ghost and he rarely left his classroom. Perhaps we should finally look to replace him now that we actually had some real money in our coffers again? Specifically, money that the school board couldn't touch or 'repurpose' in an attempt to undermine my authority.

Yes, with quite the extensive legalese to prevent the use of it other than certain very specific endeavors. One tiny itsy bitsy one being the Headmaster's discretion.

I was thankful that Mr. Schweinorg was willing to put in the effort to add that clause after I spoke to him about….certain individuals that would not be too keen on seeing the school funded to the extent I dreamed about.

And thankfully, Mr. Schweinorg was a patron of learning as he expressed utter dissatisfaction about curbing learning for young boys and girls.

Madam Pomfrey also arrived in quick succession to Minerva. The first of whom brought in several platters floating behind her.

"The House Elves provided us with a wonderful assortment of snacks." She announced, setting them on the head table just a tad out of my grasp.

I was polite and didn't rush up to….acquire several portions for myself.

These House Elves, I must go give them my gratitude before the year starts. They appreciate that so much and it's the least I can do for the wonderful work they provide around Hogwarts.

Despite the symbiotic nature of the relationship between a House Elf and their 'owner', you should always treat them with gratitude and respect. Otherwise, the bond of magic that flows to them gets…polluted.

An example of emotions changing and adapting an established magic. House Elves thrive off the magic supplied by a Witch or Wizard through their bond, and if you are hateful and mean, well, the House Elf learns from that and tends to steer that way. Exceptions were present of course, but it's just one of those things to keep in mind.

The opposite is quite true as well.

The House Elves at Hogwarts – bound to the school itself – retained that wonderful sense of wonder and childish joy in their eyes due to the abundance of children coming through these wonderful halls.

Hagrid was also present, but he was being shy since this was his first time here as a 'teacher' rather than the groundskeeper.

Professor Trelawney came in…..tipsy, muttering about her third eye.

Well, she knew the rules, as long as it's not during classes then I don't care to police her adult usage of alcohol.

Unless it becomes an issue that I must address.

But she's usually very decent about not flaunting it in public.

Yes, it's one of those days that I simply appreciated being alive.

"Hello my fellow educators!" With perfectly brushed hair and an admittedly charming smile, Giledroy Lockhart slammed open the doors, announcing his arrival for the first time.

Well, it was a pleasant day.

Curse my sense of propriety, I really should have made any excuse to hire someone else. But we well and truly were without options at the time.

Perhaps a subtle threat to keep him in compliance? A slight insinuation regarding the authenticity of his books? And a subtle reminder to follow the school rules?

No, that would never work.

I fear subtlety would go right over young Lockhart's head.

Drat.

"Professor Lockhart, so pleasant of you to finally join us." I announced, putting on my best smile. "I believe I speak for everyone when I say that you joining us for this year will be an….experience."

Yes, certainly the enthusiasm everyone displayed attested to that.

Seemingly, Lockhart was unable to read the room because he just bowed graciously and never even lost a twinge of that wide smile of his. "Oh Headmaster, you're too kind. Too kind indeed. As a greeting gift, I've taken the liberty of giving everyone here a signed copy of every one of my books. I already had the House Elves deliver them to everyone's rooms. No need to thank me." He held his hands up, giving no room to rebuke him.

I very casually tapped the table with my wand without anyone noticing to hide my voice.

"Winky."

"Yes Headmaster Dumbleydorey?" The House elf appeared, hiding from view to all by myself as I was able to perceive them since I was keyed into the specific Wards. "Did you put these….books in our rooms?"

"No, Headmaster Dumbleydorey." Twinky shook her head in a very exaggerated motion.

"Good work, Winky." I praised her. "Out of curiosity….where did you put the books?"

"Twinky put them in the House Elves Latrines, she did." She smiled brightly.

"Ah, a perfect solution. That is all, thank you, Twinky."

The House Elf popped back over to whatever it was she was doing beforehand. Truly, I do have the best staff a Headmaster could ask for.

Lockhart then went on to try and….network with the staff it seems. Unfortunately, his attempts to charm his fellow teachers were met with rather…blunt and dismissive replies.

Yes, I was particularly amused when he tried to chat up Professor Snape of all people.

I admit to hiding my laugh when Lockhart offered his hair sanitation products.

Many children here liked to make fun of the Potions Professor for his…..let's say messy hair, but that is actually an unfortunate accident from his earlier years with certain potions explosions.

There's a reason that he's so keen on safety when brewing potions, even to the point where students believe him to be a bully. Which….well, he could use a few reminders to keep himself in the proper mentality as a teacher.

But I digressed, Professor Snape deserved praise for the self-control he exhibited.

I would send him a bottle of Fire Whiskey for the start of the year.

Finally, the last of our teachers were arriving, and the ones my extended staff were the most excited to meet.

Of course having a Muggle teach Muggle studies was….novel to the Magical Staff, and they were very interested to see his Teaching philosophy and approach themselves. And perhaps it was unfair, but they were much more excited to meet a certain Witch whose name was being whispered around the halls by my staff after learning her identity.

I can't say I blame them, Medea was a rather famous name among our society. Perhaps not to the degree of Merlin or Morgan le Fay, but in the more Eastern Europe parts of the world, her name was still spoken in the same reverence.

Yes, the couple appeared within the room without the same fanfare as the other new teacher.𝒂ll new st𝒐ries at n0ve/lbi/𝒏(.)c𝒐m

A stark difference, that all the Teachers immediately stopped what they were doing to greet the two newcomers.

Even the almost drunk Trelawny was shot up from her seat.

"Now now, everyone, don't swarm them." I gently reminded them to treat our new associates with the proper courtesy. "I'm glad to see you both within these halls." I smiled at our newcomers.

"Headmaster Dumbledore."

"Headmaster Dumbledore."

They both politely greeted me back.

Medea in particular, she held a plastic container and opened it up as I approached. "I baked cookies for everyone?"

I blinked and was surprised. Once more, I am taken back by the supposed 'Witch' from legends as she smiled happily offering me a cookie.

Well, far be it for me to refuse such a delectable and heartfelt treat.

I took one from the container and took a bite, not expecting much, but my tastebuds sang. I didn't even realize that I had scarfed down the entire cookie. I cleared my throat and savored the last bits. "That was….a wonderful treat, Miss Medea. If you don't mind me asking….what was in that?"

"Oh, just some – " Her fiancé nudged her. "—love." She forced out. "Nothing but…..love." She forced an obviously innocent smile.

…..Call me skeptical. "Of course, the most potent of ingredients."

"…yes." She laughed very…artificially.

Should I be concerned?

"Miss Medea, Mr. Souichirou." Minerva greeted them with a certain tone that was not one I was overly familiar with.

Honestly, she seemed confused on how to treat them.

On one hand, she read certain…stories and Mr. Souichirou's admittance to being an…..Assassin, well, that had Minerva in a mood. But at the same time, he also explained he was taken as an Orphan and forced into that life, only to leave it to pursue a higher path as an educator.

Why, it was something out of a classic tale. It was enough that Minerva herself was moved, and she had a hard time separating things outside of her black and white mentality. An unfortunate happenstance of her generation's upbringing it seems.

And of course, Miss Medea had been nothing but sincere if….a little eccentric. Who of us hasn't experimented with some questionable magical practices?

Well, most of my staff and I were not going to judge her based on some of my own….indiscretions of youth.

And I especially wasn't going to let Minerva know.

Minerva held herself appropriate as the deputy headmistress. "I look forward to seeing your revised class plans, Mr. Souichirou."

The Japanese Educator pushed up his glasses. "I have completed my initial plans, if you would like to look over them, I would be honored."

"Oh?" She perked up. "I anticipate an excellent year in accordance with your enthusiasm towards teaching. Mr. Souichirou. I have revised my own plans in accordance with what we spoke about previously. I hope we can compare notes."

"I will happily accept, Professor McGonagall. I usually do not have someone to look over my class instructions. I have brought with me my daily schedule, mock exams, study guides, homework assignments, classwork assignments, and after learning about the culture here, I have devised an 'extra credit' assignment for each quarter of the year." He responded. "That is of course in addition to the monthly reports to verify each student's progress."

"Well, you are certainly a model for everyone else to aspire to." Minerva looked impressed. "If all goes well, I will have everyone adopt your….studious nature when it comes to academic teaching."

…..wonderful.

It was one of those moments where I was genuinely happy that I no longer taught other than the occasional Alchemy class.

Oh dear….she's going to force me to do that regardless.

"Cookie?" Medea said simply.

Minerva seemingly smiled softly and happily accepted one, entering nirvana herself after tasting it. "…..do you have a recipe?"

"…..love…..lot's of love." She smiled in a way that was making me question if I should delve further into what is inside her cookies.

"As I live and breath!" Lockhart pushed through everyone else until he was in front of the couple. "If it isn't the legendary Witch herself. Charmed." He smiled brightly.

"…..cookie?" Medea blinked, offering.

"How generous." He took a cookie from the container and didn't even bother to eat it as he continued smiling at the Witch. "I'm sure this must be as surprising for you as it is for me. Two individuals of such renown, meeting in a small school like Hogwarts?" He chuckled.

….small?

It's a literal castle.

Quite a large one as well.

I should really intervene….

"….who are you?" Medea said blankly.

On second thought….let's see how this plays.

Lockhart twitched slightly, but his smile didn't fade. "Haha, a good joke. Yes, I suppose it is proper etiquette to introduce oneself. Gilderoy Lockhart, at your service, Madam." He bowed, offering his hand to her. "You may have read about me in some of my books such as, Holidays with Hags, Travels with Trolls, Voyages with Vampires, and Year of the Yeti. But most recently, you've of course read Magical Me, a complete biography of my very exciting life, and best seller."

Medea looked at him, and at his extended hand and there was an obvious blankness on her face. "I've never heard of you in my life." She ignored him and walked towards our resident half-giant. "Hagrid, I'm happy to see you again, would you like a cookie?"

"Aww shucks, don't mind if I do." Hagrid happily took one.

However, my gaze rested on Lockhart who looked like someone just knocked over his cereal.

I think I could pinpoint the exact moment when his pride was shattered.

Perhaps this would be a tolerable school year after all.

Yes, Medea seemed like a social butterfly...perhaps without as much grace. She very clearly was stumbling through the social interactions as she made her way through the teachers, offering each a cookie.

I suppose that it wasn't a bad idea to use when meeting colleagues for the first time.

Finally, the couple stood in front of Severus, our esteemed Potions Professor.

Severus didn't speak, neither did Medea or Kuzuki.

Rather, he looked down at the box of cookies with a frown, then back at the couple. Medea had a blank smile on her face and Severus seemed to meet Kuzuki's gaze as they emotionlessly stared at one another.

"Cookies?" Medea offered, the first words exchanged between them.

The stare between Kuzuki and Severus continued for several moments until Severus apparently twitched and seemed resigned to taking a cookie from the container.

I was sure he was going to throw it away, but for some reason, he took a very tiny bit of it, perhaps out of sheer courtesy if nothing else.

And ever so slightly, the corners of his lips curled up.

Okay, there is certainly something wrong with those cookies, because in the years we have worked together, the amount of times Severus has smiled can be counted on one hand.

I should….make sure that there is nothing volatile about those cookies.

"Would you like another one, Headmaster?" Medea offered.

"Yes, thank you very much." I took another one without thinking and bit into it.

Well, I certainly folded quickly.

Oh, I'm sure there's no harm.

I just quietly contemplated life as I ate my completely normal cookie and watched Lockhart try to pick up his pieces of shattered pride.

I love days like this.

This year will be one to remember for sure.

[***]

A/N

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