But I should have died - I didn't defend myself! I meant to let him kill me!
The words echoed.
...the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.
Those words, they were familiar.
Can you forgive me for not trusting you? For not telling you?
What was there to forgive? Why couldn't she remember?
'I think that if you decided not to go back, you would be able to... let's say... board a train.'
'And where would it take me?'
She woke up startled, sweating and trembling. The blankets on her body felt stuffy so she got out of bed and ran to the little balcony from the little apartment to let the cold air dry the sweat but most importantly to make her forget about her dream. It was a recurrent dream. Since she was a child she had been dreaming it and the older she got the more often it came and the more vivid. This time she could see that she was in a very white Hall talking to an old man. The features were blurred so she couldn't see well who it was.
Arms circled around her shoulders and she unconsciously leaned on the chest behind her.
"Why aren't you in bed? It was that dream again?" A rough voice asked with concern.
"I'm fine, Ambrus."
"That's what you say but then you spend a whole day like a spooked cat."
She mirthlessly laughed because he was right. Turning around, she coiled her arms around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder. She was just grateful that she had him; for years since they were children, they had been together. Even during that fateful day when they almost died and were bestowed with weird powers in the form of Flames. His were purple while hers were orange. Neither knew back then what they were for but to make them get even closer.
"Stay with me."
"I have to go out with the others tomorrow, sorry." He apologized tenderly kissing her head and tightening his hold on her.
"You shouldn't have taken that job. I've told you hundreds of times that it gives me a bad feeling." She weakly protested though she knew it was for naught.
"I know, as soon as it's done I promise I will look for another one."
She hummed. She was just scared. Her intuition told her that as soon as she remembered everything about that dream, something will happen and she needed to have him near. But his new job sometimes made him disappear for days on end. What if the day that 'something' happened he was not here? But there was nothing she could use to let him stay. From the moment those purple Flames appeared, he was out more often than not.
She knew, as the clouds, he wouldn't stay.
At a café, six people were sitting earning a few glances from the other customers. Some wore really weird clothes. There was this one with a huge mushroom-like hat, the other was wearing a lab coat, another was covered from head to toe and only the lower part of the face could be seen. The bell rang indicating a new customer coming in but what appeared was a young man with purple hair, purple weird make-up, a chain piercing from ear to lip, leather clothing and even a helmet under his arm.
All in all, he looked like some weirdo riff-raff to the normal and decent customers there.
"Oi, lackey. You're late." The man with the pressed suit said to the young man that just entered.
"Sorry! I woke up late." Skull promptly apologized to his senior. His new job was very dangerous and involved six more people with the same Flames him and his Sky back home had. Thanks to this new job, Skull discovered that there were lots of people out there with these Flames but with different attributes. The pay was good that's why he readily took it when that weirdo with the horrible suit approached him but as soon as it was done he would really leave it. He didn’t want to upset his Sky. "More like, stop calling me lackey!"
"I'm not calling you by your clown name." The man replied with a disdainful tone.
"It's not a clown name, I was a stuntman!" Skull protested. He was a very famous stuntman!
"Whatever, here, go buy me a coffee." Giving some coins, the man commanded.
"Yes, senior!" And on went Skull to do as the man commanded making the others laugh.
"That Skull, and then he wonders why people call him lackey." The fully coated person said then paused and glanced at the woman on their right who looked very nervous and fidgety. "Is something wrong, Luce?"
"Eh? No, no... just didn't sleep too well." Luce replied with a laugh and the others left it at that. The mission that day was very important so they had to focus.
An hour later they went to the place indicated by that Checker Face man. For some time, some felt that this was not an easy mission and that made them feel a bit uneasy yet they still pressed on. They were the strongest, with the strongest Flame out there so they had their pride to live up for. The ones who were the most uneasy were the man in the suit and Skull.
The former was an experienced Hitman, the self-proclaimed Best Hitman in the World so his instincts were very honed and he could perceive danger before it came and his instincts were telling him that whatever was up ahead was different than everything he had encountered before. The latter was uneasy because since he came out from his apartment, his Sky had been jittery, pale and her eyes were begging him to stay even if she didn't voice it out.
Skull had the heart to give up on that day's mission because of her but still decided to leave her behind thinking it was just that dream again. The past week had been a hard one for the both because whenever she slept the dream would always appear and that just made her give up on sleeping. He, as her Guardian, accompanied her in their sleepless nights recounting childhood stories together; though more often than not, they ended up on the bed sharing their passion, doing it wildly and for hours.
None of the others knew he had a Sky and he inwardly sneered at the person Checker Face had denominated as their Sky. Skull was not an experienced Hitman like his senior, not a fighter like Fon or a soldier like Lal Mirch, he neither was intelligent and cunning like Verde and Viper but his experience in the streets, dealing with all sorts of people told him that Luce was not someone who could be trusted. No matter how gentle she smiled at everyone and tried to be nice. She was not a good person.
Their uneasiness wasn’t unfounded when they were received by Checker Face who forced them to wear Pacifiers and by consequence turning them into babies. Skull saw how the eight of them -a meddling Colonello included since he had followed them- shrank while twisting in pain. How after it all, Luce with that same infuriating smile said it was their fate and that it couldn't be changed.
Skull distantly heard the reproachful remarks towards Luce, Lal Mirch scolding her for the baby Luce had been carrying and at the same yelling at Colonello for being a fool. His senior and Fon silently seeing all the hubbub with empty eyes. Viper and Verde inspecting their new bodies ignoring everybody else and him... just like his senior and Fon, he felt empty. His mind was empty, his body felt empty and his bond...
Skull's eyes widened horrified. His bond...
Silence descended at the scene when Skull ran and immediately punched Luce sending her to the ground. His eyes were red, his teeth were painfully clenched and his fist were trembling wanting very much to keep punching her.
"What are you doing, Skull?!" Lal Mirch said very much taken aback like the others.
"My bond..." Skull said in a whisper that everybody could hear. "My Sky, my bond, you took it away."
Luce sadly looked at Skull, "So that's why I couldn't Harmonize with you, you already had a Sky."
"Who would want a Sky like you!" He seethed, an aura of death and horror and fear enveloping them all. "I knew it! From the moment I saw you I knew you were no good! You are nothing but a selfish person who doesn't deserve to be a Sky much less have Guardians! I pity those you call Family and more so your daughter for having a mother like you!"
Luce was trembling and whimpering on the ground receiving the full brunt of Skull's aura. "Stop it! Stop it!" She begged.
The others hadn't know why Skull had been chosen as the strongest Cloud; he couldn't fight, he wasn't the most intelligent of the bunch and his Flames were nothing special. All in all, he was seen as the weakest link among them. Though now they knew why. Clouds were very famous for the Propagation ability which more often than not was seen by enhancing their bodies or multiplying the attacks yet they didn't know Cloud Flames could be used to Propagate feelings. With an enemy trembling in fear with no way to retaliate, was there a need to actually know to fight or be clever?
This ability of Skull was too dangerous, they finally recognized it.
"Farewell, Luce. Don't let me see your face again or that would the last you would do before dying."
With that, Skull turned around and ran towards his Sky sick worried about her. After one was gone, the others didn't wait to leave too.
"Renato..." The feeble voice of Luce called out for the man-now-baby in a suit.
"Don't Luce. This... No one will be able to forgive this." And so he was the last to leave Luce, their former Sky alone.
With quick steps, the man called Renato, came out of the mountain they were in before being intercepted by a flash of red that was Fon. "You are curious too." Fon said with his characteristic calm smile.
"Less chatter and more movement. That lackey may be a disgrace as a fighter but he's very good at running." Renato said after pausing to then continue with his plan to follow Skull. The nerve that kid had to hide something like having a Sky from him! As soon as he catches up, he will show him!
You are the worthy possessor of the Hallows.
'I think that if you decided not to go back, you would be able to... let's say... board a train.'
'And where would it take me?'
"It's time." A different more ancient voice told her.
'Professor, is this real or is it just happening in my head?'
'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'
"It's time." The voice repeated. Her eyes slowly opened reflecting pain and understanding. She sat up on the couch she had fallen asleep in coming face to face with the being that was sitting in the armchair in front of her.
She remembered it all. Those dreams showed her the last moments of her past life, a life where she was a boy named Harry Potter who was carrying the whole world on his shoulders and sacrificed himself for the Greater Good, to defeat a Dark Lord named Voldemort. In those last moments he made a choice, Harry moved on and that's how she came to be, she was born in this life as Lilien, an orphan girl who lived in the streets amidst the Hungarian Revolution and lived a life of hardships not unlike Harry.
But much like Harry, she also got something important in the form of Ambrus, her partner, her Cloud, her everything. However, as the being in front of her said, it was time. She actually wasn't supposed to move on, Harry wasn’t supposed to move; so, she had to go back and face her destiny, her fate. It was time for her to fulfill what she ran away from. Taking a deep breath, she could smell the lingering scent of Ambrus and her heart hurt. She didn't want to.
"He has a different fate to fulfill." The being said knowing her thoughts.
"I just wanted to see him one last time." She rasped. She wanted to thank him for all the moments he gave her, for spending this short life with her, for being hers.
Black clouds gathered in the sky bringing a storm. She stood at the edge of the roof of the apartment building they lived in, watching with empty eyes at those clouds, feeling the rain soaking her clothes, lighting flashing above. Just a moment ago, she felt her bond breaking meaning that something had happened to Ambrus. The pain that coursed in her body made her spasm and really wish she was dead. She cried and howled calling for him until she couldn't feel the pain anymore.
"It's time." The being said one last time. Closing her eyes, she leaned forward and fell.
"Lilien!" At least she was able to hear her Ambrus' voice before darkness came.
"No! Lilien! Don't do this to me! Wake up!" Skull cried holding the inert and bloodied body on his partner, his Sky. "Wake up! I'm here! I won't leave anymore, I promise to stay! Just wake up, please!"
Mist had gathered around the heartbreaking scene. Scene both Renato and Fon were witnessing from the side. The scene of a Cloud seeing his Sky impacting on the cold concrete after jumping from the tenth floor of an apartment building. The Sky, the woman, Lilien not only spread her blood around the pavement but her Flames were spreading too. They were powerful, very warm, very much like home, like a true Sky. They didn't dare touch them because they knew they would end up like the crying mess that was Skull holding the cooling corpse.
Skull's pained cries resounded in their souls, sharing what was lost. And for a moment they wished, wished that their Sky had been her and not Luce. They envied Skull for having such a Sky but more than that they pitied him for losing her.
A life is being re-lived.
A life is being discussed.
A somewhat calm chapter after all the intensity from the last one. The chapter might look rushed but it's because we already know the story, I am just putting in some relevant details on what is different.
This chapter was almost not posted because the story lost its first place in kudos to Fon's story xD
I was generous and in a good mood to actually write a short chapter for those who were expecting it.
Wake up! I'm here! I won't leave anymore, I promise to stay! Just wake up, please! Wake up!
Calla woke up startled. Tears falling down her small face. She had fallen asleep in the train she had boarded which would take her to Hogwarts.
Her life had made a 180 after that man Hagrid arrived at the shack her and her relatives had run off to after being hounded by letters that admitted her to this Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and discovering she was a witch. Being explained about her parents’ death and the reason of her fame didn’t surprise as much as it should have. Deep inside she felt it was how it was supposed to be so she calmly took the news that her parents were murdered. There were many things that were inexplicably familiar to her even if she hadn’t seen or heard about them before.
Again, she took it all in stride. She was even aware where she could take this train in the 9 ¾ platform. Though she attributed that more to her intuition. Her intuition that told her what to do and how to do it. It was thanks to it that she was able to live a somewhat peaceful life with the Dursleys if she disregarded the neglect and malnutrition. She also sometimes had a feeling of things not being how they were supposed to be. She constantly lived in a contradiction between familiarity and wanting for the reality to be another one.
It was a pent up sensation that finally came out in the form of the dream she just had.
The tearing sobs of a man who she was supposed to know but for the life of her couldn’t remember who he was. The pain, the sorrow, the wrongness in it hurt her like nothing before. But her maturity, something not seen in someone her age, let her deal with the dream as best as she could without falling into hysterics and howling screams. It was the first time she dreamed about it, her first time reacting to it yet she felt she had done an amazing job.
After steadily calming down and regaining her bearing, the door of her compartment opened showing a disheveled red-haired boy.
“May I sit here? Everything else is full.” The boy said with a timid voice. Calla nodded and then ignored him. She didn’t look it but she was still affected by the dream and she didn’t trust her voice to string up a coherent sentence. The boy happily sat down on the seat across her and presented himself. “I’m Ron, Ron Weasley.”
Calla’s vibrant emerald eyes watched him with such intensity that Ron almost ran out of the compartment in fear. “I’m Lily.” She said at the end. She liked her name Calla Lily which came from the Zantedeschia flower, the Fire Dancer, the Orange Beauty with the same name. Honestly, Calla Lilies came in a myriad of colors but she liked the orange ones better. They defined her as well as her middle name. It just felt right.
The boy, Ron Weasley, just nodded and sat in silence not daring to make conversation with the gloomy person in front of him. He even had the idea of leaving and going back to the compartment where his brothers were, no matter if he had to stand their pranks. Though his plan was halted when the door opened rather abruptly.
“Have you seen a toad? Neville here has lost his.” A bushy-haired girl towing an introverted blonde boy behind her asked.
“Neville Longbottom from the Ancient and Noble House of Longbottom, a pureblood.” Calla suddenly said making the compartment fall silent.
“Er, nice to meet you.” Neville shyly replied.
Calla smiled at him. “You will find your toad, don’t worry. It might only be getting acquainted with the train.”
“Uh, thanks, I hope so. It was a gift.” Neville fiddled with his fingers not noticing he was calmly speaking with someone and not stuttering like he always did.
“Do you want to sit?” Calla offered to which Neville nodded and readily sat inside forgetting all about his lost toad, Trevor, striking up an idle conversation with Calla. Pointed coughing interrupted their talking and both raised their heads to look at the bushy-haired girl who looked a bit upset at being ignored. The girl hesitated seeing their attention was on her; specially Calla’s eyes which looked as if they were analyzing every single part of her.
“I…” The girl trailed, her gaze going around the compartment to find something to say. Only then she found that there was another boy inside the compartment. “My name is Hermione Granger, what’s yours?” She even gave the red-haired boy a not so subtle look to help her out.
“Oh, yeah, Ron Weasley.” Luckily, Ron got the message and started a round of presentations. Then the two turned to look at the ones missing.
“Neville Longbottom.” The blonde boy said with a soft voice.
“Calla Lily.” Calla relented knowing very well what the bushy-haired girl was doing. She didn’t mind. After all, she kind of took away her task of helping Neville on the search of the toad.
“Like the flower?” Hermione perked up and familiarly sat in the free seat as if the awkward girl from before wasn’t her.
“Yes, like the flower.”
Calla confirmed and that was all Hermione needed to go on a spiel about how much she knew about flowers, the types, the colors, when they bloomed, where they bloomed, her favorite flowers, why she liked them. And just when she didn’t know what to say about flowers anymore she went to mention there were spells that were used to conjure flowers and then all the spells she had already learned during the summer after she was told she was a witch. How her parents were relieved that the strange things happening around her were for that reason.
The lady with the trolley passed and that gave the three who had been listening to Hermione a break. Though not for long when she began again, this time admonishing them for buying so many candies. That her parents, as dentists, had totally prohibited her from eating them and how bad candies actually were. Finding another topic of conversation, she asked. “What do your parents do?”
“My Mom is at home but my Dad works in the Ministry.” Ron nonchalantly replied a bit used to the constant chatter and noise thanks to his countless brothers and sister, stuffing his face with the candies Calla had bought and shared with everybody.
“What about yours?” Hermione asked Calla and Neville. The latter shrinking a bit on his seat.
“Mine are dead.” Calla breezily said while Neville refused to comment.
“Oh, sorry to hear about that.” Hermione awkwardly said not sure how to continue with the conversation.
“It’s ok, it’s been a long time. I don’t even remember them.” Calla’s calm words rendered the others speechless, more so when she really looked like she wasn’t affected by her parents actually being dead and by consequence being an orphan. Calla herself felt it really had been a long time since she last mourned for her parents. It was like she had spent years and years without them that she didn’t miss them anymore.
The mood became a bit weird between the four until it was thankfully broken when the door of the compartment opened once again showing a platinum-haired boy with two hulking figures behind him.
“I heard Calla Potter was in the train; I came to meet her.” The boy haughtily announced as if it was his right to actually meet Calla Potter. His attitude rubbed wrong with Ron and Hermione who were about to send the arrogant kid away but another voice cut off their words.
“That’s me. Please come in and close the door behind you.” Calla said leaving the others stunned.
The newcomer subconsciously sat beside Neville after closing the door like an obedient child not caring he left the other two boys behind him outside. Only after a couple of minutes in silence did he react.
“You’re Calla Potter?” The blonde boy asked incredulous.
“That’s right. You said you wanted to meet me so…” Calla trailed giving the blonde boy the chance to continue with the conversation.
The blonde boy coughed composing himself, regaining that haughty and arrogant attitude of his. “I’m Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.”
“Very nice to meet you, Draco.” Calla simply replied.
Draco was once again left with no way to continue. Well, he did answer with a “Nice to meet you, too” though after that there was nothing he could say. Calla Potter was not how he thought she would be. Actually, he never had an idea of what Calla Potter was like; his Father had told him he should make friends with Calla Potter because it would help the Malfoy’s status. So far, he had done well, he already was in her compartment but he had no way to strike up a conversation with her. He didn’t know what to do.
“So, what house do you think you will get into?” Luckily they had Hermione the chatter box and she salvaged the mood. Unluckily, the question she asked opened a discussion about which House was better, Gryffindor or Slytherin. It was a relief they were first years and had no real Magical training yet or they would have already taken out their wands and hexed each other silly. They did try though.
Ron was the first to take out his wand and pointed it at Draco who had criticized Gryffindors as a bunch of fools with no brain. Sadly, his attempts at Magic only ended with his wand sputtering miserable sparks earning the contempt laugh of Draco.
Draco knew he was outnumbered so he put a fake courageous façade while his mind was coming up with a hundred ideas of what to do in the case hexes truly were thrown around. His top option was to run away as soon as he could.
Neville just shrank beside Calls not wanting to get into the argument of the other three. Of course he liked Gryffindor House as it was the House his parents belonged to and it didn’t sit right with him that someone said bad things about it. However, he knew he wouldn’t end up there so he thought there was no need to proactively defend it.
Hermione was the only one who could actually pull up a spell among them and she very much wanted to cast one towards the obnoxious Draco. However, she noticed her behavior was somewhat unsightly compared to the composed Calla who was happily looking out the window as if a fight wasn’t taking place in the compartment they were in. So, she forced herself to not act impulsively and kept coming up with valid arguments to defend the House she wanted to be in.
Calla didn’t care if the compartment was lively with chatter or steaming with a fight; it could have been raining cats and dogs inside and she wouldn’t have paid that much attention. She just looked at the sky that was becoming red from the sunset, some far away clouds were tinted in purple signaling the coming of a storm. A deep sense of sorrow and familiarity entered her heart watching those clouds. She just couldn’t figure out from where this feeling came and the increasing noise inside the compartment didn’t let her think. “Stop it.” She commanded with a soft voice.
It was as if a sudden veil had fallen on the arguing children. Their hostility subsided considerably and they just resorted to glaring at each other. Soon the compartment was filled with silence each doing whatever they wanted. The atmosphere lasted until the driver announced they would soon arrive at the station in Hogsmead and they needed to change to their uniforms.
The ride on the boat excited the children witnessing the magnificent view of Hogwarts at night. Calla just looked at it with a strange feeling. Like the magnificence and beauty were all a lie.
True to her words, Neville finally found Trevor just when they entered the castle even if he got the attention of the stern Minerva McGonagall in the process. He just returned to Calla’s side trying to hide from everything. After a nerve-wrecking encounter with real ghosts, the children were taken into the Great Hall where a Hat would sort them into their House. A singing Hat.
Calla watched the sorting with mild interest. All the children around her got into the House they were supposed to go; Hermione got into Gryffindor, Neville too, Malfoy unexpectedly went to Slytherin and just when Professor McGonagall announced her name, everybody in the Hall started talking, whispering and pointing at her while she made her way to the stool and put the Hat on her head.
It was only then that the ones who had rode on the train compartment with her finally realized that they had been with Calla Potter. The famous Calla Potter. They couldn’t conceive how they had let something so important slip their minds. She even had said her name before but they never reacted.
For its part, the Hat was having a hard time sorting Calla. “There is something weird with you, Calla Potter. You belong in this place but at the same time you don’t. Hm, it’s more correct to say that you belong to someone and that someone doesn’t belong here. Curious. Curious. This is the first time I have no idea where to put a person. It looks like you have already proven your bravery, your intuition is better than being cunning and your experience makes you wiser than most adults. Perhaps we can work with that ability of yours.” The Hat mumbled and deliberated inside her mind.
And then yelled for everybody in the Hall. “HUFFLEPUFF!” A second of silence and then confused applause rang in the Hall.
Calla composedly walked towards the black and yellow table with students kind enough to welcome her even if they didn’t expect her to be there. The sorting continued until a Blaise Zabini was put in Slytherin after Ron was sorted into Gryffindor. The feast was very lively and her Hufflepuff peers made her truly feel like she was at home. Something she hadn’t felt since a long time ago.
Coming into the Hufflepuff Common Room was an experience in itself. Tapping a barrel with the rhythm of ‘Helga Hufflepuff’ was impressive and they were told by the Prefect that the entrance even has a mechanism against intruders unlike the other Houses. The House rules were very simple: get along, help each other and work hard. Calla liked it very much, the same as the cosy and warm feeling everything in it exuded.
Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones and Megan Jones became her roommates. They were nice girls even if Hannah was a bit presumptuous, Susan somewhat uptight and Megan too shy. The three were inwardly excited to be in the same house as Calla Potter but after knowing and talking to her, for some reason, the excitement evaporated and only acceptance and harmony was left between the four. That saved Calla a headache of explaining over and over that she wasn’t someone special.
And that was her trump card.
Born from her Sky Flames.
Calla Lily Potter was not only a witch, she was also a Sky.
A toddler in a suit and a toddler in red coincidently met in a bar in Italy. The two sat in silence sipping their drinks, juice. It had been a hard time to get used to the toddler body; there were things they couldn’t eat, things they couldn’t drink and many more things they couldn’t do that generated frustration among them. Some got used to it rather quickly but others not so much. The toddler in red was one who easily accepted his fate and the toddler in a suit was the one who had raged and rampaged not believing that had happened to him.
But there they were, calmly enjoying the ambiance of the bar with no one trying to get close to them.
“Do you have any news of Skull?” Asked the toddler in red after finishing his juice and ordering another one.
“It is said that a toddler in purple just joined the Carcassa Famiglia becoming one of the commanders.” The toddler in suit relayed the information he got.
“You think it’s Skull?”
“The lackey has no taste so it can only be him joining such deplorable Famiglia.” The toddler in suit scoffed. The Carcassa Famiglia was famous for its drug dealing business as well as other illicit activities.
“He’s the only one with enough reasons to join whichever Famiglia not caring about anything anymore.” The toddler in red said.
There was nothing that could be said to that because it was true. Skull was the one who got the shortest straw in all this Arcobaleno thing. They witnessed it. They heard him. They felt for him. The two sighed at the same time clearly thinking about the same. They kept quiet for the rest of the night.
Calla and Skull are going down their own path. However, their paths still cross one way or another.
Edit: Just fixing some stuff, don't mind it (June 12th)
Forgive me for this short chapter but this fic is one that is hard to write, not because I don't know about the plot but because I fail to portray the characters feelings sometimes.
Either way, enjoy today's chapter. This fic is just ONE kudo above Fon's story and hasn't changed since yesterday xD
‘Where do you want to go next?’
‘I go wherever my Sky goes.’
‘That’s not true, like the clouds, you go wherever you want.’
‘But that’s only if my Sky guiding me.’
Calla looked up at the blue sky from down the field her and her classmates were having their first Flying class. Madam Hooch, the flying instructor, was going about what they had to do and not do during her classes. She then looked down and the old broom laying on the ground beside her. Actually, she thought that flying on robes was very cumbersome; they were too long and too… extravagant to be flying on an old broom, or any broom. The school should invest on a P.E. uniform, just like the ones she had in Primary.
“Alright, stand on the left side of the broom and say, very loudly and with feeling, UP!” Madam Hooch said.
The field resounded with the cries from the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw first year students summoning their brooms. Some were successful at the first try, others had to put a bit more effort into it and a few couldn’t summon it no matter how loud they were. It was normal, though. Brooms were not temperamental or had almost a mind of their own like wands yet the Magic to summon a broom needed determination. If the broom detected a hint of hesitation, then it wouldn’t so much as move. That was all the Spells and Charms inlaid in them that prevented newbies to have an accident for not handling them correctly.
“Those who weren’t able to summon their brooms, pick them from the ground.” Madam Hooch relented seeing the poor students with an embarrassed face for being the only ones without their brooms in their hands. “Now, mount your brooms.”
Mounted on their brooms, Madam Hooch went around the students correcting them on their grip and/or their position on the broom so they wouldn’t slid off as soon as they were flying.
“Very well, to make your broom lift off you have to tap the ground with force. To make it land you just have to lean forward slightly. You will practice it, now.” As soon as the whistle rang, the students tried her instructions.
The class was once again divided in three groups. The first was the group that did fine and had no major issues with flying a broom; even Calla did well despite not been introduced to a flying broom before like many of this group had been. The second group were of those who were a bit shaky on the broom but otherwise had a good grip on it, preventing accidents. Then there was the small group of those who couldn’t even make the broom take off. There were always students who had a rough beginning when it came to Flying classes but did well at the end. At least it was better than falling off the broom.
“I heard Neville Longbottom from Gryffindor had an accident during their Flying class. He broke his wrist.” Commented Susan, who was hovering on Calla’s right. She had no problems with her broom but she still paid close attention to it, not wanting to be like poor Neville.
“I also heard that he lost an object his Grandma had sent him.” Added Hannah on Calla’s left.
The two girls did idle talk. Suddenly, Justin Finch-Fletchley’s broom lost control and bumped into Susan who shrieked and almost fell off the broom if it wasn’t for Calla who timely grabbed the sleeve of Susan’s robe. Robes were useful after all, Calla thought while she descended to place Susan safely on the ground.
“I-I’m sorry, Susan!” Justin apologized from up his broom that had stabilized.
“That’s ok, Justin. Accidents happen.” Susan dismissed but was still a bit shaky from the fright she just received.
“I… that’s right, but…” Justin hemmed and hawed for a few seconds before descending too. “I still can’t control the broom, so I better stay on the ground.” He reflected and decided. As a Muggleborn, he took the House rules very seriously and tried his best not to be a bother for someone else. He just needed to work hard in the next class to get hang of flying on a broom.
Calla looked around and noticed that all the people who hadn’t tried flying on the brooms were all Muggleborns. She should have been with them if it weren’t for that sense of familiarity that guided her on how to do things. It was a bit unfair, in her opinion, to just throw these kids to the water that was the Wizarding World and expect them to safely swim. Hermione had said that Professor McGonagall was very helpful with all kind of information her and her parents asked of this new Community. But she guessed not all Muggleborns were that enthused by the Wizarding World.
These kids had grown believing they would go to Secondary, then College, to then either look for a job or go to the University. Yet being told they were Wizards and Witches had ruined all that plan because it seemed it was forbidden for Muggleborns or Muggle-raised to go about with their Magic untrained. And so, it was these same students that would most likely finish this Magical education to then go back to the Muggle world and do something more familiar than trying on unknown, and probably not lucrative, waters.
Magical education really was nothing to some of these students. Perhaps Calla thought the same.
“Those who have gotten used to the broom can fly around the place at a higher altitude to leave some space to those who still need to familiarize themselves with their brooms.” Madam Hooch suddenly said. “Those who are on the ground, we are going to steadily do all the steps again.”
“I’m going up.” Calla told Susan and Justin and easily mounted her broom to join those who were already flying higher.
The rowdy environment of those who were familiar with riding brooms since small put a damp on Calla's mood, so she flew around the edges of the bunch. More than once there was a subtle feeling inside her that enchanted her to be a bit more reckless on the broom, to let everybody know that Calla Lily Potter was better than the rest, though she managed to squash it successfully. Being reckless was something of the past. Her gaze locked on the blue sky, enjoying the warm sun, the cool breeze and the puffy clouds. She constantly found herself looking at the clouds lately; since that dream on the train.
“Watch out!” A boy cried out from behind her.
Calla was still looking at the clouds as she fell. She didn’t register the cries from her classmates or the actions of that boy who bumped into her trying to catch her. Her eyes never strayed from the clouds. She had some sort of déjà vu of her falling down but as long as she could remember she had never fallen down this high up. If she did, she wouldn’t be alive. In a flash, the bright sky turned into a dark one with rain falling, lightning flashing and she was falling.
She started and involuntarily cried out.
Skull woke up startled and gasping for air. He inwardly curse. It was that dream again. He mirthlessly laughed. Once upon a time, it was Lilien who had been hounded by dreams but since that day it had been him. Over and over again, the same scene: Lilien falling down that building, her body impacting on the concrete, her blood spilling on the ground and her Flames spreading like a blanket; like saying her final goodbye. He hadn’t had a nice sleep in a while; every time he closed his eyes, images of Lilien appeared. When she was a kid, a teenager and then a young woman. Always together with him.
He shouldn’t have left her alone that day.
That statement had become his sin, his punishment, his torture. He was bound to never atone for what he did to her and he never looked to do so; after all, living with the thought that he left her to die was his way to ask her for forgiveness. And to remind himself that no matter how errant he should be, his Sky was always first, should have always been first. He closed his eyes again. By that time, he didn’t mind if it was in nightmares but he wanted to see her. Only in his dreams, he could see her.
It was a bright day; he couldn’t see it but he knew. Lilien was looking at him from below. She was wearing weird clothes and looked younger, eleven or twelve. She was looking at him with a contented smile. He couldn’t keep his eyes off her so he failed to notice she wasn’t alone until a boy bumped into her and then she was falling. He extended his arm but he knew he couldn’t save her. Just like that day, he could only see her fall to her doom. The boy was trying to do what he ached to achieve. She kept looking at him while falling and for a moment she was back to being that young woman he loved having in his arms.
He didn’t want to lose her again. Even in his dreams he couldn’t afford it. Yet there was nothing he could do but call out for her.
She was looking and then she opened her mouth letting him hear her voice once again.
Skull was woken up from his dream. One of his subordinates had shaken him awake to tell him they were near their objective. Mafia Land. The Carcassa Famiglia had been trying for years to take possession of the resort and get all the earnings for themselves. As soon as he entered the Famiglia, he had been tasked with the job. As an Arcobaleno, he was believed to be strong like his senior or like Fon, but he knew well he wasn’t like them. He wasn’t like the old Skull either. He had lost the vision of who he was. With his Sky gone, there was no one to guide him.
Coming out of his room in the ship, he couldn’t help looking up at the blue sky; his dream still fresh in his mind. Lilien had a contented smile but he looked at him with longing; as if she wanted nothing but to be by his side. The same eyes she sported when he said he was going out for a while. What he loved about her eyes was that despite the unwillingness they reflected when he left, they would sparkle when he came back to her.
Many times he wanted to know what kind of eyes she had when she fell down. In his dream, she even had the nerve to look at him disapprovingly, as if not liking what he had been doing to himself. He recognized that side of her as the Sky side, that one that worried about him and told him what was best. The only time he hadn’t listened to her, he lost her. So he vowed to himself that even if it was in dreams, he didn’t want her to look at him with those eyes.
“We have arrived, sir.”
His subordinate took him out of his thoughts. Mafia Land was before him, unaware of the danger that would rain upon it. Looking at his subordinates... well, the Carcassa Famiglia's subordinates, he sighed.
First and only one.
“Prepare for the attack in five minutes.”
“So it’s you, Lal.” A toddler in a suit commented seeing the informant assigned to him for this particular mission.
“Long time no see, Reborn.” A toddler with a visor, combat gear and crimson cape sat beside the toddler in a suit. The meeting point was an ice cream shop.
“You are working for the CEDEF now?” Reborn asked, scooping his gelato.
“It’s not as surprising as you taking missions for the Vongola.” Lal Mirch retorted.
“So, what do you have for me?” Reborn asked giving an abrupt end to that particular conversation.
Lal Mirch rummaged her pockets and took out a single page consisting of the main information of the target, what Reborn was supposed to do, where he could find the target and many other details necessary for the mission. Lal thought she would meet with a Varia squad but it seemed Nono Vongola wanted to leave the mission to an outsider. The CEDEF couldn’t meddle with the main Vongola with normal missions, anyway, so there was nothing they could say. The CEDEF itself was in a difficult period as it was changing Boss, so they couldn’t focus too much on the main Vongola.
But well, if the Vongola wanted to trust someone with their missions, then trusting Reborn was a good option. That reminded her. “I heard you have been keeping a tab on Skull.”
Reborn paused from reading the information he was given. “I just like to know where the lackey is to easily order him around.”
Lal Mirch didn’t swallow that excuse but let the Hitman be. She analyzed the events of that day and was surprised to know that Skull had a Sky. She believed Checker Face wanted for Luce to be everybody’s Sky, Lal Mirch herself was starting a bond yet it easily broke under the pressure of the Arcobaleno Curse. Just that half-formed bond left her uncomfortable and sick for days; she couldn’t imagine what Skull had felt at that moment. And getting a job in the CEDEF helped her get information about her fellow Arcobalenos.
Luce had given birth to a girl but died not long after. Fon had gone back to China and started training with his new body. Verde had been asked by countless Famiglias dedicated to technology to join them. Reborn was still independent but seemed to favor the Vongola Famiglia. Viper had changed their name to Mammon and entered the Varia. That idiot Colonnello had sequestered himself in Mafia Land to act as its guardian. And Skull had joined the Carcassa Famiglia.
“He left the Carcassa Famiglia.” Lal confided the latest intel the CEDEF had received about the Cloud Arcobaleno.
“They left him leave just like that?” Reborn incredulously inquired. The Carcassa Famiglia was a vicious Famiglia that only let their member leave after beating them half dead and rendering the Mafioso a cripple and basically useless to continue their Mafia career. Reborn wouldn’t be surprised if Skull was beaten half dead by them.
“He did ‘that’, so there was no fight.” ‘That’ referred to Skull’s ability to Propagate feelings. If he used it to inflict terror upon all the Carcassa Famiglia, then there truly wasn’t any need to fight.
“Where is he, now?” Reborn curiously asked.
Lal shrugged. “He could be anywhere. You must understand what it feels to lose a Sky.”
“I don’t.” Reborn replied looking at Lal a bit weird
“You don’t? What about Luce?” She inquired.
“What about her? We didn’t Harmonize.” Reborn plainly confessed.
Lal Mirch’s eyes widened. “I thought you did. With how close you were to her…” She trailed off. “We even thought her baby was yours.” She mumbled remembering one of the talks she had had with the other Arcobalenos about Reborn and Luce's relationship.
Reborn coughed. “Don’t go gossipy on me, Lal. That baby was from one of the members of her Famiglia, she didn’t tell me who though.” He even almost fell off his chair from the fright. “Haven’t you heard of the saying ‘keep your friends close and your enemies even closer’?”
“You considered her your enemy?” It was Lal’s time to almost fall off her chair.
“Not really, but the lackey was right; Luce was not a good person. We wouldn’t be like this if she were. Anyway, I’m going off to begin the mission.” Reborn said jumping down his chair and walking out the shop leaving a pensive Lal.