Tengu and Ninja's Daughter by StarFeather
Summary: Someone will go hunting Kappa's eggs.
Categories: SIYE Challenges, Magical Creatures Challenge (2017-3)
Tengu and Ninja's Daughter by StarFeather
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Author's Notes:
"Look at that messy black hair. I don't reckon his blood traitor mother loved him. I wonder where she is now. South America? Is he happy that mother spends most of her time abroad?" Scorpius Malfoy sniggered with his mates.
Albus turned around, touching the cypress wand in his pocket with his left hand. Malfoy's provocative grey eyes met Albus' green eyes. Albus tried to remember the Bat Bogey hex his mother had taught him after he'd been chased by Daily Prophet reporters.
Rose Weasley stopped him and whispered, "Concentrate on your textbook. If you don't, Professor Malfoy will..." but she wasn't given time to finish.
Professor Malfoy's lips curled into sneer, "Your father will be disappointed to know your Potions ability is low like him, Potter," he kept taunting Albus. "Where can we find white turmeric?"
Albus had no idea where to find the herb. Rose stood up, her hand stretched high into the air. Albus glanced sideways at Scorpius as he began shaking with laugher.
"I don't know, sir."
"Southeast Asia. How does kappa produce young ones?" Malfoy asked again.
Albus flipped through the Potions textbook, but he couldn't find the description at all. He nudged Rose to tell him the answer. She frowned and muttered, "I don't think kappa is the name of a herb. We'd better check Newt Scamander's textbook. Do you have one in your bag?"
Albus rummaged among the books inside the bag, and finally grabbed the one she was talking about.
"Ten points from Gryffindor for Rose Weasley talking with Albus Potter. Whispering is strictly prohibited in class," Draco Malfoy declared coolly.
It was too late for him to find the old textbook. Albus bit his lips, and put the textbook on the desk. He flipped to page 43 in his father's textbook. Though the Potters lived a wealthy life, Albus' mother Ginny carried out the policy ‘live a simple life'. She didn't mind if her children used secondhand textbooks. Her own mother, Molly Weasley, had done the same thing because she had had to bring up seven children, so Ginny was comfortable doing the same.
Albus stared at his father's scribble: Snape hasn't read this either*. He thought of Severus Snape, the man he'd been named after. His father used to repeat the same old story about the brave Severus Snape, and the reason that he was named after the courageous Slytherin. He kept staring at the same page and noticed the explanation about Kappa under the scribbling by his father. He remembered the story Hagrid had told him last summer.
"Kappa love cucumber. They don' suck blood from humans if yeh throw them a cucumber," the grey-haired half-giant had said.
Ever since he could remember his father had taken him, James and Lily to the Burrow and every summer Hagrid had joined them to celebrate Harry's birthday. Out of all Harry's kids, Hagrid was fondest of Albus, because Albus resembled his father the most.
His older brother James resembled after their mother the most and had already gotten onto the Quidditch team as a Gryffindor Chaser. Albus was going to join the tryouts for Seeker this weekend. His thoughts jumped into Quidditch things during Potions class. As he hated to be mistreated by Malfoy, he felt relieved when Malfoy dismissed the class.
He was going to visit James in the pitch as usual, but remembered the Potions essay he had for homework and changed his plan. He dropped by Hagrid's hut. Hagrid was sitting at the scrubbed wooden table with his boarhound Fang II with his head in Hagrid's lap.
"How's the classes? Did yeh enjoy them?" asked Hagrid. Albus liked his smiling silver-grey hairy face very much.
"Potions sucks. I hate Draco Malfoy. I wish my father could find out what he's up to. He should be sent to Azkaban," Albus blurted out.
"He's getting better. You oughta call him Professor. What're you studying?"
"I need your help, Hagrid. I have to write an essay about a habitat of kappa and tengu."
"Why does he want ter know about them? Malfoy hated Care of Magical Creatures class during his days at Hogwarts. Is the essay ter do with Potions?"
"I don't know." Albus shrugged.
"Well, then. There's an interesting story."
"What story?" Albus asked, when Rose appeared in the hut.
"Albus, it was mean of you to come here alone!" she huffed, sitting down on another big wooden chair.
Hagrid grinned at her and said, "Well, this story is worth tellin' ter two listeners."
Albus was sitting at the table near the four-poster beds. He picked up his quill and started writing his essay. He didn't want to put it off till the next weekend, because to his delight he had been chosen to be Seeker for the Gryffindor team, and had a practice on the weekend. He was sure Rose would write better, if she was here, but the story Hagrid had told them was very interesting and he didn't hesitate to start writing. He picked up his quill and chewed the tip of it for a while. Then he began writing his essay.
(Albus's essay for Potions class)
On the borders of Gifu and Shiga, there was a small village where Kouga ninjas lived in.
Saki was fifteen years old, the daughter of the chieftain. She was a very spirited girl, who ran up the hills, went fishing and performed swordplay with the boys in her childhood. She had an old playmate, his name was Shota, but he had been missing since she was seven years old. His father was one of Saki's father's men and they had exchanged an engagement promise between their children. She had been dreamed to marry Shota since she had first known him while they played at swordfighting in the field near the bamboo forest when they were just seven years old. They were too young to fall in love with each other, but they both knew that they got along well. In the winter they ran, throwing snow balls with fellow kids. They collected the cherry blossom petals from the ground in spring, went fishing in summer, made a small boat of leaves and floated it on the stream. They practiced throwing shuriken, the ninja blades, into the mark on the trunk of the big zelkova tree. In autumn, they climbed the chestnut tree, and shook the nuts off the tree.
Their farewell was so sudden. When she dropped by his house as she normally did, his mother was frantic, telling her that they had lost Shota. They had found his futon in his bedroom empty in the chilly early morning. She couldn't understand why he was missing. Their parents and other people searched for the body of Shota in the deep pond and by the river bank. Saki didn't want to imagine that he had drowned but she was so scared that a Kappa had drowned the young boy in the river or in the pond.
The Kappa was a magical creature who preferred living at the shore of the lake, on the peat bog, in the swamp and behind the water fall, all kinds of places with water. It looked like a monkey with fish scales, and had a hollow on the top of its head which carried water in. When its water dried up, they said it would die.
The villagers couldn't find Shota, and started believing that he had been drowned by the Kappa. They began to offer cucumber on the shore of the lake every autumn when he was lost.
Saki had reached adolescence now. She stopped playing in the field with boys though she never stopped practice of shuriken. As usual she trained herself, throwing the star-shaped blades into the mark on the trunk for an hour. She looked up into the sky, at the orange glow of sunset creating the magical color above, the fluffy carpet of the clouds spread endlessly over the space above her, decorated with various colored stripes; orange, pink, light blue and white. The crows flew back to their homes, croaking in the sky. Then she saw a white bird flying among them, no, a creature like a human-being clad in a white kimono was flying in the air. He had a red face, and his nose was very big and long. He was wearing a pair of wooden clogs, a kind of shoes, and with a magical feather fan in his hand. Was it a tengu? She couldn't believe her eyes. The creature flew away beyond the fluffy clouds, flapping the white wings on his back gracefully.
When the grass glistened with morning dew Saki passed by the humid old big oak trees, feeling someone watching over her. She looked up. A handsome young man was sitting in a tree.
"Hello. You're good at shooting shuriken but they hurt the trunk of the tree." His voice was gentle like a soft cotton blanket and the warm moonbeams were emitted from his eyes. The gaze reminded her of something familiar to her.
"Who are you?" she asked.
The young man vanished from the tree and appeared standing in front of her.
He spoke, "I was a son of Ninja. But now I'm not. This figure of mine you see now will soon be changed to a different one."
"What's your name? We've lost a boy about seven years ago." Saki had a faint hope. She thought that the young man might be Shota.
But the young man said, "I can't remember. I was brought up by them. I'm a leader of their tribe."
Saki thought he was too young to be a leader of a tribe and asked, "What tribe?"
"I can't tell you. I must leave now." Then he vanished again and she couldn't see his figure any more.
How can just I let you walk away
Just let you leave without a trace **
The stolen child was Shota. How had he endured the loneliness after he was forced to be apart from his family? Saki wondered. He must be Shota. She remembered the beautiful dark brown eyes, his gentle voice. He could use a kind of magic. She couldn't find a single trace to find him. She hoped she would see him again in the next early morning.
Early next morning, the spattering rain wet the footpath between the rice fields. She came to the same big trunk of the oak tree. She called, "Shota, are you there?"
She heard the leaves in the tree rustle and she glanced up to see him appearing in the tree.
He spoke, "I had a hunch you would come here again. Then you came. I'm happy to see you again." But he didn't try to go down to the spot there she was standing.
"Why don't you come down from the tree? I want to talk with you for a while," she shouted in the rain.
"You would soon be soaked with rain. Climb up here."
She started climbing and sat on a bough next to him. She felt every breath he exhaled every time he spoke. His breath smelled wild pears.
"Do you like pears?" she asked.
He smiled and said, "Yeah. Do you?"
"Yes, I do. Can I call you Shota?"
He thought for a while and finally answered, "Yeah. What can I call you?"
"Call me Saki." As you did seven years ago. She said to herself in her mind.
They had a long chat about what each life was like, animals and insects in the mountains. She wanted to talk with him like this forever.
When she tried to ask about his magical power, he said, "I have to go. See you again tomorrow morning, perhaps?"
Then he vanished making a pop sound.
When she came back home, her father was searching for something everywhere. She asked him, "What's the matter?"
"Someone stole my sword. Yesterday Sasuke's arrows and bow were stolen. Tengus must have stolen them. The battle is coming. We have to support our king. Tengus will support our enemies." He stomped away.
Saki had a bad feeling about the battle. The battle would destroy everything. It would demolish nature. It would destroy the village, the forest and the river she loved. She had lost her uncle and Shota's grandfather in the last battle between Genji and Heike. Two tribes, Genji and Heike had been fighting for a long time. Saki's father and Shota's father, Sasuke had supported the king of Genji. It was said Tengu, a tribe of magical creatures, had supported the king of Heike. She had never seen Tengu. It was said that most of them had the shapes of human-beings with beaks. Only the leader had a human mouth instead of a beak.
It had rained heavily for three days. She couldn't visit the big old oak tree. When she woke up early in the beautiful morning, she hurried to the spot. She called his name but she couldn't hear his voice at all. She was leaving there then felt dripping from above on her head. She glanced up and started climbing the trunk. When she reached the top, she found Shota lying on the bough exhausted. She was stunned to see he had wings on the back. His dripping wings were beautiful. She was mesmerized by the glistening feathers and tried to touch. But Shota jerked up noticing her, and vanished.
How can you just walk away from me
When all I can do is watch you leave? ***
After Rose finished reading Albus's essay, she muttered, "Albus, did you mention how kappa produce young ones?"
Albus caught his off guard and tried to remember the description of kappa on his essay. He barely managed to remember the part and said, "Eh, Hagrid told us only how they looked like and where to live, didn't he?"
"No, he didn't. He didn't know it, either. We have to go to the library."
Rose dragged him into the library. When they reached to the East Asia section, they encountered a person they didn't want to the most. Scorpius Malfoy was sitting in the secluded spot behind the book shelves. He sensed them and glanced up.
He frowned at them and said, "I don't want to see your face here. Go find somewhere else to sit!"
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