Preview: The Beginning of a New Era
Ombric Shalazar was a strange man, no one would deny that. But strangeness only seemed to make the wizard smile. Granted, he shouldn't be in this place for starters, although admitted he had been offered the seat as headmaster countless of times for his greatness and wisdom, and being the only survivor from the sunken city of Atlantis only added a plus on his certification.
But alas, the old professor was flattered every time the matters were brought up, yet he declined the offer each and every time. He was more to teaching the students and keeping an eye on them rather than being the one to serious business and boring work behind a desk all day. All right, that was not what the headmaster only did, but Ombric was just more of a people's person, children's person than anything else.
So his old friend, Lunar, had taken that position as headmaster. Admitted, the smiling and friendly Man in the Moon did not show himself for jinxes, he kept himself high in space to watch over the children of the world and he took his job very seriously. But on occasions, he would come down to Hogwarts and bring a good atmosphere to the school, a pleasant feeling for the students to feel secure and safe. With Pitch Black out of the picture and the magical world - as well as the Muggles world - being secure once again, MiM had taken the opportunity to get closer to some of these children and the results of his bare presence had given good results.
So, why was Ombric in the Headmaster's office anyway, you may ask. He wasn't deputy headmaster, no, Nicholas - brave, jolly, old Nicholas St. North - had been happy to accept that post. But even the previous Cossack could use a helping hand now and then.
So that was what he did.
Professor Ombric Shalazar reflected that every student who came into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was exceptional in his or her own way. All of them had unique magical gifts or backgrounds, or perhaps even both. He also reflected that some years had exceptionally extraordinary students, unique to anyone else coming to the school. This year would be one of those years, except that this year was going to be different than any other extraordinary year. Ombric knew this. Never before had so many students with such uniquely extraordinary backgrounds been accepted to Hogwarts. He reflected that, perhaps, there never would be so many ever again.
Four students - yes, four unique students - each with a different and amusing tale to tell than the next. This may well mark the beginning of a particularly fantastic era for Hogwarts, thought Shalazar.
And each of the four had been… well, they had been recent developments. He had only just received word of the whereabouts of a most curious girl. Rapunzel Corona. What was unusual about her was that she and her mother had lived secluded within the deep forests of her home, dwelling within a tall tower, isolated from the world around them. What interested Ombric Shalazar more than the curious living arrangement though was that the girl's powers were rather unusually well-developed for an eleven-year-old, who seemed to only know of her hair's special abilities. The mother was a witch and Ombric Shalazar had no knowledge of the girl's father. His guess would be that he had most likely perished and the poor mother had to raise the child on her own. Actions like these were, after all, not unusual.
Then there was the daughter of the Baron and Baroness in the Highlands. Despite being very high in status, the family was known for living according to their traditional ways. It was, Ombric thought, a place where time did not seem to matter, but then again, which Pureblood family did not seem to live in the past.
Horses were used for transportation, a stone castle being used as a home, and swords, bows and arrows for weapons had not in the slightest gone "out of style", as they put it. What was new - relatively new - was the Quidditch matches not too far from the Castle of DunBroch. With their grand broom production being said to be the best in the wizarding world, it was neither a surprise for a place to hold Quidditch in the Highlands nor was it a surprise that the family living there never went out of money. Not to mention the reputation they'd grown over the many generations never fell behind, especially not when their reputation involved being not only great Aurors, but also always bearing the blood of a True Gryffindor.
It had only recently come to Ombric's attention that the girl in the family, Merida DunBroch, had inherited her parents' magic abilities, but Ombric was not complaining. He was actually quite delighted for it. He could already imagine the students thinking up tales of the girl with royal blood.
And then the most peculiar case of them all. The Viking village and the son of their chief. If the DunBroch's old traditions went almost unaffected by time, then the Vikings of Berk were completely oblivious that the rest of the world had left the Dark Ages. Ombric had, of course, heard of such a place, an archipelago filled with several islands inhabited by Vikings off the coast of the other nearby archipelago, the Faroe Islands. He had guessed that the village that never aged and other places like it would be filled with magic. Wizard settlements often stuck to traditional habits and old ways, as wizards and witches themselves were quite reluctant to change. And correct he was. The village of Berk was filled with magicians, although it had surprised him to listen to the sad tales of how some would leave the island to seek far better places to settle and live in after they'd receive their education. Of course, many stayed due to stubbornness issues, and due to their Viking traditions. And obviously, due to the common dragon raids there happened around Berk, most Vikings - let them be Muggles or Wizards or Witches - still stayed and fought back, trying to reclaim their peace from the demons Pitch Black had corrupted years prior. And yet, it was the same reason to why some left.
However, the case with the boy at hand was a very special case.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III had never seemed to inherit his mother's magic abilities nor his father's build, and was thought to be a squib as well as a runt for a Viking. Granted, there had been some small tweaks and unexplained cases, but the island had also other teens that possessed magic abilities and it could highly have been from them.
As the boy and his comrades lived in close proximity to Durmstrang Institute - or so Ombric guessed, not knowing the exact whereabouts of the school - they should have been set to go to that far northern magic academy. Although, due to their close location to Scotland as well, it wasn't exactly uncommon for them to get an education at Hogwarts either - though this was rarely the first choice, but a choice nonetheless as children received both a letter from Durmstrang and Hogwarts by the time they reached eleven. Where they would go was up to them.
The case that interested him most of all, however, was that of the boy from America, Jackson Overland. Any other would look at the boy and wonder why, but Shalazar knew that although he seemed a perfectly ordinary young wizard, his case was the most intriguing of all. As Ombric Shalazar understood it, the boy's father, a wizard praised for his work as head-auror for the Ministry of Magic, had been born in America before moving to study magic in England like his parents, and as for what Ombric had heard, returned with a fine muggle woman to his home country where he raised a family. The father had made sure his son and daughter - should they inherit his powers - were registered to be students at Hogwarts, where he had received his own education. Ombric had only found out recently that this would be the case, as he had assumed anyone in the United States would be enrolled in the American school.
Shalazar did know the exact circumstances of the father's sudden disappearance, but knew next to nothing if he had succeeded to tell his family what he was before he vanished. Or rather, gone into battle. After all, according to Ombric's sources, James Overland along many others had fought head-on against Pitch Black years prior, few managing to return and James had not been one of them.
This was not what fascinated Ombric, though. James' son, on the other hand, now that was a different story. Like with Rapunzel Corona, Jackson Overland's powers were not only very well-developed, but he also had an incredible amount of control over these powers for a boy so young. And his abilities were… well, they were rather unusual. Only a week ago, he had caused an accident involving an avalanche - an avalanche in the middle of summer! The American magical authorities had a grand time with that one. And about a month before that, he gave the students of his elementary school a snow day. It was rather difficult for the magical authorities to find a way to explain away a snow day at the ending of May, and there was an overly amount for using the memory charm the following days.
It seemed that Mr. Overland had a real knack for weather magic. Indeed, there had hardly been any incidents that did not involve snow, ice or wind - and there had been plenty of incidents over the years. Peculiar this boy was, just like his father.
"You seem more occupied than usual."
At the smooth voice from the doorway, Ombric looked up from the paper work, just the slightest startled that someone had entered his current sanctuary, if you may. He gave, however, a gently smile at the tall, slim figure moving gracefully into the office.
"Ah, Kozmotis! What a pleasant surprise to see you!"
Said man who just had his name voiced out loud in the most sugary sweet tone - at least it was for him - gave a nod of acknowledgment before moving to stand beside his colleague. "I wonder, what has made you be in such a pleasant mood? As far as I know, you are not fond of the job as Headmaster, let alone something near such a high position." When the wizard gave a laugh and shook his head, Kozmotis cracked his thin lips up into a razor-like smile, his eyes darting to the four letters Ombric had seemed to be amused by. "Unique students?"
"Ah, I have never seen such a wonderful sight of potential children!"
At the man's statement, Professor Pitchiner could only chuckle. "You haven't even encountered these pupils, yet you claim to know everything about their special abilities? Ombric."
"Well, of course not. But their backgrounds are extraordinary, Kozmotis, and I can't help the feeling that these children, these four children, are meant to something special."
His excitement was overwhelming, something the former Auror clearly took notice of. The way his colleague practically beamed in enthusiasm for these coming students send a tinge of strange discomfort through his stomach. Something just seemed… off about them. In a negative way or positive way, Kozmotis couldn't determine. He knew that when Ombric Shalazar had these feelings of greatness-to-come in students, he was not overreaction. At least, not often. Still, Professor Pitchiner could only wonder what made these particular four children so special that it made his gut twist and turn in the most strangest behaviour. Surely he could sense the way those four names would somehow, in some way, meet at one point and bind something big and fight greatness.
Suddenly, Ombric swept the letters into his hands, giving only the one of them to his bewitched colleague who just cocked an eyebrow at the action. "I would be satisfied if you could deliver this to Nicholas. Jackson Overland and his family lives in America and, dare I say, our Deputy Headmaster seems to be best qualified for this kind of job. Besides, he's the closest one to this family, so the message should be easier to swallow if he tells the boy about his powers and his father." Ombric paused then glanced at the letter held in his hand which held Jackson's acceptation for Hogwarts. "But, make sure to tell North not to make a big show and startle the boy and his mother when he arrives. He may be all jolly and gentle, but—"
"—Even he has his unlucky moments. I understand," Kozmotis finished, gently taking the papers from the great wizard's hands. "Very well then. Is there anything else I can do to ease your current burden?"
"Asking you to do this wouldn't be too much, would it?"
Both professors chuckled at Ombric's statement, Professor Pitchiner leaving for the exit. "Your habit of avoiding stressed out work never seem to stop amuse me, old friend. Unfortunately, I have my own business to attend to. I merely came by to see if help was needed. Clearly, it seems my hunch was correct." He gave a gentle smile to his friend, his tan skin illuminated in the dim glow of lit torches just before he disappeared out the door.
Ombric nodded understanding, fumbling with the remaining letters in his hands. He gave a hum as his answer just as the door clicked, announcing that he was alone yet again in the headmaster's office. He glanced up at said headmaster, the smiling Tsar Lunar's presence calming him down just a bit. He exhaled the breath he didn't even noticed he held.
"I don't know why, dear friend, but something tells me these students really are meant to do something incredible. But what and why, I wish I just knew."
His answer to his indirect question was obviously predictable. Mere silence, though a flicker of the light told Ombric that the Man in the Moon felt something coming, too. What it was and when it would come, not even he knew. And even if he did, fate wouldn't allow him to speak his mind before it arrived.