Bonds of Friendship (part 1)
Another School Year, Another ...
Location: Ravenclaw girls dormatory
Timeline: In the middle of "Dealing with Disaster (part 2)"
Upon arriving in her room Ayano let go of Jen's hand and went over to trunk. once there she opened it up and started pulling out a bunch of different books that were written in both Japanese and English, then she pulled out her flute and sword followed by several different stacks of really old thin bamboo planks that were coated in lacquer on one side, linked together with fabric bindings and bearing her clan's symbol along with both the english and japanese text stating 'history of the Aoi-hawke clan'.
Jen looked at each item as it was pulled out with both curiosity and appreciation. "They're beautiful," she said. "Do you play the flute?"
"Yes. I can also play the Cello, it's my favorite." Ayano replied as she sat down on the edge of her bed and motioned for Jen to join her. "These books are all the healing based Alchemy books that my mother passed down to my brother. he has since passed them down to me and has been teaching their contents to me..." She trailed off as she handed one of the English translated ones to Jen to view. it was written originally in japanese so everything was written vertically from top to bottom and as a result the english translation that was next to the japanese calligraphy was written the same way. "Brother still has the other ones that he calls the dark ones, whatever that means." She explained.
Jen sat down and took the book and looked through it carefully. "This is amazing. Have you shown the Potions master any of this? It might be of great use to the Wizarding world." Then Jen answered Ayano's question, "No, you shouldn't be messing around with dark magic. That caused a lot of trouble when Voldemort and the Death Eaters rose to power."
"Brother doesn't know dark magic but he does know how to create poisons and other nasty things through alchemy. Maybe that's what he means by 'the dark ones.' I am not sure though because he always changes the subject when i ask him about it." Ayano responded softly.
"He also made me both that flute and the sword." Ayano said as she presented both to Jen for viewing. "If you draw the blade please be very careful. the cutting edge is razor sharp." She warned.
Jen pulled the sword out just enough to look at the blade. "This is beautiful," she said, sheathing it again. Then she picked up the flute and looked it over carefully, admiring the craftsmanship.
Ayano giggled a bit. "it's made of 10 year old Bamboo. sounds pretty good. May I..." she asked before taking the flute and played a song that her brother told her was an old lullaby. After a moment she stopped and gave a disgruntled face. "Still not as good as brother. grrrrr..." she commented before starting to laugh and smile again. "Anyways, these are the recorded history of my Clan or as you would probably say, family." Ayano said as she picked up one of the stacks of linked wood planks.
Jen held the book very carefully as she looked through the pages. "Wow," she said quietly. "Your family did a great job with record-keeping."
"According to brother these are the more peaceful parts of our family history. he has the rest of it in his trunk because it has the darker chapters of our clan's history." Ayano replied. "Maybe when he gets back I can ask him to show them to you." she went on to say with a short pause. "Oh here... this is the entire genealogy of our clan.... Um, the who's who and who they married and so on."
"Why do you keep the genealogy? I know why I think it's important, but why do you think it's important?" Jen asked.
"I keep it because it tells me where i came from and let's me use it as a means of honoring those that came before me." Ayano answered after taking a few minutes to think about the question. "My little brother, Ezra, and his future wife, Erin Hawke of the Hawke Clan were the last 2 names to be added at the very end of the genealogy list in your hands." She added with a type of fondness in her voice before looking down and seemingly becoming a little sad.
"Your little brother is betrothed?" Jen asked, looking down at the list of names. She found the names on the last page and noticed that Ayano was also betrothed. Then she noticed the name of the person next to Aramis was scratched out. "Why are you betrothed so early? Don't you have a say in who you want to marry?"
"We're betrothed to stronger clans as a means of strengthening our clan. my big brother's betrothal was removed because she was caught having relations with someone else." Ayano answered with a pause. "I wish I had a say. But I don't. Only good thing is that i still have 6 more years of presumed freedom unless Takashi does something that would violate the arrangement, his father calls it off. or one or both fathers die." She continued to explain. "The only one that seems to be happy about his Betrothal is Ezra. not sure why though."
"While I understand the historic reason for betrothals, in this day and age, shouldn't you have a say in whom you marry?" Jen asked. She couldn't imagine not being with Reg simply because his family chose for him to marry someone from a strong Wizarding house.
Ayano half smiled. "Certain customs in Japan never really do die. Same goes for honor in Japan, they still believe heavily in the whole honor thing." She said with a small pause as she pointed to the year on one of the genealogy ledgers 583AD-710AD, Asuka period. "The samurai part of my Clan starts here and advances forward right up to today. it even records when the family branched off into the Shinobi side as well." Ayano started to explain. "In Japan, Clans or families as old as mine typically find it far harder to adapt to the changing times." She continued.
"But we're in Britain," Jen said. "And you're a witch. That does change things -- for you and your brother, anyway."
(To be continued...)