Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
In the public, the Hyuugas were the very picture of self-restraint – cool, calm, quiet and self-controlling. In the private, in the safety of their clan compound, they often argued on various themes, from serious to frivolous, loudly and passionately, often about how was the better Hyuuga and who was more important in the family?
Still, during the clan gatherings, the Hyuuga clan was usually about to maintain decorum for the first five to ten minutes, before the clan’s elders would pick a fight between themselves and Hyuuga Hiashi, the clan’s leader. From then on, it would be every Hyuuga for themselves, as everybody eventually tried in vain to remember what the discussion was about this time.
And yet, this time the situation was different: on one hand, everyone had a good idea what the discussion was about this time, but on the other, nobody had any idea as to what to do about it and to keep it within the compound as well. The customary pair of Hyuuga guards, standing at the gates, were also aware of the discussion, but by a quirk of fate, they were forced to remain out of the discussion and to keep everybody else out of the Hyuuga compound (unless it was an actual emergency). As a consequence, to see one of those guards appear with a stranger in tow created quite a surprise.
“Who are you and why are you here?” Hiashi asked in a typical curt Hyuuga manner. That was a tactical mistake: Amy herself was feeling quite friendly and inclined to be helpful, if just because she knew personally that being transformed into a rat was no picnic, when it was against one’s will even more so. Her inner rat, however, was itching for a fight for dominance, and Hiashi’s unfortunate question set the rat off. It bristled its back – and back in the real life, Amy’s own hair stood up on its end, causing the Hyuugas to stare (not that they could help it due to the Byakugan’s appearance).
“I am here to help you with your new family curse,” Amy said briskly, as behind her human eyes a big dark Norway rat chittered its teeth towards her more decorate rival, “because your brother’s ghost has asked me to.”
“Now why-“ the elder who spoke stopped himself just in time, but Amy had caught it all the same.
“Because he’s his brother,” she nodded towards Hiashi, “and that is the sort of thing brothers do.”
There was a long, drawn out pause, as everybody generally waited for somebody else to speak. Finally, Hiashi (since Hizashi was his brother, after all), spoke:
“He did? I mean, he implied-“
“Yes, he did,” Amy nodded, “and he also implied that he wasn’t happy about being a ghost. Have you, uh, tried to apologize to him regarding his unfortunate fate?”
“Of course we did! We honoured him, really, in a small, private family ceremony…” Hiashi fell silent, as he remembered that while quite a few of the clan’s elders and other important people (who couldn’t stand Hizashi while he was alive and vice versa) were present back then, both his daughters and nephew were noticeably absent by Hiashi’s own decision. “But perhaps it was done incorrectly. What do you think, nephew?” he turned towards Neji.
Neji, his face inscrutable even by the Hyuuga standards, just nodded.
“Then what are you waiting for? Let’s do it!” Amy’s voice broke the silence. To be continued…