Chapter 1 – The Voice and System
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‘What is this feeling? It’s like my whole body is burning…and my head…my head hurts so much. What is this? Why is this happening? Where was I before this? … Right, I was waking up then too.’

Some time ago, In a storage room,

A girl with pretty spiky blonde hair, wearing a beautiful blue dress, two brains on her shoulders, and makeup was lying on the ground of the storage room.

“Hey, can you hear me?”

Those words, spoken by a familiar voice, brought her back, making her open her blue eyes that had a mesmerizing green glow.

The girl abruptly sat up, scaring the pretty woman with straight, long black hair, a short, revealing dress, and deep red eyes.

“Tifa?!”

“Yes…?” The young woman, Tifa, tilted her head in confusion and surprise, not expecting the girl to know her.

“You okay?” The girl leaned forward, with a worried expression hiding in her eyes, gazing intensely at her.

“…Mmhm.”

“Good,” The girl let out a sigh of relief, sitting up, curling her leg up, resting her arm on it.

“Wait a minute….” Tifa widened her eyes as a shocking realization dawned on her. Looking closely at the girl’s face, she leaned forward, “Cloud?! Is that you?!”

“Oh my god, that makeup! And that dress!”

“Nailed it, I know. Thank you, moving on,” Cloud hastily said, hiding his embarrassment, and looked up. It just so happened that the other one that he infiltrated this place with was standing up, wearing a stunning scarlet dress.

“You good?” He stood up and walked towards her, helping her get on her feet.

“Yes, a bit woozy, but I am alright.”

“Good, then everyone is here.”

The three dressed in beautiful dresses were shocked by the words they heard. The words themselves weren’t shocking, but the voice that carried them and the fact that none of the three-spoke made them look around.

They didn’t find a person or instrument that could have said those words, and what happened next, they barely registered before being dropped in the whirlpool of space and distortion.

“Sorry about doing this to you, but I need you to do something for me.”

Now, Cloud raised his body in the present, feeling the same haziness he felt a while ago, feeling stricken by weakness.

“Cloud…Cloud…”

“Tifa…” Cloud heard her voice, turning on his side, fighting against the pain he was feeling. His body was covered in sweat, and his head was hurt every time his heartbeat. It was like someone took his heart and shoved it in his head.

He blinked, trying to see through the blurriness, when he felt a tiny body against her, “Cloud…Tifa…”

“Aerith…” The three of them struggled, trying to reach each other before falling to the ground.

Cloud slowly opened his eyes, seeing an older man and an older woman rushing towards them.

“I can’t believe it; it is true.”

“Yes, and here I thought that children dropping from the sky only happened in the Muggle stories. Professor McGonagall, if you don’t mind helping me?”

“Yes, Headmaster Dumbledore,” The woman said, waving a wand towards him, and Cloud felt his body floating up in the sky.

He felt his mind go blank, losing consciousness; he wondered, ‘Children…who? Us?’

He managed to last longer than Tifa and Aerith because of the genetically enhanced physique he had. The other two had lost consciousness long before they heard or saw anything.

His physique was also why he was the first to wake up, finding himself lying on a hospital bed. He turned his head, looking at the rows of beds around him.

He observed them, two girls, about eleven or twelve, lying on them, turning his eyes away to look for Tifa and Aerith when he froze. He watched his palms on the white sheet, raising one to make a fist, “Is this…my palm?”

He placed his right hand on the left’s palm, raising it to touch the wrist, forearm, shoulder, and cheeks, “This is me…? Then.”

He hastily got off the bed, nearly tripping, watching the dark-haired girl on the bed over, and a memory of his childhood flashed in his mind, “Tifa….”

“Then…” He placed his palm on the bed and jumped over it, landing on the other side before he stepped forward to look at the other one. The one with brown hair, “Aerith…?”

“Child, you are awake! That’s good; this was the first time I had seen such strange circumstances. From what I heard, not only did you fall from the sky, but your bodies were strangely hot enough to kill you, and none of my healing potions or spells worked. I almost thought I lost you three,” The woman with curly white hair had kind eyes.

Cloud looked suspiciously at her, touching Aerith’s forehead, “She…doesn’t have a fever….”

“Yes, it went down shortly before you woke up; they should be waking up as well,” The woman stepped closer to Cloud, touching his forehead with a  smile on her lips, “And you seem to be better too.”

“Yes,” Cloud stepped away from her, glancing towards Tifa, and a look of struggle appeared in his eyes, “I guess I owe you for helping us.”

“You sure are a prideful one,” The old nurse shook her head, “I will call Headmaster Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall. Those two are the ones that found you.”

“No need, we will take our leave,” Cloud looked around when he realized he was in a hospital gown. Not only that, he didn’t have his weapons or his clothes.

Even though he said that, he remained still, confused, trying to figure out how to carry the two of them, and he wasn’t sure he even knew where they were.

He hastily walked to the window, moving the curtain away to look outside, towards the sky, “There’s…nothing there….”

There weren’t the usual smoke and the black clouds that surrounded Midgar. Instead, the morning sky was clear, the glow of dawn was visible; the air was fresh, utterly different from Midgar, “Where…are we?”

“Cloud…? Is that you?”

“Tifa…”

Tifa scanned Cloud, watching an eleven or twelve-year-old boy, reminding her of the boy who took her to the village’s favorite lover’s spot and told her that he would be a soldier, “Cloud, is that you?”

Cloud nodded, carrying the same brooding expression on his face that he always had.

Tifa turned her head, looking against the other girl that Cloud introduced, seeing her having lost age before he looked towards her hands and legs. Although, her non-existent breasts were enough to tell her that she had gone through the same changes.

“What? Who…?”

“Did you two hear the voice too?”

“You two?” Tifa raised her eyes towards Cloud and shifted her gaze towards Aerith, who turned to her side, opening her eyes, and a grin spread through her lips.

“Hehe, you realized I was awake.”

Cloud watched her without a change in his expression. He couldn’t understand how she could act like this even in their situation.

Aerith shrugged, sitting up, “You are no fun, Cloud. To answer your question, yes, I did hear the voice. What about you, Tifa?”

“Mm?” Tifa tilted her head in surprise, seeing the strange girl act so friendly, but still answered, “Yes, I heard it too.”

The three of them exchanged a look, realizing that even understanding didn’t get them anywhere. They were still lost and had no idea what situation they were in.

A digital screen appeared before them, showing them their names and stats when they were wondering.

It seemed that the three of them were already at a party so that they could see each other’s status and stats.

“This is…?” Cloud tapped on the screen, and it lost all its brightness, the party screen faded into the background, and the dialogue box was highlighted.

[Hello there, this is a one-time message. You are trapped in a different world than your own, and there is something I need you to do. Fulfill your roles, and I shall grant you a chance. A do-over, rewinding the timeline of your world. You can even save your parents from dying.]

“Mother…” Cloud murmured, lost in thought, thinking back to his time with his mother when he desired she was still alive and clenched his fist.

[If you accept the offer, press yes.]

Only a single button with yes appeared on it, causing Aerith to laugh, “To think, there isn’t any other option.”

Tifa clenched on the bedsheet, “Is it even possible…? How is that possible?”

“For one, we aren’t in Midgar anymore; the sky outside is clear,” Cloud opened the curtain, and sunlight poured in, allowing the two to see the sky different from the one they remembered.

Aerith nodded, grinning, “And the magic that allows one to reverse the age? Should I even call this reverse? Maybe De-aging? I don’t remember any skill that could permanently do, let alone send us to a different world. It makes me wonder…someone with that power…maybe they could keep their promise?”

“Promise…” Tifa raised her head, looking at the reminiscent and nostalgic expression on the brown-haired girl’s face. Her thoughts were pulled back to her father, who was killed, and her mother, who died when she was young, and she bit her lip, taking in a shuddering breath, “I don’t like it…and I am worried about others…about what Shinra was going to do.”

“It wouldn’t matter if we go back in time,” Cloud started looking at the screen, seeing if there was anything else that could help them.

“Normally, I’d say that’s not true,” Aerith sat up, watching the screen too, reading the message, “I assumed that we might be thrown into an Alternate Reality, but this message says rewinding the timeline of our world. That sounds promising. So it’s a yes from me. Cloud?”

“Oh, I already clicked on yes. I was checking the setting, and there is this language setting. What do you think it does?”

Tifa darted her eyes between the two, plopping back down on the bed, pressing yes, “Not like we have any other choice. What settings?”

“It’s on the upper right, a gear-like icon,” Cloud told them, and both of them clicked on it. Currently, there was one tab, the language tab, with numerous options that they couldn’t make any sense of.

Aerith pressed the next option, “English (UK)?”

“I have no idea what it does, though. Do you two have any guesses?”

“What?” Aerith had raised her eyes to see what they thought, only to see their shocked faces.

“You…you sound like that nurse. Has your accent changed? What did you choose?”

“Did it?” Aerith couldn’t feel it, “I chose this English (UK).”

“Hm,” Cloud leaned against the wall, selecting the same option, and he hesitantly spoke, “Is it different?”

Tifa and Aerith parted their lips, closely watching him, before they both chuckled, “Yes, a bit.”

“Yours different too,” Cloud heard Tifa’s changed accent. He shook his head, focusing, “So, she has been gone for a while…this place must be big if it’s taking her so much time. What should we do?”

“Mm,” Aerith hugged the pillow, “How about asking for new clothes? This hospital gown isn’t good at all.”

Tifa chuckled, “I guess we could ask for that…but we have to know in what kind of place we are, to begin with.”

“Oh, right,” Cloud remembered something from her words, “Before I lost consciousness…the two who saved us called Headmaster and Professor…so some school? Moreover, they did magic.”

Tifa tilted her head, seeing a notification on the top of the screen, clicking on it. There was a message inside, and she opened it.

“My head~!” Tifa held her head, feeling the information shoved inside her head, groaning in pain.

“Tifa! Tifa!”

She could hear the worried voice, but her mind was lost in the images, words, and voices ringing inside her head.

[The world you are in…well, for now, it’s divided into two. Muggles, the humans that can’t use magic, and the magic community are also referred to as the wizarding world. There are numerous countries in the human world, and each has its form of wizarding government to see magical affairs.]

[Magic is honed through study, training, and formal schooling but couldn’t be learned by Muggles.]

Even though the words weren’t much, the collage of numerous images of the humans, wizards, magic wands, magical creatures, and for some reason, a bomb going off and forming a mushroom cloud, everything entered her brain.

It was like a presentation that finished off with the last words.

[But be careful of Muggles, they have their strength, and they are not to be underestimated. If you do…you might die before you get a chance to fulfill your purpose and get your reward.]

Tifa clenched her jaw as the pain lessened, putting her hand on Cloud’s shoulder, gripping it, “Cloud…inbox…there is information about this world.”

Aerith, who was already sitting on Tifa’s bed, heard her too and opened the inbox, and then the two of them were wrecked with a massive headache.

Tifa gasped for breath, “Wasn’t there a better way to communicate that?”

Although she said so, she knew what was going on now. Right now, the three of them probably had some grasp of the situation.

“Oh my, children, you are awake. It fills my heart with joy that the three of you didn’t pass over at such young age,” Dumbledore stroked his beard, watching the three with genuine joy in his eyes.

“Even at Hogwarts, we don’t get many who drop from the sky,” Professor McGonagall was right behind him, smiling at her lips.

“Well, then, if you three don’t mind me asking, who are you?” Dumbledore softly asked, leaving the three stunned.

They knew they were here, where they were, and why, but they didn’t know what they would tell others.

Tell the truth? Even if the person in front of them believed it, what if they thought of them as aliens and started experimenting on them.

Two of them had spent more than enough time with crazy scientists to know the worst that could happen.

[System Feature: Party Chat is On. You can talk to each other with your minds. Nice, right?]

“Who are you?” Cloud glanced towards the screen, cautiously asking Dumbledore, with the same old brooding glare in his eyes.

“This one has a temper,” Professor McGonagall smiled at him, not knowing Cloud was panicking inside.

(Aerith – Wow, Cloud’s cute side comes helpful at times like these!)

(Tifa – Umm…right. Aerith, it’s nice to meet you; sorry for greeting you so late.)

(Cloud – Is this the time for that?)

(Tifa – Right, we should say we are from another country?)

(Aerith – Didn’t we match our accent to theirs? It’s not like that is going to work, right?)

(Cloud – If they are dumb enough.)

(Tifa – Right…sorry, terrible idea. How about saying we don’t remember? We don’t know many things about the world, so when we ask about things that we should know about…it wouldn’t seem odd, right?)

(Aerith – I think it’d be better to act like frightened little girls and let Cloud protect us? And then we say that we don’t remember when they ask too much.)

(Tifa – Frightened little girls…?)

Even Cloud could tell that she was against that idea, but she agreed at the end of the day.

While they were talking, the two in front of them introduced themselves as Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall.

The three of them had been looking at each other, so they hadn’t replied yet. And as much as Cloud disliked it, he stepped forward, repeating Aerith’s words that rang out in his mind, “I don’t remember much…other than the fact that I know them…and who they are…. I don’t know how I know them.”

“A Forgetting Spell?” Professor McGonagall whispered to Dumbledore, but Cloud heard it as if she had whispered to him.

He was surprised and not surprised at the same time. He could hear it before, too, when he focused, but it happened without his control this time.

Dumbledore noticed Cloud’s gaze, which was on Professor McGonagall’s mouth, and his furrowed expression. He turned towards the two girls, sitting on the bed, holding each other’s hand, too scared to say anything.

“Probably they saw something that they shouldn’t have, and the person who did it botched it splendidly, taking much more than they should have. Still, it was a stroke of luck that the wizard wasn’t cruel-hearted enough to kill them,” Dumbledore smiled on his lips, coming up with a reason.

“Should we send them to the Muggle World?” Professor McGonagall suggested but soon shook her head, without Dumbledore needing to say anything, “No, maybe we should keep them under observation. To see if there are any side-effects left from the Charm.”

Dumbledore smiled at Professor McGonagall, shaking his head, asking the three, “Then do you remember your names? Maybe we can find something about you? Your home?”

Cloud exchanged a look with Tifa and Aerith, replying, “I am Cloud, Cloud Strife. She’s Tifa Lockhart, and that is Aerith….”

“Aerith Gainsborough.”

“Hm, then Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, would you like to stay here and recover?”

Cloud looked around, “Where are my clothes?”

Tifa held his palm, pulling him, “Thank you for taking care of us. We’d like to stay.”

Dumbledore chuckled, “Very well, then we’ll try to find some way to contact someone that knows you. Till then, enjoy your stay here.”

Cloud leaned against the bed, crossing his arms, looking away while the two thanked them for their generosity.

Once the two took their leave, Madam Pomfrey went after them to decide what to do about the children, giving them time to talk again.

“Phew, that went well, right?” Aerith grinned, and both Tifa and Cloud felt a weight leave their shoulders.

Aerith stretched her body, breathing in, “Mm, then we should rest.”

A mischievous smile appeared on her lips, “How about it? Want to sleep on the same bed as me?”

Tifa parted her lips in surprise, listening to Aerith flirt with Cloud, only to see Cloud running his eyes over Aerith’s body and a scoffing.

“Huh?” Aerith blinked, looking at her childish body, looking up at Cloud, who turned and walked away to his bed, “Hey! What are you scoffing at! Even now, I am boiling, I tell you!”

Tifa burst out in a laugh, covering her lips with her curled fingers, trying to stifle her laughter.

Aerith’s face was covered in shame as she clutched Tifa’s bedsheets, “I will become so hot again, and you could only watch me then, Cloud! You are never getting your hands on this body! I am telling you!”

Cloud lay down on the bed, curling one leg up, putting the other on it, and resting his hand behind his head. He gave her a side-long glance, “That body? I have no interest.”

Aerith gasped, tightened her jaw, staring down at the bed, and somehow managed to make his name through her grinding teeth, “Cloud…Strife!!!!”

Cloud put his leg down, turning to the side, facing away from them, and a smile appeared on his lips.

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