Harry stared long and hard at the letter on the table in front of him.
He couldn't even muster the energy to feel betrayed as Ron and Hermione screamed and shouted and broke in the other room, as they realised that just killing Voldemort wasn't enough, that the rot that permeated the wizarding world was more invasive and sinister than they had been raised to believe. That all they'd done was cut a lethal tumour out, they hadn't fixed the cancer that created it and there was nothing they could do.
His chest still ached.
EDUCATIONAL DECREE #30
All magical children aged between 11 and 17 from the year 2000 onwards must obtain a graduation diploma to be considered Of Age and eligible for employment and independent living.
Signed. Delores Umbridge, Hogwarts Headmistress
If he, Hermione, Ron, any of the DA or muggleborn who fled Hogwarts following the hostile take over of Voldemort and the Carrows' wanted to be considered adults, wanted to live on their own, wanted to be employed, they would need to return to Hogwarts and obtain their graduation diplomas. The twins, George, would need to close his shop and return to Hogwarts and sit his NEWTs just to run it.
And of course, it would be Umbridge who was given the position of Headmistress. The Ministry had dismissed Professor McGonagall, dismissed all of the former Hogwarts staff, for failing to protect the students from Snape and the Carrows', from the Death Eaters, from the Dark Arts lessons. And declared that they were lucky they were not being thrown in Azkaban for being complicit in the torture and neglect of magical children. Hermione had taken one look at the list of class books and thrown the whole lot out of the window with a screech, declaring that this would be Fifth Year all over again, that the Ministry were trying to quash them the way they'd failed to the first time.
Harry was tired.
He was tired. He'd died for them. He'd died. He'd done his duty. He just – he just wanted to live now, actually live.
It was just clear to him now.
He couldn't do it in England anymore.
After all, nothing about the educational decree said 'Hogwarts', or even a magical school for that matter.
It was painfully easy to enact.
The Ministry clearly had no idea how their heavy handedness was now playing against them, after all, people had so meekly bowed to Voldemort, they weren't evil, so why would people rise up against them? Harry put feelers out amongst the DA, the Order, the Hogwarts students, and with Percy, Bill, Fleur, and Krum's help, they arranged it all. Using the Black family fortune to pay for the relocation of over a hundred people, DA, Order, and younger, out of the country, enrolling them in other schools, helping parents find employment – Harry could think of nothing Sirius would approve of more than using his purist family fortune to rescue mudbloods and bloodtraitors from an increasingly authoritarian Ministry of Magic.
Ron and Hermione were relocating to Australia, they would be continuing their magical education there while Hermione hunted down her parents. George was going to China, they had a reputation for having the greatest Potion Masters in the world and now that Umbridge was doing everything in her power to stomp down on the legacy Fred had left for him, he was determined to fight her and bring their shop to new heights. Neville was going to America for an apprenticeship in botany with a very prestigious magical university that Professor Sprout knew of – it wasn't a NEWT, it was in fact a MASTERs, if he succeeded in the ten year course, he would be more qualified than she was in the field of herbology. Ginny would be going to Durmstrang at Krum's suggestion, the mountains allowed him to practice quidditch in privacy to his heart's content, and since she was aiming for the Hollyhead Harpies, it would be his recommendation to practice as much as possible. Luna however, still tender and hurting from her time in Malfoy's Dungeon, withdrew and chose to attend a quiet little magical academy in Finland, she still had every intention of focusing on magical creatures, but for now, she wanted to vanish.
Almost everyone he knew was leaving England, and he was amongst their number.
He had paid through the nose to create a network of interlinked magical mirrors so that everyone could keep in contact with each other, no matter the country, and by the end of all the expenditure even the infamously deep Black family vaults were looking mauled. Kreacher looked to be having seizures over everything, but he fainted dead away when Harry gave him Grimmauld Place to do with as he pleased. It was his house now. He could turn it into a shrine to Regulus, open a home for house-elves fleeing abusive masters, turn it into a hotel for foreign witches and wizards, whatever he desired.
Then he packed his meagre belongings, collected his portkey, and left the UK entirely.
The next day, Rita Skeeter would have the most lucrative and scandalous day of her entire career as she wrote, what she considered, to be the greatest article of her career: The Loss of the Golden Generation.
Only a small handful of people knew what continent Harry had chosen to continue his education and his life, the number of people who knew the country were fewer still, and those who knew his address could be counted on one hand, with fingers to spare. It was safer that way.
He'd chosen a place literally on the otherside of the planet from England, as far away as he could physically get without leaving the actual planet – Japan.
Wit Sharpening Potions ensured he learned the language, a timeturner requisitioned from the Department of Mysteries by Percy Weasley gave him all the time in the world to catch up with his muggle education, and the Japanese were nothing if not understanding of his desire to escape the UK. With the magical world being as small as it was, immigration being so rare, any and all magical immigrants were welcomed with open arms if they showed the bare minimum courtesy of actually learning the language.
Harry didn't particularly have a place in mind, he wanted a cheap property outside the city after everything, he didn't think he could tolerate being around so many people and noise after the last few years. And with the amount of money he poured into making sure everyone else was set up nicely, his coffers were looking rather lean – to that end, he looked into what his guide referred to as 'Akiya', abandoned or vacant houses. Japan evidentially had a process in which buildings that had been left untended or unused for certain periods of time would be seized by the government and then put up for auction. This was especially common if there was a debt attached to the house, or if it was in the country and the inheritors were living in the city where their jobs were. Still, despite the number of Akiya in Japan being a significantly large one, less than twenty percent of them saw Auction for various reasons.
But the prices of the ones that did...
Harry couldn't help but be surprised and hopeful when he saw the prices available to him.
A four bedroom farmhouse for three million yen – roughly twenty one thousand pounds, he didn't know what square feet meant but he was pretty sure that it was a lot.
There were a lot of properties, and there seemed to be some significant rules to bear in mind and certain loans were only available for certain houses, specifically those built after 1982 – something about earthquake legislation. He knew Japan was prone to them, England supposedly had minor ones but Harry had never even perceived them. The house shook more when Dudley was stomping his foot than when one of those 'earthquakes' supposedly occurred.
Either way, he found a nice property on the outskirts of a countryside town by the name of Namimori only an hour outside of Tokyo by bullet-train. It was a surprisingly large property according to his guide, Mishima-san, over seventeen thousand square feet, with a two floor farmhouse, separated bathhouse, and multiple storage sheds on the property. They had an independent surveyor take a look at the property and list any issues with it, the prominent ones being water damage to the bathhouse, some to the roof where a few tiles had come undone, two of the sheds on the property had completely collapsed, and, of course, the fact that the former owner had passed away in his bed and wasn't found for... a while. The house was still untouched, his children had come to the town for the funerary services but refused to have anything to do with the property, all of the old man's belongings remained there. The only thing that had been done was the removal of the tatami and bedding that he had been found in.
The property itself set him back twenty thousand pounds, officially. However there were a few hidden costs involved as well, getting the property lines officially written up was one of them as it had been divided up and much of the farmland that had been owned by the deceased was sold off to the surrounding farmers (if he wanted any of that land he was legally required to become a licenced farmer!), then there were all the admin fees transferring the farmhouse and attached remaining land into his possession, and several other things as well such as property taxes, management fees, agent fees, acquisition taxes, agent commission fees.... In total, he ended up paying for half of the house again in extra fees. He couldn't be angry though. A property like this? It cost only a little bit more than Uncle Vernon's last two cars put together, and one of those had been a Mercedes. He wouldn't get a house this cheap in England, ever, not even in Scotland where he'd often heard Uncle Vernon complaining that the cost of living was much cheaper.
Namimori when they passed through was nice.
It wasn't spectacular, it was quiet, quaint, normal. Many of the outlying roads didn't have pavements, the houses were were a mixture of modern and traditional, there were a few restaurants and convenience stores, several playgrounds, a few green wooded areas, a number of shrines – there was a very large Shinto one at the top of the hill not too far from his new house actually. It was a beautiful town. Harry loved it already.
Mishima-san pulled to a stop on a quiet road and smiled at him, “Are you ready to see your new home, Potā-san?” he asked brightly, “It's a little overgrown, and the house itself is cluttered, but that's nothing a mage of your calibre can't handle.”
He nodded slowly, already foreseeing a lot of his week, as soon as he had finished laying his wards, being filled with cleaning, tidying, repairing, etc. He had been warned that there would be issues with the house, it had been abandoned for a number of years with no one to repair damage from typhoons, or earthquakes, or just the general wear and tear of neglect. But he was good with repair work, both magical and non, and he still had money left over – getting this property so cheap had left him with what he thought was probably enough money in the Black Estate to fix it up nicely. And if not.... he was reasonably sure he could find a way of earning some money. How much would arcomantula silk go for at a potions' market? Or basilisk bone? He would have to find out if either substance was illegal, but he was reasonably certain he could sneak into Hogwarts and obtain both substances without issue.
The path from the road to the house went through a patch of rather thick bamboo bushes that practically devoured the path and the broken wooden fence that was supposed to be a drive-way up to the property. Clearing that path and fixing the fence was going to be one of the first things he would get done, it would be hard to get furniture and what not delivered (because transfiguration wouldn't last forever) if people couldn't even get down the path to the house.
Once they were out of sight of the main road, Harry wasted no time in drawing his wand and using the quick and dirty herbology spells Neville had taught him during their downtime in the DA, one to wither and vanish the roots of a plant, the next to basically unearth it. He left them in piles to be dealt with later, ignoring Mishima-san's impressed sounding noises as the man made them pretty much whenever Harry used any magic (he was getting the unpleasant kind of impression that Mishima-san was either incredibly condescending, or brown-nosing).
The first structure they came to was one of the sheds, it was almost completely consumed by bamboo and had an actual van inside it, covered in dust, leaves, and spiderwebs, it looked like it hadn't been touched since the original owner passed away.
“Everything on the property belongs to you, Potā-san, including the vehicles,” Mishima-san reminded him cheerfully, “Though you will need to sit and pass a Japanese driving proficiency test as well as pay to have the vehicles reregistered in your name,” he added as the former Gryffindor poked around the shed a bit, finding an antique TV in a corner, a bunch of neatly packaged newspapers and magazines in orderly little stacks, and a large number of colour coded bins beneath an awning – burnable, non-burnable, paper, plastic, cans, styrofoam, newspapers, cartons, unbroken glass, batteries, food waste, and garden waste.
Mishima-san beamed at the sight, “Oh good, I'm sure these are self-explanatory, Potā-san. Ensuring your waste is handled appropriately is a social issue and I'm sure you can understand why making sure your home and land is kept orderly would be important to the community.”
Harry sighed, mentally resolving to just vanish anything he was uncertain about, “Recycling is a lot bigger here than at home,” he commented as he eyed the various colour coordinated bags in each bin with mild dismay. He was going to need to take notes with him when he went shopping, he could tell.
“Indeed. Unfortunately recycling is one of those areas where Japan does lag behind many other countries, however, much more of our waste is converted into electricity production during the burning process,” Mishima-san explained cheerfully, holding a finger up to emphasize his point as Harry hummed and left the garage/shed with its multitude of distressing garbage bags. “I will show you where to collect your waste disposal guide book once we have finished here, I would recommend reading it thoroughly,” the man continued blithely as Harry continued to deal with the overgrown bamboo problem on the way up to the house.
They passed a second shed, little more than an awning, this one had a trailer and several rusted bikes with flat tyres, and a snapped skateboard smothered in spiderwebs and leaf-litter in an abandoned corner. Sticking his head in though, Harry spotted a hornet nest buzzing away quietly in the far corner of the roof and decided to leave the structure alone for now – at least until he could get hold of Luna and request her guidance in how to safely relocate them, and where best to do so.
The house when they finally reached it, was beautiful. A black roofed modern minka style building with dirty white walls and black beams, the wooden panels were aged grey-brown and bore moss and lichen and other issues. The gutters were overfilled with leaf-litter, moss, and had likely compacted into compost and split the drains judging by the water damage on a few walls. Bamboo had claimed much of the space around the house, and Harry could see another shed not too far away, this one also two floors with a large tiled awning on the ground floor as well.
The genkan was nice, large stone-steps with a few dead and knocked over plantpots on either end lead up to a large sliding wooden door with glass windows at the top, a quick charm had the doors open without the need for a key which Mishima-san did not gasp in delight over, in fact, when Harry glanced at him, he looked a bit alarmed.
He quickly hitched a smile back onto his face, “Nothing. I was just surprised that you knew of magic able to open locked doors,” he admitted even as he took a rather normal looking set of keys from his pocket and presented them.
Harry frowned at him, “The unlocking spell is in the Standard Book of Spells, Grade one. It's one of the first we learn,” he explained, though, if he thought about it, it was an odd one to go teaching children. Yes, small eleven year old child who has not yet learned that eating an entire foot large cake is bad for them, here is the ability to unlock anyone's front door or trunk or diary and break in. It was probably a good idea to learn it back when witch hunting was still a potential problem – actually, knowing what he did about the Dursleys and how they reacted to him in his second year the moment they found out he couldn't use magic on them, suddenly teaching first years the alohomora made a LOT more sense. “Muggle families don't always react well when we return from school,” he admitted quietly as he stepped into the dusty building.
The porch was nice, surprisingly bright actually with the windows that lined the walls at the top, the ceiling was made up of wooden panels and he could see the water damage that the surveyor mentioned. He'd have to ask Hermione to send him some carpentry spellbooks so he could dry that out and repair it properly – he got the feeling that wanded magic was uncommon here in Japan if Mishima-san's reaction to regular charms was an indication.
The house smelt awful though. Dry, dusty, the reek of something rotten lingered and Harry felt his stomach twist a little realising it was probably the lingering stink from the former owner's passing.
At least he had been a tidy individual, Harry concluded as he peered into each of the rooms and found it all meticulously tidy – save for the front room on the right, that was filled with bolts of cloth, a dressmaker's mannequin, and a whole lot of scrap fabric. It also looked like some manner of insects or rodents had gotten in because some of the fabric was ruined, and one of the fallen mannequins had been chewed to all hell. The kitchen was clean, if dated, and there seemed to be all the kind of amenities he would have expected, if they were all rather old and sorry for themselves. A fridge-freezer almost identical to the one he grew up with the Dursleys actually stood in the corner, same make and model, different colour, and this one had yellowing artwork stuck to it with fridge magnets. They were dated almost fifteen years ago. Whoever Itsuka-chan age 6 was, she was probably a grown woman older than him by now.
On the otherside of the kitchen was a walk-way that lead out into a rather dingy looking enclosed engawa, a walkway between the main building and a smaller one. The surveyor did say the bathhouse was in a separate building but still attached, this must have been it. It was fairly large once he slid open the door, which was surprising. It seemed to be split into three rooms, this one had a sink, mirror, a washing machine and laundry bags and boxes, he stuck his head into the room on the left and found another tatami-mat bedroom, only this seemed to be being used as a drying room if the clothes horse and washing lines of carefully hung out now moth eaten work clothes and yukata were any indication. The other door lead into a bathroom with an awful lot of mould and slime growing on the tiles and a thankfully empty bath-tub. Someone had at least done the courtesy of draining it before they turned off all the electricity and locked the house up (they certainly hadn't bothered to empty the fridge or the cupboards).
The second floor in the main building seemed to be just a normal attic room, used for storage, there was a little water damage down one wall which had developed a bit of a mould problem but it hadn't gotten into any of the cupboards from the look of it.
In all, it was a perfectly liveable house. Or would be once he'd cleaned it all out. If... rather large.
Seven bedrooms, eight if he included the room attached to the bathhouse.
Well, at least he would have a lot of space for when Ron and Hermione visited, or if the Weasleys ever decided they absolutely had to have a family reunion.
He took a deep breath and turned to Mishima-san, “You said something about how we needed to visit town hall? Shall we go? And... I think I owe you at least lunch for being kind enough to bring me here,” he decided. The man could have just handed him the address and told him to figure it out, in fact, that was what he had been expecting, but Mishima-san had been nothing but kind and accommodating. Driving Harry all the way out here in his personal vehicle, explaining the rubbish system, the traffic laws, public transportation, as well as a hundred little things that a non-local wouldn't have had much chance of understanding. Including the bowing and the accepting of business cards with both hands and handing things with both hands, as well as the placement of hands and feet in conversation and with handshakes and what not.
Mishima-san took some convincing but eventually they locked the house up again and walked to the town hall where Harry got his property registered, this time under his name, paid (another) fee, and then went to a small restaurant in the local area. The noodle restaurant was apparently very popular, and after trying their Shoyu ramen, Harry could understand why.
Then came something he hadn't expected, Mishima-san took him to another shop, a mobile phone shop, and encouraged him to get one.
“You'll stand out more without one, Potā-kun,” he warned with an apologetic smile, “All the kids these days have a phone, also, they give you access to the internet which will answer any question you have if I myself am unavailable.”
Eventually he walked out with an android Sunflower 60.S, a contract for 10GB of data and five hundred minutes of calls and texts a month, and a leather red and gold case. Not that he understood any of the information, just that Mishima-san told him it was a very good deal and he should take it.
“When will you be registering yourself at Namimori High?” the older man asked as they passed a group of noisy teenagers and their younger siblings.
“As soon as I've finished renovating the house. I don't think I could juggle playing catch up with my education if I had to fix my house at the same time,” he admitted with a shake of his head. Bad enough he would also be pursuing a magical education via cram school which was apparently how most muggleborn here in Japan managed it if they didn't want to go to the very traditional boarding school academy in Hokkaido.
“Hmm... Well, when you're ready, give me a call and I'll help you with the registration process!” the office worker declared with a happy clap of his hands.
They walked back to the house, Mishima got into his car and drove off back home, leaving Harry to his.
Wards. First of all. Wards.
Actually, no. First of all, he had to get rid of all the bamboo until he had a clear property line that he could place the wards on.
He rolled his sleeves up and got to work.
It took well over an hour just to go around the entire line of the house and clear it, he didn't even bother with the bamboo still on the property, or outside it, he just went along the property line and his hands were sore and aching with how much he had uprooted, having to forego the more obvious use of magic for much of the process lest someone see. He had seven rather sizeable bales of bamboo stacked up at the gate of the house, and had met his neighbour already, a nice old lady by the name of Akari-san who brought him out a glass of water about halfway through. It was only once he'd finished drinking that she asked if he would be willing to get rid of the bamboo on her property as well once he was finished and... well he couldn't really say no. She was on her own and he doubted she could do it herself.
He set multiple fairly standard wards, the same ones that Hermione taught him but without the unplottable or the modified fidelius charm. He wanted to be protected, not hidden. If the Japanese Ministry suddenly couldn't find him, or the muggle government, or the bin collectors, or the town council, or even the school later on.... that was more trouble than it was worth.
So, just general protection ones: a muggle repelling charm that could be turned off and on, protection wards that would react violently if the individual breaking in did so with foul intentions, obscuring wards to prevent anyone from spying on him, intent based wards to read what people wanted when they came onto the property, a bouncing ward to physically bounce anyone one out that he so chose, and a few exotic ones that Bill slipped him as well from his days working on digs in Egypt. The 'I don't want no trouble' ward, which Bill affectionately called his Jackie Chan Charm, it basically made anyone looking to commit any petty acts of vandalism or damage just ignore the property all together. It also worked on pranks, which went a long way for explaining how he survived living with Fred and George. Nosy-Nosy ward which was there to detect anyone coming onto the property when he wasn't there. And a Vermin Be Gone, which he would be casting on the house itself to keep rats and insects out of the wood and ceiling.
Wards laid, he called Hermione to get hold of those books while he took a break to drink some water he'd been forced to conjure because the water and electricity to the property had yet to be turned on, giving her his address to she could have them shipped to him through the muggle mail as it would be faster than expecting some poor bird to fly from Australia to Japan. She admitted that she'd already sent a few things to Luna in Finland and was surprised that she was able to get them to their friend within three days if she paid extra for it and cursed the ineffective magical postal system.
He left quickly to get some more drinks from the shop and some food for dinner and breakfast tomorrow, hopefully by then the power and water should be on and he could make his list for a big shop. But first he would focus on the garden, it wasn't like he could actually do anything in the house until he got the books from Hermione – he could clean, Mrs Weasley probably knew a lot of cleaning charms, but he wanted to get the path to the house sorted first.
He found a good stiff bristled yard brush in one of the sheds and began to clear up all the fallen bamboo leaf-litter from the road and the front garden, sweeping it up into piles rather than vanishing it, he could set it all up for composting. He definitely intended to grow some magical herbs and plants for potion purposes, he'd have to make a separate garden or greenhouse for that later, for now though it could sit at the side of the road and be a home for... hedgehogs and salamanders and shit.
He cast a bunch of cleaning charms at the outside of the house getting rid of all the crap that was discolouring the outside, cast a couple of repairo's where they looked like they were needed, figured out a trick of how to make some of the split wood whole by transfiguring it into one piece and then using the repairing charm. He fixed and emptied the potted plants at the front door, making a mental note to replace them later as they would have probably been quite pretty, he also cleaned the stones around the house and the typhoon rain shutters which, once he'd cleaned them up and slid them away in their ...tobukuro? In their little box at the corner of the house, revealed more dusty sliding doors and a long dusty engawa that wrapped around the outside of the house. Harry hadn't realised that the corridor he had walked down inside the house actually opened out into the gardens, that was a nice surprise.
He'd just stopped for another rest and opened up his bottle of iced peach tea when Akari-san appeared bearing a plate of leftovers for him, she had cooked a bit extra for dinner since she knew they wouldn't have turned the power back on just yet and oh my, such a difference!
“You have been working hard!” the little old lady, well into her eighties, barely as tall as his shoulder and that was saying something because Harry was short and knew it. She was absolutely doll-like, frail looking, with wispy white hair she had twisted into a bun, and a face that was pretty much a wrinkle in of itself. Harry quickly made a clean spot for her to sit since she didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave at all.
As much as he wanted to make a push and finish cleaning, he got the feeling that Akari-san must have been lonely so sat and chatted with her anyway, she knew an awful lot about the town and had been friends with the former owner of the house as well, cranky old Fuji-san the rice farmer.
“No one bothered to clear out any of the equipment when he passed, and Itsu-chan never came home from Tokyo, so I imagine it's still here, quietly rusting away,” she lamented as Harry sipped his tea, food thoroughly demolished (he had been a lot hungrier than anticipated, no way the riceballs he got at the convini would have been enough). “I know a lot of the farmers around here, if you want to sell any of it on, you just let me know and I'll put you in contact,” she continued with a small nod.
They talked until it started to get dark, and since there was no electricity Harry unfortunately had to cut her visit short, otherwise he wouldn't be able to find his way to his room tonight. Akari-san laughed at him and collected his dirty plate, and giggled like Lavender used to when he offered to escort her home, yeah it was just down the road a bit and then her own drive-way, but it was getting dark, and it was his fault she was out here.
He conjured a lumos on his way back, reasoning that people would just think it a flashlight or something as he headed back up the path to his new house and stared up at it in mild dismay.
He hadn't thought this through, clearly.
Reighost literally launched this plotbunny at my face back in November, I've been working at it on and off over the last two months and it's kinda been chewing on me for the last few days, hard enough that I actually wanted to post it despite vowing to never return to the KHR fandom.
Hopefully its less of a toxic cesspit on AO3 than it was on ffnet. I poured eight years into this fandom, and I've been kind of drifting around since I left without really finding another place since. Fingers crossed this is more like wearing a pair of comfy old slippers, instead of several sizes too small pinchy school shoes XDD;;
He slept in the upstairs room as it was the warmest, it smelt musty and a little damp but was otherwise better smelling than the rest of the house. He had laid the vermin ward on the building itself and then opened the doors and windows to get some fresh air flowing through the building, hopefully it would sweep away the foul smells and stagnant air by the time he woke up the next morning and began cleaning in earnest.
The next morning, he woke with the sun streaming through the window. His phone told him it was still early morning but if he recalled the times for the convini it would be open. He rose, dressed, and headed out – dodging a white haired teenager in a tracksuit out for a morning run. Huh. White hair in Japan? He averted his eyes, albinoism was uncommon and he probably got enough flack for it without some rude stranger staring at him on the street, Harry brushed it off and headed to the store to get his breakfast and some cleaning supplies.
Huh... Another white haired teenager was manning the counter.
Judging by his fashion accessories, Harry figured this one dyed his hair but kept his opinions to himself. Beyond telling him that his necklace was cool as he collected his bag and receipt, not listening to whatever grumpy reply he received as he left.
The house smelt a lot better after spending a night with the windows and doors open, he would definitely have to leave them open again that night though, just to make extra certain. Once he'd finished cleaning the whole place and replaced the tatami-mats he would also be getting some air fresheners and plants. After spending so many years with Neville it would feel wrong not to have some manner of plant-life in his living space, plus... it just made the place look nice. There was just something about it that he preferred. Even Aunt Petunia liked green things, even if she limited herself to flowers and flowers alone. It was just something he'd grown up with, every time they did a big clean, the kind where the floors were mopped and everything was taken out of the cupboards so they could be cleaned, when the fridges were emptied and the salad draws were soaped and the oven was scrubbed to a shine. He and Aunt Petunia would go out to the shops and select some flowers to be put in a vase in both the living room and the kitchen, and if she had been in a good mood and he had behaved himself, she would pay for a gingerbread man that he got to eat on the way home. She would get donuts and creamcakes and what not to share with Vernon and Dudley but... she got him gingerbread in secret. He wondered if gingerbread was something his mother liked, because Aunt Petunia didn't get Dudley any even though Harry knew his cousin liked it.
He sighed, wiping his forehead as he straightened up from where he had been emptying the cupboards.
Now he wanted gingerbread.
Well, he would just have to make some once he'd finished cleaning the house.
What rituals they carried from childhood onward he mused absently as he held his breath and took the stinking futons out to the garden where he strung them up to air. He glanced over his shoulder for any sign of Akari-san even though his wards would have warned him if anyone snuck onto the property, it was a bit pointless but he needed to check none the less before he drew his wand and cast enough cleaning charms he was surprised he didn't disintegrate the two futons. Either way, he left them to dry and air out properly before going back into the house and sorting through all the clothes. He wasn't sure if charity shops were a thing in Japan, it was something he would investigate – no wait, he could always text Mishima-san about it!
Ahh... better wait until a more reasonable hour.
All the trash and the things he didn't intend to keep or sell because they were too damaged or because he didn't know what could be done with them he vanished; repairing charms, cleaning charms, and freshening charms made the rest of the work a lot easier and quicker.
It was surprising though. Apparently either the former owner or his wife had a hobby of making their own kimono. The room with the mannequins had a lot of beautiful bolts of cloth and boxes with finished kimono and robes that even at a glance Harry could see would cost a pretty penny. There were a few he immediately wanted to send to Hermione, Ginny, and Luna because they would have suited them to a T, but it would give away where he was and the was far too much of a risk.
By the time lunch rolled around, he had finished sorting the majority of the downstairs, he had placed everything that didn't belong to him that he planned to keep in the mannequin room with the kimono boxes, found another two futons that were currently airing outside, and was halfway through tackling the kitchen when his wards pinged.
Pausing, he quickly stowed his wand and warily crept to the nearest door, peering out of the engawa walkway that wrapped around the outside of the house to see Mishima-san's familiar car pulling up in the small cleared out space he'd made the previous evening. He waved as the dark haired man got out of the vehicle. It was a brief visit all things told, he was there to help Harry settle in, which meant now that Harry had managed to go through (a lot more than expected) the house he was there to find out what needed to be done and arrange for it. That ended up being an arrangement for replacement tatami-mats, roof repairs, getting gas, electricity, and water turned back on, and then making arrangements for scrappers to come and survey the metals left on the site and remove the majority of them. He also insisted on arranging for a Shinto Cleansing and Blessing to be done for him, the former owner had passed away and he may linger still, the Cleansing would help him move on and allow for a clean break in the energies before they were Blessed into his holding. He guessed it was something akin to a changing of hands in Japanese magical society, a tradition not to be ignored.
Mishima got everything arranged and offered to show him how to reach the magic quarter from where he currently was, there were a number of ways but as the centre of magical culture in Japan was in Kyoto, in a dizzying tangle of backalleys and ancient buildings, he would have his hands full reaching the multiple similar locations throughout the country. Kyoto was just where the Japanese Ministry of Magic happened to be. Harry would be going to Shibuya in Tokyo to access the nearest magical alley – not that he would be able to tell that it was, the Japanese blended their modern and their traditional architecture and aesthetics very well. It would be hard to tell when he passed between one and the other.
Harry made a note of the train lines that would take him where he needed to go, as well as the enchanted trainlines that were hidden from regular muggles but would go to every concentrated magical location in the country. It was rickety and kind of slow looking, but Mishima insisted that he would get to Tokyo and Kyoto faster in the train than he would in any non-magical bullet train.
It felt like something out of that film, with the little girl in pink and the big bath house, he was pretty sure it was actually this train that she sat in with the... the rat thing, the fly, and the robed guy with the strange theatre mask.
It was a pleasant enough trip and now that Harry had actually been there he could apparate to and from without issue, something that Mishima didn't seem too comfortable about. Apparently the noise from apparation was frowned upon so while it was fine for him to return from Sakura Ichome, the name of the magic quarter in Tokyo, he should not use it to travel to the magic quarter.
Harry took Mishima back and let the man rest for a bit when they arrived, apparation didn't agree with him, in the time he had been away his utilities had been turned on so he was able to make the man a quick cup of tea using one of the peppermints he brought with him from England.
“When do you think you'll be finished preparing the property?” Mishima asked, sipping at his drink with only a mild grimace of disgust. Harry wondered if he didn't like mint, but the man was being polite and drinking it anyway so he didn't say anything, not when they were both trying so hard.
Harry hummed, looking at the rest of the house, “Hard to say. I'm going through the former occupant's belongings quickly enough. I meant to ask you earlier if there were any charities who would take second hand clothing and appliances.”
“Of course, would you like me to deliver them on my way out? We can load them into my car easily enough,” the Japanese man offered kindly.
“Thanks. Apart from that, there's replacing the tatami and fixing the roof, then there's the garden, the Shinto thing you said... Probably two or three weeks to a month?” he admitted with a grimace, “And even then, that's just to cover other things, most of the work is going to be out there,” he said with a gesture to the still overgrown garden. “I've got a friend sending me some books, they'll hopefully be arriving in a few days, that'll set me up for dealing with the most of this. I'm not used to... household charms or spells. It'll be interesting to learn them.”
Mishima watched him sadly, “Yes. I imagine with the civil unrest, you didn't have much opportunity to learn anything outside of combat magic...” he mused quietly.
Harry shrugged easily, he had long come to terms with what happened to him, accepted it as much as he could, just as he had accepted his death and the purpose it would serve. Strange how it changed your views on life and the world around you. “It is what it is. I'm just glad everything worked out in the end. That it was me, and no one else had to suffer the same way.” If Neville had been forced to live his life... he took a steadying breath and sipped his drink, leaning back against the beam at his back, looking over the garden as he stretched his leg out. He had every faith that Neville would have risen to the occasion, he'd always been braver and better than even he had ever believed. But it would have broken his heart, and Harry wouldn't have wished that on even Draco Malfoy, and certainly not sweet and kind Neville. No, his friend was going to forever be happier up to his elbows in his plantpots and cuttings. Harry was a different creature, he – well... Ginny was probably the most accurate when she said he was at his best when everyone else was at their worst, in the midst of darkness he never burned brighter, even when he burned himself up in the process.
“A mature way of looking at it, I suppose,” Mishima agreed quietly, his face still doing that incredibly sad and uncomfortable expression that Harry didn't particularly want to read into, so he didn't bother.
He huffed a half smile at the man, “It is what it is,” he reminded him, “No use in crying over what could have beens. Just gotta keep going forward, heal and grow. I have the rest of my life ahead of me, and I'm just grateful I've got the chance to experience it.”
And he would. He decided that as he watched the sun set that day after Voldemort fell. Sat atop the astronomy tower with Ron on one side, Hermione on the other, the three of them taking a moment to themselves while the world beneath them churned and cried and mourned and celebrated. They sat atop the tallest tower and watched the sky turn red and gold and a carpet of stars stretched out across the sky as it sank below the horizon and the clouds turned silver and distant. Until the wind turned cold and biting and the air tasted new.
And they promised each other that now it was done, they would live.
And no matter where those lives took them, they would always have each other, they would always love one another.
No matter what.
Harry finished cleaning the kitchen after Mishima-san left, taking with him all the clothes and devices that Harry hadn't been sure how to deal with. His house was looking increasingly empty, and he was scheduled to have the tatami fitters arriving the day after tomorrow, and the first of the wizards to inspect his roof the day after that – his tatami fitters would be muggle though, Mishima apologised, so he would have to be careful about his magical usage.
With the kitchen clean and spotless, he moved onto the bathroom and didn't even attempt to deal with anything in there – he drowned it in Snape-grade cleaning and vanishing charms. He would buy his own hygiene products and what not, but only once he'd finished with sterilising everything in there.
As much as he wanted to use the bath after several days of hard work, he settled for using cleaning charms on himself, opening all the doors and windows, and letting the bath-house air out for the night like he was doing with the house before going to bring in his now much fresher smelling futons from outside.
He actually slept like the dead and well past sunrise even with the way the light streamed in through the window of his chosen room. He was still in the roof of the house where it was warmest, until the tatami downstairs was replaced that was unlikely to change. When he got up, he finished the last of his tea and one of the packaged riceballs from the previous day before going to check the bathroom. It still smelt damp and musty, but a few more scouring charms took care of the last of his concerns – plus with the smell of himself he wasn't willing to wait any longer to be completely honest. One quick trip back to his room to collect fresh clothes, his various toiletries and a towel from his trunk, and he headed back to the bathroom where he turned the water on for the first time. He left it to run for a while as he arranged his toiletries, setting his toothbrush and whatnot up beneath the bathroom mirror just outside the wet-room itself. Towels went on the shelf above the ancient washing machine that he would likely look into replacing as it looked a little... rusty upon closer inspection.
Then he set his clothes aside and cast a warming charm on both towel and clothing before stripping off, dropping his stinky clothes in a corner to be washed later he returned to the bath where the water was now running clear and steaming slightly.
It felt so good to get washed after so much hard work.
Clean and dressed, he decided it was time to do his first big food shop – and... yeah, it was probably silly of him but, he decided to ask his elderly neighbour, Akari-san, if there was anything she needed while he was out. She had brought him food the fight night he was there, it was only polite to return the favour.
Instead of collecting a shopping list, he ended up going shopping with Akari-san, the little old lady had been absolutely determined to show him where all the best stores were and how to go about getting the best deals, and how she knew everyone and they would take care of him at her request.
It – it was nice.
Shopping with Akari-san was very different to shopping with Aunt Petunia.
For one, she was actually eager to speak to and with him, she listened to him and related to him, she was fun to spend time with in a way he hadn't really experienced with an adult before. She was aghast at how he didn't have a working rice cooker and or a bunch of other things, she somehow managed to summon several of her friends and Harry was pretty quickly seemingly adopted by what felt like half the elderly population of the town. He – actually lost track of everything going on around him at one point and somehow ended up back at his house with Akari-san and two of her friends Junko-chan, a sprightly lady who still had some black in her hair and bragged about how she used to be the terror of Namimori before she settled down, and Yue-chan, the oldest of all of them and perhaps the biggest troublemaker of the lot if Harry was reading her correctly. How the three ladies managed to invade was quite beyond him but he somehow ended up in the kitchen with them as they all cleaned everything up and put his purchases away – including the new rice cooker that he didn't recall actually purchasing, or the other appliances!
Thus began his crash course in Japanese cooking and cuisine.
Between the four of them they put together a decent meal and Harry learned how to use all of his new appliances in a remarkably hands-on fashion, it also left him with enough decent leftovers to feed him for the next two days. At which point Akari-san and her friends promised to visit him again with a special present (Harry was afraid, but no amount of polite refusals or gentle rejections would dissuade the three ladies who seemed to have decided that he needed to be taken care of).
When they left, giggling and pleased with themselves, it left Harry to clean up and put away his other purchases, such as the airfresheners, the scented packets for cupboards and draws, the cleaning supplies that he intended to use in the bathroom just to make extra certain it was clean and nice smelling. So many bottles of drain cleaner that he used pretty much immediately. Once he was finished making sure the bathroom was sweet smelling, he took the chance to fill the bathtub with hot water and spell it to stay hot for later – this part he knew from researching Japanese bath houses before moving over. He liked the idea of keeping the bath for relaxing and cleaning up before he climbed in so he wasn't marinading in his own filth.
With the tatami people coming the next day, Harry didn't see much point in trying to unpack, there was no point. So he rolled up his sleeves, drew his wand, and went outside to tackle the garden with a vengeance.
He found the other sheds, vanishing the majority of them especially as they had been collapsed. He found a fairly decent motorbike in one, a little electric thing that he could probably use with minimal instruction to pootle around the town to collect his shopping or run quick errands for Akari-san and her cohorts if they had need (he had a feeling he was going to be stuck in a perpetual loop of them assisting one another, oh well, there were worse things).
He found a small stream and a few little shrines, a withered flower garden that he had every intention of reviving, what looked like it could have been a rock zen garden before the bamboo got to it and turned it into a forest. Oh well. They were lovely to look at, but took a level of upkeep that Harry wasn't particularly willing to devote to an aesthetic. He found another shed, this one looked like it had been used to keep animals so he removed it completely, he didn't have any of the farmland that this property used to own so he didn't see a reason to have a livestock pen or shelter really.
By that point he was exhausted and hungry, so he called it a night, heading back to eat his dinner of left overs and then gratefully wash up and soak away his aches and pains.
He almost slept through the arrival of the tatami fitters, and likely would have if Mishima-san hadn't called him ten minutes before they arrived, it gave Harry just enough time to drag on a change of clothes and push a brush through his hair before he heard the doorbell go. The two men were called Keita-san and Ryota-san, Keita was gregarious and free with his greeting, excited to tell him everything he wanted to know about tatami and several things he didn't, Ryota was much more restrained and quiet, focused on getting the job done and done well. Both of them took a moment to pray at the empty space where the former owner passed before they began to investigate the house. They explained that there were two different sizes of tatami, it seemed like his house used the smaller size throughout which was good, because they had only brought a small handful of the larger size because it was uncommon. They would pull up the old tatami, lay the new, measure and look for any places with difficulties, if there were none (very rare, Ryota muttered to him) then they would be left. If there were sizing difficulties then they would mark the tatami with chalk, make notes, and then take it away to be adjusted before bringing it back.
Much like Ryota thought, there were a few sizing difficulties, places where the corners were lifted and the wood had warped a little leading to gaps. Harry made them all drinks and provided snacks when they took a break, it was during the break that Ryota asked him in all seriousness about his Oharae, the Shinto Cleansing ritual that Mishima had arranged for the following day. He seemed quite relieved that Harry was actually having one and very seriously advised him on how best to prepare for one as there was quite a bit to do before hand. He had to strip all the old paper from the sliding doors as they had gone yellow with age and were torn and stained in places, he would need to thoroughly clean the house and the family shrine – he pointed to the small box in the largest bedroom. Inside were dusty figurines and wooden houses, Harry hadn't wanted to touch it because it was quite lovely and he didn't want to break anything. He would also have to prepare offerings for the ceremony. Mishima chuckled and promised to make sure everything was ready only to be told off, Harry had to prepare the offerings as it was his house. They would be meaningless otherwise.
“I don't think I can legally acquire alcohol, Ryota-san,” he admitted with a small sheepish chuckle, making the man pause, mid drink.
“How old are you?” he asked, frowning in concern.
“I'll be turning eighteen in July,” he explained with a small smile. “If I select the alcohol and provide the money, could Mishima-san obtain it? Or would that be considered disrespectful?” he asked.
Every magical culture around the world had their positives and their negatives, China was famous for their potions and their healing magic, India was a close rival when it came to healing magic but they also excelled in Care of Magical Creatures and the harvesting of creatures for potion ingredients. America was perhaps the most paranoid of all the countries and thus had developed security wards and secrecy wards and charms and spells that would make heads spin. Russia had excelled in repair magic and, sad as it was to say, Dark Magic was studied more extensively. Greece also had a similar talent for Dark Magic given the activities of Herpo the Foul and his acolytes reverberating throughout history, in fact, Harry was fairly sure their recent economical difficulties had their roots in Dark magic nonsense causing a goblin war that crashed both magical and muggle economies in revenge. England excelled in combat magic, they had more powerful magic users per citizen in their country than any other in the world – of course they suffered for that by having more absolute fucking idiots than other countries. And what do you know, with a country like theirs they had twice the number of idiots with more power than braincells than anywhere else either. Japan had a level of spirituality that outstripped almost every other location on the planet, as a country it was the most spiritually concentrated location in the world, the Dragon's Vein as it was called, being the primary cause and nexus. It meant that even muggles could leave enough of a spiritual imprint to cause trouble down the line. They had a greater number of malicious spirits, Old Magic curses, and legends seeped in reality.
This was probably one of the few countries where heavy superstitiousness would be considered healthy.
Ryota rubbed his chin, “Should be fine. I'd advise telling the priest ahead of time. But first, you've got a lot of work ahead of you to clean this place up.”
Harry nodded, “I will.” He would ask Akari for advice on how to deal with the sliding doors properly and if Mishima was helping him fetch the alcohol then he could advise him on what offerings would be best too while he was at it.
Break over, Keita and Ryota relaid the old tatami and left, taking the new ones with them to be adjusted. Mishima stuck around afterwards and the two of them went out to get his offerings for the shrine, good sake, fruit, vegetables, Harry found some pretty looking sweets and Mishima chuckled and said it was good if he wanted to offer them as well. So he got two small trays, if the spirits did exist, maybe they'd like some dining company – Harry knew he did. Eating alone after so many years of Hogwarts, the Dursleys, and then camping with Hermione, it was weird to eat alone. It was weird to sleep alone in all honesty but he was so tired it didn't bother him (much).
Mishima left him with his purchases and went away, leaving Harry to clean up, and strip all the sliding doors of their yellowing ricepaper. When he'd finished he went through and cleaned everything with magic before getting a chair and a cloth and cleaning the shrine by hand, explaining that he would have felt disrespectful to do it with magic but if the spirits preferred he could do it that way next time.
He sighed as he climbed down and took the chair back to the kitchen, deciding that he was probably going a little crazy in here on his own. This was the first time in his life he had been completely profoundly alone on his own. He had felt lonely while surrounded by people before, alone even while sat at Gryffindor table at Hogwarts, alone in that tent with Hermione sleeping four feet away, alone at the Dursleys staring at his ceiling while they ate dinner downstairs. But this was a very different thing, he was alone by choice this time, his friends and family countries away. Fuck... he was lonely.
He stared at his kitchen listlessly before shaking his head and rolling his sleeves up.
Best cure for loneliness was seeing other people. He would make a big dinner and go and visit Akari-san. If she was open to visitors that was.
As soon as Akari learned he was having an Oharae the next day, she invited herself to join him, these were apparently public events where family and neighbours should be invited. Junko and Yue would also be showing up (Yue would be coming with her husband as well).
It was quite sunny the next day and Harry dressed about as nicely as he could for it, his school shirt and trousers, clean socks, he washed thoroughly and brushed his hair – though it was going to dry in unruly tufts no matter what he did. Akari-san just laughed at him as she tried to get the drying tufts to lay flat only for them to keep springing up as she patted them down, only making the matter worse until she gave up, too busy laughing to continue.
Junko and Yue arrived, Yue's husband accompanying them, Satoshi was very kind, nut brown with grey hair and dark liver spots on his face, he smiled with slightly crooked gap-filled teeth, none of them were missing but it just looked like they were more spaced out than the norm. Harry made refreshments for them all, and the priest arrived with Mishima-san not long after.
The man was pleased to see so many people, and delighted to meet Harry – admitting that he was surprised that a foreigner was willing to observe their traditions. Harry had to apologise and admit that he didn't know of this ceremony before Mishima-san suggested it, but it did sound important when it was explained and he wanted to respect both his neighbours and the former owner. Satoshi clapped him on the back for that and all three of what he was beginning to think of as his gang of little old ladies began to titter happily to Mishima-san's great amusement.
They all got into position and began the ceremony, the priest setting up the paperstreamers and drawing his... something stick, Harry didn't know what it was called but he bowed with everyone else as the priest did and kept his mouth shut, everyone bowed twice before the priest clapped clapped, also twice, and began to pray, his voice rising and falling in a droning chant.
“The God Izanagi visited the Underworld and became Unclean. At a beach in Tsukushi-no-kuni called 'Himuka no Tachibana Odo Ahagiwara', he cleansed and purified his body in the sea, and the Gods of Haraedo were born.
“By the divine virtue of the Gods, please let me ask them to purify and cleanse our sins and pollution of mind and body...”
He bowed three times and stowed his ceremonial stick back in his waistband before clapping twice more, redrawing it and bowing once more to the shrine. Then he collected the white paper streamer and began to flick it through the air first in front of the shrine.
Harry had to take a deep breath as he felt something change, it was almost as if with every fluttering snap of paper the air felt lighter and cleaner, fresher. Like a window had been opened and the breeze was coming in just right. He glanced at Mishima-san who only winked at him when he caught Harry's glance and then flicked his eyes forward again in time to warn Harry of the priest approaching him with the streamers, he bowed so the man could wave it more comfortably about his head and – oh...
He felt light headed. Every snap of paper felt like it was popping in his ears.
He was vaguely aware of the priest bowing to the shrine yet again before putting the streamers back on their stand and then reaching for the alcohol, uncorking it to breathe, before gathering up the wooden box he'd brought with him. Inside was rocksalt and confetti, at least he thought it was confetti, likely ricepaper with blessings of something on it maybe? The priest scattered it to the left and then the right, then forward, before bowing to the shrine with the box held aloft and presenting it to Harry to scatter some himself.
He still felt woozy and lightheaded but he stepped forward to collect the box, pinching and scattering the purifying salt as the priest directed. His stomach felt like it was full of acid but calming down as he threw to the left, then the right, and then left again before he bowed and handed the box back.
Then they headed outside to do the ceremony again in front of the small stone shrines that Harry had found prior, this time bringing with them the bottles of alcohol that the priest also dribbled on the shrines. The paperstreamer snapped in his ears and he started feeling a slight headache, somehow, he got the feeling he was going to have to speak to Mishima-san about getting a purification done for him properly, if this minor one for his property was giving him reactions like this, and recalling what he did of everything else he had experienced prior to coming here.... yeah, he was probably up to his eyeballs in bad spiritual energy.
They closed the ritual in the house, drinking the rice wine and receiving the priest's blessings before they gathered the little shrine and took it outside to be burned. Harry was not sure about this but that was how it was done and who was he to protest. He was told that he could obtain everything he needed for a new 'kamidana' at the shrine on the hill, the priests there would be more than happy to assist him. Then they made arrangements for the little stone shrines to be destroyed as well. Cutting the final connections from the previous owner and kami he patroned, and thus passing the land fully into Harry's hands.
They returned to the house and that was apparently that, everyone finished the wine off, the priest pulled Harry aside and away from the muggles under the guise of advising him on what he needed for his own kamidana but in reality was passing him an ofuda for his spiritual health.
“The moment I met you, young man, I saw your spirit was wounded and unclean, tainted by cruelties and evil,” the priest intoned softly, “I will speak with young Mishima-kun about arranging a proper ritual for you, but you must not tarry. Now that the former kami no longer protect this property, the longer you remain here without purifying yourself, the more likely a dark spirit will be drawn to this place.”
Harry nodded, “I understand. Thank you.”
The priest bowed and returned to the party, leaving Harry in the kitchen to lean against the wall and sigh.
If it wasn't one thing, then it was another.
They were dealing with it.
This fic is probably going to feel very Slice of Life-y I realise, despite not being intended to be slice of life. It's just Harry, trying to move on with his life, getting dragged into the typical Namimori shenanigans and for ONCE in his damn life being the sane man. He will find, eventually, that he does not like being the only voice of reason. Poor boy.
Thank you to everyone who welcomed me back and were kind in the comments on the last chapter. I'm not gunna lie, I had difficulty sleeping yesterday because the anxiety of what I would open my e-mail box to gave me acid reflux. I was feeling quite apprehensive and defensive when I wake up and opened my yahoo this morning. Still, thank you everyone, the response absolutely blew me out of the water.
Harry left with Mishima and the priest directly to the shrine that the government official had dug him out of, one of the larger ones in Sakura ichome, meaning the priest himself was magical, unlike the local priests of Namimori's shrine. As soon as the purification ritual was done and his guests saw themselves home, Mishima had him bundled into the car with the priest, ashen faced, as he drove them away from the house, he must have a function in his car similar to the Night Bus because between blinks they seemed to flash through the countryside all the way to Tokyo within five minutes.
Just walking into the shrine made Harry's knees buckle and his world spin.
He broke out into a cold sweat and felt a hard burning knot lodge in the bottom of his throat, acid reflux, or something similar, it hurt, and no matter how many deep steadying breaths he took, nothing helped.
The ceremony itself was a blur.
Harry couldn't say a single thing that happened, he woke up on a futon in the back of the shrine in a cream coloured kimono with a blinding headache like someone had stabbed four inch long needles into his brain from the underside of his left eyebrow. It was also three days after he went into the shrine.
The head priest was very kind, explaining that they had managed to purify his soul of everything, from that first Death Curse as an infant, the mistreatment of his relatives, and every subsequent brush with darkness and malice since. Much of it had been shed upon his death, but what lingered was akin to a cancer that would have slowly sunk its roots into him and rotted him slowly from within if his spirit wavered even for a moment – and he was so very tired that it would have likely broken him in ways that they couldn't imagine. It took three days for his energies to balance and recover from the cleansing. He was free to return home now.
They helped him dress, and stuffed his pockets with more ofuda than he knew what to do with.
When Mishima came to collect him, they also sent them back with new kamidana and affects, new shrines to go in the gardens, and yet more ofuda. The priest who did the house purification also came with them to set it all up.
The house, when they arrived, had been significantly upgraded. The new tatami were in, the sliding door screens had their paper replaced, the kitchen was fully stocked with new appliances – his stove had been removed and replaced, he had an oven as well which he knew from research was actually rare in Japan. He was surprised to find that the main room, the largest bedroom, had been modified as well. He recalled mentioning off-hand to Mishima that he wasn't used to sitting crosslegged for long periods anymore, that they stopped doing that when they left junior school at ten, so he was thinking of getting one of those recessed tables for that room so everyone could sit comfortably. Someone had gone in and done that while he was away. The decorative paper screens on the cupboards had also been replaced, what had been there were yellowing images of herons and other water birds and reeds, now, he stared at the beautifully painted image of a pure white stag and doe on one, and a large black dog on the other screen door in the next room.
He found himself bundled into blankets and plied with tea and absolutely not allowed to help as the priest and Mishima-san whipped through the property, applying ofuda in what felt like almost every corner, his kamidana was set up and the priest laid such powerful blessings on there that Harry felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end as magic welled up within it and began to thread into his wards. Oh, that was interesting. While the priest and his friend went outside to lay the stone shrines out and bless them, he stretched his awareness into the wards, plucking the strings of blessing as they intertwined with the wards. That was incredibly clever, wow. He knew Japan had a very different form of magic but this was a type of warding that would have had Bill tripping over himself if he were here. Perhaps Harry would look into it and send him some books? If he ever decided to go back to Curse Breaking in Egypt then Harry couldn't imagine this sort of purification ward not being useful!
He sank into them, watching how they worked and bled into his spells, and then began to feed them just a little more of his magic, shifted a few threads of magic here and there to make their spread a little easier. The magic felt almost conscious in a way and he could feel the appreciation or at least the simple happiness as they covered the property and found their anchor in the stone shrines that Mishima and the priest had finished blessing. Ward stones in the form of shrines, holy shit. Instead of a solid object that magic had to be forced and tied into, it was a small house for it to willingly settle into.
And then it was done.
The priest advised him against leaving the house under any circumstances without the ofuda that his head priest gave him, the little white and gold silk packet, that was specifically meant for good health and would keep him safe from malicious spirits who would seek to latch onto his newly healed spirit. He had been scrubbed clean and raw, but his spirit was still tired, it would be only too easy for him to be infected again.
Harry made a mental note to attach it to a cord and wear it under his clothes so he wouldn't forget it.
No sooner had they left than Akari-san was hurrying down the path to see him, apparently Mishima told her that he had been hospitalised due to complications following the terrorist attack at his school that drove him to Japan. Apparently he had been working when he shouldn't have been and needed to relax and rest for the next few days or risk going back. Mishima had told her he got himself shot in the chest so if she caught him working she was not to let him off the hook.
Harry was going to twist that guy's ear off when he got his hands on him.
As promised, Harry rested for the next few days, he made liberal use of his wand to unpack his personal belongings from his trunk. The problem there was.... how much of his magical heritage did he display? He knew he was going to have non-magical friends, after all, he would be going to a non-magical school and he did want to make friends. Plus there was Akari-san and her granny gang popping over. He wanted to keep the two bedrooms at the back of the house for guests, like Ron, Hermione, anyone else from the DA, and even Andromeda and Teddy when they visited. But also for any of his school friends so – he was pretty sure he shouldn't have anything magical in the main house, at least on the ground floor.
The former owner died in the first bedroom, the one next to the largest room in the house, the one that was now his main living room with the sunken in table. So he wasn't exactly comfortable taking that as a bedroom in all honesty, not only that but it technically had three doors so that was even more of a discomfort on top of it being on the ground floor. Maybe turn it into an office or something for doing his school work?
He could turn the mannequin room into a bedroom? There was only one entrance into that room, it was close to the toilet, and it was next to the front door so he would hear anyone trying to come in. However, it wasn't very defensible. The bedroom attached to the outside bath-house was a no as well. There was only one entrance and it was separated from the rest of the house, plus, it smelt bad despite his best efforts. It was better now that the tatami had been replaced as they had been the primary source of the smell. He planned on using it for most of his clothes and spare bedding and what not, as well as moving the washing machine in there so there would be more space in the little bathroom entrance.
He huffed slightly in amusement, it looked like he was going to be using the smallest bedroom in the house, the one on the second floor, as his bedroom. He would just have to store his magic books in a lockable cabinet or in his room or... wait, he had that huge shed with the second floor. He had already been planning on warding and reinforcing it to use it to practice magic anyway, if he stored all of his magical books and used the little storeroom under the stairs as a potions' lab then he could just lock it up when he had muggles around to visit. He did plan to grow some plants and other potion ingredients on the property, he would have to do that discreetly, maybe invest in a greenhouse and ward it?
With not an awful lot to do once he'd finished unpacking his meagre belongings, Akari-san was over a lot more often, teaching him how to cook Japanese style food, telling him stories about her life. She'd even gone out of her way with Yue and Junko's help to put together a cookbook for him of their favourite recipes and how to make them properly.
She went with him and Mishima-san when he registered to attend Namimori High, smiling happily at the headmaster while he wrote her down as Harry's secondary emergency contact (Mishima was his primary). He got to meet his homeroom teacher, Chouno-sensei, a young lady with dark skin in a stylish pink dress and smart boots.
“Hi Harry, I'll be your English Language teacher while you're here, not that you'll need help with that class, eh?” she teased, speaking English with a cheerful wink.
Harry smiled a little weakly, “You'd be surprised how many British people don't know how to speak English properly, sensei,” he only half-joked, recalling some of the frankly outlandish slang that Dudley and his friends came out with on occasion, and how Seamus asked the stupidest questions about what words meant and what not. “I look forward to your tutelage,” he said with a polite bow as Akari-san advised him ahead of time.
A good impression made upon his future headmaster and teacher, Mishima left him and Akari-san to go and collect his new uniform and just about anything else he would need, including textbooks ad study guides. Harry had worked hard to get to the right level but still, he wouldn't say he was a natural at studying, he was going to need as much help as he could get. Something that made Akari-san burst into peels of laughter when he admitted it to her as he added another chemistry guide to his basket.
According to his student guide and everything, he would be starting school tomorrow. He should present himself to Chouno-sensei at the faculty office first thing in the morning.
It was strange that Harry wasn't even nervous as he got ready the next day.
It was a new school, but really, that was all it was. New. Why should he be scared of change or new at this point?
He chuckled to himself as he brushed his hair, cleaned his glasses, made sure his ofuda was around his neck, and headed to breakfast. Tea and toast were fine for him and he left his plate next to the sink to be washed up that night before he grabbed his bag and headed to the porch to put his shoes on.
“Oh, Harii-kun,” Akari greeted as he opened the door, she was still in her house dress, wearing a pair of dirty crocs as she shuffled down the driveway, something small held in her hands. “I was hoping to catch you before you left. Here. Have a good day at school,” she told him, handing over the fabric wrapped square.
He accepted it with obvious confusion, making her laugh.
“Lunch, Harii-kun. I made you a bento for your first day. Now off you go, you don't want to be late on your first day,” she declared, ushering him down the path.
He felt a small lump in his throat. No one had ever made a school lunch for him, not even Mrs Weasley had sent him off on the train to Hogwarts with a packed lunch. Petunia used to just shove a bottle of tap water and an apple into his satchel and that would class as his lunch as a small child. But here, Akari-san wasn't anything to him, she was just his neighbour and she'd gone out of her way to -
He took a deep breath, swallowing the knot of emotion.
“Thanks Akari-san. I'll see you after school?” he asked as they headed down the bamboo leaf strewn drive-way. He really should come down here with a broom, if he could get away with it before Akari's granny gang sent him back to the house with a sore ear for exerting himself.
“I look forward to it. Have a good day,” she told him as they separated, smiling warmly as he walked away. It seemed she stayed there watching him go as every time he glanced over his shoulder she was still there, at least until he reached the corner where he would pass out of sight, he waved, feeling a small twist in his chest when she waved back and finally turned away.
He followed the tide of teenagers towards the school, making sure he was fairly early so he wouldn't inconvenience Chouno-sensei who was waiting for him. He'd read that the Japanese were very particular about their school uniforms so he'd made sure to iron everything and wear it properly, the only thing on him that wasn't uniform code was the ofuda, but he wouldn't be taking that off at all even for PE. He'd just tuck it into his pocket if he couldn't wear it under his shirt.
He got a few suspicious glances as he walked in, likely because he was both foreign and unfamiliar, a lot of people actually gave him a wide berth which was a little surprising. At least until they reached the school gates and Harry saw the rows of men in unfamiliar – no, the rows of teenagers in unfamiliar black gurankan, high collared black school uniforms that were nothing akin to the ones worn by the Namimori High students, all of them bearing very... exaggerated pompadour hairstyles, and red and gold armbands that denoted them as part of the school's disciplinary committee.
He stared for a moment and had to hide his amusement very quickly. That was a very..... uh.... unique sense of style. And entirely against the school rules. He shook his head as he passed them. Sure he'd broken so many rules (and laws) that he had absolutely no room to throw stones but – at least he'd done so with good reason. Not just to look like.... well, like Thug Japanese Elvis.
He paused as someone stood purposefully in front of him.
He was a good four inches taller than Harry, typical Japanese features but... sharper. Powder-fine dark hair, grey eyes, tan skin, and a similar black uniform to the elvis guys but with his jacket open and draped over his shoulders. Around the upper left sleeve though was a red and gold band, declaring him to be part of the Disciplinary Committee. Harry wasn't impressed. If he was part of the Disciplinary Committee, surely he should be obeying the uniform codes? Not his business though. If the uniform was this lax then tomorrow he would make less of an effort.
“You are unfamiliar. Who are you?” the unknown boy demanded flatly.
“Potter Harry, Class 3-B with Chouno-sensei, I just transferred. And yourself?” he asked pointedly, keeping his language polite but not breaking eye contact. Something was niggling at him about this one. A sense of familiarity even though they'd never met, but either way he knew that breaking this eye-contact would probably start a fight he wasn't physically capable of at this moment in time. He still felt drained from the purification ritual despite it being a week ago now.
The strange teenager hummed, practically looming over him, Harry blinked slowly, supremely unimpressed with the pointless threat display. He was idly aware of a bunch of students watching from the sidelines, curious, excited, fearful, and suspicious, others were pretending nothing was going on at all. Harry arched an eyebrow at the boy.
“Is there something I can help you with? Only Chouno-sensei is waiting for me, and I don't want to inconvenience her,” he stated flatly, watching as grey eyes narrowed on him before the stranger took a step back.
“You will behave while in Namimori High. Any rule breaking and I will bite you to death,” he threatened ominously.
Harry scoffed, rolling his eyes, “I'll bear it in mind,” he stated, brushing past the taller boy. And, because Hermione always said his mouth was going to get him killed one day, he found himself snarking as he walked away, “Might want to take your own advice though, the Disciplinary Committee flouting the uniform codes does not set a good example to the rest of the student body.”
It felt like he was suddenly under a spotlight of attention, and he found himself jumping forward and twisting out of reflex as a metal – something swung at his head and missed.
The Disciplinary Committee boy just tried to decapitate him.
Harry looked at the weapon and then the boy, “Weapons are prohibited on school grounds. And so is attempted murder I guess,” he pointed out absently, because he was a little bastard and he got the feeling it would irritate this guy.
Harry ducked, and hopped to one side, dodging the next swing of the – truncheon? He was wielding a police issue two handled truncheon. Those things could break bones, and this didn't look like it was made of the usual materials, it was metal and segmented with a weirdly shaped tip.
“No fighting on school grounds,” he scolded, because fuck this guy.
The other teenager's expression could have curdled milk, and Harry was so glad Hermione and Ron weren't here because they would never let him live this down. Harry Potter, the boy who became a wanted terrorist, number one Undesirable, scolding someone else over breaking school rules after everything he'd done while at Hogwarts, and then fleeing to another country in order to graduate just so he wouldn't have to obey Umbridge's latest Educational Decree. The levels of hypocrisy would have choked the Basilisk.
What followed was a game of cat and mouse across the schoolyard that Harry really didn't have the stamina for right now. His chest started hurting after five minutes, or what felt like five minutes, of desperate ducking, jumping and running. And of course he didn't keep his mouth shut either, noting every instance of property damage to the Disciplinary Committee boy, wondering out loud how much it would cost of the school budget and what services they'd have to close down as a result – would the Sports clubs get funding for new equipment? Would they get more paints for the art clubs? What about the Culture Festival, would they even be able to host it if they had to spend so much money on repairs??????
“And it's all because of you, Delinquent Disciplinary Committee-san,” he taunted breathlessly as he dodged behind a water fountain that was unceremoniously trashed.
“Sawada Tsunayoshi,” the other teenager grunted.
Harry scoffed, “Well then, Sawada-san, I really hope you didn't have any aspirations of graduation because this trail of destruction would get you expelled,” he retorted. Fuck, his chest was really hurting now. His vision had gone spotty not too long ago and was now darkening at the edges. His knees felt weak, like he'd sprinted from Potions all the way up to Divination and his legs couldn't support him those final few steps up to the ladder – forget trying to climb it. “But you don't seem too worried, so, I'm guessing some form of nepotism? What, your daddy on the schoolboard or something?” he demanded, so help him if this was another Draco Malfoy situation only with muggles, and more violence, Harry would actually throw his influence into the fight and see what they had to say about it then.
There was a vicious light of satisfaction and glee in the other teenager's eye all of a sudden, a large grin of excitement stretching across his face. It only served to make him look more like a serial killer in all honesty.
And then the frickin' truncheon swung and out – Harry yelped as a bloody chain wrapped around him, pinning his arms down, or would have had his knees not buckled and sent him dropping down beneath it.
He was going to pass out soon.
“Time for homeroom. I can't say it was nice meeting you Sawada-san, let's do this again never,” he rasped out as he staggered to his feet and made for the school building.
He got as far as the trashed water fountain before everything went black.
His chest ached like fire.
He was lying down on something soft but it wasn't a bed, it was made of leather, his head was on a pillow, and there was a blanket tossed over him, he could hear the familiar sounds of a bustling school not too far away, there was a faint breeze and the sound of birdsong from an open window, and he could hear someone rustling some papers not too far away. At least he wasn't back at the hospital, or in the nurse's office.
“What time is it?” he asked, unable to speak above a whisper.
“Third period,” an unfamiliar voice answered calmly, “We've informed Chouno-sensei of your collapse. Welcome back to the land of the living, Potter-san,” they continued almost happily as Harry took a moment to breathe deep. “The school administration has informed us of your recent hospitalisation, Kyo-san will not challenge you again until given the all clear,” he continued a moment before there was a faint noise, like a glass, to Harry's left.
“Kyo-san?” he asked, squinting his eyes open to frown at the unfamiliar muggle ceiling. He squeezed his eyes shut and slowly began to push himself upright. His joints ached like fire. Like – like he'd – he didn't know, he didn't have anything to compare it to, everything just hurt. Someone had very kindly taken his shoes off while he was unconscious, and his glasses were on a coffee table in front of him, along with a glass of chilled water, opposite him, kneeling on the ground, as one of the elvis thug students, positively beaming at him.
“Hibari Kyouya, the Head of the Disciplinary Committee whom you fought with earlier,” he explained proudly as Harry put his glasses back on and paused.
Harry shook his head, “He said his name was Sawada Tsunayoshi.”
The other student shook his head, “Sawada-san is another student. Very different from Kyo-san.”
Harry scowled furiously, “Did he try and pass off all blame of that property damage onto another student?” he snarled, bristling even as the clench in his chest made it feel like he was swallowing needles against his ribs.
The other student shook his head, his dark eyes going wide even as he leaned back and held his hands up defensively, “No, no, nothing of the sort. Sawada-san is something of a local legend. A lot of foreigners come to Namimori seeking to disturb him, the Disciplinary Committee must be vigilant. It was a small test, one you passed,” he quickly assured the former Gryffindor – which did absolutely nothing for his temper.
“So I was attacked purely for being foreign?” he demanded sharply as the other student began to sweat nervously.
“You disrespected me,” that unpleasantly familiar voice announced from behind the couch as someone stepped into the room. “How do you like your new office, Student Council President?” the smirking teenager asked as Harry tried to scramble up only for his vision to spin before he could even get to his feet.
“What?” he demanded, opening his eyes and flinching backwards when he found the bloody annoyance in front of him, pinning something to the front of his blazer.
Really, it was reflex at this point to punch him in the face.
“Don't touch me!” he snapped even as the teenager jerked his head aside to avoid the hit and then promptly shoved him backwards into the leather couch.
“Feisty. I'll fight you when you can actually give me one,” the black haired boy declared smugly, practically on top of him, near enough nose to nose. Did this fucker not understand the concept of personal fucking space? “For now, Tetsuya will see that you're made aware of your new duties. Don't disappoint me.”
“Eat me. I don't take orders from you,” he growled.
“Hmm... as Head of the Namimori High Disciplinary Committee, yes, you do,” he pointed out smugly.
“Maybe when you're worth the title I'll let you, get off me,” he snapped feeling himself beginning to bristle as his magic began to spark inside of him, drawn by heightened emotion, easier to answer him now after the ritual but harder to control as well. There was a reason Harry had left his wand at home today, if it had been on his person right now it'd have burst into flames already with how volatile his emotions were, and he didn't want to piss the Japanese Ministry off after how accommodating they'd been so far.
The other teenager's eyes narrowed consideringly, only for whatever he had planned to be shelved by a knock at the door before it slid open.
“I've brought the Student Council members, Chairman!” another one of the elvis thugs announced proudly, stepping into the room with a ninety degree bow as the feral teenager tilted his head to one side to look at them, making absolutely no move to get out of Harry's personal space.
“They will wait outside. Crowding is forbidden in Nami,” he declared coolly. Not even budging when Harry braced a forearm against his chest and tried to push him backwards.
“Yes chairman!” thug elvis 2 declared, bowing again and quickly leaving the room, shouting something at a few students in the corridor. Harry pushed harder, scowling. He knew he was drained and not at his best, but what the fuck? He could hold his own, he wasn't a martial artist but he was more than capable of throwing what little weight he had around, his elbows, knees, and knuckles were sharp and he knew where to aim them. Why wasn't this guy moving?
The teenager, who Harry had forgotten the name of, turned his attention back to him in amusement. He made it incredibly obvious as he stood straight and walked away, that it was entirely of his own volition and nothing Harry had said or done had been what convinced him to finally fuck off out of his space. Thug Elvis 1 stood up and bowed to the other teenager, “Tetsuya,” the teenager stated to Elvis 1 with a slow cat-like blink before he stalked out of the room.
“The fuck is his problem?” Harry demanded before the door had even finished closing, making no effort to keep his voice down or concealed.
'Tetsuya' only chuckled a little at his outright frustration, Harry would have thought the guy would take more of an exception to his bad mouthing what was obviously someone he liked and respected, but apparently not. “No problem, Kaicho, Kyo-san actually likes you,” he explained, sounding quite pleased with this development. Harry grimaced at him, drawing a small huff of amusement, “You're the first student to point out his own rule breaking, call him out on the impact of his actions on the school, but do so without breaking any of the rules yourself, and hold your own while so recently out of the hospital. He likes you.”
Harry grumbled, “Well I don't like him.”
“He'll grow on you,” the teenager said 'reassuringly' as Harry reached for the water and began to drink.
He sighed as he lowered the glass, “Yeah. Like a wasp's nest I assume.” Tetsuya choked and snorted on a laugh. “Where the hell am I anyway?” he finally asked, looking around the weirdly opulent room. It was far too nice to be in a school, it looked like someone's fancy high-rise office space in uptown New York, like in Aunt Petunia's day time TV shows about the wives of the ultrarich. Okay, maybe not that fancy, but far too fancy for a school.
“Your office,” Tetsuya informed him quite easily.
Harry blinked, “Please repeat that? I only just learned Japanese recently, I think I misheard you.”
“This is your office as the Student Council President,” Tetsuya explained gesturing to the pin that the psycho teenager had affixed to Harry's jacket lapel earlier, a faint light of amusement in his eyes even as he smiled in a strange mixture of kindness and pity as Harry gaped at him. “We had it cleared out and refitted while you were unconscious. I'll be with you for the rest of the week to ease you into your role, I understand that foreign schools don't have such an office within their schools.”
“I – what – student counc- surely there's a vote or something about these things? I can't just – I'm a new student! I can't just come into school and get a position like this!” he spluttered shaking his head, he was absolutely the least qualified person for this job, fuck, he was the biggest rule breaker this school had probably ever encountered, forget rules, Harry had broken laws. He spent an entire year labelled as a Terrorist with an execution warrant on his head. He was the last person who needed this sort of responsibility, the closest he'd ever come to such a role was Quidditch Captain!
He shook his head again, getting to his feet and unpinning the little badge from his chest. “I'm sorry Tetsuya-san, but I can't accept this role. What research I did says this is an elected position, I can't just take it because the Disciplinary Committee say so. That isn't fair to the rest of the student body.”
He didn't argue as Harry handed it over, “But if there was a vote...” he trailed off meaningfully.
Harry scoffed, “Somehow I doubt a foreigner will be voted into position,” he dismissed before giving Tetsuya a small bow, “Thank you for the water, and explaining the situation. But if you'll excuse me, I did actually come to this school to get an education, and thanks to your chairman, I've missed several hours of that. I hope you have a good day,” he stated shortly, snatching his bag from beside the coffee table and heading for the door.
“I'll see you later, Kaicho,” Tetsuya told him with a small smile.
.........Why did that sound ominous?
Before people @me, put a wand in Harry's hand and he would without a doubt smoke the majority of the Tenth Generation at the same time. Hibari, Tsuna, and Gokudera would give him some trouble but that's because Hibari is a tank, Tsuna is Shounen Protagonist, and Gokudera is intelligence and versatility up the wazoo, but he would win eventually. But when it comes to a straight up physical fight? Harry's nothing compared to them, literally. The best he can do is run away. Give him a gun and he'll do pretty well. Shame Harry is not a killer and never will be.
Chouno-sensei looked scared out of her wits when Harry appeared in her classroom, but she greeted him and told him to sit while asking his classmates to please share books with him. It was.... everyone was terrified of him, they immediately jumped to assist him with anything he needed and it was honestly making him uncomfortable by the time fourth period was coming to an end and lunch was starting.
At least one of his classmates seemed to be completely oblivious to it all, but then again, Sasagawa-san seemed to be immune to pretty much everything. Up to, and including, chalk-sticks launched at his head, as demonstrated by the social studies teacher Ushimaru-sensei. He didn't tiptoe around him on eggshells either, which was a relief. He wasn't anything even approaching Snape levels of hostility, but he did have a very definite sense of looking down on Harry and several other students for varying reasons. Harry for being foreign, Sasagawa-san for being dumb, a few of the girls for not focusing or taking things seriously. Etc.
Harry hated not having his back to a wall sat in the middle of the room as he was, but it was a muggle classroom, he should be fine eating his lunch here. Akari's bento looked none the worse for wear after his morning fight and subsequent unconsciousness. He would have to wash it up and return it to her this evening when he got home, he'd also have to ask for her advice, just in case psycho Kyo-san attacked him again.
The food was delicious, as expected.
The end of lunch came far too quickly for Harry's tastes and lessons were back on, his classmates seemed even more terrified than before and despite his best efforts, as soon as the end of the day rolled around, everyone fled. No one even spoke to him outside of lessons and... He told himself he wasn't disappointed, he wasn't upset, he would just be patient. They would come around eventually once they got over whatever it was that had them so spooked. They'd see he was a perfectly normal student regardless of that little fight first thing, he hadn't even thrown a single punch, all he'd done was avoid everything thrown at him. As soon as they realised that, and the fact that Kyo-san would not be picking another fight with him any time soon, then he would be fine, they would be fine.
He sighed quietly as he headed for the Faculty Office in order to properly apologise to Chouno-sensei. Her absolute confusion when he did so, and how she flinched when he came in just made him feel worse.
Of course that was when something exploded outside.
War-time instincts kicked in and Harry bolted towards it, skidding down the stairs and into the main playground to see – a bunch of students waving around swords and explosives?!
“WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL DO YOU LOT THINK YOU'RE DOING?!!” he roared furiously, “PACK IT IN BEFORE YOU HURT SOMEONE!”
The group of Namimori teenagers froze, mid-fight, as Harry stormed over to them. The white haired guy from the convini was there, along with Sasagawa, a small brunet teenager who might have been a first year, and a tall black haired boy with a sword of all fucking things.
“HIIIE!” the little brunet squeaked, clutching dramatically at his hair. Harry pegged him as the shy friend who tried to get his idiots not to do stupid stuff but often was ignored, and turned away, he didn't deserve any telling off. Harry didn't see him with any weapons, getting into any fights. All the others tensed up warily as he approached.
“Potter! This is an Extreme fight between men!” Sasagawa exclaimed, pumping his fists.
“It's on school grounds and its scaring the shit out of both the teachers and the other students!” he snapped back, loudly, if Sasagawa wanted to shout at him then Harry would blow his fucking eardrums. If he could be heard over Quidditch stands and bludgers in the middle of a game, or across an entire fucking battlefield, then guaranteed, he could overpower this brat. “Take it outside if you're going to brawl like an animal!” he commanded sharply before whipping around at Convini boy, without waiting for a response he snapped his hands out and snuffed the wicks that were still sizzling in his hands. Explosives. Fucking explosives in a school, of all the irresponsible, bone headed, reckless - “I catch you with these on school grounds, I'll make you eat them. Am I understood?” he asked darkly, green meeting green with deadly promise.
Convini boy opened his mouth to protest, Harry could feel his temper getting worse, who fucking carries around explosives to a fucking school?
“Am. I. Under. Stood?” he repeated slowly.
“G-Gokudera-kun!” little brown stuttered pleadingly.
Convini backed down, grumbling unhappily, “Fine,” he grit out, “But only because the Tenth said so!” Tenth? Little brown? Huh.... must have been the tenth member of their gang or whatever, the group baby.
“I don't care. These don't come out anywhere near innocent by-standers again,” he growled, giving the snuffed out dynamite a pointed shake before shoving them back into his hands and turning to sword-boy. “That stays in its sheath and in its wrap when not in club activities or it gets put in the faculty office and your parents have to come in and ask for it back.” Or he was going to shove it so far down his throat he would end up with an extra orifice between his legs.
Sword-boy flinched a little, laughing sheepishly, “I – yeah. That's fair. I understand.”
“Good. For god's sake you lot, I thought Chouno-sensei was going to start crying when all this kicked off. You need to pack it in and have a good hard think about how this shit is upsetting your classmates and teachers,” he complained, dragging a hand through his hair in frustration. How many times had he lain awake at night, hating himself for drawing so much trouble and drama and danger to Hogwarts? For ruining Hermione's education? Dragging Ron's entire family into danger? Ginny almost had her soul ripped out because of him! Then there was the number of murderous Defence Professors they'd had who were there solely for him, how many students had been tortured by Umbridge? And what about Neville's trauma? When he found out about Barty Crouch Jr... when he found out that he'd willingly allowed the man that tortured his parents to insanity cast an Unforgivable on him?! The nightmares had been loud and spectacular after that little realisation and Harry had suffered more than a few bruises when his housemate came up swinging in the night after Harry, who suffered his own, had gone to comfort him. Intellectually he knew none of that was his fault, but emotionally it was a lot harder to deal with.
“Cry?” Convini echoed, looking bewildered.
Harry gave him the look of contempt he deserved, “For most people, the sounds of shouting and explosions are pretty terrifying and traumatic. The fact they have students running around with fucking swords and explosives is terrifying. They're scared. YOU lot scare them. I'd suggest you go home and think about how you're all going to apologise to those poor people who are doing their best to give you ungrateful lot an education while wondering when something is going to go wrong and they're all going to die.”
He watched as the group of teenagers shuffled off, looking confused and ashamed and offended all at once and sighed, god damnit, he was the biggest fucking hypocrite. He checked his hand, it was burnt pretty bad from the dynamite wicks but he had burn salve at home, he'd just have to deal with the pain until then. It would take two weeks for burns to heal to any reasonable degree so he was going to have to wear a bandage on that hand for the foreseeable future.
He sighed again and turned back into the school, pausing when he saw the large number of students watching him in the doorway. He grimaced, muttering some manner of excuse to slip through everyone back up the faculty office where he'd thrown his bag down at the first explosion. The teachers were all staring at him and he felt about three inches tall with embarrassment as he edged his way in. Not a single one said anything to him, they looked like they were rabbits or something frozen in front of a fox.
For fuck's sake. Barely a day and he was already – he sighed again, grabbed his bag, bowed, and left.
Well.... if he could keep those assholes in line, at least he would have a quiet school year. A lonely one. But a quiet one..... He had been looking forward to making some friends without the whole Boy Who Lived thing hanging over his head but he should have known it was never going to happen. Harry Potter was too fucked up for normal people. He should just stick with the DA and the Order.
Akari-san was waiting for him at the driveway, bright smiles and eager to hear how his first day at a Japanese school had gone, only for her face to fall as soon as he realised she was there and hadn't been quick enough to hide his own unhappiness. He had to admit about the fight that morning, collapsing, the weird behaviour of his classmates, the teachers, then breaking up the fight in the afternoon with the weirdos – who runs around with explosives? Why haven't the police arrested them yet?!
Akari-san had been furious and confused by his accounting, and quickly ushered him inside, making him some tea in his own kitchen and Harry had to beg off and hide in his own bathroom to deal with his hand lest she do it for him – and have questions about his strange first aid kit. The orange burn salve was almost enough to bring a tear to his eye as it spread cool relief through the burns on his palm and fingers, he bandaged it with a weird nostalgia for his childhood, sat on the edge of the bath at the Dursleys' bandaging anything from sprained wrists to grease burns up his arm.
His phone rang when he finished and sat down with tea opposite Akari-san, it was Mishima-san.
Apparently Chouno-sensei had rung him about Harry, demanding answers. He'd gone with the backstory that the Japanese Ministry had extrapolated from various true events. Harry's parents had been part of the specialist task force dealing with an extremist splintercell of the IRA, they were murdered but his mother left vital information with Harry and in turn for that they started targeting him when he was eleven when that information fell into his hands. However, due to the agreements between the British Government and the IRA they were trying to keep their activities hidden, assassins and small attacks on Harry only. Things only came to a head recently when the Task force was revived and the information Harry had used. It resulted in a terrorist attack on his school and his own subsequent hospitalisation. The Japanese Government were gladly handling everything for Harry in exchange for his assistance in training up their own counter-terrorism forces, a request they had yet to make of him, but Harry knew would be coming as soon as he was recovered enough. It was something they'd talked about during his immigration, but were willing to wait until he'd finished settling in and sorting himself out before requesting – now they were waiting for him to get healthy enough for it.
So now his teachers knew about Hogwarts, and that he got 'shot' during it, and that he'd spent a few years being hunted like an animal. Because that wasn't going to fuck with their view of him.
He sighed and thanked Mishima-san for the warning before hanging up, and asking Akari-san if it were too late to move into the mountains and become some kind of cryptid hermit.
She patted his head and told him in no uncertain terms that she would cry if he left now. Horrible emotionally manipulative old woman.
Hermione laughed herself sick and had to give the mirror to Ron so she could go and get some fresh air and calm down when Harry told them everything that evening. It was so patently unfair that he pouted at Ron for five minutes while his friend also laughed at him while exclaiming how he wasn't the most chaotic trouble making bastard anymore. It would be a difficult adjustment to make, but he was sure that Harry could handle it.
“Asshole,” he complained, to the red head's amusement.
“Most definitely,” Ron agreed chuckling. “If worse comes to worst, just say the word, me an' Hermione'll head out your way. We've got your back, always,” he promised solemnly, knowing the exact right words to balm the ache on Harry's heart.
“No problem. What's family for but sticking with you through thick or thin?” he asked with a soppy grin as Hermione came back in and leaned against him. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyelashes were wet from hilarity, but she was beaming brighter than she had in a while.
“So glad you find my torment amusing, Hermione,” he complained halfheartedly.
“It is a little funny, you have to admit it Harry. At least a little,” she giggled.
“Yeah alright. Maybe a little.”
Part of him knew he should dread going in to school the next day but, fuck it, what exactly was he dreading? Embarrassment or bullying? Like he hadn't dealt with any of that before. At least no one was trying to kill him, whatever.
He dressed, ate his breakfast, and left. Met Akari-san at the driveway where she pressed another bento into his hands and a kiss to his cheek, telling him she would be waiting for him after school and to take care and work hard and not take anything said about him personally. He was a good boy and anyone important would know that once they took the time to actually speak to him.
Students stared and whispered to each other as he passed them on the way into the school. The Disciplinary Committee of Elvis Thugs bowed when he walked through the gate and he sighed all the way down to his bones, rubbing his face before muttering a tired good morning to them and heading in. He passed a weird ballot box type thing on his way up the stairs, frowning in confusion as everyone stopped and stared at him as he passed. That was... weird.
He shook his head and headed straight for his classroom, changing into his school shoes and stowing his lunch with his outside shoes in the little locker assigned to him before heading into the classroom and sitting down.
“A-ano, Potter-san?” a girl prompted, standing uncertainly beside his desk.
He straightened up to look at her curiously, “Yes? Can I help you with anything?” he asked curiously. He would have thought everyone was too scared to get close to him after yesterday, the teachers certainly seemed terrified.
The girl swallowed, glancing down at his bandaged hand and then his face, “Are you alright? After yesterday?” she asked nervously.
He quirked a small smile at her, “I'm fine. Just a few burns. Nothing to get worried about.”
She nodded slowly before her mouth twitched a little and then she bowed, properly, a full ninety degrees, “Thank you for stopping the fight yesterday, it was really brave,” she said loudly before flushing right up to the tips of her ears and then rushing back to her desk on the otherside of the room and burying her face in her arms without waiting for a response.
Harry blinked at her, and then at his classmates, several of whom were grinning, and a few who were rolling their eyes.
“Yeah, thanks man,” one of the boys agreed, breaking the ice, “It was super badass the way you just went over there, no fear!” he declared with a grin to his friend who nodded.
“Not even Hibari-san talks to them like that. If he gets involved the fighting always gets worse, damn battle maniac,” he complained bitterly.
“Hey, not so loud! He'll hear you!” another guy hissed from a few seats back, glancing at the doors in paranoia.
Harry frowned at them, “Who was Sawada? The one with the sword?” he asked curiously.
One of the boys snorted and cracked up laughing, his friend only shook his head, “Naw. That's Yamamoto Takeshi. He used to be the star of the baseball team, he dropped out as soon as he started hanging with Sawada back in Middle school. They're part of some kind of gang and Sawada's the head, somehow. I think he's got blackmail on them. No way anyone would hang around with that loser, calling him Tenth all the time, otherwise.”
Tenth? The gang baby?
“Little brown is Sawada?” he asked in disbelief.
“Hey, don't take him lightly,” one of the boys warned with a shudder, “He only looks like a pathetic loser. He stripped to his underwear and tore out all of Mochida's hair in a kendo match back in Middle School for insulting him. He claimed Mochida's girlfriend when he lost, and Sasagawa didn't say shit about it. Sasagawa Kyoko-chan is Ryohei's sister, and Sawada struts around with her and a bunch of other girls all the time. Its disgusting.”
“You're just pissed you can't get A girlfriend, while he's got four,” his friend mocked with a laugh.
“Dude shut up!” he snarled, elbowing him hard in the side.
Harry was no stranger to weird rumours and wildly tall tales, but this sounded outlandish even by his standards. “Hmm... interesting. Thanks for the heads up,” he said, not adding the part where he would make up his own mind about people thanks.
Chouno-sensei came in and everyone scrambled for their seats to begin the day.
Given how badly everything had gone yesterday, he was pleasantly surprised by how nicely everything was going right now. It was making him nervous.
Of course, come lunch time, the shoe dropped.
Harry was halfway through his bento, eating with a few of his classmates who had scraped up the courage to talk to him, Haruto, Takumi, Daiki, and Haru. Haru had trouble pronouncing his surname so Harry gave them permission to use his first if it made things easier for them, the guys were surprised and more than happy to let him use their first names in return. It was nice. (It was weird and despite how he tried, it was putting him on edge). They were chatting happily about the various clubs in the school, deciding which was the best and which was the worst, when the door slid open and the entire classroom went dead silent.
Harry blinked and looked up from his rice and scowled as soon as he saw Kyo-san stepping into the room, the door held open by one of his elvis thugs.
“Kaicho,” he greeted, smirking at Harry who sniffed and returned to his food without acknowledging him. His classmates hushed and almost cringed at whatever expression that garnered from the so called Head of the Disciplinary Committee. Suddenly there was a hand slamming on the desk in front of him and Harry sighed.
“Yes, Kyo-san? Was there something you needed?” he asked sharply, glaring at the other teenager from over the rim of his glasses. Not intimidated in the slightest.
There were several indrawn breaths from the watching students but Kyo-san didn't notice, too busy humming in amusement at his defiance. “The votes have been counted,” he stated smugly, making Harry frown in suspicion. “Of the seven hundred and forty four students attending Namimori High, six hundred and eleven voted in favour of naming you Student Council President,” he announced, smirking as Harry's mouth dropped open in disbelief.
Tetsuya coughed a little behind them, “Many students have expressed appreciation for your efforts in protecting them yesterday afternoon when the fight between Gokudera Hayato and Sasagawa Ryohei broke out. Even faculty members have professed faith in your ability to handle student matters following the event.”
Harry shook his head, “No way in hell. It's been a day and a half.” He narrowed his eyes on Kyo, “What did you do to rig this, you gremlin?” he demanded harshly.
Kyo-san only smirked, “I look forward to working with you, Kaicho,” he said mockingly as he set a certain pin down on the table in front of him before turning and swanning out of the classroom.
Harry stared down at the pin on his desk and cursed, dropping his chopsticks and jumping to his feet, “You can't just – I didn't volunteer for this!” he snapped, chasing after the other teenager with every intention of twisting his damn ear, only to step out into a sea of bright faces and happy exclamations.
He spluttered as happy students crowded him.
“A new Student Council President!”
“I'm so happy!”
“Finally! I look forward to working with you Kaicho!”
“Let's work hard, Kaicho!”
“Thank you for standing up for us yesterday, Kaicho!”
“Yeah! It's about time someone stood up to Sawada's gang!”
“Kaicho was super cool and brave!”
Harry cringed, “I don't – I didn't – I shouldn't be the – I'm just a new student, I'm foreign – ” he spluttered, attempting to extricate himself from the enthusiastic students.
“A foreign student is still a student, and still has the right to become Student Council if voted in,” Chouno-sensei announced proudly from amongst the students, “You have just as much right to be Kaicho as anyone else in this school. Well done.” Harry stared at her miserably. “I know you'll do right by our students, Potter-san.”
This was emotional fucking blackmail.
Harry was pretty sure he disassociated the entire way to his new office. HIS new office. The Student Council apparently hadn't had an office in years but now they had two rooms and one of them was specifically for him. He didn't know what to do with this information. He just stared around in dazed disbelief as he ended up with his own little room complete with a desk, a computer, windows, a frickin' sofa and coffee table, and staff members with their own desks and a white board and – what was even going on?
“I'll be straight with you all,” he stated to the gathered students, “We didn't have Student Council at my old school. I was passed over for Prefect because I had a fuck ton of other things to do. I haven't the slightest idea of what to do.”
Rika, the Council secretary, bounced up and down cheerfully, “Don't worry, Kaicho! We'll help!” she exclaimed happily.
Satoshi, the Council treasurer, nodded seriously, adjusting his glasses, “Indeed. We have been given the opportunity to return the Council to its former glory and to even greater heights than previously. Something we would not have, if not for you, Kaicho. We won't let you down.”
He turned to Tetsuya who had been quietly stood in the corner watching all this with amusement.
The Disciplinary Committee second caught his eye, paused, and then snorted and shook his head at Harry's unspoken desire to throw himself off the roof. No, suicide was not permitted on school grounds. Fuck.
For better or worse....
Harry was now the Student Council President for Namimori High.
Merlin save him.
Trying to crowbar rational normal behaviour into an anime-slapstick scenario? NOT EASY. OTL
A lot of people have asked about time-frames, it's been said repeatedly that this is Namimori HIGH, meaning the highschool from ages 16-18. It would be at minimum two years since the end of KHR canon with this in mind since they have yet to finish their second and third years of middleschool by the end of the series.
Rika [f]: Student Council Secretary
Satoshi [m]: Student Council Treasurer
Kosuke [m]: Student Council Dogs' body/gopher
First of all, he needed to find out what exactly a student council did, what it was supposed to do. Then he needed to find out how to do that.
It turned out that it wasn't too dissimilar to running the DA only he wasn't teaching them how to defend themselves but rather handle the logistics of various club activities and liaising between students and teachers. Harry was pretty sure he could handle that, better he went than any of the others in case it got violent for whatever reason – he was going to have to start carrying his wand around again maybe. Judging by everything the others were saying, Sawada's gang could be quite dangerous, mass amounts of property damage, hospitalisations, there were even rumours about this mysterious Hibari-senpai disposing of dead bodies on Sawada's behalf.
He made a mental note to get some alone time with this Sawada and set the record straight, see if there was a bullying problem that was flying under the radar here, because some of these rumours were frankly stupid. Stealing a lion cub from the zoo? That would be all over the muggle news if a teenager tried to do that.
He sighed and dragged a hand through his hair – he was definitely going to need to borrow some of Hermione's particular brand of organisation to deal with this. Colour coded files, one for each club, with copies of pertinent information. Files here for equipment requests, property damage, up-coming events. Room bookings and advisor contact details. Something about festivals – oh right, the Student Council were responsible for arranging things like the culture festivals and what not. He'd better set aside some space for that as well as all the attached budgets and projects for each. He should also set aside some stuff for the Disciplinary Committee, since they were supposed to be working together and for some absolutely inconceivable reason (note: sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm) he didn't think they were particularly dedicated to ensuring records and admin were taken care of.
Should he also look into the rate of student injuries and bullying? That sounded like something he should do too.... He made a few files for that. If they could ascertain the main troublemakers then he would present the findings to the Disciplinary and they could take it from there, but given their general everything Harry got the feeling that the students were too scared to approach any of them about actual issues.
Rika, Satoshi, and Kosuke (who held the inglorious role of 'dogsbody'/'gopher') stared at his preparations in horrified fascination and glee. Satoshi actually looked close to tears, muttering something about how they finally had someone taking this seriously, someone who knew how to organise and plan and record. Rika looked practically feral with happiness at finding it all neatly labelled and colour coded and organised, squeaking happily. Kosuke just looked dismayed at the amount of work ahead of them.
“I'll go recruit some more people,” the second year decided faintly before he shuffled out of the room with the same wall-eyed stare that Ron had whenever Hermione went on her own organisational binges. Harry was going to owe her SUCH an apology tonight, and then beg, on both knees, for her help in keeping on top of this nonsense.
He came back with a few more students, apparently there had been a lot more volunteers, but Kosuke chose the ones he knew could work hard or had previously been part of the Council before it was disbanded the first time/became a joke. There was Second Years Yamato and Yuna, a boy and a girl, both of whom would join Kosuke in his 'gopher' role, doing anything and everything required of them when asked, they were the general run around junior staff who would handle the random minor tasks and issues. Then there were the three third year girls, Ichika who was their Club Liaison Officer, she knew all of the club students and their heads, she would be the one to network with them, then there was Shiori, who was the former Teacher Liaison who would present everything requested of the Student Council to the teachers at his say so, and finally Noa, who would be working with Satoshi as the Council Treasurer – she was the darling of the maths department and fully intended to go into the finance sector when she graduated university.
All in all, that left nine people in the Student Council, including himself. Not including Tetsuya who was only on loan from the Disciplinary Committee and looking mildly surprised at how quickly everything was being pulled together.
Harry rolled his eyes, it was hardly anything special after getting wrangling all the conflicting personalities in the DA, and then doing the Gryffindor Quidditch Team with new members, god, his respect for Wood sky rocketed after that. He'd only been fourteen when Harry joined the team and he was the last person to join the permanent line-up. Imagine being thirteen and having to wrangle the likes of the Weasley twins along with the three chasers, all of whom were very strong young ladies who took no shit. Good sense of humour, but he had seen Alicia threaten to ram Fred's beater's bat up his backside, complete with graphic hand gestures that had the red head immediately backing off and hiding behind Wood.
“Alright. Now we've got the house in order... I guess this means we need to start looking into the budget situation with the clubs first of all. Ichika, could you please approach them, find out what things are in dire need of replacement? I'm not talking new things that they want, I'm talking about things that need replacing because they're damaged or dangerous. We'll look into new equipment once we've handled the Health and Safety aspects first. Shiori, please approach the faculty and find out how much of a budget we have for the various clubs and present it to both Satoshi and Noa,” he decided with a frown. Hogwarts was easier with the Room of Requirement, and when it came to Quidditch everyone used their own brooms – which given the whole thing with Malfoy in his second year smacked of unfairness so he had looked into the possibility of getting decent brooms specifically for the clubs to even things out, but Madam Hooch and Professor McGonagall shot him down hard. There just wasn't a budget for it, especially not top of the line racing brooms. It was like trying to get sixteen Lamborghinis for school kids when at best they needed a push bike.
He drummed his fingers on the table with a small frown, “We're going to have to look into the rumours of bullying, gang activity, and rumours too. I doubt that many students are comfortable approaching the Disciplinary Committee, but I would like to promote a better environment around here. Any ideas?” he asked, looking around at the rest of the Council.
“Expel Sawada and his thugs?” Yamato suggested bitterly.
“Last resort and only when we have proof of something worthy of expulsion. Next?” Harry dismissed flatly before looking to the rest of them.
“We could try an anonymous reporting system?” Shiori suggested slowly, chewing her lower lip. “But that carries the risk of people using it to spread horrible rumours or pin the blame of things onto each other without proof.”
Harry nodded slowly, “It's a good place to start though.” Better than the whole lotta nothing he had in mind.
They put the box out that evening at both the front and back entrance and put a notice on the boards so that the students would know that if they were having trouble they could anonymously report it and an investigation would be opened. Might as well use his natural nosiness and penchant for finding trouble for good.
Akari was more excited about his appointment to the student council than Harry was. She gushed extensively about how good it would look on his university application, and Harry didn't particularly have the heart to tell her he had no intention of going to university. He let her tell him everything about it though, listening attentively when she spoke about how it was run in her day, how they had to print their posters by hand. How she had a crush on the head of the Disciplinary Committee back in her day.
When he went home, Harry headed into the garden to do a little more cleaning up, made his dinner, called Hermione to tell her what was going on. She was both incredibly proud and thoroughly amused because 'only you Harry, only you'. She gave him some advice that he took note of before going to have a bath and crawl into bed.
He woke, quite late, to the wards pinging him.
Someone was sneaking around the property with the intention of spying on him.
He snatched his wand up from beneath his pillow, and slithered out of his bedroom tracking the person's presence via the wards as they prowled around the property. All of the doors and windows were locked via magic, there were no locks to pick, so if this person wanted in, they would have to be willing to break something to do so. He stalked silently down the engawa until he was level with where the intruder was crouched outside, the door was rattling ever so slightly as whomever it was attempted to manipulate the lock.
It was too dark to see their outline. But judging by the lack of spells being cast, he was liable to believe this person was actually a muggle. Harry summoned the frying pan from the kitchen as a nice heavy blunt instrument with which to smack some idiots around the head with. His wand he stowed in the waistband of his pyjama bottoms before he readied his improvised weapon.
He held his breath for a moment before wrenching the sliding door open and swinging the pan with all of his strength down onto the head of a child.
He had a split second of horrified realisation as he caught sight of the fucking toddler on his steps, wearing a cute little ninja outfit, as he swung the pan at it. Thank fuck the kid was short! His panicked backwards jerk made the pan miss the child's head by an inch and the kid shot off into the darkness without a backwards glance while Harry near enough had a fucking heart attack.
The wards flickered again, the kid was off the property.
What the fuck, what the actual fuck?!!
“Oh yeah, the kids around here are fucking psycho,” Haruto told him the next morning when he mentioned the weird ninja kid that tried to break into his house, wondering if he was being hazed and someone put their kid brother up to prank him or something. “Especially the ones that hang around Sawada.”
Harry sighed, “I'm getting a little annoyed by the way everyone blames Sawada for absolutely everything that goes on around here,” he complained dragging a hand through his hair.
Daiki hummed, “Yeah, I get you but he still seems to be involved with it all to like, a ridiculous level. There's at least three kids that were always around. They're all foreign but I think the girl is Chinese, she's alright but she's some kind of Junior Martial Arts champion and she'll kick your ass if she thinks you're bullying her obnoxious friend. He's got this afro and used to run around in a cow-onesie. Whose ever kid that was, they were doing a crime with him. I had no idea kids could be so sticky all the time,” he complained with a disgusted shudder.
Harry, who had spent long hours holding and cuddling Teddy after the Final Battle, furious with himself for having to abandon him but determined to come back as soon as he was finished, knew what he meant. “Too many sweets, not enough bath would be my guess,” he concluded.
Daiki nodded, pointing at him while putting a fingertip to his nose, “Exactly!”
“But yeah. Kids, Sawada, they're frickin' everywhere. And most of 'em talk like actual adults, they talk better than us! I swear the creepy one with the black eyes and hair came into the cafe I work at part-time and tried to threaten my colleague with a green toy gun to pour him an espresso last month,” Haruto stated with a shake of his head.
Tall tales again?
Harry rolled his eyes and got his books out ready for the rest of the day, wondering how many notes in the anonymous box were going to be full of this Sawada's name.
Over half of the notes in the box were about this Sawada Tsunayoshi person. The remainder seemed to be mostly about his friends, and a vanishingly small amount about other students. Rika wanted to throw the majority of them out as nothing but waste, but Harry insisted on keeping hold of them – he took every note and post it and organised them, backed them and photocopied them all to organise. Once he had them all recorded he shredded the originals and began to enter the copies onto a spreadsheet so that he could organise everything a little more carefully.
While he did that, he had the other Council members go through the equipment requests and investigate each one to make sure that it was actually needed rather than someone trying to pull a fast one. Ichika was invaluable for that and mobilised Kosuke, Yamato, and Yuna as her workers while Rika, Satoshi, Noa, and Shiori went through the provided budget for each club – because the school gave a different one for each club based on its contributions to the school. A few of the health and safety issues would have to be presented to the teachers as they had nothing to do with the club's individual activities but were actual issues with the school itself that needed to be addressed – like the broken window in the calligraphy club's storeroom, and the leaky ceiling where the anime and manga club had their meetings fostering mould.
But the student issues Harry had...
A few were worth further investigation.
“Tetsuya-san? Can I borrow your eyes for a moment?” Harry asked, leaning out of his office to call to the Disciplinary Committee second where he was sat in the corner. The large teenager perked up almost comically to be given something to do and quickly hurried into Harry's office.
“How can I help, Kaicho?” the large boy asked.
Harry sighed, gesturing to him to join him at the computer, “A few of the anonymous complaints feature a few students, and worryingly a member of staff. Take a look at these,” he requested, pulling up the spreadsheet that featured the complaint regarding the teacher. It was a PE teacher, and a few of the female students had written notes about him, most of the time they just felt creeped out by how he stared, one girl said something about spotting him peeping at the doors into the girls' changing room, but one note wrote that he had gotten inappropriately handsy during a talk about a letter of recommendation. The other situation actually involved a member of the Disciplinary Committee according to the notes – this person had a group of bullies under their thumb and was suing them to extort money and items out of other students, and threatening to bring them to this 'Hibari's attention if they didn't do as he told them to.
“What can you tell me about Ito-sensei and Watanabe?” Harry asked, looking up at the elvis haired teenager as he frowned at the screen.
“Ito-sensei is one of the PE teachers, he usually supervises Track and Field after school, but he's been encouraged to assist the Rhythmic Gymnastics Club as they're doing very well and likely to win Nationals this year,” the teenager explained with a frown. “The girls on the team are... known to us. A lot of the Disciplinary Committee keep an eye on them for – personal reasons.”
Harry gave him a flat look, “I get they're cute but if I hear of any sexual harassment, there will be trouble, understand?” he stated.
Tetsuya smirked a little, “Understood. And no, they're too shy to approach the girls. They have mentioned they seem to be a bit down lately. I'll ask one of the girls I'm familiar with to check in with them. As for Watanabe.... I'll look into it. If he's using the Disciplinary Committee as a front and a threat....” he trailed off unhappily.
The former Gryffindor nodded, “I'll leave them in your hands then, Tetsuya-san. Thank you.”
“You seem to be settling into your role very easily,” the Japanese teenager stated with a small self-depreciating smile, “Do you even need me to stay for the remainder of the week?” he asked.
Harry grimaced, “I have no idea what I'm doing, Tetsuya-san. I'm literally flying by the seat of my pants and trying to figure it out as I go. If you want to return to the Disciplinary Committee, feel free, I'm certainly not going to keep you if you don't feel like you're of use. But just in case, would you please give me your number? If something comes up that needs your attention then at least I can contact you,” he requested as he dug into his pocket for his phone.
Tetsuya nodded. “Of course, I was going to suggest it when my time with you came to an end but, I guess we're moving a lot faster than either of us projected when this first started.” The two of them carefully exchanged contact details, Harry didn't even protest when the other boy snapped a quick picture of him as his contact picture.
The child returned that night, even later than before, waking Harry in the early hours.
He fled just as quickly, only to come back twice more in the same night before giving up entirely.
The next day there were another hundred and fifty tip offs in the box that were recorded and input on his spreadsheet, Tetsuya got a text about another member of the Disciplinary Committee who was apparently vandalising and smoking on school grounds.
Harry had to break up another fight between Sasagawa Ryohei and a green haired boy called Aoba Kouyou, at which point Kyo-san appeared with a black haired girl wearing an armband that read 'Liquidation Committee' which was not on Harry's list of approved club groups, so when she tried to pick a fight with Kyo-san Harry had to tell her to pack it in as well as she had no authority here. He might as well have slapped her with a wet fish for how offended and confused she looked at his short-tempered call out at her.
“Put in an application and find a faculty advisor if you want to have your Committee, but at this point in time, you'd be better off joining the Disciplinary Committee instead because we don't need two groups doing essentially the same job. And for fuck's sake! If I catch another person around here with bloody weapons I'm going to confiscate them!” he shouted, spotting the bladed fans she had on her person. “AND WOULD YOU PLEASE WEAR THE CORRECT UNIFORM!!”
He was going to get a frickin' box of them, and if he caught someone without, he would bean them in the fucking face with a t-shirt cannon and a uniform bag!!
The kid woke him up again that night. He fled as soon as Harry turned the lights on, and he growled irritably to himself before turning them off and going back to sleep. The kid came back repeatedly that night, and very little sleep was had between the wards pinging him what felt like every hour and a half.
The next day he found Watanabe Shoichi beaten bloody in the middle of the street on his way to school, and had to call an ambulance for him. The Paramedics took one look at his injuries, sighed, muttered something about Hibari, and bundled the bloodied teenager into the back of their vehicle and headed for the hospital. Several students called out morning greetings to him, a few thanked him for dealing with Watanabe and his gang of bullies, Harry just told them he reported it to the Disciplinary Committee – Chouno-sensei called him out of the classroom during homeroom to tell him that Ito-sensei would no longer be working at Namimori following an investigation into his activities with the Rhythmic Gymnastics Club.
Several very cute girls rushed up to him during the day to hug him, whispering their thanks in his ear before rushing away again while his classmates glared at him.
Harry was tired.
Kyo-san appeared at the end of the day, grabbing his bandaged hand with a small frown, turning it over in his hand and squinting irritably at him while Harry just rolled his eyes and twisted his wrist free and carried on walking to the Student Council Office – Psycho following along in his wake like a particularly surly shadow. Harry pointedly ignored him as he greeted the rest of the Council as they sorted through the anon-box and copied all of the notes like he had requested, Rika would give them to him later once they'd finished.
His shadow didn't say anything, just pulled some impressive bitch faces while Harry checked on everyone's progress, wrote on the white-board and set Shiori to digging out whatever magazine the faculty had to order the school equipment from so they could go through it later with the club replacement requests, and then he went into his office to amend his troublemaker spreadsheet – and grimaced as Kyo-san closed the door behind them. Pointedly.
He sighed, “Can I help you, Kyo-san?” he asked plainly as he spun in his chair to face him, refusing to flinch or lean back as the other teenager once again stepped into his personal space and leaned over him.
Harry nodded, “Currently in the hospital. I called the ambulance for him this morning,” he stated flatly, turning only briefly to pull up the spreadsheet and flip to the page with his name on it and the four listed complaints against his name as well as the five bullies that worked for him. “Apparently someone in the Disciplinary Committee by the name of Hibari dealt with him, so I can only assume some manner of investigation was done and evidence uncovered. I'd like two copies, one for my own records, another for the faculty so they can take their own steps. Expulsion or suspension, whichever is deemed appropriate,” he stated calmly, ignoring the way that Kyo-san actually leaned in closer to see his screen, practically baring his throat at Harry. At least he smelt good.
He glanced at the spreadsheet that had stolen the Japanese teenager's attention as the taller boy clicked onto the column and highlighted the connected names. Yamaguchi, Saito, Ikeda, Hashimoto, and Abe. A ragtag mixture of second and third year thugs who had a small handful of connected complaints to their name, all of them brought about by Watanabe's own criminal activities.
Kyo-san hummed, and then turned his head, making Harry flinch in reflex because it practically put his face directly into Harry's neck and nope! His hand snapped up to push against the other teenager's chest – and the door to the office opened.
“Harii-Kaich-OH! OH I'LL COME BACK LATER!!” Rika squeaked, slamming the door shut.
Harry ignored her, too busy trying to shove the weirdo off him as he snorted against the side of his neck actually – was he actually sniffing him?! He snapped his other hand up and shoved at the asshole's face but – it was like trying to shove a freakin' WALL!
“Get – off – of – me!” he snarled, twisting himself away before gritting his teeth and kicking!
Kyo-san wheezed against his neck, folding over like a wet napkin as he pingponged the asshole's bollocks up into his ribcage and back down. Harry shoved him off, finally.
“Do not ever do that again!” he growled, “Or I'll do worse than kick you in the balls.”
“Kaicho,” he growled through gritted teeth, murder on his face.
Well honed instincts blared at him, and the two moved at the same time. Harry's chair was trashed, and he vaulted over the table and directly out of the window. They were on the third floor but Harry was quick to twist and grab the ledge and swing onto the windowsill of the second floor, making several of the students shriek as he calmly opened the window and hopped in – as Kyo-san dropped down behind him, already armed with truncheons.
Yeah, good luck catching him with that limp.
Kyo-san did not catch Harry, though it wasn't for lack of trying. Harry gave him the slip and returned to the Student Council Office, Rika and a few of the others turned red when they saw him and avoided his eyes as they hurried about their duties but as long as they didn't tell Kyo-san where he was then it was fine. He quietly sent Satoshi and Noa-chan out to catalogue all the damage that Kyo-san had caused during their Benny Hill moment as he furthered the spreadsheet with Rika's records.
Then he cheated when he heard the commotion going on outside. He saved his document, shut down the PC, collected his bag, and apparated back home – leaving Kyo-san to burst into his empty office with a thwarted snarl.
The kid tried to break into his house twice again that night and Harry was getting to the point where he was going to bounce the fucking gremlin out of the wards soon. The wards were designed to wake him up the second they pinged while the second set threw as much information as it could about the intruder's intentions, meaning he had to be awake enough to understand what it was throwing at him; he was exhausted, it had been a week of this brat trying to break in every night. So he was feeling exceptionally petty the next day when he marched directly to Kyo-san in the middle of the playground and presented him with the bill of damages for his rampage the previous day.
“You break it, you buy it,” he told the teenager with a blatantly challenging glare.
He was late to class because of the fight that broke out, but the look on Tetsuya's face when he handed the updated bill with the new damages on it to Kyo-san that afternoon was hysterical.
Rika, [f]: Student Council Secretary
Satoshi, [m]: Student Council Treasurer
Noa, [f]: Student Council Secondary Treasurer
Ichika, [f]: Student Council Club Liaison
Shiori, [f]: Student Council Faculty Liaison
Kosuke, [m]: Student Council Dogs' body/Gopher
Yamato, [m]: Student Council Dogs' body/Gopher
Yuna, [f]: Student Council Dogs' body/Gopher
Happy New Years ya massive nerds. Have an update.
They'll probably slow down from this point on - I'm almost out of buffer chapters and my brain has been more uncooperative than usual the last few days. Tch, watch one cool AMV and suddenly you're filled with the urge to watch an anime in a genre you actively dislike, so yeah, I'm about to start Season 3 of Castlevania rn, and firmly of the opinion that Adrian/Alucard needs a fucking hug after how he had to deal with Dracula at the end.
But moving on, Harry is in MAXIMUM PETTY LITTLE BITCH mode at the end here, can you tell?
Sunday. Free day. At long fucking last.
Harry slept in, he slept hard, finally catching up on some uninterrupted rest that the gremlin child wouldn't give him the rest of the week before he decided to peel himself out of bed and join Akari-san for the weekly shop. He brought his backpack and was more than happy to carry her bags as they walked and talked, he complained about the weird kid that kept waking him up by trying to break in and how if it happened again he was going to have to take steps.
That done, when he dropped off their groceries, he took his home and then headed over to deal with Akari-san's bamboo problem like she'd asked for. He still tired easily, but it wasn't a big deal, a small handful of charms, a short sharp tug, and then bundling them them up into easily disposed of stacks. And since he'd already gotten started on gardening work, when he was finished at Akari's, he headed home and worked at really making a dent in his own gardening.
There was a stream that cut across the back corner of the garden that he cleaned up, he found another dilapidated shed that he very nearly vanished – if he hadn't heard a very loud, plaintive mewl.
Crouching down, and shining a small lumos under the metal roofing, he froze when he saw the two scraggly kittens and their filthy skinny to her bones mother hovering protectively over them, her ears folded back and her eyes slit to needles.
That cat... was way too thin to actually belong to anyone. Slowly, he lowered the metal sheet, and then retreated back into the house, grabbing a plate and some of the spam that had been at the convini (spam was surprisingly a big deal over here, he didn't get it but whatever, meat product). He grabbed a towel and one of the cardboard boxes and set them all out in front of the shed, mashing the meat up on the plate so they could smell it better before retreating a little bit.
Momma cat ventured out first, she must have been tame at one point because even though she eyed him suspiciously, she had no qualms about making a start on the meat he laid out for her. The kittens took a little longer to slowly creep out and join her, they growled warningly at him as he edged closer but stopped when he forked out a little more of the spam onto the plate for them. Momma only flicked her ear when he ran a finger down her head and back.
He slowly drew his wand but the three cats were far more interested in their food than what he was doing, the standard Care of Magical Creatures spells he cast were illuminating, all three cats were female, all three had fleas and worms, they were underweight, and in the case of the kittens heavily anaemic. Thankfully he could deal with that, there were a number of spells Hagrid taught them for CoMC, one of which was a defleaing charm. The worms though, that would require a potion, one he didn't actually have but was easy enough to make up with what he had to hand.
The three completely cleaned the plate, and Momma cat started meowing at him, headbutting into his fingers and hands as he scratched at her head. Definitely someone's pet at some point. The kittens though, it wouldn't surprise him if they were completely feral and had never actually seen a human before, they seemed completely unsure of what to do or how to behave, but were following her lead and giving him a good sniff.
He cast the defleaing charm, running the tip of his wand down Momma cat's back and pulling every single flea out of her fur in the process, like a summoning charm, only this took all the eggs along with it. And once freed from her fur, he vanished the lot of them.
“There, does that feel better?” he asked lowly, rubbing her cheeks as she meowed at him. He caught the grubby silver tabby kitten and did the same, wincing a little when the little thing sank both teeth and claws into his hand with a hissy growl. The other, the little orange and black tortie, only mewled as he handled her. He set both kittens into the cardboard box when he was finished defleaing them and got to his feet, Momma cat meowing and chasing his heels as he headed into the house. He took them first into the bathroom where it was surprisingly ease to get them clean? None of them put up much of a fuss when he turned the shower on and lowered the temperature to something that that was just the lukewarm side of cold in his opinion.
Under all the muck, he found that Momma cat was actually a gorgeous long haired calico with orange and black ears, forehead, and tail, but a white body. Bitey little kitten one, was a silver and white tabby who had little thumbs, and the final kitten was a pretty little tortoiseshell with gold, orange, and black fur.
Once they were all clean, dry, and thoroughly brushed, he took them into one of the spare bedrooms, and tipped the box up, letting them out to explore even as he charmed the towel to be warm for them, and the floor to be water and faeces proof, and headed out to get some water and panic a little. What was he going to do with cats? He'd never owned cats before. He should probably take them to an animal shelter or something.... They were beautiful animals, they'd be adopted quickly. And hopefully by people who could give them a lot more time than he could.
Right. Tomorrow. He would ask his classmates about animal shelters at school and take them all there after school. For now, he needed to make that anti-worm potion, dilute some blood-replenisher for the kittens, and get some more food for them. Which meant a quick trip to the convini.
He stomped into his shoes and headed out to the closest one, pausing only momentarily when he saw that white haired troublemaker behind the counter, Goku something. Explosive moron. Harry headed directly to the pet section, collecting some regular wet meat for Momma cat, figuring that if she'd been outside for so long she wouldn't be too keen on the dry stuff if she'd been hunting and what not, but figuring out how old the kittens were was difficult. They weren't newborn.... but they were still with their mother so they wouldn't be too old.... He got two packets, one of the four week old kitten food and another of the ten week old kitten mix. He'd mix them up in a bowl.
The asshole looked at his purchases with a frown, but said nothing as Harry paid and left.
Once back home, he mixed up the needed anti-worm potion and the diluted blood replenisher and mixed it into the kitten food, he slipped the anti-worm into Momma cat's wet food too, and poured some water into a bowl for everyone before heading back into the spare bedroom.
The kittens had pooed in a corner, but that was easily vanished and the smell along with it as he set the food plates and water bowl down for each of them. The kittens were ravenous and fell on their meal immediately, Momma cat sniffed hers a little more suspiciously before digging in – he hoped they didn't throw up from over eating. Thankfully they didn't, between the three of them the tin of spam had been a very small meal. After that, the kittens were very interested in investigating the room, and Harry, while Momma cat cleaned herself up and then came over to him to demand attention and fuss.
It reminded him of Crookshanks and he sighed as homesickness clenched hard and fast in the pit of his stomach, he wished Hermione were here. Hermione and Ron and everyone. Ron would have punched Kyo-san's nose into the back of his skull for that stunt earlier, if Hermione didn't geld him first. Actually no, gelding him was more Ginny's thing. Hermione would have found a way to get him dismissed from his position in the Disciplinary Committee.
Eventually his phone went off, reminding him that he actually needed to go to bed in order to be up at a decent time tomorrow for school. He left the cats in the spare room, turning the light off as he went and closing the door so they wouldn't wander off and get into the kitchen bin or something, and headed up the stairs to bed.
Honestly, he had no idea when it happened in the night, but the next morning, he woke up to Momma cat licking at his hair, and two little kittens curled up on his chest, little pink toe beans in his face, all three of them purring up a storm.
He sighed, staring up at the ceiling of his room, feeling Momma rubbing her silky soft cheek against his forehead, purring hard enough to rattle her tiny body.
It looked like he was a cat dad now. He was gunna have to figure out how to take care of muggle cats.
Thank god for google. He researched cat ownership on his phone as he walked to school, feeling horrible about locking the cats up in the spare room again but making sure they had food and water before he left. He was going to have to get some cat-litter and tray on his way home, a few toys, an actual cat bed though for now he guessed the charmed towel and cardboard box would be appreciated enough. He also needed more food for them. And collars. He didn't think a microchip would survive long with him given how liberally he threw magic around at home.
He didn't look up, notice, or care, as he grabbed a classmate by the scruff of his uniform as he shrieked, flailing, as he tripped over something and nearly pitched into the road. It was reflex from years of Neville, of Collin, of Dennis, even Ginny when she was a first year, to simply hoist him back to his feet and carry on walking without a backwards glance.
He should avoid getting lilies in the house, they were toxic for cats even in the tiniest of doses.
He waved an absent minded hello to the Disciplinary Committee as he came in, still reading, by-passing and ignoring Kyo-san who seemed to be expecting another bill or some kind of acknowledgement, only to scowl when Harry didn't even look up at him.
No raisins, chocolate, or grapes, okay, with the exception of chocolate it wasn't like he ate them very often. He hated raisins, and while he liked grapes well enough, he would just have to keep them in the fridge where little noses and paws couldn't get into them. Garlic and onion were also toxic for cats, which was new information. Hmm... they'd have to go into the fridge too. He didn't trust that eventually the cats wouldn't work out how to get into the cupboards.
“So many poisonous plants...” he muttered in slight dismay. Even lily of the valley? That was a key ingredient in several useful mind potions, plus they smelt nice. He had been planning on growing some in the garden. Those potions had been utter lifesavers in the months/weeks he spent using the timeturner Percy swiped for him to catch up on his muggle education, he was planning on using them in order to handle magical education on top of muggle education. His memory wasn't the best, what with the trauma and all the cruciatus curses, and just about everything else that had happened in his life. He sighed. Guess he'd have to scrap that idea – unless he charmed them or something so the cats wouldn't be able to get at them? There were a few herbology spells he could use that were supposed to stop things like goats and other animals from eating or interfering with them. He'd have to contact Neville and see about adjusting the spell for cat-avoidance.
“You have a cat,” Kyo-san suddenly interrupted. Making Harry jump a little where he had been stood in front of his shoe-locker finishing up that webpage before swapping his shoes over. He hadn't realised the other teenager had actually followed him.
He sighed and closed the search page, “Three actually,” he corrected as he stowed the phone and opened up his shoe locker.
Kyo-san made that huffing hum of his again, “You didn't have them before,” he decided after a moment of thought. Harry rolled his eyes, well yes, that would be kind of obvious, otherwise why would he be looking up things that were dangerous and/or toxic for them?
“Found them in the shed. Mother and kittens. I've deflea'ed and dewormed them. But other than that, I'm not sure how to take care of them properly,” he admitted as he swapped his shoes over. “Hence the research.” He stuck his bento on top of his shoes and was about to go into class, but had to stop when Kyo slammed a hand against the wall next to his head. He wrinkled his nose and glared up at him, “I will kick you in the balls again if you don't back off,” he warned flatly, “I don't like people in my space.”
The Japanese teenager paused and tilted his head as he seemingly considered that before he surprisingly actually backed off.
Movement – large – outside – heading to the window!
Harry lunged forward, tackling into Kyo, spot apparating three steps forward as the wall behind him exploded and something HUGE and metal burst into the school corridor – the sound of it crashing in luckily covering up the cracking apparation.
The Disciplinary Committee member got one arm around him and then spun him to the side and behind him – one of those truncheons smashing aside pieces of wall before it could hit them as several students screamed. Harry cursed.
WHY THE FUCK WAS THERE A GIANT ROBOT TRASHING THE SCHOOL?!!
How the fuck was he supposed to deal with this while keeping his magic a secret? Fuck! He sincerely hoped that Mishima-san was as quick at getting an obliviation team together as the British Ministry – Harry was pretty sure this counted as 'reasonable cause' for magical interference!
He got two steps forward before Kyo-san blitzed past him like the wrath of fucking god and just
tore into it
He literally tore into the metal robot tank. Physically. Like it was made of cheap kitchen foil and not inches of metal. With a pair of blunt objects.
He stared. Absently wondering if he was somehow hallucinating or just fucking astral projecting into another dimension as he watched his Disciplinary Committee contemporary physically punt the machine back out of the building and into the playground where.... a man in a butler outfit was fussing with a sparking and smoking controller, a girl in white gothic lolita clothing, and a short blond boy with a bowl cut and an electric guitar were observing, and Little Brown was panicking while his Gang did.... something.
Kyo glanced at him over his shoulder and Harry
“Yeah. Alright. You need the frickin' weapons, okay. Go deal with this. I'll – I'll evacuate the students,” he decided, waving the Japanese boy off impatiently. This was a good thing. Convenient. Harry could keep his magic hidden while actually focusing on the most important part of an attack on a school – getting the students out and to safety. For once the attack wasn't aimed at him so he could actually do that. It itched like fuck and made everything in him scream to turn around and fight as he forced himself to walk away in order to help his classmates. The enemy was being handled. Harry couldn't risk exposing his magic. It was handled. It was handled. It was handled – get the students to safety.
He resolutely ignored the semi-hysterical voice in the back of his head gibbering about how normal people can't tear through iron like that what the actual fuck.
He spotted several of the Disciplinary Committee and a few of his own Student Council and press-ganged them into the evacuation efforts, making sure all the classrooms and store rooms and toilets were checked and everyone was taken out through the back entrance, away from the fighting. Harry had to get creative when part of the floor above the massive hole in the wall crumbled and trapped a handful of second years in their classroom, unable to get to the stairs. He sent one of the Disciplinary boys down the hall to the store room to fetch the ladders and laid them over the gap, he had to cross halfway and help them get across when the playground started to stake with explosions and shouting and some of the girls started crying.
Once he received reports that everyone was out of the school did he finally sit down, staring dully at the increasingly distressed faculty as they couldn't connect to the local police station. Which just smacked of suspicious activity. For some strange reason there was no cellphone service right now.
“Kaicho...” he looked up to see several students now looking at him uncertainly, “What do we do now?” one of the boys asked, his buttons declaring him to be a first year.
Harry blinked slowly at them and rubbed his face.
Terrorist attack on the school. What should they do? How do they handle this? Right. Right... They'd only evacuated to the back of the school, they were still technically in danger.
“Is everyone's service still on the fritz?” he asked, glancing to a few of the Disciplinary Committee who nodded.
“Always happens, Kaicho. Reception around Namimori is spotty,” they reported. Harry had never noticed anything of the sort didn't call them on the blatant untruth. Evidently this kind of shit wasn't uncommon so perhaps it was just an open secret at this point.
Harry swallowed, “I want everyone to withdraw to the nearest park that's large enough for our numbers. Teachers and Disciplinary Committee form a perimeter around the students, keep an eye out for trouble. Track and Field Club? Who would you say is your fastest runner amongst the third years?” he asked loudly.
A girl raised her hand, “That would be me. Sato Mayuko, Class 3-D. What do you need me to do, Kaicho?” she asked, slipping out from between her friends, brown ponytail swinging as she strode forward.
Harry nodded, “I need you to sprint as fast as you can to the nearest police station, tell them what's going on, and then I want you to call this number,” he began to instruct, writing Mishima's cell number onto her hand, “and tell the man on the other end of the line that there's been a terrorist attack at Nami-High.”
She looked at the phone number, “Who is this?” she asked warily.
“The government official who helped with my immigration. He's got connections, he'll mobilise more than just prefecture police to help us,” he explained as the school shook with the force of another explosion.
Sato-san flinched, “Got it. I'll run like the wind.”
Harry hung at the back of the students, making sure there were no stragglers and nothing came up on their rear as everyone headed to the nearest open park, leaving behind Nami-High and whatever the fuck kind of bullshit was happening there. Once everyone was situated, and he saw the first of the police cars beginning to pull up, along with ambulances, Harry nodded to himself and headed straight back to the school.
The explosions had stopped at least.
He ran around the corner into the playground to an utter scene – the robot was in scraps, not a single one larger than eight inches, Little Brown and his gang were freaking out in the corner trying to put out a fire and dealing with... more, smaller robots. He twitched to see convini throwing more dynamite around and decided that he was definitely getting a bill for partial damages. Kyo was gleefully tearing a second giant robot to pieces, if it weren't for the fact that it were scraps of metal flying through the air, Harry would have thought it looked like a dog that just found a deep muddy puddle to fling itself into.
“AH HAH!” a male voice yelled and Harry jerked, hissing as he was grabbed by the same guy he saw earlier with the smoking controller, “STOP RIGHT THERE VONGOLA! OR YOU'LL BE DOWN A STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT!!”
Was he.... pointing an actual gun at his head?
And what the hell kind of hold was this?
He grabbed the guy's wrist and jerked his head back even as he shoved the gun forward, making the man yell in surprise as he was headbutted before Harry twisted, locking his gunarm under his elbow and away and ramming his knee into the man's stomach hard enough to make him double over and vomit. After Bellatrix held Hermione like that, after being kept at wandpoint by Scabior and Malfoy sn while she was tortured, all of them had practised ways of getting out of shit like this, and how to make quick take-downs without wands. Harry had insisted, and after the Battle of Hogwarts, Kingsley had been only too happy to teach him before he left the country.
He wrenched the gun out of butler's hand and slapped him down into his own vomit, lacing his fingers with a Stunner in the process. He whipped around, ducking the kick the lolita girl threw at him and hit the back of her head with the same stunner, she crumpled a lot more gracefully.
The little blond guy however, he took one step forward but due to his height and position Harry wasn't going to be able to hit him like the other two – he belted him one between the legs, hearing yells of dismay and sympathetic pain from Little Brown's gang as he did so.
Harry looked up as the Japanese Ministry of Magic's Law Enforcement Department rushed onto the scene, dressed like the Japanese Self-Defence Forces, much to the shock of Little Brown's gang, which didn't surprise him if this sort of thing was common and the cellphone service was fucked every time. The other teenagers looked distressed and confused as the smaller robots were handled swiftly and efficiently, Harry meanwhile marched right up at Mishma, shoving the handgun he took off the butler into someone's hands.
“What the hell Mishima-san? Namimori was supposed to be quiet!” he hissed furiously.
“It is! Was!” the Japanese man protested, a little nervously.
Harry folded his arms and glared at him, “I find that hard to believe. Not with what the students have been telling me. I know I chose this location, but some heads-up would have been bloody appreciated.”
He floundered a moment before sighing, “T-Things here have never been under our purview. We've never been able to get eyes on the situation. There's been huge surges of energy, magical and spiritual, over the last three years. Namimori was always quiet and then suddenly it was like someone set off dynamite in a fireworks factory. You'd already chosen to come here, and your reputation proceeds you, we thought... we decided to let things play out. See what you could dig up,” he explained in defeat.
The betrayal shouldn't have hurt. It should have been expected. Why would this country be any different from his home country? Why would this ministry be any different from the old one? People were people regardless of origins.
It still hurt. No matter what he told himself.
He shook his head, “If you're going to use me, at least give me a fucking heads up. This is how people get hurt. This is a fucking school, Mishima. Given everything that happened before I came here, you didn't think that maybe this would be a bit of a hot button issue for me?” he asked, fighting to keep his voice down even as it felt like everything in him was starting to bubble and boil. His insides felt shivery and hot with rage, and even his voice shook with the effort it took to control himself.
“Potter-san, please, I – ”
He shook his head, “No. I'll teach as I promised. But this is too far. The kids here could have been hurt or worse,” he bit out stiffly as he headed for the huge gaping tear in the school without a backwards glance. Just another Ministry Official. Just another toadie who strung him up to see what use they could get out of him.
The shoe lockers had been smashed into the class room, and Harry had to pick his way through rubble, twisted chairs and desks to get to his. The bento box Akari-san had given him was shattered, rice, chicken, and sauce all over his shoes. He collected both items and tucked them away into a bag. He would clean them up at home and repair the bento box.
He checked his surroundings briefly, and apparated back home.
Rika [f]: Student Council Secretary
Satoshi [m]: Student Council Treasurer
Noa [f]: Student Council Secondary Treasurer
Ichika [f]: Student Council Club Liaison
Shiori [f]: Student Council Faculty Liaison
Kosuke [m]: Student Council Dog's Body/Gopher
Yamato [m]: Student Council Dog's Body/Gopher
Yuna [f]: Student Council Dog's Body/Gopher
Gotta love the dumbass Tomaso famiglia for having hairbrained schemes and the absolute stupidity to think it'll work even as everything explodes and catches fire around them. And to some of the people complaining about Harry's behaviour and what not being OOC - I'm well aware. There is a reason for it. ShhhhhHHHHhhhhh.... all will be revealed in due time *wiggly fingers*. Hopefully with copious amounts of hurt/comfort fluff involving Ron and Hermione and coming to terms with trauma. Spiritual purity does not PTSD cure.
Also, despite it being mentioned a few times, i think a few people have - not realised what the current timeframe is? Yes it's still late spring/early summer, but Harry has been using a Timeturner to catch up on his muggle education. Percy is mentioned having obtained it for him in the first chapter I believe. Harry's literally had MONTHS (crammed into the space of a few weeks) to obtain his muggle knowledge, but also to process the events of the war as well. We're not talking about a guy who is fresh from the Final Battle here. It's been pretty much half a year if not more in his mind since. He's over eighteen mentally and physically, just not legally. It's all gunna be addressed later. I promise.
He named the silver ticked tabby cat Tinsel, she seemed to have inherited her mother's fluffy tail but was otherwise shorthaired, so it made for an appropriate name in his opinion. Her tail looked just like a length of bright silver tinsel.
Her sister, the orange and brown tortoiseshell, he named Pretzel because that tended to be how she preferred to sleep, and with her colouring she looked like a slightly burnt pretzel.
The mother cat, her name was the hardest, but eventually he ended up calling her Pixel. Mainly so the three cats would have somewhat similar sounding names, but also because it was a cute word. He forgot what it meant, he knew he heard it in relation to his phone camera, but that was about as far as his remembrance went.
After the disaster of a school day previously, he went straight home with the intention of napping, only to realise that he hadn't picked up anything for the cats. He changed and headed back out to the shop to get everything they needed according to the websites he had been reading that morning, moving in a daze as he did so. Outside his classmates were also going home in a daze, a few spotted him and came over to see if he needed help, so that was how a couple of his classmates learned where he lived. Haruto, Takumi, the girl who first thanked him on his second day Fumi, and her bestfriend Asuna, helped him carry back the cat-litter, boxes of food, and the girls even helped him choose toys for them.
“You live here on your own?” Asuna exclaimed as they came to the house.
Harry nodded dully, “Yeah. All bought and paid for. Spent the last of my godfather's inheritance on this place. So I guess I'm stuck in Namimori until I get a job and save up enough to ditch,” he explained as he opened the door and took his shoes off. Pixel meeting them at the door, beeping loudly for attention.
“Aww, is this momma cat?” Fumi cooed as he rubbed the calico's face between his hands. He nodded silently as everyone followed him into the house. His classmates settled into the living room while Harry put away the food and litter temporarily in the kitchen while making up drinks for them.
By the end of the first round of drinks, everyone looked a lot less shaken. Kittens and tea, apparently the perfect way to deal with shock. At least temporarily.
Then they started talking. Apparently those people were close friends of Class 2-A's Naito Longchamp, some chuunibyou punk kid who was absolutely adamant that he was going to be a Mafia Boss when he was older. In their second year of Middle School he seemingly got attached to Sawada for a while, it was actually the longest period of time he attended school for, but he got bored eventually and vanished. Showing up only once or twice a few times since, usually accompanied by the weird trio of his tutor (the old guy), his murderous ex (the girl), and his (terrible, silent) hypeman (the blond).
“He's got the same stripping problem Sawada had, though he grew out of it eventually, Naito didn't though. Every now and again there'll be a loud bang and he's there, curled up on the floor in his underwear, crying like a loser about how hard his life is,” Asuna complained, stroking Pretzel as the little tortie purred and dosed in her lap.
Harry grimaced and shook his head, “Stripping?” he echoed tiredly, sipping his tea as he watched Haruto and Takumi play with Tinsel using the feather attached to a string for the little silvery kitten to attack. Pixel had decided to occupy his lap and wasn't interested in moving, even when Fumi attempted to coax her away with toys. Momma cat seemed to have decided to attach herself to Harry and Harry only.
“Yeah. Sawada doesn't do it anymore, but he was a total perv back in middle school,” Asuna declared with an irritated sniff. “But he got better about it. And I know he treats Kyoko-chan well, despite what some people seem to think,” she stressed, throwing a dirty look at the two boys, “Guys and girls can be friends without it being more. If you listen to those two they'll have you believing Sawada's blackmailed himself into having a harem. Really, he's just friends with Sasagawa, and is in the same class as his little sister. Kyoko-chan is friends with a girl in Midori High so she's always hanging around. Chrome-chan is one of Sawada's friends and they've been in the same class since second year of Middle School, and the 'hot foreign chick' is actually Gokudera's older sister.”
“No fuckin' way!!” Haruto spluttered, scaring Tinsel into bolting straight into Harry's lap.
“Yes way,” Asuna snapped back. “God you're such a moron. And her name is Bianchi-san. She works for Sawada's mother nannying the little kids. She's also engaged to some Italian guy called Reborn, apparently.”
“You sure know a lot...” Harry observed tiredly.
Asuna flashed him a peace sign with a toothy grin, “My younger cousin Hana is Kyoko-chan's bestfriend. I get all that good shit.”
Harry had no idea who these people were but nodded along anyway, sipped his tea, and when they all decided it was getting late and they needed to head home, he saw them off at the door and thanked them for helping him with bringing everything home. He – he honestly wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed right then, but he was pretty sure that the kittens had left a few presents in their particular room that needed vanishing, and he also needed to not only put out more food for them but also their litter box.
He finished cleaning up, set out the cat-litter, and then went to sort out their dinner.
The meaty smell of their food was foul but it did make him hungry so once he was finished making sure they had their food, and that their water was refreshed, he made some dinner for himself and went for a bath afterwards.
The wards pinged while he was sat, dazed, in the hot water thinking of absolutely nothing and he sighed.
It didn't feel like the kid. If it had been he would have just left the gremlin child to try and break in, and fail. It didn't feel like Akari-san either, or Mishima-san. He dunked his head down into the hot water, not wanting to deal with anyone right now, especially when that someone could be from the Japanese Ministry desperately attempting to ooze their way into his good graces for whatever reason. He didn't know why they would actually bloody care. He already said he was willing to teach them wanded Defence magic, that was part of the agreements they all went through to keep his identity and information private. Hermione (and Ron), Bill, and Andromeda were the only people who actually knew his physical address, any physical items that someone wanted to send to him had to go through them first, and they would be checking for curses and spells far more thoroughly than anyone the Ministry could hire.
The wards told him the person outside was mildly curious and had no ill intentions.
He surfaced and wondered if he could get away with ignoring them. They weren't ringing the doorbell so...
The ward that tracked intentions faded away, it was only there to give him an idea of what people's initial reason for being there was, it didn't track them while they were on the property. But he didn't feel the wards ping again with whoever it was leaving either.
Meaning they were probably still on the property.
Harry sighed and hauled himself out of the bath, grabbing a towel to dry himself off quickly before grabbing one of the black yukata that had been hanging up when he moved in and shrugging into it as he headed to the door. He slid it door open with a snap, in no mood to be hospitable right this second as water snaked down the side of his neck from his hair, and the fabric of the yukata stuck uncomfortably to his legs (it was still better than answering the door in just a towel).
No one was there.
He peered left and right, unable to see a single soul even though he knew that they hadn't left the property.
He frowned sliding the door shut, pausing when it didn't go all the way, a small stone caught in the rail stopping the lock from catching. Meaning.... meaning the door had been open while he was in the bath. Meaning the wards to prevent anyone from breaking in hadn't activated. He stiffened and turned, spotting a pair of unfamiliar shoes set out on the shoe rack behind him.
But the jacket that was hanging on the wall beside it took the wind out of his sails immediately.
No, yeah, he knew who it was.
Apparently Kyo-san had decided that ringing the doorbell was for chumps and just let himself in since the door was open anyway. Harry was tired. He sighed again, idly wondering when that became such a familiar action for him, and climbed the steps back into the house, hearing the familiar sound of Tinsel objecting to something in the catroom.
He couldn't even find it in himself to get irritated, or even smile really, when he found the Disciplinary Committee Head lounging across his floor, having decided to make himself comfortable, playing with the kittens while Pixel immediately made a beeline for him. Momma cat rubbed up against his legs, demanding attention, and really, he would rather deal with the cat than his classmate right now so he bent down and picked her up instead, mouth involuntarily twitching into a tired smile when she started purring and rubbing her chin against his face.
He scratched her ears and looked at his classmate who looked smug and very pleased with himself. The mental image of a muddy dog once more appeared in Harry's mind as he recalled how the other teenager practically wallowed in the tearing apart of the tank like a golden lab that found a stinky black muddy ditch.
“Would you like a cup of tea?” he asked quietly, figuring he wasn't going to be getting rid of the other teenager any time soon. “I have mint, lemon, blackrose, Yorkshire, and jasmine.”
“Jasmine is fine,” the other teenager said slowly, obviously quite content where he was as Tinsel attacked his fingers with every ounce of wrath her tiny body contained. Which was actually a disproportionate concentration of wrath compared to her actual size.
Harry nodded silently and left for the kitchen, he set Pixel down and filled the kettle, using the time it took for the water to boil to clean out the teapot and cups that were used earlier with his other classmates. Setting everything out ready. He poured some of the hot water into the pot and swirled it around, heating the ceramic and rinsing it a little before dumping it and then putting in the mesh filter with the jasmine tea and pouring the water in.
He let it seep for the bare minute it could before the leaves would burn while he rummaged out a few of the japanese sweets he bought the other day out of the fridge. Pixel rubbed against his legs as he dumped the tea leaves and followed his heels as he returned to the living room where Kyo was now sat up properly at the recessed table, watching him as he knelt down and put the tray on the table. Nothing was said as Harry sat down, he poured them both a cup as Akari-san had told him he should do as host, and they both drank in silence.
Pixel climbed into his lap and got herself comfortable, purring louder than her scrawny little frame would lead you to believe was possible as he dropped a hand on her back and began to stroke her from head to rear.
They drank in silence. Kyo occasionally holding his cup out for a refill and since he had the pot he refilled his own at the same time, until eventually the pot was empty, the sweets remained untouched, and all three cats were fast asleep, purring quietly, and Harry's hair was almost dry. The sun was long set and... it was peaceful. Harry didn't feel quite so dead inside, disconnected from himself in a way he hadn't even realised until now. Purring cats, hot tea, and nothing more demanding of him than a refill. Not even conversation.
The soft inhale wordlessly indicated the change, Harry looked up as Kyo gently untangled himself from Tinsel and Pretzel, setting the two sleeping balls of fuzz against each other on the floor before getting to his feet. Harry gently did the same for Pixel, having to unhook her claws from the yukata before he flashed an awful lot more than a little thigh when she protested sleepily, and got to his feet, following his classmate to the door.
He put his shoes on and collected his jacket,
“Nami-high will be closed in the morning to facilitate repairs,” he announced quietly, making Harry blink slightly in surprise. “Classes will resume in the afternoon.”
He stepped directly into Harry's personal space, close enough that yesterday he would have received a punch but right now, Harry neither had the energy or the will to lash out at him, even when he grabbed his hand and lifted it to examine his hand. His palm, and the pale pink burn scars from the dynamite he snuffed out only a week ago. Scars that shouldn't be as well healed as they were now.
Harry looked at the small pink scars on his palm, more to add to the collection he noted absently before looking down at Kyo. The Japanese teenager didn't say anything more, about the scars, how well they'd healed, or even class.
He let go and walked out, sliding the porch door shut behind him properly.
Harry went to bed.
He woke up to the wards pinging him about that fucking brat again and in a tired fit of pique, slid the window open and snarled at the kid to pack it the fuck in or next time he would be launched away from the house faster than he could say Uncle.
The kid ran away, and Harry activated the Muggle Repelling Ward. Just one fucking night of sleep, please.
The wards pinged eight times that night with attempted entry.
Pixel woke him up first thing in the morning, soft little touches and mrrps to his chin as he blinked at her. Oh yeah. Hermione did tell warn him about this. Crookshanks did it too. That first thing in the morning 'feed me for I am nought but skin and bone'. He dragged himself out of bed, fed the cats, cleaned up the dirty teapot and cups as well as his dinner plates and what not from yesterday.
He puttered through the house, casting cleaning charms, he put his laundry on, took the burnable rubbish out as that was going to be collected the next day. And then it was time for school, starting at fourth period.
He was curious about what he would find as he headed in. None of the other Namimori students seemed to be nervous or anything as they approached the school. He spotted Noa-chan, the second treasurer for the Student Council, the math whizz spotted him and crossed over the road to join him.
“Kaicho, how are you holding up after yesterday's excitement?” she asked, nudging her glasses up.
He shrugged, “It was a thing. I'm surprised more people aren't unsettled though,” he admitted, looking around at the other Namimori students as they headed in to school. If it weren't for the hour of the day it would be absolutely indistinguishable to every other morning since he'd actually started attending.
Noa-chan tucked a few strands of dark hair behind her ear, “It isn't unusual. It's always scary when it happens. But it isn't unusual. Nami-students are tough.”
He nodded slowly. If shit like giant robots were common then much like his own classmates, they probably got desensitised to it. Unlike the teachers who would flip their shit like – well like they did back in Hogwarts if they weren't actually members of the Order or had actually done anything during the First Rise. He probably owed an apology to convini and the sword boy. Even if he would have to have further words with them about using those bloody weapons in appropriate situations only and not for petty squabbles amongst themselves or with other students.
It was really fucking aggravating that he was suddenly the responsible voice of reason fucking preaching about weapon safety and reasonable force. Could he please go back to the days when hexing Malfoy because he was an awful bigoted toadie who kept picking fights and insulting Mrs Weasley and calling Hermione slurs was funny and righteous, and not in the slightest bit a sour reminder of his own father's prejudices and bullying behaviour?
Namimori High looked – fine.
All the damages were repaired and even the walls repaired, the fresh paint smell was also missing. Did... did someone use magic for this? He pressed his lips together uncertainly, frowning at the stretch of corridor outside his classroom. He knew the Japanese Ministry of Magic wouldn't be so sloppy, they'd kept themselves well hidden and there were no major Statitute breaches on their record for decades.... And Harry couldn't feel any magic – not really. There was something buzzing against his senses but it wasn't magic.
Noa-chan patted his shoulder as she passed on her way to Class 3-A, “You'll get used to it.”
He really didn't want to.
Sighing quietly for the upteenth time since he started this school, he stowed his shoes (and took his bento in the classroom in his bag rather than risk having it be destroyed again, his shoes still smelt of teriyaki sauce), and headed into the classroom to greet everyone. Everything was.... distressingly normal. Harry felt like he was almost having an out of body experience, absolutely no one and nothing was out of the ordinary, no one was nervous or reacting strangely save for the teachers who occasionally glanced out of the windows now and again. Namimori students were tough huh.... Hogwarts students were too. But if this had only been going on recently then... the teachers weren't desensitised yet. Maybe he should see about contacting Professor McGonagall and asking for some advice to pass on to them?
Lunchtime rolled around and still... nothing was different...
Harry took a deep breath and told himself to let it go, he ate his lunch while listening to Haruto and Takumi's antics, Haru and Daiki snarking and occasionally interjecting on whatever conversation/argument the pair were having. PE was after lunch and they were doing relay racing and running, the teacher though....
Harry stared down at what was very obviously a five year old child in a gym uniform with a whistle around his neck.
“I am the substitute teacher for gym class, Reboyama-sensei. Since Ito-sensei has been discovered an unfit teacher you will be under my care for the foreseeable future.” He drew a gun, “Start running.”
Harry frowned, bristling, only for Haruto to grab his arm and bolt, dragging him along in his wake, “You don't want to get on his badside!” the other third year said as they ran. “Had him for maths once in Middle School. He's – ruthless. Hit Isamu between the eyes with chalk so hard it gave him a concussion, his mom pulled him out into a different school. Keep your head down, do as you're told, and give it your all and he'll leave you alone,” the teenager advised. And shrieked when a rubber bullet bounced right in front of them.
“If you have the energy to chatter then you've got energy to run! Faster!” the demon child demanded.
Harry frowned at him. There was something.... magic about that kid. And not in a good way. Something very, very dark lingered on him.
By the end of the lesson, even Harry was sweating and out of breath, greedily sucking on his water bottle as they trooped back into the changing rooms for showers and fresh clothes. The demon child had worked them ragged and Haruto and Takumi had to run interference on him as well, grabbing him before he could do anything when a rubber bullet was shot at a student and Harry moved before he even realised what he was doing. Who the fuck uses riot bullets in a damn school? In a PE lesson?! The scars on the back of his hand ached.
After that it was business as usual for the Student Council, budget reports, club activities, Harry made a mental note to formally raise his concerns about Reboyama's methods in writing for Shiori to pass onto the faculty (he doubted the teachers would DO anything about it, but it was important to show a record that he'd at least tried official channels before he took matters into his own hands. Again), and then there was the anonymous box. More reports about Sawada and his gang, these Harry looked at carefully. There were far too many to be ignored at this point, he was definitely going to have to call Sawada out and get an explanation. He sighed, scratching at his wet hair as he began to lay out all the complaints about Sawada and his gang, everyone involved, all the names, and then the incidents. He was also going to have to check their student profiles and see what information he could get out of the faculty as well – he still wasn't convinced that this was all Sawada's doing instead of rumours that had grown out of proportion that had now taken a life of their own. But he had every intention of getting to the bottom of it.
He looked up, Kyo-san stood in the doorway of his office, frowning at the mess on his desk.
Harry sighed, “I'm a little busy right now, Kyo-san. Is it important?” he asked only a little plaintively as he flipped to another photocopy of multiple complaint notes, numbered for the spreadsheet that he then copy and pasted onto the document he was intending to print out for Sawada to read tomorrow.
“You are investigating Sawada,” he stated flatly.
Harry nodded, highlighting the complaints regarding violence in red, “There have been over a hundred written complaints about him and his gang. I can't ignore it anymore,” he explained flatly before gesturing at the other teenager to come over and opening up a document preview of what he had been doing so far when Kyo hovered over his shoulder. Harry didn't know if it was a culture thing or a Kyo thing, but he was getting used to it either way. “Red is complaints regarding violence. Green property damage. Pink sexual harassment. Blue is theft. White is disturbance of the peace. And grey is for things his little gang have been doing. Some of the things I've been reading are outright illegal, I doubt he's actually done them. I know rumours can take a life of their own, but after yesterday, I'm beginning to think there may be a grain of truth to some instances.” He chewed his lower lip, hating himself for saying it, because he would have hated it if anyone said it to him, if anyone had even tried. But, their circumstances were very different, “You've been in the same school as Sawada for a time, Tetsuya-san tells me that the Disciplinary Committee have an informal duty to deal with anyone that bothers him. Is his home life good? I know they have enough money to hire a nanny, and there are a number of young children that aren't blood related, so I can assume they are financially comfortable....” he trailed off, looking up at the Disciplinary Committee Chairman's jaw.
“His father is absent. But affluent,” Kyo eventually stated before looking down at him. “What are you thinking.”
Harry looked away, grimacing, “If – what I'm being told is true... For the safety of the students.... it may be best if he were home schooled.”
He had withdrawn from Hogwarts when Dumbledore died, as soon as it became a legal possibility to no longer live with the Dursleys', even though the Trace was still on his wand. He had left Hogwarts the moment their greatest defender had fallen, the moment when his presence at the school was a danger too great to be born. If Sawada's gang activities were drawing this kind of backlash, then... if his home life was good enough, he should leave.
Namimori wasn't Hogwarts. It was just a building to its students.
It wasn't a home.
But he still felt dirty suggesting that someone be forced out of their place for the actions of others. But by that same virtue, it wasn't right that Sawada was even being targetted in the first place. And what was to say that he wouldn't be attacked in his own home? Then the children, his mother, and their nanny would be threatened.
“Why is he even being attacked in the first place?” he asked, turning to him.
“You are concerned.”
Harry scowled, “Of course I'm concerned!” he snapped, bristling furiously even as Kyo spun his chair around, bracing both of his hands on the arms of the chair practically trapping him there. “He's a kid, and people are attacking him without a care for collateral!”
“They will be Bitten to Death,” Kyo said quietly, making Harry frown in bewilderment. What the hell kind of threat was that? He froze when the Japanese teenager touched his face, what – oh. The scar. Harry grimaced in annoyance as Kyo-san pushed his fringe up and paused. He batted the other teenager's hand away and then quite purposefully tried to stand up – Kyo didn't move. And he scowled as he landed right back in his seat after bouncing off him. Kyo just smirked at him, and Harry felt the incredibly childish urge to slip his wand and turn him into a frog, or maybe a hedgehog. Something small and cute and helpless, and see how he smirked then.
“And what's that supposed to mean?” the former Gryffindor demanded sharply.
“I will Bite to Death anyone who disturbs Namimori's peace,” he stated quite calmly, as if this were a perfectly reasonable thing to say in a human conversation. “So you needn't worry of outside threats, Kaicho. They will be handled.”
“Before or after everyone gets traumatised or harmed by bloody robots busting into the school building?” he snapped, attempting to stand and shove him aside again only to have a hand push him back down, and hold him down, his chair screeching slightly as he found himself pushed against the shelving behind his desk, the Japanese teenager looming over him.
“They will be handled, Kaicho,” Kyo promised intently. “All you need to focus on, is Nami-High. Manage the nest. I will ensure you are not disturbed.”
Harry swallowed, he – had no idea what was being said here.
“Kyo. If a student is in danger – ”
His expression darkened, and more pressure was applied to his chest warningly, “All threats will be Bitten to Death. As they always have.”
“Yeah? Well not good enough, apparently,” he snarked irritably.
The smirk he got in return was positively ghoulish with the degree of bloodthirst in it, “Understood, Kaicho,” he practically purred before pulling away and heading out of the door.
Harry blinked, wait, wait – fuck!
He scrambled to his feet, “Kyo! That's not what I meant!” he yelped chasing after him, “I didn't mean you – where?” he spluttered, drawing up short when he couldn't find him in the Student Council Room. He wasn't in the corridor either when Harry burst out of the office. “Oh fuck,” he moaned, dragging both hands through his hair in dismay.
“Kaicho?” Rika asked tentatively.
He sighed, “I fucked up,” he admitted distantly. “He's going to be even worse now.”
Hibari: This sounds like permission to Bite Harder. Yes. I approve. Acceptable.
Harry: WAIT NO SHIT! THAT WASN'T WHAT I MEANT YOU PSYCHOPATH!!
Reading the comments on the last chapter was agony when I'd already had this one written (been sat on it while I wrote the next one because I'm trying to keep a buffer, a tiny one), where people were talking about homeschooling for Tsuna. I had to bite my knuckle because, yeah... That's a difficult subject for Harry. I hope I described his thought processes and reluctances properly.
He slept uninterrupted through the night.
That should have been his first clue that things were about to go terribly wrong for him the next day.
The bin collectors came first thing in the morning, Tinsel decided his toes had committed some manner of mortal insult upon her honour that required bloody vengeance and he had to be very careful about stepping on her as he made his breakfast and lunch. The warming charms on his uniform to help it dry had done their job so his socks, underpants, and uniform were all dry and toasty warm when he put them on, which was amazing (even if he had to remove Pretzel from his pocket where she had been napping). Akari even met him at the driveway on his way out to wish him a good day.
So of course he got kidnapped after he turned the corner. Physically grabbed up off the street and shoved into the boot of someone's car.
What the actual fuck.
He stared up at the roof of the carboot and wondered what this was about. He could stick around and find out... but the thought of all the backlash of being kidnapped, the drama, the paperwork, the whole thing with the Ministry and the worry of his friends. No. Too much drama and fuss. No thanks.
He apparated out of vehicle and into his own front garden and broke out into a jog as he ran his way to school. He had absolutely no idea what kind of reaction the Momokyoudai had when they opened the trunk of their car to find the teenager they'd been threatened into kidnapping was missing without a sign.
Class was normal, boring, he saw Reboyama-sensei with the second years, running them ragged out in the playing field and shook his head in annoyance. No matter what way he looked at it, that was a five year old, and those were rubber bullets used in riot suppression. Riot bullets being fired at students. Admittedly they were being fired as they should be, hitting the ground first, he had yet to see any student actually hit with them but it was still a risk and it was one that was being handled by a five year old. (How did no one realise he was five? He asked Takumi but his classmate just looked confused and said it wasn't polite to point out physical deformities like that.)
As for the Student Council... The Rhythmic Gymnastics club were requesting a summer camp training week to be arranged ahead of the Winter Tournament, given the high hopes of the faculty there was a very good chance of the request being approved, the Student Council just had to put together the proposal, budget, and make the arrangements for location, hotel, and everything else that would be needed. Harry knew nothing about Rhythmic Gymnastics so sent Ichika off to ask what sort of facilities they were going to need while he, Satoshi, and Noa put calculated how much of a budget they had. It was a busy and annoying afternoon, and Harry knew he'd have never been able to do anything if Hermione hadn't suggested he learn how to handle his own finances – since he was going to be living alone in another country, he was going to have to figure it out alone if he didn't get lessons now.
So he was understandably not expecting anything to happen on his way home that evening.
Not the sky blacking out, or the air being filled with feathers and blood red crow's eyes, nor the very faint 'fufufufu' chuckling noise of someone attempting to be intimidating and failing. It was so overdone, it had to be fake.
“What new insects have decided to start crawling the streets of Namimori?” the voice wondered. Deep voice, male, not that old, probably closer to Harry's own age than Voldemort's. It didn't feel like magic around him either, damp and cold, but buzzing. As if someone had inserted an electric current into a fog-bank. Harry leaned away from the concentration of energy that loomed towards his face with a grimace, side stepping it entirely before carrying on on his walk home. He didn't have the energy, mental or physical, to deal with this right now. He had two chapters of algebra to go through, five chemical formulas to memorise, and a Japanese Literature paper to write. On top of that he was also attending his first magic cram school lesson this evening (he would be using a timeturner to get everything done and have a decent night's sleep too).
“Oh my, how terrifying. Jesus, get some new material,” he muttered under his breath as he kept walking, impatiently brushing off a tendril of damp-buzzing energy away from his neck.
“Oh? Fufu, the little wisp thinks himself above me, hm?” There was real irritation in that voice now. “How quickly you can be dragged down. Tell me, little wisp, what is your greatest fear?”
Well that was an easy question.
The screaming coalescence of multiple dementors around them was the proverbial icy slap to the face and spirit that plunged Harry back into an icy rush of adrenaline.
Cold rotting fingers brushed his face and arms, his mother's voice screaming in his head, Hermione's tortured cries, Ron's furious shouting as he stormed away, Dumbledore and Snape and learning he had been nothing more than a lamb to the slaughter. The colour of that blood red sunset the day he walked to his own death.
The patronus charm exploded from him, wings, horns, teeth, hooves, paws, fangs, like a punch to the chest he sucked in a lungful of air that tasted like rot and starlight and damp-electricity, even as everything burnt up, vanishing.
Dementors, patroni, and Harry's hands snapped out to grab the swooning teenager, heterochromatic eyes rolling, trident falling to the ground as the former Gryffindor bellowed furiously.
“WHAT IS YOUR MENTAL DEFECT?!!!” he roared, shaking the other teenager as he went completely slack, unconscious. “YOU DON'T DO THAT SORT OF THING UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT ITS GOING TO SUMMON – YOU'RE LUCKY WE DIDN'T HAVE FUCKING MAGIC HITLER AND – tch,” he sneered in disgust, roughly dropping the unconscious figure. What a fucking moron. Pathetic. He snatched up his fallen bag and stomped off, accidentally uncaringly stepping on the other teenager's hair as he left.
Dumbledore's voice echoed in his head. Snape's voice. Hermione screaming.
His breathing started coming out quickly. He stopped, hand pressing against his chest as he closed his eyes. He needed to calm down. It was just dementor exposure. Been down this road a thousand times, breathe deep, breathe in calm, breathe out fear. In. And out. In. And out. Calm in. Fear out.
He started walking again, forcing his hands to clench and unclench, controlling the shaking by touching the different textures of his clothing and bag, trying to identify the plants at the side of the road as he walked. The birds that flew over head. He just needed to calm down, it was nothing to get wound up over. Go home, have hot chocolate, a hot bath, and – he could not be fucked by homework right now. He would just have a nice long hot bath and then use the timeturner to go back and attend cram school and – it would be fine. Absolutely fine.
Dementors. No big deal. He could handle those. Been handling them since he was thirteen. Garden pests, really, at this point.
His stomach was churning uncomfortably, he must have not cooked his lunch right.
Pixel came running as soon as he opened the front door, meowing for him. Pretzel and Tinsel chasing her heels, tumbling over one another as he kicked his shoes off, not even bothering with trying to be neat or putting them in the shoe-rack. His insides felt shivery and sick. He dumped his bag in the middle of the hall, feeling Pixel rubbing against his leg, warm and – not as heavy as she should have been but – his breathing hitched as he knelt down and gathered her up.
Hermione's voice echoed in his ears. And all he could see behind his eyes was that sunset. Blood red. And Dumbledore's face in the penseive. How he fell from the Astronomy Tower, his broken body at the bottom. Sirius. The Veil. Cedric. The Cup. Voldemort rising from the Cauldron. Trelawney rising from the penseive, her voice hoarse and rasping as she spoke the words that damned him, that murdered his parents, that killed him.
Tinsel bit him.
Harry jolted back to himself as the kitten meowed in outrage, biting his foot again from where he was kneeling on the ground. Pixel brrping in concern as he gently set her down and got to his feet.
Drink. Bath. Then.... drink. Bath then drink.
He stripped, dumping his uniform in the wash as he passed, and quickly showered before crawling into the bath, letting the hot water sink into his skin and bones. Curling up. Everything felt cold. There was too much going on and he couldn't deal with it anymore. He didn't want to.
As much as he tried to check out, fall into a daze until everything stopped hurting and feeling terrible, a certain number of furry menaces who followed him into the bathroom wouldn't let him. Pixel didn't seem too bothered by the fact he was in the bath, she sat quite happily on the edge of it, occasionally sniffing at him, licking a few water drops from a shoulder or attempting to groom him. Tinsel was quite happy to play with the white loofa, she tried with the soap but the second she licked it she was furious and batting it away to be ignored. Pretzel however seemed quite horrified with his watery circumstances, pacing around the tub and crying at him, occasionally jumping up to see if, yes, he was still in water, tapping at the fluid to make sure that yep it was water, and crying some more.
Eventually he pulled himself out, sending the kittens scattering with the sudden deluge of water. Pretzel was betrayed and upset at getting even a little bit wet. He dried off and grabbed his black yukata to dress in until he had to go out.
He made himself hot chocolate and a large pot of tea, grabbed his school bag and set himself up in the living room, he might as well get some of his homework done. And right now.... it was quiet. Uncomfortably so. He would have to look into getting a radio or something because it was unsettling now. He cracked open the sliding doors to the garden, taking a moment to appreciate the rustling of the trees, and the bird song outside before sitting back down.
He stared down at the homework book he took out of his bag, seized suddenly by confusion.
What was he doing?
Since when had his first choice in anything been to study?
He traced his fingers down the pages, shivering with the sudden painful clench of homesickness, and how much he missed Gryffindor Tower, how much he missed Ron and Hermione. The DA. The Order. Everyone. He swallowed, stroking Pixel as she climbed into his lap again. He was turning to homework and to studying because there was nothing else. No one else. Just him. Just the cats. And just his text books.
He had no one he would call friend in this country, they were all far away, and he was alone. So he tried to distract himself with things that needed doing, so he couldn't ignore them. He looked down at Pixel who purred happily in his lap, pushing her head into his suddenly motionless hand with a mrrping demand for more petting. If he were brutally honest, he wouldn't have taken Pixel or her kittens in if he hadn't been so painfully and pathetically lonely. Maybe she could sense it, and that was why she was so clingy whenever he was home? She knew that he was a terrible human being and that it was only because he was lonely that he was taking care of her. She deserved better. All three of them. He should find them a better home, somewhere with an owner who wasn't absent for most of the day and emotionally compromised for what time he was there.
He sighed and reached for his hot chocolate, taking a sip and feeling it warm him, chasing away the last of the icy tendrils wrapped around his heart that the bath hadn't been able to melt.
He stroked Pixel with a small smile, taking another sip.
Whatever his initial intentions, it worked out for the better for the cats at least. He doubted they would blame him even if his desire to keep them had been selfish to begin with. And studying... homework... he remembered wishing anything for it to be his only concern back in that tent, mentally bargaining with whatever powers that be that he would never shirk it or complain about it ever again, as long as it was the only thing he had to be concerned about. Looking back, somehow homework troubles and pressure really paled in comparison. Who would get hurt, who would die, if he didn't do this right? If he got a few questions wrong? No one. That's who.
He sipped his hot chocolate and opened up to the chapters required by Ushimaru-sensei.
Plus, he didn't want Hermione to worry about him, not when she had enough to be getting on with in Australia. He hoped she found her parents. He hoped that... things didn't go too terribly when she reversed that memory charm.
And if they did, he would be there the second they called.
Ron already knew to mirror call him. And he knew the red head would. The second Hermione needed his support. Even if he had to grab Mishima by the testicles and threaten to rip them off like a papertowel in order to get an international portkey. Akari-san would be happy to feed the cats while he was away.
Harry woke, the wards pinging him of his usual nightly visitor. He just groaned and dug his face back into his arms, going back to sleep. Forgetting that he had fallen asleep at his desk while doing his homework, half finished tea at his elbow, with the doors wide open into the garden – the wards that prevented anyone from entering the house inert without a sealed boundary.
A small shadow crept towards the open doorway, staring with some disbelief at the sleeping teenager before deciding not to look a gift horse in the mouth and beginning his information retrieval.
Reborn had been trying to get into the newest foreigner's house for over a week now. A week. Him. It only served to make him even more suspicious about the latest 'threat of the month's intentions. Hibari confirmed that he had no idea who Tsuna was, and having watched recordings of that fight on the first day, Reborn was inclined to believe the Cloud. But he hadn't gotten, or survived, as long as he had by not covering his ass. So he looked into things even more carefully. There was something incredibly off about the foreigner's flame presence.
Tsuna flinched away from him in confusion and distress without realising why. Hibari however followed his heels like a dog that just scented a bitch in heat – Tsuna watched with increasingly (hilarious) horror as his Cloud Guardian acted exactly like that. Reborn had seen enough Clouds discover their hormones to identify the teenager's utter distraction, and had concluded that his information would be biased and likely useless, at least until he got it all out of his system and focused back on his Sky. Tsuna didn't think it would be that easy but Hibari was the only Cloud he'd ever had close contact with, Reborn forgave his ignorance, even if he was determined to beat it out of him after all this.
So Reborn took it upon himself to investigate. Properly.
He found out that Potter had been involved with the police against a splinter cell of the IRA, which meant he wasn't likely to be mafia. But the Mist barrier that the Vongola had arranged to go over Namimori for whenever any mafia activities kicked off, in order to prevent the police from being involved, had been utterly ignored by Potter and the JSDF forces that he'd somehow managed to get hold of. Reborn had been forced to contact the Vindice in order to get the Tomaso out of the situation before they could be hauled off by Government officials, and Omerta broken – because he didn't have any manner of high hope that those idiots would keep their mouths shut.
Potter was too good at what he did to be a civilian. Then there was the fact that he managed to cow Tsuna (not hard), Yamamoto (surprisingly difficult, though he was more ashamed than cowed), Gokudera (and wasn't he furious about it), and Ryohei (generally too stupid to be intimidated but apparently he was nervous about 'such an Extreme guy').
Adelheid's unceremonious dressing down had been entertaining at the very least. She hadn't picked a fight with Hibari since.
Still... Reborn prowled through the house, hunting for hidden knooks and crannies, weapon caches', safes, anything. He even used Leon as a divining rod to find hidden all cavities and false backs to cupboards – he found one, behind the boards in the back left-hand bedroom, it lead to a tiny crawl-space beneath the stairs that led up into the attic. It was full of homebrew rice wine, now gone bad. Clearly it had been hidden in there longer than Potter had been in the country and hadn't even been discovered by the boy yet. That was going to be a smelly surprise when they finally fermented to the point of popping/cracking. He resealed the back of the cupboard and continued exploring the house.
There were a few weird things here and there. The pewter cauldron, the old fashioned broomstick that looked far too nice to be anything but decorative.
Then there were the pictures. He found only a small handful of them. Potter had apparently attended a vibrant school in England, though his contacts had yet to tell him which school, and it was redacted on his Namimori records, apparently to protect his identity. It was even redacted on his government records. He made a mental note of the uniform crests, the fact that he could identify three differing ones was somewhat distressing, was it multiple schools or a school with only three classes/houses? The ages were standard British Sixth Form, eleven to eighteen. But the photos were unlabelled, and printed on... the paper was very strange. Non-standard photographic paper, it didn't even have the shine of normal photographs. He would liken it to the very old fashioned developed photographs, the kind that he used to develop in dark rooms back in his heyday.
Frustrated at not finding any hidden cubbies for information, he made a start on generally checking the house. This was either the most cunning person he'd ever met, or the most clueless, because Reborn couldn't find a single fucking thing.
He froze as one of the cats spotted him, the tiny silver kitten that immediately puffed up and hissed at him.
He was immediately reminded of Hibari when they first met. Tiny, weak, noisy, and aggressive. Hissing and spitting and trying to make itself seem bigger than it actually was.
“Deal with it Leon,” he muttered to the lizard as he returned to shuffling through all the papers he could find. Personal letters, talk of a baby... godson? Very young if the talk of finally being able to hold his own head up (Teddy, he mentally noted that name down, along with the grandmother, Andromeda). Another letter from America, Dennis, saying that he and his family had settled comfortably and his mother was loving all the space, his father was disgusted by the working conditions of American dairy mills, and furious at how his manager tried to prevent him from joining the Union. The funeral had been nice, he (Potter) hadn't needed to go out of his way like that, his mother was knitting something for him as a thank you, not a sweater though, Mrs Weasley (who?) would not tolerate a sweater rival.
There was a hiss from the living room where the foreigner was, the sound of rustling cloth. Reborn paused. Wondering if he should throw subterfuge out the window and just confront him straight up, only to push the thought aside. The teenager had connections to the government and enough pull to call the JSDF to Namimori in the middle of a Mist-Blackout, meaning he had enough pull that everyone assembled had the single-minded focus of assisting him. Not someone he should take lightly. Then he felt Hibari's flame outside the house, prowling around, sharp with curiosity and predatory intent – towards Reborn. He knew that he was here, and wasn't happy about it.
He sighed quietly. Flame sensitivity was rare. So of course Fon's nephew had inherited it. The Storm Arcobaleno lived to be a pain in his ass. In everyone's ass really. Bastard.
“- swear I'm going to get a bb-gun and shoot the little gremlin,” Potter growled as the sound of the sliding doors banging open filled the house. There was a shout outside and sounds of a struggle, and Reborn decided it was time to make himself scarce. Time for a tactical retreat.
He would deal with Hibari tomorrow when the Cloud inevitably confronted him about calling Mukurou into Namimori.
Reborn made a very hasty get away as a furious yell went up from the front of the house, and Hibari's flame flickered, completely dismissing him, as a cat yowled (it infuriated him, but that was the Sun in him speaking, he was always going to hate not being the centre of attention. Being insulted because he was dismissed by a baby Cloud because he had just discovered hormones was so far beneath him it would have been insulting to himself to be offended).
At some point when the wards pinged a second time, Harry got up growling furiously, not bothering with his glasses as they clattered to the table surface – he would collect them on his way up to bed properly because apparently he'd fallen asleep doing homework like a moron. He stomped to the open sliding doors, promising a whole host of creative 'discouragements' for the fucking brat that kept bothering him, only to see a much larger shape in the blurry darkness that couldn't be the tiny toddler child when he snapped the doors open completely.
The figure jumped, reaching for a weapon, Harry's wand was in the living room on the table – stupid! – he lunged forward, tackling the gloomy shadow before they could draw, flinging them both into the dirt and grass.
This – was a mistake.
The figure might not have been much taller than him, but it felt like wrestling against Charlie or Hagrid.
He went for the wand, intending to grab it and cast first, it might not work well for him but he had enough power to force it through (it might destroy the wand though, Malfoy's had certainly suffered for their short time together, the hawthorn wood splintering with the force of his spells). But the person caught his wrists and flipped him, like a dirty towel after quidditch practice, over their – his? Shoulder to slam into the ground with a yelp. The grip on his hand twitched and tightened sharply.
Alarm got Harry moving and twisting to kick the intruder in the back of the knee.
His leg was kicked aside and -
Pixel screeched, throwing herself at him.
The intruder grunted, jerking Harry's wrist as they dodged his cat, the tiny calico hissing and yowling at the top of her lungs as she tried to run him away from Harry – who was being dragged around until he reached up and grabbed the hand locked around his wrist and called up a stunner.
There was a sharp burst of light, red and purple from their joined hands.
The stunner rebounded and everything dissolved into purple light.
He expected to wake up somewhere damp and uncomfortable when awareness finally, hazily, returned to him. But instead he felt strangely hot and cold and almost drugged – the same way he did after his first panic attack after the Battle of Hogwarts when a well meaning student saw the effects and dosed him with calming draught even as another hit him with a cheering charm.
He was lying on his back in the garden, the air was cold and he could see stars and the faintest outlines of clouds overhead, the sky tinted ever so faintly blue and green with pre-dawn light. He could feel Pixel next to his head, she seemed to have decided to – no, that wasn't her breath against his neck, too much and too hot to be from a cat. He wasn't alone. There was someone on top of him, almost on top of him, curled into him and... Harry didn't want to move. He felt dazed but calm and even pleased with the situation, even as he realised that ordinarily he would be freaking out a little about being so close to someone that wasn't Ron and Hermione, or Ginny and Neville. Really, only his Gryffindor friends were particularly touchy-feely. Luna had always been a little more physically withdrawn from everyone, like Harry himself, but unlike him, she had no one willing to break down the barriers between them.
He didn't know when he fell back asleep but when he woke back up, he was at home, in his own bed, but he wasn't alone, he also felt like he was burning up with fever. He was lying on top of someone, their arms wrapped around him like bands of burning metal.
He squirmed, trying to push away, it was too hot and there were too many blankets, it felt like he couldn't breathe.
He woke. Slow and hazy. Comfortable.
Steady heartbeat in his ear, a hand on the back of his ear, stroking his neck.
He felt slow and heavy, but... he felt kind of... bloated? Like magically? Like everything inside him was too big for his skin and everything was straining and sore and sweaty from it. Like when he got a swollen foot that time he got stung by a bee, the sting didn't hurt, but his whole foot swelled up like a football, it felt like trying to walk on a hot waterbottle – if his foot was the bottle.
He didn't want to move.
This was nice. It was peaceful. He didn't dare move, not even to open his eyes. It would be reality then and he would have to – Harry Potter had to be wary of everyone and everything because of everything that had happened to him. He couldn't help it. He was scared. Letting someone touch him like this? Impossible. He wouldn't even dare cling to Ginny like this. If he opened his eyes, then he had to be rational, had to be reasonable, had to be everything Harry Potter needed to be for everyone else. Had to be the Boy Who Lived, had to be the Saviour, had to be the Man Who Conquered. Had to be the Gryffindor.... Had to be the next Dumbledore......
Had to tear pieces of himself away to give to those around him, to protect them.
He shuddered violently, feeling the hand pause and tighten on him. Grounding.
He hadn't felt whole since Hogwarts.
Something was wrong.
Today just has not been Harry's day huh? Kidnapped in the morning, assaulted in the evening, and then he got hit with a flame backlash. And what's this? Foreshadowing?
It's more likely than you'd think.
And yes, Mukurou decided to summon Harry's greatest fear, and ended up with a face full of Dementor wingwong. He would have definitely died if Harry hadn't used the Patronus Charm because Mukurou was NOT expecting soul-sucking demons that force you to relive your worst memories, like being an Estrano labrat, going to hell, and then being a prisoner of the Vindice, and then everything he recalled from his life 10 Years in the Future crammed in there as well. Mukurou's gunna have one hell of a headache and some mental health issues of his own after that episode.
He woke up alone.
No heartbeat, no hand. Just Pixel and the kittens curled up beside him, and a familiar jacket draped over him.
He felt... not entirely there. Kind of light, but kind of restless too. He couldn't focus on anything really, not right now. Just – he was hungry. Yeah. Food. He needed that, that was an important thing he required.
He didn't know why he drew the jacket around him as he stumbled down the stairs, shuffling to the kitchen and bouncing off the door frame before managing to stagger in. It just – felt like a thing he should do. How he didn't wake the cats he couldn't fathom as he frowned at the kitchen. He probably shouldn't cook like this. He would set everything on fire. Not that it mattered with the repairing charms and magic and his money – except he didn't have an awful lot of that left. He should be careful.
Was the room moving? No. That was him. He was swaying.
He shook his head, almost stumbling into the wall before he caught himself. He had... best just get some of the left overs and go back to bed. Whatever was wrong with him was... probably... what had he been hit with? He had the jacket... that was Kyo's so... Kyo had been in his house. In his bedroom. Were his doors secured?
He squinted at his fridge.
He should eat.
He pulled out some left over rice and spam, and just ate them cold out of the fridge. He picked up one of the green tea bottles he'd also had chilling in there and drank that, almost immediately feeling steadier than before – not so light headed now. But he didn't think he could deal with the rubbish process right now. He left the bottle on the side to be dealt with when his brain wasn't so fuzzy and tottered his way to check the doors and windows, to make sure the barrier was complete and the wards were active.
He felt the wards poke him about halfway, someone coming up the driveway. Their intentions were warm but Harry couldn't understand more than that with his brain like fluffy scrambled eggs right now. Not a threat.
He stood in the hallway, swaying slightly, bracing a hand against the wooden frame of the sliding doors as a shudder tore up the left side of his body, calf through to shoulder, a nerve jumping in his bicep. The front door jiggled as if someone tried to open it but couldn't. With the door closed, whether it was locked or not, the wards wouldn't let it be opened unless Harry consciously allowed it, or the person was tied into the wards.
He stumbled to go and open the door, peering blearily at Kyo as he slid the door open a crack a moment before impatient hands yanked it open and sent him spinning when he didn't let go quickly enough. Then he's being picked up, a simple lift he'd seen parents do with children before, one forearm at the waist or rear and lift.
“Wha-t...?” he wheezed, seeing the door slide shut and shoes behind them as they went into the house, he stared at them, lined up neatly, as if the owner hadn't been carrying him at the same time as toing them off. As if Harry's weight was as inconsequential as Pixel's. He blinked. They're going up the stairs. Wait. How. It was too far – he lost a moment. Where – Why...
Oh. He hadn't realised how messy is room was. It looked like his cupboard had exploded, there were two futons out, multiple blankets, including the one that Molly had pushed on him before he left for japan, hand knitted, silky, red and gold and – there are things that don't belong to him there too. Kyo swung him down off his shoulder, letting him find his feet but not letting him go, and when he breathed out there was.... purple?
Harry squinted at him, without his glasses everything is fuzzy, and with his brain so fluffy he's... not sure he's... seeing things right.
“Why are you breathing purple?” he asked plainly, feeling his whole body tense up like a rock column. Then – they were lying down? Harry lost a few seconds and now he was on his back in the decimated remains of his bed, Kyo on top of him, face buried in the side of his neck, cuddling him. He frowned at the ceiling. Wondering why he wasn't more freaked out by this before blinking again. “Did you answer me?” he asked slowly, trying to force his scrambled egg brain to function.
“Why not?” he wondered. There was a hand in his hair, tangled tightly, a thumb smoothing across his temple. He shuddered, there was something wrong here. He shouldn't like this. He knew he wouldn't be comfortable with this.
He planted a hand on the Disciplinary Committee Head's face and shoved up and away. Throwing him, physically, through the open door to crash into the railing in front of the stairs.
“What – did you – do to me?” he groaned, struggling furiously as he gathered his limbs up under him and pushed himself up. Forget punch-drunk and happily dazed. He was angry now, and it felt like his head was stuffed with cotton wool filled with burning ants, with more of them climbing up his body all up under his skin. It wasn't natural, he wanted to claw his skin off to get at the buzzing. He bared his teeth at the Japanese teenager, fury bubbling up inside him like a roaring inferno. How dare he. How dare he! What did he do to him?!!
Kyo grinned at him, that familiar ghoulish smile of vicious pleasure and satisfaction.
Fury howled in his veins. That was all but a confession that he had done something and this was what he wanted.
Pixel howled and exploded from the open cupboard between then, running at Kyo only to dart back at Harry, turning her body sideways and puffing herself up violently. She was such a skinny little thing but right now she looked three times her actual size.
Kyo looked down at her for a long moment as Harry pushed himself up to his feet, feeling too hot for his skin. She hissed and flexed her claws, swiping at the air, and yowling even louder as he stalked forward.
She lunged for him but – Harry didn't see what happened next, one moment her claws were scratching on the tatami as she lunged for him, the next he had her by the scruff of the neck in one hand, the other with all four of her paws in hand. He dropped her gently outside the room and slid the door shut behind him. She wasn't hurt. And that was the only reason Harry didn't take his fucking head off.
“What – is this?” he snarled roughly, “What did you – do to me?”
Kyo's grin was smug, “You can feel it,” he said, or asked, it was hard to tell. He felt... too much. Like he was swollen and too hot. And he hated it.
“WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?!!” he bellowed, patience snapping, the window cracking abruptly with a sound like a gunshot.
He didn't see Kyo move.
He hit the ground on his back, legs twisting strangely from where they had been kicked out from under him, and was pinned.
No! No, no, no, no, No, No, No, NO! NO!!!
Magic flung him through the cracked window, and Harry grabbed the wards, firming and hardening them.
Kyo hit the ground, bounced, and was flung out of the ward-line, with prejudice.
The buzzing pressure faded, he felt the air begin to cool, and – he broke his fucking house.
Harry stared at the gaping hole in his house and collapsed back on his trashed futons with a groan, scowling and banishing that asshole's jacket to follow along after him. He also summoned the wards to throw his shoes out after him, at him. Hopefully they would give him a concussion on the way out!
Pixel screamed outside his door.
He missed several days of school. It was Saturday. Whatever that asshole had done to him stole days and made him miss in two check-ins, one with the Japanese Ministry, and one with Ron and Hermione whom took his explanation for what happened with great worry. Hermione promised to research what it could have possibly been while Ron recommended contacting Bill for advice on how to prevent compulsion and mind-control, he'd apparently run into it a lot as a Curse Breaker, in the meanwhile, he was going to put the word out to the rest of the DA telling them what had happened.
The Japanese Ministry were just as worried, but also pushy. They wanted to send him for another purification ritual, but after what happened with Mishima, Harry didn't want to trust them. He told them flat out he was seeking help from trusted individuals first, if there was going to be another ritual then he sure as shit wasn't going in there without back up. He didn't care if Mishima's boss was offended by his lack of trust, the man was as soft and helpless as Fudge had been with no clue of Dark magic, or a very good actor. Harry couldn't trust him, wouldn't trust him. He opened himself once, tried to put his past behind him, tried to be a normal teenage boy.
Look how well that had gone.
Fuck the Japanese Ministry, Mishima, his boss, and Kyo.
He went in early that Saturday to avoid the Disciplinary Committee but also to talk to Chouno-sensei. He gave her his official complaint regarding Reboyama-sensei using physical punishment and threats on the students, he then also requested that a meeting be arranged between himself and Sawada Tsunayoshi of Class 2-A in his capacity as Student Council President. He smiled, stiff and unhappy, when his classmates spoke to him but didn't offer any information on what happened, he spoke when spoken to but kept to himself. Thankfully the Japanese weren't prone to prying, and any kind of talk of 'feelings' or personal information would make them uncomfortable. He was largely left to his own devices once they realised he wasn't in the mood to humour them. Thankfully his meeting with Sawada was at lunch time so he wouldn't have to deal with anyone during that period of time.
Tetsuya tried to get his attention in the hallway as he passed by, but he ignored him, narrowing his eyes and quite pointedly sidestepping him without looking as he snapped the Guidance Office door's open and stepped inside.
He didn't have long to wait before Sawada got there, long enough to calm himself down and take a look at the new information that had been gathered during his short absence from school. Sawada's younger brother broke onto school grounds and caused an incident and property damage. Sasagawa held some manner of contest that resulted in a riot, and property damage. Sawada skipped three classes on one day and was seen with suspicious men. He was also failing three classes and barely scraping by in the rest.
“Y-you wanted to see me, Kaicho?” Sawada asked, peeking into the room.
“What the hell do you want with Tenth anyway?” Convini demanded, slamming the door open and stalking in.
Harry ignored him, watching Sawada coldly. He was not amused.
Thankfully, he seemed to at least have some concept of other people's moods, Sawada blanched under his glare and fluttered, “G-Gokudera-kun, you don't need to – I don't need – ”
“I've never been to the Guidance Office, it's nice,” Yamamoto Takeshi concluded, sauntering in after his silver haired friend, looking around curiously.
Sawada went paler as he glanced to Harry.
“Close the door,” he stated flatly, plunging the room into awkward silence as the two taller boys exchanged wary glances over Sawada's head. Evidentially realising whatever intimidation tactic they were attempting wasn't going to work, not on him. Sawada swallowed and slid the door shut before standing between his friends and swallowing. “Sit.”
“Don't order Tenth around like – ” Convini snapped his mouth shut when Harry looked at him.
The three sat, Sawada attempting to shrink down in his seat as Harry dropped the folder of complaints on the table in front of them.
“Five hundred and twenty eight complaints referencing Sawada Tsunayoshi or his friends by name,” he stated flatly, watching as the three went stiff and stared at him in confusion and surprise. “Over two hundred and fifty involve property damage. A hundred regarding assault. Over fifty regarding sexual harassment involving stripping, streaking, and one of your child dependents sneaking into the girls' changing rooms and stealing undergarments. And these are the complaints that mention you and yours by name.” He looked at them with a scowl, “I'm familiar with rumours that gain a life of their own, people adding to the story to inflate their own self-importance. But then half of the third year corridor was caved in by a tank.” Sawada sank in his seat. “Then I found out that this wasn't the first time that someone targeting you had put the students of this school at risk. That all phone communications go down whenever these incidents occur. That the Disciplinary Committee have a long standing rule of picking fights with all foreigners that come to this school for the sole purpose of ferreting out threats to you.
“And then I come back from being ill to reports of more property damage, of a riot, of your child dependents trespassing and attacking students. And then there's your record as a student – you're failing, Sawada. You're failing badly.
“Shut up Gokudera-san, you were not invited to this conversation,” he hissed, snapping his head around to the silver haired boy when he opened his mouth to argue.
“What are you trying to say, Kaicho?” Yamamoto asked instead.
Harry glared at him before turning his glare onto the brunet between them.
“Pull. Your. Finger. Out. Sawada. Whatever dumb as shit gang activity you're in, stop fucking around and either drop out entirely or kick it to the kerb. You're putting the other students at risk with these attacks, your gang members are out of control – I SAID SHUT THE FUCK UP GOKUDERA BEFORE I GAG YOU WITH YOUR OWN SEVERED LIMBS!!” he roared, slamming a hand onto the table – and cracking it.
He sucked in a sharp breath at the burst of Accidental Magic and closed his eyes, taking a moment to breathe, completely ignorant to the horrified expressions and glances the trio exchanged before he opened his eyes and they leaned back. Swallowing at the very faint amethyst glint in his iris.
“Control your people, Sawada. Or they will be expelled. These people don't deserve to be endangered by your choices,” he stated quietly. “You don't want that to happen. Believe me. Watching your classmates get murdered in front of you is...” He swallowed, feeling his hands beginning to shake as he remembered the mess Fenrir had made of Lavender, Fred's empty eyes and how his skull was... wrong. “You don't want to see that,” he whispered roughly before getting to his feet and gathering up the folder of complaints.
“Um, K-Kaicho? Are you okay?” Sawada ventured nervously, standing up.
“No. Sawada. I am not,” he choked out past the hard lump in his throat. He was not okay.
He hadn't been okay since he was fourteen. Since he was eleven.
He left the Guidance Office, side-stepping Kyo and Tetsuya without glancing as he did so. Ignoring their voices as they called out to him.
The rest of the day passed in silence. He sent a text message to Rika telling him that he still wasn't feeling well and would not be coming in for the Student Council this afternoon, but had spoken with Sawada about his gang activity and what not. He would give them an update when he felt up to it. Sorry.
The shakes didn't really set in until he got home. Until the door slid shut behind him and the wards sealed and everything was quiet and warm and safe, and then he fell to pieces.
Kingsley – Kingsley warned him there would be moodswings. That he would have days when getting out of bed would be hard. When dealing with people would feel like torture. That everyone who had fought in the First Rise understood, that if he ever needed help, advice, anything, he was only a mirror call away. That he shouldn't be alone after incidents like this.
Pixel meowed at him, loudly, rubbing against him with her entire weight, physically trying to push him over with her scrawny weight.
It wasn't – it – it was enough.
It was enough.
He shuddered back into himself. It felt like his joints were filled with broken glass as he forced himself to get up out of the porch, to go into the house properly. He collected Pixel, Tinsel, and Pretzel's food plates and refilled them, he vanished the soiled cat-litter and topped it back up. He took a bath while they ate, the hot water and stiff bristled scrubbing brush scouring away the sick shivery distant feeling on his skin. He put on fresh night clothes when he got out, scrubbed his face, shaved the few wispy patches that were attempting to grow, brushed his hair, used the fruit-scented moisturiser that Hermione got him because it reminded him of her and he – he needed that right now. Since she wasn't there herself.
He went upstairs and wrapped himself in the blanket that Molly made and mirror called them. He needed to see them, talk to them. He needed to know they were okay.
Hermione's tear-stained face and Ron's paler than usual appeared and he coughed on a miserable laugh, “I see you're having as wonderful a time as I am,” he greeted.
Hermione burst into tears.
Harry followed shortly after.
Hermione found her parents. Or rather, just her mother.
They were divorced, now living on separate sides of the continent, hence why it took her so long to find even one of them. Her mother was already seeing someone new, not a patient, but the father of one of her apprentice nurses. And Hermione couldn't – she couldn't bring herself to reverse the Memory Charms on her, not now. Not knowing that the only reason her parents had stayed together was because of her! Not when her mother had moved on and seemed so much happier. That she would speak so dismissively and scornfully of her former husband when questioned. Hermione was heartbroken and hadn't been able to do it. And now she wasn't even sure if she wanted to find her father. She didn't even know what had caused them to separate in the first place! It was too private a question to ask when her mother thought she was a stranger and oh, that had hurt. That had hurt in ways Hermione wasn't ready to face yet.
Ron was freaked out because – divorce didn't happen often in the magical world. It wasn't a cliché to say that magic drew people together. That yes, they were human and dumb and shit happened, but magic drew people together and divorce was rare because people made their relationships work. They worked for it. That Hermione's parents had separated as nastily as they apparently had was unsettling to him as much as it had been traumatising to Hermione. He was trying to comfort her but he had no idea how.
Harry admitted to his flashback, to his talk with Sawada triggering it.
They all had a good cry and sat with one another in silence more than not. Harry eventually even fell asleep with the mirror still active, waking up once or twice to the sound of Hermione crying again, Ron's voice quietly trying to reassure her. He spoke to, wishing more than anything he could reach through the silver-enchanted glass to touch her. Hearing Hermione cry tore at him. She shouldn't cry. He woke now and again to Ron calling him out of a nightmare, to Hermione's voice coaching him through the beginning stages of a panic attack.
He felt steadier the next day, lighter, cooler, the burning ants under his skin and the bubbling hard lump of fury in his stomach were calm, smoothed away, not quite gone but ignorable. He didn't feel like he was less than an inch from the edge. As it was a Sunday he had a lovely day doing practically absolutely nothing but his housework, he cleaned the bathroom, sorted his rubbish out, bulk-cooked dinners and lunch for the rest of the week, had a mirror-call with Dennis in America, the excitable boy gushing about his new school and his new friends and telling him all about 'youtube' and the music and videos on it. They ended up exploring a whole bunch of interesting videos and spent an hour going through a whole bunch of sea shanties, laughing and singing along to some of the raunchier ones before Dennis' mother showed up to scold him about being up so late at night. As soon as she found out that it was Harry on the other end, she was all gratitude and asking for an address to forward her gift to him, it was almost finished, she just had a little more to do and it would be ready in time for his birthday. He gave her Hermione's address as everything went through her or Bill, Australia would ship to him much more cheaply than England though.
Akari-san appeared and they had dinner together before she left again and Harry went to bed. No one disturbed him in the night, all of the cats were particularly clingy after his stint with illness and the fight he had with Kyo, so he didn't even attempt to close them in the cat room. He had tidied his bedroom, putting away all the stray blankets and futons, leaving just the one, though he did set out a second pillow beside him – Pixel was immediately settling herself onto it and her babies followed quickly.
It was a peaceful night. And an easy morning. He collected one of his pre-made lunches, put it in his bag and headed out to school.
Kyo was stood at the end of his driveway.
And he was right back to where he was the day before yesterday, furious and buzzing with it. He grit his teeth and stepped forward, determined to ignore him.
He half expected Kyo to grab him, but he didn't. Only fell into step beside him in complete silence, not even looking at him. They walked in silence and Harry could feel himself getting more and more restless, wound up, the ants under his skin buzzing and burning with tension and adrenaline. He turned abruptly and took the long way to school, hoping that the other boy would split away for the sheer principal of the matter, only for him to keep step and make no comment. Kyo didn't even look at him.
So he slowed.
So did Kyo.
He sped up.
And so did Kyo.
He stopped. “What?!” he demanded, finally losing patience.
Kyo stared at him with those knife-like slate grey eyes, and then took a step forward.
Harry did not step back. There was a wall behind him and he would not be boxed in again. He made that mistake with this boy far too many times for his personal comfort – Kyo was quick. Harry was quicker but he wasn't a physical fighter, and after their tussle in the garden he had come to the very unpleasant realisation that not once had Kyo taken him seriously as a physical threat. He didn't have to. And Harry should be very thankful of that because if it came to blows he would lose if he couldn't get away or get to his wand.
“You missed Student Council on Saturday,” he stated unhappily.
He glared, “Not that it is any of your business, but I was unwell,” he snapped aggressively.
“You aren't sick,” the teenager refuted with narrowed eyes.
“Well something is wrong with me!” the former Gryffindor almost yelled, bristling at their close proximity as the buzzing started to fill his ears, “Something you did. So you'll have to forgive me if I don't want anything to do with you!” he sneered, packing as much sarcasm and scorn as he conceivably could into his tone. Japanese wasn't a language that lent itself particularly well to sarcasm, but judging by the darkening of Kyo's features he must have gotten his point across well enough.
“Not wrong,” he snapped out shortly. Harry scoffed, his eyes narrowing.
“Yes wrong! Ever since you did that weird purple thing, it's felt like there are ants under my skin! I can't focus, and everything. Is pissing. Me. OFF!!” he yelled, trying to shove him away only to end up pushing himself away when Kyo didn't so much as rock backwards on his heels. Which was fine, it gave him the space to turn and storm towards the school, or at least try as Kyo grabbed his arm and forced him to a stop.
An unfamiliar man's voice interrupted, “As entertaining as this is,” he began making the two stop and look at him. He was tall and thin with a long neck, unruly white hair that halo'ed out from his head like a dandelion puff, little round glasses, and green traditional Japanese clothing, “could you not fight in front of my – ” he stopped, mid-sentence, and stared at Harry with a frozen look of disbelief on his face, dark eyes going wide as if he'd seen a ghost.
His heart sank.
“Oh for fuck's sake!” he groaned, looking skyward. This guy was magical. “Just what else did they lie about?! Let me the fuck go already!!” he snarled, attempting to walk away only to find it impossible with his arm in a vicegrip. One that didn't shift even as he tried to wrench himself free. The Disciplinary Committee Head scowling thunderously at the man who was now looking between the two of them with a very strange expression on his face, eyes narrowing, too sharp, too perceptive. The strange man huffed in bitter amusement.
“You really should, Little Cloud. Before you end up as something small and squishable,” he said kindly, gently, threateningly. Harry felt Kyo's grip on his forearm spasm and tighten to the point of painful. Fear? Anger? Both? Kyo didn't do fear, Harry didn't think it was possible, not really. This wasn't right. He shifted in front of the taller boy, frowning at the stranger.
“Thank you for the concern, but this has nothing to do with you, sir,” he stated shortly, glaring.
He smiled mildly, “I'm afraid anything to do with the last of my people is very much my business. Your blood is watered down and you've been broken so thoroughly you're weaker even than Yuni. But what you must have been...” he trailed off sadly as he stepped out of the doorway of the strange traditional style shop that hadn't been there when he and Kyo had stopped on this street.
His words though, set alarm bells ringing in Harry's head. 'Watered down blood'? That sounded like Purist talk in a different hat hiding behind a different emotion. He shifted a foot backwards, ready to grab Kyo's arm and apparate out of there, damn the Statute, Mishima could do his job and deal with it if this was just some creepy brain damaged muggle, but Harry wasn't going to take the risk. “I'm not sure I appreciate your language, sir.”
Kyo then decided to throw all of his plans out of the window without so much as a by-your-leave, yanking him backwards and drawing one of his truncheons to threaten the man, “If you interfere with Namimori High matters, I will Bite You To Death,” he vowed darkly – to thin air.
Harry blinked, what – hands settled on his shoulders and he tensed so suddenly it hurt.
“We should speak in private,” the white haired man decided from where he, and his shop, were now behind them on the otherside of the street, where they most assuredly had not been five seconds before hand. He opened his mouth to shout, only for Kyo to snarl furiously and lunge at a shadow, letting him go in favour of smashing a hole in the wall. The white haired man pulled him backwards into his shop. “He'll be fine. I'll have him chase his tail for a while as we talk.” Harry couldn't move, the man's words were echoing in his ears as the world got further and further away, ants buzzing burning under his skin as it felt like he was swallowed by the shop, by the darkness, by that same cold damp fuzz that the dementor summoner used.
He landed on a soft floral patterned couch.
“Would you like some tea, or coffee?” the strange man asked casually, bustling around the.... antique shop?
Harry scrambled out of the couch and stared around in confusion. It was laid out neatly and orderly, but there was no denying the fact that this was a very old antique shop, complete with old furniture smell and a number of objects and trinkets that were definitely magical in origin. “Or some manner of soft drink? You're of that age where everything has to be carbonated, aren't you? Human ages are confusing for me,” he admitted, sounding uncertain as Harry heard cupboard opening in the other room.
“No. What the hell was that? And who are you?” he demanded sharply, looking around for an exit but it was like the furniture had rearranged itself when he turned his head and there was no exit. He shoved his hand into his bag for the comfort of his wand. He had been in two minds about bringing it in all honesty and now he was glad he did. With his mood being what it was and the temptation to turn Kyo into a frog, he hadn't wanted to bring it for fear of actually using it when his temper inevitably went up like a Guy Fawkes' night fireworks display. But on the other hand, tanks, abductions, scrotes who could summon fucking gift baskets full of dementors, he would have called himself stupid to leave his wand at home. So he brought it anyway.
“No? A pity. With the exception of Yuni and her ancestors, I have not had any of my own kind to visit for centuries,” the white haired man admitted sadly as he reappeared with a cup of his own tea. “Please, sit, I only wish to talk.”
He made no move to take the couch, “Who are you and what do you want?” he demanded again.
“My current name is Kawahira. I could not tell you my birth name, it's been so long since I have last gone by it I have quite forgotten. Something likely incomprehensible and garbled by modern linguistic standards. As for what I want, I only wish to talk. I was not lying when I said it has been entirely too long since I last spoke with one of my own kind. I thought Yuni and myself the last, and then you appear on my doorstep with the Little Cloud,” he mused happily, smiling as he stared at Harry studying carefully, in relief.
“Your kind,” he echoed, squinting suspiciously at him. “You talk like you, like we, aren't human.”
The man smiled over the rim of his cup, “You are sharp. And indeed not. Though modern science may attempt to claim otherwise, centuries of humanity past have more than made their feelings clear on the matter. Tell me,” he requested as he set his cup down, “Have you ever done something you couldn't explain in a moment of high emotion? Something.... magical? And I do not refer to your Dying Will Flames, though they are connected.”
Harry felt the hair on the back of his neck go on end, “Dying Will Flames?” he asked, “What are those...?”
He blinked slowly, as if Harry's ignorance was a surprise. “My. You truly are a frog in a well.” A book zipped from somewhere in the shop and floated over to Kawahira's hand where he opened it up and set it down on the table facing Harry, revealing a figure surrounded by seven coloured fire symbols and a language he didn't have a hope in hell of understanding. There was an eighth flame, coloured black, added more recently to the side with a tiny paragraph written in more of the same language. He looked up at Kawahira with a frown. The man stared back at him before blinking, “Ah, right. You won't know the Mother Tongue, the humans of yesteryear called it the language of angels, Enochian, and forbade anyone not of the upper echelons of the Church from knowing it.” He sighed in tired frustration and just as quickly dismissed it.
Dying Will Flames? Enochian?
“Dying Will Flames are the magic of the soul. It is power drawn directly from your resolve and your very existence,” he explained pointing down to the page before lifting a hand and igniting it with dark navy blue fire, only... it looked more like smoke than actual fire? “Mist. Creation, illusion, manipulation. The seventh element.” He tapped the page and the flame of similar colour, and then slid his finger down to the purple one, “Cloud. Propogation, multiplication, freedom. The human you were with earlier was the only one in town, now you are here as well.” Harry snapped his head up to the man in suspicious disbelief. He chuckled, extinguishing his blue fire. “Namimori has the highest concentration of humans capable of wielding Dying Will outside of a few select locations in Italy, Russia, and China. But Dying Will does not make them the same as you or I, nor even Yuni though her blood is far more watered down than yourself. You still possess the full accompaniment of our powers, she has inherited only the gift of Foresight.” Harry tensed unhappily, he had better not be about to get wrapped up in more fucking prophesy bullshit. “I myself have forgotten much though,” he admitted with an unhappy frown, “I have always been skilled with Curses and now I find that my skills in all other magical disciplines have grown stagnant. We have whittled our numbers down to only us three, an irony, given the Tri-ni-sette that is no longer under my purview. Though I suppose there is hope. You are close to Yuni in age, we can repopulate....”
Disgust turned his stomach acidic.
“You're insane,” he stated flatly. He was absolutely not ever going to sleep with some girl just because they happened to – what? Be the last of some people because of a crazy pureblood psycho in Japan.
Kawahira looked up at him, and he could feel the magic crawling up his skin now. He called his own, shoving aside the chilled tendrils of weak influence as if he were brushing himself free of cobwebs. It was nothing, but by the look of surprise and astonishment on the man's face Harry might have well just slapped him.
“You know how to wield your magic,” the man breathed.
Harry scoffed, “Duh. How long have you been living under a rock?” he demanded shortly, “We aren't the last magic users.” Kawahira stared at him, slow and reptilian, as if the words hadn't made sense. “There's about three million of us in England alone. Japan has about six million. Don't even ask me about America, half of their communities are so well hidden under wards MACUSA still don't know where they are.”
“...MACUSA?” he prompted quietly.
“Magical Congress United States of America. There's the International Confederation of Wizards in Europe too. I don't know where you've been for the last millennia but magic users are everywhere. Hell, I ended up in Namimori primarily because it was like... one of ten places in the entirety of Japan that didn't HAVE any Magic users registered living here.” He gave Kawahira a particularly irritated look, “Which makes sense when I think about it because you have no idea there's a bloody magical government.”
He shook his head, “That – cannot be...” he croaked, his breath shaking.
Harry stared, and felt a swell of pity. Not enough to take him into the wards but.... “If you're keeping Kyo busy, I can take you to the nearest magic quarter. We can find some history books for you, so you can figure out whatever happened that caused you to drop off the map,” he suggested kindly before checking his phone, “The next train to Sakura ward is in half an hour so if we want to catch it we should go now. The train station is a fifteen minute walk away.”
Kawahira just looked lost. Small and tired and young all at the same time.
To an onlooker, a non-Namimori native, it would have been comical. To those not of Tsuna's acquaintance, it would have been odd and slightly disturbing. To anyone who had been there on the Last Fated Day, it was horrifying.
“Hi-Hibari-san!!” the Tenth head of the Vongola yelled in fright, watching as his Cloud Guardian went absolutely feral at Uncle Kawahira, doing his absolute damned best to take the Mist's head off. The man in question barely even flicking an eyelid as he danced away from the vehicle of utter destruction, eating a fake mist summoned bowl of ramen to add insult to injury.
Hibari, normally the coolest and calmest in a battle, too busy enjoying himself and destroying the enemy, fighting was where he felt at home, was frantic.
Reborn sighed in disgust, “It seems as though something has happened with Potter,” he complained unhappily.
Tsuna stared at his Cloud Guardian, taking him in, Intuition chiming softly in the back of his head. Hibari was not a typical Cloud. There were times when he wondered if he was all of their worst traits rolled into one but that wasn't true. So many people forgot that in the absence of a Sky it was a Cloud who would fill the void for as many elements as possible, a Cloud could hold the Rain, the Storm, the Lightning, it could blanket and shield the Sun, and it could cover and hide the Mist. It wasn't particularly skilled at handling either Sun or Mist, the the three often butted heads for various reasons. With Tsuna's Sky Flames whipping everyone up but with no ability to deal with them, Hibari had to spread and solidify his influence throughout Namimori. Not that any of them consciously did so (though he did wonder, Hibari was related to the Storm Arcobaleno Fon afterall, that indicated Triad ties at the very least).
His Cloud's stubborn tethering himself to Namimori, to his role as the Head of the Disciplinary Committee, was out of the norm for a Cloud, but not so for a Sky. Hibari had spent so many years anchoring the chaotic flame potentials of Namimori he was a better Sky than Tsuna was without having any of the flames. Tsuna knew they were a poor fit for Harmony, they would grow into it when Tsuna was able to take that burden from his Cloud's shoulders and let him Drift, but for now, Tsuna could only support him by acceptance. Giving him the space and freedom to do as he pleased, bringing him all the fights that his volatile temperament desired, the challenges that all Flame Actives needed to test their mettle against. But despite Tsuna's increasing leadership abilities, Hibari refused to give up his authority, refused to draw himself in and unanchor himself from the role he had taken upon himself for over a decade now.
Then Potter-Kaicho showed up.
Just another foreigner, unusual in that he had nothing to do with the Mafia, unusual that he was actually connected with Law Enforcement (and hadn't that terrified Tsuna when he heard, thinking that they were onto him and he was about to spend the rest of his life behind bars purely for a blood relation). Unusual in that he took one look at Namimori and saw through the Mist blanket that kept the Mafia Retirement town from notice.
And within days Hibari just handed him the keys to the Kingdom of Namimori, dropped it into his lap, picked up his tonfa and stalked out of the school with a grin and a glint in his eye that scattered all but the dumbest of the troublemakers.
And Potter-Kaicho.... made it work.
Potter-Kaicho's flame was painful. It felt like most of it was missing, ripped away screaming, it echoed in him, but at the same time the echo of his resolve, quiet and immovable, was familiar and soothing. It was protective. It was similar but oh so much more potent than what Tsuna had felt in that final battle against Bermuda, during the Last Fated Day. He hasn't breathed a word of it to Reborn, the Sun Arcobaleno was too Mafia, too Old School. To him, any Resolve that could leave an echo that strong would have to be Mafia related. But Tsuna knows, just by looking, that it wasn't Mafia.
It was Death.
He should be like Bermuda. Like the Vindice.
But he wasn't.
What kind of Resolve did he have to come back from death? Not merely hang on to life, but to return from it?
And leave so much of himself behind...
Tsuna didn't want to tangle with him. Would rather avoid him if at all possible. And not only because of how painfully, sharply, agonisingly accurate he was on Saturday. Tearing him open, flaying him with words and truths that he didn't want to acknowledge but couldn't refute. Yes, he had a hundred, a thousand justifications for his actions, his behaviours, but... always a but... he made his choices and his decisions. And hadn't he vowed to the Vongola Bosses of the Past to live with his choices and tear down that which he disagreed with, no matter the bloody price he paid? That he would sooner destroy the Vongola than allow it to continue as it was? How the hell Nono had remained ignorant of this... Tsuna could only be grateful. The man thought he was getting a pliant Heir he could comfortably puppet from behind closed doors with his kind grandfatherly persona. He didn't realise he was inviting the Vongola's destruction in through the front door and handing them the keys to the kingdom. Xanxus knew. But at this point, he knew it was inevitable. And the man was nothing if not a survivor. He would keep him and his safe from what was coming, that was the understanding between them. Him and Tsuna.
Kawahira suddenly froze, and Hibari's tonfa swept clean through him, sending mist flame scattering, and making everyone freeze in shock. Of course it wasn't the real Kawahira. But the fact that neither Hibari or Reborn had realised –
“I'm not the last....” the man suddenly said softly, and vanished.
Reborn straightened up on Tsuna's shoulder.
“Reborn?” he asked, half his attention on the hitman, half of it on Hibari who snarls, furious, thwarted, and rushes off, killing intent trailing after him like a crimson warbanner across his senses.
“Kawahira is the last pureblood of his kind. Yuni is the other, but she is more human,” the former Arcobaleno reminded him, “This means Kawahira just found another pureblooded True Earthling.”
Kawahira trailed after him like a lost duckling as Harry took him to the trainstation, used his particular pass to get them to the hidden side platform. Namimori wasn't a stop, but the magical lines all ran alongside the muggle ones, the trains wouldn't stop unless there was someone on the line or an individual on the train had requested that stop – like a muggle bus.
Harry went through their ticket purchase, making sure Kawahira could see it and telling him how to do so. The man looked like he was on the verge of tears as Harry lead him past a witch who was busily using the more typical Japanese elemancy to create a block of ice for her headache. They sat at the back and Harry explained to him about what he knew of magical history, he had to apologise because he wasn't the best with history. Learning about Ulric the Oddball seemed kind of low priority compared to how to counter a Dementor.
Sakura Chomei did drive him to tears.
Harry ended up pulling him into one of the quiet little tea shops where the lady behind the counter quickly ushered them into a private booth with tissues, calming draught, white peony tea, and a number of little traditional sweets on a decorative plate. The older man didn't seem to know what to do with himself as he placed his face into his hands and sobbed like a small child, and then eventually Harry's shoulder when he couldn't stand sitting there doing nothing in the face of his obvious distress.
“I'm sorry, I didn't – I didn't mean to upset you,” he murmured, holding the man tightly as he cried, running a hand through his hair like Hermione did to him when the nightmares had him bolting awake in the tent screaming names and crying. He returned the favour, and got pretty good at it in his opinion, but Kawahira was larger and – it seemed like he needed this. This catharsis. The release.
Hermione had told him that tears were healing, cleansing. That the body could be overburdened with emotion just as easily as it could be with poison or pain, that the emotions that caused your crying could even effect the salt-structure of your tears and there was even scientific proof of how a good cry and a nap could completely rebalance your body's hormones and emotional state. When was the last time this person cried? When was the last time someone held him?
Harry tightened his grip, hugging him closer, shoring him up as best he could. His already cracked and shredded heart, the one that could beg Voldemort to try for regret, the one that forgave him, forgave Dumbledore, and Snape, and Malfoy, reaching out to the crying man.
“All these years, all this time,” the man croaked wetly into his neck, “I cling miserably to existence, I tied myself into the lifeblood of the very planet itself and call myself its caretaker, the last of them. And all this time.... all this time.... my people were a t-train ride away,” he choked, his voice cracking and breaking. “How – how did – how did I miss this?”
He rested his chin atop the man's head, feeling him shudder, long fingers tangled tightly in his uniform. Tall body curling into him. It was uncomfortable. Harry wanted to shove him off but – but he couldn't. Not when he was like this. His discomfort was a small price to pay to ease whatever kind of pain this poor bastard was feeling.
“There's a lot of theories, but... we've been in hiding for a long time,” he admitted quietly, feeling the man's grip tighten, squeezing into his ribcage. “Some said it was because of the Witch trials but we've been hidden for longer than that. There's a couple of fairytales about it. A creation myth.” Caretaker.... lifeblood.... that was familiar.... “There's a really old creation myth, the Triskellion. The three pillars of existence. The Sky, the Sea, and the Light. Past, Present, and Future.” He felt Kawahira fall quiet, listening through his tears even as he refused to move away from him. “They were fragile in the beginning. Unstable. The first mages were worried because their younger siblings didn't have their power, couldn't sense it, and didn't realise how often or how close they came to destroying it time and time again. Their younger siblings became frustrated with the restrictions they didn't understand and lashed out. Arguments erupted amongst the First, some left, some died, the others decided to create a foundation that could never be broken. They tied themselves into the world, and they created the Wizarding World, they created the magical plants and animals, the spells and enchantments, they spread themselves and their lives out and into the Triskellion and the world. Anchoring them together, and turning each and every one of themselves into a support pillar. It's said there are no longer three pillars now, but one for every single magical being in existence. That way, even if some were to fall, or turn to rot, the world would survive.”
“The three pillars.... aren't alone?” he croaked.
“Not according to the story. You're one. I'm one. The lady who owns this building is one. We're probably not as big or as strong as the original three if they exist but..... lots of little things can be just as strong, if not stronger, than one big one. If you're as old as you insinuate then.... chances are that your culture might have just hidden itself behind wards, or faded away due to inbreeding. That happens a lot with purebloods, if they don't go insane and self-destruct first,” he added with a dismissive sniff.
He sniffed, “Purebloods?” he asked, finally sitting up and making at least some kind of passable attempt at pulling himself together.
Harry handed him a tissue with a grimace.
“Yeah, uh, if you go all pureblood supremacy, 'the non-magicals are scum who should be serving us like slaves rah rah rah', I will turn you inside out. Fair warning,” he promised awkwardly. Well, maybe not inside out, but, vomiting slugs and unconscious until the Ministry get their asses in gear and arrest him most definitely. Can't really incant any spells or curses when a slug is trying to crawl up your throat – and mispronunciation is very dangerous.
“You... aren't pureblood? But your power....” he trailed off.
“My mother was muggleborn,” he explained with a shrug, “S'what happens when a child with magic is born to normal human parents.”
Kawahira's eyes widened, “That is.... possible?” he demanded.
He nodded, “Yeah. Some people think it's just dormant blood reappearing though, but no one's been able to prove or disprove it.”
They sat in silence for a while and Harry managed to get at least two cups of tea into the man before he looked stable enough for him to start his own questioning.
“So. Tell me about this Dying Will Flame that I supposedly have.”
Harry gets his answers and I cry into my keyboard because KAWAHIRA WAS NEVER GOING TO EVEN FEATURE IN THIS FIC WHAT THE FUCK DUDE
Also, I figure I should put a bit of a floor plan to Harry's house here for people to get an idea of how it all looks. The 'Living Room' is the maniquin room that is pretty much glorified storage space right now. Bedroom 2 is the living room with the recessed table. Bedroom 1 is where the original owner passed away and is now currently the cat-room. Harry sleeps upstairs - all of his magical stuff is kept in the big shed outside that is warded to high hell so Reborn doesn't even know it exists right now (lol).
“You must have been a magnificent Sky,” he said to the child in beside him, pain, pity, grief, and longing so potent it felt like he was going to choke on it. He would have been powerful, pure, even by their own people's standards. He would have been able to hold the Tri-Ni-Sette, the Triskelion, for generations.
The echo of his Resolve was breath-taking.
As breath-taking as the gap they left behind was horrifying.
The child, Harry, threw him a grumpy look as he finished writing down the last of his explanation.
He fought the urge to reach out, to touch, the former Sky (former, the echo of it still glowing from within his bones and his soul like embers after a forest fire, but snuffed and dead) was not a fan of physical contact even without his secondary type being Cloud. A Cloud flame that resonated quite powerfully with Tsunayoshi's Guardian. Strongly enough for the more violent child to be using his own flame to fill the void that was formerly occupied by Sky flame just for a chance to get closer. It would be a year before he was even halfway, longer if Harry persisted in pushing him away as he had been doing before now – ignorant and not understanding his acceptance of the other Flame User and immediately believing foul. And yet even though the child's response to such a threat would be to protect himself, he couldn't bring himself to push away the first person to sooth the pain of his missing Sky Flame.
“It could be possible to bring your Sky Flame back....” he mused absently. They had managed to break the Arcobaleno curse. If he informed Tsunayoshi then he was quite certain the foolishly impossible boy would find a means to help.
Harry threw a paperball at him, “No. Absolutely not. I don't want it back,” he snapped, “I gave it to them to protect them! It's theirs now,” he stated firmly, amethyst glowing in the depths of green eyes. A glow that should have been amber-gold, he decided bitterly.
“You need it more,” he objected quietly.
“It was my choice. One that I made. You don't get to take it away from me. No one does,” the young Sky told him as he picked up his drink. “We were just children. Children against a senseless tide of hate and greed. I gave them everything I could. But it wasn't enough. My friends, my people, they were going to die. So – I did what I had to,” he stated quietly, placing a hand on his chest, and he felt something pulse, an echo of the child's resolve, of his long missing Sky Flames. “My mother died to protect me as an infant. It left a lasting protection in my blood. I used that to protect everyone. I died, so that they would live. I just didn't stay dead.” He looked up, pinning Kawahira in place with brilliant green eyes, green eyes that should have been amber-amber-amber. His Sky Flames had activated. They had, that was the echo in him, his Sky had activated....
And been ripped away in the same moment.
“They don't know,” he said. “But they knew I did something. The protection lingers even now. I tore myself into pieces and gave each of them a shard of my heart as a shield. I didn't need to. I chose to. Dying was something I had to do, but what followed? Coming back, giving them that protection, that was me. My decision. My power. Though, I guess now I know I gave them my Flame instead.... I wonder if my mother was a Sky....” he wondered, looking away.
“If you gave them your Flame as a shield, surely they can return it.” It was selfish, selfish, selfish. Centuries since he had last been Harmonized, since he had last felt the touch of a Sky Flame powerful enough to call to him. And he knew, just from the empty space left behind that he would have tied himself to this boy, and done so gladly, had that Flame still been lit.
“I will not take that protection from them,” he snapped, and Kawahira fell silent at the rebuke in his tone. Nursing his jealousy before letting it go, as he had with many of his useless urges and desires.
He imagined that they were likely to be his Guardians, it would make sense with how protective he was of them. He had forgotten the terminology his own people used for such bonds, he loathed these modern ones that held none of the nuance or feeling behind it. There were multiple names for Guardians in his tongue, and each held a different meaning describing the kind of bond a Sky had with each of them, and even that each of them had with each other. Twin Flames, Right Hand, Left Hand, Guardian. Paltry. Lacking.
He sipped his tea as the former Sky finished writing and turned to a fresh page. “Now. You said that Kyo's flame was trying to fill the void where my Sky used to be. Why?” he asked, writing a few words down in English atop the page.
Kawahira chortled in amusement, “Because your respective Cloud Flames resonate so powerfully with one another they wish to merge. Congratulations on finding your husband.”
The child broke his pen.
Harry was almost scared to step off the train platform now that he was back in Namimori.
He knew what was going on now. Kawahira had explained everything in exchange for Harry opening him up to the wizarding world and giving the man his contact information (he foresaw many trips to the various magical sites around the country in future as the man reintroduced himself to a culture that had developed without him). He knew about his Sky Flames, what had happened to them, and he knew about his Cloud Flames, and why they went so strange around Kyo, and what Kyo had been attempting to do to him (completely by instinct with no conscious knowledge to boot – he owed the boy an apology and he wasn't looking forward to it).
Husband though – Harry had flipped at that, Kawahira fumbled for a better word because it wasn't, not really, language was hard, and the terminology he grew up with was very different. He didn't interact with the Flame using community save for when it came to maintaining the Triskelion, he found them frustrating and tiring. Petty. But from the explanation he had been given.... Harry dropped his face into his hands.
Not quite husband. Not quite soulmate. But the other boy had noticed his 'Flame Injury', and the fact that their Cloud flames were a perfect match, and latched onto him both spiritually and physically.
If Harry's Cloud flames ever went 'Active' then it would be a very quick 'merging'.
Their flames harmonizing to one another so that they were essentially one element to anyone looking at them, one flame, two bodies. It was basically a Soul Bond but it could be whatever relationship they desired, enemies, siblings, lovers, friends, whatever worked best for them. However, with merging, there was always a risk of their flames getting out of hand and wanting said merger to be more physical than spiritual. And it was better for him if that merging were sexual instead of... otherwise.
(Kawahira had seen some shit. Like someone who tried to merge by eating their partner, and another who tore her partner's face off and wore it while trying to crawl into their chest cavity. Harry hadn't considered Kyo in that particular light but he would rather fuck the boy than be killed or eaten by him, thanks. And given his habit of declaring that he was going to 'bite' someone to death, there was a genuine niggle of concern that he might end up on a menu. Far too many beings had tried to eat him in his life for him to completely rule the possibility out.)
And now of course that the idea had been planted in his head, Harry didn't want to look at the other boy at all.
Because he was very attractive.
And Harry had already ascertained that he was ridiculously strong and capable of handling himself, so, unlike Ginny, it was unlikely he would be in any kind of danger from the Death Eaters if Harry gave him a head's up on what to expect.
It was also kind of obvious that Kyo wanted him in that particular fashion as well.
Harry had some very vivid memories of being 'Flame Drunk' off his face, and a hand up and down his back and neck.
Harry yelled, jumping like a scalded cat whirling around to find Kyo behind him.
When did he leave the train station?!!
“K-Kyo,” he spluttered. The other teenager was furious, hair in disarray, clothing skewed, he's lost his jacket and his bag and there was a necklace visible around his neck, a heavy chain with a ring on it. The Vongola Cloud ring he recalled, and in both hands were his truncheons. Oh no. Harry could feel his face flushing as the other teenager's eyes raked up and down him for any degree of damage, pausing and lingering on the obvious finger-stretch marks on his uniform shirt (Kawahira also had inhuman strength, who knew).
“Skipping school is prohibited,” the Disciplinary Committee Head stated darkly. “Where. Is. He.”
“I – really don't know,” he choked out, “I need to feed my cats,” he excused, turning and getting maybe three steps away before a chain caught him around the chest and yanked him backwards – backwards into a chest that had no right to be as hard, or sturdy, as it actually was and oh god his face was beginning to burn and that buzzing crawling ant sensation was beginning to burn under his skin again and now he knew this was his Cloud Flames reacting to the close proximity to Kyo's and trying to Activate despite the fact that he was neither mentally or physically prepared to do so so it was literally just stressing him out in the hopes of forcing it and wow those chains were really tight they actually hurt a little and why did he have to be so pale his face was SO RED
“What. Happened,” he growled, the sound reverberating throughout his chest, pressed against Harry's back, hot breath ghosting the side of his neck and behind his ear and he shuddered that wasn't fair why would he do this to him shut the fuck up hormones you are NOT helping!!
Memories of Kawahira's explanations, what he did to the Arcobaleno, how Tsuna (Sawada had about as fucked up a school experience as Harry did and he needed to call another meeting with him to apologise and talk about how they were going to fix this issue because the Mafia? Fucking really?) had resolved the whole thing and saved their lives. How Kyo had been one of the fighters to face the Vindice and was grievously wounded in the exchange. No doubt he was freaking out at least a little bit about a man more powerful than those Vindice kidnapping a student of his school, or at least someone he felt responsible for.
“It – turns out – ” he couldn't talk about the magical world, if the Mafia hadn't found out about witches and wizards yet then Harry wasn't about to be the one to put any of them at risk, “ – we're distantly related. Like. Ridiculously distantly related. He doesn't remember his birth name but – Dad's side of the family have some – distinctive – ” The arms around him tightened and Harry inhaled sharply and the twisting feeling in the pit of his stomach twanged, his blood shivering in his veins and, nope, no, absolutely not. He grunted and tried to shove himself forward and out of the other teenager's arms but – Kyo just tugged him back, grabbing his jaw and twisting his head until they were practically nose to nose.
Harry swallowed against his dry throat, pretty sure he was bright red and his heart was going thirty thousand miles an hour and this was ridiculous he wasn't gay it didn't matter how pretty Kyo was th- NO WAIT NO HE WASN'T PRETTY!!
He grit his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut, attempting to forcibly shake the thought off but it was impossible to move with his chin in that vice grip.
“You are different,” the Cloud observed and Harry wanted to crawl into a hole and die. This was worse than dealing with Cho after the absolute fuck up of Madam Puddifoot's and – did he have a type? Was this his type? Asian or able to kick his ass? Since it clearly couldn't just be the one thing because Ginny, but then here comes this bastard who manages to tick both boxes and physically manhandle him like it was nothing and – his breath shook a little.
“He explained some stuff,” he admitted, “Like Flames.”
Someone cleared their throat, causing both of them to freeze and look.
Akari-san smiled behind a hand, Yue-san giggling beside her while Yue's husband Satoshi-san looked between the two with mild humour and a raised eyebrow, the three elderly Japanese folk with their shopping bags, one of which was definitely too heavy for Akari and her wrists.
“Akari-san!” he scolded immediately, elbowing Kyo roughly and wriggling until the teenager got the idea and actually let him go, watching the three elderly with confusion as Harry hurried over and quickly took her bag, “You shouldn't be carrying things this heavy with your wrists, you'll hurt yourself,” he fussed, she wasn't a squib like Mrs Figg who was much tougher than her carpet slippers suggested (she left bruises on Dung when she beat him with that bag of catfood, the man had morosely pointed them out to him in the Order meeting before Molly kicked him out, telling him that little old Figgy tracked him down afterwards to hit him some more for leaving his post).
“You're a good boy, Harry-kun, but don't let me interrupt your fun with.....” she trailed off meaningfully, looking pointedly at Kyo who mysteriously vanished his truncheons to who knew where, and regained some of that predatory calm, knife-sharp flint eyes looking between the three elderly, in particular, Harry hovering over Akari.
He flushed, looking away, now mortified as he recalled Akari gossiping about her own crush back at his age on the Head of the Disciplinary Committee. And the fact that he didn't know the boy's full name. Something the other teenager knew full well if the small huffing snort of amusement he gave was any indication.
“Hibari Kyouya.” Wait. “Head of the Namimori Disciplinary Committee.” Wait.
“You're the property damaging thug yakuza who's been terrorising Namimori?!”
Kyo looked at him, puffing up indignantly and scowling at him. His offence should not have been as cute as it was as Harry goggled at him in outrage.
“Do you have any idea how many pages of Student Complaints I have with your name on them?!!” he demanded, practically flailing in outrage, only for the other teenager to huff and stalk over, grabbing Harry's bag and one of the ones that Akari set down when they interrupted her.
The old woman giggled, “Hibari, hm? You must be Hideyoshi-kun's grandson.” Harry wheeled around to gape at her. She winked at him, “He was the Head of the Disciplinary Committee when I was a young girl.” The one she had a crush on too. “He was handsome, it's nice to see his grandson carrying on the family legacy,” she declared, winking at Harry before fearlessly reaching up and pinching the Prefect's cheek.
Kyo eyed her for a moment, eyes narrowing, and Harry bristled slightly, ready to launch him down the street if he even said a rude word to Akari-san, only for the teenager to grunt and pull away, shifting to Harry's otherside, firmly putting him between the two of them. Akari only laughed.
“He used to do that too,” Yue-san chuckled. “Only Hinamori-chan was always in the middle.”
Akari-san smiled, “I don't mind. She was beautiful. I'm proud to know I brought the two of them together,” she bragged smugly as she linked her arm with Harry who glanced over at Kyo to see him scowling and looking decidedly uncomfortable and clearly wanting to be somewhere else as they discussed his grandparents' romantic history.
Harry had no sympathy.
They walked back to the house, Yue and Satoshi peeling away with laughter and smiles as they headed home, Akari and Harry heading back to her house with Kyo stubbornly sticking to Harry's side, not letting him out of his sight. He stuck with them even to Akari's front door where Harry dropped off her bags, double-checking if she needed help with anything only to be shooed away with a smirk and a giggle that made his face flame in irritation and embarrassment as she slid the door shut with a cheery goodbye.
Kyo had hold of him the second she was out of sight, one brand-hot hand on his forearm and a scowl written across his face.
“I want answers, Kaicho,” he growled.
Damn him and damn his face, Harry decided, suddenly uncomfortably, viscerally, aware of how close they were stood and how he smelt and how very soft his hair looked.
“Okay, okay, okay. Fine. Okay. C'mon,” he muttered rapidly, attempting to shake his hand free even as he sidestepped the other teenager quickly before he could close the distance, feeling his blood beginning to buzz again (with more than just this near-Flame Activation, screw you hormones, shut the fuck up).
He lead the way back to the house, feeling the wards tickle over his skin and relax when he told them Kyo was allowed in.
As per usual, Pixel was at the door, greeting him as soon as he opened it – and then hissing the second she saw Kyo, lunging for him. This time Harry was the one who caught her, scooping her up mid-lunge and pinning her against his chest while the Japanese teenager merely stood back and let him calm his furiously protective pet down. Thankfully he was keeping his hands to himself for now.
Of course that was the moment Tinsel decided to make her first attempted murder and went for him as well – and Harry couldn't risk dropping Pixel, or even freeing an arm really given how wriggly she could be.
However, Tinsel weighed about as much as a tennis ball, and for all her claws and teeth were pointy she wasn't even physically strong enough to fight her way out of a paperbag. Kyo just looked down at his foot as she attacked him with a soft indulgent expression of amusement that made Harry's insides go soft and squirmy and – he looked away, feeling his face beginning to steam because he could not deal with this right now and he absolutely refused to. He kicked his shoes off and stepped up into the house proper in order to go and make them some tea because he needed a moment to collect himself and figure out what he was even going to say. Or what Kyo was even going to ask. What was he going to ask?
Probably things about Kawahira and where they went. And since Harry was going to keep magic a secret that meant he was going to have to talk about Flames instead, and figure out how to explain the magical society as a flame one instead.
Thankfully Kawahira had given him some ideas about that.
He let Pixel down onto the kitchen table and got his teapot and cups out while filling the kettle up. Kyo would probably want the jasmine again but it barely tasted of anything to Harry, besides, he didn't particularly want to have this conversation. He chose the blackrose that Hermione had sent him from Australia, it was a nice black tea that could be drunk without milk, it had a strong slightly sweet taste that he liked. If Kyo didn't like it, he could bring his own drinks.
He picked up the tray and headed into the living room, pausing and feeling his heart do strange things when he saw the other teenager sat quietly with Tinsel savaging his fingers, smiling, and making absolutely no move to prevent her from clawing him to bloody ribbons. And she had been. His fingers were covered in bloodied scratches.
“Please don't get my tatami covered in blood,” he said instead of anything else as he knelt down and set the tea out, “It's new.” He set the tray aside and grabbed one of the pillows to sit and get himself comfortable, hearing the Prefect make a huffing hum of amusement.
Just like last time, Kyo gave him nothing but silence as he poured their drinks and drank. He wondered if it was a Japanese thing or a Kyo thing, he hadn't encountered anything in any kind of custom books about not speaking during the first round of tea. Either way, they drank in silence as Tinsel made a nuisance of herself and Kyo twitched and flicked his fingers once or twice to encourage her violence, smirking a little as she hissed, spat, and growled at him before pouncing on him. Harry probably shouldn't be encouraging this otherwise she was going to attack his classmates the next time they visited. Pixel had opted against his lap for a change and was prowling around the room behind him, her eyes fixed on Kyo, ready to lunge at him in a heartbeat. Meanwhile in the middle of all this, timid little Pretzel was practically hiding in the cupboard, peering out with large blue eyes from her tiny dark furry face, rushing to him immediately when he held a hand out for her.
Once the first cup was done though...
Kyo set it down on the table with a pointed click, looking at him, “Kawahira. Explain,” he demanded shortly.
He shrugged, rubbing Pretzel's ears as the kitten began to purr like a little engine, “Not much to explain. He realised that.... we were kinda related and panicked, dragged me into his shop and left an illusion to fight you. My parents were murdered when I was young so no one was around to tell me about the whole Flame thing, so he told me.”
The grey eyed boy frowned at him, “You didn't know.”
Harry shook his head, “No, I didn't. Whatever you were doing, it felt... unusual. I don't let people touch me if I can help it. So I knew that there was something going on when I didn't want to rip my skin off. I thought it was some kind of coercion, mind-control, or something similar. My father left a sizeable amount of money, same as my godfather. I burned through a lot of money helping my friends relocate at the beginning of the year so all that's left is the political power and a couple of artefacts so... I panicked.” He glanced up uncertainly, hoping that he wouldn't ask more because everything he'd said was true, the other boy looked pissed off but also thoughtful. He nodded shortly when he noticed Harry's eyes on him and he looked back down at his empty cup, at the slight brown residue at the bottom of tea-leaf dust. “Kawahira explained about our flames trying to... merge. That you were trying to help, but because I'm not Flame Active that it feels uncomfortable and unnatural to me. I'm sorry about attacking you before.”
He nodded slowly, “Like Checker Face and the Sky Arcobaleno, you have a Unique Power too,” he concluded and thank fuck he didn't say magic.
Harry nodded, “A few actually. Kawahira has forgotten more than he remembers, and the – Yuni, the other one of us that he knows, only has her foresight. Because I haven't Activated my Flames, I use them more so can do more.” He shrugged focusing on Pretzel in his lap. “Does that answer your questions?”
Another humming huff.
The teacup was pushed forward in silence.
Harry took it for a yes, and refilled it.
To clarify, because I know people will ask: Harry is not Active. He IS a Cloud. He USED to be a Sky - when he died, he decided to sacrifice his Sky Flame to give everyone at the Battle of Hogwarts his mother's protection. He will not take it back because it continues to protect them from Dark Magic. And, it's everyone who fought for him at the Battle of Hogwarts, the students, the DA, the Order, the teachers. Everyone. Over a hundred, almost two hundred, people have a shard of his Sky Flame giving them protection from Dark magic and curses. Many of whom he doesn't even know the name of.
Don't think for a single second Harry will want that Sky Flame back when it can protect them from what remains of the Death Eaters, from Dark Magic users, or anyone that may wish them harm. He never had his Sky Flame before now, what does he care that it's gone if they're safe?
Kawahira hasn't yet had a chance to absorb the fact that there is a Sky like Harry and he LOST him before he ever knew him.
School took on a new definition of torture with Kawahira's words about Flame merging swimming in his ears, planting ideas in his brain and pulling on that aching loneliness that he had been wrestling with since he split from Ron and Hermione and everyone in the DA. Mirror calls were great but they didn't fill the void and he felt bereft – and Kyo was determined to fill the void and he was going to fucking pass out if he blushed any harder.
He avoided the other teenager like the fucking plague, tried to play catch-up with all the classwork he had already missed, with his Student Council duties, and even had to deal with the aftermath of the tank incident finally catching up to bite him on the ass with the Japanese Ministry calling him in for more information, and to quietly question him about his findings in Namimori. Harry told them to do one. He would train them in self defence but if they wanted him to do their investigative work for them they'd best start paying him for his time. He also had to actually attend and deal with magic Cram School too, and since he'd missed a few sessions he had an awful lot to catch up with. There just wasn't enough hours in the day even WITH a timeturner in his pocket.
And he had to do all of this while dealing with Akari's teasing, Kyo's home invasions, and Kawahira's interruptions.
He was exhausted and covered in bruises by the end of the week because gravity had seemingly decided to fucking hate him all of a sudden. There had to be something wrong with him because he hadn't been this clumsy since his third year, and a little bit in his fifth and sixth. He'd walked into a wall again, just like that time with Wood in the Quidditch changing rooms, only this time there was no Fred and George to trace the imprint his face left on the wall and tease him forever about having eyes bigger than his brain.
He also forgot to arrange a meeting to talk to Sawada about his little mafia problem.
He groaned into his pillow and tugged the blankets up and over his head. Pixel brrped at him, walking across his back and batting at his head. It was Sunday morning and no doubt she was demanding he feed them but right now, right now he just wanted to lie in his bed and wallow in his terrible life and horrible hormones and life choices.
He also cursed Kawahira to the lowest depths of hell.
Ron and Hermione too – because the moment he told them, begging for advice on how to make it fucking stop, the two burst out laughing and hadn't let him live it down at all, not even a little bit. Worse still, George mirror called him to ask if this one had biceps the width of his thigh too, and cackled as Harry cursed him out and shoved the mirror under the nearest object to shut him up. Lee Jordan called to offer his dating advice, despite the fact he was actually terrible at dating. Somehow between one day and the next word got out to the whole DA and he had to deal with the lot of them calling him up to torment him for having this stupid crush (Cho was the worst. She asked if he was going to take this boy to Madam Puddifoot's too, smirking wickedly while Harry hid his face in his hands and begged her to never speak of that ever again because it was her damn choice to go there, Harry didn't even know the place existed before that day and he was a fifteen year old boy why would she inflict that on him???) (Ginny's call was the worst. The less said there the better).
The wards pinged him of a visitor and he whimpered in frustration before shrugging Pixel off him and climbing to his feet, all three cats chasing his feet as he grabbed the yukata and tied it on over his pyjamas and shuffled down the stairs to the front door.
“Don't you have your own home to be in on a Sunday?” Harry croaked as soon as he saw him, looking annoyingly awake and aware and well groomed and well dressed at seven o'clock on a Sunday morning while Harry had literally just rolled out of bed without bothering to brush his hair or get dressed, squinting at him in the morning sunshine, glasses jammed crookedly onto his face so he could see without tripping over any of the furry bastards clamouring around his feet.
The familiar humming huff, and then the door was being pushed open without so much as a by your leave, the cats didn't even react, having now become used to the frequent intrusions. Pixel didn't even care anymore. Tinsel was always ready for a fight but only on her terms (and more interested in being fed right now), Pretzel ran away like she always did which thankfully meant one less fuzzy body for Harry to nearly trip over as he stepped backwards and almost toppled – if not for Kyo grabbing him by the waist like this was some fucking romcom and-
Harry squeezed his eyes shut, taking a deep breath, and attempting to untangle himself even as he felt his ears and his face beginning to burn with embarrassment. Of course Kyo didn't seem particularly inclined to let him go now that he had hold of him and that was happening increasingly of late. His hormones couldn't take much more of this. Neither could his blood pressure. He was going to fucking combust eventually, and then he was going to haunt Ron and Hermione for never helping him.
“Thank you. If you're going to be staying make yourself useful and feed the cats while I get dressed. Food is in the top cupboard to the right of the sink. Let me go please,” he requested tightly, keeping his eyes shut and his body tense and leaning away even as he felt Kyo shift and press against him even more determinedly, face against his neck. And, as usual, the close proximity had his blood buzzing with flames that he didn't want to Activate even as they made him dizzy with the need to deal with them, just for the relief of getting them out. Like a champagne bottle that had been shaken up too much.
He – had never actually been the subject of such intense interest before. He wasn't quite sure what to do with it. The fact that Kyo didn't have the faintest clue about The Boy Who Lived, or the family fortune, or even magic, meant that his interest was in Harry himself. He was still... trying to come to terms with that in his head. Of having 'Harry' be so unwanted but 'The Boy Who Lived' being more important than he could ever be to everyone except that very tiny few – who still knew and understood that Harry was less important to the war compared to who he had to be. Kyo was good looking, to an unfairly staggering degree that he hadn't actually noticed before Kawahira shoved the idea in front of him and brought his attention to it, and now Harry couldn't ignore it and the other boy wouldn't ignore him. And now that he knew why he wasn't freaking out over the physical contact despite how he would normally react it was – he felt like scum. The attention was nice, but he didn't know what to do with it or how to return it or even if he should return it because – he wasn't sure if he wanted this.
He and Ginny had their agreement, though given her reaction when she found out about this crush that was probably voided now (seriously Pavarti, there are some things that shouldn't be said! Yes they broke up but there had always been the understanding that it was temporary, she was really upset). And Harry had always intended on returning to England at some point, or at least -
“You are overthinking,” Kyo stated plainly into his neck.
Harry huffed, giving him a small push, demanding release. “You don't think enough,” he retorted as the other teenager squeezed him a little before pulling away.
He headed back inside to go and sort himself out and put some actual clothes on, it was only as he was balanced on one foot trying to put on one of the novelty socks that Ron got him in remembrance of Dobby's questionable taste that he realised how bloody domestic this situation was. And immediately groaned and shoved himself back under his blankets, nope, he was not doing this today, no thank you brain, he would like to start this day again, reset please.
There was a quiet chime from the top of the draws above his head, the one used to indicate someone was attempting to connect a mirror call.
That was out of their usual times?
He climbed to his feet and quickly picked it up, blinking in surprise to see George's somewhat harried expression peering back at him.
“Harry, thank fuck, can I lay low for a bit at yours?” he begged, flinching at something in the background and cursing as he took off in a run. “I don't know what I've done but the muggles are trying to kidnap me? This is the first time I've been outside the Academy since I got here and – HOLY FUCK!!” he yelped as a very familiar burst of navy blue smog popped in the background.
“I'm in Namimori Japan. Gimme a second, I've got the exact coordinates downstairs!” he ordered, leaping to his feet and bolting down the stairs, ignoring the face he only had one sock on and was shirtless as he shot down the corridor that went straight from the stairs to the kitchen where the corkboard was. George was swearing violently in the mirror as there was a bunch of pops that sounded like apparation cracks but – different. Metallic.
He ignored Kyo's frown of bewilderment and irritation as Harry burst into the kitchen, interrupting him from tormenting Tinsel as he ripped the card from the wall and flipped it over to read the apparation coordinates to his front garden.
“Incoming!” George called, and then the connection shorted out – and the wards pinged of a guest seeking protection.
He tossed the card and the mirror down and made for the front door, only distantly aware of Kyo suspiciously following after him, truncheons in hand.
“George!” he called, shoving the doors open and jumping outside without bothering with shoes. The stones hurt, the ground was cold, but there he was. Sprawled out on the ground, panting, in his faded Wyrd-Sisters' band tee, Charlie's old jeans, with a mirror in hand.
“Thanks Harry, oh man,” his friend wheezed before slowly levering himself up and opening an arm for Harry to grab and haul him to his feet. The hug he was dragged into felt like home and he leaned into it greedily. George probably needed it too, he was just as alone in China as Harry was in Japan being the only one of the DA that opted to pursue any manner of qualification in Potions – never mind actually impressing the top Chinese Academy enough to get a scholarship.
He probably could have clung to the red head for the rest of the day and not felt a single iota of guilt, and he could tell George felt the same, he still felt raw and unmoored from Fred's loss but he needed to get out of Molly's well meaning but underwhelming care. But that left him without support and he was probably feeling it just as much as Harry. As evidenced by the shaky breath and he tightly he held him.
Harry tensed and George shifted looking up, Harry didn't have to look at him to know what was going to happen next. He only squeezed his eyes shut when he heard the admiring whistle.
“You're right, he's hot. Definitely a step up from Wood,” the twenty year old declared with an audible grin in his voice.
“I will smother you in your sleep if you utter another word, George,” Harry promised him, his voice muffled by his shoulder. Only to freeze. English was an elective at Namimori. Did Kyo.... understand English?
He didn't want to look but George was already beginning to shake from his come down, adrenaline was a hell of a drug and he'd just Apparated from bloody China. The only reason he didn't go for Ron and Hermione was because the distance would kill him more assuredly than the flame wielding Chinese muggles would. But he was also in no shape to go anywhere right now.
“Hey I'm not the one running around shirtless in front of my crush. Bit try hard, innit? You're usually a lot less -” Harry shoved a hand in his face with a growl.
“See if I go running to your rescue again, you menace.”
Carefully, he shifted so he was under the red head's arm, taking half his weight, only then did he glance at Kyo who – fuck. Okay. Yes. He understood English. And was smirking at him. Leaning against the wall with his arms folded looking very pleased with himself.
“Shut up. Don't you dare say a single damn word, or I'll bounce you out of here on your head again,” Harry threatened as he began to pull George into the house, feeling himself starting to flush red again.
“What'd you say?” he asked curiously.
“Kick your shoes off. Nothing important. You're going in the spare room, try not to step on the cats,” he requested as he spotted Tinsel and Pixel prowling around, Pretzel hiding and peering around the corner of the living room curiously.
“Ugh, feel like I've been licking one of Dad's batteries, but all over,” George complained as they shuffled down the hallway to the spare room next to the bathroom. Harry made sure there were fresh futons in each room just in case. Hadn't exactly thought it would be so quickly needed. Harry slid the door open and leaned him against the wall before hurrying to open the cupboards for a futon.
“What happened? Why'd they even aim for you?” he asked warily, if George hadn't been using magic then....
The red head shrugged in distress, “I was invited out to party with Chit Seong and Qi Fang. We were on our way back to the Academy entrance when a bunch of guys showed up. Qi Fang said they were Triads and they'd ignore us, but then they started shouting about the sky and tried to nab me.”
Harry froze, mid-rummage as he pulled the futon out.
They sensed Harry's Sky Flame in George, the protection he gave the DA could be sensed by people with Flames.
“Harry? What, you figure something out, Captain?” he teased, and Harry flinched at the playful nickname the DA tossed around now and then, made official via his Quidditch Captaincy but.... during the Rise.... the Order used it a little more.... militaristically over the radio waves. If there were 'Potter' sightings, they wouldn't use his name until they were certain that he'd left the area, calling him Captain and referring to his prior locations with name. It was a nickname that now had another layer of meaning with the knowledge of Sky Flames and how the Mafia revolved around the concept of Skies as Bosses/Dons.
“Just that there's quite a time difference between here and China meaning you've been awake all night and anything I have to tell you is gunna be forgotten as soon as you hit this pillow,” he deflected as he began to lay everything out. George hummed, letting him, but the look on his face was pure Weasley, the one that told him that he would be expecting answers as soon as he wasn't about to collapse. “Go to sleep George. Bathroom is the door immediately on the left. The houses is warded, no one gets in or out without my knowledge.”
The red head chuckled weakly, already beginning to shimmy out of his jeans, “Safe at last,” he said, he meant it teasingly but it ended out coming over a lot more honestly than he probably intended. None of them felt particularly safe outside a full accompaniment of wards. Harry wondered if the Academy even allowed George to set his own up around his room, or if he had to just deal with it. “Don't look like that, little brother,” the red head muttered, as he stepped out of his jeans and half collapsed on him in a hug, “I'm fine. I've got you at my back. You and everyone else in the DA and the Order. Just a call away. Go spend time with your boyfriend,” he said, ruffling his hair.
“He's not my boyfriend,” Harry huffed with a roll of his eyes.
“Can't hear you. Making love to my bed,” George dismissed with a lewd-sounding groan as he dropped into the futon face-first and then rolled himself up in blankets. Anything further to be said was pointless because he was asleep almost immediately.
Harry sighed, rolling his eyes skyward before fussing with the blankets a little so his ass wasn't hanging out, collected his jeans and set his phone, keys, and wand beside his head before taking them out of the room to be tossed in the wash – freezing when he spotted Kyo stood outside, leaning against the wall directly outside the door. Still smirking.
“Don't start,” Harry growled, scowling at him even as he felt his face beginning to flush, remembering all over again that he was shirtless, and wearing only one sock. Great.
The smirk just got smugger and Harry turned away to go and throw George's jeans into the wash rather than deal with Kyo – who followed him, because of course, looking around in curiosity as Harry headed into the bath-house and the attached bedroom that he'd turned into his laundry room. He had been thinking of opening up the right hand wall into the garden to let more light and air into the room so that the clothes could still air-dry even if it was raining outside.
He ignored Kyo as he tossed his dirty clothes in to the wash along with George's, peeling off his now dirty singular sock and tossing that in too, measuring out what was needed and turning the machine on, grabbing one of the t-shirts that was hanging up to dry and pulling it on before taking a breath to ready himself and turning to Kyo.
“Yes?” he asked shortly, twitching only a little bit when a hand hit the wall beside his hand, boxing him in again. This was getting to be an unfortunate habit of Kyo's. He wondered if he could be trained out of it....
“So you think I'm – ”
Harry shoved a hand in his face, fighting to keep his expression flat even as his ears burned, “I happen to have eyes. Yes. Your point?” he demanded waspishly.
His face burned even more when Kyo gripped his wrist, pulling it away, before very pointedly lifting it and pressing a kiss to the palm of his hand, looking him dead in the eye.
He yanked his hand away, face flaming and stalked away cursing him under his breath, blushing even harder when he heard the unmistakable sound of laughter behind him as he stomped back into the house properly and then the kitchen to get himself some breakfast because he was hungry damnit. Hungry and pointedly ignoring Kyo who leaned against the doorframe and watched him as he got the rice cooker out and began to get to work. If he focused on cooking then he wouldn't have to think about the Japanese teenager.
Miso soup with cabbage, tofu, and green onions was quick and easy, he'd come to like the soup and it was apparently served with almost every meal. He had some salmon cuts in the fridge that would be good fried as well, though he planned to marinade most of them in teriyaki sauce for lunch next week. He'd better make a start on that now actually so they would be ready for cooking later tonight. He was also craving pickled red cabbage again. The Japanese had a real thing for pickled foods and Harry was beginning to understand – pickled ginger had a strange texture but it was still tasty, and white raddish was delicious.
He quite forgot about Kyo as he got to work, washing the rice, filling the cooker and beginning to fry the salmon even as he started up the miso soup as well. Idly he wondered if he should also fry the tofu as well.... couldn't hurt. He'd heard good things about fried tofu. It'd be interesting to try.
“Don't forget the omelette,” Kyo reminded him from the doorway, smirking when Harry jumped a little.
“Om- oh, right,” he muttered, frowning. Yeah, he had forgotten. “I take it you want breakfast too?” he asked absently as he turned the heat down on everything and got the little square pan out that Akari insisted he get specifically so he could make breakfast omelette. Apparently there was a special technique to rolling the egg but Harry wasn't too impressed. As far as he could tell, the technique was called 'patience with a pair of chopsticks'.
“Yes,” the teenager agreed, watching him intently before pushing away from the wall and fetching the serving dishes and trays to take them into the living room. Harry idly wondered if he was prepared to defend his breakfast because Tinsel was a climber.
He twitched, feeling Kyo behind him, but he didn't do much more than drop his forehead against the back of Harry's shoulder and hook his thumbs into his belt loops while he flipped the salmon cutlets so – he left him be without commenting. Even if it did make his insides shivery and the hair on his forearms prickle with awareness. It... It was disgustingly nice and he felt embarrassed that it was even happening, that George was within ten miles of them while they were.... like this.
He kicked his heel back into the Japanese boy's shin, “Go sit down. I'll bring this out,” he grunted, and then stiffened at the dry press of lips against his neck, there and gone, leaving only a small cold pinprick of wet on his skin. He swallowed, hearing Kyo's footsteps whisper as he left the room.
He turned the stove off and dropped his face into his hands with a quiet but heartfelt whimper.
This. Was. Not. Fair.
No, no, it was fine, they were fine, it was fine, why was he getting wound up? No one was going to die. Nothing was going to happen. It was fine. Kyo was just........ like that?
He didn't even need to think twice to know he was wrong and that was a blatant untruth.
He took a deep breath and focused on the food. He was hungry. That was something immediate and resolvable. All he had to do was serve the food and then eat it. One problem solved. He served it all up, slicing the omelette into smaller pieces, traying it up, and then heading into the living room where he paused a little to realise that Kyo had rearranged their usual tea set up. They were sat next to each other now, not opposite. And since Kyo was already sat down, that would put him on Harry's right.
.....Was there some cultural significance he was missing here?
Suspicious but figuring his ignorance was a blessing in this instance because he at least wanted to eat before anything else upended his life, he set the food out and sat down, accepting Kyo's rice bowl and beginning to fill it from the large tub of cooked rice, still steaming slightly, and returned it before filling his own.
He also noticed that none of the cats were present and the door to their room was closed. He wondered how long it would remain so, knowing them.
They ate in silence, the fried tofu was a good idea in Harry's opinion, it tasted good in the miso soup. The salmon was also good. This was actually the first time he'd eaten it when it wasn't covered in cream-cheese in a sandwich. Hermione was partial to them and had gotten him hooked back in Hogwarts – they were a nice lunch treat. He paused, smirking behind his miso soup as he saw Kyo lift his elbow in annoyance, a certain someone hanging from the fabric and mewling her outrage that she hadn't been invited to breakfast.
He faced away, sipping his soup as if he'd seen nothing.
When he glanced over he saw Kyo eating with his left hand, the right pinning and indignant and outraged Tinsel to the floor. He choked on his soup, laughing, and had to put it down to wipe his mouth and cough/laugh.
Kyo huffed slightly in amusement but didn't say or do anything beyond finish his meal. It was nice. He didn't know why he had been wound up about it earlier in the kitchen. Harry chuckled quietly to himself as he took a few of the pickled ginger slices to eat with his rice. Pausing momentarily when Kyo set his empty ricebowl down in front of him with a quiet request for more, did Harry not make enough? He dished up the last of the rice in the bowl and handed it over, making sure Kyo couldn't see how much rice was left so he wouldn't refuse (oh god, was he turning into Molly? Well, there were worse things than making sure no one went hungry under his roof).
He waited until Kyo finished eating before getting up and collecting the dishes, taking them away into the kitchen where he turned the kettle on for some tea while giving them all a quick clean and putting them on the drying rack. He cheated with some scouring charms when he was sure Kyo was distracted with the kittens so that the kitchen was clean and tidy and everything put away without having to worry about it as he poured some more blackrose.
“Have you done your homework?” Kyo asked when he returned, setting it all down.
Harry paused, and grimaced, “I was going to do it tonight.”
Kyo stared pointedly, and he sighed, going and fetching his bag.
He tensed when Kyo got close, pressing against his side to better get a look at his texts, but nothing happened and eventually he calmed down, focusing on the maths in front of him. Given how Ron always complained, and Hermione's unhappy grumbling, he'd always thought maths would be difficult and annoying but it was actually pretty easy as long as he remembered the formulas of how to work out the problems. He didn't really have a problem with maths at all. Japanese literature was his kryptonite though. So many kanji, so many old kanji.
It took him until ten minutes into Japanese Literature to realise Kyo had his arms around his waist, plastered up against his side from knee to shoulder, and his chin propped up on his shoulder. Napping, of all things.
He sighed, not sure if he was flattered or annoyed.
“You're gunna get a sore back like that,” he muttered scornfully before huffing and adjusting their positions. He couldn't do anything about Kyo's feet being down in the recess, but he at least managed to shift the boy's head into his lap, shifting a bit further down the table, dragging his homework along with him and then summoning one of the blankets from the cupboard behind them to drop over him.
Then came the real trial.
Not touching the hair.
Ahahah, poor Harry. His hormones are out to kill him. Then there's this domestic fluff which is basically a one hit K.O. to him because he has never had soft, niceness.
But it was primarily Tinsel's fault. That was his story and he was sticking to it.
It wasn't too off the truth either. The kitten climbed her way up Kyo's back while Harry tried to puzzle out his kanji, and then started slapping at Kyo's head, Harry slid his left hand between the two, quietly scolding her. He wasn't sure how it happened, but after calming Tinsel's blood lust, he ended up stroking her with one hand, and Kyo's hair with the other. Eventually ignoring her when she fell asleep on the teenager's shoulder, not wanting to wake her, and returned to his classwork. Still stroking Kyo's hair.
He realised what he was doing far too late and froze before carefully untangling his fingers from the short silky fine dark hair, flushing, eternally grateful that George was still unconscious and Kyo was – not sleeping.
He blanched as the teenager sat up and glowered at him.
“S-sorry,” he muttered, looking away in absolute mortification.
“This kanji is wrong. It is a sluice gate, not the mouth of a river,” the teenager told him plainly, tapping his homework, as if nothing had happened. Harry shifted and reread his work and sighed, okay, it made a little more sense now knowing that it was a sluice gate, something used to control water gates, like canal locks, but usually used by rice farmers. He erased his work and rewrote it with that in mind, having to tweak a few sentences later with the new context in mind. Why did he agree to go back to school again?
Oh yeah. Umbridge forced his hand.
He wondered what kind of backlash they all caused when they dipped the way they did... He'd have to contact Kingsley and find out. The man had been very well behaved about not mirror-calling him in order to curse him out for all the paperwork and uproar he'd caused. Cho and Percy mentioned something about an investigation and half the muggleborn population holding protests in Diagon Alley, sounding confused, and then distressed when the shopkeepers started lodging complaints with the Ministry about their businesses being obstructed. And then the Goblins lodged their own complaints. Hermione was absolutely ecstatic to inform him that even the Hogwarts House-elves had formed up under Winky and Kreacher's influence and submitted their own complaint about the woman. How foul did you have to be for even House-elves to want rid of you?
There were lips on his cheek.
Harry jolted, but Kyo was already getting to his feet. He didn't say anything as he left the room leaving Harry in a state of confused blinking before be returned a moment later, Namimori High jacket over his shoulders, and Tinsel scruffed in hand.
Harry quickly got to his feet, “You're leaving?” he asked a bit bewildered. Why the hell did he glare him into doing his homework if he was just going to find it boring?
The Prefect hummed as he returned Tinsel to his hands, “Patrol,” he answered plainly. Oh. Right, yes, Kyo made time to prowl around Namimori even on free days in order to – well, pick fights according to the complaints. Harry sighed as he followed after him, Tinsel protesting her abandonment loudly in his hands.
“Try not to hospitalise them, or cause any property damage,” he requested tiredly, knowing that asking him not to go out was an exercise in futility. “Otherwise I'm going to force you to deal with the complaints,” he threatened.
“Complainers will be Bitten to Death,” the Prefect told him plainly as he pulled his shoes on.
Harry sighed, about to tell him that he was pretty sure it didn't work like that, when the Japanese teenager shut him up – stepping in close, catching his head with one hand, and pulling him down to kiss his cheek. It was quick, and a little clumsy, their noses clashed. But it was over as quickly as it began, Kyo stepping away and sliding open the porch door while Harry tried to process what had just happened.
“I'll be back later,” he stated easily, as if he hadn't just done that, and slid the door shut behind him.
“Wow. Your boyfriend sure is ballsy,” George yawned behind him.
George called Ron and Hermione to tell them what happened, because of course he did. He was quite gleeful about it too.
“Skipped right over the dating stage and now they're on 'married couple',” the red head cackled to the mirror, Harry trapped firmly in a headlock that he hissed and tried to squirm his way out of like Pretzel when confronted with the bath.
“That's adorable,” Hermione laughed as Harry swore vengeance and flowering cacti replacing his testicles if he didn't shut up. “Anything else?” she asked, wickedly amused.
“Oh yeah. He's hot. Like, ridiculously so. Harrikins' has got good eye. I'd make a pass if I didn't think Tall Dark and Murder-face'd rip my leg off and beat me with the soggy end,” he laughed before ruffling Harry's hair remorselessly, “I think if Harry made any manner of interest directly known he'd get thrown over a shoulder and taken home Cave Man style.”
“GEORGE!!” Harry howled, jabbing him in the kidneys in horror. He didn't need that mental image! He already had that mental image because that had already HAPPENED! And Harry had kicked him through a wall barely five minutes after and oh god he had only been in that yukata from after his bath so god only knew if he'd flashed him and – he punched the red head again, grabbed the waistband of his trousers and yanked his boxers up.
The resulting squeal was very gratifying.
Less so was the fight that followed.
It didn't last long, leaving the two sprawled in a bruised and sweaty pile on the floor.
“Are you going to be safe going back to China?” he found himself asking worriedly. He knew that the red head would go, whether Harry was happy about it or not, he'd earned his scholarship to the greatest potions' Academy in the world. But if people were after him then.... “Who even are the Triads?” he asked frowning.
George shrugged under him, hand on his back, rubbing circles like they used to after that very first Quidditch game when Harry got the shakes and almost threw up in the changing rooms. “Some kind of muggle street gang. They can't even see the Academy grounds, forget actually getting into it. I'll be fine, Harry, swear on the Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.”
Harry hummed, shifting and sitting up, “You know you can ask for help, right? If it gets too much, just call and I'll be there.”
The smile he got was soft and a little sad, “I know. I can handle it, promise. I just want you and Ronnikins and Hermione to relax. You three did everything to protect us and now its finally over, you should enjoy your life and be an ordinary teenager for a change. Summer romance, pranks, homework, all those things you missed at Hogwarts because people were trying to kill you.” Harry dropped his head down into George's stomach, not wanting to look at him any more when he was saying these kinds of things. These were truths that he had been grappling with and still hadn't come to terms with. He knew that his childhood had been just one more sacrifice amongst many but.... the fact that he had stolen both Ron and Hermione's as well was always going to cut deeper than he liked.
“So when are you gunna lose that virginity? I think your boyfriend would be – ACK!”
When Kyo returned from his patrol, having left the door open just a little, enough that he could get in again without having to bother Harry, he walked into the living room with Kusakabe in tow to see the two of them dozing on the living room floor, graffiti on their faces, clothes skewed from wrestling and fighting one another, and a few fresh bruises. Harry had gotten so used to his wards pinging him with visitors while he was tired that when he woke, he was just as quick to go back to sleep.
Harry had never actually shared sleeping space with George before but, he felt safe and at home. As if he were in the Burrow itself and was drowsing in the living room with the fire on. It felt no different than when he crawled into bed with either Ron or Hermione, or that one time when Luna did after their escape from Malfoy Manor. Regardless of what they may have thought about the situation or the scene they had walked into, Tinsel was quick to draw their attention by bodily leaping at Kyo and clawing her way up to yell in his face. And then startle so bad he had to catch her before she fell when a little yellow bird popped up from Kyo's hair to yell back.
“I'll go make some tea,” Kusakabe decided, excusing himself quickly to the kitchen as Kyo scowled at them.
“Rolling around the floor with other people is prohibited, Kaicho,” he growled, stalking forward and bopping him lightly on the head with a truncheon, waking him with a start.
“Kyo – what?” he inhaled, feeling himself being scooped up and tugged into the Prefect's lap as he glared viciously at George who only chuckled sleepily and flopped a hand in his general direction. Making absolutely no move to get up from where he was sprawled on the floor. “What did you say?” he asked hazily, trying to wriggle into a more comfortable position.
“Probably asking why the fuck his boyfriend is sleep next to a handsome devil like myself,” George quipped from where he was sprawled out on the floor, grinning with his eyes shut.
Harry groaned, “Handsome? I don't see it. I remember when you were thirteen.” He leaned into the Japanese teenager who really was unfairly comfortable to snuggle against, “We've been friends since I was eleven, he's Ron's older brother.”
“We're cousins too,” the red head pointed out helpfully with a small grin as he met Kyo's narrowed eyes over Harry's shoulder. “So if he's bothering you, I'll turn him into a cactus if you like.”
“George no. And – wait – we're cousins? Since when?!” he blurted in confusion, shooting upright, almost out of Kyo's lap, all traces of sleepiness gone.
“Since Septimus Weasley snapped up your grandmother's aunt,” he said with good humour.
Harry meanwhile blanched, “And no one thought to tell me this before Ginny and I got together?” he demanded faintly, horrified.
George just looked confused, “I didn't think it mattered? Does it?”
“George, we're – oh my god,” he moaned, twisting in place to shove his face into Kyo's shoulder and curse existence before shifting and leaning over his shoulder to grab his phone. Not noticing the raised eyebrows on George's face or how smug Kyouya looked at the smaller Gryffindor's ease with physical contact as he settled back down in his lap and opened up google. One quick search on the Hapsburgs' and he was shoving the phone at George, “Read that, and then look up the effects of human inbreeding, then ask me how disgusted I feel. Ugh, I feel dirty with this knowledge,” he complained, leaning into Kyo's body as the Japanese boy wound his arms around his waist.
“You need training,” he grunted into the back of Harry's neck.
“Excuse you?” Harry demanded, offended. He didn't need training!
The kiss to the back of his neck had no right to mollify him as well as it did, and he pinched the Prefect just to make a point, feeling him smirk against the back of his neck, “You're physically weak, and do not fight effectively.”
He grumbled, “I suppose so. But I don't think any of that is going to save me from George. He's one of six brothers, and his older brother a dangerous animal handler for a living,” he explained, feeling more than seeing Kyo straighten up with interest – just as Kusakabe stepped into the room with a tray of tea for everyone. Not even a hitch in his step when he noticed the position that his Chairman was in with the school's Student Council President.
George grimaced, handing his phone back, “Yeeeeah, suddenly Katie's reaction makes sense now. How has no one noticed before now?” he asked plaintively.
“Something to ask Hermione later,” Harry said, not liking the way George immediately turned his attention to Kusakabe speculatively, mischief definitely curling on his face. He kicked him in the knee, “Don't even go there, Gred.”
The full body flinch the red head gave made Harry cringe as well. Oh fuck. Too soon.
“Only a little torment, Harry! C'moooon!! It's been ages!” he whined, recovering from his momentary pain swiftly. Not swiftly enough to escape notice judging by the small tightening of Kyo's arms or the flick of Kusakabe's eyes but quickly enough that it was obviously something George didn't want commenting on.
“No. They're like the Prefects at mine and Hermione's old school.” Code: They're fucking muggles, George, keep your gob shut.
“But how can I not when he's sat there with hair like that and a frickin' bird perching on it? Harry, please, this demands teasing. I'm a big brother and I haven't been able to torment Ronnikins or Gingin for months,” he whined flopping back on the floor.
“God. Go and get dressed already, stop flailing around in your boxers.” They must have been charmed or something to prevent gaping, slipping, or flashing. He'd have to ask later. They watched in silence as George groaned and got to his feet, shuffling out with many a complaint about the restrictions of pants and really, how could you demand he be contained and confined in such a manner, Harry? You sound like his mother. Harry only quipped that he should be thankful Harry was nothing like his mother or he'd have dragged him to go and get dressed by a very sensitive piece of anatomy fifteen minutes ago.
“Colourful,” Kusakabe observed once George was safely out of earshot.
Harry sighed, “He's... Thank you for being patient. He's – it's complicated,” he muttered.
“Mists often are,” Kyo muttered, nuzzling into his neck with his eyes shut, ignoring the quirked eyebrow his action drew from Tetsuya.
Harry shivered slightly, rolling his shoulders, “George.... lost his twin brother in the terrorist attack that drove me from England earlier this year.” Both Kusakabe and Kyo froze. “Fred – Fred got caught in an explosion. Part of the ceiling fell. It was a boarding school in an old castle in Scotland, all the walls were, made of really old and thick stone. It crushed his skull. It was – right in front of us. Me, Ron, and Percy.” He shuddered, feeling sick, a hard lump lodging in his throat. He could see it. How misshapen his head was, the laughter on his slack face. Percy's scream. The tear tracks on Ron's cheeks. Blue-blue-blue eyes wide. Percy's knuckles were scraped bloody and bruised, his robes were spotted with singes from spell fire. Fred was – was wearing one of the sweaters that Mrs Weasley made them every Christmas.
Kyo bit him, jarring him out of the memory as if he'd been hit with a stinging charm. He thrashed, for a second, confused and not recognising – until he did, and went limp, shuddering.
Kyo's teeth clamped down even tighter as if the more force he used the harder Harry's mind would press back into his body, stop him from flashing back again. It took even longer before he realised that Kusakabe had both hands on his ankles, stopping him from breaking his foot on the recessed table, his voice swimming and far away, distorted as he spoke – about breathing?
The grip on his knee was tightening and relaxing and – he was breathing too fast.
Kingsley spoke about this. Panic attack. Only, not quite, flashback aftermath. The shakes, shellshock, Spell-Shock.
It was a strange sight that greeted George when he returned, the guy with the awesome hair holding Harry's feet still, rhythmically squeezing them as he made very exaggerated deep-breaths. Harry still in his boyfriend's lap looking pale and sweaty and shaky, trying to follow along even as he shook like a leaf, fingernails dug into said boyfriend's hands, drawing blood. And the boyfriend clinging on just as tightly, something violent in those slit grey eyes, biting down on Harry's neck hard enough to most definitely leave some spectacular bruises. Then the little yellow bird started singing, in actual words, bouncing and fluttering on the table, as a certain murderous silver kitten watched from the corner, puffed up and furious.
He shook his head and headed straight for the medicine cabinet – there should be a Calming Draught right, ahah! There.
He grabbed the phial, checking that it was still good, there was only a little bit of a green tinge which meant that it would start going rancid somewhen in the next few days but was still useable right now. Just a bit less effective than it normally would have been.
He headed back, “Open wide Harrikins. One Poppy Pomfrey Special Calming Draught down the hatch!” he called as he stepped around Awesome Hair and shoved the bottle between Harry's lips. He waited the needed moment for recognition and then tipped the bottle when Harry's lips formed a seal around the bottle, watching as he swallowed the lot and shuddered violently before going completely boneless.
“What was that?” Awesome Hair asked frowning.
George glanced at him, “Calming Draught. What it says on the tin. Medication to basically bring you down from high emotion, puts your body to a low baseline. Harry sometimes gets cuddly on them, and sometimes he decides to make himself scarce and chooses the highest and most difficult places to get to, like the roof and nearly falls off when he falls asleep.” That had been a fun morning, waking up to the sound of shrieking and swearing and seeing feet dangling outside their bedroom window. Both he and Fred - ...they'd grabbed their brooms and hopped out of the window to go and get their dumbass adopted brother before he broke his neck.
Harry now had a spotter whenever he was on Calming Draught.
He gave the boyfriend a smirk, “But somehow I don't think keeping an eye on him is going to be much of an issue right now,” he teased, only a little, watching as the boy glowered at him from Harry's shoulder, still making no move to stop biting him. He shook his head in mild disbelief, “He isn't a chewtoy, y'know.”
Awesome Hair sighed, “Unfamiliar stimulation. Slight bit of pain to keep his mind on the here and now without falling into another flashback. And no, keeping an eye on Kaicho will not be an issue if you have somewhere to be,” he stated calmly as he gently patted Harry's foot and let him go.
George quirked half a smile at him, “Dunno what time it is in China but I'm probably gunna be late for breakfast either way. Don't let him follow me, god knows what he'd do if he got it into his head that he had to protect me from whatever big bad he conjures up in his head this time.” Harry Potter, the Man Who Conquered, vs the Chinese Triads. George wasn't sure who would come out of that one the winner, but trust, there wouldn't be much of Hong Kong left standing. Hence why he hadn't told Harry exactly who the Triads were, if he knew that it was basically Chinese mafia then he would insist on getting involved, and he deserved to actually be a frickin' teenager for a change. To be safe for once.
“I'm not that bad,” Harry stated flatly from his boyfriend's lap, the Gryffindor wincing and attempting to sit up properly, only he couldn't with a certain someone slobbering on him. George watched in amusement as the little Gryffindor employed judicious use of those pointy elbows to wrestle some freedom and stumble to his feet. “Are you safe to travel? You can stay if you need to,” he said, not even blinking when George ruffled his hair, digging a hand into the much softer locks than he recalled. Looked like someone finally figured out what conditioner was for.
“Qi Fang and Chit Seong are probably shitting themselves thinking I've been kidnapped or something. Better go calm them down. Thankfully, it's a Sunday, and I don't have class until late afternoon tomorrow, so I can sleep in as much as I like,” he declared cheerfully.
“Remember to eat before you pass out again,” Harry ordered.
George laughed and tugged him into a hug, kissing his forehead, pointedly ignoring the glower it netted him from the boyfriend (he was gunna have to learn how to deal with this, if he thought he was going to prevent Harry from having physical contact with everyone, he wanted to be there on the day he met Hermione and mom, if only so he could stand back and laugh).
“Yes Moooom,” he teased, grunting a little at the punch to the gut he received. “I'll message you when I'm safe and sound,” he promised, both of them knowing he was going to have to wait a while to do so if they didn't want the boyfriend or awesome hair to get suspicious.
George grinned as he bade his littlest and most troublesome brother goodbye, and made sure to be out of sight of the house before Apparating back to China, aiming for the little garden in the Academy grounds. Right. First dinner, then nap, and after?
Dealing with these Triad motherfuckers before they did something that was going to force Harry to get involved.
His little brother would move heaven and earth for them, about time George returned the favour a little so he could stay nice and cosy in his little house with his cats and his boyfriend and the tiny collection of tea. Speaking of, Harry needed more. And extra potions. Maybe he should look into modifying a few for extra credit and sending them off....
The Calming Draught took away the jittery restlessness and the utter mortification and horror of the whole incident, it also smothered the buzzing of his Flame under an artificial blanket and pushed it down. He knew that as soon as it faded he was going to want to escape and hide in his room and never be seen in daylight again, but right now, he didn't much care. He was too busy enjoying the physical sensation of being cuddled within an inch of his life.
Kusakabe made a large pot of tea, gently pushing Harry into Kyo when he tried to perform his hosting duties, sternly telling him that a PTSD episode was nothing to take lightly and that he was perfectly capable of taking care of them while Kyo-san took care of him.
Kyo wasted no time in pushing open both the sliding doors out into the garden, allowing the little yellow bird that had been hopping up and down on the desk to fly in and out at their pleasure, Tinsel inevitably bouncing after it. The cat room was opened up, revealing both Pixel and Pretzel curled up asleep on the ever-warm charmed towel. He then proceeded to raid the cupboards and drag out extra pillows – he grabbed hold of the blanket that went with the recessed table that would turn it into a poor-man's kotatsu but shoved it back inside when he got a whiff of how it smelt. Harry wasn't going to lie, he had thrown a few cleaning charms over it, but since winter was a long way off, he hadn't bothered airing it or anything like that. It probably smelt of moth-balls.
In absence of a blanket, Kyo whisked his uniform jacket off and wrapped him up in that before sitting down in the pile of cushions and dragging him into his lap, nuzzling into the side of his neck, stroking his back, arms, sides, and thighs, anything he could reach. It was nice, the prickling pins and needles and weird disconnected feeling was slowly fading away, instead he just felt a kind of pleasant shivery twisting in his stomach. He had forgotten how sensitive his neck was.
“Patrol went well today,” Kusakabe reported as he stepped into the room with tea, setting it on the table and handing a cup first to Kyo and then to Harry before taking a seat a little further away with his own. “We encountered a few of the Momokyoudai Yakuza loitering, and ushered them along. Minor injuries but nothing requiring medical attention. We found a few Nami-Middle students vandalising the Kikyo Bridge underpass, their supplies were confiscated and their details taken to be passed onto their teachers, parents, and law enforcement,” he continued, sipping his tea now and again as they watched the little yellow bird flying around the garden, swooping in long arcs with Tinsel occasionally leaping up to try and catch it.
It took Harry far too long to figure out why he was being given a patrol report, he had told Kyo to avoid causing grievous harm or property damage. Kusakabe was basically telling him that Kyo had been a good boy and done as he had been told.
He had to wrestle a hand free of the uniform jacket and Kyo's own limbs, to twist his arm up and pat his head.
He got a very smug hum against the back of his throat as Kusakabe finished his report without flicking an eyelid.
“I see,” Harry said, fighting to stop his mouth from twitching too wildly, “You've been working hard. Well done.” Kusakabe had to hide his grin of amusement behind his cup as Kyo squeezed him and nuzzled into the back of his neck.
“I will write a full report for you for Monday, if the Student Council is willing to assist us in such record keeping?” he asked lightly, eyes glinting in amusement, “Your system is considerably superior to our own. We lack individuals skilled in administration.” Which was a very polite way of saying that the majority of the Disciplinary Committee were thugs that Kyouya had terrorised into joining his gang in order to avoid being beaten half to death by them.
Harry huffed slightly in amusement, “I'll bring it up with the others. We may need some more filing space though.”
“See to it they have whatever they need, Kusakabe,” Kyo grunted against Harry's neck.
“Of course Kyo-san. If you'll excuse me, Kaicho, I'll see you tomorrow,” the large teenager said with a barely suppressed grin as he got to his feet. Harry's attempt to get up was thwarted by Kyo's arms tightening around his waist.
“See you tomorrow, Kusakabe-san. Get home safe,” he said dryly, as it was rather apparent that he wasn't about to be getting up any time soon. He chuckled a little as he heard the front door slid shut and footsteps crunching on their way down the driveway, “Really?” he asked dryly, stroking Kyo's hair, “A little eager there,” he teased softly, the low playful tone coming as easily now as it did back when he was in Kyo's position with Ginny in his lap. The sudden realisation made him pause, fingers in Kyo's hair as he realised that he was acting as if they were already in a relationship, that he had fallen into these feelings and these motions as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
Kyo nipped at the side of his neck, jarring him out of his thoughts.
“There was no damages, and the crowding Herbivores are fine,” he grumbled unhappily. Looking very pointedly at Harry.
Harry nodded, fighting down a smile, “Yes, Kusakabe-san said. I'm very proud of you, thank you for listening.”
He sulked, “I did as you asked.”
He nodded again, “You did,” he agreed the side of his mouth curling. God, he was so transparent but incapable of actually using his words. No doubt it would be annoying later down the line but right now it was cute. “I take it you would like a reward?” he asked lightly, his amusement muffled and easy, the Calming Draught keeping everything kind of soft and quiet.
Kyo nodded, and Harry didn't see any kind of problem with leaning up to kiss him – only for a hand to slide between them, cupping his mouth.
“Not now. You are on medication,” he stated firmly before leaning up to kiss his forehead. “Later. But know, because I did not Bite them to Death.... Any further trouble will be your responsibility, and I will punish you accordingly.” Kyo's arms tightened around him, and Harry's breath shook slightly as he leaned back against him, swallowing. Punish him, huh? That sounded.... he wasn't quite sure if he should be curious, hopeful, or wary.
(Hormones were saying hopeful, the rest of him was wary.)
George versus the Triads.....
I actually feel bad for Fon and his people right now. Seriously. They're non-magical and George fucking Weasley wants their balls on a plate for making Harry even consider coming out of retirement. All the chaos of the Weasley twins leaving Hogwarts, concentrated in a muggle location, on people who have no idea what's going on, just that they've pissed off a Misty-Sky.
“Does your boyfriend have a little brother in China, Harry?” George asked a week later, frowning through the mirror as it hovered at Harry's head-height while the former Gryffindor cast a few more charms to reinforce the large shed where he was going to be hosting his Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson for the Japanese aurors.
“He's not my boyfriend, George,” he grunted as he turned his attention to warding the ceiling because if he learned nothing else from teaching Neville, Dennis, and Collin then spells were going to end up in the weirdest and most wonderful of places. “And not to my knowledge. Only child as far as I know. He does have an Uncle in China though, Kusakabe mentioned that he might visit and that Kyo will attempt to hide with me to avoid him.” Harry had actually been quite concerned when the taller boy brought that up, bristling at the idea that Kyouya had family akin to Uncle Vernon, only to be quickly reassured that the two just had absolutely no tact or mouth-filter, so Kyouya's uncle said things with absolutely no awareness of other's feelings. He was also very strong, and Kyouya had yet to beat him in a spar, so got sulky when he was told he was still weak.
That would do it in Harry's awareness, so he let the matter go and asked for a head's up so he could make sure he had enough food for everyone.
“There's a creepy kid who looks like he could be a direct relation that's been following me around whenever I leave the Academy,” he admitted, dropping ice directly into Harry's guts.
“George! You said you would be careful!!” he snapped.
“I am! I am! I swear on my honour as a Weasley!! Merlin, I forgot how scary you get when you're worried,” he complained with a theatrical hand over his heart as he sighed. “I got Qi Fang to teach me how to identify any of the gangs around here and you know how good I am at avoiding trouble. They're even easier than Filch to avoid. I feel a bit mean leading them around by the nose,” he laughed and Harry sighed, relaxing with a roll of his eyes. George wouldn't get in over his head, the twins were actually very good at gauging themselves and – Fred was actually the risk taker, he shouldn't worry so much about George.
He began to construct a few dummies for aiming and spell casting, and summoned the large piles of pillows from the store room. “I've been trying to figure out why they went for you, the old guy I told you about, Kawahira, says it's my fault. Apparently it's similar to what Voldemort had with the Death Eaters; you, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville were my 'Inner Circle', so that protective magic concentrated on you guys a bit more. They're not magical but somehow they're picking up on it.” Harry had let Kawahira take a closer look at his 'maiming' to figure out if everyone was in danger, but no, it was only his 'Guardians' who would sensed by anyone without him actually being physically present for the bond to hum to life. According to the man, he'd had a full compliment of Guardians, twin Mists in both Fred and George, a Cloud in Luna, a Storm in Ginny, Lightning in Hermione, Rain in Ron, there was a broken Sun bond that Kawahira couldn't make heads or tails of but he assumed that it was held by a non-human, and Neville was an Earth Flame user like Kozarto Enma in Class 2-A but because Earth and Sky had a special relationship they were kind of bonded to each other too? It was complicated and his explanation didn't make much sense. Too... flowery and poetic for his knowledge of the language. And it was even worse when he tried to explain in English (who uses Thee and Thou and Thine anymore? Besides Sir Cadogan).
“So, the rest of the Order, the DA, Hogwarts, and Hogsmeade are fine.... Well, it isn't like any of them are about to go out into muggle society. But that's a problem for Hermione and Ron though. Aren't they still looking for Hermione's dad in Australia?” George asked worriedly.
“If either of them have had any problems, they're keeping very tight-lipped about it...” he trailed off unhappily, chewing his bottom lip. “They're moving around a lot. Hermione's been homeschooling the whole time and teaching Ron, they're doing well as far as I can tell..... When she's found her dad and made her decision they're both going to come here. I've already got rooms ready.”
“Your boyfriend okay with that?” George asked with playful seriousness.
“If he isn't he knows where the fucking door is, doesn't he?” Harry snapped darkly. He liked Kyouya, a lot. He was weak to the positive attention, to the blatant and intense interest that for once had nothing to do with his status as the Boy Who Lived. But if he thought that he was going to drive away Ron and Hermione then he had best take a really long fucking walk far away, absolutely no one was pushing them away or making them feel unwelcome.
George laughed, “Merlin, Harry, the day you came into our lives was a blessing.”
He grimaced, “I think the more accurate term is Curse.” He got Fred killed. Percy fled their family. He put Ron in so much danger. He broke Ginny's heart. He ruined Bill's wedding. He had been nothing but a bad luck charm for the Weasleys. “Anyway. My wards just went, that'll be the first of the aurors for their lesson. I'll contact you again later, George.”
“We're going to talk about this, Potter,” he threatened solemnly before the mirror went blank.
Harry rolled his eyes and stepped outside to greet the first car of his new students. The dismissive and disbelieving looks he received from the older men – and they were primarily all men – almost immediately put his hackles up and he smiled, because he was going to have to destroy them first before they would take him seriously. He twirled his wand thoughtfully, that would be fun. It'd been a long time since he'd actually done something like this, he'd prefer Quidditch but a good Duel was a close second.
He smirked as the second car disgorged even more aurors, and a nervous looking Mishima who took one look at his smirk and blanked three shades.
“Welcome to Defence Against the Dark Arts,” he greeted the collective, a few of them not even bothering to stop their conversations as he spoke. A blatant act of disrespect that he quite cheerfully put a stop to with a wordless silencing charm that had the chatter die in a split second. He smiled beatifically, “I can see that a number of you are already doubting my qualifications to teach you how to tell your asshole from your elbow. So before we get started, I'm giving you all the chance to get out of this lesson, no questions asked.”
That got their attention, and Mishima dropped his head into his hands and took several very large steps backwards out of the firing range.
“If you can beat me, then I'll let you walk out of this lesson and not say a damn word to your supervisor. But if you can't, then you stay, and you do as you're told. And you accept the fact that you will not be the first group of people I have taught Defence to, and despite the fact that we were teenagers we went up against the strongest and cruellest magic users in Britain of the last fifty years and we lived to tell of it,” he declared, chin lowering along with his voice. “I don't give a shit about your ego, your family, or your past accomplishments. My only concern is that you live and you get to go home to your families at the end of the work day. So. If you think you don't need to learn how to handle a wand, step up and prove it.”
Mishima lowered his phone, “The healers should be arriving in the next ten minutes,” he reported with a small grimace as he looked around at the men around him. “I – had no idea that there were so many defensive spells,” he admitted as Harry dabbed burn cream onto his arm.
The fight had been vicious. Fast paced, but oh god, it had been fun.
The Japanese aurors had eventually given up on using their wands when it became very apparently clear that nothing they threw at Harry was going to get through the single Protego spell he threw up, none of them knew how to wield a spell with enough power to bust a shield. And none of them knew any Shield Breaker spells either. So they ditched the wands and picked up the elemancy which definitely made things interesting – for Harry.
He lost a sleeve to a fire blast and got some burns that he was dealing with right now, his garden looked like it had been shredded, but that was fine. Neville had sent him a big delivery of plants, potions, and fertilizer from America so he could set up his own green house and potions' patch at the back of the house, that would be arriving on the Sunday. But the Japanese forces? They had other problems to deal with.
Problems that Harry was going to let them sweat with for a bit before he dealt with.
The partial transfigurations were uncomfortable but they weren't dangerous. Neither were the minor hexes and jinxes that a few of them were suffering with. The guy that tried to breathe fire at him was now hiccupping slugs and no one really wanted to get near him. The earth elementalist was tap dancing and couldn't stop, poor guy was so red and out of breath that he looked like he was about to pass out.
“Will you be joining in on the lesson, or just observing?” Harry asked as he screwed the lid back onto the burn cream.
Mishima hesitated, “The higher-ups are telling me to do whatever it takes to get back in your good graces. That's going to be your call, Potter-san,” he said with a small self-depreciating smile.
Harry hummed, eying him for a moment before turning away and Finite-ing a number of the spells on the assorted aurors, “Alright. Not a single one of you managed to drop me, meaning that as of right now, there's a sixteen year old girl out there who wears radishes for earrings who is already better at combat than all of you.” Luna was, to this date, the only person aside from Hermione to beat him in a right, and Hermione didn't count because she was terrifying.
He gestured at everyone to follow him into the shed where they found looked around with obvious interest, he enchanted one of the whiteboard pens to start writing as he spoke, “I'm putting a list of spells up on the board, the ones in green we will be learning before the end of the year. Many of them I used today, some of them have multiple and varied uses. The ones in red on the otherside of the board, I will not teach you, but I will show you how to recognise them, and only once you have understood them will I obtain permission to cast them on you.” He gestured to the top three spells, the Unforgivables. “These three spells, carry with them a life sentence in Europe. I have been hit with all three. I will cast two of them on you so you know what to expect. The third, I cannot cast, and you will not survive.
“For now though, we'll focus on the practicals. I'm not expecting you to perform homework, I might ask you to research a spell so you can figure out another application for it. But I've never found classroom work to be helpful when I'm out there,” he explained, gesturing to the world outside the training room. “Space yourselves out, stretch your arms out, if you can touch your neighbour at all, you're too close. Alright. Get your wands out and hold them like you would going into a fight. I'm going to check your grips. One of the most convenient spells I've ever found is a simple disarming charm, yanks your wand or your weapon clean out from between your fingers. And if the caster puts enough oomph into it, it'll repel you from your wand so hard you'll literally be thrown across the room.
“To demonstrate. You, stand in front of that wall there, don't worry, there's a cushioning charm against it and pillows in front. Healers are just outside as well.”
“Alright Sawada, thank you for meeting with me, without your guard dogs for a change,” Harry said to the nervous looking brunet in front of him. He'd reserved the Guidance Office again, but this time he'd also warded it briefly while they held this conversation.
“It's okay,” he said, peering at him in confusion, “You seem.... happier.”
He huffed a half smile, “My brother visited not too long ago. I didn't realise how much I missed my Guardians until one was literally on my doorstep.”
Sawada nodded, and then froze, eyes going wide.
Harry's smile was a little apologetic, “I know about flames, Sawada, and the Vongola. Kawahira explained your circumstances as much as he was aware.”
“K-Kawahira-ojisan?!” he blurted, flailing.
Harry nodded, withdrawing a notebook, “A distant relative on my father's side. No one had any idea he was still alive after he went missing so long ago. Apparently there was an estrangement on how to handle the Triskel- I mean the Tri-ni-sette. Regardless. You'll have to forgive my ignorance, I only learned about the existence of everything about a week ago,” he stated, showing the notebook with the information he got from Kawahira as an explanation. “Question one, Sawada: do you want to be mafia?”
He nodded and turned to a fresh page and started writing, “And I take it the connection is one of blood? Your record confirms that you aren't the type who would seek this sort of thing out, but then things changed about three to four years ago?” he prompted, looking up.
“Reborn showed up. He's my hometutor. Nono sent him to reach me how to be the Tenth head of the Vongola but I don't want to be! So they turned around and made me 'Neo Vongola Primo', which is just the same thing!” he burst in distress, flailing tearfully in his seat, “No one listens when I say I don't want to be a mafia don!!”
Harry nodded, “Kawahira said you were the one that broke the Arcobaleno Curse, and that was three years ago, at the....” he flipped a page, “end of your second year in Middle School. There was a marked diminishing of property damage both at school and the surrounding area after this.... was that when you were confirmed for.... ah.... 'Neo Primo Vongola'?”
“Neo Vongola Primo, and yeah,” he moaned, arms on top of his head before straightening up and looking down at his hand, at the Vongola ring on his hand. “I've only ever fought to protect my friends. I don't care about the Vongola. It's always been for them. I said that.... I would sooner destroy the Vongola than accept it, and they still....”
“They think they can control you so they aren't worried, huh,” Harry concluded with a wrinkled nose. The Ministry had done pretty much the same thing. “Okay. That makes things both easy and hard. You've declared your intention, you've made your feelings heard. What are your resources? You already have the life debts of the Arcobaleno in your back pocket, you have one from Kawahira himself – ”
Sawada squealed, “Hiiiiiieeee!! K-K-Kawahira-ojisan?!”
Harry peered at him, “You – do know he didn't like the Arcobaleno system, right?” he pointed out flatly, making the brunet pause and stare at him. “He's already working on community service with a few historians I've put him in contact with. He'll be working off his actions for a long time,” he assured the young man as he made a few notes. Harry hadn't told Kawahira that it was essentially a community service sentence, but the man had taken his suggestion that maybe he start paying back for his actions with solemn determination. Mishima hunted down a few historians and Harry set up a meeting and the fossil with the antique shop was happier than a pig in muck with three dusty academics who had been absolutely giddy to meet a living piece of history.
“He was just as chained down as the Arcobaleno were, only he didn't get to die to escape it. Eternal slavery, Sawada. He's very fond of you for freeing him of that. He would help you in a heartbeat if you asked,” he pointed out gently while the brunet had a minor freak out. “The problem that comes with destroying the Vongola is the power vacuum that is left behind. If what I've been told is correct, they started as vigilantes, yes? Because the police were corrupt back in the founder's era?”
Sawada nodded, “Yes. The Vongola didn't become a Mafia family until the Second took over.”
“I can't think of any way to get you out of your current situation, not wholesale, and not without putting your Guardians in harm's way. One of the downsides to having them is that for all they protect you, they're also a huge weak point for you. How do you feel about going into law enforcement?” Harry asked, tapping his pen as he stared down at Kawahira's explanation of the Vindice. Specifically at the fact that because they were now focusing on the Tri-ni-sette, they were not doing their duty, and the fact that they weren't particularly good at it to begin with.
“I can't go to the police!!” Sawada wailed.
Harry kicked him under the table, “No! I mean, why don't you become police. The Vindice are busy maintaining the Tri-ni-sette, you have said repeatedly that you won't endorse the Vongola as they are, but you're already being called the Neo Primo who wasn't mafia but vigilante. Bring it back to how it was. Make them Mafia police. Prevent them from doing their heinous crimes, interfering with normal people. Flames need to be kept hidden, don't they? Focus on preventing those with power from abusing those who have none. Then delegate and retire.”
Sawada burst into tears.
“That looked....” Ichika trailed off as Sawada shuffled back to his class with puffy cheeks and swollen red eyes from crying. Harry had a sizable wet patch on his shoulder that he was trying not to pay attention to.
“Traumatic,” Shiori provided dryly in mild amusement. “What did you say to him, Kaicho? Sawada screeches a lot but he's hardly one for crying jags.”
Harry shrugged, “That's private. Sufficed to say, I helped him with a problem he couldn't figure out himself. I hope it works out for him. I've done everything I can outside breaking the law.” If Sawada needed him to, he probably would. He was pretty much in the same position both Sirius and Regulus had been, forced by their parents into joining something they didn't believe in, but while Sirius was able to escape because he'd never been involved and he had support outside the Death Eaters, Regulus died in it because he lacked all of that, and still tried to do the right thing regardless.
No more death. No more dead teenagers paying for the decisions of old men.
“Kaicho?” Shiori called, and Harry shook himself.
“Sorry. Lost down memory lane for a moment. Was there something either of you needed? You're not usually on the second floor,” he observed, looking between the two curiously. Third floor was where the first years had their homerooms, and it was also where the library was, second floor had the second years as well as the Faculty office and the Guidance office, while the first floor had the school reception, trophy room, and both the cafeteria and the school store. Being both third years, neither Ichika or Shiori had much call to loiter on the second floor unless they were looking for underclassmen or teachers.
“Looking for you,” Ichika chirped in amusement, smirking as she sidled in close, “Rumour has it... that a certain someone in the Disciplinary Committee has a thing for you.”
Harry flushed and glowered at her. “Aren't you too dignified to care about gossip?” he asked acidly, throwing her own words back in her face from when people were discussing something, Harry forgot what, and her arch retort had been that she didn't care about gossip.
Ichika pouted, “Do you have any idea how juicy this is, Kaicho?” she whined, practically hanging off him while Shiori chuckled. “Hibari is like – some kind of wild animal! No one's even seen him display anything approaching human behaviour and now everyone's saying he's hitting on you without actually hitting you!”
He rolled his eyes and placed a fingertip on her forehead, forcing her backwards as she whined, “My standards for 'human behaviour' are pretty low, Ichika. He seems perfectly fine to me.”
“Yeah, fine,” Shiori quipped smugly, “I've seen you eyeing him, Kaicho.”
Harry blushed and glared at her, “Don't think being a girl will protect you from me, Shiori-san. The scariest people I know are female, I will not underestimate you.”
The two girls burst into peels of giggles as they collapsed ontop of each other, “Oh my god, you're gynophobic!”
Harry snorted, “My ex-girlfriend has six older brothers. And she kicked all of their asses. I think I'm entitled to be terrified of women.”
Okay, I've been noticing a lot of arguments in the comments over the last handful of chapters. Differing opinions and fandom discourse are great fun, but please, at the end of the day recognise that this is FANFICTION. I do not adhere religiously to canon, never will. I wouldn't be a fanfic writer if I did. Canon is frankly disappointing and about as deep as a butterfly's footbath. Please stop going at each other over because one person has combed through each individual line and refuses to believe that it never happened if it wasn't EXPLICITLY spelled out in the original text, and someone else decided to take a few lines and a little subtext and create their own headcanon and subplot around the concept.
I get absolutely every single one of your comments, the replies you make to each other, the edits you make on your original comments (yeah, sorry guys, if you edited your comment to remove something embarrassing, I hate to break it to you but I will read your first comment first, because that's the e-mail that shows up in my inbox first).
Just... agree to disagree.
Lunch with Kyo was on the roof which – he was surprised.
“Isn't this place off limits?” he asked flatly as Kusakabe and several of the Disciplinary Committee escorted him up, and then politely withdrew to give them privacy which, what was this? Some kind of historical drama? He glanced around the empty roof curiously, not... actually seeing anyone. He circled the stairwell slowly with a frown but still couldn't find him.
The only other living thing up there was that bright yellow bird, a very pretty and fluffy little canary with intelligent dark eyes.
Harry snorted slightly and withdrew the packet of sunflower seeds from his pocket that he had been snacking on at the recommendation of the healers to get his weight back on track, “I don't suppose you're doing to be dining partner?” he asked the bird even as he extended a palm of seeds towards it. It was most definitely tame. The moment the seeds were extended the little yellow bird was down and landing on Harry's fingers, little smooth feet surprisingly cold and ticklish on his skin. The bird chirped a few times and it felt a little like handfeeding Molly's chickens only lighter and smaller. He smiled slightly, stroking the little bird's head. “I wonder if owl treats are safe to eat.... ehh, maybe not, Hedwig's.... they would be out of date by now,” he managed to choke out, feeling his throat tighten sharply. “She wouldn't have liked sharing anyway. She might have actually eaten you out of jealousy if I ever gave you one of her treats.”
“Hibari!” the canary chirped in response.
The bird snatched one last sunflower seed and fluttered back to the railing, just as a pair of hands scooped him up from his armpits.
He yelped, twisting and jerking, accidentally kicking a shoe off and across the roof, and found himself sprawling across Kyo's lap on the roof of the stairwell. His bag was neatly twisted off his shoulder and set to one side as Kyo twisted his legs and hauled Harry against him properly, burying his face against his neck with a grunt.
“Kyo!” he squawked, and then a cloud of yellow descended upon them both, preventing Harry from flailing or trying to elbow him for fear of accidentally crushing one of the little canaries as they all chirped and sang around them, picking at their clothes, no doubt looking for more sunflower seeds. He squirmed, flinching a little at the fluttering in his face, feeling Kyo's arms tighten around him and the smirk that curled against the side of his neck.
“You fed Hibird. The rest are jealous,” the Prefect informed him as one particularly demanding little canary got into Harry's hair and started tugging.
He sighed and very carefully shooed a few of the birds away so he could get at the sunflower seed pack and scatter it to one side, it looked like he wouldn't be having any snacks this afternoon. The moment the seeds were freed, the cloud of yellow vanished to flutter and chirp and twitter on the floor in a giant feathery pile of violence and fighting.
Kyo kissed the side of his neck again, making him shiver a little before he was released and his bag was returned.
Harry flashed the Prefect a small smile as he got himself comfortable, grimacing a little as he crossed his legs awkwardly so that his sock wasn't on the gritty roof floor. There was nothing worse than sand/silt grit in your shoes. He got his lunch box out along with the chopsticks that he was getting surprisingly good at manipulating given how he'd first come to Japan not knowing how to wield them at all.
He paused then, one of the pumpkin croquettes, dribbled with soy, half-raised to his mouth.
Kyo was not eating, and he didn't have a bag or box with him.
“Do you not have anything to eat?” Harry asked with a worried frown. Kyo glanced at him from where he had been watching the birds fight over the sunflower seeds and shook his head in silence. Harry put his food back down and began to open the old fashioned multi-tier bento box that Akari-san had given him, he began to divide it up and then nudged one of the tiers towards the grey eyed boy, “Here. You patrol after club activities don't you? You should eat,” he advised setting his chopsticks down on Kyo's box before digging out the plastic fork he kept in his bag just in case he buggered his hand up and couldn't use the unfamiliar utensils.
Kyo made his customary humming huff and looked between the food in front of him and Harry who was already digging into his own half of the bento.
To Kyouya, it was barely snack sized. Even when the whole meal was in one it was barely a quarter of what he would normally eat as a meal. Traditionally speaking to eat such excess was improper and gluttonous, but his active lifestyle, school duties, and usage of Flame increased his body's need for calories exponentially. He had noticed for a while that Kaicho did not eat much, if he remembered to eat at all. He drank often, more than he ate, but he would feed others before himself. It was a good quality to have, but not to one's own detriment.
He pushed the bento back, “You are too thin. Kusakabe will fetch something from the student shop,” he stated flatly he then looked down at the bento, “Bring more tomorrow.”
Harry raised an eyebrow, “More? Should I just make you one as well?” he asked in amusement, shaking his head as he nudged the tier back and bit into one of the soft orange croquettes.
Kyouya paused before he nodded, “I will expect it,” he stated, pleased.
Harry rolled his eyes and nudged the tier towards him again. For once, Kyouya decided not to fight him on the matter and picked the tier and chopsticks up, he would send Kusakabe for more food later. He would drop his own bento box, currently somewhere in his rather empty home, off at Kaicho's that evening and provide the finances for his meal – it would strain the Kaicho's own too much to feed an Active flame user on top of all the herbivores who swarmed the property. He sniffed irritably at the thought of them trying to seek Kaicho's favour.
He twitched and turned his head, “Baby. What are you doing here?” he demanded shortly, narrowing his eyes on the Sun Arcobaleno intruding on their meal.
Harry's eyes narrowed, “You're the brat who keeps trying to break into my house.” His eyes flickered over the child's face before it darkened even further, “You're also that hack, Reboyama-sensei.”
The child blinked at him and then narrowed his eyes, hand twitching as if he wanted to reach for a weapon, Harry slowly set his lunchbox down, feeling his wand comfortably against his chest along with the prayer packet he still wore when leaving the house.
“What did you say to Sawada Tsunayoshi earlier?” he demanded shortly, what would have been a sweet voice sounding unsettling as he spoke with an adult's crisp pronunciation and severity.
Harry narrowed his eyes, “He asked for advice. I gave it. The contents of such is private and none of your business,” he stated coolly, folding his arms so he could better grab his wand if he had to.
“Anything to do with Dame-Tsuna is my business, I am his home tutor,” the child refuted and Harry couldn't identify a lie in his words. His language use was still creepily advanced for his – ah, the Arcobaleno curse. Kawahira mentioned that they were all children, adults trapped in the bodies of children rather.
“If he isn't comfortable sharing it with you, then that is your failing as a teacher, not mine.” And he sincerely doubted the full blooded mafioso would have kinder methods of teaching a single (mafia aligned) child behind closed doors compared to a full class of civilian children when he was supposed to be hiding his affiliations. He picked up his lunch again and started eating, determined not to give the bastard any degree of respect or even courtesy anymore. He didn't deserve it.
The Arcobaleno didn't bristle, but his eyes narrowed, “I have not failed. I am the best. I have made Dame-Tsuna into a mafia boss worthy of respect.”
The food tasted like ash in his mouth and he swallowed his mouthful with difficulty, shoving his tray at Kyo who looked down at it and then at his expression, his eyes narrowing slightly.
The buzzing under his skin was back.
“And yet you don't respect him in the slightest. Not his thoughts, nor his opinions. Anyone who needs to resort to threats and violence to get a child to learn isn't fit to be a teacher,” he hissed.
“You are weak,” the arcobaleno told him plainly.
“As you say. But I'm not wrong,” the former Gryffindor retorted. He was weak, he knew that, he was weak and small and alone. Ron and Hermione were countries away, same as Luna, Neville, Ginny, George, the rest of the DA and the Order and everyone else. But being weak and small and alone had never protected or stopped him before. The buzzing got stronger. “If Sawada doesn't trust you, then you need to think twice about why that is, and not come crying to me as if I were the one that made your bed.”
The Arcobaleno huffed, “We will see,” he declared haughtily before disappearing again.
Kyouya made a noise of displeasure, drawing Harry's attention down to the now empty bento.
Student Council was calm and, dare he say it, easy that evening. That or he was just getting used to the role of data entry and management – they would be useful skills when he became an auror later according to Kingsley when they last spoke. So, no matter how tedious he actually found them he continued regardless. It was quiet, they were organising the hotel and transportation for the Rhythmic Gymnastics' club training camp during the summer, writing up permission slips for the parents, and proposals for the staff to be presented at the next faculty meeting, so everyone was a bit surprised when Sawada tentatively poked his head in.
“U-uh... is Potter-Kaicho in?” he asked hesitantly behind him was the majority of his little gang of delinquents.
Harry put the large pile he had been flipping through for student emergency contact details back on the shelf, “I am. Did you need me, Sawada-kun?” he asked calmly, waving the others back to work as he headed to the door.
“Mmn. Yes please, Kaicho,” he said, stepping back into the corridor. “C-can we go to the roof to talk? It's... kind of private....” he trailed off, shuffling in place.
Harry glanced at his entorage, Sasagawa Ryohei, his sister Sasagawa Kyoko, Sawada's usual book ends, Gokudera Hayato and Yamamoto Takeshi, there was the quiet girl with the eye-patch and the medical note in her file, Dokuro Chrome, there was also Kozarto Enma, the 'Liquidation Committee' girl, Suzuki Adelheid who was now wearing the appropriate school uniform, and a large group of mixed second and third year students as well. It was quite a mixed group. Were they all involved in the mafia? Seemed kind of young, but then again, so was he for dismantling a corrupt government and terrorist organisation thirty-years in the making.
He huffed a small smile and nodded, leading the way up to the roof under the curious and suspicious whispering of the Nami-High student body, who were giving Sawada dirty looks now, much to Gokudera's bristling dislike, muttering about how he had better not be trying to corrupt Kaicho, their one shield against his nonsense.
The roof was empty, only a handful of those yellow canaries were fluttering around and they immediately went for Harry who sighed and patted a few.
“Sorry. I don't have any more sunflower seeds. Off you go, go bother someone else,” he told them, shooing them away before leaning against the chainlink fence and facing them. Only a few of the birds flew off, some landed at his feet hopefully, while two decided that he was a much more agreeable perch. Harry decided to ignore them, “So. You wanted to talk?” he asked gently, despite the large group of people around him, Sawada didn't have a strong personality. He was... as Kawahira said, the Sky Who Accepted All. All of these clashing personalities, abrasive temperaments and strange quirks, he accepted them without trying to change them or confine or chain them which was good, it was admirable, but he was letting them run wild and Harry got the feeling that that was in part his tutor's fault. Teaching him through violence and aggression, Sawada probably only felt confident when things were violent, at least then there would be clear lines for him to guide himself. Whatever the arcobaleno had been teaching him, it certainly hadn't been to think or stand up for himself.
Sawada wet his lips, “What you said to me.... I want to talk about that. About bringing the Vongola back to its roots.”
Harry folded his arms and tilted his head, “And what exactly do you want from me, Sawada-kun? I'm not in the mafia, and I have no desire to be.”
Gokudera spluttered, “Tenth said you had Guardians! That means you're a Sky and you have to be mafia! They wouldn't just let a Sky stay a civilian! It isn't allowed!”
Harry stared at him steadily, “Then it is a good thing I tore my Sky to pieces and gave it away,” he dismissed, watching as he blanched white and then grey, turning almost translucent. A quick glance at the others showed confusion and uneasiness but no significant reaction. Therefore he was the only one closely connected or born to the mafia. Harry sighed and dragged a hand through his hair, “Earlier last week, I called Sawada-kun into the Guidance office after Uncle Kawahira informed me of flames and the arcobaleno curse and a few other things. Sawada expressed his desire to avoid becoming mafia, he wishes to reject the path that has been laid out in front of him.”
“Boss... is this true?” Dokuro-san ventured timidly.
“You've said that before,” Suzuki-san sniffed with cold unfriendly eyes, “I've yet to see you make any effort to the effect though.”
“It's hard going against entrenched institutions like that when you have a mother, friends, children who rely on you,” Harry reminded her quietly with a pointed glance at the other people on the roof, “Guardians are as much a weakness as they are a protection. If someone knows how to use them against you.....” he trailed off, hand touching his chest, where the final curse scar lay. He dropped his hand and looked up, “I told Sawada that if he were so against the legacy he was being forced to pick up, and he couldn't see a way out, then he should look into alternative paths. It was recently brought to my attention that with the Vindice now maintaining the Tri-ni-sette, no one is policing the mafia world. I suggested he take up the mantle instead.”
Gokudera's jaw dropped.
“Ahaha! Sounds interesting!” Yamamoto decided, leaning back and tucking his hands behind his head.
“Taking over police work from those scary Extreme guys in black rags?! That an EXTREMELY GOOD IDEA!!” Sasagawa-san bellowed, throwing his hands up.
“Shut up! Not so loud, you menace!” green haired Aoba snarled, raising a fist.
Sasagawa Kyoko clapped her hands happily, “This means I can help too!” she declared excitedly, immediately taking the wind out of her brother's sails.
“Ah- Wait- Kyoko-chan, what?!” he spluttered.
Kyoko-san clapped her hands again, beaming innocently at him, “I always wanted to be a police officer and help people. I think if Tsuna-kun wants to protect people from the mafia's bad people, like with Byakuran-san in the future,” What? “Or those scary Varia people before we made friends then it's a very good idea.”
Harry nodded and looked back at Sawada, “I've pointed out the few allies you have that I know about, the favours and debts they owe you. But this is information you already know, Sawada-kun. What do you want from me?”
He shuffled, diminishing suddenly in front of them, “I – I wanted your help. To-to join us.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose, “You mean that home tutor of yours demanded you recruit me or kill me because I'm a threat to you?” he asked lightly, with forced patience.
“HIIIEE! N-NO! Re-Reborn didn't say anything like that!” he spluttered, flapping his arms, “Reborn didn't say anything?!! You know Reborn??!!!”
“Annoying child with the curly sideburns who illegally pretends to be a substitute teacher here and does such a piss poor job of it he needs to use guns to get people to pay attention? That loser?” Harry demanded flatly, watching as several of the people present wheezed, choked, and spluttered.
“Such harsh condemnation,” the child in question complained from above them.
“Eavesdropping is rude. You lack manners,” Harry stated without looking up, “Whatever you overhear is your own fault.”
“I didn't tell Dame-Tsuna to recruit you,” the child stated, dismissing his accusation, “The Ninth did. Your connection to Kawahira puts you in danger, you will be safer under Vongola protection.”
Harry gave the child a dull look, “...No thank you.”
Reborn peered down at him, “You'll be in danger if you don't.”
“Reborn!!” Sawada-kun scolded sounding torn between dismayed and angry.
The small snort of amusement the Student Council President gave silenced him, “I understand that everyone likes to believe their little corner of the world is the only important one, but really, you're old enough to know better,” the foreigner warned the arcobaleno, smirking a little bitterly at him, however, before he could speak further a hand slid across his mouth and everyone jolted as Kawahira formed up out of nothing, smiling eerily at them.
The yellow birds scattered with startled trills, flying away, even the one that had previously been occupying his hair.
“Young Harry will not be in danger, Reborn,” he informed the arcobaleno calmly, “If need be, he will simply vanish.”
“No he bloody won't,” the youth in question sniffed, pushing his hand away irritably.
Kawahira's smile was mild as milk, and made all the hair on the backs of their necks stand on end, “If the Mafia World seeks to be a threat, then in order to prevent bloodshed, he will indeed vanish from their sight.”
His blood began to buzz angrily. Did he think he could just – lock him away for his own safety? Keep him like one of those antiques in his shop?! How dare he! Harry wasn't some fainting delicate orchid that would die in direct sunlight or if someone sneezed too hard in his proximity. Just because he'd lost his Sky Flame did not give Kawahira the right to dictate terms!!
“Kawahira-san, you can't force Potter-Kaicho against his will!” Swada-kun snapped, quickly sliding between the two, it was so quick that Harry blinked, stumbling backwards as Yamamoto and Gokudera bracketed him as well, nudging him behind their backs.
It knocked the wind out of his sails so suddenly the buzzing flatlined, dying down completely.
The Immortal smiled gently at Sawada-kun, “Tsunayoshi, I am grateful to you for freeing me of the responsibility of the Tri-ni-sette, but I will not allow harm to come to young Harry. He has been through enough.”
“The story about his torn Sky Flame?” Reborn enquired. Kawahira nodded.
“The stubborn child refuses to reclaim it, despite my pleading. He claims there is no need and distracts me quite keenly with new discoveries. I am relearning much of what I had forgotten. Before now I have not exerted anything more than the barest of effort in anything beyond maintaining the Tri-ni-sette. There was no point with my existence stretching endlessly before me as the last of my species. Young Harry has returned that which I thought lost.... Should the mafia become a threat to him in his injured state.... I shall become quite motivated to ensure his wellbeing,” he promised calmly.
Harry made a sound of disgust in the back of his throat, “I am perfectly capable of fighting my own battles myself,” he snapped irritably.
“You are injured,” Kawahira soothed and Harry's temper snapped.
His magic slammed down onto the roof like an oppressive wave, vibrating through the air like a struck gong. Every single flame user present suddenly found it hard to breathe and even Kawahira stiffened and straightened up. Harry had only ever unleashed his magic like this once, in one of the side corridors not far from Transfiguration during fifth year. He'd gotten into an argument with one of the Hufflepuff boys, an upper year whose name Harry had known at the time but couldn't for the life of him remember now. He had obviously been a friend or someone who looked up to Cedric a great deal, he had thrown some truly vile accusations at Harry that night, half of them he couldn't recall, but the one that accused him of taking advantage of Cho's grief and leading her on had boiled his blood. Then he went onto claim that Voldemort obviously targetted them because Lily Potter had been unfaithful with Sirius Black and Harry was not only – Harry's temper snapped, not letting him finish the insult, and he flooded the corridor with magic because he couldn't draw his wand and his mind was so blank with anger that he couldn't speak. Professor McGonagall had come crashing out of her office as if someone had lit her tail on fire.
Both of them got detention and Harry had to sit through a twenty minute lecture about how throwing his magical weight around was oppressive, tyrannical, bullying, and dangerous. He could have immolated himself or crushed the magic clean out of the other student if he hadn't been lucky.
“I do not need a Sky Flame. I have never needed a Sky Flame,” the former Gryffindor stated slowly with menace, feeling his blood beginning to burn and buzz, his skin shivering as the air trembled around them. “You do not own me, Kawahira. You do not control me, my actions, or anything. I am not yours,” he growled at the older man who snapped his fan out to hide the downturn of his mouth, lips trembling ever so slightly as he averted his eyes.
“You could have been,” the man muttered quietly, “If you hadn't carved yourself into pieces for people who didn't care for you,” he murmured bitterly. It was meant to be quiet but with no one able to speak, with the air trembling around them, they all heard it.
“MY CHOICE!!” Harry bellowed, the sound ripping across the roof painfully, “IT WAS MY CHOICE!!”
“And you could choose again!” the man snapped back, frustrated, “You – your Sky – I could put it back together. I could take the pieces and put them back together and return them and hold them until they healed! It would not harm anyone!”
“No. You couldn't,” Hibari's voice interrupted, the Vongola Cloud Guardian stepping onto the roof as if the air weren't vibrating like a plucked string and thickened like soup. “Deals with Spirits and Kami cannot be undone so simply,” he stated, coming up behind the Student Council President who sighed, closing his eyes, and leaning into the hand at the small of his back, the oppressive air around them fading and lightening until everyone could breathe easy and move freely.
“I traded my Sky to Death itself.... It isn't coming back,” Harry said softly, opening his eyes to look apologetically at Kawahira. “I can't be what you want.”
The man looked down, and vanished.
Poor Kawahira. He is a sad and lonely old man who has finally found a Sky who could handle his power only..... they're long broken, cannot be fixed, and have done so to protect people who aren't worthy of him, who do not know or appreciate his sacrifice. He is absolutely kicking and hating himself for not finding Harry sooner or faster because..... it's been years since the Arcobaleno were needed, it was earlier that very year Harry's Sky broke. He could have found him, he could have had a Sky. He would have had to have fought Fred and George for it (not realising that Harry would have absolutely never replaced them even if everyone were active), but he would have had a SKY.
Too little, too late. And he's only just realising it.
Like the whole world was handed to him on a silver platter, only to learn that his home and his family weren't included.
Kyo didn't pause as they left the school, towing Harry away from the noisy crowd on the roof, from Reborn, Kawahira, not even giving him a chance to put his shoes on, or for them to catch up. They went straight to the house which – Harry was actually relieved about. He needed to talk to Kyo, specifically about how much he knew about magic and Harry himself, and it wasn't a conversation to have outside of the wards. If this was... was some attempt at... he didn't know, he didn't know, but he felt sick right now. His stomach was knotted with all sorts of bitter and sour things that grated inside him like broken glass.
They crossed the ward line and got as far as the first shed before Harry was able to worm his sweaty fingers out of the other teenager's hand, stopping them both.
“How did you know...” he asked grimly, “That I'd made a deal?”
Kyo didn't answer, just stared at him for a moment before reaching out. His hand hovered at Harry's neck for a moment, as if waiting for him to step back or knock his hand away, when nothing happened, he gently reached past the collar of his shirt and lifted the prayer packet out of his clothing. Harry swallowed. He didn't wear it in the house, only outside. How had Kyo known it was there?
“Your home is covered with protection wards. Strong ones,” the Prefect began to explain, flint coloured eyes rising from the white, gold, and pink silk envelope between his fingers to Harry's face. “My mother's brother was cursed. Arcobaleno. Mother tried for many years to seek a solution. She patroned herself to the Namimori Shrine to learn purification, she learned all that Japan could offer, returned home to China to learn all that she could there. I grew up heavily involved,” he explained, gently reeling Harry in closer via the prayer packet.
He breathed, ducking his head as the horrible twisted feeling in his stomach began to melt away with so much relief that he went willingly, stepping in close and then just crashing his full weight against him. Kyo didn't even rock back on his heels, just twitched slightly in surprise before releasing the prayer packet to slide one arm around his waist and the other his shoulders to squeeze him tightly, always agreeable to having Harry in his space. Oh. He was rattling again, shaking apart. Just the threat of someone attempting to take control of him, or lock him away again, tore through every carefully constructed illusion of peace or comfort he'd managed to build and left him feeling like he was eleven and staring up at Professor Dumbledore as he was told he had to go back to the Dursleys for his own protection. Like he was twelve, and looking at his Uncle who had just found out that he couldn't use magic to protect himself. Thirteen and fleeing the house, fucking grasping violent hands and snapping jaws. Fourteen and told he had to go back with blood and gravedirt under his nails, a dead body in his nightmares, and green light seared into his eyes. Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen. Threatened, trapped, hunted, murdered. The end of the war, that first breath of freedom, stark and cool and so much, like cobwebs swept out of his lungs and suddenly it was too much. He could still remember how his head spun and his chest ached as he breathed deep that morning air, and realised that he'd survived. He was free.
Threats, control, she wanted to leash them, to muzzle-
He flinched a little, feeling dry rough lips against his cheek, next to his mouth, fingers tangled tightly in his hair, tightening sending lightning shivering across his skin and curling in his stomach, jarring him out of the down spiral and twisting burning buzzing burning itch that swarmed under his skin.
He turned his head sharply into it, ignoring the startled inhale from the Japanese teenager when he ducked and pushed into him, pressing their mouths together.
Fuck all of it.
He pushed into Kyo, turning his head to better slant their lips together. He wasn't very good at kissing, Harry decided hazily in the back of his mind that wasn't being distracted by dry chapped lips and hands grabbing roughly at him, unsure of where to be placed, so kind of everywhere. Despite the face, with his personality, it was probably a lack of experience speaking, which was thankfully, and happily, resolved with practice. In the meanwhile, he more than made up for it with enthusiasm. Harry had to reach up and catch Kyo's head, smoothing his fingers through powder fine hair, gently guiding him, sliding one hand down his face and using his thumb to lower his jaw, opening his mouth for Harry to explore. Taking it away from a blind press of lips that mashed this way and that, bruising skin against teeth.
It felt like the buzzing under his skin calmed, or softened, it was still there, it was more. But less painful, less urgent. Like it had smoothed, and everything was now shivery and humming and warm as he arched up onto his tiptoes for a better angle.
His back hit the shed wall hard enough to knock the air out of him.
“Easy, easy,” he murmured into Kyo's mouth, hissing slightly as his lip was bitten and then sucked on, hands roughly pulling him up against a body that had no right being so solid even as he was pressed against the wall behind him. Kyo licked at his sore lip before kissing him again, hands running down Harry's sides to pull at his legs, his hips, before grabbing handfuls of his ass and dragging him closer, grinding into him. He grunted a little, shifting and wriggling against him before he was able to work a leg free and get some leverage of his own, straddling the Prefect's thigh and rutting up against him.
Harry felt something tear, heard stitches popping, and Kyo grunting in annoyance as he flicked the torn off belt-loop away, sliding a hand under his waistband to grab at his hipbone instead.
“Easy,” he murmured again against wet lips, stroking his hair as he rolled his hips, “Easy, I'm not going anywhere,” he muttered, kissing his way up the Prefect's cheek to whisper in his ear and nuzzle his hair, only to gasp and jerk as teeth sank into the side of his neck, his whole body lighting up and shuddering with sensation. If felt like his blood was burning and he couldn't get enough air in his lungs. Kyo hummed, pleased, sucking on his throat and rocking into him, hands on his hips tightening as they moved together, Harry sighing into his hair, arching his neck and shivering as his eyes fluttered.
“ – a big deal!” an unwelcome voice shouted near-by as the wards pinged him, again and again, and again. Multiple people coming onto the property with the intention of getting information, curious, demanding.
Harry grunted, yanking on Kyo's hair to try and pull him away, shuddering breathlessly at the irritated growl it earned him.
“G-Gokudera-kun! Barging in and demanding answers isn't – isn't polite! What if he doesn't want to tell us?” Sawada-kun objected.
Harry shuddered, pins and needles shivering up his skin as Kyo grit his teeth into the side of his neck, making him gasp and whimper quietly as his stomach twisted and oh fuck – was he a masochist? He-he might be? He whined breathlessly, turning his head away as Kyo licked at the tooth marks he'd left in his skin, nuzzling the abused reddening flesh with an unhappy grumble as the restless frantic energy buzzing around under Harry's skin began to die down.
They slowly pulled away, over-sensitive and flustered. Harry less so, the number of times Ron had almost caught him and Ginny was – well, Harry didn't like rubbing their relationship in his bestfriend's face and he knew it was inappropriate to carry on with your besfriend's sister in front of him, no matter how good of friends you were. It would piss Ginny off something fierce but Harry had never really been able to find the right words to explain that it was just.... it was a really shit thing to do to your bestfriend? Put your hands and lips all over his baby sister right in front of him.
Harry caught Kyo's arm before they stepped out, silently picking out a leaf stuck to his hair with a little bit of spiderwebbing and brushing it off before the two of them went out the side entrance of the bin shed.
Kyo looked down at the colour coded bins with a small hum, “Burnables are tomorrow,” he reminded, noticing that Harry's bin was empty. The former Gryffindor cursed under his breath. He was still trying to get his head around all the Japanese rules for waste disposal. On top of having multiple bin categories, and the insistence of having both your name and address on the binbags so that if anything had been improperly sorted they could mail it back to you, you weren't allowed to just throw your trash out into the bins. There were designated pick-up points and you weren't allowed to just leave your trash there, you could only take your named and addressed bags out within two days of the pick-up. If the wrong bag was left out, they would deliver it back to you. Harry didn't know what would happen if you didn't put your name and address on the bag, he was somewhat scared to find out. Either way, he was going to have to get all of his burnable trash and take it to the pick-up point that evening, or get up super early tomorrow to do it as they were on the outskirts and so their pick-up time was like.... between five and five thirty in the morning.
“I EXTREMELY don't understand,” Sasagawa Ryohei's voice loudly exclaimed, “If Potter-Kaicho made a deal with the Shinigami, how is he still alive?!”
“Idiot! Because nothing happened, obviously! He lied!” Gokudera snapped back.
“I didn't,” he stated, stepping out in front of the group with a frown, causing them all to startle. There was Sawada, Gokudera, Yamamoto, the two Sasagawas, an unfamiliar girl the same age in a Midori High uniform, Chrome-san, and two young children, a boy with thick curly black hair and European features, and a little Chinese girl without ears wearing glasses with a red goggle strap, her black hair in two braided buns with yellow ribbons. “And what would it mater if I did? I fail to see how it actually concerns you in the slightest, Gokudera-san,” he continued, looking away from the unfamiliar members of Sawada's entourage. “My personal history is not for your entertainment,” he informed the group at large with a mild frown.
The white haired teenager snapped his mouth shut with a perturbed expression that made him look constipated while Sawada fretted, wringing his hands.
“Are you alright, Potter-Kaicho?” Sasagawa Kyoko asked, hands clasped in front of her chest, face brimming with innocent concern. Too much to really be real in his opinion. “You seemed upset. We came to see if you were alright?”
“I think he's fine, Kyoko-chan,” the brunette girl in the Midori uniform giggled slyly, her eyes flicking between him and Kyo pointedly. Harry threw her a dry look and a raised eyebrow. She only giggled harder.
Gokudera shook himself and flailed, “Are we supposed to believe you traded your Sky Flame to the Grim Reaper?!! That's not possible!! He doesn't exist!!” he bellowed, pointing at Harry furiously, practically shoving his finger to his nose. “What really happened?!!”
He slapped the teenager's hand away, “That. Is absolutely none of your damn business.”
“N-none of our business?!” he spluttered in outrage, and Harry felt his skin crawl with sudden breathless rage at the realisation that this fucking brat thought he was entitled to anything to do with Harry, never mind what was literally one of the most traumatic incidents of his whole entire damn life. Ron and Hermione knew. They were the only ones who knew. Everyone else – to everyone else, even to Narcissa Malfoy, it had been a plot, a trick, he had been immune all along, the Killing Curse did nothing. But Ron and Hermione knew. They knew.
He had never been immune. He had died both times.
He just came back.
Harry felt Kyo shift behind him, and suddenly the majority of the boys skipped backwards nervously, hands coming up defensively or reaching for the weapons they certainly still shouldn't be running around with in a public location, especially since they were aligned with Organised Crime, and suddenly Harry's feelings had an added layer of complication about this whole thing and he still wanted to curse Gokudera into vomiting slugs.
His eyes flickered to the little boy who was now bodily hiding behind Sawada, and the little girl who had her hands clasped in front of her looking worried, but not scared, and forced himself to take a breath and calm down. He wasn't going to flip his shit and scare a pair of kids, or let Kyo do it either, he decided as he moved an arm out to bar him from moving forward. The Japanese teenager grumbled but subsided with a truly magnificent scowl in the group's direction.
“I don't owe you my life story. I don't know you, or like you enough to go reopening those wounds,” he stated flatly, “You don't have the right to my pain. The only explanation I will give you, and I don't have to, it that there was a terrorist attack at my school earlier this year. They held everyone from eleven to seventeen hostage against their parents and issued an ultimatum. Either give me up, or the children die. I left while they were still discussing it and went to them myself. I lost my Sky Flame. I tore it up and gave a little piece of it to everyone that was there that day to protect them. They have it still and they always will because it is impossible to reverse a deal like that without suffering a greater backlash. And I don't want to reverse that deal. The shards protect them. Why the hell would I want it back when there's a whole generation of children who need it more than I do?” he asked flatly, looking Gokudera in the eye. Whether he believed Harry or not was none of his business, he didn't care, but, “This conversation is now over. Please leave.”
The fiery teenager scowled, “So you just waltzed up to a terrorist group and ripped yourself to pieces?! How was that supposed to protect anyone?!”
Sawada whipped around, “Gokudera-kun!!” he scolded/whined, making the white haired boy subside like a kicked puppy before he turned back to Harry. “I – I believe you.”
“Thanks. I can finally sleep at night,” the former Gryffindor grunted bitterly. Please just go the fuck away. His skin was beginning to prickle with the need to activate the wards and bounce these assholes off the property. Kyo shifting unhappily and restlessly behind him was also not helping – he wanted them gone, Harry wanted them gone, and it was only his self control preventing the group from being run off via magic, of truncheon.
Thankfully, Sawada realised how little Harry actually cared about his opinion on whether or not he was believed and flushed a little in embarrassment over his arrogance in assuming his opinion about Harry's life actually mattered. They weren't friends, Harry didn't owe them anything, they were the ones being rude and demanding here. “I'll talk to the Nineth, get him to leave you alone. I'm sorry about today, Potter-Kaicho,” he said with a solemn nod and a glint of familiar determination in his eyes, Harry had seen it in the mirror, and he held himself very still as the air around them went warm with intent. “I won't let him hurt you.”
He felt the vow settle in his bones and nodded wordlessly, hearing Kyo grunting in approval behind him while he himself was too stunned to reply as the brunet began to usher everyone away from the house. The little Chinese girl babbling something to Kyo before bowing and running after them. Harry glanced at the Japanese boy who sniffed, the tense line of his shoulders finally relaxing as they went out of their line of sight.
“Tea?” Harry offered tiredly as he headed to the house. If He needed tea after dealing with them, Kyo probably needed a shot of medicinal Firewhiskey in his tea.
“Mn,” he grunted in agreement, following on his heels, stress slowly shedding from the both of them as they slid the door open and were greeted with a chorus of hungry and happy fur-balls who wanted nothing more from either of them than food and a warm place to cuddle.
It was good to be home.
And just to make sure – Harry activated the muggle repelling wards.
“Gokudera-kun, stop it!” Tsuna exclaimed, upset as his Storm Guardian continued to rant and fume over the situation with Harry-Kaicho. “He was telling the truth!”
Hayato turned frantic green eyes onto him, “Tenth that isn't possible! If he'd really given away or ripped up his Sky Flame he'd – he'd be in even worse state that Bermuda von Lichtenstein!” he ranted, waving his arms.
“But he's got two flames though,” Yamamoto pointed out cheerfully, “Just because he gave one away doesn't mean he lost both. And he's obviously a Cloud like Hibari.”
“And he likes Hibari,” Haru giggled wildly.
Kyoko smiled brightly, “So many people are scared of Hibari-san, it's nice that he's found someone who isn't scared of him that he can be with,” she decided happily, always looking on the brightside of things. This was why Tsuna loved her so much, she was such an optimist, always able to light his way when all he could see was darkness and problems and the bad of his present situation.
“Clouds typically hate people in their space, so those two much really like each other,” Yamamoto added with a laugh.
“WHICH IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM BASEBALL IDIOT!! Do you have any idea how rare a Cloudmerge at our age is?!!” Gokudera exclaimed, dragging both hands through his hair as if he wanted to rip it out. Tsuna was getting stressed just watching him. “You know what Hibari's like on a normal day, he's a pretty standard Hard Cloud. Can you imagine someone like that suddenly turning around and becoming – like – like – like Chrome is towards Mukurou?! Or Cornello to Lal Mirch?!” he demanded waving his arm in the general direction of Potter-Kaicho's house as Tsuna squirmed, feeling restless. “Adult Cloudmerges have the highest chance of going wrong because of that! Last time one was recorded, one of them was killed and the other went insane. The Geigue Famiglia had that whole stitch and corpse theme because of it. They caught the other Cloud trying to physically crawl into the dead one's ribcage! They managed to separate them but the remaining Cloud had to walk around with the dead one's skin stapled to his body so he wouldn't go on a psychotic murderous rampage! Cloudmerges are typically only safe when both of them are kids at like, Lambo or I-pin's age because at that age they won't have activated their flames and they can't really hurt each other by accident. This has the potential to go very, very badly, and I don't wanna fight Hibari if it goes wrong and he goes insane!”
Tsuna fidgeted, flushing, “I don't – think that's going to be a problem,” he admitted in embarrassment.
The red mark on the side of Potter-Kaicho's neck that slowly darkened to a very obvious hickey, also very carefully and strategically placed over the neckline of his school shirt said that if there was going to be any kind of.... 'crawling into one another'.... it would definitely be of a very different kind than what happened with the Geigues. And Tsuna immediately blushed bright scarlet and hid his face in his hands just thinking that.
“If there's going to be any kind of going into anyone, I don't think Potter-Kaicho is gunna complain too much,” Haru practically cackled, giving Gokudera pause and then sending his face sunset red as he realised the implications of what both she and Tsuna had been saying.
“I EXTREMELY DON'T UNDERSTAND!!” Ryohei-nii exclaimed loudly. Tsuna squirmed restlessly, feeling too warm, and utterly mortified.
“Sex, senpai,” Yamamoto explained easily, making Tsuna flail at how casually and shamelessly he threw the words around. “She's saying that Potter-Kaicho won't complain if Hibari has sex with him instead of rips his skin off to wear like a bad halloween cosplay.”
“Tsu-nii, Tsu-nii!” Lambo demanded loudly, grabbing at Tsuna's sleeve. He looked down at the nine year old in mute horror, having forgotten that he was even there. “Does this mean Hibari is gunna be making babies? Are there gunna be baby Hibaris like there are Hibirds? Are there gunna be that many baby Hibaris???” he demanded 'innocently', definitely more than old enough to know the ins and outs of reproduction already (They went over it in school when Tsuna was eight – and he was pretty sure Bianchi had explained some after someone made some inappropriate comments to Haru the last time she was out with the little ones.
Tsuna still blanched, practically vibrating where he was as the words registered.
“T-two boys can't – can't make babies, Lambo,” he choked out in horror. But didn't Harry say he was a True Earthling? What was to say he couldn't actually do that? Chrome could recreate organs with her Mist Flames, and Mammon actually charged service fees for doing the same thing, there was literally nothing to say that if he asked Kawahira nicely enough that he wouldn't –
Tsuna yelled in horror at the direction his thoughts were going in.
Gokudera yelled because he was yelling and it scared him.
Haru and Kyoko-chan screamed, startled suddenly by the yelling.
Lambo yelled because he didn't want to be left out.
Ryohei-nii yelled because it was fun.
Yamamoto just laughed.
I-pin sighed and shook her head. If the Young Master had found himself a partner, then her Master would want to know. Madam Yun was currently abroad, furthering her education in the mystic arts, thus Master liked to keep an ear on the situation in Namimori on her behalf. Keep an eye on her son. A potential Cloudmerge would definitely be cause for interest. She dug her mobile out of her pocket and stepped outside to call him, closing the door on all the yelling behind her.
Master was quite knowledgeable and had worked extensively with Clouds in the past, he may have some advice or knowledge on how to prevent this from going sour.
Harry decides that enough with dancing around the whole subject, Gokudera demands answers and gets soundly put in his place, Tsuna decides that Harry is his (flame wise anyway), and Kyo is pleased with this development. Lambo decides to be a little shit too, because you know he pretends to be dumb occasionally just to give everyone nightmares at the thought of hundreds of baby Hibaris running around Namimori.
Warning: I don't know how people will react to some stuff here so.... Warnings for Kyouya publicly staking his claim? I guess? Oh, and some nudity down the line.
Harry cursed the name Hibari Kyouya to the ninth circle of hell and back as he stared in horror at the absolute mess the other teenager had made of his neck the previous evening. Not even bruise balm was going to be enough to deal with all of that by the time school started, and Harry didn't have enough of it for the whole lot either!
No wonder he'd looked so damn smug when he left that evening!
Even swallowing was uncomfortable. Harry had woken up thinking he'd just gotten a crick in his neck from sleeping funny in a draft, only to see his neck was practically red and purple in the bathroom mirror with teeth marks. They were hot to the touch and sore, and made his insides squirm with a mixture of embarrassment and a tiny little thrill that he really didn't want to think about as he closed his eyes and rummaged for the balm anyway. He would just have to deal with the painful ones first, and do what he could about the ones that were going to be visible. He was going to have to remember his wallet today as well because Kyo had dragged him out of school so quickly he still had his school shoes on, and his bag was in the Student Council Office. No bento for either of them today.
He sighed as he began to dab the soothing cream onto his neck.
He really hoped there was enough cream. There were already rumours flying around about them being an item. If he showed up looking like he'd been mauled then they were only going to get worse and – he sighed. People would inevitably accuse him of only being the Student Council President via favouritism, because Kyo pushed for it, and that would upset him because it wasn't untrue. Yeah there had been a vote, but he'd been in Namimori long enough now to know that it had been rigged in his favour without his knowing at the time. Hell, he had been the only one RUNNING. And – he'd done the best he could when pushed into it, he might not have wanted to, but they'd put their trust in him and he always found it hard to disappoint people when they actually did. He honestly would have loved nothing more than to spend most of his time napping on the roof, or laughing at whatever dumb meme his classmates had on their phone instead of running after club budgets and delinquency reports.
He scrutinised his neck, feeling Pixel twining around his ankles. There were still bruises on his shoulders but the ones on his neck had faded considerably, there were a few darker shadows but.... as long as no one paid close attention they weren't likely to be noticed. He hoped. (He did not realise that his incredibly white shirt collar would make them quite obvious by contrast to the rest of his skin tone. Harry was fooling no one.)
Sighing quietly, he got dressed, dug out his old running shoes, and tucked his cleaned school shoes into a carrier bag, and tried not to notice the box of burnable trash that was missing from the front door that he had intended on taking to the drop-off point but... hadn't. His ears felt hot.
Wallet in the back of his pocket, shoes in a carrier bag, Harry quickly made his way to Nami-High in order to collect his school bag and get to homeroom before Kyo caught up to him.
So of course the Prefect was waiting for him at the front gate.
He sighed, rubbing a hand down his face, “You didn't have to take the trash out, but thank you,” he said to the Japanese teenager as he reached him. “Did you get home alright?” he asked idly, half expecting to hear of Sawada or his entourage waylaying him only for Kyo to frown at him. “What?” he asked suspiciously a second before his chin was grabbed.
Harry paused, blinking as his chin was lifted and – he slapped at Kyo's hand as his head was turned this way and that so the Prefect could get a better look at his suspiciously well-healed neck.
“Do you m-IND!” he squawked, yelping and slapping at his arm as he took one step forward and sank his teeth into the skin right beneath Harry's ear.
Several students yelled and squealed and Harry could feel his face going right red as Kyo sucked in his neck determinedly.
“K-Kyo! Knock it off! You can't – in the middle of the freaking school?!” Harry yelped, hitting his shoulder again and shuddering in a way that probably did absolutely nothing to convince anyone that he wasn't enjoying this. He squeezed his eyes shut as with one final long, pointed lick to the side of his neck he was released, letting him stagger back and slap a hand over the side of his neck where no doubt there would be a very dark hickey forming visibly above his shirt collar.
Everyone was staring.
Kyo smirked and then shot them all a frown, “Loitering is prohibited,” he reminded, and within seconds the courtyard was empty of students – Harry whimpered, squeezing his eyes shut. This was going to be all over the school before first bell.
“Was that – really necessary?” he demanded grumpily though – though he really had no room to talk about 'staking one's claim' given how he snogged Ginny out of the bloody blue in sixth year in front of everyone in Gryffindor.
Kyo just hummed and nuzzled into the side of his hair, wrapping an arm across his shoulders to pull him close, “Ogling Kaicho is prohibited,” he muttered quietly, pressing a kiss to the side of his head. Harry grumbled, touched that someone was getting possessive over him for the first time in his life, and annoyed about feeling pleased over it.
“You could have just kissed me,” he complained. And grunted a little when Kyo did just that, because of course he was opportunistic.
His class didn't seem to know what to make of him now that Kyo had decided to make his claim so... public.
Harry wondered if it were possible to pass out from blushing too hard because he didn't think he had ever felt so embarrassed before in his life? Not even Lockhart's singing Dwarves crooning about eyes like fresh pickled toads could make his face burn like this, or for quite as long. He determinedly kept his head down low throughout lesson, took his notes, the teachers gave him a wide berth so he supposed he should be grateful that he hadn't been called on to answer any questions.
Lunch was – well, at least he managed to actually buy some before Kusakabe was escorting him up to the roof with a smile and a quiet congratulations. Chuckling as he relayed that Kyo-san had been in an incredibly good mood today, and bitten thrice the usual amount of people to death.
Unwillingly, Harry snorted.
And here he'd heard people commenting on how 'Hibari' would go easier on them now that he had a boyfriend. They didn't seem to consider that his being in a good mood would make him even more diligent or enthusiastic in his 'duties'.
Harry got the feeling he was going to have to step in eventually to prevent Kyo from being too enthusiastic about dealing with troublemakers.
They ate on the roof, Harry sacrificing half of his melon bread to feed the numerous yellow 'Hibirds' that flocked to them, apparently they were Kyo's pets and he had been breeding them for three years now so had quite a number of the cute little bastards. Cute little bastards who he'd actually taught his Middle School anthem to.
“You are such a nerd,” he laughed disbelievingly. Kyo shot him a look and decided to silence him before anymore teasing could occur, and he was forced to perform a walk of shame back to his homeroom with a second hickey decorating the otherside of his neck. Kyo marking his territory as blatantly as he humanly could – Harry mentally vowed to get his revenge, somehow.
Magical Cram school when he attended it that afternoon was... literally all theory and lectures. Three days of solid theory followed by three days of what was basically afternoon 'training' camps where they drilled in the spells and theory they learned in class. Potions cram was just brewing the same potion, over and over and over again, repeatedly, having three cauldrons set up at your station and just constantly cycling through them. His timeturner got a lot of use now that he was attending diligently. He was careful to arrange his timetable, and ended up making himself a spare bedroom in the outermost shed solely so he could get some extra sleep in between jumps on some days as every now and again he would arrange a training day for the Japanese Aurors where he learned their particular form of elemental manipulation while he drilled them in their curses and hexes and other combat magic.
He tried not to do a Hermione, at most he only ever had two of himself at any given time. He would go to school, attend cram while Kyo patrolled, hop back in time and grab himself a nap before teaching the Japanese Aurors, take a bath and start cooking a big dinner because he was usually starving by that time, and it was normally when Kyo and Kusakabe appeared after their patrol.
It was a nice routine.
One that found itself interrupted by an unfamiliar five year old appearing on his doorstep in a chinese shirt. And he said unfamiliar because he'd never seen this child before, but.... he certainly looked like Kyo.
Harry eyed him suspiciously, and he only smiled up at him benignly before bowing politely.
“Good afternoon, I am Fon, Hibari Kyouya's uncle. Might we have a small chat before he returns from his duties?” he asked serenely.
Given how Kyo had started showing up roughly around the time Harry took a bath, they wouldn't really have much time to talk right this second, given how he'd literally only just finished washing his hair when the wards chimed. What was it with this family and interrupting his hygiene rituals? He sighed a little and stepped aside to let the Arcobaleno in.
“Of course. If you'll give me a moment to finish up in the bath and get dressed I will bring out some tea. I have milk, lemon, mint, black rose, or jasmine,” he offered sliding the door closed but not quite shut – that would be invitation enough for Kyo to just let himself in. Harry wasn't going to tell a single fucking soul that he had already keyed the Prefect into his wards, meaning that he could come in even if the doors and windows were sealed. That was something he was taking to his grave and never thinking about ever again because no.
The Arcobaleno took his shoes off and followed him into the house proper, peering around with interest and curiosity as Harry let him into the living room. Tinsel decided she wanted nothing to do with him immediately, hissing and skittering away into the cat room, her ears folded back. Pixel looked up from where she had been lounging in a sunbeam, ascertained that the small being wasn't going to bother her, mrrp'ed a greeting to Harry, and then went back to her lazy dozing. Pretzel however, cautiously approved in an uncharacteristic show of bravery to sniff at the small fingers the Arcobaleno presented to her in greeting.
Certain that Tinsel wasn't going to pick a fight she'd lose, and his guest wasn't about to eat his cats, Harry went back into the bathroom to rinse himself off with a small grumble. His back ached after getting thrown by Matsuhiro's first successful disarming charm and he had been looking forward to a nice soak – he was going to have to shelve that in favour of playing host, and then referee when Kyo got back and found his much disliked uncle in his boyfriend's living room.
He flicked some clean water at the fern he had in the corner of the bathroom before wrapping himself in a towel and stepping out – straight into said boyfriend, who was not happy.
“I see you've found our guest already,” he concluded flatly, trying not to react too much to the fact that he was only in a towel and his very attractive boyfriend was scowling at him while he was trapped up against a door. He was an eighteen year old war hero, he could handle this. He could. It wasn't all he wanted to handle – Harry squeezed his eyes shut and told his fucking brain to shut the hell up because he should not be making out with said hot and angry boyfriend while his Uncle was waiting on them to serve fucking tea.
Kyo looked down at him, and the angry expression faded into one of interest that immediately made Harry swallow and feel all the hair on his body stand on end.
“Ah ah! No!” he commanded shortly, planting a hand on his chest and pushing. Kyo didn't even lean back, not that Harry expected him to, but clear instructions both verbal and physical were the best way to get through to him. His hands twitched but he kept them to himself. “Not while other people are in the house.” They'd had this conversation before – Harry absolutely had refused to let him get handsy, or mouthy, with Kusakabe in the building. He was supposed to be the host! He was not going to make out with his boyfriend while said boyfriend's friend was sat there awkwardly trying not to pay attention, it was beyond mortifying and exhibitionism was not his kink!!
“Go and put the kettle on, you won't have to talk to him, just stay in the kitchen until I'm dressed and then go in with me. You won't have to be alone with him,” he soothed, reaching up to cup his cheek. Harry didn't know exactly what kind of relationship Kyo had with his uncle, but Harry was more than willing to play shield for him against any unwanted family members. He knew that if Kyo ever met the Dursleys they would never be seen again, hell, if he'd known them back when Harry was a child they'd likely have been murdered long before Hogwarts ever came into the picture.
“Hmn...” he grumbled, leaning into the touch for a moment before turning and going to do just that.
Harry dressed quickly, god only knew what Kyo would do to spite his uncle in Harry's kitchen. Fresh underwear, jeans, t-shirt, deodorant, and socks. He wasn't going to dress up for this, not when the man had shown up uninvited to Harry's own house. He was pretty sure that was a kind of snub in asian culture wasn't it? He didn't know, but it was rude in British culture unless you were close friends or in trouble.
He found Kyo in the kitchen glowering at their usual tea set, Harry could almost see the gears turning in his head as he tried to decide if he wanted his uncle to drink out of it and being unreasonably prejudiced against the very idea. Thankfully, Harry had a truly ugly tea set given to him by Muriel Weasley as 'thanks' for saving them, even if he had been late and did a bad job of it. It was only manners to Mrs Weasley that stopped him from using it as spell-practice, though now he supposed he could call it convenient. He smirked and took the set out of Kyo's hands, putting them away in the cupboard before getting a stool and using it to get at the box on the top shelf, Kyo's hands on his hips helping him back down without the risk of breaking anything.
He eyed the tea set when it was revealed, pulling a face. It was hideous wasn't it?
He also made no move to stop Harry as he reached for the mint teabags. Since Fon had not specified a tea preference, he was getting whatever one Harry decided that he wanted. And Harry knew from Mishima-san that most asian cultures did not like mint tea. It was incredibly petty but, he was firmly on Kyo's side in whatever disagreements he had against his uncle, and he wanted it known without actually saying anything.
The meaning must have gotten through because by the time he had finished making the pot of mint-tea, Kyo had kissed his way from Harry's ear to his shoulder and was sulking at the prospect of actually having to leave the kitchen and interact with anyone.
“C'mon, the sooner we get this over with the sooner he can leave,” Harry muttered, leaning back against him for a moment.
Kyo grumbled but let Harry collect the try and followed him into the living room where Kusakabe was sat patiently with both Tinsel and Pretzel curled up peacefully in his lap, and Fon sat opposite with a serene smile and his hands tucked into his sleeves. The Arcobaleno took one look at the tea and his smile became that much more amused as Harry poured the disliked mint tea for him into the hideous tea set, didn't bother to pour for either Kyo or Kusakabe who took a quick glance at the set up and rubbed his chin in order to hide his grin of amusement.
Harry smiled at the Arcobaleno and waited for him to speak about what he came here for.
Fon did not.
Much like that first day he had tea with Kyo, the Arcobaleno kept his silence and drank his tea without a grimace or a twitch, even when Harry refilled his cup as appropriate whenever it emptied until between the two of them they had gone through the entirety of Muriel's ugly teapot. It was no hardship for Harry, he actually liked mint tea. At the Dursleys he wasn't allowed milk and Aunt Petunia never really noticed when sugar or her box of peppermint tea was touched because she only had it once in a blue moon. Harry could sneak a bag here or there without repercussions. Then on the run they couldn't get milk but didn't really want to drink water plain, so mint and lemon tea became staples in the tent. Kyo hated mint tea much like most asians, but liked Harry's lemon, ginger, and honey tea whenever he made it, but there was no way that he would let his uncle have any.
“Thank you for the tea,” the five year old announced once the pot was empty.
Harry smiled, “Would you like another?” he asked lightly, all the while wondering if he would much rather get to the point of his fucking visit so they could get on with their lives.
“No thank you,” the Arcobaleno said with humour, smirking at them, “I believe I have taken up enough of your time this evening. Perhaps we can speak another time,” he suggested serenely, as if his nephew weren't glaring holes in the side of his head as if he could actually do such a thing if he thought hard enough about it.
Harry smiled back, small and bitter, “Of course. Whenever I am free.” And he would make sure that would be never.
Fon smiled as they all got to their feet to see him out, “I look forward to it,” he said with a polite bow once he had put his shoes on.
“Safe travel,” Harry told him sweetly, and waited until he had started walking away before closing the door, immediately putting a hand over Kyo's mouth before he could swoop down on him. He stayed very still and waited until he felt the wards ping him. “He's gone,” he said with a sigh of relief.
Kyo pulled his hand down and kissed him, briefly, before stepping back. Mindful of Harry's rule regarding other people. Kusakabe only chuckled.
“Not the most awkward tea-party I've been to, but close,” he admitted in good humour as he too collected his shoes, “I will inform the rest of the Disciplinary Committee to keep an eye out for Fon-san and ensure our usual countermeasures for multiple Arcobaleno are in place,” he assured his chairman with a short bow before smiling to Harry, “I'm sure Kyo will eventually get around to telling you how patrol went, but I'll have something written for the Student Council for you tomorrow.”
“Thank you Tetsuya-san. Get home safe,” Harry told him, much more genuinely than he had the last guest who just left.
Kusakabe bowed to him as well before he headed down the driveway, stopping at the end to give them a small wave before turning onto the street, both Harry and Kyo staying and watching as was polite until he was out of sight.
Harry slid the door shut and had barely a second to turn around before he was being kissed again, this time with a lot more intent.
He leaned up into it, wrapping his arms around Kyo's neck and let him work his frustration out before pulling away and taking his hands, tugging him back into the house. “What are the chances your uncle will be waiting for you at home?” he asked as he began to clean up the ugly teapot and take it into the kitchen. The unhappy scowl and grunt were answer enough that he nodded and pointed to the bathroom, “Go clean up, you're staying here tonight. I should have some clothes that fit you,” he stated absently as he put it all into the sink.
Kyo shifted next to him and caught his chin, placing a soft lingering kiss on his cheek, nudging him with his forehead for a second in gratitude before leaving to take a bath.
Idly, as he finished washing the dishes and set them out to dry, he wondered when he'd gotten so good at understanding his non-verbal communication. He didn't think they'd been a couple long enough to really explain it the way that Mr and Mrs Weasley did, being a confirmed couple for barely about a week, maybe a week and a half now. They – probably shouldn't be this in tune with one another? He certainly hadn't been with Ginny despite being her boyfriend for months back in his sixth year. He sighed as he headed into the laundry room next to the bathroom to put Kyo's uniform in to clean and rummage out some spare clothes for him.
It wasn't that he was upset by the fact that he was getting along so well with Kyo, but he was a little.... disturbed by the idea it was coming so easily. Was this because they were both Clouds and there was that whole... thing that Kawahira warned him about? That their flames were so compatible they they were trying to sync up, or something?
He stiffened a little as Kyo pressed up against his back while he had been busy spacing out, frowning down at the old faded t-shirt and cotton draw-strings that he had probably stolen from the Hospital Wing at Hogwarts once upon a time ago, or George? Because Harry couldn't remember where he got them from....
He shivered a little, wet hair brushing against the side of his head as a hot mouth started sucking on the side of his neck, Kyo's whole body was hot from the bath and pressed in tight against his back, which given how his back was still a little sore, felt very nice. He sighed leaning back against him, tilting his head as he felt the Prefect's hands tighten on his hips.
It was only when Harry let go of the clothes in one hand to reach up that he realised – he still had the clothes in his hand.
“Are – are you naked?” Harry croaked, not sure if he was horrified or turned on but absolutely refusing to look and find out.
Kyo chuckled into the side of his neck and slid his hands to the front of Harry's jeans, one hand going up under his top, the other lingering on the button but doing nothing else.
“Kyo!” Harry yelped as too hot hands skimmed his stomach, turning out of reflex to protect himself and – he was wearing a towel thank goodness, which was probably the only reason he didn't die immediately because that? That? Was fucking illegal. That body. Illegal. Not allowed. They were the same age this was not allowed! He shoved the clothes into his chest, absolutely certain he was bright red even as he quickly tore his eyes away. “get dressed before you catch a cold!” he commanded, his voice far higher than he would have appreciated.
That utter bastard knew exactly what he was doing. He didn't even turn away! He just – just dropped the fucking towel right there, in front of him.
He had to take a deep breath and turn his back because that boy was going to be the fucking death of him.
The little death eventually but NOT YET.
Kyo knows what he wants and is actually putting effort into his seduction game. It is surprisingly effective. Also, Harry being a petty ass bitch to his Uncle was everything he never knew he wanted and spent most of that tea party wanting to jump him for it.
Fon is just thoroughly amused that his nephew has managed to find a Cloud he wants to merge with and said Cloud can be as much of a serene polite faced asshole as he himself, he is honestly living for this and thoroughly approving.
WARNING: Strong depiction of depression in this chap, insinuated child neglect/verbal abuse
If Harry had even the slightest idea of what he had invited when he told Kyo to stay the night, he would have – still told him to stay the night but insisted on putting him in one of the spare bedrooms that he'd set aside for Ron and Hermione on the ground floor. Not let him upstairs into the attic room he'd chosen for himself and set out a second futon because he still had it in his head that you shared bedrooms with people your own age group – thanks boarding school, sharing Ron's room at the Burrow, sharing a tent with Hermione, etc.
Though in retrospect, he maybe shouldn't have blamed it all on his prior experiences. A lot of that blame could be laid on the fact that Kyouya was hot as hell, his boyfriend, had wondering hands, and was in the bed next to him.
He had barely turned the light off and gotten under his futon covers before he was being touched.
“Kyo, you have your own futon,” he scolded even as he felt the Prefect pull his blanket along with him as he wriggled under Harry's and practically on top of him. “Kyo,” he grumbled, swallowing uncertainly not sure why he suddenly felt nervous all of a sudden.
It was dark so he couldn't see clearly, but he could feel the hand curling around his ribcage reach up to his face, cupping his cheek, thumb tracing out where his mouth was before Kyo's lips found him. It was slow and wet, a careful slide of lips carefully working his mouth open until he was reaching for his boyfriend as eagerly as he had earlier at lunch, hesitance forgotten as he threaded his hands into still slightly damp dark hair and pressed his tongue into his.
But it went no further than that, soft open mouthed kisses and curious exploratory touches that eventually fell away into holding one another close until sleep took them.
Harry woke alone, the cats were downstairs, tucking into their breakfast, there was a pot of tea waiting for him along with a small simple breakfast of rice, miso, and fish being kept warm in the oven, and even his trash had been taken out. There was no sign of Kyo.
However, when he opened his cupboard to get dressed, he froze.
It was a simple little thing. Tiny. Out of place.
His photoalbum was laid flat on the shelf, not tucked upright where it belonged. Someone had been looking through it. And.... for some reason Kyo did not strike him as the type who would go nosing through someone else's belongings. He didn't even like going through the kitchen cupboards in search of cups without Harry's permission, he wouldn't dare go through his cupboards or his personal belongings without him being awake and aware.
He dressed, frowning slightly as he headed back downstairs to eat his breakfast and quickly throw together three bento, one each for himself, Kyo, and Tetsuya-san. He was going to have to do a big shop tonight on his way home, maybe he could convince Kyo to come with him and carry half of it. He huffed slightly in amusement as he made a note of what he desperately needed to pick up on his phone.
It wasn't even eight and the day was already dragging and he wanted to just go back to bed and sleep until noon.
Ah. Low day.
He hated low days.
He sighed, nothing else for it. Just gotta get on with it.
He grabbed his bag and headed for school, greeted a few of the people he saw on his way in when they waved or called to him, he – didn't recall who any of them were, or pay much attention to them. He was... not quite dazed but he had no energy to notice or even care really? He didn't see Kyo at the gate, not that he really expected to, the days when the Head of the Disciplinary Committee greeted students on their way in were once in a blue moon and universally feared amongst the students. Harry headed to his class and, didn't really pay attention to anything at all that day. He felt absent from himself and tired as he went through the motions of life and wondered what the damn point of it all was.
He'd come to Japan to get an education to shove it in Umbridge's face when he returned with his shiny education degree and joined the auror office and then arrested her for all the human rights violations he knew she had committed. But.... why bother? With going back he meant. Had he even reported everything that she'd done? He didn't trust the Ministry as far as he could throw them but if he told Kingsley, if he provided evidence of his own, answered under veritaserum, she was as good as gone. And Why exactly did Harry even have to go back to England in the first place? He'd paid for the DA to go abroad, to escape elsewhere, and it wasn't like they were in exile in their current places? There was nothing stopping any of them from going back to England via portkey for a visit – it cost about as much as train ticket in the muggle world? And that was literally just a processing fee to the Department of Magical Transportation – the portkeys were made literally of trash.
Teddy was the only reason for him to go back to England. So why was he still acting like it mattered? Why was he here in a muggle school getting an education in subjects that meant exactly jackshit to him when he already had an opportunity to make an awful lot of money via tutoring the Japanese Aurors in combat magic? When he could go into – into professional Quidditch if he so chose?
Why did he care about any of this? Muggle school. Umbridge. Her stupid decree. Britain.
He rubbed his face. God, this was a really bad day if his thoughts were spiralling this hard. He sent a text message to his cram-school telling them that he wasn't feeling well and his station/desk was going to be available for whomever needed it – his sensei was concerned but understanding. Harry had been very upfront with some of the stuff he'd gone through in their meeting when he first enrolled. Some times he just would not be able to come in. By all rights, he should go home, but he headed to the Student Council anyway and did his usual duties, ignoring the looks of concern from the other students.
Someone must have told on him, because he had been working for maybe two hours before Kyo showed up, and dragged him out. He found himself pulled into the Disciplinary Committee's Reception room, shoved into a sofa, given tea, and then politely ignored by everyone as Kyo continued to work. Any attempt on his part to get up would have one of the Elvis Thug's immediately beside him asking if there was anything he needed, they were happy to fetch it for him.
He was tired, and he didn't really have it in him to argue with Kyo or his subordinates right now so – he sat back down with a quiet sigh and asked if someone could go and get his bag please. He might as well get his homework out of the way if he was sticking around.
Why the hell he was even bothering with his homework when it would have been even more useful as litter lining for the cats, he didn't know but he did it all anyway. And somehow ended up helping some of the underclassmen when they asked how he was able to solve the maths problems so easily, so he explained and – it killed some time. Teaching them. He still felt low but it was softer now, less.... sticky and tired. He liked teaching. Maybe he should look into a career as a teacher instead of an auror.
He was honestly tired of fighting.....
Though it was hard to tell if that was his low mood talking, or his genuine feelings on the matter. He enjoyed duelling but – but fighting was something different.
“Kaicho,” Kyo interrupted, dressed to leave and waiting patiently next to the sofa.
“Ah. Right, give me a moment. If you still have troubles with this, Matsumoto-san, come find me tomorrow. We can go over it again if you need it,” he told the young delinquent easily as he began to pack his things away, not really listening as the second year jumped to his feet and began to loudly thank him while bowing. He got to his feet and quirked a tired half-smile at him, patting his head before he turned and left with Kyo.
“Kaicho,” Kyo prompted as they walked home, eyes assessing when Harry glanced up at him.
“Just a bad day, Kyo,” he promised quietly, reaching out to give his hand a small squeeze before dropping it again. “They come and they go. At least it isn't a panic attack this time,” he joked softly, unable to really muster the right kind of tone to make it anything less than completely pathetic. He sighed rubbing his face, “Did you pick up everything you needed from your place?” he asked instead of giving his boyfriend a chance to comment or judge him on what he just said.
“Mn. Tetsuya has already delivered it to the house,” he explained and Harry paused because he didn't remember the wards pinging him. Well, it wasn't like he could say anything to Kyo without raising some uncomfortable questions about how he would know, so he brushed it off. They would find out when they got home.
“We need to stop off and pick up some more food,” he warned pointing to the road that would take them to nearest market and paused slightly when Kyo leaned over and kissed the side of his head, firmly steering them to the otherside of the road away from the turning.
“Home delivery,” he muttered flatly. Which explained how someone who hated seeing more than three people in a single ten foot radius managed to get his groceries when he wouldn't be able to stomach a Saturday morning supermarket.
He huffed on a laugh, closing his eyes, “Smart.”
They went back to the house where, as Kyo predicted, Tetsuya was stood next to the door with a large suitcase and a box. Harry hadn't felt the wards ping at all and was honestly at a loss as he unlocked the door and the other two took everything inside. The wards were still up, and it was only him, Kyo, and a select few – ah.
That was weird. Kyo and Tetsuya were so interconnected that by giving Kyo access to the wards the magic just.... gave Tetsuya a free pass?
He was too tired to care, and at least Tetsuya was good people. Solid. Harry definitely didn't mind him having access to the house. He made tea while they handled everything, still not really all up together.
Pixel brrped around his ankles and he spent several minutes while the kettle boiled just hugging and rubbing her face, making her purr like a miniature engine. She was so warm and soft he genuinely lost track of time until the kettle clicked and drew his attention. He set her down and made them all some tea and brought it to the living room where he found Tetsuya with Pretzel in his lap, and Kyo encouraging Tinsel into yet more murder while there was a suspicious pile of blankets that Harry knew was from his room.
He put the tea down, “You do know you're only staying here until your Uncle leaves, you're not moving in, right?” he asked plainly, drawing a smirk of amusement from his boyfriend and a poorly hidden cough of laughter from Tetsuya.
He got the sinking feeling he was going to find more, and more, and more of Kyo's belongings sneaking into his house over the next couple of days and threw his boyfriend a tired look. Kyo, the bastard, pretended to see nothing and continued to play with Tinsel.
Harry sighed and drank his tea. He supposed it was something of a reassurance. Kyo was taking this... whatever it was between them seriously at least. Still, they were going to have to have a conversation about boundaries eventually – when Harry felt that they actually mattered again.
Pixel crawled into his lap, warm, solid, content, and purring.
His tea was warm and tasty.
The house smelt nice. It was clean.
And he wasn't alone.
These were all good things. And he focused on them instead of the grey lethargy that made him want to crawl into bed if only for a twenty minute lap because his eyes were aching and sore – they were just dry he knew, he wasn't tired in the 'need a nap' sense. His eyes were tricking the rest of his body into thinking he needed to sleep.
Kyo handed him his phone and told him to sort out his groceries, it was a home-delivery app for the local market so he browsed through, selecting everything he thought he would need and a bit more – since Kyo had mentioned he ate a lot. He handed the phone back and watched as the Prefect went through and occasionally added a little more here and there, Harry didn't think much more of it as he fussed over Pixel until he felt the wards ping about an hour later.
He did not expect to find a delivery driver with several crates of food that were dropped off in his porch and just as quickly whisked away into the kitchen by both Tetsuya and Kyo before he could ask what the hell was even going on – he had thought – it was like – a next day delivery thing? Not 'right that second'?
Everything was happening and it was happening very fast, he didn't know how he felt about all this??
He stared at his kitchen once the delivery driver left, at boy Kyo and Tetsuya having put everything away for him, and – they watched him, waiting for a reaction and he honestly didn't know what to give them.
“....So.... What do you want for dinner?” he asked helplessly.
Dinner, cuddles, a bath, and then bed where he got even more cuddles was – theraputic.
He felt almost normal the next morning when he woke. Kyo had once again gotten up and left the house long before him, breakfast was waiting for him in the kitchen, the cats were fed, but their bento boxes were left empty on the drying rack so he knew what he was doing first thing. Not that he minded, he was beginning to understand Mrs Weasley's obsession with feeding everyone now, it was reassuring to know that they were actually being fed, actually getting a decent meal – because you were the one making sure about it.
Teriyaki salmon, rice, greens, and a few slices of pickled raddish and ginger for himself and.... considerably more for both Kyo and Tetsuya.
He headed into school in a much better place than before, swung by the Disciplinary Office to drop the food off, laughing a little incredulously at the outright surprise and awe the bentos received from the various Elvis Thugs lingering around Tetsuya (they wouldn't dare crowd near Kyo). Apparently absolutely none of them knew how to cook, and their parents weren't bothering/around to make them any lunch, which seemed a bit depressing. Harry grimaced as he headed back to his class, knowing there was nothing he could really do. He didn't have the money to feed the Disciplinary Committee, not really. But, maybe every now and again? Riceballs? Or he could ask Mrs Weasley about culinary spells, she managed to keep a busy household of over nine people, and then the entirety of the Order, fed on a frayed shoe-string budget. He would ask tonight.
He'd have to do it in the training room though – use the timeturner in order to – no fuck, the timezones. It would be in the middle of the night if he contacted her then!
He would.... have to use the timeturner and take a day.
He sighed quietly before brushing the thought aside. Maybe it would be better if he just left things be for the first time in his life? He wasn't their mother.
He maintained this thought right up until lunchtime when Matsumoto-kun showed up for help with his maths homework, the two of them taking a few minutes to go over his worksheets before Tetsuya came to collect him for Kyo (who was probably sulking about his being late).
“Thanks Kaicho, sorry to be such a dumbass,” the second year said miserably, “Dad always called me a screw up but, it's just easier when you explain it. You're the only person who's hasn't just written me off, y'know? You and the Chairman, a'course,” he added with an admiring nod.
Was it still emotional blackmail when the person doing it had no idea what they were doing, Harry wondered as he bade the second year goodbye and headed up to the roof. Lunch was eaten, and then Kyo decided to occupy his lap for an afternoon nap, attempting to extricate himself in order to go to class was met with a sleepy glare, his boyfriend rolling over to bury his face in his stomach, and arms coming around his waist to lock him in place.
Harry sighed, looked like they were both playing hooky from afternoon class.
“I owe you an apology,” Kawahira admitted solemnly, sat quietly in Harry's front room in the small window of time between using his timeturner to return from cram-school and teaching, and when Kyo got home after school and would be clingy as all hell, not letting him out of his sight if he could help it. Harry blinked slowly at him, lap full of a warily glaring Pixel, both Tinsel and Pretzel hiding in the other room away from the decidedly unnatural man that no one was happy about.
“Oh?” Harry said for lack of anything else. It was a bit of a random thing to say when you appear and request tea.
Kawahira nodded, “I have been speaking with another Flame aware immortal. He is known to the Vongola as Talbot, but you may be more familiar with the name Nicholas Flammel,” Harry nearly choked but quickly set his tea down with a small nod. After everything, he supposed he shouldn't be too annoyed that Dumbledore or Flammel decided to fake his death and pretend that the Philosopher's Stone was destroyed. There would be no denying the fact that Voldemort would have pursued it to the end of the earth if he heard even a whisper of its continued existence. “He has been advising me of the magical world and – he advised me to speak to a Mind Healer about everything. I – spent so long believing myself alone that I scarred myself both mentally and spiritually, to the point where I.... almost did the same to you.”
Harry pressed his lips together. So he really had been intending to go behind his back and drag all the shards of his Sky Flame back without his permission, never mind that Death did not do 'take-backsies'. Doing something like that.... best case scenario, Harry and Kawahira would die. Worst case scenario, everyone who had ever touched his Sky Flame would instead. Which was a little more in keeping with what Harry knew of backlashes.
“I owe you even more now that I know of – the Hallows,” Harry jerked, staring at him as he grimaced and looked away. “They were an early attempt to stabilise the Tri-ni-sette. A precursor to the Pacifiers and the Rings. My elder brother made them so I have some small idea of how they work, but it has been many years and I have forgotten much. I hope the mind healer will help me to regain some of what has been lost. If you ever wish to learn how to use them, or if you need my help for anything, my door is always open to you, Harry Potter,” he said as he got to his feet and then bowed down, head on the floor.
“You've given me my past, my people, and my future back to me. This is a debt I will never be able to repay. You have changed my life.”
Harry stared at him, profoundly uncomfortable.
“If – you really want to pay off that debt then.... maybe you should start with reparations to the Arcobaleno? And then move on from there. I know you're working on helping historians, you can do more of the same. But remember to take care of yourself too,” he added with a small grimace. He didn't like the idea of anyone enslaving themselves in order to return a debt, that was... uncomfortable.
Kawahira nodded, “I will remember. My first appointment is next week. I – am afraid but.... looking forward to it.”
He smiled slightly then, and then faded away like a wisp of smoke as the front door slid open and Harry heard Kyo come in, kicking his shoes off and hanging his jacket up.
It was probably a good thing that Kawahira hadn't drunk his tea. That way Harry didn't have to lie about there being anyone else present in the house while Kyo wasn't there – especially not a 'Mist' (which he seemed to have some kind of problem with? If what Tetsuya and Kawahira had insinuated before hand).
Sorry this one is a smidge shorter than norm. I kind of got hit by my own depressive episode while trying to write it so - the chapter stalled out (the MDZS fic had a lot of buffer so I was able to continue posting that where as I ran out of buffer for this a while ago lol). But I swore I would finish this fic, and I will *tired fistpump*. I have it planned right up to the epilogue now so all I gotta do is get it down.
Gotta resolve that Japanese Ministry thing, Umbridge, Ron and Hermione, the Cloudmerge, and the Vongola. There is possibly other things but I can't think of them right now and they're not on my list of things to resolve. I may have to reread my own fic and find those loose threads and decide if they're worth tying off or leaving up to your imaginations.
WARNING: Mentioned attempted sexual assault, crimes against tea
It started as a joke, and then after a few days, it was less of a joke and more of an embarrassing secret before it became an accepted part of how things were – and Harry honestly had no idea what to do about it. Kyo didn't care. Tetsuya found it amusing. The girls in the Student Council had yet to stop cooing over how adorable it was, and his male classmates were alternatively slightly disturbed and slightly jealous.
“Why didn't you make us any riceballs?” Daiki complained, pouting next to him in homeroom.
Harry threw him a judging look, “Because your mother sends you to school with a fresh made bento and cute animal faces every day, and some of them are lucky their parents remember to throw a couple of yen their way for the vending machine,” he pointed out flatly.
“Oh leave Okaasan alone,” Haruto teased, grinning even as Harry punched his arm.
He'd taken a day a while ago to contact Mrs Weasley about culinary magic and learned as much as he could from her on the matter before checking in on the rest of the DA. Hermione was pretty sure her father was in West Australia at the moment, Ron was enjoying spellcrafting after Hermione helped him through arithmancy and ancient runes classes and had been talking with George about the WWW – it was a bit much for one man to run given its wild popularity. Kingsley told him that Umbridge was beside herself and seemed to be blaming him for the mess exodus, which was true and she could suck on a chode as far as Harry was concerned. She made her bed, now she was going to have to lie in it.
The talk with George was both reassuring and a little odd.
The Triads had backed off all of a sudden, and given one of his classmates a letter and a gift to be passed onto him. The letter was an apology and a promise that he would not be interfered with in their territory but neither would he be protected, as long as he didn't cause anymore trouble he would be politely ignored (the postscript also quietly begged him to get rid of the fireworks before the Mountain Master fed them down someone's throat). The gift itself was a small packet of gemstones in varying colours and cuts, none of which George knew a damn thing about. They were different kinds of gemstones, some were even left raw and uncut but – yeah. What the fuck did he do with them?
Harry didn't have any better idea than him and suggested he keep hold of them until they could ask someone?
He gave passing thought to Kyo's uncle, he was Chinese and Arcobaleno which meant he likely had mafia contacts in China. He had been about to google what the Chinese mafia were only to be distracted by his wards pinging – Mishima was paying him a visit, looking pale and unhappy.
“I've been trying to hold them back but, the Ministry know you're involved with some of the madness that's been going on here now,” he explained miserably as they sat down with tea – Mishima had been trying to give Harry his space and since that first time he had been pretty upfront about everything. Turned out that after that first blow up he'd contacted Kingsley for some advice and ended up with Percy telling him that if there was a secret, Harry would find out about it. Honesty was the best policy, it wasn't that he was angry people hid things from him, it was that they lied about it or put others in danger by hiding it.
“And they want answers,” Harry stated flatly.
Mishima nodded, “Half the aurors that come here for lessons are reporting back what they learn, but it's less than nothing beyond a population of muggles who seem a little crazier than normal. They're getting nervous, especially since you dug an immortal out from nowhere here, and then Nicholas Flammel reappeared just to talk to him,” he rubbed his face, sounding and looking pretty stressed and probably not even half as much as he actually was. “Some of the more aggressive officials are saying we should just bring you in and demand answers or throw you out of the country if you refuse, they're in a minority, and no one is taking them seriously. The backlash from Europe and our own people would be far too high, not to mention they're actually terrified of the Immortal,” he added with a small nasty little smirk.
Harry sighed, “Well. Plainly put, what's going on here is that muggles discovered how to tap into soul magic and have built an entire subculture around it with its own laws and governance around hiding it from everyone else. I've been helping them begin setting up a new policing system since a few years ago there was a major schism and the old forces had to take up different duties,” he explained sipping his tea, “According to the Immortal, I'm probably going to get pulled in properly at some point. I'm not happy about it but my circumstances mean I will be more of an outside advisor rather than having any actual involvement.” He had been thinking about it, if he really did make this thing with Kyo permanent, they were probably going to merge flames like Kawahira said they would, which would make him one of Tsuna's Guardians whether he liked it or not. However, being a Cloud meant that he would be free-roaming, only coming back when he needed to defend someone or in times of emergency, which he would have done ANYWAY – he was never going to be one of those people who would sit back and go 'sounds like a you problem' when it was lives on the line.
He would help set Tsuna up as his mafia police force, he'd tap Kingsley for advice, get some auror training like he promised he would, help clean up the remnants of the Death Eaters, work with Ron and Neville to ferret out corruption in the Ministry. And then he would ditch it all. That stray thought about becoming a teacher had looked more and more attractive the longer he thought about it, he had genuinely enjoyed teaching the DA, enjoyed it and felt proud of how he'd helped them not only succeed at obtaining their O-level OWLs, but also how he'd given them the skills to survive the Second Rise. He had been enjoying teaching the Japanese Aurors, thrilled with the challenge and the way their dismissive reluctance changed the longer they worked with him until there was mutual respect between them.
Harry liked teaching. So when he was finished with his duties, with his promises and setting the ground work for other people to manage – he was going to be selfish and take a step back to do what he wanted to do. He hadn't decided what exactly he would teach just yet, wanded defence to the aurors would be ongoing, but he.... was thinking younger children maybe. He liked kids. And, he wanted to make sure that he could protect them from growing up the way that he did too.
“Muggles discovered soul magic – the – the seven lights?” Mishima choked on his tea.
Harry nodded, “Yeah. The Italian Mafia have been working to keep it under wraps.”
“MAFIA?!” the man semi-shrieked.
He sipped his tea, watching the man freak out, “...We're handling it,” he stated ruthlessly, making him pause and swallow and pick up his tea, three shades paler than before. But he was quiet as he drank, Harry refilled his cup. “The current major power has no interest in allowing the Mafia to continue as it has been, he's Japanese born and raised, a good kid who's been dragged into the whole mess by his father's shitty decisions. Like most of us. But he's already taking steps to install a new policing system that will hopefully prevent the strange surges and troubles you've been registering the last couple of years. I'll be working with him to get that set up. And will be keeping an eye on the mess. If I have to, I'll dismantle it like I did the Death Eaters.”
Mishima swallowed and finished his tea, “I see. Well.... that is somewhat more reassuring than I expected. Thank you Potter-san. I – I need to report this.”
They got to their feet and headed for the front door where Mishima put his shoes on. He stopped in the doorway, “Um. Out of – interest.... the Seven Lights.... what were....”
“Mine was Orange and Purple,” Harry told him flatly. “Yours is Blue, Mishima-san.”
Rain. The colour of calm, of tranquillity, the one that washes away strife, and hates conflict.
Mishima left and Harry silently wished him fucking luck dealing with the Ministry before he went and took a bath, hoping to soak for a bit before Kyo came back. But – in the way of all things, his boyfriend came back in the middle of said bath and Harry stepped out in his towel and right into a far too interested kiss.
“Need to stop – meeting like – this,” Harry muttered against his mouth, Kyo was developing a bad habit of ambushing him out of the bath, not that he was complaining – much. His flames continued to itch and crawl maddeningly under his skin whenever Kyo got a little too.... intent, which was surprisingly often. The problem was -
Harry felt the wards ping him, and Kyo scowled, pulling away to glare over his shoulder towards the front door where someone was ringing the bell.
His Uncle seemed to have as much of a sixth sense for when his nephew was getting handsy as his nephew had for Harry being in the bath. Harry swallowed, amused, a little self-pitying, and more than a little embarrassed, because he knew what was going to happen next.
“Kyo,” Harry started, halfheartedly because he knew –
Kyo pointedly ignored his Uncle on the doorstep and returned to making out with him, kissing him fiercely, calloused hands smoothing down his damp skin to slide under his towel and grab at his ass.
Fon did not leave.
They answered the door half an hour later, finding him in the garden with a few of the Hibirds that had begun to take up residence in the trees that surrounded the property.
Harry was trying really hard to be embarrassed by the situation but – no. He really wasn't.
It was time for another awkward tea-party where in the Storm Arcobaleno made meaningless small-talk with him, drinking from his ugliest teaset without even a flick of an eyelid despite the fact that Harry had added salt to the teapot. It was only many, many, many years of drinking Madam Pomfrey's terrible potions that prevented him from grimacing himself as they drank. Kyo didn't even try. He had been there when Harry dumped several teaspoons of salt into the tea pot with wide eyes and raised eyebrows. Now he was sat with the kittens against the door, watching his uncle and his boyfriend snip and make petty polite small talk at each other.
Fon was digging for information. Harry was sweetly telling him to go to fucking hell.
The Storm Arcobaleno was thoroughly enjoying himself.
When I-pin contacted him about Kyouya's potential merging, he had been alarmed and concerned and swiftly made his way to Namimori and to Reborn who was extremely unhappy with the development but didn't think it was going to come to a merger. Potter was a broken Sky with balls bigger than brains, Kyouya was only in a twist because his hormones had decided to finally punch him in the face. Fon politely disagreed because that had happened many years ago, and he remembered his sister's cackling phonecalls when her son dragged poor Tetsuya back home and declared that they were getting married. It didn't happen and Kyouya's crush died pretty quickly, the two were bestfriends and practically sworn brothers now, but it was never going to erase their amusing beginnings.
Potter Harry however, was a very different creature to Kusakabe Tetsuya and Fon knew immediately that I-pin was correct in her assessment even as he set foot on the property. His nephew was going to merge with the British national. And it would be a harmonious merger at that. Practically unheard of for Clouds of their age. The two existed at a ballast, balancing one another out not only in personality but also in flame while complimenting one another.
Fon had shown up uninvited and Potter had still let him in, before going to rinse himself off and get dressed. Fon had taken his opportunity to snoop a little, following the traces of his broken flame presence up to his bedroom where he rummaged as only an Arcobaleno could for anything sensitive. As hands off as he and his sister were in regards to Kyouya's upbringing and activities, they had a thousand and three different contingency plans for just about everything. Up to, and including, if Kyouya ever decided to take over the Vongola or leave them or destroy them. But until he asked for that help, they would not be shared. This was just one such situation where Fon was determined to get information to prepare a few contingencies, to include Potter in some of the pre-existing ones (because his presence did change everything), or how to remove him if they needed to.
The photoalbum had been.... illuminating.
Potter was a mystic. And attended one of their premier academies in Europe. Fon recognised the uniform. Much made sense now. He was going to have to dig out more information – many flame users were entirely unaware of the mystics. They guarded themselves as fiercely as flame users did, and their ability to remove memories was more widespread and cultivated than the typical mist users that worked as fireguards against discovery. The Triads had several promising children snatched by mystics, they had tried to get those children back, but at the first whiff of their true intentions those children vanished entirely.
But then he saw the picture of the Misty Sky that the Wo Hop To had been attempting to bring in, stood next to Potter, an identical twin brother, a younger sister, a brother, all of whom in the same mystic school and all of them clearly followers to Potter who stood front and centre of them. And he sighed.
A broken Sky.
A Mist that had a minor secondary in Sky, something that shouldn't be possible – Sky flames were all encompassing, they were always the primary. Not the secondary.
I-pin had said that Potter carved his Sky flame up and gave it away. Impossible – but Fon had been hearing that an awful lot about incidents that had already happened, about acts that Sawada Tsunayoshi was determined to do, that Reborn laughed at, that he personally took one look at and went 'challenge accepted'. He was pretty sure that if someone said the word 'impossible' at Verde he would look them dead in the eye, shotgun eight cans of redbull, roll his sleeves up, murder that person, and then prove them wrong.
And then he sat down to his first afternoon tea with his future nephew-in-law, thoroughly entertained by the effort put into being as politely inhospitable and petty as possible. The charmingly hideous teaset, the vile tea, the pointedly long silence and sugary sweet smiles as his cup was refilled.
His nephew-in-law had the patience and the spite to deal with the things Kyouya would rather break but couldn't afford to, and the ability to put his nephew in the place where he had to take a step back and let someone else handle it.
His sister was going to love him.
Fon bade them a cheerful goodbye, idly informing Kyouya that he would be returning to China soon so he could have his house back, not that he had been staying there anyway.
Harry looked at his boyfriend, “You're not leaving are you?” he asked flatly.
Kyo smirked, and then kissed him – before jerking away with a scowl and a twisted mouth.
Harry cackled. At least his nasty tea disgusted someone visibly.
“You've started something, Kaicho,” Shiori told him in a daze as she shuddered on the chair in his office, a familiar black jacket with a Disciplinary Committee band pinned to the shoulder wrapped around her.
One of the third year boys had attempted to assault her while she was in the sports cupboard, taking inventory and trying to see what needed to be replaced. She tried to get out, but his friends had locked the door from the outside and were stopping anyone from getting near that corridor. They scattered when they saw the Disciplinary Committee and Kyo had torn the door neatly off its hinges, beaten her attacker black, blue, bloody, and into an ambulance, before whisking her away to the Student Council Office and directly to Harry.
Kyo was currently hunting down every single boy that had been involved while half the Disciplinary Committee helped him, and the other half hovered protectively around the Student Council and Harry himself.
Shiori had already been plied with tea and sweets and random snacks from the vending machine, and even someone's cutesy stuffed frog keychain – the boy in question blushing furiously and stammering about how his kid sister gave it to him to cheer him up and maybe it could cheer her up before he ran off. It was the thing that managed to get her to stop shaking and even cough on a wet laugh.
“Shiori-san?” he asked warily, he had been careful to give her as much space as he could in the tiny office, making sure she had access to either the door or the window, and keeping his desk between them so she wouldn't feel threatened even accidentally. It was something Fleur had mentioned Luna struggled with after they got her out of Malfoy Mansion – she needed to know her exits and be out of other people's armsreach.
“That whole 'Kaasan' thing with the DC,” she told him roughly, looking up, “If you're mom, that makes Hibari dad. You've been taking care of the DC and, they need it in ways we don't but, they've been watching our backs since. They adopted the Student Council the way you did for them and – Kenta said something, back in the cupboard, that – ” she sniffled, rubbing her face, “ – that I must be e-easy since they're always han-hanging around now and I know they don't think like that, don't act like that, but why do people treat them like that?” she sobbed, burying her face in her hands.
“Prejudice,” Harry stated quietly, “Human beings are.... pretty terrible. They'll look for reasons to feel superior to others where-ever they can. Especially if they don't feel fulfilled in their own lives. Kenta is probably frustrated or feeling insecure about something and needs to feel superior to others. It's pathetic, but it's a lot more common than people realise. Most however have the decency to keep those kinds of thoughts private and not act on them.” Case in point, the difference between Petunia and Mrs Weasley. Petunia was very outspoken on everything she disapproved of, nasty in how she treated Harry for his magic, outright hateful of immigrants – the only thing she didn't have a problem with was homosexuality. She was of the opinion that what two consenting adults got up to in the privacy of their own home was their business and no one had the right to interfere with that. Mrs Weasley, she disapproved of a lot of things. Most of which Harry didn't even know. Because she didn't act on it, didn't speak of it. Unless it was dark magic or fashion, one actively harmful and the other harmless, then she wasn't going to say a word on the matter unless prompted by others. She hadn't always been like that but.... hearing how her treatment of Sirius might have pushed him to that suicidal reckless state he suffered in the Department of Mysteries had been both hurtful and eye-opening and she had taken a long hard look at herself afterwards.
Prejudice was what had him suffering repeated phonecalls from Mishima with updates on how the Japanese Ministry were fussing and panicking over the discovery that muggles had discovered and been practising the Seven Lights soul magic for the last four hundred years in complete secrecy. Possibly for even longer. They wanted to arrest them all because muggles couldn't use magic! That wasn't allowed! It wasn't possible!
Except they had. And because they were muggles, they weren't beholden to magical law either.
Harry had dropped one hell of a mess into the middle of the Japanese Ministry of Magic's lap, and he wished them luck in dealing with it.
Hermione always did say his investigative abilities were akin to a monkey's paw once invoked. On the one hand, he might uncover the truth of an unjust murder and someone being framed for it, on the other he might also discover a historical conspiracy that threw the whole foundation the Ministry was built on into doubt. Little things like that. And he couldn't even promise to use his powers only for good. It was a monkey's paw. He could not control the outcome of these events.
He got Shiori's statement of the events once she was a little calmer and able to explain things, that was copied repeatedly so as not to go missing or be amended (Kenta's father apparently had pull with the school board or something?), and then he sent her home.
Kyo came back to the office with a splash of blood up his cheek and Harry couldn't find it in himself to be concerned about any of his victims. They weren't dead, just damaged. Their mouths would work well enough to give their own statements when Harry swung by to see them later.
His boyfriend presented him with a recording device.
“Tetsuya recorded their confessions,” he explained and harry nodded, plugging it into his computer and copying the files before putting it away in the lockable filing cabinet.
Listening to the confessions.....
Yes. He was angry. It was a familiar seething itching anger that settled in his stomach, nothing like the explosive incendiary anger that built and built and built like a volcano in the core of him like his fifth year. This was slow, icy, and hard. This anger would not be calmed any time soon he didn't think.
Kyo kissed his head, which did very little to calm him down, only remind him that property damage wasn't going to resolve anything.
He saved and closed everything. “Let's go. I'll – deal with that tomorrow,” he rasped tightly. He would call Shiori and tell her to stay at home tomorrow while he grabbed the teachers by their testicles and made them listen to him regarding Oomura Kenta and the consequences of his actions. Him and his dumbass little gang of basketball players.
He stood up and paused as Kyo kissed him again, cupping his cheek and gently sliding their lips against each other. A sweet, if ultimately useless attempt to sooth his upset, but appreciated all the same Harry decided as he leaned into it.
They left school in silence, Harry's mind still whirling with everything that was going on.
They were maybe.... halfway home, when the first crack of apparation jarred him out of his hypothetical arguments against the Nami-High headmaster and Oomura's parents regarding his actions.
Then there were more, and more.
Harry grabbed Kyo's arm and yanked him backwards, reaching for his wand as he saw the familiar scarlet of British Auror uniforms around them.
What the fuck was this?
*DEMONIC GREMLIN CACKLING*
It felt like his whole body had been doused in ice water. Acid filled his veins as he turned, like a horror movie, to see the witch striding through the unfamiliar faces of various men in red auror uniforms. All of them unfamiliar to Harry, certainly none of them had bothered to answer the call to Hogwarts, he couldn't feel any shards of his magic on them. Were they even aurors? Were they hitwizards? He knew the Ministry kept... what were basically mercenaries on their payroll for when their auror numbers weren't enough for what was needed. When they needed what were, essentially, bounty hunters to do the dirty jobs.
He grit his teeth, narrowing his eyes.
Well, he shouldn't be surprised that there were no legitimate aurors present. None of them would dare. Not with Kingsley in his back pocket. Not with half of their prospective new recruits being his former students – none of the legitimate aurors would risk tangling with him when very few of them could even cast an appropriate Shield Charm after Dumbledore's ever revolving door of DADA professors.
“No,” he repeated through gritted teeth, feeling his blood beginning to burn again.
“This rebelliousness has gone on long enough!” Umbridge announced shrilly. “You have broken the Statute of Secrecy yet again, destabilised the Ministry of Magic, broken the Laws of Underage Wizardry – ” she began to list and Harry hissed, long, and low, and furious.
This was going to get ugly, sooner rather than later.
He turned to Kyo and forced his expression into some semblance of a 'sweet' smile, “Kyo, please call whoever it is that provides obscuring during incidents here and ask them to handle the immediate area, please,” he added stiffly in syrupy sweet tones. Kyo's eyebrow shot up and he slowly reached for his phone. Harry smiled, “Thank you.”
He turned back to Umbridge in time to hear her declare that his influence was dangerously destabilising to the country, she was here to force him back to England and to Hogwarts and to do his goddamn civic duty and support the Ministry of Magic. And he would do it whether he liked it or not! Even if he needed enough 'Liquid Encouragement' to turn into a damn vegetable then it would only be to the benefit of the wizarding community as a whole since he was determined to shame them on the international stage and even cause trouble for their Japanese contemporaries.
“You are poison, Potter! And I am the cure! TAKE HIM!!” she screamed.
Spells flew, and Harry summoned the thickest shield he physically could, the stunners splashing helplessly across it like pretty fireworks and handfuls of glitter. Harmless.
He shoved his bag at Kyo, “Hold this. I need to teach my old Professor a lesson,” he declared in ugly tones.
“Mn,” he agreed thoughtfully, taking a step backwards, giving Harry his space.
Sometimes, he really loved that boy.
A cruciatus shattered the Shield Charm, and Harry bolted, ducking the hail of spell fire, and transfiguring a huge strip of tarmac beneath him into a long serpentine black and grey Chinese dragon that lunged for the nearest hitwizard with a roar.
He ignored the startled shriek and shattered the nearest Shield Charm, twisting out of the way of a curse and using a Summoning Charm to drag another wizard into the path of it.
He ducked, twisting around and summoned Prongs, the glowing Patronus exploding from his wand and throwing a wizard to the ground.
Fighting the japanese aurors was nothing like this.
His blood burned.
They were good, they were damn good, the Japanese aurors, they were improving day by day. They mixed it up, using their wandless elemental manipulation with their wands, making predicting them difficult if downright impossible. Those free-for-all battles where they had to work in tandem to take him down were exhilarating. They were just, genuinely fun.
This was different.
It was fast, it was nasty, it was dirty.
He was so angry.
His teeth were bared, vicious and furious, as he snatched a spell from the air and whipped it around, clinging it straight back at its caster with the air manipulation he learned from Kubo-san. When he ducked below a curse and slammed a hand to the ground and split it open beneath a pair of men like Jun-san had done to him.
The fire whip from the tip of his wand that incinerated a man's wand was purely him, and if the flames were tinged purple, only he and Kyo were aware of it.
They wanted to take him back. Chain him down. Trap him. Dose him with potions and turn him into an obedient little puppet. A figurehead, a posterboy, the Ministry's pet Saviour. They wanted to muzzle him and drag his friends back, drag his family back, and cage them along side him.
Umbridge was screaming.
He used a Vanishing Charm to remove a man of his wand – accidentally taking a few fingers in the process.
A curse from out of nowhere slashed through his wand – severing it neatly in half.
His breath stilled.
A cutting curse clipped his shoulder.
He would not be contained.
Everything burned violet.
He felt – like he could breathe all of a sudden.
As if he had taken off several jumpers at once and taken a deep breath in the middle of January.
He could feel Ron and Hermione suddenly, bright and aware and worried. George, suspicious and alarmed. Luna, bewildered and then furious. Ginny, angry-so angry, possessive.
Like pops and bursts in the back of his head, he could feel the DA, the Order, sudden bursts of awareness as the world roared with violet fire around him, as Umbridge screamed from somewhere underwater.
There was a gaping wound in him, jagged and painful, bleeding warmth.
His missing Sky Flame, echoed now in a hundred people flickering in the back of his head, golden stars in the night sky.
The first crack of apparation startled him out of his daze.
George – slamming into one of the hitwizards with a howl. Dark blue Mist Flames wafting from between his fingers.
“HARRY!” Hermione's voice called as she and Ron hit the ground, portkey tossed aside, green Lightning cracking and soft aqua Rain coming from both of them as they drew wands and took the hitwizards from behind.
“STOP THEM!! STOP THEM!!” Umbridge screamed, and Harry laughed as Hermione conjured a sword and threw it at him – the street was bedlam, he spotted Ginny screeching past him in her red Durmstrang robes, flinging her portkey to one side as she ploughed the man, thrice her height and weight, into a wall. Red Storm Flame seething around her.
“POTTER!!” Umbridge shrieked, taking two steps towards him, and then freezing as Kingsley's hand landed on her shoulder, the stalwart former auror, now Minister of Magic, crackling with green Lightning.
“I believe we need to speak about the terms of your employment, Delores,” he declared firmly, and Harry took great pleasure in seeing her mouth flapping open and shut as more and more people filled the street, DA and Order, as the hitwizards she brought with her were unceremoniously subdued.
“You should introduce us, Harry,” Luna said, appearing at his side, hair pulled back into a hundred braids of pale pinks, blues, and lilacs amongst her pale blonde. She had multiple piercings, he realised, stunned and delighted. She had a lipring.
“Look at you!” he exclaimed, unreasonably pleased, grabbing her face and squishing her cheeks together gleefully. Violet cloud flame drifting between them as she smiled and reached up to hug him. “I'm glad you're doing better. Are you happy?” he asked, stroking her head.
“Yes. I like Finland. And my school. I have made a lot of friends. They don't understand, and they're nothing like you and the DA. But I like them,” she told him easily, freely, and fiercely as she squeezed him tightly.
An itch he didn't realise was bothering him vanished, and he squeezed her wordlessly. Pleased.
“Introduce me to your Kyo,” she finally demanded, pulling back and peering around him to where Kyo had – of course he had gotten involved in the fight the second it became a free for all.
His boyfriend was sat on a throne of bloodied hitwizards, looking thoroughly pleased with himself, and eyeing Harry with heated intent. Harry smirked right back at him. The burn in his blood was gone. His bones no longer felt like they were too small for his body, like what slept beneath his skin was going to split his skin. As if the tide inside were crashing against him. His flame was free, what did he have to fear now?
His flame was free, he was free.
He was free, Luna was free, the DA were free.
He was surrounded by light. By stars of his own making.
He laughed as Ron and Hermione appeared beside him and swept him up before he could go over to introduce Luna to his boyfriend, before he could introduce his Cloud to his Cloud.
He had never lost his sky.
Only spread it out so that he could live in it too.
Kawahira felt the Sky resonance from Tokyo.
His breath shuddered.
Reborn's hands shattered the espresso cup in his hands as he felt the Sky Flames blanket Namimori. Tsunayoshi stopped breathing, his own eyes bleeding gold and bright.
“Well now,” Fon murmured as he watched it all go down from a near-by roof, pleased that he had decided to delay his return, “A good thing we recommended the Mountain Master stand down,” he concluded mirthfully as the Mist-Sky boy they had been following swept Kyouya's partner up in his arms. A Guardian bond thrumming with the force of a supernova between them, vibrating and resonating between them, all of them.
They, all of them, possessed a humming shard of Sky Flame.
Guardians and prospectives all.
“What a waste,” Fon sighed with a minute shake of his head at the great loss of Potter Harry's Sky before they even realised what it was that could have been.
“I've read stuff on Soul Shades plenty, never thought I'd ever get Cut personally. Especially given everything,” Bill mused idly as he examined his Rain Flame imbued hands.
“I'm not even going to ask. Just send me a report later, I'll deal with this later,” Kingsley sighed, Lightning Flame crackling across his arms.
Harry chuckled a little sheepishly, “I'll – I'll do that. Mishima-san might be a good one to speak to for further information too.”
“I'll bare it in mind. AURORS!” he shouted as he turned away, issuing orders as though he were still working for the DMLE instead of the Minister of Magic, leaving Bill to roughly scrub a hand through Harry, Ron, and George's hair. Percy had stayed in the UK at Kingsley's order, despite bursting into purple fire same as everyone else.
“It looks like everyone who was at the Final Battle 'popped', so to speak,” Hermione concluded as she rubbed her chin with a frown. “We're going to have to check in with the other DA members abroad. Gods, how are we going to get everyone back where they belong? Those emergency portkeys to you are all one way.” She sighed and dragged a hand through her short hair – she'd cut it since he last saw her, a cute pixie cut that feathered around her face and highlighted the healthy bronze tan she was developing from her time in Australia.
Harry grinned, “No problem, no portkey laws in Japan,” he pointed out with a grin
She boggled before clapping her hands, “Of course. Portkeys require wand-based charm manipulation! Barely thirteen percent of the Japanese population utilise them so of course there wouldn't be any laws about it. And their culture places such importance against littering that our norms would be pointless.” She patted his arm and quickly moved off to go and coordinate with the DA members and Order that had come rushing onto the scene.
Fleur gave him a brief hug as she passed, lunging for Hestia Jones whom she had gotten to know during the War with a laugh, the two swinging one another around in delight. Sturgis Podmore was leering down at the fallen hitwizards with a grin worthy of Mad-Eye Moody, George was beside him asking very loudly if Kingsley would let him test some experimental potions on them – it was needed for his end of year exams afterall! He had some rather volatile medical potions that he didn't think his class guinea pigs deserved to drink after all 'they're such cute little things after all. I named one of them Carrot'. One of them was crying.
Umbridge was silenced and still screaming and thrashing in her bindings next to Kingsley who was speaking to Professor McGonagall, wearing unfamiliar muggle clothing of a lavender long-skirt, an edwardian white blouse and hat. She looked as though she had stepped out of a period drama – if that drama allowed women of her age to be absolute monsters on a battlefield because she still had her wand in hand and there were plenty of people giving her a wide berth for it.
Cho Chang was wrapped around Susan Bones and Hannah Abbott as though she hadn't seen them in years instead of months, he could see Alicia Spinnet and Katie Bell ganging up on Dean Thomas and – Neville was squeezing the stuffing out of Ginny who was laughing and excitedly gushing about her quidditch training. Ron was suffering under his mother's hugs and kisses while Mister Weasley was chattering enthusiastically with Dennis Creevey and Lee Jordan. Hermione flitting from group to group with a pad of paper and giving them quick fire instructions on portkey construction and charms.
He turned, grinning as he backed away from the chaos and found himself next to a scowling Kyo.
“Crowding is forbidden,” he complained, twitching, flame buzzing around him, all the hair on his arms standing on end.
Harry chuckled and leaned up, kissing his cheek, “They'll be gone soon enough. Hermione's getting their transportation sorted now.”
He hummed, glancing across the gathered people, “The Lightning girl,” he decided. Harry nodded with a grin. He nodded in grudging approval. “She is strong,” he allowed.
“She is,” Harry agreed smugly, kissing his cheek again, only to end up catching his mouth when he turned ever so slightly.
George wolf-whistled at them from across the street, and a few of the other DA members cat-called them.
Harry laughed into his mouth and Kyo grumbled, shifting his grip as if to throw him up and over his shoulder -
“Harry, dear!” Mrs Weasley called, and he grinned, pulling away from his boyfriend to accept the hug his surrogate mother threw around him. She was still dressed for bed, in her soft dressing gown and her faded house-slippers, her hair loose and frizzing about her face. “Sweetheart, are you alright? Have you been keeping well, doing your homework?” she fussed, large soft arms coming up around him, hugging him again.
He grinned and squeezed her tightly, “I'm fine Mrs Weasley. Thank you so much for the cooking tips you gave me, the Disciplinary Committee really appreciated them.”
She beamed as she drew back, cupping his cheeks, “You're such a good boy. I'm glad I could help. Now, are you going to introduce me to the handsome young man behind you?” she asked very pointedly, rubbing her hands together and tilting her head. Harry almost wanted to tell Kyo to make a run for it because that was the same look she had on her face whenever she asked any of her children about their love-lives but -
Well he'd never been able to refuse Mrs Weasley anything that wasn't life-threatening.
He stepped aside slightly to smile at Kyo, who was glowering a little at him, sulky and thwarted. It was cute. “Kyo, this is Weasley Molly, she practically adopted me when I was eleven. She's been the closest thing I've ever known to a mother,” he explained softly, smiling at her so he would know exactly how important to him she was. Maybe it was the flames he was still riding on, but he could feel the little star inside him that burned for her, the shard of his Sky he gave her, burning just as fiercely and lovingly for him as he did for her. Bright, sunshiney yellow. “Mrs Weasley, this is Kyouya Hibari, my boyfriend. He's the head of the Disciplinary Committee, think of him as Headboy, if their primary duties were to catch rule-breakers.”
Mrs Weasley beamed at him and Kyo genuinely surprised him as he bowed, “A pleasure to meet you, Mrs Weasley,” he said, in english.
Harry blinked, feeling as though the air had been punched out of him.
Tetsuya told him that Kyo hated speaking anything but Japanese, and refused point blank to speak in their English classes, or even converse with his uncle or mother in their native Chinese. And he'd just -
Mrs Weasley had no idea.
She beamed, “Oh, you're so polite. What a lovely young man,” she cooed, gathering up his hands, squeezing them between her hands, “You'll take care of our Harry, won't you?” she pleaded.
“Mrs Weasley!” he yelped, embarrassed.
Kyo smirked, “I will,” he promised with a glance in his direction. “As much as he'll let me.”
“Please do. That boy, he could find trouble in a laundry basket!” she exclaimed in exasperation, turning to smile at him, letting Kyo go in order to lean up and kiss his cheek. “But we wouldn't have him any other way,” she said lovingly.
His heart gave a painful squeeze, “Mrs Weasley....” he whispered.
Dennis barged into the scene, “Hi Harry, I'm really sorry! I gotta go! I just ran out on my parents in the middle of the night, it's like midnight over in the states, I'm in SO much trouble!” the blond boy exclaimed in a familiar rapid gushing babble as he stole a quick hug. “Hi Mrs Weasley, I like your slippers! Bye Harry, I'll mirror call you when my mom's finished grounding me!” he yelled as he shot off again, leaving him slightly dazed.
“Travel safe, Dennis!” he shouted on reflex, receiving a somewhat harried wave from the fifteen year old in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PJs and slippers as he grabbed one of the parchment portkeys from Hermione.
Mrs Weasley chuckled, “That sounds like our cue to go as well. I'm sure you have a lot to do today,” she decided with a soft smile as she hugged him again, “Take care, Harry. We're only a mirror call away, day or night, remember that, young man!” she declared, squeezing the breath out of him.
He hugged her back, just as tightly, “Of course. I'll visit in the Summer, promise. I learned a lot of construction spells, I'll fix that saggy roof in the Burrow for you.”
She laughed in delight and then turned to give Kyo a hug as well, the Prefect stiffening awkwardly in horror and discomfort, patting her back before taking three large steps back the moment he was released, much to her amusement.
“Not much of a hugger? Harry wasn't in the beginning either. I'll keep my hands to myself. You're welcome as well, young man. We don't have much but a warm bed and a hot meal will always be waiting in the Burrow!” she declared as Mr Weasley came over and tugged Harry into a hug as well.
Kyo nodded stiffly, “I will bare it in mind.”
It seemed that as quickly as everyone arrived, rushing to his defence the moment his Flames activated, they were just as quick to leave.
Familiar faces came to see him, vaguely familiar men and women from the Final Battle – shopkeepers from Hogsmeade who were still in their night clothes and a few hastily thrown on robes, Professor McGonagall who loftily informed him that she had already been awake when he observed that she was one of the few witches fully dressed (Kingsley confessed to not having bothered going to sleep – there had to be a replication curse on his desk, it was the only explanation for how much PAPERWORK he had to do! There was no way Fudge had been doing so much during his tenure!!). He saw Professor Flitwick as well, the man eagerly gushing about his charm work and duelling earlier, suggesting they talk later, he would love to work with both him and Hermione down the line on something.
Fleur kissed both his cheeks and made Kyo scowl hard enough at her that she pinched his cheek in delight before very smugly introducing her husband. Bill only rolled his eyes in goodnatured amusement as his Sun Flame wife commanded them to visit when next he was in the UK. Kingsley shook his head and promised to get to the bottom of the information breach that had Umbridge disturbing him, all of them would be obliviated of his location by the end of the investigation. He shouldn't be disturbed again.
The DA were more enthusiastic in their goodbyes, Kyo did eventually drag him back into the circle of his arms and scowl at anyone within arms-reach of him after the girls, Alicia, Angelina, and Katie, all descended on him with hugs and kisses. He had to laugh and pat Kyo's arm as he scowled at the three cooing girls – he calmed a little when Angelina shouted over at George to hurry his ass up and ask her out before she started dating Lee Jordan (who yelled that he would do both of them if they were interested – there were definitely some thoughtful grins at that which Harry was absolutely not going to think about).
Ginny scowled at Kyo who glowered back at her.
She then scowled at Harry, “Okay, yeah, he's definitely hot. I don't blame you, I'd tap that too,” she sighed in disgust before punching his arm, “I better see you during summer hols, Potter! I'm going to cream you on the pitch, just you wait!”
He grinned, all teeth, “Bring it, Weasley.”
And then she was gone, George tossing something at Kyo before cackling and taking his own portkey before either of them could realise what it was (an XXL bottle of magical lube).
Pretty soon, it was just them, Luna, Ron, and Hermione.
Hermione sighed, “I want to stay. But we've just gotten a lead on Dad,” she admitted sadly, peering at him anxiously, “Will you be okay on your own for another few weeks?” she asked.
Ron wrapped an arm around her, “I don't think we have to worry about him being alone,” he teased with a smirk in Kyo's direction.
The Prefect was getting increasingly stiff and uncomfortable with all of the social interaction, cranky and unhappy. He clearly wanted to leave but these three people were some of Harry's most important so he was trying to tolerate them. Harry patted the arms wrapped around him.
“I'll be fine. Go find your Dad, Hermione. We'll still be here when you get back,” he promised.
“If you're sure....” she muttered.
“Take a holiday. Bring me some useless souvenir nick-knacks. And a postcard. No one's ever sent me a postcard before,” he decided absently as he leaned back against Kyo, feeling him brace himself ever so slightly, body gloriously warm against his back.
Hermione and Ron nodded, taking their portkeys and vanishing.
Luna threw her arms around both of them, “No matter where you go,” she said, and all three of them burned violet.
Harry inhaled sharply. Kyo's arms tightened around him. And Luna smiled at them.
“Hold on,” she told them seriously, “You found each other. Now you have to hold on. Or it will drag you under, like an undertow. Hold on. Hold on for your life.”
She stepped back, and vanished.
Portkey whisking her back to Finland.
Leaving both Clouds to shudder against one another, burning in their skin.
As much as I desperately wanted Harry to FLATTEN them all, I also wanted his flames to pop, and if his magic were readily available he would never reach for it so.... the wand had to go. Don't worry, he'll get another one, and repair the first one. He fixed it up before, he can fix it up again.
We're on the home stretch lads, ladettes, (ladbies??)
God this chapter was hard to write. OTL