Hariel was on her knees in the fabled Chamber of Secrets. Gryffindor’s sword clattered to the ground with an eerie rattle. Poison burned through her blood while sadness hung over her head. Her magic lashed out in spirals of icy despair. She had been so alone all of her short life. Was this really it?
She didn't want to die. She didn't want it to end. Choking fear grasped at her with clammy hands. She didn't want to die... She wanted to live with her Dying Will!
Riddle had been looking at the little dying girl with victory in his blood-coloured gaze. Pale, defeated, the basilisk dead at her hands, but she was killed to.
It was just taking her longer to finally lay down and die.
Then, orange Flames exploded from around her small form. Desperate desire to live, grasping for anything, anyone who could help her. Hariel went Flame Active in a searing hot spiral of fire mingled with desperation.
Ginny's struggling dormant Storm Flames were swallowed up in a Sky blaze of hunger. Hariel's desire to live, her need to help washing over the redhead's desperate fight to survive.
Hariel needed people, the sputtering embers of her Dying Will clamoured for Elements.
Ginny needed someone to care, someone who saw her, who would notice her. She’d been hurting for so long now. Trapped in a chocking possession. Her Flames reached out to the pained Sky. Her cracked edges blended perfectly into the other girl.
Red Storm awoke, drawn out by orange Flames. The first year lashed out roughly. Her Will ate through the floor, slash markings appearing on the centuries old stone. Her Will gnawed through the air, not even burning so much as eating through it. Disintegrating everything in their path in a crimson corona.
Everything except for her Sky, her Flames washed over Hariel harmlessly. A gentle caress. The raven was only one who came for her. Ginny's Flames ate through the basilisk's poison easily, disintegrating the acid like substance in a flash. She burned it straight out of Hariel's blood.
The raven's arm was still dripping crimson, a large fang had pierced straight through her upper arm. She was tired and kneeling and defeated.
But she was no longer dying.
Panicking from the close brush with death, she stared up at the handsome face of the young Voldemort. She hated him, what he did to Ginny was unforgiveable.
So why did his face look sad. Why did he feel like her, like them. Alone in all the world. Hurting too deeply. Why did she want him.
She didn't understand her own desire. She didn't understand what was happening at all. All she knew was that Ginny was hers. The small redhead was her person, forever. She would never be alone again.
Orange Flames reached out in lashing tendrils to the brunet boy. Riddle watched with concealed panic as nothing he did affected the fire she had spawned from nowhere. His magic was steadily disappearing as the redheaded little girl he'd been draining dry started forcing him out of her mind, out of her soul.
Then merrily flickering Flames washed over his entire being. Buried green Lightning sparked under her delicate touch. Hariel inhaled in shock as something inside of her forehead burst into life.
Her blazing Will claimed the shard of life which had slept inside of her forehead for all those years and sharp intuition drove her to then return that little fragment of soul to the teen in front of her.
All at once, Riddle gained the memories of his older self, all the way up to his defeat at the hands of this child. He was utterly horrified. He was meant to save magical children, not hurt them.
He absorbed the soul fragment. It had been with her for so long. That lead to gaining her memories to. How she had suffered. How she had been treated... She was like a broken mirror of his own wretched childhood.
Her kindness. Her warmth, understanding what love was.
She had nobody, but so much love to give.
Sky Flames healed, and bound the Lightning to her. He inhaled unsteadily as two soul shards combined completely, it ripped him back from the edge of insanity.
He had as much soul as the main part of him did now. Possibly more even. When Voldemort had split his soul in the bathroom above their heads, he had tried to cast out everything he thought of as weak.
Any capacity he had to care for another human being. He wasn't a Sky anymore, because he broke himself, shoving fragments away. His secondary, inverted Lightning Flames had split off first.
Leaving a diary behind with a sixteen-year-old soul, who doubted what he had done. He had been the part of himself that hadn't wanted to. Hariel reached for him, and he hungered back, driven by a deep-seated need for affection that he would have denied to his grave and beyond.
Ginny gasped, feeling the green tendrils arching out through Hariel's Sky. She could feel her almost murderer breaking apart. Sky Flames tore through his mind, straight through all of his lifelong barriers. To break what had grown crooked by old bloody trauma.
Hariel wasn't a healer, and Sky Flames weren’t a miracle, but she could be the thread that bound his weeping mental wounds until he could find steady ground.
Her mortal enemy, prophesized, and she made him her Guardian.
He crashed to his knees in front of the girls. Suddenly, inexplicably so very sorry for what he had done. Both of them could feel his regret. Red-lit and orange-lit eyes softened, and fearlessly they came closer.
Tom Marvolo Riddle kneeled on the ancient stones of his heritage, and wept. For the wrong he had done. For the war he had started. For the pain he had caused.
Hariel, always the first to help, always the first to reach out to the outcasts, hugged him gently. The very first hug he had ever been given. Ginny not even a second behind. She could feel him and the redhead knew just how deep he had been broken before the dark-haired girl had saved him. Had swept him up in that orange fire.
She could forgive him for this. He hadn't been anywhere near sane when he had tried to drain her to death. He had been cracked, a caricature of himself. Seeing him now, with green Lighting sparking in his eyes and kindness in his soft hesitant touch. He was a different person in truth.
Hariel was kind to broken people, but she wasn't good. She knew she would do horrible things to defend her people. Her upbringing, if you could call it that, hadn't taught her mercy. It had hadn't taught her forgiveness.
All it had taught her was that people were cruel and to defend what little she had. Her Flames were possessive. A fiery dragon of Sky lust and power. Riddle leaned into her embrace, almost shyly. His Lightning Flames writhing beneath the warm orange soul-fire.
His body, the construct, started fading away. Like mist before the burning sun. He was being sucked back into his anchor. Hariel picked up the little black diary. "What should we do? Dumbledore is never going to let him go." She said awkwardly to the redhead who was by her side.
Ginny frowned. "He's ours. We can't let him go." She stated, determined and fierce. Her magic whole and hale again, now that Riddle had let her go completely. Shyly she reached for Hariel's hand. The raven grinned at her, a wild sincere thing, with blood staining her white teeth red. Hariel was beyond pleased with the warm touch.
She was skin-starved to the core. Feeling Ginny's red Storm inside of her made her feel warm and loved. Obsessive powerful green streaked through her Sky like forked lightning.
Riddle's voice came slowly, powered by his newly discovered Flames. Emerald sparks skittered over their joined hands and the black leather diary as he started talking.
"Cast a duplication charm, and then pierce the duplicate with a basilisk fang. The charm is called Geminio. Focus on what you want and then cast the magic."
Hariel nodded, then she felt silly because he no longer had eyes to see her with. Instead, she used her wand to pool her magic over the yellowed pages. 'Geminio!" Her voice rang out through the chamber, high-pitched and clear.
A perfect duplicate appeared, and Hariel could feel the drain on her already low magic. Grasping for the fang that had pierced her arm, she stabbed the book. Seeing the leather distort beneath the bone white venom dripping fang was harrowing.
The mere thought of losing him was already becoming completely unbearable. Hariel quickly hid the diary beneath her clothes, and then she flushed a bright red at the idea that the teenager would know...
He was obviously aware of his surroundings somewhat, and she had just stuffed his anchor down her shirt. She nearly groaned at the sight of Ginny's teasingly raised eyebrow, but the alternative of not hiding his book from everyone else didn't bare thinking about.
Exhaustion already weighing down on them, the two girls stumbled towards the exit of the ancient cavernous room. Pushing open the snake-ringed door, they climbed out to the tunnel. By now Ron had managed to clear the cave in enough to let them through again.
Lockhart was sitting to the side, dazed and useless.
They were greeted by the extremely relieved redhead. He swept Ginny up in an embrace. "Thank god you're okay." He mumbled into her long hair. He had been worrying himself sick over her. Hariel stared at the siblings. Somehow simultaneously jealous and not.
Invisible, subconsciously directed Sky licked over the boy and the man. Uninterested the Flames retreated again to linger beneath her skin. Fully awake and powerful, waiting.
The boy was unsuited, strong and kind, but not sharp enough. Not jaded enough to match her at her worst. The man was weak, his Flames not able to hold even a fraction of her attention, let alone earn her blazing greed.
Hariel hungered for more people, but she was weary enough, damaged enough to utterly reject any who didn't fit her perfectly. She sighed, and tried to stop paying attention to the hot marbles in her core. She needed to get her redhead back to safety. She could feel that Ginny was tired.
Bones crunched beneath their feet as they wandered past the shed snake skins. The raven looked up at the ceiling, they couldn't exactly fly up the pipe without brooms.
"How are we going to get up there?" Ginny wondered out loud. As a little girl, she'd been told about Hariel over and over again, but her fangirl crush had died a sudden and acute death in the chamber. Being dragged soul deep into Hariel's power only confirmed that.
She knew the older girl now. She felt no need to be shy before her home. Because that was what the raven was, she realised abruptly. She felt like coming home, safe and loved.
Like she’d never be alone again.
With a piercing cry, Fawkes appeared in a blaze of fire. Hariel, awestruck, stuck out her arm. The immortal being landed on her offered perch, and then cried a fat pearly tear over her wound. Her skin healed flawlessly. She thanked him softly, petting his gorgeous feathers gently in thanks.
When the bird took off, only to hover in front of her, she realised abruptly. "Phoenixes can carry incredible amounts of weight. Can you carry us up, please? We don't have any other way out of here." At her question the avian trilled, and fanned out his tail feathers. Dragging the spell-damaged moron with them, the three Gryffindors grasped hold of their offered ride.
Through it all, Ginny held onto Hariel, and they were happy.
The summer vacation was not good.
Being away from Ginny's red blaze was almost physically painful. Only Tom's verdant tongues of Lightning licking over her skin kept her sane. Her eyes were a knowing orange all of the time, her Flames unable to truly balance and recover without more elements. The separation from her first Guardian was also wearing on her.
She spent most of her time in her room, cradling the diary close. Skin contact with the artifact kept their connection open and clear. She spoke with Riddle for ages. He talked to her and she learned about him. As the months passed, Riddle became Marvolo who became Tom.
When the isolation from the Magical World, and the building feeling of magic and Flames writhing beneath her skin with nowhere to go started driving her insane she chose to leave. She wanted Ginny. She wanted her people. She wanted... Orange Flames sparked alive again. She couldn't control the Flames, though normal people apparently couldn't see them.
She fled Privet Drive in a towering swell of rage when they insulted her mother yet again. The woman had died for her, had saved her. Tom had told her all about that night, about the sacrifice her parents had made for her. The amethyst fire that had surrounded her as a baby and the runic circle cast beneath her crib.
Lily Potter had been a brilliant powerful witch. She had activated purple fire in desperation and those Flames had lingered even after her death. Bound to her daughter in an act of love. Hariel still had those Flames dancing over her skin, even if they rarely surfaced.
A runic sacrifice of life for a life. Soul-fire freshly woken and bound, the attack against her had never stood a chance of succeeding.
Of course she didn't die. Hariel didn't know it yet, but a newly woken Raging Cloud with a dead husband, her territory invaded, her Sky/Daughter threatened... It was a miracle the little town had survived.
If Lily Potter had been an inch less kind, or even a fraction less in control, half the country would have been destroyed by her inconsolable wrath and grief.
Instead, the Cloud had bound her Flames to her daughter, choosing to protect her above all else. Her little Sky Miracle.
But the Wizarding World had no clue about Flames, and so nobody realised a thing.
Hariel wandered around London in a daze after the Night bus dropped her off. She seemed harmless, but for Flame Actives she was anything but. Her raging Sky Flames were still not under control and she walked around with a leather-bound book that trailed emerald sparks. Orange fire that ate at all the people around her trailed her in towering waves. Unsatisfied and hungry.
Then, she locked eyes with a man. A man in a suit, crisp black with a bright yellow shirt. A fedora was perched upon his pitch-black hair. And onyx eyes met hers curiously. Immediately she was wary, because this man burned so brightly against her newly discovered senses.
But Hariel was scared still, and alone except for a helpless book. She was still a child gone active unknowingly. Her Flames swallowed the black hole of a Sun whole. Her wildfire had eaten him before he even realised it. They were utterly compatible. Him, willing to do everything for a true home, a chance of love. Her, willing to put her people above all else.
Them, alone and starved and cruel.
The World's Greatest Hitman was bound to the Girl-Who-Lived between one breath and the next. A feral Sky had snapped him up easily. She was strong. Monstrously strong, to be able to tame Reborn's blazing Sun so completely and easily.
The Hitman blinked in complete astonishment. He... had wanted a Sky for so long, but they were all weak. Or greedy for power. They wanted his Flames, but never really wanted him. To sadistic, not loyal enough to the existing power structure.
So many Skies had tried to court him, and they all failed. They weren't strong enough to hold the sheer power of his Sun Flames. This child though... she was his now. There was no denying it. He could see her staring up at him in confusion.
Did, did she not know what she had done?
"My Sky." Came the low voice of the Italian. Confused emerald blinked up at him. "Sky?" Onyx abyssal eyes widened. How the hell had this happened, she was a feral Sky, at her age? Who the hell had fucked up so badly that this literal child had really believed that she was going to die.
He just wanted to talk, honest.
He kneeled before the petite child. Too skinny, pale. Lightning skittering in defensive waves from the little book. Curious, so curious.
Pitch-black eyes gleamed, revelling in the chaos she created. This was going to be... interesting.
"Hello bambina. I am Reborn. Who are you?" For once, he was gentle. She was just a child, but far more importantly, she was his Sky.
"Hariel Potter. You... are mine." That seemed to confuse her. He nodded, because he was. Utterly, totally claimed by her spitting spluttering raging fire.
He would have to be careful, she was far too close to discord. She'd obviously activated her Flames in a traumatic way and she was still desperate for safety. Until she either calmed down, or found all of her Elements...
She was going to be on a hair trigger. Like a nuclear bomb, always armed. Worse still she tasted of other Flames beneath the raging surface. Now that he was paying careful attention, he could feel Cloud Flames dancing over her skin.
Literally nobody in their right mind wanted a Cloud to Rage.
He hummed, holding out his hand carefully. Hariel reached out to hold on. Then he tugged her along. They needed to get to a safe place. He needed to teach her how to defend herself, because the moment it got out that the World's Greatest Hitman was now her Sun Guardian... They'd come for her. She'd be the perfect leverage to hold his loyalty.
Which he would never allow. She'd be happy and free. He'd make sure of it.
"Where to begin... Alright bambina. What we have is Dying Will Flames. They are a form of high-density energy created from the soul, powered by Will. They come in seven different types and you are a Sky." She listened curiously. Not seeming overly surprised at the reveal of supernatural powers.
“Skies are able to bond with the other types. They are the home and central points for the other Flame types.”
"And I, am your Sun." He lit his hand on fire, merry dancing yellow Flames suddenly lighting up the room. She grinned, fearlessly reaching out to swipe a tiny hand through the fire. He nearly had a heart attack, but she was completely unharmed.
"Red Flames are...?" She asked immediately. Did she have a Storm? He could feel two other Guardian bonds, but at the same time, three other signatures lingered near her. She was an enigma wrapped up in a mystery concealed by a riddle.
"Storm Flames." He glanced at the curious leather-bound diary at her side. "While green Flames are Lightning Flames." She cocked her head to the side, irises gleaming orange. "It feels right, my Sun, my Storm and my Lightning."
Two other Guardians. He wondered idly if they'd get along. He hoped so, if only for the emotional stability of his Sky. An ethereal voice drifted from the book. "These bonds, they are permanent." Tom's voice stated clearly.
Reborn had wondered what the hell was going on with the Lightning. This answered... nothing. He nodded anyway. "Yes. Who are you?" Skittering sparks of emerald lashed through the air as the wizard's presence solidified. "I am Tom Riddle, Hariel's Lightning Guardian."
Reborn smirked. "Nice to meet you." And he even meant it. From the incredibly powerful Flames he got the sense that this... boy, was old and very very dangerous. He liked that. Competent Guardians were going to be very important for the sake of his Sky's survival.
His Flames also tasted of focus and a razor-sharp edge. That made him... interesting.
"I should tell you now, Dying Will Flames are connected to the Mafia." He tilted his fedora a shade off to the side, causing onyx to be lit with yellow from the cast shadow.
"I'm the World's Greatest Hitman, and I have enemies." Tom immediately understood that those enemies would now be coming after Hariel. Unacceptable.
"Oh good, Hariel has a little... problem. My fault." He sounded sorry. Very much so. "I think you can help with that." Reborn grinned widely at that. His kind of problem then, solvable with a gun. That was... fascinating though. He had gotten the sense that Hariel was a civilian. Who didn't typically tend to have anywhere near as favourable a reaction to his... occupation.
Or, for that matter, problems of this particular flavour. Hariel only smiled up at him. She didn’t care, he was hers.
Tom hummed thoughtfully as Hariel idly stroked the spine of his diary. "I think I might have been a Sky. Before I broke myself into pieces." At that the Sun startled, badly. "You went into Discord?" He asked, horrified.
Tom wondered what that even meant. "I don't know what that is." He parried. Reborn inhaled uneasily. "Discord is what we call it when Flames go completely unstable. At that point killing the Flame User would be a mercy. It means someone is broken completely and utterly. It sometimes happens to Guardians when their Sky is killed."
Tom could feel the instinctive railing at the mere thought of Hariel's death. How the times had changed. "No, it wasn’t Discord. You must have wondered why neither of us were startled by Flames. We are magical. I broke my soul into pieces to achieve a form of immortality."
He snorted bitterly. "Looking back it was a terrible idea, since it seemed to rip at my sanity the more I did it. I happen to be the first piece he, I, broke off. And the sanest. Still... when you get sent into the London Blitz that does tend to make you highly aware of your own mortality." Unspoken went the fact that he had been terrified and willing to do anything to cling to life.
And now, Hariel understood. He must have been so afraid, and so alone. Nobody who would care if he lived or died. Send back year after year into the unstable and violent muggle world, back into a war. Her heart ached. Why did Dumbledore keep sending him back? Did he want him traumatized or something?
Soothing Sky Flames wrapped around the sparking forks of Lightning in the air. Reborn looked at her, she was acting on instinct, soothing her Element and providing the stable ground the boy needed to remain sane and calm. War did tend to drive people to extremes.
Tom breathed for a moment and then got things back on track. "The main piece of my soul is probably the greatest threat to her right now. I... dove into Darker and Darker arts. Lord Voldemort, as I am apparently calling myself, is a psychopath. He is unhinged, insane and violent. He also wants Hariel dead because she was prophesized as my downfall."
Hariel felt uneasy at the word, but Tom wasn't a Dark Lord, so in a sense, she had been his downfall? It was all a tangled mess when Flames had gotten involved. Reborn took it all in with a granite composure.
First things first though. "How do magical people fight?" He would ensure his Sky's safety. Above all else.
"We battle with spells. The first thing you need to know is to avoid any bright green lights. The Killing Curse can't be countered, only evaded. Like the name implies, if it touches you, you die instantly." Tom stated immediately.
Reborn frowned, dangerous. "Are magical fighters fast?" Hariel snorted at that. "No, they use magic for literally everything, and most people I've seen are really lazy. I think that magic makes our metabolism crazy fast, because magical people don't tend to be fat, but they are mostly out of shape."
Reborn grinned at that. Delighted. "I am fast, Sun Flames can be used to increase speed among other things. I'm a decent sniper to." He kneeled before her, tenderly taking her little face into his hands to press a brief burning kiss to her forehead. "I will protect you, bambina. Sorry Tom, but the other you will need to die."
"Yes, I do. I am a threat to Hariel." Green flared brighter for a long moment. Then Tom's voice continued. "That's not acceptable."
Already Sun and Lightning alike were fixating on her safety. Hariel was tired though. Young and unbalanced. She was feeling sleepy and she just wanted cuddles. And Ginny. She missed her first Guardian. With all that talk about death and threats she was just becoming upset.
Trying to hold the tears back she blurted out what she really really wanted right now. "I want Ginny." She whined, and promptly she burst out into tears, the sheer stress of the day finally catching up to her.
She had run away from the only home she had, even if it was a really bad one. She had apparently bound a Hitman to herself and Tom was... advocating to kill himself. Or another version of himself. She had no idea what to do with any of that, and the two older males made her feel immature and useless.
Despite the heat and life inside of her telling her otherwise she felt like she wasn't enough.
Sun and Lightning froze in complete unison. Then, Reborn forcibly calmed himself down, he needed to help first. Figuring out how to avoid ever bringing her to tears again could come later. Carefully, gently he picked up the girl. She was so light and small. How old was she?
He set Hariel on his hip and then he started rubbing her back gently, swaying from side to side. She cried hot humiliated tears and hid her face against his warm chest. He was so close and she'd been so alone for months now...
Tom was great and she really loved the company but he couldn't hold her. Couldn't make her feel warm when all she could sense was cold.
Hiccupping as she cried, it took Reborn over an hour to sooth her upset Flames back into a semblance of order. To sooth Hariel's outburst. Until finally she fell asleep.
Tom who had remained worriedly silent, finally manifested his voice again. "She means her Storm Guardian. The bond was only a day old before they were ripped apart for the summer vacation. Hariel hasn't been taking it well at all."
He sighed, guilty and wrung out from the waves of crashing Sky which had violently churned and roiled over his Lightning Flames. "I nearly killed her, then she went Flame Active while dying and in turn dragged Ginny in. Her Storm Flames ate through the venom, I think? I nearly murdered both of them."
Reborn could only stare at the little black book. That was one hell of a past. "I can't really judge you, lacking in any moral high ground myself, but why try to kill children?" It was asked with a detached curiosity. Generally underage children were not exactly a threat after all.
Tom was briefly silent. Then he started talking again pained, but open and honest. He recognized that Reborn and him were going to share Hariel for the rest of her life and that they probably had the exact same mindset when it came to protecting her.
He might even like this muggle, even if he wasn't really a muggle at all. Thankfully.
"I think splitting my soul tore at my sanity. In my madness I wanted to kill anyone who was even remotely a threat to me.”
He sighed. ”My goal has always been to save magical orphans from being left in the muggle world like me. Magical blood is sacred. There are so few of us now... Magical children make for difficult pregnancies. So children are... very much beloved in our world."
"Hariel, when she bound me, it was like she seared shut the gaps and breaks in my Flames. It returned me to a state that at least approaches sanity. I will never not be grateful to her for this. She saved me. In ways I never even knew that I needed to be saved."
Reborn smiled at that. "She is pretty amazing. I'm the strongest Sun in the world, well as far as the Mafia knows. I gave up on ever finding a Sky strong enough to hold me. Someone who could accept me for what I am and who wouldn't try to use me. But there she was... our little miracle."
Then he switched gears. "How are we going to get her to Ginny? Bond separation so soon after connecting is not in any way shape or form a good idea. Also, how are we going to get you a new body. No offense, but you are currently useless."
That stung, but the Hitman was right. "There should be a ritual, but unless I want to deal with the bones of my father and the willingly given flesh of a servant, someone will need to search for another option." Reborn chuckled. He had no problem with chopping off a hand or robbing a grave if it meant restoring his fellow Guardian to full power.
"The problem with that being?" He asked leadingly. Tom was glad for that pragmatic question and the non-judgement for the violent solution. "It might not return me stable. I won't run the risk of becoming a second Voldemort."
The Sun made a sharp noise of disdain in the back of his throat. Because that would be a terrible outcome.
"Can you possess anything, or anyone? Or are you bound in your book." Reborn vaguely wondered if they couldn't just kidnap some random magical twit to power him up. That would solve the problem neatly.
Tom thought about that. He needed to have someone pour their soul and magic into his horcrux so he could take them over, draining them dry to become corporeal again. He had no idea, maybe if Hariel assisted in magically binding someone? Alone as a diary persuasion had been his only option.
He wasn't alone anymore though. Warmth flared gently in what passed for his chest metaphorically.
Reborn softly stroked her raven hair when he checked on Hariel. She was still sleeping peacefully, exhausted completely. "How old is she?" He asked curiously. "Twelve. She'll be turning thirteen soon. Ginny is a year younger."
God, so young.
When she woke up, Hariel was still tired. Feral Sky Flames leaking and wafting from her like a violent perfume. Reborn nearly blanched, he'd been hoping that she would settle a little.
The Sun ushered her to the kitchen and fed her breakfast. Sleepily she ate her food, still dressed in jammies. Her Flames ached. It was painful. She missed Ginny like a limb. Reborn sat down beside her, opening his arms slightly in a subtle invitation. Hariel flew into his arms.
The Italian chuckled. "Say, bambina, do you have any rules you would like me to follow? Keep in mind that I won't ever be your slave." He sighed, warm hands rubbing her back gently. "But if you really don't want me to do certain things I will certainly take that into account."
It wasn't worth risking Discord. As she was now, she would drag them all down with her. Best avoid that, though he couldn't imagine that she would have any issues with his more violent behaviour if she was so compatible with him.
Hariel lifted her head to look at him. "You mean will I be upset if you murder someone?" She asked bluntly. He nodded, impressed by her question. She looked thoughtful for a time, it was reassuring to see her think things through. "If you go around murdering random people for fun, that would be upsetting, but you're a hitman. Do you even kill innocent people, or are they all in the Mafia?"
Reborn grinned, the expression strongly reminiscent of a demon. "Ah, bambina, the Mafia is a society unto themselves and some of the people in it are actually innocent of most things." He squished her cheeks, smirking when she pouted up at him. "But no, I only take contracts on people who are in deep. I don't kill people who had no choice in their, ah, affiliation to the Mafia."
He frowned, face turning serious. "Don't ever think that I'm one of the good guys. I kill people because most of them are idiots. They irritate me, it's a nice challenge. But I don't just murder random people who have done nothing to me." Hariel seemed to think about that for a second. "Shades of grey." She murmured eventually.
Then, climbing fully into his lap, a wide smile. "I don't care. Why should I? Nobody cared for me when I was small. I don't like people either." It didn't bother her as much as it probably should.
Reborn looked at her in wonder. His Sky was a vicious little thing, he could see that she was mostly unbothered. More upset by the fact that she wasn't actually upset at all.
"Are you... struggling with the fact that you don't really care?" He asked gently. She nodded, huge eyes glimmering up at him. He patted her head. "That's not your fault. Empathy is supposed to be a reciprocated process. If you didn't have love in your life, then how could you be expected to care."
Then he smiled at her, soft just for her. "You still asked after innocent people. I think you are a good person. You're just a good person, who had bad things happen to you. If that makes you a little more jaded, than that’s okay." She nodded, taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm down.
"Say, Sky Mine, if I find a magical criminal, someone really bad, would it be okay if Tom killed them to regain his body?" Hariel blinked, then nodded. It was no skin of her nose, she wanted her Guardian. "Yes."
She had no compassion left for people who were cruel just because. Survival, revenge, protection. Those were all things she understood. Had understood since she was small and unprotected, all alone in the entire world.
Cruelty just because? No. Everything in her rejected that. She might not have very many principles, or morals, but that was where she drew her line.
Reborn only chuckled, good. He added kidnapping to his mental to-do list. It was going to be interesting, following Hariel, if it was always like this. Dark eyes glinted with solar bright yellow. He would be following her, she needed to be safe.
When she was dressed, he took her shopping. "No offense, bambina, but all the offense. Your clothes are hideous. I will take you to get new ones. If for no other reason than your comfort."
She blinked, normally she would balk at the mere thought of someone spending cash on her. Reborn demanded her compliance so casually though, like money wasn't even an issue. Like she was worth that and more just for having eaten his soul whole.
Somehow, this was acceptable. She felt comfortable relying on him. Which was weird, because she was almost fanatically independent.
"Okay." She accepted easily. Reborn looked down at the tiny girl who stuck close to his side, she looked tired and he understood why.
Her Flames weren't settling. They kept gushing out of her in uncontrollable waves, searching far and wide for more Elements. He could only be glad that she was so picky though.
Sometimes, when Skies awakened violently, they bonded with the nearest Elements in a desperate attempt to balance their soul. That usually meant they reeled in thin unsteady bonds, clinging to incompatible people. Which ended in all of them getting killed when the Sky kept pulling until Discord set in.
Hariel wasn't doing that. While she was making bonds in subconscious snap decisions, without courting or permission, she was only taking the people who truly fit her.
He couldn't even fault her for taking them, it wasn't like she could control it. There was a reason that nobody wanted a feral Sky. Sheltered Skies were much more manageable than feral ones.
You treated Skies well, or they might bring the entire country down around your head.
"Can I carry you?" He asked kindly. She looked up at him, still carrying the diary in her small hands. She faltered for a moment, she'd never been carried before, except by him yesterday. She flushed slightly at the reminder of her tantrum.
It was odd, and she wondered if she should be feeling too old for that by now. She didn’t, so she nodded mutely. Reborn plucked up his diminutive Sky and set off for the higher end clothing stores of London with long strides.
Hariel was now dressed in a black t-shirt with a bright yellow sun on it. To Reborn's infinite amusement. Combined with a comfortable pair of jeans and new black combat boots she looked like a different person. The Hitman declared the shopping a success.
It turned out that the girl was not a fan, so mostly Reborn had just ended up buying anything she looked at twice. He was good enough to guess her measurements, so it wasn’t like she had to go and try everything out.
When she started looking grumpy, and her Flames started writhing slightly he whisked her away. No sense in tempting fate.
He was carrying her on his hip again, back to the safehouse when her head snapped up. He nearly groaned, because that could really only mean one thing.
A man faltered in his steps just a few metres in front of them.
Orange eyes met shocked hazel as Sky started spilling from her small form in a tidal wave. "Mine." She hissed calmly as she swallowed another Element into her soul. Red sparked in the man's eyes as he gasped at the feeling.
Within seconds his Storm Flame was enveloped in endless burning warmth. Reborn sighed, well it could have been worse really. At least his fellow ex-Arcobaleno was strong. "Fon. Meet Hariel Potter." He stated calmly.
He rubbed Hariel's back, pleased to feel her Flames settle a little at the feeling of one more Element. He was shocked though, didn't she already have a Storm?
The Sun nearly cackled to himself, such delicious chaos.
"Hariel, this is Fon. He's one of my... friends." He wouldn’t have admitted that to anyone else, but Hariel was fast becoming the exception to every rule.
The small teen blinked. "Hi." She only said. Then she reached out a hand to the man who could only come closer at her unspoken request. Drawn like a moth to a flame.
"Ni-hao." The man stated calmly, already centred again. He gently took her hand, and Hariel tilted towards him. Reborn shifted, trying to make sure that she didn't topple out of his arms.
Fon calmly caught her as she wound her arms around his neck. She sniffled. "You're so calm." She muttered into his neck. The Eye of the Storm took her completely from the Sun, following behind him without question when the man started walking again. He agreed, safety first, obviously the Sun had been heading for a safehouse.
"I'm not always calm." He stated serenely, Storm crackling beneath the calm exterior. Hariel hummed, so much power, so tightly leashed. Was she destined to attract dangerous people? Why did they fit her? Was she good enough?
Her newest Element carried her, but when he felt the Sky Flames in his soul starting to shudder and splinter at the edges he stopped for a moment. He pressed his forehead to hers. "I can feel that you are upset. Why?"
He asked so calmly, without a single hint of demand. He asked because he was worried, and he let her feel that. She didn't feel a single hint of an ulterior motive and she wasn’t used at all to being cared for.
"Are you sure that it's okay that I bonded with you? I mean, I'm still a kid and you're... really strong." Fon blinked, serenity almost cracking beneath the self-conscious comment she made.
He reached up a gentle hand to card through her hair. "Hariel. I don't know you, but I do know you." To literally the rest of the world that wouldn't make sense, but she nodded.
It made perfect sense to her, soul-sense was a strange thing.
"You have no idea how long we waited for you. You fit with us. You are so strong, so kind, but you would fight for our freedom. You don't want to use us, you just want to be with us." He smiled sadly. "You have no idea how rare and precious that is." She stilled, then she hugged him tighter. "Don't be sad." She stuttered into his skin.
Fon only hugged her tighter. "I'm not. I'm happy that you... bonded with me." Reborn smirked, a few metres ahead. That was wonderfully understated. They were both honestly elated, being granted a dream they'd long given up on.
The witch was flagging by the time they had managed to feed everyone who required sustenance. Reborn ushered her to the couch, smirking at her bright red face when he plopped her into Fon's lap. The Storm didn't say anything, only cuddling her closer.
She was adorable.
"I'll be back, bambina." He said, and then he sauntered out of the door, little black book in tow. Hariel blinked. Should she feel guilty for the murder that was probably going to happen now? For the first time she felt safe enough to ask. "Should I feel guilty that he's probably going to kill someone?"
Fon shook his head. "No." She hesitated, then sighed and simply curled up in the tall man's lap. "Okay."
Curiously she reached out to touch his hair. "It's so long and silky..." She whispered to herself. He stilled for a long moment. She was softly combing her fingers through his hair. It had been so long...
When she realised what she was doing she stilled, face flushing red. "I... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that. I hate it when people touch me without permission but I still did it to you." Shiny eyes stared up at him remorsefully.
He sighed softly. "I'm glad, that you think consent is important. This isn't your fault though, the new bond between us is drawing us together and it will for a while. You can touch me if you want." She smiled shakily, and started carding her fingers through his hair again. Cool black silk whispered through her fingers and she was fascinated.
His hair was pin straight and longer than hers. Hariel herself had inky hair, with waves going in every direction. It didn't look anything alike, despite the similar colour. She'd never been allowed to touch someone else's hair before. It was a strange novelty.
Reborn smirked at the poor unsuspecting idiot. With Tom's advice, finding Diagon Alley and breaking into it was a breeze.
The Lightning was very helpful like that. Reborn was a master at blending in, it was what made him a highly effective killer. Recon on the magical location was easy, and only a couple of hours later he had found someone... suitable.
The man stank of anger and desperation and the way he was following a young girl around was... Sick. Reborn didn't appreciate violence against women and children. He was old-fashioned like that.
If a woman was a fighter, then that obviously came before gender, but in general the Hitman was an old school Mafioso. A gentleman.
When the sleazy scumbag actually tried to corner the child, lust in his gaze, Reborn stepped forth from the shadows. Setting a heavy hand on his shoulder caused the man to spin around in a panic. Laughing abyssal eyes met the paedophiles suddenly scared eyes.
He activated his Sun Flames on the man's nerves, and he collapsed from the strain as every nerve was suddenly ablaze with intense pain.
"Sorry young miss." He stated gently, as he hefted the man over one shoulder casually. "He had a bit too much to drink." He tipped his head and left her to it after making sure to steer her back to a well-lit area.
The killer in their midst vanished while cheerfully whistling a tune. He had gotten what he came for after all.
Hariel was fast asleep by the time her Sun came home. He had a crimson mark on the collar of his shirt, but his clothes were otherwise untouched. He did return sans book.
Fon had brought her to bed. She'd fallen asleep on him. "What was going on with that remarkable book you no longer carry?" The Asian man asked sedately. That was when a handsome teenager stepped into the safehouse.
"That would have been me." He stated, voice a whispery hiss. There were green sparks in his coppery eyes and he had neatly combed wavy hair. He was a brunet, fairly tall and appeared to be around sixteen years old.
For the first time in decades, Fon didn't feel any alarm at seeing a stranger in a safe place. He could feel Hariel's Flames layered thickly over the young man. "The Lightning Guardian, I presume." Fon said calmly, taking in the newcomer.
"Yes. And you would be her second Storm Guardian." The Martial Artist's eyes widened. "What?" He asked, shocked. Tom smirked.
"Reborn has been explaining Flames to us. But just like always Hariel doesn't like to follow rules." Fon looked thoughtful. "You are magical." The Slytherin Heir nodded. Reborn lifted an imperious eyebrow. "You already knew of the enclaves?" He asked, more to prompt him into telling how he knew.
Hazel eyes sharpened. "Yes, I'm a wizard. The Hibari are a prominent pureblood clan in Asia. I chose to finish schooling and then left that world. Magical people are... really backwards."
He shrugged, an easy motion belying trained grace. The man moved like water. "Martial Arts are mostly practiced in the Underworld and my interest started young." The Sun nodded, that neatly explained why Fon had left.
"Fon, we need to take down a threat to our Sky." The Italian stated, smirk apparent and eyes hard.
"I will guard her." The Triad Assassin stated softly. Tom nodded, thankful. He could feel just how strong the raging Storm was, he stood in the eye of his own personal hurricane. He made Ginny look like a friendly summer shower, even though the girl was far from weak.
"First though, we need to collect the last Guardian. Hariel is spiralling without her, and I can't imagine that Miss Weasley is faring much better." The Lightning stated softly. Regret curling like smoke though his quiet words.
The Assassins of their set glanced at him. Guilt didn’t figure into their life much. Still, keeping the Lightning on an even keel was important for all of them. The conversation was quiet, but it left Tom feeling lighter.
Hariel was irritable and grumpy when she woke up. Flames washing in lashing waves over the safehouse. She wanted her redhead. She ached. It was painful. She couldn't even catch much from the bond, it was stretched thin by the distance before it had the chance to settle.
When she shuffled from her room, still in her jammies she spotted the teenager lounging at the breakfast bar. "Tom!" She called, running to him to throw herself against him in excitement. The older teen caught her gently, carding a fond hand through her messy hair. "Hello Hariel." He said softly, almost afraid of her reaction.
The last time she saw him he had been trying to kill her.
The little witch had no such compunction though, and she held on for dear life. She wrapped her skinny arms around his waist, head barely coming up to his sternum. "I missed you." She mumbled against his skin. He sighed, pressing a tender kiss to her inky locks. "I missed you to sweetheart."
She flushed at the endearment, unused to it.
Reborn and Fon entered the room, the hitman strode confidently to her side, while Fon glided after him. Reborn once more clad in a sharp suit, though the jacket and his ever-present fedora were carefully held over one arm.
The Triad Enforcer was dressed in a deep red cheongsam, wide sleeves carefully folded over his hands. Hariel was fascinated. The Dursleys had always looked down on foreign people. Especially if they dressed differently.
So naturally, Hariel loved it. She made it a policy in life to always be as different as possible from her relatives.
Reborn kissed her forehead as he passed by and then rolled up his sleeves to make breakfast. The Storm Guardian kissed her cheek and then started making tea. Hariel smiled. "Good morning." She greeted them cheerfully, looking at the tea with longing.
"Bambina." The Sun hummed back. "Mei-mei." Fon nodded at her, and then he set down a cup of tea in front of both Brits.
She wrapped her hands around the warm glass. Tom circled his finger over the cup, cooling it to the perfect temperature. When Hariel glanced at him curiously, he swirled a digit over her cup too. She leaned into his side. "Thank you." She said, sipping her tea blissfully.
"Pack up everything you want to take with you. We're going to see Ginny." Reborn spoke up when they were all fed and watered. He had seen Hariel hanging onto her control with her fingertips. What little of it she had ever had.
The bond wasn't breaking, but it was painful, unmoored and half-finished as it was.
Glassy green eyes looked up at him. She nodded absently. Wandering out of the room in a daze, a sinuous wave of desolate Sky following in spluttering sparks.
Fon took a deep breath, it was taking all of his considerable control not to follow his Sky into chaos. He wondered for a long moment how Reborn had even managed to keep her from tipping over that oh so fragile edge into Discord all alone.
The Lightning was wild unfettered brilliance and so strong it was almost painful to feel the green tendrils licking curiously at them. On par with Verde likely. He was also fixated on Hariel to an almost dangerous degree.
What he wasn't, however, was stable.
Reeling the hurricane in again, he tried to balance the small teen gently. It wasn't her fault, but her Flames were just so strong.
The Sun guided them all to a car, a shiny model that likely cost more than her relatives earned in a year. She admired the sleek creation for a moment, unconcerned by ruining things for once. Her dangerous Sun had made it plenty clear that he considered her far more important than anything material.
The Slytherin pulled her into his lap with a spark of green lighting up his copper irises as soon as she entered the car. She let him be, the lashing Lightning tendrils inside of her telling her quite enough.
With every mile towards the Storm girl, Hariel's eyes cleared, the flood of her Sky in the car calming and smoothing. They all sighed in relief. Tom pressed a sweet kiss to her forehead. "If I claim to be my own grandson, do you think they'll let me be around you?" He wondered idly.
Unspoken went the fact that none of them would be separating for long periods of time. Not now, with an active threat after her, maybe not ever.
Fon looked thoughtful when Hariel caught a glimpse of him in the mirror. "I will pull some strings. I might not have entered the enclaves myself the last couple of decades, but the Hibari are still a fairly prominent House."
Reborn glanced at the Chinese man, amused. Claiming that the Hibari were a prominent House was like saying that Fon was pretty strong.
Essentially true, but a massive understatement. They had ties to the Imperial line of Japan, and they owned most the Asian Underworld. That wasn't even counting whatever influence they had in the enclaves.
The Lightning smirked. "I claimed the Slytherin Heir ring from the vault. Voldemort was enraged when the ring disappeared after his defeat. That's why I came home after Reborn." If the mere word home kindled a warm feeling in him, he only smiled.
While Hariel might not get good grades, that was more because she had been punished for it in the past then any real reflection of her intelligence.
"You should be a half-blood." She stated out of nowhere. Tom glanced at her, more curious than insulted. "You can be my childhood friend. I only found out this summer that you're magical to. You could transfer to Hogwarts. Not being a pureblood will keep people from assuming that you're a dark wizard."
Green lit his gaze in approval. "Yessss." He hissed, utterly charmed by the mere idea. Close to her, always closer. Enamoured with her sheer presence all over again, he started combing through her hair with slender fingers. Soon enough the girl was a mellow puddle in his lap.
Reborn parked the car close to the Burrow, barely out of sight. Solar flare bright eyes stared back from a heart-shaped face when he glanced in the rear-mirror.
"Ginny. Ginny. Ginny." The chant started, and the witch girl was outside of the car before any of them could move. Wide eyed they watched as a small shape came hurtling down the dirt road ahead.
The two girls crashed into each other in a tangle of limbs. The tears came before long.
Carelessly they sprawled out over the ground. The tension they'd been carrying since that godawful day on King's Cross finally draining from their aching shoulders.
The redhead was flat on her back, slim arms wound tight around Hariel's middle. She had the older girl's head resting on her chest, captivated by her heartbeat.
Ginny closed her eyes, her world narrowing down to the feeling of her soul sinking into warm Sky. Nothing would ever compare to this. Cracks and fissures, the raggedy edges of her Storm finally, finally smoothing over.
"Don't ever go again." She asked, pleaded. Hariel clung tighter, fingers curled into claws around the redhead's shirt. "Never." She hissed, as possessive Flames curled closer around the redhead's raging crimson Flames.
Pale hands slid beneath the younger girl's shirt, as Hariel nuzzled her face against the bare skin of her neck. Her Sky felt gorgeously full and the Storm girl's skin was warm and soft. "Mine, you're mine. You will always be mine. My Ginny."
"Yeah." The witch agreed breathlessly. Hopelessly excited and relieved by Hariel's presence.
By the time both of the girls opened their eyes, Reborn was watching them. Casually leaning against his car. Fon was standing close by, carefully keeping watch. Ginny's gaze however caught on the only other teen present.
Tom was skulking awkwardly in the background, hands stuffed deep into his pockets with a defeated slant to his shoulders.
The redhead understood. But since she had long since forgiven him, she only helped Hariel up. Then, holding her hand tightly, she headed over to the Lightning.
"Tom." She stated softly, kind. Strong, in her forgiveness. "Miss Weasley." He returned, regal even whilst so clearly uncomfortable. She reached out, and to his eternal shock, she hugged him. Again.
He'd never even imagined that she would still accept him like she had in the Chamber, drunk of their shared soul binding.
"If you need to hear it. I forgive you." She whispered. The air nearly shimmered with heat when Hariel brought her Flames to bear. Sky haze winding around all three of them.
And everything hurt a little less. Scars no longer ached, loneliness but a bad dream. It was comforting.
Like the sun breaking out from behind the clouds, a shy smile graced the Lightning Guardian's face. "Thank you."
Hariel met her Cloud not because she claimed her, but because she was hotly drowned by her instead. A small Ravenclaw walked up to her on the platform of King's Cross.
"Hello. I would like to come home now." She stated out of nowhere, intense silver eyes fastened on Hariel's green green gaze. The small witch had waist long hair, with a wand pinning up about half of the long tresses. Immediately after she spoke the air was filled with roiling Cloud Flames.
Amethyst invisible fire was building quickly to fan out in a wave that swamped the platform. Desire thick in the air.
Reborn and Fon inhaled unsteadily. The slip of a girl was so intense. It was, even for hardened killers, frightening. All that power and all of it focused on their beloved witch.
Hariel hummed, wrapped up in warm Cloud Flames. "Yesss." She slurred, tempted by that delicious fire, fire that echoed the warmth that had always lingered beneath her skin. A Cloud then, just like her mama. Mama who was dead dead dead, but never gone.
Sky swelled up as well, and the blonde witch immediately slid into her Sky as easily as breathing. "What's your name?" She asked her newest person, as she wrapped her up in a hug. The blonde sighed, content now. "Luna Lovegood."
Hariel felt the need to curl up around her new small Cloud. She could feel fractured purple fire and she ached to her soul. Her little one had been through so much already. She was hurting and emerald green started darting suspiciously around the crowds.
Paranoia came and licked up her spine, as people stared at the girl in her arms. She didn't like it, and jealous Sky Flames started hissing unheard in the air.
At that point her other Elements interfered. Understanding that there was no way that she was going to be separated from Luna, Fon came and picked up both of them with ease. Tom and Reborn kept Ginny safe between them.
The male Storm cast a locking charm behind them, as soon as they were all safely ensconced in a train compartment. Then he conjured up a fluffy mattress. Hariel smiled up at him gratefully. Luna was quickly bundled into warm Sky Flames. Ginny joined them, not even jealous that Hariel was so fixated on her friend.
Luna had been an outcast all of her life.
"Sirius Black." Reborn muttered, scanning the Daily Prophet carefully. The two ex-Arcobaleno had... accidented the Muggle Studies professor. Since the woman had been a Pureblood sympathizer, well she wouldn’t be missed.
They had applied to take on the job between them, and Dumbledore had to agree. They had very easily made sure that nobody else applied. Intimidation was such a useful skill.
When they had come home one night, smug, Hariel had only shook her head. Whatever they had done, she was in no way responsible for them. She had given up on most of her morals. Even if they did hurt people, that wasn’t on her.
Reborn had adjusted to Hogwarts very easily, while Fon was mostly smiling serenely at anyone who looked too closely at them. That usually had them leaving in a hurry. His soft smile had a very unsettling edge.
Reborn was using his Flames to wreak havoc whenever he felt like it. So far nobody had caught on that he wasn't even a wizard.
Hariel was amazed by the stupidity that surrounded her sometimes.
Fon carefully speedread the article Reborn had pointed out to him. "We'll have to be on guard." The Sun nodded. There was no way in hell that they were going to let some Voldemort flunkie take away their Sky.
They glanced at their baby Sky. She was sitting at the Gryffindor table, but Tom had pulled her into his lap. With Ginny and Luna flanking them, they made for a strange quartet. If you couldn't sense Flames.
Everything seemed calm, right up until one Cho Chang approached them.
The girl had been bullying Luna. She opened her mouth, unaware that she was playing with fire. "Hi Hariel, I just wanted to ask why you are hanging around Loony. Should I make sure that she doesn't bother you again?" A disdainful glance, almost subtle, was shot in the blonde girl's direction.
The witch in question didn't even seem to notice her. She was swaying and singing to herself.
Hariel however... "And what, exactly, do you mean by that? She is my friend." Sky leaked enticingly, dangerously, and more and more eyes were turning towards them. Sky Flames demanding attention.
Cho, who only now seemed to realise that this was not going her way muttered awkwardly. "She's just so weird, with her made up creatures. Everyone knows that Lovegoods aren't all there." She whined, trying to justify herself.
Hariel's eyes blazed, and Reborn looked on, delighted.
"Leave, Chang. If I hear anything about you bothering my Luna ever again, I will... take action." The ice-cold voice was backed by heavy Flames. Her power pressed down on the girl, who fled immediately.
"Pity." Tom commented absently. "Apparently she does have working survival instincts."
Ginny giggled, while Luna smiled at Hariel, her eyes fully present and glowing.
Their luck ran out one evening, when they were sitting at the edge of the lake. A crazed looking rail-thin man appeared before her. He seemed to look at her with something close to awe in his eyes.
Hariel was carefully being shielded by Fon, while Reborn held the convict still, a gun pressed to his head within seconds flat. "Mister Black, how... lovely, to meet you." He stated coldly.
Hariel shivered, her Flames curious and she frowned. "Something is wrong." She hissed at Fon. The Storm glanced at her, then tilted his head, always willing to listen to her.
She gasped, when it clicked. "He's mine." Came the almost slurred hiss as the little Sky swallowed his inactive Flames whole. Immediately the man burst out into indigo fire. Reborn sighed, holstering his gun. "Really bambina?" He asked, exasperated. He had hoped that with a few Guardians, and with her feeling a lot safer, that she would stop eating Flames.
"Hariel..." The supposed murderer's voice was hoarse, and he looked skeletal. His eyes were bright indigo-ringed silver though. She flew into his arms, magic instinctively clinging to him. An old magical bond flared to life. "Siri..." She near whimpered, he felt like home, like safety.
"You didn't kill them." It was a statement, but both Sun and Storm finally relaxed fully. He nodded. "Peter did, and then he hid, as a rat."
Her eyes widened. "Scabbers." She hissed, the pieces clicking rapidly into place. Her voice was filled with hate. Sirius nodded.
Then, the Dementors came.
They rolled over the ground like a black wave, swarming closer to the bright souls. They hungered for a delicious meal. Both Fon and Reborn immediately readied themselves to fight. There was no way they were going to let those abominations close to Hariel.
Sirius collapsed, anguished. The Dementors were too familiar, clawing at his open mental wounds with their icy presence.
Hariel felt him go down, and the moment his body hit the ground, an entire swath of the earth went up in flames. "THEY'RE MINE." She screamed, and hundreds of the floating beings were burned to cinders. Her hair was floating, and coated in amber fire. Her eyes shone in her face like twin supernovas.
The ground was being charred to ash, a perfect circle leaving her people untouched as the rest burned.
There were screeching rattling death throws all round her as she burned in her rage. None of the horrible dark things ever even touched them.
When none of the dreaded Dementors remained, careful guarded Flame sparks floated around to ensure her people's safety. Everything was calm, and the lights winked out.
Then Hariel sank to the ground, panting as she tried to reel her writhing Flames back in. Reborn watched, shocked into silence for once, as his Sky defended them all. She was glorious in her fury. How long had it been since someone had protected him?
He reached out to steady her as she swayed, kneeling in the dirt. "S-Save him, you gotta... please." She pleaded, before she closed her eyes in exhaustion.
Fon nodded, picking up the too light wizard. He vanished from Reborn's sight, too fast to be seen. The Sun sighed, he could trust that the Storm would take the newly activated Mist to safety. They were going to have to do something about that. Hariel hated being away from any of her Guardians for long.
He swept up the young teen bridal style. Slowly he made his way back to the castle.
Fon demanded a trial for the escaped Lord Black. There was no way that he was going to leave his fellow Guardian locked up in his own terrible childhood home for a crime he didn't even commit. The British Ministry bowed to the demands of an Ancient and Royal House.
Hariel sighed at the news, pleased and angry all at once. "Once again pureblood nepotism can be relied on to save the day." She was a little horrified at just how much sway Fon could pull on through the Hibari Clan.
Still, it was working in her favour for once.
The day of his trial started bright and early. Hariel and all of her Elements had holed up in the Ancestral Black home. Grimmauld Place was a grim and disgusting residence. It was however sheltered by the Black Family Wards. A vicious ward scheme that started with barely non-lethal electrocution and worked up from there.
It was as close to impregnable as the paranoid House could make it. Which basically made it an airtight, pocket-sealed dimension.
Reborn was cooking for them. Hariel was sleepily curled up in Tom's lap, the Slytherin Heir looking fondly at the young teen. He was patting her hair gently while she pressed her cheek harder against is chest, listening to his steady heartbeat.
Ginny, who had taken to the vicious clever Mist very well, was sitting daintily perched on his lap. It had taken a few weeks into the summer for all of them to be comfortable. But they were now, and Sirius had only made a surprised noise when she plopped down. Then he had cuddled her close and grinned widely. He loved touching other people, it helped him keep the memories of Azkaban at bay.
Naturally everyone in the house indulged him after finding out that titbit.
Fon observed it all serenely. Hariel didn't want Guardians, she wanted a family and with her absurdly strong Flames she basically made that happen.
For all that Flame bonds were supposed to run only between Element and Sky, she was so gigantic that they could all feel the other Guardians as well.
Luna wandered calmly into the room, and stopped in front of Fon. She blinked large eyes at him for a long slow moment, and the man, well used to Clouds, nodded. Content she curled up into a tiny ball in his lap.
The three teenage girls were the young heart of their little family. All three broken, jaded, but not cold. Not quite yet. They were all more than ready to keep it that way.
Reborn served them all food, content to slouch in a chair as he ate as well. "I will be your lawyer." He stated calmly, his considerable focus had been turned to Black Library lately. Sirius only nodded. He trusted them.
The Hitman smirked. The Ministry had no idea what sort of storm they were unleashing. When it came out that Lord Black didn't have a trial, purebloods would be up in arms. Educating them might prove to be fun.
For all that Sirius felt small sitting in chains, he didn't feel unsafe. Hariel hovered at his side, burning orange eyes pinned on an increasingly uncomfortable Wizengamot. Fon loomed over him from behind, smiling eerily all the while.
They wouldn't let anything happen to him. He wasn't alone anymore.
The trial quickly went off the rails when Reborn calmly demanded the use of Veritaserum. There would be no disputing the truth. He invoked the old laws, and the Minister had no choice but to comply, looking like he had bitten something sour all the while.
"Did you betray the Potters?"
And all hell broke loose.
The little Cloud hummed to herself, violent purple spilling from her hands. In seconds seeds were towering flowers and a field seemingly out of a dream appeared.
The courtyard of Grimmauld Place was suddenly full of blossoms in all shapes and sizes. Luna brushed a finger over a delicate petal, a razor-sharp smile on her face.
Yes, anyone who would try to hurt her family would find themselves quite... indisposed.
"Mammon, I want to hire you to teach a Mist." The Greatest Information Broker was caught off guard. "Mu, time is money, so it will cost you." He stated greedily.
Reborn only nodded. "That's fine. Most of the tips and tricks I can teach, but I need him to learn Mist Portals."
That pulled a faint scoff from the Mist. "Not many can handle that, I'll try, but payment will be delivered for every hour, not success."
The Hitman only nodded, having expected that. Having gotten exactly what he came for, he sauntered out of the Varia Castle.
Xanxus was quite irritated that nobody had seen the man come in.
Hariel smiled up at her Lightning. It had taken time, so long, for the older teen to become truly comfortable with their little family.
It ached, that he had been so alone for so long. Tom didn't have a bond to anyone but them. He had been even more alone than she had been and that was horrifying.
The Slytherin smiled down at her gently. "May I have this dance?" She nodded at once. He was graceful and patient while teaching her.
They spun around over the improvised dance floor. Graceful and with warm Flames mingling together, they made for a beautiful sight.
When the Sky's name came from the cup, all of her Guardian's froze. This wasn't an honour. This was an assassination attempt.
They would make whoever did this pay... Fon's smile gained teeth and the professors seated near him felt he instinctive need to flee.
Luna's purple eyes and raging magic, multiplied by her Flames made every single student within her range swallow uncomfortably. She didn't look harmless and eccentric anymore.
Ginny frowned, red sparks dancing in her hair.
Reborn tilted his hat until his eyes were just unsettling glimmers in the cast shadow. Someone was going to die for this.
Tom narrowed his copper eyes, and the entire Slytherin table felt a deep-seated need to move a couple of meters away, or a couple of kilometres. He was angry, and his magic made that known in spades.
Miles away, a too thin man with bright indigo eyes frowned. Something was wrong.
An immense dragon towered over her, and Hariel tried to breath out slowly. She let her Flames unfurl, calming and beautiful.
~Nestmother. I mean no harm.~ She hissed out carefully concentrating to ensure parseltongue left her lips. The immense scaled head turned to look at her closely.
~Speaker.~ The dragon hissed. ~Did you not come for my eggs? I've already heard the mourning for children lost.~ She swayed in her anger, raging fire leaking from her open maw for a long moment. ~DO NOT LIE TO ME.~ She roared.
Hariel let her Flames carry her sincerity. ~One in your nest is false. I want only the fake one. I do not wish your nestlings any harm.~ The dragon blinked slowly, clear lids sliding over her predatory gaze for a single moment. She sniffed at her own nest, carefully keeping Hariel within her sights.
The witch made no move to come closer. As the Horntail inspected her nest, she only waited.
Up in the stands, only Tom had any sort of calm, able to follow the conversation. The rest of her Guardians were on edge, ready to interfere in a moment.
With a careful claw, the mother sent the false gold away from her own eggs. ~Very well Speaker, you have told me the truth. Take this and go.~ Hariel bowed politely and then scoped up the egg, retreating from the arena.
The Horntail curled up around her nest protectively while the people watched in silence.
Hariel smiled to herself, that had gone quite well.
Hariel touched a golden cup in the centre of a maze, and when the world stopped spinning, she was in a graveyard.
When they felt her presence disappear, six heads snapped up simultaneously. Unacceptable. Sirius called up his Flames, and a portal pulled all of them to her side.
All of her Guardians appeared, close to Hariel.
Before Voldemort could even begin to understand what just happened, he was on fire. Literally. Reborn shot him with a Chaos Shot, specially tailored to Activate impurities in the air. The energy had nowhere to go, so it combusted.
He then started feeding more Flames into multiple Chaos Shots, which ended up burning the snake like tiny homunculus in Sun Flames too.
He screeched and that is when Reborn decides that no, he really should just unalive him right now. The suffering for harming Hariel was all nice and well in theory, but he was a threat.
He didn't become the World's Greatest Hitman by leaving people alive like that.
Meanwhile Fon jammed a Storm covered hand straight through Wormtail's chest, and the man died twitching while his heart was being crushed. The Asian assassin merely let his Flames cover his hand to disintegrate all the... messy bits.
A corpse dropped at his feet.
Hariel blinked, almost preternaturally calm as Tom embraced her from behind. Fon fondly tucked her hair delicately behind the shell of her ear. "Are you alright, Mei-Mei?" He asked, concerned, not even sparing a glance at the dead Death Eater at his feet.
Luna hummed cheerfully. "Fate is concluded, we have gone full circle at last." She giggled to herself. Hariel sighed, all of her Guardians were... off. She loved them so it really didn't matter to her. She really just thought that they fit well. All of them burning unapologetically, almost horrifically bright.
There would be no regrets, not a single one between them all. Not for things left undone at least.
"Well. That escalated quickly." She stated, awkwardly staring at her dead-baby nemesis, while his other (better) half stroked gentle fingers along her skin.
Ginny came closer to hug her tight. "Do you think that this means he will be gone for good?" She linked arms with the Lightning Guardian. "Uhm, no offense, Tom, but Voldemort was... a complete asshole."
The Slytherin merely snorted, not offended in the least. It might be strange to walk around with another self out there, but he had grown over time and his soul had healed from the split. Of course, he had gone around absorbing all the passively stored bits and bobs.
What had he been thinking? Chopping himself up like a post stamp card and sealing the shards in precious objects. Clearly he hadn't been thinking at all. Still, he had gotten his soul glued back together, except for the last violently unstable shard, which had been Lord Voldemort himself.
Still, with strong Lightning awake and brilliantly burning, his soul had healed over and eventually even regenerated that missing piece.
He didn't consider Voldemort to be him anymore. Probably a good thing, or that violent murder might have even hurt.
"I think that went well." He stated calmly, staring at his deranged former self's corpse. It was good to see him dead. Any threat to Hariel made him quite... violent.
Sirius grinned widely, pleased by the outcome. "Let's go home." He stated cheerfully, after kicking Wormtail's corpse for sheer satisfaction.
Mist Flames swallowed them all, carefully dragging the corpses along. They arrived in dead silence, a crowd of horrified faces staring back at them.
Dumbledore was the first to approach them, staring at them over his half-moon glasses. "My girl... what have you done?" He asked, almost condescendingly. All of them glowered. Hariel wasn't his anything. She belonged to them.
Tom wrapped a possessive arm around her waist and Hariel only leaned back trustingly.
Reborn smirked. "What you couldn't do." Then he calmly continued, addressing the crowd as well. "Voldemort is dead."
The Minister fainted, people started screaming when they finally realised that it was in fact the feared Dark Lord, dead at their feet.
Luna slipped away quietly. A handful of seeds were scattered over the corpses and purple Flames blazed.
Two trees were born from cold chests. It was a horrific sight. Immediately the bodies were used as food for the quickly growing branches and roots. She looked on serenely as the trees grew rapidly. They were massive and green leaves burst into life as the towering silhouettes took shape. "Nourishment." Was all she whispered, and then she drifted back to her family.
She thought that was all they were good for.
She looked up at Fon with a long slow blink. He smiled and picked her up carefully. The smallest Guardian settled on his back, he glanced at Hariel once and when she nodded, he vanished.
Luna did not appreciate crowds.
Dumbledore was pale and shocked. "What did you do?" He asked again. Hariel frowned up at him. She didn't like him. He had been the one to leave her with her relatives. Ginny snarled, anger igniting at the mere sight of the man. He had left her to die in a cold chamber.
"What had to be done, why would you even ask that. He was a threat to everyone around him." She narrowed her eyes at the so-called leader of the Light. "You should be praising Reborn. He killed him after all." She smirked, a vivid sharp slash. "You might also want to thank Fon. He killed Pettigrew before he could murder any of us."
Dumbledore spluttered, truly lost for words for once.
Hariel only smiled, safe and sound in her Lightning's arms.
Summer had arrived, and no longer confined to Grimmauld Place for safety, Hariel wanted to travel. They all wanted to go with her. It hadn't even been that close of a call, but after Voldemort's... timely demise nobody was willing to let her out of their sights.
"We can go visit Pipsqueak-Dino and Dame-Tsuna." Reborn stated gleefully. He was once again providing breakfast. While Hariel could cook, she didn't enjoy it. Her Sun Guardian did, he liked providing for his people.
Sirius leaned back in his chair. "Your students?" He asked curiously. The Hitman nodded. "They are both good kids. Skies and bosses, both of them." Hariel blinked up at him, leaning in for a hug. "Do you think they could teach me how to fly with my Flames?" She asked hesitantly.
Fon, Luna once again curled up in his lap, answered reassuringly. "I'm sure they would be glad to help you. They are kind, especially for Mafia bosses." He carded a gentle hand through Luna's long silver-blonde tresses.
The little Cloud spoke up as well, voice whispery and hazy. "We should visit, some people need a home just like we did." Hariel nodded, plan now decided. Luna had never guided her wrong, her Cloud went where she wished. Hariel had always been the place where she wanted to drift.
"Okay, we can go after breakfast." The Sky stated.
Tsuna flailed when a Mist portal opened straight into his office. "Juudaime!" Hayato shouted, dynamite appearing, already lit, in lithe hands.
Reborn appeared, and casually shot out the wicks before anything could be set on fire. "Chaos, Tsuna." He called, and then more people followed.
Fon stepped calmly into the Vongola's office. "Ni-hao, Vongola." He said serenely, joined by a blonde girl who made his intuition go sharp. She was not an immediate threat, but she was powerful. She didn't say anything, just looked around with large dazed eyes. Then she stepped closer, gently took his hand and shook it.
"Luna." It was all she said, and then she drifted back to Fon.
Strong Cloud Flames radiated from her small frame, and the Tenth head of the Vongola Famiglia swallowed slightly in apprehension. "Uhm, h-hello." He stuttered back to little Cloud.
A redhead followed, cheerfully smirking at him as she skipped up to Reborn's side. He didn't even seem to mind the teenager leaning against him! Strong Storm swirled around her, but Reborn's tightly contained Sun Flames barely reacted. "So, you're a Mafia Boss?" She asked, looking somewhat sceptic.
"You don't look like one." She then stated, causing Gokudera to bristly slightly. "Anyway, I'm Ginny." He nodded in welcome.
A raven-haired girl appeared, with a taller slightly older brunet following her. He had an arm wrapped around her waist, copper eyes taking them all in with an indifferent look. The girl had Sky Flames swirling around her, stronger than any he had ever sensed.
Green sparked in the eyes of her companion. He could sense overwhelmingly focussed and tightly reigned in Lightning in the teen.
Lastly a whip-thin man with sharp mischievous silver eyes appeared. He closed the portal behind him. He didn't say anything either. Reborn hummed, then nodded at the unintroduced people. "Hariel, Tom and Sirius." He said calmly, nodding at each of them in turn.
"Who are these people?" Tsuna asked, looking overwhelmed and a little apprehensive as he stared up at the Hitman in semi-despair. Would the man never stop creating weird situations?!
"Hmm, let me see if I got this right." The raven-haired girl hummed.
"I'm Hariel Potter and I am their Sky."