Chapter 1: 038
Laid, sprawled out on one of the luxurious rugs that were scattered around your Varia common room, Harry Potter stares up at the ceiling, fingers lightly dancing through the head of blond locks that rest upon her stomach.
It isn't particularly uncommon for Belphegor to appear out of nowhere and make a nuisance of himself, not limited to demanding food, demanding company, or just demanding she lay down and let him rest on her, because she was 'as soft as a cloud'.
Rolling her eyes, Harry traces the delicate patterns in the ceiling, chipped golden paint that had possibly once been an intricate lace design but had faded into something a little more abstract.
Already three members of the Varia's lower ranks had come through the door, freezing at the sight of the napping Storm Commander. It is a known fact that none of the Varia Elite like being woken up, and to do so was at your own peril.
As the fourth man stopped at the door, Harry offers him a short wave as he begins backtracking, Belphegor grumbling in his drowsy state as her petting stops for a few seconds.
The Storm Commander truly is her best friend, and Harry wouldn't be lying if she said she was crushing.
Because Belphegor, for all of his blood-crazed behaviour and wild ways, was brilliant. So free and uncaring, the exact opposite of the Dursleys.
It has been a long time since Harry even considered what was left of her blood family.
After all, nine years have passed since she last set eyes on them, and if she ever did again, it would be far too soon.
Nine years since her burning Cloud Flames had attracted the attention of Visconti, the Ninth's Cloud Guardian, who had been in England for a mission.
That meeting had been her saving grace, it had been the meeting that led her to Xanxus, to her Sky, after all.
Heart aching at the thought of her missing boss, her missing big brother figure, Harry glances down at the dozing Belphegor again, brushing his fringe back from his face and teasing the skin of his brow.
She'd never seen his eyes before, only Lussuria had while performing a checkup. But everyone was curious.
Harry was no exception.
As it would just so happen, in the exact moment that Belphegor opened one eye, something took hold of Harry's innards and twisted.
Her eyes clenched shut out of instinct, and when she opened them, she found herself laid out on a stone floor that was most certainly not part of the Varia HQ, with a sky that was in fact a ceiling stretching above her, and hundreds of gawking eyes all locking on her form.
Oh, and there was a goblet spewing out Rain Flames.
What the hell?
And where was Belphegor?
"Miss Potter, at last."
Staring up at the old guy -hell, he had to be older than the Ninth, how?- Harry groans and presses her face into her hands upon the realisation that with her here, that meant Belphegor was now pillow-less.
"Fuck, he's gonna kill me."
Chapter 2: 001
In which Visconti adds to his already overwhelming pile of bad deeds. Only, this is one of the few with good intentions.
The child was all but leaking Cloud Flames.
Watching the family go by, Visconti of the Vongola blinks slowly, taking in everything.
The way the two parents doted on the pudgy boy, the way the little girl hung back and only just out of sight of the two adults. He takes note of the features, of the fact only the woman seems to share any features with the girl; the thin noses, the arch of their eyebrows.
A relation, but not mother and daughter. Cousins, or aunt and niece, perhaps.
Finally, when the girl lifts her sleeve to scratch at the flesh of her forearm, Visconti notes the purple bruises that wraps around her wrist like a handcuff, shackling her to what is evidentially an abusive household.
Visconti works for the Mafia. He has been a member of the Vongola Family for many decades, he's all but drowning in the blood he's spilt.
Even for him though, there are lines, lines that he would not cross under any circumstances.
And one of those, is that he would never condone child abuse.
The Cloudlet isn't hanging back out of a desire to be aloof, to be free and unrestrained. She's fearful, she's eyeing those she walks behind with the gaze of prey, who never knows when it's about to be attacked.
And that just won't do.
No, Visconti could never leave a little Cloud, especially one of such potential, to suffer like this.
For all of the necessary evil that he has ever preformed, kidnapping one child isn't going to be the worst of it.
Chapter 3: 002
In which Harry becomes determined to be Quality.
Staring at the little squirt that clings to Visconti as if he's the only solid object in the world, Xanxus crosses is arms and glares at his father, completely unsure as to why he's even here.
He'd already heard that the Old Man's Cloud Guardian had rescued a civilian child from an abusive background, and that she was Flame Active. He didn't expect her to be such a tiny thing though.
She can't be any older than five, with thin limbs and a mane so large it seems to make up half her body. The red curls frame her face, making her head seem far bigger than it actually is. Though the red if ferociously bold in colour, eye-catching even. The kind of colour the sea burns as the sun sets over in the West.
Bright green eyes dart over to stare at him, and Xanxus scowls at the weariness and hope that practically shimmers in them. Tch, what a Princess.
"She's a very strong Cloud," the Old Man mutters, and Xanxus squints his eyes, staring at the girl as if he'd be able to see such a thing himself. He recalls how his own Flames feel, strong and powerful between his fingertips, eager and ready to fight.
Instantly he feels the pressure the girl is throwing out, now that he's actually paying attention. And yeah, that's some damn strong Flames for such a little brat.
"Hey brat, you know what the Mafia is, right?"
Xanxus had always known, street rat that he'd once been. She quivers slightly beneath his gaze, eyes crimson and burning with resolve. He would live up to the Vongola name, and that meant gathering the strongest Guardians he could.
"The Mafia kills people," she says quietly after a slight push from Visconti, little baby teeth digging into the flesh of her lower lip.
Small hands ball into fists, and then she looks his right in the eye, daring his to challenge what Visconti has told her, "but you're Family too, right? I… I really wanna family."
Silence descends in the room and Xanxus ignores the ice cold substance that settles in his stomach, one that feels marginally like guilt.
The Old Man and his Guardian are both looking to him expectantly, and Xanxus is suddenly very much aware that he is the only one of his siblings without a Cloud Guardian. He's only got half his Guardians as of yet.
And she's so fucking young, given the target that will drop on her head, simply from being associated with him. She can't fight at all. She's tiny and skittish and she won't survive a damn day here.
Not unless she has someone to watch out for her at least.
"God fucking damn it. Brat, get over here."
She brightens, slowly releasing her grip on Visconti and scampering over, huge doe like eyes staring up at him in complete adoration, and fuck, is this what having a little sister is actually like? Because shit, he gonna be fucking responsible for this kid until she can look after herself.
Even with that thought in mind, he scoops her up, resting against his hip, and this close, he can feel the powerful rumble of Flames beneath her skin. Tch, training up the brat for those Flames will be worth it.
"You're gonna train every fucking day, you got that? If your with me, you've got to be the best, fucking Quality, got that?"
She nods, brows furrowing seriously over her little face and Xanxus catches sight of a small little lightning bolt scar on her brow. Tch, fucking abusers. He hopes Visconti and the Old Man are gonna see to it that those bastards pay.
"I'll be good, the best," she promises solemnly, but she's looking at him like he hung the fucking moon and stars. It doesn't make him feel warm inside. Not at all.
Then, in such a quiet whisper it was practically dead, she asks, "does this make you my big brother?"
Halfway to the door already, Xanxus doesn't pause in the slightest, kicking them open and striding out. He doesn't even want to know what Visconti and the Old Man are going to be talking about.
"Only if you keep coming up fighting, brat. It's what I do, never give them a fucking inch. Got it?"
She nods again, and then her skinny arms are wrapped around his shoulders and then a big red head of hair is on his collarbone.
"Good. Training starts now."
Chapter 4: 011
In which Prince the Ripper sees his Court Magician for the first time.
Stood proudly before the gathering of assassins, Prince Belphegor Æðelric Leofree, now the last Prince of the empire of Magical Prussia, stares his seniors down with all the poise that comes with being born into royalty.
His crown sits heavy atop his head, still sized just right, at home within his blond locks. His uncle had not asked for it back, not when Belphegor had been the one to install him upon the throne.
It was custom, among the royal family of Prussia, to set siblings against one another, to fight for the crown. Not nessacarily a fight to the death, but that was an option for the refining monarch to chose.
His father had been the one to win his fight, a duel with no fatal injuries, just as Belphegor's Royal grandfather had decreed.
Uncle Theodoar had been given a small part of the Magical Purssian Empire, quietly sent away, and that was that.
Until father had decided that a fight to the death upon his twins' coming of age was only appropriate. An arcane tradition that the peasants frowned upon.
But what would they know; the best ruler would triumph, it was why Magical Prussia persisted, even after its muggle counterpart fell.
Regardless, given how Belphegor had lost every last one of his fights with Rasiel, he'd decided to get smart.
Especially seeing as his twin saw no reason not to kill Belphegor before their official duel, if he could pull it off.
So, he took the initiative.
Drugging Rasiel was surprisingly easy, his parents even more so. Because honestly, who puts their twin sons against each other in a fight to the death? No, that man needed to go too. His mother not disagreeing with his actions was a black mark for her too.
So in the aftermath, Prussia had its King in Uncle Theodoar, and Belphegor was free to do as he wished.
And he did.
He took a fancy to those who could give him a challenge, he began killing the assassins other countries sent after him, determined to get back at his Uncle for some slight or another. But Belphegor was too good for them, far too good.
Until he stumbled across the cloaked, floating baby.
Which brings him back to the present, stood before assassins who are all better than he, simply because they have more experience, more training than he.
But it won't be that way for long, because they're asking him to join, to become a part of the Varia, an independent assassination squad linked with the Vongola.
Resisting the urge to cackle, Belphegor eyes the dangerous man lounging upon the throne like chair, well honed instincts clocking him as the most dangerous thing in the room.
"What's in it for me?" Why should he join their group?
A gun is cocked at his head, so fast Belphegor barely saw the teen move.
"You don't die, Trash."
Well, that was a new one. And a very good reason.
And assassination, it wasn't like there wouldn't be challenges for him.
The gun wielding teen nods, clearly quite pleased, and then, he looks to the silver haired sword wielder.
"Show the Trash around."
"VOI! Why do I get the job, shitty boss!"
A glass sails through the air, the loud one narrowly ducking it, and Belphegor instantly knows he's made the right choice.
Following the older male out of the door, the blond prince meets the eyes of the little girl waiting by the door, and he grinds to a halt.
Because that scar-
"I'm done training, Xanxus."
"Tch, we'll see about that, brat."
"Oh Harry dear, you grow cuter every day!"
At the flamboyant man's words, Belphegor burst into cackling laughter.
This was too good to be true, Harry Potter a member of an assassination squad?
The British Magicals were going to fit when they found out.
Chapter 5: 043
In which one questions, what is a ball, without a royal popping up to ruin it all?
"What are you doing here?" Harry whispers, staring at Belphegor in surprise, who just grins back, not an ounce of shame upon his face.
This is perhaps the first time she has ever seen him in clothing bordering upon representing his actual station; crisp robes of black with the slightest trim of purple, crown tilted upon his blond hair, as usual. If the purple trim just so happens to match her dress -albeit, several shades lighter than Belphegor's dark adornment- then it is surely just a happy coincidence, no?
Privately, Harry thinks that this has matchmaker Lussuria written all over it.
Not that she's really complaining.
"Like a peasant could take the Princapissa to a ball."
For a moment, Harry prays for the poor sod who'd asked her to the dance, before her curiosity gets the better of her.
"What did you do?"
Belphegor shrugs gently, innocent air ruined completely by the wicked smirk that decorates his face .
"The Peasant was more than happy to give you up when the Prince asked."
Asked, probably with a knife in hand and that bloodthirsty grin on his face.
But really, Harry isn't going to complain, because quite frankly, she knows she'll have far more fun with Belphegor, than she ever would have a sheltered Hogwarts student.
"Okay, let's go then."
Chapter 6: 044
In which Hermione Granger realises she didn't catch the best date for the ball after all, and comes to all the wrong conclusions.
"Yes, the weather around Drumstrang ofte-"
Viktor cuts off as something catches his eye, his lips parting slightly in surprise.
While Hermione was very much enjoying his topic of conversation -amazing, different magical school all over the world, and she gets to hear a first hand account- she finds her eyes trailing after Viktor's and suddenly understanding why his attention had drifted.
Walking down the stairs, is Hariel Potter.
Hermione had read all about the Girl Who Lived, and then some. The accounts of her kidnapping in muggle London, the way her muggle family -who had abused her! They deserved everything they got!- had fallen apart beneath the weight of financial problems and awful -but true- social rumours.
Then, the Goblet of Fire spits out her name, and summons up a young woman that was clearly getting ready to go to bed. A young woman who'd had no formal training in magic.
Hermione had been horrified for her, and was still in some state of shock that the girl had managed to survive the first task, nevermind succeed as well as she had. Just because she had never been taught magic, didn't mean she hadn't had any kind of formal training, clearly.
It showed in the muscles of her arms, the toned stretch of stomach everyone in the Great Hall had seen that night.
And now, descending the stairs in a dress that fits her flawlessly, Hariel Potter is a vision in purple.
How she even managed to find a shade of purple that didn't clash with her hair, Hermione doesn't have a clue.
But Viktor's eyes aren't focused on Hariel Potter, no, he stares at the male beside her with something bordering wonder and fear. Hermione doesn't have the slightest clue as to why; she doesn't recognise the blond.
Admittedly, his face is quite pleasant to look at, all sharp, noble angles, but the tiara that sits upon her head is just plain tacky.
Off to the side, another Drumstrang student releases an awed breath, before falling to his knees.
"My Prince," he states, and Hermione only has a moment to stare at the man in surprise before Krum follows his example.
"My Prince, we were unaware you would be in attendance tonight."
Hang on a second, is this guy, an actual prince?
As if to answer her questions, the blond whom has Hariel Potter upon his arm, offers a truly wicked grin, and Hermione shivers in response.
"Ushishi. The Prince can hardly allow the Princapissa to handle the rabble alone now, can he?"
And the so called 'Prince' tilts his head to a side, grinning madly even as Hariel Potter rolls her eyes with a wry smile on her face.
"Bel, be nice," she hisses, jabbing 'Bel' in the ribs, before she turns back to the lot of them with a cautious smile. It takes Hariel only a moment to realise Fleur and Cedric, along with their two dates, have also made their way over.
"Bel, these are the champions and their dates. Everyone, this is Prince Belphegor Æðtelric Leofree, of the Prussian Empire, and current owner of the land Drumstrang's is built upon."
Well, no wonder Viktor and the other students recognised him.
In that same instant, all the information Hermione has ever read of the Prussian Empire clicks into place and she blanches.
Having realised that Magical Prussia had not fallen as its Muggle counterpart did, and was in fact the most successful Empire since Rome, she'd looked it all up in her first year, back when she was alone and friendless. Back before Ginny and Neville and a begrudging Ron.
She'd found the method with which the next heir was decided to be barbaric, and had found herself with mixed feelings when it came to Prince Belphegor, whom had gotten ahead of the game, ensuring his own survival and putting a better King, a more compassionate King, on the throne in own move.
But then again, the boy stood before her has the blood of his own family dripping from his fingers. Fingers that curl around Hariel Potter's waist -they know each other, how? She was kidnapped and he ran away from the Empire at a young age- with familiar ease.
Fleur has dropped into a curtsy, and Hermione hastens to follow her example. Mixed feelings or not, but a Prince is still a Prince.
"Are you here to see Drumstrang triumph, your Highness?" Karkaroff questions, eyes bright at the idea.
But the Prince shakes his head, actually going so far as to bury his chin in Hariel Potter's red curls, arms wrapped around her waist.
"Nope. The Prince is here for the Princapissa. The Goblet stole her away from me. We were busy."
And suddenly Hermione remembers the state of dress the Fourth Champion appeared in.
No, they wouldn't be, right? Hariel Potter was her age, and she was reasonably certain that Prince Belphegor could not be much older than them either.
But Princapissa was Italian, and wasn't the age of consent fourteen over there? Come to think of it, 14 was the age of consent in Germany and Prussia too.
Cheeks red, Hermione falls into line when called, walking before Hariel Potter and Prince Belphegor into the Great Hall.
They dance well, she thinks.
In fact, Prince Belphegor and Hariel Potter have partaken in every dance so far, and not one foot has been out of place, not once.
They genuinely enjoy one another's company too.
Eyes follow them, most noticeably, Malfoy and Ron's, and jealousy burns bright in them, as it does with all the other girls in the know of just who the crown adorned male is.
Professor Snape looks to be both furious and queasy, while the Headmaster frowns hard at the pair.
Perhaps he's worried; after all, Prince Belphegor is a killer, regardless of if what he did was perfectly legal within the ruling of the Prussian Empire.
He doesn't look like a killer right now though, as he spins Hariel Potter around effortlessly, smiling and laughing as her bright green eyes crinkle under the intensity of her joy.
And Hermione thinks, how wonderful it must be, to be both lovers and the best of friends too.
Chapter 7: 079
In which one of Harry's Cloudlets walks in on something he wishes he hadn't.
Those bastards, they knew exactly what they had sent him to walk in on, hadn't they?
The Cloudlets' beloved commander is pinned up against the wall, hands held high above her head, back arched and looking throughly ravaged.
Pressing up against her and looking quite annoyed at the interruption, Prince Belphegor, the Storm Officer, stares back at him with burning fury.
Those bastards, if this was the usual hazing the newbies got, it was the worst ceremony he'd ever been put through.
Throwing him at the deep end, not even a casual warning that two youngest of the Varia Officers were very much involved with one another.
That he might inadvertently walk in on something he was most certainly not prepared to face.
"What." The Prince snaps, and it's really not a question.
His back straightens to attention without realising it, and he looks almost helplessly to his commander.
Hardened killer he might be, but he knows a bomb when he's about to step on one.
"The Cloudlets are ready for operation, Commander."
It was apparently a very rare thing indeed for all the Clouds to be summoned up for a single mission, and honestly, he is quite excited to partake.
That is, if he can get out of this situation without stab wounds.
"Right," Harry murmurs, untangling her limbs from the Storm Officer's, brushing down the hem of her top in the process, the Prince's hand having just retreated from it, "I'll be right there, Solveno."
Nodding, and still a little awed that the commander even remembered his name, Solveno turns on heel and scurries to safety, far away from the explosive temper of the Prince.
He furiously tries to ignore the whimpering moan that seems to ricochet down the corridor as the Storm says goodbye to the Cloud.
Chapter 8: 013
In which Mammon detests being pushed into footing the bill
They were, borrowing Squalo's words, two shitty little brats.
Scowling at the two children sat up to the table, Mammon begrudgingly pulls money into existence, right from a sub-dimension hidden within the expanse of Mist Flames that act as a comforting second skin.
Really, Mammon was the first of the Varia to ever have contact with the Bratty Prince; it should have been expected that the boy didn't carry any money with him, given all that they'd observed of his behaviour before.
And Harry, well, Harry has Xanxus to pay for everything.
Why that fact had been forgotten before the agreement for ice-cream was made, Mammon cannot even begin to guess.
Especially when Harry had watched in mystified awe, as the Shitty Prince proceeded to order the biggest damn sundae the place made, along with all the toppings. It looked sickly, and he hadn't even finished half of it in the end, evidentially growing bored halfway through, and then started helping himself to Harry's.
He'd probably have kept trying for some of Mammon's, had a monstrous tentacle not slapped at the thieving hand upon the first attempt.
That was as tame as the brat got though.
And Harry; she'd always been such a polite child, so eager to please all her seniors.
But now, now that she has another brat to get into trouble with, everything has been turned on its head, and suddenly, she's more than happy to go about causing mischief and trouble.
As long as she has her partner in crime with her.
The only reason they haven't put a stop to it, is because it's teaching the two brats how to take the rules, and break and bend them to their will, without getting caught in the process.
But right now, Mammon is least impressed with their tricks.
"You two brats will pay in training."
They grin, bright and cheerful and well aware of the hard time they're gonna be put through as a result of their actions.
Well, at least they know how to suck it up and accept their punishment.
Snatching up the half eaten sundae -because there was a deep sated hatred burning within when it came to paying for something that wasn't finished- Mammon leaves the money on the table and sits down on Harry's shoulder.
The brats would pay, in blood, sweat and tears.
Which was almost as good a payment as actual money.
Chapter 9: 082
In which Belphegor walks in on a private moment and is quite happy to stick around.
Eg koyte poyte - if you want to drink (Old Prussian)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Fingers rubbing slowly at the junction between her legs, Harry arches, fred hand gripping at the soft cotton of the bedsheets.
The digits are sticky, evidence of her desire and frustration, because Belphegor's mission had run over late, and she's tired of waiting.
Leaning against the balcony doorframe, having scaled the outer walls to surprise her, the Prince watches as she whines again, eyes shut and lips parted in a breathy moan.
"Bel," she whimpers, and arousal zings through his body at the desperate whisper.
She does not jump, instead one of Harry's hazy green eyes slide open, breathing in slightly and she rolls her hips invitingly in his direction.
"Eg koyte poyte."
Her Prussian is heavily accented, and she's never bothered to really learn too much of the language given that she'll never be visiting his home country to use it.
But the invitation still sends a thrall of desire to curl in his stomach.
Shrugging off the Varia uniform jacket, Belphegor approaches the bed, stripping off both shoe and shoes next.
His knees have only just met the mattress when Harry's fingers grapple for the hem of his trousers, tugging at the belt as her lips slant against his.
"Missed you," she breaths, and Belphegor dips his hand down between her thighs to feel at the very clear evidence bacting up her declaration.
"I gathered," is his cheeky reply, licking at his fingers and grinning as Harry's lips nip at his neck.
She smells warm, a light sheen of sweat glistening on her brow and he wonders how long she's been up here, rutting against her own fingers as she waited for him to come home.
He regrets taking the time to tease Mammon when he got back, now that he knows what else he could have been up to.
Hands run through his hair, and the weight of his crown disappears.
Pulling back, Belphegor tilts his head to a side as Harry drops the ornamental headdress upon her own nest of hair, challenging smirk on her face.
And oh yeah, he can get behind this.
"You can have the Prince's crown upon your head, as long as the Prince gets your thighs over his shoulders."
Should this be mature, or is it better moved up to explicit? Thoughts?
Eg koyte poyte - if you want to drink (Old Prussian) A play on the whole stereotypical 'tall glass of water' business.
Otherwise known as the only old Prussia phrase I could find that was appropriate.
Chapter 10: 005
In which Harry has her first kill and Xanxus doesn't do comfort very well but tries anyway
Xanxus stares down at the frozen form of Harry, who's tiny, thin fingers are still curled around the handle of the custom made dagger, blood splattered up and across her face.
She's six, she's six as she's killed her first man.
The sick bastard was trying to get it on with her though, and she's six fucking years old.
He shouldn't have trusted the fact that they were in Vongola territory- in fucking Varia territory- to keep her safe.
Because now there's a body on the ground with a dagger in its chest and Harry looks fucking traumatised.
Fuck, it was Frederico that talked him through his first kill; Xanxus isn't compassionate enough for this shit.
But Harry only trust him, him and fucking Visconti, the useless trash who's out of the country right now.
So it's not like he has a fucking choice.
Scooping Harry up into his arms, Xanxus presses her face into his neck, ignoring the bloodied hands that grip at his shirt, staining the pristine white material.
The Old Man could just suck it up, his Cloud came before fucking laundry.
"You did good, kid. If you didn't do that, he'd try with some other shitty brat, one who can't fuck him up like you did. You saved some poor fuckers a bad fate, Harry."
She whimpers, but shakes less, tears soaking through the crisp material of his shirt to dampen his skin.
Shit, he doesn't know jack squat about comfort.
But for Harry, he'll fucking try.
Chapter 11: 058
In which its Harry's birthday, and Belphegor has a special idea in mind
"What are you doing?"
Waking up to a room full of flowers was probably not how Harry imagined she'd be starting her day.
Regardless, it's exactly what happens, and Belphegor stands by the door, arms folded and smirking, as she takes in the vast array of flora around her.
It's thoughtful, more than what she's probably expecting of him, but that's the point. What was the point in a relationship without surprises like this?
That, and Squalo and Levi had spent the vast majority of the previous day bitching at him. Because Lussuria was on their back about why they didn't have a significant other yet, and it was no doubt because they weren't as thoughtful and lovely as the Prince was.
Well, for this one day, that is.
Even a Prince knows how to treat a Princapissa on the day of her birth.
"Thank you, Bel."
Basking in her heartfelt thanks for a moment, Belphegor grins and then throws Harry her uniform.
"We've got a mission today."
Squalo's revenge, no doubt.
Not that it was much of a hassle for Belphegor, and Harry wouldn't mind, given that he is going with her after all.
Harry pouts, but otherwise nods, climbing out of bed and not in the least bit bothered by her lack of clothes. Only comfortable black panties cover her form, and she saunters over to plant a kiss upon his cheek before she makes her way to the bathroom.
Belphegor watches her go, the gentle sway of her hips, the morning sun capturing the light network of scars on her lower back, from a mission gone wrong.
She looks particularly attractive whenever there's evidence of her fighting spirit, Belphegor thinks, grinning as he slips out of her room.
She looks far more attractive with blood decorating her face, he concludes some hours later.
When the enemy are all wiped out, and Harry -ever the aloof Cloud when the situation calls for it- sits picking through their pockets for information, Belphegor frowns over the fact she will probably be going off on her own for a bit, perhaps with her Cloudlets, to deal with this web of new enemies. The crimson warpaint on her face, the blood of her fallen foes, is particularly attractive.
It makes him want to taste her's, to feel the sharp copper tang on his tongue, to hear her pained hiss as she writhes in pleasure beneath him.
He's had relations with others, ever since he came of age in Italy.
But there's a difference between those faceless women and Harry.
He knows Harry, knows how to pluck her strings and play her body like a much beloved instrument.
And she knows him.
Harry is a challenge, an equal, and such a thing is only right for the Prince.
He nips at the lobe of her ear, one of the few places not splattered in blood, and she responds by nuzzling his neck.
"Happy birthday, Princapissa."
Chapter 12: 006
In which Visconti and Timeto discuss what it means to have the Girl Who Lived in their little family.
This was the kind of thing that could potentially make or break the Varia.
Rubbing tired fingers over his brow, Visconti looks to his Sky, and then the mass amount of information spread out on the desk before him.
Hariel fucking Potter.
Of all the kids he could have picked up.
The Mafia and Wizarding World had come to an agreement, back in the reign of Primo, that they'd stay out of one another's way. Because Flames could easily fight one to one with magic; wizards might be more versatile, but Flame Actives were powerhouses. A fight between both sides would be far too costly.
If a person lived in one world for the majority of their life, then it was to that world they belonged. If they wanted, they never had to have anything to do with the Wizarding World. And no one sane wanted to dip their toe into the Wizarding World's bucket of crazy.
Harry Potter had been living with her Aunt since she'd been orphaned.
Which meant, she'd spent no more than two years in the Wizarding World. By the time her school letter came along, she'd have been in the Mafia long enough, that if she wanted, she could stay there. And the Vindice would hide her from the Wizards, as they did every magic active that wanted nothing to do with that idiotic world.
But there was a difference between a no-named muggleborn and the fucking Girl-Who-Lived.
"We'll just have to lay down the information for her when she's older," his Sky concludes, fingers threading together and a frown on his face.
Nodding slowly, Visconti taps at Potter's school report, the sole document that indicated her desire to learn.
"To be the aloof, drifting Cloud that protects the Family from an independent standpoint, and whom nothing can ever bind," Visconti slowly recites, looking his Sky over once again.
"Yes, it does not matter if the Wizards try to force our hand. Now that little Harry has tasted freedom, she'll never allow herself to be bound again."
Chapter 13: 095
In which Dumbledore reappears and shows some aggravating sneakiness, but gets steam rolled over anyway.
"VOI! Are you actually shitting me?!"
Squalo swirls around on the elderly man, teeth bared as the bastard does nothing but just smile calmly back at him. He's old, pretty fucking old, and he should be keeping that crooked beak of his out of the damn Mafia.
How he'd even found them, Squalo doesn't have a fucking clue.
Perhaps it's a result of the Vendice still orienteering themselves after the ring battles -and Squalo's new organs still throb at the reminder- but fucking hell.
The ancient bastard is ready and willing to pay the top bill as well, just so long as he gets Harry for his mission.
And really, Squalo can't say no to that. Still, best to check-
"Oi! Shitty Boss! The Wizarding fuckers want Harry for an assassination!"
If the geezer is bothered by his language, he doesn't show it in the slightest, though the dour looking man beside him sneers, an expression the Sword Emperor happily returns.
There's a thump from the adorning office, and Squalo automatically ducks as a tumbler soars over his head and shatters against the wall in a beautiful rain of glass.
"Fucking Trash," Xanxus snarls as he stalks into the room, Bester in liger form following diligently after him.
Behind him, Harry and Belphegor slink in, hands in their pockets and love bites all up their necks. None of them look like fucking professionals now, and yet these fucking wizards still want them.
It seems like there's no driving them away.
"You give us all the information," Xanxus snaps as he reclines in his throne, ever the dangerous lion presiding over his pride, "you leave the tiniest fucking bit out, and we'll cancel the whole fucking thing and your trash will never see us again."
Dropping onto the arm of Xanxus' chair, Harry nods, even as the Boss takes a moment to ruffle her wild curls.
The ugly man in black clearly wants to say something, probably a snide insult to Boss or Harry or both, but shuts the fuck up when Xanxus blows a hole in the wall next to his head.
The man has clearly never seen a gun drawn that fast, because he pales even as his teeth clench.
"Yes, we're willing to hand over all the information we have," the ancient bastard confirms, as if his associate hadn't just had a narrow brush with death.
"She takes the Shitty Prince with her too," Xanxus decrees in a tone that brokers no arguments.
When mouths open to disagree Bester snarls from beside his master, even as Harry runs her fingers through his fur.
Leaning against the wall, Belphegor snickers.
"It's not up for fucking discussion. Shitty Prince goes, or you trash are on your own."
And clearly they know when to quit while they're ahead, because the elderly one nods in acceptance.
Tch, a few weeks, potentially months, without having to put up with Harry and Belphegor macking on each other?
It's a fucking gift from the heavens.
Chapter 14: 051
In which snow is wet, cold and not good for anything at all.
"What kind of coward runs to Antartica anyway?!" Harry hisses furiously under her breath, rubbing her gloved hands together in a feeble attempt to warm them some more and completely ignoring the blood splattered all over her front.
Beside her, Belphegor mumbles something in agreement, hair frozen in place and tiara decorated with ice crystals in addition to the usual gems.
Hunt down Giovanni, whom had been selling out lower rank members of the Varia.
It had seemed like a nice, easy mission to get back into the swing of things with.
Now they're both in this hoarfrost wasteland, freezing off their extremities as they return for chasing down the enemy.
His severed hand is stored in Belphegor's bag, and Harry takes a brief moment to bemoan the fact she never bothered to learn any warming charms during her brief foray into the Wizarding World.
Something she'd rectify the second she returned back to Italy. Thank god she'd had the foresight to but the textbooks to study from.
Belphegor is in fine form, cursing with a ferocity that Squalo would have been proud of.
They trudge up to the front door to the Arctic Research Facility they'd borrowed, slamming the door shut with an irritating that Harry rarely allowed herself to show.
And now because of this blizzard -as if blizzards were uncommon here! Why hasn't they found a way around them yet?!- they were stuck here for the rest of the night.
Harry takes a moment to look towards one of the bathrooms, the one they'd barricaded the occupants of the base into, and reasons they'll be fine living off the snacks she'd thoughtfully thrown in with them.
At least, for tonight.
Belphegor would want to be gone come morning, and Harry was in agreement with his desire. They'd be out of there is less than twenty four hours, so for now, they'd just have to suck it up.
Shaking off the thick fur coat, Harry drops the heavy fabric to the floor, making a beeline for the comfortable looking bed in what was clearly the 'master bedroom' of this facility.
The boss who usually occupied it, was just going to have to suck it up and accept the bathroom floor as tonight's substitute.
Mere seconds after she has crawled under the covers, Belphegor worms his way in, the tink of wood against metal letting her know his previous crown had been deposited upon the bedside cabinet.
"Fuck!" Harry snarls when Belphegor's cold hands wrap around her waist, responding by pressing her icy feet against his shins.
"Warmth, sleep," the teen grumbles in her ear, nose pressing against the junction of skin between her shoulder and neck, cold lips peppering a kiss to the flesh there.
She was under no illusion that it was an apologetic one.
No, Belphegor kissed because he wanted to, for no other reason at all.
Wrapping her hands over his, Harry nestles closer, because selfish prince or not, he was the one producing body heat right now.
Something she was quite happy to take advantage of.
"Never again," Harry vows, as the frigid wind howled at the windows.
Chapter 15: 012
Hariel Potter, the English Girl Who Lived, knows how to fight. Something which pleases Belphegor immensely.
He'd stumbled upon one of the many training rooms during his exploration of the Varia HQ, and he hadn't quite been expecting the sight that greeted him.
Watching Potter twist out of the way of another pellet of paint that fired from the southern wall, he raises a eyebrow as the girl throws the blade of her dagger forwards, the handle remaining in her palm with a whip-thin chain the only thing connecting the two. The blade buries into a target on the wall, disabling the gun, just as another activates within the ceiling.
A flick of her wrist, and the chain retracts, pulling her towards the grounded blade and out of the way of the purple pellets that rain down upon her previous position. She twists, other dagger blade rocketing for the new target, even as her body remains in constant motion to avoid the next set of shots.
Belphegor claps, eyes brightening when Potter doesn't pause in her movements to check the source of the noise, which means she's already clocked him.
The pellet guns do stop, however, and after waiting a moment to make sure that everything is still, Belphegor walks out onto the floor, staring at Potter as she watching him with sharp green eyes.
How very funny, two of the most important people in the magical world, and here they were, running with the Mafia of all things.
"What do you want?" She asks, head cocked to a side and voice calculatedly cool. Well, he is an unknown after all, regardless of his current status as newest Varia member.
"A fight, you are very good."
Belphegor is a prince, a prince of a magical nation.
Harry Potter, is perhaps the closest thing that the British will get to royalty, given her status as a national icon and hero.
He wants to see how they measure up against one another, to see if her will can match his own.
From the burning of her eyes, she sees his challenge.
From the way she draws her blades, meeting his, she acknowledges it.
And Belphegor throws himself at the girl, meeting her not as a prince, not as a wizard, but as a Varia member.
As an equal.
Chapter 16: 059
Arms wrap Harry up in a truly monstrous hug before she even knows what was going on.
Subconsciously, she'd later realise she had recognised his Flames.
But right now, it's the biggest shock of her life to realise the hulking wet mass behind her is Xanxus.
It takes a second for it to sink in, but then Harry is spinning in his arms to wrap her own around his neck, to press her nose into his cold skin and just listen to the beat of his steady heart.
"Missed you," she whispers, and the tears that spring to life in her eyes aren't even a shock.
Her fingers claw at the crisp white shirt he's wearing, damp but not soaked through, not like his hair. A recent acquisition.
He smells the same, of woodsmoke and expensive liquor, of home and safety, a feeling that still persists despite their long years apart.
Harry clings all the bit tighter for it.
"Brat," Xanxus grunts, but it's an happy thing, fond, with his nose buried in her wild red hair and arms still tight around her form.
She never wants to let go, because it has been oh so long, and if she can not feel Xanxus' arms around her, she worries she'll wake to find it all a desperate dream.
That her big brother is still trapped, that her Sky is still a hostage, forever just out of her grasp, no matter how hard she tries to reach.
But no, even as she opens her eyes to look at him again, Harry sees he's still here.
There are scars now, awful ice burns, that sit upon his face, and it brings more tears to her eyes to see them.
A constant remind of how she failed him, failed to protect her Boss, her Sky.
"You better have gotten stronger," he grunts, and Harry can't help but brighten at the implication that she was strong before, "because shit's gonna hit the fan, and I need my Guardians."
One of Xanxus' large hands strokes through her hair, before he seems to collect himself, becoming the same untouchable sky, stepping back and away from her.
Harry doesn't mind, the small amount of affection, the hug, is more than enough.
"Go get the Trash, brat."
Chapter 17: 039
There was only so long she could ignore the situation, so after a moment of stunned silence over her declaration, Harry forces herself to sit up, now fully conscious of the fact she's only in her multipurpose, lazy day rags.
They were the clothes she wore between the transition of bed, breakfast and shower, so only consisted of a holey shirt stolen from Belphegor, and a pair of cloud patterned boyshorts.
While modesty didn't exist among the Varia, especially among the upper elite, evidentially that was not the case wherever she was.
People were staring, and staring hard. Looking down at her body, Harry absentmindedly scratches at her stomach through one of the many holes in Belphegor's old shirt, inspecting her skin.
Okay, so to civilians perhaps the scars stretching across her skin would make them cringe.
But in their line of work, Harry was relatively unmarked, especially compared to the rest of the Varia. Hell Squalo had voluntarily cut off his own hand.
Given her tendency to not inflict wounds upon herself, along with the fact she was 'as slippery as a greased pig' -Squalo's words, not her's- then it was really no surprise she'd always been the least injured of the commanders.
"Er, where am I and how do I get back to Italy?" Harry asks in English, because this seems to be their main language wherever they are.
At least, that's what the old man -and boy, is he really old looking- had spoke in. They stare a second longer, before it seems to fully sink in that she has appeared before them from a flaming cup of power, it what is clearly not her daywear.
Harry pauses, looking over at the cup in question, then at the people around her, and suddenly, it clicks. Exactly what is going on, she doesn't know. But what she's smart enough to put together is-
"For Primo's sake, Magicals? Really?"
She groans, pressing the fat of her palms into the sockets of her eyes and whining in distress.
Because god damn it.
She curses fluently in Italian, and it's easy to see who speaks her favourite language because they look absolutely scandalized.
"You can't drag me into this," Harry insists, hands clenching into tight fists, "by law you can't drag me into this."
Legally, they can't.
As it turns out, Magical goblets of blue fire -not Rain Flames after all- don't give one whit what a scrap of paper says.
Oh god damn it.
Chapter 18: 017
Harry misses Xanxus.
She may be young, but she is far from stupid. She knows what Xanxus did, what he had them do, is wrong.
But Xanxus is her big brother, her Sky, for all that he pretends to be neither.
She understands the concept of pride, and so she endures, knowing that if she trips up, he'll always be there to help her up and with a reminder for her to 'watch her fucking footwork'.
Only, he's not going to be there anymore, she can tell from the look on Squalo's face. Her body still hurts from all the blood she's spilt the previous day, and the only reason she's standing to attention before the Captain right now is because
Belphegor has one of her arms over his shoulder and seems quite intent on keeping her up. They've both been injured, but it could have been worse, had they not been watching one another's backs.
"What do we do now, Squalo?" Lussuria asks, and it's a quiet, mournful thing. For they are elements without their Sky, a Sky who has been stolen from them, their support, his ever encompassing Flame removed and that leaves them to flounder.
It wasn't the pain that had kept Harry awake all night; it's been the sheer instability, the knowledge that she could do nothing for her Sky, for Xanxus, that birthed the dark circles beneath her eyes.
Their Captain -not their Boss, no one else would ever take that title- looks just as worn and tired as they feel.
"We wait for Xanxus," Squalo says, voice tight and words heavy. The underlying 'that's all we can do' is loud and clear.
Harry's already out of tears to cry.
Chapter 19: 016
Harry's blood is racing, her heartbeat echoing in her ears like a loud and clear drum. There's lifeblood painted across her light grey shirt, and she's killed three men already, all on Xanxus' orders.
She doesn't know why this is happening, she doesn't know why Xanxus has them fighting, but she knows that it is what her Boss -her Sky, her older brother- wants, so she marches into battle with her head held high.
She and Belphegor stick together, the youngest among the Varia, watching one another's backs, covering one another's weaknesses.
For all their talent and their genius, they have the least experience, both in these permanent games and life itself. It only makes sense for them to join together, for Belphegor to cover her ten and two with his throwing knives, for Harry to get in close and prevent any sneak attacks from reaching the Prince.
And while she takes her job seriously, while she dedicates her attention to keeping Belphegor and herself safe, not all of her focus is there.
Her eyes keep scanning the room, waiting for Xanxus to reappear. Waiting for him to come striding through, victorious in whatever he'd been trying for.
She waits, and she fights.
Waits and fights and waits and fights.
It turns out, she's going to be waiting a long time.