Duo leaned back against the plush chair he was sitting in, a book held in one hand as he seemed to have locked his violet orbs to the pages. Although he shared the room with Heero, it seemed his roommate was rarely ever in any of the other furniture besides the chair in front of his laptop or his bed. Sighing softly he let his thoughts fall away from his fast typing roommate and into the world the book was creating for him. No matter how bad things got outside, he was always able to get away from the pain and troubles of real life inside a good book. Especially one that he knew inside and out. One he had read so much that its pages were tattered with much attention.
Heero had never really been bothered by Duo's silence. Especially when it was usually a welcomed respite. Yet for some reason, today wasn't one of those days. For almost a full day now, Duo had been surprisingly silent. No word had passed his almost unstoppable lips except for confirmation on an upcoming mission. Even then it had driven him a little crazy. Stopping in his furious typing, which was a play-by-play account of their last mission, he turned toward the long-haired boy sitting in the recliner. He knew he would regret breaking his usually silent facade, but for once, he wanted to know what was on his partner's mind.
"Why are you being so silent?" Heero growled out. Duo glance up from the book, his violet eyes locking with Prussian blue ones. His long, chestnut brown hair was in its usual braid and seemed to rest over his left shoulder. He took in Heero's unruly, dark brown hair and usual dress of green tank top, black spandex shorts, and yellow tennis shoes and sighed softly.
"I'm simply enjoying a good book. Anything wrong with that?" Duo questioned lightly. Heero couldn't help but feel a little off balance. As he watched Duo return to his reading, he felt a little disappointed. Inside, he had wanted to keep Duo's attention as much as that book was. Perhaps, even more.
"What are you reading?" Heero questioned, reluctant to drop all conversation and return to his work. Duo used his finger as a bookmark and closed it. All of his attention now locked on the one person who was now breaking his perfect soldier facade.
"Its called Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It's the fifth book in the series. I read them when I have a lot on my mind." He smiled at Heero and the perfect soldier could feel his heart skip at that familiar scene. "Yet I must say, my reading this today has prompted you to speak more than the customary refrains. What did I do to deserve this?" Heero could feel the urge to 'hn' and then return to his work, yet for some unknown reason, he didn't.
"I. . .I don't know," Heero answered instead of his usual remark, deciding to be honest. Duo's expressive eyes widened slightly, the smile curving higher on his lips.
"I see. I guess you just missed having to tell me to shut up or you'd kill me, huh," the brunette spoke softly, bending a corner of his page before standing and walking over to Heero. "What's the matter, Hee-chan? Do you miss my incessant chatter that much? Or is it the constant threats you have to make at me that you miss?" Heero felt his breath catch in his chest. He didn't know why he recently began feeling like this about his partner. After all, he was simply his partner. Nothing more. Also, he was a guy, just like him.
"Hn," Heero replied, feeling uncomfortable suddenly when Duo leaned up beside him. Duo smirked and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"That's the Hee-chan I know. Go back to your work. I've got a story to read." With a slight jump in his pulse, Heero simply nodded. He turned away from Duo and back to his work. Yet he couldn't let Duo's words fall from his mind. Duo was correct. He always did remain behind a shell. Never talking to anyone about anything other than the mission at hand. It was a little depressing, truth be told. With a sigh he turned back once more to Duo.
"I. . .I can't," Heero whispered, looking toward his partner, who still stood beside him. Although Duo had dropped his arm from Heero's shoulder, he hadn't gone back to his book yet. Duo seemed to look at Heero for a long moment before sighing, coming to kneel before the Asian so he was eye level with Heero.
"Why not? You've never had any trouble ignoring me before. Just go back to ignoring me now." Heero wanted to do what he always did, but he couldn't. With a sigh that sounded defeated, he shook his head.
"I. . . I don't want to. I. . . I want to know more about you. How it is you can always be so happy even though you are surrounded by death and destruction?" Duo seemed a little taken aback by Heero's words, but he nodded slowly. Grabbing one of the other chairs that rested off to the side of the desk, he wheeled it over to Heero and sat down. Turning to the blue eyes that seemed to stare right through him, he sighed softly.
"That took a lot out of you to admit, didn't it," Duo said softly, not really asking him. Heero simply nodded. "I'm glad you at least took a step to attempt it. I must say, I was beginning to think you would never wish to speak to me, let alone anyone else."
"Why didn't you give up?" Heero questioned, wanting to know the reason.
"Because I believe you were worth fighting for. No one deserves a sterile existence. Not even a perfect soldier." Heero watched Duo for a long moment, feeling his heart tighten at those words. Relena had always tried to simply push him into talking. It made him hate her all the more. Her voice was a constant annoyance in his life. Duo, though, was different. He didn't push, he simply prodded. Little by little he worked on Heero until he could find a way to get the shields drop and allow him inside.
"I. . . suppose you are correct. Even if you are annoying most of the time." Duo pouted, appearing hurt by his words.
"Hee-chan, you wound me. I would never overstep my attitude." Heero could feel the beginnings of a smile cross his lips. He tried to hide it but he knew Duo must have seen it. His partner's eyes had become extremely wide and his jaw fell open with nothing really coming out of it.
"What?" Heero asked after a moment, staring at his partner. Duo regained his composure and grinned once more.
"Nothing. I just never thought you'd smile at one of my jokes. If only Wufei could of seen this. He bet me a weeks worth of chores that I could never make you smile. I just won, but he'd never believe me." Duo sighed and Heero tried to feel hurt by the long-haired pilot's words. Yet all he could do was watch him. Finally he spoke.
"Perhaps, you shouldn't of bet him then in the first place," Heero remarked. Duo laughed softly and nodded.
"I knew it was a bet I would never be able to win. At least, not with one of them being able to see. I simply agreed to the bet because I was boasting that I could make anyone smile by just being my usual crazy self and Wu-man saw it as a way to get me to do more work around the place." Heero looked at him a long moment, his eyes never leaving him. He had never known anyone to accept a bet they knew they couldn't win. Accepting anything that you knew you could lose wasn't something an ex-terrorist like Duo would do.
After the first war, all but Wufei had agreed to destroy their Gundams. That plan had changed and they soon were fighting once again. During this battle, Heero had come to know Duo just a little better. Heero had always known that behind that goofy facade he showed the world, was a highly skilled soldier. He never lost that smile unless it came down to life or death. Then he'd get that glint in his eyes and simply tell everyone it was great working with them and fall into total Shinigami mode. He had also caught Duo placing his body before himself when it looked like everything was coming to an end. He didn't know why Duo protected him, but he knew protecting people was a second nature to the constantly happy boy.
Now that the Gundams were destroyed and peace was slowly settling between the colonies and Earth, there wasn't much left for ex-soldiers like themselves to do. At first, everyone had tried going their separate ways, but it seemed they were no longer suited for normal life. While Wufei had been with the Preventers since it's founding, the others had come to join it at different times. Trowa and Quatre had remained in touch and had both joined up together once life after the wars had become too difficult. It had been Heero who had decided that playing protector to Relena was going to soon be making him crazy. If he hadn't of left, he possibly would of killed her himself and saved everyone going after her the trouble.
When he had arrived at the space station that housed the Preventer's main base of operations, he had been surprised to see Duo standing near the luggage claim, speaking to the woman behind the counter animatedly. He had then turned, almost as if he had sensed more than felt someone watching him. Those violet eyes had been haunting Heero's dreams for a long time. It was always the same nightmare, of those eyes being closed forever. Shaking his head, he had began moving away from Duo, only to hear him call his name as if he had been looking foreword to just such a moment.
It was then that he learned that they would be joining the Preventers together. It was surprising, but they had soon been teamed up on many an assignment. While Duo's attitude was still the same, his skills hadn't slacked with miss use. Heero had wanted to ask the former Deathscythe pilot why he was still as stealthy as ever, but hadn't. He hadn't wanted to break from the perfect soldier facade he had come to rely on. Even now, with himself slowly coming out of that facade, he remained apart from everyone. The only good thing was he was always given Duo as his partner. He was the one person Heero would always want watching his back.
"Hey, Earth to Hee-chan! Hee-chan, you awake in there?" Duo questioned, worry crossing his expressive face. Heero shook his head and gave the other boy a nod.
"Yeah. I was simply thinking." Duo sighed and moved away from him, sitting back fully in his chair once more. The worry slowly faded from his features, leaving nothing but his classic smile in its place.
"I should of known. You did that to me before, when we were heading into that ship that housed Mariemeia's soldiers." Heero nodded.
"You had thought I was asleep, but I heard you. I was just lost in memories." Duo gave him a warm smile and a nod.
"The past is a powerful thing. It leaves us with many memories. Some good and some not. We simply have to accept them all and move on in life." Heero looked at Duo a long moment. He was speaking from experience this time. He knew it deep down inside.
"So why are you always so cheerful? I've never really understood that. With everything that is known about you, I've never understood it." Duo laughed and seemed to think a moment before speaking.
"Well, what everyone does know, is that I grew up on the streets before coming to the Maxwell church. After the incident at the church, which many have heard about, I continued my life on the streets until I met G. He taught me the finer points of stealth. I was already pretty good at what I did. Sneaking around was almost like second nature to me. So all he did was give it substance. Made it an art for me, so to speak." He sighed and looked away. "This is what everyone already knows. I've never made it a point to hide who or what I was back then."
"There's more to it," Heero said knowingly. Duo looked back at him and nodded.
"A lot more to it than just what is common knowledge to anyone who bothers to find out. What isn't known is how things were before the church. What left me on the streets to begin with. What caused me to become more of a thief and wear black all the time." Heero felt a strange pull in the middle of his chest. He was so used to seeing Duo smile constantly and hear him sound so cheerful. This side of him, with his voice serious and his smile now missing from his face, wasn't something he was used to seeing and hearing. Heero was half tempted to just tell him to forget he ever asked, but Duo continued before Heero could say anything.
"My parents died when I was pretty young. I can't really recall how young I was. The plague that had hit L2 had been the cause. It had left many orphans back then. At first I struggled on my own. It was pretty difficult, but apparently my adorable looks kept me from starving. After a time I met up with others like myself. One of them was named Solo. He soon became my best friend. Seeing as I couldn't remember what my real name was, having been too young at the time, everyone took to calling me Duo. It fit, really. Seeing as Solo and I were always around each other, it was kind of comedic with our names. One always came before two. Solo never let me do anything on my own. So the name soon stuck.
"It was one of these times that we were running around that we soon got caught trying to pick some gentleman's pocket. I tried to run off to be able to save Solo later, but things didn't work out that way. I ran smack into Father Maxwell, although I didn't know who he was at the time. He asked the man to please excuse us for our sin and that he would make certain it didn't happen again. He then took every one of the kids that I worked on helping in and helped them find families. Yet I could never settle into a home. I was always sent back. I didn't want to be anywhere, cause I didn't believe I deserved a home. So Father Maxwell and Sister Helen decided to raise me themselves. Sister Helen wanted me to cut my hair, but I was stubborn and finally she showed me how to deal with it. That's how I got my trademark braid. She was the first one to ever do it. So I stuck with it." He grinned then, smiling at fond memories.
"So what happened? I take it this was before the Maxwell Church Incident." Duo nodded, glad that Heero was actually interested enough to want to know.
"For a while it was like we were one happy, extended family. Father Maxwell was the dad while Sister Helen was the mother. I was the son. It was pretty exciting. Some nights we'd talk about serious matters. Especially about the uprising that was constantly going on around us.
"Father Maxwell believed in what the first Heero Yuy had preached. He wanted no bloodshed. He wanted things to be settled with words, not violence. It wasn't gonna be that simple though. When the people of L2 wanted to fight back against those causing the war, Father Maxwell preached that this isn't what Heero Yuy would want. They hit him and called him a spy. Said that if they just had one mobile suit that they would be able to win. So I stepped up, after a woman had hit Sister Helen, and told them I'd get it for them.
"By the time I returned, the church was in ruins. I had found Sister Helen. She had told me that Father Maxwell had died preaching peace to his last breath. That those causing the war that wanted to fight, had found them at the church and brought them down. With one last smile to me, she died. I cried and took the cross that rested in her hands, another of my trademarks. That's when I swore, then and there, that I would become the God of Death and stop them to the best of my abilities and beyond." He laughed softly and spoke once again just as quietly. "I can still remember that fateful conversation with Sister Helen, Father Maxwell, and myself. I told Sister Helen that I didn't believe in God. When she said that we believe in things even though we can't see them, I said that I believed God didn't care. And that if there really was a God, then he was the God of Death. I said that if it came right down to it, I would become the God of Death to end all this suffering. I haven't quite done that yet, but I'm hoping that some day I can put up my nickname for good."
Heero watched as Duo pulled the cross from around his neck and looked at it for a long moment before replacing it under his black shirt. Heero could see the silent trails of tears that went down his face. Yet he didn't comment or move toward the other boy. After a brief moment of silence, Heero could no longer stand seeing such a usually cheerful person so sad and reached out a hesitant hand. Duo watched him as he did and gave him a watery smile of encouragement. Needing no further incentive, Heero placed a hand over one of Duo's. Duo turned his hand under Heero's and slowly twined their fingers, giving the blue-eyed boy's hand a squeeze. Heero looked at Duo in surprise, but didn't try to pull his hand away.
"That's about all of my past that no one knows. I never saw Solo again after he was adopted. I don't know if he's all right or not. I'm hoping he's alive somewhere. Living the life that he always wanted." He used his free hand to wipe away his tears and gave Heero a grin. Keeping their hands linked he leaned toward Heero. "Now you know it as well."
"Thanks," Heero replied, a little unsure of what else to say. Duo grinned and placed a kiss to Heero's forehead. Heero's eyes widened and he took a moment to really look at Duo. All his behavior toward him now made a lot of sense after that one gesture. Duo cared about him and it was more than just a friendship kind of caring.
"No need for thanks, Hee-chan. I only trust those I love with that kind of stuff. So count yourself among the lucky." He then let go of Heero's hand and moved toward the chair where his book sat, ignored. Heero stared at the braided pilot in shock. He had always heard Duo say he loved him. He just never knew how serious he was until this minute. His heart picked up its wild beat at the thought and found himself wanting to go over and hold the other boy. To tell him his own story and share their grief from past memories. But instead, he turned and went back to work, curbing all impulses to say anything at all.
The next morning Duo pulled on a shirt he had gotten on one of his solo vacations to a zoo at L2 colony. Heero was already awake and staring at the saying on the shirt. One elegant eyebrow raised in surprise. Duo simply grinned and looked down at it as well. Heero could feel himself cracking a small smile and couldn't seem to keep his normal expressionless look in place. Duo smirked at that.
"Hee-chan, the shirt is true you know. 'One by one the penguins steal my sanity'." Heero simply shook his head to cover his break of character and turned from him.
"Baka. A penguin couldn't be responsible for that much damage." Duo's eyes widened and he looked at Heero in shock and surprise.
"Did you just crack a joke? Heero Yuy just made a joke! Somebody mark this day down on a calendar! Please!" Duo called, looking around to find a pen and made a move to go write it down on the small calendar they kept on Heero's desk. Heero shook his head and 'hn'd' before placing a hand on Duo's shoulder.
"Knock it off. We do have a briefing to get to." Duo grinned and dropped all pretense of going to write something down.
"Hai!" Duo answered. Heero couldn't help but grin inwardly at the American. Sometimes, Duo really could be a pain. But after last night, Heero felt there was truly nothing he couldn't take from the braided baka. After finally knowing what made Duo tick, he couldn't find it in himself to ask Duo to be any different. Also, seeing as all goofy attitude fled when they had to work, he couldn't belittle the American his time to be happy. At least one of them could be free from stress and worry.
Sitting in the unused girls bathroom, five students sat around a bubbling cauldron. There were two girls and three boys. The first of the girls was checking ingredients before placing small amounts into the cauldron. She had bushy brown hair and hazel eyes. She seemed intent on whatever it was she was making. The other girl in the room had long black hair and deep turquoise blue eyes. She seemed to be silently against what was going on, her form seeming to be stiff. The boy next to her had unruly dark brown, almost black, hair and striking emerald green eyes. His eyes were hidden behind thin silver glasses and a lightning bolt-shaped scar marred his forehead. He seemed to be paying attention to the one person who was away from the group.
On the other side of the girl working on the concoction was a boy with bright red hair and light hazel-green eyes. He seemed to be watching the one working with an odd expression of worry and nervousness. The last boy in the room had white blond hair and gray-blue eyes that seemed cold as they watched the red-haired boy. Finally, unable to remain quiet, he spoke up.
"Why are we doing this again, Granger?" the boy asked. Hermione Granger, who stopped in her work, looked up at him.
"You did say you wanted to know who the next Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher is, didn't you, Malfoy?" she asked darkly, sending him a glare. Since the capture of Lucius Malfoy, Draco had become less bossy and rude and just sort of. . .well nicer to the rest of them. He had also taken to being around Sylrina Black, the other girl in the group. She was what they called a Mystic Charmist and could pick up evil thoughts without trying. With a gift like that, Draco was safer with them than away if Voldemort decided to come after him next.
"Well, yes, but not if I have to hide out in the girl's lavatory, Granger," Draco retorted darkly. Sylrina stood and moved over to Draco, placing one small hand on his shoulder. Harry caught the action and felt a small stirring of jealousy. It wasn't fair that she could touch him and he couldn't. Since fifth year, Sylrina had become indispensable to all of them. She had helped Draco see how evil he had been acting and where lives like that would lead. He was still rather rude towards anyone not in Slytherin, and even some who were. It was only Sylrina who seemed to get nothing but respect out of the white blond boy. Hermione and him had seemed to come to an understanding, of sorts. Seems they had become anonymous pen pals during the summer and had come to terms with each other.
"Draco, I know you don't like being here. I really have a bad feeling about all of this anyway. Spells that show the future are unnatural. They can go wrong with ease. If Dumbledore knew what we were doing he'd have a fit. Yet none of you could wait till the new DADA arrived. You had to know now. Seeing as its already begun, let things be. Don't distract her too much. It is dangerous." Draco's eyes soften and he nodded.
"All right, 'Rina. I'll abide by your wishes. Besides, your guardian over there might take my head off if I don't." Sylrina looked over toward Harry, who was glaring daggers toward them. She knew for a fact it wasn't what was said that was causing them. It was her closeness with Draco. She had long ago been able to catch the attraction between the two. Yet with both believing they were destined to be enemies, they never acted. Slowly she was attempting to bring both boys out in the open about their feelings and have them come together. Yet with herself as the only one Draco opened up to, it was difficult.
"He isn't my guardian. True, since my father and mother were killed there has been no other family besides Harry, but we tend to look out for one another. Now that you are apart of the group, we'll look out for you as well." Draco's gaze seemed to linger on Harry for a moment before it returned to her.
"Don't forget Snape, the old git," Ron remarked, seemingly disinterested in what Hermione was doing at the moment. Sylrina smirked at her uncle's name and watched Draco and Harry visibly stiffen. Her uncle had taken to keeping close watch on the only child of his only sister. It was difficult to do anything to her without him getting upset. Even Slytherin suffered when slighting her. It was funny to her but torture to everyone else.
"It isn't the same and you know it Ron. I hadn't even gotten a full year with my father before the events that took him from me. I don't blame anyone for it. I simply feel saddened that he isn't here to drive my uncle nuts with me." Harry seemed to relax slightly and with Sylrina near Draco, it gave him reason to go near the boy without looking odd. Moving toward her he cast small glances toward the blond.
"Thank you, 'Rina. I still can't help but feel a little guilty about it. I mean, if he hadn't of needed to protect me, he'd still be here." She gave him a caring smile and turned from Draco to Harry, her smile soft as her hand came to rest on his shoulder. Once again, jealousy flared, but this time from Draco. It wasn't fair that this girl was able to do what he, himself, could not. It cooled quickly though. He couldn't help but understand her need to comfort. She, herself, could never truly relax and be comforted about her parents. For the second her mother had died, her abilities had been strengthened. She was now the last Mystic Charmist alive. At least, that's the way Dumbledore saw it. He hadn't heard of any others since her mother and herself.
Draco was still amazed with the way her powers didn't make her snobbish. In fact, it did the opposite. She never was quite up to the student's expectations of Sirius Black's daughter, but she made for enough gossip. The fact that her power allowed her into people's minds had never bothered him. At least, not now. Evil thoughts were always wide open to her and could be heard without her trying. She could also speak to people inside their mind. It came in handy when they wished to hold a meeting. That way, no one else knew anything because she only told those who were apart of it. Yet the most surprising of her talent, and what made her a Mystic Charmist, was the fact that no matter how difficult you wished to make things, she could make you speak nothing but the truth and your darkest secrets.
It was using this talent that had cleared her father's name and allowed the ministry to believe that at least Pettigrew knew what he was talking about. Fudge still refused to admit Voldemort was back, in the flesh and just as strong as before. Yet the incident in the Ministry of Magic with Voldemort himself had at least made Fudge and the others think about what was going on. It was also what had caught Draco's father. Lucius had tried to keep from being sent away but Sylrina had stepped in. She had made him speak nothing but the truth and what she had heard about what he did to his only son had been the worst of it. It was right then and there that Sylrina and Draco had become friends. Two who had been torn from family thanks to Voldemort. The same went for Harry, although his was nothing like Sylrina and Draco's dealings with the Dark Lord.
"Don't be. I would of been upset with Sirius if he had done anything less. I may not be worth anything in Divination class, but I can tell how important you will be to the fight against Voldemort. Only you will be able to end this war." Harry nodded at her words. She was correct. As the years continued on, it seemed there was more of a connection between the two than anyone really knew. With Sylrina watching out for the evil in the area, Harry could sense when Voldemort was readying to strike and stop it without Voldemort realizing that Harry was watching.
A sudden bright flash of light and a muttered curse brought the three around to look at Hermione. Yet before any of them could call out and ask what had happened, the light surrounded them and then all was dark.
Heero moved swiftly down the halls, his lips in a grim line. Once again Duo had placed himself between himself and danger. This time Duo had been hurt. True, it had only been a small nick from a bullet; it had still set off Heero's temper. He had yelled at the braided idiot once they were back and stormed off. He had seen the pain flare in those violet eyes, but he had ignored it. He had been so worried that Duo might have been killed when it should have been him. Yet Duo had simply smiled at Heero and told him that this was what partner's were for. To protect each other. Now that he had time to calm down, he was upset with himself.
He shouldn't of went off on Duo like that, he knew. After all, it was only a small graze, nothing deadly. It would of been a lot worse if Heero had actually taken it like he was supposed to. He didn't know how Duo had been able to see what was going on, but he was grateful. That incident had come to prove one thing to the Japanese boy, though. He was in love with his partner. He knew Duo loved him, he just didn't know if he could make himself tell the American. Trowa and Quatre had been together since almost the end of the first war. He knew those he had come to call friends as well as partners wouldn't object his choice of love interest.
Walking into their room, Heero was all set to apologize for his temper when his eyes landed on a group of five people who were in a heap in the middle of the floor. Duo was looking at them with wide eyes, but the lack of surprise seemed to keep Heero from moving to kill them. He stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. Turning to his partner, he gave him a questioning look. Duo, recognizing the look for what it was, smiled.
"They just dropped in," Duo answered in regards to the look. Heero didn't even ask. He simply turned and walked back out of the room, leaving Duo to his friends.
Duo looked at the group and shook his head. They were all wearing robes and he instantly recognized them. It had been a long time since he had even heard of the school and even longer since he had been able to see it. Although it no longer was the great school of the past, it still stood silently, cloaked from the rest of the world. A reminder of the past. Sighing he cleared his throat as they scrambled to get off one another.
"Spell go wrong?" Duo asked in his cheerful voice. The girl with long black hair looked up at his words, surprise written across her face.
"Duo?" she questioned softly. He looked at her a bit more closely before the grin became more genuine and wider.
"Rina! I didn't know you were going to Hogwarts," he replied back to her. She rushed over and hugged him tightly. He returned it, ignoring the dark looks from two of the boys. The one other girl looked at him with confusion and took in his clothes with worry in her eyes.
"'Rina? You know this person?" Draco asked, his voice cold. She pulled back and smiled brightly, nodding.
"Of course. He was attempting something like we just did and was sent back in time instead. . ." her words trailed off and she suddenly found herself wide eyed. "We came to the future didn't we?" she questioned. He nodded his head, smile still in place.
"I'm afraid so, Rina. Yet you're gonna have more trouble getting home than I will. There isn't a school of magic in this time. The only one still standing hasn't had a person in it for quite a while."
"We're in the future?" Hermione asked softly.
"How far into the future?" Harry questioned. Sylrina seemed to snap out of her shock and blushed lightly.
"My manners seemed to remain in the past. Duo Maxwell, I'd like you to meet my friends, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco." Each one nodded their head at her introductions, but Duo's eyes seemed locked on all of them, surprise and recognition in those expressive eyes.
"Just like the ones in my books," he whispered softly. Sylrina, who had been through all of this with him when he had fallen into the past, nodded.
"Yes. But how far into the future are we?" Sylrina asked, gaining his attention. He turned his eyes from the four people who were sitting on the floor, all with matching looks of shock on their faces.
"About four-hundred years in the future," Duo answered softly. He then looked at the book that was in his lap and then back to Sylrina. "Perhaps I might know a way to reach Dumbledore in your time. It isn't impossible. Just difficult. Once he knows what's happened to all of you, he can work on trying to get you back to your own time."
"Thanks, Duo. Have I told you yet that you're the greatest," Sylrina remarked with a smile. He grinned and shook his head.
"Nope. That would be the first time I've heard it to begin with." It was then that Draco noticed the shirt he was wearing and couldn't help but smirk.
"I think it fits him," he muttered. Ron, Harry, and Hermione caught what he meant and laughed softly. Duo realized what they were talking about and smirked, one of his trademark grins that just spoke of trouble. Sylrina recognized it and refused to laugh with the others. "After all, he has to be a little balmy if he thinks we'd believe he's a wizard and we're as dumb as him to wind up in another time."
"I'm no wizard. I simply have untapped talent. As for the remark, well, just look out the window. If I was dumb to fall into the past, then you all must be really dumb to fall into the future." Draco snorted and marched over to the window. Sylrina allowed herself to just lightly touch Duo's mind. He felt her and allowed her access to his memories of this time and place. She gasped softly, almost too low for human ears, but Duo caught it because he was looking at her and not the others. As the curtain was pulled back, they all gasped in shock and amazement.
"We're in space!" Hermione exclaimed.
"Instead of studying astrology, we're bloody well apart of it," Ron remarked. Harry simply stared at the beauty before him while Draco seemed stunned into silence.
"Pretty amazing, huh," Duo remarked, smiling softly. "Welcome to Space Colony L4. Just to make things easy on you all, it is September 2nd, A.C. 197."
"A.C.?" Hermione questioned, turning her eyes on Duo. He nodded and handed her a book about the colonization of space.
"Read that. It might help you understand a little more. A.C. means 'After Colonization'. There are currently five main colonies out here in space, but there are others being built and even more that don't hold as many people as these. I was raised on L2. Each one of my friends came from a different colony. So we all can tell you a little about each. That is, after we get the ok from Dumbledore. I don't want to mess with time too badly."
"What about this book? Won't that hurt things?" Hermione asked, already reading a part of it.
"Not at all. It only speaks of the colonies founding. It doesn't tell you how to make one, so all is well." Sylrina stood and moved next to the others, watching the stars twinkle in the dark sky.
"I want to go with you when you speak to him," Sylrina said softly, in awe herself. Harry and Draco had moved close to each other, both taking in the wonder of the sight and smiling softly to themselves. Duo looked at all of them, a thoughtful look crossing his face. He then picked up a cell phone and pushed a few numbers. Once someone picked up, he spoke into it.
"Someone put me through the Noin," he said lightly. The voice on the other end must have agreed because he smiled to himself and waited a moment. Once the person on the other end spoke, he continued. "Noin, I've got some friends visiting me." Pause. "Yeah I know they didn't check in. They kind of have skills like I do. Stealth is a big thing with all of us ya know." Another pause. "Yeah I know I shouldn't have them do that here. I only wanted security tested." Once again there seemed a pause, this one longer than the other two and Duo grimaced. "Aw, come on Noin. It isn't that bad. I just want to take them to the guest quarters and the lounge area. They'll only be here till things can be arraigned for them to return home." Pause. "Ok. Thanks Noin. I really appreciate this. Have the rooms ready before they leave the lounge with me. We'll possibly be there for a about an hour or two." Another pause. "There are five. Two girls and three boys." Pause. "All right. I'll let them know. Thanks. I owe you Noin." Hanging up he turned to them.
"Your boss get upset with you?" Sylrina asked, recalling Noin from Duo's memories and recognizing her as one of those he took orders from.
"She was more pissed off with the fact that someone had been able to get through the security system without them noticing. She knows I've got a few skills she can't understand, but I don't think she'd understand the reason behind it." Putting the phone away he motioned to everyone. "We can watch this scene in the lounge area. It has a great view of a couple constellations that you can't normally find on Earth all the time." He motioned for them to all follow him and they did so reluctantly. Duo knew this was a long shot, but he had to try. After all, he was the only one who could help these kids, and if they didn't return, then the books wouldn't happen and things would be different in this time as well. He wanted to turn to Heero and tell him the one part of himself that no one really knew. About the magic he was able to access. Yet no one believed in magic any more. It was better just to keep it to himself and try to get life back to normal for them before things went wrong. Terribly wrong.