The meeting with Sylrina hadn't happened. Dumbledore had called Duo away before he could talk to her, thus stopping Heero's chance of speaking with the formerly braided boy. A couple months later heralded Halloween, and after it the very first Quiddich match. As usual, the first match held was Slytherin versus Gryffindor. Right before the game, Duo had flirted outrageously with Draco, who had flirted back, but on more of the low-key side of it.
The crowds of students who had turned out to witness the match had been treated to the first shut-out game that Hogwarts had been privileged to see in a long time. Heero had been so shaken up by Duo's actions that for the first time in his life he hadn't kept to his perfect soldier mode and had actually missed the quaffle twice when it was thrown his way, causing him to dive to retrieve it before it was lost. Trowa had found himself narrowly saving Heero and Harry from being nailed with bludgers while they were busy focusing on the boys they cared for instead of the game.
Duo, as Keeper for the Slytherin team, had managed to keep every single shot out of the rings, allowing for Slytherin to dominate the game early on. The snitch was being counted on for a Gryffindor win. The battle was fierce, but Duo seemed to make everyone watching stare in wonder. He had performed on the broom like someone who had absolutely no fear of falling off. His last catch for the evening had left him dangling in mid air from his broom by one leg. The quaffle was held safely in his hands. He had then flipped it over to a team mate while swinging himself back onto his broom. It had caused many cries of surprise, wonder, and alarm from the crowd.
It was during this spectacular catch that Harry had become so enthralled with Duo's actions that Draco had been able to catch the snitch, giving Slytherin the win. The final score had been 210 to nothing. The fans had cried out in surprise and dismay. It was obvious that they had all expected Gryffindor's Seeker to pull off the win as he always had. Duo and Draco had landed and shared a high five. It was obvious that their actions hadn't caused either Harry or Heero to act on what had been happening. Just earlier that evening, Duo had told Draco that their plan wasn't working. They would have to step up their act and Draco had learned of only one way to do that. With everyone on the ground, either cheering or looking depressed, Draco had turned to Duo and gave him a smirk before speaking.
"That was bloody brilliant, Maxwell. I knew you were able to keep our own players from making goals, but I hadn't expected it during a game!" Draco exclaimed. Duo simply smiled, his violet eyes bright.
"They just weren't used to seeing someone so fearless on a broom. I totally trusted it not to let me down, and in return I was able to play to my fullest extent." Heero, Harry, Ron, Sylrina, Ginny, Trowa, and Araki were all on the ground, seeming to be staring in awe of the long haired boy, who had single handedly handed Slytherin the major part of their victory.
"Only someone as skilled as you would make for a perfect partner, Duo. I want you to go out with me." Duo blinked, not even acting surprised by Draco's words. Meanwhile, Harry, Heero, Ron, Ginny, and Trowa all seemed shocked by the words that had come out of the blonde's mouth.
"Sure. I suppose I could do worse. Then again I can also do better, but I'll settle for you," Duo commented in reply. Draco raised one perfect eyebrow at Duo's words before laughing slightly.
"What an odd why to accept an offer," Draco commented in return. Duo shrugged.
"And what in this world ever made you think I was normal?" Duo asked. A small group chuckled around them and it was Collin Creevey who decided to speak up about what almost everyone else had figured out.
"Does this mean you asked him to be your boyfriend?"
"No, you sot, it meant I wanted him to be a follower like Crabbe and Goyle," Draco remarked sarcastically. Duo rolled his eyes while someone else decided to ask another relatively delicate question.
"So you're gay, Malfoy?" a Slytherin fifth year asked. Draco blinked wide gray eyes for a moment while Duo just began to laugh softly.
"It means he goes the way his heart leads," Duo said, deciding to use his own words for Draco as well. "At the moment, he likes another guy. Later on, if things don't work out, he may find a woman, or another man. It all depends on where his heart leads." A heart-felt sigh escaped from several of the gathered girls, including Ginny.
"That's very well said, Duo," Trowa said, speaking up from the still stunned group of the Gryffindor Quiddich team. Duo winked and nodded.
"Thanks," he replied, looking at Draco. "Come on, let's go celebrate a rather impressive win, thanks to our fabulous Seeker." He then dragged Draco off, who was smiling softly.
"Sure, Duo. Whatever you say," Draco said. Several people gasped as they realized that Draco had called Duo by his first name instead of his last name. After all, that meant he was very serious, didn't it?
Heading into the hallways of Hogwarts that led to their rooms, Duo gave Draco a rather sly grin. Draco stopped as Duo let go of his hand and stared at the boy before him. Duo was obviously something of an enigma. He was never exactly what one expected. One moment he was serious and the next he could be silly. After that, he'd turn around and become something all together different from what he really was. Draco had come to realize it was almost impossible to tell what he was really feeling.
"I do believe you've managed to make every girl in Slytherin extremely jealous. Not to mention several other houses as well. Add to that the fact that Harry seemed absolutely pee-green with envy and I'd say he'll be confessing to you soon." Draco snorted.
"Think the dim-wit will figure it out before or after we fake an engagement?" Draco questioned. Duo chuckled.
"Well, that only depends on if he's as dense as Heero. If he is, then I'm afraid one of us would have to be the first pregnant male before he notices." Draco coughed lightly.
"You're the one with the long hair, Duo. You get pregnant." Duo sputtered, his eyes going wide.
"I can't believe we're discussing things like this," Duo muttered, a faint pink on his cheeks. Draco laughed for a second before turning serious and turning his gray eyes on Duo.
"Are you serious you have to do what you're planning? Couldn't you find another way of helping us before you're sent back?" Duo raised one chestnut eyebrow at Draco's words and shook his head.
"Nope. I've figured out the only way I can deal with this and not cause a time stir is to do exactly what I'm going to do. I only told you because I'm gonna need ya to cover for me some times and I knew you wouldn't accept anything less than the truth." Draco felt his face grow a little pale.
"But why HIM?" he asked. Duo sighed and look down at his hands, knowing what he was about to tell Draco was really important, and yet very risky to say at the same time.
"Look, it's like this, Draco. . ."
Duo had left Draco after telling him what he had come to realize. Draco's eyes had been wide, full of both shock and fear. He was absolutely fearful of what he had been told. Duo couldn't really blame the boy, after all, what he had been discussing was anything but the weather. Yet if he was correct about what he'd come to realize, he knew that Draco was supposed to know what he had told him. Sighing while brushing a lock of hair from his face, he found himself beginning to miss his braid.
"Mr. Maxwell, could I see you for a moment?" Dumbledore's calm voice called as Duo rounded a corner. Duo stopped and met the always twinkling gaze of the Headmaster.
"Of course, Headmaster. What can I do for you?" Dumbledore laughed softly and looked away for a moment before meeting Duo's gaze head on.
"Join me in my office, if you please," he said, motioning for Duo to lead the way. Duo nodded and with confidence born of having been learning from Dumbledore for a while for now, Duo managed to lead them to his office without trouble. He then came to a rest before Dumbledore's desk, motioning with his hand to conjure himself a seat. Dumbledore smiled at the long haired boy as he took the seat behind his desk. "Is there anything you'd like to discuss with me, Mr. Maxwell?" Dumbledore asked of him. Duo couldn't help but smirk.
"If I said no, I'd be lying. If I said yes, then I'd just be playing into the role of acting as if I think you don't really know what's going on. So how about I don't say either and simply tell you what I know?" Duo asked. Dumbledore laughed lightly at that, his eyes bright.
"It seems I was correct, Duo. You are very much like myself when I was younger. My own Headmaster tried to do this to me, and that was the same thing I had told him in answer." Duo smirked.
"I know. I've learned how to do that from the best. Namely, yourself, Headmaster." Dumbledore smiled, simply staring at Duo for a moment before deciding that it wasn't a time to play with words.
"So, how is it you know so much about us? I know you've managed to find out more about us than we know about your friends and you. Its also obvious that you aren't telling me everything you know."
"Well, as you've said, telling things that could endanger the future shouldn't be told." Dumbledore raised an eyebrow at that, his eyes staring into Duo's violet gaze.
"You know something that a lot of us don't, don't you," Dumbledore stated, his gaze serious. Duo nodded his head in reply.
"I do. You see, while I was growing up, there was this set of books from Pre-Colony times that always made me feel like I was a part of them. There were seven books in this set. There was even an eighth one that helped people realized what had happened to those talked about in the main seven books. They even came out with side books that helped a person understand the world inside the story. Can you guess what these books held?" Duo asked, one eye lifting with an eyebrow to almost dare Dumbledore to get it wrong. Dumbledore didn't, though.
"The stories were about Harry's time here at Hogwarts." Duo nodded.
"Ding, ding, ding. Tell him what he's learned," Duo joked before falling serious once more. "The series was written by a really knowledgeable woman. The first book was called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Although, in first publication, it had been entitled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It talked about what had happened to Harry when he was but a little boy and also about his first meeting with the wizarding world and his first meeting with Voldemort." Dumbledore seemed to listen quietly, his eyes the only part of him to show his surprise.
"The next book?" he asked, but it was obvious to Duo he already knew the answer.
"It was called Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Need I say what happened?" Dumbledore shook his head.
"No, but if you would kindly name the other ones so I can understand where you're going with this." Duo nodded and continued on.
"The third one was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The fourth was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fifth was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Duo stopped as Dumbledore held up a hand.
"So you know what happened? You know that Voldemort is back and yet you still say his name without fear? You know what he's capable of and yet you seem more than willing to face him?" Duo smirked.
"I've always been a firm believer that fear of a name is a disabling disease. One where too many people can begin to fall apart from such actions. Voldemort doesn't bother me. I've always been one for a fight I knew wasn't necessarily a winning cause. All of my friends and I are used to fighting at impossible odds. Yet I've got the wild card."
"You already know the outcome," Dumbledore said without hesitation. Duo nodded his head in answer.
"I know a lot more, but I can't necessarily tell you what that is. The sixth book was called Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The seventh book was called Harry Potter and the Mysterious Outcome. The eighth and final book written was What Happened After: Hogwarts after the War. All that one did was let readers know what happened to some of their favorite characters after the whole climatic battle."
"Are you certain Harry wins?" Duo smirked and a gleam entered his eyes.
"Now, I could answer that, Headmaster, but I won't. Needless to say, there was only one reason why Harry was able to even attempt anything. Throughout those books there was a reoccurring character that seemed to give valuable information to Harry just when it was necessary. It was only in the sixth book that Harry actually got this information from him and they mentioned his involvement in the whole story. They even mentioned him as having, and I quote, 'long brown hair that no real man would ever be caught with and bright eyes that shined in violet colored mirth'. Needless to say, I'm the only person who fits that description. I didn't realize it was me at first, mostly due to the fact that I had always thought I'd never take my hair out of it's braid. Yet once I came here and became a part of Slytherin, I began to wear it in a close to the neck ponytail. Thus, I soon began to fit his description, or what was known of him.
"He became a spy for the Order of the Phoenix. He played Voldemort at his own game and managed to be the perfect go between." Dumbledore looked at Duo seriously, his eyes almost strangely missing their sparkle.
"And you believe you are perfectly capable of tricking Voldemort? You think you could handle killing people and making him believe in you enough to let you get close?" Duo smiled softly. He knew Dumbledore didn't know everything about Duo. Hell, Duo really didn't know everything about himself. Yet there was stuff in his past that would help him achieve this; stuff Dumbledore hadn't heard of yet.
"I'm perfectly capable, Headmaster. I'm a stealth expert, meaning I can sneak around without use of an invisibility cloak. I can also kill when necessary, although I've become rather good at saying one spell out loud and performing an entirely different one in reality. I also have knowledge of something that Voldemort would gladly die for." Dumbledore's eyes widened.
"You have knowledge of this world. You know the outcome." Duo smirked.
"Exactly. Now while I live by my rule of I may run and I may hide but I never tell a lie, there is a very thin line between telling the truth and lying through my teeth. Ya know, I've always been amazed at how close a person can come to lying when in reality, it's just one version of the truth." Dumbledore's eyes suddenly lit up and he chuckled deeply.
"I see there is more of me in you that I could have ever dreamed possible." Duo smirked and laughed as well.
"So does this make me a member of the Order of the Phoenix?" he asked. Dumbledore nodded.
"Of course. Welcome to the Order, Mr. Maxwell. May you help us as no other Order member has ever done." Duo bowed to Dumbledore, the grin on his lips more wicked than any other he had ever given anyone before.
Voldemort stood among just a select few of his Death Eaters. His tall, skeletal thin frame seemed to set him apart, especially from two tall, bulky Death Eaters that stood closest to him, almost as if they were protecting him. His wide, red eyes seemed to take in everyone and everything in the room, the pupils almost cat like in their vertical appearance. His nose was flat with slits for nostrils and his hands were like large pale spiders with unusually long fingers. It was only his white as a skull skin tone that seemed to make people think he was dead. Yet he was as far from that as possible.
"Is no one here able to see what is going on in that miserable place?" he growled, his voice snake like, acid in his tone. Everyone exchanged looks from behind hooded forms. This only seemed to anger Voldemort more. "You are all worthless!" he snarled, raising his wand and throwing the Cruciatus Curse on one of the nearest Death Eaters. The voice behind the hood cried out in pain and the Death Eater seemed to crumble into himself.
"Actually, I was hoping I could fill your hole," a new voice called. Voldemort stopped his torture and turned to the black clad figure walking into the middle of the group as calmly as ever. Voldemort raised a wand toward him, but the figure seemed to just wave a hand and froze all movement. "Oh, you don't want to do that, Dark Lord. I come with an offer for you. You might want to hear it before you decide to kill me." Stepping into the light of the middle of the group, Voldemort could see a young man with long chestnut brown hair that seemed to have red highlights in the glow from the fire. Yet it was his violet eyes that seemed to glow with an inner light that made him pause in snapping at such a brazen young man. Slowly he moved to lower his wand, surprised he was free to do so. The rest of his followers followed his lead. Voldemort narrowed his eyes and studied his intruder.
"What could you possibly offer me?" He asked, his eyes glaring at him. The boy snickered and waved his hand toward the two large men.
"Tell Crabbe and Goyle there to settle down, they aren't very smart. If they attack, I'll be forced to retaliate." Voldemort turned his glare on his men, before suddenly looking back at the intruder. "Also, let Lucius know that he has no chance of sneaking up on me. I know where everyone of your fellow Death Eaters is, as well as who they are and I refuse to have to kill them when all I came here for is to offer my services." Voldemort stared at him for a long moment. It was obvious the boy had done his homework and it seemed as if he should take the time to learn what he could before killing him. Focusing on him, he made a move to invade his mind. The boy simply began to smirk as he attempted to sneak into his mind. "Oh, come now, you think I'm that unskilled? I've studied Occlumency. You can't invade my mind without my permission."
"What is it you think you can offer me?" Voldemort asked, officially curious now.
"I can give you Potter, as well as the prophecy. Dumbledore knows it and I know Dumbledore. In fact, he trusts me enough to teach me the arts he knows so I may take his place as Headmaster. I've been in the school. I've seen your spy, Snape fail to be able to get as close to Potter as I have gotten. I say we make a deal. I get you everything you need to get Potter and the Prophecy and you, in turn, allow me to join your Death Eaters and the winning team." Voldemort could tell the boy was many things, but he wasn't lying. He honestly had access to such information and anything he did to him would not make him crack. There was a darkness in this boy that seemed to call to the darkness in Voldemort and he admired the boys balls. Slowly, a wicked grin spread across his lips.
"Welcome to the Death Eaters, Mr. . ." he said, trailing off deliberately.
"Maxwell, Duo Maxwell. Yet those who know me closely call me Shinigami, the God of Death. I think we'll have a really great relationship, Dark Lord." Duo then bowed before him, his violet eyes never leaving Voldemort's face. Voldemort smirked then, motioning for him to stand.
"Come, give me what you've learned so far, as I'm certain you came with some knowledge." Duo smirked in reply, an answering glint in his eyes as he held out his arm to allow Voldemort to give him the Dark Mark.
"Of course, Dark Lord. I wasn't about to show up empty handed."