For a brief moment, Duo almost believed it hadn't worked. They all still stood in the great hall, bewitched ceiling showing the bright sky to them. Even Hermione seemed to think they hadn't been able to make it into the past as they had needed to. Duo allowed his violet eyes to trail over the room once more before catching the sight of someone he never believed he'd see in person again.
"Headmaster Dumbledore, once again your magic worked miracles," Duo called out softly to the grandfatherly gentleman walking toward them. His long silver-white hair and beard were well groomed and taken care of. A twinkle rested in his eyes.
"As it should when students are in need, Duo," Dumbledore answered, his voice gentle and grandfatherly as well. Unable to resist, Duo rushed foreword and hugged the older man, sharing a smile with him. Stepping back, Dumbledore graced Duo with a very open and honest grin.
"I'm sorry I've been such a bother lately," Duo muttered, looking for the entire world like a lost little boy who was waiting to be scolded. The look caught Heero's eye and made the blue eyed boy want to hold the American. His eyes betrayed none of his thoughts, but he still felt them, none the less.
"We are as well, Dumbledore," Sylrina added in a soft voice, stepping up to her long haired friend.
"There is no need for apologies. After all, you are all studying wizards and witches. I can not expect you to know everything so readily. Even with your aspirations of one day reopening Hogwarts doors to magically gifted children in your time will take great skill and training, Mr. Maxwell."
"I know, that's why I'm here. I want to finish learning what I've only just begun to learn. I want to be able to control my power, not have it control me." Dumbledore felt pride inside himself at those words. They sounded familiar, knowing that he himself had once said them when first learning his magic.
"Classes begin tomorrow, seeing as I made certain you were all returned here before school begins. I trust you five to show our new students around Diagon Alley and help them get everything required of them." That said, he gave each of the former pilots a letter with their names on it, along with the address and exact place they had been living. Catching sight of Trowa and Quatre's similar place of living only made Duo smirk. He had always wondered if they used separate beds or if they shared one bed. Now he knew the truth.
"I can help as well, Headmaster. I was there once before, back when you were trying to help me return home. I'm certain things haven't changed much at all in the three years I've been gone."
"Indeed, Maxwell, things haven't changed at all. I shall make certain your permission slips to Hogsmeade are signed and then you shall be able to go there on weekends for anything you might miss on this trip out. Our carriage will take you to the back entrance of the alley and bring you back when you are done. Is that satisfactory for all of you?" Dumbledore asked, bringing everyone into the conversation. They all nodded and followed Dumbledore out of the door and to the carriages. The five seemed in awe of the scaled horses pulling the carriages. Hermione watched them in wonder while Ron seemed to think they were dim. Sylrina, Harry, and Draco all could see what they saw as well.
"Come along, we don't have all day," Draco muttered, stepping away from one of the animals to get into the rather large carriage. The others followed soon after, not bothering to question what they had seen.
Arriving in Diagon Alley seemed to draw surprised looks from the pilots, who all except for Duo had never been to a place so full of magic before. Their first stop was Gringots, where Heero used the credit card he had filled with money to get wizard money for their school stuff. Once that was taken care of, the pilots decided it would be wise to spilt up into groups and get everything the five of them would need without them all crowding into various stores. This also lessened the chances of Duo wanting to get everything he could turn his eyes onto.
Trowa and Ron headed for the Magical Menagerie to get familiars for each of the former pilots. Wufei and Hermione headed into Flourish and Blotts to get their school books. Heero and Harry headed off to pick up their potions ingredients for their classes, as well as other required elements. Quatre and Sylrina headed off to Madam Malkin's Robes for all Occasions to get their robes. Quatre was one who remembered all their sizes and knew he could get them without trouble. That left Draco and Duo to gather other needed items.
Wufei had fallen in love with the bookstore while Trowa had watched all the animals in the Magical Menagerie with avid fascination. Heero seemed to take gathering their potion ingredients like he handled everything else, in perfect solider fashion. Quatre seemed to adore Madam Malkin and seemed to win the older witch over with his usual adorable smile. Duo and Draco both agreed the group needed their own broomsticks and other such things that weren't as important but still wanted. Once they were all done, they headed to Olivander's for their wands, Draco and Duo's items hidden back in the carriage's to surprise everyone with later on.
"Well, I wasn't expecting all of you yet," an older looking gentleman spoke up from behind some boxes. Harry smiled and Duo smirked. "How's that wand working, Mr. Maxwell. Dark pixie hair at the core not causing trouble for you, is it?" Duo smiled and shook his head.
"Not at all, Mr. Olivander. It's been a beauty to work with. My friends here all need their own wands, though. Seems they are also going to Hogwarts this year. All have a bit of untapped magic they need to learn how to deal with." Olivander nodded, seeming as if he already knew this was coming.
"Of course, Mr. Maxwell, I knew they would be along. After all, no witch or wizard alive goes through life without first getting their wand from me." Duo nodded before turning toward his friends.
"He'll arrange it so you all have your wands. Meet Draco and myself over at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor when you're done." That said, Duo dragged the blond out of the place and toward the ice cream parlor. After a few stunned moments, never had a Malfoy been manhandled before, Draco finally brought himself to a stop, glaring at Duo for a moment. Yet the constant grin seemed infectious and Draco found it hard to remain angry with the long haired man.
"What are you plotting, Maxwell?" Draco asked darkly. Duo took a seat and ordered a rather large banana split and watched Draco order a chocolate shake. Once their orders were taken Duo turned to Draco to answer his question.
"Nothing much, Draco. I was just wondering when you were going to admit to Harry that you liked him?" Duo asked around a small bit from his banana split. Draco almost choked on his own shake and stared at the braided boy before him.
"What makes you think I like Potter?" he questioned, keeping his wits in tact. Duo shook his head, trying to hide his humor.
"I thought Malfoy's didn't lie." Draco sat back, surprise written across his face.
"They don't," He stuttered out. Duo smiled then, placing a hand on the boys shoulder.
"Then tell me when you plan to tell him. Maybe I can help. I am a fellow Slytherin after all." Draco watched Duo closely, surprise still on his face.
"When were you sorted into Slytherin?"
"Back when I was here before. Dumbledore thought it wise to find out which house I belonged to. Even though Sylrina has always been a part of the other side, seems she gets along with me just fine. Perhaps it's my ability to get a long with anyone. I don't really know. I just know I can read people fairly well." Draco watched the braided boy for a while longer before sighing.
"How many people realize I like Potter?"
"Only Sylrina and myself, Draco. Don't get too worked up over it. I'm pretty certain the others aren't watching for anything like that. At least, not at the moment."
"I see," he muttered, his expression thoughtful. Duo smiled then and watched the young man seem to get a little uncomfortable. "What are you plotting, Maxwell?" Duo grimaced.
"You remind me of Wuffles when you do that. I was only wondering if you wanted to help make Harry realize he likes you as well. Perhaps we can both win what we want if we play a game of illusion." Draco titled his head, suddenly seeing exactly why Duo was in Slytherin House. He was crafty.
"What sort of illusion?" Draco asked, his voice showing his interest.
"We play a little trick on the two we are interested in. Make them think we may begin liking each other. I can be just as bad as you when need calls for it. I play the perfect Slytherin and you play the man who's beginning to like the new student. This way, Harry gets jealous of your interest in me and Heero gets jealous over your interest in me. How does that sound?" Draco smirked, one of his genuine Draco smirks and Duo joined him.
"I didn't know you cared for Heero. This ought to be interesting. I accept your proposal, Maxwell. . .I mean Duo. Lets see if we can't accomplish what you want."
"What we both want." They grinned and shook on it, both of them dreaming of the catch of their own loved one and the forging of a friendship that would last a long while.