Sitting there, waiting for the others, Draco and Duo placed the finishing touches on their plan. Draco was surprised to find out that when he had been in classes with Sylrina, he hadn't been placed in a house. Headmaster Dumbledore, the one in the U.S. had not seen any need for it as Duo would only be around until Albus could come up with a way to get him back home. One of the side affects of his falling into time under his own backwards spell and been a lack of aging for the half a year he was stuck in their time. This time around, there wouldn't be such a thing, yet it didn't seem to faze the American at all.
Another thing Draco had been able to find out from the unusually informative boy was that Dumbledore had decided he needed to be sorted before going back to his own time. Said it would help him realize exactly what his potential would be in the coming trials he would be facing. Duo hadn't questioned the older mans wisdom and had agreed, even admitting to going a little overboard when the sorting hat had been placed on his head. Duo wasn't afraid to admit that he was more than awed by his first run in with a world he had once believed had only been in books. That was when he had found he had all the qualities for all of the houses, but he was best suited in Slytherin House. One thing Draco knew for certain, Professor Snape was not going to be very excited over seeing someone like Maxwell in their house. Not when it was a good bet that he wasn't going to keep to keeping the houses separate.
"So, you accepted Slytherin for yourself, even after hearing all that bad things about it?" Draco asked, interested in his reason behind his choice.
"Well, I am Shinigami, after all. You don't get much darker than that." Draco laughed, recalling what it meant from his time in Duo's world.
"How very true," Draco muttered lightly. Duo smirked and nodded. There was no topping that; even Voldemort couldn't claim to have been the bringer of death to so many, not at the moment, anyway. "Do you have any ideas what the others might be placed into?" Duo nodded, scooting just a little closer to him. Draco was so caught up in Duo's view of the world that he didn't notice his movements.
"Wufei is most certainly going to be in Ravenclaw. He places books above everything else. Worse than Hermione, even." Draco laughed at that.
"Quatre, wouldn't he fit Hufflepuff?" Duo nodded, wide grin in place.
"Yep, that's a most definite place for him."
"What about the other two? I couldn't place them if I tried." Duo watched Draco for a while, his violet eyes gleaming.
"I won't go into everything, but I'll tell you this much, Trowa and Heero both share one common thing. They are both selfless, very selfless."
"Gryffindor!" They then said together, falling into a fit of laughter, which was exactly how Fortescue himself found them.
"I must say I'd never have believed this if I hadn't seen it. A Malfoy actually enjoying himself without bringing harm to someone," he said, a smile on his lips. Duo's eyes flared and Draco was surprised when he seemed to lose his constant grin.
"That was in the past. Just because his parents were like that, doesn't mean he has to take after them," Duo growled out, gaining surprised gray eyes on him. Draco slowly placed a hand on his arm, almost in a restraining manner, although it looked like more to those who didn't know them.
"Its all right, Duo. Not every one thinks like you. Besides, I was a terror for a while, back when the threat of something terrible was hanging over my head if I behaved like Potter and the others." Fortescue watched them closely before smiling softly.
"I meant nothing bad by my remark. Sorry if it hurt ya. I was simply making a positive observation." Duo's glare fled from his face and he soon returned to his usual smiling mask.
"Sorry to have snapped like that. I guess hearing words like that kind of kicked off an internal alarm or somethin'," Duo muttered, offering the older man an apologetic smile.
"Don't worry about it." He then took in their empty dishes and smiled, waving a hand and soon conjuring a large chocolate shake with two cherries and two straws. "This ones on me, for being so rude." Duo smirked, a gleam in his eyes at the sight of more chocolate.
"If this is your way of saying sorry, I love it. No apology needed though. We both messed up, let's leave it at that."
"I like your way of thinking, Mr. . . " He trailed off, waiting for a name.
"Maxwell. Duo Maxwell. I may run and I may hide but I never tell a lie." Draco watched him for a long while as the two joked back and forth for a while before watching the old man get back to work, he then turned his concerns on Duo.
"If you don't lie, then how are you gonna pull off your plan? We do have to kind of play at being a couple to make them start realizing what they'll be missing." Duo grinned.
"Oh, but I won't be lying. I'll simply be acting. There is a fine line between the two, although Heero constantly tells me its just my way of sneaking around the truth." Draco laughed and pulled out his list of school supplies, which went as follows:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Sixth Years Will Require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. Two plain pointed hats (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
5. One animal-handling robe (dragon hide or similar)
6. One loose fitting tunic (black) for trips into the forest
7. One vest (brown, dragon hide or similar)
8. One pair of loose breeches or skirt (black)
9. One pair of lace-up boots (dragon hide or similar)
Please note that all pupils' clothes should carry nametags.
1 wand, 1 wand polish, 1 cauldron (silver, standard size 6), 1 set glass or crystal phials, 1 telescope, 1 set of silver scales, 1 set of dress robes (house colors required), 1 Advanced Potions Kit
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad OR a rat. Special permission required from a certified wizard awarded at least an Order of Merlin: Second Class for a phoenix OR a baby dragon (no full grown) OR a falcon/eagle OR any other mythical creature that isn't an immediate danger to Hogwarts and its inhabitants. Please, no dogs.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT STUDENTS MAY NEED A BROOMSTICK OWLED TO THEM IN THE EVENT THAT THEY ARE SELECTED FOR THEIR HOUSE QUIDDITCH TEAM. PREFERABLY A: Firebolt, Nimbus, Lightning prototype, Cumulonimbus, Rocket, Sonic, Static, or Windseeker Edition
COURSE BOOKS (DEPENDING ON SELECTED CLASSES)
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 6) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic (Special and Updated Version 5) by Bathilda Bagshot
Advanced Magic Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Guide To Transfiguration Used By People With Five Years Of Subjection to Transfiguration Classes Under Their Belt by Emeric Switch Jr.
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi Plus A Bit More by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection Volume 6 by Quentin Trimble
Potions, Pickles and Eye of Newt (N.E.W.T. level Potions) by Dodley Mixer
Unfogging the Future by Cassandra Vablatsky
Charmed, I'm Sure by Happigo Lukey
Dragons, And Other Fire-Breathing Ravenous Beasts by Cruella Psiko
Constant Vigilance (Recently Released) by Mad-Eye
Moody Looking to the Stars by Vacante Gazirus
The Magic Before Magic (Beginner's Alchemy) by Paracelsus
Indicates optional class
"Are you certain we've gotten everything? I mean they are all starting out fresh, shouldn't we get some starter books?" Duo laughed.
"They'll be caught up to sixth year within the week, watch. We've all been known to be really fast learners. This comes from us being soldiers and all. Have to be able to learn on the run." Duo smirked and brought forth his wand. He watched the tip of it and slowly muttered under his breath. Draco caught the low words and was amazed that someone as scatter brained as he acted could do something like that. Slowly the glass chilled and the shake stopped melting. Duo put his wand away and shrugged slowly. "He forgot to do it himself, seeing as we were all a little caught up in our own world."
"I see. Yet won't you get in trouble? You are an underage wizard after all. Duo smirked, once again making Draco uncomfortable. That wasn't an expression you wanted to see pointed in your direction, he was certain.
"Naw, Dumbledore has a certain thing going with the Ministry of Magic for me. They don't get upset at me for the little spells like this, and I keep from leaving a gift only the Shinigami could leave them." Draco couldn't help it, he tipped his head back and laughed.
"Now I really see the Slytherin influence. Most of us use our family ties, you simply use your solider status." Duo nodded.
"Works well, doesn't it?" he questioned, that gleam still in his eyes. "As to your first question, we'll be all right. Hermione's got her past books coming from home to help us out, so you have nothing to worry about. We'll be almost perfectly ready to learn sixth year magic within the first week. You just watch."
"Care to make a wager on that?" Draco asked, moving closer with a smirk of his own.
"Oh my dear Malfoy, you really shouldn't make bets you can't win." Draco laughed aloud. He certainly hadn't expected the acting part to be so easy. Duo, once you got past his normally cheerful and hyper attitude, you found a very smart and sneaky person at heart.
"I'm willing to risk it," he answered smugly, pulling some of the old Malfoy attitude out from nowhere. "A Malfoy always takes the risk when it's in their favor."
"What do we wager? Certainly not money. We both have enough of that," Duo said casually, bringing Draco's attention to their on lookers. Several girls wearing Slytherin robes stood just a short pace away from them, one of them being Pansy Parkinson. Seeing as this act would help him keep her off his back as well as draw Potter's attention, he couldn't help but suddenly want to show this hardened solider who was no older than himself that he could play the game just as well.
"Oh, I wasn't thinking money, Maxwell. Maybe, something a little riskier is in order." Pansy's eyes narrowed, almost as if they wanted to kill Duo on the spot. She possibly did, but Duo simply paid it no mind. Nothing could beat that death glare of Yuy's he had caught being thrown in the American's direction. Duo seemed to think on it for a long moment before grinning brightly.
"How about a kiss?" Duo questioned, his violet eyes giving nothing away of how he knew this was all an act. To Draco, he could almost believe the American was interested in him.
"Hmm, interesting. I've never had that be part of a wager before." Draco watched as Pansy almost rushed over to tell him to do no such thing. Yet it was beneath a Slytherin to do such a thing, so she simply shot pleading looks the blond's way. Draco couldn't help but smirk as he stared straight back at Duo.
"It's a deal, my American friend. I'll expect that kiss to be worth the winning," he replied, Malfoy attitude in place while Duo simply smirked back, one less intimidating.
"You have yourself a bet, Malfoy." With that said, he leaned over and kissed the blond lightly, swiftly on the lips. "To seal the deal," Duo added as Draco almost lost character and demanded to know what had come over him. At that very moment, though, two messy headed boys had caught the action and seemed floored. Even Sylrina seemed more than a little shocked, yet for a majorly different reason. While the two boys hadn't expected something like from the ones they had come to care for, Sylrina had been floored that the two would do something like that when they had admitted to caring for someone else directly to her. Yet Duo suddenly seemed to pop into her mind, even though he continued to talk with Draco as if nothing was going on.
'Chill out, Rina. It isn't what your thinking. Draco and I have a little plan. To get those two shy, hardheaded men beside you to admit their feelings for us, we're gonna give them a little something to worry about. Help us out, Rina. You know you want to see us people happy even more than we want to be it ourselves.' She sighed. He was right. She hadn't known Heero long, but she didn't know Harry. Draco would have a bigger chance of getting him if Harry believed there was a chance he would no longer have a chance at the blond himself. Heero seemed to be of the same mold, if not a lot harder to break.
'I'll only do so much. The rest is up to the two of you. Yet I have to admit, Heero's thinking of some nasty ways to kill Draco right about now, and that's only for how close he is to you. I'd hate to see what he did if you two pulled this off and he found out.'
'Oh, he'd say Omae o Korosu and tell me I'll finally be dying at his hands, and then he'd kiss me and tell me to never do something so stupid again. Trust me, I've been studying Heero for a very long time. He's very set once his mind is made up. If he doesn't love me, then at least I'll have helped Harry and Draco find each other, and that's a plus in my book.' Sylrina sighed once again. Sometimes, Duo was too generous. He gave so much and seemed to keep taking so little in return.
'Fine. Just don't get your hopes up too high. I don't want to peel you off the Quiddich field. Speaking of which, you did get yourself a Firebolt in the hopes of joining the house team, didn't you? Last I heard Draco was captain. He'll want you for sure as Keeper once he sees you in action.'
'Firebolt is acquired, I just hope nothing goes too wrong this year to were I can't play, like the last time. That dumb professor saying I couldn't play because I wasn't a part of any house. I'd like to leave him a gift he'd never forget.'
'Duo! He had a point. Now you do have a house, so stop arguing with Draco and me and deal with your friends. They're coming your way and they don't seem all that happy with you.'
'Thanks for the warning, but Q-bean's expression from here tells me everything I need to know.' That said, Duo closed his mind to her tighter than ever before. She pulled a smile on her lips and jumped into this with both feet in front of her.
"Gee, if I didn't know better, I'd say they made a very cute couple," she said, gaining odd looks from Hermione and Ron and dark looks from Heero and Harry. Yet it was Quatre who suddenly picked up on her attitude and who nudged Trowa with a smile. The silent boy then smiled as well and she knew both of them knew exactly what Duo was up to. Apparently he must of wanted to do this with one of them at one time or another and had simply ended up pulling them together.
"You're right, Sylrina. They really do," Quatre added, ignoring Heero's sudden death glare in his direction. Sylrina reached them first and placed a hand on both boys' shoulders.
"What's up? Find things to talk about while waiting?" Duo grinned, giving Draco a wink that could be thought of as anything but innocent.
"Malfoy and I were just discussing our house and what plans were made for this years Quiddich team." Draco played his part beautifully and acted as if he hadn't just been placed onto a whole new subject. Yet he didn't miss the glare of emerald eyes that seemed to spear Duo almost as well as Pansy had earlier. Duo would have a lot of trouble after this, Draco was certain of it.
"Yes, as I was telling Maxwell, it seems we'll be short a beater and a keeper this year."
"Oh, Duo's a wonderful keeper. You should give him a try out as soon as you can," Sylrina said, moving to take a seat as orders were taken for the large group of eight. Once drinks were served, Quatre decided to break the ice from what he had taken in.
"What's Quiddich?" he asked, his eyes telling of his curiosity.
"It's a game played on broomsticks, Q-bean. There are three chasers, two beaters, one keeper, and one seeker. Malfoy and Potter here are seekers. They spend most of the game trying not to get hit and chase a golden snitch around the Quiddich pitch. When the snitch is captured, the game is over, although the one hundred and fifty points awarded at the end of the game doesn't always mean the team that caught it is the winner. The chasers toss around a ball called the quaffle and attempt to make it into three poles suspended in the air that is protected by the keeper. The beaters keep two nasty balls called bludgers away from their teammates while trying to send it into their opponents to make them lose track. It's all rather fun, once you've gotten the hang of flying without a gundam or ship around you." Quatre's eyes seemed really wide, almost nervous.
"That's all right, I think I'll keep my feet on the ground unless its a requirement," the Arabian said softly, watching his friends. He then turned to his lover. "What about you?"
"It sounds like fun. I'd like to try flying like that. The game could even be interesting to learn." Wufei nodded.
"I think I'd enjoy it as well. What about you, Yuy?" Heero hadn't taken his eyes off of Duo the entire time he had spoken of the game. His face had lit up like a kid at Christmas and it was obvious he loved the sport dearly. If he could do something like that, that so could he.
"Hn," was all he answered though, unable to voice his opinion with his mind running off perfect solider mode and into teenager with a problem mode. Duo laughed, causing Heero to keep his eyes on him all the more.
"I take that as a yes as well. Which is all pretty good, seeing as I figured on these all being your exact answers. Yet lets drop Quiddich for now. What kind of wands did you all get? Trowa, what kind of familiars did you get us?" Duo was all into hyper and bouncy mode now, in the element he had been born into. Magic was like breathing for the braided boy and he wanted details.
"Mr. Olivander said mine was made of cherry wood, seven and a half inches, slightly whippy, and that it had a unicorn hair piece at its core. I was really surprised when he said the word unicorn. Are there really such beautiful creatures?" Hermione nodded, her smile wistful.
"Oh yes. For our fifth year in Care of Magical Creatures, we got to see them. The boys really weren't into it much because they weren't pure enough to see them, but the girls all had a wonderful time." Quatre smiled.
"I'd love to see if I could see one someday," he said wistfully. Trowa gave his hand a squeeze before addressing Duo's ever-present curiosity.
"Mine is yew, thirteen inches, smooth, with a gryphon's feather at its core." Duo smirked.
"Always knew you'd get something exotic, Tro-man," Duo answered, turning his eyes on Wufei. Wufei sighed and rolled his eyes in exasperation.
"If you really must know, Maxwell, mine is redwood, eight and a half inches, stiff, with a dragon heartstring core." Duo smirked at his words.
"Stiff, just likes its owner. That figures." Wufei made a move for one of the hidden blades he had but Trowa and Quatre stopped him with calming hands.
"Remember, its just Duo's bad humor. Let it go."
"I know, I know. Someday you'll kill me for it too, right? Isn't that what else you were gonna tell me?" Wufei sighed and simply took to sipping his strawberry shake, ignoring Duo. Heero didn't even wait for Duo to turn those puppy dog eyes on him and simply spoke up.
"Sakura, nine inches, whippy, with a kappa scale core." Duo seemed to nod, no charming quip coming from him lips for his. Heero was almost depressed that Duo hadn't taken the time to say something about his as he had for the others. Ron had had plenty to say, and all of it had almost gotten the red haired boy killed. Give him Gundam stats any time of the day of the stats for a wand that made him feel like he couldn't protect the broad side of a barn with it. His gun, which had been left in a safe place at Dumbledore's request, would of made him feel safer than this flimsy thing he had tucked in his belt.
"So, what kind of familiar's Trowa? You did get one for everyone, didn't you?" Trowa nodded.
"He was like a regular kid in a candy store, he was. Wanted all the bloody animals he could talk with, and there was a right many of them too." Everyone laughed at that while Trowa simply continued to smile. Out of the former pilots, Trowa was the most suited to animals. That was why he had been sent to pick out their familiar's, leaving to mind that he'd be able to pick out the perfect one for each of them.
"I got an owl for Quatre. A really pretty brown one that seemed to want someone kind for a master. I got a rather small firedrake for Wufei, seeing as it was as close to a dragon as I could find." Wufei smiled, knowing Trowa would of done no less for someone descended from dragons. "For myself, I got a cat. Not just any cat, though. This one seems more descended from the wildcat than a house cat." Duo smirked.
"Leave it to you to pick a cat. Must miss the circus and the lion you help take care of."
"I do," Trowa admitted, quietly. "I got a falcon for Heero and a baby phoenix for you, Duo. You once told me they were your favorite and this one was very lonely. Seemed it is going to remain rather small and no one really wanted it. Seeing as I knew certain things, I knew he'd be perfect for you." Duo smiled, nodding lightly.
"Damn straight. I'd want nothing less. He may be small, but he'll be perfect to me." Trowa smiled, glad he had known Duo so well and had told the phoenix honestly when he had gotten it that the master he had in mind would love him dearly.
"Seems everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do. What about you, Maxwell? Did you get what was required?" Wufei asked, his voice slightly dark. He was still upset over that comment and Duo didn't blame him. Sharing a look with Draco, Duo stood up.
"I did exactly as I was told. Follow me to our carriage and you'll be able to see for yourself." The whole group moved off, Heero and Harry seeming to fall behind. Once they were out of earshot of the chattering group, Harry turned to Heero.
"No offense, but I always believed Duo cared for you," Harry remarked, watching him closely. Heero 'hn'd' slightly.
"So he was always one to tell me. Now, I'm not so certain." Heero then looked at Harry, his blue eyes watching him closely.
"What about you? I always thought you cared for the blond." Harry blushed slightly.
"I do, but I was never certain about how he felt toward other men." Heero stopped dead at those words. Was that what he had done to Duo? Had he made him so uncertain that he would turn to the one person he could when his feelings had finally taken enough abuse?
"I think we both hesitated when we should of acted and taken our chances," Heero muttered. Harry looked at Heero, surprise in his eyes.
"This coming from you? From what Duo told us about you, you don't seem like the type to let emotions rule you."
"Right now, I can't call myself a soldier, because in this time, I'm not. I'm a student. I'm here to learn so that I might one day be able to help Duo do what he wants most in our time, and that's reopen Hogwarts. He'll need people who can teach as much as he'll need students. I want to be one of the first to offer their assistance. Besides, I am human, some of the time." Harry smiled.
"Same here, although not too many people ever seem to get past the scar anymore." Heero nodded in understanding. There was a lot about Harry that echoed Heero's own life. Both had not parents, both had spent their lives fighting battles, even though Harry's weren't quite the same as Heero's, and both had come to realize too late that they were human and therefore had to take risks like everyone else, or else they lose out.
"Seeing as we're both new to all this, how about we work together?"
"We work together to keep Draco and Duo from becoming any more closer than they've already become. Then we work on being human enough to take a risk and tell them exactly how we feel." Harry seemed to think on it for a long time, brushing his hair from his eyes at the same moment Heero had done the same to his own. They shared a small smile and nodded, just once.
"I think that's a good idea. Perhaps we can save things before they get too far out of hand."
"Hn," was all Heero could answer, already his mind on various plans that would have to be carried out throughout the school year. Joining the Quiddich team of whichever house he was placed into would be one good way to start it.
"Hee-chan! Harry! Are you two coming or not?" Duo shouted, waving from over at his place near the carriage.
"We're coming!" Harry hollered back, as Heero and him started up again and soon reached the back of the carriage where the package was stored.
"Now, as I was saying, this is on the list and I thought of each persons ideal's before getting them. Draco helped me make certain they were the perfect ones for each of you." Opening the package he revealed three brooms that were red and exactly alike. Two other brooms were in there as well, but both were different from the main three. "I got Firebolts for Heero, Wufei, and myself, seeing as we all seem to be the extremely competitive ones and I also figured we'd all be the most likely to be trying out of Quiddich. For Trowa, I got a Nimbus 2001. Draco said these babies are well suited for some of the crazier things I know you're up to doing and can be modified to the way you like having everything else. The same goes for the Firebolts, but messing with perfection can be a bad thing. As for Quatre, and this one was pretty difficult seeing as the gentlest brooms are those made for children and I refused to be that heartless to ya, Q-bean, I got you a Cumulonimbus. They're said to be so gentle with skittish flyers that you can hardly tell that you're on a broom to begin with. It has speed, but usually you can adjust it like the others so that way it won't be any more than what you want it to be."
"Told you he wouldn't get just Firebolts for everyone," Hermione said to Ron, gaining a slight glare.
"All right, miss know it all. I knew that was coming."
"And I knew that temper of yours would flare up just as much as your hair is red," Hermione countered, earning a dark look from him. Sylrina stepped between the two of them.
"Now, now. Remember this is a time to be helping our friends, not trading insults."
"She started it," Ron muttered.
"I did. . ." Hermione began but Sylrina interrupted.
"Enough! I don't care who stared what. I just want it stopped. Now!" Both of them glared at each other once more before turning their back on each other. Quatre looked at the two in surprise.
"Are they always like this?" he questioned. Harry nodded.
"All the time."
"And here I thought Duo and Wufei were bad. At least they stop when even one person mentions anything." Duo and Wufei both flushed slightly, embarrassed at having been used for this kind of discussion.
"Okay, enough about us. Lets head back to Hogwarts and get our things put away. There is a lot to read up on before we can say we'll even remotely understand classes tomorrow and we really need to be up to speed before the week is done. So lets head back. We've got at least one year here. Dumbledore said he might be able to help up get twos years worth of schooling in this one year for me. For you guys, it's all up to how smart you want to be. Seven years of work in one might be a little more than you all are up to. If that's the case, then I'm all set to remain one more year. Yet we need to know by the end of this week if we can handle all of this. If not, I'll ask Dumbledore to send you home and I'll deal with this so that way I can finally control myself."
"Duo," Quatre murmured, having never before heard him be so serious and in command of a situation before. Everyone realized in that instant that he was dead set on doing what needed to be done, with them beside him or not. He was obviously tired of certain things popping up from his lack of knowledge and wanted to take control of the situation at hand.
"We can handle it Duo. We've crammed years of regular school into our heads with mere weeks of being at them, this should be just as easy to accomplish, with a little bit of awkwardness in the beginning." Duo smiled, tears resting slightly in his eyes at Heero's words before nodding.
"Thanks. I knew you all wouldn't let me down." With that they got back into the carriages and headed off back to the school. Each one knowing there was going to be a lot more asked of them than there had ever been asked before.