Heero was livid. No one was allowed to kiss Duo but him! How dare that Draco boy do it! Sylrina placed a calming hand on both Harry and Heero's arms. Slowly she probed into Duo's mind.
'What's up 'Rina?' he asked as he felt her invade his mind.
'What's going on? Why did Draco kiss you?' she asked in return. Duo gave her a mental smirk.
'Draco simply lost a bet, 'Rina. No need to worry over it. I'll met ya after dinner and we can talk then.' Duo then shut her out. Sylrina felt her eyes narrow. She's really have to learn how he did that. She'd really have to learn how he did that. He couldn't just keep doing it whenever he damn well felt like it. That totally defeated the purpose of being a Mystic Charmist and being able to find out exactly what he was up to.
"Harry, Heero, let's get something to eat." Both boys nodded but she could tell that food was the last thing on their minds. Taking a seat at the Gryffindor table, Harry, Heero, and Sylrina all seemed lost in their own thoughts.
'Why did Draco do that? I thought he cared about me. Even if it wasn't a huge feeling toward me, I had hoped to at least have a chance. How do I win him now?' Harry thought to himself, his eyes downcast to hide the hurt in them. Beside him, Heero was going through the same thing.
'Why did Duo let him do that? He had always said he loved me. Did I do something to drive him away? What can I do to get him back? I miss the old Duo. I hate this place. I want to go back to where we were before all this happened. Back before all this crazy stuff changed Duo.' Heero glanced up toward the doors. Right at that moment Duo sauntered in with Draco slightly behind him. Crabbe and Goyle brought up the rear.
"Draco, next time, lower your eyebrow a little more. Then they'll be frightened off before you can speak," Duo said lightly. Heero's eyes narrowed. Duo was giving Draco glaring tips? Didn't the actions of earlier mean anything to him?
"Hmm, I think I get it, Maxwell," Draco answered, causing Harry's eyes to widen. Didn't Draco think of anything about what he'd just done to Duo? "Oh, Quiddich try-outs are tonight. You're going to try for Keeper, aren't you?" Draco asked of Duo. Duo gave one of his patented smirks.
"Just try and stop me. I've been looking foreword to this since school began."
"You can fly that Firebolt of yours better than Potter, can't you?" Duo laughed loudly, causing several eyes to turn toward him. A few girls at the Gryffindor table sighed in longing.
"He's so handsome," one girl remarked.
"He's really nice too, when away from the other Slytherin's," another girl remarked.
"I saw him practicing on his broom the other night and he was really very skilled on it."
"He even listened to what my father wrote about in his paper," Luna Lovegood said, peering at Duo from over her paper. Harry's eyes showed he confusion Heero's failed to show.
"Wait a minute. Is this the same Duo Maxwell we've all seen in the last week?" Ron asked, also having a hard time seeing the similarities between the Duo they had first met and the one who was going to school with them.
"He wasn't always like this," Sylrina said quietly, gaining everyone's attention. With everyone knowing of Sylrina's past school and that Duo came from that same one, Heero knew she was the only one who could say such a thing.
"What was he like?" the first girl asked. Sylrina smiled softly.
"He always wore a kind smile. He never had a bad thing to say toward anyone. Oh, he was sarcastic, that hasn't really changed either, and there was almost nothing he'd take seriously. Yet, it was all how you looked at it. It was just what he wanted to show you."
"I wonder what changed," Trowa said softly, adding his own thoughts into the tale.
"I don't really know. The next time I can catch him alone, I'll find out," Sylrina answered in a low voice.
"Let the rest of us know when you find out. I'm tired of that sharp tongue of his," Harry remarked.
"Hai," Heero agreed, his eyes watching Duo as he laughed, his head tipped back.
"Let's eat. We have potions shortly," Hermione remarked, trying to switch the subject.
"Right," Harry said. Silence fell as they all got to eating, each one lost in their own thoughts.
Snape was being especially harsh today. Every time a Gryffindor even did so much as look at him the wrong way, he'd deduct points from the class. Hermione sat next to Ron while Harry sat next to Heero. Trowa was beside Sylrina while Crabbe and Goyle sat behind Duo and Draco.
"Professor, what do we have for homework?" Duo asked, causing the room to groan. Even several Slytherin's glared darkly at him. Snape's eyes glared at Duo as well. As everyone was well aware of, Snape hadn't been teaching them at all today. It was obvious something had him out-of-focus today, and that something was usually their new DADA teacher.
"Maxwell, are you mouthing off?" Snape asked. Duo shook his head.
"Not at all, Professor Snape," Duo answered. "It's just that we usually expect homework. I wanted to make certain we don't fall behind."
"You are correct, Mr. Maxwell," Snape replied. "Write a five foot long parchment on the importance of unicorn oil and gryphon's hair in our latest potion." Another groan rose up, with more death glare's sent in Duo's direction. Having become used to Heero's extreme death glares, he simply shrugged them off.
"I'm just glad to see you care this time around, Maxwell."
"Just want my education well rounded." Class was dismissed then, Heero taking his time gathering his things. Harry stayed behind as well, wanting to talk with the stoic boy alone while they walked to their DADA class. It had been a shock to see someone who was almost identical to their third year teacher, Remus Lupin, that several students had actually whispered his name. Yet this man wasn't thin or pale as Lupin had been.
Their teacher was none other than Romulus Lupin, Remus Lupin's twin brother. It was scary to see how different the two were. He was temporary head of Ravenclaw House but usually was partial to Slytherin, for he had been one while going here. He had a dark sense of humor and seemed to get along very well with Duo, who was also one for dark humor.
"Heero, can we talk?" Harry asked, his normally bright green eyes a little dim. Heero's own eyes seemed more icy and chilled to Harry as he gazed at him.
"Hai," Heero answered. In the past week Harry had learned much from Heero about the Japanese language. In return, Harry was about to speak when Duo's voice rang through the hallways outside of the room.
"Come on, Draco!" You haven't lived until you try it with your eyes closed."
"Maxwell, that hardly seems dignified," Draco remarked coolly.
"To hell with dignity, Malfoy. This is all in the name of fun!" Duo countered.
"If it will shut you up, then fine," Draco muttered. There was a short silence followed by a deep-throated moan. A soft laugh could be heard then, causing Harry and Heero to share a look. They hadn't just kissed, had they? Both boys, looking rather sick, hoped not.
'I always did that,' Heero thought. 'I'd only humor Duo so he would shut up. I never realized how much I missed it until it wasn't directed at me anymore.'
'I miss Draco's condescending tone. Sure he was insulting, but there was always more to it than that,' Harry thought to himself. Both boys were shaken from their thoughts as Duo spoke up again.
"See, I was right, huh," Duo told him. Heero could just picture the smug look on Duo's feminine face. Draco moaned again in reply, this one not so deep as the last, which Harry was grateful for.
"Don't get smug, Maxwell. You're not a complete idiot. I suppose you had to get something right eventually."
"Oh, a likely story!" Duo exclaimed, although he was laughing though his faked indignation. "Come, on, we'll be late for Transfiguration if we don't hurry."
"Malfoy's never hurry," Draco remarked. Heero heard Duo's sigh and could just picture him rolling his eyes.
"Fine, you take your sweet time and I'll rush and when you're late McGonagall will be after you." The sounds of two pairs of rushing feet sounded on the stairs.
"When you put it that way, Maxwell, I suppose rushing wouldn't hurt." Duo laughed, the sound echoing off the walls as the two boys came out of the classroom. With their class being closer than the transfiguration room, the two Gryffindor's took their time.
"What do you think that was about?" Harry asked. Heero shrugged.
"Knowing Duo, anything." Harry slowly worried his bottom lip.
"I'm scared, Heero. What if those two fall in love with one another?" Heero didn't show it, but he was worried over that as well. It didn't sit well in his stomach.
"I suppose we'd be happy for them, Harry. Isn't that what friends do for one another?" Heero asked. Harry stopped short, his eyes wide. He had been trying to teach Heero how to act more human, but obviously only certain facts were retained.
"I guess," Harry muttered. Together the two headed the rest of the way to class, both reluctant to keep the conversation going.
Lunch arrived after a rather brutal class of Care of Magical Creatures. Duo had rather rudely explained about Slyworms and their importance in the magical world when Hagrid failed to know much. The ugly little things had then taken a bite out of Neville with their four sharp little teeth. Before Hagrid could attempt to pull the nasty worm-like creatures off him, Duo had begun singing, which had instantly entranced the worms to let go and also caught the attention of several girls. Heero was just as taken aback by the sweet, gentle tenor voice that fell from Duo's lips.
"Get him to the infirmary, Dumb and Dumber," Duo said when he was done and the worms contained. Crabbe and Goyle blinked but did as Duo instructed, there was no room for argument in his calm, commanding voice. Draco blinked surprised gray eyes at Duo, never having seen the violet-eyed boy so serious.
"I should go with them," Hagrid said softly, moving to leave.
"I think you should dismiss class first, Professor," Duo replied quietly. Hagrid nodded.
"Class dismissed," Hagrid said. Everyone left, not waiting around to have him change his mind. Duo stayed where he was. Draco stood a slight distance away, Sylrina, Ron, Harry, and Hermione near him. Heero and Trowa stood slightly away from the rest of them, their eyes on Duo as he walked over to Hagrid. His usually loud voice was too low to hear.
"Hagrid, don't blame yourself. Neville had chocolate on his fingers."
"Slyworms love chocolate," Hagrid muttered. Duo placed a hand on the half-giants arm. Now Duo wasn't a short man, but next to Hagrid, he looked like a child.
"I think you might want to ask Dumbledore if we could learn about dragons next. Perhaps have Ron's brother, Charlie, bring a little one for us to learn from." Hagrid's eyes lit up, as Duo knew they would. Dragon's were Hagrid's favorite. Yet the light faded almost as quickly as it had begun.
"I'll be lucky not to be fired for this," Hagrid muttered in despair. Duo gave him a smile.
"You were following the curriculum and trying to teach us what we where to learn. Only you didn't have enough information. You won't be fired for it."
"Malfoy will see to it I lose my job, you mark my words, he will." Duo shook his head.
"I'll handle Malfoy. As to Neville, he'll be fine. He's just a little slow and a lot nervous when it comes to anything but Herbology. The chocolate on his hands was pure accident. Dumbledore will see that." Hagrid stared at Duo for a long moment.
"You're not as bad as they say," Hagrid told him. Duo smirked.
"Naw, I'm much worse." He then winked and headed up the hill to where Draco and Sylrina waited.
"What's you just do, Duo?" Hermione asked, seeing Hagrid's grin as he headed off to the infirmary.
"Oh, nothing in particular, 'Mione. If you all will excuse me, I've got a rather talkative stomach I need to silence." He walked off without a backward glance. Trowa watched as Draco followed Duo. He then turned his one emerald eye on Heero.
"He hasn't changed, Heero. He's playing a part. He wants everyone to see him as a perfect Slytherin while he's here. He needs to learn a lot in a short amount of time. He's always been there for us. We can do nothing less than return the favor." Harry, Hermione, and Ron all stared in shock. That was the most the silent boy had ever said while in their presence.
"Hn," was all Heero answered before heading off after the two Slytherin's.
"What's that all about?" Ron asked. Trowa shrugged and headed off after Heero.
"I do believe we've found the two most silent people in the world," Sylrina commented.
"Quite," Hermione added.
"Let's go eat," Harry finally said, a small smile on his lips. 'Maybe he's not so bad after all,' Harry thought as they all headed after the two Gryffindor's.
'Maybe I was wrong," Harry rethought as he watched Draco and Duo tease Collin for tripping over his own two feet while trying to take a picture. Just then, Quatre and Trowa walked in, hand-in-hand. It was hard for anyone to say anything about them; Quatre was just too sweet to be able to say anything mean about. Yet even their relationship was free reign to Duo's sharp tongue.
"Oh look, Malfoy, they seem to be suffering from the rare tropical disease Lack-of-nooky from the island of Come-on-I-wanna-lay-ya," Duo remarked as they passed. The Slytherin table errupted into peels of laughter. Even Quatre, who was one of the ones being teased, laughed. It was also proving difficult to hate Duo. His comments merely teased and he was never overly mean. He also kept Malfoy from calling anyone Mudblood, which was a miracle in itself.
"One of these days Maxwell's luck will run out," Wufei commented. Sylrina looked up as the Chinese boy stopped beside them.
"You think so?" she asked. He simply nodded. "Perhaps you're right. Then again, he might surprise us all."
"Who really knows," Wufei answered. He then flashed his hand at Heero who nodded in acknowledgement. Harry blinked in confusion.
"Did I miss something?" he asked.
"Only if you were daydreaming again," Sylrina remarked. Harry blushed.
"No, I wasn't," Harry answered.
"Don't worry about it, Harry. Here's not a place to explain it," Heero answered, looking at Trowa who nodded as well, leaning down to whisper to Quatre. Quatre then made an almost unnoticeable gesture toward Duo. Duo made a few movements of his own, which no one watched. Quatre nodded this time and whispered to Trowa. Trowa then gestured toward Heero and Wufei, who both nodded in answer. Sylrina's eyes widened.
'You're communicating!' she exclaimed in Heero's mind.
'Hai. We've used that system for years. Duo wants to meet all of us after Quiddich try-outs in the owlery.'
'All of us?' she asked.
'Wufei, Trowa, Quatre, Harry, you, and myself,' he clarified.
'I'll let Harry know.'
'Understood.' Heero watched Duo, noting that his new way of keeping his hair only made him long to run his fingers through the silken mass. Duo suddenly stood up, glancing at the watch he had charmed so it would work.
"Come on, Malfoy, time for DADA. I've got to go get my books before class. Not to mention I need to speak with Professor Lupin about yesterday's lesson." Draco nodded. He stood as well and together they left, leaving a trail of sighing, drooling girls in their wake.
Defense Against the Dark Arts was Duo's favorite class. He was good at the other classes, but he excelled at DADA. The professor was really cool, even if he was a little twisted. Yet to Duo's frame of mind, Romulus Lupin was nowhere near as twisted as he, himself, was. This year, Slytherin shared DADA with Ravenclaw, which made it really funny to observe. Lupin may be Ravenclaw's Head of House, but he favored Slytherin.
Sitting near the front, which Draco hated, Duo eagerly awaited his next lesson. Yet as Romulus Lupin walked down the steps from his office into the classroom, the large door slammed open. Standing at the front of the class now, Romulus could only stare in shock at the person there.
"Araki," he muttered, so low only those in the front could hear him. Duo turned to stare at the girl in the doorway. Her long gray hair flowed loosely to her waist and her emerald green eyes spit fire at the man in the front of the room. Her robes were of the finest quality. The Gryffindor patch was on the left side of it. She then strode foreword, her stride determined. As soon as she reached Lupin, she brought her arm back and swung, punching him in the jaw.
Many students gasped while Duo smirked. "If she'd have tightened her fist a little it would have made a lot more of an impact," Duo muttered. The girl glanced at him.
"Thanks for the tip," the girl, commented, preparing to hit him again. Duo moved quickly and blocked the punch.
"Tip or no tip, I think he's already gotten the point," Duo replied. Her emerald eyes flashed fire toward him then, removing her focus from Professor Lupin, who was holding his jaw.
"Five points from Slytherin for helping her," he remarked.
"He did stop her, Professor," Draco pointed out.
"Correct you are, Malfoy. Ten points to Slytherin." Romulus then watched as her body tensed. "Watch yourself, Maxwell," he commented a moment before she struck. Duo had been expecting the move and easily blocked the kick she had sent his way. He hadn't fought in the wars just to lose to a girl now. They went at it for a while, the girl unable to make a connection while Duo did nothing but block. All those times of sparing with Wufei was finally paying off, although with Wufei, Duo usually fought back. Once she had gotten tired enough, she glared at Duo, catching her breath.
"Since when can a wizard fight like that?" she asked. Duo smirked.
"Since I'm anything but your average wizard," he replied. "Names Duo Maxwell, and you are?" She smiled then, accepting his hand.
"Araki Lupin." A few gasped while everyone turned their eyes on their professor.
"Class, I'd like you all to meet my daughter."