Hibari Satoshi spent a lot of time in his car upon returning to Namimori. Mostly with his forehead resting on the steering wheel and eyes unable to look away from the printed photograph in his hand. It had taken him a while to gather the willpower to return home, to leave Fon in Tokyo to continue the search. It hadn't been easy but he knew he didn't have the resources available to track Takeru, not even with the entirety of the detectives in his Agency working with him. Fon had contacts he didn't have, resources he couldn't even dream about. An ex-cop turned private detective really couldn't hold a candle to an active member of the Traid.
"Goddamn it." he cursed, slamming his hand against the steering wheel. How was he going to tell Yun he'd found their son only to have him slip out of his fingers like so much smoke? The boy in the photo… really couldn't be anyone else. The shape of the eyes was all him, though the colour was Yun's. Actually everything save the shape of those incredible eyes was his mother all over.
And he was thin.
Satoshi couldn't help it. He was a father. He looked at the way Takeru's clothes fit, the size and shape of the hands, the thinness to his face and something in him turned to ice. Kyouya had never been that thin. It wasn't enough that whoever had taken his son had ripped him away from his only family but to not even treat him like the treasure he so obviously was…
There had been times during those early years in the kidnapping where he'd thought that whoever had taken his son had taken him to love him. Kidnapped a child because for whatever reason 'they' couldn't have one of their own. An idealistic hope born from the desperate wish that Takeru was alive and not killed by someone connected to his wife's former occupation or familial relations. Or even someone connected to any of the cases he'd worked on in his career as a police officer. That was equally as likely.
Now that he had, (somewhat solid), proof that his son was alive he was driving himself insane over the possibilities. Who'd had him? Where had he been living all this time? Where was he now? He had information that Takeru had somehow snuck his way into the country but he didn't know how or why.
Satoshi tried to pull himself back together, if his wife saw him like this she'd see through him instantly. It would only take one concerned look from her and he'd be pouring his heart out. He'd long since lost whatever resistance he had towards that look, (not that he'd had much in the first place), and he didn't want to just drop the news in her lap.
She'd disappear again, like she had during whole mistaken identity mess. Yun had taken that information, reached out to her older brother and had vanished for a good three months. At the time he'd thought she'd left him, he'd spent those months half out of his mind with grief over losing her only to have her return as abruptly as she had left, utterly convinced the child mistaken as theirs wasn't Takeru.
He'd been so relieved he'd almost broken down right there in front of her. He'd lost his son, he couldn't lose Yun or Kyouya. It would destroy him. Of course the former hit-woman had been confused over his relief and absolutely puzzled over his 'over-reaction'. She'd had no idea why he'd ever think she'd left him and had looked at him as if HE was the one that was making no sense when he tried to explain it. Even Kyouya had looked at him like he'd grown another head when he'd finished and called him a herbivore, as if he could follow his mother's thought-process in a way Satoshi himself had never been able to and have it all make sense.
"Why wouldn't I come back? It was so hard seducing you! Why would I ruin all my hard work?" she'd asked, wholly uncomprehending of what it had looked like from his side of the fence. Huffing out a laugh that was half amusement and half pain Satoshi knuckled his forehead. Okay, thinking about that time wasn't really helping him pull himself together, it was only giving him a headache.
Honestly what else should he have expected of the former hit-woman? No matter that she'd 'retired' from the lifestyle the day she met him, she was still the same woman who had decided to introduce herself to him via the balcony window of his hotel room. Holding the scruff of the terrified serial killer he'd spent the last two weeks hunting down to boot. He'd still been on the police force at the time, part of a task-force put together to track down the man Yun had so effortlessly been dangling over the edge of the balcony she'd been so delicately balanced on.
He'd taken a break to drop into his room, shower and grab a change of clothes before heading back out, only to be caught flatfooted and fresh out of the shower wearing only a towel when he'd realized he had an audience. He'd frozen somewhere between shock and confusion. Some lunatic was on the balcony railing. The VERY rickety railing. For a long moment his eyes bugged out as he processed that no, his eyes weren't playing tricks on him and yes, that WAS the serial killer he and his taskforce had been hunting for. Yes, the woman BALANCING ON HIS BALCONY WINDOW really was holding said serial killer by the scruff and was also not-so-subtly appreciating the view. Of him. In only his towel.
He simultaneously wanted to grab his gun and secure the serial killer, arrest the nutcase ogling him from the balcony, grab his clothes and Get. Dressed. He'd wanted to go find a rock somewhere and crawl under it for being caught so off guard and then bury himself for good measure at being caught nearly naked at the same time.
"Hi. You were looking for him right?" Yun had asked, oh-so-effortlessly lifting the man over the side of the balcony and forward, as if she were offering him an errant puppy. "I'm Yun, it's nice to meet you. I caught him for you. I even kept him alive! You're a policeman right? You like having things alive, right? Here!" she offered, tossing the man through the balcony doors.
Satoshi lunged for the pile of discarded clothes on his bed and scrabbled for his gun. He managed to unholster it, snatch up a pair of hand-cuffs and nearly lost his towel securing the 'gift' Yun had dropped into the room. She'd looked so pleased with herself, like a cat that had caught the canary. Only, like an actual cat, she'd dropped said 'canary' at his feet. Like the one cat he'd had in in his teenage years, who would regularly present him with dead animals as a sign of its affections. Come to think of it his cat had been a girl too…
When he'd gone to the balcony to possibly arrest her she'd effortlessly disarmed him, looped her hands around his neck, reeled him in and kissed him within an inch of his life.
"Oh I wish I could just take you home~! But I won't. Dàgē would snap your neck and string your entrails up for New Year's Decorations." She had sighed after pulled back, slipping his gun back into his hand and giving him one last mournful peck. "He's a tad protective of me, I'm sure I can convince him though…"
He'd been so confused that he couldn't scraped together enough brain cells to string a question together, not that he'd have been able to ask. Seeing the question on his face Yun hand answered in her typical brain-baking, blunt truth.
"Because you're lovely and I never leave a debt unpaid~!" she answered his unasked question and had then promptly turned around and JUMPED OFF HIS BALCONY. Off the THIRD FLOOR. He'd yelped. He couldn't have helped it even if he'd been prepared for it. He nearly went over the side reaching to grab her and then stared boggle-eyed again as he watched her slink down the side of the building with impossibly liquid grace.
It wasn't until a week after the encounter on the balcony that he realized what she'd been talking about when she mentioned a debt, not until he'd received a dry-cleaned jacket and his umbrella back in the mail. At his home address. He remembered meeting her, it had to have been two or three days into the case that had brought him to Tokyo in the first place. He'd been rushing through the rain to the Tokyo police headquarters and had caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye while waiting for a traffic light to turn green.
She'd looked about as miserable as a drowned rat. Soaked to the skin from the rain that she didn't even bother sheltering herself from with her hair plastered to her face in a wet tangle. She hadn't even been dressed for the weather, wearing a short sundress that would have been appropriate for the weather had it stayed clear like the newscast had predicted.
He'd automatically shifted his umbrella to shield her from the rain she wasn't doing anything to shield herself from and shrugged off his jacket in the same move. He didn't exactly remember what he'd said but he'd started to scold her for letting herself get into the conditions she was in, for not taking shelter to at least wait out the rain and why was she dressed so lightly? He'd dropped his jacket around her shoulders, guided her across the street and under the eaves of the building on the corner.
He'd pulled his wallet out of his pocket, grabbed some money and had folded her hands around the notes, (money for a cab to wherever she was headed). He was halfway through buttoning up the jacket for her when his brain caught up with him. He'd let his big brother impulses overtake him and he'd moved on auto-pilot. He's started scolding a stranger, a woman at that! Women didn't generally take very well to him, either too intimidated with what his brother affectionately called his 'natural frown' and what others called a 'distant' attitude. He knew he came across as harsh and unfeeling but honestly? He was fine with that. He wasn't a social butterfly by any stretch of the imagination and if people were put off by his 'constantly scowling' face and 'bitter' attitude? All the better. It just meant fewer irritants in his life.
Only… Yun hadn't taken any of it as scolding. In all honesty she'd looked a little star-struck, her brilliant blue eyes had widened in surprise and the cute blush that had flushed her face red caught HIM by surprise in turn. He'd been in a handful of relationships, (with women who thought they could 'change' him), but he'd never been quite so taken with them as he'd had with Yun. He'd been blindsided by her, knocked so completely off kilter that he'd pretty much babbled an excuse about needing to be somewhere and bolted.
He'd spent the rest of the day with his face plastered to the temporary desk he'd been assigned during his stay in Tokyo. His little brother had managed to get the story out of him and had promptly laughed in his face. "What kind of man runs away from a grateful woman?" Minoru asked and had ended up having to scramble catch the fake pot-plant Satoshi had tossed at his head in retaliation before it could hit. To add insult to injury he'd come down with a cold, quite possibly from running through the rain all the way to the Tokyo office without taking cover from the rain.
The umbrella and the dry cleaned jacket that had been returned to him… had reminded him of all that. Searching through his jacket pockets revealed how she'd known where to return his jacket and how she'd known about the case he was working on. His notebook and police identification had been in the breast pocket. In return for an umbrella, some money and a jacket she'd gone out and caught a serial killer for him. He was sure it all balanced out in her head but even all these years later it still bent his brain into unnatural shapes as he tried to follow the mind-set.
Now he was going to have to go into the house and tell her Takeru had been in Tokyo, he almost didn't want to but he didn't really have a choice. Pulling out his wallet Satoshi flipped it open and stared at the picture tucked into the clear pocket, comparing the two year old to the thirteen year old and wondered how he could have ever mistaken, (even if only for a very short time), the Sawamura boy for his Takeru. The eyes should have given it away, the shape, colour and shade hadn't changed at all in the years between the two pictures. He'd only ever seen one other person with eyes like that and he was married to her.
Carefully folding the new picture into the clear pocket of his wallet Satoshi put his wallet back into his pocket and left his car. He'd spent enough time sitting in his car doing nothing, it was about time he went in to face the proverbial music.
Yun knew something was wrong with her husband the second he stepped in to the house. His usually straight-backed figure was slightly hunched over and there was a bitter, self-hating twist to the shape of his lips that immediately had her freezing in the act of greeting him.
Something had happened, something he was trying to break to her gently.
Kyouya was in the house. She'd seen him with her own eyes, there was no way he was in any way injured, he was FINE. Satoshi himself looked fine as well. Minoru? Fon? Had something happened to someone else in the family?
Satoshi shook his head, wordlessly holding a finger up to his lips as a signal to keep her voice down. "Where's Kyouya?" he asked softly instead of answering, meeting her eyes with his own sharp grey ones darkened with pain.
Yun swallowed sharply, stepping closer so he wouldn't have raise his voice in order to talk with her and alert their son that something was being kept from him. "He's in the living room, studying."
Nodding at that Satoshi pulled her by the hand into the kitchen. "I don't want Kyouya to know just yet, so please keep this from him until after we can confirm it. I don't want to risk having him run off on his own."
"Why would Kyouya run off on his own? He's always been such a good boy—" Yun cut herself off abruptly and pressed her hands to her mouth to stifle her shock when Satoshi pulled a folded piece of paper out of his wallet and held it up in front of her. Biting her lip to make sure she wouldn't make any further noise she snatched the paper out of his hands she felt her knees go weak as she pulled it towards her. Fumbling for the light-switch Yun flipped it on with a shaking hand to better see the picture and felt herself begin to tear up. Pressing the photograph to her chest she leaned forward into Satoshi's chest and buried herself in his arms.
"Where did you get this?" she asked softly, now understanding why he'd asked her where Kyouya was. He really would have run off on his own.
"One of your brother's contacts caught sight of him and thought the resemblance was too funny a joke to not share. Everyone in the agency is out looking for him and scouring for clues, including Fon."
Funny? Who among her brothers circle of acquaintances would find the resemblance funny when it was common knowledge in the underworld that her son was missing? She was going to find whoever it was that thought her situation made for a great joke and give them something real to share. Perhaps a picture of their own mangled face?
"When was this taken?" she asked, very, VERY carefully smoothing out the paper and looking over it with hungry eyes, titling it up so she could view the picture without moving it too far away from her.
"Yesterday. We've been out searching since. I've managed to cash in some favours and one of my old colleagues in Tokyo is running it through facial recognition. If he's been recorded anywhere in japan we'll know soon."
"How soon—" Yun cut her own question off at the sound of a door being slammed open in the hallway, motioning for her husband to stay where he was she went to find out what had caused it. If Kyouya saw his father's face right now he'd know something was being kept from him and there'd be no getting her bull-headed son to leave the man alone without finding out exactly what it was. Really, the man was a wet paper bag when it came to keeping secrets, no poker-face whatsoever. The pushover.
Poking her head out of the kitchen she saw that Kyouya was standing at the door leading out onto the veranda, scowling out into the night as if he expected to find someone there. Silently handing the picture back to his father she leaned out of the doorway and kept her voice casual, not wanting to alert him as to what was going on. "Kyouya? What are you doing?" She asked, waiting for Satoshi to finish hiding the picture before stepping fully out into the hallway and motioning him to stay in the kitchen.
"I thought I heard something… must have been my imagination." Kyouya replied, narrowed eyes so much like his father's scanning the surroundings. Satisfied that there was nothing outside that required his immediate attention her son yawned widely. "I'm going to bed."
That was good, they'd be able to talk without risking him overhearing. "Busy day tomorrow?" She asked, sliding the kitchen door shut behind her casually so as not to let her son see his father. One of these days she was going to have to finally succeed in teaching Satoshi how to keep his face straight but for now she'd just have to cover for him. Like always.
"Herbivores to bite. They come out in herds after the week ends." Kyouya replied, closing the door with a sharp snap and turning to head to his room. She couldn't get enough of how amazing her son had grown up to be, only fifteen years old and she could already see what kind of fine young man he was growing up to be! Keeping the peace in Namimori, it was really quite the noble cause to apply his strength to and the 'job experience' he gained would kick-start his intended career as a private detective. Why girls weren't already falling all over themselves trying to get his attention was a mystery she would never understand. Girls these days were blind.
Waiting till Kyouya was well and truly out of earshot Yun picked up her mobile phone from the hallway table and opened the kitchen door, unsurprised to find Satoshi staring at the picture again. Stepping into the room with him she leaned into his shoulder to look with him and slipped it out of his hands. She knew what he was thinking but he was wrong this time, she wasn't about to go haring off like she had years ago the last time someone had 'spotted' Takeru. She never wanted to be responsible for the kind of pain she seen in Satoshi's eyes when she'd returned home with the news it had been a false alarm. She could do her research all from the comfort of her own home now, she had her own contacts ready and waiting for a call from her.
"We're going to find him." She reassured her husband, taking a picture of the photograph to get the ball rolling and slipping her arms around his waist to give him a reassuring squeeze. "We are not letting this clue slip away from us."
This time she wasn't going to hold back, not even to spare her husband from underworld. She wasn't leaving him behind a second time, not after what she'd put him through the last time. If she had to drag her family into the underworld to pull it back together she'd do it.
She was more than strong enough to protect them now.
Takeru felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on end as he was hauled into an intimidatingly tall building by one of the extremely unimpressed cops that had arrived somewhere in the middle of the 'fight' he'd gotten dragged into. The man's partner locked the car and followed behind him and eyed him with deep suspicion. It was as if the man expected him to either try and make a run for it or fight back like all the other guys who'd been arrested with him had. To be fair, if he got the chance to make a run for it he'd totally take it, but he wasn't about to try anything now that he was already at the police station. He'd gotten tackled once already, he'd rather pass on a repeat performance. Adults were heavy.
He'd been brought to Namimori Prefectural Police office.
Takeru had known he'd end up here at some point in his investigation for some reason or another, if for no other reason than to mine the place for information. He'd imagined a good solid amount of time spent unearthing clues, building up a solid base of confidence before he came anywhere near the authorities because he knew what would happen the second they caught wind of exactly who he was. He'd be handing over the freedom he'd half killed himself to earn and be putting himself under the care and protection of strangers, people he didn't know and couldn't trust.
He HAD considered going to the police at one point and letting them sort out the introductions, but had ultimately deemed it far too risky. Planning on using the police to facilitate a reunion with his family was one thing… getting arrested and having that control taken out of his hands was another thing entirely. Add that to the feeling he got the minute he was escorted into the police station and he had all the makings of one very impressive meltdown building up inside him.
He didn't bother reacting to the howling of the gang members who'd been hauled in with him, he was focusing on something else entirely. He was too distracted to even care that the gang members were still trying to reach for him, going as far as to strain against the police officers restraining them.
Noting his indifference to the implied threat the police officers had decided to separate him from the 'herd', so to speak, and had him cuffed to a table in an 'Interview' room.
He'd felt a faint tickle of magic brush up against his senses.
He didn't react outwardly, instead he leaned his forehead on the table he'd been sat at and slid his eyes shut as he felt for the source that was steadily growing stronger with every passing moment. It was reacting to him, to his presence, and it was reaching out its own feelers to brush up against him. Pulling his magic back sharply Takeru coiled it down as deep inside himself as he possibly could and felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He recognized exactly who that magical signature belonged to. How could he not?
He'd finally stumbled across something Dumbledore or one of his catspaws had left in Namimori.
Swallowing minutely Takeru let his eyes slide back open and forced himself to loosen up as he sat up. The presence was now strong enough that he could sense it clearly enough with his eyes open, without even having to concentrate on it. He wanted to run, put as much distance between him and Namimori as he possibly could before the booby trap managed to get a lock on him. He'd have already pulled out his wand to make an escape if he hadn't known he was being watched and recorded because whatever it was… the thing was setting off every warning bell in his body.
Straightening in his seat he scanned the room, there was a camera in one of the corners of the ceiling and one of the walls had a large two-way mirror that he'd bet his wand arm someone was standing behind and watching him from. He'd already heard someone unintentionally thump the glass since he'd been put in the room and oddly enough the sounds of a muted scuffle ensued. Were the police using the next room to interview someone else?
Snorting softly to himself Takeru eyeballed his handcuffs, they shouldn't be too difficult to pick. He just needed a paperclip or something and he'd easily be able to unlock… or he could use his wand. They hadn't taken his holster off him after all. He let out a slow breath, he'd almost stopped breathing for a moment there. He just need to get somewhere out of direct line of sight, somewhere he could slip away without being noticed. For that he was going to need to get the police to either let him go or… he could ask to use the bathroom and let himself out.
It wasn't an overly elaborate plan but what other choice did he have? He wasn't about to sit here and let whatever magical trap Dumbledore had left behind just spring on him. It could be a magical bomb for all he knew, meant to get rid of the 'evidence' of his actions. Of course it wouldn't matter who got caught up in it, sacrifices were necessary 'for the Greater Good'.
Jerking slightly as the thought occurred to him Takeru grumbled to himself irritably. Great, how exactly was he supposed to just simply walk out now that his traitorous mind had come up that scenario? Whatever the aged headmaster had left behind in Namimori was gearing up for something and he didn't know what. Could he leave all these innocent police officers to whatever fate they'd unknowingly be facing?
Scowling unhappily at the wall Takeru wished someone would hurry up and come in already, he really couldn't afford to wait here much longer or his magic was going to do the reacting for him. He could already feel it roiling underneath his skin in agitation at being squashed down and he wasn't in exactly in the right mental state to keep it any calmer. He felt the hair on his arms stand on end at being so close to a piece of Dumbledore's magic and sweat bead across his brow. His muscles tightened minutely and he couldn't stop himself from jerking at the handcuffs keeping him chained to the metal table when the presence brushed a phantom hand across his hands.
Luckily it had happened at the same time someone finally decided it was time to question him. Sitting up as the door clicked open Takeru kept his face blank as a brown haired police officer stepped into the room, a small juice carton in one hand, a plate of cookies in the other and a file tucked under his arm. The man set the juice and cookies down in front of him and pushing the plate forward with a smile.
Takeru was uncuffed and left to rub at his wrists as the man sat down in the chair opposite him. The police officer leaned back in his chair and just stared, the quirking edges of a grin kicking the corners of his mouth upwards as he tossed the file onto the surface of the table. "So, Jackie Chan..." The cop started, smirk breaking out onto his face as he talked. "I have to ask, how does a little thing like you scrape away from a fight with eighteen Yakuza without a scratch?"
Jackie Chan? What? That had to be a muggle reference, one he'd figure it out later, but for now… "Fight?" Takeru asked lightly, leaning back in his own chair to show that he wasn't in the least bit intimidated, mirroring the officer. "I don't remember getting into a fight." He remarked, pushing the plate of cookies away from him and giving the drink he'd been presented with a sideways look.
Yeah, even if he had been in the mood for it there was no way he was going to touch the cookies, there was an active magical artefact in the building and he had no idea what task it was spelled to accomplish. His imagination didn't really need any help thinking up scenarios, he had firsthand experience of what magic was capable of and taking hold of a defenseless muggle and forcing someone into 'altering' an unsuspecting wizard's food was the least of what such an artefact could do. At the very least the drink was sealed, small mercies.
"What would you call this then?" The cop asked as he flipped open the file, fanning out a spread of photographs. Pictures of the men who'd tried to start a fight with him, focused on the injuries across the lot of them.
"Stab-chase?" Takeru delivered, face completely deadpan. "I totally won."
"Stab... chase?" the man repeated slowly, "What…?"
"It's just like regular chase only the person who's 'It' is the one who has to run and everyone else does the chasing. With sharp things. The goal of the game is not to get stabbed." Takeru explained, face still straight. "They tried their best but I guess I went a little too fast for them."
Reaching for the juice he thoroughly enjoyed the flabbergasted, (and vaguely horrified), look of sheer disbelief that crossed the man's face and stabbed the straw into the carton with more force than strictly necessary. Okay, being on the other side of that reaction was hilarious and oddly satisfying. Maybe he couldn't run away or take his stress out on the cop physically but he could totally break the man's brain. All joking aside that had been pretty much his reaction too when he'd seen the upper years in Gryffindor initiate the game sometime in his first year at Hogwarts.
Taking a sip Takeru started as the taste of milk registered and stared at the carton, how had he missed the picture of the cow on the label? Also since when did milk come in cartons this small? They didn't pack them like this in England! Or did they? He'd been out of the muggle world for far too long if he didn't know the answer to that… and his mind was wandering off on a tangent, trying to distract him from the very real pressure building up behind his eyes. Calm, he had to calm down. Now. If he lost it and accidentally killed someone here he'd have nowhere to run. He did NOT want a repeat of what had happened in Dumbledore's office.
"So…" Takeru asked, quickly draining the box of milk and setting the empty carton back on the table with a thump. "Are you arresting me? Charging me with anything? Cause I'm starting to get hungry and sugar isn't really going to cut it."
"You're not in any trouble and we aren't arresting you, we just need a few questions answered and then you're free to go." The cop responded lightly, smiling as if to put him at ease.
"Unless the law has changed since the last time I checked you aren't allowed to ask me any questions without a parent or guardian present." Takeru replied instantly, feeling non-existent hackles rise at the verbal trap. He knew at least that much about Muggle Law from Hermione. After his 'trial' with the Wizengamot she'd dived head-first into researching the magical side of the law and had shared her disgust with the whole of Gryffindor Tower. At length. Muggle children had more rights than Wizarding Children did, at least when it came to protection from the adults they were surrounded by.
Children were under the protection of the Head of the family. No questions asked. Child Protective Services didn't exist and if a child ever needed sanctum from said Head of family? Options were slim to none and there was no support by way of the government. It really was like the Magical World had stopped advancing during the Dark Ages. In any case this cop had no legal standing to ask him anything, especially given that he'd already said he wasn't in any danger of being arrested.
"Hey, relax, we're just talking here. I don't even know your name, I'm Police Detective Kiriyama Toshiya, sorry for not introducing myself earlier." The cop tried, waving the file he was holding in the air between them as if to fan off his attitude.
"Nice to meet you Detective Kiriyama, you can call me Jackie." Takeru snapped back sarcastically. The cop was being unusually nice. He didn't like it. He'd been caught in the middle of a pack of screaming and fighting gangsters. Shouldn't they be reacting with a bit more… strictness than this? At the very least with some hint of suspicion? He already considered himself lucky that he hadn't gotten maced somewhere in the middle of the mayhem when the police showed up but this was too much. What was this guy playing at?
The detective bit back what was clearly a laugh and coughed to disguise it. "Okay then Jackie… This is all just protocol, you really aren't in any trouble, we just need a few details about what happened. If anything the guys who attacked you are the ones in trouble. We need to hear how it all started to settle things neatly, keeps the paperwork straight you know? Do you mind sharing why you seem so wound up?"
Again the man was being too nice. He was apparently the only person in the group of 'fighters' uninjured and he was getting the 'nice cop' treatment? It was too bizarre. "I've just spent the last hour playing Stab-Chase with jack-asses one-through-eighteen out there, been dragged to the police station against my will by a couple of cops who LANDED on me and I've been here ever since. I am hungry, tired and stuck in an interrogation room. Also did I mention I was hungry? I am. Hunger makes me cranky. So forgive me if I'm a little 'wound up'. Milk and cookies really don't help. At all." Takeru bit out, fighting against the urge to flip said plate of cookies at the man's head. As satisfying as it would be to do so it would only get him into trouble. More than he was in already.
"… anything else you want to add to the list while you're at it?" The man asked, leaning back and seemingly enjoying his sarcasm.
"Now that you mention it, I need to use the bathroom. I might be more inclined to do more than just sit here while we wait for my lawyer after I come back." Takeru drawled, leaning back in his own chair and arching a challenging eyebrow at him, hoping he'd take the bait. Might as well take advantage of the man's seeming 'generosity'. Every moment he wasted allowed Dumbledore's magical artefact grow stronger and stronger, it had already sucked up the traces his magic had left behind in the room and its feelers were greedily brushing up against him for more, lipping lightly at his skin for the tightly leashed magic he was only barely keeping back.
If he didn't get out soon he was going to let himself out, screw the Statute of Secrecy, his life was in danger! As were the lives of everyone currently in the building! He was half a sneeze away from letting his magic slip and given what he'd done to Dumbledore's office the result would probably be explosive. That was without even calculating the effects of whatever was licking at his magic. Forget baiting the officer into showing him the bathroom, he'd just walk out and find the bathroom himself! Pushing back his chair he stood up and glared expectantly at the police officer. "If you would show me the way to the bathroom already?" he was done with polite. He'd tried polite. Polite wasn't working fast enough. Polite had also wasted valuable time.
"Alright, alright. No need to get snappy with me." Detective Kiriyama said, getting up and opening the door, leaving the folder with the photographs on the table. He took moment to whisper something to the uniformed officer standing guard outside the room and turned to him. "Follow me, it's just down this way."
Takeru ignored the police officer that ducked past them into the room as they left and followed behind the detective showing him the way to the bathroom. On the way there he kept his eyes peeled for the source of magic that was greedily lipping at his skin.
One of the teenagers he'd 'fought' with bared his teeth at him from the heavy looking chair sitting next to one of the desks they were walking past and Takeru couldn't help baring his teeth right back. Just let someone try and attack him now, he wouldn't hold back this time and this guy was definitely the type of jackass he wouldn't have a problem sharpening his claws on. He was about a thread away from scalping the next person who looked sideways at him and, (in all honesty), he'd be doing this guy a favour! Blue hair was not a good look on him.
A choke had Takeru turning his attention back to what he was supposed to be doing, namely following the detective, and resumed walking again. The detective had witnessed part of the exchange and looked like he didn't know if he wanted to laugh or stare.
"What?" he asked. "You forget which way the bathroom is?"
"I… no, it's just… you remind me so much of someone right now." Detective Kiriyama said almost involuntarily, hand rising up to hide grin that was fighting for control of his face.
"Good for you… which way do we go now?"
When he pushed the doors open Takeru took one look at the rather spacious interior of the bathroom and knew that the detective would have no problem with following him in. Which would just make it that much more difficult to escape. So when the detective pushed an arm against the door from behind him to 'help' him open it Takeru turned and pinned the man with a filthy glare.
"You're going to follow me in?" he asked, voice dripping in disgust. He glowered at the man, just barely holding back a snarl. "You think I want an audience? The peanut gallery back in the interrogation room wasn't enough for you?" What would it take to get the man to back off already- The man let go of the door as if he'd been burned and practically apparated away.
"I'll just… have someone wait out here for you then." Detective Kiriyama said, looking a little pale as he waved a uniformed officer over to 'wait' for him. "To show you the way back. In case you get lost."
"Sure. Whatever." Takeru replied jerkily as he strode further into the room, sparing the man no more attention now that he'd gotten what he wanted. Like the cop the detective had waved over wasn't there to guard the door and make sure he didn't leave. Had he not been so preoccupied with planning his escape he'd have questioned the man's quick retreat but for now he couldn't care less. He had his way out, all he had to do now was take it and not screw up.
The windows were barred. Actually barred even though they were on the third floor of the building. There'd be no escaping out that way unless he used magic and that wasn't exactly an option given that there was a magical artefact in the building that could be waiting for him to lower his guard. Which wasn't going to happen. Ever.
Giving the stalls a check to see if they were empty he pulled out his invisibility cloak and swung it around his shoulders. Back to basics it was. He may have once been forced to forget the stealth he'd learned at Hogwarts but he remembered now. It was about time he brushed the dust off that particular skill-set. If there was ever a time he needed it the most it was now. He was going to find the source of the magic that was trying to dig its claws into him and he was going to destroy it.
Hopping up onto a sink, Takeru balanced on the edges so he wouldn't be in danger of being tripped over and leaned back against the mirror that spanned wall to wall. He absently noted that he didn't have to crouch down for the cloak to fully cover him as it pooled over his feet like it used to back when he'd been in his second year at Hogwarts. On one hand he was rather glad that the cloak covered him completely, on the other hand he was irritated he was short again.
Tucking the cloak tightly around him he kept the grumble that wanted to escape him firmly on the inside. He didn't want to give himself away. He was playing the Waiting Game again. Eventually someone would come in to see what was taking him so long in the bathroom. The door would open and he'd be free to slip out without making anyone wonder why the door had opened on its own. He would locate whatever magical artefact was kissing up against his skin and kill it dead.
He just had to endure it for a little bit. It shouldn't take too much longer for someone to realize he was 'missing'.
Kiriyama Toshiya returned to the interrogation room. He checked that the plate of cookies and the carton of milk 'Jackie Chan' had touched and drunk from had been sent off to forensics, (with a priority order that would get it processed within the hour), and continued down the hall. Opening the door to the observation room, he couldn't help but flinch at the molten glare he was met with.
"Can you stop looking at me like that?" he complained as he forced his unwittingly frozen body into moving again and closed the door behind him as he cleared the doorway. "You know that if we hadn't stopped you you'd have gone barreling in there and scared the poor kid to death!"
Lips pulled back away from teeth in a very animalistic expression of promised violence and future pain. Toshiya nodded to himself. Yeah, he could see the resemblance, there had to be SOME kind of blood relation between the kid they'd picked up and his co-worker. No one else that he'd ever met outside the Hibari family could pull off that particular expression and he'd seen the kid do it effortlessly. He'd tried copying that glare himself more than once and he just couldn't manage it.
Hibari Minoru had the look down pat.
"How about you un-cuff me and we'll see if I can stop." Minoru strained, looking as if he was actually trying to smile reassuringly and couldn't tell that he was failing miserably. He looked like he wanted to bite the first person who came near him. To death. Like his nephew was constantly threatening to do.
"How about 'No' because I value my throat and balls intact? Seriously, calm down or I'm going to call a medic to come in and have you sedated." Toshiya threatened, dragging a chair close and seating himself so he'd be at eye level with the man cuffed to the other side of the table.
Thank god the observation room doubled as a secondary lock-up in a pinch. They wouldn't have been able to contain the man if there hadn't already been somewhere reinforced to hold him. Kyouya's fault. If it hadn't been for him and his merry band of vigilante peace-keepers they'd have never have been forced to renovate the headquarters in order to hold the rising number of criminals the teenager sent their way.
Toshiya was honestly terrified of the day the brat was old enough to join the force. It had been cute when he was five. Not so cute now that he was fifteen and bringing in Yakuza who should have been taken to the hospital first. Kyouya already had his own mini police force, one that he ruled with an iron fist. He would have no PROBLEM controlling the rest of the officers in the precinct. He already had the hospital under thumb and his parents… just enabled his behaviour.
"That kid… he's terrified." Toshiya remarked. "Just think for a minute, what kind of reaction do you think you'd have gotten out of him if you'd just walked in there and grabbed him?"
"I'm his UNCLE!" Minoru snarled, "He wouldn't be scared of me!"
"You know BETTER than to think that!" Toshiya snarled back, slamming his hand on the table between them. "How long have you been working Missing Person's cases? THINK. He was two years old when he was kidnapped, how much do you really think he's going to remember if it really is him? Not a hell of a lot! You're smarter than this! Pull your head out of your bleeding heart and use your brain!"
"You have no idea who this kid is or what he's been through! We don't even know what name he's going by or who his guardians are! If this IS Takeru don't you want to know who's been raising him? If we play things right we might even be able to reel in his 'parents'. We need you to think like a cop and NOT his uncle right now. No one wants a repeat of the three ring media circus that happened the last time someone thought they'd found him!"
When Minoru grimaced Toshiya knew the man was actually starting to listen to him. It was the reminder of the fiasco of a false lead that had everyone running around in circles six years ago. Every cop and detective in Namimori had at least a passing knowledge of the case, every now and then someone would take the file out and look it over for any missed clues. A junior officer had sighted a child that had borne a very close resemblance to one of the profiles the sketch artists had made for the case at the time.
The media had gotten wind of the story and had run with it. Hibari Satoshi had ended up practically camped out in his car across the street of the family's house. Minoru's sister-in-law Yun disappeared for a few months (presumably doing the same though no one had ever caught her at it). Kyouya's efforts in 'preserving Namimori's atmosphere' had ramped up into overdrive for months afterwards and Minoru himself had pursued the case like a man possessed.
The poor mistaken family involved ended up 'voluntarily' providing DNA as proof they hadn't kidnapped their own child. They had then legally changed their names and moved away from Namimori the first chance they got.
It was the reason why Minoru had been tackled by his own co-workers. No one wanted another repeat of that incident. The legal hoops their public relations department had jumped through to save face and cover everyone's asses would have been enough to qualify them all for admission into psychiatric care. Supervisors had been called in by the higher-ups and raised voices from the top floor offices had been heard from the entrance on the ground floor. Phones had been ringing off the hook for weeks and it had taken almost a year for the media to stop feeding the frenzy. One also had to remember the soul-crushing weight of the sheer amount of paper-work the incident had generated. Truly, no one wanted to see that again.
"You need to calm the fuck down and let us do our jobs. If you can't remain professional then maybe you should go home." he 'suggested' coolly. The implication made Minoru jerk and pin him with another blistering glare.
Folding his arms and leaning back in his chair Toshiya met the look with a flat and unimpressed look. When it came to kids there was a reason why he was called in so often to do the interrogating, he had the most training in getting answers from the brats, and this kid? He was tense, high-strung and already lying through his teeth. On top of that he looked like he was about ready to attack the first person to move in his direction, or throw himself out of a window to escape. The little scrap of attitude they had collared was so full of fear that he was half-wild with it.
The two remained seated in tense silence as Minoru tried to glare his way into getting what he wanted, sadly he was nowhere near as cute as his sister-in-law and there was no fucking way he was going to crumble. Not when he knew the cuffs holding his co-worker were reinforced and quite capable of holding the younger of the Hibari brothers.
The silence stretched.
Toshiya wasn't going to move until he got that agreement, either to chill out, or take a break. It was unlikely he would get it but he could always hope…
"I - " Minoru grit out, stubbornly trying to hold his ground. Long silences were his kryptonite. It was a tactic the detective's older brother used on him all the time and perhaps one of the only ways to get the man to THINK.
"KIRIYAMA!" A voice shouted as a pair of uniforms burst into the room. "THE KID IS GONE!"
"Uncuff me. NOW."
Takeru didn't pause for anything, the second he got the chance to leave the bathroom he took it, moving swiftly through the open door and out into the office. Time was not on his side, he'd never actually tried pushing down his magic this far before and he was staring to understand why sealing his magic would have been a bad idea. Holding it all in was hard. His magic kept wanting to slip out from under the grip he had on it and the tight grip was starting to hurt! He wasn't even managing to completely keep it all down, small wisps and tendrils escaped and were eagerly sucked up by the feelers that had eagerly reaching around his shoulders.
At least he knew where he was going, thanks to those very same feelers he knew exactly which direction to head and where the magical artefact was being stored. The twining intangible arms felt like they were pulling him forward and looping around him in circles that got looser and stronger the closer he got. He found a stairwell and took the stairs down three and four steps at a time, adopting a break-neck speed that would have killed anyone else. To Takeru these stairs were nothing, they were static, had no trick steps meant to trap the unwary and even had special non-slip stirps that helped with traction. He was down four floors in less than a minute, kicking off the walls whenever he had to turn to go down another flight. The incorporeal arms pulling him down levelled out from their angled position, telling him that he was now on the correct floor.
He had to spell the door open to get to the offices and stepped into a corridor. Un-holstering his wand Takeru stepped forward, sticking close to the walls and peering cautiously around corners as he moved forward even though he was still under the invisibility cloak. At this point he so didn't want to be running head-first into people around corners and he'd learned a lesson from the fake Moody, you could never tell if someone had the ability to see through an invisibility cloak. He also had no idea what he was going to be walking into now that he was this close to the source of the grasping magic pulling at him so he was going to take every precaution he could.
He headed straight for the door at the end of the third hallway he passed. The one with the shiny new electronic lock next to the barred window that was also paned with thick plexiglass. He'd been led to the Evidence Room. Had the police unknowingly picked up whatever it was that was that Dumbledore had left behind after his kidnapping and had packed it away as evidence?
Pointing his wand at the door to spell this one open too, he ground his teeth in agitation as the wand sparked on its own without prompting. The lock on the door whined, hissed and opened with a sharp pop.
"What the hell? We just replaced that lock last month!" a voice exclaimed from inside the room, prompting Takeru into plastering himself against the wall and sliding past the officer who stepped out to examine the broken lock.
Takeru stepped delicately past the man and into the office the man had exited, skirting the desks and eyeing the room in absent curiosity. People actually had to physically guard an evidence room in the non-magical world? He'd have thought a camera and a lock would have been more than enough to keep most people out.
Unlocking the security door on the opposite end of the room, (yet again overpowering the charm), he stepped into a room lined with shelves. The room was so quiet he could hear himself breathe, he was almost tempted to cast a silencing charm on himself but the thought of being stuck until the spell wore off made him stop. Allowing the phantom tug to guide him forward, he bypassed several shelves and walked deeper into the large room, only stopping once he was sure he was certain he knew where it was coming from.
An evidence box sitting at ankle-height. Opening an empty pocket of his satchel Takeru didn't waste time opening it and looking inside, he just dumped it in. His curiosity could wait till he was somewhere safe.
He needed to leave.
Slipping out of the room the same way he came in Takeru was soon back in the stair well he'd taken on the way down (very carefully avoiding the man still examining the lock with a puzzled look on his face) and took the steps up two at a time, he'd apparently taken them down to a basement floor. He had to go up one floor if he wanted to leave. Slipping through the door that opened up into the main area of the police station Takeru felt the blood freeze in his body as an agonized yell ripped through the station.
Bodily flinching, Takeru instinctively responded by flattening himself to the wall as his heart lurched. Gripping the edges of his invisibility cloak in a painful grip he let his knees fold out from underneath him and bunched himself up into a tight ball. He recognized that voice. He did.
That was his uncle. His real uncle. Hibari Minoru.
Burying his face in his hands along with the bunched up fabric of the invisibility cloak Takeru had to take a few precious moments to gather his scrambled wits as they had scattered at the sound of his name. He forced his face out of his trembling hands and looked through his fringe at the dark haired man fighting off the straining grasp of his fellow officers.
Dark hair that looked like it was usually neat but was currently ruffled, likely from fighting his way through the group of uniforms trying to hold him back. Sharp grey eyes were scanning the area frantically. The man had a handsome and angular face. He was tall, lean and strong enough to push past several of the adults trying to contain him. He looked like he was the polar opposite of Vernon Dursley aside from the fact that he was completely lacking in magic.
And he looked like he was in agony.
Takeru grit his teeth together and clenched his eyes shut as a hot trail of tears spilled out of his eyes. He wanted to jump out from under the invisibility cloak and go running to the man, if only to stop the pain. But. At the moment he might as well be a ticking time-bomb CARRYING ANOTHER BOMB. He had no idea what he'd shoved into his satchel and it was already reaching up out of it and wrapping silkily around him. Grabbing greedily for the magic that was escaping his grasp.
"I'm sorry…" he choked around the lump in his throat as he holstered his wand. He swiped the moisture off his face, covered the satchel on his left wrist, clenched down on it in an almost painful grip and pushed off away from the wall in one strong heave, bolting for the exit.
He didn't have the time to waste crying over this. He could cry later. When he'd taken care of whatever he'd picked up in the Evidence Room.
He had no other choice.
Minoru drove through three red lights, ran over a trash can and almost drove his car over the top of his brothers as he was trying to park it, he'd been going so fast that it was a minor miracle that he'd managed to stop before crushing the other car with his own. Screeching to a stop he didn't even pause to turn the car's engine off, leaving the car idling as he raced into the house. He wasn't going to be staying there long anyway. Takeru was somewhere out there and he was going to go back out and hunt him down himself if he had to.
He ran up to the front door and burst through it, not even bothering to pull his keys out, lucky for him the door was unlocked anyway.
"Minoru?! What? What happened to you?" his sister in law gasped from where she'd come running in from the living room, taking in his roughened appearance and probably fixating on the torn sleeve of his jacket.
"Forget about that for now! Where's Satosh- Nii-san! Takeru is here! In Namimori!" he told his stunned brother, who was staring at him in equal shock.
The sound of a door splintering somewhere echoed and a pair of footsteps thundered through the house. Kyouya lunged around the corner, jacket half pulled on over his pajamas and his phone grasped in one had. He reached out his free hand and pulled his uncle in by the front of his ruined shirt and hauled him down to eye level.
"WHERE!" the teenager demanded.
"He just left the police station! We had him and he escaped just a few minutes ago! Everyone has their hands full processing the Yakuza so they're saying we don't have the man-power to organize a search right now!"
"Useless herbivores!" Kyouya hissed, letting go of his uncle to pull his shoes out of the hallway closet and grab his Tonfa.
"Wait! Here! This was taken at the precinct!" Minoru said, passing his nephew one of the photographs he'd taken from the office before leaving, handing the other to his brother. He couldn't care less about protocol right now. He'd hand in his badge if he had to after this but he was NOT letting Takeru slip away from them. Not now that they was this close to getting him back! Everyone else was doing everything they could do bring Takeru back, Satoshi was on the phone with his detective agency within moments, redirecting the search from Tokyo to Namimori and Yun had her mobile out and was on the phone herself to her brother at the same time, talking in rapid-fire mandarin. This was the absolute least he could do.
Kyouya was out the door and running, phone to his ear and calling the Disciplinary Committee. He was going to need the cooperation of the police if he didn't want his guys to get arrested. Running out after him Minoru reached into his car for the police radio and started barking out orders of his own. He'd only stayed with the police as long as he had for the chance to find Takeru, there would always be a place for him at his brother's detective agency anyway. If he was going to hand in his badge for this then he might as well use what time he had left and go out with as loud a bang as possible.
He was distracted for a moment when his phone buzzed with the incoming of a message and checked it absently, eyes going wide as fierce and feral grin broke out on his face. Kiriyama Toshiya had just earned his life back for cuffing him to the table back at the police station.
The DNA on file matched the DNA taken off the straw the kid had drunk from and the fingerprints on the plate and milk-box matched. He'd been right on the money. It really HAD been Takeru.
Now all they had to do was find him and bring him home.
Takeru ran until his invisibility cloak caught on a bush and tripped him into tumbling inelegantly down a bank of grass, abruptly forcing him into visibility. Rolling to a stop right at the edge of a river, he desperately pushed down on his magic as it tried to rush up to save him from the fall and lay on the grass of the embankment panting for breath. How far had he managed to get before he'd tripped over his own cloak? He hadn't been paying attention, hadn't even been thinking or seeing clearly. He'd simply picked a direction to run and took it.
Now he had no idea where he was. He'd known where the police station was, the location was on his map, but now he'd lost all sense of direction.
Takeru rolled up onto his knees by planting an elbow into the damp grass that had cushioned his fall and picked himself up with a little difficulty due to his shaking limbs. He went to crawl up the embankment to retrieve the cloak when his magic did it for him, gently picking it free from the bush the cloak had caught on and settling it in his lap as if he'd cast Accio.
Forcibly trying to calm himself down as he examined it for damage, Takeru gently folded it down into a pocket and looked up at the path he'd fallen down from. He grimaced at the indentations he had made in the grass and counted himself lucky he hadn't actually rolled all the way into the river. How many times was his magic going to escape from him tonight?
He needed to get rid of the source of his anxiety, the magic that was reaching up out of his satchel and twisting it's greedy hands around him and pulling at the magic that had just escaped him.
He needed to find one of the abandoned buildings he'd marked out on his map earlier. The sooner he destroyed whatever was grabbing at him the better. Pulling the map out of his pocket Takeru gave it a quick scan. Good, he was too far away from one of them-
Feeling the arms stretch away from him and go reaching up the embankment Takeru broke out into a cold sweat when he felt a few of the hands twining around him reach up to a toddler standing on the path above him. A small, dark haired child who was looking down at him with curious dark eyes.
The result was a flood of magic escaping him and the reaching arms redirected from the toddler and back around him. Scrambling to his feet Takeru clenched his teeth with the effort it took to corral his magic back under control and glared up at the baby. Who on earth let a child that age wander around by themselves?
"Reborn! What are you doing over there? I thought we were going home now?"
Okay, he really had to go now. He wasn't about to let bystanders get caught up in his mess… either by the artefact or by the heat building up inside him. He was bursting at the edges and by now his skin was starting to feel tight from the pressure. It was pure dumb luck he'd managed to stop the grasping arms from grabbing hold of the kid staring down at him.
The baby had magic potential, muggleborn? Didn't matter. Climbing up the slope to the pathway Takeru barely spared a glance at the brown haired teenager who'd called out to the baby and walked away from them in the opposite direction. He felt the baby's eyes on the his back as he left and absently wondered if the toddler was in any way magically sensitive like he was. It would explain the eyes he was still feeling on his back.
Checking the map still in his hand Takeru was quick to stalk off. He had an artifact to 'take care' of.
Sawada Tsunayoshi stared after the gold-eyed teenager and gaped after the retreating form feeling very much like he'd been clubbed over the head. If it hadn't been for the age and the eyes he'd have looked exactly like… Hibari Kyouya.
The dark haired boy also looked like he'd taken a tumble down the embankment. Tsuna almost wished he'd seen it, the mental image of the prefect falling ass over teakettle down to the river was hilarious. Looking down the steep drop Tsuna caught sight of something white near the edge of the water and leaned further forward to get a closer look, had the other boy dropped something?
"If you're that curious Dame-Tsuna then go have a closer look!" was all the warning Tsuna got before the now-familiar sensation of Reborn's feet impacted with his head. Tsuna wasn't nearly as lucky, (or possibly not as athletically inclined) as the stranger who had fallen down the same slope and hit the river's surface with what had to be his most graceless belly-flop to date.
"REBORN! Why did you DO that? Now I'm all wet!" Tsuna complained loudly when he resurfaced, clawing desperately at the edges of the river and dragging himself out. He was so glad the water was shallow this close to the edge, he'd have drowned for sure if it had been any deeper.
Reborn didn't even look the least bit apologetic, smirking down at him from the pathway. "You should be thanking me, didn't you want a closer look?"
"At the thing he dropped, not the river!" Tsuna whined under his breath, knowing it would be useless to continue arguing. Cringing against the brush of wind against his newly wet clothes he scanned the grass for the object that had caught his attention and spotted it not too far away. Shaking as much water as he could off his hand he scooped up the little white ball off the wet grass and startled. It was fluffy… and warm? Was that from the other guys body-heat? Slogging his way back up the path Tsuna shook the water out of his hair and brushed himself off, should he try and find the other teenager? He couldn't have gotten very far…
A bullet shot into the pavement so close to his foot it grazed his sneaker, leaving a black streak and the faint smell of burning rubber in its wake.
Tsuna yelped and leaped a good three feet away, in the opposite direction he'd seen the other boy go in. Reborn's eyes glinted at him from under the shade of his fedora and Tsuna instantly knew that if he tried to follow the other boy to return his lost property Reborn would stop him. By shooting him.
"If you don't head home now you'll catch a cold." Reborn warned him, voice uncharacteristically serious for what had to be the first time since they'd met. "I suppose I could nurse you back to health if you do get sick, with the traditional Vongola 'Get Well' method you should be cured in less than two hours..."
Tsuna started running. Home. All thoughts of returning the ball back to its owner squashed by the very real threat. He didn't know what Reborn was threatening him with, but honestly? He'd known the Hitman long enough to know one thing.
He wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy!
Reborn didn't bother following behind his student, he was more than fairly confident in the fact Tsuna would run all the way home.
Honestly, keeping a Sky alive long enough to gather the full set of Guardians was a juggling act at the best of times, did Tsuna have to be quite so prone to poking at things that would kill him if given half the chance? Glancing in the direction the boy Tsuna had been so interested in Reborn removed Leon from his perch on his shoulder and had the chameleon change into a mobile phone, firing off a text to Fon.
'I think your body-double nearly ripped my student's head off. He's heading up to the shopping district. Given your reaction to the last texts I sent, I figured you may want to know.'
The boy had been blistering with Sun flames, looking like he'd attack at the first and slightest provocation. He'd been deep enough in fear and panic that just about anything would have been enough to tip him over the edge, as evidenced by the boy's eyes which had been burning with Sun Flames. One wrong slip-up on Tsuna's part and he'd have been roasted alive.
If he hadn't stopped Tsuna flame form reaching out to the teenager… things would have gotten very nasty, very quickly. One did not poke a potential Guardian when they were feeling that defensive, not unless you were ready for the consequences and prepared for a good fight. The kid had been a breath away from stepping into full-blown Dying Will Mode unassisted. Reborn may be the World's Greatest Hitman but even he wasn't immune to surprise and he didn't know what to expect from this kid, nothing to go on save for the fact he was somehow connected to Fon, possibly even related.
He had to say this about tutoring people with Sky-Flames, his job rarely stayed boring. If he wasn't keeping an eye out for assassins and keeping Tsuna from killing himself by accident, he was chasing off prospective Guardians and others drawn to his Flame.
It was a shame he'd had to stop Tsuna from reaching his Flames out. It had been the first time since he'd started teaching him that he'd actually willingly, (and without any prompting from him!), reached out with his flame of his own violation. Too bad it had to be for someone he was nowhere near ready for. The way Tsuna was now… that boy would eat him alive, if he even stopped to consider the thought after steamrollering over him. The Fon look-alike had been so uninterested in Tsuna that he hadn't even rated a second glance and barely even rated the first.
The balancing act of keeping prospective Guardians from accidentally killing their potential Sky without interfering with the fledgling bond was an extremely difficult act to pull off. Sky Attraction made fools of the best of men and there was nothing more dangerous, (to said Sky and everyone else who just happened to be in the area), than potential Guardians vying for attention. People were naturally drawn to Skies and not everyone reacted the same way to one. There were the typical lot who responded positively to Sky Attraction, (these always made for the best Guardians) and then there were the contrary few individuals that actively felt threatened by Sky Flames for whatever reason or outright disliked the sensation.
Whichever the case was you had to teach a Sky to flare their flames properly so that said potential Guardians didn't feel like they had to get too close to feel said flame. Either in order to 'test the fit' by kicking the proverbial 'tiers' of their potential boss or to take him out to end the threat.
You had to push a Sky to get them to flare their flames, but not too hard or it would either injure them or bury them alive under people crazed with either Sky Attraction or Rivalry, (which was a whole other kettle of fish that had him constantly on the lookout). You had to build up their confidence if their flames had ever been sealed, (like Tsuna's had been as a child), but not so much that their head would swell. You had to be firm so a Sky would listen to you as they were notoriously hard-headed and stubborn, but not so harsh that you'd end up driving them into rebellion or attack. A Tutor also had to be wary about keeping his, (or her), guard up so as not to be caught off-guard by Sky Attraction themselves and unintentionally go soft on said Sky.
Skies needed special handling and training, it was the ultimate three-ring circus act and it was precisely why Mafia Home Tutors were not only rare, but also HAD to be neutral. Or else already bonded to a Sky that had zero interest in the Sky being trained, because Sky Rivalry was not something one joked about.
Tsuna had just made his job more interesting.
What was it about this possible relative of Fon's that had made Tsuna reach out practically the instant he'd laid eyes on him? Sasagawa Ryohei wasn't even a blip on the radar in comparison of attention garnered, like the older teenager was a part of the white-washed background of the Tsuna's world. What did he see in the dark haired teenager that Reborn himself hadn't? He'd known training someone of the Vongola bloodline was going to be interesting but this was more than just interesting. Sasagawa Ryohei was a dead-ringer for Vongola Primo's Sun Guardian and Tsuna still walked past him every day without so much as batting an eyelash, even with the boy actively leaking Sun Flames everywhere he went.
Whoever the boy ended up being, whatever relation he had to Fon and whatever he was tangled up in… it was sure to interesting. A second potential Sun Guardian for Tsuna that he wouldn't even protest? What kind of Home Tutor would he be if he passed up the chance to acquire him for the Vongola?
At the very least he'd be a very bored one.
By the time Takeru staggered into the bowling alley that was one of the locations marked out on his map as abandoned he felt like he was fighting for every step he took. He kicked in a ground-level window from the cover of the alleyway and sighed in relief when it merely fell open instead of breaking. Good, that meant he wouldn't hurt himself getting in. It wasn't too difficult to navigate his way into the main area as he'd rolled his way into a storage room. The wide and open room would be the perfect place to destroy whatever was trying to drain him of his magic and release the pressure of keeping it all tucked in.
He didn't waste any time, he pulled the evidence box he'd stolen from the police station and dumped it out onto the dusty wooden floor. He kicked through the mess of papers and evidence bags looking for whatever was pulling at him and kicked it across the room, stalking after it with Gryffindor's sword in hand and spearing it before he could second-guess himself.
Takeru felt his eyes cross momentarily as the world shifted around him and felt his magic rush away from him and across the room. He didn't have to look to know that it was sweeping across the floors, walls and ceiling, cleaning and repairing everything it touched. Panting for breath he pressed his free hand against the burn he could feel in his chest and wondered why the heat hadn't dissipated with the release of magic. It should have but it hadn't, he was still baking from the inside out. He was going to need to read that book about Oversurge as soon as possible, he had to make sure this wasn't typical of the condition.
Straightening from where he'd hunched slightly over himself Takeru jerking the sword out of the now-dead object and poked it with the tip of the blade to see if he could provoke another reaction. It was a compass. A big antique gold one that looked it was both old and expensive. He didn't dare let his guard down, this thing had been sucking at his magic since he'd been dragged to the police station. He didn't care that the phantom touch of its feelers had disappeared the second he'd stabbed it.
He gave the thing one last poke with Gryffindor's Sword and took a startled leap backwards when the lid broke free of the body and clattered to the floor, staring at it and waiting for a good minute or so to make sure it really was dead. Taking a few more wary steps back Takeru stabbed the sword into the floor and unholstered his wand, letting the polished handle fall comfortably into his palm.
"Revealio" Takeru cast, instinctively shading his eyes for the expected light-show but lowering his arm when he realized he'd done so for no reason. Whatever charms had been on the thing had snapped when he'd broken it.
"Specialis Revelio" he tried, using a variation he'd learned trying to puzzle out the spells on the golden egg from the First Task of the Tri-wizard Tournament. If it still had enough magic in it he might be able to get a description of what the item was once used for. It hadn't worked on the egg because it had been made brand-new for the task and hadn't been used before he'd gotten it but perhaps with how old this was… there'd be enough magical residue left behind by its previous user to identify it.
'Locator' wrote itself into the air above the compass in dark blue letters.
Takeru froze for a moment before flicking his wand, making what was left of the broken compass split apart to reveal its insides and the small curl of baby-fine black hair that lay nestled inside. The compass was a tracker designed to find a specific magical signature.
So this was how Dumbledore had managed to find him…
Takeru felt the heat inside him grow as the burning inside him grew stronger and all the anger he'd been suppressing started bubbling to the surface. He'd gotten all worked up over what had to be a variation of the modern-day tracking charm. One that drew its magic from its target. What a joke. All that fear and panic. The mess he'd gotten into at the police station. Having to turn his back on a member of his family for no real reason.
Banishing the broken compass and all of its bits and pieces, including the evidence bag it had been kept in, the lock of hair and whatever else the stupid compass was hiding Takeru holstered his wand. He went to sort through the rest of the assorted evidence and files he'd tipped out of the box when he felt what he could only describe as his 'hackles rising'.
Someone was watching him.
Someone tainted with the foul scent of Dark Magic. Had the compass managed to alert its owner before he'd killed it?
Wishing he hadn't lost his hat somewhere in the middle of the stupid 'fight' with the group of morons who'd nearly gotten him arrested, Takeru carefully levered Gryffindor's sword out of the floorboards he'd stabbed it into. It would have been nice to have something to hide behind, even if it was only large enough to hide his expression. He opened his mouth to call out whoever was watching him from the shadows of the room he'd used to break into the bowling alley, but was interrupted. By a soft voice that sounded like it was trying to be soothing.
"That's a beautiful sword."
Takeru bared his teeth and turned to face the speaker, searching through the darkness for the owner. Was this one of Dumbledore's men? Called here by the compass before he could destroy it? Didn't matter if it had. He wasn't going back to England, not unless it was to fulfil the promise he'd made to the real Harry Potter. If this person tried to force him to return to the Magical World there they were going to be in for a rather sharp surprise.
"Would you like a closer look?" he invited silkily, voice heavy with meaning as he shifted his grip on the handle into a more comfortable position.
One wrong move and this guy was going to go the same way Kreacher had, he'd do anything if it meant keeping his hard-won freedom.
Tsuna stared at the object he'd picked up from the river bank, a cream coloured ball of fluff, and absently rubbing his hair dry with a towel. Picking the fluffy thing off the desk he frowned at it and weighed it in his palm, wondering why the thing was still warm even though it had been sitting on his desk for the last few minutes. He'd taken a shower and changed! It shouldn't still be warm to the touch!
"Reborn, you didn't touch this did you?" He asked, draping his towel around his shoulders so he could run a finger across its surface.
A soft snore was his only answer.
Rolling his eyes at the typical response Tsuna combed his fingers through the soft fur and jumped when the thing started to shiver under his touch. Pulling his fingers back sharply he blinked at the thing for a long moment and wondered if he'd accidentally turned on a switch or something when a pair of baby blue eyes slid open. It wasn't until the little thing in his hand yawned widely, showing off a rather impressive row of tiny little kitten teeth, that he realized the thing in his hands wasn't electrical.
"Hiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~! IT'S ALIVE!"