Title: Strains of Melody
Author: hoshi-tachi
Category: Harry Potter AU
Rating: PG-13
Summary: An abused five-year-old Harry Potter is rescued from the Dursleys' by the Muggle police and adopted. There's just one problem: the person who adopted him doesn't exist.
Warnings: mentions of child abuse, undecided pairings, limited violence, limited profanity.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all things pertaining to him belong to J. K. Rowling. Any other things the author does not own will receive their own disclaimer in the pertinent chapter.

Humanity has created many things over the millennia, things to protect itself, entertain itself, and punish itself. Of the last of these, by far the most effective is the concept known as paperwork. All over the world, men and women sit at desks all day long, working fruitlessly to lessen the mounds of dried and pressed tree-pulp sitting in front of them. It was for this reason that Miss Samantha Harding looked up so gratefully from her work when the door-chime rang, smiling as she blessed the visitor's soul.

The man who entered wasn't anything unusual. He wasn't particularly handsome, or intimidating. Perhaps a bit taller than average, he was possessed of an open, honest face and calm blue eyes, the kind that led old ladies to trust him with their purses and schoolchildren with their secrets.

Returning the young woman's smile, he walked up to her desk. In response to her polite, "May I help you?" he proceeded to introduce himself as a Mr. Andrew Merrion, here for his appointment with the good doctor Johannson, and inquired as to the way to her office.

A minute later he was walking down a hallway, while the unfortunate Samantha dragged herself back to her schedules and memorandums.

Taka was starting to get just a little annoyed after he found himself in front of the third dead end in as many minutes. Only a little, mind you, he was quite good at controlling his emotions after thirteen centuries, but he couldn't help but think a few uncharitable thoughts about a certain secretary who couldn't find her way around an empty room.

It was well past the time of his appointment before Taka finally discovered the solid oaken door with Dr. Elizabeth Johannson written on its surface. Pausing a moment to paste a pleasant, slightly embarrassed smile on his face, he tapped gently on the door.

"Come in!" A voice from within called cheerfully, and Taka stepped into the office. A middle-aged brunette glanced up at the abashed-looking young man and gave him a wry grin. "Let me guess, Sam's on duty today."

Taka blinked and nodded. "That was the name on her tag. How did you know?"

Dr. Johannson laughed. "You're not the first person she's misled. Sam's a good girl, but she's absolutely useless when it comes to directions." She stood and walked around her desk, holding out her hand. "Now, you would be Mr. Merrion, correct? You wanted to adopt?"

"Andrew, please," Taka replied, shaking hands, "and yes, actually."

"Right. There's quite a bit of paperwork to fill out, and a background check, but I imagine that you're eager to met the children."

At Taka's nod, she led him out the door and down the hallway.

The sun was shining brightly over the small playground as they emerged from the building. Small groups of children played on monkey bars, slides, and swings, every one of them seeming to feel the need to abuse Taka's poor ears with their yelling. Beyond the giant sandbox a small forest loomed.

"All right," Dr. Johannson said, "I'll let you go talk with the children. If you have any questions, ask the playground monitor or come find me in my office." With this, she turned around and walked back inside.

Taka nodded, rather pointlessly as the doctor was already gone, but he always liked to be polite when possible. Being polite was generally the best policy to take in life, even when it seemed there was no one around. All too often there were eyes watching that you couldn't see.

Leaning against the side of the building, Taka opened his mind and focused in on the power he had sensed before. He had no difficulty in finding it; whoever wielded this much pure magic glowed like a bloody sun. His problem was in locating its user- it glowed so brightly near the center that it hurt to "look" at.

Though it seemed only a few moments to those around him, to one of Taka's experience it seemed nearer an eternity before his eyes adjusted enough to determine in what direction his purpose lay. Stepping away from the wall he had used for support, he turned and walked to where the playground ended and the forest began.

Pausing just before a clump of bushes, Taka peered into the shadows. Among the green dimness he could just barely make out a dark shape.

"Hello?" Taka called out. "May I come in?" He waited, until when he had just about to speak again, the shadowed figure gave a miniscule nod, and he crawled in.

Now, Taka could just make out a tiny dark-haired boy, whose green eyes were made even greener by the sunlight filtering through the leaves of the bushes. The boy couldn't have been older than five, and certainly looked younger- until you looked into his eyes. But what amazed Taka, and left him momentarily speechless, was the sheer power that radiated from the child…when he wasn't even using it.

Chapter Edited 9/20/07. If you find any further spelling/grammar errors or inconsistencies, please contact the author.

Original A/N: The idea for this came to me while reading Stormy1x2's Parallel, and then evolved beyond all recognition. It was originally intended to be that Harry was part of something like the Yakuza, and received the same training Heero did, before coming to Hogwarts. Instead…well, you'll see. Can anyone guess who Taka is? Both his real and his fake names are clues (Taka is a Japanese word), but he's not really a crossover character.