Title: The Digital Meets the Magical
Chapter Twelve: New and Old Relations
Author: Dragon Starbo
Beta Reader: BlackRain88
Rating: PG, for now
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Digimon. Never have, never will.
Author's Notes: Thank you everyone for your reviews! There's a 120 of them! I can't believe I have that many. I apologize for taking so long – I was kidnapped by aliens who needed my secret sugar cookie recipe. Don't worry, I was rescued by space pirates who dropped me off three galaxies away from home and then I had to hitchhike. Oh, as a side note: Never eat Gabordian cheese.
Chapter Twelve: New and Old Relations
"Harry…" Professor Lupin said hesitantly to the boy in the door way. Harry didn't look like he wanted to be there. He had a tight grip on his wand but it was pointed down and seemed to be there as a reassurance.
Despite Harry's rigid demeanor, he stepped into the classroom and said, "Tell me how it happened."
Lupin didn't need any more explanation. He beckoned Harry to sit at one of the desks and turned the one in front of him around. Sitting down at the makeshift table, Lupin was able to catch Harry's eye, which seemed to want to wonder all around the room.
"First off, Harry, I have to stress two important things. Your mother loved you and your father with all her heart. And your father loved you and your mother with all his heart."
"If my father loved my mother, then why did he do it?"
"It's not that simple. Your parents got married during the war against the Dark Lord. Both of them were on the front lines, facing off against the Death Eaters and Voldemort himself. They were madly in love and they were madly brave. But that wasn't enough to sustain a life, especially in those times. They were fine financially – James' inherited enough money to support them through the war.
"And they were the happiest when you came, Harry. You couldn't have been born to two more loving parents then those two. But the war and their rolls in it took a turn that neither of them expected. I will say this now. Lily was always the more rational of your parents. Your father, for all his smarts and quick-thinking, tended to throw caution to the wind and go for it. This caused as much trouble as it got him out of, but that was your father. I don't think anything short of chains could've kept your father away from the war. He believed whole heartedly in our side and knew that if we kept fighting, we would win."
"My mum didn't see it that way," Harry said.
"Lily wanted to choose their missions more carefully, to think before they flew off. Your father thought enough to come up with strategies for the mission, but he never thought of turning down a mission." Lupin put his hand up to silence Harry's retort. "Your mother was no coward. Most wizards would not do what she did.
"The point is that this lead to arguments. First they were disagreements, then debates, but they soon began fighting. I was busy during this time and I do not know all of what happened or what they were fighting about. But one night, Lily contacted me and asked for help. They had had a huge fight, James had stormed out, and she couldn't find him.
"I looked all night for him while Lily watched after you. He was in one of the last places I thought to look – a muggle pub. I should have looked there, but there were a few wizard places in Heamoor at the time and it just didn't occur to me. I don't know what happened in that pub, but I found James the next morning in an alley way of a hotel on the same block, reeking of booze and panicking."
Harry's eyes were wide, half-disbelieving that Lupin was telling him this. Weren't adults supposed to hide their mistakes and faults from kids? Then Harry realized that hiding mistakes at this point in time was useless. He didn't say anything but let Lupin tell the rest of the story.
"James couldn't remember anything that happened that night. He recalled, vaguely, fighting with Lily, but the next thing he knew, he was waking up in a strange room with a strange woman. He got out of the room as soon as he could without waking her and I found him soon after. He was so distressed, so wracked with guilt. He couldn't believe what he had done.
"Harry, he almost told Lily. He wanted to. I stopped him. He couldn't remember that night. As far as he knew, the woman took pity on him and let him sleep in her room – ridiculous, I know, but it calmed him down. I convinced him that there was no sense in telling Lily what might or might not have happened. It would just upset her and bring nothing but misery. I was foolish to suggest such things, but Lily was my friend, as well, and I didn't want to see her in such pain."
There was a long pause where the two wizards stared at each other.
"So my dad never told my mum."
"And I never told anyone, until now."
Harry looked down at the desk, riding the conflicting emotions that surged through him. He couldn't figure out what to say Professor Lupin, if he should be angry, relieved, happy, or sad. It was a lot to take in.
Finally, Harry asked, "Can we practice some now?"
Lupin smiled gently. Even though it was Monday, not Thursday, and Lupin had many things to grade, he felt that this was more important. "Sure, Harry. Let me get the Bogart."
"Ken Ichijouji!" Hermione huffed. She stormed over to the boy who was trying to walk rapidly away. He was almost to the Ravenclaw dorms when she caught him.
All of last week and the weekend Ken had made himself scarce, avoiding everyone that he could. He woke up early to eat breakfast before his friends got to the Great Hall, he ate the candy from Hogsmeade over the day and if he had a need to go to the library, he went in between classes. Other than that, he stayed in his Ravenclaw common room, always with a book open even if he wasn't reading it.
He was still reeling from what Professor Lupin had told him and every time he thought about bringing it up, his throat clenched tightly shut. He knew he was worrying his friends, both here and at home. If his mind entertained the idea of writing home, it would quickly ask what he would write. "Dear Mom and Dad: how are you? The weather over here is cold and raining, but it's improving. Classes are still a challenge and I found out I have an English half-brother. See you over the summer, Ken."
Ken couldn't write that letter and he couldn't lie to his parents. So with his inability to speak or write about it, he hid from it and the rest of the world. He knew this couldn't go on forever; nevertheless, he was unable to move forward.
Until Hermione was literally shoving him down the hallway, one hand pushing his back, the other with a firm grip on his robes. The Ravenclaw boy was kicking himself for not moving quicker (being Wednesday, he almost had another week under his belt) but did his best to get a word in edge wise as the fuming Hermione lectured him all the way to the library.
"Honestly, I don't know what has gotten into you. Just because you're a Ravenclaw does not make you smarter than everyone else! Oh sure, Ravenclaws are known for their intelligence, but they didn't get that way by skipping their tutoring sessions!"
"I didn't think Raven –"
"You get my point! They study and they do what they have to in order to keep ahead of their studies. They do not skip out on lessons."
"You don't tea –"
"You know what I mean! And if I can take on extra classes and spare the time to help you, you can take the time to show up!"
"You take on –"
"Finish that sentence and I'll get Peeves to go after you! Now, you have missed a whole week's worth of tutoring sessions and I am not going to let you miss another one. So sit down and open a book!"
Although they had entered the library, Hermione did not remove her grip until they were at the table, where the other Japanese students were – shocked and amused. Ken quickly avoided their eyes and sat at the last spot left, which was his usual one in between TK and Cody. The two had kept his area clear as if they had expected him to show up at any moment during the week.
Hermione didn't give them time for discussion and started immediately on their homework. She hovered over Ken and pelted him with questions about keeping up with his homework. Yes, he had been doing it. Yes, he double checked the facts. Of course he wrote neatly and even started over if he made too many errors.
Though the questioning was annoying, Ken took it all in stride, not wanting to stir anything up. All he wanted to do was keep his head down and get out of there as soon as possible.
But any hopes of getting out of there without talking about his new dilemma was dashed the moment Hermione went off to find an obscure text.
"Are you okay, Ken?" Kari asked.
"I'm fine," Ken muttered.
"Are you mad at us?"
Ken glanced up, surprised at the question. "No, I'm not."
"Then why are you avoiding us?"
"I . . . I can't –"
"You have a brother," Davis stated bluntly. "It's not like you have cancer."
Ken openly gaped at his long-time, goggle-wearing friend.
"It's not the end of the world, no matter how melodramatic your e-mail to us was," Davis said. He and the others were surprised to find an e-mail sent to all of them by Ken that night. All it had said was: Harry Potter is my brother. And then he didn't answer their e-mails or give them a chance to talk to him in person. Davis was contemplating finding a way into the Ravenclaw dorms and slugging Ken for making them all worry so much.
"We understand this is tough," TK picked up the slack. "But you don't have to do it alone. We're here for you."
The others nodded in agreement and Ken felt a small wave of relief wash over him, subduing his fear. He gave them a weak smile. "I wish I was fighting Demon instead of dealing this."
"You have any idea on what you're going to do?" Cody asked.
Ken shook his head, feeling his throat swell again. "I think I can avoid him for the rest of the school year."
"That doesn't sound like the Ken I know."
"The Ken you know doesn't have a cheating mother," Ken snapped before he could stop himself.
"What are you talking about?" Hermione asked from behind Ken, picking the worst moment to come back within ear shot.
Ken froze, so Matt spoke up for him. "Ken's found out that he has a brother."
"Oh," Hermione seemed uncertain about what to think of the news. She sat back down and pushed a stack of books out of the way to see Ken. "This is why you haven't shown up for the past week?"
Ken nodded and Matt spoke, "It's really hard on him, because of how it happened and what it means."
Hermione nodded sagely, putting the pieces as fast as her reputation as a brain dictated. "Your mom and a man other than your father. . ." she trailed off when Ken wince. "Who's your brother?"
Sam, Ken almost said automatically but stopped himself short.
"Harry," Matt said. "Harry Potter."
For once, Hermione was speechless.
For about two seconds. Then she found her voice and nearly got them kicked out of the library as she berated them for not telling her sooner.
Another few days passed and Ken was found in the Great Hall again, happy to be eating all three meals again. He had never thought he could be sick of candy, but he didn't want to see another chocolate frog for the rest of the year. He didn't sit with his friends at the Gryffindor table but welcomed them (and Cody from the Hufflepuff table) to sit with him at the Ravenclaw table, where he faced away from the Gryffindor table.
The more his friends talked to him, the more Ken seemed to relax. They reminded him over and over that they were there for him and he's been through worse and he has the strength to get through this. It was great for Ken to hear, something he needed to hear, and soon he realized what he needed to do.
Actually, it was Kari almost threatening him that if he didn't speak with Harry, she'd find a way to make his life completely miserable by way of hexes and curses. When Ken finally gave into her demands, she revealed that TK and Matt had been talking to Harry and Harry wanted to talk to him as well. He was just at a loss at how to approach Ken. So Kari and TK took it upon themselves to set up a meeting time and place.
And that's how Ken ended up outside, bundled up against the snow, leaning against a wall of the castle, having an argument with himself. He knew this had to be done – not just to avoid Kari's spells, which was her best form of magic – but it was like jumping off a cliff. It was scary as hell and he knew he'd never be the same afterwards.
They chose to meet outside because, frankly, it was a Saturday morning and nearly every student was tired of being cooped up in the castle all week. The days were short and cold, with night coming too fast for any real fun outside after classes. The Hogwarts students either had snow ball fights, built snow sculptures, or even just sat on one of the ice-cold stone benches and talked, but they tended to stay close to the castle and each other. Not that they feared anything out in the fields, but other than the frozen lake that they ice skated on, what was the point of walking off for snow when it was right there?
Ken found this spot on the west side of the castle for the precise reason that no one was around. Shrouded in shadows until the afternoon, it was just a little too cold to play in.
Harry soon found Ken and the desire to bolt rose quickly in Ken, but he fought it down.
Harry went over and stood next to Ken, almost feeling the cold stones of Hogwarts through his winter clothes. "Have you wrapped your head around this?"
"No, not really."
"Yeah, me neither, I guess. I never thought my dad would do such a thing."
"I never thought my mom was capable of this, either."
"If it helps, I think she was drunk."
Ken looked at Harry, confused.
Harry went on, "Professor Lupin was friends with my parents. He found my dad the day after and my dad was drunk as a skunk. It might've been the same with your mum."
Ken looked off at the snowy fields and thought about it. "So, I'm the result of a drunken mistake."
Harry realized his error in an attempt to save Ken's mom's reputation in Ken's eyes. "I didn't mean it like that."
"No, it's okay," Ken managed a weak half-smile. "How I came to life really isn't so important. My parents never treated me like anything else because of it." A moment of silence passed between them and Ken, itching for it to stop, said, "I'm sorry about your parents."
Harry shrugged and quickly changed topics. "I think we can become brothers."
"Harry, I can't."
"What do you mean?"
Ken sighed, knowing now he had come too far and couldn't step around the fact any more. "I had a brother."
"His name was Sam. He was a genius, a true genius, and our parents loved to show him off. I was jealous of him for it, but I still idolized him. One day, I don't know what I was thinking, I was just so angry, I ran out into traffic. Sam came after me…"
Harry nodded, not needing to hear any more. He let Ken have a moment before saying, "I'm not going to replace Sam. I don't think I'd ever be smart enough to replace him."
Ken felt his mouth twitch at the humor but it quickly faded.
"But I get it, I guess. How about we start off as friends?" Harry held out his hand.
Ken looked at it, and then slowly took it. He could do friends.
"So my friends and I need to head off to charm practice. You want to join us?"
"Professor Flitwick hasn't let us have any more battles since that one time you dropped by."
"I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking anything to get out of this cold."
Two weeks later, on the Thursday night right after dinner, the turn out to the Japanese Club was more than Cody would have guessed. All of his friends showed up, so did Jason Weldon and Aaron Kerr, but he expected them. Harry and Ron had made up with Hermione that day – only for Hermione and Ron to get into anther fight because it looked like Crookshanks ate Scabbers – and they all made it. Harry and Ken had to sit between Ron and Hermione to make sure the two didn't start arguing during the meeting. Fred and George, on request of Matt, had decided to come as well.
Along with those twelve, five more students showed up and Cody was counting them as the real crowd. Professor Sprout had advertised a little by putting a note up on each dorm's bulletin board but it wasn't a large poster or flashy and Cody couldn't imagine many people being that interested anyway. A small number was just fine right now.
At seven o'clock sharp, Cody stood up in front of the fifteen students, bowed and said, "Welcome to the first meeting of the Hogwarts Japanese Club. I'm Cody, the president of the club. I hope we can have a good time. In this club meeting, we'll be introducing ourselves and then talking a little bit about Japan. Let's go around the room and everyone tell a little bit about yourself."
Although Cody spoke clearly, it was obvious that he was nervous and unsure. That didn't inspire much confidence in those outside of the Japanese students, but they told a little bit about themselves. Megan Jones and Wayne Hopkins were Hufflepuffs, a third year and fourth year, respectively. Zachary Willow was a first year Slytherin and everyone was polite enough to hold their anti-Slytherin comments.
The last girl was very unusual with butterbeer corks for a necklace and two radishes as earrings. "I'm Luna Lovegood, Ravenclaw, and a second year. Tell me, are we going to talk about the Ai-Ai mermaids?"
Cody blinked. "The what?"
"The Ai-Ai mermaids. They live off of the coast of the southern tip of Japan and will lure sailors to their deaths unless they take a Blibbering Humdinger with them."
"What's a Blibbering Humdinger?" Zachary asked.
"There's no such thing!" Hermione interjected.
This did not stop Luna, who went on to describe the creature. Hermione kept insisting the creature wasn't real, but got under minded by Ron making comments on how Hermione wasn't a credible source – she hadn't taken Ron's warnings about Crookshanks the Murderer seriously, so why would she take anything else seriously? Hermione got angry right back at Ron for saying such horrible things and jumping to conclusions about her lovable Crookshanks, who Ron had always disliked since he landed on his head in the pet store.
Fred and George took this opportunity to mess with an impressionable first year Slytherin and added to Luna's story. This lead to Megan, Wayne, Jason, and Aaron getting into a debate about who could be telling the truth – although Jason and Aaron soon bored of it and were starting to talk about Quidditch.
It took a good fifteen minutes for Cody to get the room back under control and that was with the help of Matt. Deciding to move things along before anyone could get into another argument, Cody launched into his speech about manga and anime.
And bored them to tears. The full blooded wizards and witches didn't care about something that was popular with the muggles, the muggle-borns of the group were in the same boat or simply never got into manga and anime, and his friends had grown up with all their lives. The only one who seemed the least bit interested was Hermione, though even she found her attention wondering a bit.
Cody went on for a half hour and then pulled out some English translated manga Mimi had sent him on his request. Due to the shipping costs by owl, he only had a handful, so they'd have to share. But then Cody realized that Fred and George had already slipped out. Jason and Aaron were heading out and the other two Hufflepuffs seemed to be debating on whether or not to follow them. Zachary was talking to Luna again, this time about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, and Ron was trying to shoot Hermione daggers with his eyes.
Hermione got up and said, "I'm sorry, Cody, but I have homework to finish. Your talk about manga and anime – it was lovely."
Cody didn't believe her for a second but Ron got up and marched over to Cody and picked up a manga. He said a bit loud, so Hermione could hear as she left the room, "I have homework to finish as well, but I'm not rude and will stay for the whole meeting."
Harry had to leave soon after to make it to his extra lessons with Professor Lupin. Megan and Wayne politely took a manga but looked less than thrilled to do so and bolted for the door five minutes before eight. Soon all were left were his friends, Ron, and Luna and Zachary – and those two might as well have not been there as they were deeply engrossed in their own conversation.
Cody went over to his friends, sat down, and buried his heads in his hands. He felt a reassuring hand on his shoulder, but Cody still didn't look up, not wanting anyone to see his embarrassed, beet red face.
End Chapter Twelve: New and Old Relations