Disclaimer: No own Yu Yu Hakusho. I do, however, own a lovely cold. Want it?
EDIT: Thanks to Weather Marmalade for pointing something out to me! I meant to say that Kurama has never been to London, not England. I've changed it. -embarrassed-
Once Upon A Time
Chapter 3: Back to England We Go!
"GRAH!" Harry yelped, falling out of bed before groping blindly for the alarm clock. He hit the off button, groaning. The Gryffindor blinked blearily. Why the heck did he have the alarm set so early? Harry's mind slooowly boarded the train, before he snapped his fingers and leapt up. He was going back to England today! The Boy-Who-Lived squinted at the little table next to his bed, spotting the blurry shape of his glasses.
He grabbed them quickly, put them on, and ran into the washroom.
Kurama glanced at the clock. 9:00AM. The youko smiled. Half an hour. Enough time to have breakfast before leaving at eleven-thirty with his 'kaasan and Harry. He slowly closed the lid of his suitcase, before straightening from the bed and heading for the kitchen to grab a bite to eat. The youko felt a tremor of excitement. Well, considering he'd never been to London, not even as Youko, the redhead had every right to be excited.
He walked quickly to the kitchen. Scrambled eggs would be fine. The youko cracked open two eggs into the pan, thinking absently.
Hopefully, I'll be able to talk to this 'Dumbledore' before mother. It'd be awkward if the man started questioning my mother about wards she doesn't even know about. Kurama flipped the eggs. I should keep an eye out for something nice to steal. There's bound to be plenty of... interesting objects in Diagon Alley.
Once a thief, always a thief.
"I heard Kurama-san is leaving to England today with his mother and Harry." Yukina commented quietly.
Hiei snorted. "He probably didn't tell Yomi either..." he muttered. Note to self. Don't stray too near Gandara today.
Kuwabara glanced at the streets. He frowned, shivering slightly. There had been a lot more reiki flying around today than there had been in the past few years, since the time Kuwabara was a Reikai Tantei. Didn't Kurama mention something about some evil wizard dude coming back? Yeah, that was probably why.
The orange-haired ex-detective shook his head, reaching the foot of the stairs of Genkai's temple. Kurama was always getting into weird situations. Wizards. Seriously. At least it wasn't goblins again.
He climbed up the stairs, eager to see Yukina. Genkai nodded at him, pointing Kuwabara to where Yukina was. What he had not been counting on was the shrimp being there.
Okay, why's the shrimp here, drinking tea with Yukina? Kuwabara thought, as he blinked at the two little demons sitting before him, sipping tea.
"Hi Yukina!" He paused. "What're you doing here, shri-er, Hiei?"
The little fire demon sniffed. "I was just leaving." He glanced at Yukina. "I'll see you soon."
Kuwabara stared as Hiei left. That was weird... He turned to the koorime with a huge smile. "What was Hiei doing here?"
Yukina looked startled. "He comes here almost every weekend. You didn't know, Kazuma?" She poured Kuwabara some tea. "Tea?"
Kuwabara frowned. "He does? Weird..." The orange-haired detective accepted the tea. "Thanks, Yukina."
Hiei flitted off to Kurama's apartment, just catching the redhead outside his door, locking it.
Kurama started, and turned around. "Oh! Hiei. You startled me." He finished locking the door, stuffing the key in his pocket and picking up his suitcase.
The half koorime ignored Kurama's exclamation. "Yomi'll be annoyed that you skipped out again without telling him."
The youko grinned. "Don't stray too near Gandara." Both demons slowly walked out of the apartment and down the parking lot. "Besides, I've never been to England. I'll bring you something." The redhead stopped in front of his car, looking at Hiei. "I'll see you in a week or so!" Kurama ruffled the little fire demon's hair, knowing that Hiei hated it when he did that. The redhead opened the car door quickly and slid into the seat, slamming the door shut just before Hiei's sword whizzed through the air where Kurama had been. If you didn't understand, that was fast.
Kurama smiled, waving cheerfully at the disgruntled fire demon while he drove out the lot.
Hiei thought to himself, before flitting out of the parking lot and heading back to Makai. At least it's wizards, not goblins this time.
Harry and Shiori waited outside on the porch of the Hatanaka residence for Kurama. Mr.Hatanaka had already left for work, Shuiichi, Kurama's stepbrother, who incidentally had the same human name, was out with his friends. The Gryffindor was practically bouncing with energy. He turned to Shiori.
"Have you ever been to Diagon Alley?" Harry asked curiously. The dark-haired woman smiled at Harry.
"Actually, I've only been there once, on vacation." Shiori replied. "It's very pretty." Kurama's mother turned at the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. "There's Shuiichi. Have you got everything dear?"
Harry nodded, gesturing at his trunk, Hedwig's empty cage (Harry had sent her off the night before, with a letter telling Ron to meet him in Diagon Alley), and the backpack on his back. "Yep."
Kurama stepped out of the car, waving hello to Harry and Shiori, before helping them with luggage. The humid heat of late August had them all hurrying to finish and get into the air-conditioned car. Kurama slammed the lid of the trunk, before joining his mother in the front of the car.
"Off we go." He smiled, backing out of the driveway.
"Hiei, do you know where Yomi's second in command went?" Mukuro questioned him over a cup of cianna. A sweet, cool drink only found in Makai.
The little fire demon muttered under his breath, "England." He stared at his cup of cianna suspiciously, wondering if Mukuro or someone had poisoned it.
Mukuro raised her eyebrows. "England." She repeated flatly. "I'd better send a messenger and tell Yomi... You can practically hear him yelling from Gandara." The half robotic lordess stood, the chair scraping the floor as it was pushed back. "Oh, and Hiei. Go out and patrol. Stop moping around here."
Hiei rolled his eyes, but left through the window, black cloak flapping behind him.
"What the hell is his second in command doing in England?" Mukuro wondered idly, before snapping her fingers for a messenger.
While Harry, Kurama and Shiori were almost at England, Ron Weasley received a letter.
"MUM! HERMIONE! HARRY'S COMING BACK TODAY!" He yelled, waving the letter as he skidded to a stop in the kitchen of Grimmauld place. Several faces looked up at him, some including Hermione's, the Weasley twins (who were home from work today), Mr. and Mrs.Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Remus Lupin, and Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody.
"It's about time. That boy... I'll go inform Dumbledore." growled Moody, standing up from the table, and hurrying over to the fire.
"Yes! Harry's coming back, Harry's coming back, Harry's coming baaaaaaaack!" sang the twins in unison.
Hermione's features broke out into a huge smile. Mrs. Weasley smiled fondly at Ron. "What did he say?"
Ron cleared his throat. "Dear Ron. I'm coming back to England today with Mrs. Hatanaka and Shuiichi. I'll meet you in Diagon Alley at three o'clock, PM. See you then! I'll explain everything properly then. PS. Keep Hedwig 'till I get there, 'kay? Thanks Ron." finished the second youngest Weasley.
Hermione 'hmph'ed'. "It's about time!" She said huffily.
"Oh dear. Three o'clock? That's in a few hours. Dears, have you all got your school lists? We might as well go shopping for your supplies. School's starting in half a week anyways." Mrs. Weasley bustled around the kitchen, clearing up the remains of breakfast.
Harry plastered his face to the tiny window of the airplane, staring down at England. Both Kurama and Shiori were sleeping, it seemed. Harry sat back down in his seat, buckling the seatbelt when the voice over the voice system instructed them to do so, and announced they were starting their descent to land in the London Heathrow Airport.
"How do you feel about planes, after the second time on one?" A voice behind the Gryffindor asked. Harry started, and relaxed when he realized that it was just Shuiichi. He turned to face the redhead.
"Actually, I kinda like it." Harry admitted. "I mean, it does take awhile, but it's pretty quiet, and the food's not that bad."
Shuiichi nodded. "The flight was a lot quicker than I had expected." He remarked. Harry nodded.
One witch, one youko-reborn-as-a-human, and one wizard stepped out of the airport, stretching or yawning groggily and blinking in the sunlight.
Harry grinned, feeling the cool breeze ruffle his hair. He sighed happily. It was way cooler here than in Japan... He glanced at his two guardians. "Are we taking a cab?" Harry asked curiously.
Both Kurama and Shiori nodded. "I'm looking for a nice one." Shiori said, before waving at a bright yellow cab. The driver drove slowly over, before parking the car in front of the three. Kurama smiled.
Shiori spoke to the cab driver in English, having cast a charm on herself before leaving. "Charing Cross Road, please." She got in the front seat as Kurama and Harry finished loading their luggage, which was fairly little. The redhead held the door open for Harry as they both got into the backseat, strapping their seatbelts.
Harry watched contentedly as the scenery passed by, slightly drowsy and tired from the jet-lag. Kurama seemed to be napping again, but Harry wasn't entirely sure since the redhead had one eye cracked open. Shiori was chatting amicably with the taxi driver.
Weird way to sleep. I guess he's one of those people who can do weird things like that, or he's not really sleeping... speculated Harry. Sleep did sound like a good idea though, if he was going to go meet the Weasley's and everyone else in Diagon Alley this afternoon...
Before he knew it, someone was shaking him gently and calling his name. "Harry...Harry..."
The Gryffindor groaned, mumbling. "We're there?" Harry sat up, pushing his glasses back into their proper place, rubbing his eyes and yawning. Kurama nodded, pulling Harry out of the car. The redhead held out Harry's shrunk trunk, which Harry pocketed. The Gryffindor grabbed his backpack and Hedwig's empty cage. Shiori paid the driver while Kurama unloaded the two suitcases, closing the trunk.
The driver drove away, leaving Shiori, Kurama, and Harry on Charing Cross Road, before the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron. Shiori smiled happily. "It looks just like it did when I was here!"
Kurama cringed, his magic sense suddenly assaulted by a whole tangle of magic.
The three stepped into the Leaky Cauldron, which was quieter than usual. Tom, the innkeeper, bustled up to them with a cheery smile. "Hello today! How may I help you?" He caught sight of Harry, his smile widening. "Nice to see you again, Harry Potter."
Harry grinned. "You too."
"We'd like two rooms for a few nights, please." Shiori requested politely. Tom nodded, shuffling behind the counter/bar. He pulled out a large book, with a few sheafs of paper sticking out. The innkeeper flipped the pages, and looked at the keys behind him.
"Ah, let's see... Rooms 11 and 12 are free. Here are the keys. Your names please?"
Shiori accepted the keys. "Shiori Minamino. Shuiichi Minamino. Harry Potter." She fished around her purse for money while Tom jotted down the names in neat handwriting with a quill.
Meanwhile, Harry and Kurama were having a little conversation. "It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'Cameras steal your soul'." Kurama commented.
Harry nodded. "It's actually pretty cool. By the way, how do you know so much about the wizarding world anyways?" He shifted his weight. "I mean, you said you weren't a Muggle, but you weren't a wizard either..."
Kurama shrugged. "In Japan, most people are very open about things like that, and the wizarding communities are a bit different. Genkai has met a few wizards and witches, and so have I." Not to mention wizards and demons aren't exactly friends and there have been wars...
"Here, boys." Shiori handed the two the key to Room 11. "I hope you don't mind sharing."
Both 'boys' shook their heads.
"Now, you might want to catch a quick nap. Especially you, Harry dear. Since you're meeting your friends at-" Shiori glanced at her watch. "-three. And it's already one." The dark-haired woman smiled fondly at the two.
"All right mother." agreed Kurama. Harry nodded, suddenly feeling tired, despite the short nap he'd taken on the car ride. All three of them followed Tom up to their rooms, and crashing on their beds.
Harry woke abruptly at 10 to three. He grabbed his glasses, cursing under his breath. The Gyrffindor glanced at the new watch he got over the summer. He was going to meet Ron, Hermion, Mrs. and Mr. Weasley, and them in 10 minutes! The Boy-Who-Lived threw the light sheets and covers off him, looking around the room to see Kurama looking at Harry with one arched eyebrow.
The redhead was dressed, his clothes which were, miraculously, free of wrinkles. Harry hurriedly smoothed down his own shirt. "I've gotta go meet my friends at the ice cream parlor!"
Kurama rose from his seat on the bed, rushing over to the desk, grabbing a piece of parchment, and scribbled a note to Shiori with the quill. He folded the parchment, and ushered Harry out of the door. The Gryffindor snatched his wand, before leaving. Kurama locked the door, sticking the note on the door with some tape.
The two of them hurried out of the Leaky Cauldron, towards Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor. Harry noticed that there were a lot less wizards and witches in Diagon Alley. Of course, there was still plenty of students who'd come to get their school supplies, but it was noticeably less. Almost everyone seemed tense, and frightened. The Gryffindor credited it to the fact that Voldemort was back.
Kurama and Harry stepped into the ice cream parlor, and was immediately assaulted by a barrage of people.
"HARRY!" ...was tackled into a hug, by Hermione, who he recognized by the bushy quantity of hair. Several more shouts of 'Harry!' rang throughout the ice cream parlor. "HARRY JAMES POTTER! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL SUMMER?" Hermione shrieked.
"You had us so worried, dear!" Mrs.Weasley.
"Don't ever do that again, mate!" Ron shouted.
Harry had disappeared under a mass of people, which included the Weasley twins, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Remus Lupin, Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody, and Albus Dumbledore stood to the side. Kurama watched, a slight smile gracing his features while he watched Harry be tackled and fussed over. The redhead stopped after a few moments, taking the time to 'size up' the members of the Order and Weasley family.
They seemed to be doing the same, and a little bit of hostility mounted in the room. Kurama smiled sweetly. Harry re-emerged from his dog pile, hair even more mussed than usual, his glasses askew.
The Boy-Who-Lived turned to face everyone. "Guys, this is Shuiichi Minamino, my third cousin." He glanced at the assembled people. "I've been staying with his mom, step-dad and step-brother over the summer."
"Nice to meet you." "Pleasure." and so on.
Kurama nodded, shaking hands and smiling. "Nice to meet you all."
Albus Dumbledore's eyes twinkled, measuring up the young man in front of him."I assume you were the one who put up the wards?"
Several heads swivelled towards the headmaster's direction. It was him!
The redhead shrugged. "Someone had to take precautions." He stiffened minutely when he felt someone trying to probe his mind, discreetly. "I'd prefer you didn't try and read my mind without my express permission." was directed at Dumbledore, who smiled pleasantly.
"My, Shuiichi, you should've woken me up!" Shiori arrived on the scene, smiling politely at the large group. "Hello. I'm Shiori Hatanaka." The dark-haired woman brought along a comforting presence, quite like Mrs.Weasley, which immediately dispelled the hostile mood.
Kurama rubbed back of his neck sheepishly. "You looked tired, and I didn't want to wake you..."
The introductions started again, this time with a great deal of laughter and joking. Mrs.Weasley and Shiori were chatting animatedly, while Mr. Weasley quizzed Kurama about Muggle devices and the like.
Dumbledore turned to Harry, eyes twinkling. "It seems that Mrs. Hatanaka and Mr. Minamino are very nice people." He glanced at Moody. "No tattoos, Alastor?" Moody nodded.
Harry scowled. "I did check before I went with them, you know." he immediately looked surprised. "I'm sorry, Professor Dumbledore, Lupin, Professor Moody." He paused. "It's just that no ones seem to trust my judgement all that much anymore..." Ron and Hermione watched the conversation silently.
Lupin looked surprised. "We do trust you Harry, we're just taking precautions." said the werewolf.
"What does the boy do for a living?" Moody growled, jerking his thumb at Harry, who blinked.
"Actually, I'm not sure. He might still be in school. Sometimes he just disappears and doesn't show up for our tutoring session..." Harry shrugged. "I dunno, he's a pretty private person." The Gryffindor's face brightened. "I think he does legal work or something, I see these weird documents all the time."
Albus, Remus, and Moody nodded simultaneously.
"Are they wizards?" Ron asked curiously.
"Well, Mrs. Hatanaka is, but I'm not sure about Shuiichi." Harry frowned. "He said he wasn't a Muggle, but he also said he wasn't a wizard either."
"Suspicious. It seems like the boy has something to hide." remarked Moody.
"Now Alastor, maybe he really is just a private person." Dumbledore suggested.
"He seems nice enough..." Remus Lupin interrupted.
The three Order members started a discussion, leaving Harry, Hermion, and Ron free to talk.
"Harry. You. Are. In. So. Much. Trouble!" Hermione said angrily. "You could have told us where you were so we wouldn't get so angry! We wouldn't have taken you away or something if they weren't bad people!"
"Hermione, maybe he WAS afraid of that..." suggested Ron timidly. Harry felt a rush of gladness that Ron was his friend.
"Yeah, I was actuallly..." Harry admitted, stopping Hermion in mid-rant. "I was afraid of that." He glanced at his two friends. "But it's fine now. Shuiichi and the Hatanakas are very nice people." He yawned widely. "Hey, I'll meet you guys tomorrow to get our supplies, 'kay? I'm feeling really tired."
"All right Harry, we'll see you tomorrow at... one o'clock?" Hermione asked. Both Harry and Ron nodded.
Harry sauntered over to Kurama, who nodded, bidding goodbye to Mr. Weasley. Shiori did the same, smiling and waving as she left. The three disappeared into the Leaky Cauldron, presumably to get more rest.
The assembled party watched their retreating backs.
"They both seem nice, and Harry looks really happy with them." Mrs.Weasley smiled fondly at Harry. Everybody else nodded.
"We'll be going back to Headquarters." Dumbledore held out a statue of a coconut. "Everyone hold on... One...two...three..."
Harry woke, feeling refreshed, and ready to go shopping for supplies. He bounded out of bed, glancing at Shuiichi's bed and finding that it was empty, the sheets and covers neatly made.
He went downstairs to the pub after grabbing his supply list, wand and key, to find Shiori and Kurama eating lunch. Shiori smiled, and gestured at the plate of food on the table. "Lunch?"
Harry grinned. "Sure, thanks." He chewed his food slowly, before swallowing. "I'm gonna go get my supplies at one with my friends, okay?" He received two nods in reply.
The Gryffindor finished his breakfast quickly, and waved goodbye to the two eating at the table, before rushing out to the ice cream parlor again.
"Harry! HARRY!" Ron waved wildly at his best friend. Him and Hermione were both eating giant sundaes. Harry grinned.
"Hey guys! Got a sundae for me?"
Ron grinned. "You're gonna hafta get your own, mate."
Harry heaved a dramatic sigh. "Oh well." He glanced at his wristwatch. "Should we go to Gringotts first?"
"I've already got my money, but I'll come along anyways." Ron said.
One whirlwind ride, two withdrawals, and a crazy trip back, Hermione, Harry, and Ron staggered out of the bank, all three of them looking rather green.
"Don't know why I agreed to come when I already got my money..." groaned Ron.
Hermione smiled weakly. "Well, it's already over." She glanced at the school list. "We just need to get two new books. The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 6 and Defense Against the Dark Arts: Dark Creatures, Artifacts, and Spells."
Harry frowned. "D'you know who's going to be the professor this year?" Both Harry and Ron stared at Hermione expectantly.
Hermione ignored the stares and started walking towards Flourish and Blotts. "I'm not sure." The witch frowned. "Professor Dumbledore gets to decide this year, from what I read. The Minister's under a lot of pressure, because of the whole incident last year, and all the parents want a good teacher." She paused. "It's probably Professor Lupin."
"That would be awesome!" Ron exclaimed. "Except... y'know, some of the parents, and the whole werewolf thing..."
"Like I said, it's up to Professor Dumbledore this year." Hermione shrugged. "I might not even be right."
Harry stayed silent. Inside, he was rejoicing, complete with fanfare and an orchestra. "It'd be awesome though..." said the Gryffindor wistfully. The trio stepped inside Flourish and Blott's.
Kurama had just turned down Knockturn Alley, alert for any pickpockets. The redhead scanned his surroundings distastefully. Compared to the rest of Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley seemed more run-down and riddled with the darker brand of magic. Kurama shrugged, mentally. Sometimes these places had the more...interesting and dangerous objects.
The youko sauntered down the alley, glancing at the store windows, before entering Borgin and Burkes. He looked at the shopkeeper, who was occupied with talking to a blond wizard and someone younger, presumably the man's son. Kurama smirked. That suited him just fine.
He turned to the cabinets, walking silently and gracefully. Kurama surveyed a set of crystal and obsidian chess pieces, along with a board. Too fragile... Kurama moved on, spotting a small silver dagger, it's hilt adorned with a single ruby. A wicked smile flashed on the youko's face, and before you knew it, the dagger was gone.
Kurama glanced behind him, towards the three wizards. The thief scanned the store once more. Disappointing. There weren't many things to steal, nothing too interesting.
"Hello." Kurama stiffened, turning towards the voice. It was the blond, younger wizard.
Kurama nodded. "Hello."
Draco Malfoy surveyed the redhead. "My name's Malfoy. Draco Malfoy." he drawled. "Who might you be?"
Kurama groaned inwardly. Annoying wizards. Always wanting to socialize... However, he forced himself to answer. "Shuiichi Minamino."
"Oh? I've never heard of that family. Are you a-" Malfoy was cut off as his father finished the conversation. Lucius Malfoy set a fatherly hand on his son's shoulder, cold grey eyes looking at Kurama critically.
"I'm dreadfully sorry to interrupt your conversation, but my son and I must be going. Good day." The older Malfoy steered Draco out of Borgin and Burkes. Kurama stared, but left quickly after them.
Harry poked the present Hagrid had sent him for his birthday (the half-giant had apologized for the delay), and recoiled when it gave a snap. For a little, pint-sized cat thing, it sure had a lot of teeth. The creature in question bared it's fangs, tongue curling as it yawned. Harry gazed at the Klauren in exasperation. The little cat shaped creature stared back, it's tails waving. Hagrid had said in his letter that Klauren were good for guarding objects, and Harry could certainly see why. The problem was, Harry needed to get it to trust him, which was almost impossible.
The door opened, and Kurama stepped in. Harry's eyes widened as the Klauren flew towards the redhead on it's leathery black wings. "Shuiichi! LOOK OUT!" Kurama turned, and blinked, ducking the Klauren's advance. But the little creature flew after Kurama determinedly. This time, the youko held out his hands, and it landed on them smoothly.
Kurama stared at the Klauren. A... cat thing with little spurs and wings just landed on my hand and it's purring. He looked at Harry, arching an eyebrow. "What's this?" The Klauren bristled indignantly at being called 'this'.
"A Klauren. Hagrid sent it for my birthday. I just got it. He says it's female, and good for guarding things, but it has to trust you..." said Harry. "Well, it seems to trust you. Keep it."
"Are you sure?" I suppose it could come in handy...
"Sure. It-she's all yours." Harry shrugged.
"Thanks." Kurama set the Klauren on the bedside table. "Just so you know, I'll be leaving tomorrow. I've got to get back to Japan." The redhead smiled faintly. "It's certainly been entertaining though."
A/N: That chapter felt like it took FOREVER. Ick. Sorry if it disappointed anyone, but I haven't been feeling well, due to a cold my friend kindly gave me. My brain's on the blink. Not to mention I had a possible challenge that I really wanted to do, and probably will.
I CANNOT write Dumbledore. Not to mention I hate doing introductions. So if the reactions weren't what you liked, deal with it, and I'll try to revise it sometime. Don't know how JK Rowling pulls it off. Er- Next chapter will have the train ride and other stuff. It'll be out ... soon. Hopefully within a month.
Comments, feedback, anything is appreciated, even flames, though I probably won't pay too much attention to those. Review please! Thanks.