Warnings: Violence, HOMOSEXUALITY, heterosexuality, foul language, teenagers behaving like teenagers, possibly a few oc's because Rowling skimped on names in Ginny's year...
Disclaimers: Harry Potter belongs to JKRowling, Warner Brothers, and Scholastic. Yu Yu Hakusho belongs to Yoshihiro Togashi, Shonen Jump, Studio Pierrot, and Funimation. Either might belong to other groups that I'm unaware of as well. Neither series belongs to me. I make no money off this. Suing me won't get you much more than a cat and a buggy computer, so I wouldn't bother if I were you.
Timeline: Takes place after "The Best Defense", which took place after "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in Harry Potter, and the Dark Martial Arts Tournament in Yu Yu Hakusho. READ "THE BEST DEFENSE" FIRST. You won't understand what's going on here if you don't.
Ch. 1 - To All Appearances...
The first day of summer holidays in Surrey, England, came with pouring rain. The gardens of Little Whinging turned into a soggy morass by dawn, and by afternoon, the storm drains began to overflow into the streets.
At Number 4 Privet Drive, Harry Potter (Boy-Who-Lived, savior of the wizarding world, and all-around celebrity), rooted through the mud of the back garden, pulling weeds. His oversized hand-me-downs clung to his skin, streaked with muck, and his ratty shoes were soaked through. His drenched hair hung in his eyes, plastered over the lightning-bolt scar that had made him famous.
Had Harry been wearing Muggle glasses, rather than wizarding ones with a built-in Impervious charm to keep the water away, he would have been blind in the driving rain. As it was, he was merely soaked, cold, and miserable.
Still, being outside, even on a day like today, was infinitely better than being inside with his aunt and cousin. The house had a limited number of places to get away from Dudley, no place at all to escape Dudley's whining, and nobody in the household (including Harry) liked it when Harry left his room. But you could only stare at four walls for so long before going completely stir-crazy.
Not that a single day was enough to cause that. But a single day with nothing to do but stare at the rain and think about the events of the past few weeks...
I am NOT thinking about it, Harry told himself firmly.
And he wasn't. Really. He was thinking about how wet he was, and how gardening wasn't all that satisfying, unless perhaps you were his classmate Neville, or Kur... not thinking about it. And really his grades in Herbology should be better than they were, considering that Aunt Petunia seemed to ignore her garden in order to have something to keep Harry out of her way.
A brown owl, not one Harry recognized, interrupted his thoughts, fluttering to a silent landing next to him with a plastic-wrapped letter clutched in its talons.
"Oh no, no, not here..." Harry muttered, jabbing his trowel into the mud. Aunt Petunia will be furious! He grabbed the letter, hastily shooed the owl off, and stuffed the letter into his pocket. Maybe the neighbors hadn't seen it...
Aunt Petunia opened the kitchen window a crack, scowling. "What are you doing?" she snapped.
"Weeding, Aunt Petunia," Harry answered, eyes firmly on the pile of scraggly, uprooted weeds.
The answer didn't seem to satisfy. "Was that one of those... birds... out here?"
So, she'd seen it. "Owls, you mean?" Harry asked sweetly.
She hissed. "Get in here!" Harry quickly stood and obeyed, kicking off his muddy shoes as he entered the house. Aunt Petunia slammed the door closed behind him, glaring up at Harry. "How dare they send those... those things here in broad daylight!"
As if she'd take it well if the owls arrived at night. Ha.
"Don't smirk at me like that, boy! Go! Up to your room!"
Harry gingerly hurried upstairs, anticipating the shout of...
"And don't drip on the rug!"
... that followed him. He ducked into his room, locked the door, and changed, leaving his soggy gardening clothes piled on his bathtowel. Better there than on the floor, making Aunt Petunia more furious. He could sneak the towel into the next load of laundry. Then Harry pulled the letter from his wet jeans and unwrapped it from the plastic.
His name was written over the parchment in a spidery, hasty scrawl, and it was addressed only to "Little Whinging, Surrey". It lacked the street, house number, and the wizarding convention of addressing things to specific rooms in one's house. Strange... Harry thought, before abruptly recognizing the handwriting as belonging to one of his best friends, Hermione Granger. (Which explained the plastic wrap: Hermione was practical like that.) The spidery look was due to a Muggle ballpoint pen, rather than the quills Hermione preferred, and overall it looked as if she'd written it in a hurry. Harry tore the envelope open, pulling out a letter and a newspaper clipping. He read the letter first.
Read this NOW! Send Hedwig with your thoughts ASAP!
What on earth...? Hermione never wrote like that, just as she never used Muggle pens. She had a tendency to babble when panicked or emotional, even in writing. Harry unfolded the newspaper clipping, most of a page in size, and found a picture of Draco Malfoy centered below a blaring headline.
HOGWARTS STUDENT VANISHES FROM PLATFORM 9 3/4
by Rita Skeeter
16-year-old Draco Malfoy, Hogwarts student and heir to the Malfoy estate, never arrived home last night. The Aurors division has been mobilized, but no leads have surfaced.
"We are still gathering evidence," an Auror informed the press, "but we've found little to indicate foul play. It's as if he walked into Muggle London with nothing but his wand and the clothes on his back. However, we'll be interviewing witnesses throughout the week."
"I don't understand," a tearful classmate told this reporter. "He was just fine on the train. A little tired, but we all were... OWLs and all... why would he go into Muggle London? I don't think he even knows where the entrance to it is!"
Another classmate scoffed, "Draco? Among Muggles? Hardly seems likely to me."
The Malfoy family is offering a reward for any information that leads to the recovery of their son.
Harry slowly set the clipping down, ignoring the picture's sneering as he smoothed the page out flat on his desk. Kurama, he thought. It has to be Kurama's doing.
Dammit, he hadn't wanted to think about Kurama today!
Kurama Minamino: one of the Defense professor's special students, brought with her from Japan and integrated into the school system... in Kurama's case, integrated into Slytherin House, for reasons that were far too obvious in retrospect.
After all, where else would a demon be Sorted, except into Slytherin?
But what had the fox-demon done? He'd gone to far too much trouble to claim Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as his territory, to help both Harry and Malfoy get out of the Forbidden Forest intact last week, to turn around and... do what? Kill Malfoy? Kidnap him?
Harry pried up a loose floorboard in his room, where he kept a few necessities for occasions when his aunt and uncle got upset and confiscated his wizarding supplies. Pulling out a sheet of parchment, quill, and inkpot, Harry set them over Malfoy's disgusted photograph. What can I say? What should I say? he wondered, tapping the quilltip against the parchment.
I don't know what to make of this. It's great that he's out of our hair, but that was going to happen anyway because of summer hols. This is really weird.
Malfoy didn't come and bother us on the train, but we saw him, right? And pretty much all the Slytherins were acting weird like that after OWLs. Does it make any sense for him to run off? Especially into Muggle London?
P.S - I thought Rita wasn't writing anymore?
It didn't feel like enough, but some things just didn't belong in Owl Post. Harry gave the letter to Hedwig, getting an affectionate nip for the trouble, and sent her flying away.
Draco woke to a ceiling of square white tiles, crisscrossed with inexplicable white-painted pipes. "What...?"
A woman's voice answered him. "Finally. I was starting to think you'd gotten lost."
Draco bolted upright, gaze snapping to the voice. A long-haired Asian woman in Muggle clothing leaned against the jamb of an unnervingly plain door. She seemed oddly tall... no, Draco was sitting on a thin mattress on the floor.
He glanced down. Yes, he was on the floor. Yes, he was intact. And yes, the room was as Muggle as the woman's clothing. This wasn't what he'd expected. "Who are you?" he asked, fixing a sharp stare on the woman. "Where am I? Where's Kurama?"
The woman took a drag on her cigarette and blew a ring of smoke, eyes resting lazily on him. "My name is Kuwabara Shizuru. You're in my home. And as far as I know, Kurama-san isn't back in Japan yet."
"Kuwabara?" That Gryffindor idiot? Draco didn't see any family resemblence, but...
"Kuwabara-san," she corrected. "Be polite."
Draco ignored that. "Why am I here? I'm supposed to be at Kurama's. Not with some... some..." He gestured vaguely at her.
"Muggle woman?" Shizuru filled in, blowing more smoke at him. Draco waited, until she added, "Tough luck. Kurama-san sent you here, so here you stay until other arrangements are made." She cast a measuring look over Draco, and straightened, stubbing out her cigarette in an ashtray by the door. "Which, I think, will not be long. So." She bowed. "Welcome to Japan, Malfoy-san. You've got about two hours to sleep before we begin the day. I'd recommend you take them."
With that, she bowed out, leaving Draco with several nagging questions, the foremost of which was,
Why the hell didn't I know that Kuwabara was a mudblood?
Botan's oar-bubble vanished, setting Kurama, Keiko, and the three Tantei's luggage in the well-swept courtyard of Genkai's temple. It seemed untouched by the ten months that had passed since Kurama and the Tantei left it. Deep shadows stretched across the flagstones, the tori'i gate at the entrance framing a crisp morning sky. Long-forgotten, the distant hum of the city floated up the mountainside.
Keiko stretched, taking a deep breath of the air. "Mm, it feels so good to be home!"
Kurama made a soft sound of agreement, as Botan hopped to the ground and put away her oar.
Beaming with renewed energy despite the jet lag, Keiko grabbed up her trunk. "I'm going to go home and see my parents. See you all soon!"
Botan waved. "Later!" she called out, as Keiko bowed perfunctorily and hurried away. Once Keiko reached the tori'i gate and was out of earshot, Botan's hand and smile dropped. She glanced at Kurama.
"How was your first trip out?" Kurama asked quietly.
"Fine," Botan replied. "Malfoy-san is heavier than the souls I'm used to, but we made it intact."
Botan paused. "Are you going to check on him?"
Kurama shook his head. "No," he replied, picking up his own trunk. "Let him sweat a bit. He'll be fine with Shizuru-san, and I have my own family to get to."
"But Kurama-san! Shizuru-san has guests...!"
Kurama allowed himself a thin smile. "I know."
Cheap excuse for a foothill, Hiei thought, as he reached the summit of Ben Nevis sometime in the dark of night. I can hardly believe this is the highest point in the whole country. But the maps had claimed so, and Hiei had hoped for a decent vantage point to plan his route... A shifting in his scarf, and his cat, Yuki (now nearly a year old) poked her head out, rumbling softly.
Hiei tilted his head away from her whiskers and pulled the warding headband from his Jagan eye. The lid lifted slowly, then snapped wide, violet blazing. A haze of violet-black light overlaid the dim view of land, sky, and stars, then tore;
rugged mountains shrouded in mist misty moors rolling away dotted with villages cities by the bay in the bay across the isles and magicmagicmagic everywhere...
It was said that those few who survived the Jagan implantation went mad with the sights. It was said a Jagan's master could see entire nations from ground level, if he had the power to spare.
Hiei stared out from Ben Nevis, over most of Northern Scotland and into the Hebrides, and saw only a haze of iron-tinged violet.
In his ear, Yuki's rumbling grew into a growl. Claws pricked through Hiei's jacket.
Hiei turned south, towards Ireland. The violet haze spread here, too.
That shouldn't be right. The Jagan-tinted haze of magic shouldn't be spread so evenly... unless... Hiei looked down. The magic sprayed under his feet, spattered like water and trailing away over the summit.
Figured. Somebody had done a major working of magic here recently. Hiei crouched low to the ground, sniffing warily. Iron. Iron scent and a liquid pattern. Blood magic, then? But not that recent. How old?
Hiei twisted slowly on the balls of his feet, scanning the ground. The puddle trailed in drunken arcs across the grass, smearing in patches, collecting in blurry lines at spots, and then... vanishing some twenty feet away from Hiei. He stood, focused tightly on the gap.
It was a gaping, perfectly round void in the center of the spray marks, where a physical puddle would have collected. Somehow, the magic had been sucked away here. Perhaps...
No. That was too convenient. But then who? And why?
urgh. I am horrible at journalistic writing.
I wrote the Kuwabara kids as orphans before I knew they actually mentioned parents once in the manga (Vol. 19). They're characterized (what little characterization they have) as being very inattentive (I believe the phrase went along the lines of "Mom won't notice if I have a corpse in my room for a few days"). I am ignoring them.
The translation charms remove -san, etc., when working from Japanese to English. They do not add -san, etc., when working from English to Japanese. When the Tantei are speaking in Japanese, I transliterate using -san.
yes, it's short, I know. We'll kick into a higher gear after establishing things.