Disclaimer: Never will be mine, to my greatest sorrow. *cries*
Wufei stared down the corridor and could tell that his face mirrored the shock on his comrade's faces. Those eyes, he thought blankly, could strip paint from ten feet away.
Wufei turned accusing eyes at his partner and growled audibly. Heero blinked at him but didn't say a word.
"Heero?" asked Quatre cautiously. "What…"
"Give me that bloody thing," snapped Wufei all but ripping the hand held unit from his partner's hand.
Wufei silently read the school file silently as the others watched in baffled curiosity. When he finally looked up his eyes were a haze of confusion.
"Why would this set him off?" asked Wufei pensively even as the unit was taken by Duo. "His sexuality…"
"'Fei, look at this," said Duo in hushed tones.
The small picture showed a small group of children playing on new playground equipment. What drew their attention was the child version of Harry Potter in oversized clothes and bruises that stood out lividly on his pale skin. Judging by his size he couldn't have been four. The bruised child had his arm slung over another little boy's shoulder and he was planting a kiss on the other child's cheek.
"When was this picture taken?" asked Wufei in equally hushed tones, his black eyes staring into his partners.
"September 28th, A. C. 186," answered Heero while the others looked on. "His reaction was rather extreme."
Duo snorted as he passed the data pad to Trowa and said, "That's an understatement and a half."
"In centuries past Homosexual relationships were taboo and shunned by society," mused Quatre as he examined the picture on the screen. "Maybe his relatives are in the minority of those who still feel Homosexuality is morally wrong."
"It is a rather cute picture," commented Trowa.
There was a full ten seconds of silence before Duo collapsed in laughter.
Harry threw himself on the bunk and stared at the ceiling. Though the climate control was set to 73 degrees and yet he felt cold. He'd earned a month in the cupboard for that picture and no meals for nearly a week. He'd never done it again that was for sure. He hadn't forgotten the feeling of that smooth cheek under his lips though. He hadn't forgotten the warmth of the other boy that had seeped through his ragged and baggy hand me downs and he didn't forget his first real kiss… He hadn't forgotten the bone deep pain and panic the boy had felt when Voldemort finally stepped in front of him and raised his wand… Shaking his head angrily he threw himself off the bed to pace the tiny space.
Step, step, step, step, step, turn. Step, step, step, step, step, turn. Step, step, step, step, step, turn. A knock at the door drew him from his black thoughts and he swore fluently when he saw who was standing at his door and would have slammed it if Wufei hadn't held it open.
"I understand you are upset but as we are sharing this room for the time being, tolerance would be appreciated," said the Asian man softly.
Harry nodded slowly and retreated further into the room as Wufei entered and he left as soon as the man had past him. Solitude on the ship was going to be scarce especially with six young men on board. He peeked into the cockpit and thankfully it was empty. Down the hall he could hear the soft murmur of conversation. If he could just…
"Harry!" cried Duo hurrying towards him.
"May I have a word?"
Harry turned and met the cold blue eyes of Heero and he nodded and entered the cock pit as had been his original plan. He sat in the co-pilots chair and stared at the stars. He didn't turn as the door softly closed behind the other agent and didn't turn when the other teen took the Captains chair. Both were silent for a long, long while.
Duo stared at the closed cock pit door and hoped that Heero and his partner wouldn't maim or kill each other. He didn't know how long he stared at the door but he jumped when he felt Quatre put a hand on his shoulder.
"They are fine, thus far," Quatre soothed and drew his friend away from the door.
"I kinda figured that when I didn't hear any shrieks of pain," snarked Duo and then relented, "I just hope Heero didn't step in to a Maxwell church type emotional mess."
"It isn't a pleasant memory," offered Quatre, his hand ghosting over his heart. "I'm not feeling anything from Harry but there are some very interesting emotions from Heero."
"Yeah?" asked Duo.
Quatre hummed in agreement and led Duo into a chair near Trowa and Wufei.
"I have a sneaking suspicion I'm being set up in interview," remarked Duo idly. "Only I haven't committed a crime. Yet."
"Yet being the operative word, Maxwell," replied Wufei acidly. "I can only imagine what trick you have up your sleeve."
"And if I told you it wouldn't be a surprise," snorted Duo.
Trowa watched his friends with an amused glint.
"What can you tell us about Harry?" asked Quatre, cutting any reply Wufei may have been concocting.
"Like…" asked Duo a wicked gleam in his eye. "He loves to surprise unsuspecting people with magically means of transportation? He doesn't Snore? Or he prefers boxers to briefs?"
"Okay, Okay! Sheesh, try to lighten the mood and get ganged up on," grumbled the braided pilot good naturedly. "Harry… He is tireless when it comes to work. His old boss even told me that but I didn't really have the full scope however. If we hadn't had to wait for time zones I think Harry'd had drug me around the world in a day after our first flight."
"How in the world could you have traveled so quickly," puzzled Quatre and even Trowa looked puzzled.
Wufei snorted derisively, "Portkey?"
"Yup. Let me guess, he made you use one too," Duo said sympathetically.
Wufei nodded and Duo snorted out a laugh. Quatre exchanged a perplexed look with his lover.
"Care to elaborate?" drawled Trowa.
"He… enchants? I guess that would be the best word for it, enchants an item that when you touch it, it drags you by your naval to another location," said Duo. "Let me tell you an international portkey is a real bitch, worse than a rough re-entry sequence."
"The short ones aren't a walk in the park either," mutter Wufei. "I will admit that apparition isn't a stroll through daisy's either but I much prefer it to the portkey."
Duo nodded in agreement.
"Again, care to elaborate?" sighed Trowa.
"Apparition? Just imagine being sucked through a straw," said Duo flippantly.
"And that is better than a portkey how?" asked Quatre wide eyed. "I would think…"
"Apparating is quicker than a portkey and you always land on your feet," prompted Duo. "With a Portkey you never know if you will land on your feet or not."
"I see," said Quatre, leaning against Trowa. "Magical transportation seems so convenient."
"It is, but the feeling, let's just say that it takes some getting used to."
"And a strong stomach," muttered Wufei.
"Yeah, that too, now where was I?" Duo took a moment to arrange his thoughts then plowed on. "Hardworking… He's a really good roommate. Doesn't snore or toss and turn."
"No nightmares?" asked Trowa softly and Duo turned thoughtful.
"No… But now that you mention it his sheets were really torn up a couple times," he mused aloud. "I would have heard him if he was having nightmares."
"Not necessarily," tempered Quatre thoughtfully. "Would it be possible to silence himself or an area around his bed?"
"I'd bet on it," chimed in Trowa and Duo frowned.
"I don't feel we should pry into his private business," said Wufei suddenly making the other three stare at him. "He told us a little of his past and if his war was anything like ours he probably does have nightmares."
"I'll talk to him about it later," said Duo and Wufei opened his mouth to argue. "I won't pry but if he does need to talk we can."
"That would be the best course at this time," Quatre quipped. "Now what else can you tell us?"
"He told me some of his skills, dueling with magic, some sword play, that kind of thing," said Duo. "He's very quick on the draw, with his wand at least. Also he doesn't carry a Gun and he doesn't mess around with anything bigger than cell phone technology wise."
The others looked thoughtful and Duo plowed ahead.
"I think he was engaged or married to a girl who was killed."
Kingsley pulled his head from the fire, a string of barely suppressed curses just begging to be unleashed on his tongue. The International Confederation of Wizardry was going to be arriving in London in 48 hours time and gods knew the jurisdiction fight between the MLE and IMLE was going to be a bitch and a half. With the Preventors added in… He knew first hand just how territorial Une could be and with one of her best agents being targeted? He almost felt sorry for the IMLE. But now, how to break it to Une?
Une sighed happily as she signed the last document with a flourish. It was definitely time to get out of the office and maybe down a bottle of wine. The light pop behind her made her freeze and her hand to twitch to the Glock at her side. She turned and let out an angry growl.
"I apologize for the intrusion, but I thought you would like to know that ICW will be in country in less than 48 hours," said Kingsley tiredly.
She froze save for a twitch in her eye.
"What did you say," Une hissed.
"I… Well…" Kingsley stuttered. "I had to alert them."
"I was just going home," she said dangerously. "I was going to have a bottle of wine and a very nice soak in the tub. I was going to have an evening off!"
Kingsley paled slightly as Une reached for her weapon.
"I do apologize for the timing and I know I said I could hold off longer but it couldn't be helped," he said quietly, raising his hands in defense. "If it makes you feel any better…"
"Nothing at this point could make me feel better!" she shrieked. "Those bastards refused to help in our wars! Even when it was on their front step! Thousands died in that battle alone!"
"Une, I know," Kingsley said gently. "If it makes you feel better Britain has changed its policies. If aid can be rendered in an unassuming matter our Aurors, Medi-wizards, Oblivators, and Muggle Relation personnel are expected to help."
"Small comfort," Une muttered, eyes still blazing. "Those pompous, ignorant, pureblooded jackasses! You could have bathed in the blood those men shed. They sat in their cushy offices and watched those poor muggles massacre themselves."
"Yes they did," said Kingsley calmly. "The medical aid would have been a huge advantage. It's part of the reason our little part of the wizarding world has changed its policies."
"Damned politicians don't give a shit about anything but their agendas," snorted Une derisively.
"You and I both know you are right, especially when it comes to the wizarding world," placated Kingsley. "Just like you know I had to contact them and that I put it off as long as could."
Une nodded jerkily and Kingsley sighed.
"Don't," snapped Une harshly. "Please leave, I have to prepare and let my team know what's going on."
"If you have a chance, tell Harry the spooks think something's stirring," said Kingsley.
"I'd like to apologize," stated Heero, effectively breaking the silence.
Harry nodded but didn't reply otherwise.
"I'm sorry if that picture brought up a bad time in your life," said Heero carefully and this time the other teen exploded.
"A bad time," said Harry dully, staring into the vast inky black horizon. "May I ask what brought that to your attention? It couldn't have been the bruises. Maybe the oversized clothes? No, not those either."
"They do indicated an abusive home life."
Harry snorted derisively.
"Your reaction was rather," Heero paused struggling to find the right word. "harsh."
"You know the little boy in that picture?" asked Harry lightly. "He was my only friend. It didn't last long. A week after that picture was taken, my cousin, in a bid so I would never have friends, broke his arm in three places. A week later he transferred to another school."
"Isolation," started Heero.
"Yeah, isolation," chuckled Harry mirthlessly. "I was five when that picture was taken. I was 11 when I left for Hogwarts and I was 16 when that little boy was murdered by Voldemort because I was too weak to hold off his attacks to my mind. I fucking watched and felt every curse Voldemort cast on him until he was insane and his heart gave out."
Heero was stunned as tear ran down his new superior's cheek.
"His name was Kevin Ling and he was 18 years old when Voldemort had his minions kidnap him," Harry stated emotionlessly. "Before he died he was raped and tortured for weeks. Voldemort waited until I was dating another before he killed Kevin. I was dating my fiancé, Ginny and the night I first made love to her, Kevin died."
"Potter… Harry," fumbled Heero. "I'm Sorry, I didn't mean to… I wouldn't have… I Just…"
Harry interrupted the stutter agent beside him.
"It's funny what a simple picture brings back isn't it?" Harry asked raggedly. "I don't know what atrocities happen in your war, but if it was anything like mine, you don't have a memory that isn't connected to something in your past."
Heero nodded jerkily and took a deep cleansing breath, "I understand. I do apologize Harry. No harm was meant, for us trying to find information on another is second nature."
Harry gazed at Heero from the corner of his eye.
"My family," Harry spat viciously, "spent a considerable sum making sure that picture was sealed. I spent a month shut in my cupboard and didn't have a meal for a week because of that picture. It's second nature for me to make sure something that damaging is kept under wraps and out of Enemy hands."
"Rest assured this image will not leave our group," said Heero stiffly, mildly insulted by the insinuation that a leak would be permitted. "I couldn't, can't understand why would help Chang, or why you would help two people escape in the middle of a war. You were an unknown and my experiences have taught me that the unknown variable may get you killed."
"Did you ever think that I might have done it because it was the right thing to do?" asked Harry incredulously and seeing the blank look on his companions face, felt a niggle of sympathy. "No, you wouldn't have, would you?"
"What is that supposed to mean?" Heero demanded crossly.
"During my war, we took great care to make sure those not involved in the fighting were protected," explained Harry softly. "Mostly because muggles wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell against the Death Eaters, we evacuated, protected, and if we got there too late and there were survivors we healed and their memories altered."
"A dead witness is a quiet witness," stated Heero quietly in response. "Our first orders when we came to earth were to leave no one alive who saw our Gundams."
"Did you follow that order?" asked Harry just as quietly.
"No," and a ghost of a smile played on his lips. "I was spotted on my way through the atmosphere and I engaged in battle with a suit. Days later Duo saved Vice Minister Darlian from being shot by me. It wasn't for a lack of trying but it was one order I never complied with."
Harry nodded thoughtfully.
"Even with your training I don't think you would have been able to kill that indiscriminately," said Harry. "I just can't see you doing something like that."
Before Heero could speak, the radio crackled.
"Ground to Agent Night, Agent Night, Come in, Over."
"Agent Wing to Ground, Agent Night is unavailable at this time, Over."
"Agent Wing, please relay to Agent Night and Agent Mage that ICW is coming into the mix sooner than expected and that the "spooks" think something is stirring, over ."
"Message received Ground, please let Command know we are on schedule Over."
"Message received Agent Wing, Over and Out."
"Shit, Shit, Shit!" cursed Harry. "We've got to get to L4 ASAP."
"I take it ICW is not a good sign?"
Harry smiled wryly and said, "Let's just say ICW is going to want to take over this investigation. And the Spooks are in it not good."
"Over my dead body," growled Heero menacingly.
"I agree," responded Harry and then he sighed. "I guess I owe you a little bit of an apology for over reacting back there…"
"None needed," said Heero quietly. "I'm sorry for bring up your past, particularly such a harsh memory."
Harry stared into the inky black horizon. "Don't do it again."
My Uncle passed away July 23, and I know it's been a long wait. My only excuse is grief takes its own time. Thank you for your patience.