A/N: Obligatory last Authors Note at the end ^^; Hope this isn't too cheesy or anything. Sorry the most of the kids aren't here – after some research, I found that his first kid is born about nine years after the Final Battle, about. And I already don't really like jumping into the future, since it'll no doubt make it AU to how DGM is really going to go. So the 'future jumps' nowhere near nine years.
Harry felt the tiny hand tighten on his as the world around him tilted and swirled and sucked them in, just before spitting them right back out. For a moment everything was dizzy and he was disoriented, but then it steadied. He was fairly use to traveling by port key now. Apparition wasn't advisable with a small child.
He looked and found that small head tucked into his collarbone, hair a dark brown. He rubbed small circles into the child's back, and a moment later, bright green eyes looked up at him.
"Better?" He asked with a small smile. The child, Teddy Lupin, nodded slowly. Harry nodded back, looking back up to the wild greens around him. It was carefully set up, just for him. He tucked the silver cross around his neck back under his shirt, feeling it hang there heavily. It was made of real silver after all, modeled after the Black Order's cross. A permanent port key, just for him, to use whenever he felt to need to travel there. It took him to the same spot all the time – a small clearing just beyond the forest line around the Headquarters. To be taken anywhere else would disrupt the carefully placed wards and spells that alerted the room all the wards led to.
He felt a small tingle as he stepped beyond the trees, carefully shielding Teddy from the sharp branches. The tingle faded quickly as he was recognized as most trustworthy. If he had not been, alarms would be going off, though he would not hear them, and many traps being activated. The defense of this place was the second largest resource that the magic being lent to them went.
"Tickles," Teddy giggled softly, wiggling a little in his arms. Then he gasped, as he always did when he caught sight of the great white castle. Although Harry had now seen it many times, coming and going, it was still always beautiful and welcoming to him. A small part of him relaxed at the sight of it, as if anything would go wrong from the time he arrived to the moment he took the several steps necessary to step into it's protection.
There was somebody waiting for him at the door. It was not much of a surprise, really, but he grinned.
"It's almost funny that you're the only one who seems to come through the front door anymore," Draco commented with an exaggerated roll of his eyes. It had been just under three years, and he was taller, his face longer and appearing more grown. He wore a large chocker around his neck, and from it dangled the same silver cross port key, trusted to a very select few. He wore rich robes, but not so rich that he couldn't afford to replace them. Harry knew very well that things... happened, around here.
"Somebodies gotta stick to tradition," He replied with a wink, which the other pretended to be annoyed about.
"You? Traditional? Merlin may strike us all down should that ever happen."
He just laughed, and the child in his arms grinned, waving a small hand enthusiastically. They stepped into the white marble hallway, still lined by suits of armor, though these were much more likely to come alive and protect the place than they were a few years ago. Their footsteps echoed as they walked, and Harry knew that they were being followed and watched, though the perpetrators weren't very skilled.
"How have things been?" He asked casually.
"You would know if you hadn't disappeared for so long," Draco snorted slightly.
"I got busy. You know how things are. I know it has been a couple months though. I'm getting a vacation starting today, finally, first one in a few years."
"That is surprising, though I would have thought you'd use your titles and influence to grab one before now," He shrugged slightly, also ignoring their would-be trackers, "That little idea you had a while back had some merit, surprisingly. A lot of the squibs are pretty determined to be helpful in some way, and so have some other wizards. The medical program is going very slowly, and healers are hard to give up-"
Harry listened with a small smile. It had indeed been several months since his last visit, and he was glad to be back now. Since this was a time of change, of revolution, he could already tell that a lot of things had changed in his absence. The first thing he noticed was that there seemed to be a lot more people here.
The information and existence of akuma were still kept secret, but it was a loosely guarded one. Magic had been slowly introduced into the Black Order. Wizards and witches had joined, lending their expertise and experience. One of the first and biggest requirements, however, was to take an Unbreakable Vow, demanding that nobody ever tell anyone else about akuma, their real job, the location of their Headquarters, or the Noah without explicit orders from their Branch Chief. With that kind of power, the Order was able to reel in more Finders, more recruits. They had founded a branch alongside the scientists, the Finders, the medical branch and all the others, dedicated to magic. Draco was the one in charge of it, and though he was still young, he had his advisors and Harry himself to keep watch over him.
With new magical wards, detection spells, tracking charms, and even better, new transportation methods, the Order had indeed improved. There were even a lot of subtle clues – such as the fact they were looking into new materials for the uniforms that would help improve them, and to protect those who wore them. Every Finder and Exorcist had a tracker on them, not just because Central was paranoid, but also because that way they could almost always find them, and if necessary, their bodies.
Bak was even getting something of a more formal education in the likes of protective magic. His own minor expertise with Blood Magic had been helpful and even provided a few breakthroughs for the magical communities. There were so many things that had been changed and improved upon in the last three years that Harry often returned to find several new things that had taken hold in his absence.
"And where is everyone?" He asked when Draco slowed his rant on how useless some people were.
"Who knows?" Draco shrugged, unconcerned, "I'm certainly not their keeper. You should know better than I do where they'd be, if they're not on a mission."
Harry swallowed his first sarcastic response; generally, he and Draco had formed a sort of friendship where they didn't have to worry about hurting each other's feelings, so they never really censored their words, but today he was in high spirits. He wanted to enjoy it for what it was, and he just didn't feel like having an argument with the other, even if it weren't anywhere near serious.
He smiled slightly as he bounced Teddy on his hip purposefully, watching the small child giggle and finally tear his eyes off of their surroundings long enough to give a great wide smile at the one who help him.
"I'm more surprised the other two didn't come with you," Draco added, waving his hand, "All those years I never thought you three could be pried from each other, but lately you've made it into a habit to come alone... well, not counting the little monster on your hip... You look like a mother hen, did you know that?"
Draco and the child eyed each other, and Harry hid a grin when he could have sworn he'd seen the slightest narrowing of the child's eyes and a rather mysterious glint in them before he burst out in another grin. He was one of the happiest children Harry had ever seen, not that he's seen many. He had a feeling it had something to do with certain people's influence. Draco rolled his eyes and huffed as if he was being put-upon.
"So I've been told," Harry replied cheekily as they slowly passed the cafeteria, where several heads turned to follow them, "Hair like a nest and all."
"Actually," The other looked him over critically, "Your hair is almost presentable today – that must have taken a lot of effort."
"Is that a compliment? Coming from you?" He chuckled, ruffling his own hair with his free hand, "Wouldn't want to ruin my reputation – does this look better?"
"No, it looks much worse," Draco scowled at him for deliberately messing up his own hair, "What with the reputation you have now, Potter, I don't think your hair, of all things, would ruin it."
"Au contraire," Harry laughed lightly, "You must not pay attention to the way of the mob mentality works."
"There is little I don't pay attention to," The other argued, "You must be imagining things."
"Of course," He answered gravely, "My apologies, Lord Malfoy, for I know no better."
He received a firm fist to his shoulder – proof that you couldn't live at the Black Order and manage to stay away from the violence here. Especially when Malfoy of all people punched people in reaction and didn't even hardly notice what an un-Malfoy thing it was to do. He was sure that the only reason he could make that joke was because they both knew his own standing. Neither of them were 'Lords', but whatever Draco was, Harry was guaranteed to be higher.
"I don't know if Komui is in his office or not," Draco then said when they turned another corner, "If that's who you want to see, right now. You'll be on your own though – I, unlike some people, have things I need to be doing."
"Like what?" Harry asked, genuinely curious.
"There's a new group of recruits today. They're all magical born, several are squibs. They've gone through the initial background check and skill checks. I have to give them their final talking-to, tests, and to complete their Unbreakable Vow's. They're all probably waiting for me."
"Waiting for you? You didn't need to come greet me if you had people waiting on you, Draco," Harry frowned slightly.
"I didn't go to greet you. Who else is going to make sure you don't get lost, idiot?"
He laughed, knowing as well as the other did that he knew this castle as well as it's inhabitants did. He lived there at least a third of the year, after all.
He followed the other through a few more hallways before they reached a room filled with nervous looking people. There was a good large amount of them, most of them fairly young. The young ones had similar expressions of unease, false confidence, and hope. It was the hope that he liked to see most of all. Upon entering, their eyes lit up, happy that they had to wait no longer.
"Listen up," Draco spoke loud and clear as Harry began to sneak along the wall to watch from the back. He didn't have to stay if he didn't want to, but he often made it a thing to do, when there was any kind of initiation. "When I call your name, you will follow me into the room over there, and those who have yet to be called will wait until the door opens, the last person exits, and your name is called. After your part has been completed, you will come back here, go through that door," the other pointed at a door on the other end of the same wall Harry was leaning against, "and wait until you are acknowledged and taken charge of to receive further information about your jobs and what's specifically expected if you, along with the rules."
Harry rose an eyebrow. He wasn't really impressed per se, but it was interesting to see the other in charge completely on his own for once. He watched as the first person was called through the door on the opposite side of the room. He was content to watch the people around him, but then somebody plopped themselves into the chair next to him with a soft sigh. Looking out of the corner of his eye, he found a boy that was probably seventeen, just barely legal.
"What are you here to sign up for?" The boy asked curiously, turning his head to watch him.
"Ah. I'm not here to 'sign up'," Harry replied with a small smile, "I just wanted to see how things were going, and what some of the new people might be like."
"So you're already apart of the Order?" The other asked excitedly, "What division are you apart of?"
"Magical," He answered, still not looking directly at the other, "You're fairly young – what are you trying for?"
"I wanted to join as a Finder," The boy admitted, looking up at the ceiling while Teddy looked at him with wide curious eyes, "But I have something of a weak body. It's okay, so long as I don't do physically strenuous activities. But I wouldn't be a very good Finder, and I don't want to burden anybody. So I'm trying to join the magical research division. I hope to become a ward expert."
"You seem pretty set," Harry commented in surprise, "Most of those who come here don't have so clear an idea on what they want. Not specifically."
Indeed, most of them had vague goals, like 'defeat the akuma', or 'protect my friends'. It was good that this one seemed to really thought it out, at least a little.
"At first I wished to be an exorcist," The boy grinned weakly, "But then I realized how scary it must be. I don't think I could handle fighting like that. I haven't actually seen any of them, but I hear that they're not that old either."
"Depends which one you're talking about," Harry switched Teddy into his other arm with an amused smile, "They're very... diverse."
"You know them?"
"Yes, I do."
"Wow," The other was watching him closely now, "I've heard a lot of scary things about the exorcists, like that they're really mean, and that they don't like other people. That they eat a lot, don't like to share, and that they particularly don't like Finders."
Harry laughed openly, ignoring how it drew some attention and that he could hear some whispers in result.
"What?" The boy asked, sounding insulted, "Am I wrong? You don't have to laugh."
The last of his laugh was joined by Teddy, who laughed only because he could, and because Harry was. After a moment, Harry regained control of himself and turned his head to look at him for the first time, eyes shining in amusement.
"I'm sorry. I wasn't laugh at you," He replied, "I didn't mean to offend. It's just that I didn't know their reputation, even around here, was so formidable. They're not so bad, really."
Everything he was saying appeared to be falling on deaf ears however – the boy's eyes were watching him in complete wonder, slowly widening in realization, mouth parting in shock. Harry felt his own amused smile fall slightly; he recognized that expression exactly for what it really was. When the other spoke, he didn't flinch, and that reaction was borne out of practice.
"You! You're – you're Harry Potter!"
Three years and they still react like the Battle at Hogwarts happened yesterday, he thought with only a dry humor. He'd since gotten use to his fame – used it, in fact, to his advantage when he was trying to win something particularly important. Hermione had never approved, but Harry saw little reason not to do it when after all, there were people who fell over themselves trying to talk to him.
"Ah, yeah, do you have to say that quite so loud?" He asked with a sigh, knowing the damage was done. Around him stares spun and fixed on him. He didn't feel any hostility directed at him, only wonder, awe, excitement, disbelief.
"I'm- I'm so sorry-" The kid started in embarrassment, hurriedly bringing his hands up in surrender and defeat. His eyes never left the lightning scar though. His mouth kept moving, like he was trying to say a great many things all at the same time, though no sound emerged.
And then there were people all around them trying to squeeze in, to speak to Harry, to touch him. He felt the moment that Teddy became apprehensive. It was just as much for the child's sake as for his that he began to shift and make his way out of the crowd to where he remembered the door was. He'd become quite good at both shifting through crowds such as these, as well as remembering all the exits and entrances to a room.
Muttering apologies and excuses, he managed to squeeze himself out of the room just barely, shutting the door behind him with a reminder to all those near that they couldn't yet leave the room until their initiation, of a sort, was completed.
Left feeling ruffled, he ran a hand through his hair again before patting the child on his back when he grasped on tightly and nuzzled into him with a shutter.
"Scary thing, isn't it?" He mumbled. The child tightened his grip in response.
Harry had to think for a moment where to go next. He didn't know who all was around, who was out on missions or not. Komui rarely left the Headquarters except in emergencies, so there was a very good chance that at least he was here, somewhere. He use to check in with the Branch Chief every time he arrived, but eventually fell out of the habit since the monitors always knew when he arrived, and Komui was usually the first to know.
He headed to the next likely place to find somebody he knew well: The cafeteria.
The walk wasn't particularly long, but he enjoyed it. He passed by several people he didn't recognize in the least, and a couple he did, and nodded to all of them. At the entrance to the cafeteria, he looked around in curiosity, trying to spot one of the fairly recognizable friends who lived here. He knew that there were plenty of people who saw him and watched him in turn, and that nearly all of them knew who he was. There were enough whispers that even if he hadn't been sure, they'd have erased all doubt.
He spotted one of them quickly enough.
His hair was longer, his skin perhaps a little paler. He was a bit taller, even more solid and filled out than before, but all in all, Kanda had not changed all that much in the last three years. With a small grin, he started to make his way over to the table where the other sat alone.
He was much more aware of the shocked stares and warning glances than he let on. It was so amusing to see so many people trying to warn him off from the one who was best known in the Order for his violet temper. When he slid in across from the swordsman, he pretended he didn't notice one of the younger Finders making a cutting motion across his throat behind his back.
"Soba again? Don't you ever eat anything else?" He asked in amusement. Kanda looked up at him with eyes that hid the wolf in him, calm and aware.
"What do you think?" The other replied, taking another mouthful of the noodles just to prove his point.
"Uncle Yu!" The first words that Teddy had uttered since arriving. The most amusing part was seeing him suddenly growing long hair. Kanda had grown somewhat use to this ritual – he'd managed to learn to tone down his reaction to a mere eye twitch.
"One of these days that stupid redhead will get what's coming to him," Kanda swore, "It was his bright idea to give the kid that nickname, wasn't it?"
"Actually," Harry hid a smile behind his hand as he set the child on the bench next to him, "It was a monkey see, monkey do kind of thing."
"It's always his fault," the other answered as if he were agreeing.
"Where is everyone?"
"Hell if I know," Kanda didn't wave his chopsticks, but it was a near thing, "I'm sure the idiot will find his way to bug me, he always does-"
"Yu~!" Another familiar voice called, followed by a theatrical gasp, "And is that?! It is! Harry and my favorite little munch kin!"
He looked over his shoulder to see an older Lavi, taller, leaner, and missing what use to be his trademark eye patch. Instead he had a bright, light blue eye in the place where there had been none. Harry knew that it was a magical eye, because he'd been there when some experts got a good look at Moody's eye and duplicated it before putting it on Lavi. Moody's eye had been berried alone, since he'd had no body to go with it. At Lavi's side was Allen, almost as tall as Harry now, his face thiner and his eyes soft yet a little harder than they use to be.
Beside him, Teddy let out a squeal of delight, and his long dark brown hair abruptly turned a shocking white, his eyes mismatched blue and green, though because he was trying to mirror Lavi's, he got which one was which mixed up.
"Ah, rip out my heart why don't you?" Lavi exclaimed, clutching at his chest while Teddy jumped right off the bench into Allen's arms. "I see how it is."
Teddy was blissfully ignorant, his smile happy and wide as he began to tug on Allen's own white hair excitedly.
"Welcome back," Allen said as he always did when Harry returned.
"All alone?" Lavi asked as he slid into the seat next to Harry's, "I'm surprised."
"Draco said the same thing," Harry rolled his eyes, discreetly aware of the way that many others in the cafeteria were staring at him with wide eyes. Whether it was because he had been so unanimously accepted by the mysterious exorcists, because he hadn't been stabbed upon approaching Kanda, or because they were only just now realizing who he was, he wasn't sure. He supposed it was a mixture of all three.
"Can you blame him?" Lavi smirked slightly, motioning towards Teddy as Allen carefully sat down with his back to the table, letting the toddler sit in his lap, "For a while after that Battle, you were inseparable, but lately you've been showing up more and more often by yourself... and with this one, of course."
"Well, now that we've gotten a little more time to ourselves, we've been able to do other things... Hermione and Ron have been very busy lately, planning."
"Planning? Not a scheme, I hope," Allen smiled at the child indulgently.
"No," Harry smiled a little wistfully, "one of the reasons I was looking for you all earlier actually – they've been very busy planning, and I had to get out of there as soon as possible, Mrs. Weasly was going a little batty over it all. Be careful – if she tries to coerce you into helping, run."
"Oh~" Lavi leaned forward in interest, "Sounds like something big...Don't tell me, Ron finally popped the question?"
"How'd you know?" Harry wondered in curiosity.
"I helped him plan the proposal, of course," Lavi boasted, "How better to ask than a genius?"
"A genius at being an idiot," Kanda muttered, pushing the last of his plate away. Surprisingly there was a little left. Over Allen's shoulder, Teddy caught sight of it, trying to reach with his small hands. Allen half-turned in surprise, and then Harry looked up at Kanda in askance. The Asian rolled his eyes. "Help yourself."
Allen turned in his chair completely, pulling the last of it towards him to help Teddy eat.
"So!" Harry grinned, leaning forward, "I've been drafted into making sure you try your hardest in showing up. No pressure, of course, we all know you have very important things that might come up, but I have to say, Mrs. Weasly was waving her spoon a little violently when she was telling me to make sure I tried my hardest at convincing you."
"Wouldn't want to cross a woman scorned," Lavi joked, "Especially a magical one with a spoon."
"I'd love to go," Allen agreed, "I'll try to make it, but I can't make any promises."
At once, their gazes turned to Kanda, who appeared to not even notice their conversation, his head tilted to the side as if listening to something. Noticing their stares, he looked at them, flatly.
"Come on, it's not so bad," Harry promised, "You don't have to do anything, not even any formal wear."
"No promises," The other replied in a similarly flat tone.
"I can live with that," Harry grinned, "Though then it's on your head, if you don't show."
"No promises," Kanda repeated with a roll of his eyes and a less flat tone.
"Hey, it's Harry!"
Harry glanced over his shoulder to see Lenalee approaching alongside a much taller and older Timothy.
"Alone?" Timothy asked when they were near.
"Why is that seemingly the first thing people have thought when they see me today?" Harry wondered aloud, "I'm going to start thinking that you guys don't like me so much anymore."
"Of course that's not it," Lenalee replied with a warm smile as she laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Of course," Kanda repeated a little more mockingly.
"It's just, I thought, since last time she said-" Timothy mumbled, embarrassed. Harry smiled as he saw this, wryly amused.
"I'll let her know she's missed."
"Aw, you know you're way out of your league," Lavi teased, grabbing the younger boy's cheek.
"What do you know, you couldn't get a girl friend if your life depended on it!" Timothy snapped, face blushing.
Harry watched with a smile as they bickered. He'd thought it was cute, the way the young exorcist had developed a crush on Ginny, and that it had lasted so long. He was twelve years old now, slowly growing up, and it changes were fascinating to Harry, who wondered if he's someday see the same changes in Teddy.
A lot of things had changed in three years. He could still remember that night so long ago when he's discovered akuma for the first time, when his house had been very nearly blown to bits, when he'd been rescued. The exorcists had been around ever since then.
They had all changed in their own ways; Lavi, with his magical eye, Kanda with his inner wolf that was strangely tame considering. Allen had becoming quieter, firmer, his warm glow burning even brighter. Lenalee was a full woman now, and others had grown older as well.
He knew that Percy had lost his eyes for good, after the war. He now wore a clothe over his eyes – though they appeared untouched now, magic healing it from even scars, he considered the loss of his sight as divine punishment. He refused to seek help with getting new eyes or finding a bigger way to see again. Fred and George continued their joke shop, the biggest thing around for miles and miles. Teddy had been meant to pass into his grandmothers care instead of Harry's own, but he had the child almost constantly. The small one was considerably spoiled, the only child around in the Black Order's halls that wasn't an exorcist.
Harry loved his friends, loved his job, loved helping both his wizardry world as well as the Order. He would continue to live and do his jobs for as long as he lived. He would someday bring his own children here, to roam the halls and brighten peoples days. He would one day bring one of his children here not as a visitor or a guest. He would look after another child of the other main wizard here, who had become a good friend to him, and he also took the same road. He would second guess and he would have doubts. He had what he hoped would be a long life ahead of him.
One thing he knew, however, one thing he could be sure of, was that that chapter in his life of the Dark Lord had truly ended in that battle. His scar had been silent all this time. He saw no visions, Allen could no longer sense him in any way, shape, or form, and his parstletongue was gone.
He had been an exorcist in power for a little while, and he would always be a wizard. He suppose he'd been meant to always be stuck between two worlds, but at least this time he didn't feel 'stuck'. It wasn't unwilling or unpleasant.
Instead, he was the bridge to connect the two, the necessary lock in the middle. He hoped to make it so someday the lock was a permanent thing, so that maybe their worlds could be connect even without him. He hoped that someday the Earl would be gone. He hoped that eventually there wouldn't be a war, not one in the shadows, and not one in the light.
He had been told that this one wasn't his war. But he had made it his, and he didn't regret it.
A/N: Well well. What do you know. I started this story nervous and almost half-heartedly nearly one year ago. I didn't REALLY think I'd ever finish it, yet here it is. I've never finished a real story before, seriously. And now I look at my HP book, knowing I went through most of it... I'm really surprised.
On top of that, do you know what my biggest goal for this story was? It was to get 100 reviews. That I got ten times that, literally... I'm really amazed. And I can't thank everyone enough. I'm proud to have finished this story, and I still have every review I've gotten for this story saved XD Thank you to all who ever reviewed, even if it was only once. Those who started from the very beginning and reviewed nearly every chapter, thanks even more. I'm really glad a good handful of people seemed to really enjoy this story. I really hope D. Gray Man becomes more popular, haha.
As for anything I might write now... I'm not sure. I mean, in all honesty, this was meant to be something I did until I got bored of it (Though I never did end it whenever I felt I'd reached the end of my rope with it.). I'd feel too guilty, haha. I have been getting fonder of doing Harry as a Noah though, and I had another idea for a small Kingdom Hearts story (No really, a very small one. Few chapters. Probably. Don't hold me to it XDDD). I wonder if I could complete another. I'm not sure. Maybe we'll see. It's going to be so weird to come home and realize that no, I don't need to hurry up and work on a chapter, that the story's finished.
I'm going to be going through and revising, hopefully patching up any plot holes, fixing certain aspects (Most importantly the spelling mistakes XD). So I guess it won't really be done until then. But still.
Thank you again to everyone who has (And will) review. Most of you probably have no idea just how much weight each review carries. It helps authors keep writing even if they feel the stories grating on their nerves, sometimes.