Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or Harry Potter.

Shifts in Destiny

Chapter 10

A Day at the Gym

Early on Boxing Day, Ami spread the news about Moody's death to the other scouts. The Daily Prophet put out an article on his death the following day. With one of the best Aurors dead, some people believed that there was no hope. Shops closed their doors and some muggle-related families left the country.

The Daily Prophet also mentioned the disappearance of Oliver Wood. Concerned for his old Quidditch Captain, Harry asked Raye to use her psychic powers to look for him. She sat in front of the fire for hours but the fire didn't reveal anything on Oliver Wood's whereabouts.

Raye sighed and turned from the fire to Harry. "Sorry, Harry."

"You haven't been able to see anything lately," Harry grumbled. "Aren't you supposed to be a divination ace? Maybe I'll ask Trelawney when we get back to Hogwarts. She might be of more help!"

"Hey, I'm doing the best I can!" Raye snapped.

"Calm down, please," said Ami. "I may have found something."

They turned to Ami, who had newspaper clippings, evidence taken from the Quidditch Supply store and a library book entitled A Quidditch Captain's Guide. Wood had borrowed it in his first year of captaincy. Harry remembered Wood telling him that Harry would someday be captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team and recommended checking the book out. Ami wanted to use anything that may have belonged to the former Quidditch captain and the book was the closest thing Harry had. But dozens of people have borrowed that book. How would Ami get a lead?

"What is it?" said Harry.

"Fingerprints," she said. "I've found a match on this book and this beaters bat we brought back the other day. They belong to Wood."

"You sure?"

"Yes," said Ami. "We had a theory that someone witnessed the attack on Ollivander's shop. Wood has to be that witness."

"So the Death Eaters must have him," Harry groaned. "If he's even alive."

Harry stepped out of the room. Raye slammed her fist on the floor.

"I feel so powerless!" Raye exclaimed. "Harry's right. I'm supposed to be a seer. A physic. What good am I when I can't even get one lousy vision?"

Ami sighed. "Divination is tricky. No matter how gifted the seer is visions only come when they are ready or when their minds are clear."

"Yes, I know that," Raye muttered. "That's what I've been trying to do! I've been meditating, trying to calm down so the fire would show me something, anything! Stupid fire, what's wrong with you!"

The fire rose up the chimney, scaring both Raye and Ami. They jumped to their feet and backed out of the room. Ami looked at Raye.

"Let's just try patrolling the city for clues," she suggested.

"That I can do," Raye said.

When Mina got the news about Moody, she started researching all she could on the Dark Arts. While she was researching, Artemis was out hunting for mice, and clues.

"All right, let's see," she muttered herself, flipping through her Charms Book. "Anything in here on curses?"

There wasn't a book assigned for Defense Against the Dark Arts. It was all hands-on. Professor Hino didn't talk much about dangerous magic. He just talked about meditating, martial arts and how to "sense" bad situations.

Mina was an excellent athlete so she was doing fine in the martial arts portion of class. She could sense bad situations where the negaverse and negamoon were concerned, but dark wizards were on a whole different level. They were too small to detect. To an extent she could tell when something was going to go wrong, but it was usually right before it happened. There was the time when the Negamoon opened a bogus jewelry store. When Lita, Mina and Serena came to check it out, they should have sensed the Negaverse but Mina didn't get a bad vibe until the store clerks got angry.

She wasn't like Raye. Raye could sense all sort of negative vibes, whether alien, human or demonic. Her Charms book had the counter curses for a few mild curses but there wasn't much for her to go on. The only thing that proved useful in her Herbology book was a list of poisonous and attacking plants.

"Great," Mina muttered. She sat back in her chair and hung her head, thinking of her pathetic sources.

Mina's partner in Defense Against the Dark Arts was Draco Malfoy. After an incident when she kicked him in the groin, he used the Leg Locker Curse as soon as their duels began. Mina giggled at the memory. It was a cheap trick, but the jerk had it coming. She didn't like the way things were with him and Raye now. Of course, she was going easy on him. She didn't want to hurt him too bad, for Raye's sake. Raye and Draco were great together. She knew it. Mina had a knack for knowing these things. Maybe she was a sucker for romance, or maybe it was the scout of love in her. Now with the news of Pierre's dead parents and his disappearance, Mina wanted the couple back together even more. What if something horrible happened to the two of them? Mina felt a tear slide down her cheek and she straightened up and tried to focus.

When Mina and Draco dueled, she was only intending on beating some sense into the Death Eater's son. But since the last scout meeting, there were hints that Draco was a Death Eater. If that were true, then Draco had even more dangerous curses up his sleeve. Draco was also holding back. What if he would use them later?

Mina felt a hand grasp her shoulder. She gasped.

"Mom!" Mina exclaimed. "Don't you knock?"
"I did," answered Susan, folding her arms. "Don't you listen?" She noticed the open books on her desk. "I don't believe it. You're actually studying?"

"Sort of," Mina answered. "I'm looking for something on the Dark Arts, but I'm coming up empty."

"I know enough not to get involved with them, that's for sure," Susan told her.

"I don't want to get involved, Mom," Mina rolled her eyes. "I just want to know more than what Hino's teaching us. The classes are alright, but he doesn't really get into the… serious stuff."

Susan nodded. "Yes, well, he is a Shinto priest. They avoid violence when they can. But he is very knowledgeable. The Cherry HillTemple helped me a lot when… when I left England." Susan sighed and shrugged. "Did he give you anything to work on during the holidays?"

"Something about using other methods to defend ourselves," Mina replied and she closed her charms book. "Not sure what he meant by that though."

"Have you considered exercise?" Susan inquired. "You can learn some methods that way."

"I could use a workout," Mina admitted, heading to her closet. "I'll go for a run. Where's my hoodie?"

"Not a good idea to be running around after dark," Susan said. "There's a great gym right here. They have everything. We can go tomorrow."

"We? Mom…"

"Hey, in case you forgotten, Moody's dead. It's not safe to go anywhere by yourself." Susan said. "You can invite your friends. Their moms too."

Mina sighed. "Yeah, all right."

The following day Mina met at the East London Gym with her friends. She was surprised to see that both Raye and Lita came, given their attitude since the Dueling Club. By the way they were glaring at each other; she could tell they hadn't talked.

Mina frowned.

Pierre's parents were dead. He was missing. Moody was killed. Oliver Wood was missing. Her friends shouldn't still be mad at each other at a time like this.

Serena arrived late, as usual. Her mom stepped inside, looking around the gym. She approached Mina's mother and shook her hand.

"Thank you for inviting us. It's been a long time since I've been to the gym. "

"You're welcome," said Mina's mother. She looked up and noticed Mrs. Diggory standing behind Lita. "Hello Sidney. Glad you could make it."

Behind Lita was Mrs. Diggory. She gave a curt nod to Susan. Mina raised an eyebrow.

Iris, Lydia's mother eyed Serena. "Hello Serena. How are you doing? Not been neglecting your medicine, I hope?"

"No ma'am," Serena said nervously. "I'm doing much better now too! Thanks."

"Who's this?" asked Serena's mother.

"I'm Iris MacGreggor. I was Serena's healer."

"Oh, thank you for everything you've done for her!" Mrs. Tsukino embraced her. "I thought we were going to lose her."

"Has she been taking her medicine?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Tsukino. "She finished it before school started."

"Well make sure she doesn't overdo it," said Iris.

"Mum," Lydia groaned.

Ami was looking through a list of services the gym had to offer. "This is a lot of stuff. We can't all do this in one day."

"Then how about we all just pick something different," Mina suggested.

"Good idea," said Serena. "I wonder what's safest for me to try though…"

"Probably sitting in the hot tub," Raye giggled.

"Hey!" Serena exclaimed.

"I want to try rock climbing," Lydia grabbed her mom's hand. "You can spot me before you need to go."

"I'm going to jump in the pool," said Ami.

"A swim does sound nice," said Mrs. Diggory. "Let's go, Lita."

"Why don't you go ahead," said Lita

"Are you sure?" said Mrs. Diggory.

"Yeah," said Lita.

"You go too, Mom," said Serena.

Mrs. Diggory and Mrs. Tsukino followed Ami to the pool and Lita looked at Serena. "Hey, come with me to the treadmills. I want to talk to you."

"Sure," said Serena. She climbed upon the treadmill and turned it on, sliding right off.

"Serena, you're supposed to stand with your feet to the side when you turn it on," Lita said.

"Oh good idea. Heh." Serena said sheepishly as she got back on. She walked at an average pace. "So what's up?"

"The Diggorys want to adopt me."

"What!" Serena exclaimed, sliding off the treadmill again.

"Serena, there are handlebars for you to hold onto," Lita said. "You need me to tie you to them?"

"No, that's fine," Serena said. "Wow, that's something. Is that why…you told Mrs. Diggory to go on without you?"

"Yeah, I need some advice," Lita said. "Don't know what to do. I want to say yes. They gave me Ced's letters. The last one said that he wanted to do something for me, because my parents were killed when I was so young. I guess it made them think they should take me in."

"That's great!"

"I just don't know," Lita said. "I really think it's what Ced wants. I believe I…dreamed about him. But I…I don't know if I should tell them all about me, first. Me being a sailor scout, I mean."


"Your parents just found about you being a sailor scout. How'd they take it?"

"Not too bad," said Serena. "My dad said it answered questions why I was gone sometimes. He was glad that I wasn't doing anything weird, like drugs or something. My mom understood why I was helping people, but they just didn't like it. Thought I was too young to play the superhero. They were relieved that I couldn't transform anymore."

Lita sighed. "The Diggorys are great. I like spending time with them but I'm used to being on my own. I don't know how to adjust to family life."

"It would take time," Serena agreed. "Look, don't worry about the sailor scout thing. We don't parade around as sailor scouts anyway. We use our witch powers more now. You only use your sailor powers when you search for the coins. I think you should stay with them. You could really help each other deal with Cedric's death."

"How do I tell them yes?" Lita asked.

"You're a fabulous cook," Serena said, raising the speed on her treadmill. "Make them dinner…whoa, that's too fast!" She quickly lowered the speed to keep her from sliding off a third time.

"Yeah, I guess I could do that," Lita said.

"Don't worry too much," said Serena. "Just focus a little at a time. Don't mention being a sailor scout unless it comes up."

"You don't feel bad about never telling your parents before?" Lita inquired.

Serena shook her head. "Nope. Being a sailor scout was my duty. Our parents have nothing to do with that."

After her mom returned to St. Mungos, Lydia asked Lita to spot her while she climbed the wall.

"I didn't know you were into rock climbing," Lita said.

"I have a feeling I'm going to climb a mountain to find the previous guardian of the coins," Lydia said, hooking herself up to the rope.

"You mean what that flower chick said?" Lita asked. "It was probably just to scare you."

"Nah," said Lydia as she approached the wall. "I talked to Lucky. The other coins went to someone else, and now that person—or—thing wants the rainbow coins too. I thought it was a leprechaun at first, but it could be anything."

"Leprechaun, seriously?" Lita chuckled.

"But Leprechauns don't need it and from what Lucky says, the coins aren't real leprechaun gold. It's something else."

"Need help searching?" Lita inquired.

"I asked Madame Indigo," said Lydia. "Wanted to try to get her to come with me so she would keep herself busy."

"Did it work?"

"We checked some spot by a river," Lydia replied. "But it was just a dead end."

Lydia reached up on the knobs and holes on the wall. "Gosh, I'm too short for this sort of thing!"

"Try reaching for that spot on your left," Lita suggested. "There ya go."

Lydia was half way up the wall when Lita realized something. "Hey, why are you bothering to climb a wall when you can summon your glider?"

Lydia gasped and let go of the wall. If Lita wasn't holding to the rope, Lydia would have fallen.

"Oh, duh!" Lydia exclaimed. "You're a genius!"

Lita shrugged, putting slack into the rope so Lydia could come down. "I'm going to be sore tomorrow."

"Well rock climbing might come in handy," Lita pointed out. "If you want to get away from Death Eaters, or jump on their heads."

Lydia shook her head. "Not my style." She unhooked herself and handed the rope to Lita. "You want to have a go, Lita?"

"Sure," Lita said. "Sounds like fun."

They switched places, because of Lita's height; she had no trouble climbing the wall.

Though track and field was her sport of choice, Raye decided to sit through a yoga class. In addition to flexibility, yoga was said to help maintain balance for the body and mind. Raye was having difficulty meditating as of late so she thought the yoga would help ease her mind.

The yoga instructor was old but surprising flexible Indian man. His accent was so thick it was hard to hear what he was saying.

How is this supposed to relax me when I don't know what the heck I'm doing? Raye thought as she brought self into downward facing dog. With her hands flat and feet flat on the mat, she felt her back stretch. She smiled, realizing she was getting the hang of it.

Elsewhere, The aerobics class was just what Mina needed. It helped relieved her frustrations. She missed exercising. She made a mental note to exercise more.

Mina glanced at Kate, the instructor. She looked to be in her early twenties with short honey-brown hair. Her body was toned and flexible. On the wall behind Kate were awards, certificates and trophies. Mina smiled. If she kept a regular workout schedule, she might be like Kate in later years. Mina hated the idea of growing older and letting herself go.

She scanned the room and felt some pity for the other students. Most were scrawny; some were overweight and gasping for air. Mina and her mother among the few that could keep up with Kate.

The workout ended and the instructor clapped. "Great job everyone. See you next week!"

As everyone started to pile out, Mina approached the instructor. "Mina," said her mother, almost warningly.

"Hi, my name's Mina Aino," she said. "That was awesome! Thank you."

"Thanks Mina," the instructor replied. "I saw you. Way to keep up."

"You said your name was Kate, right?" Mina asked and Kate nodded. "You teach any other classes?"

"Yes, Pilates, zumba and weight training. Physical fitness is my life." Kate glanced behind Mina. "Is that your mother?"

"Yep," Mina waved her mom over and she walked slowly to Mina's side. She looked Kate in the eye.

"Hi, Kate," Susan mumbled. "It's been a while."

"Huh?" Mina said.

"Oh my—Susan?" Kate gasped. When Susan nodded, Kate burst into tears and embraced her.

"Uhm…" Mina muttered and just stood there.

Parting, Kate turned to Mina. "I'm your mother's younger sister. I guess that makes you my niece. Oh it's so good to see you!" Kate hugged Mina.

"Oh hi… I guess," said Mina.

Patting her aunt on the back, Mina looked up at her mother for an explanation.

Susan sighed and glanced at the door. The last student just left the room.

Returning her gaze to her confused daughter, Susan said, "Our parents weren't happy when they found out I was a witch. They disowned me."

"Since you got your letter?" Mina asked.

"They tried to," said Kate sourly. "I begged them not to. I think it was more Dad than Mom that wanted you gone. It wasn't until you were what, thirteen when you were officially out of the house?"

"And you haven't seen each since then?" Mina inquired.

"We saw each other a few times after Hogwarts," Susan explained. "But then it got dangerous as You-Know-Who was on the rise. How's Mom and Dad? Leslie?"

"They're fine," said Kate. "Leslie married a few years back."

"Wish I could have been there."

"Leslie?" Mina inquired

"Our other sister," Kate said. "Your mom here the oldest. Leslie's in the middle. She took Mom and Dad's side when we found out your mom was a witch."

"Aunt Kate," said Mina and Kate grinned at being called that. "You think you can teach more athletic stuff, on the side, I mean?"

"Like a personal trainer?" Kate asked. "Of course! But aren't you a witch, like your mom? Won't you be in school?"

"I'm on Holiday until the fifth," Mina explained. "You can train me until then."

"All right, what would you like to work on? Cardio? Strength?"

"Everything," Mina said firmly.

Kate blinked and glanced at her older sister. "Just like you."

Susan smiled. "I know."

Mina took a hot bath when she returned home. While soaking, she went over the day's events in her mind. The exercise she did that day gave her more ideas on how to protect herself. This was why she was such a good sailor scout. From the time she started walking, she was doing sports.

She was happy that she considered exercising was a part of homework. She wished her other homework in her other subjects was this easy. She groaned, remembering her lackluster OWL results.

"I should have worked harder in my OWLS."

"Yes, you should have," said a male's voice.

"Who said that?" Mina exclaimed, grabbing her washcloth and sinking into the bubbly water.

"Just me, Mina," Artemis said, sliding through window.

"Artemis, I'm taking a bath!" Mina cried.

"Don't worry, I'm a cat," Artemis said proudly.

"A cat that changes into a man," Mina murmured.

"I haven't been in human form since the yule ball," Artemis admitted. "It's easier to get around being a cat."

Artemis leaped from the window and accidently landed in the hamper. Mina chuckled.

"You need to work on your aim," Mina said.

"I have news," came Artemis muffled voice. "Get me out of here! It smells!"

Mina sighed, realizing she had to cut her bath short. She let the water out and put a towel around her body. She reached in the hamper and pulled her white kitty out, which now slightly had the smell of dirty socks.

"What's up?" she inquired.

"I saw the owl you used from the Post Office to send Pierre his care package," said Artemis.

"Oh dear," Mina sat down, expecting bad news. "Did…did it get to him?"

"I think so," Artemis said. "It didn't have the package with it."

"But…it could have been confiscated," said Mina.

"It didn't look like the owl was manhandled in anyway," Artemis said. "I'm certain Pierre got your package just fine."

"Did it have a letter with it?" Mina asked hopefully.

"No," said Artemis.

"I see," said Mina. "I probably would have gotten it by now. I wonder where he is. Just what the heck is he doing, anyway?"

"I don't know, Mina," Artemis said, sympathetic. "I don't speak owl. If I did, I would have asked the owl for you."

Mina laughed. "It's okay, thanks anyway, Artemis."

Artemis nodded. "Now tell me, what did you do today? Any homework?"

"I did!" Mina said. "I went to the gym and exercised with my friends."

"How's that homework?" Artemis inquired.

"It was for Defense," Mina told him.

"Ah, I remember," Artemis said. "How'd that go?"

"Great," Mina said. "I relieved a lot of stress and learned more ways to defend myself. I also met my aunt! She is a teacher there. She's going to be my personal trainer."

"Very good, Mina," said Artemis.

"I think I need a magical trainer too," said Mina. "To help with my studies."

"Maybe you should join a study group when you get back to Hogwarts," Artemis suggested. "How about with Ami?"

"Oh, I'd like to," Mina said, "but she's tutoring Ron. I want to give them the time alone."

"Playing matchmaker, again?" Artemis chuckled. "Your Divination teacher, Ron, Ami, you're even trying to get Draco and Raye back together. Adding anyone else to that list?"

"Anyone I think who has a chance at love," Mina admitted. "I'd better go change before dinner. Maybe you should have a go at the tub, too, Artemis."


As Mina helped her mother with the dishes, she got an idea.

"Mom, you said you didn't get one failing grade in your OWL and NEWTS right?" she asked.

Susan nodded.

"Well, I was thinking," Mina said. "Maybe you can give me a few pointers before I go back to school."

"I'd be happy too," Susan said. "What do you want to work on?"

"The stuff I didn't do so hot in," Mina murmured. "Potions, Transfiguration, Defense. Even though I'm not taking Potions and Transfiguration, I still want to do better… you know. For me."

"Good for you," smiled Susan. "Potions was the worse for you, right? I understand how difficult potions could have been. Tricky formulas, foul ingredients…"

"Yeah, Snape didn't help much, either. He's such a jerk."

"A good teacher does make a difference," Susan agreed. "I learned under Horace Slughorn. He made the subject more interesting. I probably would have failed if not for him. But what I've learned about potions is the use of different reagents, not exactly the methods of potion making."

"Huh?" Mina murmured, almost dropping the dish her mother handed her to dry.

"The raw materials," Susan explained. "You know you don't have to gather ten different ingredients, throw them in a cauldron in a specific order and turn it every so often. The raw ingredients hold some effect, and sometimes taste better than a potion. You don't necessarily have to use magical plants or parts from fantastic beasts. Mundane plants can serve a purpose too. You know there are hundreds of different types of mushrooms that some people mistake as edible? Some people would cut these mushrooms and put in a stew to poison someone else. "

"But don't you have to be a witch or a wizard to make potions?" Mina inquired.

"Certain kinds, yes," Susan answered. "But some muggles even know their flora better that most wizards. Study up on all sorts of plants, not just the magical ones. You can learn a lot about certain animals too. Sometimes the strongest potions and poisons come from nature instead of magic. Milking poison from a venomous snake, hiding centipedes in people's belongings."

"That's messed up!" Mina exclaimed.

"When you don't have the time or knowledge to brew up a potion," Susan said firmly. "Then you have to resort to other methods."

"Did you ever hide bugs in people's stuff?"

"I might have," said Susan. "But that's not important. Sometimes using the raw materials is the best way to go. And if you know what a finished potion is supposed to look like, then you can always buy the one you need. Easier for most folks."

"Doesn't sound like a bad idea," Mina agreed.

"I can show you some practical measures tomorrow," said Susan with a yawn. "I'm a little tired."

"I'll say," said Mina. "But you did really well in that aerobics class today. Not bad for working a desk job, eh, Mom?"

"I don't work a desk job all the time," Susan muttered. "You know I'm in the Magical Sports and Games Department. Once an athlete, twice the entertainer."

"That's exactly what I say!" said Mina. "But my friends never believe me."

For the rest of the winter break, Mina got up at dawn to do her exercise regimen. She started off with stretches to build her flexibility; running five miles for her endurance. She lifted weights for strength and did all kinds of gymnastics for agility. Drills for speed. Even when Mina began to feel fatigued, she pushed harder. Her aunt Kate was an excellent coach, never leaving anything out and encouraging to move faster.

As a personal trainer, Kate also made sure Mina got the proper nutrition for her workouts. Though Mina would miss her junk food, she followed through with her aunt's advice. Mina kept a stock of sports nutrition bars and powders and vitamin supplements.

After five hours of physical exercise with her Aunt Kate, Mina got magical and mental exercise with her mother.

When it was time for Mina to return to Hogwarts, she promised her aunt that she would keep her workout schedule. Mina's backpack was so full of supplements that she was sure it would last her the rest of term.

"I wonder if anyone will notice anything different about me," Mina said to her mother at Platform nine-and-three quarters.

"Maybe not at first," said Susan. "But I'm sure they will know soon enough. Here, Mina."

"A daisy?" Mina murmured.

"A present for working so hard this last week," Susan said. "It may a muggle plant, but there is some mythology behind it. It's connected to the planet Venus and it might be a good reagent in potion making. I think it's worth showing Professor Sprout."

"Seriously?" Mina asked.

"Yeah, Professor Sprout has an interest for all plants," Susan insisted. "Not just the ones that can eat people."

"Well, she did have us save most of the thistles we dug up a few months ago," Mina said. "Thanks Mom. And I promise to keep up with my studies."

"Don't hesitate to write me if you need help," Susan said. "Look for a study group too."

"Okay, I'll try," said Mina. She waited for a moment. She wasn't this close with her mother since, well, ever. Her mother had always harped on her for working harder in her schoolwork or for getting in trouble with school.

"Mina!" shouted Serena, running up to her and grabbing her arm. "Come on the train's about to leave! Sammy, wait for me!"

"I'll see you, Mom," Mina murmured and Serena pulled her onto the train.

"Stupid alarm," Serena was muttering. "Did you sleep in too, Mina?"

"No," Mina. "I was having a last minute study session with my Mom."

Serena cringed. "Oh, homework. Not looking forward to that."

Serena and Mina found their friends sitting in their usual compartment. Serena collapsed next to Harry.

"Sleep in again, Serena?" Harry teased.

"I'm going back to sleep," Serena yawned. "Wake me up when we get there."

"Before you take your nap, Serena," said Raye, rising to her feet. "There's something I want to say…to all of you. I've been really mean lately…I need to apologize."

Raye hesitated and sighed. When she had returned from the gym, she tried to have a fire reading. She got the impression she would not have any visions until she cleared the air with her friends.

Raye looked at Lita.

"Lita, I'm sorry about the way I acted… you know, that one time," she said. "I was too rough and I shouldn't have said those things about Cedric. You did know him better than I did. It was wrong of me to assume what your relationship was."

"Meh, it's fine," Lita said. "I know how your temper can get, Raye. You were upset about you and Draco."

"Yes, about him," said Raye, "I've decided that I don't want to get involved with him. Maybe he's a Death Eater and maybe he isn't. He isn't telling me anything and I'm not going to waste my time trying."

"Are you sure?" Serena asked.

"Yes, I'm sure," Raye insisted. "There are other people in the school that need my help. If I've got Draco on my mind all the time, I won't be able to focus."

"Malfoy's a git anyway," said Ron. "You're better off without him."

"Thanks, Ron," Raye said with a sardonic smile.

"Maybe things might work out between you," said Mina hopefully. "On their own."

"But until that happens," said Raye. "You don't have to go easy on him in defense anymore."

"What—whatever you mean?" Mina asked, trying to sound innocent.

"Oh, come on," Raye said. "I know you're just…'playing' with him in class and not really fighting him like you're supposed to. If he really is a Death Eater, then you have to do more than what you're doing. Give him hell."

"Well, if you say so," Mina chuckled.

"I owe you an apology too, Mina," said Raye and Mina looked back confused.

"What about?" Mina mumbled.

"About what I said at Headquarters," said Raye. "I wasn't very sympathetic about Pierre and his parents."

"What's that?" Serena said.

"Well, you see," said Mina. "Pierre's shop was robbed. Both his parents are dead and we don't know where he is."

"That's horrible!" Serena exclaimed and she looked at Harry. "You didn't tell me this? Why didn't you tell me this?"

Harry looked back at Serena with a blank stare.

"It's okay, it's okay," said Mina. "We're confident that it was the Death Eaters and we'll bring them to justice soon enough."

"But Pierre…" Serena said.

"Hey, don't worry," Mina insisted. "The French Ministry said that it doesn't look like anyone was hauled off or anything. Pierre may have found his parent's bodies and took off somewhere to hide. Artemis told me that he saw the owl I used to mail his gift. The owl didn't look hurt and the parcel was gone, so I'm sure it got to Pierre just fine. No point in assuming he's in any danger."

"But he might be," said Lita.

"True," sighed Mina. "I'll plan to hope for the best and prepare for the curse."

"It's 'prepare for the worse,'" corrected Hermione.

"What?" Mina said.

"Never mind," Serena said. "You're all right?"

Mina nodded. "I'm fine. I'm the avatar of love, after all."

The compartment moved onto another subject.

"Hermione, I found no information about Professor Snape being a 'half-blood prince," Ami said. "How about you?"

"No," said Hermione. "Nothing I looked up said anything about royal half-bloods."

"Well, that does ease my anxiety a little bit," said Harry. "But I still wonder why he called himself that."

"Probably just a stupid handle he came up with," Lita shrugged. "People do that all the time."

A couple of people walked by their compartment, talking about Moody's death. Lydia sighed and shook her head.

"Such a shame about Moody," she said. "I don't think Madame Indigo will ever get over it. She blames herself."

"She was lucky," said Serena. "She might not have survived if she hadstayed."

"Threw me for a loop too," Hermione said. "When Ami called me about it, my elemagi powers went berserk and the necklace my parents gave me for Christmas flew right off my neck."

"I broke the kitchen sink," Ron admitted. "Twice. Looked like I turned the kitchen into a swimming pool."

"You will need to harness your abilities," Ami explained. "I'll help you Ron."


Hermione looked around the group. None of the scouts had metal-like abilities. Then her eyes fell on Mina.

"Mina, as Sailor Venus," she said. "Don't you have a chain attack?"

"That's right," said Mina.

"Think you can give me a hand?"

Mina looked a little thrown. Her Love Chain Encircle was her only metal based attack, but if memory served her right, Venusians had a love for everything metal. Not just weapons and jewelry, but they made some buildings and furniture out of it.

"Absolutely!" Mina exclaimed.

"Metal is closely associated with Venus, according to legend," Ami nodded.

"We should all work on our abilities," said Rei. "I'd like to say this war is going to get better, but I'm not sure. We have to be prepared for anything."

"Maybe I should start the DA up again," said Harry. "I've been meaning to, but I never know when Dumbledore will need me for a lesson."

"I don't think actual DA meetings will be needed," said Lita. "Just do a bit more on our own. Maybe tell the others as well, if any are still loyal."

Pierre stood at the edge of mainland, looking out to Azkaban prison. It was a long journey but he had finally made it. He wondered if he was making a huge mistake. What did he expect to find in there?

Azkaban prison was full of homicidal maniacs and psychopaths.

He went over his plan again to see if there were any loopholes. Instead of giving his real name, he fashioned an alias: Lucas Dubios. He decided to use a charm to grow his hair out and dye it dark brown for a disguise, with square glasses for an extra touch. He was no metamorphamagus and human transfiguration was one of his weaker subjects. He wasn't sure if changing his hair would be enough, but it was the best he could do.

The story he would give to the guards was that he wanted to interview several prisoners on their condition after the absence of dementors. Perhaps asking several guards and the warden wouldn't be such a bad idea either. They might know something.

"Young man," said a tired voice.

"Y-yes?" Pierre muttered, turning his gaze to a wizard sitting in a boat.

"I suspect you are here to visit the prison?"

"I am," Pierre said.

"Climb in then," said the man. "Last boat of the day."

Realizing it was too late to turn back now, Pierre got in the boat and they started pulling out to the island.

To Be Continued