A rather long Note: Some people have expressed concerns about certain things and I'd like to address those here and now before we go any further. Just to explain myself a bit as these points won't actually be explained within the story as far as I have planned.
One: Meg isn't a main character, and she most definitely isn't a Self Insert (where on earth did you get that idea?) this story won't focus on her much, she's the catalyst for various events which is why I've given her a little more pull over Harry than others would. Add to that, Harry has always been a very submissive person in terms of how he is directed in the books and I'm not changing that overly much, he's pretty much given up fighting his friends by this point because he's figured out that, unlike Dumbledore, when they manipulate him – and they do so with his full knowledge, they really are actually trying to do it for his own happiness and not the so called 'Greater Good'. Anyone else that tries to manipulate him for their own ends is going to get a crash course in yoga by having their heads crammed up their arseholes. As for the Blackmail, its just silliness, Harry knows full well that the worst that will happen is the fangirls will see him naked; it's just embarrassing for him, not life or death. If he truly, really, absolutely, didn't want to join the Host Club, then he wouldn't. He's willing to give it a chance – hence the probationary period – but he knows he doesn't do social well and it's a bit of a case of 'the lady doth protest too much'.
Two: The feminism thing that cropped up in the last chapter. Yeah, I'm not a feminist. I don't give a damn if people have tits or testicles. However, you need to remember that the Wizarding World doesn't really have sexism as far as I can see, its prejudices are based on blood, power and species. And while he wasn't raised there, he has absorbed some of their culture so to him, Tamaki's slight misogyny (better known as manners in some circles – circles Harry has never seen nor experienced) towards women is just completely backwards and confusing. Add to that, think about the people he's associated with, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Tonks, Molly, McGonagall, Bellatrix – and let's not forget even though he hasn't met her, his mother, Lily. The girls in his life are all fighters, they're all powerful in their own ways so he doesn't understand the way history and other people see women.
Three: I don't hate Tamaki. I just find his attitude and complete disregard for people's feelings annoying. His heart is in the right place but he lacks sufficient people skills or tact to be anything but irritating. The same as with the Lobelia Girls, Harry wasn't getting the full story, he zoned out for the majority and skipped a lot of it, believe me, when he gets the full story – he'll probably hate them a whole lot more than Tamaki.
Four: Harry shifting before the Full Moon to avoid the pain of a forced transformation – he can't. His body aches too much to do a whole lot and forcibly changing his shape would be agonising, he can't win either way but at least with the forced transformation he won't pass out halfway and die because his internal organs are half shifted into wolf and half shifted into human. (I'm taking this idea from Splinching, which was a lot gorier than anyone anticipated, wasn't it?)
Five: Ultimately, the pairing is Takashi/Harry BUT, Harry's not interested in him like that right now so he's more interested in enjoying life as it comes. There will be other pairings with both Harry and Takashi before they hook up – as with all people in real life. You have to kiss a few frogs before you get your Prince.
I hope that's cleared a few things up for everyone. If you do have more questions, just drop me a Review, I'll answer as best I can on the reply system but if its something I think everyone should know about then I'll pop it up here at the beginning of the next chapter. Anyway.
Without further ado, the next chapter. Enjoy.
Trying to get answers out of Harry was like trying to milk a stone.
All he would say about his childhood was 'it happened, it wasn't pleasant, its over with – who wants tea?'.
So they decided to drop it, for now, they could see their line of questioning was already fraying an already stressed temper and it wasn't doing Harry's body any good as well. He was moving about the kitchen in a painful shuffle, he was slow and awkward as he moved, his hands shook and he had to stop every now and again as either the pain grew a little too much or he lost his balance momentarily. The other Seniors didn't help him, they knew his pride wouldn't allow it as he went about gathering a few mugs, a sugar bowl, a few teaspoons and a teapot which was then filled with hot water from the kettle. He even brought out a packet of cookies and upended them over a plate.
With everything set onto a tray, Takashi quickly swooped in and picked it up while Harry's back was turned.
The foreign Third Year had not been impressed with the abduction of his crockery but never the less directed them to the living room. Even he knew he probably would have either taken several days to get there or dropped the tray.
The inside of the house was, in all honesty, nothing like Takashi or Mitsukuni had been expecting.
They had not been entirely sure what to expect, but considering how Harry attended Ouran they had been expecting something perhaps a little more opulent than what greeted them – not that they should have been surprised upon review, it was quite obvious that Harry was nothing like the other students of Ouran and held little love of overly flashy or expensive things.
The living room that Harry had shown them to was cosy for lack of a better word. A fairly small (by their standards) HD TV was perched on a wooden stand with a DVD player, VCR tape player and surround sound system beneath it, hooked up and left in a somewhat messy pile of wires in front of it was a few games consoles in various battered states. Two fairly large bookcases flanked them, one was filled with DVDs, games and CDs while the other was chock full of fiction books in no particular order and in various states of care, though they were all crammed in there rather carelessly. There were two sofas, the most battered, beaten up and one-gust-from-falling-apart objects that either Mitsukuni and Takashi had ever seen in their lives, a winged back chintz chair complete with footstool and a Coffee table were set comfortably around the TV.
It was with the greatest of trepidation that Mitsukuni and Takashi deigned to sit themselves down on one of the battered sofas, only to blink in surprise as they felt themselves sink into what had to be one of the most comfortable seats they had ever felt. The smirk on Harry's face suggested that he knew exactly what they had been thinking before they sat down as he curled up in the old fashioned winged back chair. The whole room was like that, dark rich colours and old fashioned British furnishings, the kind one would have expected in the Victorian era, they even had an old fashioned atlas and brass telescope at the window behind the other sofa, heavy drapes, a wrought iron bird stand and a desk made out of mahogany. Behind Harry however, behind the door and hidden from their first observation of the room was a painting in a gold gilded frame. A picture of a castle and a group of people in front of it, and a rather recognisable Harry stood between a smiling red haired woman who had his eyes and a dark haired man who had his hair and cheeky grin as he tried to fend off an overly excited man who was trying to, they didn't know what he was trying to do but it seemed innocent enough.
Harry glanced behind him, having noticed their attention and smiled slightly.
It was an expression they hadn't seen before, one that was both sad and proud and a little bitter. He didn't offer any explanation as to their identities. Merely gestured to the TV and the stacks of games and films, saying, "Pick your poison. Film or game?"
By the time Meg came back – spitting mad that Harry had left before she arrived, only to calm down when she saw him home safe and sound with the two Seniors, thinking they had given him a lift back – they were half way through Ocean's 11 and Mitsukuni was absolutely enthralled, Takashi wasn't far off either. Harry however, had fallen asleep, face burrowed into the chair with his arms and legs pulled up, hugging one of the pillows as he dozed.
Shaking her head, the Hufflepuff Alumni merely went upstairs and got changed before heading into the kitchen to make a start on dinner. She wasn't as good a cook as Harry, but she could at least make Pasta Bake and boiled potatoes.
By the time the film ended, everything was ready for dishing up and Harry was shaken awake.
Everyone ate in the living room as the Wizard was actually unable to move much, his joints aching abominably, he felt like a bloody old man and even said as much when Mitsukuni bounded over with a tray and set it in his lap.
The diminutive blond smiled disarmingly at him, "Don't worry Harii-ch- ," The Gryffindor arched an eyebrow at him. " -Kun, it's not your fault," the Third Year chirped, quickly remembering his friend's preference not to be referred to as –chan.
The Wizard grunted sourly, he knew it wasn't his fault – Ron had practically beaten it into his head when he went on one of his Guilt Trips. It just didn't stop him from feeling bitter when he needed to have everyone wait on him when he was too weak and pathetic to do it himself.
Something in his expression must have given away his thoughts because when Takashi came over with his food, the quiet Senior bonked him on the head again, "Stupid," he told the smaller male before setting the food down and smiling at him.
Harry huffed but nodded to show that he understood, Mitsukuni giggled and pounced on his cousin, clinging to his waist as he was carted back to the sofas to await his own tray of food as Meg and Takashi carted the plates in through from the Kitchen.
He was glad that someone else understood Takashi's way of speaking, not many people could puzzle out the subtle nuances of his body language and laconic vocabulary.
"So," Meg began, in English as she didn't know Japanese, blowing on a twist of pasta, "How did you hurt your hand?" she asked, nodding to Harry's bandage.
"Crushed a tea cup," he answered flatly.
She frowned slightly, concerned, "Why? It's not like you to lose control like that. I assume it's why you left, yes?"
Harry fiddled with his fork for a moment, trying to decide what to say.
"Tama-chan said something bad," Mitsukuni explained, looking apologetic.
"What kind of bad?" asked the Gypsy girl.
"Homophobic bad." Meg hissed at Harry's flat statement, her fork scraping the plate with a painfully loud screech, making Takashi and Mitsukuni flinch, they knew that Harry had a friend who was a lesbian and was bisexual himself but... they hadn't expected such a strong reaction from her.
She took a deep breath, "I see. Harry, I'm sorry I put you in that kind of environment," she told him, looking angry and apologetic.
Harry waved a hand, "Don't worry about it. Suou just let his mouth run away with him, I doubt even he knows what he was saying. Either way, I'm not rejoining the Host Club. Probably look into Archery or Biathlon," he explained lazily.
She sighed, "It's a shame though. I guess my Tarot Skills have gotten rusty," she complained, making Harry's eyebrow shoot up. So that was why she was so determined to see him join her and go to Ouran, something in the cards. She caught his expression and grinned, shaking her head, "Stop thinking, you've got it wrong," she told him chuckling. Harry arched an eyebrow at her, silently requesting an explanation. "It's true I did a reading. It's true that it said you would be happier in a new place, learning new things with many people. But it never said where or with whom. That was just something I sorted out. Sorry sweetie."
Harry nodded, "Least you're honest about it," he said.
"Harii-kun mentioned he taught Self Defence, Meg-chan. What kind?" Mitsukuni finally asked, his curiosity getting the better of him now that they had moved away from the sensitive topic. And unknowingly moving into one that was even more sensitive.
The Gypsy girl hummed thoughtfully, "It varied to be honest. Escape and Evade, Accuracy and Targeting, Strategy. He more or less gave us the tools and tricked us into wanting to learn more. Sneaky bastard."
Harry smirked as he chewed on a New Potato.
"Gang?" asked the tall Japanese boy, staring unwaveringly at Harry.
The Lycan paused, taking in the odd intensity Takashi was displaying toward him, before putting his fork down and leaning back in his seat. "Occasionally," he admitted, knowing full well what that would mean to the Japanese, "But not in the way you're thinking of them. Our school was... dangerous for people who didn't fit the preconceived notion of acceptable."
Mitsukuni's eyes widened and the fork in Takashi's hand trembled alarmingly with that little titbit of information.
"Harii-chan...?" Mitsukuni asked hesitantly.
"It's been taken care of, Mitsukuni," the green eyed teenager assured him flatly, waving his hand weakly.
A set of chimes went off somewhere in the hall, cutting off any further questioning.
"Eight O'clock," said Meg, "I'm sorry guys but we're going to have to kick you out now. Healer Akisame doesn't like non-family members around when he makes his visits. Even I have to go and hide in garden while he sees to Harry," she explained a trifle bitterly.
The Hosts nodded awkwardly, setting their dirty plates on the coffee table for the servants to deal with – it never crossed their minds that Meg and Harry lived alone and didn't have servants – and getting to their feet.
"Get better soon," Takashi told his Classmate with a polite inclination of his head, Mitsukuni nodding vigorously as he fairly crushed Usa-chan to his chest.
"You'll be at school tomorrow, right?" he asked.
Harry nodded, suddenly feeling very grey and washed out, making the Hosts wince slightly when they noticed how difficult it was for the ill young man to stay awake or even move. It was as if his joints had rusted over and he was unable to move.
Harry fell asleep before they had even stepped out of the front door.
Whatever Harry had been expecting at school the next morning, it wasn't an uncomfortable looking Suou Tamaki stood beside his desk holding a paper bag nervously in his hands while trying not to run away from Umehito-san as the Russian leered at him. A quick glance around told him that neither Takashi nor Mitsukuni had arrived and it was too early for the majority of his classmates to have arrived yet.
"Suou, what are you doing here?" Harry asked flatly, he was looking and feeling a lot better compared to yesterday, still under the weather but his skin had some colour to it, he no longer looked like a walking corpse and his joints were fine – they would only begin to ache if it got cold or if he hadn't moved for a while.
"I came to apologise," Tamaki admitted, relief colouring his voice as he scampered away from Umehito.
Harry's eyebrow shot up and the blond flushed slightly, ducking his head and and bowing apologetically as he thrust out the paper bag, "My comments yesterday were entirely out of line, had I any idea that they would have upset you then I would have never even allowed them to pass my lips. You have my most sincerely heartfelt apologies Potter-senpai."
Blinking, Harry numbly accepted the bag, "Suou," he began, trying to figure out what to say before sighing, "I don't much care about what you said, people say shit all the time. What I want to know is if you believe it. Don't apologise for setting my temper off. You shouldn't even be apologising to me. You should be apologising to those girls. True, they were entirely out of line and completely intolerant and I will be having a word with them as well. But just because they behave out of line is no excuse for you to do the same. Their relationship and their beliefs are their business. Just as yours are entirely your own. So please tell me, are you as homophobic as your comments yesterday suggested?" he asked, pushing it all out as quickly as it came, fighting to keep the tremble out of his voice. He hated confrontations like this, they made him sick and made his hands shake, if it came to an all out fist fight then he would be more than capable of it, if he were angry and shouting in an argument with someone he could handle that. But he just hated confronting someone like this. But... it needed to be done. He had to know.
Tamaki spluttered a moment before falling quiet and listening to his Senpai in silence, he felt terrible and guilty because he was right. He had failed in his duty as a Gentleman and allowed his temper to run away with him, allowed his mouth to say the first hurtful thing that came to mind – instead of hurting them, he ended up hurting his Senpai who, according to Hani-senpai, did not wish to return to the Host Club because of it.
"I... I have no strong feelings on the subject to be honest. I think... I think the world needs more love and that people should find love where they can," he admitted quietly.
Harry nodded and patted him on the head, "Apology accepted. Now get your butt back to class before you get in trouble," he told the younger man, poking him in the forehead. Tamaki blinked at him in surprise before grinning brightly, relief practically lighting his eyes up as he nodded rapidly – looking a little like an overexcited puppy – before practically scampering out of the room.
Leaving Harry to face the questioning stares of his classmates, to which he ignored with his usual cold nonchalance.
The day passed quietly enough, Harry did end up having to go and speak with the Vice Principle about his behaviour in class toward that one teacher who royally pissed him off. Luckily though, his past experiences gave him a lot of leeway – even they understood that someone who used to command a small very specialised and very skilled personal army would not take too well to having a school teacher look down their nose at him, let alone insinuate the things that teacher had done. Harry got off scott free, the teacher... not so much.
Music was fun, the Teacher for once allowed them to choose which instruments they wished to – so instead of the trumpet that Harry had been stuck with since his arrival he finally managed to snag himself a Harp. Their task was to play their instruments at the end of the lesson, they could choose any piece they wished but they would be marked on how well they played said piece and how difficult it was.
A lot of the students stuck with the instruments they had been practising with since the beginning, Harry and a few other students were the only ones who selected differently, Mitsukuni cheerfully lunged at the drum kit with a great deal of glee and Harry couldn't help but smile as the teenager banged away at the symbols. The girls cooed with delight and some of the guys shook their heads in confusion, Harry was perhaps one of the few who recognised the rhythm that Mitsukuni was testing and adjusting.
"Harp?" questioned Takashi, the acoustic guitar strap over one shoulder as he studied his classmate and the large peddle harp resting against his shoulder.
Harry grinned, "Yup." He smirked and Takashi arched an eyebrow before smirking as well, the two of them parting, Harry obviously wanted to keep his playing talents a secret until the unveiling at the end of the class.
With the general cacophony of the classroom, Harry sat quietly with the Harp and pondered what to play, he thought about doing a traditional piece of Harp music but that would be a bit boring, everyone would be expecting him to do that. Which meant he was looking at an adaptation of something – his speciality and his favourite, he enjoyed figuring out how to make other things fit. He hummed thoughtfully, running his fingers across the strings, briefly he contemplated 'One Last Wish' from the original Casper film before shaking his head, it was a little too slow and easy for him. He wouldn't get a very good mark. Spring Nicht by Tokio Hotel was contemplated, he did love that tune and it wouldn't be too difficult to adapt for Harp.
Perhaps something a little more modern... A little pop-rockish? He doubted if anyone in Ouran had heard a Metallica tune, or anything by Nirvana or Linkin Park. Heck, if any of them had even heard of Korn he would don a dress and sing Mary had a Little Lamb for Lucius Malfoy's amusement.
He tested his fingers on the cords, working out in his head which finger would go where and when as well as tuning it – while the instruments at Ouran were as expensive and well maintained as its students, like Harry, the Harp just wasn't quite right. The strings were a little frayed, the notes just a touch too low and the peddles were stiff, in all though, Harry preferred it, it reminded him of his first Harp, that battered old monstrosity Hermione wheeled out of the Lost and Found in the Room of Requirements.
In truth, they only had to play one minute of music, by the time Harry heard his name being called he had only worked out roughly two and a half minutes of the original tune in his head. He had completely missed all the other performances he was so absorbed in his thoughts – at least though he had not missed Mitsukuni or Takashi playing, he would have hated that.
He took a deep breath and arranged himself, ignoring the curious looks he received for taking the battered old harp and the sneer he received from Ayanokoji who had also selected a peddle Harp – she however had gone for a grand old thing with gold leaf inlet and delicate carvings up it. It was a truly handsome instrument. No doubt up to Ouran's stringent standards. Both of them. Unlike scruffy Harry and his battered Peddle Harp.
He set his fingers to the strings and began. Narrowing his eyes on the strings as he focused his full attention on the Harp and the song in his head, he knew which notes he had to pull, he knew when and he knew how. The delicate, high pitched notes filled the room, silencing the quiet mutters and occasional twang of an instrument, he started slowly, his fingers slowly travelling down the harp as the notes changed, became faster, rising and falling.
He sang the lyrics in his head, playing the tune as he flicked his fingers across the strings, no longer even feeling the coarse bite of them on the pads of his fingers.
He didn't stop when his minute was up though. He was damn good on the Harp and he wanted the marks to prove it, he continued the song until he ran out of material and then slowly allowed it to peter out in a carefully constructed fashion that didn't seem too abrupt or messy.
He gently pushed the Harp back to its standing position and glanced up then, Ayanokoji's face was twisted in jealous fury, her fingers white knuckled on her Harp, Takashi was smiling ever so slightly, Mitsukuni was practically vibrating in his seat, smiling so broadly it looked like his face was going to split in half. A few of the other students looked surprised, happy, a little put out or jealous but only Ayanokoji and his friends showed any particular strong emotion. He glanced to the Teacher who nodded, scribbling something down on her register, she glanced up and smiled when she caught his eye.
"Very well done Potter-san, I can't say I recognise the tune though. Could you give me the name?" she requested, waving her pen around to indicate she wished to write it down.
"Of course. Its Bring me to Life, the artist is Evanescence," he explained, making her blink slightly.
"Can't say I've heard of them," she admitted, they weren't any kind of classical orchestra that she was aware of.
Harry grinned, "They're a rock band out of America."
The look on Ayanokoji's face was great – he wished he had a camera.
The rest of the Music lesson passed quietly enough, well, as quietly as it could get with Mitsukuni managing to rally up Takashi and Kuze – who was playing the bass Guitar – and creating himself an impromptu rock band. Not surprisingly the little Cake Muncher got a damn good mark, though half of that Harry felt was probably enthusiasm based. Mitsukuni almost killed the drums but he was still very good. Takashi had surprised Harry greatly by doing a cover of a Bryan Adams tune, 'Sound the Bugle Now' from the Disney film Spirit – Stallion of the... he couldn't remember what it was the Stallion of but it was a good film and he enjoyed almost all of the musical numbers in there, a rarity for Harry because he did so very rarely like Disney films.
Music was the last class of the day so Harry walked with both Takashi and Mitsukuni to the Third floor Music room so he could tell Kyouya about his resignation, what he didn't expect to see was Hikaru and Kaoru in drag and affixing a spray of bright flowers to the back of Tamaki's elaborate outfit. He goggled.
Even worse was when Mitsukuni started getting dressed into an equally elaborate dress while Takashi donned an outfit similar to Kyouya. It seemed as though none of them were particularly foolish enough to waste the money in buying Harry an outfit, whether or not because Kyouya knew of hi intentions to quit or was just aware that there was no way in heaven or hell that Harry would have ever allowed himself to wear something like that willingly. It was just too... it looked like something Draco Malfoy would have pranced around in at a formal function.
As it stood, Harry just... found somewhere to sit and wait out the insanity so he could speak to the Dark King in private – he really didn't want to deal with the Puppy's (Tamaki's) fit when he found out of his intentions to leave, he would feel even worse about the comment earlier and think it was his fault that Harry was leaving and... and... argh, he felt guilty now.
Harry hated feeling guilty.
Eventually, he heard the voices of the Zuka Club outside and frowned, he sincerely hoped that this stunt wouldn't be considered an insult. Even though he was the same age as the Hosts, he felt older, he acted older, when he watched them frolicking, speaking, he couldn't help but cringe at how unintentionally cruel and rude they could be. Especially Tamaki and the twins, even Kyouya had his moments and of course Haruhi was so blunt and honest that she ruffled more than a few feathers without realising.
The reactions from the girls was... about as much as Harry had expected. But Tamaki's reasoning for their behaviour came as a surprise, Two Bird with One Stone? Free extras? At least Haruhi found their, surprisingly touching, gesture nice. The girl dissolved into giggling as Mitsukuni spoke to her and silenced the Zuka Girls as they were about to climb back onto their soap box.
He couldn't say he found the results of this insane endeavour surprising, Haruhi had gone through all the effort of enrolling here at Ouran for a reason, especially on a scholarship it would have been insanely difficult. Why on earth would she agree to transfer to Lobelia when she could have easily passed the entrance requirements without having to waste her time here? Besides, having the Ouran seal of approval on whatever walk of life she chose would have half a galaxy more clout than a Lobelia seal. That was just the way the cookie crumbled.
He shook his head and chuckled slightly, helping himself to a cup of tea.
By the end of the Club Meeting, he ended up getting roped into helping Mitsukuni and the twins get out of their dresses as well as wrestling the spray of feathers from Takashi – he never actually got a chance to inform Kyouya of his intentions and by the time Takashi was offering to give him a lift ("Home?" he offered, arching an eyebrow at Harry as they walked to the door of the club room, Mitsukuni on his shoulders. "Oh? Uh, sure why not," Harry agreed after a mental calculation on whether or not he had enough money for a train ticket) it had completely skipped his mind.
He had ended up having more fun than he thought he would have that afternoon with the Hosts.
And the end of Chapter Five.
And the end of Chapter Five.
I'M SO SORRY IT TOOK SO LONG!
Real life, as I'm sure my Facebook Followers will know, has just been repeatedly kicking me in the teeth. Not to mention all Plotbunnies for this story decided to take a unanimous holiday to Liverpool – I only got them back when I followed them up there this weekend and fished them out of Albert Dock and various locations around Liverpool One (and found out my mother was actually born in the living room of a pub in West Kerby, on the otherside of the river to Albert Docks. I always thought she was cornish but apparently she only moved there when she was four. Funny the things you learn).
But yes. I will be paying more attention to this. I promise.
All music links will be posted on my profile along with fanart pieces – should you wonderful, wonderful people feel up to doing me any (HINT HINT NUDGE NUDGE CAN I MAKE THIS MORE OBVIOUS MAKE ME FANART PLEASE! XDDDD I like receiving it but please don't ever think I will hold my stories hostage for it, its just something nice for me so you guys don't have to do me any. I will however pout and go and grow mushrooms in my emo corner ;D).