Off Course: The Delivery Boy and the Boy Savior

AN: Okay guys… for those of you just now joining us, hi.

Lol. Now that being said, this can be considered a sequel to Off Course: The Delivery Boy Saga, which you can access through my profile. It's pure FFVII, so no HP whatsoever. If you don't feel like reading that, that's cool. We'll just go over the major points here in the first part, even though I highly recommend reading OC: DBS.Just to assuage my ego and whatnot.

To make a long story short (lol, that's a good one…), this will be a HP/FFVII crossover! Ta-da! :crickets chirp: Yeah, okay. So anyway, if you're still reading this AN and haven't just skipped it, I've been overindulging in Harry Potter fics and HP crossovers. Now then, when I checked that particular section here on FFN, the list for HP/FFVII was woefully short and unsatisfying. Not to say that all of them were bad. I did like some of them… Moving on; I thought to myself (dangerous pastime, I daresay), why don't I take a crack at it! And also, free internet cookies for anyone who recognizes any of the titles! :D

So here's our favorite immortal Delivery Boy in his next adventure! XD

000

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing! Nothing, I say.

Non Crisis Core compliant. Non HBP/DH compliant (especially that awful Epilogue… If I wanted that kind of shit, I'd watch a Disney movie…) with references to certain plotlines.

WARNINGS: Language, character death, previous time-travel, inter-dimensional travel, swords and guns, gods, goddesses, aftermath of extreme child abuse (brief), gore, blood, torture (mentioned), angst, magic, mentorship, and, last but not least, twisted, twisted humor at inappropriate times.

And yes, I know that abused!Harry is cliché but let me have my fun.

000

PROLOGUE: Heaven Help Me

"Would you abandon him to his fate? Will he stand alone against this maelstrom?" a Goddess, whose name was lost to the humes of Ivalice, demanded of God. "Will you let another of your saviors suffer without hope?"

God turned away, hunched over. "What would you have me do, mine daughter? They are the ones who abandoned him. I cannot take away their free-will." The ultimate Deity clenched His hands. "This was not part of my plan. They were supposed to stick with him."

"Humans," the Goddess said in disgust," are so eager to turn away when faced with reality. Too few are those willing to stand up when others would cower. So much easier to fear and hate." The bitterness of Her own abandonment by Her worshipers colored Her voice. "Why even send them a savior to begin with? Why bother, Father?"

"Because there is still a chance for them," Minerva, the Goddess of Gaia, said in lieu of God. "We must give them a chance."

"And they squander it!" the Forgotten of Ivalice replied heatedly. "Over and over, they waste their chances. Look at my people! They turned away from me and my court to the Occuria. False beings and look you at their fates! No, humans aren't worth it." She slashed Her hand through the air in dismissal. "Nay, this boy savior is wasted on his people." The Goddess sank down onto her chair within God's solar, Her face held in Her hands.

"That is enough," God chastised. He looked at His daughters. "Minerva, do you have a suggestion?" He knew there was a reason why His eldest had jumped into the conversation.

"I might have one…" Minerva trailed off.

"Oh yes, your pet," the Forgotten spat. "What tune would you have him dance to now, I wonder?"

"It was his choices! Always has he had free will. What he chose to do just simple fell in with my plans."

"Until they fell apart and you had to have your Cetra send him back!"

"Quiet!" God glared at the Forgotten. "This is no longer your concern. Go back to your court and your world. Hope that your creations return to you." They watched as the Goddess huffed and stormed out of the solar. "Now then, speak your mind."

"Allow me to send Cloud Strife to your newest Chosen. He needs training and Cloud needs a purpose. He is at a crossroads. He can no longer hear Gaia; so let me go to him."

"You know it is not guaranteed that he will agree," God pointed out.

"One chance. Just one more chance, Father," the Goddess pleaded with wide blue eyes.

God smiled sadly. "Then go with my blessing, daughter. I hope that he says yes. I fear for young Harry; he does not have long before he breaks. Go." He waved her away. Minerva smiled and bowed. She swept out of the solar. God's shoulders slumped once more and turned to look into the scrying water. Tears gathered in His eyes at the image within the glowing depths "Oh my child, I will answer your pleas one way or another."

000

CHAPTER ONE: MAKING ME A FIGHTER

PART ONE: Not My Time To Go

A gentle breeze swirled in from the sea. Hair as golden as the sun swayed from it. Bright, glowing blue eyes stared out at the ocean in contemplation. The crashing sounds of the surf filled the air. The scent of brine and beach filled his nose. The immortal swordsman of Gaia was sitting on a rock along the edge of the shoreline.

Cloud Strife: hero, warrior, savior.

Time-traveler.

So many years had gone by since he had appeared in the past, changing everything that had once been in his own time. The apocalypse had been stopped before it had even started. Jenova vanquished. Hojo was six-feet under along with the old President Shin-ra. Rufus Shin-ra now ruled over the Floating City with a fair and just hand. Sephiroth wasn't insane and dead. Zack wasn't dead, period. Aeris was married to Rufus; which was shocking enough to make Cloud almost choke on his breakfast when he had received the invite to their wedding a couple of years ago. Hell, they had three kids now! Vincent wasn't torturing himself too much over his own past. And his younger self? Last Cloud had heard the Kid had gone on to be a SOLDIER and even had a fiancé. The future looked so bright compared to what would have happened and what did happen in the previous time-line.

It was a future that Cloud had no business being a part of despite his actions and his success.

So the older, immortal Cloud Strife locked himself away, isolated. Alone. It was reminiscent of those years just before Gaia had destroyed herself and he was sent back in time to prevent it. He had no purpose save but to wander the world like a ghost. Never staying in one place for too long. Never entering Midgar or Nibelheim. Just him, his motorcycle, First Tsurugi, and the road. The loneliness was all consuming. He missed traveling with a young, pre-cadet Zack. He missed Vincent's dry commentary when they had traveled together. He only talked to his bike and, well, motorcycles did not make good conversationalists to say the least. The blond mercenary was seriously thinking about Sephiroth's numerous and freakishly frequent offers to join SOLDIER. But despite all of the improvements under Rufus' presidency and Sephiroth's leadership, Cloud still had deep-seated personal issues concerning SOLDIER. With immortality came the inability to just forget what he had suffered when striving to be a SOLDIER.

"Goddess, I'm bored," Cloud muttered, hopping off of his perch.

"You called?" a lyrical voice said from behind him.

Cloud let out an unmanly squawk and whirled around, losing his footing and falling onto his ass. He stared with wide blue eyes at the glowing woman. His senses tingled from the power that emitted from her being in waves of pure white light. "Who are you?" he asked in awe and fear.

The glowing woman cocked her head to the side like a curious bird. "I am the Goddess," she answered. Her voice seemed to echo with a thousand others. "Do not be afraid."

"Is it finally my time?" Cloud wondered aloud. "Will I finally get to rest?" Hope warred with fear and the instinct to live no matter what.

"Is that what you wish?" the Goddess asked.

"I… I don't know."

"Is immortality so unbearable?" The Goddess sat upon the rock that Cloud had just stood up from, her armor melting away to reveal a simple white dress. "Speak from your heart, warrior."

Cloud sighed, puzzled over the fact that the deity before him wanted such honesty. "It's lonesome. Mountains would crumble and the world would end, again, and I would still live through it all." His brow furrowed. "Why have you come?"

"Usually one does not question a Goddess," Minerva said in amusement.

"Considering who I am and what I've witnessed, I guess I'm just a little bit reckless."

"Yes, this is so."

"Well?"

"Patience is a virtue…" the blonde deity murmured. She looked up from the sea to stare the man in the eye. "You are at a crossroads, warrior, and I have come to you with a proposition."

"What? Save the world again? I really ought to charge you if I have to do it a fourth time."

Minerva laughed; the sound like golden church bells. "No, this is already a savior chosen for this. But are you willing to at least listen?" She wondered.

"Sure thing, I have nothing else to lose."

"There is a child in dire need…"

000

Bloodied fingers scrambled and scratched helplessly at the hardwood floor. Slowly a pool of crimson surrounded and spread out further from the owner of the fingers into a shallow pool. Raspy, rattling breathing filled the stagnant air of the barren room. More blood spilled from the person's lips. The wounds burned from the chili pepper oil that had been poured onto them. Coughing and choking replaced the gurgling of labored breathing. Shadows and moonlight caressed the heaving, stained body through barred windows.

Harry Potter was dying.

Not from war. Not from old age. Not from disease. And not even Voldemort could claim the deed. Seemingly useless prayers for salvation slipped haltingly from his mouth and the young wizard wondered, even in his final moments, if anyone would really care beyond the fact that the Light had lost its weapon. He had no friends, fickle human beings that they were. He had no family worth claiming as his. In fact, it was by his family's hand that he lay upon his floor on his belly, gasping out his last breath. His right cheek was pressed against the wet floor. The boy let out a choked laugh, coughing harder. Harry should have known better than to believe that he finally had people to call his own. His friends, indeed.

And then a soft, white light gradually filled the blood-stained room.

Harry squinted, wishing unthinkingly for his glasses. He could make out a vague feminine shape dressed in white. There was something maternal about her, so achingly familiar. "Mother?" he croaked out, his lungs rattling from the effort of speaking. The wizard hacked up a glob of crimson, tears mixing with his blood.

The being smiled. "Not quite," she replied, her voice gentle. She leaned forward and let him see that her long hair was straight and golden. Her eyes were pale though Harry could not make out the color because of his poor eyesight. She held out a hand. "You have a choice, Harry, son of James, born of Lily. You can die and go to Heaven with the Father or you can come with me and live, flourish, and be free to become whatever you wish by your will."

His final seconds seemed to slow as he considered the offer.

"I want to live…" Harry trailed off, gasping and swallowing back the fresh bout of bloody coughs. He then sobbed, guilt wrangling with relief. "I want to live!" She smiled and touched a single finger to his forehead. A bright light flashed and filled the room. The wards surrounding number Four of Privet Drive finally collapsed from their weakened state. Alarms finally wailed from within Dumbledore's office, startling the old wizard.

Harry Potter disappeared.

000

PART TWO: I'm Lost

Cloud Strife was thoroughly disturbed at having a bloody mess thrust into his arms by an angry Goddess. He was thankful though that she had healed the more fatal wounds and internal bleeding. Still, the blond had been left with the task of cleaning the boy wizard. It appeared it was going to be an unpleasant task. Especially since, according to his superior sense of smell, liquid chili peppers seemed to have been poured all over the kid. What kind of sick fuck does that shit to a child?

"Aw hell, we've got our work cut out for us, kid," Cloud muttered to the sleeping wizard, glad that the sleep was magically induced and would make his task easier for them both. The swordsman sighed and carried his delicate bundle into the spare bedroom and adjoining bath. He didn't like the fact that the Goddess had made him get a house but he could see the benefits. This young man needed a stable home for once and Cloud was willing to provide.

Slowly and gently, Cloud peeled away what was left of the boy wizard's clothes and grimaced at both the fresh and older scars that he could see beneath the blood. The blond muttered curses and death threats under his breath as he began the time-consuming process of sponging off the chili pepper oil and blood. He flinched with each unconscious whimper that the sponge drew from young Harry. But he had no choice but to thoroughly clean each external wound of that horrid, burning oil. The Goddess had only healed enough of the wounds to make sure that the boy wouldn't die. She didn't do it on purpose but even for a deity of her caliber, dimension hopping was exhausting.

This was going to take a while, that was for sure.

000

Soft.

Warm.

Safe.

Harry slowly woke, confused over why he was laying on something so pleasant. Like clouds and feathers. The covers of this strange and wonderful bed were pulled up to his chin. The scent surrounding him did not reflect an infirmary but rather like fresh laundry that had been washed in lavender and dried in the sun. The wizard struggled to sit up. The blankets pooled around his too-thin waist. He shivered, finally realizing that he was starkers. A blush crept onto his cheeks and shimmied down all the way to his chest. Even the tips of his ears were pinked in his embarrassment.

But who? And where?

The boy blinked as memories floated to the forefront of his mind. Was he rescued by a god? He shook his head. What was going on? He didn't understand. Harry's head jerked up as the door he was facing opened.

Hair as golden as the sun and spiked up oddly topped the person's head. Bright blue eyes that seemed to be literally glowing stared at him. And the man's mouth curved slightly at the corners into an almost smile. "Good, you're finally awake," he said, his voice smooth, kind. He sauntered into the room. "How are you feeling?"

"Confused."

The blond man laughed. "I bet, kid." He eyed the boy. "My name is Cloud Strife."

"Harry Potter," the wizard said without thought.

"I know." More confusion clouded Harry's face. Cloud himself decided to clarify. "The woman who brought you to me, she said that your name was Harry Potter. I'm here to help you."

"Help me?"

"There an echo in here?"

Torn between laughter and puzzlement, Harry shook his head. "Why am I here?" he asked.

"Silly," Cloud said. He pulled out a chair from the little writing desk that was sitting in the corner and sat down. "You're here because you chose to be here. It's about time you were given choices."

"Didn't seem like much of a choice…"

"Nonsense; you could have chosen eternal rest and left the Wizarding Britain to rot."

"You know about wizards?" Harry's voice was high-pitched from his incredulous panic.

The blond frowned and raised his eyebrows. "How else am I supposed to help you if I don't know what you are?" he wondered. "Don't worry; there aren't any laws here that will punish me for knowing about wizards." At this point Cloud grinned in full. "Besides, here on Gaia, wizards and witches specifically don't exist. Anyone can use magic with the proper resources and the will to use them."

Harry was gapping.

"You trying to catch flies? If you wanted some protein, you could have just asked."

"B… but? Just where am I?"

"You're on Gaia. I didn't stutter. Listen, kid--"

"Harry."

"Yeah, Harry. Listen, the woman that came for you, she's a Goddess. She brought you to me and my world so that I could teach you. Or did you forget about the prayers you sent up in your time of dying?"

Harry averted his emerald green eyes. "I didn't think they would be answered…" he replied softly.

"Oh Harry…" Cloud reached out and placed a gentle hand over the boy's clenched fist, the sheets bunched up under the youth's slender fingers. "It all depends on the needs of the one praying and what you were praying for at the time. You wanted it to end, so it ended. Just not in the way that you thought." The warrior awkwardly patted that small hand and pulled away. "Now then, do you have any more questions before I go downstairs to make some lunch?"

At the mention of food, Harry stomach growled loudly. The wizard blushed as Cloud chuckled. "Umm… You said teach. What is it that you're going to teach me?" he asked. The blond man raised his eyebrows again as he stood.

"That is up to you."

000

Food was quickly brought into the bedroom on a pair of dinner trays. Lunch time itself, for the most part, was a silent affair with ham sandwiches on rye with a mild cheddar cheese slice and crisps. Harry was given a mineral water whilst Cloud was drinking mango juice. All too soon the food was gone and the wizard had surprisingly eaten more than one sandwich. He fiddled with his napkin and then looked up after taking a deep breath.

"Umm… Mr. Strife?"

"It's just Cloud. Every time I hear 'Mr. Strife', I expect to be in trouble," Cloud said in an effort to put his charge at ease.

"Okay." Harry started to nervously rip his paper napkin into tiny pieces, dropping said pieces onto his tray. "Am I going to stay on Gaia for the rest of my life?"

Cloud blinked in surprise at the question. He set down his juice. "Do you want to stay that long?" he replied.

The wizard scowled at him. "Don't answer a question with another, Cloud." He looked at the blond in consternation when the older man laughed.

"Take it easy." Bright blue eyes crinkled at the corners, the smile in them making the glow more pronounced. "And I can't answer your question. It's your choice what you want to do." He leaned back into his seat. "You'll have to think on it and, in the mean time, we'll work together to get you healthier before we get to the main events. After all, you've been beaten and starved for goodness knows how long. And no, don't be embarrassed that I know. You should be angry at the people that done these things to you. And at the people who've let this continue on, turning a blind eye." Harry hunched over in an effort to disappear. Cloud mercifully let it drop. "Anyway, I might as well update you."

"Update me on what?" Harry asked, eagerly taking the out being offered to him.

"Your status, Harry." Cloud eyed his charge and smiled softly. "Well, you were brought to me six days ago…"

"Six days?"

"Don't interrupt."

"Sorry…"

"Anyway, it's been six days since your arrival. You were a right mess, kiddo. Remind me later to kill your relatives slowly and painfully."

Harry gasped. "You can't!" he cried.

Cloud huffed. "The hell I can't." He leaned forward to put strength into his words. "You were tortured, plain and simple. Lashings? Knife damage? Chili pepper oil in open wounds? And then left to stew in your own juices and dying? No, your so-called guardians have a lot to answer for, I assure you."

"But they're--"

"Monsters!" Cloud interrupted. "And if it's not me, God and the Goddess will see to them in the afterlife. Either way, there will be justice."

Tears gathered in the young teen's eyes. He bowed his head in a bid to hide his tears. Drops of salty water slid down his face and dripped onto his lunch tray that rested on his thighs.

"Aw hell," the blond muttered. "Don't cry, Harry. I'll promise not to touch the fuckers unless you want it."

"It's not that!" Harry wailed suddenly. "No one's ever… cared except for Sirius! And even then I was just a replacement for my father! I'm so tired…" Cloud scrambled to remove the tray as the boy started to weep in earnest, burying his thin face in his two hands. The blond set both trays onto the floor and he gingerly sat at the edge of the bed. He gathered the wizard into his arms and let him cry.

"I've got you now, Harry. You're safe with me. Shh…"

000

PART THREE: This Song of Hope

Harry stood at the cliff's edge, staring out at the waves crashing and roaring against the rocks that stretched out from the sheer rock wall. A fresh breeze blew in from the sea. His hair and clothes ruffled in the air. Bright green eyes, unhindered by hideous glasses, blinked and he looked over his shoulder when he sensed his guardian climb up the slope that led to his position. He turned back to the sea as Cloud strode up to stand next to him.

"You're looking better," Cloud said.

"It's been three weeks," Harry replied. "What now?"

"Up to you, I suppose. Do you still want to go back to your world?"

"I need to finish what Voldemort started."

"Who are you doing it for?"

The wizard smiled bitterly. "For my parents, I suppose." He shrugged.

"And?" Cloud prompted.

"And for myself…" Harry huffed. "But I'm not strong enough! Sure I've healed but now what?" He looked up at the blond swordsman. "Will you teach me?" Cloud smile was slow and full of satisfaction. His glowing blue eyes crinkled at the corners.

"I thought you'd never ask."

000

Cloud was a slave driver.

Harry puffed out the word 'bastard' and continued his run, the blond man hustling him from behind. He was thankful that the older man did not push him too hard. Instead the sword wielder gradually built up the wizard's stamina through running like he was now and other physical exercises. Harry did enjoy the yoga and the Tai Chi though. It was through those two disciplines that the boy finally learned how to meditate if only in short bursts. His awareness expanded beyond himself and to the environment that surrounded him. He was introduced to a multitude of weapons though he favored blades and guns over staves and spears. And all the while, Cloud was with him every step of the way. Through temper tantrums and crying fits and guilt trips of epic proportions that only a teenager could achieve. Through the grief for Sirius and what might have been and the what-ifs that plagued Harry.

It was during these sessions that Harry found out the truth about Cloud…

An apocalypse. Time-travel. Being separate from his other self. Saving the world a third time. The loneliness. The despair of knowing that he had no place in this new future.

It made Harry want to cry some more. He couldn't believe how many tears he had left in his body after all that he had been through in his short lifetime. But he knew that Cloud did not want tears on his behalf. What Cloud wanted was for Harry to get stronger, more confident. To take back his Gryffindor boldness and to be his best. Yet, at the same time, to cultivate his hidden Slytherin tendencies, his cunning and his resourcefulness. His ability to roll with the punches, to bend but not break. At first he cringed at the thought until Cloud had lightly bonked him on the head and wondered aloud, seemingly to himself and the air, if Harry was going to waste all of his efforts by becoming a trumped up martyr for those who had so willingly abandoned him beforehand. Talk about a wake-up call.

"Hey! Stop daydreaming!" Cloud barked. "We're almost back home; so move it!"

"Yeah, yeah," Harry said cheekily. He laughed at the mock growl thrown his way and he hurried off for the cottage.

So what if Harry had to go back to the Magical World back on Earth? That wasn't home anymore; if it ever was.

Home was on this tropical island with the roaring sea and the salty air. Home was in the cottage nestled amongst the trees. Home was with the Chocobos in the stable.

Home was with Cloud.

000

'Son of a bitch,' Harry thought to himself. He ducked and rolled away from Cloud's blade and then all thought dissolved from Harry's head as that sharp weapon came for his head a second time. Sword training was not that it was cracked up to be. This was no fantasy where Harry could just wield a sword with only a single and extremely luck driven experience beneath his belt. Finally he managed to block, the ringing of steel meeting steel echoing through the air. His arms quivered from the hit and the strain of to trying to hold the position. And this was Cloud holding back… Merlin help him if the man decided to go all out. Now if only he could find a way to get out from under Cloud's blade with his own still in hand and without more injury.

"I can keep this up all day," Cloud said cheerfully. He hadn't even broken a sweat while Harry was literally dripping from his perspiration.

"I can't," Harry gasped through gritted teeth and a clenched jaw. Then he stumbled forward a little when Cloud immediately back away. The green-eyed wizard fell to his knees panting.

"You're getting better," the swordsman said. "Seven minutes against me, well done."

Harry let out a laugh through his panting. "I'll say. Merlin, you're strong." He used the training sword as a crutch, hauling himself to his feet. He swayed dangerously and Cloud hurried over to steady him. "Thanks."

"Easy does it, Harry," Cloud murmured. "Just breathe slowly now." His instructions were followed by the wizard and he grew steadier under the blond's gentle hand. Once Cloud was sure that Harry could stand without falling over, he plunged the tip of his sword into the ground straight up and went over to fetch their water bottles. "Here, drink but not too fast."

"Yes, mother," Harry snarked playfully.

"Quiet, you goof."

"Do you think I'll be ready by the time it comes for me to go to school?"

Cloud fiddled with his water bottle. "I don't know," he murmured in answer. "I'm worried that you'll fall back into bad habits and let those people walk all over you."

Harry acknowledged the truth of it with a nod. "Will you come with me?" he suddenly asked with a blush. "To keep me in line or whatever…"

"Of course I'm coming with you! Awfully irresponsible of me to leave you half trained." Cloud patted Harry's shoulder. "I won't leave you, kiddo."

"But the cottage and the Chocobos!"

"Bah, they'll be fine. The Chocobos have the ability to cross water to island hop in the isle chain for food. And don't worry about the cottage. It'll be here until we come back home."

"Back home… I like the sound of that," Harry said wistfully.

Cloud smiled softly. "Yeah, me too. Home, I haven't had one for a long time until you came." He chuckled and gave a friendly slap to the wizard's back. "Come on, let's jog for a cool down before you seize up and cry like a girl."

"Hey! That was the one time, you jerk!"

000

In three days it was to be September First, back on Earth. It was still late June on Gaia.

"I think we're going to walk right into a war-zone," Harry said as they sat down for one last supper on Gaia before their departure with the Goddess.

Cloud paused in serving himself some mashed potatoes. "Oh?" he replied nonchalantly. He scooped more onto his plate and then went for the green beans, offering the potatoes to Harry.

"Interrogations? Nagging former friends? Meddling, manipulative old farts? A grieving werewolf who probably won't let me out of his sight anytime soon? Ringing any bells yet?" Harry took the bowl and served himself, mixing it with some gravy.

"What? You scared?" The older swordsman started slicing up his steak.

"No! Just irritated that I'm going to have to put up with it."

"Such a girl." Cloud teased.

"Am not!" Harry retorted with a bright blush.

The blond man laughed. "Easy, kiddo. Ain't nothing wrong with being sensitive." He shrugged his broad shoulders. "Girls like that."

"Pft. Girls are a waste of my time right now. Got a war to win."

"True enough." They slowly ate, each lost in their thoughts. Mechanically they cleaned up and put the dishes away. There was an awkward pause as they stood in the kitchen.

"I don't want to go," Harry said to break the silence. "But my duty…" My destiny was left unsaid.

"Duty is a terrible thing." Cloud led the way into the living room. "Heavy, isn't it? Must fight for the people. Got to kill the bad guy. Have to save the world." He motioned for Harry to sit on the couch as he took to the recliner. "Saviors carry a burden other people can't hope to understand. You have to be the hero because everyone else is too weak and cowardly to stand on their own. They don't have the strength, the will. We are chosen for a reason. Made to go through trials and battles that would break them or make them."

"Cloud…"

"I broke several times. But I kept getting back up." Cloud looked at Harry with old, shadowed eyes. "You were broken, Harry. But like me, you got back up. You put yourself back together. And that's the difference. That's why you were chosen as a savior."

"But I have to die in the end," Harry said, touching his curse scar. "The Horcruxes…"

Cloud smiled. "Oh, the Goddess is going to take care of that when she comes for us," he said in reference to his scar. "Though I am glad that she came to tell you about those things."

"You'll search for them then? While I'm at school?"

"Yeah, I'll get the ones outside of Hogwarts."

"What about the cup?"

"Goblins can't stop Goddesses, Harry."

"Awful lot of celestial intervention…"

Cloud shrugged. "It makes Her feel better, so who am I to stop the Minerva?" he wondered. "Besides, She's only taking care of two, the cup and your big forehead."

"I do not have a big forehead!"

"You're right." The blond paused dramatically and then smirked. "It's a five-head," he said blithely.

"IT'S NOT THAT BIG!"

The rest of the evening was spent in laughter.

000

END OF CHAPTER ONE