Title: The Turk Kid
Disclaimer: If you think either of these is mine…you need your head examined.
It had been a week since he arrived in this city the locals called Midgar and so far it was the single most abysmal place he had ever been.
Before leaving Dumbledore had given him ten galleons, thirty sickles and a dozen knuts. That way even if they had a different currency Lupin could bribe someone if necessary for information and to eat for a day.
McGonagall had given him some supplies such as food and in the event that what ever was on the other side wasn't human or hostile a pendant that aloud him to 'disappear' into the background or to appear as what ever was on the other side, as well as a translator.
Snape pushed him through the gate, unintentionally saving his life because had he walked through he would have falling to his death instead of pushed into the ledge of the building.
Once he climbed to solid ground he had almost gagged on the air itself, a soiled taste that caused his heightens senses to blanch. The skies were always cloudy and grey and he had a sickening suspicion that it had nothing to do with the weather.
Unfortunately he had faced the problem of food after day three. He had stretched the food given to him as best as he could and had wandered into a decent looking store in search of something cheap yet edible.
He had barely been in there for twenty minutes when a child had found him and in a show of unexpected kindness paid for his lunch and then with the lady he brought in with him, Lupin now had lodgings at a shelter home called Dustan's.
Looking at the four story building Lupin could tell that despite its old appearance it was in decent condition, the building looked sturdy on the outside was people who appeared to be getting off work or going to work.
He had been grateful towards Elena and Ambient, because even though he hadn't asked for it, they still found him a place to stay that he didn't have to pay for. That made him feel guilty because he had lied about his origins but now at least he had a place to stay that was solid and had working water and electricity.
But more impressively the boy named Ambient Loveless had somehow gotten him a part-time job within a day of living there.
When the boy and Elena had asked about what sort of skills he had, he had told them he was a repair man of sorts; he fixed a bit of everything. It hadn't been lying, since he could fix pretty much anything as long as no one saw how he did it.
Ambient had told Dustan Krooger, the elderly man that ran the shelter home. Dustan then requested him to fix the heating vents for the fourth floor where most of the children stayed. Seeing no harm, and making sure he wasn't watched he had fixed the damaged vents.
After checking the vents and finding them working better then ever, Dustan hired him on as a contractor to fix the rest of the building, hence why he was getting free room and.
Currently he was fixing the third floor windows that were in dire need of replacing. Checking every few minutes for prying eyes, Lupin waved once, muttering a spell under his voice and watched as the window started repairing itself with a stratified smile.
Glass mended, filling where it was missing, the ledge whole once more with new looking metal rims.
Inspecting his handiwork, Lupin allowed his mind to go back to the reason he was here in the first place: Harry.
Had Harry been here there was a possibility that he didn't survive the ledge or if he did Lupin had no trouble imagining that the poor boy had been taken in by some local gang or worse was one of those children he saw on the streets and corners begging for food or coin.
He no longer had any of his knuts seeing how he gave them to those kids, though he felt horrible about their condition; they must have had it worse then he thought if something as cheap as knuts caused them such delight!
Honestly, between the sad state this city was in and its somewhat cutthroat denizens he was surprised it had any order!
Well, maybe order wasn't the right word. The police here were licensed to kill you if you prove too dangerous, obeyed the Shinra Company (a autocracy-like government he was lead to believe) every rule as well as a former terrorist group called Avalanche and were on a mentality of 'shoot first, ship remains to Shinra for science purposes later', so it was only marginally better in his option.
To make things worse the whole world, Gaia, had apparently been recovering from a omnicidal maniac dark lord who had nearly succeeded in wiping out all life, just barely survived a plague that had been killing people by the thousands coupled with a trio of insane cultist men who was trying to bring back aforementioned omnicidal maniac dark lord.
And that was only in the past two or so years.
It was safe to say he had absolutely no idea where to even start looking for Harry, or if he was even alive in this hostile ruthless world.
That said, he was understandably surprised when he saw Ambient Loveless' eyes.
Emerald green eyes had greeted him, messy red hair sticking out of the cap he had been wearing when they met and Lupin swore he had been looking at a tomboy version of Lily Evans. When he first met the boy he had forced himself to remain quiet, trying to quail his excitement with cold logic.
The boy couldn't be James son, he had red hair while Harry had black but then he reasoned that the boy probably dyed his hair since he could smell chemicals on the child.
The boy looked eight while Harry was eleven, but then he recalled that most of the children here looked much younger here so it was possible Harry looked younger.
He couldn't be Harry because Lupin did not think his luck was that good, but then again he didn't know what had become of his best friends child so perhaps he had lucked out for once?
Part of him secretly hoped the kind boy who helped him and the other people of Dustan's was Harry while another part of him hoped the boy who took sick delight in tormenting that poor man the other day wasn't Harry.
Finishing the final window, Lupin stretched, heading for the stairs. He didn't have any evidence to support this thought, just theories and half-baked ideas. It didn't take long to reach the bottom floor, not when he was in deep thought.
Soon he was outside, looking around the inferential city, wonder when he should report back to Dumbledore.
Part of him felt he should, while a bigger part of him wanted to stay.
Despite being lovingly and aptly dubbed the City of Slums by Ambient, Midgar wasn't so bad. Once he put a ward around his pockets to prevent young thieves and stunned anyone who tried to mug him, he did well.
And the civilians weren't so bad either, friendly once they knew you as a good person and not someone trying to steal them blind (he had seen people just walk in a random room a pilfer the place, right in front of the guy living there before sitting down and having a friendly chat with him!), kind of like a city wide Knockturn Alley only not quite as safe as Knockturn Alley.
It was just that nobody treated him like a diseased monster, or gave him odd scared looks when he said he was not feeling well and they allowed him near the children. He felt…normal.
"Lemonade! Get you lemonade!"
Pulled from his thoughts, Lupin couldn't help but smile at the trio standing not far from the shelter entrance.
He watched in amusement as the trio of silver haired boys (why in this world did they allow kids to dye their hair at such young age?) sat behind their little stand, smiling brightly as they tried to sell lemonade.
"Lemonade! Get you lemonade! Only ten gil a cup!" The child with neck long hair that half covered his face cried out, waving his cup high.
Lupin had met the odd children known as the Valentine Trio shortly after his arrival, triplet boys that adored Ambient. They didn't live at the shelter home, but at a bar called Seventh Heaven.
When introduced to them he had been startled by their eyes, cat like but wide with innocence. Their father worked a lot and had paid for them to live with the owner of Seventh Heaven who was a friend of his, though they spent a great deal of time with Ambient's friends; a young cheerful girl named Marlene Wallace and a disgruntled boy called Denzel Strife.
Both of which were in the kitchen of the shelter home at the moment, having volunteered for kitchen duty when they got out of school, which surprised Lupin. Most children back home spent their time playing during summer but here on Gaia the children had school during summer! And after some of the children who were doing homework allowed him to view their work he could safely say that the education here was taken very seriously and very stringently.
He may not have gone to a Muggles School since he was eleven but even he was fairly certain kids around Denzel age weren't supposed to know calculus.
A small part of him could see why since the world as a whole was still recovering, children always held the future in their hands would need stricter education to better not just themselves but the world around them and competent teachers would be priceless.
A tug on his pants brought the werewolf out of his thoughts. Looking down, Lupin saw one of the small boys there (the one with the shortest hair), smiling up at him.
"Mr. Lupin! Want some lemonade? Only ten gil!" the boy, Loz he thought, said.
Lupin smiled at the small boy, digging out some gil from his pocket. If anyone asked, he got his gil from a poker game, and had not in any way mugged his would-be muggers.
"Here you go." The ma said and watched as the boys' faces lit up.
"Yippee! First customer of the day! We'll throw in an extra drink, for free!" The other child, Kadaj, said.
Lupin took the cup the last boy, Yazoo, offered as Loz poured another drink and spilling some on the counter as Kadaj scowled him for spilling.
Amused by the boy's antics he took a large sip.
The three boys stopped what they were doing upon hearing Lupin make a choking sound.
The man's face was pull together, eyes crossed as a whimpering whine vibrated from his throat.
"Wow! He looks like one of those sucker fishes they have at the pet shop!" Loz exclaimed, watching Lupin as the man continued to make odd noises.
"Yazoo, did you add any sugar?" Kadaj asked as he turned to his sibling.
"Oh, we were out of sugar so I added salt. It's the same color so I figured it worked the same, but then I remembered that salt isn't sweet so I added pinesol." The long haired boy shrugged.
"Um, guys I think Mr. Lupin's face is stuck like that." Loz said, watching in awe as Lupin's face seemed to practically cave in onto itself as it sucked into a comical pucker. Not to mention he was turning a sickly color that wasn't green, but also a color they didn't think existed.
"What did cousin say to do when you messed up badly?" Kadaj muttered as he watched Lupin seem to be undergoing a full body spasm.
"Destroy all evidence." Yazoo recalled.
"And find a plausible alibi." Loz finished.
The boys cleaned up their mess and ran inside, leaving Lupin who appeared to be suffering a seizure on the sidewalk but not before calling Denzel and Marlene; after all Mr. Lupin really didn't look too well and was a very nice person.
Ambient stared bitterly at the computer, eye twitching slightly.
Registration # HP1517
Turk: Ambient Loveless
Weapon(s): Stun Gun and Combat Knife
Targets Destroyed: 39 or 100
Elixir Used: 5
Critical Hits: 7
Materia Use: 2
Overall performance: C
"A freakin' C? Not fair!" the turk-child yelled.
Burying his face in a hand he bemoaned, "My friend, the fates are cruel! There are no dreams, no honor remains…because I'm about to hack into the computer and fry the mother board!"
"Tseng will murder you if you do and claim drug induced insanity. Remember, the last time you did that they had to shut down the building because you messed with the security codes." Reno voice drifted from somewhere behind him.
"That was an accident! I only meant to wipe the hard drive-"
"-which has the entire buildings security encoded into it."
Ambient pouted, glaring behind him. Reno was leaning against the wall, hands in his pockets grinning at him.
"At least I didn't cause a city wide black out."
"I told Tseng that computer took a lot of power, thus I gave him plenty of forewarning. Anyhow, why are you getting upset over a C? You a kid, your still young and got plenty of time to get better."
"But Rufus said if I get an A on my performance, I could start doing missions outside of the city!"
Despite being a valuable asset to Shinra, Ambient was still a child.
Even Rufus, though pragmatic and not one to feel remorse over sacrificing his 'minions', felt sick over the idea of actively putting Ambient in dangerous missions. Thus the reason he placed the Training Standard.
That and Reno had threaten to give him a joy ride around Midgar if Ambient was given missions outside of Midgar before he reached the desired rank.
Reno sighed before pushing off the wall. "Then you can try again next time. Now come on; I havta get back to Rufus' office. I'm on guard duty."
"…Rufus' office is on the top floor. We're in the basement area." Ambient deadpanned.
"I needed a bathroom break, then I got an espresso, flirted with this cute blonde which led to us making out in the broom closet, got a bite to eat, ran into that hot brunette who works in the 46th and found a empty room and made out with her, then got a latte then got distracted when I heard you swearing Wutai-"
"Yuffie swears a lot when she thinks no one is listening." Ambient defended himself.
"-and being a good brother, I came to investigate."
"Yeah well- wait. The espresso maker is on the 64th floor and that latte machine is on the 30th and you started at the top floor…how the heck did you hear me way down here? Did you bug me or something?"
Reno quickly turned around, walking briskly to the elevator.
"…you bugged me, didn't you! ?"
"I didn't bug you…but Tseng did have you clothes tailored to carry a tracking device. I just sort of swiped it. If it makes you feel better, I'm fairly certain I'm still bugged."
"I found at least three on me since I got my laundry back from the cleaners. Don't worry, Tseng's just paranoid that we'll raze the city to the ground."
"Seriously? Sheesh, you accidently set off a nuke one time and everyone is convinced you're some kind of disaster magnet! I told them; if I'm gonna destroy a city, I would set the sucker ablaze! Like Sephiroth did!"
"Hence the trackers. Besides, knowing where we are helps Tseng sleep better at night. Anyway, I really need to get back to the top floor. Havta at least appear I'm doing my job and I still need to get Rude his espresso."
Ambient followed after, figuring he had nothing better to do since he was off duty and not currently harassing educational instructors.
The trip was long, taking half an hour to reach the top and all awhile the duo were talking about cars, planes, weapons, materia and various other things. Occasionally Reno would stop to shamelessly flirt with a girl and Ambient's kleptomania would start acting up and would pilfer something shiny.
Finally the duo reached the top where Rude was reading a book.
"Yo! I'm back and I bring caffeine and a preadolescence minion!"
Ambient waved at Rude who nodded before taking his espresso. Reno was so lucky to have a partner like Rude; anyone else would have surely killed Reno by now.
When the day came when he would get partnered off, Ambient preyed they were like Rude. That man was a saint for putting up with them and still being best friends with Reno.
Maybe he could convince Marlene or Denzel to join the Turks. Hmm, Marlene definitely. Denzel would probably snap and kill him after a month.
"Hey Rude! Got any cards? I'm bored." Reno said, sprawled lazily in a chair.
The silent man pulled a deck out, tossing it at his partner.
"Thanks! Wanna play?"
Not looking up from his book, Rude shook his head as he sipped his drink.
"Darn. Ambient, play with me."
"Okay. What game?"
"Poker. I win, and you get to dye Cloud's hair pink. I loose, you can drive home today."
Ambient whistled merrily. He had won the poker game, though only because Elena found them gambling in front of Rufus' door and proceeded to box his ears and tongue lash Reno.
Rude handed him the keys while Elena was lectured Reno, telling him to drive safe.
He decided to go to Dustan's. The boy had befriended the people there, many who were family men who were employed by the Shinra Company to work on various places around Midgar or if they could afford to, go abroad and work in other city and towns, or children of said workers who had nowhere else to go.
He liked Dustan's, because the place gave hope. Dustan didn't charge anyone to live there, not really. The rent, if you could call it that, was normally in the form of repairs or keeping the place stocked with food or things like blankets, pillows, rescued furniture, or odd jobs that seemed whimsical but helped improve life at the shelter home.
It made Ambient proud to see the people of Midgar rising above their problems and take a stand, not for themselves but for their loved ones. He could respect that.
Ambient came by often, making large donations and directing people to Dustan's.
Pulling up, Ambient was surprised to see Denzel and Marlene outside the building. Normally they would be at Seventh Heaven by now.
Stopping the car aways, the young boy parked and walked out, wondering why they were still here.
"Yo!" he greeted, causing both to turn to him.
Ambient grinned at his friends, duly ignoring the way Denzel was glaring accusingly at him.
"Hello everyone!" the green eyed boy said brightly.
"Hi Ambient." Marlene said, though her smile looked strained.
Looking between the two Ambient took a slight step back, just in case. "Whatever it is, I didn't do it." The red headed stated.
"Then how do you know that something happened?" Denzel asked, a grin on his face as he thought he trapped the younger boy.
"Because you're giving looks that stated clearly 'Ambient you FUBAR'ed. Royally'. Now please tell me what's wrong so I can change my story accordingly?"
Marlene shook her head in amused exasperation before answering. "Mr. Lupin was hauled to the hospital to get his stomach pumped."
Ambient winced. "…Yazoo made the lemonade again, didn't he?"
Aside from having prodigy shooting skills, Yazoo also had promise as a poisoner seeing how all the drinks he made resulted in someone needing an immediate trip to the hospital to get their stomachs pumped or downing an entire bottle of elixir.
Yazoo didn't mean to poison people; he just didn't know that most of his ingredients were not made for human consumption, much to Vincent's chagrin.
It frustrated Ambient to no end that people thought he had a hand in Yazoo's misconception in what was and wasn't edible.
That said, he still felt bad for Lupin. The guy may be getting room and board for free, but the guy was still looking for a job. Ambient knew for a fact he couldn't afford a hospital bill.
Call him a degenerate stingy brat with the moral fiber of well chewed piece of gum, but Ambient always had a soft spot for those who couldn't make ends meet. He hated poverty with a passion and it was on his list of things to fix once he took over the world.
"Great," Ambient sighed. "Now I gotta go hack into Shinra funds and pay off this. Poor guy."
"Why don't you just put a down payment? You're a Turk, you aren't wanting in money."
"But it's my money! How can I sponsor a world takeover if I have an empty piggy bank?"
"But you're taking from the people who pay you."
"As far as they are concerned, some random mook did it. Honestly, it'll be a total shame and our esteemed president will be angry as hell but what will be done will be done."
Denzel sighed. There was no stopping him. "Well then, you may want to go by the hospital now. Vincent's will be by in like five minutes to pick up the triplets and said the next time he saw you that he was going to use your gizzards to shine his revolver-"
Tires screeched, and Denzel and Marlene watched the Shinra car speed past them in a hurry.
"Denzel, he said it'll be another hour and a half hour before he picks up the boys."
"Oops. My bad, must have misheard him. You got to admit, Ambient can be pretty fast when he's properly motivated."
Dumbledore stared at his familiar. The bird had just returned and was extremely twitchy.
"Did you run into trouble over there, Fawkes?"
The bird glared at him. Not a good sign.
"Well, if Lupin doesn't make contact soon, I'll be sending you back in."
Interesting, Fawkes was crying. He never shed tears needlessly before.
Next chapter! yays!