Touched by Heaven (And a Little Magic, Too)
Disclaimer: I don't own Hogwarts or its students and staff, unfortunately. They belong to JKR. And even greater crying shame is that I don't own CCS, which belongs to CLAMP. ::bows at their collective feet:: I bow before you, O greater writers and drawers than I! ::cries::
Flame Policy: Just don't.
Author's Notes: This is an HP/CCS crossover - something I am attempting because I think the idea is intriguing (although rather difficult to make feasible), and I wanted to make one that was at least decent, if not good. The continuity is in the Card Captor Sakura manga rather than the anime; the story picks up at the end of manga 2, right after the capture of The Shadowy, and in the Potterverse it picks up at the beginning of GoF – OotP is too dark for my purposes. Please do bear in mind that both universes will be skewed heavily into an alternate universe. Enjoy!
* * *
Prologue – Wait, did you say Hogwarts?
It was a perfectly average day for Li Syaoran – well, as average as things got when one was living alone in a foreign country searching for arcane items. It was only two weeks into the new semester – Syaoran's first full semester in Japan – and already he was struggling with the Japanese. Only the math came naturally – and that was because he didn't need to understand much of the foreign language to complete it. With a sigh of frustration, Syaoran buried his head in his arms as he fell into his desk chair.
And as if it wasn't bad enough that he had to attend a foreign school, his mission – collecting the Clow Cards – wasn't going at all well. First of all, the Guardian Beast had selected a weakling of a girl as the new Card Mistress. Secondly, things had been complicated by two discoveries – the Card Mistress' older brother was nasty, and his best friend – Yukito, wasn't it? – was very kind. The fact that he was developing a crush on the latter was not helping – nor was the knowledge that he and the Card Mistress shared the same crush.
Worse yet, the Card Mistress was really a very nice person, too. Absently Syaoran's fingers drifted to the frilly handkerchief that he could not bring himself to part with. The bloodstains on it were his own blood; the girl had delicately tied her handkerchief around his arm after the Shadow Card had injured him. Why did I protect her, anyway? What sort of idiot am I? And for that matter, why didn't I capture the card while I was there?
The phone rang.
Jumping skyward, Syaoran started from his chair and picked up the phone. "Nihao – uh – Moshi-moshi," he stuttered.
"Xiao-lang." The voice at the other end of the phone was calm and laced with power, like velvet over steel.
Syaoran knew that voice all too well. "Mama!" he exclaimed, stiffening instinctively. She must have gotten my last progress report.
Thus it was a great surprise to Syaoran when, instead of a cold reprimand for his failure yet again to capture a card, she said, "I have a letter addressed to you in my hand. It is from the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry." There was a pregnant pause.
Syaoran blinked. "Yes, Mama?" He, like the rest of his family, knew of the prestigious England school. Some of the best magicians in the world came out of that school – not the least among them being Clow Reed.
"They have invited you to attend." Was Syaoran imagining things, or was there a note of pleasure in Mother's voice? "I would like you accept the invitation."
Syaoran blinked again. There were several things wrong with this picture, so Syaoran began with the obvious. "Mama, the Clow Cards . . . ?"
"Do not worry about those. You have said there is a Card Mistress, yes?"
"Yes, Mama, but . . ."
"I have reason to believe she, too, will be attending the School. The cards will follow her to harass wherever she goes."
Syaoran raised his eyebrows skeptically. That weak girl? However, he knew better than to protest. "There is a language issue, Mama."
"Nonsense. You know enough English to get you through the School – unless you have been slacking off in your studies," his mother's voice turned threatening.
Syaoran hadn't been slacking off in his studies. He was just even less confident in his English than he was in his Japanese. "No, Mama. I mean, yes, I think I know enough English. But . . . what about Hong Kong Academy?" He had been told that the local magical academy had been the school he would attend years ago, and since it was a Clan tradition, he didn't see why it would suddenly be broken.
"Xiao-lang." His mother's voice sharpened again, and Syaoran flinched. "Hogwarts School is a much more prestigious school of magic than Hong Kong Academy, and has more to teach you. You will be the first of Clow Reed's descendants to follow in his footsteps - the first of his descendants strong enough to be invited to his alma mater."
Oh. So this was a good thing. Syaoran had always halfway been under the impression that the Li Clan didn't really approve of Clow Reed – after all, Clow's father was not part of the Clan – but held a grudging respect for his magical skill. To be Clow's direct descendant was thus both a blessing and a curse; Syaoran had far more magical capacity than the rest of the Li Clan, but always the Elders were watching, waiting for Syaoran to demonstrate some of the eccentricities of the great magician. Syaoran had been determined to lay those suspicions to rest.
But then, why am I hesitating to take the Clow Cards from a little weak girl and falling in love with a boy?
His mother was speaking again. "I want you to learn both English and Chinese magic, Xiao-lang. You have the capacity for it. Hogwarts will be an excellent experience for you."
"Then you will attend, Xiao-lang?"
As if there was a debate. Even if Syaoran had not wished to attend the School, he would end up doing so. There was still a good four years before he was eligible to become the Li Clan Master and able to determine his own path. "Yes, Mama."
"Excellent. I will send your reply immediately. Expect to hear from the School within the next few days." Click.
Syaoran blinked at the phone for a moment, digesting the conversation. The next seven years of his life had been altered by a five-minute phone call.
* * *
It was a perfectly average day for Kinomoto Sakura – well, as average as possible for an eleven-year-old girl who spent her weekends and evenings capturing magical tarot cards and lived with a stuffed animal who could breathe, talk, and eat. It was only two weeks into the new semester – one which began in early August – and already Sakura was having a hard time with math. She had never done well in the subject, but with the additional work of capturing the Clow Cards, her grades had taken something of a nosedive.
Speaking of the cards, she found her mind wandering as she skated home from school - back to a few nights earlier when she and Li-kun had launched into battle against the Shadowy. Absently she pulled the card from her backpack and looked at it. It had been such a troublesome card . . . she reflected with remembered fear how Li-kun had bravely stepped in the way of the Shadow's attack and taken the blow on his arm for her. She had bound the wound for him with her handkerchief, feeling that it was the least she could do for him after he had protected her.
I think that he's really very nice, she thought pleasantly, slipping the card back into her backpack. Although Li-kun scowled a lot, he sometimes showed that he really was a good person. He was just trying to act mean. Satisfied with this conclusion, Sakura jogged up the stairs to her room.
"Hoeh!" Sakura exclaimed as her eyesight was filled with Kero-chan's tiny stuffed-animal face. "Kero-chan!"
The animated plushy held up a letter the same size as him. "Look what an owl dropped off for ya!"
Sakura put down her backpack on her bed and accepted the letter from the Guardian Beast. "An owl?" she asked curiously, examining the letter. It wasn't in an envelope; instead, it appeared to be folded parchment. The only words printed on the outside were gold-embossed and written in romanticized Japanese: Sakura Kinomoto.
"Yeah. 'S been a while since I'd seen one of them carrier owls," Kero-chan reflected, resting his chin in one paw and crossing the other paw over his chest. "In fact . . ." he looked up. "The last time was with Clow Reed, from some school."
"Carrier owls?" Sakura shrugged and opened the letter by gently breaking the wax seal.
Dear Sakura Kinomoto,
It is my pleasure to invite you to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is our understanding that you have great magical potential. We would be honored to help you hone your magical skills.
I hope to see you at the beginning of this school year.
Headmaster of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry
"Hoeh?" Sakura reread the letter, then read it a third time. "What does this mean, Kero-chan?"
The Guardian Beast had been reading the letter over her shoulder. "Hogwarts School, eh?" he smirked, rubbing his chin again. "That's where Clow Reed learned magic. Didn't think that place would still be around!"
"What is it, Kero-chan?"
Kero-chan frowned a cute little frown and said, "Oh, where to begin . . . let's see. Hogwarts is a school in England for people who've got the talent for magic. You can only go if you're invited, and you've been invited. That's a big honor, Sakura!"
Sakura, however, had stopped listening at 'England'. "All the way in England?" Sakura wailed. "But – but Otou-san! And Onii-chan!"
Just then the telltale sound of footfalls on the steps sent Kero-chan diving for the covers and Sakura scrambling to hide the parchment. Only moments later Kinomoto Fujitaka – Sakura's father – poked his head in the door. He was beaming, as usual. "Sakura."
"Y-yes, Otou-san?" Sakura asked nervously.
"I received an important piece of mail today. I wanted to discuss it with you. Join me in the family room?"
"Oh." Sakura relaxed a little. It couldn't be bad news because her father was smiling. "Okay!" She stood and followed her father downstairs.
Once they were seated on the couch, Sakura nestled in the crook of her father's arm (still her favorite place after all these years), her father picked up the letter in question.
Hogwarts School, said the letterhead.
"This letter says that you've been invited to attend a very important school in England," her father said pleasantly. "It sounds like a wonderful place."
Sakura blinked. "Otou-san?"
"You know," her father continued, smiling, "Touya got a letter from Hogwarts School when he was your age. He chose not to attend, but you should feel welcome to do so."
Sakura blinked again. "O-Otou-san . . . do you know what Hogwarts School is for?"
"Certainly. It's for magical students."
Fujitaka smiled down at her. "I know that you and your brother have a special talent. Your mother did, too. This school sounds like it would be a good place for you to learn how to use your talent."
Sakura felt the great weight of responsibility and secrecy lift from her shoulders, and she sighed in happiness. "Thanks, Daddy. I want to go, but it's so far away!"
"You can visit during summer and Christmas break," her father answered, hugging her quickly. "I think you'd like it there. But I don't want to force you; go only if you want to."
"Okay, Otou-san. I'll go."
Fujitaka smiled again, more gently this time. "I'm very glad for you, Sakura."
"Thank you, Daddy!"
* * *
"So, I'm leaving for England on a plane on Wednesday," Sakura explained to Tomoyo as they walked to school together. It was Sunday, but Sakura needed to deliver her transfer papers. "It's really far away, but Otou-san says that I'll like it there, and Kero-chan is coming with me! He says that I still have to capture the Clow Cards even though I'm moving."
Tomoyo beamed at her friend. "I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time, Sakura-chan!" Suddenly, though, her face fell. "This means I won't be able to make dresses for you! Or film you capturing cards! Oh no, Sakura-chan! I'll have to send you with outfits, and you must promise to wear them when you're capturing the cards! And maybe I can get some sort of camera to film you . . ."
Sakura sweatdropped. "It's okay, Tomoyo-chan," she assured her friend.
They walked on in amiable silence for a while, occasionally chatting about what Hogwarts might be like, until finally Sakura sighed and turned to face Tomoyo. "Oh, Tomoyo-chan! I'm really excited, but I'm going to miss you so much!" She abruptly grabbed her friend in a bear hug, which Tomoyo returned. "I'll write all the time and tell you everything about it. I just wish you could come too!"
Tomoyo gently patted her friend's back. "I'll miss you too, Sakura-chan," she said quietly. "I'll write too. I'll tell you about Tomoeda and what lies Yamazaki has been telling and what we're learning. It will be so lonely here without you." She sighed sadly.
Sakura pulled out of the embrace and smiled at her friend. "Thank you, Tomoyo-chan. You are my very best friend!"
Tomoyo smiled back, shutting her large violet eyes. "I love you, Sakura-chan."
"I love you too, Tomoyo-chan!"
"Of course you do, Sakura-chan." Just not the way I'd like you to. "Let's hurry and deliver your papers, okay?"
* * *
As it turned out, one more card decided to make an appearance on Monday morning – the Mirror Card. After wreaking havoc while having the appearance of Sakura, it lured Sakura's brother into the woods and over a cliff, injuring his leg. Only Syaoran's Compass and a fortune telling enabled Sakura to find and capture the card. That night, back at the house, Sakura acted on her guilty streak and pampered her brother mercilessly, but it didn't matter. He still called her a monster, glared at Kero-chan as if suspicious that he was more than just a stuffed animal (Sakura hadn't told her brother and father about Kero-chan or the cards. She doubted if her father would let her wander around late at night capturing cards even if he did know she had magical talent.), and generally acted Touya-ish.
However, the incident wiped away any doubts Sakura had about leaving for Hogwarts. Kero-chan said that the cards would haunt wherever she went. If she stayed here, it might hurt someone else close to her. At least at Hogwarts everyone knew magic and could defend themselves.
So it was that on Wednesday morning Sakura found herself at the airport hugging her father and best friend goodbye, kicking her brother in his good shin before getting her hair ruffled by said brother, and blushing furiously as Yukito handed her a moon charm. "For good luck," he said, smiling as he gently hugged Sakura.
"I'll miss all of you so much!" she exclaimed sadly as she picked up her two carry-on bags.
"Don't worry, Sakura-chan. We'll write and see you at Christmas, okay?" Tomoyo smiled warmly.
"Okay!" Sakura gave a wobbly smile, then turned to go. "Goodbye!" she called.
"Bye!" chorused her send-off group, as Sakura disappeared around the corner and into the plane.
The stewardesses were very kind and helped Sakura find her seat. "You're right next to a boy about your age!" one of them remarked happily. "Maybe you can get to know each other."
Moments later, she was at her seat.
Facing Li Syaoran.
"Hoeh!" she cried in surprise.
Syaoran, who had been absorbed in a book, jumped and looked up at her. He blinked owlishly. "You!?" he exclaimed suspiciously. "Where are you going?"
"Oh, so you know each other? That's just wonderful," smiled the stewardess, turning away obliviously.
Sakura climbed awkwardly into her seat, very aware of the Chinese boy's sharp eyes watching her every move. "Um, I got this invitation," she explained, pulling the parchment from her backpack. "I'm supposed to go to Hogwarts School."
Syaoran stared at the paper in her hands, sighed resignedly, and fell back in his seat, muttering something in Chinese.
"What about you, Li-kun?" Sakura looked at the sulking boy curiously.
Syaoran jumped guiltily, then held out his own piece of parchment. "Same place as you," he said glumly.
"Oh good! I won't be totally alone!" Sakura sighed with relief. "I was sort of worried since I don't know very much English."
Syaoran looked at her, tilting his head a little. "You're going to England and you don't even know much English?" he asked incredulously.
"Well, Daddy said a friend of his was going to meet me at the airport – his name is Professor Flitwick – but I only saw one fuzzy picture of him, and I was afraid that if I didn't find him, I was going to have to find my baggage all by myself, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to read the signs that say 'Baggage', she explained at a rapid pace.
"If you don't find him right away, just stay with me," Syaoran offered, then blinked as if surprised by what he had just said and leaned back in his seat.
Sakura smiled. "Thank you, Li-kun!"
"Sure," Syaoran muttered, opening his book again.
* * *
Note regarding translation: This early in the manga, Sakura does not consider herself to be very familiar with Syaoran, and so calls him by his last name as it customary among acquaintances in Japan. The suffix '-kun' is a polite way to refer to a boy. Syaoran never calls Sakura anything other than 'Omae' ('You') until the sixth manga when she falls down the crevice – I will try to stick with this policy.
When Syaoran talks to his mother in Chinese, I prefer to use the Chinese terms; thus, "Syaoran" becomes "Xiao-lang", the more common English Romanization of his Chinese name, and "Mother" becomes "Mama" – a name for a mom that, in China, holds no more warmth than a formal title.
Other Japanese words:
Ofuda – those slips of paper Syaoran uses for his magic.
Onii-chan – older brother; an endearment
Otou-chan – father; an endearment
'-chan' – an endearing suffix, usually used to refer to small children or someone very close, such as a lover. Sakura uses this all the time because she's impossibly cute.
'Hoeh!' (Hoe!) – the nonsense word Sakura uses when she's surprised.
Usual notes: I've decided that Fujitaka can't really be that oblivious to his daughter's activities or magical skill, and Touya, who is also highly magical, would surely have been offered (in this Harry Potter-crossed world) a place at Hogwarts as well. It's too pat and convenient, I know. It's the weakest part of this, in my opinion.
Please read and review – thanks for your support! :)