AN-Slytherinmafia here. This chapter is yet another one of mine, Serenity Rayne will be writing the next two, this one just wouldn't leave me alone. I hope you all enjoy it, and thank you for all of the awesome reviews, we love hearing from our readers!
A few points that we'd like to address: To those of you asking why Hisashi wasn't given a Chinese name, instead a Japanese one, that will be answered later in the story. It is an integral part of Wufei's past, and will be revealed in time when it comes into play. No worries, we are aware of the distrust and hatred between the two cultures, and so we did not choose the name lightly. Just be patient, all will be revealed.
Secondly, Harry is indeed blind. The blindfold was taken off by Harry before he answered the door in chapter two, and it was put back on when Vernon sent him out back, Vernon being uncomfortable with Harry's eyes. As to the how's and whys of the blinding those, again, will be explained as they become relevant in the plot.
Italics indicate a different language being spoken
Xiao Zi-Little Boy, the closest translation I could find. I apologize if it isn't correct.
Now, enjoy Chapter Five
Disclaimer-Nothing is ours, no copyright infringement is intended
Dumbledore was in a hurry, and in hindsight, he would admit to himself that that was where he made his first mistake. He didn't stop to consider the ramifications of his actions, didn't stop to consider that maybe there was something else going on besides his irrational thought that his 'caged bird' was fleeing the coop. Harry was more than a pawn, and deep down Albus knew that, but he also knew that Harry James Potter was the best chance at survival that the Wizarding World had, and Albus had a greater loyalty, a greater Duty to the community as a whole, than a loyalty to one little orphaned boy.
It was for the Greater Good, no matter how much of a bitter taste that phrase left in the back of his throat.
It was for the Greater Good.
His Second mistake, and probably the most deadly mistake, was underestimating the situation when he arrived, and forgetting his own vows to never treat Muggles as any less capable than Wizards.
Wufei Chang would drive that message home with a ferocity that Albus Dumbledore would never witness again, and would never forget.
"Make sure you process them correctly, we don't want any mistakes or technicalities." Zechs gave the junior agent taking the cuffed Petunia Dursley towards the door a cool stare, causing the young woman to blush faintly and nod, her red hair bobbing around her head like a halo. It was well known in the agency, at least the English branch that this particular agent was sloppy in her work, and they couldn't afford any mix-ups or mistakes in the process. Especially not in this case.
"Yes Sir. Of Course Sir." She tucked herself closer to Petunia Dursley, and Zechs turned away, meeting Vernon Dursleys eyes square on. The Fat man, and there was really no other way to describe him than the vulgar term, was sitting sullenly in his kitchen chair, handcuffed hands held on the table in front of himself. His eyes hadn't left Zech's form since the Preventer agents stormed his home, clearly blaming the blond for the troubles that were befalling his family, and not his own actions over the past few years.
Zechs didn't care. Denial wouldn't help the man now, and it was going to be his pleasure to watch him fall.
"Mr. Dursley." Quatre sat down in front of the man, his hard CEO face on, and folded his hands on top of the small notebook he carried everywhere with him, a tape recorder within easy reach. It wasn't often that the Winner Heir worked with the Preventers, especially on cases such as these, but Wufei's near obsession with the situation had convinced all of the former pilots to lend their particular skills to the case, within moments of Wufei getting the call. They'd all arrived together, Trowa taking the task of questioning the neighbors, while Duo and Quatre handled the inside. There was no denying that Quatre was the best at coaxing a confession out of a suspect before they even realized they were confessing.
That baby face came in handy for more than getting millions out of competing companies that were too brave to bow down when WEI took an interest in a project.
"Mr. Dursley. I'm sure you know who I am." It wasn't a question, and by the dazed look in Dursleys eyes, he did know. "Now, I can make this whole affair a lot easier on you, if you just cooperate." Quatre opened his notebook and the manila folder that Duo passed him on one of his circles of the room, exercising his energy in the only way that he knew how, pacing in ever constricting circles. Zechs wasn't sure if it was the pacing or being on the other side of the table from Quatre Raberba Winner that caused the beads of sweet to fall down Dursleys extensive forehead.
"When did you take possession of your nephew, one Harry James Potter? I have no official guardianship papers in his file." Vernon cleared his throat, glancing around the room from one agent to another to keep from looking at the blond. He didn't answer, but Quatre did not let that stop him. "Maybe an easier question then. How old is Harry, Mr. Dursley?"
The subtle dig at the whale's intelligence was not missed, and Vernon spluttered in outrage, his face slowly turning puce in a display that Zechs had become all too familiar with over the last hour. It seemed to be the man's only defense mechanism.
"The Boy is eleven, twelve next month." Vernon's mustache quivered as he spat the answer across the table, sensing that any delaying tactic would not help his case any. Quatre smiled softly, jotting a note down, confirming the information they had.
"Thank you, Vernon. Now, that would put Harry's birthday when?"
On and on it went until all the information they needed to confirm the identity of the little boy found in the house without question, other than the obligatory DNA test once he reached Preventer's HQ, was recorded and the case file fully started. Vernon had relaxed during the questioning, coming to the rather false conclusion that they were not actually going to charge him with a crime, going so far as to try and make jokes when he answered.
He was completely blindsided when Quatre introduced his newest line of questioning, the questions he'd brought his tape recorder for.
"When did you first start abusing your nephew, Vernon?" Quatre's voice was ice cold, and Zechs would have sworn that the temperature of the room dropped four degrees from the frigid tone alone. Vernon's eyes widened, his face rapidly purpling and just as rapidly paling as the blood drained away.
"I don't…I never….this is an outrage! I demand an explanation for these baseless accusations!" Vernon was afraid, Zechs could all but smell it in the air like a hound scenting prey, and knew that the others could too, despite the man's blustering.
Quatre stayed calm, showing none of the rage that he was feeling on the inside, letting Vernon's bluster and denials flow over him. He merely pulled photos out, one by one, photos that the pilots had spent the last three hours tracking down with the help of the Hackers division of the Preventers, buried deeply in the Saint Mary of the Cross Hospital in London, and laid them flat on the table side by side. They were grainy, black and white printouts of copied pictures. Probably copies of copied pictures, if they were going to be honest.
Vernon grew quieter and quieter as the pictures were laid in front of him, a Harry Potter that could have been no more than four with various injuries, most of his limbs wrapped in white gauze to hold them still. Even in the pictures, the look of abject misery and betrayal on his face was heart breaking, and Zechs clenched his fist. This investigation had spun so far out of his control that he hadn't even had a chance to see the pictures before now, didn't even know there WERE pictures, and his emotions were running higher and hotter than he would like. He was supposed to remain calm at all times, first his mother's lessons and then Treize's, telling him that to lose his composure and calm was to let the other side win.
Even during the war, it had never been this difficult to hold onto said calm.
Wufei must be rubbing off on him more than he thought.
"What…what are these?" Vernon reached out and slowly put a hand on the pictures, his face blanching as he saw what he had done. There was no concrete proof, at the moment, of which Dursley had carried out the deed but Zechs never ignored his intuition, and his intuition was screaming that the elder Dursley was guiltier than Duke Dermail could ever have been.
"These, Mr. Dursley, show your handiwork." Quatre reached out and tapped the first picture, the farthest to his left. Vernon's eyes followed it, blanching. "Four cracked ribs, a broken cheekbone, and a hair line fracture in the left side of his skull."
Every word landed like a blow, Vernon's body flinching back like he could avoid them, but Quatre wouldn't let him. "And you will answer for each and every blow. Now." His blue eyes skewered the fat man, who began to shake his head back and forth rapidly. He was muttering under his breath, his eyes wild and sweat pouring down his face.
"I never did that. It wasn't me. I don't like the Freak, and his freakishness, but I didn't do that. I never did that. No No NO NO!" Vernon shoved back from the table and tried to overturn it, only the handcuffs keeping him from succeeding. The kitchen erupted into chaos, agents running to restrain Vernon while Quatre leaped back from the table, his hand going for his gun, pulling it smoothly and staring down the barrel.
There was no doubt in anyone's mind that he would shoot, and shoot to kill, and even Vernon knew it, stopping his frenzied movements with a squeal of fear.
It came as a surprise to everyone when there was a knock on the now closed kitchen door, and an elderly gentleman in garish clothes and a Santa Claus beard stepped in without waiting.
"Excuse me, may I ask what the trouble is?"
"We need to get him back. He needs to be transported to Headquarters, or at least social services." Heero's voice was disgruntled, and Wufei had to stifle his chuckles. They'd been sitting in the dirt of the shed for the past two hours, since Quatre and Duo had radioed in that the first part of Vernon Dursleys interrogation was going to take place in the house, due to some...previously unknown information that one of Duo's spies had managed to dig up.
In those two hours, one Harry James Potter had planted himself in Wing Zero's pilot's lap, and refused to budge, burying his head in the pilots shoulder and resisting any attempt to move him. It was odd, to Wufei, that such an obviously abused child was instigating that much contact, but he wasn't going to try and dissuade him.
The fact that he could stand that much contact, spoke to his ability to recover, and that was something Wufei would thank the gods for every day. He saw children, less abused than this little boy, unable to recover, despite the best therapy the state could provide, and it killed him a little bit more every time.
"I don't think that is wise, 01. Do you really want to expose him to that? After everything he's already been through? I think we should stay right where we are." There was a snicker to his voice that he couldn't quite hide, and Heero caught it clearly, sending him a dark look with the promise of future pain on the training floor. Wufei just shrugged and crossed his arms, leaning back against the metal walls surrounding them, studying the pair. "But, we do need to get him talking. The sooner we do, the better his testimony will go."
Heero nodded once, and moved quickly, turning the little boy around in his lap fast enough that he didn't have time to react and protest.
Wufei just glared, but scooted forward.
"Harry?" The little boy tried to orientate himself towards the voice, his head turning almost wildly, before Wufei reached out a hand and touched his knee gently, giving him a point of reference. "Harry, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"
Harry winced, but nodded slowly, his green eyes cutting into Wufei much like Hisashi's always had, and the Chinese Pilot had to clench his hand into a fist to keep from screaming in rage. How dare someone hurt an innocent child so badly that he was no longer able to see, and couldn't trust the adults around him to take care of him.
"No...No sir." Wufei sighed at the fear he heard in Harry's voice, but made himself push on. It would be less traumatizing from the child to do this here, away from all the prying eyes, than it would be to do it in HQ, where a team of people would be waiting to throw questions at him like vultures. Wufei pulled out his tape recorder, making a face at the pre colony technology that was now required for every agent during investigations, when it was revealed that because the tech was so ancient, it was almost impossible to tamper with and destroy the evidence.
Unless you got it too close to a magnet, but that was another Maxwell story he didn't feel like getting into.
"Thank you Harry." He clicked the recorder on, waiting for the tape to roll over, and spoke into it, giving Heero a glare when the Wing Pilot rolled his eyes. Heero, more than any of them, hated the things. "Agent 05, Preventers Legal Division. First Interview with minor Harry James Potter. The Time is..." He glanced at Heero, who rolled his eyes but gave him the information he needed. "1650 on Tuesday June 21, AC206. Agent 01 is witnessing the interview." He smiled at Harry, even though the boy couldn't see it. "Do you have any questions before we get started?"
He was going to give as much control as he could to the boy, however much it was a day late and a dollar short. There was nothing saying he couldn't start helping the boy heal, now.
After a moment's hesitation, Harry nodded slowly and reached out, feeling for something. Wufei, in a moment of insight, held out the recorder and let the boy take it, guiding his fingers away from the buttons subtly.
"What is this?" It was a silly question, but Wufei answered it. He knew a stalling tactic when he heard one; he just had to be a little more subtle moving past this one than he normally was.
"It's a tape recorder, so we can hear your testimony later." A short and simple answer, but it was enough to satisfy a child, for now anyway.
"Why do you need my test...testimony?" It was nerves, rather than stupidity that made him stumble over the words, Wufei had seen nothing in his examination of the boy's past and education that said he was less than intelligent, despite his poor scores. It was obviously a ploy to avoid getting in trouble at home, even the teachers notes on his work inferred that he was working below his potential.
"Harry," this was going to be the hard part, explaining to the boy that how the Dursleys treated him was totally wrong, utterly unacceptable; "The Dursleys are going to pay for how they treated you."
Harry cocked his head to the side, slowly putting the recorder down on Heero's knee. He seemed confused, as if he didn't know exactly what Wufei was talking about.
"What do you mean? They didn't do anything?" Wufei blinked rapidly, resisting the urge to smack his head against the shed. It was one thing, to be in denial that the way you were treated was wrong. It was another thing all together to be in denial that anything that had ever happened.
There was something else going on here, and Wufei was going to find out what it was if it was the last thing he ever did.
"Harry," it was time to try a different tactic, "Have you ever been to the hospital? Ever broken an arm falling down stairs or anything like that?" It was the oldest excuse in the book for domestic abuse of any kind, and it was sadly still the most popular excuse.
Harry shook his head, his forehead wrinkling over his eyes in an endearing way, and frowned.
"No. I fell off my bro...I fell playing soccer at school, but I didn't break anything. I've never been to hospital."
Wufei glanced over Harry's head, meeting Heero's wide eyes, before blinking in shock as Heero stood up in one smooth motion and sat Harry on Wufei's lap without so much as a by-your-leave.
The effect was immediate, Harry began struggling wildly to get up, and Wufei had to hold onto him tighter than he wanted to to keep him from hurting himself, until the boy dissolved into sobs, leaving Wufei confused.
This...was odd. No one, especially not a child, had ever taken to Heero in such a manner, especially not an abused child.
Just what the hell was going was going on here?
"Harry it's okay, calm down, just calm down. You're not in trouble, xiăo zi." he repeated it over and over again, hoping that something got through to him, until Heero stomped back into the shed, such a look of intense rage on his face that Wufei bolted to his feet and shoved Harry behind him, pushing himself into a fighting position.
He didn't know what happened to push Heero into a homicidal rage, but he was not going to take that out on this little boy.
"Yuy, calm down. Remember your mission."
Heero just growled and clenched his fists, before spitting words out between clenched teeth.
"Dursley has gotten violent; Quatre was interviewing him at the time. They need us inside." With that he turned around and ran full pelt for the house, covering the distance in a space of four seconds, crashing through the door. Wufei took a second to kneel down and tell Harry to stay where he was, before he chased after the other pilot, hoping that he wasn't too late to keep Heero from pulling his gun and slaughtering everyone who stood between Quatre and himself.
As he crashed through the door, further splintering it from Heero's entrance, he was faced with utter pandemonium.
Vernon Dursley was on the floor, his hands still handcuffed to bits of the table that still survived, blood spurting from his nose while he moaned pitifully. Wufei dismissed him, knowing that no matter how much they may hate him the agents in the room would take care of him, at least enough that he would survive.
'Heero, calm down. I'm alright." Quatre was standing at Heero's back, a look of frustration on his face as he tried to move past, but was unable to. "Heero!"
Wufei dismissed them as well, knowing that as long as there was not an immediate threat to Quatre's life, he would keep himself under control...to a point anyway.
No, Wufei's immediate concern were the two standing in the middle of the living room, almost nose to nose. They weren't screaming, but Wufei could tell by the dark glare on his husbands face that it was a close thing. Whoever this old man was, he was about to step into more trouble that he could deal with.
"I ask you again, Sir. Just who in the name of all that's Holy, are you?" Wufei came up behind him and studied the man his husband was rowing with, eyes narrowing as he took him in.
A man this old should have better sense, than to dress like this, and to barge into the scene of a Preventer's investigation.
"As I said before, my name is Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, and I am the Headmaster of young Harry's school. I am also the executor of his parents will."
Zechs growled shaking his head and sending his hair flying around him in frustration.
"And I will tell you again, Mr. Dumbledore." Wufei heard a snort from the corner, and shot Duo an amused look, keeping one ear on the conversation. He was glad that the circus had been in town, for once, right when they were needed. It was harder to get in touch with 02 and 03 than it was to get in touch with Hitler. He meant that with the up most sarcasm. "No Such man exists! Harry Potter has not been registered at any, ESUN certified school since he ended year three! No Will for the Potters was ever registered or read either! Now, who are you, before I have you arrested!"
There was a moment of silence, as everyone waited to see exactly what was going to happen, but the silence and semi feeling of peace didn't last.
"I had hoped that I would be able to keep this from escalating, and make you see reason, but apparently the Muggle world is not quite ready for that." The man calling himself Albus Dumbledore sighed heavily, seemingly unconcerned that there were twelve agents in close range carrying guns, and reached into his sleeve, pulling out a thin piece of wood and pointing it at Zechs' face.
Wufei didn't think, didn't give himself time to question if what he was doing was right, or if there was even a threat, he just pulled his gun and fired before anyone else could react.
He was a Gundam Pilot, he would always be a Gundam Pilot, no matter what veneer he tried to slap on top of that, and his fingers knew what to do.
Albus Dumbledore's eyes widened and he spun on his heel, throwing off the line of the bullet, causing it to slam into his shoulder rather than between his eyes, and he gripped it with a gasp of pain.
"What...the FUCK!" Count on Duo to sum everything up.
"Fawkes, everything is falling apart." Dumbledore sat down heavily in his chair, rolling his wrapped shoulder with a grimace of pain, turning to look at his familiar, who gave a coo and flew over to land on his shoulder, dripping a few tears on the wound, until there was no pain left.
There were some definite perks to having the loyalty of a Phoenix, and that was certainly one of them.
"If they take Harry away from his Aunt, the blood wards become useless, and he will be open to attack! I cannot allow that...but there's no way to stop it. If the Muggle World was still at war, there might be, but now? They are too well organized." None of the portraits answered him, the previous headmasters and headmistresses of the school well used to his tendency to talk to himself when working out a problem, but Fawkes was not one to allow it, and took flight with a screech, flying over to the bloody pile of robes Albus had shed when he appeared in his office and called for Poppy, picking at the pocket with his beak, his flames singeing the already ruined robes, until he pulled out a small rock with intricate ruins cut into it, the Potter crest standing out in stark relief against the gray.
Wait, Gray? Dumbledore stood up and moved towards his familiar faster than most his age would be able to, and snatched the stone out of his beak, turning it over and over in his hands, looking for any signs of why it would have changed to this particular color.
Petunia Dursley, as far as he'd been able to ascertain when he apparated into the coat closet of Number Four; the only place where he'd left himself an opening in the Wards, had already been escorted off the property by other officers, along with her son. The stone would not have been around her enough to pick up that color.
And besides, it would only turn gray if there was a closer relationship between Harry and the blood relative, than an Aunt would provide. Dumbledore dropped into the chair again, without taking his eyes off the stone, and began to think, and to plot.
No matter what the stone indicated, no matter that there might be someone more suited to taking Harry, he did not have the luxury of thinking about Harry in front of the Wizarding World.
Harry Potter could NOT leave Privet Drive.
A/N: Well Serenity Rayne here! Hope you all like Slytherin-Mafia's newest chapter, it wouldn't leave her alone! Lol. I found it most amusing…sadly…now she gets to watch me suffer as I work on the next two chapters while working on the rework of War's Child…and since I have no idea where to go with this story from where she left off…I'd say I'm a bit screwed.
Lol. I'll do my best though; and spend hours upon hours picking Slytherins brains for ideas…just like I'm doing now! *grins* So read and review and let us know what you think!