A/N: Haha, yeah. I'm still alive. Kind of. There's been some bad stuff happening, which is why the hiatus lasted longer than I had thought it would. I guess you could say that the Hiatus is now over, but because of that bad stuff, I probably won't be writing too much.
This isn't exactly... even. It jumps around a whole lot – in fact, it's made up of many tiny little scenes. It's not suppose to be totally amazing or anything. Just suppose to help me get over the DGMxHP obsession thing. I guess it's HP AU. And it does center more around Harry instead of the DGM cast. It's just for fun – no updating schedule or plans to finish. I'll probably do one more chapter, but that may be all. Don't know, guess we'll have to see.
Anyways, please excuse the mistakes. It's unbeta'ed, and I'm back to using a slightly faulty keyboard with a very tough space bar. Also, for Harry's Innocence, I just kind of made something up for him, since I couldn't use the same idea I did in TAFD. And yeah. It does kind of ignore the time issue. Sorry ^^;
When Harry is six, Mrs. Figg watches him. He thinks she smells a little funny and she always watches him like she expects him to do a trick, but Harry doesn't mind if it means he gets a break from the Dursley's for a while. He gets a lot more freedom during those times – she always has candy to give him and some great story full of magic to tell him. Sometimes the cats won't leave him alone and they make him sneeze, but if it gets to be too much, he can always go out front and read.
Mrs. Figg always has books, and she doesn't even mind when he reads them.
Sometimes he goes treasure hunting. She has a lot of old stuff, and he likes to pretend that under the next box or in the other drawer will be some shiny valuable that no one had discovered before. She catches on after a while and starts to hide rewards for him to find. Once, it was the largest cookie he'd ever seen, and he'd had to hide it from the Dursley's because he couldn't eat it all at once. His favorite was when he'd had found a small book with his name on it under the couch, and she'd even let him keep it! He hid it under his cot in the cupboard and liked to take it out late at night, reading by flashlight.
But one day, he finds a pair of large gloves in one of the boxes in the hallway. He'd never ventured into them before because he didn't want to be punished for being too nosy, but this time she'd given him the a-okay. The box isn't labeled and there are a lot of strange little things inside. The gloves catch his eye because they have no fingers and they remind him of that cool style he sees on TV sometimes when Dudley watches his Saturday morning cartoons.
They're black and way too big for him, and he thinks that it looks as big as his entire arm and then some. There's a green band around the end and around the fingers, and a small green diamond on the back of the hands. He tries them on, just because he likes how they look and he thinks he can roll the excess up.
When they suddenly shrink until they fit him snugly, no one is more surprised than he is.
His first instinct is shock, and then both alarm and fascination war for his attention. He takes them to Mrs. Figg and tells her what had happened, worrying that she won't believe him because the Dursley's never did either. She gets a similarly alarmed look in her eyes, but instead of chastening him for lying, she looks them over and tells him she'd never seen them before. She asks if she can look at them closer, and he's obviously disappointed. They'd felt so comfortable and looked so cool. He didn't want to take them off yet.
She insists, and tries to soften to blow by saying that maybe he can play with them later. So he takes them off and when he's off drawing in the dirt and pouting just a little, he watches through the window as she takes them into another room.
When she returns, her face is a little confused, but she gives them back with a small smile, and he happily puts them on again.
The Dursley's don't return for him until it's getting late. Dudley's asleep and Petunia's more snappy than usual. He shrinks away a little when Vernon scolds him for taking too long to get to the door. Mrs. Figg bids him farewell and tells him in his ear that he can keep the gloves. He glows a little all the way home, even if he's not sure why he likes them so much.
He wears the gloves as much as he can, even if it's under his shirt or jacket. They're comfortable and they make him feel cool, even if Dudley doesn't think so. He wears them so much that it feels strange without them. They're also warm, and since they cover him from his upper to mid-upper arm, he doesn't even need a long sleeved shirt.
At school, Dudley corners him, flanked by his fellow bullies, and Harry wishes he weren't there. Dudley wants his gloves – he says that Harry is too lame and too stupid to have them. There's a scuffle then, as they fight to either take, or keep a hold of them. Harry knows he can't keep them; just like everything else that he gets a hold of that Dudley likes, it will either be taken, or broken. So when he's being held down by the bigger guys and Dudley's trying to get his large fingers under the stiff cloth, he starts to cry.
For some reason, his cousin can't get the gloves off. They won't come off. Harry feels like it's tight around his skin, like it has grown around his arms and will not come off, and it even kind of hurts the more his cousin tries to take it forcibly. Something in him starts to panic.
Then there's a flash of light and Harry looses track of things for a while. When he comes to, his gloves are glowing faintly and there's a hole in the school wall. The bullies are laid out in various areas around him.
No matter how much the teachers ask him, he doesn't know about how the hole happened, or how Dudley's arm had been broken, his fingers on the hand that had been touching him bent in strange directions. The Dursley's blame him, of course. They think he's a freak, they tell him so all the time.
But now when they look at him, there's a hint of fear, of frightened expectations. Dudley doesn't try to take his gloves again. In fact, he doesn't try to take anything anymore. He leaves the room when Harry enters, and he sticks to calling names from a distance. It takes his arm a long time to heal.
Harry has just turned seven when they receive a strange visitor. His hair looks like it's almost purple in the light, and he's young. He has a small, quiet smile that makes Harry feel like they're sharing a privet joke. He asks if he's Harry Potter, and of course Harry has learned not to lie. So he answers positively, and the stranger kneels down on one knee and holds out a hand.
The others name is Komui Lee, and he asks Harry about his gloves. Harry grows a little defensive, and is saved from answering when Vernon lumbers into the hallway, asking roughly who's at the door.
Harry can be observative when he wanted to be. He wasn't stupid, no matter what the Dursley's said about him, and even a stupid kid wouldn't be able to miss the way Komui stood back up slowly, how his eyes frosted over a bit just before the light glared off his glasses. He doesn't hold out his hand, and his introduction is short and to the point. He says he wants to talk to the Dursley's about Harry, and wouldn't it be better not to have that discussion on the street?
Vernon almost growls. Raises his voice. Says that he can't be fooled, even if the stranger has a decent enough sense to be able to look 'normal', that 'his kind' wasn't welcome there. It draws Petunia to come out, and she tries to calm her husband even as her hands shake just a little.
In the end, they do invite Komui inside, but only to avoid drawing any more attention from their neighbors.
Komui says that Harry might have 'potential'. Harry wasn't sure what, exactly, he might have potential for, but it's the first time anybody has complimented him so he's content enough. He's told that if he does, if he passes a test, he won't have to go back to the Dursley's anymore.
He doesn't think he's particularly smart, even if he's not stupid, but he really hopes he can pass the test.
Hevlaska is the strangest thing Harry had ever seen. She is gentle with him the whole time, and that is what chases away all his fears. Komui reassures him that she means no harm and that she's trustworthy, and Harry really likes Komui, so he trusts Hevlaska too.
He doesn't know what she does, but she counts off percentages, something he'd just started learning a little about in school, and tells Harry in her strange, breathy, halting voice that she is sorry. He reassures her that she hasn't done anything wrong, and that it didn't hurt when she did whatever it was she did. She only give him a small, sad smile and sets him back on his feet.
Komui puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him a long story about exorcists and a war nobody knows about.
Komui is young and he's only just become the supervisor of the Black Order main branch, and he's already grown to hate it. He hates the war, and he hates the akuma, and he hates the Innocence. But he leads the people for his sister, and as he watches the newest recruit, he thinks that he's doing it for the exorcists too.
Harry is a quick learner. He's a little foolhardy and a little too quick to rush into things, but he had a brave streak that Komui knew his teacher was trying to encourage in her own way. Then again, not many seven year old boys could look almost straight up into the face of a giant monkey that was probably three or four times as big as they are if they aren't brave.
Central likes child exorcists. They like them because children were easier to train, easier to mold.
And easier to break.
But Komui is here now, and he won't allow breaking anymore, and when he isn't looking after his sister, he's checking over Harry Potter to see his progress. Harry cries a little, at first, because sometimes he isn't allowed to go to bed or eat until he's done something right, and because sometimes he's pushed further than a child should. Komui knows that Cloud Nyne doesn't like doing it, but she would rather see that her apprentice hates her and lives than to die because she didn't train him hard enough. She's good at turning a deaf ear, and her tone was often sharp, but she watches his diet and his studies, both of which was really more optional than anything.
Generals who take on students are really only required to teach the student how to use their Innocence, help them out, take care of them on missions if possible, and that was it. She was strict about his training and his studies.
He learns not to cry quickly, and after a little while, he starts to smile more. Lau Min even takes a liking to Harry, and often the two could be seen together, which often meant Cloud Nyne wasn't far away. Komui quietly hopes that what he's doing is enough.
Harry wasn't afraid. The monkey intimidated him, at first, and so did it's owner, but she never called him stupid. She pushed him hard. He used to cry at first, when he was so tired and so sore. It was out of frustration, and he began to wonder if maybe the Dursley's were better after all. But Cloud Nyne could smile at him too, and even if she was really stern, she seemed to care about him. Sometimes, she could even find a fun way to do his studies.
He starts to open up a little. He looks around for what seems like the first time. He finds that he likes it there. Komui is kind and he always checks up on Harry. Some of the scientists like to ruffle his hair and smile when they see each other. Besides his teacher and Komui, Harry's favorite is Jerry. The cook makes him anything he wants and he always keeps a little snack ready for him.
Sometimes the cooing is a little much, but Harry takes it in good stride.
Harry is going to visit Komui when he sees the stranger. They're old, older than he'd ever seen, with a beard as long as Harry was tall. Their clothes are loose and they sparkle like stars have been sown into the fabric. Their eyes sparkle in a similar way, and later on in life Harry would recognize the look of a man who was staring at someone he knew he would have to use until there was nothing left, except this man did it with a bit less sorrow than Komui did.
He asks if Harry liked it there, and Harry talks about how even though it's hard, he does like it. The stranger's name is Dumbledore, and he mentions that he use to know Harry's parents, and Harry just tilts his head in quiet curiosity. He was bubbling with it – of course he wanted to know about his parents. He wanted to know about what they were like, what they did for a living, if they looked like him. But he doesn't ask.
Dumbledore smiles a little and pats his head, and it feels a lot less warm than when the scientists do it.
Harry isn't the only exorcist in the Order. He knows it, but he's usually kept so busy with training and studies that he doesn't have much free time. At meal times, he sometimes sees older exorcists and wants to talk to them, but they usually have silent, solemn expressions and he feels too small, too young. So he doesn't talk to them, and they avoid him. The Finders treat him even worse because they either hate him, envy him, or pity him. There are a couple who awkwardly nod a hello or will talk to him if he talks to them first, but there's such a big gap between the Finder and the Exorcists that it feels too big for someone like him to cross.
But there is one other exorcist in the Order who is young like him. He sees her for the first time when she's leaving the infirmary when he goes to get his sprained wrist check out. She sees him, then hides behind her hair and hurries away. Her eyes, dying and wary and so lonely, sticks with him.
He sees her again from afar a while later. She's smiling brightly, like her whole world was in it, and then she laughs as Komui tickles her. He's blindsided by the difference.
He sees her again one day in the cafeteria. She looks so small – it was as if she wasn't being held down by anything but her clothes. Her wrists and ankles are too tiny, he's not sure how they can function, and her eyes too big for her face. Her hair is the longest he'd seen, and she hides behind it when she sits down with her tray. A couple Finders slide away just a little.
She looks small and pitiful and lonely, so he gets up and goes to her. The sound of his tray startles her, and she looks at him like she was about to flee any second.
"Hello," He says as he sits down, and she only stares at him. He's use to this by now, so it doesn't bother him. "My name's Harry. What's yours?"
She doesn't answer. She twiddles her fork like she doesn't know what to do with it.
"I've never had that before," He mentions as he looks at her food, "What is it?"
She still isn't saying anything. He wonders if maybe he was bothering her and wilts a little. Then she sees something over his shoulder and says, in a voice as small as her frame, "Tempura."
He glances over his shoulder to see Komui at the other end of the room, watching them with eyes too big.
"I've never heard of that," He looks back, "Is it good?"
She nods hesitantly, haltingly. It goes quiet for a minute as he struggles for something to say. After a moment, he settles with, "Jerry can make anything, can't he? He cooks way better than anybody."
He starts to ramble a little, and he thinks that even she notices that he's a little nervous. Eventually, he has no more food and no more idle chatter, so he excuses himself.
"Lenalee," She blurts out just as he stands up. He blinks in confusion. "My name. It's Lenalee."
Dumbledore visits again not long after the first time. Harry catches him just as the other is leaving, and he has a hard glint to his eyes. He only nods in Harry's direction before he's gone.
Inside the office, Komui is on his feet, his hands still on the desk like he'd had an outburst and hadn't moved. His face was frustrated, but he took a few deep breaths before sitting down and asking what Harry needed.
"What's your favorite color?" He asks her.
"My favorite color?" Lenalee repeats, not as unstable, not as fragile, "Why?"
"My teacher says that it's good to be friends with someone you have lots of things in common."
"Friends?" She repeats him again, startled, and he looks at her with a frown.
"Aren't we?" He asks.
"Um..." She hesitates a little before giving him her first smile, "Green."
He knows something is wrong the moment the red light hits him. He feels his body go flat as a board and he can't move at all. There are two men in black robes, hoods drawn up, and he struggles to demand how they'd gotten into the Headquarters. One of them looks at him with a deep frown, the other shakes his head.
"Figures... Anyone would try to brainwash th' Harry Potter to do what they wan'," The bigger one says.
"I'm sure Dumbledore knows what's best for the kid," The other said as he picks Harry up.
Harry isn't sure what happens next – one moment he's in one of the training rooms, the next minute he's experiencing the strangest of pulls. It starts in his bellybutton, and it feels like he's being squeezed through a tube too small for him. It's almost painful, definitely uncomfortable, and when it disappears, they're in a dark street in an unfamiliar place.
He feels his mind kicking into high gear. He thinks that if he tries hard enough, he could move, but he waits. He has to wait. He doesn't know where he is or what's going on.
He doesn't know how long he waits, but he doesn't think it's too long. He sees the shadow first, hears the click of the guns second. He hears the explosion of bullets, feels the man holding him fall. The other one curses, and Harry is vaguely aware of the coat of dust he acquires when the man under him dies from the poison. He pushes, hard, but he can't move. So he reaches, mentally, for his Innocence. It jumps alive immediately, and then he can move.
The other man looks at him like he's grown another head, but Harry's too occupied by his fear. It was the first time he'd seen an Akuma in real life.
In the end, instead of fighting it, the man grabs him and then they're gone again. He feels sick when they appear someplace else, and his Innocence has deactivated. A hand lands on his shoulder and he looks up to see Komui. They'd gone back to the Order.
The man remaining was not let go, but Harry didn't know what happened to him. He was simply glad to be Home. Komui had immediately dropped to his knees and asked how he was. He couldn't explain how happy he was to see the other, even if he'd only been taken from the Order for maybe ten minutes. He could tell that as concerned as Komui was, he was also angry, and he was glad that it wasn't at him.
"Akuma are drawn to Innocence!" Harry hears Komui snarl as he eavesdrops outside his door along with Lenalee, "He hasn't learned how to be able to be ready against them, to tell them apart! You think you can keep him safe from everyone?"
"Then take the Innocence," Dumbledore replies with a deadly calm.
"No," Komui says in a similar tone.
There is a tense silence that they can feel even through the door.
"We seem to have reached a stalemate," Dumbledore mused, "We will have to reach a compromise."
"What kind of compromise?" Komui snapped, "I'm not obligated to make any kind of a deal with you. Harry is needed here, now. I don't care what kind of role you believe he has – your enemy is dead, and ours is not."
"He is dead in body, perhaps," Harry knotted his eyebrows together in confusion, "But you should know that the soul is not always so easily taken care of."
"Maybe so," Komui sounded as if he was gathering himself again, "But Harry is part of this Order, and there isn't much you can do about that anymore."
"Don't you think the boy has a right to decide himself?"
"If Central believed exorcists had a right to decide, then many of them would not be exorcists."
From down the hall came Reever, carrying a box under one arm. Harry tugged Lenalee's sleeve, and they both strove to look innocent.
Every new exorcist is a big thing in the Order. Harry hears about the new exorcist and wonders what they're like. He doesn't think he'll be able to find out for a while until Lenalee finds him, eyes wide in excitement, and pulls him by the hand to Komui's office.
The new exorcist is a boy who doesn't look that much older than himself, with strong shoulders and tough hands. The boy takes one look at them and then turns his nose up and away. Lenalee isn't perturbed, but Harry wonders.
His name is Kanda. Kanda Yu. Or, in English, Yu Kanda. Harry thinks it's strange to call someone Yu, so he's not very concerned when Kanda tells him plainly not to. Lenalee is shy and Kanda is obviously uncomfortable around her, and Harry thinks that the other seemed tough. Tough, and maybe mean.
Lenalee is already there when he arrives. She's on the balcony, looking down at the large room that was filled with coffins and people crying over them. She's crying too – but she's silent, and you wouldn't be able to tell if not for the streaks of tears.
When he sees, he's blown away. They fill the room with their cries and their yells. The caskets are silent. Each one is emblazoned with a cross. Most of the people who are crying are also wounded, and there are a couple nurses going around the room, checking up on them.
He almost wants to cry too, but thinks that he needs to be the strong one. He sees Kanda down below, making his way out of the crowd, away from the nurse who had been trying to change his bandages.
"Do you think that will be us, one day?" Lenalee asks, and he almost doesn't hear her.
He opens his mouth but nothing comes out.
"In the caskets," She clarifies as if he didn't already understand.
"I... don't know," He grips the railing, sees Komui talking to somebody, "Not if we work hard enough."
Harry sees his first battle, and almost dies.
The Finder is nice. He talks to Harry and smiles a lot; he could see it in the Finders eyes. He has a partner – another exorcist, one that's three times older than him and just as experienced.
He's nervous the whole time. He remembers seeing the other akuma, remembers the feel of the ash on his hands after that man had died. He's not sure if he can remember all the things his teacher had thus far taught him.
He does remember, but it's not quite enough. The Finder dies first. He dies yelling, telling Harry to run, that there was too many. Harry didn't want to run, didn't want to leave anyone behind. But the Finder tells him that one exorcist is worth a thousand Finders, and that exorcists are the only ones who can defeat akuma's.
And then he dies.
The other exorcist dies like the hero Harry imagines when he thinks about a fairytale with a sad ending. He kills all the other akuma with his last attack, but also himself. His synchronization rate hadn't been very high in the first place, and he had overtaxed himself by far.
There is another funeral, and this time Harry isn't on the balcony, he's on the floor looking down at the caskets of the two people who had died on his mission, and surrounded by several more that had died on others. Kanda is there too, but only briefly.
"Hey, Kanda?" He asks softly, and the other pauses from leaving. "Why are you an exorcist?"
"Why do you think?" There is no sarcasm in Kanda's tone, but it is flat.
"Is it just because the Innocence chose you?" Harry wondered, "Do you have your own reasons at all?"
"It's none of your business," The other says simply, and Harry knows that's true.
"I thought that being an exorcist would be... fun. That it would be 'cool', because not many people could do it. Because I was 'special'," He touched the Finders coffin lightly, sadly.
"Being 'special'," Kanda replied lowly, glancing over at him, "Isn't 'fun'."
Lavi's smile is fake, and Harry doesn't like it.
He's learned to tell the difference because he can do it too. He doesn't like how Lavi smiles at everyone, and how he never means it. Sometimes Harry wonders what must have happened to make Lavi dislike people so much. One day, he asks.
"What makes you think I don't like people?" Lavi blinks, confused, startled. Faking. "I like people."
"Because you lie all the time," Harry crosses his arms, and he's a little surprised when Kanda looks up and actually takes an interest in the conversation.
"Are you calling me a liar?" Lavi puts a hand to his chest and cries, "Yu! Harry's calling me a liar!"
"You are a liar," Kanda replies simply.
"How can you tell?" The redhead is suddenly solemnly curious, his one eye glittering intelligently.
Harry shrugs. He doesn't want to tell. He wants to be able to tell when the other is faking and when he's not, if he ever isn't.
"Why do you bother?" Kanda asks, surprising them both.
"Why not?" Lavi shrugs back, "People never learn. And it's easier when they like me anyway."
"That's a sad way to think," Harry uncrosses his arms, and Lavi just shrugs again.
"What?" Harry snapped just seconds before Lau Min's fist slammed across his face. He went sprawling instantly, and he was distantly glad that his teacher didn't go full out on him, or else he probably would have slammed through the pillar and the wall behind it, instead of just leaving spider cracks on the pillar.
"I was just saying," Komui rose his hands in defense, "You're getting older, Harry, and I feel the need to make that clear."
"She's just a... just a friend!" He sputtered as he sat up, blushing.
"You say that now," Komui shook his head, "but in another few years I'm going to have to beat them off with a stick. I just figure that it's good to have this talk now, while you're still young."
"I don't need this talk, ever!"
"Can't you find a better time for this?" Cloud Nyne demanded from the other side of the room, "You're interrupting his training, Komui."
Lau Min cracked its knuckles at the supervisor, who chuckled a little nervously and slowly backed out of the room.
Cloud Nyne watched as Harry ducked with a wide-eyed concentration. His moves were still rough, but he was learning. Slowly, but surely, he was learning.
Yes. He was coming along rather nicely.