This is pure crack - or it would be, if not for some pitiful attempts at seriousness here and there. I don't know where they came from, but then again, I don't know where this story came from, so I suppose that's all right.
I doubt there will be any pairings, though I might wildly throw around "hints" that are not unlikely to drown in the sheer randomness of it all.
With that out of the way...
Title: The Misantrophe, the Cake and the Squirrel
Summary: In which Lelouch almost wishes he was back in his cupboard under the stairs, Suzaku fully expects to be placed in Slytherin like all his family before him, and Kallen laughs at them both.
Characters: Lelouch, Suzaku, Kallen, (others)
Warnings: Uh, mentions of violent cousins and horrible relatives in general? I should probably also point out that this is the "Fusion" kind of Crossover, meaning that very few (if any) characters from Harry Potter will appear - their places have all been taken by characters from Code Geass.
Lelouch Lamperouge was not a happy boy. In fact, in could be said that he was somewhat of a pessimist, and he rarely ever smiled – so rarely that whenever he did, flowers wilted, birds fell from the sky and people all around scrambled for cover.
The last time Lelouch's lips had curved upwards in a satisfied smirk had been when he was nine and his cousin had decided it would be a good idea to try and drown his pet squirrel, Nunnally, which he had found injured in the garden a few months prior and carefully nursed back to health. Nunnally had come out just fine in the end – she'd never bitten Lelouch, but judging from his cousin's wail of agony, she was equipped with some very sharp teeth. However, that hadn't stopped Lelouch from putting laxative into the offender's chocolate cake in retribution the next day. For that, his cousin had beaten him bloody, and his cousin's parents, who happened to be his legal guardians and had been for as long as Lelouch could remember, had made sure that he went without food for the rest of the week.
It had been worth it.
Not long after, Lelouch's aunt had decided that he was old enough now to "pull his weight", making him cook the family's meals on a regular basis, and as a result, his cousin had finally realized that Lelouch cared more about revenge than about his own well-being. Ever since, they got along famously - trading insults until deep into the night and waiting for the day when they would finally be rid of each other.
The adults in the house, on the other hand, were much harder to deal with. Lelouch thought it was because they were too dense to realize that if they ever laid hand on Nunnally like they had threatened to, he would kill them. He only desired their cooperation, though, not their love, and he hadn't for a very long time. If nothing else, hearing them talk to their son was enough to convince him that being hated was the clearly preferable state of being:
"Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. Atta boy!"
"Is my sweetums hungry? Does my little Lucy want ice-cream?"
To say the least, Luciano was not amused.
Lelouch didn't have any other family, and neither did he have friends - his cousin had made sure of that, though only because he knew Lelouch didn't care enough to poison him for it. As long as he had Nunnally, he didn't need anyone else, and all the people he knew were stupid, anyway, so why should he willingly seek out their company? He almost felt thankful towards Luciano for not having to deal with so much as a single classmate at school.
That was why, when he got dragged off to his cousin's birthday party because his legal guardians couldn't find a babysitter to replace the one that had inconveniently fallen ill at the very last minute, he refrained from constantly rubbing his presence into the other boy's face. It didn't have anything to do with the fact that he had never been to the Zoo before and felt a rush of excitement at the thought. He was ten now, almost eleven – only children got giddy at the prospect of staring at a bunch of dumb animals.
So then the boa constrictor started talking to him.
Lelouch politely informed it that snakes do, in fact, not possess vocal cords and decided to not nick any of his uncle's coffee ever again.
x x x
Lelouch blinked at the letter in his hand. It was, strangely enough, addressed to him.
He briefly considered the possibility that his cousin might be playing a trick on him, but dismissed it almost in the same breath. This wasn't Luciano's style at all – there wasn't even enough room in that envelope to fit in a dead rodent, and it wasn't like he'd get a reaction out of Lelouch by doing something like that, anyway. They both knew Luciano wouldn't dare to go anywhere near Nunnally, not to mention that Lelouch always carried her with him under his clothes to ensure her safety.
However, it was even less likely that his aunt and uncle would write to him, so who else knew that he lived in a cupboard under the stairs?
Lelouch forgot to breathe for a moment when it hit him.
He had a stalker.
This thought distracted him so much that he neglected to hide the letter from his relatives, who immediately snatched it from him. Lelouch cursed silently, but found their reaction far too interesting to dwell on his carelessness for long. They had seemed amused by his claim that the letter had specifically been addressed to him, but once they took got a good look at it, they quickly paled and proceeded to burn it. Burn it.
Something was off. Lelouch concluded that the stalker might be someone they knew and who was threatening to report their treatment of him to the authorities. Lelouch doubted he'd be allowed to keep Nunnally if he ever got taken away from the Bradleys, and so he was a lot less thrilled by the prospect than he otherwise would have been.
Replicas of the burned letter kept flooding in, until his uncle finally snapped and shipped them all off to the middle of nowhere in order to escape the rabid stalker. It didn't help.
In the night of Lelouch's eleventh birthday, a tall man blew down door of the house they were staying at – which really was a run-down shack – and demanded to know which one of the boys was Lelouch Lamperouge.
"He is!" Lelouch and Luciano declared in perfect unison.
The man glanced between the two of them, clearly confused.
"He is!" both of the older Bradleys came to the aid of their son.
Lelouch considered the three fingers that were now pointed at him and decided that things weren't looking good for him.
While he was still trying to figure out which strategy would work best in such a situation, the man strode over to him. After scrutinizing him for a moment, he nodded. "Yes, of course. You look just like your mother, though I believe you have your father's eyes."
"My...," Lelouch repeated, all his tactical aptness gone as he stared at the stranger in shock. "You knew my parents?"
"Of course!" The man's face took on a wistful expression. "Never before had I seen a woman as beautiful or as deadly as Lady Marianne."
Lelouch wanted to inquire about the last part of that statement when something occurred to him. "...Are you calling me beautiful?"
"No. And I'd like to keep it that way. It's kind of creepy, to be honest."
"Oh." The man seemed perplexed for a moment before inclining his head gravely. "My apologies, my Lord."
"My Lord?" Lelouch was not squeaking.
The stranger didn't explain himself, but instead took out a white box and held it out to him.
Lelouch eyed it suspiciously. "That's not a dead rodent in there, is it?"
The man blinked. "Beg your pardon, my Lord?"
Lelouch nodded. "All right, then," he said and took it.
"I made it myself," the man explained as Lelouch, after trying to open it more cautiously and failing miserably, tore the thing open. "After all, it's not every day that a young man turns eleven. I'm not very skilled at baking-" Lelouch could tell from one glance that this was an understatement- "but I hope it pleases you."
"Is that... a muffin?"
"It's orange cake, my Lord."
"Oh. And who might you be?"
"Of course, you wouldn't know. Forgive me my rudeness, my Lord. Jeremiah Gottwald, Keeper of the Keys and Grounds of Ashford – at your service."
Shock was clearly visible on the man's features. "You don't know about Ashford? But have you never wondered where your father and mother learned it all?"
Jeremiah Gottwald's eyes only continued to widen. "You don't know?" Lelouch kept looking at him blankly. "You are a wizard, my Lord!"
It took him a moment, but once the trespasser realized that Lelouch wasn't buying it, he started to try and convince him, and things only got stranger from there. In the end, Lelouch let himself be kidnapped by the man without much protest, because the place his uncle had picked for a hideout wasn't exactly the kind of environment squirrels thrived in. That, and Lelouch was sure at this point that he was dreaming, as Luciano did usually not grow pig tails (though Lelouch didn't put it past his cousin to collect them).
When he finally became aware that his kidnapper was indeed real thirty minutes later, Lelouch did not panic. He did, however, wonder where those hallucinations involving pink umbrellas and body parts of even-toed ungulates had come from. He was sure he hadn't had any coffee since the snake incident.
It took Jeremiah two full hours to convince him that magic was indeed real; though in retrospect, Lelouch had to admit it explained some things.
"I'm only going if I can take Nunnally," Lelouch declared when their conversation turned back to Ashford, daring the man to challenge him on this.
"My pet squirrel."
Jeremiah seemed taken aback, but quickly assured him that it wouldn't be a problem. Lelouch felt slightly mollified at that.
x x x
"If they didn't die in a car crash, then how did my parents die?"
Jeremiah looked away, uncomfortable. "Not all of those who possess magic are good, my Lord," he began. Lelouch resisted the urge to roll his eyes - duh. "The one who killed your parents..."
"Yes? Who was he?"
"Not he, my Lord. She."
"She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Jeremiah's voice was low. "She killed your parents, and you are the only one who ever survived the curse she used to do so." Something stirred within Lelouch. Revenge. He wanted revenge on the woman who had condemned him to a life surrounded by people who despised him, who had taken everything from him. "That is why you are famous," Jeremiah continued, oblivious to Lelouch's thoughts. "That is why you can't outrun even a turtle."
Jeremiah shook his head sadly. "A curse like that, my Lord... it leaves a mark. In your case, we believe that it stole the largest portion of your natural stamina." Upon hearing that, Lelouch's carefully schooled expression must have slipped, because Jeremiah seemed in a hurry to reassure him, "Don't worry, my Lord. We have come to the conclusion that you will be able to have a relatively normal sex life, at least!"
"Well, eventually. We believe you might even be able to run, talk and breathe at the same time one day."
Lelouch barely contained a hopeful, 'really?' and glared at the man instead.
Jeremiah didn't notice. "Well, my Lord, where do you want to go now that you have gotten your money?"
And so the first and hopefully last shopping tour of Lelouch's life began.
x x x
Lelouch decided to start off by getting his school uniform.
"Ashford, dear?" he was asked the moment he entered the shop – without Jeremiah, whose offer to accompany him Lelouch had decisively refused. He nodded, and received a smile in return. "You're not the only one there."
And indeed, in the back of the shop, a tanned boy with curly brown hair and bright green eyes was already standing on a footstool, getting fitted.
"Hello," the boy said once he noticed him. "Ashford, too?"
"My servant's next door, buying the books. I wanted to come on my own, but father insisted." The boy seemed put out by this. "He'll go take a look at the wands with me afterwards, but then I'll sneak off to see the racing brooms. It's stupid that first years can't have their own. Do you play Quidditch?"
"No," Lelouch said, as if he knew exactly what 'Quidditch' was.
"Oh. Well, I do." For a moment, the boy looked even more awkward than Lelouch felt, but then he drew up his shoulders and resumed talking, "Any idea what house you'll be in?"
"No," Lelouch replied again, feeling stupid for the first time in his life and not liking it at all.
"Well." Another awkward pause. "No one does before they get there, I suppose. I'm sure I'll be in Slytherin, though! All our family has been."
"Fascinating," Lelouch drawled, finally sick of the other boy's chatter. So what if he made an enemy of a child from a potentially influential family? He'd been fine aggravating people left and right all his life.
The boy appeared startled for a moment before clenching his hands, the expression that settled on his face reminding Lelouch awfully of Luciano. "What's your problem?"
"Nothing," Lelouch said smoothly. "I merely thought I should contribute something to the conversation."
The boy looked unsure at that, clearly trying to figure out whether he was serious or mocking him. "Well," he finally said. Again. Lelouch decided it must be his favourite word. "What about you, then? Are you here with your family?"
"Really?" the boy asked in a tone akin to amazement. He crossed his arms and went on more sullenly, "I wish I was by myself, too, but father says it's 'unseemly'. Aren't your parents worried about you?"
"They're dead," Lelouch said matter-of-factly.
"They're dead," Lelouch repeated, wondering whether this more talkative version of Luciano really was that dense.
The boy was still staring at him with wide eyes when the witch responsible for getting his robe ready told him, "There, you're done, dear."
The boy didn't turn to her, though. Instead, he kept looking at Lelouch, his mouth opening and closing several times as if he was trying to tell him something. In the end, though, he tore his gaze away without having said anything and gracelessly stumbled out of the shop.
Lelouch watched him leave and shook his head. Idiot.
x x x
Lelouch was going to kill Jeremiah.
He hated people. He hated crowds. They never failed to remind him of the infinite stupidity of the human race.
And here he was, stranded at King's Cross, of all places, with no idea how to get to his destination.
He was not going to ask for anyone's help, though. Who cared about Ashford, anyway?
"Hey, sissy boy! Sissy boy!"
Eventually, Lelouch realized that the one calling was addressing him - "eventually" meaning "when the offender started to yell directly into his ear".
He whirled around, annoyed. "It's Lelouch! Lelouch Lamperouge! Call me that one more time and see if you'll be able to insult anyone ever again."
"Lelouch Lamperouge?" the girl who was now staring at him repeated. She was, he assessed, about the same age and height as him, and her wild red hair was a dark red. "The Lelouch Lamperouge?"
"No, the other one."
The girl chuckled, and he flinched when she suddenly clapped him on the shoulder. Then he didn't flinch anymore, because he was lying flat on the floor and had decided that cursing colorfully was the more appropriate reaction to this unexpected development.
"Wicked!" the girl exclaimed. "You really can't outrun a turtle! I thought that was just an exaggeration." He glared at her, but she just grinned and held out her hand to him. He favoured it with a skeptic glance before slowly taking it. "I'm Kallen!" she told him, pulling him up so abruptly that he almost landed on his ass again. "Kallen Kouzuki. Pleased to meet'cha, sissy boy."
"My name is not sissy boy."
A dismissive wave. "Chill. It's a compliment."
"How is 'sissy boy' a compliment?"
"Duh. It implies you're feminine, making you superior to stupid boys who tell me they won't hit a girl and then find themselves eating dirt faster than they can blink."
Lelouch wondered if all magical people were insane.
He did, however, decide that he might be able to tolerate the violent girl for a while when she pulled him along without another word, unknowingly sparing him the embarrassment of having to reveal his ignorance as to where the Ashford Express could be found.
x x x
"What do you have sunflower seeds for?"
"They're for Nunnally."
"You've got a squirrel?" Kallen asked. "Wicked! I just have a fat old rat called Naoto. He's a cool guy, though."
Lelouch nodded, having noticed the warmth in her eyes and for once understanding exactly where she was coming from.
A boy poked his head inside their compartment. "Has anyone in here seen a toad? A girl named Nina lost one."
"A toad?" Kallen asked. "Nope, sorry. You?" She turned to Lelouch, who shook his head.
"No. Have you asked a prefect? I thought there were spells for these kinds of things."
"You're right, I didn't think of that! Thanks, man, I'll go tell her." And with that, he was gone again.
Only to be replaced by another boy intruding upon them.
"Is it true?" The boy Lelouch had met during his shopping trip a few days earlier asked. "They're saying all down the train Lelouch Lamperouge is in this compartment."
"So they do," Lelouch said.
"I should think so."
The boy looked bewildered for a second, then excited and finally lost. In the end, he adopted a haughty posture and said, "My name is Kururugi. Suzaku Kururugi."
Kallen didn't bother to hide her snort of laughter.
"Shut up, Kouzuki. You're just pissy I won't hit a girl, even one as ungirly as you. You don't get that it's unseemly."
"Bet daddy told you that. Well, you know what? I don't give a shit. If you like being beaten up so much, at least have the balls to admit it and don't hide behind stupid pure-blood tradition."
"What did you say?" Suzaku seemed positively livid. "There's nothing stupid about upholding tradition! But father was right, you can't expect a dirty blood traitor to understand."
"I'm disappointed, Kururugi," Kallen finally said. "I'd really thought you better than that, but it seems you really are your father's son. You should be proud of yourself." She stood. "Let's go, Lelouch."
Noticing that she had used his actual name for the very first time since he'd met her, Lelouch let himself be dragged out of the compartment by Kallen without complaint.
Before she closed the door behind them, he glanced over his shoulder to find that Kururugi hadn't moved an inch.
End of Chapter
I swear Suzaku makes for the worst Draco Malfoy ever, and yet... it just had to be him. I promise he regularly saves little kittens where Kallen can't see him, though!
I wasn't sure what kind of animal to turn Nunnally into, so I randomly asked an awesome person for one that reminded her of the poor girl which thus ended up as a squirrel. I feel much worse for what I did to Naoto, though. xD
And I suppose it's not that hard to guess who She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is, but that's what I have "Dumbledore" for. I'm convinced I totally out-randomed myself with that one!
So, yeah, this fic is total crack. I don't know how it came into being except that I was suddenly talking about how random it would be to pair certain characters from CG with certain characters from HP, and then the thought of CorneliaxRon killed my brain, and then I remembered something I had a character say in another fic, and then this happened.
So, errr... I don't know how the last part of this chapter got so serious. I'm trying to keep the characters at least somewhat IC despite the crackiness, but it seems I only manage to make strange things happen instead. Still, hope you had fun!