This story is the rewrite of a story I adopted from Kait1991 ages ago. It was originally called "Thys Tyme" and later I changed the title to "Murphy's Law". Now, it's called "Cat's Cradle" after the string game. For convenience, I will be leaving "Murphy's Law" up… but labelling it "complete" with an AN announcing this story at the last chapter. I will not be touching that version of the story again, but expect updates on this one to come quickly.
UNIVERSE BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The setting in the YYH universe is weak. What I can tell you is that:
1) Yuusuke is a Spirit Detective still and knows of his demon heritage
2) Kurama is in first year of high school when the story starts, and Yuusuke and Kuwabara in the last year of middle school.
In the Harry Potter Universe, this is an AU where Dumbledore DID find a DADA teacher fifth year (at least, in the beginning) and Umbridge was NOT on-staff at the beginning of the year. The first chapter takes place BEFORE this year. Harry, in this, is NOT attacked by Dementors and because of that, the Order does not retrieve him for his own safety. Fifth year WILL be skimmed over majorly, so when sixth year starts I will give a summary of what is different. The bulk of the story will take place over sixth year and maybe into seventh depending on my dedication and where I decide to end it.
Edit (06/02/11): Changed name issue a reviewer brought up, where I called Kurama "Harry".
YYHHP: Rewrite of "Murphy's Law": Kurama always thought his human family were normal; that was, until his stepfather got a job offer for Hogwarts. As a "muggle" though, he ends up at Smeltings. There, the unthinkable happens. Adopted from Kait1991.
I: In Which Wizards Are Merciful
High in the sky, the sun shone brightly, illuminating the waking city below. The city hustled and bustled as it did every morning; things happened and life went on. The cool morning breeze rushed through the streets and along the people starting their day, holding their coffees and waving good mornings to each other. Angry commuters travelled from their homes a distance away as they did every morning, their terrible moods rubbing off on everyone they met. Above where the city ended and the suburbs began, a single owl flew, baffling the few people who took time out of their day to look up.
The owl happened to be a generic, Common Barn Owl with a letter tied to its foot. More than just this fact baffled the few witnesses; the Common Barn Owl was not even native to Japan.
It soared gracefully across the blue sky, completely unaware of its own nocturnal nature, swooping around the small houses and community buildings. It passed by a grade school just beginning lessons and the children tried excitedly to inform their disbelieving teachers of the sight. It passed by a park and stopped shortly to drink from the birdbath, spooking the smaller birds and leaving behind a single feather, which ended up floating through the wind and being picked up by a small boy, no older than eight, who kept it for years to come.
The sun was high in the sky when the owl reached its destination: a small, unremarkable house, known to house equally unremarkable people. It landed on the windowsill of the kitchen and tapped impatiently against the glass. A medium-sized Japanese man with brown hair and brown eyes—the epitome of average— opened the window, curious.
The owl hopped inside and stuck out its leg. The man untied the letter wordlessly and gave the owl a nod of acknowledgement. It flew out the window, perched on the tree directly outside, and watched the man as he read the letter.
When finished, the man's face blanched. "Shiori! Shiori!" he yelled into the next room.
A small woman with long black hair and soft blue eyes entered the kitchen. "Yes, Kazuya?" she asked.
"I've been asked to take a teaching position in Shuiichi's school in England," he said. He glanced to the young boy sitting at the kitchen table playing checkers with himself. The boy looked about fourteen years old, with black hair, steel-blue eyes, and a cheerful smile.
"That's great!" he exclaimed.
Kazuya smiled to his son, then looked back to his wife and addressed her. "If I accept this position, we will have to move to England for the duration of my employment." He paused. "Shuuichi-kun will not be able to attend the school. I can get him into a neighbouring school as an exchange student if he wants to stay close… or we can leave him here…" he trailed off and considered other options. "You could both stay."
During the conversation, the teenaged boy they were speaking of— a boy with long red hair and bright, emerald green eyes, as abnormal as his family was normal— had entered the room unnoticed. He immediately jumped into the conversation and said evenly, "Hatanaka-san, I would prefer to stay in the same continent as my family." Kazuya looked disheartened for a moment and Shuuichi, catching onto it, continued, "If that is all that would stop you from taking this job then I do not have any protest." He smiled. "After all, how many students get the opportunity to go study in England?"
"Attention passengers!" a cheery voice said over the intercom, "We will be landing soon, please put all trays and seats in the upright position, and we are about to land! Thank you!"
"They are way too perky for just having done a 19 hour flight!" Kurama grumbled in exhaustion, pulling his chair into the fixed position.
He braced himself for a rough landing; he hated travelling by plane. Of all the useful things that humans had invented for efficiency and comfort, he considered the airplane to be the most uncomfortable.
His mother gave him a smile from the seat beside him. Kazuya and Shuiichi had both left for England the night after they received the letter, leaving Kurama and his mother to take the plane after they sorted their affairs a week later. Shiori was to meet somebody to transport her to the school at the airport and Kurama was to meet somebody to house him for the final two weeks of the summer.
Shiori and Kurama climbed out of the crowded plane, and into an equally crowded airport, moving with the slow crowd of people unloading. Everybody wanted to be first off the plane, including Kurama and his mother.
When they finally exited, the two took a moment to breathe the fresh air of the Earth's surface and exchanged polite goodbyes before parting. The mother and son began to walk away from each other, but when they glanced back to each other at the same time and caught each other's eyes, they could not take it. They could not leave it at that. They rushed back together and embraced for the last time for a long time.
When they finally managed to gather the willpower to break apart, they separated without looking back. It was a long time before holidays when they would see each other again, but it was not such a long time at all.
Kurama began to look for his host.
It took quite a while to find him— nobody gave him a description and the man was not holding a sign. When he noticed an obese man with a bushy moustache and barely any neck mumbling about how he only signed up for a transfer because it was the latest trend and that if he could not find the boy in another five minutes he would simply leave, Kurama figured he found the right man.
"Excuse me sir, are you by any chance a Mr. Vernon Dursley?" he asked in his highly accented English.
"Yes," he said in a clearly false sugary tone.
"I am Shuichi Minamino," he smiled back as cheerfully as he ever could when faced with annoying strangers after the lengthy flight.
The man made a face at the name and Kurama figured he was not enthusiastic about pronouncing such a name as that, but it only lasted a half a moment before his expression became one of fake pleasantry. Kurama was not keen to spend the rest of the summer with that man and his family, who were probably the same degree of unpleasant.
"May I take your luggage?"
Kurama repressed a shudder. "No thanks," he said. "I would not want to impose."
"No, I insist," the man said with clenched teeth.
Needless to say, Kurama let the man carry his luggage for him.
The rode to the Dursley home in silence, and when they got to the home, Kurama quickly grabbed his suitcase before Vernon Dursley could offer to take it and followed the man into the perfect-looking house.
"Potter! Get down here now!"
"Coming," a voice called down.
He looked to Kurama. "There are few rules in this house. The first is that you do not touch anything that looks expensive without express permission," he stressed his words carefully, obviously trying to sound welcoming and failing miserably. "The second is that you do not bother Petunia and I unless it is an emergency. The third and last is that you do not go near my nephew—" he cut himself off and stared up the stairs. At the top was a messy boy about Kurama's age with eyes much like his own and uncombed black hair.
"What is it now?" the boy asked harshly.
Vernon Dursley sneered at him. "This is the transfer student I told you about," he replied in a harsher tone. "This is my nephew, Harry Potter," he told Kurama. "Boy, take his stuff to the guest room." The words guest room were unpleasant and forced. Harry Potter sauntered carelessly down the stairs, took the suitcase from Kurama's hands quickly, and made his exit up the stairs without another word. When the rude boy was gone, his host finished, "the final rule is not to hesitate to ask him to do anything for you and otherwise leave my nephew alone. He's abnormal… a criminal, even."
Suddenly understanding why Harry Potter was so unpleasant— who would not be with an Uncle who treated him like dirt, as Kurama suspected?— he made a graceful exit up the stairs to the guest room, where he stayed the rest of the night, recovering from his flight.
The next morning was quite pleasant. Kurama woke up rejuvenated and feeling quite pleasant. He prepared himself for the day and when he reached the breakfast table, he noticed that the only other member of the family who did not look like they had just crawled out of bed was the delinquent, Harry.
"Good morning," he said with a cheerful skip in his tone. He took a seat at the table next to Harry Potter and hesitantly helped himself to breakfast. It was his first English breakfast, so he took a bit of everything and began to eat.
The three Dursleys made a no move to speak with him: even the two who had not introduced themselves yet. He knew then that the remainder of the summer would be boring and lonely.
"Sorry for last night," Harry Potter whispered to him, suddenly.
Kurama looked to him and gave him a questioning look.
"I meant my attitude," he explained quickly. "I haven't really been the most enjoyable person to be around. Can we start again?"
He smiled. "Of course, Potter-san. My name is Minamino Shuuichi, nice to meet you."
Maybe it would not be so bad after all.
Once he had befriended Harry Potter, time flew. Before they knew it, the residents of Number Four Privet Drive were stacked into a tiny car driving to the train stations to send the three teenagers to school. Harry was dropped off at King's Cross Station and Kurama and Dudley were later sent off on the train to Smeltings.
The spoiled Dudley waved only half-heartedly at his parents as they pulled out of the station and as soon as they were far enough away, Dudley disappeared. He probably planned to pick on some younger students; it was none of Kurama's business.
He sat alone.
The Hogwarts' Express pulled out of its own station about an hour or so earlier than the Smeltings train. Despite the long journey ahead, all the students were in high spirits. Excitement filled every compartment full of reunited friends telling about their summers over mountains of candy.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione were an exception. Sitting in silence, they awkwardly fidgeted, not knowing what to say to one another after their lack of communication all summer.
The ice broke when they heard sudden commotion outside of their compartment. They opened the door to see Crabbe and Goyle throttling a Gryffindor fourth year with Malfoy grinning in the background.
"Leave him alone!" Harry told them, and much to his surprise, the two dropped the boy. It was the Asian student, Shuiichi Hatanaka. None of the trio had ever actually talked to him, but they knew him to be a nice kid. Harry doubted he started it.
"Why, Potter?" asked Malfoy, spiteful as usual. "He started this fight!"
"You insulted me, my family, and our honour!" the boy spat at Malfoy.
"To do that, your family would need honour to insult, mudblood!" Malfoy sneered like an angry snake.
"Leave him alone, Malfoy," Harry repeated in a more stern voice. He, Ron, and Hermione drew their wands and pointed them at the towheaded teenager.
"Get over here, Hatanaka," Ron ordered, and the boy grudgingly listened, drawing his own wand when he stood up. A sudden shout from behind Malfoy and the three boys clad in green turned around quickly to reveal Ginny and a couple of other fourth year Gryffindor girls, also wielding wands. The three boys scrambled away quickly.
"Thanks!" Hermione said as Harry, Ron, and Shuiichi stuffed into the compartment and waved at them.
"Any time!" one of the girls said, they waved and walked away.
"Thanks," Shuiichi said bowing and then walked back after the girls.
"He reminds me a bit of this guy that stayed with the Dursleys. " Harry said as they entered their compartment. He received two inquisitive looks and quickly explained, "It was a transfer student from Japan."
"Really?" Hermione asked, surprised for a moment, and Harry nodded. "It could be just that they're both Japanese," she said, ever the logical one.
Harry did not think it was just that.
Fortunately, Kurama did not have to share a dormitory with Dudley, his host, as he expected. Instead, he was stuck with a complete stranger with equal academic standings. He almost laughed aloud at the ineffectiveness of the system; despite his hatred for Dudley, Dudley was the only person he knew. He thought the point of coming two weeks early must have been to get to know his roommate.
The first night seemed, at first, like any other night. His roommate snored quietly and he could hear the building creaking— nothing immediately noticeable as unusual. He listened to the sounds of the building, trying to sleep but failing.
A noise in the hallway caught Kurama's attention. Something— or someone— was shuffling around. He could hear movement and it sounded like somebody trying to be as quiet as possible; he doubted he would have heard it if he was not a demon.
Curiosity got the better of him. He climbed out of bed and tiptoed across the hallways, quiet as a demon thief. A whisper of cloth rubbing on cloth travelled through the corridors and he realized quickly that the sounds did not come from regular students.
He turned a corner and found himself directly behind a group of strange adults in what looked to Kurama to be bathrobes of some sort.
They definitely did not belong.
He silently cursed Koenma's out-of-country travel contract for stating he could not carry any weapons of any sort with him. He did not have a single seed with him: not even that of a rose. Scoping the area, he irritably noticed the hall did not house a single plant. It was the hall of a depressing institution— bare and lifeless.
"Why burn this school down, it's a muggle school!" whispered one of the men.
Not fluent in English, Kurama held no surprise at the unfamiliar term.
"Because, the Dark Lord ordered it, if you wish to complain, wait until we get back and do it to his face!" another hissed back.
Kurama held his breath. Something about the man caused him to instinctively want to balk. Their words and tones did not help the fact.
"Not on my life!" the first man said.
A noise behind Kurama— the irrelevant sound of a door closing on itself— cause a man turned around and Kurama found himself eye-to-eye with the stranger. He momentarily wished the man was not wearing a white mask so he could see more of his face than his eyes.
The man held out a harmless looking stick which caused Kurama to get the same illogical wary feeling, but before he could discover what it the stick was and why, the man said, "Stupify," and the kitsune's world went black.