Hotaru was laughing as Remus and Sirius both looked very queasy. She had conned them both onto a roller coaster that tended to go upside down and spinned around a lot. She had a stronger stomach than the two of them.
Then again, the looks of absolute terror on their faces when the picture was shot made her laugh. She could vaguely hear the laughter of her mother, who would probably had died over again from laughing so hard.
Hotaru made sure to buy the photo to show to her mamas and papa later. They would definitely love it.
"What next, Chibi Firefly?" asked Sirius weakly.
Remus finally managed to stand without throwing up.
"How about that one?" asked Hotaru.
It was a sane ride for children. The teacup ride. Both of them agreed on it immediately.
Unfortunately for them, Hotaru knew something about those rides that they didn't. The little wheel in the center was for more than decoration.
Her evil grin was missed by both of her uncles.
"Enjoy the ride!" said the attendant with a grin. Hotaru smirked back.
Sirius and Remus got into the teacup with a sigh of relief. They thought they could get their bearings while Hotaru had fun. That is, until they saw the evil look in her eyes.
The ride started, and they had no way off.
Hotaru firmly grasped the center disk, and within seconds the cup began to spin...
Sirius and Remus wept with relief, kissing the ground as soon as the ride was over.
Hotaru was definitely the daughter of James. She had them in the spinning monstrosity for five whole minutes. And she had cackled the entire time.
"Please, Cub, no more..." said Remus.
"Chibi Firefly, take pity on us!" whined Sirius.
"Ice cream?" she said hopefully.
They looked at each other, and took her to get ice cream. If only so she wouldn't get them on another hellish ride.
Hotaru ate her chocolate ice cream with relish. She was enjoying her day with her favorite uncles. (Even Saturn was having some sadistic fun with them.)
Remus and Sirius were trying to recover from the rides. Remus had ordered a double chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce. Sirius had gotten a sedate vanilla cone.
"What should we do next, Uncle Moony and Padfoot?" asked Hotaru. Her speech had gotten better with the last growth spurt.
"No more spinning rides, please!" Sirius begged.
"Can we play games instead?" asked Remus.
Hotaru smiled and laughed. Remus and Sirius were more than happy to play the games around the park, if only to keep her from dragging them on another ride.
It turned out she had better luck than they did. She kept winning stuffed animals and other paraphernalia based off of anime and manga.
She was happy as a lark.
Suddenly her watch went nuts. Hotaru pushed a button and Setsuna's face appeared.
"You guys ready to come home?"
"Aw...I was hoping to go on one last ride!" said Hotaru.
Setsuna tried not to laugh at the horrified looks on Sirius and Remus' faces.
Sirius almost seemed to be praying that Hotaru was joking.
Until Hotaru turned her puppy eyes of doom on them. They had no choice. They had to submit.
"Just one more. But nothing that goes upside down, spins, or awful drops," said Remus firmly.
Hotaru pouted. Then her eyes lit up!
"Let's go!" she started to drag her uncles to another section of the park.
"Log ride?" read Remus.
The ride seemed simple enough, and it didn't have that much of a drop to it. Sirius and Remus sighed in relief. Hotaru wasn't try to kill them in the most unlikely way possible.
They didn't notice her evil glint at all.
Hotaru sat behind Remus and in front of Sirius, and was still grinning. All of their prizes were at the desk.
Hotaru had calculated the amount of water that would splash on them, but with Sirius behind her and Remus in front, they would get the worst of it.
Without warning, the log dropped down the chute. Remus sputtered as the water splashed into his mouth. Sirius squawked as he felt the cold water hit him dead on.
Hotaru was giggling madly. Remus and Sirius were both getting soaked!
Once the log finally stopped at the way station, the three got off. Sirius and Remus were absolutely drenched. Hotaru was only mildly wet.
They picked up their prizes and headed home. Remus drove, since Sirius still couldn't get a handle on how to drive in a car. (Motorcycle yes, car no.)
Of course there had been an amusing race between Haruka and Sirius one time when she bought a set of motorcycles. Setsuna had taped the whole thing, and the loser had to pay the ticket the cops had given both of them.
(Much to everyone's surprise, Sirius had won that race. Still, he did pay for both of their tickets anyway.)
When they got to the mansion, both were shocked.
Michiru and Setsuna had gone all out. And Haruka had bought something that had the men cheering.
Once everyone was stuffed, Sirius decided to show the girls how to play Quidditch. Though they used regular balls instead of the magical ones for obvious reasons.
Remus watched with amusement on the ground with Michiru. He shook his head in disbelief.
"It looks like Chibi Firefly inherited her father's gift with the game," said Remus. He sipped his earl gray calmly.
"James was the seeker for Gryffindor. And from what I can see, Hotaru could possibly be better than he was."
Hotaru swooped around with natural ease. Sirius only had to show her how to grip it properly and she took off. She loved the feeling of flight.
"Hotaru, catch!" said Setsuna. Hotaru caught the small ball with ease. Sirius grinned.
Hotaru was sound asleep, and Padfoot was curled up beside her. He twitched occasionally, as if chasing something. Remus was downstairs, preparing for the rather painful transformation.
Setsuna was getting ready for class tomorrow, and the others were in their room. She didn't care to know what they were doing.
Suddenly there was a crash. Setsuna was the first one outside. Sirius wasn't far behind her.
Standing there was a man. A very strange man with many scars, a wooden leg, and an electric spinning eye.
"Damn. He must have contacted Moody," said Sirius.
"Where's...?" asked Setsuna.
"She's with Moony."
She nodded, then turned to the wizard. He looked very annoyed.
"I'm only here to retrieve the girl. But I have no objections to capturing the traitor to be Kissed," growled Moody.
Haruka and Michiru came out. They looked angry.
"What's going on?"
"Dumbledore sent another lackey to retrieve Chibi Firefly," growled Sirius.
Moody went to fire a spell. That is, until something white trapped him.
The cry of a phoenix was heard, and they saw a large white bird fly around Moody. It ensnared him completely, and all his spells rebounded on himself. He took the hint and stopped casting.
"Haruka, call the Ministry. Sirius, check on Moony and Hotaru. I'll deal with him," said Setsuna, angry.
The others went inside. No one wanted to see what an angry Setsuna would do.
"Now, Alastor Moody... What did Dumbledore promise you to retrieve Hotaru?"
"I was sent to get Lilith Potter, not this Hotaru," said the man with a scowl.
"There is no Lilith Potter here. Only Hotaru Tomoe."
Moody scowled at her, and refused to say anything else. Matsuda and Akira arrived to arrest him for trespassing without the proper passports, among other things. They nodded to Setsuna, who went to check on Hotaru.
She stared. Hotaru was older again. It seemed the attack had triggered another spurt. She was now roughly nine years old.
"Setsuna-mama, who was that man?" asked Hotaru.
"Just an old man who was being tricked," said Setsuna.
Hotaru went back into an uneasy sleep next to Sirius and Moony. This was one of the few nights Moony had forgotten his potion. Not that it mattered, since Moony regarded Hotaru as his cub, so he wouldn't bite her.
Hotaru progressed in amazing ways. Her magical training had gotten farther than even her teachers had hoped. Right now she was on par with a second year at Hogwarts.
Soon she would be at the same level as her real age. Her birthday had passed quickly, but with a lot of fanfare in the mansion. Michiru and the others had gone all out. And Sirius had gotten her a special treat. Her own familiar!
It was a snowy owl that she named Hikari. The owl seemed to think of Hotaru as her own nestling.
October came and went peacefully, if one didn't count the rather interesting costumes Hotaru made Sirius and Remus wear. She had gone out in a tiger costume, while Remus had been turned into a large wolf. Sirius was the most unlucky in this department.
Somehow, someway, Hotaru had tricked him into a large teddy bear costume. And she had hit him with a sticking hex that wouldn't wear off for hours. Michiru and Setsuna had used the chance to take a lot of pictures.
(Hotaru heard her mother laughing at Sirius again.)
Hotaru had managed to get more candy than anyone else for one simple reason. Remus had given her an expandable bag for her birthday last month.
People would believe that she had started with their house first, and her puppy eyes would do the rest. Sirius couldn't believe how much candy she got.
(It nearly filled her rather large room. Remus kept coming in to steal her chocolate, to her amusement.)
November came, and Setsuna was in a good mood for once. Hotaru was finally calming down, Sirius had gotten his pranking mood out of his system, and Remus had gone to visit the local werewolf pack. Haruka and Michiru were currently overseas together for a violin concert.
It was peaceful and more importantly quiet for once. She took that chance to observe the stars for trouble.
And found more than she hoped for. It seemed something bad was heading their way. And to make it worse, they couldn't transform a the moment.
Hotaru got up and picked up another book from their increasing library. Setsuna still didn't know how the girl managed to hold on to everything she had collected before now. Her books, lamps and outfits from living with her stepfather had been mysteriously spared from the explosion.
(Not so mysterious actually. During the time Saturn was stuck inside Hotaru's body while Mistress 9 was in control, she moved everything the girl owned to her castle back on Saturn. When the explosion occurred, only things Hotaru wouldn't miss were destroyed in the blast. Not that she would tell Setsuna that.)
Everything seemed to be calm for a change. Even Lily was taking a minor nap from protecting the house.
Hotaru suddenly stiffened. This wasn't a growth spurt. Setsuna went to the girl, and stared in shock. This wasn't Hotaru.
It was Saturn.
"Trouble is coming soon. Prepare yourself, Pluto," said Saturn.
She blinked, and her eyes went back to normal.
"It's nothing Hotaru. Would you like me to get you the computer?"
Hotaru brightened. She had an insatiable appetite for reading. So Haruka had done something to keep her from being too bored while they were busy.
She introduced Hotaru to something she learned about offhand from one of her old friends. Something called...fanfiction.
Hotaru had taken to the site Haruka introduced her to. She even had her own screen name.
ShizukaSenshi. (Silent Warrior)
The others had a definite sense of foreboding whenever they heard Hotaru cackle while reading.
Once Hotaru was set up, she went to reading. Every once in a while she would click on something, or add it to her favorites list. Setsuna had only set down one rule.
Nothing rated M was allowed on the list unless she read it first. Hotaru was more than happy to agree to that.
Hotaru was eager for Christmas. Sirius was too, since Setsuna had caved into his begging.
They were going on vacation to the Caribbean. Sirius was paying, and all of them were going. Setsuna had sworn never to let the man watch Pirates of the Caribbean again.
(To be fair, Sirius did take to the movie a little too much. He wouldn't quit acting like Jack Sparrow until Setsuna had threatened to give him a flea bath with a shampoo that stung. After that he just irritated her with 'Argh, me mateys!' at random moments.)
Remus dreaded having to deal with a stir crazy Sirius and Hotaru. The flight alone would take sixteen hours, and he knew that the two of them hated sitting still for that long.
So he concocted a plan with Michiru and Setsuna. They would slip a minor dreamless sleep potion that would wear off before they landed when they got too bad to handle.
Which didn't happen until four hours into the flight. Sirius and Hotaru had grown bored by then, which is when Remus took his queue from Setsuna and waited until the waitress gave them something to drink.
He slipped the potion smoothly into their sodas, and waited for it to take effect.
Sirius woke up an hour before they landed, and glared at Moony. Then he saw past him through the window. He grinned and woke up Hotaru.
Hotaru stared out the window in pure joy. They were so high up that the buildings looked like toys. Setsuna and the others woke up to her excited squeal. Once they realized she was too excited to be a menace, they let her enjoy the view.
Once the plane landed, Hotaru had to be held back by Haruka. At least until they could get their luggage. Most of it was in their backpacks, which Sirius had charmed with a permanent expansion. The only thing the x rays saw was clothes.
Hotaru turned out to be a natural at surfing. The only one who could teach her was Haruka, and even she had trouble with it. Setsuna, Remus and Sirius were all sunbathing while Michiru was swimming.
Sirius turned to Setsuna and asked lazily, "So why did Hotaru think January sixth was her birthday?"
Remus looked up from his book. He had been wondering the same thing, but never thought to ask.
"Because the adoption papers that Professor Tomoe had signed didn't go through until that day. When I learned that Hotaru was the girl-who-lived, I went and asked him the same thing."
"How is he, by the way?"
Setsuna looked mildly disturbed.
"Mistress 9 and Pharaoh 90 did a number on his psyche. He seems to be under the impression that the accident never happened and keeps asking where his wife is. According to him, since they had no actual idea when her birthday was, they celebrated the day she officially became theirs as her birthday."
"And how did her middle name become her first?" asked Remus.
"When they first found her, she showed an interest in fireflies, so the name stuck."
"I suppose I can live with her believing that the Tomoe family is hers so long as she knows who her birth parents are," said Sirius.
Finally Hotaru got tired of surfing and played in the sand for a while. It didn't take much coaxing by the girl to convince Sirius to lie in the sand.
Though it did take Remus and Haruka to dig him out. Hotaru apparently didn't realize that she had essentially buried her uncle under a foot of sand in all directions.
Michiru was more than happy to help the girl build a sand castle.
All in all, a successful vacation.
Hotaru had another growth spurt. This time it turned her into an eleven year old.
The trigger this time happened to be the eclipse that occurred. Her eyes slipped into Saturn for the duration of the event, though only Setsuna noticed.
A week later, Setsuna took Hotaru on a shopping spree in the bookstore that she liked so much.
"Hotaru, what happened during the eclipse?" she asked.
Saturn took over and picked a few books before she said "Elysion was attacked. A dark presence is going to endanger the girls, and the Outer Circle shall be called back into action."
"Our powers will return?"
"No. The power of the Outer Senshi shall receive a boost from the seeds of the stars. Helios shall protect the Princesses until we are needed. But until that time we need to prepare."
"Prepare for what?"
"The old man has not been idle."
"What can we do?"
Saturn smirked. Setsuna had a premonition of England's demise if Dumbledore ever succeeded in capturing her.
"Tell Uncle Sirius to start teaching me from his family library. I am not going to be a Light poster child for an idiot who thought that leaving a child on a cold November night was acceptable."
"I've been meaning to ask about that. How did you see that note?"
"Those weren't my memories. They were Lily's. She just borrowed my power to show Haruka."