Disclaimer: Usually I write out a very specific disclaimer explaining exactly what it is I don't own but I find myself not really interested in doing so this time as it is very tedious. Suffice it to say I own nothing that was created by anyone else and I am not making any money off of this story or any of the other stories I have written.
Warning: This chapter contains some spoilers for Episode Zero of Gundam Wing.
AN: This story is self-beta'd; so there may be occasional grammatical or spelling errors that crop up every now and then and for those I apologize in advance.
Chapter 5: The Seeds of War and Dissent
Duo Maxwell (a former street rat who grew up on the streets of the L2 Colony Cluster) often referred to as Zero-Two by the scientist that built his suit and pilot of the Gundam Mobile Suit designated as Deathscythe, entered Earth's atmosphere without any interference about the same time Heero Yuy was engaging in an aerial battle with two Alliance Aries Suits and a Leo piloted by OZ operatives. Running into no resistance, Duo quickly met up with his contact and set up his cover as a salvage technician on a private ship owned by a man known only as Howard.
After making certain his Gundam suffered no damage upon his entry into Earth's atmosphere, Duo accepted his first mission; destroy a mobile suit factory based in central North America. While Duo was cutting down the enemy's mobile suit collection in the States, Howard picked up rumors that another Gundam had been shot down over the southern pacific somewhere off the southern coast of Japan. Duo had barely finished his first mission when he was given his second; recover and salvage the downed Gundam Suit before the Alliance or OZ could capture the suit.
Duo joined Howard on the salvage ship in order to rearm his various weapons and carry out a few minor repairs before he hit the skies once more to hunt down the search teams looking for what amounted to a sunken treasure. The self styled shinigami caught up with the Alliance's naval fleet about the same time that Heero was being escorted out of Harry's cave and ordered to leave; approximately thirty-three hours after all five Gundams had entered Earth's atmosphere. Duo would spend five hours hiding in the shadow of the command ship as he hacked into their communications system and monitored their progress.
The long haired pilot was understandably confused to discover that both the downed Gundam Suit and a modified Alliance Leo that had sunk within the immediate area had mysteriously vanished seemingly without a trace sometime after they'd crashed into the ocean. Odder still was the fact that there was no sign of the expected debris from the destruction of two Alliance Aries that had occurred shortly before the two more powerful suits had plunged into the ocean. Duo spent an hour relaying the new information back to Howard and it was soon decided that it was more important that Duo discover what had happened to the missing Gundam and his third mission was postponed as he continued to monitor the communication system of the search team.
Just before dawn the next morning, the search team determined that the pilot of the sunken Gundam must have somehow managed to survive and leave the area after they discovered a section of the ocean floor that had been recently torn up by what was believed to be heavy machinery. Satisfied that the other suit was not in immediate danger of falling into enemy hands (and more than a little disappointed that he would no longer be allowed to use the other suit as spare parts for his own Gundam) Duo passed along his discoveries to Howard before the God of Death rose from the sea and destroyed the entire search fleet.
Duo's current mission was now changed to tracking down the Gundam and its pilot to discover the pilot's objectives before either asking the other pilot to join their cause or destroy him and confiscate his suit in order to protect both Earth and the Colonies. By seven o'clock that morning, Deathscythe was submerged just off the coast of Japan not more than fifteen miles from the small island that housed Harry's cave where Heero Yuy was currently sleeping beside an injured Harry Potter.
Duo would spend the rest of the morning scanning everything within a five hundred mile radius for any sign of the missing Gundam in addition to anything out of the ordinary.
Pilot Zero-Three, the self named Trowa Barton, was once known simply as No-Name by the mercenaries that had raised and trained him until just after he turned ten years old when their location was given away by an Alliance plant. After barely escaping the slaughter of his fellow mercenaries with his life, No-Name joined up with the Barton Group. He'd spent the next five years with the Barton Group until the day the original Trowa Barton (son of an ambitious and scrupleless man and leader of the Barton Group; Dekim Barton) was killed by one of the Gundam mechanics that were working on the Gundam Heavyarms.
That was the day that No-Name took the name Trowa Barton as his own in order to cover up the murder of the original Trowa Barton and to hide the fact that the newly renamed No-Name would be stealing the Gundam in order to prevent Operation Meteor (which is what the plot to take over the Earth had been designated as) from succeeding.
Like Duo, Trowa's arrival on Earth went smoothly and largely unnoticed. Trowa's immediate destination upon his safe (and overlooked) arrival was northern Europe where he immediately hid his Gundam before searching for a cover to hide his presence. While searching the internet he ran across an old advertisement for a traveling circus in need of a clown and the young pilot promptly created a resume and hunted down the current location of the circus before appropriating a transport vehicle for his Gundam.
At the same time that Harry was dragging the seemingly unconscious Heero back to his newly hidden cave on the eastern coast of Japan; Trowa was hired by the circus after demonstrating his ability to tame the circus's rather unpleasant and unpredictable lions; a feat which had been witnessed by the ringmaster and current owner of the circus. While Duo was finishing up his first mission and preparing to head out to search for the missing Gundam, Trowa was being fitted for his costume under the watchful eye of Catherine Bloom; his new co-worker and an expert knife thrower. As Heero was experiencing zero-gravity in the middle of Harry's hidden cave after trying to attack Harry the first time, Trowa was finishing his first mission to destroy an Alliance military base in Dover.
He'd barely watched the final building implode when he was given his second mission to proceed directly to Corsica Base (off the coast of France and Italy) where he was supposed to destroy an alliance mobile suit research and manufacturing facility. Trowa shook his head, checked his performance schedule, and loaded up his Gundam; stopping twice along the way to refuel the truck and purchase a large amount of munitions in order to reload his suit's numerous guns. Parking his informally requisitioned truck in a well hidden forest just shy of the south-east coast of France, Trowa fired up Heavyarms and crossed the Mediterranean Sea; slipping in beneath the radar as he neared the Corsica Base.
His arrival went unnoticed right up until the first building exploded quite unexpectedly (to the guards on duty). From that point forward, Trowa was facing down wave after wave of mobile suits. It was after the first hour of battle that Trowa realized his information regarding the number of suits being stored at the facility had been outdated (a spur of the moment inspection by one of the higher ranking officers necessitating the need for additional security for the duration of the inspection) and it didn't take Trowa long to come to the conclusion that he would run out of ammunition long before the base ran out of mobile suits to pit him against.
Right around the time Heero was kicked out of Harry's cave and Duo was settling in to find out if the Alliance had yet located the missing Gundam, Trowa was resigning himself to going out with a bang as he prepared to take out as many of his enemies with him along with as much of the half wrecked base as he could. Trowa's true genius and his status as a cold and calculating soldier shone loud and clear on the battlefield that day as he made every bullet count. He moved with the precise and graceful economy of a ballet dancer upon the stage or a sword master facing an opponent of equal or greater skill. He was beauty and art in destruction as he mowed down suit after suit and sent the surrounding buildings up in flames and explosions that had the earth dancing in time with his every move.
When his last bullet was spent, Trowa had Heavyarms release the retractable knife that was affixed to the Gundam's right arm as he moved in closer to his enemy's and began waltzing with death with every step he took. His direction had purpose and knowing the end was near, Trowa swept across the battlefield towards the main research center with the intention of activating the self-destruct sequence when he was within range of the specified target so that even in death he could complete the mission he'd been given in the name of freedom. The pilot formerly known as No-Name almost smiled in contentment as he headed towards his destiny.
He was therefore a little put out when his suicide run was interrupted by an unexpected ally just a minute later but found himself rethinking his personal feelings when he met another Gundam pilot.
Quatre Raberba Winner was the thirtieth child and only son of Zayeed and Katherine Winner and the chosen pilot of the Gundam Sandrock. His call sign and Gundam designation was Zero-Four and he was an adopted member of the Maganac Corps; whom he once helped during a hostile hostage situation that coincided with a rebellion staged by the laborers on an Alliance resource satellite partially controlled by the Winner Corporation. Quatre's already floundering relationship with his father, under the mistaken belief that his father sees him as replaceable due to his misguided belief that he is just yet another test-tube baby that his father had created in order to further spread the Winner Family influence, took a hard hit when Quatre fled his home with the Gundam Sandrock in order to fight for his beliefs.
Sandrock and Quatre's entry into Earth's atmosphere went smoothly (if not entirely unnoticed) to Quatre's relief and he immediately sent out a message to the leader of the Maganacs; Rashid Kurama. While he waited to hear back from his friend, Quatre headed to the Winner Estate located in Saudi Arabia to establish his home base and his cover for being on Earth since the Winner Family had lived in the Colonies for generations. The mansion had been locked up and virtually abandoned for over a hundred years but that didn't pose any problems for Quatre as he hacked into the Estate's defense system using the family security codes in order to gain access.
About that time he received a reply from Rashid and made arrangements to meet up with the Maganac Corps later that night in order to destroy the search team that the Alliance had sent out to investigate the rumors of his arrival. While he waited for the appointed time to arrive, Quatre ran through a systems check of his Gundam to insure that the Mobile Suit hadn't sustained any damage upon entry while at the same time running a similar check on the Estate's defenses. When he finished with both of those tedious (if important) activities, Quatre went about establishing his reason for being on Earth (that didn't include revealing himself as a Gundam Pilot).
Part of this involved sending out a public announcement that the Winner Family was reestablishing ties to their Earth heritage which was credible because Quatre was the heir of the Winner Corporation (unless his father chose to disown him for his disobedience). In order to make his return appear less cloak and dagger, Quatre hacked into the systems of the nearest spaceport and falsified his travel records to make it appear that he'd returned to Earth via shuttle through the proper channels. The last thing he did was to put up ads indicating that he was hiring, knowing he would need to staff the Estate in order to continue the charade that he was legitimately trying to reform the Earth branch of the Winner Family (though each potential employee would be thoroughly screened before being hired).
The moment the sun began setting, Quatre climbed back into Sandrock and headed off to his meeting with the Maganac. He'd barely arrived at the designated meeting site when Rashid sent him word that they'd located the search team. With the enemy suits spread out searching through the dunes, Quatre and the Maganacs surrounded them one and two at a time, offered them a chance to surrender, and destroyed those that refused to lay down their weapons. When the short lived battle was over, Quatre and the Maganacs retreated into the desert and quickly set up a base camp and hid the various mobile suits, including Sandrock, from casual observation. Quatre was happy to be reunited with his first friends but ultimately sad for the lives he'd been forced to take in battle that night.
There was little time for rest and reunions though as Quatre received his first official mission; an order to destroy the mobile suit research and manufacturing facility at the Corsica Base in the Mediterranean. Not wasting any time, Quatre and the Maganacs prepared to head out; unknowingly heading towards a meeting with a fellow rebel and pilot of another Gundam. Quatre tried to convince the Maganacs to stay behind at first but the effort proved futile when they refused to be left behind. After a rather long and boring journey, their small contingent of mobile suits arrived at Corsica Base to find it already under attack by an unfamiliar Gundam and Quatre ordered the Maganacs to hold their fire as he assessed the situation.
When it became obvious that the other suit (which had obviously been destroying the facilities) was out of ammunition and in danger of being destroyed, Quatre and the Maganacs rushed to aide him as well as continue annihilating the enemy suits. Their involvement quickly drew the attention of the other Gundam who turned to face off against Sandrock as if the pilot thought Quatre was a bigger threat. Having no desire to see a potential ally destroyed for no reason, Quatre shut down Sandrock and opened the cockpit door in order to appeal to the other pilot personally.
To his surprise and relief, the other pilot reciprocated and after a short exchange established that they had both been given the same orders. Quatre invited the other pilot to join him after they finished razing the base.
Wufei Chang, a rather conflicted and highly intelligent young teen, rebelled against fate after his wife's death and stubbornly took her place as Zero-Five; the pilot of the Gundam Shenlong. The clan leaders of his colony were rather shocked by Wufei's rebellious theft of the Gundam suit due to the teen's preference for book learning as opposed to fighting. That is not to say that Wufei was weak, he wasn't, but it did mean that his opponents usually underestimated him not only because he was young but because he did not hold himself as a warrior would. That all changed on the day of his wife's death though, when his emotions got the better of him as he swore to avenge her death; which he blamed on himself because he believed it was his weakness that had ultimately led to her death.
His entry into Earth's atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean wasn't quite as easy as Duo, Trowa, and Quatre's but neither was it as engaging as Heero's. Instead, Wufei encountered a small fleet of Alliance ships that he was forced to destroy least they spread word of his arrival on the planet. From there he made his way to Africa where he landed in Tanzania in order to purchase explosives and additional ammunition for his Gundam. He received his first mission less than four hours after he'd settled down in his hidden base camp but unlike his fellow rebels he did not just rush off to complete the mission.
Instead, Wufei spent the remainder of his first day on earth and nearly all of his second day researching the facility he was supposed to destroy in addition to compiling data on the prototypes of the new mobile suits that OZ and the Alliance were preparing to ship out into space. His main target, the only known prototypes of the new Taurus suit currently in existence, were far more advanced than the Leos and specifically designed for combat in space. The biggest reason why they wanted to destroy the newer suits though was because they were the first mobile suit to be installed with an operating system that was designed to function without a pilot; meaning that the suits could function at speeds that would normally kill a pilot which gave the mobile dolls (as the unpiloted suits were called) a decidedly deadly advantage.
It was right about the time that an irate Harry was kicking Heero out of his cave that Wufei completed his research. The young pilot then headed to the Lake Victoria Base after hiding his Gundam in the forests not too far from the facility; choosing to sneak onto the base after sunset driving the truck of explosives he'd purchased off the black market just a few hours earlier. Once night had fallen, Wufei began ghosting through the base, planting explosives in the various buildings; paying close attention to the barracks and the storage facilities.
His plan was to cause panic and push the commander of the base into trying to protect the Taurus suits by flying them out on a carrier plane so that it would be easier to destroy them in one fell swoop instead of trying to find out exactly which building or buildings the suits were being kept in or trying to face them in battle where there was a chance one or more could escape. Once the explosives were in place, Wufei began making his way off the base; pausing only long enough to activate the bombs as he climbed on his stolen motorcycle and headed towards where he left his Gundam.
All around him the night came alive with sirens and search parties as the enemy sought to find him in the wake of the numerous explosions. It didn't take long for a trio of mobile suits to pick up his trail using heat sensors. The next half hour was spent playing a game of cat and mouse in which Wufei was the mouse and losing meant he would pay with his life. Only the knowledge that he had to reach his Gundam before the transport plane could carry the Taurus suits off to safety spurred Wufei on despite the suit that was firing at him left and right after the other two split off into the night.
As luck would have it, the pilot of the enemy suit managed to knock Wufei from his bike with a poorly aimed explosion and as Wufei skidded across the ground he grabbed hold of the bag that held his extra explosives. The enemy suit arrived seconds later and he heard a woman's voice order him to stand up and surrender even as she bitched him out for attacking the barracks instead of the mobile suits. The knowledge that his enemy was a woman made Wufei realize why he'd not been killed instantly and he used the woman's weakness against her by activating the entire bag of bombs and escaped in the resulting confusion.
Ten minutes later, Wufei in Shenlong blew the plane carrying the prototype suits out of the sky using one of the Alliance's own weapons that they had attempted to use to destroy his Gundam suit. The last thing Wufei did before he left, was taunt the woman who had almost caught him about her weaknesses and tell her to give up fighting before she got herself killed (the memory of his late wife urging him to convince her to stay out of the looming war).
Heero woke up about noon to find Harry finally sleeping soundly (the kid having spent the night before and most of the morning locked in nightmares) and he carefully climbed off of the bed without waking the kid. He spent five minutes just observing the gentle rise and fall of Harry's chest before he headed to the bathroom to relieve his bladder and take a shower. When he finished, he checked on Harry again before he headed outside to check over his Gundam once more in the hopes that he could repair the damage enough to at least get the communications system up and running. He picked up the discarded backpack holding the clothes and supplies that Harry had given him the day before as he walked passed it before he climbed up onto the Gundam.
He was still sitting up on the chest of his suit an hour later when he caught sight of Harry exiting the cave out of the corner of his eye. Turning, he watched the kid pause and stare in his direction before abruptly turning to the north and walking (with a slight limp in his gate) along the cliff until he reached another cave entrance that Heero had previously overlooked. Heero then watched the kid look back at him one last time before he disappeared inside of the cave and the teen pilot frowned as he wondered what the kid could possibly be doing. He had his answer ten minutes later when huge gouts of dust began billowing out of the cave as a series of explosions once more shook the area.
He'd suspected that the kid was responsible for the explosions, logic and the kid's offhand comments had told him that much, but it was one thing to guess and another thing entirely to see actual proof. Cursing, Heero dropped down onto the beach and ran towards the second cave as he feared the mule-headed kid would be crushed. He couldn't believe he hadn't asked the kid what he'd been doing and what was causing the explosions when he had the chance. The closer he got to the cave the harder it was to keep his footing as the ground shook with each heavy blast and all Heero could see in his mind was the kid's broken body buried beneath a mound of falling rocks.
"Harry!" Heero hollered as loud as he could as he skidded to a stop just outside of the mouth of the cave as he couldn't see beyond the smoke and debris that was billowing out of the cavern. The explosions stopped and five minutes later, a dust covered Harry limped hesitantly out of the cave while dispelling what looked like a large blue bubble from around his head. "What in the hell do you think you're doing, kid!?"
"I'm making a place to hide the robots," Harry replied with a scowl as he glared up at Heero. "And stop calling me kid, damn it; I'm at least a year older than you."
"Doesn't matter how old you are; you still look like a punk kid," Heero countered as leaned against the cliff-side and frowned down at the shorter teen. "Don't you think it's a bit too dangerous for you to be setting off explosives in a cliff-side cave that could crash down around your ears?"
"I'm not using explosives, I'm using magic," Harry corrected as he crossed his arms over his chest and glared up at Heero. "And I've already reinforced the walls and ceiling so they won't fall down; it's perfectly safe for me to be in there as I carve deeper into the cliff."
"Uh-huh… safe? Then why are you bleeding again?"
"It's just a couple of scratches from where I was hit by flying rock chips," Harry replied dismissively. "They'll be healed up by tomorrow. Why haven't you left?"
"I'm not leaving just yet," Heero replied absently as he pushed away from the cliff and walked into the cave so he could see what the kid had been doing. "I have to repair Wing and you need someone to watch over you."
"I don't need a babysitter; self appointed or otherwise," Harry complained hotly as he followed behind Heero and used his wand to clear the air so that they could see where they were going and breathe without inhaling the floating dust.
Heero ignored Harry and whistled instead as he saw that the cave he was now standing in was nearly as large as the main room of the cave where Harry had been living. The walls were no where near as smooth and the ceiling was no where near as high but it was far larger than what he'd expected when he first walked in. The most notable features in the cave were the huge gouge marks that Harry must have made along the northern side of the cave if the scattered rocks and the occasional piles of loose dirt were any indication; evidence of the destruction that the pint-sized wizard had caused.
"How long have you been working on this and how big was the cave when you first started?"
"I've been working on it since the night I found you on the beach and it wasn't much of a cave before I started making it bigger; nothing more than a few small rabbit-sized holes in the cliff-side."
"Are you telling me that most of this entire cavern is man-made? And that you managed to get it this big in less than two days!?" Heero demanded as whirled around to stare at Harry in shock. "How the hell is that even possible? Where did the rest of the rocks and dirt that you blasted out go?"
"Magic made it possible. I can't explain how it works but I can show you if you'd like. You'd have to let me cast a couple of spells on you first; otherwise you could be hurt."
Heero felt distinctly nervous at the mention of allowing Harry to cast magic on him but after a minute he felt it would be worth it if he was to learn a bit more of what Harry was capable of doing with his magic. Glancing down at the kid, he caught a brief look of nervousness and uncertainty before Harry hid it behind a blank mask. Sighing, Heero finally stated, "You may cast what spells you need to so I can watch you work for a short while."
Harry nodded and led Heero to the south wall where he built a small bunker out of loose rocks and dirt with a few waves of his wand and Heero was hard pressed not to gape and gawk at the display. Harry then cast a series of spells over the entire structure before asking Heero to climb inside so he could put up the final shield (which was actually cast on the pilot) and cast the Bubblehead Charm on him. That was how Heero found himself sitting inside the bunker and looking out through a shimmering blue bubble as Harry walked to the center of the cave and pointed his wand at the northern wall.
Heero glanced between the boy and the wall a couple of times as Harry waved his wand about in a seemingly random pattern and sharply called out, "Defodio."
The next thing he knew there was a flash of bright light before a five foot by five foot section of the northern wall simply disintegrated with a concussive force greater than or equal to a single blast from Wing's buster rifle and what he thought had been explosions was actually the cracking of displaced air rapidly filling the section of destroyed wall that shook the ground under the abrupt change in pressure. The force of the spell sent a few minor rock chips flying but for the most part whatever was hit by the light of the spell was instantly turned into dust.
He watched Harry cast the spell an additional eight times, moving the northern wall back an additional three feet, before the boy lowered his wand and turned around to stare at Heero. After a full minute, Harry lifted his wand once more and pointed it at the northern wall as he continued to stare right at Heero as a dark look passed over the kid's face. Heero frowned, wondering what the kid was playing at when he heard Harry scream out, "Deprimo Maxima," at the top of his lungs and Heero's eyes were drawn to the huge red wave of energy that flew across the cave.
The moment the blast of light and magic hit the wall an actual explosion rocked the entire cave as two feet of rock along the entire length of the northern wall buckled beneath the force of the spell. Heero felt an icy coldness grip his spine and heart as he glanced back at Harry and saw the boy still glaring at him with undisguised loathing and blind fury. That last spell had been meant to pass a message on to Heero, it was Harry's way of saying 'I am not weak' while at the time promising Heero a rather quick and messy death the first chance he got.
Swallowing thickly, Heero nodded to Harry knowing the kid would know that he understood the message that he'd just been given. Harry glared at him for a full minute in return and then promptly turned his back on Heero as he used the first spell to clear the rocks and other debris from the powerful blast out of the cave before he walked over to the bunker, canceled the protective spells, and promptly destroyed said bunker.
"Har…ry…" Heero croaked out before he paused to clear his throat before trying again. "Harry, I owe you an apology for the way I treated you yesterday after I discovered my Gundam on the beach. I am here on Earth as part of a small rebellion in order to prevent a war from breaking out between the Alliance and the Colonies and I had feared my cover had been blown when I saw my Gundam sitting in front of your cave. I was trained as a soldier for many years and I didn't stop to take into consideration that you were just a civilian child when I should have."
"Will you release me from my oath?"
"No… not until the threat of war has passed. Regardless of your age, you are too young to be left on your own in a world threatened by war and your oath is the only insurance I have that you will listen to me."
"Then you can take your bloody apology and shove it where the sun doesn't shine. I don't need you, your pity, or your help and I refuse to assuage your guilt," Harry spat back as he stormed out of the cave.
"Damn it," Heero growled as he dashed after the kid.
Harry must have either heard him or sensed him because the kid glanced back over his shoulder once before he took off running. Heero had to admit the damn kid was fast (despite his injuries); he practically flew over the sand as they slipped outside of the wards without either of them realizing it. Heero was in damn good shape (not counting his lingering bruises from his crash landing just two days earlier and where Harry's hands and feet had hit him the day before during their short scuffle) but his weight when compared to that of the smaller and lighter Harry worked against him as they ran across the sand.
He started cursing as he noticed the kid pulling further away from him when he realized all he needed to do was order him to stop running, "Harry, stop!"
Heero breathed a sigh of relief as the boy skidded to a stop and swung around to face him, his face twisted up in anger and fear as he glared defiantly back at Heero. Slowing to a trot, Heero closed the distance between the two of them and opened his mouth in order to address the kid when he watched the look on Harry's face transform into one of sheer terror as he fell on his butt and began scrambling backwards.
Heero frowned, wondering why the kid was suddenly so frightened of him, only to pick up on the fact that Harry wasn't actually looking at him but at something behind him the moment a huge shadow fell over the two of them. Whirling around, Heero whipped out his pistol and pointed it at the new threat only to give out a mental groan when he realized he was staring at a mobile suit that looked just enough like Wing that it couldn't be anything but another Gundam.
"Drop your weapon and step away from da kid."
"Harry, when I tell you to, I want you to run as fast as you can and get back inside of your cave where you will be safe. I will distract the pilot to give you the time to get out of here."
"You can't fight against that thing!" Harry protested hotly. "I don't need you to save me."
"Don't be an idiot, whoever is piloting it obviously wants you for some reason and I refuse to allow you to be captured or hurt."
"I repeat, drop your weapon and step away from da kid before I am forced ta kill ya."
Heero backed up and turned so he could take a quick glance at Harry and found the kid staring up at the Gundam with an unreadable look on his face. Harry then glanced in his direction and Heero saw something in the kid's gaze harden as he climbed slowly to his feet.
"Get ready to run."
"No," Harry countered in a cold, hard voice as he moved his gaze beyond Heero to glare up at the Gundam suit looming threateningly above them as he reached up and pressed a hand to his chest. "I am not going to allow anyone else to die because of me. I hate you… I will kill you some day… but I will not allow you to die for me; you haven't earned that right."
"That makes no fucking sense, kid; you need to get the hell out of here because that suit can kill you with a single shot."
"No…" Harry repeated before he dropped his hand away from his chest again as he aimed his wand at the Gundam as the pilot of the suit activated the beam weapon his suit carried, a huge blade of pure energy forming the blade of what looked to be a scythe. "I'm not afraid of death."
Heero saw the blade of energy descending towards them and he dropped his gun as he threw himself at Harry in the hopes that he'd knock the boy out of the path of the deadly weapon. To his alarm, Harry jumped back out of his reach and cried out, "Expelliarmus!" as his wand fired a spell at the incoming weapon and Heero rolled over onto his back as he followed the trajectory of the red spell. His eyes about near popped out of his head as the light of the spell crashed into the arm that was wielding the scythe and sent the beam weapon spinning off into the sky before it crash down onto the beach about ten yards behind Harry.
"I won't allow you or anyone else to die for me!" Harry hissed as he threw an angry glare at Heero before facing the Gundam once more. "Stupefy!"
A second red light went sizzling passed Heero and this time hit the Gundam right in the chest and Heero gaped in astonishment as he witnessed the spell knock the Gundam off balance as the entire suit began sparking before it shorted out completely and crashed backwards onto the beach. Heero then swung his head back around to stare at Harry as if seeing him for the first time.
"You have no right to die for me," Harry whispered fiercely before he keeled over face first into the sand; his body pushed to extreme exhaustion from the amount of magic he'd put into his spells in order to disarm and disrupt the Gundam so soon after his destructive display in the cave on top of his recent injuries. Then there was the fact that he'd been in a constant state of near exhaustion over the past two and a half days, was dealing with the emotional turmoil from everything that had happened since finding Heero on the beach, and the warning his magic had given him for actively fighting against a direct order and his oath for a second time until he exploited one of the loopholes he'd left himself.
Heero scrambled up onto his feet and hurried over to Harry's side.
AN: What a busy chapter; getting everything to flow in some sort of order so as to get everyone where they needed to, when they needed to be there was a pain in the… well difficult. I also had to pull facts from various websites in order to account for the information that came from Endless Waltz or Episode Zero (both of which I have not seen or read). Now, I know there are a few things that will stand out as being wrong or different but those apparent 'mistakes' were intentional (such as the scientists assigning the numbers to the pilots rather than Lady Une and OZ).
I also tried my best to keep all of the pilots in character here, though I think I failed with Wufei. For some reason, Wufei is extremely difficult for me to write as I have a hard time relating to his character. I've read a lot of fanfics going on and on about his 'justice rants' but I just can't seem to write him as being that anal retentive (no offense intended, I can understand Wufei's canon character, I just can't write him that way). So out of all five pilots you can expect him to be the one that is least likely to stay in character and the pilot to get the least amount of screen time (though I didn't completely marginalize him and he still plays a big role in the story – we just won't see much of the story from his POV).
Now, I'm certain most of you who are familiar with the series will recognize which pilot I'm introducing to Harry next; since I wasn't really trying to hide his identity or anything. The only reason I'm bringing attention to him right now is because I have chosen to have his verbal responses reflect the fact that he grew up on the streets. Don't worry though, I've chosen to limit what words he'll be mangling so that it doesn't kill the readability of his dialogue. It's mostly just to distinguish him from the other pilots and represents a link to his past.
One last thing… quite a few people seemed to think that just because Harry swore the oath to Heero that Harry's life is over. I'd like to take the time to point out that canon Harry was ambitious enough and cunning enough for the Hat to consider placing him in Slytherin. And while his Slytherin side seemed to die after he was placed in Gryffindor, it didn't get wiped out completely. There is a method to my madness and the exact wording of that oath is very important to keep in mind. And I think that is all I am going to say about the matter least I give away later plot points.
Anywho… I hope you enjoyed the chapter! I'll post the next chapter soon. ~ Jenn