AN: This is a kind of an AU. I'm not really sure about the circumstances about Reborn and the others before they become an Arcobaleno. But this is what I've cooked up. So please bear with it. And I think Reborn might have been OOC in the story, especially Harry since it's hard to really get a feel of his character if he is a female. Mainly Reborn's POV though.
This may be some kind of Prologue Oneshot, I don't know, or if I'll make it into a multi-chaptered story; or if this is just a waste, so I would like your opinions on this.
It was rare when Reborn came outside that has nothing to do with the mafia.
Back then, when he didn't have any missions, he would only stay indoors to rest and relax before taking another assignment. On the seldom occasions that he did venture out, it was either to watch people he had grown suspicious of or to commence the daily lookout around the perimeter of his living quarters. It was the paranoia instilled within him by being the best hitman in the world; a handful of targets painted on his back or numerous Famiglia wanting to recruit him.
And yet, here he was, sipping a finely made cup of espresso in a quiet café that he found during his lookout.
If there was anything that he valued aside from his hat, Leon, and his guns, it would be the heavenly drink that was coffee. It helped in keeping his nerves active and made it easier to stay alert, that, and he liked the bittersweet taste that lingered in his mouth.
Maybe he had been relaxing too much since he hadn't sensed the person who had tapped his shoulder from behind. The café was now a little bit crowded for Reborn's taste but as long as none of those people bothered him, he was fine with it. So with an annoyed scowl, he twisted slightly in his chair to look at the person who dared interrupted his temporary peace. Hitman rarely got some time to unwind slightly and this person had just effectively drained down his effort.
It was a woman, a part of his mind internally lamented. He had nothing against the opposite gender but most of them tended to be rather giggly and flirty. He had his fair share of flirts and gropes but he would never go far with a woman who was all face and no brain. That was the reason most of his girlfriends came from the mafia, even though it was more of a beneficial relationship rather than a genuine one. And there was his general rule to never stay with one partner too long, it might forge the beginnings of an attachment which he absolutely couldn't afford in his line of job.
But the female, who looked to be in her late teenage years, just eyed him flatly, almost hesitant even. Long black hair reached her waist and a long fringe covered her right eye from view. Her left eye–which was visible–was a bright and intense emerald green. Almost a force of habit, he observed her very carefully–a loose apple-green blouse, a knee-length pleated white skirt, white flats, and a small black purse. But she could easily hide a gun within her blouse, especially in her bra, he had encountered female enemies who had done so. Or she could be concealing a pocket knife or a small pistol gun under her skirt as his previous partner had demonstrated in their last infiltration operation.
He narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously, stare alertly trained on her movements.
"May I sit here?" The woman asked in English instead of the expected Italian. "Everywhere else is full," She shrugged as she gestured around them, one hand carefully balancing a tray with a plate of a simple caramel cake and what looked to be a steaming mug of cappuccino.
She was right. Well, not really if you considered the hunch figure of an old man three tables away. But Reborn already figured out that she had deduced him to be the lesser of the two evils. Even if he had purposely emitted a dark aura to keep curious creatures away from him, mainly by glaring and scowling at anyone who came too close. Except her, obviously. Maybe if he hadn't been too preoccupied but even as he scowled at her, she just stared back at him.
Picking up the newspaper on the table, he scoffed quietly.
"Do what you want," He replied roughly, annoyed as she just nodded before sitting down across from him.
"Thanks," She muttered under her breath.
He ignored the woman as he read through the paper and he knew that she reciprocated the action by eating her meal in silence. He was just relieved that it wasn't a persistent nagger who would make eyes at him throughout the meal just so he could give whoever it was some attention. Those were the most irritating people that he always had to restrain the urge of just shooting them down and be done with it.
Thankfully, he didn't have to endure that kind of sadistic thinking right now.
It went on for about half an hour before the woman pushed her empty plate away and stood up. They didn't even glance at each other as she carefully placed the chair back, grabbed her purse and started to exit the café without glancing back. Reborn was almost reminded of the time when he had to eat with fellow Mafioso back in the Vongola base, where people just minded their own business, and parted ways without sparing a glance back. He had already finished his drink by the time she had joined his table so he knew that she wouldn't be able to try and poison him, not as if he would let her or anybody else, for that matter.
Iemitsu already warned him again and again that he was too paranoid for his own good. Reborn scoffed as he flipped to another page of the newspaper, not many people would survive in the mafia world if they didn't contain a healthy dose of paranoia.
Reborn didn't think about the woman for the next three days.
But he did recall her when a black van had been parked outside the apartment building he lived in, that same woman had stepped out of the driver's seat and brought out large suitcases from the back. He remembered watching from his balcony as how the petite form had surprisingly hefted the heavy-looking luggage with ease that belied her stature. So she was strong, he deduced as he took a sip of coffee from his mug. Her hair still hid her right eye and almost half of her face from view–but the hitman could easily read the annoyance from the visible half.
He stared at her apprehensively. First time that they encountered each other, she had requested to sit with him. And now, she was obviously moving into an apartment the same building as his. That was just asking too much of his patience and the brunt of his suspicion. He never believed in coincidences, the mafia world had no place for that especially if information was one of the main things that kept it progressing.
So he rose from his seat and headed back inside, where he could study some of the latest reports and ignore the urge to interrogate said woman at gunpoint.
Financial payment, minor enemy Famiglia, new recruits, mission details, officer accounts–the list went on and on and Reborn felt a headache brewing at the monotonous information that shouldn't be dealt with so early in the morning.
Gazing at his wall clock, he saw that two hours had already passed and there were sounds of rummaging and fumbling that could be heard next door. He glared at the wall as if he could still stare down at the person causing such noises. He hated being disturbed from his tranquillity and whoever was next door was making him itch for his gun. He recalled that the apartment next to his was supposed to be vacant since its last owner had moved out three months ago.
Then he remembered. That woman.
Putting on his blazer with his fedora hat and Leon, Reborn stalked out of his apartment to demand information. Whoever this woman was, she was really pushing it. He might have been apprehensive but he had given her the benefit of the doubt. And it was better to be prepared than a bullet to the head, or back. Sitting by his table, moving in the same building, but then staying next door was just too much of a chance or luck.
No, Reborn never believed in coincidences.
Her door had been left open and the hitman could see that she was in the process of pulling a table inside. She was now dressed in a yellow sleeveless blouse and white shorts that ended just above her knees. Even for a mafia spy, the choice of clothing was too impractical but Reborn wouldn't let himself be lulled into a sense of false security.
"Who are you?" He demanded in a low baritone, straight to the point.
The woman startled, jumped at the intrusion and accidentally let go of table. Fortunately, none of its legs trampled her feet. But it didn't stop her from cursing as she examined the furniture for further damage, before whirling around to face him. Her visible eye was narrowed as she frowned.
"Didn't it ever occur to you to knock first?" She growled at him in obvious irritation.
"I asked a question," Reborn reminded her with a smirk, knowing how people easily became infuriated with the expression.
But she just gave him the critical eye, gaze doubtful and mistrusting as he felt at the moment.
Then she snorted.
"Sorry, I don't give my name to strangers." She gritted out as she crossed her arms, her stance stiff and wary as her left foot shifted backwards. The typical move when on the verge of escaping from a predator.
"Timoteo," He blurted out a false name, the Vongola Nono's name coming first to mind. "And you?" He raised an eyebrow at her scrunched up expression, as if she obviously didn't believe him. For some reason, he also couldn't get a read or glimpse of her thoughts.
She just shook her head and sighed.
"If I tell you, will you leave me alone?" The woman had a resigned look in her face as she leaned at the table, eyeing him disgruntledly.
"Of course," He agreed easily since he could then have his contacts search into her.
He tilted his hat down as she scowled at his eager response, even if his voice carefully remained neutral. She didn't exude any malicious intent but her moves were far graceful to be that of a normal civilian's. Not to mention, her aura was steadily getting stronger the longer she became agitated in his presence. This was the first time he had willingly sought out information that didn't have him bringing out Leon or a gun.
"Harriet," She mumbled quietly. "Harriet Potter. Now will you please leave now? I'm in the middle of moving in." She glared at him venomously and if Reborn had been a lesser man, he knew that he would have been unnerved at the real promise of pain in her visible emerald eye.
But instead, he was amused and he made sure that the woman knew it.
He inclined his head as he lifted his fedora hat in a mockery of polite greeting, which was lost as he had barged in without permission.
With that, he left.
Apparently, Harriet Potter originated from Little Whinging, Surrey in England. Her parents were declared dead due to a car accident but the details were suspiciously lacking. According to the reports, she was under the guardianship of a Vernon and Petunia Dursley. Not much was known about her since the relatives had evidently gone to lengths to hide their association to their niece. She had attended St. Grogory's Primary School–from astounding grades that had suddenly dropped down into mediocre ones until she finished schooling there.
Vernon was the director of Grunnings, Petunia was a housewife, and their son, Dudley, had graduated from Smeltings Academy and was currently attending a local University near their place. But what was most curious, was the fact that Harriet had disappeared from the records after she graduated from primary school. In her current records, it said that she had attended Stonewall High even though Harriet Potter never existed in the school's registration.
Though, there was now the fact that the nineteen year old woman was currently attending a culinary school just a few blocks away from their building.
Her data would have been clean if not for the fact that she had apparently disappeared for almost eight years. That was a lot of time and one's period in the mafia was never a wasted time. So Reborn decided to just keep an eye on the woman for now since he couldn't act directly without any evidence.
This wasn't the first time that he had investigated about someone he had been doubtful and suspicious of. After all, his early actions had taken necessary assassins off his back before they could even properly commence in their job. He was just being cautious. And this woman wasn't making it easier if she did things that raised his suspicions of her further. That mysterious block in her information wouldn't let his desire to know die though but Reborn wouldn't delved deeper unless given another reason to do so. Her motives were still unknown.
He was interrupted from his musings, however, by the quiet knock on his door.
Instantly, he was on alert as Leon transformed into the comforting weight of a gun in his hand. He slowly approached the door, sensing that only one person stood on the other side of the door. When his acquaintances or clients came to his place, they would call first to warn him since they knew that he never took to surprises well. They remembered to give him forewarnings in the future after shooting one of Iemitsu's friends in the kneecaps when they barged in his apartment unannounced.
He peered through the peephole and the sight almost made him want to sigh in aggravation. The current subject of his thoughts was standing there with a plate of food, a peeved expression on her face as she impatiently stood outside.
For a moment, he considered ignoring her and going back to his desk. Maybe she would then assume that no one was inside and she would leave him in peace.
Leon morphed back into a chameleon and looped around his wrist. His feet slowly padded back to the living room and he grabbed his fedora hat to put on his head before going back to answer the door. If she had something planned, he could always retaliate. After all, he was not the best hitman in the world for nothing.
When he opened the door, she blinked before frowning in annoyance.
"Timoteo," Harriet nodded. "I brought food," She simply stated as she gestured to the platter in her hands which contained what looked to be–Lasagna or some kind of pie.
"You didn't need to," He grunted out but he accepted the plate anyway. "Why and what's this?" It had always been pointed out that he was blunt and he never saw a reason to dance around a subject.
"Shepherd's pie," She answered with evident displeasure in her voice as he peered at the British dish. He had heard of it before but was mistrustful of what she made. "And I'm giving these to my neighbors in this floor,"
That had him raising an eyebrow. He was the only one occupying this floor until she arrived–was this her ploy to poison him?
But he just nodded at her and made to move inside his place.
As she walked away though, Reborn could have sworn that she had just called him an "ungrateful git" under her breath. He shook his head in irritation as he closed the door with a soft click. He was familiar with the expression from previous English clients. Though, she had called him by the name he gave even though she believed that it was only a lie. He would have to know if she knew his real identity or not–that would make his job about deducing her intentions much easier.
When he arrived in his kitchen, he just stared at the food. Before prodding and testing it for poisons. He wasn't an expert when it came to poisons or venoms but he knew enough to tell when his own meal was poisoned. He could have just thrown the food away and be done with it, but Reborn wanted to test if she would try to go against him by poisoning his food. So when it appeared to be negative in any chemicals that could either harm or kill the body, he nodded, satisfied.
So he took a careful bite of the food and mulled over its taste.
Before he snorted and grudgingly acknowledged.
"Not bad," He simply said.
By the end of the week, the platter was clean of any trace of Shepherd's pie. Reborn had to admit that it was good and had kept it as a side dish every dinner. The woman never bothered him after their last counter but he did passed by her in the mornings when she was on her way to that culinary school.
The woman, Harriet, hadn't done anything that could be construed as questionable and it gave the hitman a lot of space to manoeuvre. And that had been reason enough to halt his investigation of her further but he still kept an eye on her. Though she still did things that mostly annoyed him. Whenever she was cooking, she hummed loud enough to be heard outside the balcony when he was enjoying the cool air and reading the day's newspaper. Or those nights that she always left every light within her living quarters open until morning; the light from her balcony reflecting an annoying shimmer in his balcony. Or how she had easily made Leon like her.
He didn't know if it was intentional but he decided to ignore her instead of growing further irritated.
That had been their routine for almost a month until something in the process happened and destroyed that harmony.
He had been on a mission to eliminate a group of minor Mafioso who was said to be involved in drug dealing and human trafficking. Reborn had easily eliminated the thugs and even burned down their warehouse in the process. Until he realized that it was an ambush–he had sensed the sniper from the rooftop of the adjacent building but hadn't been fast enough to dodge the bullet coming from another sniper who was positioned at his blind spot. It wasn't really a shot but the bullet just managed to graze his abdomen and the wound had yet to close as it continued to bleed. And still, he had disposed of the two easily and the other ones that popped out.
The hitman blamed his carelessness at being inactive for almost a month–it had been Nono's decision to force him into days off after a particularly gruesome mission. But he knew that he had been mostly at fault too since he had complied by mostly idling.
So on his way home, he had stumbled his way on the stairs until a gasp had him looking up. That woman seemed to be on her way downstairs and was now seeing him at this state. Though, his eyes narrowed as he knew that it was already past midnight. And just where was she going at this time of the night? It almost seemed like a coincidence that she had been able to meet him on his way back, at this situation nonetheless.
But he never believed in coincidences.
The woman approached him hastily as she carefully grabbed his arm and placed it around her shoulders; supporting him as she helped him climbed up the stairs and into her apartment. He let her since Leon was already prepared if she tried anything. The blood loss must have weakened him and he couldn't stop the grimace that crossed his face.
As she gently laid him down on her couch, before she could go, he grabbed her wrist tightly.
"Why," He rasped out as he tightened his hold, not caring if it might leave a bruise later on. "–are you helping me?" He tilted his head down so she wouldn't see his expression.
"Because you need it," She simply replied as she tugged her wrist out of his grip forcefully before she opened a nearby cabinet and brought out what looked like a first aid kit. But he could hear clacking of glass bottles inside as she approached him with it.
Without pre-empt, she loosened his tie and unbuttoned his shirt. Her visible eye didn't even stray anywhere as it focused solely on the gash by his side. It looked ugly, Reborn had to admit, since it was bruising an ugly shade of purple around the edges. And he didn't even know that it had been that deep or he might have just widened the wound by travelling. Grabbing a white cloth from the kit, she poured water on it from a plastic bottle before using it to clean off the blood.
He didn't wince at the touch since he had been used to treating wounds much worse than this. He could have treated himself, he knew, but he wanted to see what she would do. She didn't ask any questions as if she had dealt with something like this before and it only strengthened his theory about her being part of the mafia.
After cleaning the wound, she brought out a black vial from the kit and poured a very thick blue liquid in her hand.
His eyes widened at the unknown medicine and before he could even voice a single protest, she had already applied it to his wound. Surprisingly, there wasn't any pain but a certain coolness that spread throughout his abdomen. There wasn't a lingering ache and he realized that he couldn't feel anything around the area; almost as if it had gone…numb.
And Leon had already transformed into a gun and Reborn pointed it at her steadily.
The woman just brought out a roll of bandages and eyed him expectantly.
"What was that?" He hissed angrily as he warily stepped away from the couch. "What did you used in my wound?" He demanded as he laid a careful hand on his injury, his eyes trained on her carefully.
"Medicine," She simply sighed as her eyebrow twitched. "A specially brewed salve that helps in closing wounds," She calmly answered as she combed a hand down her dark tresses, whether in nervousness or agitation, Reborn didn't know.
The hitman just stared at her visible eye for a moment longer, his gun still held in his hand, and seeing no deceit, he let it transform back into his companion and sat back on the couch with a pensive frown. For a moment, neither of them moved as they gazed into each other's eyes, neither of them backing down. Reborn had to admit that the woman was stubborn when most men would have already cowered from his intense gaze.
"Hey, woman," He urged impatiently. "I thought you were going to treat this." The statement was almost mocking but Reborn had refrained from sneering.
She glared at him spitefully.
"If I knew you were going to be this ungrateful, I shouldn't have bothered in the first place," The woman growled at him angrily, unrolling the bandages almost jerkily as she warily approached him on the couch.
"But you did," He smirked at her almost smugly.
Though, he find it terribly interesting that the woman always turned a curious shade of red every time she had to be within his personal space to better wrap the bandages around his middle. And her eye was visibly getting angrier too at this noticeable fact. Though he knew that she tied the bandage too tightly on purpose and he had to wince at the momentary pain the shot up from the wound.
And he raised an eyebrow as she instantly jumped away from him after she was done, as if burnt.
"You can go back now," She mumbled quietly.
"Why did you help me?" He countered back as he helped himself get comfortable on the couch. "And don't tell me that it's because I needed it, people aren't that selfless." Reborn pointed out frankly as he eyed her with challenge, daring her to contradict his statement.
She scoffed at him.
"It's a stupid saving-people thing," The woman glowered at him unpleasantly, her cheeks pink from obvious embarrassment. "Happy now? So can you please go back to your place?"
"So you got a hero-complex in you," He snorted disbelievingly.
"Why can't you just be grateful that I saved your ass?" She gritted out as she put away the bloodied cloth and the kit, eye focused on her work, not noticing how he had tensed at her careless question.
"Because normal people just don't save others without reason," Reborn found himself declaring calmly. "And I am the kind of someone who hates being in debt to another," He didn't know why he felt the need to say that but it was the thing that was bothering him the most. Reborn hated being dependent or relying on anyone–he had taken care of himself for years so he saw no need to be reliant to anybody.
She paused in her movement and raised her head to pin him with a dark stare.
"I help because I can," She simply said and promptly shut down his arguments with that simple statement. "I know the feeling of just watching from the sidelines, being unable to do anything, and being helpless altogether. So now, I help in any ways just because I can." She admitted softly with a hint of frustration in her voice.
Reborn gazed at her in a new light. For a moment, he forgot his suspicions and investigations about her. All he saw was a hardened woman who had seen the crueller and darker side of the world and something told him that it was more than the mafia. He wasn't even sure if it involved the mafia. Despite being cautious, she had welcomed him in her place, had given him food and treated his wound, and was even more honest than he had been to her even though Reborn had been mostly rude.
Then he scowled as he meticulously removed his bloodied button up shirt and blazer to avoid aggravating his wound, then his shoes before almost gingerly placing his fedora hat on a nearby table. The hitman then lied down on the couch and glared at the woman who was staring at him in surprise.
"I'll stay on the couch," He uttered decisively. "Too tired to go back,"
She scoffed under her breath.
Reborn just closed his eyes and pretended that he didn't hear her.
Since that morning, Reborn found himself always having his breakfast in her place. In his opinion, she seemed to be doing well in her culinary school if her cooking was anything to go by. She sometimes prepared waffles or pancakes, or when she was in a hurry, she would cook eggs, bacons, and sausages. But toasts and coffee never left the menu. They never spoke of the incident again and Reborn had been more careful in his subsequent missions. The woman always questioned him how his day went and he always gave her monosyllabic answers or sarcastic remarks. He didn't even notice when he started to genuinely answer her inquiries about his well-being or when he started to listen to her chatters and stories.
This had gone on for two months and Reborn found himself crashing on her couch most of the nights. She always grumbled about him usurping her living room but she never voiced a protest about it. Even the hitman was surprised at how rarely he stayed at his place anymore. And that fact showed in her place. In her cabinets, he had two tins of his favorite brand of coffee stored. She also didn't say anything when he rummaged through her drawers and brought out one of his clothes. He even had a gun hidden under her sink and another under the couch. Reborn knew that she knew that as well but never asked him about it.
He still had yet to tell her about the mafia and he was still unsure if she was associated to it or not. And he had also surprisingly turned down dates from other women and hadn't even gotten into a relationship for a while now. He just didn't have the focus right now to be involved. Their affiliation with each other was something of those people who just co-exist. Even Reborn had been unable to explain it. There were still times that Reborn's doubts about her resurfaced but they were always shot down after a conversation or two.
Reborn also refrained from getting attached but he just had to wonder if he was successful with that one.
It was after another two months before she admitted what was really up with her. And the hitman wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't 'transfigured' the coffee table into a sleek shotgun. She was a witch and she had magic. She had gone to a school in Scotland called Hogwarts where she had been caught up in a war just before she left–because most of her friends had been killed. Her parents had also been killed by the instigator because of a prophecy where it had been determined that she would have to kill said madman. The woman even moved her fringe aside and showed him the lightning-bolt shaped scar on the right side of her forehead. She also told him about her relatives in Surrey who hadn't treated her fairly due to her difference as a witch. He didn't even know why she was telling him this.
When he asked, all she did was smile and answer.
"You're a friend and I think you deserve to know," She admitted a little nervously as her smile trembled. "Besides, it's over now. I moved to Italy to start over."
Of course, he was surprised that she hadn't been connected to the mafia. Some part of him had believed that she was.
Though, he just nodded at her and grunted that she shouldn't forget about making his coffee. He didn't understand when she broke into tearful laughs as she hugged him for the first time. Of course, being who he was, he didn't respond to the gesture. His previous girlfriends hadn't been that affectionate beyond the bed or outside the bedroom (since they were all from the mafia) so he was slightly feeling awkward to such a simple action.
He noticed that the tension in her shoulders had vanished and she smiled much easily after the confession. She also now freely used her wand whenever she had to fix or clean things and Reborn would hardly bat an eye at the display of magic. Though, it had been during dinner once when he had finally deemed her trustworthy enough (after confirming her story with his investigation) to know the truth behind his line of work.
"I'm a hitman," He stated frankly and precisely to the point.
Her visible eye widened (since she still preferred covering her other one with her fringe) but there had been no fear in it.
"So that's what the guns are for," The woman murmured with a thoughtful look on her face.
"That's all you have to say?" He raised an eyebrow at her skeptically. "Harriet, I'm basically a paid assassin." He felt the need to point out in case she didn't really understand.
But she just shrugged and smiled.
"I already know what kind of person you are. You're still a bastard, you're an arrogant bastard and too paranoid like my old mentor," She had already told him several stories of how far 'Alastor Moody' would go just to quench that paranoia, Reborn could hardly blame him. But that didn't stop him from twitching at the insults. "And you're my friend, I trust you." She said it in a way as if it should have been that simple.
Then he shook his head with a smirk.
"You're too kind for your own good," He remarked, remembering how he had been mostly awful in the start to her but she was still compassionate to him despite all of it.
"I don't know if that's a compliment or an insult," She laughed at him. "So, Timoteo's not your real name, is it?"
He blinked in surprise and realized that he had never corrected her and given her his real name.
"Nope," He smirked at her almost condescendingly. "It's Reborn," He introduced for the first time as he tilted down his fedora hat, shadowing some part of his face from view. But she just grinned and pulled at one of his curly sideburns. His eyes widened, "The fuck–"
"I just wanted to try that," She smiled innocently.
Reborn snorted and went back to his meal, profusely questioning himself why he was putting up with someone like her in the first place.
The hitman didn't even realize the shift in their relationship after they had admitted the basic part of their lives.
There were times that he needed to see her breathe in her sleep before he could sleep himself. Or the times when he would walk with her to that culinary school and briefly deny her claim that he had accompanied her, reasoning that he had been headed that way all along. And even that moment when she had come home with a fever–he had taken care of her until she got better, saying that he needed her healthy to cook his meals. But that was the fact that baffled him, he had never thought of anywhere else as 'home', not even his own apartment but he had readily called it that back with Harriet.
Surprisingly enough, it had been Iemitsu who had noticed the change in him. It had been during their meeting at that particular local restaurant that the blonde man had always been fond of.
"Ne, Reborn?" Iemitsu grinned as he stared at the hitman while the other didn't even look at him, flipping another page of the newspaper.
"What is it?" He questioned distractedly as he took a sip of his coffee, noting that it wasn't as good as Harriet's.
The blonde man hummed for a moment and Reborn could feel the eyes of the other man assessing him carefully. He was just glad that the other had refrained from delving into his creepy monologue about his family. He didn't understand why Iemitsu had to be an idiot about it, the kid must be lamenting about that fact, no doubt.
"You seemed more…relaxed? Contented? Happy?" The blonde deduced as the hitman blinked in surprise.
"What the hell gave you that idea, Iemitsu?" Reborn raised an eyebrow as he put down his newspaper in order to focus on the blonde man's answer.
But the man just laughed.
"I don't know but, I can just feel it." He smiled at the skeptical hitman. "Got yourself a serious girlfriend?" Iemitsu teased lightly and watched curiously as Reborn put down his mug and seemed to consider his words.
The blonde man always encouraged him to be something more with his partners but neither he nor those previous women had been really that interested. So they had just worked on the bed to bring out those tensions and frustrations. It wasn't as if he had never tried but he was just too disinterested to really pursue that kind of relationship–before reminding himself that being with one for too long would get him attached to that person, something that was rarely favoured in the mafia. Then he realized a little too late that he had already gone and done that. And Reborn wasn't even sure if he could pull away anymore.
"We're not in a relationship in that sense," Reborn admitted reluctantly, knowing how Iemitsu could overreact. "But we live together," That was true since he never bothered to sleep in his own apartment anyway.
"Oh-ho!" Iemitsu laughed loudly. "She must be something else then," He commented with a wink, a hidden undertone in his words.
Reborn glared at him darkly.
"Don't get her involve in your perverted remarks," He warned calmly but his tone was exceptionally chilly.
"Eh?" The blonde blinked at him.
The hitman scoffed before going back to his newspaper, noting that he shouldn't have bothered to tell Iemitsu in the first place. Not even after a minute, the blonde man was already making some innuendos about Harriet. His eyes narrowed. Pervert, he thought derisively.
"You must really like her then," Iemitsu suddenly remarked with a small, somewhat relieved smile. "You never got defensive on your other girlfriends' behalf before. I think that's a good thing, don't you think? I almost set you up with Bianchi if you hadn't considered going steady."
"Bianchi? As in Poison Scorpion Bianchi?" Reborn gave him an unimpressed look. The pink haired woman was a former associate of his. He would admit that she was incredibly gorgeous but he would prefer Harriet's food over Bianchi's poison cooking any day.
"Why not? She already likes you and she can fight," The other man shrugged with a careless smile.
"So can Harriet," The hitman had already quipped back before he realized that he had given away her name. But it was also true, after she had admitted about being a witch, she had challenged him to a pure hand-to-hand combat. And he would admit that the woman was good, resourceful, and quick on her feet. Though when he had coaxed her into fighting him with her wand, the effects were more devastating than he had imagined. But still, in terms of physical strength and abilities, Reborn still surpassed her. But somehow, he didn't mind that much.
Iemitsu chuckled at that.
"You don't even realize it yet, do you?" The man inquired with a knowing gaze that made the hitman slightly uncomfortable, making him scowl.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
He hadn't realized what Iemitsu meant until one of Harriet's friend arrived in Italy to visit her.
It was a redheaded man named Ronald Weasley. And Reborn already hated him. Harriet had been really excited as she pulled 'Ron' to the living room and recounted the details of her stay in Italy, from her school, to the city, to the apartment she was occupying, and to her wonderful friend, Reborn. It didn't help that the man kept gazing at the woman with a fond smile as he nodded here and there and even inserted some inquiries during the woman's story.
The hitman had opted into leaning against the wall and let the woman talk to the man. Though, he sent a displeased glare from under the shadows of his hat. He didn't know why the urge of shooting this unknown man was getting stronger.
It wasn't until Harriet had finished recounting her tale and asked the question that had sent Reborn back into his calm state.
"How's Hermione?" Harriet had smiled at the redhead.
At the mention of the name, the man instantly brightened as his eyes sparkled in the same creepy way that Iemitsu's did when talking about Sawada Nana. Apparently, this man was Harriet's best friend during her school days and he was married to Harriet's other best friend named Hermione Granger. Reborn didn't understand why he felt so relieved to know that the other was already committed.
The man had been skeptical to him at first when Harriet had told him that Reborn already knew about magic. But had been fine with it after the woman had explained to him that they were really good friends.
When Ron left, he had clapped the hitman on the shoulder. It was all Reborn could do not to shoot him on reflex. Though, he did tense under the touch and sent a warning glare at the redhead who instantly let go as if burnt. But the other man just smiled even though his blue eyes were extremely serious.
"Take care of her," It was the only thing he said before he 'apparated' or the wizard's term for teleportation.
When night came, Reborn finally realized what he was feeling. It was the deep seed of jealousy. He had been frustrated at the man because he thought that the redhead was trying to win the woman over. And he could still recall the relief that overwhelmed him when he discovered that they weren't romantically involved at all but the friendship had been platonic at best. Reborn was extremely possessive when it came to his things but he never considered Harriet as his, or did he? He wasn't even sure.
He sighed and decided to sleep for now, he had a mission tomorrow.
The first time he and Harriet had fought, it was after he had admitted his affiliation to the Vongola Famiglia and had even given her some basics about the Dying Will Flames. But the argument had stemmed from Reborn's desire for the woman to join. Harriet hadn't wanted to, not because she thought lowly of mafia, but she simply had other priorities right now and getting her life back on track was one of them.
But the hitman reasoned that it was for her own protection–not to mention, Nono had suggested it as well since there were already rumors beginning to spread around the circle about Reborn's woman. This was the reason he hadn't wanted to get attached at all–Luce should have been enough as his dear friend–and he would admit, if only to himself, that he wouldn't be able to bear it if she died because of being associated to him. He had tried, several times, to leave this woman and never look back but Reborn always found himself coming back. Even he didn't understand just why.
"I've just escaped a war almost a year ago, Reborn!" Harriet yelled in frustration. "Isn't this too soon?"
"You have the skills and the mindset–"
"Damn it, don't you understand what I'm saying? This is my life that we're talking about!"
Reborn had enough.
"Can't you understand that it's for your protection? You stupid woman, just by associating with me, you've also become the targets of other assassins out there. Do you think I even wanted you to get involved in the mafia?" Somehow, he managed not to yell but judging from the woman's somewhat shocked face, his anger had been almost palpable. He rarely reacted on his anger since it would only hinder his thinking but he had been pushed. And Harriet knew it.
She collapsed on the couch and sighed loudly.
"I'll think about it, just…just give me some time." She finally conceded, both of them knowing what her answer would already be.
So he just nodded, satisfied.
The first time that he encountered enemy wizards was when they were having coffee on the café that he and Harriet first met.
But they were on the subject of his beloved animal partner, Leon, and Harriet had been very curious as to how the chameleon could transform into anything he wanted. Apparently, the woman had assumed that he was from the Italian branch of the Wizard Community. It seemed that he wasn't the only one to draw assumptions. Harriet had assumed that he was a fellow wizard who hadn't recognized her and Reborn had assumed that she was a mafia sent to kill him.
"He's my animal partner," He simply stated as he patted the chameleon. "One who is attuned to my Dying Will Flame before I can take on one of the positions as an Arcobaleno." He knew that the reason he had told her was because she would never utter a word unless needed to and her lack of knowledge on what he's talking about also helped, it meant that he didn't have to elaborate that much to begin with. Even he wasn't even clear about what the position really entailed other than the fact that the 'I Prescelti Sette' were tasked to protect the Tri-Ni-Set which was the foundation of this world, even Nono had confirmed that much. But Reborn didn't trust Checker Face at all since he refused to divulge more information. Only stating that the time would eventually come when they would be 'ready'.
Her brows had furrowed as she frowned.
"You said that you had the Sun Flames, right?" She questioned with a thoughtful look in her visible eye which was staring at him pointedly.
"Yes," He raised an eyebrow, wondering where she was going with this.
"Then, on that day, why didn't you just heal yourself?" She gave him a piercing look, probably remembering his brief description about the kinds of flames that he had given. He had only provided the basics so of course, she only knew that the Sun Flames were used for healing.
Reborn took a sip of his espresso before answering.
"I've already told you about some of the types of Dying Will Flames and their basic properties. But you forget the fact that they were also used for the destructive abilities of a flame. I was ambushed and I let my carelessness earn me an injury. So I had to take care of them accordingly and I used my flames to do so. It would be unstable to use it in healing when I have just finished utilizing it to damage." He explained, the logic of mixing two volatile and opposite components that could backlash exponentially.
The woman nodded at the explanation, satisfied before going back to her caramel cake. The hitman still remembered how she had complained about the lack of treacle tarts but had adjust accordingly to caramel cakes. It was just too much sugar intake in his opinion.
He was about to take another sip of his beloved espresso when his 'danger senses' started to tingle with alarm. Before he was even aware of his actions, he had already grabbed the woman's hand and pulled her to the ground, just as the table they had currently used was blown to pieces. Leon instantly transformed into a pistol gun and Harriet immediately had her wand in hand–Reborn and the woman were already on their feet just as another curse went careening towards them.
The woman just jabbed her wand and Reborn could feel an invisible force stopped the angry red spell from reaching them. He assessed the situation quickly and saw that there were twelve wizards (since none of them carried any kind of guns but wands) in total and the wiry-built man at the front seemed to be their leader.
"For Merlin's sake, Nott! What the hell are you doing here?" The woman shouted furiously as she confidently pointed her wand at the man.
"To avenge my lord," The man simply answered calmly.
Reborn could tell that these people weren't accustomed to moving around unlike Harriet and could deduce from their stance that they also had no form or combat abilities. The woman had admitted that most of the wizards from her community lacked any common sense (preferring to blind themselves of normality instead of facing the real dangers or problems) and he wondered how they had thrived on for so long. They also thought themselves superior to 'muggles' due to their wands and were mostly lazy due to it. Harriet had confessed that she had learned self-defense due to her bully of a cousin and improved on it to have an advantage against 'Death Eaters'–since most members had been purebloods who thought that their 'superior' blood and magic were enough.
Four consecutive gunshots were heard and Reborn had successfully shot four hands–making them release their weapons. Harriet had warned him about outright killing wizards since its Ministry could give him a problem; not that he couldn't take care of it but he lacked the necessary background and information on them to act accordingly. People were already running out of the café, screaming as they did so. Reborn had no doubt that other Mafioso would be here in mere minutes to see what had happened–especially if he was involved.
"Weaklings," He uttered calmly, an undertone of icy harshness lining it as he steadily dodged another curse.
"Associating yourself with filthy muggles, Potter?" Nott sneered and Reborn pierced the man with a neutral but decidedly dark stare, making the other flinch. "Lowering yourself to their level, how utterly pathetic."
But Harriet didn't reply, her gaze simply livid as she blasted the man away.
"Reborn, could you take them all down at one count?" The woman stated under her breath, eye not leaving their enemy. "There are still people around us and we can't put innocent bystanders in danger." She reasoned as she lowered her wand but her grip remained steady.
"Of course, who do you take me for?" He stated mockingly as he aimed Leon, a smirk gracing his lips as he eyed the apprehensive faces of these wizards. So far, Harriet had been the only one note-worthy.
He grabbed the woman's hand and dragged her as he ran to the side, firing off bullets at a faster rate with the aid of his flames. To the normal spectators, they would see yellowish lasers heading straight for the wizards. But to the trained eye, they would appear to be silver bullets encased in the yellow aura of his Sun Flames. Ten out of twelve dropped down to the ground, all of their hands shot right in the middle of their backhand. While the remaining one and the leader were knocked unconscious by the woman's spells.
The woman tensed as she tightened her hold on Reborn's hand.
"We need to go," She grimaced as she pulled him away from the café and the downed wizards. "I can sense the distortion of Apparition and I simply hate dealing with any kind of Ministry, they all have their own kinds of prejudice."
Reborn didn't speak just let her lead him out, anger still running in his veins at those wizards who dared attack them.
When she finally joined the Vongola, she had quitted the culinary school.
But somehow, she had done it this time without any look of regret in her face. Nono had given him a knowing look as he apathetically introduced the woman and Iemitsu had gushed over her as he went into his idiotic monologue about his precious 'Nana-chan' and adorably cute 'Tsu-chan'. It had taken putting Iemitsu at gunpoint to make him shut up but the blonde had just laughed it off. The hitman had taken the role of being her mentor as he taught her the proper use of guns and even to utilize her potential to use the Lightning Flames.
It had already been a year since Reborn met her and two months since she had joined the Vongola. She had taken only a few minor missions but she mostly just hung around the CEDEF helping Iemitsu. Nono had taken a liking to her and she had made a name for herself in the Famiglia for being the most approachable. And feelings of jealousy that he had been trying to squash mostly resurfaced during those points. Iemitsu had advised him that if he didn't mark his territory, there were surely a lot of people interested. Of course, his only reply had been to aim a gun at the blonde's forehead.
And yet, it gave the hitman a lot to think about. He had long ago accepted the fact that he was possessive–and unfortunately, Harriet had been part of it.
But the closest confession Reborn could and would make would be when one of Nono's sons, Enrico, had shown some kind of curiosity towards her. He remembered pulling the woman to his side and glaring at the amused man in front of him. Nono's son or not, he wouldn't let anyone take what he finally considered as his.
"She's mine," Reborn had simply uttered before dragging the shocked woman away.
There had been a tense silence for a while.
"Reborn?" She had called tentatively.
"What is it, woman?" They both knew that he reverted back to calling her that blandly when he was agitated or extremely annoyed.
"Is…Is what you said true? Do you really mean it?" She had asked quietly, her visible eye carefully trained on his impassive face.
He sighed, irritated.
"Will I be dragging you away like this if it isn't? I'm always by your side most of the time, I always watch out for you and your stupidity, I'm always there to pull you out when you recklessly charge into things, I'm the one who tolerated your idiocy and–" He was cut off as the annoying woman pulled him down for a kiss. Normally, he would be infuriated whenever anyone had the guts to cut him off in the middle of a sentence but somehow, he didn't mind.
When she pulled away, she had a small smile that glowed with happiness.
"Took you long enough," She simply said before entwining their hands and dragged him to a nearby café, even though Reborn never let himself be dragged to anywhere.
And yet somehow, he still didn't mind.
It had already been a year since that momentous day. Even though Reborn would never admit it to anyone else, it had been the happiest and light-hearted year of his life. He found himself smiling when privately in her presence, or yearning a kiss or a hug from her. He also thought of her during missions, thinking of how he was impatient to go back. And yet, he was also forced to meet her friends.
He still hated Ron–only for the sole reason that the man was loud and an idiot, reminding him terribly of Iemitsu. Then there was Hermione Granger, the hitman respected her intelligence and sharp perceptiveness. Though, he and Harriet had agreed that they wouldn't let the couple know their involvement in the mafia. Neville Longbottom and his fiancée, Hannah Abbot, were the most cheerful pair that he had encountered. Ginny Weasley had brought Harriet's three year old godson, Teddy Lupin, along with her. His lover hadn't wanted to take the boy with her since she didn't want to take Teddy away from Andromeda–so she had opted to writing instead. He was never that of a social person but he found himself enduring meeting those people for the sake of Harriet.
The blasted woman also liked stealing his fedora hat while he retaliated by hiding her wand. Then there was his discovery of her love for flying. He had gone on her broom, the Firebolt, with her once and swore to never ride one again. It had been worse than his acquaintance's, Lal Mirch, atrocious driving skills. It was all he could do not to rain bullets at the thing. And he swore that his lifespan had been shortened by a few years.
And also during that year, he had also taken in a student from the Chiavarone Famiglia. The Tenth Generation future boss, Dino, and Reborn had to say that the blonde boy was a complete pipsqueak and a wimp. He had said so to Harriet who had told him about Neville–the confident man who had gazed at him directly in the eye and told him to take care of Harriet–and how the shy and clumsy boy had evolved into what he was at the present. Of course, it wasn't as if he had thought of the blonde boy as a lost cause but he had just been unimpressed at the current state of his student.
Nonetheless, he had managed to make some progress with the boy. Dino had the potential, Reborn could see it, but there were still times that he would revert back to that clumsy individual whom the hitman was trying to eradicate. Then there was that annoying attitude–the boy always jumped in his presence like a trapped rabbit. Though, he couldn't exactly fault Dino since he had run the boy ragged in his training. He had been accused as sadistic by Harriet but he didn't care. The boy needed to learn and Reborn would make sure of it. He couldn't exactly decide if he was peeved or amused that Dino had taken more of a liking to Harriet than to his own tutor.
Then that damn Iemitsu had the guts to take a photo of the two of them when they had once come to work hand in hand, even both of their smiles were captured in it as they stared at each other. It incredibly annoyed him since he didn't like being taken off guard but nonetheless, the picture was still framed and hung up in the living room of their home. Somehow, it felt refreshing to have said that.
Then the 'Fated Day' happened.
And everything had descended to chaos.
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