ZA: Hello, my darling minions! My heart doth swell at the sight of thee. As you can tell, I'm on a Shakespeare kick. Too much Beatrice and Benedick. Anyway…today, for your reading pleasure, the disclaimer shall be done in tandem by Gilderoy Lockhart and Yumichika Ayasagawa.
GL: Oh my! What wonderful feathers you have! Quite the fashion statement, you say?
YA: Get away from me, you ugly beast. I only look at beautiful things. Crumble to pieces, starting with your ghastly smile.
GL: *gasp* I am offended!
ZA: Get on with it!
YA: Zsugami Alba does not own Harry Potter, Bleach, or my beautiful self. Besides, who would want a hairy potter?
Random drooling fangirl: I would!
ZA: Ahem. Yes, well…on with the story.
Chapter Twelve: I Just Love Your Outfit
September 1st eventually rolled around – with much moaning and wailing on Isshin's part.
"Oh, my darling Haru! I'm going to be without you for another year. How can I bear it? Masakiiiiii!"
Isshin's face left a rather visible trail of snot on the glass separating him from the image of his dearly departed wife.
Ichigo rolled his eyes. "Come on, Dad. We need to get to King's Cross. They gave us a portkey, not a time traveling device." He turned to Haru, "Do they even have time traveling devices?"
"Not that I know of, but I wouldn't be surprised. Since last summer, I've learned there's a lot of crazy stuff out there," replied Haru, thinking of Ichigo's midnight guitar bashing. He held out the large, rubber duck for everyone to hold onto. "Let's get this show on the road."
All five Kurosakis grabbed hold of the yellow bath toy and were soon whisked away to bustling King's Cross Station. They made their way to the divider between platforms nine and ten, only to run into a slight problem. Literally.
Yuzu rubbed her forehead. "Dad, I think it's broken."
"Oh, my poor Yuzu! Here, Daddy's got some Hello Kitty bandages," her father gushed.
Yuzu quickly backed away. "Uh, actually, I'm all right now. Thanks."
Haru frowned at the barrier. "Maybe I need to go through first. The magic probably thought you were just some muggle." He put his hand on the barrier and gave it an experimental push. Nothing. "That's weird."
"Maybe we should look around for a witch or wizard to help us," Ichigo suggested.
"That's a pretty good idea, Ichigo," said Karin. "Let's split up and look for inappropriately dressed people." Her words were met with blank stares from her family. "You know, because magical people never dress like muggles?"
"Good point, sis," Haru agreed. "Let's split up."
Isshin looked around until he spotted a man in a strange uniform that looked promising. "Ahem. Excuse me, sir. Could you tell me how to get to Platform 9 ¾?"
The man turned and looked puzzled for a moment. "No…but do you want to see a picture of my daughter? She's turning three!"
Isshin looked down to see the man was holding a wallet-sized photo of an adorable child in a pink dress. "Awwww. Do you want to see a picture of my wife?" He pulled out a deceptively small-looking wad of paper and then proceeded to unfold it to gigantic proportions.
Meanwhile…on Platform 10…
"Hey, Karin! That person looks strangely dressed."
"No, Yuzu. That's a drag queen. I don't know that the wizarding world has those."
"Oh! How about that one?"
"That's a football fan on his way to a game."
"How about those girls with the t-shirts that say, 'My boyfriend sparkles'?"
"Yuzu…I think we should give those girls a wide berth. They might have rabies."
Meanwhile…on Platform 9…
Ichigo quickly darted behind a pillar, pulled out his combat pass, and shuffled off his mortal coil. Then he dashed back to the 9 ¾ barrier to see what his substitute soul reaper powers could do for their situation. Sure enough, in this form, he saw a blue shimmer in front of the barrier.
"Uh…Ichigo? Karin said to look for inappropriately dressed people, not to dress inappropriately."
Ichigo turned to find Haru staring straight at him. 'Oh crud. He can see me! Gotta think of something quick!'
"And how did you get changed so quickly?" Haru continued, not understanding the look of terror that Ichigo was currently wearing.
"Uh…I was…always wearing this?"
"Ichigo. I'm twelve, not stupid," Haru deadpanned. "Isn't that the same thing you were wearing when you butchered the guitar?"
'Crud! He saw me then, too?' Ichigo glanced around nervously. "Well, you see, uh…I…uh…was doing magical yoga! You know how they have those poses on bus benches?"
Haru just stared at him, unblinking.
'Dangit! I'm a terrible liar.'
"Never mind that. Let's just get this barrier open, shall we?" Ichigo shoved past Haru and unsheathed Zangetsu.
"Ichigo, we're trying to open a magical barrier, not blow up a guitar!"
"You see that magical shield looking thingy around the barrier?" Ichigo pointed out the blue shimmer.
Haru looked closer and finally saw what Ichigo was talking about. "Yeah…so…? What can you do about it? You're not a wizard with magical powers."
"I don't need to be a wizard to kick magical butt," Ichigo smirked. Then he raised his sword and sliced downward through the blue, leaving a long gash in the brick barrier. "Uh…oops. I guess that's a bit of overkill."
Haru quickly glanced around to see if any of the muggles had noticed his brother's samurai impersonation and the subsequent property damage, but they all seemed to be oblivious. 'There must be some serious notice-me-not charms in this place.'
"Since when do you go around destroying things with a ginormous meat cleaver while dressed up for an anime convention?" He demanded of his brother.
"Well, while you were away at school, I sort of…um…Oh, look! Dad's gotten out his poster of mom! Quick! Through the barrier, or you'll miss your train!" Ichigo shoved Haru and his luggage cart through the gash before his younger brother could ask any more questions.
Meanwhile…back at Platform 9…
Mundungus Fletcher liked to think of himself as a versatile man. A man of opportunities. That is, he knew when to seize an opportunity, and one presented itself to him this morning in the form of an orange-haired youth slumped in a corner. The fool was obviously fast asleep. Or drunk. Or both. Who cared when his bag was obviously unguarded and calling Mundungus' name? Who was Dung to ignore the siren's song of unattended baggage?
"Let's just have a looksee inside of you, my lovely." He reached a hand in the main pouch to rummage around, knowing he'd be able to identify a wallet (or any other valuable item) by touch alone. Almost instantly, he heard an angry voice, muttering in some foreign tongue.
"Hey, watch it, Ichigo! Keep your hands to yourself, why don't you? Wait. What's that smell? Have you been bathing in hollows, or something? How come your hand is so hairy? …You're not Ichigo! Get your hands off of me, you creep!"
Suddenly something bit down hard on Mundungus. Something…soft and…alive. "AAAAAH!" He quickly withdrew his questing hand moments before the redhead came to.
The young man jumped up and said, "I'm not dead. I'm fine. I don't need to go to a hospital."
"Uh, sure, kid. Whatever you say," Mundungus agreed, not wanting to involve the authorities in any way. 'Maybe drugs…' he thought to himself as he watched the stranger hurry away.
ZA: In case you didn't notice, the yoga excuse was actually used at one point in the manga/anime Bleach. Not kidding. House points to whoever can guess the name of Isshin's new friend.
Hermione: I'll be sure to raid the library then!
ZA: I don't think they have a manga section at Hogwarts.
Hermione: But…but Hogwarts has everything! The library knows all!
ZA: You really need to get out more. Ahem. Special thanks to Mother Dearest (for putting up with me and birthing me – not necessarily in that order).