Harry was not a happy camper. The reason was simple enough.
Voldemort had returned, the Ministry was acting like a bloody ostrich pretending he hadn't, and Dumbledore forced him to return to Privet Drive despite the fact that the chances of the blood wards working now that the Dark Lord had his blood in him were so remote it wasn't even funny. And to make matters worse, it was clear that Hermione and Ron were adhering to a ban on any form of contact with him...probably on Dumbledore's orders to boot.
Well two can play at that game.
Hedwig hated being stuck indoors, particularly if the walls were of Privet Drive.
So Harry waited until he went on a walk while Hedwig was out 'hunting' before he called her over. The owl took the letter he had written to the goblins and vanished.
He had little doubt the old man had put watchers on him. And any magic in the area would immediately be pinned on him, which made them less than useless. Three hours later Hedwig returned, and once he read the letter he had a grim smile.
He had been watching the street from his window for a couple of days now, and he felt assured that he had the watch schedule pegged.
He had noted someone who had to be magical watching the house every four to six hours before they changed. He was reasonably sure that Mrs. Figg, the crazy old cat woman across the street, was the one who held down their base of operations.
She hadn't shown any interest in his welfare before, yet suddenly she was interested in having tea with him every time she saw him. If that didn't scream suspicious, or spy, he didn't know what did.
"Dear Mr. Potter,
In response to your inquiry, we have noted several discrepancies with your account. Because of this, we have sealed your vaults until you come in person to clear up the problem. Due to your rather unfortunate living situation, we have provided a port key for you to use at your convenience. The password is 'Pegasus'.
Please come as soon as reasonably possible.
Keeper of the Potter Account, Broketooth."
Harry waited patiently for his chance. When he informed his Aunt that he planned to leave early with or without the usual escort, she had been beyond thrilled. Naturally she was more than happy to help him pack his things, avoiding the windows and any view outside the house.
She had noted the watchers as well.
Once he had all the items that happened to be magical (he was rather surprised to learn that Petunia had his mother's trunk from her school years) he held onto his owl and activated the port key.
And landed unceremoniously on the stone while Hedwig admonished him for the rough trip.
"Welcome to Gringotts Mr. Potter. I am Broketooth," said the goblin.
"I hate port keys."
The goblin grinned at him, rather amused at his ruffled appearance. He lead him to a rather impressive office and pulled out a folder with the Potter family crest on it.
"Now, as per your inquiry into your account, we have noted that several vaults which should have remained inactive until you reach the age of majority have been quite active since your return to the magical communities. Upon further investigation, we have found that over 1,000,000 galleons had been withdrawn without our knowledge. We are currently in the process of finding the thieves and reclaiming the gold."
Harry had a grim look.
"I want the interest going to the goblin clans for discovering the theft."
Broketooth looked at him with surprise, then respect.
"Very well. Now onto other business. Because of your father's untimely demise, we have been unable to invest into new business. All previous businesses that your family have taken interest in have been bought, but your interest is starting to stagnate."
Harry thought over what he knew would probably boom in the future before saying "I would recommend looking into computers. And the only magical business I am reasonably sure would be a success is one that the Weasly Twins are currently trying to create. Knowing them they could buy out Zonko's if given proper start up capitol."
"I will need their account. How sure are you about their business?"
"They plan to create and sell pranks, and they are rather notorious pranksters in the school. Many of their tricks are rather popular with the students. If given a chance, there is every likelihood of them going big."
"Very well. I'll be sure to get into contact with the goblin in charge of their business account and alert them that an investor is interested. Now, is there anything else you would like to do?"
"A blood test. I don't care what Dumbledore says, I have sincere doubts that Petunia Dursley is my aunt. She looks nothing like my mother at all."
"Follow me. We'll get that sorted out right now."
Harry looked at the paper with something akin to shock...and annoyance.
Petunia wasn't even his mother's sister. She was her adopted sister! Most of the names on the paper were dead, except for one.
"Is there any way to contact him? There's no way I am going back to Surrey if I can avoid it."
Broketooth looked at him. Then barked something in Goblin. Another goblin came in with a file and when he saw what it said he scowled.
"Are you sure you want to contact him? According to this he's the adopted son of a Magi."
"Magi are the more heretical side of the magical communities. Wizards avoid them whenever possible. They don't even answer to the Ministry anymore."
"I don't know what the difference is. And anything is better than going back to that house!"
"It will take a few days. In the meantime, where will you be staying?"
"I'll convert some galleons into pounds and find a hotel. Shouldn't be too hard to find in London."
"Why not the Cauldron?" asked Broketooth, curious.
"If I stayed there, then the chances of the Headmaster learning I've left Surrey are too high. He won't think to check a muggle hotel."
Harry got a reply from his previously unknown cousin a few days later. Shiro didn't mind if he came to see him. The only catch was that he lived in Japan.
Harry debated on what to do.
One on hand, he would be leaving England for an entirely different setting an ocean away. He had no idea what the restrictions on Under-age magic were, or even if he could escape before the Headmaster caught onto the fact he had left. And he didn't know a word of Japanese.
On the other hand, he would be leaving his fame behind (hopefully anyway) and starting fresh. If he was lucky, his cousin wouldn't mind letting him live with him until he turned 17 and could live on his own. As far as he was aware, the Death Eaters had never left Europe. He had checked.
He left the hotel and went to see Broketooth to get a few things. Namely a passport and something to let him speak with his new cousin. And he would be bringing his owl along. No way was he leaving Hedwig behind!
Shiro prepared one of the rooms in the main house for his cousin. He had been surprised when he got the letter in the mail informing him that a recent DNA test had found one of his relatives. He didn't even know he had any left, since no one had come forward after the fire.
According to the man on the phone, his cousin was a year or so younger than him and had asked if he had any other relatives. His name was Harry Potter, and his current address was in Surrey.
When the man asked if it was possible for his mystery cousin to meet with him in person, Shiro had told them that it was possible, since he had more than enough room.
His neighbor Taiga had been skeptical, but when her grandfather looked into the bank that had found Shiro, she learned that it was legitimate. Shiro had a living cousin. The fact his cousin was a boy as well didn't hurt either. Shiro dreaded what would have happened if it had been a girl.
That had been a week ago.
Harry got off the plane, feeling a sense of relief when he stepped foot in Japan. He had left behind his anxiety and worries the second the plane took off from the London Airport.
The only way Dumbledore could follow him was on a broom, and he would have trouble finding the plane he left on. To a wizard they all looked the same.
Plus with the world the way it was, any wizard or witch sent to retrieve him was more likely to get arrested because they acted strangely and didn't have a ticket.
It wasn't until he left the gate that he realized one problem.
He didn't know where Shiro lived.
He picked up a rather irate Hedwig, who hated cages, and freed his owl.
"Well girl, you think you can find him for me?"
She gave him a hoot and glared at him. She didn't like being cooped up for sixteen hours on a plane.
Harry grabbed a spare piece of paper and wrote his cousin's name on it, and gave it to Hedwig. His owl was smart enough to find someone on their name alone, through whatever magic allowed owls to find the letter recipients.
Harry picked up his bags (both had an expandable charm so they carried far more than people would think...like the contents of his trunks) and followed his owl through Fuyuki city.
When she stopped and started to circle a house, he knew he had found his cousin's home.
"What the heck? What's an owl doing flying around during the day?" asked a male voice.
Harry grinned, and whistled sharply. Hedwig dove, and flew to his arm, then walked up to his shoulder.
A boy around his age came out from behind the gate, looking for the sound of the whistle and the owl. When he saw Harry, his eyes widened.
"Um...who are you?"
"Hello. I'm Harry," he said.
Seeing the look of incomprehension and confusion, he realized he hadn't activated his translation charm. He found the pin and put it on his shirt. He could feel the magic take effect.
"Sorry about that. Forgot I wasn't in England anymore. Let me try that again. I'm Harry," he said in perfect Japanese.
The teen's face brightened up.
"Sorry if my English isn't so good. I'm Emiya Shiro."
Harry held out his hand (the one without Hedwig sitting on his arm) and Shiro shook it.
"Why don't you come in? I have to admit, I was surprised to learn I had a cousin who was still alive. When no one came after the Fire I assumed there wasn't anyone left," said Shiro.
Harry remembered something from his book, and took off his shoes.
"I didn't know I had any living relatives on my mother's side until I asked for a blood test myself. To be honest, coming to a country where I have never been before sounded better than spending an entire summer in Surrey. The weather there was absolutely miserable."
"Your Japanese is almost perfect," Shiro commented.
"When I heard what country you lived in I took a crash course for about a few months," Harry lied.
"Impressive. You must be very good with languages then. So is that your owl?"
"Her name is Hedwig. It's Germanic for 'Female Warrior'. It's also the name for the patron saint of brides, come to think of it."
The two made small talk until supper, when Shiro's neighbor came around to mooch food off of him. Harry was amused more than anything with Fujimura Taiga, who was quite taken with his natural politeness. Strangely, the woman got along really well with his owl, who took a nap outside the house.
Shiro showed Harry the room he made up, which was down the hall from his own, and the two went to sleep feeling rather cheerful. Considering how it could have gone, they both felt today was a success.
Shiro woke up the next morning to the smell of cooking eggs. He assumed his friend Sakura had come over and started breakfast without him...only to be beyond shocked to find out that Harry was cooking while Sakura chopped the vegetables for him.
The two were getting along quite well, and Sakura seemed completely relaxed around his new cousin.
Though Shiro did enjoy the look of shock Taiga had when she learned that Harry had cooked breakfast this morning instead of Shiro.
Shiro got his chance to talk to his cousin while they washed dishes.
"I have to admit, I was surprised to see you cooking this morning."
"I wasn't aware that I wasn't allowed to use the kitchen. I just figured you could use a breakfast you didn't have to cook yourself. Your friend seemed rather nice."
"No, I don't mind if you use it. It's just that the only person who I normally let in here is Sakura. Fuji-nee can't cook to save her life, and I can't count the number of times she has nearly burned down the kitchen trying."
"My adopted aunt made sure I knew how to cook since I was old enough to reach the stove."
Something about that statement bothered Shiro, but he couldn't figure out what.
"What's your aunt like?"
"Trust me, you don't want to know them. If I had a choice I wouldn't know of them either," said Harry calmly. His tone said that he really didn't want to talk about his adopted aunt.
It only sent even more warning bells in his mind.
Since Shiro had to go to school, Harry decided to wander around Fuyuki city for a while. He had Hedwig with him so he could find his way back. When he was stopped by a police officer wanting to know why he wasn't in school, Harry's British accent had the man waving him off.
By the time the school bell rang for the day, Harry ended up running into Shiro on his way out.
"Harry? What are you doing here?"
"I went exploring and ended up here when the bell rang. It's a neat school you have here."
Shiro and Harry walked back to the house, and Harry spoke of his own school and the friends he had. For some reason his answers made Shiro suspicious, though he couldn't figure out why Harry was hiding things about his school.
It wasn't until he was helping out at his part-time job that it occurred to him what Harry might be hiding.
There was a chance Harry was a Magus like him. If that was the case, it only made sense that he would hide details of his obviously magical school. So later, Shiro showed his cousin his workshop, and was rewarded with the confirmation that Harry did in fact know about magic.
The wall that could have sprung up between them were averted, and the two cheerfully debated magic after supper, unaware of what would happen when a Magus and a Wizard came together.