Disclaimers:  I do not own either Gundam Wing or Harry Potter.  I am making no money with this.  This story is purely for
entertainment purposes only.

Notes:  The guys and girls are taken to Diagon Alley.  They stop at Gringotts and then split up to do some shopping.  Quatre and
Wufei get their animals.



Soldiers of Sorcery



Part Seven


Trowa frowned as he watched Duo walk, worried for the lovely American.  He couldn’t get over how thin and pale Duo was.  
He wondered if Duo was eating properly, if he even had a place to call home at night . . . the smell that had accompanied Duo
when he had first arrived at the meeting indicated that perhaps he had been living on the streets.  And of course there was his
appearance.  The leather pants, the almost too small vest . . . Duo looked as if he were prostituting himself.  Trowa threw that
thought aside.  If Duo were selling his body, he wouldn’t be starving.  Duo was a very enticing sight in those leather pants . . .
if he did become a prostitute, he would probably be able to make a good deal of money.

Trowa shook his head, knocking those ideas out of his mind.  He couldn’t believe that he was thinking about Duo like this.  Duo
was his friend . . . he shouldn’t be contemplating over whether he’d make a good prostitute or not.  He shuddered, the very
subject of sex disturbing him to the core of his being.  He did not want to even think about the carnal act, trying to ward off the
disturbing memories that would assault him if he let them come.  Trowa turned his attention ahead of him, deciding that he
would rather know where he was going instead of dwelling in his thoughts.

“I hope yeh all still got yer letters.  There’s a list in them of everythin’ yeh need.”  Hagrid said from the front of the group.

Trowa reached into his back pocket, pulling the envelope out.  He noticed as the others retrieved their own letters from
wherever they had put them.  Inside, Trowa found a folded piece of parchment that he hadn’t noticed earlier and glanced over
the items he would need.  Robes and books, a wand and other items . . . but what caught his eye was the fact that he could
bring a cat with him.  He had a cat to bring.  Well . . . technically, Max was a cat, so he didn’t see why he wouldn’t be allowed
to bring him.  Besides, he didn’t want to leave Max behind at the circus, feeling a need to have the companionship of someone
who understood him . . . and Max was the closest thing he had at the moment to an understanding friend.

“Well, this is it,”  Hagrid said, stopping, “the Leaky Cauldron.”

Trowa looked up, taking note of the grubby-looking, little pub.  If it hadn’t been pointed out to him, he probably wouldn’t have
noticed it.  Of course, Trowa noticed that no one around the small group he was in seemed to see it at all.  No one passing on
the street even so much as glanced at it.  Odd, Trowa thought, then he shook his head as he followed Hagrid and the others
inside, deciding not to worry about whether or not others could see it.

It was dark and not very crowded.  There was nothing extraordinary about it.  It was simply a shabby little pub.  An old
bartender, who was quite bald and toothless, stood behind the bar, chatting with an old woman.  He waved at Hagrid and
greeted him as if he knew him quite well.  It was apparent that Hagrid had been here before.  “New students?”  The bartender
asked.

Hagrid nodded.  “That’s right, Tom . . . got some special firs’ years here.  Dumbledore will be coming through here in a few
minutes with another.”

Tom nodded.  “Alright.  Guess I’ll be seeing you later on then.”

Hagrid led them on, taking them through the bar and out into a small, walled courtyard.  There was nothing here but a trash can
and a bunch of weeds.  Hagrid didn’t even hesitate, he stepped forward, counting the bricks in the wall above the trash can.  
“Three up . . . two across . . .”  He muttered, then tapped the wall three times with the point of his umbrella.

Trowa and the others took a step back, watching as the brick Hagrid had touched quivered, wriggling before a small hole
appeared.  The hole grew wider and wider, and a second later they were facing an archway large enough even for Hagrid, an
archway onto a cobbled street that twisted and turned out of sight.

“Welcome to Diagon Alley, boys and girls.”  Hagrid said, grinning at the four ex-pilots and Relena who all stood staring in shock
at the street before them.  Dorothy just seemed bored.

Once they were inside, Trowa glanced back, only to see the archway shrink back into a solid wall once again.  Then he returned
his attention to the shops.  He found it fascinating that this was here, the Apothecary shops, the owl shop . . . even a place that
sold racing brooms.  Trowa had never seen anything like it and he found it all wonderful.

“Gringotts.”  Hagrid said, pointing ahead of them.  “Run by Goblins.”

Ahead of them, Trowa saw a snowy white building that towered over the other little shops.  It had burnished bronze doors.  
Beside those doors stood what Trowa assumed to be a goblin.  He was short, and had a clever face, a pointed beard.  Also, he
had very long fingers and feet.  He bowed as they strode up the stone steps and walked inside.  

Now, they were facing a second pair of doors, silver this time, with words engraved upon them.  Trowa didn’t read it, but
instead noticed the pair of goblins that bowed them through the silver doors and into a vast marble hall.  About a hundred more
goblins were sitting on high stools behind a long counter.  There were too many doors to count leading off the hall, and even
more goblins were showing people in and out of these.  Hagrid stopped the group and turned to them.

“I got yer keys here somewhere.”  Hagrid said, searching through his pockets.  A moment later, he pulled out a ring of keys,
pulling off six tiny golden keys.  Trowa just watched as his friends, along with Dorothy and Relena received keys, knowing that
there wasn’t one for him.  That sixth key was for Heero.  “Now, when yeh ask for yer safe, use yer real name.  I’m sure all o’
yeh got enough to pay for yer school things.”

Trowa just looked down, feeling quite left out.  While his friends and the girls headed unsurely to the counter to speak with the
goblins, Trowa stayed near the door, unsure of what to do now.  How would he pay for anything if he didn’t have any wizard
money?  

Before they had gotten too far, Hagrid called them back.  “Oh wait, let me show yeh some wizard money so yeh know what yer
gettin’”  He dug into his pocket again, this time digging out a number of coins . . . silver, gold and bronze.  “Let’s see, Galleons
are gold, Sickles are silver and the bronze coins are Knuts.”  He said, pointing to each as he explained.  “Seventeen silver Sickles
to a Galleon and twenty-nine Knuts to a Sickle, it’s easy enough.”

The other three pilots and Relena nodded and walked over to the counter where Dorothy already was.  Trowa stayed where he
was once again.  This wasn’t looking all that good for him.  He just didn’t know what to do.  He looked up at Hagrid, knowing
that he had to ask.  “Sir, what do I do?  I don’t have a safe here.”  He asked, speaking quietly.

“Don't yeh worry, young sir.  Gringotts can exchange Muggle money for wizard currency.  Yeh have some Muggle money,
righ’ . . . in some form or another?”  Hagrid replied.

Trowa nodded.  “Yes, I have a few credit chips.”  He answered, feeling a bit better.  “Thank you.”  He silently strode over to a
goblin at the counter, unsure as he asked to exchange a good percentage of his money into wizard money.  While he was there,
he also opened an account, taking the key that would open his safe with him when he left.  He couldn’t carry all of the money
with him . . . so why not leave what he probably wouldn’t need today in the bank to stay safe?  With a bag of coins, and feeling
a good deal better about himself, Trowa left Gringotts to begin shopping for the items he needed.


*****


Quatre wandered along Diagon Alley, wondering where he could possibly start.  After leaving Gringotts, the group had all split
up, heading in different directions.  On his way out of Gringotts, Quatre had passed Heero who had been going in, so he knew
that his friend was probably down in his own vault by now.  He didn’t know where the others were though, probably shopping
in the various stores.

Quatre sighed as he looked around, there were just so many shops.  He didn’t know where to begin.  Should he buy his wand
first, or perhaps his robes?  Maybe his books?  The possibilities were numerous and left him unsure of what to do.  He wanted
to go everywhere, and he wanted to do it all now.  The problem was, he couldn’t do everything all at once.

A loud commotion caught Quatre’s attention and he turned, a smile crossing his features as he saw Eeylops Owl Emporium.  
The sound quickly reverted to just the normal soft hooting, but Quatre was still curious as to what had made the commotion a
moment ago.  He crossed the crowded path, and entered the shop, finding it to be dark.  He heard the soft hooting, the rustling
of feathers, and could only see the flickering of jewel-bright eyes watching him as he stood there.  

After a moment, his eyes adjusted to the darkness and he could make out the shapes in the cages around the shops.  There were
all sorts of owls in here . . . Tawny, Screech, Barn, Brown, and Snowy.  There were owls that Quatre had never seen or knew
existed . . . perhaps they only existed in the wizarding world.  They were all beautiful though, and that made it so much more
difficult to choose one.

Quatre wandered around the shop, looking in every cage, trying to find one that was somehow special.  He didn’t know exactly
what quality he was looking for, just something to let him know that he was making the right decision or not.  The eyes of
dozens of owls followed his movements, a few of them flapping their wings or hooting louder as he passed.  Maybe an owl
wasn’t even the right animal for him . . . perhaps he should get a cat or something else.

Then he heard it again, a loud ruckus as if one of the owls was trying to break free.  Curious, Quatre followed the sound to its
source.  He found the cage in the back of the shop, covered by a cloth and still shaking from the creature’s attempts to break
out.  Quatre could sense such a deep sadness from within there . . . he just had to see.  He reached out, intending to pull back
the cloth that covered the cage.

However, he was stopped when his hand was slapped away.  “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.  That owl is a menace.  It’s
been returned to this shop at least a dozen times for attacking its owners.  Just not fit to be a wizard’s owl, that one.”  A man
said.  Quatre assumed that he was the store owner.

Quatre furrowed his brow, reaching out again.  This time he was able to pull aside the cloth.  He nearly gasped as a beautiful
snowy owl came into view.  It was pure white, Quatre couldn’t see a single patch of shading on any feather.  It looked up at
Quatre and hooted.

“What’s its name?”  Quatre asked, ignoring the shop owner’s warnings.  The owl didn’t seem cruel to him.  Perhaps it had just
been mistreated or was very picky about its friends.

“Doesn’t have a name.  He's been returned too many times for me to keep track of what anybody calls him.”  The owner said.  
“If you want an owl, I recommend the ones at the front of the shop.  Those ones will behave . . . they won’t attack their
owners like this one.”  He struck the cage with the back of his hand, making it shake.  The owl inside ruffled its feathers and
moved further away on its perch.

Quatre couldn’t help but feel the fear in the poor owl.  “Don’t . . .”  He whispered.  “You’re scaring him.”  Without realizing
that he was doing so, Quatre opened the cage and slowly started reaching his arm in.  Once his fingers brushed against the soft
feathers of one of the owl’s wings, he smiled gently, reality sinking into him as he watched the impressive creature.  “He doesn’
t like it here . . . he doesn’t like being in a cage.”

Just then, the owl hoped off of his perch and onto Quatre’s wrist.  The owl shuffled up his arm, stretching his wings once
before he started nibbling on Quatre’s hair, picking at it as if to preen him.  Quatre giggled, raising his other hand to lightly
stroke along the owl’s feathers.

“He's never acted like this before . . . never lets anyone touch him.  Not even me.”  The shop owner said, a tone of amazement
in his voice.  “Tell you what . . . you can have him for free.”

“Oh, I can’t do that.”  Quatre shook his head a little.

“No, go on.  I think you’re the only person this owl will allow to handle him.  Take him.”  The man insisted.

“Alright.  But I intend to pay for him.  I won’t just take him.”  Quatre said.

The shop owner nodded.  “I’ll go get a cage for you to take him in.”  Then he left for the backroom of the shop.

Quatre idly brushed his fingers over the owl, looking at him thoughtfully, his eyes roaming over the pure white feathers.  “How
would you like the name Zaki, my friend?”

The owl raised its head a bit, then nipped at Quatre’s cheek affectionately.  Quatre giggled again, seeing that reaction to be a
consent to the name he had given him.  When the store owner came back out with Zaki’s cage, Quatre paid for his new owl,
hushing him with tender strokes of his hand as he gently placed him inside.  He assured Zaki that it would only be a temporary
thing, watching with a small amount of amusement as Zaki hid his head under one wing and went to sleep.


*****


Wufei stepped out of Flourish and Blotts with all of the school books he had been required to purchase.  It had been difficult for
him to resist the urge to purchase more of them, although he had conceded and bought one for his own enjoyment.  He had
been interested to know more about the school he would be attending, so he had purchased a book about the History of
Hogwarts.  It looked to be very informative.  Of course, he had always had a fondness for books, so he would most likely enjoy
it.

He checked his list once more, finding that he had almost everything.  He had already purchased his wand, eleven inches, a fine
mahogany wand containing the heartstring of a dragon.  It had been the first thing he had bought, and now it was in its case,
safely tucked in one of the parcels he carried.  He had been measured for his robes, had acquired his cauldron, telescope, scales
and other items.  Looking at his list, he found that he had purchased everything he had been required to.

However, there was the question looming overhead over whether he wanted an animal of some sort or not.  Well, there would
be no harm in looking to see if anything caught his attention.  He shrugged, lifting his packages, then strode across the street and
into the Magical Menagerie.  At once, he noticed that there wasn’t much room inside.  It was smelly and noisy with the various
calls of the occupants of so many cages.

Wufei greeted the witch behind the counter with a polite bow, declining her kind offer to help him, although he did leave his
packages on the counter.  He really wanted to look around on his own, not exactly sure what he wanted.  He passed by the
toads, shaking his head at the poisonous orange snails, deciding against the funny custard-colored furballs that were humming.  
None of them were what he was looking for.  

Out of the corner of his eye, Wufei noticed Dorothy and Relena in the back of the shop.  Relena had chosen a sleek black rat . .
. something that Wufei saw as an appropriate choice.  Of course Dorothy’s choice of an animal was even more fitting.  Dorothy
had found a rather large boa constrictor and was currently trying to keep her snake from eating Relena’s rat.

Wufei turned away from the amusing scene, deciding to find something more to his own liking instead.  A soft mewling sound
made him turn.  He looked down at a cage, taking note of a single kitten.  Must be the last of its litter, Wufei thought.  It wasn’t
common for a single kitten to have an entire large cage all to itself.  There were several other cages, full of cats and kittens . . .
but this one was alone.

Wufei crouched down, wanting to get a better look at the little thing.  It looked remarkably like a Russian Blue, a very fine
looking coat of fur on its tiny body.  The kitten mewed again, sitting upright on its hind legs as it hooked its front paws on the
wire of its cage, staring back at Wufei intently.  Wufei smirked and wiggled his finger at the small creature, just a few inches
from the front of the cage.  The kitten responded by reaching its paw out and batting at Wufei’s finger playfully.

This was a rather cute kitten, Wufei thought, and it would be a shame to just leave it in that cage all by itself.  So Wufei decided
to buy it.  He opened the door to the cage and reached in, picking up the kitten.  “I’ll take this one.”  He said, walking over to the
counter and setting the kitten down.

“She’s an excellent choice.”  The witch smiled, petting the kitten a few times before picking it up and depositing it in a carrier.  
“She’s very pretty.  What will you call her?”

Wufei thought for a moment, handing over the money to pay for his new pet.  He looked in at the kitten, who was watching him
just as carefully as the witch behind the counter was.  He smirked, deciding on a name.  “Mei.”  He said.  “You are right, she is
pretty.”  He said, bowing once again before taking his packages and new kitten.  Then he left the store, deciding to wait for
Hagrid and the others in the Leaky Cauldron since he was done his shopping.



To Be Continued . . .



Notes:  Zaki is an Arabic name meaning purity or something close to it.  According to a baby name book I got from the library.