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:  Duo finishes his shopping and goes to meet the guys.  Trowa tries to keep calm in the midst of a crowded pub.



Soldiers of Sorcery



Part Eight


Duo sighed as he walked along the street.  He was tired and having a bad day.  Sure he had almost everything he needed, but still
he hadn’t had a pleasant time getting some of it.  Even in the wizarding world, Duo was looked down upon.  Of course, his
choice of garments wasn’t all that great at the moment, making him look like a common streetwalker, but still he had thought
that wizards would have better attitudes for some reason.

Instead of that, Duo had received leering glances and dirty insults.  He got looks wherever he went.  While reaching for a book
on a high shelf in Flourish and Blotts, Duo’s ass had been pinched by some jerk.  A few shop owners had even hit on him.  And
then there had been the store owners that had very nearly refused to sell him anything . . . that is until he had threatened to make
a major scene and get the attention of Dumbledore, who he knew was still hanging around Diagon Alley somewhere.  Duo had
caught glances of Dumbledore every now and then, he was probably just making sure that the seven of them didn’t get lost or
something.  

Threatening the shop owners with Dumbledore getting mad had worked very well though.  Now, Duo had almost everything he
needed.  He was only missing two things . . . his wand and his owl.  He wasn’t even sure if he wanted an owl though, although
he had been told by several people that they were very useful.

He sighed, taking a seat on the ground out of the way of all the people crowding the street.  He put all his stuff down beside
him, and opened the bag of junk food he had bought a few minutes ago.  He tore open a package of Pumpkin Pasties and
devoured it quickly, barely registering the taste before he swallowed it.  He crumbled up the empty wrapper and put it back in
the bag, taking out a Chocolate Frog.  

For a moment, he just looked at it, wondering if it was going to be something gross.  The thought of biting into it and finding
out it really was a frog was not a pleasant image in his mind.  However, he was hungry, so he opened it.  He found a card
inside, as well as his Chocolate Frog.  While he ate the frog, he read the card, guessing that it was something like a wizard
version of a trading card.  His was a card of someone called Circe and he smiled when he watched her wink at him.  Definitely
odd this wizarding stuff . . . moving photographs, hidden streets . . . all very interesting and fun stuff.

Duo stuffed the Circe card into his vest pocket, tossing the wrapper of the Chocolate Frog into the bag with what remained of
his food.  There was a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, among other things.  At least the person behind the counter had
warned him about those.  When it said every flavor, it meant every flavor.  Duo figured he’d wait to try them, not all too thrilled
about finding a sardine flavored one by accident.

Duo leaned back against the wall, closed his eyes and sighed, really wanting to get this day over and done with as soon as
possible.  He wanted to get some new clothes, to get some actual food into his stomach rather than just some snacks . . . he
wanted to get a good night’s rest in a real bed for a change instead of a dry piece of concrete in an alley.

He hadn’t known that he had nodded off, until he felt himself being shaken.  “Yeh okay, Mr. Maxwell?”  Hagrid asked, while
Duo wearily opened his eyes.

“Sorry, guess I’m just tired.”  Duo replied, embarrassed by the fact that he had fallen asleep in the middle of the street . . .
although, it wasn’t the first time that he had done such a thing in his lifetime.

Hagrid smiled, lending a hand in helping Duo to his feet.  Actually, it was more like he had picked Duo off the ground and put
him back down on his feet.  “Done yer shopping?”  Hagrid asked, dusting Duo off.  Although his intentions were kind, he was
nearly knocking Duo over with each brush of his large hands.

“No, still gotta get my wand and owl.”  Duo said, stifling a yawn.

Hagrid nodded.  “Well, yeh go and do that and I’ll take your stuff to the Leaky Cauldron for yeh.”  Hagrid said, easily scooping
all of Duo’s newly acquired items into his arms.  

“You don’t have to . . . I can carry them myself.”  Duo replied.

“No, it’s no trouble.  Yer friend Mr. Chang is done and waitin’ there already and I could do with a pint of somthin’ meself.”  
Hagrid said.

Duo smiled at the good-natured man.  “Thanks, Hagrid.”  Duo said, then watched as the large man lumbered along the street,
parting the crowd without even trying to do so . . . the people just moved out of his way.

Once Hagrid was out of sight, having gone around one of the twists in Diagon Alley, Duo turned and made his way down the
street, not sure exactly where to go to buy a wand.  Maybe he should have asked Hagrid when he had the chance earlier.  Well,
it was too late to dwell on that now.  He would just had to wander around until he found the right place.

~ Over there, Duo . . . to your right. ~  That mysterious voice said, once again helping Duo to get where he needed to be.

Duo headed where the voice directed, not questioning it this time.  It had been a great help so far.  Duo didn’t see any reason
not to trust it right now.  So he looked to his right, seeing a few shops.  But one caught his eye.  The peeling gold letters over
the door read Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.  Well, this had to be the right place.

Placing a smile on his face, Duo opened the door and strode into the store.  His smile spread, when he found Trowa, Quatre,
and Heero all crowded inside, surrounded by thousands of narrow boxes that were piled neatly right up to the ceiling.  Heero
was standing in front of an old man with wide, pale eyes.  Quatre and Trowa were near one wall.

Duo walked over to where Quatre and Trowa stood, immediately noticing the cage next to Quatre’s legs.  Although curious
about what was inside, Duo wanted to know what was going on with Heero.  “What’s up?”  He asked quietly, gesturing with a
nod of his head to where Heero stood.

“Mr. Ollivander is trying to find a wand for Heero.  He says it’s the wand that chooses the wizard, but I guess not too many like
Heero.”  Quatre said, a shy smile crossing his face as he indicated the growing pile of narrow boxes and wands on the floor.

Duo nodded, silently wishing Heero luck.  By the look on the Japanese youth’s face, he knew that Heero was getting quite
impatient with this.  He looked ready to snap at any minute.  Heero’s puppy was waiting patiently by his feet though, fast asleep
by the look of its three heads.  Heero must have been here for some time.

“So, what’s in the cage, Quatre?”  Duo asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

Quatre’s smile brightened considerably.  “Oh, that’s my owl, Zaki.”  Quatre practically beamed with pride.  Then he bit his lip.  
“Um, but don’t try to touch him . . . he doesn’t seem to like anyone but me.”

“That’s a vicious bird.”  Trowa said, and Duo noticed a large spot of blood on one of Trowa’s fingers.

“He bit you, huh?”  Duo smirked.

Trowa nodded.  “And Heero too.  At least Odin was smart enough not to touch it.”  

“Odin?”  Duo asked, not sure he had heard that name before.

“That’s what Heero named his puppy.”  Quatre said, supplying Duo with the answer.

“Ah, here we go . . . oak and unicorn hair, eleven inches.”  Mr. Ollivander announced, handing over a wand to Heero.  When a
stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, Mr. Ollivander clapped.  Apparently, Heero had found his wand.

Heero waited until Mr. Ollivander had wrapped his wand, then picked up Odin and the rest of his packages, leaving the shop
rather abruptly after paying.  He must have been embarrassed about how long it had taken to find a wand for him.  Heero never
did like to stick around when he felt nervous, Duo knew that.

Mr. Ollivander must have noticed Duo only after Heero had left the store, since the moment the door had closed, he started
speaking.  “Ah, we have a new customer.  Well, let me go through this one more time, so that you’ll know as well.”  He said,
while motioning for Trowa to step forward and began measuring him with a long measuring tape.  He paused to speak to
Trowa.  “Hold out your wand arm . . . whichever hand you intend to hold your wand in.”

Duo noticed that Trowa looked quite uncomfortable as he held out his arm.  The tall youth even flinched the first time that Mr.
Ollivander touched him, appearing to hate the contact completely.  Of course, Duo couldn’t blame him one bit.  Who would
want to be touched by anyone if they knew what kind of perverted freaks there were in the world?  Maybe Trowa knew
something like that.  For Trowa’s sake, Duo hoped not.

While he measured Trowa, Mr. Ollivander continued to speak.  “Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical
substance.  We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons.  No two Ollivander wands are the same,
just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same.  And of course, you will never get such good results with
another wizard’s wand.”  Mr. Ollivander said.  Duo thought it sounded like a well-rehearsed speech, as if the man had said it
many times in his life.

It took five tries to find a wand for Trowa.  The birch wood one emitted some kind of green gas, a holly wand with a dragon
heartstring in it had set a row of boxes on fire.  Mr. Ollivander had taken that one away quite quickly.  He put out the fire, then
continued trying to find the right wand.  In the end, Trowa had gotten an eleven and a half inch maple wand with a phoenix
feather in it.

Trowa left the shop quietly with his wrapped up wand, taking his parcels with him.  On the way out, he nodded his goodbye to
Duo and Quatre.  A moment later, only Duo and Quatre remained in the shop.

Quatre shyly stepped forward when Mr. Ollivander called him.  Duo watched while Quatre went through the same things as
Trowa, getting measured, trying out a number of various wands.  The place was a mess by the time he was done.  That one
pine wand had broken a window, while the one containing the phoenix feather had somehow started a rainstorm inside the
building.

Quatre shook his head to get rid of some of the remaining drops of water in his hair, smiling apologetically at Mr. Ollivander
who was soaked through.  Mr. Ollivander only sighed, moving around his shop and looking for another wand.  He came back
and handed one to Quatre.  Quatre waved it, his face lighting up brightly as the fireworks started.  He looked just as happy as
Mr. Ollivander did.  

“Wonderful.  Cherrywood with a unicorn hair.  Beautiful wand I say . . . thirteen inches.  A fine wand.”  Mr. Ollivander smiled,
placing the wand in its box and wrapping it in brown paper.

“I guess I’ll see you at the Leaky Cauldron.”  Quatre said as Duo helped the blonde to gather his belongings.

“Yup, I just have to find an owl and I’ll meet you guys there.”  Duo replied, opening the door and waving as Quatre left.

Then Duo turned, taking a deep breath as he stepped over to Mr. Ollivander.  It was his turn.  He hoped that he wouldn’t burn
down the place by accident.  Silently, without waiting to be told, Duo held out his right hand, allowing himself to be measured.  

Luckily, Duo didn’t burn down the store.  The wands he tried didn’t seem all that volatile, not like the ones that Trowa and
Quatre had tried out.  The worst any he had tried had done was to drip some weird type of brown ooze from the end.  Some of
them he hadn’t even been able to wave before Mr. Ollivander took them out of his hand.

Then Mr. Ollivander handed Duo a very dark looking wand.  He waved it, producing the red and gold fireworks that indicated
this was the right wand for him.  It just felt right in his hand, warm, like it had always belonged there.

“Oh, bravo!”  Mr. Ollivander applauded as he boxed and wrapped the wand.  “A wonderful choice, oh, yes indeed, very good.  
Ebony, twelve inches with a phoenix feather, nice and supple . . . quite a nice wand there.”

Duo smiled, paying the owed amount, then strolled out of the shop, carrying his new wand with him.  He stepped out into the
afternoon sun, basking in its warmth and glad that it had stopped raining.  He preferred the clear weather anyway.  He yawned,
stretching out his arms as he sighed.  All he had left to do was find an owl.  He wondered where to buy one.

His unasked question was suddenly answered however, as a heavy weight landed on one of Duo’s outstretched arms.  Duo
opened his eyes, blinking repeatedly as he saw a very large, very black owl perching on his arm.  A pair of emerald eyes gazed
thoughtfully back at Duo, while the owl hooted.

Duo had no idea where this bird had come from or who it belonged to.  He looked around, hoping to find someone that could
help him remove it from his arm without getting deep gashes from its talons.  He’d rather not have to go to a hospital and try to
explain what had happened.

“I see Midnight likes you.”  A strange, yet familiar voice called out.

Duo spun, only to see a hooded figure step toward him.  It was obviously a woman, but that’s all that Duo could tell.  The deep
purple robes that she wore just covered anything identifiable, making it all but impossible to figure out who she was.  However,
for some reason, one that Duo couldn’t explain even to himself, he wasn’t nervous around this woman.  There was something
he knew, something that he was sure he could trust.

“Midnight?”  Duo asked, wondering what she had been talking about.

“My owl, her name is Midnight.”  The woman said, gesturing with a gloved hand to the owl currently perched on Duo’s arm.  
“I see she has taken a liking to you.”

Duo nodded, turning to face the large black bird.  As he looked more closely, he saw that not all of the feathers were black,
some were a dark gray . . . still overall this was a dark owl.  “Yeah, I guess she has.”  Timidly, not wanting to frighten the
creature, Duo reached up and stroked his fingers over the feathers of one wing, smirking when the owl shuffled further up his
arm and closer to the hand that was petting her.

“I was going to sell her to the Magical Menagerie . . . you see I’ve got no use for an owl such as her.  I just don’t get enough
mail to keep her busy, nor do I send anything more than occasionally.  And with me living in a Muggle city, it’s dangerous for
her to fly around for no reason.”  The woman said.  “Perhaps you would like to purchase her though.  I’m sure a handsome
young man such as yourself could do with a fine owl.”

“Actually, I was looking for an owl.”  Duo admitted, his eyes focused on those emerald orbs of Midnight’s.  He couldn’t tear his
focus away from those eyes, finding them oddly appealing to him.  He didn’t even realize what he was saying until he had said
it.  “I’ll buy her.”

“Wonderful.”  The woman said, handing over a large carrier that Duo hadn’t noticed before.  Of course his attention had mostly
been focused on the owl that was perched on his arm and not on the woman before him.

Duo smiled, grazing his hand lightly over the feathers of his new owl.  Carefully, he placed her in the carrier, then paid the
woman.  As the woman walked away, Duo thought he noticed a length of braided hair, but then he blinked and it was gone,
along with the mysterious woman.  It must have just been his imagination, Duo thought.  Shrugging, Duo picked up the carrier
containing his owl and returned to the Leaky Cauldron, hoping that he hadn’t made everyone wait too long for him.


*****


Trowa sat nervously at a table in the Leaky Cauldron.  It was packed with wizards and witches now and the number of people
was not something that Trowa enjoyed.  There were just too many.  Quatre, Wufei and Heero shared the table with him, but
none of them really seemed to notice Trowa’s agitation.  Of course, Trowa was quite skilled at hiding his emotions behind a
calm facade, something he had many years practice at doing.  

Dorothy and Relena were sitting at another table, while Dumbledore and Hagrid were sitting at one of their own.  They were all
waiting for Duo now, all the rest of them done their shopping and ready to go home.  Trowa wondered what was taking the
American so long, whether or not he was having trouble finding whatever he was looking for.  Perhaps he had been detained
with getting his wand . . . considering how long it had taken Heero to get his, it could be a long wait until Duo got here.

A moment later, Duo strolled into the Leaky Cauldron, smiling brightly and carrying a rather large cage in one hand.  He set the
cage down on the table, dropping himself into the seat between Trowa and Quatre.  Trowa leaned over, wanting to get a closer
look at Duo’s chosen animal.  He smirked when he saw the dark owl.  “An impressive owl, Duo.”  Trowa commented, leaning
back in his seat.

“Thanks.”  Duo grinned, looking as if he wanted to open the cage and let his owl out in the middle of the pub.  “Her name’s
Midnight . . . a fitting name I think considering her shading.”

“She’s beautiful.”  Quatre said.  “Is she friendly?”

Duo shrugged.  “Don’t know.  Why don’t you find out?”

Quatre gulped, but nodded.  Shyly, he extended his hand, reaching his fingers into the cage.  The owl merely hooted at him, not
making a move to touch his fingers in any way.  “She seems pleasant enough.”

“Not like your devil bird.”  Heero snorted, petting Odin who rested on his lap.

“Zaki is not a devil bird.”  Quatre replied, pouting cutely as he patted the top of the cage that was on the floor by his leg.  “He’s
just not all that comfortable around other people.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter if he can’t stand anyone else, as long as he likes you.”  Duo said, lightly slapping the blonde Arabian on
the back.

Quatre’s cheeks took on a slight tinge of pink and he nodded, casting his gaze away.  “Thanks, Duo.”  He whispered.

Duo turned to Trowa.  “I notice that you don’t seem to have an animal, Trowa.  Don’t you like pets?”  Duo asked, propping his
elbow on the table and resting his head on his hand.

Trowa smirked slightly.  “No, I already have a cat at home that I would rather bring with me to Hogwarts.”  Trowa answered,
not having the slightest intention of telling Duo or the others that his cat was in fact a panther.  He’d rather see their expressions
when they met Max for the first time in person.

Dumbledore and Hagrid chose that moment to approach the table.  “Those are fine owls you two have.”  He commented,
gesturing to Duo and Quatre’s owls.  Neither were given a chance to thank the wizard though, since he started handing out
envelopes to the seven that had come to meet him that day.  “These are your tickets for the Hogwarts Express.”  Dumbledore
said.  “It leaves on the first of September, at King’s Cross . . . it’s all on your tickets.  I’m sure that none of you will have any
trouble getting there.”

“You’re leaving now?”  Quatre asked.

Dumbledore nodded.  “Yes, but I’ll be seeing you all again come September.  You know all you need to know to get to
Hogwarts.  Goodbye for now.”  With that said, both Hagrid and Dumbledore departed the pub.

Dorothy rose from her seat, picking up her snake’s cage and her parcels.  She left without a word, not even acknowledging that
the others existed as she walked out the door.  Even now, she was snubbing them, just as she always did when not making
snide remarks.

Quatre shook his head, but said nothing about Dorothy’s abrupt departure.  He turned to his friends.  “I’m guessing that you all
got hotel rooms in the area?”  He asked.

A number of nods and affirmative answers replied to Quatre’s question.  Except for Duo.  He shook his head negatively.  
“Nope, I didn’t get a chance to get a room yet, went straight from the airport to the meeting.”

“You can stay with me.”  Trowa blurted out, his eyes widening for a moment as he realized what he had just said.  Then he
added more quietly, “If you want that is.  I have a spare bed in my room.  I was only able to get a double . . . the hotel was
booked.”

“Thanks, Trowa.  Tell ya what, I’ll pay for half.  I wouldn’t feel right if I just stayed without contributing something.”  Duo
replied, casting a small smile toward Trowa.

“Speaking of places to stay, why don’t all of you join me in my estate this summer?”  Quatre offered kindly.

“I will have to decline.  Although I appreciate your offer, there are matters I must see to . . . I will have to find someone to take
over my business affairs while I am away at school.”  Wufei said.

Trowa also declined.  “I’ve already committed to work with the circus troupe this summer . . . it’s already going to be difficult
informing Catherine that I’ll be leaving.”  Trowa sighed, dreading when he would have to tell Catherine of his decision to attend
Hogwarts.  She hadn’t been all that happy that he had gotten the letter . . . it would be difficult to get her to understand his
reasoning most likely.

“I will have to gather my own affairs into order, so I will not be attending.”  Heero stated, not saying anything further on the
subject.

Quatre bowed his head, taking his friends’ rejection badly.  He sighed, then looked up at Duo with a hopeful expression.  “And
you, Duo?  Do you have other things to do as well?”  He asked, his voice betraying the emotions he wore on his sleeve.  He was
definitely not happy that the others would not be coming and was looking to Duo as his last chance for companionship this
summer.

Duo grinned, wrapping an arm around Quatre’s shoulders.  “Hell, I’d love to spend the summer with you, Quatre.  I ain’t got
nothing holding me up.  Everything I own is in that bag and everything that I bought today.”  Duo said.

Quatre’s smile widened immensely.  “Thank you, Duo.” He said, blushing a bit.  “If you want, you can put all your Hogwarts
stuff in my car and I’ll take it with me to my hotel suite.  The Maguanac can put it on the plane.  That way everything’s ready
to go whenever you arrive at the airport.”

“You got a private shuttle, didn’t you?”  Duo asked.

Quatre nodded.  “My sisters insisted.”  Quatre said, sighing, then shrugged.  “They worry about me.”

Before anything else could be said on the matter, Relena strolled over to the table.  She stood beside Heero, blatantly ignoring
everyone else as she spoke to him.  “If you want, Heero . . . you can stay at my place.”  She offered.  “I do have a large house
a few miles from here.”

Trowa noticed immediately the way Heero’s left eye began twitching.  It was quite obvious that Heero detested Relena . . .
everyone at the table could tell that Heero was only moments away from snapping completely.  The contempt of Heero’s face
was plain.  He sneered deeply, Odin growling at Relena with all three of its heads.  “In your bed, you mean.”  Heero hissed
bitterly, disgust dripping from every word he spoke.

“Perhaps.”  Relena said, apparently not having noticed the hatred that everyone within miles could plainly see.  Beside Duo,
Quatre was starting to shiver, his empathic abilities probably picking up on the negative emotions in the room.  

Heero turned away from Relena, closing his eyes as he took a deep breath.  Then he looked her straight in the eyes, his glare
fierce.  “Not if you were the last living creature on this planet.”  He replied.

Relena flinched, her expression turning cruel.  She flicked her gaze from Heero, to Duo, and then back again.  “Oh . . . perhaps
you’d rather share a bed with Duo here.  He seems to be dressed for it.  Be sure to get your money’s worth though, Heero.”  
She snapped, turning and stalking away quickly, picking up her parcels before she left.

Heero rose from his seat, Odin slipping down to the floor.  He looked ready to kill Relena, and he probably would have if Trowa
and Wufei weren’t holding him back.  A few moments after Relena was gone, they managed to get Heero back into his seat.  
Heero picked up Odin and pet him, apologizing for dropping him.  The puppy panted happily, seemingly forgiving him quite
easily.

Trowa turned his attention to Duo, frowning when he saw how pale Duo had gotten.  Relena’s snide comment must have cut
him deeply.  However, only a moment later, Duo smiled, lifting his head high.  Trowa could see that it was a mask and wished
that Duo would let it go for a change.  To be honest, Trowa had enjoyed seeing a true expression on Duo’s face, even if it had
been a sad one.

A sudden shift of movement beside Duo, drew Trowa’s attention.  He looked, just in time to see Quatre lean forward, setting his
arms on the table, then laying his head down.  Trowa watched as a shudder moved through Quatre’s body, and he worried for
the young blonde’s welfare.

“Quatre, are you okay?”  Trowa asked, his question causing the others to turn their attention to the Arabian.  Duo carefully
reached out and set his hands on Quatre’s shoulders, gently urging him to lift his head.

When Quatre did raise his gaze, it was obvious that something was wrong.  He had suddenly gone a much paler shade than
normal, and tears were steadily falling from his eyes.  He turned to Duo and embraced him, sobbing in what had to be an
uncontrollable response.  Trowa had known the young man for quite awhile and knew for a fact that Quatre did not cry unless
something was seriously wrong.

“Quatre . . . what's up, buddy?”  Duo asked, his hands sliding along Quatre’s back.  

Quatre moved back, wiping his hand over his face.  He looked drained, as if a weariness had hastily dropped on him.  “It’s
nothing.  I’m sorry for losing control of myself like this.”  He said shamefully.  He cast a quick glance at Heero.  “It’s just that
you and Relena were building up an awful lot of negative emotions between you.  I couldn’t help but pick up on it.”  He then
glanced at Duo, but said nothing, apparently he was hiding something.  Trowa had to wonder if Quatre had sensed something
from Duo as well.

Heero shook his head.  “No, I think I owe you a deep apology.  I should not have lost my temper in your presence.”  He said,
then sighed.  “Perhaps now would be a good time to have dinner.  I think you could use something to regain your strength,
Quatre.”  

Quatre nodded, rising to his feet tiredly.  “Yes, that is a good idea.  Any suggestions as to where to go?”  He picked up Zaki’s
cage and his other belongings, the other ex-pilots doing the same with their own.  Within minutes, they had decided on a suitable
restaurant and left the Leaky Cauldron, deciding to meet up in an hour for their meal together.



To Be Continued . . .