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:  Quatre worries over Trowa’s health on the train.  Then they all arrive at Hogwarts.

Soldiers of Sorcery

Part Twelve

Quatre pulled his bottom lip into his mouth and worriedly chewed on it.  Trowa was asleep across from him, his body bruised
and battered.  He didn’t look at all well.  Quatre hoped that he would be okay.  Duo was sitting beside Trowa.  It was plainly
obvious to Quatre that Duo was trying not to stare at Trowa.  Quatre could sense the worry coming off of Duo as if it were his
own, the emotions were just so strong.

Zaki hooted in agitation, ruffling her feathers a bit.  Quatre smiled, reaching his hand into the cage and petting his owl.  Zaki
settled down a moment later, growing calm again.  Quatre knew that he didn’t like being caged, and as soon as he could, he
would see to it that Zaki was let out to stretch his wings.

As he soothed his owl, Quatre turned his attention to the window he sat beside.  The scenery passed by quickly.  Turning from
populated areas and busy streets, to farmland and lush green fields, and finally to mountains and forests under a darkening sky.  
It was night by the time the train finally slowed.  Quatre had spent most of his time looking out the window, stopping a few
hours earlier to treat his friends to a snack when a woman with a cart passed by.  They had all changed into their robes by the
time the train finally did stop.

Quatre looked at Trowa again, still worried about the young man.  Although Trowa was now awake, he seemed to be in a good
deal of pain.  With a deep sigh, Quatre placed Zaki’s cage on the floor of the train, watching as Duo did the same with
Midnight.  He had heard from a voice on the train that they were to leave everything behind.  It would all be taken to their rooms
for them.

The five of them climbed off the train, Quatre being the last and watching Trowa carefully the entire way.  Trowa looked faint,
as if he would collapse any minute.  He avoided touching the people on the train, sidestepping whenever anyone got too close.  
The fear and anxiety that Quatre could sense from the tall youth were terribly disturbing.  As a matter of fact, so was the way
that Trowa swayed with every step he took, the sweat clinging to his paling skin.

His observations of Trowa were broken though, as a large hand fell on his shoulder.  Quatre looked up, as did the others, to see
Hagrid standing over them.  “Usually, I take the firs’ years meself, but yer special cases.  Yer to go with the others.”  Hagrid
said, pointing the way for them.

Quatre nodded.  “Thanks, Hagrid.”  Quatre smiled, following his friends in the direction that Hagrid had pointed out.

The mass of people surrounding the five ex-Gundam pilots was moving, so Quatre and the others really had no choice but to
follow.  They moved along the platform and out onto a rough muddy track, where a number of stagecoaches awaited.  Quatre
blinked, seeing no horses . . . if there were horses, then they were invisible ones.  Quatre, Trowa, Heero, Wufei, and Duo
climbed on the same one.  Once they had shut the door, the coach set off, bumping and swaying in the process.

Trowa groaned in obvious discomfort, reacting badly to the motions of the coach.  He wrapped his arms around his stomach,
closing his eyes as he leaned forward a bit.  “Trowa, are you okay?”  Quatre asked, ignoring the smell of mold and straw that
filled the coach.  He set his hand on Trowa’s arm, not sure what to do to help.

Trowa reacted be shrugging Quatre off, turning and glaring at him.  “Don’t touch me.”  He said, nearly spitting his words out.  
“I’ll be fine.”

The anger and fear that Quatre sensed were so strong.  Quatre nodded, taking his hand away and moving a bit away from his
friend, not wanting to further irritate him.  It was obvious that Trowa did not want to be helped, not even by his friends.  Quatre
glanced around at the others, noting that Duo was staring down at the floor.  Wufei and Heero were watching Trowa, their
concern washing through Quatre like a soft wave.  Everyone here was worried . . . but it seemed that Duo might know why
Trowa was so agitated.  Still, Quatre didn’t feel it was his place to pry into Trowa’s affairs.  If Trowa wanted to talk, then he
would . . . otherwise, Quatre would allow him to have his privacy.

At last, the carriage made its way through a pair of magnificent wrought-iron gates that were flanked with stone columns topped
with winged boars.  Quatre peered out the window, watching as they traveled along the long, slopping drive, finally reaching a
rather impressive looking castle.  It was like something out of a storybook.  Quatre smiled, waiting impatiently until the carriage
swayed to a halt.  Then he and the others got out of the carriage and climbed the stone steps into the castle.

The entrance hall was enormous, Quatre was impressed.  It was lit with numerous flaming torches and housed a spectacular
marble staircase that led to the upper floors.  Quatre had always been fond of marble . . . it was just so smooth and cool.  A
stern-looking witch met them at the top of the stairs, stopping the five ex-pilots and a number of other students while the rest
continued along a corridor.

“Ah, our special first year students.”  The witch said, no hint of a smile on her face.  

Quatre looked around, noticing that there were several more than he had expected.  Some hadn’t been present at the meeting
with Dumbledore . . . perhaps the headmaster had arranged other meetings on other dates.  Quatre shrugged, not giving it a
further thought.  He watched as three more people approached and stood near the witch, two on one side, one on her other.  
“Since all of you have already been sorted, you will now be escorted to your appropriate tables by the head of your particular
house.  All Gryffindors come with me, please.”  The witch announced, turning and walking away with a swirl of her robes.

Quatre allowed his friends to pass him, then followed.  As he passed by a tall man with greasy black hair, Quatre got a sudden
chill.  “Slytherins this way.”  He directed.  Quatre shuddered just as he was passing the wizard, suddenly feeling awfully dizzy.  
Negativity just radiated from whoever this man was . . . it was quite unpleasant.

A hand steadied Quatre and he looked up to see Duo beside him.  “You okay, Quatre?”  He asked, leading Quatre away from the
man to follow the witch.

Quatre nodded.  “Yeah, I just felt a bit dizzy.”  He said, not wanting to admit to sensing such negative emotions while in school.  
He looked back, glancing at the man once again.  That wizard was hiding terrible secrets in his past, things that continued to
haunt him.  Quatre wasn’t sure he wanted to be around him all that much.

The witch ahead of them stopped before a pair of wooden doors.  Then she turned to them and spoke.  “Welcome,
Gryffindors.  I am Professor McGonagall, head of Gryffindor House.  While you are here, your house will be something like
your family within Hogwarts.  You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free
time in your house common room.”  Professor McGonagall said.  To Quatre this seemed well-rehearsed, as if spoken many
times in the past.

“There are four houses in Hogwarts.  Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff.  Each house has its own noble history
and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards.  While you are here at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house
points, while any rule breaking will lose house points.  At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the
house cup, a great honor.  I hope you will all do your best.”

Quatre gripped Duo’s arm, sensing something unpleasant behind him.  He turned, seeing the black-haired wizard approaching.  
He gulped, his vision fading momentarily.  He just hoped that he wouldn’t pass out.  It would be quite embarrassing if he did.

“If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to the Gryffindor table, where you will all be expected to sit during mealtimes.”  Professor
McGonagall said.  She turned and opened the doors, leading them into a room that caused Quatre to gasp.

It was magnificent.  Thousands upon thousands of candles floated in midair to light the room, over four long wooden tables
where the students were sitting.  The tables were set with golden plates and goblets.  Another long table stood at the top of the
hall and seemed to contain all the faculty members . . . although there were a number of empty seats at the moment.  Duo led
Quatre along, and the blonde was grateful, as he had taken his eyes off of watching where he was going, instead casting a
mesmerized look up at the ceiling.  Stars danced on the ceiling . . . a spell most likely . . . dark storm clouds slowly rolled out,
darkening the sky considerably.  Quatre could almost hear the thunder, but he most definitely could see the flash of lightning that
lit the enchanted ceiling.

Professor McGonagall directed the new Gryffindors over to one of the tables, then left to join her fellow teachers at the staff
table.  Quatre took a seat, Duo staying beside him and helping him.  Quatre appreciated the kind gesture, knowing that the
contact was making Duo very uncomfortable . . . he could sense Duo’s feelings quite well.  Although he didn’t mean to pry, it
was just that sensing things came so easily to Quatre.  Heero and Wufei took seats across from Quatre and Duo, while Trowa
sat on Duo’s other side and turned his gaze downward, closing his eyes as sweat very nearly dripped from his face.  Quatre
frowned, seeing that Trowa was in a good deal of pain.  He hoped that Trowa would seek help if he really needed it.

Quatre’s attention was caught and held, once the Sorting Hat begun to sing.  However, he really didn’t pay attention to what it
was saying, finding his eyes somehow drawn to the one empty seat that remained at the teachers’ table.  For some reason, he
couldn’t tear his focus away from it.  However, he had no idea why he was so intent on it.  Quatre shook his head, blinking as
he tore his focus away, deciding instead to watch as the other first year students were sorted into their appropriate houses.

When all the students were seated and the hat was taken away, Professor Dumbledore rose from his seat.  “Before we get on
with the feast, there are some things I want to announce.  As always, the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils, and I
do mean all.  Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term.  Anyone interested in playing for their house teams
should contact Madam Hooch.”  Dumbledore said.  Then he looked at the empty seat that Quatre’s focus had been so intent on
a moment ago, before turning back to face the students.  “I would also like to announce that we have someone new to fill the
post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.  However, since he is not here at the moment, I cannot really introduce him.  Oh
well.”  He shrugged.  “Let the feast begin!”

Quatre smiled, watching as the golden plates and goblets filled before them.  He looked over the numerous foods that were
spread out.  He did frown at the presence of bacon and pork chops, but he wouldn’t go on about religious beliefs on his first
night here.  To be on the safe side, not sure if the meat had been prepared properly in consideration of his own beliefs, Quatre
settled for eating the vegetables.  Some of the students gave him strange looks as he thoughtfully chewed on a piece of broccoli,
but no one said anything and he was left in peace.

Every now and then, Quatre glanced over at Trowa.  He noticed that Trowa merely sipped at the contents of his goblet, picking
at the food he had put on his plate, although he barely ate anything at all.  He nibbled on some things, but for the most part he
didn’t really eat.  Again, Quatre felt worried for his friend.

After everyone had finished eating, the remains of the food disappeared from the plates, leaving them spotless and sparkling
clean.  Only a moment later, the desserts appeared.  Quatre had quite the sweet tooth, but he didn’t eat too much . . . just a slice
of apple pie and a few strawberries really.  It wasn’t much longer before the desserts vanished as well and the students were
told to follow their prefects to their dorms and to do as they and the Head Boy and Girl told them to.  Quatre noticed a badge
stating Head Girl on one of the girls at the Gryffindor table.  Although he didn’t know what it meant, he would try to behave and
do what he was told . . . he wasn’t about to start trouble when he was so happy.


Trowa rose from his seat with a grimace as all the students were filing out.  He didn’t really want to travel in the midst of a
crowd, but it didn’t seem as if he would have much choice in the matter.  He followed his fellow Gryffindors, trying to avoid
contact with anyone else, hoping that he would be able to get to the dormitory without an incident.

He and the other Gryffindors were led out of the Great Hall and up the marble staircase.  Trowa could barely lift his legs, his
breath coming to him uneasily as he struggled to move them.  He didn’t even notice that the portraits along the walls were
moving, some whispering, other immersed in conversations.  He was focused on trying not to get lost, wanting to know where
he was heading, trying to keep from falling over.

They climbed more and more stairs, entering hallways that were hidden by sliding panels or tapestries.  They stopped abruptly .
. . unfortunately, a little too abruptly.  Someone collided with Trowa, hitting him with enough force to make him lose what little
balance he had.  He stumbled, falling flat on his face and shuddering as wave after wave of agony swept through him.  It was all
he could do just to keep from screaming.  To further keep himself from making a sound, he had bitten hard into his bottom lip,
drawing blood.

“You okay there?”  Someone asked, lending a hand in helping Trowa back to his feet.  

Trowa pulled his arm away, fighting off the fear.  “I’ll be fine.  Thank you.”  Trowa replied, turning to face the person who had
helped him, only to see Ginny Weasley standing in front of him, a badge on her robes clearly declaring her as Head Girl.

“Oh, I’m sorry Trowa . . . I hope you’re okay.  I just had to get to the front of the group.  I’ve got the password.  I hope I
didn’t hurt you.”  Ginny apologized.

“I'm fine.”  Trowa stated, although that was most definitely not true anymore.  His chest and stomach were awash in pain,
coiling and spreading.  He just wanted to collapse to the ground and stay there, to die in some dark corner.  He feared that he
had done considerable damage to himself with that fall.

Ginny nodded, although she didn’t look all that convinced, and moved to the front of the group to stand in front of a portrait of
a very fat woman in a pink dress.  “Password?”  The fat woman asked.

“Viridis.”  Ginny giggled, covering her mouth with her hand.  The portrait swung forward to reveal a round hole in the wall.  
One by one they all got through, and found themselves in the Gryffindor common room, a comfortable looking room, full of
squashy armchairs.  A large fireplace spread warmth through the room.

Ginny directed the girls through one door to their dormitory and the boys through another.  At the top of a tiring spiral staircase,
Trowa found his bed, as well as the beds for his four friends.  It looked as if they would all be sharing just the one room.  Five
four-poster beds, complete with deep red, velvet curtains to give some semblance of privacy.  Their trunks had already been
brought up and Trowa smiled, seeing Max laying on one of the beds, although his trunk was placed in front of the bed beside it.

Trowa walked over to the bed where his trunk was, taking a seat on the edge.  A moment later, Duo approached the bed where
Max was lounging.  “Uh . . . Trowa . . .”  Duo said, scratching his head as he reached up to remove his robes.

“Hm?”  Trowa asked, trying to block the pain from his weary mind.  He reached up, removing his own robes and laying them
on his bed.

“There is a freaking big cat on my bed!”  Duo announced, gesturing wildly at Max.

Trowa looked up and smirked, curling his finger and silently asking Max to come to him.  Max obediently jumped from Duo’s
bed to Trowa’s, then laid down beside him.  “Oh, this is Max.  He’s my panther.”  Trowa said quietly, aware that the others
were also paying attention to this conversation.

“What?”  Duo gasped, falling back to sit on his bed.

Trowa shrugged, although it pained him.  “They said I could bring a cat.”

“And you brought a panther?”  Duo asked, his mouth agape.

“Why not?  Panthers are cats.”  Trowa replied, not finding anything wrong with bringing Max with him.  Max was his friend.

Duo nodded.  “Yeah . . . they’re cats . . . BIG cats, who could tear a person apart.”

“Max wouldn’t . . . not unless he feels I am threatened.  Just think of him as a rather large, albeit protective, house cat.”  Trowa

Duo sighed.  “House cat.  Yeah . . . okay.”  He laid back on his bed, still wearing the rest of his clothes.

Trowa smirked, then broke into a fit of coughs, finding it quite difficult to regain control of himself.  Max looked up, nudging
Trowa gently as if worried about him.  When the hacks finally subsided, Trowa drew his hand away from his mouth, tasting
something oddly familiar on his tongue.  His eyes widened, seeing a splatter of dark crimson covering his palm.  Only an instant
later, his vision faded into blackness and he felt himself falling forward, although he never felt as his body met the floor.

To Be Continued . . .