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 and Trowa return to the Gryffindor Tower.  Trowa worries over Duo’s reactions to some Slytherin stares.  And
the two of them have a serious talk.

Soldiers of Sorcery

Part Twenty-Six

Duo and Trowa walked back to the Gryffindor tower in relative silence.  Duo was lost in his own thoughts, going over and over
the events that had transpired that morning.  Quatre had been attacked . . . Quatre, the kindest person that Duo had ever known
had been brutally beaten for the fact that he had destroyed a colony just over a year ago.  It was understandable for Gregory to
be so angry and full of grief and yet Duo couldn’t get over the fact that it had been his friend that had been attacked.  He hoped
that Quatre was okay wherever he was.  He knew that Professor Potter had gone after him, Duo had seen the young professor
chase after Quatre . . . so he was confident that Quatre was in good hands at the moment.

He ducked his head as they strolled along the corridors, getting the distinct impression that everyone around them was watching
him.  Duo glanced up, spying a group of Slytherins standing along the walls.  They were all either glaring at them, or sending
hungry looks their way . . . at Duo in particular.  Trowa seemed oblivious to their looks, or else his calm facade was very
efficient in hiding his true feelings.

He wrapped his arms around himself as they passed a small group of Slytherins and shivered as the words “whore” and
“streetwalker” were whispered.  Although he was confused, since he had been looking at them at the time and he hadn’t seen
any of them move their lips.  It was odd.  He had heard the words, and had been staring right at the one he was sure had said
them, but their lips had not moved even slightly.  Maybe he was losing his mind . . . imagining that he was hearing these insults.

Duo shook his head and hastened his pace.  He didn’t feel safe anymore, not with all those glares and looks directed his way . . .
plus the fact that Quatre had just been beaten because his identity as a Gundam pilot during the war had been revealed to the
Gryffindor house . . . all of their identities had been revealed, probably to the entire school by now.  Anyone could want to hurt
them now.

Beside him, Trowa looked in his direction, a brief flicker of worry alighting on his features before he followed suit and also sped
up, staying beside Duo the entire way.  Duo was really glad that Trowa was there with him.  He felt the beginnings of a nervous
breakdown starting and did not want to be alone when it happened.


Trowa cast several concerned glances in Duo’s direction as they walked back to the Gryffindor dormitory.  Duo was shaking,
sweat beading on his skin.  He looked quite shaken and Trowa didn’t know what the cause of it was.  Perhaps it was the glares
and predatory looks that the two of them were getting from the Slytherins loitering in the halls.  To be honest the looks they
were giving them did make Trowa nervous as well . . . with his experience he knew that anyone could mean to hurt him.

As soon as they entered the common room, he and Duo made their way to their dorm room, neither of them really feeling
comfortable amongst the other Gryffindors at the moment.  Many of them were giving Duo and Trowa the same looks that
those Slytherins had been casting their way.

Trowa watched with growing concern as Duo quickly made his way over to the window.  The long-haired American took a
seat on the bench below the window, curling his legs up close to his body as he looked outside.  Trowa could see that his body
was trembling, his eyes glistening with unshed tears.

Cautiously, Trowa approached his friend, not altogether sure what he could do to help.  He wasn’t all that comfortable with
touching people . . . Ginny being the only exception.  For some reason, Trowa trusted Ginny far more than anyone else.  He
knew that she wouldn’t hurt him.  He didn’t have that kind of trust with anyone else, not even the other ex-pilots . . . he knew
that they could hurt him if they wanted to and so he feared that.  If they ever found out what he had done in the past . . . they
could use it against him.  He knew that.

Biting into his bottom lip, Trowa set his hand down on Duo’s shoulder, shivering in reaction to even this meager amount of
human contact.  Duo jerked his shoulder away in response.  “Don’t touch me.”  He whispered, his voice almost a hiss.

Trowa took a step back, fearing a violent reaction from his friend.  He shouldn’t have crossed those bounds . . . shouldn’t have
touched Duo.  It had been a mistake.  Duo was angry with him, his tone indicated that.  “I’m sorry . . . I didn’t mean to hurt

Duo turned to him, chuckling even while tears fell from his eyes.  “I wouldn’t be the one getting hurt . . . you would.”  Duo
said, wiping at his eyes harshly.  Then he looked up at Trowa, his expression one of sadness.  “Everyone that touches me dies.  
I don’t want you to die too, Trowa.”

Silently, Trowa sat on the bench beside Duo, looking at him worriedly.  How much pain had Duo been through in his life?  How
many people that he loved had he watched die?  By his last name alone, Trowa knew the number to be high . . . it didn’t take a
genius to add up the coincidence of Duo’s name, his colony of origin, and the outfit he wore to know that he had been present
on L-2 at the time of the Maxwell Church Massacre.  Or at least that he had been close to someone that had died then.  It was
all just a guess . . . Trowa had not questioned Duo about his past . . . he didn’t feel it was his place to pry.  Maybe now it was
time for Duo to let go of his demons.

Feeling incredibly nervous, Trowa leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Duo’s shoulders, pulling the shivering youth
into a hesitant embrace.  Even if he wasn’t all that comfortable with the tender touches himself, he saw that Duo needed such
reassurances at the moment and knew that Duo had always been particularly sensitive to human contact.

Duo’s hands pushed at Trowa’s chest.  “Stop . . . don’t touch me.”  He whimpered, attempting to get away.  “I’m filthy . . .
you don’t want to be touched by me . . . I’m disgusting.  I’m not worth your kindness.”

Trowa shook his head, not releasing his firm hold on Duo’s body.  “No, you’re not filthy, Duo.  You’re kind and beautiful.  I’m
the one who should be ashamed of being touched by you . . . I’m the filthy one.”  He closed his eyes, pushing back memories
that were fighting their way to the surface of his mind.

Duo didn’t reply.  Instead he sank into Trowa’s arms, his body shuddering violently as sobs wracked his slender frame.  He
latched onto Trowa, burying his face in Trowa’s chest as he cried.  Trowa wasn’t sure how to handle the situation, so he just
did what his instincts told him to do.  He pressed closer, minutely tightening the embrace to which Duo had responded to,
running his hands along Duo’s back in what he hoped was a soothing pattern, hushing him with gentle tones.

Trowa’s efforts seemed effective.  After a short while, Duo’s sobs lessened, his body not shivering with quite as much intensity
as before.  Duo drew himself away from Trowa’s body and Trowa allowed this, loosening his hold on the shaken American.

Trowa offered what he hoped was a kind smile and wiped the pads of his fingers over Duo’s face, gently brushing aside the
tears that dampened his skin.  Duo shrank away from him, casting his gaze aside.  “Why are you bothering with me?”  Duo
asked timidly, his eyes averted.  “I’m not worth the trouble or your kindness.”

“Of course you are, Duo.”  Trowa assured, hooking his fingers underneath Duo’s chin and turning him to face him.  He looked
into Duo’s hyacinth eyes and frowned at the sight of agony within.  He knew that look all too well . . . it was present in his own
eyes.  It was the look of someone who had died time and again, by the cruelty of others, by pain and suffering.  It was a thing
of heartache for Trowa to see that pain in Duo’s lovely eyes.  “I-I like you, Duo.  I can’t proclaim stronger feelings, for I have
never felt them before . . . but I do know that I enjoy your companionship.”  He paused, watching as a flicker of hope entered
Duo’s eyes briefly.  “Why do you feel so unworthy?”

Duo grabbed Trowa’s hand, pushing it away from his face.  He looked away again, wrapping his arms about his body once
more.  “I can’t tell you, Trowa . . . you’d hate me.  You’d be disgusted with me if you knew the truth.”

“That’s impossible, Duo.”  Trowa stated.  “You are my friend . . . someday I hope you will be more.  The truth, no matter how
horrible will not change my opinion of you.”

Duo suddenly turned to him, his eyes burning with emotion.  “I was a prostitute, Trowa!”  He announced.  “I was a street rat, a
witness to a plague and a massacre, and then a prostitute, all before I turned twelve.”  His bottom lip trembled as he spoke,
dishing out each and every one of his most painful secrets for Trowa to hear.  

Trowa made no comments, only sitting there and paying attention as Duo let him in on everything, from his time with the gang
and the Solo youth, Solo’s death of a plague, the Maxwell Church and the hope he had found there before it had all been
smashed in just one horrible day.  And then Duo spoke of the years between the destruction of the church and his training with
Professor G . . . the way he had learned to survive by selling his own body . . . the countless nights spent in lustful men’s beds,
suffering through their pleasures and their touching of his young body.

Finally, Duo told Trowa of what he had been doing after the Mariemaia incident, of how he had found himself back on the
streets and that he had almost succumbed to his old profession if only for a decent meal.  The invitation to attend Hogwarts had
come just in time in Trowa’s honest opinion.  Any later and Duo might have been broken completely.

When Duo finally stopped speaking, Trowa brushed away the fresh tears that had fallen from Duo’s eyes.  He looked kindly on
the trembling youth, wanting so much to hold him and assure him that he was cared for.  Still, he knew that he would have to
divulge his own secrets before he earned the right to do such a thing.  Duo needed to know everything . . . especially if anything
were to come of this relationship.

“So what do you think of me now, Trowa?  I’m disgusting, aren’t I?”  Duo asked, tears glistening in his eyes, mingled with a
fragile hope that would shatter if Trowa said the wrong thing.

“If anything, I think I care for you more.  Now that I know we share a common pain.”  Trowa replied, lowering his own eyes
in shame.

“What?  Common pain?”  Duo asked, his tone one of confusion.

Trowa raised his gaze, allowing Duo to see into his eyes, feeling as acid-like tears burned within them.  “I hope it will offer
some consolation to you . . . but I realize that it might not.  I . . . I was the youngest member of an all male mercenary group,
Duo.  Who do you think they turned to for entertainment on cold nights, or when they were drunk . . . or when there were no
women available?”

Duo gasped, his hand flying to his mouth.  “I’m sorry . . . I didn’t mean . . .”

Trowa cut him off, not needing to hear Duo’s apologies.  He had to let this out now, before he could chicken out.  “They
started out easy on me, just making me suck them off or give them hand jobs . . . but inevitably they started wanting more.  I
passed out the first time the Captain raped me . . . I was barely ten . . . if that at all.”  He sighed, holding back his tears,
knowing that he had to keep it together until he finished speaking.  “After that . . . all I really remember is the pain.”  He sighed.  
“It ended when they all died though . . . at least I thought it had.  Before I got the invitation to come here . . . the night I found
Max in the forest near where the troupe had camped for the night, I was . . .”  He shook his head, unsure if he could continue.

“You were attacked?”  Duo asked tentatively, his hand on Trowa’s shoulder.

Trowa nodded.  “He surprised me and knocked me out when I was distracted.  When I woke up, I was tied to a tree.  He had a
camera . . . took some pictures of me . . . he manipulated my body quite skillfully.  I doubt I was his first victim.  Then he
rammed into me . . . it was like the first time all over again.  I screamed at him to stop . . . and he did.  Actually, it was more
like I made him stop . . . the first time I used my telekinesis . . . I turned around and he was across the clearing, either
unconscious or dead . . . I never checked which.  Max chewed through the ropes and set me loose.  I grabbed the camera and
then I just left.”

The tears finally sprang forth.  Trowa hid his face, not wanting to be seen showing such emotions, this weakness.  It was an
invitation to predators . . . he didn’t want to be hurt.  It was pure instinct for him to hide at a time like this.  Warm arms circled
his body, drawing him into a strong embrace.  Trowa reciprocated and the two of them just held each other, both of them
needing the comfort that the hug gave to them.  “I guess we do have something in common then.”  Duo whispered.

Trowa nodded against Duo’s body.  “A strange way to start a relationship.”  He replied, smirking if only slightly.

Duo pulled away slightly.  “D-Do you want to start a relationship with me?”  He asked.

“Yes.  It would take a good deal of work for either of us to be comfortable I’m sure . . . but I’m willing to try.  Are you?”  
Trowa responded, hoping that Duo did want him in return.

“Absolutely!”  He hugged Trowa again, this time for happiness instead of comfort.  After a moment he pulled away again.  “I’m
tired, Trowa.”  He said, raising a trembling hand to caress the side of Trowa’s face.

“So am I.”  Trowa replied, carefully winding his arms around Duo’s body and lifting him into his arms.  He wordlessly carried
Duo over to his bed, setting him down on it.  

They kicked off their shoes, shedding their robes and loosening their ties.  Then they laid down together, Duo laying his head on
Trowa’s chest and snuggling close.  Trowa smiled genuinely, looking down to the end of the bed and narrowing his eyes at the
blanket he saw there.  He concentrated, using his newfound skills to pull the blanket up over the two of them.  Well, his tutor
had told him to practice using his telekinesis . . . this was as good a time as any.

“That comes in handy.”  Duo commented.

“I suppose . . . I still don’t quite have the hang of it yet.”  Trowa replied.  “Get some sleep, Duo.”

Duo yawned and nodded, closing his eyes.  Trowa set his chin against the top of Duo’s head, his fingers twisting around Duo’s
braid and stroking it lovingly.  He liked this.  For the first time in his life he actually enjoyed being held in the arms of another
man.  Trowa slipped off to sleep, hoping for the best of this new relationship.

To Be Continued . . .