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:  Wufei confronts Quatre.  Heero interacts with his family more.



Soldiers of Sorcery



Part Thirty-Six


Wufei held his peace during their Defense Against the Dark Arts class.  He flicked a glance over to Quatre, and was pleased that
the blonde was paying more attention to the lesson than he was to the instructor and not vice versa.

Professor Potter closed his book with a smile.  “Class is dismissed.  Please go over your notes as there will be a quiz during the
next class.”

Wufei started packing up as the students started to murmur excitedly.  It was easy to do well in Professor Potter’s class.  Not
because he didn’t give them any challenges, but because he made the lessons interesting and fun to learn so that they stuck in
the mind.  All they had to remember was a key word, and the whole lesson would come back.  He followed Quatre out and
frowned when he saw the blonde turn to head toward the Gryffindor Tower.  “I thought you were going to see Professor
Snape.”

Quatre froze as Duo walked out of the classroom.

Duo grinned at Wufei, clapping him on the back.  “I’m gonna go see how Trowa’s doing.  Maybe pilfer some food from the
dining hall on the way.  I’d listen to Wufei if I were you, Quatre.  He knows what he’s talking about.”

Wufei snorted affectionately as Duo turned, but stopped him from leaving.  “Duo, wait a moment and I’ll accompany you to the
Tower.  We really shouldn’t be walking around by ourselves.”  He turned back to face Quatre.  “Well?”

Quatre sighed.  “I, I feel so awkward when I’m near him.  I just . . .”

Wufei held up his hand.  “Look, you go peacefully, or I will tell Professor Potter about this odd side-effect myself.”

Duo let out a slow whistle.  “Woah, Wufei . . .”

Quatre’s eyes widened.  “That’s low, Wufei.”

“Look, we only want what’s best for you, Quatre.”  Duo settled his hand on Quatre’s shoulder.  “I don’t want to see you in the
Hospital Wing again.”

“I know,” he spoke with reluctance.  “But, I’m . . . I’m frightened.”  He looked like he felt dreadfully embarrassed admitting it.

“Why ever for?”  Wufei inquired.

“I wish I could explain it properly.”  Quatre shook his head, wrapping his arms around himself.  “When I’m near Professor
Snape, my mental barriers seem to whither away.  I don’t want to, but I find it easy to see into his mind . . . and I can’t control
it.”  Quatre swallowed, avoiding the concerned gazes of his friends.  “I’m afraid . . . if my walls collapse completely . . . I’ll
lose myself.”

Duo said nothing.  He simply reached out and pulled Quatre into his arms.  Quatre sank into the embrace.  In the time that Wufei
had known him, Quatre had always craved human contact, more so when he was frightened.

Wufei frowned in concern.  “Quatre, it will be worse for you in the long run to stay away.  If you tell Professor Potter about
what’s going on, he’ll be able to tell Professor Snape and then something can probably be done to help you.”

Duo nodded and gently pushed Quatre to arms length.  “Wufei is right, man.  You can’t let one fear put you into danger when
something can be done to help.”

Wufei was about to try and convince Quatre again when the blonde let out a low moan and started to collapse.  Luckily, Duo
was still holding Quatre’s shoulders, so he was able to keep Quatre from hitting the floor hard.

“Quatre!”  There was the sound of running footsteps and Professor Potter was there before Wufei could think to call for him.  
He dropped to his knees as Duo gently lowered Quatre to the floor.

Wufei blinked.  “You’re quick, sir.”

Professor Potter gave Wufei a small smile.  “I saw that he was talking with you . . . I decided to stay out of the way.  He
deserves his privacy when talking to his friends.”  He gently tapped Quatre’s face.  “Come on, Quatre.  Wake up.  You know it’
s dangerous to sleep unless you’ve had some of your potion.”

Quatre’s eyes snapped open and a look of fear washed through them.  His hands reached up to grasp the Professor’s robes, a
pale whisper falling from his lips.  “No, don’t let him get me.”

“It’s okay.  It’ll be okay,” Potter soothed, running his fingers along Quatre’s cheek in a tender display of affection.  He eased
Quatre into a sitting position, staying at his side as Duo and Wufei knelt so they could speak with him as well.

Duo looked very concerned as he watched his friend.  “Yeah, you’re safe now.  He . . . he can’t get you if we’re all here to
protect you, can he?”

Quatre shook his head.  “I don’t know.  I don’t want to chance it.”  He sniffled and curled closer to Professor Potter.

Wufei frowned at Quatre when the blonde kept his silence.  “Quatre, tell him.”

Professor Potter looked confused and pulled away from Quatre just enough to look at his face.  “Tell me what?”

Quatre was quiet for just another moment before talking.  “Whenever I’m near Professor Snape, I can feel what he’s feeling.”  
He flushed a little.  “I don’t try to, but it’s been getting steadily worse.”

“Sshh, I understand.”  Professor Potter helped Quatre to his feet.  “Perhaps Professor Snape can adjust the potion to help ease
this . . . side effect.”

Quatre pressed his forehead to Professor Potter’s shoulder, his hands tightening against the teacher’s robes.  “I don't want to be
lost again,” he whispered, shivering.  “It’s dark and violent . . . and so very cold.”

Wufei reached over and set his hand on the pale blonde’s shoulder.  “I swear, we won’t let anything happen to you.  Soon, the
person responsible for these attacks on you will be found and then things will return to normal.  Well, as normal as things can
get.”

Duo nodded in agreement.  “Yeah!  So cheer up, okay Quatre?  Besides, you’ve got a cute professor to look after you.”

Quatre giggled, while a faint blush alighted on the Professor’s face.  Wufei cleared his throat, deciding they had sat around here
long enough.  “Professor, I’m certain Quatre is in good hands with you.  If you’ll excuse us, Duo and I will return to the
Tower.  One of our friends was unable to attend class.”

“Yeah, I’m dying to go see Tro,” Duo said, practically bouncing on his feet.  “He’s been cooped up in that dorm long enough.”

Professor Potter chuckled jovially, rising to his feet and helping Quatre to stand as well.  “Go on then,” he smiled, his arm
wrapped securely around Quatre’s waist.  “I won’t let anything happen to Quatre.”

Wufei had no doubts that the Professor was telling the truth.  With a polite bow, he turned and left, grabbing Duo’s wrist and
dragging him along.  “Come on,” he grumbled, releasing Duo when the American began bouncing in excitement.


*****


Heero watched Tama while she played happily with Odin.  He had to admit that the girl was very well-behaved.  During the
wars, he had spotted how young children sometimes played with dogs, pulling on ears or tails and roughhousing with the
animals.  Tama, unlike those Heero had seen in the past, simply rolled an old ball and clapped happily when Odin brought it back
to her before petting Odin’s three heads.  Heero was honestly surprised that he found himself relaxing in this house.

Aunt Hatsu entered the room with a gentle smile.  “Okay, you two.  Tama, it’s time for your nap.  You can play with Odin later
if your cousin lets you.”  She turned to Heero, her smile never wavering.  “And I’d like to actually show you to your room.”

Tama pouted for a little while, but regretfully and obediently put the ball down and stood up.  “Yes, Auntie Hatsu,” she sighed
remorsefully, then turned to cast hopeful eyes up at Heero.  “May I please play with the doggie later?”

Heero nodded and found himself looking forward to watching the puppy at play again.  He got up as well, bending down to
scoop Odin into his arms.  “Come on, Odin.”  He followed his aunt upstairs, still looking around himself unsurely.  He still felt as
if he could wake up at any moment.  This all seemed far too good to be true.  He was as unsure of his place now as he had been
when he had first entered the house.  It didn’t help that the paintings he passed were whispering to each other while motioning
to him.

Hatsu seemed to notice the attention that was being focused on Heero, because she suddenly stopped and took a look around at
the various moving portraits.  “All right, you lot.  Stop making the poor boy self-conscious.  Let him settle in before you start in
on him.”  She snorted when the people looked appropriately ashamed of themselves and then continued on along the hall while
mumbling to herself about being glad that there were no paintings in Heero’s room.

Tama reached up and grabbed his hand when they reached her room.  It was a room filled with the sounds of chirping birds and
where cherry blossoms fell but never touched the ground.  “I’ll see you later, Heero!”  With a big smile, she skipped into her
room and climbed up onto her bed, picking up a simple doll and cuddling it close to herself.

Heero nodded to the child and shifted his grip on Odin before continuing after his aunt.  She opened a door near to Tama’s
room.  “This is your room,” Hatsu smiled warmly and gestured with a wide sweep of her arm.  “I just made up the bed with
some fresh linens for you.”

Heero looked around at the room.  It was a simple bedroom, bare of any decoration.  It had a desk and chair, a wardrobe, a four-
poster bed and a set of bookshelves all made of a rich dark wood that contrasted the lighter wood of the floor.  The walls were
painted a pale blue, the curtains on the window a slightly darker shade of blue.

“Thank you, Ma’am,” Heero said quietly.

Hatsu’s hands fell on his shoulders, stroking them firmly.  “Please, call me ‘Hatsu’ or ‘Aunt Hatsu.’  Honestly, I won’t bite you.”

“Yes, all right, Aunt Hatsu,” Heero said, looking down at the floor.  He didn’t know what he should be feeling.  Aunt Hatsu hadn’
t left the room yet, so perhaps Heero was expected to say or do something.  But he didn’t know what he could possibly say,
what he could do.  He was confused, unsure of himself.  He didn’t know what to do.

Hatsu’s hands slipped from his shoulders and she moved around to stand in front of him.  Her fingers stroked along his cheek
before curling beneath his chin to tilt his face up.  “Heero, what’s wrong?” she asked sweetly, her eyes full of concern.

Heero looked at her, feeling a strange swell of emotion that he couldn’t identify.  “I-I don’t know what you expect of me.”

A softness entered Hatsu’s eyes.  “I expect nothing of you.  I merely want you to be happy.  And I hope that some day you will
grow to accept us as your family and love us as much as we already love you.”

Heero shook his head, Aunt Hatsu’s fingers falling away from his face.  He took in a breath, letting it out shakily.  “I’m afraid,”
he whispered, closing his eyes against the burning tears.  He looked down again, trying to hide this irrational emotional
response.  “I’m afraid I don’t know how to.”  A solitary tear escaped his defenses, scalding hot as it ran along his cheek to drip
from his chin.  He unconsciously held Odin close, running his fingers along the puppy’s soft fur.

Arms surrounded him, pulling him firmly against Aunt Hatsu’s body.  “You know how to, Heero,” she soothed, wrapping him in
the comforting embrace of her arms.  “The memories and feelings may be buried deeply, covered by the pains and hardships of
your past, but they’re still there.  We love you, Heero.  Even though you can’t return that love yet, I know in my heart that one
day you will.  And I can wait, even if it takes you one hundred years.”  She pressed a kiss to his forehead, her graceful hands
sliding along his back in a manner meant to soothe his insecurities.  “Just know that I love you.  We love you.  We are your
family and nothing will ever separate us again.”

Her words struck deeply, slicing through the years of training as if it were nothing but paper.  He turned slightly, dropping Odin
to the bed.  The puppy yipped, then jumped down to explore its new surroundings.  His arms empty, Heero threw them around
Hatsu, clinging to her desperately.  He didn’t understand this.  He was consumed by emotions he had never before felt,
overwhelmed by them and it frightened him.

“Oh . . . Heero, you’re shaking,” she said, pulling him closer.

He pressed his cheek to her shoulder, unable to stop the trembling that had settled in.  “I’m sorry.  I don’t know how to stop.  I
don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“It’s okay, Heero,” Hatsu soothed, gently guiding him to sit on the bed.  She never left him, never released her hold on him,
following to sit alongside him.  “Now, the family will be arriving soon, and you need to rest a little while.  Why don’t you lie
down and take a short nap?  You’ve had a great deal of excitement today and you’ll probably feel better afterward.”

Heero nodded and reluctantly relaxed his hold so he could lie down.  He blinked up at his aunt in confusion as she remained
beside him.  But he allowed his eyes to close as she started to hum softly, her fingers brushing the hair away from his face in a
tender and soothing manner.  The combination of the lullaby, the caresses, and his own fatigue had him slipping into a peaceful
sleep faster than he would have thought possible.


*****


Hatsu let out a soft breath as the last words of the lullaby left her lips.  Heero was sleeping now, his breathing even and deep.  
And though he slept soundly, Hatsu still worried for him.  He was such a sweet and kind boy, and yet lost and deeply confused.  
He didn’t understand himself, let alone the family he had so suddenly been thrust into.

Dumbledore should have given them all more warning about this.

She let her long fingers slide along his cheek, a smile forming on her face as he turned toward the gentle contact.  She knew
there was a sensitive and fragile youth beneath the cold exterior he put forth.  She had seen his walls crumble, had witnessed the
loss of control he kept over all of his emotions.  Too much pressure would break him completely and that was the last thing that
Hatsu wanted to happen.  He needed time.  Time to heal.  Time to remember how to love and embrace the family that had never
given up the hope of finding him.  After thirteen long years he was finally back with them.  Hatsu would make damn certain that
nothing ever took him away again.

Carefully, not wanting to wake him, she rose from the bed.  She bent over her nephew, undoing the catch of his robes and
slipping it off his shoulders and arms.  She wished that she had taken the time to ensure his comfort before he had fallen asleep.  
But then, he looked as if he needed the rest desperately.  She moved carefully, softly humming to reassure her nephew that it
was her touching him and not some stranger who might wish him harm.  She deftly slipped the buttons of his shirt free of their
holes and started to slide the garment off with the full intention of ensuring that he could sleep comfortably.  What she saw
made her freeze and curse the name of her sister’s husband.  She suddenly wished that the man was still alive so she could
perform several, if not all, of the forbidden curses on him.

Where there should have been smooth flesh, there were several scars that looked as if they had been caused by very painful and
ill-tended wounds.  There was no way the boy would have ever gotten these scars unless he had been badly abused.  Hatsu took
a deep breath and ran her fingers along the most prominent scar, which ran up along his side.  She traced the jagged mark,
wondering how anyone could harm a child.  She vowed not to ask him about the scars and would make sure to tell the others to
keep their silence as well.  The boy needed love and understanding, not an inquisition.  She somehow knew that demanding he
answer their questions would only drive him away.

Heero moaned lightly, turning his head in his sleep.  Hatsu pulled her hand back, looking down at her nephew with worry.  
Gently, she eased his robe and shirt from beneath him.  She folded the garments and set them on the dresser.  Then she returned
to Heero and pulled off his shoes and socks.  She folded the socks as well, leaving them on the dresser beside the rest of his
clothing, settling his shoes on the floor by the bed.

She went back to Heero’s side then, picking up the thin blanket that was folded at the end of the bed.  She drew it up along
Heero’s form, covering him to his chest.  Heero’s puppy whined and she looked down, a faint smile coming to her face when
she saw it.  The puppy was standing on its hind legs at Heero’s bedside, its front paws up on the side of the bed.

Hatsu let out a soft chuckle, bending and scooping up the puppy.  “All right.  Here you go,” she said, setting the three-headed
dog down on the bed.

The puppy wagged its tail.  It settled down beside Heero, all three heads easily falling asleep.  The pup was adorable, sleeping
there alongside its master.

“Sleep well,” Hatsu whispered, brushing her fingers along Heero’s cheek one last time before she left the room.  She had every
hope that Heero would be able to adjust to this, that he would one day be able to accept that he was loved and wanted, that he
had a family once again.



To Be Continued . . .