The placement for this fic is 15.5 years after Deathly Hallows; Harry is now a 33-year-old Auror. For Wizard, it's between Episode 53 and 'Sengoku Movie Battle'. Haruto is still looking for a hiding place for Koyomi's ring, and since he appears to be somewhere in Europe in the opening scene of SMB, I figured this was plausible. And let's face it: Haruto has demonstrated repeatedly that he doesn't care about non-magic people seeing him use magic and knowing his secret identity. That's the sort of attitude the Wizarding World would throw a fit over!
Age-wise, I follow the timeline widely accepted by fans in which Harry was born on July 31st, 1980, putting him at the age of 33 in this fic. Since Haruto's birthday and age are never given, I usually fall back to the actor's birthdate, in this case August 3rd, 1990, so he's 23 here.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Harry Potter or Kamen Rider Wizard. They belong to JK Rowling and Toei, respectively.
WORD COUNT: 6261
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Harry Potter had just returned to his office after his lunch break when he received an urgent memo that a wizard who'd been using magic in front of Muggles in the middle of a crowded playground was resisting arrest. He left his briefcase there and Apparated to the site.
No less than a dozen Aurors were lying on the ground, either Stunned or Petrified, but none of them appeared to be seriously hurt. Two more were firing spells at a man in a strange get-up made of black leather with silver accents and encrusted with red crystals. One large gem even covered his face while the rest of his head was protected by a silver helmet. A flaming magic energy shield protected him, reflecting the Aurors' spells back in their faces. Harry figured that was what had taken the others down.
Taking a different approach, Harry cast Wingardium Leviosa on some nearby rocks, levitating them and making them batter the suspect from behind. That provided some distraction, and one Stunner did get past his shield, though it unfortunately missed the target as well.
The wizard ducked behind a slide and dropped his shield. Harry thought he could see him pulling something from his belt. It was then that he noticed that the other wizard didn't seem to be using a wand.
He appeared to stick a large ring on his finger before holding the same hand over his strange hand-shaped belt buckle. A man's echoing voice, with a hint of an unfamiliar accent, came out of it: "Bind, Please". Six glowing red rune circles appeared in a ring on the ground around Harry and the other two Aurors, and a thick length of chain sprang from each of them, two per Auror.
Harry managed to stop one with a blasting curse, but the other chain got past his defences and wrapped around his left arm. The stranger put on another ring and stuck it in front of the buckle again: "Connect, Please". A larger rune circle appeared in mid-air next to him, and he reached in and pulled out, to Harry's astonishment, an actual motorcycle, which he quickly mounted, clearly aiming to make a getaway.
Thinking quickly, Harry fired a powerful severing charm at the base of the chain restraining him (causing the rune circle it erupted from to vanish) and cut it in two before setting the pieces on their own master, who was starting to ride away. One chain attacked the rear wheel, sending the bike out of control, and the other bound the rider's arms to his sides. He fell off and hit the ground hard.
Harry ran up to the man and Stunned him before he could try to defend himself. He went limp, and a red glow surrounded him before the leather outfit vanished. Lying on the grass now was an Asian-looking man in his early twenties with light brown hair, a black jacket, red pants, and black boots – Muggle clothes. The strange belt remained around his waist, though, along with a thinner belt clipped to it on his left side that had several of those strange rings attached.
Auror Dan Simmons jogged up to him, out of breath. The chains that had bound him and Auror Gemma Till had apparently vanished as well. "Pardon my language, sir, but what the bloody hell was that? Have you ever seen anyone wield magic like that before?"
Harry shook his head. "Never." He looked around. "We're out in the open; how many Muggles have seen this?!" There didn't seem to be any around now, but they could have easily run for cover when the fighting started. The struggle to arrest this man could have caused more exposure than the suspect himself.
"None," Till reported, "Dawlish and I were first on the scene; we followed him and waited until he was alone before putting up Muggle-repelling wards and then approaching him. The Obliviators have already started dealing with the half-dozen or so children and their parents who witnessed him performing magic." She huffed, kneeling to check on a dazed Auror who appeared to have been hit with a Vertigo Jinx. "The witch who reported in said that he was doing it intentionally, making a show of it! Can you believe the nerve?!"
Simmons was eyeing the man's belt. "He's an odd one, he is. No wand, no traditional spellcasting that I could see or hear, and what was with that leather outfit? Even by magical standards, it's bizarre." Simmons was a Muggle-born, the first in many years to get through the Auror Academy in spite of the pure-blood-friendly hiring policies that had restricted the Department for years.
Till, a pure-blood, cocked her head. "What's so strange about wizarding clothes? Far as I'm concerned, that Muggle outfit is just as odd. The thing is, when Dawlish and I questioned him, he seemed honestly confused by what we were saying, and I don't think it was just because his English was a bit awkward."
"He's a foreigner, then?" Harry groaned, "Great, this case just got a whole load more complicated." He hated having to deal with ambassadors and fighting over jurisdiction. The sheer amount of paperwork this would probably involve… "But what do you mean by confused?"
Till shrugged, having successfully counter-jinxed the Auror before her and moving on to the next. "He seemed to have genuinely no idea that magic's supposed to be hidden. Do you think he could be a Muggle-born whose magic appeared late and was missed by his Ministry?"
"It's possible, I suppose. Just another thing to ask him."
"Of course, Dawlish had to assume that he was simply being difficult, and tried to bring him in by force. He did not like that at all."
Harry glanced over to where Dawlish was lying, Stunned. The man was an excellent duellist, but absolutely terrible at picking his battles, and up against such an unorthodox opponent, it figured that the situation would degenerate into this madness. "Alright, let's wake up the others and bring him in. The Obliviators should have finished dealing with the Muggles who saw him, by now."
Sōma Haruto was no stranger to waking up after being knocked unconscious – more than was healthy, really. Whether he'd overused his magic, been badly beaten by a Phantom, or had overused his magic and then gotten beaten up as a result, it happened more often than he liked. He remembered what had happened beforehand; a pair of people wearing funny-looking robes had approached him in an abandoned park and started demanding that he explain why he was using his magic in front of… what was the word they'd used? Moguls?
He'd tried to talk to them calmly, but the language barrier – his English was a bit shaky – made it difficult. Soon, the man had gotten fed up, pulled out a thin wooden wand, and tried to cast a spell on him. Haruto had defended himself, kicking the wand out of the man's hand and ducking behind a tree to avoid spells being shot at him by the woman before transforming. The Defend Ring had protected him from both those two and a dozen or so more that had turned up. Their spells had all bounced off his shield and hit either the caster or one of their buddies. Most of the effects seemed to be limited to knocking them out, making their wands fly out of their hands, or some other affliction that took them out of the fight, though Haruto hadn't had time to observe the downed ones closely.
Then a new man had shown up and bewitched nearby stones to attack him, and Haruto had needed to use the Bind Ring to restrain him and the other two remaining. But something had happened when he was about to ride away and his back was turned; his bike went out of control, a chain was wrapping itself around him, and the last thing he remembered was hitting the ground and a flash of red light.
Now, Haruto slowly opened his eyes to see that he was lying in a stone cell with a cot and not much else. An iron door appeared to be the only exit, but it proved to be locked when he tried it.
It was then that he realised that his Driver was missing, along with all his Magic Rings. Including the Hope Ring. Panic coursed through him now. He was stuck in an unknown place and unable to use his magic. Worst of all, the most powerful Magic Ring in existence could be in the hands of someone who might misuse it. If someone like Gremlin/Sora got hold of it…
The cell door opened a few minutes after he woke up. Standing on the other side were two men in dark robes, one maybe in his thirties with glasses and messy black hair and one appearing closer to Haruto's age with dark blond hair. "Come with us, please," the dark-haired man said sternly, "We need to ask you a few questions."
Haruto hesitated, but figured he had no choice. He was led through a series of stone hallways and into a room that was set up like an interrogation room, minus the window of one-way glass. His Driver and Rings were set out on the table. He wanted to grab them, but the black-haired man spoke up. "If you're thinking of grabbing those and trying to fight us, don't bother. There's a repelling charm on them that'll keep anyone but myself and Simmons here from touching them." Haruto noticed that though the man clearly wasn't speaking Japanese, he could understand him perfectly. Haruto could tell this because the man's lips weren't forming the words he was hearing.
After they were all seated, the black-haired man began: "What is your name?"
"Haruto Sōma," he replied resignedly, "And you are?"
"You may call me Auror Potter, and my colleague Auror Simmons." He paused as if he was waiting for a reaction, but continued when he didn't get one. "Do you know why you're here, Mr. Sōma?"
"No. Your people attacked me for no reason. Where am I?"
Auror Simmons (Haruto figured it was some kind of title) narrowed his eyes. "You're at the headquarters of the Ministry of Magic. You can't seriously expect us to believe that you've no idea how many laws you've broken?!"
"Laws?! I haven't done anything illegal! My passport is completely legitimate, I didn't bring any contraband into the country, and I haven't committed any crimes!" Haruto insisted, "If you don't tell me what you're charging me with, then I won't say another word until I get a lawyer."
Auror Potter sighed exasperatedly. "At approximately one o'clock this afternoon, you were observed blatantly using your magic in front of Muggles. This is about as serious a breach of the Statute of Secrecy as can be."
Haruto had no idea what he was talking about. He'd been captured – no, arrested – by some unknown organisation because he used magic? And there was that word again. "What's a Muggle? What Statute of Secrecy? No one's bugged me about using magic before!"
The two of them stared at him, dumbfounded, until Auror Potter muttered: "Looks like Till might be right after all." He sighed, and continued much less antagonistically. "You haven't had your magic for long, have you?"
"Only for about a year and a half."
"That late?" Auror Simmons gasped. "Most wizards start exhibiting signs of magic as toddlers!"
Haruto shuddered at the idea of a Gate being driven to despair at such a young age. How would they have managed the willpower to not fully give in, though? "Why does it matter when I received my magic?" he asked.
"Put simply," Auror Potter began to explain, "There's an entire society of wizards and witches, hidden from the non-magical people, known as Muggles. Many inherit magic from their parents, but there are also quite a few, like Auror Simmons here, who come from Muggle families. We speculated that you might be one of those Muggle-borns whose magic emerged unusually late. If you weren't exposed to the wizarding community, you probably wouldn't understand how using magic in front of Muggles is against our laws. How right are we?"
Sōma was frowning, deep in thought. Harry remembered his shock when he'd learned about the existence of the Wizarding World, and gave the man time to take it in. "I think you're mostly right," he said slowly, "Except my magic didn't simply appear one day. It was unlocked by a Sabbat ritual."
Now Harry was confused. "What's a Sabbat?"
"It's a ritual meant to create to create a large number of Phantoms and absorb the excess mana from their births. I was the only survivor." His voice was shaking, and his eyes were distant.
Harry and Simmons exchanged narrow-eyed glances. Neither had heard of this before. "And a Phantom is..?"
Now Sōma looked confused. "How can you not know what a Phantom is? They're how wizards are created!"
Harry had had enough of this. "You don't know what you're talking about, do you? Every witch or wizard in the world was born with magic, no 'Phantoms' or whatever involved."
"Then I guess you're just a different kind of wizard," Sōma argued, crossing his arms, "Because I know exactly what happened to me; I'll never forget it for as long as I live."
The first statement got Harry thinking. "Simmons, with me. We'll be right back." The two Aurors walked out of the room, not worrying about leaving the strange belt and rings with him because the Repelling Charm was still active.
Harry went straight to his office and sent a memo to Blaise Zabini. "If anyone knows about these so-called 'Phantoms', it's the Unspeakables," he explained to Simmons.
"Do you believe him about that, sir?" Simmons questioned, "It sounds a bit far-fetched to me."
"You said yourself that you've never seen anyone using magic like he does. Him being a different type of wizard could explain it. It's not like our world pays a lot of attention to anything outside of it, so the existence of other types of magic-users could be possible. I just don't know what kind Sōma could be. But someone from the Department of Mysteries might."
He sent the flying memo off, and five minutes later, Blaise Zabini came into the office carrying a thin folder. "Dare I ask where you heard about Phantoms, Potter?" he asked without any proper greeting. Zabini and Harry were anything but friends; the former Slytherin was a pure-blood supremacist and an arse. But he was no killer and had remained neutral during the Second Wizarding War, and so he was one of the few Slytherins from Harry's year that he could stand to be in the same room with for more than a minute at a time.
"We caught a strange wizard resisting arrest after he deliberately performed magic in front of Muggles. He maintains that he's never had any contact with any Ministry, and that he hadn't heard of the Statute of Secrecy. Hell, he claimed to not even know what the term 'Muggle' meant until we told him! The thing is, he didn't use a wand and was still able to hold his own. It took dumb luck to bring him in, and he brought down about a dozen Aurors first. All by conjuring a powerful shield that sent everyone's spells right back at them."
Zabini raised his eyebrows. "Either your department has gotten terribly sloppy, or he's an extremely willful Gate."
"I'm guessing he's the one who mentioned Phantoms to you, right?" At Harry's nod, he opened the folder and showed him some faded sketches on a very aged piece of parchment. "Phantoms are Dark Creatures that are born from the despair of humans. Certain humans, known as Gates, contain a special magical potential within their bodies, an entirely different kind from ours. If a Phantom manages to drive a Gate to the peak of despair, that magic potential turns into another Phantom. It then bursts out of the Gate's body, killing them. A Phantom's true form is monstrous, but it can take on the appearance of its Gate, and has access to their memories."
"You think this man is a Phantom, then?" Simmons asked, "He did say that his magic came from Phantoms."
"He claimed that all wizards are created from them," Harry corrected. He looked at the set of three grisly drawings. One featured a man screaming while glowing cracks appeared in his body. The second showed a twisted, demonic creature emerging from those cracks, the man's body in the middle of being ripped apart. The third depicted the same monster approaching a terrified woman.
"It is possible," Zabini admitted to Simmons' question, "But there have been stories… unconfirmed rumours… You remember I said that he could be a willful Gate? The rumours say that if a Gate regains their hope, pulls out of the despair, then the half-formed Phantom remains trapped within their body, giving them magical powers of their own." He shook his head. "If this man you've found is one of these wizards, we could learn so much more about Phantoms. What I've just told you is virtually all we know."
Harry frowned. "If his magic came from a Phantom, then that would make it Dark Magic, right? He could be dangerous."
"Maybe, maybe not. Wizarding society has had very little documented contact with this kind of wizard, so we don't know how much this Phantom magic might corrupt them. I'd like to see him for myself, if that's alright."
When Aurors Potter and Simmons returned, they weren't alone. A thin, olive-skinned man entered with him, eyeing Haruto intensely. "This is Blaise Zabini," Auror Potter introduced him, "He'd like to ask you a few questions about Phantoms, and exactly how you got your magic."
"First off," Zabini began right away, "Exactly how familiar are you with Phantoms? How many have you encountered?"
Haruto shrugged. "I lost count after about twelve. They were causing serious problems back in Tokyo last year, and I was one of the few equipped to deal with them. Why do you want to know?"
Zabini didn't answer the question, instead flipping his folder open and looking over whatever was inside. "Have you ever witnessed a Gate being turned into a Phantom?"
"You mean, a Phantom killing their Gate? Saw a couple almost happening, but either they were able to rein the Phantom back in, or I was able to destroy it within them. And there were a bunch of other Gates at the First Sabbat, but I was a bit too distracted to pay that much attention to them."
"Sabbat?" There was a new intensity in his voice now. "Please describe it for me."
Memories pushed their way to the surface. The screams, the despair, the pain. Looking up at the eclipsed sun and knowing that he couldn't die there. Finding himself alone, later learning that all those screaming people had died. It was even worse now that he knew some of their names. Yūgo, Misa, Satoshi, even Sora.
"Sōma!" Auror Potter's voice snapped him back to the present. The older man was eyeing him with hesitant concern, and Haruto realised he was shaking.
"Sorry," he mumbled, "I-it was about a year and a half ago… March 2012. I can't remember what I was doing, but suddenly I was standing near the shoreline with a bunch of other people. Before we could figure out how any of us had gotten there, the sky turned dark." He shuddered involuntarily. "A solar eclipse had occurred out of nowhere… glowing cracks appeared in the ground… and in our own bodies. Everyone was screaming, everything hurt like hell, and I remembered watching my parents dying over and over again. It felt like I was dying, and the last thing I remember thinking was that I couldn't die there, because I promised them that I would be their last hope." He pushed the tear away before it really fell. "The next thing I knew, I was alone on that shoreline, and the sky was back to normal."
"That was a Sabbat?" Zabini prompted. The other two men looked vaguely disturbed by the story, but this man either wasn't bothered or was just good at hiding it.
"Yes. A twisted ritual that forces Gates into despair to create as many Phantoms as possible. I was the sole survivor. I now know the names of four of the others, and three of them were good people. The other one… well, he was already a serial killer so twisted that the Phantom born from him couldn't tell the difference between them."
"And how did you survive?"
"Remembering my promise to my parents, it gave me the drive to not give up. I still had that as a shred of hope, and I was able to force the Dragon back inside."
"So you're a Phantom, then?" That must have been what Zabini's questions had been leading up to.
"No!" Haruto insisted, "The Dragon, my Phantom, might be living inside me, but I'm still human! The magic I get from him, I use it to fight Phantoms, to prevent what happened to me and the others from happening to anyone else. I haven't lost a single Gate yet."
All three men looked stunned. Zabini bent over his folder and immediately began scribbling things down with an old-fashioned quill and ink. The Aurors had a hushed, whispered conversation, and Haruto let his mind wander, figuring out which questions he should be asking them.
Like how there could be an entire worldwide magical society he'd never known about. How none of them had ever approached him. Why the hell he hadn't seen any of their kind doing anything about the Phantoms while he and his friends were running themselves ragged.
He wondered if Section Zero even knew about them. He somewhat doubted it. Kizaki, at least, would have disclosed that fact to him, Nitō, and the three Mages since they were all still wizards in their own right.
Zabini looked up from his notes and opened his mouth to speak again, but Haruto decided it was his turn. He'd just relived the worst day of his life for these strangers, and it was time for him to get some answers of his own.
"Are there a lot of your kind of wizards in Japan? How is it that my friends and I spent eighteen months defending an entire city without a single shred of assistance from them?!"
Auror Potter frowned. "The Japanese wizarding community is very large compared to Britain's, and they are more integrated with the Muggle community, but I honestly couldn't tell you how they couldn't have noticed dark magical creatures running amok, or why they might ignore it. How many would you say you've faced?"
"A few dozen of them that took a few skirmishes each to defeat, but they got steadily stronger as time went on. I had four other wizards of my kind with me, but they were all even newer to magic than I was. We made it through alright, but some help would have been welcomed with open arms. Do you know if your people there have any connection to the National Security Bureau, any at all? Their Section Zero has been heavily involved with Phantom cases, and they continue to hunt for any leftovers still causing trouble."
Harry looked at the young man in front of him. He had to be only in his early twenties, but from the sound of things, he'd been through just as much hell as Harry himself had over a stretch of seven years, and only in eighteen months! He remembered the pressure of having to save the Wizarding World with no one but Ron and Hermione at his side, and he was sure that Sōma had felt the same way.
Zabini was still focused on the Phantoms and Gates, however. "So, how many other wizards of your kind are there, that you know of?"
Sōma gave the insensitive prat a look. "Five. Fueki went dark by the time I met him, and was killed by a psychotic Phantom, the one I mentioned that used to be a serial killer. Nitō managed to release his Phantom, Chimaera, without getting killed, so he doesn't have powers anymore. Thank goodness Chimaera's more interested in consuming Phantom mana than bothering Gates; he would be an extremely tough opponent. Of the three remaining, Yūzuru-kun is still preoccupied with school, Yamamoto-san has a family to raise, and Mayu-chan is now employed by Section Zero."
That was definitely something to look into. It was part of the Statute of Secrecy that only the head of the Muggle state was to be kept informed of any relevant news in the magical world. But if a whole division of the Muggle Japanese National Security was in the know about magic, if not the wizarding world itself, that could be either very good or very bad.
"And how, exactly, does your magic work?" Zabini pressed on, "Do you cast with a wand? Amulets?"
"I use rings made out of Magic Stones, and my Driver, all of which are right in front of you." He reached out to pick up the strange belt, but his hand was stopped by the repelling charm. He looked up at Harry expectantly. Harry considered the situation, then made the call that Sōma could be trusted, and cancelled the spell.
Sōma immediately put the belt on, and then examined the rings laid out in front of him. "Garuda, I think," he muttered. Harry wasn't quite sure what he meant, until Sōma put on a ring with the design of a bird in red, and held it over the hand-shaped buckle. "Garuda, Please," the belt chanted, making Zabini step back, as this was the first time he'd witnessed Sōma's unique method of spellcasting.
A small glowing red platform materialised in front of Sōma, and some pieces broke off until they formed a small bird. He took the ring off and stuck it in a cavity in its breast. The little bird suddenly came to life as the rest of the platform vanished and took flight, circling once around Sōma's head before noticing the other men in the room. It zipped over to them and flew around their heads, managing to somehow give off an air of caution and curiosity. Zabini eyed it warily as it neared him, while Simmons cracked a slightly awed grin.
"Give them some space, Garu-chan," Sōma chided lightly, a small, fond grin on his face, "Relax, they're not suspicious people." The bird backed off and flew over to hover by his shoulder. "Garuda here is a bit wary around new people. Not nearly as bad as Golem, though; I had to leave him at home."
Harry continued to watch Garuda. "How many of these do you have?"
"Counting Garu-chan and Golem, four. Unicorn and Kraken are here as well." He picked up two more rings but didn't activate them. "Mayu-chan has her own White Garuda, and Nitō had Gryphon, but since he can't summon him anymore, he gave him to Yūzuru. I offered to leave one of mine with Yamamoto-san, but he said I'd probably have greater need for them; he only gets called out for the serious emergencies, since he's busy with work and his new child."
Harry noticed Zabini jotting down names out of the corner of his eye. His parchment was almost overflowing with notes on the Sabbat and Phantoms. The man wouldn't have been quite out of place in Ravenclaw.
"Can I ask something?" Simmnons blurted, "I don't mean to be rude, but why are you here? In England, I mean?"
Sōma's expression immediately grew sad, his eyes drifting down to a pink-stone ring. "Last month… I came into the possession of a powerful Magic Stone. Too powerful. Dozens upon dozens of people have died because of it. I intend to find some place to hide it where no one will ever find it and misuse it."
Harry nodded. "Then I supposed I have no reason to stop you. However, there is still the matter of you performing magic in front of Muggles, and resisting arrest."
"I didn't know you weren't allowed to do that here!" Sōma insisted, growing visibly indignant. Garuda shrieked like a bird of prey, a sound that somehow managed to convey the same emotion his master was displaying.
"I know, I know. And since we've had people take care of the memories of the Muggles who witnessed it, I think we can get through this without pressing charges. You did sin in ignorance, and everything was fixed in the end."
Haruto breathed a sigh of relief. Finally he could get out of here and back to his quest.
"Hang on!" Zabini insisted, "He can't just go yet! He's the first wizard of his kind our world has encountered in centuries, as far as we know! The Department of Mysteries won't stand for a chance like this just walking out the door!"
Auror Potter rolled his eyes. "You have all the notes you just took, isn't that enough? If you have any other questions, I'm sure they can wait until Sōma's finished with his mission. If that's alright with him, of course."
Haruto nodded. He had to admit that he was curious about their world as well, and wouldn't turn down learning more once the Hope Ring was hidden away. "I think that's fine. I can give you my cell number if you want, and if I have some way to contact you…"
Zabini huffed. "Fine. The Department will gain plenty from these notes, anyway. As for contacting me…" He tore off a piece of parchment and wrote something down. "Just put this address on your letter, and your owl will find me." And he left the room without saying goodbye.
"Not one for greetings or goodbyes, is he?" Auror Simmons commented absently.
Haruto picked the parchment off the table and read it aloud: "'Blaise Zabini, Unspeakables Office, Dept. of Mysteries, Ministry of Magic, London'. What was he saying about owls, though?"
Both Aurors laughed. "We use owls to carry our mail," Auror Potter explained, "The Wizarding World has more than a few advantages over the Muggle world, but not as much as many pure-bloods like Zabini like to believe. My best mate Ron took forever to grasp the idea that you don't have to yell at the top of your lungs to be heard over the telephone. The idea of mobile phones or e-mail seems impossible to them, simply because they can't grasp that you can communicate like that without using magic. Magic is used for everything in our society, and most simply wouldn't be able to function without it because they never learned how to. I'll be sure to give you a few contact numbers and my e-mail address before you go."
He allowed Haruto to gather up his remaining Magic Rings, a process which took a bit longer than expected, as they'd all been taken off the ring belt, and he had to put them all back on in the right places. When he was asked why they had to be in a specific order, Haruto explained how that made it easier in battle; he had the location of each ring memorised, and so didn't have to fumble around to find the one he needed in the middle of a fight, when mere seconds meant the difference between life and death.
After that was done, they went out through the halls to an office, apparently belonging to the Minister for Magic himself, Kingsley Shacklebolt (Haruto figured he was the equivalent of the Prime Minister, or something). The man was initially reluctant to let Haruto go, considering how many of their fighters he'd wasted, but was willing to hear Auror Potter out. On the testimony of Simmons and another woman, whom Haruto recognised as one of the pair that had first approached him, that matter was also cleared up. The other Auror had attacked first, without provocation, and Haruto had simply been acting in self-defence. In fact, Kingsley then (somewhat jokingly) offered him a job, given his level of power and skill, though Haruto had to respectfully decline.
Heads turned and people openly stared and whispered as Auror Potter led him down to the Atrium, the main entrance area, from which he was told he could exit. "Gossip travels quickly around here," Potter explained, "Everyone's been talking about the man who fought a dozen of our best Aurors and took most of them down with one spell. I can't guarantee that the story that 'everyone knows' is the truth, of course."
"If it was, then it wouldn't truly be gossip, would it?" Haruto commented with a grin. His companion returned it and handed a black box about the size of a shoebox to him.
"This contains your phone and everything else found on your person when you were brought in. Our magic is hell on electronics, so I turned it off, and you'll want to wait until you're outside before turning it back on."
Haruto gratefully took out his cell phone, wallet, passport, and half-empty bag of donuts (he still hadn't found any that matched up to Hungry Donuts). "Thanks for the warning. I was supposed to call and check in with my friends this afternoon; they'll be worried." He paused, and realised with dawning horror that he had no idea how long he'd been there. "What time is it?"
Auror Potter winced. "A bit after six in the evening."
"Aw, Rinko-chan's going to yell at me for at least ten minutes before I can get a word in edgewise," he groaned, "Speaking of which, just how much am I allowed to tell my friends?"
"For now, just say that you encountered some other magic users, but that you aren't allowed to elaborate just yet. We have someone getting in touch with our Japanese equivalents right now; they'll probably look into that Section Zero you mentioned and assess the situation themselves. Should I pass your number on to them, in case you want them to contact you?"
"Sure. I want to find out what the hell they've been doing for the past year, letting Phantoms just run around loose."
"Of course. I must admit I'm curious myself. Well, I suppose this is goodbye. For now, anyway."
"For now. I'll call you as soon as I've finished what I have to get done." The two men shook hands, and Haruto exited through the small elevator that inexplicably took him up into the interior of an out-of-order phone booth on the streets of London.
Writing the impossibility of it off as being simply due to magic, Haruto braced himself before turning his phone on, skipping all the missed calls and text messages, and calling Rinko-chan directly. He might as well get this over with.
"Sōma Haruto, you'd better have a good excuse for not answering our calls!"
Superintendent Kizaki Masanori of the National Security Bureau Section Zero stared at the owl sitting on his desk. The Ryūkū Scops Owl stared back. Then it hooted at him and hopped closer, holding out the foot that had a thin bamboo scroll and a leather pouch tied to it.
It took him a minute to pluck up the courage to untie it, wary that the strange bird might try to bite him, or something. It didn't, though, and eyed him almost impatiently as he unrolled the scroll. Who uses bamboo scrolls nowadays, anyway?
'To Superintendent Kizaki of Section Zero:
We have recently learned of your department's involvement in recent magic-related events occurring in Tokyō. We wish to discuss potential co-operation between Section Zero and the Japanese Ministry of Magic, which is the governing body over all witches and wizards in Japan. Enclosed with this letter is a Portkey, an object charmed to transport anyone touching it to the meeting location at precisely two o'clock tomorrow afternoon. Please bring two trusted associates with you.
Department of Muggle Relations'
What the hell?
THE END – for real this time
:) That last scene just came out of nowhere. Should be fun, and if I ever get around to making a sequel, this can give us a nice lead-in.
If any people are wondering how easily Haruto held off the Aurors, he has been established as the most powerful Rider-Wizard, and his magic is used primarily for combat. Sure, the Aurors' main skill is combat, but it is not the main use of Wizarding World magic overall. Plus, let's face it: The Wizarding World doesn't quite know how to deal with anything unfamiliar, and tend to stick with the way things are. That's why the Aurors kept hammering at his shield without trying to resort to other tactics. Harry's just one of the exceptions.
Now, I have a poll for all of you guys - just for fun, I don't have any plans to make a fic out of it. The idea is: Kamen Riders and friends attending Hogwarts. Whether it's an AU where they're actually all wizards, or undercover for whatever reason, it doesn't matter. What I'm asking is: which houses would they go in? I'm specifically asking for Riders and allies from Ryuki, Den-O, Kiva, W, OOO, Fourze, Wizard, and Gaim. Not just putting all the heroes in Gryffindor because they're superheroes, that's too obvious. Some, I think, are obvious choices (ex: Philip/Double is a Ravenclaw, full-stop, and Ankh is Slytherin personified), but I'd like to hear your opinions.
Please review, I love to hear from my readers.