Kuroba Kaito was an ideal candidate for Slytherin. His parents were powerful, pureblood wizards. His mother, the Phantom Lady, had been a dark wizard until she changed sides and began working as an Auror (with Nakamori who was part-partner, part-parole officer to her). His father invented spells and curses. He was world renown for creating spells that were previously believed impossible to cast, and heralded as one of the great wizards of their time. Kaito himself was clever, mischievous, and practically guaranteed a spot at Hogwarts. He was an ideal candidate for Slytherin, except for one thing…

Kaito was a squib.

Kaito had known that there was something everyone expected him to be able to do when he was a child. He knew that they were waiting for his magic to appear, but it never did. Kaito knew that his parents were disappointed every time they were asked what the first sign of his magic was (the way Muggles asked what a child's first words were). That was why the four-year-old decided to trick his parents.

He knew that Muggles could make it look like they had magic. He'd seen it on Aoko's TV (Aoko's mom was Muggle-born). So the next time he stayed with Aoko's family he used the inter-web (always keeping an eye out for spiders, no matter how much Aoko laughed at him for it) to look up how they did it. He practiced for hours, for days. Then, the next time his mom looked upset, he skipped up to her and said, "Smile, Mommy! You look prettiest when you smile!" Then he produced a rose out of thin air. (Or that's how it looked when his nimble fingers tugged the rose out of his sleeve.)

His parents couldn't have been prouder. Who would have thought their son was conjuring at such a young age! Any guilt Kaito might have felt vanished when his parents boasted about him. It was just until his magic showed up. His four-year-old mind reasoned whenever he learned a new trick. This way his parents wouldn't have to be embarrassed while he waited.

Now at eleven-years-old, he was still waiting.

No, that was wrong. He thought as the first of his peers walked up to the tattered hat on shaking legs. He'd given up hope a long time ago. Now he could only pray he'd be able to keep up the charade. Kaito had looked up the entire lesson plan for all his classes and devised all of the tricks he'd need to create the illusion he had magic… But would the Sorting Hat even give him that chance? Kaito swallowed as the hat called out "Hufflepuff!" Would the Hat out him the instant it touched his head? Or would it just sit there until someone realized something was very wrong?

"What do you think you'll get?" Aoko whispered. Kaito rolled his eyes, showing none of his internal turmoil. Kaito had become unusually good at masking his emotions growing up.

"Obviously Slytherin." Kaito boasted. "My parents say it's the best house."

"As if." Hakuba scoffed beside him.

"You just say that because they'd never let you in." Kaito shot back. He felt immediately guilty when he saw the flash of hurt that accompanied the other boy's glare. It wasn't Hakuba's fault that his dad was a Muggle. It didn't make him any less of a wizard and he always defended Muggles (and sometimes squibs) to people to talked badly about them, which Kaito appreciated more than he could ever say. Kaito liked Hakuba, even if he was annoying more often than not. "Even if they did let you in, you'd end up in Ravenclaw anyway." Kaito added, trying to make his tone insulting. Hakuba accepted it for the peace offering it was with a huff and a nod of the head. "And Aoko is bound to be in Gryffindor." Aoko positively beamed. "It's where all the loud tomboys go."

Aoko was lucky that a red headed boy had just been sorted into Gryffindor, because the cheers covered her angry shriek of "JerKaito!" She blushed red as the cheering died down and the next person was called to be sorted. "That wasn't funny." She hissed at Kaito. He just smirked at her. Hakuba was too much of a gentleman to smirk or roll his eyes, so he just gave them a look of exasperated fondness and returned his gaze to the front of the hall.

Aoko decided that ignoring Kaito was the best option (though it was a bad idea in the long term) and started talking to the boy next to her. Kaito proceeded to look at the Sorting Hat and descended back into his spiraling pattern of terror and self-loathing. Hakuba was stealing glances at him.

"Are you alright?" He inquired. Kaito blinked as the Hat called out "Hufflepuff!"

"Why would you ask that?" He gave Hakuba a funny look. Hakuba shrugged.

"You've got that freaky smile that's not a smile on your face and-" Hakuba cut himself off from saying you haven't pranked me since we got off the train. "You just seem stressed."

"I'm fine." Kaito answered shortly, imagining being sent home. Maybe he could stay with Aoko's family so he wouldn't have to face his parents. Nah, it's the first place they'd look… Hakuba's frown deepened. He opened his mouth.

"Hakuba, Saguru!" It was his turn to be sorted. Kaito grinned at him.

"Go on, Ravenclaw." He nudged him forward. Hakuba rewarded him with a glare.

"This isn't over." He promised. Kaito rolled his eyes and watched Hakuba vanish under the too large hat. Would Hakuba miss him when he was sent home? He'd probably be relieved.

Hakuba was sitting there for a long time. Kaito was actually starting to feel concerned when the tear opened wide and declared "Hufflepuff!" Kaito literally fell over. Aoko gaped and Hakuba's shocked eyes emerged from under the Hat.

"That thing must be defective!" Kaito hissed at Aoko as Hakuba began his slow walk to the Hufflepuff table. Aoko nodded numbly as Hakuba took a seat. Hakuba met their gaze for just an instant as a dark skinned boy named "Hattori, Heiji" charged at the Hat. The shock of Hakuba's house had driven Kaito's worries to the back of his mind for the moment. Their whole friendship Kaito had known two things about Hakuba. That he always knew what time it was down to the millisecond, and that Hakuba was almost as smart as he was. How had he ended up in Hufflepuff? Kaito dredged up his knowledge of Hufflepuff as Hattori was sorted into Gryffindor. Hufflepuff was known as two things: suckers (which didn't fit Hakuba since Kaito was the only one who could make a fool out of him) and loyalty. Kaito didn't understand.

He was so involved in his own thoughts that he didn't realize that the hall had fallen silent until Aoko whispered "She's beautiful." Kaito glanced up to see a red headed girl approach the Sorting Hat like she was a model. Kaito glanced around, all eyes were glued to the girl. Kaito took another look at her.

"She's not anything special." Kaito scoffed. Aoko hit him. The other girl turned her head, and her red eyes sought out Kaito's before they disappeared under the Hat.

"Slytherin!" The Hat called an instant later. The Slytherin table erupted in applause.

"You're so lucky!" Aoko shook Kaito's arm. The girl's eyes moved to Kaito again as she went to the table, but Kaito actively avoided them.

Creepy. He thought with a shudder as she sat down.

"Kudo, Shinichi!" A boy with too sharp eyes and overly neat hair walked up to the stool where he inspected the Hat before he allowed it to be placed on his head. "Ravenclaw!" The hat declared after a moment. Kudo walked over to the Ravenclaw table, though he was stopped by the new Gryffindor Hattori. With a roll of his eyes, Kudo took the seat at the Ravenclaw table across the aisle from him.

Then it was time. "Kuroba, Kaito!" Aoko patted his arm in support. Kaito slowly approached the Hat. This was it. The moment that he would continue his lie of a life or be disgraced in front of virtually every witch and wizard under 18 in the country. Kaito sat on the stool, his body trembling, and the brim of the hat slipped over his eyes.

"Well, well," A small voice murmured. "What a clever, deceptive boy. I've never sorted someone like you before." Kaito's fingers tightened on the stool. "You'd do well in Slytherin, but it will be difficult for you there…" Kaito almost wilted in relief. The Hat would sort him. "Perhaps Ravenclaw would be better." The Hat mused. "Less prejudice. It would be easier for you…" Kaito got indignant. He wasn't to be underestimated. Even if he was a squib! "Ooo, a fighter." The Hat sounded delighted. "Very well then. Slytherin!" It called out. Kaito was practically beaming as the hat was lifted from his head. He was in! Kaito hurried to take a seat near where he could keep an eye on Hakuba at the next table. Hakuba glanced at him with an odd combination of relief and disappointment (Kaito knew he didn't fully approve of Slytherin) before turning his eyes back to the next person being sorted. Aoko was predictably placed in Gryffindor (Kaito cheered wildly despite the odd looks given to him by his fellow Slytherins). After dinner, and a hurried goodbye to Aoko and Hakuba, Kaito followed the Slytherin prefect down to where he would be living the foreseeable future. The Slytherin dorms were a bit cold for his tastes and he would not be spending much time in the common room with those windows that opened on the bottom of the lake (who knew what finned monsters might swim by) but his own room, though shared with three others, was decent, and had curtains around each bed for a modicum of privacy.

That night he went to sleep knowing that, as far as the rest of the world knew, he was a wizard.


So, this happened when AcierGlace posted chapter 36 of One Percent Inspiration, Ninety-Nine Percent Perspiration and we started talking. (We talked on AO3, but I think it's on too.)

I'm still playing with what to do with KID (though we'll see if this is continued). I have a pretty good idea for KID (that is very much based on AcierGlace's story), and I think it will be in the next chapter, if I write it. My only issue with it is that it's a pretty involved plot.

As for Hakuba's house I seriously debated putting him in Ravenclaw, but I kinda wanted each of the boys to be in a different house. And out of the boys I think Hakuba's loyalty was a strong character trait (with the exception of Hattori). Then I read this "Hufflepuff values hard work, patience, justice, and loyalty." If that doesn't suit Hakuba, what does?

Also, if I do continue this, it will turn Kaito/Shinichi in Year Three or Year Four. (It's not tagged here because in my opinion eleven is too young for more than tiny "crushes" if you know what I mean.) I'm giving you this information because I want to know if you want me to keep writing this.

Seriously, let me know if you want more of this one. I have three chapter fanfics in-progress and I want to know what people want to read.