Author's Notes: Well... It needed to be a gradual evolution.

Not sure how I'm feeling about this... But I needed to update to get to the stuff that I'm more interested in.

Kaito was resting his head on the table in KID's secret rooms. KID snickered. "Hakuba's still mad at you?" He asked teasingly.

"It's not my fault!" Kaito snapped. "The hot head got lucky!" When Kaito had set up a deduction game between the three detectives he had thought it would really be a competition between Shinichi and Hakuba. He'd never expected Shinichi and Hattori to tie, leaving Hakuba as a distant third. And now Hattori wouldn't stop rubbing it in Hakuba's face. It was ticking Kaito off, but he was rapidly running out of opportunities to prank the Gryffindor. The tensions between their houses meant that all of their interactions were closely monitored, and there was only so much that Kaito could do without his secret getting out.

"It kind of is your fault." KID said. Kaito's head snapped up and he glared at the painting. KID lifted his hands. "Hear me out." He protested. "I saw your plans."

"You helped me with the plans." Kaito cut him off accusingly. KID shrugged dismissive.

"Those plans, whether, you- we realized it or not, were geared to Hakuba's detective style." KID continued. "The affects of Aoko's ice spell needed more time to dissipate. You knew that Hakuba would spend that time securing the scene, making sure all of the physical evidence wasn't tainted. Hattori, on the other hand, rushed in, which let him feel how cold it was in the room, which gave him the crucial edge over Hakuba." Kaito stared at the painting. He... was right... How had Kaito overlooked this? Then his face fell into a scowl.

"Well, as nice as it is to know exactly what went wrong, that doesn't really help me figure out how to fix it." He growled, lowering his chin on to the table.

"Doesn't it?" KID's monocle gleamed. Kaito tilted his head to indicate he was listening but did not move from the table. "After all, if you know Hakuba's style well enough to fool him... You know it well enough to create a scenario that give him the edge." Kaito scoffed.

"I highly doubt that Hakuba would agree to another deduction game." He reminded KID scornfully. "Even if he did, it's not like he wouldn't realize I was tipping the scales in his favor. He's not exactly stupid."

"Then don't make it a game." KID insisted. Kaito sat up, eyeing KID warily.

"What do you mean?" He asked. It almost sounded as if...

"Just listen," KID said. Kaito got the feeling he would have moved toward him if he weren't trapped on the wall. As it was the white clad man prowled around the perimeter of the room. "If someone started stealing things, those three detectives are bound to investigate." Kaito choked. Stealing? Like a common thief? KID noticed Kaito's reaction. He stepped towards the boy as best he could. "Please, just let me finish." Kaito swallowed. There was a certain note in KID's voice. Almost pleading, but KID had never show much emotion before. The strange emotion in the tone was enough to keep Kaito listening. "You know what Hakuba would look for, and now that you've seen Hattori's style, you know his weaknesses too. So just commit a crime that you know Hakuba can solve."

"And get myself expelled? That would be rich, making it in as a squib only to be kicked out for theft!" Kaito laughed shortly. KID shook his head with exasperation.

"Obviously don't let yourself get caught." He insisted. "Just make sure that Hakuba can deduce the location of the stolen items." Kaito shook his head.

"I don't know why I'm even listening to you." He snapped. "You're just a painting!" With that Kaito got up and stormed out of the room.

Despite Kaito's initial aversion to the idea. He couldn't stop thinking about it. Especially not with Hakuba speaking to him so curtly during their Herbology class. He didn't even react when Kaito pranked him anymore. Then when he heard Hattori loudly bragging during Potions, again, he turned to Aoko. "What does it take to get him to shut up?" Kaito hissed. Pranks hadn't been working. Hattori either laughed at them with everyone else, or instantly retaliated against Kaito, leaving Kaito worried about his lack of magic being exposed if he couldn't react in certain ways with whatever stage magic supplies he happened to be carrying. Aoko shrugged.

"He's not so bad... except for when he's talking about Saguru..." She defended him half-heartedly.

It wasn't until Kaito overheard Hattori loudly insulting Hakuba to Shinichi in Hakuba's hearing that Kaito resolved to use KID's plan. It didn't matter that Shinichi defended Hakuba. What mattered was that other Gryffindors were snickering while Hufflepuffs looked away or glared. What mattered was that Hakuba could do no more than glower while Shinichi tried to ignore his self-declared 'best friend' after his defense of Hakuba fell on deaf ears, only to forgive him with an exasperated eye roll when the other boy offered the Ravenclaw a backhanded compliment. What mattered was that Hakuba needed another chance to prove himself, Hattori needed to be taken down a few pegs, and Kaito needed to make that happen.

KID smiled as Kaito walked slowly towards his portrait. Kaito hesitated. "What did you have in mind?" He asked. KID's grin widened, and he welcomed Kaito with a bow as Kaito pushed through the spinning portrait into the secret rooms.

It started small. Hattori's favorite hat was among the first things to be stolen. Kaito knew it was petty, but it was just practice. KID helped him. He learned the password for Gryffindor Tower from the Fat Lady, talked Kaito through various contingency plans, and (most important) had helped Kaito to locate a moth eaten invisibility cloak buried in the back of one of KID's secret rooms. Kaito didn't see why he couldn't just steal the hat while Hattori was walking around, but KID insisted that it had to be in the dorm. After all, it wouldn't be a challenge unless he stole it from some place he wasn't supposed to be. It wasn't hard, but it wasn't easy either. The Fat Lady was a bit tipsy from the wine that KID had anonymously sent from a "secret admirer" (Kaito suspected that KID was also attempting to match-make, since he'd heard him muttering about the Gryffindor Ghost crushing on the Fat Lady so hard, because why else would a ghost use an entrance instead of a wall). When Kaito showed up wearing a Gryffindor scarf, and a wig, the Fat Lady let him in without question. KID had made it clear to Kaito that the invisibility cloak was only to be used in case of emergency, meaning if Aoko showed up, unlikely since he'd picked a time that she was studying with Hakuba. After that, the heist was easy. Kaito didn't even need to use the invisibility cloak. When Kaito saw Hattori the next day he discovered that hatless Hattori was funny... The hot head was going ballistic. Kaito made a mental note to work out how to turn the cap pink once it was eventually returned to him.

Akako's enchanted mirror was a bit of a step up. Even though she was in his house, the mirror was bigger and he had to contend with Akako's legion of fans who seemed almost like some kind of security taskforce to stop Kaito. Kaito wasn't exactly happy when she recruited Hakuba and Kudo (he didn't really care if she got her claws into Hattori), but it worked out well. Since the crime took place in his house he got a good look at how the detectives worked. He thought that they might have been slightly encumbered by Akako's charm, and he wasn't entirely sure how Akako managed to convince the teachers to let them into Slytherin or disable the anti-boy charm on the girls' dorm, but the detectives delivered. Each detective found a few personal items that her fans had "procured" before they located the mirror. Kaito was actually rather proud of how he'd left it where those freaky finned monsters called mermaids (freaking unnatural!) could find it... Without him ever seeing them.

When Melinda March, Gryffindor Prefect (who might have given Kaito and Aoko detention), found her wand had vanished the entire school was talking about it. Hakuba found the wand in a matter of hours, he deduced that Peeves had gotten a hold of it, explaining his sneakier attitude but increase in power. His deduction impressed Melinda (who kissed his cheek), earned fifty points for Hufflepuff and school wide recognition.
At last Kaito felt ready for his coup de gras. He began to steal gems, swords, anything shiny. Hattori was hot under the collar to solve the thefts. But every time, Hattori's methods were virtually useless. It was only Hakuba's careful examination of the crime scene that yielded any clues. Though Kudo had some very valuable insights as well. Hakuba and Kudo had made Kaito really sweat a few times. Kudo somehow had a knack for deducing his next target and showing up right after Kaito was grabbing the prize (making the escape that much more difficult) or just before to set up traps. He sometimes brought Hakuba or Hattori along with him and if anything they were harder to get away from than Kudo. Kaito needed to use the invisibility cloak on more than one occation, and even that wasn't the best choice since it was so old and somewhat damaged. It only worked in the shadows and Kudo had looked directly at him once. (Kaito was relieved that Hattori had distracted Kudo long enough to move so that he wasn't there when Kudo started poking at the corner he'd been standing in.) The hesit that made KID the proudest was the one that Kaito had taken the lead on. Stealing the Quidditch Cup from Professor Susan Bones, the head of Hufflepuff. The Quidditch Cup disappearing without a trace brought the entire school up in arms.

All eyes were on the three young detectives, though none of the older students or teachers were willing to openly admit such a thing. Hattori went darting off after one of the false leads Kaito had placed. Which also put Kudo out of the way when he realized that Hattori was about to get in over his head (Kaito last saw Kudo darting towards the Forbidden Forest, no doubt cursing at Hattori in his head). That only left Hakuba, who mounted the stairs to one of the highest towers and found exactly what Kaito intended him to find. A griffin, and his hoard of gold, metal, and one very beloved Qudditch trophy. It appeared that a griffin had moved into one of the high towers, and was responsible for a spat of thefts of shiny objects.

Kaito was inordinately pleased. Hakuba was being hailed as the best detective. Shinichi was enjoying his own version of fame for rescuing Hattori from something in the Forbbiden Forest (the rumors ranged from centars to dementors). Hattori was called the bravest detective by most of the school, though that was an insult or a compliment depending on who was saying it. Kaito constantly bragged about the success to KID, who listened fondly with a mysterious smile on his face. Even Hakuba and Kudo were unaware of his involvement, though Kudo did look at him strangely from time to time. He had gotten clean away with it. No one suspected a thing. At least, that's what he thought, until Hakuba dragged him away from the party that was being thrown for Hakuba after the incident with the griffin.

"Enough." He said firmly.

Kaito, who was eager to get back to the festivities snapped at him in confusion. "Enough what?" Hakuba just looked at him meaningfully, until it dawned on Kaito. Oh.

"I know it was you." Hakuba said. "I had my suspicions all along, but now I'm positive." Hakuba crossed his arms and glared at him. But he wasn't angry... He was disappointed. Kaito glared right back.

"I don't know what you're talking about." He mustered all of the indignation he could, which was a lot. He'd done this for Hakuba. No he wasn't expecting a thank you or anything, but acting like he'd done something wrong was just harsh.

Hakuba softened slightly. "Kaito, I'm not go to say anything. But stop." He stressed. "You're better than this." Hakuba shouldered past him and back to the party. Kaito glowered at his back. Jerk.

It didn't even register that Hakuba had used his first name.

Author's Notes: Unfortunately, I decided that I didn't have time to write the entire heists and frankly, I was impatient just emthinking/em about writing the competition. I might go back and add the competition. But this is the one I wanted to write.

Taking suggestions for the name of Aoko's mother!

Thanks so much for the reviews!