Okay, so when I said there were only 2 pages left in the Author's Notes of 'Missing Reflection', it turns out I meant 6. But now it's done, and I'm proud to present the sequel to 'Himitsu no Hōki': 'Yūisei no Mōsō'! I'd recommend reading the first one in order to follow this. This one has a bit more action and goes a bit more in-depth with the differences between the Wizarding World and the Rider-wizards.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Harry Potter or Kamen Rider Wizard or any of their characters. Those belong to JK Rowling and Toei, respectively.
WORD COUNT: 10553
Thursday, December 12th, 2013
When Haruto saw Kizaki Masanori's name on his caller ID, he raised an eyebrow. Their relationship was a professional one, so the man was unlikely to be contacting him about a personal matter, and he hadn't heard of any huge Phantom-related disaster that Mayu-chan couldn't handle on her own. And even if that were the case, Rinko-chan would be more likely to be the one calling him.
"Sōma." Kizaki's tone was one of carefully-controlled annoyance. "I just had a very strange conversation today. Would you care to explain what, exactly, happened to you in England?"
Haruto froze. While in London, he'd been attacked and captured by a group of magic-users wielding thin wooden wands. Well, the correct term would actually be 'arrested'. It turned out that there were millions of their kind of wizard all over the world, an entire hidden society complete with its own laws and governments. By using his magic in front of normal people, he'd sort of been in violation of their secrecy laws, and there was also a small matter called 'resisting arrest'. Thankfully, he'd been released after making it clear that he was not one of their kind and that he had been totally ignorant of their laws. And the first guy who'd tried to arrest him had attacked first, without identifying himself as any sort of law enforcement, so Haruto was also off the hook for defending himself.
When he'd had to explain to his friends why he'd gone incommunicado for hours, however, he'd catered to the other wizards' wishes and given them the bare minimum of information, insisting that he'd been sworn to secrecy and that nothing had happened that they needed to panic about.
"You know I'm not supposed to say anything about that," he reminded Kizaki as such.
"I was just speaking with some representatives of what they described as an independent government over magic-users in Japan. They claim you had a run-in with their British counterparts and were arrested."
"Oh. So you know about that now. Did they explain why the hell they never got involved in dealing with the Phantoms? I asked for that question to be passed along."
"They apparently took down a few on the sly, but it required lots of manpower, and while they also knew about you, they just decided you were doing the bulk of the work just fine on your own. Something about your magic being better suited for the job. But they were actually helping, just without telling you or us about it." The annoyance in his tone increased with the end of that sentence.
Haruto huffed. "Seriously? You're saying it could have been worse?"
"Fine. So what happens now?"
"Well, the Japanese Ministry wants to remain out of contact, but apparently the British are interested in meeting with you again. Something about wanting to know more about Phantoms and your magic, and possibly teaching their law enforcers some tactics. They said you embarrassed them a bit."
That got a chuckle as Haruto recalled that. "The first dozen or so just threw the same spells at my shield even when it started reflecting everything back in their faces. I let my guard down after that, and got caught by one guy who actually realised he needed to switch tactics. I get the feeling that their training doesn't teach them adaptability. Plus, I was invited to come back once I finished hiding Koyomi's ring."
He could hear Kizaki releasing an aggravated sigh. "Fine. Just don't do anything that will result in them sending me another messenger owl, alright? The last one left droppings all over my office."
Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Ron Weasley's years at Hogwarts, especially as Harry Potter's best friend, had taught him that the wizarding world – himself included at times – tended to take rumour for gospel truth. People like Rita Skeeter took advantage of this all the time, so when he read in the Daily Prophet's evening edition about the debacle in which a wandless wizard had single-handedly held off a dozen Aurors before being captured and later released, he dismissed it as gossip. The article itself was questioning how such a large group of highly-trained Aurors had failed to bring in a single wizard who wasn't even civilised enough to use a wand, until 'Boy Who Lived' showed up to save the day. It was Rita's usual scathing coverage, criticising the Ministry for failing on its promises to improve the Auror Corps. Ron figured that either the man had had backup or the Auror force had been significantly smaller, and that Rita was just overselling it for her readers.
Then he'd made a comment to Harry about it the next day and had been completely blown out of the water by his best friend's response. Not only had the article been entirely factual (because even Rita couldn't make up something like this), it had actually left out the more interesting bits, the ones even the now-registered-against-her-will Animagus reporter couldn't get to. Thus, Ron was given a brief summary of Phantoms and Magic Stones and the young man who actually had a Phantom trapped inside his own body.
"Bloody Hell, mate." Ron shook his head, taking a drink of Firewhiskey before continuing. "I thought I'd heard it all. How come we've never heard of those Phantom things before at school?"
"Well, Binns could've mentioned them in passing – it's not like we even paid attention in that class – but the Department of Mysteries had a file about this thin on them, and that's all. It's probably grown, though, considering how many notes Zabini took during the interview."
"And Kingsley seriously offered the bloke a job?"
"Yeah, though I think we all saw it coming when Sōma turned him down. For starters, imagine all the paperwork that would involve. And he's seen enough action for a while, I imagine. That kid seemed like he'd had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and only a limited amount of help."
"Kid? How old was he?"
"Twenty-three, I believe."
Ron was quiet for a minute. "Blimey, Harry, you're making me feel old."
Harry shook his head. "It's weird, I know."
"So d'you think you'll see him again?"
"I think so. He seemed very interested in meeting more wizards besides the four he's already friends with."
"Well, when he comes by, give me a call. I'd like to meet the bloke who took Dawlish down a peg." That Auror rubbed several people the wrong way, present company being no exception. He was always insisting that he was right and everyone who disagreed with him was wrong. Watching him swallow his pride was always immensely satisfying. "I know how to use a mobile phone, now." Ron was very pleased to have finally mastered the device that his thirteen-year-old-niece used with ease.
Harry laughed, since the jerk had been teasing him for years about his struggles with Muggle technology. "I'll let you know. I have a feeling he could teach the Auror Corps a thing or two. Should be interesting to see some of the bigots' reactions to a former Muggle showing them up. And a foreign one, at that."
Ron thought about all the pure-blood supremacists who still thought Muggles were dull, incompetent, unsophisticated brutes, even when Muggle-borns proved them wrong over and over again. The Malfoys in particular came to mind. A couple of the Aurors that had been on the Corps before he'd left had been almost as bad. "That would be bloody brilliant. You definitely need to call me. But just so you know, Hermione will want to ask him a million and one questions, so be sure he's prepared for that."
Saturday, January 18th, 2014
Sōma Haruto was a man who kept his promises. So after the heart-wrenching debacle with Ogre and travelling to another dimension, he sent an e-mail to Harry Potter. The man's reply came shortly after Kizaki's phone call, and contained much of the same information, along with a forwarded invitation to come visit Magical Britain to talk with scholars and maybe do a training session with the Aurors. Even better, he was welcome to bring his fellow wizards with him.
So it was that Haruto and Nitō were getting out of a cab in London (the three Mages were too busy with work, school, and family to come along). Nitō was more than a bit confused as to why they were getting into an out-of-order phone booth, but Haruto recognised it as his exit point from last time. He followed the instructions he'd been given, dialling the five-number sequence on the outdated rotary telephone, and failed to smother a grin at Nitō's squawk of surprise as the booth began to descend like an elevator. Although he was a bit bemused himself as he was forced to give his name and Nitō's and explain their purpose there – wouldn't it make more sense to do that at the front desk he'd seen there last time, with a real person? And to top it off, when a pair of ID badges were spat out, their names were misspelled on them. Neither he nor Nitō bothered to put them on.
It was around noon, so the Atrium wasn't as busy as it had been the last time Haruto had been there, but there was still a fair number of people milling around. More than a few blatantly stopped and stared at the two of them. These wand-wizards didn't seem to have much of a sense of discretion. Or fashion, for that matter. Haruto wasn't an expert on such things, but he was pretty sure the most modern-looking outfit he saw dated back to the Victorian Era. And they were staring at Haruto and Nitō like they were the weird ones.
"Sōma!" Haruto was relieved to recognise the man approaching them, as he had no idea where to go from there. It was Auror Simmons, one of the other men he'd dealt with last time. "Good to see you again, mate! And this must be Mr. Nitō, yes?"
Both men accepted his offered handshake. "It's nice seeing you again, too. Just so you know, Nitō's English isn't the best, so I'll be translating for him."
Auror Simmons beckoned them to follow him as he led them to the security desk. "Actually, that won't be a problem. There's a spell on certain rooms within the Ministry that acts as an auto-translator, as you may have noticed during your last… visit."
"So that's what that was."
They reached the security desk, where a bored-looking man asked them to state their names and business (again, why did the voice in the elevator have to ask them that as well?) and submit their wands.
"They're Messrs. Haruto Sōma and Kōsuke Nitō," Simmons explained, evidently having done his research as he pronounced both names perfectly, "They're here for an appointment with the Auror Department and the Minister. And… I don't believe they have any wands." He looked to them for confirmation, and Haruto shook his head in reply.
The man scoffed. "Don't be ridiculous; if they didn't have wands, they couldn't be wizards! Daft Mudblood." The last bit was muttered under his breath.
Haruto saw the look of offense on Simmons's face. Whatever the rude man had called him, it was clearly a serious insult.
"They're the special guests Head Auror Potter and Minister Kingsley personally invited, Harper. Do you want me to call them down here?"
Harper bristled and actually looked at Haruto and Nitō for the first time. He wore a distinct expression of disdain as he surveyed them, so much that Haruto felt personally insulted without the man even having to say anything. "Fine. They can go up. Let Saint Potter have his way, protocol be damned."
"Thank you," Simmons ground out, "This way, gents, if you please."
They entered another elevator, Simmons angrily mashing the button for the floor he wanted. There was a tense silence as the doors slid shut. Haruto hesitantly broke it after a few seconds. "What was it, exactly, that he called you?" Beside him, Nitō was also visibly curious, since you didn't have to understand the language to notice the tension.
Simmons was quiet for a bit before answering. "Mudblood." He spat the word out as if it were something foul in his mouth. "It's a nasty derogatory term for a witch or wizard with Muggle parents. Even in this day and age, some 'pure-blooded' wizarding families think they're naturally superior to us, like our blood is dirty, just because our parents couldn't use magic. Since you two were both regular Muggles before gaining your magic, I'm afraid some will treat you the same way, if not worse. But to be honest, one of the reasons Auror Potter wanted you to come so badly was for a chance to prove those idiots wrong."
Harry was rather looking forward to this. Kingsley had been more than willing to arrange this demonstration for the Aurors and various other members of the Ministry. He saw Zabini and a couple of other Unspeakables talking to a few scholars off to one side, and Percy was nearby, discussing something with one of his subordinates in the Department of Muggle Affairs.
The new department had been formed about ten years ago, taking in the Obliviators, the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office, and several new offices. It was created to foster a better handling of dealings with the Muggle world. After some initial hesitation, Arthur had accepted the position of Department Head, and had recruited Percy to handle the bulk of the administrative aspect as his right-hand man. Now, with Arthur having retired last year, Percy had succeeded him as Department Head. The new offices included an information centre for Muggle-borns and Muggle relatives, a liaison to the Prime Minister (a post always held by a Muggle-born who was perfectly comfortable with using a telephone and e-mail), and an office in charge of helping Squibs integrate into the Muggle world, if they chose to do so. They also posted regular updates about the Muggle world for witches and wizards who would be going out into it, emphasising how to blend in better.
Sadly, many of the pure-blood elitists looked down their noses at the new Department. They still felt Muggles were beneath their notice, and claimed that it was a waste of Ministry resources. Hopefully, once they saw how powerful these wizards had become despite having been ordinary Muggles a bare few years ago, they would gain a different perspective – or at least Harry would get to enjoy their shocked expressions.
All heads turned and a hush fell over the crowd of people gathered there when Simmons entered the large room, followed by Haruto Sōma and another bloke in a fur-lined, blue vest. More than a few of the pure-bloods present failed to conceal their sneers at the pair's obvious Muggle attire, while others just stared in undisguised curiosity. Sōma and his friend seemed to be rather uncomfortable with all the sudden attention.
Harry immediately went over to them, grinning, with Kingsley and Hermione at his heels. "Mr. Sōma, it's good to see you again. Thanks for coming all the way over here. And you must be Kōsuke Nitō." Both men shook hands with him, still taking in the sight of the vast training arena and the people filling the observation area.
Kingsley was next. "Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister for Magic."
"And I'm Hermione Granger-Weasley, Department of Magical Law Enforcement."
Once everyone was introduced, Harry began to explain what was going to happen that day. "So, first we're going to have you do a small demonstration of your abilities, and then show you what our Aurors are capable of so that we can all compare notes. Then some of the Unspeakables – you remember Mr. Zabini, right? – and a few scholars want to sit down and talk to you about the finer details about your magic. Is that alright with the two of you?"
It had already been brought up in the emails exchanged between Harry and Sōma, so neither of the Japanese wizards were hearing anything they hadn't before. When they nodded in confirmation, Harry pointed them to the centre of the arena, knowing they planned to spar with each other for the first demonstration.
The whispers that had risen in volume when the two men had entered abruptly quieted down, all eyes on them. Rumours and stories had been running rampant over the past couple of months, and now they were about to see what had been true, what had been false, and what had not even been mentioned.
The two of them started moving at the same time, attacking each other, solely using Muggle martial arts at first. They wanted to prove that non-magical methods were equally useful. Then Sōma started using his magic. He ducked and rolled under a swinging kick Nitō had aimed at his chest, pulling out one of his rings, slipping it on, and holding it in front of his strange belt – his Driver, he'd called it – without a hitch in his concentration on the spar.
'Connect, Please.' One of his red magic circles appeared, and he reached through it, his hand disappearing instead of simply passing through it. He yanked out a sword with another hand-shaped icon near the handle, attacking Nitō using the flat of the blade.
Kōsuke figured out pretty quickly that a lot of these other wizards didn't like having them there. He'd seen enough of it growing up; being from a wealthy family, he'd been forced to interact with plenty of people who looked down their noses at those they saw as being inferior (and whose ideas of 'inferiority' were generally a load of shit). It pissed him off, but Haruto just elbowed him and told him they'd be proving the bigots wrong soon.
The spar between him and Haruto was very useful for blowing off steam. After a few minutes of just hand-to-hand, Haruto broke pattern by summoning his WizarSwordGun, so Kōsuke compensated by pulling out his own weapon. But instead of his Dice Sabre, it was the Mirage Magnum. Thankfully the arena they were in had plenty of random obstacles for Haruto to dive behind as Kōsuke started shooting at him.
"Oi! Mayonnaise!" Haruto sounded really annoyed. Kōsuke couldn't see what he was doing, but the telltale transformation jingle of the other wizard's Driver made it obvious.
'Flame, Please. Hii! Hii! Hii, hii, hii!' Wizard leapt out from his cover, firing back, having switched his weapon to its gun mode.
Kōsuke yelped. He wasn't transformed; those silver bullets could really hurt him! It was a good thing that Haruto's aim seemed to be off, for whatever reason, so Kōsuke ducked behind another obstacle and transformed as well.
Now that they were both armoured up, they could afford to let loose a little.
'Buffa! Go! Buffa! Bu-bu-bu-buffa!'
Beast charged forwards, holding his red mantle in front of him like a shield while switching his Magnum for his Sabre. Both wizards exchanged sword blows, ducking and weaving around each other, before suddenly changing pace. Beast switched to his Chameleo Mantle, and Wizard to his Hurricane Style.
What followed was essentially a game of cat-and-mouse, in which a camouflaged Beast would try to sneak up on Wizard, while Wizard took to the air whenever he sensed Beast nearby.
At the five-minute mark, as planned, they switched things up again. A loud bell-like sound let them know the time was up, since they weren't exactly paying attention to that, and a set of vaguely people-shaped stone targets popped up at the other end of the arena. Now they could use some of the more devastating tricks in their respective arsenals, the ones that hadn't bothered to use earlier because they didn't want to actually hurt each other.
Wizard went first, switching back to Flame Style, then upgrading to Flame Dragon. He activated his finisher right away – this was about making a point, even if he wasn't busting out his Infinity Style form, just as Beast would be leaving his Hyper form out of it (his earlier use of the Mirage Magnum notwithstanding). They had to keep some cards close to their chests. Plus, if Haruto were to use his magic to its fullest extent and utilise his Infinity Dragon Gold form (that was a new one Kōsuke had only seen in the other dimension – even if he hadn't already suspected that Haruto had hidden Koyomi's Ring in his own Underworld, that unexplained power boost would have been an obvious hint), he could likely bring this place crashing down around them.
Now that he wasn't fighting at the moment, Kōsuke took his time to observe their observers. The guys who'd been giving them dirty looks were now watching with jaws dropped as Wizard rose into the air while the flaming, red, transparent dragon circled him. Even more cried out when the dragon's head solidified while coming out of Haruto's chest and blasted the training dummies with fire. They exploded rather spectacularly.
Then Beast faced the next set of targets, shifting back to his Buffa Mantle and spinning the die on the hilt of his Sabre. 'Six! Buffa Sabre Strike!' Grinning behind the mask at his luck in having rolled a six, he gladly sent the half-dozen crimson buffalo apparitions charging forward to destroy the targets.
When the dust settled, all that was left was a ton of rubble lying scattered on the ground, broken into tiny, charred, smoking pieces. Kōsuke was just disappointed that they didn't produce any mana for him to snack on, not that he needed now that he had a huge basketful of those weird fruits from that other dimension (Chimaera said just one of those filled him up as much as four or five Phantoms). Demonstration finished, the two men dropped their transformations and wandered back over to the other wizards.
They were all so silent, you could have heard a pin drop across the room. Then one wizard hesitantly started clapping, and the two were soon facing a smattering of awestruck applause. Kōsuke grinned, of course, and bowed low and dramatically. "Thank you! Thank you!"
"Mayonnaise!" Kōsuke looked up at Haruto's annoying nickname for him. The other wizard pointed a finger-gun at him. "Bang."
Kōsuke jumped, then scowled. "Quit doing that!"
They continued arguing all the way back to the observation deck, where Harry Potter greeted them. "You were holding back on us before," he accused Haruto, though he didn't sound overly upset, "weren't you?"
Haruto shrugged and nodded. "I didn't want to do to other humans what I did to those," he pointed out, jabbing his thumb over his shoulder at the ruins behind him, "I reserve that kind of firepower for killing Phantoms."
Harry and his Aurors had quite an act to follow, and they knew it. They trooped into the arena, discussing strategy.
"I think it's safe to say we're outclassed in terms of raw power," Harry admitted. He'd noticed it when they'd first encountered Sōma, saw how the younger man's shield had held up against a prolonged assault from a dozen Aurors with little effort. Even his own shield spells couldn't hold out that long, and Harry's power level was well above average for their kind of wizard. And fifteen years of being an Auror had honed his people-reading abilities enough that he felt that those two still might have been holding back.
Dawlish huffed, but seemed to stop himself from saying something.
"No kidding!" Gemma Till gushed, "I've never seen anything like that before!"
"It seemed to take time, though," Dan Simmons said thoughtfully, "I mean, to find the particular ring they were looking for, put it on, and then actually cast the spell. And except for that last bit, all of their spells seemed to be about enhancing their abilities in Muggle-style combat."
Harry felt a swell of pride at the younger Auror's observations. This was how Simmons had gotten through Auror training as a Muggle-born despite the nepotistic pure-blood-friendly hiring policies that he, Hermione, and Kingsley had finally managed to get rid of just two years ago. He watched, he analysed, and he found and exploited weaknesses in his opponents' strategy. It was a quality that had been prized by Salazar Slytherin, one that Harry could admit to approving of, and he imagined sometimes that Simmons would have been a very good Slytherin had his blood status not prevented him from being sorted there.
"Right, so we should opt for tactics that favour speed and long-range capabilities," Harry instructed his Aurors, "Let's go with the Acromantula Manoeuvre."
The Aurors all agreed and moved to duck behind the nearest cover as new targets popped up and began firing low-powered blasting spells, strong enough to leave a faint char mark on the stone 'walls' and knock a grown man on his arse. Harry signalled for Till, Dawlish, and Singh to circle around to the left while he and Simmons circled right and Fawley laid down cover fire for them all. Like a small swarm of Acromantula on the hunt, they moved from cover to cover and spread out until they had their targets surrounded and boxed in. Then they began firing spells on their targets, blasting them into large chunks. The damage done wasn't as impressive as that done by their guests, but it was done much more quickly.
With that part of the demonstration over, four of the Aurors moved off to the side while Harry and Dawlish, as the two most experienced of the half-dozen selected for the demonstration, took centre stage. When the bell sounded again, the air was quickly filled with spells of all sorts as the two duellists faced off just as Sōma and Nitō had. Harry had the advantage in youth and energy, but Dawlish had been at this longer, and was playing to his strengths in spell knowledge. Harry did his best to make up for it with his speed and power, hoping to trip the older Auror up first.
He fired off spells as quickly as he could think them, primarily choosing ones that would force Dawlish to use his shields and drain his energy, while ducking behind the obstacles to conserve his own reserves. The older wizard started hammering on Harry's defences, trying to physically destroy the barriers he was taking shelter behind.
The problem was that he now had Harry pinned behind a rapidly-diminishing cover. Part of Harry's brain balked at how humiliating it was; Dawlish had been one of the first Aurors to get taken down during that embarrassing skirmish against Sōma last November, and now Harry, the one who'd put an end to that same skirmish, was losing to him.
Thinking of that fight gave Harry an idea. Dawlish's efforts had produced a significant amount of rubble and bits of debris lying around. Harry immediately set to bewitching some of the nearest small pieces to fly and batter his opponent like a swarm of Cornish Pixies. Dawlish's spellfire began to slow, as he had to duck and dodge this sudden assault, and every shot he did get off in Harry's direction only served to give the younger man more ammunition. Eventually his attention was entirely devoted to fending off the stone-swarm, and that was when Harry executed the coup de grace.
He dashed out from behind his hiding place and hit Dawlish with three spells in rapid succession: Expelliarmus, Incarcerous, and Petrificus Totalus. Deprived of his wand, all trussed up, and unable to move anyway, Dawlish hit the ground with a thud, defeated. To add insult to injury, the enchanted rocks continued to pepper him until Harry took pity on him and cancelled the spell.
The sounding of the bell officially ended the bout, bringing a round of applause from their audience. Harry released Dawlish from his spells and helped him stand back up. The older man wasn't badly bruised; Harry had bewitched the stones to annoy and distract him, not to hurt him. Dawlish picked up his discarded wand and the two exhausted Aurors made their way out of the arena.
Haruto was amazed at the speed at which the other wizards fired their spells and the sheer variety available to them. He knew that he was somewhat limited by the number of rings he possessed, whereas these wizards seemed able to call a much larger number of spells with just their thoughts and words.
After the practical demonstration, most of the watching crowd had trickled out, and Haruto and Nitō were led off to a conference room of sorts, followed by a group of wand-wizards that included Blaise Zabini, whom he remembered from last time. All were armed with file folders and those old-fashioned quill pens and ink bottles. Now came the 'interview' portion of the visit.
Haruto found himself repeating a lot of the things he'd told Zabini the first time around, and even described some of the events surrounding Ogre's plot, but left out the details of the Hope Ring's power and where he'd hidden it. It just wasn't worth the risk that they might try to somehow remove it, which would definitely end badly for him.
Nitō, on the other hand, went on enthusiastically about his own research, starting as far back as his archaeology studies in university. Sometimes it was easy to forget that Nitō was a scholar in his own right, but certainly not now. To Haruto's amusement, most of them looked lost, struggling to keep up with references to historical events that they probably hadn't studied here in Magical Britain, though Ms. Granger-Weasley (who was there despite having introduced herself as being in law enforcement) was scribbling furiously and hanging onto every word.
Once the question-and-answer period was over, the wand-wizards called it a day and sent their guests off. They would have just headed back to their hotel, but Auror Potter caught them in the lobby and invited them over to his home for dinner with his family and Ms. Granger-Weasley's (apparently their respective spouses were sister and brother). Deciding they wouldn't mind further interaction with the wand-wizards in a less formal setting, the pair accepted the invitation.
The house was located in a somewhat run-down area of residential London, although it looked like there were some early attempts at gentrification in progress. They couldn't even see it when they approached, but when they got close enough, the house literally squeezed its way out from in between two others. Haruto couldn't help his jaw dropping at the sight; he hadn't seen such magic before in his life! Beside him, Nitō let out a breathless laugh of amazement. Auror Potter grinned at both of their reactions. "I suppose you two don't have much experience with enchanted buildings?"
Haruto shook his head. "No. Our magic focuses mainly on combat."
They walked up to the front door, which Auror Potter unlocked with a tap of his wand. The sheer volume of noise on the other side was enough to make them stagger backwards in surprise. Loud, obnoxious music blasted through the halls, but even that was drowned out by the sound of a woman shrieking curses at the top of her lungs. Haruto wasn't able to distinguish all the words, but he could pick out 'Blood traitor', 'Scum', and 'Mudblood' – the same insult the security guard or whatever had spat at Auror Simmons earlier that day.
Auror Potter himself reeled back in shock, but recovered more quickly than the others and hurried inside, Ms. Granger-Weasley on his heels. Haruto and Nitō soon followed, shutting the door behind them so that the noise wouldn't draw any attention from outside. Wall-mounted candles and a chandelier instantly lit up to illuminate a well-furnished, narrow hallway , featuring a wall lined with portraits, though at first Haruto thought they were holes or windows with people on the other side. Because the people depicted in those paintings were moving. And they were all shouting, from the looks of it, though most of them couldn't be heard over the music and one particular portrait of an old, ugly, insane-looking woman.
Auror Potter strode right over to that one and started tugging at the moth-eaten curtains hanging on either side, trying to close them on her, but they seemed to be fighting him. Haruto and Nitō both ran over to help wrestle with them. The hag in the painting just kept hurling obscenities at them and demanding that they get out of her house. Meanwhile, Ms. Granger-Weasley began marching down the hall, pointing her wand at each of the other portraits, causing the noise level to decrease slightly as she presumably shut each one up.
Thankfully, the music stopped a few more seconds later, and then Haruto could hear the other portraits screaming at them. Footsteps preluded a red-haired man emerging from a side door and running to help with the curtains. Eventually the four men managed to yank the curtains shut, and -Weasley finished with the others.
"Is it just me, or is it getting harder to shut these things?" the redhead commented, "It used to only take two of us."
Auror Potter, after several deep breaths, grinned sheepishly at his guests. "Welcome to 12 Grimmauld Place."
As far as first impressions could go, this was far from the best. Harry had sent a Patronus message saying that the Ministry's special guests would be coming over for dinner with them (her husband was damned lucky that he'd already talked to her about inviting them over, instead of making the decision all on his own), and would be arriving with him and Hermione. Ron had brought Rose and Hugo over minutes later, as the families had already been planning to have dinner together that night. But while Ginny was preparing the meal with her nephew's eager help, disaster had struck.
Rose had inherited her Granddad Weasley's love of Muggles, and was particularly fascinated with their technology. She'd been trying to see if she could fix an old radio her mother had owned as a child. Then her father, uninterested in cooking, had wandered over to try and help, and minutes later, the contraption was blasting obnoxious music louder than should be possible for such a tiny device. Loud enough to blast through the sound-dampening charms around the house – an absolute necessity with the Potter children living under the same roof as Walburga Black's portrait – and wake the old hag. By the time Rose fixed the problem by manually disconnecting the speakers, Ron had gone to deal with the screaming portraits, and Ginny had to comfort the younger two children.
"I'm sorry!" Rose was apologising loudly, "We thought there was a problem with the volume control, so Dad used an amplifying charm, and…" She trailed off helplessly.
Ginny sighed, first in fond exasperation (this family never could have a remotely calm get-together, could they?), then in relief when the screams from outside the kitchen finally silenced. Less than a minute later, footsteps announced the return of Ron and the arrival of Harry, Hermione, and their last-minute guests. Lily, still shaken by the loud noise, launched herself at her father, while Ginny turned her attention to the newcomers.
One of the men was tall and lanky, similar to Ron and Percy, with reddish-brown hair and a curious expression on his face. The other was about as tall, though his jacket and bulky vest made it difficult to discern his build, and his hair was oddly styled and most certainly dyed, if the dark roots were anything to go by. That one immediately zeroed in on the pot on the stove, and said something excitedly in an unfamiliar language that Ginny presumed to be Japanese. His companion responded in the same language, but with a mildly annoyed, scolding tone.
"I take it he smelled the stew, then?" Ron guessed, "Mum's recipe never fails to draw people to the table."
The first man laughed, and walked over to shake Ginny's hand. "I'm Haruto Sōma. It's very nice to meet you. And my hungry friend here is Kōsuke Nitō."
Ginny accepted his handshake, then Nitō's. "Ginny Potter. I presume you've already been introduced to my brother Ron, and the kids are James, Albus, Lily, Rose, and Hugo. The latter two are Ron and Hermione's, and the other three are mine and Harry's."
The kids must have taken that as some sort of cue, because once they were introduced, they immediately began crowding around their guests, asking questions all at once, overlapping with each other so that all Ginny could make out was James asking if one of them had really beaten twelve Aurors.
Needless to say, it would be a while before the eleven of them could sit down for dinner. Ginny handed off corralling the kids to Harry, now that he was home, and devoted her full attention to finishing the last of the cooking. When she finally turned away from the stove, however, it was their two guests who were keeping the children occupied.
Sōma was holding his hand out, palm up, to Lily, who was beaming at what he held in it: a little silver and blue toy unicorn that looked like it had come out of one of those Happy Meal things. That impression was shattered a second later, however, when the tiny thing whinnied and leapt from his hand and into Lily's, causing the little girl to gasp in delight. In another corner, Al, Rose, and Hugo were watching as two other small, silver objects flew around in circles over their heads. When they started hitting each other, Sōma glanced over, frowned, and called over in that direction like a parent telling his children to stop misbehaving. The two little flying creatures immediately ceased their fighting. James was sitting next to Nitō, staring at something in his hand. Curious, Ginny wandered over.
She was quite surprised to see her brother's face in the large crystal Nitō held in his hand. Ron was staring out at them with an expression of confusion – make that staring up. It was kind of like watching footage being shot from above. Even as Ginny thought this, the 'camera' turned and moved down the hall and into the kitchen. Upon catching sight of herself in the crystal, Ginny looked up to see a small, strange, green, winged thing hovering nearby. Nitō pointed at it and said something in Japanese that Ginny didn't understand, but she did pick out something that sounded like the English word 'gryphon'. And upon closer inspection, the creature did sort of resemble a miniaturised version of that beast.
By the time everyone was seated, their guests had put their familiars away, and were ready to eat. Ginny was about to admonish her brother for his horrible table manners (really, she put up with it when it was just family, but they had guests), when Nitō startled her by pulling a large, red bottle out of his huge backpack. With a big grin, he opened it and pulled a thick, off-white substance onto his food.
Haruto should have seen it coming; it was practically a running gag with Nitō. The Potters and Granger-Weasleys were all staring at his friend in bewildered confusion as he piled mayonnaise onto his food.
"Sorry about this," Haruto apologised to their hosts, "He just won't eat anything without mayonnaise on it. He'll even add his own mayonnaise onto something that already has mayonnaise on it!" To Nitō, he hissed: "I can't take you anywhere!"
Auror Potter's oldest boy, James, stared at Nitō's plate before lifting up his own and asking if he could have some as well. Soon all the kids were asking for mayonnaise, and even the red-haired man, Ron, wanted some. Haruto got the feeling that the condiment was going to be a hot item on the grocery lists for a while.
Once the fuss over the mayonnaise calmed down, Haruto finally got to ask a few questions of his own after a full day of answering them. "So, how come you guys have to keep your magic a secret?"
Hermione Granger-Weasley was the one to answer that. "The International Statute of Secrecy came into effect in 1692, because of all the witch-burnings that had been occurring for the past two centuries. Most witches and wizards had gone into hiding by then, but that just made it official. Many wizards still think that the Muggles would hunt us down with torches and pitchforks if they knew about our world. Some others think they'll be pestering us day in and day out to solve all their problems with magic. Personally, I'm not sure what would happen; much of society has become a lot more tolerant of differences, but suddenly revealing that there are people who can do magic would cause quite an uproar. I mean, we have all this power, and we're organised. The more paranoid types would have every right to be suspicious of us. Right now, it would just not be a good idea to reveal the existence of magic to the public."
Haruto frowned, but found that he couldn't quite argue against her logic. "The head of Section Zero, the government division in Japan that knows about us, Masanori Kizaki, refused to trust me at first. He knew all about the Phantoms that were out there hurting people – one had even killed a friend of his – and since my magic came from a Phantom, he believed that I was secretly as bad as the rest of them. It wasn't until I saved his late friend's son from a Phantom that he started trusting me."
"I thought only the Prime Minister was allowed to know about us," the older of the two girls – Rose – commented, "Or whatever the Japanese equivalent is."
"The Japanese Ministry made an exception after finding out about Section Zero," Auror Potter explained, "Apparently the International Confederation of Wizards – they're kind of the magical equivalent of the UN, although they've been around a lot longer – was all up in arms about a Muggle organisation that knew about the existence of magic, and wanted to erase the memories of all the Muggles in this… Section Zero. But the Ministry argued that they'd been observing Phantoms and similar occurrences since early 2012."
"That's around when Kizaki's partner was killed," Haruto observed.
"Erasing nearly two years' worth of memories from an entire government office would just do more harm than good, especially since they were already keeping the matter quiet without any prompting from the Ministry. So an arrangement was made: Section Zero keeps focusing on the Phantom situation, and the Japanese Ministry will give them a heads-up if anything big happens, like they do with their Muggle Prime Minister and the Emperor."
"But they don't want much more interaction than that," Ms. Granger-Weasley continued, "Because while your use of magic hasn't exactly made the Muggle news, it's still too public for the Wizarding World to get too involved in."
"So… are we going to learn that kind of magic at Hogwarts?" Albus Potter asked eagerly.
Haruto frowned. "What's Hogwarts?"
That set off another storm of chatter, everyone talking over each other about the magical boarding school in Scotland that the four adults had attended and that the eldest child, James, would be attending in less than two years. Little Lily even ran up to her room, once she finished her dinner, and came back down with a book titled: 'Hogwarts, a History'. The book was filled with more moving pictures, these ones depicting a grand castle next to a picturesque lake somewhere in the middle of the Scottish Highlands. Haruto wouldn't mind visiting there some day. He said as much to his hosts, and Auror Potter grinned, saying he'd look into arranging that.
Friday, January 24th, 2014
The week had gone by incredibly quickly, Harry felt, and what a week it had been!
The second day had been another round of questioning and answering, filling Sōma and Nitō in on the intricacies of Wizarding culture while also satisfying the scholars' need for knowledge on the Phantoms. The days afterward were more like a series of sightseeing tours. They visited Diagon Alley and Hogwarts, and even attended a Quidditch match. That had been fun, watching them react to the sport and arguing over which team to cheer for. They bickered a lot, he'd noticed, but all in good humour. It reminded Harry of those times at Hogwarts when he, Ron, and Hermione could unwind and simply be a group of friends just hanging out.
But all good things had to come to an end. Harry was waiting for the two to finish one last debriefing with the Japanese Magical Ambassador before escorting them to the airport. They all had each other's contact information, however, as the two younger wizards had become good friends of the Potter/Weasley clan.
While he was waiting, he saw someone else walking down the hall in his direction: Pansy Parkinson. The 'Slytherin Princess' had gotten a job in the Department of International Magical Co-Operation, but had not been part of the group of Ministry employees that had been interacting with Sōma and Nitō, since she was just a low-level paper-pusher in the office that handled relations with the various European Ministries. She'd been openly resentful about her low position in the Ministry hierarchy, especially as she watched so many of her yearmates climb higher and higher. But between blood status not meaning as much as it had fifteen years ago, her having been a known supporter of the Death Eaters (despite not being an actual, Marked member), and her tendency to whine when things didn't go her way, it wasn't really a surprise. Pansy Parkinson had never really grown up.
Harry was hoping she'd just walk right by, but the woman never could resist a chance to goad her old schoolyard rivals. "I hear your little pet Mudbloods are leaving soon, Potter," she sneered, "It really is about time. They've been such a terrible disruption around here."
Harry scowled automatically at the sound of that slur. The bigots were a bit more careful about where and when they used such language, but they hadn't dispensed of it entirely, and Parkinson was rather bad at keeping her mouth shut. "What brings you down here, Parkinson? Your Department isn't even on this floor."
Parkinson just stuck her nose up even higher into the air. "I was just delivering some reports. And that's hardly any of your business, Potter."
Harry acknowledged that with a curt nod, although he really didn't care, and just wished that either the debriefing would end soon or Parkinson would be on her way.
However, it didn't seem like either of those things would be happening anytime soon. Parkinson seemed to have decided that she was going to have a barely-civil conversation with Harry whether he wanted to or not. "What's the big deal about those two, anyway? From what I've heard, they're just some foreigners who can't even be bothered to use wands like proper, civilised wizards."
Harry glared at her. "Those two men draw on a completely different source of magic than we do, so naturally they require a different method to channel it. And they are quite powerful; I suspect the two of them together could bring this whole structure down on our heads if they really put their minds to it." Although he'd only sat in on a handful of meetings with the scholars and the Unspeakables, Harry had picked up a few hints that further suggested that Sōma and Nitō had been holding back in the demonstration when they'd first arrived, as he'd suspected. What their magic apparently lacked in terms of variety was made up for in sheer power.
Parkinson froze, clearly a bit shocked by his statement, but recovered quickly and sniffed. "Unlikely! Where do you get off, telling such tall tales? No witch or wizard could ever have such power, let alone a couple of Mudbloods."
Harry was about to spit out an angry reply when the door behind him opened, and Sōma and Nitō emerged with the Ambassador. All three men paused at the tense scene before them. "Is… something wrong?" Sōma asked uncertainly.
Harry heaved an aggrieved sigh and shook his head, not wanting his new friends to get drawn into this argument – or to have to deal with Parkinson at all, for that matter. "No, everything's fine. Are you lads ready to go?"
Both nodded their assent and shook hands with the Ambassador one last time, then followed Harry to the lifts. To Harry's continued aggravation, Parkinson got onto the lift with them.
"So, do you think we still have enough time to grab something to eat?" Nitō asked, "I'm starving."
Haruto shrugged. "I remember seeing a few restaurants at the airport when we came in. I think we'll have enough time to grab something before we have to board. And don't give me that look! It's not the same stuff they serve on the plane."
"Good. 'Cause airline food is crap."
"The food we had on the trip here wasn't that bad."
"Yeah, but we were flying first class."
"And we'll be in first class on the way back."
"Why would you bother with one of those Muggle contraptions, anyway?" the woman sharing the elevator with them suddenly blurted, butting into their conversation rather rudely, "Can't you just take an international Portkey? You do know what a Portkey is, right?"
"I do now," Haruto responded. It had been one of the many new things he'd learned about this strange world in the past week. "But I'd rather sit in a comfortable chair and take my time – and get served food and drinks while doing so – than get flung halfway across the world by magic." And sure, regular seats on a passenger plane weren't all that comfortable, but Haruto had discovered one advantage to flying on a magical government's dime: first-class seating. "Besides, it's not like we need magic to do everything."
"Yeah," Nitō agreed, "Portkeys and Floo travel are faster, but I'd prefer to not get knocked on my ass or covered in soot again."
"And sitting in one of those rickety old contraptions for an entire day is better?" the woman countered.
"Ignore Parkinson," Auror Potter interrupted, "She's never seen an actual airplane in her entire life. If she had, she'd know that they haven't been those little old wood and canvas things for decades, now."
Haruto remembered what the older man had said during their first meeting back in November, about how many wand-wizards who'd been born into this world didn't venture outside their society often, and were dismissive of modern technology, and of not even needing to use magic for everything.
"Well, I suppose if you're not powerful enough to do everything with magic, it's understandable," the woman, Parkinson, continued, ignoring Auror Potter. She sounded smug, like she'd won an argument or caught them in a lie, or something.
"Oh, they're plenty powerful," Auror Potter disagreed.
"We just don't feel the need to use our magic as a crutch," Nitō added.
Haruto saw Parkinson's face colour at the word 'crutch'. "That's ridiculous! Only someone who can't use magic would think of magic that way!" she snapped, "How pathetic! And you call yourself a wizard!"
Haruto honestly wasn't following her logic. "Are you suggesting that those without magic are pathetic?" he asked seriously as the elevator doors slid open.
"No, I'm stating that they are. The only reason the Muggles haven't offed themselves in despair is because we keep their inferiority a secret from them!" She was keeping her voice down now that other people could hear her, but she was getting somewhat worked up.
Haruto was particularly upset by her 'despair' comment. He'd seen people die of despair, not by their own hand, but from the Phantoms that were created by it, killing them when the monsters burst free. Parkinson couldn't have known about that, but it still brought up painful memories nonetheless.
"So you're stating that all you have going for you is your magic, then," Nitō shot back before Haruto could even think of his own response, "You're saying you have no other worthwhile traits."
Parkinson visibly bristled at that put-down. Sometimes Haruto forgot that Nitō grew up around stuck-up, arrogant rich people who thought they were better than everyone else. Of course he would have a decent idea of how to handle them. But perhaps he'd taken it too far, because Parkinson glared daggers at him and reached for something on her person.
"Watch it, Parkinson," Auror Potter warned sternly, "You want to attack the Ministry's guests in the middle of the Atrium, with so many witnesses? This isn't Hogwarts, where throwing spells around would just get you a detention and cost your House points."
Parkinson shot him another death glare, but then looked around at all the people milling about around them, and lowered her hand. "How dare you?" she hissed at Nitō.
The Ancient Wizard just shrugged. "Me, I know I have more to offer the world than just my magic. I mean, I'd prefer having it over not having it, but I know it's not everything."
"That's why you were willing to sacrifice your magic last summer, right?" Haruto added.
"Actually, it had more to do with the thirteen million people would've died if I hadn't. And you know it. You would've been one of them, if I recall."
"What the bloody hell are you talking about?!" Parkinson spat, "Thirteen million people? There aren't that many people in the world!"
Haruto stared at her in disbelief. "Are you kidding me?" He'd been told that so-called 'pure-bloods' could be clueless, but she couldn't really be that ignorant, could she?
Auror Potter shook his head. "The global population of witches and wizards is around 1.7 million. But the Muggles have recorded a population of over seven billion. There may be some overlap with Muggleborns and half-bloods, but still, there really are that many Muggles." He didn't comment on the earlier mention of Nitō sacrificing his magic, as he'd already heard the story of how the second Sabbat had been stopped, and how Nitō had since gotten his magic back.
Parkinson looked like she couldn't decide whether to tell him she thought he was insane or faint in shock. The three men took advantage of her stunned silence to turn and walk away, escaping any further 'conversation' with her.
Auror Potter had his head bent forward and his shoulders were shaking; when he finally looked up, Haruto saw that he was trying very hard not to laugh. "Th-that-" he gasped through his strangled laughs, "That was brilliant! I've known that stuck-up princess since we were eleven years old, and I've never seen anyone leave her speechless like that!" The older man managed to reclaim his composure by the time they reached the elevators that would take them to the street, but he was still ginning widely.
"You've had to put up with her for that long?" Nitō asked, taking one last advantage of the translation spell that would lose effectiveness as soon as the elevator doors slid shut.
"'Put up with' isn't the phrase I'd use to describe it, but I was usually more focused on the even worse things her boyfriend would say, and I'd often wind up trying to curse or even hit him. Oddly enough, he and I get along alright, now, but then again, he's grown up since we left school. She obviously hasn't."
Harry, if he was being honest with himself, was disappointed when the cab pulled up in front of the airport. He was going to miss having those two around. They'd made this past week very interesting and exciting – the kind of interesting and exciting that doesn't involve Dark Lords or Death Eaters or Merlin knows what else trying to maim and/or kill him. And though they may not have known it, they'd made quite an impact on the British Wizarding community in just that one week.
The Unspeakables, last he'd heard, were in an uproar, trying to figure out how wand-magic could be used to track down, identify, and take out any Phantoms that might be laying low in Britain. They'd also been expressing interest in recreating the Drivers and Magic Rings in a way that worked with wand-magic (it had taken a direct order from Kingsley to get them to stop begging to be allowed to take one apart for study).
Various historians were now looking at various ancient civilisations (and more modern ones from other countries) to study their use of magic, and if it was at all possible to bring back old methods that had been lost (or thrown aside in the name of 'pure' British wizardry). If it was possible, Headmistress McGonagall was open to having such magic taught at Hogwarts, although it would take some time to get the school's Board of Governors to agree. The more obstinate pure-bloods weren't too happy with that idea, and there were a couple of them on the Board.
On the home front, Harry's kids were always happy to have Sōma and Nitō over for a visit. Sōma, the only one who could speak English, had taken to telling them tales of the battles he and Nitō had faced, although Ginny often sat in on them as well. She'd claimed she was just making sure the stories were age-appropriate, but Harry could see that she was just as captivated and entertained by them as her children. Harry also had to go buy a dozen jars of mayonnaise, as the condiment had become the most popular food item in the house. Hermione told him that Ron and their kids had also become somewhat addicted to it, to her annoyance.
Now, however, the two Warrior-Mages (as some had taken to calling them) were about to hop on a plane and head home. Harry had accompanied the hotel to pick up Sōma's luggage (Nitō carried everything in his huge backpack), and then to the airport. He found himself playing mediator when they argued over which items Nitō would need to bring with him on the plane and which needed to be checked with the rest, and he laughed as they tried sushi from a small restaurant within the airport and found it to be a cheap imitation of the real thing. But eventually the time for them to board approached, and Harry accompanied them to the security checkpoint, past which he would be unable to follow them, so he said his goodbyes while they were waiting in line.
"You two keep in touch, now," he told them, shaking both their hands, "I'm sad to say I don't have that many friends from outside the country, and I'd like to keep the ones I do have."
"Of course," Sōma replied, "Nitō's even been considering taking English lessons so that he won't have to rely on me translating for him half the time. And you're more than welcome to come visit us in Japan, if you ever want to."
"That sounds brilliant. Sadly, I won't be able to make it out this summer; I only get a certain amount of vacation time per year, and this July we'll be seeing the Quidditch World Cup finals in Argentina." At the look of interest on both of their faces, he added: "I may be able to swing a couple of extra tickets for you, if you'd like." He recalled both of them being quite impressed with the match he'd taken them to see earlier that week.
Sōma grinned and said something to Nitō – a question, judging by the tone. An equally excited grin spread over his friend's face, and he nodded enthusiastically.
"I'll take that as a 'yes', then. Alright, I guess I should be off. Ginny will skin me alive if I'm late for dinner. Have a safe flight. But seriously, keep in touch. I think the kids will go mad waiting for more of your stories."
Sōma laughed. "Tell them that if they behave, I'll tell them the story of how Nitō pretended to be a Magical Girl to keep his magic a secret from his grandmother."
Upon hearing his name being mentioned, Nitō turned to his friend in open suspicion, and started muttering what had to be interrogating questions at him. Sōma argued back, probably denying everything, which didn't appear to be what Nitō considered a proper response, as the volume of his demands raised and he grabbed Sōma's shoulders and started shaking him.
Laughing, Harry left Sōma to his fate. The younger man had fought and killed many deadly Phantoms; he could hold his own against this 'monster' of his own creation.
The idea for a Muggle-centred department, headed by Arthur and Percy, can be credited to Sherza's fic 'Council and Ministry', which is a sequel to 'White Knights and Dark Lords'. Both are Harry Potter/Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossovers and both are excellent reads.
Haruto and Nitō are more powerful than the HP wizards, for very good reasons. Magic in the HP world can be used for virtually anything, but in KR Wizard, it's primarily used for one thing: to fight and kill Phantoms. Even Ghouls, the weakest Phantoms, can shrug off bullets like they're not even there, and the more dangerous ones have the power to demolish entire cities or even destroy the entire world - Haruto had to throw one into the sun just to get rid of him. Their magic needs to be insanely powerful, and given that it came from half-formed Phantoms in the first place, it makes sense.
The translation spells, in my mind, are permanent and are tied to the location, which is why they couldn't be cast at the temporary setup that was the Quidditch World Cup finals in 'Goblet of Fire'.
The ages of the Potter/Weasley kids are:
James - 9
Albus - 7, turning 8 in a few months
Lily - 5
Rose - 8
Hugo - 6
As for population stats, I saw a discussion about the Muggle:wizard ratio, and someone suggested a ratio of 4150:1 would be reasonable. Going with that, the estimated populations in 2013 (this mostly takes place in January 2014, so no full stats for that year would have been available yet) are as follows:
World: 7.181,715,139 Muggles, 1,730,534 Magicals
Japan: 126,872,010 Muggles, 30,572 Magicals
UK: 63,916,159 Muggles, 15,401 Magicals
Tokyo: est. 13.23 million Muggles, 3,188 Magicals
London: est. 8.42 million Muggles, 2,029 Magicals
These figures came from different sources, and some had to be guessed mathematically, so I'm sorry if I got them wrong.
Three more small notes before I wrap this up:
One, the Harry Potter Wiki (and presumably Pottermore) says that most wizards and witches in Africa don't use wands, so there is such a thing as wandless magic in the HP world, but British pure-bloods would be total snobs about it and dismiss them as being 'uncivilised'.
Two, Haruto and Nitō did attend the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, and were very pleased when Japan won 3rd place.
Last, Nitō acting like a magical girl can be found in Episode 24 - you can Google it.