Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Ouron High School Host Club.
Sometimes he wished that he didn't have magic. Maybe he could have been happy in a different world, with different circumstances, but he would never know.
Hours after he woke up in the early morning, Harry continued to lay in bed. The curtains of his room in Grimmauld Place were drawn tight, and very little light shone through. The ceiling was blurry, but he stared at it anyway to keep his mind from wandering. If he didn't, his thoughts drifted to his nightmares, and his body would tremble. It was better to lay there -and not think about anything at all- than be lost in his memories.
A screech tore through the silence of the room, making him jump and raise his wand. He summoned his glasses, and scanned the room for any threats. He saw nothing unusual but Hedwig glaring at him from her perch next to his bed.
She screeched at him again and he realized that she wanted food, he hadn't gotten up to feed her yet. "Sorry girl, I'll go make you something now." He pushed the heavy comforter off his body, swung his bare feet to the floor, and padded out of his room and through the empty halls to the kitchen. He saw no reason to change out of his pajamas; he doubted he'd see anyone that day.
When he got to the kitchen Harry turned on the burner and reached up to get the heavy iron skillet off the wall. Hedwig flew into the kitchen with a pleased hoot. A few moments later, sizzling grease crackled in his pan and the salty aroma of fresh bacon filled his nose.
A pop appeared to his right as he placed a strip on a paper towel, he barely managed not to drop it. "Filthy Master be's cooking again," Kreacher grumbled.
"Yep," Harry grunted. He tore off a piece and held it out to Hedwig, who nipped it from his fingers. He couldn't stop his lips from twitching upwards, it always made him happy to see her enjoy his food.
"And wills you be eating any of it this time, filthy Master?"
"I'm not hungry Kreacher, but thanks for asking," he said down at the elf.
Kreacher sighed and Hedwig few onto his arm and bit his ear. The elf floated two slices of bread into the toaster and started preparing tea. "You's be eating today, dirty Master." Harry didn't respond, and Hedwig turned her head from him when he held out the next piece of bacon.
He sighed. "Fine, I'll eat something." He popped the bacon from his fingers into his mouth. He mechanically chewed and swallowed the meat without tasting it. "See? No problem."
Kreacher continued to grumble and scuttle around the kitchen, and Hedwig hooted happily, only eating in turn after he did. When the bacon was gone, Kreacher led him into the sitting room and set a plate of toast and a cup of tea on the side table by the window. He followed and sat down in the chair next to it, idly tapping one of its arms.
After a few minutes of this, he heard Kreacher grunt in front of him. The elf was glaring at him, Harry thought he had left. He picked up the toast and nibbled on its edge. "See, I'm fine," he said to the indignant elf. Kreacher gave one last glare and disappeared.
Harry took another bite of toast and set it back on the plate. It tasted like sawdust, and his stomach was starting to feel queasy. He waved his hand and the chair lifted up below him, rotating to face the window before settling back down. He leaned forward and peaked through the curtains to look out at the street. It was fairly crowded, many wizards were trying to blend in as muggles and not watching where his door should be. A few of them with cameras hanging from their necks, and a man leaning on a light post was reading the Daily Prophet with the headline "Harry Potter: Is our savior dark? How he really defeated the Dark Lord!".
He waved the curtains closed and fisted his shaking hands in his long sleeves, hugging them to his chest. They didn't know anything. His magic bubbled and cracked inside of him, threatening to break loose and incinerate everyone outside his home. It would be easy. He bit his lip and breathed heavily, in and out, until he cleared his mind and brought his magic back under control.
Harry eventually grew bored of staring at the wall and summoned a book on warding he had been reading from the Black Library. It detailed how to incorporate traps into the layers of wards, the Blacks really were a nasty bunch. It was interesting though, and he found himself learning many tidbits that hadn't been covered by his training or his self-study.
Around three o'clock the fireplace flared and Harry looked up from his book. Dumbledore flooed into the room wearing bright purple robes covered in yellow ducks. "Good afternoon Headmaster." He hadn't wanted to see him today. "How are you?"
Dumbledore smiled at him and took a seat in the adjacent armchair. "Quite well, Harry. It's been busy at the ministry ever since the final battle, but the work is necessary. And yourself?"
Harry shrugged. "The same, as usual."
Dumbledore hummed. "Have you considered the offer to come back to Hogwarts? Your friends miss you." Harry kept his face from showing any irritation, Dumbledore brought up the offer every time he visited.
He shook his head. "We both know that I don't have any real friends there anymore, and the curriculum has nothing more to offer me." He'd hardly even attended classes the last few years anyway, instead going through private training. It had worked out in the end though, he wouldn't have survived the war without it.
Dumbledore nodded his assent, and then Kreacher brought in a pot tea. Harry thanked the elf and poured them each a cup. They spent a moment in companionable silence as they each blew on their drink and added a healthy spoonful of sugar.
"You were right about warding, it's more interesting than I thought. My library had books I haven't heard of before," Harry said. One of his projects that winter was combining the Potter and Black libraries. It was probably one of best collections of magical knowledge in all of Europe, and had many books he couldn't find in the Hogwarts library.
"Ah, excellent," Dumbledore said. "That's one branch of magic that is constantly evolving, much like spell-crafting. When a warder makes a new defense, the ward-breakers make a counter, and vice versa. Would you consider doing a mastery in either? I know plenty of masters who would take you on."
"No, I probably know enough for a mastery already, there's no point studying under someone else for a year or two just for a title. I'm fine studying it in my own time."
Dumbledore sighed. "Well, have you considered what you want to do in the future at all? You're only fifteen Harry, you have a long life yet to make something of yourself."
"What more could I make of myself than Boy-Who-Conquered, the next Dark Lord?" He snorted into his cup, "It doesn't matter, I've already completed my life's purpose."
"We both know that's not true," Dumbledore slumped back into his chair. "Just look at yourself! You're losing weight, and I'm assuming you've stopped doing Moody's training regime. You are wasting away here, I can only imagine how sad your parents and Sirius would be."
"Well it's not like I can even go on a run without being hounded by the press or attacked by the remnants of Tom's supporters, or even our former allies!" Harry rubbed his side and looked down into his cup. "I just want to be left alone, haven't I earned that?"
"Oh Harry, you've earned much more than that," Dumbledore said.
The room fell quiet, and they each finished off their tea in the silence. There wasn't much left to be said, it was a recurring argument they've been having for weeks. Then like all of the other visits, his mentor brought out an ancient chess set, and they started a game.
Dumbledore tried to open with a gambit, but Harry didn't take the piece and instead developed his bishop. He never played gambits, he thought that the advantage they could give generally weren't worth the potential the pawn had.
After they ended in a draw, Dumbledore stood up to leave and walked across the room the fireplace. He picked up a handful of floo-powder, but then let it slip back out of his hands into the pot. The old man turned back towards Harry, eye's sparkling in a way he hadn't seen since the war, when he and his mentor strategized ways to defeat the dark lord.
"Tell me Harry, do you have any interest in learning a new language?"
By Saturday, he was ready to leave England. That afternoon Harry gathered together his trunk and Hedwig in her cage and portkeyed into the magical customs of Narita Airport in Japan. He endured the tumultuous spinning of the portal for several long minutes before he was flung from its exit. As usual, he landed facedown on the floor with a smack. He groaned and sat up, checking over Hedwig who didn't appear too jostled by the journey. At some point he had lost his hat. He quickly shook his head back and forth in an attempt tame his wild hair, which was sticking straight up from the journey.
"Excuse me, are you Evans Hari-san?" a female voice to his left said. He looked up to see a tall Japanese woman in a suit scrutinizing him with worried eyes. Harry sprang to his feet and belatedly tried to brush the dust off his white button-down shirt.
"Yes, I mean, hai! That's me," Harry stammered. He still wasn't used to speaking in Japanese, but he had practiced a little while preparing for the move. The Babel Potion granted knowledge of a language, but it was difficult putting that knowledge to work.
"Oh, you're a little smaller than I expected!" the woman chuckled, before she seemed to realize she said that out loud and resumed a professional demeanor. "Sorry, please excuse me. I'm Agent Masako from the Administration of Magic. Japan is happy to provide you shelter from your unfortunate circumstances. I'll be helping you get settled in. I hope you find my country peaceful and welcoming."
"Thank you," Harry said slowly, struggling to form the unfamiliar sounds. He needed time to work on his muscle memory to speak Japanese comfortably, and also he wasn't sure how to take her comment on his stature. He was just slightly below average height! He hugged Hedwig's cage to his chest and held her out proudly. "This is Hedwig, my owl." Hedwig hooted a greeting.
Agent Masako's hands twitched towards them, but then she took a step back instead. She nodded at Hedwigl and gestured for them to follow her. "We should get going so we don't crowd the arrivals." she said. He picked up his trunk, revealing his hat beneath it. He quickly put it back on his head and settled his trunk and Hedwig on a cart. Masako led them through the airport.
As they passed through the crowds, he anxiously examined every face for signs of a threat. His magic rippled and his fingers twitched to release his wand from its holster, but he held back the gesture. He didn't need it here, everyone was a stranger and meant him no harm. He repeated that mantra continuously until they left the crowds behind and found a black, government issue car.
Harry quickly loaded his trunk and Hedwig, then settled into the passenger seat. He breathed in and out, clearing his mind to calm himself back down. He pulled a sugar cube from his pocket and ate it, focusing on the dissolving sugar. He puckered his lips to extract all of its sweet flavor. His hands normally stopped shaking first, but it took a little longer for his magic to stop feeling jittery.
"Are you alright?" Agent Masako asked with concern once he had settled in. Her body was tense, he hoped he didn't scare her.
"Sorry, I'm fine," he stared at his feet. "I just don't like crowds." He received a brief smile back and the agent started the car.
"I'll have to show you our magical district another day then, a lot of people like to shop there on the weekends," she turned the car out of the airport's parking lot and onto the highway leading into Tokyo. The cityscape completely encompassed the horizon, it was impressive.
"Thanks… that very kind of you. I'm sorry if it ruins any of your plans," Harry said.
"Oh don't worry about it," Masako let out a small laugh. "My job is to make you feel welcome, I'd be a crappy handler if I went and put you in a difficult environment on your first day in the country!"
He smiled back at her and started gazing out the windows at Tokyo as they drove. It seemed very busy, like London. All of the salarymen walking up and down the sidewalks gave him the impression of workers in a beehive moving in hectic order. He decided not to visit downtown by himself anytime soon, he was sure that he would get lost and need to apparate to get home.
"I read in your file that you aren't planning on going to school, muggle or magical. What are your plans then?" Masako asked.
"That's right, I don't need any more schooling," Harry fidgeted. "I guess I haven't thought much about it. I'll probably read a lot, and work on the projects you give me."
"Yes, Albus-san mentioned to call you whenever we had something interesting to keep you busy," she mused. "He's a bit of a meddler, isn't he?"
Harry snorted. "Yeah, that sounds like him."
"You like to read then? What kinds of books did you bring?"
"It's more something to do than enjoying it for me, but I like learning new things. Most of the compartments in my trunk are filled with books from my family library," he said. He went over the sentence again in his head and tried not to cringe, he sounded so boring.
Masako giggled. "You're a bit of a nerd, aren't you? That's ok, we'll make sure to visit bookstores in the magical district, and I'll work on finding you some form of entertainment."
The towering skyscrapers faded away behind them and they entered a suburban area like Surrey, except with a less affluent but homey atmosphere. He saw many families out enjoying the late afternoon, and people carrying bags walking home from shopping. It seemed like a nice neighborhood, he hoped no one would bother him.
After ten minutes of driving, the car stopped. "We're here," Masako said. Harry stepped out of the car and looked around, but couldn't see anything that screamed his new home, it was just another part of the neighborhood. Agent Masako got out from the other side and pointed at the two-story apartment building on her side of the car.
"This is where you'll be staying," she said. "Sorry if it's a little small, but it's the best thing we could find on short notice after you insisted on living alone."
"I'm sure it'll be fine." He was sure that whoever he lived with would have been perfectly nice, and he probably would have been in a nicer place than this, but he didn't come to Japan to be a burden on anyone else. He grabbed his trunk and Hedwig, who hooted at him from her cage. "Just a little longer. Then I can let you out."
"Let's head inside," Masako said, leading him up the stairs. "You're staying in apartment 4. It was already furnished, but you can make any changes you want." She dug into her pockets and handed him a key. "Here's yours, and I'll have a spare." Then she unlocked the door and they went inside.
The traditional Japanese apartment had a living room with a low table surrounded by tatami mats, and rooms behind sliding doors. It had hardwood floors, and the walls were a stark white. He kicked off his shoes by the door and walked around. Everything was neutral: the walls, the furniture, even the smell of the air. With each step his socks slid on the smooth floor. He restrained himself from trying to skate while Masako was there. He knew a nifty spell to remove friction he could try on it later.
"It's nice," Harry said. He set his trunk down and opened Hedwig's cage on the table. She immediately flew out and fluttered back and forth in the apartment, inspecting her new home. He opened his trunk and shifted the compartments around until he found her perch so she would have somewhere to rest when she was done.
"The kitchen is already stocked, and there's a market that's five minutes away when you need new groceries, as well as a convenience store down the street. A credit card hooked up to your Gringot's account is on the table. There's also a computer in the room in front of you and a cell phone with my number in it if you need anything."
"I won't be needing those, but thanks. My magic would break them in a few days anyway."
Masako giggled. "I forgot how isolated magical Europe is. A witch in China fixed that problem a few years ago. Don't worry, I'm sure it'll be fine."
Harry's eyes widened. "Oh," he replied. He'd have to send Dumbledore a letter about that, he doubted the old man was even aware of the advancement. He walked into the room and approached the large monitor sitting innocuously on a desk. His reflection stared back at him from the black screen. He tentatively pressed a few keys and clicked the mouse. Nothing happened. Was she joking about the problem being fixed?
"Agent Masako? I might have broken it," he called, stepping back from the device.
She sauntered into the room, took a quick look at the computer and laughed. "It's not even turned on." She bent over and pressed a large button on a box next to the desk, causing it to light up and whir into life. "This is actually the computer," she said, pointing at the box. "The monitor just displays the information." She continued to give him a basic tutorial on how to use the machine, going into detail about how to use a search engine and the possible dangers of the internet. Then she did the same with the phone, which looked even more alien to him. Weren't they supposed to be connected to a wall?
When she was finished, they went back into the living room. She started checking over all of the appliances to make sure they worked right, while he explored the kitchen. He found all the basics to make most things from scratch, as well as some earl grey and green tea. He rummaged around the cabinets for a teapot, but couldn't find one. He grabbed a spoon and transfigured it into the one from Grimmauld Place to use instead. He turned around and saw Masako looking at him curiously.
"You don't need a wand?" she asked.
Harry shook his head. "Not for most things, but I bring it out for more delicate work like warding, and dueling."
The woman hummed and looked him over appreciatively. "Looks like Albus-san's reports had some truth to them. Just be careful around the non-magicals, we are a more lenient on the Statute here in Japan, but we still don't like revealing magic carelessly."
He nodded. "I don't think I'll be using it much anyway, outside of your projects. I'd like to try living normally for a change."
When the tea was ready, he grabbed the pot, cups, and biscuits and brought them into the living room. They sat on the mats around the low table. He brought out his bag of sugar cubes and popped one in his mouth before adding some to his tea. He sat back on his hands while he enjoyed the bliss in his mouth while the cube dissolved. Eating on the floor and the low table was interesting. While not exactly uncomfortable, he wasn't sure he particularly. He resolved to try it out for a while longer before he considered switching to western furniture. When in Rome, and all that.
"Do you need help unpacking?" Masako asked over her cup.
"No, I'm looking forward to doing it myself actually," Harry responded. "It'll be a good way to pass the time until I can sleep on your schedule."
The woman gasped. "Oh right, you must be very tired," she said with concern. "Please excuse me for not noticing! How long have you been awake?"
Harry waved her off. "Don't worry about it, this is nothing for me." Moody had made sure he could go days without sleep, and it had been necessary for a few back to back battles when the war was at its peak.
"Ah, right," Masako said. They sat in silence while they finished their tea. Hedwig flew into the room and landed on the table. She hopped over to him and chirped, making her eyes as large as they could go. Harry gave in and fed her a piece of his biscuit.
When they had each finished their tea, Masako got ready to leave. Harry followed her to the door. "Looks like you are all set," she said. "Do you want to see the magical district on Monday? The crowds should be better then."
He nodded at her. "Sounds great."
"Call me if you need anything! Do you remember how to use the phone?"
"Yeah, don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
Right before she crossed the threshold outside, she jumped over and gave him a quick hug. He stood stock still, keeping his magic on a tight leash. Masako stepped back with a blush. "Sorry, that was inappropriate," she paused and straightened her jacket. "I was expecting this big strong warrior, and got you instead, and you've been through so much and are so sweet… I've been holding myself back all day! See you Monday, Hari-kun!" She quickly evacuated the apartment and closed the door behind her.
Harry took another moment to make sure his magic was calm. "That was unexpected," he said to Hedwig. He walked over and sat on the mat next to her, and ate another sugar cube. "She was nice, weird though." Hedwig hooted in agreement.
Now that he was alone, Harry relaxed and sunk into the mat. His magic was stressed out from the crowds and unfamiliar environment. It had been fighting against his control all day, wanting to spill out and protect him. He leaked some of it out, making himself float into the air along with various objects in the room. He needed to use up all this excess before it got out of hand.
Harry closed his eyes and crossed his legs, then began an exercise he got from Dumbledore's training. He held his hands out in front of him, and coaxed a strand of magic out of each fingertip. Slowly, he weaved them inside and out of each other between his hands until a ball of pure magical energy formed. Harry kept building the ball, working in more strands until about half of his magical core was emptied. Even with his eyes closed he could easily sense the individual strands that made up the basketball-sized orb. Then with the lingering threads at his fingertips, he stabilized the ball and compressed it into a small pearl.
Harry opened his eyes and stopped the magical flow from his body. He fell and landed in a crouch, his hand snapping out to catch the pearl from the air. He looked over the pearl that glowed softly in the now dark room. It was almost white, but if he looked closely he could see every color of the rainbow in the crystalized filaments of magic.
He walked over to his trunk and pulled out a small chest. He opened it up and tossed the pearl in with the rest. He had a good-sized pile now. He closed the box and hid it under his bed in his room. Then he switched on a light and sat back down next to Hedwig, exhausted. That had taken longer than he thought it would. Making the pearls was hard work, but necessary. He had way too much magic for his immature core to handle, and it all had to go somewhere. Hedwig flew into his lap. He refocused his attention on her, cooing and petting her feathers. She cuddled into his chest and happily absorbed his affection.
After a while Harry stopped and unpacked the rest of his belongings from the trunk. He found the real teapot from Grimmauld Place, and changed back the spoon. He also put away his wardrobe, which was almost exclusively long-sleeved shirts and slacks and workout clothes. He left all of the books in their compartments, he would get them out as he needed and the apartment didn't have a big enough room for them all anyway. He would consider expanding a room for them some other time.
Harry yawned and then made up his bed, waving his hands to make the sheets tuck themselves in, and arrange his large pillows at the headrest. A large comforter settled on top. He changed into his pajamas, made sure the door was locked, and turned off the lights. After saying good night to Hedwig, he buried himself in his bed. If he was lucky, he would fall asleep quickly. But it was not to be.
After only thirty minutes of laying in the large bed, he knew that he wouldn't fall asleep anytime soon. He knew it was time to rest, but his body didn't. It didn't trust his new country yet, he doubted it would anytime soon. He needed to be ready for anything, because at this point he couldn't rule out anything that couldn't happen.
He got up and walked to the living room. He had two windows that were the focus of the back wall. The neighborhood was blurred from his light's glare; he couldn't make out many details.
He fiddled with the latch and soon had one sliding open. The crisp night air hit him like a brick. He didn't think it would get this cold at night, but it was still the tail end of winter. He climbed out of the gap and started to maneuver himself up to the roof. His bare feet cringed away from the metal pipe he shimmied up, he ignored the impulse to stop. His breath was as clear as a patronus' mist, and just as distracting.
Harry finally settled down on the apex of the smooth, tiled roof. He cast a warming charm, it was much colder in the middle of the night than it was when he arrived. A smooth layer of clouds blanketed the night sky, the only light came from the abundance of street lights that pocketed the neighborhood. They glowed like lanterns, and Tokyo shone like a beacon on the horizon.
It started to snow, but it wasn't quite cold enough for it to stick to the ground. He wouldn't be surprised if this was the last snowfall of the season.
This was it; his chance for a new beginning. His chance to get away from the violence, the fame, the deceit. He didn't want to be used again, he'd keep everyone at a distance if he had to. He might be able to make some friends here, but nothing more. Not yet, his scars were still too fresh.
He couldn't help but hope though, as he lost himself in the deathly quiet, snowflakes gently wandering across his vision. Each of their paths was uncertain, changing with the whims of the night's breeze. He couldn't predict where they would land, no matter how closely he tracked each one. He wished he was like a snowflake, not knowing his destination but being content no matter where he settled.
Harry carefully crawled down the roof and back inside. If he was a snowflake, then he couldn't help but wonder if he had already landed on the ground, or if he was just in a lull before a breeze.
A/N: Hello everyone, welcome to my story! I hope you enjoy the ride. So far I have about 25k words done / four chapters, and I'll be updating weekly. Any and all constructive criticism is welcome, help me be a better writer!