The Cursed Detective
Life outside war was like an entirely different world; a world with no combatants, only civilians, doing everyday things like going to work, going shopping or gossiping at the side of the road. It felt almost liberating being here, the young wizard decided, like a prisoner seeing the light for the first time in Merlin knows how long.
Sitting at a bus stop a few meters away from his new residence in Beika - a single family house with a one-car garage and a quint little back garden - Harry let out a long-satisfied sigh, leaning back in the plastic covered seat, closing his eyes and enjoying the warm caress of the early-morning sun.
Coming here was a great decision, he thought with a soft smile tugging at his lips, he could already feel his burdens slowly starting to fade away.
"Oh…hey!" Someone suddenly said, interrupting his daydream.
Harry blinked, a little surprised, not because the other's presence had startled him – he had long since detected that he wasn't alone; he was an elite soldier after all - but because the other had actually chosen to speak up. Harry wasn't used to random strangers - unless they were fans but Harry doubted this one was - talking to him out of the blue, unless they wanted something from him.
Still a little confused as to who this person was and what she - for it was indeed a female voice - wanted, Harry turned his head upwards towards the speaker and the sweet smiling face of a 16 years old girl appeared in his field of vision. Her hair was short, cut just above her shoulders and her school uniform was of the same design as his, suggesting that she too went to Teitan High. This wasn't much of a coincidence considering how the bus Harry was waiting for was a bus that took students directly to Teitan High.
"Hello," Harry replied politely as he mentally analyzed her every move, reading her body language for clues like he was used to doing on the battleground.
Compressed lips, Right hand playing with a strand of hair, tensed shoulders - all signs leading to the conclusion that she was nervous.
"Are you a new student? I'm Aiko." she continued, her body relaxing a little now that Harry hadn't simply ignored her and went back to his dozing. A part of Harry had wanted to but that would be too rude, so he forced his desires back down and offered the girl a media-ready smile.
Upon seeing that smile, the girl finally let herself go and, without further invitation, took the seat next to Harry, immeidietly starting to babble on without waiting for an answer to her question, with an eagerness that would make one think that Harry was her best friend and not someone she had just met a few seconds ago.
"I'm new too. I had a little bit of an issue at my old school so was forced to transfer in the middle of the semester. My brother goes to this school too. He's on the soccer team. I'm a little nervous about my first day but my brother assured me that everyone at Teitan High is extremely welcoming so I hope...
Her words fell like an unstoppable torrent of water and all Harry could do was listen and nod at times to show he was still paying attention. And as he listened, Harry couldn't help but starting to stare at her in wonderment, as if she was an animal he was here to observe.
Was "this" what normal girls were like? He thought to himself.
Harry had met girls before of course, but they were, in his opinion, far from normal. They were soldiers, product of the system, trained since young to kill or be killed - like Ginny Weasley, who, by 11, could already brew up 20 different types of poison that could end your life without leaving a trace - to protect the innocent and fight for the greater good.
The closest female friend that Harry had was, unsurprisingly, Hermione Granger. Hermione was a muggle-born, one of the few muggle-borns to be recruited as the higher ups still had a bias against those not born in to magic and was only told about it once their Hogwarts letter had arrived.
Hermione, like most muggle-borns - Harry being an outlier as he was the prophesied hero and was, thus, trained since he was old enough to pronounce words without messing up - was 11 when she was told that magic existed and entered Hogwarts with ideals of a perfect world. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for reality to crush all those ideals and turn her in to the over analytical and rather cynical adult she was today.
Hermione's first year at Hogwarts was quite normal by Harry's standards, but her success had brought her some attention from the higher ups. Even Harry, whose affinity for magic astounded all who met him, had to admit that Hermione's prodigious mind and almost inhuman memory were second to none. By the time she was 12, she had officially been recruited in to the "child soldier" program - definitely illegal but desperate times called for desperate measures - and was officially sent to train as a soldier; sent to train on how to use magic offensively.
She was 15 when she made her first kill - severing a Death Eater's head with an overpowered cutting curse - and was never the same again.
From what Harry remembered of her, Hermione didn't babble. In fact, in his memory, she didn't even talk that much outside of missions. She liked to believe that her words should be reserved for special occasions, where words were a necessary evil - other wise, action was the best solution. Her abnormal school experience ruined whatever social lessons her parents had drilled in to her before Hogwarts and her superior intellect made her an outcast among her peers. Hermione had never seemed to mind though, because in her head, she was from a different world then these people. Like Harry, she was a soldier, a system-manufactured killing machine, set out to complete her objective and nothing else. Hermione was used to speaking with purpose; chit-chatting was almost unthinkable.
Growing up in that environment, that was the type of girl Harry was used to. Seeing an entirely new specimen in Aiko was like seeing an entire new world for the first time.
"By the way, what's your name?
Harry blinked back to reality, realizing that his mind had wondered off a little as Aiko had went on, unable to keep up with this rate of conversation; that was to be expected however for in the past, the most anyone had spoken to him was during mission briefings and debriefings - but in that situation, it was usually him who did all the talking.
Next to him, Aiko had tensed up again, looking a little nervous, an embarrassed smile tugging at her lips. She was probably finally aware of just how long she had babbled on without giving Harry a chance to interrupt.
"I'm Potter Harry," Harry introduced himself and offered a hand for her to shake. He smiled reasuringly, showing her that he wasn't annoyed with her. In fact, Harry was even a little glad that Aiko had taken the lead in this conversation. If it was up to him, the conversation would have stalled in its infancy. He truly had no experience talking to civilians his own age and he doubted Aiko would want to hear about torture techniques or the best way to dispose of a body efficiently and without leaving a mess.
"Nice to meet you Harry - you don't mind me calling you Harry right?" Aiko reached out a hand and grabbed Harry's in a firm handshake, "What year will you be in Harry?"
"I'm 17 so I'll be a senior." Harry thought back to his admission papers."
In all honesty, 17 was only his registered age as 19 was his real age. Since Harry looked younger then 19, no one was the wiser.
"You'll be in my grade then," Aiko beamed at him, "Since we don't know many people at school, we should eat lunch together sometimes."
Harry agreed, not seeing any reason not to. Aiko seemed nice and a ready-available friend made it easier for Harry to pretend he wasn't a loner at heart.
"Do you have any clubs you want to join?"
"Clubs?" Harry thought for a second. "You mean extracurricular activities."
"Yes, yes, that," Aiko nodded.
"I'm not sure," Harry replied in the tone of someone who had never joined a club before or participated in any student-organized activity for that matter. "What about you?"
"The Detective Club," she replied excitedly, "My brother's best friend is the Head. He's got a great mind for that stuff. Sure, compared to Kudo Shinichi, the well-known Sherlock Holmes of the 20th Century, he's nothing to look at but not everyone can be Kudo."
"Holmes of 20th Century?" Harry repeated in confusion. He knew who Sherlock Holmes was of course - Harry's training had included lessons in muggle culture from around the world - but he didn't see how this fictional character could be linked to this Kudo person.
"Yes," Aiko's eyes were sparkling with giddiness as she continued, "The modern day Sherlock Holmes. I'm surprised you haven't heard about him before."
"I just got in to this country," Harry explained, a little embarrassed. He had only recently arrived in Japan and the first days after his arrival had been dedicated to acclimating himself to this new environment.
"That makes sense," Aiko nodded, "After all, Kudo Shinichi is the best. Everyone whose anyone knows about him. He's everywhere. You just have to read a newspaper to know."
"He's a prodigy you know," Aiko went on, her voice full of respect and awe for Kudo, "People call him the Savior of the Japanese Police force for a reason. He may be just a high school detective, but he has cracked many cases in the past; cases that even police detectives couldn't make head or tails of."
"Many cases?" Harry was intrigued. He had never heard of a detective who was still in high school before. That sounded like something right out of a novel. Although, deep down, he probably had no right to speak considering how young he was when he obtained a commanding officer position in the army. That was probably more shocking then a simple high school-aged detective. "How many?"
"150," the girl replied and Harry nodded, a little impressed.
"15, not bad."
"Not 15," the girl said, shaking her head so hard she was probably getting whip splash from her own hair, "150. One Five Zero."
Harry's eyes widened in shock, his mouth falling open without his knowledge.
"Excuse me?" he gaped, wondering if the girl was messing with him. She didn't look like the type to mess with people for fun but one never really knew with teenagers. "Did you say 150? Does the police call him in on cases?"
"No," Aiko said, tilting her head to the side in thought, "I think in a past interview he mentioned that he stumbled upon them by accident. Most of them were murder cases too."
A moment of silence fell between them.
"Let me get this straight," Harry finally broke the silence, all his attention now focused on Aiko, "This detective you speak of stumbled upon almost 150 murder cases in the past year."
Aiko nodded, looking as if all that was absolutely normal and nothing to be suspicious of. Was "this" also what normal girls were like? Harry thought, his mind a mess, Not blinking an eye at murder? Or was Aiko simply abnormal?
He really didn't know.
"Do all detectives stumble upon so many murder cases?" Harry couldn't help but ask, wondering if Japan's crime rate was something he should be worried about.
"I think it's only Kudo," Aiko replied, "At least in this part of the city. It's okay though because Kudo is the Greatest Detective to ever live."
Greatest Detective? Harry thought internally, rolling his eyes, More like Cursed Detective.
Harry had, many times in the past, cursed the Potter Luck - the kind of luck that could turn a simple trip to the shops in to a heart stopping chase through the city - and had wondered why his ancestors hadn't tried to find a magical solution to this very real and very life-threatening problem. But after hearing about Kudo and his Death God ways, Harry realized that compared to this boy, he was nothing.
Harry knew from research - why he would do such research was a topic for another day - that most people would go their entire life without encountering a killer. What kind of luck could lead a boy of only 17 to encounter nearly 150 of them in the past year? That was simply statistically and probabilistically impossible...unless probability or statistic simply didn't apply to him.
If Hermione knew about this, she would probably be extremely interested.
Harry wondered if he should tell her about this Cursed Detective and ask her if she had any idea on how to alleviate this kid's problems. He didn't think that having people dropping like flies wherever you went was good for Kudo's future mental well being - unless he was a psychopath and enjoyed such things of course. As for Harry, just thinking of an existence like that sent shivers down his spine. Sure, he had killed in the past, but killing on the battle field was entirely different then killing outside of it. On the battlefield, you had to maintain a kill or be killed mentality in order to survive, even if killing another human being made you sick in the stomach. Killing outside of battle however implied that you wanted to kill and probably enjoyed the process.
That made things infinitely more twisted.
Harry let out a small sigh.
"By the way," he asked, a sudden thought crossing his mind, causing his breath to catch in his throat, "What school does he go to?"
Please don't say Teitan High. Please don't say Teitan High...Harry repeated in his mind, repeating those words like a prayer. And since Harry was cursed since the very beginning, cursed to be Fate's plaything, the answer could be none of then…
"Teitan High," Aiko grinned. "According to my brother, he's in 2-A."
Harry wanted to tear his hair out.
Before Harry couldn't say anything else though, like ask Aiko if it was possible to choose your own homeroom, the bus arrived, putting an end to all possible conversation.
Almost in a daze, Harry followed Aiko in to the vehicle and took a seat on the second row, near the window.
Like any good operative, Harry had a plan; a plan that was to ensure that this new chapter in his life was going to be boring and predictable for all involved. Harry's explosive days of running after hardened criminal were over. And he wasn't going to let another's unfortunate curse mess up his plan.
Harry's new chapter was obviously not up to an auspicious start. He was suddenly starting to regret choosing Japan after all.