Author's Note: Don't forget to look for the next in the series, Darkness Falls. The Prologue and Chapter One should be posted within a few hours.
Pretty Guardians Go to Hogwarts
Ending and Beginning
They arrived one full minute after they had left Tokyo. To them nine months had passed. Their lives had been forever changed. And Tokyo was the same. A bird that had been flying across the meadow when they left was just fluttering down to a branch on the other side.
Usagi slumped and turned to look at the path to the Jinja, her heart aching a little. When they'd left, Chibi-Usa and Chibi-Mamo had been with them. Several tears fell but she wiped them away. She wasn't the only one hurting. She needed to stay strong for the others.
"What do we do now?" Setsuna asked, her tone full of the same sadness Usagi felt. She reached out and pulled the older teen into her arms. There wasn't really an answer, other than taking up their lives and trying to find the rest of the Youma from the Dark Kingdom. And who knew when the next threat would arrive?
Shingo and Hotaru, the only ones of the younger group who had returned with them, both seemed subdued. Usagi wrapped an arm around each of their shoulders. "You know," she said softly, "the Crown should be open. What do you say we all go see Motoki and Unazuki and get ourselves a shake? We can play games and just relax and settle back into life before we face any parents."
"That is an incredibly good idea," Minako said, grinning as she watched Kunzite tug their large traveling trunks to the meeting room of the Jinja. Grandfather came out of the garden and the two men spoke for a moment before Jadeite and the other men passed with the rest of the trunks. Grandfather turned and waved at them, seeming to pause for a long moment. Then he shook his head and went into the family quarters behind the others.
"What was that about?" Michiru asked, looking confused.
"He just caught sight of Usagi's hair. I guess we know it works then," Rei said, laughing. "Grandfather already figured out who we are."
"I have to admit I was worried when we got to King's Cross," Usagi told them. "I guess my blonde hair is long enough to gather attention already. Until that woman commented on it I thought the Luna Pen had failed."
Luna snorted from her position on Minako's shoulder. Artemis lay on the other side, grinning, which was a strange look for a cat. "I knew it would work," he said, chuckling.
When the others had finished putting their things away, they returned. In moments they were all walking the streets of Tokyo together. Usagi's mind was already onto the next problem. Hotaru had to be hidden from her father. And whatever threat was coming next they needed to prepare. Returning from Hogwarts didn't end their duty to protect the people of Tokyo.
The Crown was filled with students when they arrived. Ranging from middle school to college age, the patrons were in groups around certain games, or sitting at the tables studying, which made no sense to Mamoru. He'd always believed groups studying together should avoid places with a lot of distractions. Still, he could see the appeal. There was no one to say they couldn't have drinks or food near their books, and if they wanted a break they could simply take one and go right back to work when they wanted.
Naru and Umino were standing in front of the claw game, Umino attempting to get a Sailor Moon doll out of the machine for Naru, who was bouncing excitedly on her toes. "A little more to the left," she directed.
Usagi approached them slowly and Mamoru frowned as both teens turned to see her and dropped everything they were doing to stare at the girl wildly. "What did you do to your hair?" Umino asked.
Mamoru gaped at them. He'd been certain neither knew her secret, but apparently they were more aware than he had given them credit for. Usagi stopped in her tracks, then started up again, dragging both of them into the break room. Mamoru followed after them, not saying a word. Before he could close the door behind them, Motoki appeared with Unazuki, both looking a bit wild. They followed the others in and Mamoru checked to make sure no one else was approaching before closing the door.
"I love the pink tips," Unazuki said softly. "Hogwarts? What is Hogwarts?"
Mamoru stared at her in shock for several minutes. Then he laughed. He should have known the people around them would have some sort of extrasensory abilities. It gave them added protection. He sent a silent prayer of thanks to the rulers of the Millennial Kingdom, and especially Queen Serenity, for making sure their loved ones would be safe.
"All of you know?" Usagi asked incredulously.
"It wasn't hard for me or Umino to figure out Usagi-chan," Naru said, giving Usagi a hug. "Your cat gave it away. And you knew my name the first time you saved me. Besides, there's something I haven't exactly told you about. I can feel what other people are feeling. You and Sailor Moon give off the same feelings. I couldn't mistake my best friend."
Usagi only blushed.
"I can read minds," Unazuki said, also blushing. "I don't mean to. I try to block it out, but sometimes stuff gets through, and when you first found out who you were, well it was like you were screaming it right at me."
"Wow," Usagi murmured. "Well, I guess we aren't nearly as good at keeping secrets as we thought we would be."
"Maybe not," Naru said, "but your secret will always be safe with us."
"Arigato," Mamoru said, wrapping his arms around Usagi and pulling her back up against his chest. He smiled at the others and kissed the top of Usagi's head. Life would certainly never be boring.
Heliodor and Opal stood outside the little arcade watching the red-haired teen and the woman holding his hand. These then were her parents. Not yet certainly. Not in this time. All the lies that she had been told filled Heliodor with anger towards Beryl and all that was associated with the Dark Kingdom. She didn't want to have anything to do with that cruel woman's legacy of revenge.
"What should I do?" she asked Opal, who held his protective bubble around them both so neither could be seen.
"They look terribly sad," her 'Youma' said softly. "I wish I could make them feel better."
"Perhaps I can," Heliodor answered. "And maybe that would make me feel better too," she added.
A moment later Opal let down his shield and she reached for the door. "Wish me luck," Heliodor whispered.
"I have a feeling you won't need it," Opal replied. "I will be around," he added. "Simply speak my name if you need me."
Passing through the door into the arcade, Heliodor heard the sounds of video game monsters dying, space blasters, car engine noises, and so many other sounds that mixed together with the hum of conversation. She refused to let herself grow distracted. She was going to make her home in Tokyo, with her parents. It took all her courage to walk up to the depressed-looking couple and open her mouth.
"Hi," she said, her voice hardly carrying. "My name is Heliodor," she continued, blinking away the tears that tried to form. "I'm your daughter."