Chapter three is here. Some of you may have heard that I now plan to upload bi-monthly, hopefully weekly in the future and maybe even more often. The next chapter for Rise from the Ashes is nearly finished as well.

As such I made a P ATREON, in hopes of your support and that I can fully dedicate myself to do what I love. It's not expensive, even in this economy. You can find the link on my Profile. All my stories will still be published here at the same time as on my P ATREON. I know that I'll probably shoot myself in the foot with this, but only future exclusives will be P ATREON only.

A VERY SPECIAL SHOUTOUT TO JOE FOREMAN. My first and right now only subscriber. Thanks dude, I love you.


Pacific Ocean, Iwojima. Year 2251.

After fourteen hours of travel through freezing air Hari finally arrived near the penultimate island before his destination. It was just past dusk now, the sun nearly gone behind the horizon. Luckily Hari could fly without an enchanted broom or this ordeal would've been significantly harder. Normally students of Mahoutokoro travelled to school via giant Storm Petrels; also something he had no idea how to tame or if they still existed. Fortunately the way wasn't too hard to find, the wizard simply had to follow the chain of small volcanic islands leading him southwards toward his goal.

The steep sides of this tremendous caldera created a circular mountainous island surrounding a huge lake of startlingly blue water. The blasted, broken appearance of the stone spoke of violent volcanic activities in the recent past, now covered by a significant amount of vegetation all over the place. Toward the summit, the air grew hot and thick with sulphurous steam from fumaroles, stinging the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat all at once. On the top of the ridge, the slope fell away again, opening into a vast crater. Oblong and lopsided, the caldera of nine kilometres in diameter had a rim that stood higher on the far side. Yet, these old dangers did little to dispel the sense of peace Hari got from looking across the mirror-like surface of the lake inside the slumbering volcano.

Down the sides and towards the shores the lights of a small settlement could be made out. Three landing strips, two jets, a dozen illuminated buildings and a score of soldiers could be seen from his position. Once it had been a military outpost purely for Japan, used in WW2 before being annexed by the Americans until 1968. Through the centuries it became a joint base of operations for Japan and America, both nations growing closer to each other in time. Many people saw All Might as the culmination of that partnership.

For a quarter hour Hari used the thermal aspect to warm himself up, thankful for the opportunity to prevent frostbite.

'I've got time to rest more when I'm at Mahoutokoro.' Hari thought, unwilling to risk any kind of brush with the military. He simply took a deep breath with determination burning in his heart as he took of again. Once more he flew further south towards the last island in the chain; Minami-Iwojima.


Pacific Ocean, Military Base of Iwojima. Year 2251.

"Major, we've picked up an unidentified object flying towards our base, coming from the direction of Japan." one of the personnel for surveillance reported promptly. "It's about the size of a person."

Major Timothy Agpar raised both bushy eyebrows in surprise and slight alarm, an equally bushy moustache twitching. "Hmm, did the Japanese say anything about a late arrival?" he asked, looking at the radar showing the object in question. Both American and Japanese military were stationed on this island, sharing command in a sense due to its strategic location for both nations. "Or did Star leave to look for All Might without telling anyone again?"

"No, Star is still on base. I doubt she'd arrive like this either way." came the response, summoning a feed of one of their cameras. "Cloaked that is. Our cameras can't make them out without thermography."

That increased Timothy's suspicion. "An attack? No, that would be suicide." he stroked his whiskers in contemplation. "Smugglers wouldn't risk to be so brazen to scout this close either." this situation didn't make a lot of sense. It could be some weird prank, but the possibility for that was so low as to be utterly negligible. More suspicious was the fact that the intruder was flying and invisible, making their Quirk hard to determine. An ability allowing both invisibility and flight wasn't something to scoff at; most likely a Quirk that not so politely told physics to fuck off. And also why he suspected Star using her Quirk at first.

"Just keep an eye on it for now!" he commanded finally, looking at the silhouette of a small person, a child, on the screen. Only illuminated by blue, green, yellow and a little bit of red at the centre, showing that the person had spent a good amount of time flying in cold weather.

The techy did just as ordered. "It landed near the fumaroles. Most likely to trick our thermal vision." he speculated, now focussed on the intruder entirely. For a good while the being didn't move. "What now, Major?"

"Send a few troops to investigate the caldera!" the Major told him. "Lest they're placing some bomb, as unlikely as setting a trap is in this scenario." their base wasn't of interest to any terrorist groups, after all. Neither was it rich in anything but sulphur.

The orders were given and troops sent out shortly after, but the intruder moved once more. "It's moving again, but not back to Japan. It's direction is Minami-Iwojima." the soldier swallowed, his throat dry. "Should we pursue?"

The commander of the base pondered that question a little, sighing in the end. "Minami-Iwojima is an area of nature protection and not under our jurisdiction." Timothy said, stroking his whiskers in slight worry. There wasn't too much they could do, outside of evicting the person for trespassing on military property and issuing a large fine, if nothing untoward was done by them. Neither did a single individual warrant retaliation in a military fashion. Then an idea surged to the front of his mind. "Is the Oki Marine Crew still anchored?"

"Yes, Major." replied one of the soldiers. "However, Selkie and his crew are scheduled to leave in about an hour, leaving for Japan after supplying us."

Timothy nodded and made a decision. "Tell them we have a potential Japanese villain nearby, flying to Minami-Iwojima. Intentions are unknown, but suspected use of Quirk without a licence." as an American he couldn't really understand why Japan had such strict laws against open Quirk usage. Sure, heroes and villains did exist in America, but it was a little more lax when it came to Quirk usage in daily life due to the Second Amendment. Only once someone used their Quirk to intentionally harm someone or commit a crime, then they'd be classified as a villain. Just using it openly was not considered a crime. Though, a few exceptions existed in the form of Quirks whose ability itself violated the law.

"And send Star with them as support." he added, wanting to make sure things went smoothly.

"Yes, Major!"


Pacific Ocean, Minami-Iwojima. Year 2251.

Not even half an hour later and Hari finally saw his mist-shrouded goal sitting amid a tangle of interweaving corals, shrouded in greenery and draped with low-hanging branches. The ocean had carved this nearly circular island with its currents. It was exceedingly small, barely four square kilometres in size. However, it had a small mountain jutting out in the centre, being just short of a kilometre in size and the school sitting at its summit. There weren't even any wards in place aside from the usual Muggle-repelling one.

He landed on the cobbled path leading towards the school. A light mist swirled around the white paving stones here, as a slight draft emerged from the sea. Sand and broken stone poked above the cobbles in a way that made those materials seem to be merged with the paving. The air was colder here than elsewhere in the haze of night.

No one was outside, but that was to be expected at this hour. Still, no lights were visible anywhere inside either. The broken and rotten wooden gates were not a good sign of things to come, letting him peek inside the overgrown courtyard. Hari was sadly proven correct a moment after entering, showcasing many mangled skeletons strewn about all over the place. Ever single one wore tattered robes of purest white, the significance of which Hari had no idea about. The skeletons ranged from adult to young child, but for obvious reasons most were adolescent in size. The leftover dried blood had long since been washed away, cleaned by the elements.

The school was only a fraction of Hogwarts' in size and modelled like a typical Japanese castle. High walls that glowed softly protected the building from all sides, seemingly risen from the earth instead of chiselled or worked with any tools. The central building was a pagoda, a tiered tower with multiple eaves that curved slightly upwards. Most of it was built with simple wood and stone, except the floors, which were an ornate and exquisite nephrite, a translucent white stone that reflected the moonlight in an eerie fashion. They only amplified the unease the wizard felt at it all.

"That doesn't look like a slow extinction. This was a battle. But with who?" Harry thought out loud, swallowing heavily and hoping the saliva took his anger with it. It was not to be, leaving him to inspect the many weathered corpses as an uncomfortable weight settled in his stomach.

When taking a closer look around, Hari noticed tarnished bullets lying about, some sitting in holes made by them in buildings or the ground. Though, most were stuck in skulls or ribs of their victims. "Mahoutokoro doesn't seem to have a feature to repair itself, unlike Hogwarts." the wizard lamented, feeling that much had been lost for no reason. Despite not much being left either way after two centuries. "At least I now know Muggles are responsible. The military base nearby seems the most logical culprit." he spat out with a growl, taking a deep breath to calm himself. An unsuccessful endeavour.

With nothing else to do he took a look around the impromptu graveyard, searching for more clues and finding one shortly after. It was a small black and charred spot on otherwise spotless marble, like someone had made a minuscule but intense fire there a long, long time ago. Beside it lay the handles of a few wands, the rest burned away fully. "A pyre for wands?" he theorized, trying to distract himself while kneeling down to inspect it. After all, he had not seen any wands lying around. "Question is if the victims destroyed them to prevent their enemies from getting them or if the enemies did it." he sighed dismally. It could've been some survivors or people looking for them, but the remoteness of the island made that implausible.

'Hopefully some ghosts are around.' the wizard thought, feeling like an arse for hoping people were stuck here for eternity with no one to see or interact with. He resolved to bury the people here properly, if nothing else.

Without further ado he made his way inside, once more only greeted by death inside the magically enhanced and enlarged building. Each level or part of the tower, be they corridor, room or otherwise, were empty save for corpses. The same sad pattern repeated itself everywhere; bullets, bones, white robes and death. Only the kitchens were largely untouched, some containers still holding Sake as fresh as the day it was brewed.

Worst of all was the library, which was scorched to the ground, only charcoal remained. Most of its knowledge consumed by the tongues of flames that had lapped at it, devoured nearly whole. The score of scrolls that were still intact found their way into his backpack. Hari even found the enchanted brush that had inked his letter in the Headmaster's office. Together with an exquisite tea set made of finest porcelain; intricately painted and the rims gilded. That he took as well, but not before shrinking and charming them indestructible.

Not much more was there, presumably having been relocated prior to their demise. The last destination were the dorms, where he'd hopefully find some indication as to what happened here. Fortunately they were easy to access, not needing a password of any kind. Opening by itself upon his approach.

'Must be like Dumbledore's office.' he thought with a sad sigh before entering, assuming that security simply was different here.

Once more small skeletons greeted him, but this time their robes were a pure pink instead of bone-white. There were no beds, but decayed futons stretched out over the floors, many more than just four to five, as was the norm for a shared dorm in Hogwarts. He spotted a few scrolls lying near corpses, some smeared with ink and other's not even finished.

Hari took one scroll up and began to inspect it before unfurling it. The words had almost faded from the crumbling yellowed piece of parchment, its ragged edges bearing the hallmarks of intense familiarity. Droplets had stained the letter long ago, fallen from weary eyes as the words carved themselves upon a heart. The Japanese symbols on it weren't ancient, but old, and therefore a little difficult to read for Hari. Though, the date – 2181 – was easy to see. A time where Japan had begun to pull itself out of the Era of Upheaval.

"Brother, if you're reading this, I am dead." the letter began with a rather depressing note. "The enclave in Tokyo has fallen, and we are next. These misshapen Squibs take no prisoners and tolerate no opposition. All over the world we are already dying out, less and less of us are born pure. Instead condemned to be these abominable and traitorous Squibs, no matter the pairing of the parents. As if every bloodline has been cursed by some insidious Blood Malediction. Worse, our wards do not confuse or repel them anymore. We have to fight!" Hari stopped there, pondering those words.

The other scant letters lying about told of similar stories, but mostly talked of goodbyes and better days. All of it settled on his shoulders, feeling like a physical burden dragging him down.

'Did Quirks slowly replace magic, or evolve into it?' he thought. It would make sense, after all, and explain the rather large amount of Squibs he encountered. Those mostly were people with heteromorphic traits, or Quirks not possible in a purely biological sense. Not to mention that with the history of discrimination in the Magical World, those born with Quirks and not magic would be seen as lesser by Witches and Wizards. A fact that would, if not invite, at least incite betrayal from their ranks. 'Maybe the Muggle governments were behind it? Finally tired of having to deal with a hidden government? Or more likely, now able to fight back to a degree and amass more power.'

He took a look at the holes in his palms, staring at the offending attribute. "If that's a Quirk like Saiko speculates, then how come I have magic if it's not possible to have both? Or maybe it is, but just improbable?" he wondered, only more convinced that this simply was a random mutation of no significance.

"Whatever the case, there is no one here anymore." Hari said with a mournful look. "I'll probably need to find a facility like the Ministry of Magic to uncover some amount of the truth." not a promising prospect with how trivial the truth was treated by most governments, be they Magical or Muggle. Both types preferred to deal in lies and misinformation, like all politicians ultimately do.

With nothing else to do Hari went to work burying the corpses in the courtyard, levitating them carefully into a mass grave he constructed via magic. Not really having the time to dig individual ones, much less knowing the names of any of them to do so properly.

Still, it felt hollow to leave them like this; forgotten and unmourned by anyone but himself. A memory of the time shortly after the Battle of Hogwarts came to the forefront of his mind unbidden; of a song played at the last funeral he partook in – that of Fred. Not truly magic, but so much more in the end; much like some acts that carried with them an inherent magic. Be it his mother's sacrifice or a Life Debt. A sort of ritual George had insisted on, claiming Fred would've wanted it to not be a totally sombre affair.

He felt it his duty to do something more, anything. And so he did, grabbing a huge barrel of Sake from the kitchens together with an appropriate cup. Followed by removing the rotten ropes and smashing it's top open to fill his cup.

"I'm sorry that I can't do more for you." Hari told the corpses, predictably none of them replied.

Finally he stepped forward to stand before the grave, right hand placed over his diaphragm – directly over the well of sorrow that filled with each and and every shudder of breath inside him. Hari braced himself with his own uneasy inhale before planting both feet firmly and setting his voice free: a keening sound of strain and despair he couldn't control. But, as tears pressed out from behind his shut eyes, he regained control. He sung for his fellows, forgotten and remembered alike: an ardent song.

Hari had never been good at hiding his emotions, and now they spilled out to colour the world. Though, unknown to him, he was not the only visitor tonight.


A few minutes earlier.

Leafy shadows covered all in this forest expanse, so dense with trees that one couldn't reasonably tell how far the terrain stretched. It would be easy indeed to lose one's bearings, if the island wasn't so terribly small. The shadows cast beneath the canopy of the forest were as dark and infinite as any one could see underground. Bright eyes peered at her from log hollows and burrows dug out of the rich loam and root structures. The gibbous moon that hung in the air not spending too much illumination to her surroundings.

Luckily she came prepared with a communication device and some electric torches, making the critters scamper away in fright. 'So many animals with Quirks. No wonder this is a nature enclave.' the heroine thought in wonder, observing the many beings; cute and strange alike. Then again, it was an altogether strange set of circumstances that saw her sent here. What with a suspected villain having his lair here, despite the isles extremely remote nature. Normally most villains were located in urban areas. Not to mention that it was directly beside a military outpost. One she had chosen to be temporarily stationed at due to its proximity to Japan and therefore her idol; All Might.

Cathleen Bate, otherwise known as the hero Star and Stripe, currently made her way cheerily up the small mountain, navigating through the light fog. The heroes from Japan, consisting of the hero Selkie and his sidekick Sirius, sadly couldn't tell her much about All Might. Also having to stay by the boat so it didn't float away or get stolen somehow. Not that she needed the help, being the No.1 her of America for more than a decade now.

She was a pale and tall woman, broad and imposing, easily approaching two metres in height. Her figure was a combination of prodigious muscle and surprising agility; partly a result of her Quirk. The pronounced and dense muscles of her legs, shoulders and back rippled with the simple action of walking along the path. She had elegant facial features, an open smile, narrow brown eyes, and long flowing hair that was dyed blonde with eight distinct tufts swept backward and fashioned in a similar manner to the ones All Might possessed.

Cathleen's costume was a high-collared, skin-tight and blue bodysuit with golden greaves, vambraces and what amounted to a gilded corset wrapping around her stomach. Fitting to her home country and hero name, the upper torso was decorated in stripes, and her gauntlets and collar were studded with gilded stars. Completing the outfit was a long, striped cape that resembled of the U.S. flag.

"Beautiful." she commented, walking along the path that lead around the mountain. Through forest and over dilapidated bridges it went. However, the most breathtaking was the celestial vista in the sky. A brilliant moon glowed in the starry sky, like an enormous gem atop a pile of jewels. One could only see a part of the moon's face, but the clear sky made it seem like she could reach out and touch the pockmarks that marred its surface.

Soon she arrived at the top, presumably where the villain was hiding out. "What's that doing here?" she gasped, beholding the broken castle of ancient design sitting at the summit. For unknown reasons a foreboding feeling crept up her spine at the sight before her, with goosebumps erupting all over her skin. The ruined building seemed to glow with an eerie spectral light, spending its false illumination to the surrounding foggy remnants. Next, whorls of wind buffeted her, its whistling high and teasing as she came face to face with the open gates. Without her say the brand new electric torch flickered and extinguished itself, as if convinced it was somehow intruding in this place.

With some trepidation Star made her way there and peeked inside. What she saw shocked her for a few seconds. There in front of a massive hole stood a prepubescent boy. He had a cute face, framed by slightly curly and naturally glossy hair as black as night, and for which many women would kill for. He was only illuminated by the silvery light of the gibbous moon. Beside him sat a thick barrel, which he shortly after smashed open to fill his cup.

'What's a boy doing here?' she thought perplexed and spellbound. Not believing him to be the villain in question, but neither could he be a hostage. On top of it he was young but seemed so old, making for a confusing sight to Cathleen.

However, before she could confront the boy something happened; a howling chorus erupted from somewhere deep in his throat, clawing its way out. What began as a solitary, keening howl across the mountain, quickly grew into a rancorous symphony as non-existent wolves cried out to the resplendent moon overhead. The chorus spread, getting louder and louder as more sounds joined the call, building to a crescendo that resonated through the primal forest and the bones of Cathleen.

The next moment the boy began to softly sing in English, a sombre joy emanating from the words that somehow echoed eerily. Though, it was an old tongue and not the modern version of English spoken today. Easily more than two centuries out of date,– Cathleen meant to remember from college – invoking scenes portraying the heroes of old. A fact that only added to her confusion.

Of all the money that e'er I had I spent it in good company
and all the harm that e'er I did alas, it was to none but me

And all I've done for want of wit to memory now I can't recall
so fill to me the parting glass good night and joy be to you all

In the dead of night, as the moon reached its zenith in the sky, midnight struck. The heroines face flushed, hot and sudden, and she felt a faint stirring in her chest growing stronger. She watched as the boy seemed to rage with sorrow, tears streaming down his cheeks, his closed eyes bleeding emerald mist that billowed upwards to join the spectacle in the sky. It took shape then, coalescing into memories of regret and ghosts. Cathleen's own eyes gleamed like morning dew without her noticing, her own ether soon joined his up there in a tumbling cascade of autumnal hues.

So fill to me the parting glass and gather as the evening falls
And gently rise and softly call goodnight and joy be to you all.

Of all the comrades that e'er I've had they're sorry for my going away
and all the sweethearts that e'er I had they'd wish me one more day to stay

As he sang on the raven-haired boy held his cup of Sake aloft. The words seemed to invoke a sapphire veil around him while the sky darkened. Like ghostly strands of smoke the haze around the boy floated upwards, joining what was levitating above and together a wavering light manifested. At first, it seemed an illusion, but soon enough other waves of light joined the first. Vibrant greens, blues, and purples, separated by strands of gold and silver – each undulating above like waves on a calm sea. The lights cast the world below in a strange glow, setting the canopy of the world ablaze with an Aurora that consisted of the very stars themselves.

but since it fell into my lot that I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass and gather as the evening falls
And gently rise and softly call goodnight and joy be to you all

Since the first note, Star had felt her heart flutter. However, where before it was more akin to a dirge, now the song changed, sounding still weird and alien but somehow wholesome – warm and inviting – bringing to mind old joys with startling clarity. Pleasant memories forgotten or fogged by time became so vibrant she could almost feel them: the memory of All Might saving her, becoming a hero under the Californian sun's kiss, even the smile belonging to her first rescue. The experience felt similar to the aftermath of a good cry, releasing something pent up, lifting a weight of her shoulders.

But since it fell into my lot that I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call good night and joy be to you all

Fill to me the parting glass and gather as the evening falls and gently rise and softly call goodnight and joy be to you all.
Fill to me the parting glass and gather as the evening falls and gently rise and softly call goodnight and joy be to you all

goodnight and joy be to you all.

The moment he stopped singing so too did the illusion in the sky cease to be, shattering like glass and revealing moon and stars instead of the surreal picture of an aurora that had been painted there. The shards of spectral glass dissolved into glimmering dust, falling softly to the earth and creating rainbow-coloured reflections that were carried away by the gentle nightly breeze. As that happened the boy drained the cup completely.

However, most importantly Cathleen's being did not remain light. Instead her heart became so full and heavy with joy, so contagiously happy the deep wrinkles from the resulting smile may as well have been there since birth. In that instant there was no hatred, no pain too strong for her to smile through and pronounce, "You have nothing to fear, for I AM HERE!"

Evidently startled, the boy whirled around frantically, defensively. His old emerald eyes speckled with crimson were sharp and assessing, Cathleen noted as she came closer.

"I do not recall inking any invitations for this auspicious occasion, interloper." caustic words spilled out of his mouth, once more using that archaic way of speaking English. "Ill-met then, stranger, who so wan with care gave no time for frightened peace to pant. 'Tis a sad and bloody hour."

Star took a few seconds to decipher the meaning once she was near him, but the reply got stuck in her throat at the sight of the mass of skeletons in the grave. "What happened here?!"

The boy snorted, giving her a look of old contempt that was utterly out of place on that youthful face. "Feigned ignorance does not suit thee, Muggle!" he sneered and spun around, his arms spread wide to showcase the devastation. "War channelled this soil, bruised its floweret with armoured boots to enact civil butchery most foul."

The heroine suppressed her rising ire easily, despite knowing an insult and accusation when she heard them. She successfully and professionally kept her calm in face of this open hostility. It came with the job. "I know you're angry, but I'm here to help."

"Prithee, who else but Lady Liberty daubs children's blood onto her already crimson lips? And breathe short-winded accents of new broils to be commenced in lands far remote?" Those opposed eyes of his roamed over her patriotic costume, spitting out his next words. "For evermore on the edge of war you people are, like an ill-sheathed knife."

The implied accusation against the U.S. was not lost on Cathleen, as well as who he thought was responsible for this massacre. However, what gave her a lost feeling was how personal his words felt; as if he had lived with and known these dead people. The military base nearby must make things worse from his point of view. From history Cathleen knew that Japan's and America's relationship hadn't always been as good as now. Much the opposite actually. Forbidding Japan from having a military after WW2, together with Hiroshima and Nagasaki had coloured the Japanese people's view of America for many generations to come. Nor was America always as it is now, having been a pretty reviled warmonger globally around two centuries ago. Known for always stoking the flames of war in countries far away from its own soil in the name of profit; even amongst its allies at the time.

Heck, Europe still largely despised America for what happened in the past and for which they held America responsible – perhaps justifiably so. Often having started wars a stone toss away from Europe during that time and then pissing off after making a mess. The derogatory nickname Sammy for U.S citizens in Europe came from that behaviour, referencing the infamous Uncle Sam.

Most of Europe's closest allies today were Russia, a few western Asian nations and some northern African countries. Places they now had a deeper cultural and historical connection to.

'Being the enemy of America is dangerous, but being its friend is fatal.' Cathleen remembered the words old man Jenkins – her history teacher – had always quoted when talking about the 21st century and American relations. The amounts of shame that particular century had heaped upon the U.S had taken immense work and time to resolve and clear. After the Second Civil War that is, because even America's own people had had enough of all the lies. Luckily Quirks had evened the odds after the government took the people's guns in some states.

That thought gave the woman pause, musing in the back of her mind. 'He could be older than he looks. There are some people still alive from that tumultuous time.' she looked the boy up and down, noting once more his odd bloodstained eyes. Danger and boldness lurking beneath the surface of them. 'Peter Pan Quirks exist, after all.' It didn't make her feel better though, only making the situation potentially more dangerous. Her Quirk, New Order, wasn't very effective to use on people she was unsure about, needing a clear and accurate understanding of their being for the more complex commands to work effectively on things with a mind. While she could still use it in a variety of other ways and on inanimate things, Cathleen also had no idea about him, his Quirk or other capabilities.

Despite all of that she realised sadly. 'He's expecting a fight, maybe even hoping for it.'

So the woman took a deep breath, made herself as non-threatening as possible and said calmly. "It isn't very rational to judge the innocents of today for the sins of the guilty of yesteryear." She'd give him the opposite of what he expected; de-escalation. After all, Cathleen had learned from the past and as such wouldn't repeat it, remembering clearly the outcome of doing such a thing. It'd be the perpetuation of wrath, to rationalise an irrational response, to hate for hatred's sake.

The boy blinked in surprise, eyes widening briefly as the anger in them began to clear up. An endearing frown now marred his cute face. "You speak true." he sighed out in defeat, his small shoulders slumping as he briefly looked away in shame. "I know it to be a paltry excuse, but my blood hath boiled too hot at indignities past." he turned to face her, having to look up rather high to meet her eyes. "Tis' unapt of me to stir at thee treading upon my meagre patience or to take insult at your presence." the boy stretched out one hand in apology and bowed deeply but briefly while looking directly in her eyes. A slightly ridiculous pose considering the height difference. "I shall from henceforth govern myself befitting one such as I."

Still not quite sure what to make of the weird boy before her, Cathleen tilted her head. "Thank you." she nodded her acceptance, taking note of the hints he gave her pertaining his true age. "I'm Star and Stripe, but you can call me Star, pleased to meet you." the heroine told him, squatting down to take his small hand into her much larger one. Only to be surprised that he grasped two fingers firmly, brushing his lips against the back of her hand with what was a practised motion with a feather's touch.

He seemed as surprised by what he did as the heroine. His cheeks gained a rosy colour, an embarrassment he tried to hid with an awkward cough. "Charmed to make your acquaintance. Hari James Potter, at your service."

The way he pronounced his name, almost stumbling over it, made her suspicious and confused at the same time. If he was some ancient villain, then he'd not behave that way or he did it to keep her off balance. Another possibility was that she was reading too much into this situation on the basis of suspicions without evidence. Then again, she was on a remote island with a boy that shouldn't have any idea how to get here, much less the means. 'I'm feeling a headache coming.' she complained in her head.

Either way it was time to dig for the truth. "Likewise." she replied, sitting down beside his small standing form, facing the mass grave. "What're you doing here all by your lonesome? Where are your parents?"

Hari sat down beside her, showing no concern for the possible danger he was in as a potential villain. As the United States' number one hero she had a worldwide reputation, after all. Either he was completely oblivious or utterly certain of victory should it come to a fight. That he didn't know her never entered Cathleen's mind as an option.

"To tell it truly?" he asked rhetorically with another sigh, not noticing her nod. "That which all hunt after in their lives; the home of my heart." he began, a sad smile on his face as he looked at the grave, melancholy etched into his features. "Not just a space I reach but not arrive in, attend only to be absent; where I am not a stranger to those closest to me." he loved his new family and friends dearly, but the wizard couldn't deny that there was a distance between them and him. One he knew was caused by himself, ironically.

When one had walked through the darkest times alone and abandoned, it was hard to admit to needing another. The wizard shook his head as if to banish memories from his mind.

It was silent for a few moments, Hari drawing his legs up to his chest, his head now lying on his knees.

"I fear I'm being a fool, having made a dream flavoured with lies my master. My aim half a life." he admitted quietly, his whispered words nearly lost to the night. Ever since the letters had arrived there wasn't a day that went by without him thinking about Britain, and if there was anyone left he knew. After all the letters from Hogwarts were also written automatically by a Quill. Now the outcome was something Hari wasn't sure he wanted to know. The past no longer safe or comfortable. It was the same mistake he nearly would've made at eleven before the Mirror of Erised. "All I found instead is a reminder through tears and a smile, a parting and a meeting."

The question about his parents answered itself in Cathleen's mind from the sheer yearning and longing in his voice. 'Must be an orphan.' Those were thankfully not as plentiful as in the recent past, but it was nowhere near acceptable levels in her mind. That number being zero. Yet, with every word her internal alarm bells only grew louder. He did not sound his age in the slightest, and something like that was difficult if not impossible to fake. "I'm sorry." was all she could say for now, putting a hand on his shoulder in sympathy. Not even thinking about activating her Quirk to apprehend him right now.

"I don't think you're a fool for hoping to have a home." Cathleen said, looking down at his smaller form beside her. "But it's not something you find. It's something you make for yourself with the people you love." she only received a choppy nod in response.

Both sat in companionable silence for a long minute. Then the boy waved his hand, dragging it through the air in an arc and commanding. "Depulso!" What surprised and startled Cathleen was that suddenly mounds of earth began to heap themselves into the grave, sealing it shut swiftly. Only leaving smooth and perfectly sculpted earth in its place.

"Your Quirk?" her head turned towards him as she asked, clearly impressed and intrigued. That was an impressive feat telling of countless hours of practise, showing neither exhaustion or exertion.

Hari shrugged his shoulders, a slight grimace on his face. "I command, and the world obeys." he told her evasively, clearly not wanting to discuss it. Though the interested expression on Cathleen's face only deepened. It reminded the heroine of her own Quirk after all, which also forced her will on the world itself in a way. Even if she could only impose two rules at a time and one was pretty much always used to buff herself up to resemble her idol.

'So he needs to be able to speak for it to work?' she speculated, thinking she found a weakness.

"Are you finished?" she asked him, getting a slow nod in return. "Then let's get away from here." with that she picked the boy up by his rucksack and promptly hugged him to her chest. His head was sitting between her cleavage with wide eyes. A position that just so allowed him to breathe through his nose, squished between her bountiful breasts which sat on his tiny shoulders, his arms cupping the underside of them and his hands barely going to her shoulders. His legs on the other hand hugged her waist.

Seeing that he was secure and muffled she applied a new rule to him. "Stay put, Hari!" she commanded, basically glueing him to herself.

"Huh?" came the perplexed grunt as he tried to pry his limbs free, – only able to move his hands a little bit – trying futilely to send a questioning look her way. A small unseen blush coloured his cheeks. "..." he tried to say something, muffling it into her cleavage and as such muted effectively.

"I ain't leaving a potential villain were I can't see 'em. No matter how cute they are." Cathleen told him serenely, aware that he most likely was about to propose to ride her back or otherwise get away. Problem being that it wasn't a place she'd trust a stranger and potential villain to be. Like this she had both hands free, easy access to him, could activate her Quirk at any time on him – she just had to touch people, and not just with her hands – and he couldn't speak properly. Besides, as a powerful heroine she had been in much more compromising or embarrassing positions. Be it a costume malfunction or being covered in all kinds of disgusting fluids.

With her part said the heroine made her way down the small mountain, lightly jogging back where she came from. Down the mountain they went at a moderate speed, only taking maybe five minutes to arrive back at the shore.

During travel Harry could only enjoy the trip, wondering how he managed to always get into these situations. Then again, technically he did break the law and could be classified as a villain quite easily. 'Hopefully the bureaucrats don't hear of this.' he thought with a frown, trying to ignore the soft pressure enveloping his head, sitting on his shoulders and what caused it. 'It's not like I've hurt anyone here.'

He was brought out of his thoughts by a commotion occurring nearby, sounding like a physical altercation. Only proven by the shouts and Star's expression a bit later. "Stop there villain!" an old and slightly scratchy voice shouted loudly with what sounded like dramatic righteousness. "Give up now, Man Ray!"

"I'm a Selkie, not a Manta!" came the incensed shout back, accompanied by the sound of an enraged seal just as Star came out between the trees into the light of the moon.

Apparently not hearing the words, the owner of the voice gasped so dramatically that he nearly got a coughing fit. "By all the shady shoals in the sea! Do you see that, Barnacle Boy?"

"Don't call me boy!" said another, this one sounding pretty annoyed. "And what should I see, old coot?!"

Harry could hear Star mutter with a grimace as she walked nearer. "Oh god, not now."

Unseen by Hari an elderly and rotund man with light skin, a bent back, white hair and equally white eyebrows stood heroically at the beach opposite of Selkie and Sirius. Clearly illuminated by the boat's intense lights. He wore an orange top with a lavender sea shell bra of all things over it. Dark green gloves and leggings, a black speedo made up of scales and fluffy pink slippers soaked with seawater on his feet. A light yellow utility belt with a golden "M" shaped belt-buckle and a dark lavender starfish on his nose completed the weird ensemble.

Beside him was a slightly younger but still old man. He was tall, thin, frail and bald with skin that was dotted with many liver spots. A very large and puffy nose and cauliflower ears decorated a round and otherwise unremarkable face. His clothing consisted of a red shirt, black diving trouser, a black mask, as well as blue rubber gloves and flippers.

"EVIL!" the older one bellowed powerfully, his gloved hand pointing dramatically at Star and Stripe now standing beside Selkie and his sidekick Sirius. "They've taken the Lighthouse Lad as a prisoner."

"We're not villains." Star told them patiently with her hands raised up, hoping to not let things escalate in this potentially very dangerous situation. Who knew what Hari would do if he should get away? While he was kind of cooperating now she had no idea how long that'd last. "We're heroes!"

"Exactly what villains would say!" the mermaid themed man proclaimed with an impressive bellow. "Feel the might of my Water Ball!" he raised his hand and wiggled his wingers where water particles gathered into a sphere of liquid. It was thrown a moment later, wildly missing but punching straight through a line of trees.

Star acted swiftly, crossing the distance between them in the blink of an eye and knocking the now exhausted old man out cold, followed by gently laying him down. "Sorry about that." she told Barnacle Boy with regret colouring her voice.

The old man sighed, looking at his now sleeping friend. "It's not like he left you much choice." and added. "Not that he will remember it tomorrow either."

"What's going on? Who are they?" Selkie asked, pointing at the old men and thoroughly confused by the happenings this night. Star and Stripe arriving with a child strapped to her chest not helping that in the least. "And I thought this was a villain pursuit and not a rescue mission."

Star sighed, patting a protesting Hari's head a little. "This little one is our potential villain. Just using his Quirk to cause some mischief." Harry couldn't even deny it, muffled as he was. She looked at the unconscious old man. "Now let's put Mermaid Man onto the ship and get back to base."

"Who're the geezers?" Sirius inquired once they were back on the boat and driving to base. Both of the old men were sleeping soundly on the calm ride.

Star sighed and crossed her arms, only reversing it sheepishly once she noticed the action pressing a protesting Hari further into her cleavage.

"Should you do that to the little guy?" the female sidekick asked upon seeing the boy try to squirm about, a little concerned about him actually suffocating.

The number one heroine of America waved the concern off. "He's effectively neutralized like that, needing to be able to speak properly for his Quirk to work."

Harry heard that and at least understood partly why he was currently in this compromising situation, resigning himself to it for a little while longer. 'Couldn't she have just gagged me?' he complained in his head, not liking being basically petrified. 'Then I could've apparated away without much trouble.' glued to Star how he was that was impossible without transporting her as well, defeating the whole escape angle.

"Oh," Sirius blinked, her blue eyes widened in understanding. "alright then. You're the Pro Hero and I'm just a sidekick." she shrugged. "So, about these old guys?"

Star looked at both of the sleeping men, something akin to fondness and reverence in her brown eyes. "That's Ernest Borgnine, also called Mermaid Man; America's number one hero from about fifty years ago." pointing first towards the older gentlemen and then his sidekick. "The other is Tim Conway, also known as Barnacle Boy and Mermaid Man's sidekick. Together they were extremely successful in stopping crime at the west coast of the U.S for many years. Mostly focussed on maritime crimes, much like you and Selkie."

Then she got a little more sombre. "Officially they're retired, and that's mostly true." she grimaced slightly, hesitating a little to speak more. "However, Mermaid Man got Dementia and from time to time believes he's still a Pro Hero on the mission to rescue his other sidekick Lighthouse Lad; who had been kidnapped and fell in the line of duty against a villain. That is especially a bad combination with his powerful Hydrokinesis Quirk, which he luckily can't use to its full extent anymore due to advanced age. And so he drags his trusty sidekick with him out at sea to rescue a dead man and stop, as he calls it, EVIL!"

Sirius didn't say anything for a while, not having expected the story to be such a sad one. Japan had a few elderly heroes,– Yoroi Musha came to mind quick enough – but they were obviously in the minority.

The rest of the ride back to the military base was spent in silence. All the while Harry contemplated if he should just apparate somewhere else or not, dragging Star with him. On one hand he could maybe talk her down or hopefully subdue her. On the other he didn't know her Quirk or how it functioned. From the way she held herself Hari knew she was a professional and therefore not to be underestimated.

'Decisions, decisions.' the boy mused, lamenting that he hadn't changed his appearance for the day. Not having expected it to take the turn it did. 'Bugger it all!' he thought as the isle came back into view, gambling on a roll of the dice.

A loud and resounding pop could be heard by Selkie and Sirius, even waking the two elders. All four of them were surprised at first, which gave way to panic as they noticed Star and Stripe gone with their little villain.

Alarms were raised shortly after, the base becoming frantic and concerned for their heroine. Still, it was evident all they could do was wait.


Some things are answered while more questions emerge.

To explain why Hari speaks like that. Well, it's the English he knows, but that had changed considerably over the centuries. Due to me not knowing how people in the future will speak, it's like that.

For the usual people emerging and probably complaining that Harry isn't strong enough by winning against Star, let me just say that Harry is no longer as temperamental. Living for a few decades does that to a person. It's still there to some extent as seen this chapter, but he largely has control over it. Neither should be brand himself as a villain so early and the other hazards that brings. (Not even knowing Star's Quirk or other capabilities.) We'll see how the gamble paid off next chapter.

Also made a Poll, so check it out.