Grazhir :: Crossover :: Kidorui :: 04

04

“Okay, we’re in, we’ve formed, whatever.”

Reborn nodded. “Nono has already approved the alliance.” Then he smiled, showing entirely too many teeth for someone stuck in a five year old body. “And this means you can help me torture Dame-Tsuna.”

They shared a maniacal laugh together, then Harry got serious. “I was thinking two hours, every weekday afternoon, after school lets out. It’s not like Tsuna-kun has any club activities. Then he can go home for dinner, do his school work, and still have the weekends for leisure activities.”

“Sounds good.”

Tsuna was dragged off without comment on Monday afternoon. He had just set his bag down in his bedroom when Harry came up behind him and apparated them to the training field, where Reborn was already waiting.

Tsuna freaked out, of course.

“Oh, don’t be such a baby,” Harry said dismissively.

Lambo tumbled over. “Kufufufu. Lambo-san thinks it’s fun to do that.”

Tsuna looked up from where he was hunched over on his knees and gave Lambo a flat look.

“Okay, Tsuna-kun,” Harry said briskly. “Reborn and I have teamed up to train the hell out of you. Or do I mean to say make your training a living hell? Let me give you an example of the kind of thing you can look forward to.” He nodded to Lambo and his little man scurried into position.

Luna had previously brought in caged, enlarged rats for Harry to release as necessary, so that part was handled, and he had baked extra so that Neville and Luna would not need to worry about that at the shop. He non-verbally cast and lightning arced down to hit Lambo directly, who giggled madly, then charged off after a rat Harry released.

Tsuna’s hands flew up to his mouth in panic. The next thing he knew he was seated behind a student desk and Harry was in front of him. “Now, we’re going to start with a word association game. You know what that is?”

Tsuna relaxed a bit and nodded.

“Good. Now: sky.”

“Blue.”

“Rain.”

“Wet.”

“Swimming.”

“Torture.”

Harry stopped and arched a brow. “Interesting answer. Love.”

“Kyoko-chan,” Tsuna said and blushed furiously.

His brow went up again. “Seriously? Love brings to mind your crush? You want to build a romantic relationship with someone based on lies? Oh, I see, you want to be like your father.”

Tsuna flailed his hands around. “I do not!”

“Really,” he said flatly. “So you plan to tell Kyoko-chan everything so that she can come to some kind of an informed decision about whether or not she wants to be involved with you?”

“I can’t tell her any of it,” Tsuna protested. “And besides, I don’t want to be in the mafia!”

“Next word: mafia.”

There was silence, so Harry leaned forward to poke Tsuna in the forehead. “Well? How can you say you don’t want anything to do with the mafia if you don’t even know what it really is, or how it makes you feel? You’re being lazy.”

Lambo squealed as he connected with a rat and vanquished it. Harry absently called down the lightning again and released another rat.

“What is Lambo-kun doing?”

“Practicing his aim,” Harry replied, “and don’t change the subject. You didn’t listen to a thing Reborn said about the origins of the Vongola, did you?”

Tsuna averted his gaze.

“Lazy. Stubborn. Obstructionist.” He shook his head. “I could have sworn you Japanese were raised to honor your family. Sounds to me like you use Nana-san as a combination restaurant, cleaner, and laundry service. You didn’t even think to get her a gift for that celebration.”

“I gave her flowers!” Tsuna protested.

“That Reborn slipped to you from behind when you failed to manage even that courtesy and show of appreciation. What exactly do you expect to get out of life, Tsuna? Are you going to live forever with Nana-san because you’re too lazy to bother to study and do well in school, and therefore won’t be able to get a decent job? Do you plan to work at some cheap fast-food place or as a janitor somewhere because you have no skills, no drive, no knowledge, and no motivation? Do you really think someone like Kyoko-chan would look at you twice in the long run if you continue to insist on purposely being a loser?”

Tsuna’s eyes went all watery.

“You think I’m being cruel,” he said. “I didn’t have your advantages. I had relatives who used me as a slave in their house, other people who used me to further their own aims because they were too lazy to do it themselves, and a psychotic serial killer after me almost before I was even born. I had to rely on myself from a very young age because nobody else was going to do it for me. I look at you, how you treat your mother, how you keep secretly expecting your friends to come to your rescue, how you won’t step up to the plate, on your own, without Reborn having to shoot you with a Dying Will Bullet—what does that make you? And what do you plan to do about it? Run laps around the clearing while you think.”

Tsuna eased out of the chair and took off, slowly at first, but settled into a halfway decent pace.

Reborn let out a quiet whistle. “Well.”

Harry ran a hand through his hair and sighed. “I think I might have some unresolved issues lurking.”

“Don’t apologize.”

“Hadn’t planned to,” he said, plucking some grass and trying again to cast spells without using his wand. He just had to figure out how to translate the way he used his flames to using magic. Stinging hexes went at Tsuna occasionally; Harry didn’t punish him for slowing down to a walk so long as he got faster again in a reasonable amount of time, but he did when the boy stopped moving entirely.

After an hour had gone by he called everyone in over and passed out snacks and bottled juice.

“You’re getting much better, chibi,” he said to Lambo, picking him up briefly to rub noses. “I’m proud of you for working so hard. After this I want you to practice sensing storm activity again, okay?”

“O~kay!”

He set his son down with a fond smile. “Tsuna, after we’re done eating I want you to meditate. I’ll be giving you a candle to focus on. That flame is where all your stray thoughts will go, to be burned away. You can meditate while you’re doing laps, but you need to build up stamina first, and overworking your muscles will just induce strain and ultimately make things take longer.”

Tsuna nodded without comment. He ended up spending the remainder of their time there doing that, and when it was time to go he took Lambo home first, then returned to apparate Reborn and Tsuna to a spot in an alley near the Sawada house that he had emplaced protections around. Tsuna walked away without a word.

“Hopefully after a week of being run ragged every day he’ll start to adjust. It doesn’t matter if he ends up hating me so long as he finally figures a few important things out, like the fact that it’s either buckle down and deal with it, or be on the run for the remainder of his short life.”

“We can only hope,” Reborn said. He pecked Harry on the cheek and hopped onto the wall, then strolled away.

‘Eh?’ His brain stuttered a few times before he snapped out of it and apparated home. He did not say a word about what had just happened, though Luna was giving him a speculative look.

The next afternoon he kidnapped Tsuna again and apparated him to the training field where Reborn and Lambo waited. “Something a little different today, Lambo,” he said, indicating the targets. “If you see a red light that means to stop and come back to me. I want you to work on your aim with your grenades for right now.”

Lambo struck a pose and darted off. They heard an explosion shortly thereafter, followed by giggling.

“Different muscles today, Tsuna, but you’ll start with five laps around this half of the field before we get to the other exercises.” He pointed and Tsuna took off at a jog, looking incredibly unhappy.

“Oo, the silent treatment,” he muttered.

“He’s been pretty quiet,” Reborn said. “I fully expect him to try to avoid you tomorrow.”

Harry looked over and grinned. “I’m counting on it. And then I pop up behind him anyway and haul him here, and every time he tries to ditch training.” He set to work on attempting wandless magic while keeping an eye on the two, then got up when Tsuna had finished five laps and walked back slowly.

“Okay. Ever seen one of these before?” he asked, indicating a monkey bar set. When Tsuna nodded he continued, “From one end to the other, just like you might have done when you were a lot younger. If you fall you start again. Once you manage to get all the way across, run a lap, then start the cycle over again. I’ll tell you when to stop.”

Tsuna got started so he checked on Lambo again. The spell-work Luna had set up showed that Lambo was getting more accurate as he kept throwing. He sent up the signal and Lambo scampered over. “Very good, chibi. You’re getting better at aiming those. Maybe some day we can try something weird like senbon. Spend some time doing storm sensing, and then you can meditate for a bit.”

“Hai!”

“I’ll speak with Tsuki tonight about ideas,” he told Reborn. “We never did a lot of physical training as a population, so we kind of made shit up on our own once we realized how important physical conditioning was. How was Tsuna about doing homework last night?”

“Sulky, but he did it. I checked over his work and gave him nudges and hints when something was wrong, to get him to reason it out on his own.”

“You are his official tutor. Do I have your permission to place a tracker on Tsuna?” he asked.

“Yes.”

Tsuna looked like he was about to keel over so Harry called to him, “Walk another lap to cool down a little, then we’ll move on to something else.” When Tsuna’s back was turned he placed the tracker. “What I wouldn’t give for the Room of Requirement right now,” he said a minute later.

Reborn looked at him curiously.

“Well, you walked past a section of the wall three times while concentrating on what you wanted. A door would appear into a room or space with your requirements. But that castle is over a thousand years old and the people who did the enchanting. . . .” He shook his head.

“Like the holodeck in Star Trek?”

“I’ve never seen Star Trek,” he said just as Tsuna walked up.

Reborn face-palmed. “You’ve led such a deprived life, Hari.”

“I’m sure you can teach me a thing or two, little man. Tsuna, good work so far. I want you to meditate again. This time, while you’re trying, I want you to concentrate on how Dying Will Flames make you feel, where you think they come from inside you, what you think powers them aside from being in fear for your life, that sort of thing. Okay?”

Tsuna’s brow crinkled, but he nodded, so Harry set him up with a candle.

He sat back down and stared at his grass collection. “Ugh. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get a handle on this, but I’m going to keep trying. Maybe I should wear cow prints. Tsuki thinks I’m bull-headed when I get my mind set on something.”

Reborn snickered and sipped his drink. “Well, how much time have you spent meditating on your other power, how it feels as it moves through you?”

Harry looked at him. “Tch. I’m an idiot, aren’t I. Okay, I’ll try that tonight after Lambo goes to bed. So instead, I’m going to do some regular practice.” He got up and brushed off the seat of his jeans, then opened a chest they kept there. From inside he pulled out a series of cubes of varying materials, from foam to lead, and lined them up on the grass. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Tsuna watching instead of doing as he was told, but he allowed it for the time being.

He took a breath and lifted the first one with his Earth Flames, then tried to compress it into nothingness as quickly as possible. By the time he worked his way up to the lead cube he was sweating heavily. That one sapped his strength, and he was glad to sit back down next to Reborn and break out the snacks.

He sent gentle nudging spells at his pupils to get them to “wake up” and join in. “That was not easy,” he said, handing out wet wipes, then snack boxes and drinks. “And I’m still too slow at it for the denser materials. I guess I could stick with lighter density at first and work on speed, and once I have that down, move up a notch.”

Reborn nodded. “Sounds reasonable. You were struggling at the end.”

“Yeah. Okay. And if I can get that down. . . .” He grinned.

“Reverse it?” Reborn hazarded to guess.

“Exactly. How did your meditation go, chibi?” he asked Lambo.

“Lambo-san did good! And Lambo-san found a storm over that way.” Lambo jabbed a finger north.

“Okay. After we finish our snack, I’ll put the party course in place and you can work on your balance. Sound good?”

Lambo giggled. “Lambo-san will win next year.”

“We’ll see. Maybe next year Kuma will build us a bigger course and I’ll run it with you. Maybe I’ll win.”

Lambo looked torn, then shook his head. “Otosan has longer legs than Lambo-san. That wouldn’t be fair.”

“Oo, good reasoning, chibi. How was your day with Tsuki?”

“Tsuki-oba started teaching Lambo-san history and maths and English.”

“English will be more than a little confusing, but I have faith in you. Is she telling you history as stories?”

Lambo nodded and devoured another berry and grape tart. “Not as good as Otosan’s bedtime stories, but still interesting for Lambo-san.”

Harry chuckled. “I’m flattered.” He reached out to tweak Lambo’s nose and got a giggle for it, then started peeling an apple for himself. “I guess if I got both sides down, with excellent speed, I could then work in flying at the same time,” he said thoughtfully. “I mean, I’m not looking to get into any fights, but I hate the idea of not knowing my limits and what I’m capable of.”

“Well, despite you being able to withstand lightning strikes,” Reborn said, “I sincerely doubt you’d have Lightning Flames on top of anything else.”

He shook his head. “I don’t think so, either, but Tsuki’s gloves idea might be useful for Lambo.”

Tsuna opened his mouth to say something, seemed to remember he was sulking, and went back to eating.

“Do you lot give names to this sort of thing?”

Reborn nodded. “Many do. Many also seem to think it’s a brilliant idea to yell out a technique name for some reason.”

Harry snickered. “Yeah, so, black hole and white hole, even if those aren’t truly indicative of what’s going on.”

Reborn shrugged. “Good enough, really.”

He ate a few slices of apple while pondering the possibilities.

“Actually,” Reborn said, “that isn’t such a bad name or concept. We both know what a black hole does and the idea behind how they function. I don’t see why you can’t work with that.”

“Ano, I think I’m going to have to brush up on science, then,” he said slowly. “I need a better understanding of the phenomenon so I can visualize what’s happening.”

“If you want I’ll bring some appropriate books for next time,” Reborn offered.

Harry gave him a grateful smile, knowing full well that Reborn would keep in mind his presumed general lack of sciences. “I would really appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome. For now keep in mind that super compression of mass can result in gravitational collapse, leading to a black hole.”

He blinked and sliced off more apple to eat. If he understood that correctly, that meant he could create, possibly, micro-black holes if he kept compressing something past the point he normally stopped, which would then cause havoc on its surroundings, but still be under his control, because he could presumably reverse the gravitational forces to eradicate it. He smiled slowly and nodded.

“Lambo-san is done!”

He blinked and looked up. “Hm? Oh, okay.” He set his apple and knife down on a napkin and snatched Lambo up long enough to rub noses with him, just to hear that cute giggle. “Let me get the course out for you, chibi.”

A few minutes later Lambo was happily running the gauntlet, so he turned back to Tsuna. “I suggest, when you go to bed each night, spend some time before falling asleep thinking about what you were meditating on earlier. For the rest of our time here today, one walking lap to warm up again a little, a few jogging, and then back to the cycle of the monkey bars and laps. It’ll build on both stamina and strength.”

Tsuna nodded and got up, so Harry picked up his knife and apple again. “What you said makes a lot of sense in my head. I’m only compressing stuff to the point where it’s negligible. It never occurred to me to keep going.”

“How did you even get the idea to do it in the first place?”

“I was attacked in a shopping area. It just happened. The idiot was a remnant of that nutjob, so I didn’t exactly feel bad about having accidentally killed him. It was after that point that things continued to happen, though not that specifically again.”

“So a spontaneous manifestation during a life-threatening situation.” Reborn nodded a few times.

Tsuna walked away again after being apparated to the alley, and Reborn gave him another peck on the cheek. He apparated home once more bemused, and spent a good part of his time before sleeping meditating on his magical core and how it felt when he cast spells with his wand.

The next day Tsuna indeed tried to duck training. Instead of going home he had retreated to one of the parks in town. Harry was pleased that no one in particular happened to be around, as it was not an especially popular park. After refreshing the tracking spell he sneaked up behind the boy and apparated him to the training field.

For snack time he handed out boxes with things specifically chosen for each person, but mainly because he wanted to see Reborn’s reaction to being given caramel-drizzled coffee and chocolate layer cake. Reborn took a bite, paused mid-chew, and flicked his gaze Harry’s way before resuming his snack. For himself he brought some raspberry-almond pear tartlets. The books Reborn had brought were packed away for later reading. He did not want to experiment with something like an actual black hole, microscopic or not, with children around, so that would have to wait until the weekend.

“I wonder if it’s possible to use electrically charged particles in the air as a means of conveyance,” he mused out loud.

Reborn paused mid-chew again and looked at him, then at Lambo. After he swallowed he said, “I’m not seeing it.”

“Hm. It was just a thought. Now that I think about it, I don’t see it, either.” He looked up and frowned. “Looks like we’re ending early today. That does not look friendly.” A storm was rolling in fast and there was no point in having Tsuna plod along while soaking wet. Not yet, anyway.

“Lambo-san likes to play in storms,” Lambo said sadly.

“I know, chibi. Another time.”

As soon as they were done eating he took Lambo home, then returned for the other two and apparated them to the alley. Tsuna stormed off—Harry giggled internally over the mental description his mind had provided—and he prepared to leave. Reborn stayed on his shoulder, though, confusing him. He shrugged his other shoulder and apparated again, taking Reborn with him.

A quick spell told him Lambo was upstairs in his bathroom, probably washing up. Harry continued on into the kitchen and fetched out the bento boxes so they could be washed and placed them by the sink, and the bag was pushed up against a wall and out of the way. He wandered back out into the living room and dropped onto the loveseat. “I wonder how dangerous it’s going to be for me to try creating an actual black hole.”

Reborn took the other cushion. “I’m sure you’ve already concluded that you’ll need to work on that separately.”

“Yeah.” ‘I may have to break out a time turner,’ he thought, ‘so that either or both Kuma and Tsuki can participate. This is messing up our normal practices.’ “It seems reasonable to me that I can stop something before it goes too crazy by just reversing the compression, but I’d rather not experiment around children.”

As if summoned by the word, Lambo tumbled down the stairs and waved a bucket of modeling clay around. Harry smiled and nodded, so Lambo scampered over to the table and took a seat. Harry slid off the loveseat to join him. “What shall we make today?”

“Fish!”

“You’re thinking with your stomach again,” he said with a fond smile, “but okay.” They both dug out some clay and got to work. “I wonder if I can imagine gravity as—” He huffed.

“You can’t see the wind itself, but you can feel it and see its effects,” Reborn said.

He nodded. “Maybe set up something that emits smoke? So I can see how the forces warp things?”

Reborn hopped off the loveseat and took a place at the table, also digging out some clay. “Not unreasonable.” Leon watched from the brim of Reborn’s hat, blinking his eyes curiously at the proceedings. “Probably a good visual tool.”

“I take it you’ve never worked directly with an Earth user,” he said, glancing over.

Reborn shook his head. “Only heard about them. You have a very subtle aura that seems in inverse proportion to the level of power being displayed.”

He turned that over in his mind, then remembered what Tsuna had looked like after being shot. “Do you think that’s because I’m an Earth, or because I have conscious control over it?”

“I’m not actually sure, but probably a little of both.”

“What are you?”

“Sun. I can improve efficiency, essentially.”

Harry frowned. “So, like, making muscles work better, or maybe someone’s healing factor?”

“Along those lines, yes.”

“You probably have a quiet aura, too, then,” he guessed.

Reborn looked up and smiled. “Your chibi will have a louder one. His role is to draw damage away from his team to himself, like a lightning rod, and part of his power is largely defensive. With training he will be able to harden or increase the firmness of things, project a solid barrier of flames, or even use them offensively like blades or arcs of lightning. It also comes out in his personality.”

Harry took a bead of clay and transfigured it into a combination stylus and “blade” as he ran the concept through his mind, and tried to apply it to himself and his siblings. Much as he sometimes hated it, it kind of made sense that he drew people in, good and bad, like a gravitational force. Even his ability with plants sort of made sense in that light. Luna baffled people regularly and eroded set ways of thinking at times. Neville was quiet and steady and supportive. Lambo, on the other hand, was frequently loud and attention-getting.

“May Lambo-san have one of those, too?”

He smiled and transfigured another bead of clay, that time making the stylus much smaller, and offered it to his son. “It will only last a few hours, but that’s long enough. If you like using it enough I can buy some real ones later on.”

“Thank you, Oto~san.”

“You’re welcome, Lambo.”

He neatened up the edges of the fish he was working on and started adding details. “So that would be why Gokudera-kun is all sound and fury?”

Reborn nodded. “There are times when someone has an inverse personality, or they express common characteristics differently. Ryohei is ‘extreme’ in everything he does, and he’s very vocal about it.”

“Whereas you’re much quieter. You’re also older, and more confident and mature in your abilities.”

“Yes. I have come to the conclusion that you can handle lightning strikes because you act as a ground, as Earth.”

“That . . . makes sense,” he replied. “You are way too good at this,” he added, looking at Reborn’s fish with some envy.

“I’m good at a lot of things,” Reborn said smugly, then held up his creation. It was a basic fish shape, but the interior was a lacework of clay.

“Lambo-san is impressed!” Lambo said with awe. “Will Otosan be able to display it at Kidorui?”

Harry arched a brow at Reborn and got a nod. “Maybe I’ll get a shadowbox frame and put one fish from each of us in it, to hang on the wall. Or one with glass on both sides so we could hang it in the window.”

Lambo looked down at his fish and frowned cutely. “Lambo-san will try harder to make a pretty fish.”

“Don’t worry too much, chibi. I’ll probably have the saddest looking fish for the display,” he said.

“What about Tsuki-oba and Kuma-oji?”

“Tsuki’s will be marvelous, I expect. Kuma isn’t much better at this than I am. But that’s okay, so long as we have fun.”

Lambo nodded sharply and started a new fish.

Before Reborn took his leave he pecked Harry on the lips.

‘I feel like a pedophile.’

“You’re not a pedophile,” Reborn said, then left.

Harry stared after him for a minute, then closed the door and returned to the living room so he could move Reborn’s fish to a safe place for the time being. Lambo still wasn’t satisfied with his efforts, but they could make more attempts later, with Neville and Luna.

The next day Tsuna tried hiding out on the school roof. There were others around, so Harry had to be careful in how he handled things. That being the case, he sent a patronus to Luna to grab a time turner and turn back an hour so she could help. The second his hedgehog was away she popped up behind him, startling him.

“What’s the situation?” she said.

“I need some kind of illusion to get them to think Tsuna left and to cover the sound of apparation, so I can kidnap him again.”

She nodded. “No problem.”

Two minutes later he had successfully kidnapped Tsuna again and set him to work. Luna had written up a schedule of activities for him so he’d created a free-standing board with the list on it for Tsuna to refer to. Lambo had the day off to go play with his friends, so Harry was able to concentrate more on compression speed.

Reborn was using his Sun Flames to quietly augment Tsuna whenever he flagged, just enough to give him a second wind and get him moving again. Harry was fairly sure Reborn had given him a boost once or twice, too.

“Once you get a good speed I can take you to the Mountain of Death,” Reborn offered.

Harry blinked at him uncomprehendingly.

“Didn’t I mention? It’s a very large training ground with plenty of dangerous creatures to play with.”

“That sounds like fun,” he replied, ignoring when Tsuna gaped at him. “All the practice in the world means nothing if you can’t use it under pressure, and having something like a two hundred pound tiger bearing down on you is plenty of motivation.”

“Precisely.”

He hummed. “All the more incentive for me to work harder!” he said happily.

“How’s your stamina?” Reborn asked.

“Probably not even close to good enough,” he admitted. “I’ve let that slide a bit since moving to Japan. Something I need to correct, obviously.”

“Well, there’s your reward. Get good enough and we can go have some fun sometime.”

“Deal.”

On Friday Tsuna tried to ditch by loitering in a grocery store. Luna was called in again to assist, and Tsuna was kidnapped. Harry continued to not make any references to the behavior, but he would if Tsuna started showing real cleverness in his attempts.

That day Harry actually did a fair amount of jogging himself before settling in to work on his compression speed, surprising a still silent and sulky Tsuna. The boy was paying attention, though, when Harry and Reborn would talk, throw theories back and forth, and trade ideas.

At the end of the session, before Tsuna could take off, he said, “Good work today. In case Reborn didn’t mention it you have the weekend off. Sleep in, have fun with your friends, whatever.”

Tsuna stared at him, blinked, and walked away. Reborn chuckled. “I think he’s warming up to you,” he said, pecked Harry on the lips, and strolled off along the top of the wall.

That weekend the siblings overhauled the training field. A running track was created around the perimeter, for one. Half the space was given over to a proper obstacle and balance course, though it did feature rune-powered effects and traps. A quarter of the space was set aside for meditation, eating, and other less active pursuits, and included a roofed structure similar to the one Neville had originally temporarily grown, while the remainder was for everything else.

Tsuna gaped a little on seeing the obstacle course.

“Five laps, and then you get to have fun on this baby,” Harry instructed. “Don’t even bother to worry about overall speed too much yet. Work on reaction time, puzzle solving, flexibility, and stamina. Later on it can be something of a game to see how fast you can get through.” When Tsuna didn’t move he gave him a nudge, then joined him in running around the track.

Lambo skittered along with them and managed two laps before he keeled over. Luna, who was there on turned time, picked him up and got him a sports drink to help perk him up, then began helping him with his electric horns attack.

Harry went ten laps and was feeling it once he coasted into a cool-down walk. Reborn appeared to be napping, but he knew better than to take that as fact. He switched to working on cubes of the same density, but made of different materials.

Tsuna stumbled out of the end of the course an hour later looking like death warmed over, so Harry called for the usual break and handed out refreshments.

Reborn set aside his book on nuclear physics to partake. “I think in a few days you could move up a density.”

Harry nodded. “I think so, too. How about you, Lambo?”

“Lambo-san’s aim is getting better.”

“Actually, I think he’s managing to extend the electricity outward from his horns,” Luna said.

His brows went up in surprise. “Good job, chibi. Are you going to keep jogging with me?”

Lambo nodded. “Lambo-san can do it!”

Luna sighed. “I guess that means Kuma and I should start in again.”

“You and Lambo can always have a jog during your morning breaks,” Harry pointed out. “Maybe I-Pin-chan will join in. She’s pretty active as it is, and she joins you two often enough for lessons.”

“Very true. I will ask her.” She cast a look at Lambo. “Though I think the hardest part would be keeping them at a steady pace instead of chasing each other.” She merely giggled when Lambo stuck his tongue out at her. “I’ve designed a pair of gloves. I just have to make them.”

“You should put claws on them,” Harry said. “That’d be really cool.”

“Hari! He’s an adorable little cow, not a raging bull with the werewolf equivalent of mad cow disease!”

“Kufufufu.” Lambo held up his hands and made mock claws.

“On second thought. . . .”

Tsuna continued to try to ditch, getting more inventive as time went by, and Harry worked on his spell-based illusions so he did not have to call on one of his siblings to assist. After all, they were alternating time turner use to help and supervise during Tsuna’s sessions so that Lambo was not being neglected, and it was better not to add more stress on top of that.

When Friday evening rolled around and Tsuna had headed off, Reborn accompanied him home. On the way he asked, “Are you able to tune into when someone like Tsuna might be in danger?”

“Ano, unknown. But a tracer can tell me where he is at all times. Why?”

“Because I’d like to have some fun this weekend, with you.”

Harry’s brain went on pause for a few moments, trying to figure out how to interpret that statement. “Is that a visiting the Mountain of Death kind of fun, or a dinner and a movie kind of fun?”

“Why not both?”

“I suppose we could have a picnic while surrounded by ravenous carnivores. Are there any monster spiders in there?”

Reborn gave him a funny look and Harry laughed. “I’ll show you,” he promised. “Come by after Tsuna is off homework duty.”

Later that evening he got out a pensieve and dropped a few memory copies into it. When Reborn arrived he brought him upstairs to his room, ignoring the look he got for it, and pointed at the pensieve. “Touch your finger to that silvery liquid when I do. It’s quite the experience.”

The first memory queued up landed them in the Forbidden Forest, not far outside Aragog’s lair, back during a time when Ron had still been a halfway decent friend. Reborn rode on his shoulder as he followed his younger self. “It’s all just a memory,” he said, “so if your reflexes kick in and you try to shoot something, nothing will actually happen or change. We can’t affect anything.”

Reborn went still on his shoulder at the sight of so many damn spiders, and the hand on the back of Harry’s neck tightened when Aragog rose up into view. The memory changed after Arthur’s Anglia rescued the two boys, to the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, so that Reborn could see a dragon in action.

Once ejected from the pensieve Reborn sat on the bed and tilted his head. “That was extremely interesting. And no, there are no monster spiders there. What happened to the red-head?”

He rolled his eyes and retrieved the memories. “We stopped being friends after he spurned me over that tournament. I could no longer find it in me to overlook or forgive the laziness, the jealousy, the way he ran others down all the time. . . . He was actually pretty spiteful and racist, but it took me some time to really see that.”

“And good memories?”

He hummed thoughtfully. “That’s a lot harder. But I can think of a couple of things, though one is bittersweet.” He pulled two memory copies and added them to the pensieve, then entered with Reborn.

The first was his flight on Buckbeak, starting from when Hagrid hoisted him into place and ending when they landed. The second was his first visit to the Mirror of Erised. Back in the room he said, “I was given a photograph album at the end of my first year with pictures of my parents, which was nice. But that was the first time I’d ever seen them.”

Reborn nodded, looking as solemn as his five year old form could manage.

“Unfortunately, most good memories are fleeting in a place like that,” he said, retrieving the copies and putting the pensieve away. “We’ve been having a lot more fun since we moved.”

“A picnic sounds fine, maybe a side of fighting, and then something else in the evening.”

“All right. Any preferences on the food?” he asked as they headed downstairs.

“Well. . . .”

*

They took a bus to a stop not far from the mountain and walked the rest of the way. Well, Harry walked; Reborn rode on his shoulder.

“Past this point it gets dangerous,” Reborn said, looking up the trail leading into a forest. “But anything here you can compress. There’s a more than healthy amount of wildlife, so a few beasts going missing won’t really matter.”

It really was not so bad in there. The trail was a bit steep, but the walk was pleasant. He only had to cause a few animals that refused to back down to compress into nothingness on their way to a picnic spot, which turned out to be near the base of a waterfall. “This is nice,” he said, looking around admiringly.

Reborn pointed to the nearby cliff. “I used that for stamina training for Tsuna at one point.”

Harry tilted his head back so he could see the top. “Something tells me you needed to shoot him to get it to happen.”

“Of course.”

“It helps when you aren’t scared of heights, I suppose,” he said, pulling a blanket out of his extended pouch and flicking it into place, then getting out a basket and setting it down. Reborn had said “surprise me” when asked about the food, so Harry made another round of bite-sized foods. The basket was constructed so he could open it and pull up and out, rather like a fishing tackle box, to display everything inside.

They had a lovely talk about black holes while they ate, with Reborn trying different ways to explain things until Harry finally got a grasp on the concepts involved. After they ate, to test it, he focused on a nearby boulder and started compressing it, and kept compressing it, even after the point when he would normally stop.

There was a funny little pause for a split second, and then a ripple in the air, and small pebbles started to be drawn toward that point. It startled him badly enough that he lost his grip on things and it dissipated. “Damn it,” he muttered.

“But you did it,” Reborn pointed out. “You can refine it.”

“And if it’s too strong, protect myself and any allies against its pull.” He pressed his knuckles against his mouth and scanned the area, eventually spotting another boulder of decent size. He tried a second time, and did not get startled when the singularity began to suck in surrounding material. It got stronger and harder to hold onto, tiring him. He was sweating when he released it.

“Definitely not something I’ll practice around children,” he repeated.

Reborn started chuckling at that and shaking his head. “Good to have confirmation that you don’t see me as a child, this form to the contrary.”

Harry looked at him and smiled. “No, I don’t, though this flirtation we have going on is a bit odd because of it. Despite something of a rocky start, I quite like you.”

“Good. I quite like you. And if I ever get back to my adult form, I’ll show you.”

He felt his face heat up, and that embarrassed him even more, the tacit admission.

“Ah,” was all Reborn said. “I am a very good teacher.”

Harry kind of wanted to crawl into a hole and be alone with his embarrassment, but that was not possible, so he just cradled his face in his hands for a moment. After a sigh he straightened up and rolled his eyes. “I certainly hope so.”

That evening they watched a movie in Harry’s room so they could be as obnoxious as they wanted and not disturb others by catcalling on-screen idiocy and other such activities. Reborn gave him a kiss before he left, a slightly lingering one, and vanished like he had used a damn spell.

“I think I’m dating a mafioso,” he said a bit later. Luna grinned like a cat and Neville just shook his head.

The day that Tsuna actually cross-dressed in order to fool Harry was the day that Harry started laughing his ass off once he had transported the kid to the field. When he finally calmed down he looked at a red-faced Tsuna and chuckled a few times. “Okay. I really didn’t think you’d go that far, so I lost a bet. However, very good job at disguising yourself. You can have Friday off from training.”

Tsuna gaped at him. “It doesn’t matter what I try, does it. You’re still going to drag me here.”

Harry nodded. “Every damn time.”

“Why is Tsuna-kun wearing a dress?” Lambo asked, one finger up to his mouth.

Harry snatched his son up and said, “This is a secret, chibi. Tell no one what you saw. Understood?”

Lambo nodded. “Was Tsuna-kun trying to fool Otosan?”

“He was. I still found him, though.”

Lambo twisted in Harry’s arms and eyed Tsuna, then whispered a little too loudly, “Lambo-san thinks Tsuna-kun looks pretty in a dress.”

A very mortified Tsuna raced off to change.

When July was coming to a close they prepared for a joint birthday celebration. By that point Tsuna had developed a sense of humor, which was a bonus. He was also starting to work on accessing his Sky Flames without having to be shot first or take Dying Will pills. He was a lot more calm, less prone to freaking out, and carrying himself more confidently.

Harry was not about to cook for his own birthday so they all went out to a yakiniku restaurant that had a private room large enough for the group. They were adults, after all, and did not need a party like the one they had held for Lambo. It was just a simple dinner, albeit with a lot of people of varying ages.

Harry had a regular thing going with Reborn by that point, though it was hard to have a properly romantic relationship when one half of the pairing was stuck in a five year old body. Reborn would jokingly call him “jailbait” when no one else could hear, and still would not tell him his true age, though Harry knew he had to be at least thirty.

On the ninth of September Harry took the afternoon off from everything to go help Nana prepare a birthday celebration for Gokudera. Tsuna was a willing accomplice in keeping his friend occupied until it was time to spring a party on him.

When they did come in and Gokudera saw everything his eyes went doe-like in their wideness. “For me?” he asked softly.

Tsuna nodded and smiled at him, then gave him a little push. Harry got him a hair clip, as he had noticed the teen often clipped back the front part of his hair, or even made a short tail in the back. He made sure it was as lovely a gift as the pendant the boy had gotten for Lambo, using platinum, red jasper, and blood red ruby, and Luna had added runes to ensure he never lost it.

Harry was off in the corner with Reborn on his shoulder, having a conversation with Dino and eating, when someone new arrived. Gokudera took one look at her and went green, clutched his stomach, and fell to his knees.

The woman, who sported long, straight, light pink hair—Harry exchanged a disbelieving look with Luna—tilted her head in confusion, then swooped in to rest a hand on Gokudera’s shoulder. “Hayato.”

Gokudera choked out, “Why are you here?”

“That’s Bianchi,” Reborn said. “Gokudera’s older sister. She seems to think we’re in love.”

“Eh?”

“She and I, I mean,” Reborn clarified, and reassuringly stroked the back of Harry’s neck. “I’m still not sure where she got that idea.”

Dino smiled nervously. “She tried to kill me when Reborn was tutoring me, said that way he could spend more time with her. I’m surprised it’s taken her this long to show up. I figured she’d have tried to kill Tsuna long before now.”

Harry furrowed his brow. “How does that even work? And she looks younger than I am. Do you have many stalkers, Reborn?”

Reborn adopted a thoughtful look, then shook his head. “No, not really. But you know how it is.”

“Yes, unfortunately.”

After fussing over her brother for a bit, Bianchi spotted Reborn and moved so fast Harry almost didn’t see it happen. “Reborn!” she breathed, a faint blush staining her cheeks. She plucked him off Harry’s shoulder and cuddled him to her breasts.

He really wanted to make a snide comment about her being a very confused wet nurse, but kept his mouth shut.

Reborn extricated himself and returned to Harry’s shoulder with an annoyed little sound. “Bianchi.”

“Chiavarone,” she said, giving Dino a nod. “And . . . who’s this?” she added, eyeing Harry.

“Hari.”

She stared, obviously expecting more, then shrugged. “Which one is your student, Reborn? I need to know so I can kill him.”

“He’s around here somewhere,” Reborn said vaguely. “You should be more concerned about your brother’s health.”

“I don’t understand why he keeps getting ill,” she said. “It’s some odd nervous quirk.”

Shamal spotted her and a minor chase ensued, which ended with an attack that left Harry wincing, and it had nothing to do with her kicking the man in a tender spot. “What the hell?”

“Ah. Her specialty: Poison Cooking,” Reborn said. “She can ruin any food in a second flat and everything she cooks is poisonous. She’s known as the Poison Scorpion.”

Harry’s eyes went wide and he quickly looked around. He spotted Luna and gestured her over, then whispered in her ear. “Get a good feel for the girl. We may need to keep her away from the bakery. I’ll explain later.”

Luna gave him a weird look, but nodded.

“Should I be expecting her to try to assassinate me, then?” he asked Reborn.

“Probably.”

“Right. Can’t be any worse than that terrorist, I suppose.”

Neville wandered over with a smile of greeting. “Dino, how are you? It’s been a while.”

Those two wandered off to talk so Harry raided the food supply for him and Reborn again, then reclaimed their corner. Tsuna came over. “I think he’s really touched. I wanted to say thank you for helping to put this together for him.”

Harry smiled. “You’re both welcome. And thank you for making sure we knew what to cook and keeping him busy while this got set up.”

Tsuna nodded and returned to his friends.

“So, are you going to clue me in to your birthday?”

“It’s the day before Tsuna’s actually, which is awkward. I’d rather not have any fuss made. How about just the two of us with some good food and a movie, something like that.”

“Sure. Or pizza.”

“Pizza is good,” Reborn said agreeably. “I hope you can make it, though, because I have yet to find decent pizza in this country.”

The Mori family received a very nice thank you note from Gokudera later and the boy was often spotted actually wearing the hair clip.

Bianchi and Nana showed up at the bakery on Monday. Harry did not bother to go out as usual, but he did listen in. Bianchi seemed surprised that Reborn’s “friend” ran a bakery, and that it was he who had shared the cooking load with Nana for her brother’s party.

He and Luna had made the necessary adjustments to the wards already. If Bianchi got it into her head to use her Poison Cooking attack she would get a very strong urge to leave Kidorui first. And, if she ended up looking crazy for going in and out of the building a few times in a row before giving up, that was her problem.

It took two weeks for Bianchi to realize that Reborn was seeing someone. He was out on his walk when she came roaring up to him, platters of food in both hands, and flung them his way. He dodged, she roared in anger and tried again. He opened up a micro-singularity and sucked them in, then lifted her and hung her off the nearest street lamp. He continued his walk after a cheerful wave.

“How do you stand it?” Tsuna asked later that day. “She keeps trying to kill me!”

Harry shrugged. “You get used to it after a while. Sort of. You’re in good company, though. She tried to kill me earlier today.”

“. . .Why?”

Harry goggled.

Lambo popped up a second later. “Did Lambo-san hear that right?”

His eyes went wide. He immediately scooped Lambo up and dangled the boy in front of him. “Leave her alone, chibi. I can take care of myself just fine.”

Lambo growled and started wriggling.

Harry pulled him in for a cuddle. “I mean it. Don’t pick fights. It’s not gentlemanly behavior.”

Lambo pouted. “May Lambo-san . . . put bugs in her food?”

“You are so adorable, chibi. I’m very glad you want to stand up for me. But no, leave her alone. Daddy will handle it.” He set Lambo back down after a peck on the cheek and told Tsuna, “Consider it a good way to learn how to dodge.”

Tsuna threw his hands up. “Everything is a lesson!”

“Well, yes. And speaking of lessons, let’s get running. C’mon, Lambo, time to strut your stuff.”

He regretted saying that when Lambo insisted on singing “I’m Too Sexy” during their opening laps, and wondered just exactly what Luna was teaching him.

Reborn’s birthday rolled around, but he decided to wait until Saturday for that, when the two of them usually had a day or evening to themselves. Instead, Harry helped Nana prepare for Tsuna’s party, with Reborn ready to corral people after school let out and herd them to the Sawada home.

Their gift to him was a mosaic “portrait” by Luna of Tsuna with his friends. The last thing any of them wanted was to give him a gift connected with the mafia specifically, as if the gift had an edge. It was, perhaps, far too expensive to give to a boy of Tsuna’s age, but Luna was insistent. They waited until the party was in full swing to slip upstairs to hang it on the wall in Tsuna’s bedroom, a small card tucked into the corner.

It had, after all, finally been explained to Harry that the Japanese usually did not open presents when they were given, but instead waited until after the giver had left. They got away with it without comment for Lambo, as none of them were actually Japanese. And Gokudera was only a quarter Japanese. For Tsuna, though. . . .

Harry kept a close eye on Bianchi, ready to quietly enspell her should she try anything funny with the food. He knew his siblings were also keeping watch. Tsuna had mentioned during a training session that Bianchi had apparently given up—on him, at least. Harry was still getting sneak-attacked every so often, which helped to keep his situational awareness honed.

On Saturday afternoon Harry made up sauce and dough while Neville went off to purchase a few more things. Right about the time Reborn showed up he pulled the last two pizzas out of the oven—he had already made some for Neville, Luna, and Lambo—and set them hovering while he collected napkins, a bottle of wine, and glasses. They settled in on his bed to watch Ghost in the Shell and gorge themselves on pizza.

“It would be so incredibly bizarre to have your entire body replaced by a machine,” Harry said.

“Unless they have full sensory capability, I’d never want it,” Reborn replied, leering at him. “This was really good pizza. Thank you.”

He leaned over slightly to give Reborn a kiss. “Want to stay the night?”

Reborn looked torn. “Want? Yes. But I shouldn’t. I really wouldn’t want to have to explain to Nono should something happen to Tsuna.”

“How long before you think he’ll be able to take over?”

Reborn shrugged. “He’s only just turned fifteen. Maybe after he’s finished secondary school. Even with how well he’s been doing since you stomped all over him I’m not sure if he could get into a good university.”

“He has several years yet. But his potential strength as a boss doesn’t necessarily come from being a whiz with mathematics or chemistry or whatever.”

“True,” Reborn said with a nod. “We’ll see. I should go.” He stood up and gave Harry a kiss, then vanished in that weird way he had.

Harry sighed and collected everything so he could take it downstairs to be washed.

It was after training on Monday that Reborn held up a letter. Harry eyed it curiously because the seal on it was actually made of Sky Flames. “Vongola Nono sent us a letter, Tsuna.”

Neville and Lambo disapparated; Tsuna slumped for a moment.

Reborn opened the letter and perused it, then looked up. “He will be coming to visit, to speak with you.”

“Is his health even good enough for that?”

“I’m not sure that matters to him,” Reborn replied. “I expect this will be about the succession. Personally, I don’t think you’re ready, and in the event that he wishes to hold the Inheritance Ceremony I will be recommending that he put it off for a few years, to give you more time to come into your own.”

Tsuna looked at him in grateful surprise.

“But be aware,” Reborn continued. “Depending on the state of his health, you may not be afforded that time. Try to remember that you are not alone. I’m not referring to only your guardians, either.”

Tsuna nodded and fiddled with the hem of his shirt. “When?”

“He will be here this weekend.”

“Okay, my fluffy little pupil,” Harry said briskly, “today’s training is over. Time to go home.”

Tsuna scowled at him.

“What? You’re all adorably fluffy, like a little kitten.”

Tsuna scowled harder, but obligingly moved close enough so that Harry could transport him and Reborn to the alley. Reborn gave him a lingering kiss before he followed the offended teen, and Harry apparated to his bedroom. He just knew Tsuna was going to worry all week long. The most he could do was run the kid ragged during training. He went downstairs and kidnapped Lambo for a bit of cuddling before it was time to prepare dinner.

“I had a private meeting with Nono in the morning,” Reborn informed him Saturday evening, “and gave him a verbal report about Tsuna’s progress. As you know I keep in regular contact with him, but face-to-face meetings convey things letters cannot.”

Harry nodded. “What was his reaction?”

“I also showed him the log you’ve been keeping,” Reborn added, setting a black leather notebook down on the side table.

He did a double-take. “You sneaky bastard.”

Reborn gave him a smug look. “He has agreed to hold off. Though—” He eyed Harry carefully. “I admit, there is a part of me wondering if there is anything you or your siblings could do for him.”

“Ano, that would depend on what’s wrong. If it’s just age. . . .”

“He has problems with mobility, something to do with his legs.”

“Tsuki’s pretty good at healing, but I’m having a hard time seeing how we could swing that without blowing the Statue of Secrecy to hell. It’s bad enough how much we’ve already revealed. Let me think. . . . How long is he here for?”

“I determined, after I fully realized your previous identity, that he is aware of the magical world. He’ll be flying back on Monday morning.”

“Oh,” he said. “That helps.”

“But it also depends on what’s wrong.”

He nodded. “For example, if it’s nerve damage, there’s nothing we can do. There’s a spell that causes nerve damage, potentially chronic tremors. If taken to extremes it can break a person’s mind from the sheer amount of pain. No one has ever figured out how to fix that kind of thing. But, well, let’s go ask Tsuki.”

Their “date” was cut short to descend to the living room, where Neville and Lambo were duking it out at Dance Dance Revolution while an indulgent Luna watched. Lambo was shaking his tush like a pro and squealing the whole time.

Harry pulled Luna away a little and said, “How do you feel about doing a diagnosis and possible healing?”

“For?”

“The Vongola Nono,” Reborn said, then explained the basic symptoms.

Luna frowned. “That sounds like nerve damage, or that something is steadily increasing pressure on certain nerve sets. If it’s the former I can’t do a thing, but if it’s the latter, I might be able to. I’m willing, in any case.”

Reborn nodded. “I will ask if he is willing to let you check.”

“Okay.” Luna glanced at Harry, smirked, then leaned in swiftly to peck Reborn on the cheek before dancing off to watch the battle still in progress.

“Cheeky wench.”

Reborn stroked the back of his neck and leaned in for a kiss, then vanished. He showed back up the next day an hour or so after lunch to collect them. Vongola Nono was staying at the classiest hotel in town in the penthouse suite and they had to pass the gauntlet of guardians before they got to see the man himself.

“Nono,” Reborn said, “may I present Hari Mori and Tsuki Mori of the recently formed Trasformare Famiglia. Hari, Tsuki, I’d like you to meet the Vongola Nono.”

Luna, having become accustomed to the way people did things in Japan, bowed. Harry did the same, saying, “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir.”

Nono smiled in a friendly way. “Nono is fine. I understand that you may be able to help.”

Harry glanced at Luna, who said, “Possibly, depending on the actual issue. If you will allow it, I can do a diagnosis.”

Nono nodded, watching carefully as Luna revealed her wand.

“The first spell will give me an overall look at your health, telling me where to check more deeply.” She waited until he nodded, then cast. Her brow furrowed as she assimilated the information. “It’s definitely the nerves, but I’ll have to check with a different spell to see exactly what’s going on. Aside from that your overall health looks good, though your heart is having to work a little too hard.”

“Please continue,” Nono said.

She nodded and cast the next spell. “You have calcification on your bones and it’s pressuring the nerves, probably causing pain, loss of sensation, and difficulty in controlling your legs. The good news is that it can be corrected and you should recover just fine.”

“And the bad news?”

She inhaled, paused, and then blew out a breath. “Two options. Someone opens you up to carefully remove the spurs, or we vanish the bones in question and give you Skele-Gro, which will regrow the bones, though it’s a very unpleasant experience.”

“Hold up,” Harry said. “Does that even work for. . . ?”

Luna nodded. “Oh yes, it’s just more unpleasant and requires that the healer maintain a steady infusion of magic. You had your arm redone and that took about twelve hours, right?”

Harry grimaced and glanced down. “Around that, yes. And nothing for the pain. Define steady infusion, because I’m thinking twelve straight hours of that would be more than a little tiring.”

She gave him one of those looks. “It’s not like we couldn’t take turns, silly. How much pain?”

He shrugged. “I was fine. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.”

Luna rolled her eyes and huffed. “Your arm could be hanging off by the tendons and you’d still say, ‘I’m fine.’ I was hoping for something more specific.”

Reborn sent an amused look at Nono. “Typical,” he said quietly.

“They seem close.”

“—felt like my arm was packed with splinters after Dobby woke me up and—”

“Close enough to defend each other’s lives to the death if necessary, and to have blood-bonded as siblings,” Reborn replied. “Hari is the undisputed leader of their little family, but they each have their strengths that they freely share amongst them. Ideas, abilities, ways of thinking.”

“Okay, can you feel it when I do this?” Luna asked.

“I trusted your judgment, Reborn, but seeing two of them in person is reassuring,” Nono said. “They have such resolve.”

Reborn nodded.

“So you try it on me—yes, like that, not too pushy.”

“That doesn’t seem too difficult,” Harry said.

“It’s more of a matter of keeping it steady.”

“We could always temporarily ward the room,” Harry said. “It’d be kind of a bad thing if an attack happened and we hadn’t properly prepared.”

“I did bring the usual along, just in case,” she said. “You never know, after all, and hotel people can be so fussy about permanent modifications to the structure.”

“And a keystone? Even the smallest of them would work for a room of this size, so—”

Reborn cleared his throat, causing Harry and Luna to snap their attention that way. “You seem to be forgetting something.”

The siblings exchanged a confused look, Harry started ticking things off on his fingers, and Luna suddenly face-palmed and nudged her brother. “Right. We don’t have an okay to proceed.”

Harry looked at Nono and Reborn and blushed. “Sorry.”

Nono chuckled and said, “It’s fine. Tell me about the level of pain, please.”

“Sharp, stabbing, needle pains at first, sort of intermittent. It was more the chronicity of it than the level itself that was difficult, but I fell asleep regardless. It felt like my arm was packed with splinters a number of hours later when I got woken up unexpectedly and moved it. By morning it was over and my arm was a bit stiff for a while, but it worked itself out soon enough just from normal use. Wet heat helped, as well.”

“And the infusion?”

Reborn lifted his chin and said, “Try it on me.”

Luna smiled and nodded. “All right.” She stepped closer and took Reborn’s hand.

“That . . . feels odd,” he said. “It almost tickles. I can’t quite describe it, but it’s comforting.”

Luna let go and stepped back. “I’m just that good,” she said smugly, teasing him.

Reborn snorted and gave Nono a nod.

“Actually,” Harry said, “I just thought of something. You have Sun Flames. You might be able to speed the process up.”

“I’m not sure I would want to test a theory on Nono,” Reborn said.

“It would be interesting to test, though,” Luna said, pressing a finger against her lower lip. “Maybe I can convince Kuma to take one for the team.”

Reborn coughed. “Would you be willing to play host at your home for this? You are right that protection would be required.”

“And we’ve already warded the house to the teeth,” Harry said. “I don’t see why not. I can always see if Lambo would like to have a sleepover at Nana-san’s.”

“Your son?” Nono asked.

“Yes, my adorable little man,” he said with a somewhat fatuous smile. “He leaves chaos in his wake. We’re all used to it, the sudden explosions, the tumbles down the stairs, but I would hate for any of that to make you jumpy and cause additional pain.”

“I have decided to go through with this. I would be pleased to accept the hospitality of your home,” Nono said.

“We would love to have you,” Harry replied.

“I will escort Nono and his guardians,” Reborn said.