A New Kind of Magic by x-kali-x

Summary:When events at Hogwarts threaten the future of Crystal Tokyo, the scouts must do all in their power to keep the timeline steady. If that means transferring to Hogwarts, so be it.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Chapter 53
Chapter 54
Chapter 55
Chapter 56
Chapter 57
Chapter 58
Chapter 59
Chapter 60
Chapter 61
Chapter 62
Chapter 63
Chapter 64
Chapter 65

Chapter 1

"Come on Usagi, you can't honestly say you're not looking forward to it a little bit?"


"She's pining again."

"Pinch her."


"See, I knew that would work!" Minako cackled gleefully as Usagi rubbed her arm where Rei had pinched it.

"That hurt," she scowled at them.

"It was supposed to," Rei replied as she leaned back against the wall. "You weren't listening again."

"You really should listen, Usagi," Ami joined in, "you could miss something important."

"Like what? There haven't been any phages since Galaxia left, and we can't even transform anymore! To be honest I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet more than a little."

"Usagi, that's what we were all talking about," Makoto giggled as she flicked the pages of her magazine– since they weren't fighting all the time she had found more opportunity to pursue her hobbies. The magazine in question was about flower arrangement.

"Oh, right… "

"Spill Usagi, you just miss Mamoru." A red tinge began to creep up Usagi's face, but she was spared any further question by a knock on the door. Rei pushed herself to her feet and opened it, revealing four people the girls had not expected to see for a few years at the very least.

Setsuna did not wait to be invited, but lead Hotaru straight into the room, shortly followed by Haruka and Michiru. "We're sorry if we're interrupting anything," Setsuna looked gravely around the room.

"No, nothing much," Usagi said a little too quickly. Setsuna's lips quirked up a little, but her smile did not reach her eyes.

"I'm afraid you won't much like my news."

"What?" Makoto's eyes had snapped to the red ones of the senshi before her. "Galaxia?"

"No… not her… "

"But there's something, isn't there?" Minako felt her heart beat quicken– they couldn't even transform, how on earth were they meant to fight?

"Yes and no… "

"Oh just get on with it Setsuna," Haruka said, "or I'll tell them."

"Very well– have you girls ever heard of Hogwarts?"

"Umm… What now?" Usagi reached over to the table and picked up a small cake, eating it in a single bite.

"It's a school– a school of magic."

"Uh huh… "

"And there are things happening there this year that threaten the future we have striven for so long to protect– they threaten the creation of Crystal Tokyo itself!"

"So it's serious then?" Ami had bookmarked her textbook and was looking at Setsuna with narrowed eyes.

"I'd most definitely say so."

"So what are we gonna do about it? Walk up to the gate and ask 'em to let us in?" Usagi was more than a little confused.

"Oh no, that won't be necessary– we've already got places."

"What? How?"

"This year Britain, which is where the school is located, is having a huge drive for international magical cooperation– we're going as transfer students."

"But I don't speak English!" Usagi's face was a mask of terror. "How will I understand anything!?"

"There's no need to worry about that– one of the many powers your broach grants you is one that will help you to fit in. You will merely hear them in Japanese, and they will hear you in English."

"Umm… I have a question?" Ami nearly raised her hand before she thought better of it. "What happens to our education here? And won't our parents ask questions?"

"We've sorted that," Michiru chipped in, "letters detailing the fantastic scholarships you've all earned are on their way to your parents right now."

"Huh… But won't we be a bit behind at this school? What sort of magic do they have– is it like ours, or different? And how can we fit in if our powers are dormant?"

Setsuna sighed, "I think it might be easier to show you."

"As if the sailor teleport still works!" Minako squealed as they appeared in what seemed to be the back yard of a grotty pub.

"From now on, refer to it as apparition," Setsuna reprimanded, "and it works only because some of us can still perform the Henshin."

"What? Who!"

"I can," Hotaru's voice was quiet.

"As can I," Setsuna said, "Now come." She faced the wall at the back of the yard, and the girls exchanged glances, meaning they missed what she did next. When they looked back, however, there was a large arch forming out of the bricks of the wall.

"Ok, that's more than a little cool." Usagi decided.

"Follow me," Setsuna told them, "we should stick close." The alley they moved into next was full of life, people in strange clothes moving from ice cream parlours to bookshops to what looked like an apothecary. Usagi could only hear brief snatches of their conversations, but what they were saying seemed more than a little intriguing.

"That dark mark! At the Quidditch world cup no less!"

"You don't think… not you know who?"

"No… just some Death Eaters… right?"

"We need to do some shopping to equip all of us," she glanced at Haruka and Michiru, "for your year at Hogwarts."

"What sort of stuff do we need?" Ami was looking around, her blue eyes eager to take in as much of the bizarre street as possible.

"Well, first things first we'll need wands."

"Wands? They actually use wands?" Rei's shout attracted more than a few odd looks.

"Yes, they do. Please warn us next time you plan on making us so conspicuous." Setsuna reprimanded her.

"Sorry," Rei had the sense to look ashamed.

"Right, now follow me." Setsuna lead them to the most dilapidated shop on the street. They wouldn't all fit inside, so Setsuna sent the inner senshi in first while she and the others waited outside.

"This should be enough gold to buy each of you the required wand," she said, handing Makoto a weighty bag. "Good luck."

"Good luck?" Makoto gulped, and headed inside the dusty shop.

It was silent, and very dusty inside the shop. Even Usagi, who had admittedly been unusually quiet since they reached the magical alley, did not break the stillness of the place.

"Usually, when students enter my shop, they aren't looking for anything specific. You ladies, however, are something new… or maybe something old… "

"Erm… are you Mr Ollivander?" Ami asked tentatively, remembering the name on the front of the shop.

"Yes, that I am. You have come here looking for something… curious… "

"Well I don't know what you mean, but… we wanted wands… " Makoto tried to see where the voice was coming from, but the shadows in the shop were preventing her from seeing him.

Then, very suddenly, an old man loomed out of the shadows. In his arms he carried a wooden box which he set upon the counter. Tentatively, he clicked the lock open, as though he were afraid of the contents.

"These are not wands I made myself," he told them. "They have been sitting in the back of the shop for many hundreds of years, since the time of the fabled silver millennium," Usagi shot a nervous glance at the others.

"The wands themselves are full of mystery, each on containing the ability to channel the power of the planets themselves. In the wrong hands," he shuddered, "deadly."

He reached into the box and pulled out the first box, plainly carved from wood. "They do not have, as most wands should, a core of magical property. Instead the wands themselves are the core, for each is carved out of a different enchanted material. The first is of a metal I have never quite been able to identify." He took the lid from the box and held the wand up for them to see. "This, I do believe, is for you." He replaced it into its box and handed it to Minako, who nodded.

"This next one seems to be made of ice, and yet it has not ever shown the slightest sign of melting. For you." He held the box out to Ami."

"And here we move closer to a realm I am familiar to, a wand made from the wood of an oak tree, although no tree I have ever seen has produced wood of such an auspicious quality." He passed the box to Makoto.

"This wand is made from the embers of a great fire, smoldering still and yet they do not burn." He passed the box to Rei.

Then there are four more of similar properties, I imagine for the companions you arrived with– one supposedly carved from the mythical 'space/time door', another containing the howling seas. One is hardly there at all, but seemingly made of wind made solid and one… a black wand created from the silence that ends all things."

"Erm… Mr Ollivander," Usagi stuttered, "I still need a wand."

"Aah, the final and most mysterious wand of the lot." Carefully, Ollivander reached into the box and drew out a final box. "My father once told me that this wand was made of many things. Of moonlight and shadow, the remnants of the moon palace and of love itself. Fanciful tales of course, but curious nonetheless."

Usagi reached forward and took the wand. It shimmered slightly silver even in the dim light of the shop. She barely registered as Makoto paid him with the large gold coins Setsuna had given her, which seemed to cover the wands for the outer senshi too. Her eyes were fixed upon the solidified moonlight under her fingers, and the potential held within.

When they emerged from the gloom of the wand shop, Makoto handed the four remaining wands to the outer senshi and took a deep breath of the cool, clean air. After the stifling shop the alley seemed beautifully well lit.

"Where now?" Usagi asked, somewhat buoyed by the box she now clutched tightly to her chest– somehow the wand felt right, as though it had always been there waiting for her. Looking around, she could see that the others felt the same by the way they were holding them.

"Well we have to get you fitted for robes," Rei snorted but said nothing as Michiru glared at her, "but I suppose we could split up for a while first, so long as you're all sensible." There was a clamor of agreement, and Haruka whistled to calm them down.

"Here," she said, handing out more bags of the golden coins, taken from the air itself it seemed– obviously they could still reach their subspace pockets– and handed them around. "Everyone is allowed a single present each. Choose wisely though." She smiled as the inner senshi wandered off, smiling as Michiru took her hand.

"Where shall we go first then?" Usagi was suddenly more herself than she had been since Mamoru had returned to America and she was raring to go. The only problem seemed to be that there were so many places to go.

"Well Setsuna said she'd pick up our books and stuff, so we should get straight on with recreational shopping." Minako grabbed Usagi's hand and started to drag her up the street. "Come on, girls!" Ami and Makoto began to follow, but Rei's eyes had been caught by something in a nearby shop window.

"Rei?" Usagi called back, "are you coming?"

"No… just wait there a minute." She disappeared into the shop which looked to be called Quality Quidditch supplies, whatever that meant. The others found a bench to sit at and waited for Rei to come out of the shop. When she eventually did, she was clutching a long, thin package to her chest.

"What's that Rei?" Minako laughed, "It looks like a broomstick!" Rei did not join in as Minako laughed but instead turned bright red. "Oh my goodness! It is isn't it! It's a broomstick! Ha!"

"It's not just any broomstick," Rei snapped back, "it's a firebolt — the best one there is. Apparently Haruka gave us quite a lot of money."

"Well I think it's cool," Usagi decided, "though I'll keep my feet firmly on the ground thanks."

"Yeah, you barely flew even when you had wings," Makoto laughed.

"Oh shut up!" Usagi pushed her and they spent the next hour wandering through the magical alleyway. By the end of their time each of them had their gift. Ami had bought herself a large book in a shop called Flourish and Blots. The book, Hogwarts through the Ages, would give her a thorough knowledge of everything she needed to know.

Makoto had bought a strange little flowering plant while the others had been getting ice cream. It seemed to wave joyfully in the sun. Usagi, however, had taken an age before finally finding something she wanted. When she had heard that students were allowed pets her initial reaction had been joy– Luna would be able to join then. Setsuna had, however, been firm that Luna and Artemis should remain in Tokyo as a contact to keep them informed on any happenings there.

Then, at long last, she had glanced at a shop called Eyelop's Owl Emporium. Inside were owls of all shapes and sized for the purpose of carrying post. The others did not say anything, but they each knew that Usagi wanted an owl in order to contact Mamoru. The owl she chose to purchase was small and very fluffy. After very little deliberation, Usagi named him Chuu.

"Why Chuu?" Makoto asked as she stroked the little fluffball through the bars in his cage.

"Well I always thought it was cute when Iron Mouse said it," Usagi said, grinning widely.

One week later, at Kings Cross Station

"Have we all got everything?" Ami was checking everyone's trunks were in order as the others climbed aboard the scarlet steam engine.

"Yes, Ami it's all there. Stop fretting." Makoto soothed her. "Just get on the train." The compartment they found themselves in was surprisingly big, meaning the eight of them could sit together quite comfortably. Setsuna, because she was older than school age, was going separately as a supervising teacher. Haruka and Michiru were going as seventh years, the inner senshi as fourth years and Hotaru as a first year.

The train journey was pretty uneventful, spent mainly recapping the many lessons Setsuna had drilled into them in the past week (although how she had known all this they could only guess). At some point they heard what could have been fighting in the neighbouring compartment, followed by the smashing of glass, but it all calmed down after that, and eventually they pulled in at what could only be Hogsmeade Station.

They disembarked and, as Setsuna had instructed them, headed towards the tallest person they could see. As they approached he called out to them, "You'll be the transfers 'en? Right, follow me. Firs' years this way!" They followed the giant of a man to the edge of a lake and climbed into some small boats waiting for them there. Haruka and Michiru somehow ended up with one to themselves, while Hotaru went with a group of students her own age. The boats glided smoothly across the water and into a jetty. The giant led them up some steep stone stairs and towards Hogwarts Castle.

They all listened intently as a stern looking woman with iron grey hair, McGonagall listed the details of exactly what the Hogwarts houses were about and then followed her into the great hall. They stood nervously, not quite sure what to expect– this was one thing Setsuna had not gone into extreme detail about.

Finally, Professor McGonagall placed a worn wizards hat on a stool and stood back. Then, the hat began to sing.

A thousand years or more ago,
When I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well known:
Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen.
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
They hatched a daring plan
To educate young sorcerers—
Thus Hogwarts School began.
Now each of these four founders
Formed their own house, for each
Did value different virtues
In the ones they had to teach.
By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
Would always be the best;
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.
While still alive they did divide
Their favourites from the throng,
Yet how to pick the worthy ones
When they were dead and gone?
'Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!
Now slip me snug about your ears,
I've never yet been wrong,
I'll have a look inside your mind
And tell where you belong!

The girls exchanged sidelong glances. They had long since decided it would be easiest if they were all in the same house, but it didn't sound as though that was going to happen– for one thing, Ami would most certainly be in Ravenclaw, and there was no hope of Minako or Usagi getting in that particular house.

They watched as, one by one, the Hogwarts students put the hat on. It would then call out the name of the house they were in and they would move to the respective table. When the last of the students were seated, an old professor stood– Dumbledore, the headmaster.

"As you may have noticed," he began, "there are more students than usual to sort." He smiled at the girls. "As part of the year of magical co operation, these girls have come from Japan to learn here with us. They have all previously been taught at home, and so may not be as advanced as many of those in their years, but please, welcome them with open arms." Dumbledore clapped and the rest of the hall joined in. Usagi watched as a ginger haired boy at the Gryffindor table nudged his dark haired friend and whispered something in his ear, earning a slap around the head from a girl not sat far away.

She smiled and turned back to the sorting hat. Professor McGonagall called out the first name. "Aino Minako, joining the fourth year." Minako's legs were like jelly as she walked up and sat down on the stool.

There is something different about you," a voice whispered in her ear. "You do not have normal magic, do you?

"No," she replied bluntly.

And yet here you are, full of fears. I can see all of it– everything you've done. It leaves no doubt for me. Most certainly…

"GRYFFINDOR!" The last word was a shout that echoed through the hall. Minako jumped to her feet and, after taking the hat off, moved to the Gryffindor table.

"Hino Rei, Also joining the fourth year."

There's a lot of fire here, a burning passion to prove yourself, but also a thirst… a thirst to protect. Why is it that you care for them more than yourself? No, do not answer, I know already. For you, it had better be…

"GRYFFINDOR!" Rei moved over and took a seat next to Minako. "Kaioh Michiru, seventh year."

A delicate mind, but complicated for certain. For the first time in over a thousand years, I find I do not know where a student should go. Tell me, where is it you wish to be.

I want to be with her. An image flashed into Michiru's mind.

Well then, it must be…


"Kino Makoto, fourth year."

There are many traits here… you would certainly fit in Hufflepuff. Loyal to the end, and strong willed but, as with your friends, there is something different about you…


"Mizuno Ami, fourth year."

A bright one eh? Well I shall offer you the choice– Gryffindor with the others, or Ravenclaw, where you will shine.


"Tenoh Haruka, seventh year."


"Tomoe Hotaru, first year."

You are another anomaly. Where you should go is not a decision I should take lightly. There is great power within you. Great power, and terrible responsibility. And yet… you are very much like the others. I feel this must be getting repetitive, but…


"And lastly, Tsukino Usagi, fourth year."

Now, now, now. If this is not an interesting head I don't know what is. There are so many things in here, but above all love– a power that must never ever be underestimated. You shall go far, but you shall not do it alone.


Chapter 2

Usagi barely registered the cheers that erupted from the Gryffindor table as she moved over and sat down next to Rei, and nor did she hear the next words of the headmaster as he welcomed them. She did, however, notice when the plates before them suddenly filled with food. She took this turn of events with a large amount of enthusiasm, and began filling her plate.

Only a couple of seats up the table, a girl was sat with her arms crossed, seemingly refusing to eat anything. "It's slave labour, Ronald. Simply slave labour and I won't have any of it!"

"Oh come on Hermione," Usagi recognised this boy as the ginger haired one she had seen whispering to his friend, "it's just house elves, they enjoy-"

"Have you ever been a house elf?" Hermione fumed, "do you know the conditions they are subjected to more often than not?"

"Erm… Hermione, you should eat… "

"Oh that's right Harry," she snapped at the black haired boy sitting next to Ronald, "side with Ron just like always."

"Hermione don't do that." Harry begged her. Usagi couldn't resist any longer.

"You know, I couldn't help but overhear, I mean, we don't have these… um… house elves… back home, but it seems to me that if they do work in slave conditions the best thing to do about it isn't starve yourself."

"Yeah!" Harry enthusiastically agreed with Usagi, "There must be better ways to improve conditions for house elves."

"But house elves don't– Ow!" It looked as though Harry had kicked Ron under the table. "Hmm… I suppose so… "

"Meaning you should eat up," Makoto joined in as well, about to move a sausage casserole over to Hermione when it disappeared only to be instantly replaced by a treacle tart. "Oh well… just have more pudding." She smiled encouragingly at Hermione before turning back to the others. "You know, I didn't really expect the food to be this different," she said, "it's a lot heavier."

"It's nice though," Usagi said through a mouthful of cake and custard. "Umm, ew, Usagi. But yeah, I'm with Makoto," Rei agreed.

"You'll get used to it soon enough," Ami assured them as she too set down her cutlery, unable to eat another bite.

"Soon?" Minako was already helping herself to seconds.

"And so another year begins," Dumbledore had risen to his feet, "meaning, of course, that there are new faces to introduce. Firstly there is Professor Meioh, who is a member if the Japanese magical education board and will be supervising the transfer students. She will also take up a teaching post in her time here. I am very sorry to say that Professor Binns, who has taught History of Magic here for many centuries, disappeared this summer," there was a ripple of chatter through the crowd and a few sighs of relief. Hotaru thought briefly on the ghost, who had cried with joy when she had offered to take him past the midnight gates.

"And Professor Meioh will be taking his post. Professor M-" here Dumbledore glanced at an empty chair further up the table, "well we'll get there I suppose. Anyway, on to bigger, more important news. I am very pleased to announce that this year, Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry will be hosting the-"

BANG! The doors to the great hall swung upon and a large figure began to limp ominously up the room. Silence reigned in the giant space as the man reached the teachers table. Dumbledore shook his hand and then announced, "this is Professor Moody, who will be taking the post of Defence against the Dark Arts teacher. Now where was I? Oh yes, this year we shall be playing host to the Tri-Wizard Tournament."

The hall erupted. Obviously this meant something to nearly everyone. Here and there were a few people sitting down– although none at the table with green ties, Usagi noticed. Even Haruka seemed to know what this was and was cheering with the rest.

"Although, as an added safety precaution, only students over the age of seventeen will be able to compete in the tournament." The noise died instantly. Nearly everyone who had cheered now had crestfallen looks upon their faces. "Thank you and good night, you will need an early night in order to be fresh for classes tomorrow morning." He smiled and his eyes twinkled at them as he turned to leave.

The girls followed on and, from the scarps of conversations they overheard, were reasonably able to pick up what the tri-wizard tournament was about. "I only hope we're allowed to compete," Haruka was saying, "Though I can't see why we wouldn't be– technically we're Hogwarts students for the year."

"I'm quite glad I'm not seventeen yet to be honest," Usagi decided, "to much pressure after… well after stuff. How about you Harry," she asked, talking to the black haired boy from earlier.

"Hmm, I don't know… maybe if I were old enough."

"Ha, of course you'd do it!" Ron laughed, "its right up your street. I might talk to Fred and George– they're nearly seventeen so I bet they're gonna try something."

"Right up your street?" Usagi asked, puzzled. Ami let out a little squeak. "You're… you're not… Harry Potter, are you?" Harry blushed.

"So who's Harry Potter when he's home?" Minako asked. Harry actually stopped in his tracks.

"You mean you don't know? Well that makes a nice change." He smiled eagerly at them as they headed towards a dead end.

"No, I don't think any of us but Ami know."

"I know," Hotaru said, looking very intently at Harry, who looked distinctly uncomfortable under this scrutiny. "I'll tell you later," she whispered to Minako, "it would not be fair to make Harry say." Harry looked relieved that he would not have to say. He, Ron and Hermione led the girls to the portrait at the end of the wall.

"Ummm… What's the password?" Ron asked.

"Balderdash," Hermione said, causing the portrait to swing open. "Come on, this is the Gryffindor common room." The room was large and yet cosy. Friends were saying goodnight as boys and girls headed up separate staircases. "Come on, this way to the girls dormitories," Hermione led them up.

Hermione examined small wooden plaques next to the doors as they passed, "Hotaru, you're in here. Haruka and Michiru you're in here with the other seventh years," she did not notice the put out looks of Haruka and Michiru, "and oh!" She was looking very confusedly at the sign by the second to last door. "Why aren't I in here anymore?"

"I don't know," Minako replied, "but it looks like you're in here with us," she added, looking at the sign by the final door. They headed into the room and Hermione gasped. "This room is so much nicer than my old one!"

"Huh, I wonder why," Usagi said moving over to a bed decorated with Silver sheets.

"No idea… the drapes were all the same in that room– Gryffindor red." The others were all moving towards a bed of their own– Ami to a blue bed, Makoto to a green one, Rei to a red one and Minako to an orange one. This left a bed with plain black covers for Hermione. When she sat on the edge of the bed, she found it to be more comfortable as well. "I wonder why I'm in your room though," she wondered out loud, "I mean, the magic of the castle itself sorts out who's in what room."

"HA! Poor Haruka and Michiru," Minako giggled, "they looked so put out when they found out there were others in their room."

"Minako," Rei frowned, "do you have to talk about sex at every opportunity."

"Well it isn't really-"


"Alright, alright!"

"Well anyway, we should get some sleep before lessons tomorrow." Hermione said concealing a yawn.

"Yes," Ami agreed, moving to the trunk at the end of her bed. She pulled out a set of purple pyjamas and went into the bathroom to get ready for bed.

"So what are lessons like here?" Rei asked.

Hermione looked as though she was about to say something and then smiled. "Just wait and see."

Chapter 3

Usagi yawned as the others bustled around her, moving from their beds to the bathroom as they got ready for the school day. Hermione's alarm, which was apparently magical, had woken them all up in plenty of time to clear the bathroom, but despite being showered Usagi still wanted nothing more than to go back to bed. Wearily she began to put her hair up in its usual odangos, taking advantage of a full size mirror to the side of her bed.

It appeared that at some point during the night someone, house elves according to a furious Hermione, had brought in Gryffindor ties for the girls. The uniforms were another thing that were incredibly different to those they were used to, although Usagi suspected that most British schools did not wear robes to school.

"Are you ready Usagi?" Ami's voice sailed across the room. "What? Oh, yes. I just need to get my wand."

"Ooh! I almost forgot to ask, what wand types do you have?" Hermione suddenly seemed incredibly interested, "I don't suppose Mr Ollivander would have made them, I mean what would the point have been to go to London just to get a wand before returning to Japan?"

"Umm, no Mr Ollivander didn't make them," Rei said truthfully. It was technically true– some other Mr Ollivander had made them.

"Can I see them? What cores do they have?"

"Well they don't actually have cores," Ami took over, launching into lecture mode. "The wands themselves are the core, see– this is mine, made of never melting ice." She and Hermione went on ahead, chatting animatedly about the differences in their wands. That, Usagi thought, was a friendship that had only ever been a matter of time.

The rest of them headed down at a slightly slower pace and met Harry and Ron in the Gryffindor common room. Ron looked just as Usagi felt– far too asleep to be walking around. "Hi," Harry greeted them, smiling, "are you coming to breakfast?"

"Breakfast?" Usagi perked up immediately, "yes please!"

They headed down from the common room, Harry and Ron leading the way, towards the great hall. The smell of food lead them once they reached the marble staircase and they sat by Hermione and Ami at the Gryffindor table.

"McGonagall's handing out timetables already," Hermione said without looking up from her own. "She'll be asking you what subjects you've learnt so she knows how to arrange your timetables by the way."

"Oh, alright," Usagi swallowed, hoping she could remember at least some of the subjects Setsuna had told her about, "what's your timetable like Ami?"

"I have the same lessons as Hermione," she beamed at them.

"Oh, you'll probably be with us for most of it as well." Harry told her, "We had everything except ancient runes and arithmancy with Hermione last year." Ami smiled as Professor McGonagall came up the table.

"Potter, Weasley– your timetables."

"Hang on Professor," Harry was frowning, "I have a timetabled flying lessons– how come?"

"Professor Dumbledore and Professor Meioh agreed that some of the transfer students would enjoy learning how to fly, and so the timetables were adjusted to accommodate it. Unfortunately those taking Ancient Runes will be unable to participate-"

"How come I'm taking ancient runes all of a sudden?" Ron interrupted, looking at his timetable in horror. Hermione burst out laughing.

"Because, Mr Weasley, you do not need flying lessons."

"And Harry does?"

"If you had waited and not interrupted me, you would know that Harry will be assisting Madam Hooch when she takes these classes."

"I will?"

"Yes Mr potter, you will. No, Miss Hino, what subjects have you been learning?"

"Not ancient runes," she said straight away, and then with a stroke of genius, "and not arithmancy either." By the end of breakfast, she, Usagi, Makoto and Minako had timetables identical to Harry's and pretty similar to Ron's.

"I can't believe I have to take Ancient Rune's," seemed to be Ron's new refrain and they were all pretty glad when they headed off to their first lesson of the day– Care of Magical Creatures.

"You'll have met Hagrid on your first day of course," Harry said, "but he's a great guy."

"So he's a good teacher then?" Ami asked as they headed through the grounds. A loud guffaw came from behind them.

"If you're talking about that oaf masquerading as a teacher, then dream on. The day Hagrid becomes a good teacher I shall eat my hat." Turning, they saw a pale haired boy with a sharp face walking with a group of people in green ties.

"Shut up Malfoy!" Harry said hotly.

"Know what Potter, I don't think I will. The new comers deserve to know what a crap teacher that idiot is before they get exposed to his classes."

"You git!" Ron drew his wand.

"Expelliarmous!" To everyone's surprise, Ami's voice said the spell calmly and she caught Ron's wand. "Best not to fight," she said, putting her own wand back in her pocket. "We don't want to lose any points for Gryffindor."

"That," a familiar voice came from behind them, "is a very sensible thing to say miss?"

"Mizuno," Ami said blushing. Hagrid, it transpired, was the giant who had escorted them to the sorting ceremony the previous night.

"Miss Mizuno. Ten points to Gryffindor. Although I think you can be giving Ron his wand back now." Ami nodded and handed Ron's wand over, smiling apologetically at him. He shrugged and pocketed the wand. "Now, today we'll be startin' this year's project– blast ended skrewts."

"What now?"

"Blast ended skrewts o' course!" Hagrid beamed at them. "They're in the crates over there."

"Eugh!" Lavender Brown had looked into the nearest crate, "Hagrid they're… eugh! Hagrid!"

"Now they 'aint all that pretty, that doesn't mean they 'aint useful."

"Do they have any magical properties then?" Ami asked interestedly.

"Umm, I don't exactly know, but we may find out. Now we'll be feeding them today… " It transpired that Hagrid was indeed not a brilliant teacher. Usagi had sson decided, however, that she would not admit this for the world. She could see very easily why Harry, Ron and Hermione had been so defensive of Hagrid when faced with Malfoy, and she was thoroughly on their side, even when trying to feed dragon liver to creatures that appeared to be able to bite, sting and burn all at the same time.

When the lesson finished they headed over to the greenhouses where they spent an enjoyable hour in a herbology lesson. Makoto in particular seemed to enjoy this and got into a very deep conversation with a boy called Neville and Professor Sprout about the flower she had purchased in diagon alley, which now lived on their dormitory windowsill.

After break, however, was the lesson Usagi had really being looking forward to. She could not honestly say she had ever looked forward to a history lesson before, but she felt that Setsuna's lesson would probably be slightly different.

"I suspect Professor Meioh will be better than Binns," Ron said as they headed up to Setsuna's classroom on the second floor, "I mean, she can hardly be worse, right?" Harry nodded in agreement as they waited outside the classroom with the rest of the Gryffindors.

Setsuna smiled at all the students as they filed into the room and took their seats. Usagi found herself sat next to Minako, with Ami and Hermione to her right, Rei and Harry to her left and Ron and Makoto sat at the desk behind them.

"I have spoken to professor Dumbledore," Setsuna began, "and we have decided that it would be best, and most certainly in the interest of international magical co-operation, that you should be taught the course I grew up learning." Usagi smirked at Rei who was grinning.

"Now. When I was your age, I learnt not about goblin rebellions, or the formation of the wizangamot, but of the history of my own country, and of the silver millennium."

"But," Hermione said as she raised her hand, "isn't that just a myth? A kid's story told to rationalise things for muggles?"

"It is indeed believed to be just that nearly everywhere, in Japan, however, we know different. In fact, I myself have seen conclusive proof that the silver millennium exists."

"Conclusive proof? What would that be?"

"I have met the reincarnations of the moon princess and her senshi." Silence filled the room– how was a class supposed to react to such a statement. "Now, we will start by covering the very basics of the silver millennium society– the royal hierarchy and the alliance that formed between the planets excluding, of course, Earth and so leading to the rebellion lead by the force known as Metallia. Over the year we will cover more recent events, such as the final defeat of Metallia and the end of the Sailor War, a silent conflict that has been going strong for nearly one million years."

"Now I don't expect any of you to have textbooks on this, so I shall expect you to take notes. We shall start with the palace on the moon, and the honoured traditions of the Serenity bloodline." Usagi smiled as she pulled her books towards her. This, she thought, was going to be her favourite class.

The afternoon lesson was double charms, and Usagi nearly revealed, accidentally, just how little she knew of wand magic. Luckily enough, Minako had saved her by blowing up the goblet she was supposed to be summoning from across the room, distracting Flitwick from Usagi for long enough that he forgot to continue questioning her about her previous charms education.

They spent the evening on the exceedingly long essay Setsuna had set them on Moon Kingdom traditions before heading up to bed. Usagi fell asleep the moment her head touched the pillow. Hogwarts was fun, she had decided, but it was also very hard work.

Chapter 4

They only had three lessons the next day due to doubles in transfiguration and potions. McGonagall actually set more homework than Setsuna, all though the new History of Magic teacher did come close to matching her during third period.

Potions was merely a disaster. Due to the set up of the classroom, or dungeon more like, the scouts, harry, Hermione and Ron could all sit at the same table and from the very start of the double period Snape did all he could to make the two hours they were to spend in the confined space a nightmare.

Ami was literally in tears by the time Usagi and Rei lead her out of the room at the end for, despite her potion to cure the common cold being exactly the right colour of lime green, Snape had merely poured the entire cauldron down the sink, declaring it "unfit for human consumption." This time Ron had been the one to restrain Rei when she tried to punch Snape. Luckily, however, the scuffle for the bell meant that Snape did not actually notice.

Breakfast on Wednesday morning consisted entirely of Ron complaining about his lesson in ancient runes for period 2 while the senshi, with the exception of Ami, learnt how to fly. Usagi wasn't entirely sure she was looking forward to the flying lesson, but she was certainly glad that she didn't have to sit through ancient runes with Ron in such a mood.

Divination turned out to be a bit of a joke. Professor Trelawney, who claimed that she could tell the future from the position of the planets, could not even sense the presence of the moon princess in the room, meaning that they mainly spent the lesson laughing and talking as they helped Harry and Ron find the correct planets on their charts. Harry seemed to have a particular trouble finding Neptune, and Minako laughed out loud when she heard how they pronounced Uranus in England, declaring that Haruka definitely would not like that.

Then, at long last as far as Rei was concerned, they headed down to the Quidditch pitch for their first flying lesson. Rei hugged her firebolt tightly as they made their way to the centre of the pitch towards a group of first years, Haruka and Michiru. They were delighted to see that Hotaru was amongst the first years. It seemed that all of them but Ami were to start flying.

Harry, seeing that Rei had her own broom, came over to find out what model it was. "A firebolt!" He exclaimed excitedly, "Wow! I've never really seen any but my own– we can race and stuff now," he blushed slightly as Rei nodded enthusiastically.

"You'll have to show me how first," she told him, "I've never flown." Harry was more than a little taken aback.

"Then how come you have such a good broom?"

"It was a gift," Minako butted in. "We all got one for getting into Hogwarts. Rei got a broom, Makoto got some weird flower, Ami got a book and Usagi got Chuu."

"Chuu?" Ron asked, eyebrows raised.

"Her owl."

"Oh right."

"Hang on Minako," Makoto said as she came over, "what did you get?"

"That," Minako replied mischievously, "is for me to know and you to find out." Usagi laughed and shook her head as Madam Hooch arrived on the pitch.

"Now, I don't expect many of you, particularly not you first years as it's against the rules, to have brooms, so please step up to a school broom." Rei followed Harry's example and laid her broom on the ground to her side.

"Now, Mr Potter over there is going to demonstrate how it's done. I don't expect any of you to reach quite the heights Mr Potter can, but it will do well enough for now."

"Up," Harry intoned the word clearly and the broom shot into his hand. He put one leg over the broom, kicked the ground hard and soared into the sky, looping over their heads.

"Right, that's enough showing off now Potter," Harry grinned and slowed to a stop a short distance away. The students did as Madam Hooch instructed and tried to summon their brooms to their hands. Rei's shot straight up and she caught it neatly, as did Haruka's, but the others took a little longer. Usagi's broom in particular seemed unwilling to move, perhaps reflecting her wish to stay firmly on the ground.

Eventually, when they were all ready, Madam Hooch blew her whistle and they kicked off. Most of them flew jerkily and hesitantly, but Rei swooped straight into the air, shrieking with delight in a very undignified and incredibly un-Rei-like fashion. Haruka and Michiru also seemed reasonably comfortable in the air, and they moved smoothly higher together. Madam Hooch sent them and Rei to a separate part of the field to work with Harry while she concentrated on those who needed a little more help.

Come break they moved back to the castle and met Ami, Ron and Hermione. Ron was practically in tears as he showed them the length of the translation they still had to do for ancient runes.

Usagi started as she realised that she recognised the symbols as the old language of the Moon Kingdom, and realised that they had been 100% mistranslated. She looked at Ami who nodded and raised her eyebrows before giggling.

The only lesson left in the day that they had not yet had was astronomy, which the scouts found to be a predictable walk in the park. They did not have all that much homework, with the exception of Hermione, Ron and Ami, the last two of whom also had reams of Arithmancy homework.

Usagi, Minako, Rei and Makoto found themselves sat in a corner with Haruka, Michiru and Hotaru and finally Usagi found the courage to ask, "So what is it Harry's famous for anyway?" She addressed the question to Hotaru who looked speculative for a moment.

"Harry is famous, I suppose, merely for the fact that he isn't dead."

"Huh. How come everyone round here's not famous? 'Cept the ghosts obviously, coz they are dead."

"When he was a year old," Hotaru began, "Harry paid a visit to the midnight gates." Usagi sucked in a sharp breath.

"So how come he didn't, well you know, pass on?"

"Because the woman who came before him, his mother I believe, invoked an ancient magic. She was not supposed to die that day, but she offered her life in place of her son's."

"You mean his mothers… she's… "

"And his father too. There was another who came to the gate that day but did not pass through. The man… or thing… that tried to kill Harry. I could not let him pass because he was incomplete. Parts of his very soul were missing, torn away from the whole."

"What does that mean?" Makoto asked, "is he still alive?"

"Yes and no. He has no body, no physical form, but there are magics that could restore him to a body."

"Well let's hope that never happens." Minako said firmly, while Rei nodded in agreement. "Wait– you didn't know any of this?" Michiru asked.

"Not a bit. Why?"

"That's why we're here," Haruka's eyes had widened in surprise. "We're here to prevent Lord Voldemort receiving a body."

"Oh." The mood, already dark, suddenly became incredibly morbid.

Their first lesson on Thursday morning was defence against the dark arts. They arrived early, having heard much praise about Professor Moody from Ron's twin brother's Fred and George. Ami and Hermione cut it very close, however, claiming that they had gone to the library after breakfast despite having finished their homework the night before.

"Let's start," he said, turning to face the class, "with curses." No one moved. This was the first time they had ever seen Moody close up, and he was terrifying. One of his eyes was small, and normal sized, while that other was large and electric blue, whizzing around its socket like there was no tomorrow.

"Like the magical eye, do you?" he asked, looking round. "Well that's why they called me mad-eye, wasn't it." He turned and began to write on the board, "don't put your gum there please, Mr Finnegan," he growled.

"No way! The coot can see out the back of his head!" Moody span round, his normal eye narrowed.

"Yes Mr Finnegan, he can. Now," he gestured at the words he had written on the board, "who can name me one of the unforgivable curses? Miss Mizuno?"

"The imperious curse."

"Aah yes. That one gave the ministry quite the problem back when you-know-who was around." Usagi glanced towards Minako and shivered. She did indeed know who Moody was referring to. Moody reached into a jar on his desk and drew out a spider. "Imperio," the spider began, impossibly, to tap dance across the desk. Usagi giggled involuntarily. "Think it's funny eh? What should I do now? Have her throw herself out of the window? Drown herself?" Usagi did not giggle. "The imperious curse gives complete control to the caster. When you-know-who was defeated the ministry had no way to tell who had been doing his bidding willingly and who had been cursed. Of course they could have, had the ninnies been willing to use veritaserum. Now, who can name another? Longbottom?"

"The… the cruciatus curse."

"Crucio!" The spider on the desk flipped over and began to twitch horribly as if it were in pain. Neville, sat not far from the desk was growing paler and paler every second, his kuckles white from clinging on to the desk.

"Stop it! Stop it! Can't you tell it's upsetting him?" Hermione's shriek rang through the classroom and Moody moved his wand away from the spider.

"And I suppose you can tell me the last of the unforgivable curses, Miss Granger?"

"Avada kedavra." She whispered. Moody whirled around, pointed his wand at the spider and shouted the words. There was a flash of green light and all was silent.

"The killing curse." He said as he sat behind his desk. "No way to defend against it. Only one person has ever been known to survive and he," Moody looked pointedly at Harry, "is sitting in this room with us now."

That evening, Harry was unusually quiet in the common room. Makoto was sat in a corner looking through a book Moody had lent Neville after having tea with him, while the others were sat in their favourite corner, determinately not talking about that morning's lesson. It was most certainly the most awkward evening of the term so far, made no less so when Harry's owl Hedwig, delivered a letter he appeared to be less than pleased about, causing Harry to storm out of the room and into the dormitory. They all drifted to bed soon after.

When they came down for breakfast the following day, Harry seemed to be in a much better mood. In fact, the next few weeks seemed to zoom past them as the group became firm friends. Ami and Hermione in particular seemed to be very close, but Usagi and Minako had long since decided that harry and Rei most definitely had sparks, particularly after Harry offered to tutor Rei on flying one on one on Friday evenings before their astronomy practical.

October rolled in as the weather worsened and soon signs detailing the arrival of the schools of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang went up on the notice boards. They were to arrive, it transpired, on the day before Halloween, which would be a Friday. They would also, to everyone's delight, miss most of potions in order to greet the schools.

When the time came, they filed out onto the grass to wait. And wait.

And wait.

It seemed like an age before anything interesting happened and then, finally, someone pointed to the sky. "Look!"

"What's that?"

"It's a flying house!"

"That is the delegation from Beauxbatons," Dumbledore announced above the chatter.

It was not, in actuality, a flying house but of all the guesses this was the closest. It was in fact an exceedingly large, powder blue carriage. It landed in front of the students and a boy in blue robes leapt out and placed a set of stairs before the door to allow an enormous woman to climb out. She was easily as tall as Hagrid, and when Dumbledore, who was not exactly small, moved over to her he barely reached her shoulders.

"Madam Maxime, what a pleasure as always!"

"Dumbledore, how good it is to see you," she said in a heavily accented voice. "Karkeroff is not here yet– would your students prefer to wait or go inside?"

"Inside I think, it is chilly,"

"Of course, of course. Do not worry about your horses, our gamekeeper Hagrid will take care of them."

"They are very strong… " Madam Maxime's eyebrows had risen.

"I'm sure Hagrid will be able to manage them," Dumbledore smiled, "you may go and wait in the great hall."

They only had to wait a moment longer when the Durmstrang students arrived in style. A ship began to rise from the depths of the lake, making Usagi and a few others squeal and one by one people dressed in heavy furs disembarked. The one in the lead, presumably Karkeroff, embraced Dumbledore and the two lead the students of both schools inside.

Usagi, Hermione and most of the scouts went ahead as Harry, Rei and Ron seemed to have a fit about some famous Quidditch player who had arrived with the Durmstrang students, but soon enough they were all ensconced at the Gryffindor table, while Ron grumbled about the Durmstrang students sitting with the Slytherins.

Chapter 5

The feast was sumptuous and within minutes Usagi and Minako had all but finished a strange stew Hermione and Ami assured them was called bouillabaisse. Before desert arrived however, Dumbledore stood and raised his arms for silence.

"Before we continue with our fantastic feast, let us take a moment to talk of the tri-wizard tournament." It seemed that everyone within the hall was holding their breath. "I would like to introduce Mr Bartemious Crouch and Mr Ludo Bagman, heads of the ministry departments of international magical cooperation and of magical games and sports respectively." The students clapped and cheered, although Harry suspected most of it was for Mr Bagman, who had played beater for England a while back, rather than for the prim and proper Mr Crouch, who was in fact Ron's older brother Percy's boss at the ministry.

"Now, Mr Crouch and Mr Bagman are in no small part responsible for the revival of the tournament and I will leave it up to Mr Crouch to explain the rules to you."

"Good evening," Mr Crouch's voice sounded just as he looked, Usagi decided– clipped and clinical. "This year the tri-wizard tournament will be slightly different to all previous occasions in that no student who is under the age of seventeen will be allowed to compete in the tournament." A loud chorus of boos and hisses met this, "This has been decided for the safety of the students. Now, each of the three schools will each have a champion. The champions will be selected by an unbiased judge on merits of strength, courage, loyalty and skill. Please bring forth the goblet."

Argus Filtch, the withered school caretaker moved forward and placed a small table in front of Mr Crouch. Though small in diameter, the table was tall enough to easily reach his chest. Filtch placed a stone goblet on the tabletop and shuffled back.

"This is the Goblet of Fire," as Crouch spoke the words, blue flames leapt into life inside the goblet causing many of the students to gasp out loud. "To be considered for school champion, a student need only place a piece of paper containing their name and school inside the goblet. It will be placed in the entrance hall at the end of the feast and shall remain there until the Halloween feast tomorrow evening. The official prize for the champion is one thousand galleons in prize money, although perhaps more valuable is the honour won for the champion's school. Thank you."

"One thousand galleons!" Ron mouthed across the table at Harry.

No one clapped as Crouch took his seat, but turned expectantly back to Dumbledore. "I think it is important," Dumbledore began, "to note that placing your name inside the goblet creates a binding magical contract. If your name is selected there will be no backing out, no changing of your mind. The selection of the school champions is final." Dumbledore emphasised the last word.

"Also, as two of them are indeed old enough to submit their names, the students involved in the transfer programme are considered full Hogwarts students for the year, and so may submit their names into the goblet." Usagi turned to see Haruka grinning and holding Michiru's hand as she was slapped on the back by her fellow seventh years.

"And finally, an age line shall be drawn around the goblet to prevent those under age from entering the tournament. Please note that I shall be drawing this myself." Usagi could have sworn that Dumbledore's eyes flickered to Fred and George Weasley as he spoke. "So think upon this, and enjoy are fantabulous desert!"

The golden plates were suddenly full with various puddings ranging from éclairs to apple pie.

Usagi helped herself to a little bit of everything and soon thought very little of the tri-wizard tournament.

As she stood from the Gryffindor table, Haruka saw Setsuna standing by the double doors looking at her meaningfully. She sighed and headed over to her, knowing that this conversation had always been inevitable.

"You do know, I assume, that if you put your name in that goblet you will be chosen as champion?"

"I had guessed as much," Haruka nodded. Setsuna saw hesitation in her and spoke quickly. "Do not worry. For now they will hear only Japanese." Haruka nodded, clearly relieved.

"I had guessed that there would not be one at Hogwarts who could beat me to be champion. I shall take your words as confirmation that you have seen the timelines."

"I have not." Setsuna was not looking at Haruka, but rather over her shoulder. Haruka fought the temptation to glance back, knowing that there would be nothing there.

"What's that mean then?"

"It means that there is some power in this castle that prevents me from connecting to the space— time door. Something with this much power is most definitely a force to be reckoned with."

"But you could see the lines before!" Haruka exclaimed, "you could see that events at this castle would affect the future of Crystal Tokyo!"

"Not at this castle exactly, related to would be more accurate. I could only see the future in which their Lord Voldemort revives his body, and this future has changed, due to both our presence and the tri-wizard tournament."

"The tournament is causing the change?"

"It is certainly a part of it. You must enter Haruka," Setsuna's eyes darted towards the senshi of wind, "you must enter, because whoever does will be in mortal peril."

"What about me?" Haruka smiled humourlessly "You are well used to mortal peril."

"Yes, that's Potter Karkeroff." Moody's voice rang through the silent crowd as he limped towards the double doors. "And if you're quite done staring, some of us would like to leave." Karkeroff, who had stopped dead, allowing the Durmstrang students to block the doors, shook his head and looked towards Moody– was that fear?

"Of course," he said in heavily accented English before practically running away. "That was weird," Harry said, looking after the headmaster.

"So, would you enter the tournament if you could?" Ron prompted Harry as they headed up to Gryffindor tower.

"I don't know… maybe."

"Don't be silly Harry!" George exclaimed.

"Indeed Mr Potter, you haven't nearly died in at least– what is it now George?"

"I don't know Fred, far too long for certain!"

"It'll be easy enough to enter anyway. An aging potion would beat an age line," Fred seemed almost disappointed. "An age line. Tsch."

"So Harry, Ron– want to enter?"

"I think I'll wait and see what Dumbledore's age line does to you two first thanks. There's no way you two can beat it!"

"I am offended little bro! Just you wait." As Fred and George went off to their dormitory, Harry and Ron entered their own. The others weren't up from the feast yet, so they were free to talk.

"I might have tried, if I could," Ron said decisively, "I could have impressed… " but there he stopped, blushing furiously. Harry laughed as he got into his four poster bed. As he drifted into sleep, he had dreams in which he was the tri-wizard champion, in which he lifted the tri-wizard cup above his head. He would smile into the crowd, and a particular black haired witch would smile back.

Harry was exceedingly glad that she wasn't psychic.

"Bleurgh… " Rei was in a foul mood the following day. "I hardly slept a wink." She spoke quietly as Hermione headed into the bathroom, "tons of the boys were having really loud dreams about being tri-wizard champion." She rolled her eyes, but did not say anything about the very brief glimpse into one particular dream she had seen.

As it was a Saturday they dressed slowly and headed down for a late breakfast. Harry and Ron were sat by a wall in the entrance hall, watching the goblet of fire and eating a stack of toast and marmalade.

"Hey!" Ron exclaimed as Minako darted forward and pinched the entire stack, passing it round the girls as they settled down.

"Anyone interesting put their name in yet?" Hermione asked before taking a bite of toast. "Hmm? Oh, a few Slytherins, couple of Ravenclaws, Diggory… "

"I hope it isn't Diggory," Ron interrupted Harry, "stuck up prat."

"Ron! Don't say that." Hermione chided him.

"What– girls only like him 'cause he's handsome," he exaggerated the last word. "Well he is… " Makoto said as she looked at a boy across the hall.

"What, you know who he is?" Rei asked, surprised.

"Hmmm… oh," Makoto blushed. "Well… he kinda looks like my… "

"Not that Sempai again!" Minako burst out laughing.

"Oh be quiet!" Makoto snapped half heartedly.

"Any of the Beauxbatons or Durmstrang lot done it yet?" Hermione asked.

"Yeah, the Durmstrang students were leaving when we came down, but we haven't seen any of the Beauxbatons students yet."

"Haruka!" Usagi called across the hall and the blonde girl coming down the marble stairs looked around and smiled. She took Michiru's hand, earning a few glances, and came over to where they sat.

"If it isn't little Usagi," Haruka smiled as Usagi leapt to her feet and hugged her. "I haven't seen enough of you two since we got here!" She declared.

"You see more of us than you did over summer," Michiru pointed out, smiling.

"Yeah, but you weren't around over summer– are either of you gonna try for champion."

"Haruka is," Michiru said, "I'm gonna stand by and watch." A smile played around her lips, but it did not reach her eyes.

"Go on then!" Usagi was as oblivious as always, "put your name in!"

"Very well." Haruka pulled a scrap of paper out of her pocket and headed towards the goblet people stopped and watched as she took a step over the age line and dropped the paper into the goblet. A few Gryffindors cheered and clapped as she headed into the great hall arm in arm with Michiru.

Next the Beauxbatons students came into the entrance hall. One by one they placed their names into the goblet. Hermione slapped Ron hard over the head when he stared at one of them for a little too long.

"Hey! That hurt."

"What hurt?" Hermione smiled sweetly at him.

"I think she was part veela," Ron whispered to Harry, ignoring Hermione, "they don't make them like that at Hogwarts."

"Hmmm? No… "

They were distracted when Fred and George came barrelling down the marble stairs, shortly followed by their friend Lee Jordan.

"That is never going to work," Hermione called to them.

"I'm with Hermione," Ami shouted, "there's no way Dumbledore could be fooled by an aging potion."

"Non-believers," Fred declared, before he and George jumped over the line.

For a heartbeat, nothing happened. Then BAM! The twins were thrown backwards out of the ring created by the age line. As they clambered to their feet everyone in the entrance hall burst into fits of laughter.

"I'd head up to the hospital wing if I were you," Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he came down the marble stairs, "there's more than one student up their already but I must say, none of their beards are quite as impressive as yours."

The twins looked at each other in horror, seeing for the first time the long, silver beards each of them now sported.

Harry, Ron and Hermione spent the day down at Hagrid's hut, while the scouts spent the day celebrating Minako's birthday. They were a tad late, but Minako had been far too overloaded with homework on her actual birthday to do much celebrating.

When it finally came to the Halloween feast the hall was buzzing. Even Usagi could not eat very much, nervous as she was about the champion's selection– she hoped Haruka was chosen, but going by the qualities listed the previous night she did not think that Sailor Uranus would really face much in the way of competition.

And yet still, she was nervous.

When finally the golden plates disappeared, Dumbledore waved his wand and the table supporting the goblet glided gently to the front of the hall. He did not speak, merely looked at it expectantly.

Then, the flames became red and a sheet of paper flew into the air. Dumbledore caught it. "The champion for Durmstrang is Viktor Krum!"

"I knew it!" Ron exclaimed as cheers and claps erupted from the Slytherin table, "who else could it have been?" Rei and Harry nodded in firm agreement as Dumbledore directed Krum to a door behind the teachers table. There was another moment of tense silence before the goblet went red again and another piece of paper floated down to Dumbledore's outstretched hand.

"The champion for Beauxbatons academy is Fleur Delacour." They clapped politely as the girl Ron had thought might be part veela headed up past the teachers table.

Now the tension was huge– who would be the host school's champion. The final piece of paper flew into the air and Dumbledore caught it. "The champion for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is Tenoh Haruka!" There were cheers and claps from all of the students, although none more so than the Gryffindor table. Haruka stood and walked past the teachers table, glancing at Setsuna as she walked past. Setsuna nodded almost imperceptivity.

"And so we have our champions," Dumbledore stepped forwards, past the place where the goblet still resided. "The first task will take place-" he broke off, however, when the students began to murmur. The flame inside the goblet had, once more, turned red.

Everybody watched, transfixed, as another scrap of paper flew into the air. Dumbledore caught it, somewhat automatically, and looked at the writing upon it.

Professor McGonagall, and to the surprise of some, Setsuna, hurried around to look at the paper and there was a brief, hurried discussion between the three members of staff before Dumbledore turned to face the students.

"There are two names," he began, "Harry Potter and Tsukino Usagi."

There was silence in the hall. No one moved and it seemed as if no one even breathed. Eventually, Dumbledore spoke again, "Harry, Usagi… come forward please." Usagi's legs felt numb as she slowly stepped over the bench and walked hesitantly to where Dumbledore stood. She was vaguely aware of Harry moving at the other side of the table, but mostly she was aware of the stares from all sides of the room.

After what seemed like an age, she made it to the front. Dumbledore pointed to the door the others had headed through and silently Usagi followed Harry through the door. The room on the other side was silent. Krum, and Fleur were standing by the fire while Haruka was lounging against the wall nearby.

She blanched when she saw who was coming into the room. "What is it?" she asked, "What's happened?" Fleur and Krum turned at her words, frowns creasing both of their faces. Usagi glanced at harry who was looking determinately at the floor. She did not speak, but was intensely glad when the door behind them opened and Ludo Bagman bounded into the room.

"Well… impossible as it seems, may I introduce the fourth and fifth tri-wizard champions." The reactions were mixed. Krum's frowned deepened, Fleur began to speak in rapid French (words that did not sound particularly polite were the most prominent) and Haruka looked as if she was going to be sick as she looked at Usagi, her eyes wide. The door opened again and a stream of teachers poured into the room, all arguing over what should be done.

"They have no choice," Crouch was saying, "the goblet of fire is a binding magical contract — once their names came out they are bound to compete."

"So Hogwarts will get not one– not even two!– but three bites of the apple!" Madam Maxime screeched. "This is outrageous Dumbledore and I shall not stand for it!"

"Indeed," Karkeroff agreed, "in fact I have half a mind to take my students home right now."

"Empty threat, Karkeroff," it was Moody, "your champion is bound to compete in the tournament as well and you are bound to judge. None of you can leave."

"Harry, Usagi– did either of you put that piece of paper into the goblet of fire? Did either of you get an older student to put it in for you?" They shook their heads, far too intimidated to speak.

"Albus," Setsuna had spoken, "may I have a word," she glanced around and added, "privately." Dumbledore looked a little surprised, but nodded and followed Setsuna to a small chamber where there were not even any portraits– 100% private.

"You wished to tell me something?" Dumbledore prompted her.

"Yes." She took a breath before saying, "I know why Usagi's name came out of the goblet."

"Really?" Dumbledore's tone was light, but there was sharpness in the way that he looked at Setsuna. "And why would that be?"

"You know, I assume, what this is." Setsuna reached to her neck and pulled out a locket on a golden chain. On the locket was the planetary symbol for Pluto.

For a moment, Dumbledore was speechless and then, "may I?" he held out a hand and Setsuna reluctantly let him take the locket. "The Henshin necklace," he said quietly, "precursor to the Henshin wand, tool of the mythical sailor senshi."

"I knew you were sceptical when I changed the syllabus, but it is real, Albus– you of all people should not struggle to believe these stories," she added pointedly, hinting at what she knew. "The goblet of fire took Usagi's name because it was reacting to her mere presence."

"Her presence? Is she one of the senshi?"

"Yes and no. The senshi are here, however."

"All of them?"

"Every single one. Haruka, for example, is Sailor Uranus. She has entered the tournament under my instructions. Had she not, the Hogwarts champion would have died. There is no doubt about that. I still worry for Haruka, however," her gaze faded again.

"You are Sailor Pluto then?"

"Yes. I am far older than you can even begin to imagine, Albus. Far, far older. I have not been able to see much of this year and I have dreaded it since the timelines twisted this way. Being blinded is not something I enjoy."

"So why are the scouts here?"

"They are here to prevent Lord Voldemort returning to his body." Dumbledore did not respond straight away, but looked thoughtful.

"I suppose… I suppose that if Usagi is and yet is not a senshi then she must be-"

"Yes. Usagi is the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, heir to the Moon Kingdom and betrothed of Prince Endymion."

"That is a lot of weight upon the shoulders of one so young."

"Usagi is far more mature than many would give her credit for, and she has friends who would stand by her through anything."

"The senshi?"

"Yes. Those in her year are the inner guard, Haruka and Michiru are Uranus and Neptune, and Hotaru is Saturn."

"The sailor of ruin? The stories that speak of her never end favourably."

"Stories are told by survivors, and survivors are always bitter."

"That is a wise thing to say, and yet you are a survivor… " Dumbledore did not finish the sentence, but let it hang in the air. Setsuna leaned forward and took her Henshin necklace from Dumbledore.

"The point here is that only Saturn and I are still able to complete our Henshin. Most of the scouts lost their's when they were reborn from chaos before the summer, and Usagi burnt out much of the silver crystal's power when she returned Galaxia to her true form… she will gain it back, and when she does the scouts will find their powers once more, but I do not know if she will gain it in time. I cannot see, and that is never good."

"And Harry will be in danger?"

"Most certainly. I do not know why his name came out of the goblet, but the fact that it was on the same scrap of paper indicates that whoever put it in did something to ensure that it was absolutely certain Harry's name would come out. It is a terrible fact that the tournament requires a vow such as that made with the goblet– unbreakable." There was most certainly a bitter edge to Setsuna's voice.

"Indeed… they have no choice but to compete."

"Well then, let us go and break the news."

Usagi, Harry and Haruka headed silently up to Gryffindor Tower, none of them wanting to speak of the tournament. When they pushed open the portrait hole it was to find a massive party in swing.

"Three Gryffindor champions!" Fred Weasley shouted as they entered, "who could have seen that coming!"

"Yeah, you'll have to tell us how you did it at some point," George warned, "I never saw your beards," he winked at them.

"Just move," Haruka warned them, pushing through the crowd with no troubles. "Come on Usagi." Haruka grabbed Usagi's hand and pulled her through and up the stairs to the dormitory. They passed Hermione in the corridor and she squealed as she saw Usagi and hugged her tight.

"I can't believe it– they're not going to actually let you compete are they? That would be ridiculous and so dangerous! We'll have to work out who put your name in the goblet, and Harry's too obviously. I haven't seen Ron since the feast though– have you seen Ron?"


"I wonder where he could have got to– although maybe he went up to the dormitory to wait for Harry — where's Harry for that matter?"


"I should go talk to him, he's probably-"



"Harry's downstairs fighting through the crowd, we haven't seen Ron and yes, they are making us compete." Hermione was dumbfounded. "Go find Harry," Usagi said, hugging Hermione in return, "I have loads of people to comfort me."

Hermione nodded, tears in her eyes and headed down the stairs. Usagi and Haruka headed onwards to Usagi's room inside of which all the scouts, including Setsuna although Usagi had no idea how she could have gotten there so quickly.

Setsuna proceeded to explain why Usagi's name had come out of the goblet and the reason why she had to compete. All in all, it was not a good night.

Chapter 6

Usagi slept badly that night. They had talked until they heard Hermione coming back to the dormitory, at which point Setsuna had disappeared– Ami was insistent that she could not have used the sailor teleport, but the others were not so sure– and then they had spent another hour reassuring Usagi and Hermione in equal measure that everything would be alright. They couldn't really tell Hermione, but they had all been through worse.

Of course, Usagi had been able to complete the Henshin… well, most of the time. She kept dreaming ridiculous things –such as fighting Metallia while the judges watched impassively. She woke up more than once sweating profusely. Each time she did one of the scouts was sat up in her bed, watching her seemingly unblinkingly.

They went down for breakfast earlier than usual, but did not stay in the great hall for very long. People were whispering and staring openly, and Usagi nearly burst into tears. Makoto took her firmly by the arm and steered her back outside while Hermione, Ami and Minako each grabbed a stack of toast. Rei quite literally collared Harry, who was (unusually) unaccompanied by Ron.

They headed down and sat by the lake in silence for a moment before Ami spoke. "Usagi, you need to let Mamoru know." Usagi's head shot up and she really did burst into tears.

"I can't do that! You know what he's like, and I don't want him to get worried."

"Usagi, this is something he's gonna have to get worried about sooner or later," Makoto said gently. "Chuu came back last night while you were asleep– you should write to him now."

"They're right, Usagi," Hermione said quietly, "and Harry, I think you should tell Sirius."

"Hermione!" Harry hissed, "be careful!"

"Oh really Harry, who are they going to tell? They clearly have enough secrets of their own, which fair enough are theirs to keep, but the truth is that we need to trust them and they need to trust us

– whoever put your names in that goblet had something in for the pair of you and we need to figure out what." Usagi did not correct Hermione– the person in question only really had something in for Harry, she just had very bad luck. "And anyway, they don't even know who Sirius is– well, Ami does," Hermione amended, "but I trust her and I'd hope she trusts me." Ami nodded.

"Well then I trust you too," Usagi said as she wiped her eyes on her sleeve, "Ami's usually good at telling who to trust, and I trust her judgement." Hermione smiled weakly.

Dear Mamoru,

I only just got your letter. Usually I'd take a day or so to think about what to say or how to phrase it, but the truth is that so much has happened here and I just need to unload.
Remember I told you about the tri-wizard tournament? Well, Haruka is Hogwarts champion (no surprises right? Wrong.) See, someone put Harry's name (you remember I told you about Harry) in the goblet in such a way that it was 100% certain it would come out, binding him to compete.
The problem is that my name was on the paper too– the goblet reacted to my presence, Setsuna said. I want to lie to you, to tell you I'll be alright, but you know me far too well by now. I'm scared, and I know I'm never alone but right now I feel it. Can't you be here for me, please?


Usako xxx

Ron didn't sit with them in the common room that evening. In fact, he went to bed early and did not speak to them at all. In the morning they ate breakfast quickly and headed to lessons. Usagi worked through the day and did her homework without really thinking, wishing a reply would come soon, knowing that it could not.

Tuesday passed in much the same way, that is, until Potions. As Usagi was setting up her cauldron ready for the double period, there was a timid knock on the dungeon door and Colin Creevey, a third year Gryffindor Usagi knew only because of his seeming adoration for Harry, entered the room.

"Please sir," he squeaked, "I've come to collect Harry Potter and Usa— I mean, Tsukino Usagi."

"And why would you be collecting them from my class, Mr Creevey." Snape said in a soft whisper. "Ummm… Mr Bagman wants to see them, sir.

"Then you can tell Mr Bagman that Potter and Tsukino are in my class until four and that they will come along then."

"Please sir, Mr Bagman was quite insistent… I think… I think they want to take… to take… photographs." Usagi felt a blush creeping up her face. Ron threw dirty looks at both her and Harry before deliberately turning away. Usagi felt stung — never before had she really fallen out with a friend for more than a few hours, and yet here was Ron, refusing to speak to any of them.

"Oh of course, why did I not guess– Potter, Tsukino, leave your bags and books behind. You will return when you," Snape paused maliciously, "photo shoot is over."

"Erm… Mr Bagman says they are to take their bags with them… Sir… "

"Oh very well then. Go." Usagi grabbed her bag and pretty much ran for it, leaving the classroom before Snape could change his mind.

Colin lead them to an empty classroom on the fourth floor and left them at the door. The palava with Snape seemed to have made them a little late– the other champions, all the judges and Setsuna (for some reason Usagi was not yet sure of) were there already as was a woman with peroxide blond curls and an acid green quill, perched upon a piece of parchment on the desk before her.

"Aah, Harry, Usagi– sit down, sit down." Only after Bagman had ushered them to seats by the other champions did Usagi notice the other person in the room– it was Ollivander the wand maker, who was standing quietly in a corner.

"Before we begin, I would just like to make a quick announcement while our reporter is here." He nodded to the blonde woman, "Rita," there was no warmth in either his words or the nod she sent back. "We, that is to say myself, Ludo, Barty Igor, Olympe and Setsuna, have talked this over at great length and decided that it will be best to make a slight change to the way in which the tournament is to be run. Harry is to run as the only Hogwarts champion, while Haruka and Usagi are to compete as stand alone champions, given as neither of them attended a magical school prior to this year.

"As they have no headmaster to judge the tournament, Setsuna has agreed to step in as the sixth and final judge." Dumbledore paused as Rita's quill zoomed across the page before her, "and now," he continued, "to the weighing of the wands."

The "weighing of the wands" seemed to consist of Ollivander testing the wands of each champion in turn. He seemed to find little out of the ordinary with Fleur's wand, commenting only the fact that it contained a Veela hair (which Fleur revealed to be one of her grandmothers). Krum's wand took a little longer– Ollivander had been able to name the wand maker (Gregoro-something)– and had been reasonably impressed with its condition.

When it came to Harry's wand, Ollivander looked at it for a moment, as though expecting to see something that wasn't there. Then he merely said, "curious as ever Mr Potter," and handed the wand back to Harry.

Haruka stood next and headed over. "So you would be Miss Tenoh?" Ollivander asked. Haruka nodded. "And your wand." Haruka did not, as the others had, reach into her pocket. Instead she held her hand before her and a soft breeze filled the room, seeming to collect in her hand to form the wand, which was translucent and moving within the confined space of its limits, earning a few gasps even from the teachers.

"I never could touch that one," Ollivander said thoughtfully. Harry frowned– Hermione had told him that their wands were not made by Ollivander, but by the sound of it he had certainly seen them before. Rita's quill continued to scratch away. "And Miss Tsukino?"

Haruka returned to her seat, smiling briefly at Usagi as she passed her. Usagi pulled her own silver wand from her pocket and held it out to Ollivander, who took it carefully in one hand. "Aah, of course. The most curious of wands I have ever seen. Perhaps the most powerful too, if used correctly. A demonstration?" he asked, holding the wand back out to Usagi.

A little desperately, Usagi waved it and hoped something interesting would happen.

It did. A rainbow of silver sparks cascaded from her wand tip and, for the briefest of moments, she felt connected. Unlike the spells she had cast in class, Usagi had not relied upon an incantation, or a movement, but had allowed the wand to lead her as she always had with the relics of the moon kingdom.

"Bravo!" Ollivander clapped and Usagi was brought back into the classroom. There before her hung the stars, perfectly replicated in the form of silver sparks. A smile twitched the corner of her lips, and both Haruka and Setsuna looked more than a little thoughtful.

Chapter 7

Afterwards there were indeed photographs. A small man entered the room, complete with a large old fashioned flash camera. He seemed, for the most part, determined to get Fleur in the centre, but for some reason Rita insisted that Usagi and Haruka should be in the middle. Madam Maxime was forced to sit on the floor in order to fit in the photo and Karkeroff was constantly complaining that Krum was too far back, despite the fact that he was more often than not moving there of his own free will.

Finally they were done meaning Usagi, Harry and Haruka could head down for dinner. Usagi and Harry sat with Hermione and the inner senshi, but Ron was sat a short distance away with Dean and Seamus.

The article on the tournament was not published for another few days, leading to more than a little talk about what could be holding Rita Skeeter (who seemed to be renowned for causing trouble) back from publishing a story with so much juicy gossip. When the article finally did appear, it caused quite a stir.

When I, Rita Skeeter Daily Prophet Reporter, was given the task of reporting on the historic resurrection of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, I expected a story. What I did not expect, however, was the story I received.
For it seems that, despite the tournaments long history, it has now become traditional to allow five champions to compete over three. More than that, two of the champions are under the age stipulated in the new tournament guidelines.
One of these champions is none other than poor, long suffering Harry Potter, or 'The Boy Who Lived'. Harry Potter's story is, of course, legend, but unfortunately I was not able to interview the youngest of the champions, or indeed any of the champions, and so have instead turned my not to be underestimated skills of journalism to the two newcomers, both of whom are transfer students at Hogwarts this year– Tenoh Haruka and Tsukino Usagi.
Tenoh was originally the Hogwarts champion after it was decided that for the purpose of the tournament the transfer students should be considered students of the historic school. Miss Tsukino, however, is underage and therefore was in no position to enter the tournament.
Since the drawing of the champions names from the Goblet of Fire, it has been decided that Potter will run as the only Hogwarts champion while Tsukino and Tenoh run individually. Neither of them attended a magic school prior to their year at Hogwarts, meaning that there was no headmaster to take a place on the judging panel. The new History of Magic teacher at Hogwarts, one Meioh Setsuna, is supposedly a high ranking member of the Japanese Ministry, and so has taken the empty judges slot.
Only yesterday, I paid a visit to Japan and, after much time spent searching, finally located the home of the elusive transfer students– in the Juuban district of Tokyo city.
It took me only moments with the parents of Miss Tsukino to realise that they had no idea where their daughter really was. The pair of them and their son, all of them muggles, were under the impression that little miss Usagi had received a scholarship to a prominent English boarding school.
As for Tenoh I could learn very little about except for the fact that she seems to live with fellow students Kaioh Michiru and Tomoe Hotaru. Kaioh and Tenoh seem to have raised Tomoe as their own daughter after her father was seriously injured a year or so ago in an explosion that levelled his (non-magical) school to the ground.
As for Meioh, I could find very little– either the Japanese Ministry is far more effective at hiding itself than it's British counterpart or it simply does not exist.
The champion for Durmstrang is Victor Crum, while the Beabaton champion is Fluer Delacoor.

Usagi could not, it seemed, escape from the aftermath of that article. The Slytherins seemed to find the fact that her parents were not magical something to make fun and insult her about.

Hermione had explained the logic they had about this, but Usagi agreed with her– it was more than a little ridiculous.

The first task was scheduled to take place on November the 24th, only a couple of weeks away, and Usagi had no idea what she would be up against. This, they had been told, was the point of the first task– to test courage in the face of the unknown. Ami, however, had always been a believer in preparation, meaning that when the first Hogsmeade weekend finally rolled around the scouts and Usagi were to be found alone in the charms classroom practising every spell Ami thought might come in useful of which there seemed to be a surprisingly large amount.

They were slightly late for dinner and did not join in the conversations of their classmates, most of whom were talking about what they had done in the village. Usagi went to bed early and barely stirred as one by one the scouts went to bed around her.

She did, however, notice when Hermione burst into the room panting. "Usagi?" She ran over to the bed and shook her friend awake, "Usagi? Harry says he needs to talk to you right now– it's really urgent." Usagi shook her head slightly and brushed her long hair out of her eyes.

"What– right this second?"

"Yes, but he wouldn't say what about."

"We're coming," Usagi pulled on her dressing gown as the scouts each shook themselves out of varying states of drowsiness. They hurried down the stairs into the common room, which was empty except for Harry who was sat by the fire.

"No! It's alright Sirius, they're friends," Harry said to… Usagi blinked. There was someone's head in the fireplace.

"Very well," the head said, nodding towards Harry. "Is one of them this Usagi?"

"That's me," Usagi squeaked, moving next to Harry as Hermione came back down the stairs this time accompanied by Haruka and Michiru.

"And this would be Haruka?" Haruka nodded stiffly but did not speak.

"Dragons." Harry said, "that's what the first task is. There are five dragons, and we have to get past them."

"Dragons?" Usagi's head felt light, "you mean… dragons actually exist?"

"Yes, but don't worry," the head in the fire said, not unkindly, "there are simple ways to defeat them."

"Go on!" Usagi encouraged eagerly, "tell us!"

The head– Sirius?– took a deep breath and then stopped as the sound of footsteps came from the boys dormitory. "I'd better be off," and without another word the head disappeared with a slight pop.

Usagi turned to see Ron emerge from the boy's dormitory. He seemed more than a little surprised to see so many of them there and hesitated. "What do you want?" Harry asked aggressively, "haven't you done enough already?"

Usagi stared at Harry– when had it gotten this bad? For a second Ron's hand twitched and Usagi thought he might reach for his wand, but instead he just shook his head and turned away, heading up to the boy's dormitory.

Dragons, dragons, dragons…

The word circled around Usagi's head all through Sunday, which they spent in the library with Harry and Hermione, looking for any one of the simple ways Sirius had hinted at to defeat them with no luck. They found many books on raising dragons, back from the days when it was legal and there was a market for such books, but nothing about how do fight one.

The likelihood that most people weren't stupid enough to try. Usagi knew that Haruka was planning to use the skills unique to her as Sailor Uranus to defeat the dragon, which she had apparently spent some time working on since the weighing of the wands. Usagi only wished she knew how to do something other than make pretty sparks with her wand.

Sunday ended far too fast, and Monday zoomed along too. On Monday evening, they were heading for dinner when they head the clunk behind them that could only mean Moody was walking behind them.

"Potter," he growled. "Yes professor?"

"Come with me."

Harry followed Moody cautiously, wondering what he could want. When they reached his office, Moody sat down and looked at Harry, "so tell me," he said, "how did you find out about the dragons."

"I don't know what you mean sir," Harry said loyally– there was no way he was going to tell Moody that Hagrid had shown him the dragons.

"Relax Potter, cheating is traditional in this tournament. Now, how do you plan on getting past your dragon?"

Usagi felt sick. She would be fighting a dragon in a little less than two hours and she had no plan, no idea of what to do. Harry, she knew, would be summoning his broom after some advice from Moody, but Harry had passed on the advice and Usagi could not think of anything she had ever really been good at other than being Sailor Moon, and she couldn't do that for the tournament even had she wanted to.

She clutched at the almost useless Henshin broach in her pocket and wished she could still transform. When the time came, she headed down with Harry and Haruka, trying and failing to stop her legs from shaking.

Chapter 8

"Each of the five champions will select a token from this bag, showing what they will fight and in what order they will do so." Bagman held out a small bag made of purple velvet. "Ladies first," he held the bag out to Fleur, who reached inside and pulled out a small model of a red dragon with the number three around its neck that coughed a small fireball as it clung to her hand.

"The Chinese fireball," Mr Crouch said from where he stood a little behind Haruka. Next, Bagman held the bag to Haruka, who reached in and pulled out a model of a green dragon bearing the number two.

"The welsh green," Crouch told them. The bag was warm when Usagi reached inside. Her hand shaking, she reached in and felt something sharp. She jerked her hand as far away from that particular dragon as possible and pulled out a small black and brown dragon wearing the number five.

"The Norwegian Ridgeback," Crouch said. Usagi looked at the little dragon. It didn't look so tough right now, but she was sure it would look much tougher in real life. When Krum reached into the bag, he pulled out the dragon wearing the number one.

"The Swedish Short Snout, which leaves… " he paused as Harry reached into the bag, "the Hungarian Horntail."

"Right, now that each of you has your dragon, this is what you need to do– really it's quite simple. Your task is to retrieve the golden egg. Points will be awarded for technique, speed and the condition of the real eggs at the end of the task. When you hear the cannon, you may enter– in the order of your dragons of course. Good luck."

Without a further word both Bagman and Crouch left. It was not long before the cannon sounded for the first time. Usagi started to hyperventilate as Krum left the tent.

"I didn't ask for this," she said, squeezing the broach in the pockets of her shorts so that her words would come out in Japanese. "I can't even transform Haruka– what can I really do?"

"Usagi, calm down," Haruka said slowly, "there is nothing to be gained from panicking. Remember, you are Princess Serenity, and no dragon can prevent the rise of Crystal Tokyo." Usagi nodded, but still she felt far less than comfortable.

Unfortunately that was when the cannon sounded for the second time. Haruka smiled encouragingly at Usagi, squared her shoulders and headed out of the tent.

"Come on Haruka!" Minako shouted as the blond moved out into the arena. She was wearing, they realised in an instant, a white vest and navy blue shorts. From this distance it almost looked as if she had transformed.

The dragon was hunkered down by her eggs, stubbornly refusing to move. Haruka did not speak, but held her hand out. Wind whipped the crowd's hair into the eyes very suddenly before condensing into Haruka's wand. The dragon sniffed the air and began, slowly, to move forwards. Haruka did not move, but waited. The dragon kept on coming. "She'd better move soon," Ami said, "she won't want the dragon coming to close."

"Yeah… she'd get burnt to a crisp," Rei added, before she was slapped around the head by Makoto.

"Don't even joke about that!" She hissed, her face pale as she looked down at Haruka.

"I'm not worried for Haruka," Rei said, rubbing the back of her head, "Usagi on the other hand… "

For a moment it looked as if Haruka had frozen as the dragon advanced upon her, but then it was over in an instant. With a single wave of her wand, Haruka propelled herself into the air. She did not, however escape uninjured. At the moment of her jump the dragon had sent a gout of flame into their air which she had unwittingly jumped through. She wasn't flying, but it was most certainly a very impressive jump.

She rolled as she hit the ground and grasped the golden egg. The roll put out the flames, but she was quite significantly burnt. You would not have thought so to look at her though, as she strolled away from the dragon as though it had been nothing.

The cannon went for the third time and Fleur left the tent. What felt like moments later harry left as well. Usagi sat on the nearest chair and put her head between her knees, breathing deeply to try and calm herself down. When this didn't held she took her broach out of her pocket and stared into the silver crystal embedded inside. Once it had shone brighter than any other jewel, but these days it was dull.

Or… was it. Usagi looked at the crystal carefully and there it was– only a very slight amount for certain, but some of that undeniable shimmer had returned. She felt her heart lift and tightened her hand around her wand.

I can do this, she thought to herself. I am Sailor Moon, most powerful scout in the known solar system and future queen of Earth– what chance does some puny dragon have?

When the cannon sounded for the fifth and final time, Usagi walked into the arena with her head held high. The dragon was crouched protectively over it's eggs, it's great black scaled tail whipping across the floor of the arena. Usagi could see the stands, but the people within them seemed to blurred to make out.

All that existed with the dragon. She raised her weapon of choice– not some ancient moon kingdom relic, but her own wand (but was there really any difference?) — and closed her eyes, as she always had when she found herself facing an enemy she could not beat.

One by one she called upon her scouts and she heard them answer. She felt their powers answer her call as they always had done in the past, rallying around her– their leader and their princess.

If anyone had been close enough, they would have seen that when Usagi opened her eyes they were silver. She raised her wand into the air and a layer of ice began to creep across the arena floor. Mercury. The ice spread ever closer to the dragon, meaning that it would be unable to approach her on land.

Wherever Usagi stood, the ice melted as though exposed to a sudden fire. Mars. Raising her wand again, Usagi span in a circle and a golden chain looped around the dragon. Venus.

The dragon, unfortunately, was in no mood to comply. It roared and beat its massive wings, not breaking the chain but freeing them from it. The ridgeback took the air with frightening speed and swooped towards Usagi who leapt sideways to avoid it, rolling through ice that hissed as it melted behind her. She scrambled to her feet and raised her wand once more. No one quite heard the words she called to the sky, but Makoto knew what they were anyway.

"Supreme Thunder!" Lightning shot down and connected with Usagi's wand before shooting at the dragon. Jupiter. The dragon roared its displeasure and a great rumbling began at the back of its throat.

"Deep Submerge!" Neptune. The mass of water flew at the dragons throat, choking the fire before it was even lit. The dragon fell onto the ice before Usagi, between her and the eggs. She winced in horror as its tail landed on one, or maybe two, of the dragons eggs, crushing them flat. The dragon tried to stand but the Mercurial ice was doing its job well.

Usagi raised her wand one last time and whipped it down. A great wind filled the arena, pinning the dragon to the floor. Uranus. It was, however, far more powerful than Usagi had bargained for, whipping her straight into the opposite wall of the enclosure. She cried out as she felt at least one of her ribs crack.

For a moment there was silence in the arena as no one dared breathe. Then, slowly but getting louder, the cheers began as Usagi lifted herself from the arena floor and hauled herself over to the dragons egg, raising the golden egg high above her head in triumph.

In the medical tent Usagi was treated by Madam Pomfrey, the matron. She kept muttering about something called dementors and how ridiculous the whole thing was, but Usagi was merely glad that she repaired her ribs very quickly.

"Usagi!" Minako's shout barely gave Usagi any warning before all of the scouts were on top of her, "that was amazing– I felt it! That's the first time since-" Ami coughed loudly. "Well… you know what I mean."

Usagi grinned. "Yeah, I do. I felt it too– all of you. Thanks."

"Come on!" Rei encouraged her, "they'll be giving out your scores soon."

They headed out of the tent and past Harry and Ron, who seemed to be having some form of reunion, much to the distress of Hermione, who was running away from them, crying. She saw Usagi and burst into even more tears.

"Usagi! You were amazing, you'll never know how worried I was, but that was amazing magic! I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before!" She was gushing as she hugged Usagi and headed out to get the scores.

"They'll each give a mark out of ten, meaning a total out of sixty," Ami explained as the judges table came into view.

The first judge was Mr Crouch, who waved his wand and shot a white ribbon into the air, showing a number seven. Next was Madam Maxime, who awarded Usagi an eight. Both Dumbledore and Setsuna awarded nines, but when it came to Karkeroff…

"He gave Harry, Fleur and Haruka two as well… " Ami said, shaking her head.

"And Krum ten." Rei continued through clenched teeth. Finally, Bagman waved his wand. "Ten?" Usagi was more than a little confused. Hermione was frowning.

"He gave harry ten as well… he got hurt as well."

"I got hurt and broke some of the eggs," Usagi pointed out, "what is he playing at?"

"I wouldn't complain, to be honest," Makoto commented. "Now come on– there's almost certainly a party to be had in the tower."

"Excuse me, Rita Skeeter Daily Prophet Reporter, I was wondering if I could have a very quick word?"

"Here's one," Rei said, before saying something she would never have dared to say in the temple back in Tokyo.

Chapter 9

The girls laughed their way up to Gryffindor tower, walking slowly and enjoying the adrenaline still pumping through all of their veins. Usagi was mobbed numerous times on the way up by triumphant Gryffindors and even a few Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, who had stayed out of the champion debate, going so far as to not really support any of the champions (Harry included) for the first task.

By the time they finally did reach Gryffindor tower there was indeed a party in full swing. Fred and George cheered as Usagi clambered through the portrait hole, causing the whole of the common room to look around and there was a scramble as everyone ran over to talk to her. Before they engulfed her entirely, Usagi caught a glance of Haruka across the room laughing, most probably at her own predicament.

Only when Harry and Ron entered the common room did the crowd finally leave Usagi be. She collapsed into a chair by the fireplace and closed her eyes. She must have dozed off because what felt like mere moments later she was awoken by a loud screeching noise that seemed to have made everyone in the room clap their hands over their ears.

She leapt to her feet, her reactions kicking in. She had reached for her broach and had almost raised it into the air when she remembered she could no longer transform. Old habits, it seemed, died hard. Luckily there was not attack, rather Harry closing his golden egg. Usagi frowned– where was her own? A moment later Ami walked over and passed it to her. "You'd left it in the healing tent," she explained, "Harry said that Mr Bagman told him that there's a clue to the next task in there, which will take place on the 24th of February."

"Oh good… " Usagi said, settling back down into the chair and yawning, "that's ages away."

"And better news," Makoto said as she flopped into the chair next to Usagi, "Michiru just told me she's figured out what the egg's clue is."

"What, after hearing that racket?"

"That racket, as you put it Usagi, is mermish," Michiru said as she perched on a nearby armchair. Haruka was leaning on the back of it, watching them.


"As in the language spoken by merpeople," Michiru explained.

"No way!"

"Yes, but you'll be more than a little interested to hear what it says."

"Go on!" Usagi had moved forward in her chair, and the other scouts, including Hotaru, had arrived, sensing that something was going on.

"Come seek us where our voices sound,

We cannot sing above the ground,

And while you're searching, ponder this:

We've taken what you'll sorely miss,

An hour long you'll have to look,

And to recover what we took,

But past an hour — the prospect's black.

Too late, it's gone, it won't come back."

"What I'll sorely miss," Usagi pondered, chewing on her lip, "like a possession?"

"I don't know," Michiru sighed, "merpeople can be… tricky."

"Ooh!" Usagi leapt to her feet, "I should tell Harry!"

"No." Michiru said firmly.

"But… " Usagi's face fell. "He told me about the dragon, I owe him– and he's my friend."

"Usagi, he'll ask questions if you work out the clue to fast, and we don't need that. Maybe give him a hint a little closer to Christmas, okay." Michiru smiled and stood up, followed a moment later by Haruka.

The remaining scouts weren't given much time to think on what Michiru had revealed, for at that exact moment Neville caused a slight distraction by turning into a canary.

"Canary creams!" George shouted to the crowd, "Fred and I invented them." They saw Hermione walking over shaking her head. Then, she took Ami by the arm and took her to one side, whispering in her ear. They giggled in a worryingly conspiratorial way and then moved to sit in a corner.

"It's called S.P.E.W, Ronald."

"So Spew?"

"S P E W! It stands for the Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare."

"And how come I've never heard of it before?"

"Because Ami and I have only just founded it."

"Oh is that what you were doing last night?" Usagi interrupted the conversation, reaching across the table for the jug of pumpkin juice.

"We were finalising our plan, yes."

"You have a plan?" Ron looked distinctly worried.

"It was Ami's idea," Hermione smiled as the blue haired girl blushed furiously, "she suggested we waited to gain members until we could meet the houselves themselves, and now we know how to get into the kitchen, we can."

"You mean you actually found that picture Fred was on about?"

"Yes, but Ronald that's not the point. The point is who we found there this morning."

"Go on then, who?" Harry said, looking up from the copy of the Daily Prophet he'd nicked from Ernie McMillan, reporting on the previous days task.

"That's what I was saying! You have to come and see."

"Can they at least finish breakfast first?" Rei asked reasonably.

"Only if they're quick," Hermione snapped, glaring at Harry. They ate up quickly and followed Hermione.

"Why are we doing this?" Ron hissed at Harry, "It's not as if we care."

"Just humour her, Ron." Rei whispered, "It's called tact."

Eventually they reached a large picture showing a bowl of fruit. Hermione reached forward and tickled the pear, which giggled and became a green door handle. Hermione turned the picture inwards and there was barely a moment before a small figure burst out of the kitchen beyond crying, "Harry Potter sir, Harry Potter!"

"That house elf was scary," Minako decided as they settled down for divination. "That's Dobby for you," Harry said, rubbing his neck, "I just feel bad for Winky."

"Don't let Hermione hear you say that," Ron said darkly, "she'll be roping you into SPEW again."

"Don't be so mean," Usagi scolded him, "she and Ami put loads of effort into-"

"Into making a load of badges no one in their right minds will ever wear."

"Fine," Usagi snapped back, "enjoy ancient runes on your own with them then." Ron visibly paled.

By the end of the day Ami and Hermione had convinced them all to buy one of the coloured pin badges they had made bearing the S.P.E.W. initials, although (like most of Gryffindor tower) they had only bought them to stop the two girls pestering them.

The rest of the week passed by reasonably quickly without the prospect of a task looming in the immediate future and in what seemed no time at all it was the end of Friday morning's transfiguration lesson.

"Now, I would imagine many of you have not heard of the Yule Ball. Suffice to say that it is a traditional part of the tri-wizard cup held on Christmas Eve at the hosting school. The ball is, primarily, a dance and a chance for students to 'let their hair down' so to say." Minako giggled, trying to imagine professor McGonagall ever 'letting her hair down'.

"Potter, Tsukino please stay here for a moment, everyone else go to your next class."

"Yes professor?" Usagi asked as she moved to the front of the room with Harry.

"As I just said, the Yule ball is a dance, and as such people are expected to have partners. As champions you will be opening the dancing. I would hope the pair of you could find a dancing partner between now and Christmas."

That evening, Usagi was sat in a corner of the common room, bawling her eyes out, "It's not that I won't dance with them, I just can't. It wouldn't be right and I would feel like I was betraying him."

"Usagi, I'm sure Mamoru would understand, it's just some silly school dance," Makoto reassured her.

"Just some silly school dance?" Minako said incredulously, "this is the sort of thing I've been looking forward to since I realised we were coming to Britain– Setsuna said — ouch!" Rei had slapped her.

"Helpful, Minako."

Minako grumbled something that no one quite caught, but stopped when Usagi's sobs only increased in magnitude.

"Oh do calm down Usagi!"

"How do you ask a girl out?" Harry brooded in the other corner of the common room, "They're always in packs."

"I suppose you'll have to separate Cho from her friends before you ask," Ron said helpfully.

"What? Oh… yeah… " Harry glanced across the room before quickly looking out of the window to the silent grounds of the castle.

"Why is getting her on her own so damned difficult!"

"I could have sworn we've had this conversation mate."

"Well you go try asking someone to the ball Ron, see how you like it."

"You've fought dragons– if you can't do it I don't stand a chance." Harry glared at Ron over their Divination homework. They had long since given up on their planetary charts ever being right, but they didn't enjoy making them up as much as the girls did– even Ami had joined in when Usagi, Rei, Makoto and Minako had started making up their futures, although why Minako's suggestion that they would all drown in a storm due to the proximity of Uranus and Neptune was really that funny was beyond him and Ron.

"Well fine. We can both be dateless together."

"Yeah at least I don't have to open the dancing." Harry threw an inkpot at Ron's head. They were silent for a while as they filled in their false futures before Ron spoke again. "I hope Hagrid coped alright with that Skeeter woman, she's always had it in for the ministry– and everyone else for that matter. She did a piece on the Gringotts curse breakers once and called Bill a long haired pillock."

Harry laughed, "Is that really the best she could come up with. If it is, I'm really not all that worried."

"This is Hagrid, remember."

"True," Harry sobered, hoping that (whatever he had done to get them) the skrewts were legal.

The next day, which was the last Thursday before the end of term, saw Professor Moody declare his intention to cast the imperious curse on them one at a time to see how well they fought it. "I would have done this earlier," he barked at them as they pushed the desks to one side, "but it has been a bit of an odd year," for some reasons his eyes flicked to Usagi. "Now line up."

They watched as, one by one, their classmates did a series of astounding feats they were unlikely to be able to do in real life. Most people were impressed when Ami did a series of black flips across the room, although her closest friends seemed more than a little unimpressed.

When it came to Harry's turn, Moody pointed his wand at him and said, "Imperio." Harry suddenly felt as though his head were full of cotton wool. It was not a nasty experience– in fact, he decided, it was really quite pleasant.

Jump onto the desk, jump onto the desk, jump onto the desk.

Harry bent his knees, ready to spring up, when a voice in the back of his mind said, no, actually, I don't think I really want to.

Jump onto the desk.

Why, it's a bit of a stupid thing to do really.

Jump onto the desk.

No, I don't think I will.

Jump, NOW!


Harry jumped and yet tried to stop himself jumping all at the same time. The result was more than a little painful as he hit his knees hard on the desk.

"Ow!" Harry cried as he fell to the floor.

"Did you see that! Potter fought it, he actually fought it and he damn near beat it. Let's try that again Potter." Moody insisted upon casting the spell on Harry until he could fight it off successfully, which left him more than a little sore.

"Right, last student– Tsukino, over here." Usagi headed forwards and stood in the spot at the centre of the room. "Imperio."

Nothing happened. At least, it seemed as though nothing happened to most people in the room. To Usagi and the scouts however, there was something very important to see. As the curse flew towards Usagi, a shining faceted barrier appeared around her that only they could see.

A barrier created by the power of the silver crystal. Usagi blinked in surprise when she saw it, for this could mean only one thing: the crystals power was returning at last.

"Well… that is interesting," Moody said, "Class dismissed." They weren't used to being let out early and so grabbed their bags and moved before Moody could change his mind.

"Right, this is it. It's the last day of term, and probably the last chance we're gonna get. By the time we get to the common room after dinner tonight, we'll both have dates– agreed."

"Ok," Harry agreed nervously. It was the end of Transfiguration the following morning and they were talking as they packed away their bags.

"Potter, Tsukino a word please." Usagi had been about to head out of the classroom, but doubled back at McGonagall's call. "It has come to my attention that neither of you have a date to the ball yet. Need I remind you that the champions are expected to open the dancing and it will be a poor show if three of you have no partner. Fleur and Krum have already found a partner and it would be a shame for the Hogwarts students to let the castle down."

"Erm… Professor– Haruka does have a date."

"Nonsense. I have been reliably informed that she has turned down every boy who's asked her."

Usagi blushed furiously as she struggled to find the right words. "That would be because she's going with Michiru Professor… They've… well they've been dating for years."

"Oh," Professor McGonagall was at a slight loss but recovered quickly enough, "Very well then. I still expect the two of you to find a date by the ball."

"But-" Usagi began.

"No buts Miss Tsukino. Now go, you'll be late for charms."

Usagi's shoulders slumped– why did no one understand? She just couldn't go with anyone who wasn't Mamoru. She had so many memories of balls and dances upon the moon palace and here was a chance to really live one in this lifetime.

It had to be Mamoru.

It was alright for Harry, she found herself thinking as they headed up for charms– once he noticed how besotted Rei really was he would ask her and they could go together, but Mamoru was in America, leaving Usagi on her own for the ball. He still hadn't even sent a reply to her last owl.

She headed up to charms scowling, an expression that only deepened when Ami reminded her that Snape was planning on testing their antidotes after break.

Rei and Harry were working together on their antidote after Ron had begged Hermione to work with him. Ami was helping Usagi and Minako and Makoto had paired up.

Harry tried not to look at Rei for the majority of the lesson, working silently and trying to build up some sense of courage. It didn't seem to be working, however, as he was still shaking like mad quarter of an hour before the end of the lesson. In fact, he was shaking so bad that he knocked their cauldron over, spilling their antidote everywhere.

Interestingly enough, once the chance to poison Harry was gone, Snape didn't seem to think it was worth testing the antidotes and so ended the lesson early (making that twice in two days), leaving Harry and Rei to clean up the mess while everyone else headed up to lunch.

"Sorry," Harry muttered as Snape swept from the classroom after taking twenty points from Gryffindor.

"No problem," Rei said, the corner of her lips quirked up, "I've cleaned up worse. Besides," she flicked her wand and murmured an incantation Harry didn't quite catch. The spilt potion vanished, "sometimes sharing a room with two neat freaks comes in handy." She tucked her wand away and began to pack away her books.

Harry took a deep breath. And then another. "Rei?"


"Doyouwannagototheballwithme?" The words came out in a single stream and were not quite discernible.

"Could you say that a little bit slower?" She asked.

"Do you want… want to go to the ball with me?" Rei giggled before replying.

"And here was me thinking you'd never ask."

"Say that again Malfoy!" Makoto thundered as she strode across the entrance hall, pinning the offending blond to the wall by the throat. Only a slight choking sound came out.

"What was that?" Makoto said, "I can't quite hear you."

Malfoy was starting to turn blue and people were looking. Crabbe and Goyle had tried to fight Makoto off, but the pair of them were both standing back now, looking more than a little afraid.

"Makoto, put him down– he's really not worth the effort." Minako plucked at her friends arm, desperately trying to pull her away from Malfoy before a teacher, namely Snape, showed up. Makoto glanced at Makoto and released Malfoy, glaring down at him.

"You insult me and my friends again and I'll really make you regret it." She turned away and headed towards the great hall with Hermione and the other scouts.

"I'll call you what I want mudblood! Densaugeo!" The spell missed Makoto and hit Hermione, who had turned to look at Malfoy as he spoke, in the face.

"Oh no you don't laddie!" There was a flash of light and suddenly where Malfoy had been standing only a moment before there was a small white ferret.

"I dislike people who strike when their opponents back is turned," Moody explained as he thumped his way down the marble staircase, "and you most certainly do that." Moody flicked his wand up and down and the ferret began to bounce. The scouts were more bothered, however, with Hermione. She was trying, and failing, to use her hands to conceal the fact that her teeth had started to grow larger and larger.

"Alastor, I do believe transfiguration is forbidden as a punishment." A slow voice spoke from the dungeon entrance. "In fact, I'm sure Albus would have told you when he offered you the teaching position."

"He might have mentioned it,"

"Well then you should know that the correct way to deal with the situation would have been to talk to the offenders head of house." Snape waved his wand and Malfoy reappeared, "in this situation, apparently me."

"Now there's a conversation I've been looking forward to, Severus. You," Moody jabbed a finger at Malfoy, "this way."

"I'll take her to the hospital wing," Ami said. "You guys can tell Rei and Harry where we are." Ami lead a sobbing Hermione up the stairs as Harry and Rei came up from the dungeons.

"What happened with Malfoy?" Harry asked. To his great surprise, everyone burst out laughing.

"I can't believe you missed it mate," Ron said. "It was Malfoy: the amazing bouncing ferret." Harry suddenly looked crestfallen, causing everyone to laugh harder.

"Where are Hermione and Ami?" Rei asked, looking around. Usagi explained about Hermione's teeth and they spent the lunch hour roundly abusing Malfoy.

"So," Ron asked on the way to Defence against the Dark Arts that afternoon, "asked her yet?"

"What? Oh, yeah."

"Really? When– did you see her at lunch?"

"No, I asked her at the end of potions." Ron frowned. "What was she doing in the dungeons?"

"Well she did have potions with us nitwit."

"What? Who are you talking about?"

"Who are you talking about?"

"Cho of course."

"Why would I want to ask Cho?"

"Well you have been pining after her for about a year,"

"Have not!"

"Whatever– who did you ask then."

"Well… Rei."

Ron looked astounded. "That was brave mate. What did she say."

"She said yes."

"Excellent!" Ron clapped Harry on the back. "Have you asked anyone yet?" Harry asked.

"Well… no. I've been asking around to see who's got a date and it seems most people have. Makoto's going with Neville, Ami's going with Dean, Minako's going with one of the Durmstrang students and Ginny said even Hermione's got a date."

"What's even Hermione supposed to mean?" Harry asked smirking. "I kinda figured I'd get a date before she did."

"Well maybe you should have asked someone."


"Ok Minako, this is it. Spill about the ball or I may hit you." Minako giggled a little, but such a threat was not to be taken lightly coming from Makoto.

"Well you know Haruka gave us some money to spend in diagon alley?"

"We remember, yeah," Rei said.

"Well Michiru took me to one side and told me there would be a ball at Christmas and to keep the money and the extra she gave me for dresses." She beamed at them. "While you were all cooing over Chu I headed to a dress shop further down the street and made appointments for fittings closer to the time."

"How much closer?" Ami asked.

"Tomorrow closer. Setsuna said we'd be able to get a bus from Hogwarts to London. What do you think Usagi?" There was no response. "Usagi?"

"He still hasn't replied." Usagi said quietly. "It's been almost a month. Remember what had happened last time he didn't reply."

"I'm sure there's nothing wrong, Usagi," Ami said gently, "you should come with us tomorrow and have a good time. I bet Mamoru's letter will be waiting for you when we get back."

"You sure?"


But there was no letter the next day, or the day after that. In fact by the time Christmas Eve came there was still no letter, and Usagi went to bed early, worry tearing at her chest.

Chapter 10

"Wake up Usagi!" A pillow flew across the room and hit Usagi's head. "Hey, what was that for!"

"It's Christmas silly," came Minako's reply, "you have to open your presents or I'll do it for you."

"What a lovely way to wake me up," she replied dryly, sitting up and rubbing her eyes with the heel of her palm. She blinked, glanced at the presents at the end of her bed and then looked again.

On top of the pile sat Chuu, cooing softly at her sleepy owner. "Chuu!" Usagi practically screeched, clambering across the bed to where the owl sat. Chuu obligingly flew onto Usagi's outstretched arm and nipped her playfully. She reached for the letter on Chuu's leg and then stopped.

"There's no reply," she said quietly. The letter she had sent to Mamoru was gone, but there was no reply tied to the owl's leg. Tears welled up in Usagi's eyes and at last she let out some of the worry and frustration that had been tearing at her the past weeks. The scouts all jumped out of bed and ran over to hug Usagi. Hermione came over and perched on the end of the bed.

"I'm sure there's nothing wrong Usagi," she said, unusually gently.

"No. Mamoru always replies. He knows I'd worry if he didn't." Ami looked at Hermione, frowning.

"Usagi, I get that this really isn't the best time, but I think Hermione probably deserves to know the truth by now. She'll figure it out in the end anyway." Minako looked sharply up at Ami.

"That's a lot of responsibility."

"She can handle it," Ami replied, "I know she can." Hermione was glancing between the two of them, her brows knitted together.

"Well it's up to Usagi then," Makoto said, glancing at Usagi, whose sobs had quietened down a little. Her eyes were red, but she looked openly at Hermione and nodded.

"But you've got to tell no one else, especially not Harry. Promise?"

"Promise," Hermione said, excitement flickering in her stomach– finally they were going to let her in.

"Where to start really," Rei said, sitting cross legged on the floor.

"I think the beginning would be a good place," Makoto said, smiling a little

"Which one?" Usagi asked, smiling a little wanly. "Oh… Yeah, I forgot about that."

"I know," Ami said, sitting by Rei on the floor. "You know the lessons we've been having with Setsuna?"

"How could I forget," she said, smiling ruefully, "it's the only subject you're all better at than I am."

"That," Usagi said, wiping her eyes again, "would be because we've lived it."

They went on to explain everything from Queen Beryl to Galaxia, and all the battles in-between, all thoughts of opening presents banished. Hermione was a good audience, and waited until they were finished to ask any questions. She decided that, since Usagi seemed to have brightened a little, she would not mention Mamoru.

"That's why you guys have different wands, isn't it?" She asked instead. "Yes– I have a wand of ice to represent Mercury."

"I have a wand made of the same metal as my senshi attacks."

"Mine's made of ever burning embers, which I suspect may have come from the sacred fire of Mars."

"The great oak of Jupiter is gone now, but I still have this," Makoto said, holding out her own wand.

"And then the outer senshi have wands to represent their powers too," Ami continues, "Haruka is the senshi of wind, Michiru the senshi of water, Hotaru's wand is made from the same silence as the glaive."

Hermione shuddered, "I still think it's a lot to expect of someone as young as Hotaru."

"She's not as young as she looks. Even in the Silver Millennium she'd lived many past lives. But yes, I can't say it's a job I envy her for."

"So where does Setsuna fit into all this?"

"Didn't we say?" Ami looked taken aback, "her wand is carved from the space-time door itself. She's Sailor Pluto, the oldest of all the Sailor Senshi."

"How many past lives has she had then?" Hermione asked, genuinely interested.

"None," Usagi replied, stroking Chuu who was still sat on her arm, "she's been around since time began."

Hermione did not speak– how did you reply to that?

When they had finally opened their presents they headed down for a late breakfast. The great hall was unusually empty for such a late time, even some teachers were still at the table. Ami excused herself at one point and went to talk to Setsuna– presumably to tell her that they had let Hermione know their secret.

After breakfast they headed out into the snowy grounds and had a snowball fight with Harry and the weasleys. Fred and George were not exactly playing fair, but when Michiru and Haruka joined in they were forced to call truce. Giggling, the girls headed back inside to get ready.

Usagi was, of course, dragging her feet more than a little. They talked loudly of anything and everything that wasn't Mamoru but still she could not stop thinking of him.

Minako had really gone to town at the weekend when they were choosing dresses– Michiru had obviously given her a lot of extra gold. Not only had they got dresses, but shoes as well (and Minako had picked up a bag for herself), and now they finally turned to the packages they had brought back from diagon ally.

When Minako opened the first one, she screamed. "This is not the right dress! I did not order this at all!– what happened to the red one?"

"I thought you always wore orange, Minako." Usagi froze at the voice. It was one of the last she had ever expected to hear again. She turned slowly to look at the door.

"Seiya!" She practically screamed as she bounded into the waiting woman's arms. "What are you doing here? I thought you'd gone back to Kinmoku? Where are Yaten and Taiki? Is Kakyuu alright? How are you?"

"Slow down, odango, slow down," Seiya replied, laughing. "Yaten and Taiki are both waiting in the common room. Princess Kakyuu is alive and well on Kinmoku. We're here as part of our new mission– which, I am lead to believe, is the same as yours."

"I don't give a damn what your new mission is," Minako said, her eyes narrowed, "I care where my dress is– I can see you have yours." Usagi looked and saw that Seiya was indeed dressed for the ball– Kinmoku style. She wore a navy blue mini dress with a small bolero over her shoulders. The dress bared much of her back but had a skirt that flared at the back, covering down to her knees rather than the short length of the front. The dress and bolero had golden linings to match the boots that came up to her mid thigh.

"Yaten took a slight liberty with your dresses," she said, smirking, "and disposed of them. She seemed to think you would prefer these ones. I'd wear them if I were you, she'd be more than a little insulted if you didn't."

Minako pulled the orange dress fully out of the packaging and looked over it with an appraising eye. "I suppose it's wearable."

"I'll tell her you said that."

"You do that, and tell her I also expect the original dresses back in here tomorrow. If we don't wear them to the ball then there's no reason we can't keep them for another time."

At that point Hermione emerged from the bathroom in her dressing gown, her hair held up with a towel. She jumped when she saw Seiya. "Who's this?" She asked eyes darting to Usagi, who looked happier than she had all day.

"This is Seiya– Seiya, this is Hermione."

"Nice to meet you," Seiya said coolly.

"Same," She said before turning to Usagi, "not the Seiya?"

"Am I still famous then?" Seiya asked, smiling devilishly.

"Maybe a little," Usagi laughed, "Now go away while we get changed." Seiya's eyebrows raised a little, but she didn't argue.

The dresses Yaten had made for the inner senshi were all in the Kinmoku fashion, but each differed a little. Minako's was an orange corset body attached to a white skirt that fell just above her knees. There were separate bell sleeves that matched as well as short, opened toed boots in the same orange as the corset.

Makoto, who had picked a magenta dress, now found herself wearing a light green dress with a Chinese wrap style fastening across the bust that still managed to fall lightly past her hips. There was a layer of lighter green fabric beneath that made the dress about the same length as Seiya's. Her boots were the same height as Minako's but had closed toes.

Ami's dress was very similar to Makoto's except, of course, it was blue. Rather than having a wrap style top, the dress was simply fastened at the side with three small golden buttons.

Rei's dress was also in her senshi colour; red with a light pink skirt. The bodice was light red, but the sleeved, attached only on the underside as the dress went no higher than this with a sweetheart neckline, the sleeved were the same red as her fuku skirt had been and were belled.

All the dresses had the same golden lining as Seiya's.

Usagi's dress, however, was something else. It was a sky blue colour and clung to her figure until it reached her waist at which point it would flair fantastically when dancing, for it was loose and descended to mid-calve level. It also had bell sleeves and a small collar, but there was a gap just above Usagi's chest which displayed perfectly the necklace Mamoru had got her before he went away for the second time.

Hermione's dress, the only one not provided by Yaten, was Periwinkle blue, and the skirt tiered gracefully to the floor in layers of lace, starting dark but practically white by the time it reached the floor.

"All in all," Minako said as she looked over each and every one of them, "I think we look superb." She winked and they headed down to the common room. Most of the girls had already gone down, either to meet friends from other houses or else to find their dates.

When they reached the common room, it too was nearly deserted. In fact there were only four people there– Seiya, Yaten, Taiki and Harry. There were many exclamations of welcome as the starlights saw the senshi, and Yaten and Minako started what could have turned into a very nasty argument had not Rei taken the opportunity to introduce Harry.

"Where's Ron?" Hermione asked, looking around.

"Erm… I think he's trying to remove some of the frills from his dress robes," he laughed, unconsciously smoothing down the front of his own green robes. "He said to head on without him."

When Dean and Neville emerged from the boys dormitory to tell them that Ron still hadn't finished, they went on down. The couples were holding hands, and Minako was anxiously awaiting meeting up with her date in the entrance hall. Seiya noticed something was wrong and squeezed Usagi's hand.

"Cheer up odango," she whispered, "it'll all sort itself out."

When they reached the entrance hall, Harry, Rei, Usagi and for some reason Hermione were pulled to one side by Professor McGonagall. "Tsukino, where is your date?"

"I don't have one professor."

"Don't have one?" she sighed. "Very well, you shall have to sit out the dancing, but you will still be expected to sit with the judges and your fellow champions at the top table. Potter, Hino, Granger, you will also be sat at the top table."

She moved away and began chivvying students into the great hall. "Why are you with the champions Hermione?" Rei asked suspiciously. Strangely enough, Hermione let out a very un— Hermione-ish giggle.

"Well you know I said I was going with one of the Durmstrang students?"


"Well… " Hermione nodded pointedly as Viktor Krum headed there way and took her by the arm. As the entrance hall began to empty, Usagi saw Ron hurry past them, with barely a glance, into the great hall. Soon, there were only the champions and the judges left in the entrance hall. The champions were lined up in pairs, with Usagi bringing up the rear, and there was a procession as they were lead into the room.

There were many gasps and cries at both who the champions had come with and what the girls were wearing, but Usagi was mainly concentrating on reaching the top table without tripping over. She was sat near the end, with only an empty seat to one side, a reminder of who wasn't there.

"Now, before the ball begins, I have an announcement to make," Dumbledore said, standing up. "Due to the success of the transfer programme so far we have taken the decision to bring in some more Japanese students, who will be sorted here today." Usagi glanced first at the starlights and then at Setsuna, who must surely have been behind this.

The three lights were called up one by one, and each of them was put into Gryffindor. Usagi suspected that they may have asked for this in order to work closely with the planetary senshi, and the thought made her feel a little happier. She turned to Dumbledore as Yaten headed back down into the crowd.

"And last, but not least," the headmaster said, "Chiba, Mamoru."

Chapter 11

Usagi's vision began to close in– could she have heard Dumbledore right? How could Mamoru be here? She found herself scanning the crowd, looking into the faces of everyone who looked even vaguely like Mamoru. A movement at the back of the hall caught her eyes and she looked back.

Her breath caught in her throat– it was him. He was wearing black dress robes and was looking straight up at her, smiling. She felt tears of relief and joy fill her eyes as he moved to the front. He tried on the sorting hat and Usagi was relieved when he was put in Gryffindor. He did not, however, move back to his original seat as the starlights had. Instead, he came straight over to where she sat. Without thinking about all the people who would be watching, Usagi leapt out of her seat and threw her arms around his neck, enjoying the feel of his arms around her.

"Don't ever do that to me again," she scolded him quietly before slowly relinquishing her hold upon him and pushing him down into the seat next to her.

"Now that we have dealt with that," Dumbledore said, "let the Yule ball begin." Usagi barely noticed as the dinner passed, she was too busy talking to Mamoru and revelling in the fact that he was coming to the school. She found that she didn't care he would be in a higher year than her, she was just glad to have him near by.

They spent the majority of the meal discussing the tournament and Usagi's involvement in it. Mamoru was, naturally, more than a little worried about the prospect of Usagi competing, but Setsuna had explained to him why she had to take part meaning that he made no attempts to dissuade her from competing.

When the meal was over, Dumbledore stood once more, indicating that everyone else should do the same. With a flick of his wand the tables flew to the side of the room, creating a dance floor in the centre of the hall. The champions filed out onto the floor and Usagi took Mamoru's hand and placed her other hand on his waist as he did the same.

It felt like flying– it was almost as though she had travelled back in time to the moon kingdom and the days of royal parties and balls celebrated with the planets of the alliance.

They danced alone, the five champions and there partners, for almost five minutes before Usagi tripped. Fortunately Mamoru caught her and span her round to make the movement look slightly more intentional.

At this point the teachers came onto the floor, indicating that the students should do the same. On some level Usagi was aware of Rei dragging Harry onto the floor, and of Neville persuading Makoto to dance, but the majority of her attention was on Mamoru, and the feeling of his hand upon hers, and the closeness of his body. She rested her head on his shoulder as the music slowed and they moved in a gentle circle on the edge of the dance floor.

This, Usagi thought to herself, is what life should be like.

Chapter 12

Eventually Mamoru lead her off the dance floor and went to fetch drinks, leaving her with Yaten and Taiki– Seiya was dancing, by the looks of it with one of the Weasley twins. Usagi realised now, a little bemused that she had not done so previously, that the starlights were still wearing a uniform of sorts– their dress may have been different colours, but the styles were identical. Yaten, who wore green, was eyeing the butter beer on the table before her with a wary eye while Taiki, in purple, was sat in the corner scanning the dancers.

Mere moments after Usagi had sat down, Minako plonked down into the seat next to her, brushing a loose strand of her elaborately curled hair back behind one ear. "See," she winked, "I knew it would all work out in the end." Usagi raised her eyebrows and was about to reply when Seiya came back over.

"Any room for me?"

"Sure, budge up Minako." Minako pulled a face before scooting out of the way for Seiya. "Go on then– which one of the twins was that?"

"Hmm? Oh, he said his name was George– but he's nowhere near as good a dancer as you," there was a mischievous glint in her eyes.

"No you don't-" Usagi began, but it was too late. Seiya had already swept her onto the dance floor, holding her too tight for her to run. After a moment Usagi gave up and almost collapsed into a fit of giggles.

"What?" Seiya asked, disgruntled.

"It just isn't the same when you're a girl," Usagi said between giggles, "there's no way it'll sway me from Mamoru."

"I was always a girl, thank you," Seiya replied, thin lipped, before breaking into a smile, "and you mean there was a chance when I was a boy?" She winked before heading back towards George, leaving a slightly confused Usagi behind.

She headed back to the table to find that the rest of the planetary senshi, with the exception of Haruka and Michiru who were in the grounds, Setsuna (Usagi had no idea where she had gone) and Hotaru who was too young to attend the ball, were also sat at the table with their dates, as well as Ron, Hermione and Viktor Krum. For some reason, Ron kept shooting Viktor dark glances across the table while Minako was giggling non-stop at a joke no one else seemed to get.

There were no empty seats, but when he saw her approach, Mamoru moved to his feet to let her have his seat. Usagi was more than a little grateful for the chance to take the weight off her feet– the shoes Yaten had made for her weren't all that high, but they were high enough to make the balls of her feet sore after dancing in them for a while.

The conversation was polite until Viktor offered to go get drinks. As soon as he had left the table and was out of earshot, Ron spoke. "Why did you come with him?" His voice was morose and his posture invited argument. Very suddenly nearly everyone at the table decided they'd rather be on the dance floor, leaving Harry and Rei to deal with Ron and Hermione.

The rest of the ball flew past, and when the time finally came to return to Gryffindor tower, Usagi found that she was more than a little disappointed that the night had to end. She headed up to the seventh floor with the others, laughing as they moved through the portrait hole. They left Dean, Neville and Harry to show Mamoru to the seventh year dormitory and headed up the stairs to the girls room.

Usagi kicked her heels off as soon as she reached her bed and fell back onto the sheets. "Careful Usagi," Minako chirruped, "you don't want to crease the dress– we should hang it up now."

"I thought you didn't like these dresses," Usagi said, smiling.

"Of course I like these dresses, I just wasn't going to say so when any of the starlights were here."

"It's not good news that they are here though," Usagi sighed, "whatever this Lord Voldemort has in mind must be huge if it could affect Kinmoku as well."

They were all distracted by a slight hiccup as the door to the bathroom opened. Looking towards it, Usagi saw Hermione, still in her dress but with her make up in streaks down her face, emerging from the side room. They all jumped off their beds and to her side.

"What's wrong Hermione?"

"Was it Ron?"

"We saw he was being a prick… " Hermione sniffled a little as Minako put an arm around her shoulders and steered her towards her bed.

"It's just that… he had to spoil it… Tonight was going to be just… well I don't know, it was meant to be something… "

"I know what you mean," Usagi hugged her, feeling almost guilty about her own perfect evening. "What did he say?"

"He kept saying I was fraternising with the enemy," she laughed bitterly, "that Krum was competing with Harry and I shouldn't have come with him."

"I'm competing with Harry," Usagi pointed out, "and he had no problem with Harry coming to the ball with Rei."

"No offense meant Usagi, and you Rei, but it's more that Ron's jealous of what Krum has that the fact that he's competing with Harry." Minako explained matter-of-factly.

"Umm… What's that supposed to mean?" Makoto asked as she headed to the windowsill to get Hermione a glass of water.

"Oh puh-lease!" Minako rolled her eyes, "Krum is everything Ron wants to be– famous, respected, school champion with the girl of his– that is to say Ron's– dreams." Hermione's spluttered, nearly spilling the water on her dress.

"What did you say?" she asked hoarsely.

"Didn't you notice the way he looked at you when he realised who it was on Krum's arm at the ball?" she asked, "no? Well, it's taken him long enough to realise he likes you, so you should probably pretend you don't know for a while… or maybe you could just stay with Krum, I mean Ron is being a bit of a prat about the whole thing-"

"Minako, I really appreciate the advice, but somehow I think you might be misinterpreting this."

"Oh really? Let me know the truth then, oh Senshi of Love… hang on, that's me." She winked cheekily and headed back towards her bead to change into her pyjamas. Usagi smiled and shrugged in a non-committed way before going to get changed herself.

As Hermione lay in the dark later that night, she found herself mulling over the conversation again– Minako couldn't be right, could she?

The rest of the holidays were, for the most part, uneventful. Usagi and the scouts spent a lot of their time in the library, searching for ways to breathe underwater– Ami had decided that the song of the mer-people meant she would have to go into the lake to retrieve something they had taken. They worked in groups– the outer senshi (minus Setsuna), the starlights and the inner senshi with Mamoru.

It only took them a week or so to find what they were looking for, though admittedly that was more due to the fact that they had three seventh years with access to better textbooks than their superior research skills. Makoto had said something at the beginning about a plant in a book Moody had lent Neville, but the charm they had found would do well enough.

Now they just needed to teach Usagi to swim. They did this one day early January. "But it'll be cold!"

"No it won't Usagi– I've warmed it up, how many times do we have to tell you," Rei was getting more than a little annoyed.

"But… it's cold!"

"Out there, yes. In here, no. Come on Ami, show her how it's done." Ami nodded and walked slowly to the edge of the lake. She took a deep breathe and jumped in, surfacing a few seconds later, smiling.

"It really is much warmer in here Usagi."

"But… it's cold… and I don't like my costume."

"Liar!" Minako called from the lake. "You said it was great when it was delivered."

"Yeah, but that was before I wore it outside. I'm too cold now."

"Sometimes," Seiya, "all that's needed is a little encouragement," and without any further warning she scooped Usagi into her arms and took a running jump into the lake. There was a large splash and Seiya and Usagi resurfaced to fits of laughter from all sides. Even Mamoru was laughing a little, and Usagi had her revenge when, still holding Seiya tight, she reached out and grabbed him by the ankle, pulling him into the lake with them. He resurfaced grinning, and took Usagi from Seiya.

"Alright," Ami began, "it really isn't all that difficult." It took a good long while before Usagi could swim any distance on her own, although it was clear that, once she had mastered the bubble head charm, she would need lessons on swimming under the water. About an hour before dinner they clambered out of the lake and grabbed their towels. They were on their way back towards the castle when they saw Hermione and Harry coming towards them.

"You're very… wet." Hermione said, looking over them, "did you fall in the lake or something."

"That's actually a very good guess," Mamoru replied, sending Usagi and Minako into fits of laughter once again.

"They were teaching me how to swim," Usagi said and then, seeing the opportunity at last, "you know, for the second task."

"We'll meet you at dinner," Michiru said, as she Haruka and Hotaru headed back towards the castle.

"Kay, see you there!" Usagi waved back. When she turned around again, Harry was frowning. "You need to be able to swim for the second task?"

"Sure– haven't you worked out the eggs clue yet?"

"Erm… no," Harry blushed a little.

"Really? Come on, I'll tell you," Rei grabbed Harry by the arm and they walked away. "She's going to catch a cold," Hermione said worriedly, watching as they headed away. "I doubt it," Minako said knowingly before Makoto hit her over the head.

"Where's Ron?" Usagi asked as they headed up to the tower.

"Oh… I don't know. He won't talk to me, and he won't talk to Harry either since he pointed out that if I was 'fraternising with the enemy', then he was too."

"Don't worry," Usagi said gently, "I'm sure he'll come round."

Hermione shrugged, "I don't even know what it is, but there's something about Ron– he just lightens the mood at all the right points. Everything seems so much more serious without him."

They were quiet for a while until they reached the common room. "You guys go up and get sorted… I have homework… " they trooped up the stairs to the dormitory, but as she put her foot on the bottom step, Ami looked back.

Hermione had finished her homework before Christmas, Ami knew, and was now sat in the corner of the common room, looking as if it was taking all of her willpower not to burst into tears.

Chapter 13

"Hermione, Rei, Michiru, Mamoru — Professor McGonagall's looking for you," It was Ginny Weasley, passing through the common room, seemingly on her way to bed. "Good luck in the task tomorrow, by they way," she was addressing Harry, Usagi and Haruka now.

"Thanks," Harry said, smiling at her before turning back to the lump of gillyweed on the desk in front of him. "I still don't see why I get to use this stuff. It looks disgusting."

"You get to use that because Usagi and Haruka had already learnt the bubble head charm," Rei pointed out again, "and it would have looked suspicious if all the Gryffindor champions used the same method."

"Yeah… alright." Rei hugged him before running after Hermione, Michiru and Mamoru, who were waiting by the portrait hole. They had ordered the gillyweed from the apothecary in Diagon Alley in early January, shortly after Rita Skeeter had published her disastrous article on Hagrid. The gillyweed, had been suggested to them by Makoto after she had taken another look at the book Moody had lent Neville at the beginning of the year, and the amount they had ordered ought to give Harry about an hour and a half in the water– the downside was that if he finished early he'd have to kick about in the lake until the affects wore off.

"You should probably get some sleep," Ami told them, "You'll want to be well rested for the tournament tomorrow."

"I guess so." Usagi replied, yawning. "Night," she said to Harry, before heading up with the scouts, or at least those who were there.

"Has anyone seen Mamoru?" Usagi asked at breakfast the next day.

"Oh relax Usagi," Haruka complained, "isn't it a little obvious– I mean, four people dating champions disappear the day before a task in which the champions have to recover 'something they'll sorely miss'?"

"You mean the merpeople took Mamoru?" Usagi's eyes were wide.

"No, I'm saying that Dumbledore probably told them exactly what was going on and they went along. You'll see Mamoru in the task, so don't worry."

"Easy for you to say– you'll find Michiru within an hour easy. She lent you her wand for one thing. Having a wand of the sea in a lake challenge must be cheating," Usagi joked half heartedly.

"I don't suppose it'll hurt," Haruka grinned, "but be realistic– a wand of the wind would be more than a little useless in a lake."

"Yeah… " Usagi wasn't entirely consoled, but she was quiet for the rest of the meal until the time came to head down to the lake. When she reached the lakeside, she pulled off the cloak she'd borrowed from Hermione (without permission of course, as Hermione was nowhere to be seen), revealing the swimming costume she wore underneath. Haruka and Harry take off their own cloaks as Krum and Fleur approached them.

"Good luck," Usagi said, smiling at the foreign champions. Fleur smiled a little nervously, and Krum nodded gruffly. A booming voice from somewhere behind them told them that Ludo Bagman would once again be commentating for the match.

Turning, Usagi saw a group of red headed Gryffindors pass by the judges table– the Weasley's had come down to watch the task together. She saw Ron glance at Harry, but avert his eyes quickly as Harry looked around. Usagi scowled– Ron hadn't improved at all since Christmas. He didn't even sit with them in any of their lessons anymore, and Ami had told her that he had moved as far away from herself and Hermione as possible when in ancient runes, never asking them for help with his translations like he used to.

Her attention was diverted when Bagman spoke, quieter this time, to the champions. "Now, I assume that you've all worked out the eggs clue, so we'll start as soon as possible. Be prepared to jump in." He winked before heading back to the judges table.

"I'd starting chewing now, Potter," came a gruff voice, as Moody walked past, eying the gillyweed in Harry's hand. Harry obliged and stuffed the greasy plant into his mouth. Going by the look on Harry's face, Usagi was very glad that she had learnt the bubblehead charm. With that thought, she raised her wand and pointed it at her face (something she didn't think she'd ever be comfortable doing), and said the charm. The bubble formed, surrounding both her mouth and nose while giving her a constant supply of fresh, breathable air.

She wasn't really concentrating on Bagman's commentary, but she moved forward with the rest of the champions and, when the time came, they jumped.

"Set— I mean, Professor Meioh, are you alright?" Minako asked from where she stood a short distance behind the judges table.

"What? Oh, yes Mi— Aino, I'm fine. More than fine in fact." A smile began to form at the corner of Setsuna's lips. She bowed her head a moment and her fingers brushed the handle of her wand, and she felt something that she hadn't connected with in far too long. The space-time doorway was speaking to her. Setsuna wanted to sing, to dance, to cry. She had not heard the song of the door since her death fighting Tomoe and the death busters so many years ago, and yet finally it was speaking to her again.

She blinked, and a projection flew up before the crowd, causing many of the students and a few of the staff to gasp as five images appeared in the air before them. The onlookers may no have known it, but they were now looking through small gaps in space, created by Sailor Pluto, senshi of time. Each projection allowed the crowd, and Setsuna, to watch each champion as they progressed through the lake.

They saw as Fleur was overcome by grindylows and forced to return to the surface, and they saw Haruka reach the merpeople, cutting the ropes securing Michiru before taking them both to the surface. The stands quietened a little after Haruka and Michiru were given towels (although they refused to move far away from the lake). There were still three champions left, and time was ticking on.

Chapter 14

Usagi was cold. She had used the spell Rei had taught her to warm up the water, but eventually she had given up– she kept moving out of the warm patches and it would have drained her too much to keep on casting the spell. She had lost sight of the others as she swam deeper and deeper into the lake, and it was as though she had lost all connection with the world, trapped in the murky gloom as she was.

Usagi, do not react.

This proved to be a little harder than the voice in her head suggested, but Usagi thought she managed to disguise her jump as a check for grinylows. The space-time doorway has spoken to me, I can't see through time yet, but space is proving no difficulty. Now– listen carefully.

The images of Haruka and Fleur had faded as they left the lake, leaving only three screens. Eyes flickered between each on as the students waited eagerly to see who would get there first.

Krum was cutting through the water, but while his incomplete transfiguration did allow him to breathe under water, he could swim no faster than usual.

Harry, on the other hand, was the fastest of the champions by far. The gillyweed had given him not only gills, but longer, webbed toes and fingers to help him propel himself through the water.

Usagi was also slower, but she seemed to be moving with a sudden confidence and assurance, almost as if she knew where she had to go.

Harry, as the fastest of the three, reached the hostages first. He swam to the ground and picked up a particularly sharp rock before beginning to hack and the weeds tying Rei to the statue at the centre of the merpeople's village. Once she was free, he moved as if to free Hermione as well, but one of the mermen put a spear to his neck. "Only one. Save your own friend," his voice was a rough hiss, but Harry did not seem to be intimidated.

"Hermione is my friend," Harry tried to say, but all the watching crowds, and indeed the merpeople, could see was a large bubble. The merpeople laughed, but the spear did not move away from Harry's neck.

Meanwhile, Usagi had just overtaken Krum, who was searching the lake very methodically but did not notice her passing. She swam slowly through the village towards the statue at the centre. She glanced at Harry and her eyes widened a little in fear. She reached down and pulled her wand from the strap on her leg, ordered by Ami for all three of the Gryffindor champions.

"Diffindo," the spell was a little muffled through the bubble around her face, but the effect was still the same. The weeds holding Mamoru to the statue were severed, and he hung eerily in the murky light. Turning, Usagi saw the merpeople retreat– Harry had drawn his wand.

At that moment, Krum appeared from the gloom, and seized the rock Harry had used to free Rei. With a single slash, he broke the weeds holding her and pulled her up towards the surface.

Cheers could be heard on all sides as his sharks head broke the surface of the water and shrank. Hermione looked a little bewildered, but allowed Krum to lead her to the bank.

The merpeople had their eyes on both Usagi and Harry's wands as they backed away. Harry looked pointedly at the last hostage, a small girl who looked very much like she could be Fleur's sister.

"I haven't seen her since we jumped," Usagi replied, "We should take her up just in case." Harry nodded and Usagi broke the bonds tying her down. Up on the surface, Fleur's legs gave way beneath her as she began to cry– she may not have been able to save Gabrielle herself, but at least she would be brought to the surface.

As Mamoru was easily the tallest, and so the heaviest, of the three hostages, the grabbed one of his hands each while Usagi took Fleur's sisters and Harry took Rei's. Together they were able to pull the three hostages up to the surface. As they ascended, crowds and crowds of merpeople swam with them on all sides. Usagi was a little worried that they might drag them down when the time limit ran out, but the light from above was getting brighter and brighter.

Very suddenly, she became aware of the weight she was carrying through the water begin to increase. Looking around, she realised that Harry's Gillyweed was wearing off. Horrified, she let go of Gabrielle and Mamoru and drew her wand. Pointing it at Harry's voice, she shouted an incantation. The bubble formed slowly, but soon enough Harry's breathing eased. "Thanks," he panted, before taking Rei and Mamoru's hands once more.

Then, finally, they broke the surface of the water. Cheers and claps assaulted their ears, louder than usual as they were used to the silence of the water. Usagi turned and saw that Mamoru was waking up, as were Rei and Fleur's sister.

"Mamoru?" she said, before realising that there was still a bubble around her mouth. She reached for her wand and removed both her own and Harry's.

"Come on," Mamoru was beaming at her, "it's a bit cold in here." There was a loud splash and turning Usagi saw that Fleur was wading towards them, reaching out towards her sister.

"Gabrielle! I was so worried about you. I'm sorry I couldn't get to you, but I got attacked by Grindylows on the way," she continued to babble for a moment, before turning to Harry and Usagi. "You saved her, even though she was not your hostage. Thank you!" She embraced Usagi tightly and then turned to Harry, kissing him on the cheek. Rei coughed loudly.

Slowly, they headed back to the shore, where they were given warm towels and pepper up potion, courtesy of Madam Pomfrey. As they stood with the other champions, and their hostages, Harry, Usagi and Haruka were practically mobbed as the inner senshi and the starlights came to talk to them.

They were talking so loudly that they almost didn't hear when Bagman's voice boomed out over the crowd. "And so the second task draws to an end, and might I add my own thanks to Professor Meioh, who was able to project the events under the lake for us to watch." There were cheers and applause as Setsuna inclined her head to acknowledge them. "And now, to the points. Miss Fleur Delacour returned after only half an hour, without her hostage. However, she did demonstrate great use of the bubblehead charm and so the judges have awarded her twenty five points."

"It should be zero," Fleur said as the crowd applauded politely.

"The first champion to return with their hostage, was Tenoh Haruka, who returned 45 minutes through the task, and as such she receives the full fifty points," there were yet more shouts from the crowd.

"The second champion to return was Viktor Krum, who returned twenty minutes outside the time limit of an hour. He receives forty points." More applause.

"Mr Harry Potter and Tsukino Usagi returned well outside the time limit. However, as we have all seen, their lateness stems not from their own slowness, but from their determination to rescue all hostages, not merely their own." Hermione seemed to be looking appraisingly at Harry.

"Most of the judges," Bagman shot Karkeroff a nasty look, "believe this shows superb moral fibre and merits full marks. However, Mr Potter and Miss Tsukino each receive forty-five points."

Usagi didn't really care how many points she'd got. Really, she just wanted to go back up to the castle and go to bed. Her muscles ached and she needed a shower. She smiled as she felt Mamoru wrap his arms around her.

"I'm proud of you," he whispered, "even without your Henshin, you still manage amazing things."

"Hey Hermione," it was Rei's voice, distracting Hermione from a conversation with Krum, "there's a beetle in your hair– just let me– aaah!" Usagi and Mamoru sprang apart. Rei seemed to have held the beetle perhaps a little to tight and suddenly it was gone. In its place was a bedraggled, wet and very harassed looking Rita Skeeter.

"Ah, Ms Skeeter, how nice of you to join us. Especially as, if I remember rightly, you were banned from the grounds. Add the fact that you appear to be an unregistered animagus on top of that and there is quite a lot to discuss." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he approached and Harry could have sworn he saw the headmaster wink at him.

Laughing, the scouts, Harry and Hermione headed back up to the castle.

Chapter 15

Monday was a difficult day. Usagi had only found out the day before, but March the first was Ron's birthday. Tensions were high during lessons, and Usagi could tell that Harry and Ron were deliberately avoiding Ron to the greatest extent possible.

They went straight to the library after dinner rather than heading to the common room, where Fred and George were holding a mini party, and did not head back to Gryffindor tower until about ten minutes before they had to be off the corridors.

The party, which appeared to have grown in size when people had seen the food Fred and George had taken from the kitchen (Hermione and Ami sniffed at the evidence of this). Ron was sitting in a corner with most of their year, but a hush fell as Harry, Hermione and the scouts entered. People drifted away, not wanting to get caught in any drama.

Usagi glanced at Mamoru who nodded almost imperceptibly. The scouts headed towards the stairs to the girls dormitory while Mamoru headed over to the boys. Hermione shot an anxious look at Ami, as she headed away, who smiled reassuringly back at her.

Even Fred and George stood up, moving swiftly away and up the stairs to the boy's dormitory. The common room was unusually silent, and one by one, people seemed to be fleeing to the safety of the dormitory. Very soon only Harry, Ron and Hermione were left in the circular room.

There was silence for a moment before Ron spoke. "You know what… forget it." He stood up and headed towards the stairs. Hermione burst into tears. Harry put an arm around her shoulders and looked up at Ron, who had stopped by the stairs.

"You can be a real prat sometimes, you know that," he said, looking up. "What was all that bull at Christmas about anyway?"

"Oh come on… "

"I mean– fraternising with the enemy? What enemy?" Ron looked as if he was about to speak but then stopped himself.

"Come on Ron," Hermione hiccupped, "some form of defence would be nice– I think we've earned that at the very least."

Ron's mouth opened and closed a few times as he looked at them before it all came pouring out. "Do you have any idea what it's like being best friends with you two?" he asked. "Every single day of my life I've just been the idiotic best friend– I'm not smart, I'm not famous… "

"I'm famous because my parents are dead!" Harry exclaimed. "And because you're school champion." Ron countered.

"You still think I asked for that one then?" Harry shook his head, "please Ron. I'm no better at this stuff than you– I only got through the last task because Usagi and Haruka figured out the eggs clue– yeah, the 'enemy'. I've never have gotten past the task without them."

"Yeah… well what about Viktor?" Ron asked defensively.

"What about him Ron? Last time I checked my love life was no concern of yours! Anyway– I'm not the one with a model of him in my trunk." Hermione glowered at Ron, who actually took a step backwards.

Harry shook his head. "Where do we go from here?" he shrugged. "I don't know, but I'm not entirely sure we can go back." Without another word he pushed past Ron and headed up the stairs.

"Hermione-" Ron began.

"Happy Birthday," she said before he could finish the sentence. She fumbled with her bag and pulled something out, shoving it into Ron's hands before turning on her heel and running towards her dormitory.

Looking down, Ron was surprised to see a small, neatly wrapped package in his hands. He sat down on the steps and opened it. There were three things inside– muggle chess pieces. There was a bishop, a castle and a knight.

Looking down at them, Ron swore loudly.

"I only wish we could tell Usagi not to win."

"She mustn't know. If she knew she wouldn't try and the contract with the goblet would be broken."

"I know… it's just frustrating," Haruka cracked her knuckles as she looked out of the window in Setsuna's office.

"I've told you already Haruka– you must win. I can't see what will happen to Usagi or Harry and whatever happens this world needs them both if Crystal Tokyo is to arise."

"This would be much easier if you could still see."

"Easier for you maybe," Setsuna's voice was bitter.

"You never did like that particular power, did you?" Haruka's voice was unusually soft.

"I never asked for any of my powers. I was no princess… I was merely the last of a dying race, granted eternal powers due to the nature of my duty."

"What did it feel like?" Haruka asked hesitantly, "what did it feel like to die?"

"Now that we've finished looking at the events that lead to the end of the Silver Millenium, we can move to more up to date times– specifically these last few years, during which there have been many sightings of the Moon Princess and her senshi in Tokyo."

"Professor Meioh?" Minako had raised her hand after winking at the others, "you said you'd met the scouts– what did you think of them." Setsuna smiled before she replied.

"Now that is a question, Aino… Well first there was Sailor Mercury. She seemed to be very much the brains of the operation, quick witted and unafraid to act as the situation called for. Then there was Sailor Mars– fiery tempered but smart with a strong psychic link. After that there was Sailor Jupiter, a more physical warrior than her comrades but in many ways the gentlest of all of them. Sailor Uranus and Neptune were perhaps the most difficult to read– somewhat distant and yet most certainly loyal."

"And the others?" Minako prompted.

"Well there was Saturn… " a gasp rose from the class. "You mean she was reborn?" Dean Thomas asked. "Oh yes… and she's used her powers in the last year."

"Then how come we're all still here?"

"Saturn has the power to destroy the planet– that is not the same as using the power to destroy a planet."

"What about Sailor Pluto then?" Dean asked, "she seems powerful."

"I have never met Sailor Pluto," Setsuna replied (which was technically true). Dean looked more than a little disappointed. "I have, however, met the Moon Princess herself."

"What was she like?" Parvati prompted her.

"Human," Setsuna replied. "She was brave, caring and true to her heart."

"I still think you've missed one of the senshi," Minako said. "What about Sailor Venus?"

"Sailor Venus?" Setsuna said as if mulling it over, "she seemed a little self important to me."

Thankfully that was when the bell rang for the end of the period, meaning no one really noticed the distraught look on Minako's face or the laughter creasing the rest of the scouts in half.

Harry and Hermione did not talk to Ron for the remainder of the week and by the time that weekends Hogsmeade visit had come around Harry had vowed he would never talk to Ron again.

He and Hermione had excused themselves from spending the day with the scouts, saying they had something important to do. The inner scouts headed down with Mamoru as a unit and headed straight for the three broomsticks– which came heavily recommended. They would have come with Haruka and Michiru, but the older scouts had decided to celebrate Michiru's birthday privately.

Once inside, Mamoru ordered butter beers for all of them and they took a table in the corner. Usagi took a sip of her butter beer and decided that she quite liked it. They chatted amiably for a while before they heard someone approaching.

Looking around, they saw that it was Ron.

Chapter 16

"Ron," Ami said, nodding coolly to acknowledge him. He looked around nervously as though checking harry and Hermione weren't there.

"Can I… Can I sit here?" his voice was quiet and he didn't meet any of their eyes.

"I don't know," Ami replied, gaining looks from the rest of the group, "I'd assume you wouldn't want to be seen 'fraternising with the enemy'."

Ron's face went scarlet and he looked down at his feet. "I'm sorry," he said, eventually. Usagi glanced at Ami and Rei, nodding to indicate that she trusted their judgement to handle the situation.

"I don't see why we should let you sit with us," Rei said bluntly, "You've hurt our friends and insulted us. Give me one good reason."

"I can give you three," Ron said. Moving over to the table, he placed the three chess pieces on the board.

"Why chess pieces?" Ami asked a little hesitantly.

"Did neither of them ever mention it? Well I don't suppose they would– Harry doesn't like to talk about it and Hermione's usually studying… "

"She does stuff other than studying," Ami said testily.

"Yeah I know," Ron said quickly, "the point is she isn't usually thinking about it. See, in our first year, students were forbidden to access the third floor corridor." He went on to tell them about how he, Harry and Hermione had gotten past Fluffy, devil's snare and the chamber with the flying keys. "The next chamber was dark when we entered, but when the lights came on, I realised it was a giant chess board."

"A chessboard!" Ami was aghast, "but Hermione's no good at chess!"

"That would be why I was in charge," Ron continued. "We had to beat the white players to cross the board– Harry playes as a bishop, Hermione as a rook– that's a ca-"

"I know what a rook is," Ami waved the comment aside.

"Right… well anyway, Hermione played as a rook and I played as a knight."

"Knights get taken a lot though," Ami said, frowning.

"Tell me about it."

Ami's hands flew to her mouth, "It wasn't… It wasn't wizards chess was it?"

"What's the difference?" Makoto asked.

"Wizards chess is far more brutal than the muggle variety," Ami explained, "the pieces respond to voice commands and actually destroy pieces when they take them. So what happened?"

"Well we played for a while, and then there were just two moves left in it. I made my move, letting the white queen take me, leaving Harry to checkmate the king."

"That was very brave," Minako said quietly, looking up at Ron, who blushed a little. "Anyway… Hermione gave me the chess pieces and… well… "

"You realised what an idiotic prat you've been?" Rei summarised. "Well… yeah."

"Baka," Rei spat, brushing her fingers over the henshin wand in her pocket so that Ron would not understand the word. She smiled a little at the unsure look on his face. "So now you want our help to get them to forgive you?" she went on in English.

"That about sums it up, yeah."

Rei sighed, "I guess you'd better pull up a chair then."

By the time Harry and Hermione got back from Hogsmeade, the scouts were already back at the castle. They were scattered about the castle which was rather unusual for a weekend. Ami was in the library, slightly less unusual, while Makoto was helping Professor Sprout out with Neville down in the Greenhouses. Minako was, reportedly, visiting the Durmstrang ship to spend some time with her date from the Yule ball and Usagi was up in the dormitory.

This meant that only Mamoru was in the common room when they arrived back at the castle. He was studying, as most of the seventh years were, for his N.E. later in the year.

"Sure is quiet without the others around," Harry remarked as he settled down into a chair. Mamoru smiled and closed his books. "Good time at Hogsmeade?" Harry asked him.

"Educational," Mamoru replied evasively before standing and heading up to the dormitories. Hermione shrugged at Harry to show that she didn't know what he meant anymore than he did.

Harry glanced down to where Mamoru's book had been before he left and frowned– there was a chess piece on the table.

Later that day, when Hermione was researching her History of Magic homework, she came across a muggle chess knight on the bookcase. It startled her a moment when she saw it, but after a second she brushed it off as coincidence.

When she went to bed that night, she found another one under her pillow.

Harry also found a chess piece under his pillow, but he thought nothing of it as he threw it to the ground and went back to sleep.

"I keep finding these all over my cabin," Viktor complained.

"Finding what?" Hermione turned to see Viktor pulling something out of his bag.

It was, of course, a chess piece.

They had Herbology second period on Monday morning. The scouts let Harry and Hermione get ahead of them to ensure they would sit at the same table, and Makoto offered to pick up a tray of bouncing bulbs for them.

When she handed it to them, Hermione was almost unsurprised to see a small black knight sitting amongst the soil.

When Ron went to bed that night, he found a chess piece under his own pillow– a black rook. He smiled before briefly glancing towards Harry's empty bed. He listened to make sure there were no footsteps on the stairs before slipping both the rook and another knight under Harry's pillow.

He headed to bed and pretended to be asleep as the dormitory filled. As always these days, Harry was the last to come in. When he climbed into bed, he moved his pillow and discovered the chess pieces. He glanced over at Ron's bed before setting them down on the chest by his bed.

Well, Ron thought, at least he's not throwing them on the ground this time.

Harry was doing his divination homework on Thursday evening when he next found chess pieces. This time there were three of them, except the third (a bishop) was a white piece. He looked up and saw, across the common room, Ron looking at him. He was sat, for the first time in months with the scouts (although of course Harry still did not know this).

There was a fearful edge to Ron's look, as though he wanted to be looking anywhere but at Harry, but dared not look away. As Ron watched, Harry very deliberately reached into his pocket and pulled something out. As he placed it down, he knocked the white bishop to the floor, leaving the black one in it's place.

A few minutes passed before Ron had the courage to head across the room. He slid into a seat across the table from Harry. He didn't speak.

"So… " Harry began, "perhaps I should drown because of Jupiter?"

Chapter 17

Harry, Ron and Hermione were still very careful and maybe a little over polite around each other for a few weeks yet, but eventually they were firm friends once again– something nearly everyone in the school seemed to think should have happened months ago.

Hermione had broken up with Viktor, although she wouldn't tell anyone why and they still seemed to be good friends while Harry and Rei grew closer everyday.

Taiki and Yaten, of course, remained professional at all times, refusing to socialise beyond the scouts and Harry, Ron and Hermione (although only grudgingly with the last three).

The next couple of months passed without any major developments– they studied topics from hex deflection in DADA to nifflers in care of magical creatures while they reached the battle against the death busters in History of Magic. The most notable development in the greater wizarding world was Rita Skeeter's six month prison sentence.

On April 1st the twins held a loud party in the common room to celebrate their seventeenth birthday, while Rei celebrated her own Birthday in a slightly quieter way. On April 27th, however, Professor McGonagall sought out Harry, Usagi and Haruka.

"Mr Bagman wants to see you in the Quidditch pitch at six o'clock this evening, make sure to be prompt." They headed down together after dinner. When they stepped onto the pitch, Harry went very pale.

"What have you done to it?" He said, his voice come out as a strangled yelp.

"It's quite impressive isn't it?" Came Bagman's booming voice from the centre of the pitch, which was covered in knee high hedges.

"It's a maze," Haruka said, frowning.

"Ah, this is not just any maze– this is the maze, supposedly grown from a sapling of the great maze of Io castle, if that ever existed of course." He said jovially.

Usagi felt the colour drain from her face– she remembered the maze Bagman had mentioned with perfect clarity. "But… wasn't that maze a prison?"

"Nonsense," Bagman waved her qualms to one side, "anyway, the idea is to be the first champion to reach the Tri-wizard cup, which will be placed at the centre of the maze."

"Now, be aware– people change in the maze. In here you will find no great enemy, no creature to overcome. You will fight only yourself."

Usagi headed up to the castle in a slight daze, hardly aware that Harry had gone elsewhere with Viktor Krum, or that Bagman was trying to offer her tips on how to get through the maze– why was he doing that anyway?

She was vaguely aware at one point that Haruka had picked her up and was carrying her through the corridor, but she wasn't sure she cared– the maze? Surely not…

There were distant exclamations and murmured voices– she knew she was being carried up the stairs, laid on her bed, but she didn't really understand what was happening.

Not that place again…

"What happened to her?" Minako had placed her hand on Usagi's forehead, but she didn't have a fever.

"I think she's in shock," Haruka said, looking around at Hermione and the assembled senshi — they were all there except Pluto, but even at that moment Setsuna stepped out from a shadowy corner, her hand on Mamoru's shoulder. He strode over to where Usagi lay, unmoving.

"What happened?" he asked, not beating around the bush.

"It's the third task," Haruka said, "It's a maze. Bagman indicated that it was grown from a sapling of the maze of Io." The planetary senshi drew in sharp breaths and Mamoru visibly paled.

"The maze of Io?" Seiya was frowning, "what's that?"

"Well… it's a maze," Makoto began. "My father grew it in the furthest corner of the grounds of his castle. It was said that the maze was a living thing– that the hedges moved, consuming those who stepped within. It was used as a prison, for the worst of the worst criminals in the Silver Millennium."

"But surely they wouldn't send the champions into that!" Hermione exclaimed.

"They would if they didn't know what they were doing… Damnit!" Setsuna exclaimed, "if I could still see the future I could have stopped this from happening."

"Don't blame yourself," Michiru said softly, "We'll all do whatever it takes to keep her safe."

"But we can't remember," Ami pointed out, "if we directly interfere with what happens in the maze we'll be sucked in with her– what help would that make us?"

"How come Usagi is so badly affected by this and you're not?" Seiya said, looking at Haruka. "Because, unlike Usagi, I've never been inside the maze."

"She's been in that thing before?"

"It was her first visit to Io," Mamoru said. "she was exploring the grounds and didn't know any better. At that point no one had ever left the maze alive. When Queen Serenity heard what had happened her grief was terrible. With the power of the silver crystal amplifying her sorrow it was a time of darkness in the kingdom."

"How long was she in there?" Yaten asked.

"About six months… time is different in the maze. For her it was only a day, but even that was too much." Makoto said quietly. "We wanted to go in after her– we were her senshi after all, but Queen Serenity forbade it. She was never stupid and she knew we'd almost certainly die as well if we followed her in."

"How did she get out then?" Hermione whispered.

"Queen Serenity had no power to command the Prince of Earth," Mamoru said, looking around at her. "I followed her in as soon as I heard what had happened. The maze was… terrifying." The senshi shuddered– Endymion had never shown fear on the battlefield, but the haunted look on his face when he emerged from the maze would never leave them.

"She was deep inside the maze, and it was as though I could hear her calling me from all directions. The hedges themselves seemed to try and keep us apart. When I found her she was on the ground and the roots were wrapping around her body. I cut them free and carried her from the maze."

"That was what lead to the final alliance of the moon kingdom, not that it did any good. When Prince Endymion emerged from the maze, injured and barely able to stand yet still carrying Princess Serenity to his chest Queen Serenity abandoned the meeting she was in with the rulers of the other eight planets to travel to Io– not that they minded of course."

"My father was more than a little pleased," Makoto said grimly, "as I remember that particular meeting was on why there were no guards in front of the maze that day."

"She personally thanked Endymion and offered him any one favour the silver crystal was capable of bestowing. He asked for stronger ties between his own planet and the Earth."

"Mamo-chan?" Usagi's voice was weak, and Hermione found she couldn't understand it for Usagi was clutching at her broach, "Mamo-chan… You'll pull me out again… if I get lost?"

"Always," Mamoru replied before leaning down and kissing her forehead softly, a tender movement that showed Seiya exactly why she had never really had a chance with Usagi.

As Mamoru moved away, a golden crescent formed on Usagi's forehead. She looked towards Setsuna. "We're going to have to fight again, aren't we? We're not going to be able to stop this Voldemort regaining his body?"

"I don't know– I can't see but," she hesitated, "but I wouldn't imagine there is much we can do to stop him."

"The crystal's strong again– I can feel it. It's as powerful, if not more so, than it was before, so why can't I transform?"

"Because you haven't figured out how yet. Don't worry, I have faith in you– I know you will figure it out in time."

"But you can't know for certain. Not this time."

The 24th of May came around far to fast for the liking of all of the scouts. For the month before Usagi wanted to spend every waking moment surrounded by her friends, as though afraid to be alone.

Unfortunately this was not easy, particularly when the end of year exams arrived– as a champion, Usagi was exempt from the exams. Luckily, so was Haruka, who was as vigilant as ever protecting her Princess.

There was a History of Magic exam the day of the third task and the other scouts left breakfast early to get there in time. "Tsukino, Tenoh, Potter– the champion's families have been given permission to watch the final task. They'll meet you through there." It was McGonagall, gesturing to the room into which Usagi had headed after her name came out of the goblet.

She looked over at Harry and Haruka, shrugging. None of her family would be there, Harry didn't have any family and Usagi wasn't really all that sure about Haruka– as far as she was aware Michiru, Hotaru and Setsuna were her only family.

Ten minutes later, however, McGonagall looked out of the room and beckoned them impatiently. Harry sighed resignedly and lead the way. "Mrs Weasley!" He exclaimed as he opened the door, only to be enveloped by a red haired woman who could only be Ron's mother. Looking past her, Usagi saw the last two people she had expected to see.

"Luna! Artemis!" She cried joyfully, running across the room to embrace the older woman. They were both in their human forms and smiled indulgently as Usagi raced towards them. Haruka showed a little more control, smiling at them by way of a greeting.

"How come you were able to leave Japan? I thought you were meant to be our eyes in Tokyo? I've missed you so much Luna, and you Artemis, it's been such a busy year– though I suppose you did get my owls… "

"Usagi calm down," Luna laughed, "We did get your owls of course, and we can be here because Setsuna can now keep an eye on Tokyo from here as effectively as we could from the city itself."

"Well that makes sense I suppose. Come on– we've got to show you the castle, it's huge! I got lost so much in the first few weeks."

"As far as I'm aware you'd still get lost without Ami and Hermione to help you," Haruka said, smirking.

"Oh shush," Usagi scowled.

"Hey, Usagi," It was Harry, "this is Ron's mum– Mrs Weasley, this is Usagi and Haruka. They're two of the Japanese transfer students this year."

"Oh yes, Ron mentioned them in his letter at Easter," Mrs Weasley smiled at them before moving forward and hugging Usagi tightly. "I'm sorry you had to get caught up in all this tournament nonsense– you and Harry are far too young for all this." Usagi blushed and was glad when Haruka spoke to Mrs Weasley by way of a distraction.

Usagi did indeed spend the rest of the morning showing Luna and Artemis around the castle and the grounds. They became cats for most of it, referring to themselves as Animagus, which was apparently a term for wizards and witches who could become animals (although they had to say that there was an extra dimension to the transformation that allowed them to talk. Luckily Setsuna had foreseen this and spent some time on a type of magic that could actually do this so that Professor McGonagall didn't get too suspicious).

Afternoon lessons were cancelled and dinner was early to allow ample time for the task, so they headed back to the great hall for twelve, Luna and Artemis in their human forms again. Minako saw them first and jumped up from the table to hug first Artemis and then Luna.

"I missed you guys so much!" She exclaimed, before launching into a full recap of the exam they'd had that day. Usagi sat down at the table and was about to help herself to some chicken when she remembered what she'd been so busy distracting herself from all day.

The third task.

Chapter 18

"And here, finally, we are. The final task of the tri-wizard tournament!" Bagman's voice echoed around the stadium and Usagi shivered a little in the fading light.

"Our champions have battled dragons to get here today, but it will all be decided in the maze! The champions will enter one at a time in rank order of their scores so far. When the cannon sounds would Tenoh Haruka enter the maze."

There was a pause and then a bang. Haruka stepped forward and the darkness of the maze engulfed her as the last words Setsuna had spoken to her echoed in her head. You must win. Whatever happens, you must win.

"Mr Potter!"

BANG! Harry walked confidently into the sudden silence between the tall hedges. "Tsukino Usagi!"

BANG! Usagi did not walk as Harry and Haruka did, with her shoulders straight and her head held high. Fear was clear in her every movement but she knew that she had no choice– it was either face the maze or face the consequences of breaking the unbreakable vow of the goblet of fire.

The maze was just as she had always remembered it– dark, silent and oppressive. The hedges blew in a wind that wasn't there as Usagi moved forwards. Two steps into the maze; she glanced back and could no longer see the entrance. She reached for her wand and muttered a spell Harry had taught her in preparation for the task. "Lumos," the wand tip lit and a sparse beam lit up the path before her.

She couldn't tell whether Krum and Fleur were in the maze yet– time moved differently here than it did in the real world. For all she knew it had been months (or even years) for those on the other side of the hedges.

The maze was deceptive– miles could seem like metres or metres like miles. Usagi pressed along the path, seeing no turns ahead or behind her. This was just as she remembered it last time– the endless path and the never ending darkness that even her wand light was unable to fully penetrate.

The hedges behind her rustled slightly. The sound got louder.

Usagi glanced back.

She began to run.

"I wish we could see what was going on," Minako sighed. She knew that Setsuna could not use her powers to show them the inside of the maze– it was itself a separate dimension– but that did not stop her wanting to see Usagi.

"She'll be fine," Makoto said, but they could all tell she wasn't so sure. They watched as sections of the maze shifted and moved around the champions, leading them along paths as was its whim. In places the hedges moved to fast for them to see, indicating areas where time had sped up within the maze. In others the hedges moved with a lethargy that indicated the opposite.

Setsuna was sat with the other judges, although Mr Crouch had been replaced by the minister for magic due to the fact that no one had seen him since the night the champions had found out about the third task.

Her knuckles were white as she stared intently at the maze wall, wishing to be able to see inside, to know what was happening to Usagi, praying that the red sparks she had seen earlier had not been sent up by her or Haruka.

Then, very suddenly, it came back.

It was new, different– stronger, but it was her power, her ability to look through time itself. Even in the past life, the maze had been locked to Setsuna– a separate place from the world in which she resided, one of only two places Sailor Pluto did not know better than anyone alive.

But this time, she knew that were her powers at their greatest she would see. And she needed to see.

"Pluto Cosmos Power, Make Up!" The shout diverted attention from the maze to the judges table just in time for the watching crowd to see a cloud of black. Pluto reached forward in the dark and clasped the handle of the garnet rod, comforting after so long without its contact.

In her other hand she held her wand not, as Ollivander had believed, carved from the door of space-time, but carved from the garnet rod itself. She moved them together and the wand slid seamlessly into the staff.

Murmurs ran through the students– who knew, after so long in Setsuna's lessons, exactly what it was they were seeing. The other judges, with the obvious exception of Dumbledore, had jumped to their feet, staring dumbfounded as a woman of myth and of legend appeared before them.

Pluto closed her eyes and sure enough, an image of the centre of the maze formed in the air before the judges. They could see the triwizard cup shining on its plinth.

But they could see other things– images that showed just how wrong things had gone in the maze.

Fleur, being pulled into the hedges by the roots.

Krum, attacking Haruka with curses he should not even have known how to cast.

Harry and Usagi, running together away from the closing hedges towards the plinth in the centre.

"Run! If the maze gets you it'll never let go!"

"How do you know all this?" Harry panted as he ran.

"No time, just run and grab the cup on three. One. Two. Three." The jumped and each of them grabbed a handle of the triwizard cup. Usagi felt an odd jerk behind her navel, but found that she did not care– they were moving out of the maze.

"No!" Pluto's scream was full of anguish as the screen before her vanished. She raised the garnet rod and screamed, "Dead Scream!" The attack, which was only meant to be a whisper, rammed into the hedges of the maze, destroying each and every one it touched– a mark of just how powerful Pluto's new transformation was.

Tears fell silently down her face as the last of the maze was destroyed. Krum blinked and the milky look in his eyes vanished. Haruka looked around, saw Sailor Pluto and dropped to her knees– she had failed.

They landed with a thump and the triwizard cup rolled away from them. Usagi jumped to her feet and shone her wand around what appeared to be a graveyard. "What was that?" Usagi asked shakily.

"Portkey," Harry replied, "the cup was a portkey." Then, without warning, Harry cried out, falling to the ground, clutching his hands to the scar on his forehead.

"Harry, what is it? What's wrong?"

"He's here," there was fear in Harry's voice. "Lord Voldemort's here." Usagi rose to her feet, her heart hammering, looking around.

"Kill the spare," came a high, cold voice from the shadows. "Avada Kadava!"

There was a flash of green light which was answered by a soft silver glow that surrounded Usagi and Harry. Usagi held the silver crystal in her hands, and it's light kept them safe from the deadly curse.

"This is the child who resisted?"

"I believe so, master."

"Bind them both."

Usagi panicked as the light in her hands faded and the crystal disappeared. She needed it in her hands, not locked in her broach. Even as she thought this, ropes twisted around her ankles, pulling her back until she was tied to a large headstone. Her wand fell to the ground. Without even looking she knew that the same would have happened to Harry.

There was a cauldron, simmering softly in the centre of the graveyard. "This is truly a stroke of luck," came the high pitched voice again, "we shall use the girls blood as well." A short man moved into sight, carrying a bundle which Usagi looked at with a sick fascination, wanting and yet not wanting to know what was inside.

The short man dropped the bundle into the cauldron and Usagi found herself, for the very first time in both her lives, wishing death upon a creature, praying that it would drown.

"Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you shall renew your foe." The man moved from Harry to Usagi, running a sharp dagger down each of their arms. Usagi cried out in pain but before she even finished the man was dripping the blood off the dagger and into the cauldron.

"Flesh of the servant, w-willingly given, you shall revive– your master!" Usagi closed her eyes just in time. The man appeared to have cut off his hand. It fell into the cauldron with a splash.

"Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you shall renew your son." The grave beneath Harry split open and a single bone flew into the cauldron, bubbling and simmering.

Let it not work, Usagi prayed.

Let it be dead, Harry repeated over and over again in his head.

It was not. The cauldron melted away, forming robes that surrounded the tall, pale figure as he straightened.

"Harry Potter. We meet again."

Lord Voldemort had returned.

"It's happened," Setsuna fell back onto her chair, her eyes fixed on something only she could see. "We failed. He's back."

"What's happened Dumbledore– just who is this woman and what on Earth is she on about?"

"This woman, Cornelius, is Setsuna Meioh or, more famously, Sailor Pluto. I believe the event she is referring to would be what she and the other Sailor Senshi have been striving to prevent all year– the return of Lord Voldemort."

"Preposterous nonsense. Speak sense Dumbledore."

There was a clamor a short distance away as teachers tried to prevent the transfer students reaching the judges table. "Let them through," Dumbledore announced. Haruka too was heading towards them.

"Setsuna?" the voice came from a small black cat who jumped onto the table next to the senshi, "Setsuna is she alright? Is she– alive?"

"For now, but there are too many paths to be certain of how this night will end… One way or another, the future has changed and most certainly not for the better."

Chapter 19

"And then there is you, girl." Voldemort turned to look at Usagi, who saw that his eyes were merely red slits. "Resisting both the Imperius Curse and the Avada Kadavra curse… that is impressive. I wonder… Wormtail!" he held out his hand and Wormtail placed a wand in the outstretched palm.

Voldemort looked up and pointed the wand at Usagi. "Crucio!"

It was pain unlike anything Usagi had ever experienced. It felt as though she were once more clawing her way to Nehelenia's castle but stronger– the pain was not just on her skin, but inside her head. When the pain stopped Usagi fell limply in the ropes holding her to the grave, her blond hair (still full of twigs from the maze) hanging limply by her side.

"So the protection is not reliable? Some power you do not control… tell me girl– what are you?" Voldemort swooped closer to her until he was whispering in her ear, "I will find out one way or the other– less painful to let me know now."

"Don't tell him anything Usagi!" Harry cried out, fighting the robes keeping him pressed to the grave of Voldemort's father.

"Wormtail– your arm."

"Thank you master… thank you!" the small man crawled across the ground and held out the bleeding stump of his arm.

"The other arm, Wormtail." The man's face fell, but he withdrew the stump and offered Voldemort his other arm. Voldemort flicked the sleeve back, revealing a black tattoo of a skull. Voldemort pressed his finger to the mark and it very suddenly turned scarlet. He threw Wormtail to the floor and headed over to Harry.

"Can you get her out?" Luna asked, pacing up and down the judges table.

"I don't think so… there's something about Lord Voldemort… some power surrounding him… I don't think even the Sailor Teleport could penetrate it."

Rei swore loudly as Ron and Hermione ran up to join the congregation at the judges table. "What's happened? Where are they?" Hermione's voice was exceedingly high pitched. Setsuna didn't seem to hear her.

"I may be able to reach Usagi for a moment… but it will be no more than that."

"Patch me in," Hotaru whispered.


Hotaru? Is that you?

It is– listen to me very closely Usagi, we don't have long. Make no attempt to kill Voldemort. There's something tying him to this reality for now. There is no way he can pass through the midnight gate the way he is. You must find a way to get back to Hogwarts as soon as possible.

How can I do that if I can't even transform?

You'll need to figure that out for yourself Usagi– you know how the transformation works. If we told you how to find your new transformation before it was time it would burn you out.


There was no response. Usagi opened her eyes, bringing her senses back to the world around her just in time to hear Voldemort's triumphant voice.

"See Harry– my true family returns!"

Wizards were appearing among the graves. They all wore hoods– some form of uniform– and approached Voldemort with trepidation.

"My lord?"

"It is I, Lucius. Is that not so very hard to believe? Or did you all believe my broken?" Voldemort looked around the assembled Death Eaters, who had formed a circle. The circle was, however, incomplete, as though they expected more people to fill the gaps.

Voldemort went around the circle, speaking to each Death Eater in turn. Usagi recognised only three of the names– Crabbe, Goyle and Malfoy. Could they be the fathers of the three Slytherins? She watched as he replaced Wormtail's lost hand with a silver replica that glistened in the starlight– the moon was hidden by clouds.

"And then there are the evening's special guests… " Voldemort turned to face Harry and Usagi. "Harry Potter and… but we do not know her name!" He raised his wand and pointed it straight at Usagi. "Crucio!" The pain ripped through Usagi once more as she screamed. "Your name?"

"Sailor Moon." She whispered. "Crucio!"

Usagi screamed again, wanting to move her hands– to tear the pain from her chest. When it stopped, she took a second to breathe before saying again. "Sailor Moon. My name is Sailor Moon."

"It appears this girl believes us all to be fools," Voldemort laughed, his voice cold. "Let us see how she, and indeed Mr Potter, fare in battle." With a lazy flick of his wand, Voldemort severed the ropes tying them to the graves. Usagi felt around desperately for her wand and stood quickly when she had finally found it.

She could hear Hotaru's warning ringing in her head and Ran to Harry, grabbing his arm and pulling him behind a tombstone. "Harry, we need to find a way out of here– we can't fight Voldemort, at least not now."

"So how do we get out?" Harry hissed back at her as the Death Eaters taunting voices reached their ears.

"I don't know," Usagi chewed her lip.

"Is this it? Are you only cowards?" Voldemort's voice was louder than those of his followers, nearer. Something changed in the set of Harry's jaw. HE stood and turned to face Voldemort.

"Very well Mr Potter– we shall duel. Bow." Harry did not move. "I said, bow!" Voldemort waved his wand and Harry felt himself bend over, exposing the back of his neck to Voldemort.

"Crucio!" Usagi huddled behind the gravestone as she remembered the pain the curse had caused her. She clutched her wand to her chest and thought desperately over everything she had done and learned in the past year but nothing of any use sprang to mind.

Her knuckles were white as she clutched the wand in one hand and reached into her pocket with the other, drawing out her golden eternal broach. "Avada Kadavra!"

"Expelliarmous!" Harry's disarming charm and Voldemort's curse met in the centre of the ring of Death Eaters, who closed in around Harry and Voldemort, obviously confident that Usagi could not run far. She stood and held the broach to the air.

"Moon crisis power, make up!" Nothing.

"Moon eternal power, make up!" Nothing.

"Moon crystal power, make up!" Nothing.

"Moon prism power, make up!" Nothing.

Bitter tears welled up in Usagi's eyes– she was useless, no power to speak of and about to die. She brought her broach down and hugged both it and her wand to her chest.

There was a clatter as the wand met the broach, then a soft silvery glow. Usagi looked down; barely able to believe what her eyes were showing her. The front of the broach had faded away and the silver crystal sparkled brighter than it ever had before. The words came to her in a bright flash of realisation; words that fitted and words that felt right.

"Moon cosmos, make up!" The silver light engulfed her body and she felt the familiar exhilaration as butterfly wings brushed against bare skin, creating a new fuku. When the light faded she looked down at herself– the fuku was similar to the Super Sailor Moon outfit, but the colours were silver and gold instead of blue and yellow. She looked up at the golden web now encasing Harry and Voldemort and stepped forwards. There was a fine string of power connecting the two wands and there were ghostly figures circling them. Two of them, a man and a woman, seemed to be whispering to Harry, who was nodding.

He turned, looking for Usagi and yet presented with Sailor Moon. She nodded to show that she trusted him. He turned back to Voldemort and wrenched his arms, breaking the thread connecting them.

Usagi sprang into action immediately. Unlike before, her power did not need words– it was something beyond that now. Her wand cut through the air forming a powerful shield that none of the Death Eaters' curses could penetrate.

"Accio cup!" Harry's voice was loud and clear as Voldemort raised his wand. The snake like mouth was only beginning to form the deadly curse when Usagi felt Harry grab her around the waist.

They were pulled together, buffeted through wind and rain.

But at least they were safe.

"They're coming," Setsuna stood up and hurried around the judges table. At that moment Harry and Usagi seemed to fall from the sky in a heap of limbs. They were engulfed by a crowd of teachers and friends. Mamoru pushed through the crowd to help Usagi to her feet. The senshi gasped as they saw her new fuku. She blinked wearily at them and it faded, replaced by the tattered shorts and t-shirt she had worn for the task.

"Mamoru," she whispered, leaning heavily on his arms. Without any prompting, Mamoru scooped her into his arms as he had so many years previously as he carried her from the maze.

Harry stood shakily, aided by Ron and Hermione. Rei stayed with him only long enough to know he was basically unhurt before turning to Usagi– her duty was to her Princess, always. Setsuna was standing close by, but she was not looking at Usagi. Instead her eyes were roving the air, rooting through the possible futures for the outcome of the next few hours.

Very suddenly, her eyes widened and she span around, the garnet rod raised above her head. "Garnet Ball!" She cried. Although, like Usagi, much of her new power did not require spoken commands, the old attacks and defences worked just as they always had.

The dome of the garnet ball sprang up, in all places, over mad-eye Moody. "Don't help him!" Setsuna's voice rang out over the crowd, "he is not what he seems."

"What do you mean?" Minako was frowning, "he's one of the teachers."

"No he's not. His name is not Alastor Moody– it is Barty Crouch."

"But… Mr Crouch is missing." Makoto said.

"The man you refer to is dead," Hotaru replied.

"How long have you known that?" Ami was, perhaps understandably, a little shocked.

"Since the night of his disappearance. I did not mention it because Usagi had enough to worry about at the time."

"So who is he then?" Minako pressed Setsuna.

"This is Barty Crouch's son. He is a Death Eater and is impersonating Alastor through the use of polyjuice potion." Setsuna gripped the garnet rod in both of her hands and brought it crashing to the ground. The moment it made contact with the trampled earth there was a flash of dark green and when they looked again, Moody had gone, the magical eye rolling away along the ground and the wooden leg lying on the floor.

The man now enclosed by the garnet dome twitched as everyone looked on. The senshi, however, were diverted as Dumbledore began to guide Harry up to the castle, indicating that they should follow. McGonagall and Snape stayed behind to watch over Crouch.

As they walked through the grounds they were joined by a large, scraggy dog. Harry, Ron and Hermione seemed glad to see it and Makoto was giving it some of the strangest looks as they reached the castle doors. Dumbledore lead them up through the deserted school to what could only be his office. As they entered he moved to sit behind his desk.

"Ok. What's with that dog?" Makoto asked, squinting down at it.

Harry grinned at the dog, "It's alright Sirius– they're friends." They all blinked as the dog transformed into a man.

"Wow… It's weird seeing someone who isn't Artemis or Luna doing that." Minako remarked. Mamoru lowered a blearily eyed Usagi into a chair as the inner scouts made themselves comfortable on the floor.

"Now– Harry, Usagi. We need to know what happened when you left the maze this evening. Setsuna– you can help tell us too."

"That's a bit much so soon, don't you think Dumbledore."

"There's no point putting it off," Setsuna cut him off. "Repressing the memories will not make them any easier to tell. I, however, may give an adequate summary of what happened." Harry and Usagi both looked relieved as Setsuna began to detail what had happened in the graveyard. While she was talking, Fawkes the phoenix flew across the room and landed on Harry's lap. Pearly tears fell from his eyes to the cut on Harry's arm until there was nothing left.

When Setsuna had finished talking, Dumbledore spoke. "The two of you must now head to the hospital wing– Madam Pomfrey will want to make sure you're ok and I'm sure a night away from the speculation of the day will do you good. Sirius may stay with you if you wish Harry." Harry nodded and Sirius transformed once more into the shaggy dog. "And I assume you will all stay with Usagi?"

"We will," Haruka replied, "but the starlights should contact their own princess and let her know what has happened."

"You're right, of course," Taiki replied. "We shall do that now." She, Yaten and Seiya moved to leave, but Usagi reached out and grabbed Seiya's wrist.

"You'll stay, won't you Seiya?" the older senshi's eyes softened.

"I… I would love to… but my duty is to Princess Kakyuu… " Usagi nodded sadly. "I thought you would say that."

"It shouldn't take long," Seiya said, kneeling by Usagi. "I'll be back and as annoying as ever before long. And besides, you've got Mamoru."

"But you're one of my friends Seiya. You should be here too."

"I will be, odango. I will be."

Chapter 20

Harry and Usagi were lead straight to the hospital wing, where they found a very harassed looking Mrs Weasley and Ron's older brother Bill. As they opened the double doors into the ward, Mrs Weasley whirled around and cried their names running across the room to hug them both.

"Molly," it was Professor Dumbledore, "I would ask that no one question Harry or Usagi on what happened tonight. They have been through enough as it is."

"Of course," Mrs Weasley agreed, "they should get some sleep."

"Albus," Setsuna interrupted, "you are needed down at the maze," Dumbledore sighed. "Thank you Setsuna, I shall go now."

"I shall come with you– Haruka, Michiru you should come too."

"What's happening?" Michiru asked as they headed to the grounds.

"Crouch still has his wand," Setsuna replied, "and he is breaking through the garnet defense."

"Will he get through?" Dumbledore asked, quickening his pace.

"Unlikely," Setsuna replied, "unless… " she stopped in the middle of the corridor for a second then very suddenly began to run.

Haruka and Michiru kept up with her easily, outstripping Dumbledore in seconds. "What's happening now?"

"Fudge." Setsuna replied, her expression grim, "he's trying to break through the barrier at the same time. Of all the possible futures this was the least likely."

"We need to get there fast then," Haruka prompted.

"You need to find your henshin first– I know you can do it. I've seen it. You merely need to think on what I did." Haruka and Michiru stopped as Setsuna continued running.

Haruka held out her hand and her wands formed in the air before her– Michiru did the same. Haruka looked down at her wand, thinking for a moment. In the confined space, wind swirled. There was only one place she had ever seen that before.

"Uranus cosmos power, make up!"

"Neptune cosmos power, make up!"

Haruka drew the space sword and gently slid her wand into the blue gem on the hilt as Michiru slid her own wand into the screen of her mirror. Without another word they ran on into the grounds and towards the maze.

Somehow, Dumbledore was already there by the time they reached the edge of the maze. Unfortunately, Crouch was already free.

They ran to Setsuna, who was protecting the students to the best of her ability– unfortunately it was difficult to protect so many people at once and keep the shield strong at the same time.

"Keep Crouch occupied," Setsuna panted as she fought to keep control of the garnet rod (something she had never had to do before).

Michiru nodded and held her mirror up to catch the final rays of the setting sun. As they hit the mirror they pooled inside the glass before shooting at Crouch. Haruka followed not far behind, leaping with the space sword above her head.

She brought it swooping down through the air and blue light seemed to rip through the air. The combination of attacks drove Crouch towards a wall until he was surrounded.

His eyes darted between Haruka and Michiru before settling on Setsuna or, ore accurately, on the students behind her. He raised his wand, clearly aware that this was his last chance to fight back. Even has Haruka cried, "world shaking!" Crouch shouted, "Avada Kadavra!" The green light flew past Michiru even as Haruka's attack knocked Crouch senseless.

The senshi of the sea ran faster than she ever had before but even she was not fast enough to beat such a curse. There was a flash of green light and then silence.

"This is a potion for dreamless sleep," Madam Pomfrey explained to Harry and Usagi. "Make sure you drink it all up." Usagi did as she was told straight away, sinking back onto her pillows with a sigh. A moment later Harry did the same.

"Who'd have thought," Ron was rubbing the back of his neck, "Setsuna Sailor Pluto… "

"I still don't think I'm following all this," Mrs Weasley was frowning.

"It's simple enough," Rei began, moving to a chair. "Shh! We shouldn't tell them." Makoto hissed.

"Oh come on! They'll know soon anyway. The whole school knows about Setsuna, we can't be sure who noticed Usagi's fuku… eventually they'll suspect us all. And Harry knows anyway– there's no point for secrecy anymore."

"I suppose not… " Minako glanced over towards Usagi. "Go on then, you tell them." She headed towards Usagi's bed and pulled a chair up on the left side, facing Mamoru who sat to Usagi's right, his fingers gently caressing hers.

Ron was frowning as he looked from one of them to the other, "you mean you're all senshi?"

"Yeah," Rei sighed, "been so for a long time now."

"Well… wow."

"I'm not understanding this either." Bill said, frowning at the girls.

"I'll tell them– you guys should keep an eye on Usagi." Rei smiled at Hermione gratefully before pulling a chair up beside Minako. Makoto and Ami did the same.

"What, you mean you knew?"

"Since Christmas." Hermione confirmed. Luckily, as a result of Setsuna's lessons, Ron knew a lot about what the senshi had actually accomplished in recent years and so was able to help Hermione explain to Mrs Weasley and Bill.

"I think Dumbledore knew as well," Hermione concluded. "He didn't seem at all shocked when Setsuna transformed."

"Dumbledore's known since Usagi's name came out of the goblet of fire," Ami confirmed from her seat by Usagi, "she had to tell him. The goblet put her name on the only piece of paper that was 100% certain to be thrown out again. It was reacting to her very presence."

"So whoever put Harry's name in was sure he would be picked?" Ron asked.

"He– Crouch I mean, it must have been him– probably confounded the goblet into thinking there were four schools." Hermione explained.

They heard voices and turned towards the door. "There's no way any of this can be true Dumbledore! Do you honestly believe all this 'Sailor Senshi' malarkey."

"The question, Cornelius, is how you can not believe it. Tonight you have seen undeniable proof of their existence and yet you still refuse to admit that maybe your view of things is too narrow minded."

"Narrow minded? Dumbledore this is madness."

"Well then maybe we should question Crouch. He is still alive, if unconscious. I believe Severus has a bottle of veritaserum for seventh year lessons."

"What's the point? The man is mad– he probably believes all this nonsense about you-know— who."

"Cornelius, if you refuse to believe even what your own eyes show you there is nothing I can do to help." The hospital doors banged open. "I implore you to see sense. You must act before it is too late– before more lives are lost."

"More lives," Mrs Weasley stood quickly, "what happened."

"Crouch," Dumbledore replied sadly. "He was cornered, but still he attacked. There is no defence against such a curse."

"But Usagi defended against it." Rei pointed out.

"Ahh, but then again Usagi is not your average witch. Setsuna was defending the students, but the curse broke the barrier."

"You mean Setsuna…?" there was panic in Minako's voice as she half rose to her feet. "No," Dumbledore replied quickly, before turning to Mrs Weasley. "It was a student."

Harry stirred in his bed, one arm reaching blindly for his glasses. He blinked blearily. When he could finally see them clearly, he noted the anxiety on their faces. "What's happened?" He asked quickly. "Who…?"

"Seamus Finnegan." Dumbledore said heavily. Hands flew to mouths and Ron swore. How could Seamus be dead?

"Cornelius, you must act," Dumbledore pressed on. "If you delay then Voldemort," Mrs Weasley gasped and Ron winced at the sound of the name, "then Voldemort will only get stronger." Dumbledore pressed on.

Fudge shook his head in disbelief, "your winnings," he said tersely, throwing a bag of gold on the cabinet by Harry's bed, "share it as you see fit." He turned smartly and headed from the room even as Usagi sat up.

Professor Snape entered the room and spoke to Dumbledore. "Crouch is contained– Minerva's watching him. We found the house elf as you asked. Alastor– the real Alastor– was locked in Moody's, Crouch's, trunk."

"Thank you Severus. I must once again ask a lot of you Severus."

"I understand," Snape nodded.

"Then you should go– but first. Sirius?"

The dog transformed into the man once again and Mrs Weasley screeched, "Sirius Black!"

"Do not worry, Molly. I trust Sirius." Dumbledore then turned to Snape and Sirius again. "The two of you must put aside your differences to work together." Snape and Sirius glared at each other, but shook hands (although it looked as if they were each trying to break the other's fingers). Once this was done, Snape turned and hurried from the room

"Sirius– gather the old crowd, those who fought last time." Sirius nodded before once more becoming the dog and running from the hospital.

The following morning, they met Seamus' mother. She had come to the hospital wing to thank Setsuna for trying to protect her son. There were no tears, merely a deep sadness in here eyes, which was somehow worse.

Only those who really knew Setsuna would have been able to see the pain in her eyes as she spoke with Mrs Finnegan, but once she had gone, Usagi stood and hugged Setsuna tight– her way of telling her that she none of them blamed her.

It turned out that none of the crowd had actually seen Usagi's fuku at the end of the task, but there were more than a few suspicious glances thrown at the scouts (although the students already knew about Uranus and Neptune).

The end of term feast was difficult– it was the first time that either Harry or Usagi had been in the great hall when it was full since the task. The hall was decked, not with the colours of the winning house, but with black and before the feast Dumbledore spoke.

"I will not insult any of you, as the ministry do, by trying to convince you that what you saw was not real," he began. "But I would ask everyone here to raise their glasses in memory– to Seamus Finnegan." There was a murmur around the hall as the students complied with the toast. "There are times in life where we must make a choice– between what is right and what is easy. In the years to come I fear this is a choice that will present itself to all of you. Remember what happened that day, and what happened to Seamus, purely because he was protected by one of our own. To Setsuna Meioh" There were fewer toasts this time, as many took the opportunity to look at Setsuna, who sat with her head lowered, her long green hair obscuring her face. The scouts, Harry, Ron and Hermione, however, raised their glasses high in salute.

"There are many in this hall that are not of our school– know that the doors to this castle will always be open to any of you," he glanced towards the Slytherin table where the Durmstrang students sat. The news that Karkeroff had disappeared after the third task had seemed almost mundane after everything else that had happened.

The scouts were not taking the express this time. They said their goodbyes and waited until the carriages bearing the Hogwarts students had gone, until the Durmstrang ship had sunk once more and the Beauxbatons carriage had flown from sight. The planetary senshi formed a ring around the starlights and Mamoru before Setsuna yelled, "Sailor teleport."

They reappeared in the courtyard of the Hikawa shrine and one by one, headed home.

Chapter 21

She had travelled by plane– a new experience, and not one she particularly planned on getting used to. The long hours spent watching the same film on a loop seemed to have turned her brain into a mushy pulp.

She caught a bus into the city centre, but not any old bus. This bus was three decks high and bright purple. It dropped her off quarter of an hour later outside a small, dilapidated pub that most of the passers by didn't even seem to notice– The Leaky Cauldron.

She brushed a strand of dark hair behind one ear and picked up her bag before heading inside the dusty building. The barkeeper, Tom, took her name as she booked a room for the night. When asked if she wanted it reserved further, she declined– she had places to be.

And indeed she did. She left the pub at half past seven the following morning, her bag slung over one shoulder. She caught the purple bus, but this time to a place in Surrey– Little Whinging.

It was warm here, the sun beating down relentlessly as she walked through unfamiliar streets. Ahead she could see a group of burly teenagers advancing on a small boy– maybe no more than ten years old– in a nearby park.

She headed forwards, dumping her bag by the gates. "You know," she said in what sounded like perfect English, "this fight almost seems a little unfair."

"What would you know?" the biggest, and indecently ugliest, of the larger boys replied.

"Oh I didn't mean that fight," the girl replied, "I meant the one we're about to have." She gestured to the boys and then to herself. There were peals of laughter from all sides as the gang assessed her.

"As if I would hit a girl." The large blond scoffed back at her.

"Would you hit a girl who could do this?" she asked, coolly. Then, in one swift motion, she whirled around and kicked the nearest boy full in the face, her red heels making a satisfying crunch as they connected with his nose.

The boys swore and backed off a little. "What? Scared of me?" the girl taunted– this felt good. The last year she had felt so useless, unable to defend those she cared about– those she loved.

"Hey Dudley," a new familiar voice, "who are you beating up now– another ten year old?" He caught sight of the back of the girl, "oh right. A girl? So gentlemanly of you Dudley."

"Stay out of this Potter– see what she did to Pierce?"

"Pierce had it coming," the voice had got closer. "Yeah, well at least I'm not afraid of my pillow."

Potter didn't reply for a second. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"You've been having nightmares, Potter, I can hear them. Not Rei! No please, don't hurt them! Leave them– don't kill Seamus. Who's Rei, Potter– your girlfriend? But no– you don't have any friends at that freak school of yours, do you?"

"Stay back!" Potter's voice was suddenly harsh, stern.

"What are you doing with that– that thing?" Dudley's face paled, while the rest of the gang merely looked confused. The girl giggled. "What's so funny?" Dudley practically yelled at her.

"I can take care of myself you know Harry," she said, turning round, "although it was very sweet of you to try help."

Harry almost dropped his wand in shock. "Rei? What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you, silly," she smiled; it didn't reach her eyes.

Very suddenly, the sky above their heads darkened. The boys in the gang looked up and very quickly made their excuses before hurrying away, leaving Harry, Rei and Dudley behind.

"What did you do?" Dudley asked, looking between them.

"Nothing," Harry and Rei said together. It had very suddenly gone cold.

"Come on," Harry said, "we need to get out of here." Harry and Rei hurried off. Rei had just shrugged her bag on when Harry called back to Dudley, "I'd come with us if I were you… something's not right here." Frost was beginning to form on the pavement as they walked, their feet slipping out from underneath them. They had barely walked ten metres, when the stars went out.

"What did you do?"

"I didn't do any-"

WHAM! Harry went flying. Dudley's punch had caught him squarely in the jaw.

"Ok, that does it." Rei was about to kick him when she felt something– something new. It was cold, but not a cold she had ever experienced before, as though every happy memory was being drained from her. She felt herself sink to the floor– this could only mean the end.

"Do you think Rei's found him yet?" Usagi chewed absently on her slice of cake.

"I hope so– we should get a call from her any minute now, even if she hasn't." Ami said, looking up from her summer reading– a book far larger than Usagi would ever dare even pick up.

"She'll be fine," Minako waved the question aside whilst helping herself to a second slice of the cake Makoto had made.

"I know… it's just with the starlights headed back to Kinmoku… "

"They didn't have a choice Usagi," Mamoru reminded her gently, "their princess ordered them back."

"I know… they have to be there as a second line if we fail but it… well it worries me that Kakyuu worries we might fail." They were silent for a while until all of their communicators bleeped at the same time. They quickly flipped the screens, but there was no one on the other end.

"It must be Rei," Makoto concluded, "and she's in trouble."

"We need to get there fast then." They linked hands and Minako shouted, "Sailor Teleport." Nothing happened.

"I think… I think I need to do it, as you can't transform," Usagi said gently. Minako burned with embarrassment and nodded. Usagi called out the phrase and they vanished, heading straight towards Rei.

When they landed, the air was knocked from their lungs. The cold was intense and they could barely see. Usagi fell to her knees, gasping in the cold. Their outlines were dim, but in the dark she could make out tens– no hundreds– of cloaked figures, advancing upon them

"Expecto Patronum!" The voice was Harry's. he had fought his way to his feet and cast the charm. A silver stag burst from his wand and charged at the nearest dementors. There were too many of them though, and Harry alone couldn't fight them off. He, Rei and Dudley were protected– for now– but the other scouts were not. Rei pulled herself to her feet and looked desperately around, wanting to help but seeing no way in which she could. She reached into her pocket and drew her henshin wand– such a useless thing; she wasn't even sure why she still carried it. With a grunt of frustration, she hurled it at the nearest dementor. As it span through the air, it began to glow.

Rei watched as it struck the nearest dementor, turning it into a pile of ash. The wand then flew back at her and she caught it. She held it in her hand for a split second before it disintegrated.

The ash flew from her hands in a wind that wasn't there. Ash.

She pulled her other wand from her pocket– the one made from the ever burning embers of the great fire of Mars. It felt so natural– why hadn't she thought of this before. She held it high above her head and called out, "Mars Cosmos Power, Make up!" Red light flashed and when it had gone, Sailor Mars was waiting resplendent in a new fuku. She did not try to fight the dementors herself, but placed a hand on Harry's shoulder, channelling her energy through him– something she had never been able to do before.

The silver stag shone brighter and charged at the dementors, scattering them. For a moment, a silvery phoenix shone in the air beside the stag before the two of them disappeared.

Rei took the chance to look at her new fuku. It was very similar to her last one, all the colours were the same, except that now the skirt and bows seemed to shimmer in a way they never had before. The bows were longer too, trailing to her waist and knees respectively.

Usagi too appeared to have transformed, although by the look of things not by any intention. Her fuku was slightly different to the last time they had seen it, although that had only been in passing. Instead of gold and silver, the edgings and the bows were now red.

"I think it'll change as each of you get your new transformation," Usagi said dubiously, looking at it.

The sound of footsteps nearby drew their attention to the end of the street– a tall figure was approaching.

Chapter 22

"Setsuna, you could have warned me that was going to happen." Rei complained loudly as they struggled to lift an immobile Dudley.

"If I had you would not have transformed– you'd have taught yourself the charm Harry used to repel the dementors."

"Huh… I suppose. But still, I was worried sick– I mean the way you told me something was going to happen to Harry."

"We should probably un-transform," Usagi began but Setsuna interrupted.

"No– we stay as we are. The Dementors are still nearby and we need to be ready to fight." Minako sighed loudly. "Your chance will come too Minako, probably sooner than you think." The leader of the inner senshi smiled, somewhat wanly. Makoto and Harry each shrugged one of Dudley's massive arms over one shoulder and they started to head to number four Privet Drive.

As they made their way through Magnolia Crescent, an old lady approached them. "Are they gone?" She asked, seeking out Harry amongst the senshi.

"Are what gone Mrs Fig?" He asked, feigning innocence.

"The dementors, stupid boy. I am going to kill Mundungus Fletcher– at least you lot turned up in time," she addressed the scouts. "What Dumbledore… "

"You know Dumbledore?" Harry didn't have to act shocked. "What? Yes of course– who doesn't know Dumbledore."

"So you're a witch?"

"I'm a squib, Potter." She turned to Setsuna and took in her fuku and the garnet rod. "You would be Sailor Pluto?" she asked. Setsuna nodded. "Get them to Harry's aunt and uncle– Dumbledore will contact you there."

"I know," Setsuna nodded.

"Of course you do," Mrs Fig nodded to herself. "Well keep them safe anyway."

"It shall be my top priority. Fletcher will be back any second now," Setsuna continued, "make sure he regrets his actions tonight."

"Oh I will," Mrs Fig said threateningly. Sure enough, as they turned into Privet Drive they heard a loud crack, followed by the thump of Mrs Fig's handbag.

When they reached the door to number four, Harry and Makoto moved forward, pulling Dudley with them. Harry knocked on the door and it was opened barely a second later by a horse-like woman with an exceedingly long neck.

"Thank goodness your home Diddy, I was… was… Diddy!"

"Diddy?" Rei mouthed at Harry as Vernon Dursley came galumphing to the door.

"What's going on? Who are all these people? Dudley?" Dudley chose that moment to throw up onto Petunia's shoes. She screeched and kicked them off before running to the kitchen to get cleaning equipment. Minako raised an eyebrow at Harry, who shrugged as Dudley moved forward to his father. Vernon took Dudley's weight and led him through to the living room. He left the door open, so Harry and the senshi followed.

They stepped through into the sweltering living room and Uncle Vernon looked around. "I don't know what you think you're doing boy," he spat at Harry, "but I want these freaks out of my house right now."

"Hey!" Makoto bristled.

"I wouldn't worry," Harry sighed, "He's like that with everyone."

"Mr Dursley– my name is Setsuna Meioh. I am a teacher at Harry's school."

"Oh yes and what to you teach– how to turn people into frogs? And I'm sorry if I don't think you look much like a teacher."

"My apologies," Setsuna nodded. There was a flash of light and she reappeared in her civilian clothes. She was still holding the Garnet rod, something she had never been able to do in the past. "And I teach History, Mr Dursley. It has surprisingly little to do with Frogs."

"Well whatever it is you do, do it somewhere else– I want you all out of my house!" he turned towards Dudley. "Who did this to you son?" He asked quietly. Dudley raised a shaking finger and pointed first at Harry, then at Rei.

"What? No we didn't it was the dementors… " Rei began, but it was no use. "Out!" Vernon yelled at them, "Get out right now!"

"Mr Dursley," Setsuna's voice was louder than his easily, although she did not appear to be shouting, "There are almost a hundred dementors outside of this house. Sending anyone of us outside would be madness."

"How do I know these dementor-wotsits are even real?" Vernon puffed up. "Dementors… " came a strangely soft voice from the door, "they guard the wizard prison, Azkaban."

"Petunia?" Vernon spluttered.

"They stay, Vernon," Petunia replied firmly. "But… "

"They stay." Petunia said this with such conviction that Vernon dared not argue. "But only until the dementors have gone."

"Do not worry, we will remain here only a few more minutes."

"Are they going?" Minako asked hopefully.

"No… but there are more than a few owls on their way." As Setsuna spoke the first owl swept into the room, dropping a letter into Harry's hands. He ripped it open and went very pale.

"I've been expelled." He said, emotionlessly.

"Don't be so sure." The second owl entered the room. "It's Sirius… he says stay put."

"That is good advice."

"It's hypocritical advice."

"But good advice nonetheless. The last owl is coming." This owl dropped its letter by Harry's foot. "I'm not expelled!" he yelled triumphantly. "I have to go to a hearing at the ministry."

"I wouldn't worry too much about that," Setsuna reassured him, "there aren't many ways it can go wrong. For now, we have places to be. We're going to form a circle– please stand in the centre." Harry did as instructed and watched, somewhat mystified, as the senshi joined hands.

"Sailor Teleport!" Usagi called out. There was a flash of light and they all vanished, leaving the slightly stunned Dursley's behind.

"What was that?"

"The sailor teleport– a more advanced form of what you call apparition although it does, of course, have limitations. For example only four of us are capable of using it alone– myself, Usagi, Minako and Hotaru."

"Right. I thought I was supposed to stay where I was?"

"I said that was good advice, not that it was the right advice at the time."

"Where are we?" Rei asked, looking around.

"Grimauld Place, London. Wait here." Without any further explanation, Setsuna headed towards number eleven. Usagi blinked and she had gone.

"Who's that at the door Molly?"

"I've no idea– probably someone for dinner. I'll go check." Mrs Weasley hurried up the stairs and looked towards the door. "Setsuna! Albus wasn't expecting you to come for this meeting."

"I'm not here for the meeting Molly. I've brought Harry."

"Harry? Where is he?"

"In the square– don't worry, the senshi are with him."

"Well bring him in then."

"I can't– they don't know about headquarters."

Mrs Weasley frowned, "Actually, how do you know about headquarters."

"Dumbledore will tell me very shortly."

"But… he hasn't told you yet?"

"There are advantages to being the senshi of time and space, Molly."

"Right… of course. Why didn't I think of that?"

"If you could please speak to Albus."

"Of course– you caught him on the way out."

"I am aware of that."

Molly hurried downstairs– there was something unnerving about Setsuna Meioh. When she got downstairs Dumbledore had left already, but there was a scrap of parchment with the required information on it. She hurried back upstairs with it and handed it to Setsuna.

"The head-"

"You won't be able to finish that sentence, so if I were you I wouldn't bother trying."

"Right… " Minako rolled her eyes.

"Rei, if you would do the honours," Setsuna nodded at the paper. Rei clicked her fingers and a spark leapt onto the parchment, burning it to a crisp in a second. "Follow me then." Setsuna lead them towards number eleven. Glancing to one side, Usagi realised that the street numbers jumped straight from eleven to thirteen– but then where was number twelve.

But even as she watched, a house began to push itself into existence between numbers eleven and thirteen. Number twelve Grimauld Place.

They headed inside what turned out to be a dimly lit, rather imposing house. The paintings along the wall were all covered in dusty drapes, and the stairs ahead seemed to be lined with shrunken house elf heads. Usagi was so busy looking around that she didn't notice a large trolls leg umbrella stand.

She screamed as she went flying and pandemonium broke loose. The drapes covering largest painting, at the end of the hall, flew open to reveal a window.

No– a painting, but a hideously realistic painting of an old woman, wrinkled and with spittle dripping down her chin. "Blood traitors, mud bloods! Filth besmirching the noble house of Black!"

A man with long, scraggy black hair bounded up the stairs with his wand drawn. "Shut up you hideous old bat!"

"You!" The woman's eyes bulged, "you dare return here-"

"I dare!" The man waved his wand and the curtains flew back over the painting, silencing the woman's shouts. Straightening his jacket, the man turned around.

"Hello," Sirius said, smiling wryly, "I see you've met my mother."

Chapter 23

"Your mother?" They exclaimed in unison.

"Shh, keep your voices down. We don't want her to wake up again."

"What's a picture of your mother doing here?" Harry asked, looking suspiciously at the drapes covering the frame.

"This was my parents house– they're dead now of course, and as I'm the only living descendant that makes the house mine."

"Sirius, you go down to the meeting– I'll take them upstairs," it was Mrs Weasley. Sirius smiled grimly at Harry and headed back down the stairs. "Setsuna– you can go down too."

"It's perfectly alright Molly," Setsuna replied, "I have no complaints about the conclusion you will reach. I must go and fetch the others."

"Oh… alright then. Will you be back for dinner?" Mrs Weasley frowned at her– as far as she was concerned all of the senshi were just too skinny for their own good.

"That would be lovely Molly," Setsuna replied, sensing that there was little point in arguing. Without another word, she vanished on the spot.

"Right, you lot can come upstairs. There are some people I would bet will be very relieved to see you." She took them up a flight of stairs and indicated a door. "I've got to go back to the meeting, but they're just in there." Usagi moved forward and turned the handle. As the door swung open they were met with cries of shock.

"We weren't expecting you for another week!" Hermione leapt up from where she was sat on a bed (one of two in the room). She hugged them all in turn, "we were so worried when they told us about it– dementors in little whinging!"

"That is not the most worrying thing."

"Setsuna don't do that!" Makoto complained and Ron swore as the older senshi emerged from the shadows. She quirked a smile at everyone's surprised expressions.

"Close the door. We have much to discuss." The senshi did as they were bidden. Hermione, Usagi, Rei and Harry settled next to each other on one of the beds, while Ron, Minako, Makoto and Ami settled on the other.

"We are inside the headquarters of the order of the phoenix, an organisation that fought against Voldemort in the last war, for make no mistakes– there is a war coming and every one of you has a part to play. Some of these roles will not be pleasant, and believe me more than anything I wish you wouldn't have to go through with it, but I hope that by telling you what I am going to today we can avoid the worst of it."

"You mean, you're actually going to tell us what you've seen in the time stream," Ami's eyes were wide– Setsuna had never done that before.

"I am not going to tell you. I am going to show you. Make no mistake; I am risking a lot by giving you even glimpses of your futures, but the alternative is something we must avoid at all costs– the alternative would prevent even the founding of Crystal Tokyo. Now, seeing the time stream is not as easy as many of you would believe. I can see the next few hours with ease, yes, but days or longer takes time and meditation." Minako pulled a face. Setsuna took no notice and settled cross legged on the floor, placing the garnet rod across her lap. She indicated that the others should form a circle around her. "Close your eyes and take the hands of the person next to you."

"How do we tell it's worked?" Ron asked.

"You'll know."

The tent was familiar to Harry– wasn't it the one Mr Weasley had borrowed from Perkins for the Quiditch World Cup?

"Yeah, well you were right– my wand's broken." Wait– that was his voice. "You're kidding, right?" And Ron's too.

"No, I'm not."

"Well you'll have to fill me in on Godric's Hollow sooner or later. Where are the senshi?"

Harry watched himself move out of the tent, a pained expression on his face. "They… well they left. They have their own mission remember."

"I thought their mission was the Crystal Tokyo thing."

"It is, but their main mission is Princess Serenity and… well at Godric's Hollow… "

There was a flash of light and Harry found himself somewhere else– an old, dark room (perhaps a basement?).

There were four people in the room, three of which Harry recognised, as well as a girl with pale blond hair and large blue eyes. Next to her, thin and emaciated, was Mr Ollivander the wand maker. On the other side of the room was Lord Voldemort, towering over the immobile figure with long blond hair coming out of its usual odangos.

"You will tell me of your power! Crucio!" Usagi screamed and her back arched in pain. The curse played along every fibre of her being. "Crucio!" This time she doubled up with the pain, no longer screaming but weeping silently.

"Are you ready to tell me now?" There was no response. "Crucio." There was no reaction. With a scream of rage, Voldemort strode from the room. The blonde girl crawled across to where Usagi lay.

"Usagi? Can you sit up?"

"I… I think so… " The reply was disturbingly weak.

"Come here then," the girl lifted Usagi with utmost care, leaning her against the wall.

"You're a good friend Luna… I used to have a cat called Luna… " Usagi looked to one side, pain in her eyes once more. "Used to… "

There was more light, flashes of indistinct images that resolved into the great hall.

"There is nothing you can do to stop me now Potter! I have not only the elder wand, but the power of the silver millennium! Crucio!" Harry watched as Voldemort tortured him, watched as the dark lord forced his friends and allies to watch his pain.

Then, he looked on as one by one Voldemort killed those allies before turning to face Harry at last. "Avada Kadavra!"

When Harry opened his eyes once more, he was back in number 12. Everyone in the room (except Setsuna) looked shaken, and Minako looked as though she was about to throw up.

"You see now the dangers we have to avoid."

Chapter 24

No one spoke for a moment. "How do you do it?" Usagi asked eventually, "How do you see things like that and not burst?"

"Practise. The future holds many things– hallows and horcruxes, dark and dangerous times are ahead for sure. We can, however, win this war. The chance is slim, but no more so than any odds we have beaten before."

"Why… why did we have to see that?"

"To see the future is one thing– to see what can be learnt from it is another. Think through what you have been shown and learn from it. For now I must fetch the others." Without a further word, Setsuna vanished. Usagi closed her eyes and finally undid her henshin, shortly followed by Rei.

They sat in silence for a while, thinking about what had happened. "Well, lets get one thing straight," Minako began, "Usagi– I am never going to let you near anywhere called Godric's Hollow. Where is that anyway?"

"Is a wizarding village," Hermione replied.

"It's where I lived," Harry said at the same time, "before my parents died I mean. They had a house there– I guess they were probably buried in the church there as well."

"So maybe we visited it and Voldemort ambushed you," Makoto wondered out loud. "I guess so. He nearly got us as well by the sounds of it if my wand was broken."

"Not me though," Ron said thoughtfully, "I wonder why I wasn't there… " The door creaked open and Ginny popped her head round the door.

"It's dinner. Oh… hi Harry, guys." She smiled around at them and hurried downstairs.

"Come on, we don't want to be late– Mum'll kill us." They headed quietly down the stairs, past the painting of Sirius' mother and into the kitchen.

"Mamoru!" Usagi cried, running across the room and into his arms, "what are you doing here?"

"Setsuna just brought me," he replied, "it seems that the order needs all the help it can get at the moment and the three of us," he indicated Haruka and Michiru who were, of course, already there, "volunteered as we've finished at Hogwarts."

"I forgot you weren't going to be there this year," her face fell, "but you'll write to me?"

"Every day if you want me to."

"You don't need to write quite that often… maybe twice a week would be nice?"

"Twice a week could work, but you'd have to write to me as well."

"Of course!"

"Everybody sit down," Mrs Weasley called. Usagi did as she was bidden, sitting with Mamoru to her right and Setsuna to her left. They were a little squished at the table, with the full compliment of Sailor senshi and so many Weasleys, but it was definitely an enjoyable meal.

Mrs Weasley was just serving up dessert when Setsuna stiffened. "Setsuna?" Minako leapt up and ran around the table, waving her hand in front of the senshi's motionless eyes. "Quick, get her some air," she instructed. She and Usagi moved Setsuna's chair back as the others watched quietly from a distance. The Weasley's looked confused, while the scouts and Mamoru looked worried.

"Setsuna," Minako whispered, taking her hand, "what can you see?" This was a tried and failed technique to learn about Setsuna's visions of the future. A vision such as the one Setsuna was having now was sometimes referred to as Prophecy, although Setsuna would dismiss that term as ridiculous– no one predicted the future, some were just more attuned to the timelines than others.

As usual, Setsuna did not speak. She blinked and looked around, as if surprised to find herself in Grimauld Place once again.

"Are you all right?" Makoto had stood and was walking around the table from where she'd been sat with Ginny and Ami.

"I… I must go… " without a further word, she vanished. "Does she do that often then?" Fred asked bracingly.

"No… " Ami replied, "She must have seen something she can fix right now or not at all I suppose."

But Ami was wrong. Setsuna had not seen the future, but the past. Often, knowing what was to come was a burden, but knowing what had already been could be just as bad.

Setsuna had had a vision of a winter month, about twenty years ago. A boy, just old enough to have been out of school a few years, was cleaning shelves in a dark shop that she immediately knew was called Borgin and Burke's.

The boy was called Tom Riddle. He appeared to be looking for something as he shifted the merchandise, but he was always conscious of being watched. At last he found it– an innocuous thing. A splinter of black wood.

Setsuna, however, knew there was something more to this shard– and so did Tom.

She sank to the floor in the room of the Hikawa shrine that she had teleported to and waited for the click of heels that would signify her arrival. "Setsuna-mama," she said, using a name she hadn't in a while.

"How long have you known? How long?"

"I've known it was cracked for some time now," Hotaru replied, "but I did not know he had the splinter."

"Let me see."

Sailor Saturn knelt down and held the silence glaive out on open palms. Setsuna did not attempt to remove it from her hands, but rolled it over, running her fingers across the smooth black handle.

The almost smooth black handle. "How did it happen?"

"In the past life, when I last used the glaive to its full potential. It was an emergency situation and I was forced to bring it down on top of stone. It is amazing that the splinter should have found its way into such hands."

"Amazing is perhaps not the word I would have chosen," Setsuna replied.

Setsuna swept into the courtroom and scanned the rows of wizards. She knew exactly why Dumbledore had asked her to be here today instead of him, but she was not sure she thought it a good idea. Yes, she could easily clear Harry of the charges– this sort of thing was of no consequence with the timeline laid out before her– but Harry needed the reassurance that only Dumbledore could offer at that point.

"Witness for the defence, Meioh Setsuna," she announced. She could have made it on time, but the late entrance made the impression she required under the circumstances. "Excuse me for saying Minister, but I was under the impression that such a simple case did not require a trial by the full wizangamot."

"That is a case for the Ministry to decide, Ms Meioh."

"Oh, Setsuna please." She replied, smiling pleasantly.

"Very well. We are here today to discuss charges regarding the use of underage magic by Mr Harry James Potter. Mr Potter, did you or did you not cast the Patronus charm on the night of August the 2nd?"


"You see– he admits to it!"

"I would ask, minister, that you allow Harry to speak before giving judgement. Harry– why did you cast this spell."

"Because of the dementors."

"Oh how convenient," Fudge's voice dripped in sarcasm.

"Convenient minister? I rather think not. In all, I'm sure Harry would prefer not to have been attacked by near a hundred dementors." People in the crowd baulked.

"Near a hundred? Impossible. That would mean about half the dementors in Azkaban."

"And yet they were there, Minister. I have seven witnesses willing to testify to this fact."

"Seven?" Fudge squeaked.

"Very well, I shall call my first witness– Hino Rei."

Rei was thoroughly grilled by the waiting wizards, but she was about to leave when Fudge asked his first question. "Miss Hino– may I ask how you were able to aid Harry in the casting of the patronus charm without alerting either his trace or your own."

"I shall answer that question Minister." Setsuna replied, standing from the bench she had settled on. "The time for secrecy is long past. To defeat Lord Voldemort," there was a collective wince, "we need to cooperate and to cooperate we need to understand. Rei did not set off her own trace because she has never had one. She did not set of Harry's trace due to the nature of her powers."

"I'm afraid I don't follow you, Ms Meioh."

She looked up at him, pity clear in her eyes, "you are too blinded by love for your office, minister. This is magic you yourself have witnessed first hand. Rei– if you would demonstrate."

Rei stood and held out her hand, in which was a wand that smoldered as she cried, "Mars cosmos power, make up!" the flash of red light made many of the wizards and witches throw arms up to defend their eyes. When they looked back, Sailor Mars stood defiantly before them.

"Impossible," Amelia Bones exclaimed, "the sailor senshi are nothing more than legend."

"And yet here one– no, two– of them stand before you. Do you mean to tell me that the minister has deliberately hushed, even from his own government, the events at the Tri-Wizard Tournament's third task?"

"I had heard a little from my niece Susan… but it all seemed so far fetched. She mentioned such impossible things… Sailor senshi and Voldemort… "

"I am assuming that the senshi she mentioned included Sailors Uranus and Neptune?"

"Well yes… " The door to the courtroom opened and Haruka and Michiru stepped through in their fuku.

"We've moved away from the topic at hand," Fudge blustered, "this has nothing to do with whether or not Potter used the patronus charm."

"On the contrary Cornelius," Mrs Bones replied tartly, "I believe it has a great deal to do with it."

"But the boy is clearly unstable– do you not remember he blew up his aunt not that long ago."

"Smooth Harry," Rei giggled.

"And you very kindly did not press charges on that occasion. Accepting, I presume, that even the best wizards cannot always control their emotions." Setsuna replied smoothly, ignoring Rei's comment. Fudge reddened and pressed on.

"Well what about the hovering charm he used in his second year."

"Performed by a house elf who is, at this moment in time, in the employ of Hogwarts School. I can, if you wish, bring him here for questioning on the matter."

"That will not be necessary," Amelia Bones declared, "really Cornelius… "

"What about all the things he gets up to at school!" she was interrupted, "conspiring with werewolves and convicts!"

"Harry's school time activities are of little consequence to the ministry,"

"Oh you think so, do you?" Fudges eyes narrowed.

"No, minister, I know so. Remember I know just as well as you do what will happen at Hogwarts this year and I implore you to abandon the idea now, before it is too late."

"I have no idea what you're talking about Ms Meioh. Would you please keep to the matter at hand?"

"I will if you will, minister." Setsuna replied placidly.

"Actually, I have a few questions to do with the matter of the third task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament." Mrs Bones said. "The hush attempt was very poor indeed, but the details got a little mixed in transition between students and their parents. I would appreciate, and I'm sure many of my colleagues would agree, clarification of the matter so that this trial may continue fairly and without bias." She glanced at Cornelius.

"Very well, I shall show you. Sharing a vision with so many people, however, is easier… " she let the sentence hang for a moment. "Pluto cosmos power, make up!"

Sailor Pluto brought the garnet rod crashing down to the floor. For a moment there was only the dark, and then, slowly, images began to unfold.

In reality it took merely seconds, but in those seconds everyone in the room saw everything that had happened that night, from the events in the riddle graveyard to the death of Seamus Finnegan. For good measure, she showed them the dementor attack as well.

When the vision was finished, Setsuna spoke, "I would imagine that events were far more serious than many of you were lead to believe– I saw earlier this summer that the Death Eater Barty Crouch was given the dementor's kiss– a whole week even before his retrial. I also saw the attempted cover up of Seamus Finnegan's murder as a tragic accident."

"Did that never make you wonder– what else has been covered up?"

"This is all beside the point," Fudge was clearly out of his depth, scrabbling for straws and coming back empty handed.

"Actually, Cornelius, I think there are some very serious questions to be raised about your government from this. I trust," she said, turning to a reporter in the front row, "that this story will make tomorrows front page."

"I… I don't know… " the reporter glanced at Fudge.

"So you've bought out the newspaper too Cornelius? That is low even for you. All in favour of clearing the accused of all charges?" Hands raised around the courtroom as stony faced wizards glared at the minister. "Cleared of all charges. Case dismissed."

Chapter 25

Harry took a deep breath– cleared. That was certainly more than he had hoped for an hour ago. It looked as though he was getting far more than he bargained for, however, as the assembled wizards began to turn on Fudge.

"Let's go," Rei whispered, taking Harry's hand. They headed out of the courtroom and into a waiting crowd of senshi.

"Cleared of all charges," he said triumphantly before being engulfed a moment later by Usagi and Minako.

"I knew it would be alright," Makoto smiled, although she was still shaking a little. Ami just looked relieved.

"We should leave now." Setsuna instructed them, "Before they ask you to come back in."

"But it's alright now," Rei pointed out, "they know Voldemort's back."

"That does not mean they will accept it. This next year will be hard, but remember that the time line we are following is the one that leads to the greatest chance of success."

"Why are they always the bad ones?" Minako complained as Harry, Ron and Hermione took the lead, "We died in two of those ones, remember!"

"I knew you'd get off, I just knew it– they had no case against you," Hermione was babbling. "You seem to have been quite worried nonetheless," Harry laughed.

"Nah, you always get out of trouble in the end mate," Ron slapped him on the back. "He got off, he got off, he got off,"

"Fred, George, Ginny– stop that racket this instance!"


"We should do something to celebrate," Usagi said decisively.

"Harry should go to Japan," Setsuna replied, looking at the time lines again. "Yeah, that would be so cool!"

"And he could stay at the shrine, we have a spare room."

"I could ask Ikuko-mama if Hermione could stay in Chibiusa's room."

"And Ron can bunk in my flat."

"Won't your parents mind that Makoto?" Ron said, frowning.

"Way to stick your foot in it Ron," Minako whispered in the sudden quiet that followed his words. "No… it's alright, he didn't know. My parents died a long time ago."

"I'm sorry," Ron looked horrified. "No, like I said, no bother."

"We should probably get going then," Ami said, "we'll want as much time as possible to show them the sights and it's going to be early evening by the time we get there already."

"I don't know about this… " Mrs Weasley frowned.

"It'll be alright Mrs Weasley," Usagi grinned, "we'll be around to protect them." Without another word they ran upstairs.

"Who's going to protect you then?"

"Sailor Teleport!"

"Right– Harry if you bring your bags through here, just dump 'em on the bed for now."

"Ok, now we need to go see Ikuko-mama," Usagi said decisively.

"Won't she be surprised to see you," Minako giggled.

"Very," Usagi agreed. "Hermione, you come with me now and we can meet up with the others at Crown Parlour later,"

"Sounds good. See you guys later then," they waved and headed off, carrying their bags (in Usagi's case full of clothes Setsuna had only just brought across to London) over one shoulder. "Setsuna mused have had a good reason for sending us here," Hermione mused, "I mean, she was looking at the time line when she suggested it, so I guess something must be meant to happen… "

"Probably– you'll get used to her after a while, don't worry. Just always remember she's got your best interests at heart."

"Not mine, Usagi. Yours– you're her Princess remember."

Usagi stopped and dropped her bag before turning to Hermione. "And you are my friends," she jabbed a finger at Hermione's chest, "whether you like it or not your best interests are mine as well now. She has to protect you because… because I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to any of you."

"I'm sorry Usagi… I shouldn't have said that," Hermione put her arms around her friends shoulders slightly awkwardly until her eyes were dry.

"Come on, Mama will be surprised!"


"Usagi? Is that you?"

"No, it's Shingo. Of course it's me Mama."

"And I've just finished making lemon pie as well– you always had a knack for that."

"Great," Usagi enthused. "Come on," she said to Hermione, "Mama's pie is the best– take your shoes of on the mat." Hermione did as she was bid and followed Usagi through to the kitchen. "Mama, this is Hermione– remember I mentioned her earlier in the summer."

"My goodness– she flew all the way out here?"

"Sort of, it's a long story. Anyway, she has nowhere to stay and I was wondering if she could use Chi— I mean, the spare room for a couple of weeks."

"I don't see any reason not… Go on then. Usual curfew though, Usagi."

"I know," Usagi moaned, "but anyway– I want some pie."

Usagi had just taken her first bite of pie when something bleeped loudly. She nearly choked as she realised what it was.

"Usagi? Are you alright?" Hermione had stood and was walking around the table. "Close the door," Usagi said a little hoarsely before taking a gulp from the glass of juice by her plate. When Hermione had done so she slipped her sleeve down to reveal what looked like a golden watch, embossed with the crest of the moon.

"What's that?"

"It's my communicator. I just never stopped wearing it– none of us did. It was just habit. It hasn't bleeped for ages though… " Carefully, she flipped the screen.

"Usagi? Haruka? Michiru? Setsuna? Anyone who can transform get to the shrine as quick as possible– something's happened."

The communication cut off, Ami's face melting into a blur of pixels before the screen went dead. "Hermione– do you trust me?"

"What– yes?"

"Hold my hands." Usagi reached out and took Hermione by the forearm, gripping hard. Hermione did the same to her.

I hope I'm strong enough for this… "Sailor Teleport!"

They landed with a thump, but they made it there safely. As soon as she landed, Usagi let go of Hermione (then prised Hermione's hands off her arms) and transformed.

She had heard the fight as soon as she landed, but once she had transformed she ran around to the front of the shrine. Rei stood alone, fighting three masked figures at once. She knew that she could not reflect the unforgivable curses, so she had to dodge each one as it came. The lesser curses were no problem, but attacking and defending at the same time was too much.

"Mars, you attack and I'll cover you,"

"No! You need to get in the shrine right now– I managed to get the others in there. Run!" Usagi looked at Rei and nodded. "Be careful."

"I always am aren't I?" Rei shouted back as she shot a gout of flame at one of the Death Eaters.

Usagi ran, grabbing Hermione as she went and pulling her into the shrine. "Come on," she yelled as Hermione stumbled, "They'll be in the fire room; we need to get there fast." Eventually they burst through into the swelteringly hot room and saw the others waiting.

Hermione was crying slightly and went over to where Harry and Ron sat, collapsing on the ground next to them. Usagi swore loudly, not something she did very often. "I need to be back out there– I can defend against their curses, I know I can."

"Not all of them," Harry shot back at her, "Rei told us you'd say this, and she also… she told us to remind you that it didn't matter. That you're… more important." Usagi swore again, "What is with her? We fight together, always."

"But we can't right now can we? We're being attacked and only two of us can transform. Where are the others?" Minako was panicking a little.

"Usagi," it was Hermione, "this'll be it– the reason Pluto sent us here! She or any one of the others would be here by now otherwise. She must know that by fighting here another one of you will regain your henshin!"

"Of course!" Ami's eyes widened, "that's sounds exactly like something Setsuna would do,"

"But who's it going to be?" Makoto asked, "Remember we can't force the transformation– it'd just kill us if we did. It has to be the one of us who's ready for it."

The three senshi glanced at each other but before they could say another word a masked figure ran into the room– he'd gotten past Rei. Moments later the other two Death Eaters hurried into the room– one of them was badly burned, but they were all three of them very capable of putting up a fight.

"Crucio!" One of them shouted, pointing his wand at Usagi. The spell was absorbed as a faceted silver shield sprang up in the air before her fading to nothing a moment later.

"Impedimenta," the same happened again.

"Petrificus totalus," this time, there was no shining barrier. The spell hit Usagi straight to the chest and her body locked as she fell to the ground.

"Shit," Makoto swore, "what happened to her barrier."

"I don't know," Ami was chewing her lip, "there must be some reason," the Death Eaters were advancing upon them, "if only I had the damn computer!"

One of the Death Eaters rolled back his sleeve and pressed a finger to a tattoo there– a skull with a black snake protruding from its mouth. Harry clapped his hands to his scar as pain erupted in his forehead, "he's coming," he gasped, "Lord Voldemort's coming."

"We need to wake Usagi," Hermione's face was wet with both tears and sweat as they cowered in front of the great fire. It was no use, however. The death eaters were no between them and Usagi's motionless form.

"What's the counter spell?" Makoto asked through clenched teeth. "But… "

"Tell me the damn counter spell, right now."

Hermione did as she was asked. Makoto stood and rolled her head from side to side before cracking her knuckles one at a time. At each moment the Death Eaters were moving closer to her. When the first one of them raised his wand, Makoto screamed and ran forward, seizing him around the waist and bringing him crashing to the floor.

She reached for her wand to cast the counter spell, but a different set of words came into her mind– and they just felt right.

"Jupiter cosmos power, make up!" There was a flash of green light and she leapt to her feet. The remaining death eaters raised their wands but they were far to slow. Makoto charged and hit them both with the heel of her hands, sending them flying over the fire and through the partitioning wall. She hurried to Usagi's side and murmured the counter spell.

"Come on, we need to see if Rei's alright and get out of here." They ran, slightly dragging Harry, Ron and Hermione who had nothing when compared with the speed at which the senshi could run. At one point, Makoto picked Harry up to his great discomfort and Ron's quite clear delight (at least until he was picked up by Minako). Hermione was scooped off the ground by Ami, who grunted at the effort but made no complaints.

Rei was beginning to stir as they made it to the courtyard. They let Harry, Ron and Hermione down and formed a circle around them. "Sailor Teleport!" Usagi shouted, depositing them safely inside the kitchen at Number 12 Grimauld Place.

Chapter 26

"Oh my goodness what happened?" It was Mrs Weasley.

"Death Eaters," Makoto panted, collapsing on the nearest chair. "We're all alive though."

"Better than that," Ami pointed out, "now there are three of us."

"Which was, of course, entirely the point."

"What do you mean?" Mrs Weasley asked, frowning at the blue haired senshi.

"It was the whole point of sending us to Japan– send us to a place where there are no order members to watch our backs, we get attacked and another one of us finds her cosmos powers."

"Quite impressively as well," Usagi added, fingering the edge of her fuku, which was now green. The sailor collar, however, had remained red.

"But that's dangerous!"

"To an extent," Ami conceded, "but Setsuna's been at this for a long time. She and the others will have been nearby ready to help if the time lines turned."

"If you ask me, that woman sets far too much store by what she sees in these time lines."

"I trust her," Usagi declared, "she's saved all our lives before– heck she even brought Haruka and Michiru back from the dead once."

"But that's not possible– no magic can bring back the dead." Harry was frowning.

"Well fine, they weren't quite dead. And anyway, Hotaru can– she governs the midnight gate. It's sort of in her job description."

"That isn't to say she can bring just anyone back," Makoto said quickly, seeing the light in Harry's eyes. "Only people with bright star seeds are powerful enough to return from the other side of the gate at all, and only those with pure star seeds are powerful to remain on the right side of the gate after they've crossed."

"Oh… alright then."

"Still… putting you all in danger for the sake of… of… "

"For the sake of resurrecting the powers of the most physically of strong of the inner senshi?" Setsuna emerged from the shadows behind Mrs Weasley in her fuku.

"Man I wish you'd stop doing that!" Minako complained, putting her hand to her chest. "Surely her powers would have come out sooner or later."

"No they would not," Setsuna said without smiling. "Had they not been in the shrine today, the same Death Eaters now being punished by Voldemort and more would have attacked the group as they were escorted to platform 9 and 3/4. The attack would have been a success– the number of time lines leading to failure was inconsequential."

"As a result of this attack– or at least the most likely results — Sailors Jupiter, Mercury and Uranus would have lost their lives and by extension Sailor Neptune at a later date. The aurors Mad Eye Moody and Nymphadora Tonks would also have been killed. Injury levels would have been high– Hermione would have permanently lost her right arm, while Arthur would have been made blind. Look me in the eye now Molly, and tell me I made the wrong choice."

"But surely this attack is going to happen anyway! And if you'd seen it we could have avoided it!"

"There was no avoiding this fight– one way or another it would have happened."

"Nonsense– the floo network-"

"Will have been disabled to Hogwarts castle by the ministry."

"The knight bus-"

"Requires stepping outside the border of the fidelius charms protection. With an extra Sailor senshi on our side and with three less Death Eaters fighting in the attack, the balance tips in our favour."

"But it can't possibly have tipped it so far-"

"I'm not claiming there will be no losses, merely that there will be less."

"What about your sailor teleport? Could you not use that?"

"Lord Voldemort has… he has a way of tapping into the teleport. He hasn't figured it out yet, but he will do very soon. Before September the first anyway. "

"But… if Voldemort can tap into the teleport he'll know where we are."

"Only if you use it. That is why you must take apparition lessons."

"We're not old enough yet though," Harry said, frowning.

"Yes, but you shouldn't need to apparate before your old enough."

"This means… this means we can't go home doesn't it?" Minako said quietly. "I'm afraid so."

"In that vision of the future, I said I had a cat called Luna… that I had a cat called Luna. What's going to happen to her?" Usagi asked.

Setsuna sighed before she answered. "The chance of either Luna or Artemis surviving this war is… slim."

"Do you think there are enough guards then?" Ron asked sarcastically.

"Shh. You know there's a good reason."

"Doesn't make me feel any better about being defended by a bunch of girls." Hermione hit him over the head. "Hey! That hurt."

"And I'll hit you again if you say that once more. They're risking their lives to keep us all safe."

"More than that as well," Harry pointed out, "they're showing the wizarding world who they are." Since the hearing the ministry had admitted the return of Lord Voldemort, causing the panic they had known was to come. Unfortunately Fudge had somehow managed to retain his office and was pinning the blame on the Sailor Senshi. Public opinion of the warriors was not high.

"Right– are we ready to go?" Mad eye Moody was limping down the hallway of Grimauld Place. "No Sirius. You stay here. We've had this discussion– there is no way you'd be any use in the coming fight, and you'd certainly do the scouts no favours where the public's concerned." The shaggy dog growled at him before bounding over to Harry and changing into a man.

"Have a good year Harry," he said, hugging him tight. "Yeah, I will."

"Get three safe?"

"I'll try,"

"Right, we're off. Tonks, you take the rear guard with Remus."

"Remus?" Harry said and sure enough when he turned around, Professor Lupin was coming up the stairs from the kitchen.

"Good to see you, Harry, Ron, Hermione."

"Professor Lupin, we didn't know you were part of the order." Hermione said, smiling. "Just Remus now, I'm not your teacher anymore remember."

"Still… "

"Right, we're moving off right now. Stay in formation, students and scouts who can't transform in the centre."

"Even a portkey would have been easier than this," Ron muttered.

"Portkeys can be tampered with," Setsuna reminded him.

They made it to the station with little fuss. Their bags had been taken to Hogwarts the day before by Professor McGonagall, meaning that they weren't as slow as they might otherwise have been, but the Weasleys, Harry, Hermione and the Senshi who could not transform still did not look happy as they entered Kings Cross Station.

"Come on," Moody growled, "the quicker you lot are on that train the better." They began to head through the crowds of muggles, heading towards the solid barrier between platforms 9 and 10.

This was, naturally, when the Death Eaters appeared. As they appeared with loud cracks between the large group of order members and the platform muggles began to scream, running in all directions.

"Moon cosmos power, make up!"

"Mars cosmos power, make up!"

"Jupiter cosmos power, make up!"

"Uranus cosmos power, make up!"

"Neptune cosmos power, make up!"

"Saturn cosmos power, make up!"

"Pluto cosmos power, make up!"

The blinding flash of light that followed the shouts temporarily blinded the Death Eaters, while the order members had been expecting it. The Death Eaters blinked to try and get the spots out of their eyes as the first spells shot their way. There were jets of light shot by the order members, waves of sea water sent by Neptune, strong winds sent by Uranus, fire sent by Mars and, of course, Jupiter physically charging them down.

Sailor Moon was relying on her shield to protect them as she lifted her wand above her head and began to shoot spells at the Death Eaters. She did not use incantations, but instead relied on the power that was her birthright.

Unfortunately her shield did not seem to be helping– in fact, it seemed not to be there at all. She jumped back behind the others and scanned the cowering muggles, looking for Setsuna– she was nowhere in sight and neither was Hotaru.

"Shit," she swore.

"Usagi?" It was Ami, "What's happening? we can't see properly."

"It's not going well," Usagi replied, "my shield won't work again and Setsuna and Hotaru have vanished."

"They'll be around somewhere."

"I know… I just wish I knew where."

"This would be so much easier if I just had my damn computer!" Ami cried in frustration, "I might even be able to work out why your shield isn't working." She sank to the floor and put her head in her hands, shaking with sobs, "I just feel so useless." Minako nodded in silent agreement.

"Ami," Usagi said, kneeling beside her friend, "no one blames you. Your transformation will come when you're ready for it."

"But I'm ready for it now," Ami sobbed, bringing out her wands, both henshin and ice, "neither of them work." She clenched her hand together around them so tight that her knuckles went white.

The ice began to glow a bright white and the henshin wand sank inside. "Say it," Usagi whispered, staring at the wand.

"Mercury cosmos power, make up." Ami only dared whisper the phrase, but the flash of blue light came nonetheless. Ami stood tall and raised a hand to her ear, clicking one of the three blue studs in her right lobe. A blue visor slid across her eyes and as she held her hand forward a small blue computer materialised. She began to tap at the keys. A smile began to curl her lips. "You go and fight, Usagi. I'll work from here."

"I can tell."

"Tell what?"

"What's going to happen."

"How can you possibly tell that? I'm the one who can see the time lines."

"The glaive whispers names to me at times… when I transformed it whispered yours."

"Believe what you will. We must fight."

"As always."

They stepped together from the limbo of the space time doorway and into the pandemonium of Kings Cross station. The silence glaive and the garnet rod span together in a deadly dance, reflecting curses and casting magic of their own. Death Eaters fell on all sides. A short distance away Setsuna could see Sailor Moon (her bows now a pale blue) using her shield under the direction of Sailor Mercury.

The losses were not all their enemy– not too far from Usagi lay the unmoving form of Remus Lupin. He was not dead, but he would not walk for some time yet.

There would, however, be only one order fatality on this mission. Setsuna had made sure of that. The timelines flowed around her and she moved in total unison with them, the garnet rod cutting her enemies down all around her.

And then she saw it coming. It was a move she could easily have blocked, but she knew if she did then they would lose. This single sacrifice would win them the battle. For the shortest of seconds, she lowered the garnet rod.

"Sectumsempra!" the curse cut straight through her fuku. The blood seeped through the white material as Setsuna fell to her knees. The garnet rod faded from her grip, a defence to prevent it falling into the wrong hands.

She heard Usagi's scream of rage and pain, was vaguely aware of the blast of energy that came with it, knocking the last of the Death Eaters to the ground around her. At least they had won the battle, she thought fuzzily as she fell onto the cold stone of the station platform.

"Setsuna! No, Setsuna!" Usagi fell to her knees beside Pluto's lifeless form and reached for her hand. "Why? Surely you saw the curse coming– you could have blocked it."

"Usagi," Ami's voice was hesitant as she looked down at the Mercury computer, "I don't think she even tried to stop it… I think she knew… she knew what would happen when you saw her die… "

"That doesn't mean she had to get herself killed though," Makoto whispered as tears coursed silently down her cheeks.

Hotaru walked slowly and knelt by Setsuna's body, "see you soon, Setsuna-mama."

It seemed somehow wrong to move on and catch the train as planned. Lupin was badly hurt and Setsuna…

But they knew that they shouldn't waste all the effort that had gone into getting them to the station in the first place. Their shoulders were slumped as they moved onto the platform. About half of their guard stayed behind to modify the memories of the muggles present. Haruka and Michiru stayed behind to take care of Setsuna.

Hotaru left them on the platform and they saw her climb into a distant cabin at the back of the train. When they themselves found a compartment, everyone except Hermione and Ami fell into a seat. Hermione and Ami headed for the prefects carriage. None of the senshi had even bothered to change from their fukus. The effort required felt like too much in their current, numbed state.

Because Sailor Pluto was thousands, maybe even millions of years old.

She could not be dead.

Chapter 27

Ami walked slowly through the corridors, feeling the stares of the students as she and Hermione walked past carriage after carriage and surprised to find that she did not care. They reached the prefects carriage and sat down, waiting for the other prefects to arrive.

The Hufflepuffs arrived first– Ernie McMillan and Hannah Abbot. "Ami, Hermione… " Ernie began, unusually hesitant, "I saw what happened back in the station and I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your loss. I don't believe a word of what the prophet says– anyone with a brain can see that you're not to blame for you-who's return."

"Thanks Ernie," Ami said quietly, a lump in her throat. Hannah smiled weakly at her and Hermione before moving away with Ernie. Next to arrive were the Ravenclaw prefects, Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil. They didn't say anything, but glanced at Ami somewhat awkwardly.

When Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson arrived, however, the temperature in the compartment dropped significantly. "Mizuno, Granger," he sneered at them, "two girls for Gryffindor this year? Well I suppose it's hardly a surprise, all the boys are either idiots or lunatics."

"Shut up Malfoy!"

"Keep your wig on Granger, I was just saying-"

"Shut up Malfoy before I make you shut up."

"You couldn't do anything Mizuno."

"Want to bet? I don't have a trace and my magic makes no affect on the traces of anyone in this room," she stood up and moved forward, her blue heels clicking on the wooden floor, "I'd sit down before I get really mad."

Malfoy's eyes narrowed, but he was too smart to provoke the fight.

"All the carriages are full, can we sit in here with you guys?"

"Sure, Neville. Come right in," Neville smiled at Harry and he, Ginny and a pale, blond haired girl entered the compartment. Usagi glanced away from the window and gasped.

"You're Luna aren't you?"

"That's right." She smiled back at Usagi, "And you're Sailor Moon."

"Yeah… Lucky me… "

"I'm sorry about Professor Meioh… she was nice… "

"She was… "

There was an awkward silence in the cabin for a while. Eventually, after they'd been travelling about quarter of an hour, Minako spoke. "Setsuna wouldn't want us to be like this. I remember once, in the past life, she told me she was tired of life. It's been so many years since then and I imagine this was a release for her… "

"That doesn't make the fact that she's gone easier."

"I never said it did," Minako said, glancing at Rei, who had her arm around Usagi's shaking shoulders. "But she'd want us to remember the good things. Remember that time in Magellan with the cockroach? Things like that."

"I'm sure she'd rather we forgot the cockroach actually," Makoto replied, smiling a little.

"But that's not fair!" Minako said mockingly, smiling as Usagi dried her eyes a little, "I want to remember everything."

"Including the way she used to make fun of you in class?" Usagi giggled. "Well… maybe not everything then."

"When did she make fun of Minako?" Harry asked.

"All the pointed jokes at Sailor Venus," Rei replied, "every time we were talking about the modern senshi she'd slip in something to annoy Minako."

"She did it every single lesson." Minako replied, rolling her eyes.

"I've just realised something," Ron said, "when we were studying the planets last year, were you guys manipulating your results to be funny when compared with your powers?"

"Yes," Rei replied, smiling, "I remember Setsuna's face when I left it in her class that time… priceless."

"I guess I never expected it to be Setsuna."

"None of us did. She was, in her own way, the strongest of us all."

"She must have seen it coming though, Ruka."

"Of course she did. She'll have known exactly what she was doing– that blast of power from Usagi finished the battle. Without a senshi death it would never have come."

"But it would have made more sense to ask one of us to drop our guard– what chance do we have when we can't see the timelines?"

"I don't know. Come on, we should move her." Haruka and Michiru slowly moved Setsuna's lifeless form, rolling her onto her back.

"She looks… peaceful."

"It's a new look."

"But it suits her."

Chapter 28

"And so the new year begins," Dumbledore began. "And already we have suffered another loss. Many of you will have heard about the death of Setsuna Meioh as she fought to protect several of our students in Kings Cross Station this morning. I would have a minutes silence in memory of her sacrifice."

At the Gryffindor table, the sailor senshi bowed their heads. They had undone their henshin and changed into their robes shortly before reaching the castle, but still people glanced over to where they sat. Usagi tried so hard not to cry, but for some reason such control was beyond her.

"Security at Hogwarts this year is, and will remain, a top priority. As such, ministry of magic aurors will be stationed around the grounds, as well as ex-students Tenoh Haruka and Kaioh Michiru." A slight murmur followed this announcement.

"Finally, I would wish to introduce a new member of staff this year, Professor Umbridge will be teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts."

"Ahem, ahem." Dumbledore glanced around. Umbridge, a short rather toad like woman dressed in pink, had stood and was obviously intending to speak.

"She's not going to last long, is she?" Ron said quietly.

The gate loomed ahead of her as she walked through the darkness. It was not the gate she was used to– that gate she had spent such a long time guarding. This was the midnight gate, that place through which every soul must pass eventually.

With a hand that was not shaking with fear, but rather with excitement, she reached forwards and touched the handle, a great black ring. She turned it and pulled expectantly.

The handle did not turn. She pulled at it again; tugging hard and yet still the door would not move. She beat frantically upon the black metal with a fist, screaming for entry. Tears began to run down her cheeks as she slid to what counted as the ground in this place.

She placed her head in her hands and wept for the first time in many years.

"Did you really think it would be that easy?" The voice came from all around, but the girl was moving slowly towards the woman, whose shoulders shook with pain.

"Why shouldn't it be?"

"What in your life has ever been easy?"

"But I'm not alive," only a choked sob.

"Are you sure? I have always believed that a soul remains alive until the moment it passes through the midnight gate."

"And you would know best, Saturn, you would know best."


"So then… why?" The woman lifted her head from her eyes to look at the girl, who held the silence glaive before her in both her hands.

"There must always be a fixed point in time… a constant, something that never changes."

"That is the purpose of the door I guarded for so long."

"You know better than I the nature of the door, Pluto. You are the fixture in the centre of all– that constant never ending, and never dying, circle."


"The Midnight Gate is a vacuum that calls all souls into its embrace. All souls, that is, but yours. Throughout our lives we feel its constant pull, but it does not dare touch you."

"You speak as though the door is alive."

"Oh it is, and when it opens, and the two realms collide, that shall be the end of all things. Only then may you know the peace beyond these doors."

"But still I shall live."

"As a technicality only."

"Why can't I see this day?"

"Because it's too far away even for your eyes."

There was a moment of silence that could have been years. "You're going to send me back aren't you?"

"We have had this conversation before."

"I don't remember."

"You wouldn't. You asked to forget," Saturn walked a little closer before adding, "both times."


"I think you know," she knelt next to Pluto, keeping a hand on the Glaive as she laid it before her on the ground.

"How could I live if I knew it would never end?"

"That was your reasoning. I made them forget as well, over time. The senshi do not remember either of your deaths."

"And so they don't expect me back."

"No, but you will go anyway."

"You have no choice."

"Then let us forget."

"As always."

"Those deaths… are they were the scars came from?"

"Yes. You may heal exceptionally well, better than any of the other senshi, but the wounds that kill you will remain always. Poison that scarred your insides, the explosion at Tomoe academy and now the dark magic cuts."

"And both the previous times I died, did I do it to forward the timelines as I did this time."


"Then perhaps it is not so bad, if by dying I can do my duty and return once more to fight."

"Perhaps. That is how I look at my duty. The difference between me and you is that I know the peace beyond the midnight gate, and death no longer holds any fear for me."



"Can I… can I stay here a moment longer? It is peaceful."

"You cannot remain here long." They were silent for a while.

"I think… I think I might like to remember for a while longer this time. Not forever, but maybe a few years."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because we need people to be afraid of the senshi. We need stories of our power to reach the enemy and we need them to fear us. What better way to do that than to think we cannot truly die."

Saturn looked up into Pluto's red eyes. "You will need to be brave, Setsuna. Braver than you ever have been before."

"How lovely," she began in a simpering voice, "how lovely it is to see all of your smiling faces looking up at me." Usagi felt disgusted– a teacher had just died and this woman referred to them as a smiling school? "I-" Umbridge was interrupted as the doors to the great hall began to creak slowly open.

Students craned their necks to get a glimpse of who it was walking slowly up the centre of the hall, her high heels clicking against the stone. Usagi thought she must finally have gone mad.

It was Setsuna, walking silently through the students in her fuku, holding the garnet rod in the ceremonial pose– in both hands across her body. She reached the front of the hall and turned around to face the students. "See the power we hold," she said her voice carrying. "At thirty seven minutes past ten this morning, I was killed through the use of a dark magic curse. More than a few of you in this room witnessed this event and yet more saw my body in the hours between now and then. Believe me when I say I have no wish to make an enemy of anyone in this hall." She turned and nodded to Umbridge, "Even you, Madam Undersecretary." Umbridge baulked.

"I will not honey coat my words for you, young as you are. The months, even years, ahead will not be easy. Many sitting in this hall will not live through to see the peace at the other end, but remember at all times– there will be peace. All these things happening now will come to an end eventually."

Setsuna did not say any more. She closed her eyes and the hall darkened for a moment. When they could see again she was dressed in simple green robes and took her place at the teachers table. When Dumbledore dismissed the students, the scouts wanted to run up to the teachers table but she shook her head. They knew, however, that they would speak to her soon and so headed up to Gryffindor tower.

Neville gave the Fat Lady the password, Mimbulus Mimbletonia, and they said goodbye to Harry and Ron in the common room. As was to be expected, their trunks were already there waiting for them. Usagi went to hers and rooted around for her pyjamas.

"Hey!" It was Minako, "there's a note on the floor– it's in Setsuna's writing."

"Read it out then," Hermione called to her.

"Nah, It's really long. You guys can read it. It doesn't say why she came back though– it's basically a long winded way of saying she doesn't want to talk about it."

"Well you never know what she went through," Ami said sagely, "I imagine reliving the moment of her own death would be quite traumatic."

"Yeah, but still… How come she's here anyway? I mean, she did die… "

"We've all died and we're still here." Makoto pointed out.

"That was different though." Usagi pointed out, "first time it was the wish on the silver crystal while it was at it's most powerful and second time it was the combined power of Galaxia, Cosmos– although I still don't know who she was– and the galaxy cauldron. Setsuna didn't have any of those things."

"I guess she'll tell you when she's ready," Hermione said, shrugging as she climbed into bed. "I suppose. We'd better get to sleep anyway… who knows what lessons we have tomorrow."

Chapter 29

When they got their timetables at breakfast, they were surprised, but not displeased, to see that their first morning was for the most part taken up by double history of magic (slightly more disappointing was potions after break, but the less said about that the better). They ate quickly and headed up to the classroom early. Setsuna was not there and in fact did not arrive until all of the students had arrived.

They were still learning about the activities of the modern day senshi, and the lesson was spent discussing the cover of the Black Moon circus as they searched for Pegasus. The senshi were not really listening as each of them could hardly wait to talk to Setsuna after the lesson.

When the double period finally did come to a close, however, Setsuna did not hang around. She left the room as soon as she had dismissed the class and did not look back. By the time the senshi had reached the corridor she was nowhere in sight.

They headed down to the courtyard slowly, meaning that when they finally reached it they had to head straight to the dungeons for potions, which seemed to last far more than was strictly necessary. After lunch they parted ways, most of them heading for north tower while Hermione and Ami headed to Arithmancy.

Last period, however, brought them together again for Defence against the Dark Arts. Or at least, this was what their timetables had told them. When they reached the classroom it seemed that the truth was a different story.

Professor Umbridge was there already when they reached the classroom and barely looked up as they took seats in a row at the back of the room. She then took a register and moved around to the front of her desk. Ami had put her hand in the air and only at this point did Umbridge acknowledge her.

"Please, Professor, you missed some of us out on the register."

"I'm not sure I did, Miss Mizuno."

"You didn't call my name out either," Minako added.

"Hand up please, Aino. I won't have students shouting in my classroom."

Ami raised her hand again and Umbridge nodded. "Please, Professor Umbridge, you didn't call out Usagi, Rei, Makoto, Minako or I."

"That, Miss Mizuno, would be because none of you are in my class."

"What?" Hermione spluttered, "of course they are professor. Defence against the Dark Arts is mandatory until fifth year and you're the only teacher."

"Ten points from Gryffindor– hand, next time, Miss Granger." Rei responded to this by very deliberately raising her arm.

"What do you mean we're not in you're class, Professor Umbridge?" She asked, her voice coated in a rather deceptive sugary sweetness.

"You are not in my class, Miss Hino, because you are not Hogwarts students. I took the position as Defence against the Dark Arts teacher, at the minister's request, in order to educate young Hogwarts students. You and your friends are not Hogwarts students."

"But then why have we been provided with timetables and given a dormitory? It looks very much like we're students to me." Rei replied, her hand still in the air.

"The headmaster has permitted you, against the judgement of the ministry, to continue at the school for the time being. I assure you, the ministry no longer views any of you as students."

"But that's just ridiculous!" Harry replied, frowning, "why kick out some of the strongest defenders we have when Voldemort's just returned?"

"Defenders, Mr Potter?" Umbridge simpered, ignoring the fact that Harry had not raised his hand, "I think you'll find yourself mistaken there."

"I don't think so. Last time I checked they'd saved my life a couple of times."

"The ministry has declared the sailor senshi enemies of the state! It is only the protection of Albus Dumbledore that keeps them out of Azkaban!"

"And the fact that the dementors are too busy in Little Whinging to defend them."

"Detention, Potter! And as for you," Umbridge turned to the senshi, "Leave this room now and never enter my classroom again."

"Fine," Minako stood and shoved her books back into her bags, "it's like Setsuna said at the feast last night, Umbridge," she did not bother to be particularly polite. "We have no wish to make an enemy of you or the ministry. Know, however, that if you fail to acknowledge the silver kingdom when it once more arises it shall be you in the minority." She stormed out of the classroom, followed by the remainder of the scouts. Usagi looked a little torn, wanting to follow them but also unwilling to form any grudge between herself and the ministry. In the end she shrugged and left the room.

As DADA filled their last two periods for the day, they were left with far more free time than they were accustomed to and had finished their homework by the time the last lesson had finished. They headed up to Setsuna's office, but she was not there– neither was she at dinner that evening.

A quick glance at their timetables showed them that they wouldn't have another lesson with Setsuna until Friday but that their next non-lesson for DADA would be last period on Wednesday.

"We should take to Professor McGonagall after dinner," Ami said as they ate, "she needs to know what Umbridge is doing– especially as it's our OWL year."

"Do you have to bring up the exams every thirty seconds?" Usagi asked as she helped herself to more sausages.

"The exams this year are very important– they'll limit our choices next year and therefore our future career paths."

"Yeah, because I've no idea what career I'm gonna have," Rei snorted.

"Ami's right," Minako said, her voice ever so slightly higher than usual, "the exams this year are important." Without another word she stood and headed out of the hall.

"What's up with her?" Rei asked, shrugging.

"Isn't it obvious," Makoto said, rolling her eyes, "she's worried because she still hasn't got her henshin and she doesn't think she'll be able to protect Usagi properly when the time comes. She's also afraid of what she'll do in the future without her powers, meaning she's stressing out even more than she would otherwise about the OWLs."

"Bloody hell," Ron said from up the table, "how come she doesn't explode or something?"

"Because, Ron," Hermione began, "unlike you she does not have the emotional range of a teaspoon."

"That hurts Hermione," Ron said mockingly. "Whatever."

"Makoto, could you go find Minako?" Usagi asked, "Ami's right, the rest of us need to go talk to Professor McGonagall."

"Kay, see you in the dormitory later then," Makoto smiled and stood up, following Minako out of the hall and up the marble staircase.

"Come on then, we'd best get this over with," Rei sighed watching as Professor McGonagall left the teachers table.

"I suppose. Come on, we can ask to talk in her office," Usagi stood and the others followed her up the stairs. "Professor?" she called as they reached the top of the marble flight.

"Yes, Miss Tsukino?"

"Erm… could we have a word with you? In your office?"

"I see no reason why not. Come on then." McGonagall lead them to her office and shut the door behind them before taking the seat behind the desk. With a wave of her wand two extra chairs joined the one on the same side as the senshi. Usagi, Rei and Ami each took a seat. "So, you have something you wish to discuss?"

"Yes Professor." Ami replied, "it's about Professor Umbridge. She's refused to teach any of us." McGonagall sighed, "I had worried that something like this might happen."

"What do you mean?" Usagi asked.

"Dolores Umbridge is Senior Undersecretary to Cornelius Fudge. The only reason she is even teaching here at all is due to some ridiculous educational decree forced through by Fudge in some desperate attempt to keep hold of his office."

"And she's refusing to teach us because she wants to isolate us?" Ami realised.

"It would seem that way. It is of no matter, however. She teaches Defence Against the Dark Arts– there is nothing she can teach you than is more powerful than the magic you already have access to. I suggest, and I know the headmaster fully agrees with me, that you use the extra time you now have to further your knowledge of these abilities."

"How can we do that without Umbridge noticing?" Rei asked, frowning.

"There is a room– Setsuna described it to me prior to the start of term. It is known as the room of requirement. It has been deemed prudent to keep the existence of the room from Umbridge's knowledge."

"So how do we get in?"

"Well that was easier than I expected."

"And the room is huge!"

"Look– I think all the books from the palace back in the silver kingdom must be here!"

"Ami do you always have to make it about the books?"

"Come on Usagi, don't tell me your not a little curious to read a few of them."

"Not particularly."

"I'm more interested in training to be honest. It's been far too long since we just let loose of our powers. Mars Cosmos Power!"

"And I suppose this is a fantastic controlled environment… Mercury Cosmos Power!"

"Moon Cosmos Power!"

They trained for the next hour, letting out a lot of the frustration that had been building up over the past months in huge, sweeping attacks. Now that they had the time to get accustomed to their new powers, they began to see patterns in them.

As always, Ami's defence was far stronger than her attack. It felt natural to her to spin her wand before her to create shields of ice that expanded and would reflect most curses.

Rei's attacks were far more potent than they had been previously and with only the slightest flick of her wand she could send a fireball rocketing across the room– in fact she set Usagi's skirt on fire doing just that. Luckily the room seemed to have prepared for this and a bucket of water was very quickly released on top of the none to happy moon princess.

Usagi's power was, naturally, a slight mystery. The shield created by the silver crystal required only a small amount of power channelled to it at any time but while she held the shield Usagi was unable to attack. As her powers were the strongest this would present them with a problem in battle– should she attack or defend?

When they had had enough they untransformed and headed for Gryffindor tower. Makoto and Minako were waiting for them in the dormitory. When they saw Minako's red eyes they decided against telling her what they had been doing since dinner.

Usagi's heart ached as she saw Minako's pain. In a way she was almost glad that Minako's powers had not yet returned– she was headstrong and perhaps a shade too confident. When she fought there was always the chance she would be injured and (as she did with all of the scouts) Usagi worried for her.

Of course another part of her wished Minako would hurry up and help them fight. The rest of her hated her for thinking that, but the thought was still there.

:( Pluto's avoiding people

"You can't stay away from them forever. You haven't spoken to them in almost a week and they'd spotted something was up after the first day."

"Thank you, Haruka, but I am not avoiding them– there are many demands on my time. Please shut the door on your way out."

"Bullshit." Haruka slammed her fist down on the desk, "there's nothing that should keep you away from your duties as one of the solar senshi."

"I am abiding by my duties– I keep a close eye on the Princess and her senshi," she stood and turned away from her fellow senshi.

"Then you'll know that they're all worried about you, Setsuna."

"They need not be so."

"Need not be so? Heck I'm worried about you Sets. You died. There's no way you came out of that one without some baggage."

"Baggage that is my own to carry."

"You're pushing everyone away Setsuna. It's not good for you."

"Not good for me? How can you possibly know what's good for me?"

"Sets you've been alive for thousands of years and like it or not we know you quite well. Michiru and I were, at least a little, happy for you when we thought you dead. It was peace. But here you are again and it begs an answer to the question… can you die at all?"

Something inside of Setsuna broke and tears began to fall slowly and silently from the corner of her eyes. "No. Not ever."

"Harry, we're not thick, we've seen what that monster's been doing to your hand." Hermione finally burst out one evening.

"I've no idea what you're on about."

"Come off it Harry– you're being as obvious as Ron and Rei when they sneak off to practise before Quidditch tryouts."

"I have no idea what you're on about," Ron defended himself.

"If only they were trying out for beaters… " Rei said absentmindedly. "Harry, you really should go to Professor McGonagall about her."

"No. then she'd know she was getting to me."

"Harry I'm pretty sure she knows that already."

"And going to McGonagall would only confirm her suspicions."

"Or else stop her doing it in the first place."

"No! She'll just go to the minister or something."

Two days later

"See! I told you going to McGonagall was a bad idea. Hogwarts High Inquisitor? What a load of crap."

"Harry watch your language," Hermione said primly. "What? It is a load of-"

"Ok we get the picture," Ami said quickly, scanning the article. "You know what I can't wait for though?"

"What?" Rei asked, reaching for a jug of pumpkin juice.

"The day Umbridge inspects one of Setsuna's lessons."

"I know what you're doing," Minako said, not looking up from her Care of Magical Creatures essay. "What's that supposed to mean?" Ami asked, glancing up from her runes translation.

"When a bunch of you disappear for an hour every other day– you're training somewhere, aren't you? You take it in turns to stay here with me and hope I don't notice."

Ami sighed– she would not insult Minako by lying to her. "Yeah… McGonagall told us about a place we could train uninterrupted."

"So why aren't you there right now?"

"Because that wouldn't be fair to you."

"Fair — Because me having no powers is so fair in the first place. You guys should practice as a unit, not in pieces."

"But you do have powers! And we're not bothered."

"I am though. I may not have my henshin, but I am still the leader of the guardian senshi and I order you to go and practise with the others."

"Minako! You wouldn't-"

"I just did." Without another word, she gathered her books and headed up the stairs to the dormitory. Ami sighed– she wanted to follow Minako, but she knew her friend to well for that. She needed time to cool down and the best thing for Ami to do in the meantime was to go and practise with the others.

She had not yet had a practise session with Makoto, meaning she was more than a little surprised to see her throw Rei physically across the room as she entered the room of requirement.

"Hey Ami," Usagi smiled from the other side of the room, "we're doing some practise bouts– where's Minako?"

"She guessed what we're doing." Ami explained, "And ordered me to come train with you so that we can coordinate our powers as a group."

"I'm really worried about her… and Pluto… " Usagi said, sighing. "We're drifting apart– not just as friends but as senshi, and that's never worked out for the best."

"We should go talk to Minako as a group," Makoto said.

"And we can talk to Pluto when we've made up with Minako– she can't avoid us forever," Rei added.

"I don't know," Ami was doubtful, "avoiding people must be quite easy when you always know where they're going to be."

"Minako, we know you're in there. You can't hide in the bathroom forever."

"Why the hell not?"

"I don't know… maybe because I'll burn the door down if you don't come out soon."

"Rei! Don't say that." Usagi chided her.

"What? I really wasn't kidding." They heard the sound of the bolt sliding back and Minako headed past them and sat on the orange sheets of her bed.

"I'm alright guys, really."

"Yep. Everyone I know locks themselves in the bathroom for a couple of hours every now and then." Rei said, smiling.

"Even those of us who aren't senshi are concerned Minako," Hermione said, settling onto the bed next to her. "You're just not yourself."

"Come on Minako– we're your friends more than anything. You've got to tell us."

"I… it seems so silly… I was worried that if I didn't get my powers back soon you wouldn't want to be friends with me… "

"What!" Usagi was aghast, "why on the Moon would you think that?"

"Well… we only because friends because of my powers… you guys all knew each other before you knew me… "

"Yeah, but at least Luna never mistook you for a youma," Rei replied, "We only met because of our powers as well. I thought you knew."

"It's true," Ami said, "Usagi and Luna only came to my cram school because Luna was convinced I was working to brain wash people for the dark kingdom."

Minako giggled, "Really?"

"So I've head. They were convinced I was making the bus up to the shrine disappear at one point."

"We'd never have met if it weren't for our powers– and so what if we found you last. You're still as much a part of the group as any one of us and nothing's going to change that." Makoto smiled at her.

"What we need," Hermione said pensively, "is a way for you to learn our sort of defence… the rest of us could probably do with it as well to be honest– Umbridge is a useless teacher… "

"Harry could do it," Ami said suddenly. "He knows all those spells he learnt when he was practising for the tournament last year, and he's done all sorts of amazing things with your kind of magic."

"True… and we could have lessons in the room of requirement."

"That would be cool!" Minako said, suddenly more enthusiastic, "and we could combine them with the senshi training sessions so that those on our side know more about our fighting techniques and are more prepared to fight at our side." Usagi smiled at Minako's use of the word "our".

"That's really not such a bad idea… people need to get used to the idea of fighting beside you if they're going to oppose Voldemort… Of course this limits our options– I mean, we'd have to teach anyone willing to learn, but less people will be willing to learn alongside you."

"I say let them put up with Umbridge's ministry approved course and see how that turns out for them." Rei said, smirking.

"Sounds good to me," Usagi said, "We'll learn from practising beside you guys as well."

"So long as we can persuade Harry it's a good idea, I suggest we start gathering names straight away," Hermione beamed round at them and Minako smiled.

"I still don't think this is a particularly good idea… "

"Nonsense Harry," Hermione chastised. "You said yourself you were quite looking forward to doing something behind Umbridge's back."

"Yeah, but still meeting to talk about it in a public place just seems stupid."

"I owled ahead last night to book a conference room," Ami said, "I borrowed Chuu from Usagi as he was around for once. Anyway, the barman said he didn't actually have any but that we could use one of the upstairs rooms."

"Well I suppose that's better than nothing… " Harry said, still fighting down his misgivings. "Calm down mate," Ron advised, "we have to wait and see if anyone even shows up first."

"Such a vote of confidence," Rei said acidly. They pushed open the door to the hogshead and waited as Ami spoke with the barman, who pointed to a door. She ordered them each a butter beer and they headed up the stairs. They sat on an old looking sofa and took in their surroundings

– the room was mostly plain except for a picture of a girl, probably about their own age, that hung above the fireplace.

No sooner had they had the chance to see this than did the door do the pub downstairs open and people began to file in. "I thought you said you'd only told a few people," Harry said, his voice oddly strangled.

"Well… the idea was quite popular. Most people aren't satisfied with the way the ministry has handled recent events. First denying V… Voldemort had returned and then, in the space of a single day, telling everyone that he had and that it was all the Sailor Senshi's fault."

"It is a pretty lame excuse," Ron agreed.

"Well there is no way I'm giving a speech to all these people."

"It's alright," Minako said, "I will." And without any prompting, she stood up. "Right, we're not expecting any more people, so we may as well get this show on the road."

"How come you're the one talking?" said a sharp faced Hufflepuff. "You're no senshi."

"Minako is so a senshi," Usagi cried, jumping to her feet, "she-"

"It's alright, Usagi. I can handle Smith." Minako turned to Smith before she spoke. "I am, as it so happens, a solar senshi. More than that, I am the leader of the senshi of the four guardian deities, Sailor Venus. I was the first of all the modern senshi to have her powers awakened, be it by Pluto or, as in my case, a moon cat. I have not yet received my cosmos powers but be assured that when I do they will easily be enough to trump whatever puny power you can produce with your own magic– is that clear?"

"Go Minako," Makoto whispered.

"Do you want us to clean out his brain, or what's left of it, for you?" George Weasley enquired.

"We have the instrument right here," Fred added, pulling a lethal looking piece of metal out of a Zonko's joke shop bag.

"Erm… It's alright, but thanks for the offer."

"Righto," George said as Fred slid the metal back into the bag.

"I'd watch yourself though, Smith," Fred added, winking.

Chapter 30

"Well if people are going to stop threatening me I still have a question."

"Go on then, Zacharias," Minako said in an overly sugary voice.

"You said four, but there are five of you."

"Oh three cheers for smith, who clearly listens so hard in History of Magic," Rei said sarcastically. "Setsuna's spent just over a year teaching you the history of the moon kingdom and you can't even figure out why there are five of us instead of four… amazing."

"She's got a point Smith," Fred said.

"True… Even we've figured it out by now." George added. Smith merely continued to look non— plussed.

"Doesn't hurt that we told you over the summer," Makoto muttered. "Not one bit," Fred replied, grinning.

"I'll explain, Minako," Usagi said, sighing. "There are, as a technicality, five senshi in this room. They are Ami, Minako, Rei, Makoto and Hotaru." A few people glanced shocked at the small girl standing to one side. "I, however, am not a senshi. Well, I am, but not technically. First and foremost I am the reincarnation of Princess Serenity of the Moon Kingdom."

There was silence for a moment. Usagi sat down, allowing Minako to address the crowd once more. "Anyway, as most of you know, the reason we've brought you all here today is so that we can do something about that… that toad masquerading as a teacher."

"Here, here," said Ernie McMillan. Minako nodded approvingly before continuing.

"So we thought– who here can help us best and there was an obvious choice. Don't get me wrong, this was not Harry's idea, but he trained quite a lot last year for the tournament and all as well as doing all that cool stuff in the years before that."

"Yeah– I heard he defeated you know who again in his first year."

"I heard he killed a basilisk with the sword in Dumbledore's office."

"I heard he fought of about a hundred dementors over the summer," this last comment came from a girl with long black hair and a pretty face who was sitting only a few feet away from Harry. Rei knew that her name was Cho Chang and she glared at her as though, by opening her mouth, she had performed some cardinal sin.

"That stuff sounds so cool when you say it like that– but the truth is I had a lot of help on all those occasions." Harry protested.

"Not when you fought the basilisk," Neville pointed out.

"Well there was Fawkes– he punctured it's eyes before I fought it."

"Yeah, but it could still hear you and smell you," Cho pointed out.

"I suppose… but over summer I'd never have defeated the dementors if Rei hadn't been there."

"What do you mean?" Ginny Weasley asked from where she sat beside Fred and George.

"Well she sort of boosted my powers," Harry explained.

"Which is one of the things we need to work on in these meetings," Hermione said, drawing attention back towards herself, "anyway, I think," she took a deep breath, "I think anyone who wants to be a part of this should sign there name on this piece of parchment– so that they're committing themselves." She passed the parchment around the room and everyone signed their name. Smith hesitated, but signed when Fred withdrew the long piece of metal from his bag once more.

"Right," Hermione said, suddenly much calmer, "our first meeting will be tonight– we may as well start as soon as possible and there are no Quidditch practises scheduled for tonight."

"Good," Angelina said, "I don't want it clashing with any of our practices. "Or ours," Cho said brightly.

"Maybe we should clash with Hufflepuff on purpose," Minako whispered, glancing at Smith. "Anyway, this is where we're meeting… "

"There's a bunch of them on their way up," Ron said, glancing up from the Marauders Map.

""I'm really not sure this was a good idea… " Harry said, wringing his hands together.

"Relax, you'll do fine," Rei gave him a quick hug before heading over to the other senshi. "Ready?"

"As we'll ever be I suppose. Moon cosmos power, Make up!"

"Mars cosmos power, make up!"

"Mercury cosmos power, make up!"

"Jupiter cosmos power, make up!"

"Saturn cosmos power, make up!"

"I'm not sure I'm ever going to get used to that," Ron commented as he looked on, "or those skirts… Ow!" Hermione had hit him over the head with one of the books from the library.

"Woah… " Dean's voice echoed though the large room, "this is one hell of a practise room. Seamus would've loved it… "

"It is impressive," Ginny agreed as she entered the room.

"Very." It was Luna, wearing what looked to be giant purple radishes as earrings. Over the next ten minutes the room filled steadily until everyone who had been at the Hogshead was there with them.

"Right," Harry began, "we should start simple– the disarming spell-"

"Disarming?" Smith snorted, "And here I was thinking you were going to teach us something useful!"

"It saved my life last year," Harry said quietly, "still think it's useless?" Smith did not reply. Harry set about showing the group how to disarm their opponent and within ten minutes they had split into pairs and were practising, wands flying across the room.

Minako was practising the spell in the normal fashion while Ami worked with the others. She had learnt, while reading up in some of the books they had found in the room of requirement, that they could cast all the same spells as the average witch or wizard but stronger. To do this they had to be in their senshi form and had to work out the separate movement for each spell. There were no incantations.

It took them a surprisingly short amount of time to find the correct flick of their wand to disarm an opponent– the movement was almost instinctual and they had to remind themselves that it probably was.

They finished up the session with half an hour to spare before they had to return to their common rooms– although they weren't doing anything against the rules (yet) they had no wish to draw attention to their actions by surging to their houses all at one time.

Chapter 31

They continued to keep their meetings a secret, arranging them with consideration for the Quidditch practise of all relevant houses. This meant they could usually have a meeting once a week although the timing was never regular. This, they decided, was probably a good thing– the less Umbridge knew or suspected about these meetings the better. Hermione and Ami even worked together to produce enchanted coins that would let the group members know when a meeting was whenever Harry changed the dates on his coin.

"You know," Ginny Weasley said one meeting, "what we really need is a group name."

"Sounds good to me," Ron agreed, "What does everyone think?" Members of the group, who had been practising the shield charm, moved over to where they were standing.

"Well we're Defence Against the Dark Arts group– how about something related to that?" Cho suggested.

"Sounds good, but we should have a name we can say in the corridors without attracting attention," Hermione pointed out.

"I've got it!" Rei yelled from the other side of the room. "What?"

"Oh, nothing about that. I just figured out our movement for the shield charm– it's the same as Usagi uses for her shield."

"Right… well any ideas?"

"Hmmm," Minako deliberated, fiddling with the sleeve of her robe. "How about something that pokes fun at what the ministry are worried about– the senshi army."

"Fudge isn't really worried about that… he has an army of heliopaths to fight them."

"Heliopaths!" Ami gasped, horrified, "but they're extinct aren't they? They died out when Metallia attacked the moon kingdom."

"You mean they actually exist?" Hermione spluttered.

"Well of course," Ami replied, frowning, "they were a great trouble far from the city when we lived on the moon."

"Next you'll be confirming the existence of the crumple horned snorkack… "

"Well actually-"

"Maybe another time Ami?" Harry said quickly to avoid fuss. "So, names anyone?"

"Well what the ministry, i.e. Fudge, are really afraid of is Dumbledore recruiting the senshi in a private army," Ginny mused aloud, "so how about DA, short for Dumbledore's Army?"

"Sounds great," Usagi agreed, nodding her head.

"Dumbledore's Army it is then," Harry said, "but I still want to see you all perform the shield charm before we break up for the evening."

"Damn," Rei cursed.

The next day, a Monday, they walked into History of Magic to find that, once again, Setsuna had not yet arrived. There was, however, a teacher present. Umbridge was sitting at the back of the classroom, clipboard in hand.

"This could be interesting," Rei whispered. She did not, as she usually did, sit next to Harry. Instead she very deliberately took a seat next to Usagi, indicating that Minako should do the same. Ami took the seat next to Rei and Makoto the one next to Minako, placing Usagi very purposefully in the centre of the group. Harry, Ron and Hermione seemed to understand and took the seats in front of them.

Setsuna swept into the room just in time to start the lesson. They were still covering the Black Moon circus and the lesson was to be spent studying the Amazoness quartet. "Please put your essays on the fall of the Amazon trio on your desk," Setsuna called out. She waited only a moment before summoning them to her with a flick of her wrist; obviously she did not have a wand anymore.

"Now we move on to the Amazoness Quartet. Obviously we covered them briefly in the context of the trio but now we may flesh them out more as individuals. Now, the quartet were discovered by the Queen Nehellenia sleeping inside asteroids– the queen gave them the Amazon stones, bestowing upon them eternal life and not an insignificant amount of power. In doing so, however, she also enslaved them to her will, meaning that when on Earth they had no choice but to attack the sailor senshi."

"Ahem, ahem." Some members of the class turned to look at Umbridge while Setsuna merely continued with her lesson.

"Their technique was somewhat more violent than that of the trio– they would, in fact, allow the rimless to eat the dream mirrors they viewed once they found that the Pegasus was not contained within,"

"Ahem, Ahem." The cough was louder this time.

"This obviously presented a problem for the senshi. The first time they encountered a mirror eating rimless lead to them being trapped inside a computer, during which time Sailor Mercury was able to access a higher transformation and break them out in time to attack the rimless with a new attack– Mercury Aqua Rhapsody."

"Ahem, Ahem."

"Ami, would you please come to the front." This was not uncommon in Setsuna's class now that their identities as senshi were common knowledge. "Would you please demonstrate?"

"Ahem, Ahem."

Ami glanced nervously at Setsuna. "In your own time, please."

"Mercury Cosmos Power, Make up!"

"I will not have her using such powers in front of the students!" Umbridge cried, leaping from her chair (which was not a particularly impressive move given that she still barely reached Setsuna's shoulders).

"And why not, madam undersecretary? Ami has been using these moves for some time now and is well used to limiting their effects."

"That is not the point. The powers are unsuitable for use in a classroom environment."

"I disagree," Setsuna replied calmly. "Do you think I would let these powers be used in such a situation if I saw any possibility of a student being hurt?"

"How can you possibly know for certain?"

"I think we both know the answer to that question, Madam Undersecretary, and I will not insult your intelligence by explaining it here. Proceed Ami."

"Mercury Aqua-"

"No! I will not put up with this… this… insubordination!"

"Insubordination? Why, Madam Undersecretary you make it sound as though your position is better, or else more important than my own."

"I am the Hogwarts High Inquisitor-"

"And I am the constant presence around which time itself revolves." Setsuna had spoken no henshin phrase, but her fuku was flittering into existence and the garnet rod had materialised in her hand, "in the great span of my life you are but the blink of an eye, passing through the midnight gate before you have time to appreciate anything this world truly has to offer." Sailor Pluto smacked the Garnet Rod to the floor and the classroom disappeared to be replaced by a vista of stars. Beneath them they could see the moon kingdom of old– Queen Serenity and her advisors, Princess Serenity playing in the garden and the soon-to-be senshi watching over her.

"I have lived longer even than I truly know and will live far longer again. Tell me now, Madam Undersecretary, am I insubordinate?" The view faded and the classroom returned. Setsuna's fuku vanished and the garnet rod was lost from their sight. Umbridge was clearly in a towering temper but she did not reply, instead storming from the room.

"Now Ami, proceed."

The lesson then progressed as usual except for one thing– at the end of the double period Setsuna did not rush off. Instead she sat very deliberately at the desk and looked towards Usagi. They waited until the other students had left the room before moving to stand in front of the desk.

"You've been avoiding us." Usagi said. It was not a question, but a statement. "I had… I had a lot to take in."

"We guessed that, but we could have helped you Setsuna. We're your friends as well as your students, remember?"

"I will, in future."

Usagi moved around the table and hugged Setsuna tight. She was a little surprised at first, but relaxed after a moment.

"So what will Umbridge do now?" Minako asked, smiling encouragingly.

"Oh she will seethe and simmer for a while, but she won't dare place me on probation."

"Why not?" Makoto asked.

"Because she's afraid that next time I take her to the moon I might not bring her back."

Chapter 32

Umbridge wasn't really able to cause much disruption in classes with the exception of Divination. Professor Trelawney crumbled only minutes through the lesson when Umbridge asked her for a prediction, spewing nonsense about Umbridge's dark and deadly future. She was on probation within days.

"It's probably just as well Hagrid's not here," Hermione said one evening in the common room.

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I knew what he was doing." Harry replied, glaring at his care of magical creatures homework.

"True, but at least Grubbly-Plank won't get put on probation."

"Still, I miss Hagrid."

"Grubbly-Plank's a good teacher though," Ami said reasonably. "And Hagrid isn't?" Harry asked, frowning.

"I didn't say that," Ami replied. "Harry!"

"Who was that?"

"Harry, down here!"

"Sirius!" Harry, Ron and Hermione dived towards the fireplace where Sirius' disembodied head was now floating. "What are you doing here?"

"I've come to congratulate you, naturally."

"What do you mean?

"Your defence group– Dumbledore's Army is it?"

"How did you know about that?" Hermione asked, aghast.

"Setsuna of course," Sirius replied, "she's been keeping us all up to date with events at Hogwarts.

"Of course she had," Usagi replied, rolling her eyes and moving into a chair closer to the fireplace, "so what do you think?"

"I think it's a brilliant idea– the more you understand about each other's powers the better, but be careful."

"What do you mean?"

"Well everyone in that group is going to learn a lot about your powers– we don't want the wrong people getting hold of that information– are there any Slytherins in this group?"

"No, but there probably would be if we actually knew any," Makoto replied, frowning, "I still don't get how you can be so prejudiced against them– surely they're not all as bad as Malfoy?"

"Perhaps not that bad," Sirius conceded, "but honestly you're better off without them around."

"Hmmm, if you say so."

"So… Mum knows?" Ron asked, holding his breath to await the answer. "Of course she does. And I have a message to pass on from her."

"Just get it over with," Ron said, bracing himself.

"She says that in no way are you, Fred, George or Ginny to get involved in this defence group as it will almost certainly become against the rules any day now and she doesn't want any of you kicked out of school. What is more she advises, although accepts that she is not there mother and so cannot tell them, the others to do the same."

"Well yeah, she's not our mother," Minako said, "and this is more important than school."

"Most certainly," Sirius agreed. "In fact… hang on." He looked to the side, into the wall of the fireplace, "I've got to go." There was a faint pop and his head vanished from the fire. A moment later a short, stubby hand covered in ugly rings appeared, groping in the exact spot Sirius had just vanished from.

"We should get to bed," Usagi said.

"Definitely," Rei agreed.

The first Quidditch match of the season was scheduled for the following Saturday– Gryffindor versus Slytherin. "It's a shame there weren't any openings for beaters," Rei said as they headed up to the stands, "but I bet Ron'll be a great keeper… so long as he doesn't read the Slytherin's badges… "

"Harry said he'd try keep him away from them," Hermione replied, "to be honest I'm just glad you guys were a bit over the top with start of term gifts, he'd have had no chance without a new broom."

"What's the point in having an extortionate amount of gold buried beneath London if you don't spend it on your friends?" Usagi replied, smiling. When the match started they watched with bated breath as Ron failed to save goal after goal– it probably wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the Slytherins and their song:

Weasley is our king,

Weasley is our king

He always lets the Quaffle in

Weasley is our king

Weasley cannot save a thing,

He cannot block a single ring

That's why Slytherins all sing

Weasley is our king

Weasley is our king

He always lets the quaffle in Weasley is our king

Weasley was born in a bin He always lets the Quaffle in

Weasley will make sure we win

Weasley is our king

"I wish they'd shut up," Hermione said dejectedly.

"I wish Harry would hurry up and catch the snitch before Slytherin score again," Rei replied, biting her nails.

"He's diving!" Usagi cried, pointing at Harry, "is that good?"

"It is if he's seen the snitch," Rei replied, leaning over the edge of the balcony. "I think he has!" Malfoy was close on Harry's tail, but Harry's broom was far faster and he'd pulled triumphantly out of the dive, the snitch clasped in his fingers, before Malfoy even had a chance. Harry sped back up into the air as the rest of the team, with the exception of Ron, came over to clap him on the back. Ron, looking very dejected, headed straight for the changing rooms.

"Saving your pal Weasley there, Pothead?" Malfoy jeered as the senshi and Hermione reached the pitch. "Just as well you got the snitch then– would have been embarrassing for Weasley to be kicked of the team so soon don't you think? Especially now that he has that broom– tell me, did his parents pay for that? It must have cost them a year of his father's pay." Something inside Harry snapped, luckily for him Hermione had seen it coming and quietly cast a calming charm on him.

Fred and George, however, were (as it would eventually turn out) less fortunate. They leapt on Malfoy, Fred holding him down as George punched him repeatedly in the face.

There was a bang and the twins flew away from Malfoy as Professor McGonagall came on to the scene. "I've never seen such a thing– you two should be ashamed of yourself!"

"He was insulting our family professor!" Fred protested.

"It's true," Makoto backed him up, "Malfoy was being very rude about his parents."

"But you should not have responded with violence, Weasley. You will both get a detention and twenty points each will be taken from Gryffindor."

"Ahem, Ahem."

"Yes, Dolores?" McGonagall asked through clenched teeth, turning to face Umbridge.

"I hardly think a detention is fair punishment."

"I hardly think it is your place to say, Dolores, they are in my house after all."

"But Minerva," Umbridge said, giggling in a horrid, girly fashion, "it is my place. Not only has Educational decree number 24 now been passed, giving me permission to inspect and disband any illegal student groups, educational decree number 25 has also been passed." She reached into her bag and pulled out a roll of parchment, handing it to McGonagall.

"I… I see."

"Indeed. Now– I think a lifetime Quidditch ban should suffice for the pair of you."

"A what?" George shouted, outraged.

"Professor, perhaps that's a bit much," Angelina said horrified.

"I don't think so." Umbridge replied, "In fact-" She never got to finish this sentence, which was probably just as well.

Very suddenly the air in the pitch became very cold. Usagi shivered as her breath became visible in the air before her.

"Dementors," Rei said through chattering teeth. She was not wrong. Hundreds, no thousands of Dementors were swarming onto the pitch through the now deserted stands– far more than Harry had fought over the summer. Harry drew his wand and pointed it before him, the faces of all his friends flashing before his eyes as he cried, "Expecto patronum!" The silver stag burst from the end of his wand and charged the dementors but it wasn't enough. Usagi was just about aware of Umbridge and McGonagall sending forth their own patronuses before she heard something call faintly in the back of her mind and fainted.

"There aren't enough staff members present," McGonagall snapped, we need more fighters. With a flick of her wand she sent her patronus out of the pitch and towards the school gates.

"Are you trying to get us killed?" Umbridge screamed. "No, I just know when three patronuses aren't enough."

"And two is better?"

"No, but five most certainly is." The tabby leapt back over the stands, joined now by a silver eagle which soared over the dementors and dolphin which swam through the air as though it was water. There was something different about these patronuses– they were stronger than the cats Umbridge and McGonagall had conjured, more like the Stag that was Harry's.

"It's still not enough," Sailor Uranus panted as she appeared beside them with Sailor Neptune, "we need more power."

"But we can't use the patronus charm!" Hermione called, fear far too evident in her voice.

"That doesn't matter," Rei said suddenly, "Mars Cosmos power, make up!" the others, except Minako and Usagi (who was still out cold), followed suit.

"We can boost their powers– like I did over the summer." She rested a hand on Harry's shoulder and concentrated on sending her power through him. The silver phoenix burst into life and spread its wings above the crowd of dementors.

"I will not receive help from the enemy!" Umbridge shrieked as Makoto tried to rest a hand upon her shoulder. Ami shook her head in disbelief as she rested her own hand on McGonagall's shoulder. Her patronus was only small, but she knew the moment she saw it that it was a Swallow.

The seven patronuses worked in unison, the phoenix, eagle, swallow and dolphin swooping in from the air while the cats and the stag charged them on the ground. They drove the dementors back a little and the cold was definitely reduced but still they could not beat them back entirely.

"Venus cosmos power, make up… Venus cosmos power, make up… Venus cosmos power, make up!" Minako held her wand in the air and called the phrase again and again but still nothing happened. Makoto turned and saw her. Without a second thought she dived and tackled her friend, knocking her wand from her hand.

"Idiot," she shouted, tears in her eyes, "you know what happens if you force the transformation before it's ready!"

"I don't care," Minako screamed, trying and failing to push Makoto away, "I don't care, I need to help."

"Then don't kill yourself." Makoto said her eyes dark. "Fred, George, keep her away from her wand." The twins nodded and moved over to Minako while Makoto went to check on Usagi.

"She'll be alright, I think," Hermione said reassuringly, "Harry used to faint when dementors were close as well, but that stopped when Lupin showed him how to make a patronus."

There was a flash of darkness and two people appeared before them on the pitch. One of them was Sailor Pluto and the other was Albus Dumbledore. He waved his wand and a second phoenix flew out to join those already there. It was nowhere near as bright as those of the senshi and Harry.

Setsuna did not produce a patronus, but closed her eyes and lifted the garnet rod to the stormy skies. A single ray of light pierced the clouds and shot down to the gem at the end where it split into eight beams, each of which flew to a patronus. They shone brighter and brighter as the light entered them and the dementors were slowly forced back. Eventually they seemed to give in and spilled out of the pitch, heading out of the castle grounds.

One by one the patronuses flickered from existence.

"Bloody hell," Ron said as he emerged from the changing rooms, "what happened here?"

"That," Umbridge seethed, "is a very good question. The dementors are supposed to be under the sole command of the ministry– who ordered them to be here? Someone powerful no doubt!" She looked triumphantly at Setsuna.

"Yes, Madam Undersecretary, I often order powerful and dangerous beings to attack my Princess and her allies. Perhaps Lord Voldemort is the name you're looking for?"

Umbridge opened and closed her mouth a little stupidly.

"Whoever sent them," Dumbledore said calmly, "we need to increase defence around the castle– perhaps now is the time for the ministry to add to those I already have in place?" Dumbledore asked, "As for right now, all students to the hospital wing this instant– you may accompany them if you wish, Mr Weasley."

They headed up in a big group, with the exception of Malfoy, who hung back a little, with Haruka supporting the just about conscious Usagi. When they told Madam Pomfrey what had happened, she ordered every single one of them, Haruka and Michiru included to stay in the wing overnight for observation– she'd never encountered anyone subjected to so many dementors at once except those at Azkaban and that tended to have lasting side affects.

Haruka grumbled about it for a while but complied when Michiru pointed out that it would give her the chance to keep an eye on Usagi as she recovered. Usagi was laid carefully in a bed, protesting the whole way. "I'm going to be fine. What happened? How did we defeat the dementors?"

"With a hell of a lot of patronuses and help from Setsuna," Harry explained, settling into a bed on the opposite side of the ward. Usagi looked to see Haruka take the bed on her left. She looked to the bed on her right expecting to see Minako settling in but instead saw the blond girl point Makoto towards the bed.


"You need stronger scouts nearer you, especially now we know the grounds aren't safe anymore." Minako replied bluntly before heading to a bed at the end of the room. Usagi was about to reply when Setsuna entered the room.

"Setsuna," Ami asked, scrambling to the end of her own bed, "how come you let the dementors come into the ground without notifying the staff?"

Setsuna did not answer her, but walked to the very last bed and sat down, reaching a hand forward and stroking Minako's hair back in an oddly motherly gesture. Minako flinched and whispered so that the others didn't hear.

"This was my last chance, wasn't it? I'm not going to get it now."

"I can't see you get it, but that is not the same thing."

"What do you mean?" Minako sniffed.

"It is literally impossible for me to see every possible future, there are just too many of them. I will not lie to you, there is very little chance you will ever receive another transformation, but there is always the smallest of chances. Remember that, and continue to train yourself as best you can for now." She stood, knowing that Minako needed time to process this alone, and drew the curtains around her bed.

"Setsuna?" Usagi asked, sitting up and nibbling on the chocolate Madam Pomfrey was handing out to everyone. Setsuna moved and sat by Usagi's bed, beckoning the rest of the scouts, as well as Harry, Hermione and Ron.

"I did not warn the staff of the dementors because this is the vary last point in the timeline I could see Minako achieving her next transformation. If Umbridge had accepted Makoto's help on the Quidditch pitch, I would not have needed to join the fight as Minako would have found her new powers."

"You mean… she won't get it?"

"I wouldn't think so."

Chapter 33

The next week passed very slowly. Rei successfully tried out and became a beater on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, as did Minako although none of them had known she was going to the tryout.

She had become very reserved, no longer joining in as much when they talked or did homework, forever putting herself at the edge of the group no matter how much they tried to bring her to the centre.

It was in the next week that Hagrid came back. Harry, Ron and Hermione went to visit him as soon as they saw the smoke coming from his hut while the senshi waited to speak to him in the lesson the following Tuesday which was, of course, inspected.

By the end of the lesson, every single one of them wanted nothing more than to hit Umbridge hard around the head for the way she had manipulated and embarrassed Hagrid– and the thestrals had been genuinely interesting.

Of course it was unprecedented that the whole class had been able to see them (after Seamus' death last year and Setsuna's death at the King's Cross). The girls hadn't even noticed the talk about them on their way into the school on the first day back, assuming that they had always been there given that they had never seen the carriages before.

Things started to wrap up for Christmas after this. The senshi were heading back to Japan while Hermione went skiing and Harry spent the holiday at the Burrow with the Weasley's.

Their last DA lesson of the term was on the Wednesday of the last week. The senshi arrived early as usual, with the exception of Minako who now came with Harry, Ron and Hermione. They transformed and did some warm up exercises before everyone else arrived.

"Tonight," Harry began, "as we've been doing so well, we're gonna start working on Patronuses." There was a murmur through the crowd. "Let me demonstrate. Expecto Patronum." The stag trotted around the room and came to a halt in the middle of the crowd. "This is also the only spell we've actually tested working together with the senshi before –Rei." Rei smiled and placed her hand on Harry's shoulder, allowing the silvery phoenix to raise its wings and soar around the room. There were sounds of appreciation as the two creatures met and the phoenix folded its wings to land.

"The hardest thing about this spell is finding the right memory– something really happy. You have to concentrate really hard on this memory when you say the incantation or it just won't work.

The scouts went to one side to try and figure out the movement for the spell. As they had for all the others to this point, they closed their eyes and gave their wand a chance to guide them.

"Expecto Patronum!" A silver dove flew across the room and swooped over the place where the scouts were standing. Looking back, Usagi saw Minako watching her patronus soar around the ceiling. As she watched, tears formed in her eyes and the bird blinked from existence.

She was about to head over to the other side of the room but at that moment Ami's sparrow sang from above her head and she glanced up, smiling at the little bird. She watched as Ami demonstrated the movement (a small, quick figure of eight). Rei tried it and the phoenix flew once more. Next Makoto tried it and produced a shining silver doe. There was, however, a slight disturbance when Hotaru made her patronus– it was not silver, but black, sucking in the light. The creature was not one of Earth, but one of the ghouls that haunted the surface of Saturn itself. They looked, if Usagi was honest, horrifying, but Hotaru had claimed them to be misunderstood– since before even the past life.

Usagi watched as others produced their own patronuses– Hermione's an otter, Ron's a terrier, Luna's a hare– before she tried to produce her own. She noted as she watched that none of those produced by ordinary means seemed to be as bright as those of the senshi. None of them, that was, except Harry's. Even Minako's was pale in comparison to the brightness of their shine.

She took a deep breath and flicked her wand in the figure of eight once. Instead of a shining glow from the end of her wand, the glow came from a space about three feet in front of where she stood. It started as a small white globe that expanded and filled out as they watched to form the body of a woman, with long silvery hair and deep blue eyes. The colours were muted and she was somewhat transparent, but there was no arguing that she was Queen Serenity.

The senshi dropped to their knees straight away, even Minako, before their Queen. Usagi only noticed Setsuna's presence in the room as a result of this, for she too had knelt. The rest of Dumbledore's Army looked on, a little uncertain as to what was happening.

"Queen Serenity?" Usagi asked, a little uncertain. "It is I," she replied, her voice oddly distant.

"But I was trying… a patronus… "

"A patronus is a reflection of what is inside your heart– inside your heart lies the silver crystal and within that the power of the Serenity line. Our power Serenity. I am your patronus, and yet I am also myself. Setsuna?"

"Yes, my queen."

"Serenity will do, Setsuna," she replied gently, "the third taboo is lifted here for a time. Please."

Setsuna's eyes widened– clearly even she had not seen this moment coming. She stood and raised the garnet rod high in the air, spun it once in a full circle and then held it very still for a moment. Ami watched, expecting her to move but she did not.

"Ami," Queen Serenity said. Ami jumped and looked at her Queen. "Please rise." She stood on shaky legs. "Please do not fear me. I am here to guide you. There are dangerous times ahead and I fear for all of you. Your main role will be that of a defender, as it has been in the past and as a healer. Stay close to your friends and train hard. Be well." As Serenity spoke the traditional farewell of the moon kingdom, Mercury froze in time and Mars shifted a little on her knees.

"Rei, you are, and always were I think, the closest friend my daughter has ever had, however unwilling either of you are to admit this. Protect her, and fight with her. I have a feeling that you will find the times to come harder even than many of those around you. Stay strong and be well."

"Makoto, you will be a pillar of strength to all of your friends in the coming years– train hard and stay as such, but remember to always stay true to what you believe, or you risk losing yourself along the way. Be well."

"Hotaru. Your path in this war is a delicate one, as it always will be. Stay true and always have faith in the Princess. Be Well."

"Setsuna, my old friend."

"High— I mean, Serenity." The Queen, although she was made of little more than air, embraced the senshi of time who felt a pleasant warmth.

"Must you always isolate yourself so?"

"It is hard," Setsuna replied, "to get close to someone knowing that I will only live long enough to lose them."

"Is it not worth it though? Are not years of being loved worth the heartbreak? I found them to be, and they gave me Serenity. Your walls are your greatest defence, Setsuna, but also your greatest weakness. Be well."

"Minako, my dear Sailor Venus."

"Not any more," Minako said, looking down at the stone floor.

"Do you think being unable to transform makes you any less yourself? You are Princess Venus, and that will always be a part of you. I cannot give you your transformation, but I can encourage you to train with the others, watch them learn so that when it does come– as I am sure it one day will– you will be ready for it. Be-"

"But what if it never comes?" Minako asked suddenly, "Setsuna said it was very unlikely that I would reach my cosmos transformation ever."

"There is more than the one transformation yet to be achieved Minako, be well."

"Usagi, know that this is the only time I may speak to you in this manner– the ability of speech is not one usually granted to a being of the kind that I have become. I will stay your mother, always, and I will forever be in your heart ready to protect you, but I will be unable to hold you and comfort you as I wish."

"I don't mind," Usagi said, smiling sadly, "I never thought I'd get even this."

"I don't think either of us did."

"Be well."

"Be well, my Serenity."

When time restarted itself the Queen had gone, but Usagi did not care, because she knew that she would always be with her, resting inside her heart.

People were more than a little confused as time restarted itself– not the least because all the senshi had moved a little, particularly Minako who was now on the opposite side of the room from where she had started.

Harry called an end to the meeting and people began to file out very slowly, glancing back as the senshi moved to one side. No one asked anyone to tell them what Queen Serenity had said– she would not have had Setsuna stop time unless the messages were to remain private. Instead they stood for a moment in silence to remember their long dead Queen.

Eventually, they began to leave. Usagi hung back a minute with Rei who chivvied her on, reminding her to stay with the largest group of senshi. When they had all gone, this left only Harry and Rei alone in the room of requirement, standing beneath the mistletoe. Rei pointed this out.

"It's probably full of nargles," Harry said, laughing a little.

"I doubt it," Rei replied, "They prefer holly.

Rei dreamed that night. It was not her own dream, but rather one she saw through her psychic link, meaning that someone else in the castle, likely someone else in the tower, was having the same dream.

It started as a dream she'd seen many times before, of herself (or the person having the dream) walking down a long corridor. She recognised the corridor in question for she had been forced to wait there for about ten minutes before darting down the corridor to the left and into the dreamers hearing. The corridor was in the ministry of magic and lead to the department of mysteries. Usually the dream would end at the end of the corridor, before a black door that just refused to open.

This time, however, there was something different. Instead of walking down the corridor, Rei moved close to the ground– slithering as though she were a snake. When the dreamers tongue flittered into the air before her face, she knew it was so.

There was a mound in front of the door– a sleeping form of a man Rei vaguely recognised although could not quite place. The snake reared its might head and attacked the man again and again.

Rei woke screaming.

"Rei, calm down, it was only a dream– just a dream." Usagi had leapt across the divide between her own and her friend's bed almost instantaneously.

"Deep breaths Rei," Minako said as she padded around Usagi's bed. "Deep breaths." The others crowded around Rei's bed, waiting until her breathing had steadied.

"It was just a dream, right? You don't think it was a prophecy or anything?" Minako asked.

"I… I don't know. It felt real. Not like a dream but not like a prophecy either. Prophecies tend to be disjointed but this… " she told them what she had seen, "I think… I think it was Mr Weasley," she said, looking around at their faces.

"We shouldn't take the risk that it was just a dream," Minako said, very much in control for the first time in far too long, "we should tell professor McGonagall." She flicked her wand and produced a silver dove for the second time that evening, sending it flying down the stairs.

"When did you learn to do that?" Hermione asked, surprised.

"This evening," she shrugged, "after the DA meeting. Come on, we should go wait in the common room." They pulled on their housecoats and headed downstairs and were surprised to find that there were already people waiting there for them. Harry, Ron, Fred, George and Professor McGonagall were standing at the bottom of the stairs to the boy's dormitory. As they saw them, the dove that spoke with Minako's voice vanished.

"It would seem to me that Miss Hino has seen your vision, or whatever it was, through her psychic link, Potter. Come, all of you, we must go see the headmaster– Miss Granger, would you please bring Miss Weasley?" Hermione nodded and ran back up the stairs. The senshi moved across to where the others stood. Usagi noticed the pale, worried looks on their faces and began to understand that something really bad was happening.

When Hermione came back down, dragging Ginny as she struggled to fasten her housecoat, "what's going on?" she asked, "what's happened?" her eyes grew more alert as she saw the worried looks on peoples faces.

"Miss Hino, please fill Miss Weasley in on what has… what may have happened." Ginny grew paler and paler as Rei explained the vision on their way to Dumbledore's office.

When they entered the circular room, Dumbledore looked up from his desk and spoke, "Minerva, what a pleasant sur-" he stopped talking as the students filed into the office. "What has happened?" When McGonagall had filled him in on the situation, Dumbledore stood and began talking to the portraits on the wall of his office, sending a couple of them away– apparently to visit portraits of themselves elsewhere.

"he's been found," a portly wizard announced from high up on the wall, "by the right people as well. They're moving him to St Mungo's now."

"Molly's been informed Arthur," said a man in a portrait to the left of the desk. "Thank you Phineas– and Sirius?"

"Is ready and waiting for company," the man drawled.

"Good," Dumbledore turned to the students, "Use the fireplace to reach number 12 Grimauld Place– except Miss Hino please."

Harry frowned– Dumbledore seemed to be very purposefully ignoring him, his eyes flickering past him every time he spoke to the assembled Gryffindors. He lined up with the others (although he had to move forward to show the scouts how it was done as they still weren't sure after the Weasleys and Hermione had gone).

"So, Miss Hino," Dumbledore asked when they had all gone, "Can you please tell me what you saw?"

"Erm… wouldn't it be better to ask Harry that, Sir?" she asked frowning a little.

"There are advantages and disadvantages to hearing the story from either of you. In this case I have weighed the advantages of either case and decided to hear it from you."

When Rei finally made it to Number 12, it was to find everyone sat around the table in the kitchen. They glanced up briefly as she entered but no one commented. Usagi smiled a little and indicated the empty chair next to her, but short of Sirius passing her a butter beer nothing else happened for another quarter of an hour.

The door opened and Mrs Weasley entered the room, looking flustered. She saw the crowded room and her face broke into a smile, "he's going to be alright." The tension evaporated very suddenly. There were cheers and shouts of relief as Mrs Weasley sank into a chair and allowed herself to be mobbed by her children.

"Breakfast!" Sirius shouted, leaping up only to be pushed back down by Makoto.

"No offence Sirius," she said, "but I just don't trust you in the kitchen." She then set about making them all breakfast, point blank refusing to let Mrs Weasley help when it was offered and practically ordering Harry back to his seat when he tried to bring the plates over. When she had finished, having made boiled eggs and toast, she set them down on the table and joined them. The talk over the table was loud and happy and everyone except Harry seemed to be smiling. Makoto made a mental note to talk to him later if Usagi or Rei, both of whom had also noticed, did not get there first.

"Bed," Mrs Weasley said firmly when they had finished eating, "I can clean up Makoto, now all of you go to bed. You haven't had nearly enough sleep." They headed up to the crowded bedrooms and settled down. Usagi, Minako and Rei were sharing Sirius' brother's old room on the top floor and the minute they had finally reached it they collapsed onto their respective beds (camp beds in the cases of Usagi and Rei) and fell promptly into a deep sleep.

Chapter 34

The senshi headed back to Japan (by airplane to avoid the now traceable teleport) later that very day, waving goodbye to the others as they went to visit Mr Weasley in St Mungo's. It was a blissfully uneventful holiday and they had the chance to catch up with many of their friends from the area, including Umino and Naru. Usagi, naturally, spent about half of the holiday with Mamoru, who had taken time off from the job he'd found in the ministry. Luckily, no one seemed to have figured out that he too was a part of the silver millennium, meaning that little suspicion was cast on him at work.

Christmas day came and went far too quickly and within no time they had repacked their trunks (sent courtesy of Setsuna the day they had arrived) and were on their way back to the airport. They said goodbye to friends and family and boarded the plane together. Mamoru had chosen to get the plane with them rather than apparate back to London, so he and Usagi sat together by a window.

They spent one night in Grimauld place with an almost full compliment of Weasleys, Harry, Sirius and Hermione before catching the knight bus to the castle. They didn't have any problems getting to the castle this time around and were very soon closeted inside a packed Gryffindor common room celebrating the final day before the start of exams.

This, of course, meant that they were a little surprised to feel a slight warmth emanating from their pockets– they each pulled out a (fake) golden galleon, reading the days date and, along with a few other people in the room, jumped to their feet. Rei glared at the others, who included the twins, Ginny, Dean and Neville, to tell them to wait a little while to make it look less suspicious.

They then headed up to the room of requirement where, sure enough, Harry, Ron and Hermione were already waiting. Hermione smiled and ran over to greet them.

"We thought that we should probably start as we mean to go on," Harry explained as he and Ron headed over, "which meant a lesson on the first day. It makes sense– there are no other clubs or groups starting out this early."

Within quarter of an hour everyone had arrived, "right, we should start where we left of I suppose. Patronuses– most of you had already conjured one, and those who have need to test it against the real thing."

"What, you have a dementor hidden in this room." Smith asked sarcastically. "No– but I have a boggart."

"Oh so much use– who in their right mind is more scared of a dementor than they are of you— know-who?"

"I am." Harry said, very quietly. It didn't matter– you could have heard a pin drop. "Lord Voldemort," many people shuddered, "can only kill you. A dementor forces you to relive the worst moments of your life, which I suppose wouldn't be so bad for a spoilt git like you, and they take away your soul– leaving you worse than dead. That frightens me more than Voldemort any day."

"He's right," Hotaru said from her corner, "death is nothing– the midnight gate is only a portal to the next stage, but a dementor can feed off your very existence. Once a dementor has your soul, there's no going on." There was silence once more.

"Anyway," Harry said firmly, "keeping track of that happy memory gets harder when there's a real dementor around. You have to concentrate, really concentrate. This is where it really becomes important how strong that memory is– if it isn't strong enough, the dementor will easily reach you."

Harry demonstrated by letting the boggart out of a trunk by the wall and fighting it back inside with his patronus. He then invited the members of the group to do the same with mixed success. For most of them he had to stay between them and the boggart to ensure it remained in the form of a dementor rather than (as an example only) McGonagall handing out bad homework.

Ami was the first senshi to try beat the boggart-dementor back. She, as all those before her had, first tried to face the boggart just herself, without Harry standing between her and the trunk, but the boggart became Galaxia with surprising speed and Harry was forced to leap between them. Ami concentrated hard and flicked her wand, allowing the sparrow to soar into the air. She concentrated hard on the very first time Usagi had sought her out at school and within mere moments the boggart was back in its place.

When Makoto moved forward, Harry was forced to leap before Wiseman of Nemesis before anything serious happened. Makoto focused very hard on how she had felt when Usagi had sat next to her at lunch and the silver doe charged the dementor down.

For Rei, the dementor took the form of Mistress Nine before Harry intervened and she struggled to brush of memories of the vision of silence. The thought that remained strong in her mind was the feeling of belonging as she first fought beside Sailor Moon– that moment when something in her life had felt right.

When Hotaru moved towards the boggart, Harry did not have to move. The Dementor loomed above her, but with only the smallest flick of her wrist the black patronus forced it back.

People murmured conspiratorially as Usagi moved forward and raised her wand. The trunk creaked open and there was a flutter of movement. Harry registered that it was not a dementor straight away and began to move in, but slipped as he saw what lay before him.

It was a battlefield, but one on which the battle had long finished. Dead allies lay scattered everywhere– Mamoru, the senshi, Harry, Hermione and Ron. People gasped and put their hands before their eyes, sickened by the broken and bloodied bodies on the ground before them, their clothes ripped, their eyes blank and staring. Usagi, who didn't seem to be able to process that it wasn't real, sank to her knees on the ground, tears swimming in her eyes.

Harry finally made it to his feet and was about to leap in front of her but Minako got there first.

There was the sound of wind and the bodies were sucked into a single place. People peeked out from between their fingers and breathed a sigh of relief, followed by sounds of puzzlement. There before them stood Minako, except that Minako was knelt on the ground by Usagi. She squeezed Usagi tightly around the shoulders and stood to face the boggart. She took a deep breath and moved forward, the boggart-Minako mirroring the movement exactly.

When she stopped, the boggart did as well. Minako closed her eyes and took a deep breath, composing herself for something. After a moment she blinked her eyes open and moved her hand forward, allowing the boggart time to do the same. Her hand shook as it moved up but she made a visible attempt to stop the tremors as her own fingers and those of her mirror self neared each other.

As her fingers touched those of the boggart there was a blinding flash of yellow light. For a moment, Usagi thought Minako had reached her cosmos form, but she dismissed that thought mere seconds later– this was something more than that. There was no henshin phrase this time and Minako seemed to be floating high above them all. Usagi shielded her eyes and squinted up to see the light attach itself piece by piece to Minako as she embraced the power. The boggart exploded in a gout of yellow sparks as the light reached its full intensity and Usagi was forced to close her eyes to protect them.

The light faded slowly and Minako fell gracefully to the ground, landing on feet now clad in orange high heels. Her fuku was very different to any they had ever seen before. It was less like a uniform and more like an orange dress that ended a short distance above her knees with a yellow skirt (split at the front) on top. It was still white across her chest and the bow fixing her yellow sailor collar was gone, replaced by an ornamental pair of what looked like butterfly wings. Her yellow choker now bore the sign of her home planet and her tiara was now far simpler– golden beads supporting a single topaz that hung where the gem on the tiara had previously rested.

She looked up and smiled at her fellow senshi, tears in her eyes. She raised her wand in a hand covered by a white glove and flicked it in a figure of eight movement. Instead of the dove they had seen previously a very tiny spec of silver emerged from the end of her wand. The butterfly shone brighter than any patronus they had ever seen and the pure energy that radiated out from it brought a smile to all of their faces. The butterfly flew around their heads as the inner senshi and Usagi converged upon Minako and held her tightly, many of them crying, all of them happy. Out of the shadows Setsuna watched, a smile playing across her lips. Hotaru moved silently to her side.

"You knew, didn't you?"

"Yes. Sailor Venus needs to be strong for the times ahead– her cosmos form would not have been enough. She needed to confront her fear to reach this form and the best way she could do that was to believe it a reality."

"And the change in her patronus?"

"A side affect. I would not be surprised if some of the other senshi experience the same thing when they reach this form– their final form. It is a realisation of sorts, a finding of their inner self."

"And you and I? Can we ever reach this form?"

"You will, one day. I cannot see for myself, you now that."

"Of course not." Hotaru hesitated, "she will understand, I think. Her greatest worry this whole time was that she would be unable to protect Serenity-"

"She won't." Setsuna said bluntly, her eyes, the only part of her that betrayed her true age, glittered with unshed tears, "none of us will. In the years to come Usagi must defend herself. The only thing we can do is make sure we're here for her when she gets back." They watched as the inner senshi disentangled themselves and wiped their eyes.

"Then there truly are dark times ahead," Hotaru whispered.

"You worry about her, don't you?" The voice chimed through the vast halls of the castle, "I can tell. You are forever gazing at the stars, even though it's to far away to see."

"Am I really that transparent? I should be worrying about you… that's my job isn't it?"

"Your job, as you call it, is to protect those close to your heart. If she means so much to you then you should be by her side when this new evil approaches."

"Kakyuu… " Seiya turned away from the window to look at her princess, "I need to be here with you. If this evil covers Earth there's no way it'll stop there. Setsuna said as much."

"You know as well as I do that Setsuna twists the truth."

"Yes, but she always does it with good reason… I don't know… "

"You want to be near her though?"

"That doesn't mean I need to be though," Seiya said, turning to the window, "she has Mamoru and the senshi. You just have the three of us at the moment."

"I can protect myself."

"You shouldn't need to though," Seiya said shortly, pushing herself away from the window and storming out of the room.

"So… what senshi form is this?" Minako asked once most of the group had gone (most of them were used to senshi developments ending meetings at this point).

"It… well I suppose technically it isn't." Ami said, slightly dumbfounded. "What's that supposed to mean?" Minako asked, frowning.

"It's your final form?" Ami said, gazing down at the screen of the Mercury computer as though she almost didn't believe her eyes, "You'll keep increasing in strength and stuff, but this is your last ever henshin."

"Well… wow." Minako was for once lost for words.

"That's one way of putting it," Rei said, eyebrows raised, "even Usagi hasn't managed that one yet!"

"Way to go Minako I say," Makoto said firmly.

"Yeah," Usagi agreed, smiling from ear to ear. "Let's go back to the dormitory, we should celebrate! A party or something."

"We heard that!" George said as he and George appeared from somewhere. "Geez watch it!" Ron said after he jumped about a mile in the air.

"Whatever, little bro," Fred said, waving him aside. "A party cannot be a real party unless we help organise it, which means it must be held in the common room."

He's got a point," George said, "I mean, come on– the whole tower can celebrate that way."

"Well who are we to deprive them of a party?" Minako giggled, truly happy for the first time in months.

Rei dreamed again that night. She dreamed that she was walking down the corridor in the department of mysteries over and over again, but something just kept stopping her from reaching the door at the end.

She began to get curious– just what was it through that door?

Chapter 35

"You alright Rei?" Usagi asked one morning. "You look tired."

"Oh thanks," Rei said sarcastically.

"Hey I didn't mean anything bad!"

"Of course not. But anyway, now you mention it I keep having this same dream," she rubbed her forehead, "and I don't like it. I don't think it's even my own dream."

"You mean it's a vision?" Minako asked, spreading jam on her toast.

"No… It's different than that. I mean that it's someone else's dream– literally. There is someone in the tower having this dream again and again and I'm picking up on it."

"Wow… That's quite a bond," Makoto commented. "Yeah and it makes me more than a little uncomfortable."

"At least they can't get in your head," Usagi said, smiling. "And you know this how?"

"Erm… well… Huh, I guess I don't."

"Such a comfort," Rei drawled.

"We could probably find out who it is at the DA meeting tonight," Makoto said helpfully. "What's the point?" Minako asked, "I'd have thought it was blatantly obvious who it is."

"Explain?" Rei said, her eyes narrowed.

"Well," Minako hesitated a moment, "well you've only ever had this sort of connection once before, right?"

"I have?" Rei looked blank, "when?"

"Not this life… the past one. Jadeite."

"Oh… Ohhhhhhh." Rei blushed as she realised who Minako was thinking about. "You really think so?"

"Yeah I do."

"But wouldn't he need to have a really strong star seed for that?" Usagi asked, "I mean like a real pure one."

"Well obviously someone in the tower has one," Makoto reminded her, "why not Harry?"

"What about Harry now?" Hermione asked, sliding into a seat and pouring herself some cornflakes.

"We think he may have a pure star seed," Rei said, glaring at the others so that they'd know to go no further.

"What's that mean?" Hermione asked frowning, "I remember reading the term somewhere… "

"Everyone has a star seed," Ami explained, "but some of them are particularly bright or pure. As a rule the only truly pure star seeds belong to senshi or planetary defenders such as Mamoru."

"So what does that make Harry?" Hermione asked frowning. "I don't know," Ami said, "it's quite unprecedented… "

"No it's not!" Makoto said suddenly, almost jumping out of her chair, "the shitennou all had pure star seeds and they weren't planetary defenders!"

"You don't think Harry could be…? Noooooo… " Minako said in disbelief, her eyes wide. "Well I guess there's a way to find out." Usagi said, "and it would only take a little while."

"Yeah because we can hop to the temple just that easily," this was, of course, Rei.

"But we can," Usagi reminded her, "If we use the room of requirement.

Rei was about to respond with a sarcastic comment but just stopped herself. "You know, that might actually work."

"The meeting isn't for another half hour though," Ron complained as he headed to the room of requirement with Harry and Hermione that evening.

"That's not the point," Hermione said primly, "the senshi want us to be there early, so we'll be there early."

"Is there any point to this?"

"Yes, now stop moaning." They had reached the blank stretch of wall where the door would appear. Hermione moved across it a few times, thinking of the message the scouts had given her, and the door appeared. When it swung open they were hit by a wave of hot air– the room inside was sweltering. They headed in and saw that the reason was the giant fire at the far end of the large room.

"It's the very closest thing to the Hikawa fire room we could get," Rei told them as she moved over, dressed in her shrine maiden's robes. "Harry, follow me," she gestured and harry looked at Ron, who shrugged. He moved forwards, past the other senshi. He was surprised to see that Setsuna was there as well.

Rei knelt down directly before the fire and bowed down. She murmured a few words that Harry did not quite catch and then gestured for him to sit down. As he did so he became aware that the remaining inner senshi had moved forward, Minako standing behind Rei, Makoto to the right of Harry and Ami to Rei's left. Rei bowed to the fire once more and turned to Harry. When he looked into her eyes he could see the fire dancing within them, not merely a reflection but the power of the flames themselves somehow moved into Rei's body.

"Sailor Mercury," she called, her voice different somehow, mimicking the crackling of the fire. Ami moved towards Harry and rested her hand upon his chest. Harry frowned, not sure he was entirely comfortable with this but even as the thought formed Ami stepped back.

"Sailor Jupiter," Makoto did as Ami had, resting her hand briefly on Harry's chest before moving back once more.

"Princess Venus," Minako winked at Harry as she leaned forwards to rest her hand upon Harry's chest. Harry gasped as he felt something flutter within his ribcage, as though there was something in their trying to escape. He looked at Rei as Minako moved back and was glad to see that she was merely herself once more. She reached her hand forward and placed it very deliberately upon Harry's chest. She rested it there only very slightly longer than the others had. When she drew it back, something came with it. The crystal was a light purple and there were slight gasps from all the senshi as they saw it.

"No way," Minako gasped, "I didn't really think… Wow."

"What?" Harry asked, "What does that mean?"

"It's a pure star seed," Usagi said, "one of very few. They're exceedingly rare and are associated with senshi and planetary defenders." Rei moved her hand back to Harry's chest and the star seed faded. At the same time Harry felt it inside his chest, as though it had always been there, but he'd only just become aware of it.

"No offence mate," Ron said from the back of the room, a grin on his face, "but I really hope you're not a senshi. I don't think you'd really suit the uniform." Harry turned bright red and the atmosphere was suddenly defused. Rei pushed herself up from the floor.

"We need to let Mamoru know asap," she said, "if only there was a way to talk to him before Chuu gets back."

"Do mine ears deceive me?"

"You two!" Rei cried after jumping a mile in the air, her finger pointed at Fred and George, "have got to stop doing that! How the hell did you even get in?"

"Oh we've been here a little while," George said, grinning. "Nice to know about Harry's speshul powers," he said, winking at Harry."

"Shut it." Harry snapped at him.

"They're really no joke," Ami said, "Harry carries the star seed of General Kunzite one of four shitennou, defenders, of Prince Endymion."

"I guess he was important then, this guy?" Ron asked.

"Just a little," Setsuna replied, moving forwards. "General Kunzite is the leader of the shitennou– Endymion's strongest guard."

"Again, wow. Just one problem– General Harry just doesn't have the same ring to it."

"Oh Ron take this seriously," Hermione cried, "stop pratting about."

"He has got a point though," said harry, smiling.

"Kunzite is the title," Minako told them, "created from the colour of the star seed. The three other generals are the same– Zoisite, Jadeite, and Nephrite."

"So will their star seeds be around as well?" Hermione asked curiously.

"I suppose so. Actually, even before they knew of their position, the shitennou tended to draw together." Usagi said, her eyes narrowing as she looked at Ron.

"Nuh uh," Ron said, backing away, knowing exactly where this conversation was going, "I'm nothing that cool."

"We don't think so, little bro," George said, grabbing Ron's arm as Fred took the other. They dragged him towards the fire and forced him to sit beside it. They repeated the ceremony with Ron. He first felt something as Makoto rested her palm against his chest, but he was more amazed than any of them when Rei drew the green crystal from his chest.

"Nephrite," Makoto said as she looked down at it. Rei returned Ron's star seed and they stood once more.

"What does that mean?" Ron asked nervously. "It means Harry's your boss," Minako giggled.

"So which one am I? Some of those names sounded ridiculous."

"Nephrite," Makoto said.

"Not as bad as it could have been I suppose."

"Anyway, I heard someone asking for a quick way to talk to someone outside of the castle." Fred said.

"Ideally yeah– you've got something in mind."

"You could say that." George replied.

"Well we'll talk about that later, isn't there a DA meeting now?" Hermione asked.

"Oh yeah," Harry said, then swore as he glanced at his watch, "I hope they aren't all waiting outside, Umbridge would know something was up. They hurried to the door and looked out– the corridor was empty. They moved quickly out of the room and watched as the door melted away.

"Well, well, well. Mr Potter, what do we have here?" Umbridge moved around the corner, her eyes glinting with triumph.

Chapter 36

They did not speak as they headed up to Dumbledore's office but looked down at their feet, wishing they could find a way out of their predicament. When they had left the room of requirement, Umbridge and several Slytherins had surrounded them, stripping them of their wands (although they couldn't have fought back without being in even more trouble). Umbridge had then, somehow, entered the room they had been using to practise and emerged with the list of names sporting the heading "Dumbledore's Army."

"You see minister," she explained to Fudge when they reached the circular office, "they are plotting something."

"I do see, Dolores. I knew it, Albus! You've been plotting against us this whole time– you want to overthrow the ministry, and these students have created an army under Potter– breaking ministry decrees at the same time. Potter should, at the very least, be expelled, as should these so called defenders." Fudge spat the word out with contempt.

"I don't see why that should happen, Cornelius," Dumbledore said calmly, "after all; the parchment doesn't say "potter's army" now does it? It says Dumbledore's army."

"You mean… Arrest him!" Fudge pointed a stubby finger at Dumbledore and the two aurors with him, Kingsley Shacklebolt and someone called Dawlish began to move.

"Oh no, Minister, you seem to be under the misguided belief that I plan to, ahem, come quietly." Dumbledore raised his hands above his head and clapped. Usagi felt the wind being knocked out of her as she fell to the ground.

She scrambled to her feet in time to hear Kingsley say, "you may not like to admit it, Minster, but Dumbledore's got style."

"We shall catch Dumbledore– for now, these students need to be removed from the premises. And Ms Meioh too."

"I should quite like an explanation minister," Setsuna said calmly. "An explanation? They have been taking part in illegal activities!"

"And myself?"

"Well… no I suppose you haven't… "

"And do you have any proof of these, 'illegal' activities?"

"Yes! We have a witness– confessed under the influence of veritaserum. Bring her in." Kingsley headed to the door and disappeared for a moment. Usagi looked to either side to see that Hermione had gone deathly white.

Kingsley returned a moment later guiding Ginny through the door. A small sob escaped Hermione's lips as she saw who it was. Usagi gasped when she realised why– written across Ginny's face in livid purple spots was the word 'sneak'. "Tell me, girl, what were they doing in the room of requirement?"

"I don't… I don't know… " Ginny said her voice oddly vacant. "Nonsense," Umbridge prompted her, "you told us earlier. Now– again."

"I don't know," Ginny said again.

"If this is all you have minister, we'll be going– come on Ginny," Setsuna said kindly. Setsuna led them to Gryffindor tower, leaving Umbridge and the minister gaping. When they reached the end of the corridor leading to the portrait hole, Setsuna turned to Ginny, "Thank you Ginny."

"That's fine," Ginny said quietly, raising her hand slowly to her face and fingering the pimples. "Is… is there any way to get rid of these?"

"I… I don't think there is," Hermione said, her voice thick with tears. "I'm so sorry Ginny– the spell was meant to be so that we knew who had betrayed the group! I never thought they'd trick it out of someone with veritaserum."

"Do not panic, Hermione," Setsuna said, "Ami can cure them."

"Erm, I can?" Ami asked uncertainly.

"The wand movement is simple enough– do it now while you're still transformed. The mercury computer can analyse it for you." Ami pulled out the computer and flicked on the visor, typing only for a few seconds.

"Oh, you're right… that is quite simple." She pulled out her wand and jabbed it towards Ginny's face. The red head flinched, but the spots receded all the same.

"Thanks," she said, smiling weakly. "And thank you Professor Meioh," she said, turning to Setsuna, "for lifting the effects of the potion.

"It was my pleasure," Setsuna assured her, "now go back to your dormitory before you're in any more trouble."


This was definitely the sound of a distraction, they decided. Harry and Usagi dived under the cloak and moved away from the noise towards Umbridge's office. When they got there Harry opened the door and they slipped inside. At the sight of the fluffy kittens Harry's hand began to itch. I must not tell lies.

"Here," Harry said, picking up the pot from the mantle piece, just chuck a pinch in the fire and ask for Grimauld place, you said he should be there for lunch."

"Right," Usagi said uncertainly as she put her head into the fireplace. She took a deep breath, dropped the powder and said "Number 12 Grimauld place," as clearly as she could.

It was bizarre, she decided. She felt as though her head was travelling miles and miles while her body stayed behind in Umbridge's office. When the world finally stopped spinning she blinked and looked around at the familiar kitchen of Grimauld place. "Mamoru?" she said, looking at the familiar figure sat at the table.

He jumped about a mile at the sound of the voice and spun around. "Usako?" his face lit up as he moved to sit by the fireplace. "What are you doing– I thought the floo network was monitored?"

"Long story, not enough time," Usagi said, "It's great to see you and all, but I've got to keep this quick," she said, distressed, "they almost didn't let me be the one to talk to you so I've got to get back in time."

"What is it?" he asked, suddenly serious.

"We've found them. Or, well, some of them. Half of them– two of them."

"Two of what?"

"The shitennou of course! Kunzite and Nephrite."

"Who are they?"

"Harry and Ron?"

"What? Really?"

"I know, we were all a little shocked, but Harry had developed the connection with Rei and of course theirs would have developed first as she's psychic and all, but I guess it's just a matter of time until Ron develops his own with one of the others and hopefully when that happens we'll find the others as well."

"Well that-"

"I'm really sorry Mamoru," Usagi interrupted as she felt Harry tug her robes, the signal that she needed to leave, "send Chuu with any news. I love you." And she was gone.

She coughed as her head span back on to her shoulders but Harry threw the cloak over them and they ran from the office. When they were a couple of floors away they removed the cloak and began to head to what could only be Fred and George's distraction.

"Don't stun them Filch!" they heard Umbridge screech, as though Filch was actually capable of stunning them. The result was that Umbridge spent her first day as the new Hogwarts headmistress running around the castle and dealing with the fireworks, which none of the other teachers seemed to be able to deal with. Harry even distinctly heard Flitwick talking to her as he escorted her from his class, "of course I could have dealt with them myself, but I wasn't sure I had the right authority," before shutting the door on a fuming Umbridge.

"We weren't planning on setting those off for months," Fred said with satisfaction as he fell into the last empty chair at the table.

"But it was worth it," George added, pushing his twin onto the floor. "So," Fred began, "what does being a shitenn-thing actually mean?"

"Well, the shitennou are the four generals of the prince, and then King, of Earth as well as members of his council." Ami began as though reading from a textbook, "although when Prince Endymion became Prince the role began to change,"

"What's that mean?" harry asked, looking up from his divination homework.

"Well Prince Endymion was the first human to make contact with the lunarians for centuries and, naturally, his generals did the same. After a few months the shitennou and the senshi began to notice something new– it started with Rei and Jadeite. They were forming a psychic link. Not strong enough to read each other's mind or anything, but strong enough that they shared dreams or could contact each other in desperate need."

"Sounds useful– does this mean I'm forming a link with one of you?" Harry asked. "With me," Rei said, blushing a little. "Although the last Kunzite had one with Minako."

"And who did Nephrite form a link with?" Ron asked.

"That would be me," Makoto said.

"And Zoisite could contact me," Ami concluded. "Some of them also had individual powers– General Nephrite, for example, has been able to use the stars in his powers for generations of the Earth royal family."

"I wish," Ron snorted. "Would make astronomy a breeze.

"The shitennou also had a formal uniform that's changed very little throughout the centuries," Ami went on until Ron interrupted her.

"Wait there– formal uniform?" his voice was a little higher than usual. "Yes, something similar to Endymion's."

"We don't have a fancy transformation do we?" Harry asked apprehensively. "I don't think so," Usagi giggled, "but it's not impossible."

"Great," Ron said sarcastically, "just what I always wanted.

The next few days were not brilliant– Umbridge finally began to begin the work of sacking teachers, starting with Trelawney. Setsuna and McGonagall stood up for her but without Dumbledore there was only so much they could do. They took Trelawney to Hogsmeade and booked her a room at the Hogshead, apparently the barman knew Dumbledore well and had agreed to take care of her, but for some reason Setsuna asked them not to let this become well known.

Over the next couple of months Umbridge cracked down upon the school, instilling rule after rule that made things such as untied shoelaces punishable. Detentions soared and all of them were held in the same way– the black quills that made you write in your own blood. The senshi and all members of the DA were in detention every night as a result of the list found in the room of requirement. Some of them were given different lines to write– Hermione and Ron, for example, were writing out "I must respect the ministry" while Harry and the senshi wrote "I must not tell lies" again and again.

"This is just getting to be too much," Minako finally snapped one evening towards the end of the Easter holiday, "she's keeping us in detention during the Holiday for goodness sake!"

"We're going to have to order more essence of Murtlap again," Ami called from across the room after pouring some into a bowl for Ginny, "We're nearly out."

"See! That's the sixth time we've ordered the stuff." Minako huffed, wincing as she splashed the liquid over her red hand.

"I'm with you," Fred said decisively.

"Definitely," George agreed, "Hogwarts just isn't Hogwarts at the moment."

The first day of the new term dawned in spectacular style, courtesy of the Weasley twins. They had somehow created a giant swamp across the third floor corridor, effectively blocking it off to both students and staff. Umbridge, who had been walking across the corridor in question at just the wrong time, clambered out covered in green sludge, followed shortly by the just appointed inquisitorial squad (who were, coincidentally, all Slytherins).

"Who. Did. This?" She seethed, wiping mud from her face as she glowered around the corridor.

"Portable swamps, courtesy of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, now located on Diagon Alley– you just can't miss us!"

"Come here right now!" Umbridge screamed, running after the Weasley twins both of whom were laughing raucously.

"Accio brooms!" they cried as they ran, grabbing their brooms as they zoomed from Umbridge's office (where they had been chained to the wall). "Well, nice knowing you all!"

"Don't forget to visit our new premises."

"Special discount to Hogwarts students who promise to use the merchandise to terrorise this old bat!" George said, pointing at Umbridge as he and Fred flew into the air.

"Peeves," Fred called, "give her hell from us." Peeves, who had never ever listened to a student, actually saluted. The twins flew down the marble staircase and out of the front doors, whooping with delight. This put everyone, except Umbridge and the inquisitorial squad, in a fantastic mood for breakfast.

"Cheer up Rei," Usagi said, grinning, "wasn't that amazing. "Yeah, sure," Rei said, covering her mouth as she yawned. "You alright Rei?" Harry asked.

"I would be, if you'd stop dreaming about that damn corridor," she snapped at him, "I keep waking up at night."

"Oh… sorry."

"No, it's alright… you can't help what you dream I suppose– I just want to know what's so interesting about the prophecies."

"What do you mean?" he asked, very interested.

"Well that's what you're dreaming of isn't it? The department of mysteries and through to the hall of prophecy– which, by the way, has not changed a bit since the past life, it's just bigger. Used to be accessed through the moon though," she yawned again.

"Strange place to dream about," Ron said, "especially if you've never been there before."

"Hang on– the corridor I've been dreaming about, that's where you're dad was attacked."

"Blimey, must be something important there– he was probably on duty for the order."

"Maybe it's like that thing you saw at Christmas," Usagi thought out loud.

"I don't think so… I mean, I've been having this dream for months and months."

"He's not wrong," Rei grumbled.

"Maybe it's something more than that– when you had vision of the silence you were seeing them for months before hand."

"What so you think we should just go to the department of mysteries on spec?"

"I don't know… maybe."

"I wouldn't advise it," Setsuna said as she passed, "I cannot see that place." She said no more and headed past them to the teachers table.

"All the more reason to go," Minako whispered, "anything Sets can't see is trouble."

"I don't know," Hermione said hesitantly, "it doesn't seem to be much to do with us."

"Anything that threatens this world has to do with us though," Minako said, sitting up straight," and we are honour bound to protect it."

"I think Hermione may be right Minako," Makoto said gently. "Oh come on… "

"Really Minako, you're fighting a losing battle now," Ami chided her.

"Fine, but if anything happens I reserve the right to give you a big fat told you so."

"Whatever," came the muted replies.

"It could be worse– I keep dreaming that I've failed all my OWLs."

"Same," Ami said, shuddering.

That evening, shortly after the last of the day workers had left the ministry, a door clicked open– the woman who stepped out had not actually been there very long, for it was no cupboard, but a now deserted office. She moved swiftly down the corridor, her dark heels clicking on the uncovered floor. She did not meet anyone, in fact she seemed to reach every part of her journey at just the right moment– enter this corridor as someone leaves at the other end, leave the next corridor as the door to the head of department's office opened.

She reached the lifts at a time when there was no one waiting, and called it– she would have preferred to travel directly to the department of mysteries, but there were spells and wards around that place that prevented the paths she used from reaching it– this was as close as she could get.

The moment she stepped in the lift she began to look, for the first time, a little uneasy. Her knuckles, although they could not be seen under her gloves, could very easily have been white as they clutched at her staff. The lift doors slid opening, announcing in an overly cheery voice which level she was on.

She moved down the corridor and opened the large black door, emerging into a circular room, lined with doors. As the door closed behind her, the walls began to spin. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath– each of the rooms had a very specific feel to it. There was one that reminded her of Usagi, another which brought Hotaru to mind. Further around there was one that felt a little like Ami, and one that made her think of Ronald Weasley. After another moment, she found the door that made her think only of herself.

She pushed it open and was assaulted by glittering, golden lights, the ticking of clocks and the gentle, almost lyrical, flow of time. This room was full, she knew now, of time turners– magical devices used to twist and turn the paths of time to the users benefit. She wrinkled her nose in disgust and moved through to the next room, the one she had been looking for.

The hall of prophecy was laid out just as it had been the one time she had visited it in the past life, and Sailor Pluto had an excellent memory. She moved forward very deliberately. This whole room made her mind flow back and think of Rei, it smelt of the Hikawa temple, it had the same aura and she thought for a moment that she saw the ghost of Sailor Mars move between the shelves.

She continued until she reached the right shelf and looked down the row. Sure enough there was a shadowy figure standing just outside of her field of vision. "Why not just take it yourself, while you're here?" she asked.

"You and I both know that doing that is not within my best interest," came the high, cold voice, "the wizarding world very conveniently believes its greatest defendants are its enemies. If I move the prophecy now then I will never have the chance to reinforce this belief."

"A belief that will crumble eventually, when they realise that the senshi are the best hope they have."

"You put such little faith in the wizarding world."

"And yet still more than you ever did."

"You and I are more alike that you would admit– we have both found ways to conquer death, questing for that final goal-"

"Final goal?" Sailor Pluto laughed humourlessly and moved to lean on the garnet rod, "Immortality? Invulnerability? What is it that you mean, my Lord? I have never searched for a way to conquer death, instead I have a duty that will carry me in this world long after the memory of you has faded from existence. I seek only a way to die."

"You seek death? A foolish mission."

"There are worse things in this world than death, no matter how little you understand of these things," she moved once more so that the garnet rod was held before her, a barrier of sorts between her and the steadily approaching, snake-like man.

"Worse than death? You sound like the fool, Albus Dumbledore."

"I would rather you compared me to him than to yourself. I have far more in common with him than I ever will with you."

"Very well, if that is the way this must play out… Crucio!" the jet of red light hit Setsuna in the chest and she screamed in shock. It had been many years since she was unable to predict her opponent's moves. She did not, however, buckle to the pain. She forced herself to stand up once more and look Voldemort in the eye. "You cannot die, and bear no fear for death, so I shall not kill you. Are you thankful? Am I not a merciful Lord?"

Chapter 37

Miles away, Rei jerked upright. "Shit," she said, loudly.

"Rei, what is it this time?" Minako said from two beds down, "some of us are trying to sleep."

"No, don't sleep– sleeping is not such a good idea right now," she leapt from the bed and ran around the room, lighting the candles with a flick of her wand. "Everyone get up, quickly," she cried, shaking Usagi and then moving past Minako to Makoto. "We need to go."

"Go where?" Hermione asked, rubbing her eyes.

"The department of mysteries– we have to go right now!"

"What's happened?" Ami asked, suddenly awake.

"It's Setsuna– she's there and Voldemort's torturing her!"

"How do you know?" Usagi asked, suddenly panic stricken, leaping from the bed. "I saw it– in one of Harry's dreams."

"Then won't Harry know too?" Makoto asked.

"Probably-" at that moment there was the definite whoompf of the stairs turning into a slide and back again. "Come on, we should go now."

"Rei, we should at least transform first."

"Right… " she looked down at her purple pyjamas, "good point." They transformed and were about to head out of the door when Hermione called out, "wait for me!" she was busy tying her shoelaces.

"Hermione you can't come," Usagi said gently, "it's too dangerous."

"Harry and Ron will be going though," she replied, her eyes shining defiantly. "Yes, but-"

"They have powers I don't? Powers they've never used mind," Hermione scoffed. "I'm coming whether you like it or not."

"You're as stubborn as Usagi," Makoto said, rolling her eyes, "come on." They hurried along the corridor past the opening doors of dormitories– apparently they had woken up a few people. As they hurried down the stairs they were joined by Hotaru, in her fuku and with the silence glaive in hand, and Ginny.


"Hermione's here, so I'm coming too."

"I'd listen to her," Makoto muttered, "she's far too good at the bat bogey hex for my liking."

"Fine, but no one else." They ran into the common room and saw Harry and Ron waiting there. They had obviously dressed quickly and were looking a little dishevelled. There was also-

"Neville," Rei thundered, "what are you doing, this is-"

"I'm in Dumbledore's Army," Neville piped up, "I'm coming."

"Fine," Rei cried, "Anyone else want to come while we're here?" There was a muffled response. Ami looked curiously at the portrait hole, moved over and pushed it open.

"Luna? What on Earth are you doing here?"

"I sleepwalk," she said simply, pulling the jacket thrown over her pyjamas closer around her shoulders.

"In a jacket?" Rei asked, her eyebrows raised, "and shoes? You hardly ever wear shoes."

"Ok, maybe I let her know," Ginny waved the matter aside and produced the DA galleon from her pocket, "but still."

"Right, but no one else!" Rei's eyes dared anyone to challenge her. "How are we going to get there?" Ron asked.

"We'll have to teleport," Hotaru said, "they'll expect us to be coming anyway– it won't matter if we alert them or not."

"Fine– Minako, just hurry up." Rei cried.

The scouts formed a circle with those travelling with them inside. "I missed this," Minako breathed before shouting, "Sailor Teleport!"

"How do you do it?" the high voice asked, "you died, and yet here you are claiming that you will live forever."

"I do not claim as such," Setsuna gasped, pulling herself to her feet, "I know it. I have seen it."

"You have seen it? You place so much faith in such a limited power."

"And yet it is so much more than you have," she replied, wiping a trickle of blood from the corner of her mouth.

"More? More than I, who have pushed the boundaries of known magic further than anyone?"

"Not true– heck you never even pushed it further than the wizards of old, never mind the lunarians and those of their alliance."

"Lies! Crucio!" Setsuna did not scream this time, but closed her eyes and retreated for a moment to some inner part of her power. When she returned to her senses the garnet rod had vanished for it was better that Lord Voldemort did not get hold of that. "Crucio!"

She screamed and fell to her knees as the pain rippled through her as though her very veins were on fire. When the spell subsided, Voldemort moved around her in a circle, shooting curses of varying strength at her again and again. She fell to her knees, bruised and bloodied, her fuku ripped.

But still she knew that he would not kill her.

"I don't quite know what this is," Voldemort said as he walked slowly around Setsuna, "neither did Bourgin or Burke for that matter– a rare occurrence. You however, can tell me exactly where this," he held up the chip of wood, "came from and why it has such power."

"A power you can never really understand."

"Crucio," he said lazily.

"Saturn," Setsuna gasped, knowing that he would find out eventually anyway, "the silence glaive."


"Sailor Saturn, guardian of the midnight gate and senshi of death and rebirth– it is a fragment from her staff, known as the silence glaive."

"The midnight gate?"

"The portal between this world and the next one," Setsuna gasped, trying to stand and finding that she could not put any weight upon her right leg.

"So this Saturn– she is the one who truly controls death."

"No one has control over death," Setsuna spat, "she monitors it and controls the… unpredicted elements."

Very suddenly, Voldemort looked away. "They are coming– they do not even attempt to hide it! A sailor teleport, I believe you call it. Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and… Saturn."

"Ok, so this isn't quite the Department of Mysteries," Harry concluded as they materialised on the (thankfully) deserted London street, "but we're close– the ministry's through that telephone box."

"No way we're all gonna fit in there together," Usagi said, looking at the thing.

"It's enchanted," Ami said, typing away at her console, "so that any number of people can squeeze inside."

"Well I suppose that makes sense," Usagi said, but no one was really looking at her– they were all running to the booth. She joined them just in time to hear Harry talking quickly to the phone.

"Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Hino Rei," he paused and looked at Usagi for assistance. Tsukino, she mouthed, "Tsukino Usagi, Kino Makoto," he had to ask Ami to tell him her surname as well, "Mizuno Ami, Tomoe Hotaru, Luna lovegood, Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom here on a rescue mission."

"Thank you. Please take the badges and proceed to your destination. Have a pleasant visit." There was a clatter as a large number of badges fell into the change area on the phone. Harry handed them out as the lift began to descend. They ran for the lifts the moment they had squeezed out of the phone and headed straight down to the department of mysteries. They ran headlong into the circular room but stopped dead in their tracks as it began to spin.

"Which door now?" Usagi asked, looking at Rei and Harry.

"I… I don't know." Rei replied honestly. "It never did that in the dream."

"Right… well this one feels good," Ron guessed walking to the room straight ahead of them. He opened the door and stepped inside.

"Ron!" Harry called as his friend vanished from sight. They hurried to the door but did not dare enter the room. Before them they saw stars– vast space-scapes stretching even further than they could see.

"Ron?" Hermione called, "where are you?"

"Erm… right in front of you," came Ron's disembodied voice. "No you're not," Hermione replied, beginning to panic a little.

"But I am," Ron said disbelievingly as he stepped out of the room.

"Wow," Neville said, making as if to move into the room until he was collared by Makoto.

"I wouldn't Neville. Ron's got the right to the power of the stars whether he knows it or not. I'd leave it be for now at least."

"Right." He closed the door and the walls began to spin again.

"From what I can tell," Ami said, "each room contains a different sort of magic, each one pertaining to the power of… well of one of us. That is to say the senshi and the shitennou."

"So this door," Usagi said, "which feels right to me, is my power?"

"I suppose so." Usagi pushed the door and it swung softly open. There was no room before them, but a blank wall.

"Huh… maybe they haven't built this part yet." Usagi decided.

"More likely they haven't been able to replicate your power," Ami said, shaking her head. The door was closed and this time Makoto chose a door. Inside was simply a thunderstorm in a tropical jungle.

"Not particularly imaginative," she sniffed before shutting the door. The next door, however, was chosen by Hotaru.

"This is sick," she said as she looked down the stairs to the stone dais at the bottom of the large room. "Don't go down there Harry," she warned, throwing the silence glaive out before him to prevent him moving forwards. "That is a tear in the midnight gate. It's something that should never ever exist. Go on the other side of that thing and you won't ever come back."


"I should close it," Hotaru's eyes widened. "This room will be the reason Setsuna could not see the department of mysteries– if she were to head through there she could reach the end she finally seeks."

"Isn't that… isn't that a good thing though?" Usagi asked.

"No. Without Setsuna, the universe itself would begin to collapse– she is the constant thing in this world. Without her there is nothing." Hotaru moved swiftly down the steep steps, more like seats in an amphitheatre than anything else, and wept the veil with the silence glaive. The fabric seemed to knit itself together with the air around it until nothing was left except an empty arch.

"That will do, for now." Hotaru said as she headed up the stairs, "when we have more time I will come back and permanently seal the area." They moved back through into the circular room.

"Come on, we need to hurry up so that we can get to Setsuna. "Ami, you're smart– choose a room," Usagi prompted her. She did so.

"Are those… are those brains?" Ron asked, as Ginny moved forward.

"Yep," she called back, "definitely brains."

"Ew… Ami that's just gross."

"They're not brains," she said scowling, "their memories, or the imprints of the passed. Very strong and very dangerous, stay away from them."

"Some department of mysteries this is," Ginny said, "you guys already know what all this stuff is."

"Minako– you choose a room." Usagi said. Minako headed over to a room and tried the handle. "It's locked," she called back.

"Weird," Harry said, frowning at the door, "I would have chosen this one I think."

"Wonder what's in there," Ami said, tapping at the console, "I don't think we'll be able to get in at all… the console can't analyse it at all. Hermione, you may as well choose a door."

There were only five doors left and Hermione chose the one to the right of the locked door. Inside there was only a single thing– a stone of mixed purple and green colours.

"Zoisite," Ami commented, "they obviously haven't figured out Zoisite's power yet."

"Not that we ever did either," Rei said dryly, "he was always secretive."

"Go on then Rei, you're the psychic one, you choose a room."

Rei took a deep breath and looked at the remaining doors. "That one… feels like Haruka… Michiru… Jadeite… Setsuna." Her eyes sprang open and she ran to the door, pulling it open. "Yes! This is the right one."

"They're time turners," Hermione commented as they made they're way through the glittering mass.

"Never mind that now– we're nearly there," Usagi chivvied her. They opened the door and spilled into the hall of prophecy, the room that represented the power of Sailor Mars.

"You weren't joking… " Luna said, "It is big." As they walked up the long corridor between the towering shelves, torches flared into life, reacting to the presence of Sailor Mars.

"She's just a little further down here," Rei panted as she broke out into a run. The senshi easily outstripped the rest of them, reaching the right row first. They saw Setsuna, lying unmoving on the ground, her fuku ripped and blood pooling from a wound on her head. Usagi reached her first and was about to roll her over when Ami called, "don't touch her! You might hurt her even more doing so," Usagi flinched away, her eyes fearful.

"She'll be alright, won't she?"

"I don't know," Ami said, worry in her voice, "she's not dead, but in a way it would be better for her if she was– we'd know she could recover from that."

"Harry," it was Neville's voice, "Harry… it's got your name on it… "

Chapter 38

"Huh… so it does. What is it?" he asked, turning to look at the scouts.

"It's a prophecy," Rei began as Ami continued to analyse Setsuna's immobile form. "The names on the label list those the prophecy concerns and the prophet who first saw it."

"It says Harry Potter and he-who-must-not-be-named, S. Trelawney."

"Trelawney?" Rei said incredulously, "who'd have thought… well you'll be able to pick it up anyway Harry. Only those the prophecy concerns can take it. I wonder why Voldemort didn't take it while… well."

Harry looked back to the seemingly innocuous sphere, swirling with the same pale mist as all those on the shelves surrounding them. He reached forward tentatively and clasped it with his hand.

"We can move her," Ami said typing away at her computer, "there's no damage to her spine. We can look in more detail when we get back to Hogwarts. Come on." Lita was about to scoop Setsuna into her arms when she was knocked to the side.

"I've got her," Haruka said softly as she raised Setsuna off the cold stone floor. "Uranus, Neptune! What are you doing here?" Usagi cried out.

"We guessed where you had come when we felt you using the teleport," Michiru replied, "we took slightly longer because, unlike you, we stopped by Grimauld Place."

"Usako," Mamoru stepped around the end of the shelf.

"Mamoru! What are you doing here? You can't fight– not since Galaxia."

"I don't care," he replied, caressing her face gently, "I'd risk anything to keep you safe." He took her into his arms and looked towards Harry and Ron, "I hear you are to be the shitennou of this lifetime. It is a heavy burden and one I truly hope you are suited to. It is not something you can choose to back out of."

"Trust me mate," Ron mumbled, "I couldn't be less suited. A smile twisted the corner of Mamoru's mouth.

"Come on," Michiru hurried them, "we should leave before Voldemort returns." They ran as fast as Haruka could without jostling Setsuna too much and within hardly anytime they had reached the circular room. They waited to let it spin only for the door directly ahead of them to burst open.

"Aha!" Fudge was triumphant, "caught breaking into the ministry of magic itself! There is no coming back from this. Arrest them!" Fudge pointed at them, his finger shaking with triumph.

"Run!" Mamoru shouted. They dived through the nearest door, piling into the office with the memories in their tanks.

"What the hell are they doing here?" Rei spat.

"Isn't it obvious?" Minako wailed. "The Death Eaters tipped them off– they wanted us to get caught here, they wanted us to become fugitives!"

"Shut up!" Haruka roared, "we need to stay calm and keep moving. They ran through a door on the other side of the office and almost fell head over heels down the large steps of the death room. Usagi squealed as a spell missed her by barely an inch.

"Moon tiara-"

"Don't attack them," Mamoru warned her, "we shouldn't give them even more reasons to consider us enemies." They ran down the stairs, and gathered beneath the empty arch.

"The gateway! What have you done?" Fudge's voice was angry now.

"That thing," Hotaru said, stepping forwards, "was an abomination." Her voice shook with barely suppressed anger as she slammed the end of the garnet rod on to the stone before her.

"It was one of the most advanced projects in the department!"

"Project? You tore a hole in the reality between this world and the next– that is no project, it is sick. It's all well and good for the people on this side of the tear, but did you ever stop to think about the other side? Those people have earned their peace and you try impose upon it. I, Sailor Saturn senshi of death and rebirth will not allow it." As she spoke her voice echoed grandly in the huge chamber.

"Will not allow it? You have no right-"

"I have every right," she cut him off; "My family has been governing this gate since the second life forms crawled this universe. Their many years of devotion earned me a place in the court of Selene, the highest of all authorities, and you dare tell me I have no right?"

Fudge had turned bright red and shook where he stood. The aurors looked at him, obviously unsure about what they should do. Finally, Fudge spoke. "Chiba," he said, surprising all of them. "It is a shame to see that you've thrown your lot in with them. I'm told you were shaping up to be a promising auror."

"I mean no offence, minister, but I never had any intent to become an auror. I already know my destiny."

"Oh yes? And what is that. No, wait. Don't tell me– you are to take care of Potter when he has his visions?"

"How dare you," Haruka growled, "you don't have any idea who you're talking to."

"Clearly not– enlighten me, please."


"Haruka," Mamoru said sharply, "I can handle this." He stepped forward, his hand falling from where it had been rested protectively around Usagi's waist, and faced Fudge. "My name is Mamoru Chiba, although many people in Tokyo would know me only as Tuxedo Mask. I am the reincarnation of Prince Endymion, holder of the golden crystal and rightful ruler of the planet Earth." As he spoke, the very air seemed to shimmer, as though the world around them was responding to this declaration. A soft golden light began to fill the room, slowly enveloping not only Mamoru, but also Harry and Ron. When the light vanished, Mamoru stood tall in a uniform not dissimilar to that he had worn in the days of the silver millennium. A navy blue tunic with golden edgings, worn over trousers of the same colour, was tied across his stomach with a purple sash and he wore a cape slung over his right shoulder and tied at his left waist. He wore boots of the same dark blue as the cape, topped with the circular golden pattern that adorned the edgings of the tunic.

Harry and Ron had also changed into what could only be the uniform of the shitennou. Harry's uniform was, in shape, identical to Mamoru's but it was light grey and blue, with the same golden edgings, worn over black trousers and grey boots. His cape was black and blue. Ron's uniform was much simpler– plain black with a yellow sash and edgings and short sleeves. The boots were also black with a yellow and gold fold over at the top.

Fudge watched all of this unfold and opened his mouth in a bizarre, fish like way. Finally, he seemed to compose himself, "Aha! So you are trying to take over the ministry."

"We have no business in anything as petty as the ministry for magic," Mamoru thundered, "I have seen the future and it is bright, but it can only come to pass if you are willing to cooperate with us, to see through the dawn of Crystal Tokyo." Mamoru's eyes shone as he offered Fudge this last olive branch– a chance to try and repair the damage he had already done.

"You are in no such position to offer me such a thing!"

"Supefy!" Usagi blinked in surprise as one of the aurors stepped forward to catch fudge. He had a definite lion-ish look to him, was the first (rather silly) thought that presented itself to Fudge.

"Rufus Scrimgour," he introduced himself as he hopped down the stairs, followed by a surprising number of the aurors, "we don't all stand with that idiot," he assured them, "in fact most of the department thinks he lost it a while ago. We'll be happy to work with you." He extended a hand to Mamoru, who took it and then shook hands with Usagi.

"Pathetic," the high pitched voice drawled through the room. "You cannot even disagree properly." Everyone jumped into a battle ready stance, wands at the ready. "You hope to fight me?" Voldemort crowed as he moved steadily towards them, ranks of masked Death Eaters following behind him.

"Don't move!" Scrimgour shouted, his wand pointed directly at Voldemort. "Or what?"

"We will shoot to kill," Scrimgour warned, "stay where you are."

"I assure you, I have no intent of doing that. Kill them all." The Death Eaters surged forwards and very soon spells were flying in all directions. Usagi raised her defence in front of the fighters and concentrated on that. Unfortunately, all of Voldemort's spells seemed to pass straight through the barriers, while those of the aurors, Luna, Ginny and Neville did not.

"Why can my spells pass through?" Hermione gasped as she ducked a red spell from Voldemort.

"Who cares– just fight," Rei snapped at her as she sent a well aimed stunner at one of the Death Eaters. Within what seemed like hardly any time at all the Death Eaters had reached (and passed through) Usagi's shield, at which point she stopped trying to hold the defence and began to attack. Within what seemed like seconds they seemed to have been spread across the chamber, each battling a different foe.

Haruka laid Setsuna gently upon the ground before beginning to fight, refusing to budge no matter how many Death Eaters attacked her.

Usagi tried desperately to reach Minako and Michiru, both of whom were fighting Voldemort himself. She dodged past an auror as he fell to the ground (dead?) and sent a volley of spells at the next death eater only for her, she thought it was a her, to dodge them and send a green jet of light back at Usagi who only just managed to dodge.

Minako sent her love me chain rocketing towards Voldemort who waved it aside without even blinking while Michiru sent a beam of dark blue at him which snaked around his ankles only to become a snake that snapped back at her. Not too far away Harry dodged a red jet and screamed something (apparently at the snake) in a loud hiss. The snake fell motionless to the floor even as Harry turned away to send a spell back at his opponent.

Makoto was fighting more with her muscles than her wand which had been knocked from her hand a little while before. She saw it, tackled a death eater and dived, scooping it up and sending a full body bind curse back at him.

The fighting seemed to slow down as a scream of rage filled the room. Michiru had risen above them all, her eyes aquamarine and pupil-less, great wings of water spread behind her. Usagi felt her heart constrict as she realised the only thing that could have caused this. She turned fearfully to watch as Haruka hit the stone floor with a mundane thump.

She did not shout a henshin phrase, but Usagi knew what was happening anyway– Michiru's instant grief at the loss of Haruka had brought on the transformation. Her dress, of layered white lace with a bow the same colour as her skirt had been previously, floated around her as though she was underwater.

"She forced the transformation!" Hotaru screamed, breaking the bubble that filled the room, "she's going to destroy us all!" Usagi's stomach fell to her feet and she ran to the only person she knew who could help.

"Setsuna," she whimpered, "we need you– right now. You know I wouldn't ask otherwise, but more than any other time we need you. Please?"

Setsuna's eyes fluttered a little and she blinked until Usagi came into blurred sight. "Princess… "

"Yes that's me. What do we do?" She became more and more aware that water was filling the chamber– water that smelt of the sea.

"No… Princess Mercury… " her eyes closed once more.

"Ami! Usagi screamed, pulling Setsuna into a sitting position so that her head was above the water. She felt tears in her eyes as Haruka disappeared from sight. "Ami, you have to transform now!"

"But if I force the transformation-"

"Ami– do you trust me?" Usagi screamed as the Death Eaters apparated away. "With my life," she replied without hesitation.

"Then do as I say, right now!"

Ami hesitated and then nodded. She took a deep breath and began to search inside herself– this transformation was not a phrase, but a state of being. She needed to find her inner self.

But she didn't have time! She needed to help everyone.

She needed to help…

She felt her legs rise from the water as a blue light enveloped her. The fuku she wore began to transform, becoming a dark blue mini with petal sleeves and light blue sides. Her bow shaped itself to become the wings of her patronus. She felt ice creep up inside her, cold spreading out from her in waves and she understood.

She was not going to stop Michiru's attack, but instead postpone it. Her attack would freeze the water and in doing so would freeze Michiru.

Unfortunately there was no knowing how widespread the attack would become, powered by not only her own transformation, but Michiru's as well. The cold left her in a single blast. Usagi froze where she stood, reaching for Mamoru's hand.

The others felt a jerk at the back of their necks, as though they had used a portkey, each landing alone. Setsuna breathed a sigh of relief as the ice crept across her legs.

She had seen this moment come so many times and in so many different ways that it was a relief for it to finally be here– the great ice, freezing the whole world for a thousand years.

She settled back in the ice and began to wait for her body to heal itself. Then, and only then, would the others awaken.

Chapter 39

Ice was everywhere and everything was ice. There was no wind, no change in the weather or the state of the planet, only the ice. For almost a thousand years there was little movement, little change in the surface of planet Earth.

In that realm just beyond reality, three spirits watched and waited. "Is she ready yet, Setsuna?"

"Only a few more hours– she is becoming aware already. She has more strength than even she knows."

"Strength that will become invaluable in the months to come I would imagine," Hotaru mused, "especially now that… " she glanced to the third spirit.

"You can say the word," Haruka replied. "I have grown well used to being dead."

"You may still pass through the gate," Hotaru replied softly, "you have not yet set foot back in life and so the gate will open for you."

"I have no intention of returning to life, but nor do I have any intention of passing through that gate alone. I will wait here."

"But you could be waiting hundreds, maybe thousands of years." Hotaru reminded her.

"And the company is rarely this good," Setsuna added absentmindedly.

"I made a promise. I told her we would be together always. That can't happen anymore, but I will not move into the next life without her."

"Very well," Setsuna nodded, "but we must go, must return to life."

"We shall meet again," Haruka saluted.

"In the distant future," Setsuna nodded before turning to Hotaru. "I choose to forget, this time. I choose to forget that I can die."

"Very well. You will forget once the world is restored."

"Thank you."

"Setsuna," Haruka called before they disappeared. "Tell her… let her know… " for once Haruka seemed unsure of what to say.

"I will let her know you're waiting," Setsuna replied softly.

"Thank you," Haruka's voice broke and she turned, refusing to show them her weakness even in death.

A finger moved. A small thing, but it was the most significant event of the world's recent history. The finger movement was followed by that of a hand as the ice that surrounded it began to steam, as though subjected to heat. It was another hour until the ice was melted, but when it was the raven haired priestess sucked air into lungs that had not moved for many years. She coughed, retching as she lay on the floor. Rei pushed her wet hair out of her eyes and shivered– she was no longer in her fuku, but in the pyjamas she had been wearing when they had left Hogwarts.

Where was she, she wondered, looking around the frozen room. She moved slowly to her feet, trying not to slip on the ice. She sucked in cold air when she realised– this was the fire room in the Hikawa temple.

But the fire did not burn. Very slowly, memories of the night at the department of mysteries began to return, and understanding blossomed as she sat before the empty fire house. She wept for her fallen comrade as she sat alone in the ice. Then, with no better idea as to what she should do, she began to make the fire. When it was done, she sat as close to it as she could, not bothered that it singed the ends of her hair.

She found that she was ravenous and headed through to the house. The only food that was edible was the food in the freezer– the appliance may not have been on, but at least the food in there was meant to be frozen. She took it back to the fire room and cooked it with her powers. She ate ravenously and melted the ice to provide water to drink. When she was ready, she warmed up a set of miko robes and changed into them. She sank to the floor before the fire and began to pray.

The visions were brief and broken. First she saw Hotaru as she had been on the day they had all met her, handing Chibiusa her hat, then she saw mistress nine and Sailor Saturn heading into the galaxy of Pharaoh 90. Finally, she saw Hotaru frozen in ice, the silence glaive raised above her head. She stood, Rei could tell, upon the ruins of Tomoe academy.

Rei changed once more, this time into sensible clothes and a heavy coat, before heading away from the temple and through the streets. She hugged her arms close for warmth, but eventually she realised that it was still too cold. She shrugged the coat and over trousers off, transformed and then put them back on (as well as the hat she found in the pocket), conjuring a fire in her hands to stop her fingers going numb.

It took her far longer to reach Tomoe academy than it might once have done, walking through streets full of ice statues. By some instinct, she knew not to try melting them but instead pressed on to the academy. Once she was there it took her a little while to find Hotaru, but eventually Rei saw her standing not too far away. She stumbled over the ruins, past new build projects and studied her friends face. It looked as though she had frozen just before letting loose an attack.

Slowly, Rei moved the hand containing the fire to Hotaru's face, causing the ice to steam. She increased the strength of the fire and within minutes Hotaru was free of the ice. She stood very still for a moment before a great racking breath shook her body. Her fuku vanished and she shivered in thin, black pyjamas.

"Transform again– we can teleport back to the temple now you're here." Hotaru nodded and did as Rei had suggested. The fire was almost out by the time they got there, but it did not take Rei long to set it going again. She fetched Hotaru some of her old clothes to wear over her fuku which were accepted gratefully.

"There isn't much to eat, just the stuff that was in the freezer," Rei said, nodding towards a pile of boxes in the corner.

"That's fine– I'm just hungry," Hotaru replied, smiling. They ate in silence, using their energy to chew and stay warm.

"So where now?" Rei asked when they had finished.

"Wherever the nearest senshi is I suppose," Hotaru said pensively, for once a little unsure of how they should proceed, "although ideally we should fetch Setsuna as soon as possible– she knows where everyone is so you wouldn't have to do a fire reading for each senshi."

"I wonder what state she'll be in though… "

"Her body has had time to heal… it does that, when she's not there."

"You mean… "

"Yes. The ice was too much for her body to take and she died, spending the past millennium at the midnight gate."

"Millennium?" Rei squeaked.

"It has been nearly a thousand years since we were last aware on this Earth. The great ice that forms the foundations from which Crystal Tokyo will arise."

"So… it's the thirtieth century now… How long is it until Crystal Tokyo?"

"Not long." Hotaru replied simply. "Now pray. We must gather the others." This time when she knelt before the fire, Rei saw a barren wasteland of ice, flashes of familiar landscapes confused her– where was this.

Then she saw Minako frozen in place and the answer came to her. "Minako's in D point," she said, straightening up. "We can teleport now so we can go there and come back with her before we thaw the ice, right?"

"Yes, but she will have to travel in the centre as opposed to a part of the ring."

"She'll manage I'm sure. It's not as if she'll remember this anyway." They teleported there and back in the next minute and Rei began to melt the ice around Minako. When she was free her fuku did not disappear as Rei's and Hotaru's had– obviously a perk of being in the final form.

"What happened?" Minako asked, looking around in surprise.

"A lot… I'm not entirely sure, but you really should eat," Rei said as she begun to heat a tin of beans she had found in the kitchen that would be edible once heated.

"Good idea– I'm starved. I feel like I haven't eaten in years."

"A thousand, actually," Rei said simply.

"What do you mean?"

"You haven't eaten in nearly a thousand years," Rei replied, looking steadily at the tin of beans.

"The great ice," Minako hissed. "Ami… she caused it. I heard Usagi tell her to force her transformation after Michiru… oh God… Haruka." Minako stared into the fire, her tears sparkling. Hotaru tucked a blanket around her shoulders and she smiled gratefully. "I guess… well I guess I never expected it to be Haruka. She was always the strongest of all of us."

"She would have told you off for saying that," Rei said, looking at the floor, "she'd have told you it was because no one else was trying hard enough."

"And then she'd have had a practise bout and whooped me something terrible," Minako said, smiling a little. Rei opened the tin and passed it to Minako along with a spoon. She ate it slowly, enjoying the warmth.

"So were you two frozen here as well?"

"I was," Rei replied, "but neither you nor Hotaru were."

"How come I came round here then?"

"Hotaru was where the old Tomoe building was. Once I'd melted the ice around her we teleported to D point, where you were."

"How did you get out of the ice?"

"I don't quite know… slowly, for one thing. It was as though I was aware that I was in the ice and that I needed to melt it– but not for the whole a thousand years. It felt like a long time though."

"It was about a year," Hotaru told them, "we were watching as we waited by the gate."

"That's still a long time," Minako said, surprised.

"I wasn't that aware of the time, just of attempting to move my finger at first. But anyway, we should try and find the others." She did not bother changing into her robes– she was wearing her fuku, how much more mystical did they come?– but bowed to the fire. The visions this time showed her flashing images of an apartment she did not recognise, but she knew the view from the window.

"Makoto isn't far– the other side of Tokyo, in an apartment." They teleported over and decided that, as they were inside, it would be easier to unfreeze her where she was. She fell to the ground, sopping wet and retching.

"Just breathe, Makoto," Minako said as she knelt beside her friend, "and then change out of your pyjamas, we have some dry clothes back at the temple." Makoto nodded and joined the ring as Minako moved them back to the fire. She changed quickly and ate the tin of beans Rei offered her ravenously.

"So what was it about that apartment?" Rei asked, "so far we've all shown up somewhere special to us."

Makoto chewed a little before answering, "It was my sempai's apartment," she sighed at last.

"Oh," Rei said, blushing a little. With nothing better to do, she prayed to the fire, receiving visions of a small house, inside of which lay the frozen body of Setsuna.

"I don't know where the house is though," Rei said worriedly, chewing her lip. "Describe it to me," Hotaru asked.

"Well… it was small, but not really small and there weren't any visible electrics except the lights– no telly or radio and it looked very old, sort of abandoned. And, of course, icy." She paused, "more so than anywhere we've been so far.

"I know where that is… it's a long way… and it's been such a long time… "

Chapter 40

"So where is it?" Makoto asked a little impatiently. "That's her home. Come on, I'll show you."

Makoto transformed and joined the circle. Hotaru initiated the teleport as only she knew where they were going. They arrived in a desolate, ice covered place. The buildings all looked abandoned, even more so than those on Earth and there was no sign that there had been life before the frost set in.

"She's in here," Hotaru told them, leading them to a building and through an open door. "Wake her up here." Rei did as Hotaru instructed and they waited until Setsuna sat up, blinking slowly. Her eyes moved across the room as though she did not quite believe where she was.

"I had thought it would be here," she said, "although I could not be certain." She stood and began to move around the house, seemingly unaffected by the cold.

"Where are we?" Minako asked Hotaru.

"This was where she grew up," Hotaru sighed. "She lived here for eighteen years until Pluto was attacked– as the planet on the edge of the system it was always the most vulnerable. It was the very first planet of the alliance to exist– the first anywhere, in fact. Setsuna had parents, of a kind, people who raised her, although she was older than they were. They were created as parents."

"Bloody hell… " Rei whispered.

"She was eighteen when the world was ravaged– the alliance was new and untested. Selene's army did not reach it in time. She was the only survivor, although I don't believe she truly survived."

"You think she died and then came back."

"I think that it's more than likely. I can't know for certain– the Saturn of that time has long since passed beyond the midnight gate."

They sat and shivered for what seemed like hours as Setsuna looked at every single inch of the house and surrounding area. When she returned they looked away, pretending not to see the tears that sparkled in her eyes.

"Come on," Setsuna said, "we need to get moving."

"Where do we go now?" Rei asked as they moved into a circle. "Back to Tokyo. Usagi's room to be exact."

"Good," Minako sighed, "I was worried about her. Sailor teleport!" They materialised just outside of Usagi's bedroom. Minako pushed the door open and, "oh. I was expecting it to be Usagi."

"We shall free her next, do not worry. I think, however, that Mamoru would prefer to be there when we do."

"I suppose," Minako sighed, "go on then Rei." The ice billowed around the room until Minako opened the window. It took only minutes until Mamoru fell forward, coughing in between massive breaths.

"Welcome to the new world," Rei said dryly.

"What do you mean?" Mamoru asked his voice rough. "The thirtieth century– welcome to it."

"Where is Usagi?" he asked, leaping to his feet.

"She is safe, still in the department of mysteries," Setsuna assured him. "But you are in no state to go there now. We must return to the temple one last time." Mamoru looked as if he was about to argue but a sharp look from Setsuna made him stay quiet. They formed a circle around him and teleported to the temple. They huddled around the fire and shared the last few tins of beans.

"Question," Minako said eventually, "why don't we go destroy the Voldemort Statue whilst it's frozen? Wouldn't that make life easier after the ice is gone?"

"It wouldn't work," Hotaru sighed, "Voldemort has created a number of magical objects known as Horcruxes, each of them containing a portion of his soul– he cannot be killed until every single one of his horcruxes is destroyed."

"Right, so why don't we go destroy them, kill snake man and then end the ice age?"

"Because we do not know what the horcruxes are or where they're hidden," Setsuna replied, "part of the magic that protects them blocks them from my sight."

"That," Rei said, "is some powerful shit."

"To put it simply, yes."

"I don't get how he became so powerful– none of the ministry wizards have anywhere near as much power as even the shitennou ever held. Why is he different?" Mamoru wondered aloud.

"Voldemort himself is to start with an unusually powerful wizard, but there is more to it than that… " Hotaru said, choosing her words carefully. She held a hand out before her and the silence glaive shimmered into being. She turned it over and showed them the handle. "The glaive was chipped many thousands of years ago, and that chip somehow made it to a shop in Knockturn Alley known as Bourgin and Burke. Lord Voldemort– or Tom Riddle as he was known then– worked in this shop for a time. He has this shard of the glaive and with it he is more powerful than any wizard ever has been."

"But surely he's still got nothing when compared to you," Makoto said objectively, "he only has a tiny portion of the glaive itself."

"We have reason to believe that he's had help from… elsewhere." Setsuna sighed "Elsewhere?" Minako said sharply, "what's that supposed to mean."

"I cannot say too much… it has a lot to do with your future."

"Fuck the future Setsuna," Minako snapped, "it's the present I'm worried about right now."

"The Black Moon Clan had to be exiled for something, Minako. I believe you are soon to find out what."

"You mean Diamond-"

"No. Diamond has not yet been born. The same goes for his brother and generals. Those who started the Black Moon clan, however… they are in this world somewhere right now."

"Well… crap."

"Usagi would have such a go at you for your language Minako," Makoto said, smiling a little."

"She would. She'd hit me and tell me to wash my mouth out with soap." There was silence for a further moment. "What happened to Luna and Artemis when the ice set in?"

"They are frozen as was everyone else. They will survive the ice."

"But what about the things to come?"

Setsuna did not reply.

"So how come we weren't in the department of mysteries?" Makoto asked, changing the subject.

"It was part of Ami's magic. She wanted to help us and in doing so she threw us somewhere that had been pivotal or important to our past."

"So how come she couldn't move Usagi? You said she was still in the department."

"She couldn't move Usagi because Usagi wanted to help her too much."

"That does sound like Usagi."

They left early the next morning (at least they guessed it was early, it was hard to tell without any watches and the constant weather). They did not beat around the bush but teleported straight to the death chamber, encountering no resistance. There were three ice statues– Usagi, Ami and Michiru– on the main floor, as well as a large amount on the outer edge. Aurors, Minako supposed. They could not quite see Haruka beneath the thick layer of ice that covered the floor. They moved slowly to avoid slipping and headed straight to Usagi's motionless form.

Rei placed her hand upon the ice and within seconds Usagi was breathing once more. Mamoru took hold of her, keeping her in his arms as she coughed and took her first breaths. She moved shakily to her feet. "Did it work? Was the attack stopped?"

"Not stopped," Setsuna replied, "just postponed." Usagi turned to look at Michiru who was trapped in a large column of ice, darkly beautiful, frozen in an act that could have destroyed the world itself.

"Do we wake Ami first?" Rei asked and Setsuna nodded. When the ice surrounding her was frozen, Ami slipped off the pedestal of ice she had been stood on and landed hard. Usagi rushed over to help her up and the two of them, barefoot and still in pyjamas, moved wearily towards the others.

"So how do we wake Michiru?"

"I will work with you this time," Setsuna said, "we must get her off this planet as soon as possible and the quickest way to do that is to take her to the space-time door. She can release the attack through there."

Rei took Setsuna's hand and they pressed their palms to the ice. It began to steam, faster than any of the others had been freed, but it did not fall to the ground as water should, remaining in a column around the distraught senshi. Setsuna and Rei stepped forward into the water as it warmed until Setsuna's palm pressed against Michiru's arm. There was a flash of light and they were transported to the door.

It flew open as Setsuna approached, showing them a barren landscape. She nodded towards Rei who moved back and let Setsuna take Michiru through the door which slammed shut behind them.

Rei never truly knew how long they spent on the other side of the door, for time can be twisted to the will of Sailor Pluto, but it seemed like only seconds. When the door finally opened once more, Setsuna was supporting Michiru, who hung limply from her comrade's shoulder. Rei ran forward to help support her and saw through the door for the smallest of seconds.

What had been dry and broken was now a stormy sea which roiled in eternal conflict. It would one day be known as the sea of tears on a planet far away from earth. The storms would rage until time itself came to an end.

They headed back to the ministry and laid Michiru gently on the ice. "Will she be alright?" Usagi asked quietly.

"Physically? Yes. Mentally, I can't say. I've never seen grief like it," Setsuna said, "and I've seen more than my fair share."

Minako thought bleakly of the desolation on Pluto.

"When she wakes we must remove the ice," Setsuna said, turning towards the senshi. "Are you ready, Usagi?"

"Ready?" Usagi asked thickly, wiping her eyes with the sleeve of her pyjamas, "for what?"

"This was the great ice," Mamoru said, "the freeze one thousand years long from which Neo Queen Serenity wakes the Earth– from which you wake the Earth."

"Today is the day you take the first step towards the founding of Crystal Tokyo," Setsuna said gravely.

"You mean the whole planets been like this for a thousand years?" Usagi squeaked, her fists tightening on the lapels of Mamoru's jacket.

"That's exactly what we mean– but you can make it almost as though this never happened. People will remember the cold setting in and the day you removed it, but the time in between will be nothing. The ice will not melt, as it did around you, but disappear."

"And how do we accomplish that?"

"With the power of the silver crystal, the golden crystal and the powers that created the ice in the first place." Setsuna looked pointedly at Ami and then at the unconscious Michiru. "The crystal should guide you."

"But… If this is going to alert the world to the presence of Serenity, they'll see me, right?"

"That is true."

"But I don't want the people at home to see me!" She gasped, "I've spent two years dodging cameras as Sailor Moon so that they wouldn't find out that way– I won't let anyone see who I am till I've talked it over with my family at the very least," she concluded resolutely.

"Very well. Just put your goggles on, the magic on them stops you being recognised when you wear them."

Usagi blinked– she had all but forgotten about the goggles, "and someone couldn't tell me that four years ago?" Nevertheless she reached forwards and pulled the flimsy looking red goggles from the air, placing them carefully on the bridge of her nose where they rested without any trouble. She beckoned to Ami, who was also wearing goggles and headed to Michiru.

Usagi gently shook her, "Michiru? Can you hear me?" Slowly, without opening her eyes, Michiru nodded. "I know how you feel," Usagi whispered so that no one else could hear, "and I think it's amazing that you're still here. When Endymion died in the past life, I just couldn't bear it. But we need your help now to get rid of the ice and free everyone. If… " she choked back a sob, "if you help us, we'll be able to say goodbye to Haruka."

Michiru moved very slowly, as though bent with age. When she finally opened her eyes there was none of the life that had always been there previously, only an empty sadness that seemed to consume all it looked upon. She did not bother to produce her goggles.

Usagi smiled very tentatively and took Michiru's hand. Instinctively she reached out for Ami's hand and nodded at Mamoru (who had produced a dark blue mask that matched his uniform from somewhere) to finish the circle (or square, as it turned out).

Usagi closed her eyes and reached inside herself, looking for the crystal that resided within her heart– she found it within moments and concentrated on it, feeling that the others around her were doing the same. Very carefully, she willed the silver crystal to move in front of her. When she opened her eyes, a crystalline flower hung in the air before her chest, as well as a golden crystal before Mamoru and blue and aquamarine crystals before Ami and Michiru respectively. As she gazed into the crystal, she felt her fuku change very slightly– it had not changed when Minako had found her henshin as she had skipped the cosmos form, but now she knew without looking that her sailor collar now glistened the colours of the rainbow, as did her skirt. It was still her cosmos form, but now it was complete.

Strands of silver light began to form between the crystals and slowly, very slowly, an image began to appear within the boundaries. It was an image of the Earth. As she concentrated, she watched as the ice began to fade and disappear, leaving only the whiteness at the poles.

Usagi took a deep breath and spoke.

"My name is Serenity," the voice echoed around the planet itself. "Do not be alarmed. The planet has just awoken from a thousand years as an icicle… "

"Us— Serenity," a second, male voice seemed to scold.

"Oh alright then, from a great freeze, one thousand years long." An image began to appear in the sky, and no matter who looked up they seemed to be able to see four people looking down upon them.

"Using the power of my own silver crystal and Endymion's golden crystal we have reawakened the world and everyone in it. It is the thirtieth century, and the age of Crystal Tokyo is soon to come.

Endymion, Prince of Earth, will soon return to reclaim the throne that is his birthright, but do not fear. He does so only because we have seen the future and it is peace. This is not to say that there is no dissent, but the reign of Crystal Tokyo is one that is based around peace and that relies upon love. Please, stand with us and Crystal Tokyo will follow.

"Some of you, and here I look to Japan, may know me better as Sailor Moon and Endymion as Tuxedo Mask. You may know from our work there that we, and our allies, only ever work for the benefit of mankind.

"And so I ask you, the residents of planet Earth– do you hear me?"

Chapter 41

Usagi let go of Ami and Michiru's hands and looked at Setsuna, who nodded approvingly. Usagi turned to look at Michiru, only to see her walking heavily towards the motionless form of Haruka. She knelt down beside her, but her grief was beyond tears. The aurors, who had apparently also been transported elsewhere, apparated into the room around the senshi.

After about ten minutes, once it had been established that there were no ministry fatalities, the aurors called for more wizards. When they arrived, most of them just stepped past the motionless form of Fudge, still lying at the top of the tiered seats after all this time, and came to help move the injured.

"Michiru," Usagi said softly, "Shall we… shall we take her home?"

"She'd like that," Michiru said quietly. They formed a circle around Haruka and Minako did not speak, allowing Michiru to transport them to the large house she had lived in with Haruka, Hotaru and Setsuna. Usagi sank to her knees, at last unpressured and out of the scrutiny of the aurors and wept. The others cried too, although their grief was more controlled. Only Michiru's eyes did not weep.

"She said she would wait for you," Setsuna said finally, "on this side of the gate. She will not come into life, for that would bar the way forward for her, meaning you would not go either, but neither will she pass through without you."

"I thought she might," Michiru said hollowly, "she always puts me first."

There was silence for a moment longer, before Hotaru said heavily, "It pains me to say it, but we must make arrangements for a funeral, a burial at the very least."

"What would Haruka want, do you think?" Rei asked.

"I don't know, I can just see telling me to stop crying, over and over again." She pulled her goggles off and wiped her eyes.

"I don't think a private ceremony will really be an option," Setsuna sighed, "We would have to explain away Haruka's death as an accident and she deserves better than that."

"You're right," Michiru agreed, "and if that means a public ceremony, so be it. Rei," she turned towards the senshi of fire, "I would be honoured if you would let us hold it at the Hikawa temple."

"Of course," Rei said instantly, "I can start setting it up straight away."

"Thank you." Michiru sank onto a nearby chair, fiddling with the edge of a layer of her dress.

The day of the ceremony was indecently bright, Usagi thought as she rose and dressed casually.

She headed down for breakfast but ate unusually little. "I heard the funeral for the fallen senshi is being held at your friends temple," her mother said conversationally.

"What? Oh, yeah, Rei told us the other day."

"Well I still think it's very decent of that school of yours to give you time off to come home to mourn

– I had no idea that Haruka or Michiru were senshi, they always seemed so normal."


"Usagi, you can talk to me," Ikuko sighed as she sat down opposite her daughter, "it's natural to be sad when someone passes away, especially what with all this hoo ha about the rightful prince of earth. I know it stung that you can't attend the ceremony but maybe it's all for the best– I don't want you mixing with this Serenity, even if she was Sailor Moon."

"I'm going out," Usagi said suddenly. "Where are you going?"

"Makoto's, we're going to watch the broadcast together."

"Very well. Be careful, the streets are heaving with journalists."

"I'll be fine." Usagi headed out of the door and hurried down the streets. Her mother was right– the journalists vans really were everywhere. She darted down a deserted alleyway to transform and leapt up the walls and onto the roof of a house. In the distance she saw a group of people doing the same and headed over to them. Mamoru took her into his arms and she hugged him tight before turning to the others. "Come on. Hotaru and Michiru are gonna meet us there. And Rei's there already of course."

"She put it out that Sailor Mars will be performing the ceremony," Minako said, adjusting her goggles, "so that there were no questions about her absence– she'll be doing it in her fuku and goggles."

"Good to see you, Harry, Ron. You alright?" Usagi asked.

"Yeah, we woke up, I was at Hogwarts, and we heard your message. When Mamoru contacted me about Haruka," he swallowed, "I went to the burrow to get Ron and we came straight over."

"There should be masks, if you feel that you need them," Mamoru said to Harry and Ron.

"It's alright," Ron said, "my family know already and people have been going nuts about Harry for years."

"Right. Let's go." It took them little over five minutes to reach the temple. When they dropped down into the forecourt there were shouts and the flash of many cameras. Usagi glanced back and blinked, startled. Mamoru, in his full uniform, put an arm around her shoulder and lead her into the temple. Soft music reached her ears and looking around she saw Sailor Neptune, not wearing her goggles, playing her violin at the front of the temple. The melody was slow, and unlike and of the music Usagi had always heard her play before. She took her seat at the front and sat silently throughout the ceremony staring at the black casket.

They moved out together when the ceremony was over, blinking in the sudden sun. Without really concentrating they moved into the ceremonial formation they had used in the days of the moon kingdom. Minako and Rei stood slightly to the side and further back from Usagi and Mamoru, with Makoto and Ami next to them while Setsuna, Hotaru and Michiru formed a line at the back; a line which now had an empty space. Harry and Ron were a little unsure of where to stand until Mamoru indicated for them to stand behind him and Usagi. They were about to jump to the rooftops when Usagi spoke. "Wait," she moved forwards, towards the journalists who were shoving microphones towards them, asking questions and taking pictures.

As Usagi began to speak, silence began to fall. "We lost not only a comrade in Haruka, but a friend also. We all have our individual strengths, but in her own way Haruka was the strongest of all of us. I have fought willingly by her side for almost four years, and if I had the choice would fight with her for the next four and the four after that. Her absence has left a hole in our unit, something that can never be truly fixed. Sailor Uranus, senshi of the winds, I honour you."

One by one, the scouts, Mamoru, Harry and Ron repeated the words. When it came to Michiru, her voice broke and she finally let her tears flow. Usagi placed an arm around her shoulder and held her close, even though she was about half a foot taller than herself. Michiru had made no attempt to hide her identity after Haruka's death and the papers had had a field day, claiming that all the senshi were really celebrities in disguise as Haruka and Michiru had been. Makoto lifted Michiru off the ground and leapt away from the cameras with the other senshi. They parted ways shortly afterwards and Usagi headed home, de-transforming in the same alley she had transformed in earlier. She headed straight for the front door, unlocked it and called to let her parents know she was home.

She had barely taken three steps when they came charging out of the kitchen and bombarded her.

"You said you were at Makoto's… "

"We were so worried… "

"If you've lied to us… "

"Rang the doorbell about a hundred times!"

"You are in so much trouble young lady."

"We went to Minako's instead." She said, trying to push past into her room.

"No you did not– I called Minako's mother and she said that she was going to Makoto's as well, and Ami's. Where were you?" Usagi flinched as her communicator bleeped.

"Don't you dare answer that now young lady!" Kenji scolded.

"It's not a phone," she snapped waspishly. As she had expected there were messages from the others.

"Right, you want to know where I was, fine. But you'll have to come with me. This involves the others too. And I suppose Shingo should probably come too."


"If you want to know you do it on my terms," Usagi said, and there was an edge to her voice that her parents had never heard there before. She looked back to her communicator and sent a quick message to everyone, telling them to meet at the mansion the outers shared– it was the only place with big enough rooms (well, Usagi's house could probably fit them at a squeeze, but she didn't want to try that again in a hurry).

She led the way as her family struggled to keep up with the fast pace she was setting. When she finally turned into the drive, pushing through cameras on her way, they exchanged worried looks. The others, except for the outer senshi, were already waiting in the main room and the curtains had been drawn for privacy. Usagi went over to where Mamoru stood and hugged him tight. She saw her father stiffen in the corner of her eye, but she turned as he began to head over. "Dad, stay over there or so help me Selene I will make you stay over there!"

"Usagi, calm down," Ami sighed.

"No I won't calm down!" Usagi shouted. "One of my closest friends is dead and my family are being utter jerks about it."

"Usagi," her mother said, clearly shocked, "we didn't mean to… "

"No… " she took a deep breath, "it's just that you don't understand… how could you understand?"

"How could anyone understand?" Michiru moved into the room. She was still in her white dress, but her make up had run and there were black stains splodged across her cheeks. A murmur ran through the adults in the room as Setsuna and Hotaru, also in their fukus, entered the room. They stood proud with the garnet rod and the silence glaive held before them

"But that's little Hotaru!" Ikuko exclaimed. Then she frowned, "why would I know her."

"Because of Chibiusa," Usagi said gently, moving to sit down. "Do you remember Chibiusa?"

"No… should I?"

"I suppose not. You thought she was my cousin for a while, when she came to stay with us." She looked at Mamoru, who pulled out his wallet. Inside was a picture of himself and Usagi with Chibiusa sat upon his shoulders. "See, there she is," Usagi said, pointing at her."

"I don't… maybe something," Ikuko frowned as memories stirred. "Where did she go?"

"Small Lady went home to her parents," Setsuna said from where she stood by the door. "She will not return without their permission– I have her key once more." She laid a hand to the chain she wore around her waist, from which a number of tiny silver keys were hung.

"Her key?"

"The key to the space-time door."

"Space-time?" Ikuko's voice was unnaturally high.

"I suppose there really is only one way to do this," Usagi sighed. "And what is that?" Saeko, Ami's mother, asked sharply.

"To show you." Usagi looked around the room and saw the others nod at her. "Moon cosmos power!"

"Mars cosmos power!"

"Jupiter cosmos power!

The others did not have a phrase anymore, and Mamoru, Harry and Ron had never had one, but the effect was the same. Blinding lights filled the room– silver, red, green, blue, yellow and gold. When the light faded, no one spoke for a moment. Then Ikuko fainted. Mamoru darted forward and caught her before she hit the floor, laying her down on the sofa.

"This is so cool!" Shingo shouted as he looked at his sister, "you're Sailor Moon? Really? Next you'll say that Luna can talk."

"Luna's quite capable of saying that for herself," the disgruntled feline mumbled as she stalked into the room. "The journalists seem to have left the shrine for now," she said to Rei.

"Thank Selene," Rei said, clearly relieved. "Where's Artemis?" Minako asked, looking around.

"I'm here," the white cat said as he followed Luna into the room.

"Good," Minako said as she glanced towards her parents. They, and indeed all of the adults, looked decidedly pale.

"How long?" Minako's mum asked at last, was it just when they started to really get attention, or was it before then.

"I've… well I've been at this since I was about twelve," Minako sighed, "I'm Princess Venus now, but before that I was Sailor Venus and before that Sailor V," she flashed the V sign and smiled weakly.

"And the rest of you?" Kenji asked.

"Since I was fourteen," Usagi replied. "Remember when all those bizarre things started happening around Juuban? Since then. Luna found me first, then Ami, then Rei, then Makoto and then Minako found us."

"And Mamoru, what has he to do with all of this," his eyebrow twitched.

"He's Prince Endymion of Earth. Well, the reincarnation of anyway– Tuxedo Mask. And the moonlight knight at one point."

"Wasn't he that guy in the VR arcade," Shingo said, frowning, "wasn't Mamoru with us then?"

"My God," Kenji said, running a hand across his face, "I saw you that day. I watched you fight that… that thing… and I didn't recognise you."

"Be fair, it isn't everyday you find out your daughter's a superhero," Saeko said weakly. There was an awkward silence until Ikuko came round. Ami produced a glass of water that Usagi could have sworn was empty a second before but did not comment on.

"There was another senshi… Sailor Chibi Moon… was that Chibiusa?" she asked tentatively. "Yes."

"But she was so young!"

"She has… or will have… the power of two crystals running through her veins," Mamoru reassured her, "I would not underestimate her power."

"Two crystals… what do you mean?"

"Ok, prepare for another shock," Usagi sighed, "Chibiusa is my daughter from the future."

"Your daughter?"

"Mine and Mamoru's."


"Dad I really don't want to hurt you, but I can get one of the others to do it if I have to. Just shut up, please."

"I think we'd all quite like to know the full story," Saeko said. "It's a long story," Usagi said dubiously.

"We've got plenty of time," Kenji replied, tapping his foot impatiently.

So they told the story from the very beginning, with the power of the goddess Selene, the splitting of the crystal into silver and light and the formation of the silver alliance.

They moved swiftly through the history of the Serenity dynasty until they reached the attack of Queen Metallia. "And then when luna found me she told me I was a reincarnation of one of the Princess's defenders– I didn't find out that I was the princess until Mamoru nearly died though."

"Nearly died?"

"Yeah, Kunzite– who was good just enchanted by Beryl, attacked him. Then Beryl enslaved Mamoru and he did actually die and-"

"He did die?"

"Yes. We all did, actually," she frowned, "that wasn't a good day."

"Perhaps you should explain that one in slightly more detail?" Ikuko suggested. Usagi did as she was bid and flew through the description of their showdown with the Black Moon and Death Phantom.

"Then there was Tomoe and Pharoah 90." She paused and sighed, "when we first met Michiru and… and Haruka." She described their early differences and the discovery of the talismans. "Then Setsuna created a gap in the barrier for Haruka and Michiru to go through but she couldn't stay as she was needed at the time door."

She moved on through their battle with the Dead Moon Circus, "and then I jumped off after Chibiusa."

"I think I may need an aspirin,"

"But it was alright because I'd done some physics revision with Ami and I knew that if I was streamlined I'd fall faster. When I reached her we called Pegasus and he saved us."

Through the description of the fight with Galaxia they remained dumbfounded, "and then Haruka and Michiru pretended they were on the other side– they even killed Setsuna and Hotaru– just to get a chance to finish Galaxia."

"They killed their own comrades?"

"That was how we worked," Michiru said from the corner, where she sat with her head resting sideways upon her knees, "I'd have gone to hell if I knew she'd be there."

"Did it work then?"

"well… no, and they died, which left just me and the starlights and Chibi Chibi, who turned out to be a really powerful senshi called Sailor Cosmos. She told me that I had to destroy Chaos as she was not sure she could defeat it even in the form she was in but I realised that without Chaos the galaxy caldron would stop and there would never be rebirth. So instead I left Galaxia, who was good once the Chaos was out of her system, in charge."

"Well I think I understood half of that," Ikuko mumbled. "More than I did," Saeko replied.

"We haven't even started on Hogwarts yet," Usagi replied.

"I think I need a drink," Kenji sighed.

Chapter 42

Usagi took a long gulp from the glass of water and then pressed the cool side of it to her forehead. She had a throbbing headache but knew she'd have to go back to her parents soon.

"You alright Usagi?" Makoto asked, peeping her head around the kitchen door.

"I'll be fine," Usagi sighed, "I mean it's a relief in a lot of ways. It certainly would have been easier to sneak out if they'd known. I nearly said "in the old days" then. I sound like such an old biddy."

"Hey," Makoto hugged her, "You've had a lot of responsibility these past couple of years; anyone would sound like an old biddy after that."

"Thanks… I think."

"Well anyway– you should probably go rescue Mamoru from your father. He's lecturing him on how he's to propose. I wonder how he'll react when you finally show him that promise ring. Can I be there?"

"Sure," Usagi laughed, "if I ever tell him then be my guest." They headed back to the front room together and sat with the others on the floor. Usagi very deliberately sat by Mamoru and took his hand– her father just needed to get used to the relationship– they'd been dating more than three years for goodness sake.

"So any more bombshells to drop on us while we're here?" Ikuko joked nervously.

"Not right now," Usagi replied, smiling somewhat wanly. "We should get back to Hogwarts at some point as well I suppose," she sighed.

"True… Dumbledore might be back now that Scrimgour's minister." Harry pointed out. "I hope so. I wonder what happened to Umbridge." Minako pondered aloud. "Hopefully she got sacked," Ron said moodily.

"When do the OWLs start?" Harry asked, "Actually– are there still going to be any OWLs? I keep forgetting about the whole one thousand years thing."

"Yes and the first one is in three weeks." Rei said.

"Oh come on! They stopped exams when the chamber of secrets was closed and this is far more impressive."

"True, but remember the OWLs and NEWTs had already been and gone by then," Ron sighed.

"Well we've finished the syllabus in all our courses, so as long as we revise there's no reason we can't stay here a little longer," Ami pointed out, "but it seems a little unfair to leave Hermione in England on her own."

"Well I vote we go back to Hogwarts. We can come back straight after exams and I don't know about you but I don't want to take the rest of this any further until the exams are over." This was true– the exams were something that, compared to the other troubles in their lives, were relatively simple. Usagi felt that if she sat through two weeks of OWLs then somehow her predicament would feel a little better.

Ami set down her quill with quarter of an hour to spare. Of course the history of magic paper had been a doddle due to the official syllabus introduced by Setsuna the previous year. She did not dare turn her head, but just by looking forward she could see that Minako and Makoto were also putting down their quills. Now that the senshi had been officially cleared of any blame for Voldemort's rise by the ministry they had received far more than a little attention over the past few weeks. It did, however, worry Ami how quiet Voldemort was being– there had been no attacks since the great ice. Most of the news, both magical and muggle, was related to the visions in the sky, as well as recently found scientific evidence that there had indeed been a great ice (although this only appeared in the muggle papers).

Professor Flitwick called time and waved his wand, summoning all their papers to the front of the room. He dismissed them one at a time and the students moved out of the hall in a chattering mob.

They headed out into the grounds and sat beneath a large tree– there wasn't anything pressing for them to get on with in the castle now that exams and the Quidditch season (a very secure Gryffindor victory) were over, but of course their thoughts turned straight away to the most pressing matters in their lives.

"So what do you think he's up to?" Harry asked, shielding his eyes from the sun.

"I don't know," Usagi sighed. "He's just disappeared again. I thought now that there are actually huge ministry campaigns and stuff he'd make a move."

"Who knows what's going on in that head of his," Minako shrugged. "That's strange," Ami said suddenly frowning.

"What is it?" Makoto asked, peering over her shoulder to look at the screen of the Mercury console. "What's the red blip mean?"

"It's an energy source, I'm just running it through the database now to see if it's recognised." There was a moment of silence before Ami gasped. "Quick! Transform, right now!"

"What is it?" Usagi asked, scrambling to her feet. "It's a droid."

"What like star wars?" Harry asked.

"No! As in the droids the Black Moon clan used, except this one seems more sophisticated. They transformed and followed Ami as she ran across the grounds towards the Quidditch pitch, where Madam Hooch was holding an extra curricular session for first years. They reached it just in time to see the droid bearing down upon them.

"Venus love me chain!" The molten hearts swung through the air and wrapped around the things legs. Minako pulled with all of her strength and the thing toppled, missing the students by inches.

Harry sent a stunner at the droid, but it bounced back. "Spells are useless," Ami shouted, typing furiously at her computer, "we'll have to use the senshi attacks."

"This is the point I wish there had been new attacks with the stronger forms," Minako spat, dodging a chunk of the stadium thrown at her by the droid.

"Maybe there were," Usagi panted, "we just never had to use them."

"I don't know about you," Makoto shouted, "But I don't feel any new powers."

"We don't need them!" Rei shouted, "Mars flame sniper! Our old attacks are far more powerful than they used to be." She was right. The attack soared through the air and cut through the droids arm. It screamed and began to run towards them.

"Jupiter Oak evolution!"

"Mercury aqua rhapsody!" The leaves cut at the droid as a torrent of water knocked it back into the stadium.

"Venus love and beauty shock! Now Usagi, get it quick!" The droid had faltered under the steady stream of attacks.

"Silver moon crystal power kiss!" Silver light burst from the end of her tier, which had materialised from nowhere, and rammed into the droid, which shimmered and disappeared.

"Blimey," Ron said, "remind me never to get on the wrong side of you lot."

"What are droids doing here?" Usagi panted, letting her transformation fall.

"This is about what Setsuna said, isn't it," Rei moaned, flopping onto the ground as her own fuku disappeared. "She warned us that the Black Moon clan had to be exiled for something." She sighed, "And that we'd have to find out."


"We can't stay here," Ami said suddenly, "the droid was almost certainly after us, but it nearly got those first years."

"Ami's right," Usagi said, sitting up, "the whole of the wizarding world knows we attend Hogwarts… "

"So we leave," Rei sighed, "shame, really. I was getting fond of the place."

"But… this means we can't go home either." Usagi said quietly.

"So where do we go?" Makoto asked.

"You must collect the Shitennou," Setsuna was walking up to them, Hotaru at her side, "do not worry for your families– they will soon be safe, yours too, Harry, Ron, Hermione."

"Why would my parents be at risk?" Hermione asked, frowning.

"Ami, I would have thought you would have told them by now," Setsuna said, her eyebrows slightly raised.

"I have," Ami sighed, "but I don't like it."

"You don't have to like it, just accept that Hermione is as much a part of this as you are."

"I'm just worried you'll get hurt," Ami shrugged as Hermione looked at her questioningly. "I noticed a little while back. Well, a long while back I suppose– before the ice, anyway. We started having the same dreams. Then in the department of mysteries the room that called to you was the room containing… "

"Zoisite," Hermione interrupted her. "No way!" Minako screeched.

"Ow. Watch our ears, Minako," Usagi complained.

"But come on– a female shitennou? This is just too cool. We'll outnumber the guys now!"

"Maybe that's not such a good thing," Makoto pointed out, sighing.

"Hmm… true… "

"And the fourth Shitennou? Surely the more the merrier," Minako giggled a little uncertainly.

"I would not normally interfere in this way… " Setsuna hesitated, "but this is again the only eventuality in which you did not know by now who possesses the crystal of Jadeite."

"Go on then, who is it?"

"It is split."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Minako frowned.

"The crystal was damaged when Jadeite was conquered by Beryl in the moon kingdom. All of the shitennou fought Beryl's control harder then even they truly understood, but Kunzite, Nephrite and Zoisite knew that they had to give in or else risk the shattering of their crystals, but Jadeite… "

"Was always a stubborn bastard," Rei laughed a little, tears shining in her eyes. "Indeed. His stone broke into two pieces."

"So it is useless?"

"It is and it isn't– both halves of the crystal must be united for it to work, as one will have no power without the other."

"So who has it?" Minako asked again. "I know," Ron sighed.

"Well go on then," Rei said.

"Fred and George." He said resignedly, "it'd have to be twins and they are, or were anyway, the only twins at Hogwarts except the Patils. I suppose it could be them, but I don't think it is."

"Ron is quite right," Setsuna nodded, much to the surprise of everyone present (not in the least Hermione). "Fred and George each posses half of the Jadeite crystal."

"Wow," Usagi said, stumped, "I didn't even know that was possible."

"I don't think any of us did," Ami replied, typing away at her console, "but much of the research into star seeds carried out by previous Mercury scouts suggests as much."

"Well then, we should probably go and find them," Minako said firmly then, "Hang on… does this mean I have to share dreams with both of them?"

"Welcome to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes!" One of the twins, possibly Fred, shouted in greeting as they spilled into the shop, "although if I'm not much mistaken you should all still be at school– not bunking off I hope."

"Don't be ridiculous George," the real Fred said as he popped his head through a curtain that clearly lead to the back room, "these fine students skiving classes– whatever next!"

"Ha ha, very funny," Ron snapped as they moved further into the shop. It was nearly closing time and as the last of the customers left, Fred moved into the room and locked the door.

"So, what brings you to our fine establishment– you clearly aren't here to shop."

"No, that we most certainly are not," Setsuna sighed, "this would be easier if we could find somewhere a little more… " she glanced at a purple sign advertising something called you-know— poo, "serious to talk."

"Come upstairs then," George prompted them, "it's not too serious, but certainly more so than down here."

They headed up a narrow staircase and into a surprisingly plain sitting room. "We haven't gotten round to decorating yet– too busy downstairs. Drinks, anyone?"

"We'll be fine," Mamoru assured him as he took a seat. Usagi, chewing her lip slightly, sat next to him as the others squished onto a sofa or else just gave up and sat on the floor. Setsuna remained standing.

"So, I ask again, to what do we owe the pleasure?" Fred returned from the kitchen, holding a mug of tea.

"You are a shitennou," Setsuna said simply.

"Hmmm, isn't that the title Ronniekins got earlier in the year?"

"Shut up," Ron said, his cheeks bright red.

"It is the same. It is also the title bestowed upon Harry, Hermione, yourself and George."

"And what does being a shitennou mean, exactly?" George asked, taking a large gulp of his tea.

"It is an ancient post," Mamoru began, "I don't know exactly how old, but it has been suggested that the Shitennou even outdated the Terran royal family."

"I'm guessing that's impressive?" George asked from where he was perched on the edge of the coffee table.

"Quite, yes." Mamoru nodded. "It is, however, somewhat more complicated than it should be."

"How so?"

"Traditionally, there are only four shitennou."

"Sorry, Ronald, bugger off." George smirked, pointing his thumb at the door. "I swear if you don't shut up… " Ron said, rising to his feet.

"You'll what?"

"I don't know, something… " he moved to sit back down only to find that Minako had pinched his seat. She blinked innocently up at him and pointed towards the floor. He grumbled and sat down.

"So, how come there are five this time?" Mamoru explained about the split crystal. "So you mean that as a technicality, me and Fred only count as a single Shitennou."

"I feel cheated," Fred exclaimed, "only half a crystal?"

"Yeah there's definitely a lacking in the fair stakes here," George complained.

"Add to that the fact that Jadeite has often been the least powerful Shitennou in the past… " Minako said, leaving the sentence hanging. Fred and George were mortified.

"That's enough of that, Minako," Setsuna chided her. "What? It's true."

"Yes and Zoisites and Nephrites throughout time have also been less powerful than Jadeites."

"But not Kunzite?" Harry asked, intrigued.

"No," Mamoru said flatly, "Kunzite is always the strongest of the shitennou– from what I've seen I think that's the only reason half of them ever managed to maintain some sense of control."

"That's definitely what it was like in the moon kingdom," Rei laughed, "Jadeite was always challenging Kunzite for the leadership."

"And always getting soundly beaten for it," Rei griped. "Yeah… what was it he used to call you?"

"You wouldn't dare…?" Rei's eyes narrowed. "Wouldn't I?"

"Do they ever shut up?" asked Fred.

"Because you're one to talk," Harry smirked at him. "Touché."

"I swear if you start calling me that again I'll… "

"Can it Pyro," Usagi moaned, putting her head in her hands. Rei turned scarlet as Minako almost rolled of the sofa laughing.

"I'd forgotten that name," Makoto giggled.

"I'd forget it again if I were you," Rei said threateningly, fires dancing in her eyes. "Rei, calm down," Setsuna sighed.

"So what happens now?" Usagi asked, "I mean we'll have to protect the shitennou from the droids," she carried on babbling at Setsuna's head turned slightly, allowing her to look out of the window.

"Usagi, be quiet," she snapped, very suddenly. Shocked more than anything else, Usagi did as she was told. "Pluto cosmos power." Setsuna did not shout the phrase, but murmured it, allowing her fuku to form without drawing too much attention. She moved towards the window and looked out. "The timelines are shifting– something has changed. Something I could not see. There is darkness, and Crystal Tokyo is no more." Silence met her words. She turned from the window and Usagi was surprised to see tears sparkling in her eyes. "I am sorry princess," she whispered, "I have failed you." And then the window exploded inwards.

They transformed without a second thought and as Mamoru's uniform shimmered into being so did those of the shitennou. "Protect the princess!" Hotaru shouted over the sudden roar of wind as black figures began to apparate into the room around them. Usagi brought up the crystalline shield around them, shielding them from the curses of the Death Eaters as her allies sent stunning spells at each of them.

"There are too many of them!" Rei shouted, "we need to get out of here!"

"How?" Usagi wailed, "We can't use the teleport without them following and no one here can apparate."

"Use the time gate," Makoto shouted, "where's Setsuna gone?" But there was no sign of her.

"Damnit, she wouldn't have failed if she'd only stick around," Mamoru roared as Death Eaters neared her shield.

There was a flash of light and Setsuna appeared, protected by Usagi's sheild, dragging Michiru through the time gate with her. "Damn it Michiru! You cannot mourn forever, your princess needs you to be strong." Setsuna was pleading with Michiru, who was a wreck. Her usually pristine hair was tangled and it looked as though she had not touched her make up since the day they had said goodbye to Haruka.

"If I protect her," she said quietly so that only Setsuna could hear, "if I protect her can I see Ruka again?"

"I don't know," Setsuna cried, "I can't tell– time is fractured, the ends are loose. There is no future."

Michiru turned to look at the Death Eaters and her henshin faded into being around her. For one last time, Michiru Kaioh was a vision of perfection. Those great wings of water raised appeared once more, raising her from the floor of the apartment, and she began to sing.

It was the song of the sea, a violent, tragic melody that awakened her power in it's most deadly form. Usagi screamed, horrified, as she saw what was happening. Any control Michiru had over her abilities had snapped and her emotions were in charge. One by one the Death Eaters fell until, at last, they were gone. Michiru turned to look at Usagi who found that she could see right through her.

"Michiru!" she screamed, although there was no wind. She ran forward as if to catch her when she fell, but there was nothing left for her to hold.

Michiru was no more.

"You did not have to do that," came the voice from behind her.

"But I wanted to. I would do anything to be with you. We both knew I wasn't going to stay there much longer without you."

"Perhaps." A ghostly hand reached towards her and Michiru took it. "I've waited so long."

"But you don't have to anymore, Ruka. We can go through the gate together."

They turned together to face the midnight gate, which opened silently before them. They did not care for the mysteries of the other side, only for the fact that as they moved through into that other place they were together.

Chapter 43

"Michiru?" Usagi said quietly, "Michiru?"

"She's gone Usagi. I felt them, both of them. They've crossed the threshold of the midnight gate. There is no coming back from there." Hotaru whispered.

"But Michiru… where did she go?"

"She used all of her power to destroy those who were attacking you," Setsuna explained, "she's bought us some time, but I cannot say how much– the timelines are broken, something has happened that was not meant to be. This is the reason I pushed you to attend Hogwarts in the first place, to prevent just this. I can only see the very near future."

"Setsuna, it's not your fault," Minako said, unusually sympathetic, "no one expects you to be right all the time."

"I do," she snapped, "I have to be," her voice cracked and again tears formed in her eyes. "The future lies in tatters… Michiru has always been present in every eventuality of Crystal Tokyo, but her death was the only way any one else could have survived." She turned away, hiding the tears they had already seen.

"For now, just come with us," Usagi pleaded with her, "we need all the strength we can get."

"Very well," Setsuna said finally, "Harry, Ron, Hermione– I want you to return to Hogwarts,"

"the droids are after the senshi and Dumbledore can prevent Death Eaters entering the castle. Fred, George and Mamoru, you should join them, they will need the power of the golden crystal."

Usagi smiled sadly at Mamoru, whose jaw had clenched at Setsuna's words.

"Erm… how do we go back to Hogwarts? We didn't really leave in the traditional fashion."

"Simple– you will return to complete your final year. I cannot see much, but I know that you all still have things to learn before you fight Voldemort."

"And I thought we'd finally escaped," Fred griped.

"Mamoru, you will take over my teaching post." Setsuna added, "Hogwarts will be safer if there are no senshi present."

"So… where do we go?" Usagi asked. "We go into hiding, of a sort."

"Where are we hiding?"

"Do you remember the base underneath the crown arcade?"

"Yeah, why?"

"It was designed for such an eventuality."

"Wow… I never even knew this was here!" Minako commented as Setsuna slid back a panel in the wall.

"I believe that was the idea," Luna pointed out as she moved through into what appeared to be the hallway of a large house.

"It is impressive," Hermione said, looking down the large staircase that revealed there to be many levels."

"Well it will make a nice change for there to be room enough for everyone," Mrs Weasley said, bustling inside and setting down her bags. "Where's the kitchen? I'll get dinner on."

"I'll help," Ikuko said, also putting down her bag, "I can make some dessert."

"Ground floor," Artemis shouted up as he leapt down the stairs.

"There are rooms for the adults on the second floor, the senshi and Hermione on the third and the shitennou and Mamoru on the fourth." Luna called, following Artemis slightly more sedately.

Usagi sighed– Luna was so prim sometimes. "Right, well then let's go find our rooms." They headed down a floor and saw that there were five rooms on the next level.

"The base was only built to accommodate four shitennou," Luna explained, "Hermione will… will use one of the spare rooms downstairs." There was a moment's awkward silence. They left the boys to dump their bags and headed downstairs. Usagi opened the door to her room and gasped, "It's just like my room from the moon palace!" she squealed, "well, there's no window this time but I guess that's because we're underground, wouldn't really be much of a window… "

Later that day, the rest of the Weasleys arrived. Bill and Charlie were to share a room until Fred and George (who were now pushed in together) left, while Ginny was put in the second vacant room. Once those who were going had left for Hogwarts they had the delightful promise of the company of Fleur Delacour who, Bill informed everyone but his parents who already knew, was now his fiancé.


September the first finally came and with it were painful goodbyes. "I'll miss you," Mamoru whispered holding Usagi close. They had managed to steal a moment alone, a rare thing with Kenji around. Usagi had sneaked upstairs once everyone else was asleep, something she had become a master at during her time as Sailor Moon. "But it's alright because we have the mirror. We can still speak."

"Only every other week," Usagi sniffed, "once a month if Setsuna gets her way."

"Yes, well she doesn't want people really seeing the mirror, so we're going to have to do it secretly."

"But you'll still use it?"

"Of course I will– and we'll talk as often as possible."


"I promise. And there's always our dreams, remember? Our little secret." he leaned and down and kissed her forehead gently. Where his lips made contact, the crescent moon symbol flared briefly into existence; reacting to the presence of the golden crystal.

"I love you Usako," he whispered, "more than ever, I think." Usagi nuzzled into his shoulder as he held her tight. "I don't think this is how either of us ever pictured it– goodness knows it's not the way Kenji wanted me to do it… " her breath caught in her throat– could this possibly be what she thought it was going to be. "Usako," he reached into his pocket and drew out a small black box. He drew back to take in her face, the excited, nervous anticipation in her eyes. He did not get down on one knee, but merely took her hands and placed the box into them, cupping them in his own.

"Will you marry me?" Gently he guided her shaking hands and opened the box.

The ring was simple. A gold band set with a single, small diamond. Tears formed in her eyes as she gazed down upon it and she snapped the box closed. She placed it upon the bedside table and kissed him hard. He returned it and for a moment it was as if there was nothing else in the world.

"Yes," she whispered, "In this life and the next."

Usagi was as quiet as she thought possible sneaking back downstairs an hour later, but it appeared that secrecy was not going to happen. The landing light flicked on and she saw Minako stood smirking by the light switch. "I knew you up there!" she practically cackled. "I heard you sneaking up well over an hour ago– what could you possibly have been doing," she added, sweetly.

"None of your business," Usagi replied, blushing furiously and attempting to push past into her room.

"Not so fast," Rei appeared, grinning smugly, blocking the door. "Not you too," Usagi groaned.

"Minako woke me about half an hour ago," she smirked, "and then I was awake so I thought I'd help her catch you."

"Catch me doing what?"

"Sneaking back down of course– you've been up in Mamoru's room." There was a decidedly wicked glint in Minako's eyes.

"And you were up there a long time," Rei added.

Usagi was thinking fast– she had to stop them reaching the inevitable, and correct, conclusion. "He proposed." She blurted out.

"He what?" they shouted in unison, jumping about a foot in the air. "Where's the ring?"

"Can I see it?"

"That is an impressive ring."


"What is all the fuss?" Ami was rubbing her eyes as she emerged from her own room. She looked for a moment before registering the ring that Minako was pointing out with exuberant energy. "Oh my goodness Usagi! Congratulations!"

Within what felt like moments Usagi was being congratulated by every one of the girls on that floor, and most of the morning was spent fawning over the ring by all the women of the house, getting ready to send the others to Hogwarts sinking into second place. Usagi did not get another moment alone with Mamoru, Kenji in particular seemed to hover around her like a vulture, but she held him tight as they said goodbye, knowing that she would talk to him soon.

"You're lucky," Rei said dryly into the mirror Sirius had provided which had been magically enlarged and fixed in the control room. "Fleur is driving everyone nuts. She can't understand why everyone seems more bothered about Usagi's wedding than hers, even though well over half the people in the house know Usagi better and most of the other half doesn't want her to marry Bill. Actually, the only one in the whole house remotely bothered about the whole thing is Minako, who swears that it's true love." She rolled her eyes.

"Sounds like a bucketful of laughs. And anyway, I'm very lucky thank you very much– so lucky I won a bottle of lucky potion in potions." Harry smirked as he spoke into the other mirror.

"Do you want me to hit you?"

"Try, you're only half a world away."

"Very droll Harry," she replied disgustedly. "So, any new droid attacks?"

"Just a few. They seem to be following the same pattern as all the creatures we've fought in the past– randomly attacking Tokyo in an attempt to drain energy. We think someone's trying to figure out where our base is, so we've given them no reason to suspect it's down here. Motoki would kill us if they targeted the arcade."

"I think I'd kill someone too," Usagi commented from the other side of the room, "I'd die if it weren't for the free shakes."

"Is everyone trying to make my brain fall out through my ear today?" Rei cried, exasperatedly. "Wouldn't surprise me. Go pray or something, I want to talk to Mamoru."

"You always want to talk to Mamoru."

"Yeah, well he's my soul mate– what's your excuse?"

"Oh didn't I say yet?" Minako trilled coming up the stairs carrying a tray with glasses of orange juice sent up by Ikuko, "her and Harry for sure."

"Really?" Usagi smiled coyly, "That ammunition is going to last months."

"Minako, next time you get a shake remind me to dump it on your oversized head."

"Love you too Pyro."

"Ask Hermione if she liked her present will you? It's not often your friend turns 1017." Makoto paused. "Although it'll get more common I suppose."

"I'm still only 18," Ami protested, blushing scarlet.

"Well let us know how the lesson with Dumbles goes next time Harry," Rei sighed.

"I can't remember. He only wants those who need to know to know if that makes sense. I'm allowed to tell the shitennou and Mamoru and that's it."

"Damn. Well I'd hand the mirror to Mamoru– Usagi might collapse if she doesn't speak to him soon."


"If you ask me, she's just pissed off because I'm doing better than she is in potions."

"Because he's cheating," Hermione cried, pushing her way into view.

"Not cheating," Ami reasoned, "just using different instructions. Look at it this way, if you're fighting say a Youma, and you've been told there's only one, really long winded way to defeat it, would you follow it even if you saw a better, more effective way?"

"Well… no."

"HA! There you go Hermione, now you can stop harping on about the prince being… "

"Prince?" Ami asked, "What's Mamoru done now?"

"What? Oh, yeah… I didn't realise you'd assume that."

"It's the name of the person who wrote the instructions," Hermione explained, "The 'half blood prince'."

"Ami, hurry up I want to talk to Mamoru," came the wailing voice, right on cue.

"I won't hold her up," Harry said quickly, "say happy birthday to Minako anyway."

"And Setsuna," Makoto said, turning in her chair. "It's her birthday today."

"It is? How old is she?"

"Not a clue."

"Huh, figures."


"Well I'm glad you won the match I suppose," Rei sighed, "though it would have been great to be playing."

"Yeah, but Fred and George are good. "Merely good?" The twins had appeared. "I am insulted."

"I think we should hit him."

"He definitely needs to be taught some form of lesson, even if he is captain of the team."

"Shut it," Harry had gone red.


"Alright, alright. You can talk to Mamoru."

"Great, be right up."

"Where's she shouting from?" Ron asked, intrigued.

"The kitchen," Rei sighed. Those on the other side of the mirror winced.


"Mamoru!" Usagi leapt at the not too surprised earth prince as the door to the control room opened, "welcome back," she beamed at him before kissing him gently, "I've missed you."

"I've missed you to, Usako." He swung her into his arms and carried her down the stairs into the house while the others looked on in a mixture of sickness at the sweetness of the whole thing and jealousy. Rei smiled at Harry and beckoned him over to the control panel she was working on.

"What are you doing now then?" he asked, pulling up a chair and sitting down.

"Still trying to trace the droids," she said, "there's been absolutely no pattern in the attacks and they're never accompanied by whoever it is controlling them."

"Huh. Has Ami been able to work anything out with the console yet?"

"No, nothing. Almost five months work and nothing to show for it. Although it's been quite funny to watch all the muggle leaders debating what to do about Prince Endymion if he ever shows up."

"I still can't wait to see Ron's reaction to the telly, especially after his reaction to the computers."

"It'll be something that's for certain. Oh my God– you should have seen Setsuna on Makoto's birthday!"


"Well we were celebrating and Molly asked Setsuna to grab something from the cellar… "

"She's not so intimidated anymore?"

"Well Setsuna's a lot less intimidating these days, actually. It took a while, but I think she's much more in the present now than she ever has been– even in our fourth year. I mean then she could only not see the future surrounding the wizarding world. Now the whole things gone up in smoke."

"How's everyone dealing with that?"

"Some better than others," Rei sighed, "Usagi worse than anyone, though she tries to hide it. She keeps worrying about Chibiusa… But anyway, Setsuna went into the cellar and then about thirty seconds later there was this scream and we all ran In expecting to see something horrid and it was," she giggled, "it was just a cockroach. I don't think she'll ever live that down around here."

"I bet she's less intimidating after that," Harry laughed.

"I missed you," Rei said after checking that the coast was clear of interfering senshi. "You too," Harry replied, leaning towards her and kissing her.

They broke apart as Minako shouted, "I think I can hear that from down here! Cut it out!"

Christmas Dinner was more than a little impressive that year. What with the combined efforts of Molly, Makoto and Ikuko, it was a spread that would have put the chefs in the moon palace to shame.

Mrs Weasley had whipped up a superior first course, complete with all the trimmings while Makoto and Ikuko had worked together on the dessert– a cake easily large enough to serve everyone and leave leftovers, a difficult task considering who was at the table. The main source of hilarity through the meal was the necklace Ron had received from his girlfriend– Sirius had made a point of showing everyone early in the day.

Minako seemed more than a little disgruntled about the whole thing and when pressed by Usagi she whispered, "I just don't get Ron sometimes. I've only ever seen one bond stronger than the one he's got and that's yours. He's such a twit."

"Really?" Usagi asked, eyes wide, "who is it?"

"Oh come on who do you think! I five year old could tell they like each other." Usagi continued only to look mystified, "Hermione," Minako elaborated, rolling her eyes.

"Really? But they fight all the… all the time." She thought back to the way her own relationship had started. "Yeah! That makes sense!"

"Finally, someone else sees it."

"What about you then? You've been getting quite familiar with one of the twins. Can't say I know which but still… " she left the sentence hanging.

"Oh shut up," Minako blushed.

"You hypocrite!" Usagi wailed, drawing more than a little attention, "you pry into everyone else's business but the moment you're under the spotlight you're like… like a clam!"

Everybody burst out laughing, a theme that did not fade until they were sent to bed by the united force of everyone's parents.


"Well this is new," Harry commented, looking around the black space.

"This is the final stage of the dream links," Rei said, settling down onto the non-visible floor. "Mamoru and Usagi have reached this stage, although they think we don't know," she smirked, "Setsuna let it slip when she was telling us about the dreams."

"And they still spend about an hour talking every time the mirror comes out?"

"Well give her credit; they are engaged."

"I suppose. Anything interesting today?"

"Wrong word maybe?" she sighed. "Today would have been Haruka's birthday. Everyone was a bit subdued. It's not too long until Michiru's either. It's strange. Sometimes I forget they're even gone and I keep expecting them to come through the door, or to hear Michiru's violin. Then I'll remember in the middle of something and feel guilty for not thinking about them more."

"Don't," Harry frowned, "they wouldn't want that."

"I know. It's just difficult."

"Something's changed. I know it."

"Over such a distance? I doubt it."

"Taiki shut it."

"You may be our leader Seiya, but that gives you no right to-"

"Taiki, let Seiya speak."

"As you wish, Princess." Taiki bowed and moved back, allowing Kakyuu to see Seiya as she leaned from the window.

"How do you know, Seiya?" she asked, moving next to him. "I had a dream last night… "

"A dream about a girl? You're basing your thoughts on that?" Yaten scoffed. "It wasn't about her," Seiya snapped. "It was a message."

"From who?"

"Well… there were two of them. The first was from Pluto."

"what did she have to say for herself," Taiki sniffed.

"The timelines have broken. She can no longer guarantee the safety of Kinmoku. Crystal Tokyo is no more. They have suffered losses."

"Who?" Kakyuu asked gently.

"Uranus and Neptune. They both died mid last year."

"I never liked them much anyway," Taiki shrugged. The sound of Seiya's palm making contact with her face echoed in the large hall.

"They did what we could not! They died to protect their Princess– twice! Almost three times if the stories we heard were true," she screamed. "They deserve your respect if nothing else."

Taiki rubbed her cheek, already red, and nodded very slightly. "And the second message?" Kakyuu prompted Seiya.

"It was from the prince. He asked me to come to Earth."

"Why would he ask you of all people… " Yaten began.

"They are engaged," Seiya said flatly. "He told me, so that I would understand the circumstances."

"I'm sorry Seiya," Kakyuu said after a moment.

"Do not be sorry for me." Seiya said sadly, "she was never going to choose me while he was around. Even when he wasn't I didn't really have a chance. But anyway– he said he would be unable to guard her in the time to come. Her guard is depleted and he's worried that she won't be safe."

"Do you wish to go?"

Seiya hesitated and then said, "Yes."

"Then you have my leave. Travel swiftly and you may arrive within only a few months."

"Thank you Princess," Seiya bowed and did not give her a chance to rethink, transforming then and there before leaping through the window and into the night sky.

"Was that wise?" Yaten asked, eyebrows raised.

"I think so. If the silver alliance falls, what chance did we have anyway?"


"How do you do that teleport thing? Apparition is just a nightmare!"

"Aww, come on Mamoru, it's not that bad I'm sure."

"You try being the only teacher taking part in a class."

Usagi giggled a little at the look on Mamoru's face, "You're just being a wuss. I should have known when I started to date a guy whose attack involved flowers… "

"Hey! I hardly ever use those anymore."

"I know, I'm just teasing."

"Hmmm… "

"Usagi you're such a hypocrite," Rei cried, storming up the stairs, "you've been up here ages."

"I'd give Harry the mirror soon," Usagi whispered conspiratorially, "I think Pyro's gonna blow a gasket or something."

"I heard that!"

"You were meant to."


"Are they both alright?"

"Ron's just about recovered and Harry's well on the mend– they should be out of the hospital wing by morning."

"Thank goodness for that," Ami said, slumping into a nearby chair. "I can't believe we didn't find out about this all sooner."

"Well Harry had the mirror and he's had a lot on his mind," Hermione explained. "True."

"I'm guessing this means that McLaggan's never playing for the team again?" Rei asked, sipping from the one of the shakes Motoki had just brought down for them.

"I'd think so," Hermione replied, grinning. At that moment there was an alarm from the other side of the control room. Ami leapt into the air and ran over to a panel on the wall and began typing furiously.

"The droid's not that far from here," she called out as the senshi came running up the stairs, "I think it's in the cinema."

"Sorry Hermione," Rei said, jumping up, "looks like we'll have to cut this short. "Right, good luck."

"Like we need it," Minako winked as the image on the mirror faded out. They transformed and ran out of the back door to the arcade, jumping to the rooftops and sprinting towards the cinema, clearing the streets in great bounds that should not really have been possible. They reached their destination within minutes. It was easy enough to see that the droid was indeed inside the cinema so they leapt down from the roof after checking their goggles were in place, except for Ami who had learnt that her visor did pretty much the same thing. They ran into the foyer and saw the overly tall, humanoid figure.

"Mars flame sniper!"

"Venus love and beauty shock!" The two attacks combined in midair and flew straight at the droid, knocking it back into a wall. It clambered slowly to its feet as Sailor Pluto launched an attack.

"Dead scream." The energy swept silently through the foyer, seeming to stop everyone in their tracks as it swept into the droid.

"Jupiter oak evolution!" sound returned as Jupiter's attack span throughout the building, skimming around everything except the droid, which was beginning to look a little battered.

"Try now, Sailor Moon," Mercury called, "it might be weak enough."

"Right. Silver moon crystal power kiss!" the droid leapt into the air and the attack only just missed it, hitting the popcorn instead and sending it everywhere.

"Mercury aqua rhapsody!" Water crashed through the foyer, holding the droid in tendrils that it could not break.

"Silver Moon crystal power kiss!" Sailor Moon tried once more and this time the attack made contact with its target.

The result, however, was not what they had expected. Instead of being knocked backwards and fading from existence, the droid exploded, knocking everyone back. Moon, who had been closest, received the worst of the damage, both of them flying back into the wall and sliding down into the soupy mess of water, sweets and popcorn.

Usagi barely registered as someone scooped her up from the floor and carried her away from the scene, for her vision was blurry and she thought she was about to be sick. She began to struggle after a moment, but Makoto's voice reached her ears as if from the other end of a long tunnel, "it's alright, Sailor Moon. It's only me. We have to get out of here before your henshin fails." She relaxed and allowed the darkness to claim her.

When she came to, she was lying in bed and there were many conspiratorial voices in the room. "I can hear you all," she moaned, rubbing her head gently and feeling the beginnings of a lump forming.

"Oh thank goodness," Ikuko cried, leaping towards her daughter and practically squeezing the life out of her, "I was so worried about you."

"I think we all were," Setsuna agreed from the end of the bed, "that was quite a fright you gave everyone."

"How are they?" Usagi asked, sitting up and pushing her mother away a little, "was anyone else hurt?"

"None as severely as you were– a few bumps and scratches, but no more than that. Your arm should be out of the plaster within a few days." Usagi glanced down and saw that her arm was indeed covered in plaster.

"Wow. That's the first time I've ever broken a bone during a fight. Guess it had to happen sooner or later." She yawned and climbed out of bed before noticing the shocked look upon Ikuko's face. "What? I've died before, this is nothing." Ikuko burst into tears.

"Perhaps not the best thing to have said," Setsuna observed.


"Anything new over your end then?"

"Not really. Just a few more attacks," Rei fidgeted, pulling her sleeve down a little to cover the scratches on her arms, having already artistically arranged her fringe in order to hide the stitches on her forehead. "How about you?"

"We're fine. Mamoru's gonna start showing us our shitennou abilities at some point, so that'll be good."

"Yeah I suppose. Look Harry, I'd love to stay but I've got to be off."

"Oh. Alright then. Bye I suppose."

"Bye," Rei stood carefully, trying to hide her limp. "Rei?" he called back just before she went out of sight. "What?"

"Happy Birthday."


"Well whatever you did must have been pretty serious," Ami said frowning from her desk, "even Snape doesn't give out detentions for the whole term lightly."

"Yeah, well… the worst part is it mean I'm gonna miss the Quidditch final."

"But they have to win by three hundred points," Minako moaned, "There's no way they'll do that without you on the team!"

"I don't know… Ginny's quite good at seeker, so we just need to replace a chaser."

"Well it could be worse I suppose," Minako sighed dejectedly, "You could have to play McLaggan as keeper."

"Just don't go there," Harry said, rubbing his head a little. "Well the match is tomorrow… "

"Good luck to the team then."

"We're gonna need it," Ron's voice came through the mirror, although they couldn't see him on the other end.

"Where's Usagi?" Harry asked, "Isn't she having a go at you for using the mirror too long."

"Well… actually no."

"Why not?"

"The droid attacks are getting worse."

"How do you mean?

"Well they don't just fade anymore," Rei sighed resignedly, "they sort of explode."


"And Usagi always seems to get the worst of it– she has to be close to them to finish them off see. Most of the time Setsuna or Hotaru can get there in time to protect her but there've been a couple of times now when they didn't. And she won't tell Mamoru so that he doesn't worry.

Actually, it's been like this over a month now. We just didn't want to get everyone worked up… "

"What happened?" Harry asked.

"Well first time she broke her arm, time after that she fractured her leg and this morning she fractured her skull. It's alright though," she said quickly, "Saeko, Ami and Setsuna have made sure she's alright and Molly, Ikuko and Makoto spoil her rotten every single time."

"What do I tell Mamoru then? He's gonna think it's fishy that Usagi doesn't want to speak to him."

"Tell him the truth I suppose," Rei shrugged, "he's got to find out somehow. How're things at your end."

"Good actually. I seem to have finished my lessons with Dumbledore for now– just waiting for him to find… well, never mind. But anyway, Mamoru's finally managed to help us access some of the shitennou power."

"Ooh, go on."

"Well I can shoot fireballs at stuff, which is pretty cool."

"That'll be because you're linked with Mars," Rei nodded sagely, "I bet when you get you're final form there'll be red accents instead of whatever it is you've got now."

"I've got blue now."

"Standard Kunzite," she waved the issue to one side. "Anyway, what about the shitennou specific powers? I know Hermione can do some water tricks, Ron something earthy or thundery or whatever and the twins'll be good with metals, but what else?"

"Well I've done some training with a sword, but I'm still only learning."

"A shortsword?"

"Yeah, why?"

"All the Kunzite's have used shortswords. Its sort of tradition– after a while they can channel energy down the blades."

"Huh, that sounds cool enough. Well Ron's finally managing to draw some power from the stars, we practise that on the astronomy tower, but Mamoru say's he'll be able to do it indoors eventually."

"Yeah. It's powerful stuff the star magic."

"He's still crap at astronomy though."

"He almost failed the OWL didn't he? What about Hermione and the twins?"

"Well Hermione can do some stuff, but I don't think even she's very sure how."

"Ha! I knew Zoisite was just bluffing– he would never tell anyone how he could do all that stuff and I bet he just didn't know. Sorry, past life Zoisite I meant."

"I guessed. As far as the twins go, just don't get between them on the battlefield," he shivered, "all their attacks are linked between the two of them."

"Well there were bound to be some changes once the crystal was split I suppose," Rei said thoughtfully.

"Yeah, something like that."

"Well sounds very cool," Ami said from the other side of the room, "but we'd better go down for dinner soon or Makoto might skin us alive."

"Right come on then. Talk soon Harry," Rei winked at him as they began to head downstairs.

"Rei said I should let you know anyway," Harry finished.

"Thank you Harry. I don't think I would have found out any other way. Usagi just worries too much." Mamoru sighed. "Go on then, you should probably get back to the common room before times up."

"Right, ok. Thanks." Harry turned and checked that the coast was clear before slipping out of the room of requirement, which served both as training room and a great place to use the mirror.

Mamoru waited a moment and then hurried to his office and through into his bedroom. It took him a while to fall asleep, but as he had expected Usagi was there waiting for him. They spoke for a little while before he brought it up.

"So, when were you going to tell me about the droids exploding?"

"You knew about that?" she asked, her mental projection actually paling a little. "It's nothing big," she mumbled.

"Nothing big? Usako, I think a fractured skull might count as something big."

"It's nothing– come on we've all died before."

"And I don't want you to die again."

Her eyes softened. "I'll be fine," she said, snuggling into him, "Setsuna and Hotaru are nearly always there to protect me and they're getting more vigilant about it each time."

"I hope so," he sighed.


"Silver moon crystal power kiss!"

"Silence wall!" The droid exploded outwards in a wave of energy that met the resistance of Saturn's shield and was absorbed. She lowered the glaive slowly and looked towards Usagi.

"Thanks," Usagi said, smiling as she stood.

"Sailor Moon!" The shout was full of pain and anguish and Usagi felt her heart contract at the sound of it. She looked across the square, past where the droid had been hit, towards the place where Sailors Mercury, Venus and Pluto had already congregated. She began to run with Saturn, seeing Jupiter (who was cradling her left arm) and Mars coming from other directions.

They reached the others together when silently Ami knelt and laid a hand upon the still form of a small black cat.

"Luna?" Usagi squeaked, tears in her eyes, "Luna?" her voice was louder, more desperate, but still there was no response from the small cat. Usagi knelt down and scooped the motionless form into her arms, holding her close.

"Where's Artemis?" she asked thickly.

"He… he didn't come," Minako replied, "Luna made him stay behind and monitor the computer.

"We should get her back," Usagi said firmly, through her tears, "he'll want… he'll want to say goodbye."

They moved slowly away from the destruction in the square, but Usagi refused to use the roofs as she was worried she would drop Luna. Setsuna knew she could have taken the cat and made the journey much quicker, but she did not– she understood that this was something Usagi needed to do.

Usagi didn't rally think about the way she took to the arcade– she knew the streets so well that she didn't have to concentrate on it and the streets were mostly deserted these days as the droid attacks became more and more frequent. It was only as they were passing the house that she saw the girl in the garden.

"Naru," she said, without thinking. Naru looked up and her eyes widened as she took in the bruised and beaten senshi before her.

"You… you remember me?" she asked, hesitantly.

"Erm… yeah… " Usagi said, thinking back to the numerous times they had had to save Naru in the past.

"Some of those cuts look really bad," Naru said, standing up and putting down the trowel she had been working with, "you should come inside, I'll help you." Usagi burst into tears and sat down on the pavement.

"Did I say something wrong?" Naru asked, nervously.

"I don't think so," Makoto sighed, adjusting her goggles slightly, "she's had a tough day. Heck it's been a tough year."

"I saw that… about Uranus and Neptune. I'm sorry."

"And now Luna too," Usagi blubbed, "except people won't remember her because she's just a cat to them but she was just so much more than that… "

"We can make them remember," Hotaru said vehemently, kneeling down beside Usagi, "when Crystal Tokyo arrives."

"If Crystal Tokyo arrives," Usagi hiccupped.

"No when," Hotaru pressed on, "you of all people have to believe in that future, Princess."

Usagi nodded slowly and allowed Ami to help her to her feet. She turned to Naru, "we'd really appreciate if you would let us clean up… we still have a way to go and… and we have to take Luna… " Naru nodded and opened the gate to let them in.

"My mother isn't home, but I don't think she'd mind– we never forgot what you did for us."

They headed inside and Naru showed them into the front room before heading to the bathroom and coming back with a first aid kit. Usagi was sat on the edge of the sofa, still cradling Luna to her chest when she returned.

"Naru," she said slowly, "Believe me, I wanted you to know from the very start. Please remember that."

"Know what?" Naru asked, setting the first aid kit down.

"But I've only just got permission I guess," she laughed bitterly, "as Setsuna said I could."


"Meioh Setsuna, also known as Sailor Pluto, guardian of the gates of time," Usagi said heavily, as Setsuna removed her goggles. "But of course you never knew Setsuna, or Hotaru," Hotaru too removed her goggles.

"What's this about?" Naru asked nervously.

"But you did know me." Usagi reached up awkwardly, being careful not to jostle Luna too much, and removed her goggles. Naru's hand flew to her mouth as she gasped. One by one, the inner senshi too removed their goggles.

"All this time?" Naru asked, sinking to the floor, "it was you all this time?"

"Right from the start," Usagi smiled sadly. "That night in the jewellery store was my very first as

Sailor Moon. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and if it hadn't been for Tuxedo Mask and… and Luna… "

"Of course," Naru finally moved her shaking hand, "Sailor Moon's Luna really was your Luna… Umino would love to know that he was right about that," she laughed nervously. "No wonder you guys were so close, if you were fighting those things every night. I suppose you probably know who Tuxedo Mask is as well."

"Mamoru," Usagi supplied. "Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask."

"Well no wonder the two of you stopped fighting so much."

"It's more complicated than that, but I don't think this is really the time," Usagi sighed. "We'll clean up, but then we really have to go. Come to the Crown Arcade tonight at closing time. We'll have… well we'll be able to talk by then."

Naru and Ami helped clean everyone up, using antiseptic wipes on cuts and strapping up Makoto's arm, which Ami thought might be broken and should be looked at by Saeko.

"Please come tonight," Usagi begged as they donned their goggles once more. "I'll try," Naru promised, "I'm not allowed out so much these days.

"You can stay the night," Usagi suggested, "get your mum to call mine in an hour or so and she'll confirm if it's needed."

"Right. See you."

Usagi smiled, feeling more her old self than she had in about a year.

"I remember… I did wonder why they left the school so soon after they arrived, although Umino didn't miss Seijuro so much."

"I don't think any of the boys missed Seijuro very much," Minako said as she entered the room. "How is he?" Makoto asked, sitting up.

"He's asleep. Finally," Minako said, sinking to the floor. "He still won't talk to me though. He's never done that before."

"Luna meant a lot to him," Usagi said gently, "he just needs time… we all do."

"I think we all get that… it's just there was Haruka, Michiru and now Luna," Rei sighed, "I worry that we'll start to get used to losing friends."

"Don't say that," Usagi scolded her. "Hotaru was right, we have to be positive– Crystal Tokyo cannot be a possibility, it has to be an inevitability."

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it, but it's hard, for all of us. We keep losing people close to us, and we're all worried for those at Hogwarts– I know you wish Mamoru was here as much as I wish Harry was here, quite probably more even, but somehow you manage to reign it all in. You really have matured Usagi."

"And that was a compliment from Rei," Minako grinned a little, "seize hold of it and don't give it back. Ever."

"I'll remember that," Usagi grinned. "It is hard Rei, but we have to fight– who else will?"

"Just doesn't seem fair," Rei moaned.

"Life's not fair. Anyone who says otherwise is just thick or selling something," Makoto said.

"I think you guys are doing the right thing," Naru said suddenly. "From what you've said about this Voldemort guy and from all the other stuff you've done– I mean we all remember that spaceship, not so long after Seijuro and Natsumi left, you guys got rid of that thing. And there was the circus that turned out to be something freaky."

"Don't remind me," Minako shuddered.

"Alright, but the point is you've always seen off the people who hurt us, and you've never asked for anything in return… "

"We should have got paid though for sure," Rei griped.

"So if you believe that Crystal Tokyo or whatever it is would be the best thing for the world, then I believe you."

"Thank you Naru," Usagi said after a moment. "You have no idea how much it means to me to hear you say that."

Harry was walking towards the Gryffindor common room one afternoon when a small student he thought might have tried out for the Quidditch team earlier that year, handed him a scroll of parchment.

"It's from Dumbledore," he said excitedly as he rolled it open. "He wants me to come to his office right away."

"You don't think he's found one, do you?" Hermione asked, crumpling the piece of paper she was holding without really thinking– it was an article on magical games and contests, alongside a picture of a girl captioned with the name "Eileen Prince".

"I bet he has," Ron enthused. "Wish we could come though."

"You know what Dumbledore said," Harry reminded him, "you need to stay here with Mamoru so that the castles properly defended. Anyway, Japan is calling later– you'll have to think up an excuse as to why I'm not there."

"Thanks," Ron replied dryly, "I'm sure Rei will believe everything I have to say."

"You'll think of something I'm sure.

Ron and Hermione moved on into the common room, but they had only been sat there about quarter of an hour when Harry came running back into the room. He tore up the stairs to the dormitory and when he returned he threw a pair of socks at Hermione. "It's tonight," he panted, "they're attacking tonight. Malfoy's fixed whatever it is… Professor Trelawney… "

Hermione unrolled the socks, "Harry I can't take this! You and Dumbledore need it."

"No," Harry said flatly, "there's only a little there but if you share it properly there should be enough for a couple of hours between the shitennou and Mamoru. Patrol the corridors by the room of requirement and make sure Snape doesn't leave his office."

"Harry," Hermione pleaded.

"No, I've got to go. Wish me luck," and he ran from the room.

"Something's happening," Setsuna's head snapped up and she adopted the concentrated look she now wore whenever she studied the timelines, completely contrasting to the far away look she had always worn in the past. "We must go… we need to move right now… "

"Where are we going?" Usagi asked, standing up.

"Hogwarts," Setsuna replied. "We must go via the time door." She looked around the table. "I would suggest the order members travel with us. Crystal bearers, take a key. The door is too dangerous to traverse without one at the moment, even if I am with you. Anyone who is coming and does not hold a crystal make sure that you maintain contact with any one of the senshi at any time. If contact is not maintained you will find yourself wandering the domain of the door for all time."

"Which is supposed to be rather unpleasant," Minako clarified for anyone who wasn't particularly sure. Setsuna distributed the keys and all the Weasleys and Sirius linked up with a crystal carrier.

"I will come too," Fleur declared, moving behind Minako. "But you… "

"I was a Tri-Wizard combatant," Fleur spoke imperiously over Mrs Weasley, "I can fight." The senshi transformed and Setsuna lead the way into the space-time gate.

"I don't think I'll ever get used to my little girl being a senshi," Ikuko sighed.

"I'm with you there," Minako's mother sighed, "although it does explain a lot about our time in London… she suddenly became so distant."

When they finally made it through the gate, they arrived to complete pandemonium. People were fighting everywhere and they were immediately separated and swept up into the battle.

Usagi found herself fighting a masked Death Eater and worked to maintain her shield as Makoto, the only senshi still with her, fired spells at him. They had been there only moments when they saw Snape emerge from the steps to the astronomy tower with Draco Malfoy, pursued by a crowd of Death Eaters. He shouted something and ran, dragging Malfoy along with him.

Chapter 44

"Harry!" Rei shouted as she saw him tearing down the stairs to the astronomy tower, his shitennou uniform flaring into existence as he ran, now complete with a short sword hanging from the belt. "Harry!" He didn't seem to hear her but began to run, tearing after the Death Eaters who had bowled through the fighters. She ran and caught up with him easily. "Harry what's going on?"

"Rei?" for a moment he was surprised, then he shook his head and said, "Snape killed Dumbledore."

"What? Harry are you sure?"

"Yes I'm sure! I saw it, I saw the bastard do it," his voice cracked. "He used the killing curse and then… and then Dumbledore fell." Rei did not speak further, but ran with Harry as he dived through shortcuts to the entrance hall.

They came to a corridor full of running Death Eaters and Rei stopped, putting a hand in front of Harry as she summoned her power, "Fire Soul Bird!" A great phoenix of flame soared down the corridor towards the Death Eaters who began to run. "Come on," She panted, and they started to run again.

They tore out of the castle and onto the grass and saw Snape and Malfoy running past Hagrid's hut. Harry, without really thinking, transferred his wand to his left hand and drew his sword, which was suddenly pulsing with red energy. They reached Hagrid's hut and Harry leapt into the air, higher than he had ever thought he would be able to, and landed the other side of Snape and Malfoy. As he landed, his uniform changed.

Rei skidded to a halt– it was no longer black, but now identical to that of the Kunzite she had known previously, only that the accents were red. Snape raised his wand and pointed it at Harry, blasting him onto his back, but he clambered straight back to his feet.

"Crucio!" a jet of light flew past Rei's ear and Harry shouted something, possibly jeering at Snape, but Rei was barely aware of the seeming argument the Death Eaters were having. "Harry!" she shouted, running forward, "Harry!" Someone aimed a curse at her, but something deflected it. As she ran, Fawkes flew down from the air above and without thinking Rei raised her hands above her head as Fawkes began to sing.

Her skin began to shine, before it became flame. As she ran she was lifted from the ground and for a moment a giant, beautiful phoenix flew over the Death Eaters and Harry, before the fire zoomed into a small, compressed space and was released in a single, earth shattering explosion.

Rei slipped gently down to the ground, her fuku gone, replaced by a new, short red dress, split at the front by a section of light pink, topped with an ornament decorated with the wings of a phoenix, leading to similarly shaped shoulder pads. The sign of Mars glittered on her neck as her new, beaded tiara formed.

As her feet, now clad in slender high heeled red sandals, touched the ground, the fires went out. Around her Death Eaters groaned as they tried to stand, but the two they had really been after had already gone.

They headed slowly back towards the castle, joined on the way by Hagrid. "What's happened?" he asked, jogging to meet them.

"Death Eaters," Harry said simply, before elaborating. "There were Death Eaters at Hogwarts. And Dumbledore's… Dumbledore's… "

"Dumbledore's what?"

"He's dead." Rei said harshly.

"What? No," Hagrid had paled, "Dumbledore can't be dead he… "

"I saw it, Hagrid," Harry interrupted. "I saw what happened. Snape killed him."

"Harry I know you've always had it in for Snape but you shouldn't say something like– who's that there?" he looked up towards the astronomy tower, where the dark mark was glowing bright against the starless sky. "You don't suppose someone was pushed, do ya?"

"Not pushed, knocked back by the killing curse." Rei said, as she and Harry sped up. Harry knelt beside the motionless form of Albus Dumbledore as Hagrid let out a low moan. Rei watched as Harry pulled what looked to be a golden locked out of Dumbledore's pocket.

"Come on Harry," she whispered, "there's nothing you can do for him now." She lead him towards the entrance hall, where they saw Fred and George, both in their shitennou uniforms, heading towards them.

"Got to go to the hospital wing– McGonagall's orders." Fred told them, before turning to head up the stairs.

"How is everyone?" Harry asked as they began the ascent.

"No deaths on our side as far as we know," George reported (Harry could not bear to correct him), "but Moody's out cold and Bill… Bill got attacked… "

"By Greyback." Fred completed grimly.

"But it's not the full moon!" Harry exclaimed, "how is he?"

"He's gonna be scarred for sure-" George began.

"But Lupin doesn't think he'll be a proper werewolf." Fred finished.

"Mum and Fleur are having a soppy moment right now, so watch where you step." They headed into the hospital wing to find that there were more than a few people there already.

"We just need to wait until Albus gets back– he was away this evening on business," McGonagall was saying.

"He won't be coming back," Rei said listlessly, "he's dead. Snape killed him." There were gasps throughout the room as the truth was heard and Madam Pomfrey had to conjure a chair behind Professor McGonagall so that she didn't fall over.

Usagi tightened her hold upon Mamoru's hand and Setsuna looked sharply at Harry from where she stood by the window. "So that is what it was… "

"What is it, Setsuna?" McGonagall asked, turning to the senshi of time.

"Earlier this evening, right before we came to Hogwarts. The threads of time are all frayed, but for a moment, they all pointed towards a single moment, about twenty minutes ago actually, and for a moment I saw Crystal Tokyo."

"Does that mean if Dumbledore hadn't died Crystal Tokyo would have been restored?" Usagi asked. Setsuna did not reply.

"Setsuna, would you join the heads of house in the headmaster's office in ten minutes?"

"Of course," Setsuna inclined her head.

"Potter come now. Poppy, tell Hagrid that he too is to go to the headmaster's office when he arrives." Madam Pomfrey nodded to say that she would. Setsuna indicated for the senshi to follow her out of the room and they filed out, Usagi taking Mamoru with her.

"I think what we can learn from tonight is that Crystal Tokyo is still very much a possibility," Setsuna said as she lead them through the deserted corridors, "whether or not events went our way tonight, which I cannot but think that they did not, we know that the times ahead are very changeable and that we can shape them to our advantage."

"But without Dumbledore how's Harry gonna know what it is he needs to do?" Minako asked.

"Dumbledore's already told Harry everything, I think," Mamoru said as they stopped outside the room of requirement. When Ron's powers are strong enough he can ask the stars for their knowledge as well."

"I hadn't thought of that," Setsuna said pensively. For now we may remain at Hogwarts for the funeral– it is within the next few days so I can see it, but then we must return to Tokyo, where we will be hidden from the eyes of Voldemort and his ilk. Now, I have business to attend to before I see Minerva." She turned and headed into the space-time dimension.

"That never stops being weird," Rei said.

"Severus Snape." The man in question jumped about a foot in the air. He had been stood, a glass of wine in his hand, his head resting against the cold stone wall of the kitchen in the dilapidated house in spinners end.

He drew his wand and turned to face the room, "who's there?"

"I have no wish to harm you, Severus, though I do not believe many of my allies will feel the same way." Setsuna moved through into the kitchen. "Tonight has cleared up many things for me, Severus. I can see far more now than I have in months, far more than anyone but me, and now you, know. Crystal Tokyo is still there, but it is indeed more distant than ever before. The scouts and the shitennou will need all the guidance there is to offer in order to bring this future to fruition. As the timelines knit together I see a pattern– you."

"You know then?" Snape's voice was surprisingly level.

"Yes, I know. Albus has asked a lot of you, Severus, but do not doubt yourself– that path leads only to destruction."

"Asked a lot of me?" his voice was strangled, "asked a lot? He asked me to kill him!"

"A task you performed with excellent finesse. Play your part well– you'll need to, with the year you have ahead of you."

"Year?" his head jerked up, "only a year?"

"Only a year, yes, although I cannot tell for certain how that year will end." She stepped backwards and the black smoke of the space-time dimension took her in its cold embrace.

The cold expanse of the universe made for a lonely journey, but in the distance, Seiya's destination was already in sight. Exhausted from months of almost non-stop travel, the sight of the blue planet in the distance lifted her spirits immeasurably, dimmed only by her worry about what she might find there. She stopped very suddenly when she realised that someone was travelling beside her. Her unexpected companion stopped with her, as though she had seen it coming, and spoke. "Seiya, I knew you would come."

"Of course you knew," Seiya inclined her head.

"The timelines have not been so useful of late," Setsuna replied vaguely, a statement that was not entirely untrue. "Come, my way is quicker." She took Seiya by the hand and guided her through the space-time dimension and through into the Hogwarts grounds.

Wizards were moving through rows and rows of chairs, obviously some form of event or ceremony had just finished. Glancing around, Seiya saw the newly erected marble tomb, "Who?" she asked simply.

"Albus Dumbledore," Setsuna replied. "He died not two days ago. Come, we must find the others." They headed around the lake, picking up not only the senshi, but also the shitennou, order members and Weasleys as they went.

"Your little family has grown a little," Seiya observed, smiling a little. "And yet it is still smaller than many would like."

"Of course. How inconsiderate of me– I was sorry to hear of their deaths, even if one was so long ago. I hardly believed Kakyuu when she told me of the ice. It was odd, a time of peace for Kinmoku, yet I spent everyday worrying about this little planet, no matter how much Kakyuu told me it was pointless."

"She is wise, that Princess of yours."

"Very much so. Taiki and Yaten disagree with my presence here though, no matter how much she tells them it is for the better."

"I can imagine. I would remove your henshin soon by the way– it attracts even more attention than ours." Seiya shrugged and they moved on.

"Seiya?" Usagi's voice was incredulous as she stood, pulling Mamoru up with her, "what are you doing here?"

"Aren't you glad to see me, odango?"

"Well of course I am, don't be silly, I just wasn't expecting you to… has something happened?"

"No, Kinmoku is enjoying a long reign of peace."

"Of course," Usagi nodded, "the great ice would have relieved the tension on you more than a little."

"On Kinmoku perhaps," Seiya smirked, "but it kept me on my toes." She glanced towards the Earth prince and nodded in greeting. Mamoru replied in the same way before turning to Setsuna.

"I assume we're heading back to Tokyo?" Mamoru asked Setsuna, who nodded.

"The time dimension is reasonably stable, compared to its recent state. We should go now– so long as everyone stays near me there should be little trouble. Come."

"Star serious laser!" The droid jumped out of the attacks path, leaping towards Sailor Venus. "Venus love and beauty shock!"

"Mercury Aqua Rhapsody!" The metal heart thrown by Venus (that was her right? In the orange dress) was joined by a stream of water that battered the droid back into the wall of a nearby building,

"Jupiter oak evolution!" the leaves cut into the droid and thick, soupy blood dripped from the wounds as Sailor Moon ran forward, holding her weapon up high.

"Silver moon crystal power kiss!" the attack was a perfect hit.

Only nothing happened. Sailor Moon stood still for a moment, looking a bit stupefied, and probably would have been hit had not been for Tuxedo Mask (although his outfit looked different), who leapt in front of her and shouted, "Smoking bomber!" creating a burst of golden light that met the droids attack and swallowed it.

A boy in a silver and red uniform ran forward, brandishing a sword pulsing with red energy and succeeding in cutting off one of its arms before leaping back behind Sailor Mars (again, a change of look) who shouted, "Mars flame sniper!"

The red arrow zoomed straight at the droid, which roared in anger and began to charge as a young girl wearing black and yellow raised a hand to the sky. There was a slight wind as cherry blossom petals began to form in the air before turning to ice shards as they flew towards the droid, splintering as they made contact with it's supernatural flesh.

"This one's way stronger than usual," Sailor Moon shouted, "Mercury, have you got anything yet?"

"No, but I'm working on it. Just give me time." This confirmed that the girl in blue was indeed Sailor Mercury, although it was not the fuku the onlookers had expected. Two ginger haired boys moved forward, splitting to stand either side of the droid. They raised their hands into the air in unison as the air between them began to crackle with black electricity. The droid screamed, at least it sounded close to a scream, and reared backwards, knocking one of the twins (for they could only be twins) backwards and causing the attack to halt.

"Dead scream." The gale whipped into the droid and blasted it towards Saturn, who swung the silence glaive above her head and brought it crashing down, causing an explosion of sorts.

The final team member, again ginger, ran over and raised a hand. Light seemed to stream down from the stars themselves and collect in his hand. He threw the light at the droid just as Sailor Moon cried, "Silver moon crystal power kiss!" once more. Pluto leapt forward and contained the explosion within a shield.

"Are they always like that?" The girl in black and yellow panted, running over to the group.

"That one was particularly strong," Moon gasped, "usually by the time I attack it first time it'll poof."

"Poof? Is that a technical term?"

"Ro— I mean, Nephrite!" Moon scowled, "come one, we should get back. "You're limping," Tuxedo Mask murmured.

"It's not that bad," Moon waved him to one side, "we'll sort it when we get back."

"There is quite a lot of blood," Mercury said appraisingly, "you probably shouldn't put too much weight on it until it's been checked properly."

"Hey!" Moon shouted as Tuxedo Mask scooped her off the ground, "I can walk you know."

"I don't care; you're not to put weight on your leg."

"Fine, but you owe me," she scowled.

Looking around, the black haired boy in silver saw people lining the windows of office buildings nearby, looking down dumbfounded at the scene before them. "Does this happen every time?" he asked.

"More recently yeah," Mars replied, "the fights never used to last long enough to really gain an audience but with these new droids," she sighed and shook her head, "we just don't seem to be able to finish them off quick enough. Come on, lets go." She lead the way as they headed out of the square and up onto the roof of a nearby house, running faster than seemed truly possible to be out of sight in mere moments.

"They were finally out long enough then?"

"Yeah– I've got a trace on their location in Tokyo. It appears to be in an arcade, actually– the crown."

"Good, we'll need this information. Well done, I am proud of you."

"Thank you sir, it is an honour."

"No. The honour shall be launching the attack this time tomorrow." A smile curled the man's lips. "The black crystal gives me strength you cannot even dream about."

"Yes sir. You've said sir."

"Very good. You may continue." As the worker turned back to his computer, the young man headed from the room. He put a hand to his chest and felt his heartbeat and– there, the slight tremor of something else pulsing gently inside his chest, fluttering against his ribcage. The black crystal was with him all the time now, guiding him on his journey, whispering the truth behind the lies of Serenity into his ear.

"We'll get her," he whispered, "we have such powerful allies," his mind flitted to the snake like Voldemort, whose knowledge of the abilities of the senshi's companions could prove invaluable, "how could we not?"

"Usagi, it's your birthday, you're allowed to be happy you know?"

"Right, you said that… but do I really have to tell him today?"

"Usagi, everyone else knows, it's really only fair that he finds out from you," Rei sighed, "and Mamoru'll be there for you."

"That might make it worse. Papa will probably kill him."

"Be fair, it would be quite funny to see him try."

"Minako! That's not going to help," Ami said sternly.

"It'll be fine Usagi," Makoto assured her, "just tell him how you really feel about Mamoru and he'll have to go along with it. To be honest I think he quite likes Mamoru, he just has a problem giving up the image of you as a little girl– you're eighteen, well one thousand eighteen if we're technical, now and he needs to realise that."

"Ok. You're right. I can do this." She took a deep breath and headed from the room, where Mamoru was waiting.

"Sure you're ready?" he asked. "No."

His lips quirked up, "come on, let's go face the beast."

"Can't we just go fight another droid?"

"If you want!" An unfamiliar voice called out. There was an almighty crash and dust began to fall from the ceiling.

"What's going on?" Ami cried, racing from the room Usagi had just left, shortly followed by the other inner senshi.

"They've found us," Mamoru shouted as the shitennou and the handful of order members staying with them ran up the stairs. "We have to fight!"

"Moon cosmos power, make up!"

"Jupiter cosmos power, make up!"

"Saturn cosmos power, make up!"

"Pluto cosmos power, make up!"

"Fighter star power, make up!" there were flashes of light as everyone who could transformed and ran towards the small army of droids lining up on the stairs.

"Be careful!" Mrs Weasley shouted as Fred ran past them up the banister, far more nimble than even he had thought he was. He turned to face George and raised his arms in the air, allowing black lightning to course through the whole of the army. Hermione summoned a very sharp looking dagger and then looked at it as if unsure what to do with it.

"Throw it," Mamoru called at her. She did as he said just as he shouted, "smoking bomber!" the attack met the dagger and the nearest droid fell limp to the ground.

"These aren't too strong," Ami shouted as it faded from existence. "Just keep attacking them!" Ron ran past George, who was sweating with the effort of maintaining the lightning to contain the army. He raised his hand to the ceiling and frowned with concentration as, little by little, light gathered in his palm. He threw it at the droids and a handful in the front row went down.

"Usagi, come here!" Ami shouted. Usagi leapt over Rei and moved towards Ami. "Launch your attack at the same time as I do," Ami said hurriedly, "Maybe if we combine the expanse of mine with the power of yours we'll knock down a lot of them in one go."

"Silver moon crystal power kiss!"

"Mercury aqua rhapsody!" The waves shimmered with silver light as they crashed over the droids. About half of them fell and did not get back up, but a side affect of the attack was that it knocked Fred backwards, breaking his connection with George, meaning that the black lightning disappeared. The droids surged forwards towards the senshi.

"Get the order members back," Setsuna shouted, "their spells won't do anything to the droids, and they're just putting themselves in danger." Hotaru leapt to the back of the fight and brought the glaive down, shouting "silence wall!" and creating a barrier between herself and the fight, locking the order members in with her.

Mamoru and Usagi launched attack after attack at the droids, knocking them to the ground one after the other as the senshi and the shitennou bunched their attacks to take them out.

"Almost there," Harry grunted as he and Ron succeeded in tackling a particularly vicious droid that had taken a sweep at Hermione.

"You know, I didn't think it would take you all this long," a voice drawled down the stairs. "Really I'm disappointed." The man who approached was slim, perhaps early twenties with tousled brown hair. Usagi shivered– there was something decidedly familiar about him, and not in a good way.

"Wiseman," Rei hissed and Usagi realised with a jolt that she was right– the aura of dark power around this man was exactly like that of Wiseman, inhabitant of the Black Moon Nemesis and user of the black crystal.

"We must be careful," Pluto whispered, "he must not die. If he dies, the timeline collapses — it would cause a hole in time itself."

"I'll try remembering that," Usagi whispered back.

"Now, now, whispering is rude." He raised a hand and Usagi braced herself against a sudden pulse of energy. Setsuna shouted something and a shield formed around them. "That can't defend you against the power of the black crystal forever," the man laughed, "I found it you know– after the ice had gone, it was there waiting for me. It told me the truth about you and your plans for this world– the polluting magic you weave through the minds of those that follow you," he looked past Hotaru with distaste. "You brainwash them with promises of Utopia that you can't fulfil."

"I can," Usagi said stubbornly, "I've seen it– been there. Crystal Tokyo is a time of peace… or it will be anyway."

"You know what? I don't believe you." His eyes suddenly darkened, black flooding them until they shone with the power of the crystal lodged in his chest. Pluto's shield didn't stand a chance and the senshi were blasted back. Hotaru's shield fell as well and the order members were thrown from their feet "You are the force behind Crystal Tokyo," he whispered as he scooped Usagi into his arms, "why punish those you've brainwashed to follow you. I know someone who truly wishes to speak with you." Without another word he turned and ran.

Mamoru roared with rage and struggled through the remains of the battle up into the arcade which was in ruins, shortly followed by Seiya. He jumped straight onto a nearby rooftop and began to run, faster than he ever had before, only vaguely aware of the senshi and the shitennou following what may as well have been miles behind and Seiya's panting breath to one side.

He could see the bastard in the distance, but he was pulling away, Usagi lying limp in his arms. He squinted and saw someone else appear on the roof next to them. Within seconds the three of them had gone– disapparated.

"Usako," he murmured, coming to a halt. He fell heavily to his knees. He had failed.

Chapter 45

Usagi woke slowly, her head pounding uncomfortably. She was lying on a cold, stone floor, no longer wearing her sailor fuku. She plunged her hand into her pocket groping desperately for her wand, but it was not there. A low moan escaped her lips and she opened her eyes, blinking when she realised that she still couldn't see anything.

She pushed herself into a sitting position and looked around until her eyes adjusted to the dark– she seemed to be in a cellar of some form, alone. Usagi raised a tentative hand to her head and flinched as her fingers made contact with the impressive lump sending throbbing pains through her skull.

A door opened and a shaft of light cut into the gloom, forcing her to raise her arm to cover her eyes. Someone was thrown unceremoniously into the room with her and the door was slammed shut once more. She crawled over to the outline of the limp figure and began, as best as she could, to move him away from the door.

It took a little while, but he woke eventually. "Hello?" Usagi said quietly. "Who's there?" he replied, suddenly alert.

"My name's Usagi," she said, "do you know where we are?"

"We are, I believe, in the cellar of Malfoy Manor."

"Erm… " Usagi hesitated, but she was sure she had met this man somewhere before, "excuse, me but… do I know you?"

"I believe so. In fact, I believe I sold you your wand… such a curious thing it was… "

"It's happening, isn't it?" Rei asked, sitting down across from Setsuna in the otherwise deserted kitchen, "this is the future you were trying to help us avoid.

"Certainly some of it," Setsuna acknowledged. "Luna is dead and Usagi captured… Crystal Tokyo is slipping away from us."

"It slipped away ages ago, I think. When none of us were looking."

"I am always looking, Rei. Remember that." Setsuna stood and moved through the door that was never there to her own realm. This was where the time stream was clearest, and always had been. She looked critically at the threads binding their current situation to Crystal Tokyo and sighed.

It was not as though she wanted Usagi to go through all of this, but it was necessary. This was the only remaining thread to Crystal Tokyo, branched and frayed as it was. So long as their futures stayed true to the loops and turns of this thread they would reach it in the end.

She did not like to manipulate the threads of time, but there were times when it was unavoidable, and it looked as though this was to be one of those times.

Rei sighed as she headed back into the corridor, "any change?"

"No," Minako replied. "We should just lock the both of them in a room together and let them mope. We'll never help Usagi this way. We need Mamoru's power and, though I hate to admit it, Artemis definitely has his uses, and I know it's only been a few days since… well, but so much has happened and still he won't talk."

"They're both in shock," Ami said, "it's to be expected really… "

"You know what?" Rei said, "I don't care. Mamoru should be helping us to figure out a way to rescue Usagi, not sitting there being useless." She ran for the stairs and was outside Mamoru's room in moments, hammering on the door. "Mamoru, I know you're in there! How the fuck do you think you sitting in there and moping is going to help Usagi right now? You want to know? Well not at all, that's how, so get off your arse right this second and come help us figure out a way to find her or so help me Selene I will fry your arse into the next galaxy!" Heads were peering at her from all levels as she continued to batter at the door until, finally, it opened.

"Well that didn't half take long," she snapped, pushing forward and leading the other senshi into the room with her. Mamoru glared at her and sank down onto the bed.

"I can't feel her," he said, quietly. "I can always feel her; I always know where she is. Why can't I feel her?" his eyes were dark and haunted as he looked from one senshi to the next.

"You're pathetic," Mamoru's eyes snapped to the door, where Seiya stood glaring at him, "all of that year, she felt nothing of you but never once did she give up hope. She always knew she'd find you somehow. Yet here you are, broken when she's only been gone a few days."

"But… why?"

"Because she is guarded by a power that prevents her crystal communicating with yours," Hotaru pushed past Seiya and into the room. "Voldemort has a shard of the silence glaive and he is learning how to control its powers, one of which will allow him to break Usagi's connection with you as long as she doesn't have her wand with her."

"So she's alive?" Mamoru looked up, the light of hope glowing in his eyes.

"She is alive," Setsuna said, appearing behind Minako, who jumped almost a foot in the air, "but you cannot go rescue her yet."

"Why not?" Mamoru had leapt to his feet and was almost out of the room when Setsuna spoke once more.

"Did you truly forget so easily what you have learnt this year? This is a fight you cannot yet win, Mamoru. To reach Usagi you must first destroy the obstacles in your way." Mamoru's hand tightened on the door knob, his knuckles white. "You would best serve the princess now by defeating the enemies that surround her– we are her guard, yet in recent years it has been very much the other way around. Mamoru, you and the shitennou know the task ahead of you. Find them and prepare."

Mamoru's shoulders slumped as he realised that she was right– they had to destroy the horcruxes before Usagi could be rescued. "And how long will that take?" he asked hollowly, "how long will she have to stay there?"

"You know I cannot see," she lied. Suddenly she went quiet, frowning as she looked at something that wasn't quite there. "We should leave," she said, "go to London– Grimauld Place."

"But Molly said the fidelius charm… " Makoto began.

"It does not matter. For now we are safer there than we are here and I can add extra protection to stop Snape entering the building or telling anyone of its existence. Do not tell the order where we are headed. They are going to their own homes which will by then have been protected. The fewer people know our location the better."

"Right. I'll get the shitennou," Rei volunteered. She was back only moments later, reporting that all five shitennou had been listening outside the door.

"Come," Setsuna said, moving through into that other place. The others followed after only a moment's hesitation, knowing that Setsuna would be acting with Usagi's safety as the utmost importance, and even if she could not see the whole of the timeline, she still knew more than the rest of them put together.

Setsuna did not look back as they moved through to Grimauld Place. She did not enjoy lying to her allies, and their trust that she was being honest with them only served to make her more uncomfortable. She stood by silently as they sorted out who would sleep where– now that the order members weren't present it seemed silly to cram people on to the floor– when Harry suddenly fell silent. Without warning, he tore up the stairs, followed shortly by Hermione, Mamoru, Fred and George.

"What's got into them?" Ron asked.

"No idea, but I imagine you should probably follow them." Makoto shrugged. Ron sighed and then began to head upstairs. The others where all on the top floor, rooting around in what appeared to be the room of Sirius' brother.

"Looking for anything in particular?" he asked, peeking into the room.

"No we just thought we'd tear the room apart for fun you twit," Fred said sarcastically.

"Think it through," George said slowly, as though he were talking to a young child, "Regulus Arcturus Black."

"Yeah, Sirius' brother, Regulus Black."

"Ron, you can be really thick sometimes," Hermione grumbled. "RAB?"

"What about… oh! You think Sirius' brother was that RAB?"

"Well it fits," Mamoru said, "a disillusioned death eater may well have found out Voldemort's secret. Damnit it isn't here!"

"It could still be in the house," Hermione said reasonably, "there was all sorts in those cupboards… in those… oh."

"What is it?" Mamoru asked, his head snapping up.

"There was a locket," she said, fearfully, "a big, heavy one that no one could open. We… we threw it away."

"Kreacher," Harry said, "he rescued tons of stuff, and he could have it!" He lead them as they ran back downstairs, passing the startled senshi on the second floor.

"I suppose there is a reason for all of this?" Rei said, frowning at their backs as they pounded down to the kitchen, "if they're much louder Mrs Black'll start shouting at them."

When they headed down to the kitchen half an hour later it was just in time to see Kreacher disapparate. The shitennou were dotted around the room, all of them looking somewhat relieved. "I don't suppose there's much point asking what all of that was about." Makoto sighed.

"Not really," Harry shrugged.

"The shitennou have their mission, just as we have ours," Setsuna said gravely.

"Yes, but we know we're not going to finish our mission until Usagi's back," Minako said bluntly, "she's the one who has to exile Wiseman– why can't we help the shitennou until then?"

"Because it's dangerous enough that you know they're up to something," Setsuna said, "the less people know about the mission they have undertaken the safer they will be and the safer Usagi will remain in the meantime."

Minako huffed in obvious disapproval, but didn't argue the point any further. Ami was typing away on the Mercury console, sitting at the kitchen table and more than a little oblivious to the argument going on over her head.

"Anything interesting?" Makoto asked, slumping down next to her.

"Nothing much," she replied, "I'm searching the planet for traces of the dark crystal. It's never been picked up before, but the crystal could easily have entered the world during the great ice."

"You know, there are times when I just forget about the whole thing," Rei said, fetching some butter beer from the pantry, "Sure it wasn't pleasant, but nothing seems to have changed. I always thought that the thirtieth century would be so different, but the truth is… it's not. It's just the twentieth century dumped one thousand years along the timeline."

"It is for now," Setsuna said, "if everything turns out the way it should, Crystal Tokyo will rise."

"See, I don't get that." Makoto said, looking up, "does that mean something has to happen to current Tokyo in order for a rebuild to happen?"

No one replied for a moment and then Hotaru spoke, "the midnight gate is waiting… many people will die this year."

"Many people die every year," Ami pointed out.

"This year is different," Hotaru said firmly, "and the gate knows it."

Fred shivered, "As nice as it is to talk about such cheering things, let's move on."

"Definitely," George agreed. "Beans on toast anyone?" Makoto scowled and pushed George out of the way as she set about making them a proper meal.

"Your wand," the high voice said, "it is… different. Why is it different?" Usagi did not answer, but stared stubbornly at her shoes. "You will answer me when I talk to you. Crucio!" Usagi screamed and clutched her head with her hands, pulling her hair even further out of its odangos than she already had, squeezing her head as though it might stop the pain.

"Now, why is your wand different?"

"It channels the lunar power," she said quietly. "Good. And how can I access this power."

"You can't," Usagi said, looking into the snake like red eyes, "you don't have anything near that sort of power."

"Crucio! Mr Ollivander, come here please." The old man moved slowly across the floor. "What do you know of this wand– you sold it, I am informed. Did you make it?"

"No," Ollivander said weakly, "it and it's companion wands have been in the store for hundreds of years… I do not know the secret of their origins."

"Liar! Crucio!" Ollivander writhed in pain as the curse took hold, moaning as Voldemort towered over him. "Will any of these wands work for me?" Voldemort asked imperiously.

"No… but… but there were rumours… "

"Rumours of what?"

"Of a tenth wand… a wand just as powerful as the one you yourself hold. Part of the set and yet… "


"It is called the Elder Wand… "

Chapter 46

"Setsuna," Harry panted, "we have a favour to ask."

"This would not, by any chance, have to do with the return of Kreacher and Mundungus Fletcher?"

"Possibly. Anyway, we need to get somewhere tonight, late-ish, and we're not entirely sure where it is."

"Where is it you wish to go?"

"Dolores Umbridge's house," Harry replied. "We think she has one of the… one of the things," he glanced at Minako, who promptly threw the heavy book she was reading at his head. "Hey!" he shouted.

"Well I'm sorry if it pisses me off that you're keeping secrets. It's your job to keep Mamoru safe, and it's mine to look after Usagi. You're really not helping with that." She stormed from the room, followed by Rei, Makoto and a slightly apologetic Ami, who picked up Minako's book on the way out.

"They're just frustrated," Hotaru said, not even looking up from her own book, "we've looked through every book in this house that even mentions the silver millennium or the moon kingdom, something we've never had any access to before, and there are no references to black crystal. Add to that the fact that they're used to having the freedom of a whole city and being cooped up in here while the centre of their world, though trust me none of them will admit that, is probably being tortured somewhere and you have a lot of people who may kill you if you cross them. The only reason Mamoru's any saner is because at least his mission is yielding results for now."

Harry swallowed at the calm and collected way in which Hotaru said all of this. He had the distinct feeling that she was not kidding in the slightest. She turned a page in her book, apparently unaware that she had done anything unnerving. "And then there's Seiya, who travelled from another planet just to keep Usagi safe. Imagine how she feels about the whole thing."

"What time do you wish to arrive at Umbridge's house?" Setsuna asked, carrying on with the conversation as though there had been no interruption.

"Ummm, I don't know really. Mamoru says she'll probably be out of the ministry at eight-ish, and we'll want her there in case she's wearing the damn thing, but we'll want her to be asleep. We'll definitely want her to be asleep."

"I would suggest early in the morning then. Possibly one o'clock? That would not only allow for her to get home, but it would also be Harry's birthday, meaning the magic could not be traced."

"That'll work," Harry agreed, smiling. "I hadn't thought of that. I'll go tell the others." Once he had gone, Minako and the others came back into the room.

"I wish you'd just tell us what it is they're up to," Rei grumbled, "then we could help instead of sitting here doing nothing."

"Pyro's right," Minako said, "we're just useless here. Who knows what's happening to Usagi right now, and we're no help whatsoever."

"I know you're frustrated, and I am too," Setsuna assured them."

"At least you know what they're up to," Makoto pointed out, "I just want to hit them sometimes, being so bloody secretive." Rei nodded furiously in agreement.

At ten to one that night, the shitennou, Mamoru and Setsuna were standing in the entrance hall of number 12 Grimauld place, preparing to go. Setsuna lead the way, leading them out into Dolores

Umbridge's front garden. "Do you have the polyjuice potion?" Harry hissed at Fred, who produced a number of small, glass vials each one a different colour.

"They've each got a muggle hair in," he explained, "I collected them this afternoon under the cloak. Figured if we do get seen then at least this way we won't get blamed."

"Brilliant," Ron said as Fred handed him a small vial of green liquid. They each took a gulp and waited a moment until the transformations had finished. "Oh hilarious!" Ron raged, looking down.

"Well I always thought you were too girl for your own good," George sighed before he and George cracked up with laughter. Ron, now a rather pretty blonde girl, had turned roughly the same colour as beetroot. Harry laughed out loud in a new, booming voice before they headed towards the house.

"I shall wait for you here," Setsuna said, standing sentinel by the gate.

"Take this first," Fred said, holding a vial out for her, "if you get seen they'll know it's us anyway."

Setsuna, who had known this was coming, sighed and drank the bottle down, becoming a rather dumpy school teacher. She took up a guard by the gate to the prim, rather austere garden, full of bright pink flowers grown in fussy, ornamental arrangements.

"I can't see any lights," Mamoru murmured, looking towards Harry, who nodded as he pocketed his glasses– the muggle he was impersonating didn't need them.

"Alohamora," he whispered, pointing his wand at the lock, which clicked open. "Well that was far too easy.

"I told you," Mamoru murmured, "she's a top level ministry employee. There'll be alarms going off in the law enforcement office even now, and I swear Thicknesse was imperioused even before I left. They'll be on their way already."

"Right then," Hermione said, "let's go," and she dived into Umbridge's house, nipping up the stairs ahead of the others. Harry shook his head and followed her. They moved as slowly as they dared, peering into rooms on their way past until they reached what could only be Umbridge's bedroom. It was pink and lacy, with those hideous cat plates all over the walls.

"Shit." Fred said, looking into the room, "wonder why she isn't home yet."

"Setsuna's vision must be more limited than we thought," Mamoru replied, moving into the room, "come on, we should look while she isn't here."

Outside, Setsuna stepped back into her world, watching as Umbridge apparated into the garden. This, she had decided, would be the easiest way to let them find out about the ministry. Once she had looked, Setsuna realised that she could not see much in Umbridge's life, probably due to the pollution of the horcrux, but thankfully Umbridge had not had the thing on her today, meaning that, when asked to provide transport to Umbridge's (they could have apparated, but Setsuna's travel was less flawed) she had known exactly when she would return, and exactly what she would be carrying with her.

Naturally a total policy reversal had lead to a lot of paperwork for the ministry and Umbridge had been forced to stay late, drafting up the new "muggle Born Registration Act" as well as designing the wanted posters for various criminals or "Undesirables".

"There's someone downstairs," Mamoru hissed, drawing his wand, "Hermione, Ron, keep looking for the locket. Fred and George will keep watch, while Harry and I go down and see if it's her." He crept back down the stairs with Harry and peered around the corner towards the kitchen, inside of which a light was on.

He moved silently, having had much practise of this for various reasons over the years, and pointed his wand at Umbridge's back. "Don't move." He hissed.

"Who's there?" she asked.

"Doesn't matter," Mamoru said, grateful for the different voice provided by the polyjuice potion Fred and George had whipped from who knew where.

"What's that?" Harry asked, pointing towards the paper on the kitchen table. "Paperwork," Umbridge said, breathily.

"Take it," Mamoru said, "it may come in handy– she's one of Fudge's supporters."

"Fudge?" Umbridge giggled, "why would I support him?"

"We've got it," a feminine voice rang down the stairs and it took Harry a moment to remember that it was Ron.

"Let's go," Harry shouted, grabbing the papers from the table, his heart soaring– they had found one! Mamoru kept his wand pointed at Umbridge as they backed out of the room.

"Don't move or I'll hex you," he said, allowing the others time to reach Setsuna before running out of the door. As he moved through into the space-time dimension he heard the crack of the law enforcement team arriving. They were lucky, the team seemed to be late for some reason. He was glad they had taken Setsuna with them, as if they hadn't one of the ministry employees could easily have tagged along to Grimauld Place by side along apparition.

They stumbled out into the hall in number 12 and breathed a sigh of relief, only to look up the stairs and into the faces of six very pissed off senshi. "So," Rei seethed, "you were going to tell us about this little jaunt when?"

There was a moment of silence before Minako said, "And sorry, but when did Ron turn into a girl?"

"How the hell did you know it was me?" Ron said, outraged.

"Be fair Ron," Rei said acidly, "you still had that dim-witted look on your face."

"Hey!" Mamoru said, putting himself between the senshi and the shitennou, "calm down."

"No!" Everyone jumped and looked at Ami, who blushed a little but did not stop. "Usagi is not just our Princess Mamoru, she's our friend. If it wasn't for here we'd all still be nobodies right now– she's been a huge part of our lives for so many years that we can't just stand here and do nothing while you work to save her. Maybe if we worked together we can help," her eyes pleaded with him to not only listen to her, but to hear what she was saying.

Mamoru hesitated and then looked to Setsuna, "What harm can it truly do to tell them?" he asked, "Surely Vol-"

"Can we just not with the name, please!" Ron shouted, his voice something between a girlish squeak and his usual voice — the potion was wearing off.

"Alright, you-know-who. Surely he'd guess what it was anyway?"

"Setsuna thought for a moment, and then nodded. She did not want the senshi to know, but to say as much would reveal how much further she could see, and at the moment that was something she would rather keep to herself, not wanting the others to know how much she would be manipulating them in the weeks to come.

"But Dumbledore said… " Harry began.

"Dumbledore's gone Harry," Makoto said gently, "things have changed. I'm quite sure Dumbledore meant to be alive for this."

Harry hesitated, and then sighed. "I suppose. And it will be helpful to have their know how… "

"Indeed. Rei and Ron together may even be able to help us destroy the damn thing."

"What thing?" Seiya asked, moving past Mamoru and into the front room. The others followed her and settled into the musty sofas dotted around the large space.

"This thing," Hermione said, bringing out the locket and laying it carefully on the coffee table. "I duplicated it, by the way," she said to the others, "so that she wouldn't notice it was gone."

"Good idea," Harry said, leaning back into the sofa and running his hand through his hair, which was somewhere between a pale blonde and its usual jet black. "Well where to start I suppose… " he began with his first lesson with Dumbledore, filling them in about Voldemort's past and what little they knew of his horcruxes.

"Wow… " Rei said, almost speechless.

"I suspected it might be that… " Hotaru said, quietly. "His soul was incomplete, all those years ago, and I could not allow him to pass beyond the midnight gate. If we can find those portions of his soul, then he may move through."

"We think we know what's left," George said, leaning forward, "the locket, the cup, something of either Gryffindor's or Ravenclaw's, and the snake."

"That doesn't add up," Hotaru replied, instantly, "his soul was too maimed. There must have been at least one, more likely two, more pieces of his soul, not counting the one he still retains."

"Well there was the diary," Harry said, "but that's already gone. I don't think there is another, but I suppose it's not impossible."

Hotaru looked thoughtful for a moment, and then a look of realisation dawned only briefly upon her face. She hid it quickly before anyone but Setsuna noticed, but glanced across at the senshi of time, her eyes narrowed.

"So how are you going to destroy this one now?" Rei asked, looking down at the locket.

"We don't know," Hermione sighed, "there aren't that many ways of destroying a horcrux. There's basilisk venom, fiend fire… basically anything that's seriously destructive that'll put it beyond magical repair."

They looked down at the locket for a moment, until Seiya said, "what about concentrating out attacks? They've got to be pretty damn destructive."

"Good idea," Harry enthused, "shall we try now?"

"No," Mamoru said, "It could be dangerous if it didn't work. We should allow Rei and Ron to consult the fire and the stars first to see if they can find any clues to our success."

"But there's no fire here," Rei said sadly, thinking of the fire in the Hikawa shrine back home.

"I can help with that," Setsuna said, "I will go and collect a fire pot from the sacred fire." Rei smiled up at her, silently thankful for the slice of home she would have soon. Setsuna stepped back and through into the past. Once there, she moved into the Hikawa shrine, past the shrine maiden as she swept the courtyard, yelling at a girl with blond odangos to help, and through into the deserted fire room. Carefully, she selected a fire pot from the cupboard and set it alight with flames from the shrine, before moving back to Grimauld Place. "Here," she said, handing the pot to Rei, who held it for a moment and then burst into tears.

"What is it?" Harry asked, leaping to his feet and placing his arm around her shoulders, earning an approving look from Ron.

Rei looked up at Setsuna and smiled, "you got this from before the ice," she said thickly, "before the fire went out." Setsuna nodded.

"This way, you never failed in your duty as the shrine maiden, right?" Makoto said, realising what it was Setsuna had done.

"And the flame is more powerful," Rei said, nodding, clutching at the fire pot as though it was a lifeline. "I'll set it to burn in the kitchen," she hurried away.

"Right, your turn now Ron," Hermione said, "Do you mind if we watch, It'll be interesting I imagine." Ron shrugged and then his eyes. Ami shivered as the room around them darkened, and spots of light began to blink into existence– the stars.

"The stars know everything, tying a dream together in light and shadow, time is spun and remains in the eye." Minako stifled a giggle– Ron just did not have the same aura of the last Nephrite.

Ron's eyes swivelled behind closed lids as a beam of light hit his forehead. He stiffened and then relaxed as the light vanished.

"Learn anything?" George asked, smiling a little in amusement as Ron sat down. "I did," Fred butted in.

"Same," George agreed. "We both learnt that Ron looks like a prat when consulting the stars."

"Shut up", Ron snapped.

"So did you see anything?" Ami asked.

"Nope. Nothing whatsoever. It was as though the Horcrux was blocking my power or something."

"Well let's hope that Rei is more successful," Makoto smiled, but thinking that she wouldn't place money on it. They headed down to the kitchen together, past Kreacher who bowed deeply at Harry and the Weasleys, even jerking his head somewhat at the rest of them. Rei was kneeling before the hearth, beads of sweat forming on her forehead as she prayed before the roaring fire. The others took seats at the table, grateful for the warmth of the flames. When Rei finally stood, she turned to the others and shook her head.

"We can't destroy those with our powers," she said, "it's protected against them."

"Right then," Harry said, "let's keep it safe," and he placed the chain around his neck. Rei frowned uneasily, not all that sure that wearing the Horcrux was a smart idea.

"Harry, what's that you've got?" Ami asked, moving attention to the papers Harry had just dumped on the table.

"What? Oh, some stuff I took from Umbridge," he shrugged. Ami reached forward and picked up a rolled up piece of parchment, unfurling it to see what it was about. She gasped and nearly dropped it, only too have Minako grab it.

"Undesirable Number One. Damn, wish I could piss the ministry off that much Harry."

"What?" Harry was confused, until Minako twisted the poster. "Oh."

"Looks like Voldemort got to the ministry, doesn't it?" Mamoru said, grimly.

"There's another one, with all of us on… " Rei said, scanning the page quickly, "Number five… I could definitely do worse."

"Ooh! What am I?" Minako asked.

"Four. Mamoru's two, Setsuna three, then Hermione at six followed by Hotaru, Makoto, Fred, George– actually I have no idea what order that's in, could be either way– Ron and Ami."

"I guess Usagi isn't there because they've caught her already," Mamoru said sadly, bringing them all crashing down to reality.

"Probably," Rei sighed, looking down at the poster, which showed each of them in their other form. The pictures, which moved a little as she watched, looked as though they had been enchanted to prevent their occupants leaving the frame of view. "Hang on," she said, drawing out her wand. She moved over to a wall and muttered something as she flicked her wand, "non-permanent sticking charm," she explained, "we have to remember why it is we're here. To fight against the sort of people who spread these rumours."

"Good idea," Harry said, nodding.

"Oh, and Harry," Rei said tiredly as she headed upstairs. "Happy birthday."

Chapter 47

"So the other horcruxes could be pretty much anywhere," Makoto summed up, frowning a little. "Seems like it," Harry nodded, "I mean, they're likely to be somewhere Vol-"

"Harry, we get that you like saying the name," George said, wincing even at the first syllable. "But we'd rather you just stick to you-know-who," Fred continued.

"Fine, you-know-who then. They're likely to be in place he felt a particularly strong connection to. I still think there's probably one at Hogwarts."

"I don't know," Rei frowned, "it was just his school."

"It was more than that though," Harry insisted. "it was somewhere he felt like he had a home."

"At his school?" Ron's eyebrows were raised. "Yes, at his school," Harry snapped.

"I agree with Harry," Makoto said, "if he'd grown up being treated badly because of his magic and then come to Hogwarts, where he was rewarded for it, he would probably consider it somewhere special."

"Huh. I was more thinking of him fitting in," Harry admitted, "but your argument makes more sense."

"Right. But that doesn't matter anyway because we're not going to be able to get into Hogwarts with Snape as headmaster," Hermione pointed out from behind the daily profit, the cover of which bore a moving picture of said headmaster.

"We should probably leave that one till last," Mamoru agreed. It had taken a while, but whenever they were actively discussing the horcruxes, Mamoru seemed to rouse from the stupor that he spent most of his time in these days and a new, bright light kindled in his eyes, a fever that kept him going. At that moment there was a knock on the door.

"Who the hell could that be?" Seiya asked, paling visibly.

"Let's go find out," Minako winked, drawing her wand as she darted past Kreacher, who bowed shallowly as she ran up the stairs. When she reached the top of the stairs the front door was already opening and a shabby wizard she vaguely recognised was standing in the door, followed by someone in shadow. She raised her wand and called, "identify yourselves or Selene help me I will jinx you where you stand." She had enough sense to keep her voice at such a level that Mrs Black was not woken up.

"It is I," a tired voice began as the others came upstairs, "Remus John Lupin."

"Prove it," Harry panted, his own wand now pointed at Lupin.

"In your third year I taught you how to produce a patronus, which takes the form of a stag."

"And I am Sirius Black, owner of this wreck of a house, your godfather and animagus." Sirius transformed there before them and, finally, Harry lowered his wand.

"I suppose you can come in then," he said, rubbing his eyes with the heel of his hand.

"Some welcome," Sirius grumbled as he transformed back again and Lupin shut the door behind them.

"Warm welcomes are hard to come by these days," Ami said quietly before leading the way back down to the kitchen.

"Master Sirius," Kreacher croaked, bowing low as Sirius came down the stairs, "would you care for any refreshments?" Sirius blinked, and then looked questioningly at Harry.

"It's safe," Harry actually smiled. "Kreacher, would you please grab us some butter beers from the cellar?"

"Of course Master Harry," Kreacher bowed and hurried away.

"What happened to him? And where did he get that locket– I thought Regulus would've had it with him when he died. Never went anywhere without the blasted thing."

"Long story," Harry smirked, settling down at the table.

"I see you know about the ministry's new policies," Lupin commented, looking at the poster on the kitchen wall.

"Yeah," Fred said, smirking, "all the cool people are wanted criminals at the moment."

"I could have told you that years ago," Sirius said, followed by a bark of laughter.

"So, what brings you here?" Mamoru asked, thanking Kreacher as he took a butter beer from the elf.

"We've been visiting anywhere we thought you might be hiding," Sirius said, taking a swig of butter beer, "we started in Japan, but the place was deserted."

"Wiseman found us," Minako explained, "and we couldn't be sure if things like the fidelius charm would protect against the black crystal."


"A long story that you probably shouldn't know most of," Setsuna said from where she was stood in a corner.

"Suffice to say that he is bad news," Hotaru agreed.

"Right… so then we checked the burrow, which is where most of the others are. Arthur's secret keeper there, and shell cottage with Bill and Fleur." Lupin said.

"And then I suggested we look here. We weren't expecting anything if we're honest, not since the fidelius charm was weakened."

"I have restored it," Setsuna said hurriedly, "only those who knew of it previously will be able to enter the building. Minako is the secret keeper."

"Well that's good to know."

"So why were you looking for us?" Minako asked, her eyes narrowing.

"We thought we could be of assistance," Lupin stated, "as we each have our… individual gifts."

"I get that Sirius is an animagus," Makoto said, "but no offence meant, what can you do?"

"I am a werewolf," Lupin said shortly.

"Oh you idiot!" Minako sprang to her feet. "And you never once thought to mention this while we had the Moon Princess with us? When she could have helped you?"

"Helped me?"

"Yes helped you! The moon controls your transformations and she controls the moon, it does not take a genius to see the link."

"You mean… she can cure me?" Lupin's eyes were shining with hope as he looked at Minako. "If we ever rescue her, yes. She could sort it right out."

Lupin set his butter beer down and stared at Minako in astonishment. "I never thought there was truly a way… "

"Well you never asked," she sighed, slumping back into her seat, "twit."

Two Months Later

Setsuna smiled grimly as she looked upon the months ahead. As the year progressed, the timeline only became more stable, and she caught more and more glimpses of Crystal Tokyo, hazy in the distance. The threads were still a little more frayed than she would have liked, but there was something a little more worrying.

She knew when this war would end, only because it was the day she could not see. The times beyond that were misty, and there were vague shadows of people she knew could not possibly be there, but still…

She turned her mind to more immediate concerns, and the acting she would have to do in mere moments. She phased through into 12 Grimauld Place and began shouting, screaming for attention, calling the senshi and the shitennou to the hall.

"What is it?" Sirius bellowed over his mothers screams, "Why is everyone running?"

"Sirius, Remus," she gasped as she ran past them, "get Kreacher to prepare two rooms, broth and hot cocoa right now."


"Because she's going to escape," Setsuna shouted, running down to join the mess of senshi and shitennou at the bottom of the stairs, "Mamoru, shitennou to the centre of the circle." There were no arguments as the senshi formed their ring and linked hands before Setsuna teleported them away.

"She's going to escape from Lord Voldemort?" Sirius whistled, "She's even more powerful than we thought."

"Mr Ollivander? Are you alright?" Usagi laid a hand on the wand maker's forehead, not wanting to shake him in case she merely worsened his injuries. He did not reply, so Usagi was quiet for a while. She was not quite sure how long she sat in the darkness, time seemed to blur down there in the dark, but it felt like hours before Ollivander finally moved.

"It's alright Mr Ollivander," Usagi pushed him down as he tried to sit up, "you just rest, you need to give yourself a chance to heal. Ollivander did not reply, but lay still a little while longer.

The door opened during this time. Usagi blinked when she realised that whoever it was coming down the stairs was holding a lantern. She raised a hand to shield her eyes and saw for the first time just what a pitiful state she was truly in.

Dried blood streaked her normally pale skin, now darkened by dirt, while her clothes were certainly no cleaner, with holes in her tights and the cuffs of her shirt frayed. Her hair… her hair. It was gone. It seemed such a petty thing to be sad about, but Usagi missed the long odangos it had always been in. She couldn't even remember which of her captors had cut it, only that they had. It now barely reached her shoulders, and hung unevenly. She blinked and looked up at the huge man who was walking towards her as he set the lantern down a short distance away and headed towards her.

"The dark lord wants you alive," he said through pointed teeth. "It's a shame really, but he did say I could have a taste of your flesh, to make you talk." He licked his lips and Usagi scooted back until she was as far away from the man as she could possibly be in the confined space.

He moved slowly forwards, backing her into a corner, before leaning forwards and grasping her arm. Usagi gasped as a shock of power flitted from the man and into her body– she knew what he was.

She reached out with her free hand and grabbed his wrist, using his weight to pull herself unsteadily to her feet. "I feel you, wolf," she gasped, even that small spark of power intoxicating after so long with nothing. "I banish the creature from you," she drew upon that spark, willing it to bend to her will, "may it never again darken your being."

The man convulsed, his whole body jerking uncontrollably. Usagi let go of him and ducked out from the corner, running over to where Ollivander lay and gingerly helping him to his feet, taking him onto her shoulders. The spark of power had reinvigorated her immensely, although she felt a little light headed. She heaved Mr Ollivander up the stairs and through a mercifully empty room into a large, cavernous hallway. She half dragged him to the door, turned the key in the lock and staggered out into the glorious light of the crescent moon. She felt something at the back of her mind as the moonlight touched her skin and knew that he was coming for her. She slid down next to the door and began to sob quiet tears of both sadness and joy.

They moved silently towards the large house, but Usagi knew they were there nonetheless and she cried even harder as her awareness of her prince grew stronger and she felt the joy in his heart at finding her alive. She clutched at him as his arms scooped her from the ground, her hands balling up the material of his Uniform.

"Do you have your wand?" he whispered. She shook her head, still not opening her eyes in case this was a dream.

"We'll take care of that," Minako began confidently until Setsuna interrupted.

"No. You can't go in there without getting caught. It's a miracle Usagi got out. We leave the wand."

"But… "

"No buts," Setsuna's eyes flashed dangerously, "form the circle." Fred and George took Ollivander into the centre of the circle just in time.

"Sailor Teleport," Minako yelled, landing the group in the hall of number 12 Grimauld Place. Mamoru, still cradling Usagi in his arms, headed up to his room (once belonging to Regulus) and laid her gently on the bed. She resisted refusing to let go of him and forcing him to lie next to her, his uniform fading as she held on to him and he to her. They were of course, only allowed about two minutes of time alone, Mamoru sat up, still holding Usagi, when he heard footsteps on the stairs. All the senshi except Setsuna burst in, their eyes bright with joy and yet tempered with concern.

Rei made it to the bed first swooping down at Usagi and hugging her tight, tears glistening in her eyes. Usagi tensed as Rei approached, but relaxed a little as she held her, letting go of Mamoru so that she could put her arms around her friends one at a time until they moved back to give her some space.

"Where's Ollivander?" she said, her voice cracked.

"The others are taking care of him– he's in Sirius' parent's old room." Setsuna said as she entered. She looked critically at Usagi but was surprised (and it really was hard to surprise the time guardian) a moment later when the teenager leapt from the bed and squeezed her tight.

"You saw us escaping, didn't you? You were the reason you were all coming even before I got out of the door."

Setsuna blinked and then stroked Usagi's now short hair gently, holding her Princess tight. "I will always protect you," she vowed. Only she was not sure whether she was making a promise or reassuring herself. Usagi wiped her eyes with the back of her hands and moved back towards Mamoru, sitting down next to him and taking his hands.

Mamoru smiled as he saw that she still wore her engagement ring after everything she had been through. "I brought cocoa!" Hermione was running up the stairs, using her wand to bring the mug of hot liquid to prevent spillages. She flicked her wand and the mug flew smoothly on to the bed side table as Hermione ran forward and hugged Usagi hard, causing the blond to choke a little on her bushy hair before putting her arms around Hermione.

"Thanks for the cocoa," Usagi said, reaching for the mug. She did not smile, Mamoru noted. "Would you mind," she said slowly, looking at the senshi, but I'd appreciate some time alone with Mamoru." They all looked a little disappointed, but filed out all the same. Usagi took a sip of her cocoa and leaned back into Mamoru. He cupped her face in his hand and rubbed his thumb down her cheek across the layer of dirt caked there.

"I think," he smiled kindly, "that you will probably want a bath."

"That sounds good," Usagi said a little drowsily. Mamoru gave her time to set her cocoa down before lifting her off the bed and carrying her into the en-suite bathroom. He set her down gently, leaning against a wall, and flicked his wand. Instantly the bath was filled with steaming hot water.

"Do you want me to go or stay?"

"Stay, please," Usagi looked up at him, her huge blue eyes very suddenly fearful, "don't leave me alone."

"Never again," he knelt down and took her in his arms again. "I promise."

Chapter 48

Eventually, Mamoru and Usagi moved apart and Usagi began to peel away her filthy clothes. Mamoru clenched his fists as more and more of her bruised, scarred skin was exposed. It looked as though more than one of her ribs was broken, and she was leaning heavily upon her right leg. She sank into the warm water and took a deep breath, her body shaking slightly.

Mamoru moved to the side of the tub and began to rinse her hair. As he ran his fingers across her scalp, golden sparks flew from his fingers and were absorbed into her skin, travelling through her body and warming her from her fingers to her toes. She ran her hands across her bruises as they faded, but the half healed scars were left untouched by the healing magic, and always would.

Usagi sank further into to the warm water, but still she did not smile.

"The point, Setsuna, is that we still need Usagi's wand. She can't transform without it remember!" Minako was more than a little exasperated.

"I know that, but had we gone back we would have come back with fewer comrades than we have now."

"I thought the future was hazy," Rei snapped.

"Had we gone in, Hotaru would not have come out." Setsuna's eyes were stern as she turned on Rei.

"You should have said," Hotaru's voice was quiet. "You should have said that was what would happen. It is my job to die for the silver millennium and I am more than prepared to do my duty."

"Hotaru don't say that," Rei stood up from the table, "I didn't mean… ok so maybe we were right not to go back."

"No, you were right. Princess Serenity's henshin is the most important of them all– it is well worth the sacrifice."

"Hotaru," Hermione's eyes were shining and her voice shook as she looked between the resolute senshi of silence and the others, who were looking between each other, uncertain.

"Tell me honestly, Setsuna, do you know that if I went back to Malfoy Manor now, I would be unsuccessful in retrieving Usagi's wand."

Setsuna blinked, her mind skimming all the possible outcomes of this moment. "I cannot see it," she said eventually. Hotaru nodded and moved out of the room.

"Why did you tell her that?" Minako rounded upon Setsuna, "you should have lied to her — she'll just go and get herself killed now."

"I did lie to her," Setsuna said shortly, "come and see." Without another word, she lead them all up the stairs from the kitchen. She stopped them at the edge of the hall, just in time to see Hotaru transform, the silence glaive held proudly in a hand that did not shake at all.

Or did it?

"Hotaru?" Usagi's voice wafted down the stairs, quieter than any of them were used to and hesitant, "Hotaru, what are you doing?"

"I am doing my duty, highness Serenity," Hotaru bowed, "I am no longer Hotaru, but Sailor Saturn, Messiah of Silence."

"Very well, Saturn. Can I ask you a question?" Usagi was descending the stairs in a white dressing gown, Mamoru at her side.

"It is your prerogative, highness," Saturn nodded.

"Very well. How does Hotaru feel about you fulfilling your duty?"

"I do not understand what you mean."

"How does Hotaru feel about ending her life?" Usagi said bluntly, lowering herself gently to sit on a step about halfway down the flight, leaning on Mamoru to lever herself into a comfortable position.

"I am prepared to die for the future of Crystal Tokyo."

"I did not ask if you were prepared to die. I asked if you were ready to end your life. Hotaru has so much to live for. You have so much to live for." Saturn's hand tightened visibly on the silence glaive. "You have a family here, Hotaru," Usagi said, tears in her eyes, "people who love you. One day you'll have Chibiusa to care for as well, and I bet she'll love you just like a sister."

Saturn's eyes filled with tears as Usagi spoke. "I… I want that… " Hotaru said her voice thick with tears, "I want to live."

There was a blinding flash of purple light, and when it faded, Princess Saturn stood before them. Her fuku had been replaced by a black dress shimmering with purple spots of light that almost looked like the stars of a distant galaxy. Her white gloves now extended well beyond her elbows, and her purple boots past her knees. The bust of the dress was dark purple with golden edgings, and the crystal of her original fuku was placed in the centre of a thin bow. Unusually, her dress had no sailor collar. Still she held the silence glaive, but now she was master of her power, rather than her power being master over her. She swayed a little on the spot and Setsuna ran forward to steady her.

"It's alright," Hotaru smiled as she straightened herself, her dress fading into the black she had been wearing before transforming, "I'll be fine." She looked up to where Usagi sat, leaning against Mamoru's shoulder. "Thank you," she nodded hr head.

"Usagi you should really get to bed," Ami said, squeezing past the others, "you look shattered."

"I'll take her," Mamoru said, "I told her the same but she insisted that she had to talk to Hotaru first." Ami blinked surprised– could Usagi have known what was going to happen?

"Setsuna," Usagi called as Mamoru lead her up the stairs, "can I have a word with you before I go to bed?"

"Of course," Setsuna nodded, heading up the stairs behind them. When Usagi had settled down under the covers, she looked up at Mamoru, communicating without words. Silently, he headed out of the room and shut the door.

"He's sat outside the door," Usagi said, "but he won't listen."

"Your bond is strengthening then?" Setsuna asked.

"Yes. I think the time apart made it stronger when we found each other. I think… I think I would find it hard if he were much further away."

"I think you would both find it hard."

"Probably," Usagi brushed a hand through her hair, hanging roughly at her shoulders. "It will get easier."

"I hope so… but then, I know that you've seen it. You lied to me Setsuna, to all of us. The future is far clearer than you have made it out to be." Setsuna did not speak. "I don't blame you for what happened, or anything that will happen. I know why you did it. Crystal Tokyo. I saw it, in my dreams. It kept me going."

"You saw it?"

"Briefly," Usagi nodded, "it was beautiful. I keep seeing glimpses of the future in my dreams," she gazed into Setsuna's red eyes, "is that normal?"

Setsuna looked thoughtful for a moment. "Normal, no. Unexpected… also no."

"Did you see this coming?"

"There is a lot about you that I cannot see. In fact, all of the senshi are merely blurred images in the timeline at the moment. I had assumed that it was because we are working to shape the future, but now I am not so sure."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"I wish I knew."

Hotaru's heels clicked a little as she approached the door, silence glaive held loosely in her hands. Her black dress swirled in a non-existent wind as she watched the midnight gate creak slowly open. Two figures were standing there, as though they had always known this would happen.

"What happened to the taboos?" a voice, like chimes over a vast sea, asked. "I am Princess Saturn. I set the taboos."

"You are stronger than I remember," the other, taller figure asked.

"And more in control,"Hotaru nodded. "My power is my own to control and I am not its puppet."

"So we can move through?" Hotaru shook her head.

"So why are we here?"

"Because I can bring you through." Hotaru reached through the gate and grasped a cold hand, gloved in white, pulling with all her magical strength against the natural boundary of the midnight gate.

"Welcome back," she smiled, as Michiru dragged Haruka across the boundary with her.

Chapter 49

Hotaru stepped through the boundary and into life, guiding Haruka and Michiru through with her. The blinked even in the dim light of the corridor of number 12, used to the muted dark of the realm beyond the midnight gate, taking in the sensations of the world– sights, smells and touches, all things that did not exist in the place that was death.

"Harry," Hotaru called, striding through into the study, "where is the Horcrux?"

"It's right here, why?"

"Give it to me?"


"I know how to destroy it?"

"Great," Harry leapt up from the armchair he had been squished onto with Rei, "how?" but Hotaru did not answer.

"Ron," she shouted, causing the red head to peer out from the top of the stairs.

"Wha– Holy shit! But… you're dead! Aren't you?" This, perhaps inevitably, caused a slight riot. Doors slammed and henshin phrases were shouted as people thundered up and down stairs to the hall. The only people who seemed to have expected this were Setsuna (of course) and Usagi.

"How the hell," Minako said, her wand pointed straight at Haruka's chest, "are you here?"

"That would be my doing," Hotaru moved in front of Haruka and Michiru, "I brought them back."

"I thought you couldn't though," Makoto said, her wand steady, "you said that once they were beyond the gate there was nothing you could do for them."

"That was before I was truly master of my own power," Hotaru waved the point aside, "and they were waiting."

"It was our duty," Haruka said, "to wait and come back to protect the princess.

"Welcome back," Usagi said, smiling from the top of the stairs, clutching Mamoru's jacket around her shoulders. Haruka bowed her head very slightly, and the senshi began, slowly, to lower their wands.

"You have your princess form," Minako finally noticed, ever ridiculously observant.

"I achieved it when we found ourselves across the gate," Haruka nodded, "the midnight dimension is… different." Her dress was almost exactly the same as Michiru's, only the bows were yellow and the collar blue.

"I think this calls for a celebration!" Minako shouted, "we have Usagi back, Michiru and Haruka aren't dead anymore… today is definitely a good day," she grinned before turning to Usagi, "although I think we should sort your hair out first… "

"No. We deal with the Horcrux before anything else," Hotaru spoke over Minako's babbling, "Ron, come here." Ron looked nervously around, but no one came to his rescue. In fact, Makoto gave him a little shove in the back to make sure he went forward. He stumbled past the others and rubbed the back of his neck nervously as Hotaru looked him squarely in the eye.

"What did is say to you, when you tried to see it through the stars?" Everyone glanced from Hotaru to Ron, still not entirely sure what was going on.

"I… I couldn't see it," Ron said hesitantly, still glancing around the hall. "But you heard it, didn't you?" Everyone was looking at Ron now. "Yes." He said finally.

"Why didn't you say anything?" Harry asked, affronted.

"It knew… things," Ron jumped immediately to the defence, "when I tried to see it, it saw me instead." He was looking at Harry and Mamoru now, trying to reason with them.

"It does not matter," Hotaru brushed Ron's pleas to the side, "in fact it is nothing short of a boon. Ron is now in the perfect position to destroy the Horcrux. Harry, I believe Dumbledore taught you at least a little of the incalculable power of certain magical acts?"

"Well… only a very little," Harry mumbled.

"Ron, each of the shitennou has a weapon– Harry has his sword, Hermione has the ability to summon her dagger at will and the twins will one day discover their own. Right now, you need to find yours."

"But… how?"

"You will now, when the moment comes. For now, Harry– please open the locket."

"How're you going to do that?" Mamoru asked, frowning, "we've tried."

"I think," Harry said after only a moment's pause, "that I'm going to tell it to open in parselmouth."

Everyone watched as Hotaru laid the locket down on the floor. Harry stared at it for a moment and then hissed softly. The locket opened. There was a moment in which nothing happened, and then two eyes blinked behind the glass of the locket. Ron flinched as they looked at him before a figure began to rise out of the locket.

She was Hermione, but at the same time she was not Hermione.

"Ron… " The real Hermione said, more than a little scared, "Ron, what's happening?"

"Did you ever truly think I would lower myself to you?" The voice of the Hermione coming out of the locket was higher, darker, than Hermione's voice. Ron didn't seem to be able to tear his eyes away from her, to look at the real Hermione, who was practically screaming at him, looking at her other self every other word, fear in her eyes.

"Ron, you need to destroy the locket now," she cried, "it has to be destroyed remember! Ron, can you hear me?" Still there was no response. Setsuna, Hotaru and Usagi watched on calmly, as though waiting for something, but the others were all showing signs of nerves and fear.

"Ron?" Hermione was in tears now.

"As if I could ever love someone as pathetic as you," the non-Hermione crowed. And then Hermione kissed Ron. Harry rolled his eyes, wishing they could have got this over with a few years ago, rather than choosing such an inappropriate moment to start groping one another. Then Ron transformed, his previously black shitennou uniform now grey with a green edge.

As Hermione moved out of the way, a curved metal star appeared in Ron's hand and he threw it down at the locket with all of his might. There was a small crack, and the glass in the locket cracked, the dark Hermione disappeared, and the hallway suddenly seemed far less dark.

Everyone stared at the shattered remnants of the locket for a little while, blinking, until a noise from upstairs broke the silence. "I don't know what the hell you're doing down there," Sirius shouted, "but some of us were asleep." At once, they burst out laughing and the tension vanished. Not one of them, not even Setsuna, could help the grins spreading across their faces as they looked down at the shattered remnants of the Horcrux.

Sirius and Lupin were peering down the stairs, looking more than a little confused. "This is going to take a little while to explain," Minako laughed, seeing the confused looks upon their faces.

"Come on Usagi, we could do anything with it!"

"I don't want to do anything. I want it the way it was. Hermione knows the spell, what's the problem?"

"But you could try a change of style."

"Minako, accept that I don't want one and move one."

"But… "

"For practically seventeen years, my hair has been in the royal style of my family without my knowledge. Know that I know this, do you really think I particularly want to change that one part of my heritage."

"Heritage? Usagi, it's just a hairstyle."

"Yes, but it's one I have to teach Chibiusa in Crystal Tokyo. She may not be so interested in learning if I don't use it."

"But… "

"And besides, Sailor Moon would look bizarre with short hair."

"I suppose," Minako huffed in defeat, "but you could still do something other than those dumplings every once in a while."

"Maybe," Usagi said evasively as Hermione set to work on her hair. It only took a few minutes for it to be impossible that it had ever been cut at all. "That's better," Usagi said, smiling as she admired her new look in the kettle, "I feel so much more myself now. It'll be even better when I actually get it up."

"I really must be going now," a voice came from the hall and Usagi looked around towards the stairs, "I've left it late enough as it is."

"Just come downstairs," Haruka snapped, as to the point as ever, "stop moaning about it and let Usagi help you."

"I couldn't possibly ask for her help so soon after everything she's… "

"Usagi is a lot tougher than most people give her credit for," Makoto told Lupin, "besides, it's your energy that'll make the change, and she'll just direct it. If it required her own power she wouldn't be able to do it without her wand."

"What is it?" Usagi called up the stairs, pulling her robe tighter around her pyjamas.

"It's nothing, really," Lupin was saying, trying to back away whilst being herded down the stairs by an impressive arrangement of senshi.

"It's not nothing, especially not with the full moon tonight," Seiya said firmly, guiding Lupin down the stairs.

"You're a werewolf?" Usagi asked, taken aback. "Yes," Lupin sighed, "since I was a boy."

"Right then. Come here," she beckoned him towards the table, taking a seat herself. "Are you sure you have enough power?" Mamoru asked, frowning a little.

"I don't need any," Usagi reassured him. "This is how I escaped from Malfoy Manor."

"What do you mean?" Ami asked, settling across from Lupin, next to Mamoru.

"Fenrir Greyback." Usagi explained. "They sent him down and when he touched my arm, I knew what he was. I took some of his power and manipulated it, sending it back to him and changing him."

"Changing him?"

"We explained most of this," Rei snapped.

"It's alright Rei," the corner of Usagi's lip quirked up, "I don't mind explaining." She turned to Lupin, "I control the moon and the moon controls your transformations, so I just manipulate the effect the moon has upon your powers, negating it. I can change it in one of two ways: what I did to Greyback has left him completely unable to transform, but I could also change the transformation into a non contagious animagus form. The first one's quite painful though, as it's a more significant change."

"I think… I think I would like the other choice anyway," Lupin said after a moment. Usagi reached forward and took his hand, closing her eyes. There was silence as everyone in the house, even Kreacher, looked on although truth be told there was not much to see. After only a few short moments Usagi leaned back, blinked a little and smiled.

"Go on," she said, "transform."

Lupin hesitated for a moment and then, in the blink of an eye, a wolf was sat on his chair. There were whoops of delight as Lupin changed once more into himself.

"How can I ever repay you?" he asked, his eyes sparkling.

"I don't know," Usagi said honestly, "but I suggest first we make a start on retrieving my wand."

Her eyes glinted with a light that none of them had quite seen there before.

Chapter 50

After weeks of planning, they were finally ready. "So everyone knows what's going down tomorrow?" Usagi asked, looking around the table. Sirius and Lupin were no longer staying with them, but were instead travelling the country locating the remainder of the order, meaning that only the senshi, shitennou and Mamoru were surrounding her. Ollivander had been moved in with Ron's Aunt Muriel, who was paranoid and had placed a fidelius charm around her house almost as soon as Voldemort's return was acknowledged fact.

"Sure as hell we do," Fred grinned at her, "wouldn't miss it for the world."

"It'll feel great just to be doing something," Ron agreed.

"Well then, I'm going to get an early night," Usagi said, yawning a little.

"Not so fast!" George scolded her, flicking his wand casually and causing an old, dusty wireless and microphone to zoom over from the corner of the room. "It's Potterwatch time."

"Do you really have to call it Potterwatch?" Harry said, blushing furiously red. "Of course they do," Rei grinned mischievously, "if only to see you cringe."

"That's not fair," he protested.

"Aww, love you really," Rei quipped, pecking him on the cheek before turning to Fred and George. "So, who's commentary do you want tonight?"

"Well, Lupin said that you and Minako go down quite well," Rei and Minako smirked, "but for a difference I suggest we introduce some new speakers."

"Oh no," Usagi shook her head, "I'm willing to listen, but no way am I talking."

"Tough luck," Seiya called and Usagi whirled around to see her and Haruka blocking the doorway. "Nice to see you two finally agreeing on something," she deadpanned.

"I think everyone here agrees that you haven't been yourself much lately," Haruka replied coolly, "It'll do you good."

"You never speak though," Usagi pouted.

"That is because we don't want anyone guessing Michiru and I are back," Haruka reminded her,

"we're the secret weapon."

"I hate it when you're right," Usagi moaned.

"Hello and welcome to the newest episode of Potterwatch!" Fred said to the microphone now sat in the centre of the table, grinning wickedly as Usagi was ushered back to her seat. "We'll say now that next weeks password will be Serenity, remember that people."

"Now, to start," George continued, "we would like to take a moment to mention some of the deaths the Daily Prophet doesn't see fit to mention. Earlier this week, Stan Shunpike was killed in a battle between the order of the phoenix and the Death Eaters. Though acting on the Death Eaters side it has long been suspected that Stan was under the influence of the imperious curse."

"Only this morning, Dean Thomas and Griphook, an ex-Gringotts goblin, were captured and are now presumed dead."

"While their travelling companions Ted Tonks and Gornuk, were killed and Luna Lovegood, daughter of Xenophilius Lovegood, editor of the Quibbler has been arrested. We assume that this is to prevent Lovegood's outspoken support of Harry Potter."

"We'd like to take a minutes silence in their memory." The show always opened like this, alternating between Fred and George as they listed the new casualties of the war. This week there were actually far fewer than normal.

"And now," Fred broke the silence, "I shall introduce a large number of new speakers." A large number? Usagi grinned as she took in the horrified faces of anyone who had never appeared on the show yet.

Molly was preparing dinner when Arthur finally got it. "I've found it Molly," he called, "password was Dumbledore. I still can't believe I missed it last week."

"Never mind that," she scolded, just bring everyone through so we can listen to it.

"Our first speaker is one Miss Tsukino Usagi, better known in our own magical circles as Sailor Moon."

"Oh my goodness!" Molly practically fell into a chair hurriedly placed behind her by Arthur, "you don't think… maybe?"

"Shh," Arthur raised his finger to his lips.

"So, Usagi– what would you say to everyone at home, listening to this?"

"I'd tell them to keep their hearts strong," Usagi's voice came from the wireless after a moment, "and have faith that things can only get better."

"Wise words, but unfortunately all we have time for from Miss Tsukino today as we have so many guests eager to speak to you."

"Eager is a strange word."

"Was that Hermione?" Ginny asked excitedly, practically leaping from her chair.

"I told you they'd all be there," Bill smiled smugly, "I bet Ron'll be speaking any time now."

"Shh," Molly hissed, looking intently at the wireless.

"Well I guess that introduces our next guest, one Hermione Granger. Hermione, what would you say to the people out there?"

"I'd tell them to be careful who they trust, and to make sure that they're safe."

"Sensible advice if ever I heard it."

"Which is more than we'll get from our next speaker."

"If you mean me I swear I'll-"

"Ronnie!" Molly screamed, obscuring the rest of that sentence.

"Go wash your mouth out with soap," Fred laughed, "I bet Mum's listening to this little bro."

"Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our next speaker is our own brother, Ron Weasley. Ron, say your bit and hurry up."

"Well I'd tell people to act before it's too late. Do it now, because you might never get the chance otherwise. But don't do anything stupid, 'cause that would just be stupid."

"Certainly interesting words, if a little repetitive." Molly could practically see Fred (or was it George?) nodding sagely.

"Our next guess is one Kou Seiya. Never heard of her? Or maybe you've heard of him, truth be told after all the stuff we've heard we're not quite sure if he's a girl or not. Seiya, what've you got to say?"

"Trust your gut, it'll get you through."

"Short but to the point." One of the twins agreed. "Only one new guest to go folks. I'll leave him introduce himself."

Molly was holding her breath as the wireless stood silently for a moment. "Well… hi, I suppose. I bet a lot of you probably guessed who I am already, but for those who haven't, I'm Harry Potter." Across the country, in wizarding houses in every city, people were cheering, whooping with delight. Many cried that they had known he was still alive all along, while others simply cried. Molly was amongst the latter, while Ginny was genuinely jumping up and down in glee– they still had a shot at pulling through this war.

"I don't know what there is to say that hasn't already been said. I don't really get out much at the moment," Molly smiled weakly, her eyes still glistening with tears, "but from what I've heard life's still going on out there. Don't let Vol-"

"Harry, I still don't like it when you use that name."

"Ron, it's the principle of the matter."

Molly had gone pale, "don't they know about the taboo?" she asked shakily.

"What principle?"

"Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself. People would be far less scared about it if they just called him by his name. In fact the least scary way would be to call him Tom, because that is technically his name, but Voldemort'll do… "

"No!" there were shouts and wails echoing in wizarding villages everywhere. Muggles passing numbers 11 and 13 Grimauld Place blinked as number 12 appeared, although they were sure it had not been there a moment earlier.

"Looks like we're moving the plan forward a little," Setsuna's voice came through the wireless, which Molly was now clutching with white knuckles. There was a strange, whooshing sound that Molly recognised as the henshins of those who did not require a phrase.

"Fighter star power, make up!"

"Jupiter cosmos power!"

"Pluto cosmos power!"

"They're going to get killed."

"Have some faith in them, Molly," Arthur tried to reassure her, but there was a definite wobble to his voice.

"How the hell did they get in here?" Ron's voice shouted through the wireless.

"No idea," Seiya panted in reply, "but just concentrate on fighting them for now. Star serious laser!"

"Do you think they're winning?" Ginny asked hesitantly. No one replied, choosing instead to listen intently to the wireless.

"Usagi, get behind me," Mamoru's voice shouted out and Ginny frowned. "Why wouldn't she be fighting?" Again no one answered.

Setsuna's voice came from the wireless once more, a mere whisper that was somehow louder than everything else going on wherever it was they were. "Dead scream." The occupants of the kitchen shivered at just the resonant power that was transmitted through the radio, feeling something that pulled at their very souls.

"Hermione, behind you!" Ami's voice screamed, shortly followed by the sound of Makoto's attack. "Nice one, you got about half of them in one go!" Ron whooped, then "Hermione, duck!"

"Ready?" Setsuna's voice called.

"When you are," Usagi shouted back. "Very well."

"Where the hell did Setsuna go?" Minako's voice screeched, then, "oh."

There was a moment during which no one spoke, and then a new voice came through the wireless.

"So this is the headquarters of that damn radio show. Looks like we killed two birds with one stone boys. We take this equipment in that's an even bigger reward than just this lot."

"They got caught," Molly was rocking gently back and forth. "They got caught."

"There's a message coming through, highness," Yaten knelt before Kakyuu, who rose from her throne and breezed straight through into the next chamber, in which Taiki was already waiting.

"Princess," she nodded in greeting, flicking switches in an attempt to clear the fuzzy image on the crystal screen before them, "it's Seiya making her report."

"I assumed as much. I will speak with her."

"Princess?" Seiya's voice came through the speakers as the image suddenly snapped into sharp focus.

"Seiya, what's going on?" Kakyuu asked, frowning at the darkness of the image– she could see only what was illuminated by the light from Seiya's communicator.

"Well we do have a plan," Seiya grimaced, "and I was going to relay it to you beforehand, but we had to bring things forward a little bit."

"What do you mean?"

"Well we may have got caught by Vol-"

"Seiya, saying that name has already landed us in enough shit, don't add more."

"Sorry Pyro," Seiya smirked.

"Call me that again and I'll burn your hair off."

"With what? You've got no wand, nitwit."

"Oh shut it," Rei snapped.

"Who else is there?" Kakyuu asked, concerned.

"Pretty much everyone," Seiya said, shining the light of the communicator around the room. "Where is Setsuna?"

"That's a part of the plan," Seiya assured her, "she went to the time gate to make out as much of the flow as possible to work out the best time to snatch everyone's wands back. Apparently they've even been considerate enough to leave them alongside Usagi's."

"What was Usagi's doing there in the first place?" Kakyuu asked, taken aback. "Well Usagi really did get captured a while back… "

"Ok, but how are you going to get out?"

"Simple. My transformation is entirely different to this lot's."

"Far superior you mean."

"Shut it Yaten," Seiya said, rolling her eyes. "Anyway, I don't need my wand for transforming, and neither do the outer senshi — something to do with there talismans."

"We don't actually have wands anymore," Michiru pointed out.

"Yeah, well the point is that we can transform and cause a distraction while Setsuna gets this lot their wand. There's some form of protection around the manor preventing her from moving straight into it– something to do with a shard of the silence glaive or something."

"How is she going to send you a sign then?"

"I'll know," Usagi said, "when she's ready."

"Very well. Seiya, contact us again when you're safe."

"Aye aye," Seiya winked, clicking the communicator shut.

"She's ready," Usagi said in the sudden darkness, "Seiya, do it now."

"Fighter star power, make up!" There was a bright flash in the dark and Sailor Star Fighter stood before them. "Time to show these Death Eaters a senshi who really wants to win." She said, and they could all just imagine the grin spreading across her face. There were flashes of light and Prinecsses Neptune, Uranus and Saturn were also there before them.

"Star serious laser!" Seiya shouted, and a bream of light shot from the tip of her finger and at the lock on the door out of the cellar, which began to smoke. Harukaa ran up the stairs and kicked the door hard, storming out into main part of the manor, shortly followed by the others. Usagi found that she was holding her breath and let it out slowly as she heard them continue to launch their attacks. The sounds of the overhead battle continued for about five more minutes until a shadow flitted through the door and down the stairs.

"Setsuna?" Mamoru asked, raising his head. Something flew from Setsuna's hand and he reached forward to catch it. A smile spread across Usagi's face as she saw that it was his wand. Soon they had all transformed, those with henshin phrases choosing times when the fight upstairs was particularly loud to transform.

"Setsuna, take them," Usagi gestured to the limp forms of the prisoners who had already been there when they arrived, "to… "

"Shell cottage," Ron shouted, "Bill and Fleur's place, I reckon they'll have eloped by now or something."

"Right, and then come back. We can still only use your version of the teleport to places without a fidelius charm."

"I remember, princess," Setsuna nodded, heading over to the corner, "I will be back soon," and she vanished.

"Right, let's go give them a hand," Rei grinned.

"It's definitely no fair if they get all of the fun," Makoto agreed, cracking her knuckles and drawing the space sword from the air in front of her.

"Give the rest of us a chance," Harry grinned as his uniform shone into existence.

"Come on," Saiya's voice roared from upstairs, "We can't hold this up forever!" they scrambled up the stairs and burst into a full scale riot, only just managing to dodge all the hexes being flung at them. Usagi began to construct a shield around them as the others commenced their attack. She watched as Death Eaters ducked and dodged spells, either shouted by the shitennou or sent silently by the senshi.

Harry sent a disarming spell straight at Bellatrix Lestrange, causing her wand to fly out of her hands. Minako whipped it from the air with her chain and winked at the enraged woman before tucking it into a pocket hidden by the top layer of her skirt.

"There's more of them," Makoto shouted above the racket of shouted incantations and ricocheting spells. "Setsuna had better get back soon," Usagi did not reply, but channelled more of her effort into maintaining the shield around them. It would not stop the killing curse, she knew, but it did stop any other curses or hexes reaching them.

"Aah!" Harry fell to the ground, a hand pressed to his forehead. Rei dived down next to him and they had a short, murmured conversation.

"Usagi! He's coming, we have to get out of here!"

"But we can't got without Setsuna! He can trace us."

"We'll have to side along apparate with the shitennou," Rei snapped back. Usagi shook her head. She had dreamt of this moment, spoken with Setsuna about it and she knew what had to happen and this was not it.

Just then, a sound pierced the shouts that seemed to be drilling into Usagi's head.

"Dead Scream," Usagi's lips tightened as all of the senshi froze in shock. They had all agreed, long ago, never to use those attacks on living people, they were just too brutal, and none of them had any inclination to be a killer.

The attack raged through the manor and Usagi realised that it was a toned down version, and made a note to ask Setsuna just how it was she did that. The Death Eaters were merely knocked back few feet and them resumed their attacks.

"So that's all there is to the attacks of the sailor senshi?" Bellatrix crowed, sending a jet of green light that Usagi dodged with a wand she appeared to have stolen from one of her comrades, "well it's a wonder any of you are still alive."

Makoto felt rage begin to boil inside her chest at Bellatrix's words, "say that again," she dared her, pointing her wand straight at her face.

"Pathetic," Bellatrix crowed. Makoto saw red. Who was this woman to say such things about the powers of the silver millennium, something she would never truly understand? She blinked, and her eyes glowed a deep, earth green.

"Go Makoto," Venus whooped as her friend lifted from the ground in an eruption of green light. The Death Eaters backed away as lightning crackled all around. Makoto's shining eyes continued to glow as the light faded, revealing her in her princess form, complete with green bodice and a skirt of layers of both dark and light green. Her bow was gone, replaced now by what was clearly meant to be a decorative pair of dragon wings.

The thunder in the room intensified and Makoto spoke, "You know, I just realised something," he voice echoed eerily as the last of the fighting stopped around her. Usagi even faltered enough to let the shield around them fall. "I've been holding myself back. Expecto Patronum!" It shouldn't have worked. Everything they had experienced up to this point told them that it should not have worked, but work it did, and a great, white dragon burst from Makoto's chest, sparkling with the thunder that was her birthright to control.

It did not harm the Death Eaters as they were not fool enough to go close to the lightning playing across its insubstantial form, but it did pen them in. "Makoto, you got Setsuna," Ami shouted, panic in her eyes. Usagi looked through the dragon and into Setsuna's red eyes. Sailor Pluto nodded.

"Come on," Usagi yelled, "get in a circle!"

"But they can track us," Ron shouted.

"Just do it," Usagi yelled, her throat hoarse. The senshi did as instructed, while the shitennou assembled in the middle of the ring, Harry supported by Ron and Hermione.

"Sailor Teleport!" Usagi yelled, her eyes widening as the door burst open and she looked into a pair of snake-like eyes, but Voldemort was too late.

They had gone.

Chapter 51

"What did you do that for?" Minako shouted at Usagi after shaking the fluff from in between her ears. "We haven't got Setsuna, we can't travel anywhere in one go AND the Death Eaters will know where we are?" Minako didn't get angry very often, but now she was practically seething.

"Relax," Haruka said, staring shrewdly at Usagi. "I remember the first enemy we truly fought together. You risked the fate of the entire world in order to save the life of a single child; you wouldn't leave Setsuna behind unless there was no other way." Usagi nodded numbly, her eyes pleading with her companions to understand.

"But how could you possibly know?" Minako fumed.

"I spoke to her," Usagi mumbled, her tears shining in the light of the moon. "We'd both seen it coming and it was the only way we could move on."

"Move on? What's that supposed to mean?"

"To Crystal Tokyo of course!" Usagi shouted, scrambling to her feet and moving closer to Minako,

"you just don't get it– well you know what — I do. I've seen the future, Minako. Not just the one, but a whole lot of them and the only one worth fighting for is Crystal Tokyo. We have to win this war and Setsuna understood that. She told me I had to leave her behind." Usagi's voice cracked. The others shifted uncomfortably as the two girls, usually in agreement about everything, squared off with each other. Minako was the first to give.

"I just wish you could have given us some more warning," she sighed.

"I couldn't," Usagi said earnestly, "if you'd known then Makoto would never have achieved her princess transformation."

"Right, well we still need to get away from here– anyone who can apparate take the people who can't."

"It's alright, they can't trace us."

"What do you mean? Vol-"

"Don't even think about it," Fred shouted, jumping forward and clamping his hand over Minako's mouth. She bit him and he jumped back.

"Sorry, you-know-who has a piece of the glaive."

"It doesn't matter," Usagi shook her head, "I told you I've seen the future– not because Setsuna showed me, but because I've been dreaming about it. It's happening more and more lately and I've been getting brief flashes of everyone else's abilities as well."

Minako frowned, clearly waiting for Usagi to expand upon this point. "Ever since I escaped," she said, choosing her words carefully, "I've noticed it. Just little things. Like one I was holding my cocoa and it suddenly froze over. Another time I accidentally burnt a hole in the living room curtain."

"And let me take the blame," Rei narrowed her eyes. "Yeah well I still wasn't sure what was happening."

"And you are now?" Mamoru asked, moving to her side and putting his arms around her.

"Not really," she sighed, leaning into his chest, her eyes closed. "Setsuna told me that we're all a little fuzzy in the timelines at the moment."

"But the timelines themselves are fuzzy right, so not such a big deal?" Makoto asked, fiddling with an earring.

"Not anymore. Actually they've been getting clearer and clearer for a while now. Setsuna told me and I understand why she's been concealing it from us, I really do. If we'd learnt earlier then Crystal Tokyo would never come to pass."

"Right." Minako looked as though she didn't really have anything else to say on the subject but was unwilling to let the topic drop.

"So where do we go now?" Hermione asked hesitantly.

"I'm not sure I could take us back through the time gate without Setsuna's help," Usagi said sadly. "Well then it looks like we'll have to camp here." Hermione reached down and extracted a small beaded bag from her sock.

"What's that for?" Ron asked, frowning.

"I was going to use it at your brothers wedding," Hermione replied, clicking the bag open, "but obviously circumstances changed." She reached into the bag and, to everyone's surprise, her arm disappeared up to the elbow. "Undetectable extension charm," she explained at their confused looks, "Oh, this is useless– accio tents!" Two large, misshapen bundles flew from the bag. "I've got clothes for everyone, the Marauder's Map, the invisibility cloak and some bits of food."

"Brilliant," Ron grinned, "you are magnificent Hermione."

"I know," Hermione said, not really paying attention. She then proceeded to walk around them in a circle, casting various spells and repellents. "Harry, put the tents up."

"Right," he said and then, more quietly, "Anyone know how to put up a tent?" Makoto laughed and set to work– the first tent was already up by the time Hermione realised they were not using magic and put the second one up for them.

"There should be enough room for all of us," Hermione said, looking somewhat satisfied, "the tents are the ones we used for the Quidditch world cup and they'll just expand to fit everyone."

"Nice one," Rei said appreciatively as she ducked inside one of the tents, allowing her henshin to fall as she did so "who wants a hot drink?"

"Do you think Setsuna will be alright?" Ami asked, suddenly, looking towards Usagi.

"I don't know," she replied honestly, "I hope so. The things I see in my dreams are usually very general, so I don't know what really happens now — just some basic ideas and we can talk about them inside the tent," Usagi shivered, "it's freezing out here." They all trudged inside the nearest tent and settled around a table that Harry remembered being far smaller the last time he'd been inside. He dropped his transformation when he realised that he was the only person present who had not yet done so.

Rei and Hermione joined them a moment later, using their wands to carry trays laden with steaming mugs of tea and cocoa. Mamoru leaned forward and snagged one of each for himself, tea, and Usagi, cocoa.

"So, what is it you have seen then?" Harry asked, looking towards Usagi.

"Well I've seen a lot more activity from Wiseman," Usagi said, sipping from her mug. "You-know— who was kinda annoyed that I escaped, and he'll be even more so that we all escaped, and he's going to put a lot of pressure on wiseman to find us."

"But wiseman could whoop vol-" Rei began. "Shut it!" George bellowed.

"Sorry, but the point still stands– he could do it any day of the week."

"Not now that Riddle is learning the secrets of the glaive shard," Hotaru explained, "with it he is easily twice as powerful as wiseman."

"Yeah, but we have the rest of the glaive, so we must easily trump the pair of them," Ron shrugged.

"It's never that simple," Usagi sighed.

"Indeed," Haruka nodded in agreement. "What I want to know is how you-know-who has learnt to use the shard of the glaive."

"Ollivander. When I was captive, l was forced to work upon the fragment and unlock its secrets. I don't blame him for doing it though," Usagi shuddered, "he didn't have a choice."

"Yeah, but we still have more of the glaive," Ron insisted.

"And therefore more power, yes," Hotaru agreed, "but that power is such that if I use it we would likely all die. You-know-who has just a small amount– enough that he can use it without being harmed. If the glaive was whole, I could use it without fear. As it is that tiny part is missing and I can use it only to channel my own power, or else destroy the world."

"So maybe let's not do that then," Mamoru sad hastily.

"Definitely," Hermione nodded, sipping her cocoa. "So, do you have any idea what we do now?" she aimed the question at Usagi.

"Not an idea, no, but I've had this recurring dream. When I wake up, I can't remember what the dream was, but I have this idea fixed in my head: find the deathly hallows."

"The deathly hallows?" Ron said, looking as non-plussed as everybody else. Everybody, that is, except Hotaru.

"Gifts bestowed by a long ago Saturn to wizards," she said, matter of factly. "Immensely powerful items that were part of the Saturn heritage."

"So why were they given away?" Harry asked.

"Because the Saturn in question did not value the post she held, twisting her own powers for sick amusement," Hotaru said, her eyes simmering with anger. "Not until the next Saturn came into power was the loss of these items truly felt."

"What were they?" Fred asked, curiously.

"There were three of them: the elder wand, the cloak of invisibility and the stone of visitation."

"Sounds more like that fairytale to me," George shrugged.

"Fairy tale?" Hermione asked, intrigued, "you mean like Cinderella?"

"Oh I love that one," Usagi sighed.

"Cinderella?" Ron laughed, "what's that an illness?"

"Not one of your brutal muggle tales," Fred said scathingly, "no, we mean one of Beedle's tales– the tale of the three brothers."

"Go on then, tell the story," Makoto said, leaning back in her chair. "Well three brothers were walking along at midnight,"

"It was twilight, actually," Hotaru interrupted. "Alright then, you tell the story," Fred quipped back.

"Very well," Hotaru smirked. "The three Peverell brothers were travelling together at twilight."

"Well you would know names," Fred grumbled.

"When they came to a river to fierce to cross. They were, however, wizards and so were able to conjure a bridge over the waters."

"Beedle's version is fancier." Ron complained.

"You mean your mother's version I'm sure," Hotaru said, her eyes narrowed. Ron blushed and let her continue. "As they reached the far side of the river, a figure stepped towards them. It was death, in the guise of a girl."

"Never heard that part before," George smirked.

"Death introduced herself, and asked that the brothers called her Saturn. Saturn congratulated the brothers for crossing the river and offered them each a gift.

"The eldest brother, Antioch, desired power and so asked Saturn to procure for him a wand of immense power. Saturn did as she was commanded, passing across her own wand made from the wood of an elder tree.

"Cadmus, the second brother, was a proud, arrogant man. He sought a way to humiliate death and so asked for a way to bring back the dead. Saturn shook her head and said that such a thing was impossible," Haruka and Michiru exchanged smirks, "and so instead, Saturn bestowed upon him the stone of visitation."

"Ignotus, the youngest and wisest of the brothers, did not trust Saturn and so asked for a way to leave that place without being followed. Reluctantly, Saturn handed over her own cloak of invisibility."

"The Saturn's an Invisibility Cloak?" rei asked, intrigued.

"Sometimes she gets tired of running at people flapping her arms and shrieking– no offence Hotaru."

"None taken," she assured him, smirking a little.

"But that's nothing special," Harry pointed out, "I mean I have an invisibility cloak– it was my dad's."

Hotaru frowned. "So this cloak is old then?"

"I guess so, yeah. Why?"

"Does it have any holes at all? Any places where the charms placed upon it are fading?"


"May I see it?"

"Sure," he turned to Hermione, who was already up to her armpit in the small beaded bag. "It's here," she panted, pulling it out of the bag and handing it to Harry.

"May I?" Hotaru held out her hands and Harry handed it over. "This is it," she said, examining the cloak. "The very same cloak that was gifted to Ignotus all those years ago. You must be descended from him," Hotaru looked up at Harry. "Be careful with it." She warned him, handing it back.

"You aren't going to keep it?" Harry asked, surprised.

"I probably should, but whether I like it or not, the cloak was given to your family as a gift."

"Anyway, let's get on with the story," Minako prompted.

"Eventually, the three brothers separated, each heading toward his own home. Antioch reached a village and sought out a wizard with whom he had a quarrel, engaging him in a duel that left the rival wizard dead on the floor. Antioch then proceeded to a nearby inn, where he celebrated his victory and boasted of his unbeatable wand he had snatched from Death herself, claiming it made him invincible. Later that night, a greedy wizard who had overheard Antioch's ravings crept up to Antioch's room. Finding Antioch unconscious and wine-sodden, the wizard took the Elder Wand from jis belongings and, for good measure, slit the eldest brothers throat, winning mastership of the Elder Wand for himself. So Saturn took back her first victim."

"Not so pleasant, this Saturn then," Fred said jovially.

"Meanwhile, Cadmus returned to his own home and took out the visitation Stone. As Saturn had instructed him, he turned the black stone over thrice in his hands, and, to his joy and astonishment, the image of the girl he had hoped at one point to marry before her untimely death appeared before him. However, she was cold and distant, as though being seen through a veil, and she suffered due to the fact that she no longer belonged in the world of the living and desired to go back to the world of the dead. It was as Saturn had said. Upset that the Stone could not make it as though she had never died, Cadmus was driven mad with longing, and he took his own life so as to truly join his love in death. So Saturn took back her second victim."

Usagi shifted uncomfortably in her seat– that part of the story rang a little to true to parts of the past life for her liking.

"That sounds something like the veil in the department of mysteries," Harry said, frowning.

"It is," Hotaru nodded, "neither of them are natural powers, but the stone was required for those times when Queen Selene or her descendants required guidance from those passed. Satrun was charged with keeping it safe and preventing its misuse, a task this Saturn of the past merely ignored as she gave the stone to Cadmus."

"Self centred bitch if you ask me," Minako said, her eyes narrowed.

"Minako! Usagi's eyes widened in horror, "wash your mouth out with soap. Minako burst out laughing for no discernable reason, tears at the corner of her eyes. "What?" Usagi asked, confused.

"Nothing," Minako panted, "go on Hotaru."

"Though Saturn searched for many long years, she was unable to fulfil her duties to the silver millennium, no matter how much she loathed them, as well as continue her search for Ignotus, who successfully hid from Death for a good many years using the Cloak of Invisibility. Finally, when he was a ripe old age and had lived a long and happy life, Ignotus decided to take off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. Ignotus then greeted the new Saturn as a friend, and together they departed this world as equals."

"So he greeted the girl responsible for his brother's deaths as a friend?" Rei asked, "Strange guy if you ask me."

"It is about accepting death. Saturn may have lured he brothers into the trap, but they could have survived– after all, Ignotus did." Hotaru pointed out.

"I suppose," Rei acknowledged grudgingly.

"So we have to find these hallows then?" Ami asked, pulling out the mercury computer and searching them, "oh, here they are." A few people crowded around the back of Ami's chair, but found they couldn't make sense of the symbols scrolling across the computers screen, so Ami had to read it out.

"The Hallows of Saturn, crudely dubbed "the deathly hallows" are three items of immense power lost to humans during the reign of Queen Selenity."

"Wow… that was a long time ago," Rei whistled. "How long ago, roughly?" Fred asked.

"Selenity was my grandmother in the past life," Usagi said, absentmindedly. "Your right, that was a long time ago."

"The location of the stone is currently unknown, while the cloak remains in the possession of the last living descendant of Ignotus Peverell."

"That would be you mate," Ron said unnecessarily.

"The wand has passed from hand to hand, yet its last recorded location was in the hands of Gellert Grindlewald."

"Grindlewald?" Harry frowned, "wasn't he the dark wizard defeated by Dumbledore years ago."

"Yes," Hermione nodded, "I wonder what happened to the wand after that though, I mean– Grindlewald was sent to Nurmenguard so it was probably confiscated. If they didn't have it professionally checked they'd have never known it was the elder wand."

"Unless Dumbledore took it," Makoto suggested.

"Nah, why would he? It's not as if he knew it was an undefeatable wand or something."

"Hardly undefeatable if Dumbledore beat Grindlewald while he had it," Mamoru pointed out. "Yeah– maybe he'd already lost it by the time he fought Dumbledore."

"I have no idea," Usagi yawned, "but right now I'm going to bed."

"She is most stubborn," Voldemort said to his companion as they stood in the cavernous hall of Malfoy Manor, "but without her wand there is not much she can do."

"Of course not Lord," Wiseman bowed his head, wishing with all his might that he did not have to obey this man, but the crystal was whispering to him, always whispering to him.

"So I shall allow you and your… individual powers to try and break her."

"Thank you, my lord." A dark smile curved Wiseman's lips as he turned to the cellar door. His eyes shone black in the flickering light of many candles.

Whatever Wiseman had once been, he was certainly not human anymore.

When Usagi woke the next morning, it took her a moment to remember where she was. The comforting warmth of Mamoru beside her reassured her even as she shivered; as always, her dreams had not been pleasant. She rose from the bed, the discovery of which had been a pleasant surprise as everyone who'd been inside before swore point blank that there had never been a double bed and that there had never been so many rooms, and slipped on a hoodie before moving out into the living area of the tent.

She smiled as she saw Ami, complete with bed head, already sat at the table, sipping at a mug of tea and tapping away at the Mercury computer. "Anything interesting?" she yawned as she set about making a round of toast. She could have devoured the whole loaf, but they didn't have very much food and so were being careful to ration it.

"No. I've been trying to find out anything else about the hallows, but there's nothing. I think the ring might have travelled down Cadmus' family line for a while, but as the Peverell name died out early on that's quite difficult to check. It's almost as though the family were trying not to be found."

Usagi just shrugged, "maybe they were," she bit into her toast and settled down opposite Ami at a table significantly smaller than the one they had congregated around the previous night– that was in the other tent, along with Harry, Ron, Fred and George. Usagi didn't think this really made much sense, having the large table in the tent with fewer people, but she didn't complain; the tent they had seemed far more homely, and the faint smell of cats reminded her of Luna.

The cat leapt from the edge of the dustbin, his once white fur now a dark shade of grey. Artemis had been living rough and it showed. His nose twitched as he sniffed the air for that ever elusive smell– something that he could follow towards food.

"Artemis," a soft voice behind him spoke, "what happened to you?" he jumped and whirled around, only to see a girl, mid-teens, in a short purple dress.

"Princess Saturn," he said his voice dry from lack of use. "You've turned feral, Artemis."

"Never," Artemis drew himself up to his full, and rather tiny, height.

"But you have, skulking around here looking for food. Everyone misses you– they don't talk about it, because they miss a lot of people right now, but Minako feels your loss. I believe it is particularly strong because she feels you abandoned her."

"I did no such thing!"

"Then what do you call this?"

"Mourning," Artemis spoke softly, looking down at the ground.

"Self pity," Hotaru stood, "Luna is happy beyond the gate– mourning is something you are doing to make yourself feel better. Luna would never want this." Artemis hung his head– Hotaru was right. "Will you come back with me?"

"I… yes."

"Very well. But you must tell no one how it was you found them. Setsuna was very clear that they must not know I can now travel via the midnight gate as she can through the time gate– whether the time for that has passed yet I do not know, and I would rather be more cautious."

"Could you not ask Setsuna?" Artemis asked as Hotaru scooped him up from the pavement.

"Not right now," Hotaru smiled sadly, and stepped forward. In a flash of purple light she had vanished.

Chapter 52

Setsuna rocked back a little, leaning against the cold stone and panting, sweat beading on her forehead. Voldemort had learnt since her companions escape and for the first time ever, Setsuna was entirely cut off from the flow of time.

She felt blind, weakened by her loss. In the past, even when the time lines had been unclear or broken, she had felt that connection but here…

Hours leaked into days and days into weeks; she could have been there minutes and thought it years. Not too far away, the presence of the black crystal pulsed fiercely and she flinched every time she looked into the eyes of the heartless creature that had once been a man. Already his skin had started to flake, revealing black scales beneath. These, Setsuna knew, would in turn one day give way to the pure darkness that made up the doom phantom.

She heard his feet scuff the ground as he moved towards her, felt his rank breath brush the back of her neck. Her fuku was, of course, long since gone, and her dress was torn in more than one place. She hugged her knees close to her chest and buried her face in the cloth of her skirt, only to feel his hand as he yanked her head backwards by the hair. She whimpered a little.

Here she was no longer Sailor Pluto, guardian of the time gate. Here she was Setsuna Meioh and, for the first time in her long memory, she was truly afraid.

"Morning," Minako yawned as she slumped next to Usagi at the table. "Not going to have any toast?" Usagi asked, swallowing the last of hers.

Minako just wrinkled her nose and shrugged. "I'll wait until we pick up some more supplies, I think."

"Fine," Usagi shrugged, "I'll have your slice then."

"Who's going to get the supplies?" Ami asked.

"Don't know, but whoever does should take the Luna pen… " she hesitated, "actually… will it still work?" There was an awkward silence.

"It'll work," a tired voice came from the entrance to the tent. Minako jumped out of her seat and ran to the entrance, scooping the brilliant white cat into her arms and squeezing the air from his lungs. "I'm pleased to see you too Minako," he wheezed, "but I'd like to be able to breathe."

"Sorry," she sniffed, setting him down on the table. "Good to see you Artemis," Usagi smiled softly.

"And you too Princess," he bowed his head but Usagi only had time to scowl before Mamoru, yawning, came into the room.

"Mamoru," she jumped up and bounded across the room, giving him a hug. He smiled down at her and ran a hand through her hair, which she had shoved back in a ponytail due to the lack of a mirror in their `room`.

Mamoru made himself some coffee and joined them at the table. By the time he had finished his mug everyone (including those from the other tent) were now sat at a table far bigger than it had been earlier in the morning. Usagi wondered if maybe the other table had shrunk when they left.

"So– who's going to get supplies?" Ami asked again now that everyone was there. "Someone familiar with muggle money," Harry pointed out.

"Which rules out the Weasleys," Rei nodded, "though to be honest we probably wouldn't have wanted to send either Fred or George."

"What's that supposed to insinuate?"

"You'd almost think they didn't trust us Fred."

"Very nice of them," Fred said, his eyes twinkling. "I'll go," Harry volunteered.

"Can Harry use the pen?" Usagi asked Artemis. "I see no reason why not," Artemis replied.

"I don't think I've ever seen a cat shrug before," Harry commented.

"The shitennou have never tried to use it before, but at worst it won't work."

"What pen?" Harry asked, looking towards Usagi.

"This," she said, reaching into thin air and drawing her hand back holding a small pink pen topped with a clear jewel, "is the luna pen. Ask it what you want to transform you into and, hopefully, it will." She handed it over.

"Right… erm… I want to look like a muggle?" Harry asked hopefully. Nothing happened.

"Well two people should really go anyway," Hermione said, business like. "One of the senshi can use the pen and Harry can take some polyjuice– I stole some of Moody's stock."

"How did you manage that?" Fred asked.

"With great difficulty," Hermione sighed. "Now– who'll go with Harry?"

"I will," Hotaru volunteered. Rei looked put out, but didn't say anything.

Hotaru took the pen and said, "I want to look like a muggle." There was a flash of red light and before them stood a boy of their own age who looked absolutely nothing like Hotaru.

"Perfect!" Usagi smiled.

"Right," Hermione stood and moved around the table, reaching into the small beaded bag, "here's some of the potion, as well as a selection of muggle hairs belonging someone of about your build," she pulled out a small bottle and a plastic food bag, "no… sorry, that's Mamoru's," she dropped the bag in and rooted round again. "Ah, there it is." She handed it over. "And of course the change

– just go to the supermarket, I've stayed in this town before and it's well stocked. Remember to pick up some healthier stuff as well– it would be nice but we really can't afford to be living off crisps and chocolate."

Harry dropped a single blonde hair into the potion and drank it down. His skin began to bubble, and his hair shot down, lightening as it did so. His scar faded and he grew about half an inch. He blinked and took of his glasses.

"Right, let's go then," Hotaru smiled, putting a dimple in the cheek of her disguise.

"Want to borrow a bobble or something?" Minako giggle as Hotaru shoved a section of her long, brown hair behind an ear, scowling.

"Thanks," Hotaru took the bobble and then spent about five minutes trying to get it in– clearly she was not used to it.

"Come on," Harry said eventually, "we should get going– I've only got an hour and I'd prefer not to have to drink anymore," he patted a pocket inside of which a small glass vial resided, holding a single mouthful of polyjuice potion, already containing a muggle hair.

They reached the town and bought the shopping without incidence. They were on their way out of the town when a sudden, unnatural cold descended upon the place. The muggles all around drew their coats tighter around themselves, as though that could protect them.

Harry and Hotaru knew better. Harry moved to draw his wand as the dementors came into sight but Hotaru hissed, "No. They know what your patronus is– they see that and we'll have to relocate."

"But we have to do something," Harry panted, cold sweat forming on his forehead.

"Let me," Hotaru turned towards the approaching dementors. A white light blazed as it left her and Harry frowned– hadn't her patronus been black? It had, he was sure, because they had commented on how unusual it was at the time. Then he gasped.

Hotaru's patronus had changed, just as Makoto's and Minako's had. Instead of the black ghoul it had been previously, Hotaru's patronus was now a dementor.

A white dementor.

"This should be interesting," Hotaru smirked. "Look, there's even some Death Eaters coming. We should act as though we can't see the dementors." She moved across the street to a small café and positioned herself so that she could watch the dementors. Harry did the same, sitting at a slight angle so that they could believably be sat that way by coincidence. Harry was feeling far more comfortable now that there was a patronus between him and the dementors.

The white dementor moved slowly down the street, in much the same way as the dementors approaching it. The Death Eaters had stopped to look at the creature, which raised a single, bony white hand. Unlike a normal dementor, whose skin wer scabbed and broken, the surface of this hand was smooth, although whether it was real to the touch Harry was not entirely sure.

The dementors stopped only a few feet from the patronus, white fog rolling around them in the chill winter air. Harry shivered as he felt their presence clawing at the edge of his mind, barely held back by Hotaru's patronus.

The patronus continued to raise its hand, until it grasped the material concealing its face, and pulled it back. Harry cringed, expecting to see nothing but a gaping mouth, but it never came. Instead there was a flash of bright white light that left him blinking for several moments.

"Act like you can still see," Hotaru hissed. She, unlike Harry, had closed her eyes in time. When Harry finally had his vision back, he saw no sign of the dementors nor the patronus. "Come on," Hotaru said, standing, "let's get back to the others before your potion wears off." And without another word, she pushed straight past the group of Death Eaters, some of whom were still blinking profusely, and back towards the tents.

"What the hell was that?" Harry asked as they passed the protective charms surrounding the tent– just in time, as the polyjuice potion was starting to fade… "I don't think I've ever seen a patronus do that before."

"That would be because it wasn't a patronus," Hotaru said calmly.

"Oh… what was it then?" People were peering their heads out of the far tent, so Hotaru moved past them and dumped the large carrier bags she had been holding on the table.

"It was an anti-dementor."

"That is a ridiculous name." Ron laughed.

"Well don't blame me," Hotaru shrugged, sliding into a seat that had just appeared.

"So go on then," Mamoru said, smiling at the anticipation on everyone's face, "what is an anti— dementor?"

"The spell was a simple one," Hotaru shrugged, "to create the opposing force of what was before me– in this case the dementor."

"Never knew there was such a spell," Fred shrugged.

"Well you wouldn't," Hotaru said, "but I've known it since the past life. Anyway, the opposing force, the anti-dementor, negates the force of the real thing, making them cease to exist."

"You mean those dementors are gone for good?" Harry asked incredulously. "For good," Hotaru nodded.

"Can you teach us the spell?" he asked, excitedly.

"I don't think so," Hotaru said, shaking her head sadly, "none of the other senshi could grasp it in the past life, so I don't think you'll be able to."

"I don't remember ever trying to learn that," Minako said frowning.

"I wasn't talking about you," Hotaru said calmly, "I was referring to your predecessors– Sailor Topaz, Sailor Emerald, Sailor Sapphire and Sailor Ruby."

"Huh. I guess that makes sense."

"Well anyway," Usagi said, "I suggest that now we have food, we get lunch and then talk about what to do next– right?"

"Sounds like a plan to me," Makoto smiled, rummaging through the bags Harry and Hotaru had brought back "I should be able to make a decent soup out of this," she said, partly to herself, as she moved away into a kitchen that most of them were sure had been a separate 'room' earlier in the day.

Makoto was as good as her word and about three quarters of an hour later there was no soup left, only many empty bowls. Hermione set them to clean themselves and then settled back at the table for a planning session.

"Right, so where to start?" Rei asked, looking around the table. "Well clearly there are two priorities right now," Harry pointed out. "Setsuna and the horcruxes," Usagi said, nodding in agreement.

"The very same. The thing is I can't see anything we can do for Setsuna– unless you're seeing anything more detailed about the future in your dreams?" he asked Usagi.

"Still only flashes," she shook her head, "never anything concrete."

"Well then we should concentrate on the horcruxes," Haruka said decisively, "we may not like it, but it's what Setsuna would tell us to do– they have to go in order to bring about Crystal Tokyo anyway."

"And when they've been destroyed, we'll teach moldy-shorts a lesson," Minako chirruped. "Hear, hear," Ami said, smiling a little.

"Well we need a definite way to find a Horcrux first," Hermione said decisively.

Harry looked down at his hands for a minute, blinking. His scar was throbbing and had been for about half an hour now. He feared that any moment now he would see something other than the faces of his friends and comrades around the blinked, and suddenly he found himself moving through a forest, a familiar man walking away from him. Snape, he realised.

Before him was Hogwarts castle, silhouetted against the moon. But here, right before him, was what he had come to see. A marble tomb; the resting place of Albus Dumbledore.

Did the fool really think he could keep the wand away from Harry?

No, not Harry; Voldemort.

It had not been hard to figure out where the wand was, once he had tracked down Gregorovitch, and through him to Grindlewald. He raised his own phoenix feather wand– such a fitting final act– and cracked open Dumbledore's tomb. "Harry!"

"Wake up you prat!"

"Harry!" he blinked and saw a large number of concerned faces leaning over him. "I'm alright," he said shakily, "but… he's got it."

"What do you mean?" Rei asked, helping him up.

"Vo— you-know-who… he's got the elder wand." Usagi slapped a hand over her mouth.

"Ollivander… " she said, horrified, "I didn't remember until now, but… he told you-know-who about the wand. He wanted to know how he could get a wand as powerful as or more so than mine, and he was torturing him."

"Well shit," George swore, sinking back into his chair, "we're doomed."

"Maybe not," Hotaru countered. "Voldemort never beat Dumbledore– Snape did."

"You mean Snape…?"

"Possibly… it depends… "

"On what?"

"Let me think about it," she said vaguely.

"Well, helpful as that was," Fred said, rolling his eyes, "looks to me as though we've got our work cut out, so why don't we talk about the horcruxes?"

"We don't need to talk about them. I can locate them," Hotaru said.

"Well why didn't you say so," George said, grinning exuberantly. "But… how?"

"Harry and you-know-who have a… connection," she said, choosing her words carefully, "I can use that to get a rough location of the horcruxes."

"Well then," Michiru said quietly, "let's get started.

Chapter 53

"You alright Usagi?" Rei asked, "you look a little faint."

"It's nothing," Usagi waived her asisde, "just a headache, I'll manage. Please don't tell Mamoru, he'll have a fit and make me go to bed."

"All right," Rei smirked, "but if it gets any worse make sure to tell someone, even if it's just me and not one of our resident doctors."

"Doctors?" Ron asked, stopping as he moved past, "those muggle nutters who cut people open– who here's a doctor?"

"Mamoru's a doctor," Makoto said, from across the tent, "although I think he's training to be a healer now."

"Ami wants to be a doctor as well," Minako reminded them.

"Actually, I was looking at the healing courses the other day," Ami said, looking up from the Mercury computer, "and they look fascinating."

"Well so long as neither of you comes near me," Ron said, his eyes narrowed.

"Don't be silly Ron," Hermione scolded him, "doctors save lives– they don't just cut people open for no apparent reason."

"Could have fooled me," he said morosely.

"Hotaru," Ami called, "can I have a word with you in private?" Hotaru nodded and then followed Ami through into the bedroom she had been sharing with Makoto. They each sat on one of the twin bunks and Ami spoke. "I looked up what you asked me to and… well the computer told me that to find a part of you-know-who's soul we'd… well we'd need to have one with us."

"I knew you'd find out sooner or later," Hotaru sighed, "I ask only that you do not tell anybody, especially Harry."

"What do you mean?" she asked, frowning.

"We do indeed have a Horcrux in this very tent with us."

"You can't mean… " Ami's had clapped her hand to her mouth in shock. Very hesitantly, she lowered it, "not Harry?"

"Yes Harry," Hotaru said dispassionately, "on the day you-know-who tried to kill him, a portion of his soul was torn away, for he had allowed it to become to fragile, and latched on to the only living thing in the vicinity."

"But that means Harry… "

"Will have to die," Hotaru nodded solemnly. "He does not, however, know this and he must not. Nor must he suspect it until the time has come."

"Who knows?" Ami asked, horrified.

"Dumbledore knew, Setsuna knows and… and Severus Snape knows."

"Snape!" Ami leapt up from her bunk.

"Calm down. Snape is not the enemy."

"But he killed… "

"Under Dumbledore's own orders," Hotaru said quietly. "Did any of the shitennou, or indeed Mamoru, ever tell you of the state of Dumbledore's arm in their sixth year at Hogwarts?"

"I don't think so," Ami said, frowning.

"If they had, they would have told you that it was a dead, rotting thing. This was due to a curse placed upon one of you-know-who's horcruxes, successfully destroyed by Dumbledore. The curse would have killed him within a month of his death had Snape not done the job. It is better this way," Hotaru stressed, "had Voldemort beaten Dumbledore, he would now be master of the elder wand. Dumbledore knew this."

"So Snape was on our side all along?"

"Yes, for reasons of his own. Again I ask that you do not tell the others this." There was a slight commotion in the other room.


Ami jumped about a mile when she heard Hermione's panicked voice echo inside her head. Ami, come quick– Usagi's fainted. She ran through into the main room of the tent and knelt next to her fallen princess. "Call Mamoru," she said and Minako ran through to the next tent, "and move her into her room." Makoto picked Usagi gently off the ground and lead the way.

"When did you learn to do that?" Ami asked Hermione, hanging back a little.

"I don't know," Hermione said confusedly, "it just sort of happened. I think it may be the final stage of our bond-thing."

"Perhaps… Rei?"


"Can you and Harry speak telepathically?"

"On occasion," Rei said after a moment, "when we really need to contact each other in a hurry. Why?"

"Because we can now," Ami said as they moved through into the room Usagi shared with Mamoru, behind Minako and Mamoru.

"I'll be fine guys, really." Usagi was protesting as Mamoru reached the side of the bed.

"No offence Usagi," Seiya said, "but you don't really look fine." It was true. Usagi looked exhausted.

"I just need some sleep," she insisted, "Please?"

Mamoru placed his hand on her forehead and a soft golden glow formed around the point of contact. Usagi sighed gratefully as he withdrew. "Thank you," she said smiling and trying to get out of bed.

"Not a chance," he said, his lips thin, pushing her straight back down. "But… "

"No buts. You need rest."

"Fine," Usagi huffed, scowling.

"And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the woman who will one day be queen."

"Hey!" Usagi screeched at Haruka, who was standing in the doorway and laughing. One by one, they were shepherded from the room by Mamoru until, "Hotaru, stay a moment." Hotaru waited behind obligingly, but Usagi did not speak until Mamoru had closed the fold of fabric that afforded them some privacy from nosy senshi.

"What's happening to me?" Usagi asked bluntly. "I don't know what you mean."

"Something is happening to me," Usagi insisted. "I can feel myself changing and… and I'm scared."


"These dreams I've been having– I'm seeing the future. That's Sailor Pluto's thing, not mine. And things keep freezing or burning in my hand. I keep getting electric shocks of everything and just now, in the other room, I kept hearing people. Hundreds of people passing by me and whispering."

Hotaru was frowning, "you heard the whisperers?"

"The what?"

"It's the name given by Sailor Saturns of the past to the souls passing through the midnight gate. No matter where I am, I can always hear them."

"So… do you know what's happening to me?"

"I… I have no idea."

Setsuna could hardly breathe, she felt as though she would drown. Every single one of her muscles was in agony, screaming for release as she writhed, her back arching in pain. The power of the dark crystal ran through every inch of her body, polluting every fibre of her being.

When it left it took her a lifetime to just open her eyes. "The power of the dark crystal and still you do not break?" the guttural voice jarred through her as her enemy knelt down, "the powers you had must truly have been far stronger than I had anticipated."

"You will never… ever… comprehend my power," Setsuna gasped between sobs.

"Perhaps not, but I can still break you." The pain came again, stronger and more intense than anything Setsuna had ever known. She screamed, and somewhere, miles and miles away, a blonde girl lying alone in her bunk heard it.

And things changed forever.

Chapter 54

"Is everything ready?" Hotaru asked as she emerged from Usagi's room.

"Just about," Ami replied, adding the finishing touches to the symbol they had painted on the ground outside the tents.

"I still don't get why all the fancy shit's needed."


"Sorry Hermione, but I just don't get it."

"They're runes Ron. You did study them remember?"

"I did fail the exam, remember?"

"Well you wouldn't have failed if you'd actually bothered trying."

"I didn't choose the subject," Ron said affronted, "so why, in the name of Merlin's baggy y-fronts, should I have tried?"

"Something's happening," Hotaru said suddenly, straightening from where she had been examining the runes. "Something's changed." Then, all at once, every single senshi present but

Seiya fell lifeless to the ground.

"What the-" Ron began to say, but before he could get any further, the tent exploded. It wasn't a Hollywood explosion, full of fire and smoke, but an explosion of pure, white light that left them all blinded for a moment. Harry blinked hard and shook his head, trying to make his ears stop ringing. His vision came back slowly, but there were suddenly two Rons and two Hermiones. Where was Rei? His brain had yet to catch up with everything that was going on.

He looked around to see Mamoru heaving himself off the ground and trying to reach someone Harry didn't recognise, falling over the motionless form of the senshi. He blinked and his vision became clearer. There, were the tent had been, stood Usagi. Except that she didn't look like Usagi. Her fuku shimmered many colours, her hair longer than he remembered and silver.

Usagi looked up to the sky, her large, blue eyes swimming with tears as she felt it. She felt the pain of the world. Within her, the power of all the planetary senshi bubbled away, fuelling her desire for justice in this world. She moved her hand out before her and a large, white staff, topped with a winged ball and a golden star, materialised from the air itself. She spoke a word in a language not heard in over a thousand years and the runes on the ground, lying underneath her loyal comrades, began to glow a deep purple. Two things flashed into existence before her and she brought the staff crashing down upon the first: a golden cup. The other horcrux was the snake, Nagini. She turned towards the snake and the staff in her hands was replaced by another, topped with the sword so often used in the past by Sailor Uranus. In a swift motion, she had chopped of the great snakes head, which arched above her and landed with a mundane thump upon the damp ground.

The sword vanished and she took a shaky step in heels far higher than she had ever worn before, white with small wings by the heel. Her fuku finally settled to a pure white, the bow replaced by a white circle containing a golden star, a motif that was repeated at the top of the skirt above a section of coloured ribbons, each ribbon the colour of one of the planetary senshi. The short sleeves were golden and had the same wings as her shoes. There were silver beads on her knuckles and her odango were shaped as hearts.

She gazed, frowning, as coloured threads wound around her in the air, wrapping in a caress around her arms, brushing her thoughts, telling her of the future. She had never truly understood how Setsuna saw time, but here it was before her, wrapping around every life in the universe, mapping out their destinies. As she watched, a large number of threads began to spin together, forming a rich tapestry of many colours. She watched as a palace of pure crystal was built, watched herself and Mamoru walking through the streets of their crystal kingdom.

But something was missing, and she knew deep inside that Crystal Tokyo would never seem right now that she couldn't share it with the senshi. Not in the way she had always dreamed.

The cape, which had replaced her sailor collar, was of a sheer, sparkling white and blew in the wind as she approached Mamoru. "Mamoru," she said her voice far away, "I can't see you."

"I'm right here," he said, taking her hand and pulling her close, "I always will be."

"I feel them all in here," she placed her hand to her chest, "their powers. It doesn't feel right." Her eyes shone, "they've always been with me. I can't fight this by myself, no matter how powerful I am."

"What do you mean?"

"I have them," she was looking towards his face, but she couldn't see it the threads of time were so thick, "the planetary powers are within me and not them. I see the timelines, I hear the whisperers. The sea is loud and the wind is strong. Fire burns and the ice does not melt… "

"Usako," Mamoru murmured.

"Am I still me?" she asked, tears pooling in her shining eyes. "I was never really human, but now… now I can't even pretend to myself. I'm not sure I'm even Lunarian anymore."

"You will always be my Usako," he ran his fingers through her hair, his arms trying to stop her shaking.

"But the senshi… what will happen to them? I can't see them in Crystal Tokyo."

"I don't know," Mamoru said, unwilling to tell her what he could see. Not one of the senshi were breathing.

"Pluto," the word hissed out between Wiseman's teeth, his voice unrecognisable from the smooth timbre it had once been. "Pluto." There was no response.

Setsuna Meioh, the unkillable Sailor Pluto, was dead.

Chapter 55

Mamoru held her tight, his arms warm and comforting, but failing to drive away the fears that bit at her heart.

Harry stood, still a little shaky, and moved over to Rei, putting a hand on her arm and shaking her a little, "Rei?" he called, a little louder than was necessary as his ears were still ringing, "Rei?" She didn't move and her skin was cold to the touch.

She shouldn't be cold.

Every ounce of his body was screaming that she shouldn't be cold.

He rolled her over gently. Her fuku was gone and in its place was the red pinafore she had been wearing that morning, smudged with mud and chalk from the runes they had been painting around the clearing between the tents, one of which was now only so much torn fabric.

He felt, rather than heard, Ron, Hermione, Fred and George standing behind him. "Come on Harry," Hermione murmured, "there's nothing you can do for her now."

Tears stung, hot and angry in Harry's eyes; he didn't understand what had happened. There had been no attack, there had been no reason for this and now Rei was dead and there was nothing anyone could do.

Then a thought, a brilliant, shining thought came to him.

"You have their powers?" he asked, jumping to his feet and looking to Usagi, who was still leaning against Mamoru. She nodded jerkily, not even able to bring herself to look at Harry.

"Then bring them back, the way Hotaru brought Haruka and Michiru back. If you have Saturn's power you should be able to do it. And you could give them their powers back."


"Harry's right. You're Sailor Cosmos now," Mamoru said gently, "there's nothing you can't do. You can return these powers to them and make them stronger than ever."

Usagi closed her eyes and nodded before taking a step back, brushing her prince's arms away as she did so. She stood for a moment and took a deep, shaking breath, attempting to steady herself, allowing her eyes to sweep the bodies of her friends, lying motionless on the ground before her.

She held her hands out before her and in a flash of deep purple light she held the silence glaive. "I don't know how long I'll be," she said, looking towards Mamoru.

"I'll wait right here," he said, settling cross legged on the grass.

"We'll wait too," Hermione said, her voice strained. Then, without warning, she ran over and hugged Usagi tight. Usagi returned the gesture only half-heartedly, wishing she had a better idea of what she had to do. Hermione let go of her and, wiping her eyes, moved back out of her way. Usagi held the glaive tight in both hands and closed her eyes. She had never done it before, but it was not dissimilar to the sailor teleport. She envisioned that place between this life and the next and when she opened her eyes the midnight gate stood tall and imposing before her.

As she approached, she noticed the planetary symbol of Saturn begin to pulse across the wrought iron of the door. It was, she knew, reacting to the proximity of the glaive and Hotaru's power. Her power, she corrected herself, but hopefully not for long. The gate swung open silently, its motion smooth. Usagi felt as though it should have creaked.

Her heels made no sound as she stepped into the dark on the other side of the gate which closed, once more silent, behind her. A soft glow began to emanate from her forehead, where the crescent moon shone silver, lighting her way.

Something seemed to be pulling her to the left, so she began to walk, brushing through the strange, oddly heavy shadows of the midnight realm, which tried to grasp at her as she passed them, almost as though they were trying to drag her down with them. She squinted ahead– it almost looked as though there was a patch of thicker darkness ahead. As she moved closer and closer to it, she realised that this was not entirely her imagination and that there was indeed a creature of some form, made from smoke but entirely real (or as real as anything in this place was).

She took a hesitant step backwards as its shining red eyes turned towards her. A mouth, simply an open maw in the dark, cracked open and grey saliva dripped of shining silver teeth. Thinking fast, Usagi blinked and the silence glaive was replaced by the staff topped with the space sword. But this was now good, for without the glaive in her hands the shadows clinging to her legs became suddenly much stronger, their claws breaking through the skin and drawing blood, Usagi whimpered and conjured the glaive once more. It looked as though she would have to keep hold of it on this side of the midnight gate.

The creature was still looking at her, but now it was padding slowly closer. Usagi thought hard, and then felt something warm in the palm of her hand. Still holding the glaive in her left hand, she looked down at her right, inside of which rested a small, metal heart.

"Venus love me chain!" she shouted, the words familiar but odd in her voice rather than Minako's. The chain cut through the shadows and wrapped tightly around the monster. Usagi pulled to ensure that it could not escape. Breathing hard, she realised that she hadn't thought this through properly; what could she do now, with the glaive in one hand and the chain in the other.

She would have to act quickly. She manoeuvred herself into the right position, let go of the chain and shouted, "Mercury aqua rhapsody!" the water shot through the shadows and straight into the approaching monster, seemingly unaffected by the great rents caused by the chain.

Usagi jumped as it lunged then kept going up. She looked down and saw the tiny wings on her shoes beating unbelievably fast, and had she been able to look at her sleeves she would have known the wings there were flapping as well.

She looked down at the creature, moving slower now, its eyes still locked onto her. An idea occurred to her as she hovered above the thing and she closed her eyes, reaching for the fire she felt burning inside.

It was slightly more awkward than when Rei did it, as Usagi had to aim down the glaive, but the effect was the same, "Mars flame sniper!" she fired two arrows in quick succession, launching each one straight into the creatures eye. It roared it's displeasure as they made contact, but now that it couldn't see Usagi she had the advantage, as well as the time to power up.

"Silver moon crystal power kiss!" she shouted, and it dissolved in a flash of white sparks. She leaned forward and shot towards the ground, leaning back in time to land on her feet. She walked over to see what it was the creature had been examining and knelt down to pick it up. The crystal glowed with warmth out of place in the midnight realm and she held it close to her chest, knowing what it was but only wishing she knew what to do with it.

She closed her eyes, and reached inside herself, to that place where their powers rested.

"Rei? Can you hear me? I bet you can," Usagi smiled, "I bet your just wondering what took me so long. Well I'm here now, and I'm the one waiting for you. Please?" Nothing happened for a moment. Then, fires that weren't truly there roared in pleasure and the crystal in Usagi's hand glowed a deep fiery red. She let go of it and stepped back, allowing a shape to form from the shadows around her. Rei moved forward, her hair longer than ever, but light pink instead of black. Her fuku was incredibly similar to the first one she had ever worn, except that the collar and skirt were the same colour as her hair, not the red she had worn so long ago. She also wore a golden cuff on one arm and held a staff of black wood, engraved at the top with the symbol of Mars. The red symbol smoldered as her wand once had. The symbol was repeated on her forehead and in the centre of the bow on her chest.

Usagi's eyes filled with tears and she threw her arms around Rei, almost knocking the other girl on the head with the glaive.

"Be careful," Rei grumbled, but without her usual sarcastic bite, returning Usagi's hug. "Where are we?" she asked, looking around.

"The midnight realm," Usagi said, stepping back. "You died again. You promised you'd stop doing that."

"I'll try harder this time, I promise." She paused a moment before continuing, "although it was really your fault."

"It was not!" Usagi screeched, "I didn't ask for all these powers and I don't want them. It's giving me a headache already, and I've already got rid of your power. I hope we find Setsuna soon… the timelines keep getting in the way, I just don't know how she copes."

"Well… she's Setsuna." Rei said, as though this was an explanation. "Where are the others?"

"I haven't found any of them yet," Usagi shook her head, "and I definitely need to have a word with Hotaru. This is nothing like I imagined the next life would be like."

"You're telling me," Rei shivered.

"Right, stay close to me," Usagi advised, "the glaive seems to restrict a lot of what the shadows can do."

"I'll bear that in mind," Rei looked around uneasily.

"I keep wanting to go this way," Usagi said, looking to her left, "I think it might be because Hotaru's that way, because when I put the glaive away and had the space sword for a moment I suddenly wanted to go in a completely different direction."

"Which would be where Haruka is, no doubt," Rei nodded in agreement. They moved on together, Rei never straying further than a few feet from Usagi and the glaive.

When they found the next Crystal, it was because Rei nearly stepped on it. Usagi felt something flutter in panic inside her chest and turned just in time to shout, "stop!" before Rei's foot came down. She picked up the crystal as Rei calmed herself down. She moved it up to her lips and let the power come to her.

"Ami? Can you hear me? You're always so quiet, so I don't know if you'll answer or not, but it's Usagi, and me and Rei are here, waiting for you." Soft blue light spilled over the edge of Usagi's hands and she moved back. Ice spread from the crystal, forming the shape of a girl, before cracking to reveal Ami smiling as she stood before her friends. She too had changed, her hair lighter than it ever had been and her fuku in the same pattern as Rei's; the same as her first, only a lighter blue. A staff of pure ice with no decoration was clasped in her hand, but Usagi looked carefully, she saw that what she had taken to be a slight imperfection was in fact in the shape of the symbol of Mercury. Her boots were replaced with white sandals that made no sound in that place of shadow as her friends threw their arms around her.

"Missed you, Ami," Usagi sniffed.

"But I was only gone a few hours," Ami laughed, "if that."

"Doesn't mean I can't miss you, right?"

"I suppose not," Ami hugged her friend tight, "I missed you too."

Chapter 56

Ami and Usagi finally broke apart, Usagi still trying to wipe away her tears one handed. "Any sign of the others?" Ami asked.

"Not so much a sign," Usagi said, "but I think I can feel Hotaru– she's not too far away."

"Hang on a sec," Ami conjured her computer from the air and started tapping away, "I've got a fix– Hotaru's the nearest."

"Good," Usagi said, "I don't like the glaive, it gives me the creeps."

"It should take us an hour or so to walk there."

"An hour?" Usagi cried, but then suddenly a smile spread her lips, "why walk," she said, moving ahead towards the pull of Hotaru's star seed, "when you can fly?" Without a further word, she leapt into the air.

Rei gaped at her before saying, "why did she never do this when she had wings as eternal moon?"

"I think it was because she didn't want to leave us behind," Ami said, before taking a deep breath and leaping after Usagi.

"Screw this," Rei shouted at their distant forms before jumping and allowing the wings on her shoes and sleeves to propel her towards them. She suspected they may have slowed down to wait for her as it only took a matter of seconds to catch them up.

"Stop," Ami called suddenly, forcing Usagi and Rei to swoop back to her.

"There's something between us and Hotaru," she was frowning, "a lot of somethings actually."

"And I imagine there is a time and a place where that would prove useful," Rei rolled her eyes, "but personally I would like some more detail."

"I can't tell what they are," Ami said, typing away furiously at the computer, "they're just there." Usagi shuddered, remembering the shadow creature that had attacked her earlier.

Then, she thought for a moment. "Well… there are three of us," she pointed out reasonably, "and I have everyone else's power. If you two weaken them, I might be able to dust them."

"If they can dust," Ami said.

"I've never had a problem dusting anything before," she replied doubtfully. "Liar," Rei muttered.

"Maybe, if you tried to combine the powers," Ami said thoughtfully, "you could mix yours with say Haruka's, maybe Michiru's, and dust a load of them at once." Rei opened her mouth to say something sarcastic, and then hesitated.

"You know… that just might work."

"Well there's only one way to find out then," Usagi shouted, already zooming away. "I don't think having all those powers is good for her," Rei commented.

"No… she's acting like a cross between Haruka and Makoto."

"We'd better catch up before she hurts herself."


"And soon," Rei eyed the shadows creeping closer to her legs in the absence of the silence glaive to hold them back. They hurtled after Usagi, reaching her only once she had stopped, hovering high above a great mass of shifting shadow.

"This is what attacked me by Rei's crystal," Usagi said looking down, "but there was just the one."

"You never said anything about getting attacked," Rei said horrified.

"I dealt with it," Usagi shrugged, flicking her fringe back in such a way that made Rei frown– the gesture was more something Haruka would do than something Usagi would do.

"I wonder why they've grouped so much around Hotaru's crystal then," Rei wondered aloud.

"Probably because it is Hotaru's crystal," Ami shrugged, "she's immensely powerful. Yours probably got some attention due to your psychic aura, and Hotaru's because of whom she is."

"Well then," Rei cracked her neck, "let's get started. Burning Mandela!" the fireballs rained down from a circle that formed around Rei, forming continually as she chanted, each one causing the shadow monsters to jump over one another, clawing and scratching in order to avoid the flames.

Ami was typing at her computer and called, "aim for their eyes!"

"I could have told you that," Usagi rolled her eyes, then drew out her staff. It was a little awkward, holding both that and the glaive, but it wouldn't be necessary for much longer. She raised her staff above her head and reached inside. She felt feelings of strength, companionship, loyalty and trust well up inside her. She opened her eyes and for the briefest of moments they flashed a deep leafy green.

"Silver moon oak evolution!" she cried, and small silver leaves shot out in all directions. Each time they hit one of the shadows it would dust with a cry of rage, and by the time Usagi had stopped spinning, there were only three left. Mars quickly blinded them and Mercury washed them far away.

Usagi dropped heavily to the ground, shrugging off a helpful hand from Ami, and picked up the crystal lying there. "Hotaru? You are in there right? Because I would really appreciate it if you came out. The glaive is starting to give me the creeps see, and I keep looking at that crack and then I get even more creeped out. And I'm pretty sure the midnight dimension isn't meant to be like this after all the descriptions you gave and… " Usagi realised she was rambling. "Well anyway… please don't be dead." Hotaru formed slowly, guided to her feet by the shadows of the realm, caressing her as they supported her, and where they touched her fuku began to spread. Hotaru's motif was a crystal, and still she had no sailor collar. Long double ribbons, black to complement the dark purple skirt, hung from her waist, matching those that looped around the top of her boots and fingerless gloves.

She reached forward and as her hand clasped the silence glaive Usagi let go. There was a flash of light, somewhat muted by their surroundings, and Hotaru stepped back. Usagi sighed in relief– the power of Saturn had been weighing heavily upon her. How much so she had only just realised.

"How do you cope?" she asked, her eyes shimmering, "listening to them day in day out?"

"I have always heard them," Hotaru shrugged, "I am well used to it." She looked closely at Usagi, noting the shadows beneath her eyes and the droop in her shoulders. "We must find the others. Quickly. Minako is not far away."

"How do you know?" Usagi asked, leaping after her.

"Because it is my job to know." Hotaru said simply.

"Hotaru's gone!" Hermione shouted, jumping into the tent.

"I suppose this is a good thing… right?" Ron asked, looking up from the table. "I think so. I think it means she's found them," Hermione said after a moment.

"Well I hope so," Ron replied, "I don't know how much longer either of them'll manage," he looked out of the tent to where Mamoru and Harry were sat on the grass. They had hardly moved since Usagi had left nearly five days previously.

"Well Rei, Ami and Hotaru have been found now. Surely it'll speed up now that she's found Saturn– I mean; she resurrected Haruka and Michiru in a matter of minutes."

"Guess we'll have to wait and see," Ron shrugged.

The Venus crystal was unguarded, and Usagi knelt down, picking it up and cradling it in her hands. "Minako, come on. Even I'm here –you're late. Though I suppose some of the others are later… but still, I'm counting on you."

She let go of the crystal as a soft golden flow began to pulse. Minako smiled as she greeted her friend, her hair was still worn in a ribbon, now light yellow, flowing in golden tresses (lighter than her previous blonde) to her waist. Golden metal curled around her torso to form her fuku, before settling around her calves and the tops of her arms, shining and flowing. As with the others, her fuku was reminiscent of an older one, although in her case the second she had worn, for it was nothing like the one she had donned under the guise of Sailor V. Rather than orange, it was in soft yellow, and the symbol of Venus glowed on her forehead. A staff of gold materialised before her, the end swirling into an orb containing the same symbol.

She blinked a little, before running forward and throwing her arms around Usagi. Hotaru only gave them a moment, however, before she leapt into the air, forcing them to follow in order to stay by the glaive. The next two crystals were together, as seemed natural. Hotaru was about to dispatch the single shadow monster lurking around it, but Usagi beat her to it.

"Silver moon submerge!" she shouted, and a wave of brilliant white water smashed into the shadow.

"Stop using those powers," Hotaru whirled round, glaring at Usagi, who frowned.

"Why not? I may as well make use of them while I have them." She turned away from Hotaru and knelt down, picking up the crystals. "Come on you two," Usagi whispered, "you're slacking on the job. That's twice we've had to resurrect you this year." They came together, as Usagi had known they would, holding hands as their powers swirled in the air between them, rejoicing in the reunion. Michiru was barefoot but for thin beaded ribbons supporting the white wings they now all seemed to bear, and pearls adorned her fuku, formed by waves that lapped gently about her form.

Haruka wore only a single glove on her sword hand, and it barely passed her wrist. Her blonde hair was so light now that it was almost the same white as that of Sailor Cosmos and a ribbon connected to the many pointed star on her skirt looped to the back before falling to her feet, clad in boots topped with golden anklets to match the cuff on her right leg. The ribbons still blew gently in the wind they were made of. They took their staffs, topped with the space sword and the mirror.

Again Hotaru did not allow time for lengthy welcomes, jumping away almost as soon as Haruka and Michiru were fully formed.

"Hotaru," Usagi called, breathless, "what's the rush."

"We must hurry, Princess," she called back, "the powers you carry were never meant for a single person to bear." Minako glanced sideways at her friend and realised that there must be some truth in what Hotaru was saying– Usagi did not look well.

Makoto's crystal was unguarded, and Hotaru was already holding it, ready to give it straight to Usagi when she landed. "Makoto? You promised once that you'd always come when I called. Well I'm calling now." The stagnant air crackled as Makoto levered herself up from the ground, her hair as she had worn it since the past life, but now a light green in colour, matching her fuku. Her staff was of silver, the planetary symbol of Jupiter embossed in gold. Vines wrapped themselves around the handle as she took hold of it.

"Hang on a second," Usagi gasped, breathless. She still hadn't recovered from rushing around to get to the crystals. Makoto, realising that something was wrong, scooped Usagi into her arms.

"I can still fly," Usagi grumbled.

"Not a chance," Makoto replied, her eyes narrowed as she glanced down at her friend.

"You still have your earrings," Usagi laughed, her voice a little hysterical, "you never told me how you got them."

"Keep her talking," Hotaru shouted back, "it's a little way to Setsuna yet."

"They were a gift," Makoto said, looking down at Usagi, "bet you can't guess who they were from?"

"Bet she can," Minako winked, her smile more than a little strained.

"Nephrite?" Usagi guessed. Makoto winced.

"Her memories are getting a little jumbled," Ami shouted to Hotaru, who swore in a way that was not reflected in her youthful appearance.

"I suspected this would happen. It's the imbalance. Without the power of the other scouts to balance it, her own power is fighting for dominance with Setsuna's, by far the most powerful of all of ours– even more so than mine, in its way."

"So why the hell did you leave Setsuna till last?" Haruka snapped, looking worriedly down at Usagi in Makoto's arms.

"Because if we had gone out of our way to reach Setsuna first we would not have had time to go back for the rest of you before any damage to Usagi became permanent," Hotaru said, calmly.

"So… this won't be permanent?" Rei asked, relieved. "Probably not."


Chapter 57

"Nearly there," Hotaru gasped. Flying seemed to be surprisingly hard– that, or they had just spent too long in the polluted realm. Hotaru scanned the unfamiliar shadows and her heart sank. She had known they would be there, but some part of her had hoped…

A great mass of shadows, creating a wall before them, was collected around the strength of Setsuna's crystal and the ever living force within. "Shit," Haruka swore as she caught up with Hotaru, "that's practically an army."

"Yes, but we are an army too. Ami– you stay back with Usagi," Ami nodded and took Usagi carefully from Makoto.

"Did I say something wrong?" Usagi asked, looking worriedly at Makoto's strained face, "was it not Nephrite? Oh, I know! It'll have been that sempai."

"That's the one," Makoto smiled, moving away from Usagi and Ami. "Don't go," Usagi whimpered, a look of pain crossing her face.

"I won't be long," Makoto promised, wishing she could know that for certain.

Ami flew back a little, being careful to keep a good hold of Usagi, which was proving difficult– she kept trying to get away, pushing at Ami with both her feet and hands. Ami closed her eyes and felt inside herself for the power she needed. It was logical that she would be able to form a shield of some form– Usagi, Setsuna and Hotaru all could, so why not her?

"Frozen wall!" she shouted, and the ice formed in great crystals, sheltering them from the fight.

"Woah!" Rei shouted, practically jumping out of the way of the rising ice, "more warning next time, alright?" she didn't pause for Ami's response, but turned towards the army of shadows, cursing.

Her strongest attack, the sniper, was too precise for something as huge as this, while the others, with the exception of Minako, had more widespread attacks. She glanced back at the ice wall Ami had summoned– that was new, so… why not? She closed her eyes and then thought– did it have to be new? Maybe just more powerful than before…

"Burning Mandala!" she shouted.

"Nice one," Minako shouted, flying past, "Pinky."

"WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?" Rei bellowed even as Minako flew away.

"Venus love and beauty shock!" the metal heart struck a shadow and it screamed as it dissolved into nothing, but Minako knew that Rei had the right idea– they needed something much bigger for this. She closed her eyes and felt inside. To her surprise, her hand began to glow with familiar warmth. She gripped the chain tightly, and felt as it tightened around her arm, a seamless extension of the molten metal twirled around her upper arm. She smiled to herself as she raised it into the air. "Venus Love Me Chain!" it was, as she had known it would be, far more powerful than ever before. The shadows writhed as it ripped them apart and Minako winced– this was also far more violent than it had ever been before.

"There are just too many," Michiru shouted, sending a tidal wave through the ranks of the army. "This'll take us all hours," Haruka nodded in agreement.

"We don't have hours," Hotaru shouted back at them, "we've got minutes if that!"

"Combine our powers," Minako shouted, "the sailor planets!"

"Brilliant," Hotaru shouted, "but hurry!" they flew into a rough circle, hastily joining hands. Minako started them off, closing her eyes and shouting, "Venus!"






"Sailor Planet Attack!" Minako bellowed, and the lights of their planetary colours flashed as the missile of energy crashed into the shadows down below. Their ears rang in the silence that followed and the ice wall conjured by Mercury receded.

"Hotaru," Ami shouted, fear in her voice, "where's the crystal?" Hotaru was next to her in a moment, her hand extended, holding Setsuna's seemingly lifeless crystal.

"Come on Usagi," Ami coaxed her friend, whose eyes were glazed, "we're counting on you."

"I'm not Usagi," the silver haired girl replied, levering herself from Ami's arms, her voice tinged with loss beyond anything they could comprehend. "I can't feel her," she went on, "I can't feel the silver crystal." The voice did not sound like Usagi at all, it was too serious.

"Setsuna?" Ami asked cautiously. Usagi's head nodded, tears falling from her crystalline eyes.

"It wasn't meant to go this way… she was meant to get the powers back to us… she had to hold them for a time in order to become Sailor Cosmos, but it was never meant to be for so long."

"Is there no way to call her back?" Minako asked dully. "I don't know," Setsuna sniffed, "I think… I think she's-"

"Don't say it," Ami butted in. "Don't you dare say it," her voice rose in volume as she glared at Setsuna, "Usagi's the strongest of us all in so many ways. We both know that your power only triumphed over Usagi's due to it's nature, but Usagi's heart is strong enough that it eclipses the lot of us put together. That's where she gets her strength from and I know she's still in there. She's just got to realise it herself first."

"Talk to her," Minako said suddenly, "that's how she called us out of her and into her crystal. Maybe if you talk to her, you'll wake her enough that she can send you out as well."

"I… I will try," Setsuna stood up straight. "Usagi… " she said hesitantly, "can you hear the things they're saying about you. They're all true. I know that at times I seem distant," Rei snorted, "but I've always been so proud of you, and how selfless you are. You are the sort of person I wish I could be. You always have been… "

Minako was surprised to find fresh tears in her eyes… she had never known.

Setsuna buckled over, very suddenly, her blue eyes wide. Then, when she spoke, her voice was soft, different.

"Setsuna. I hear you. You know, I always wished I could be more mature, more like you. I think these last few years have taught us both a lot about ourselves and about each other. Are you ready?"

Realms away, Setsuna smiled as she looked towards Wiseman, her haunted eyes gleaming with triumph, "your days are numbered, Wiseman." he blinked — this was not a name he had been called before, "The time will come and the Black Moon will embrace you in exile." There was a flash of white light and she was gone from that place. She didn't know where she was, but she was at peace, her powers beating a soft rhythm within her heart as they embraced her truly after such a long absence. She felt familiar threads twine about her body, forming a new fuku. Elaborate stars adorned it, the little white wings on her boots fluttering in the breeze. Her green hair brushed her ankles as she took the garnet rod from Sailor Cosmos, the cold metal comforting after so long.

"I am so proud of you," Setsuna said, tears running down her cheeks.

"And I am proud to call you my guardian," Usagi smiled, "now… can we please get out of here?"

Hotaru lead them swiftly to the exit, a journey that seemed to take deceptively little time. "Come on, I have to be the last to pass through."

"Wait," a soft voice called to them. They turned and gaped.

Queen Serenity was moving towards them through the shadows. "Mother," Usagi said softly, her eyes wide.

"I cannot stay long. The shadows are powerful– for now at least. But I came to wish you good luck, and to add my blessing to the reign of Neo Queen Serenity."

"What happened to the midnight realm?" Hotaru asked, her voice betraying a little worry for the first time, "I knew it was damaged, but not that it was so bad… "

"This dimension will continue to fall apart," Queen Serenity said, "until the glaive is whole. The shadows are leaking in from all sides, and the peace of all is disrupted. Many who pass the gate are not even corporal, such as yourselves," she nodded, "now go. There are friends waiting for you across the gate."

"Mamoru," Usagi said, her eyes suddenly distant. She allowed Rei to guide her through the gate and she took a deep breath of the fresh air waiting on the other side.

"Oh no fair!" Minako shrieked as she followed them, "your hair isn't pink anymore!"

"That," Hotaru said, "would be because Rei wished it to be so."

"It is? Well then I wish a lot of other stuff as well… "

"If only," Hotaru smirked, "no, the power of the gate is such that it can alter you as you pass through it, if this is your wish."

"It definitely was," Rei smirked, smoothing her fuku, once more red. "Now she can't call me Pinky."

"Whatever," Minako grinned, "I can call you it in my head. And Pyro is still good."

"Meh," Rei shrugged.

"I quite like your hair that way," Makoto said, fingering her own hair which was still a light shade of green. "I like mine as well… it's a softer colour."

"I like that I'm not the only one with bizarre hair anymore," Ami smiled.

"Hey, at least there's colour to you lot," Usagi complained, running a hand through her own silver hair. "I never thought I'd go grey so soon."

"Aww, don't worry Usagi," Rei winked, "at least you've got Mamoru."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Makoto stepped in-between Usagi and Rei, "break it up," she said, frowning, "come on. We're so nearly back now."

"Hey," Minako complained, "how come I don't have a staff anymore?"

"That was merely a manifestation of your powers as a talisman," Hotaru explained as though it were obvious, "You are not directly connected to an alternate dimension, nor were your talismans separated from you," she indicated first herself and Setsuna, and then Michiru and Haruka. "They are within your star seeds, as they have always been."

"Except for mine," Usagi pointed out, indicating the staff she still carried. "Yes, but you are… individual in more than one way," Hotaru shrugged. "Whatever, can we go back to the camp now?"

"Of course. Follow me."

"It's been weeks," Hermione said sadly, "I… I don't think they're coming back."

Ron rubbed his eyes, wishing he could disagree with Hermione, the only problem being that he thought she was right.

"Do you think we'll ever convince them to move?" Seiya asked, glancing at Harry and Mamoru.

"I doubt it," Hermione shrugged, "from what Ami told me and what I saw myself, Usagi and Mamoru share a bond stronger than any I've ever heard of, and Ami thinks Harry and Rei are heading towards something similar."

"Bugger for them," George muttered, "tea anyone?"

"Nah, I'm alright," Ron said, even as Seiya, Fred and Hermione indicated that they would. They had been camping together long enough that George didn't need to ask Hermione or Seiya how they took their tea. He also made one each for Harry and Mamoru. He knew that neither of them would eat if they didn't bring the food to them– even then they didn't eat much.

He took the mugs, still steaming, out into the cold winter air and handed them to Harry and Mamoru, who said their thanks and no more. George shook his head and turned to go back in.

"No tea for me then?" a tired voice said, as a figure emerged from behind the tent. There was the sound of something breaking from inside the tent as those inside ran to see if their ears had really heard what they thought they had. Mamoru on the other hand leapt to his feet, flinging his own tea aside, and drawing Usagi up in his arms, breathing in her scent as her fuku faded. She wrapped her arms around him, leaning into his shoulders. Neither of them said anything, they merely held each other, both crying softly.

"Gahh, get a room you two," Rei moaned as she moved out of the trees, "anyone would think you hadn't seen each other in weeks, not ho-" she was cut off mid-sentence as Harry hugged her tight.

"Don't ever do that again," he warned her, his voice gruff.

"Do what? Die? Sorry, it's a hazard of the job," but she wrapped her arms around him all the same. The others moved out from the trees together, Setsuna leading the way.

"Don't," Minako raised a hand as Fred and George opened their mouths simultaneously, "I am shattered and do not have the patience for any more sarcasm," she narrowed her eyes at Rei, "I'm going to bed."

Usagi smiled wearily, finally moving away from Mamoru, still keeping her hand in his, as her friends and soldiers stood around her, their eyes twinkling with unshed tears. She raised her staff to the sky and in a flash they were all wearing simple, white goggles.

"It's getting closer, isn't it?" Harry asked, "the part where we fight you-know-who."

"I think so," Usagi said, looking to Pluto, "the timelines are clear again."

"How do we do it?" Rei asked, hand in Harry's, "how do we defeat you-know-who?"

"We go to Hogwarts," Hotaru said after a moment. "There are still… is still a horcrux to go."

"But… I called them all," Usagi paled.

"One of them is concealed by a magic that prevents a calling, inside Hogwarts castle." Usagi rolled her eyes, "it would be."

"Well then, we should go." Setsuna said. "But sleep… " Minako said, her face falling.

"Sleep can wait," Setsuna said. "Now that my physical form has gone from Malfoy manor, you— know-who will begin to investigate Nagini's absence– he did not think it suspicious until then, but now… we must get to Hogwarts immediately."

"Everyone join in the ring," Usagi said, looking at the shitennou, Seiya and Mamoru, "we can do this together."

"We should go to Hogsmeade first," Harry said, thinking aloud, "and work out a way to get into Hogwarts from there."

"Definitely," Minako nodded in agreement as they formed the circle.

"That is the only way into the castle anyway," Setsuna said. Usagi smiled as she took Setsuna's hand, Mamoru standing on her other side.

"Is everyone in place?" she asked, looking around to the circle, now unbroken, "Minako, when you're ready."

"But… you-know-who will be able to trace it," she said, uncertainly.

"That doesn't matter anymore," Usagi shook her head, "we need to face him eventually and ideally before he has a chance to make new horcruxes."

"Alright… Sailor Teleport!" There was a flash of many colours, and the hillside was bare, but for the single tent.

"They're in Hogsmeade," Voldemort's head snapped up.

"Why would they be there, my lord?" Bellatrix asked carefully.

"I would assume they are headed to the castle," he replied, before letting out a long, low hiss. He waited a moment, but nothing happened. He hissed again and still Nagini did not come. Normally this would not worry him– Nagini often strayed for days at a time, but weeks?

"My lord," the thing that had tumbled into the room knelt clumsily before him, panting, "she has gone."

"What do you mean, gone?"

"The body vanished, my lord. She looked at me, spoke and vanished."

"But she was dead! She has been dead for weeks."

"I do not know how it happened, my lord."

Pluto was gone and Nagini was not responding… could they know? How could they possibly know?

"We have to get him inside, now," Rei called to Usagi as Seiya lifted Harry of the ground, "he's having some kind of fit."

"Can someone shut up that damn alarm," Usagi shouted, frustration getting the better of her. "It's a caterwauling charm," Hermione shouted, "give me a second."

"Thank you," Usagi sighed in the relative calm that came next. "This is no use; we've got to get inside."

"Send the dementors at them," someone shouted, "that'll flush them out."

"Damnit," Usagi cursed, "Hotaru, can you do that anti-dementor thing again?"

"I don't think it'll be much use against so many," Hotaru said, "there are hundreds of the things."

"But if we cast our patronuses they'll know it's us!" Usagi shouted, panicked.

"Well don't shout for a start," Minako said, "if we can get inside one patronus should be enough to keep them away and they've never seen mine before."

"Right we'll — "

"Get in here," a gruff voice called, "go upstairs and keep quiet." They didn't stop to see who their saviour was, but rushed through into what turned out to be the bar of the hogshead pub. Rei lead them round the bar and up a flight of rickety stairs into a sparsely furnished room. Makoto, who was last through, left the door ajar so they could hear what was going on downstairs.

"Expecto patronus!" something large, and silvery white galloped down the street. "It's a goat," one of the Death Eaters shouted.

"Is he letting his damn cat out again?"

"Probably, let's just get back inside." The dementors retreated, and there were the distant sounds of doors slamming. Usagi breathed a sigh of relief and collapsed onto one of two sofas, her head in her hands. Mamoru settled down next to her and took her in his arms, lightly kissing the top of her head.

"You need to get out of here," the landlord called as he stumped up the stairs. "Wait 'til morning, when the caterwauling charms get lifted and get as far away as you can. You can apparate or teleport or whatever from the mountains."

"We can't," Mamoru said, "we have something to do at the castle."

"He knows," Harry panted from the other sofa where Seiya had set him down. He wiped a sheen of sweat from his forehead and continued, "he felt us arrive he guessed that we hadn't yet reached the diadem– that's the one in Hogwarts, so he's warned Snape that we're coming and he's going to check on the others. He'll start with the ring while the Gringotts goblin's open the vault for Bellatrix, then he'll check on the locket."

"We have to move quickly," Setsuna said, "Aberforth, you have a way through." This was not a question, but a statement.

"I do," he sighed.

"Hang on," Harry said, "Aberforth? Aberforth Dumbledore?"

"Yeah that's me," he replied bitterly, turning bright blue eyes so like his brothers on to Harry. "Tell you old family stories did he," Aberforth laughed bitterly.

"No actually… " Harry realised then just how little he'd known about his headmaster, "I just remember him mentioning you once. And something about a goat."

"It would be that." Aberforth grumbled, turning towards a picture on the wall above the fireplace and nodding at the girl standing in it. She smiled and turned, walking out of her picture. Not in the way people in portraits usually did, but through a long corridor painted into the picture itself.

Aberforth vanished for a moment before returning with a plate of bread and cheese, "help yourself," he grunted. Usagi was, naturally, the first to grab some, although none of the others were far behind. "Thanks," Usagi said, grabbing a hunk, "I'm starved. It's been a long day."

"It's been a long few weeks," Harry laughed, a little shakily. "Weeks?" Rei asked, pausing as she retrieved a piece of bread.

"It's been ages since you… well for lack of a better word 'died'." Hermione sketched quotation marks around the word. "We waited for you the whole time." Usagi's hand tightened on Mamoru's and there was silence, broken only by the tapping of Rei's foot.

"it only felt like hours," Usagi said softly, "not even a day."

"Time has always moved differently across the gate," Hotaru nodded, "the state of the glaive can only have made it worse."

"Ariana's back," Aberforth said after a while.

"Ariana?" Hermione said, thinking back on the girl in the picture, "is she your sister?"

"She was my sister," Aberforth said gruffly, getting to his feet. "Anyway, she's brought company."

"She has?" Harry said, interestedly, moving to his feet. Sure enough there were now two people walking towards them. The second figure was barely recognisable due to all the cuts and bruises on his face, but as he drew nearer, Harry said, "Is that… " and then the portrait swung forward, revealing…

"Neville!" Ron shouted, leaping over to pull his friend down on to their level. "Ron! Harry! Everyone!" Neville was whooping with glee, "You're alive!"

"And kicking," Makoto grinned, "what happened to you Neville?"

"What this?" he gestured to his face, "this is nothing– you should see Ernie. How did you escape?"

"What so you mean?" Usagi asked.

"The snatchers," Neville said, as though it was obvious, "we were all listening on the radio and we thought you were goners. Then there was no news to the contrary, so the whole worlds been mourning you for the last month! This is fantastic everyone'll be so surprised to see you all." He turned and gaped as he set eyes on Haruka and Michiru, "ok, no offence… but I know you guys were dead."

"Death is not so simple for those with strong star seeds," Hotaru smiled at him.

"I'll pretend I know what that means," Neville brushed the comment aside, "come on, we should get back to the castle." He helped the girls up into the passageway, except for Rei, Hermione and Usagi, who were helped by Harry, Ron and Mamoru respectively. Michiru, naturally, was helped up by Haruka.

"Are you two finally dating then?" Neville asked shrewdly, looking between Ron and Hermione. "What do you mean, finally?" Ron asked affronted as everyone else burst out laughing.

"Come on Ron," Harry laughed, "most of us have seen it coming for about seven years." Ron had gone bright red, matching his hair exceedingly well.

"Ab," Neville called as he jumped into the passage, "I'll call a few more people to come help."

"The caterwauling-" Aberforth began in a warning tone.

"It's alright, they'll apparate straight into the bar," Neville said as he closed the portrait across the gap in the wall.

"So what's happened at Hogwarts this year?" Makoto asked.

"Loads– and when did your hair go green?" Neville did not wait for a response, but launched into a blow by blow account of the year, leading up to the activities of the newly resurrected DA, "see we had to fight the Carrows some way– it was Me, Ginny and Luna in charge, but Luna got caught after Christmas and I haven't heard from her."

"She's safe Neville," Harry said quickly, "she's at shell cottage with Bill, Fleur and Dean."

"Dean's safe? Good. Anyway, Ginny and I went into hiding within the castle shortly before the final episode of Potterwatch. It just wasn't safe anymore."

"So where did you hide?"

"Room of requirement of course!" Neville said, as though it was obvious, "hang back a bit, I want to see everyone's faces when they see you."

"Sure," Ron grinned as Neville wormed past them to open the portrait on the Hogwarts side of the passage.

"Hey guys," he said, as he jumped down, closing the portrait to. "What did Ab want?" came Ginny's voice.

"Man I wish we could have contacted Mum and Dad," Fred sighed. "Let them know we were alive or something."

"Won't matter for long," Usagi murmured. "Just getting some people into the castle."


"You can come out now guys," Neville called.

"You go first," Usagi muttered, shoving the three Weasleys forward. George reached out and pushed lightly at the frame. There was silence.

"Well some welcome would have been nice," Fred said grumpily, mere moments before the three of them were bowled over by a red headed blur.

"You idiots," Ginny sobbed, "you absolute prats."

"We love you two," Fred said, but without the usual sarcastic bite, putting his arm around Ginny's shoulders and squeezing her. As they jumped out of the tunnel, no one spoke, they merely stood amazed as people they had believed dead walked and talked in front of them.

Then, all of a sudden, all of the people in the room of requirement mobbed them. Usagi was hugged, clapped on the back and passed around the room. People were cheering, crying or just standing there, stunned into silence. Usagi finally fought her way out of the mob and collapsed onto a chair. "Can you be quiet, for just a minute?" Harry was shouting, but no one seemed to hear him.

Eventually, Rei took pity on him. "SHUT UP!" she roared, and everyone stopped talking at once. "Harry wanted to say something," she said innocently.

"Erm… thanks," Harry said, somewhat uncertainly. "Anyway, the point is there's something we need to find in the castle," he said, "we know where it is… or at least, I think we do," he glanced at Setsuna and Hotaru, who nodded to indicate that they could find it. "The problem is that you-know— who kind of knows we're here and kind of knows what we're after."

"What do you mean?" Cho Chang asked, frowning a little.

"He means," Usagi said, speaking for the first time, "that Voldemort's coming, and we've got to be ready to fight." There was a flinch as she said the name and someone hissed about the taboo.

"I wouldn't worry too much about that," Hermione shrugged, "he knows where we are already."

"Anyway," Harry said, "the point is that we're nearly there– if we work together, we could actually win this war. I'd actually say that the outcome of this whole damn mess will be decided tonight, so if you want to help," he paused a moment, "no one will stop you." Silence followed Harry's words.

"Well," Rei said finally, "are we just going to sit here or what?"

"Definitely not," Setsuna said brusquely, "in fact the very first thing we need to do, once everyone is through from the Hogshead of course, is clear the room."

"Why?" Harry asked, intrigued.

"Because the diadem is in the room of requirement," Hotaru said softly, "in the room of hidden things."

"You mean-"

"Yes, the room in which you hid your potions book in your sixth year," Hotaru nodded. "So I could have walked right past the thing," Harry said, "and not have realised?"

"Certainly," Hotaru nodded.

"When you say the diadem," a misty voice floating from behind them asked, "do you mean the diadem of Ravenclaw?" There were shouts as Luna and Dean jumped down out of the tunnel behind the portrait.

"That's the one," Harry said over the fuss, smiling towards Luna, "glad to see you're alright," he added.

"And you," she said, "we were quite worried you know, when we didn't hear anything."

"Is Bill coming?" Ron asked, butting in.

"Yes, I think so. But he doesn't know you're here. The DA coins aren't big enough for so much information you see. He went to get the rest of the family first."

"We should get someone to talk to the teachers," Hermione said, "get the whole castle awake."

"I will go," Setsuna said, "I can navigate my way unseen without the use of a cloak," she turned and headed out of the room. There was silence again, but this time it was full of anticipation as everyone settled themselves down on chairs, hammocks or even the floor.

"There are more people coming," Neville shouted, peering into the passageway as footsteps began to sound, "A few people, actually." Hermione glanced over, saw Ron's fingers drumming the arm of the chair and placed her hand over his, smiling encouragingly.

When the Weasleys; Bill, Charlie, Arthur and Molly stepped down from the passage, they did not immediately take in the people in the room. They noted that there were students, but of course they had been expecting this. It was only when Mrs Weasley scanned the room for Ginny that she saw Ron.

"Ronnie!" she screamed, leaping across the room and squeezing all the air from Ron's lungs. A few people laughed, but they all knew that until that moment Mrs Weasley had believed three of her sons dead, so one passed comment. When she finally straightened up, trying to wipe the tears still trickling down her face, it was to see a nervous looking Fred and George, who had also stood up. She hugged them with just as much enthusiasm as she had Ron, and they patted her on the back, for once not embarrassed. They looked to their father, who had also teared up, and was leaning against the mantelpiece, looking shaken but relieved.

"And Harry!" Mrs Weasley then went and hugged Harry, Hermione and each of the senshi in turn, and even Mamoru who appeared a little surprised, but not displeased. Usagi smiled, wondering when he had last been hugged like a son.

"Blimey, you guys really know how to throw people off," Bill laughed nervously, "no word for weeks… "

"We couldn't," Usagi said instantly, "we lost the radio stuff when we vacated Grimauld Place. All we had with us was what Hermione had packed."

"Which was, thankfully, about half the house," Ron laughed.

"I don't think I've ever packed so well, and I live galaxies away," Seiya laughed.

"Hang on," Fred said suddenly, his face lighting up. "This is the room of requirement? Well right now I require some radio equipment!" He turned and, sure enough, an equipment set just like the one they had left at Grimauld place at appeared behind him.

"Looks like we're gonna give the wizarding world a shout out they'll never forget," George grinned.

Chapter 58

The corridors Setsuna chose were, of course, deserted. She knew that one of the Carrows, Alecto, was currently in Ravenclaw tower, the other asleep and that Snape was currently on the second floor, prowling the corridors. Setsuna headed straight for Minerva McGonagall's office, pausing only briefly behind a tapestry in order to avoid Peeves– she could have spoken to him, if she had wished as much, but for now she was in a hurry, and one of the teachers could bring him into the fight later.

She paused for a moment outside Minerva's office, allowing the woman time to set aside the last piece of homework she had to mark for the evening, and pushed the door open.

"Setsuna!" Minerva gasped, putting a hand to her chest, "we thought you were-"

"Dead? Not at the moment," Setsuna said, not smiling.

"At the moment?"

"There is no time to explain," Setsuna said hurriedly, "I ask only that you wait, and that you listen."

"Go on."

"Not to me, to the radio," the moment Setsuna had finished speaking, the tinny wireless in the corner of the office crackled, and a voice began to speak.

"Good evening listeners of the wizarding wireless network, whether voluntary or caught by the charms of our delightful Sailor Mercury." Fred began an ostentatious ring to his voice.

"We would like to welcome you to a very special Potterwatch," George picked up. "Maybe you're wondering just what Potterwatch is, or perhaps you're wondering why you didn't have to tap in a password this time round."

"Either way," Harry said, "you're probably wondering how come we're not dead."

"Spoken by the man himself, wizards and gentle-witches, Mr Harry Potter!" Fred paused as the students in the room whooped and cheered.

"Maybe you noticed," Rei said, "that Potterwatch took an unintended leave of absence after our last broadcast, but I assure you that the entirety of our team is not only alive, but that they are kicking."

"And on more than one occasion to come, I'm sure that will be a literal turn of phrase," Minako laughed.

"But now we have a more serious note to address," Usagi said calmly, "For the first time we have a request to make to the wizarding world." People around the room were holding their breath; this was the crux of the broadcast.

"This broadcast has gone global," Harry took over, "because soon, the war between our world and Lord Voldemort will be over, one way or another. Tonight, at Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry, there will be a battle, one that we can only win if wizards from all over the world are willing to help us fight."

"Over the last few years we have risked our lives in order to keep the wider wizarding and muggle communities safe not only from Voldemort, but other threats of the same, often greater, magnitude," Usagi said, "but for the first time, we're asking for help. In this fight, Voldemort will not be our only opposition. He has his Death Eaters, loyal followers most of whom are more than willing to die for him."

"So we ask… no, we beg," Harry said solemnly, "that if anyone out there believes in equality and freedom, that they come here now and help us fight. There is no doubt in my mind that it is dangerous, but there is also no doubt in my mind that it needs to be done."

Fred leaned forward and turned off the microphone. "I think that'll get the message across," he said, oddly sombre.

"So now we wait until Setsuna gets back," Usagi shrugged, settling back into Mamoru, wishing she would be able to sleep and knowing that she wouldn't.

"They are here?" McGonagall asked.

"Yes," Setsuna nodded, "in the Room of Requirement along with the students driven into hiding by the new regime at Hogwarts."

"How many are there?"

"At the moment there are thirty seven people in the room. By the end of the evening, hundreds of people will have fought on our side."

"Will we win?"

"We have a great chance of doing so," Setsuna replied, "tonight and tomorrow are the only remaining decision points in the timelines. This time tomorrow Crystal Tokyo will come or Crystal Tokyo will be gone. Either way, we will know. I would ask you, Minerva, to raise the castle and take care of Severus and the Carrows. I have other business to attend to." Without a further word she vanished.

"Princess Kakyuu," Setsuna bowed her head to the fireball princess, "it is an honour to see you again."

"The same to you, Pluto," Kakyuu inclined her head, "I only wish it were not in such desperate times for your kingdom."

"That is indeed why I have come, Princess," Setsuna said, straightening up. "I would ask that Sailors Star Healer and Star Maker were permitted to fight with us."

"I am more than willing to grant your wish, Setsuna. It is them you will have to convince."

"I will not desert my planet and my princess," Taiki said from the doorway; it appeared both she and Yaten had been listening in.

"No one is asking you to do that." Setsuna replied, choosing her words carefully, "I am merely asking you to come and defend your comrade."

"Seiya can take care of herself."

"Most definitely, but she will be too concerned caring for others tonight to be as watchful as she should be. If at least one of you is not present, I can assure you that Seiya will not survive the night."

"Then send her back here," Yaten quipped.

"If only she would come," Kakyuu said with a ghostly smile. "Yaten, Taiki, I will not order you to go as your princess, I will merely ask you to go, as both your friend and Seiya's."

Yaten hesitated for a moment, and then nodded. "Very well," Setsuna said, "transform and follow me."

"Healer star power, make up!"

"Maker star power, make up!" Setsuna moved forward, and there was a ripple in the fabric of the air, which she stepped straight into, indicating that healer and maker should do the same. They glanced sideways at each other and Yaten shrugged, following Setsuna into the dark.

The room had filled up rather quickly after that, expanding more and more as people jumped down from the gap in the wall. Harry saw both people he knew and people he didn't. Wizards from Britain and foreign wizards, all of them prepared to fight with them against Lord Voldemort. He sat quietly in a corner with the senshi and the other shitennou, all of whom were now untransformed so as not to draw attention to themselves. None of them spoke, they merely sat quietly and waited.

The last person to come through the passage was, of course, Setsuna. Some of the students who had seen her leave looked a little puzzled for a moment, but none of the senshi batted an eyelid. Seiya rose as she saw who she had brought with her, and greeted her comrades with a grim smile.

"Good to see you both."

"We shouldn't need to be here," Taiki said, looking around at the assembled wizards.

"I wouldn't leave," Seiya replied, "even… even if I was ordered to do so." Taiki looked scandalised, but Yaten only nodded.

"I thought you might say that at some point."

"We must go to the great hall now," Setsuna said, "Minerva will evacuate the younger students through the room and then we may search."

"Right, we're coming," Usagi said, standing as the room began to empty.

"Fighter star power, make up!" Seiya was now the only one of them with a henshin phrase, meaning there was only a great flash of light to signify the transformations of the other senshi and of the shitennou.

"You are more powerful than you were when we last met," Taiki said. It was not a question, but an assessment. Usagi could tell that Taiki would much sooner be back on Kinmoku with her princess.

"It's alright Taiki," Usagi replied, "we'll win this war, and then you can go back to Kinmoku straight away. Setsuna can take you back and you'll barely have been gone a day." Taiki sniffed a little disbelievingly, but followed Usagi out of the room all the same.

"Is that Potter?"

"I swear I saw Sailor Mars!"

"I don't remember any of the senshi having green hair before… "

"Why are they wearing leather?"

"What on Earth is Potter wearing?"

"Who's the one with grey hair?"

"It's silver." Usagi hissed as she heard the murmurs in the corridors as they passed students heading to the great hall from their tower dormitories. Some people seemed to have guessed what was happening, others merely looked scared and confused. They reached the great hall which was full to the brim. Students, sitting at their house tables, looked tired and had clearly just been raised from their beds, while the majority of the staff looked grim, their faces set with determination. Usagi lead them as they moved towards the staff table, but they were only halfway there when a loud, high pitched voice boomed through the hall, effectively silencing everyone within.

"I know you are preparing to fight," the voice rang through the hall, "I know that fighters from all around the world are rallying at Hogwarts School. But you should know this: I am a merciful lord. If you lay down your arms now, then you need not die tonight. Give me Potter, and the ones who call themselves Sailor Moon, Sailor Saturn and Sailor Pluto and this may be ended now."

Usagi glanced nervously around the room. Her instinct was to avoid a fight at all costs, and she would gladly hand herself over, but the others…

"But they're there!" a girl sat at the Slytherin table shrieked, "somebody grab them!" Instantly Mamoru jumped into action, pulling a single red rose from the air and launching it towards the girl, whom Usagi vaguely remembered was called Pansy Parkinson. It landed stem down in the table, which cracked cleanly in two.

There was a sudden movement at the Gryffindor table, which was nearest Usagi and the others. They stood, not facing Harry, but facing Pansy. The Hufflepuffs followed suit, shortly followed by the Ravenclaws.

"Miss Parkinson, if you would lead the Slytherins, we are evacuating the castle," McGonagall said, her lip twitching in irritation.

Usagi began moving once more, stopping only when she was stood at the teachers table. When all the underage students and those who did not wish to fight had finally filed out of the room, it still left them a force to be reckoned with, especially when combined with the order members and those who had responded to the Potterwatch broadcast.

"We need a team to lead a group of fighters to guard the secret passages into and out of the castle," McGonagall was saying as they approached.

"That sounds like a job for us," Fred said, grinning.

"I disagree," Remus said, looking up at them, "your power would be more useful if you were positioned either side of a main entrance. I can take the passages Minerva."

"But do you know them all?" George asked, looking surprised. "Better than you I would guess." Remus smiled.

"Not possible," Fred said flatly, "we had the ma… "

"The marauders map? Really where have you been?" Fred and George looked non-plussed, "I was moony," Remus finally elaborated.

"No way!"

"If you've quite finished?" McGonagall said, "Remus, take as many fighters as you need to put a pair on each entrance. Fred, George I want you either side of the main door, Remus is right."

"Righto," George said cheerily as he and Fred turned away.

"The starlights should be on the tower," Setsuna said suddenly, "their attacks will be well suited to the distance."

"You know best," McGonagall nodded to Setsuna and turned to the starlights.

"We'll go set up," Yaten said, thankful that Setsuna was subtle– if Seiya had guessed they were trying to keep her away from the fight it would not have ended well.

"Usagi, you and the other senshi should be on the front line to take care of anyone who gets past Fred and George." Setsuna continued.

"Right, we'll go now," Usagi nodded, squeezing Mamoru's hand before heading away. They had coped with worse than the separation to come, but still it was painful.

"Except for you Rei," Setsuna called the black haired priestess back, "you need to come with the shitennou, Mamoru and myself." Rei looked curious, but did as Setsuna instructed. "The room will be clear in about five minutes," she continued, "we should go now, Minerva is perfectly capable of sorting out the rest." McGonagall nodded grimly and turned to the members of the order as Setsuna lead them out of the hall and up the marble staircase.

"Harry, you know how to get into the room," she prompted him as they emerged onto the right corridor. Harry began to pace away from them, turning at the end of the corridor and coming back before turning once more. After he had walked past a single stretch of blank wall three times, it changed, becoming a door. "We must hurry– there will be people waiting to come through the passage by the time we are done."

They hurried into the room and Harry asked, "so what does it look like?"

"A battered tiara," Setsuna said, her lip quirking up, "placed upon a bust of an old man, wearing a wig." Harry gaped at her.

"You mean… you mean I moved the damn thing?"

"Yes I do."

"Well shit."

Chapter 59

"Ok, so it's around here somewhere, I'm sure… " Harry said. "Perhaps we should split up… " Setsuna suggested.

"But… " Rei stopped after a well placed glare from Setsuna. She shrugged internally– Setsuna obviously knew where the diadem was, but there must be a reason behind her decision to split them up.

"I know," said Harry, spotting a pile of broomsticks at the end of the row, "why don't we fly– get a better view of the room."

"That's a brilliant idea," Ron agreed.

"Yeah– and haven't you got the firebolts in your bag Hermione?" Harry said eagerly "I don't need mine anymore," Rei said despondently.

"What do you mean?" Harry asked, frowning. "I mean this," Rei said, jumping into the air.

"You've got to admit that's cool though," Ron said.

"Yeah, but I'll still keep my broom. I miss Quidditch," she said thoughtfully.

"Think, when this is all over we may actually be able to get through a season where we all play in all the games," Harry grinned.

"This is true," Ron laughed.

"Right, I'll see if I can spot this diadem," Rei called, zooming away above the mountainous piles of debris left over the years.

"I wonder why he left a piece of his soul here of all places," Harry wondered aloud as he headed in the opposite direction as Rei, Setsuna at his side.

"He believed that, like the chamber, he was the only person who could get inside this room." Setsuna explained.

"Really? Big headed twit," Harry rolled his eyes and then stopped. There it was, exactly where he had left it when he had run in here to hide his potions book. "That's it," he hissed.

"I know," Setsuna nodded.

"Expelliarmous!" Harry's wand flew into the air and he whirled around. "Malfoy, what the fu-"

"Didn't your mummy ever tell you not to swear? Oh wait no… She's dead."

"You bastard!"

"Ah ah ah Potter," Malfoy took a step closer, flagged by Crabbe and Goyle. "Stay where you are," Crabbe and Goyle had drawn their wands as well at this point and were pointing them at Setsuna, who could not move the glaive for fear that they would strike. Or at least, this was what they thought, woefully uneducated as they were. More to the point, Setsuna chose not to move, she knew what would happen if she stayed where she was, and she needed this particular timeline to play out.

"Harry?" Hermione's voice called from a couple of rows along, "Is that you and Setsuna talking?"

"Yeah, we can hear something," Ron's voice followed, coming closer as they hurried to find Harry.

"Avada Kadavra!" Malfoy shouted, pointing his wand at the end of the corridor as Hermione rounded the bend. She only just managed to duck in time. Harry, enraged that Malfoy would aim to kill, dived for his wand, only for Crabbe to shout, "stupefy!" sending a jet of red light that missed him by inches. Harry rolled over, still scrabbling for his wand and finally he found it. He leapt to his feet and whirled around, pointing it straight at Malfoy.

"Expelliarmous!" Malfoy's wand flew high in the air and Harry caught it.

"Hell no," Rei shouted, zooming above the fight, "burning Mandala!" she aimed the attack so that it didn't actually hit any of the Slytherins, rather hit the area around them. The enchanted flames kept on burning, penning them in.

"I'll give you fire," Malfoy snarled, "Crabbe, you do it!" Crabbe waved his wand in an odd, jerky movement. Rei felt her heart sink as she turned.

"Shit!" she swore loudly, "fiend fire? Fiend fire? Did you ever have a brain, you worthless piece of-" exactly what Rei thougth of Crabbe, they never found out. She zoomed away, towards the approaching fire, searching the floor for Mamoru. She saw him pelting it from the approaching wall of flame towards the others.

"Get on the brooms," Rei shouted, "Setsuna'll make sure you all get out." Then she turned to the possessed flames. Fiery chimeras lead the charge, their eyes pits of darkness in the searing heat. Rei raised her arms and took a deep breath. She guessed that this was why Setsuna had wanted her to come to the room of requirement, rather than stay downstairs with the others, she only wished she knew why this whole thing couldn't have been avoided.

"Gotcha," Fred crowed as another Death Eater tried to enter the castle and was bounced back by black electricity maintained between him and George. So far, very few Death Eaters had actually made it into the castle, only those smart enough to go through a window, and there weren't all that many of those.

"World shaking!" The castle shook, and a number of the Death Eaters trying to climb through a window fell with a thump back to earth.

"Venus love me chain!" Minako screamed, sending the molten links crashing down between one Death Eater and the immobile form of Colin Creevey. "No offence or anything," she panted, "but why is he even here?"

"Yeah, he's underage," Makoto agreed, running past with a screaming Death Eater over one shoulder before flinging him out of the door through Fred and George's rather painful net.

"Not just that– he's muggle born," Minako reminded her. "Huh… so he is."

"Mercury bubble spray!" Ami shouted, and Minako whooped.

"Haven't seen that one in a long time," she laughed, swooping through the bubbles, "good thinking."

"Moon tiara action!"

"And another that hasn't been done in a wile," Makoto laughed, jumping to the top of the marble stairs and punching the mask right off one of the Death Eaters.

"Yeah… " Ami panted, "I just hope Harry and that lot are done soon."

"Jupiter oak evolution!" Makoto screamed, launching herself high above the fight and allowing the razor sharp leaves to find the ankles of her enemies– nothing that would kill them, but something that would certainly incapacitate them.

The bubbles faded and Usagi took in the situation, once more reaching for her tiara; it looked as though it was going to be a long night. Just then, the sound of footsteps made her look towards the marble staircase, down which the shitennou, Mamoru and Setsuna were now heading. "Run," Mamoru shouted, "get as many people as possible out of the castle." He leapt down the stairs and began ushering people out of the castle and into the grounds. The moment Fred and George let their barrier down, the fighting reached a new level, spells and curses flying everywhere.

"Garnet ball!" a thin shield of magenta energy swirled into existence around the Hogwarts fighters, allowing them to get out of the castle. Usagi turned to harry and shouted, "Where's Rei?"

"I don't know," he shouted back, his eyes worried, "Setsun wouldn't let me go and bring her out," Usagi's heart sank. Setsuna had to have a reason, right?

"She'll be alright, won't she?" Usagi asked, looking at Hotaru.

"I… I don't know. If her body's damaged beyond repair by something this destructive, there's be no way she could pass back through the gate, no matter how strong her star seed."

Rei screamed as the fire licked greedily at her legs, searing the flesh and exposing the bone in places. Sweat beaded on her forehead as she tried her hardest just to stay conscious. She knew she could do this; she was not merely Sailor Mars anymore. She could hear Setsuna, whispering in her ear, telling her what she had become. She reached deep inside herself, searching for the warmth of her powers, but it was lost within the heat of the fiend fire.

She gasped as her henshin faltered for a second and she lost height, really not something she could afford to do. She shuddered as tears cut through the soot and grim on her face, sobs wracking her body as she reached desperately for the control she had always had over fire in the past.

The wings on her shoulders, the only ones she now had, were beating frantically to keep her away from the flames, and with a little extra effort, Rei pushed herself higher. The ceiling had long since caved in, the whole of the castle collapsing amidst the roaring flames.

They danced higher and higher, leaping at her already burnt feet. Rei brought her feet up, curling into a ball as she hovered over the castle. She knew she only had one last try in her, one last attempt to beat back the fire. Tentatively, she felt inside herself, for just a single spark that was warmer than the heaving mass below.

And there it was. As she found it, she grasped hold of it with her will, stretching it until it was more than a spark. Now it was a flame, one that could fuel her will and give her command over the fire. The beasts whose jaws were still snapping at her feet began to merge into a single being as a great phoenix soared from the fire. The flames came with it, trailing from its wings until it seized Rei's sailor collar with its talons, at which point they died very suddenly.

"What happened?" Usagi whispered over the sudden quiet, "what… the fire… "

"There's something coming our way," Ami said, typing furiously on her computer, "flying from above the castle. Usagi no!" but it was too late. Usagi had already launched herself into the air, flying at top speed towards the tiny spec of colour that grew larger as she approached.

"Rei?" she shouted, her voice laced with panic, "Rei is that you." She gasped as she saw the phoenix supporting her friend, tears springing to her eyes at the pathetic state Rei was in. The phoenix, almost as though it understood what needed to be done, stopped right in front of Usagi, who very carefully took Rei in her arms before heading slowly back down to earth. Some part of her brain was aware of the fighting not ten feet away from the enclosed dome towards which she was headed, but the largest part of her functioning mind was on the injured girl now cradled in her arms. She landed lightly and turned to Ami, who understood what she was after and created a thin layer of ice across a patch of the muddy ground. Usagi very carefully laid Rei across it, unsurprised to find that the ice was not cold to the touch.

"Mamoru," she whispered, turning towards him even as he knelt by Rei's side. A soft golden glow escaped through his fingers as he placed them either side of Rei's head.

"What's the phoenix doing?" Michiru asked, looking curiously at the bird which had lain it's beautiful head against Rei's leg.

"It's crying," Harry said, "phoenix tears have healing powers."

"Well a little more healing energy definitely won't hurt," Mamoru said, still holding his hands to Rei's temples, "these are really bad burns. I don't think I'd be able to fully shift them by myself. What was that?"

"Fiend fire," Setsuna said, "one of the very few things in this world powerful enough to-"

"Destroy a horcrux," Hermione completed the sentence wearily.

"Exactly." Setsuna said. "Now that Rei has mastered control of it she is more powerful than any Senshi of fire ever has or ever will be, much as Usagi is now Sailor Cosmos and Hotaru the final senshi of death and rebirth. Goddesses in their own right."

This caused more than a slight ripple around the group. "What does that make you then?" Usagi asked, looking up at Setsuna.

"I have been as you are now for years," she replied. "Centuries beyond count."

"Setsuna," Yaten's voice called from a distance and Setsuna looked towards the fighting. Knowing what Yaten wanted to say, she headed to the very edge of the garnet ball.

"Why the hell did you send us to the tower," she hissed, "I thought you were trying not to get Seiya killed."

"Seiya is alive," Setsuna pointed out coolly. "Just about," Yaten spat back.

"Well maybe it will comfort you to know that had you not come, Seiya would have died running back into the castle to try and rescue Rei, against everyone's better judgement and my own protests. She would have been unable to see the pain in Usagi that long."

"And how did her prince cope with that? Or her guardians?"

"They have faith in my sight. Seiya, on the other hand, places little faith in me."

"I do wonder why," Yaten said sarcastically, ducking a jinx.

"Keep an eye on her," Setsuna responded as she moved away, "she is still in danger."

"You have fought bravely," a cold voice rang out over the fighters, "and you have lost many. I give you know one hour to collect what is left of your dead. My Death Eaters will retreat. I speak now, directly to those whom I seek. Come to me in the forbidden forest before an hour has passed and I shall let your comrades live. If any one of you fails to come, then I shall enter the battle myself."

Chapter 60

As the last of the Death Eaters disappeared, amongst many flying jinxes, Setsuna finally let the garnet dome vanish. She moved over to where Rei was lying on the ground, pushing away Usagi who was fussing, "I'm fine Usagi. Mamoru healed my up really well, and see — no burns."

"But you should still lie down," Usagi said anxiously.

"And I can't claim all responsibility for healing you," Mamoru said. "What do you mean?" Rei asked, "I felt the golden crystal."

"Fiend fire is one of the three most destructive substances in the world," Setsuna explained, "and the only true way to heal it is phoenix tears. Mamoru could only heal you once the phoenix had removed any lingering spell damage."

"Phoenix tears?" Rei said, looking around and catching sight of the magnificent animal. "Harry," Setsuna said, very suddenly, "I believe you have been ignoring the pain in your scar?"

"Yeah, why?"


"But… "

"I said stop." Harry rolled his eyes and then closed them, focusing in on the connection that bound him to Voldemort.

"He's in the shrieking shack," Harry said, "but… "

"Go now," Setsuna interrupted, "Take Ron and Hermione with you."

"Right… erm, ok." Harry shrugged at the other two, indicating that he had no idea what Setsuna was on about.

"You go too," Setsuna said, her eyes narrowed as she looked down upon the golden bird at her feet. It cooed up at her and then spread its wings, landing upon Harry's shoulder.

"Because I can really put the cloak on with a phoenix on my shoulder."

"I do believe you've picked that sarcasm up from me, Harry James Potter." Rei said, smiling up at him.

"Ewww," Harry said, winking as he, Ron and Hermione began their journey towards the weeping willow. The phoenix took off and dived straight through the branches of the tree, pecking at the knot that froze it in place. They headed down through the hole and Harry was not surprised to see the phoenix hopping after them. When they reached the end of the tunnel, Harry peered through the gap, most of which was obscured by a large crate.

"… I have done nothing more than my usual magic with it," Voldemort was saying, but Harry could not see who he was talking to.

"I don't know what you mean my lord." It was Snape. Harry felt his blood begin to boil and it was only the calming pressure of Hermione's hand on his shoulder that stopped him storming into the room then and there.

"You meant this to happen, didn't you Severus. You meant to become the master of the elder wand."

"I don't know what you mean," Snape said, his voice faltering.

"It matters not," Voldemort said, "The same thing has to be done now either way. Sectumsempra!" Harry recoiled at the incantation, the same one he had used on Draco Malfoy last year and one Snape himself had invented. He watched as Voldemort left the room, closing the door behind himself.

Carefully, so as not to make too much noise, Harry pushed the crate out of the way and moved into the room. Ron and Hermione followed him, and the phoenix swooped down to land next to Snape.

"It's crying," Ron whispered, "should… should we let it?"

"No," Harry said, his eyes narrowed as he moved forward.

"I think we should," Hermione said nervously, "otherwise Setsuna wouldn't have told us to bring it along."

Harry looked over at her and shrugged. He reached down and took Snape's wand as a precaution nonetheless. As the last of the phoenix tears fell, Harry knelt down next to Snape, pointed his wand a murmured, "enervate." Snape blinked and then flinched as he saw Harry's wand.

"Relax," Harry snapped, "I'm not going to curse you unless you give me a reason to. I've got your wand, so get up." Hermione and Ron had also trained their wands on Snape.

"You… you saved me," Snape said, dumbfounded.

"Yeah, not really our decision. In fact, let's go talk to Setsuna, it was her decision after all."

"Wait," Snape said, "before… Dumbledore's pensive."

"It's been destroyed," Harry said shortly, "the whole castle was burned down– fiend fire."

"The whole castle," Snape looked almost lost and for the slightest of moments Harry felt a connection; Hogwarts had been his first true home. Was it the same for Snape?

"Anyway, Setsuna… "

"I am here, Harry."

"Stop doing that!" Ron jumped. "Ron, Hermione, you may go now."

Ron wondered why they had bothered coming in the first place as Hermione chivvied him away. She knew full well that had they not been there, Snape would probably be dead.

"The pensive may be gone, but we can still see those memories." Setsuna said once they, and the phoenix, had gone. She banged the garnet rod on the floor and suddenly they were stood by the space time doorway, which was creaking open.

Harry watched as the past unfolded before him. This was undisputable truth. Had Snape shown him in the pensive, Harry was not sure he would have believed him; memories could be faked, but this was the truth. It had to be, or Setsuna would not have shown him. The three of them moved out of the time dimension and back into the shack and Harry found that he was shaking, his hands practically vibrating at his sides.

"So this is how it ends?" he asked, even his voice shaking. "Yes," Setsuna nodded, her eyes giving nothing away.

"I always thought… Dumbledore… help me to survive."

"I thought that too," Snape said softly and, for the first time in seven long years, Harry looked towards the man and did not hate him. "I always thought I was helping you survive… for her."

"Your patronus," harry asked hesitantly, "is that her?"

"Yes," Snape said his voice flat, "it has been since I learnt to conjure it in my seventh year. I never got the chance to show her."

"I'm sure she knows," Harry said. And he meant it too.

"Harry," Setsuna said, "take this." She placed into his hand something small, golden and about the size of a walnut. "It's the one you caught in your first ever match and it was left to you by Albus Dumbledore in his will. Speak to Miss Granger, she will understand. Voldemort will approach the remains of the castle in approximately quarter of an hours time. Make sure you are ready to meet him. Good luck, Harry." Her face was sombre, her eyes bright and Harry was more than a little surprised when she moved forward and embraced him. She had always seemed distant, at times even cold, but now she hugged him as a son. He felt tears prick his eyes as Setsuna moved away; wishing she could know which of the night's timelines would come to pass.

Harry left the willow first and moved towards the lights that told him where his friends and allies were grouped. Ron and Hermione were the first to see him and they jumped to their feet before rushing over.

"What happened?" Hermione asked nervously.

"It's alright," Harry said emotionlessly, "Hermione, what's so special about snitches?"

"They have flesh memories," Hermione said at once, "in case of a disputed catch." Harry looked down at the snitch and then, very slowly, moved it towards his lips. As his breath fogged the golden swirls, tiny curled letters became visible: I open at the close.

Harry moved a slight distance away from the others and spoke very quietly. "I am about to die."

Chapter 61

Hotaru watched as the smoky figures came into being around Harry, knowing that no one else could see them and that Harry would want this time alone. "Leave him," she murmured to Rei, who was heading towards him "he needs to be alone right now."

"But… " Rei protested before Hotaru interrupted.

"No," Hotaru said firmly. Rei looked disappointed, but moved back towards her fellow senshi anyway. Hotaru turned away, looking instead towards two people heading now heading towards them from the shrieking shack.

"You!" Mrs Weasley screeched, her wand raised and pointing straight at Severus Snape.

"Molly," Setsuna said, her voice loud and clear even as many other aurors and order members pointed their wands at Snape. "Severus is on our side."

"How can you possibly say that," Flitwick chirped, "he killed Albus, Setsuna."

"I do not deny that, but… "

"And so he can't be on our side," Mrs Weasley shouted, "move out of the way."

"Enough," Setsuna shouted, her voice echoing across the grounds. No one moved. No one said a word, not until Snape himself spoke, every eye upon him.

"Albus asked me… told me that he had to die," his voice was cracked, weaker than any of them had ever heard it. "He was dying anyway. The curse upon his arm could only be held in restraint for a little while. He had weeks left, two months at the outside."

"But why you?" Lupin was frowning, confused. Still no one lowered their wands.

"There was a plan for the Malfoy boy to kill him. Dumbledore did not wish for the boy's soul to become so damaged."

"And what of your soul? Was it too torn already?"

"His exact words," Snape swallowed, "his exact words were 'You alone know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid pain and humiliation.'"

"I don't know," Moody growled, "we could always use veritaserum… "

"Alastor really," Setsuna reprimanded him, "I would not have brought Severus here did I not know as irrefutable fact that what he says is true. I have known it for a long while now."

"Why didn't you say anything?" Minerva asked, finally lowering her wand a fraction. "Because Severus had a job to do, and he has performed it admirably."

"A job?" Setsuna did not reply to Horace's question, but looked pointedly at Harry, who was sitting with his back to them, far enough away so that they could not know that he was talking.

"Soon." She said. The night ticked on.

"Does it hurt?" Harry asked, the childish question slipping out before he could stop it. "Dying?" James replied, "Not at all. It's like going to sleep after a long day's work."

"We're so proud of you," Lily said, her eyes shining with tears as she looked down upon her son. James put his arm around her shoulder and Harry's heart ached as he wished one of them could give him the same reassurance. Maybe Lily saw something of the thought in his face, for she leaned forward and caressed his cheek with her insubstantial hand. Harry reached up and touched her hand, his skin tingling where contact was made. "Be brave Harry," she whispered, kissing his forehead, right on the lightning bolt shaped scar, calming the throb for a moment. "We will love you no matter what happens". Harry stood and picked up the two halves of the snitch, placing the visitation stone inside and allowing them to seal up. He looked up into the fading faces of his parents and placed the snitch in his pocket, drawing his wand. He did not look at his allies, feeling their eyes burning into the back of his head as he moved between them and the forest.

"Harry!" he heard Hermione shout, but then Setsuna shouted something– a name, possibly, and another shout sent a great wall of clear ice rocketing up from the ground between Harry and the others.

"What was that about?" Rei shouted, rounding on Ami, who stood there, shaking looking up at the wall of ice.

"Harry has to do this alone," Ami said, her eyes sparkling as she looked through the ice. "It's the way it has to be."

"What do you mean?" Hermione demanded, "Why?"

"Because he is a horcrux," Hotaru said quietly, "the very last one."

"Horcruxes," Horace was aghast, his face white. "How… how many."

"He meant only to create six," Hotaru said, her voice shaking, "but by the time the curse hit him in Godric's Hollow his soul was so unstable that a piece of it broke from what remained of the whole and latched itself onto the only other living thing in the building."

"Harry," Hermione's hand was over her mouth as she sank to the ground. Ron knelt down next to her and placed his arms around her shoulders, but he did not speak. He didn't trust his voice. Most people looked only confused– what was a horcrux?– but everyone seemed to understand that this was a significant development.

"What does he have to do?" Hermione asked at last.

"He must die," Snape said solemnly, "and Voldemort must be the one to do it."

Usagi sobbed and buried her head in Mamoru's chest. "Is there no other way?" Mamoru asked, looking at Snape, Setsuna and Hotaru.

"Dumbledore didn't think so," Snape shook his head. "I don't know of one," Hotaru agreed.

"And you Setsuna?"

"We all know I can see how this evening will pan, Mamoru," she replied. "That does not answer my question."

"You're right. It didn't." Setsuna refused to say anymore but instead turned to the sheet of ice to look at Harry. There was movement in the shadows of the forest; Voldemort had arrived.

"So Potter, you face me at last." The voice was as high and as cold as ever, but Harry did not flinch.

"Oh God," Rei whispered as the words reverberated through the grounds, "I can't watch." But still she kept on looking, as did everyone else, unable to tear their eyes away from the two wizards. Hogwartians and Death Eaters alike were transfixed by them.

This was it.

Chapter 62

"Well here I am," Harry said his voice far stronger than he felt.

"Drop your wand, Potter," Voldemort said, his slit like eyes narrowed. Harry reached into the pocket of his robes and drew out the holly and phoenix feather wand, moving slowly as he laid it on the ground before him.

"Harry are you insane?" Sirius' voice shouted, but it seemed faint, as though it was coming through a radio that had not been properly tuned.

"So this is what it comes to," Voldemort sighed, raising the elder wand. Harry closed his eyes, feeling as his heart beat faster and faster against his ribcage, trying to use up a lifetime's beats in the remaining seconds.

"Avada Kedavra!"

"Harry!" Rei shouted, closing her eyes, unable to watch. She sank to the ground, her shoulders shaking.

There was a flash of orange light and Rei felt someone's hands on her shoulders. "Rei, look!" Minako was shouting, "Look up!" Rei shook her off but was forced to look when Makoto wrenched her from the ground. A great wall of flame had sprung up from the ground between Harry and Voldemort from where Harry had put his wand down.

"The silver crystal's reacting to something," Usagi shouted over the voices, clutching at her chest, "it hurts." Tears pricked in her eyes as she leaned on Mamoru for support, but she didn't tear them from the ice wall.

"What happened?" Ami asked frowning.

"Harry's united the deathly hallows," Hotaru replied. "For now, he cannot die. The fire was a side effect of his own wand reacting to Voldemort's presence."

"But Voldemort has the elder wand," Haruka shouted over the roaring of the fire, "How does that work?"

"Voldemort is not truly its master," Michiru whispered, looking towards Hotaru, who nodded.

"Ami, don't let them break the ice," she whispered as jinxes and curses began to fly at the ice wall from both sides. Ami placed her palms to the ice, sending reams of her power rushing into it. The ice thickened under her fingers, but she furrowed her brow, trying with all of her might to ensure that it stayed clear. They needed to see what was going on.

Then, very suddenly, she knew the wall would hold. She looked towards Setsuna, who nodded, and she took a step back. When people realised that they could not break through the ice, the spells finally stopped. Ami watched, fascinated, at what was happening on the other side of the ice.

It felt as though he was dying, but he could still see. His vision was suddenly much brighter, great flames roaring to the sky before him. His chest felt as though it might explode, as though something was being torn from him.

And then he realised that it was. The piece of Voldemort's soul was being ripped out of his chest. He fell to his knees, protected by the barrier of the flames, and cried out as it finally left him.

Voldemort screamed something and the fire died. Harry reached forward and picked up his wand before pushing himself to his feet.

"Guessed what that was yet?" Harry panted, looking Voldemort in the eye. "That was a piece of your soul. Actually, it was the last one except the pathetic, ripped shred that lives in you."

Voldemort's eyes widened, "liar!" he hissed.

"Really?" Harry said, "let's see… there was the diary I destroyed in my second year… the ring Dumbledore got a couple of years ago… the locket, well there's a story to that one, but it's gone. Then there was the cup and the snake, both of which are long gone. And then the diadem was in the castle when it was burnt down by fiend fire. That left the one you didn't mean to make, Riddle. Me."

"What nonsense is this?"

"You just don't get it do you? The soul is not meant to be split. What you did made it so unstable that when the curse backfired on me, a piece of your soul latched onto me! That's why I can talk to snakes. That's why we have the connection that we have both exploited these past years, and that is why you could never die until I was dead. But that's all changed now."

"It's in here," Usagi murmured, holding the crystal in her palm, "the piece of soul, I mean." Setsuna and Hotaru moved towards her, past the crowd with their noses pressed up against the ice.

"Hotaru can remove it," Setsuna replied, looking towards the younger senshi, who nodded and reached forward. She pressed a finger lightly to the crystal and her brow furrowed. The crystal shone as it pushed the piece of soul out, through Hotaru and into the silence glaive.

"It will part this world with Voldemort now," Hotaru said, turning to see what was happening.

"I have the elder wand, Potter," Voldemort shouted, clutching at straws, "you have no hope of beating me."

"But you're not the true master," Harry snapped. "I killed Severus Snape-"

"Wrong again! Not only is Snape alive, but he was never the master of the elder wand. Dumbledore was beaten by someone before Snape killed him and I beat you there. I disarmed Draco Malfoy in the room of requirement when he tried to stop me reaching the diadem. Shame really, he'd still be alive if he hadn't bothered." Harry didn't move as he saw Narcissa Malfoy flinch in the corner of his eye, burying her head into Lucius' shoulder. "And now you can't kill me," Harry laughed, "because you didn't bother to learn the facts about the wand you sought so fiercely."

"Are you so sure of this, Potter? Let us find out!" The sun broke over the horizon as Voldemort shouted, "Aveda Kadavra." Harry raised his wand high and shouted out his only hope, "Expelliarmous!" the spells collided in mid air and a wand flew into the air. Harry leapt to the side and caught the elder wand even as Voldemort fell, killed by his own rebounding curse. Harry stood still for a moment, barely aware as the wall of ice behind him melted away. People approached him hesitantly, standing around him. He felt someone take his hand and looked towards Rei, smiling.

Hotaru broke free of the crowd and moved towards the stunned Death Eaters, all of whom looked unsure of what to do. She knelt next to Voldemort and held out a hand. A shard of black wood flew into her palm and vanished. Harry knew that should he catch a glimpse of the silence glaive it would now be whole.

"He never figured out its full potential," Hotaru said as she returned, "Which is just as well."

"So that just leaves Wiseman," Haruka said sternly.

"You always spoil the moment," Minako snapped, frowning at her.

"That is a worry for tomorrow," Setsuna soothed her. "For tonight let us remember those who fell in tonight's battle." Setsuna glanced at the Death Eaters and whispered, "Garnet dome," they were suddenly enclosed within a dark purple energy shield that Harry knew would keep them there until Setsuna sorted something out.

Harry felt hollow as they moved back towards the remains of the castle. Some part of him was aware of people looking for loved ones, trying to find out who had still been in the castle. He and Rei moved past them, sitting on the crumbling steps of the castle.

"You already know who was in there, don't you?" he asked.

"Yeah. There was Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle… Tonks, Aberforth… Oliver Wood, Dean," Harry's heart sank as the list lengthened, but after only a few more names there were shouts from the gathered crowd and Harry saw Mrs Weasley sinking to her knees.

"Who was it?" he asked, his heart in his mouth.

"He… he must have arrived after we cleared the room… it was Percy Weasley." She said, her eyes shining as she watched the Weasley's. Harry's heart sank as he thought back to something Mrs Weasley had shouted at Fred and George right after they had come home from the Quidditch world cup. "… if the last thing I ever said to you was that you didn't get enough OWLs… " Harry thought about what the last thing she said to Percy could have been, and he wished more than anything that there was something he could do.

"The midnight realm is sealed again," Hotaru said, approaching them, as though she had known what Harry was thinking, "now that the glaive is repaired those there are at piece. Those who are whole anyway… " she paused. "Harry, you know what I must ask for."

"I was waiting for this," he smiled a little and reached into his pocket, drawing out the snitch and the elder wand. He didn't need to speak to the snitch this time, for it fell open in his hand. Hotaru took the stone and the wand, nodding her thanks and turning away.

"Wait," Harry said, reaching inside his robes, "take… take this as well." He was holding the invisibility cloak.

"I couldn't Harry," Hotaru said, seeing the hesitation in his eyes, "you have a right to it."

"No," he said firmly, "you have a greater right. It's part of your heritage, like you said." Hotaru smiled and took it.

"Then we shall have a compromise," she took two corners of the cloak and pulled gently. Harry watched, amazed, as it seemed to stretch before splitting cleanly into two cloaks just as large as the last one had been.

"Why didn't the Saturn who gave it away just do that," he said, taking one of them.

"Because she never took the time to learn that it was possible," Hotaru shrugged. She fixed her own cloak about her neck where it fastened itself, becoming the sailor collar of her fuku.

"Thank you Harry," she said, turning back to the gathering in the centre of the grass.

"It's nearly over now, isn't it?" Harry asked, looking towards Rei, "Crystal Tokyo must be so close."

"Yeah… but that mean's something big is going to attack Tokyo. Soon."

Chapter 63

When Harry woke the next morning, he found that he was still lying on the grass outside of the remains of the castle, his arms around Rei. As he stirred, she blinked wearily and yawned. They stood and saw people moving slowly about in the pre dawn light. Harry glanced over to the edge of the forest, where a black shroud was covering what he knew to be the body of Lord Voldemort.

"Setsuna," Rei spoke quietly so as not to wake Usagi and Mamoru who were blissfully asleep only a few paces away and who definitely deserved their rest, "we need to get back to Tokyo."

"I am aware of this Rei," Setsuna said calmly, "but we still have a few minutes to spend here."

"What is still to be done?"

"I need to assure the ministry that neither myself nor Harry are remotely interested in running the ministry of magic."

"Definitely not," Harry shuddered.

"You go and wake the others while I talk with them," Setsuna said, stepping out of sight. "You get the shitennou and I'll get the senshi," Rei sighed.

"Rather you than me," harry laughed amiably as Rei moved over to Haruka and Michiru. She thought for a moment and then decided that subtlety was for cissies.

"Oi," she yelled, "some of us are supposed to have jobs. You know, the whole celestial duty malarkey. Sleeping through it won't look too good when you're applying for a new job." Haruka growled and sat up, glaring at Rei. "Ooh if looks could kill," Rei smiled sweetly down at the bed (ground) headed senshi, then turned to everyone else, who appeared to have been woken up at the same time. Harry grinned at her and gave her the thumbs up before being clipped on the head by Fred.

"You may have saved the wizarding world, but some of us were enjoying that nap," he yawned. "Well stop enjoying it," Setsuna told him, "we have to go."

"Go?" Ron groaned, "Go where?"


"But Voldemort's gone," Hermione said, concealing a yawn. "And Wiseman is not."

"Ohmygod I can't believe I forgot about him!" Usagi clapped a hand to her mouth.

"Forgivable, I think, this once. He was held back by Voldemort, for he understood the power of the glaive shard even if its holder did not. Now that Voldemort is gone he will launch his attack."

"This is what happens to Tokyo, isn't it?" Usagi asked hesitantly.

"Yes," Setsuna replied, "and believe me when I say it is unavoidable." They were all silent a moment to let this information settle in. "Ready?" Setsuna said at last. They nodded and there was a great flash of white light as the colours of their various transformations mixed. The starlights shouted their henshins and transformed with them, the lights settling as their uniforms were finally formed.

"How come we have the black uniforms now?" George asked, looking at himself, Fred and Hermione all of whom had gained the black uniform that Harry and Ron had already been sporting.

"Because Harry, as the lead shitennou, has reached the peak of his power; you reach yours with him."

"Huh. Cool, I suppose," Fred shrugged. They formed the circle and Minako took her cue from Setsuna to shout, "Sailor teleport!" there was a flash of light and they were gone. Mrs Weasley stared dejectedly at the spot from which they had vanished.

"They grew up so fast," she sighed, turning to her husband.

"War does that to people," he sighed, "and I get the feeling that their lives are only just beginning."

"Usagi!" Ikuko screamed as they appeared in the large hall of the secret base beneath Motoki's arcade. Usagi burst into tears as her mother squeezed her tight, throwing her arms around her shoulders as around her the other senshi were greeted with similar displays of affection from their loved ones.

"We've just got one more job to do," Usagi sniffed, stepping back and wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, "and then we can stop this at last." She smiled up at Ikuko, who saw the hope and determination in her daughter's eyes behind the white goggles she was still wearing to conceal her identity when they headed into the world to fight this last time.

"Shouldn't we become civilians again before we go into the arcade?" Minako asked.

"It doesn't matter anymore," Setsuna said, "come on, there is not much time." She opened the door to the control room and walked purposely through into the arcade.

Silence spread around the room slowly as one by one people stopped what they were doing to stare at the growing crowd of senshi and shitennou. Finally Motoki broke it, grinning as he said, "wondered where you lot had been."

"We had to come back eventually," Mamoru laughed, "Sailor Moon here missed your shakes."

"Want one now?" Motoki winked at her.

"You have no idea how much," she sighed, "but we just don't have the time."

"There's always some kind of intergalactic butt to kick," Minako shrugged, "and these guys couldn't do it without us," she gestured at the shitennou.

"Hey! We so could," Ron scowled.

"Of course R— Nephrite," Rei corrected herself, "you believe what you will." Ron looked as though he might retaliate, but stopped at the look Setsuna gave him. "We cannot stay," she said calmly, "we have one last battle to fight."

"Only the one?" Motoki's eyes widened.

"For now." She turned and headed from the arcade, followed by the others. "Since when was there a door there," Unazuki, Motoki's little sister, squeaked.

"It's been there years," Motoki shrugged, "remember that time the arcade was nearly destroyed in a fight the senshi had with a youma?"

"How could I forget?" she shuddered.

"That's when I found out about it and the senshi."

"You mean you know who they are?"


"Tell me?"

"No. But I don't think you'll have to wait long to find out."

"How long will we have to wait?" Minako asked as they stood, exposed in the centre of the park.

"I don't like this either," Haruka shuddered. "We're too exposed."

"An attack could come from any direction," Yaten agreed, glancing nervously towards Seiya. "Any second now."

"Setsuna, there's a crowd. Crowds are bad," Usagi said.

"Not this time," Setsuna replied. "This time they have to see the fight. They have to know what we did on this day, or else Crystal Tokyo shall never be."

"Can we protect them then?"

"Of course. Hotaru can do that."

"Where shall I take them?"

"Take them over there," Setsuna indicated a far side of the park with the garnet rod. Hotaru moved over there, the invisibility cloak flapping in the wind, and beckoned the mesmerised crowd, who hurried to her at once. As soon as they were all stood together, she turned and raised the silence glaive. Usagi heard her shout as she raised the purple energy shield between the civilians and the remaining senshi.

"Here he comes," Setsuna murmured. Sure enough, a spot maybe teen feet in front of the assembled senshi began to spark, the grass blowing in a sudden wind, whipped into a frenzy as black lightning coursed over the ground. Usagi's heartbeat began to quicken and she tightened her hold on Mamoru's hand.

This was the moment her life had been leading up to since the day Luna had first spoken to her. As she thought of Luna, her thoughts drifted briefly across Artemis. They had not seen him since they returned from beyond the midnight gate. Did he even know they were back, or had he long since given them up for dead?

She was given no more time to wonder as the wind suddenly died. Wiseman was barely human anymore, his skin hanging in great hunks from a distorted skeleton, his eyes shining with the black light of the crystal pulsating within his rib cage. Usagi shuddered, but she did not falter as the senshi spread out around her. She was ready for this.

Chapter 64

"Hermione," Harry whispered, "get the brooms." Hermione looked confused, but did as she was told, rummaging in her bag up to her elbow as the senshi moved slowly towards Wiseman. She finally gave up and pointed her wand into the bag, "Accio Harry's broom," it shot up and she passed it to Harry.

"Give Ron Rei's," Harry whispered, "She won't mind."

"Accio Rei's broom." Ron took the firebolt almost reverentially, and then looked to Harry, asking silently what he should do.

"Right– Fred, George stay with the senshi. See if you can get either side of Wiseman."

"Righto," they ran over to the senshi until they were stood either side of the group, their powers already sparking.

"Hermione, fight on the ground with Mamoru. No offence, but you aren't a brilliant flier, and it is sort of our job to keep him safe." She nodded and hurried forward until she was at Mamoru's side. She smiled nervously at Usagi who was still squeezing his hand on the other side.

"So what do we do?"

"Attack from above with the senshi," Harry replied, kicking off from the ground.

When, finally, the senshi were arrayed in a semi circle facing Wiseman, Harry and Ron were circling above them, ready to attack at a moments notice. Harry was pleased to see that Fred and George were at the outer edges of the group, facing each other, further forward than any of the others.

"You cannot kill me," Wiseman chuckled, his voice grating across them, like nails on a blackboard, "I am invincible."

"I'm not here to kill you," yet, Usagi added in her head, "we are here talk."

"Talk! About what?" he wheezed, "you and your silver crystal will enslave this world; I am merely here to liberate it."

"We have no such plans," Usagi said, remaining calm, "I love this world, more than anything I want the people who live here to be happy, and you're threatening that. You proved that when you threw your lot in with Voldemort."

"A small man who did not understand the power he held," he leered at Hotaru, still standing a short distance away maintaining her shield, "and neither do you, if you've put her on protection duty," he laughed, a laugh that quickly descended into a racking cough as more of his rotting flesh fell to the grass, sizzling in the dewy grass. Usagi shuddered, but repressed it and finally let go of Mamoru's hand. She moved her hand forward and the white staff materialised in the air before her. She took hold of it, and moved forward, this time alone, but careful to stay behind Fred and George.

"Please," Usagi said, "do we have to fight?"

Wiseman did not answer for a while, the dark pits of his eyes boring into Usagi, who already knew the answer he would give. "Yes. I believe we do."

"Very well then," Usagi bowed her head, "then know only that I am sorry."

"For what?"

"For what I've have already done in the past. You will know, one day."

With a roar of displeasure, Wiseman charged. Hermione screamed, summoning her ice dagger and throwing it straight at him at the same moment that Fred and George began to send black lightning between each other. The last of Wiseman's skin fell to the grass and he stood tall, a wizened, deformed skeleton. Usagi jumped up into the air, shortly followed by the other senshi. A fireball, shot by Harry and powered up by Ron's control over the stars shot just past her, hitting Wiseman and making him roar once more. He clapped his hands and droids were raised from the ground behind him. The starlights ran around the fight to take care of them, shouting their attacks louder than they ever had in the past. "Mercury aqua rhapsody!" Ami shouted, flooding the whole park. The water rose impossibly high in such an open space, somehow not leaving the park. Hermione splashed through it towards Wiseman, her trousers soaked to the mid thigh. She shot more ice daggers at Wiseman, but he merely deflected them, sending the majority straight back at her, and one only missed because Ron zoomed down from the air and pulled her onto the broom. Harry shot down next to him and Mamoru clambered onto the back of the broom. It wasn't comfortable, but they weren't making any headway at all.

The black lightning ended as Fred was blasted off his feet. Ami instantly allowed the water to drain from the park so that he didn't drown. George, jumped back to avoid one of Wiseman's strikes and pelted around the battle to his brother, who was unconscious.

"Get him to Hotaru," Usagi shouted, "you can't fight without him and he needs to get to safety." George grunted as he picked up his twin, running full pelt to Hotaru, who opened a gap in the shield for him.

"Is there a doctor here?" Fred asked, looking up. He knew Mamoru would be there to help Fred soon, but he wanted to know there was nothing serous as soon as possible.

"I'll help," George's eyes widened as he recognised Seiko, Ami's mother and, looking around, the families of the others dotted through the ever growing crowd. His own mother was stood a little way back, restrained only by his father as she tried to rush to Fred's side.

"He's just concussed," Seiko said after a moment, and George let out a long breath that he hadn't known he was holding. He glanced back and, to his relief, Harry and Mamoru were already approaching them from above, zipping through as Hotaru created the smallest gap the could possibly fit through.

Mamoru jumped from the broom and ran to Fred's side, placing his hands either side of his friends head, allowing the soft power of the golden crystal to flow into the injured shitennou. Fred blinked and sat up, grinning as George pulled him to his feet and they ran together back towards the fight.

Mamoru was about to climb back on Harry's broom when someone pulled at his sleeve.

"You're Tuxedo Mask, aren't you?" he looked back to see a young woman, a small child clutching her hand. He nodded.

"Then I know you're in the right," She said firmly. "You saved my life a few years ago when that circus was in town," she gripped the little girl's hand, "when I was pregnant. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be here today." Mamoru stopped for a moment. Somehow, over the years of fighting as Tuxedo Mask, he had never once thought about the individuals they saved excepting the ones he knew personally. As he looked around, a few more people raised their hands, shouting that they too had been saved by Tuxedo Mask and the senshi over the past years. Mamoru felt his heart lift as the crowd began to cheer, supporting him, the senshi and the shitennou in their fight.

"Come on Ma— Mask," Harry said, just stopping himself from calling Mamoru by name, "we need to get back."

"Of course," Mamoru got on the broom and Harry kicked off from the ground. "Mummy?" the little girl asked, her eyes wide, "was the man in grey a wizard?"

"Something like that I'm sure," her mother smiled back, picking her up and turning her so that she couldn't see the ever more violent battle unfolding before them.

"Silver moon crystal power kiss!" Usagi shouted, sending the attack straight down at Wiseman and watching as it collided with one of his own. She threw up a shield to protect herself and her allies from the ensuing blast, letting it fall only when the smoke cleared to see Wiseman staring up at her. She shuddered and flew higher, giving Makoto a clear shot.

"Jupiter oak evolution!" she shouted, spraying not only Wiseman, but also the droids behind him, which were slowly rounding up the Sailor Starlights.

"Star Gentle Creator!*"

"Star serious laser!"

"Star sensitive inferno!" The attacks seemed to have no effect whatsoever upon the droids, which just kept coming, moving closer and closer.

"Now Yaten!" Setsuna shouted from where she hovered twenty feet from the ground. Yaten's eyes widened as she realised what Setsuna meant and he leapt towards Seiya, knocking her to the ground just in time as one of the droids launched an attack that would have killed her in a heartbeat.

Seiya looked at Yaten, her eyebrows raised, "so that's why you came then?"

"Of course," Yaten said, jumping to her feet and scanning for the location of the sentinels, "why else would we leave the princess."

"Keep an eye out," Setsuna shouted, "the danger is not yet over. That may have been the one occasion Seiya would not have survived on her own, but there are more occasions when everyone will be at risk to come." Taiki nodded and then yanked Seiya out of a shot from behind her.

"I could have dodged that you know," Seiya said, angrily, "stop defending me and keep fighting."

"Mars Flame Sniper! What is it with these things, they're usually long gone by now!"

"I don't know," Ami reported from behind a shield she had just made Setsuna create in the air, "they're blocking my scanner."

"Screw this!" Ron shouted, letting go of the broom. Hermione screamed as it swayed a little in the wind, but neither of them fell. "I call upon the stars," Ron shouted, "and I bloody hope they're listening!"

"Wait!" Usagi shouted, "we've got to combine our attacks, all of us at once."

"You mean all of us?" Harry shouted, looking at the rather extended group still fighting for their lives.

"Yes, all," she gabbled, "get in a circle, quickly." She flew down and landed facing Wiseman, her staff ready to defend herself should it be needed. Setsuna flew swiftly to Hotaru.

"You know now why I sent you to defend them," she said, nodding at those on the other side of the barrier.

"Yes," Hotaru nodded, "because not many of the senshi or Shitennou could yet have defended them and attacked at the same time."

"The truth is Usagi still hasn't grasped the extent of her powers." Setsuna raised a hand and caught a shot from one of the droids, snuffing it out.

"And you have been hiding yours so well," Hotaru nodded.

"Indeed. Be ready," and she left to meet the others helping Usagi to extend the circle so as to fit Hotaru as well.

"Seiya, you start!"

"Fighter!" she shouted, but nothing was visible from this, the very first part. "Maker!" a strange lightness seemed to sweep through everyone in the circle.

"Healer!" they felt for a moment, rejuvenated, even if their physical wounds remained. "Mercury!" a soft blue light swept over the stomped, occasionally bloody grass.

"Venus!" Minako's light bathed them all golden for a moment before merging with the others.

"Mars!" The light flashed red as Rei, her hair matted with her own blood, swaying somewhat, added her power. Wiseman growled in displeasure and a shield of dark crystal began to form around him.

"Jupiter!" an earthy, green smell joined the green light and Wiseman screamed as leaves began to whip around him, some of them on fire, others looking as though they had edges of molten gold. Makoto tightened her bloodied fists, and waited.

"Saturn!" Hotaru shouted, causing a cold wind to sweep across the park.

"Uranus!" Haruka shouted. Despite the cuts and bruises to her face, she stood straight and solid.

"Neptune!" The smell of the sea joined that of the grass, leaving the transfixed crowd confused as Michiru looked stonily into the centre of the circle through bruised and bloodied eyes.

"Pluto!" The soft wind that Hotaru had brought swept into a frenzy, whipping hair and clothes everywhere. The flying leaves seemed to double in number and speed, whipping around Wiseman and cutting down every single one of his droids even as they tried and failed to attack any part of the circle they could reach. A thin band of white energy was connecting them now, and nothing could penetrate it.

"Jadeite!" Fred and George called together, somehow sensing that it was the right thing to do.

Black lightning rippled across the whole circle

"Nephrite!" Ron bellowed and the stars came out, the stars darkening as they channelled their power through him and into the circle. Wiseman screamed again, lost from sight amidst the barrage of attacks.

"Zoisite!" Hermione shouted, and small black daggers joined the leaves, slicing any part of Wiseman they could reach through his ever strengthening shield.

"Kunzite!" Harry roared, adding his own not insubstantial power to the ring. They were nearly there, he could feel it.

"Earth!" Mamoru shouted and the light suddenly shone bright gold, the watching crowd throwing up their arms to shield their eyes from the intensity of it.

Usagi whispered the last part of the attack, and yet somehow the word echoed in the open space. "Moon." Silver light exploded through the park and Wiseman screamed as the power of the dark crystal collided with that of the silver, gold and all the others present in the circle. The shield collapsed and the powers rushed inwards. He roared once more and pushed outwards with a great effort, screaming an unearthly sound. Usagi bit back tears of pain as she pushed all her energy through into the silver crystal.

"Usagi! Don't do it!" she heard Mamoru shout, but the exclamations of the others were lost to her. She blinked, and her eyes shone silver.

"Stop." She said, her voice echoing as her silver hair blew in what was suddenly no more than a calm breeze. She did not move, did not break the circle, but every eye was fixed upon her.

She raised a hand, her staff vanishing, and clicked her fingers. Wiseman crumpled on the ground, a mess of bones that tried and failed to pick themselves up. "You have wreaked enough destruction upon this peaceful world," she said, "this world that I love so much. I will not allow you to destroy those I love." She looked around, her eyes shining unnaturally bright, a pure sheen of solver replacing the usual blue.

"You are hereby banished, by the power granted to me as Princess Serenity, heiress to the goddess Selene." Those around the circle sucked in a sharp breath. Goddess?

"You are hereby exiled to the dark moon of Nemesis, there to live out your days alone. Never again darken this planet, nor attempt to pollute its people." Silver light encased Wiseman and he screamed and struggled, trying desperately to escape. He seemed to realise that this was impossible, and instead he drew out the dark crystal.

"No!" Usagi said once again, although this time her voice was tinged with panic, her eyes were once more blue. The silver light still carried Wiseman into the air, but not before he launched one last devastating attack.

Chapter 65

The attack met the protective ring down below with an almighty crash, sending power through them in a dark, seemingly unending wave. Usagi felt her knees buckle as she fell to the ground, knowing that they had failed and that Crystal Tokyo would never come to pass.

"Don't break the circle!" she heard Setsuna shout as though from miles away, her voice somehow lost in transition even though she was stood so close. She cast her mind back to all the things she had done, all the people she had met. She had been lucky to find so many friends and to have such a large family, because that was what the senshi were really. They were all her family, just as much as Mamoru and Chibiusa.

Her mind lingered on the small child with the bubblegum pink hair, the way she laughed and the way she smiled and something inside of her snapped. She wasn't going to let this piece of shit take that away from her. She stood slowly, her legs trembling. "Say it together!" she shouted, "Everyone has to say it or it won't work." She didn't know if they heard her or not, she only prayed.

"Cosmos," she shouted, her silver hair whipping into her eyes and mouth, "cosmos!" she heard the others and her heart lifted knowing that they were in this together. Those stood safely behind Hotaru's shield murmured it, and at last there began to be an effect.

"Cosmos!" she shouted again and somehow her voice was magnified, sweeping with those of her family across Tokyo, and then across the whole of Japan. Everywhere people stopped what they were doing and whispered the word. Naru looked up from her work on the other side of Tokyo and whispered it. Umino at the desk next to her did the same. At Hogwarts, the weary survivors of the battle blinked wearily, not quite so sure why they where whispering the word, but saying it all the same.

"Cosmos!" Usagi shouted one last time, remembering the way Chibiusa had called on the aid of Tokyo when they fought Nehelenia what seemed like eons ago. She reached into her chest and pulled out the silver crystal, her eyes light from the glow it gave off, bright enough to cut through the darkness of the black crystal's attack.

Usagi found that now she understood. Wiseman had used too much of his power in this attack and the dark moon would only serve to weaken him further. She had already beaten him and he would not bother them again,

Well he would, but she already knew about that. The crystals light took the energy from the

Wiseman's attack, channelling it and shaping it. She scattered the bright white seeds across the city, encasing everyone within her own power, making sure that no one was harmed as the buildings began to crumble in the remaining force of an attack that could have destroyed the world. In fact, as the power was also connected to that of the others, many felt the healing power of the golden crystal as well. The sick and the injured suddenly found themselves well, while the old found within themselves a new energy that they had only needed help to unlock. Across the whole globe the human race was changing.

From the seeds, something new began to grow, shining white in the light from the sun. Usagi felt her heart rise as before her the crystal rose in a great tower glinting in the sun.

Crystal Tokyo had arrived. She took the silver crystal and placed it once more inside her chest, allowing the energy to warm her stretched nerves as she fell to the ground.

"You did it, Usako," she heard Mamoru murmur, his arms around her shoulder, "he's gone," and she burst into tears.

"Usagi," Setsuna said quietly as she knelt before the young woman, "you need to talk to them now, before they think up their own reason for Crystal Tokyo."

"I will," Usagi sniffed, ducking her head as she took off her goggles to wipe her eyes, replacing them carefully and standing. "People of Tokyo and of the wider world," she said, hiding the shake in her voice remarkably well, "do not be alarmed by what has happened today. The raising of Crystal Tokyo has been, for many years, inevitable. The city has been built over the remains of what will soon come to be known as Old Tokyo, which was destroyed by the final attack of a being now exiled to a distant moon. The Earth is safe and a new age has truly dawned."

Eight Months Later

"You sure you're ready Usagi?" Minako asked, her eyes shining as she stood back to admire her friend.

"No," Usagi said truthfully, "I've been waiting for this day for so long it's hard to believe it's finally arrived."

"You're not the only one whose been waiting," Ikuko sniffed from her corner, where she was sitting with a handkerchief under her eyes, determined not to mess up her make up, "my little girl's saved the world and that's one thing, but now she's getting married!" and she sobbed loudly. Makoto rolled her eyes, but they too were sparkling with tears.

"It's strange," she sniffed, "we all remember expecting it to happen in the past life, and now here we are so many years later in the thirtieth century and it's finally happening."

"You're telling me?" Usagi laughed nervously, smoothing down the skirt of her gown. "You look perfect, Usagi, don't worry."

"Yeah, but coming from you that could be a trick," Usagi winked at the outraged Rei.

"Don't you think we're screaming to the world about our identities a little," Ami said quietly from the corner, "I mean I know the plan, but still… "

"We've talked this through," Rei rolled her eyes.

"About fifty times," Minako chimed in, "after today it just won't matter, so if we want to wear these colours we should." Minako glanced at her own bias cut yellow dress in a nearby mirror and smiled appreciatively.

"But what if Mamoru doesn't like the dress?"

"Then he's insane," Makoto said soothingly, adding the finishing touched to the bouquet and passing it to Usagi, only just stopping herself from wiping her hands on the skirt of her green dress and picking up a towel instead.

"Are you ready?" Setsuna asked, her head peering around the door.

"Almost," Usagi said, taking a deep breath and checking her hair for the umpteenth time. Ami stood, allowing the many layers of her skirt, in shades from royal to periwinkle blue, while Rei smoothed down her own red skirt.

"Right," Usagi said as Minako pulled her hand away from her elaborately curled hair, "here we go." She moved forwards and linked arms with Setsuna, who was wearing a long dress in wine red.

"Maybe this day'll come for you as well some time," Usagi smiled at Pluto. "I doubt it," Setsuna smiled wistfully, "I thought so once, but now… "

"I'm sorry," Usagi said suddenly, "I didn't mean to bring back painful memories."

"Don't be sorry," Setsuna said, smiling a little wistfully, "those memories are from the very long distant past, and today is a day on which you should look to the future. Endymion reminds me of him, and that is enough to make me happy for you." Usagi's curiosity was piqued, but she knew Setsuna enough to leave well alone.

Her legs shook as the music started up; violin and Piano, as agreed. Haruka had even allowed Usagi to put her in a dress for the ceremony, something that had taken surprisingly little effort. Michiru had said that she loved wearing them really during a lesson on piano Haruka was giving Hotaru, to which she had made loud protests.

Ikuko moved up the side of the church and took her seat in the front row as Usagi moved slowly towards the aisle, her arm still linked with Setsuna, her four maids of honour in procession behind her.

There were audible gasps at the sight of her dress. Pure white, but simple, understated and not at all like the dress many of them had pictured Usagi marrying in. It was, however, undeniably stunning, the back from the waist up made entirely from tied golden and silver ribbons. Usagi nearly cried as she saw the little pink haired girl holding the rings at the front of the church, smiling brightly as the past form of her mother was passed from Setsuna to Kenji.

Even if the majority of the guests did not know the significance of that moment, to Usagi it represented the journey she had made from the moon kingdom, moving through into the new life and now to Crystal Tokyo. Never had she dreamed when she was little that she would be wed in a church build from crystal.

Mamoru stood at the front waiting beside Harry, his best man, and Usagi had to take deep breaths in order to stop herself running to him then and there but to keep in time with the music that Haruka, Hotaru and Michiru were playing.

She finally reached the end of the aisle and the ceremony itself seemed to pass in a blur of happy thoughts and of tears. Before she knew it the time had come and she had said those words.

"I do." She moved forward and kissed Mamoru, content in the knowledge that she had found her happy ending. They turned to face the crowd, smiling and crying. Usagi turned and held her bouquet, causing more than a few girls to vie for the best position. She threw it and turned laughing at the slightly shocked look on Rei's face. Everyone turned to Harry, who had gone bright red. Before she knew it, Usagi was besieged on all sides by her family and friends, all hugging and congratulating her.

They finally made it outside and Usagi felt her heart quicken for the next big event. Her hand moved instinctively to the small silver necklace she wore proudly over her wedding dress, although no one had commented about it. It was shaped like a crescent moon, and she had first seen it that day they had exiled Wiseman.

"Chibiusa," she whispered, kneeling before the little girl, "it's time for you to go. Things are going to get a little manic."

"Mama already told me what happens," she grinned, taking the time key from around her neck, "see you soon," and she winked before running to the side of the church.

"Soon," Usagi murmured, her hand moving instinctively to her stomach, thinking of the small child that would no doubt be residing within her soon. She turned back towards her extended family and looked to Haruka, who nodded slightly to indicate that she had made the call. Hands reached instinctively to the gem pendants, shaking a little with nerves. When the first camera van sped around the corner, swiftly followed by more, Usagi knew that the time had come at long last.

"My family," she said, "I have a further announcement I wish to make today," silence fell as the gathered crowd turned to look at her, still clutching her pendant. "I've kept this secret for quite a long time now, and I can't begin to describe how much it means to me to finally be able to tell you all, especially today." She linked her fingers with Mamoru's, feeling the new pressure of his wedding band and taking courage from him.

"Some of you know already, but for those who don't, believe me when I say I wanted to tell you." She took a deep breath and reached inside herself for the familiar power of the crystal. The flashes of colour around her told her that the other senshi were doing the same.

"My name is Chiba Usagi," she said proudly, "and these past years haven't been easy, because I was also Sailor Moon, now Sailor Cosmos, and soon to be Neo Queen Serenity."

"My name is Chiba Mamoru, previously Tuxedo Mask and soon King Endymion."

"Together, shitennou and all," Usagi gestured down the line to either side of her, "we're the sailor scouts," Usagi beamed at the crowd of wedding guests and camera men, "and for better or for worse we are family, always."