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Monday, May 18th, 2009 12:03 pm
Title: Surpassing the Father
Summary: Zima, a highly advanced persocom, is a Child of Prophesy, but what happens when Dumbledore gets the wrong idea from this? A Zima-is-Harry story. No knowledge of Chobits needed.
Fandom: Harry Potter/Chobits
Word Count: 33438
Rating/Warnings: PG for violence
Pairing: Zima(Harry)/Dita, Chi/Hideki, other cannon Chobits pairings
Spoilers: Chobits’ books 1-8 and Harry Potter 1-5

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything but my crazy ideas; that means that anything you recognize, probably isn’t mine. I will admit to leaning heavily on the Chobits manga to write that arch, but I feel it is where Zima and Dita grow the most and is, therefore, very important to the story. I couldn’t cut any more than I did. Sorry. None of that is mine either.

What You Might Need To Know: Persocoms are humanoid computers; they have earports, covered connection terminals, on the sides of their heads to allow them to connect to one another and other electronic devices. Harry Potter has been moved into the future to make the timelines align more.

---

July 31, 2015

The room was a nearly-blinding white, somehow gaining the strictness of military beige while retaining the sterility of a top-of-the-line hospital. The large, round room was sparsely furnished, holding only a few servers collected off in one corner and two or three free standing pedestals, all of which were necessary in the programming of the figure hanging in the center of the room. Two Japanese men were working quietly, each at a different pedestal, before the taller one yawned and stretched, rubbing his eyes then running his hand through his short black hair. He touched one last button on the consol and then started to meander over to the other man who seemed to be finishing up as well.

“Well, that’s the last of the basics,” the bespectacled man reported with a relieved sigh. “Now, we just have to wait for the others to finish debating what the rest of the programming will be.”

Laughing, the taller man pulled on his discarded lab coat, before patting his exasperated friend on the back. “We’ll be working on this project for the next decade or so then, ne?” His only response was a pained groan from his fellow scientist. The younger man was hunched over his keypad, trying to rub the sleep out of his own eyes before he slipped his wire-framed glasses back on as he turned to face his cheerful co-worker.

“Why do politicians have to complicate these things so much? The persocoms were supposed to make our lives easier!” he whined, before frowning and crossing his arms. “Only the government could have corrupted this advancement so much!”

Another laugh came from his friend who leaned down to his level, as if talking to a small child. “Aww, is Shin-chan tired?” A glare from the shorter man didn’t faze him as he not-so-gently pushed the other towards the door and, as soon as he was out of the way, tapped a few more commands in to the other’s consol. “We’ll be able to test it soon, now that its basic programming is installed. Its energy levels are almost full as well, so we can deactivate the connections now and test it out tonight, er, this morning before any one else gets here. How’s that?” He received a sleepy nod and started to type in the commands that would release their subject. “Good job with that extra program for accepting new stimuli, by the way. You do realize it will be rather superfluous after we get the higher-ups to agree with our proposals, right?”

‘Shin-chan’ snorted, staring at the floating or, more accurately, hanging figure in the center of the room. “Yeah, but who knows how long that will take. I’d like to see what it’d learn first, though. Without even the dictionary databases it will be like a small child trapped in an adult’s body.”

“Done,” the other announced, rolling his eyes discretely at the other’s wild ideas, and turned to find his friend practically bouncing by the door.

“Come on, Edo-san. It’s time and past for a midnight snack. We can finish this after I wake up again, a few coffees should do the trick.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m coming. I was just reviewing its hardware to be sure it was ready for release. It surprises me every time just how huge that server is! I can’t believe that all that space is necessary; it could replace whole floors of regular servers. Heck, even those newer updated ones could be replaced by the hundreds! That has got to be overkill.”

The smaller man opened the heavy door for the both of them, “It’s going to have to hold the Database and protect itself; it has to have a lot of space!” Their voices were already getting fainter as the door slowly swung shut on the now mostly-darkened room.

“Ah, we’ll break the rest of them on that idea soon. We should really be trying for four, possibly more...”

Falling silent again as the door finally closed, the room seemed muted, as if waiting for something, even the electrical hum of the lighting seemed to quiet. A few moments later, though, the silence was suddenly broken by the computer equipment as it revved itself up again and started to prepare the persocom for its first test run. Soon, the cables that had been attached to its arms and legs started to disengage one by one. The persocom was still hanging, suspended by the cables along its spine and the ‘wings’ that were designed not only to make hardware changes easier during the construction process, but also contained a slight anti-gravity field to keep the heavy persocom from breaking the cables as they were removed.

It was only moments after the currently empty server started ‘breathing’, a natural cooling system for much of the hardware inside of it, when an old, strangely-dressed man appeared next to the computer consol. He blinked, as if slightly disoriented, before he spotted the dark-haired, winged being that was slowly being disengaged from the ceiling. Smiling, the man started speaking in a language that wasn’t anything like what the two before him spoke.

“You are destined for great things, my boy. Great things,” the ancient man murmured before forcibly ripping the rest of the cables from the other’s body with a casual wave of his hand, a strange, wooden baton clasped within it. Alarms started to blare around them, but the bearded man moved with a speed that belied his age, grabbing the still figure that was drifting towards the floor and disappearing only seconds before the scientific duo, accompanied by the closest guards, ran back into the room, only to be astonished by the sudden lack of their project’s subject. The only evidence that it had ever been there were some slowly swinging cables and a name plate with three characters, reading ‘Zima’.

---

July 30, 2015

Albus Dumbledore appeared back in his spare room at the Hog’s Head tavern, looking exactly the same as when he left, but with a new addition to the party. In his hand, and hovering slightly in front of him, was the prophesized child! There was no mistaking it! Magic itself had selected this child, having made the portkey to take him directly to ‘the child of prophesy, who has the power the Dark Lord knows not’, there was no error that might have occurred.

‘There is always a chance that the Longbottom boy will be born within the next few hours, but, if the nurses are correct, that chance is getting smaller by the second! But I cannot deny that the prophesy could have many meanings, so while Longbottom will be ‘born to those who have thrice defied him’, you shall be ‘borne’ to another couple who also fits the requirements. I cannot allow Voldemort to continue his reign of terror any longer. Not while I can put a stop to him forever!’ The old man nodded to himself, determination renewed and actions suitably justified. He turned to the still sleeping ‘man’ before him. ‘This may take a while, but it will be for the greater good. I’m sorry to have to do this to you, my boy.’

With that, he started a complex series of spells. Through this process, Dumbledore reduced the body’s age to that of a newborn, shrunk the wings into nothing, applied a few select glamour charms, not too many, the boy looked a lot like his intended family to be sure, and erased all of the boys memories. Or rather, that is what he believed he had done. Either way, the end result was a healthy-looking, bouncing baby boy, perfect for the most prominent of light families. Now, all that remained was to wait the last twenty hours and then bring the child to the happy couple, fulfilling the stipulation that the baby be ‘born’ to the family. Albus smiled, confident that he had the prophesy figured out, and sat down to have a nice cuppa tea as a reward for all of his hard work.

---

December 22, 2023

A worried frown knit Chief Librarian Rem Johnson’s brow as she surveyed the top floor of the Surrey County Library for the fifth time that day. She sighed before turning to the stairs and retreating back to her office. It was four days now that her little protégé had neglected to come to the library, which was completely unlike him. Since the age of four and a half, little Harry Potter had been visiting the Public Library every day except, more recently, for when school was in session. Trying to pass it off as an illness hadn’t worked, the boy had never been sick in his life, or so he reported, and she was afraid that his family had finally gone too far.

They weren’t physically abusive towards the boy in any way that she could see, oh no, that was only their son, but that was just ‘normal rough-housing’, you see. She rolled her eyes discreetly at the thought. No, they simply didn’t care for the child, in any way, shape, or form. She knew for a fact that they were kinder to the homeless that lived just outside the building than to their own nephew and it showed. Harry was almost painfully thin, his hand-me-down clothes hanging off of his lanky body, and, lately, constantly tired. This perpetual exhaustion sometimes even kept the boy from his true love, knowledge.

Mrs. Johnson smiled to herself, thinking of the boy’s constant, never-ending questions. He would fly from topic to topic, never getting enough, even as her not-quite-infinite resources gave out, before having to move on to the next subject. A need for information, how and why things worked, what they were made of, who made them, why, why not, where are they used, why not here—a nonstop stream of logic that continued even when the answers stopped coming. But she loved him for it, he was like the son she could never have. She had spoken to the authorities about his treatment many times, but nothing ever seemed to change. Even when she spoke of the green-eyed boy’s astounding intellect, his having a completely perfect memory to go with his unique outlook on the world couldn’t make the Dursley’s care for him more or encourage the authorities to even investigate. They just smiled and passed it off as an over-embellished story.

But, this was no exaggeration. The middle-aged woman also had doubts at first, thinking that the messy-haired child had used his over active imagination while describing the night of his parents’ deaths and how he had survived. ‘After all, magic wasn’t real,’ she had thought to herself. She was, however, willing to get real proof of it for the child that was quickly worming its way into her heart. To do this, she secretly taped a conversation, informing no one about it, and, two—almost three—weeks later she placed the tape in her walkman and asked him to repeat the specific conversation. Imagine her surprise as the child repeated everything, word for word; each phrase was perfect, down to the pauses and intonation. The librarian never doubted him again.

Lately, though, Harry had been more tired than ever. Her frequent and concerned questions on his sleeping patterns only received a small smile as he replied, “Sleep isn’t the problem” and returned back to his own line of questioning. These last four days were torturous, she made frequent sweeps of the library as part of her duties but found herself sweeping the rooms, not for troublemakers but, instead, for a small head of black, uncontrollable hair. For now, she could only wait and watch. Mrs. Johnson’s sigh was interrupted, however, by the alarm system in the front blaring; it seemed another persocom had accidentally set them off. She stood up and walked towards the front, ready to face the world once again.

---

December 22, 2023

The Dursley residence was usually a perfect picture of controlled chaos, everything having its own place and each staying carefully placed within it. Today, that control had been taken away through one simple action.

Harry was unable to get out of bed.

This caused a major disruption in the days of every person in the house. First, as Harry was the one to make breakfast every morning, it stopped them from being fed, a cardinal sin in this household. Second, well, for an already spiteful family, the first mistake was reason enough. Angry, Vernon Dursley had practically ripped off the cupboards door only to find his nephew still and unresponsive. Being the impulsive man that he is, he did the first thing he thought of.

“Boy! You wake up this instant and make us our breakfast or we will never let you go to that library of yours ever again! Do you hear me?! Never!” he cried, grabbing the boy by his overly-loose shirt and pulling him out of the small space. The small child didn’t as much as twitch, making the large man’s temper raise through the roof as his mustache bristled and his face began turning red. Thinking the eight-and-a-half-year-old was trying to fool him, Vernon threw him back to the floor, screaming out orders as he did so. His thin wife and large son watched as he blustered at the unresponsive boy, one disgusted at the child’s behavior, holding her nose up at the display as she sneered slightly at the boy, the other cheering his father on with loud whoops and hand motions indicating a beating.

Two others looked on in horror, standing close to one another at the other end of the hallway, unable to help even though they desperately wanted to. The mother-daughter pair had been purchased just over a year ago; the older was used around the house, helping with chores and the later two meals, while the daughter was designed to be the perfect playmate for the round, bratty child standing across from them. After the first time they witnessed this emotional, sometimes physical, abuse and tried to stop it, they had been reprogrammed and ordered to let the child receive any and all punishments the relatives deemed necessary. These new commands didn’t stop either of them from caring, though, especially when the boy before them, by some strange and completely welcome phenomenon, seemed to unlock so many unprogrammed responses from them.

Thus, as the color drained from Linette’s tan face and Ami turned her face towards her mother’s skirt, dark hair, like her mother’s, shaking as she started to ‘cry’ or as close to crying as a persocom could emulate, the brown-eyed woman could only pray for a miracle that would save the child. This illness he had was unnatural and could only end in death, especially if the slow, shallow breaths were anything to go by. She could only stare down as Harry landed at her feet, hoping for the best, but fearing that the worst had come to pass, before she heard it. Ami raised her head, beginning to look around with unfocused eyes, never noticing her mother’s eyes gaining and equally far-away look or the shrill commands coming from the Dursleys.

“There is a message. A message only we can deliver.” The small girl spoke softly, looking distractedly into empty space. Nodding, Linette responded in a similar tone, eyes never moving from Harry’s prone form, “Yes, dear. We must deliver the message. We will deliver this message.” Neither moved, yet they perfectly synchronized their voices and spoke in a foreboding, almost menacing monotone.

“We accept this task.” Each snapped to full attention instantly, eyes facing straight forward and flashing as each of their processors worked to their maximums, before a cold, colorless light sprung up around them and the boy they were standing over. An invisible wind tugged at their clothes and blew at their hair as a gravity field was generated from their combined electrical movement and, possibly, something more, though none were visibly close to the hall, but neither Linette nor Ami noticed as they began to broadcast the distress call.

Not five feet away, Mr. Dursley finally overcame his shock and frowned heavily at the persocoms’ behavior, face gaining a fierce puce hue as he blustered loudly, “What is the meaning of this nonsense?! I order you both to stop this at once!” The lack of reaction from each of the persocoms didn’t help his anger in the least and his bellowing continued, following this same pattern until, roughly a minute or so later, “If you won’t listen, I’ll just have to make you listen!” With this, Vernon threw himself, fist-first, into the golden barrier without a single thought to what the dangers might be. He got off lucky with only a few bruised knuckles and a broken ego, but that wasn’t enough to deter a second attack. But, Luck had given up on the unfortunate man, as soon as she realized that common sense had made its own exit years before, and this time the large man was thrown back with enough force to fly back and skid to a stop just in front of his wife and child.

Petunia screamed and did the only thing she could think of; grabbing her son she raced back into the kitchen and dialed 999 asking for the police, citing persocom violence as the cause. After receiving her information the police asked her to remain calm and said they would be there in five minutes or less. Not thirty seconds after she placed the phone back in the cradle, she heard a knock at the door. Carefully walking past her unconscious husband and ignoring the whines of her child, the thin woman walked cautiously towards the door, making sure not to touch the glowing circle before grabbing the handle and swinging the front door open. As soon as she realized that those who were standing on her front stoop were not, in fact, the authorities, she tried to shut the door on them, not wishing for word of this freakish behavior to make it out around town. She shuddered to think of what the neighbors would say!

A small foot, inserted between the door and its frame prevented this from happening and Petunia could only gasp in indignation as the door was forcibly pushed open and the guests invited themselves in. The woman who seemed to be in charge, and had been rude enough to get into the house through under-footed means, was a long-haired blond of a moderate height, who seemed the type to be looked over or passed off as insignificant, her overly normal, slightly-in-fashion-yet-not clothes helping her blend into any crowd, but one look into those violet eyes brought many of the toughest to their knees. Standing protectively behind her was a tall, similarly styled, brown-haired male, who’s intimidating stature was only surpassed by the promise in his steely eyes which screamed, ‘Touch her and you won’t live to regret it.’ The other two guests were obviously scientists, wearing lab coats and looking sufficiently geeky as they examined the gold field that surrounded the three ‘trouble-makers’, paying no attention to the man on the floor or the highly snobbish woman that was looking down her nose at the four of them.

“And just what do you think you are doing, barging into my house like this?” the overly lanky woman sniffed. The razor sharp smile she received in reply doing nothing for her nerves, she backed up towards Vernon, hoping that he might have a better chance of getting these strange people out of the house. She had just begun shaking his shoulder when the willowy blond spoke up for the first time, addressing the two frustrated scientists, “I can do it, please move so we may help Zima as quickly as possible.” Petunia almost stopped her actions to look at the strange people once again, but was stopped by a groan from the figure lying closest to her. Blinking his eyes open, Vernon grunted and huffed as he picked himself up off of the ground only to come face to face with the most imposing of the four, at which time he jumped as far as his bulk would let him and brought a hand up as if to protect himself, almost instinctually. His anger and false-bravado were soon returned to normal levels, though, and he stood up straight, standing protectively in front of his wife.

“Just who are you people and what are you doing in my house?!” Neither the volume of the questions nor the spittle that accompanied them fazed the large fellow in the least; he simply raised an eyebrow then turned and walked towards his female partner. This allowed both of the parents a good view of the moment that the gold field was deactivated, a spectacular scene which may have entertained them more if it wasn’t for the fact that it was interrupting their perfectly normal, peaceful lives. This didn’t, of course, stop Mr. Dursley from repeating his question, which continued to be ignored.

As soon as the field was down, the two standing persocoms seemed to snap out of their daze, blinking themselves into reality once more and finding themselves under the close watch of four inquisitive gazes. Shyly, Ami hid behind her mother’s skirt, trying to get away from the prying eyes, while still being too curious to stop staring. Linette gave the four unknowns a warm, if not slightly distracted smile, eyes flickering worriedly down to the child still lying between them, before asking, “Is there something I can help you...with?” Her words slowed, and would have stopped if not for the strict software she had been given, as her mind finally processed the impossibility that she was viewing. Where a small, English, malnourished eight year old had lain not minutes before, now rested a tall, well-muscled, and decidedly Asian man, looking to be in his late teens-early twenties.

The blond woman touched Linette on the shoulder, giving her a soft smile, before kneeling down next to the unknown male, completely ignoring the still screeching Dursleys, allowing her imposing partner to play bodyguard as she checked the status of the comatose persocom. Speaking as if to herself, or possibly the unconscious man in front of her, the lady commented, “It seems as though he has learned to use that unique power to regain energy for himself.” She brushed her hand over his perfectly smooth face in a motherly manner, “Assuming, of course, that it was the same energy we encountered before that was responsible for the change in appearance and the boosted transmitter levels for these two persocom over here.” Here, both Ami and her mother found them selves under careful scrutiny, each feeling painfully aware of their imperfections and disobedience as they did so, before they were given a dreamy smile and the professional looking woman got back to work. “Terribly fascinating, though. It must have been what has kept him in working condition for all of this time. He has been missing for over eight years now. Don’t you worry, little Zima,” she gave his face a little pat as she said this, “Auntie Luna is here to help you. After all, we Databases have to stick together, yes?”

Giving the young man one last look, she relinquished him to the two antsy scientists who looked relieved to finally be able to start actually doing their jobs. With that done, Luna, as she could now be identified, turned back to the still angry family that was sullenly standing before her partner, gaining their attention as soon as she started over. She grasped her taller companion’s shoulder, “I can take it from here, Solaris.” He gave her a brisk nod and stepped back to hover just over her shoulder as she finally addressed the ‘proper’ English family, cutting off their renewed protests.

“I, Luna, the National Database for any and all of the countries within the boundaries of Europe and Africa, have, after being called to number four Privet Drive on the twenty-second of December by an amplified class four-B distress, reserved and programmed in National Databanks specifically for situations were all power was about to be lost, the call delivered through two under-cared-for persocoms in residence here. I believe I have adequately assessed the situation and will now pass judgment on those at fault. The users, Vernon and Petunia Dursley, along with the underage user, Dudley Dursley, you are charged with abuse of rights towards persocoms, inhumane living conditions for persocoms, and damaging the Asian National Databank’s first server.

“As such, you will be sentenced to life without persocoms, unable to buy, own, or even use a persocom without the express permission of an owner that is not part of your family, distant or otherwise, and will have a time limit of thirty minutes before permission must be given again. No hearing will be permitted for at least four years. You would also be liable for any and all damage you may have caused the Asian National Databank.”

Putting aside her official tone for a moment, the blond cocked her head to the side, questioning, “You don’t happen to have the one-hundred forty-three million Euros necessary for his basic tune-up he will need, do you?” Their shocked and horrified looks gave her all the answers she needed, so, giving a short nod, she went picked up the authoritative voice once more. “As you do not have the ability to fulfill this last punishment with any promptness, you will instead be--”

“Now see here!!” Vernon cried, finally working past a large amount of shock that had come with the first list of punishments. He had realized that most of these punishments were being given because of how he treated that ‘freakish machine that had pretended to be his nephew’ and believed that if he could prove that he had no prior knowledge that the boy had been so important, he would get off a lot easier, or so he thought. “We had no idea that the boy was important in any way! It was our nephew up until a few moments ago, how can we be held responsible for the damage dealt to an unknown persocom?” He twitched his mustache, smugness covering much of his anger, confident that he had out thought the small-minded machine standing before him and got his family out of that mess. Large violet eyes blinked once, slowly, as the woman processed this information fully. She nodded once more.

“I see. Upon review, I shall revoke the accusation,” the heavy-set man gave a triumphant smirk, “of damaging the AND’s first server and the punishment of community service that went with it. This will be replaced by the charge of emotional and physical abuse towards a perceived minor,” mood performing a one-eighty turn, Vernon went to protest this charge as well, but the woman continued to speak as if he hadn’t said anything. “Further investigation and sentencing hall be left to the Surry County Police Department and local judiciary system. All other sentences stand. Removal of current persocoms shall commence as soon as the local authorities arrive. Estimated time of arrival: thirty-five seconds.” With one final, curt nod she turned back to the group on the other side of the hall and went back to her position next to the still prone young man.

By this time, Vernon Dursley had been pushed further than ever before. His blood pressure had been sent flying through the roof and he was going to face punishment for trying to help society and make his freakish nephew normal, not only that, but he would be the laughing stock of his company, forced to use out-dated computers instead of the more convenient persocoms that had become so popular almost five years ago. Trying to hold in all of this anger was hard work and Vernon, not used to keeping this sort of thing to himself, only managed it for a few moments before he gave a holler and threw himself at the ever-ready and heavily muscled Solaris, completely ignoring the sirens that were getting closer by the second. The officers burst through the still open door just in time to see a red-faced Vernon attempt to pummel the brown haired man he had pinned underneath his bulk.

From behind her partially spread fingers, Petunia Dursley couldn’t help but shudder as she tried to imagine the next few years of her life. Passively going into custody, she started to quietly sob on the way to the back of the police car, knowing that her perfectly normal life was gone for good and there was nothing she could do about it.

---

February 10, 2024

It took over a month and a half to finish uploading the proper programming and information on to Zima’s hard drive, as the scientists had to be extremely careful with the memories that he had gained through experience. They first backed-up the memory files on a stationary land server before carefully building the new programming around the data that he already had, integrating the new information and additions to his personality very carefully, testing the system multiple times on trial programs before finally beginning the final updating process.

After he was disconnected from the highly sophisticated super-computer, he was reintroduced to his team of scientists, a team lead by Edonika Daiki and Ibuka Shinsei who had worked on his original making, and told many things which, while he already knew the information from the data they had uploaded, the records needed to be brought out through small briefings on each subject, as the files wouldn’t fully integrate for up to two weeks. First, they had informed him of their displeasure at finding that they were unable to update his hardware, as the components that would have enabled this had mysteriously vanished. Thankfully, he was still near the top of the line, surprisingly so for a persocom that hadn’t been updated in over eight years, something else which none of those on the team was able to explain. Next, was the explanation of how exactly much data had been loaded into him.

“Japan?” ‘They had loaded the entire information network of Japan?’ Neither question was incredulous, disbelieving, or even sarcastic, simply a need for confirmation. Zima was well aware of his purpose and had accepted it, even going so far as to look forward to what he might eventually hold. Constant questioning the world as Harry made Zima more than willing to be the next National Database for the Asian Nations, yet, even as he stood in front of his team, he could feel more information pour in and the effects that the personality adjustments had on this assimilation. He was as curious as ever, but he was more mature about his thoughts, questions and understanding. Allowing himself a small smirk, Zima found he liked the expression. It seemed to express his current mood quite well.

“Well,” Ibuka-san replied, slightly unnerved by the smirk, “the current Database for Asia only just started running seven months ago, and should continue working well for the next three years or so, depending on the strain he faces over that time, but we thought that you might like to serve as a back-up for his Japanese information while you were waiting for the position. It won’t be anything large, but it will get you used to the information streams.”

The novel expression never left his face, in fact, it grew slightly and he realized that he also enjoyed the confusion that was worn by each scientist and decided to try and make that happen more often, if only for the unimportant and less dangerous things...for now. He waived his hand, motioning for them to continue. They had only one more thing to say and Edonika-san said it in his most teasing manner, grinning in much the same way as he had years before, “One last thing, Zima-san. We were told to remind you that your ‘girlfriend’ would be finished by next Friday, so try not to get too attached to any other girls before then, ne?”

A slow blink as Zima paused, quickly accessing the information within him, before a half grin made its way back to his face as the Protector’s data appeared before his eyes. She was supposed to be finished around the traditional ‘dinner time’ on Friday and was currently being programmed with all the firewalls necessary to protect him and the same, brand new and super exclusive software that he had. He froze once more, for only a fraction of a millisecond as another file appeared with the software information, a female persocom and the only other, not including Zima, himself, with that specific software, but he processed it rapidly and made a decision even as he began his reply. “Great. I’ll be back to pick her up at eight, then,” and with that he was gone, only a slowly swinging door showing the direction he had escaped.

Doctor Shinsei Ibuka looked at his long time friend and their mutual colleagues, detachedly musing, “Maybe we shouldn’t have made him so fast...” His only response was a flurry of expletives, with a few repetitions, at varying volumes.

---

February 16, 2024

A four month old Freya smiled up at her father as he gave her hair one final brush. After finishing, he gave her a pat on the head and was ambushed by her powerful leap at him; she hugged him for all he was worth even as they both fell to the ground, his wife laughing in the background. Soon, her smooth laugh was joined by the two others in the room and an air of contentment fell over them all.

Unfortunately, this happy, family moment was interrupted by a knock at the front door. Ichito Mihara looked up questioningly at his wife, wondering if she had invited any guests over and had forgotten to tell him, only to find himself at the receiving end of a similar gaze. Being free from the grasp of their only child, Chitose Hibiya went to answer the door, leaving her husband to convince their daughter to sit back down in her seat while they waited for the woman to get back. A few moments went by as the duo listened to the incomprehensible muttering before the pretty woman came back, accompanied by a short, black-haired figure. Upon seeing the curious, ivory-haired girl, his large, green eyes widened beneath thick black glasses before a beautiful smile spread across his face. “Freya-nee-chan!” he crowed joyfully before running over and hugging the now confused girl who could only look at her equally stumped parents.

“Nee-chan?” the amber-eyed girl asked, not having heard that word before and curious as to what it might mean, but put an arm around the boy anyway, as that was what she had been taught to do when her parents had hugged her. It was a good thing she had, because without it, the boy would have fallen as he sat up. He chuckled as if she were joking, though it sounded more like a giggle because of his age, “No! Nii-chan. Not Harry-nee-chan, Harry-nii! Harry isn’t a girl!” Giving a happy sigh he hugged her once more before continuing, effectively interrupting any attempt at correction or questioning from the girls parents. “It took me so long to find you, nee-chan. I don’t have much time left, but it is nice to see you, even if it won’t be for long.”

Chitose kneeled down in front of the both of them, confused but still relatively good-natured. “Harry-kun, where exactly did you meet Freya-chan?” she had to ask, there were so many people around that knew of their small family in this community that it was hard to keep track of all of the children the persocom had met during the small amount of time she had been awake.

“I saw Freya-nee-chan in the park on the swings!” he smiled brightly, “I love the swings!” The ivory-haired girl who he was seated upon smiled as she remembered her last trip to the swings and nodded, agreeing with his last statement completely. She loved the swings as well. Her parents, however, saw this as recognition of the child sitting before them and unconsciously relaxed slightly. Harry’s smile dropped soon after, though as he continued, “I just wanted to say good-bye before I had to go. I thought we might exchange emails so I could talk to someone....”

A frown also marred the younger girl’s face as she looked at him, confused once more, “Where are you going?” She couldn’t see why the boy couldn’t come back from this place and what made him so sad just thinking about it.

“I’m going to this HUGE white building with a bunch a’ guys in lab coats. They said they wanted to watch something inside of me and that I might not come back if it gets too big.” He said this all, making large hand motions to illustrate the strange place, almost falling off of the persocom’s lap as he did so. By telling the truth, if not the whole truth, Zima was able to stay with them and talk without being suspicious, as no child would keep this kind of information from his friends. His programming prevented him from out right lying, a precaution against doing so to his protector and scientists, but he was quickly finding the loopholes, widening them as he justified his actions and knew that soon he would be able to get away with white lies, if he was lucky. It had already allowed him to knowingly lead people to the wrong conclusions and he had only just gotten the program less than a week before. Seeing the parents jump to all of the ‘right’ conclusions, he smirked inwardly as they gave him sympathetic looks.

The two adults looked at each other and – silently conversing as all good couples could – made a decision, Ichiro voicing it. “I don’t see any problem with you being Freya-chan’s pen pal while you are in the hospital, so it is up to her. What do you want to do, Chobi?” Neither parent noticed ‘Harry’s confused look at the man’s endearment, which he used on anything that he found hopelessly adorable.”

Still confused, Freya nodded her head cautiously, hoping that this was the correct answer. At the smiles of those around her, the nod became more confident and she returned the joyful expression in kind. Smile never leaving his face, her father turned to the young boy on her lap, “You can just tell Freya-chan your email address, there is no need to write it down. I promise she’ll remember it, Harry-kun.”

A small nod was given before Harry leaned forward, looking like he was about to recite the address, but he paused and leaned back at the last second, looking at the two adults who were lingering nearby. “Um. It’s supposed to be a secret; I’m only supposed to tell Freya-nee-chan.” His cute apologetic, almost pleading, look made the parents smile reassuringly at him and they went to stand outside the side door, far enough to be out of earshot, but close enough to see the two of them. Taking his chance, Harry moved closer once more, bringing his face close to her ear-port that was furthest from the door and covered his mouth as if he was going to whisper some deep secret to her. In reality, this was just giving Zima time to partially drop the strange energy, which he had learned to convert from electricity during his time in the lab, in a way he had practiced many times as he was hunting his sister down, uncovering his own ear-port so he could use his connection cable to link them together for a small amount of time.

Making very few movements, he hooked them together and transferred over a folder containing a couple file copies and a video file as he began whispering to the slightly unfocused girl in front of him. “It is good to finally meet you sister. I have given you some information that should clear up the more complicated parts of my relation to you along with my email address and a small vid clip to remember me by. If you ever need anything, Imouto-chan, do not hesitate to ask. I’ll do anything I can to help you, even if you just need another person to talk to.” He undid the connection and reapplied the energy to his ear-port as he slid her own closed. Sitting back, he smiled at her once more, becoming as frank as he would ever be since his personality change, “Good luck, Sister. I hope we will become great friends.”

‘Harry’ left the house soon after that, the girl’s parents none the wiser that anything more than email addresses had been exchanged during that time period, and made his way back to the facility as it was getting late. Freya hadn’t said anything to her parents, but every time she heard the nee-chan after that it made a brilliant smile come to her face, as the definition had been sent over in that data pack as well. It was only right, Zima mused as he dropped the smaller façade in an empty alley, flipping his long rat’s tail back over his shoulder as he continued on, and it was lucky that many younger children called their older friends ‘sister’ or ‘brother’ and the older kids often went along with it here in Japan or else it would have seemed very suspicious.

The ability to make himself smaller and younger, at least for a time, was also very useful, he decided as he waltzed back into the corporation’s building once more. He would later decide, after avoiding every question his team asked for the rest of the night while still dropping teasing hints that they couldn’t puzzle out, that, yes, he did enjoy this type of activity, going so far as to add it to his programming, making him more curious and coy than his programmers could have ever imagined, much to their annoyance.

---

May 1, 2024

It was in that time between late night and early morning that it happened. Zima was sitting calmly, looking at the cityscape with one leg dangling over the edge of the building and the other’s foot resting on the ledge holding up his arm as he reviewed the influx of information one moment, and the next he felt a small twinge of a headache. He let his leg drop as he brought his hand up to his head, failing to hide a small wince, and getting the attention of his partner, Dita.

They had met for the first time two and a half months ago. Each had studied the other for a few moments, Zima simply taking in her simple civilian clothes which matched his to some degree, making a note to try and get the scientists to change their uniforms as the clothes were actually way behind in fashion making them stand out more than even the Goths and Cosplayers, her bangs, her choppy chin length black hair and the long portion that was tied off on one side of her head. Her largely unimpressed look as she finished her evaluation of him did nothing but successfully amuse him. He simply treated her with a smirk, introducing himself politely but with a flirting undertone, to which he received a sharp nod and a quick introduction. She was all business, but he was sure he could break her of that soon, and he would have such fun with it. After all, they were going to have to be close, as, while she had to work within him to protect the information, by doing so she was forced to open herself to him as well.

The current intrusion was only their fifth—a surprisingly low number, considering the amount of information Zima was holding, but it seems that when the hackers wanted information, they would go for the big fish instead of the small fry almost every time. What was unusual about this probe was the depth it was able to reach in such a short time period, almost halfway through Zima’s firewalls before Dita could jack-in and start doing her job. As she worked on this newest threat, he turned to give her better access to his other port, in case they had to speed up the connection, by straddling the short wall that made up the building’s edge to face the kneeling girl, balanced precariously on the fifteen-centimeter wide border.

As he concentrated on rebuilding his firewalls as she forced the intruder out, he registered the fact that she was tilting ever-so-slightly to one side, the dangerous one. His hand shot out to her shoulder, steadying her. Unfortunately, Dita had just finished and had begun to right her balance as well, causing an over correction to her left. Acting quickly she tilted forward, hoping to catch herself on the ledge before gravity took hold, only to find her sideways dissent stopped by another hand. Her balance was regained, but she could only allow herself to keep falling forward, unable to stop the forward motion she had initiated.

This left them in a slightly-compromising position, which would later turn out to be the first of many, Dita having fallen forward onto her companion, hands splayed across his chest in an attempt to maintain some distance, but, as he had no scruples when it came to something this innocent, Zima had simply moved his arms around her as she fell, lightly pressing her to him after the ‘fall’. After a slight, almost unnoticeable pause on her part, she moved her legs so they could take back her weight easily and tried to pull away. He let her after some a small amount of hesitation, which only earned him a small glare, making his smirk grow, and held his hands up to show he wasn’t going to try anything. At her disgruntled look and narrowed eyes, he adopted a roguish grin, tilting his head back and raising an eyebrow as he gave her an appraising look, remarking, “You’re cute when you’re angry.”

She struggled to give him a level look, before crossing her arms and looking off to one side in a huff. Laughing inwardly, he cataloged this new look, loving the fact that he could make a girl who ran on programming have completely unprogrammed reactions, such as the pout she wore right now. This life was so much better than the one he’d had while he was called Harry and the list holding the proof just kept getting longer. Not only did he have a sister who wrote to him regularly, a wide variety of friends, including his team and the three National Databases from around the world, a nice job that let him learn as much as he wanted with...benefits, he was unable to keep his eyes from flicking to Dita as he thought this, but he also grew as a person-er, persocom with his personality augmented and his new more exciting selection of hobbies. Yes, life was going well for Zima and he knew he’d do anything to keep it that way.

And it stayed relatively the same for the next year and a half.

---

Dec 31, 2026

Wishing she could cry, if only for a few tears, Freya wrote to her brother in shock and resignation, hiding in her room as her mother and father celebrated the new year, thinking her to be asleep, so as to not give away her new feelings.

Zima-aniki,

Older brother, I have written you many times of my adventures with my family, my exploration of this strange world we call home, and, lately, the search for the one my mother and father call the ‘someone just for me’. I am both elated and depressed to finally realize that I have found him. Ecstatic to find the one that I love above all others, that makes me happy when I am with him and sad when I am not. Depressed because he already has his ‘someone just for him’, not only that, but I have already grown to love them very much as well.

I have chosen my father, who I must have picked long before I knew that he was happily taken or even of these types relationships, but I cannot help it and I don’t believe I would want to even if I could. To lose these feelings would be worse than being tormented with them for the rest of my life. But I cannot bring myself to end such a happy relationship, especially since I love each of them so much. I can only hope that if I ignore these feelings they will eventually change or choose another person, but at least half of me holds hope they will never change.

No, I must resolve to ignore these feelings and keep them private for as long as I can so that mummy and daddy will be happy, for I cannot stomach making them feel anything that I am experiencing right now.

Your loving sister,
Freya


She sent it quickly and, within minutes, received a reply, sympathetic and understanding of her reasoning, yet unsure if these feelings could be hidden. There was a half-hearted offer to remove the deeper feelings, but she could tell he knew that her answer would be no. She smiled at his efforts and sent a short ‘Thank you’ back before lying back on her bed, praying to whatever Gods may be for a long string of distractions to keep her from feeling the crushing weight of her unreciprocated feelings.

It would be a month and a half before her parents realized that something might be seriously wrong and another two before they accepted that they wouldn’t be able to fix it themselves nor get it out of their stubborn daughter. About a month and a half after that, Elda was made to give her a twin sister. Freya seemed to be happier, though she still had small bouts of depression, and teaching Elda about the world and the many new and unusual things in it kept her twin suitably distracted for the next six or seven months. Only Zima knew what was wrong, but he couldn’t fix it without going directly against the girl’s wishes. He would always regret not being able to go and see his new sister or revisit his now dieing sibling, but he couldn’t risk their relationships being found out and his siblings being threatened.

---

July 28, 2027

Once again indulging in his love of high places, Zima stood on the peak of Mount Fuji and looked at the sunset and over the lush landscape, covered by tourist attractions around the base and up the trails, but otherwise untouched. Having given his female companion the slip for at least five minutes, he sat down on the rocky ground to contemplate some subjects that he felt obligated to keep from everyone, even Dita whenever possible. His constant yet secret worry for his sickening sister was never far from his mind, though he was happy that she had their sister to keep her company while he was unable to, but there was also that first year or so of his ‘life’ as Harry that continued to confuse him.

Over the years, during his sparse free time such as the portion he had now, he would sort and think on that year he spent with those who could do magic. He could find no better label for it than the one his ‘parents’ had given it as the energy he had watched for that entire span had done many impossible things which no amount of logic could make up for. As time went by, he also came to accept the fact that he also had this magic, for all that he wasn’t really their son, and could manipulate it to a certain degree, allowing him to become child-like once more, generate gravity fields, even though he had lost the ability to have gravity suppressors even applied to him, or use it to create more energy. This last came from a skewed ratio during the conversions of energy to magic and back again. Through experimentation, Zima had realized that while it only took about 2.4 Volts, about the same as two Double-A batteries, to generate magic, while that same amount of magic that you just derived from that electricity would convert back into 12 Volts. A conversion from two Double-As to two D batteries doesn’t seem like much, but it was an increase by more than four times, which could be continued indeterminately as long as the process was known and the power and magic as had somewhere to go afterwards.

Yet, the magic dispersed much quicker than electricity was used and Zima was unsure of where exactly it went. If it was released into the air or used in other activities, the persocom couldn’t tell either way. He held hope that it might one day cure his sister, who he had grown extremely close to over the past year, or so, maybe not from love itself, but give her the choice to choose again if she was rejected the first time. Just one more chance to make herself happy. Because, although he had many bad experiences with family as a child, he hadn’t been able to help himself once he came to Japan, he reached out to his new ‘family’ in one last attempt to be accepted and had been welcomed with open arms. He couldn’t give that up, but he couldn’t and wouldn’t stop his sister if this was what she truly wanted, especially if he couldn’t ease the pain even if he forced her to get better.

He heaved a small sigh, just before Dita made the last leap up the small mountain path he had taken to this point, an annoyed and slightly exasperated frown on her face as she looked down at him. Holding his hands up in mock surrender, he picked himself up off the ground. “I know, I know. It’s dangerous to go this far away without some type of extensive firewall, why can’t I be more responsible?” A grin was sent at her annoyed and completely unknowing pout as he guessed exactly what she had to say and he continued, hands still raised, “I’m do it because I know you’ll be coming for me Dita, Love, and how could I deprive us both of the thrill of the chase. I do so love playing hard-to-get.” Slinging an arm around her shoulder, he playfully nuzzled the shorter girl’s hair before he was forcefully pushed away and she stomped off, his thin tail of hair firmly in her fist as she tugged him along behind. He simply smirked once more, “Then again, I may love you playing hard-to-get even more.”

---

July 28, 2027

At the same time, halfway around the world, Dumbledore was looking older than his staff had seen since the war had been finished. By this time in his career, he was used to not being able to convince all of the muggle-born children that learning their magic was the best thing for them, even some of the half-bloods had sworn off magic after their families had been torn apart after the last war, though that was becoming less of a problem as the years wore on, but never had he been stopped from even delivering the first letter so thoroughly. It didn’t help his nerves in the least that this was by far the most high-profile and looked forward to student in the past fifty years.

Many years before, he had accepted the fact that the Dursleys might not want to let their nephew come to Hogwarts because, like many parents, they did not want to be separated from their child. Having experienced familial losses during the last war, including James, Lily, and Petunia’s parents, they could have been leery of giving up their eleven-year-old nephew to the society that had taken the rest of their family, but Dumbledore had been confident that they could be placated, as Hogwarts was the safest place in the magical world. But it seemed that not even the enchanted books of Hogwarts knew where Harry had gone. At the time the headmaster had figured this out, he had been thankful that he still knew the address to the Dursleys.

A few days after the realization that owls would not be effective, Dumbledore convinced his deputy-headmistress to make a visit to the Dursley residence with the letter and considered the matter closed. He was, therefore, extremely surprised when Minerva McGonagall strode into his office not thirty minutes later demanding to know why she hadn’t been informed that Harry was missing. Immediately, he had fire-called Arabella Figg, who he had positioned to look after Harry, and she looked just as surprised as he did, if not more so. She reported that ever since Harry could read, he had been going to the library every day he could, his relatives even left him there for the librarians to mind instead of getting a babysitter, but she had convinced her cats to keep an eye on the child that lived at Number Four, as she hadn’t seen him in over four years because of his strange schedule, and they hadn’t reported anything out of the ordinary. The only change in the household was about two and a half years before, but that was just when the family had gotten rid of their computers, persocoms they called them, and had a bit of a run in with the police.

Dumbledore had then tried to track Harry’s movements through the muggles’ legal system, but lost him after he turned eight. It was just about now, three days before the boy’s birthday, the headmaster wished he had linked a few tracking devices to the boy, but he had wanted to give the boy a normal life, and tracking his every move was rather counter-productive for that. He was, however, annoyed that his device tracking the status of the wards on his house hadn’t made a peep, until he realized that the magic seemed to have been sucked out of it before it could put out a distress signal. This stumped the ‘all-knowing’ headmaster and his infamous eye-twinkle in their tracks. He could only sit and hope for some kind of miracle. His newest regret on his long list, was not taking note of where he had found the boy in the first place, as that was the most likely place for him now.

It seemed that he would just have to continue on, there was nothing else he could do. Having informed the proper authorities, he could only hope for the best in the coming years.

---

August 26, 2027

“I see you didn’t receive your letter again, Zima-kun.”

The young man in question raised a brow at this question, staring across the vast expanse of nothing at the older persocom. Never one to be overly serious about anything, his small smile didn’t falter in the least as he asked, “And what letter would that be, exactly?”

Blinking her large purple eyes, Luna rubbed her chin with an intangible pen as she thought of her response. After a few minutes, she shrugged, the information might be top-secret but, with out the other’s help three years ago, her own government wouldn’t have figured it out either, plus, she was rather curious as to why he hadn’t gotten one when he was eleven. They, the specialists over in England, had suspected it was because his birthday was so close to the next year, but after another year of being passed over, she wanted answers. She explained, “From Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, of course.”

Luna received a blink in return and mentally patted herself on the back for this accomplishment as Zima brought his legs up to sit in the empty space. A moment of thought later, the dark haired persocom gave a nod of acceptance, before straightening out and giving a shrug. “Oh, well. I never really thought about going since you came along, dear.” He eyed her with a playful smirk, “I have much more interesting things to do now.”

The African and European National Databank smiled pleasantly at him, patting him on the cheek in a motherly fashion, “Of course you do, Zima-chan.” Ignoring his playful pout and easily dodging the half-hearted swipe at her arm, Luna tilted her head to the side, a few strands of long blond hair flitting across her face as she did, asking curiously, “You don’t seem very surprised or disbelieving, why is that?”

“I wouldn’t usually tell you that, but,” Zima started, drawing out the last word slightly, before throwing a glance in her direction and sighing. He held out his hands theatrically to either side and, with a careless shrug that clearly read ‘what can you do?’, continued, “Since you are the one who got me out of that veritable cesspit that ‘my family’ called a home, I suppose it is only fair that I tell you something.”

He looked at her, each of them floating in the paradoxical lightened darkness of their discreetly connected minds as they communicated in a way only the most advanced persocoms could and which was known exclusively to the Databases, and tried to explain the best he could. “As a Server, I was designed to hold a lot of information, granting me a completely perfect memory. When I was taken, I was awakened with my ‘parents’ and, having no previous commands except for the initial learning software, I became their son.”

Blond-hair floated in a non-existent wind as the woman concentrated on her friend’s story, watching him drift slowly to one side, head tilted back and eyes closed as he remembered everything again, his own black rat’s tail blowing softly in another direction. “They were magic users and they had no qualms about talking about such things around me. I was told of their troubles with the war, jobs at the ministry, friends from school and of how I would eventually be attending it when I became eleven.” His eyes opened and he looked at her with his most serious expression since his rescue which startled her slightly, “But, I had no idea that this power could be used without a channeling device and, after being brought home, I found no real need to learn anything more as I had no current problems it could solve. Now, I do have questions, but I cannot bring myself to abandon my country, especially after coming to love it so, and am uninformed of much of the magical word here in Asia. I have been investigating, but they have much experience in hiding and it is taking me longer than expected.”

Luna granted him a smirk near the end of his explanation, “Somehow I think that ‘my country’ could also be replaced by ‘my partner’, Zima-kun.” Laughing at his unrepentant grin, she soon quieted and resumed with a smile on her face, “I find it ironic that that is one of the reasons you didn’t leave and because of that I have been deprived of my two guardians for the last twelve months because of it.”

“Really?” Zima asked with a lazy curiosity, trying to process a new burst of information from the outside world as he did so. “And why would that be? They wouldn’t happen to be infiltrating the school just for little ol’ me, would they?” A half-grin made its way to his face as Luna shot him a mildly irritated look.

“They were going to protect you and had enrolled before we realized that the larger faction of wizards, who are basically unaware of the ‘muggles’’ government’s involvement in their society these past two years, have absolutely no idea of where you are. This helps the National Database community immensely, but doesn’t help my lack of guardians one bit!” She pouted this time as she stomped her foot childishly, which was largely ineffectual as there was no floor to stomp. Moving back towards the frustrated woman, Zima patted her on the head consolingly.

“Why don’t you just ask for another one, dear?”

Giving a small huff, Luna looked away and off to one side, crossing her arms to complete her act, “They offered, but I want my partners back!” She attempted to glare at him but couldn’t keep up the act and started laughing at her own ‘petulant child’ act instead. They laughed together for a few moments before they had to leave, not even having to confirm next weeks meeting. This tradition wouldn’t be broken if either could help it.

---

January 11, 2028

Freya braved a year of hiding her deepest emotions, but, in the end, not even her new sister could keep these emotions from tearing her apart from the inside. By the first week of January she had lost the will to keep going and before they reached the middle of the second she was just about ready to shut down forever. But she was saved by her twin’s slightly underdeveloped, yet incredibly keen logic.

The younger twin made her way into Freya’s room late on the last night that she planned to be alive, and sat down on the edge of the bed. “Daddy and Mommy have not slept for days,” Elda told her sister, concern etched over her face as she leaned over her bedridden sister who she had connected to her own ‘port. “They are trying to hard to make you better. But you are not getting better. I do not want to lose you and you...Freya, do you really want to lose all of your memories of your ‘someone just for you’?” The white clad girl on the bed looked up at her twin with a stricken look on her face, never realizing just what turning off forever would do to those happy memories, as her dark twin continued, “All that Daddy did for you...all the time you spent with Daddy...all those precious memories.... If you stop working, those will all disappear forever. Is that what you want?”

Freya closed her eyes, pained by the very thought, she spoke weakly, “No...”

Touching her face with a sympathetic look, Elda took up the conversation again for her ill sister, “I do not want that either. I do not want to lose your precious heart and the memories that make you Freya.”

She had to stop her sister there, the other girl had to know the consequences of such an action, “But, if you take me inside, Elda...you too will break in time. The way that Daddy made us is so...complex. We weren’t built to hold two hearts. If my heart and memories...go inside of you...in time, your heart and memories will be lost.” The only persocom that she could see possibly doing such a thing without repercussions was their brother, but she would never ask him to do such a thing, not after all he had done for her.

“That is okay.” Freya’s eyes widened at her sister’s quick response even as the younger twin hugged her, “I have not found the ‘someone just for me’ yet. I love you and Mommy and Daddy, but none of you are the ‘someone just for me.’ You are not my one special person. I don’t have memories sad enough to make me break. And you will always remember me. All of my memories worth remembering...you remember them too. Even if my memories are lost, I will live within yours. That is why it is okay.”

The twin on the bed couldn’t help but feel a great overflowing of gratitude and sadness for her sister’s decision, “Elda...”

Gently placing her hands on either side of her elder sister’s face, Elda pressed their foreheads together and spoke, “You are me and I am you, because we’re both Mommy and Daddy’s daughters.” She initiated the memory retrieval process, both of their eyes showing the activity with white light flashing sideways through their irises, and continued, “We are twin sisters.”

Murmuring her sisters name again, Freya used some of the last of her strength to place a shaky hand on her other’s back. As the room hummed with power, the warping of the gravitational fields began to wrap around the two figures, tugging at their hair and clothes and as Elda propped her sister up, Freya began to speak once more, “The next time you wake up...you’ll have forgotten everything. But I’ll remember. About me...and about you. My ‘someone just for me’...didn’t love me in the same way. But you...go and find your ‘someone just for you.’ Don’t worry, my sister...” she forced the last words out as the fields took full force, blowing all loose hair and fabric straight up, and started to shut her down, “...for I shall be watching over you from inside...so that you can find true happiness.” And as her body surrendered to eternal darkness, she thought of her family, her adorable twin sister, her loving mother, her knowledgeable, ever-traveling older brother, and her Daddy, whom she loved above all others.

---

March 20, 2028

Zima didn’t find out about his sister’s death for almost a week and only then because the funeral had been scheduled and made public. He had gone to his team as quickly as he could without being suspicious and asked for a half day where he could be alone. It was the first of its kind that he had ever asked for in all these years and the team didn’t see any problem with it, they simply handed him an external hard drive that would take the place of Dita for any large, unexpected attacks, one-time use only though. That much action by a device that small was known for burn-outs instead of cool-downs.

It was scheduled for the thirtieth of January, the snow making the burial a picturesque scene as Freya’s mother and father visibly mourned the loss of not only their dead daughter, but her twin who had sacrificed herself for the eternal happiness of her sister, the woman cried silently as the man attempted to stifle his coughs. The crowd was a good sized one, consisting of the many people whose lives the kind-hearted persocom had touched, that made a large black spot in the field of white as they gathered around for the ceremony. The stone that surrounded them made for a somber mood as the remains of the well-loved girl were put to rest. The dark haired persocom watched from a respectable distance and waited for all of the other guests to pay their respects before walking up to her stone, surprising her parents, who had no idea who he was. He ignored them and kneeled before Freya’s picture.

Touching it gently, he spoke to his now dead sister, eyes dry but not for lack of emotion, “I told you I could have taken them away, that I could save you from the weight, but you wouldn’t let me, Imouto-chan.” He closed his eyes, missing the sympathy-tinged shocked looks that the parents gave him, and he continued as his voice grew thick with regret and a sad acceptance, “But your constant refusal was just a testament to how stubborn you were. You knew I could never go against you, Sister.” A look at Ichiro and Chitose would show that their shock had been replaced by a grief-stained confusion as they tried to figure out who the boy was, but he was too busy giving an empty chuckle to notice. “I should have known… you would only use your persuasion when you knew the outcome. I only wish...” He paused and looked down at the paved path before the grave. “I wish that we might have seen each other more and... that I might have known little Elda-chan, of whom you spoke of so fondly. It seems not even the National Databank can know everything.”

A gasp finally drew his attention towards the couple, again. The woman held her hand over her mouth as she stared at the young man in front of her, but even her recognition couldn’t stop the slow tears from running down her face, while the man held her around the shoulders and gave the same persocom a speculative look, trying to hide his coughing, before giving him a stiff nod. Zima nodded in return before giving the picture one last look, laying a small envelope next to it as he did so, and went to walk away, only to pause as the woman called out softly. “She...” Chitose paused as she steeled herself for the rest of the sentence, hoping to avoid another breakdown, “She’s not completely gone.”

Feeling himself go perfectly still, Zima performed what no one ever thought possible, doing the impossible once more. He stopped all incoming information just so he could concentrate on what this woman was saying. His actions, guided by completely unprogrammed ‘emotions’, ripped open another loophole as he did so. “Elda-chan took her sister inside of herself just before—before...”

She turned towards her husband and buried her head into his jacket, unable to continue. At a slight turning of Zima’s head, Ichiro coughed to the side once or twice before he continued for his distraught wife, “Before she broke down, but this caused Elda-chan to turn off and lose all of her own memories.” There was no change in the persocoms posture, but the soft “Thank you” told the parents all they needed to know. This young man had cared deeply for their daughters, in much the same way they would expect from a brother towards his cherished younger sisters.

They stood and watched him leave before stepping closer to their daughter’s grave and prepared to give their own farewells, but were stopped as Chitose took note of the names on the envelope the young man had left and recognized one of them. She stared off after him for a few moments before whispering his second name, or so the security camera footage had shown later that day, when it was documented and archived to the national database.


Now, over two months later, Zima felt and acted much as he had before, but his team noticed a drop in the amount of time he would spend hiding from Dita ever since the day he had taken off.

Not that this made him any easier to deal with.

Shinsei sighed, looking up towards the heavens as he prayed for strength. Beating his test subject over the head for being childish would not get the testing over with faster. “Please, Zima-kun. We need to figure out were you are getting all of this energy from.” He looked pleadingly at the unimpressed persocom seated in front of him, wishing that the man would just give in already. “You haven’t been charged since you were first programmed, over three years ago! Not only that, but your energy readings are higher every time we do a diagnostic.”

Seeing that the Japanese National Databank was having none of this, Edokana cut in, “Finding what has done this may also explain your spontaneous upgrades and programming changes.” Zima’s flat look moved from the spectacled man over towards the newest speaker, who decided to try a different angle, “If we can find out what it is, we may be able to make it so that Dita-chan can use it as well, don’t you want that?”

He smirked slightly as the persocom averted his eyes, looking contemplative, before nodding his acceptance. The smirk dropped off of his face as Zima picked up one of his own, remarking, “I’ll let you try, but if you can find a physical aspect of this magic, I would be surprised.” Standing up with one final glace at the assembled group, he sauntered off to his designated room, right beside the one that Dita was currently being upgraded in.

All but one of the scientists looked after him in confusion, the last, an intern by the name of Rinkai Mikari, gaped with wide eyes in the back of the group. She quickly recovered, covering her mouth as she looked off to one side, wondering how he had known. After a few moments of wildly trying to rationalize the fear away, the twenty-year-old could only come to the conclusion that he had already figured out the existence of her kind and had puzzled out her small, yet strange gaps of knowledge that all pointed to the fact that she was one of them. A witch.

A thought occurred to her and she frowned, mindlessly following her fellows into the room, if he knew about them, why didn’t he do anything and, more importantly, how exactly did he use magic to enhance his capabilities? She could only think of two or three possibilities; one, he had found someone to make these changes for him, but, after seeing what had convinced him to agree to this testing, she couldn’t see him doing this without his partner, or two, he had somehow become the first persocom, that she knew of, to have and use magic. It was a frightening yet exciting prospect, frightening in the dangers that may come of it, including an exposure of the wizarding world, and exciting from a more scientific perspective. Oh, the possibilities!

As she resolved to inform the proper facilities and let them deal with the fall out, she missed the small warning of a hacker that flashed on the screen in front of her, which quickly disappeared even as Zima was shut down for the three-hour diagnostic.

About thirty-five kilometers away, a helmeted woman nodded to her husband from her place in front of a large computer screen, “He’s been turned off and it seems his partner is also receiving upgrades.”

“Good, he doesn’t deserve to be harmed by the last large testing of his sisters’ device,” the seated man was interrupted by a coughing fit and he was sweating slightly as he finally regained control. His wife walked over, concerned, wishing desperately that she wouldn’t have to see her husband die so soon after the deaths of their daughters. He gave her hand a pat, smiling tiredly up at her before reaching out towards the console before him, “The sixth test run of the anti-recognition system beginning in three...two...one...” He pressed a single key and, after barely a second, violently shut down every persocom within thirty kilometers. The only reason why it didn’t affect more was because of the single persocom they had tried so hard to protect.

In their basement, the couple looked at one another and the man smiled at his wife’s shocked face. “And now, our daughters will--” he coughed for a moment before continuing, a little more hoarse, “--will always be protected.” She gave him a watery smile in return before hugging him. Soon after, she wheeled him out of the house, two small suitcases were placed in the back of their car, and, after helping her husband into the passenger seat, Chitose was driving away from their old house and towards their new life. The building would be tracked down within the next forty-eight hours but the authorities were unable to prove the couple’s involvement either way, as the entire basement facility had been trashed and the computers wiped clean of any and all data.

At the moment of detonation, two things happened that would change the Asian National Databank forever. First, as a result of one of their main headquarters being hit by this datablast, their current server crashed in seconds, burning out its hard drive as the load of information added itself to the rather large constant stream that it was already exposed to. And, second, unconsciously harnessing his mysterious power even while shut down, Zima protected not only himself, but a majority of the equipment in his room while, on the opposite side of the wall, his partner did much the same, if only on a smaller scale. The scientists could only gape at the large gravity field that surrounded their specimen, a small cord linking it to, possibly through, the wall, as metallic wings seemed to grow out of his back even as they stared. All other prototypes and back-up persocoms and computers in the facility were destroyed or wiped of all programming, leaving just those two rather scruffy but wholly remarkable persocoms intact.

And, thus, already being a top choice and, now, the only choice, Zima was promoted to the primary Database persocom for the AND.

The Eastern Hemisphere would never be the same.

---

May 21, 2028

“Well, well, well. What do we have here?”

Ichito turned as well as he could from his wheelchair to face the speaker, pushing his glasses up as he did so. Seeing the intruders out of the corner of his eye, one of which had a slightly apologetic look on his face, he quickly went to hit a button, just pressing it as the female persocom made it to him. Attempting to look frustrated at being stopped, inwardly he was elated; Chitose should have gotten the message to clear out, hopefully taking their still working daughter with her.

“What were you trying to do?” the short female demanded testily.

He ignored the question, “You won’t do anything to my daughter! I won’t let you--” Another coughing fit broke into his admonition. The male persocom was there in seconds, helping him breath. “Remember, if he dies, we won’t know what he’s doing.” He seemed to be explaining his actions to his partner.

Feeling well enough to attempt a conversation, but just barely, Ichito looked up once more and found the tall male persocom crouched in front of him. With a shock he realized who it was, “You’re--” The quick intake of air he had needed for the gasp just before that first word was enough to send him reeling. Hacking coughs wracked his frail frame once more.

Zima was more than a little horrified to see blood on his ‘father’s hands and deemed him too sick to interrogate. He instructed Dita to grab the persocom, which he knew for a fact was a new model, containing nothing but the most basic of data and a simplistic version of the device, and take it to the Asian headquarters while he took the man to the nearest hospital. After a reluctant Dita had gone, he zipped off, calling the man’s wife as he did. The National Databank wasn’t sure if his creator would survive the night.

---

July 15, 2028

Chitose wiped another tear from her eye, looking down at the last of her family who was wrapped in white bandages and laying serenely in a large pile of black trash bags. Her husband had died not two months ago, unable to get over the sickness that had plagued him for the past six months, leaving her bereft once again. It had taken her all of this time to work up the courage and, hopefully, the strength to carry out her daughter’s final wish without her husband there to lean on.

Having changed her home into a small dorm, accepting the meager wages of a singular, poor pre-college student to break up the endless silence of her new house, knew she couldn’t just turn Elda back on. Too many explanations would have to come because of it and who knew if the knowledge of her father’s death might shut her down as well? Chitose couldn’t bear the thought of losing the last member of her family permanently.

Choking back another sob, she pushed Elda’s white hair away from her face, and gave her daughter one last watery smile, “Dearest Elda, I hope you and your sister find exactly what you are looking for. That you and you ‘some one just for you’ will be happy together, even if I am not around to witness it.” She paused and slipped a small disk into the front of her bandages, “If fate will allow it, you will know of me and your first family, but I can do no more than this. Good-bye, my daughter.” With one final pat on the head, Mrs. Hibiya ghosted away from the alley, back to her home, praying that she made the right decision.

A half an hour later, down that same alley, a young man talked to himself as he took a short-cut back to his flat, bemoaning the fact that he was too poor to afford any kind of computer when he caught sight of a small bundle laying in the trash. He paused in his ranting as he identified it as a female, “Damn! There’s a girl tied up in that garbage!!” His screams only grew louder as he started freaking out, hands waving around as he looked to either side, “Ack! Is she dead?! Was she murdered?!”

Finally calming down enough, Hideki Motosuwa looked closer at the girl, “Huh? Those ears...Oh. It’s just a persocom. What a relief.” He let out a deep sigh as he touched one of her earports, mumbling to the shutdown girl, “I thought you were a corpse!”

He went on talking to himself, finally realizing that the computer looked undamaged and completely free in the process, and celebrated his great find. Justifying his actions he traded his smarmy demeanor for a saintly one as he nodded his head, beginning to pick up the ‘girl’. “Y’know, I’m just doing my part to help with our city’s waste disposal problem. They’re always telling us to recycle.”

Hideki finally made it to his feet, but the weight of the persocom almost made his legs give out, “Crap! Ugh!” he grunted as he tried to find a better grip on the deceptively small persocom. “This thing weighs a ton! What are you made of anyway?!” Carrying the girl bridal style, he stomped his way home. But, as fate would have it, as he walked away with his newfound treasure in his arms, a square memory disk fell to the ground behind him, unnoticed and forgotten.

---

August 14, 2028

“Uh huh,” Chi responded, answering the woman’s previous question, where she had asked if the girl’s new owner had taught her to be so polite. Chitose couldn’t help but smile at the carefree answer, one that would never have been said by her overly eloquent daughters. She opened a door to the side room and reassured Chi, “I’ll just be a moment.”

The ivory haired girl was left without much to do as the door quietly shut behind her landlady. As she looked around, her amber-eyed gaze was drawn to a picture frame that was laying face down. Curious, she lifted it up with a soft click and took a peek at the hidden picture. Seeing it, she paused, missing the opening of the door behind her.

“I’m back,” the dark haired woman announced, closing the sliding door behind her once more, clothing in hand. Chi turned to face her, placing the picture back down as she did so. The older woman looked up and walked over with a smile. “Would you mind trying this on?”

“Okay,” Chi nodded, accepting the new clothes. As the young persocom moved off to change in the center of the room, Chitose caught sight of the picture. Ignoring the girl, who was shamelessly changing right in front of her without much more than a pair of panties on, the older woman picked up the same frame lovingly. She hugged it to herself, eyes closed and a small smile on her face as she did so. She stood like that for a moment before Chi reminded her there was another person in the room.

“I’m all changed.”

The landlady turned, returning the picture to its place, and smiled as she saw Chi’s outfit. The dress was amazingly intricate, the pink matching her hair and earports nicely, and layered, with a large bow in the back. What was most startling, though, was where the front of the skirt stopped, just above the panty line, and sure to make any healthy male human have a nose bleed. Chitose reacted as only a small fraction of mothers would at seeing her daughter dressed like this.

“Wow, that looks great on you. A perfect fit.” She smiled and held Chi’s wrists up to get a better look at the persocom who used to be her little girl. “But of course it would be. That outfit was made for you, after all.” The girl just gave her a slightly confused look, unknowing that she was standing next to her mother.

---

August 15, 2028

“Let me get this straight, Rinkai-san. Not only do you suspect a persocom—a device made by normals using their technology—of having magic used on it, but, also, by it?” The Japanese Head of the Magical Police stared incredulously at the young witch, disbelief dropping from every word. “And, if this weren’t strange enough, this same persocom holds the information of much of the Eastern half of the world?”

Makari nodded seriously, inwardly frustrated at how long it had taken her to get this information to the executives, and explained, “It has gotten so that the other scientists on my team have noticed huge discrepancies between what should be there and what is. Zima-san called it magic and looked right at me, taisho-san. I know that he is aware of our presence and feel it best if we introduced ourselves before he goes and tells the President.”

The older man sighed, wondering how she had gotten into his office while spouting these wild ideas, and was about to refuse her request as politely as he could when he was interrupted just as his mouth opened. “I think that she has the right idea, though it is a little late. I’ve already sent the memo to the President and his secretaries which, interestingly enough, included the Secretary of Magic.” Both of the occupants in the room turned to the speaker, revealing the persocom in question leaning casually on the wall, looking as if this was the most amusing thing he’d seen in a long time. He gave them a smirk as both looked towards the still locked door and eyed the too-small window that was just above the Databank’s head. Zima didn’t answer their unspoken question, not about to reveal his smaller form to anyone but Dita for now. “Imagine that. His position does lead me to believe that the President has been aware of your presence for years.”

His metal visor, which had been given to him, along with his new black and leather outfit, upon being named the AND’s main server, glinted in the low, flickering candlelight even as the window above him opened almost silently to admit his slighter partner. The young intern couldn’t help but think that the couple made a striking picture, dressed in sleek blacks, with form-fitting new-age looks, silent as death, and most emotions hidden behind their highly reflective eyepieces. She gave a small shudder for, in that moment, she saw just how dangerous they could make themselves.

The seated man in front of her twitched ever so slightly, a small tic contained exclusively in his right leg, but it was enough to catch Zima’s attention. Invisibly, his eyes narrowed at what the cause of that could be, and, not a second later, he made a small movement of his own, a negligible hand motion. Dita caught on immediately and, moving swiftly enough to leave after images, she was leaning over the desk glaring at the man as her partner graciously offered the young woman his hand just behind her. Makari only looked up at him bewildered.

“It wouldn’t do to have you sitting in front of the door when they come to bust it down, Rinkai-san.” Eyes widening, the girl grasped his and was pulled out of the way of the door’s path at super-human speeds, the entryway snapping open not even seconds after.

“Tokyo Aurors, come out with your hands up!” Came a shout from the doorway, they waited all of two seconds before opening fire into the room, dust still flying everywhere. After the first volley, they paused to see if they had hit their mark, shields up just incase. The air cleared to reveal one figure standing in the dead center of the room, some of the officers scoffing at the calm girl with the strange clothing.

Her eyes narrowed.

That was the end of their warning.

Appearing before them in a blink of an eye, they erupted into curses, both magical and otherwise, as one of the rookies in the back questioned her apperation inside of the wards and was largely ignored. A few of the streams of magic hit her but she didn’t even pause to shrug them off, treating them as if they were nothing more than flashing lights and not the incapacitating spells that they were, and simply rushing up to them unhindered. Pulling back her right fist, she struck out, brushing two men with it before hitting her target. Their comrades were surprised to see all three fall to the ground as if stunned, but their surprise was soon replaced by the unforgiving black of unconsciousness. The fight had taken no more than forty-five seconds, a minute at most.

Crawling out from under his desk, where he had hidden himself from the spellfire, the head of police could only stare in horror as the petite girl took out the last of the squad; his own wand had been confiscated by the male persocom before he had dived from his chair for cover. Said persocom stepped out of the corner that he and his team member had been standing during the firefight, completely unharmed even through the masses of wildly cast spells, and made his way over to Dita, stepping over a few bodies to do so.

As he reached the doorway, another woman and her small posse spotted the two of them and she made her way over with a smile. The woman was of a normal stature for Japan’s general populace, her dark, straight hair, dark eyes, and only slightly pale complexion made her the type that could fit in anywhere in the country, but her personality is what won her the position she was in. “Zima-san!” she greeted happily as she gave a bow, some of her group gasping as she showed the respect that was usually granted to an equal to this machine.

Zima smirked and bowed in much the same fashion, “Secretary Ekita Neseika-san, so nice to finally meet you in person.” Straightening, he pulled his two female companions forward, “You of course know Dita, my lovely companion,” the young woman gave a more formal bow, obviously forcing herself not to blush in embarrassment and not wholly succeeding, “and one of my team members, Rinkai Makari, who valiantly tried to inform you of my skills as soon as she found out about them.” The younger woman blushed from pride and her own embarrassment, though for reasons different from Dita, smiling sheepishly as she gave a deep bow to the head of Japan’s magical government. Both exchanged pleasantries for a moment, ignoring Dita’s almost hidden arm-slap of retaliation and the Head Police officer’s indignant sputtering.

Turning back to the AND’s main databank, Neseika’s smile never faltered, in fact it seemed to get bigger. “Zima-san, I have discussed the discovery of both of your abilities with the Education department, along with others, and we have decided to start breaking down the walls that separate our two peoples. It has been decided that the first step on our part will be the training of both Dita-san and yourself in the magical arts while the non-magical governments have agreed to start letting the simpler magics, such as charmed objects and wizards wearing their unusual clothing become more of a norm, integrating magic into new inventions. Isn’t that great?”

Her smile was infectious and soon many of those around her, including the usually anger prone Dita, were smiling along and getting equally enthusiastic. After a bit of the commotion went down, she continued, “I hope you are serious about wanting to begin right away, because classes will start as soon as possible!”

---

August 17, 2028

Becoming aware was a long process for Freya. There was no instantaneous jolt between her ‘sleeping’ in the hard drive and being aware of the things that Elda was doing, it was more of a gradual awakening. Unfortunately, even now, as she was fully aware, Elda seemed to have cut herself off from her twin, thus cutting her off from most of the things the younger girl experienced. Freya could do little more than float near the only object on her plane of existence, a flat window into her sister’s mind, and call to her dearest friend.

The easiest time to do this, she found, was when her sister was reading. While browsing and thinking about ‘A City With No People’, Elda, now Chi, would become very introspective. Finally she seemed to get through and was able to send her confused sister, who was standing on top of a tree just outside of Hideki’s apartment and asking who was calling her, an image of herself within Chi’s mind.

It was hazy at first as Freya guided her sister to the window that separated them. Her silhouette was dark against the lightness behind her, clothes an inky black against her ivory skin and hair. “It’s been a long time.” She smiled at her confused sister and held out her left hand to her. “I am you.” She knew it would be hard, nearly impossible, to explain what she was exactly, right now, so Freya decided to over simplify things.

Her hair blowing in a nonexistent wind, Chi asked, “Were you the one calling me?”

Yes. I was the one calling you.” Freya was coming to recognize this side of Chi.

“Why do you have the same face as me?”

Freya smiled slightly, trying to hide her amusement and disappointment. “I already told you...” Lining up their hands on the window that separated them, the elder continued, “It’s because I’m you.” Their hands linked and Freya glided out of the window and into her sister’s mind.

“Chi doesn’t understand,” she stated bluntly, unafraid to state her opinion.

So, you’ve lost all of your data.” Freya had already surmised this to be the case, Chi was acting almost exactly like Elda had the first time that she’d met her. Disappointed to finally learn that she had truly lost her sister, she consoled herself. She still had her brother and she now had a new sister to love and protect.

They conversed for a small time, Freya learning of Hideki and of their mother’s close proximity before teaching Chi about the idea of a ‘someone just for me’. This troubled Chi, she knew that she was supposed to know more, but unable to do anything about it. Her sister could only hug her, but knew she should continue while they still had time. Freya attempted to remind her sister of their duty and decision. And with a parting word, Chi was thrust back into reality.

Freya, now connected to the world as a whole through Chi, kept one eye on Chi’s home life, judging Hideki as she did so, and wrote a quick letter with the other half of her concentration.

---

August 17, 2028

It was during a break in their class work, outside a small school near the forests of Nara, that Zima received a message. He blinked at the sender’s address before opening it quickly, a ghost of a smile hovering about his lips.

Zima-aniki,

Older brother, Elda has finally been reawakened. I believe that she has already decided on a new ‘someone just for her’, though she hasn’t acknowledged this decision yet. It is her new owner, Hideki Motosuwa, has named her Chi and she has, unfortunately, lost all of her data. I will be keeping an eye on them from here, but for now they seem rather good together, though I am unsure of what his answer would be right now.

For now, please turn a blind eye, for our sister’s sake.

Your loving sister,
Freya


PS. Please write back, you are the only person I know besides Chi and she doesn’t understand many things as of yet.

Zima’s smile grew at the message, glad to have his baby sister back and to know that the elder would still contact him even with the danger that might have existed. As it was, there was no harm in exchanging emails. He was the National Database and if he erased the knowledge from the databank, no one would ever know. It helped that he retained his own memory apart from the main computer.

Sending a quick note back, he confirmed his silence and told her he would do anything he could to help, before standing up and searching for his partner, who had muttered something about ‘punching a deer’ a while back after the third one in a row went straight for her hair.

---

August 18, 2028

How could she have let this happen? It was only a day since they’d met and already she was letting her sister down! Of course, it wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t converse with Chi unless the innocent persocom initiated the conversation, but really, warning her about smarmy jobs is supposed to be the job of a big sister! But, they only had one conversation and she had believed that speaking of a world-changing choice they would have to make would be more important. Freya was practically pacing, as well as a person who could only float could pace, around Chi’s mind space, wondering what she could do to stop this from going any further.

She clued in as she heard the ‘Live Peep’ man start instructing her over-innocent twin on how to ‘please the customers’ next, asking her to ‘use her finger to up the excitement.’ Freya was seeing red as Chi had the last command explained to her, but paused at Chi finally grasped the gravity of the situation. “No.”

“Huh? Why not?” the smarmy man asked from the other side of the communicator, confused.

“No. Chi can’t touch there.” Chi looked almost dazed to those perverted enough to watch this type of show.

“What’s that? I can’t f**ing hear you.” The man seemed to be whining on the other side of the wall.

“No!” Chi said loudly, before becoming quieter once more and holding a hand almost protectively over the junction between her legs. “Chi’s spot can’t be touched.” She closed her eyes wondering where this feeling was coming from.

Freya grasped at this opportunity, dragging her sister into their joined mind quickly. She calmed herself by smoothing Chi’s hair, knowing that getting angry would only destroy the trust that her twin had placed in her, and walked her fingers down her sister’s leg playfully, trying to make light of the situation. “That’s right, Chi. You were restarted by that switch. That’s why...” She looked into her sister’s eyes, not even taking note of how similarly dressed they were, she in black and Chi in white, as she continued, “...Until you find the someone who loves you no one can touch you there.”

Not being able to help herself, she gave her sister a quick hug before backing up with a serious face, once again reminding her sister of the decision they had to make. “And, Chi, the next time you get touched there; it’s for us to decide.” Unfortunately, during this time, Freya accidentally let her concentration on the real world lapse in her worry for her sister and was only able to catch the man just before he pressed the reset button himself. In doing so she was forced to partially activate the device, and worried over the fact that her brother might be forced to find them now as Chi jumped out of the skyscraper and on to a light post, hypnotizing all the persocom within a certain radius.

She could only hope that Hideki got there soon.

---

August 19, 2028

After sending a slightly exasperated letter of warning to Freya, Zima soon found himself in the rubble of what used to be a peep show building, looking much as he had for his meeting with the wizarding world. The only addition was a well hidden wand that each of the persocoms carried with them at all times, even though they didn’t know more than a handful of spells, just incase. ‘Well,’ he thought with a small amount of humor, ‘at least it is a good distance from where I already know where they are.’

He smirked as he surveyed the destruction around him, impressed by how much damage his sisters could cause when they were threatened. That and he had never really understood why male, and some female, humans liked this kind of entertainment. Yes, he knew of biology and hormones, but when humans used these they became distinctly irrational. Then again, he was a persocom that was going against his purpose slightly by keeping vital information just because he considered the subject family, so he supposed he couldn’t complain.

Looking over his shoulder at his short, spitfire of a companion, he started, “So... It has begun.”

She gave a small smirk in accomplishment, the sun glinting off of her sunglasses. “Just as before...” she remarked, off hand. It was true, he saw as he compared the destruction documented during some of the first tests of the device. Collateral damage but no deaths. Complete annihilation of property and persocoms without injuring humans. Very similar indeed.

---

August 21, 2028

…She has gotten a good job at last, nii-san. She is working with Hideki’s old boss at a bakery. He is a kind man, but he seems to be hurting in some as of yet unknown way. I believe it to be the same sickness that took my body and can only wish that it will work out for him, but, at the same time, I hope that it will not involve Chi or Hideki…

PIPIP!

Zima didn’t even blink as his email was interrupted by a report of a similar energy reading to that which destroyed the ‘Live Peep’. Freya had sworn to never activate the device unless in extreme danger or the time of questioning and, as there were no large explosions or frantic emails coming in, the tall male could only assume that Chi was activating it subconsciously. This thought was there and past in a millisecond or so and, seeing Dita’s expectant expression, he voiced a few of his thoughts out loud.

“That’s it all right. It’s just reacting strongly to something,” he said from his unsafe location, standing on the railing around the top of a tall building, with Dita sitting on the five centimeter wide railing next to him, showing how each of their balances had vastly improved over the years.

“Is it close by?” She asked, curious and almost excited to have the wait already be over. Her hope was that this situation could be cleared up as quickly as possible so the least amount of damage would be caused and so that she could get back to studying. He turned his head and smiled down at her eager face. “Donno. Too hard to tell.” He felt slightly bad, telling falsehoods to the only person who he had never lied to before. “The signal is still weak. I don’t think the program is fully rebooted. We still have time.”

Dita took off her sunglasses to survey the town before her without them hindering her perfect vision. “We stopped it once before—we’ll do it again. That causing the death of their creator and the other, a copycat, needing to be forcibly stopped by the duo a month or so back, they had never attempted to do it to Elda or Chi specifically. He could only hope that such a confrontation didn’t happen anytime soon for, though he loved Dita dearly, he loved his sisters just as much and their survival would only serve to make the world, for persocoms at least, even better. Zima never wanted to have to choose between his sisters and his love.

But his unwillingness for violent confrontation didn’t mean that he couldn’t send hints to his future brother-in-law to help move events along quicker. He smirked and sent one of the pictures they had on file of Chitose Hibiya and one of her daughters just to creep the guy out. It was a big brother’s prerogative.

---

August 22, 2028

PIPIIP!

Chi was reading again, he could tell. Even standing miles away, heel to heel on top of an electrical poll with Dita, he knew that was what the beeping noise meant.

“What’s wrong, Zima?” Immediately knowing that something had happened, Dita drew off her sunglasses once more, not wanting the data streaming across it to distract her from her partner’s answer.

“There it is again. Our old friend is getting stronger.” A small smirk made its way to his face even as his brow furrowed slightly, Freya should really have a talk with her twin about reining those signals in. Maybe it couldn’t be helped.

“Can you pinpoint where she is?” The same question, a similar answer, “Not yet.”

Glaring at nothing, Dita’s red eyes showed a large amount of frustration.

“Nothing to worry about, Dita, Love,” he soothed, carefully looking back at her. “If her signal gets stronger she’ll be easier to find. If it doesn’t, then, well, we’ve got nothing to worry about, now do we?”

“It still bugs me,” she said biting the earport-hooks on her glasses thoughtfully. “Why would anyone create something like her? Her program is too powerful. You saw what she can do to other persocoms...”

“I think,” Zima muttered, pulling off his own data-glasses and thanking high heaven that Dita had studied Defence Against the Dark Arts instead of Charms, knowing that she would have already found Chi by now with a tracking charm. “I can see where her creator’s coming from.”

She sent him a disgruntled look, “What do you mean?” He smiled as her hair blew around in the wind, the long tail on the left side of her face whipping around almost silently. He caught his own long loc of hair by the golden tie at the end to remind her of the first time he said the next phrase, having used it when she had asked what purpose the hair clasps might have.

“That’s for me to know and you to find out!”

Just after this taunt, Zima was off, Dita giving chase almost immediately after. “Hey!” He led her on a small, but athletic jaunt around the neighboring buildings before he found that he had enough time to get comfortable before she caught up. She found him lying sprawled out on the roof of an apartment building, arms crossed behind his head and one leg bent as he lounged.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Seeing that she wasn’t getting his attention, she stomped over and slammed her hands down on either side of him, straddling his body in a kneeling position as she did so. “I said Hey!”

Zima reached out and grabbed her chin with his left hand, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Well, not yet, anyway.” He amended, the situation was much like the first, and he still had yet to tell her that the hair clasps had a magical tracking device on them, usually reserved for engagement and wedding rings.

Giving him a skeptical look she asked, “Yet? You mean I will?”

That, my dear,” he said as he pulled her down towards him with a smile bordering on naughty, “would make me a very happy man.”

She allowed it, and sulked as she rested the top half of her body on his chest, looking away from him. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“There, there. No need to feel down, Love,” he consoled as he lay back once more.

“We had her creator right there. We should have asked why he made her while we had the chance,” she muttered, a little put out. “I wonder if he would have told us.”

“Perhaps,” he thought about the condition they had found the man in, ‘Perhaps not.’ “But I wouldn’t trouble yourself about that now. You’re not going to get anything out of a dead man.”

A moment of silence was given for their creator. “Well,” Zima said, lifting his head up so he could see his companion better, “We’ve got some time before we have to act. What say you and me rest here for a while?” She looked unimpressed with his logic, pulling his data-visor away to peek at his eyes to gage his seriousness. With resting it has been found that Zima is always serious, even as he grins.

“You’re such a slacker, Zima,” she teased, wiggling his glasses as she did so, while he just smiled and made no move to make her stop.

“Now, now. I’m not slacking,” he admonished, wrapping his arms around her as he did so. “I’m resting. When the time comes, we’ll need all the strength we can muster.” He squeezed her slightly, in reassurance that he’d wake her if anything happened.

It took almost fifteen minutes for her to get to sleep, but Zima didn’t. He had moved over to lean up against a wall during that time, bringing Dita with him. He smoothed her hair for a moment or so before taking off his own data-glasses and looking up at the blue sky. After a moment, he whispered, “I hope…that time never comes…”

---

September 29, 2028

Zima couldn’t believe how long it took to convince Dita to rest today. After the tell-tale beep around mid-morning, she was hopping up at every little sound. The automated beep had also gained his attention, but for a different reason. Even the books that had been sent to them just after they arrived couldn’t keep her occupied. As with every other day she swore to take down his sisters, he thanked whoever would listen up above or down below that he had convinced their ‘teachers’ that charms would be useless to them here. Not only could they not practice them without being flashy, but they really had no need for charms which usually wouldn’t work on them or that they could accomplish without magic.

But, as for the reason he needed her asleep, usually, when Chi activated the device by herself it was a gradual process until it generated enough energy for the signal to take and then, after a time, it wound down again, taking about the same amount of time. In this instance, however, the beep had rang and, not moments after that, her entire signal faded to almost nothing as if she were in sleep mode. While outwardly he had to act normal, on the inside he was taking note of her position and following it for the rest of the day.

He sighed, looking into his glasses from a short distance as Dita rested on his chest. “Well, well, well. Now this is an interesting turn.” He rubbed his head even though there was no real pain to get rid of. The first action in over a month and it just had to be bad news. Zima sighed, but paused as a new email popped up on his data screen.

Zima-aniki,

Chi has been kidnapped! While I’m sure Chitose can find us and you probably already know where we reside, Hideki will have absolutely no idea and no chance of getting one. I have confirmed that he will definitely be her someone just for her, once she realizes this, of course, but I need your help in directing him before she fully activates the device by her own will simply because she wasn’t near him anymore. Please, Aniki, I can’t map and send our location by myself.

As always, your loving sister,
Freya


After serious thought, this only took roughly twenty seconds for Zima’s fast paced CPU, Zima came to the conclusion that sending the information indirectly would be the best route. Pulling up a new email, he quickly attached a map to it and deeply encrypted where it originated from and sent it off to Minoru Kokubunji, his connection to Hideki. He was giving them roughly twelve hours, after that, he was going in to save his siblings.

Moments later, Chi’s device started charging. ‘Make that five.’

---

September 29, 2028 (Dragonfly’s House)

Freya looked angrily out at yet another man who wished to violate her naive twin, she hovered slowly up and down, eyes never straying from the scene before her. “One false move, sir. Just one, and you are going down.” Her polite and extensive vocabulary went out the window as she hurled insults at the man from inside her sister’s mind. Every time a hacking file would come near, she’d shoot it down, feeding false or corrupted information as she did so. Still, her anger boiled.

The older girl soon had her chance. “You may really be a ‘Chobit.’” The man then went to feel the young ivory haired girl up, only to get a surprise.

No.” The word was hissed out and the man leaped back in shock, no persocom could possibly speak with all of the tests being run. His hands were slapped away as his notebook, Kotoko, watched in awed fascination, Freya controlling the wires that were connected to her earports like whips and ropes alternately. She glared up at the young man she had tied up in front of her who was now hanging at least a meter off of the ground.

“You are not the ‘person just for me.’ So, do not go inside me.” Freya knew she made for a terrifying scene while merged with her sister, each of them completely agreeing and able to share the body for now. Their hair whipped around the room along with loose and broken electrical cords, trapped in an electromagnetic field that Chi and her twin generated.

Windows broke as they tied the male to the roof and walls and suspended him there, unconscious. Just after they finished they heard someone calling for Chi and Hideki burst through the window. As Chi recognized him, Freya took a half a second to write their brother a brief thank you before turning back to the scene. Seeing that Chi was exhausted, Freya took over for now.

“Hideki...” She half-floated half-walked over to where the stunned student was standing, touching his face as she got close enough. Thinking that she was doing him a favor, she told him what Chi was probably going to expect from him. “Chi only wants one person. Just one person, the ‘someone just for me.’” Leaning up against him, she glared over her shoulder at the still unconscious kidnapper. “No one but ‘someone just for me’ can touch me.” Realizing that he may be confused, she picked up his hand and showed him where she meant in the simplest way possible. It wasn’t very tactful and he seemed to be blushing a lot, but it was the fastest way she could find. “The only person who can come inside me is the ‘someone just for me.’”

Another of Hideki’s friends hopped through the same window, shocking the confused boy out of his compromising position. He grasped Chi’s body by the shoulders, “Is it you? Are you doing this?” Ah, they had noticed their persocoms’ trips to la-la-land did they, she smiled mysteriously at the young man before of her. Freya decided it was distraction yet teaching time. Hints were definitely going to be necessary for this boy. “Hideki, what is precious to you?”

He was already distracted as she reached out a hand for his face, “Precious? What do you mean?”

“The thing that is most precious to both humans and us. If I know what that is, I may not have to lose it. What is most precious?” By the end of the hinting spree, she was almost kissing him, but turned it into a hug at the last minute. She wasn’t trying to steal her sister’s man, just make him realize how good her sister was. Hopefully he got the hint. Maybe she was too vague?

---

September 29, 2028 (Rooftop)

Back on top of another roof, Zima removed his data-visor once more, “...That was a close one.” His visor showed only the normal readings for Chi and Freya after almost five minutes of it oscillating almost off the chart and back again. Dita looked up from her position, lounging on his side.

“What?”

“Nothing, Love. It’s just you’re so damn cute I ‘bout lost my balance looking at you. Almost fell off the building,” he smiled down at her. She frowned at the obvious teasing and allusions to when she almost fell off a roof.

“What are you talking about?” she queried, before continuing in an undertone, “That’s not funny.”

“It’s the truth.” Zima laughed at the unamused look that Dita shot him for that. She rolled her eyes, resigned to the fact that Zima would never stop flirting with her, “Anyway, the girl...did you find her?”

He held up his glasses to put them back on, the flashing light still glistening as he looked over them at his companion, “No, not yet.”

“Damn it, where is she?” Dita stood to look over the ledge they were on, fence behind them, as Zima continued to lounge in his precarious posture. Mumbling to himself on the wind, Zima said, “Sorry, Dita.” He than spoke up, “I think it’s time we paid a visit to our friends.” They were due for another lesson and new books soon anyway.

---

October 3, 2028

Zima-aniki,

Last night was eventful. After Chi accidentally put on the wrong uniform she started a chain of events that led to not only her first willing use of our higher technology and programming, but also the answer to any questions I may have had about her boss. He was, in fact, love sick, but, thankfully, the girl who he loved felt the same way, the only thing keeping them apart was a small lack in communication. Chi fixed this as fast as she could, of course. I am so proud of her; she is growing up so well.

There is a small worrying point: I believe that Hideki is having a harder time making this decision than I had hoped. I can only trust that he will eventually come to cherish her as much as she already adores him.

Your loving sister,
Freya


Frowning, Zima went over the facts and reactions that he had seen from the couple lately while shamelessly using security cameras to spy on his baby sister. They had looked like they were already a couple very much in love, but maybe he should check again. Quickly picking out where Chi was, he activated the closest security devices without setting off any alarms. They picked up just in time to hear the end of what Hideki had to say about learning more about Chi and her creator, “So if we learn more about Chi, then if something happens to her, we might be able to help her.” He received an affirmative. “Let’s do it. I want to know more about Chi.”

Zima smirked from his position on top of a skyscraper. That kid was so cute, thinking first of Chi not his own silly curiosity. He would be good for his sisters.

“Soon, my dear...Soon the time for napping and waiting will be over.” He caught his glasses with one finger as they fell when he sat up, Dita sleeping once more in his lap. Looking down at her with a small smile, he brushed a few wild strands of hair out of her face only for them to fall right back into place. “I do hope she finds what she’s looking for, the dear girl.” Looking over the cityscape once more, he pulled off his glasses completely, “The ‘person just for her.’ Maybe then we’ll be able to dream as well.” He leaned carefully over his partner, kissing her softly on the cheek.

It was only a few hours after that when, while napping on yet another rooftop, Zima winced. His data-glasses angrily beeping, he ignored them in favor of his aching head. “Oi, oi! Who could it be at this hour?”

Hearing the commotion, Dita was up and ready instantly, “Someone’s trying to get in?” Her hands went to his visor to take it off. Zima simply grinned up at her concerned face, “Yup.” She pulled the covering off, ignoring his laid back smile and focusing on his flashing eyes, the red constantly interrupted by streaks of white as his processor worked overtime to keep the threat out. Annoyed, she said needlessly, “Trying to hack into the National Databank...”

“How nosy,” Zima replied with a slight smile, distracted. A moment later his left hand flew to one of his earports as he frowned. “Not good. They slipped past the outer firewall and accessed the file library.”

“It must be the work of a very advanced persocom,” Dita surmised.

After removing his hand from his head, Zima asked, “Do you think…”

Dita answered the half-unspoken question, “Seems that way. It’s her?” She was straddling his lap and feeling the temperature of his earport as he held her waist and one leg from his lazy position.

“Not our girl. Though it is a custom-built unit.” Dita almost growled in frustration at this, but settled for pushing the male persocom flat on his back, his smirk never fading at the rough treatment, and reached for her own, smaller ear port that was hidden in her hair. Grabbing out the connection cable, she announced her already obvious intentions, “I’m logging on.”

The still processing man looked serenely up at her, “Don’t trouble yourself, Love. With all the government software packed inside of me, I can take care of it myself.”

She looked down at him, only inches away at this point, with a stubborn look on her face, most of her emotionless programming thrown out the window as something threatened her partner. “No.” A click sounded as she connected them together.

“Uh oh. It seems our ingenious friends have broken through another security measure.” Reddish-brown eyes glowing, Dita held onto the taller male as a strong electromagnetic field sprung up around them due to the energy being transmitted through the two of them. Her normally stoic or slightly annoyed expression was replaced with one of cold furry as she began to fight the intruder, “I’ll chase them out.”

By this time the persocom on the other end seemed to realize that it had been detected and tried to make its way out, but, with another flash of light and wind, magic mixing with technology in her anger, Dita attacked the enemy with a vengeance, not even flinching as she felt the other short out completely. Only when she was sure that the intruder was gone for good did she allow herself a sigh of relief, eyes closing as she did so.

“Awww,” Zima crooned at his diminutive spitfire of a partner, pulling her towards his chest as he did so. “How sweet. You went and broke somebody’s homemade ‘com to protect little ol’ me.”

Glaring once more at the thought of someone breaking into Zima, Dita growled, “I can’t forgive someone hacking into you.”

His red eyes softened, even as they twinkled, at the girl’s comment, “Sounds to me like you’re jealous.”

“There’s no jealousy between persocoms,” she said, after sitting up to look him in the eye.

“Oh, I’m not so sure that’s true.” He looked off into the distance, avoiding her eyes playfully and musing about how only true emotion would have brought out her magic like that when her own life wasn’t in danger. Grasping one of his straps that went from his belt, over his left shoulder and down again, she tugged on it to regain his attention.

“What do you mean?”

Finally looking back at her, he brushed her chin with the knuckle of one finger. “What do you think it means?”

He received an irritated and slightly speculative look for his efforts, “It’s very irritating, you know—always answering my questions with more questions. I’m not so sure I like you anymore.”

Zima grinned happily and placed his hand on her head, smoothing the untamable hair once more, “You really are cute when you’re jealous.”

Resolutely ignoring that, she pulled her connection out of his ‘port and let it feed back to its rightful place as she thoughtfully placed her other hand on her chin. “Still, it would’ve been nice if it was her that went into you. Then at least we’d know where she’s hiding.” His smile faded slightly. Remembering something, Dita perked up on her knees, placing her hands on the other’s shoulders as she did so. “By the way, Zima, you said before that you understood why he built her.”

Shrugging slightly, he responded, “More or less.”

“Tell me,” she entreated, placing one gloved hand on his face, “And no more dodging my questions.”

For a moment, he considered his options, before beginning his explanation. “You and I, we were built for a purpose. Government ‘coms. The Asian National Databank and the one built to protect it. But, just like the rest of our kind, we were built with the logic and our creator. Though, the addition of magic was more of a fluke than anything else.”

“So?” she asked, wanting an answer not a narrative.

“So...We’re pretty much all his children.”

“Yes,” Dita said slowly, as if talking to an idiot, “but so is she.”

He smiled at her tone and simply wrapped his arms around her, closing his eyes as he attempted to explain. “I know form the data I contain...that parents want nothing more than for their children to be happy. I think he created her because he wanted all persocoms to be happy.” They sat for a while like that; Dita going over this new information as Zima simply basked in her presence.

After a few moments of silence, she looked down at him, “To be happy. That’s a rather vague goal, don’t you think?”

“Yes,” he agreed, “but that’s what makes things interesting.” He rested his chin on one of the belts that circled her chest, “All the more interesting, in that most people would call it impossible.”

Raising a brow, Dita asked, “Impossible? How?”

“You must be alive, have a soul.” Zima looked over the pops of his glasses at her as he slipped them back on.

“And if you’re not alive, if you don’t have a soul, what then?”

“Then happiness is just a fairy tale.” He finished, disappointed by how most people perceived happiness, and looked at the pictures of Elda and Freya that he had sent out. He didn’t know exactly how, but he would make the happiness for those precious to him, even if he had to use something above magic.

---

October 5, 2028

“You really do seem to have all the luck, Zima. I’m just not exactly sure what kind it is; all I know is that I don’t envy you for it.”

Zima only smiled over at his longtime friend, “Luck and Chance are some of the devices that keep life interesting.” The other nodded sagely in response where many normal people would have rolled their eyes, but no one had ever accused Luna ‘Lovegood’ of being ordinary. He had just finished describing the latest events in the drama he called life to the blond haired girl, who was suitably impressed. She attempted to combat him, in this game of ‘who has the stranger life’ by citing the events of the past few years at Hogwarts.

“Not only did we have some stone of eternal youth, a possessed teacher, and a troll the year before last, and the basilisk wielding, first-year possessing horcux of Tom Riddle last year, but this year seems to be turning out much the same way. Dementors are guarding the castle, on the look out for a mass murderer that has ties to you. The government, at least the largely ineffectual magical government, thinks he is hunting for you, but we know otherwise. Solaris and Ami are doing their very best to try and find the reason for his escape and his need to get into the Gryffindor dorms, specifically the dorm of one Ron Weasley, who was almost attacked. They have narrowed the reason down to the Weasley family’s stance on light magic, the ease of getting into Ron’s dorm or the strange rat that the boy carries around. Solaris has asked Ami to keep an eye on things in the Gryffindor tower for him.

“There is also another persocom attending the school now. A personal ‘com, brought by his ‘brother’ who couldn’t go without his sibling of six years. I have allowed it because he had already been changed by accidental magic on the child, Colin’s, part. Perfectly harmless and safely firewalled from tampering, my own addition.”

Tilting his head to one side, Zima recalled the little girl that had been drafted as a protector after his rescue. “How are Ami and Solaris doing these days, anyway? I assume they’re doing fine seeing as you are still there?”

The purple-eyed woman nodded at her fellow database, “They are progressing smoothly, though all of us find the pace of this schooling to be far too slow. This may be a side effect of our memory capacity more than the schools capacity to teach, however.”

“It is only to be expected,” the male allowed. “The same thing is happening or, at least, would be happening to Dita and myself if we were able to go to school full-time as well.” Thinking about this aspect, not for the first time, he asked, “How do you cover the intrusions of hackers and your need to be around your protectors, if I may ask, Luna-chan?”

Luna pouted, causing a large smirk to form on her companion’s face. “I have to ‘carry a portable protection device’ with me ‘at all times’ to make up for the loss.” He chuckled loudly at the whine in her voice, which didn’t help her mood in the least.

“Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up, ‘King of the persocoms.’” Zima raised a brow at her slightly devious smirk. “You’re becoming quite the legend, what with your fantastical abilities, which include no charging, free and almost brand new hardware at all times, not to mention the fact that no one has ever broken through all of your firewalls, or even more than half way, before getting chucked out.” She smiled haughtily, as if she had gained the upper hand, “You even have a few fangirls.”

Not a flinch or frown was seen, much to Luna’s disappointment. “Oh, really. That’s nice.” She playfully tried to hit him for being so nonchalant about his ‘new found’ fame, which he had, in fact, known about for at least six months, his strange and unusual abilities having gained him the title. He liked to think that the fact he was the first of a new species was just a coincidence, nothing more. Their conversation continued like that for another ‘hour’, which was really more like a minute in real world time, before they went their separate ways once more.

Even with the troubles around them, the two could always find a few minutes every Sunday to chat about life, no matter what their scientists and partners told them. Sometimes, it was good to be ‘King’, or, as Luna was sometimes known as, ‘Goddess.’

---

October 6, 2028

Gliding down from her position high above, Freya slowed as she reached her sister’s level. Her twin was getting much better at this, deciding to call just after a short yet enlightening conversation with a recovered Yuzuki, the hacker of the AND, about who Chi wishes she could always be around. Catching on to what her sister may have called her there for, Freya initiated the conversation.

Who does Chi want to be with?”

The girl was clothed in a white gown and looked almost like an angel, her hands clasped in front of her breast, eyes closed and head down turned. “Hideki,” she answered, growing more confident and looking up at her other. “Chi is happy with Hideki. Chi smiles when Chi is with Hideki.”

Leading her sister gently to realization, Freya prompted, “Then, who does Chi not want to say ‘goodbye’ to?

“Hideki.” The answer came immediately, no hesitation to be found. Bringing her hands to her heart, she continued, “Chi hurts here when Hideki isn’t there. It hurts here when I think about saying goodbye to Hideki.”

Her sister, looking much like a fallen angel herself, looked on with sad eyes and a small smile, “That is what love is.

Chi looked up curious and confused, “...Love?”

Hugging her overly naive sister, Freya answered, “That’s right. You love Hideki.” She pulled away, placing her hands on either side of her twin’s face and asking seriously, “But do you love Hideki the most? Is he the special someone just for you?

Soon after, before the question could be answered, Chi was called away. Freya looked lovingly after her for a moment before sending off an update to their brother.

It wasn’t long before she had called Chi back into their joined mind, though each had time to change into a nightgown, black and white respectively, her deep sadness drawing her other’s attention.

What’s wrong?” Freya asked, conserned.

“Hideki is not here.” Chi informed her, hands wrapped around her ring, one of a matching pair she had bought for herself and Hideki.

And when Hideki isn’t with you…

“My heart hurts,” the younger girl finished, clenching her fist.

You must be lonely. Is it only Hideki?” Freya asked once more, looking down at her seated sister. “Are you lonely when other people aren’t around?

Chi leaned forward against her sister’s knees as the elder twin smoothed the other’s hair. “Right now Plum and Kotoko are both here,” she said, citing the two laptops that were physically in the room with her, “but...Hideki is not.” She closed her eyes, as if in pain, “…Hideki…”

Freya’s heart went out to her. “I was lonely too,” she confessed. “When that person wasn’t there I also felt the pain of loneliness.” With that, Freya told her of the events leading up to her old body’s destruction and her subsequent movement to Elda’s, now Chi’s, body.

---

October 6, 2028

It was raining, and had been for most of the day, when he felt it. The shock of having Chi’s device come alive that quickly sent him to his knees as he clutched the railing of a rounded apartment rooftop. He swiftly ripped off his visor, letting it fall to the sopping ground as he clutched his head, unused to this much data coming through at once.

“Zima! What’s wrong?!” Dita rushed forward from her previous position behind him to kneel in front of his hunched form, “Another intruder?”

“No...” he could barely hear her through the tide of zeros and ones.

“Then what’s the matter? C’mon! Get up!” Her orders were an attempt to cover her worry, never before had he been unable to move whether because of an attack or otherwise.

“Ugh…There’s too much data,” he groaned out, incapable of even closing his light-streaked red eyes. His partner acted quickly, pulling out their connector cable and moving to plug in, only to be stopped by his hand. “Hold it, Dita. Not now.”

“What are you talking about?! You can’t even move!” She stopped, as per his request, but tested the temperature of his ‘port with her other hand anyway, “What’re you going to do if your drive crashes?”

“You can always rebuild it. We’re persocoms, after all.” A tired look was sent her way, tinged with a bit of sarcasm.

She flinched back, “Yeah…but…” Reaching out a hand, he took off her glasses as well, wanting to see her eyes. “I don’t want to see you break,” she finished, looking down.

“What’s the matter? Haven’t you seen a broken ‘com before?” he teased, wanting to hear her say it.

Her general annoyance was overtaken by concern, “I don’t care about other persocoms! I just want you to stay safe!”

Eyes softening, he reached out his arms and placed them around her. “There’s a word for that you know. Do you know what humans call it?”

Almost too worried to listen to even him, Dita said, exasperated, “No games! Not now!”

Arms tightened, bringing her in close. Zima put a hand to her face, caressing it, “They call that...Lo--”

He cut off suddenly as another datablast assaulted his mainframe. Falling to the side, he barely had time to catch himself.

“Zima!!”

His eyes screwed shut tightly against the pain, he had no chance of blocking Dita’s newest attempt at linking them together. She logged in and, after taking in as much of the data she could to take the pressure off her partner, her eyes widened. “It’s her!”

The male database could only groan pitifully in reply, a sigh coming out with it.

“She’s nearby! That’s why it’s so strong, right?” she continued, looking first in the direction of Chi and then back to Zima for confirmation. He looked in the opposite direction, one hand extending a finger to his head theatrically, as he accepted her explanation as a more reasonable excuse than the one he had thought of, “Ugh...yeah…I suppose so.”

She was immediately up on her feet, pulling Zima by the arm as she did so, “Get up! We have to move!” Seeing that he was only going to slow her down, she dropped his arm and unplugged their link, “I’m tired of waiting! I’m going to shut her down!” She was off in seconds, leaving him to pick up his data-visor, alone.

“I guess that part of my little secret’s been discovered. A pity,” he murmured as he slipped the eye covering back onto his face. “I just wanted my sister to be… Happy.” Then, ignoring the still pouring rain, he leapt after his defender.

About five minutes later, they reached the, now slightly shabby, apartment that housed the persocom in question.

“She’s here,” Dita hissed. Brushing off her anger casually, Zima stood on the nearest electrical pole connected to the wire she was balanced on, “Hm? Yes, I suppose she is…” he said in a musing tone. “Did it stop raining?”

The small woman before him turned angrily, “Zima! Why aren’t you taking this seriously?!”

He didn’t even raise a brow, “Easy now. I’m just as interested in the situation as you.”

Her glare could be felt even through her glasses, “Well, you certainly don’t show it. Don’t you remember what happened last time? And that was just a trial run by her creator!” Dita shouted. “Now that her program is complete, if she activates, it will be much worse!!”

“Perhaps, perhaps…” he said, just as calm as before.

“We were able to stop her before...but this time…”

Zima attempted to inform her of the gravity of the situation, taking off his visor as he did so, “Identify a threat to data security, track down the source, and eliminate it. That’s why you and I were created. I do the tracking with my government data; you do the elimination with your defense systems. We stopped this program once before. Can we do it again? Maybe, maybe not. But is it the right thing to do?

“You and I are built from top-of-the-line hardware, programmed with the most advanced code.” He pulled off her glasses as well, to look her in the eye. “We’re just like the big box machines of the past. Except...we’re made to look and act human. Why is that, do you think?” As she opened her mouth to answer, probably with the textbook reason, he cut her off gently, “Yes, yes, I know. We must be mobile in order to carry out our duties. Still, that doesn’t explain why man built us in his image.” He gave her a hug, his tall frame towering over hers on the electrical post.

“No doubt about it, we are the perfect match of form and function. But we’re a lot more ‘human’ than just our appearance. We’re the one of the few most advanced persocoms ever built… Except, perhaps, for that girl.”

“Yes,” Dita acknowledged. “But I fail to see where this is going.”

“Dita, you and I are practically human, but she is even closer. What if her creator found the something special to make her more than just a persocom?”

She looked extremely skeptical, “More than a persocom?

He leaned down to her level, stroking her face with one hand, “I don’t think it’s a question of if. I think he did it!”

“Come on, Zima.” She attempted to push his hand away, “Get to the point!”

“So…” he went on, dragging his fingertips along her jaw line as he pulled away slightly. “I want that girl to find happiness.”

A gasp escaped from her as she stared with shock into his completely serious face. “What?” Turning quickly, she looked towards the house, “Her?!” Angrily and a little confused she started running for the apartment building, shouting back over her shoulder, “You must have been damaged when you were hacked—you’re crazy! I don’t want that! If her program kicks in, who knows what it will do to us—to all persocoms! I’m going to stop her!!”

Zima could only stare after her for a moment. And then, unable to stop it, he put his hand to his face and shook his head, resigned. “Ah…Dita, Dita…Always so impatient.” Stopping, he looked after her as his hand slipped away, “Mmm… That just makes her even cuter.

“Dita, Love. If that girl finds what she wants, something wonderful might happen to us as well.” Suddenly, he was hit by another wave of data, causing him to slip from the top of the electrical pole only to catch himself on one hand. He looked back up in the apartment’s direction, eyes slightly narrowed in pain and lights showing clearly in them, “It seems our girl has made her decision, she’s found her ‘someone just for me.’ Now it’s just up to him to make his choice.” And once again, he was off to play catch-up.

He arrived late due to that small pause, missing what he would later learn was a fantastic fight between the aggressive, magic and electricity wielding Dita and the quick, flying Chi, just in time to identify a Ms. Chitose Hibiya for his companion, who was suitably shocked to find their creator’s wife in the thick of things.

“Then she’s...!” Dita got out as Ms. Hibiya said something quietly to Hideki before calling out to the two up above, “…please…don’t tell Mr. Motosuwa shat she could do.” She then went on to carry a conversation with the boy, defending her request, but both the Databank and his protector had their attention to the skies, where Chi was floating back down to the one she had chosen.

“Chi has found him,” she said in an ethereal tone. “The ‘someone just for me.’ You are my special someone…Hideki.” The ivory haired persocom brought her hands to the side of his face, “Has Hideki found his special someone?”

Both Dita and Zima stood on the old apartment building’s roof, watching Chi profess her undying love for her special someone, who seemed shocked at the blunt admonition, but Zima couldn’t let all of his attention be consumed by this. During this time, while the device was active, many of the maintenance facilities, along with the electricity, had shut off, and data reports from all of these companies were streaming in, reporting the disaster. It was just as Hideki went to answer this critical question that the effects hit them, a noise like an explosion rocking all of them.

“What’s that noise?” Dita asked, worried that the device might be causing large scale destruction already.

“Oh…that.” Zima answered unhelpfully.

“You know what’s happening don’t you?” she sounded more scared than angry at this time.

He looked off, distractedly into space, “Yes. I am the National Databank’s main server, after all. But,” he looked down at the dark haired woman below, “it’s being stopped for now…by her.

Now she was annoyed, “You’re going to leave this up to her instead of me?”

“Now, now,” he chided gently, hugging her from behind. “No need to lose your temper.”

She attempted to fight against his arms, “I’m a persocom! I don’t have a temper!”

“Trust me, Dita, Love—you have one hell of a temper. Even if your programming doesn’t recognize it as such.” He leaned over her shoulder slightly to look her in the eye, “By the way, I wasn’t giving her priority over you.”

Anger melted away leaving only confusion, “Then…why?”

Shhh…just wait…” they turned back to the scene in front of them, “…for his answer.”

“Who is Hideki’s special someone?” Chi asked again.

His answer came out haltingly, showing his great thought on the subject, “My…special person is…” He was interrupted once more; this time by a more pressing matter as every water main in a ten kilometer radius blew, sending water everywhere.

Dita let go of her companion, looking to the center of town as more crashes sounded. “What was that?!”

“Oh, my…” Zima frowned at this, irritated for his sisters as the young man was forced to stop once more. “Things are getting messy, aren’t they.”

Seeing the lights and sounds of destruction, the small spitfire whipped around once again, “She’s behind all this isn’t she?!”

Still completely calm, Zima answered, “Mmm…Yes. You could say that.” It wasn’t really her fault, just a side effect of gaining the necessary amount of energy to run the device. His protector made a beeline for the couple, but was stopped by two arms halting her from behind. “Not so fast, Love.”

“Let me go!” She cried, fighting to stop what she viewed as a threat. He quickly brought up her data-glasses, which he had stolen and reprogrammed for this purpose. “Ah, Wha—What are you doing?!” Her attempts to fight it were put to rest as the sunglasses forced her into hibernation and she went limp in his arms.

“Sorry.” He sounded truly apologetic. “I hate to do this,” he said while switching the glasses off, not wanting her to be sent straight back after waking at a preset time, “but we can’t interfere this time.” Sitting back, he held her close in his lap. “That girl’s decision will affect us all and there’s no going back.”

He flinched as his own data-glasses flashed with light. Taking them off, he revealed his own active red eyes, “It’s affecting even me now. Only natural—you and I are the creator’s children, after all.” He pressed his fingers to his head. “It seems no persocom is immune to that girl’s gift, not even the ‘King.’” With that, he slammed his hand down on the edge of the building to keep them from falling and gave in to the voice telling him to go into heavy stand-by mode, effectively rendering him a statue.

Later, as he awoke, he received an email from his sister, which he read while smiling down at the new couple.

Zima-aniki,

He did it. He picked her! Even after he knew that he could never be with her, he still loved her and wanted to be near her! He didn’t even ask what we could do once he found out that it wouldn’t harm Chi. I am so glad, many stories have been ending happy lately and I hope that yours and Dita’s will do so as well soon, too. Even if you can’t visit now, do feel free to drop by during normal hours or with a call ahead. I would say anytime, as I wish I could, but this is not my home, nor do they know of our relationship. I shall try to inform them soon, if you will let me, nii-san.

I wish you the best now, for this may be the last email I will be able to send for a time. Chi does not need me to be constantly hanging over her and I have decided to not come unless she calls for me for the next few months so she forms her own personality, though I will still watch over her like the overprotective sister we both know I am.

Until then, your loving sister,
Freya


Smiling, he leaned down and pulled of Dita’s data-glasses, waking her from her hibernation. She came back to awareness quickly and shot up into a seated position almost imidately. “Where’s the girl?! What happened to the program?!”

“It stopped,” Zima said, his answer blunt and simple, an attempt to shake her out of her anger.

“What?! But how?!”

He smiled at her immensely cute look of confusion and couldn’t help but reach out and tug her closer, “Because this fairy tale had a happy ending.”

Then, leaning in, he stole Dita’s first kiss.

---

October 20, 2028

“What’s with them? Looking all peaceful and happy…”

Zima didn’t even look over at the girl, who was leaning against a railing and looking in on Chi’s new home, from his customary lounging position on the roof. “Can’t blame ‘em. Being at peace is the best feeling in the world.”

“That girl’s program almost started up,” Dita complained, letting herself drop down on top of the male’s stomach, causing him to involuntarily emit a large ‘Oof!’ as the air was pushed out of him. She didn’t look anywhere near repentant and he supposed he deserved it. Her reaction to finding out that he had been in contact with one of his ‘sisters’ the entire time had gone better than expected, but she still wasn’t too happy about it. “If she hadn’t stopped it, all persocoms in the world would have lost their individual recognition programs. That was her power, right?”

“Yup. Just imagine—you wouldn’t recognize my pretty face any more.” He pulled down his glasses to look at her over them, “And the same for me. I wouldn’t differentiate between you, other ‘coms, or even people. I couldn’t allow that to happen. That’s why I put my faith in the girl.”

“If you really wanted to be sure, you should have let me stop her!” She still wasn’t completely satisfied with the way the fight had turned out. Zima just smiled and kissed her forehead.

“The one who made us wanted persocoms to be happy. His dream was to create a machine that people can love,” he said, seriously, “…and…that is capable of loving a person, even though it is not human itself. There might be a new future for us machines of his dreams. We might be able to find the same happiness as that girl…even if it’s not happiness by human standards.

“The special program he built into that girl was his failsafe.” Smiling again, Zima tilted his love’s face up towards him. “Our creator placed all of his hopes and dreams in her, hoping that she would find a “someone just for her” who could return her affections. And if she failed, like the first daughter did not just her, but all persocoms would be affected. To be in love and be loved back—that’s bliss. Unrequited love…constant agony.

“He had enough hope in us that he gave us the ability to create distinctions between things that are special to us and things that aren’t. I guess he wasn’t as optimistic about humanity. That’s what the program was for. A failsafe to save us all the pain.” He pulled the girl back into his lap and looked her in the eyes, a soft smile on his face. “So…Dita…you love me, don’t you?”

Blushing furiously, Dita pulled back slightly, her eyes widening as she tried to avoid the abrupt question, “We’re persocoms! Be serious!”

His eyes crinkled into a smile as he accepted this fact. “Yes. We’re persocoms. Our feelings are purer than humans.” Zima reached out and gently pulled his protector’s face close to his once more as she flushed. “We’re straight-forward—no morals to confuse the matter. In my mind, my adorable Dita comes first. Even if this isn’t the same love that a human feels, so what!”

“Y-you’re delusional.” She finally said, one hand clutching his shirt as he nuzzled the side of her face playfully.

“I can live with that.” He pulled back slightly to explain just a little bit more, “Look—centuries of research and contemplation and human beings still don’t understand how their own minds function. So, what’s wrong with two persocoms loving each other, even if the programming’s a mystery?

“So I ask again…” Zima looked into her similarly red eyes, gentle smile still in place, “Dita, do you love me?”

“Um…” was all she could get out as he caressed her still red face.

Pulling her close once more, her arms going automatically around his neck even as his other hand made its way to her messy black hair, he went on, “Our creator designed us with relationships between persocoms and humans in mind, but I bet he never thought about a relationship between two persocoms…

“Ah, well. Children are meant to surpass their parents.”

---

August 22, 2029

A knock came at the door of Ms. Hibiya’s apartment. Looking up at the noise, she put down the book she was reading and went to open the entrance and smiled as she found Chi on the other side. “Chi, so nice to see you!”

“Good morning,” the girl said happily, bowing to her landlady and surrogate mother. Standing up again, she looked as if she couldn’t decide what to say, “Um, Chitose-kaa-san… would you… ano…”

The dark haired woman gave her a warm, encouraging smile, “Yes?”

Chi frowned in thought for a moment before finding at leas one way to phrase the question, “Would you let me know when Harry-kun arrives today?”

Eyes widening slightly in shock, the woman blinked at the question before understanding dawned. Another motherly, indulgent smile made its way to her face, “Of course, Chi. You’ll be the first to know.”

Brightening, Chi perked up and gave Chitose a brilliant smile. “Thank you very much!” she said before rushing back up to her room. After watching her journey up the stairs, the woman closed her door and went back into her room. She bypassed her book and headed straight for the hidden basement facility under the floor, watching for the young boy, or possibly man, while using a few of the other screens to catch up on the more current events around the world.

It wasn’t until after noon, during Hideki’s small break in between shifts that she caught sight of them leaping over roofs just like she had almost a year ago. She was, therefore, surprised when she opened the door and walked out to the small courtyard to find two small children instead of the teenagers she had seen not moments before. The young boy and girl were making their way towards the house, though the girl was a bit unsteady and seemed to be leaning on the more confident boy. They couldn’t have been more than nine, and looked similar enough to be siblings if the boy weren’t so obviously from another country. Each had inky black hair, the only difference was that the girls was longer and straighter, and fantastically colored eyes, green for the boy, red for the girl.

She seemed to gain more stability the longer she walked, as if getting used to it, and eventually released the boy, who looked up and caught sight of Chitose. He smiled widely and waved slightly lethargically at the woman. “Good afternoon, Hibiya-san.”

“Hello, Harry-kun,” the woman replied, a tad weakly, but, she was recovering quickly and recognized them for who they were easily and gave them a smile. “And who is your friend?”

A suspicious, yet decidedly curious look was sent her way, “I’m Dita.” Chitose simply nodded, accepting that suspicion was part of the girl’s nature, taking no offence. She gestured to the apartment behind her.

“Chi is this way; she wished to know of your arrival as soon as you arrived. Please, follow me.”

Quietly, the group made it up the stairs, the boy only making small talk as the girl watched their surroundings. “Here we are,” the landlady announced before knocking on the door. “Chi? Your guest is here.” She waited for the door to open, gave a smile at the scene and silently made her way downstairs. If they wanted her, they knew where to call.

Back in front of the door, a happy meeting-slash-reunion was occurring, much to Hideki and his laptop’s confusion.

“Harry-nii-san?” Chi asked, wanting that last confirmation, as Hideki’s jaw dropped behind her.

Head tilted to one side, Harry smiled, “Yes, Chi-nee-chan. It’s nice to finally meet you.” Almost instantly, he was captured in a hug, the ivory haired girl overcome with emotion. Hideki stared in open confusion at the scene before looking at the other child in the doorway. He frowned as he took in the girl’s features.

“Don’t I know--?” A pause as he compared the girls face to his memory of her older one, his eyes widening as he made the connection. Surprised and a little horrified, he pointed down at the girl, “Ahh! Y-you!” He tried to pull Chi, who was now simply crouched next to the younger boy and looking up at the other two curiously, away from the door and protect her from someone he saw as a threat. Dita wore a flat look and made no attempt to move closer, though she eyed his hand as it strayed to close to Zima for her liking.

Allowing himself to be pulled back with Chi, Hideki not even guessing that danger might come from the small boy his fiancé called brother, and, once safely out of the student’s sight, dropped his Harry form, changing back into Zima. Chi simply smiled at him, hugging his now taller frame as Dita allowed herself an annoyed look, which the poor boy between them misinterpreted.

“You’re not going to do anything to Chi!”

“Well, nothing horrible if I can help it.” The deep male voice from behind him made the confused boy make a half turn to face both ‘dangers’ only to find the Asian National Databank petting his girlfriend’s head as she hugged him happily. Zima gave a small smirk at Hikdeki’s betrayed expression, before explaining, “It’s nice to see you again, Hideki Motosuwa. Allow me to formally introduce myself and my companion, I am Zima, the Asian National Databank’s main server, I was once Harry Potter, the boy you saw before, and am and always will be Chi’s elder brother.” The girl in question had relinquished her hold on Zima by now, but smiled up at him when he ruffled her hair after announcing that she was his sister.

The spiky-haired male gestured to his, now average sized, companion, “And this is Dita, my protector.”

Chi looked over at the other girl excitedly, inadvertently cutting off anything Zima might have said after that, “A sister?”

Eyes widening in surprise, they soon narrowed in embarrassment-turned-anger as Dita replied quickly, “No, of course not!”

Already making his way back to his companion, Zima smiled at the question and, slinging his arm around the still embarrassed girl, he turned back to Chi, who seemed rather crestfallen at the other’s reaction. “Maybe a sister-in-law, though, one day.” Smile slipping into a smirk, he tugged her in front of him, her back pressing against his chest slightly, as she blushed.

Tilting her head to one side, the amber-eyed girl asked, “Sister-in-law?” Hideki tried to explain it to her but was beaten to it by the other man.

“When Hideki and Chi get married, Hideki will be my brother-in-law.” The girl thought on this for a moment before making the connection, looking up, and smiling.

“Chi—I understand,” she said, trying to use the proper grammar she had learned over the past year, but forgotten in the excitement.

He gave her a warm smile, “Good. Would you mind terribly if I talk to Freya for a bit now, though? I just want to see her for a bit.” Looking to Hideki for permission, the still overwhelmed boy could only nod, giving her the permission that she still asked for, even after all this time of him telling her that she was free to make her own decisions. She closed her eyes for a moment and when they opened they were a slightly lighter color. A lovely smile came to her face.

“It has been a while, Zima-aniki.” A mischievous glint shone in her eyes then, “But, you know what this means, brother. You promised!” She backed up slightly as Zima reluctantly moved Dita out of the way with a sigh, barely having enough time to spread his arms out as Freya came running at him, arms stretched out. With a happy shout of, “Zima-aniki!” she finally did what she had wanted to do since she had learned of his real appearance, tackling him with a hug so hard that he actually backed up a few steps.

“I still say this is revenge for the first time I met you,” he said in an unimpressed tone, though his smile lingered. Unobserved, Dita rolled her red eyes, having seen the footage of the first meeting, and many others with Zima’s permission, and heard of Freya’s wish that had never been completed before her ‘death.’ She was, however, a little surprised when the laptop made a leap for her.

“Master’s sister-in-law! I am Plum!” The tiny, purple-haired girl struck a pose, her desert-genie garb tinkling as she did so. “Nice to met cha’!” There was a small pause as she realized just how easily she had worked her way into this unconventional family, the other two already talking and laughing about old times while telling the third member a slew of stories, before she smiled. Though she would never admit it, it was kind of nice to be back, especially when they all seemed to have already accepted her as family.

It took almost an hour to calm down, especially after calling down to Chitose to join the party, but, eventually, they were all gathered around Hideki’s small tea table, Zima and Dita sharing one of the four sides in their smaller forms to leave room for the others. Their host, now much more comfortable with his company, was the first to ask the question on most of their minds.

“So, why’d you wait a whole year before dropping by? I wasn’t because of me was it?” he asked this last part with a slight frown, concerned over the fact that he might have inadvertently kept Chi from her family. Dita responded with a negative shake of her head.

“We were occupied with our duties and with school.”

“School?” Chi asked, cutely turning her head to one side in confusion. “But, I was told that persocoms didn’t go to school.” After looking to Hideki and Ms. Hibiya for confirmation, she looked back to the other ‘coms for answers.

Nodding, Zima explained, “Usually it wouldn’t be necessary to go to school, as all information that we might learn would simply be uploaded into our processors, but this type of information and the techniques that we are learning have never been keyed into any sort of computer, let alone into a program.” The others looked surprised to hear this information, what kind of school would this be? “It is, therefore, easier for us to scan each book into our processors memories manually, personally reading about half of the books each and receiving the other half through a transfer between our systems.”

“But, what school isn’t hooked up with ‘coms these days? Even if they couldn’t afford persocoms they could just use the old desktops, they still produce them for that reason.” Having grown up in the information age, Hideki was confused as to how any school could get by without any sort of computer.

“It is a very,” Dita paused as she searched for a compatible word, “selective school. It teaches things very differently from what most would be used to, including you, Hideki-san.”

The human man went to question further when Zima stopped him with a hand and a grin, “Sorry, we can’t say anymore unless you swear to never tell anyone else first.”

“An oath to learn about a school?!” Hideki couldn’t believe what he was hearing, “Isn’t that a bit harsh?”

“It’s against the law, otherwise.” The female persocom informed them neutrally, before a faint smile graced her face. “You four,” she looked down at Plum for a second and revised her statement, “five are only being told this because Zima and I consider you the closest thing to… family.” She didn’t look any of them in the eye, nervous at the thought of possibly being rejected, but Chitose reached over and clasped her hand warmly as Zima finished up.

“That’s the only loop-hole the law has, close family can be informed, but they must swear to never reveal the information.”

He looked at the rest of them expectantly and it was no great surprise to him as Chi spoke up, “I swear, nii-san,” twice, letting Freya voice her own promise. “I also swear to never tell, Zima-aniki.”

The dark haired ex-scientist was the next to respond, “I’m glad that you trust me enough to see me as family even after all that I’ve done to inconvenience you, thank you.” Zima waved it off as Dita mumbled teasingly about over protective parents, “I will also never tell anyone.”

Plum looked to her ‘scary master’ that she had gained almost a year before, waiting for permission. He seemed to finish thinking it over and nodded, “I swear as well, though I still don’t see why this is necess--” The energetic laptop cut him off, ready to show her loyalty to these two new persocoms that had been accepted into their hodge-podge family, “Plum swears to never tell! Even if they try to break her apart like this!” She made some violent hand motions before settling down for the story.

After an amused glance in the small ‘com’s direction, Zima began with the real explanation, answering Hideki’s last question, “The oath seems reasonable to all who take it as knowing that magic exists is quite a lot for many to take in.” He smirked at the shocked silence that followed and counted down to the explosion, ‘two… one…’

“WHAT?!”

The four all asked the same question and, though Hideki’s overpowered much of the other three’s, they all merged into one large exclamation. They all then began talking and asking questions all at once, with Freya, who was fighting Chi for possession of their mouth, making their sentences unintelligible and even Ms. Hibiya quietly insisting on answers. The server held up a hand and waited for silence. After a few moments of waiting, he simply shrugged, waved his hand and all sound stopped.

Mouths moved for a few seconds after their voices were stopped before their owners realized that they had somehow been muted and halted that movement surprised. At their accusing and incredulous looks, Zima simply smiled, his love rolling her eyes at his childishness, and moved to an open space near Chi. Taking out a small, black, rectangle shaped object, and he sat it up on its side before mumbling a couple more words, causing the screen to return to its original size. He waved a hand to Chi, beckoning her over, taking off the silencing spell off of all of them as he did, and asked her to plug into one of the ports on the side of the viewer.

“This is for Freya, so she can be a part of this conversation as well,” he explained to her, needing Freya to understand and send images to the screen for this to work. She did and soon she appeared in a dark, flowing gown on the T.V. like object. He nodded, “That’s better.” Sitting back down, he looked at his seroguite family.

“Now, one at a time, questions?”

---

December 19, 2029

Blinking imperceptibly in surprise, Freya looked at her newest email from her brother. It had only been two day since they had left for their school once more and she couldn’t think of anything he or his companion may have forgotten to say. Curious, she opened it. Everything was relatively normal until about the third paragraph.

…But, the reason that I really wrote this to you now is to discuss a topic that my employers have just informed me of today. They have been expirementing with the technology inside of your second body, which Dita and I had taken from your father the night he died. Many things have been moved around, including the reset button and the second device was removed completely, but the outside is still relatively the same. They wish to upgrade and then use the shell for a new ‘com but decided to ask for my opinion as it wouldn’t really cost them anything if I chose otherwise.

My question for you, Freya-nee-chan, is this: do you want your body back? The pain you had once experienced has been dulled by time and new memories and the transfer wouldn’t take all that long…

…Please, feel free to consider it for a time, they are allowing it to soak in magic for the next several months whether you chose to take it or not. Inform me whenever you feel ready to make this decision.

Zima


It took a little while for the girl to remember that she could do more than sit and stare. Closing her open mouth, she frowned to herself. Her brother had given her much to think about over the coming months.

---

June 25, 2030

‘Zima.’

He physically blinked before slipping into the unexpected link, finding a serious looking Luna already standing in the lighted darkness. Raising a brow in question, he waited.

“Voldemort.”

The Asian server’s eyes sharpened at the name. He had heard the prophesy that he was supposed to carry out, at the same time they had found the other one, a small thing that was spoken in the seventeenth century, that had already come to pass due to his use of magic as a persocom.

“He was revived at the end of the tournament I was telling you about. During the ‘third task’ he used the prize as portkey, which transported the ‘winner’ to some, as of yet, unknown location. The only reason we know even this was through the body of one Cedric Diggory, a seventh year Hufflepuff, which, while still alive, was obviously used in some ritual or another.” Luna shook her head, frustrated that she hadn’t been able to warn the right people before the incident occurred, before sighing slightly and looking back up at her longtime friend. “The experts combined their technology and magic to try and find out what happened, but, until the boy wakes up, we only know that the ‘Dark Lord’s energy signature has returned, if only at half power.”

She looked angrier than he had ever seen her, purple eyes glaring off at something only she could see as her hands gripped and released her crossed arms repeatedly. “I thought we’d gotten every Horcux! How could he have made it back?” A hand on her shoulder stopped her brief stint into self-loathing and she looked up into Zima’s determined red eyes.

“Just tell me when I’m needed and we’ll be there.”

Shoulders losing most of their tension, the blond nodded before giving him a small smile. “Dita won’t let you out of her sight once she finds out, will she?”

A groan came from the male persocom as he theatrically put one hand to his head, but he gave her a shrug and a smile in return, “You know I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am rather possessive, it’s only right that she be allowed to behave the same.”

He left Luna as her tinkling laugh resounded against nonexistent walls.

---

November 12, 2030

Today was the day, carefully planned so that she would retain her original birthday, which Freya was to be placed into her new body and begin receiving magical training, as per her wishes. Using Chi’s body for the last time, her twin hugged each of her family members.

“I..I’ll see you on the other side,” she said, trying to be confident in her decision.

Zima gave her a reassuring smile and a gentle push in the right direction, “You’re both going to do fine; they are called experts for a reason.”

“You wouldn’t be insulting the competency of our teams now, are you?” Dita asked the ivory haired girl seriously, but there was a laughing glint in her eyes. The other shook her head seriously.

“Never.”

A small laugh was shared, dispersing the tense atmosphere.

“Go on,” their ‘brother’ encouraged once more. “When you get out, you’ll have a team for yourself as well, seeing as you insisted on being a back up protector for some reason. I think that Dita is doing more than enough.” He smirked at the two girls who looked flatly at him instead of going at each other as he might have hoped. Having known they wouldn’t and only messing with them for his own amusement, he gave another chuckle.

“Oh, Zima-aniki. What are we going to do with you?”

---

April 20, 2031

“We know what he’s after, now.”

Zima looked up from where he was lying on air, lazily gazing at the blond haired woman through a false set of data glasses. “What?”

Rolling her eyes from her own upside-down position above him, the African and European National Database sighed. “What Voldemort wants! We found out what it is. Pay more attention.” He gave her a smirk and she immediately realized she’d done something silly.

“‘What is it?’ is what I meant.”

She gave a slight huff, “The prophesy, apparently he has no idea what over half of it said.” A brow rose at this new information but she ignored it and continued, “We used a screen that bore your magical signature to get the image he was sending. It seems that he’s been trying to lure you to the Hall of Prophesies to pick up the egg for him and sending the image off at any one or anything that has your energy reading.”

“Convenient,” the other remarked.

A nod, “Very, but it suits our purpose.” Luna looked at her fellow server, “It’s getting close to that time; I hope you are prepared for when the time will come for action.”

He pulled down his classes slightly to look over them at her, “Trust me, my dear. We were prepared long ago.”

---

October 25, 2031

Secretary Ekita Neseika looked at the three very serious persocoms before her desk, their teams of scientists and teachers standing behind them, and stared into each of the three’s eyes individually before nodding.

“Understood. I will inform the President of this immediately and start calling together the magical troops and a few of the normals’ Special Forces. You will not be going into this battle alone, Zima-san.”

Nodding, he let a smile come to his face and gestured to his two somber guardians, “Don’t worry, I won’t be alone for quite a while if these two have anything to say about it.”

The Secretary of Magic had to stifle a giggle as the two females both slapped the closest arm in sync with one another before becoming serious once more. “We will send a letter telling of your arrival immediately.”

Zima smiled and stated the obvious blandly, “So, ‘Harry Potter’ is finally going to Hogwarts.”

---

October 31, 2031

Throughout the Halloween feast, both students and teachers watched as Albus Dumbledore became more haggard and old looking as time wore on, as if aging before their very eyes. Few, if any of them heard the soft snicker or the aggravated, yet resigned sigh that accompanied it. After the dessert was finally finished, a hush fell over the Hall as the headmaster stood and raised his hands for silence.

“Another day of joy has come and gone and I think you have all enjoyed it. I had hoped that we would have some guests tonight, but it seems that they were unable to make it--” He was cut off by another snicker, followed by a harshly whispered, “Zima!”, both of which were heard by every person in the muted hall. The teachers, and many of the upper years as well, started to scan the large room, recognizing that the voices may come from a threat.

It was only after they had scanned the tables and found nothing unusual that they heard a gasp from one of the seventh years. Following the girl’s gaze to the arched windows, many of the other students followed her previous example, making various exclamations, as the adults drew their wands.

In one window, a dark figure stood at the ready, dressed in blacks and purples that stood stark against her fair skin, a long pony tail blowing gently in a seemingly non-existent wind. She was a startling figure, standing among the bats and pumpkins against the starry ceiling, but not quite as shocking as what could be seen in the adjacent window. All that could be seen of the other was a darker, possibly male shadow against the inky blackness, something green glinting around his eyes. As he slid into the semi-darkness of the front of the window, they recognized him as a tall man, leaning casually on the side of the stone window, his appearance still mostly hidden by the gloom of the sill, only his black boots and a now silver glint could be picked out.

Dumbledore gave the young woman a guarded look, “And who might you be?” He received a cool glare in return before she calmly jumped off of the two-almost-three story high window. Many of the students didn’t even have time to gasp before she hit the ground, the teachers themselves not being able to even start a spell to cushion her fall, let alone stop it, watched in horror That didn’t matter in the end, though, as she touched down as if she had only stepped off of a chair, her face impassive as ever as she looked at her audience’s terrified gazes.

Their attention was brought back upwards at the now familiar sound of chuckling. The darkened figure spoke; not helping the students’ frazzled nerves in the least, “Why, Headmaster-san, you were just about to introduce us, were you not? Maybe your old age is finally catching up to you?” The man looked on, amused at the shocked look on the bearded man’s face, before the students were forced to watch once again as he leaned forward and started to freefall out of the window, letting his body fall in towards the room for a second before flipping it forward a full three sixty. This time the teachers were a bit more prepared, but the man fell faster then their spells could be cast yet, paradoxically, landed as lightly as his companion in a slightly crouched position.

Ignoring the stares and whispers of the students, Zima meandered over the Slytherin table, literally walking over it without a care in the world, to get to the Ravenclaws, specifically the mild-mannered, smiling blond that was sitting nearby, his silent shadow following him gracefully in one leap. He smiled in return before crouching down beside her, shocking every student that had ever heard of Loony Lovegood.

“Hello, Luna, dear. Longtime no see. You are looking younger than ever,” the last was said with a teasing smile and a raised brow as Zima compared her current, fifteen year-old form with her, more natural, twenty-two year-old one.

The young Ravenclaw giggled coyly, “I don’t think Dita-chan is very amused with your teasing ways, Zima-kun.” Indeed, the dark woman seemed to be muttering under her breath, something about flirts, and pouting ever-so-slightly as she hovered next to the two.

About the time that Zima acknowledged this fact, their attention was drawn back to the front of the Hall by one word that the shocked headmaster uttered.

“Harry?”

Few picked up on the full meaning of this until their male visitor smirked and stood up straight once more, then properly introduced himself and his fellow newcomer.

“Pardon our rudeness. This,” he waved towards his scowling companion, “is Dita and I am Zima, but, at one time, I was called Harry Potter.”

The silence dissolved into chaos at this last disclosure and Zima’s smile grew as he reveled in their reactions. Dita frowned, angered by his loose approach to revealing this information and also by their overly exposed position within the crowd. Glancing around, she sent out a quick electromagnetic pulse, which went unnoticed to all but four of the students and her partner. Each of the afore mentioned students’ appearances wavered like a hot road in the summer before solidifying back into their previous looks and all of them looked straight at the female protector. Her partner raised a brow before looking back down at Luna as the black haired girl singled out the youngest of those that looked up with a glare.

He spoke just loud enough to be heard by Luna and the others with advanced hearing, as the teachers attempted to come to grips with this new information and calm the students at the same time, “Which ones?”

“The girls, silly. I thought I’d told you that.”

A loud bang cut through the hall, interrupting the wild conversations that had permeated its walls up until then. Dita was immediately in front of Zima, ready for anything. The man just sighed good-naturedly and gently pulled her back towards him with one arm that slung around her shoulders from behind. She allowed it, but never relaxed nor took her covered eyes off of those around them.

“Will the students please return to their common rooms,” the students groaned and protested at the headmaster’s words, but Dumbledore simply continued, looking pointedly at Zima as he did. “If you would follow me?” The younger man nodded before letting go of the short female he still held and parting the sea of children, walking easily in the opposite direction. Glaring at those who looked for too long or strayed a little too close, Dita followed the leather wearing man out of the small door near the back of the Hall as they were lead to some, as of yet, unknown location.

During the short walk towards their destination, the headmaster and the few professors that were left ‘snuck’ glances at the two oriental people, paying special attention to their attire and accessories, but keeping their questions for a more secure area.

Soon enough, they reached a large conference room, which Zima identified as the teachers lounge. Dumbledore smiled at them benignly and offered them a few chairs, which both persocoms politely or, in Dita’s case not-so-politely, refused, before he went over to a conveniently placed fireplace and asked some one on the other end to call ‘The Order’ to a meeting. He then turned back to the server.

“I do hope you don’t mind, my boy. I just didn’t think that you would want to repeat yourself later to the others.” The headmaster smiled at Zima and thought that everything was coming along swimmingly. The red eyed, visor-wearing man smiled sardonically, the single brow raising once more, before opening his mouth to reply, but was interrupted by the fire roaring up and a large line of people filing out. Immediately on guard, Dita watched each of the new arrivals closely, more on edge than normal because they were in a strange county and far from all allies that resided there.

Zima sighed at her stance, before leaning over and whispering to his overly suspicious protector. She nodded to his question and he spoke up as the newcomers sat down, greeting each other as they did. “Headmaster Dumbledore, would you mind if some of your students were called up to help explain parts of the situation?”

Nodding happily, still a little high on the fact that their ‘savior’ had returned, the old man asked, “And who will these students be?”

“They know who they are and will be here momentarily, isn’t that right, Dita, Love?” the Asian National Databanks prized server replied, looking down at his partner for an answer. Her red eyes lost their shiny, faraway look behind her data-glasses and she nodded shortly in reply. About this time, seeing that the headmaster was done speaking, a few of ‘The Order’ members asked what they had been gathered together for.

“To be told that the war ends tomorrow.”

Another room surrendered to chaos from one confident phrase from Zima, who looked rather smug and not even Dita’s straying elbow could fix that.

It took less time to calm the adults down, though the murmurs didn’t completely stop, and the ancient, loudly dressed man turned to the one who had thrown their group for a loop and asked, “What do you mean, Harry?”

This started another whole flurry of questions and saw a few of the members standing up to get a better look at the mysterious young man leaning against the wall in the front of the room. Mutters of “Harry?” “Harry Potter?!” and “He’s back?” scattered across the crowd. Dumbledore raised his hand once more for silence, but the people would not back down without an answer this time.

The server sighed, slightly annoyed that this was taking so long but unwilling to show it any further than that. “To those who don’t know, I am Zima, but I was once called Harry Potter,” he repeated, not moving from his spot against the wall. A dark haired, blue-eyed man seemed especially concerned by this comment and remained standing long after the rest with the graying man who had sat next to him, both of whom Zima identified as Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, respectively, from Luna’s descriptions.

“But, Harry, why would you change your name?” his ‘Godfather’ asked, sounding a little hurt.

“It was never changed,” came the calm response and he cut off all indignant responses by continuing, “I went by Harry for a portion of my life, I even use it in select situations now, but I never thought of it as my true name and it never changed what I was first called, and that was Zima.”

This didn’t help the confused people that gathered around him, though a small look of uncertainty made itself known on Dumbledore’s face. Conversely to the elderly headmaster’s face, Zima’s showed a large amount of amusement, the AND’s main server not bothering to explain his words, he knew what he meant, so did Dita and that’s all that mattered, and he didn’t even attempt to hide the fact that he thought of this as a game. Unfortunately, his fun was cut short as those who Dita had called finally made their presence known.

“He was called Zima before he was taken and, ever since I found him almost seven years ago, he has gone by the name once more,” Luna clarified, slightly. She drifted towards the front of the room, the Patil twins following her as she did so, her detached smile directed at the assembled group. Calming down as she received reinforcements, Dita nodded to the twins before giving the crowd one more measuring look.

Minerva McGonagall frowned, disapproving of the students’ presence, “This is a private and very important meeting, Ms. Lovegood--” Slightly surprised and entirely too humored that his friend hadn’t been kidding, Zima cut in smoothly, “Lovegood?” The girl in question smiled sadly as the Transfiguration Professor worked herself into a rage, “It was one of Father’s ideas ten years ago, before he…” she trailed off as the other Artificial Intelligences all gave a small pause at the mention of the Creator.

A harsh sniff brought their attention back to the miffed Professor. “Ms. Lovegood, what exactly are you three doing here?”

“We came for extra support and in case an explanation and-slash-or proof was needed before hand.” Luna gave her most winning smile to a point just above many of their heads.

The headmaster smiled back at her before asking, rather jovially, “Before what, exactly?”

Smile never faltering, Luna responded immediately, “Before you finish the war of course! Six hours until the final battle, though. You might want to hurry.”

“SIX HOURS?!” was the first thing out of many mouths before Alastor Moody roared for silence. “And just how would you five know this?” he asked, more suspicious than Dita at her worst, or best, as it were.

Opening her mouth slightly, Luna paused as if remembering something, before closing it back up again and moving to the left about two paces. Before anyone could question why she had done so, the answer appeared, literally, out of thin air. A short well-muscled Japanese man and a thin, lanky English woman portkeyed right to the location that Luna had just been standing in not moments before.

The paranoid ex-professor went to shoot off a spell before he was stopped by Dumbledore’s raised hand as the headmaster cautiously asked the newest arrivals, “And who might you be, Sir, Madame?”

“General Eliza Goldberg, Mr. Dumbledore. I’m here on behalf of the Queen’s Muggle-Magic Alliance Forces to protect national security and our Database. And this is,” the woman’s crisp, official voice stopped as she allowed the other to introduce himself.

“General Sato Darika. I represent the Japanese military and am here to support the Asian Databank and help our allies in the Muggle-Magic Alliance.” He gave a short bow to Dumbledore before turning to Zima, Dita, Luna, and the two Patils and giving a deeper bow. They each responded to this with a polite half bow and listened as he addressed one of them directly, “Freya is helping to lead the troops to your signal and will be here within the next two hours, Zima-san.”

While nodding his understanding, a caustic voice spoke up from the crowd of wizards, interrupting any questions the headmaster might have had, “What’s this? Even in other countries the arrogant Potters demand more respect then reasonable?”

Picking the speaker out of the mass of humans easily, Zima gave a smirk as Dita glared beside him and reached up for his data-visor. “Potters cannot demand anything, Mr. Snape, as they do not exist any longer.” He said this, taking the mans name from what his friend had described over the years, and removed his visor to look at the Potions Professor with his red eyes, shocking the wizards as he did. “But, as the Asian National Databank’s main and, currently, only server, I demand a little respect in my own right, for all I am a persocom.”

“Persocom?!” the out burst was heard from many mouths around the table before silence was enforced by a wave of Dumbledore’s wand. He looked at Zima’s natural appearance before looking from the two Generals to the three students still gathered here. He addressed General Goldberg, “You said you were here to protect ‘our Database’? That would be…?”

“Me,” Luna said simply, removing her glamour easily and ripping it off of the towering Solaris and small Ami as well, once again shocking the wizards as they found out these strange new people that had been lurking right under their noses.

“Will you be helping us on the field then? That’s why you’re here?” Moody asked, having long since learned to carry a silencing ward on him at all times.

“Of course not,” General Darika spoke up, almost instantly. “They, and the information they hold are far too valuable at this point. No, if anything they will be kept away and protected during the battle, as we could not convince them to say away.”

Dumbledore was dumbfounded, “But, the prophesy and—and the Horcuxes! How will this battle solve anything without finishing those first?”

A smirk came from Zima, “I hear you found me by looking for a Child of Prophesy who has a power the Dark Lord didn’t know of. As a member of your slightly backwards society, it is easy to see how Voldemort,” he ignored any flinches, “wouldn’t understand how I work and the power that I weald as a magic bearing machine. As for the prophesy, I’ve already fulfilled one, so who is to say that this prophesy applies to me as well.” The persocom did, in fact, know that this prophesy was related to him, for if it didn’t there would be no reason for him to stay, but why tell the man that when this way was so much more amusing?

Standing in front of the entire Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore could only gape as all of his plans fell down around his ears. Seeing this, General Goldberg patted him on the shoulder and led him to a chair. “Don’t worry about this, Mr. Dumbledore. With the help of both the Muggle-Magic Alliance and the Japanese Military, we will win this fight with or without the prophesy.”

“Besides,” Luna said voice startlingly crisp to those who only knew her as ‘Looney Lovegood’. “The Horcuxes have already been defeated down to the last; all that is left is the killing of a mad man.” She turned to the two generals, “I leave this war in your capable hands.” A handshake and a bow from each of the persocoms, before the group of five left to meet the troops.


November 1, 2031

The battle was over, the grounds of Hogwarts scarred by spells and semi-automatic gunfire.

No bodies were lying on the ground, though, here and there, a stray piece of severed flesh could be found; all that was left of the troll battalion Voldemort had brought.

Hogwarts had prevailed, the invaders having been repelled easily by the reinforcements that had arrived the night before.

Voldemort had died for the last time, though no one was really sure what did him in, as several spells hit him at once during a rather large opening. When asked, no one could tell you where exactly the force had come from, the one that had pinned the evil man to the lawn, but it would later be described that it was as if the gravity had been tripled solely around him.

Only his friends and family would note the mischievous smile that would linger on Zima’s face whenever he heard this, though none would comment on it.

As Zima looked out upon the sunset, sitting on a slanted, tiled roof of one of Hogwarts towers with Dita comfortably in his lap, he could only grin as he pulled her towards him once more in celebration, his silver wings glinting in the golden light on his back.

Yes, sometimes children really could surpass their parents’ greatest expectations.

---

Small note: October 31, 2031 at 8:31pm, when I had Zima arrive, the date would be 8-31 at 20:31, 2031. XD I pushed the Chobits timeline ahead one year just to make that happen.

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