Lovino watched as Ludwig and Feliciano stayed clear of each other. They never made eye contact, talked, or even acknowledged each other’s existence. “…So, Ludwig…” the elder Italian started. “what’s going on between you and Feli?”
“Who?” the German asked coldly.
The Italian was stumped. “Feliciano, my little fratello, your BEST FRIEND! (For reasons I’ve yet to figure out.)”
“Never heard of him.” Ludwig answered.
Lovino gave up on Ludwig and went to his brother. “Hey, Feli,” he called. “what’s going on between you and Ludwig?”
“Who’s he?” the younger brother asked blankly.
At this point, Lovino was way past surprised, bypassed stumped, and downright worried. If Italy was ignoring Germany, something was wrong. “The potato loving bastard, the German you won’t shut up about, your BEST FRIEND!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about fratello.” Feli answered. “I think you need to see a doctor or something, you must be seeing things like Arthur.”
“I’M NOT THAT CRAZY!”
Seeing no other option, Lovino wrote a letter to Arthur. “Arthur,” he wrote. “I have no idea what to do. Harry’s doing just fine (if you don’t count the potions exam), but it’s Feliciano and Ludwig I’m worrying about. They haven’t talked, looked at each other, or even notice each other for the past month! It’s like you talking to Alfred about flying candy rabbit or whatever when I talk to those two. I know they were annoying when they were friends, but it’s really freaking me out! DO SOMETHING!! Or at least tell me what to do so this can be fixed! Lovino.”
When England got the letter, he was furious. “Damn it! My age spell must’ve worked too well, they’re acting like immature children!” he yelled as he dug through his desk. “Where are my bloody howlers?!”
Ludwig walked to the Great Hall for lunch, the only meal where students can eat at whichever table they want, and looked around for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. “Ludwig!” Ron called. “Over here!”
He walked over happily until a red hair curl came in his view. “Hey, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lovino, what’s up?”
Lovino gave Harry a stern look. “I see what you mean.” he whispered as he turned to the German. “So, it’s true, you’re not friends with Feliciano anymore.”
The blond crossed his arms, sending a glare at the red headed Italian before answering, “I don’t have any friends by that name.”
Lovino couldn’t take it anymore. “What about the name Veniciano?” he yelled as he shot up from his seat. “You have a friend by that name? Or Ita-” He growled as he marched around the table, pushing Ludwig’s shoulder with so much force, it put a crick in his neck. “Or, how about Italy?” he continued in a whisper, but more intense. “You and Italy have been friends for nearly half a century, since WW2 even, one little fight over a job shouldn’t tear that apart!” Ludwig jerked his shoulder free from Lovi’s grip, sent another glare to Feli, and stormed away.
He walked over to the Hufflepuff table to see if Jane would be there. When he saw that she actually was, he hurried to her side. “Hey, Jane,” he sighed. “mind if I sit with you?”
She immediately looked concerned. “Luddy, what’s wrong?” she asked.
He looked over at her and smiled. “It’s nothing,” he sighed. “just some problems with my neighbors.” Though she looked confused, she didn’t want to push him. She just hugged him and they snuggled for a while in silence, not touching their food.
“What was that all about?” Ron asked Lovino as Harry and Hermione looked at one another seriously. “Why’d you explode like that? And what did you whisper to him after you went all the way around the table?”
“Feliciano is my little fratello.” he answered. “I don’t like people intending to hurt my family just because we don’t look like we can fight for ourselves.”
“But, what did you whisper to him?” Harry asked, truly curious.
“I told him things that should remind him how much friendship used to mean to him,” he snapped. “and that’s all you’re getting out of me!”
As Lovino stormed off once again, Feliciano was the center of attention in the group. “Do you know what that was about?” Hermione asked sweetly. “I mean, he is your brother, did he say something to you?”
“Well…I…uh…” he was at a loss for words as an owl came in holding two letters in its beak. One dropped at the Hufflepuff table in front of Ludwig, the other in front of Feli. “What’s this?” he asked, eyeing the envelope.
“Let me see that,” Ron stated as he reached over. The Italian gave him the letter as the ginger turned pale. “I know what this is,” he stated. “…it’s a howler.”
“A howler?” he asked.
“Go on Feli,” Hermione urged. “it won’t end well if you ignore it.”
“I didn’t know the mail came until tomorrow.” Ludwig thought aloud as he eyed the closed letter.
Jane got scared and scooted away. “Ludwig, that’s a howler.” she stated. “Do you want to open it alone?”
The German shook his head as he carelessly opened the envelope. “YOU BLOODY IDIOTS!!!” the letter screamed with an echo from the Gryffindor table where he left Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the Italy brothers. “I WARNED YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU TWO F*CKED THIS UP! I TOLD YOU I’D SEND A HOWLER! HERE IT IS YOU BLOODY GITS!”
At this point, the echo stopped, and the two letters were saying two completely different things. “GERMANY, DON’T THINK I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF, SCOLDING ITALY FOR DOING YOUR JOB! STRIKING HIM ACROSS THE FACE EVEN! I’ve worked with idiots, and I’ve worked with power hungry men, but this is the BLOODY FIRST TIME I’VE HAD TO WORK WITH A POWER HUNGRY IDIOT!” Ludwig’s howler screamed.
“ITALY, YOU REALLY ARE AS STUPID AS YOU LOOK! YOU JUMPED BACK IN THE WATER AFTER YOUR TIME WAS UP AND YOUR GILLY WEED WAS BEGINNING TO FAIL, ARE YOU F*CKING RETARDED?! YOU SHOULD’VE LISTENED TO GERMANY WHEN HE SAID DON’T GO BACK! Thank you for saving Harry from the creatures in that lake, but WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!” Feliciano’s howler scolded.
“Now that you know how it feels to receive a howler, you BLOODY HELL SHOULDN’T DO THAT AGAIN! You two are COUNTRIES! Not CHILDREN! If you two act this childish again, I’ll BRING ALL THREE OF YOU BLOODY GITS BACK HOME, AND LEAVE YOU TO THE MERCY OF RUSSIA!” the howlers warned before they tore themselves up.
Jane looked at Ludwig fearfully. When he tried to touch her, she backed away. “You’re…not a wizard?” she asked.
He hung his head shamefully as he muttered, “no.”
“What are you?” she asked. “How old are you?”
He avoided her gaze as he answered, “I’m the country of Germany, and I am several thousand years old, as old as the land itself.”
She shook her head, not wanting to believe him. “You lied to me?”
“I thought you at least liked me!” she cried as she ran away.
Germany clutched his head. “I really am a dumcoff when it comes to relationships.”
Harry, Ron, and Hermione stared at the ripped up parchment, then at the Italian. “Either whoever wrote that howler is out of his bloody mind, or,” Ron leaned in, eyeing Feli. “our friend here has something he’d like to share.”
“Ve~” Feli answered. “A little of both.”
“Didn’t you hear how that howler was worded?” Harry asked.
“It sounded like the writer referred to countries as actual people.” Hermione observed.
“Well, go on,” Ron crossed his arms at Feli. “you said it was a little of both, so go on, spit it out.”
Feliciano took a deep breath. The sooner I start this, he thought. the sooner it’s finished. “I’mnotreallyknownasFelicianobackathome! Well, Iam, butit’sonlyonveryrareoccations. I’musuallyknownasItalyVeniciano, theNorthernhalfofItaly.” he blurred out.
“What?” the three Gryffindors asked.
“My common name is Italy Veniciano back at home.” he stated, slightly slower.
All three of them looked serious and thoughtful. “When I was talking with Lovino, he said that he has family members named after countries.” Ron stated.
“During the first task, Ludwig cried Italy instead of Feliciano.” Hermione added.
“Just Ludwig’s last name should be a giveaway…right?” Harry supplied.
“Of course!” Hermione cheered. “If you translate his last name from Japanese to English, it’s just Germany.”
“But what about Feliciano and Lovino?” Harry asked.
“Well, Lovino, trying to cover up his tracks, already said that his “nickname” was Romano.” Ron supplied. “I wonder which country wrote that howler…”
“England.” Italy sighed. “England sent Germany here to protect Harry this year.” he explained the whole story. How Germany got the job, what his terms were, how they were able to afford their supplies, everything the Gryffindors didn’t already know about Italy’s journey, they did now.
Hermione was the only one who still had her thinking face on. “…If you’re right, and you really are the country of Italy,”
“I’m known as Italy, but I’m not the whole country,” he corrected. “my territory is just Northern Italy.”
“Northern Italy,” she repeated. “then, you and your brother have been allied with Germany for decades. Would your argument lead to something bad?”
The country took a deep breath. “You know history, right?” he asked as she nodded. “What do you think started the Hundred Years War between England and Big Brother France?” When she looked confused, he answered for her. “A week before that war started, they had a little disagreement. I was too young to remember what it was about, but that’s what really started the war. They strongly disagreed on something, and they still fight about it now.
“What led America to strive for his freedom? He disagreed with England on how he should be governed, and they fought for a decade at least.
“Why did Germany start WW1? How did WW2 start? Or even the Civil War that had America abandon by his sanity? All started with the two little words, “you’re wrong”…the words I might as well have told Germany after I landed on that deck.” It was silent until Italy looked over to the three-fourth years. “Now, tell me, does that sound bad? ‘Cause it doesn’t sound good to me.”