Standing in the Sun
2nd September 1991
The hat squarely sat upon Naruto's head and only to dance around slightly, seeming to laugh as it did so. No doubt by Naruto's huge grin she was enjoying the conversation, and the hat opened it's mouth, shouting for her to join Hufflepuff.
Sasuke wasn't sure what was bubbling up inside him, but he did know he wanted nothing more than to get up, wrap his hands around her neck and squeeze. She'd stood next to him and not said a thing damn it!
The blonde in question was now pulling the hat from her head, dancing over to the badger table and dropping right down into a seat from where she could clearly see Sasuke. He would drive his foot right up her backside the second he got a chance. The sorting carried on around them, but Sasuke wasn't really paying much attention to anyone else anymore. Naruto was here. Naruto was sat across the hall from him. Naruto. Was. Here.
And he was a girl.
His lips twitched, unable to help it. It was the sweetest karma, all those times he'd messed around with that stupid sexy jutsu, and now he was stuck in a female body, ready to face all the trials and tribulations that the female race did. The smirk must have shown upon his face, for Naruto's lips twitched down in a scowl, regardless of the mass amounts of people that were now paying her attention thanks to her changing appearance. Sasuke had never seen anything quite like that; it certainly hadn't been a henge, he knew that much for sure. Perhaps it was another form of magic, he didn't know enough about the world he now found himself in to say for certain.
The acclaimed headmaster stood up and stretched his arms wide, welcoming them to a new school year. Sasuke listened with a half-hearted ear, forcing his attention to Harry. He regretted making sure the boy was perceptive now, because those green eyes met his across the room, concern flicking within their depths. Of course the boy would pick up on his sudden pause, the horror that'd no doubt shown on his face for a second as he'd taken in Naruto. And then the sickening hope that'd have settled in his own eyes, the joy at the fact Naruto was here and he was not alone. He'd just gotten used to it being him and Harry, no one else to trust, everyone else having an agenda, especially with Harry's fame.
And now, now there was Naruto.
Catching his brother's gaze and offering up a small nod, a simple gesture that would reassure the boy that they'd talk later, Sasuke turned his eyes back to his own table.
Slytherin was were Voldemort had grown his first power-base, no doubt while he was still at school, under whatever his true name maybe. Which meant that there was a good deal of children present that would be descendants of the first Death Eaters. He'd have to make it clear he and Harry, especially Harry, were not to be touched. That they were on a higher level. He didn't have enough magical knowledge to prove himself through that route, but he was smart enough to pick it up as quickly as humanly possible.
The blatant cheating of using the Sharingan would aid him there.
Until then, he'd rely upon his ninja skills, which should be more than enough to power through the house that clearly never saw much exercise other than the local sport. Hell, even sword fighting had gone out of fashion here, something that Sasuke was eager to pick up again. And teach Harry of course, now that the two of them actually had blades.
And the best part was they were allowed within this otherwise civilian school, he'd checked the charter. It was an old rule, but the fact it was present was enough to reassure Sasuke he wouldn't be penalized for carrying weapons.
Not that a rule would stop him, but it made life easier.
"You think you're all that Potter?"
Tilting his head slightly to a side, Sasuke raised a brow in the direction of Draco Malfoy, who had the misfortune of being his fellow house-mate. And then he turned back to his dinner, helping himself to the healthiest of the foods he could find. He'd have to see if the breakfasts would improve, he wasn't Naruto and needed good fuel in a morning. A large dinner was okay, because he'd burn it off training. But he just couldn't start a day on bad food.
"My apologies Malfoy, I didn't realize the little people actually needed talking to. How are you today?"
He turned the most fascinating shade of red, but Sasuke had already returned to assessing the rest of his new house before the boy could even open his mouth to retort. The upper years didn't seem too hostile to him, no doubt seeing his age as a weakness. They were certainly in for a surprise.
However, there was a group of students, around fourteen or fifteen years old, that didn't look all that impressed with his presence. In fact, they looked down right angry, no doubt with relations to imprisoned Death Eaters that hadn't fed enough money into the bureaucracy machine to receive their 'get out of jail free' card. Well, what goes around comes around and all that. He wasn't worried. While there were spells that could possibly pose a problem to Harry, there weren't any that could be used within Hogwarts walls. Not with the wards he read about in 'Hogwarts, a History'. He doubted school children would go to such extremes, and Harry was quick enough to dodge anything thrown at him. Of that, Sasuke had made certain.
So no, he was not worried.
As the end of the feast was called, Sasuke quickly signalled to the whiskered blonde he was trying very hard not to think about. She would meet both himself and Harry in morning, and then he would rip the answers he wanted right from her head.
One way or another.
The Slytherin common room was housed within the dungeons, located beneath the very lake they'd crossed to arrive at school. It was an impressive piece of architecture, chiefly because the castle itself was over a millennia old. To have lasted this long, to have been built in such a primitive time, Sasuke certainly found that impressive. The windows looked out into the lake, setting an eerily green glow upon the common room that reminded him uncomfortably of Orochimaru's labs. He'd be quick to find a charm to change his won dorm room once he found the library, that was for certain. He'd rather not deal with that handle of memories if he didn't have to.
His fellow first years were chattering away, oohing and aahing as appropriate while their childish little eyes took in everything around them. Sasuke had already committed all the layout he could see to memory, from the large entranceway that opened up on the western patch of wall, to the windows he could fit through. True it was a last resort kind of exit, considering he'd flood the entire dungeons if he were to blast through the window, but it was better than potentially being killed. He hoped Hogwarts had precautions against floods here, even with the so called 'unbreakable' charm he'd read about, Sasuke was certain he could shatter the glass with a chidori.
And if not, he could always carve a hole in the wall with the assassination technique instead. Either would mean a very wet escape.
The entranced opened again and a hush fell over the common room as the sour looking man from the staff table all but gliding into the room. His footsteps were silent, but it was evident from his walk they should not be. A spell then. He moved well for a civilian at least, and his eyes were assessing each of them like a seasoned fighter would. Perhaps this man had fought in the war like his parents, perhaps he just duelled for fun. Sasuke didn't need to know that right now.
What he wanted to know was why the man sneered so viciously when he set eyes upon him.
It only took a moment to register the pressure centred around his forehead was a mental probe and Sasuke's face twisted into a snarl, eyes narrowed and Sharingan flaring. The Professor managed to not flinch at the momentary manifestation of the Sharingan, but the expression upon his face let Sasuke know the man would not be letting this go.
"From this day forth, you are snakes, and I am your head, Professor Snape. We are constantly within the grip of a cold war between that of Slytherin House and the rest. Sometimes this war may heat, and if it does, I expect that all snakes will look out for one another. No grudge is to be taken outside of the common room. If you have an in house problem, settle it in house. A lone snake will more often than not be trampled underfoot outside these walls, so watch yourself. Cunning and resourcefulness are key characteristics of a Slytherin, and I expect to see these traits demonstrated. If you are going to stir up trouble, then do not get caught. Schedules will be given out in morning, if you have a problem before them, speak to a perfect." The dour man spun on heels, cloak billowing out as he retreated from the common room, but not before offering a quiet, "Welcome to Slytherin."
The second that the wall swung shut, a hand clamped down upon Sasuke's shoulder, spinning him around. He was brought face to chest with one of the boys he'd picked out earlier, who was clearly not happy with his presence here.
"I have a problem with you Potter, so let's settle this right here, right now."
Taking note of the four other boys behind his current addresser, along with the fact that his entire house seemed more than happy to stand aside and allow this to happen, Sasuke smirked.
Daphne Greengrass considered herself a perfect pure-blood heiress. She was quiet, respectful, but she was not stupid. She was not slow. In fact, she was an exceedingly bright young witch. She knew how to read people, their cues, their gives. From their almost blank faced expressions, to the tense coils of their muscles. She could tell if someone was left or right handed from a glance, if they played some form of sport or were more inclined to reading. These were all facts she took great pride in, traits what she'd developed over time and with a great deal of effort.
Which meant, unlike the vast majority of her house, she was not completely taken aback at this very moment.
Oh, she was certainly shocked, but not to the degree everyone else was.
Since she'd first landed eyes upon the oldest Potter child, Sasuke Sirius Potter, she had concluded that a blank piece of paper would be easier to read. He had no tells. Nothing. It was like the boy was made of stone. Hell, it'd have been better if he was made of stone, for she'd have at least been able to see some wear on him that way.
So Daphne had been cautious, not wanting to draw his attention until she had some form of an idea what she was dealing with. All the other first years were simple. Malfoy was a pompous spoilt brat, Zabini was cold and removed from the situation, Nott was unsure of himself and his standing, and the less said about Crabbe and Goyle the better. But this boy...
She'd admit to cringing a little when Flint grabbed hold of the boy's shoulder. Even then he'd not been able to do anything other than see to it the boy scanned the surrounding Slytherins. At first, she'd thought him to be looking for support, something she was in no state to give him.
She knew better now.
That lowly muttered 'Fine,' would quite possibly give her nightmares. It'd all happened so fast.
Flint hadn't even been able to draw his wand before Potter was in motion, the larger boy only just managing to get out of the way of whatever light he was holding in one hand. There'd been an earth-shattering boom and when the dust had cleared, it'd been to the sight of Sasuke Sirius Potter stepping back from the wall, the lightning that'd been crackling around his hand slowly sparking out of existence. She'd never seen a spell like it, especially a wandless spell.
But the sheer power!
Even if she'd been unable to feel the tingle of electricity in the air, then the perfect four foot circle he'd blasted in the thick stone wall was more than enough to realize Sasuke Potter was not to be messed with. With that one move he'd commanded respect of the entire house, showcased his power all without, in a way, appearing to show off purposely.
He'd turned to look at Flint and Daphne would forever swear the boy's eyes had glowed red in the relative darkness of the common room.
"And that's when I deliberately miss." His voice was colder than Norwegian snow, face as closed off as ever. Flint hadn't been able to move out of the way fast enough, for the sleeve of his left arm was burnt away, exposing skin that'd been burnt when Potter had charged past with what she'd almost believe to be a ball of lightning.
Silence remained in the common room as Potter turned on heel, disappearing down the stairs to his dorm. Daphne pitied the poor seventh years who's dorm room would be on display until they could get that hole fixed.
However, she now knew one thing for sure.
She needed an alliance with the Potters. And fast.
"Naruto, you didn't."
The morning had started off well enough. Sasuke had woken up far before anyone else within his dorm, hell, he was the first awake within his house. He'd met Harry just outside of the great hall, who, aside from looking reasonably groggy, seemed well enough too.
Sasuke had been brutally honest with his brother from the start.
As soon as Harry was old enough to understand what he was talking about, Sasuke had told him this wasn't his first life. That he'd led a life before hand where he'd been the younger brother. And that was where all of his chakra techniques came from. Young Harry, and hell even current Harry, had been enchanted with the flashy tales of ninja heroics. And he'd adored Naruto the prankster.
So thankfully, the boy took it well enough when the blonde appeared, joining them on their run and katas.
Harry seemed weary at first, and probably rightly so. Naruto was so full of life, so very carefree compared to what he'd seen from their past life that it was a hard pill to swallow. But there was very little fighting here. The war already past. And the Jinchuriki turned girl seemed more than happy to join Sasuke in his self appointed mission of keeping Harry safe. She'd dared to ask why he'd not blown up at her yet, to which Sasuke had primly informed her that he didn't want Harry witness to a murder just yet. He was waiting to get her alone.
As if turned out, he was not the only one with a sibling in this life, fro Naruto had an older sister. She'd tried to get the girl interested in taijutsu, but Nymphadora -Sasuke no longer had any problems with Sirius after hearing that- hadn't taken much of a liking to it.
The three of them had been quick to hash out a story, and that if asked, they'd met Naruto previously, who had actually gone to a few of the MMA contests that the Potter siblings had. Sasuke had just never seen a reason to stick around for the girl's tournament, something he was now sourly regretting. Naruto had been right there, and he'd not paid enough attention to realize it. While she certainly had.
Parting once their morning exercise was complete, the trio agreed to sit with Harry up to the Gryffindor table for the day.
However, there was one thing that had drawn Sasuke's attention upon entering the great hall.
One rather large thing.
"Isn't it beautiful?"
Beautiful wasn't exactly the word that Sasuke would have used. Behind the staff members table, where what was once a series of impressive stained glass windows, a rock monstrosity now rested. He was having flash-backs of the Hokage mountain, only, there was no Hokages. Just two big heads.
One of them shaped in his likeness.
"I carved a little rock model using wind chakra and then used an enlarging charm. Nymph taught me a permanent sticking charm too. Me and you Sasuke, up there till I want it down." Dear lord, what had she done?
Harry was almost beaming at the sight of it, what with the stone carving being the impressive size that it was. Three teachers were stood before the two stone heads, no doubt wondering how on earth they were going to get it down. Professor Snape looked furious, whilst the stern looking witch had twisted around, spotting the three of them. No doubt taking in his horrified face and then Naruto's overly joyous one.
"You'll never take me alive!" Naruto screamed as the woman began approaching. The blonde shot forwards, snatching a sausage sandwich right out of the hands of an awed seventh year before fleeing up the wall in an excellent display of chakra control.
Everyone gaped after her other than himself and Harry, who just continued grinning at the display. Even the stern witch that'd come over to apprehend them seemed completely spell-bound by what had just happened. Sasuke was just glad to see that this was not a common thing and that the three of them held another advantage. However he really did not need Naruto advertising this.
"Naruto you idiot, get down!" He snarled, at the same time his head of house demanded she return to the ground.
Frowning, Naruto bit into her sandwich, glaring down at the two of them.
"Potter! How do we get that monstrosity down?!" Snape had turned on him and Sasuke scowled, fingers twitching towards his weapons pack. Maybe- No, he didn't need to show his weapons so early. Now was not the time.
"I don't know, ask her! I had no part in this, nor do I have time for silly little pranks. I've got a little brother to keep out of Death Eater hands." At the man's flinch, Sasuke scoffed. "Oh don't act like you don't know several are still out there. I don't have time to plan something like this. Come on Harry."
Trailing after his older brother, Harry seated himself at the Gryffindor table, still staring up at Naruto. He'd heard of the boy- well, girl's pranks from Sasuke, but this was awesome. It was so big, and it had Sasuke's head on it.
His older brother just looked annoyed, chewing sourly on an apple from the center of the table. Their fellow ninja had yet to come down, and Sasuke's head of house had actually shot a spell at the girl -which was dodged- before Professor McGonagall hit him in the arm to stop him.
"Who is she and what kind of shrine would she like best?"
Turning to look at the two red-head twins that'd appeared out of nowhere, Harry blinked, and upon seeing that Sasuke would not answer, grinned.
"That's Naruto, me and Sasuke met her at fighting tournaments. I don't know about a shrine, but I know she likes foxes and pranks."
He was still a bit weary of Naruto. His brother had spoken of him-her, whatever the blonde was now, with reverence. She'd been his best friend in that first life. Would Naruto replace Harry now that Sasuke knew of her existence? No, his older brother would never allow that.
Satisfied, Harry sat back and watched as the headmaster appeared and began trying to talk Naruto down. It seemed Hogwarts was going to be all sorts of fun.
Naruto the Hufflepuff. Because of that work ethic. And yes, she's really messing up Sasuke's plans.
I am beyond spell bound that the last chapter got 152 reviews, I'm honestly having trouble believing it. And I'm ever so sorry about the length/wait time of this chapter. You have my deepest apologies. I'm just struggling with this story and I have no idea why.
I'd write a bit more, but it's bed time over here and this chapter was long over-due. Forgive me?