AN: So, I try not to upload new stories while working on others, but I usually don't have the self control when plot bunnies run wild.
I will still focus on the stories I've promised, and randomly on my older stories. This is one of my older projects which has sat on my website for a while. For more information on it my website is linked on my profile.
Chapter 1: Prologue: Beyond The Barrier.
Even after everything, she couldn't do it.
Petunia Dursley, née Evans couldn't leave her sister's daughter at an orphanage, or ditch her somewhere as Vernon had the nerve to suggest. The child was sure to be as freakish as Lily and her good-for-nothing husband, but the girl was still a baby... her sister's child, and with those emerald eyes and red hair it was too painful to think of doing as Vernon suggested. She was a terrible sister, but she still had morals. In the end, Petunia was left with two options.
One, she could raise her niece herself, but she'd long since vetoed this. No matter what the old wizards letter had said, she couldn't bare to raise Lily's daughter. That left the second option, the one that looked better and better every second; her only other living relatives. Unfortunately, it wasn't easy to get entry into the Hidden Continents.
Petunia liked to pretend her family was completely normal, but even before Lily turned out to be a witch, of all things, she'd known this wasn't the case. Her grandmother was a Kunoichi from the Hidden Lands; Tsubaki Haruno, or Camellia Evans since she'd changed her name after she married Petunia's grandfather.
Her grandmother had been an eccentric, and although she remembered the stories she'd been told as a child, she'd come to a point where the stories were something she'd like nothing more than to forget. To pretend didn't exist, just as she'd pretended magic and her own sister didn't exist.
Pretending didn't erase her grandmother's origins though. Lily had inherited their grandmother's green eyes, even if they were a shade brighter, and her red hair was a much darker mutation of the strange dark pink hair Tsubaki possessed. It was something Lily shared with their father, Henry Evans, who she'd taken greatly after.
Petunia looked more like her mother's side of the family. Her dirty blonde hair and watery blue eyes mirror images of her mother, her long neck an unfortunate exaggeration of the elegant one their mother and Lily inherited. Even at fifteen months old, Baby Reika greatly resembled Lily. Taking after the Haruno roots with a beautiful shade of emerald green eyes and dark red hair (perhaps even more vibrant than Lily's).
Her fair skin and the shape of her eyes were all Lily's influence, and faintly hinted at her foreign roots. Otherwise, her niece took after the man Lily married, James Potter. The shape of her face was a bit more pointed, with more aristocratic features. The signs of having high cheek bones and a small up-turned nose already present; when she was older and the last of the baby-fat left her body, it would be all the more obvious.
Petunia wasn't capable of putting her jealousy and grudges aside. Even for the sake of her grandmother, parents, and most of all, Lily's memory. She needed someone who could truly care for the girl. Her aunt, Rose Evans, had died six years ago in Ireland while visiting her husband's family. Her Aunt Rose had no family (other than her widowed husband), and even if she did Petunia wouldn't foster the freak child off on her aunt; a woman who she was close to when she was alive. Kizashi Haruno was her only living blood relative, her second cousin (second cousin, once removed in Reika's case). Distant, but close enough.
She was also being petty. The letter that man left explained a lot, but she read between the lines and what he wasn't saying. She didn't trust Albus Dumbledore and his greater good. She would do what was best, what she felt was best for Reika. Kizashi would be the best protection seeing as he lived in a place magic was hard pressed to pass into. It was practically it's own pocket dimension, at least the way she understood it.
She highly doubted anyone but those who'd crossed outside the barrier knew of the Hidden Continents. Her father and grandmother would tell her and Lily stories, but she'd never really understood the mechanics behind it all.
While Kizashi and his wife were not ninja (to her knowledge), in a village where over half the population was it would be better protection than these so-called blood wards. And for all she knew, maybe the magic would transfer to Kizashi, after all he was as much related to Lily as she was.
It was better than growing up somewhere unloved, as she knew Vernon hated the girl and she just didn't have the will to raise someone who already looked so much like her little sister. She and Lily had been estranged for years but she wasn't heartless, Lily had still been her little sister.
At one point she'd loved Lily with all her heart, protected her from bullies who would pick on her for her bright red hair, but those days had long since passed. Their bond had shattered the moment Lily chose to board the train too Hogwarts, and though there had been attempts to reconnect over the years – especially after their parents deaths – they'd never been able to.
Looking at the one year old, who'd finally stop crying and asking for her parents – surprisingly, Reika knew a fair few words for being only a year old – Petunia smiled sadly.
"Don't worry Reika, you'll be alright. It's the least I owe Lily."
It had been over a year since the Kyūbi attack, a horrid night for everyone old enough to remember the devastation.
Things had changed, even if marginally, since then. But although many lives had been lost, time passes and people find the will to move on. For the Haruno family this was a relief. Money had been rather tight the first six months after the attack, but they'd gotten their little bakery back up and running, and it now got enough business to support them again.
"Mebuki..." Kizashi began, "The Hokage asked to see me today."
Mebuki looked up from feeding their one year old daughter baby food, a look of concern in her eyes. Despite only being a Haruno by marriage she had bright leaf green eyes, the same green eyes as Sakura. Kizashi hadn't inherited the Haruno green eyes, but his older brother had.
Unfortunately, his older brother, Keitaro, had died during the Kyūbi attack. He'd died fighting, having been a jōnin for years, their mother's pride and joy. Kizashi may have the pink hair common of a Haruno, and the looks of their late father (with his spiky hair and teal eyes), but he knew he'd been a disappointment to his mother. He'd retired after only making genin, realizing just before the Third War broke out that being a shinobi wasn't the life he wanted. His wife had been in a similar situation when they met.
"Is something wrong?" she asked, fearing the worse. Had the Hokage recalled Kizashi to duty? It was something well within the power of the Hokage if it was necessary. After the Kyūbi attack, with forces as low as they were, it was a possibility.
Kizashi frowned, which worried Mebuki even more. Her husband was usually very lively, a bit like a big kid, he hardly ever worried about anything. The last time she'd seen him this serious was during that terrible October 10th night.
"No, not exactly dear," he began, "I don't know If I've mentioned it before, but I have some cousins who live outside the barrier in a distant land. I believe it's called England."
Mebuki nodded, vaguely recalling him mentioning his great-aunt who'd left the family and married outside the barrier. They didn't keep up with them as much as they did when Haruno Tsubaki was alive though. From what Kizashi had told her, he had a pair of second cousins still living outside the barrier.
"It seems Petunia, my oldest cousin, contacted the Hokage recently. Turns out her younger sister, Lily, was murdered on October 31st."
Mebuki gasped, her eyes widening.
"Yes," Kizashi said, nodding. His eyes downcast and mournful. "It gets worse though. Lily had a small daughter Sakura's age. Reika Potter.. she was the only survivor that night. She was left on Petunia's doorstep, but she can't take care of Reika. Her husband wants nothing to do with her, and they have a young son themselves. Petunia asked if I could take Reika. Otherwise, they'll have to send her to an orphanage."
Mebuki was at a loss for words. What sister in their right mind would deny taking care of their deceased sisters only child? She understood that this woman had a husband and young son, but that didn't stop a lot of people in the same situation.
"What did you tell the Hokage?"
"I told him I wanted to, but I needed to talk to you about it first," he answered and Mebuki smiled.
"I think it's a good idea. We both wanted a big family when we married, but than it took us so long just to have Sakura. The doctor already told us the chances of another child were slim to none, I think this is our second chance. Besides, no matter how distant, Reika is family."
Kizashi smiled widely and nodded.
"I'll let the Hokage know first thing in the morning."
It was through one decision The Girl-Who-Lived, Reika Potter – known by most by the nickname given to her by her father and Godfather, Reia – left England. She wouldn't be seen for over a decade, and when she was found she would be different from the girl they expected her to be.
Haruno Reika was born, and her legacy was only beginning.
AN: Just to let everyone know, I have a poll up now on my profile for the final pairing of Sasuke. So, please vote there.