Assorted Adventures and Miscellaneous Malarky is a group of rough oneshots and first chapters of unfinished stories that I'm probably not going to continue, shared here with the intent of sparking my fellow readers' and writers' imaginations. As it says in my profile, feel free to use anything you find in these stories (or any of my other ones), subject to normal limitations with fanfiction.
I know I had grand plans for this story several months ago, but my notes are pretty sparse so I'm sure I've long since forgotten most of them by now. I'm posting this here because I probably won't continue it any time soon, even though I still think this could be a fun story to write with a pretty solid first chapter. I hadn't thought up a name for it yet, because I figured I'd do that once I was much further in. Well, you know how that goes.
It's the first day of NaNoWriMo so I should be working on that right now, but instead I'm updating this to keep my schedule. No promises that I'll continue posting something every weekend, as I have the last ten or so, but I'll try not to disappoint you, you two or three fans of mine.
Harry Potter, Ashikabi
"So, why are we looking for Shambhala all the way on the eastern shore of Japan, again?"
Harry Potter spoke the question aloud, even though he stood alone atop a fancy new high-rise apartment complex in some section of Tokyo…Shinra something or other. He couldn't remember. In either case he was not about to learn the names of all the boroughs, or wards, whatever they were called here. He couldn't even name the ones in London anymore, and he'd lived there for almost sixteen years.
Need I remind you how utterly worthless it was to visit so many Indian enclaves over the past two years? The voice in Harry's head asked with no small amount of annoyance, almost as it had back when they'd first arrived in Magical Varanasi, the oldest city in India. They had had this argument so many times that, by the time they'd zigged and zagged their way to the relatively new but populous Magical Bombay (Harry had only made the mistake of calling it "Magical Mumbai" once), the captive fragment of a soul once known as Tom Riddle refused to even speak. Now that they'd traveled to his first choice, though, Tom had perked up. Well, he had returned to his normal temperament, at least. He would hold Harry's mistake over his head for years to come.
I don't think it was entirely worthless, Harry replied internally, following up his claim by bringing a string of deliciously indecent memories to the forefront of his mind. A nonverbal, abstract, and only half-serious promise of pain and death emanated from his scar. Tom's pseudo-homicidal anger aside, true tantric yoga—that is, the version that involved directing magic internally to enhance flexibility, strength, and endurance—made the trip more than worth it. No matter how often Tom insisted that all Harry needed was impeccable aim and timing with the Cruciatus and Killing Curses, making sure hostile wizards couldn't hit him or hurt him was far more important.
That was why Tom Riddle only existed as an extra-dimensional neural construct linked to Harry's scar, running at merely thirty times pi percent operating capacity thanks to Dumbledore's destruction of the Gaunt family ring. Tom had tried visually presenting the arithmantic explanation behind that number once, but Harry asked him never to do it again, on account of the complete lack of alcohol-induced fun preceding such a vicious hangover. Harry suddenly had to squint his eyes against the excessive nighttime illumination of Greater Tokyo; Tom's promise was now perhaps three-quarters serious.
Just keep your eyes open.
"Okay, okay," Harry said aloud, turning his attention outward. Upon reaching Tokyo International, they had quickly identified this ward as the most likely place of interest due to the multitude of supposed accidents and unexplained weather phenomena around the city. There were definitely a group of wizards up to no good around here, and it wasn't just a bunch of mindless thugs, like the Death Eaters were after their leader fell. The explosive growth of the pharmaceutical conglomerate whose headquarters dominated the skyline, Mid Bio Informatics, positively reeked of magical manipulation.
Thus Harry stood atop an apartment complex meant to house MBI employees, looking out over the city, waiting for some gas line explosions or clear-sky lightning strikes or sudden, unnatural fogs or…
Harry did a double take.
Or giant bloody jungles in the middle of a metropolitan area.
Harry whistled. Did Neville move here while I wasn't looking?
Tom gave the equivalent of a scoff. Why does everybody vastly overestimate that fool's Herbology skills? Pomona was splicing non-venomous aconite for beginner-level potions by the time she was a Fourth Year. Longbottom just focused on that niche so he wouldn't feel useless compared to the rest of you.
That's not all he's— Harry started to argue, but he was cut off by an explosion just outside the mass of unnaturally-placed trees. Within moments a Disillusioned Harry sped toward the explosion on a custom, matte black Firebolt X, messy hair whipping in the wind. He flew directly toward the explosion, but the distance was so great, he could only approximate where it had actually happened. In fact, he had actually underestimated the size of the trees, which threw off his estimate even further.
As if in response to his concern, a smaller explosion went off almost right where he was headed. With a burst of speed, he came upon three…wizards and witches? Confused at what he was seeing, he carefully drew closer. Huh, that is a woman with a massive scythe, and I don't see any wheat around here.
Tom did not divert any portion of his furiously churning mind to reply.
The scythe-wielding woman, who looked far too thin and delicate to effectively wield such a thing, wore a bizarre black and white short dress with puffy sleeves and long black stockings. It must have been a trick of the light, but her long, flowing hair appeared to have a greenish tint. And yet, she looked perhaps the most normal among the three of them. Next to her stood a rather well-endowed woman showing off ample cleavage above a black and white outfit that Harry had no name for, held up by thick chains that looped around her neck. Her light, cropped hair laid messily upon her head, not unlike his own. The third, simply enough, looked like a stereotypical ninja, except for some reason the black clothing did not cover the bright white hair. One hand held aloft an obviously magical flame; Harry could see no wand, but the relative brightness of the flame there would hide it from his view anyway.
Taking in their appearances took less than a second, and Harry continued downward, trying to hear more than just snatches of conversation. Hopefully their dialect did not differ from modern Japanese too much so Harry's translation spell could do its work.
"—occupied, would you?" The scythe-wielding woman spoke, then suddenly launched herself in the air far higher and faster than Harry expected. He quickly swerved the broom out of the way, but the woman's long hair brushed up against his hand. Like lightning, the woman twisted in the air and, in a blur, swung the massive scythe right through the spot his broom handle had been a moment earlier. Harry had moved it out of the way in time, so the woman spun away toward the trees where she'd initially jumped. Her eyes locked on Harry, or at least the spot Harry had been, but when she landed, she didn't move.
"Yomi?" The other woman asked.
Was that a name? Harry hoped so. Yeah, he was going to go with that.
The woman didn't answer for a moment, then, "it was nothing, Akitsu. Continue." Then Yomi disappeared.
Akitsu watched the forest through which Yomi had disappeared, then slowly turned back to the ninja. "My master commands you to stop, and so I obey. I will not be thrown away again."
Harry barely had time to frown before spikes of ice erupted from the ground and surrounded the ninja. He got the sense that Akitsu and Yomi should probably be stopped, but Akitsu's words combined with the chains around her neck seemed to hint that she was a slave of some sort. Fighting against her will, perhaps? Even so, he didn't know what the ninja wanted, either.
"You're a…scrapped number…" the ninja said slowly. Harry couldn't tell if the translation charm garbled the ninja's voice, but it was just as androgynous as he or she looked. Either way, there was hesitation there. Did neither of them really want to fight?
Harry's observations were cut off by another person charging toward him at high speed. He looked up just in time to see yet another enormously buxom woman in strange and revealing clothing jump over the two combatants. "Kagari? What are you—oh! Kagari doesn't wear a mask! Sorry, I mistook you for someone else. Bye!"
And just like that, the newcomer took off in the same direction as Yomi. Harry stared after her, jaw slackened and brows furrowed. What. The. F—
Just then Akitsu launched a barrage of icicles, catching the ninja, who had apparently been thinking the same thing as Harry, off-guard. True to Harry's estimation of the person's occupation, the ninja moved faster than anybody he'd ever seen. Not only that, but fireballs flew fast and true from the black blur, only to be alternately blocked or dodged by the surprisingly nimble Akitsu. And that dress must be glued to her skin, Harry thought at the way she managed to retain what modesty it afforded her.
Weakness, Tom replied automatically, as he usually did when Harry brought up anything remotely sexual. Tom grew up in a more conservative time, but he took prudishness to a whole new level. Harry would not ask if the man had been gay though. Not again.
A jolt of pain almost made him too slow to dodge a stray icicle from Akitsu.
After that near miss, Harry flew a little higher in order to give himself more reaction time. The two combatants continued to conjure fire and ice in various shapes and forms and launch it at each other. They might be doing so at a rate that would quickly overwhelm any wizard—Tom mentally scoffed in disagreement—but it was…primitive. Simple. Whatever these people were, their powers were tremendously limited in versatility, though not in strength.
Fiendfyre would destroy them both, Tom sniffed. And even the lowest of fools can use that.
But where's the finesse in that? Harry asked, smiling despite the two people below him apparently fighting for their lives. That thought brought Harry up short. They are not fighting seriously, he realized. The ninja doesn't want to kill Akitsu because she's some kind of slave, and Akitsu's apparent orders are only to occupy the ninja. Upon that realization, he chanced looking away for a few moments, trying to see what kind of response the authorities would make.
The ruins of what appeared to be a tank was a bad sign, though. Perhaps that had been the response.
Their magic is internal, Tom said in surprise, ignoring Harry's previous thoughts. Of course he would not care about the fighters' motivations. Further, Harry could tell that comment was not particularly meant for him. Even after being linked for decades, they both often thought 'out loud' by mistake, and Harry just had a sense about it now.
Not that he would be able to respond anyway. Whatever Tom saw, Harry didn't. That was not terribly surprising, given the difference in years of experience, but it happened seldom enough anymore that it frustrated him just that much more. Harry had been all over world, searching out new magics. He had seen more than his share of incredible things, including incredibly odd things, like the shamans in Arizona that could only do magic after chewing a few buttons of fresh peyote. Harry steadfastly refused to remember trying it himself, instead letting his mind flit over his travels elsewhere, trying to find anything that might give him a hint.
Nothing. He had never seen anything like this. After several moments of examining the two fighters in vain, Harry quietly exhaled in defeat. What do you mean? How can you tell?
Tom ignored him.
What did it even mean that their magic was internal? They had some kind of…magical core? The term sounded odd in his mind; the very idea was preposterous. Perhaps their magic was limited in more than just versatility…perhaps it was limited in the literal sense as well. Harry shook his head, having trouble wrapping his mind around such a concept. Magic was magic. It hung thicker in certain places like Hogwarts and Azkaban than in others, but it was always there for wizards to shape and direct.
But these people…if their magic was internal, they would…run out of it? It must replenish somehow, but apparently not fast enough to keep up with them. Harry looked again, and mentally compared their attacks with those at the beginning of the battle. They were getting weaker, but that was to be expected with physical exertion. Magic becomes more difficult to perform when the wizard loses concentration, or becomes tired and sloppy.
Then it clicked: they were getting weaker, but they weren't physically slowing down. How in Krishna's blue balls did Tom see that earlier?
We aren't in India anymore, Tom reminded him.
Damn it, I liked that one, Harry opined. What are some Shinto gods I can curse? Ooh, hey, didn't Japanese Muggles worship dragons and stuff?
I cannot adequately describe how little I care about such nonsense, Tom said, I merely brought it up in the apparent vain hope you would stop entirely.
You got that right, Harry replied cheerfully. Except the part about you not caring. I bet you secretly find me hilarious.
Tom ignored him again, so Harry turned his attention back to Akitsu and the ninja. The well-endowed woman thrust an arm toward the latter, and a spiral of thick-based but spiky-ended icicles launched themselves one after another. Her arm shifted ever so slightly to adjust her aim as the ninja ducked under the first two, dodged the third, melted the fourth, and continued the cycle. If Akitsu had a sense of tactics, she might purposely shoot one wide to throw her opponent off, but she let it fall into a perfectly predictable rhythm. Of course, Akitsu still controlled the flow of battle by maintaining the offensive, while the ninja only counterattacked to buy some time. Time for what, though? Was he or she simply weaker? He, Harry decided, the ninja was a he because Harry was tired of being politically correct.
A brief and distant flash of light in Harry's peripheral vision pulled his eyes toward where Yomi and the other girl took off. The two below had apparently seen it, too, because their battle stopped. Harry glanced back down to see the ninja stood ready to dodge, but Akitsu merely stood straight up and kept her eyes on her opponent. Just as Harry surmised that the woman's task had just ended, a sleek, silver, high-end sedan screeched to a halt just in front of her and the door popped open.
Harry dropped back down to hear.
"That's enough Akitsu," a high-pitched male voice said from the backseat. Despite trying to sound refined, Harry thought he sounded petulant and annoyed. "Let's go."
"Wait!" The ninja called. "What are you doing with this scrapped number? Wait!"
In reply the door slammed and the car zoomed away. Harry glanced down and saw the ninja lock his fingers behind his head and take a few deep breaths to cool down.
Now is your chance, Tom said. Stun him and we'll run some tests.
Harry mentally scoffed at the idea, and then the decision was taken away when the ninja leapt away, heading north. Harry then turned and took off after the car.
What are you doing? Tom asked hotly. Don't you see how useful this could be? Think of the possibilities!
Harry could feel Tom's mind churning through those possibilities far more quickly than Harry could manage. We have plenty of time to do your testing, and we can do it in a way that we can be sure won't get us in trouble, Harry said. What I want to know is where the hell the Japanese wizards are, and why they let this happen. They might not have noticed me up here while they were fighting, but without that distraction, the ninja might notice if I try to follow him.
Just as he thought this, a helicopter chopped its way well above his head, going right toward the unnatural forest.
Tom silently chewed on those thoughts while Harry followed the fancy sedan, which stood out among the smaller vehicles on the road. He occasionally glanced back to see if the ninja or one of those girls were jumping after them, even though the idea would have seemed impossible an hour previous.
Of course, that was magic's specialty: making a misnomer out of impossibilities.
The flight through the city dragged on for far too long, so Harry, still high enough to be out of earshot of anyone on the ground, sighed loudly in relief when the car turned into a driveway leading to an enormous, sprawling mansion. He wished he could have ridden in the car to get a better sense of the people within, and so he wouldn't have missed the conversation after Akitsu retreated. Though he was anxious to get down to them, he had the presence of mind to drop down as quietly as possible.
It was a good thing, too, because Harry's focus on the car made him miss the platinum blonde-haired woman rushing out to meet the car. The silvery brightness of both her hair and her dress—if one could call a few strips of cloth that left such large portions of her chest and stomach exposed could be called such a thing—gave testament to just how distracted Harry must have been. "Master Mikogami," she called once the car came to a halt, causing Harry's face to darken. He knew something of Japanese honorifics, so he hoped that particular translation was a quirk of the charm.
"Master Mikogami!" She called again as the car door opened and Akitsu stepped out. She looked no worse for after her battle with the ninja—indeed, she looked as though she hadn't exerted any effort at all. Then Harry got his first glimpse of this Mikogami character as he stepped out next and began stalking toward the house. Rich white clothing trimmed in gold clung tightly to his reedy frame, once again making Harry mentally shake his head at what passed for Japanese fashion these days. Maybe he was getting too old.
The driver door opened and a tall, thin man with light hair and dark clothing except for a bright orange scarf stepped out, clutching a long Japanese-style sword decorated with purple and black. Powerful, Harry thought immediately, though he couldn't say why. It wasn't merely the presence of the sword, though the man looked like he knew how to use it.
"What happened?" asked the girl from the mansion, her voice growing concerned. After another moment passed without anyone else emerging from the vehicle. "Where's Yomi?"
The boy paused in his stalking to snap at her. "All she had to do was bring me the green girl, that's it, but now I'm down one Sekirei! I don't want to hear anybody speak of that useless thing ever again!"
As the two other people from the car walked past, the girl in the silvery dress gasped and dropped to her knees, holding both hands to her mouth. "Oh no…"
Harry felt a flash of indignation at the spoiled brat's words, but so many things were unclear, anger was overtaken by confusion. Sekirei? Harry thought. The translation charm didn't translate the word, which meant it was important somehow. He called it a thing...did that mean they were not human?
She's alone, Tom said, ignoring Harry's previous thoughts.
I am not kidnapping that woman, not while she— Harry began, but then switched his tack mid-thought when he realized Tom wouldn't care about how she felt. Not while I know so little about them. I don't even know if magic works against them!
Harry could feel his passenger mentally grumbling. Neither of them were used to such uncertainty when it came to sizing up a potential opponent. Powerful wizards had a certain aura about them…nothing visible or tangible or even quantifiable, but simply the way they carried themselves, the way they reacted to others…sort of like the man who had stepped out of the car with the sword. Some kind of instinct, some extra sense with no name just seemed to warn Harry when someone like that was around.
Just your well-earned lack of confidence, Tom said.
Tom obviously didn't have that instinct.
Harry watched the girl a few moments more, but the soft sobbing from the woman in silver made him turn away. Did she really care about Yomi that much? Harry only saw her for a few seconds and hadn't interacted with him at all, but she hadn't left a very good impression on him.
"Taki! Get in here!" The boy yelled just as his group were about to enter the mansion. Something about the way Akitsu spoke and carried herself made Harry want to follow, but he was fairly well convinced that these people would not be happy to let a strange traveler into the house. And he imagined having that same stranger sneak in invisibly would be even less welcome…assuming they managed to detect him somehow.
As the despondent Taki stood and hurried toward the mansion, Harry reluctantly pulled up on his Firebolt X, slowly lifting himself up to the safety of the sky. There was one other lead he could follow that might not land him in a heap of trouble. The mental image of an androgynous, white-haired, black-clad ninja evoked a resigned sigh from his mental passenger.
I looked up tantra on Wikipedia and read a couple sections. My apologies for the mistakes I'm sure are there.
Sekirei literally means "wagtail" (apparently), but I'm going to wave my wand and pretend that this imaginary translation charm understands context. There are other ways to handle it, I suppose, but it's a sufficiently unimportant detail to the plot that you shouldn't think about it too much. One thing it does afford me is the opportunity to avoid Japanese honorifics along with the other "usual" tropes I addressed in the preface that usually come with anime/manga fanfiction. I know there are a subset of readers who don't like that stuff, and hopefully it doesn't turn off normal anime fic readers either.
I actually started to write this story with a more powerful Harry, but I wanted to differentiate from every other Sekirei crossover I've read so far by actually giving the main character a challenge.
I also originally started to write it such that Harry followed Yomi, but in Sekirei canon, there were already too many Sekireis over there (including Hikari and Hibiki) to justify Harry's presence. This way we get to avoid rehashing canon (and, again, pretty much every other HP/Sekirei crossover) a bit more.
Lastly, bonus points if you predict the link between this story and another one of mine.