Pairings: Itachi/Yuri. Ren/Hinami. Natsuki/Yuzuki
Warnings: AU Universe. OOC. Gender swap. Minor character bashing
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and Harry Potter and any of the characters, but the OC characters belongs to me
Chapter Fourteen: Heaven is Watching
Yuri didn't come home again last night.
That was the only thought in Hatake Kakashi's head even as he looked around the small apartment that he shared with his sister even as he left, locking the door behind him as he did so, a small frown unseen beneath the mask on his face.
While Yuri had never really been a noisy or hyperactive child—she is normally so quiet that you wouldn't realise that she's there unless she speaks up—she is also the type that you find you normally miss when she isn't there.
And Kakashi is solely missing her right now.
She's…nearly thirteen now, right? Good lord, has it really been nearly six years since he'd first taken her in, and just as long since Obito had passed away during that disastrous mission because of his stupidity?
Kakashi winced even as he rubbed at his Sharingan eye beneath the hitai-ate even as it let out twinges of pain as it always did whenever his thoughts went towards Obito and how he had died.
…Honestly, he might have first taken Yuri in due to Obito's final request, and because the then thirteen-year-old Kakashi had felt that he owed it to Yuri as much to raise her in her dead brother's place. But in the beginning, Kakashi could barely bring himself to look at Yuri in the face, especially knowing that he had been the cause of her brother's death.
It took both Rin and Kushina to kick his ass into gear when they found out that he had been…uh…neglecting Yuri at that time to drown in his self-pity.
Kakashi had found himself regretting a whole lot of things that he'd said and done to his deceased teammate after taking over the job of raising Yuri. He found it difficult enough to raise the child on his salary as a rookie jounin at that time, and he had child support benefits due to Obito having died for Konoha's sake during the war. How much harder had it been for Obito who had only been a chuunin, and thus, could barely take on missions higher than a B-rank?
It might have been a form of duty and even penance for Kakashi at that time—raising Yuri in Obito's place. But over time, Kakashi had grown some familial feelings for the small child, and had loved having a family member around again—someone to worry over and for someone to worry over him.
Yuri had also risen through the ninja ranks quickly—nearly smashing Kakashi's record for quickest promotion ever along with her teammates and best friends—and Kakashi had only gotten promoted that quickly because it was wartime.
Now Yuri is a jounin—easily one of Konoha's best. And the only reason why she isn't ANBU is because she had steadfastly refused—much to Kakashi's secret relief who had first hand experience just what being an ANBU is like—Konoha's best weapons and assassins—the ninjas who took on the dirtiest and cruellest jobs all in the name of Konoha.
It is almost a wonder that thirteen-year-old Uchiha Itachi hasn't been driven insane yet; what with being named ANBU Captain after Kakashi had left the ANBU, having had enough. Most likely, his close and tight friendship with Yuri and Ren and Hinami and even Shisui and Hana had kept him sane.
Even still, Kakashi had worried for the young teen, especially the number of times when he had ran into the boy, and Itachi had always looked really stressed. Most likely, his 'war' with the Uchiha clan and then taking on full custody of his brother and keeping him safe isn't helping any matters. And from what the Copy Cat knew, Uchiha Sasuke had came with a whole slew of mental problems—not surprising, considering what he has been through under his parents' hands after Itachi had walked out of the clan.
Kakashi wonders at times where is the common sense in naming a thirteen-year-old child an ANBU Captain, prodigy or not.
He had first hand experience of the fast track program after all. For all his love for his home village, Kakashi knew Konoha also has a bad habit of pushing their 'geniuses' too fast and too harsh, and thus, will more often than not, cause them to break.
Thus, after the village's economy and manpower has stabilised just a few years ago after the war recovery period had ended, Mitokado Homura, one of the few elders in the village who seemed to have some common sense and brains had immediately placed an age limit on the graduation age in the Academy—regardless of how talented they are, with full backing and support from the Hokage as well as Nara Shikaku.
And while Yuri had never said anything, Kakashi knew that Yuri most likely had been a member of HOMRA—the not-so-secret personal ninja squad that answers only to the Jounin Commander as well as the Hokage himself.
The sudden fascination that Yuri seemed to have in wearing bandages around her left forearm is also a blatant clue—most likely, that had been where she had HOMRA's insignia marked. The same way that all ANBU members had an ANBU tattoo somewhere on their bodies—even after their retirement.
Kakashi frowned even as he walked down the streets of Konoha.
It is still early; and thus, the first vendors of the marketplace are most probably just setting up their shops. The silver-haired jounin wonders for a moment if he should spend some time at the memorial stone first before heading to the Missions' Office to get a mission.
There was a loud piercing scream just then that tore through the sleepy marketplace. Kakashi froze for a moment, his hand on his weapons pouch by sheer instinct, along with every single ninja in the vicinity.
He then took off towards the direction of the scream—towards the heart of the market area of Konoha.
Kakashi's sole visible eye then widened with shock and horror at the sight that greeted his eyes.
Uchiha Yuri barely stifled a yawn and restrained herself from just half sprawling over one of the tables in the currently closed Chameleon Moon like how Shisui is doing—ignoring all lessons of etiquette and conduct. Itachi isn't looking any better either, looking nearly half asleep. Ren is already asleep at the table whilst Hinami looked moments away from joining him. Hana is blinking sleepy eyes out of the window, resting her chin on an upturned hand.
Andromeda laughed even as she placed hot mugs of coffee in front of each of them—something that woke Ren up immediately. "You all looked exhausted." She smiled, even as Yuri nodded to her with thanks, sipping from the mug slowly. "Have some freshly brewed coffee to wake yourselves up. It's on the house."
Andromeda knew that something is going to happen when the six of them have spent a long time after their dinner the previous night discussing who-knows-what at their usual table, with silencing seals placed around their seats to prevent eavesdroppers. When it had gotten late, Andromeda had then made the six of them stay the night.
"I'll be glad when this is over." Uchiha Shisui groaned into his arms, looking really pale and exhausted. "Damn those…idiots! Who on earth will go and think up a plan like that to begin with?"
Andromeda was mildly disappointed that Shisui didn't slip any names or mentions, but she wasn't that surprised either. Close family friend or not, Andromeda is still a civilian. Maybe one with the Hokage's ear due to her status as Noriko's guardian, but she is still a civilian nonetheless. Even Yuri and the others would be careful not to slip anything of importance to her.
"Good morning, Grandmother! Yuri-nee!" Nine-year-old Teddy bounced down the stairs from the upstairs apartment, with the much quieter Noriko following close behind him, as well as Uchiha Sasuke who had stayed the night when his elder brother and cousin did.
Teddy and Noriko have gotten really close over the span of five years since Andromeda had first taken Noriko in, and were siblings in all but blood. And while Sasuke isn't as close to either one due to Itachi still helping him to get over the trauma of what had transpired to him in the Uchiha clan, the small boy had struck up a tentative type of friendship with the two.
Teddy is also quite protective over Noriko, like what Andromeda had told Yuri when she was called down to the Ninja Academy one time over a case of Teddy fighting in school due to some civilian kid calling Noriko some slur because of her hair.
"Good morning, Teddy, Noriko." Andromeda ruffled the hair of the two children and gave Sasuke a smile, knowing better than to touch the boy especially when he's still reeling away from the touches of anyone that isn't Itachi and Yuri. "Good morning, Sasuke-chan. Don't forget your bentos before you head off to the Academy."
"Yuri-nee, are you all right?" Noriko asked her pseudo sister worriedly, peering into Yuri's face and finding that the raven head seems rather pale due to the lack of sleep for several days now. "You look rather pale. Everyone too." She added, glancing at the table where half the occupants seemed almost half asleep. Itachi was almost slumping against Yuri, his head resting against her shoulder. And surprisingly, for someone who is extremely private, Yuri-nee doesn't seem to mind the close contact.
"We're fine, Noriko-chan." Hinami smiled before she got to her feet with a groan. "I guess we should go. I got to report to the hospital for my morning shift in an hour. Ren, you're due at the Cipher Division, aren't you?"
"Yeah. I just want to call in sick for the day." Ren groaned, thinking of the long day ahead of him decoding whatever secret codes that the Cipher Division had. Thank the heavens that he isn't a permanent member of the Cipher Division—they just borrowed him whenever they could, as he's easily the one who could crack codes the fastest in the entire village.
"Come on, guys, let's go." Yuri sighed, getting to her feet. "I think we've overstayed our welcome."
"Nonsense. You're welcome here anytime." Andromeda smiled. "Sasuke-chan too. I don't mind watching him when you two boys are busy." She added, looking at Itachi and Shisui who both looked very sheepish.
Yuri only shrugged and looked down at Sasuke, Teddy and Noriko. "Want me to walk you three to the Academy? I got some time before I have to see Shikaku-sama."
"With my uncle?" Ren quirked a brow even as one by one, they all slowly got to their feet. "What for?" Yuri only looked at Ren, and he understood that look immediately. "Oh."
Basically, HOMRA business aka their Uchiha mission.
"Let's go." Itachi sighed, rubbing at the back of his neck. "I have to join in the meeting as well for certain reasons. But I have the day off today, as did Yuri. So we can have a picnic or something if you wish to after your lessons today, Sasuke." Itachi smiled a rare smile at his little brother—something that he only reserved for Yuri and Sasuke.
A small smile appeared on Sasuke's face, and Itachi counted it as a success. The first few days when he'd first brought Sasuke home after gaining custody, Sasuke was even afraid to let Itachi close when he had idolised and adored Itachi so before. The little boy is gradually getting used to having close contact with people, but it is still slow going.
Itachi had actually kept Sasuke home for a few months upon gaining custody to let him heal before letting him return to the Academy, though he had joined Noriko and Teddy's class, as he knew them. It is a type of agreement that Itachi had struck up with the Hokage that Sasuke would join Teddy and Noriko's class for his lessons. However, he will only graduate when he is twelve, no sooner, as is the law.
Noriko is an exception to that rule, and everyone in the know knew that, especially considering her 'secret' status.
"It'll…be nice…" Sasuke whispered. The small boy had barely spoken in a voice louder than a whisper since his brother had taken him home.
Itachi looked at Shisui and Yuri with despair, and they both shrugged. The former Uchiha heir made a mental note to speak to Hana or even Inuzuka Tsume about the benefits of getting a dog for his little brother, and if it will help him.
It is an idea that Kakashi had suggested when the older jounin had walked in on the two discussing Sasuke in depth at the apartment that Kakashi had shared with Yuri awhile back. Kakashi had found the Dog Contract not too long after his father's suicide as a child and had signed it. And his bond with his summons had really helped with his mental state at that time.
And the entire village knew that the Inuzuka Clan had often trained dogs for therapy purposes. Half of the clan's income had came from breeding dogs and training them to be therapy animals for the ninjas of the village that still suffered from depression, PTSD and other mental health issues after all.
Hana looked at Sasuke sadly. The small boy is her little brother's age. And yet, the two are as different as night and day. Maybe once Noriko and Teddy graduate, and Sasuke is put back into the class for his own age group, she could get Kiba to befriend Sasuke.
For all his brash attitude and hot-headedness, Hana knew that her little brother would be good as a friend to Sasuke.
"Come on, we should go." Hana said at last, exchanging looks with Shisui who sighed and got to his feet at a look from his female teammate. "The kids will be late getting to the Academy otherwise."
"We're leaving, Andy!"
"See you later, Grandmother!"
"…Thank you for everything."
Andromeda only smiled and bid them farewell as they left, with the bell tinkling somewhere within the establishment as they left; the three children walking somewhere in front, with Teddy chattering nineteen to the dozen, and with Sasuke and Noriko listening intently.
Hana slowed down her steps so that she fell in step with Itachi and Yuri, her three ninken at her heels. "Hey, are you sure that your brother is fine and that you're okay?" she asked in a low voice so that the three children can't hear them. At this question, the rest of their friends turned their attention towards Hana and Itachi. "I can literally smell the trauma on him and the stress on you."
Itachi tensed before he let his shoulders slump. "…No, I'm not okay." Itachi finally admitted. "I was going to talk to you or your mother about it sometime today—about the pros and cons of possibly getting a therapy dog for Sasuke. Inoichi-san had recommended it to me as well after Sasuke's last therapy session, and how he seemed to be very taken with Yuri's wolf summons as well as Sekki and Hedwig and even my raven summons."
Hana sighed. "You should have come straight to me earlier, instead of waiting for nearly six months," she reprimanded the younger boy. "…I got some time in the afternoon after two. Come by the Inuzuka Clan compound. I'll take you to see my mother about potentially getting one of our therapy dogs. We're currently training a few for PTSD and anxiety. They might work for your brother."
Itachi nodded gratefully. "Thanks—"
A loud piercing scream resounded through the air just then; and as one, all six of them froze, one hand on their weapons pouches on instinct. In front of them, the three children have nearly jumped in the air, and Sasuke had clutched onto Noriko's sleeve, a look of terror on his face.
Shisui narrowed his eyes. "What was that?"
Yuri frowned. "…It came from the heart of the marketplace," she said slowly.
Hana looked from face to face. "Let's go!"
A crowd has already gathered at the heart of the marketplace when Yuri and the others have arrived—most of them civilians, but there are a number of ninjas amongst them—most likely the ninjas on morning patrol duty.
Every single one of them had the same horror struck expressions on their faces, staring in the same direction.
Yuri's eyes widened upon seeing the sight before her; and before the three children with them could even lay eyes on whatever has the entire marketplace so horrified, Yuri immediately covered Noriko's eyes with her left hand—not allowing her to take a peek. Itachi did the same for Sasuke, even turning his little brother around to bury his face into the folds of Itachi's clothes; whereas Shisui did the same for Teddy.
None of them wanted the three children to see the sight before them and force them to grow up before their time—just like how they did when they saw the sights of the Third Great Ninja War.
"Shisui-san? What are you doing? Why are you covering my eyes?"
"Don't look!" Yuri commanded. And at the harshness and ferocity of her voice, it silenced the protests of all three children immediately, and they even ceased their struggles to get their eyes freed. Yuri was silent for several moments, staring up at the horrific sight above her.
Numerous bodies—all of them belonging to the Uchiha clan as is evident by the Uchiha clan symbol on their clothes being strung on wires above their heads—like they're marionettes in a puppet show; blood slowly dripping down from their broken and strung bodies and dripping to the ground below them.
"…Don't look…" Yuri said again. She could barely find her voice, and was almost startled to find herself shaking. "…You shouldn't see this…"
"Oh…my god…" Hinami felt bile rising up in her throat, and she resisted the urge to throw up. If she hadn't seen bodies in worst states than this in the mortuary, she likely would have.
"…Looks like someone has done our job for us." Ren sounded oddly spooked and could hardly recognise his own voice. "Damn it…"
Yuri could barely take her eyes away from the sight in front of her—especially the sight of the Uchiha clan head and his wife—both of them with glassy eyes. But their bodies are in a worse state as compared to the rest of the clan. There is even a sword each driven straight through their hearts, unlike the rest of the Uchiha clan members.
A slight presence made his presence known behind Yuri just then. She tensed slightly before turning her head slightly only to catch a glimpse of white and brown. "…Yata-kun…?"
"You're needed at HOMRA headquarters by Shikaku-sama before you go to the Hokage." Misaki Yata murmured from behind them in a voice low enough that only they could hear. "It is a first class emergency. All of HOMRA has been called."
"…Understood." Itachi murmured.
All of them never looked away from the sight above their heads even throughout the encounter.
A single long black banner was strung above the bodies with only one single phrase written across it in white paint:
"Heaven is watching"
A/N: Well, I did mention that Uchiha massacre is going to be different, didn't I? And yes, chapters will be shorter than usual for awhile due to plot. It'd likely be longer again once we get to Noriko and Sasuke's genin years. Also, I really can't seem to make up my mind on Noriko's pairing, dear lord! It'll either be Neji, Sasuke or Gaara or even oddly enough, Teddy—and I can't seem to decide!
Anyway, I hope that you like this chapter, and please read and review! Reviews give me inspiration to update!