Disclaimer: I do not and never will own Harry Potter or Naruto.
Harry Potter and the Elemental Nations
The war had taken its toll on Wizarding Britain. People looked over their shoulders constantly, never knowing when a stray death eater would strike and families were grieving. It took years for the wizarding world to get back on its feet. Laws were passed and abolished, Hogwarts was standing bright and tall and in one piece again, new officials were instated and shady ones kicked out of office, shops were reopened, and eventually it felt like war hadn't torn through the streets and demolished people and buildings alike. The young Potter heir helped with the rebuilding of Hogwarts and the patrolling of the streets when it became clear the DMLE were hit hard by loss. He had even called the rest of the DA to temporarily fill the ranks. Several members officially passed the rigorous test and joined the ranks hoping to help the workload that suddenly fell on the undermanned department. With that temporarily taken care of, he happily left security measures to the DA and worked on bettering relations with Britain's neighbors when the new minister and Order member, Kingsley Shacklebolt, had asked for his help in mending relations between magical communities.
Even before the war, relations between countries were shaky but being the Savior and friends with fellow Tri-Wizard competitor Fleur Delacour, daughter of a French politician, had helped pave his way towards communication. With how much he'd been shuffled to one meeting after another, he had quickly mastered the translation charm. He never wanted to repeat the one disastrous meeting when his miscast charm had him calling a diplomat a "pig snout". After over two years of being Britain's unofficial ambassador, Harry was starting to tire. He was tired of scrutinizing everyone and everything, of checking his food and beverages for poison, of ducking hexes and unforgivables, and especially of the assassination attempts on both himself and his friends and acquaintances. He loved to help, but there was only so far he could stretch himself before fraying at the edges. He needed a break and a place to make a home out of, somewhere far away from the masses and preferably so heavily warded, not even a beetle could get through the cracks.
The young war hero had finally gone to Gringotts under the advisement of Draco Malfoy, someone he'd grown to grudgingly respect after several run-ins in the political circle, when he'd mentioned he was looking for a permanent residence. His once friend, Ron Weasley, when he found out about their truce, had thrown a tantrum of epic proportions and severed all ties with him until he could 'see sense' again. After years of putting up with the redhead's temper, bigotry, and jealousy, Harry couldn't take any more. He'd apologized to Hermione for the position she was put in and never looked back. It culminated in a broken relationship in which his best friend had broken down in his arms, crying tears of heartbreak and screaming between sobs into his chest about the idiocy of redheads.
"What did I ever see in him?!"
"Love is blind, Hermione..." was all he could say in the face of her angry tears as he held her tightly against him, wishing it hadn't come to this.
The visit to Gringotts had opened a can of worms he didn't think he was ever prepared for. He had been instated as Lord Potter, gained a seat on the Wizengamot, and several estates as well as shares, along with the wills of his parents, godfather, and Remus. His family's goblin account manager had been less than pleased when he realized the young lord knew nothing.
"Your magical guardian was responsible for your education!"
"Magical guardian?" He wasn't aware he had one of those.
"Albus Dumbledore, as your magical guardian, was supposed to be your educator."
His world fell apart that day. His headmaster had intentionally neglected his duties because he had set Harry on the path to death. The old man hadn't even entertained the notion of Harry's survival. In the end, the Potter goblin, Braggrot, had thrown a heavy tome at him with a pointed glare. After a week of having knowledge he should have already possessed pounded into his brain by a grouchy goblin, he finally learned enough to pretend he knew. Once his accounts were settled, he chose his heavily warded ancestral manor as his home, having grown paranoid over the past few years. Being on the run had definitely left its mark.
Years later, Harry James Potter could finally say he was relatively content with his life. He'd made himself a home and was no longer in serious danger of being assassinated while out in public. He was happy with and proud of the calm that had settled over Wizarding Britain even though he missed the adventure at times. It was strangely unsettling how peaceful life had become. Somehow, the Wizarding World had turned him into an adrenaline junkie. When he wasn't at home, he was traveling to other magical communities and he occasionally joined Bill Weasley in his quest for knowledge and treasure as a curse breaker. Other times, he would visit the Romanian dragon reserve with Charlie Weasley and see Norberta and the other dragons. Even when home, he would practice new magics and work on little projects with Hermione who had been recruited by the Department of Mysteries an Unspeakable after finishing her schooling.
It was during one of Harry's days of relaxation when adventure would come find him again. The savior of the wizarding world was conversing with a summoned serpent in the underground chambers of his ancestral home when wind whipped through the once still room, tossing parchment into the air that was just as suddenly charged with static. Motes of magic materialized and there was a sudden influx of pressure. Bright light filled his vision as a runic circle appeared beneath him and his companion. Panicking, Harry expelled a force of magic and shoved his companion to the far wall, as far away from the circle as he could. Before he was whisked away, he could only make out that the runes were Japanese in origin.
A startled hiss of §§Little King!§§ was the last Harry heard before white light blinded him.
If he wasn't so accustomed to the strange ways of magical travel, Harry would have fallen flat on his face. As it was, he managed to land on his feet with only a stumble. Blinking owlishly, he stared at his surroundings in barely concealed shock. All he could see was grass and more grass...and then giant animals. No one could blame him when he gaped. And then he gaped some more when he realized there were people standing on the gigantic animals. What on Earth?! Hell, was he still on Earth?!
And then he was being shouted at in Japanese even though he was fairly certain he wasn't in Japan. He'd been there a fair few times and he'd never come across such people. In fact, it took him a few seconds before that little fact connected with his overwhelmed brain. It was only the amount of diplomatic travels he had to endure as 'The Savior' that he'd even learned to identify different languages. Wandlessly and silently casting a translation charm on himself, Harry cleared his throat and asked, "Sorry. Would you mind repeating that?"
A serpentine man hiss threateningly at him, "Who are you boy? I summoned the King of Serpents, so where did you come from?"
Harry narrowed his eyes at the man who, despite looking nothing like Voldemort, reminded him of the Dark Lord with his raspy voice and reptilian eyes. Let's not forget the sibilant hiss to his words.
Harry was the 'King' of Serpents however it was unlikely the man meant to summon him. The wizard rightfully assumed his, no doubt very frustrated, companion back in the underground chambers of his ancestral home was the intended target for this summon. Without knowing it, by being a parselmouth and killing the previous Empress of Serpents in his second year, he had gained the title "Conqueror-of-the-Ancient-One" and became known as Emperor of Serpents. Upon learning of his title, he had been reluctant to acknowledge it, but in the end acceptance came quickly when he realized the stigma snakes held due to the terror Voldemort had brought to the wizarding world. He worked quickly to rectify it. Though he had hated using his name, he had learned that sometimes that was how things could get done the quickest, and now Harry had a second familiar in the form of a young basilisk. His little snake was actually gaining a bit of a fan base after rescuing a young girl from a kidnapper. Still, he didn't think his title transferred to other lands or worlds or wherever he currently was.
"So you did," Harry eventually replied, "though I think you were expecting an entirely different king." Manda did make an impressive looking serpent king and was a very regal specimen of his species.
This drew only more confusion. Seeing as he wasn't helping whatever the situation might be, Harry shrugged and simply said, "I guess I'll go explore and leave you to whatever you were doing."
"You can't just leave!" someone shouted from atop one of the giant animals, a toad smoking a pipe of all things.
Squinting, the wizard could make out what seemed to be a middle aged white-haired man with tribal tattoos on his face.
"And why not?" Harry shouted back in reply, trying his hardest to sound disbelieving. "I don't know you, I got summoned by a weirdo, and what do you expect me to do in this whatever you're doing? Why would I join a party with giant animals when I'm clearly human?"
The giant toad who had remained silently observing until now spluttered indignantly and boomed, "party?!"
Harry didn't bother wondering about how a toad could talk. Magic was probably the answer or something anyway. "Hello? Outsider here. I don't know what you were doing, remember? So bye!"
The long-haired Voldemort lookalike actually tried to take his head off-the bastard-with a long
sword the weirdo held in his mouth of all places, before the wizard vanished with a deafening crack.
It wasn't long after Harry left the strangers behind that he heard the sounds of battle. The madman actually managed to nick his cheek with the edge. The wound burned painfully for a moment, the phoenix tears in his blood burned beneath his skin as it purged the poison from his blood. The nick vanished with a sizzle, leaving the black poison behind to dry. After a bit of pondering, Harry decided to stick around a bit. Taking out his shrunken Firebolt, he unshrunk it before mounting it and taking off into the air to observe these strange people from above. In his haste to leave, he hadn't noticed there was an unconscious kid laying there with only a young woman to watch over him. 'Well, shite.' Now he couldn't leave thanks to his saving-people thing as Hermione would put it.
When Manda was finally successfully summoned, Harry frowned. The giant snake looked around in what he would describe as pure outrage before narrowing his reptilian eyes at the top of his head where two men stood.
"Orochimaru!" Oh, so that's the weirdo's name. The serpent didn't sound friendly in the least. Strange considering upon first meeting, Harry had thought the snake had a funny morbid sense of humor as was customary for them and was rather respectful despite being a proud, sarcastic, and witty creature. Snakes weren't known for rolling over so being snarked at and threatened was fairly tame. However, Manda was almost spitting venom at the moment.
Wait, Manda just spoke in Japanese! Harry almost gaped. He didn't even think to speak to Manda in a human language. Maybe magical snakes were capable of learning human languages. He had never heard of it before but then again, there were still many things he was clueless about of the magical world. Or maybe only giant animals in this world were capable of human speech. More shouting drew him back to the situation below.
"What did you do to him, you ant?!" The snake had likely caught a faint whiff of Harry's blood with a flick of his forked tongue and upon finding the wizard missing, jumped to conclusions of the morbidly lethal variety. Granted, the Orochi fellow did try to behead him.
Before the man could answer, Manda had dislodged him from his head and attempted to flatten him and his manservant with his tail, leaving a curved trench in the earth. The other two animals and their human companions could only watch in confusion as the snake summon tried to make summoner pancake.
Harry smiled despite himself. It was nice to be so cared about by the serpent. After growing up without affection or love, he found himself appreciating all the affection and adoration he received from his friends, familiars and the serpents. Even as a grown man, he still adored hugs.
The serpentine man seemed to realize that admitting to attacking the boy he accidentally summoned would lead to an early grave and was obviously looking for a way to sidestep the question by offering the serpent sacrifices in exchange for his help. Manda was having none of it and continued his attacks while demanding answers. The blonde woman had obviously reached the same conclusion and more than happily gave the snake the answer.
"Manda!" She shouted from atop her perch. "Orochimaru tried to take his head off with Kusanagi. The kid-
He would very much like them to stop calling him a kid, thanks. He was twenty-three, for Merlin's sake.
"-disappeared after getting scratched. You should find him if he's so important. The poison on the sword kills fairly quickly." She would know. The victims of that sword never lasted more than a few hour before perishing in agony. Wherever the kid was, he must be in great pain as the poison ran its course. It wasn't something an innocent bystander deserved. If he hadn't disappeared, she would have done her best to purge the poison from him.
Manda reared back to get a better look at the woman, momentarily halting his attacks, trying to discern if she was lying or not. Casting a disgusted glance at the sweating Orochimaru, he looked to the toad for verification.
Gamabunta heaved a sigh before grudgingly answering the snake. "Tsunade-hime's right. Snakeface attacked the boy after he tried to leave. Got scratched with Kusanagi before he disappeared."
Apparently that was more than enough for the snake to fully turn on his summoner. It was then Manda noticed the weakened state the man was in. "You dare to summon me in your pathetic state, Orochimaru? Furthermore, you dare to attack and poison my Emperor?! I will take great pleasure in feasting upon your corpse, you rat!"
Seeing the very real danger they were in, Kabuto made a quick getaway with a shunshin, taking his ill master along with him. The snake could only glare hatefully at the now empty spot.
Jiraiya and Tsunade exchanged baffled glances at the strange statement.
"My Lord, I know you're around here somewhere," the snake boomed, carefully watching his surroundings for any sign of the wizard.
Giving in, Harry landed on the snake's large head after carefully stowing his broom away midair. "I'm here. Thanks for worrying about me." He patted the snake between the eyes in thanks.
"What were you thinking, jumping into a summon circle like that?! There was no need to push me aside. I could handle anything that disgusting human attempts upon my being," Manda boasted in his usual arrogant way before flicking his tongue in displeasure upon seeing the blood on the human's cheek. "That rat actually cut you with Kusanagi!"
Harry could only rub the nape of his neck sheepishly. What could he say? He was a Gryffindor. "Sorry?" Seeing the serpent's gaze fixated on his cheek, he quickly wiped the blood away with his sleeve. "See? All healed and taken care of!"
Manda only huffed at the wizard before turning on his tail, careful not to dislodge the wizard, to glare at the other two duos as if daring them to try anything. "I will eat you if you dare try to harm him. You know you cannot hope to defeat me even if there are four of you rats scurrying about."
Gamabunta scowled as well as a toad could before retaliating in the most irritating manner he could by blowing smoke in the snake's face.
Katsuyu evidently chose to be peace keeper. "Do not worry, Manda-sama. We have no issue with the young man. He came upon the scene purely by accident. We will do him no harm so long as he does us no harm."
The large serpent remained skeptical but huffed in acceptance anyway. All the serpents by now knew their Emperor had a bleeding heart and wasn't the confrontational sort. Not to say that the human couldn't fight-he did kill their previous Empress as a child after all-, but he was too kind and was prone to falling headfirst into trouble. If Harry wasn't so ridiculously powerful and wasn't afraid to retaliate when provoked, many would have taken advantage of the perceived weakness and tried to take his title. As it was, his easygoing nature only endeared the human to the serpent race.
§§ I will be fine on my own, Manda. §§
Manda carefully lowered his head to the ground to allow the wizard to hop off before rising again and staring down at Harry sternly. §§ Call me if you are in trouble, understood? Emperor of Serpents or not, you are only a puny human. §§
Said Emperor rolled his eyes but nodded to appease Manda anyway. §§ Of course. §§
Casting one final warning glare at the other two summoners and summon animals, Manda turned to Harry and bowed his head before disappearing with a puff of smoke.
Jiraiya and Tsunade exchanged another glance of many that day before dismissing their partners. Landing lightly on the ground, they approached the obviously foreign man.
Tsunade, ever the healer, looked at the man's cheek with a critical eye, frowning when there was no wound to be seen, only a bit of crusty dried blood remained. "You healed yourself?"
Harry nodded and smiled hesitantly when she looked unconvinced. In fact, her expression reminded him very much of Madam Pomfrey.
The woman narrowed her eyes and eyed his cheek for a moment before grudgingly letting the issue slide. Unfortunately, that only gave her an opening for questioning. "How—no, who are you?"
"Oh, right. I'm Harry. Nice to meet you…?"
Jiraiya snorted, chuckling despite the situation. The man seemed way too bashful to be any kind of Emperor of Snakes or whatever.
"Um, I have a question. Where exactly am I?"
End of Prologue.
Edited: July 22, 2016