Disclaimer: not mine

Chapter 7

They stopped, eyeing the single Shinigami waiting for them warily. It had been a very long time since he'd seen his ex-third seat, Gin had changed a lot since then, grown up. His choice in clothing had definitely changed since abandoning Soul Society. Gin wore white hakama with a white robe open in a narrow 'V' down to his waist, closed to below the hips, and then it opened again to the hem, which fell about to mid-calf. His robe had long bell sleeves which were currently hiding his hands. The lining of the robe and edges or layers of the under-robe appeared to be black, the only break in the stark white of the outfit. The outfit also made it impossible to tell if he was carrying his Zanpakutō, but it would be folly to believe he was unarmed.

Gin smiled at them and bowed slightly. "Welcome to Las Noches," he greeted mockingly. "We've been expecting you. Harry-kun is with Aizen-sama, you're welcome to join them so long as you promise no violence."

"And we're supposed to believe that?" Kensei glared at him and Gin shrugged.

"It will take you forever to fight your way through, why not take the easy option?" Gin asked cheerfully.

Shinji glanced at Kisuke, they had no reason at all to trust Gin, so what was going on?

A very faint scream of agony reached them and Ichigo tensed in reaction, the scream was all too human…and young sounding.

"Very well then, lead the way," Kisuke said, lowering his hat and Gin turned, leading them into a maze of corridors until they came to a set of double doors, the screaming coming from behind them.


Ichigo dashed inside, immediately seeing Harry's body lying on the ground….a chain coming from his chest and over to…Ichigo stared. A ring of blazing hot fire surrounded Harry's soul, a bird of fire floating between him and Aizen, protecting him? He ignored them, focusing on the white clad form of Harry's soul. The chain was still connected so he wasn't dead, which was good. The screaming probably wasn't so good.

"You arrived sooner than expected," Aizen told them, waving to Harry.

"What have you done to him?" Shinji demanded, hand on Sakanade, but Aizen only moved further back from the screaming soul.

Aizen looked at Geta-boshi. "Were you playing with the boy or did you really think you could separate them?" he asked and Ichigo felt his blood run cold.

He glanced at Urahara who was frowning, looking over at Harry. "What have you…you've forced the soul shard out of dormancy to fight for control…" Kisuke actually paled slightly.

"Either the boy defeats it, or he dies, there is no other way."

Ichigo felt sick, sounded scarily like having to fight his inner Hollow and from the looks on the other Visoreds faces, they had made the connection too. Harry's body convulsed, the chain stretching and Ichigo's hands balled into fists. He had a feeling he knew who or what that bird was, and he wondered if he could get passed the flames. Harry screamed louder than they'd heard yet and then everything went quiet.

Shinji moved to Harry's body, checking for a pulse, nodding at them in conformation, his body was still alive. The flames burned higher and hotter, forcing them all back to the walls, even Aizen, and Ichigo threw his hand up over his face. The heat had him feeling faint but then suddenly it was gone, and he stumbled slightly, catching Mashiro to keep her from falling as the others steadied themselves.

Everyone looked to where the fire had been to see Harry lying there utterly still, dressed in white…wait, shouldn't his soul just be wearing the clothes his body was? But he looked more like Rukia had after he'd taken her powers. Ichigo moved before anyone could stop him, dropping to his knees beside the other teen, checking for any signs of 'life' and feeling utter relief when he realised Harry was breathing.

"Impressive," Aizen commented and Ichigo shot him a glare, carefully gathering Harry in his arms, carrying him over to his body.

"Any reason to not put him back in?" he asked Urahara and Hachi as the two with the most medical knowledge. Urahara motioned for him to continue so he carefully lay Harry done on his body, relieved when he went straight in. He then lifted Harry up, trusting the others to watch his back and fight if needed.

"You're just gonna let us take him?" Shinji asked, eyeing Aizen warily.

"Is it so hard to believe there are things I find reprehensible?" the ex-Captain asked. "Take the boy and go. So long as he remains out of the fight, he will not be targeted." And with that Aizen and Gin were gone.

"Let's get out of here while we can," Love offered and they turned, making their way back the way they'd come, Ichigo with Harry in the middle of the group.


As soon as Ichigo lay Harry down, Kisuke moved in with Tessai and Hachi to properly examine him. He'd love to call on Unohana to look him over, that just wasn't possible, not unless they found him to be in danger of death. Harry looked a little pale but there were no wounds at least.

The fact that the phoenix had vanished hopefully meant that Harry was in no danger, surely it would have remained to heal him? From what Harry had told him of his school, he thought it had been Fawkes, unless there was another phoenix out there that wanted to keep the kid safe.

His breathing was steady, heart rate in a normal range, all good. He was either very deeply asleep or unconscious though considering being carried hadn't woken him. Tessai began scanning him and Kisuke watched the results carefully, the soul fragment was gone. Destroyed or absorbed by Harry, they wouldn't know until they could talk to him, if he had gained any extra skills that Riddle had known, then they'd assume absorbed. Hopefully the thing wouldn't end up functioning like an inner Hollow.

"His Reiatsu feels stronger," Hachi commented as they worked.

"Not unexpected considering he was knocked out of his body and under severe stress," Kisuke admitted. He'd likely been terrified to wake up in Las Noches. Had he only seen Aizen or had he been exposed to the various Arrancar as well? They hadn't had him for too long but who knew what they may have done before Aizen had decided to deal with the soul shard.

"The question is, has Harry seen Aizen's Shikai?" Shinji asked as he watched them work.

"So what?" Ichigo asked. "Not like he's going to be fighting him."

"No, but complete hypnosis is not something to underestimate. Everyone here but you and hopefully Harry, have been exposed to Aizen's Shikai. That's the only reason I'm sure this is Harry, you would have known if it wasn't," Kisuke admitted and Ichigo grimaced.

"Yeah, that's definitely Harry."

As if he'd heard Ichigo, Harry groaned, head shifting on the pillow of Shinji's jacket.

"Harry, can you hear me? It's Urahara. You're safe," he called to the teen and his eyelids fluttered, Harry groaning again, but slowly green eyes opened.

He blinked dazedly, struggling to focus. "Ur…" he coughed and Ichigo was there, handing over a water bottle so Tessai supported Harry while Kisuke held the bottle to his lips. Harry was limp against his old friend, but he managed to swallow without help.

"With us Harry?" Shinji asked as the teen stared up at them, looking confused.

Slowly a shaking hand was lifted, pressing to his head over his scar which looked a lot better than it had before. Without the shard would it finally heal? "H'rts," he mumbled.

Kisuke hesitated but then nodded. "Then get some rest," he smiled and carefully put the teen back to sleep.

"Is he okay?" Ichigo demanded.

"He recognised us and spoke, that is a good sign," Kisuke assured him. "Let's let him sleep, hopefully he'll feel better when he wakes."

They got Harry moved to his lab and the cot he kept there for comfort but also safety, he wouldn't be able to sneak past them all from the lab like he might a guest room.


Orihime looked at the message from Ichigo in shock. Potter-san had been kidnapped? They had gotten him back which was good but apparently he'd been hurt or something. And yet no one had asked her to come and heal him. Should she go anyway? He had no family to look after him, perhaps he would like to have visitors while recovering? She'd have to tell Tatsuki too so that she wouldn't expect him for lessons until he was alright.


Short but I still have some things I need to work out.