Know Why the Nightingale Sings

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the obvious, the rest belongs to JK Rowling and Nobuhiro Watsuki.

Author's Note: All I can say is that I'm so sorry for the lateness of this chapter. I seem to have lost nearly all my inspiration for this fic, though some ideas do pop up now and then – which, in turn, leads to a new chapter. However, this story WILL NOT be abandoned, so please don't expect or beg for regular updates, they will come when they come. Otherwise enjoy the following chapter!

Haruo's magical powers make an appearance in this chapter!

Thanks to my good friend and beta, Paladin Steelbreaker.

Chapter Five

Haruo found Aoshi standing – fully dressed and prepared for battle – in the middle of the ballroom when he came down from the observatory tower. He could vaguely see the outline of the two kodachi through the large, white trench coat the taller man insisted on wearing.

"Looks like they've begun," the green-eyed onmitsu commented as faint sounds of battle reached the two of them from the lower floors of the mansion.

Aoshi nodded; his face expressionless. "Hannya is tough," he said as if to comfort the other man. "If his combat skills aren't enough, his unbeatable Shin-wan technique – the 'Arm Extension Spell' – should be. His opponents have no chance unless they see through the trick."

Haruo didn't bother with answering that statement. He hadn't been afraid that Hannya would loose, no, the spy-master was too skilled for that to happen. He was afraid of Hannya being killed despite Battousai's no-killing ideal and reversed sword. Even a sakabato could do a lot of damage, and if the correct inner organs were damaged, Hannya could die due to internal bleeding. It wasn't a happy thought.

'When this is all over we're definitely going on a long vacation,' the green-eyed man decided silently, and eyed his best friend and boss. 'And he'll join us even if I have to kidnap him!'


"Hmm?" he asked.

"Stand guard outside, and remember the plan." Aoshi ordered, his voice as expressionless as his face, though Haruo could detect a small something in the other man's manner which told him that Aoshi was very much looking forwards to fighting the most famous hitokiri of all times.

Instead of voicing any of his concerns as he might have once done, Haruo simply nodded and walked towards the doorway opposite them which led into the corridor from where Battousai and his group would arrive. "Of course, Okashira. Battousai should arrive for your battle at any moment." With that he exited the room.

Haruo had to walk down a rather long corridor to get to the stairs leading down to the lower floors. The staircase was rather long, and at the bottom of it a group of Kanryou's own swordsmen were placed. Stupidly enough these guys were equipped only with wooden swords, and everyone, including themselves, knew that they had absolutely no chance against the attacking force. Therefore they proved to be no big match for the quartet. Battousai and Zanza simply passed them without paying much attention, and Kamiya Kaoru and her student Myojin Yahiko were left to deal with them.

"Alright! Kaoru-dono, Yahiko, I'm trusting you two!" Himura Battousai shouted as he ran past the swordsmen and up the staircase.

"They're just a girl and some brat!" Zanza muttered. "You're making fun of us!" he accused the red-haired hitokiri.

"What was that!" came the angry shout from Myojin Yahiko as he waved his bokken threateningly up the stairs at the fight-merchant.

Kamiya Kaoru had instead focused on the men and wooden swords that surrounded her and her student. She held up her own bokken, and focused on the fight ahead. "The Kamiya Kasshin Ryu…" she started to say.

"… Don't you make fun of it!" the hot-headed Yahiko finished, and then the two of them attacked the terrified swordsmen surrounding them.

All this Haruo had watched with a bit of amusement shining in his green eyes, but then he focused back on Battousai and Zanza. The two of them had already reached the landing, and just as they were about to continue ascending the stairs, they had to hastily jump to the side as a large ball of iron smashed into the floor between them, totally ruining the checker-theme of the marble tiles. The ball of iron was easily pulled out of the floor by means of a chain, and towards the wielder of the weapon. Shikijo had been sitting in the middle of the stairs, hidden from sight from the lower floors by the railing, but now he stood up and grinned at the two rather surprised men.

"If you've come this far, then you must've defeated Hannya. You must be good!" the large, muscular and scarred Oniwabanshu member said with a grin. "But considering the ease which your two companions down there are taking care of Kanryou's hired help, it doesn't really surprise me. I am Shikijo, if you were wondering, and this is my way of saying 'hello'. Hello!" with that he swung the enormous ball-on-chain at the two fighters again.

Everyone were surprised when Zanza suddenly jumped up and actually caught the iron ball, and held on. The chain was stretched, and the fight-merchant was panting heavily as he tried to regain the breath that had been forced out of his lunges at impact with the ball.

"Sano!" Battousai exclaimed in worry.

"I'm fine!" the other insisted. "Leave the muscle-head to me, and keep on going! This guy I can handle easy. You go and get that drug-pushing wench out of here!"

The red-haired hitokiri seemed slightly indecisive for a second, then nodded. "Aa." He agreed, and then he flitted up the stairs that Shikijo was guarding with surprising speed. And there was nothing Shikijo could do to stop the small man because his weapon was still clutched tight by Zanza.

But Shikijo didn't even try to pull his ball-on-chain free, and simply smirked as his eyes met the lilac ones belonging to Battousai as the hitokiri passed him. Then the man stopped worrying about the hitokiri, and focused back on the fight-merchant.

"You…" Zanza realised. "You planned on letting Kenshin go from the start!"

"Had to." Shikijo replied. "Best guys go to the best guys. Way it goes. Me, I have to settle for third-rate goods, for you 'fight-merchant Zanza'." He smirked. "You had quite the rep in the Tokyo underground, but without that big ol' zanbato you ain't much!"

Haruo stopped listening in on the conversation at that point, because Himura Battousai had finally reached the top of the stairs, and now stood in front of him, ready for battle.

"We know each other's faces, and we have met in battle once before. Now we speak for the first time," Battousai said, his hand placed on the hilt of his sakabato.

"Indeed," Haruo replied, though his own hands remained in his pockets. The same pockets were filled with various shuriken, kunai, and other weapons, and also some explosives that could be safely and effectively used inside the house without burning the house to the ground. His entire stance conveyed no threat, but the smaller man was smart enough not to buy it.

"What was said to Hannya, is now said to you," Battousai spoke up. "This one would avoid battle when possible. Will you not let me and my companions pass, and tell us where Kanryou and Megumi-dono are?"

"Hannya didn't let you pass when you asked him this, so why should I?" Haruo smirked at the suddenly tense man. "Relax Battousai, although I owe you for a rather spectacular scar, I am not going to fight you, nor am I going to tell you where Takani Megumi or Takeda Kanryou are."

"Then what happens now?" the smaller man asked with narrowed eyes.

"Now? Now you walk past me to the end of the corridor. There you will find the doors leading into the ballroom, and once you enter all your questions will be answered." Haruo's face suddenly lost its smirk. "Despite my own wishes your fight is with the Okashira."

Battousai stared at him for a long minute, and Haruo stepped off to the side, leaving almost the entire corridor free and unblocked except the occasional table or chest-of-drawers. The hitokiri slowly started walking, his lilac eyes always focused on Haruo's own green ones. It seemed like an age before the redhead passed the black-haired man, and then Haruo moved back to stand guard in the middle of the corridor again. His back was to Battousai and his front to the stairs again.

"You mean to keep them from coming to my aid." The hitokiri commented from where he had stopped.

"I hope we have the chance to fight again, Himura Battousai." Was Haruo's simple reply, and he had to almost physically hold himself back from turning and attacking the smaller man when the other's footsteps picked up again. How dearly he wanted to fight the best assassin of all times, he had begged Aoshi for one simple fight! Everyone had their fight except Beshimi and Hyottoko for obvious reasons, but Haruo wasn't wounded at all, nor was he weak or stupid – he was the Second in Command for heavens sake! yet Aoshi had refused for him to fight. Aoshi himself wanted to fight Battousai, and the hitokiri was going to be as rested as possible for Aoshi to be able to really measure his skill and grab the title of the strongest for the Oniwabanshu. Aoshi had never done that before, taken away one man's revenge only to get the title of the strongest.

Haruo sighed as he heard the doors of the ballroom open and close. 'I'm going to have a long, serious talk with Shinomori Aoshi once this is all over. It's about time I started acting on my promise to beat him into a bloody pulp of unidentifiable goo.'

A young voice shouting out: "Oh no, not another one!" brought him out of his thoughts, and he looked up. Kamiya Kaoru stood at the top of the stairs along with her student Myojin Yahiko. Both looked a little winded, but ready for another battle. Zanza stood with them as well, although he had to lean slightly on the banister. The fight-merchant's forehead was bloody, and he had horrendous bruises forming all over, but his eyes were clear and he didn't seem to suffer too much.

'You did a good job despite the outcome, Shikijo,' the green-eyed man thought, and gave the unconscious scarred man a mental pat on the back. 'You too, Hannya.' He added and did the same to the spy-master. "You can go no further. Please turn back or simply wait there, and we can avoid any unpleasantness."

Zanza snorted and wiped away a trickle of blood that ran from the corner of his mouth. "Kenshin's beyond those doors at the end of the corridor, right?" he asked.

"Hai," Haruo replied. "He is matching his powers against the Okashira, Shinomori Aoshi-sama."

"Well, if he's there, then we're also going to be there to help him." Zanza declared.

"So get out of the way!" the young boy shouted and waved his bokken threateningly.

Haruo simply stared at them for a second, then suddenly he disappeared from his spot and just as suddenly reappeared right in front of the boy, Haruo's right arm holding the drawn ninjato straight out, his coat fluttering slightly as it settled in around him, his upper body leaning forwards as most of his weight was placed on his left foot which was placed in front of the right. When it came to footwork the stance looked a bit like the Battoujutsu, but otherwise it wasn't.

The cut-off piece of the boy's bokken bumped into the wall on its journey through the air, then cluttered onto the floor several feet down the corridor.

"I have nothing against killing you all; in fact, I am burning for a good battle." Haruo told them as he straightened up his eyes flashing dangerously. "But orders are orders, and the Okashira ordered me to guard this corridor whilst he battles Battousai. That's exactly what I intend to do." He looked down at the shocked boy. "Be glad that it wasn't you head."

The two grown-ups were shocked as well, and could only stare at the green-eyed man. The speed had been as fast as the legendary speed of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, Battousai's own sword technique, and they suddenly realised that both Hannya and Shikijo were almost nothing compared to the man standing in front of them now.

"You…" Kamiya Kaoru began. "You're Rihito Haruo, the Second in Command of the Oniwabanshu!"

Zanza growled. "I knew you looked familiar! You're the one who spied on us two days ago by the river! I've wanted to bash your pretty face in since I first saw y- HEY! Don't you DARE turn your back on me!"

Haruo seemingly paid the other man no heed. He couldn't help it anymore, he needed a fight just like he needed air to breathe. It was an addiction, and he couldn't keep himself away from it anymore, especially not when he heard the faint sounds of steel clashing from inside the ballroom. Therefore he sought to provoke Zanza, and he knew he had done a good job when the man in question suddenly attacked.

Quickly swinging out of the way of the destructive punch aimed at his neck, Haruo retaliated with bringing his ninjato down aiming to dislocate the taller man's shoulder. Zanza was surprisingly quick and agile for a man his size, and caught the sword by the hand-guard with his right, and aimed another punch with his left. Grabbing the fist Haruo used Zanza's momentum to swing the man around and straight towards the staircase. The fight-merchant would've probably fallen down the stairs if Kamiya Kaoru and Myojin Yahiko hadn't intervened and caught Zanza by his white jacket and helped him regain his balance.

The smirk on the green-eyed man's face told the three just how much he enjoyed the fight. "Come at me with the intent to kill otherwise you'll never defeat me, Zanza."

"You… Teme." (Bastard.) Zanza glared. "Kaoru, can you help me out here? You're the resident expert on swords besides Kenshin." He asked of the woman.

Kamiya Kaoru nodded, her face set in determination. "Hai."

Haruo just stood there, waiting for their next move. This time it was the young woman, Kamiya Kaoru, who attacked. Her bokken rained down on him, and Haruo had to admit that her speed was impressive. However, she could never beat him, she didn't come at him with the intent to kill him, only to distract him enough for Zanza to sneak past and down the corridor. With that Haruo drew a couple of shuriken and kunai, and threw them at her. She wouldn't be seriously hurt – he couldn't bring himself to really hurt a woman – but she was forced to defend herself and jump out of the way of the projectiles which left Haruo free to chase after Zanza. Before the fight-merchant realised what was happening Haruo had used his considerable speed and delivered a kick to the man's abdomen, and sent him flying back down the corridor to his two friends.

"He's just like Hannya!" Yahiko exclaimed in surprise.

"Close, but not quite right." Haruo said to the boy. "Hannya is just like me."

"You taught him everything?" the Kamiya-girl concluded more like a statement than a question.

"No, Aoshi-sama did, but I was there as well." Haruo replied.

Zanza finally got to his feet, his arm wrapped slightly around his aching abdomen. "There's a large difference between teacher and student, so we need to be careful." The tall man told his two companions. "This isn't going to be a simple fight. Compared to Hannya and Shikijo this guy's so far removed from them that it's the difference between a child and a grownup."

Haruo smirked again, and got into a stance. "Ready whenev-" His words were cut off by the sound of numerous gunshots from the ballroom. The sound of the shots didn't stop at even after a couple of minutes, and judging by the sound of it the shots were placed too close together for it to be shot by one human with a gun, or even a group of them. Haruo could only come to one conclusion, and his eyes widened. "No. Impossible!" He whispered in shock.

"What is that?" Kamiya Kaoru demanded.

"Sounds like gunshots!" Zanza said.

"A Gatling gun!" Haruo exclaimed. Another round of shots had him running at top speed towards the ballroom. He kicked the doors open just in time to hear Aoshi ask where the devil Kanryou had gotten the weapon, whilst Aoshi himself along with Battousai were running all over trying to avoid being hit.

"That's Kanryou-sama, you impudent fool!" Kanryou roared from his place on the opposite end of the room from Haruo, and aimed the gun at Aoshi.

"AOSHI!" Haruo shouted as he watched his best friend fall to the floor. Totally ignoring the bullets flying all around the room, the green-eyed man darted in and to the fallen man. "Aoshi! Aoshi, are you alright!" he demanded and helped the other sit up, letting the slightly teller man lean on him for support.

"I was shot in the legs," Aoshi replied. "Nothing to worry about, Haruo."

Everyone turned towards Kanryou as the opium dealer lit up a cigar and started talking. "I have no intention of ending up as some small-time, petty opium dealer. My goal's always been to move up to the big time."

"You mean…?" Haruo exclaimed his surprise evident on his face.

"That's right! I will raise in money by selling the opium, and rake in the riches by selling weapons like this new Gatling gun!" Kanryou laughed and puffed on the cigar. "I'm going to be a 'merchant of death', an arms dealer!"

"And you're willing to use peoples lives and happiness for your own fortune?" Battousai demanded from where he stood. His three friends had joined him by now, and all of them stood close to the doors leading out into the corridor. They could escape quite easily. Haruo and Aoshi, on the other hand, were almost in the middle of the room.

"Listen, Battousai. If you have money you can wield power beyond any swordsmanship by a long shot. Just like this Gatling gun! In the end, the 'most powerful' is me!" he laughed.

At this point both Shikijo and Hannya had regained consciousness and had joined them in the ballroom. Hannya's shocked exclamation alerted everyone to their presence in the doorway, and Battousai and his friends nearly jumped out of their skins.

"Hannya! Shikijo!" Zanza glared at the two of them.

"Don't' be so suspicious. We both lost in fair fights, we're not about to turn cowards and backstab you now." Hannya said, his mask missing, and his disfigured face bared for all to see.

"You're not all that bad, are you?" Yahiko wondered.

"Was that sarcasm just now?" Hannya raised a nonexistent eyebrow.

Kanryou was still talking. "How wonderful of you two to join us! Now I can get rid of all the bests in one shot! You who dared to mock me from the beginning, I'll take care of you first! DIE HARUO AND AOSHI!"

Haruo and Aoshi could only watch as Kanryou aimed the Gatling gun at the two of them, and started shooting. They could see the shots that hit the floor as Kanryou took his sweet time in killing them. The shots came closer and closer, and they knew they had no chance of moving out of the way, especially not with Aoshi wounded.

"Oh no, you don't!" came a shout, and suddenly Shikijo stood in front of the two men like a shield, and took all the bullets meant for them.

"Shikijo!" Haruo and Aoshi gasped in shock almost at the same time.

"O-Okashira, Haruo-sama, don't… don't you start squirting now, those faces don't suit you t-two." The large man panted, his voice wavering. "I got no complaints. Look at these muscles… what else could I want? Not even bullets can… get through to… showed him…" he fell into a kneeling position. He was dead.

"Shikijo…" Aoshi whispered.

"At 200 shots a minute I can chop that meatball into hash! So, who's next!" Kanryou had a sick grin across his face. "Well!"

Another door opened, and Hyottoko stood there his barrel of oil on his back. "Hold your fire!" the enormous man roared. "Your opponent now is me, Hyottoko!"


"Better not shoot, not unless you want this oil-bag to go up in a fireball!" Hyottoko pointed to himself as he ran towards Kanryou.

"Then what if I shoot here!" Kanryou asked and pointed the gun straight to Hyottoko's face.

"NO!" Haruo shouted.

"Hyottoko!" came the yell from Aoshi.

The enormous man fell, but with a grin on his face. "You fell… for… it…" he said with his last breath. As he fell the large barrel on his back was destroyed from within and Beshimi jumped out a poisonous dart ready in his hand. Hytooko had gotten them more than halfway across the room, and now it would be a simple task for the small man to shoot Kanryou. But Kanryou was for once faster, and the Gatling gun went off whilst Beshimi was still in the air.

Beshimi didn't stand a chance.


The small man fell on his back not far from Aoshi and Haruo, the two men watching in horror as he coughed up blood. "O-Okashira, we… we couldn't do it… They called us useless, said we had but one trick… but you kept us in the Oniwabanshu, and so to you… to the Okashira… we give our lives… I'm sorry… in the end… for being so… use-… -less…"


"My, my, that was close!" Kanryou panted. "That freak could have actually hurt me! Now, for the two heads of the Oniwabanshu…" he focused back on Aoshi and Haruo. "It shall be fun to watch you die!"

Haruo jumped in front of Aoshi and held up his crossed arms in front of his face. The Gatling gun went off again, but to everyone's shock the bullets seemed to hit something invisible, a small blue light could be seen around each bullet, and then they ping-ed off to the side. Everyone could just stare, but Kanryou didn't relent his attack and the bullets kept on coming.

"Haruo! Stop it! You're going to die!" Aoshi exclaimed. "Haruo!"

Haruo didn't listen. He ignored everything, just concentrated upon keeping the shield up. He had discovered this ability when he was small, and Okina had helped him to gain as much control of it as possible. No one else in the Oniwabanshu had this ability, and it had helped them get out of several tight spots over the years. Sometimes he formed the shield, other times – if they were under pursuit – they seemed to blend in with their surroundings. He never knew exactly what would happen, but he was glad this time that it was the shield that had come up. The only downside to this was that it was damn tiring, and he couldn't keep it up for a long time. Already he could feel some of the bullets managing to make their way through the shield, a couple of them grazing him, one leaving a long scratch on his face, and a couple even embedded themselves in his legs and arms. But he ignored it all and concentrated upon keeping the shield as strong as he could.


'I'm probably not going to survive this. When it's all done, don't you dare do anything stupid, Aoshi.' The green-eyed man thought to himself as he felt several bullets whiz past him.

Suddenly the bullets stopped and he looked up. Hannya laid dead on the ground in front of him, and Battousai was just in the process of recovering his sakabato, whilst Kanryou looked pissed off. Haruo couldn't keep himself standing anymore, and he fell to the ground, only to be caught by Aoshi.

"Haruo! Are you alright?" the blue-eyed man demanded. "Haruo?"

Haruo groaned and sat up as much as he could. "Once we get out of here we need to have a very long talk, Aoshi. And this time you are going to listen to me, even if I have to beat it into that thick skull of yours." He growled and his green eyes wouldn't let the other man's blue ones turn away until Aoshi nodded his agreement.

"If you're going to beg for your life, then pray to your beloved money!" Battousai suddenly shouted to Kanryou, and with that the sakabato connected painfully with Kanryou's face, breaking the man's jaw and nose at the very least.

"… please… help… please…" Kanryou squeaked from his new position.

Myojin Yahiko squatted down by the guy's head, and poked it several times. "Even in rage Kenshin upholds his wow not to kill… mostly."

Neither Haruo nor Aoshi cared any more for what happened around them. They were both staring in grief a the dead bodies of the men they had called companions for numerous years, and Haruo could even feel his green eyes watering up slightly which hadn't happened since he was a little kid. He could feel Zanza's stare, but the tall fight-merchant didn't try to approach the two kneeling members of the Oniwabanshu – this mostly due to Battousai himself.

"For now let them be alone," the redhead said quietly.

"… alright," Zanza agreed, and both Kamiya Kaoru and Myojin Yahiko nodded in agreement, though they still sent sad looks towards the last of the Oniwabanshu.

"Let's go," Battousai had the three of them soon occupied again. "Megumi-dono is waiting." With that he climbed the stairs leading up to the observatory, and was followed by his trio of friends. They were soon out of sight and hearing range of the two broken men, and in the end not even the insanely loud arguing between Zanza and Yahiko could be heard.

The two of them simply kneeled there for a minute, then Aoshi suddenly clambered to his legs and picked up his discarded kodachi. He walked over to Hyottoko and brought the weapon down, cleanly severing the head from the body. Haruo winced at the sound and the blood, but he knew what Aoshi was trying to do. It seems like he was finally able to again understand what went on in Aoshi's head after all these years: Aoshi wanted to give their four trusty companions a proper burial, but seeing as they would have no chance to carry the bodies being injured as they were and so pressed for time, they would have to make do with the heads. Therefore Haruo got to his own feet, drew his ninjato and walked over to Beshimi. He looked down at the small man, a single tear escaping his eye, then he brought the sword down at the same time as Aoshi did it with Shikijo.

We'll take the secret passage, the one leading from the attic and into the woods behind the house". Aoshi's voice was emotionless. In his hand he was holding two severed heads by the hair, and he took the other two from Haruo when the green-eyed man reached him. "Let's go."

"Hai." Haruo replied and followed the taller man through the corridors of the house, and to the closest hidden door to the secret passage. Just as the two of them had passed into the passage and the door closed behind them, they heard numerous running footsteps and shouting, and also to telltale sound of several police whistles. "We got out just in time." Haruo muttered as he and Aoshi made their way through the dark corridor.

"Aa." Aoshi agreed, and nothing else was said for the rest of the journey.

When they reached the end of the tunnel, Haruo slipped past the taller man and climbed up the wooden ladder placed into the wall of earth, and he lifted up the top carefully to make sure that there were no police officers around. When he saw none he jumped out, and reached back into the hole to take the four severed heads. He tried not to look at them too much, otherwise he'd lose his breakfast. Aoshi got up as well, and then the two of them walked off. Once again luck seemed to be with them, for not even a full minute later, just as the two of them had gotten over the wall going all around the property; a group of police officers along with Battousai, his group and Megumi arrived at the scene.

"The door's open," Megumi said. "They did come through here."

Aoshi stopped and so did Haruo. "There's one more thing to do before we leave this place." The Okashira said.

"There is." Haruo agreed and they turned back again. They needed to have one last chat with Battousai before they disappeared. They reached the wall surrounding the mansion and jumped atop it.

"Search!" the police chief ordered his men. "They must still be close by! Stop even a kitten going past!"

Haruo and Aoshi sent out a trickle of their ki, and as expected Battousai was the first to pick up on it. Everyone else followed the former hitokiri's line of sight, and most of them shuddered, a cold chill going down their spines at the scene that met them. Both men stood tall and proud, both mocking the police and refusing to be captured, the severed heads and bloodstained clothes were only making it worse.

"Wh-what are you doing?" the police chief stumbled over his words. "Arrest th-!"

Zanza stopped him. "Not so fast, you'll all just be killed." Then he focused back on the two men, and spoke to them. "It's not your faults. That Gatling gun… what could you have done? The Oniwabanshu died to let the two of you live, but they were happy to do it."

"Aoshi, Haruo," Battousai spoke up when the two in question didn't reply. "If you two cannot forgive yourself… let us fight one more time. Fight, and then win. Take the words 'most powerful' for those four's graves."

Aoshi was silent for another minute, then he turned away. "Battousai. Until I come to kill you… don't let anyone beat me to it."

"What if I kill him first?" Haruo wondered. "I still owe the guy a scar." He then sent a small smile over his shoulder at the group gathered below, and then both he and Aoshi jumped down from the wall and ran into the wild woods behind the mansion, disappearing completely from the tracking skills of the police and even Battousai himself.


There, please tell me what you think.

I am going to bow down to your wishes and bring in the wizards far more early than I had originally thought, in fact they will appear in the next chapter, so stay tuned! In the next chapter we will also be going more original in the Rurouni Kenshin-universe, and I beg of all of you to bear with any and all changes.

To keep from being torn apart by those of you who wanted me to do the entire series, all I will say is that Harry will return to the RK-world once he's done with the wizards. And about the Haruo/Megumi pairing: that will come much later in the story if at all. I'm still not sure, and the readers (you) seem to be divided 50/50.

The next crossover on my list is the HP/IY one I talked about last chapter, and it's going to be a 'Harry is Sesshoumaru'-story. It will be up as soon as I can get my lazy arse into gear and write down a believable start, so keep your eyes open, but don't hold your breath. Also several of you suggested that I make Harry Sesshoumaru's son. Sorry to disappoint you, but that won't be happening. I've always wanted to write and play with Inutaisho's character, and I'm going to have so much fun doing it!

Thanks to (holy frick, so many reviews!):

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