Over the Hills and Far Away
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the obvious, the rest belongs to JK Rowling and Masashi Kishimoto.
Author's Note: I cannot believe I started another one. Gods, I am going completely insane. I'll do my best with this, but I cannot promise that everything will be completely accurate, especially in the Naruto-universe. So please enjoy and tell me what you think.
Thanks to my good friend and beta, Paladin Steelbreaker.
Harry smiled and clapped politely as Bill and Fleur finally said their long-awaited I-do's. Beside him Hermione burst into happy tears, and Ron grinned like a loon. Fred and George were wolf-whistling, a joyful Molly was being comforted by a just as joyful and proud Arthur, Remus and Tonks (sitting awfully close) were both clapping and the rest of the guests were doing variations of the same. The party after the wedding was just as much fun, and Harry actually danced with Fleur once – without stepping on her toes which was a miracle in his opinion.
"Are you still going to visit Godric's Hollow tomorrow, Harry?" Remus asked as the party started to wind down.
Harry nodded. "I have to. That is one thing I have to do before I seriously start to concentrate on the task that Dumbledore entrusted me."
"I hear that you, Hermione and Ron have been cooped in the libraries at Grimmauld Place and at Hogwarts," Tonks spoke up as she arrived with a glass of pumpkin juice for both herself and Remus. "It's not healthy you know. You need to get out, see the world and all that else you're turn into an old geezer before you've hit twenty!"
The green-eyed teenager smiled sadly. "Beggars can't be choosers, Tonks. Now, if you'll excuse me I need to wish the happy couple an… eventful night, and then I'm going to bed." He heard Remus chuckle at that remark, and made his way towards Bill and Fleur who were standing by the doors to the Great Hall of Hogwarts, thanking people for their gifts and for coming, and wishing them a good night.
Both of them lit up when they spotted Harry walking towards them.
"Harry!" Bill grinned and pounded friendly on the young man's back. "We are so happy that you could come."
"And we 'ope that you enjoyed yourself, 'Arry," Fleur smiled at him.
Funnily enough, her Veela charm didn't seem to be working on him anymore – not that it had worked much in the first place. Perhaps it was because she was now married, Harry mused and smiled to the newlyweds. "Thank you for inviting me, it means a lot to me to see that, despite everything that has happened, someone can still find happiness and light."
"Of course we would invite you, Harry," Bill protested. "You are practically our adopted brother!"
"And you are one of my most treasured friends," Fleur agreed. "If you need me to 'elp you wiz anything, do not 'esitate to ask, oui?"
Harry nodded gratefully. "So, what are the two of you planning to do after the honeymoon?" he asked.
"Well, as the werewolf bite doesn't seem to have changed me overly much, the goblins are willing to let me get back to work."
"And I am going to continue working at ze Gringotts," the half-Veela sighed and looked lovingly up at her husband. "I do not want to be separated from Bill for long."
"Good luck to you both then, and may you live long lives and raise fat little babies," the green-eyed teenager performed the traditional wizards bow after this wish – it was a ritual of sorts, he had now declared that he was willing to do anything in his power to keep them (and their descendants) safe – and he moved on to let the next person congratulate the couple.
"Good night, Harry!" Bill called after him as he exited Hogwarts.
"Bonne nuit!" Fleur's silver-bell voice sounded through the Entrance Hall.
Harry slowly walked down the steps of the castle and headed for the carriages that would take him to the Three Broomsticks, from where he would floo to the Leaky Cauldron where he was spending the night. He still wasn't completely used to apparating, and he didn't have much faith in his own ability, at least not when he was supposed to apparate close to a powerful shield.
Halfway to the carriages Harry stopped and turned to look at the white tomb standing by the lake. The tomb which belonged to none other than the esteemed Headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore. Harry changed his course and walked towards the tomb. It shone unnaturally in the moonlight, bathed in a surprisingly warm, silver glow. The place around the tomb was filled to the brim with yellow flowers looking suspiciously like Sherbet Lemons.
'Even in death, you old coot…' Harry thought fondly as he caressed the writing engraved on the tomb door. He hadn't given himself much time to mourn or think over Dumbledore's death, but had instead immersed himself in trying to figure out where the last of the horcruxes were hidden and what they were. He knew that if he focused too long on what had happened at the end of the last school-year, he would explode with anger – a great deal of it directed towards Snape, Malfoy and Voldemort, but an even greater portion of it directed at himself for being unable to do anything about it all – and right now he needed to keep a cool, calm head. First he would defeat Voldemort, then and only then would he allow himself time to grieve.
"Harry, are you alright?" Hermione's soft voice broke him from his musings, and he turned to face her and Ron.
"Yeah, mate, you stood there for quite a while without moving." The redhead added worriedly.
Harry smiled. "I'm fine, just reminiscing and planning our next step." The three of them started walking towards the carriages. "Are you two coming with me tomorrow?"
Hermione nodded. "You bet, but we'll stay at a café or something whilst you visit the graves alone. That is a private moment that I won't intrude upon."
"What she said." Ron agreed.
"Thank you…" Harry said as they got into the carriage and it set off.
"Any time, mate, any time."
'To the Dark Lord
I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to
know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real
horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can.
I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will
be mortal once more.
R. A. B.'
Harry stared at the little piece of parchment on the table. Such a short note had brought about the unnecessary death of one of the best wizards of the century. Next to it laid the fake horcrux, glittering in the light of the lamp that also stood on the old table.
Sighing the green-eyed teenager slowly went over everything he knew about the horcruxes and about Voldemort, and tried to find a clue – one single clue – as to the whereabouts of the five remaining soul-keeping artefacts. He, Ron and Hermione had all agreed that beside Slytherin's Locket, Voldemort had also definitely used Hufflepuff's Cup as a horcrux and had hidden it at Hogwarts – they just didn't have an idea exactly where in Hogwarts it was hidden. Well, Ron and Hermione were going to get lots of time to search for it at the school whilst Harry was out in the world looking for clues.
The Board of Governors had decided that Hogwarts would stay open, and Minerva McGonagall had been made the new Headmistress, with Flitwick as Deputy Headmaster, and the general public seemed to agree with this choice. Although many of them were still vary of sending their children to Hogwarts – the place where Albus Dumbledore of all people met his death – they still thought it was far more safe than having to send their children over seas to the continent, or not send them anywhere at all. Most of the wizarding world seemed to think that as long as they ignored the problem it would go away.
'All of them are complete fools,' Harry thought with slight pity, before he focused back on what laid on the table before him. Where the hell could the real locket-shaped horcrux be, and who was R. A. B.? Those were the two thoughts that constantly ran through Harry's head. Who and where. Who and where. Who… and… where…
Suddenly, as if struck by lightning, Harry stood up so fast that the chair fell over. He stared at the note on the table for another second, his eyes wide, before he jumped into action grabbing locket, note and his jacket and leaving his room at the Leaky Cauldron. Ignoring Tom's inquiries as to why the haste, Harry hurried out to the back of the pub and promptly disapparated with a near-silent pop.
He appeared again between a shed and a garage, and in front of him stood Grimmauld Place. Running over the road and up to the house Harry banged on the door, completely ignoring the fact that the painting of old Mrs. Black started screeching madly about blood traitors and what not.
"Remus! Tonks! Open up you two! This isn't a social visit, it's important!" the green-eyed teenager shouted. "Will you stop snogging and open the bloody door!"
A second later Remus viciously yanked the door open. "What do you want, cub?" the man growled, and Harry noted that the usually honey-gold eyes were almost completely amber. The full moon must be in a couple of days for Remus to act like this.
"Let me in, Moony, I need to speak with you, Tonks and whoever else is in at the moment. Quickly, it's an emergency!"
The werewolf glared but let him through. "If I didn't consider you to be like my own cub, I would have taught you a lesson in how to respect your elders."
Harry blinked and quickly hurried further into the house. The full moon was definitely close if it made Remus this weird!
In the kitchen he found Tonks, Shacklebolt and Moody sitting at the table, and talking quietly probably about some Auror-related stuff. Not wasting any time, Harry drew out the locket from his pocket, and put it on the table so that all three of the grown-ups could see it. He laid the note next to it and waited.
Moody was the first who reacted. "Horcrux…?" the old Auror whispered fearfully. "So that's how… that's what Albus…"
Shacklebolt's eyes were wide. "Now I understand why no one has been able to kill the Dark Lord yet."
"Oh gods!" Tonks moaned and promptly let her forehead meet the table – repeatedly. "Why didn't someone think of this before!" she demanded.
"It was only last year that we were able to confirm it," Harry replied. "Two horcruxes are destroyed, those were the Tom Riddle's diary and Marvolo Gaunt's ring. Another horcrux is Hufflepuff's Cup and it is hidden at Hogwarts somewhere. But take a closer look at the locket and at those initials, and tell me what you think."
Remus snarled, revealing that his canine teeth had sharpened slightly. "That looks like the locket which we found here the year we moved the headquarters of the Order into the house."
Harry just nodded. "Tonks, does R. A. B. tell you anything? The initials of someone in the family perhaps?"
The metamorphmagus just stared with her eyes wide. "R. A. B…" she whispered. "Regulus Artemis Black."
"Wasn't he a Death Eater?" Shacklebolt wondered. "Didn't he die in a Death Eater raid?"
"He did, he deserted the Death Eaters and only managed to live for a few days before those nasty buggers caught up with him." Moody confirmed. "But what has always struck me as odd is that I clearly remember reading a report that said that an unknown potion was found in Regulus Black's bloodstream. Do you have any evidence to back this theory up, Potter?"
The green-eyed teenager shook his head. "It's nothing much, just speculation, but Regulus Black's name means 'Little King' which is a star in the Leo constellation… look, lets not worry about that at the moment, rather lets focus on finding that medallion if it is still here. Moody, could you please do a search for us with your eye?"
"This eye only sees so far, Potter, but I will do my best." With that Moody closed both his eyes and concentrated to the best of his abilities.
There was a long silence in the kitchen as the retired Auror searched throughout the entire house, before he finally opened his eyes again. He seemed slightly worn out, but growled, "The locket is in that House-Elf's possession, or at least it would have been hadn't you ordered to work at Hogwarts, Potter, which is probably the only reason why the locket hasn't ended up in the wrong hands yet."
Harry nodded and quickly went and got the locket, then returned to the kitchen and put it on the table.
They stared at it.
"So, who wants to try to destroy it?" Tonks asked and looked at the three males. "And don't look at me, this is men's work."
Shacklebolt shot her a look. "Weren't you just complaining that the other Aurors treated you like a porcelain doll just because you are female, and that you'd do anything to show them that you are just as good – if not better. And that you would, I quote, 'kick 'em in the balls while I'm at it'."
"I never said when I was going to extract my revenge on the other sex," the woman protested. "If you need me I'll be in a safe place far away from here." With that she was gone out the door quickly followed by a shouting Shacklebolt.
Harry, Moody and Remus remained in the kitchen.
"I think those two just bailed out on us," Harry muttered and the other two nodded in exasperation.
Moody got up from his chair, and drew his wand. "You two younglings get out of here and let me have a go at this first. Go contact your friends Potter, and let them know that we have found the correct locket – I assume those two are in on this, right?"
Harry nodded and walked towards the doors of the kitchen. Now that the adrenaline of finding a horcrux was gone, he felt tired and just wanted to sit down somewhere and think things through. He should probably make himself a list of horcruxes – both known and possible candidates – and try to figure out the possible locations. Work, work and more work. Couldn't Voldemort just keel over and die for once!
"Just don't blow yourself up, Moody," he said to the Auror. "You're the leader of the Order now, we cannot lose you too."
"Just get going, Potter!" although the words were gruff, there was a certain twinkle in Moody's eyes that belied the harsh words and tone.
Remus smirked. "Lets go cub, he has that look in his eyes. The same look he has every time he's about to enjoy a particular duel, and the same look Ollivander has every time a customer enters his shop."
"The insane look you mean?"
The two of them chuckled and hurried out before Moody's hex could hit them.
"You get out of here, both of you!"
The locket had proved to be resistant to all forms of normal magic, and none of them were currently good enough to try some of the insanely difficult spells that Dumbledore could have done without a second thought. It was only by sheer luck – and Tonks' clumsy nature – that they discovered that the locket wasn't warded all that much towards muggle means of destroying things. So Shacklebolt had gotten hold of enough C4 explosive to blow up the Houses of Parliament, had gotten permission to use one of the muggle-army's compounds (being the secretary of the Prime Minister helped), and had promptly blown the damn thing to kingdom come. So, no more locket to worry about, and Ron and Hermione were both very happy about that because now they could get on with the search for the remaining horcruxes, but first Harry wanted to visit Godric's Hollow.
And that's exactly where they were at the moment. They were sitting in a small, typical English countryside pub, enjoying the warmth and the joyful atmosphere. The weather outside was bleak, foggy, and there was an annoying drizzle in the air. The locals of the pub didn't seem to even care about the three teenagers, just sent them the occasional friendly wave just for the heck of it, before they went back to their own conversations.
"Are you sure about this?" Ron asked and sipped on his hot coffee, he had apparently gotten hooked on the stuff because of Fred and George, Harry didn't need nor want to know anything else. "I mean, we can come with you and wait for you at the entrance to the cemetery, anything really, as long as you aren't completely alone out there. It's dangerous in these times."
"I'll be fine Ron," Harry replied with a small smile. "Don't worry about me, this is just something I have to do alone, but I will be careful." He patted the pocket of his jacket where he had a small pocket-knife hidden. His wand was in a wand holster attached to his wrist.
Hermione smiled in understanding. "Alright Harry, you go and Ron and I will work out these coordinates waiting for you here."
Nodding to them both, Harry left the pub, headed towards the outskirts of the village and towards the church and graveyard. Hermione really was a wonder, he mused as he walked with his head bent. She had stayed up almost all night ever since the wedding trying to figure out the locations of the remaining horcruxes. Although her job had gotten easier when they had found and destroyed the locket, there were still three horcruxes – if you didn't count Hufflepuff's Cup – they didn't have the locations to, and she was this close to figuring them out. She had immersed herself in old papers at the Ministry of Magic under the pretence of a summer project for extra credit, and had traced everything Voldemort had ever done – both before and after he became the Dark Lord. Tracing Riddle's movement when he had been travelling around the world had been difficult, but surprisingly enough Arthur Weasley had been able to help them there with some old complaints that had reached his Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office from other Ministries, with a detailed description of a British wizard known as Riddle. That had been a really lucky break.
Reaching the cemetery Harry pushed open the steel gate and entered. Earlier, when they had phoned the church warden and had asked where the graves were located, the man had replied that the graves of Lily Potter, her husband and their baby boy Harry, were located at the complete back of the cemetery. One couldn't miss them apparently, because – according to the man – amazingly enough lilies grew all around, and occasionally a wonderful stag would be seen between the graves as if he was waiting for something.
Ron's first reaction had been, "YOU'RE DEAD, HARRY! Are you a ghost or something!" for this Hermione had stomped harshly on his foot. Harry shook his head with a smile at the memory and then he finally stood before the three graves.
The graves weren't as well tended to as the others he had seen, but they weren't completely neglected either. He crutched down and started to scrape away the moss and dirt with his pocket knife, uncaring of the falling rain and his hair becoming plastered to his head. He didn't wear glasses anymore thanks to Hermione and her insistence to get contacts.
Once done he put away the knife, and just crutched there staring at the two graves. He had no idea what to do now, no idea if he was supposed to say anything. Was he supposed to blurt out his entire life story? Was he supposed to tell them how much he missed them? Rant? Rage? Surprisingly enough, the only thing he felt at the moment was peace, as if he had accepted something he hadn't known he was denying. It was… weird.
Harry didn't know how long he crutched there, but finally he registered that the rain had gotten heavy and that he was freezing. He stood up, silently vowed to come back here, bid his parents good bye and turned to walk out of the cemetery. Instead he ran right into a man. A pale man with yellow-greenish eyes. He had light pink markings around said eyes, long black, straight hair and earrings which barely stuck out of the curtain of hair.
He didn't like the particular look the man was sending him, nor did he like the fact that the unknown man was able to sneak up on him so easily. Harry held the eye contact for a moment more before he started to move past the man.
"I came here to find my daughter Lily and her family, but all I found was their graves," the man said, his voice strangely accented.
"Tragic," Harry commented without any ream emotions. His instincts – honed over the years of fighting Voldemort and other evil dudes who decided to butt in – were screaming at him to get away, that this pale man was as dangers as the Dark Lord, yet Harry didn't – instead, he stopped to listen to whatever else the man might say.
"I hear she has a half-sister somewhere, a Petunia something-or-other," the man continued.
"Dursley. Petunia Dursley. Number Four, Privet Drive, Little Whining, Surrey," Harry didn't know what possessed him to say this, but it was done now, and he couldn't take the words back.
A smirk graced the other's face. "But what I really came from the Shinobi Continent to find, was my grandson, Harry."
Harry moved on at this point, trying to ignore the feel of those weird eyes boring into his back. This had moved onto very dangerous ground, ground that was completely unfamiliar and he would apparently have to pay one last visit to his relatives before he started hunting for the remaining horcruxes and Voldemort himself.
'So Petunia was only my mother's half-sister,' he mused as he walked. 'No wonder she hated her so.'
The stranger's voice rang out in the silent cemetery suddenly. "We will meet again, boy, so remember my name until then! My name is Orochimaru!"
There, that's that. Please do not maim author for the insane idea, the crazy Marsian plot-bunnies decided to invade, that's all I can say in my defence. This will be slightly AU in both worlds, although I will try to stick as close to cannon as I can. I hope I will be able to get everything (mostly everything) right, but if not, please do not hesitate to tell me.
Please review and tell me what you think. Should I continue? Give it up?
Fellow author in crime,
The Red Dragons Order