Author's Note: Because crack is fun. Keep in mind, I've only read through the Harry Potter books once, so if you expect this to conform to Fifth Book canon very well, you've got another thing coming. Also, I already posted this on Overtones of Discordant Melody, but since it seems this is now going to be a multi-chapter fic, I've decided to post it separately.
Sakon had always known Orochimaru-sama had a bit of an obsession when it came to researching all types of obscure magic, but he'd never expected to get so involved in it. Well, not just him, really. Somehow all of the Sound Five had been roped into their master's weird plan. Sakon had yet to see the value of learning western jutsu techniques since Japan was already known as the premier country when it came to battle magic, but when Orochimaru-sama said every type of jutsu, he meant every type of jutsu. Even the stupid ones. Some of the techniques in the books they'd been issued after Orochimaru-sama shipped them off to a European magic academy were absolutely useless. Who the hell in their right mind would invent a jutsu that made someone turn blue?
What absolutely took the cake, however, was the way westerners cast their spells. They used sticks. Why anyone would want to rely on something so flimsy as the source of all their power was completely beyond Sakon, but the Five had been forced to get those too. Of course, Kidoumaru (the idiot) thought the whole experience was absolutely hilarious, but no one else had been amused.
And now, here they were, at 'Swine Skin Disfigurement' Academy (God, who named these places?), after a three hour train ride consisting of Kidoumaru practicing his English and Jiroubou trying to figure out why westerners liked to eat grass and snot, not to mention Kimimaro's sulking and Tayuya's general surliness. And now they were to be 'sorted.' No one had ever properly explained what that meant.
Sakon couldn't help but fidget a bit when the leader of the school, Dumbledore-sama, stood up and the entire room fell silent. Next to him, Ukon scowled. Orochimaru-sama had forbidden them to combine while they were in Europe. He had even made Kidoumaru hide his arms with a henge, because he didn't want any of them to attract 'undue attention.'
Finally, Dumbledore-sama spoke. "Today I have the pleasure of introducing to you our new exchange students. This is an excellent chance to improve magical relations between the western and eastern countries, and I hope you will make them feel at home, for they are a long way from theirs."
Every single pair of eyes shifted to the Five. Ukon scowled even deeper, and Tayuya soon joined him. Kimimaro's face went stony. Jiroubou didn't take his eyes off the ground. Even Kidoumaru sobered up as his discomfort with being the center of attention came to the forefront.
Dumbledore-sama, fortunately, soon drew everyone's attention back towards himself, and Sakon let out a sigh. "Now then, will Jiroubou please approach the stool?"
"Great. First Umbridge, now this."
"Ron, don't be ridiculous. This is a momentous occasion. Japan's magical community cut itself from the rest of the world centuries ago. To have Japanese wizards come to England is practically unprecedented."
It was then that Hermione went into what was widely known as her 'lecture mode.' "Japanese wizards are famous for how they use their magic almost exclusively for healing and battle. They don't have everyday spells, but this narrow focus has allowed them to become far more advanced than the rest of the world when it comes to the art of war. In case you didn't notice, Ron, right now we're in the middle of a war. Think of what they could teach us!"
The red-haired boy rolled his eyes. "In case you didn't notice, Hermione, these great battle wizards are a bunch of kids. You heard Dumbledore. The oldest is Ginny's age. It may be a historical occasion and all that, but I doubt it's going to help us much against You-Know-Who."
"Only you could be so blasé about this, Ron."
"Harry doesn't care either, do you Harry?"
Harry Potter, who had only been half paying attention to his friends' squabbling, gave a small shrug. "I don't know you guys… I have a weird feeling about this."
It was then that the rather overweight boy, Jiroubou, put the Sorting Hat on his head and was soon announced to be a Hufflepuff. Ron snickered. "Okay, who didn't see that one coming?"
"What? It's true. The fat kids always end up in Hufflepuff. It's practically a school tradition." Kaguya, Kimimaro was next. "This one's a Slytherin for sure. See how stuck up he is?"
"Ron, your blatant stereotyping is ridiculous-"
"A knut says he's a snake."
When ten seconds later, Hufflepuff was again announced to the room, Ron's mouth dropped open and Hermione gave a rather smug smile. "So much for your predictions, Ron."
Ron wasn't listening. "What the bloody hell? He's a pretty boy. Since when do pretty boys land in Hufflepuff?"
"You shouldn't judge by appearances, Ron."
As the dark boy, Kidoumaru, walked up to the stool, it wasn't his House Ron was concerned about. "You sure this kid is Japanese? He looks black to me."
"His eyes are slanted. Might be half and half. So, what do you think about this one, Ron? Gryffindor because we're all so unbiased and accepting of differences?"
"Oh, haha, very funny. But this one's a Ravenclaw. He has way too many books in his bag for the beginning of the year to be anything else."
It took them several minutes to find out, as the Sorting Hat seemed to be taking its sweet time in making a decision. When Gryffindor was announced, the Hat sounded slightly unsure, but as always, the decision was final.
"You're doing worse now then you usually do on Potions tests, Ron. Thirty-three percent. You're not even passing."
"Hey, the Hat was hesitating. The other choice was Ravenclaw. You know it was!"
The dark-skinned boy slid off the stool slowly and picked up his bag, looking dejected as he walked over to their table.
"Bet he wanted Ravenclaw."
"Will you get off it, Ron? He's a foreigner. What could he know about the Houses?"
"You knew plenty when you came."
"That's different…" It was then that the boy came within hearing range, and Hermione automatically brightened her smile. "Hello, nice to meet you. I'm Hermione Granger, this is Ron Weasley, Dean Thomas is on your left…" Dean waved, "and this is…" It was then that Hermione hesitated. She knew how much Harry hated it when people stared, but she gamely pushed on, "And this is Harry Potter. Always good to have another Gryffindor." For a moment, everyone waited for the transfer student's reaction to the name of the Boy-Who-Lived. When nothing absolutely happened besides the Japanese boy giving a weak nod to the table at large before sitting on the far corner of the bench and turning around to move his gaze to the Sorting Hat as the boy Sakon put it on his head, the Gryffindors looked at each other in bewilderment.
"Erm…" It wasn't that Ron particularly liked his best friend being famous. He even occasionally resented it. But still… to get absolutely no reaction at all to Harry's name was unheard of, and Ron had to admit to himself that it threw him off. "You know about Harry Potter, right?"
Kidoumaru didn't take his eyes off the Hat. "He's the dark haired boy with the glasses sitting next to you."
"Well, yes… but you know who he is, right? The Boy-Who-Lived? The guy who defeated You-Know-Who?"
It was then that Kidoumaru did turn. He looked confused. "Who?"
"No, I don't."
"You-Know-Who! The dark wizard! The man who's trying to kill us all!"
"That's his name?"
"No, that's what we call him."
"Oh." Kidoumaru looked as if he was finally understanding something. "A moniker. Alright then. Tell me what his real name is and maybe I'll recognize it."
The confused look came back. "Why not?"
"Because he is He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! That's why!"
"Why can't you say his name?"
By this point, several of the older students from Ravenclaw were listening in as Ron started pulling at his hair in frustration. "You just can't!"
"How the hell am I supposed to know who you're talking about if you won't tell me who he is?"
"I just told you!"
Now the Japanese boy was getting frustrated. In the background, Sakon was announced as a Slytherin, but by this point no one was paying attention. "You haven't told me his name yet."
"That's because it can't be spoken. I've said that already."
"Why, do you get struck by lightning or something when you say it?"
"No, it's just that-"
It was then that Harry grew impatient with the whole conversation. "His name," the Boy-Who-Lived said with great gravity, "Is Voldemort." The table grew hushed.
Kidoumaru blinked. "Oh." There was a moment of silence. Distantly, Tayuya's name was called to the stool. "I'm sorry. I've never heard of him."
It was now Harry's turn to blink. "You haven't."
"Are you sure?"
"It isn't a very good name. Kind of sounds like a sneeze."
It soon became evident that Kidoumaru was quite serious. "Maybe that's why no one ever names him. He grew sick of everyone laughing when he announced himself and started insisting that people shut up about it." Half the Gryffindor table looked as if they'd been hit by something. The other half looked dazed. On the far end of the Hufflepuff table, a second year was choking on a muffin. Kidoumaru turned back around just in time to witness the Sorting Hat announce Tayuya as a Ravenclaw. "I do have a question, though. How does that Hat thing sort people?"
It took Harry a moment to process the question, as he was still trying to digest the idea of Lord Voldemort and sneeze even being remotely associated. "Er… it puts students in different Houses based on different characteristics. Gryffindor's bravery."
"Oh, good. It might not be all that inaccurate, then. When I saw Jiroubou and Kimimaro go into the same House, I thought the thing might be defective. So what's Hufflepuff?"
"Well, that might work then."
Finally, McGonagall noticed all the noise and turned a stern eye towards the Gryffindor table. "Will you please quiet down? We still have another student to Sort." The Gryffindors quieted. McGonagall nodded, satisfied. "Now then. Will Ukon please approach the stool?"
You are that other boy's older brother, correct?
Hmmm… let's see… what House shall I put you in?
From under the Sorting Hat's brim, Ukon watched his little brother sit on the edge of the table under the tapestry of the silver and green snake. ((Slytherin.))
You aren't very ambitious.
An older boy with blond hair kept glancing over in Sakon's direction and whispering to his companions, two larger boys who looked short on brains but inclined towards hurting people. ((I want Slytherin.))
No… I am sorry, young man, but you're not nearly as driven as your younger brother.
One of the two large boys stood up and walked over to where Sakon was sitting, placing an oversized hand on the smaller boy's left shoulder. Ukon's eyes narrowed as his little brother's teeth gritted in an effort to ignore the foreigner. ((I'm not going anywhere but Slytherin.))
Your determination to protect your brother is admirable, but it really puts you more in the realm of, say, Hufflepuff, or perhaps Gryffindor-
((If you put me in a different House than my brother, I will tear you into shreds. And then I will murder every single person who is sitting within ten feet of Sakon.))
The Hat paused. I do believe I am magically enchanted to be resistant to cutting.
As his minion's efforts failed, the blond ringleader leaned over with a nasty smile and said something Ukon couldn't hear, but Sakon's fingers dug into the table. ((I have three kunai in my book bag which have all been sharpened with chakra.))
Would you really kill them all? You seem a bit young to be so bloodthirsty.
((I thought you were supposed to be a mind-reader.))
I am, but I do like to give people their privacy.
((You have my permission.))
Alright then, if it makes you happy. For a moment, there was a sickly silence. When the Hat finally again spoke, it sounded a bit ill. Well… I suppose you fit the ruthless quotient well enough for SLYTHERIN.
Ukon calmly put the Hat back on the stool and walked over to his new House. It was with equal composure that he approached the blond boy and said with perfect equanimity, "What do you think you are doing?"
The Slytherins, sensing a fight, huddled around them to block the view of the other Houses. The blond sneered. "Trying to figure out how two foreigners with not a drop of wizarding blood in their veins managed to make it into our House. What did you do? Sell yourself for the honor?"
"Ukon…" Sakon's voice was warning.
Ukon didn't take his eyes off the blond. "This will only take a moment, little brother. Now then, I am going to explain something to you, gaijin. Quite frankly, I couldn't care less who you think you are, because back where we come from, we have a very specific phrase we use to describe people like you."
The blond's sneer deepened. "And what would that be?"
Ukon calmly snapped his fingers, and with a puff of smoke, a kunai dropped into his hand, upon which Ukon immediately slammed it into the tabletop, digging it into the wood up to the hilt. The entire table grew silent. Whispers of wandless magic began to float to Ukon's ears. He again turned his gaze to the blond, whose eyes had gone wide. "Easily disposable. Because on the battlefield, you wouldn't have your cronies around to protect you. I hear you foreigners have a civil war going on. Cross me, and you'll see me on the other side. We'll see what your wizarding blood does for you then, won't we?"
It was then that Ukon sat down and began spooning carrots onto his plate. Next to him, Sakon had his face buried in his hands. /You couldn't have waited five minutes, could you?/
Ukon smiled. /You know how much I like to make a good first impression, little brother./