Thank you.The Game of Go
The Friendship of Foxes
Sasuke looked at the house. He looked at the blond next to him. He looked back at the house. He checked the address of the house against a folder he was holding. He sighed.
"Looks like we're here,"
Godaime-sama, the legendary Sannin Tsunade, had called in her two top ANBU for a partnered mission.
"Good morning, you two," she smiled over her interlaced fingers. Sasuke nodded to the Hokage. Naruto's reply was a little more energetic.
"What's the big idea, Baa-chan? We just got back from a mission to the Rock Country, so why are you calling us in again so soon?" he demanded, righteous indignation burning in his cerulean eyes as he leaned over her desk, trying to stare her down.
"Cool it, brat," Tsunade flicked him between the eyes, sending him stumbling back from the sheer force, "with the amount that these people paid they deserve only the best, that's why I called you and Uchiha,"
Sasuke scowled a little and Naruto huffed and flopped himself down into a chair.
"So what's the mission?"
Tsunade tossed them each a folder, "The mission, if should choose to accept it," they rolled their eyes at her, "is to act as bodyguards for that school and particularly the Potter boy. They are in the middle of a nearly silent war right now and apparently he is someone of importance. All the necessary information is in those folders. This is a long-term mission and very far away so stock up on weapons before you leave because I don't know how long it could take,"
"S-class too," Naruto whistled, leafing through his folder, "Magic, wizards, war, evil-snake-dude – hey Sasuke, the last one sound familiar?"
"Dobe," Sasuke barely acknowledged his teammate's jab.
"You two will be leaving in two days. When you arrive you will locate the Potter boy and stay with him until the beginning of the school term. After that time you will receive your orders from the Headmaster," Tsunade directed, then she sighed, "and try to keep as low a profile as you can, please,"
"Low profile, got it," Naruto jumped up, "Is that all? I'm hungry,"
"Yes, Brat, that's all. And don't forget to stock up on weapons!" she called after him as he let himself out through a window. Sasuke sighed and made a more decorous exit through the door.
"Brat," Tsunade said once the two had left, "You had better take good care of yourself over there,"
"So this is the place, huh?" Naruto cocked his head to the side, arms folded as he considered the perfect lawn and immaculate home. Both he and Sasuke were dressed in civvies: tee-shirts (orange for Naruto and black for Sasuke, of course) and shorts with their respective backpacks slung over one shoulder. Naruto looked up at Sasuke, who stood most of a foot taller. As they had gotten older the Uchiha had grown like a weed, clearing six feet easily. Naruto on the other hand had stayed small, his build wiry and his bones finer than anyone could have predicted. Sasuke was easily twice the mass of Naruto but Naruto had learned to put his small size to effective use in and out of fighting.
"If the address is correct then yes, this is the place," Sasuke led the way up the walk and rang the doorbell. Their trained Shinobi ears picked up the heavy (very heavy) shuffling of feet before the door opened.
Both Naruto and Sasuke just blinked at the boy who had answered the door. It was amazing. Something they had both thought impossible. Not even CHOJI was that fat!
"Is there a Harry Potter living at this address?" Sasuke asked, narrowing his black eyes at the boy. Naruto suppressed a mischievous grin when he saw the boy break into a cold sweat. He nodded and moved out of the way to let them in.
"U-upstairs," he pointed the way. The Konoha natives breezed past him, up the stairs, moving without so much as a creaking floorboard.
"This one," Naruto shoved his thumb at the last door in the hall.
"Come on, when have I been wrong? Barring the regular bushin, of course," he knocked on the bedroom door. It opened to reveal a thatch of insanely messy black hair and brilliant green eyes hidden behind a pair of damaged glasses.
"Who are you guys?" he asked suspiciously. Naruto grinned.
"Yo! I'm Naruto and this is Sasuke. We're your bodyguards!" he said brightly with his so-innocent-and-loveable-you-just-want-to-take-me-home-and-feed-me-all-the-ramen-I-can-eat smile.
"Pardon?" Harry asked.
Sasuke shouldered his way to the front. "We are the bodyguards hired to make sure you don't get killed. Is there a problem with that?"
"Sasuke! You don't have to be so rude," Naruto protested.
"What's all that ruckus?" demanded a loud man from the first floor, "Boy! Is that you?"
Harry's eyes widened and he called back, "Sorry Uncle Vernon, I'll keep it down,"
"See that you do! And shut that owl up while you're at it!"
"Come on in," Harry stepped aside to allow the shinobi in. "Sorry about the mess, I was in the middle of some homework,"
"Nice room," Naruto commented as he deftly stepped over a discarded shirt. Sasuke sniffed and raised an eyebrow but restrained himself from saying anything on the subject. Specifically on the mess.
"I suppose," Harry shrugged, "So, why does the Order think that I need bodyguards?"
"Who said anything about an Order?" Naruto asked, winking, "Nah, the guy who signed the contract was a Black or something like that,"
"Black?" Harry collapsed onto his bed, "Was it…was it a Sirius Black?"
Sasuke and Naruto nodded.
"Why? Is it important?"
"He…he's supposed to be dead," Harry breathed, pale as moonlight, "I saw it myself,"
"Dead huh?" Naruto shared a look with Sasuke, "Guess he's not, since he's the one who hired us,"
And that was how Harry Potter, the Boy Wonder of the Wizarding World met the two Konoha ANBU who were to be his bodyguards. When Vernon and Petunia found out about their guests to say that they were less than pleased would be a gross understatement. The conversation went something like this:
Vernon: "Get out of my house!"
Naruto, trying to be polite: "Sorry, we can't just yet, we have a job to do,"
Vernon: "I don't care! I refuse to allow anymore freaks under this roof!"
Naruto looks all hurt and wounded for a second. Sasuke pulls out a kunai and starts twirling it around while frowning.
Sasuke: "I don't care for your tone of voice,"
Vernon squeaks in terror as everyone's eyes – sans Naruto's – focused on the spinning throwing knife.
Sasuke: "We have a job to do and there isn't anyone who I will allow to interfere. Usuratonkachi and I have a reputation to uphold after all,"
Naruto, smiling like nothing was wrong: "And we'll be leaving with Harry when he goes to school so we won't even be here long,"
And that was the end of their conversation. Sasuke and Naruto ignored the Dursley family for the rest of their stay. After a once over of the meals that were prepared – and a loud bout of complaining about the lack of ramen – the two ANBU silently decided between themselves that they would have to look after their own food as well. Which was fine, after all they had more than enough experience scrounging. So Naruto set out hunting in a nearby wooded park leaving Sasuke with the cooking duties, which was all for the best because Naruto could never be accused of being able to even boil water, barring when ramen was concerned. It was somewhat pathetic, actually.
And so that is where we find the protagonists now, sitting in Harry's room, watching as Sasuke lazily roasted a skinned and cleaned rabbit in a stick with a gentle and well controlled katon jutsu. Harry looked a little queasy at the idea of eating the once cute and fluffy bunny. He just was not used to obtaining food like this.
Naruto was lounging by the open window, letting a gentle breeze ruffle his sunny yellow hair and run across his bright orange tee shirt. Sasuke looked over at the his jinchuuriki partner, noting the telltale signs of restlessness.
"Naruto," he called. Naruto looked at him, blue eyes half-lidded.
"Go for a run or something. Much more of that fidgeting and you're going to drive me mad,"
"Drive you mad? We don't need that again," Naruto teased, standing up and stretching like a cat. "Fine, fine, I'll go let off some steam in that park," he formed a handseal and a clone appeared, scaring the spit out of Harry, "If you need me just destroy this. I'll get the chakra rebound," the clone settled himself in the corner and went still as its creator leapt out of the window.
Harry rushed over to the window to stare after the vanished blond ANBU. Sasuke grunted something that sounded like 'don't worry about Dobe, he's not going to hurt himself,'
"But he just jumped out of my bedroom window!" Harry protested. Sasuke shrugged.
"It's not that far up," he prodded the roast rabbit, testing how far along it was then continued to breath the gentle katon on it.
"It's the second story!"
"Like I said: not that far up,"
"Listen," Sasuke paused in his cooking and fixed Harry with a hard stare, "until it gets to the height of one of your 'skyscrapers' with nothing to make contact with, only then is it too high. Then again, knowing the Dobe he'd be able to land it just fine,"
"That high? How is that possible?" Harry blinked in a very close imitation of his owl, Hedwig. Sasuke shrugged. That was it. He had used up his conversational skills for the week.
"I don't understand," Harry pressed, "can you fly or something?"
"Well?" Harry looked at him expectantly. Sasuke looked up from his cooking and glared. Harry wisely backed down.
Naruto, meanwhile, was lounging in a tree. Trying to, at least. He had to admit that he did not much care for the trees here in this park. They were too small to lounge on properly and made the activity somewhat uncomfortable.
Giving up on that idea he stood and stretched. Bones and joints popped making him grimace. Somewhere deeper in the forested park he head a fox's shrill bark. He grinned and decided to go make a friend.
Sasuke and Harry stared at Naruto. Naruto grinned and waved cutely. Harry looked like he wanted to say something but was unsure of how to say it. Sasuke was massaging his temples.
"Dobe, where did you get the foxes?" Sasuke sighed.
"Please don't tell me you want to eat them too," Harry moaned managing to look quite pathetic.
Naruto was scandalized, "Eat a fox? Never! I'd die first!" he protested vehemently, "and I found them in the park. I was telling them about you two and they wanted to be introduced,"
"Want to be introduced?" Harry asked, confused, "But their just foxes,"
"And?" Naruto blinked at the wizard.
"Foxes can't talk,"
"Well, everyone knows that,"
"Everyone's wrong then," Naruto grinned down at the trio of red foxes at his feet, "Isn't that right guys?" they all nodded. Harry goggled.
"So?" Sasuke fished a kunai our of his holster and started de-boning the now perfectly roasted rabbit, "Are you going to introduce us or what?"
"Ah! Right, sorry. Sasuke, Harry I'd like you to meet Yowl, Little and Curl. Guys, meet my friend, Sasuke and our job, Harry,"
Sasuke nodded politely to the foxes, knowing from experience that he might as well stay on the good side of Naruto's furry friends since they are very sneaky and can bite. Harry watched, bemused, as Curl – the largest – looked up at Naruto and barked. Naruto nodded.
"Yeah, I know. Sasuke's just like that though,"
"Don't worry about that. It's not active anymore,"
Sasuke tensed. Harry was confused.
"It hasn't been active for two years now," Sasuke offered to the fox quietly.
"What hasn't been active?" Harry asked. Sasuke looked at the boy with dead eyes and Naruto bit his lip, not wanting to answer for his friend.
"It's nothing important for you to know," Naruto finally said when it was obvious that Sasuke wasn't going to answer.
The Uchiha said nothing but handed Harry and Naruto some carefully prepared rabbit. Naruto polished his portion off within seconds, sharing little tidbits with his fox friends, while Harry dithered, poking at it hesitantly.
"If you aren't going to eat it just give it to the foxes," Sasuke advised blandly. Harry, faced with the threat of going without food entirely, broke down and tried a sliver. It wasn't too bad so he quickly polished off the rest, setting his plate on the floor to be licked clean by the foxes.
"So…how is it you can talk to foxes?" Harry asked. Naruto grinned and shrugged innocently.
"Call it an affinity. We just seem to click," he ruffled Little's fur and picked the kit up so that it could sit on his lap. Harry noticed that Naruto felt strangely like the foxes he had brought back. The feeling was odd, to say the least.
Why would he think that Naruto was a fox?