Author: Mistress Nika
Summary: In a small town in Japan, the locals tell stories of a demon that haunts an abandoned shrine. Keiko, a young descendant of the shrine family who mysteriously vanished there, has no fear of the demon and goes every week to pay her respects to her lost relatives. However, this time she discovers something sinister. Or perhaps, not so sinister. A black-haired, green-eyed...demon?
Warnings: AU, violence, DarkHarry, InhumanHarry, DeathEaterHarry
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Notes: The akuma is a creature of Japanese mythology representing evil. It is the personification of evil and darkness, much like the Christian Satan
The shrine on the hill had been abandoned for years. It was dark and dirty. The floor was unstable, weeds were rampant, there were holes in the roof and a tree had grown through the floor in a room clear through such a hole. No one knew what happened to the family who had lived there. One day, they simply vanished, taking nothing with them. Most believed they had been killed by some evil demon and their bodies devoured. Indeed, some of the older residents of the sleepy town remembered when a mystic sign appeared in the sky over the little shrine; a hideous skull and snake. Surely it was the work of evil magic.
It was rumored that the demon remained, haunting the grounds and threatening any foolish enough to come close. Most stayed well away.
Yet still, Tanaka Keiko went there regularly. Her grandmother had been one of those who vanished and every week she went and placed flowers beneath the large tree in the house. Her mother started the practice and, when she grew old enough just this past summer, she was allowed to make the block and a half journey alone.
In all her visits, she had seen and heard many strange things that she could not explain. Shadows that moved away when she approached. Plants that hissed at her. Several little custard-coloured furballs that let her pet them and purred soothingly. Strange cat-like animals that had spotted fur, large ears and a lion-like tail.
None of them had harmed her and she felt safe and comfortable in the rickety building. It was as if she could feel the thick magic hanging about the place and it gave her a sense of rightness.
This time, however, as she approached the open door, a shudder overtook her.
Something was different.
Something was wrong.
Resolutely, she strode forward, clenching her fist nervously around the orchids in her hand. She looked around for Akai, the reddish colored cat creature which had taken a liking to her. He met her at the door every time, but for some reason he was curiously absent.
Inside, she walked cautiously down the hall, her footsteps soft and yet indescribably loud in the stillness of the house. It was as if everything had simply left, or were hiding. Hiding from what, was the question. What could frighten these magical creatures so much that they would flee? Surely, whatever it was, she didn't want to meet up with it.
She couldn't just leave, though. Not without giving her grandmother the flowers. She would just be quick about it.
Screwing up her courage, she hastened to the tree room...and pulled up short, letting out a gasp at what she found there.
A figure cloaked all in black, so dark it seemed a part of the very shadows around it, lay face down and unmoving on the cracked wooden floor at the foot of the great tree. A green leaf rested upon the creature's raven hair and a pale hand lay carelessly to it's side. Upon closer inspection, the hand was clearly tipped with black claws in place of human fingernails.
The flowers fell from her limp fingers as she breathed the first thought that came to her mind.
She quickly regretted speaking even that one word as the demon shifted. It's hand withdrew into confines of it's black robes and it half rolled onto it's side revealing it's face to her. More pale skin, the darkest red lips and fine black eyelashes. On it's forehead, she could barely discern a strange mark, half-hidden by black bangs. It's features were so delicate, so beautifully handsome, that she could not tell it's gender, but it was most definitely one of the most attractive creatures she'd ever seen. A demon with the face of an angel.
She was then graced with it's gaze as it's eyes slowly opened. Green seemed such a base, common word to describe the inhuman glitter of the creature's eyes, like sparkling emeralds. She was so captivated by this entrancing creature, she nearly forgot to be afraid.
It did not speak, nor did it move. It merely stared at her in what seemed a mixture of confusion and acceptance. It was then she noticed the dark reddish brown stains beneath it.
Common sense left her as she darted forward to help the injured demon.
"Are you alright?" she asked in concern.
The half lidded eyes suddenly shot open in fear and the creature who seemed so weak and injured scuttled back away from her into a darkened corner.
It was afraid of her.
The demon was afraid of her.
"I won't hurt you," she murmured soothingly, dropping down into a crouch and holding out her hand in a gesture she had used to tame Akai.
The demon just stared at her in wary confusion. It's eyes, fairly glowing with a green light, glanced quickly around the room, as if it didn't know where it was, before returning to stare at her. She took a hesitant step forward, hand still outstretched.
"I'm Keiko," she said in the same soft voice. "Are you hurt, Akuma-san? Can I help?"
Vaguely she wondered where her brain had gone. If a demon could even be hurt, how could she help it? As a matter of fact, why should she? Akuma were evil. If she did, it was likely to turn on her the first chance it got and devour her soul. As if confirming her thoughts, it let out a low threatening growl.
Still, she crept forward, making no sudden moves. It was when she was only a few inches from touching it that it slapped her hand away and barked something at her in an unfamiliar language. He then averted his eyes, as if expecting her to leave him alone.
Yes, he. For the voice was obviously male.
Her hand hurt from the rough contact and she rubbed it to lessen the sting. Definitely not a friendly creature. Odd though. She saw his eyes dart toward her with something like regret in their depths before quickly averting them again.
She gave him a kind smile to show she didn't hold his violent nature against him. After all, you can't help the way you're born. He looked mildly shocked at that and turned to back face her.
She watched him study her for a moment before he spoke in that rough, unfamiliar language again, this time a bit gentler but still obviously dismissive. Afterwards, he pulled his cloak around him like a blanket and buried his head in his arm.
He was going to sleep.
She had to blink a few times to comprehend that fact.
With a smile, she backed respectfully out of the room before turning to run home.
The pain from his wounds shot through his body making him shudder violently.
The battle had gone badly. It was long and fierce and his friends and allies had been slaughtered around him. He had taken several curses in his careless haste to save those still alive. After shoving his own emergency portkey into the last fallen man's hand, he had marshaled all his remaining power. As spells flew around him, most aiming for him specifically, he apparated away with his only thought being a safe place to heal his wounds and recover his strength.
His destination not being set, he was unprepared to fall through the branches of a large tree and straight into a home. Luckily, it seemed abandoned. He briefly considered trying to apparate home, but the liquid life spilling out of him nixed that idea. He could either use the last of his magic to go home and die, or stay here and use it to heal himself. He chose the latter. He seemed to be in no danger of being discovered and his wounds were life threatening were they not tended to immediately.
That in mind, he closed his eyes and let his magic begin it's work.
A muted sound brought him out of a light doze an indeterminable amount of time later. He guessed several hours had passed as it had been night when he arrived, but now the bright sunlight fell in through small holes in the ceiling and the larger one housing the tree. Luckily, the tree's branches and thick leaves cast a shade over him, shielding him from the harsh rays of the sun.
He amended his time estimate to at least a few days when he realized that the blood that had spilled from him had dried and his wounds were all healed. Only a lingering exhaustion remained.
His eyes felt heavy as he cracked them open and worked to focus enough to see what had made the sound.
A young girl stood there. She was perhaps in her early teens, no more than fifteen, and had long black pigtails. Her eyes were dark, her features distinctly asian and she wore a muggle dress that she unknowingly clenched and unclenched in her right hand.
She looked stunned, as well she should be, but also strangely intrigued. He could sense a faint, almost unnoticeable, aura of magic around her and wondered if she was a witch. If she was, did she know what he was? Who he was? Probably. If so, she would tell her parents. They would contact their Ministry and the Aurors would descend on this place. Though his injuries were healed, he was still incredibly low on energy. He was tired and doubted he could even move, let alone summon up the ability to escape. Perhaps it was just best to give up, let them come. He was tired, in a way that had nothing to do with the depletion of his magical reserves.
His body reacted in instinct as the young girl suddenly darted forward, babbling in something that sounded like Japanese. Despite his weakness, he fled back into a corner, hiding in the shadows as was his nature. Luckily, she stopped before she got close enough to make him instinctually lash out as would a wounded animal.
He glanced around the room, taking stock of it's decrepit state, possible threats and all route's of escape, before turning back to the odd girl. Where had she come from? Why was she here? Most importantly, why hadn't she fled in fear?
With a strange determination, the girl dropped down into a crouch and held out her hand. She murmured something in Japanese again and carefully took a step forward. She was treating him like a stray animal she wanted to tame!
He grew increasingly uncomfortable as she drew closer. His instincts were no longer screaming at him that she was a threat, but his all too human dislike for physical closeness made him growl at her in warning to back off. Yet she still kept coming.
Just as she was about to touch him, he reacted by slapping her hand away and barking, "Go away!" He then turned away from her, hoping she'd get the message.
He glanced back in remorse as she rubbed her hand, a faint red mark appearing on the back where he'd struck it. He hadn't meant to hurt her, but why wouldn't she just leave him alone? Didn't she know danger when it was staring her in the face?
As if sensing his regret, she smiled warmly at him in what might have been forgiveness.
He gave a mental sigh and turned back to her.
"Look, kid," he began, his still throat raw from the screaming he had done under the Cruciatus, as well as from thirst. "I'm tired, sore and a million miles from neverland. Just go home and leave me alone."
With that, he gave up on getting through and decided to ignore her. He pulled his blood stained and spell damaged cloak around him to fight off the chill from low magic levels, dropped his head and pretended to go to sleep. Hopefully, she'd finally get the hint.
He could almost taste her confusion, followed by amusement, before she backed out of the room as though she expected him to leap at her and rip her limb from limb should she turn her back on him. When he felt her presence leave his immediate vicinity, he allowed himself to fall into a deep healing slumber. Now that his wounds were healed, he just had to build his magic back up. Hopefully, he would get a few hours before the Aurors arrived and would be able to use what he could replenish in that time to escape.