Disclaimer: I own nothing. Sadly.

Chapter 1: On Board the Express

by zfirze

Dark onyx eyes watched the view outside his compartment window change as the train moved out of the station. He glanced at the empty seat opposite him and wondered vaguely where his blonde companion had gone off to. Sure, he had said very excitedly that he wanted to take pictures of everything since everything was so cool and unbelievable (to quote his exact words). Well, the fact that people in the photos could move did amaze (heck, maybe even surprise) him, but he seriously doubted the moving photos would last outside a magical environment for long.

And from where they hailed from, magic (or should he say chakra) wasn't wasted on such petty things. They were shinobis, for heaven's sake! ANBU. Skilled assassins. Cold-blooded murderers. Supposedly. Apparently his companion, one Uzumaki Naruto, was the complete opposite. Even after going through so much, he still had a sunny personality (though of course, he never did enjoy the killings he was forced to do).

Uchiha Sasuke hoped that that would never change. After all, it was what had brought him back.

His eyes flicked to the person sitting beside the empty seat when she flipped the pages of the magazine she was reading. He paused and frowned. He was sure the translation spell placed under his tattoo was working fine. Maybe the person was just plain queer. No one in their right mind would or could read something upside down. No one. Not even Naruto. (At this, Sasuke paused again, contemplating the possibility.)

The person in question was a girl. A girl wearing a necklace made of what looked like corks, with a stick ('a wand,' Sasuke reminded himself, 'a wand') tucked behind her ear.

'Doesn't she have at least a little common sense?' Sasuke shook his head mentally.

Then again, maybe all the people in this world were weird.

For example, their client who was this old guy with eyes that twinkled. He had looked so old that he almost made Tsunade-sama looked young (almost, since Godaime herself was already quite old). Then again, he had given off an aura that had seemed quite powerful, and made his 'oldness' seemed like a facade.

It had been a month since they had arrived in London. Time sure flew. Especially when you were trying to learn everything up to the fourth year at school in a month. Naruto was downright horrified. Sure, it was pretty fun sometimes. But even so, there was still a lot of information to absorb. Not to mention, they also had to learn about the recent events in the wizarding world for the last twenty years or so. And the common behavior of wizards. He briefly wondered how they had pulled through.

At that moment, he was pulled out of his musing by the sliding of the compartment door. A girl with long red hair walked in. Sasuke scowled. As if one person who had invited herself in wasn't enough.

"Hi, Luna," The red-head addressed the queer girl, "Is it OK if we take these seats?"

'Great, now I'm invisible,' Sasuke's scowl deepened.

Two other boys followed the red-head in. One with a face so plump, it was nearly round and another with green eyes.

'And a lightning bolt scar,' Sasuke's eyes trailed to the green-eyed boy's forehead, 'So that's Harry Potter. The one we are hired to guard. No wonder Dumbledore had hired us. He looks weak.'

"Oh, hello, I didn't see you there. Are you a friend of Luna's? What's your name?" Sasuke turned to the red-head who had addressed him, "Mine's Ginny Weasley, this here is Neville Longbottom and that's Harry Potter. I'm sure you've heard of him?"

"Ginny!" Harry hissed.

"Oh come on Harry, lighten up will you,"

Sasuke gave a small 'Hn' as a reply before turning back his gaze back to the scenery outside the window.

Out of his sight, Ginny raised an eyebrow, "Well, aren't you rude. So who's he anyway, Luna?"

Luna replied almost dreamily, "I don't know. Maybe his friend can fill us in later. I wonder where he has gone to," Though she didn't sound thoroughly interested in that.

Harry had to stop himself from snorting. That guy had a friend? Great, there would be two Mr. Angst to deal with later.

"Yes, he is friendly, that friend of his. I think he said his name was Naruto or something," Luna continued, talking to no one in particular.

This time, Harry could not stop himself from snorting. Mr. Angst's friend was friendly? Wow. At the same time, the name 'Naruto' registered in a small part of his brain, telling him that these people were most probably foreigners.

They sat around in an awkward silence for a while before Neville started talking.

"Guess what I got for my birthday?" Neville asked.

Sasuke immediately tuned out after that, since there wasn't anything interesting. Although he still remained alert enough to use a Shield Charm when the plant Neville was holding started squirting green pus which smelt like manure. And he also noted that the girl, who had opened the door to find the whole compartment (save him) covered in the yucky stuff, was probably the person Harry had a crush on. It was so obvious.

An hour passed. One which Sasuke had spent wondering where the hell Naruto had disappeared to. The food trolley had even passed and the dobe usually would be back for food, right?

The door opened again and a red haired boy walked in and threw himself in a seat.

"I'm starving," he proclaimed.

"Hi, Ron, where's Hermione?" Harry asked him

"Somewhere down the train," Ron laughed while chewing a Chocolate Frog, "Helping to sort out a problem of misunderstanding. There's this blonde haired guy who open a compartment door when all the girls were changing. You should have seen the way the girls tried to attack him,"

"Blonde? Malfoy?"

"Nah, looks like a foreigner. Anyway, I dunno why he's so flustered. He should have just enjoyed the view wh-,"

"And that shows how gentlemanly you are, Ronald Weasley," A brown haired girl opened the door at that moment.

"Ah, well, you see..." Ron looked uncomfortable, "Er, so problem solved?"

"Yes, the girls are finally convinced, somehow,"

"Somehow?" Harry asked.

"The guy said he is gay and has no interest in girls. The girls decided to give him the benefit of the doubt,"

"..." The answer was met with silence by everyone, except for Ron who decided to add his two-cents worth.

"Wow, that's a really good excuse! Maybe I cou-" Ron fell silent at the look on Hermione's face.

In a corner, Sasuke sighed quietly at the contents of the conversation, already guessing (correctly) who the guy was.

Realising that there was someone unfamiliar there, Hermione turned toward the source of the sigh, "Oh hi, are you new? First year here at Hogwarts? I haven't seen you before..." Hermione voice trailed off as she realised that Sasuke was too old to be a first year, "Umm, guys? Who's he? Shouldn't you guys introduce us?" She laughed nervously.

Ron had also turned to face Sasuke and frowned, "Hey you, don't you know it's rude not to answer someone?"

Harry stopped him before he could continue, "Er, I don't think he's a very friendly guy. And honestly, he hasn't spoken a word since we stepped in, so I have no idea who's he,"

"Oh," Hermione decided to try again, "Hi, I'm Hermione Granger. Can I ask what your name is?" She continued once she was sure she had Sasuke's attention.

Sasuke stared at her.

"Er, its okay if you don't want to answer..." This person was giving her the vibes to back off.

Sasuke stood up and walked to the compartment door, "Which way did that idiot go?"

Everyone looked at him and gaped, even Luna had looked up from reading.

"He's talking," Ginny voiced everyone's thoughts.

Sasuke glared at her and she gulped.

"Um, idiot? That's not really nice..." Hermione stopped when Sasuke glared at her, "Er, to the right,"

Sasuke slid open the door and turned right, spotting who he was looking for. He debated with himself for a few seconds. Shout (as the dobe seemed completely lost) and lose his Uchiha pride. Or...just shout and get it over with. He settled with lounging on the side of the door since he saw him turning slightly.

Harry raised his eyebrow at his actions and shared a glance with the rest who were more curious to see what would happen next.

One two three...


The shout resounded throughout the train and some other compartment doors could be heard sliding open to see the source of the commotion.

Sasuke smirked, "Lost?"

Suddenly a guy with bright blonde hair and dark tanned skin flung himself at Sasuke and Sasuke's hand went around his back. Harry was surprised, to say the least. The guy had a super hyperactive friend who had thrown himself at Sasuke and Sasuke had not even moved an inch. Not to mention Sasuke was actually hugging the guy back!

"Teme! Where've you go? I've been looking all over for you!"

"I was here all the while, dobe,"

Naruto peered into their compartment, "Wow Sasuke, you made so many friends! No wonder I couldn't find you, I was looking for an empty compartment,"

"Well, if you had read Hogwarts: A History, you would have known how many students there are, known how many compartments are available and deduced that all compartments would be full,"

Naruto pouted, "That's such a long thinking process. Who would go through the trouble?"

Harry, Ron and Ginny shared a revolted look. Sasuke read Hogwarts: A History?! And did he just make one of the longest sentences ever?! And who would think so much into trains and compartments?!

Hermione beamed instead. Obviously pleased to finally find someone who had read Hogwarts: A History.

Ron was bemused by Hermione's reaction and whispered to her, "Shouldn't you be worried he might snatched your No. 1 position?"

Hermione shot him a scathing look. Ron decided it was best not to pursue the matter.

"Ne ne, Sasuke, you wouldn't believe what I saw!" Naruto paused, "And the people I met, what happened to me, what was ha-"

"Yes, I got the idea. So are you going to start talking like where you've disappeared to for an hour plus or am I going to force it out of you?"

"Oh, haha. Well first, I met this two twins and a friend of theirs. They were selling some jokes product and it was so cool! Like one of the cream puff they showed me. Wait, I got some samples here, SEE!" Naruto promptly swallowed one, turning into a big yellow bird for a while before changing back.

Sasuke had to raise an eyebrow.

"That's the Canary Cream," Ginny supplied when she saw what she took for a confused expression on Sasuke's face.

"Yup, it's invented by Fred and George. And Lee. They're our brother...er, Lee isn't," Ron continued, "But it was one of their older products. Tried and tested,"

Sasuke didn't even bother acknowledging them.

"Cool! They're your brothers?!" Naruto said in response before continuing, "Then I saw another two guys, they looked like brothers too. They were so small! Haha, but they were really friendly and they taught me how to develop the films to make it move. They even offered to help me!"

"What're the chances that those two are the Creevey brothers," Harry whispered to Hermione, amused.

"Over a hundred percent," Hermione grinned.

Sasuke looked Naruto up and down, "Then where's your camera?"

"Er, well, you see. I crashed into these two guys. They were so big and large and looked like they had a lot of muscles. Or fats. I dunno, but they seemed quite intimidating. They er...took my camera, and I...didn't dare to take it back..." At that, Naruto shared a glance with Sasuke, conveying his actual meaning.

Sasuke knew what Naruto meant. It wasn't that Naruto didn't dare to take it back because they were big. He could take them down in a second. It was just that he didn't want to attract any attention, so he didn't bother.

"Well, that sounds like Crabbe and Goyle, doesn't it?" Ginny asked around.

"Crabbe and Goyle are probably the only ones who will do that," Harry added.

The compartment door slid open once again.

"Now now, Potter. You shouldn't make false accusations," Malfoy was standing in the doorway, flanked by his two usual (useless) bodyguards.

"Hey! That's the two of them!" Naruto pointed viciously at them.

Malfoy looked at him, "You shouldn't say such things in front of a prefect, new kid. After all, I can put you in detention for that,"

"Don't you dare, Malfoy," Ron rounded on him, "I'm a prefect as well and I can void your detention,"

But before Malfoy could retort, he was thrown out of the doorway roughly, landing on his two goons who were acting as cushions. Big, comfy cushions, actually. The camera Crabbe was holding flew into the air, landing right into Sasuke's open hand.

Harry stared at him in disbelief. That guy had just gutted Malfoy! Awesome.

"This doesn't belong to you and I believe there isn't anymore space here to accommodate you. So scram," Sasuke said coldly.

Malfoy glared at him, "Watch it, new kid. I'll make sure that you'll pay for this!" With that, he strode away briskly.

"Wow! How did you do that? That was so cool!" Ron was totally impressed.

"He'll make good his threat, you better be careful," Hermione warned Sasuke.

"He can try," Sasuke tossed the camera lightly to Naruto (who caught it with an expert hand) before walking back to his seat.

"Thanks, teme!" Naruto immediately glomped him, allowing Sasuke to carry him back to his seat.

"Hey hey! We haven't introduced each other yet! I'm Uzum-," Naruto paused, "I mean, Naruto Uzumaki! Nice to meet you! Haha, I'm still not used to introducing myself with my first name in front. Oh, and I'm guessing the teme hasn't introduce himself right? He's Sasuke. Sasuke Uchiha,"

"He really is friendly," Ginny whispered to Harry.