A/N: Hey I was rather…stunned by the response from the previous chapters. I'm in the 100s XD I am soooo happy XD You all make my smile when I am writing, and it makes spending a lot of my free time doing this so worthwhile. :) So yes – here is chapter six. I hope you all enjoy it. As some of you noticed, this obviously isn't the 'big battle' so to speak. It's a warm up. I have a lot more angst and the likes coming for the next few chapters.
I also know for a fact that a lot of you won't like the ending. But I am not changing it – unless I can come up with a better alternative. So until then, I hope you all enjoy this longggggggggggg awaited chapter, in which Madara gets his ass handed to him.
One point to make. Whenever I read creatureHarry stories, in which he is far older than everyone else, by thousands of years or whatever, and he still is attached to the canon characters. Where he still suffers from mental trauma from the time in which he was a mortal, having nightmares and the like from it, I find to be hardly realistic. These memories, and thoughts would have been forgotten as he aged, and as his mind matured such thoughts would become insignificant to a being such as what he would have become. This is something that gets on my nerves at times, as it isn't very realistic and all it does is create a angst prone, super power with lots of experience. This would never happen, psychologically speaking. So there is my little rant. Please, enjoy the chapter.
Merry Christmas! :)
Summary: The story of the Boy-Who-Lived is interchangeable. But meet Uchiha Haru or Harry Potter, a man of many faces and identities. Watch as darkness spreads through the shinobi countries, and man realizes that the world needs to be saved once more. HPNaru
Chapter VI: Nature or Nuture
By The Morrigu
'Whisper to My Heart
When Hope is Torn Apart
and No One can Save You
I Walk Alone
Every step I take
I Walk Alone
My Winter Storm
Holding Me Awake
It's Never Gone
When I Walk Alone'
- 'I Walk Alone' by Tarja (Nightwish)
As time passes, the memory of those events such a long time ago varies. All that can be associated with such memories are the feelings that were felt in that moment in time, and the blurred faces with those around them. At least, for humans. For non-human beings, races far older than the primitive species of the humans, their memories were far better. They could recall interactions from a young age; remember things which would be forgotten by anyone else. For the old vampire Ancient Harry Potter the times when he was a mortal could be looked back upon with fond thoughts. The darkness which hung around him like a plague were non-existent during such times, contrary to what others may think. The second his Sire had turned him, this darkness had grew in spades.
As a mortal, he had always been considered powerful. He apparently had a presence which commanded the attention of those around him. When he had been told this initially, he had snorted at such an idea. Reminding his peers of his relatives, who would sooner jump off a cliff rather than give him some undeserved attention. That is what he thought that the time the subject was broached while in a tent with his two best friends.
But with time, comes the inherent wisdom with age. After so many millennia roaming the lands, it could be said that he was quite wise. Wise enough to understand that what his friends said, so many years prior, had elements of truth in it.
His time with his relatives were merely a speck within his memories, but he knew that it wasn't a speck to be forgotten. It was this speck with made him what he was. What made him so different from his enemies. Which defined the nature vs nurture debate. He was a product that nature was a more dominant force than that of nurture.
If he had not fought his relatives, if he had bowed to their every whim, become what they wished of him. He would not be the person he was. He wouldn't have been able to walk headlong into death without a second thought. He wouldn't have been able to rise to the challenges gifted to him during both life and death. His relatives had made him what he was, but not in the manner they were expecting. He rejected everything they offered him, and instead became someone that his parents would have been proud of. Someone whom inspired generation after generation, an individual who became the epitome of all things good.
It could be said that this rejection of everything that those in authority had to offer him was a precursor to what the rest of his life would be like. Where his independence, and his disgust at dictators and those in power, was all due to the muggle relatives who unknowingly instilled values that would last for millennia. It was also these same values, which were exhibited onto the children that were sired, both naturally and turned. But out of all of these children, there was only one that was different. One that disagreed with both the Nature and the Nurture debate. Uchiha Madara was raised in a loving home, with a loving family. He also had no history of such behavior that he showed in his later life.
But the question would always remain within the head of his father, long into the night, what could he have done differently? Did he make a mistake? Or was there something within him that caused for such a person to be created? Then long after he would forget all of this, and continue on with his daily activities, his subconscious would ask a question. A simple question. Did the Dursley's get their revenge in the end? Was it them that did this?
Sometime in the past.
Jiraiya looked around the dark streets, and foreboding alleyways with a sense of nervousness. This place was new to him, and his ninja senses were on permanent alert. Everything about this place was wrong. From the casual mistreatment of everyday people as they walked home from work, to the seedy goings on within the shadow of the city, as the number of missing person's grew in number, and everything began to fall apart, day by day.
The world beyond that of the Hidden Countries, one that was rumored to be prosperous, and so technologically advanced that it put the Hidden Countries off being like them. But all that remained was a shell, ruled by vicious tyrants who made the criminal underworld within the Hidden Countries look like nothing more than child's play. The streets were rife with crime, sewage, and the dead. Dead bodies were piled up to the side of the streets, cleared out of the way to allow life to continue. As they were forgotten about by those who clung onto their normalcy, ignoring what was going on, on either side of them.
Jiraiya didn't want to think about what had turned such a world into such a thing. Made it reach such a low point. All he knew was that he had to get back to the Sandaime with this knowledge. The old man had asked him to reach the Outer Countries, and gather information on the state of the life there. So Jiraiya did as asked. Never questioning the words of his Hokage.
Never questioning why he would want to know about such a disease infested climate, about the cowardly people who inhabited it. About the strange creatures with glowing eyes whom he suspected were the sources of the missing persons.
Jiraiya stalked towards the port, where he would catch a ferry as far east as possible. From there, he would make his way on foot. As he walked, his senses were picking up individuals who were camouflaged in the darkness. Who were watching him carefully, rather like a predator would its prey. Jiraiya, however, wasn't everyday prey. He was the Toad Sannin, and he had no intention about going down, especially without a fight.
"What do we have here?" Came a whispered voice, which had Jiraiya pausing his footsteps, his eyes flicking around cautiously, as his muscles tensed expectantly. "A mortal has trespassed on our territory."
"Do you know what we do with mortals that do that?"
The voice, which Jiraiya identified as being different to the first, echoed all around him. This made tracking the origin difficult.
"No, but I don't doubt that you shall attempt to show me." Murmured Jiraiya through clenched teeth, his fingers absent-mindedly moving through signs.
The voices around him all laughed, a chilling quality echoing within them.
"You are a funny mortal."
Figures began to step out of the shadows, their faces as white as paper. Their eyes glowing a variety of colours. Their lips were full, and were a deep red colour, while their canines had extended. Blood had already dried around many of their chins, and Jiraiya felt his own blood run cold as he realized what their intention was.
'What the hell are these things?'
The first one leapt forwards to strike, moving so quickly that Jiraiya could barely follow. In fact, he would bet anything that the Sharingan would have difficulty following such a thing. Before the first one could meet him however, it was stopped by a hand on their arm. Flinging the attacker to the side, the newcomer leveled a glare at the attackers.
"Leave the mortal alone. Or, you will have me to contend with. You know that you don't want to deal with that." The newcomer hissed at them, his purple eyes were glowing in the darkness. The group backed down, from what Jiraiya realized was a superior to them. An Alpha. They began to disappear, fading back into the darkness, leaving Jiraiya and the newcomer.
"I would thank you." Whispered Jiraiya. "But how do I know that you are not like them."
"You don't." replied the newcomer, who then stepped into some passing light, causing the inhuman qualities to fade away, revealing brown hair, and blue-purple eyes. Like the others, his skin was almost translucent. "I am Gabriel. Do not worry, while I am here, they wouldn't dare attack."
Jiraiya frowned, before extending his hand and shaking Gabriel's. His instincts told him to trust the newcomer.
Gabriel nodded his head in greeting.
"I think it is best if you get out of this area. It is rife with nosferatu, who are all to willing to attack and kill to feed." Gabriel registered Jiraiya's confused look, before he spoke. "You have no idea, do you?"
"Come, I shall explain everything to you."
Thus, Jiraiya heard about nosferatu. About the current problems the world was facing, because of the collapse of the Vampire Council, as the elders were killed, or disappeared. As the nosferatu became uncontrolled, and attacked the world at large, ruling it from the shadows. The world was in decline, and it was too late to be saved.
Haru's green eyes were glowing with a vindictive intensity. He had no allusions about what was to happen. If any of his friends from the past could see him now, they would most likely find him unrecognizable. After all, Harry Potter was the example of all things good, and was not the sort of individual who would take pleasure in killing one of his own. Even his wayward son. But Haru knew, deep down inside, that he would enjoy what was to come. Revenge was a dish best served cold, they used to say. Here, it was Haru's turn.
He knew that he had a captive audience, on both sides of this battle. All of them were enquiring of the strange and powerful stranger who had just appeared, stopping Madara from doing what he intended to do. All of them watching in a strange sort of anticipation, as the air around them thickened, as though the air was preparing itself for what was about to happen.
"It is time for your punishment, foolish boy." Hissed Haru, hatred dripping from his tone. This boy, this child, who was of his blood, had ruined everything. He had caused Haru to question himself, something he had sworn never to do ever since his death. He was the reason for the fall of the council, for the decline of the world outside. All because Haru let him live, was merciful, as his legend indicated he should do. But, it was all for naught, as the child came back. It made Haru regret having natural children, if he spawned such a creature as this.
Madara leveled Haru an unreadable look, as he snatched his arm back. He stood a few feet from Haru, and appeared to be at a loss as to what to do. He had been fighting Naruto and Sasuke, and he wasn't at his best, especially by summoning a demon, and having it destroyed so abruptly.
Madara had always enjoyed being in control of everything, and now that Haru had removed such control, the child didn't know where to stand. Haru decided to make the decision for him.
"I went easy on you last time. Under orders from Isis. No more. Your mere presence makes me regret spawning you. You are unworthy of my blood running through your veins." Said Haru, abhorrence marking his tone. With that statement, Haru pushed from the ground, leaping across the distance between the two of them in a mere millisecond. He moved to strike Madara, and his strike was met with a kunai, the blade not even breaking the skin on Haru's hand.
Madara shoved him back roughly, before bringing forth a pair of swords, and going to strike Haru. To those watching, the dance between the two of them would have been impressive to watch. The sounds of blades clanging together were the only things punctuating their styles, as they moved at such intense speeds that the ninja's couldn't match. The two of them were speed demons, their bodies were created for such an activity, and it was only with the other that such speeds could be matched.
If Haru dared to admit to himself about his son's skills, and he would find himself moderately impressed. The boy was a half-vampire, inheriting the immortality and speed that the nosferatu possessed, as well as the blood lust of the most insane vampire. He was matching Haru blow to blow, but he still remained human in some aspects. Vampires were the ultimate predator, and they could go for days without tiring, but the bloodlines and the old powers had faded away within the newly turned, making them nothing more than a mass of mindless beings, without the true power their elders had.
So when Madara was tiring, demonstrated by the slight increase in his breathing, Haru remained the same as before. He had no need for the sweet oxygen he had required in his previous life, and was well stocked up on blood from the captives of one Hyuuga Hinata. He could go on for days the way he was, and he knew that in such a state, he would beat his son.
But is this what he wanted to happen? For it all to come to an end in such a simple manner? For the centuries of fighting, endless searching, to end while his son had such a disadvantage. He knew, deep down inside, there still existed the Gryffindor Golden Boy, who wouldn't kick anyone while they were down. It was in this moment, that the boy rose up again, fighting angrily with the snarling monster that represented his vampire nature. In one swift move, he shoved Madara onto the ground, leaving a dent into the ground. Normal individuals would have had their bodies shattered into thousands of pieces from the force of the blow, but not one of their kind. Especially not his own son.
"The centuries haven't been good to you." Murmured Haru, his tone hollow, and dead. He ignored the calls of encouragement that were coming from Lexiel, who was speaking to lowly and quickly for the human ears to pick up. "I just want you to explain to me why you thought you could get Matsumi's powers. Why you thought that you could a God walking among us?"
"What, don't you like sharing your place?" hissed Madara, his eyes alight with the beginnings of a blood lust. Haru immediately took a step back, keep his eyes focused on Madara. Something was amiss.
"My place as what? God? God is perfect. God doesn't make mistakes. Our kind are a mistake. We are so focused on our own innate power and perfection, and we ignore everything else around us. We treat everything else as being insignificant. This is why none of us can be God. We are not perfect. We are all imperfect beings who are ruled over by a deity of some kind. No matter how much power is at your fingertips, you are only able to gain access to this power as it is decreed by some higher power."
"So you saying that because God said I could get the power that I should have had? That was rightfully mine. Power that you are too cowardly to use, that I do not deserve it? That it wasn't 'meant to be'. Don't be a fool. I have heard all about you. I probably know more about you that you think I do. Isn't that right? I learnt all about your past too, and my grandparents."
Haru sensed a feeling of coldness creeping up his body, but he ignored it. He had gone to great lengths to separate himself from the persona of the Boy-Who-Lived. From the identity of Harry James Potter, son of Lily and James Potter. All he was now was the shell that remained behind, the childe of Alessandra, an Ancient Vampire whom he killed after she sired him.
"You know nothing." Replied Haru softly, focusing his green eyes on Madara's raging eyes. "In the end, it doesn't matter either way. You will die tonight. You cannot go around released demons without the consequences."
"We are not so different from the demons. Your daughter, my sister, is one of those demons. Are we so different? We could cause just as much difficulties to the mortals. Your life is ruled by so many rules, none of them make any sense either." Madara's eyes glinted brightly, and Haru felt his muscles tense. "But none of these rules matter. By the end of this fight, even you won't be able to come back from the dead. Not again. You will have to show the world, and everyone. That you are just as bad as these demons. As me. You are not as much as a Golden Boy as you would like to appear."
Haru bit back a snarl, and had but a second's alert to the what was to come. A wave of chakra came from Madara, and on instinct, Haru's jumped back, away from it. Only to realize half a second later, that it wasn't aimed at him. He sensed as Madara began to retreat with his forces, as they knew that the battle could not be won today. They left behind a trap which Madara was setting off with the chakra wave. Gritting his teeth to hold back a snarl, as he felt the chakra connect with various explosive devices that were in the ground, he moved at a fast pace so that he was in the center of the ninja.
On instinct, he lifted the palms of his hands up, and without a word, a silver barrier surrounded the group. Just in time, as the explosions began to go off, and destroyed the immediate area with ridiculous ease. Explosions hit the barrier, but not a single one of them managed to get through. It was over almost as quickly as it had begun, and he dimly registered the fact that it was barely five minutes since he had arrived. Such was the speed of their battle, and Madara's subsequent exit.
Silence now filled the area, and no one was sure how precisely to act. Haru dropped the barrier, surveying the area that was now deserted off all life formed. It looked like what it was: a war zone. No life, no colour, just an endless stretch of land, which was now an almost desert landscape.
"What was that?" murmured one of the ninja close by, and Haru spared them a slight glance. A canine looking man, whom Haru understood to be one of the Inuzuka.
"Explosives from the outside world, far more potent that anything that ninja can create. He set them off using a wave of chakra." Replied Haru tightly, as his expression remained firm. He stepped out of the group, and walked out onto the destroyed landscape. As a second nature to him, after all of the years he had been alive, he ignored the stares that were settled onto his back.
He knew they had questions. Where had he been? Why didn't he kill Madara while he could? Why did he wait until now to help them? But whether or not they were ready for the answers was another matter entirely. Their questions would be meaningless to him, as in the end, what did it matter whether or not they knew the answers to their questions? They were mortal. They would eventually die. Then, when they did, the answers would lose their meaning. This always happened. He inwardly shook his head. It didn't benefit anyone to dwell on such thoughts. He was acting just like his fellow Ancients, the ones who sit by and did nothing. Who would quite happily watch the world burn around them.
A flood of almost never-ending anger flowed through his body. At himself, at the situation, at Madara, at the ninja behind him, and most of all, at the life that he now led. It seemed that no matter how he tried to escape, the fates were yet to be done with him. He crouched down in a swift movement, and struck the ground with the palm of his hand, in order to release the pent up anger.
A shockwave of sorts spread out due to the impact, as the magic flowed from his hand, and out onto the ground. It caused his audience to stumble to the ground due to the sheer force and power from it. Haru then stood up, and took a few, unnecessary calming breaths, in order to get his control back to normal. He had lived for several millennia, and now was not the time to make foolish mistakes when it came to his powers, and the harming of innocents.
"Harry?" asked Lexiel, as she appeared next to him, her eyes questioning him.
"Lexiel." Replied Haru, his green eyes now calm, as they peered at her pale form. "It appears as though we shall have to wait for another chance, ne?"
"Are you alright?" she questioned, as he turned around and calmly surveyed the awaiting, and semi-nervous crowd.
"I would say that I have never been better, but you and I know that it would be a lie. What happens now we cannot know. The ball is no longer in our court. Madara isn't stupid, he would have masked their scent, making it impossible for the Imperials to track their scent. He isn't about to make this any easier for us."
"Like father like son." Was the response he got from her, and she shrugged her shoulders as his glare. "Even you cannot disagree with that. You are too much alike. You are both impulsive power houses, and the only major difference that I can see, aside form the obvious personality issues that he has, is that you have what he has always desired. Powers that are of a standard that is never seen anymore."
"And shall never be seen again, if I can help it." Hissed Haru, his eyes almost glowing, as he responded.
"You did the right thing. You protected us rather than going after him. It shows that both you and him are different people. He would have chased you rather than protecting his own people. You are not the monster that he is, no matter how much power is at your fingertips, and your immortal status. Of most of the individuals I know, you are one of the most human. This includes our new found shinobi comrades."
Haru nodded his head slightly, his eyes flicking along the lines of waiting shinobi.
"We are to go back to Konoha?" he asked softly, and at her nod, he continued. "We need to be prepared. Madara will strike again, soon perhaps, although we cannot be sure. Until that point, we must prepare properly. We can stay locked up in the fortress that is Konoha, but you and I know that there are better ways to protect the village." He then directed his last part, to an almost patient looking Kakashi, the most senior ninja of the group. "I shall meet you in Konohagakure. I have some unfinished business to attend to."
With that, he vanished.
"I didn't get to thank him." Announced Naruto quietly, as the group began to journey back to Konoha. Sasuke, who stood by his side, stared at him curiously. "He saved us all, a feat which I could not do. He deserves my thanks at least. Especially for rescuing Hinata."
He nodded his head at the sleeping kunoichi, who was being carried back to Konoha on Akamaru's back.
"He shall be at Konoha in time for our return." Came Lexiel, as she appeared out of the shadows of the trees. "I believe he intends to help you in controlling Matsumi's powers. She is the only surviving person who has access to such powers, aside from himself. As he demonstrated before, they are extremely effective. He managed to destroy a demon using them."
Naruto's eyes widened as he nodded his head. He had understood that whatever abilities the Kyuubi had, especially ones that made her so desirable to Madara, would have to be powerful. But he hadn't quite understood what that had meant, until he saw what Haru had demonstrated today. Suddenly, Naruto felt a flare of realization, so strong that he almost paused in his steps.
"What is it?" asked Sasuke from his side. He shared a look with an exhausted looking Sakura, who had been aiding in healing the others so that they could all get home in one piece.
"I have seen him before." Whispered Naruto, so softly that if Sasuke wasn't a ninja, he wouldn't have heard it.
"When?" asked Sasuke.
"He works in Konoha, and owns a music shop. I went in, and I asked him to play me something. It seemed to sooth the Kyuubi. I didn't think anything of it…but now…"
"Yes, Harry has always been talented when it came to music." Announced Lexiel quietly. "He enjoys the repetition, the predictability of it. He finds it ironic that his existence is such a sharp contrast to music, and seeks to enjoy music as much as he can. It calms him down greatly."
"How long has he been in Konoha?" questioned Sasuke.
"A few months maybe?" replied Lexiel, with an absentminded shrug. "I don't know exactly. Madara thought he was dead, and in a way, we all let him believe that. Harry eldest childe, Erin, gave up her existence so that he could live. She gave him her blood, and she died, and he lived. I don't think that Harry will ever forgive us for that. Allowing Erin to die for his sake. Erin was his favorite, there was no question of that. He then traveled back here, and entrusted a family who lived in the mountains with a task. He went into a coma-like sleep, and they were to awaken him when the time was right. Thus, four hundred years later, they woke him up. Here he is."
"So he came straight to Konoha, hiding himself amongst us?"
"Yes." Replied Lexiel. "He wanted to make sure that he understood what was going on before he became apart of the fight."
"Do you think we can win?" asked Sasuke softly, in a tone that made it clear that the answer she gave him wouldn't affect his own beliefs.
"I do not know." Answered Lexiel, her pale eyes reflecting her truthfulness. "Madara is unpredictable. Harry once described him as a snake, once you backed him into a corner, he will strike back. Hard. It is why over the years we have done our best to make sure that he hasn't been backed into a corner. But in the end – it was going to happen either way. The only way for us to win would be if he was backed into a corner."
A silence was all that remained of their conversation, and Lexiel spoke up once more, her tone was quiet, as though she feared that by speaking t loudly would make her words become a reality.
"I get the feeling that he doesn't expect to live for very long after all of this is over."
Sasuke and Naruto shot her questioning glances, as they sped ever closer to their destination.
"He has been around for over six thousand years. He has seen everything and done everything. Our time here is over. That much is obvious. There is only so much we can do to prevent it. I think Harry has accepted it. I think he wants for his time to be up. He has spent millennia as his only reason for existing being to destroy Madara, his own son. When all of this is over, I believe that he will want to rest. Permanently. Whatever life exists beyond this for those of our kind, will be what he is waiting for. In his eyes, whatever it is will have to be better than the life that he is living now."
I thought that out of all of my stories, this would be the one that would be most appreciated if it was updated at Christmas. So here you.
I hope everyone enjoys this chapter.
I know that some people will be disappointed, as they would have wanted to see Madara get his ass handed to him. But that isn't now. That is for the BIG battle. Which is happening in a few chapters. This story was never meant to be an epic. Perhaps ten chapters. It just takes me a long time between updates, because I am not sure where to go with it. All the philosophy that this story covers is far greater than any of my others. Nature vs Nurture, the existence of God, and whether or not we have the right to become one. Even, is there life after death for Vampires.
Its all here.
Please review! Spread the Christmas Cheer. (Or whatever cheer you as a person celebrate…)