A Personal Matter
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Harry Potter... or any combination thereof.
Warning: This story is AR - Alternate Reality. This differs from AU in that it takes place in the canon universe, but I've twisted facts to change the realities of the universe... You'll figure it out as you read. I've only changed one minor (okay, not so minor) detail, and these are the dominos I expect would fall because of it.
Son of Warning: There are mild spoilers for Harry Potter; namely, the back story of Harry, Voldemort, and the prophecy regarding the two. There are also spoilers from Kakashi Gaiden, and minor spoilers from chapter 367 of the manga (that is, the name of the YF is revealed... if you haven't read it yet, you can pretend I just made up the name...)
The beginning isn't exactly a flashback, per say, but it takes place about 6-7 years before the main setting of the story. I haven't put it in italics... it's like... a story within the story. If you find yourself confused, let me know in a review and I'll change it so this back-story is in italics.
There are two "languages" in this story--English and whatever language Konoha uses. Unless otherwise specified, people are always speaking in the native language of whatever country they happen to be in. Simple.
This story is probably very different from any Harry Potter - Naruto crossover you've read before. I'm interested in hearing what you think about it, and I admit I only wrote it because everyone seems to work around the HP plot when writing crossovers, and end up completely messing with the Naruto one... why not mess with both? It'll be fun, trust me. (And now my Author's Note is way too long, so I'll just let you read.)
Chapter 1 – An Unusual Mission
It was another dreary November day, the heavy clouds overhead promising a night of freezing rain. The winds had picked up, crisp and cool in the already chilly autumn weather.
James Potter tried to ignore the wind and the clouds, concentrating on not looking as awkward as he felt compared to the self-assured man in front him. A particularly strong gust of wind knocked his glasses askew and the young man reached up to right them self-consciously.
"So, um… you know the details already, right?" He asked nervously. He was having second thoughts about this whole situation, but the deal had already been made and it was a little late to be getting cold feet. Besides, James Harold Potter didn't get cold feet.
The other man almost looked old with the long white hair he sported. But his skin, what little of it that could be seen around his eyes, was not wrinkled, and that combined with his stiff manner of standing and muscular build suggested he wasn't much older than the English man himself.
The white haired man nodded once, expression giving away nothing—what little of an expression could be made out around the mask covering the bottom half of his face.
James shuffled his feet slightly, what was already an awkward situation becoming even more awkward. "Look," he started, "It's really, really important that she doesn't realize you're not me." He glanced the other man over dubiously, "Are you sure… you can do that?"
Magic could hide pretty much anything, James knew, but even if the other man looked like him, it was more the behavior he was worried about. Even after having just met him five minutes ago, he could tell that they were as different as… well, as Lily and her sister, Petunia.
The white-haired man stared blankly at him in response, waiting just long enough to make the English man feel like an idiot for asking. Suddenly his hands were moving, flashing through strange signs faster than the younger man would have imagined he could move.
James coughed, waving a hand in front of his face as a cloud of dust was abruptly displaced into the air, hiding his opposite from view. As it settled he could only stare in surprise.
"Will this do?" The other man asked, a smug smirk appearing on his lips, all traces of the somber foreigner gone.
Hastily, James covered up his surprise—he was too old to be gaping at magic tricks he'd seen a dozen times before. It wasn't much more than a simple glamour, even if he hadn't used a wand to spell it.
"Er, yeah, that should do it," he agreed awkwardly. Shifting nervously, James glanced anxiously at the shadows of the park around them, he had a hard time bringing himself to meet the other man's eyes—now an all too familiar hazel rather than the black they'd been a moment ago. "Just…Please make sure she's safe."
The man opposite him raised an eyebrow, smirking, "I haven't failed a mission, yet." He boasted arrogantly, in such a good imitation of the younger man that it made him blush slightly, "Your wife will be safe with me, Potter-san."
James nodded jerkily, then noticed a shadow moving along the edge of the small forest on the other side of the park, "Well… Listen, I've got to go now…" He ran his fingers through his messy hair awkwardly, adjusting his glasses more out of habit than necessity, "Just… try to do what I would do, okay?"
The other man nodded again, face betraying none of the annoyance he felt at being told the same things over again. Reluctantly, James turned and ran off to join the shadow—it was weird, he already felt guilty about this and he hadn't even technically done anything wrong yet!
The other man brushed an irritating strand of black hair from his eyes and turned as well, heading back to the road in the opposite direction.
It was dark by the time he arrived at the house, but his keen eyes were hardly hampered and he walked straight up to it, opening the door like he owned the place.
"Lily," he called out into the quiet house, "I'm home!"
There was a sound from another room as he removed his shoes at the door, and he looked up as a young woman with dark red hair stepped into the room. She smiled, crossing over to him.
"James," she greeted affectionately, embracing him and giving him a small kiss. It took a moment for the man to force himself to respond to the affectionate gesture. "Thank you… I know you wanted to go with them, but it's just that I have a really bad feeling about this mission."
"Anything for you, Lily," the man replied softly, forcing emotions he didn't feel into his words like it was natural and reflecting on the information he'd been given, "Moony and Padfoot can take care of themselves."
The woman smiled, "I know you don't really mean that," she said, "But, thanks, anyway."
Namikaze Minato could do very little other than stare at the Sandaime Hokage, valiantly trying to wrap his mind around a concept that seemed to have ripped apart the entirety of the universe at the seams, only to rearrange it in an odd jumble and tape it sloppily back together. Finally, he gave up.
"Excuse me… what?" The baffled Jounin asked.
The older man seated on the opposite side of the desk sighed, removing his large, red hat and setting it aside on top of his overdue paperwork. "As I said," he repeated, "The child's family was murdered in a sloppy assassination attempt, so keeping him there wasn't much of an option. After I heard his story, I agreed that he should come to live with Kakashi."
"Yes, but… how did this happen?" Minato couldn't help the incredulous tones that found their way into his voice—it was just that unbelievable.
Sarutobi smiled slightly in a patient, fatherly manner as he explained, "Sometimes things are required on missions that a shinobi would rather not do. When it came down to it, he really didn't have a choice."
Minato still couldn't believe it, "But… wouldn't they have known sooner? I mean… if it's really true…"
"It seems he looked ordinary as an infant," the Sandaime said, "The details aren't known, but it's suspected that his true appearance was hidden by Genjutsu when he was born. There was an incident, when he was one, and the Genjutsu was broken, however his change in appearance was believed to be a side-effect from the event, so no one suspected anything."
"This is… unbelievable," Minato commented, still overwhelmed by it all, "But… they're sure it's his?"
"Apparently so," the Hokage confirmed, "They used some sort of jutsu which reveals one's heritage, and the name of his father was revealed."
"… You're sure?" Minato pressed, "I mean, you said… it was only one night, right? What are the chances…"
The Hokage raised an eyebrow. "I have seen him myself," he commented dryly, "There can be no mistaking that chakra. The results of his blood test won't be in for several days, but that's really just a formality for the records."
"Wow…" Minato sighed, feeling tired—at least his universe was sorting itself out to look a little less like a first year Academy student's craft project by now.
"I'd like you to take Kakashi down to meet him today," the Sandaime continued, "He'll need clothing and such, everything of his was destroyed." Shuffling through some papers, the old man withdrew a small sheet of paper and held it across to him, "I asked the nurses to record his measurements when she gave him a physical earlier, so you can pick up some clothes for him right away. You'll be compensated for his needs, of course."
"Hai…" Minato agreed faintly, taking the paper more out of instinct than any conscious choice.
Sarutobi smiled slightly at the miffed look on the young man's face, "Please, Minato, this is hardly unheard of. Shinobi have children outside of the village often enough."
"Yeah, but this is a little different," Minato argued weakly, "I mean… it's him."
"I know what you mean," the Hokage agreed somberly. "Now," he started, adopting a professional manner, "You don't have any problems with this arrangement, do you? If need be, I can find someone else to…"
Minato shook his head, firmly getting a grip on himself. "It's not a problem for me," he said, "We shouldn't separate them just because of little things like that."
The Third nodded, pleased by his response, "Good. Now, I believe you're going to be late for your team if you don't leave now, Minato-san."
"Hai, Hokage-sama," the young man confirmed formally before taking his leave—still trying to wrap his mind around the baffling concept he'd been presented with.
The thirteen-year-old raced through the trees. He had to be there on time, he just had to! He'd been late yesterday—they'd murder him if he was late again today! He pushed himself to go faster—his teammates really needed to lighten up a little, it was just training! It wasn't like he'd been late for an important mission, or anything!
Finally he burst into the training field only to find everyone looking at him. He flushed, rubbing the back of his neck nervously and reaching up to adjust his goggles, "Am I late?"
For a tense moment no one spoke—even Kakashi didn't say anything. Then his sensei smiled down at him, "Actually, Obito, you're on time today."
The black-haired boy lit up immediately and clenched his fist, pumping it in victory, "Oh, yeah!"
"But," the man interrupted his celebrating with a vaguely amused expression, "I'm sorry to say that training has been canceled for today."
"What?!" Obito cried in disbelief, "The one day I'm on time and it's canceled?! Why?!"
"That's what we'd all like to know," Kakashi put in dryly, eyeing his teacher blankly, "How can we expect to grow stronger if you cancel training on us all the time, sensei?"
Grinning, the blond reached down to ruffle the younger boy's white hair, earning himself a glare from the boy in question. "One time is hardly all of the time, Kakashi," he said cheerfully.
"You canceled before, too," Kakashi stated, "That time you snuck out to meet with Kushina-san, and that time Ichiraku Ramen was having two for one. And there was that time when—"
"You're very cute, Kakashi, but that's enough," Minato interrupted, rubbing the back of his neck, "Jeez, how long ago was that? And you still remember?"
Kakashi returned his gaze blankly.
"Sensei," the third member of the team spoke up, the young girl concerned, "Why aren't we having training? Has something happened?"
"No, no, nothing like that, Rin-chan," Minato excused, "There's just something I need to do… Kakashi, too, actually."
"What!" Obito broke in, "You're canceling training just to show Kakashi super cool secret techniques?! That's not fair!"
Minato sweat-dropped, "I didn't say that, Obito-kun…"
"Anô, sensei, what do you and Kakashi-kun need to do?" Rin asked curiously.
"Mou… you see, it's kind of a personal matter," Minato offered awkwardly.
Kakashi eyed him with a frown but it was Obito who spoke up, "What kind of personal matter?!"
"A… personal one," Minato repeated. He shook his head briefly and grinned again, "Now, enough of that. Kakashi, you're with me; Rin and Obito… well, you can go on training if you want."
Kakashi fell in step with his teacher as the blond turned to leave the clearing, leaving the other two Chuunin to turn towards each other. After several seconds, the boy's mouth quirked up in a smirk.
"Oi," he said, adjusting his goggles so they covered his eyes, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Rin-chan?"
"Sensei was acting very suspicious," Rin admitted reluctantly.
Obito's grin widened, "Yosh! Let's go!"
"But… he said it was personal," Rin said slowly, "Maybe… we should just train."
"We can do both!" Obito said happily, "We'll train our tracking skills by following them! Sensei would always approve of such a hands-on training method!"
Rin finally smiled and nodded, letting herself be talked into the clear breach of protocol. "If it's training, I'm sure he won't mind."
Silently, the two slipped from the clearing, following after their teacher and teammate.
"Here we are!" Minato said stopping abruptly and turning towards a small store, "I knew it was around here someplace."
Kakashi glanced up at the name and frowned—a children's clothing shop. "Aren't you a little big to shop here, sensei?"
Minato laughed, leading his reluctant student into the store, "Unfortunately."
The twelve-year-old regarded him dully, "That had better be a joke, sensei."
The Jounin laughed again, saying nothing one way or another. Instead he pulled out the paper he'd brought, "We're looking for clothes in this size," he said, showing it to his student, "About four or five outfits should be fine for now."
"Is this a mission?" Kakashi questioned, quickly looking down the list and committing the numbers to memory.
"Not exactly," Minato said, "But kind of. It was the Hokage who requested it, after all."
The Chuunin eyed his teacher suspiciously, but didn't reply.
Minato ignored the boy's reaction and walked in, looking for clothes that might fit the measurements he'd received. After a few minutes of browsing he pulled out a bright red shirt with a strange, green face on the front.
"What do you think of this?" The Jounin asked cheerfully, turning to show his find off to his student.
Kakashi frowned at it disapprovingly, "It looks stupid."
Laughing, Minato put it back on the racks and searched for something a little less… strange. "You could help, you know," he added over his shoulder.
The twelve-year-old folded his arms, eyeing him blankly for a moment before he sighed, stepping forward, "What are we looking for?"
"Just some clothes for a boy with those measurements I showed you," Minato replied lightly.
Kakashi shot his teacher an annoyed look, but began rifling through the clothes regardless. After a few minutes of searching, he pulled out a plain black T-shirt and held it out to his teacher. The man sighed.
"You know… he's not a ninja, Kakashi," the Jounin said blithely.
"It's better than a stupid shirt like that that screams 'kill me'." The boy commented, frowning at the bright orange T-shirt his sensei was holding.
The blond grinned, turning the shirt around to show off the front—a small, green toad smiled at Kakashi—"But it's so cute!"
"What are they doing?" Obito hissed at his companion, trying to keep an eye on the two shinobi who constantly seemed to be moving out of his range of vision.
"… Buying clothes…?" Rin supplied, sounding as confused as the boy felt.
"But… why?" Obito asked, pressing his face closer to the window, "And… it's a little kid store, too."
Rin blinked in surprise, "Maybe sensei…"
Obito frowned when she broke off and turned to look at the girl, "Maybe sensei, what?"
His teammate flushed, "Nothing."
Shaking his head and deciding he didn't want to know, Obito turned back to his spying, squinting through the window, "What are they talking about?"
Frowning, Rin squinted through the window as well, "You can't tell with Kakashi," she complained, "And sensei isn't even looking over here."
Obito groaned in annoyance, "What good is learning how to read lips if no one lets you do it?" Rolling his eyes, he stood up, "Come on."
"Where are you going?" Rin asked, getting to her feet and following the boy.
"They're so busy, they probably won't even notice us," Obito said, moving towards the door.
Rin sighed. "We're going to get caught," she mumbled, following after her teammate.
"Can you just get something already?" Kakashi asked testily as his teacher pulled out a shirt that was a horrible clash of neon green and orange.
"What do you think of this one, Kakashi-kun?" The man asked cheerfully.
The boy stared dully at it, then crossed his arms, annoyed, "I don't care," he said, "It's stupid, but since it isn't for me, why should I care what it looks like?" He sighed in annoyance as his teacher put the shirt back on the rack, "Why did you bring me along just for this, sensei?"
The man smiled in a knowing way and responded mysteriously, "You'll find out."
Kakashi shot him a glare, "Why don't you just tell me?"
Minato's smile widened, "You wouldn't believe me if I did."
Leaving it at that, Kakashi reluctantly turned back to another shelf of clothes. Still smiling, the Jounin half-turned towards the entrance and called out, "Since you two are here already, you may as well help."
Behind a rack of clothing near the door, the two Chuunin-in-hiding looked at each other in surprise, incredulous that they had been found out so easily.
"Well… it is sensei, after all," Rin commented as they reluctantly stood up.
Obito rubbed the back of his head, grinning embarrassedly as he offered, "Anô, sensei, we were training our stealth techniques."
"Obviously not very well," Kakashi grumbled, not even looking back at the other two.
Minato laughed, "It's fine, Obito-kun." The man excused, holding out another article of clothing—this one a camouflage tee with NINJA printed across the front in bold, black Romaji. "What do you all think of this one?"
Kakashi frowned, obviously not impressed.
Obito scratched the back of his head awkwardly, not quite sure what to say.
"Anô… Well, what's it for, sensei?" Rin asked.
"Ah, well… there's this boy, and it seems all of his belongings were destroyed in an attack on his home," the man explained evasively, "So Hokage-sama sent us to buy a replacement wardrobe."
Kakashi scowled, "Why is Hokage-sama sending us on a mission like this?" He demanded irritably, "We're a Chuunin team, sensei, and he's using us for D-Ranked missions?"
"Mou… it's not exactly a mission, Kakashi-kun," Minato said again, rubbing the back of his neck, "More like… a favor."
The boy harrumphed but didn't argue further—although by the way he was glaring at the nearest rack of clothing, his teacher was sure he wanted to.
"So, what do you think?" The Jounin repeated, jiggling the shirt to bring his students' attention back towards the clothing.
Rin frowned. "Well, what does the boy look like?" She asked, "That's important for knowing what kind of clothing to buy for him, isn't it?"
"Hmm… I don't know, exactly," Minato admitted, frowning at Kakashi thoughtfully, "But I think he probably has white hair and a cute pout."
Obito's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Are you buying clothes for him, sensei?!" He demanded, poking a finger at his teammate accusingly.
"Idiot," Kakashi snarled.
Sweat-drops formed on the other two members of the team and Rin quickly supplied, "That couldn't be the case, Obito, all of these clothes are way too small for Kakashi-kun."
"That's true," Minato agreed somberly, "But, now that you mention it, I think the person might look a lot like Kakashi."
"That makes it easier," Rin put in, "We can just look for things that would look good on Kakashi, then."
The blond grinned, "Alright!" He said, pulling out the sheet of measurements again, "That's the spirit! We'll split up and meet back here, each with an outfit that would look good on Kakashi and would fit a little boy this size. Four or five outfits should be about enough for now."
Rin took the paper from her teacher, and she and Obito looked over it quickly. Minato didn't wait for them to finish before giving the order for them to move out. His students quickly complied—some more enthusiastically than others.
They met back at the front of the store ten minutes later, each of them dutifully holding an outfit—the way Obito was snickering caused Kakashi a little unease, though. The white-haired boy glanced over the clothing his team held and frowned, eyes pausing on the set his teacher held.
"I thought we agreed red was stupid," he commented, frowning at the red T-shirt in his teacher's arms, accented with yellow and blue lines.
"I don't remember that," Minato replied with a grin, "Besides, bright colors are happy."
Obito snickered, "Is that why Kakashi always acts like he's got a stick shoved up his—" the boy was cut short by a glare and a sharp, scandalized reprimand from his female teammate.
"Maa, maa," the Jounin placated, grinning, "Let's see what the rest of you have."
Rin showed the man her clothes—a light blue T-shirt with a pair of matching pants and a darker blue button up shirt to go over top. Flushing a little, she admitted, "I think Kakashi-kun looks good in blue…"
Minato nodded approvingly and accepted the clothes from the girl to add to his T-shirt and shorts. He raised an eyebrow as Obito's snickering started all over again, and the boy proudly held up his own selected T-shirt in silent explanation.
It was a light gray T-shirt with the round, chubby face of a large eyed puppy on the front—he had found shorts to match. Kakashi's disapproving frown only made the boy laugh louder. "What's wrong, Kakashi?" He asked not-so-innocently, "I thought you liked dogs!"
"It's cute," Minato said with a smile, "Good work, Obito."
"That's the ugliest 'dog' I've ever seen," Kakashi grumbled, shooting a glare at the other boy as he handed his clothes to the Jounin.
Obito smirked at him, "It's cute," he argued, repeating their teacher's earlier sentiment, "Besides, your pig-kun or whatever you call him is way uglier."
Kakashi's scowl deepened, his glare sharpening. "It's Pakkun, moron," he growled, "And he's not ugly."
"I've seen Nakago's cat drag home nicer things than that pig-kun," Obito argued.
The younger boy's eyes flashed dangerously, "Maybe you'd like me to summon him so you can tell him that yourself."
The tension between the two was continuing to rise, and they were already attracting many glares from parents who had brought their children to the shop. Minato thought it prudent to interrupt before things could escalate to violence.
"Kakashi! Why don't you show us what you found?" The man suggested loudly.
A shinobi really couldn't have asked for a more practical outfit than the one that was thrown at him. The black pants ended short and the long-sleeved shirt was as black as any shadow, even with the dark outline of the Leaf emblem adorning the front. Minato smiled, mostly to keep himself from laughing.
"Something that would look good on you, ne, Kakashi," he commented with amusement.
Kakashi didn't respond, crossing his arms and glaring at nothing in particular—Minato was glad that at least his argument with Obito seemed to have ended.
The team filed out of the clothing shop only after Minato had paused to pick up some sandals and underwear, and the camouflage tee he'd been admiring earlier—declaring that it was just too cute to pass up. Kakashi somehow found himself ending up with all three bags, and he bore the burden with only a slight twinge of annoyance.
"Can we train now?" The white-haired shinobi questioned, irritated at spending the last hour shopping for clothes—especially since his teacher had made it clear that it wasn't part of a real mission.
"Actually, we still have a few more things to do, Kakashi," Minato said.
"What?" Obito asked curiously.
"Mou… it's kind of a personal matter," the Jounin said again.
His three students shot him dull looks.
"Like buying clothes was a personal matter?" Rin asked dryly.
Minato sighed, rubbing the back of his head for a moment before turning to look at his students with complete seriousness—an expression that was usually reserved for dangerous missions.
"This is something Kakashi and I have to do alone," the Jounin stated, all traces of his earlier cheerfulness gone, "Obito, Rin, I'm sorry, but I don't want you two to follow us this time."
"Aw, why not?" Obito grumbled without real feeling.
The man smiled slightly, the serious expression lingering in his eyes, "It's important that only Kakashi come with me. I'm sure you two will learn the reason soon enough, but for now only Kakashi." His expression hardened again, glaring slightly, "Understood?"
The boy's eyes widened slightly in surprise at his teacher's threatening expression, "H-hai!"
At his side, Rin was quickly agreeing, as well. Kakashi remained silent, wondering what the big deal was about.
Minato nodded in approval, and allowed his expression to soften again. "I'll see you both tomorrow," he said, before turning to lead his remaining student away.